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Full text of "The Works of the Reverend George Whitefield, M.A., late of Pembroke-College, Oxford, and Chaplain to the Rt. Hon. the Countess of Huntingdon : containing all his sermons and tracts which have been alread published ; with a select collection of letters ... to which is prefixed, an account of his life, compiled from his original papers and letters"


T H E 




Late of Pembroke-College, Oxford, 
And Chaplain to the Rt. Hon. the Countcfs of Huntingdon. 



Which have been already publifhed : 


Written to his moH: intimate Friends, and Perfons of Diftinftion, in 
England., Scotland^ Ireland, a.r\d America, from the Year 1734, to 
1770, including ztiQ whole Period of his Minilby. 


Some other Pieces on Important Stj ejects, 
never before printed ; prepared by Liimfelf for the Prcfs. 

To which is prefix^^d. 

An ACCOUNT of his LIFE, 

Compiled from his Original Papers and Letters. 

VOL. V. 


Printed for Edward and Charles Dilly, in the Poultry; 
ai]d Mefirs. King aid and Creech, at Edinburgh. 





ERMON T. The Seed of the Woman, and the Seed 
of the Serpent. 

Gen. iii. 5. Jnd I vAJl put enmity between thee and the woman ^ 
and between thy feed and her feed j /*/ JIjuU bruife thy head^ and 
thou fnalt bruife his heel, — — Page 3 

SERM. ir. Walkino; with God. 

Gem. v. 24. And Enoch walked whh God, and he was nct^ for 
God took him, — ' — — p. 21 

SERM. III. Abraham's offering up his Son Ifaac. 

G^"^. xxii. 12. And he fa'id^ Lay vot thine hand upon the lad^ 
neither do thou any thing unto him ; for now I know that thou 
feareji God^ feeing thou hajl not withheld thy fon^ thine only 
f on from me, — « — — P- 3^ 

SE HM. IV. The great Duty of Family-Religion. 

Joshua xxIv. 15. As for mc and my hoife, we will ferve the 
Lord. — — — P- 52 

SERM. V. ChriO: the bed Hufband : or, an earneft Invita- 
tion to Young Women to come and fee Chrift. Preached 
to a Society of Young Women, in Fetter-Lane. 

Psalm xlv. 10, 11. Hearken^ O daughter, and confider, and 
incline thine ear : forget aljo thine own people^ and thy father's 
houfe : fo Jhall the King greatly defire thy beauty ; for he is thy 
Lord, and worfnp thou him. — — P* ^5 

SERM. VI. Britain's Mercies, and Britain's Duty. Preached 
at Philadelphia, on Sunday, Auguft 24-5 1746. and occa- 
fioned by the Suppreffion of the late unnatural Rebellion. 

Psalm cv. 45. That they might ohferve his Jiatutes and keep 
his laws, — — — P- 79 

* The Seamons marked with a *, are now fi ft publifhed from the Autboi's cwn 

Vol. V. a SERM, 

[ iv J 

SERM. VII. Thankfulnefs for Mercies received, a neceflary 
Duty. A Farewel Sf:rmon, preached on board the Whita- 
ker, at Anchor near Savannah, in Georgia, Sunday, May 17, 


Psalm cvii. 30, 31. Then arc they glad^ bccaufe they arc at 
rejl^ and fo he bringeth them unto the haven ivhere they would 
be. O that men luould therefore praife the Lord for his gcodnefs^ 
and declare the wonders that he doeth for the children of 
men ! — — — — p. 94* 

S E R M. VIII. The Neceffity and Benefits of Religious So- 

ciety. jvi^/ac^vv Of<otcb^\o '^•oOA^c^ 

EcCLEs. iv. 9, 10, II, 12. Turn are better than oncy bccaufe 
they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall ^ the 
one will lift up his fellow : but zuoe be to him that is alone when 
he falleth ; for he hath not another to help him up, Again^ if 
two lie together^ then they have heat ; but how can one be warm 
alone ? And if one prevail again ft him^ two fjall with/land 
him ; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. p. 107 

$ERM. IX. The Folly and Danger of not being righteous 

EcCLEs. vii. 16. Be not righteous over-much^ neither make 
thy f elf over -wife : why JhouUjl thou dejlroy thyfelf? P* 123 

$ERM. X. A Prefervative againft unfettled Notions, and 
want of Principles, in regard to Righteoufnefs and Chrif- 
tian Pcrfe6lion. Being a more particular Anfwer to Dodor 
Trapp's four Sermons upon the fame Text. 

EccLEs. vii. 16. Be not righteous over-much., neither make thy- 
feif over-wife : why Jhouldji thou dejlroy thyfelf? p. 143 

3ERM. XL The Benefits of an early Piety. Preached at 
Bow Church, London, before the Religious Societies. 

EccLEs. xii. I. Reincmber now thy Creator in the clays of thy 

SERM. XII. Chrift the Believer's Hufband. 

Isaiah liv. 5. For thy Maker is thy hufband. V'^1^ 

* SERM. XIII. The Potter and the Clay* 

Jer, xviii. I — 6. The word ivhich came to feremiah from the 
Lord., faying., Arife and go down to the potter s houfe^ and there 
I will caufe thee to hear my words. Then I went dozun to the 
potter's houfe, and behold^ he wrought a work on the wheels. 


[ V ] 

jJnd the vejfel that he made of cloy was marred in the hands of 
the potter^ fo he made it again another vejfel, as feemed good to 
the potter to make it. Then the tvord of the Lord came to me^ 
fa\ing, O houfe of IfraeU cannot I do zuith you as this potter P 
faith the Lord. Behold^ as the cjay is in the potter'' s hand.^ fo are 
ye in mine handy houfe of Ifrael. — P- ^97 

SERM. XIV. The Lord our Righteoufners. 
Jer. xxiii. 6. The Lord our righteoufnefs, p. 2l6 

-){e SERM. XV. The R^ighteoufnefs of Chriftan everlafting 

Dan. ix. 24. Jnd to bring in everlafiing righteoufnefs. p. 235 

SERM. XVI. The Obfervation of the Birth of Chrlft, the 
Duty of all Chriilians j or the true Way of keeping 

Matthew i. 21. And Jhe Jhall bring forth a fon, and thou 
fialt call his name Jefus : for he fiiall fave his people from their 
fins. — — — — P" 251 

% SERM. XVII. The Temptation of Chrifl. 

Matt. iv. i — 11. Then vjas Jefus led up of the fpirit into the 
luildernefs^ to he tempted of the devil, i^c. p. 262 

SERM. XVIII. The Heinous Sin of profane Curfing and 

Matt. v. 34. But I fay unto you, Swear not at all, p. 276 

SERM. XIX. Chrift the Support of the Tempted. 
Matt. vi. 13. Lead us not ijito temptation, p. 287 

SERM. XX. Worldly Bufinefs no Plea for the Negled of 
Matt. viii. 22. Let the dead bury their dead, p. 299 

SERM. XXI. Chrift the only Reft for the Weary and 
Heavy Laden. 

Matt. xi. 28. Come unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy 
laden, and I will give you rejl. — — P* 3^8 

SERM. XXII. The Folly and Danger of parting with 
Chrift for the Pleafures and Profits of Life. 

Matt. viii. 23, to the End. Jnd when he ivas entered into a 
Jhip,his difciples foUoived hiwy ipc — P- 3^9 


[ vi ] 

* SERM. XXIII, Marks of a True ComTrfion. 
Matt, xviii. 3. Verily^ I fay ur.to you^ except ye be convertedy 
and become as little ckildren, ye fnall riot enter iJito the k'lngnoni 
of heaven, — — — ■ P« 3^^ 

SERM. XXIV. What think ye of Chrift ? 

Matt. xxii. 42. JVhat think ye of Chrijl ? — p. 353 

SERM. XXV. The wife and foolifti Virgins. 

Matt. xxv. 13. Watch therefore^ fi^ y^ know neither the day 
nor the hour in which the Son of man comcth. P* 373 

SERM. XXVI. The Eternity of Hell-Torments. 
Matt. xxv. 46. Thefe Jhall go aivay into everlajiing punijhment^ 

P- 392 
SERM. XXVII. Blind Bartimeus. 

Mark x. 52. And fefus faid unto him^ Go thy way ; thy faith 
hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his ftght^ 
and followed Jefus in the way. — — P« 404 

SERM. XXVIII. Diredtions how to hear Sermons. 
Luke viii. 18. Take heedy therefore^ how ye hear, p. 418 

SERM. XXIX. The Extent and Reafonablenefs of Self- 

Luke ix. 23. And he /aid unto them all^ If any man will come 
after me^ let him deny himfelf — — p. 4 28 

^ SERM. XXX. Chrift's Transfiguration. 

Luke ix. 28 — 36. And it came to pafs about an eight days 
after theje fayings^ he took Peter and fohn and fames^ and 
went up into a mountain to pray^ i^c. — p. 440 

SERM. XXXI. The Care of the Soul urged as the one 
thing needful. 

Luke x. 42. But one thing is needful, — p. 456 

S E R M O N 

[ 3 ] 


The Seed of the Woman, and the Seed of 
the Serpent. 

Genesis hi. 15. 

And I will put Enmity between thee and the Woman^ and 
between thy Seed and her Seed j it JJiall bruife thy Head^ 
and thoujlialt bruife his Heel, 

ON reading to you thefe words, I may addrefs you in 
the language of the holy angels to the fhepherds, that 
were watching their flocks by night; "Behold, I 
bring you glad tidings of great joy.'' For this is the firft 
promife that was made of a Saviour to the apoftate race of 
Adam. We generally look for Christ only in the New 
Teftament ; but chriftianity, in one fenfe, is very near as old 
as the creation. It is wonderful to obferve how gradually 
God revealed his Son to mankind. He began with the pro- 
mife in the text, and this the eledl lived upon, till the time 
o^ Abraham. To him, God made further difcoverles of his 
eternal council concerning man's redemption. Afterwards, at 
fundry times, and in divers manners, God fpoke to the 
fathers by the prophets, till at length the Lord Jesus 
himfelf was manifeftcd in flefli, and came and tabernacled 
amongft us. 

A 2 This 

[ 4 ] 

This fird promifc muft ccrcainly be but dark to our flrft 
parents, in comparifon oi that great light which we enjoy : 
An J yet, dark as it was, wc may affure Gurfelves ihey built 
upon it their hopes of eveilaftiii^ falvution, and by that faith 
were faved. 

How they came to (land in need of this proniifc, and what 
is the extei.t ar.d meaning of it, I intend, God w'.Iling, to 
make the fubjciSt-marier of your prefent meditation. 

The fall of man is writ'cn in too legible characters not 
to be under flood : Thofe that d. ny it, by their denying, 
prove it. The very heathens confeficd, and bewailed it : 
They could fee the ilreams of corruption riinning through 
the whole race of mankind, but could not trace them to the 
fountain-head. Before God gave a revelation of his Son, 
man v/as a riddle to hinifelf. And Mofcs unfolds more, in 
this one chapter (out of which the text is taken) than all 
mankind could have been capable of finding out of them- 
felves, though they had ftudicd to all eternity. 

In the preceding chapter he had given us a full account, 
how God fpoke the woild into being; and efpecially how he 
formed man of the duft of the earth, and breathed into him 
the breath of life, fo that he became a living foul. A council 
of the Trinity was called concerning the formation of this 
lovely creature. The refult of that council was, " Let us 
make m.an in our image, after our likenefs. So God created 
man in his own image, in the image of God created he 
him.*' Mcfis remarkably repeats thefe words, that we might 
take paiticular notice of our divine Original. Never was fo 
much cx.^refTed in fo few words : None but a man infpired 
could have done fo. But it is remarkable, that though Mofcs 
mentions our being made in the imag- of God, yet he men- 
tions it but twice, and that in a tranficnt manner; as though 
he would have faid, " man was made in honour, God made 
" him upright, ' in the image of Gop, male and female 
*' created he them.' But man fo fbon fell, and became like 
" the be«iiis that ptrifn, nay, like the devil himfeif, that it is 
" fcarcc worth mentioning." 

Flow foon man fell af.er he was created, is not told us; 
and therefore, to fix any time, is to be wife above what is 
written. And, I think, they who fuppofe that man fell the 


C 5 3 

fame day In which he v/as made, hnve rto fufncicnt ground 
for their opinion. The many things which are croucled to- 
gether in the former chapter, fuch as the formation of AcL'un's 
wife, his giving names to the heads, and his being put into 
the garden which God had planted, I think require a longer 
fpace of time than a day to be tranfa6led in. However, all 
a2;ree in this, '' man i^ood not long." How long, or how 
(hort a while, I will not take upon me to determine. It more 
concerns us to enquire, how he came to fall from his ftedfaft- 
nefs, and what was the rife and progrefs of the temptation 
which prevailed over him. The account given us in this 
chapter concerning it, is very full ; and it may do us much 
fervice, under God, to make fome remarks upon it. 

" Now the ferpent (fays the facred hiftorian) was more 
fubtile than any beaft of the field which the Lord God had 
made ; and he faid unto the woman, Yea, hath God faid, 
ye Oiall not eat of every tree of the garden ?" 

Though this v/as a real ferpent, yet he that fpoke was no 
other than the devil ; from hence, perhaps, called the old 
ferpent, becaufe he took pofleflion of the ferpent v/hen he 
came to beguile our firft parents. The devil envied the hap- 
pinefs of man, who was made, as fome think, to fupply the 
place of the fallen angels. God made man upright, and with 
full power to ftand if he would : He was j^ft, therefore, in 
fuffcring him to be tempted. If he fell, he had no one to 
blame except himfelf. But hov/ m.uft fatan effect his fall .? 
He cannot do it by his power, he attempts it therefore by 
policy : he takes pofieflion of a ferpent, which was more 
fubtile than all the beafls of the field, v/hich the Lord God 
had made ; fo that men who are full of fubtilry, but have 
no piety, are only machines for the devil to work upon, juft 
as he pleafes. 

" And he faid unto the wom.an." Here is an inflance of 
his fubtilty. He fays unto the woman, the weaker vefTcI, 
and when fne was alone from her hufband, and therefore was 
more liable to be overcome; " Yea, hath God faid, ye fhall 
not cat of every tree of the garden ?" Thcfc words a;e cer- 
tainly fpoken in anfwer to fomething which the devil either 
faw or heard. In all probability, the woman was now near 
the tree of knovv'ledge of good and evil ; (for we fliall find 

A 3 iier, 

[ 6 3 

her, by and by, plucking an apple from it) perhaps (he might 
be looking at, and wondering what there was in that tree 
more than the others, that flie and her hufband (hould be 
forbidden to tafte of it. Satan feeing this, and coveting to 
draw her into a parley with him, (for if the devil can per- 
fuade us not to refift, but to commune with him, he hath 
gained a great point) he fays, *' Yea, hath God faid, ye fhall 
not eat of every tree in the garden ?" The firft thing he does 
is to perfuade her, if pofTible, to entertain hard thoughts of 
God; this is his general way of dealing with God's children: 
*' Yea, hath God faid, ye fhall not eat of every tree of the 
** garden ? What ! hath Gcd planted a garden, and placed 
*' you in the midft of it, only to teaze and perplex you ? hath 
*' he planted a garden, and yet forbid you making ufe of any 
*' of the fruits of it at aU ?" It was impoffible for him to afk 
a more infnaring queftion, in order to gain his end : For Eve 
was here feemingly obliged to anfwer, and vindicate CjOd's 
goodncfs. And therefore, — 

Verfe 2, 3. The woman faid unto the ferpent, " We may 
eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden : But of the fruit of 
the tree which is in the midft of the garden, God hath faid, 
ye (liall not eat of it, neither (hail ye touch it, left ye die." 

The former part of the anfwer was good, " We may eat 
*' of the fruit of the trees of the garden, God has not forbid 
*' us eating of every tree of the garden. No ; we may eat 
*' of the fruit of the trees in the garden (and, it (hould feem, 
" even of the tree of life, which was as a facrament to man 
*' in a ftate of innocence) there is only one tree in the midft 
** of the garden, of which God hath faid, ye fliall not cat of 
*' it, neither fhall ye touch it, left ye die." Here (he begins 
to warp, and fin begins to conceive in her heart. Already 
ftie has contradled fome of the ferpent's poifon, by talking 
with him, v/hich flic ought not to have done at all. For flie 
might eafily fuppofe, that it could be no good being, that 
could put fuch a queftion unto her, and infmuate fuch dif- 
honournble thoughts of God. She fliould therefore have fled 
from hirn, and not ftood to have parleyed with him at all. 
Immediately the ill efFedts of it appear, (he begins to foftcn 
the divine threatning. God had faid, *' the day thou eateft 
thereof, iron flmlt [urel^ da \,'^ «r, dyin^ thou (halt die. But 


C 7 J 

Eve fays, " Ye fhall not eat of it, neither fhall ye touch It, 
hj} ye die.'' We may be aflured we are fallen Into, and becrin 
to fall by temptation, when we begin to think God will not 
be as good as his word, in refped to the execution of his 
threatnings denounced againfl; fin. Satan knew this, and 
therefore artfully 

" Said unto the woman, (ver. 4.) Ye {hall not furely die,'* 
in an infinuating manner, *' Ye fhall not furely die. Surely, 
*' God will not be fo cruel as to damn you only for eating 
*' an apple, it cannot be.'* Alas ! how many does Satan lead 
captive at his will, by flattering them, that they (hall not 
furely die; that hell-torments will not be eternal ; that GoD 
is all mercy ; that he therefore will not puni{h a few years fin 
with an eternity of mifery ? But Eve found God as good as 
his word j and fo will all they who go on in fin, under a 
falfe hope that they fhall not furely die. 

We may alfo underftand the words fpokcn pcfitively, and 
this is agreeable to what follows ; You fhall" not furely die; 
*' It is all a delufion, a mere bugbear, to keep you in a fervils 
" fubjeaion." 

For (ver. 5.) " God doth know^ that in the day ye cat 
thereof, then fhall your eyes be opened, and ye fhall be as 
gods, knowing good and evil." 

What child of GoD can expe£l to efcape flander,- whe^ 
God himfelf was thus flandered even in paradife ? Surely the 
underftanding of Eve muft have been, in fome meafure, 
blinded, or fhe would not have fuffered the tempter to fpeak 
fuch perverfe things. In what odious colours is God here 
reprefented ! '' God doth know, that in the day ye eat thcrc- 
" of, ye fiiail be as gods,'* (equal with Gos.) So that the 
grand temptation was, that they fliould be hereafter under no 
controul, equal, if not fuperior, to God that made them, 
knowing good and evil. Eve could not tell what Satan 
meant by this 5 but, to be fure, fhe underftood it of fome 
great privilege which they were to enjoy. And thus Satan 
now points out a way which feems right to finners, but does 
not tell them the end of that way is death. 

To give lUength and force to this temptation, in all pro- 
bability, Satan, or the ferpent, at this time plucked an apple 
frqm the tree, and ate it before Eve \ by which Eve might 

A 4 be 

[ 8 J 

be Induced to think, that the fagacity and power of fpcech, 
U'hich the fcrpent had above the other beads, mud be owing, 
in a great meafarc, xo his eating that fruit; and, therefore, 
if he received fo much improvement, {he might alfo expert a 
like benefit from it. All this, I think, is clear; for, other- 
wife, I do not fee with what propriety it could be faid, 
*' When the woman faw that it was good for food." How 
could {lie know it was good for food, unlefs {lie had feen the 
ferpent feed upon it? 

Satan now begins to get ground apace. Luft had conceived 
in Ev'e^s heart; {hortly it will bring forth fin. Sin being con- 
ceived, brings forth death. Verfe 6. *' And when the woman 
faw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleafant 
lo the eyes, and a tree to be defired to make one wife, {he 
took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave alfo unto her 
hufband, and he did eat." 

Our fer.fcs arc the landing ports of our fpiiitual enemies. 
How needful is that ie(olution of holy Jobj " I have made a 
covcinant with mine cycb !*' When Eve began to gaze on the 
forbidden fruit with her eyes, fhe foon began to long after it 
with her heart. When llie faw that it was good for food, 
and pleafant to the eyes, (here was the lull oi the flefn, and 
lull of the eye) but, above all, a tree to be defired to make 
one wife, vviier than God Vv'ould have her be, nay, as wife 
as God himfc:ir; (he took of the fruit thereof, and gave alfo 
unto her huHiind with her, and he did eat. As foon as ever 
fhe finned he! Tel f, (he turned tempter to her hufoand. It is 
dreadful, when thofe, who fnouM be help- meets for each 
ether in the great work of their falvation, are only promoters 
of each othci's damnation : but thus it is. If we ourfelves 
are good, we {hA\ excite others to goodnefs; if we do evil, 
we fhall ei:tiee others to do evil alfo. There is a clofe con- 
reclion between doing and teachitig. Hov/ needful then is it 
for us all to take heed that Vv^e do not fin any way ourfelves, 
Icil: we fhould become fadlors for thic devil, ovA infnare, per- 
haps, o'.r neareft and deareft relatives? " (he gave alfo unto 
her hufbjnd v.'ith h^r, and he did eat." 

Alas I v.'hat a c; n-iication of crimes was there in this one 
fingle a6\ of fin ! iicic ?;, an utter di(belief of God's threat- 
ning; the utmoft ingracicudc to their Maker, who had fo 


[ 9 ] 

htcly planted this garden, and placed them in It, with fuch 
a glorious and comprehcnfive charter. And, the utmoft neg- 
le6l of their pofterity, who they knew were to (land or h\l 
with them. Here was the utmoft pride of heart : they wanted 
to be equal with God. Here's the utmoft contempt put upon 
his threatning and his law : the devil is credited and obeyed 
before him, and all this only to fatisfy their fenfual appetite. 
Never was a crime of fuch a complicated nature committed 
by any here below: Nothing but the devil's apoftafy and re- 
bellion could equal it. 

And what are the confequences of their difobedience ? Are 
their eyes opened ? Yes, their eyes are opened ; but, alas ! it 
is only to fee their own nakednefs. For we are told (ver. 7.) 
*' That the eyes of them both were opened, and they knev/ 
that they were naked." Naked of God, naked of every 
thing that was holy and good, and deftitute of the divine 
image, which they before enjoyed. They might rightly now 
be termed Ichabod; for the glory of the Lord departed from 
them. O how low did thefe fons of the morning then fall 1 
out of God, into themfelves ; from being partakers of the 
divine nature, into the nature of the devil and the beaft. 
Well, therefore, might they know that they were naked, 
not only in body, but in foul. 

And how do they behave now they are naked ? Do they 
flee to God for pardon ? Do they feek to God for a robe to 
cover their nakednefs ? No, they were now dead to God, 
and became earthly, fenfual, devilifti : therefore, inftead of 
applying to God for mercy, " they fewed or platted fig- 
leaves together, and made themfelves aprons," or things to 
gird about them. This is a lively reprefentation of all natural 
men : we fee that we are naked : we, in fome meafure, 
confefs it; but, inftead of looking up to God for fuccour, 
we patch up a rlghteoufncfs of our own (as our firft-parents 
platted fig-leaves together) hoping to cover our nakednefs by 
that. But our righteoufnefs will not ftand the fcverity of 
God's judgment : it will do us no more fervice than the fly- 
leaves did JJ.-im and Eve, that is, none at all. 

For (ver. 8.) '* They heard the voice of the Lord Cjod 

walking in the trees of the garden, in the cool of the day; 

and Adam and his wife (notvvithilanJing their fi^-lcaves) 

5 hid 

[ .0 ] 

hid thcmfclvcs from the prefence of the Lord God, among 
the trees of the garden." 

They heard the voice of the Lord God, or the Word of 
the Lord God, even the Lord Jesus Christ, who is 
*' the word that was with God, and the word that was 
God." They heard him walking in the trees of the garden, 
in the cool of the day. A feafon, perhaps, when Adam and 
^ve ufed to go, in an efpecial manner, and offer up an even- 
ing-facrifice of praife and thankfgiving. The cool of the day. 
Perhaps the fin was committed early in the morning, or at 
noon; but God would not come upon them immediately, he 
ilaid till the cool of the day. And if we would effedually 
reprove others, we fhould not do it when they are warmed 
with palTion, but wait till the cool of the day. 

But what an alteration is here ! Inftead of rejoicing at the 
voice of their beloved, inflead of meeting him with open arms 
and inlarged hearts, as before, they now hide themfelves in 
the trees of the garden. Alas, what a foolifli attempt was 
this ? Surely they muft be naked, otherwi fc how could they 
think of hiding themfelves from God ? Whither could they 
flee from his prefence ? But, by their fall, they had contradled 
an enmity againft God : they now hated, and were afraid to 
converfe with God their Maker. And is not this our cafe 
by nature? AfTuredly it is. We labour to cover our naked- 
nefs with the fig-leaves of our own righteoufnefs : We hide 
ourfelves from God as long as we can, and will not come, 
and never fhould come, did not the Father prevent, draw, 
and fweetly conflrain us by bis grace, as he here prevented 

Verfe 9. " And the T-crd God called unto Jdam^ and 
faid unto him, Adam^ where art thou :" 

" The Lord God called unto Adam^^ (for othcrwife 
Adam would never have called unto the IvORD God) and 
faid, '* Adamy where art thou ? How is it that thou conleft 
" not to pay thy devotions as ufual ?" Chriftians, reniCmber 
the Lord keeps an account when you fail coming to worfiiip. 
Whenever therefore you are tempted to withhold your at- 
tendance, let each of you fancy you heard the Lord God 
calling unto you, and faying, " O man, O woman, where 
art thou ? It may be undeiilood in another and belter fenfe ; 

'^ Adaniy 

[ '1 ] 

** Adam^ where art thou ?" What a condition is thy poor foul 
in? This is the iirfl thing the Lord aflcs and convinces a 
finner of; when he prevents and calls him efTcdlually by his 
grace ; he alfo calls him by name ; for unlefs God fpeaks to 
us in particular, and we know where we are, how poor, how 
miferable, how blind, how naked, we {hall never value the 
redemption wrought out for us by the death and obedience of 
the dear Lord Jesus. " Adam^ where art thou ?'* 

Verfe lO. " And he faid, I heard thy voice in the garden, 
and I was afraid." See what cowards fin makes us, IF we 
knew no fin, we fhould know no fear. " Becaufe I was 
naked, and I hid myfelf." Ver. ii. "And he faid, who 
told thee that thou waft naked ? Haft thou eaten of the tree, 
whereof I (thy Maker and Law-giver) commanded thee, that 
thou (houldft not eat ?" 

God knew very well that Adam was naked, and that he 
had eaten of the forbidden fruit. But God would know it 
from Adam's own mouth. Thus God knows all our necef- 
fities before we afk, but yet infifts upon our a(king for his 
grace, and confefling our fins. For, by fuch ads, we acknow- 
ledge our dependence upon God, take lliame to gurfelves, and 
thereby give glory to his great name. 

Verfe 12. '' And the man faid, the woman which thou 
gaveft to be with me, fhe gave me of the tree, and I did 

Never was nature more lively delineated. See what pride 
Adam contraded by the fall ! How unv/illing he is to lay the 
blame upon, or take fhame to himfelf. This anfwer is full 
of infolence towards God, enmity againfl: his wife, and difin- 
genuity in refpetSl to himfelf. For herein he tacitly reflecf^s 
upon God. " The woman that thou gaveft to be with me." 
As much as to fay, if ihou hadft not given me that womavy I 
had not eaten the forbidden fruit. Thii-, when men fin, they 
lay the fault upon their pafTions ; then blame and reflect upon 
God for giving them thofe pafTions. Their language is, 
*' the appetites that thou gaveft us, they deceived us ; anj 
" therefore we finned againft thee." Bur, as God, notwith- 
ftanding, puniftied Adam for hearkning to the voice of his 
wife, fo he will punifh thof^" who hearken to the di.T-ates of 
their corrupt inclination: : For God compels no mnn to fin. 


[ n 1 

Adam might have withftood the folicitatlons of his wife, \iht 
would. And fo, iF we Ipok. up to God, we (hould find grace 
to help in the time of need. The devil and our own hearts 
tempt, but they cannot force us to confent, without the con- 
currence of our own wills. So that our damnation is of our- 
felves, as it will evidently appear at the great day, notwith- 
ftanding all mens prefent impudent replies againft God. As 
Adam fpeaks infolently in refpc<St to God, fo he fpeaks with 
enmity againft his wife; the woman, or this woman, flie 
gave me. He lays all the fault upon her, and fpeaks of her 
with much contempt. He does not fay, my wife, my dear 
wife; but, this woman. Sin difunites the moft united hearts: 
it is the bane of holy fellowfiiip. Thofe who have been 
companions in fin here, if they die without repentance, will 
both hate and condemn one another hereafter. All damned 
fouls are accufers of their brethren. Thus it is, in fome 
degree, on this fide the grave. " The woman whom thou 
gaveft to be with me, fhe gave me of the tree, and I did eat." 
What a difingenurus fptech was here ! He makes ufe of no 
lefs than fifteen words to excufe himfelf, and but one or two 
(in the original) to confefs his fault, if it may be called a 
confefiion at all. " The vv^oman which thou gaveft to be 
with me, fhe gave me of the tree ;" here are fifteen words ; 
** and I did eat." With what relu61ance do thefe laft words 
come out? How foon are they uttered? " And I did cat." 
But thus it is with an unhumbled, unregenerate heart : It 
will be laying the fault upon the dcarcft friend in the world, 
nay, upon God himfelf, rather than take (hame to itfelf. 
This pride we are all fuhjc6l to by the fall ; and, till our 
hearts are broken, and made contrite by the fplrit of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, we ftiall be always charging God 
fooliflily. " Againft thee, and thee only, have I finned, that 
thou mighteft be juftified in thy faying, ar^d clear when thou 
art judged," is the language of none but thofe, who, like 
Dav'idy are willing to confefs their faults, and are truly forry 
for their fins. This was not the cafe of Adam : his heart was 
not broken; and therefore he bys the fault of his difobedience 
upon his wife and God, and not upon himfelf; " The wo- 
man which thou gaveft to be with me, flie gave me of the 
tree, and I did eat." 


[ 13 ] 

Verfc 13. *' And the Lord God fald, What is this that 
ihou haft done?" What a wonderlLrl concern does God ex- 
prefs in this expoftulation ! " What a deluge of mifery haft 
" thou brought upon thyfelf, thy hufband, and thy pofterity? 
*' What is this that thou haft done ? Difobeyed thy God, 
" obeyed the devil, and ruined thy hufband, for whom I 
" made thee to be an help-meet ! What is this that thou haft 
" done ?" God would here awaken her to a fenfe of her 
crime and danger, and therefore, as it were, thunders in her 
ears : for the law muft be preached to felf-righteous finners. 
We muft take care of healing before v*/e fee Tinners wounded, 
left we ftiould fay, Peace, peace, where there is no peace. 
Secure fmners muft hear the thunderings of mount S'mai^ be- 
fore we bring them to mount Sion. They who never preach 
up the law, it is to be feared, are unfkilful in delivering the 
glad tidings of the gofpel. Every minifter fhould be a Boa- 
nerges^ a fon of thunder, as well as a Barnabas^ a fon of con- 
folation. There was an earthquake and a whirlwind, before 
the fmall ftill voice came to Elijah : We muft firft fliew peo- 
ple they are condemned, and then fhew them how they muft 
be faved. But how and when to preach the law, and when 
to apply the promifcs of the gofpel, wifdom is profitable to 
direct. " And the Lord God faid unto the woman, What 
is this that thou haft done ?" 

" And the woman faid. The ferpent beguiled me, and I 
did eat." She does not make ufe of fo many words to excufe 
iierfelf, as her hufband; but her heart is as unhumbled as 
his. What is this, fays God, that thou haft done? God 
here charges her with doing it. She dares not deny the fa6^, 
or lay, 1 have not done itj but (he takes all the blame oft" 
herfelf, and lays it upon the ferpent; " The ferpent beguiled 
me, and J did eat." She does not fay, " Lord, I was to 
" biame for talking with the ferpent; Lord, 1 did wron'>-, 
*' in not haftening to my hufband, when he put the flrft quef- 
" tion to me ; Lord, i plead guilty, I only am to blame, O 
" let not my poor hufband fufter for my wickednefs !" 'I'his 
would have been the language of her heart, had (he now been 
a true penitent. But both were now alike proud ; therefore 
neither will lay the blame upon themfelves : *' The ferpent 
beguiled me, and I did eat. The woman which thou gaveft 
to be with me, (lie gave me of the tree, and I did eat." 

I have 

[ u 3 

I have been the more particular in remarking this part of 
their behaviour, becaufe it tends Co much to the magnifying 
of Free-grace, and plainly fhews us, that falvation cometh 
only from the Lord. Let us take a fliort view of the mifera- 
ble circumftances oui firfl parents were now in : They were 
legally and fpiritually dead, children of wrath, and heirs of 
hell. They had eaten the fruit, of which God had com- 
manded them, that they (hould not eat j and when arraigned 
before God, notwithftanding their crime was fo complicated, 
they could not be brought to confefs it. What reafon can 
be given, why fentence of death (hould not be pronounced 
againft the prifoners at the bar r All muft own they are wor- 
thy to die. Nay, how can God, confiftently with his juftice, 
poiHbly forgive them? He had threatened, that the day wherein 
they eat of the forbidden fruit, they fliould " furely die;" and, 
if he did not execute this threatening, the devil might then 
ilander the Almighty indeed. And yet mercy cries, fpare thefe 
fmners, fpare the work of thine own hands. Behold, then, 
wifdom contrives a fcheme how God may be juft, and yet be 
merciful ; be faithful to his threatening, punifh the offence, 
and at the fame time fpare the offender. An amazing fcene 
of divine love here opens to our view, which had been from 
all eternity hid in the heart of God ! Notwithftanding Adam 
and Eve were thus unhumbled, and did not fo much as put up 
one lingle petition for pardon, God immediately pafles fen- 
tence upon the ferpent, and reveals to them a Saviour. 

Verfe 14. " And the Lord God faid unto the ferpent, 
becaufe thou haft done this, thou art accurfed above all cattle, 
and above every beaft of the field ; upon thy belly fhalt thou go, 
and duft ftialt thou eat all the days of thy life;" /. e. he ftiould 
be in fubjection, and his power fhould always be limited and 
rtftrained. " His enemies fhall lick the very duft," fays the 
Pfalmift. (Ver. 15.) " And I will put enmity between thee 
and the woman, and between thy feed and her feed : it fhall 
bruife thy head, and thcu ftialt bruife his heel." 

Before I proceed to the explanation of this verfe, I cannot 
but take notice of one great miftake which the author of the 
JVhole Duty of Alan is guilty of, in making this verfe contain 
a covenant between GoD and Adam^ as though God now 
perfonally treated v/ith Adam^ as before the fall. For, talking 


C '5 ] 

of the fecond covenant in his preface, concerning caring for 
the foul, fays he, " This fecond covenant was made with 
*' Adavi^ and us in him, prefently after the fall, and is briefly 
*' contained in thefe words, Gen. iii. 15. where God declares, 
" ' The feed of the woman (hall break the ferpcnt's head ;* 
'*■ and this was made up, as the firft was, of fome mercies to 
*' be afforded by God, and fome duties to be performed by 
" us." This is exceeding falfe divinity : for thefe words ar6 
not fpoken to Adam \ they are directed only to the ferpenC. 
Adam and Eve flood by as criminals, and God could not treat 
with them, becaufe they had broken his covenant. And it is 
fo far from being a covenant wherein " fome mercies are t6 
" be afforded by God, and {oxti^ duties to be performed by 
us," that here is not a word looking that way ; it js only a 
declaration of a free gift of falvation through Jesus Christ 
our Lord. God the Father and God the Son had entered 
into a covenant concerning the falvation of the ele£l from all 
eternity, wherein God the Father promifed. That, if the Son 
would offer his foul a facrifice for fin, he (hould fee his feed. 
Now^this is an open revelation of this fecret covenant, and 
therefore God fpeaks in the moft pofitive terms, " It fliall 
bruife thy head, and thou (halt bruife his heel." The firft 
Adam^ God had treated with before; he proved falfc : God 
therefore, to fecure the fecond covenant from being broken, 
puts it into the hands of the fecond Adam^ the Lord from 
heaven. Adorn., after the fall, flood no longer as our rcprefen- 
tativc; he and Eve were only private perfons, as we are, and 
were only to lay hold on the declaration of mercy contained 
in this promife by faith, (as they really did) and by that they 
were faved. I do not fay but we are to believe and obey, if 
we are everlaftingly faved. Faith and obedience are condi- 
tions, if we only mean that they in order go before our falva- 
tion ; but I deny that thefe are propofed by God to Adam, of 
that God treats with him in this promife, as he did before the 
fall under the covenant of works. P'or how could that be, 
when Adam and Eve were now pri("oners at the bar, without 
ftrength to perform any conditions at all ? The truth is this : 
God, a§ a reward of Christ's fufferings, promiled to give 
the elect faith and repentance, in order to bring them to eter- 
nal life ; and both thri^j and every thing clfe ncccITary for 


[ i6 ] 

their everiafting happincis, are infallibly fecured to them in 
this promile ; as Mr. Bc/ion, an excellent" 6V(7/j divine, clearly 
flijws in a book entitled, " A view of the covenant of 
*' grace." 

This is by no means an unneccfTary diRiniStion ; it is a mat- 
ter of great importance : for want of knowing this, people 
have been fo long mifled. They have been taught that they 
muil DO To and fo, as though they were iiiider a covenant of 
works, and then for doing this, they Ihould be faved. 
Whereas, on the contrary, people ftiould be taught. That the 
Lord Jesus was tnc fecond Adam^ with whom the Father 
entered into covenant for fidlen man; That they can now do 
nothing of or for themfelves, and fhouid therefore conie to 
God, befeeching him to give them faith, by which they iLall 
be enabl'^d to lay hold on the righteoufnefs of Christ ; and 
that faith tliey will then fliew forth by their works, out of 
love and gratitude to the ever-blefied Jesus, their moft glo- 
rious Redeemer, for what he has done for their fouls. This 
is a confiftcnt fcriptural fcheme : without holding this, we 
muil: run into one of thofc two bad extremes ; I mean, Anti- 
mmiamjm on the one haijd, or Anniniani[m on the other : from 
both which may the good Lord deliver us ! 

But to proceed : By the feed of the woman, we are here to 
underftand the Lord Jesus Christ, who, though very God 
of very Gcd, was, for us men and our falvation, to have a 
a body prepared for him by the Holy Ghoft, and to be born of 
a woman who never knew man, and by his obedience and 
death make an atonement for man's tranfgreffioii, and bring 
in an everlafting righicoufnefd, work in them a new nature, 
and thereby bruife the ferpent's head, u e. deifroy his power 
and dominion over them. By the ferpent's feed, we are to un- 
derftand the devil and all his children, who are permitted by 
God to tem.pt anduft his children. But, blelled be God, he 
czm reach no further than our heel. 

It is not to be doubted but Adam and Eve underftood this 
promife in this fcnfe ; for it is plain, in the latter part of the 
chapter, faciiikes were inftituteJ. From whence (liould thofe 
fkins come, but from beafts flain for facrifice, of which God 
made them coats ? We find Abel^ as well as CaiUy offering 
facrifice in the next chapter : and the Apoftle tells us, he did 



k by faith j no doubt in this promife. And Evcy when Caht 
was born, faid, " I have gotten a man from the Lord ;'* oi^ 
(as Mr. Henry obfervcs, it may be rendered) '' I have gotten 
a man, — the Lord, — the prcmifed Mcflial)." Some further 
fuppofe^that Evs was thefirft believer; and therefore they tran- 
flate it thus, ** The feed, (not of the, but) of this woman ." 
which magnifies the grace of God fo much the more^ that (he, 
who was firft in the tranfgreflion, fliould be the firft partaker 
of redemption. Jdam behcved alio, and was faved : for unto 
j^dam and his wife did the Lord God make coats of fkins, 
and cloathed them : which was a remarkable type of their be- 
ing clothed with the righteoufncfs of our Lord Jesu3 

This promife was literally fulfilled in the perfon of our 
Lord Jesus Christ. Satan bruifed his heel, when he tempted 
him for forty days together in the wildcrnefs : he bruifed 
his heel, when he raifed up flrong perfecution againft hinri 
during the time of his public miniftry : he in an efpeciarman- 
ner bruifed his heel, when our Lord complained, that his 
foul was exceeding forrowful, even unto death, and he fweat 
great drops of blood falling upon the ground, in the garden : 
He bruifed his heel, when he put it into the heart of Judai 
to betray him : and he bruifed hiai yet mod of all, when his 
e-miflaries nailed him to an accurfed tree, and our Lord cried 
out, "My God, my God, why haft thou forfaken me?*' 
Yet, in all this, the blefTed Jesus, the feed of the woman, 
bruifed Satan's accurfed head : for, in that he was tempted, 
he was able to fuccour thofc that are tempted. By his ftripes 
we are healed. The chaftifcment of our peace v/as upon him. 
By dyings he deftroyed him that had the power of death, that 
is, the devil. He thereby fpoiled principalities and powers, 
and made a (hew of them openly, triumphing over them upon 
the crofs. 

This promife has been fulfilled in the ele6l of God, confi- 
dered collecSlively, as well before, as fince the coming of our 
Lord in the flefh : for they may be called, the feed of the 
woman. Marvel not, that all who will live godly in Christ 
Jesus, muft fufFer perfecution. In this promife, there is an 
eternal enmity put between the feed of the woman, and the 
feed of the ferpent ; fo that thofe that are born after the flefb, 
cannot but perfecute thofe that are born after the fpirit. This 

Vol. V. B enmity 


[ i8 ] 

Ity fhevved itfclf, foon after this promlfe was revealed. In 
Cains bruifing the heel of Jbei : it continued in the church 
through all ages before Christ came in the flefh, as the 
hiltory of the Bible, and the xith chapter of the Hebrews, 
plainly fhevv. It raged exceedingly after our Lord's afcen- 
fion J witnefs the Jjls of the Apojlles^ and the Hiftory of the 
Primitive Chriftians. It nou' rages, and ^\\\ continue to rage 
and (hew itfelf, in a greater or lefs degree, to the end of time. 
But let not this difmay us ; for in all this, the feed of the wo- 
niaii is more thnn conqueror, and bruifcs the ferpent's head. 
Thus the Ifraeliies^ the more they vi'ere opprefTed, the more 
they increafed. Thus it. was with the Apoftles ; thus it was 
with their immediate followers. So that Teriuilia?t compares 
the church in his time to a mowed field ; the more frequently 
it is cut, the more it grows. The blood of the martyrs was 
always the feed of the church. And I have often fat down 
with wonder and delight, and admired how God has made 
the very fchemes which his enemies contrived, in order 
to hinder, become the moft efFeciual means to propagate his 
gofpel. The devil has had fo little fuccefs in perfecution, 
that if I did not know that he and his children, according to 
this verfe, could not but perfecute, I fliould think he v/ould 
count it his ftrenglh to fit f!:ill. What did he get by perfe- 
cuthig the martyrs in Queen Afary's time ? Was not the 
grace of God exceedingly glorified in their fupport ? What 
did he get by perfecuting the good old Puritans ? Did it not 
.^rove the peopling of Neiv-Engla7id? Or, to come nearer 
our ov/n times, what has he got by putting us out of the (y- 
nagogues ? Hath not the word of God, fmce that, mightily 
prevailed ? My dear hearers, you mufl excufe me for enlarg- 
ing on this head ; God fills my foul, generally, when I come 
to this topic. 1 can fay with Luther^ *' If it were not for per- 
*' fecution, I fnould not underftand the fcripture." If Satan 
fhould be yet fuftered tr- bruife my heel further, and his fcr- 
vants fhould thrufl me into prifon, I doubt not, but even that 
would only tend to the more cfFe£lual bruifing of his head. 
I remember a faying of the then Lord Chancellor to the pious 
Bradford : " Thou haft done more hurt, faid he, by thy ex- 
*' hortations in private in prifon, than thou didft in preaching 
*' before thou waft put in," or words to this eite£t. The pro- 
mife of the text is my daily fupport ; " I will put enmity be- 

[ 19 3 

tween thy feed and her feed j it (hall brulfe thy head, and 
thou (halt brulle his heel." 

Further: this promife is alTo fulfilled, not only in the 
church in general, but in every individual believer in particu- 
lar. In every believer there are two feeds, the feed of ihe wo- 
man, and the feed cf the fcrpent ; the flt{h lufting againll: the 
fpirit, and the fpirit againft the flefli. It is with the believer, 
when quickened with grace in his heart, as it was with Re- 
bekahy when (lie had conceived Efaii and Jacob in her womb ; 
{he felt a ftruggling, and began to be uneafy ; '' If it be fo, 
fays fhe, why am I thus ?*' Thus grace and nature ftruggle 
(if I may io fpeak) in the womb of a believer's heart : but, as 
it was there faid, " The elder fiiall ferve the younger ;" fo it 
is here, — grace in the end fh;All get the better of nature j the 
it^^ of the woman fliall bruife the ferpent's head. Maiiy of 
you that have believed in Christ, perhaps may find feme par- 
ticular corruption yet ftrong, fo {Irong, that you are fometimes 
ready to cry out with Davldy " I Hiall fall one day by the 
hand of SauL'* But, fear not, the promife in the text infures 
the perfeverance and viclory of believers over fin, Satan, death, 
and hell. What if indwelling corruption does yet remain, 
and the feed of the ferpent bruife your heel, in vexing and di- 
fturbing your righteous fouls ? Fear not, though faint, yet pur- 
fue : you (hall yet bruife the ferpent's head. Christ hath 
died for you ; and yet a little while, and he will fend death to 
deflroy the very being of fin in you. Which brings me 

To fliew the moft extenfive manner in which the promife 
of the text {hall be fulfilled, viz. at the final judgment, when 
the Lord Jesus fhall prefent the elecl to his Father, without 
fpot or wrinkle, or any fuch thing, glorified both in body and 

Then {hall the feed of the woman give the lad and fatal 
blov/, in bruifing the ferpent's head. Satan, the accufer of 
the brethren, and all his accurfed feed, fliall then be cuft out, 
and never fuffered to difturb the feed of the woman any more. 
Then (hall the righteous (hine as the fun in the kingdom of their 
Father, and fit with Christ on thrones in majcity on hiLih. 

Let us, therefore, not be weary of well-doing ; for we fhaH 
reap an eternal harveft of comfort, if we faint not. Dare, 
dare, my dear brethren in CfiRisT, to follow the Captain of 
your falvation, who was made perfed through fufFerings. Th# 

B 2 feed 

[ 20 3 

feed of the woman (hall bruife the ferpent's head. Fear not 
men. Be not too much call: down at the deceitfulneis of your 
hearts. Fear not devils ; you fhall get the victory even over 
them. The Lord Jesus has engaged to make you more 
than conquerors over all. Plead with your Saviour, plead : 
plead the promife in the text. Wreftle, wreftle with God in 
prayer. It it has been given you to believe, fear not if it 
fhould alfo be given you to fufFer. Be not any wife terrified 
by your adverfaries ; the king of the church has them all in a 
chain : be kind to them, pray for them ; but fear them not. 
The Lord will yet bring back his ark, though at prefent 
driven into the wildernefs ; and Satan like lightening fhall 
fall from heaven. 

Are there any enemies of God here ? The promife of the 
text encourages me to bid you deiiance : the feed of the wo- 
man, the ever-bleffed Jesus, fhall bruife the ferpent's head. 
What fignifies all your malice ? You are only raging waves 
of the fea, foaming out your own fhame. For you, without 
repentance, is referved the blacknefs of darknefs for ever. 
The Lord Jesus fits in heaven, ruling over all, and caufing 
all things to work for his chlldrens good : he laughs you to 
fcorn : he hath you in the utmoil: derifion, and therefore fo 
will L Who are you that perfecute the children of the ever- 
bleffed God ? Though a poor {tripling, the Lord Jesu^^, 
the feed of the woman, will enable me to bruife your heads. 

My brethren in Christ, I think I do not fpeak thus in my 
own ftrcngth, but in the firength of my F.edeemer. I know 
in whom 1 have believed j I am perfuaded he will keep that 
fafe, which I have committed unto him. He is faithful who 
hath promifcd, that the feed of the woman (hall bruife the fer* 
pent's head. May we all experience a daily completion of 
this promife, both in the church and in our hearts, till we 
come to the church of the firft-born, the fpirits of juft men 
made perfedt, in the prefence and adual fruition of the great 
God our heavenly Father ! 

To whom, with the Son, ar^J the Holy Ghoft, be afcribed 
all honour, power, might, majefty, and dominion, now 
and for evermore. Jmen, 


[ ai ] 


Walking with GOD. 

Genesis v. 24. 

And Enoch walked with God, and he was not^ for 
God took him. 

VARIOUS are the pleas and arguments, which men of 
corrupt minds frequently urge againfi: yielding obedi- 
ence to the juft and holy commands of God. But, perhaps, 
one of the mod common objedions that they make is this,- 
that our Lord's commands are not pradicable, becaufe con- 
trary to flsfli and blood ; and confequently, that he is " an 
hard mafter, reaping where he has not fown, and gathering 
where he has not flrewed." Thefe we £nd were the fenti- 
ments entertained by that wicked and flothful fervant men- 
tioned in the xxvth of St. Matthew ; and are undoubtedly the 
fame with many which are maintained in the prefent wicked 
and adulterous generation. The Holy Ghofl forefeeing this, 
bath taken care to infpire holy men of old, to record the ex- 
r.mples of many holy men and women ; who, even under the 
Old Tcftament difpenfation, were enabled chearfuliy to take 
Christ's yoke upon them, and counted his fervicc peife^ft 
freedom. The large catalogue of faints, confeflbrs, and mar- 
tyrs, drawn up in the xith chapter to the Hcbreivsy abun- 
dantly evidences the truth of this obfcrvation. What a 
great cloud of witnefles have we there prefented to our view ? 
All eminent for their faith, but fome Ihining with a greater 
degree of luftre than do ethers. The proto-martyr jlbe'^ 
leads the van. And next to him, we find Emch mentioned, 
not only becaufe he was next in order of time, but alfo on 
account of his exalted picry. He is fpoken of in the words 
of the text in a very extraordinary manner. We have hers 

B 3 a n^or; 

[ 22 ] 

a fhort but very full and glorious account, both of his beha- 
viour in this world, and the triumphant manticr of his enter- 
ing into the next. The former is contained in thcfe words, 
" And EKcch walked vvi:h God." Thz latter In thefe, " and 
'* he was not : for God tot-k him." Me was not ; i. e. 
Pie was not found, he was not taken away in the common 
manner, he did not fee deaih ; for Heb, xi. 5. God had 
traiiflated him. Who ihis Enoch was, docs not appear fo 
plainly. To me, he Teems to h:ive been a perfon of public 
character. I fuppofe, like Nc:;by a preacher of righteoufnefs. 
And, if we may credit the ApoiWt yucle, he was a flaming 
preacher. For he quotes one of his prf)phccies, wherein he 
faith, " Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thoufand of his 
faints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all 
that are ungodly among them, of all their ungodly deeds 
which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard 
fpecches, which ungodly fmners have fpoken againft him." 
But whether a public or private perfon, he has a noble tefti- 
mony given him in the lively oracLs. The author of the 
epiftle to the Hebrews faith, that before his tranflation he had 
this teftimony, '' that he pleafed God;" and his being tran- 
ilated, was a proof of it beyond all doubt. And 1 would ob- 
ferve, that it was wonderful vi^ifdom in God to tranflate Enoch 
and Elijah under the Old Teftament difpenfation, that here- 
after when it Oiould be afierted, that the Lord Jesus was 
carried into heaven, it might not feem a thing altogether in- 
credible to the Jezvs \ fince they themfelvcs confefTed, that 
two cf their own prophets had been tranHatcd federal hun- 
dred years before. But it is not my dcfign to detain you any 
longer, by enlarging, or making ohfervations on Enoch'^ Ihort^ 
but comprehenfive character. The thing I have in view, 
being to give a difcourfe, as the Lord (hall enable, upon a 
weighty and a very important fubjefl ; I mean, ivalking ivitb 
God. " And Enoch walked with God." If fo much as 
this can be truly faid of ycu and me after cur deceafe, we 
fhall not have any reafon to complain, that we have lived in 

In handling my intended fubjef}, I fhall, 

Fiyji^ Endeavour to fiiew, what is implied in thefe words, 
iva/kcd iviih QoD. ' 


C 23 ] 

Secondly^ I fhall prefcribe fome means, upon the due ob- 
fervance of which, beliL^vcrs may keep up and maintain their 
walk with God. And, 

Thirdly^ Offer fome motives to ftir us up, if we never 
walked with God before, to come and walk with God 
now. The whole (hall be clofed with a v/ord or two of ap- 

Firji^ I am to fhcw what is implied in thefe words, 
" walked with God ;" or in other words, what we are to 
underftand by ivalking with God. 

And Firji, Jyalki7ig with God, implies, that the prevail- 
ing power of the enmity of a perfon's heart, be taken away 
by the blefled Spirit of God. Perhaps it may feem a hard 
faying to fome, but our own experience daily proves, what 
the fcripture in many places afTert, that the carnal mind, the 
mind of the unconverted, natural man, nay, the mind of the 
regenerate, fo far as any part of him remains unrenevv'ed, is 
enmity, not only an enemy, but " enmity itfelf againft God ; 
" fo that it is not fubje6l to the law of God, neither indeed 
'' can it be." Indeed one may well wonder that any creature, 
efpecially that lovely creature man, made after his Maker's 
own image, fhould ever have any enmity, much lefs a pre- 
vailing enmity againft that very God in whom he lives, and 
moves, and hath his being. But alas I fo it is. Our firft 
parents contracted it v/hcn they fell from God by eating the 
forbidden fruit, and the bitter and malignant contagion of it, 
hath defcendeJ to, and quite overfpread their whole pofterity. 
This enmity difcovered itfelf, in Adam\ endeavouring to hide 
himftlf in the trees of the garden. When he heard the voice 
of the Lord God, inflead of running with an open heart, 
faying. Here am 1 ; alas ! he nov/ wanted no communion with 
God ; and ftill more difcovered his lately contracted enmity, 
by the excufe he made to the Moft High. " The woman, 
*' or this woman, thou gaveO: to be with me, fhe gave me of 
" the tree, and 1 did eat." By faying thus, he in effe£i: lays 
all the fault upon God ; as though he had faid, if thou hadft 
not given me this woman, I had not fmned againft thee, fo 
thou mayft thank thyfelf for my tranfgreffion. In the fame 
manner this enmity works in the hearts oi Adaiii^ children. 
I^hey now and again find fomething rifing againft Go», and 

B 4 ' faying 

[ 24 ] 

f:^ylng even unto God, what docd thou? *' It fcorns any 
*^ meaner competitor (fays the learned Do(5lor Owen in his 
'' excellent treatife on indwelling fin) than God himfelf.'* 
Its command is like that of the Jjjyriam in refpect to Jbab, 
Shoot only at the Ki"g« And it flrilces agaii.ft every thing 
that has the appearance of real piety, as the Jj/fians fhot at 
yeholapkat in Ahub's cloathes. But the oppofition ceafes when 
it finds that it is only an appearance, as the Ajjjyrians left off 
{hooting at yehofaphat^ when they perceived it was not Jhab 
they were fliooting at. This enmity difcovcred itfelf in ac- 
curkd Cain-y he hated and flew his brother ^f/;^/, becaufe 
^heHoved^ and was peculiarly favoured by his God. And 
this fame enmity rules and prevails in every man that is na- 
turally engendered of the offspring o\' Adam. Hence that 
averfenefs lo prayer and holy duties, which we find in chil- 
dren, and very often in grown peifons, who have notwith- 
ftanding been bleiTed with a religious education. And alj 
that open fin and wickedner?, which like a deluge has over- 
flowed the vvorld, are only fo many flreams running from 
this Jj^^^d^^Jj contagious fountain 5 I mean the enmity of 
man's defperately wicked and dcceiiful heart. He that can- 
not fet ]iis feal to this, kiiows nothing yet, in a faving man- 
ner, of the holy fcriptures, or of the power of God. And 
all that do know this, will readily acknowledge, that before 
a perfon can be faid to walk with God, the prevailing power 
of this heart-enmity muii be dcflroyed. For pcrfons do not 
life to walk and keep company together, who entertain an 
irreconcilable enmity ajid hatred againft one another. Ob- 
ferve me, I fay, the prevailing power of this enmity muft be 
taken away. For the inbeing of it will never be totally re- 
moved, till we bow down our heads and give up the ghoft. 
The apoftle Ptf«/, no doubt, fpeaks of himfclf, and that top 
not when he was a pharifce, but a real chriilian ; when he 
complains, " that when he would do good, evil was pre- 
fent with him ;" not having dominion over him, but op- 
pofing and refilling his good intentions and aiftions, '' fo that 
*' he could not do the things which he would," in that per- 
fecSlion which the new man defired. Tnis is what he calls 
fin dwelling in him. '* And this is that 'I>p3r'n/>cr/. ^a^v.ou which, 
*' (to ufe the words of the ninth article of our church J 
i ^^ fomc 

t 25 ] 

*'. rome do expound the wiTdom, fome fcnfuaVity, fomc th:; 
'* affectation, fomc the defirc of the flefli, which doth remain, 
*' yea, in them that are regenerated.'* But as for its prevail- 
ing power, it is dcllroyed in every foul thiU is truly born of 
God, and gradually more and more weakened as the be- 
liever grows in grace, and the fpirit of God gains a greater 
and greater afcendancy in the heart. 

But Secondly, Walking with God not only implies, that 
the prevailing power of the enmity of a man's heart be taken 
away, but alfo that aperfon is actually reconciled to God the 
Father, in and through the all-fufficient righteoufncfs and 
atonement of his dear Son. *' Can two walk together, (fays 
*' Solcmon), unlefs they are agreed ?" Jr.sus is our peace, 
as well as our peace-maker. When we are juiiified by faith 
jn Christ, then, but not till then, we have peace with God ; 
and cojUequcntly cannot be faid till then, to walk with him. 
Walking with a perfon, being a fign and token that we are 
friends to that perfon, or at leaff, though we have been at 
variance, yet that now we are reconciled and become friends 
again. This is the great errand that gofpcl minifters aie fent 
out upon. To us is committed the miniitry of reconciliation : 
As ambalTadors for God, we are to befccch fmners, in 
Christ's (lead, to be reconciled unto God 3 and when they 
comply with the gracious invitation, and are actually by faith 
brought into a ftate of reconciliation with God, then, and 
not till then, may they be faid (0 much as to begin to walk 
with God. 

Further, Thirdly, Walking with God implies, a fettled, 
^biding communion and fellowfhip with God, or what in 
fcripture is called, " The Holy Ghoft dwelling in us." This 
is what our Lord promifed when he told his difciplcs, that 
" the Holy Spirit fliould be in, and with them j" not to be 
like a wayfaring-man, to (lay only for a night, but to refide 
and make his abode in their hearts. 7'his I am apt to be- 
lieve is what the Apoftle John would have us underftand, 
when he talks of a perfon abiding in him, in Christ, '* and 
f' walking as he himfclf alfo walked." And this is what is 
particularly meant in the words of our text. *' And Enoch 
" walked with God." i. e. He kept up and maintained a 
j]cly, fettled, habitual, though undoubtedly not altogether 


[ 26 ] 

uninterrupted communion and fellowfliip with God, in and 
through Christ Jesus. So that to Turn up what has been 
laid on this part of ihe firfl general head, walk'Dig with God 
confifts efpecially in the fixed habitual bent of the will for 
God, in an habitual depcndancc upon his power and promife, 
in an habitual voluntary dedicaiion of our all to his glory, 
in an habitual eying of his precept in all we do, and in an 
habitual complacence in his pleafure in all we fufFer. 

Fourthly^ IValk'ir.g zuith GoD implies, our making progrefs 
or advances in the divine life. fValkitig^ in the very firfl idea 
of the v.'orc, feems to fuppofe a progrefTive motion. A per- 
fon that vvalk-s, though he move fiawly, yet he goes forwards 
and does not continue in one place. And fo it is with thofe 
that walk with God. They go on, as the pfalmift fays, 
from ftrengrh to flrength ;" or, in the language of the 
Apoftle Pauly '' they pafs from glory to glory, even by the 
Spirit of the Lord." Indeed in one fenfe, the divine life 
admits of neither incrcafe nor dccreafe. When a foul is born 
of God, to all intents and purpofes he is a child of God, 
2nd^ though he fliould live to the age of M^thufclah^ yet he 
vould then be only a child of God, afccr all. But in ano- 
ther fenfe, the divine life admi.s of decays and additions. 
Hence it is, that we find the people of God charged with 
backllidings, and lofing their firft love. And hence it is, 
that we hear of babes, young men and fathers in Christ ; 
and upon this account it is that the Apoftle exhorts Timothy^ 
*' to let his progrefs be made known to all men." And what 
is here requiicu q^ Timothy in particular; by St. Peter^ is en- 
joined all chridians in general, " But grow in grace, (fays he) 
iind in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus 
Christ.'* For the new creature increafes in fpiritual fta- 
ture ; and though a perfon can but be a new creature, yet 
there are fomc that are more conformed to the divine image 
than others, and will, after death, be admitted to a greater 
degree of blelTednefs. For want of obferving this diftind^ion, 
even fome gracious fouls that have better hearts than heads, 
(as well as men of corrupt minds, reprobates concerning the 
faith) have unawares run into downright Antinoni-ian princi- 
ples, denying all grov^ih of grace in a believer, or any marks 
of grace to ae laid down in the fcriptiues of truih. From 


t 27 ] 

fuch principle?, and more efpecialiy from practices naturally 
confequcnt on fuch principles, may the Lord of all Lord's 
deliver us 1 

From what then ha^s been faid, we may now know what 
i^ implied in the words, " walked with God," viz. Our 
having the prevailing enmity of our hearts taken away by the 
power of the Spirit of God ; our being atSlually reconciled 
and united to him by faith in Jesus Christ ; our having 
and keeping up a fettled communion and feljowfhip with hirn ; 
and our making a daily progrefs in this fellowship, fo as to 
be conformed to the divine image more and more. 

How this is done, or, in other words, by what means be- 
lievers keep up and maintain their walk with God, comes to 
be confidered under our fccond general head. 

And, FirJ}^ Believers keep up and maintain their walk with 
God, by reading of his holy w^ord. " Search the fcriptures," 
fays our blcfled Lord, " for thefe are they that teftify of 
me." And the royal pfalmift tells us, " that God's word 
was a light unto his feet, and a lanthorn unto his paths ;" 
and he makes it one property of a good man, " that his de- 
light is in the law of the Lord, and that he exercifes him- 
lelf therein day and night." " Give thyfelf to reading," 
[hys Paul io Timothy) \ "And this book of the law, (fays 
God to Jofpua) fha'l not go out of thy mouth." For what- 
foever was written in afore time, was written for our learn- 
ing. And the word of GoD is profitable for reproof, correc- 
tion, and inflrudion in rightcoufnefs, and every way fufH- 
cient to make every true child of God thoroughly fur- 
niihed to every good work. If we once get above our 
Bibles, and ceafe making the written word of God our fole 
rule, both as to faith and pradice, we (hall foon lie open to 
all manner of delufion, and be in great danger of making 
Ihipwreck of faith and a good confcience. Our blefied Lord, 
though he had the Spirit of God without mcafure, yet always 
was governed by, and i ought the devil with, " It is written.** 
This the Apoflle calls the '• Sword of the Spirit." We may 
fay of It as David faid of Goliah's fword, " None like this." 
The fcriptures are called the lively oracles oF God : not only 
becaufe they are generally made ufe of to beget in us a new 
life, but aUb to keep up and increafe it i:i the foul. The 
Apoftle Peiefy in his 2d epiftle, prefers it even to feeing 


C 2S ] 

Christ transfi^urcJ upon the mount. For after he had 
faid, chap. i. i8. " That the voice which came from heaven 
we heard, when we were with Him in the holy mount;'* 
he adds, ^' We have alfo a more fure word oF prophecy ; 
whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light 
fliining in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-fbr 
arife in your hearts :" i. e. Till we (hake off thefe bodies, and 
fee Jesus face to face. Till then, we muft fee and converfe 
with him through the glafs of his word. We muft make 
his teftimonies our counfellors, and daily, with Mary', fit at 
Jesus feet, by faith hearing his word. We (liall then by 
happy experience find, that they are fpirit and life, meat 
iniJeed, and drink indeed to our fouls. 

Secondly^ Believers kerp up and maintain their walk with 
God by fecret prayer. The fpirit of grace is always accom- 
panied with the fpirit of fupplication. It is the very breath 
of the new-creature, tliC fan of the divine life, whereby tliQ 
fpark of holy fire kindled in the foul by God, is not only 
kept in, but raifed into a flame. A neg]e(Si: of fecret prayer 
has been frequently an inlet to many (piritual difeafes, and 
has been attended with fatal confequences. Origin obferved, 
*■• That the day he offered incenfe to an idol, he wejit out of 
*' his clofet without making ufe of fecret prayer.'* It is one 
of the moft noble parts of the believer's fi:)iritual armour. 
" Praying always, fays the Apoftle, with all manner of fup- 
plication." " Watch and prny, fiiys our Lord, that ye 
enter not into temptation." And he fpake a parable, that 
his difciples fhould pray, and net faint. Not tha: our Lord 
would have us always upon our knees, or in our clofets, to 
the negledl of our other relative duties. But he means, that 
our fouls Hiould be kept in a prating- frame, (o that we might 
be able to fay, as a good man in Scotla:id once faid to his 
friends on his death-bed, " Could thefe curtains, or could 
" thefe walls fpeak, they would tell you what ivvect com- 
" muuion I have had with my God here." O prayer, 
prayer ! It brings and keeps God and man together. It 
raifes man up to God, and brings God down to m.an. If 
you would therefore, O believers, keep up your walk with 
God J pray, pray without ceafing. Be much in fecret, fet 
prayer. And when you are about the common bufinefs oflife.^ 

[ 29 ] 

h6 much in ejaculatory prayer, and fend, from time to time, 
Ihort letters poft to heaven upon the wings of faith. They 
will reach the very heart of God, and return to you a'^aiu 
loaded with fpiritual blefTings* 

Thirdly^ Holy and frequent meditation is another bleficd 
means of keeping up a believer's walk with God. " Prayer, 
*' reading, temptation, and meditation," fays Luther, " make 
*' a minider.'* And they alfo make, and perfedt a chriftian. 
Meditation to the foul, is the fame as digeftion to the body. 
Holy David found it fo, and therefore he v/as frequently em- 
ployed in meditation, even in the night feafon. We read 
alfo of Ifaacs going out into the fields to meditate in the 
evening ; or, as it is in the margin, to pray. For medita- 
tion is a kind of filent prayer, whereby the foul is frequently, 
as it were, carried out of itfelf to God, and in a degree made 
like unto thofe blclled Spirits, who by a kind of immediate 
intuition always behold the face of our heavenly Father. 
None but thofe happy fouls that have been accuftomed to, 
this divine employ, can tell what a blefled promoter of the 
divine life, meditation is. '' "VVhilft I was mufing, fays Da-^ 
vid, the fire kindled." And whilft the believer is mufin^ 
on the works and word of God ; efpecially that work of 
works, that wonder of wonders, that myftcry of godlinefi-', 
*' God manifefl in the flefli," the Lamb of God flain for the 
fms of the world : he frequently feels the -fire of divine love 
kindle, fo that he is obliged to fpeak with his tongue, and 
tell of the loving-kindnefs of the Lord to his foul. Be fre- 
quent therefore in meditation, all ye that defire to keep up 
and maintain a clofe and uniform walk with the mofl-high 

Fourthly, Believers keep up their walk with God, by 
watching and noting his providential dealings with them. If 
we believe the fcriptures, we muft believe what our Lord 
hath declared therein, " That the very hairs of his difciples 
heads are all numbered j and that a fparrow does not fall to 
the ground, (cither to pick up a grain of corn, or when 
fnot by a fowler) without the knowledge of our heavenly 
Father." Every crofs has a call in it, and every particular 
difpenfation of divine providence, has fome particular end 
to anfwcr in thofe to whom it is fent. If it bs of an afflictive 


t 30 ] 

nature, God does thereby fay, " My fon, keep thyfelf from 
idols:" if profperou?, he does it as it were by a fmall, ftiil 
voice, fay, " My fon, give mc thy heart.'* If believers, there- 
fore, would keep up their walk with God, they muft from 
time to time hear what the Lord has to fay concerning them 
in the voice of his providence. Thus Vv^e find Abrahams fer- 
vant, when he went to fetch a wife for his mafter Ifaac^ eyed 
and watched the providence of God, and by that means found 
cut the perfon that was defigncd for his maftcr's wife. " For 
" a little hint from Providence," fays pious Bilhop Hall^ " is 
*' enough for faith to feed upon." And as I believe it will be 
one part of our happinefs in heaven, to take a view of, and 
look back upon, the various links of the golden chain which 
drew us there ; fo thofe that enjoy moft of heaven below, I 
believe, will be moft minute in remarking God's various deal- 
ings v^^ith them, in refpe£t to his providential difpenfations here 
on earth. 

Fifthly^ In order to walk clofely with God, his children 
muft not only watch the motions of God's providence without 
them, but the motions alfo of his blefled Spirit in their hearts. 
'' As many as are the fons of God, are led by the Spirit of 
God," and give up thcmfelves to be guided by the Holy 
Ghoft, as a little child gives its hand to be led by a nurfe or 
parent. It is no doubt in this fenfe, that we are to be con- 
verted, and become like little children. And though it is the 
quinteffence of enthufiafm, to pretend to be guided by the 
Spirit without the written word ; yet it is every chriftian's 
bounden duty to be guided by the Spirit in conjunction with 
the written word of God. Watch, therefore, I pray you, O 
believers, the motions of God's blefled Spirit in your fouls, 
and always try the fuggeftions or imprelrions that you may at 
any time feel, by the unerring rule of God's moft holy word : 
and if they are not found to be agreeable to that, rejedt them 
as diabolical and delufive. By obferviiig this caution, you 
will fteer a middle courfe between the two dnngcrous extremes 
many of this generation are in danger of running into; I 
mean, enthufiafm^ on the one hand, and deifmy and downright 
infidelity^ on the other. 

Sixthly^ They that would maintain a holy walk wnth God, 
muft walk with him in ordinances as well as providences, &c. 


[ 31 ] 

It is, therefore, recorded of 'Zachary and Eli%ahelh^ that 
*' They walked in all God's ordinances as well as command- 
ments, blamelefs." And all rightly informed chriftians, will 
Jook upon ordinances, not as beggarly elements, but as To 
many conduit- pipes, whereby the infinitely condefcending Je.~ 
hovab conveys his grace to their fouls. They will look upon 
them as childrens breavL and as their higheft privileges, 
Confequently they will be glad when they hear others fay, 
^' Come, let us go up to the houfe of the Lord." I'hey 
will delight to vifit the place where God's honour dwelieth, 
and be very eager to embrace all opportunities to fhew forth 
the LoiiD Christ's death till he come. 

Seventhly and i^iftly^ If you would walk with God, you will 
aflbciate and keep company with thofe that do walk with him, 
*' My delight, fays holy David^ is in them that do vxcel" in 
virtue. They were in his fight, the excellent ones of the 
earth. And the primitive chriftians, no coubr, kept up their 
vigour and firft love, by continuing in fenowfi"iip one with 
another. The Apoftle Paul knew this full well, and therefore 
exhorts the chriftians to fee to it, that they aid not forfake the 
afTembling of themfelves together. For how can one be warm 
alone ? And has not the wifeft of men told us, that, " as 
Iron fliarpeneth iron, fo doth the countenance of a man his 
friend ?" If we look, therefore, into church hiftory, or make 
a juft obfeivation of our own times, I believe we (hall find, 
that as the power of God prevails, chriftian focieties, and fel- 
low^ftiip meetings prevail proportionably. And as one decays, 
the other has infenfibly decayed and dvv'indled away at the 
fame time. So neceffary is it for thofe that would walk with 
God, and keep up the life of religion, to meet together as 
they have opportunity, in order to provoke one another to 
love and good works. 

Proceed we now to the Third general thing propofed, To 
ofi-'er fome motives to excite all to come and walk with God. 

And Fi^Jl, Walking with God, is a very honourable thing. 
This generally is a prevailing motive to perfons of all rank.'-, 
toftir them up to any important undertaking. O that it may 
have its due weight and influence with you, in refpedt to the 
matter now before us ! 1 fuppofe you would all think it a verv 
c high 

[ 32 ] 
hlf»h honour to be admitted into an earthly prince's privy- 
council, to be trufted with his fecrets and to have his ear at 
all times, and at all fearons. It feems Hainan thought it lb, 
when he boaltcd, Eflh. v. ii, that befidcs his being '' ad- 
vanced above the princes and fervants of the king ; yta^ 
moreover, F.fihcr the Q^ieen did let no man come in with the 
King unto the banquet that ihe had prepared, butmyfelf; 
and to-morrow am I invited unto her alio with the King.*' 
And when afterwards a qucftion was put to this laine Haman^ 
chap. vi. 6. " What fliall be done unto the nsan whom the 
Kin^ deliohteth to honour?" he anfwered, ver. 8. " Let the 
royal apparel be brought which the king ufed to wear, and 
the horie that the king rideth upon, and the crown royal 
which is fet upon his head ; and let this apparel and horfe be 
delivered to the hand of one of the king's mod noble princes, 
that they may array the man withal v.'hom the King delights 
to honour, a4id bring him on horfebnck through the itreet of 
the city, and proclaim before him. Thus fliali it be done to 
the man whom the King delighteth to honour." This was 
all then, it fcems, that an ambitious Haman could afk, and 
the moft valuable thing that he thought A])ajuerus^ the greateft 
monarch upon earth, could give. But alas, Vv'hat is this ho^ 
nour in comparifon of that which the meaneft of thofe enjoy^ 
that walk with God ! Think ye it a fmall thing, Sirs, to 
have the fecret of the Lord of Lords with you, and to he 
called the friends of God ? and fuch honour have all God's ^ 
faints. '' The fecret of the Lord is with them that fear 
him :" and *' Henceforth, fays the blefled Jesus, call I you, 
jio longer fervants, but friends ; for the fervant knoweth not 
the will of his mafter." Whatever you may think of it, holy 
David was fo fenfible of the honour attending a v/alk witli 
God, that he declares, •'■ He had rather be a door-keeper \ti 
his houfe, than to dwell even in the tents of ungodlinefs." 
O that all were like-minded with him ! 

But, Secondly, As it is an honourable, fo it is a pleafirrg 
thino^ to walk with God. The wifeft of men has told us, 
that " Wifdcm's ways are ways of pleafantnefs, and all her 
paths peace." And I remember pious Mr. Henry ^ when he 
was juft about to expire,- faid to a friend, *' You have heard 
** many mens dying Words, and thefe are mine ; A life fpent 

. " *^in 

t 33 ] 

** in coinmunlon with God, is the plea/anteft life in thd 
*' world." I am fire I can fst to my f^jal that this is true. 
Indeed, I have been lifted under [esus's banner only for a fevV 
years ; but I have enjoyed inore folid pleafure in one modient's 
communion with my God, than 1 {}iouId or could have en- 
joyed in the v/ays of fin, thotigh I had continued to have 
went on in them for thoufands of years. And may J not ap- 
peal to all you that fear and walk with Got), for the truth of 
this .? Has not one day in the Lord's courts, been to you 
better than a thoufand ? In keeping God's Gommandments, 
have you not found a prefent and very great reward ? Has 
hot his word been fweeter to you than the honey, or the 
honey-comb ^ O what have you f^lt, when, yaccb-Vikey you 
have been \vreftling with your God ^ Has not Jesus 
often met you when meditating in the fields, and been 
tnade known to you over a;nd over again in breaking of 
bread.? Has riot the Holy Ghoft frequently fhed the divine 
Jove abroad in your hearts abundantly, and filled you witii joy 
unfpeakable, even joy that is full of glory ? I khovV you will 
anfvver all thefe queftions in the affirmative, arid freely ac- 
knowledge the yoke of ChrioT to be eafy, and his burden 
light ; or (to ufe the words of one of our coIle6ts) " That 
*' his fervice is perfe6^ freedorri." And what need we then 
any further motive to excite us to walk with Gob ? 

But methiriks 1 hear fome aimong you fay, '^ How cati 
*' thefe things be ? For, if walking with GoD", as you fay, is 
" fuch an honourable and pleafant thing, whence is it, that the 
*' name of the people of this v/ay is caft out as evil, and every' 
*' where fpoken againft .? How comes it to pafs that they arc 
'' frequently aiHidied, tempted, deftitute, and tormented? 1$ 
*' this the honour, this the pleafure that you fpeak of?" I 
anfwer. Yes. Stop a while; be not over-hafty. Judge not 
according to appearance, bat judge righteous judgment, and 
all will te well. It is true, we acknovv'ledge the " people of 
'^ this way," as you, aind Pat^i before you, when a perfecutor^' 
called them, have their names caft out as evil, and are a fcc^ 
ivery where fpoken againft. But by whom ? Even by the 
Enemies of the moft high God. And do you thirtk it a dif- 
grace to be fpoken evil of by them ? BlefTed be God, we 
have not fo learnt Christ. Our royal Mafter has pro- 

VoL. V. C npunced 


[ 34 3 

nounced thofe " blefled, who are perfecuted, and have all 
manncrK)f evil fpoken agalnft them falfly.'* He has con^manded 
them " to rejoice and be exceeding glad." For it is the pri- 
lege of their difciplefhip, and that their reward will be great 
in heaven. He himfelf was thus treated. And can there be 
a greater honour put upon a creature, than to be con- 
formed to the ever-blefled Son of God ? And further, it 
is equally true, that the people of this way are frequently 
ciHicSled, tempted, deftitute, and tormented. But what of all 
this ? Does this deftroy the pleafure of walking with God ? 
No, in no wife ; for thofe that walk with God, are enabled, 
through Christ ftrengthening them, to joy even in tribula- 
tion, and to rejoice when they fall into divers temptations. 
And 1 believe I may appeal to the experience of all true and 
clofe walkers with God, Whether or not their fufFering times, 
have not frequently been their fweeteft times, and that they 
enjoyed mod of God, when moft caft out] and defpifed by 
men ? This we find was the cafe of Christ's primitive fer- 
vants, when threatened by the Jewifi fanhedrim, and com- 
manded to preach no more in the name of Jesus; they re- 
joiced, that they were accounted worthy to fufFer fhame for 
the fake of Jesus. Paul and Silas fang praifes even in a 
dungeon ; and the face of Stephen^ that glorious proto-martyr 
of the chriftian church, (hone like the face of an angel. And 
Jesus is the fame now, as he was then, and takes care fo to 
fweeten fufferings and afflidions with his love, that his difci- 
ciples find, by happy experience, that as afflictions abound, 
confolations do much more abound. And therefore thefe ob- 
jedions, inftcad of deftroying, do only more enforce the mo- 
tives before urged to excite you to walk with God. 

Bat fuppofing the obje6lions were juft, and walkers with 

God Vv^ere as defpicable and unhappy as you would reprefent 

•ihem to be; yet I have a third motive to offer, which, if 

weighed in the balance of the fan£i:uary, will over-weigh all 

.obje<Slions, viz. That there is a heaven at the end of this walk. 

For, to ufe the words of pious Biiliop Bevericlgc^ " Though 

.** the way be narrow, yet it is not long ; and though the gate 

*' be ftraight, yet it opens into everlafting life." Enoch found 

it fo. He walked with God on earth, and God took him to 

fii down with him for ever in the kingdom of heaven. Not 

that we are to expe£l to be taken away as he was : no ; I fup- 

3 pofcd 

f ^5 3 

^ofe wefliall all Jle the common death of all men. But after 
death, the fpiiits of thofe who have walked with God, faall 
return to God that gave them ; and at the morning of the 
refurre(3:ion, foul and body fhall be for ever with the Lord. 
Their bodies (hall he fafhioned like unto Christ's glorious 
body, and their fouls filled with all the fulnefs of God. 
They fhall fit on thrones ; they fiiall judge angels. They 
fhall be enabled to fuftain an exceeding and eternal weight of 
glory, even that glory which Jesus Christ enjoyed with the 
Father before the world began. gloriam quantam ei qualem^ 
fays the learned and pious Arnclt^ juft before he bowed down 
his head, and gave up the ghoft. The very thought of it is 
enough to make us " wiOi to leap our feventy years,'"' as 
good Dr. IVciits exprefles himfclf, and to make us break out 
into the earneft language of the royal Pfalmift, '^ .Vly foul is 
athirft for GoD, yea for the living God. When ihall I come 
to appear in the immediaie prefence of my GoD ?" I won- 
der not that a fenfe oi this, when under a more than ordinary 
irradiation and influx of divine life and love, caufes fome per- 
fons even to faint away, and for a time lofe the power of their 
fehfes. A lefs fight than this, even a fight of SoloniGn's glory, 
made iS/?j^^'s queen aftonifhed j and a ftill lefier fight than that, 
even a fight of Jofeph''^ waggons, made holy Jaccb to faint, and 
for a while, as it were, die away. Daniel^ when admitted to a 
diftant view of this excellent glory, fell down at the feet of the 
angel as one dead. And if a diftant view of |his glory be To 
excellent, what muft the actual pofiTefTion of icibe ? If the firft 
fruits are fo glorious, how infinitely muft the harveft exceed 
i:a glory ? 

And now what fhall I, or indeed what can I well fay more, 
to excite you, even you that are yet flrangers to Christ, to 
come and walk with God ? If you love honour, pleafure, 
and a crown of glory, come, feek it where alone it can be 
found. Come, put ye on the Lord Jesus. Come, hafte 
ye away and walk with God, and make no longer provifioii 
for the fiefh, to fulfil the luft thereof. Stop, ftop, O 
finner ! turn ye, turn ye, O ye unconverted men ! for the 
end of that way you are now walking in, however right it miy 
fecm in your blinded eyes, will be death, even eternal defiruc- 
tion both of body and foul. Make no long tarrying, I fay : 
at your peii!. I charop yon, ftep not one ilep further on in 

C 2 " your 

[ 36 ] 

your prelent walk. For how knoweft thou, O man, but the 
next Hep thou takeft may be into hell ? Death may feize 
thee, judgment find thee, and then the great gulph will be 
iixed between thee and endlefs glory, for ever and ever. O 
think of thefe things, all ye that are unwillinc: to come and 
walk with God. Lay them to heart. Shew yourfelves men, 
and in the ftrength of Jesus fay, Farewel luft of the flefh, 1 
will no more walk with thee I Farewel luft of the eye, and 
pride of life ! Farewel carnal acquaintance, and enemies of 
the crofs, I will no more walk and be intimate with you [ 
Welcome Jesus, welcome thy word, welcome thy ordinance?, 
welcome thy Spirit, welcome thy people, I will henceforth 
walk with you. O that there may be in you fuch a mind ! 
God will fet his almighty flat to it, and feal it with 
the broad feal of heaven, even the fignet of his Holy 
ISpirit. Yes, he will, though you have been walking with, 
and following after, the devices and defires of your def- 
perately wicked hearts, ever fmce you have been born. '* I 
the high and lofty one," fays the great Jehovah, " that in- 
habiteth eternity, will dwell with the humble and contrite 
heart, even with the man that trembleth at my word.'* The 
blood, even the precious blood of Jesus Christ, if you come 
to the Father in and through him, fiiall cleanfe you from aU 

But the text leads mc to fpeak to you that are faints, as 
well as to you that are open or unconverted finners. I need 
not tell you that walking with God is not only honourable, 
but pleafant and profitable alfo : for ye know it by happy 
experience, and will find it more and more fo every day. 
Only give me leave to ftir up your pure minds by way of re- 
membrance, and to bcfecch you by the mercies of God in 
Christ Jesus, to take heed to yourfelves, and walk clofer 
with your God, than you have in days paft : for the nearer 
you walk with God, the more you will enjoy of Him vvhofe 
prefence is life, and be the better prepared for being placed at 
his right-hand, where are pleafures for evermore. O do not 
follow Jesus afar off! O be not fo formal, fo dead and 
ftupid in your attendance on holy ordinances ! Do not fo 
Ihamefully forfake the afiembling yourfelves together, or be fo 
niggardly, and fo indifferent about the things of God. Re- 

t 37 ] 

member what Jr.sus fays of the church of Laodicpa^ *' Becaufe 
thou art neither hot nor cold, I will fpew thee out of my 
mouth." Think of the love of Jesus, and let that love con- 
ftrain you to keep near unto hiro ; and though yOu die for 
him, do not deny him, do not keep at a diftance from him ia 
any wife. 

One word to my brethren in the miniftry that are here pre- 
fent, and I have done. You fee, my brethren, my heart is 
full ; I could almoft fay it is too big to fpeak, and yet too big^ 
to be filent, without dropping a word to you. For does not 
the text fpeak in a particular manner 'to thofe who have the 
honour of being ftiled the ambafladors of Christ, and 
ftewards of the myfteries of God f I obferved at the begin- 
ning of this difcourfe, that Enoch in all probability was a pub- 
lic perfon, and a flaming preacher. Though he be dead, does 
he not yet fpeak to us, to quicken our zeal, and make us more 
active in the fervice of our glorious and ever-blefled Matter I 
How did E7ioch preach ? How did Enoch walk with God, 
though he lived in a wicked and adulterous generation ? Let 
us then follow him, as he followed Jesus Christ, and ere 
long, where he is, there (hall we be alfo. He is now entered 
into his reft : yet a little while, and we (hall enter into ours, 
and that too much fooner than he did. He fojourned here 
below three hundred years ; but blefled be God, the days of 
man are now fhortened, and in a few days our work will be 
over. The Judge is before the door : he that cometh will 
come, and will not tarry : his reward is with him. And we 
fhall all (if we are zealous for the Lord of Hofts) ere long 
{hine as the flars in the firmament, in the kingdom of our 
heavenly Father, for ever and ever. To Him, the blefTed 
Jesus, and eternal Spirit, be all honour and glory, now, and 
to all eternity. Ameny and Amen^ 

C 3 S E R. 

[ 38 ] 


Abrahams offering up his Son Ifaac. 

Genesis xxii. 12. 

And he faid^ Lay not thine Hand upon the Lad^ neither 
do thou any thing unto him ; for now I know that 
thou fcarefi God^ feeing thou haft not withheld 
thy Son^ thine only Son from me, 

THE great Apoftle Pi::ul, in one of his cplftlcs, informs 
us, that " whatfoever was written aforetime was writ- 
ten for our learning, that we through patience and comfort 
of the holy fcripture mioht have hope." And as without faith 
it is impoffible to pleafe God, or be accepted in Jesus, the 
Son of his love ; we may be affured, that whatever inftances 
of a more than common faith are recorded in the book of 
God, they were more immediately defigricd by the holy Spirit 
for our learning and imitation, upon whom the ends of the 
world are come. For this reafon, the author of the epiftle 
to the Hebreivs^ in the xith chapter, mentions fuch a noble 
catalofiuc of Old Teftament faints and martyrs, " who fub- 
dued kingdoms, wrought rightcoufnefs, flopped the mouths 
of Jions, isc. and are gone before us to inherit the promifes." 
A fufficient confutation, I think, of their error, who lightly 
efteem the Old Teftament faints, and would not have them 
mentioned to chriftians, as pcrfons whofe faith and patience 
we are called upon more immediately to follow. If this was 
true, the apoftle would never have produced fuch a cloud of 
witncilcs out of the Old Teftament, to excite the chriftians 
of the firft, and confequently purefl: age of the church, to 
continue ftcdfaft and unmioveablc in the profeftion of their 
faith. Amidft this catalogue of faints, methinks the patriarch 
Abraham fhines the brightcO', and differs frcm the others, as 


[ 39 3 

one ftar differeth from another ftar in glory j for he fhonc 
with fuch diftinguiflied luftrc, that he was called the " friend 
of God," the " father of the f^iithful ;'* and thofe who bclicv e 
on Christ, are faid to be " fons and daughters of, and to 
*' be blefled with, faithful Abraham.'" Many trials of his faith 
did God fend this great and good man, after he had com- 
manded him to get out from his country, and from his 
kindred, unto a land which he fhould fhew him j but the laft 
was the moll fevere of all, I mean, that of ofi-ering up his 
only fon. This, by the divine aiTiftancc, I propofe to make 
the fubjecl of your prefent meditation, and, by way of con- 
clufion, to draw fome practical inferences, as God fhall enable 
me, from this inftru6tive ftory. 

The facred penman begins the narrative thus; verfe i. 
" And it came to pafs, after thefe things, God did tempt 
Abraham." After thefe things, that is, after he had under- 
went many fevere trials before, after he was old, full of days, 
and might flatter himfelf perhaps that the troubles and toils of 
life were now finifhed ; " after thefe things, God did tempt 
Abraham" Chriftians, you know not what trials you may 
meet with before you die : notwithftanding you may have 
fufFered, and been tried much already, yet, it may be, a 
greater meafurc is fllll behind, which you are to nil up. " Be 
not high-minded, but fear." Our laft trials, in all probabi- 
lity, will be the greateft : and we can never fay our warfare 
is accomplifhed, or our trials finiflied, till we bow down our 
heads, and give up the gho{|-. " And it came to pafs, after 
thefe things, that God did tempt Abraham" 

" God did tempt Abraham" But can the fcripture con- 
iradicSt itfelf ? Does not the apoftle James tell us, " that (jOD 
tempts no man;" and God does tempt no man to evil, or 
on purpofe to draw him into fm ; for, when a man is thus 
tempted, he is drawn away of his own heart's luft, and en- 
ticed. But in another fenfe, God may be faid to tempt, I 
mean, to try his fervants ; and in this fenfe we arc to under- 
fland that paflage of Matiheiu^ where we are told, that, 
" Jesus was led up by the Spirit (the good Spirit) into the 
vvildernefs, to be tempted of the devil." And our Lord, in 
that excellent form of prayer which he has been pleafed to 
give us, dQCS not require us to pray that we may not abfo- 
C 4 lutelv 

t 40 ] 
iutely be led into temptation, but delivered from the evil ot 
it ; whente we may plainly infer, that God fees it fit fome- 
tinies to lead us into temptation, that is, to bring us into fuch 
circumftances as will try our fjith and other chriftian graces. 
In this fenfe we arc to underftand the expreffion before us; 
'* Got) did tempt or try /Ibrohan:,^' 

How God was pl^afed to reveal his will at this time to his 
faithful fervanr, whether by the Shech'inab^ or divine appear- 
ance, or by a fmall ftill voice, as he ipolcc to Elijah^ or by a 
whifper, like that of the Spirit to Philips when he commanded 
him to go join himfelf to the eunuch's chariot, we are not 
told, nor is it material to enquire. It is enough that we are in- 
formed, God faid unto him, Abrabanr, and that Abraham knew 
it was the voice of God : for he faid, " Behold, here I am.** 
O what a holy familiarity (if 1 may fo fpeak) is there between 
God and thofe holy fouls that are united to him by faith in 
Christ Jesus ! God fays, Abraham \ zud Abraham faid (it 
fliould feem without the Icaft furpnze) Behold, here I am. 
Being reconciled to God by the death and obedience of 
Christ, which lie rejoiced in, and faw by faith afar ofF; he 
did not, like guilty ylda?n^ feek the trees of the garden to hide 
himfelf from, but takes pleaiure in converfing with God, and 
talketh with him, as a man talketh with his friend, O that 
CHRiST-lefs finners knew what it is to have fellowfhip with 
the Father and the Son ! They would envy the happinefs of 
faints, and count it all joy to be termed enthufialts and fools 
for Christ's fake. 

But what does God fay to Abraham? Verfe 2. ** Take 
now thy fon, thine only fon Ijfaac^ whom thou loveft, and 
get thee into the land of Moriah^ and offer him there for a 
burnt- offering upon one of the mountains which I fhall tell 
thee of.?* 

Every word deferves our particular obfervation. Whatever 
he >Yas to do, he mufl do it now, immediately, without con- 
ferring with ilefh and blood. But what muft he do ? " Take 
now thy fon.'- Had GoD faid, take now a firftling, or choiceft 
lamb or beal of thy fJock, and offer it up for a burnt-offer- 
ing, it would not have appeared fo ghaftly : but for God to 
/iiy, " take now thy fon, and offer him up for a burnt- offer- 
jjig,-' one would have imagined, was enough to fl^gger the 


t 4t ) 

f^rongeft faith. But this is not all : it muft not only be a 
fon, but *' thine only Ton IfaaCy whom thou loveft." If jt 
muft: be a fon, and not a beaft, that muft be offered, why will 
not I/hma£l doy the fon of the bond-woman ? No, it muft be 
his only fon, the heir of all, his Ifaac^ by interpretation 
laughter, the fon of his old age, in whom his foul delio^hted 
** whom thou lovcfl," fays God, in whofe life his own was 
wrapped up : and this fon, this only fon, this Ifiac, the fon 
of his love, muft be taken now, even now, without delav 
and be offered up by his own father, for a burnt ofterin^^ 
upon one ef the mountains of the which God would tell 

Well might the apoftle, fpeaking of this man of God, fay, 
that " againft hope he believed in hope, and, being ftroncr in 
faith, gave glory to GoD :" For, had he not l^en bleffed with 
faith which man never before had, he muft have refufed to 
comply with this fevere command. For how many aro-u- 
ments might nature fuggeft, to prove that fuch a command 
could never come from God, or to excufe himfclf from obev- 
ing it ? *' What ! (might the good man have faid) butcher 
^' my own child ! it is contrary to the very law of nature: 
*' much more to butcher my dear fon Ifaac, in whofe feed 
** God himfelf has affured me of a numerous pofterity. But 
•^' fuppofmg I could give up my own affedions, and be will- 
*' ing to part with him, though I love him fo dearly, yet, if 
*' I murder him, what will become of God's promife? Be- 
." fides, I am now like a city built upon a hill ; I flijne as a 
*' light in the world, in the midft of a crooked and perverfe 
*' generation: How then fhall I caufe God's name to be blaf- 
" phemed, how (hall I become a by- word among the heathen, 
** if they hear that I have committed a crime Vv'hich they ab- 
^' hor ! But, above all, what will Sarah my wife fay ? How 
^' can I ever return to her again, after I have imbrued my 
" hands in my dear child's blood? O that Gon would pardon 
^' me in this thing, or take my life in tht; place of my fon's!" 
Thus, I fay, Abraham might have argued, and that too fecm- 
ingly with great reafon, againft complying with the divine 
command. But as before by faith he confidered not the dead- 
iiefs of Sarah's womb, when (he was paft age, but believed on 
him^ who faid, *' Sarah thy wift (hall bear thee a fon indeed;'* 
i fo 

t A^ ] 

fo now, being convinced that the fame God fpoke to and 
commanJed him to ofl'cr up that fon, and knowing that God 
was able to raife him from the dead, without delay he obeys 
the heavenly call. 

O that unbelievers would learn of faithful Abraham^ and 
believe whatever is revealed from God, though they cannot 
fully comprehend it! Abraham knew God commanded him to 
offer up his fon, and therefore believed, notwithiVanding carnal 
reafoninor might fuggeft many objections. We have fufficient 
teilimony, that GoD has fpoken to us by his fon j why (hould 
ve not alfo believe, though many things in the New Tefta- 
n^.ent are above our rcafcn ? For, where reafon ends, faith 
beoins. And, however iniidels may ftile themfelves reai'mers, 
of all men they are the moft unreafonable: For, is it not con- 
trary to all re ijbn, to meafure an infinite by a finite under- 
ilanding, or think to find out the myfleries of godlinefs to 
perfection ? 

But to return to the patriarch Jbrahsrn : We obferved be- 
fore what plaufible objections he might have made ; but he 
anfwered not a fingle word : no, without replying againft his 
Maker, we are told, verfe 3. that " Abraham rofe up early in 
the morning, and faddled his afs, and took two of his young 
men with him, and Ff^ac his fon, and clave the wood for the 
burnt-oficring, and rofe up and went unto the place of which 
God had told him." 

From this verfe we may gather, that God fpoke to Abraham 
in a dream, or vifion of the night : For it is faid, he rofe up 
early. Perhaps it v/as near the fourth watch of the night, 
juft 'before break of day, when God faid. Take now thy fon; 
and Abraham rifes up early to do fo ; as I doubt not but he 
ufed to rife early to offer up his morning- facrificc of praife 
and thank fgiving. It is often remarked of people in the Old 
Teftamcnt, that they rofe early in the morning; and particu- 
larly of our Lord in the New, that he rofe a great while be- 
fore day to pray. The morning befriends devotion ; and, if 
people cannot ufe {o much felf- denial as to rife early to pray, 
1 know not how they will be ^ible to die at a {take (if called 
to it) for Jesus Christ. 

I'he humility as well as the piety of the patriarch is obferv- 
able : he faddKd his own afs (great men Ihuuld be humble ;) 


C 43 ] 

and to (hew his fincerity, though he took two of his young 
men with him, and Ifaac his Ton, yet he keeps his defii^n as a 
fccret from them all : nay, he docs not fo much as tclJ Sarah 
his wife : for he knew not but (he might be a fnare unto him 
in this affair ; and, as Rchehah afterwards, on another occa- 
fion, advifed ^acoh to flee, fo Sarah alio might perfuade Jfaac 
to hide him.felf ; or the young men, had they known of it, 
might have forced him away, as in after-ages the foldicrs ref- 
cucd "Jonathan out of the hands of Saul. ^Mi Abraham fought 
no fuch evafion, and therefore, like an Ifraeliu indeed, in whom 
there was no guile, he himfelf rcfolutely " clave the wood for 
the burnt-offering, rofe up and went unto the place of which 
God had told him." In the fecond verfc God commanded 
him to offer up his fon upon one of the mountains which he 
would tell him of. He commanded him to offer his fon up, 
but would not then directly tell him the place where : this 
was to keep him dependent and watching unto prayer: for 
there is nothing like being kept waiting upon GoD; and, if 
we do, affuredly GoD will reveal himfelf unto us yet further 
in his own time. Let us pra6tife what we know, follow pro- 
vidence fo far as we can fee already ; and what we know not, 
what we fee not as yet, let us only be found in the way of 
duty, and the Lord will reveal even that unto us. Abraham 
knew not dire<5tly where he was to offer up his fon j but he 
rifes up and fets forward, and behold now God fliews him : 
f' And he went to the place of which God had told him." 
Let us go and do likewife. 

Verfe 4. *' Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his 
eyes, and faw the place afar off.'* 

So that the place, of which God had told him, was no lefs 
than three days journey diftant from the place where God firft 
appeared to him, and commanded him to take his fon. Was 
not this to try his faith, and to let him fee that what he did, 
was not mcerly from a fudden pang of devotion, but a matter 
of choice and deliberation ? But who can tell what the aged 
patriarch felt during thefe three days ? Strong as he was in 
faith, I am perfuaded his bowels often yearned over his dear 
fon Ijaac. Methinks I fee the good old man walking with 
his dear child in his hand, and now and then looking upon 
him, loving him, and then turning i'fide to weep. And per- 

[ 44 ] 

haps, fometlmes he flays a little behind to pour out his heart 
before God, for he had no mortal to tell his cafe to. Then, 
methinks, I fee him join his fon and fervants again, and talk- 
ing to them of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God, 
as they walked by the way. At length, ** on the third day, 
he lifts up his eyes, and faw the place afar off." And, to fhew 
that he was yet fincerely refolved to do whatfoever the Lord 
required of him, he even now will not difcover his defign to 
his fervants, but " i'aid, verfe 5. to his young men," (as we 
iliould fay to our worldly thoughts, when about to tread the 
courts of the Lord's houfe) " Abide you here with the afs ; 
and I and the lad will go up yonder and worfliip, and come 
again to you." This was a fufficient reafon for their flaying 
behind; and, it being their mafter's cuftom to go frequently 
to worfhip, they could have no fufpicion of what he was going 
about. And by Jbraham's faying, that he and the lad would 
come again, I am apt to think he believed God would raife 
him from the dead, if fo be he permitted him to offer his 
child up for a burnt-offering. However that be, he is yet 
refolved to obey God to the uttermoft ; and therefore, 

Verfe 6. " Abraham took the wood of the burnt-offering, 
and laid it ups^n Jfaac his fon ; and he took the fire in his 
hand, and a knife, and they went both of them together." 
Little did Ifaoc think that he was to be offered on that very 
wood which he was carrying upon his fhoulders ; and there- 
fore Ijaac innocently, and with a holy freedom (for good men 
ihould not keep their children at too great a diilance) " fpake 
unto Abraham his father, and faid, My father; and he (with 
equal affection and holy condefccnfion) faid, Here am I, my 
fon." And to fliew how careful Ahrahaiv had been (as all 
chriftian parents ought to be) to inftrudl his Ifaac how to 
facrifice to God, like a youth trained up in the way wherein 
he fliould go ; Jjaac faid, '* Behold the fire and the wood ; 
but where is the lamb for a burnt-offering ?" How beautiful 
is early piety ! how amiable, to hear young people afk quefti- 
ons about facrificing to God in an acceptable way ! Ifaac 
knew very well that a lamb was wanting, and that a lamb 
was neceffary for a proper facrifice : " Behold the fire and the 
wood; but where is the lamb for a burnt-offering r" Young 
men and maidens, learn of him. 


[ 45 ] 

Hitherto, it is plain, Ifaac knew nothing of his father's de- 
{yyn : but I believe, by what his father faid in anfwer to his 
quertion, that now was the time Abraham revealed it unto 

Ver. 8. " And Abraham faid, My fon, God will provide 
himfelf a Lamb for a burnt-ofFering." Some think, that 
Abraham by faith faw the Lord Jesus afar off, and here 
fpakc prophetically of that Lamb of God already flain in 
decree, and hereafter to be a61:ual]y offered up for fmners* 
This was a lamb of God's providing indeed (we dared not 
have thought of it) to fatisfy his ownjuftice, and to render 
him juft in juftifying the ungodly. What is all our fire and 
wood, the belt preparation and performances we can make 
or prefent, unlefs God had provided himfelf this Lamb for 
a burnt-offering ? He could not away with them. The 
words will well bear this interpretation. But, whatever 
Abraham might intend, I cannot but think he here made an 
application, and acquainted his fon, of God's dealing with 
his foul ; and at length, with tears in his eyes, and the ut- 
nioft affeciion in his heart, cried out, " Thou art to be the 
lamb, my Son ;" God has commanded me to provide thee 
for a burnt-offering, and to offer thee upon the mountain 
which we are now afcending. And, as it appears from a 
fubfequent verfe, Ijaac^ convinced that it was the divine will, 
made no refinance at all : For it is faid, " They went both 
of them together ," and again, when we are told, that 
Abraham bound Ifaac^ we do not hear of his complaining, 
or endeavouring to efcape, which he might have done, be- 
ing (as fome think) near thirty years of age, and, it is plain, 
capable of carrying wood enough for a burnt-offering. But 
he was partaker of the like precious faith with his aged father, 
and therefore is as willing to be offered, as Abraham is to of- 
fer him : And " fo they went both of them together." 

Ver. 9. At length '* they came to the place of which 
God had told Abraham. He built an altar there, and laid 
the wood in order, and bound Ijaac his fon, and laid him 
on the altar upon the wood.'* 

And here let us paufe a while, and by faith take a view 
of the place, where the father has laid him. I doubt not but 
the blefl'ed angels hovered round the altar, and fang, *' Glory 
be to God in the higheft," for giving fuch faith to man.' 


[ 46 3 

Comp, all ye tender-hearted parents, who know what It Is 
to look over a dying child : fancy that you faw the altar 
ereded before you, and the wood laid in order, and the 
belove Ifaac bound upon it : fancy that you faw the aged pa- 
rent (landing by weeping. (For, why may we not fuppofe 
that Jhraha?n wept, fmce Jesus himfclf wept at the grave 
of Lazarus ?) O what pious, endearing exprefiions pafled 
now alternately between the father and the fon ! Jofephus re- 
cords a pathetic fpeech made by each, whether genuine I 
jcnow not : but methinks I fee the tears trickle down the 
Patriarch Abrahain\ checks ; and out of the abundance of 
the heart, he cries. Adieu, adieu, my fon ; the Lord gave 
thee to me, and the Lord calls thct away ; bleiled be the 
name of the Lord : adieu, my Ifaac^ my only fon, whom 
I love as my ovvn foul ; adieu, adieu. I fee IJaac at the fame 
time meekly refigning himfelf into his heavenly Father's 
hands, and praying to the mofl High to ftrengthen his earthly 
parent to ftrike the {troke. Bat why do I attempt to defcribe 
what either fon or father felt ? It is i^mpofiible : we may in- 
deed form fome faint idea of, but (hall never fully compre- 
hend it, till we come and fit down with them in the kingdom 
of heaven, and hear them tell the pleafing ftory over again. 
Haften, O Lord, that blefled time 1 O let thy kingdom 
jcome ! 

And now, the fatal blow is o-oins: to be Q;ivcn. "And 
Ahraham ftretched forth his hand, and took the knife to 
flay his fon.*' But do you not think he intended to turn away 
his head, when he gave the blow ? Nay, why may we not 
fuppofe he fometimes drew his hand in, after it was flretched 
out, willing to take another lait farewell of his beloved Ijaac^ 
3nd defirous to defer it a little, though refolved at laft to 
ftrike home ? Be that as it v/ill, his arm is now ftretched 
out, the knife is in his hand, and he is about to put it to 
iiis dear fon's throat. 

But fing, O heavens I and rejoice, O earth ! Man*s ex- 
tremity is God's ^opportunity : for behold, jufl as the knife, 
in all probability, was near his throat, ver. ii. " the 
angel of the Lord, (or rather the Lord of angels, Jesus 
Christ, the angel of the everlafting covenant) called unto 
Jiim, (probably in a very audible manner) from heaven, 
and faid, Abraha?n^ Abraham, (The vvoid is doubled, 


[ 47 ] 

to engage his attention ; and perhaps tlie fudJennefs of the 
call made him draw back his hand, juft as he was o-oin"- 
to ftrike his fon.) And Abraham laid, Here am I.*' 

" And he faid, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, nei:hcr 
do thou any thing unto him : for now know I that thou 
feareft God, feeing thou haft not withheld thy fon, thine only 
fon from me." 

Here then it was that Abraham received his fon Ifaac from 
the dead in a figure. He was in efteft offered upon the altar, 
and God looked upon him as offered and given unto him. 
Now it was that Abrahamh faith, being tried, was found more 
precious than gold purified kszn times in the ^-z. Now as 
a reward of grace, though not of debt, for this fio-nal a(5l of 
obedience, by an oath, God gives and confirms the promife, 
*' that in his feed all the nations of the earth fhould be 
blefled," ver. 17, 18. With what comfort may we fuppofe 
the good old man and his fon went down from the mount, 
and returned unto the young men ! With what joy may we 
imagine he went home, and related all that had paflcd to 
Sarah ! And above ail, with what triumph is he now exult- 
ing in the paradife of God, and adoring rich, free, diAin- 
guifliing, clcvSling, everlafting love, which alone made him 
to difPcr from the reft of mankind, and rendered him worthy 
of that title which he will have fo long as the fun aiid the 
moon endure, " The Father of the 'faithful !" 

But let us now draw our eyes from the creature, and do 
whTii Abraham^ if he was prefenr, would dircv^l to ; I mean, 
fix them on the Creator, God blefled for evermore. 

I fee your hearts affeded, I fee vour eyes weep. (And in- 
deed, who can refrain weeping at the relation of fuch a ftory ?) 
But, behold, I fliew you a myftery, hid under the facrifice 
o^ Abraham's only fon, which, unlefs your hearts are hardned, 
muft caufe you to weep tears of love, and that plentifully too. 
I would willingly hope you even prevent me here, and are 
leady to fay, *' It is the love of GoD, in giving Jesus 
«' Christ to die for our fni^." Yes ; that is it. And yet 
perhaps you find your hearts, at the mentioning of this, not 
fo much af}e(5^ed. Let this convince you, that we are all 
fallen creatures, and that we do not love God or Christ 
as we ought to do ; for, if you 2i^mixQ Abraham offering up 


C 48 ] 

his IfaGc^ how much more ought you to extol, magnify and 
adore the love of God, who (o loved the world, as to give his 
only begotten Son Christ Jesus our Lord, *' that whofo- 
cver believeth on Him (hould not perifli, but have evcrlaff- 
ing life ?" May we not well cry out, Now know we, O 
Lord, that thou haft loved us, fince thou haft not withheld 
thy Son, thine only Son from us ? Abraham was God's 
creature (and God was Abrahams friend) and therefore un- 
der the highcft obligation to furrendcr up his Ijaac. But O 
ftupendlous love ! whilft we were his enemies, God fent 
forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, tha^ 
he might become a curfe for us. O the freenefs, as well as 
the infinity, of the love of God our Father ! It is unfearch- 
able: I am loft in contemplating it; it is paft finding out. 
Think, O believers, think of the love of God, in giving 
Jesus Christ to be a propitiation for our fins. And when 
you hear how Abraham built an altar, and laid the wood in 
order, and bound Jfaac his fon, and laid him. on the altar upon 
the wood; think how your heavenly Father bound Jesus 
Christ his only Son, and offered him upon the altar of hiis 
juftice, and laid upon him the iniquities of us a'l. V/heti 
you read of Abraham's ftretching forth his hand to flay his 
Son, Think, O think, how God a£tually fuffered his Soil 
to be flain, that we might live for evermore. Do you read 
of 7/^^^ carrying the wood upon his (houlders, upon which 
he was to be oftered ? Let this lead you to mount Calvary 
(this very mount of Moriah where Ifaac was offered, as fome 
think) and take a view of the antitype Jesus Christ, the Son 
of God, bearing and ready to fink under the weight of that 
crofs, on which he was to hang for us. Do you admire 
Ifaac fo freely confenting to die, though a creature, and there- 
fore obliged to go when God called? O do not forget to 
admire infinitely more the dear Lord JesUs, that promifed 
feed, who willingly faid, *^ Lo, I come," though under no 
obligation fo to do, <' to do thy will," to obey and die for 
men, " O God !" Did you weep juft now, when I bid you 
fancy you faw the altar, and the wood laid in order, and 
Jfaac laid bound on the altar ? Look by faith, behold the 
bk-fted Jf.su:^, our all-glorious Emmanuel^ not bound, but 
j>ailcd on an accurffd tree : fee how he hangs crowned with 

t 49 ] . 

tfibrr.s, and had in derifion of all that arc round about hiriri: 
fee how the thorns pierce him, and how the blood in purple 
ftreams trickle down his ^ac^ed temples ! Kirk how th? Goii 
of nature groans ! See how he bows his head, and at length 
humanity gives up the ghoft ! Jjaac is favcd, biit JesUs, the 
Q/OD o^ Ij a ac, dies: A ram is offered up \\\ Ij one's room, 
but Jesus has no fubftitute ; Jesus mult bleed, Jesus muft 
die ; God the Father provided this Lamb for hirafelf from all 
eternity. He mud be offered in tirtie, or man muft be damned 
for evermore. And now, where are your tears ? Shall I fay, 
refrain your voice from weeping ? No i rather let me exhort 
you to look to him whom you have pierced, and mourn, as a 
woman mourneth for her firil-borrt : for we have been the 
betrayers, we have been the rhurderers of this Lord of glory ; 
and fhall we net bewail thofe fins, v/hich brought the blefled 
Je;sUs to the accurfed tree ? Having fo much done, fo much 
fuffered for us, fo much forgiven, fhall we not love rtiuch t 
O ! let us love Him with all our hearts, and mifids^ and 
ftrength^ and glorify him in our fouls and bodies, for they 
are his. Which leads me to a fecond inference I ftiall draw 
from the foregoing difcourfe. 

From hence we may learn the nature of true, juftifying 
faith. Whoever underftands and preaches the truth, as it is 
in Jesus, muft acknowledge, that falvatlon is GcD*s free 
gift, and that we are faved, not by any or all the works of 
righteoufnefs which we have done or can do : no ; We cari 
neither wholly nor in part juftify ourfelves in the fight of 
God. The Lord Jesus Christ is our righteoufnefs ; and 
if we are accepted with God, it muft be only in and through 
the perfonal righteoufnefs, the a6live and paffive obedience^ 
of Jesus Christ his beloved Son. This righteotjfnefs muft 
be imputed, or counted over to us, and applied by faith to 
our hearts, or elfe we can in no wife be juftified ift God'^ 
fight ; and that very moment a finner is enabled to lay hold ort 
Christ's righteoufnefs by faith, he is freely juftified front 
all his fins, and fhall never enter into condemnation^ not- 
withftanding he was a fire-brand of hell before. Thus it was? 
that Abraham was juftified before he did any good vvork : he 
was enabled to believe on the Lord Christ ; it was ac- 
«ountedi to him for righteoufnefs ; that is, Christ's rightc- 

VoL. V. I> oufneC? 


t 50 1 

oufnefs was made over to him, and (o accounted his. This, 
this is gofpcl ; this is the only way of finding acceptance with 
God : good works have nothing to do with our juftiiication 
in his fight. We arejuftified by faith alone, as faith the 
article of our church •, agreeable to which the apoftle Paul 
fays, " By grace ye are iaved, through faith ; and that not 
of yourfelves ; it is the gift of God." Notwithftanding, 
o-ood works have their proper place: theyjuftify our faith, 
thouf^h not our perfons ; they follow it, and evidence our 
juftiftcation in the fight of men. Hence it is that the apoftle 
James ^(ks, was not y^/'r^^^w juftified by works? (alluding 
jio doubt to the ftcry on which we have been difcourfing) that 
is, did he not prove he was in a juftified ftate, becaufe his 
faith was productive of good works ? This declarative juftifi- 
cation in the fight of men, is what is direClly to be under- 
ftood in the words of the text j " Nov/ know I, fays God, 
that thou feareil me, fmce thou haft not withheld thy Son, 
thine only Son from me." Not but that God knew it be- 
fore J but this is fpoken in condefcenfion to our weak capa- 
cities, and plainly fhews, that his offering up his fon was 
accepted with God, as an evidence of the fincerity of his 
faith, and for this, was left on record to future ages. Hence 
then you may learn, whether you are bleffed with, and are fons 
and daughters of, faithful Abraham, You fay you believe ; 
you talk of free gr^ce and free juftification : you do well ; 
the devils alfo believe and tremble. But has the faith, which 
you pretend to, influenced your hearts, renewed your fouls, 
and, Wkt Abraham s^ worked by love? Are your affccSlions, 
like his, fet on things above ? Are you heavenly-minded, and 
like him, dcryou confefs yourfelves ftrangers and pilgrims on 
the earth ? In fhort, has your faith enabled you to overcome 
the world, and ftrengthned you to give up your Ifnacs^ your 
laughter, your mofl beloved lufts, friends, pUafures, and 
profits for God ? If fo, take the comfort of it ; for juftly may 
you fay, *' We know affuredly, that we do fear and love 
*' God, or rather are loved of him." But if you are only 
talking believers, have only a faith of the head, and never 
felt the power of it in your hearts, however you may bolfter 
yourfelves up, and fay, " We have Abraham for our father, 
*' or Christ is our Saviour j" uniefs you get a faith of the 


[ 51 3 

heart, a faith working by love, you fiiall never fit with 
Abraham^ Ifaac^ Jacobs or Jesus Christ, in the kingdom 
of heaven. 

But I muft draw one more inference, and with that I fliill 

Learn, O faints ! from what has been faid, to fit loofe to 
all your worldly comforts ; and (land ready prepared to part 
with every thing, when God fliall require it at your hand. 
Some of you perhaps may have friends, who are to you as 
your own fouls ; and others may have children, in whofe 
lives your own lives are bound up : all 1 believe have their 
Jfaacs, their particular delights of fome kind or other. La- 
bour, tor Christ's fake, labour, ye fons and daughters 
of Abraham^ to refign them daily in afreclion to God, that, 
when he (hall require you really to facrifice them, you may 
not confer with fiefh and blood, any more than the bleficd 
patri:uch now before us. And as for you that have been in 
any meakire tried like unto him, let his example encourage and 
comfort you. Remember, Abraham your father was tried 
fo before you : think, O think of the happinefs he now 
enjoys, and how he is incefiantly thanking God for tempt- 
ing and trying him u'hen here below. Look up often by 
the eye of faith, and {cq him fitting with his dearly beloved 
Jfaac in the world of fpirits. Remember, it will be but a 
little while, and you fhall fit with them alfo, and tell one 
another what God has done for your fouls. There I hope 
to fit with you, and hear this ftory of his offering up his 
Son from his own mouth, and to praif: the Lamb that fitteth 
upon the throne, for what he hath done for all our fouls, 
fpr ever and ever:. 


[ 52 ] 


The great Duty of Family-Religion. 

Joshua xxiv. 15. 
As fcr 'me and my Hcufe^ ivs ijiill ferve the Lord, 

THESE words contain the holy rcfolution of pious 
Jofljua^ who having in a molt: moving, afFe6lionate 
difcourfe recounted to the Ijraelites what great things Gon 
had done for them, in the verfe immediately preceding the 
text, comes to draw a proper inference from what he had 
been delivering ; and acquaints them, in the moft prefTing 
terms, that fmce God had been fo exceeding gracious unto 
them, they could do no lefs, than out o\' gratitude for fuch, 
uncommon favours and mercies, dedicate both themftlvcs 
and families to his fervice. *' Now therefore, feat the Lord, 
and ferve him in fmcerity and truth, and put away the GoDs 
which your fathers ferved on the other fide of the flood." 
And by the fame engaging motive docs the prophet Samuel 
afterwards enforce their obedience to the commandments of 
God, I Sam, xii. 24. " Only fear the Lord, and ferve 
him in truth, with all your heart ; for coniider how great 
things he hath done for you." But then, that they might 
not excufe themfelves (as too many might be apt to do) by 
his giving them a bad example, or think he was laying heavy 
burdens upon them, whillt he himfelf touched them not with 
one of his fingers, he tells them in the text, that whatever 
regard they might pay to the dodrine he had been preaching, 
yet he (as all miniflers ought to do) was refolved to live up 
to and pracSlife it himfelf: *' Chufe you therefore, whom you 
will ferve, whether tne Gods which your fathers forved, or 
the Gods of the Jmorites, in whofe land ye dwell : but as for 
me and my houfe, we will ferve the Lord." 

A rcfo- 

r 53 ] 

A refolutlon tlii?, worthy o( JoJ/jua., and no lefs becoming, 
no lefs ncccflliry for every true fon o'ljofoua^ that is intrufted 
with the care and government of a family in our day : and, 
if it was ever feafonable for miniders to preach up, or people 
to put in \iv2.Ci\Q^ fnrnily-religiQn, it was never more fo than 
in the prefent age ; ilnce it is greatly to be feared, that out 
of thofe many houftiQlds that call themfelves chriftians, there 
are but kw that ferve God in their refpeflive families as they 

It is true indeed, vifit our churches, and you may perhaps 
fee fomething of they^rw of godlinefi fiill fubfifting amongft 
us ; but even that is fcarccly to be met with in private 
houfes. So that were the blefTcd angels to come, as in the 
patriarchal ae;e, and obfcrve our fpiritual oeconomy at home, 
would they not be tempted to fay as Abraham to Ahimllcch^ 
" Surely, the fear of God is not in this place ?" Gen. xx. 1 1. 

How fuch a general neglect of family-religion firft began 
to overfpread the chriftian world, is difficult to determine. 
As for the primitive chrifliians, I am pofitive it was not fo 
with them : No, they had not fo learned Christ, as falfely 
to imagine religion was to be confined foltly to their aflem- 
blies for public worfhip ; but, on the contrary, behaved wiih 
fuch piety and exemplary holinefs in their private families, 
that St. PW often flyles their houfe a church : " Salute fuch 
a one, fays he, and the church which is in his houfe." And, 
I believe, we muft for ever defpair of feeing a primitive fpi- 
rit of piety revived in the woijd, till we are fo happy as to 
fee a revival of primitive family religion ; and perfons unanl- 
moufly refolving with good old Jojlma, in the words of the 
text, " As for me and my houfe, we will ferve the Lord." 

From which words, I fhall beg leave to infift on thefe 
three things. 

I. /^iV/?, That it is the duty of every governor of a family 
to take care, that not only he himfelf, but alfo that 
thofe committed to his charge, ^^ ferve the Lord." 

IL Secondly., I (hall endeavour to (hew after what manner 
a governor and his houfhold ought to ferve the Lord. 

D 3 I"- 

[ 54 i 

III. Thirdly^ I (hall ofFcr fomc motives, in order to excite 
all governors, with tlvjir refpeclive houflioltls, to ferve 
the Lord in the manner tliat (hall be recommended. 

And FirJ}^ I am to fhevv that it is the duty of every gover- 
nor of a family to take care, that not only he himfclf, but 
alio that thofe commitied to his charge, fhould icrve the 

And this will appear, if we confidcr that every governor 
of a family ought to look upon himfelf as obliged to act in 
three capacities : as a prophet, to inOrudl ; as a prieft, to 
pray for and with ; as a king, to govern, direft, and provide 
for them. It is true indeed, the Litter of thefe, their kingly 
office, they are not fo frequently deficient in, (nay in this 
they are generally too folicitous ;) but as for the two former, 
their prieftly and prophetic office, like Gallio^ they care for 
no fuch things. But however indifferent fome governors may 
be about it, they may be aflured, that God will require a 
due difcharge of thefe offices as their hands. For if, as the 
apoftle argues, " He that does not provide for his own 
houfe," in temporal things, " has denied the faith, and is 
worfe than an infidel ;" to what greater degree of apoftafy 
muft he have arrived, who takes no thought to provide for 
the fpiritual v/elfare of his family ! 

But farther, perfons are generally very liberal of their in- 
vectives againfi: the clergy, and think they juftly blame the 
conduct of that miniiler who does not take heed to and watch 
over the flock, of which the Holy Ghoft has made him over- 
feer : but may not every governor of a family, be in a lower 
degree liable to the fame cenfure, who takes no thought for 
thofe fouls that are committed to his charge ? For every 
houfe is as it were a little parifli, every governor (as was be- 
fore obferved) a prieft, every family a flock : and if any of 
them perifli through the governor's neglect, their blood will 
God require at their hands. 

Was a minifter to difregard teaching his people publicly, 
and from houfe to houfe, and to excufe himfelf by faying, 
that he had enough to do to work out his own falvation with 
fear and trembling, without concerning himfelf with that of 
others j would you not be apt to think fuch a minifter, to 


[ 55 ] 

be like the unjuft judge, " One that neither feared God, 
nor regarded man?*' And yet, odious as fuch a chara(5ler 
would be, it is no worfe than that governor of a family de- 
ferves, who thinks himfelf obliged only to fave his own foul, 
without paying any regard to the fouls of his houfhold. f^or 
(as was above hinted) every houfe is as it were a parifh, and 
every mafter is concerned to fecure, as much as in him lies, 
the fpiritual profperity of every one under his roof, as any mi- 
nifter whatever is obliged to look to the fpiritual welfare of 
every individual perfon under his charge. 

What precedents men who negle^l their duty in this parti- 
cular, can plead for fuch omillion, I cannot tell. Doubtlcfs 
not the example of holy "Joh^ who was fo far from imagining 
that he had no concern, as governor of a family, with any 
one*s foul but his own, that the fcripture acquaints us, 
" When the days of his childrens feafting were gone about, 
that Job fent and fanclified them, and offered burnt-offerings, 
according to the number of them all ; for Job faid. It may be 
that my fons have fmned and curfed God in their hearts : 
thus did 'Job continually." Nor can they plead the pra6tice 
of good old Jojhua^ whom, in the text, we find as much 
concerned for his houfhold's welfare, as his own. Nor laftly, 
that of Cornelius^ who feared God, not only himfelf, but with 
all his houfe : and were chriftians but of the fame fpirit of 
yob^ Jojhua^ and the Gentile centurion, they would adl as Joby 
"Jojhua^ and Cornelius did. 

But alas 1 if this be the cafe, and all governors of families 
ought not only to ferve the Lord themfelves, but likewife to 
fee that their refpedlive houfhoL's do fo too j what will then 
become of thofe who not only ntgk-6l ferving God thcmfelve?, 
but alfo make it tlieir bufmefs to ridicule and feoff at any of 
their houfe that do ? Who are not content with " not en- 
tering into the kingdom of heaven themfelves ; but thofe alfo 
that are willing to enter in, they hinder." Surely fuch men are 
fa£tors for the devil indeed. Surely their damnation flumber- 
eth not: for although God, in his good providence, may 
fuffer fuch ftumbling-blocks to be put in his childrens way, 
and fuffer their greateft enemies to be thofe of their own 
houfholds, for a trial of their fmcerity, and improvement of 
their faith j yet we cannot but pronounce a woe againft thofe 

D 4 maljers 

[ 56 ] 

fOnfters by, whom fuch oflenccs come. For If thofe that onl)^ 
^ake cars of their own fouls, can fcarcely be faved, where 
will fuch monflious profanp and wicked governors appear? 

But hoping there arc but fevy of this unhappy flamp, pro- 
peed we now to the 

Second thing propqfcd ; To fhew after what manner a go- 
vernor and his houfholu ought to ferve the Lord. 

I. And the fiiR thing I fhall mention, is, readhig the word 
(fGcD. This is a duty incumbent oil every private perfon. 
^* Search the fcriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal 
]ife," is a precept giv^n by our blefild LoRp indifferently to 
all : but much more fo, ought pvcry governor of a family to 
think it in a peculiar manner fpoken to himfelf, becaufe (as 
bath been already proved) he ought to look upon himfelf as a 
prophet, and therefore, agreeably to fuch a character, bound 
to inftr;j£t thofe under his charge in the knowledge of the 
\vord of God. 

This we fin^ \v?,s the order God gave to his peculiar peo- 
ple ^^^7; for thus fpeaks his reprefentative Mofes^ Dent, vi, 
6, '/. '' Thefe words," that is, the fcripture words, " which 
I command thee this day, fhall he in thy heart, and thou 
ihali tfacii them diligently ynto thy children," that is, as it is 
generally explained, feivants, as well as children, " and ilialt 
talk of them vvhen thou fitteil in thy houfc." P>om whence 
we may infer, that the only reafon, why h many negle61: to 
read the words of fcripture diligently to their children is, be- 
paufe the words of fcripture are not in their hearts : for if they 
were, put of the abundance of the heart their mouth would 

Behdes, fervants as well as children, arc, for the generality, 
yery ignorant, and mere novices in the laws of God : and 
how fliall they know, unlefs fome one teach them I And what 
more proper to teach them by, than the lively oracles of God, 
!' which are able to make them vvifp unto falvation ?" And 
yvho more proper to inflrucl: them by thefe lively oracles, than 
parents aid rnafters, wno (as hath been more than once ob- 
ierved) arc as much concerned to feed them witl) fpifitual, a,s 
\VUh biodily bread, day by day. 


[ 57 ] 

feut if thefe thirtgs be (o, what a miferahle condition at^e 
thofe unhappy governors in, who are lb far from ft^cdin,^ thofe 
committed to their care with the fincere milk of the word, to 
the intent they may grow thereby, that they neither fcarch 
the fcriptures themfelves, nor are careful to explain them to 
others ? Such families mull: be in a happy v/ay indeed to do 
their Mafter's will, who take fuch prodigious pains to know 
it ! Would not one imagiae that they had turned converts to 
the Church of R:me ; that they thought ignorance to be the 
mother of devotion ; and that thofe were to be condemned as 
heretics who read their Bibles ? And yet how few families 
are there amongft us, who do not act after this unfeemly 
jnanner ! But (hall I praife them in this ? I praife them not: 
Brethren, this thing ought not fo to be. 

2. Pafs we on now to the fecond means whereby every go- 
vernor and his houHiold ought to ferve the Lord, family^ 

This is a duty, though as much neg]c61ed, yet as abfolutely 
neceflary as the former. Reading is a good preparative for 
prayer, as prayer is an excellent means to render reading ef- 
fectual. And the reafon why every governor of a family 
(hould join both thefe exercifes together, is plain, becaufe a 
governor of a family cannot perform his prieftly office (which 
vve before ©bferved he is in fome degree invefted with) with- 
out performing this duty of family prayer. 

We find it therefore remarked, when mention is made of 
Cain and JbeVs offering facrifices, that they brought them. 
But to whom did they bring them ? Why, in all probability, 
to their father Adam^ who, as prieft of the family, was to offer 
faerifice in their names. And fo ought every fpiritual fon of 
the fecond Adam^ who is entrufted with the care of an houf^ 
hold, to offer up the fpiritual facrifices of fupplications and 
thankfgivings, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ, 
in the prefence and name of all who wait upon, or eat meat at 
Ivs table. 

Thus we read ourblelTed Lord behaved, when he tabernacled 
amongft us : for it is faid often, that he prayed with his 
twelve difciples, which was then his little family. And he 
jiimfelf has promifed a particular blcffmg to jo'nt fupplications : 
\S Whcrefuevcr two or three are gathered together in my 


[ 58 1 

name, there am I in the midft of them." And again, " If 
two or three are agreed touching any thing they Ihall afk, it 
fliall be given them." Add to this, that we are commanded 
by the Apoftle to ^^ pray always, with all manner of fuppli- 
cation," which doubtlefs includes family prayer. And holy 
JoJJma^ when he fet up the good rcfolution in the text, that he 
and his houfhold would ferve the Lord, certainly refolved to 
pray with his family, which is one of the befl teftimonics 
they could give of their ferving him. 

Befides, there are no families but what have fome com- 
mon bleffings, of which they have been all partakers, to 
give thanks for ; fome common crofTes and afili6tions, which 
they are to pray againft ; fome common fms, which they are 
all to lam.ent and bewail : but how this can be done, without 
joining together in one common acSt of humiliation, fupplica- 
tion, and thankfgiving, is difficult to devife. 

From all which confiderations put together, it is evident, 
that family prayer is a great and necellary duty ; and confe- 
quently, thofe governors that negledt it, are certainly without 
excufe. And it is much to be feared, if they live without fa- 
mily prayer, they live without God in the world. 

And yet, fuch an hateful characler as this is, it is to be 
feared, that was God to fend out an angel to deilroy us, as 
he did once to deftroy the Egyptian firft-born, and withal give 
him a commifiion, as then, to fpafe no houfes but where they 
faw the blood of the lintel, fprinkled on the door-pofi, fo 
now, to let no families efcape, but thofe that called upon him 
in morning and evening prayer; few would remain unhurt by 
his avenging fword. Shall I term fuch families chriftians or hea- 
thens ? Doubtlefs they deferve not the name of chriftians; and 
heathens will rife up in judgment againft fuch profane families 
of this generation : for they had always their houfliold gods, 
whom they worfliipped, and whofe afliftance they frequently in- 
voked. And a pretty pafs thofe families furely are arrived at, who 
muft be fent to fchool to pagans. But will not the Lord be 
avenged on fuch profane houfholds as thefe ? Will he not 
pour out his fury upon thofs that call not upon his name ? 

3. But it is time for me to haften to the third and laft 
means I fliall recommend, whereby every governor ought 
with his houfhold to ferve the Lord, catechizing and injlmf}- 

t 59 3 

irjg their children and fervants, and bringing them up in the 
nurture and admonition ot the Lord. 

That this, as well as the two lormcr, is a duty incumbent 
on every governor of an houfe, appears from that famous en- 
comium or commendation God gives o^ Jhraham : *' 1 know 
that he will command his children and his houfhold after him, 
to keep the way of the Lord, to do juftice and judgment." 
And indeed fcaice any thing is more frequt-ntly prcfTed upon 
us in holy writ, than this duty of catechifing. Thus, fays 
God in a paflage before cited, " Thou ihalt teach thefc 
words diligently unto thy children.'* And parents are com- 
manded in the New Tcftament, to "• breed up tneir children 
in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." The holy 
Pfalmift acquaints us, that one great end vi-hy God did fuch 
great v/onders for his people, was, '* to the intent that when 
they grew up, they {hould (hew their children, or fervants, 
the fame." And in Dcut. vi. at the 20th and following verfes, 
God ftri£lly commands his people to inftrucl their children 
in the true nature of the ceremonial worfhip, when they 
{hould enquire about it, as he fuppofed tney would do, in time 
to come. And if fervants and children were to be inflruded 
in the nature of Jewijh rites, much more ought they now 
to be initiated and grounded in the docStrines and firft prin- 
ciples of the gofpel of Christ : not only, becaufe it is a 
revelation, which has brought life and immortality to a fuller 
and clearer light, but alfo, becaufe many feducers are gone 
abroad into the world, who do their urmoft endeavour to de- 
ftroy not only the fupcr(lru6ture, but likewife to fap the very 
foundation of our moft holy religion. 

Would then the prefent generation have their pofterity be 
true lovers and honourers of God s mafters and parents muft 
take Solof?ions good advice, and train up and catechife their 
refpedlive houfholds in the way wherein they (hould go. 

I am aware but of one objection, that can, with any (hew 
of reafon, be urged againft what has been advanced ; which 
is, that fuch a procedure as this will take up too much time, 
and hinder families too long from their worldly bufmefs. 
But it is much to be queftioned, whether perfons that ftart 
fuch ?n objedion, are not of the fame hypocritical fpirit as 
the traitor Judasy who had indignation againit devout Mary^ 


f 6o ] 

for being Co profufe of her ointment, in anointing our bleffed 
Lord, and afkcd why it might not be fold for two hundred 
pence, and given to the poor. For has God given us fo 
much time to woric for ourfelves, and (hall wc not allow fome 
fmall pittance of it, morning and evening, to be devoted to 
his more immediate worfhip and fcrvice ? Have not people 
read, that it is GuD who gives men power to get wealth, and 
therefore that the heft way to profper in the world, is to fe- 
cure his favour ? And has not our blefled Lord himfeif pro- 
mifcd, that if we feek firfl the kingdom of God and his 
riohteoufncfs, all outward neccflaries fhall be added unto us ? 

Abraham^ no doubt, was a man of as great biifinefs as fuch 
objectors may be j but yet he would find time to command 
his houfhold to ferve the Lord. Nay, David was a king, 
and confequently had a great deal of buiinefs upon his hands; 
yet notwithftanding, he profefies that he would walk in his 
boufe with a perfect heart. And, to inftance but one more, 
holy yojhua was a perfon certainly engaged very much in 
temporal affairs y and yet he folemnly declares before all ijraely 
that as for him and his houfliold, they would ferve the Lord, 
And did perfons but redeem their time, 7i'=> Abraham^ Davidy 
or Jojhua did, they u'ould no longer eromplain, that family 
duties kept them too long from the bufinefs of the world. 

III. But my Third and Laft general head, under which I 
was to offer feme motives, in order to excite all governors, 
with their refpei^ive houfholds, to ferve the Lord in the man- 
ner before recommended, I hope, will ferve inflead of athou- 
fand arguments, to prove the weaknefs and folly of any fuch 

I. And the fiift motive I fhall mention is the duty of ^rj//- 
iude^ which you that are governors of families owe to God. 
Your lot, every one muft confefs, is cait in a fair ground : 
providence hath given you a goodly heritage, above many of 
your fellow-creatures ; and therefore, out of a principle of 
gratitude, you ought to endeavour, as much as in you lies, to 
make every perfon of your refpedlive houiholds to call upon 
him as long as they live : not to mention, that the authority, 
with which GoD has inverted you as parents and governors of 
families, is a talent committed to your truftj and which you 

C 6i ] 

are bound to Improve to your Mailer's honour. In other 
things we find governors and parents can exercife lordfhip 
over their children and fervants readily, and frequently 
enough can fay to one, Go, and he goeth ; and to another. 
Come, and he cometh ; to a third, Do this, and he doeth it. 
And (hall this power be (o often employed in your own af- 
fair?, and never exerted in the things of God r Be aftonifhed, 
O heavens, at this I 

Thus did not faithful Abraham ; no, God fays, that he 
knew Abraham would command his fervants and children after 
him. Thus did not Jojhua : no, he was refolved not only to 
walk with God himfelf, but to improve his authority in 
making all about him do fo too : '^ As for me and my houf- 
hold, we will ferve the Lord." Let us go and do likewife. 

2. But Secondly^ If gratitude to God will not, methinks 
love and pity to your children fliould move you, with your 
rerpe<Siive families, to ferve the Lord. 

Moft people exprefs a great fondnefs for their children : nay 
fo great, that very often their own lives are wrapped up in 
thofe of their offspring. " Can a woman forget her fucking 
child, that (he fhould not have compaffion on the fon of her 
womb r" fays God by his Prophet Ifaiah. He fpeaks of it 
as a monftrous thing, and fcarce credible ; but the words im- 
mediately following, affirm it to be poffible, " Yea, they may 
forget :" and experience alfo afTures us they may. Father and 
mother may both forfake their children : for what greater de- 
gree of forgetfulnefs can they exprefs towards them, than to 
negle<?t the improvement of their better part, and not bring 
them up in the knowledge and fear of God ? 

It is true indeed, parents feldom forget to provide for their 
childrens bodies, (though, it is to be feared, fome men are (o 
far funk beneath the hearts that perifh, as to negle(Sl even that) 
but then how often do they forget, or rather, when do they 
remember, to fecure the falvation of their immortal fouls ? 
But is this their way of exprefiing their fondnefs for the fruit 
of their bodies ? Is this the beft teftimony they can give of 
their afteclion to the darlino; of their hearts ? Then was Da- 
lilah fond of Sawfon, when fhe delivered him up into the 
hands of the Philijnnes : then were thofe rufHans well attested 
to Daniel^ when they threw him into a den of lions. 

I 3. But 

[ 62 ] 

3- But Thirdly, If neither gratitude to GcD, nor love and 
pity to your children, will prevail on you ; yet let a principle 
of common horipjly znd jujl Ice move you to fet up the holy refo- 
lution in the text. 

This is a principle which all men would be thought to aifl 
upon. But certainly, if any may be truly cenfured for their 
jnjuftice, none can be more liable to fuch cenfure, than thofe 
who think themfelves injured if their I'crvants withdraw them- 
Iclves from their bodily work, and yet they in return take no care 
of their incflimable fouls. For is it juft that fcrvants Ihould 
Ipend their time and ftrength in their mafter's fervice, and 
mafters not at the faftie time give them what is juft and equal 
for their fervice ? 

It is true, fome men may think they have done enough 
when they give unto their fervants food and raiment, and fay, 
*' Did not I bargain with thee for fo much a year?'* But if 
they give them no other reward than this, what do they lefs 
for their very beads ? But are not fervants better than they ? 
Doubtlefs they are : and however mafters may put ofF their 
convidions for the prefent, they will find a time will come, 
when they fiiall know they ought to have given them fome 
fpiritual as well as temporal wages ; and the cry of thofe that 
have mowed down their fields, will enter into the ears of the 
the Lord of Sabaoth. 

4. But Fourthly, If neither gratitude to GoD, pity to chil- 
dren, nor a principle of common juftice to fervants, are fuffi- 
cient to balance all objedions ; yet let that darling, that pse- 
vailing motive of felf-intereji turn the fcale, and engage you 
-with your refpe6live hou(holds to ferve the Lord. 

This weighs greatly with you in other matters : be then 
perfuaded to let it have a due and full influence on you irj 
this : and if it has, if you have but faith as a grain of muf- 
tard-feed, how can you avoid believing, that promoting fa- 
mily-religion, will be the beft means to promote your own 
temporal, as well as eternal welfare? For " Godlinefs has 
the promifeof the life that now is, as well as that which is to 

Befides, you all, doubtlefs, wifh for honefl fervants, and 
pious children : and to have them prove otherwife, would beas 
great a grief to you, as it was to El'ijka to have a treacherous 

[ 63 ] 

Gchaz'i^ or David to be troubled with a rebellious Ahfalovu 
But how can ic be expected they Ihould learn their duty, ex- 
cept thofe fet over them, take care to teach it to them ? Is it 
not as reafonable to expert you fhould reap where you had 
not Town, or gather where you had not ftrawed ? 

Did chriftianity, indeed, give any countenance to children 
and fervants to difregard their parents and mafters according 
to the ficfli, or reprefcnt their duty to them, as inconfiftent 
with their entire obedience to their father and mafter who is 
in heaven, there might then be Tome pretence to negle6t in- 
ftrucling them in the principles of fuch a religion. But fince 
the precepts of this pure and undefilcd religion, are all of 
them holy, juft, and good j and the more they are tauMu 
their duty to God, the better they will perform their duties 
to you ; methinks, to negled the improveijient of their fouls, 
out of a dread of fpending too much time in religious duties, 
is ailing quite contrary to your own intereft as well as duty. 

5. Fifthly and Lajily^ If neither gratitude to God, love to 
yoj^r children, common juftice to your fervants, nor even 
that moft prevailing motive felf-intereft, will excite ; yet let 
a confideration of the terrors of the Lord perfuade you to put 
in practice the pious refolution in the text. Remember, the 
time-will come, and that perhaps very fhortly, when we muft 
all appear before the judgment-feat of Christ ; where we 
muft give a folemn and ftridl account how we have had our 
converfation, in our refpectlve families in this world. How 
will you endure to fee your children and fervants (who ought 
to be your joy and crown of rejoicing in the day of our Lord 
Jesus Christ) coming out as fo many fwift witnefles 
againil you ; cuifmg the father that begor them, the womb 
that bare them, the paps which they have fucked, and the 
day they ever entered into your houfes ? Think you not, 
the damnation which men mufi: endure for their own fms, 
will be fufficient, that they peed load themfelves with the ad- 
ditional guilt of being acceiTiiry to the damnation of others 
alfo ? O confider this, all ye that forget to ferve the Lord 
with your refpedlive houfholds, " left he pluck you away, 
and there be none to deliver you !" 

But God forbid, brethren, that any fuch evil fhould befal 

you : no, rather will I hope, that you have been in fome 

5 . meafurc 

[ 64 3 

pieafure convinced by what has been faid of the great impor^ 
tance oi family-reugion ; and therefore are ready t'.> cry out in the 
U'ords imnicd.ately following the text, " God forbid that we 
(liould forlake the Lord ;" and again, ver. 21, " Nay, but 
we will (with our feveral houlholds) krvt the Lord." 

And that there may be always fuch a heart in you^ let me 
exhort all governors of families, in the name of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, often to refledt on the ineftimable worth . of 
their own fouls, and the infinite ranfom, even the precious 
blood of Jesus Christ, which has been paid down for thenu 
Remember, I befeech you to remember, that you are fallen 
creatures ; that you are by nature loft and eftranged frorii 
God i and that you can never be reffored 10 your primitive 
happinels, till by being botn again of the Holy Ghoil, you 
arrive at your primitive {late of purity, have the miage of God 
reftamped upon your fouls, and are thereby made meet to be 
partakers of the inheritance with the famts in light. Do, I 
fay, but ferioufly and frequently refle6t on, and a6t as perions 
that believe fuch important truths, and you will no more ne- 
ple6t your family's fpiritual welfare than your own. No, the 
love of God, which will then be fhed abroad in your iiearts, 
will conftrain you to do your utmoil to preferve them : and 
the deep fenfc of God's free grace in Christ Jesus, (which 
vou will then have) in calling you, will excite you to do 
\'our utmoft to fave others, efpecially thofe of your own houf- 
hold. And though, after all your pious endeavours, fome 
may continue unreformtd ; yet you will have this comfortable 
refiecfion to make, that you did what you could to make your 
families religious : and therefore may reft afTured of fitting 
down in the kingdom of heaven, with Abraham^ JoJIma^ and 
Cornelius^ and all the godly houfnolders, who in their feveraj 
oenerations fhone forth as fo many lights in their rcfpedtive 
houlholds upon earth. Jmen^ 



Christ the beft Hufband : Or an earneft In-i 
vitation to Young Women to come and fe^ 

Preached to a Society of Young Women, in 


P S A L M Xlv. lO, II. 

Hearken, O Bazigh^er^ and coifider, 'and incline thine 
Ear : Forget alfo thine (rxn People, and thy Fathefs 
Houfe : So Jhall the King greatly defire thy Beatity | 
for he is thy Lord, and ijvorjhip thou him. 

THIS pfalm Is calltd the fong of loves, the mofr pure and 
fpiritual, the m^ ft dear and delightful loves ; namely^ 
thole which are between Christ the beloved, and his church, 
which is his fpoufe; wherein is id foitli, firft, the Lord Jesus 
Christ in regard of his miijefi'y, power, and divinity, his 
truth, meeknefs and equity : Arfd then the fpoufe is fet forth, 
in regard of her ornaments, companions, attendants and pof- 
terlty; and both in regard of their comelinefs and beauty; 
After the defcription of Christ, an invitation to his efpou- 
fals, is given the children of men, called by the name of 
daughter; and therefore, particularly applicable linto you, my 
dear fifters, as being the daughters of men, yet not io as cxr 
tluding the fons of riien. 

I fijall now, therefore, confider the words, ^s fpoken to yoU 
in particular, and containing this dodlrine ; 

That the Lord Jesus Christ doth invite the daughter$ 
bf men to be his fpoufe; and is exceeding defirous of their 
l^eauty ; who, forgetting their people and father's houfe, doi 

Vol. V. E hearken^ 


[ 66 ] 

hearken, confider and incline to his invitation, and join tbem- 
{elves to him in this relation. 

I {hall ftiew, 

I. How Christ doth efpoufe himfelf unto the children, 
but, more efpecially, unto the daughters of men. 

The Lord Jesus Christ, doth efpoufe himfelf unto the 
children of men, in this world) but the public folemnization 
of the marriage, is refcrved until the laft day ; when his fpoufe 
ihall be brought forth to him, in white robes, and a raiment 
of perfc£l righteoufnefs, more rich and curious, my dear 
fiflers, than any of your needle-work ; and the marriage feall 
will be kept in his Father's houfe. In heaven, where they fnall 
be received into the neareft and clofeft embraces of his love* 
The marriage knot is tied here, in which are included four 
things : 

F/;y?, Mutual Choice, 

Secondly^ Mutual AEr£tion. 

nirdly^ Mutual Union. 

Fourthly^ Mutual Obligation. 

jp/r/?. My dear fillers, there is a mutual choice^ which is not 
only in Christ, as Mediator, but alfo by Christ as the 
eternal Son of God, yea, God himfelf j notwithftanding all 
that the polite Avians and Soc'inians fay to the contrary. The 
Lord Jesus Christ, my dear fifteis, doth chufe you merely 
by his free grace ; it is freely of his own mercy, that he brings 
you into the marriage covenant : You, who have fo grievoufly 
offended him, yet, the Lord Jesus Christ hath chofen you; 
you did not, you would not have chofen him ; but when once, 
my dear fitters, he hath chofen you, then, and not till then, 
you make choice of him for your Lord and Hufband. 

The Lord Jesus Christ when he firft comes to you, 
finds you full of fm and pollution ; you are deformed, defiled, 
cnflaved, poor, mifcrable and wretched, very defpicable and 
loathfome, by reafon of fm ; and he maketh choice of you, 
not becaiife of your holinefs, nor of your beauty, nor of your 
being qualified tor them; no, the Lord Jesus Christ puts 
thofe qualifications upon you, as may make you meet for his 
rnjhrace : and vou are drawn to make choice of this Lord 
Jesvjs Christ becaufe he firft chofe you. 

2 Secondly^ 

[ ^7 ] 

SfCjridly, In this efpoufal of your's, my dear fiftcr?, there is 
a mutual uffctTion ; this dorh accompany the choice. Your 
heartg are drawn out after Christ ; your fouls pant and Jong 
for him ; you cannot be at reft until you are engaged to this 
Jesus : You are ready to cry out continually, none but 
Christ, none but Christ : this is the language of your 
hearts, if you are truly fenfible of your need of him. The 
more acquaintance you have of this Lord Jesus, the more 
pleafed you are with your choice, and the more your affec- 
tions are drawn towards him. And where can you place your 
affe(5lions better than upon that Jesus who fh^d his blood for 
your fakes ? Surely he deferves both your loves and afTedions: 
Go on, go on, my dear fillers, that your affedions may grow 
(Ironger and ftronger. 

Thirdly^ There is not oi.ly mutual choice, and mntual af- 
fection, hwiWV^w'xit mutual Union : And here doth the mar- 
riage lie chiefly, in this union j Christ and fouls are con- 
traded, and the knot is tied fo faft, that neither men on earthy 
how great foever they be, nor devils in hell, though they 
Ihould combine all their wrath and rage together, ftill they 
cannot diffolve, they cannot untie it^ nOj my dear fifters, it 
is indiffolvable, for the union is, by the fpirit, on Christ's 
part, and by faith on your's : By the fpirit, Christ doih lay 
hold on you j and by faith, you do lay hold on him ; and 
thus the match is made j Christ becomes your*s, his perfon^ 
portion, and ail his benehts are your's j and you become 
Christ's, your perfons, your hearts, and all that you hav^ 
is refigned up unto him \ and O that they may be fo more 
and more. 

Fourthly^ There is a mutual OhVigc.tion between Ct^RisT and 
his fpoufe. Chi^ist obliges himfelf to love you herci he will 
nor, indeed he never will leave you, he will protect you frcm 
the malice of the Pharijees of this generation, he will provide 
for you in all difficulties j he will live with you here, and at 
kift he will take you to himfelf, to live with htm for ever. 
And you are engaged to him to be loving, loyal, faithful, 
obedient ; and you are to flick clofe to him as long as ymi 
live j and then you will find yourfelves to be married to the 
beft advantage, both for foul and body, for lime and fgr 

E 7r II. Chri- T 

* f 68 1 

11. Christ doth Invite all of you to be his fpoufe; 

And it is on this account that he fends forth his miniflerS 
to preach. It is this, that makes me thus come among you; 
that you would accept of this invitation, to which, in the 
name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I do call and intreat you 
to take him, on his ov/n terms. He calls all of you, my 
fiijers, whether elder or younger, whether married or unmar- 
ried, of higher degree, or of the mcanell quality, the pooreft 
fervants, yea, the rabble of this world, as the world calls you, 
who are willing to be efpoufed unto the Lord Jesus Chr-Ist. 
I fay, the poor are as welcome to be Christ's fpoufe as thofe 
that are rich. He regardeth not the rich more than the poor: 
he chofe a mean virgin, efpoufed to a carpenter, to be his 
mother} and he chufeth and calleth all fuch to be his fpoufe; 
then be not difcouraged at your being defpifed in the world ; 
for if you are but loved by Christ, and efpoufed to him, it 
will be an over-fuiHciency for all the trouble that you have 
met with here. 

IIL Thofe who would be efpoufed unto Christ, muft 

hearken, confider, and incline to his invitation, and forget 
even their father's houfe. 

Such as .would be efpoufed unto Christ muil hearken. 
" Hearken, O daughter." Many amongft you, my fillers, 
{lop their ears againft the calls of the gofpel ; they {hut their 
cars like the deaf adder, which will not hearken unto the 
voice of the charmer, though he charm never fo wifely. Yoti 
will not hearken unto the invitations of Christ; you can 
hearken unto the vanities of the world, and be delighted with 
the efpoufals of the world, but never think, or are delighted 
with the efpoufals of Christ. 

It was by the ear, that the temptation of fm was received 
by the firft man, when he departed from God ; and by the 
ear, the invitation to be Christ's fpoufe muft be received, 
before the heart will be opened to receive Jesus Christ in 
this conjugal relation. 

If you would, my dear fifcers, be efpoufed to Christ, you 
muft confider Christ's invitation. It is not a ilight or bartf 
hearing of Christ's invitation, which will be of any fervicc 


[ % ] 

to you, or make up the match between Christ and your 
fouls; no, you muft receive Christ in the heart; you muft 
confider the thing itfelf, the advantages Of it, the difference 
between Christ's invitations and the deviPs temptations, or 
any of the world's proflers. 

Thofe who would be efpoufcd to Christ, mud be inclined 
to accept of Christ's invitation. *' Hearken, O daughter, 
cOnfider and incline thine ear." This is to incline vour 
hearts: You mud: con fen t with you v/ills ; there muft be a 
compliance to the motion of Christ, and you muft: have de- 
fires after Christ, and then your hearts v/ill fay, ' Lord, let 
us be thy fpoufe, and be thou our beloved.' 

You muft likewife forget your father's houfe. *< Hearken, 
O daughter, and confider, and forget thy father's houfe." 
You are not here to caft off all affections unto natural rela- 
tions ; but you muft forget all relations, fo as to be ready to 
forego all their favour, when it ftandeth in competition with 
that of the Lord Jesus Christ ; and do not let your carnal 
friends and relations hinder you from clofing with, and efpouf- 
ing the Lord Jesus. I earneftly befeech you to fufFer the lofs 
of any thing, rather than to lofe his favours ; you muft indeed 
forget your ov/n people, that is, you muft forget all your evil 
cuftoms which you have learned in your father's houfe, and 
forfake all your vain converfation, your reading of plays, 
novels, or romances; and you muft keep from learning to fmg 
the fongs of the drunkard; for Christ, if you are his fpoufe, 
hath redeemed you. 

Such of you, my dear iifters, as are efpoufed to the Lord 
Jesus Christ are very beautiful. I do not mean in refpect 
of your bodies ; you may have lefs of external comelinefs than 
others, in refpe6l of your bodies, but as to your fouls you will 
exceed in beauty, not fo much in the eyes of man, as in the 
eyes of God 5 fuch have the moft beautiful image of God 
ftamped upon them ; none in the vi^orld, befide them, have 
the Icaft fpark of fpiritual beauty. Such as are not married 
to Christ, are unregcnerated, they are not born again, nor 
brought from fin unto God, which muft be done before you 
be efpoufed to Christ. 

And the Lord Jesus Christ defu*eth to fee this beauty 
in his fpoufe, for he cries out, " O my dove, thou art in the 

E 3 clefts 

[ 70 ] 

clefts of the rock, In the fecret places of the flairs, let me fee 
thy countenance, let me hear thy voice, for fvvcct is thy voice, 
and thy countenance is comely.'* Fie calleth his fpoufe his 
love, being the dear obje6c of his love ; and he admircth her 
lovelinefs; he repeats it twice in one verfe, " Behold thou art 
fair, my love, behold thou art fair." Thus you fee he dc- 
fcribcs their beauty. And then, my fifters, v/e have a v;on- 
derful exprelTion of Christ to his fpoufe, '' Thou haft ra- 
vifhed my heart, my fifler, my fpoufe, thou haft ravifhed my 
heart w^ith one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck.'* 
Thus you fee how pleafed the Lord Jesus Christ is with 
his fpoufe; and will not you, therefore, be efpoufed unto the 
Lord Jesus ? I offer Jesus Christ to all of you ; if yoa 
have been never fo notorious for fin, if you have bfeen as great 
a harlot as ]\dary Magdalen was, when once you arc efpoufed 
to Christ, you (hall be forgiven. Therefore be notdifcou- 
raged, at whatever fxights and contempts the world may pafs 
upon you, but come and join youifelves to the Lord Jesus 
Christ, and all your fins ihall be wafned away in his 
blood; and when once you are efpoufed to JesuS, you are 
disjoined from fin, you are born again. You ate now, as it 
were, efpoufed unto fin ; fiiv is your hufband, amJ you are too 
fond of it, but when once you are married fo Christ, when 
you are born again, then you may be faid to die unto fin ; 
but till then, fin liveih in your afft<Stion3 ; therefore, my fif- 
ters, give fin its death-w^ound in your hearts j you have been 
called by the word time after time, and it has had no effect 
iipon you J but when you are efpoufed unto the Lord Jesus 
Christ, then you will be brought to him by his Spirit : You 
will then lay hold on him by faith, his Spirit will draw you 
unto himfelfj he will make you to be willing in the day of his 
power J he will give you fi-.ith in him. Faith is the hand of 
the foul which layeth hold on Christ ; therefore, do not reft 
contented till you have this grace of faith wrought in you with 
power; do not be contented till you have received the Lord 
Jesus Christ. 

Embrace Christ in the arms of your deareft love; then 
you love the Lord Jesus Christ with fmcerity, when you 
love and eftcem him before fai her, mother, or all the delights 
and pleafures of thb lifci ^^"^ ^^ you do delight in aiiv thing 


[ 71 ] 

that this world can produce, more than in the Lord Jfses 
Christ, you have no true love to him. 

If you are efpoufed to Christ, you have acquaintance and 
converfe with him ; you will endeavour to promote his in- 
tercft, and advance his name in the world ; when others are 
going to the polite and fafliionablc diverfions of lire, you will 
be labouring to bring honour to the Lord Jesus Christ; 
you will commend your beloved above all other beloveds, and 
endeavour to bring others into love to him. Can you, my 
dear fitters, who are now aflembled to worfliip God, (hew 
fuch evidence of your efpoufals unto the Lord Jesus Christ? 
O ! how joyful, how comfortable an eftate is this ! Surely 
this is a marriage worth fceking after; this is the only defirable 
marriage, and the Lord Jesus Christ is the only lover that 
is worth feeking after. 

Now, my dear fiU.TS, I (hall fpeak a few words to thofe of 
yon who have not yet efpoufed yourfelves to the Lord Je^us, 
It is a great fin, and furely you highly affront the Lord that 
bought you. It is likewife your folly to refufe and negledl the 
gracious proffers of being the fpoufe of Christ; hereby you 
forfeit all that love which he would beftow upon you ; hereby 
you chufe rags before robes, drols before gold, pebbles before 
jewels, guilt before a pardon, wounds before healing, defile- 
ment before cleanfing, deformity before comelinefs, trouble 
before peace, flavery before liberty, the fervice of the devil 
before the fervice of Christ. Hereby you chufe diflionour 
before a crown, death before life, hell before heaven, eternal 
milery and torment before everlafting joy and glory. And 
need there a farther evidence of your folly and madncfs, in 
rcfufing and ncgleding Cpirist to be your fpoufe. 

My dear fifters, I (hould exceed the limits of your time, 
fliould I particularize all the advantages which you would ob- 
tain by being efpoufed to the Lord Jesus. This is your 
wifdom ; they are foolifli virgins Vv'ho refufe ; but you are the 
wife virgins who have accepted of the Lord Jesus- Christ, 
and have difpofcd of yourfelves to him ; you have made the 
wifeft choice; and however the blind world may deem yoa 
fools, and defpife you as being methodically mad, yet you are 
wife in the efleem of God, and will, one day, appear (o in 
the efteem of them that now defpife you. It is your glory 

E 4 that 

C 72 1 

that you are efpoufed unto the Lord Jesus ; and therefore 
glory in your erpoufal ; glory not in yourfelves, but in the 
Lord who hath thus freely and gracioufly bellowed thefe 
favours upon vou. It is your fafcty to be efpoufed unto the 
Lord Jesus Christ, he will protect and defend you even 
from fin and fat:in, and eternal ruin ; and therefore thus far 
y6u are fafc; he hath a regard for you in times of danger from 
men, and thefe times of darg!=r fccni to be hafiening ; it is 
now arifmg as a black cloud no bigger than a man's hand, 
and by and by it will overfpread the heavens, and when it is 
full it will buril i but if you are efpoufed to Christ, you 
are fafc. 

New, my dear fifters, I fliall conclude \ylth an earnefl ex- 
hortation to high and low, rich and poor, one with another, 
to be efpoufed unto Christ. 

Let me fpeak unto you, young women, who are not yet 
efpoufed unto Christ, in an efpecial manner. It may be to 
fatisfy your curiofity, has brought many of you here; though, 
perhaps, this may be the time when you fhall be brought home 
to embrace the Lord Jesus, and be efpoufed to him. And 
P, that I may perfuade you, by his Spirit, to efpoufe your- 
fylves unto the Lord of life. 

And if you are but brought to clofe with the Lord Jjesus 
C'HtiisT, I fhall attain my end, and then both you and I 
Ihall rejoice that I preached this fermon to you. 

Come virgins, will you give me leave to be a fuitor unto 
you, not in my own name, but in the name of the Lord ? 
O i that I may prevail with you for your afFedlions, and per- 
fuade you tagive them unto Christ ! May I be inftrumental 
of bringing your fouls to Christ ! May I be inflrumental to 
join you and Christ together this day ! 

Be not coy, as fome of you poinbiy are in other loves : 
modefty and the virgin blufii may very well become you, when 
propofals of another kind are made unto you; but here coynefs 
is foliy, and backwardnefs to accept of this motion, is (hame: 
you have ten thoufand times more reafon to biudi at the refufal 
pf Christ for your beloved, than at the acceptance ; when 
pthcrwife the devil and fin would ravijh your virgin affections. 
Never had you a better motion made to you ; never was fuch 
a match proitercd to you as this, of being matched and efpouf*- 
p] unto the Lord Jesus Chjust. 


r 73 ] 

Confider who the Lord Jesus is, wIioitj you sre invited 
to efpoufe yourfelvcs unto ; he is the beft hufuand ; there is 
none comparable to Jesus Christ. 

Do you dcfirc one that is great ? He is of the highcfl djo-- 
nity, he is the glory of heaven, the darling of eternity, ad- 
mired by angelii, dreaded by devils, and adored by faints. For 
you to be efpoufcd to fo great a king, what honour will you 
have by this efpoufal ? 

Do you defire one that is rich ? None is comparable to 
Christ, the fulnefs of the earth belongs to him. If you be 
eipoufcd to Christ, you fliall fiiare in his unfearchable riches; 
you (hdll receive of his fulncfs, even grace for grace here, and 
you fliall hereafter be admitted to glory, and fiiall live with 
this Jesus to all eternity. 

Do you dtfire one that is wife ? There is none comparable 
to Christ for wifdom. His knowledge is infinite, and his 
wifdom is correfpondejit thereto. And if you are efpoufed to 
Christ, he will guide and counfel you, and make you wife 
unto falvaiion. 

Do you defire one that is potent, who may defend you 
againlt your enemies, and all the infults and reproaches of 
the Pharifees of this generation ? There is none that can 
equal Christ in power; for the Lord Jesus Christ hath 
all power. 

Do you defire one that is good ? There is none like unto 
Christ in this regard ; others may have fome goodnefs, but 
it is imperfeci:-, Christ's goodnefs is compleat and perfect, 
he is full of goodnefs, and in him dwelleth no evil. 

Do you defire one that is beautiful ? His eyes are mod 
fpaikling, his looks and glances of love are ravidiing, his 
(miles are moft delightful and refredilng unto the foul : 
Christ is the moft lovely perfon of all others in the world. 

Do you defire one that can love you ? None can love you 
like Christ: His love, my dear fifters, is incomprehcnfible; 
his love paiTeth all other loves : The love of the Lord Jesus 
is firft, without beginning; his love is free without any mo- 
tive ; his love is great without any meafure ; his love is con- 
Jlant without any change, and his Jove is evcrlafting. 

It was the love of the Lord Jesus Christ, my dear 
fiftcr?, which brought him dou'p Irorn heaven > and which 


[ 74 ] 

veiled his divinity in a human foul and body ; for he is God 
over .1! bleflcd for ever : It wzs love that made him fubjecl 
to hunger, thirft and forrow ; he was humbled, even unto 
death for you ; for you who are efpoufed to him, he under- 
went the painful, (hameful and ignominious death of the 
crofs : and can you, my fifters, hear this, and not be con- 
cerned to think that the bleffed Jesus underwent all this for 
fuch fmful creatures as you and I arc ? And when out of 
love he hr.d finifhed the redemption on earth, as to what was 
needful for fatisfadion ; it was his love that carried him back 
to heaven, where he was before, that he might make appli- 
cation of what he had purchafed, that there he might make in- 
terccflion for thofe whom he had redeemed, and prepare a place 
for them, even glorious manfions with himfelf, in the houfe 
not made with hands, which is eternal in the heavens. It is 
out of love that he fendeth fuch tokens to his people from 
heaven to earth, which he conveyeth through his ordinances, 
by his Spirit unto them.. Surely then none is fo deferving 
as the Lord Jesus Christ for you to efpoufe yourfelves 
unto : if you be efpoufed unto Ci-iRiST he is your's, all that 
he is, all that he hath ; you iliall have his heart, and Ihare 
in the choicefl expreffions of his dearcft love. 

The Lord Jesus Christ, my dear fifters, doth befeech 
you to be his fpoufe. We minifters have a commiffion from 
the Lord Jesus Christ to invite you, in his name, unto 
this very thing ; and Christ's invitations are real ; general ; 
frequent ; earneft ; free. 

Christ's invitations of you, to be his fpoufe, are real; 
and as the thing is real, fo you, my dear fifters, are really 
invited unto it. The Lord doth not mock and diflemble with 
you, as fome pretending lov«rs, who diflemble love unto 
virgins, until they have gained their afte(Slions, and then falfely 
and bafely relinquifli them, never /eally intending either to 
efpoufe, or marry them : but the Lord doth really intend 
the thing, in his invitations of you ; he never caft ofF any 
whofe confent and afFe<Slions he had gained. Again, 

Christ's invitations of you, my dear fifters, are general. 
All of ycu are invited, none of you are excluded ; all forts 
of Tinners are invited ; the moft vile and abominable finners, 
the moft notorious tranfgrellors are invited to be Christ's 


[ 75 3 

fpoufe, and fliall be as welcome as any unto the embraces of 
his love. 

Christ's invitations of you t^xz frequent : Jesus Christ 
calls on you frequently ; he hath vi^aited on you time after 
time, one year after another ; and he doth now invite you, 
by me this day, to come unto Him. Do not flight this in- 
vitation, but receive it with joy and thankfulnefs. Come, I 
befeech you, to this Jesus, who thus invites you to be his 
fpoufe. Again, 

Christ's invitations to be his fpoufe are earnefi\ he doili 
call upon you, and not only call, but call carneflly too ; 
yea, he ufeth many arguments with you : he will prefs you 
to come unto him ; he is loth to take any denial from you : 
he knocks, and knocks hard at the door of your hearts for 
entertainment ; and furely you will not deny the Lord of 
life and glory who died for you, and gave himfelf for you : 
O my dear fifters, let this be the evening of your efpoufals 
to the Lord Jesus Christ. 

He invites you freely to be his fpoufe, for all his invitations 
are free j he doth not expert a portion with you, as worldly 
lovers do ; He wants nothing of you : nay, you muft have 
nothing, if you be efpoufed unto the Lord Jesus Christ. 
If you be poor, miferable, blind, naked, Jesus ChrisT 
will fupply all thefe dcfe61;s of his own free mercy ; he will 
fill and fupply you with all things out of his treafury ; he will 
make you meet for himfelf 3 he will prepare you to live with 
him for ever. 

Confider, if you be once efpoufed unto Christ, if once 
joined in this relation, you fliall never be feparated from him ; 
neither men nor devils fliall be able to feparate you : none, 
none, fliall disjoin you ; and when death doth break all other 
bonds, it fliall not break the conjugal bond between you and 
Christ, but bring you unto the moft full and everlafting 
poflefTion of your beloved. 

And what do you now fay, young women ? fliall I have 
a grant for my mailer, or be fent away with a repulfe and rc- 
fufal \ no, I cannot carry fiich a mcilage to my mafler \ I 
hope better thin^^s of you, my fifters, and things which ac- 
company falvation : mcthinks by this time ye fhould begin 
to have a mind unto Jesus Chrkt 3 you look as if you did 

defire 5 

f 75 3^ 

4c{ire ; you hearken as if you would confent. What do you 
fay ? Shall the match be made up this e\'enin2 between 
Christ and your fouls ? O that 1 may be inftrumcntal in 
joining your hands, or rather your hearts together: O that 
I may be inftrumental to tie that^ knot, which never can be 

Some marry in hafle, and repent at leifure ; but if you 
were once efpoufed unto Jesus Christ, you would never re- 
pent ; nothing would grieve you, but that you were not joined 
to him foonerj and you would not be disjoined again for all 
the world. 

Shall this be the day of your efpoufals ? Some of you have 
i!ay d a long time; and will you defer any longer? If you 
will not now, perhaps ycu may never have another oppor- 
tunity ; this may be the laft time of afking ; and therefore it 
is dangerous to refufe: fome of you are very young, too young 
for other efpoufals ; but none of you, my dear fiders, are 
too young to be efpoufed unto the Lord Jesus Christ : 
in other efpoufals, you muft have the confent of your parents ; 
but in this you are at your own difpofal ; you may give, and 
ought to match yourfelves to Christ, whether parents do 
confent or not. 

But if any of you {hould afk, what ycu mufl do that 
you may be efpoufed unto Christ ? You muft be fenfible 
of your need of being efpoufed to him ; and untill you are 
fenfible of your need of the Lord Jesus Christ, you can- 
not be efpoufed to him : You muft have defires after this 
Jesus, and (cck unto him for an intercft in him ; you muft 
cry nightly unto him to ef^Doufe you to himfelf : put oft' 
the fikhinefs of ftn and all its defilements ; and then, my 
fifters, put on the white raiment, and clean garments, which 
Christ hath provided for you, the robes of his righteoufncfs ; 
in thefe garments you ftiali be beautiful ; and in thefe gar- 
ments you fhall be accepted : y«u muft have the wedding 
garment on ; you muft put oft" all your own good work?, 
for thev will be but a means to keep you from Christ ; no, 
you muft come as not having your own rlghteoufnefs, which 
>s of the law, but you muft have the rightcoufnefs of Christ. 
Therefore, come unto the Lord Jesus Christ, and he 
will give it to ycu ; he will not fend you away without it. 
J Receive 

[ 77 ] 

Receive him upon his own terms, and he is yours for 
ever : O devote yourfelves to him, foul and body, and all, 
to be his for ever ; and Christ will be your*s, and^ then hap- 
py, happy you, that ever you were born ! But if any of you 
die before this cfpoufal unto the Lord Jesus Christ, then 
woe, woe, unto you, that ever you had a being in life ; but: 
if you go to Christ you (hall be efpoufcd unto the Lord 
Jesus : though your fins have been never fo great, yea, the 
blood of Christ will cleanfe you from them ; the marriage 
covenant between Christ and your fouls will diflblve all 
your fins ; you will then be weary of your old ways, for all 
things will become nev/ in your fouls. 

Now, my dear Sifters, 1 fliall conclude by juft fpeaking a 
word or two to thofe of you, who are already efpoufed unto 
the Lord Jesus Christ. 

admire, admire the rich and free grace, which hath 
brought you to this relation : Is not this an inftance of the 
greateft of love, that you fhould be the fpoufe of the Lord 
Jesus Christ ? You that had no beauty, you that had no 
comelinefs, that was full of fin, that' He fliould embrace fuch 
as you and I are ; that we fhould be taken into the embrace 
of this Lord Jesus. O infinite condefcending kindnefs ! O 
amazing love ! Reverence, reverence, I befcech you, this 
Lord Jesus Christ. 

He is your Lord, and you muft reverence him, love and 
be faithful unto him, be fubje(Sl: to him, and careful to pleafe 
him in every thing ; endeavour to keep up a daily commu- 
nion with him ; look, long and prepare for Christ's fecond 
appearance, when the nuptials between you ihall be folem- 
nized, and you live with him in manfions of everlafting joys, 
where you (hall love and live with this king of glory for ever 
and ever. 

1 know not how to conclude; methinks I could fpeak to 
you till midnight, if it would brin'g you unto the Lord 
Jesus Christ, and make you be efpoufed to him, for in- 
deed, that will be the cfpoufal which v/ill turn to the greateft 
advantage, as you will find by experience, if you will but 
make the trial ; and chat you may do fo, my prayers and my 
conftant endeavours fliall be ufed» 

I will, 

[ 78 ] 

I will, my dear fifters, fpencl and be fpcnt for you, and 
by the affiftance of God, will perfevere in this that I have 
begun 5 and as many of you may have opportunity fome 
evening in the week, without breaking in on the bufmefs of 
life ; I (hall therefore, my fifters, either be here, or where 
you fhall be publicly acquainted with : 1 will not mind being 
reproached or defpircd : the men of this world may ufc what 
language they pleafe ; they may fay I am a Methodift. In- 
deed, my fifters, I am refolved, by the grace of God, to 
ufe all methods I can, to pluck you from Satan, that you 
may be as brands plucked from the burning fire : this fliall 
be my method, which I hope will be the means of efFeclually 
faving your precious and immortal fouls. 

And if I am the inftrument of this, I (hall rejoice, yea, 
and I will rejoice in fpight of what men, or devils, can fay 
or do to the contrary: and may the Lord Jesus Christ 
direct, and affift me at all times, to a6t what will be moft for 
his glory, and the welfare of your fouls : and may you all 
fay a hearty Amen thereto. 

*' Now the Lord Jesus Christ, who is God over all> 
*' bleiTed for ever, affift and watch over you, keep you 
" from all evil and fm here, and prefcnt you before bis 
*' Father faultkfs at the great day of account ! To this 
'* Lord Jesus Christ, the Father, and the bleffed 
'' Spirit, three pcrfons and but one eternal and invifible 
*' God, be afcribed all honour, power, glory, might, 
*' majefty and dominion, now, henceforth, and for ever 
*' more. Amen, Amen.'* 

«' The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of 
" God, and the fellowfhip of the Holy Ghoft be with 
" you all, to comfort under, and deliver you from tri- 
*' bulation ; to preferve you to your refpective places of 
*' abode ; and when there, to keep you in his fear, that 
*' you may live to his glc)ry ; that to live may be 
'* Christ's, and to die be your eternal gain j fo that 
*' you may live with him through eternal ages, and frng 
*' Hallelujahs to hnn for eve-r. Amen." 


t 19 ] 


Britain s Mercies, and Britams Duty. 

Preached at Philadelphia^ on Sunday^ Auguft 24, 174^. 
and occafioned by the Suppreflion of the late un- 
natural Rebellion. 

P s A L M cv. 45. 

'That they might ohferve his Statutes and hsep his Laws, 

MEN, brethren, and fathers, and all ye to whom I am 
about to preach the kingdom of God, I fuppofe you 
need not be informed, that being indirpenii'Dly obliged to be 
ablent on your late thank-Tgiving-day, I could not ftiew my obe- 
dience to the governor's proclamation, as my own inclination 
\&^ me, or as might juftly be expei^ed from, and demanded of 
me. But as theoccafion of that day's thankfgiving is yet, and I 
truft ever will be, freOi in our memory, I cannot think tha: 
a difcourfe on that fubjecl cafi even now be altogether unfea- 
fonable. I take it for granted, farther, that you need nor 
be informed, that among the various motives which are gene- 
rally urged to enforce obedience to the divine commands, 
that of love is the moft powerful and cogent. The terrors at 
the law m.ay affright and awe, but love diiTolves and melts the 
heart. " The love of Christ," fays the great apoftie of 
the G entile] y *' conftraineth us." Nay, love is To abfolute'y 
neceflary for thofe that name the name of Christ, that with* 
out it, their obedience cannot truly be ftiled evangelical, or 
be acceptable in the fjght of God. " Although, (fays the 
apoftie) I beftow all my goods to feed the poor, and though 
I give my body to be burnt, and h^ve not charity," (i. e. 
unlefs unfeigned love to God, and to mankind for his 


[ So ] 

great name's lake, be the principle of fuch acflions, howfo- 
ever it may benelit others) it prolitcth fne nothing." This is 
the Gondant language of the lively oracles of God. Andy 
from them it is equally plain, that nothing has a greater ten- 
dency to beget ana excite fuch an obediential love in usj 
than a ferious and frequent confideration of the manifold mer- 
cies we receive time after 'time from the hands of our heavenly 
Father. The royal pfalmift, who had the honour of being 
lliled, " the man after God's own heart," had an abundant 
experience of ibis. Hence it is, that whilft he is mufing on 
the divine goodncfs, the fire of divine love kindles in his 
foul ; and, out of the abundance of his heart, his mouth 
fpeakcth fuch grateful and cxtatic language as this. *' What 
fhall I render unto the Lord for all his mercies ? Blefs the 
Lord, O my foul, and all that is within me, blefs his holy 
name." And why ? " who forgiveth all thine iniquities, 
who healeth all thy difeafes, who redeemeth thy life from 
deftrudlion, who crowneth thee v/ith loving kindn(?fs and ten- 
der mercies." And when the fame holy man of God had 
a mind to ftir up the people of the ^exvs to fet about a na- 
tional reformation, as the moft weighty and prevailiiig argu- 
ment he could make ufe of for that purpofe, he lays beforfc 
them, as it were, in a draught, many national mercies, and 
diftinguifhing deliverances, which have been conferred upon 
and wrought out for them, by the moft high God. The 
pfalm to which the v^ords of our text belong, is a pregnant 
proof of this ; it being a kind of epitome or compendium ef 
the whole 'Jewifo hiftory : at lead it contains an enumeration 
of many fignal and extraordinary blefHngs the Ifraelites had 
received from God, and alfo the improvement they were in 
duty bound to make of them, " Obferve his flatutes and keep 
his laws." 

To run through all the particulars of the pfalm, or- draw 
a parallel (which might with great eafc and juftice be done) 
between God's dealings with us and the Ifraelites of old : 
To enumerate all the national mercies beftowed upon, and 
remarkable deliverances wrought out for the kingdoms of 
Great- Br Itahi and Ireland^ from the infant fiate of jyHliam 
the Norman to their prefent manhood, and more than Augujlon 
maiuiity, under the aufpicious reign of our rightful Sovereign 


[ Si ] 

King George the fecond ; hov.'foever pleafing and proiirabla 
it might be at any other time, would, at thisjunilure, prove, 
if not an irkToiiie, yet an unreafonable undertaking. 

Theoccafion of the late folemnity, I mean the fuppreflion 
of a moft horrid and unnatural rebellion, will afford more 
than fufficient matter for a difcourle of this nature, and fur- 
riifh us with abundant motives to love and obey that glorious 
'Jehovah^ who giveth falvation unto kings, and delivers his 
people from the hurtful fword. 

Need I make an apology, before this auditory, if, in order 
to fee the greatnefs of our late deliverance, I fhoulu remind 
you of the many unfpeakable bleffings which we have for a 
courfc of years enjoyed, during the reign of his prefent Ma- 
jcfty, and the gentle, mild adminiflration under which we 
iive? Without juftly incurring the cenfure of giving flatter- 
ing titles, I believe all who have eyes to fee, and ears to hear, 
and are but a little acquainted with our public affairs, mud 
acknowledge, that we have one of the beft of Kings. It is 
now above nineteen years fmce he began to reign over us. 
And yet, was he feated on a royal throne, and were all his 
fubjecSls placed before him, was he to addrefs them as Sa?nucl 
once addrefled the IfraeliteSy '• Behold here I am, old and 
grey-headed, witneCs againfl me before the Lord, whofe cjc 
have I taken ? Or whofe afs have I taken ? Or whom have 
I defrauded ? Whom have I oppreffed ?" They muft, if they 
would do him juftice, make the fame anfwer as was given to 
Samuel, " Thou haft not defrauded us, nor opprefled us." 
What Teriullus, by way of flattery, faid to Felix, may with 
the ftrideft juftice be applied to our fovereign, " By thee we 
enjoy great quietnefs, and very worthy deeds have been done 
unto our nation by thy providence." He has been indeed 
Pater Patrla, a father to our country, and though old and 
grey-headed, has jeoparded his precious life for us in the 
high places of the field. Nor has he lefs deferved the great 
and glorious title, which the Lord promifes, that kings 
ihould fuftain in the latter days, I mean, " a nurflng father 
of the church." For not only the Church of England, as by 
law eftablifhed, but all denominations of chriftians wliatfo- 
ever, have enjoyed their religious as well as civil liberties. As 
there has been no authorized oppreflion in the ftate, fo there 

Vol. V. F ii^s 


[ 82 ] 

has been no publicly allovveci periccution in the church. We 
breathe indeed in free air ? as free (if not freer) both as to tem- 
porals and fpirituals, as any nation under heaven. Nor is the 
profpccl likely to terminate in his majefty's death, which 1 
pray God to defer. Our princelles are difpofed of to pro- 
teftant powers. And we have great reafon to be afTured, that 
the prefent heir apparent, and his confort, are like minded 
with their royal father. And I cannot help thinking, that it 
is a peculiar blelTing vouchfafed us by the King of kings, that 
his prefent Majefty has been continued fo long among us. 
For now, his immediate fucccllbr (though his prefent fitua- 
tion obli^^es him. as it were, to lie dormant) has great and glo- 
rious opportunities, which we have reafon to think he daily 
improves, of obfcrving and weighing the national affairs, con- 
fiderino- the various fteps and turns of government, and con- 
fequently of laying in a large fund of experience, to make 
him a wife and great prince, if ever God fliould call him to 
fway the Britijh fceptre. Happy art thou, O England! 
Happy art thou, O America^ who on every fide art thus 
highly favoured ! 

But, alas ! how foon would this happy fcene have fhlfted, 
2nd a melancholy gloomy profpedl have fucceeded in its room, 
had the rebels gained their point, and a poplfh abjured pre- 
tender been forced upon the Britijlo throne ! For, fuppofmg 
his birth not to be fpurious, (as we have great reafon to think 

' it really was) what could we expe£l from one, defcended from 
a father, who, when Duke of Tork^ put all Scotland into 
confufion ; and afterwards, when crowned King o( E?2gla^dj 
for his arbritrary and tyrannical government, both in church 
and flate, was judly obliged to abdicate the throne, by the 
afTertors of Britij?) liberty ? Or, fuppofmg the horrid plot, 
firft hatched in hell, and afterwards nurfed at Ro7?iey had taken 
place ; fuppofmg, i fay, the old Pretender fhould have ob- 
tained the triple crown, and have transferred his pretended 
title (a- it is reported he has done) to his eldeft fon, what was 
all this for, but that, by being advanced to the popedom, he 
might rule both fon and fubje(Sls with lefs eontpoul, and by 
their united intereft, keep rhe three kingdoms oUEn^land^ Scot"- 

' Idfid, m-)6 Ireland^ in greater vaflall age to the M otRoprjc P^ 
Ever fince this uhfiatural rebellion broke(>ttt^" I have looked- 
" • ' wpon 

C 83 ] 

lipon the young f retcnJer as the phaeton of the prefent a^e. 
He is ambitioufly and prefumptuoufly aiming to (eat himfelf 
in the throne of our rightful fovereign King George^ which 
he is no more capable of keeping, than Phaeton was to guide 
the chariot of the fun -, and had he fucceeded in his attempt, 
like him, would only have fet the world on fire. It is true, 
to do himjufticej he has deferved well of the Church o^ Rofne^ 
and, in all probability, will hereafter be canonized amongft 
the noble order of their fidlitious faints. But, with what 
an iron rod we might expert to have been bruifed, had his 
troops been vitflorious, may eafily be gathered from thofe 
cruel orders faid to be found in the pockets of fome of his 
ofEcers, " Give no quarters to the Elector's troops.*' Add to 
this, that there was great reafon to fufpect, that, upon th^ 
firft nev;s of the fuccefs of the rebels, a general maffacre was 
intended. So that if the Lord had not been on our fide. 
Great Britain^ not to fay America^ would, in a few weeks or 
months, have been an Aceldama^ a field of blood. 

Befides, was a Pop'ijh Pretender to rule over us, inftead 
df being reprefented by a free parliament, and governed by 
laws made by their confcnt, as we now are ; v/e (hould 
fhortly have had only the ihadow of one, and it may be, no 
parliament at all. This is the native produ£i of a Popijh 
government, and what the unhappy family, from which this 
young adventurer pretejids he defcended, has always aimed at. 
Arbitrary principles he has fucked in with his mother's milk, 
and if he had been fo honed, inftead of that immature motto 
upon his ftandard. Tandem triumpham^ only to have put, ^tet 
pro ratione Voluntcs^ he had given us a (hort, but true por- 
trait of the nature of his intended, but bleiTcd be God, now 
defeated reign. And why fhould I mention, that the fink- 
ing of the national debt, or rending away the funded property 
of the people, and the difTolution of the prefent happy union 
between the two kingdoms, would have been the immediate 
confequences of his fuccefs, as he himfelf declares in his fecond 
manifefto, dated from Holy-rood Houfe ? Thefe are evils, and 
great ones too ; but then rhey are only evils of a temporary 
nature. They chiefly concern the body, and mult necefiarily 
terminate in the grave. 

F 2 Butj 

[ 84 ] 

But, alas ! what an inundation of fpiritual mifchief?, would 
foon have overflowed the Church, and what unfpeakable 
danger (hould we and our pofterity have been reduced to 
in rerpe<5t to our better parts, our precious and immortal fouls ? 
How foon would whole fwarms of monks, dominicans and 
friars, like fo many locufts, have overfpread and plagued 
the nation ; with what winged fpeed would foreign titular 
bifliops have ported over, in order to take pofl'eiTion of their 
lefpciStive fees ? How quickly would our univerfities have 
been filled with youths who have been fent abroad by their 
Pop}/}) parents, in order to drink in all the fuperftitions of 
the church of Ro?ne ? What a fpeedy period would have 
been put to focieties of all kinds, for promoting chriilian know- 
ledge, and propagating the gofpel in foreign parts ? How foon 
would our pulpits have every where been filled with thefe old 
antichriflian dodlrines, free-will, meriting by works, tran- 
fubftantiation, purgatory, works of fupererogation, paflive- 
obedicnce, non- refinance, and all the other abominations 
of the whore of Babylon ? How foon would our protcftant 
charity fchools In England^ Scotland and Ireland^ have been 
pulled down, our Bibles forcibly taken from us, and igno- 
rance every where fet up as the mother of devotion ? How 
foon (hould we have been deprived of that invaluable bleiling, 
liberty of confcience, and been obliged to commence (what 
they falfely call) catholicks, or fubnilt to all the tortures 
which a bigoted zea), guided by the mofl: cruel principles, 
could pofiibly invent ? How foon would that mother of har- 
lots have made herfelf once more drunk with the blood of 
the faints ? And the whole tribe even of free-thinkers them- 
felves, been brought to this dilemma, either to die martyrs 
for, (although I never yet heard of one that did fo) or, con- 
trary to all their moit avowed principles, renounce their great 
Diana^ unalTifled, unenbghtened reafon ? But I mufl have 
done, left while I am fpeaking againft antichrifl, I fhould 
unawares fall myfelf, and lead my hearers into an antichriflian 
fpiiit. True and undefiled religion will regulate our zeal, 
and teach us to treat even the man of fin with no harfher lan- 
guage than that which the angel gave to his grand employer 
Satan, " The Lord rebuke thee." 


[ 85 1 

Glory be to God*s great name ! the Lord has rebuked 
liim ; and that too at a time when we had little reafon to 
expe<5l fuch a blcffing at God's hands. My dear hearers, 
neither ihe prefent frame ot my heart, nor the occafion of 
your late folcmn meeting, lead me to Live you a detail of our 
public vices. Though, alas ! they are fo many, fo notorious, 
and withal of fuch a crimfon-dye, that a gofpel minifter would 
not be altogether inexcufable, was he, even on fuch a joyful 
occafion, to lift up his voice like a trumpet, to (hew the 
Britifti nation their tranfgreffion, and the people o^ Jrner'ua 
their fin. However, though I would not caft a difmal fliadc 
upon the pleafmg picture the caufc of our late rejoicings fet 
before us ; yet thus much may, and ought to be faid, that 
as God has not dealt fo bountifully with any people as with 
us, fo no nation under heaven has dealt more ungratefully 
with Him. We have been like Capernaum^ lifted up to 
heaven in privileges, and for the abufe of them, like her, 
have defcrved to be thruft down into hell. How well foever 
it may be with us, in refpe6t to our civil and ecclefiaftical 
conftitution, yet in regard to our morals, Ifaiah's defcription 
of the y^^t;//?? polity is too applicable, "The whole head is 
fick, the whole heart is faint ; from the crown of the head to 
the fole of our feet, we are full of v/ounds and bruifes, and 
putrifying fores." We have, Jtjhurun-Wke^ waxed fat and 
kicked. We have played the harlot againft God, both in 
regard to principles and pra6i:ices. " Our gold is become 
dim, and our fine gold changed." We have crucified the 
Son of God afrefli, and put him to an open fhame. Nay, 
Christ has been wounded in the houfe of his friends. And 
every thing long ago feemed to threaten an immediate ftorm. 
But, O the long-fufFering and goodnefs of God to us-ward ! 
When all things feemed ripe for deftru6lion, and matters 
were come to fuch a crifis, that God's praying people 
began to think, that though Noah^ Daniel and Jab, were 
living, they would only deliver their own fouls ; yet then 
in the midft of judgment the Mofl High remembered mercy, 
and when a popifh enemy was breaking in upon us like a 
flood, the Lord himfelf gracioufly lifted up a flandard. 

This to me does not feem to be one of the mofl unfavoura- 
ble circumftances which have attended this mighty deliver- 

F 3 ancc 

[ 86 ] 

ance ; nor do I think you will look upon if as a circumftance 
altogether unworthy your obfervation. Had this cockatrice 
indeed been cruflied in the egg, and the young Pretender 
driven back upon his firft arrival, it would undoubtedly have 
been a great blcfling. But not (o great as that for which you 
lately afiembled to give God thanks : for then his Majefty 
would not have had fo good an opportunity of knowing his 
enemies, or trying his friends. The Briiijh fubjecSts would 
in a manner have lofl the faireft occafion that ever offered to 
cxprefs their loyalty and gratitude to the rightful fovereign. 
Frcme would not have been fo greatly humbled ; nor fuch 
an efFe6lual ftop have been put, as we trufl there now is, to 
any fuch further Popifi plot, to rob us of all that is near and 
dear to us. " Out of the eater therefore hath con;c forth 
meat, and out of the flrong hath come forth fweetnefs." 
The Pretender's eldeft fon is fufFered not only to land in the 
North-lVeft Highlands in Scotland^ but in a little while he be- 
comes a great band. This for a time is not believed, but 
treated as a thing altogether incredible. The friends of the 
governrpent in thofe parts, not for want of Joy^ilty, but of 
fufficient authority to take up arms, could not refifl him. He 
is permitted to pafs on with his terrible banditti, and, like the 
comet that was lately feen, fpreads his baleful influences all 
around him. He is likewife permitted to gain a fhort-liv'd tri- 
umph by a vidtory over a body of our troops at Prejlon-Pans^ 
and to take a, temporary pofi'cffion of the metropolis oi Scotland, 
Of this he makes his boaft, and informs the public, that 
" Providence had hitherto favoured him with wonderful fuc- 
" cefs, led him in the way to vidtory, and to the capital of the 
*' antient kingdom, though he came without foreign aid.'* 
Nay, he is further permitted to prefs into the very heart of 
England, But now the Almighty interpofes. Hitherto he 
was to go, and no further. Here were his malicious defigns 
to be ftaid. His troops of a fudden are driven back. Away 
t,hey pOiT: to the Highlands, and there they are fufFered not 
only to incrcafe, but alfo to collcvSt themfelves into a large 
tody, that having, as it were, what Caligula once wifhed 
Rome had, but one neck, they might be cut off with one 


( 8; ] 

The time, manner, and inftrument of this vI£lory, deferves 
our notice. It was on a general faft-day, when the clergy 
and good people of Scotland were lamenting the difloyalty of 
their perfidious countrymen, and, like Alofes^ lifting up their 
hands, that Amalck might not prevail. The vi£lory was to- 
tal and decifive. Little blood was fpilt on the fide of the 
Royalifts. And, to crown all, Duke William^ his Majefty's 
youngefl fon, has the honour of firfl driving back, and then 
defeating the rebel-army. A prince, who in his infancy and 
youth, gave early proofs of an uncommon bravery and no- 
blenefs of mind ; a prince, whofe courage has increafed with 
his years. Who returned wounded from the battle of Det-^ 
ihigen^ behaved with furprizing bravery at Fontenoy^ and now, 
by a conduct and magnanimity becoming the high office he 
fuftains, like his glorious predecefibr the Prince of Ormige^ has 
delivered three kingdoms from the dread of popifti cruelty, and 
arbitrary power. What renders it ftill more remarkable is. 
The day on which his Highnefs gained this vidory, was the 
day after his birth-day, when he was entering on the 26th 
year of his age ; and when Si^IIhan^ one of the Pretender's 
privy-council, like another AhitopheJ^ advifed the rebels to 
give our foldiers battle, prefuming they were futfcited and 
over- charged with their yerterday's rejoicings, and confe- 
quently unfit to make any great ftand againft them. But, 
glory be to God, who catches the wife in their own crafti- 
nefs ! his counfel, like Jhitophel's, proves abortive. Both 
General and foldiers were prepared to meet them. *' God 
taught their hands to war, and their fingers to fight," and 
brought the Duke, after a deferved ilaughter of fome thou- 
fands of the rebels, with moft of his brave foldiers, vidlorious 
from the field. 

If we then take a di{lin6l view of this notable tranfadion, 
and trace it in all the particular circumflances that have at- 
tended it, I believe we muft with one heart and voice confefs, 
that if it be a mercy for a ftate to be delivered from a worfe 
than a Catiline's con fpi racy, or a church to be refcued from a 
hotter than a Dioclejian perfecution ; if it be a mercy to be 
delivered from a religion that turns plough-faares into fwords, 
and pruning-hooks into fpears, and makes it meritorious to 
^ed proteftant blood ; if it be a mercy to have all our pre- 

F 4 A-nt 

[ ss ] 

Cent invaluable piivlir^;cs, botl) in church nnd ftnte, fccurcd 
to us more than c\ cr ; IT it be a mercy to have thcle grt\it 
things done for ns, at a iVafon, when for our cryidg fins, 
both church and ftate juflly dcfervcd to be overturiK'd ; and it' 
it be a mercy to have all this brought about for us, under 
God, by one of the blood-royal, a prince iK^ing with an ex- 
perience (at above his years ; if anv, or J>11 of thefe are mer- 
ciej!, then hnvc vcu lacely commemor.ited one of the grcatcft 
mercies that ever the glorioui> God vouchfafed to the Brltljh 

And Hjall we not rejoice and give thanks ? Should we rc- 
fufe, would not the i^ones cry out againft: us ? Rejoice then 
we may and cxught : but, O let our rejoicing be in the Lord, 
and run in a religious channel. This, we i\ni\^ has been the 
practice of God's people in ail ages. When he was nleafed, 
with a mighty haiid, and cnit-frretched i-rm, to lead the If- 
raelitei through the Red-Sta^ as on dry ground, *' Then fang 
Ahfis and the children of Ifmel ; and Aliriam the prophetefs, 
the filler of Aar:n^ took a timbrel in her hand, and all the 
women went out after her. And J/ir/V?/;; ariGvered them, 
Sing ye to the Lord \ for he hath triumphed glorioufly." 
When God fubdued ^JahiUy the King of Canaan^ before the 
children of Jj'roel^ " then fang Deborah and Barak on that 
day, faying, *"' Praife ve the LoiiD for"the avenging of IfrceL''* 
When the ark was brought back out of the hands of the 
Ph:!i/ilntS^ Davld^ though a king, danced before it. And, 
to mention but one inftance more, which may {ti\Q as a ge- 
neral diredlory to us on this and fLich-iike occafions : when 
the great Head of the church had refcued his people from the 
general maflacre intended to be executed upon them by a 
cruel and ambitious Haman^ ^^ Mordeccd fent letters unto all 
the "Jcivs that were in all the provinces of the King Jhafnerus^ 
both nigh and far, to eftablifn among them, that they fhouM 
"keep the fourteenth day of the month Jdar^ and the fifteenth 
day of the fime yearly, as the days wherein the y£ws refted 
from their enemies, and the month wi^ich was turned unto 
tbem from forrovv unto joy, and from mourning into a goe-d 
day : that they fhould make them days of feafling and joy, 
and of fending portions one to another, and gifts to the 
poor/* And why iliould we not go and do bkewife ? 

5 And 

[ 89 ] 

And fhall we not alfo, on fuch an occafion, cxprefs our 
gratitude to, and make honourable mention of, thole vvr^rrhiei 
who have fi^tiayiz^rd themfelves, and been riaoy lo (acrifice 
both lives and fortunes at this critical juncture ? 

This would be to act the part of thofe ungrateful Ifraelites^ 
who are branded in the book of God, for not fliCAing kind- 
nefs to the houic of " Jerub-Baal-, namely Gideon^ according 
to all the goodncfs which he Ihcv-td unto Ifracl.'' Kven a 
Pharaoh could prefer a deferving ^joftph^ Ahafuerui a Mordccai^ 
and Nebuchadnezzar a Daniel, when made inftruments of hgnal 
fervicc to thcnifelvcs and people. " My heart, hy^ Dehor ah^ 
is towards (;". e. I have a particular veneration and regard for) 
the Governors of Ifrael that offered themfelves willingly. 
And blcfTed above women fhall Joel the wife of Htber the 
Kenite be ; for fhe put her hand to the nail, and her right- 
hand to the v/orkman's hammer, and with the hammer fhe 
fmote Sifera^ fne fmote off his head, v;hen (he had pierced 
and f^rickcn through his temples." And fhall we not fay, 
*' Blefied above men let his Royal Highnefs the Duke of 
Cumberland be ; for through his inftrumentality, the great and 
glorious Jehovah hath brought mighty things to pafs?" 
Should not our hearts be towards the worthy Archbifhop of 
Tork^ the Royal Hunters, and thofe otlier Englijl) heroes who 
offered themfelves io Vy'illingly ? Let the names o^ Blakeney^ 
Blandy and Rea, and all thofe who waxed valiant in fight on 
this important occafion, live for ever in the Briti/h annals. 
And Itt the name vn that great, that incomparable brave I'ol- 
dier of the King, and a good foldiet of Jesus Christ, 
Colonel Gardiner^ (excufe me if I here drop a tear : he was 
my intimate friend) let his name, I fay, be had in everlafling 

But, after all, is there not an infinitely greater debt of gra- 
titude and praife due from us, on this occafion, to Him that 
is higher than the highefl-, even the King of kings and Lord 
of Lords, the blefTcd and only Potentate ? Is it not his arm, 
his ftrong and mighty arm, (what inftruments foever may 
have been made ufe of) that hath brought us this falvation ? 
And m.ay I not therefore addrefs you, in the exulting language 
of the beginning of this pfalm, from which v/e have taken 
our text r '• O give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his 
nam.e, make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto 

him ; 

[ 90 ] 

him ; fing pfalms unto him ; talk ye of all his wondrous 
works J glory ye in his holy name ; remember his marvellous 
work which he hath done." 

But (hall we put off our good and gracious benefa£lor with 
i^ere lip- fer vice ? God forbid. Your worthy Governor has 
honoured God in his late excellent proclamation, and God 
>vill honour him. But fhall our thanks terminate with the 
day ? No, in no wife. Our text reminds us of a more noble 
Sacrifice, and points out to us the great end the Almighty Je- 
hovah propofes, in beftowing fuch fignal favours upon a 
people, '' That they (hould obferve his ftatutes, and keep 
his laws." 

This is the return we are all taught to pray, that we may 
make to the Moft High God, the Father of mercies, in the 
daily ofike of our church, " That our hearts may be un- 
*' feignedly thankful, and that we may (hew forth his praife, 
" not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up our- 
^' felves to his fervice, and by walking before him in holinefs 
*' and righteoufnefs all our days." O that thefe words were 
the real language of all that ufe them ! O that there were in 
us fuch a mind 1 How foon would our enemies then flee be- 
fore us ? And God, even our own God, would yet give us 
more abundant bleilings ! 

And why (hould not we " cbferve God's ftatutes, and keep 
his law? r" Dare we fay, that any of his commands are 
grievous ? Is not Christ's yoke, to a renewed foul, as far 
as renewed, eafy j and his burden comparatively light ? May 
1 not appeal to the moft refined reafoner, whether the religion 
of Jesus Christ be not a focial religion ? Whether the 
Moral Law, as explained by the Lord Jesus in the gofpel, 
has not a natural tendency to promote the prefent good and 
happinefs of a whole commonwealth, fuppofing they were 
obedient to them, as well as the happinefs of every individual? 
From whence come wars and fighting amongft us ? From 
what fountain do all thole evil?, which the prefent and pa(t 
ages have groaned under, flow, but from a negle<Sl of the 
laws and ftatutes of our great and all-wife law-giver Jesus 
oi Nazareth ? Tell me, ye men ofletters, whether Lycurgus 
or Solon^ Pythagoras or Plato^ Arijiotle^ Seneca^ Cicero^ or all 
the antient lawgivers and heathen moralidsj put them all to- 

[ 91 ] 

gether, ever publlflied a fyftem of ethics, any way worthy to 
be compared with the glorious fyftem laid down in that much 
defpifed book, (to ufe Sir Richard Steeds expreflion) empha- 
tically called, the Scriptures ? Is not the divine image and 
fuperfcription written upon every precept of the gofpel ? Do 
they not fhine with a native intrinfic luftre ? And, though 
many things in them are above, yet, is there any thing con- 
trary to the ftriiilefl: laws of right reafon ? Is not Jesus 
Christ, in fcripture, ftiled the Word, the Logos, the Rea- 
fon ? And is not his feivice a reafonable fervice ? What if 
there be myfleries in his religion ? Are they not without all 
controverCy great and glorious ? Are they not myfteries of 
godlinefs, and worthy of that God who reveals them ? Nay, 
is it not the greateft myftery, that men, v^ho pretend to reafon, 
and call themfelves philofophcrs, who fearch into the arcana 
naiur^j and confequently find a myftery in every blade of 
grafs, fhould yet be fo irrational as to decry all myfteries in 
religion ? Where is the fcribe f where is the wife ? where is 
the difputer againft the chriftian revelation ? Does not every 
thing without and within us, confpire to prove its divine 
original ? And would not felf-intercft, if there was no other 
motive, excite us to obferve God's ftatutes, and keep his 
laws ? 

Befides, confiJered as a proteftant people, do we not lie 
under the greateft obligations of any nation under heaven, to 
pay a chearful, unanimous, univerfal, pcrfevering obedience 
to the divine commands. 

The wonderful and furprifing manner of God's bringing 
about a reformation, in the reign of King Henry the Eighth; his 
carrying it on in the blefled reign of King Edivard the Sixth ; 
his delivering us out of the bloody hanus of Qi^ieen Mary^- 
and deftroying the Spanijh invincible armada, under her im- 
mediate proteftant fucceftbr Queen Elizjbeth; his difcoveryof 
the popifti plot under King James \ the glorious revolution by 
King IViHiam ; and, to come nearer to our own times, his 
driving away four thoufand five hundred Spaniards^ from a 
weak (though important) frontier colcuv, when they had, in 
a manner, adiually taken poflefTion of it j his giving us 
Loiiifiaura^ one of the ftrcngeft fortrcftes of our eno^ 
contrary to all human probability, but the other da^ 

[ 92 ] 

our hands : thcfe, I fay, with the victory which you have 
Jately been commemorating, are fuch national mercies, not to 
mention any more, as will render us utterly inexcufable, if 
they do not produce a national reformation, and incite us all, 
with one heart, to keep God's itatutes, and obferve his laws. 

Need I remind you further, in order to excite in you a 
greater diligence to comply with the intent of the text, that 
though the llorm, in a great meafure, is abated by his Royal 
Highnefb's late fucccfs, yet we dare not fay, it is altogether 
blown over ? 

The clouds may again return after the rain ; and the few 
furviving rebels (which I pray God avert) may yet be fuf- 
jered to make head againft us. We are ftill engaged in a 
bloody, and, in all probability, a tedious war, with two of 
the moil inveterate enemies to the interefts of Qj-eat-Britaln, 
And, though I cannot help thinking, that their prefent inten- 
tions are fo iniquitous, their conduit fo perfidious, and their 
fchemes fo diredly derogatory to the honour of the Moft 
High God, that he will certainly humble them in the end, 
yet, as all things in this life happen alike to all, they may for 
a time, be dreadful inftrumcnts of fcourging us. If not, God 
has o:her arrows in his quiver to fmiie us with, befides the 
French King, his Catholick Majefty, or an abjured Pretender. 
Not only the fword, but plague, peftilence, and famine, are 
under the divine command. V/ho knows but he may fay to 
them all, " Pafs through thefe lands?" A fatal murrain has 
la'ely fwept away abundance of cattle at home and abroad. 
A like epidemical difeafe may have a commiiTion to feize our 
perfons as well as our beads. Thus God dealt with the 
Egyptians : who dare fay, he will not deal fo with us ? Has 
he not already given fome fymptoms of it ? What great 
numbers upon the continent have been lately taken ofFby the 
bloody-flux, fmall-pox, and yellow-fever ? Who can tell 
what further judiiments are yet in ftore ? However, this is 
certain, the rod is yet hanging over us : and I believe it will 
be granted on all Tides, that if fuch various difpenfations of 
mercy and judgment do not teach the inhabitants of any 
land to learn righteoufnefs, they will only ripen them for a 
greater ruin. Give me leave, therefore, to difmifs you at 
this time with that folemn awful warning and exhortation, 


[ 93 1 

with which the venerable Samuel^ on a public occafion, took 
leave of the people of Ij'rad : " Only fear the Lord, and 
ferve him in truth, with all yqur heart : for confider how 
great things he hath done for you. But ifi ye (hall ftill do 
wickedly, [I will not fay as the Prophet did. You fiiall be 
confumed ; but] ye know not but you may provoke the 
Lord Almighty to confume both you and your king." 
Which God of his infinite mercy prevent, for the fake of 
Jesus Christ : to whom, with the Father, and the Holy 
Ghoft, three perfons, but one God, be all honour and 
glory, now and for evermore. Amen^ Amen. 


[ -34 3 


Thankfulnefs for Mercies received^ a neceflary 


A Farewel Sermon, preached on board the Whitaker^ 
at Anchor near Savannah^ in Georgiay Sunday^ 
May 17, 1738. 

Psalm, evil, ^o, 31. 

7'ben are they glad, hecaufe they are at reft^ and jo he 
hringeth them unto the haven where they would be. 

O that men tvould therefore praife the Lor d for his good-' 
nefs^ a?jd declare the wonders that he doeth for the 
children of men I 

NUMBERLESS maiks does man bear in his foul, that 
he is fallen and eftranged from- God ; but nothing, 
gives a greater proof thereof, than that backwardnefs, which 
every one finds within himfelf, to the duty of praife and 

When God placed the firft man in paradife, his foul no 
doubt was fo filled with a fenfe of the riches of the divine love, 
that he was continually employing that breath of life, which 
the Almighty had not long before breathed into him, in 
blelTing and magnifying that all-bountiful, all- gracious God, 
in whom he lived, moved, and had his being. 

And the brighteft idea we can form of the angelical hierarchy 
above, and the fpirits of juft men made perfect, is, that they 
are continually fhnding round the throne of God, and ceafe 
not day and night, faying, '' Worthy art thou, O Lamb 


i 95 'i 

that waft flain, to receive power and riches, and wifdoni, and 
ftrength, and honour, and glory, and blefling." Rev. v. 12. 

That then, which v/as man's perftdion when time firft 
began, and will be his employment when death is fvv^iillowed up 
in vidory, and time fhall be no more, without controverfy, 
is part of our perfedion, and ought to be our frequent ex'er^ 
cife on earth : and I doubt not but thofe blefled fpirits, who 
are fent forth to minifter to them who (hall be heirs of fal na- 
tion, often ftand aftonifhed when they encamp around us, to 
find our hearts fo rarely enlarged, and our mouths fo feldom 
opened, to (hew forth the loving-kindnefs of the Lord, or 
to fpeak of all his praife. 

Matter for praife and adoration, can never be wantios; to 
creatures redeemed by the blood of the Son of God ; and 
who have fuch continual fcenes of his infinite goodnefs pre- 
fented to their view, that were their fouls duly afFeded with 
a fenfe of his univerfal love, they could not but be conti- 
nually calling on heaven and earth, men and angels, to join 
with them in praifmg and blelTing that " high and lofty one, 
who inhabiteth eternity, who maketh his fun to ftiine on the 
evil and on the good," and daily pours down his bleffings on 
the whole race of mankind. 

But few are arrived to fuch a degree of charity or love, as 
to rejoice with thofe that- do rejoice, and to be as thank- 
ful for others mercies, as their own. This part of chrifh'an 
perfedion, though begun on earth, will be confummated 
only in heaven ; where our hearts will glow with fuch fer- 
vent love towards God and one another, that every frefh de-^ 
gree of glory communicated to our neighbour, will alfo com- ' 
municate to us a frefh topic of thankfulnefs and joy. 

. That which has the greateft tendency to excite the gene- 
rality of fallen men to praife and thankfgiving, is a^fenfe of 
God's private mercies, and particular benefits beftovv'cd upon 
ourfelves. For as thefe come nearer our own hearts, fo they 
muft be more affe6tin,g ; and as they are peculiar proofb-, 
whereby we may know, that God does in a more ef[>eciar 
raanner favour us above others, fo they cannot but fenfiWy- 
touch us ; and if our hearts are not quite frozen, like coils of^ 
a. refiner's fire, they mud: melt us down into thankfulnefs and 
love. It was a confideration of the diftinguiihwa;' favotTrjsi 


[ 96 3 

God had {hewn to his chofen people Ifrael^ and the frequent 
and remarkable deliverances wroui^ht by him in behalf of 
" thofe who go down to the fea in fliips, and occupy their 
bufinefs in great waterb," that made the holy Pfalmiit break 
out fo frequently as he does in this pfalm, into this moving, 
pathetical exclamation, " O that men would therefore praife 
the Lord for his goodnefs, and declare the wonders that he 
doeth for the children of men ! " 

His expreffing himfelf in fo fervent a manner, implies 
both the importance and negleft of the duty. As when 
Mofes on another occafion cried out, " O that they were 
wife, that they underftood this, that they would pra^iisally 
confider their latter end !" Dcut. xxxii. 29. 

I fay, importance and negle6i: of the duty j for out of thofe 
many thoufands that receive bleffings from the Lord, how 
few give thanks in remembrance of his holinefs ? The ac- 
count given us of the ungrateful lepers, is but too lively a 
reprefentation of the ingratitude of mankind in general ; who 
like them, when under any humbling providence, can cry, 
" Jesus, Mafter, have mercy on us!" Luke xvVi. 13. but 
when healed of their ficknefs, or delivered from their diftrefs, 
fcarce one in ten can be found '' returning to give thanks to 

And yet as common as this fm of ingratitude is, there is 
nothing we ought more earneftly to pray againft. For what 
is more abfolutely condemned in holy fcripture than ingrati- 
tude ? Or what mgre peremptorily required than the contrary 
temper? Thus fays the Apoftle, " Rejoice evermore ; in 
every thing give thanks," i Thcf. v. 16, 18. " Be careful 
for nothing ; but in every thing by prayer and fupplication, 
with thankfgiving, let your requefts be made known unto 
God," Phil. iv. 6. 

On the contrary, the Apoftle mentions it as one oi the 
higheft crimes of the Gentiles^ that they were not thankful. 
*' Neither were they thankful," Rem. i. 21. as alfo in ano- 
ther place, he numbers the " unthankful," 2 Tim. iii. 2. 
amongft thofe unholy, prophane perfon^, who are to have 
their portion in the lake of fire and brimilone. 

As for our fms, God puts them behind his back ; but his 
mercies he will have acknowledged, " There is virtue gone 


[ 97 .1 

out of me," fays Jesus Christ, Luke viii. //>. and ihe 'vvo- 
man who was cured of her bloody iflue, muft confefs it. And 
we generally find, when God fciit any remarkable puniih- 
iTient upon a particular pcrfon, he reminded him of the favours 
he had received, as fo many aggravations of his ingratitude. 
Thus when God was about to vifit Eli\ houfe, he thus ex- 
podulatcs with him by his prophet: " Did I plainly appear 
unco the houfe of thy fathers, v/hen they were in E'^yft^ in 
Pharaoh's houfe ? And did I chafe him out of all the tribes 
of Ifraely to be my prieft, to offer upon mine altar, to bura 
incenfe, and to wear an cphod before me ? Wherefore kiclc 
ye at my facrifice, and at mine offering, which I have com- 
manded in my habitation, and honoured thy fons above me^ 
to make vourfelves fat with the chiefeft of all the ofFerino-s of 
Ifrael my people ? Wherefore the Lord God of Ifrael 
faith, I faid indeed, that thy houfe, and the houfe of thy fa- 
ther, (hould walk before me for ever j but now the LoRO 
faith, Be it far. from me, for them that honour me will I 
honour, and they that defpife me fhall be lightly eftecmed." 
1 Sam. ii. 27, 28, 29, 30. 

It was this and fuch like inftances of God's feverlty againfi; 
the unthankful, that inclined me to chufe the words of the! 
texr, as the moil proper fubjedt I could difcourfe on at thif^ 

Four months, my good friends, we have now been upon 
the fea in this fliip, and " have occupied our bufinefs in the 
great waters." At God Almighty's word, we have feen. 
••* the ftormy wind arife, which hath lifted up the wavesJ 
thereof. We have been carried up to the heaven^ and down 
again to the deep, and fome of our fouls melted away beCaufe 
of the trouble j but I truft we cryed earncflly unto the Lord^ 
and he delivered us out of our dilirefs. For he made the 
ftorm to ceafe ^ fo that the waves thereof were {lili. And 
BOW we are glad, bccaufe we are at reft, for God hath 
brought us to the haven where we would be. O that yoii 
would therefore praife the Lord for his gocdnefs, and declare 
the wonders that he hath done for ug, the unworthieft of the 
fons of men." 

Thus Mofesy thus Jojhua behaved. For when they were 
about to take their leaves of the children of Ifrasl, they rc- 

VoL. V". G counted 


[ 98 ] ^ 

counted to them what great things God had done for them, 
as the beil: arguments and motives they could urge to engage 
them to obedience. And how can 1 copy after better exam- 
ples ? What fitter, what more noble motives, to holinefs and 
purity of living, can I lay before you, than they did ? 

Indeed, 1 cannot fay, that we have feen the " pillar of a 
cloud by day, or a pillar of fire by night," going vifibly before 
us to guide our courfe; but this I can lay, that the fame 
God who v/as in that pillar of a cloud, and pillar of fire, which 
departed not from the Ifraclites^ and who has made the fun to 
rule the day, and the moon to rule the night, has, by his 
good providence, diredcd us in our right way, or eUe the 
pilot had fleered us in vain. 

Neither can I fay, That we hav? een the " fun ftand 
ftill," as the children of Ifrael did in the days of Jojhua, 
But furely God, during part of our voyage, has caufed it to 
withhold fame of that heat, which it ufually fends forth in 
thefe warmer climates, or elfe it had not faUed, but fome of 
you muft have perilned in the ficknefs that has been, and 
does yet continue among us. 

We have not feen the waters ftand purpofely on an heap, 
that we might pafs through, neither have we been purfued by 
Pharaoh and his hoft, and delivered out of their hands ; but 
we have been \t6. through the fea as through a wildernefs, 
and were once remarkably preferved from being run down by 
another fliip ; which had God permitted, the waters, in all 
probabilitv, would immediately have overwhelmed us, and 
like Pharaoh and his hoft, we fliould have funk, as ftones, 
into the -fea. 

We may, indeed, atheift like, afcribe all thefe things to 
natur?.! caufes, and fay, " Our own fkill and forefight has 
brought us hither in fafety.'* But as certainly as Jesu? 
Chk.1^ r, the angel of the covenant, in the days of his fielh, 
walked upon the water, and faid to his finking difciples, 
" Be YiCrt afraid, it is I," fo furely has the fame everlafting 
I AM, " who decketh himfelf with light as with a garment, 
who fpreadeth out the heavens like a curtain, who clafpeth 
the winds in his fift, who holdeth the waters in the hollow of 
his hands," and guided the wife men by a ftar in the eaft ; fo 
furely, I fay, has he fpaken, a.nd at his command the winds 


C 99 1 ♦ 

have blown us where we are now arrived. For his provlvlence 
ruleib all things ; '•' Wind and ftorms obey his word :" he 
fairh to it at one time, Go, and it goeth ; at another, Come, 
and it cometh ; and at a third time, Blow this way, and it 

It is he, my brethren, and not we ourfclves, that has of 
]atc fent us fuch profperous gales, and made us to ride, as it 
were, on the wings of the wind, into the haven where we 
would be. 

" O that you would therefore pralfe the Lord for his 
goodnefs," and by your lives declare, that you are truly thank- 
ful for the wonders he had fiiewn to us, who are lel^ than the 
leaft of the Tons cf men. 

I fay, declare it by your lives. For to give him thanks^ 
barely with your lipsj while your hearts are far from him, is 
but a mock iacrifice, nay, an abomination unto the Lord. 

This v/as the end, the royal Pfalmi[t fays, God had in 
view, when he fliewed fuch wonders, from time to time, to 
the people of IjrafI, '* That they might keep his (latutes, and 
obferve his lawsj" Pfalm cv. 44. and this, my good friends, 
is the end God would have accomplifhcd in us, and the only 
return he defires us to make him, for all the benefits he hath 
conferred upcn us. 

O thenj let me befeech you, givfc to God your hearts^ 
your whole hearts ; and fufFer yourfclves to be drawn by the 
cords of infinite love, to honour and obey him. 

Aflure yourfelves you can never ferve a better mafler ; fof 
his fervice is perfecf freedom; his yoke, v/hen worn a little 
while, is exceeding eafy, his burden light; and in keeping 
his comm.andments there is great reward ; love, peace, joy in 
the Holy Ghod here, and a crown of glory that fadeth not 
away, hereat'ter. 

You may, indeed, let other lords have dominion over you, 
and Satan may promife to give you all the kingdoms of the 
world, and the glory of them, if you will fall dov.-n and wor- 
ihip him ; but he is a liar, and v/as fo from the beginning ; 
he has n^t To much to give you, as vou may trc^d on with 
the fole of your foot ; or coulu .ie give you tl)c v/hole world, 
yet, that could not make you happy without G.D. It is 
God alone, my brethren, whofe v»e are, in whofe name t 
G 2 now 

^ [ lOO ] 

now fpeak, and who has ot" late fhewed us fuch mercies in the 
deep, that can give iblid lading happinefs to your fouls ; and 
he for this realbn only cefirei> your hearts, btcaufe without 
him you mult be mifcrable. 

Suffer me not then to go away without my errand ; as it is 
the laft time 1 fliall fpeak to you, let me not fpeak in vain ; 
but let a fer^.fe of the divine goodnefs lead you to repent- 

Even Saul^ that abandoned wretch, when David fhewed 
him his fkirt, which he had cut off, when he might have alfo 
taken iiis life, was fo melted down with his kindnefs, that he 
lifted up his voice and wept. And we muft have hearts harder 
than SauPsy nay, harder than the nether milftone, if a fenfe 
of God's late loving kindneffes, notwithffaiiding he might fo 
often have del^royed us, does not even compel us to lay down 
our arms againft him, and become his faithful fervants and 
ibldiers unto our lives end. 

If they, have not this effedl upon us, we (liall, of all men, 
be mod miiferable ; for God is juft, as well as merciful ; and 
the more blelTings we have received h^Te, the greater damna- 
tion, if we do not improve them, fliall we incur hereafter. 

But God forbid that any of thofe fliould ever, fuffer the 
vengeance of eternal fire, amongff whom, I have, for thefe 
four months, been preaching the gofpcl of Christ ; but yet 
thus mull it be, if you do not improve the divine mercies: and 
inftead of your being my crown of rejoicing in the day of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, I muft appear as a fwift witnefs againft 

But, brethren, I am perfuaded better things of yon, and 
things that accompany falvation, though f thus foeak. 

BlelTed be God, fome marks of a partial reformation at 
leaft, have been vifible amongft all you tiiat are foluiers. And 
my weak, though fincere endeavours, to build you up in the 
knowledge and fear of GoD, have jiot been altogether in vain 
in the Lord. 

Swearing, I hope is, in a great meafure, abated with you ; 
and Gob, I truft, has bleffed his late vifitations, by making, 
them the means of awakening your confciences, to a more 
folicitous enquiry about the things which belong to your ever- 
lafting peace. 


[ 101 ] ' 

Fulfil you tli£n my joy, by continuing thus minded, an4 
labour to go on to perfeiSiion, For I fliall have no greater 
pleafure than to fee, or hear, that you walk in the truth. 

Confider, my good friends, you are now, as it were, enter- 
incr on a new world, v/here you will be (urroundcd with mul- 
titudes of heathens ; and if you tjike not heed to " have yo\ir 
converfation honed amongft them,*' and to " walk worthy of 
the holy vocation wherewith you are called," you will a6t the 
hellifh part oi' Herod's foldiers over again ; and caufe Christ's 
religion, as they did his perfon, to be had in dcrifion of thofe 
that are round about you. 

Confider further, what peculiar privileges you have enjoyed, 
above many others that arc entering on the fame land. They 
have had, as it were, a famine of the word, but you have 
rather been in danger of being furfeited with your fpiritual 
manna. And, therefore, as more inftruc^ions have been given 
vou, fo from you, men will mofc jufily expeiSl the. greater 
improvement in goodnefs. 

Indeed, I cannot fay, I have difcharged my duty towards 
you as I ought. No, I am fenfible of many faults in my 
minifterial office, and for which I have not failed, nor, I hope, 
ever fliall fail, to humble myfelf in fecret before God. How- 
ever, this I can fay, that except a few days that have been 
fpent neceflarily on other perfons, whom God immediately 
called me to write and minider unto, and the two laft weeks 
wherein 1 have been confined by ficknefsj all the while I have 
been aboard, I have been either a£lually engaged in, or pre- 
paring myfelf for inftiu6ling you. And though you are now 
to be committed to the care of another (whofe labours I 
heariily befeech God to blefs amongft you) yet I truft I fhall, 
at all feafons, if need be,, willingly fpend, and be fpent, for 
the good of your fouls, though the more abundantly I love 
you, the lefs I fliould be loved. 

As for your military affairs, I have nothing to do with 
them. Fear God, and you muft honour the King. Nor am 
I well acquainted with the nature of that land which you are 
now come over to protect; only this I may venture to affirnx 
in the general, that you muft neceffarily expert upon your ar- 
rival at a new colony, to meet with many difficulties. But 
your very profeffion teaches you to endure hardship ; " be not, 

G 3 therefore^ 

[ 102 ] 

therefor?, faint-hearted, but quit yourfelves like men, and he 
flrone;,'' Numb, xiv^ Be not like, thofe cowardly perfons, who 
were affrighted at the report of the falfe fpies, that came and 
faid, that there were people tall as the Anakims to be grappled 
with, but be ye like unto Caleb and JoJJ)ua^ all heart ; and 
fay, we will a<Sl valiantly, for we fliall be more than con- 
querors o\"er all difficulties through Jesus Christ that loved 
IIS. Above all things, my brethren, take heed, and beware of 
murmuring, like the perverfe Jfraelitcs, againft thofe that are 
Kt over you ; and «' learn, whatfoevcr ftate you fliall be in, 
therewith to be content," Phil. iv. ii. 

As I have fpoken to you, I hope your wives alfo will fuffer 
the v:ord of exhortation. 

Your behaviour on niipboard, efpecially the flrft part of the 
vovas;e, I chufe to throw a cloak over; for to ufe the mildeft 
terms, it w^as not fuch as became the gofpel of our Lord 
JEsiTs Christ. However, of late, blefTcd be God, you have 
taken more heed to your ways, and fome of you hjve walked 
all the while, as became " women profeffing godlinefs." Let 
thofe accept my hearty thanks, and permit me to intreat you 
all in general, as you are all now married, to remember the 
folcmn vow you made at your e'ntrance into the marriage fiate, 
■^n^ fee that you be fubjeft to your own hufbands, in every 
lawful thing: Beg of God to keep the door of your lips, that 
you offend not with your tongues ; and walk in love, that 
vour pjavers be not hindered. You that have children, let 
it be your chief concern to breed them up in the nurture and 
admonition of the Lord. And live all of you fo holy and ur« 
biamcable, that you may not fo much as be fufpedled to be 
unchaftc; and as fome of you have imitated Mary Magdalen in 
her fm, ftrive to imitate her alfo in her repentance. 

As for you, failors, what (hall I fay ? How fhall I addrcfs 
myfelf to you ? How (hall I do that which I fo much long to 
do; touch your hearts? Gratitude obliges me to wifh thus 
well to you. For you have often taught me many inrtruciive 
Icffons, and reminded me to put up many prayers to God 
.for vou, that you might receive your fpiritual fight. 

When I have feen you preparing f6r a florm, and reefing 

3'(>ur fails to guard againft it; how have I wiflicd that you 

aiid I v,/ere as Careful to avoid that ftorm of God's wrath, 

^ which 

[ 103 ] 

which will certainly, without repentance, quickly overtake us? 
When I have obrerved you catch at every h\r gale, how have 
I iccretly cried, O that we were as careful to know the things 
that belong to our peace, before they are for ever hid from our 
eyes ! And when I have taken notice, how fleadily you eyed 
your compafs in order to fteer aright, how have I wifhcd, that 
we as fteadily eyed the word of God, which alone can pre- 
{^rve us from " making fliipwrcck of faith, and a good con- 
fciencc?" In fhort, there is fcarce any thing ^ou do, which 
has not been a leflbn of inftru6lion to me ; and, therefore, it 
would be ungrateful in me, did I.vnot take this opportunity 
of exhorting you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
to be as wife in the things which concern your foul, as I 
have obferved you to be in the affairs belonging to your 

I am fenfible, that the fea is reckoned but an ill fchool to 
learn Christ in : and to fee a devout Tailor, is e.leenied as 
uncommon a thing, as to fee a Saul amonjifl: the prophets. 
But whence this wT>ndering ? Whence this looking upon a 
godly failor, as a man to be wondered at, as a fpeckled bird 
in the creation ? I am fure, for the little time I have come 
in and out amongfl you, and as far as I can judge from the 
little experience I have had of things, I fcarce know uny 
way of life, that is capable of greater improvements than 

The continual danger you are in of being overwhelmed 
by the great waters ; the many opportunities you have of be- 
holding God's wonders in the deep; the happy retirement 
you enjoy from worldly temptations ; and the daily occafions 
that are offered you, to endure hardfhips, are fuch noble 
means of promoting the fpiritual life, that were your hearts 
bent towards God, you would account it your happincfs, 
that his providence has called you, to " go down to the fea 
in fhips, and to occupy your bufinefs in the great waters.'* 

The royal Pfalmifl knew this, and, therefore, in the words 
of the text, calls more efpecially on men of your employ, to 
" praife the Lord for his goodnefs, and declare the wonders 
he doth for the children of men." 

And O that you would be wife in time, and hearken to his 
voice to-day, " whilft it is called to-day !" For ye yourfelves 

Q 4 know 

[ 104 ] 

know how little is to be done on a Tick bed. Gon b^s, in 
ai^. efpeciai manner, of late, ir.vitcd you to repentance : two 
of your crew he has taken off by death, and mod of you he 
has mercifully vifited with a grievous ficknefs. The terrors of 
the Lord have been upon you, and when burnt with a fcorch- 
ing fever, fome of you have cried out, '* V/hat fhall we do to 
be faved ?" Remember then the refolutions you made, when 
you thought Gon was s^bout to take away your fouls; and 
fee that according to your promifes, you fhew forth your 
thankfalnefs, not only with your lips, but in your lives. For 
though GcD may bear long, he will not forbear always j and 
if thefe fjgnal mercies and judgments do not lead you to re- 
pentance, ^diure yourfelves there will at lad comiC a fiery 
tempell, from the preftnce of the Lord, which will fweep 
a\Aay you, and all other advcrfaries of God. 

I am pofitive, neither yoii nor the foldiers have wanted, nor 
vill want any manner of encouragcmerit to piety and holinefs 
of living, from thcfe two p-crfons w^ho have here the govern- 
nient over you -, for they have been fuch helps to me in my 
ininiftry, and h^ve fo readily concurred in every thing for your 
good, that they may juftly demand a public acknowledgment 
of thanks both from you and me, 

permit me, my honoured friends, in the name of both 
cl-^lTes of your peoplcj to return you hearty thanks for the care 
and tcridernefs you have exprelied for the welfare of thei^r 
better parts. 

As for the private favours you have {hewn to my perfon, J 
hope fo deep a fenfe of them is imprinted on my heart, that I 
{hall plead them before God in prayer, as long as I live. 

But J have dill Wronger obligations to intercede in your 
behalf. For GoD, ever adored be his free grace in Christ 
Jesus ! has fet bis feal to my miniftry in your hearts. Some 
fliitant pangs of t|ie nevv-birth I have obferved to <;ome upon 
you; and God forbid that I fliould fin againfl the Lord, by 
^eafmg to pray, that the good v»?ork bdgun in your fouls, may 
\)c carried on till the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

The time of our departure from each other is now at hand, 

and you are going out into a world of tem.ptations. But though 

ybfent in body, let us be prefent with each other in fpirit; and 

God, .1 truft, will enable you to be fingularly good, to be 

I ■ ' - . ready 

[ 105 ] 

ready to be accounted fools for Christ's fake; nnd then we 
ilvdW meet never to part again in the kingdom of our Father 
which is in heaven. 

To you, my companions and familiar friends, who came 
over wiih me to fojourn in a ftrange land, do I in the next 
place addrcfs myfclf. For you I efpecially fear, as well as for * 
myfeif J becaufe as we take Ivvect counfel together ofrner than 
others, and as you are let into a more intimate friendfiiip with 
me in private life, the eyes of all men will be upon you to 
note even the minuteft mifcarriagej and, therefore, it hi^^hlv 
concerns you to " walk circumfpectly towards thofe that are 
without," I hope, that nothing but a fmgle eye to God*s glory 
and the falvation of your ovv'n fouls, brought you from your 
pative countr)'. Remember then the end of your coming 
hither, and you can never do am.ifs. B.^ patterns of induflry, 
as well as of piety, to thofe who fhall be around you ; and 
above all things let us have fuch fervent charity amongft our- 
felves, that it may be faid of us, as of the primitive chriflians, 
*' See how the chriftians love one another." 

And now I have been fpeaking to others particularly, I have 
one general requeft to make to all, and that with reference 
to myfelf. 

You have heard, my dear friends, how I have been ex- 
horting every one of you to (liew forth your thankfidnefs for 
the divine goodnefs, not only with your lips, but in your lives: 
But " phyfician heal thyfelf," may juflly be retorted on me. 
For (without any falfe pretences to humility) I find my own 
heart fo little inclined to this duty of thankfgiving for the 
benefits I have received, that I had need fear fharing Hezekiah's 
fate, who becaufe he was lifted up by, and not thankful 
enough for, the great things God had done for him, was given 
up a prey to the pride of his own heart. 

I need, therefore, and beg your moft importunate petitions 
at the throne of grace, that no fuch evil may bcfal me ; that 
the more God exalts me, the more f may debafe myfelf j and 
that after I have preached to others, I myfelf may not be caft 

And now, brethren, into God's hands I commend your 
fpirits, whoj I trufl, through his infinite mercies in Christ 


[ io6 1 

Jesus, will preferve you blamclefs, till his fecond coming to 
judge the woiid. 

Excufe my detaining you (o long ; perhaps it is the lafl 
time I {hall fpeak to you : my heart is full, and out of the 
abundance of it, 1 could continue my difcourfe until midnight. 
But I muft away to your new world ; may God give you new 
hearts, and enable you to put in pradice what you have heard 
from time to time, to be your duty, and I need not wifli you 
any thing better. For then God v/ill fo blefs you, that " you 
will build you cities to dwell in ; then will you fow your 
lands and plant vineyards, which will yield you fruits of in- 
creafe/' Pfil. cvii. 36, 37. " Then your oxen (hall be flrong 
to labour, there fhall be no leading into captivity, and no com- 
plaining in your ftreets ; then fhall your fons grow up as the 
young plants, and your daughters be as the polifhed corners 
of the temple : then fhall your garners be full and plenteous 
with all manner of (lore, and your flicep bring forth thou- 
fands, and ten thoufands in your ftreets,'* Pjhl. cxliv. In 
fhort, then (liall the Lord be your God ; and as furely as 
he has now brought us to this haven, where we would be, 
fo fuielv> after we have paft through the ftorms and tempclis 
of this troublefome world, will he bring us to the haven of 
eternal red, where we fliall have nothing to do, but to praife 
him for ever for his goodnefs, and declare, in never-ceafing 
fongs of praife, the wonders he has done for us, and all the 
other fons of men, 

*' To which blcfTed reft, God of his infinite mercy bring 
*' us all, through Jesus Christ our Lord ! to whom 
*' with the Father and Holy Ghofi: be all honour and 
*' glory, mi^ht, majefty, and dominion^ now, henceforth^ 
*^ and for evermore. Jmen^ Amen,'* 

S E R jM O N 

I 107 3 

The Neceflity and Benefits of Religious Society . 

E c c L E s. iv. 9, 10, II, 12. 

Two are letter than One^ hecaufe they have a good Rs- 

ivard for their Labour. 
For if they fall ^ the One will lift up his Fellow : But woe 

be to him that is alone when he falleth \ for he hath not 

another to hdp him up. 
Again^ if Two lie together ^ then they have heat > but how 

can One be warm alone? 
And if One prevail againfl him^ Two fJiall withfiand himi 

and a threefold Cord is not quickly broken, 

AMONG the many reafons aflignable for the fad decay 
of true chrijlianity^ perhaps the negleding to aflemble 
purrjlvcs together, in religious focicties^ may not be one of the 
leaft. That I may therefore do my endeavour towards pro- 
moting To excellent a means of piety, I have feledled a parage 
of fcripture drawn from the experience of the wifefl of ir;en, 
which being a little enlarged on and illuftrated, will fully 
anfwer my prcfent dcfign ; being to (hew, in the beft manner 
I can, the necefnty and benefits of fociety in genera], and of 
religious fociety in particular. 

*' Two are better than one, &c." 

Frcm which words I fiiall take occafion to prove, 

Flrfi^ The truth of the wife man's afiertion, " Two are 

better than one," and that in reference tc fociety in general, 

^ud religious fociety in particular, 


I '08 ] 

Secondly^ To aflign fome rcafons v;hy two are better than 
one, efpeclally as to the lad particular, i. Becaufe men can 
raii'e up one another when they chance to flip : '' For if they 
fall, the one will lift up his fellow." 2. Becaufe they can 
impart heat to each other : ^\ Again, if two lie together, then 
they have heat ; but how can one be warm alone ?" 3. Be- 
caufe they can fecure each other from thofe that do oppofe 
them : '- And if one prevail againft him, two fliall withftand 
him ^ and a threefold cord is not quickly broken." From 

Thirdly^ I fliall take occafion to fliew the duty incumbent 
on evejy member of a religious pciety. 

And Fourthly^ I fhall draw an inference or two from what 
may be faid ; and then conclude with a word or two of ex- 

F'lrjl^ I am to prove the truth of the wife man's afTertion, 
that " two are better than one," and that in reference to 
fociety in f^encral, and religious focieties in particular. 

And how can this be done better, than by (hewing that it 
is abfolutely necclTary for the welfare both of the bodies and 
fouls of men ? Indeed, if we look upon man as he came out 
of the hands of his Maker, we imagine him to be perfedl', 
entire, lacking nothing. But God, whole thoughts are not 
as our thoughts, fav/ fomething ftill wanting to make Jdam 
happy. And what was that? Why, an help meet for him. 
For thus fpeaketh the fcripture : " And the Lord God faid. 
It is not good that the man (hould be alone, I will make an 
help meet for him." 

Obferve, God faid, " It is not good," thereby implying 
that the creation would have been imperfctfi:, in fome fort, 
unlefa an help was found out meet for Adam. And if this 
was the cafe of man before the fall ; if an help was meet for 
him in a Hate ^of perfection ; furely fince the fall, when we 
come naked and helplefs' out of our mother's womb, when 
our wants increafc with our years, and wc can fcarcely fubfift 
a day without the mutual afTifrance of each other, well may 
we fay, " It is not good for man to be alone." 

Society then, we fee, is abfolutely neceffary in refpeifl: to 
our bodily and pcrfonal wants. If vye carry our view farther, 


r 109 J 

and confiJer mankind as divided into different cities, coun- 
tries, and nations, the necefTity of it will appear yet more evi- 
dent. For iiow can communities be kept up, or commerce 
carried on, without fociety ? Certainly not at all, fmce pro- 
vidence Teems vvirdy to have afngncd a particular produdl to 
almoft each particular country, on purpofe, as it were, to 
oblige us to be focial ; and harh fo admirably mineled the 
parts of the whole body of mankind together, '* that the eye 
cannt)t hy to the hand, I have no need of thee; nor again, 
the h:ind to the foot, I have no need of thee." 

Many other inftances might be given of the neceility of 
fociety, in reference to our bodily, perfonal, and national 
wants. But what are all thefe when weighed in the balance 
of the fandtuarv, in comparifon of the infinite greater need of 
it, with refpecl to the foul ? it was chiefly in regard to this 
better part, no doubt, that God faid, " It is not good for the 
man to be alone." For, let us fuppcfe JJam to be as happy 
as may be, placed as the Lord of the creation in the paradife 
of God, and fpending all his hours in adoring and praifino- the 
bleiTed Author of his being ; yet as his foul was the very copy 
of the divine nature, whofe peculiar property it is to be com- 
municative, without the divine all-fufnciency he could not be 
cornpleatly happy, becaufe he was alone and incommunicative, 
nor even content in paradife, for want of a partner in his joys. 
God knew this, and therefore faid, " It is not good that the 
man (ball be alone, 1 will make a help meet for him." And 
though this proved a fatal means of his falling; yet that was 
not cv/ing to any natural confequence of fociety ; but partly 
to that curfed apoitate, who craftily lies in wait to deceive; 
partly to Adam\ own folly, in rather chufmg to be miferable 
vviih one he loved, than truft in God to raife him up another 

Jf we reflciTt indeed on that familiar iatercourfe, our firil 
parent could carry on with heaven, in a fiate of innocence, we 
ftiall be apt to think he had as little need of fociety, as to his 
foul, as before we fuppofed him to have, in refpe^t to his 
body. But yet, as God and the holy angels were fo far 
abo\e him on the one hand, and the beafts fo far beneath him 
on the other, there was nothing like having one Ui converfe 
with, who was " bone of his bone, and xHelh of hiu iieflj." 


[ no ] 

Man, then, could not be fully happy, we fee, even in para- 
dife, without a companion of his own fpecies, much lefs now 
he is driven out. For, let us view him a little in his natural 
eftate now, fince the fall, as " having his underltanding 
darkened, his mind alienated from the life of GoD j" as no 
more able to fee his way wherein he ftiould go, than a blind 
man to defcribe the fun : that notwithftanding this, he muft 
receive his fight ere he can fee God : and that if he never kes 
him, he never can be happy. Let us view him in this light 
(or rather this darknefs) and deny the necelTity of fociety if we 
can. A divine revelation we find is abfolutely neceflary, we 
being by nature as unable to know, as we are to do our duty. 
And how Ihall we learn except one teach us ? But was GoD 
to do this himfelf, how fhould we, but with Mofesy exceed- 
ingly quake and fear? Nor would the miniftry of angels in 
this affair, be without too much terror. It is neceflary, there- 
fore (at leaft God's dealing with us hath {hewed it to be fo) 
that we fhould be drawn with the cords of a man. And that 
a divine revelation being granted, we fhould ufe one another's 
affiftance, under God, to iiiflru^^ each other in the know- 
ledge, and to exhort ojic another to the practice of thofe 
things which belong to our everlafling peace, l^his is un- 
doubtedly the great end of fociety intended by God fince 
the fail, and a ftrong argument it is, why *' two are better 
than one," and v/hy Vv'e fhould '* not forfake the aflembling 
ourfelves together." 

But farther, let us confider ourfelvcs as chriftians, as having 
this natural veil, in fome meafure, taken oft" from our eyes by 
the affiflance of God's holy Spirit, and fo enabled to fee what 
he requires of us. Let us fuppofe ourfelves in fome degree to 
have tailed the good word of life, and to have felt the powers 
of the world to come, influencing and moulding our fouis into 
a religious frame: to be fully and heartily convinced that we 
are foldiers lifted under the banner of Christ, and to have 
proclaimed open war at our baptifm, againft the world, the 
ilefh, and the devil ; and have, perhaps, frequently renewed 
our obligations fo to do, by partaking of the Lord's fupper : 
that we are furrounded with millions of foes without, and in- 
feRed wiih a legion of enemies within : that we are com- 
manded to fhine as lights in the world, in the midft of a 


[ «ll 1 

crooked and perverfe generation : that we are travellinrt to a 
long eternity, and need all imaginable helps to fhew, and en- 
courage us in our way thither. Let us, I fay, reflect on all 
this, and then how (hall each of us cry out, brethren, what 
a neceflary thing it is to meet together in religious Societies ? 

The primitive chriftians were fully fenfible of this, and 
therefore we find them continually keeping up communion 
with each other : for what fays the fcripture ? They con- 
tinued ftedfaftly in the apoftlc's dodrine and fellowfliip, A^is ii. 
42. Peter and John were no fooner difmified by the great coun- 
cil, than they hafte away to their companions. " And being 
fet at liberty they came to their own, and told them all thefe 
things which the high prieft had faid unto them," A£li iv. 23. 
Paiil^ as foon as converted, *' tarried three days with the dif- 
ciples that were at Darnafcm^^ Acls ix. 19. And Peter after- 
wards, when releafed from prifon, immediately goes to the 
houfe of Alary, where there were " great multitudes aflem- 
bled, praying," Ads xii. 12. And it is reported of the 
chriftians in after-ages, that they ufed to afiemble together 
before day-light, to fing a pfalm to Christ as God. So 
precious was the Communion of Saints in thofe days. 

If it be afked, what advantages we (hall reap from fuch a 
procedure now ? I an fwer, much every way. " Two are 
better than one, becaufe they have a good reward for their 
labour : for if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow; but 
woe be to him that is alone when he falieth, for he hath not 
another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then 
they have heat ; but how can one be warm alone ? And if 
one prevail againft him, two fliall withftand him ; and a 
threefold cord is not quickly broken." 

Which diredlly leads me to my Second general head, un- 
der which I was to affign fome reafons why " two are 
better than one," efpecially in Religious Society, 

I. As man in his prefc-nt condition cannot always (land 
upright, but by reafon of the frailty of his nature cannot but 
fall ; one eminent reafon w'hy two are better than one, or, 
in other words, one great advantage of religious fociety is, 
*' That when they fall, the one will life up his fellow. 


[ I'2 ] 

And an excellent rcafon this, indeed ! For alas ! when 
wc reflect how prone we are to be drawn into error in our 
judgments, and into vice in our practice; and how unable, 
at leaft how very unwilling, to efpy or correct our own mif- 
carriages ;^ when/ve confider how apt the world is to flatter us 
in our faults, and how few there are fo kind as to tell us the 
truth ; what an ineftimable privilege mufi: it be to have a fet 
of true, judicious, hearty friends about us, continually watch- 
ing ever our fouls, to inform us where we have fallen, and 
to warn us that we fall not again for the future. Surely it is 
fuch a privilege, that (to ufe the words of an eminent chrlf- 
tian) we fliall never know the value thereof, till we come to 

But this is not all ; for fuppofing that we could aUvays 
Hand upright, yet whofoever refle6i:s on the dilticukies of re- 
jigion in general, and his own propcnfuy to lukewarmnefs 
and indifference in particular, v/ill find that he muft be zea- 
lous as well as fteady, if ever he expects to enter the king- 
dom of heaven. Here, then, the wife man points out to us 
another excellent reafon why two are better than one. 
'' A^ain, if two lye together, then they have heat ; but how- 
can one be warm alone ?" Which was the next thing to be 

2. A fecond reafon why two are better than one, is becaufc 
they can impart heat to each other. 

It is an obfervation no lefs true than common, that kindled 
coals, if placed afunder, foon go out, but if heaped together, 
quicken and enliven each other, and afibrd a lafting hear* 
The fame will hold good in the cafe now before us. ifchri- 
flians kindled by the grace of Goo, unite, they will quicken 
and enliven each other; but if they feparate and keep afun- 
der, no marvel if they foon grow cool or tepid. If two or 
three meet together in Christ's name, they will have heat : 
but how can one be warm alone ? 

Obferve, *' How can one be warm alone?" The wife 
man*s exprefling himfelf by w^ay of quellion, implies an im- 
poflibility, at leaft a very great difficulty, to be warm in reli- 
gion without company, where it may be had. Behold here, 
then, another excellent benefit flowing from religious fociety ; 


[ 113 3 

it will keep us zealous, as well as fleady, in the ways of 

But to illuftrate this a little farther by acomparifon or two. 
Let us look upon ourfclvcs (as was above hinted) as foldiers 
lifted under Christ's banner ; as going out with '^ ten 
thoufand, to meet one that cometh agalnft us with twenty thou- 
fand ;" as perfons that are to " wreftle not only with flcQi 
and blood, but againft principalities, againft powers, and fpi- 
titual wickednefFes in high places." And then tell me, all 
ye that fear God, if it be not an invaluable privilege to have 
a company of fellow foldiers continually about us, animat- 
ing and exhorting each other to ll:and our ground, to keepi 
our ranks, and manfully to follow the captain of our falva- 
tion, though it be through a fea of blocd ? 

Let us confider ourfclves in another view before mentioned^ 
as perfons travelling to a long eternity j as refcued by the 
free grace of God, in fome meafure, from our natural Egyp- 
iian bondage, and marching under the condu6l of our fpiri- 
tual JoJJma^ through the wildernefs of this world, to the land 
of our heavenly C<7;7<^<7W. Let us farther refie6l how apt we 
are to ftartle at every difficulty ; to cry, *' There are lions ! 
There are lions in the way I There are the fons o^ Jnak** 
to be grappled with, ere we can poflefs the promifed land 1, 
How prone we are, with Lois wife, to look wifhfully back 
on our fpiritual Sodom^ or, with the foolifh Ifraelites, to long 
again for the fie{h-pots of Egjpt ; and to return to our former 
natural ftate of bondage and flavery. Confider this^ my bre- 
thren, and fee what a blefled privilege it will be to have a fet 
of 7/r^£'/;V^j indeed about us, always reminding us of the folly of 
any fuch cowardly defign, and of the intolerable mifery we fhall 
run into, if we fall in the leaft ihort of the promifed land. 

More might be faid on this particular, did not the limits 
of a difcourfe of this nature oblige me to haften, 

3. To give a third reafon, mentioned by the wife man in 
the texti why two are better than one j becaufe they can fe- 
cure each other from enemies without. *' And if one prevail 
againft him, yet two fliall withftand him: and a threefold 
cord is not quickly broken." 

Hitherto we have confidered the advantages of religious 
focieties, as a great prefervative againft falling (at leaft dan- 

VoL. V. H geroufly 


[ iH ] 

gcroufly falling) Into fin and lukewarmnefs, and that too frorrt 
our own corruptions. But what fays the wife Ton oi Slrach ^ 
" My Ton, when thou gocll to ferve the Lord, prepare thy 
foul for temptation :" and that not only from inward, but 
outward foes ; particularly from thofe two grand adverfaries, 
the world and the devil : for no fooner will thine eye be beut 
heavenward, but the former will be immediately diverting it 
another way, telling thee thou needed not be Angular in order 
to be religious ; that you may be a chriftian without going fo 
much out of the common road. 

Nor will the devil be wanting in his artful infmuations, 
or impious fuggcdions, to divert or terrify thee from preffing 
forwards, " that thou mayft lay hold on the crown of life." 
And if he cannot prevail this way, he will try another; and, 
in order to make his temptation the more undifcerned, but 
withal more fuccefsful, he will employ, perhaps, fome of thy 
nearcft relatives, or mofl powerful friends, (as he fet Peter 
on our bleffed Mafler) who will always be bidding thee to 
fpare thyfelf 3 telling thee thou needell not take fo much pains ; 
that it is not fo difficult a matter to get to heaven as fome 
people would make of it, nor the way fo narrow as others 
imagine it to be. 

But fee here the advantage of religious company ; for fup- 
pofing thou findeft thyfelf thus furrounded on every fide, and 
unable to withftand fuch horrid (though feemingly friendly) 
counfels, haile away to thy companions, and they will teacli 
thee a truer and better leflbn ; they will tell thee, that thou 
muft be fmgular if thou wilt be religious: and that it is as 
impoffible for a chriftian, as for a city fet upon a hill, to be 
hidden : that if thou wilt be an almoil chriftian (and as good 
be none at all) thou mayeft live in the fame idle, indifferent 
manner as thou feeft moft other people do : but if thou wilt 
be not only almoft, but altogether a chriftian, they will infornn 
thee thou muft go a great deal farther : that thou muft not only 
faintly feek, but " earneftly ftrive to enter in at the ftrait 
gate :*'^hat there is but one way now to heaven as formerly, 
even through the narrov/ paftage of a found converfion : and 
that in order to bring about this mighty work, thou muft un- 
dergo a conftant, but neceflary difcipline of fafting, watch- 
ing, and prayer. And therefore, the only reafon why thofe 


[ '«5 ] 

friends give thee fuch aJvlce, is, becaufc they are not willing 
to tiike To much pains themfclvcs ; or, as our Saviour told 
Peter on a like occafion, becaufc they " favour not the things 
that be of God, but the things that be of men." 

This th'-H, is another excellent blcfling arifing from reli- 
gious fociety, that friends can hereby fecure each other from 
thofe who oppofe them. The devil iii fully fenfibls of this, 
and therefore he has always done his utmoft to fupprefs, and 
put a ftop to the communion of faints. This was his grand 
artifice at the firft planting of the gofpel j to perfecute tl-e 
profeflbrs of it, in order to fcparate them. Which, though 
Cod, as he always will, over-ruled for the better; yet, it 
fhews, what an enmity he has againfl chriftians ailembling 
themfelves together. Nor has he yet left off his old flrata- 
gem ; it being his ufual way to entice us by ourfelves, \\ 
order to tempt us j where, by being deftitute of one another's 
help, he hopes to lead us captive at his will. 

But, on the contrary, knowing his own intereft is ftrength- 
ened by fociety, he would firfl perfuade us to negle6l the 
communion of faints, and then bid us " ftand in the way 
*' of Tinners,'* hoping thereby to put us into the feat of the 
fcornful. Judas and Peisr are melancholy inftances of thi$. 
The former had no fooner left his company at fupper, but he 
went out and betrayed his mafter : and the difmal downfal 
of the latter, when he would venture himfclf amongfl a com- 
pany of enemies, plainly (liews us what the devil will endea* 
vour to do, when he gets us by ourfelves. Had Peter kepf: 
his own company, he might have kept his integrity ; but a 
fingle cord, alas ! how quickly was it broken ? Our bleffed 
Saviour knew this full well, and therefore it is very obfervable, 
that he always fent out his difciplcs " two by two.'* 

And now, after fo many advantages to be reaped from re- 
ligious fociety, may we not very juflly cry out with ths 
wife man in my text, " Woe be to him that is alone; for 
when he fallethj he hath not another to lift him up ?" When 
he is cold, he hath not a friend to warm him ; when he ig 
affaultedj he hath not a fecund to help him to withftand hi$ 

III. I now come to nfiy third general head, under which 

was to be (hewn the feveral duties incumbent on every 

. H 2 member 

[ 1.6 ] 

member of a religious fociety, as fuch, which arc three. 
1. Mutual reproof J 2. Mutual exhortation; 3. Mutual 
aflifting and defending each other. 

1. Mutual reproof. '* Two are better than one j for when 
they fall, the one will lift up his fellow." 

Now, reproof may be taken either in a more extenfive 
fenfe, and then it fignifies our raifing a brother by the gentled 
means, when he falls into fin and error ; or in a more 
• reftrained fignification, as reaching no farther than thofe 
mifcarriages, which unavoidably happen in the moii holy 
men living. 

T\-\Q v/iie man, in the text, fuppofes all of us fubjedl to 
both : " For when they fall (thereby implying that each of 
us may fall) the one will lift up his fellow." From whence 
we may infer, that " when any brother is overtaken with a 
fault, he that is fpiritual (that is, regenerate, and knows the 
corruption and weaknefs of human nature) ought to reflore 
fuch a one in the fpirit of meeknefs." And why he fliould 
do fo, the apoftle fubjoins a reafon " confidering thyfelf, left 
thou alfo be tempted ;" i. e. confidering thy own frailty, 
left thou alfo fail by the like temptation. 

We are all frail unliable creatures ; and it is merely owing 
to the free grace and good providence of God that we run 
not into the fame excefs of riot with other men. Every ofn 
fending brother, therefor^, claims our pity rather than our 
refentment; and each member fliould drive to be the moft 
forward, as well as moft gentle, in reftoring him to his for- 
mer ftate. 

But fuppofing a perfon not to be overtaken, but to fall 
wilfully into a crime ; yet who art thou that denieft forgive- 
nefs to thy offending brother ? " Let him that ftandeth take 
heed left he fall." Take ye, brethren, the holy apoftles as 
eminent examples for you to learn by, how you ought to 
behave in this matter. Confjder how quickly they joined the 
right hand of fellowfliip with Peter, v/ho had fo wilfully de- 
nied his maftcr : for v/e find John and him together but two 
d;»ys after, John xx. 2. And vcr. J 9, we fii^d him affcm- 
blcd with the reft. So foon did they forgive, fo foon aOb- 


[ "7 ] 

cl?.te with their finfu], yet relenting brother. « Let us <ro 
and do likewife." 

But there is another kind of reproof incumbent on every 
member of a religious fociety ; namely, a gn7t/e rebuke for 
fome mifcarriage or other, which though not actually finful, 
yet may become the occafion of fin. This indeed feems a 
more eafy, but perhaps will be found a more difficult point 
than the former: for when a perfon has re^illy finned, he can- 
not but own his brethrens reproof to be juftj whereas, when 
it was only for fome little mifconduiSi:, the pride thiu is in 
our natures will fcaice fuffer us to brook it. But however 
ungrateful this pill may be to our brother, yet If we have 
any concern for his welfare, it muft be adminiitcred by fome 
friendly hand or other. By all means then let it be applied; 
only, like a fkilful phyfician, gild over the ungrateful pill, 
and endeavour, if poffible, to deceive thy brother into 
health and foundnefs. «* Let all birternefs, and wrath, and 
malice, and evil- fpeaking, be put away" from it. Let the 
patient know, his recovery is the only thing aimed at, and 
that thou delighteft not caufelefly to grieve thy brother ; then 
thou canft not want fuccefs. 

2. Mutual exhortation is the fecond duty refulting from the 
words of the text. " Again, if two lye together, then they 
have heat." 

Obferve, the wife man fuppofes it as impoffible for reli- 
gious perfons to meet together, and not to be the warmer for 
each other's company, as for two perfons to lye in the fiime 
bed, and yet freeze with cold. But now, hovv' is it po/Tible 
to communicate heat to each other, without mutually flirring 
up the gift of God which is in us, by brotherly exhortation ? 
Let every member then of a religious fociety write that zea- 
lous apoftle's advice on the tables of his he irt ; " See that 
ye exhort, and p'-ovoke one another to love, and to good 
works ; and fo much the more, as you fee the day of the 
Lord approaching." Believe me, brethren, we have need 
of exhortation to roufe up our fleepy fouls, to fet us upon 
our watch agaihft the temptations of the world, the flefli, and 
the devil ; to excite us to renounce ourfclvcs, to take up our 
erodes, and follov/ our blcfied maOcr, and the glorious com- 
pany of faints and martyrs.. " who through faith have fought 

H -i the 

[ ii8 ] 

the good Sght, and are gone before us to inherit the promifes," 
A third part, therefore, of the time wherein a religious fo- 
cicty meets, feems nccelTary to be fpent in this important 
duty : for what avails it to have our underftandings enlight- 
ened by pious reading, unlcfs our wills are at the fame time 
inclined, and inSamcd by mutual exhortation, to put it in 
pra£l:'cc ? Add alfo, that this js the belt way both to receive 
and impart light, ar\d the only means to preferve and increafe 
that warmth and heat which each perfon firft brought witli 
him J God fo ordering this, as all other fpiritual gifts, that 
■'' to him that hath, i. c. improves and communicates what 
he hath, fhall be given ; but from him that hath not, or does 
not improve the heat he hath, fnall be taken away even that 
which he feemed to have." So needful, fo efientially necef- 
fary, is exhortation to the good of fociety. 

3. Thirdly, I'he text points out another duty incumbent 
on every member of a religious fociety, to defend each other 
from thpf:f that do oppofe them. " rvnd if one prevail againfl: 
him, yet two fliall Vv'ithfland him ; and a threefold cord is 
|iot quickly broken." 

Here the wife man takes it for granted, that offences will 
come, nay, and that they rnay prevail too. Arid this is no 
more than our blcflcd mailer has long fince told us. Not, in- 
deed, that there is any thing in chriftianity itfelf that has the 
Kaft tendency to give rife to, or promote fuch offences : No, 
on the contrary, it breathes nothing but unity and love. 

But fo it is, that ever fmce the fatal fentence pronounced 
by God, after our firft parents fall, " I v;ill put enmity be- 
tween thy feed and her kcd j" he that is born after the flefh, 
the unregerieiate unconverted fmner, has in all ages " per- 
fccuted him that is born after the fpirit:" an-d fo it always 
will be. Accordingly we find an early proof given of this in 
the \i\i\c\ncQ Oi Caiu and JI?eI -, oi Ijhmael and Ifaac \ and of 
^acob and Efau. And, indeed, the whole Bible contains little 
elfe but an hiftory of the great and continued oppofition be- 
tween the children of this world, and the children of God. 
The nrft chriftians were remarkable examples of this ; and 
^hough thofe troublefome times, bleffe<l be God, are now 
pver, yet the apoftle has laid it down as a general rule, and 
all who are fincerc experimentally prove the truth of it ; that 
I " they 

[ U9 ] 

^ they that will live godly in Christ ]ES\jSy mu{l (to the: 
end of the world, in Come degree or other) fufFer pcr{ecution.** 
That therefore this \:\:.y not make us dtfert our blefied ma* 
fler's cauTe, every nicmbcr fhould unite their forces, in order 
to fland againft it. And for the b -tter cflcdiing this, each 
would do well, from time to time, to communicate his expe- 
riences, grievances, and temptations, and beg his companions 
(firft alking God's airiftaiice, without which all is. nothing) 
to adminifter reproof, exhortation, or comfort, as his cafe 
requires : fo that '< if one cannot prevail againft it, yet two 
fhall withftand it; and a threefold (much lefs a many-fold) 
cord will not be quickly broken." 

IV. But it is time for me to proceed to the fourth general 
thing propofed, to draw an inference or two from wh4C 
has been faid. 

I. And firft, if " two are better than one," and the ad- 
vantages of religious fociety are fo many and fo great; then 
it is the duty of every true chriftian to fet on foot, eftablifh 
and promote, as much as in him lyes, focieties of this na- 
ture. And I believe we may venture to affirm, that if ever 
a fpirit of true chriftianity is revived in the world, it muft be 
brought about by fome fuch means as this. Motives, furcly, 
cannot be wanting, to ftir us up to this commendable and 
iieceflary undertaking : for, granting all hitherto advanced to 
be of no force, yet methinks the fmgle confideration, that 
great part of our happinefs in heaven will confift in the Com^ 
munion of Saints ; or that the intereft as well as piety of thofe 
who diff'er from us, is ftrengthened and fupported by nothing 
more than their frequent meetings ; either of thefe confider- 
ations, I fay, one v/ould think, fhould induce us to do our 
utmoft to copy after their good example, and fettle a lafting 
and pious communion of the faints on earth. Add to this, 
that we find the kingdom of darknefs eftabliftied daily by fuch 
like means ; and fliall not the kingdom of Christ be fet in 
oppofition againft it ? Shall the children of Belial aflemble 
and ftrengthen each other in wickednefs ; and {hall not the 
children of God unite, and ftrengthen themfelvcs in piety? 
Shall focieties on focieties be countenanced for midnight re- 

H 4 veiliiigs, 

C 120 ] 

veiling?, and the promoting of vice, and fcarcely one be 
found intended for the propagation of virtue? Be aftonilhed, 
O heavens at this ! 

2. But this leads me to a fecond inference ; namely, to 
warn perfons of the great danger thofe are in, who cither by 
their lubfcriptions, prefence, or approb-ation, promote fo- 
cieties of a quite oppofite nature to religion. 

And here I would not be underftood, to mean only thofe 
public meetings which are defigned manifeftly for nothing 
elfe but revellings and banquctings, for chambering and wan- 
tonnefs, and at which a modeft heathen would bluih to be 
prefent ; but alfo thofe fecmingly innocent entertainments 
and meetings, which the politer part of the world are fo very 
fond of, and fpend fo much time in : but which, notwith- 
ftanding, keep as many perfons from a fenfe of true religion, 
as doth intemperance, debauchery, or any other crime what- 
ever. Indeed, whilfl; we are in this w-orld, we muft have 
proper relaxations, to fit us both for the bufinefs of our pro- 
fefTion, and religion. But then, for 'perfons who call them- 
felves chriftians, that have folem.nly vowed at their baptifm, 
to renounce the vanities of this iuirul world j that are com- 
rnanded in fcripture '' to abfrain from all appearance of evil, 
and to have their converfation in heaven :'* for fuch perfons 
as thefe to fupport meetings, which (to fay no worfe of them) 
^re vain and trifling, and have a natural tendency to draw 
off our minds from God, is abfurd, ridiculous, and fu-]ful. 
Surely tv/o are not belter than one in this cafe : No; it is to 
be wifbed there was not one to be found concerned in it. The 
fooner we forfake the afiembling ourfelves together in fuch a 
manner, the better; and no matter how quickly the cord 
that holds fuch focieties (was it a thoufand-fold) is broken. 

Bul you, brethren, have not fo learned Christ : but, on 
the contrary, like true difciples of your Lord and Mafter, 
hav'c by the blefTing of God (as this evening's folemnity 
abundantly teftifies) happily formed yourfelves i.nto fuch fo- 
cieties, vv'hich, if duly attended on, and improved, cannot 
but ftrengthcn you in your chrilVian warfare, and " make 
you fruitful in every good word and work." 

What remains for me, but, as was propofcd, in the laft 

in a word or two, by w^y 

[ 121 ] 

of exhortation, and to befeech you, in the nameofour Lord 
Jesus Christ, to go on in the way you have begun ; and 
by a conftant confcicntious attendance on your rcfpediive fo- 
ci^'ties, to difcountcnancc vice, encourage virtue, and build 
each other up in the knowledge and fear of God. 

Only permit me to " ftir up your pure minds, by wav of 
remembrance," and to exhort you, " if there be any confo- 
lation in Christ, any fellowfliip of the fpirit,'* again and 
again to confider, that as all chriftians in general, (b all 
members of religious focieties in particular, are in an efpecial 
manner, as houfes built upon an hill ; and that therefore 
it highly concerns you to walk circumfpcdtly towards thofe 
that are without, and to take heed to yourfelves, that your 
converfation, in common life, be as becometh fuch an operi 
and peculiar profeflion of the gofpel of Christ : knowing 
that the eyes of all men are upon you, narrowly to infpedl 
every circumftance of your behaviour : and that every noto- 
rious wilful mifcarriage of any fmgle member will, in fome 
me:iiure, redound to the fcandal and difhonour of your whole 

Labour, therefore, my beloved brethren, to let your prac- 
tice correfpond to your profelTion : and think not that it will 
be fufficient for you to plead at the lad day. Lord have we 
not afFembled ourfelves together in thy name, and enlivened 
each other, by Tinging pfalms, and hymns, and fpiritual 
fongs ? For verily, I fay unto you, notwithftanding this, 
our blefied Lord will bid you depart from him ; nay, you 
{hall receive a greater damnation, if, in the midil of thefe 
great pretenfions, you are found to be workers of iniquity. 

But God forbid that •any fuch evil fhould befdl you ; that 
there (hould be ever a Judas^ a traitor, amongft fuch diftin- 
guifhed followers of our common mafter. No, on the con- 
trary, the excellency of your rules, the regularity of your 
meetings, and more efpecially your pious zeal in aflembiing 
in fuch a public and folemn manner fo frequently in the 
year, pcrfuade me to think, that you are willing, not bnrely 
to feem, but to be in reality, chrittians ; and h(>[.e to be 
found at the laft day, what you would be ef^cemed now, 
holv, fmccre difciplcs of a crucified Redeemer. 


[ 122 ] 

Oh, may you always continue thus minded ! and make it 
your daily, conflant endeavour, both by precept and exam- 
ple, to turn all your converfe with, more efpecially thofe of 
your own focieties, into the fame moft blefl'ed fpirit and 
temper. Thus will you adorn the gofpel of our Lord 
Jesus Christ in all things : Thus will you anticipate the 
happinefs of a future ftate ; and by attending on, and im- 
proving the communion of faints on earth, be made mett 
to join the communi©n and fcllowfliip of the fpirits of juft 
men m.ade perfe£l, of the holy angels, nay, of the ever-bleliccj 
and eternal God in heaven. 

Which God of his infinite mercy grant through Jesus 
Christ our Lord ; to whom with the Father and the 
Holy Ghofl-, three perfons and one God, be afcribed, 
as is moft due, all honour and praife, might, majefty 
sind dominion, now and for ever. Amen. 

S E R. 

[ >23 ] 


The Folly and Danger of being not righteous 

EccLEs. vii. 1 6. 

Be not righteous overmuch^ neither make ihyfelf over -wife : 
why JJiculdft thou deftroy thy f elf ? 

NOTHING is more frequent, than while people are 
living in a courle of fin, and after the fafnidn and man- 
ner of the v/oild, there is no notice taken of them ; neither 
are their '.^ays difpleafnig to their companions and carnal re- 
lations : but if they fet their faces Zion-ward, and becrin to 
feel the power of God on their hearts ; then they are fur- 
rounded with temptations from their friends, who thus at]: the 
devil's part. The enemies, the greateit enemies a young 
convert meets with, my dear brethren, are thofe of his own 
houfe. They that will be godly, mud fuul^ perfecution; 
fo it was in Christ's time, and fo it was in the Apoftles 
time too; for our Lord came not to fend peace, but a 
fword. Our relations would not have us fit in the fcorner's 
chair; they would not have us be prodigals, confuming our 
fubftance upon harlots ; neither would they have us rakes or 
libertines, but they v/ouM have us be contented with an almoft 
chriftianity. To keep up our reputation by going to church, 
and adhering to the outward forms of religion, laying our 
prayers, reading the word of God, and taking the facraments ; 
this, they imagine, is all that is necefiary for to be chriftians 
indeed ; and when we go one flcp farther than this, their 
/ mouths are open againlt us, as Peter s was to Christ : 
^* Spare thyfelf, do thyfelf no harm." 


[ iH ] 

And of this nature are the words of the text. They arc 
not the words of Solomon himfelf, but the words of an infidel 
{■peaking to him, whom he introduces in feveral parts of this 
book ; for Solomon had been fhewing the misfortunes which 
attended the truly good, as in the verfe before our text. 

Upon this the infidel fays, " Be not righteous over- much, 
neither be thou over-wife : why (liouldft thou deftroy thyfelf ? " 
i. e. Why fhouldft thou bring thefe misfortunes upon thyfelf, 
by being over-ftri6c ? Be not righteous over-much ; eat, 
drink, and be merry, live as the world lives, and then you 
will avoid thofe misfortunes which may attend you, by being 
righteous over-much. 

This text has another meaning ; but take it v/hich way 
you will, my brethren, it was fpoken by an unbeliever ; 
therefore it was no credit for the perfon who lately preached 
upon this text, to take it for granted, that t,hefe were the 
words of Solomon : the words of an infidel was not a proper 
text to a chriftian congregation. But as David came out 
againft Goliah^ not armed as the champion was, with fword 
and fpear, but with a fling and {lone, and then cut off" his 
head with his own fword ; fo I come out againft thefe letter- 
learned men, in the ftrength of the Lord Jesus Christ ; 
and, my dear brethren, I truft he will direct: me to ufe my 
fling, fo that our enemies may not gain fay us ; and by the 
fword of God's v/ord, cut oiF the heads of our Redeemer's 

But though they are not the words of Solomon, yet we will 
take them in the fame manner the late writer did 3 and, from 
the words, fhall, 

-F/r/?, Shew you what it is, not to be righteous over-much, 
that we may not deflroy ourfelves. 

Secondly, I fliall let you fee what it is to be righteous over- 
much. And then. 

Thirdly, Conclude with an exhortation to all of you, high 
and low, rich and poor, one with another, to come to the 
Lord Jesus Christ. 

FiyJ}, The firft thing propofed, is to {hew you what it is 
not to be righteous over-much. And here. 

[ 125 ] 

It is by no means to be righteous over-much, to affirm we 
mufl have the Tame Spirit of God as the iirft Apoftlcs had, 
and mull: feel that Spirit upon our hearts. 

By receiving the Spirit of God, is not to be underftood, 
that we are to be infpired to fliew outward figns and wonders, 
to raife dead bodies, to cure leprous perfons, or to give fighc 
to the blind : thefe miracles were only of ufe in the firft ages 
of the church ; and therefore chriftians (nominal chriftians, 
for we have little elfe but the name) may have all the gifts of 
the Spiiit, and yet none of the graces of it : Thou, O man, 
mayefl be enabled by faith to remove mountains ; thou, by 
the power of God, mayeft caft out devils; thou, by that 
power, mayeft fpeak wi^h the tongues of men and angels; 
yea, thou mayeft, by that power, hold up thy finger and ftop 
the fun in the firmament ; and if all the(e are unfandified by 
the Spirit of God, they would be of no fervice to thee, but 
would hurry thee to hell with the greater folemnity. Saui 
received the fpirit of prophefying, and had another heart, yet 
Saui was probably a caft-away. We muft receive the Spirit of 
God in its fandifying graces upon our fouls; for Christ 
fays, " Unlefs a man be born again, he carmot fee the king- 
dom of God." We are all by nature born in fin, and at as 
great a diftance from God, as the devils themfelves. I have 
told you often, and now tell you again, that you are by na- 
ture a motley mixture of the beaft and devil, and we cannot 
recover ourfelves from the ftate wherein we have fallen, there- 
fore muft be renewed by the Holy Ghoft. By the Holy Ghoft, 
I mean, the third Perfon of the ever-blefied Trinity, co-equal, 
co-cfTential, co-eternal, and confubftantial with the Father 
2nd the Son ; and therefore, when we are baprized, it is 
into the nature of the Father, into the nature of the Son, 
and into the nature of the Holy Ghoft : and we are not true 
chriftians, till we are fanc^ified by the Spirit of God. 

Though our modern preachers do not actually denv the 
Spiiit of God, yet they fay, " Chriftians muft not feel hiivj;" 
which is in effect to deny him. When NicodcTnus came to 
Christ, and the Lord Jesus was inftruding him, con- 
cerning the new birth, fays he to our Lord, " How can 
thefe things be r" Ni:odcnmSy though a mafter of Ifrael^ a6id 
juft as cur learned Rahbi'a do now. The anfvvcr that Christ 


[ 126 ] 

gave hiiri fl^iGUlii flop the mouths of our Iciter-Jearned phari- 
Ices : '' "i he wind b'oweth where it liTicth, and we hear the 
found thereof, but cannot tell whence it cometh, nor whither 
it goeth." Now till the Spirit of Goo is felt on our fouls as 
the wind on our bodies, indeed, my dear brethren, you have 
no intereft in him : religion confifts not in external perform- 
ance, it muft be in the heart, or elfe it is only a name, v/hich 
cannot profit us, a name to live whiUl: we arc dead. 

A late preacher upon this text, fecms to laugh at us, for 
talkin^'^ of the Spirit in a fenfible manner, and talks to us as 
the Jews did to Christ : Tiiey faid, " How can this man 
give us his 9itii\ to eat ? " So he afKs, " What fign or proof 
do we give of it ?" V/e do not in.^^ine, that God mud ap- 
pear to us, and give it us : no; hue there may b?, and is, a 
frequent receiving, when no feeing of it; and it is as plaiidy 
^elt in the foul, as any impreilion is, or can be, upon the body. 
To what a damnable condition (hould we bring poor finners, 
if they could not be fenfible of the Spirit of God j namely, a 
reprobate mind and paft feeling ? 

" What proof do they give ?" fays the writer. What fign 
v/ould they have ? Do they expert us to raife the dead, to 
give fight to the blind, to cure lepers, to make the lame to 
walk, and the deaf to hear ? If thefe are what they expe6f, 
I fpeak v^'ith humility, God, by us, hath done greater things 
than thefe : many, who were dead in fin, are raifed to fcrip- 
ture-life : thot'e, Vv'ho were leprous by nature, are cleanfed by 
the Spirit of God ; thofe, who were lame in duty, now run. 
in God's commands ; thofe, who were deaf, their ears are 
xinftopped to hear his difcipline, and hearken to his advice ; 
and the poor have t!ie gofpel preached to them. No wonder 
people talk at this rate, when they can tell us, " That the 
Spirit of God, is a good confciencc, conftquent thereupon." 
My dear brethren, Senrca^ Cicerc^ Plato, or any of the heathen 
philofophers, would hive given as good a dciinition as this : 
It means no more, tlian refie(5ling that we have done well* 
This, this is only Dcifm refined : Deills laugh at us, when 
we pretend to be jigainft their notions, and yet thefe men ul'e 
no other rcafon for our differing from them, than what is 
agreeable to Deifts principles. 


r 127 ] 

Th,. writer tell, us, " It is againft common-fenfe to talk 
of the feel.ng of the Spirit of God." Commor,-ren/e, ,T,y bre- 
thren, W.S never allowed to be a judge ; jea, it is above its 
con,prehenf.on, neither are, nor can the ways of God be 
known by common Ibnfe. We ftould never have known the 
th ngs of God at all by our common fenfes : no ; it is the re- 
ve afon of God which is to be our judge ; it i's that we ap- 
P« to, , d „„, ,„ „^^ ^^^^ ^^^ ^^jl^^ conceptions of 
th.ngs. Thus we may fee, i, is by no means to be righteous 

r;:ar:aV'° tr^ "--^ ''--^^ ^-'- «- -^= 

re'2' ^T'^'-' "P°" '^'" *''''' =™= =" P"«i"g ^Mc all the 
re,-g.ous focefes that are in the kingdom : Ind«d. he fays 

«' inhtl' '^^>'°"^P^^y"-^'"<l«hewordofGoD;and. 

and as for the Sp,r,t of God upon your fouls, you are to 
00k upon ,t as ufelefs and unnece/Taty." If this! my br ^ 

ow ebb f :;"\"' '''' "°" P^^^'''^^' chriftilnity'is c 
JESUS Christ. Do you not forbear the frequenting of reli- 
g.ous aiTemW.es ; for as nothing helps to build up the devil's 

Wd be more for pulling of it down, than the people of 
OOD meetmg to ftrengthen each others hands; and as the 

JESUS. Yes, I hope many of you will be of the 

in 5 '^ J " ^''" "^^ P"™'"^^ ^hriftians delighted 
.n J and ftall not we follow (o excellent an example ? My 
brethren, till chriftian converfation is more agreeable to us! 

rrorifi:d""?r''-'° t ''' '"'''' °' ^"-^'^^ - -^ •>« 

glor,|..d. Thus K .s by no means to be righteous over-much, 
to frequent religious aflemblies. Nor, 

th Jdtel!' " l'" ""' "^-^''""^ over-much, to abftain from 
tilt divethons and entertainments of the aae 

.vi^'and'thTrf V° "''""" '""""'^^ 'PP-""- °f 
*vU, and th.t " whatfoevcr we do, whether we eat or drink, 


[ »28 ] 

WG fliall do all to the glory of God." The writer upon this 
text tells us, *' That it will be accounted unlawful to fmell to 
a rofe :" no, my dear brethren, you may fmell to a pink and 
rofe too if you pleafc, but take care to avoid the appearance of 
fin. They talk of innocent diverfions and recreations j for 
my part, I know of no divcrfion, but that of doing good : if 
you can find any diverfion which is not contrary to your bap- 
tifmal vow, of renouncing the pomps and vanities of this 
wicked world ; if you can find any diverfion which tends to 
the glory of God ; if you can find any diverfion, which you 
would be willing to be found at by the Lord Jesus Christ, 
I give you free licence to go to them and welcome ; but if, on 
the contrary, they are found to keep finners from coming ta 
the Lord Jesus Christ j if they are a means to harden the 
heart, and fuch as you would not willingly be found in when 
you come to die, then, my dear brethren, keep from them : 
■ for, indeed, the diverfions of this age are contrary to chriftian- 
ity. Many of you may think I have gone too far, but I 
'(ball go a great deal farther yet : I will attack the devil in 
his ftrongeft holds, and bear my teftimony againft our fa-» 
ihionable and polite entertainments. \Vhat fatisfadion can 
it be, what pleafure is there in fpending feveral hours at cards P 
Strange ! that even people who are grown old, can fpend 
whole nights in this diverfion : perhaps many of you will cry 
out, " What harm is there in it?" My dear brethren, 
whatfoever is not of faith, or for the glory of God, is a fin i 
Now does cards tend to promote this ? Is it not mifpending 
your precious time, which fnould be employed in working 
out your falvation with fear and trembling ? Do play-hGufeSy 
horfe-racing^ halls and njfe77iblie5^ tend to promote the glory of 
God ? Would you be willing to have your foul demanded af 
yo.u, while you are at one of thofe places ? Many of thcfe 
are, (I muft fpeak, I cannot foibear to fpeak againft thefe 
entertainments ; come what will, I v/ill declare againft them) 
many, I fay, of thefe are kept up by public authority : the 
play-houfes are fupported by a public fund, and our news- 
papers are full of horfe- races all through the kingdom : thefe 
things are finful ; indeed they are exceeding fmful. What 
good can come from a horfe-race ; from abufing GoD Al- 
mighty's creatures, and putting them to that ufe he never 


[ '29 ] 

dcfigned for them : the play-houfes, are they not nurferles of 
dtbauchery in the age ? and the fupporters and patrons of 
them, are encouragers and promoters of all the evil that is 
done by them ; they are the bane of the ag^, and will be the 
deflrudlion of thofe who frequent them. Is it not high time 
for the true minifters of Jesus Christ, who have been par- 
takers of the heavenly gift, to lift up their voices as a trumpet, 
and cry aloud againft thefe diverfions of the age ? Are they 
not earthly, fenfual, devilifh ? Ir you have tafted of the love 
of God, and have felt his power upon your fouls, you would 
no more go to a play, than you would run your head into a 

And what occafions thefe places to be fo much frequented, 
is the clergy's m.aking no fcruple to be at thefe polite places : 
they frequent play-houfes, they go to horfe races, they go to 
balls and aflemblies, they frequent taverns, and follow all the 
entertainments that the age affords ; and yet thefe are the per- 
fons who fiiould advile their heiiiCrs to refrain from them ; but 
inftead thereof, they encourage them by their example. Per- 
fons are too apt to rely upon, and believe their paftors, rather 
than the fcriprures ; they ihink that there is no crime in going 
to plays or horfe-races, to bails und afl'emblies; for if there 
were, they think thofe perfons, who are their minifters, 
would not frequent them : but, my dear brethren, obferve 
they always go difguifed, the minifters are afraid of being feeri 
in their gowns and caftbcks ; the reafon thereof is plain, their 
confciences inform them, that it is not an example fit for the 
minifters of the gofpel to fet ; thus, they are the means of 
giving that offence to the people of God, which I would not 
for ten thoufand worlds : they lay a ftumibling-block in the 
way of their weak brethren, which they will not remove, 
though it is a ftumbling-block of offence. " Woe unto the 
world becaufe of offences, but woe unto that man by whom 
the offence com-^th." The polite gentlemen of the age, fpend 
their time in following thvfe diverfions, becaufe the love of 
God is not in their hearts ; they are void of Christ, and 
deftitute of the Spirit of God ; and not being acquainted 
with the delight there is in God and his ways, being ftrangers 
to thefe things, they run to the devil for diverfions, and are 
pleafed and delighted with the filly ones he (hews them. 

Vol. V. I • My 


[ 130 ] 

My dear brethren, I fpeak of thefe things, thefe innocent 
diverfions, as the polite part of the world calls them, by expe- 
rience ; perhaps none, for my age, hath read or feen more 
plays than I have : I took delight in, and was pleafed with 
them. It is true, I went to church frequently, received the 
facrament, and was diligent in the ufe of the forms of religion, 
but I was all this while ignorant of the power of God on my 
heart, and unacquainted with the work of grace ; but when 
God was pleafed to (bine with power upon my foul, I could 
ro longer be contented to feed on hufks, or what the fwinc 
did eat: the Bible then was my food ; there, and there only I 
took delight : and till you feel this fame power, you will not 
abttain from the earthly delights of this age, you will take no 
comfort in God's ways, nor receive any comfort from him j 
for you are void of the love of GoD, having only the form of 
godlinefs, while you are denying the power of it ; you are 
nominal chriflians, when you have not the power of chrif- 

The polite gentlemen fay, " Are we to be always upon 
f' our knees ? Would you have us be always at prayer, and 
'' reading or hearing the word of GoD ?" 

My dear brethren, the fafhionable ones, who take delight 
jn hunting, are not tired of being continually on horfeback 
after their hounds ; and when once you are renewed by the 
Spirit of GoD, it will be a continual pleafure to be walking 
with, and talking of GoD, and telling what great things 
Jiisus Christ hath done for your fouls ; and till you cari 
find as much pleafure in converfing with God, as thefe men 
do of their hounds, you have no (hare in him ; but when you 
have tailed how good the Lord is, you will fhew forth his 
praife ^ out of the abundance of your heart your mouth will 

This brings me to the fecond thing propofcd, which is an 
^xtream that very fcldom happens : 

Secondly, To fhew what it is to be righteous over-much. 
And here, 

FirJ}^ When we confine the Spirit of God to this or that 

particular church ; and are not willing to converfe with any 

but thofe of the fame communion -, this is to be righteous 

3 over- 

[ '31 ] 

•ver-much with a witnefs : and To it is, to confine our com- 
munion within church-walls, and to think that Jesus could 
not preach in a field as well as on confccrated-ground ; this 
IS judaifniy this is bigotry: this is like Peter^ who would not go 
to preach the gofpel to the Gentiles^ till he had a vifion from 
God : and when his condu(5i: was blamed by the difciples, 
he could not fatisfy them till he had acquainted them with 
the vifion he had feen. And, theret'orc, we may juftly infer, the 
Spirit of God is the center of unity ; and wherever I fee the 
image of my Mafter, I never enquire of them their opinions ; 
I afk them not what they are, {o they love Jesus Christ in 
fincerity and truth, but embrace them as my brother, my 
fifter, and my fpoufe : and this is the fpirit of chriitianity. 
Many pcrfons, who are bigots to this or that opinion, when 
one of a different way of thinking hath come where they 
were, have left the room or place on the account : this is the 
fpirit of the devil ; and if it was poffible that thefe perfons 
could be admitted into heaven with fuch tempers, that very 
place would be hell to them. Chriftianity will never flourifh, 
till v/e are all of one heart and of one miad ; and this would be 
the only means of feeing the gofpel of Jesus to flourifh, more 
than ever it will by perfecuting thofe who differ from us. 

This may be efteemcd as enthufiafm and madnefs, and as a 
defign to undermine the eftablifbed church : No ; God is my 
judge, I (hould rejoice to fee all the world adhere to her ar- 
ticles ; I ftiould rejoice to fee the miniflers of the Church of 
England^ preach up thofe very articles they have fubfcribed to; 
but thofe minifters who do preach up the articles, are efleemcd 
as madmen, enthufiafts, fchifmatics, and uridcrminers of the 
eftablifbed church : and though they fay thcfe things of me, 
bleffed be God, they are without foundation. My dear bre- 
thren, I am a friend to her articles, I am a friend to her homi- 
lies, I am a friend to her liturgy ; and, if they did not thruft 
me out of their churches, I would read them every day ; but I 
do not confine the Spirit of God there ; for I fay it again, I 
love all that'love the Lord Jesus Christ, and efteem him 
my brother, my friend, my fpoufe ; aye, my very foul is knit 
to that perfon. The fpirit of perfecution will never, indeed 
it will never make any to love Jesus Christ. The phari' 
fees make this to be madnefs, fo much as to mention perfecu- 

I 2 tioa 

[ 132 ] 

tion in a chriftian country ; but there is .as much the fpirlt of 
perfecutlon now in the world, as ever there was ; their will is 
as great, but bleflcd be God, they want the power ; otherwife, 
how foon would they fend me to prifon, make my feet faft in 
the flocks, yea, would think they did God fervice in killing 
me, and would rejoice to take away my life. 

This is not the Spirit of Christ, my dear brethren ; I had 
not come to have thus preached j I had not come into the 
highways and hedges ; I had not expofeu myfelf to the ill 
treatment of thefe letter-learned men, but for the fake of 
your fouls : indeed, I had no other reafon, but your falvation ; 
and for that (I fpeak the truth in Christ, I lie not) 1 would 
be content to go to prifon ; yea, I would rejoice to die for 
you, fo I could but be a means to bring fome of you to Jesus : 
I could not bear to fee fo many in the highway to deftru6lion, 
and not fhew them their danger : I could not bear, my bre- 
thren, to fee you more willing to learn, than the teachers arc 
to in{lru6l you : and if any of them were to come and preach 
to you, I fhould not envy them, I fliould not call them en- 
thufiafts or madmen 5 I fhould rejoice to hear they had tea 
thoufand times more fuccefs than I have met with ; I would 
give them the right-hand of fellov.'fhip ; I would advife them 
to go on ; I would wiih them good luck in the name of the 
Lord, and fay as Christ did, when the difciples informed 
him of fome cadi g out devils in his nam'e, and were for re- 
buking of them, " Forbid them nor, for they that are not 
againfl: us are for us ;" or as St. Paul fays, " Some preach 
Christ of envy, and fome of good-will; notwithflanding, fo 
Christ is but preached, I rejoice ; yea, and will rejoice." 
The gofpel of Jesus, is a gofpel of peace. Thus you may 
fee, that to be righteous over-much, is to be uncharitable, 
cenforious, and to perfecute perfons for differing from us in 

Secondly, Perfons are righteous over-much, when they 
fpend fo much time in religious affemblies, as to negle6t their 
families. There is no licence given by the bleffed Jesus, for 
idlenefs ; for in the very infancy of the world, idlenefs was 
not allowed of. In paradlfe, /Mam and Eve dreffed the gar^ 
den, Cain was a tiller of the ground, and Jhel vt'as a keeper of 
iheep ; and there is a proverb amongfl the JcwSy *.' That he 
5 " -who 

[ 133 1 

who brings bis Ton up without a bufinefs, brings him up to be 
a thief:" and therefore our Saviour was a carpenter ; " fs 
lot this the carpenter's fon," faid the y<fit'j ;" and St. PW 
though brought up at the feet of Gamaliel^ was a tent-mnker. 
Labour, my brethren, is impofed on all mankind as part of 
the divine curfe ; and you are called to be ufeful in the fociety 
to which you belong : take care firft for the kingdom of 
God, and all things necefTary fliall be added. To labour for 
the meat that periftieth, is your duty; only take care, that vou 
do not neglect getting the meat for the foul : that is o^ the 
greatelt confequence, for this plain reafon, the things of this 
life are teniporal, but thofe of the next are eternal.- I would 
have rich men to work as well as poor : it is ovvino- to their 
jdlenefs, that the devil hurries them to his diverfions ; they 
can be in their beds all the morning, and fpend the afiernoon 
and evening in dreffing, vifiting, and at balls, plays, or aflem- 
blies, when they (hould be working out their falvation with 
fear and trembling. Such a life as this, occafions a fpiritual 
numbnefs in the foul ; and if Jesus Christ was not to ftop 
thofe who thus fpend their time, they would be hurried into 
eternity, without once thinking of their immortal fouls. 
But Jesus Christ has compaffion upon many of them, and 
while they are in their blood, he bids them " live." And 
though I preach this do6lrine to you, yet I do not bid you be 
idle ; no, they that do not work fhould not eat. You have 
two callings, a general one, and a fpecial one : as we are to 
regard the one In refpe<Si: of our bodies, fo we are to regard the 
other on account of our fouls. Take heed, my brethren, I 
befeech you, take heed, left you labour fo for the meat that 
periftieth, as to forget that meat which endureth for ever. 
Seek the things of God firft; look well to obtain oil in your 
lamps, grace in your hearts. I am not perfuading you to take 
no care about the things of the world, but only not to be en- 
cumbered with them, fo as to neglect your duty towards God, 
and a proper concern for your fouls. It is meet, it is right, 
it is your bounden duty, to mind the callings wherein God 
hath placed you ; and you may be faid to be righteous over- 
much not to regard them. This brings me, 

I 3 Thirdly, 

[ '34 ] 

Thirdly^ To give you another figu of being righteous over- 
much ; and that is, when we faft and ufe corporal aufterities, 
fo as to unfit us for the fervice of God. 

This, my brethren, you may think there is no occafion at 
9II to, caution you againft, and indeed there is not a great ne- 
ceiTity for it ; however, many perfons, upon their firft being 
awakened to a fenfe of their fin, are tempted to ufe aufterities 
to that excefs which is finful. It is our duty to faft, it is our 
^uty to faft often, and it is what we are direded to by 
Jesus Christ himfelf ; but then we are to take care to do it 
in a proper manner : to bring our bodies uriderYor the fervice 
of God, Is that which we are commanded by our Lord 
Jesus Christ. 

The late preacher upon this text, runs into great extremes, 
and charges us vvith faying and acting things, of which we never 
thought J but I do aot regard what he faid of me : I do not 
niijad, his bitter ioveelives againft my miniftry ; I do not mind 
his d-efpifing my youth, and calling me novice and enthufiaft ;. 
I forgive him froro my very heart : but when he refledts on my, 
Mafter ; when he fpe^ks againft my Redeemer j when Jesi/S; 
Christ is fpoken againft, I muft fpeak, (I muft fpeak 
indeed, or I ftiould burft :) when he gives liberty to perfonis 
to take a chearful gla/sj and alledges Christ for an example, 
a,s in the marriage-feaft, faying^ " Christ turned water into? 
*' wine,^ when it is plain there had been more drank than was, 
*' nepefl^y before j" vyhat is this, but to charge Christ- 
with encouraging drunkennefs? It is true, the Governor fays, 
'' Every man in the beginning fets forth good wine, and 
when men have well drank, that which is worfe ; but thou, 
haft kept the good wine until now :" but it does not at alL 
follow, that it was not neceflary, or that there had been ^ 
fufficient quantity before : I would not fpeak thus flightingly 
of one of my Maftcr's miracles, for the whole world. And 
• we may obfcrve, that as Christ chiefly viftted poor people* 
they might not have wherewithal to buy a fufficient quantity 
of wine j or having more gucfts than were expe6ied, the 
wine was expended fooner than they thought ; then the Mo- 
ther of Jesus tells him, " They have no wine ;" he anfwers, 
«' Woman, what have I to do with thee? My hour is not 
yet come/' After this he commanded them to fill the water- 

[ i35 3 

pots with water, and they filled them to the brim, and this' 
water he turned into wine : now it does not at all follow, that 
there was more drank than w?s neccfiary ; neither would the 
Lord Jesus Christ have continued in the houfe if there Irad. 
But we have an excellent leffon to learn from this miracle : 
by the water-pots being emptV, we may underftand, the heart 
of man being by nature deftitute of his grace, his fpeaking 
and commanding to fill them, {hews, that when Christ 
fpeaks, the heart that was empty of grace before, fliall be 
filled ; and the water- pots being filled to the brim, fliews, 
that Christ will fill believers hearts brim full of the Holy 
Ghofl : and from the Governor's obferving, that the laft 
wine was the beft, learn, that a believer's beft comfoits, fliall 
be the laft and greateft, for they fhall come with the greateft 
power upon the foul, and continue longeft there : this, this 
my dear brethren, is the lefTon we may learn from this miracle. 

But one great inconfiftency 1 cannot avoid taking notice of 
in this late learned preacher. In the beginning of his fermon, 
he charges us with " laying heavy burthens upon people, 
'* which they are not able to bear;'* in the letter part he 
charges us with being Antinomians, whofe tenets are, *' Sd 
•* you fay you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ; you may 
'"* live the life of devils." Now, he charges us with being 
too Jiri6i^ and by and by with being too Icofe. Which fide, 
my brethren, will you take ? Thus you fee, when perfons 
forfake Christ, they make firange miftakes ; for there cart 
be no greater oppofition of fentiments than this letter-learned 
writer has made : as oppofite as light and darknefs, good and 
evil, fweet and bitter. And, on this account, to find out 
thefe lettered-learned gentlemens notions of the new-birth, I 
put a paragraph in my Journal ; and, blefled be God, I have 
obtained my defires, and have plainly perceived, that the per- 
fons who have lately written concerning the nevv-birth, know" 
no more of it than a blind man does of colours, nor can they 
have any more notion of it, (by all their learning, falfely, fo 
called) than the blind man, who was to give an account what 
the fun was, and, after a confiderable time allowed for ftudy, 
he faid, *' It was like the found of a trumpet." And till they 
are taught of God, they will be ufiacquainted with the new- 

I 4 birth ; 

[ 136 ] 

birth : therefore, If you have a mind to know what the devil 
has to fay againft us, read Dr, Trapp's fermons. 

It is with grief I fpealc thcfe things, and were not the wel- 
fare of your fouls, and my Redeemer's honour at ftake, I 
would not now open my mouth, yea I would willingly die 
(God is my judge) for the perfon who wrote fuch bitter 
things againil me, fo it would be a means of faving his foul. 
If be had only fpokcn againft me, I would not have anfwered 
him ; but, on his making my Redeemer a pattern of vice, if 
J was not to fpeuk, the very ftones would cry out; therefore, 
the honour of my Redeemer, and love to you, conftrains me 
to fpeak. It is of neceffity that I fpeak, when the divinity of 
Jesus Christ is fpoken againft, it is the duty of minifters to 
cry aloud, and fparenot. I cannot forbear, come what will; for 
I know not what kind of divinity we have now among us : we 
muft have a righteoufnefs of our own, and do our bcft endea- 
vours, and then Christ will make up the deficiency ; that is, 
you muft be your own Saviour, in part. This is not the 
dodrine of the gofpel ; this is not the doctrine of Jesus : 
no; Christ is all in all ; Jesus Christ muft be your whole 
wifdom ; Jesus Christ muft be your whole righteoufnefs, 
Jesus Christ muft be your whole fandilication ; or Jesus 
Christ will never be your eternal redemption and fandifica- 
tion. Inward holinefs is looked on, by fome, as the efFecSt of 
enthufiafm and madnefs ; and preachers of the neceflity of the 
new-birth, are efteemed asperfons fit for Bedlam, Our polite 
and fafhionable dodtrine, is, " That there is a fitnefs in man, 
'' and that God, feeing you a good creature, beftows upon 
♦' you his grace." God forbid, my dear brethren, ycu 
fliould thus learn Jesus Christ ! 

This is not the do6trine I preach to. you : I fay, falvation 
is the free gift of God. It is God's free grace, I preach 
unto you, not of works, left any one fhould boaft. Jesus 
Christ juftifies the ungodly; Jesus Christ pafil-d by, and 
fav/ you polluted with y^^ur blood, and bid you live. It is 
not of works, it is of faith : we are not juftified for our faith, 
for faith is the inftrun^.ent, but by your faith, the acStive as 
well as the palTive obedience of Christ, muft be applied ta 
you. Jesus Christ hath fulfilled the law, he hath made it 
honourable; Jesus Christ hath made fatisfat^ion to his 


Fathei's juftice, full fatisfadion ; and it is as compleat as it is 
full, and God will not demand it ^gain. Jesus C'hrist is 
the way; Jesus Christ is the truth ; and Jesus Christ' 
is the life. The righteoufnefs of Jesus Christ, my bre- [ 
thren, muft be imputed to you, or you can never have any 
intereft in the blood of Jesus ; your own works are but as 
filthy rags, for you are juftified before God, without nny rc- 
fped to your works paft, prefent, or to come. This docirine ...i 
is denycd by the learned* rabbi's ; but if they deny thefc truths 
of the gofpel,nhey muft not be offended, though. a child dare 
fpeak to a dodor ; and, in vindication of the caufe of Jesus 
Christ, a child, a boy, by the Spirit of God, can fpcak to 
the learned clergy of this age. 

If I had a voice fo great, and could fpeak To loud, as thit 
the whole world could hear me, I would cry, " Be not righte- 
ous over-much," by -bringing your righteoufnefs to Christ, 
and by being righteous in your own eyes. Man muft be 
abafed, that God may be exalted. 

The imputed righteoufnefs of Jesus Christ is a comfort- 
able dodrine to all real chriftians; and you fmners, who afk 
what you muft do to be faved ? how uncomfortable would it 
be, to tell you by good works, when, perhaps, you have never 
done one good work in all your life : this would be drivino- 
you to defpair, indeed : no j " Believe in the Lord Jesus 
Christ, and you ihall be faved :" therefore none of you 
need go away defpairing. Come to the Lord Jesus by faith, ■ 
and he fliall receive you. You have no righteoufnefs of your 
own to depend on. If you are faved, it is by the ri2;hteouf- 
iiefs of Christ, through his atonement, his rnakino; a facri- 
fice for fm : his righteoufnefs muft be imputed to you, other- 
wife you cannot be faved. There is no diiferefice between 
you, by nature, and the greatcft malefactor that ever was 
executed at Tyburn: the difference made, is all owing to the 
free, the rich, the undeferved grace of God ; this has made 
the difterence. It is true, talking at this rate, will off.nd the 
pharifces, who do not like this levelling doclrine, (as they 
call it) ; but if ever you are brought to Jesus Christ by 
faith, you will experience the truth of it. Come by faith to 
Jesus Christ ; do not come, pharilee-like, telling God 
what you have done, how often you have gone to church, 


[ 138 3 

how often you have received the facrament, fafted, prayed, of 
the like : no ; come to Christ as poor, lod, undone, 
damned finncrs j come to him in this manner, and he will 
accept of you : do not be rich in fpirit, proud and exalted, 
for there is no bleffing attends fuch ; but be ye poor in fpirit, 
for theirs is the kingdom of God ; they fliall be made mem- 
bers of his myftical body here, and fhall be fo of the church 
triumphant hereafter. Acknowledge yourfelves as nothing at 
all, and when you have done all, fay, " You are unprofitable 
fervants." There is no falvation but by Jesus Christ j 
there is no other name given under heaven amongft men, 
whereby we may be faved, but that of the Lord Jesus. 
God, out of Christ, is a confuming fire; therefore ftrive 
for an intereft in his Son the Lord Jesus Christ ; take 
him on the terms offered to you in the gofpel ; accept of him 
in God's own way, lay hold on him by faith. 

Do not think you are chriftians ; do not flatter yourfelves 
with being righteous enough, and good enough, becaufe you 
lead moral decent lives, do no one any harm, go to church, 
and attend upon the outward means of grace ; no, my bre- 
thren, you may do this, and a great deal more, and yet be 
very far from having a faving, experimental knowledge of 
Jesus Christ. 

Beg of Christ to ftrike home upon your hearts, that you 
may feel the power of religion. Indeed, you muft feel the 
power of God here, or the wrath of God hereafter. Thefe 
are truths of the utmoft confequence ; therefore, do not ^a 
contradicting, do not go blafpheming away. Bleffed be God, 
you are not fuch cowards to run away for a little rain. I 
hope good things of you ; I hope you have felt the power of 
God j and if God fhould bring any of you to himfelf 
through this fooliflinefs of preaching, you will have no rcafon 
to complain it was done by a youth, by a child : no; if I 
could be made an inftrument to bring you to God, they may 
call me novice, enthufiaft, or what they pleafe, I fhould re- 
joice ; yea, and I would rejoice. 

O that fome finner might be brought to Jesus Christ f 
Do not fay I preach defpair : I defpair of no one, when I 
confider God had mercy on fuch a wretch as I, who was run- 
ning in a full career to hell : I was hailing thither, but. Jesu^ 


f ^39 ] 
Christ pafTed by and flopped me ; Jesus Christ pafTed by 
me while I was in my blooil, when I was polluted with filth; 
he palled by me^ and bid me live. Thus I am a monument of 
God's free grace ; and therefore, my brethren, I defpair of 
none of you, when I confider, I fay, what a wretch I was.. 
I am not fpeaking now out of a falfe humility, a pretended 
fanitity, as the pharifees call it : no, the truth in Christ I 
fpeak, and therefore, men and devils do your worft ; I have a 
gracious Mafter will protect me ; it is his work I am engaged 
in, and Jesus Christ will carry me above their rage. 

Thofe who are come here this night out of curiofity to hear 
Vv'hat the babbler fays ; thofe who come to fpend an idle hour 
to find fomething for an evening-converfation at a cofFee- 
houfe ; or you who have flopped in your coaches as you 
paired by, remember that you have had Jesus Christ offered 
to you ; I offer Jesus Christ to every one of you : perhaps 
you may not regard it becaufe it is in afield.' But Jesus 
Christ is wherever his people meet in fincerity and truth to 
worlhip him : he is not confined to church walls : he has met 
us here ; many, very many of you know he has j and there^ 
fore you may believe on him with greater confidence. 

Can you bear to think of a bleeding, panting, dying Jesus, 
offering himfeif up for finners, and you will not accept of 
him ? Do not fay, you are poor, and therefore are afhamed 
to go to church, for God has fent the gofpel out unto you. 
Do not harden^ your hearts : oppofe not the will of J^sus. 

O that I could fpeak to your hearts, that my words would 
centre there. My heart is full of love to you. I would fpeak^ 
till I could fpeak no more, fo I could but bring you to Christ. 
I may never meet you all, perhaps, any more. The cloud of 
God's providence ieems to be moving. God calls me by his 
providence away from you, for a while. GoD knows whe- 
ther we fhall ever fee each other in the flefh. At the day of 
judgment we jQiall all meet again. I earnefily dcfire your 
prayers. Pray that I may not only begin, Jehu-Yik^, in the 
fpirit, but that I may continue in it. Pray that I may not 
fall away, that I may not decline fuffering for you, if I fliould 
be called to it. Be earncft, O be earnefi: with God in my be- 
half, that while I am preaching to Gther>, I may not be a 
caft-away. Put up your prayers for me, I bcfccch you. Go 


[ I40 ] 

not to the throne of grace, without carrying me upon your 
heart; for you know not what influence your prayers may 
have. As for you, my dear brethren, God knows my heart, 
I continually bear you on my mind, when I go in and out 
before the Lord ; and it is my earneft defire, you may not 
perifh for lack of knowledge, but that he would fend out 
more miniftcrs to water what his own right-hand hath planted. 
May the Antient of Days come forth upon his white horfe, 
and may all oppofition fall to the ground. As we have begun 
to bruife the ferpent's head, we muft expe61: he will bruifc 
our heel. The devil will not let his kingdom fall without 
raging horribly. Pie will not fuffer the minifters of Christ 
to go on, without bringing his power to ftop them. But fear 
not, my dear brethren, Dav'id^ though a {tripling, encoun- 
tered the great GoUah ; and if we pray, God will give us 
llrength againft all our fpiritual enemies. Shew your faith by 
your works. Give the world the lye. Prefs forward. Do 
not flop, do not linger in your journey, but ftrive for the mark 
fet before you. Fight the good fight of faith, and God will 
give you fpiritual mercies. I hope we fhall all meet at the 
right-hand of God. Strive, flrivc to enter in at the flrait 
gate, that we may be borne to Abrahanis bofom, where fin 
and forrow fhall ceafe. No fcoffer will be there, but we fhall 
fee Jesus, who died for us; and not only fee him, but live 
with him for ever. 

Which God, of his infinite mercy, &c. 


[ 141 3 


A Prefervatlve againfl: unfettled Notions, and 
want of Principles, in regard to Righteouf- 
nefs and Chriftian Perfection. 

Being a more particular Anfwer to Dodor ^rapf% 
Four Sermons upon the fame Text. 

To all the True Members of Chrifl's Holy Church. 

Dear Fellow Chrijlians^ 

THE great, and indeed the only motive which prompted 
me to publifh this lermon, was the defire of providing 
for your fecurity from error, at a time when the deviators 
from, and falfe pretenders to truth, are fo numerous, that the 
moft difcerning find it a matter of the greateft difficulty to 
avoid being led aftray by one or by other into downright falf- 
hood. There is no running divifions upon truth; like a 
mathematical point, it will neither admit of fubtra£tion nor 
addition : And as it is indivifible in its nature, there is no 
fplitting the difference, where truth is concerned. Irreligion 
and enthufiafm are diametrical oppofites, and true piety be- 
tween both, like the center of an infinite line, is at an equal 
infinite diftance from the one and the other, and therefore 
can never admit of a coalition with either. The one errin^- 
by defecSl, the other by cxcefs. But whether we err by de- 
feat, or excefs, is of little importance, if we are equally wide 
of the mark, as we certainly are in either cafe. For what- 
ever is lefs than truth, cannot be truth; and whatever is more 
than tiue muft be falfe. 


f 142 ] 

Wherefore, as the whole of this great nation feems now 
more than ever in danger of being hurried into one or the 
other of thefe equally pernicious extremes, irreligion or fana- 
ticifm, I thought myfelf more than ordinarily obliged to rouzc 
your, perhaps, drowfy vigilance, by warning you of the near- 
nefs of your peril; cautioning you from leaning towards either 
fide, though but to peep at the flippery precipice; and ftep- 
ping between you and error, before it comes nigh enough to 
arapple with you. The happy medium of true chriftian piety, 
in which it has pleafed the mercy of God to eftablifli you, is 
built on a firm rock, '^ and the gates of hell fliall never pre- 
vail ao^ainft it." While then you ftand fteadily upright in the 
fulnefs of the faith, falftiood and fm fliall labour in vain to 
approach you ; whereas, the leaft familiarity with error, will 
make you giddy, and if once you ftagger in principles, your 
ruin is almoft inevitable. 

But now I have cautioned you of the danger you are in 
from the enemies who threaten your fubverfion, I hope your 
own watchfulnefs will be fuflicient to guard you from any 
furprife. And from their own ailaults you have nothing to 
fear, fince while you perfift in the firm refolution, through 
God's grace, to keep them out, irreligion and enthufiafm, 
fal(hood and vice, impiety and falfe piety, will combine in 
vain to force an entrance into your hearts. 

1'ake then, my dearly beloved fellow- m.embers of Christ's 
myftical body, take the friendly caution I give you in good 
part, and endeavour to profit by it: attend wholly to the faving 
truths I here deliver to you, and be perfuaded, that they arc 
uttered by one who has your eternal falvation as much at heart 
as his own. 

'' And thou, O Lord Jesus Ckrist, fountain of all truth, 
'' whence all wifdom flows, open the underftandings of 
*' thy people to the light of thy true faith, and touch their 
*' hearts with thy grace, that they may both be able to fee, 
*' and willing to perform what thou requireft of them. 
*' Drive away from us every cloud of error and perverfity ; 
«' guard us alike from irreligion and falfe prctenfions to 
*' pi'ety ; and lead us on perpetually towards that perfec- 
«' tion to which thou haft taught us to afpire; that keep- 
" ing us he;e in a conliant imitation of thee, and peace- 

'' ful 

[ «43 ] 

** ful union with each other, thou mayefl at length bring 
*' us to that everlafting glory, which thou haft promifed 
*« to all fuch as fhall endeavour to be perfe6l, even as the 
*« Father who is in heaven is perfect, who with thee and 
*' the Holy Ghoft lives and reigns one God, world with- 
*' out end ! Anien^ Amen, 

E c c L E s. vii. 16. 

Be not righteous over-much^ neither make thyfelf over^ 
wife : Why JJiouldeft thou defiroy thyfelf? 

RIGHTEOUS over-much ! may one fay ; Is there any 
danger of that? Is it even poffible ? Can we be too 
good ? If we give any credit to the exprefs word of GoD, we 
cannot be too good, we cannot be righteous over-much. The 
injunclion given by God to Abraham is very ftrong : *' Walk: 
before me, and be thou perfect." The fame he again lays 
upon ^11 Ijrael^ in the eighteenth of D cuter oyiomy : ''Thou 
(halt be perfeft, and without blemifh, with the Lord thy 
God.'* And left any fhould think to excufe themfelves from 
this obligation, by faying, it ceafed when the old law was 
aboliflied, our blefled Saviour ratified and explained it : <« Be 
ye, therefore, perfect, even as your Father who is in heaven 
is perfedl." So that until our perfe(?tion furpafTes that of our 
heavenly Father, we can never be too good nor righteous 
over-much ; and as it is impoilible we fhould ever furpafs, or 
even come up to him in the perfection of goodnefs and righ- 
teoufnefs, it follows in courfe that we never can be good or 
righteous in excefs. Neverthelefs Do£tor Traf>p has found out 
that we may be righteous over-much, and has taken no fmall 
pains, with much agitation of fpirit, to prove that it is a great 
folly and iveakiicfs^ nay, a great fin. "^ O Lord ! rebuke thou 
his fpirir, and grant that this falfe doctrine may not be pub- 
liflicd to his confufion in the day of judgment !" 

But if what this hafty, this deluded man advances had been 
true, could there be any occafion, however, of warning againft 
it in thefe times, " '^d^tix the danger (as he himfeif to his con- 

" fuiion 

[ U4 ] 

«< fufion owns) h on the contrary extreme; when all manner 
*' of vice and wickeilnefs abounds to a degree almoft unheard 
*' of?'* 1 aniwer for the prefent, that " there mud be here- 
fies amongft you, that they who arc approved may be made 

However, this earthly-minded minifler of a new gofpel, has 
taken a text which feems to favour his naughty purpofe, of 
weaning the Wi^lldifpofe^i little ones of Christ from that per- 
fe6l purity of heart and Spirit, which is necefiary to all fuch 
as mean to live to our Lord Jesus. O Lord, what fhsll 
become of thy flock, when their (hepherds betray them into the 
bands of the ravenous wolf! when a minider of thy w--rd per- 
verts it to overthrow tlvy kingdom, and to deftroy fcripiure with 

Solomon^ in the perf.n of a dejponding, ignorant, indolent 
liver, lays to the man of righteoufnefs: '' Be not righteous over- 
much, neither make thyjelf overwife : Why ihouldeft thou 
deftroy thyfcli r" But mull my angry, over-fighted brother 
Trappy therefore, perfoliate a characier fo unbecoming his 
fundion, merely to overthrow the ex-prefs injund:ion of the 
Lord to us ; which obliges us never to give over purfuing and 
thifiiing after ihe perfect righteoufnefs of Christ, until we 
reft in him ? Father, forgive him, for he knows not what he 
hys ! 

What advanta:,e might not fatan gain over the ele6l, if the 
falfe conrtru6tion, put upon this text by that unfeeing teacher, 
fhould prevail ! Yet though he bluOies not to afTiIf fatan to 
bruife our heel, I fliall endeavour to bruife the heads of both, 
by (hewing, 

I. Firji^ The genuine fenfe of the text in queftion. 

IL The chara<5ler of the perfons, who are to be fuppofed 
fpeaking here : And 

in. The character of the perfons fpoken to. 

From whence will naturally refult thefe confequences. 

Firft^ That the Do6lor was grofly (Lord grant he was not 
malicioufly) miftaken in his explanatory fermon on this text, 
•^i well as in the applicaion of it. 


r t45 ] 

Secondly^ That he is a teacher and approver of worldly 

Thirdly, That he is of courfe an enemy to perfc6l rightcouf- 
nefs in men, through Christ Jesus, and, therefore, no friend 
to Christ: And, therefore, that no one ought to be deluded 
by the falfe do6lrine he advances, to beguile the innocent, and 
deceive, if poflible, even the ele6^. 

I. To come at the true fenfe of the text in queftion, it 
will be neceflary to look back, to the preceding verfe, where 
the wife man, refleding on the vanities of his youth^ puts on 
for a moment his former character* " All things, have I i'^^n 
in the days of my vanity : (and among the reft) there is a juft 
man that perifheth in his righteoufnefs, and there is a v/icked 
man who prolongeth his life in his wickednefs." Now it is 
very plain, that he is not here talking of a man, who is righ- 
teous over-much, in the Do(£lor's manner of underftanding 
the words, that is, " faulty, and criminal by exccfs.'* For 
on one fide he commends him for being a juft man^ and full 
of righteoufnefs, and yet on the other tells us, that his righ- 
teoufnefs is the fliortening of his life. Whereas, had he looked 
upon his perifliing in righteoufnefs to be an over-righteoufnefs, 
he would never have called him a juft man. Neither by a 
wicked man, can he mean a man given up to the utmoft excefs 
of wickednefs, fmce he tells usj that he prolongeth his life in 
(or by) his wickednefs. Who does not know, that the excefs 
of almoft every kind of vice, is of itfelf a ftiortener of life. So 
that the whole oppofition and contraft lies between a jj;nod 
man, and a bad man. A good man whofe goodnefs (hortena 
his life, a bad man whofe iniquity lengthens his life, or at 
leaft is not exceflive enough to ihorten the thread of it. Solo^ 
mon^ abforbed in thefe refledions, fpeaks here by way oi pro- 
fopopeia, not the fenfe o( So/omofj^ the experienced, the learned, 
the wife ; but of the former Solomon, a vain young fellow, full 
of felf-love, and the ftrong defires of life. In the quality of 
fuch a one then, he looks with the fame eye upon the righteous 
man, who perlfties in his righteoufnefs, as he would on a 
wicked one, who fhould perilh in his wickednefs. For it is 
neither the righteoufnefs of the one, nor the wickednefs of the 
40ther> that oftends him, but the fupcrlativc degrees of both ; 

Vol. V, K which 


r 146 ] 

which tending equally to fhorten life, he looks upon them as 
equally oppofitc to the fclf-love he fondles within him. And, 
therefore, he deems an excefs of debauchery as great an enemy 
to the lafting enjoyment of the pleafures of life, as an extra- 
ordinary righteoufnefs would be. Well then might he fay to 
the lalter, in this charader, "Be not over-much wicked, 
neither be thou foolifh; why fiiouldft thou die before thy 
time?" And to the former: " Be not righteous over-much, 
neither make thyfelf over-wife: Why fliouldft thou deftroy 

What wonder then, that a youth of fprighilinefs and fcnfe, 
but led away by fclf-love to be fond of the pleafures and en- 
joyments of life, when attained without hurry, and poflelTed 
without rifk y what wonder, I fay, that fuch a youth fliould 
conceive an equal diflike to the fuperlative degrees of virtue 
and vice, and, therefore, advife fuch of his companions as give 
into the excefs of debauchery, to refrain from it : as it muft 
infallibly tend to clog their underftandings, flupify their fenfes, 
and entail upon their conftitutions a train of infii mities, which 
cannot but debilitate their natural vigour, and Ihorten their- 
days? " Be not over-much wicked, neither be thou foolifh: 
Why fliouldft thou die before thy time ?" What wonder, that 
the fame felf-love fhould prompt him to diiluade fuch of his 
friends or acquaintance, as he wifhes to have for companions, 
and countenancers of his worldly-minded purfuits, from pur- 
fuing righteoufnefs and wifdom to a degree that muft deftroy 
' in them all tafte of earthly pleafures, and may poilibly impair 
their conftitutions, and forward their end ? " Be not righteous 
over-much, neither make thyfelf overwife: Why ftiouldft thou 
deftroy thyfelf?" 

This is the fcnfe in which Sohinon (placing himfelf in the 
ftate of vanity of his youth) fpeaks to the one, and the other : 
to the righteous, and to the ungodly. This is the true, ge- 
nuine fenfe of the letter ; and every other fenfe put upon it, 
is falfe and groundlefs, and wrefted rather to pervert than ex- 
plain the truth of the text. O chriftian fimplicity, whither 
art thou fled? Why will not the clergy fpcak truth ? And why 
nmft this falfe prophet fufFer thy people, O Lord, to believe ia 
lye? they have held the truth in unrighteoufnefs. Raife u[), 
I befeech thee, O Lokd, fome true paftors, who may acquaint 


[ '47 ] 

them with the nature and nccefTuy of perfefl righteoii fnef?, 
and lead them to that love of chriUian pcrfcciion which the 
angry-minded, pleafure-taking Dodtor Trappy labours to divert 
them from, by teaching, that " all chriftians muft have to do 
'^ with Tome vanities." 

Is not the meaning of this text plain to the vveakcft capa- 
city ? I have here given it to you, as 1 have it from the month 
of the royal preacher himfelF. I have made u(q of no " phi- 
lofophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, afitf the 
rudiments of the u'orld, and not after Christ," to impofe a 
fleflily fenfe upon you, for the fenfe of the word of God. No, 
I have given you a natural expofition, obvious from the very 
words themfelves. Hence you may feej my fellow- ft rngglcrs 
in righteoufnefs, how groily our arigry adverfary is miliaker! 
in his explanation of this text. Lord ! open his eye?, and 
touch his heart ; and convert him, and all thofe erring mi- 
nivers, who have feen vain and fooli(h things for thy people, 
and have not difcovered their iniquity^ to turn away thy cap- 
tivity. For they have erred through wine, and through ftrong 
drink are out of the way : The prleft and the prophet have 
erred through ftrcng drink, they are fwallowed up of wine^ 
they are out of the way through ftrong drink, they err in 
^ vifion, they ftumble in judgment. 

It is plain from the vvoids of the text, that the royal Preacher 
was fpeaking in the perfon of a vain worldling, when he faid,' 
" Be not righteous over-much ;" whereby he' meant to ex- 
I hort the truly righteous not to be difmayed, terrified, or dif- 
t turbed from their conftant purfuit of greater and greater per- 
fe£lion of righteoufnefs, until they reft in Christ; notwith- 
ftanding the derifion, fiefhly perfuafion, ill-treatment and per- 
feeution of worldly men: Who, one day, repenting and groan- 
ing for anguifti of fpirit, fhall fay within themfelves, '' Thefe 
were they whom we had fometime in derifion^ and a proverb 
of reproach. We fools, accounted their lives madnefs ; and 
their end to be without honour. How are they numbered 
among the children of God, and their lot is among the 
faints !" 

How blind then is the application (not to fay perverfe) 
which this felf-wife clergyman makes from the text, to fuchi 
as, following the advice of the apoftle, (6";/-^.' iii. 2.) *' fet 

K 2 ** their 

[ 148 ] 

*' their affe£tIon on things above, not on things on the earth.'* 
Mud haftinefs in anger get the better of fenfe and truth ? Muft 
the people be miflcd becaufe the paftor cannot, or will not 
fee? Or muft the injunction of Christ, •' Be perfect, even 
as your Father, who is in heaven, is perfeCl," give place to 
the maxim of the heathen Tally: The greateft reproach to a phi- 
lofopher, is to confute his doctrine by his practice ; if this be 
the cafe, alas, what a deplorable, unfpeakably deplorable con- 
dition is that of fome chriftians ! Wherefore, *' thus faiih the 
Lord concerning the prophets who make his people to err, 
that bite with their teeth and cry peace ; and he that putteth 
not into their mouths, they even prepare war againft him : 
therefore night (hall be unto you, that ye fhall not have a 
vifion, and it fliall be dark unto you, that ye fhall not divine, 
and the fun (hall go down over the prophets, and the day 
fiaall be dark over them. 

But I will leave thefe lovers of darknefs, and turn to you, 
O beloved, elect of God ! I befeech you, by the bowels of 
Christ, fuffer not yourfelves to be deceived by their flatter- 
ing, fm-foothing fpeeches. *' Be not of that rebellious people, 
lying children, children who will not hear the law of the 
Lord : who fay to the feers, fee not ; and to the prophets, 
prophefy not unto us right things, fpeak unto us fmqoth 
things, prophefy deceits." Follow not thofe, who flatter you 
in the vanities they pradtife themfclves. O may you never be 
of the number of thofe, in the perfon of whom Solo??ion here 
fays, " Be not righteous over-much :" for their chara£ter is 
the character of the beaft. 

II. The character of the perfons, who are to be fuppofed 
fpeaking here in the text, is in a word the fame with the 
character of thofe whom Solomon here perfonates : Vv^ho, as 
is already (hewn, are a vain fet of men, neither righteous 
enough to have an habitual defire of improving virtue to its 
perfection, nor quite fo flagitious as to give into felf-deftroy- 
ing vices : in a word, they are felf-lovers, the fole end of 
whofe purfults, whether indifferent, bad, or laudable in them- 
felves, is felf-enjoyment. Infomuch that they look upon 
virtue and vice, righteoufnefs and wickednefs, with the fame 
eye, and their fondnefs or averfion fqr both is alike, as their 


[ H9 1 

different degrees appear to be the means to enhance and pro- 
long the enjoyment of pleafure, orjto lefTen and fliorten thofe 
pleafurcs. Thus any virtue, while it is kept within Tuch 
bounds as may render it fubfervient to the pleafurable degrees 
of vice, will meet with no oppofition from them; on the 
contrary, they will even commend it. But the moment it 
becomes a rertraint to vice in moderation (if I may be allowed 
to make ufe of terms adequate to their fyftem) from that mo- 
ment it gives offence, and they put in their caveat, " Be not 
righteous over-much." In like manner, vice, while confined 
to certain limits, which rather improve than obftru£l plea- 
fures, is with them a defirable good ; but no fooner does it 
launch out into any depth, fufficient to drown and diminifli 
the relifh of thofe pleafures, than they declare open war againft 
it J " Be not over-much wicked.'* And the reafon they aflign 
for their oppofition in both cafes, is the fame : " why 
fliouldft thou deffrcy thyfelf ? Why fhouldft thou die before 
thy time ?" Such is the prudence of the world, the flefh, and 
the devil. Such the maxims of thefe refined libertines, fo 
much the more dangerous as they are lefs obvious ; fo much 
the more infmuating, as they are removed from certain extra- 
vagancies capable of fliocking every man who has the leaft fenfe 
and delicacy. O Lord, how true is it, that the fons of 
darknefs are wifer in their generation than the fons of liaht ! 

You are not then, beloved in the Lord, to imagine that 
your greateft oppofition, in ftruggling for perfeft righieoufnefs, 
is to come from profligates, from men whofe enormous vices 
create horror even to themfelves : no, .your moft dangerous, 
moft formidable enemies, are the kind of men I have painted 
to you, who render vice reliftiable with a mixture of apparent 
virtue, and cloath wickednefs in the apparel of righteoufnefs : 
'' Beware of them, for they come to you in the cloathing of 
fheep, but inwardly are ravenous wolves." 

This perverfe generation will enfnare you into ungodlincfs, 
by feemin^T; oppofitions to vice, and allow you to fwallow the 
feemings of virtue and righteoufnefs like an emetic, only to 
puke forth the reality of them. They paint black, white, 
and the white they convert into black. Not content with 
feeming what they are not, they laboux to make you, what 

K 3 they 

[ 1.50 -] 
they are, Rightcoufi-iers and wickcdnefs they interweave in 
aji artful tlffue, capable of deceiving the very ele(5r, and diffi- 
cult for the moll: diicerning among them to unravel ; as alms- 
giving and avarice, pride and humility, temperance and lux- 
ury, are dextrouHy blended together j while as mutual curbs 
to each other, they combine to ftem the tide of impediments 
to worldly enjoyment, which miight flow from extraordinary 
degrees on either fide. Thus " Almfgiving (you are told) is 
very excellent," and you belieye the propofitiop, without 
knov/ing the particular fenfe it is fpoken in, which is, that 
alms-giving is an excellent curb upon avarice, by preferving 
a rich man from fuch a fuperlative love of money as deprives 
him of the felf-enjoymcnt of it. And upon the ftrength of 
this belief, the worldly-minded man, who labours to deceive 
you, gains credit enough with you to eftablilh this maxim, 
that all fuperlative degrees qf alms-giving, are great fim^ and 
that a man muft never fell all he has and give it to the poor, 
becaiife fome may have families of their own, and ought tp 
make fufficient provifion for them, according tp that proverb, 
'' Charity begins at home ;" when no one, at leaft fcarc? 
any one, is wife enough to know, when he has a fufHciency. 
P Lord, which are v/e to believe, thefe worldlings, or thee? 
If thou dofl deceive us, why doft thou threaten us with pu- 
nifliments, if we do not lieed thee ? And if the world is de- 
-ceitful, (hall we not flee from it to cleave to thee ? 

" Pride is a great fm" even wiih thefe worldlings, inaf- 
puch as the external excedc^s of it, may obftrudl: the way to 
m?ny ambitious terminations of viev/, and its internal agita- 
tion) arc the defliuiiion of that peace, to which even fclf- 
lovc afpires ; befides, the frequent extravagancy of its motions 
may not only be prejudicial to health, but a (liortner of life. 
And, therefore, no wonder they fliould obje6l againft it, 
'*' Be not over much wicked : why (houldft thou die before 
thy time?" For this rcafon, they look upon a little mixture 
of humility to be not only commendable, but even necefiary 
to curb the extravagant I'allics of an over-bearing pride. But 
then a fuperlative degree of humility, that is, humility free 
from the lealf tindhire of pride or vanity, which is the fame 
with them, as ^"^ an over -Jlrained humility^ is a fault as well 
f as folly 3" becaufe, forfooth, it is an expediment to the felf- 


[ 151 ] 

enjoyment of the world and its pleafurcs ; <« All chrlftfans 
" muft have to do with Tome vanities, or eife they muQ needs 
" go out of the world indeed ; for the world irfelf is all over 
*' vanity." 'Tis nothing, therefore, furprifing, my brethren, 
to fee a man of this caft of mind making a vain oftentatioii 
of his little fuperficial acquaintance, with the antient Greeks 
and Romans. What is this but a6ling conformably to his own 
principle, that " all chriliians muft have to do with fome 
vanities ?" And (hall we wonder to hear fuch a one prefer 
their writings, to thofe of an apoftle ; or be aftonifhed to fee 
him wound the apoftle with raillery, through your fides, for 
wifhing to know nothing but Jesus Christ, and him cru- 
cified ? No, with him it is confiftency to laugh and reprove 
you out of the perfe£lion of righteoufncfs, which, however 
he may play with terms, is with him the fame as being righte- 
ous over-much ; but with you it would be inconfiftency, who 
ought to know no difference between being righteous, and 
living in a perpetual, habitual defire of being fuperlativcly fo. 
It is no more then, than you ought to cxpe(Sl: to hear fuch 
advocates for the world cry out to you, " Be not righteous 
Qver-much : why fhould you deftroy yourfclves ?" But, 
O Lord, furdy this is not the fame voice which tells us, that 
unlefs we humble ourfclves like unto children, vjt fliall not 
enter into the kingdom of heaven, and that he is greateft 
there, who humbles himfelf the moft like a child I But what 
will not men advance who are drunk with palHon, and intox- 
icated with felf-love ? 

" The vice of intemperance in eating, and drinking, is 
*' plain to every bodv," they own. And, therefore, they 
give it up as an excefs which cannot but tend to the impairing 
of health, and iliortening of life: nay, it drowns the very re- 
Ijfh of pleafure in a61:ual eating and drinking. Hence will every 
refined debauchee exclaim againft it with Dr. Trapp : " Ba 
not over much wicked : why (houldft thou deftroy thyfelf ?" 
Little fobriety, fay they, is requiHte to give a zeft to luxury 
and worldly pleafures. Bat too much of it is too much, " to 
*' eat nothing but bread and herbs, and drink nothing but 
" water, unlefs there be a particular reafon for it (fuch pcr- 
*' haps as Doctor Chcyne may afiign) is folly at beft, (that is, 
'^ even thoiJgh it be dons for Christ's lake) therefore 

K 4 " n® 

[ 152 } 

" no virtue ;" *' Be not then righteous over-much, why 
fhouldft thou dertroy thyfelf ?" And if you fhould anfwer thefe 
carnally-minded men with the words of the apoftle, Rom. viii. 
*' We are debtors, not to the flefh, to live after the flefli : 
For if we live after the flefh, we fhall die : but if we, through 
the fpirit, do mortify the deeds of the flefh, we fhall live." 
If you anfwer them thus, they will tell you, <' this is teach- 
'' ins: for dodtrines the commandments of men." And it will 
be to as little purpofe to anfwer them, with what St. Paul 
fays elfewhere [Rom. xiv. 17.) " The kingdom of God 
is not meat and drinlc, but righteoufnefs, and peace, and 
joy in the Holy Ghoft :" They will not blufh to tell you, 
that '* our bleiTed Saviour came eating and drinking, nay 
*' worked a miracle to make wine (at an entertainment) when 
" it is plain there had been more drank than v/as necelTary." 
To fuch lengths does the love of the world hurry thefe felf- 
fond, merry-making worldlings ! Tell them of felf-denial, 
they will not hear you, it is an encroachment upon the plea- 
fures of life, and may fiiorten it of a few days, which you are 
never fure of pofl'effing ; it is being " righteous over-much : 
why fhouldft thou dcftroy thyfelf ?" Jesus, you will fay, tells 
us [John xii. 25.) '* He that loveth his life fhall lofe it, and 
he that hateth his life in this world, fliail keep it unto life 
eternal." But this and the like, they will inform you, " are 
hyperboiical phraies." Now what fignifies minding Jesus, 
when he fpeaks hyperbolically, that is, fpeaks more than is 
flridly true. Yet, O Lord Jesus, grant us to mind thee, 
whatever thefe worldlings may fay ; remind us, that if any 
man will come after thee, he muft deny himfclf, and take 
up his crofs, and follow thee I O how enlarging is it to the 
foul, to take up the crofs of Christ and follow him ! 

But you are charged, ye beloved lovers of perfecSl righte- 
oufnels, with extravagances. You allow of " no fort of 
" recreation or diverfion ; nothing but an univerfal mortifi- 
<' cation and felf-denial ; no plcafurc but from religion only :" 
you teach '^ that the bodily appetites muft not be in the leafl 
" degree gratified, any farther than is abfolutely neceflary to 
^' keep body and foul together, and mankind in being : No 
^' allowances are to be made for melancholy misfortune?, or 
^^ humau infirmity ; grief muH be cured only by prayer;" (a 


[ Hi ] 

horrid grievance this, to fuch as think prayer burdenibmc at 
beft) " To divert it by worldly amufements is carnal." A 
heavy charge this : but left it Ibould leem fo only to thofe 
carnal perfons, who are refolved to give way to their carnal 
appetites ; what you look upon as advifable only, thefe per- 
verters of truth infinuate to be looked upon by you as indif- 
penfable duties. And left prevarication fhould fail, down- 
right falfhoods muft be placed to your account, " fo that to 
'' j-afte an^ agreeable fruit, or fmell to a rofe, muft be unlaw- 
'^ ful with you," however you difown it. But O, my be- 
loved chriftians, be not difcouraged from the purfuit of per- 
fect righteoufnefs by thefe or fuch vile mifreprefentations. 
For " blefTed are ye when men ftiall jevile you, and fhall fay 
all manner of evil againft you falfcly for the fake of Christ 
Jesus. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad : For great is your 
reward in heaven : for fo perfecuted they the prophets who 
were before you." 

Thus far, then, may fuffice to fhew clearly with what dan- 
gerous views the worldly-minded men, whom Solomon per- 
fonates in the text before us, lay fiege to your fouls in fair 
fpeeches. What I have faid, is enough to convince you, 
that their character is that of the beaft, whom St, John^ in 
the Revelations, " faw coming up from the fea (that is, the 
flagitious world) with feven heads." And v/hat fhall we fay 
of a man, a clergyman, who teaches, and is an advocate for 
their perverfe dotSlrines ? May we not, nay, muft we not, 
for the glory of God, and your good, inform you, that he 
is a " Teacher and approver of worldly maxims." May I 
not, nay, muft I not, give you this caution with the royal 
preacher: ''When he fpeaketh fair, believe him not, for 
there are feven abominations in his heart ?" But how differ- 
ent is the chara£ler I have given you, from the chara6tcr 
of the perfons to whom the text under confideration is fpoken : 
that is, the charader of all fuch, as, like you, are refolved 
never to reft, 'till they reft in Christ Jesus. To fhew this, 
I fhall now pafs to my third point. 

III. To what fort of perfons does Solomon in the chara61:er 
of a worldling addrefs himfelf, when he fays, <« Be not righte- 
ous over-much, neither make thyfelf over-wife : why fhouldft 
thou deftroy thyfelf?" Not to the wicked, 'tis plains ^o^ be- 


it 154 ] 

fides that It would have |been an unnecelT^ry precaution, he 
turns to thefe in the next verfe with another kind of warning, 
which however has feme analogy with this. " Be not over- 
much wicked, neither be thou foolifti, why (houldft thou die 
before thy time ?" Was it then to the righteous, in a com- 
mon way ; that is, to fuch as content themfelves with the 
obfervance of the abfolute eflentials of God's laws ? Surely 
our adverfaries will not allow this, unlefs they be of opinion, 
that to be righteous at all, is to be righteous over-much. 
And yet it cannot poflibly be fuppofed that the perfons fpokea 
to, are men perfedly righteous j fince, as I proved to you, 
in the introduction of this difcourfe, till v/e come up to the 
perfection of our heavenly father, we can never be righteous 
enough^ much lefs perfe5ily righteous : wherefore, as in this 
life, men cannot attain to the perfection of their heavenly fa- 
ther, it follov/s in courfe that the perfons here fpoken to, can- 
not be men perfeClly righteous, there being no fuch men ex- 
ifting ; for as St. fohn faith, " If we fay that we have no fin, 
we deceive ourfelves, and the truth is not in us." Alas, O 
•Lord, when fliali we be delivered from the body of this 
death ? 

It remains, that the perfons fpoken to, in the text, are fuch 
-only, as perfifting fledfaftly in a firm adherence to all the 
eiiential laws of God, content not themfelves with the piac- 
tice of common virtues in a common degree, but live in a 
perpetual habitude of defires, ftruggles, and yearnings towards 
an intimate union with Christ, the perfection of righteouf- 
nefs. They are not of the number of thofe righteous with 
indifference, who would fain blend the fervice of God and 
mammon, would fain have Christ and the world for their 
mafters, and halting between two, like the children o{ Ifrael 
of old, with- their faces to heaven, and their hearts to the 
earth, are neither hot nor cold. Alas, would they were cold 
or hot ! But " becaufe they are luke-warm, and neither cold 
nor hot, the Lord (hall fpew them out of his mouth." 

Not fo the perfons fpoken to in my text ; not fo you, O 
birloved in God, who having fliaken off the world and 
worldly affections, to run the more fwifily after righteoufnefs, 
hate your own lives for the fake of Christ. Kappy, happy 
are all you, who put oa our Lord Jesu^j and w;th him the 


C 155 ] 

Rew m^n I " You arc the true clrcumcifion which worfhip 
God in fpirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no 
confidence in the flefti." 

What wonder then, chriftians ? To you I fpeak, all ye 
lovers and ftrugglcrs after the perfe6t righteoufners of your 
divine Mafter Christ ; what wonder is it, that you fhould 
be charged with enthufiaffn, with folly, with fanaticifm and 
madnefs ? Were not the apoftles fo before you, when they 
preached Christ Jesus ? Nay were they not reputed drunk 
with wine ? Can you be amazed at it in an age, " when all 
*' manner of vice abounds to a degree almoft unheard of,'* 
when the land is full of adulterers, and becaufe of fweanng 
the land mourneth. O how is the faithful city become aa 
harlot ! my heart within me is broken, becaufe of the clergy, 
all my bones (hake ? I am like a drunken man, and like a 
man whom wine hath overcome ; becaufe of the Lord, and 
becaufe of the words of his holinefs, perverted by this deluded 

When the clergy, whom Christ has appointed to teach 
bis people " to walk before him and be perfect," become 
teachers of worldly maxims, what can be exps6led from the 
laity ? It is notorious, that for the moralizing iniquity of the 
prieft, the land mourns. Tliey have preached and lived many 
tincere perfons out of the church of England. They endea- 
v.our to make you vain : (as the prophets did \\\ the days of 
yere?mah) they fpeak a vifion out of their own mouth, and 
not out of the mouth of the Lord. In a word, "• both 
*' prophet and prieft are prophane, and do wickednefs in the 
*' very houfe of the Lord." Nay, they fay ttill to them v»ho 
defnife the Lord, The Loud hath faid, ye lliali have peace ; 
and they fay to every one who walketh after the imagination 
of his own heart, I^o evil (liall come upon you. 

Such is the language, my beloved lovers of chriftian per- 
fection, which the indolent, earthly-minded, pleafure-taking 
clergy of the church q\' England^ ufe to ftrengthen the hands 
of evil-doers, that none may return from his wicke-nefs. 
Such is the dotStrine of the letter-learned div:nc, who has 
dipped his pen in gall, to decry perfect righteoufnefs, and to 
delude you from it, with a falfe application of that text fo 
©rofly mifunderftood by him.: *.' Be not righteous over-much, 
i/. neither 

[ 155 ] 

neither be thou over-wife : why fhouldft thou deftroy thy- 
felf?" But fufFcr not yourfclves, my fellow-chriftians, to be 
deluded by him. For as I have ah-eady (hewn to you, he is 
grofiy (Lord grant he was not mallcioufly) miftaken in his 
manner of explaining this text; and fo far from making a 
right application of it according to the wife, the experienced 
Solomons intention, he ads the characier of a vain libertine, 
full of felf-love, and earthly defires, whom Solomon but perfo- 
rated, to ridicule. But the dodior by realizing that charader 
in himfelf, becomes the teacher and approver of worldly max- 
ims, which he applies to you, on purpofe to deftruy in you 
the yearnings after perfed righteoufnefs in Christ. May I 
not then, nay, muft I not warn you, my beloved, that this 
man is an enemy to perfed righteous in men through Christ 
Jesus, and, therefore, no friend to Christ ? O that my 
head was an ocean, and my eyes fountains of tears, to weep 
night and day for this poor creature, this hood-winked mem- 
ber of the clergy. 

Pray you, O true chriftians, pray and figh mightily to the 
Lord ; importune him in the behalf of this erring paftor ; 
pray that he would vouchfafe to open the eyes, and touch the 
ftubborn heart of this fcribe, that he may become better in- 
i^ruded. Otherwife, as the Lord faid by the mouth of his 
true prophet "Jeremiah^ '• Behold, I will feed him with 
wormwood, and make him drink the water of gall ; for from 
him is prophanenefs gone forth into all the land." 

This good, however, hath he done by attempting to (hew 
the folly, fin, and danger of that which he mifcalls being 
righteous over-much, that is, being fuperlatively righteous, 
in defire and habitual ftruggles ; he has thereby given me 
the occafion to {hew you, brethren, in the courfe of this fer- 
mon, the great and real folly, fin, and danger of not being 
righteous enough ; which, perhaps, I (liould never have 
thought of doing, had not his falfe dodrine pointed out to 
me the neceiTity of doing it. Thus does the all-wife pro- 
vidence of God, make ufe of the very vices of men to draw 
good out of evil ; and chufe their very errors to confound 
falfehood and make way for truth. Though this fhould be 
more than our angry adverfary intended, yet. Lord, re- 
ward him according to his works ; and fuffer him no longer 


[ 157 ] 

to be hafty in his words, that we may have room to entertain 
better hopes of him for the future. 

BlefTtd be God for fending you better guides ! I am con- 
vinced it was his divine will : our dear fellow-creature. Doc- 
tor Trappy falling into fuch errors, has given fo great a fhock 
to the found religion of chr'ifltan perfc^lmty that unlefs I had 
oppofed him, I verily believe the whole flock who liftened to 
his dodrine, vi'ould hiive been fcattered abroad like fheep 
having no fliepherd. *' But woe to ye fcribes and pharifees ! 
Woe be unto the pallors that deftroy and fcatter the fheep of 
my pafture, faith the Lord/* 

Full well I know that this fermon will not be pleafin^to 
my poor peevifli adverfary ; but corre^flion is not to pleafure 
but to profit : few children can be brought willingly to kifs 
the rod which rebuketh them 5 though, when they become 
of riper underftanding, they will blefs the hand that guided 
it. Thus (hall this angry man, I truft, thank me^ one day 
for reproving him, when his reafon (hall be reftored to him 
by the light of the holy fpirit. O Lord, grant thou this 
light unto him, and fufFer him to fee with what bowels of 
pity and tendernefs I love him in thee, even while I chaften 

Neither am I infenfible, brethren, how ofFenfive my words 
will be to worldlings in general, who loving falfehood better 
than truth, and the flefli before the fpirit, will flill prefer the 
dodor's fin-foothing dodrines to the plain gofpel verities 
preached by me. O how my foul pities them. But I have 
done my duty, I wafh my hands, and am innocent of the 
blood of all. I have not fought to pleafe my hearers, but 
have fpoken plain truth though it (hould ofFend. For what 
things were gain to me, thofe I counted lofs for Christ ; 
and hope I (hall ever do To. Not th^ I prefume to think 
myfelf already perfe£l. But *' I prefs forward towards the 
mark, for the prize of the high-calling of God in Christ 

None of us, as I before told you, can boaft of having at- 
tained the fummit of perfedion ; though, he is the neareft to 
it, who is wideft from the appetites of the flefti, and he ftands 
the higheft, who is the lowlieft in his own efteem : where- 
fore, as many of us as have made any advances towards 


[ 158 ] 

Christ and his kingdom, " whereto we have already at- 
" tained, Jet us walk by the fame rule, let us mind the fame 
" thing." 

Walk not then, brethren, according to the ways of the 
world : but be followers of Christ together with me. And if 
any, even an angel of light, fhould prefume to teach you any 
other gofpel than that which I have here taught you, let him 
be accurfed. " For you will find many walking, like fuch of 
whom I have told you already, and now tell you weeping, 
that they are the enemies of the crofs of Christ : whofe end 
is dcftrutSlion, whofe God is their belly : and whofe glory is in 
their fhame, for they mind worldly things. But your con- 
verfation is in heaven, from whence alfo you look for the 
Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ : who (hall change your 
vile bodies, that they may be falhioned like unto his glorious 
body, according to the working whereby he is able to fub- 
due even all things unto himfelf," even the flubborn heart 
of our pcrverfe adverfary. 

Which God of his infinite mercy grant, &Cr 


C 159 3 


The Benefits of an Early Piety. 

Preached at Bcw Church, London y before the Reli- 
gious Societies. 

E c c L E s. xii. I. 
Remember now, thy Creator in the Beys of thy Touth, 

THE amiablenefs of religion in itfelf, and the innume- 
rable advantages that flow from it to fociety in gene- 
ral, as well as to each fincere profeiTor in particular, cannot 
but recommend it to the choice of every confiderate perfon, 
and make, even wicked men, as they wifh to die the death, 
fo in their more fober intervals, to envy the life of the righte- 
ous. And, indeed, we muft do the world fo muchjuftice, 
as to confefs, that the queftion about religion doss not ufu- 
ally arife from a difpute whether it be necefTary or not (for 
moft men fee the neceffity of doing fomething for the falva- 
tion of their fouls ;) but when is the bed time to fet about it* 
Perfons are convinced by ur.ivcrfal experience, that the firft 
eiTays or endeavours towards the attainment of religion, are 
attended with feme difficulty and trouble, and therefore they 
Would willingly defer the beginning of fuch a feemingly 
ungrateful work, as long as they can. The wanton pro- 
digal, who is fpending his fubflance in rioLous living, cries, 
a little more pleafure, a little more fcnfuality, and then 
I will be fober in earncfl-. The covetous worldling, that 
employs all his care and pains in " heaping up riches, 
*' though he cannot tell who fhall gather them," does not 
• 3 flatter 

[ i6o ] 

flatter himfelf that this will do always ; but hopes with the 
rich fool in the gofpel, to lay up goods for a few more years 
on earth, and then he will begin to lay up treafures in heaven. 
And, in fhort, thus it is that moll: people are convinced of 
the neceflity of being religious fome time or another ; but then, 
like Felix, they put off the a6ling fuitably to their conv:6lions, 
^till, what they imagine, a more convenient feafon : whereas, 
would we be fo humble as to be guided by the experience and 
counfel of the wifeft men, we fiiould learn that youth is the 
fitteft feafon for religion ; " Remember now thy creator, 
(fays Solomon) in the days of thy youth." By the word re- 
member, we are not to underftand a bare fpeculative remem- 
brance, or calling to mind, (for that, like a dead faith, will 
profit us nothing,) but fuch a remembrance as will conftrairi 
us to obedience, and oblige us out of gratitude, to perform 
all that the Lord our God Ihall require of us. For as the 
forgetting God in fcripture language, implies a total neglect 
of our duty, in like manner remembring him fignifies a per- 
fedl performance of it : fo that, when Solomon fays, '' Re- 
member thy Creator in the days of thy youth," '^ is the 
fame as if he had faid, keep God's commandments ; or, in 
other words, be religious in the days of thy youth, thereby 
implying, that youth is the moil proper feafon for it. 

I fhall in the following difcourfe, 

Firjl, Endeavour to make good the wife man's propofition, 
implied in the words of the text, and to {hew that youth 
is the fittell feafon for religion. 

Secondly, By way of motive, I fhall confider the many unfpeak- 
able advantages that will arife from, *' Remembering our 
Creator in the days of our youth.'* And, 

Thirdly, I (hall conclude with a word or two of exhortation 
to the younger part of this audience. 

Firjl, I am to make good the wife man's propofition, im- 
plied in the words of the text, and to (liew that youth is the 
fitteft feafon for religion : " Remember now thy Creator in 
the days of thy youth." But to proceed more clearly in this 
argument, it may not be improper, firft, to explain what 
I J mean 

[ ;C. ] 

i mean by the word religion. Uy this terrnj then, I woiild 
not be undcrftoad to mean a bare outward profeffion or numing 
the name of Christ J for we are told, that many who have 
even prophefied in his name, and in his name caft out devils^ 
lliall notwithllanding be rejected by him at the lafl day : nor 
would 1 underftand by it, barely b^ing admitted into Christ's 
church by, baptifm ; for then Simon Afugus, Arius^ and the 
herefiarchs of old, might pafs for religious pcrfons ; for thefe 
were baptized : nor jtet the receiving the other feal of ihe co- 
venant, for then Judas himfelf might be canonized for a faint 5 
nor indeed do I mean any or all of thefe together, ccnfidered 
by themfelves ; but a thorough, real, inward change of na- 
ture, wrought in us by the powerful operations of the Ko'y 
Ghoft, conveyed to and nourifhed in our hearts, by a con- 
ftant ufe of all the means of grace, evidenced by a good life, 
and brino-ing forth the fruits of the fpirit. 

The attaining this real, invv'ard religion, is a work of (o 
great difficulty, that Nicodemus^ a learned dodlor and teacher 
in Ifrael^ thought it altogether impoflible, and therefore igno- 
rantly afked our blefTed Lord, " How this thing could be ?'^ 
And, truly^ to re6tify a difordered nature, to mortify our cor- 
rupt pafTions, to turn darknefs to light, to put off the old 
man, and put on the new, and thereby to have the image of 
God reinftamped upon the foul, or, in one word, " to be 
born again," however light fome may make of it, muft, after 
all our endeavours, be owned by man to be impoffible. It is 
true, indeed, Christ's yoke is faid to be an eafy or a gra- 
cious yoke, and his burthen light -, but then it is to thofe only 
to vv'hom grace has been given to bear and draw in it. For^ 
as the wife fon of Sirach obferves, *' At firft wifdom walked 
*' with her children in crooked ways^ and brings them into 
" fear; and torments them with her difcipline, and does not 
*' turn to comfort and rejoice then), 'till (he has tried them 
"and proved their judgment." No; we muft not flatter 
ourfelves that v/c fiiall walk in wifdom's pleafant ways, unlefs 
we firft fubmit to a great many difhculties. The fpiritual birth 
is attended with its pangs, as well as the natural : for they 
that have experienced it, (and they only are the proper judges,) 
can acquaint you, that in all things that arc dear to corrupS 

Vol. V. L natuic^ 


[ i62 ] 

nature, wemuft deny ourfelves, left, after all, vvhen wc come 
to the birth, wc fhould want ftrength to bring forih. 

But if thefe things arc (b ; if there are difficulties and pangs 
attending our being born again ; if we mufl deny ourfelves, 
what fcafon more proper than that of youth ? When, 
if ever, our bodies are robuft and vigorous, and our minds 
a6tive and couragious ; and, confecjuently, we are then 
beft qualified to endure hardnefs, as good foldicrs of Jesus 

We find, in fecular matters, people commonly obferve this 
method, and fend their children abroad among the toils and 
fatigues of bufmefs, in their younger years, as well knowing 
they are then fitteft to undergo them. And why do they 
not a6t with the fame confiftency in the grand affair of reli- 
gion ? Becaufe, as our Saviour has told us, *' The children 
of this world are wifer in their generation than the children 

But, Secondly y If pure and undefiled religion confifls in the 
jTenewal of our corrupted natures, then it is not only a work 
of difficulty, but, the perfection of it, of time. 

And if this be the cafe, then it highly concerns every one 
to fet about it betimes, and to '< work their work while it is 
day, before the night cometh, v/hen no man can work." 

Could we, indeed, live to the age of Aleihufelah^ and had 
but little bufmefs to employ ourfelves in, we might then be 
more excufable, if we made no other ufe of this v/orld, than 
what too many do, take our paflime therein : but fmce our 
lives are fo very fliort, and we are called to work out our fal- 
vation with fear and trembling, we have no room left for 
trifling, left we fhould be fnatched away while our lamps are 
untrimmed, and we are entirely unprepared to meet the 

Did we know a friend or neighbour, who had a long jour- 
ney of the utmoft importance to make, and yet fhould Itand 
all the day idle, neglecting to fet out till the fun was about 
to go down, we could not but pity and condemn his egregi- 
ous folly. And yet it is to be feared moft men are juft fueh 
fools ; they have a long journey to take, nay, a journey to 
eternity, a journey of infinite importance, and which they arc 
obliged to difpatch before the fun of their natural life be gone 


t .63 ] 

rfown ; and yet they loiter away the time allotted them to per- 
form the,r journey in, till ficknef. or death furprizes thcl 
and then , Hey ery out "What rhal, we do to i^he,': 
-fe ? Bu leav.ng fuch to the mercies of God in Christ 
who can call at the eleventh hour, I pafs on to ' 

The Second general thing propofed. To rtiew thp , 1 
.ages that will arife from reml'r.brring'our Crti ^.her: 
of our youth ; which may ferve as fo many motives to exd ! 
«nd qu-cken all perfons immediately to fet about it 

And thefirft benefit refuhing from thence is that .>„•!( 
bnng mod honour and glory to Goa Th,s T f' 
fenous perron will granf, o^ghtt^; th?;^ t Zt^r 
a^onsfhould centre; for to this end were we born, nd o 

ChJs T "'r"^-^'^ 'y '"e precious blood of S^: 
Christ, that we fhould promote God's eternal glo.y. 'And 
a .he glory of God is moft advanced by paying obed^nceto 
h,s precepts, t ey that begin fooneft to walk in!,is w y" aft 
moft to h,s glory. The common objeft-on a.ainfti edf 
vme laws m general, and the doa.inesif the go^fpe in part " 
cular, ,s, that they are not praaicable • that ,C„ ^ 

nd the pr.de of life, this, this ,s pleaf.ng to God 'h ^ 
vm ,cates h,s injured honour, this fhews that h^f';ice 
pe^rfta freedom, " that his yoke is eafy, and his burden 

of GoL^r?' m! r.'=^''y P'^'y «''°""<J^- moft to th« honour 

.t?Co:: Go-;' ^- -tr ^ ^-^r- \:::r 

remarked to the praife of OW.A that herv 'beLto 

^ ^' himfelf. 

r •6+ ] 

hinifclf, that at twelve years old he went up to the temple, and 
fat among the doiftors, both hearing ar.d aiding them quef- 

Nor, Thirdly^ will an early piety afFv)rd us lefs comfort thnn 
honour, not only bCcaufe it renders religion habitual to us, but 
alfo bccaufe it gives us a well-grounded afTurance of the fin- 
cerity of our profefiion. Was thtre no other argument 
againfl: a death-bed repentance, but the unfatisra(5tc)riners and 
anxiety of fuch a ftate, that (hould be fuiiicient to deter all 
thuiking pcrfons from deferring the moft imporrant bufmefs 
of their life to fuch a dreadful period of it. For fuppcfing a 
man to be fmcere in his profcflion of repentance on a death- 
bed (which, in moft cafes, is very much to be doubted) yet, he 
is often afraid ltd his conviclions and remorfe proceed net fiom 
a true forrow for fin, but a fervile fear of punifhment. Euc 
one, who is a young faint, need fear no fuch perplexity ; he 
knows that he loves God for his own fake, and is not driven 
to him by a dread of impending evil ; he docs not decline the 
gratifications of fcnfe, becaufe he can no lo'»ger *' hear the 
voice of finging men and finging women ;" but willingly 
takes up his crofs, and follows his bleffed Mafter in his 
youth, and therefore has reafon to cxpe£l greater confidence 
of his fmcerity towards God. But farther, as an early 
piety alTures the heart of its fincerity, fo, likewife, it brings 
its prefent reward with it, as it renders religion and ail 
its duties habitual and eafy. A young faint, was you to afk 
him, would joyfully tell you the unfpeakable comfort of be- 
ginning to be religious betimes : as for his part, he kno;vs not 
what men mean by talking of mortification, felf-dcnial, and 
retirement, as hard and rigorous duties ; for he has fo accuf- 
tomed himfelf to them,, that, by the grace of God, they are 
rsow become even natural, and he takes infinitely more plea- 
fure in pra6iifing the fevered: precepts of the gofpcl, than a 
luxurious Dives in a bed of date, or an ambitious Haman at a 
royal banquet. And O how happy muft that youth be, whof& 
duty is become a fecond nature, and to whom thofe things, 
which feem terrible to others, are grown both eafy and de- 
lightful ! 

But the greateft advantage of an early piety is {^ill behind, 
Fourthly y It lays in the bsft provifion of coa^.fort and fupport 


[ r65 ] 

agalnfl fuch times as we (liall {land mofl in need thereof, 
VIZ. all times of our tribulation, and in particular, af^ainft 
the time of old age, the hour of death, and ihe day of judg- 

This is the argument the wife man makes ufe of in the 
words immediai-ely following the te\'t : '• Remember now 
thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come 
not, nor the years draw nigh, wherein thou fhalt fay, I have 
jio pleafure in them." Obferve, the time of old age, is an 
evil time, years wherein there is no pleafure : and afk thofe 
that are grown old, and they will inform you fo. Cordials 
furely, then, muft be exceeding proper to fupport our droop- 
ing fpirits : and O what cordial comparable to the rccolleclion 
of early piety, depending wholly on the righteoufnefs of 
Christ.? When the eyes, like //Ws, are grown dim 
with age; when " the keepers of the houfe, the hands, 
fliali tremble," as the wife man goes on to defcribe the in- 
iirmities of old age ; when " the ftrong men bow them- 
fclves," or the legs grow feeble ; and the '' grinders," the 
teeth, ftiall ceafe to do their proper office, becaufe they are 
few ; for a perfon then to hear the precepis of the gofpel read 
over to him, and to be able to lay his hand on his heart, and 
to fay fmcerely, notwithftanding a confcioufnefs of number- 
lefs fhort-comings, " All thefe have I endeavoured, through 
grace, to keep fiom my youth :" this mui\ give him, through 
Christ who worketh all, comfort that 1 want v/ords "to 
exprefs and thoughts to conceive. Bur, fuppofinrr it was 
pofTible for us to efcape the inconveniences of old a!?e, yet 
Itill death is a debt, iince the fall, we all muft pay; and, 
what is worfe, it generally comes attended with fuch dreadful 
circumftances, that it will make even a Felix to tremble. But 
as for the godly, that have been enabled to ferve the Lord 
from their youth, it is not ufually fo with them ; no, they 
have faith given them to look upon death, not as a king of 
terrors, but as a welcome mcirenger, that is come to condu6l 
them to their wifhed-for home. All the days of their ap- 
pointed time have they waited, and it has been the bufuiefs 
of their whole lives to fludy to prepare themfelves for the 
coming of their great change ; and, therefore, they rejoice 
to hear that they are called to meet the heavenly Bridegroom. 

L 3 Thus 

[ »66 ] 

Thus dies the early pious, whvofe '' path has been as the 
{hining light, that fniiieih more and more unto the perfect 
day.'* But follow him beyond the grave, and fee with what 
an holy triumph he enters into his Maftcr*s joy ; with what 
an humble boldnefs he ftands fit the dreadful tribunal of Jesus 
Christ ; and can you then forbear to cry out, " Let me die 
the death of the righteous, and let my latter end, and future 
fiate, be like his ?" 

Need I then, after having fliewn To many advantages to 
arife from an early piety, ufe any more arguments to perfuade 
the younger part of this audience, to v/hom, in the Third and 
laft place, I addrefs myfelf, to " remember their Creator in 
the days of their youth ? " 

What ! will not all the arguments I have mentioned, prevail 
with them to leave their hufks, and return home to eat of the 
fatted calf? What ! will they thus requite our Saviour's love ? 
That be far from them I Did he corne dov.m and fhed his pre- 
cious blood to deliver them from the power of fm ; and will they 
fpend their youthful flrength and vigour in the fervice of it, 
and then think to ferve Christ, when they can follow their 
lufts no longer ? Is it fit, that many, who are endowed with 
excellent gifts, and are thereby qualified to be fupports and 
ornaments of our finking church, fhould, notwithflanding, 
forget the God who gave them, and employ them in things 
that will not profit ? O why will they not arife, and, like (o 
many Phineas'sy be zealous for the Lord of Hofls ? Doubtlefs, 
when death overtakes them, they will wifli they had : and 
what hinders them, but that they begin now r Think you 
that any one yet ever repented that he began to be religious 
too foon ? But how many, on the contrary, have repented that 
they began when almoft too late ? May we not well imagine, 
that young Samuel now rejoices that he waited fo foon at the 
tabernacle of the Lord ? Or young Timothy, that from a 
child he knew the holy fcrlptures ? And if you wifh to be 
partakers of their joy, let rne perfuade you to be partakers of 
their piety. 

I could ftill go on to fill my mouth with arguments ; but 
the circumftances and piety of thofc amongft whom I am now 
preaching " the kingdom of God," remind me to change 
my ftylc ^ and, inilcad of urging any more difluafives from 


_ [ iC; 1 
fin, to fill up what is behind of this Jifcourfe, with encou- 
ragements to pcrfevere in holinefs. 

Blefled, for ever bleficd be the God and the Father oF our 
Lord Jesus Christ, I am not fpeaking to perfons inflamed 
with youthful lufts, but to a multitude of young piofcflbrs, 
who by frequently ailcmbling together, and forming themfelves 
into religious focieties, are, 1 hope on good ground, in a ready 
way to be of the number of thofe " young men, who have 
overcome the wicked-one." 

Believe me, it gladdens my very foui, to fee fo many of 
your faces fet heaven-wards, and the viable happy efFe6ls'of 
your uniting together, cannot but rejoice the hearts of all 
fincere chriftians, and oblige them to wifti you good luck ia 
the name of the Lord. The many fouls who are nourifhed 
weekly with the fpiritual body and blood of Jesus Christ, 
by your means ; the weekly and monthly Ie61:ures that are 
preached by your contributions ; the daily incenfe of thankf- 
giving and prayer which is publicly fent up to the throne of 
grace by your fubfcriptions ; the many children which are 
trained up " in the nurture and admonition of the Lord," 
by your charities ; and, laftly, the commendable and pious 
zeal you exert in promoting and encouraging divine pfalmody, 
are fuch plain and apparent proofs of the benefit of your reli- 
gious focieties, that they call for a public acknowledgment of 
praife and thankfgiving to our blefled Mafter, who has not 
only put into your hearts fuch good defigns, but enabled you 
alfo to bring the fame to good efFed:. 

It is true it has been objeded, '' That young mens form- 
" ing themfelves into religious focieties, has a tendency to 
" make them f[3iritually proud, and to ' think more highly of 
*' themfelves than they ought to think.'* And, perhaps, the 
inipruJent, imperious behaviour of fome novices in religion, 
who, '' though they went out from you, were not of you," 
may have given too much occafion for fuch an aJperfion. 

But you, brethren, have not fo learned Christ. Far, far 
be it from you to look upon yourfelves, as righteous, and de- 
fpife others, becaufe you often afTemble yourfelves together. 
No; this, inftead of creating pride, ought to beget an holy 
fear in your hearts, left your pra(^ice Ihould not correlpond 
with your profeilion, and that, after you have benefited and 
edified others, you yourfelves (hould become caft-aways. 

L 4 ^^.Vorldly- 

[ i68 ] 

Wcrldly-mindednefs, my brethren, is another rock againft 
which we are in danger of fplitting. For, if other fins have 
jlain th?ir thoufands of piofeffing chiiftians, this has flain its 
ten thoufands. I need not appeal to pad ages ; your own ex- 
perience, no doubt, has furnifned you with many unhappy 
inftanccs of young me!i, who, " after (as one would have 
imagined) thc^y had efcapcJ the pollutions which are in the 
world through luft," and " had tailed the good word of life," 
and tnuured for a fcafon, whilfl: under the tuition and infpec- 
tion of others : yet, when they have come to be their own 
maders, through a want of faith, and through too great an 
farncAners in " labouring for the meat which peri{heth," 
have call oil' their firil love, been again entangled with the 
world, and " returned like the dog to his vomit, and like 
the fov/ that was wafncd, to her wallowing in the mire.'* 
You would, therefore, do well, my brethren, frequently to 
remind each other of this dangerous fnare, and to exhort one 
another to begii^,, purfuc, and end yoiir chriftian warfare, in a 
thorough renunciation of the world, and worldly tempers ; 
(o that, when you arc obliged by Providence to provide for 
•vourfelves, and thofc of your refpt6iive houfholds, you may 
continue to w^alk by faiih, and llill " feek firfl the kingdom 
of God, and his righteoufncfs /' not doubting, buc all other 
^h!n:^s, upon your honeil inuudry and tndeavours, fhall be 
added unto you. 

And now, what fliall I fay more ? To fpeak unto you, 
fct'^ers, who have been in Christ (o m.any years before me^ 
and know the malignity of worldly-mindednefs, and pride in 
the fpiritual life, would be altogether necdlcfs. To you, 
therefore, O young men, (for whom I am diftreffed, for 
whom I fear as well as for myfelf) do I once more addrefs 
rnyfelf, in the words of the beloved difciple, '' Look to your- 
felvcs, that we lofe not thofe things which we have wrought, 
but receive a full reward." Be ever mindful, then, of the 
words that have been fpoken to us by the apoftles of the 
Lord and Saviour. " Give diligence to make your calling 
and clcftion fure. Beware, led ye alfo being led away by the 
^^rror of the wicked, fall from your own ftedfadnefs. Let 
him that thinketh he dandeth, take heed led he fall. Be not 
^ligh-m.inded, but fear. But we are perfuaded better things 
9/ you, and things that accompany falvation, though we thus 
4 fpeak. 

[ if>9 ] 

rpeak. For God Is not unrii^hteous, to forget your works 
and labours of love. i\vA we dcfire that every one of you do 
flitw the fame diligence, to the full afiurance of hope unto the 
end : that ye be not flnthful, but followers of them, who 
through laith and pitience inherit the prornifes." It is true, 
we have many dilHcultics to encounter, many powerful ene- 
mies to overcome, ere we can get pofTeflion of the promifed 
Jcind. V/e have an artful devil, an enfnari ng world, and 
above all, tlie treachery of our own hearts, to withftand and 
ilrive n^ainft. " For flrait is tl-.e e;ate, and narrow is the 
way that leadeth unto eternal life." But wherefore fhouid 
we fear, fmce he that is with us is far more powerful, than 
all who are againft us ? Have we not already experienced 
his almighty power, in enabling us to conquer fome difficuhies 
which feemed as infurmountable then, as ihofe we drug- 
gie with now? And caimot he, who delivered us out of the 
paws of thofe bears and lions, preferve us alfo from being 
hurt by the ftrongeft Gol'iah F 

" Be ftedfaft therefore, my brethren, be immoveable.** 
Be not '* afhamed of the gofpel of Christ : for it is the 
power of God unto falvation.'* Fear not man ; fear not 
the contempt and revilings which you mult meet with in the 
way of duty ; for one of you (liall chafe a thoufand ; and two 
of you put ten thoufand of your enemies to flight. And if 
you will be contented, through grace, to fuiTer for a ihort 
ti:ne here; I fpeak the truth in Christ, I lye not ; then may 
ye hope, according to the blelVed word of promife, that ye 
fliall be exalted to fit down with the Son of Man, when he 
iliall come in the glory of his Father, with hi.s holy angel-, 
to judgment hereaficr. May Almighty God give every one 
of us fuch a meafure of his grace, that we may not be of the 
number of thufe that draw back unto perdition, but of them 
that believe and endure unto the end, to the faving of our 
fouls, through our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Which God, kc. 


t •7« ] 


Christ the Believer's Flufoand. 

Isaiah liv. 5. 
For thy Maker is thy Htifuand. 

ALTHOUGH believers by nature, are far from God, 
and children of wrath, even as others, yet it is amazing 
to think how nigh they are brought to him again by the blood 
of Jesus Christ. Eye hath not feen, nor ear heard, neither 
hath it entered into the heart of any man living, fully to 
conceive, the nearnefs and dearnefs of that relation, in which 
they ftand to their common head. He is not albamed to call 
them brethren. Behold, fays the blefied Jesus in the days 
of his flefh, " my mother and my brethren." And again after 
his refurredion, " go tell my brethren." Nav fometimes he 
is pleafed to term believers his friends, " Henceforth call I 
you no longer fervants, but friends." " Our friend Lazarus 
fleepeth." And what is a friend ? Why there is a friend that 
is nearer than a brother, nay, as near as one's ov/n foul. And 
^' thy friend, (fays God in the book of Deuteronowy) which is 
as thy own foul." Kind and endearing appellations thefe, that 
undoubtedly befpeak a very near and ineffably intimate union 
between the Lord Jesus and the true living members of his 
myftical body ! But, methinks, the words of our text point 
out to us a relation, which not only comprehends, but in re- 
fpedl: to nearnefs and dearnefs, exceeds all other relations 
whatfoever. I mean that of a Hufband. " For thy Maker is 
thy hufband ; the Lord of Hofts is his name ; and thy Re- 
ceemer the Holy One of Ijrael^ the God of the whole earth 
fliall he be called." 

Thefe words were originally fpoken to the people of the 

"Jewsy confidercd collccStively as a peculiar people, whom our 

I , Lord 

[ 172 ] 

LoJiD had betrothed and married to hlmfelf; and they feem 
to be rpnken, when religion was on the decline among their 
churches J when they had, in a great meafure, loft that life 
and power, which they once experienced ; and their enemies 
ben;an to inlalt them with a *' where is now your God r" 
Such a flate of things muft undoubtedly be very afHiciiug to 
the true mourners in 7Jon\ and put them upon crying unto 
the Lord, in this their deep diflreis. He hears their prayer, 
his bowels yearn towards them ; and in the preceding verfe, 
he alfures them, that though the enemy had broken in upon 
them like a flood, yet their extremity (hould be his opportu- 
nity to lift up a {tandard againft him. " Fear not, (fays the 
<rreai Head and King of his church) for thou {halt not be 
afiiamed (finally or totally) ; neither be thou confounded, (dif- 
fipatcd or dejected, giving up all for gone, as though thou 
never fnouldft fee better days, or anoiher revival of religion) 
for thou (halt not (emirely) be put to fhame j" though for a 
w'hilc, for thy hurniiiaiion, and the greater confufion of thy 
adverfaries, 1 fuiter them to triumph over thee: " For thou 
ihalt forget the Tname of thy youth, and fhalt not remember 
the reproach of thy widow- hood any more j" /. e, I will 
vouchfafe you fuch anoiher glorious gale of my blellcd Spirit, 
that you (hall quite forget your former troubled widow-ftate, 
and t;ive your enemies no more occafion to infuit you, on 
jiccounc of your infant-condition, but rather to envy you, and 
qnafh their teeth, and melt away at the fight of your un- 
thou"ht-of glory and proi'perity. And why will the infinitely 
^reat and condefcending Jesus deal thus with his people ? 
Eecaufc the church is his fpoufe; " For, (as in the words juft 
now read to you) thy Maker is thy hufband ; thy Redeemer, 
the HoiV One of Ijracl \' and therefore he loves thee too well, 
to let thy enemies always trample thee under foot. " The 
Lord of Hofts is his name, the God of the whole earth {hall 
he be called ;" and therefore he is armed with fufficicnt power 
to relieve his opprelTed people, and overcome and avenge him- 
fe!f of all their haughty and infulting foes. 

This fetms to be the prime and genuine interpretation of 
the text and context, efpecially if we add, that they may have 
a further viev/ to the latter-day glory, and that blelFed ftate of 
the church, which the people of God have been looking f -r 


C »73 3 

in all ages, and the fpcedy approach of which, we undoubt- 
edly pray for, when we put up that petition of our LqRd^s, 
*' thy kingdom come." 

But, though the words were originally fpoken to the 'Jewi^ 
vet they are undoubtedly applicable to all believers in all ages, 
and, when inlarged on in a proper manner, will afford us 
fuitable matter of difcourfe both for Tinners and for faints; for 
fuch as know God, as well as for fuch who know him not; 
and likewife for ihofc, who once walked in the light of his 
bJeflcd countenance, but are now backflidJen from him, have 
their harps hung upon the willows, and are afiaid that their 
beloved is gone, and will return to their fouls no more. Ac- 
cordingly, without prefacing this diicourfe any farther, as I 
Tuppofe that a mixed multitude of faints, uiiconverted finners, 
and backfiiders, are prefent here this day, 1 fliall endeavour fo 
to fpeak from the words of the text, that each may have a pro- 
per portion, and none be fent empty away. 

In profecuting this defign, I will, 

I. Endeavour to fliew, what mufi: pafs between Jesus 
Christ and our fouls before we can fay, '' that our Maker 
is our hufband." 

II. The duties of love which they owe to our Lord, who 
Hand in fo near a relation to him. 

III. The miferable condition of fuch as cannot yet fay, 
" their Maker is their hufband." And 

IV. I (hall conclude with a general exhortation to all fuch 
unhappy fouls, to come and match with the dear Lord Jesus. 
And O! may that God who blefled Abrahams I'ervant, when 
he went out to feek a wife for his fon Jjaac^ blefs me, even 
me alfo, now I am come, I truft, relying on diviae flrength, 
lo invite poor fmners, and recal backfliders to my Maiter 
Jesus ! 

And FirJ}^ I am to (hew, what muft pafs between Jesus 
Christ and our fouls before we can fay, " Our Maker is 
bur hufband." 

But before I proceed to this, it may not be improper to ob- 
i^iist^ that if any of you, amongft whom I am now preaching 


t 174 ] 

the kingdom of God, are enemies to inward religion, and ex- 
plode the dcarine of inward feelings, as enthufia^fm, cant and 
nonfenfe, I {hall not be furprized, if your hearts rife agiiinft me 
whilft I am preaching J for I am about to difcourfe'^on true, 
vital, internal piety; and an infpired apoftle hath told us, 
'* that the natural man difcerneth not the things of the fpirit, 
becaufe they arc Ipiritually difcerned." But, however, be noble 
as the Bcream were s fejrch the Scriptures as they did ; lay 
afide prejudice; hear like Nathaniel, with a true IJraelitifij earj 
be willing to do the will of God ; and then you fliall, accord- 
ing to the prcmife of our dcareft Lord, " know of the doc- 
tnre, whether it be of GaD, or whether I fpeak of myfelf." 

I would further obferve, that if any here do exped fine 
preaching from me this day, they will, in all probability, go 
away dilappointed. For I came not here to fhoot over peo- 
ple's heads i but, if the Lord ftiall be pleafed to blefs me, to 
reach their hearts. Accordingly, I fhall endeavour to cloath 
my ideas m fuch plain language, that the meaneft negro or 
fei vant, if God is pleafed to give a hearing ear, may under- 
hand me; for I am certain, if the poor and unlearned can 
comprehend, the learned and rich muft. 

This being premifed, proceed we to (hew what mufl paG 
between Jesus Christ and our fouls, before we c^n fay, 
" our Maker is our hufhand." 

Now, that we may difcourfe more pertinently and intelligi-- 
bly upon this point, it may not be amifs to confider, what is 
neceffary to be done, before a marriage between two parties 
amongft ourfelves, can be faid to be valid in the fight of God 
and man. And that will lead us in a familiar way, to fliew 
what muft be done, or what mufl pafs between us and Jesus 
Christ, before we can fay, " our Maker is our hufband." 

And Firft, In all lawful marriages, it is abfolutely necefTary, 
that the parties to be joined together in that holy and honour- 
able eftate.. are adually and legally freed from all pre-engaae- 
nicnts whatfoever. « A woman is bound to her hufband, 
(faith the apofile) (o long as her hufband liveth.'* The fame 
law holds good in refpec^ to the man. And fo likewife, if 
either party be betrothed and promifcd, though not adually 
married to another, the marriage is not lawful, till that pre, 
engagement and promifc be fairJy and mutually difTolved. 


[ 175 ] 

Now, it is juft th'js between us and the Lord Jesus. For^ 
we are all by nature born under, and wedded to the law, -is a 
covenant of works. Hence it is that we are fo fond of, and 
artfully go about, in order to eflablifli a righteoufnefs of our 
own. It is as natural for us to do this, as it is to breathe. 
Our firft parents, JJam and Eve^ even after the covenant of 
grace was revealed to them in that promife, '' the feed of the 
woman fliall bruife the ferpent's head," reached out their 
hands, and would again have taken hold of the tree of life, 
which they had forfeited, had not God drove them out of 
paradife, and compelled them, as it were, to be faved by grace. 
And thus all their defcendants naturally run to, and want to 
be faved, partly at leali-, if not wholly, by their works. And 
even gracious fouls, who are inwardly renewed, fo far as the 
old man abides in them, find a ftrong propenfity this way^. 
Hence it is, that natural men are generally fo fond o^ Jrminian 
principles. *' Do and Wwt^^ is the native language of a proud, 
felf-riglitcous heart. But before we can fay, " our Maker is 
our hufband,'* we muft be divorced from our old hulband the 
law ; we muft renounce our own righteoufnefs, our own doings 
and performances, in point of dependence, whether in whole or 
part, as dung and drofs, for the excellency of the knowledge of 
Christ Jesus our Lord. For thus fpcaks the apoftle Paul 
to the Romans^ chap. vii. 4. " Ye alfo are become dead to the 
law (as a covenant of works) by the body of Christ, that ye 
fhould be married to another, even to him, who is raifed from 
the dead." As he alfo fpeaketh in another place, " I have 
efpoufed you, as a chafle virgin to Jesus Christ," This 
was the apoftle's own cafe. Whilft he depended on his being 
a Hebrew of the Hebrews^ and thought himfelf fecure, becaufe, 
as to the outward obfervaiion of the law, he was blamelefs ; 
he was an entire ftranger to the divine life: but when he be* 
gan to experience the power of Jesus Christ*s refurre6tion, 
we find him, in his epiftle to the Phitippians^ abfolutely re- 
nouncing all his external privileges, and all his pharifaical 
righteoufnefs ;*' Yea, doubtlefs, and I count all things but 
lofs, nay but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in 
him, not having mine own righteoufnefs, which is of the law, 
but that which is through the faith of Jesus Christ, the 
righteoufnefs which is of God by faith.'' And thus it muft be 


f 176 ] 

with us, ere we can fiiy, " our Maker is our huiband." Though 
v/e may not be wrought upon in that extraordinary way in 
which the apoftle was, yet we mud be dtad to the law, we , 
muft be efpoufed as chafte virgins to Jesus Christ, and 
count all external privileges, and our moil fplcnuid perfor- 
mances (as was before ohferved) only " as dung ar.d drofs, 
ior the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ our 

But further; before a marrrage among us can P.and good ia 
law, both parties muil: not only be freed fr<tm all pre^engagc- 
ments, but there mui\ be a mutual confejit on both fides. W'c 
are not ufed to marry people again(t their wills, llvis is what 
the j£us called betrothing, or efpouhng, a thing previous to 
the iolemnity of marriage. Thus we find, the Virgin Al^'^ry is 
faid to be efpoufed to Jofeph^ before they actually came toge- 
ther. Mat, i. 18. And tiius it is among us. }3oth parties arc 
previoufly agreed, and, as it were, efpoufed to each oihcr, 
before we publifii, what we call jhe banns of marriage con- 
cernino' them. And fo it will be in the fpiritual marriage, 
between Jesus Christ and our fouls. Before we are actually 
married or united to him by faith ; or, to keep to the terms of 
the text, before we alTuredly can fay, that '•' our Maker is 
our hufband," we muft be made willing people in the day of 
GoD*s power, we mufl: be fweelly and ef}e«5tually perfu;uk'd by 
the Holy Spirit of God, that the glorious Emmanuel is wiliing 
to accept of us, juft as we are, and aifo that we are willing to 
accept of him upon his own terms, yea, upon any terms. And 
when once it coKies to this, the fpiritual marriage goes on 
apace, and there is but one thing lacking to make it compleat. 
And what is that ? An a6iual union. 

This is abfoluttly necefiary in every lawful marriage among 
men. There muft be a joining of hands before witnefies, ere 
they can be deemed lawfully joined together. Some men in- 
deed of corrupt minds, are apt to look upon this as a needlefs 
ceremony, and think it fufHcient to be married, as thej^ ternfi 
it, in the fioht of God. But whence men get fuch divinity, 
I know not. I am pofitivc, not from the Bible ; for we there 
read that even at the firft marriage in paradife, there was fome- 
thing of outward folemnity ; God himfelf (if I may fo fpeak) 
being there the prieft. For we are told, Getu ii. 22. that, 


after CJoD had made the womnn, " he brought her unto the 
man." And indeed, to lay nfide all manner of outward cere- 
mony Jn marriaire, would be to lurn the world into a den of 
brute hearts. Men would then take, or for fake as many wives 
♦Es they pleaied, and we fhould foon fink into as bad and brutal 
a ftate, as thofe nations are, amongft whom fuch pradtces arc 
allowed of, and who are utterly de{iitute of the knowledge of 
our Lord and Saviour JeSUs Christ. Whoever has expe- 
rienced the power of his rcfurredion, I am perfuadcd will 
never plead for fuch a licentious practice. For the terms made 
uvz of in Scripture, to reprefent the myftical union between 
Christ and his church, fuch as, our being '* joined to the 
Lord," and '^ married to Jesus Christ," are all metapho- 
rical expreHionSj taken from fome analogous practices amongft 
men. And as perfons when married, though before twain, 
are now one flefli ; fo thofe that are joined to the LoRE>, and 
can truly fay, " our A4aker is our hufband," are in the apof- 
tle's language, "one fpirit. This w?s typified in the original 
marriage of our firft parents. When God brought £i/^ to 
Adam^ he received her with joy at his hands, and faid, " this 
is bone of my bone, and flefh of my flefli." They had there, 
primarily, but one name. For thus fpeaks the facred Hifto- 
rian. Gen, v. i, 2. " In the day that Ggd created man, he 
blefied them, and called their name JdamJ" And why ? be- 
caufe they were one flefti, and were to have but one heart. 
The felf-fame terms are made ufe of in Scripture, to exprefs 
the believer*s union with Jesus Christ. We are called 
Chriftians, after Christ's name, becaufe made partakers of 
Christ's nature. Out of his fulnefs, believers receive grace 
for grace. And therefore, the marriage ftate, efpccially by 
the apoftle Paul^ is frequently made ufe of, to figure out to 
us the real, vital union, between Jesus Christ and regene- 
rate fouls. This is termed by the apoftle, Eph. v. 32- "A 
great myftcry." But great as it is, we muft all experience it, 
before we can fay afluredly, that " our Maker is our hufband.'* 
For what fays our Lord, in that prayer he put up to his Fa- 
ther before his bitter pallion? " Father, I vv^ill that thofe whom 
thou haft given me, (liall be where I am, that they may be one 
with thee; even as thou, O Father, and I are one, I in them, 
and they in me, that we all may be m.adc perfecl: in one." O 
- Vol. V. M infinite. 

' • 45 

[ "78 3 

infinite condefccnfion ! O ineffable union ! Hence it is, that 
believers are faid to be members of his body, of his flefh, and 
of his bones. Hence it is, that the apoftle fpeaking of him- 
felf, fays, " I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." 
What an exprcflion is that ? How much does it comprehend ? 
And, that we might not think this was fomething peculiar 
to himfelf, he puts this clofe queftion to the Corinthians ; 
•' Know ye not, that Christ is in you, unlefs you be repro- 
bates ?" Agreeable to what he fays in his epidle to the Colof- 
fiansy " Christ in you, the hope of glory." And hence it 
is, that our church, in the communion-office, direds the 
minifter to acquaint all thofe who receive the facrament 
worthily, that they are one with Christ, and Christ 
with them ; that they dwell in Christ, and Christ in 
them. Words that deferve to be written in letters of gold, 
and which evidently fhew, what our reformers believed all 
perfons muft experience, before they could truly and affuredly 
fay, that " their Maker is their hufband." 

From what has been delivered, may not the pooreft and 
moft illiterate perfon here prefent eafily know whether or not 
he is really married to Jesus Christ. Some indeed, I am 
afraid, are fo prefumptuous as to affirm, at leaft to infmuate, 
that there is no fuch thing as knowing, or being fully aflured, 
whilft here below, whether we are iri Christ or not. Or 
at leaft, if there be fuch a thing, it is very rare, or was only 
the privilege of the primitive believers. Part of this is true, 
and part of this abfolutely falfe. That this glorious privilege 
of a full affurance is very rare, is too, too true. And fo it is 
equally too true, that real chriftians, comparatively fpeaking, 
are very rare alfo. But that there is no fuch thing, or that 
this was only the privilege of the firft followers of our bleffed 
JjORD, is diredly oppoiite to the word of Gop. " Wc 
know (fays St. John^ fpeaking of believers in general) that 
we are his, by the fpirit which he hath given us ;" and, " He 
that believeth hath the witnefs in himfelf;" " becaufe you are 
fons (faith St. Paul) Gcd hath fent forth his Spirit into your 
hearts, even the fpirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, 
Father." Not that I dare affirm, that there is no real chriftian, 
but what has this full affurance of faith, and clearly knows, 
that his Maker is his hufband. In fpeaking thus, I fhould un- 
doubtedly condemn fome of the generation of God*s dear 


[ ^19 1 

chlMren, who tliroiigh the prevalence of unbelief, indwell- 
ing fin, fpiriti/al floth, or it nr.iy be, for want of being in- 
formed of the privileges of believers, may walk in darknefs, and 
fee no light : therefore, though I dare not affirm, that a full 
aflurance of faith is abfolutely neceflary for the very being, yet 
I dare afTert, that it is abfolutely nccefiary, for the well 
being of a chriRlan. And for my own part, I cannot conceive, 
how any perfons, that pretend to chriftianity, can reft fa- 
tisfied^ or contented without it. This is flopping fhort, on 
this fide Jordan^ w*ith a witnefs. And gives others too much 
teafon to fufpe6t, that fuch perfons, however high their pro- 
feffion may be, have, as yet, no true faving grace at all. 

Men, whofe hearts are fet on this world's goods, or, io 
iife our Lord's language, '^ the children of this world," a6l 
hot fo. I fuppofe there is fcarce a fingle merchant in this 
great congregation, efpecially in thefe troublous times, that 
will venture out either his (hip or cargo, without firft infur- 
ing, both againft the violence of an enemy, or a ftorm. And 
1 fuppofe there is fcarce a fingle houfe, of any confiderable 
Value, in any populous town or city, but the owner has 
taicen out a poh'cy from the fire-office, to infure it, in cafe 
of fire. And can I be fo irrational as to think, that there is 
ftich a thing as fecuring my goods, and my houfe, and that 
tfiere is no fuch thing as infuring, what is infinitely more va- 
luable, liiy precious and immortal foul ? Or if there be fuch 
a" thing, as undoubtedly there is, what foolifiinefs of folly 
muft it needs be in men, that pretend to be men of parts, 
of good fenfe, and folid reafoning, to be fo anxious to fecure 
their fhips againft a ftorm, and their houfes againft a fire, 
and at the fame time, not to be unfpeakably more folicitous, 
to" take a policy out of the afl^urance-office of heaven ; even 
t^e feal and witnefs of the biefled Spirit of God, to infure their" 
f6uls againft that ftorm of divine wrath, and that vengeance 
of Eternal fire, which will at the laft decifive day come upon 
Sfll thofe, who know not God, and have not obeyed his gra- 
cious gofpel ? To affirm therefore, that there is no fuch thing 
as knowing, that '' our Maker is our hufband ;" or that it 
^as a privilege peculiar to the firft chrifiians, to fpcak in the- 
niildeft terms, is b )th irrationafand unfcriptural. Not that 
v^\ who can fay, their Maker is their huft)and, can give the 
Aim€ clear and diftint^t accotint of the time, maaner a^d means 

M 2 •f 

[ i8o ] 

of their bciiTg fplritually united and married by faith, to the 
blefied bridemoom of the church. Some there may be now, 
as well as formerly, fan£lified from the womb. And others, 
in their infancy and non-age, as it were filcntly converted. -^ 
Such perhaps may fay, with a little Scotch maiden, now with 
God, when I alked her, y^-hether Jesus Christ had taken* 
away her old heart, and given her a new one ? " Sir, it may 
*' be, (faid fhe,) I cannot direiStly tell you the time and place, 
" but this I know, it is done." And indeed it is not fo very 
material, though no doubt it is very fatibfa£lory, if we 'can- 
not relate all the minute and particular circumftances, that 
attended our converfion ; if fo be we are truly converted now, 
and can fay, the work is done, and that, " our Maker is our 
hufband." And I queftion, whether there is one fingle adult, 
believer, now on earth, who lived before converfion, either 
in a courfe of fecret or open fin, but can, in a good degree, . 
give an account of the beginning and progrefs of the work of 
grace in his heart. 

What think ye ? Need I tell any married perfons in this 
congregation, that they muft go to the univerfity, and learn . 
the languages, before they can tell whether they are married 
or not ? Or, if their marriage was to be doubted, could they , 
not, think you, bring their certificates, to certify the time 
and place of their marriage ; and the minifter that joined them 
together in that holy ftate ? And if you are adult, and are 
indeed married to Jesus Cjirist, though you may be un-.. 
learned, and what the world terms illiterate men, cannot you. 
tell me the rife and progrefs, and confummaiion of the fpi- 
ritual marriage, between Jesus Christ and your fouk ? 
Know you not the time, when you were firft under the draw- 
ings of the Father, and Jesus began to w^oo you for him- 
felf ? Tell me, O man, tell me, O woman, knoweft thou, 
not the time, or at leaft, knoweft thou not, that there was a 
timcj when the blefl'ed Spirit of God ftripped thee of the fig- 
leaves of thy own righteoufnefs, hunted thee out of the treeS; 
of the garden of thy performances, forced thee from the em- 
braces of thy old hulband the law, and made thee to abhor 
thy own righteoufnefs, as fo many filthy rags ? Canft thou^ 
not remember, when, after a long ftruggle with unbelief, , 
Jesus appeared to thee, as altogethei' lovely, mighty and will-; 
5 i^S 

[ i8i ] 

ing to n^ve ? And canfl thou nut reflect upon a feafon, when 
thy own ftubborn heart was made to bend ; and thou waft 
-made willing to embrace him, as freely offered to thee in the 
evcrlafting gofpel ? And canft thou not, with plcafure un- 
fpeakable, reflect on Ibme happy period, fome certain point 
.of time, in which a facred fomething (perhaps thou couldll 
not then well tell what) did captivate, and fill thy heart, fo 
that thou could fay, in a rapture of holy furprize, and extacy 
of divine love, " My Lord and my God ! my beloved is 
mine, and I am his ; I know that my Redeemer liveth i" or, 
to keep to the words of our text, " A>]y Maker is my huf- 
band." Surely, amidft this great and folcmn aflembly, there 
are many that can anfwer thefe queftions in the affirmative. 
For thefe are tranfadions, not eafily to be forgotten ; and the 
day of our efpoufals is, generally, a very remarkable day j a 
day to be had in everlafting remembrance. 

And can any of you indeed, upon good grounds fay, that 
your Maker is your hufband ? May I not then (as it is cufto- 
mary to wifli perfons joy who arejuft entered into the mar- 
riage ftate) congratulate you upon your happy change, and 
wifh you joy, with all my heart ? Sure am* I that there was 
joy in heaven on the day of your efpoufals: and wdiy fhould 
jiot the blefiea news occafion joy on earth ? May 1 not ad- 
.drefs you in the language of our Lord to the women that 
came to vifit his fepulchre, " All hail !'* for ye are highly 
'favoured. BlelTed are ye among men, bleflcd are ye among 
women ! All generations fliall call you blefTcd. What ! " is 
jour Maker your hufband ? the holy one of IfracJ your Re- 
deemer ?" Sing, O heavens, and rejoice, O earth ! What an 
amazing floop is this ! What a new thing has God created o'n 
the earth ! Do not your hearts, O believers, burn within you, 
when meditating on this unfpeakable condefcenfion of the high 
and lofty one that inhabiteth eternity? Whilft you are mufmg, 
does not the facred fire of divine love kindle in your fouls? And, 
out of the abundance of your hearts, do you not often fpeak 
with your tongues, and call upon all that is within you, to laud 
and magnify your Redeemer's holy name ? Is not that God- 
exalting, felf-abafing cxpreffion frequently in your mouths, 
f' Why me. Lord, why me ?'* And are you not ofcen con- 
brained to break out into that devout exclamation of Solomon^ 

M 3 whea 

[ l82 ] 

when the glory of the Lord filled the temple, " And will 
God indeed dwell with man ?'* ungrateful, rebellious, ill, 
and hcll-deferving man 1 O, my brethren, my heart is en- 
larged towards you ! Tears, while I am fpeaking, are ready 
to gufti out. But they are tears of love and joy. How (hall 
I o-ive it vent ? How fiiall I fet forth thy happinefs, O be- 
liever, thou bride of God ! And is thy Maker thy hufband ? 
Is his name " The Lord of hofts ?" Whom then fhouldO: 
thou fear ? And is thy Pedeemer the holy one oi Jfrael? the 
God of the whole earth fliould he be called ! of whom then 
ihouldft thou be afraid ? He that toucheth thee, toucheth 
the very apple of God's eye. " The very hairs of thy head 
are all numbered ;" and ^' it is better that a man (hould have 
a milftone tied round his neck, and be drowned in the fe^. 
than that he fhould juttly offend thee." 

All hail, (I muft again repeat it) thou Lamb's bride ! For 
thou art all glorious within, and comely, through the corne- 
linefs thy heavenly bridegroo|n hath put upon thee. Thy 
garment is indeed of wrought gold ; and, ere long, the King 
fhall bring thee forth with a raiment of needle-work, and pre- 
sent thee blamelefs before his Father, without fpot, or wrinkle, 
or any fuch thing. In the mean while, well (hall it be with 
you, and happy (hall you be, who are married to Jesus Christ : 
for all that Christ has, is yours. " He is made of God 
to you, wifdom, righteoufnefs, fanclification, and eternal re- 
idemption." " Whether Paul^ or Cephas^ or the world, or life, 
or death, or things prcfent, or things to come ; all are your$." 
All his attributes are engaged for your prefervation, and all 
things fliall work together for your good, who love God, and, 
by being thus married to the Lord Jesus, give an evident 
proof that you are called according to his purpofe. What 
fay you ? When you meditate on thefe things, are you not 
frequently ready to cry out. What fhall we render unto the 
Lord for all thefe mercies, which, of his free unmerited 
grace, he hath been pleafed to beftow upon us ? For, though 
you are dead to the law, as a covenant of works, yet you are 
.alive to the law as a rule of life, and are in, or under the law 
(for either exprefTion feems to denote the fame thing) to your 
glorious hufband, Jesus Christ. 


[ 183 ] 

Pafs we on therefore to the 

Second general head, under which I was to (hew, what da- 
ties of love they owe to Jesus Christ, who are fo happy as 
to be able to fay, *' My Maker is my hufband.'* 

I fay, duties of love. For being now married to Jesus 
Christ, you work not for life, but from life. The love of 
God conftrains you, fo that, if there was no written law, 
or fuppofmg Jesus would fet you at liberty from his yoke, fo 
far as grace prevails in your hearts, you would fay, we love 
our blelTed bridegroom, and will not go from him. 

And what does the Lord require of you ? That we nwy 
fpeak on this head as plainly as may be, we {hall purfue the 
method we begun with ; and, by carrying on the allegory, 
and examining what is required of truly chriftian wives, under 
the gofpcl, infer what our Lord may juftly demand of thofe 
who are united to him by faith, and can therefore fay, *' our 
Maker is our hufband.'* 

And here let us go to the law and to the teftimony. What 
fays the fcripture ? " Let the wife fee that fhe reverence her 
*' hufband." It is, no doubr, the duty of married women to 
think highly of their hufbands. From whom may hufbands 
juftly command refpedl, if not from their wives ? The apoftIe*s 
cxpreflion is emphatical. " Let the wife fee that {ho, reve- 
rence her hufband ;" thereby implying, that women, fome of 
them at lead, are too prone to difrefpedl: their hufbands ; as 
Michal^ Saul's daughter, defpifed David in her heart, when 
fhe tauntingly faid, 2 Sam, vi. 20. *' How glorious was the 
king of Ifrael to-day, who uncovered himfelf to-day in the 
eyes of the handmaids of his fervants, as one of the vain fel- 
lows fhamlefly uncovereth himfelf." 

This is a fource and fountain, from whence many domeflic 
evils frequently flow. Women fliould remember the character 
that hufbands fuflain in fcripture. They are to them, what 
Christ is to the church. And it is mentioned to the honour 
oi^ Sarah, that flie called Abraham " Lord." " Shall I have 
a child who am old, my Lord being old alfo ?" It is remark- 
able, there are but two good words in that whole fentence, 
*•' my Lord," (for all the others are the language of unbelief) 
and yet thofc two words the Holy Ghoft mentions to her 
M 4 eternal 

t i84 ] 

eternal honour, and buries, as it were, the reft in oblivien, 
" Even as Sarah (fays St. Peter) obeyed Abraham^ calling him 
Lord."' An evident proof how plcafing it is in the fight of 
God, for women in the married ftate to reverence and re- 
fpe^t their hufbaids. Nr-t that huToands therefore (hould 
lord it over their wives, or require too much refped at their 
hands. This would be unchriftian, as well as ungenerous, 
indeed. They' ought rather, as God has taken fuch care to 
keep up their authority, commanding their wives to reverence 
and refpedl them ; they oight, I fay, to be doubly careful, 
that thev live fo holy and unblameable, as to lay their v;ives 
under no temptation to defpife them. But to return from 
this dia;ie{Tion. Does the apoflle fay, " Let the wife fee that 
{l:e reverence her buinand ?" May I not pertinently apply 
this caution to you who are married to Jesus Christ ? See 
lo it that you reverence s^nd refpeft your hufband. I fay, 
fee to it. For the devil will be often fuggefting to you hard 
and mean thoughts agaiiUl your hufband. It was thus he be- 
fet our mother Eve, even in a ftate of innocence. He would 
fain perfuade her to entertain hard thoughts of her glorious 
bcnefadlor. " What, h.as God faid, ye (liali not eat of the 
trees of the garden ?" Has he been fo cruel to put you here in 
a beautiful garden only to vex and teize you } This he made, 
life of as an inlet to all his fucceeding infinuations. And this 
trade he is ftill purfuing, and will be purfuing to the very' 
end of time. Befidcs, in the eyes of the wo: Id, Jesus 
Christ has no form or comielinefs that they fliould defire 
him ; and therefore, unlefs you. " watch and pray," you 
will be led into temptation, and not keep up fuch high 
thoughts of your blcfled Jesus as he juflly deferves. Li this 
you can never exceed. Women, perhaps, may fometimes 
think too highly of, and, through excefs of love, idolize 
their earthly comforts. But it is irnpofiible for you to think 
too highly of your heavenly hufband, Jesus Christ. 

Farther, what fays the apoftle in his epiftlc to the Ephe- 
ftans ? Speaking of the marriage ftate, he fays, '^ The wife is 
t\\Q glory of her huft^and ;" as though he had faid, a chriftiaii 
wife ftiould fo behave, and io walk, as to be a credit to her. 
hufband. As jibigcil was an honour to Nabal, and by her 
fweet deportment made up, in feme degree, for her ^uf- 


[ '35 ] 

band's churUfhnefs. This is to be a help-nncet indeed. Such, 
a woman will be praifed in the gate ; and her hufband get 
glory, and meet with refpedt on her account. And ought 
a woman to be the glory of her hufband ? How much more 
ought you, that are the Lamb's bride, fo to live, and fo to 
walk, as to bring glory, and gain refpe£l, to the caufe and 
intereft of your hufb.ind Jesus ? This is what the apoftle 
every where fuppofes, when he would draw a parallel between 
a temporal and fpiritual marriage. " The woman, is the 
glory of her hufband, even as the church is the glory of 
Christ." Agreeable to this, he tells the Corinthians^ " Whe- 
ther you eat or drink, or whatfoever you do, do all to the 
glory of God ;" and as he alfo fpeaks to the TheJJahiianSy 
I Thejf. ii. II, 12. " As you know how we exhorted, and 
comforted, and charged every one of you (as a father doth 
his children) that you would walk'worthy of God who hath 
called you to his kingdom, and his glory." What an ex- 
preflion is here ! '« That you v/ould walk worthy of God." 
O ! how ought this, 'and fuch like texts, to ftir up your pure 
minds, O believers, fo to have your converfation in this 
world, that you may be what the apoftle fays fome particular 
perfons were, even '^ the glory of Christ." You are his 
glory ; he rejoices over you with Tinging; and you fliould fo 
walk, that all who know and hear of you, may glorify 
Christ in you. 

Suhje^ion^ is another duty, that is enjoined married women, 
in the word of God. They are to " be fubjedt to their own 
hufbands in every thing," every lawful thing : " For, the huf- 
band is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of 
the church.'' And knowing how unapt fome bafe minds would 
be to fubmit to the hufband's authority, he takes care to enforce 
this duty of fubjeclion by many cogent and powerful argu- 
ments." " For Adam Vv^as firft made, and not Eve. Neither was 
the man made for the woman, but the woman for the man." 
And again, " 7'he man was not firft in the tranfgrefiion, but 
the woman." Upon which accounts, fubjedlion was impofed 
on her as part of her punifnment. " Thy defire (fays God) 
fhall be to thy hufband, and he fhall rule (though not tyran- 
nize) over thee." So that, to ufe the words of pious Mr. 
Henry, thofe whq attempt to ufurp authority over their huf- 
s bands, 

r 186 ] 

bands, not only contradict a divine command, but thwart a 
divine curfe. And if women are to be fubjecft to their own 
hufbands in every thing, hov/ much more ought believers, 
whether men or women, to be rubjeCt to Jesus Christ : 
for he is the head of the church. He has bought her by his 
blood. Believers therefore are not their own, but are under 
the higheft obligations to glorify and obey Jesus Christ, in 
their bodies and their fouls, which are his. Add to this, 
that his fervice, as it is admirably cxprefied in one of our col- 
le«5ls, is perfe6i freedom. His commandments holy, juft, and 
good. And therefore it is your higheft privilege, O believers, 
to fubmit to, and obey them. Earthly hufbands may be fo 
mean as to impofe fome things upon their wives, merely to 
fhew their authority ; but it is not fo with Jesus Christ, He 
can and does impofe nothing, but what immediately conduces 
to our prefent, as well as. future good. In doing, nay, in 
fufFering for Jesus Christ, there is a prefent unfpeakable 
reward. And therefore I may fay to believers, as the blefied 
Virgin faid to the fervants at the marriage in Ca'aa, " What- 
foever he fays unto you, do it." " For his yoke is eafy, and 
his burden is light." And I believe it might eafily be proved 
in a few minutes, that all the diforders which are now in the 
world, whether in church or ftate, are owing to a want of 
being univerfally, unanimoufly, chearfully, and perfeveringly 
conformed to the laws and example of our Lord and Saviour 
Jesus Christ. 

Again, Faithfulnefs in the marriage ftate, is ftriiSlly enjoined 
in the fcriptures of truth. " Marriage is honourable in all, 
and the bed undefiled. But whoremongers and adulterers 
God will judge." Nay, adultery is an iniquity to be puniflied 
by the earthly judges ; it diflolves the marriage relation. 
*' For the man has not powier over his own body, but the 
woman ; neither has the woman power over her own body, 
but the man." The heathens themfelves have been taught 
this by the light of nature j and adultery, among fome of 
them, is punifhed with immediate death. And ought mar- 
ried perfons to be thus careful to keep the marriage-bed unde- 
filed, how carefully then ought believers to keep their fouls 
chafte, pure, and undefiled, now they are efpoufcd to Jesus 
Chrijt ? For there is fuch a thing as fpiritual adultery; 


C 187 ] 

« O ye adulterers and adulterefles," faith St. 'James, And 
God frequently complains of his people's playing the harlot. 
Hence it is, that St. Jchny in the moft endearing manner, ex- 
horts believers to " keep themfelves from idols.'* P'or the 
luft of the eye, the lull of the flefli, and pride of life, are al- 
ways ready to ftcal away our hearts from Jesus Christ, 
And every time we plape our afFedlions upon any thing more 
than Christ, we do undoubtedly commit fpiritual adultery. 
For we admit a creature to rival the Creator, who is Gor» 
over all, blefled for evermore. " Little children, therefore, 
keep yourfclves from idols." 

But it is lime for me to draw towards the clofe of this head, 
Fruitfukefs was a bleffing promifed by God to the iirft happy 
pair ; " Increafe and multiply, and replenifti the earrh." 
** Lo, children, and the fruit of the womb, (fays the Pfalmift) 
are a gift and heritage, which cometh of the Lord." And 
fo, if we are married to Jesus Chr.ist, we muft be fruitful. 
In what ? In every good word and work : for thus fpeaks the 
Apoftle, in his epiftle to the Romans : " Wherefore, my bre- 
thren, ye alfo are become dead to the law, by the body of 
Christ, that ye fliould be marritd to another, even to him 
who is raifed fron; the dead." What follov^s ? *' That we 
fliould bring forth fruit unto God." Glorious words, and 
proper to be confidcred in a peculiar manner, by fuch who 
would explode the doctrine of free jufrificatlon, as an AntlnO". 
vi'ian do6trine, and as though it defl:royt;d good works. No ; 
it eftablifhes, and lays a folid foundation, whereon to build 
the fuperftru61:ure of good works. Tlius is therefore com- 
manded to " exhort believers to be careful to maintain good 
v^orks." And " herein (fays our Lord) is my Father glo- 
rified, that ye bring forth much fruit. Let your light {o 
fliine before men, that they may fee your good works, and 
glorify your Father which is in heaven j," with a multitude ot 
paflages to the fame purpofe. 

Moreover, it is required of wives, that they not only love 
and reverence their hufbands, but that they alfo love and re- 
fpect their hufoand^s friends. And if we are married to Jesus 
Christ, we fhall not only reverence the bridegroom, bui wc 
fliall alfo love and honour the bridegroom's friends. '' By 
this, fhall all men know that ye are my difciples, if ye love 


[ iS8 ] 

one another," '' I>y this we know, (fays the beloved dlfcl- 
ple) that v.e have pafTed from death to life, becaufe we love 
the brethren." Obferve, the brethren^ indefinitely, of what- 
ever denomination. And this love muft be " without dilli- 
mulation, and with a pure heart fervently." This was the 
cafe of the primitive chriftians. They were all of one heart, 
and of one mind. It was faid of them (O that it could be 
faid of us !) " See how thefe chriftians love one another ! '* 
They were of the fame fpirit as a good woman of Scotland 
was, who, when ilie faw a great multitude, as is cuftomary in 
that country, coming from various parts to receive the blefied 
facrament, faluted them with a " Come in, ye bleficd of the 
" LoR-D, 1 have an houfe that will hold an hundred of you, 
" and a heart that will hold ten thoufand.'* Let us go and 
do likewife. 

Once more. Perfons that are married, take one another 
for better or for worfe, for richer or tor poorer, to love and to 
cheiiili each other in ficknefs and in health. And if we are 
married to Jesus Christ, we fhall be willing to bear his 
crofs^ as v/ell as to wear his crown. " If any man will come 
after me, let him deny himfclf, take up his crofs, and follow 
me." K^^ither will they be compelled to do this, as Simon of 
Cyrene\N2iS^ but they will be volunteers in his fervice; they will 
cr<^ out. Crown hiQi, crown him, when others are crying out, 
^^ Crucify him, crucify him," 7^hey will never leave or for- 
fake him, but willingly foilov^ the Captain of their falvation, 
thouf^h it be throusfh a f'^a of blood. 

I might run the parallel itill further, and alfo enlarge upon^ 
the hints already given ; but I fear I have faid enough already 
to reproach moft believers ; I am fure I have faid more than 
enough to abafh and upbraid myfelf. For alas ! how vilely, 
treacheroufly, and ungratefully have we behaved towards our 
fpiritual hufband, the dear Lord Jesus, ever fince the day of 
our efpouf. Is ? Had our friends, or even the wives of our 
own bofon^s, behaved to us as we have behaved to our great 
and bed friend, our glorious hufband, we (hould have broken 
off our frieiidfliip, and fued for a bill of divorcement long ago. 
Under our firft love, what promifes did we make to him? 
But how frowardiy have v/e behaved ourfelves in this cover 
nant ? How little have we reverenced him ? Hov/ often has 


[ i89 ] 

our Beloved been no more to us than another bc'loved ? Ho\V 
iittlc have we lived to his glory ? Have we not been a fhamc 
and reproach to his gofpcl ? Have we not crucified him 
afre(h, and has he not been forely wounded in the houfe of 
his friends ? Nay, has not his holy name been blafphemed 
through our means ? For alas! how little have we obeyed 
him ? How carelefs and indifferent have we been, whether 
we pleafed him or not ? We have often laid, indeed, when 
commanded by him to go work, in his vineyard, We go. 
Lord ; but alas ! we w'cnt not. Or if we did go, with what 
reluiSlance has it been ? . How unwillmg to watch with our 
dear Lord and Mafter, only one hour ? And of his fabbaihs, 
how often have we faid. What a wearinefs is this ? As for 
our adulteries, and fpiritual fornications, how frequent, hov/ 
aggravated have they been ? . Have not idols of all forts, been 
fuffered to fill up the room of the ever-blefled Jesus in our 
hearts ? You that love him in fmcerity, will not be offended 
if I tell you, that the :<vith chapter of ^zri/J gives, in my 
opinion,, a lively defcription of our behaviour towards our 
Lord. We were, like bafe-born children, caft out in the 
field to the loathing- of our perfons : no eye pitied or had com- 
pafHon on us. Jesus, paffed by, faw us-pojluted in our owa 
blood, and faid unto us, *^' Live," /. e. prelerved us, even in 
our natural Itate, from death. And when hisi time of love 
wa,s come, he fpread the (kirt of his imputed righteoufnefs 
over us, and covered the nakednefs of our fouls, entered into 
covenant with us, and we became his. He wafhed us alfo 
with water, even in the laver of regeneration, and thoroughly 
wafhed us bv his precious blood, from the guile of all our 
fins. He cloathed us alfo with broidered work, and decked 
us with ornaments, even with righteoufnefs, and peace, and 
joy in the Holy Ghoil:. We did cat fine flour and honey at 
his ordinances, and we fed on Jesus Christ in our hearts 
by faith, with thankfgiving. In fnort, we were made exceed- 
ing beautiful, and the kingdom of God yvas erected in our 
hearts. We were rcnovv'ned amonor our nei^rhbours for our 
love to God, and all that knew us took knowledge of us, 
that we had been with Jesus. But alas! how have we fallen, 
who were once fons of the morning ! How have we trufted 
'm our own beauty, have grown fpiritually proud, and pro- 

c 190 i 

Vokcd our patient and unfpeakably long-fufTerlng Lord tcs 
anger ? Where is that ardent love we fpake of, when we 
told him, that, though we fhould die for him, we would not 
deny him in any wife ? How defperately wicked, and deceit- 
ful above all things, have we proved our hearts to be, fmce 
we have done all thefe things, even the work of an imperious 
Ionian ? Thefe are great and numerous charges ; but great 
and numerous as they are, there is not a fingle believer here 
prefent, but, if he knows his own heart, may plead guilty to 
fome, or all of them. But this is a tender point : I fee yoii 
Concerned : your tears, O believers, are a proof of the anguifil 
of your fouls. And can any of us give any reafon, why Jesus 
Christ fliould not give us a bill of divorcement, and put us 
away ? May he not juflly fpeak to us as he did to his adul- 
trefs Ifrael^ in the forementioned xvith of Ezekiely " Where- 
fore, O harlot, hear the word of the Lord ; I will judge thee 
as women that break wedlock, and fhed blood, are judged. 
I will give thee blood in fury and jealoufy, becaufe thou haft 
not remembered the days of thy youth, but haft fretted me irt 
all thefe things. Behold, therefore, I alfo will recompence 
thy way upon thy head. I will even deal with thee as thoU 
haft done, who haft defpifed the oath, in breaking the cove- 
nant, the marriage contrail that was between us." This, t 
am perfuaded, you will confefs to be the treatment which ^^fe 
all moft juftly deferve. But be not overwhelmed wich over- 
much forrow : for though the Lord our God is a jealous: 
God, and will certainly vfit our offences with a rod, and our 
backflidings with a fpiritual fcourge, yet his loving-kindnefi 
will he not utterly take from us, nof fufFer his truth to fail. 
Though we have changed, yet he changeth not : He abideth 
faithful : his loving-kindnefs abideth for evermore. Hark f 
how fweetly he fpeaks to his backfliding people of old ; " O 
Jfrad^ thou haft deftroyed thyfelf, but in me is thy help, t 
will heal their backfliding, and love them freely." And in; 
the verfes immediately following the words of the te3*t, how 
comfortably does he addrefs his efpoufed people ! " In a lit- 
tle wrath, I hid my face from thee for a moment ; but with 
cverlafting kindnefs will I have mercy on thee, faith the Lord 
thy Redeemer. For this is as the waters of Noah unto me : 
for as I have fworn, that the waters of Nsah fhould no more 


[ 191 ] 

go over the earth ; To have I fworn, that I vi^ould not be wroth 
with thee, nor rebuke thee. For the mountains (hall depart, 
and the hills be removed, but my kindnefs fhall not depart 
from thee, neither (liall the covenant of my peace be removed, 
faith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.'* O that this i^ood- 
nefs may lead us to repentance ! O that this unparalleled, 
infinite, unchangeable love, may conftrain us to an univerfal, 
uniform, chearful, unanimous, perfevering obedience to all 
the commands of God ! 

Brethren, my heart is enlarged towards you, and I could 
dwell a long while upon the many great and precious invita- 
tions that are made to backfliders, to return to their firft love, 
and do their firft works : but it is high time for me, if, as was 

III. I give to every one their proper portion ; to fpeak to 
thofe poor fouls, who know nothing of this blefied Bride- 
groom of the church, and confcquently cannot yet fay, " My 
Maker is my hufband.'* 

Ah ! I pity you from my inmoft foul ; I could weep ov^er, 
and for you, though perhaps you will not weep for yourfelves. 
But furely you would weep, and howl too, did you know the 
miferable condition thofe are in, who are not married to Jesus 
Christ. Will you give me leave (I think I fpeak it in 
much love) to inform you, that if you are not married to 
Jesus Christ, you are married to the law, the world, the 
flefh, and the devil, neither of which can make you happy ; 
but all, on the contrary, concur to make you miferable. 
Hear ye not, ye that are married to the lav/, and feek to be 
juftified in the fight of God, partly, at leaft, if not wholly, 
by your own works, what the law faith to thofe that are under 
it, as a covenant of works ? *' Curfed is every one that con- 
tinueth not in all things that are written in the book of the 
law, to do them." Every word breathes thieatening and 
{laughter to poor fallen creatures. Curfed, both here and 
hereafter, be this man, and every one, naturally engendered 
-of the offspring of Adam^ without exception, that continueth 
not, even to the very end of life, in all things ; not only in 
fome, or many, but in all things, that are written in the book 
^f the law, to do them^ in the utmoft perfection ; for '' he 
3 that 

[ 19^ ] 

that offendeth in one point, is guilty of all." So that, sc* 
cording to the tenor of the covenant of works, whofoever is 
guilty of one v/icked thought, word, or asftion, is under the 
curfe of an angry fin-avenging God. " For as many as are 
under the lav/, are under the curfe." And do you know 
what it is to be under the curfe of God, and to have the 
Wrath of God abide upon you? If you did, I believe you 
would not be fo unwilling to be divorced from the law, and be 
efpoufed, as chafte virgins, to Jesus Christ. 
And why are ye fo wedded to the world ? Did it ever 
prove faithful or fatisfadtory to any of its votaries ? Has not 
Solomon reckoned up the fum total of worldly hanpinefs ? 
And what does it amount to ? " Vanity, vanity, faith the 
preacher, all is vanity," nay he adds, " and vexation of fpirit." 
And has not a greater than Solomon informed us, that a man's 
life, the happinefs of a man's life, doth not confift in the 
things which he polTefTeth ? Befides, " know ye not that the 
friendihip of this world is enmity with God ; fo that whofo- 
ever will be a friend to the world, (to the corrupt cuftoms 
and vices of it) is an enemy to God?" And what better 
reafons can you give for being wedded to your lufts ? Might 
not the poor flaves in the gallies, as reafonably be wedded to 
their chains ? For do not your lufts fetter down your fouls 
from God ? Do they not lord it, and have they not do- 
minion over you ? Do not they fay. Come, and ye come ; 
Go, and ye go ; Do this, and ye do it ? And is not he or {he 
that liveth in pleafare, dead, whilft he liveth ? And above 
all, how can ye bear the thoughts of being wedded to the 
devil, as every natural man is : for thus fpeaks the fcripture, 
*' He now ruleth in the children of difobedience." And how 
can ye bear to be ruled by one, who is fuch a profefled open 
enemy to the moft: high and holy God ? Who will make 
a drudc!;e of you, whilft you live, and be your companion in 
endlefs and extreme torment, after you are dead ? For thus 
will our Lord fay to thofe on the left hand, " Depart from 
me, ye curfed, into everlafting fire, prepared for the devil and 
his angels." But, 

IV. Will you permit me, O finner?, that I may draw to- 
wards a clofe of this difcourfe, to propofe a better match to 


i ^9?> i 

your fouls. "This Is a part of the difcourfe whi^h I long tq? 
come to, it being my htait's defire, and earned prayer to 
God, that your fouls may be faved. " And nov/, O LoRi^ 
God Almighty, thou Father of mercies^ and God of all 
confolations, thou GoD and Father of our Loko Jesus 
Christ, who haft promifed to give thy Son the heathen for 
his inheritance, and the utternioft parts of the earth for his 
pofTefnon, fend me good fpeed this day, O Lord, fend mc 
new profperity. Behold, I fland htrt: without the camp, 
bearing a little of thy dear Son's facr.d reproach f Hear me, 
O Lord, hear me, and accordinir to thy word, let ihy dcar^ 
thine only begotten Son, fee of rhe travel of his fouj, and be 
fatisficd ! O help me fo to fpcak, that many may believe on, 
and cleave unto thy blefljd, thine holy child Jesus I " 

But who am I, that I fliould undettake to recommend 
the bleffed Jesus to others, who am myfelf altogether un- 
worthy to take his facred name into my polluted lips ? In- 
deed, my brethren, I do not count myfelf worthy of fuch an! 
honour ; but ftnce it has plealed him, in whom all fulnefs 
dwells, to count me worthy, and put me into the miniftry,^ 
the very (lones would cry out againd: me, did I not attempt^ 
at lead, to lifp out his praifcj^ and earnedly recommend the 
ever-blefled Jesus to the choice of all. 

Thus Ahtahani^ faithful fervant behaved, when fent out to 
fetch a wife for his mader Ifaac. He fpake of the riches and 
honours, which God had conferred on hrm ; but what infi- 
nitely greater honours and riches, has the God and Father of 
our Lord Jesus, confefred on his only Son, to whom I now 
invite every chridlefs finner ! To you,- therefore, I call, O' 
^e fons of men, afTuring you, there is every thing in Jesu* 
that your hearts can defire, or huriger alnd third after. Do' 
people in difpofrng of ihemfclves or their children in marriage* 
generally covet to be matched v/ith per fons of great names f 
Let this confideration ferve as a motive to dir you up to match 
' wiib Jesus. For Got) the Father has given him a name 
above every name ; he has upon his vefture, and upon his 
thigh, a name written, " The King of kings, and the Lord 
of lords i" and here in the text we are told, " The Lord of 
Hods is his name." Nor has he an empty title, but power 
equivalent 5 for he is a prince, as well as a" favlour. *' Alt 
Vol. V, N power 


[ 194 
pcwcr is given unto him, both in heaven and on earth :" 
*• The God of the whole earth, (fays our text) he fl^kall be 
called." The government of men, of the church, and of 
devils, is put upon his fhoulders : *' Thrones, principalities 
and powers, are made fubjed unto him j by him kings reign, 
and princes decree juftice ; he fctteth up one, and putteth 
down another : and of his kingdom there fhall be no end.'* 
Will riches be an inducement unto you to come and match 
with Jesus r Why then, I can tell you, the riches of Jesus 
are infinite : for unto me, who am lefs than the leaft of all 
faints, is this grace given, that I (hould preach to poor fmners, 
the unfearchable riches of Jesus Christ. I appeal to you 
that are his faints, whether you have not found this true, by 
happy experience ;• and though fome of you, may have been 
acquainted with him thirty, forty, fifty years ago, do you not 
find his riches are yet unfearchable, and as much paft find- 
ing- out, as they were the very firft moment in which you 
gave him your hearts ! 

Would you match with a zvife hufband? Hafte then, fin- 
ners, come away to Jesus : He is the fountain of wifdora, 
and makes all that come unto him, wife unto falvation ; " He 
is the wifdom of the Father: the Lord pofTelTed him in the 
beginning of his way, before his works of old. When he 
prepared the heavens, he was there ; when he appointed the 
foundations of the earth, then was he with him, as one brought 
up with him ; he was daily his delight, rejoicing always be- 
fore him.'* As he is wife, fo is he holy \ and therefore, in 
the words of our text, he is ftiled, " The Redeemer, the 
Holy One of IJrael :''' and by the angel Gabriel^ " That holy 
Thing." The apoftles, addrefnng God the Father, ftile him 
his '' holy child Jesus :" and the fpirits of juft men made 
- perfed, and the angels in heaven, ceafe not day or night, 
faying, " Holy, holy, holy/' Nor is his beauty inferior to 
his wifdom or hollnefs ; the feraphs veil their faces, when 
they appear before him : " He is the chiefeft among ten 
thoufand, nay, he is altogether lovely." And, as he is alto- 
gether lovely, fo is he altogether loving : his name and his 
nature is Love, God, God in Christ is love : love in the 
abflradl. And in this has he manifefted his love, in that, 
whilft v/e were yet fmners, nay open enemies, Jesus, in his 


[ '95 1 

own due time; died for the ungodly. He loved us (o as to 
give himlelr for us. O what manner of love is this ! What 
was JiiCjif's love to RachA^ in com p«ri Ton of the love which 
Jesus bore to a pciifhing world ! Jrie became a curfe for us. 
For it is written, " Curfed is every man that hangcth upon a 
tree " What Zippcrah faid to her hufband ij7. properly, Jesus 
may fay properly to his fpoufe the church, '' A bloody wife 
haii thou been to me, becaufc of the crucifixion." p'or he 
has purchafed her with his own blood, And having once 
loved his peop'e, he loves them unto the end. His love, 
like hirofelf, is from everlafting to everlafting. fie hates put- 
ting away ; though we change^ yet he change! h not : he 
abideth faithful; When we are married here, there comes in 
that fliocking claufe, to ufe the words of holy }^ir. B.jl.n^ 
'* Till death us doth part i" but death itfelf fiiall not feparate a 
true believer trom the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus 
his Lord : for he will never ceafe loving his Bride, till he has 
loved her to heaven, and prcfcnted her before his Father^ with- 
out fpot or wrinkle, or any fuch thing. Nay, his love will, 
as it were, but be beginning, through the endlefs ages of 

And now, Sirs, what fay you ? Shall I put that queftion 
to you, whirh Rebecca s relations, upon a propofal of mar- 
riage, put to her ? " Will ye go with the man f " With the 
God-man, this infinitely great, this infinitely powerful, this 
all-wife, all-holy, altogether lovely, ever-loving Jesus ? 
What obje£lion have you to make againft fuch a graciqus 
offer ? One would imagine, you had not a fingle one ; but 
it is to be feared, through the prevalency of unbelief, and the 
corruption of your defperately wicked deceitful hearts, you 
are ready to urge feveral. Methinks I hear fome of you fay 
within yourfelves, *' We like the propofal, but alas ! we 
*' are poor." Are you f o ? It that be all, you may, not- 
withftanding, be welcome to Jesus : " For has not God 
chofen the poor of this world, to make them rich in faith, and 
heirs of his everlafting kingdom ?" And what fays that Sa- 
viour, to whom I am now inviting you ? " BlefTed are the 
poor in Spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." And 
what fays his Apoftls concerning him ? " Though he was 
rich, yet for cur fakes he became poor, that we through his 
poverty might be made rich. But fay you, " We are not 

N 2 only 

[ uy6 ] 

only poor, but wc are in debt ; we owe God ten thaufanJ 
talents, and hav6 nothing to pay j" but that need not keep 
you back : for God the Father, from the Lord Jesus, bis 
dearly beloved Son, has received double for all believers fins ; 
the blood of Jesus cleanfeth from them all. But you are 
blind, and miferable, and naked ; to whom then fhould you 
fly for fuccour, but to Jesus, who came to open the eyes of 
the blind, to feek and fave the miferaWe and loit, and cloath 
the naked with his perfect and fpotlefs righteoufnefs. And 
now, what can hinder your efpoufals with the dear and ever- 
blefTcd Lamb of God ? I know but of one thing, that 
dreadful fin of unbelief. But this is my comfort, Jesus died 
for unbelief, as well as for other fms, and has promifed to 
fend down the Holy Spirit to convince the world of this fim 
in particular : " If I go not away, the Comforter will not 
come unto you ; but if I go away, I will fend the Comforter, 
and he will convince the world of fin." What fm ? of unbe- 
lief ; " becaufe they believe not on me.*^ O that this pro- 
mife may be fo fulfilled in your K-arts, and JesUs may fo be- 
come the author of divine faith in your fouls, that you may be 
able to fend me the fame meflage as a good woman in Scotlandy 
on her dying bed, fent me by a friend : " Tell him, (fays 
ihe) for his comfort, that at fuch a time he married me to 
the Lord Jesus." This would be comfort indeed. Nor 
that we can marry you to Christ : No ; the Holy Ghoft 
muft tie the marriage knot. But fuch honour have all God^s 
minifters j under him they efpoufe poor finners to Jesu^ 
Christ. '* I have efpoufed you (fays St. Paul) as a chafte 
virgin to Je&us Christ." O that you may fay. We will 
go with the man ; then will I bow my hesid, as Abraharn-^ 
fervantdid, and go with joy and tell my Mafter, that he has 
not left hi« poor fervant deftitute this day*, then fliall I rejoice 
in your felicity. For I know, my Mafter will take you into 
the banqueting-houfe of his ordinances, and his banner over 
you Ihall be love. That this may be the happy cafe of you 
all, may the glorious God grant, for the fake of Jesus his 
dearly beloved Son, the glorious bridegroom of his church j- 
to whom, with the Father, and the Holy Spirit, be all honour 
and glory, now and for evermore. Amerij and Amen, 


t '97 3 


The Potter and the Clay. 

Jer. xviii. I — 6. 

^he word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord^ f^y^^'Z-^ 
Arife^ and go down to the potter'' s houfe^ and there I 
will caufe thee to hear my words, 'Then I went down 
to the potter's houfe^ and behold^ he wrought a work 
en the wheels. And the veffel that he made of clay was 
raarred in the hands of the potter^ fo he ynade it again 
another vejfel^ as feemed good to the potter to -make it. 
^hen the word of the Lord came to me, faying, O houfe 
of Ifrael, cannot I do with you as this potter? faith the 
Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, fo 
are ye in mine handy houfe of IfraeL 

AT fundry times, and in divers manners, God was pleafed 
to fpeak to our fathers by the prophets, before he fpoke 
to us in thefe laft days by his Son. To Elijah, he revealed 
himfelf by a fmall ftill voice. To Jacob, by a dream. To 
Mofes, he fpake face to face. Sometimes he was plcafed to 
fend a favourite prophet on fome efpecial errand ; and whilft 
he was thus employed, vouchfafcd to give him a particular 
meffage, which he was ordered to deliver without referve to 
all the inhabitants of the land. A very inftru£^ive inftance of 
this kind we have recorded in the paflage now read to you. 
The firft verfe informs us that it was a word, or mefTage, 
which came immediately from the Lord to the prophet Jere^ 
miah. At what time, or how the prophet was employed 

N 3 when 

[ 198 1 

when it came, we arc not told. Perhaps, whilfl he 
was praying for thofe who would not pray for themfclves : 
Perhaps, near the morning, when he wa&Jlambering or mu- 
fir^g pn hi? bed. For the word came to him, faying, " Arife.'* 
And what muft he do when rifen ? He mufl " go down to 
the potter's houfe'* (the prophet knew where to find it) " and 
there (fays the great Jehovah) I will caufe thee to hear my 
words." Jcre?rjah does not confer with ficfl:i and blood, he 
docs not objeil: that it was dark or cold, or defire that he 
plight have his mefiage giyen hini there, but without the leaft 
hefitation is immediately obedient to the heavenly vifion. 
" Then (fays lie) I went down to the potter's houfe, and be- 
hold he wrought a work upon the wheels." Juft as he was 
entering into the houfe or workfliop, the potter, it fecms, 
ha4 a velTcl upon his wheel. And was there any thing fo ex- 
traordinary in this, that it fliould be uflieied in with the 
word Behold ? What a dreaming vifionary, or fupcifcitious 
enthufiaft, would this Jeremiah be accounted, even by many 
who read his prophecies with feeming refpeiSt, was he alive 
now ? But this was not the firft Umtjeremiah had heard from 
heaven in this manner. He therefore willingly obeyed ; and 
Jiad you or I accompanied him to the potter's houfe, 1 believe 
we fhould have feen him filcntly, but intenfely waiting ypon 
his great and all- wife Commander, to know wherefore he fent 
him thither. Methinks I fee him all attention. He takes 
notice, that " the vefie! was of clay j" but as he held it in his 
hand, and turned round the wheel, in order to work it into 
fpme p^rticuhir form, '' it was marred in the hands of the 
potter,'* and confequently unfit for the ufe he before intended 
to put it to. And what becomes of this marred vefu 1 ? Being 
thus marred, I fuppofe, (he potter, without the Icaft imputa- 
tion of injuftice, might have thrown it afide, and taken up 
another piece of clay in its room. But he did not. " He 
made it again another vell'el." And does the potter call a 
council of his dopaeftics, to enquire of them what kind of 
yeilcl they would advife him to make of it ? No, in no wife. 
^' He made it again another veiTel, as feemed good to the pot- 
|:er to make it." 

" Then," adds 'Jeremiah^ whilft he was in the way of duty 

•^then-r-whllft he was nientally crying, Lc^d what woulJit 

3 thou 

[ ^99 ] 

thou have mc to do ? '^ Then the Word of the Lord came 
unto me , faying, O houfe of fjrael, cannot I do with you as 
this potter ? faith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the 
hands of the potter (marred, and unfit for the firft defigncd 
purpofe) fo are ye in mine hand, C houfe of IJra " At 
length, then, Jeremiah hath his fermon given to him : fliort, 
but popular. It was to be delivered to the whole houfe of 
Jfrael^ princes, priefts, and people : (hort, but pungent, even 
{harp< r than a two-edged fword. What ! fays the fovereign 
Lord of heaven and earth, muft I be denied the privilege of 
a common potter ? May I not do what I will with my own ? 
" Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hands, fo arc ye in 
mine hand?, O houfe of Ij'rael. I made and formed you in- 
to a people, and blefled ycu above any other nation under 
heaven : but, O IjraeU thou by thy backfiidings haft deftroyed 
thyfelf. As the potter therefore might juftly have thrown 
afide his marred clay, fo may I juftly unchurch and unpeople 
you. But what if I ftiould come over the mountains of your 
guilt, heal your backfiidings, revive my work in the midft of 
the years, and caufe your latter end greatly to increa/e ? Be- 
hold, as the clay is in the hands of the potter, lying at his 
difpofal, either to be deftroyed or formed into another veftel, 
fo are ye in my hands, O houfe of Ifrael : I may either re^ 
J£<St, and thereby ruin you, or I may revifit and revive you ac- 
cording to my own fovereign good will and pleafure, and who 
fhall fay unto me, what doft thou?'* 

This feems to be the genuine interpretation, and primary 
intention of this beautiful part of holy writ. But waving all 
further enquiries about its primary defign or meaning, 1 Ihall 
now proceed to ftiew, that what the glorious Jehovah here 
fays of the houfe of Ifrael in general, is applicable to every in- 
dividual of mankind in particular. And as I prefume this may 
be done,- without either wire-drawing fcripture on the one 
hand, or wrefting it from its original meaning on the other, 
not to detain you any longer, 1 fliall, from the pafTage thus 
explained and paraphrafed, deduce, and endeavour to enlarge 
on thefe two general heads. 

FirJ}^ I (hall undertake to prove, that every man naturally 
engendered of the oftspring of Adam^ is in the fight of the 
all-feeing, heart-fcarching God, only as a " piece of marred 
clay." N 4 Secondly ^ 

f zoo ] 
Escondly^ That bping thus marred, he mufl necefiarily btt 
renewed : and under this head, we fiiall likcwife point out 
by whole agency this mighty change is to be brought about. 

Thtfe particuhlrs being difcuiTed, way will naturally be 
made for a fhort word of application. 

/Vr//, 1^0 prove that every man naturally engendered of the 
pfispring of Jdam^ is in the fight of an all-f;:eing, heart- 
fcarching God, only as a piece of marred clay. 

Be pleafed to obferve, that v;e fay every man naturally en- 
gendered of the offspring of Adaip^ or every man fmce the 
fall : for if we confider man as he firft came out of the hands 
pf his Maker, he was far from being in fuch melancholy cir- 
cumftances. No : he was originally made upright j or as 
MofcSy that facred penman, declares, " God made him after 
his own iiTiage.'' Surely never was fo much expreffed in fo 
few words ; which hath often made me v/onder how that 
great critic Longinus-, who fo juftly admires the dignity and 
grandeur o^ MoJes*h account of the creation, and ^' Gop faid, 
JLet there be light, and there was light •,'* I fay I have often 
wondered why he did not read a little further, and beftow as 
juli an encomium upon this fhort, but withal inexprefiibly 
auguft and comprehenfive del'cription of the formation of man, 
** (o Got) created m.m in Ij is own image.-' Struck with a 
fieep fenfe of. fuch amazing goodnefs, and that he might im- 
prefs yet a deeper fenfe of it upon our minds too, he imme- 
diately adds, " in the image of GoD made he him." A 
council of the moft adorable Trinity was called on this im- 
portant occafion : God did not fay, Let there be a man, and 
there was a man, but God faid, " Let us make man in our 
image, after our likenefs." This is the account which the 
lively oracles of God do give ug of man in his firft eftate : 
but it is yery remarkable, that the tranfition from the account 
of his creation to that of his mifery, is very quick, and why I 
For a very good reafon, becaufc he foon fell from his pri- 
meval dignity i and by that fall, the divine image is fo de- 
faced, that he is now to be valued only as antiquarians value 
an ancient medal, merely for the fake of the image and fu- 
perfcription once ftamped upon it ; or of a fecond divine im- 
prfefs, which, through grace^ it may yet receive. 

i ^ " Let 

[ 2or ] 

Let us take a more particular furvey of him, and fee whe- 
ther thefe things are fo or not : and firft, as to his under- 
/iatiding. As man was created originally " after God in 
knowledge," as well as righteoufnefs and true holincfs, wc 
may rationally infer, that his underftanding, in refpecl: to 
things natural^ as well as divine, was of a prodigious extent : 
for he was made but a little lower than the angels, and con- 
fequently being like them, excellent in his undcrftanding, he 
Knew much of God, of himfclf, and all about him ; and in 
this as well as every other rcfpecSl, was, as Mr. Collier ex- 
prefTes it in one of his efTays, a perfect major: but this is far 
from being our cafe now. For in refpect to natural thirgs^ 
our underftandii^.gs are evidently darkened, it is but little 
chat we can know, and even that little knov/Iedge which we 
can acquire, is with much wearinefs of the flefh, and we are 
doomed to gain it as we do our diiily bread, I mean by the 
IVeat of our brov/s. 

Men of low and narrow minds foon commence wife in theif 
own conceits : and having acquired a little (mattering of the 
Jearned languages, and made fonie fmall proficiency in the dry 
fcienres, are eafily tempted to look upon themfelves as a head 
taller than their fellow mortals, and accordingly too, too 
cfren put forth g*-eat fwelling words of vanity. But perfons 
of a more exalted, and extenfive reach of thought, dare not 
boalf. N J : they know that the grcateft fcholars are in the 
dark, in rcfpcdt to many even of the minuted things in life : 
and after all their painful refearches into the Arcarut Nature ^ 
they find fuch an immenfe void, fuch an unmeafurable ex- 
panfe yet to be travelled over, that they are obliged at laft to 
conclude, almoft with refpe6t to every thing, *' that they 
|cnow nothing yet as they ought to know." This confidera- 
tion, no doubt, led Socrates^ when he was afked by one of 
his fcholars, why the oracle pronounced him the wifeft man 
on earth, to give him this judicious anfwcr, " Perhaps it is, 
«' becaufe I am moll fenfible of my own ignorance." Would 
to God, that all who call themfelves chriftians, had learnt fo 
much as this heathen ! We fhould then no longer hear fo 
many learned men, falfely fo called, betray their ignorance by 
boafting of the extent of their fnallow underftanding, nor by 
profelling themfelves- io wile, prove themfelves fuch arrant 
pejdantjc fools. If 

[ 202 ] 
If wc view our undcrftandings in rcfpcc^ to fpiritual things^ 
we {hall find that they are not only darkened, but become 
darknefs itCeU", even "• darknefs that may be felt" by all who 
are not paft feeling. And how fliould it be otherwife, fince 
the infallible word of God aflures us, that they are alienated 
from the light and life of God, and thereby naturally as in- 
capable to judge of divine and fpiritual things, comparatively 
jpeaking, as ^ man born blind is incapacitated to diilinguifli 
the various colours of the rainbow. '* The natural man, 
(fays an infpired apoflle) difcerneth not the things of the 
Spirit of God ;" fo far from it, "they arc foolifhnefs unto 
him ;" and why ? Becaufe they are only to be " fpiritually 
difcerned." Hence it was, that NicodetJius^ who was blelled 
with an outward and divine revelation, who was a ruler of the 
Jnusy nay a mafter of Ifrael^ when our Lord told him, " he 
inuft be born again j" appeajcd to be quite grappled. " How 
(fays he) can a man be born when he is old ? can he enter a 
lecond time into his mother's womb and be born ? how can 
thefe things be?" Were three more ablurd queftions ever pro- 
pofed by the moft ignorant man alive ? or can there be a 
clearer proof of the blindnefs of man's underllanding, in re- 
Ipccl to divine, as well as natural things ? Is not man then a 
piece of marred clay ? 

This will appear yet more evident, if we confider the per- 
verfe befit of his zvill. Being made in the very image of God; 
undoubtedly befo:e the fall, man had no other will but his 
Maker's. God's will, and Adarns^ were then like unifons in 
rnufic. There was not the leaft difunion, or difcord between 
them. But now he hath a will, as direclly contrary to the 
will of God, as light is contrary to darknefs, or heaven to 
hell. We all bring into the world with us a carnal mind, 
which is not onlyan enemy to God, but ^' enmity itfelf, and 
which is therefore not fubjeft unto the law of God, neither 
indeed can it be." A great many fliew much zeal in talking 
aeainft the man of fin, and loudly (and indeed very juftly) 
exclaim againft the Pcpe for fitting in the temple, I mean the 
church of Christ, and *' exalting himfelf above all that is 
called God." But fay not within thyfelf, who fhall go to 
Rohie^ to pull down this fpiritual antichrift ? as though there 
>vas no antichrifi but wha; is without us. For know, O 


[ 2P3 ] ' 

man, whoever thou art, an infinitely more dangerous anti- 
chrif}, becaufe lefs difcerncd, even fclf-will^ fits daily in th« 
temple of thy heart, exalting itfell above all that is called 
God, and obliging all its votaries to fay of Christ himfelf,, 
that Prince of peace, *' we will not have this man to rei^n 
over us." God's people, whofe fpiritual fenfes are cxcrcifed 
about fpiritual things, and whpfe eyes are opened to fee the 
abominations that are in their hearts, frequently feel this to 
their forrow. Whether they will or not, this enmity from 
time to time bubbles up, and in fpight of all their watchful- 
nefs and care, when they arc under the preflure of fome fliarp 
affli^ion, a long defcrtion, or tedious night of temptation, 
they often find fomething withiq rifing in rebellion againft the 
all-wife difpofals of divine Providence, and faying unto God 
their heavenly Father, *' what doft thou T' This makes them 
to cry (and no wonder, fince it conftrained one of the greatelt 
faints and apoftles firft to introduce the expreilion) " C) 
wretched man that I am, who fliall deliver me from the body 
of this death ?" The fpiritual and renewed foul groans thus, 
being burdened ; but as for the natural and unawakened man, 
it is not fo with him ; felf-will, as well as every other evil, 
either in a more jatcnt or difcernable manner, reigns in his 
unrenewed foul, and proves him, even to a dcrnonflration to 
others, whether he knows, or will confefs it hjn-ifelf or not, 
that in refpecl to the diforders of his will, as well as his un- 
derftanding, man is only a piece of marred clay. 

A tranfient view of fallen man's affc^ions vixW yet more 
firmly corroborate this melancholy truth. Thefe, at his 
being firft placed in the paradife of God, were always kept 
within proper bounds, fixed upon their proper objeds, and, 
like io many gentle rivers, fweetly, fpontancoufly and habitu- 
ally glided into their ocean, God. But now the fcene is 
changed. For we are now naturally full of vile afi-\^dtions, 
which like a mighty and impetuous torrent carry all before 
them. We love what we fhould hate, and hate v/hat we 
(hould love ; we fear what we (hould hope for, and hope for 
what we fhould fear; nay, to fach an ungovernable height 
do our afifections (ometimes rife, that though our judgnients 
are convinced to the contrary, yet we will gratify our pafiions 
though it be at the cxpcace of our prefenl and eternal welfare. 


[ 2e4 1 

Wc feel a war of our affcilbns, warring agamft the law of 
our minds, and bringing us into captivity to the law of fin and 
death. So that video nuliora prchoque^ deteriora fequor^ I ap- 
prove of better things but follow worfe, is too, too often the 
pra£iice of us all. 

I am fenfible, that many are offended, when mankind arc 
compared to beafts and devils. And they might have fome 
ihadow of reafon for being fo, if we aflertcd in a phyfical 
fenfe, that they were really beafts and really devils. For then» 
as I once heard a very learned prelate, who was obje^ling 
agalnft this comparifon, obferve, " a man being. a beaft wo-jld 
be incapable, and being a devi!, would be under an impoffi- 
bility of being faved." But when we make ufe of fuch y?;^?^/- 
ing comparifons^ as he was pleafed to term them, v/e would be 
underftood only in a moral fenie; and in fo doing, we affert 
no more than fome of the moft holy men of God have faid 
of themfelves, and others, in the lively oracks many ages ago. 
Holy David, the man after God*s own heart, fpeaking of 
himfelf, fays, " fo foolifh was I, and as a beaft before thee." 
And holy Jcb^ fpeaking of man in general, fays, that " he is 
born as a wild afs's colt," cr take away the expletive, which 
as fome think ought to be done, and then he pofitivcly alFcrts, 
that man is a wild afs's colt. And what fays our Lord, " Ye 
are of your father the devil ;" and " the whole world is faid 
to lie in him, the wicked one, who now rules in the children 
of difobedience," that is, in all unrenewed fouls. Our ftupi- 
dity, pronenefs to fix our aff'ecfcions on the things of the earth, 
and our eagcrnefs to make proviiion for the flefh, to fulhl the 
lufts thereof, evidence us to be earthly and brutal ; and our 
mental paffions, anger, hatred, malice, envy, and fuch like, 
prove v;ith equal ftrength, that wc are alfo devilifh. Both 
together confpire to evince, that in refpe£l to his affe6)ions, as 
well as his underftanding and will, man defervcdly may be 
termed a piece of marred clay. 

The prefent blindnefs of natural coyifcience makes this appear 
in a yet more glaring light; in the foul of the firft man Adam^ 
confciencc was no doubt the candle of the Lord, and enabled 
him rightly and inft:antaneoufly to difcern between good and 
evil, right end wrong. And, bleftcd be God ! fome remains 
of this are yet left; but alas, how dimly does it burn, and 


[ i05 ] 

how eafily and quickly is it covered, or put out and extin- 
guifhed. I need not fend you to the heathen world, to learn 
the truth of this ; you all know it by experience. Was there 
no other evidence, your own confciences are inltead of a 
thoufand witncfies, that man, as to his natural confcience, as 
well as underftanding) will and afFedions, is much marred 

Nor does that great and bcsfted Diatia^ I mean unafTifted 
unenlightened reafon^ lefs dcmonftrate the judnefs of fuch an 
aflertion. Far be it from me to decry or exclaim againft hu- 
man reafon. Christ himfelf is called the " Logos, the Rea- 
fon ;'* and I believe it would not require much learning, or 
take up much time to prove, that fo far and no farther than 
as we a<£l agreeably to the laws of Christ Jesu?, ore wC 
any way conformable to the laws of right reafon. His fervice 
is therefore called '* a reafonable fervice." And however his 
fervants and followers may now be looked upon as fools and 
madmen ; yet there will come a time, when thofe who defj5ifc 
and fet themfelves to oppofe divine revelation, will find, that 
what they now call reafon, is only reafm depraved^ and as 
utterly incapable, of itfelf, to guide us into the way of peace, 
or (hew the way of falvation, as the men of Sodom were tO' 
find Lot's door after they were ftrack with blind nefs by tht 
angels, who came to lead him out of the city. The hdrrid 
and dreadful millakes, which the moft refined reafoners in the 
heathen world ran into, both as to the object-, as well a.? 
manner of divine worfbip, have fufiiciently demonftrated the 
weaknefs and depravity of human reafon : nor do our qioderri 
boafters afford us any better proofs of the greatnefs of its 
ftrength, fince the bed improvement they generally make of it, 
is only to reafon themfelves into downright wilful infidelity, 
and thereby reafon themfelves out of eternal falvation. Need 
we now any further witncfs, that man, fallen man, is alto- 
gether a piece of marred clay ? 

But this is not all. We have yet more evidence to call ; for 
Jo the biindnefs of our underftandings, the perverfenefs of our 
will, the rebellion of our affedlions, the corruption of our 
confciences, the depravity of our reafon prove this charge^ 
and does noc the prefent d'lfordered frame and cnnjlitution of our 
'hodies confirm the fame alfo ? Dcubtlefs in this refpedl, man, 


t '06 ] 

In the mofi: literal fenfe of the word, is a piece'df marred claf. 
For God originally made him of the '^ duft df the earth." So 
that notwithftanding our boafting of our high pedigrees, and 
different defcent, we were all originally upon a level, and a 
little red earth was the common fubftratum out of which we 
were all formed. Clay indeed it was, but clay wonderfully 
modified, even by the immediate hands of the Creator of 
heaven and earth. One therefore hath obferved^ that it is faid 
*' God built the man ;" he did not form him raftily or haftily, 
but built and finiftied him according to the plan before laid 
down in his own eternal mind. And though, as the great 
God is without body, parts, or pallions, we cannot fuppofc 
when it is faid " God made man after his own image," that 
it has any reference to his body, yet 1 cannot help thinking 
(with Doci:or South) that as the eternal Logos was hereafter 
to appear, God manifeft in the flefti, infinite wifdom was 
undoubtedly exerted in forming a cafket into which fo inva- 
luable a pearl was in the fulnei's of time to be depofited. Some 
of the ancients are faid to have afierted, that man at the firft^ 
had what we call a glory fhining round him; but without at- 
tempting to be wife above what is written, we may venture to 
afiirm, that he had a glorious body, which knowing no fin, 
knew neither fieknefs nor pain. But now on this, as well 
as other accounts, he may juftly be called Ickabod; for its 
primitive ftrength and glory are fadly departed from it, and 
like the ruins of fome ancient and ftately fabric, only fo 
much left as to give us fome faint idea of what it was when 
it firft appeared in it$ original and perfe6l beauty. The apoftle 
Paul^ therefore, who knew how to call things by their proper 
names, as well as any man living, does not fcruple to term 
the human body, though in its original conftitution fearfully 
and wonderfully made, a " vile body ;" vile indeed ! fince it 
is fubject to fuch vile difeafes, put to fuch vile, yea very vile 
ufes, and at length is .to come to fo vile an end. '' For duft 
we are, and to duft we muft return." This among other 
confidcrations, we may well fuppofe, caufed the bleflcd Jesus 
to weep at the grave of Lazarus. He wept, not only bccaufe 
his friend Lazarus was dead, but he wept to fte human na- 
ture, through man's own default, thus laid in ruins, by being 
fubjed unto fuch a diflblution, made like unto th-e beafts that 



t 207 ] 

Let us here paufe a while, and with our fympathizing 
Lord, Tee if we cannot flied a few lilent tears at leaft, upon 
the fame forrowful occafion. Who, who is there amongft 
us^ that upon fuch a melancholy review of man's prefcnr, 
real, and moft deplorable depravity both in body and foul, 
can refrain from weeping over fuch a piece of marred clay ? 
Who, who can help adopting holy David's lamentation over 
S^ul and Jonathan F " How are the mighty fallen I How are 
they flain in their high places!" Originally it was not fo. ■ 
No, " God made man after his own image : in the image 
of God made he man." Never was there fo much exprefled 
in fo few words. He was created after God in righteoufnefs 
and true holinefs. 

This is the account, which the facred volume gives us 
of this interefling point. This, this is that blefTed book, 
that book of books, from whence^ together with an appeal 
to the experience of our own hearts, and the teftimonies of all 
paft ages, we have thought proper to fetch our proofs. For, 
after all, we muft be obliged to divine revelation, to know 
what we were, what we arc, and what we are to be. In 
ihefe, as in a true glafs, we may fee our real and proper like- 
nefs. And from thefe only can we trace the fource and foun- 
tain of all thofe innumerable evils, which like a deluge have 
overflowed the natural and moral world. If any fhould ob- 
je6l againft the authenticity of this revelation, and confe- 
quently againft the doctrine this day drawn from thence, they 
do in my opinion thereby very much confirm it. For unlefs 
a man was very much difordered indeed, as to his underftand- 
ing, will, afFecSlions, natural confcience, and his power of 
reafoning, he could never poHibly deny fuch a revelation, 
which is founded on a multiplicity of infallible external 
evidence?, hath fo many internal evidences of a divine ftamp 
in every page, is fo fuited to the common exigencies of all 
mankind, fo .agreeable to the experience of all men, and 
which hath been fo wonderfully handed arKi preferved to 
us, hath been fo inflrumental to the convicting, convert- 
ing, and comforting fo many millions of fouls, and hath 
flood the left of the moft fevere fcrutinies, and exa£l cri- 
ticifms of the moft fubtle and refined, as well as of the moft 
malicious and perfecuting enemies, that ever lived, even from 
the beginning of time to this very day. Perfons of fuch a 


f 2<58 1 
turn of mind, I think, are rather to be prayed for, than dif- 
puted with, if i'o be this perverfe wickcdnefs of their hearts 
may be forgiven them : *' They are in the very gall of bitt^r- 
nefs, and miift have ''• their confciences feared as it were with 
a red-hot iron,*' and muft have their eyes *' blii-dcd by tie 
God of this world/* otherwife they could not but fee, and feeU 
and aflent to the truth of this doctrine, of man's being urv- 
verlaily depraved ; which not only in one or two, but in one 
or two thoufands, in every page, I could almoft hy, is writ- 
ten, in fuch legible chara6lers, that he that runs may r^:\^. 
Indeed, revelation itfelf is founded upon the dodtrine of the 
fall. Had we kept our original integrity, the law of God 
would have yet been written in our hearts^ and thereby the 
want of a divine revelation, at leaft fuch as ours, would have 
been fuperfeded ; but being fallen, inftead of rifing in rebel- 
lion againft God, we ought to be filled with unrpeakable 
thankfulnefs to our all bountiful Creator^ who by a few lines 
in his own books hath difcovered more to us, than all the 
pliiloftiphers and mod: learn^fd men in the world could, or 
would, have difcovered, though they bad ftudied to al! 

I am well aware^ that fome who pretend to own the vali- 
dity of divine revelation, are norwithftanding enemies to thd 
do61rine that hath this day been delivered j and would fa'.ri 
elude the force of the proofs generally urged in defence of it, 
by faying^ they only befpeak the corpuption of particular per- 
fons, or have reference only to the heathen world : but i\ic\i 
perfciis err, not knowing their own hearts, or the power of 
Jesus Christ : for by nature there is no difference between 
yew or Gentile^ Greek or Barbarian^ bond or free. We are 
altogether equally become abominable in God's fight, all 
equally falkn (hort of the glory of GcD, and confequentiy 
all alike fo many pieces of marred claly. 

How GcD came to fuffer man to fall ? hove^ long man 
ftood before he fell ? and how the corruption contra-dted by 
the fdllj is propagated to every individtial of his fpecies ? are 
qucliions of fuch an abftrufe and critical nature, that fhoulgl 
] undertake lo anfwer them, would be only gratifying a fin- 
ful curiofity, and tempting you, as Satan tempted our firfb 
pcircHts^ to eat forbidden fru^t. It will much better anfwer 

[ 209 ] 
t^e defign of this prcfent difcourfe, which is pradical, to pafs 

II. To the next thing propofed, and point, out to you the 
abfolute nccciTity there is of this fallen nature*s beino- re- 

This I have had all along in my eye, and on account of 
this, have purpofely been fo explicit on the firft general head : 
for has Archhncdes once faid, " Give me a place where I may 
'* fix my foot, and I will move the world \* fo without the 
lead imputation of arrogance, with which, perhaps, he was 
juftly chargeable, we may venture to fay, grant the foregoing 
do6lrine to be true, and then deny the ncceinty of man's be- 
ing renewed who can. 

I fuppofe, I may take it for granted, that all of you amongft 
whom I am now preaching the kingdom of God, hope after 
death to go to a place which we call Heaven. And my heart's 
defire and prayer to God for you is, that you all may have 
manfions prepared for you there. But give me leave to tell 
you, was you now to fee thefe heavens opened, and the an- 
gel (to ufe the words of theferaphic Hervey) cloathed with all 
his heavenly drapery, with one foot upon the earth, and ano- 
ther upon the fea ; nay, were you to fee and hear the an^el 
of the everlafling covenant, Jesus Christ himfclf, pro- 
claiming " time fliali be no more," and giving you all an in- 
vitation immediately to come to heaven j heaven would be 
no heaven to you, nay it would be a hell to your fouls, un- 
lefs you were firft prepared for a proper enjoyment of it here 
on earth. ^* For what communion hath light with darknefs ?'* 
Or what fellowfhip could unrenewed fons of Belial pofiibly 
keep up with the pure and immaculate Jesus ? 

The generality of people form flrange ideas of heaven. 
And becaufe the fcriptures, in condefcenfion to the weaknefs 
of our capacities, defcribe it by images taken from earthly 
delights and human grandeur, therefore they are apt to carry 
their thoughts no higher, and at the heft only form to them- 
felves a kind of Mahometan paradife. But permit me to tell 
you, and God grant it may fink deep into your hearts ! Hea- 
ven is rather a (hte than a place 5 and confequerftly, unl?fs 

Vcj.. V. O you 


[ 210 ] 

you are previoufiy difpofed by a Tuitablc ftate of mind, yoii 
could not be happy even in heaven itfelt For what is grace 
but glory militant ? What is glory but grace triumphant ? 
This confidcraticn made a pious author fay, that ^' holinefs, 
" happinefs, and heaven, were only three different words for one 
«' and the felf-fame thing." And this made the great Prejhn^ 
when he wai about to die, turn to his friends, faying, " I am 
*« changing my place, but not my company." He had con- 
verfed wiih God and good men on earth; he was going to 
keep up the fame, and infinitely more refined communion 
with God, his holy angels, and the fpirits ofjuft men made 
perfect, in heaven. 

To make us m.eet to be blifsful partakers of fuch heavenly 
company, this " marred clay," I mean, thefe depraved na- 
tures of ours, muH: necelBrily undergo an univerfal moral 
change : our underftandings muO: be enlightened \ our wills, 
reafon, and confciences, muft be renewed ; our affedlions 
mufl be drawn toward, and fixed upon things above j and 
becaufe flefh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven, 
this corruptible muil: put on incorruption, this mortal mult 
put on immortality. And thus old things muft literally pafs 
away, and behold all things, ev«en the body as well as the 
faculties of the foul, mull become new. ! 

This moral change is what fome call, repentance, fome, 
converfion, fome, regeneration ; choofe what name you pleafe, 
I only pray God, that wc all may have the thing. The 
fcriptures call it holinefs, fanclincation, the new creature, 
and cur Lord calls it a *' New biith, or being born agaisi, 
or born from above." Thcfe are not barely figurative expref- 
fions, or the flights of eaftern language, nor do they barely 
denote a relative change of ftate conferred on all thofe who 
are admitted into Christ's church by baptifm j but thty 
denote a real, moral change of heart and life, a real partici- 
pation of the divine life in the foul of man. Some indeed con- 
tent themfelves with a figurative interpretation j but unlefs 
they are made to experience the power and eiticacy thereof, 
by a folid living experience in their own fouls, all their learn- 
ing, all their laboured criticifms, will not exempt them from a 
real damnation. 'Christ hath faid sr, and Christ will Hand, 
*' Unlefs a man/' learned or unlearned, hi^h or "low, though 


[ 2tl ] 

he be a maflcr of Ifriiel as Nicodemus was, unlefs lie " be borzi 
again, he cannot IcC, he cannot enter into the kingdom oi 

If it be enquired, who Is to be the potter ? and by whofc 
agency this miirred clay is to be formed into another veflel ? 
Or in other words, if it be afked, how thi.s great and mighty 
change is to be effed^ed ? I anfwer, not by the mere dint 
and force of moral fuafion. This is good in its place. And 
I am fo far from thinking, that chrillian preachers fliould 
not make ufe of rational arguments and motives in their fer- 
mons, that I cannot think they are fit to preach at all, who 
either cannot, or will not ufe them. We have the example 
of the great God himfclf for fuch a practice ; " Come (fays 
he) and let us rcafon together." And St. Paul, that prince 
of preachers, " reafoned of temperance, and righteoufnefs, and 
a judgment to come." And it is remarkable, "that whiHl 
he was reafoning of thefe things, Felix trembled." Nor arc 
the mofl perfuafive drains of holy rhetoric Icfs needful for a 
Icribc ready inflruiled to the kingdom of God. The fcrip- 
tures both of the Old and New Teftament, CMcry where 
abound with them. And when can they be more properly 
employed, and brought forth, than when we are ailing as 
ambafladors of heaven, and befeeching poor fmners, as in 
Christ's ftead, to be reconciled unto God. All this we readily 
grant. But at the fame time, I would as foon go to yonder 
church-yard, and attempt to raife the dead carcafes, with a 
" come forth," as to preach to dead fouls, did I not hope for 
fome fuperior power to make the word eft'eitual to the defigned 
end. I fhould only be like a founding brafs for any favino- 
purpofes, or as a tinkling cymbal. Neither is this change to 
be wrought by the power of our own free-will. This is an 
idol every where fet up, but we dare not fall down and wor- 
ship it. " No man (fays Christ) can come to me, unlefs 
the Father draw him." Our own free-will, if improved, may 
reftrain us from the commifTion of many evils, and put us in 
tlie way of converfion ; but, after exerting our utmoft efforts 
(and we are bound in duty to exert them) we fhall find the 
words of our own church article to be true, that " man fince 
" the fall hath no power to turn to God." No, we might 
as foon attempt to fiop the ebbing and flowing of the tide, 

O z and 

[ 212 ] 

apd calm the mofl: tempeftuoiis fea, as to imagine that we can 
fiibdue, or bring under proper regulations, our qwn un- 
ruly wills and afFc6tions by any flrength inherent in our- 

. An4 therefore, that I may keep ypu no longer in fufpence, 
I inform you, that this heavenly potter, this ble(Rd agent, 
is the Almighty Spirit of God, the Holy Ghoft, the third 
perfon in the moil: adorable Trinity, coefiential with the Fa- 
ther and the Son. This is that Spirit, which at the begin- 
iiin<'- of time moved on the face of the waters, when nature 
lay in one univerfal chaos. This was the Spirit that over- 
{hadov/ed the Holy Virgin, before that holy thing was born 
of her : and this fame Spirit rnufl come, and move upon the 
chaos of <5ur fouls, before we can properly be called the fons 
of God. This is what John the baptift calls " being bap- 
tised with the Holy Gholt," v/ithout vv^hich, his and all other 
baptifms, whether iiifant or adult, avail nothing. This is 
that fire, which cur Lord came to fend into our earthly 
hearts, and which I pray the Lord of all lords to kindle in 
pvery unrcnevvcd one this day. 

As for the extraordinary operations of the Holy Ghoft, fuch 
as working of miracles, or fpeaking with divers kinds of 
tongues, they are long fince ceafed. But as for this miracle 
of miracles, turning the foul to God by the niore ordinary ope- 
rations of the Holy Ghoft, this abides yet, and will abide till 
time itfelf fliall be no more. For it is he that fan^^ifjeth us, 
and all th,e tied people of God. On this account, true be- 
lievers are faid to be " born from above, to be born not of 
blood, nor of the will of the flefh, nor of the will of man, but 
of God." Their fecond, as well as their flrft creation, is 
truly and purely divine. It is, therefore, called " a crea- 
tion ;" but put ye on (fays the apoftle) the new man which 
is created"— And hovv ? Even as the fiifl m,an was, " after 
God in righteoufnefs ai>d true holinefs." 

Thefe, thefe are the precious truths, which a fcoffing 
world would fain rally or ridiciile us out of. To produce 
this glorious change, this new creation, the glorious JesUS 
Jeft his Father's bofom. For this he led a perfecutcd life; 
for this he died an ignominious and accurfed death ; for this 
he rofe again j and for this he now luteth at the right han^ 


[ 213 ] 

ofhis Father. All the precepts of his gofpel, all his ordinances, 
all his providences, whether of an affli£tiv'e or prorpcrous na- 
ture, all divine revelation from the beginning to ihe end, all 
center in thefe two points, to lliew us how we are fiillen, and 
to begin, carry on, and compleat a glorious and blcflcd chaii?-e 
in our fouls. This is an erid worthy of the coming; oF fo 
divine a perfonage. To deliver a multitude of foiils of every 
nation, language and tongue, from fo many moral evils, and 
to reinfrate them in an ircomparably more excellent condition 
than that from whence they are fallen, is an end worthy the 
fhedding of fuch precious blood. What fyftem of religion is 
there now, or was there ever exhibited to the world, rny way 
to be compared to this? Can the deiftical fcheme prcie/id in 
any degree to come up to it ? Is it not noble, rn:ional, and 
truly divine ? And why then will not all that hitherto are 
ftrangers to this blefied reftoration of their fallen natures, 
(for my heart is too full to abdain any longer from an appli- 
cation) why will you any longer difpute or ftand out ajrainft 
it ? Why will you not rather bring your clay to this heavenly 
Potter, and fay from your inmoft fouls, " Turn us, O good 
Lord, and fo (hall we be turned ?'^ This, you may and can 
do: and if you go thus far, who knows but that this very 
day, yea this very hour, the heavenly Potter may take you in 
hand, and make you vefTels of honour fit for the Redeemer's 
ufe ? Others that were once as far from the kingdom of God 
as you are, have been partakers of this bleflednefs. What a 
^vrctched creature was Alary A'lagdalene f And yet out of her 
Jesus Christ caft feven devils. Nay, he appeared to her 
iirft, after he rofe from the dead, and ihe became as it were 
an apoftle to the very apoftles. What a covetous creature 
was Zaccheus ? He was a griping cheating publican ; and 
yet, perhaps, in one quarter of an hour's time, his heart is 
enlarged, and he made quite willing to give half of his goods 
to feed the poor. And to mention no more, what a cruel perfon 
was Paul. He was a perfecutor, a blafphemer, injurious ; one 
that breathed out threatnings againfl: the difciples of the Lord, 
and made havoc of the church of Christ. And yet what a 
wonderful turn did he meet with, as he was journeying to 
Damafcus F from a perfecutor, he became a preacher ; was 
afterwards made a fpiritual father to thoufands^ and now pro- 

O 3 bably 

[ 214 ]^ 

ba'aly fits ncarefl the Lord Jesus Christ in glory. An(5 
why all this ? That he might be made an example to them 
that (hould hereafter believe. O then believe, repent j I be- 
feech you, believe the gofpel. Indeed, it is glad tidings, even 
tidings of great joy. You will then no loi.ger have any thing 
to fay againii the do6^rine of Original 8in\ or charge the 
Almighty foolifhly, for fuffering our firft: parents to be pre- 
vailed on to cat fuch four grapes, and permitting thereby their 
children's teeth to be fet on edge. You will then no longer 
cry out againft the do<5trine of the New Birib, as enthufiafm, 
or brand the aflertors of fuch bicfled truths with the oppro- 
brious names of fools and madmen. Having felt, you will thca 
believe ; having believed, you will therefore fpcak. ; and inftead 
of being veflels of wrath, and growing harder and harder in hell ' 
fire, like vefiels in a potter's oven, you will be made vclVt.ls 
of honour, and be prefented at the great day by Jesus, to his 
heavenly Father, and be tranilated to live with him as monu- 
ments of rich, free> dillinguiihing and fovereign grace, for 
ever and ever. 

You, that have in fomc degree experienced the quIckening^ 
influence (for 1 muft not conclude without dropping a word or 
two to God's children) you know how to pity, and there- 
fore, I befeech you alfo to pray for thofe, to whofe circum- 
stances this difcourfe is peculiarly adapted. But will you be 
content in praying for them ? Will you not fee reafon to pray 
for yourfelves alfo ? Yes, doubtlefs, for yonrfelves alfo. For 
you, and you only know, how much there is yet lacking in 
your faith, and how far you are from being partakers in that 
degree, which you defire to be, of the whole mind that was 
in Christ Jesus. You know what a body of fin and death 
you carry about with you, and that you mufl neceflarily ex- 
pe6l m.any turns of God's providence and grace, before you 
will be wholly delivered from it. But thanks be to God, we 
are in fare hands. He that has been the autho/, will alfo be the 
finifher of our faith. Yet a little while, and we like him fliali 
fay *' It is finifhed j" we fhall bow down our heads and give 
up the ghofl. Till then, (for to thee, O Lord, will we 
now direct our prayer) help us, O Almighty Father^ in pa- 
tience to pofTefs our fouls. Behold, we are the clay, and thou 
art the Potter. Let not the thing formed fay to him that 


[ 215 3 

formed it, whatever the difpenr^jions of tby future Will cojl- 
cerning us may be. Why doft thou deal with us thus ? 
Behold, we put ourfelves as blanks in thi;:c hands, deal 
with us as feemeth good in thy fight, only let every 
crofs, every afiiiclion, every temptation, be overruled to the 
ftamping thy blefled image in more lively chara6ters on our 
hearts ; that (o pafling from glory to glory, by the powerful 
operations of thy blefled Spirit, we may be made thereby more 
and more meet for, and at laft be tranflatcd to a full, perfe6^, 
cndlefs, and uninterrupted enjoyment of glory hereafter, with 
thee O Father, thee O Son, and thee O blefll*d Spirit ; to 
whom, three perfons but one God, be afcribed, as is mofi: 
due, all honour, power, might, majefly and dominion, now 
and to all eternity, Amen and Amen, 


[ 216 ] 


The Lord our Righteoufnefs. 

Jeremiah xxiii. 6. 
ne Lord cur Righteoufnefs. 

WHOEVER is acquainted with the nature of man- 
kind in general, or the propenfity of his own heart 
in particular, muft acknowledge, that felf-righieoufnef is the 
laft idol that is rooted out of the heart : being once born un- 
der a covenant of works, it is natural for us all to have re- 
courfe to a covenant of works, for our everlafling falvation. 
And we have contracted fuch a devilifh pride, by our fall 
from God, that we would, if not wholly, yet in part at leaft, 
glory in being the caufe of our own falvation. We cry out 
againft popery, and that veryjuflly; but we are all Papifts, 
at leall, I am fure, we are all Arminians by nature ; and 
therefore no wonder fo many natural men embrace that 
fcheme. It is true, we difclaim the dodlrine of merit, are 
afhamed diredlly to fay wc deferve any good at the hands of 
God ; therefore, as the Apoftle excellently well obferves, 
*' we go about," we fetch a circuit, " to eftablifh a righte- 
oufnefs of our own, and," like the Pharifees of old, " will 
not wholly fubmit to that righteoufnefs which is of God 
through Jesus Christ our Lord." 

This is the foreft, though, alas ! the mofl common evil 
that was ever yet feen under the fun. An evil, that in any 
age, efpecially In thcfe dregs of time wherein we live, cannot 
fufficiently be inveighed againft. For as It is with the people, 
fo it is with the priefts ; and it is to be feared, even in thofe 
places, where once the truth as it is in Jesus was eminently 
3 preached. 

f 217 1 

|)reachcd, many mlnlfters are fo flKlly degenerated frorri 
their picu? anctilors, that the dodlrines of grace, efptcially 
the perfonal, all-jufficient righlcoufnffs ^-Jesus, is but too (el- 
dom, too (lightly mentioned. Hence the love of ir.nny 
waxeth cold ; and I have often thought, was it podiblc, that 
this Tingle confideration would be fufficient to raife our ve- 
n-"rable forefathers again from their graves j who would thun- 
der in their cars their fatal error. 

The righteoufncfs of Jesus Christ is one of thofe great 
myfteries, which the angels defirc to look into, and fcems to 
be one of the firft lellbns that God taught men after the fall. 
For, what were the coats that God made to put on our firft 
parents, but types of the application of the merits or righre- 
ouOnefs of Jesus Christ to believers hearts \ We arc told, 
that thofe coats were made of fkins of beads ; and, as hearts 
were not then food for men, we may fairly infer, that thofe 
beafts were flain in facrifice, in commemoration ^i the great 
facrifice, Jesus Christ, thereafter to be offered. And the 
fkins of the beafts thus flain, being put on Adam and Eve^ 
they were hereby taught how their nakednefs was to be co- 
vered with the righteoufnefs of the Lamb of God. 

This is it which is meant, when we are told, " Ahrahatn 
believed on the Lord, and it was accounted to him for 
righteoufnefs." In fhort, this is it of which both the law 
and the prophets have fpoken, efpecially ^jeremiah in the words 
of the text, " The Lord our righteoufnefs.'* 

I propofe, through divine grace, 

L To confider who we are to underftand by the word 

IL How the Lord is man's righteoufnefs. 

IIL I will confider fome of the chief objections that arc 
generally urged againft this do<flrine. 

IV. I fhall fliew fome very ill confcqucnces that flow na- 
turally from denying this doctrine. 

V. Shall conclude with an exhortation to all to come to 
Christ by faith, that they may be enabled to fiy with the 
Prophet in the text, " The Lord our righteoufnefs." 

; ^ I. I am 

t 2i8 3 

I. I am to confidcr who we arc to unJerftanJ by the worJ 
Lord. The Lord our righteoufncG. 

If any Arians or Socinians are drawn by curiofity to hear 
what the babler has to Tay, let them be afljamcd oi denying 
the divinity of that Lord, who has bought poor finncrs 
with his precious blood. For the pcrfon mentioned in the 
text, under the charader of the Lord, is Jesus Christ. 
Vcr. 5. " Behold, the days come, laith the Lord, that I 
will raifc unto Z)/2^'/i a righteous branch, a king fliall reign 
and profper, and (hall execute judgmeni: and juftice in the 
earth. In his days (ver. 6.) Judah fliall be faved, and Ijrael 
fhall dwell fafely ; and this is his name whereby he fnall be - 
called, The Lord our righteoufnefs." By the righteous 
branchy all agree, that we are to underftand Jesus Christ. 
He it is that is called the Lord in our text. If fo, if there 
were no other text in the Bible to prove the divinity of 
Christ, this is fufEcient : for if the word Lord may pro- 
perly belong to Jesus Christ, he muft be God. And, as 
you have it in the margin of your Bibles, the word Lord is 
in the original "JeJwvah^ which is the efTential title of God 
himfelf. Come then, ye Arians, kifs the Son of God, bow 
down before him, and honour him, even as ye honour the 
Father. Learn of the angels, thofe morning- ftars, and wor- 
fhip him as truly God : for otherwife you are as much idola- 
tors, as thofe that worfhip the Virgin Mary, And as for you 
Socinians, who fay Christ was a mere man, and yet pro- 
fefs that he was your Saviour, according to your own prin- 
ciples you are accurfed : for, if Christ be a mere man, then 
he is only an arm of flefh : and it is written, *' Curfed is he 
that trufteth on an arm of flefti." But I would hope, there 
are no fuch monfters here ; at leafl, that, after thefe confi- 
derations, they would be afhamed of broaching fuch mon- 
ilrous abfurdities any more. For it is plain, that, by the 
word Lord^ we are to underftand the Lord Jesus Christ, 
who here takes to himfelf the title of Jehovah, and therefore 
muft be very God of very God ; or, as the Apoftle devoutly 
cxprefles it, '' God blefTed for evermore." 

II. How the Lord is to be man's rightcoufnefs, comes 
next to be confidered. 

I And 


[ 219 3 

And that is, in one word, by imputation. For it pleafed 
God, after he had made all things by the word of his power, 
to create man after his own image. And fo infinite was the 
condcfcenfion of the high and lofty One, who inhabitcth 
eternity, that, although he might have infifted on the ever- 
lafting obedience of him and his poflerity ; yet he was picafed 
to oblige himfelf, by a covenant or agreement made with 
his own creatures, upon condition of an unfmning obedience, 
to give them immortality and eternal life. For when it is 
faid, " The day thou eateft thereof, thou (halt furely die ;" 
we may fairly infer, fo long as he continued obedient, and 
did not eat thereof, he fhould furely live. The 3d of Gmefts 
gives us a full, but mournful account, how our firft parents 
broke this covenant, and thereby f^ocd in need of a better 
righteoufnefs rhan their own, in order to procure their luture 
acceptance with God. For what muft they do ? They were 
as much under a covenant of works as ever. And thout^h, 
after their difobedience, they were without ftrength ; yet they 
were obliged not only to do, but continue to do all things, 
and that too in the moft perfect manner, which the Lord 
had required of them : and not only fo, but to make fatisfac- 
tion to God's infinitely offended jufiice, for the breach they 
had already been guilty of. Here then opens the amazing 
fcene of divine philanthrofy\ I mean, God's love to man: 
For behold, what man could not do, Jesus Christ, the fon 
of his Father's love, undertakes to do for him. And that 
God might be juft in juftifying the ungodly, though " he 
was in the form of God, and therefore thought it no robbery 
to be equal with God ; yet he took upon him the form of a 
fervanr," even human nature. In that nature he obeyed, and 
thereby fulfi.lled the whole moral law in our flead ; and alfo 
died a painful death upon the crofs, and thereby became a 
curfe for, or inftead of, thofe whom the Father had given to 
him. As God, he fatisfied, at the fame time that he obcye.1 
and fufFered as man ; and, being God and man in one per- 
fan, he wrought out a full, perfect, and fufiicient righteouf- 
nefs for all to whom it was to be imputed. 

Here then we fee the meaning of the word righteoufnefs. 
It implies the a£live as well as paflive obedience of the Lord 
Jesus Christ. We generally, v/hen talking of the merits 


[ 220 1 

of Christ, t)nly tncntion the latter, — his death ; wliereas, 
the former, — his life and adive obedience, is equally neceflary. 
Christ is not fuch a faviour as btcomes us, unlefs we join 
both together. Christ not only died, but lived ; not only 
fuffered, but obeyed for, or inftead of, poor finncrs. And 
both thefe jointly make up that compleat righteoufnefs, which 
is to be imputed to us, as the difobedience of our firft parents 
was made ours by imputation. In this fenfe, and no other, 
are we to undcrftand that parallel which the apoflle Paul 
draws, in the vth of the Ramans, between the firft and fecond 
jidam. This is what he eliewhere terms, " our being made 
the righteoufnefs of God in him." This is the fenfe wherein 
the Prophet would have us to underftand the words of the 
text; therefore, Jer. xxxiii. 16. " She [i. e. the church it- 
felf) (hall be called, (having this righteoufnefs imputed to 
her) The Lord our righteoufnefs." A pafiage, I think, 
worthy of the profoundeft meditation of all the fons and 
daughters of Abraham. 

Many are the obje6lions which the proud hearts of fallen 
men are continually urging againft this wholefome, this divinej 
this foul-faving dodirine. I come now, 

III. To anfwer fome i^m of thofe which I think the mofl 

And, F'lrft^ they fay, becaufe they would appear friends to 
morality, " That the doctrine of an imputed righteoufnefs is 
*' deftrucfiive of good works, and leads to licentioufnefs." 

And who, pray, arc the perfons that generally urge this 
objection ? Are they men full of faith, and men really con- 
cerned for good works ? No ; whatever few exceptions there 
may be, if there be any at all, it is notorious, they are gene- 
rally men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. 
The bell title I can give them is, that of profane inoralijis^ 
©r moraliffs falfcly fo called. For I appeal to the experience 
of the prefent as well as paft ages, if iniquity did and does 
not moft abound, where the dodrine of Christ's whole 
perfonal righteoufnefs is moft cried down, and moft feldoni 
mentioned : Arminian being antichriftian principles, always 
did, and always v/ill lead to antichriflian practices. An^f 
never was there a reformation brought sibout in the church-^ 


[ 22 1 ] 

b:jt by the preaching the do6trine of an Imputed rlghteoufnefs. 
This, as that man of God, Lttther^ calls it, is " Articulus 
ilant'n ant cadeniis EccUfics" ihc article by which the Church 
fl^nds or falls. And though the preachers of this docSlrine are 
generally branded by thofe on the other fide, with the oppro* 
brious names of Antinomians, deceivers, and what not ; yet, 
I believe, if the truth of the doctrine on both fides was to be 
judged of by the lives of the preachers and profefibrs of it, on 
our fide the qu^ftion would have the advantage every way. 

It is true, this, as well as every other doctrine of grace, 
may be abufcd. And perhaps the unchriftian walk of fome, 
who have talked of Christ's imputed rightcoulnels, judifica- 
^ tion by faith, and the like, and yet never felt it imputed to 
their own fculs, has given the enemies of the Lord thus 
caufe to blaipheme. But this is a very unfafe, as well as a 
Vjcry unfair way of arguing. The only queftion fhould be. 
Whether or not this do^^^rine of an imputed righteoufnefs, 
does in itfclf cut off the occafion of good works, or lead to li- 
centoufnefs r To this we may br;iJIy anfwer. In no wife. 
It excludes works, indeed, from being any caufe of our juftifi- 
cation in the fight of God ; but it requires good works as a 
proof of our having this righteoufnefs imputed to us, and as a 
declarative evidence of our juftification in the fight of men. 
And then, how can the dodtrine of an imputed lighteoufnefs 
be a do6irine lead)n.7: to licentioufneis ? 


It is all calumny. The apoftle Paul introduceth an infidel 
making tins objedtion, in his epiftlc to the Romans; and none 
but infidels, that never felt the power of Christ's refurrec- 
tion upon their fouls, will urge it over again. And therefore, 
notwithfranding this objecStion, with the Prophet in the text, 
we may boldly fay, " 1 he Lord is our righteoufnefs.*' 

But Satan (and no wonder that his fervants imicate him) 
often transforms himfelf into an angel of liglit : and there- 
fore, (fuch perverfe things will infidelity and Arminianifm 
tnake men fpeak) in order to drefs their objeilions in the beft 
colours, fome urge, *' That our Saviour preached no fuch 
" docliine; that in his fermon on the mount, he mentions 
♦* only morality :" and confequen-Iy the doctrine of an im- 
paled ri^hteoufaefs fails wholly to the ground. 


[ 222 3 

But furely the men, who urge this obje£lIcn, cither never 
read, or never underftood, our Lord's blefled difcourfe, 
wherein the do6lrine of an imputed righteoufnefs is (o plait^ly 
taught, that he who runs, if he has eyes that fee, may 

Indeed our Lord does recommend morality and good 
works, (as all faithful minifters will do) and clears the moral 
law from many corrupt glofies put upon it by the letter- 
learned Pharifees. But then, before he comes to this, 'tis re- 
markable, he talks of inward piety, fuch as poverty of fpirit, 
mecknefs, holy rfiourning, purity of heart, efpecially hun- 
gring and thirfling after righteoufnefs ; and then recommends 
good works, as an evidence of our having his righteoufnefs 
imputed to us, and thefe graces and divine tempers wrought 
in our hearts. " Let your light (that is, the divine light 
I before have been mentioning) fnine before men, in a holy 
life ; that they, feeing your good v»'orks, may glorify your fa- 
ther which is in heaven." And then he immediately adds., 
*' Think not that I am come to deftroy the moral law : I 
came not to deilroy, (to take away the force of it as a rule of 
life) but to fulfil, (to obey it in its whole latitude, and give 
the com pleat fenfe of it.") And then he goes on to fhew how 
exceeding broad the moial law is. So that our Lord, inflead 
of fetting afide an imputed righteoufnefs in his fermon upon 
the mount, not only confirms it, but alfo anfwers the fore- 
going objeclion urged againd it, by making good works a 
proof and evidence of its being imputed to our fouls. He, 
therefore, that hath ears to hear, let him hear what the Pro- 
phet fays in the woids'of the t^xt, ** The Lord our righte- 

But as Satan not only quorcd fcripture, but backed one 
temptation after another with it, when he attacked Christ 
}i\ the wildernefs ; fo his children generally ti^ke the fame me- 
thod in treating his do£irine. And, therefore, they urge 
another objection againil: the doclrine of an imputed righte- 
cufnefs-, from the example of the young' man in the gofpel. 

We may Hate it thus : *' The Evangeliil AJarky fay they, 
<* chap. X. mentions a young man that came to Christ, 
** running, and afking him what he (hould do to inherit etei- 
<* nal life ? Christ referred him to the commandments, to 

"•' kiiov^ 

[ ^23 ] 

<* know what he muft do to inlicrit eternal hfc. It is plain, 
*' therefore, works were to he, partly at leafl:, the cauCc of 
'' his juftificaiion : and confequcntly the dodrine of an ini- 
*' puted righteoufneftj is unfcriptural." This is the ohjediori 
in its full ihength : and little ftrength in all its fulnefs. For, 
was I to prove the ncceffity of an imputed rightcoufners, I 
fcarcc know how 1 could bring a better inftance to make it 


Ivet us take a nearer view of this young man, and of our 
Lord's behaviour towards him, Mark x. 17. the Evangelilt 
tells us, " That when Christ was gone forth into the way, 
there came one running (it (hould feem it vyas fome noble- 
man ; a rarity indeed to Tee fuch a one running to Christ !) 
and not only fo, but he kneeled to him, (perhaps many 
of his rank now, Icarce knew the time wdien they kneeled to 
Christ) and afked him, faying. Good Mafter, what (hall I i^.o 
that I may inherit eternal life ?" Then Jesus, to fee whether 
or not he believed him to be what he really was, truly and 
properly God, foid^irato him, '' Why callefl: thou me good ? 
There is none good but one, that is God." And, that he 
might diredly anfv^er big qucftion, fays he, " Thou knoweft 
the commandments : do not commit adultery, do not bear 
falfe witnefs, defraud not, honour thy father and thy mother." 
This was a direct anfwer to his queilion ; namely. That 
eternal life was not to be attained by his doings. For our 
Lord, by referring him to the commandments, did not (as 
the objectors infmuate) in the lead hint, that his morality 
would recommend him to the favour and mercy of God : but 
he intended thereby, to make the law his ichoolmader to 
bring him to himfcU ; that the young man, feeing how he 
had broken every one of thefe commandments, might thereby 
be convinced of the infufficiency of his own, and confequcntly 
of the abfolute neceiTity of looking out for a better rigtiteouf- 
nefs, whereon he might depend for eternal life. 

This was what our Lord dcilgned. The young man being 
felf-righteous, and willing to juRify himfelf, faid, '• All thefe 
have I obferved from my youth :" but had he known himfelf, 
he would have confeiled, all thefe have I broken from my 
youth. For, fuppoling he had not adlually committed adul- 
tery, had he never lufted after a woman in his heart .^ What, 


[ 224 ] 

n he had not. really killed another, had he never been angry 
without a caufe, or Ipoken unadvifedly with his lips ? If (o^ 
by breaking one of the leaft coaimandments in the leaft de- 
gree, he became liable to the curfe of God : for " curfed is 
he (faith the lav^) that continueth not to do all things that 
are written in this book." And therefore, as obferved before, 
our Lord v/as fo far from fpeaking againft, that he treated 
the young rnan in that manner, on purpole to convince him 
of the necefiity of an imputed righteoufnefs. 

But perhaps they will reply, it is faid, " Jesus beholding 
him, loved him." And what then ? This he might do with 
a human love, and at the fame time this young man have 
no intereft in his blood. Thus Christ is faid to wonder, 
to weep ovtx Jerufahm^ and fay, " O that thou hadfl known, 
&c." But fuch-likc paffages are to be referred only to his hu- 
man nature. And there is a great deal of difference between 
the love wherewith Christ loved this young man, and that 
wherewith he loved Mary^ Lazarus^ and their fiftcr Martha, 
To illuftratc this by a comparifon : A minifter of the Lord 
Jesus Christ feeing many amiable difpofitions, fuch as a 
readinefs to hear the word, a decent behaviour at public wor- 
fhip, and a life outwardly fpotlefs in many, cannot but fo far 
love them ; but then there is much difference betwixt the 
love which a minifter feels for fuch, and that divine love, that 
union and fympathy of foul, which he feels for thofe that he 
is fatisfied are really born agam of God. Apply this to our 
Lord's cafe, as a faint illultration of it. Confider what has 
been faid upon^the young man's cafe in general, and then, if 
before you were fond of this objection, inftead of triumphing, 
like him you will go forrowful away. Our Saviour's reply 
to him more and more convinces us of the truth of the pro- 
phet's afi'ertion in the text, that " the Lord is our righte- 

But there is a fourth, and a grand obje6lion yet behind, 
which is taken from the 25th chapter of Alaiihew^ " where 
" our Lord is defcribed as rewarding people with eternal 
" life, becaufe they fed they hungry, cloathed the naked, and 
" fuch-like. llieir works therefore were a caufe of their 
*' juftification, confcquently the dodlrine of imputed righte^ 
" oufnefs is not agreeable to fcripture." 

. This, 

[ 2?5 1 

This, I confe/s, is the mofl: pjaufible obje6\Ion tliaf is 
brouo-ht aciainft the doctrine infiftcd on from the text : arid 
that we may anfvver it in as clear and brief a manner as may 
be, wc confefs, with the Article of the Church of England^ 
" That albeit good works do not juftify us, yet thi-y will 
" follow after jufti.'ication, as fruirs of it ; and though they 
" can claim no reward in therrlfelvcs, yet forafmuch as they 
" fpring; fiom faith in Chris'I', and a renewed foul, they fliall 
" receive a reward of grace, though not of debt; and confe- 
*' quently the more wc abound in fuch good words, the greater 
" will be our reward when Jesus CiiRiST ftiall com.e tcj 
" judgment." 

Take thcfe confiderations along with us, and they will he!p< 
us much to anfwer theobjeiSlion now before us. For thus faith 
Matthew, " Then fliall theKing fay to them on his right hand," 
Come, ye blefTed children of my Father, inherit the kingdofix 
prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was 
an hungred, and ye gave me riieat ; I was thirfly, and ye gave 
me drink ; I was a ftranger, and ye took me in ; naked, and ye 
tloathed me j I was fick, and ye vifited me ; I was in prifon', and 
ye cam'e unto rtie. I will therefore rewaxd J^ou, becaufe yoii 
have- done thefe things out of love to me, arid hereby have 
evidenced yourfelves to be my true difciples." And that the 
people did not depend on thefe good adions for their jui'litica- 
tion in the fight of God, is evident. " For when faw we thee 
^' an hungred, fay they, ancf fed thee .^ or thirfty, and gave 
*' thee drink ? When faw we thee a ftranger, and took thee in, 
*' or nalced, afid cloathed thee ? Of when faw 'ie thee Tick, 
" of in prifon, and came unto thee ?" Language, and quef- 
tions, quite improper for perfohs relying on their own righte- 
oufntfs, for acceptance and acquittance in the fight of Goj^. 

But then they reply againft this : " In the latter part of the 
" chapter, it is plain that Jesus Christ rejects and damns 
*' the others for not doing thcfe things. And therefore, rf 
*' he damns thefe for not doing, he faves thofe for doing 5 
^' and confequently the dodrine of ah imputed righteoufnef^ 
^' is good for nothing. '" 

But that is no confequence at all; for GoD may juftly 

danm any man for omitting the lead duty of the moral law, 

and yet in himfclf is not obliged to give to any one any re- 

Vol. V. > ^ ward^ 


[ 226 ] 

warJ, fuppofing he has done all that be can. We are unprc- , 
fitable fervants ; we have not done near lo much as it was our 
duty to do, muft be the language of the moft holy fouls liv- 
inc; ; and therefore, from or in ourfelvcs, cannot be juflificd 
in the fight of God. This was the frame af the devout fouls 
jull now referred to. Senfible of this, they were fo far from 
depending on their works for juffcification in the fight of God, 
that they were filled, as it were, with a holy blufhing, to 
thir.lc our Lord fhould condefcend to mention, much more 
to reward them for, their poor works of faith and labours of 
love. I am perfuaded their hearts would rife with a holy in- 
dio^nation againft thofe who urge this palFage, as an obje£lion 
to the aflertion of the prophet, that " the Lord is our righte- 

Thu?, } think, we have fairly anfwered thefe grand ob- 
je£lions, which are generally urged againft the docStrine of an 
tfnputcd righteoufnefs. Was I to ftop here, I think I may fay, 
** We are made more than conquerors through him that loved 
us." But there is a way of arguing which I have always ad- 
miied, becaufc I have thought it always very convincing, by 
ihevviug the abfurdities that will follow from denying any par- 
ticular propofition in dilpute, 

IV. This is the next thing that was propofed. And never 
did areater or more abfurdities flow from the denvino; any 
doctrine, than will flow from denying the do<5trine of Christ's 
imputed righteuufnefs. 

And fi*Jfy if we deny this doctrine, we turn the truth, I 
mean the word of God, as much as we can, into a lie, and 
.utterly fubvert all thofe places of fcripture which fay that we 
are faved by grace ; that it is not of works, left any man 
{hould boaft ; that falvation Is God's free gift; and that he 
who gloricth, muft glory only in the Lord. For, if the 
whole perfonal righteoufnefs of Jesus Christ be not the 
folexaufe of my acceptance with God, if any work done by 
or forcfecn in me, was in the leaft to be joined with it, or 
looked ui)on by God as an inducing, impulfivc caufe of ac- 
quitting my foul from guilt, then 1 have fomewhat whereof I 
may gloiy in myfelf. Now boafting is excluded in the great 
•work of our redemption ; but that cannot be, if v/e are ene- 
3 mies 

[ 227 ] 

mies to the doctrine of an imputed righteoufnefs. It v/ouM 
be endlefs to enumerate how many texts of fcripture muft be 
falfe, if this do6l:ine be not true. Let it fuffice to affirm in 
the general, that if we deny an imputed righteoufnefs, wc 
may as well deny a divine revelation all at once : for it is the 
alpha and omega, the beginning and the end of the book of 
God. V/e muft either difbelieve that, or believe what the 
pFophet hath fpokcn in the text, " that the Lord is our 

But farther: I obferved at the beginning of this dif- 
courfc, that we are all ulrminians and Papi/is hy nature : for as 
one faySj " Jrm'uiianifm is the back way to popery.''* And here 
I venture further to affirm, that if wc deny the do6lrine of an 
imputed righteouHiefs, whatever we may (lile ourfelves, we 
are really Papijh in our hearts, and deferve no other title from 

Sirs, what think you ? Suppofe I was to come and tell you, 
that you muft intercede with faints, for them to intercede 
with GcD for you ; would you not then fay, I was juftly re- 
puted a popjjh miffionary by fome, and defervedly thruft out of 
the fynagogues by others ? I fuppofc you v/ould. And why ? 
Becaufe, you would fay, the intercefiion of Jesus Christ 
was fuffieient of itfelf, without the interceiTion of faints ; and 
that it was blafphemous to join theirs with his, as though it 
was not fufHcient. 

Suppofe I v;ent a little more round aboutj and told you 
that the death of Christ was not fufHcient, without our 
death being added to it ; that you muft die as well as Christ, 
join your death with his, and then it would be fuffieient. 
Might you not then, with a holy indignation, throw duft in 
the air, and juftly call me a ^' fetter forth of ftrange doc- 
trines ?'* And now then, if it be not only abfurd, but blaf- 
phemous, to join the interccfTion of faints with the intercef- 
fion of Christ, as though his interceffion was not fuffieient; 
or our death with the death of Christ, as though his death 
Y7ZS not fuffieient : judge ye, if it be not equally abfurd, 
equally blafphemous, #to join our obedience, either wholly or 
in part, with the obedience of Christ, as if that was not 
fuffieient. And if fo, what abfurdities will follow the deny- 

P 2 ing 

[ 228 ] 

ing that the Lord, both as to his aclive and namve obedi* 
cnce, is our righteoufnefs ? 
' One more abfurdity I {hall mention, as following the deny- 
ing this dochiiie, and I have done. 

I remember a flory of a certain prelate, who, after many 
arguments in vain urged to convince the Earl of Rochejler of 
the invifible realities of another world, took: his leave of hi^ 
lordfliip with fome fuch words as thcfc : " Well, my lord, 
*' if there be no hell, I am fafe ; but if there ftiould be fuch 
•* a thing as hell, what will become of you r" 1 apply this 
to thofe that oppofe the doctrine now infifted on. If ther^ 
be no fuch thing as the docSlrine of an imputed righteoufnefs, 
thofe v/ho hold it, and bring forth fruit unto holinefs, are 
lafe ; but if there be fuch a thing (as there certainly is) what 
V^/ill become of you that deny it ? It is no difficult matter to 
determine. Your portion muft be in the lake of fire and 
brim.flone for ever and ever. Since yoii will rely upon your 
ivork?, by your works you (hall be judged. They fhall be 
v/eighed in the balance of the fandiuary ; and they will be 
found wanting. By your works therefore fhall you be con- 
demned J and you, being out of Christ, (hall find God, to 
your poor v/retched fouls, a con fuming fire. 

The great Stoddard of Northamtton \\\ Neiu- England^ has 
therefore well intitled a book which he wrote (and which I 
would take this opportunity to recommend) *' The Safety of 
Appearing in the Righteoufnefs of Christ.'* For why 
fhould 1 lean upon a broken reed, when I can have the rock 
of ages to (land upon, that never can be moved i* 

And now, before I come to a more particular application, 
give me leave, in the apoftle's language, triumphantly to cry 
out, " Where is the fcribe, where the difputer ?" Where is 
the reafoning infidel of this generation ? Can any thing ap- 
pear more reafonable, even according to your own way of 
arguing, than the do(5lrine here laid down ? Have you not 
felt a convincing power go along with the word ? Why theri 
will you not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, that fo ho 
may become the Lord your righteoufnefs ? 

But it is time for me to come a little clofer to your cori- 


[ 229 ] 
Brethren, though fome may be offended at this do£^rine, 
and may account it fooliflmers ; yet, to many of you, I doubt 
not but it is precious, it btiiicf agreeable to the form of found 
words, which from your infijincy has been delivered to you ; 
and, coming from a quarter^ you would leaft have expe(5led, 
may be received with more pleafure and fatibfadion. But give 
me leave to afL you one qucllioni Can you lay, the Lord our 
righteoufnefs? I fay, the'LpRD cur righteoufncfs. For enter- 
taining this do£lrine in your heads, without receiving the 
J^ORD Jesus Christ favingly by a lively faith into your 
hearts, will but increafe your damnation. As I have often 
told you, fo I tell you again, an unapplied Christ is no 
Christ at all. Can you then, with believing Thomas^ cry 
out, " My Lord and my God ?" Is Christ your fanclifi- 
cation, as well as your outward righteoufnefs ? For the word 
righteoufnefs, in the text, not only implies Christ's perfonal 
righteoufnefs imputed to us, but alfo holinefs wrought in us. 
Thefe two, God has joined together. He never did, he never 
does, he never will put them afunder. If you are juflified by 
the blood, you are alfo fanclified by the Spirit of our Lord. 
Can you then in this fenfe fay. The Lord our righteoufnefs ? 
Were you ever made to abhor yourfelves for your adiual and 
original fms, and to lothe your own righteoufnefs ; for, as the 
prophet beautifully expreiles it, *' your righteoufnefs is as fil- 
thy rags? Were you ever made to fee and admire the all-fuffi- 
ciency of Christ's righteoufnefs, apd excited by the Spirit of 
God to hunger and rhirft after it P Could you ever fay, my 
foul is athirft f©r Christ, yea, even for the righteoufnefs of 
Christ ? O when (hall I come to appear before the prefence 
of my God in the righteoufnefs of Christ ! nothing but 
Christ ! nothing but Christ! Give me Chri^p, O God, 
and I am fatisfied ! my foul Ihall praife thee for ever. 

Was this ever the language of your hearts? and, after the(e 
inward confli6ls, were you ever enabled to reach out the arm 
of faith, and embrace the blefled Jesus in your fouls, fo that 
you could fay, *^ my beloved is mine, and I am his ?" If fo, 
fear not, whoever you are. Plail, all hail, you happy fouls ! 
The Lord, the Lord Christ, the everlafting God, is your 
righteoufnefs. Christ has iuftifieil you, who is he that con- 
demneth you? Christ has died for you, nay rather is rifen 

? 3 i>gain^ 

C 230 1 

ajain, and ever liveth to make interceflion for you. Being 
now juftified by his grace, you have peace with God, and 
finall, ere long, be with Jesus in glory, reaping evcrlafting 
and unfpeakable fruits both in body and foul. For there is 
no condemnation to thofe that are really in Christ Jesus. 
" Whether Paul or Apollos, or life or death, all is yours if 
you are Christ's, for Christ is GcD*s. My brethren, my 
heart is enlarged towards you! O think of the love of Christ 
in dying for you ! If the Lord be your righteoufnefs, let the 
righteoufnefs of your Lord be continually in your mouth. 
Talk of, O talk of, and recommend the righteoufnefs of 
Christ, when you lye down, and when you rife up, at your 
going out and coming in ! Think of the greatnefs of the gift, 
ns well as of the giver ! Shew to all the world, in whom you 
bave believed ! Let all by your fruits know, that the Lorq 
is your righteoufnefs, and that you are waiting for your Lord 
from heaven ! O ftudy to be holy, even as he who has called 
vou, and wafhed you in nis own blood, is holy ! Let not the 
fighteoufnefs of the Lord be evil fpoken of through you. Let 
^ot Jesus be wounded in the houfeof his friends ; but grow 
in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviouf 
Jesus Christ, day by day. O think of his dying love! 
Let that love conftrain you tso obedience ! having much for- 
given, loye much. Be always afliing. What f^all I do, to ex- 
prefs my gratitude to the Lord, for giving me his righteouf-* 
nefs.^ L'-^t that felf-abafmg, GoD-exalting queftion be always 
in your mouths; " Why me. Lord } why me?" why am I 
i^aken, and others left ? why is the LoRt> my righteoufnefs I 
why is he become my falvation, who have fo often deferved 
damnation at his hands .? 

My friends, I truft I feel fomewhat of a fenfe of God's 
diftingui{hing love upon my heart ; therefore I mufi: divert a 
litile from congratulating you, to invite poor chriftlefs fmners 
to come to him, and accept of his righteoufnefs, that they 
may have life. 

Ala?, my heart almoR bleeds ! What a multitude of pre- 
cious fouls are now before me ! , how fbortly muft all be 
ufliered into eternity ! and yet, O cutting thought ! was God 
now to require all your fouls, how few, comparatively fpeak- 
ing, could really fay, the Lord our righteoufnefs] 

' ' And 

f 231 ] 

And think you, O /inner s^ that you will be at)1e to fland in 
the day of judgment, if Christ be not your righteoufnefs ! 
No, that alone is the wedding-garment in which you mult 
appear. O chriftlefs fmners, 1 am diftreffed for you! ihe de- 
fircs of my foul are enlarged. O that this may be an accepted 
time! that the Lord may be your righteoufnefs! For whither 
would you flee, if death (hould find you naked ? Indeed there 
is no hiding yourfelves from his prefence. The pitiful fig- 
leaves of your own righteoufnefs will not cover your naked- 
nefs, when God (hall call you to fland before him. Jdarri 
found them ineiteiiual, and fo will you. O think of death ! 
O think of judgment I Yet a little while, and time fhall be 
no more; and then what will become of you, if the L0R.D be 
not your righteoufnefs? Think you that Christ will fpare 
you ? No, he that formed you, will have no mercy on you. 
If you are not of Christ, if Christ be not your righteouf- 
nefs, Christ himfelf fhall pronounce you damned. And can 
you bear to think of being damned by Christ ? Can you 
bear to hear the Lord Jesus fay to you, " Depart from me, 
ye curfed, into everlafting fire, prepared for. the devil and his 
angels." Can you live, think you, in everlafting burnings? 
Is your fleih brafs, and your bones iron ? what if they are ? 
hell-fire, that fire prepared for the devil and his angels, will 
heat them through and through. And can you bear to depart 
from Christ? O that heart-piercing thought! Afic tbofe holy 
fouls, who are at any time bewailing an abfent God, who 
walk in darknefs, and fee no light, though but a few days or 
hours ; a(k them, what it is to lofe a fight and prefence of 
Christ? See how they feek him forrowing, and go mourning 
after him all the day long ! And, if it is fo dreadful to lofe the 
fenfible prefence of Christ only for a day, what muft it be 
to be baniflied from him to all eternity ? 

But thus it muR; be, if Christ be not your righteoufnefs?. 
For God's juftice muft be fatisfied ; and, unlefs Christ's 
righteoufnefs is imputed and applied to you here, you muft 
hereafter be fatisfying the divine juftice in hell-torments eter- 
nally, nay, Christ himfelf (hall conaemn you to that place 
of torment. And how cutting is that thought ! Methinks I 
fee poor, trembling, chriftlcfs wretches, ftanding before the 
bar of God, crying out. Lord, if we muft bv; damned, let 

P 4 fomc 

[ 23^ ] 
fotne angt^ or feme archangel, pronounce the damnatory fen- 
tencc : but all in vain. Christ himfelf {hall pronounce the 
irrevocable fcntence. Knov/uig therefore the terrors of the 
Lord, let mc perfaade you to clofe u'ith Christ, and never 
reft till you can fay, ••' the Lord our righteoulnefs." Who 
knows but the Lord may have meicy on, nay, abundantly 
pardon you? Beg of God to give you faith; and, if the Lord 
gives you thar, you will by it receive Christ, with his righ- 
teoufnefs, and his AH. You need not fear the greatnefs or 
riumber of vour fins. For are you finners ? fo am L .Arq 
you the chief of finners ? fo 3m I. Are you backfliding fm- 
pers ? fo am L And yet the Lord (for ever adored be his 
rich^ free and fovcreign grace) the Lord is my rightcoufnefs. 
Come then, O young men^ who (as I adled once myfelt) are 
playing the prodigal, and wandering away afar off from youf 
heavenly Father's houfe, come home, come home, and leave 
your fvv'ines trough. Feed no longer on the huil^s of fenfual 
delighcs : for Christ's fake arifc, and come homp ! your 
fieavenly Father now calls you. See yonder the bed robe, 
even the righteoufncfs of his dear Son, awaits you. See it, 
view it again and again. Confider at how dear a rate it wa? 
purchafed, even by the blood of God. Confider what great 
need you have of it. You are loil, undoi^.c, damned for ever, 
w thout it. Com.e then, poor, guilty prodigals, come home: 
indeed, 1 will not, like the elder brother in the gofpel, be 
angry j no, I will rejoice with the angels in heaven. And 
P that God >vould now bow the heavens, and come down ! 
Defcend, O Son of God, defcepd ; and, as thou haft fliewn 
in me fuch m.ercy, O let thy blefied Spirit apply thy righ- 
teoufncfs to fome young prodigals now before thee, and clothe 
their naked fouls with thy beft robe ! 

But I mull fpeak a word to you, young maidens^ as well as 
young men. I fee many of you adorned, as to your bodies : 
^ut are not your fouls naked ^. Which of you- can fay, th^e 
Lord is my righteoufncfs.^ which of you was ever folicitous 
to be dreflcd in this robe of invaluable price, and without 
which you are no better than whired fepujchres in the iight of 
God .? Let not then fo many of you, young ma'dens, any 
Jonger forget your chief and only ornament. O feek for the 
Lord to be your righteoufuefs, or otherwife burning will focii 
be ppon you, inftcad of beauty ! 
\ ' ^ ' And 

t ^n 1 

AnU whatfhal! I fay to you of a middle nge, you hujy 
n?crchiWts^ yui cumbered Martha s^ who, with all your gettings, 
have not yet gotten the Lord to be your righteoufnel^? Alas! 
vyhat profit will there be of all your labour under the iun, if 
you do not fecure this pearl of invaluable price ? this one 
thing, fo abfotytely needful, that it only can ftand you in 
tiead, when all other things fhiill be taken from you. Labour 
therefore no longer fo anxiouHy for the meat v/hich perifheth, 
but henceforward feek for the Lord to be your rl'2;htcoufnefs, 
S riohteoufnels that will entitle vou to life everliiftine. I fee 
alfo many ]}Gary heach here, and perhaps the mofl of them can- 
not fay, the Lord is my righteoufnefs. O gray-headed lln- 
ner-, I could weep over you 1 your gray hairs, which ouoht 
to be your crown, and in which perhaps you glory, arc now 
your fhame. You know not that the Lord is your righte- 
oufnefs : O hafte then, haile ye, aged linner^ and feek an 
intereft in redeeming love ! Alas, you have one foot already 
in the grave, your glafs is j-uft run out, your fun is juft going 
VJown, and it will fet and leave you in an eternal darknefs, 
unlefs the Lord be your righteoufnefs ! Flee then, O flee for 
your lives ! be not afraid. All things are pofTible with God. 
If you come, though it be at the eleventh hour, CHi>isT 
Jesus will in no wife caft yo^ out. Seek then for the Lord 
to be your righteoufnefs, and befeech him to let you know^ 
how it is that a man may be born again when he is old ( 
But I muft not forget the lai7ibs of the flock. To feed them 
was one of my Lord's lad: commands. 1 know he will be 
angry with me, if I do not tell them, that the Lord may be 
their righteoufnefs; and that of fuch is the kingdom of heaven. 
Come then, ye little children, come to Christ; the Lord 
Christ (Ijall hQ your righteoufnefs. Do not think, that you 
are too young to be converted. Perhaps many of you may 
be nine or ten years old, and yet cannot fay, the Lord is our 
righteoufnefs ; which many have faid, though younger than 
you. Come then, while you are young. Perhaps you may 
not live to be old. Do not ftay for other people. If your 
fathers and mothers will not come to Christ, do you come 
without them. Let children lead them, and fliew them how 
the Lord may be their righteoufnclb. Our Lord Jfsus loved 
[ittle children. You are his iambs , he bids me feed you. I 


[ 2^4 1 
pray God make you willing betimes to take the Lord for 
your rightetoufners. 

Here then I could conclude ; but I muft not forget the poor 
negroes 'y no, I muft not. Jesus Christ has died for them, 
as well as for others. Nor do I mention you laft, becaufe I 
defpife your fouls, but becaufe I would have what I fhall fay, 
make the deeper imprelTion upon your hearts. O that you 
would feek the Lord to be your righteoufnefs ! Who knows 
but he may be found of you ? For in Jesus Christ there 
is neither male nor female, bond nor free ; even you may be 
the children of God, if you believe in Jesus. Did you never 
read of the eunuch belonging to the queen of Candace? a 
negro like yourfelves. He believed. The Lord was his righ- 
teoufnefs. He was baptized. Do you alfo believe, and you 
fhall be faved. Christ Jesus is the fame now as he was 
yefterday, and will wafn you in his own blood. Go home 
then, turn the words of the text into a prayer, and intreat 
the Lord to be your righteoufnefs. Even fo, come Lord 
Jesus, come quickly^ into all our fouls! Jmen^ Lord Jesus, 
Jmsn and Amen! 


t ^5 ] 


The Righteoufnefs of Christ, an ererlafting 

D A N I K L ix. 24. 

And to hrin^ in everlafiing Rightecnfnefs. 

ON reading thefe words, I cannot help addreiling you in 
the language of the angels to the poor fhepherds, who 
kept watch over their flocks by night, " Behold, I bring you 
glad tidings of great joy," fuch tidings, that if v/e have ears 
to hear, if we have eyes to fee, and if our hearts have indeed 
experienced the grace of God, muft caufe us to cry out with 
the Virgin M(^'y^ " My foul doth magnify the Lord, and 
my fpirit doth rejoice in God my Saviour." The words 
which I have read to you, are part of one of the moft explicit 
revelations that was given of Jesus Christ, before he made 
his public entrance into this our world. It has been obferved 
by fome, and very properly too, that it is one mark of the 
divine goodnefs to his creatures, that he is pleafed to let licrht 
come in gradually upon the natural world. If the fun from 
midnight darknefs, was immediately to fhine forth in his full 
meridian blaze, his great fplendor woul,d be apt to dazzle 
our eyes, and Itrike us blind again : but God is pleafed to 
make light come gradually in, and by that means we are pre- 
pared to receive it. And as God is pleafed to deal with the 
natural, fo he has dealt with the moral, with the fpiritual 
world. The Lord Jesus Christ did not appear in his full 
glory all at once, but as the fun rifes gradually, fo did the 
Lord Jesus, the Sun of righteoufnefs, rife gradually upon 
men, with healing under his wings. Hence it was, that our 
iirft parents had nothing to fix their faiih upon,' but that firft 


[ 236 ] 

jyromlfc^ " The (bed of the v/oman fhall bruife the ferpent's 
head.'* And in future ages, af fundry times, and afrer divers 
manners, God was pleafed to fpeak to our fathers by the 
prophets, before he fpake to us in thefe laft days by his fon; 
and 'the prophets that were more peculiarly dear to God, it 
fliould feem had more peculiar and extraordinary revelations 
vouchfafed to them, concerning Jesus Christ. 

It is plain from the accounts we have in Scripture, that the 
Prophet Daniel was one of thefe; he is ftiled by the angel, 
not only a " man that was beloved,'* but a " man that w^s 
greatly beloved," or as it is in the margin of your bibles, " he 
was a man of defires," of large ^nd extenfive defires to pro- 
mote the ^'^.lory of God ; he was a defirable map, a man that 
did much goodjn his generation, and therefore his life w^s 
much to be defired by thofe who .loved God. The words 
which I have choCen for the fubje£l of our prefent meditation, 
contain part of a revelation made to this man. If you look: 
back, to the beginning of this chapter, you will find how the 
good man was employed, when God was pleafed to give him 
this revelation ; verfe 2. " In the firft year of Dartus's reign, 
I Daniel underftood by hooks the number of the years, where- 
of the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that 
he would accomplidi fcvcnty years in the defolations of Jeru- 
falern," Darnel was a great man, and withal a good man ; 
great as he was, it feems he wa"^ not above reading his Bible; 
he made the Bible his conftant (ludy; (or it is the Bible we 
are to underftand by what is here termed books, and elfe- 
where, the fcriptures of trurh. He found, that the time for 
God's people being delivered from the capcivity, was now at 
hand. Well, one would have thought, that therefore Da?iiel 
needed not to pray; but this, inftead of retarding, quickened 
bim in his prayers : and therefore we are told in the third 
verfe, " I fet my face unto the Lord God, to feek by prayer 
and fupplications, with fafting and fackcloth, and afhes." It 
is beautifully exprelfed: ** he fet his face," as though he was 
refolved never to let his eye go off God, tdl GoD was pleafed 
to give him an anfwer; he was refolved, Jaiob-Wkc, to wreftle 
with the Lord God, until God (hould be pleafed to give 
him the defired bleiTing. We are told in the fourth verfe, 
that " he prayed unto the Lord, and made confciTion^" nat 


t 237 1 

dnly of his own fins, but the fins of his people. And wheii 
ye retire home to your houCes, before ye go to bed, I would 
recommend to you the reading of this prayer ; every word of 
it befpeaks his exceeding concern for the public good. It 
would take me up too much time, was I to make fuch ob- 
fdrvations as indeed the prayer deferves ; to bring you fooner 
to the words of the text, let us go forward to the twentieth 
verfe, and there you will find the fuccefs that Daniel met 
\vith, when praying. Says he, " while I w^as praying and 
confeffing my fin, and the fin of my people Ifrael^ and prc-i 
fenting my fupplicarion before the Lord my God, for the^ 
holy mountain of my God 5 yea, while I was (peaking irt 
prayer, even the man Gabriel^ whom I had feen in the vifion 
at the beginning, being caufed to fly fwiftly, touched me about 
the time of the evening oblation." The manner in which 
Daniel exprefles himfelf, is very emphatical : *' While I was 
Jpeaking in prayer \* implying, that God fuffers us, when wc 
draw near to him by faith in prayer, to lay all our complaints 
before him ; he fuffcrs us to fpeak unto, and talk with him, 
as a man talketh with his friend. Daniel at this time too was 
making conpjjlon one part of his prayer; for we are never, 
never in a better frame to receive anfwers from above, than 
V/hen we are humbling ourfelves before the LoRD. He was- 
not only confefTing his own fins, but he was confefTing tht 
i\ns of his people; he was praying for thofe, who perhaps 
feldom prayed for themfelvcs ; *' while I was fpeaking in 
prayer, the man Gabriel:'' v/hich word, by interpretation, fig- 
nifies the Jlrength of God ; a very proper name, fays Bifhop 
Hall^ for that angel who was to come and 'iring the news tJ 
the world, of the God Of Rrength, the Lord Jesus Christ* 
This sngcl is here rcprefented as flying, and as flying fwiftly; 
to fhoW us how willing, hoW unfpeakably willing thofe blelfed 
fpirits are, to bring good news to men. And it is upon this 
account, I fuppofe, that we are taught by our Lord to pray, 
'' that God's will may be done by us on earth, as it is done 
in heaven," that we may imitate a little of that alacrity and 
vigour, which angels employ. When they are fent on errands 
for God. 

Well, here is riot only mention maJe of the angel's flying 

fwiftlyj but there is mention made of ths ti.me that he came ; 

I '' He 

[ 238 ] _ 

** He came and touched me, about the time of the evening 
ob^atio^," that i?, about three o'clock in the afternoon ; at 
this time there was a facrifice made to God, and this facrifice 
was in a peculiar manner a type of the Lord Jesus, who in 
the evening of the world was to become a facrifice for fm- 
ners. We are told in the 2 2d verfe, what meflage this angel 
delivered, " He informed me, and talked with me, and faid^ 
O Daniel^ I am now come forth to give thee (kill and under- 
ftandino^ ; at the beginning of thy fupplication, the command- 
ment came forth, and I am come to fhow thee, for thou art 
greatly beloved, therefore underfland the matter, and confider 
the vifion.'* This paflage, with fuch-like pafTages of fcrip- 
turc, hath often comforted my foul, and may comfort the 
hearts of all God's people. There are a great many of you, 
perhaps, have prayed, and prayed again to God, and pro- 
bably vou do not find any anfv/er given you : you pray for an 
enlarged heart, you pray for comfort, you pray for deliver- 
ance ; GcD is pleafed to withhold it for a while ; then the 
devil ftrikes in, and fays, God has fliut out your prayers, 
God will never hear, God will never regard you, therefore 
pray no more. But, my dear friends, this is a miftake ; a 
thoufand years arc with God as one day ; and the Lord 
Jesus has bid us, " to pray always, and not faint.'* You 
may have had your prayers heard, the very moment they wen-t 
out of your lips, though it may not pleafe your God, (and 
it may not be proper for you) to let you know that they are 
heard. *' At the beginning of thy fupplication, the command- 
ment went forth j" and this very angel fome hundred years 
after, told Zacharlas, that his prayer was heard ;" a prayer 
for what ? a prayer for a child : it could not be fuppofed that 
at the very time Zacharias was praying for a child 5 but his? 
prayer he had put up forty years before, God was pleafid to 
anfwer fo long afterwards. 

But to proceed with Gabriel's declaration, vcr. 24. '* Se- 
venty years are determined upon thy people, and upon thy 
holy citv, to finifli tranfgreirion, to make an end of itns, and 
to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlaft- 
ing righteoufneis," I do not intend to trouble you about the 
critical cxpc)ritron of thefe feventy weeks ; commentators are 
divided exceedingly upon this fubjcd j fome of them explain 


C 239 ] 

them one way, and feme another, and perhaps we (liall 
rever know till the day of judgment, till the glorious (Liy 
fpoken of in the New Teftamenr, which are right. My m- 
tention is to dwell upon this particular part of the ano-el's 
meffage, that fome one perfon was to do fomething unfpeak- 
able for God's people, even '' to bring in an everlafting righte- 

If you want to know who was the perfon that was to do 
this, look to the 26th verfe, and you will find the perfon men- 
tioned, the Lord Jesus Christ : " after threefcore and 
two weeks fhall the MeJTiab be cut ofF, but not for himfelf :" 
he is the perfon fpoken of, he was " to put an end to fin, to 
make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlafting 

From thefe important words, I fhall endeavour, 

Fir/ly To {hew you what we are to under/land by the word, 
" Righteoufnefs." 

Secondly^ I fhall endeavour to fhew you, upon what account 
it is, that the righteoufnefs mentioned in the text, is called 
an " everlafting righteoufnefs." 

Thirdly^ I fnall fhew, what we are to underftand by '* bring- 
ing it in." And, 

Then fpeak a word to faints and finners. And while I am 
rpcakirg to your ears, may God, for the Lord Jesus 
Christ's fake, fpeak to your hearts ! 

FirJ}, To explain what wc are to underftand by the word, 
*' righteoufnefs." If I was to afk fome people what we are 
to underffand by the word, righteoufnefs 3 if the perfon was 
^n Arminian^ or an enemy to the doctrine of free grace, he 
would anfwer me, it fignifies what we commonly call r/ioral 
honejiy^ or doing juftice between man and man. And, in- 
deed, in various paflages of fcripture, the word righteoufnefs 
has no other meaning, at leaft, it bears that meaning. I 
fuppofe, we are to underftand it in this fenfc, when we arc 
told, that Paul, preaching before Felix ^ " reafoned of tem- 
perance, of righteoufnefs, and of a judgment to come.'' Fe- 
lix had been a very unrighteous and unjud mun, and there- 

[ c4b ] 

fore, to convince him of his wickedncfs, to alarm Ms confa- 
ence, to put him upon fecking help in the Lord Jesus,- 
P.'<z// preached not only of temperance, {for Fi'Iix Udd been a 
very intemperate man) but he preached to him of righteouf- 
liefs, of the neceiTity of doing judice, becaufe he had been 
an unjuft man j and he puts before him thejudgment to come, 
in order to make him fly to Jesus Christ for deliverance 
from the bad confequenccs 6f that judgment ; ahd there are 
other places of foipture, where the word righteoufhefs may 
be underftood in this fenfe. 

It likewife fignifies inward hollnefs^ wrought in lis by the 
blefTed Spirit of God. But, I believe, the word righteouf- 
iiefs in my text fignifies, what, I trufl mod, I ihould be 
glad if-I could fay, ail who attend this night, will be glad to 
hear of: What is that r It is what all reformed divines, that 
have clear heads and cleail hearts, call an imputed rightcoufnefsy 
or the righteoufnefs of the Lord Jesus Christ to be irh- 
puted to poor fmners upon their believing: and, if you Jifk 
me, what I mean by an imputed righieoufnefs ; not to flioon 
over your heads, but rather, if God Ihall be picaled to make 
mc, to reach your hearts, I will tell you, by thfe word 
*' righteoufnefs," I underftand all that Christ hath done, 
and nil that Christ hath fufFered : or. to nvake ufe of the 
term generally made ufe of by found divines, '* CiiRIst's ac- 
tive, and Christ's paflive obedience ^'^ put thefe two to- 
gether, and they make up the righteoufnefs of the Lord 
Jesus Christ. My dear friends, thus Trood the cafe be- 
tween God and man : at h\'i\ God made man upright. Aiofcs 
pives us a (hcrt, but never was fo full a delciiption of the 
origin and nature of man given by any other but himfelf, 
" In the image of God made he man, fays that facrcd hiUo- 
rian, being infpired by the Spirit of God. God faidj and -ii 
was done > God commanded, and the world arofe before him j 
" Let there be light," and indantaneoufly behold light ap- 
peared : but when that lovely, that divine, that blefied crea- 
ture Man, the Lord of the creation, God's vicegerent, w<\s 
to be made, God calls a council, and fays, *' Let us m.ake 
man after our own image." Nov/, this image is to be un- 
derftood, no df.ubu, in refpeiSt of man's fouhj for GoD being 
jio corporeal fubftancfj man couJd not be made after his image 


f 2 + 1 ] 

that way. Well, In this condition God made man. Adani 
flood as our reprcfentative. Jdam and Eve had but one njnie 
originally, *' God made man, and called theil- name Jdam. 
God left Adam to His own fre^ will ; he was pleafed to enter 
into a covenant with him, Which, indeed, is an amazintj- in- 
ftance of Goti's condefcenfion. God might have ordered 
man to do fo and fo, and not mide hini any promife of a re- 
ward : but the great Creator was pteafed to promife him, that 
if he perforrned an unfinning obedience, if he abftained from 
eating a particular tree, that he and his pofterity (hould Jive 
for ever ; bvit if he broke that command, in the day that he 
ate thereof, he and all his poflerity were to die. Now I 
verily believe, had yoa and 1 been there prefent, however 
fortle people may objecSb againft God's feverity, in imputin?>* 
Jdnrns fm to us; yet I believe, if you and f^ and all the 
world had been prefent, we (hould ha^/e heartily come into 
this agreement. Suppofing Gob had called the whole crea- 
tion together.^ and had faid, *' Ye, my creatures, I have made 
here a man after tliy own image, I h^ve breathed into him 
the breath of life, I ha^e caufed him to become a living- foul 
I have filled him with righteoufnefs and true holinefs • he has 
not theleaft propenfity to fin, only heisa fallible and mutable 
creature ; all that I defire of this man is, that he abftain frorr?. 
yonder tree : I have given to him all the trees of the garden^ 
I have made h m^ and planted for him a garden with mine owri 
right handj I defire he may abft-aih from plucking yonder fruit : 
Will ye ftand or fall by this man, will ye let him" be your re- 
prefentative, will ye be content that his obedience or difo- 
bedience be imputed to you ?" If we had been all there,' 
every one of us would have faid, " Lord God, we will let 
*' him be our reprefentative )'* the terms were fo eafy, the 
improbability of his falling was fo exceeding great, that I 
believe every one of us (hould have all put our hand to the 
covenant. And fuppofing Us alive, and th?!t v/e had agreed to 
that covenant, who is that man or woman that could find 
fault with God's irhputih'g Jdam's fin to us; Well, my 
friends. Gob made m-^n in this condition j the devil envicfi 
his happinefs ; it is fuppofed by fome, that man was made 
to fupply the places of the fallen angels. But the devil en- 
vied mart, and had leave to tempt him ; Eve foon tciched 
Vol. V. <> Qiu*- 


[ 242 ^ 
out her band and plucked of the forbidden fruit, and after- 
wards Adam tranfgreflld alfo ; and from that very moment, 
to make ufe of Mr. Bojions words, *' Man's name was hha- 
hod^'' the glory of the Lord departed from him. Adam and 
Eve then fell : you, and I, and all their pofterity (whom they 
reprefented) fell in them. Mankind had but one neck; and 
God might have fc-rved mankind, as Caligula would have 
ferved Rome^ according to his own words, " 1 wifh it had but 
»* one neck, and 1 would cut it off with one blow." GoDj- 
if he pleafed, njight have fent us all to hell. Here Cahin 
reprefents God's attributes as ftruggling one with another 5 
Juftice faying to God, feeing Jullice had framed the fanction^ 
*^ Is the law broken, damn the offender, and fend him to 
hell." The mercy of God, his darling attribute, cries out, 
*' Spare him, fparc him." The wifdom ol God contrives a 
way, that judice might be fatislicd, and yet mercy be trium^ 
phant ftill. How was that r The Lord Jesus interpofes,- 
the days-man, the dear Redeemer 1 he faw God wielding his 
flaming fword, and his hand taking hold of vengeance; the 
Lord Jesus Christ faw the fWord ready to be fheathed in 
the blood of the offender ; Vv'hen no eye could pity, when no 
angel or archangel could refcue, juft as God was, as it v/ere^ 
about to give the fatal blow, juft as the knife was put to the 
throat of the offender, the Son of God, the e.ernal Logos, fays^ 
'' Father, fpare the finner ; let him nut die ; Father, Father^ 
O hold thy hand, withdraw thy fword, for I come to doi 
thy will 5 man has broken thy law^ and violated thy cove- 
nant : I do not deny but man defervcs to be damned for ever j 
but. Father, v^Wdt Ada?n could not (iu, if thou wilt prepare me 
a body^ I in the fulnefs of time will go, and die for him 5 
be has broken thy law, but I will go and keep it, that thy 
law may be honoured ; I will give a perlccl unfinni ng obedi- 
ence to all thy commandments ; and that thou mayiijuftify 
ungodly creatures, I will not only go down and obey thy 
law, but I will jro down and bleed ; I will c;o down and die : 
here I am ; I will will ftep in between thee and finncrs, and 
be glad to have thy fword (heathed in my heart's blood for 

In the fulnefs of time defcends the eternal Logos, " In the 
fulnefs of time God fefit fo/ih his Son. made of a woman,- 


[ 243 3 
made under the law, to redeem them that are tindej the laiv 
from the curfe of it, being made a curfe for us." The Lord 
Jesus Christ being cloathed in human nature, falhllod all 
righteoufnefs j he fubmitted to every inftitution of Gob, and 
was pleafed to obey the whole moral law ; and afterwards, Q' 
can wc think, of it, O can you hear of it, without a heart leap- 
ing with joy, at lad the Lord Jesus bled and died ! and when 
he was juft expiring, juft as he was about to boW down his 
head, and give up the ghofl, what do ye thin'^. he faid ? fid 
faid, " It is finifhed !'* As much as to fav, " Now the ardu- 
ous work, the diffictllt tafk I had undertaken, bklTed be God, 
is now completely over ; all the demands of the lav/ a e fini(h- 
ed ; now God's juflice is fatisfied j now a new and living way 
is opened by my blood to the holicft of all for poor fmners." 

So that when Christ's righteoufnefs is here fpoken oQ 
we are to underftand '* Christ's obedience and death," all 
that Christ has done, and all thnt ChRist has fufPercd For 
an ele£l world, for all that will iDelieve on'him. A::d blelTed 
be Gob for this righteoufnefs 1 bleifed be God for the epithet 
which in the text is put to this righteoufnefs 5 it might be 
called a blejjed righteoufrieG-, it might be calted a ^loricus 
rifihteoufnefsj it m??ht be called an invaluable riohreoufnefs 5 
but the angel calls it an everlajllhg righteoufnefs ; Got) give 
you to take the comfort of it ! 

Secondly^ I Jim now to (hew, on what account, this rlghte- 
ouincfs is here called an everlajfing righteoufnefs^ and pray^ 
why do yoii think is Christ's righteoufnefs called ah cver-f 
lading righteoufnefs ? 

I fuppofe it is called an everlaftlng righteoufnefs,, 
I^irfi^ Be'caufe Christ's righteoufnefs was intended by the' 
great God to extend to mankind even from eternity. All of 
you know, that old Jove is the beft love. When we have 
an old acquaintance, a friend^ that has loved us for many 
years, indeed that love is fweet : though we may love new 
friends, yet when an old friend and a new friend nneet to- 
gether, we may fay, that the old is better. Now this ihould 
endear GoD to us, to think that from all the ages of eter- 
nity God had thoughts of you ; God intended the Lord 
JesUs Christ to fave your fouls and mine : hence it is, that 
Cjod, to endear Jere?niah to him, tells him, I have loved thee 

Q^ 2 mxh 

I 244 ] . 

W\ih an everlaflino' love. Hence it i^-, that the LcRD Jf.su?, 
when he calls his elcd people up to l^.enven, fays, *' Come, 
"yc bk^iTcd of my F'athcr ;" what follows f '' receive the king- 
ilom prepared tor you j" how long? " fiom the foundation 
of the world." All that we receive in tifr.e; all the ftreams 
thaf coniC to our fouls, are but fo many (breams flowing from 
that inexhauftiblc fountain, God's eledVmg, God's fovereign, 
God's diflinguifhing, God's everlafting love ; and, therefore, 
the righteoufnefs of Jesus Christ may properly be called an 
(verlafting righteoufnefs, becaufe God intended it from ever- 

Secondly^ It is called an everlafting righteoufnefs, becaufe 
the cfncacy of Christ's death took place immediately upon 
jidains fal-l. Chriftianity, in one fenfe, is as old as the crea- 
tion. Great Piofeflbr Franck^ of Germany^ fays, " That 
"•' Christ is the fum and fubftance of all righteoufnefs." 
Mr. Henry obftrves, " That the Lord Jfsus Christ is the 
" treafure hid in the field of the Old Teftamenr, under the 
''• types and ihadows of the Mofn'ic difpenfation." We have 
the Sun of Righteoufnefs {l:iining in his full meridian ir\ the 
New Teftamcnt difpenfation. Now the righteoufnefs of 
Jtsus Christ, may be called an cverlaRing righteoufnefs, 
becaufe all the faints that have been faved, or that ever will 
be faved, are all faved by the righicoufnefs of Christ. A 
great many cenforious people are mighty inquifitivc to know, 
what will become of the heathens, that never heard of Jesus 
Christ. I would lay to fuch perfon?, as the Lord Jesus 
Christ did to another curious enquirer, " What is that to 
thee ? follow thou me." Pray, for what (liould you and I 
trouble ourfelves about the heathens ? Are not we heathens ? 
Jt is too true, that we have too mych of the heathens temper 
and pra<^ice with us. But why fliould we lofe our time in 
enquiring about what will become of the heathen, and not 
tather enquire what will become of our own fouls ? We may 
be fure God will deal with heathens according to their light : 
if he has given them no revelation, they vviU not be judged by 
a revelation ; if ihcy have not had a law, they will be judged 
without law. But as for the ^jewi and GtntlleSy who have 
the gofpel revealed to them, however Delfts may argue con- 
trary to it i however they may fee ap reafon in oppofition to 


f 245 ] 

divine revelation ; we niay be fure none were ever faved, or 
will be faveJ, but by the righteoufnefs of Christ. It was 
through faith in him, that Jbel was faved ; it was through the 
facrifice of Jesus Christ, that Abraham was accepted, and 
that all the prophets of old were accepted ; and there is none 
other name given under heaven, whereby we can be faved, but 
that of Christ. And therefore, fince perfons under the law, 
and under the gofpi^l, are to be faved only through Christ ; 
therefore, Christ's righteoufnefs may properly be called an 
everlaftino; rio-hteoufnefs. But this is not all. 

Thirdly^ The righteoufnefs of Jksus Christ, is not only 
to be called an everlnfling righter.u fncfs, becaufc that all per- 
fons under the law, and all perfons under the gofpcl, are fav°d 
by it ; but becaufe the efficacy thereof, blefied be Gou for it ! 
is to continue till time {hall be no more. Blefied be God for 
Jesus Christ ! the eiKcacy of whofe blood, death, and 
atonement, is as great and as effectual now to the falvation of 
poor fmners, as when he bowed his blefTed head, and gave up 
the ghoft : " Jesus Christ is the fime yefterday, to-day, 
and forever;" and whofoever believes on him now, whofo- 
ever comes to, and accepts of him, fliall now fee his power, 
{hall tade of his grace, and fliall be adiually faved by him, the 
fame as if he had been in company with thofe who faw him 

Fourthly^ Christ's righteoufnefs may be called an ever- 
lafting righteoufnefs, becaufe the benefit of it is to endure to 
everlafting life. Indeed, fome people tell us, that a perfon 
may be in Christ to-day, and go to the devil to morrow : 
but, bleiTed be God, ye have not fo learned Christ ! No, 
my dear friends, thanks be to God for that divine text, 
'•' There is now no condemnation to them that are in Christ 
Jesus.'* Though God's people may fall foully; and though 
many are full of doubts and fears, and fay, " Ont'. day I 
fhall fall by the hands of Saul\^ however ye may fay in your 
hafte, " All men are liars ;" however your poor fouls may 
be harafled, yet no v/icked devil, nor your own depraved 
heart, ftiall be able to feparate you from the love of God : 
God has loved you, God has fixed his heart upon you, and 
having loved his own, he loves them unto the end. 1 he 
Lord of life and of glorvj the blefied Jesus, will never ceal« 

0.3 loving 

C 246 ) 

joving you, till he hath loved and brought you to heaven ; 
vvhen he will rejoice, and fay, " Behold me, O my Father, 
and the dear chjjdren that thou haft given me ; thou gaveft 
them me; thine tney were, I have bought them with my blood, 
I have won them with my fword and with my bow, and I now 
will wear them as fo many jewels of my crown." Therefore, 
Jesus Christ's righteoufners may be called an everlafting 
ri'^hteouCnef^, bccaufe thofe who once take hold of, and arc 
interePicd in it, fhall be favcd everlaftingly by Christ : " It 
is God that jiJilifics us, (fays St. Paul) who is he that con- 
demneth "i It is Christ that died, yea rather that is rifen 
again." He gives devils the challenge, " O (leath, where iij 
thy fting, O grave, where is thy vidory ? Who fhail (eparate 
us from the love of God ? I am perfuaded that neither death 
nor life, neither principalities nor powers, nor any other crea- 
ture, (hall ever be able to fepcrate us from the love of God, 
which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Thofe whom God 
jufiiiics, he alio glorifies. And becaufe Christ lives, bleiTed 
lie Gop, we fliall live alfo. I know not what you mpy fay ; 
but though I trail I have felt the grace of Christ, yet I find 
that I have as much need to come to Christ every day for 
frcfli ftrength-, as if I had never believed before : and if I wa? 
to depend upon my own faithfulnefs, and not the faiihfulnefs 
pf the Son of Gop, I am fure I lliould foon defert the Lord 
Jesus Christ. But glory be to God, he is faithful that 
hath promifed ! Glory be to God, our falvation depends not 
upon our own u^^c will, but upon God's free grace ! Here 
is a fare bottom , the believer mav build upon it ; let the 
{lornis blow as long and as high as they pleafe, they may 
make the poor creature tremble, but bleiTed be God, they 
r.ever fliall be able to take him off the foundation \ though 
they may Ouke him, they (hall only (bake off" his corruption: 
'<\nd I believe all that fear GoD, will be glad to part with it. 
On all the(e accounts, Christ's righteoqfnefs may be called 
2,n everlafting righteoufnefs. 

lIL It is faid, in my it\t, that Jesus was to bring it in. 
What arc we to undcrftand by his bringing it in ? Our 
Lord's promulgating and proclaiming it to the world. In- 
deed, it was bioughi in under the !aWj but then it was 


t H7 ] 

brought in under types and fhadows, and moft of the y^'w^ 
looked no further. But Jesus Christ brought life and im- 
irtortallty to light by the gofpel. The light of Mofes was only 
twilight; the light of the gofpel, is like the fun at noon-day, 
fliining in his full meridian. Therefore, Jesus Christ may 
be faid to bring in this everlafting righteoufnefs, becaulc he 
proclaimed it to the world, and commanded it to be preached, 
that God fent his Son into the world, that the world through 
him might be faved. 

Again, The Lord Jesus Christ brought in this righte- 
oufnefs, as he wrought it out for fmners upon the crofs. Some 
Antinomians, for want of a proper diftintStion, run into a 
grievous error, telling us, Becaufe God intended to juftify 
by the righteoufnefs of Jesus Christ, therefore man is juf- 
tified from all eternity : which is abfurd : a perfon cannot be 
juftified, till he is actually exifting ; therefore, though man is 
juftificd, as it lies in God's mind from all eternity, yet it was 
not adtuallv brought in till the Lord Jesus Christ pro- 
nounced thofe biefled words, " It is finiftied;" the grand con- 
fummation ! then Jesus brought it in. A new and a living 
way was to be opened to the Holy of Holies, for poor fmner-s, 
by the blood of Christ. But I do not think that the ex«- 
preflion, brought /V, is to be limited to this fenfe, though I 
fuppofe it is the primary one ; it implies not only Christ's 
bringing it into the world, as promulgating, and having it 
written in the word of God, and as having wrought it out 
for finners in his life, and on the crofs ; but he brings 
it in, in a manner, which, I pray God may take place 
this night ; I mean, bringing it, by his bleflcd Spirit, 
into poor believers hearts. All that Christ hath done, all 
that Christ hath fuffered, all Christ's active obedience, 
all Christ's palfive obedience, will do us no good, unlefs by 
the Spirit of God, it is brought into our fouls. As one ex- 
prefles it, " An unapplied Christ is no Christ at all." 
To hear of a Christ dying for fmners, will only increafe 
your damnation, will Oidy fink you deeper into hell, unlels 
we have ground to fay, by a work of grace wrought in our 
hearts, that the Lord Jesus hath brought this home to us. 
Hence it is, that the Apoflle, fpeaking of Christ, fays, 
'-' 'Who loved m^, and gave himfelf for mc." O that dear, 

C) A that 

^haf great, that liule, but important word, me, Happy the)", 
V/ho can adopt the Apoftlc's language ! Happy they that can 
apply it to their own heart ; asd when they hear that Christ 
l^as brought in an everlafting righteouTnefs, can fay, BlelTed 
be God, it is brought in by the blefl'ed Spirit to my foul ! 

Are there any here that can go along with me on this doc- 
trine ? But why do I afk this qucftion, when preaching X.Q( 
numbers, who, I hope, have taftid of the grace of GoD long 
ago ? I do not know,' I cannot diftinguifh you ; you are juft 
jike other people, as to your looks and habits ; hut if I do not, 
and if your neighbours cannot know you, that great God, in 
whofe prefence you are, knows you \ He, before whofe tribunal 
wc are fhortly to apppar, knows you. If Christ Jesus hath 
|:>rought his everlafting righteoufiiefs into your heart ; if it is 
applied by the Spirit of God to your foul, what fhall I fay to 
you ? I will fay as the Angtl to "John^ " Come up hither,'* 
^hou child of God ! Come up hither, thou fon, thou daugh- 
ter of Abraham I Come and join with me, in calling upon 
angels and archangels, in calling upon the fpirits of jufl: men 
made perfect, to help thee to praife that loving Redeemer, 
that has brought in an everlafting righteotifnefs. O was ever 
Jove like this ! When Ahrahavi was about to offer up his 
ion, God faid, '^ Now I know that thou loveft: me, iince 
thou hall: not v/ithheld thy fon, thine only Ton from me.'* 
Now may each child of God fay, '' Now, O God, I know 
that thou haft loved me, fince thou haft not withheld thy Son, 
thy dear Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, from dying for me.'* 
If thou haft got GHB.IST brought into thy foul by faith, O 
Jook forward, look towards a happy eternity ; O look towards 
th"ofe everlafting manftons, into which God will bring thee 
after death. My dear friends, I could fay much from this 
text to cornfort God's people : But 

I muft addrefs myfelf to you, poor fouls, who cannot fay, 
that this righteoufnefs has been brought home to your fouls ; 
but if it was never brought home before, may God, for the 
JLoRD Jesus Christ's fake, bring it home now ! Are any 
of you depending upon a righteoufnefs of your own ? Do 
apy of you here, think to fave yourfelves by your own doings?- 
I fay to you, as the Apoftle faid to one that offered money for 
a pov/er to confer the gift pf the Holy Ghoftj your righteouf- 


[ 249 ] 

nefs fliall perlfl:! with you. Poor mii'erable creatures ! What 
is there in your tears ? what in your prayers ? what in your 
performances, to appeafe the wrath of an angry God ? Away 
fiom thf trees of the garden ; come, ye guihy wretches, come 
as poor, loft, undone, and wretched creatures, and accept of a 
better rig'iicoufnefs than your own. As I faid before fo I 
tL^ll you ygain, the righteoufnels of Jesus Christ is an ever- 
Jai'lir.-- righieoufnefs : it is wrought out for the very chief of 
finntrs. lio^ every one that thirlfeth, let him come and drink 
cf 'vhis water of life freely. Are any of you wounded by fin ? 
Do any of you feel you have no righteoufnefs of your own ? 
Are any of you perifhing for hunger ? Are any of you afraid 
ye will perifh for ever ? Come, dear fouls, in all your raors • 
come, thou poor man ; come, thou poor, diftreiTed woman ; 
you, who think God will never forgive you, and that your 
fins are too great to be forgiven ; come, thou doubting crea- 
ture, who art afraid thou wilt never get comfort; ariff, take 
comfort, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of Jife^ the 
Lord of glory, calls for thee : through his righteoufnefs 
there is hope for the chief of Tinners, for the worft of crea- 
tures. Vv^iat if thou hadft committed all the fins in the 
world ? What if thou hadft committed the fms of a thoufand, 
what if thou hadft committed the fms of a million of worlds ? 
Christ's righteoufnefs will cover, the blood of the Lord 
Jesus Christ will cleanfe, thee from the guilt of them all. 
O let not one poor foul ftand at a diftance from the Saviour. 
My dear friends, could my voice hold out, was my ftrength 
equal to my will, I would wrefrle with you ; I would drive 
with arguments, till you came and waflied in this blood of 
the Lamb ; till you came and accepted of this everlafiing 
righteoufnefs. O come, come ! Now, fince it is brought 
into the world by Christ, fo in the name, in the flicngth, 
and by the aliiftance of the great God, I bring it now to the 
pulpit ; I now offer this righteoufnefs, this free, this imputed, 
this everlafting righteoufnefs to all poor fmners that will ac- 
cept of it. For God's fake accept it this night : you do not 
know but ye may die before to-morrow. How do ye know, 
but while I am fpeaking, a fit of the apoplexy may feize, and 
death arrefl you: O my dear friends, where can yc go? 
^vhere will ye appear ? How will yc ftand ^jcfore an angry 


[ 250 ] 

God, without the righteoufnefs of the Lord Jesus Christ 
put upon your fouls ? Can ye ftand in your own rags ? Will 
ye dare to appear before a heart- fearching God, without the 
apparel of your elder brother ? If ye do, I know your doom : 
Christ will frown you into hell : " Depart, depart, ys 
curfed, into everlafting fire," fliall be your portion. Think, 
I pray you, therefore, on thefe things ; go home, go home, 
go home, pray over the text, and fay, " Lord God, thou 
haft brought an everlafting righteoufnefs into the world by 
the Lord Jesus Christ ; by the blefled Spirit bring it into 
my heart!" then, die when ye will, ye are fafe ; if it be 
to-morrow» ye fhall be immediately tranflatcd into the pre- 
ience of the everlafting God : that will be fweet ! Happy 
they who have got this robe on ; happy they that can fay, 
*' Mv God hath loved me, and I ftiall be loved by him with 
an everlafting love I" That every one of you may be able to 
lay fo, may God grant, for the fake of Jesus Christ, the 
dear Redeemer ; to whom be glory for ever. Amen, 


r 25« ] 


The Obfervation of the Birth of Christ, 
the Duty of all Chriftians ; or the true Way 
of keeping Chriftmas, 

Matthew i. 21. 

And flie Jliall bring forth a Son^ avd thou JJialt call his 
Name Jefiis : For he JJiall favc his People from theif 

TH E celebration of the birth of Christ hath been ef- 
teemed a duty by moft who profefs chriftianity. Whciv 
we confider the condefcenfion and love of the Lord Jesus 
Christ, in fubmitting to be bom of a virgin, a poor finful 
creature ; and efpecially as he knew how he was to be treated 
in this world ; that he was to be defpifed, fcofFed at, and at 
laft to die a painful, fhameful, and ignominious death ; that 
he fliould be treated as though he was the oiF-fcouring of all 
mankind ; ufed, not like the fon of a man, and, therefore, 
not at all like the Son of God ; the confideration of thefe 
things fliould make us to admire the love of the Lord Jesus 
Christ, who was fo willing to offer himfelf as a ranfom for 
the fins of the people, that when the fulnefs of time was come, 
Christ came, made of a woman, made under the law : he 
came according to the eternal counfel of the P^ather ; he came, 
not in glory or in fplcndor, not like him who brought all fal- 
yation v/ith him : no, he was born in a ftable, and laid in a 
manger; oxen were his companions. O amazing condefcen- 
fion of ths Lord Jesus Christ, to ftoop to fuch low and 


[ 252 ] 

poor things for our fake. What love is thi^, what great and 
wonderful love was here, that the ^Son of God fhould come 
into our world in fo moan a condition, to deliver us from the 
fin and mifcry in which we were involved by our fall in our 
firft parents ! And as all that proceeded from the fprings muft 
be muddy, becaufe the fountain was fo, the Lord Jesus 
Christ came to take our natures upon him, to die a fhame- 
ful, a painful, arid an accurftd death for our fakes ; he died 
for our fin^, and to bring us to God ; he cleanfed us by his 
blood from the guilt of fm, he fatished for our impcrfe£lions ; 
and now, my brethren, we have accefs unto him with bold- 
nefs ; he is a mediator between us and his ofti-nded Father. 

Therefore, if we do but confider into what ftate, and at 
how great a diftance from God we are fallen ; how vile our 
natures were ; what a depravity, and how incapable to reftore 
that image of God to our fouls, which we lofl: in our firft 
parents : when I confider thefe things, my brethren, and that 
the Lord Jesus Christ came to reftore us to that favour 
with God which we had lofl:, and that Christ not only 
came down with an intent to do it, but actually accomplifh- 
cd all that was in his heart towards us ; that he raifed and 
brought us into favour with God, that we might find kind- 
nefs and mercy in his fight ; furely this calls for fome return 
of thanks on our part to our dear Redeemer, for this love 
and kindnefs to our fouls. How juft would it have been of 
him, to have left us in that deplorable ftate wherein we, by 
our guilt, had involved ourfelves? For God could not, nor 
cah receive any additional good by our falvation ; but it was 
love, mere lovej it was free Jove that brought the Lord 
Jesus Christ into our world -about 1700 years ago. What, 
fhall we not remember the birth of our Jesus r Sha(l we 
yearly celebrate the birth of our temporal king, and (hall that 
of the King of kings be quite forgotten ? Shall that only, 
v;hich ought to be had chiefly in remembrance, be quite for- 
gotten ? God forbid! No, my dear brethren, let us celebrate and 
keep this fcfiival of our church, with joy in our hearts : let the 
birth of a Redeemer, v/hich redeemed us from fin, from wrath, 
from death, from hell, be always remembered ; may this Sa- 
viour's love never be forgotten ! but may we fing forth all his 
JoTc and glory as long ^s life (haU lafi |icre, and through au 


C 253 ] 

endlefs eternity in the world above ! may we chaunt forth 
the wonders of redeeming love, and the riches of free grace, 
amidft angels and archangels, cherubim and feraphim, with- 
out intcrmiffion, for ever and ever ! And as, my brethren, 
the time for keeping this feftival is approaching, let us con- 
fidcr our duty in the true oblervation thereof, or the ri^^ht 
way for the glory of God, and the good of immortal fouls, 
to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ; an event 
which ought ^o be had in eternal remembrance. 

It is my dcfign to lay down rules for the true keeping of 
that time of Chrijlmas^ which is now approaching. 

I. I ftiall (hew you when you may be faid, not to obferve 
this feftival aright. 

II. I ihall fnew you, when your obfervation and celebrat- 
ing of this feftival is done according to the glory of God, 
and to the true manner of keeping of it. 

III. Shall conclude with an exhortation to all of you, hn^h 
and low, rich and poor, one with another, to have a regard 
to your behaviour at all times, but more crpecially, my dear 
brethren, on this folemn occafton. 

I. My brethren, I am to fiiew when your celebration of 
this feftival is not of the right kind. 

And F/r/?, you do not celebrate this aright, when you 
fpend moft of your time in cards, dice, or gaming of any 

This is a feafon, for which there is no more allowance for 
wafting of your precious time in thofe unlawful entertain- 
ments, than any other. Perfons are apt to flatter themfelves 
that they are free and at liberty to fpend whole evenitigs now 
at cards, at dice, or any diverfioa whatlbever, to pafs awav, 
as they call it, a tedious evening. They can do any thing 
now to pafs away that, which is haftening as faft as thout^ht : 
time Is always upon the wing ; it is no <boner prefent but it 
is paft, and no (ooiier come but it is gohe. And have we fo 
much to do, and fo little time to do it in, and yet complain 
of time lying heavy upon our hands ? Have we not the devil 
and the beaft to get cut of our fouls r Are not our natures to 
ht changed, our corruptions to be fubdued, our wills to be 


r ^54 ] 

brought over to God, our hard hearts to he foften^J, all old 
things to be done away, and all things to become new in oiir 
fouls ? Is there not ail this to be done ? And yet we have 
too much time upon our hands ! It Is well, that inftead of 
having too much time, it be not found that we have got too 
little, when we come to die : then we (hall wifh, my bre- 
thren, that we had made more account of our time^ that wo 
had improved it for the glory of God, and the welfare of Our 
immortal fouls. 

Good God ! how amazing is the confideratlon^ that many 
can go to church in the mornings and take the Sacrafncnt, 
and come home and fpend the afternoon and evening in cards : 
Is this, my brethren, difcerning the LoP.d's body r Is this 
taking the facfament according to its inftitution ? Is not this 
a pollution thereof, and making the blood of the covenant 
an unholy thing. 

Therefore, thofe of you who have made this your pra£l'ice 
in times paft, let m^e befeech you, in the bowels of mercy, 
hot to do fo any more ; .for, indeed, it is earthly, it iS fen- 
fual, it is devilifh. Confider vvhat is faid of thofe who eaC 
and drink at the Lord's table unworthily, that ihey eat and 
drink their own damnation : And can they, my brethren, be 
faid to eat and drink any otherwife, who no fooner go from 
the table of the LorD, but run to the diverfions of the devil ? 
Indeed this is exceeding fmful, and difpleafing unto the 
Lord ; then forbear thofe diverfions which a;e fo evil in 
themfelves : O be jiot found in thofe excrcifes, and in that 
pleafure, which you vVould not be found in when you come 
to die. Thus, my brethren^ you fee it is not a right cele- 
bration of the birth of the Lord Jesus, to fpend it in card"^, 
dice, or any other diverfions, which proceed fo dire(5lly fronrs 
the devil, and are deftrudive to all true goodnefs. 

Secondly^ They cannot be faid truly to cclebrak this time^ 
who fpend their time in eating and drinking to excefs. 

Thi-s ks a feafon when perfons are apt to indulge themfelves 
in all rtianncr of luxury : iniquity now abounds apace ; no- 
thing is fcarcely to be feen but things of the greateft extrava-^ 
gance imaginable ; not only for the neceiTities of the body, 
but to pamper it in luft, to feed its vices, to make us go on 
in fin, to be a means for gratifying our carnal appetite , and 

C ^55 ] 

this is a means to make us forget the Lord of glory. Thii 
makes us only fit to d5 fuch drudgery, as the dt-vil fhall fet 
us about J this is only preparing ro run wherefoevcr the devil 
fends: this^ LnfteLid of denying ouriclves, is indulginj^ our- 
felves J this is aot, nor cannot be called, a celebration of tho 
birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we are making om- 
felves worfe than the hearts that pcrifh. 

I am not fpeaking ?gainft eating and drinking of the good 
thing*^ of life, but agais^ft the eating and drinking of them to 
excefs, becaufc, thus they unqualify us for the fervice of God ; 
and to our fellow- creatures they make us unfociable, and may 
occafion us to be guilty of faying and acting thofe things, 
which we ihould be aftiamed to think of, if we had only eat 
or drank with moderation. 

Therefore, my dear brethren, let mc bcfeech yo'i to fet a 
watch over yourlelves ; be careful that you do not run into 
that company wnich may tempt you to evil ; for would a 
man run himfelf into danger on purpofe ? Would a maa 
enter himfelf into that company, where, before he goes, he" 
knows he fnall be expofed to great temptations j and therefore^ 
if you have any reafon to thmk that the company you are 
going into will be a temptation, I befeech you, by the mer- 
cies of God in Christ Jesus, that yoii would not run into 

How can you Ciy, " Lead us not into temptation," wheri 
you are refolved to lead yourfelves into it, by running- into 
the occafions of fins. You are comma»ided to keep from thd 
appearance of evil 5 and do you do that, by running into the 
place and company where it is like to be committed ? No-j 
this is fo far from avoiding, and ftiunning it, tliat it is a 
plain proof to the contrary ; therefore, if you are for obferving 
this time, this fellival of our church, let it not be done by 
running to excels -, for you plainly fee, that thofe who ar« 
guilty thereof, cannot be faid properly to celebrate it. 

Thirdly^ Kor can they, my brethren, be faid to keep, or 
rightly obferve the commemoration of the birth of our Re- 
deemer, the Lord Jesus Christ, who neglect their worldly 
callings to follow pleafures and diverfions. 

Alas 1 many, in^ead of keeping this time as it ought to be, 
t\xn into fin with gr^edinefs; inflcad of devoting their time 

I t« 

t 25G j 

fo the Lord, it is only devoted to the devil and their owti 
\ui\s. How many who thus mifpen^d their time, at this fl^afoHj 
lay by the work of their callings for a confiderable time, 
with no other view, but to follow earthly, fenfual, and de- 
vililh pleafures. If they fliould go to hear a fermon, or to a 
fociety, my brethren, the mouths oi' all the Plarifees at once 
are open againft them, that they are not only a going to be 
ruined themfelves, but are going to ruin their faniilies too ; 
they think it needkTs to make fo much ado ; this is being 
righteous over-much ; but you may be as wicked as you pleafe^ 
and they will not cry out ; however, when you are vjicked 
over-muchy by ferving the devil and your own pleafures for a 
week or a month together, then, my brethren, with thim you 
are only taking a little recreation, fpendlng your time in in- 
nocent diverfions ; no one cries out againft you, there is no 
outcry that you are going to be ruined. Again, if you give 
never To fmall a miatter among the poor people of God, for 
their relief, then you are robbing your families, then you ar(i 
going to turn madmen, and in a few days w:ll be io nv^tho- 
diftically mad, that you are not fit for a polite gentlemRn*5 
converfatlon ; but if you fpend one hundred times the money 
in playhoufes, &c. on your lufts and pleafures, then you are 
lik£d and efteemed as a good friend and companion ; but, my 
dear brethren, thefe good companions in the world's account, 
are never lb in the Lord Jesus Christ's. You cannot 
ferve God and mammon ; you mud either lofe your luftsj 
your pleafures, and your delights, or you cannot expctSl to 
jBnd favour with God ; for indeed, and indeed, the ways; 
that too many follow at this time, are fniful, yea-, they are 
exceeding fmful. You fee they cannot be fiid to celebrate 
this holy time, who thus mifpend their precious time to the 
negle£l; of their families j fuch are deftroying ihemfelves with 
a witnefs. 

Thus, my dear brethren, I have fnewn you who they are 
who do not rightly obferve this holy feftivah 

IL I come now, in the fecond place^ to fhew you, wka 
they are who do rightly obferve, and truly celebrate the birth 
of our Redeemer. 

And I fhall fhew you who they are in two particulars, ckb- 
redtly oppoHte to the others ; and then^ my brethren, taka 

[ 257 1 

your choice : you mud ehoofe the one or the other, there 19 
no medium, you muft either ferve the Lord or Baal ; and, 
therefore, my dear brethren, let me beg of you to con- 

Fltft^ That thofc fpend their time nrighr, and truly obferve 
this feftival, who Ipend their hours in reading, praying, and 

religious converfation. 

What can we do to employ our time to a more noble put- 
pore, than reading of what our dear Redeemer has done and 
fufFered ; to read, that the King of kings, and the Lord of 
lords, came from his throne and took upon him the form of 
the meaneft of his fervants ; and what great thnigs he under- 
went. This, this is an hiilory worth reading, this is worth 
employing our time about: and furely, when we read of the 
fufFerings of our Saviour, it (hould excite us to prayer, that 
we might have an intercft in the Lord Jesus Christ ; that 
the blood which he fpilt upon mount Calvary^ and his death 
and crucifixion, miglu make an atonement for our fins, that 
we might be made holy ; that we might be enabled to put otr 
the old man with his deeds, and put on the new man, even 
the Lord Jesus Christ; that we may throw away the 
heavy yoke of fin, and put on the yoke of the Lord Jesu3 
Christ. Indeed, my brethren, thefe things call for prayer^ 
and for earneft prayer too ; and O do be earneli with God, 
that you may have an intereft in this Redeemer, and that 
you may put on his righteoufnefs. To that you may not come 
before him in your filthy rags, nor be found not having on 
the wedding garment. O do not, I befeech you, trull unto 
yourfelves for juftincation i you cannot, indeed, you cannot 
bejuftified by the works of the law. I irrtreat that your time 
may be thus fpent ; and ifyouarein companyj let your time 
be fpent in that converfation which profiteth : let it not be 
about your drcffing, your plays, your profits, or your worldly 
concerns, but let it be the wonders of redeeming love : O 
tell, tell to each other, what great things the Lord has 
done for your fouls ; declare unto one another, how you 
were delivered from the hands of your common enemy, Satan, 
and how the Lord has brought your feet from the clay, and 
has fet them upon the rock of ages, the Lord Jesus 
Christ; there, pny brethren, is no flipping; other con- 

VoL. V. R verfation, 


[ 258 ] 

vciTation, by often repeating, you become fully acquainted 
with, but of Christ there is always fomething new to raife 
your thoughts; you can never want matter when the love of 
the Lord Jesus Christ is the fubje^l : then let Jesus be 
the fubje^l, my brethren, of all your converfation. 

Let your time be fpent on him : O this, this is an employ, 
which if you belong to Jesus, will laft you to all eternity. 
Let others enjoy their cards, their dice, and gaming hours ; 
do you, my brethren, let your time be fpent in reading, pray- 
ing, and religious converfation. Which will fland the trial 
beft at the lalt day ? which (]o you think will bring moft 
comfort, moft peace, in a dying hour ? O live and fpend your 
time now, as you will wi(h to have done, when you come to 

Seco72dIy, Let the good things of life, you enjoy, be ufed 
with moderation. 

1 am not, as the fcoffers of this day tell you, againft eating 
and drinking the good things of life ; no, my brethren, I am 
only againtl their being ufed to an excefs ; therefore, let me 
befeech you to avoid thofe great indifcretions, thofe finful 
actions, which will give the enemies of God room to blaf- 
pheme. Let me befeech you, to have a regard, a particular 
regard to your behaviour, at this time ; for indeed the eyes 
of all are upon you, and they would rejoice much to find any 
reafon to complain of you. They can fay things againft us 
without a caufe J and how would they rejoice if there was 
wherewith they might blame us ? Then they would triumph 
and rejoice indeed ; and all your little flips, my dear brethren, 
are, and would be charged upon me. O at this time, when 
the eyes of fo many are upon you, be upon your guard j 
and if you ufe the good things of this life with moderation, 
you do then celebrate this fcftival in the manner which the 
inftitution calls for. 

And inftcad of running into excefs, let that money, 
which you might expend to pamper your own bodies, be given 
to feed the poor ; now, my brethren, is the feafon, in which 
they commonly require relief; and fure you cannot a6l more 
agreeable, either to the feafon, to the time, or for the glory 
of God, than in relieving his poor diftrefled fervants. There- 

t 259 ] 

forej If any of you have poor friends, or acquaintance, who 
are in diftrefs, I befeech you to affift them ; and not or.ly 
thofe of your acquain'.ance, but the poor in general. O my 
dear brethren, that will turn to a better account anoihcf 
day, than all you have expended to pleafe the iufl of the 
fle(h, the luft of the eye, or the pride of life. Confider, 
Christ was always willing to relieve the diftrefled ; it is his 
command alfo; and can you better commemorate the birth 
of your king, your Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, than 
in obeying one of his commands ? 

Do not, my dear brethren, be forgetful of the poor of 
this world; confider, if providence has fmiled upon you, and 
bleiled you with abundance of the things of this life, God 
calls for fome returns of gratitude from you : be ye mindful 
of the poor, and when you are fo, then you may be faid to 
have a true regard for that time which is now approaching ; 
if you would truly obferve this fcftival, let it be done with 
moderation, and a regard to the poor of this World. 

Thirdly^ Let me beg of you not to alienate too much of 
your time from the worldly bufinefs of this life, but have a 
proper regard thereunto, and then you may be faid rightly to 
obferve this feftival. 

God allows none to be idle : in all ages buGnefs was com- 
mended ; and therefore do not think that any feafon will 
excufe us in our callings : we are not^ my brethren, to la- 
hour for the things of this life inordinately, but we are to 
labour for them with all moderation : we are not to negle(5l 
our callings ; no^ we are to regard thofe places and ftations 
of lifcj which God in his providence has thought conve- 
nient for us ; and therefore, when you negled your bufmefs 
to the hurt of your families, whatever pretence you thereby 
make for fo doing, you are guilty of fm; you are not ading 
according to the do6lrine of the gofpel, but are breaking the 
commands of the Lord Jesus Christ, both according to 
his word, and to his own pra6tice. 

At this feftival, perfons are apt to take a little more liberty 
than ufual j and if that time from our vocations is not pre- 
judicial to ourfelves or families, and is fpent in the fervicc 
of God, and the good of immortal fouls, then I do not 

R 2 think 

[ 260 ] 

think it fir.ful j but there is too much reafon to fear, that thtf 

time is fpent upon our own lufts, and then it is exceeding 

finful, it is againft our own fouls, and it is againfl the good 

of our families, and inftead of commemorating the birth of 

our dear Redeemer, we are diflvonouring him in the greateft 

degree poflibly we can. 

Therefore, enquire fti idly into your end and defign in fpend- 

jnf your time; fee, my brethren, whether it proceeds from a 

true love to your Redeemer, or whether there is not fome 

worldly pleafure or advantage at the bottom : if there is, our 

end is not right; but if it proceed intirely from love to him 

that died, and gave himfclf for us, our a£lions will be a 

proof thereof ; then our time will be fpent, not in the polite 

pleafures of life, but according to the doctrines and commands 

of the bleffcd Jesus ; then our converfation will be in heaven : 

and O that this might be found to be the end of each of you, 

who now hear me ; then we (hould truly obferve this feftival^ 

and have a true regard to the occafion thereof, that of 

Christ's coming to redeem the fouls of thofe which were 


Let me now conclude, my dear brethren, with a few 

worJs of exhortation, befeeching you to think of the love of 

the Lord Jesus Christ. Did Jesus come into the world 

to fave us from death, and fhall we fpend no part of our 

time in converfmg about our dear Jesus ; fhall we pay no 

regard to the birth of him, who came to redeem us from the 

vvcrfl of flavery, from that of fin, and the devil ; and fliall 

this Jesus not only be born on our account, but likewife 

die in our ftead, and yet ihall we be unmindful of him ? 

Shall we fpend our time in thofe things which are ofFenfive 

to him ? Shall we not rather do all we can to promote his 

glory, and zd: according to his commands ? O my dear 

brethren, be found in the ways of God ; let us not difturb 

our dear Redeemer by any irregular proceedings ; and let me 

befeech you to firive to love, fear, honour and obey him, 

more than ever you have done yet ; let not the devil engrofs 

your time, and that dear Saviour who came into the wor}d 

on your accounts, have fo little. O be not fo ungrateful 

to him vvho has been fo kind to you ; What could the Lord 


[ 26l ] 
Jesus Christ have done for you more than he has ? Then 
do not abufe his mercy, but let your time be fpcnt in think- 
ing and talking of the love of Jesus, who was incarnate for 
us, who was born of a woman, and made under the law, to 
redeem us from the wrath to come. 

Now to God the Father, God the Son, 5cc, 


[ 262 ] 


The Temptation of Christ. 

Matthew iv. i — ii. 

'il'hen was Jesus Jed up of the fpirit into the vj'ddcrnefsy to be 
tempted of the deviL And tvhen he had fajled forty days, and 
forty nights^ he zvas ajterivards an hungered. And when the 
iempter came to h'lm^ he faid. If thou be the Son of God, com- 
mand that thffe JJones may be made bread. But he anfwered 
and faid. It is written, Man Jhall not live by bread alone, 
hut by every word that proceedeth out of the ?nouth of (jOD. 
Then the devil taksth him up iJito the holy city, and fetteih him 
on a pinnacle of the te?nple, and faith unto him. If thou be the 
Son cf God ^ caft thyfelf down : for it is written. He Jhall give 
his angels charge concerning thee, and in their hands they jhall 
hear thee up, lefi at any time thou dajh thy foot againjl ajlone. 
Jesus fa id unto him. It is written again. Thou Jl^alt not tempt 
the Lord thy God. Again, the devil taketh him up into an 
exceeding high mountain, and ftjeweth him all the kingdoms of the 
world, and the glcry of them : and faith unto him. All thefe 
things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worfinp me. 
Then faith ]es\js unto him. Get thee hence, Satan : for it is 
written^ Thou fhalt worfhip the Lord thy GoD, and him only 
fhalt thou ferve. Then the devil leavcih him, and behold, angels 
came and min'ifered unto him. 

DEAR LY beloved, to-day you are Invlred to take a walk 
into the wildernefs, to behold, fympathize with, and get 
inflruction and comfort from a Saviour tempted. In the conflict-, 
he approves himfelf to be God's beloved Son ; and the Fa- 
her gives dtrmonftrabie evidence, that with, and in him, he is 
indeed v/eil pleafcd. Let us Vvilh fcrious attention confider, 


[ 263 ] 

when, where, and how, our great ATichacl fought with and 
overcame the dragon. The Kvaiigcliit Alatlhsiv is very par- 
ticular in relating the preparations for, the beginning, procefs, 
and iflue of this glorious and important combat. 

" Then was Jesus led up of the fpirit into the wilder- 
i\t{s^ to be tempted of jhe devil." In the clofe of the fore- 
going chapter we arc told, that the blcfTed Jesus had been 
publicly baptized, and was alfo folemnly inaugurated to his 
mediatorial office, by the opening of the heavens, by the Spi- 
rit of God defcending on him like a dove, and by a voice 
from heaven, faying, " This is my beloved Son, in whom I 
am well-plcafed ;" and then it 'was, when he came from the 
folemn ordinance of baptifm ; when he was about to fliew 
himfelf openly unto 7/rW ; when he was full of the Holy 
Ghoft [Luke iv. i.) ; even then was he led, with a holy un- 
conftrained violence, as a champion into the field, to engage 
an enemy, whom he was fare to conquer. But whither is 
this conqueror led ? Into a lonefome, wide, howling wilder- 
ncfs : probably, fays Mr. Henry^ into the great wildernefs of 
Sinai > a wildernefs, not only lonefome, but inhabited by 
wild beafts. Adark i. 13. Hither was our Lord led, not 
only that he might prepare himfelf by retirement and prayer, 
but alfo that he might be alone, and thereby give Satan all 
the advantages he could defire. In this combat, as well as 
that of his lail agony, " of the people, there was to be none 
with him." Neither does he content himfelf with praying, 
but he fafts alfo, and that " forty days and forty nights," 
(ver. 2.): as Mofes and EUas had done, many years before, 
it may be, in the very fame place. All thefe fafts were mira- 
culous J and therefore, though we are taught hereby, that 
fafting is a chriflian duty, yet, to pretend, in an ordinary 
way, to imitate them, by fafting for fo long a term together, 
is no doubt fupcrftitiou?, prcfumptuous, and fmful : but few 
people, I believe, need fuch a caution. 

During thefe forty days, we may fuppofe, our Lord felt 
no hunger : converfe with heaven, to him was in^ead of 
meat and drink: ; but " afterwards he was an hungered ;" 
exceedingly fo, no doubt. And now, the imp')rtant fight be- 
gins. For, then " the tempter," emphatic dly fo called, be- 
caufe he firft tempted our firfl parents to fin, and hath ever 

R 4 uucc 

[ ~&A 3 

fmce been unwearied in tempting their dcfccndants ; then the 
tempter, who in an invifible manner had been attacking our 
biefTed Lord all the whole forty days, when he faw him hun- 
gering, and in fuch diftreiling circumflances, came to him, 2s it 
fliould feem, in a vifible Ihape, and probably transformed into 
the appcrarance of an angel of light. And what does he tempt 
him to ? To nothing lefs, than to doubt of his being the Son 
of God.'' '' If thou be the Son of God." What! put an //* 
to this, Satan, after the glorious Jesus had been proved to be 
God's fon, and repeatedly too in fuch a glorious manner ? 
Surely, thou thyfelf couldfl not but fee the heavens opened, 
and the Spirit defcending ; furely, thou didft hear the voice 
that came to him from heaven, immediately after his baptifm, 
faying, *' This is my beloved Son :" And doll thou now fay 
unto him, " If thou be the Son of (jOD." Yes; but Satan 
knew, and believed he was full well ; but he wanted to make 
our Lord to doubt of it. And why ? Bccaufc he was in 
fuch a melancholy fituation. As though he had faid, " If 
God was thy father, he would never iuffer tiiee to ftarve to 
death in a howling wildernefs, among wild brads. Surely, 
the voice thou lately didft hear, was only a delufion. If thou 
waft the Son of God, efpecially his beloved Son, in whom he 
was fo pleafed, thou wouldil be taken more care of by him." 
Thus he attacked our firft parents, by fuggefting to them hard 
thoughts of their all-bountiful Creator : " Yea, hath God 
faid. Ye (liall not eat of every tree in the garden ?" '• Hath 
he pli;ced you amidft fuch a variety of delicious fruits, only to 
teaze and make you miferable ?" And how artfully now does 
he labour to infmuate himfclf into our Lord's affeel:ions, as 
he tiK'n did to ingratiate himfelf with our firfc parents. '« If 
thou bfc the Son of God, fays he, come, prove it, by com- 
inanciing thefe ftones (a heap of which, probably, lay very 
near) to be made bread : this will demondrate thy divinity, 
and reli-ve thy preiTmg neceiTity at the fame time." Thus, as 
in all his other temptations, Satan would fain appear to be his 
very kind friend ; but the ho'y Jesus faw through the difguifed 
enmity of his antagonift ; and fcorning either to diftruil his 
righteous Facher on the one hand, or to work a miracle to 
plcale and gratify the devil on the other, although he had^he 
Spirit of God without meafure, and might have made ufe of a 


C ^^5 3 

thoufand other ways, yet anfwers him with a text of fcripture: 
" It is written, that ir/an (hall not live by bread alone, but by 
every word that proccedeth out of the mouth of God." This 
is a quotation from Deuteronomy viii. 3, and contains a reafon 
given by the great God, why he chofc to feed the Ifraelites 
with manna ; that they might learn thereby, man doth not 
live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of 
the mouth of God. This our blefled Lord here applies to him- 
felf; and his being in the wildernefs, made the application of it 
ftill more pertinent. Ifrael was God's fon : out of Egvpt was 
he called to fojourn in the wildernefs, where he was miracu- 
loufly fupported. And therefore our Lord, knowing that 
he was typified by this Ifrael^ and that, like them, he was 
now in .1 wildernefs, quotes this fcripture as a reafon why he 
fiiould not, at Satan's fuggeftion, either d fpair of receiving 
help from his Father in his prefent circumflances, or difbuft 
the validity of his late manifeftanoiib, or make ufc of any un- 
warrantable means for his prefent relief. For a<J God was his 
father, he would, therefore, either in an ordinary way fpread 
a table for him in the wildernefs, or fupport and fudain him, 
as he did his Iff ad of old, in fome extraordinary way or other 
without it : " For man ihall not live by bread alone, but by 
every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." 

Thus is the tempter foiled in the hrft onfet ; but he hath 
other arrows in his quiver, with which he will farther ftrive 
to wound the immaculate Lamb of God. Since he cannot 
draw him. in either to diftruft, or defpair, he will now try if 
he cannot prevail on him to prefume. In order to erTeil this, 
^' He taketh the bleffed Jesus up into the Holy City," or 
^erufulemy called by our Saviour, the city of the Great King, 
and here called holy, becaufe the holy temple was in it, and, 
we would hope, many holy people. This was a populous 
place, and therefore, would greatly befriend the devil's defign. 
And not only fo, but " he fetteth him on a pinnacle," a 
battlement or wing, " of the remp'c," the top o» which was 
fo very high, that, as Jofephus obftrves, it would make a 
man's head run giddy to look down from it. And fomc 
think this was done at the time of public worfhip. How the 
holy Jesus fufFered himftlf to be taken hiiheri whether he 
was traniported through the air, or whttber he followed Satan 


[ 266 ] 

uncertain ; but certainly it was an inilance of 
amazinj; condefcenlion in our Lord, that he flioulc] permit (o 
I'oul a fiend, to carry or lead his holy body about in this man- 
ner. Well ! Satan hath now gotten him upon the pinnacle 
of the temple, and ftill harping upon his old firing, " If 
thou be the Son of God, (fays he) caft thyfclf down," and 
thereby fl:ievv to this large worfhipping afiembly, (who will 
affuredly then believe) that thou art God's beloved Son, un- 
der the fpccial protection of heaven, and art that Meffiah, 
^^ who wiis to come into the world." This was artful, very 
artful. But lie feems to improve in cunning : for he brings 
his Bible with him, and backs his temptation with a text of 
Icripture; " For it is written, (fays he) he (hall give his 
angels charge concerning thee, and in their hands they (hall 
bear thee up, left at any time thou dafli thy foot againft a 
Hone." But is Saul alfo among the prophets ? Does the 
devil quote fcripture, yea, and feemingly fuch a very appo- 
fite one too ? I fufpeCt fome defign, without doubt : for 
herein, he would mimic our Lord, who, he perceived, in- 
tended to fight him with this weapon j and not liking the 
fharp edge of it, he thought that if he quoted fcripture, the 
Lord Jesus would not employ it againft him any more. 
*' It is written, (therefore faid he) he fhall give his angels 
cbaro^e concerning thee, and in their hands they fliall bear 
thee up, left at any time thou dafh thy foot againft a ftone : 
and therefore, fmce thou art fure of fuch protection, thou 
needft not fear to caft thyfelf down." This was plaufible, 
and by the length of it, one would be apt to imagine, it was 
a fair quotation ; but Satan takes care, not only to m/ifapply, 
but alfo to maim it, purpofely omitting thefe important words, 
" in all thy ways." It is true, God had given charge to 
his angels, concerning his children in general, and his be- 
loved Son in particular, that they fhould keep him in all his 
ways ; but, if our Lord had at this time, at the devil's requeft, 
and to gratify pride, thrown himfelf down from the pinnacle, 
and thereby unnecefiarily prefumed on his Father's protection, 
he would not have been in God's way, and therefore, would 
have had no right to the promifed protection at a'.l. Satan 
was aware of this, and therefore flily left out what he knew 
purpofe. But is fcripture the worfe, for 


[ 26? ] 

being abufcd or perverted by the devil, or bis emilTarics ? 
No, in no vi^ife. Our Lord, therefore, lets him know, that 
he fhould not throw afide this important weapon upon this 
account, but puts by this home thrufl, with another fcripture : 
" It is written aga'ui^ Thou flialt not tempt the Lord thy 
God." Still our Lord quotes fomething out of the book of 
Deuteronomy^ and hath his eye upon Jfracl in his wildernefs 
ftate. Originally thefe words were dirccled to the Ifraclites in 
general, and accordingly are in the plural number j but here 
our Lord, as before, makes a particular application of them 
to himfelf : Satan bids him caft himielf down, aflurino- him, 
God had promifed in his word, to order his angels to take 
care of him : Now, fays our Lord, " It is written in ano- 
ther part of his word, that the Ifraclites fhould not tempt the 
Lord their God, by diftrufting his goodnefs on the one 
hand, or prefuming on his protecrion on the other : And, 
therefore, as I would not command the ftones to be made 
bread, neediefsly and diftiuftfuUy fet up to provide for myfelf ; 
reither will I now prefume unnecefTarily upon God's power, 
by cafting myfelf down, though placed by thee in fuch a dan- 
gerous fituation." 

Thus our great Afichaei ccTfics off conqueror in the fecond 
aflault. And doth not the ferpent feel his hrad b.-'uifed enough 
yet ? Not at all : on the contrary, being more and more en- 
raged at fuch unufual oppofition, a:id want of fuccefs, " He 
again taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, (what 
moufitain is not very material; and fheweth him all the king- 
doms of the world, and the priory of them," St. Luke adds, 
" in a moment oi time :" \vi ir'- confirms the common con- 
jecture, that Satan did not fhevv' our Lord really the king- 
doms of the world, (for that muft have taken up more time) 
but only took him r.p into an exceeding high mountain to 
humour the thing, and by exerting his utmoft art, imprefled 
on our Lord's imagination all at once^ a very flrong, and to 
any but innocence itfelf, a very flriking profpe6l of the king- 
doms of the world, and the glory of them ; not the cares ; 
that would not ferve Satan's turn. He (hewed our Saviour 
crowns, but never told hrm, thofe crowns were gilded with 
thorns ; " He (hewed him, (fays Mr. Henry ^ my favourite 
'* commentator) as in a landfcape, or airy reprefenta-ion in a 

" cloud. 

[ 268 1 

<« cloud, fuch as that great deceiver could eafily frame and 
*' put together, the glorious and fplendid anpearance of 
*' princes, their robes and retinue, their equipage and life- 
-guards ; the pomps of thrones and courts, and ftately pa- 
*' laces ; the fumptuous buildings in cities ; the gardens and 
*' fields about the country feats, with the various inilances of 
<' their wealth, pleafure, and gaiety ; fo as might be moft 
" likely to ftrike the fancy, and excite the admiration and 
<« afFedion. Such was this fhew." Our Saviour very well 
knew it, only lets Satan go to the full length of his tiring, 
that his vidlory over him might be the more illuftrious. And 
jiow, fays the devil, " All thefe things (a mighty all indeed ; 
a mere imaginary bubble I) will I give thee, if thou wilt fall 
down and worfhip me. He would fain have it taken for 
granted, that he had fucceeded in the two preceding temp- 
tations : " Come, thou feeft thou art not the Son of God, 
or if thou art, thou feeft what an unkind Father he is j thou 
art here in a ftarving condition, therefore take my advice, 
difown thy relation to him, fet up for ihyfelf, call me father, 
afk of me bleilings, and all thefe will I give thee ; while all 
that I defire in return, is but a bow, only fall down and wor- 
fliip me." Here Satan difcovers himfelf with a witnefs : this 
was a dcfperate parting ftroke, indeed. It is now high time 
for thee, O thou enemy of fouls, to be commanded to de- 
part ! Filled with a holy refentment at fuch hellifli treat- 
ment, and impatient of the very thought of fetting up for 
himfelf, or alienating the leaft part of his heart and affcdlions 
from his Father, or dividing them betv/een his God and the 
world ; <' Then faid Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan, 
(I know thee who thou art, under all thy difguifes) get thee 
hence, thou grand adverfary : for it is written. Thou fhalt 
worfhip the Lord thy God, and him only Ihalt thou ferve : 
this is the great commandment of the law ; this is the com- 
mandment my Father gave unto his Jfrael o( old, and wouldft 
thou have me, who came to fulfil the law and the prophets, 
thus fhamefully be a tranfgrelTor of it ? Get thee hence, I 
will bear thy infolence no longer : thy other temptations 
were hellifli, like thyfelf, but this intolerably fo : get thee 
therefore hence, Satan : my heavenly Father is the Lord 
my God, and him only will I ferve." 


[ 2% 1 

And now the battle is over : the important combat Is cndeJ : 
Jesus hath won the fit Id : Satan is routed and totally put to 
flight. " Then," when the devil found that Jesus couIJ> 
withftand even the golden bait, the luft of the eye and pride of 
life, in the two laft, as well as the luft of the fle(h in the firft 
temptation, defpairing of the leaft fuccefs, and quite ftunned 
with that all-powerful Get thee henccy Satan^ " he leaveth 

Hell, we may well fuppofe, like the Philiftines of old, was 
confounded, and gave a horrible groan, when they faw thuHr 
great GcUah^ in whom they had fo long trufted, thus (hamc- 
fuUy and totally defeated in no lefs than three pitched battles. 
The firft Adam was attacked but once, and was conquered ; 
but the fecond Adam^ though thus repeatedly afTaulted, comes 
off without the leaft fin, not only conqueror, but more than 
conqueror. Think you not, that there was joy, joy unfpeak- 
able in heaven, upon this glorious occafion ? Think you not 
that the angels, thofe fons of God, and the multitude of the 
heaveoly hoft, who fl:iouted fo loud at our Lord's birth, did 
not repeat, if pofiible, with yet greater extafy, that heavenly 
anthem, " Glory be to God in the higheft." For a while 
they were only fpe6lators, orders, we may fuppofe, being 
ilFijed out, that they fhould only wait around, but not relieve 
their praying, fafting, tempted Lord ; but now the reftraint 
is removed : Satan departs, and " behold, angels came and mi- 
niftered unto him ;" they came to adminifter to his bodily ne- 
ceffities, and to congratulate him upon the glorious and com- 
pleat victory which he had gained : fome of them, it may be, 
had done this kind office for Elijah long ago; and with un- 
fpeakably greater joy, they repeat it to the Lord oi Elijah 
now. His Father fends him bread from heaven; and by this 
lets him know, that notwithftanding the horrid temptations 
with which he had been attacked, he is his own beloved foo, 
in and with whom he was v/ell pleafed. 

And was there joy in heaven on this happy occafion ? 
What equal, and if poflTible, what infinitely greater joy ought 
th<rre to be among the children of God here on earth ? For we 
(hould do well to remember, that our blefitd Lord in this 
great fight with, and conqueft over the dragon, a6led as a 
public perfon, as a falderal head of his myftical body the 


[ 270 ] 

church, even the CQmmon reprefentative of all believers. We 
may therefore from this blcfled paflage gather ftrong confola- 
tions ; fince by our Lord's conqueft over Satan, we are 
thereby allured of our own, and in the mean while can apply 
to him as a compafifionate High-Prieft, who was in all things 
tempted as we are, that he might experimentally be enabled 
to fuccour us when we are tempted. 

Who, who after hearing of or reading this, can think them- 
felves hardly ufed, or utterly caft ofF by God^ becaufe they 
are tempted to felf-murder, blafphemy, or any other horrid 
and fhocking crimes ? Who can wonder at wave being per- 
mitted to come upon wave, and one trial to follow upon the 
back of another? Who can admire, that Satan follows them 
to holy ordinances, and tempts them to doubt of the reality 
of ail their manifeflations, and of their being God's children, 
even after they have enjoyed the moft intimate and delightful 
communion with their heavenly Father? Was not our Lord 
treated thus ? And " (hall the fcrvant be above his Lord, 
or the difciple above his Mafter ?" No, it is fufHcient that 
the fervant be as his Lord, and the difciple as his Mafier. 

But not to dwell on a general improvement, let us fee what 
particular icfTons may be learned from this affe£ling portion of 
holy writ. 

And F'lrfi^ was our Lord thus violently befet in the 
wUder-.ufs ? then we may learn, that however profitable 
folitude and retirement may be, when ufed in due feafon, yet 
when carried to an extreme is hurtful, and rather befriends 
than prevents temptation. Woe be to him that is thus always 
alone ; for he hath not another to lift him up when he falleth, 
or to advife with when he is tempted. As a hermit in America 
once told me, when I afked him whether he found that way of 
life leffencd his temptations ; " Doft not thou know, friend, 
" (faid he) that a tree v/hich grows by itfelf, is more expofed 
<' to winds and ftorms than another that flands furrounded 
*' with other trees in the woods ?" Our Lord knew this, 
and therefore he was led by the Spirit into the wildernefs to 
be tempted of the devil. Lord, keep us from leading our- 
felves into this temptation, and fuccour and fupport us when- 
ever led by thy providence into it! Then, and then only, fliall 
we be fafe amidft the fiery darts of the grand enemy of our 



[ 271 ] 

'Secondly^ DiJ our Lord by prayer, fading, and temptation, 
prepare himfelf for his public miniftry ? Surely then, all thoCe 
who profefs to be inwardly moved by the Holy Ghoft to take 
upon them the office and adminiftration of the church, (hould 
be prepared in the fame manner. For though the knowledae 
of books and men, are good in their places, yet without a 
knowledge of Satan's devices be fupcradded, a miniffer will 
be only like a phyfician, that undertakes to prefcribe to fick 
people, without having ftudied the nature of herbs. And 
hence, it is to be feared, many heavy laden and afilicted fouls 
have been fent by certain miniflers, to furgeons, to be blooded 
in the arm, inftead of being direded to apply to the blood of 
Christ to cleanfe their hearts. Hence, convidtion is looked 
upon as a delirium, and violent temptations cenfured as dov/n- 
right madnefs. Hence, fouls that are truly and earncflly re- 
penting of their fins, and as earneftly feeking after reft in 
Christ, have been direded to plays, novels, romances, and 
merry company, to divert them from beino- righteous over- 
much. Miferable comforters are fuch blind guides ! Surely, 
they deferve no better titles than that of murderers of fouls / 
They go not into the kingdom of heaven themfelves, and 
thofe who are entering in they would by this means hinder. 
Go not after them, all ye young men who would be able mi- 
nifters of the New Teftament ; but on the contrary, if y6u 
would be ufeful in binding up the broken hearted, and pour- 
ing the oil of confolation into wounded fouls, prepare your- 
felves for manifold temptations. For as Luther fay^, " prayer 
*' and medication, reading and temptation, make a minifter." 
If now exercifed with fpiritual conflidfs, be not difheartened, 
it is a good fign that our Lord intends to make ufe of you. 
Being thus tempted like unto your brethren, you will be the 
better enabled to fuccour and advife thofe who fhali apply to 
you under their temptations. What fays the apoftle Paulf " If 
we are affiided, it is for your fake." And if you are afflicted, 
it is only that you may fave your own fouls, and help to fave 
the fouls of thofe who fhall be committed to your charge. Be 
flrong therefore in the grace which is in Christ Jesusj and 
learn to endure hardnefs, like good foldiers, that are hereafter 
to inftru(5f others how they mult fight the good fight of faith. 


[ 272 ] 

Thirdly^ Did the tempter come to Christ when he faw 
him an hungered ? Let thofe of you that are reduced to a low 
eftate, from hence learn, that an hour of poverty is an hour 
of temptation, not only to murmuring and doubting of our 
fonfhip ar.d the divine favour, but alfo to help ourfelves by 
unlawful means. " If thou be the Son of God^ faid Satan, 
command that thefe flones may be made bread." This is 
what Jgur dreaded, " left I be poor and fteal." Learn, ye 
<yodly poor, to be upon your guard, and remember that po- 
verty and temptations are no marks of your being caft ofF 
by God. Your Lord was an hungered ; your Lord was 
tempted on this account to doubt his fonfhip, before you. 
Learn of him not to diftruft, but rather to truft in your hea- 
venly Father. Angels came and miniftered unto Christ ; 
and he who is Lord of the angels, will fend fome kind 
meil'enger or another to relieve your wants. Your extremity 
Ihall be the Redeemer's opportunity to help you. Make your 
wants known unto him, he careth for you. Though in a 
defart, though no vifible means appear at prefent, yet you 
fhall in God's due time find a table fpread for you and yours ; 
*' For man doth not live by bread alone, but by every v/ord 
that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." 

And may not fuch among you, who are exalted, as well as 
thofe who arc brought low, from Satan's taking the Lord 
Jesus, and placing him upon a pinnacle of the temple, learn 
alfo a leflbn of holy watchfulnefs and caution. High places 
are flippery places, and are apt to make even the {^rongeft 
heads and moft devout hearts to turn giddy. How neceilary 
therefore is that excellent petition in our Litany, '* in all 
time of our wealth, (as well as in all time of our tribulation) 
(rood Lord deliver us !" Agreeably to this, Jgur prays as 
much againft riches as poverty ; if he was poor, he feared he 
fhould be tempted to fteal, if rich, that he fhould truft in 
uncertain riche.-, and fay, who is the Lord? 

1 charge, therefore, all of you, who are rich and high in this- 
world, to watch and pray, left ye fall by Satan's temptation. 
Thofe efpeciaily of you, that are placed as on the pinnacle of 
the temple, exalted above your fellows in the church of God, 
take heed in an efpecial manner unto yourfelves, left by fpiri- 
tuai pride, vanity, or any other fin that doth moft eafily befes 
o perfons 

( 273 ] 
perfons in fuch eminent ftations, ye caft yourfclvcs down. This 
is what Satan aims at. He {{rives to make us iJeftroyers of 
ourfelves. And he hath a paiticular enmity agaiuft luch as 
you; he knows, that your name is Legion; and that it you 
caft yourfclves down, he fliall gain a great adv.iniapc over 
n^.any others j you cannot i;iil alone. O that it may be laid 
of us, as tl)c papifts ufed to lay of Luther^ " 'i'hat Gerwan 
*' beaft dolh not !ove gold." May the fire of divine love burn 
up all the love of this prefcnt evil world, and pride of life,' 
out of your hearts! This, Sntan refcrved for his laft, as Lhiiik- 
ing it was the nioft powerful and prevailing temptation, " He 
took our Lord up into an exceeding high mountain, ar»d 
fhewed him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of 
them." He cares not how high he exalts us, or how high 
he is obliged to bid, fo he can but get our hearts divided be- 
tween God and the world. All this will he oif.r to give us, 
if we will only fall down and woriliip him. Arm us, dear 
Lord Jesus, with thy Spirit, and help us under all fuch cir- 
cumftances, to learn of thee, and fay unto the tempter, " Get 
thee hence, Satan ; for it is written, thou flialt worfliip the 
Lord thy God, and him only (halt thou ferve." 

Fourthly^ Whether befet with this or any other temptation^ 
let all of us learn of our Lord to fight the devil with the 
fword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Though he 
had the Spirit v^ithout meafure, yet he always made ufe of 
this. \Ve may fay of it, as David did of GoUah's fword,' 
*' none like this," none like this. And fuppofing Satan fl:ioulc( 
be permitted to transform himfelf into an angel of light, anfl 
by falfe impreflions, and Jelufive applications of mifquoted 
texts, attempt to turn this weapon upon us againfl ourRIves 5' 
let us not therefore be prevailed on to let go, but by compar- 
ing fpiritual things with fpiritual, as our Lord did, fnid out 
God's mind and our duty. Had Christ's children ajid mi- 
nifters only obferved this one lefTon, how much flrange fire 
would quickly have h^tw extinguifhed ? how much real en- 
thufiafm been eafily flopped? how many imaginary revelations 
Jiave been deteiled r how many triumphs of Satan and his 
emiflaries been prevented ? and how much more would the 
comforts of Christ's people and minifters been continued 
and increafed, not only in this prefci.tj but al;b in Qytiy ag^ 

Vol. V. . S «f 


[ 274 ] 
of the chriftlan church ? But let us not be difcouraged or 
think worfe of Christ, his caufe, or his word, becaufe 
through Satan's fubtlety, any of us, or others, may have been 
drawn in to make forne wrong applications of it; others have 
been thus tempted and miftaken before us. However, let us 
be humbled before God and man, and be excited by our paft 
ignorance of Satan's devices, to adhere more clofely to the 
written word, and to pray more earneflly for God's holy Spi- 
rit to give us dire6lion by it. " Then will it ftill be a Ian- 
thorn unto our feet, and a light unto our paths ;" we fhall yet 
be enabled to behave more fkilfully under all our future trials. 
Many we muft yet exped ; nay, perhaps our fevereft temp- 
tations are yet to come ; Satan left our Lord, after his at- 
tacking him in the wildernefs, " only for a feafon," as St. 
Luke has it, until the feafon of his death and paffion. And 
thus he may be permitted to deal with us. We are not yet 
come to our compleat reft ; the King of terrors is yet to be 
grappled with, and the valley of the fhadow of death to be 
pafTed through; long before that, we may be called to endure 
many a fiery trial, and be befet with manifold temptations, 
under which we may be as ignorant how to behave, as under 
thofe with which we have already been vifited. Alas 1 we 
know not what remaining corruptions are in our hearts, 
which time and temptation may draw out and difcover. Per- 
haps Satan hath not yet attacked us on our weakeft fide; 
when he does, if left to ourfelves, how weak (hall we be ? 
It is faid of Achilles^ that he was invulnerable, except in the 
heel, and by a wound in that, at laft he died. Let not him, 
therefore, that putteth on the harnefs, boaft as though he had 
put it off." Neither, on the other hand, let us be faint- 
hearted or difmayed. Satan may tempt, but cannot force; 
he may fift, but Christ will pray. He who hath helped us 
already, will help us to the end. He who conquered for us 
in the wildernefs, will ere long make us alfo more than con- 
querors over all trials and temptations, inward and outward, 
and over death and hell itfelf, through his almighty, everlaft- 
ing, and never-failing love. We now fow in tears ; in a very 
little time^ and we fhall reap with joy : we may now go on 
our way weeping, by rcafon of the enemy opprefTing us ; buty 
ere long, angels (hall, be fent, not to miaifter to us in this 


[ ilS ] 

wlldernefs, but to carry us to an heavenly Canaan^ even io 
Abrahams bofom. Then (hall we fee this accuier and tempter 
of our Lord, of our brethren, and of oiirfelves, caft out : 
this wicked one, as well as the wicked world, and wicked 
heart, will no more be permitted to vex, diilurb or annoy 

" But woe unto you that laugh now ; for you fnall then 
lament and weep.'* Woe unto you, who either believe there 
is no devil, or never felt any of his teniptations. Woe unto 
you that are at eafe in Z/(?^, and inlKad of flaying to be 
tempted by the devil, by idlenefs, felf- indulgence, and making 
continual provifion for the flefh, even tempt the devil to tempt 
you. Woe unto you, who not content with finning your- 
felves, turn factors for hell, and make a trade of tempting 
others to fin. Woe unto you, who either deny divine reve- 
lation, or never make ufe of it but to ferve a bad turn. Woe 
unto you who fell your confciences, and pawn your fouls for 
a little worldly wealth or honour. Woe unto you v/ho climb 
tip to high places, when in church or flate, by corruption, 
bribery, extortion, cringing, flattery, of bowing down to, and 
foothing the vices of thofe by whom you exped to rife. Woe 
-unto you ! for whether you will own the relation or not, 
furely you are of your father the devil ; for the works of your 
father you will do ; I tremble for you. How can you efcape 
the damnation of hell. 

But I have not time to follow fuch as you any farther. 
This difcourfe, and the prefent frame of my mind, lead me 
rather to fpeak to thofe, who by feeling Satan's fiery darts^ 
know afiuredly that there is a devil. Comfort thou, comf)rt 
thou, thefe afHiaed ones, O Lord. O thou all-merciful and 
all-bountiful God, and thou compaifionate High-Prieli, thou 
once tempted, but now triumphant Saviour, as thou once didll 
not difdain to be miniftered unto by angels, blefs we pray thee 
this difcourfe, to the fupport and ftrengthening of thy tempted 
people, though delivered by the meaneft tneflenger thou didft 
ever yet employ in thy church ! 

I add no more. The Lord blcfs you and keep you ! The 
Lord lift up the light of his countenance, ftablifh, ftreng- 
then, and fettle you, and bring you to his eternal kingdom I 


[ '.76 J 


The Heinous Sin of Profane Gurfmg and 

Matthew v. 34. 
But I fay unto you^ Swear 7iot at all, 

AMONG the many heinous fins for which this nation is 
grown infamous, perhaps there is no one more crying, 
"but withal more common, than the abominable cuftom of pro- 
fane fwearing and cutTing. Our ftreets abound with perfons 
of all degrees and qualities, who are continually provoking 
the holy one oi Ifrael to anger, by their deteftable oaths and 
blafphemies : and our Very children, '* out of whofe mouths," 
the pfalmift obferves in his days, " was perfeiSted praife," are 
now grown remarkable for the quite oppofite ill quality of 
curfing and fwearing. This cannot but be a melancholy 
profpe(Si, for every Tmcere and honeft minifter of Jesus 
Christ, to view his fellow-creatures in ; and fuch as will 
put him on contriving fome means to prevent the fpreading 
at leaft of fo growing an evil j knowing that the Lord (with- 
out repentance) will alTuredly vifit for thcfe things. But alas f 
what can he do ? Public animadverfions are fo neglected 
amongft us, that we feldom find a common fwearer punifhcd 
as the laws dire£t. And as for private admonition, men are 
now fo hardened through the deceitfulnefs of fm, that to give 
them fober and pious advice, and to fhew them the evil of 
their doings, is but like " cafting pearls before fwine; they 
only turn again and rend you." Since matters then are come 
to this pafs, all that v/e can do is, that as we are appointed 


[ 277 ] 

watchmen and ambafiadors of the Lord, It is our du'y from 
time to tiqie to (hew the people their tranCgre/Tion, and warn 
them of their fin ; (o that whether they will hear, or whether 
they will forbear, we however may deliver our own fouls, 
That I therefore may difcharge my duty in this particular, 
give me leave, in the name of God, humbly to ofFer to your 
moft ferious confidcration, fomc tew obfervations on the 
words of the text, in order to fhew the hcinoufncfs of profane 
curfing and fwcarine. 

But, before I proceed dire611y to the profecution of this 
point, it will be proper to clear this precept of our Lord 
from a mifreprefentation that has been put on it by fome, 
who infer from hence, that our Saviour prohibits fwcaring 
before a magiftrate, when required 'on a folemn and proper 
occafion. But that all fwearing is not abfolutely unlawful 
for a chriflian, is evident from the writings of St. P^«/, whom 
we often find upon fome folemn occafions ufing feveral forms 
of imprecation, as, " I call God to witnefs ;" '* God is 
my judge;" " By your rejoicing in Christ Jesus," and 
fuch like. And that our Saviour does by no means forbid 
fwearing before a magiftrate, in the woidi* now before us, 
is plain, if we confider the fcope and defign he had in view, 
when he gave his difciples this command. Permit me to ob- 
ferve to you then, that our blefled mafter had fee himfelf, from 
the 27th verfe of the chapter, out of which the text is taken, 
to vindicate and clear the moral law from the corrupt glcil^:« 
and mifconftru6tion of the Pharifees, who then fat in Mofcs's 
chair, but were notorioufly faulty in adhering too clofcly to 
the literal expreflion of the law, without ever confidering the 
due extent and fpiritual meaning of it. Accordingly they 
imagined, that becaufe God had faid, '* Thou fhalt not com- 
mit adultery," that therefore, fuppofing a pcrfon was not 
guilty of the very a6l of adultery, he was not chargeable with 
the breach of the fevcnth commandment. And likewife in 
the matter of fwearing, becaufe God had forbidden his people, 
in the books o^ Exodus and Deuteronomy^ " to take his name 
)n vain," or to fv/car falfely by his name ; they therefore 
judged it lawful to fwear by any creature in common difcourfe, 
fuppofing they did not diredtly mention the name of God. 
Our blelled Saviour therefore, in the words ny\v before us, 
S 3 reaifict 

[ 278 ] 

le^Ifies this their miftake about fwearlng, ^s he had clone ir^ 
the verfes immediately foregoing, concerning adulttry, an4 
tells the people, that whatever allowances the Pharifees might 
give to fwear by any creature, yet he pronounced it abfolutely 
unlav-ful for any of his followers to do fo. *' You have heard, 
th:^it it has been faid by them of old time," (namely, by the 
P/^^r//"^^i and teachers of the Jewifl) law) "Thou fhalt not 
forfwear thyfelr, but perform, unto the Lord thine oaths : 
but I fay unto you," (I v/ho am appointed by the Father to 
be the great prophet and true law-giver of his church) 
" Swear not at ail, (in your common converfation) neither 
by heaven for it is God's throne j (and therefore to fwear by 
that, is to fwear by Him that fits thereon) neither by the 
earth, for it is his foot-ftool ; nor by Jcrufalem, for it is the 
city of the great King ; neither fnalt thou fwear by thy head, 
bccaufe thou canil: not make one hair white or black : bu: 
let your communications (which plainly fhews that Christ 
is here fpeaking of fwearing, not before a magiflrate, but in 
common converfation) let your communication be yea, yea; 
nay, nay, (a ftrong afMrmation or neo;ation at the moft) ; for 
"whatfocver is m.ore than this, cometh of evil ;" that is, com.eth 
from an evil principle, from the evil one, the devil, the au- 
thor of all evil. 

Which by the way, raethinks, fhould be a caution to all 
fuch perfons, who, tho:)gh not guilty of fwearing in the grofs 
fcnfe of the word, yet atteft the truth of what they are fpeak- 
ing of, though ever fo trifling, by faying, Upon my life_, — as 
1 live, -r— by my faith, — by the heavens, and fuch like : which 
expreiiions, however harmlefs and innocent they may be 
edeemed by fome forts of people, yet are the very oaths which 
our blefTed Lord condemns in the words immediately follow- 
ing the text ; and perfons vj\\o ufe fuch unwarrantable forms 
of fpeaking, muft expert to be conviclcd and condemned as 
fwearers, at our Saviour's fecond coming to judge the 

But to return : It appears then frona the whole tenor of our 
Saviour's difcourfe, that in the words of the text he does by 
no means difannul or forbid fvvearing before a magiftrate 
(which, as might eafily be fliewn, is both lawful and neceft 
fary) but only profane fvvearing in ccnia.on converfation ; 


[ 279 ] 
the heinoufnefs and finfulnefs of which I come now, more 
immediately to lay before you. 

And here, not to mention that it is a dlrccSl breach of our 
blefled mailer's and great law-giver's command in the words 
of the text, as likewife of the third commandment, wherein 
God pofitively declares, " he will not hold him guiltlefs 
(that is, will afTuredly punifti him) that taketh his name in 
vain :" not to mention that it is the greateft abufe of that 
noble faculty of fpeech, whereby we are dirtinguifhed from 
the brute creation ; or the great hazard the common fwearer 
runs, of being perjured fome timc'or other: not to mention 
thofe rcafons againft it, which of themfelves would abundantly 
prove the folly and finfulnefs of fwearing : I fhall at this time 
content myfelf with inflancing four particulars, which highly 
aggravate the crime of profane fwearing, and thofe are fuch 
as follow : 

I. Firjl^ Becaufe there is no temptation in nature to this 
fin, nor does the commiffion of it afford the offender the 
leafl pleafure or fatisfadlion. 

II. Secondly^ Becaufe it is a fin which may be fo often re- 

III. Thirdly^ Becaufe it hardens infidels againft the chrif- 
tian religion, and muft give great offence, and occafion 
much forrow and concern to every true difciple of Jesus 

IV. Fourthly^ Becaufe it is an extremity of fin, which can 
only be matched in hell. 

I. The firft reafon then, why fwearing in common con- 
verfation is fo heinous in God's fight, and why we fliould 
not fwear at all, is, becaufe it has no temptation in nature, 
nor does the commillion of it, unlefs a man be a devjl 
incarnate, afford the offender the leaft pleafure or fatis- 

Now here, I prefume, we may lay it down as a maxim 

univerfally agreed on, that the guilt of any crime is incrcafeJ 

or leffened in proportion to the weaknefs or ftrength of the 

temptation, by which a pcrfon is carried to the commiffion of 

S 4 it. 

[ 280 ] - 

It. It ^-as ibis confideration that extenuated and diminiftied the 

guilt of SauFs taking upon him to offer facrifice before the Pro- 
phet Samuel came ; and of Uzza's touching the ark, becaufe 
it was in danger of falling : as, pn the contrary, what fo highly 
aggravated the difobedience of our fii ft parents, apd of Lot's 
wife, was, becaufe the former had fo little reafon to eat the 
forbidden fruit, and the latter fo fniall a temptation to look 
tack on Sodonu 

And now if this be granted, furcly the common fwearer 
mull of all finners be the moft without excufe, fince there is 
po manner of temptation in nature to the commiilion of his 
crime. In mod of the other commands, perfons, perhaps, may 
plead the force of natural inclination in excufe for the breach 
of them : one, for inftance, may ailedge his flrong propenfity 
to anger, to excufe his breaking of the fixth : another, his 
pronenefs to luft, for his violation of the feventh. But furely 
the co-nmon fwearer has nothing of this kind to urge in his 
behalf: t'"or though he may have a natural inclination to this 
or that crime, yet no man, it is to be prefumed, can fay, he 
is l>orn with a fvvearing confl:ltution. 

But farther, As there is no temptation to it, fo there is no 

pleafure or profit to be reaped from the commiiTion of it. Afk 

the drunkard why he rifes up early to follow flrong drink, and 

he will tell you, becaufe it affords his fenfual appetite fome 

kind of pleafore and gratification, though it be no higher than 

that of a brute. Enquire of the covetous worldling, why he 

defrauds and over-reaches his neighbour, and he has an an- 

fwer ready J to enrich himfelf, and lay up goods for many years. 

But it muft certainly puzzle the profane fwearer himfelf, to 

inform you what pleafure he reaps from fwearing : for alas ! 

it is a fruitlefs taftelefs thing that he fells his foul for. But 

indeed he does not fell it at all : in this cafe he prodigally 

gives it away (without repentance) to the devil j and parts 

with a blcfjed eternity, and runs into everlafling torment, 

rncrely for nothing. 

TI. But Secofidly^ what incrcsfes the heinoufnefs of profane 
fwearing, is, that it is a fin which may io often be repeated. 

This is another confideration which always ferves to lefTen 

or increafc the guilt and rnalignity of any fm. It was fome 

I excufe 

C 281 ] 

fxcufe for the drunkennefs of Noah^ and the adultery of DavU 
that they committed thefe crimes but once : as, on rhe con- 
trary, of the patriarch Abrahams diftruft of God, that he re- 
peated the difiembllng of ^arah to be his wife, two feveral 
times. And if this be admitted as an aggravation of other 
perfons crimes, furely much more fo of the guilt of common 
fwearing, bccaufe it is a fm which may be, and is for the ge- 
nerality often repeated. In many other grofs fins it cannot 
be fo : if a man be overcome in drinlc, there muft be a 
confiderable time ere be can recover his debauch, and return 
to his cups again : or if he be accuftomed to profane the fab- 
bath, he cannot do it every day, but only one in {^Mzn. But 
alas I the profane fwearer is ready for another oath, almofl: be- 
fore the found of the firft is out of our ears ; yea, fome double 
and treble them in one fentence, even fo as to confound the 
fenfe of what they fay, by an horrid din of blaf'phemy ! Now 
if the great and terrible Jehovah has exprefly declared that he 
will not hold him guiltlefs, that is, will affuredly punifh him, 
jhat taketh his name but once in vain : what a vaft heap of 
thefe heinous fms lies at every common fwearer's door ! \t 
would be apt to fink him Into an intolerable defpair, did he 
but fee the whole fum of them. And O what a feared con- 
fcience muft that wretch have, that does not {tt\ this prodi- 
gious weight ! 

in. But'ThircIIy, what rnakes the fin of profane fweariiio; 
appear yet more exceeding finful, is, tliat it hardens infidels 
againft the chriftian religion. 

It is the Apoftle Peierh advice to the married perfons of his 
time, that they fiiould walk as became the gofpel of Christ, 
that thofe who were without, might be won to embrace the 
chriftian religion, by feeing and obferving their pious conver- 
fation coupled together with fear. And what the Apoftle prclles 
on married perfons, we find elfewhere enjoined on each parti- 
cular member of the church. Accordingly we are commanded 
by our bleflld Lord, to *' let our light foftiine before men, 
that they may fee our good works, and glorify our Father 
which is in heaven :" And the Apoftle Paul bids us *' walk 
circumfpedly towards them that are without, redeeming the 
firne j" thnt js, embracing all opportunities to do them good, 

'' bccaufe 

[ 282 ] 

'' becaufe the days are evil.'* But alas ! in what a direct 
contradi6tion does the profane fwearer live to this and fuch- 
like precepts, who, inrtcad of gaining profclytes to Christ 
from the unbelieving part of the world, does all he can to op- 
pofe it ! For how can it be expected, that infidels fhould 
honour our God, when chriftlans thenifelves defpife him; 
or that any fhould embrace our religion, when profeflbrs 
of h themfelves make fo light of one of its ftrid^efl com- 
mands ? No ; to our grief and fhame be it fpoken, it is by 
reafon of fuch impieties as thefe, that our holy religion (the 
beft and pureft in iti'elf ) is become a by- word among the hea- 
then ; that the facred authority of the holy Jesus and his 
doctrine is defpifed ; and " God's name (as it is written) 
blafphemed among the GentUes.'' 

Thefe cannot but be fad ftumbling-blocks and ofFences in 
the way of our brethren's converfion : " But woe be to thofe 
men by whom fuch offences come.'* We may fay of them, as 
our blefled Lord did of Judas, " It had been belter for fuch 
men, that they had never been born :** Or, as he threatens i» 
another place, " It fhall be more tolerable for Sodom and G(7- 
tnorrah in the day of judgment, than for fuch fmners." 

But this is not all j As profane fwearing muft undoubtedly 
harden thofe in their infidelity, that are without, fo muft it 
no lefs grieve and give great offence to thofe honeft and Uncere 
perfons that are within the church. We hear of David's 
complaining and crying out, " Woe is me, that I am con- 
ftrained to dwell with Mejech^ and to have my habitation 
amongft the tents o^ Kedar -,'' that is, that he was obliged to 
live and converfe with a people exceedingly wicked and pro- 
fane. And St. Peter tells us, that " Lot's righteous foul was 
grieved day by day, whilft he faw and obferved the ungodly 
converfation of the wicked." And no doubt it was one great 
part of our bkffcd Mailer's fufferings whilft on earth, that he 
v/as compelled to coiiverfe with a wicked and perverfe genera- 
tion, and to hear his heavenly Father's facred name profaned 
and fcoffed at by unrighteous and wicked men. And furely it 
cannot but pierce the heart of every true and fincere chriftian, of 
every one that does in any meafure partake of the fpirit of his 
MaOer, to hear the multitude of oaths and curfes which pro- 
ceed daily and hourly out of the mouths of many people, and 


[ 283 ] 

thofe too, whofe liberal education, and Teeming regard for the 
welfare of religion, one would think, {hould teach them (i 
more becoming behaviour. To hear the great and terrible 
name of God polluted by men, which is adored by angels ; 
and to confider how often that facred name is profaned in 
common difcourfc, which we are not woithy to mention in 
our prayers : this, I fay, cannot but make each of them cry 
out with holy David^ " Woe is me, that I am conftralned 
to dwell with Mefech^ and to have my habitation amongft the 
tents of Kedary And though the blafphemous and profane 
difcourfes of others, will not be imputed to fincere perfons for 
fm, fo long as they " have no fcllowfliip with fuch hellifii 
fruits of darknefs, but rather reprove them j" yet it will 
greatly enhance the prefent guilt, and fadly increafe the future 
puniiliment of every profane fwearer, by whom fuch offences 
<:ome. For if, as our Saviour tells us, *^ it had been better 
for a man to have a mill-ftone tied about his neck, than that 
he fliould offend one of his little ones, (that is, the weakeft 
of his difciples) how much forer punifnment will they be 
thought worthy of," who not only caufe God's name uo be 
blafphcmed among the Gentiles^ and the religion of our dear 
Kedeemer to be abhorred ; but who make his faints to weep 
and mourn, and vex their righteous fouls from day to day, by 
their ungodly, profane, and blafphemous converfation ? Surely, 
as Gor) will put the tears of the one into his bottle, fo it will 
be juft in him to punifh the other with eternal forrow, for all 
their ungodly and hard fpeeches, and caft them into a lake of 
fire and brimftone, where they fliall be glad of a drop of 
water to cool thofe tongues, with which they have fo often 
blafphemed the Lord of Hofts, and grieved the people of 
pur God. 

IV. But it is time for me to proceed to give my Fourth 
and laft rcafon, why common fwearing is fo exceeding fmful ; 
and that is, Becaufe it is fuch an extremity of fin, that can 
only be matched in hell, where all are defperate, and without 
hope of mercy. 

The damned devils, and damned fouls of men in hell, may 

be fuppofcd to rave and bbfpheme in their torments, becaufe 

they know that the chains wherein ihey are held, can never be 

5 knocked 

r 284 1 

knoclcetl ofF: but for men that fwim in the river of God's 
^roodnefs, whofc mercies are renewed to them every morning, 
and who are vifitcd with fiefh tokens of his infinite unmerited 
loving-kindnefs every moment : for thefe favourite creatures 
to fet their mouths againft heaven, and to blafpheme a gra- 
cious, patient, all-bountiful GoD ; is a height of fin which 
exceeds the blacknefs and impiety of devils and hell itfclf. 

And now, after what has been here offered, to fhew the hei- 
noufnefs of profane curfing and fwearing in common conver- 
fation, may I not very juflly addrefs myfelf to you in the 
words of the text, " Therefore I fay unto you, Swear not at 
all j" fince it is a fin that has no temptation in nature, nor 
brings any pleafure or profit to the committer of it ; fince it 
hardens infidels in their infidelity, and affords fad caufes of 
grief and lamentation to every honeft chriftian ; fince it is a 
fin that generally grows into a habit i and laftly, fuch a fia 
that can only be matched in hell. 

I. And firfl then, if thefe things be fo, and the fin of pro- 
fane fwearing, as h^th been in fome meafure (hewn, is fo ex- 
ceeding finful, what fhall we fay to fuch unhappy men, who 
think it not only allowable, but fafhionable and polite, to 
*' take the name of God in vain ;" who imagine that fwear- 
iwy makes them look big among their companions, and really 
thir.k it a piece of honour to abound in it ? But alas ! little 
do they think that fuch a behaviour argues the greateft dege- 
neracy of mind and fool-hard inefs, that can pollibly be thought 
of. For what can be more bafe, than one hour to pretend to 
adore God in public worfhip, and the very next moment to 
blafpheme his name : indeed, fuch a behaviour, from perfons 
who deny the being of a God, (if any fuch fools there be) 
is not altogether fo much to be wondered at ; but for men, 
who not only fubfcribe to the belief of a Deity, but likewife 
acknowledge him to be a God of infinite majefty and power j 
for fuch men to blafpheme his holy name, by profane curfing 
and fwearing, and at the fame time confefs, that this very 
God has exprefsly declared, he will not hold him guiltlefs, 
but will certainly and eternally punifh (without repentance) 
him that takcth his name in vain ; is fuch an inf^ance of fool- 
hardinefs, as well as bafcnefs, that can fcarcely be paralleled. 
Xhis is what they prefume not to do in other cafes of hC$ 

danger \ 

r ^^5 ] 

danger : they dare not revile a general at the head of his army, 
nor rouze a fleeping lion when within reach of his paw. And 
is the Almighty God, the great Jehovah, the cvcrlailing 
King, who can confume thcin by the breath of his noiuils'^ 
and frown them to hell in an inltant ; is he the only con- 
temptible being in their account, that may be provoked with- 
out fear, and offended without punifliment? No; though 
God bear long, he will not bear always : the time will come, 
and that too, perhaps, much fooner than fuch perfons may 
exped, when God will vindicate his injured honour, when 
he will lay bare his almighty arm, and make tbofe wretches 
feel the eternal fmart of his juftice, whole power and name 
they have fo often vilified and blafphemed. Alas ! v/hat will 
become of all their bravery then ? Will they then wantonlv 
jport with the name of their Maker, and call upon the King 
of all the earth to damn them any more in jcft ? No ; their 
note will then be changed : indeed, they (hall call, but it will 
be for " the rocks to fall on them, and the hills to cover 
them from the wrath of him that fitteth upon the throne, and 
from the Lamb for ever." It is true, time was when they 
prayed, though v/ithout thought, perhaps, for damnation both 
for themfelves and others : and now they will find their 
prayers anfwered. " They delighted in curfmg, therefore 
ihall it happen unto them ; thcfy loved not blefling, therefore 
{hall ic be far from them j they cloathed themfelves with cur- 
fing like as with a garment, and it fliall come into their bowels 
like water, and like oil into their bones.'* 

2. But farther, if the Cin of fweaiing is (o exceeding hei- 
nous, and withal fo common, then it is every particular per- 
son's duty, efpecially thofe that are in authority, to do their 
utmoft towards difcountenancing and fupprcffing fo mali'^- 
nant a crime. The duty we owe both to God and our 
neighbour, requires this at our hands : by the one we are 
obliged to afTert our iVJaker's honour ; by the other to prevent 
our neighbour's ruin : and it is but doing as we would be 
done by, and as wc ourfelves a£l in cafes of Icfl'er confequence. 
\Vere we to hear either our own or our friend's good name 
vilified and traduced, we fliould think it our bounden duty to 
vindicate the wronged reputation of each : and fhall the great, 
terrible, and holy name of qui beft and only fiicnd, our king, 


[ 286 1 

our father, nay our God : (hall this be daily, nay every mo- 
ment, defied and blafphemed ; and will no one dare to ftand up 
in defence of his honour and holinefs ? Be aftoniOied, O hea- 
vens, at this ! No; let us fcorn all fuch bafe and treacherous 
treatment : let us refolve to fupport the caufe of religion, and 
with a becominp- prudent couraf^e manifeft our zeal for the 

or ^ 

honour of the Lord of Hofts. Men in authority have dou- 
b'e the advantages of ordinary chriftians : their very office 
flicvvs they are intended for the punifhment of evil doers. 
And fuch is the degeneracy of mankind, that the generality 
of them will be more influenced by the power of perfons in 
authority, than by the moft laboured exhortations from the 
pulpit. To fuch, therefore, if there are any here prefent, I 
humbly addrefs myfelf, befeeching them, in the name of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, to do their utmoft to put a flop to, 
and reftrain profane curfmg and fwearing. And though it 
mufl: be confeffcd, that this is a work which requires a great 
deal of courage and pains, yet they would do well to confider, 
it is for God they undertake it, who certainly will fupport 
and bear them out in a due execution of their office heife^ and 
reward them with an exceeding and eternal weight of glory 
hereafter. But it is time to draw towards a conclufion. 

3. Let me, therefore, once more addrefs myfelf to every 
perfon here prefent, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ 5 
and if any amongft them have been any way guilty of this no- 
torious fin of fwearing, let mc entreat them by all that is near 
and dear to them, that they would neither give the magiftrate 
the trouble to punifh, nor their friends any reafon for the fu- 
ture to warn them againft committing the crime ; but keep a 
conftant and careful watch over the door of their IIp^, and 
withal implore the divine affiftance (without which all is no- 
thing) that they offend no more fo fcandaloufly v.'ith their 
tongues. Let them ferioufly lay to heart, what with great 
plainnefs and fimplicity has here been delivered : and if they 
have any regard for themfelves a§ men, or their reputation as 
chriftians ; if they Would not be a public fcandal to their pro- 
feflion, or a grief to all that know or converfe with them : in 
fhort, if they would not be devils incarnate here, and provoke 
God to punifli them eternally hereafter; I fay unto them in 
the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, " Swear not at all.'* 


C 2S7 3 


Christ the Support of the Tempted. 

M ATTH EW vi. I 3. 

Lead us not into temptation, 

THE great and important duty which is incumbent on 
chrifiians, is to guard againft all appearance of evil ; 
to watch againft the firft rifings in the heart to evil ; and to 
have a guard upon our a6i:ions, that they may not be finful, 
or fo much as feem to be fo. It is true, the devil is tempting 
us continually, and our own evil hearts are ready to join with 
the tempter, to make us fall into fins, that he thereby may 
obtain a victory over us, and that we, my brethren, may be 
his fubjecls, his fervants, his flaves ; and then by-and-by he 
will pay us our wages, which will be death temporal, and 
death eternal. Our Lord Jesus Christ faw how his peo- 
ple would be tempted ; and that the great enemy of their fouls 
would lay hold of every opportunity, fo he could but be a 
means of keeping poor finners from coming to the Lord 
Jesus Christ; hurrying you with temptation, to drive you 
to fome great fins ; and then if he cannot gain you over, 
fall it to a fmaller, and fait his temptations time after time ; 
and when he finds none of thefe things will do, often tranf- 
form himfelf into an aneel of li^hr, and by that means 
make the foul fall into fin, to the difhonour of God, and the 
wounding of itfelf : the Lord Jesu:?, I fay, feeing how liable 
his difciples, and all others, would be to be overcome by 
temptation, therefore advifes them, when they pray, to beg 
that they might not be led into temptation. It is fo danger- 
ous to en2;age fo fubtle and powerful an enemy as Satan is, 
that we fhall be overcome as often as we ^\^'pg^'i unlcfs the 


[ 288 ] 

Lord is on our f^dc. My brechien, if you were left to ycur- 
felves, you would be overcome by every temptation with 
which you are befet. 

Theie words are part of the prayer which Christ taught 
his difciples ; and I fliall, therefore, make no doubt, but that 
you all believe them to he true, fince they are fpuken by one 
who cannot lie. I Tnail, 

I. Shew you who it is that tempts 5'ou. 

II. Shall (hew, my brethren, why he tempts you. 

III. Mention fonre of the ways and means he makes ufe of^ 
to draw you over to his temptations. 

IV. Let you fee how earneft you ought to be to the Lordj 
that he may preferve you from being led into temptation. 

V. I fl^all make fom.e application by way of entreaty unto 
vou, to come unto Christ, that he^ my brethren, 
may deliver you from being tempted^ 

I. Firft^ We are to con fid er who it is that tempts yc. 

And the Tempter is Satan, the prince of the power of the 
air, he that now ruleth in the children of difobedience j he is 
an enemy to God and goodnef?, he is a hater of all truth : 
Why elfe did he flander GoD in paradife ? Why did he tell 
Eve, " You fhall not furely die ?" He is full of maiice^ 
envy, and revenge ■ for what reafons elfe could induce him to 
moleft innocent man in paradife ? The pi-rfon that tempts 
ye, my brethren, is remarkable for his fubtilty : for having 
not power given him from above, he is obliged to wait for 
opportunities to betray us, and to catch us by guile : he, 
therefore, made ufe of ths ferpcnt to tempt our firft parents : 
and to lie in wait to deceive, is another part of his character. 
And though this charader is given of the devil, if we were to 
examine our own hearts^ we flioulJ find many of the tempter's 
characters legible in us. 

Do not many of you love to make a lie ? And if it is done 
in your trade, you therefore look on it as excufable ; but 
whether you believe it or not, it is finful, it is exceedingly 
finful. Thougli you may value yourfelves as fine rational 


C 289 ] 

eteatures, and that you are noble beings 5 and you were Co 
as you firll came out of God's hands ; but now you are fjlJcn 
there is nothlni^ lovely, nothing dcfirable in man ; his heart 
is a ilnk of pollution, full of fni and unclcannefs : Yet 
though a man's own heart is (o dcfpcrately wicked, he is told 
by our modern polite preachers, that there is a fitnefs in men 
and that God feeing you a good creature, gives you his grace ; 
but this, though it is a modern, polite, and fafhion.ible way 
of talking, is very unfcriptural ; it is very contrary to the 
dodrines of the Reformation, and to our own Articles. But 
however contrary to the do£lrines of the Church of Englandj 
yet our pulpits ring of nothing more, than doing no one any 
harm, living honeftly, loving your neighbour as yourfelves^ 
and do v/hat you can, and then Christ is to make up the 
deficiency : this is making Christ to be half a faviour, and 
man the other part; but I fay, Christ will be your whole 
righteoufnefs, your whole wifdom, your whole fandificationj 
or elfe he will never be your whole redemption. How amaz- 
ing is it, that the minifk-rs of the church of England fhould 
fpeak quite contrary to what they have fubfcnbed ! Good 
GcD ! if thefe are the guides of the ignorant, and efleemed 
to be the true minifters of Jesus, becaufe they have a great 
{hare of letter-learning ; when at the fame time they are only 
the blind leaders of the blind j and without a fpecial Provi- 
dence, they both v.'ill fall into the ditch. 

No wonder at people's talking of the fttnefs and unfitncfs 
of I* 'ngs, when they can tell us, that the Spirit of God, is a 
good confcience, and the comforts of the Holy Ghoft are con- 
fequent thereupon. But this is wrong ; for it fhould be faid, 
the Spirit of GoD, are the comforts of the H^ly Ghofl, and a 
good confcience confequent thereupon. Seneca^ Cicero, TlatOy 
or any of the heathen philofophers, would have given as good 
a definition as this j it means no more than rcflcding we have 
done well. 

But let thefe modern, polite gentlemen, and let my letter- 
learned brethren, pajnt man in as lovely colours as they 
pleafe, I will not do it : 1 dare not make him better than the 
word of God does. If I was to paint man in hia proper co- 
lours, I mufi: go to the kingdom of hell for a copy : for maa 
is by nature full of pride, fuhtilty, malice, envy, revenge. 

Vol. V- T asid 

[ 290 1 
and all uncharitablenefs ; and what are thefe but the tempers 
of the devil ? and luft, fenfuality, plcafurc, thefe are the tem- 
pers of the beaft. Thus, my brethren, man is halfabeaft, 
and half a'devil, a motley mixture of the beaft and devil. And 
this is the creature, who has made himfelf fo obnoxious to the 
wrath of God, and open to his indignation, that is told, that 
he muft be part his own faviour, by doing good works, and 
what he cannot do Christ will do for him. 

This is giving the tempter great room to come in with 
his temptation ; he may prefs a foul to follow moral duties, 
to go to church, take the facramcnt, read, pray, meditate; 
the devil is well content you fliould do all thefe ; but if they 
are done in your own ftrength, or if you go no farther than 
here, you are only going a fmoother way to hell. 

Thus, my brethren, you may fee who it is that tempts us. 

II. Why he tempts you, is the fecond thing I am to fhew 

It is out of envy to you, and to the Lord Jesus Christ, 
he endeavours to keep you from clcfing with Jesus; and if he 
can but keep you from laying hold by faith on CHRrsT, he 
knows he has you fafe enough ; and the more temptations you 
are under, and according to their nature and greatnefs, you 
are more hurried in your minds ; and the more unfettled yo^ir 
thoughts and affeclions are, the mora apt you are to conclude, 
that if you were to go to Christ, at prefent, in all that hurry 
of mind, he would not receive you ; but this is the policy of 
the tempter, to make you have low and difhonourable thoughts 
of the blefTed Jesus ; and fo by degrees he works upon your 
minds, that you are carelefs and indifferent about Christ. 
This, this, my brethren, is the defign of the tempter. Nothing 
will pleafe him more, than to fee you ruined and loft for ever. 
He tempts you for that end, that you may lofe your intereft in 
Jesus Christ, and that you may dwell with him and apoftate 
fpirics to all eternity. He knows that Jesus Christ died for 
fmners, yet he would fain keep fouls from feeking to this city 
of refuge for fhelter, and from going to Gikad for the true 


[ 291 :i 

It is he that rules In thy heart, O fcofFer, O Pharipe ; the 
devil reigns there, and endeavours to blind your eyes, that you 
fhall not fee what danger you are in, and how much evil there 
is in thofe hearts of yours ; and as long as he can keep you 
eafy and unconcerned about having your hearts changed, he 
will be eafy ; though if he can, he will tempt you to fm againft 
him, until you are hardened in your iniquity. O, my bre- 
thren, do not give the devil a handle wherewith he may lay 
hold on you : alas ! it is no wonder that the devil tempts you, 
when he finds you at a play, a ball, or mafquerade ; if you 
are doing the devil's work, it is no wonder if he prcfTes you in 
the continuation thereof; and how can any fay, " Lead us not 
into temptation," in the morning, when they are refolved to 
run into it at night ? Good God ! Are thefe perfons members 
of the church of England? Alas, when you have gone to 
church, and read over the prayers, it is offering no more than 
the facrifice of fools ; you fay Amen to them with your lip% 
when in your hearts you are either unconcerned at what you 
are about, or elle you thirk that the bare faying oV yout 
prayers is fufficient, and that then God and you have balanced 

But, my dear brethren, do not deceive yourfelves, God is 
not to be mocked. You are only ruining yourfelves for time 
and eternity. You pray, " lead us not into temptation," when 
you are tempting the devil to come and tempt you, 

Iir. I (hall now point out feme of the ways and means, he 
makes ufe of to draw you to himfelf. 

But this is a field fo large, and I have but juPl begun to 
be a foldier of Jesus Christ, that I cannot name many unto 
you. I (hall therefore be very (hort on this head. 

I. He endeavours to make you think fm is not fo rrcat as 
it is ; that there is no occafion of being fo over-flricl, and 
that you are righteous over-much ; that you are oftentatious, 
and will do yourfelf harm by it ; and that you will deftroy 
yourfelves. He {hows you, my brethren, the hair, but he 
hides the hook; he (hows you the pleafure, profits and advan- 
tages, that attend abundance of this world's goods ; but he 
does not fhow you the crufTe?, lofTes and vexations that you 

T 2 "^'^y 

[ '292 ] 
inay have while you are in the enjoyment of the blelTings of 
this world. 

2. When he finds he cannot allure you by flattery, he will 
try you by frowns, and the terrors of this world ; he will flir 
up people to point at you, and cry, " Here comes another 
«* troop of his followers :" He will iHr them up to jeer, fcofF, 
backbite, and hate you; but if he flill finds this will not do, 
then he throws doubts, my brethren, and difcouragements in 
your mind, whether the way you are in is the true way or 
not ; or elfe he will fugged:, What ! do you expe£l to be faved 
by Christ ? Alfo, He did not die for you; you have been too 
great a finner ; you have lived in fin fo long, and committed 
fuch fins againft Christ, which he will not forgive. Thus 
he hurries poor finners almoft into defpair. 

And very often, when the people of GoD are met to wor- 
(hip him, he fends his agents, the fcoffers, to difturb them. 
We faw an inftance of their rage juft now; they would fain 
have difturbed us ; but the Lord was on our fide, and fo pre- 
ventecf all the attempts of wicked and defigning men, to 
difturb and difquiet us. Lord Jesus, forgive them who are 
thus perfccuting thy truth ! Jesus, fhcw them that they arc 
fighting againft thee, and that it is hard for them to kick 
againft the pricks ! Thefe, my brethren, are fome of the ways 
Satan takes, in his temptations, to bring you from Christ : 
Many more might be named ; but thefe are fufRcient, I hope, 
to keep you on your guard, againft all that the enemy can do 
to hinder you from coming to Christ. 

IV. 1 come to (hew you, how earneft you ought to be with 
Jesus Christ, either not to fufter you to be led into temp- 
tations, or to preferve you under them. 

And here, my dear brethren, let me befeech you to go to 
Jesus Christ ; tell him, how you are aflaulted by the evil 
one, who lies in wait for your fouls ; tell him, you are not 
able to matter him, in your own ftrength ; beg his affiftance, 
and you ftiall find him ready to help you ; ready to affift you, 
and to be your Guide, your Comforter, your Saviour, your 
All: He v/ill give you ftrength to refift the fiery darts of the 
devil; and, therefore, you can no where find one fo proper 
to relieve you, as Jesus Christ j he knows what it is to be 
3 * tempted j 

[ 293 ] 

tempted ; he was tempted by Satan in the wildcrnefs, and he 
will give you the afTiilance of his Spirit, to rcfift the evil one, 
and then he will fly from you. In Christ Jesus you (hall 
have the flrcngth you ftand in need of, the devil {hall have 
no power 5 therefore fear not, for in the name of the Lord 
we fliall overcome all our fpiritual Amalekiies : Let the devil 
and his agents rage, let them breathe out thrcatnings, yea. 
Jet them breathe out flaughters, yet we can rejoice in this, 
that Jesus Christ hath them in his power, they {hall go no 
farther than he permits them; they may rage, they may rage 
horribly, but they can go no farther, until they have got more 
power from on high. 

If they could do us what mifchief they would, very few of 
us fhould be permitted to fee our habitations any more ; but, 
bleiled be God, we can commit ourfelves to his proteclioa ; 
he has been our proteclor hitherto, he will be fo {lill. Then 
earne{ily intreat of the Lord to fupport you under thofc 
temptations, which the devil may afTault you with ; he is a 
powerful adverfary, he is a cunning one too ; he would be 
too hard for us, unlefs we have the ftrength of Christ ro be 
with us. But let us be lucking up unto Jesus, that he would 
fend his Spirit into our hearts, and keep us from falling. O 
my dear brethren in Christ Jesus, how {lands it now be- 
tween God and your fouls ? Is Jesus altogether lovely to 
your fouls ? is he precious unto you ? I am fure, if you have 
not gone back from Christ, he will not from you ; he will 
root out the accurfed things of this world, and dwell in your 
hearts. You are candidates for heaven 3 and will you mind 
earth ? What are all the pleafures of earth, without an in- 
tereft in the Lord Jesus Christ ? And one fmile from him 
is more to be defired than rubies, yea more than the whole 

O you who have found Jesus Christ affifting you, and 
fupporting you under all the temptations of this life, will you 
forfake him ? have you not found him a gracious maiter ? is 
he not the chiefeft of ten thoufand, and altogether lovely? 
Now you fee a form and comelinefs in Christ, which you 
never faw before. O ! how do you and I wifli we had known 
Jesus fooner, and that we had more of his love; it is con- 
dpfcei;ding love, it is amazing, it is forgiving love, it is dying 

T 3 I'^ve, 

[ 294 ] 

lovp, it is exalted and interceding love, and it is glorified love. 
Methinlcs when I am talking of the love of Jesus Christ, 
v/ho loved me before i loved him ; iie faw me polluted in 
blood, full of fores, a ilave to fin, to death and h^^ll, running 
to dcftruiSHon, then he paOtd by me, and faid unto my foul, 
'' Livej" he fnatched me as a brand plucked from the burning. 
It was love that fiVcd me, it was all of the free grace of GoD, 
and that only. The littk experience I have had of this love, 
makes me amazed at the condefcenfion, the love, and merciful- 
nefs of the blcfied Jesus, that he Ihould have mercy upon 
fuch a wretch. O, my brethren, the kingdom of God is 
within me, aid this fills me fo full of love, that I would not 
be in my natural (late again, not for millions of millions of 
worlds ; I long to be with Jesus, to live with the Lord that 
bought m.', to live forever with the Lamb that was {lain, and 
to fing Hallelujah's unto him. Eternity itfelf will be too fhort 
to fet forth the love of the Lord Jesus Christ. 1 cannot, 
indeed I cannot forbear fpeaking again, and again, and again, 
of the Lord Jesus. 

And if there are any here who are fl:rangers to this love of 
the L:)RD Jesus Christ, do not defpair; come, come unto 
Christ, and he v/ill have mercy upon you, he will pardon all 
your fins, he will heal all your backllidings, he will love you 
freely, and take you to be v/ith hjmfelf. Come therefore, O 
my guilty brethren, unto Jesus, and you fhall find reft for 
your fouls. You need not fear, you need not defpair, when 
God has had mercy upon fuch a v^^rctch as I ; and he will 
fave you alfo, if you will come unto him^ by faith. 

Why do ye delay? What ! do you fay, you are poor, and 
therefore afhamed to come? It ib not your poverty that Christ 
mindeth ; come in all your rags, in ail your pollution, and he 
will fave you. Do not depend upnn any thing but rhe blood 
of Jesus Christ ; do not iiand out an hour longer, but give 
your hearts to Christ, give him the ni filings of the flock ; 
come unto him nov/, left he fliould cut you ofi-^ before you are 
prepared, and your foul be feiit to that pit from whence there 
is no redemption. 

Do not waver, but give him that which he defires, your 
hearts; it is the heart the Lord Jesus Christ wanteth j and 
when you have an inward principle wiought in your hearts 

5 ty 

[ 295 ] 

by this fame Jesus, then you will feel the fweetncfs and plca- 
fure of communion with God. O confider, my brethren, the 
love of the Lord Je^us Christ, in dying for you ; and are 
you refolved to l];ght his dying love ? Your 1ms brought 
Christ from heaven, and 1 humbly pray to the Lord that 
they may not be a means of fendmg you to hell. What lan- 
guage will make you leave your fms and come to Christ ? 
O that I did but know 1 and that it lay in my power to give 
you this grace; not one of you, not the greatell: fcoftcr here 
fhould go hence before he was changed from a natu-^al to a 
fpiritual life; then, then we would rejoice and take fwect 
council together; but all this is not in my power : but I tell 
you where you may have it, even of the Lord Jesus; he 
will give it to you, if you afk it of him, for he has told us, 
*' AfK, and you fhall receive ;" therefore afk of him, and if 
you are repulfed again and again, intreat him more, and he 
will be unto you as he was to the poor Syrophcenician woman, 
who came to Christ on account of her daughter ; and if {he 
was fo importunate to him for a body, how much more fliouM 
we be folicitous for our fouls? If you feek to him in faith, 
his anfwer will be to you as it was to her, " Thy faith 
hath faved thee, be it as thou wouldefl: have it." 

O, do not forfake the feekmg of the Lord ; do not, I 
befeech you, negledt the opportunities v^/nich may be <^f}'ered 
to you, for the falvation of your fouls ; forfake not the afllm- 
bling of yourfelves together, to build up and confirm and 
flrengthen thofe who are weak in faith ; to convince finners, 
that they may feel the power of God pricking ihem in their 
hearts, and make them cry out, " What muft we do to be 
faved ?" 

The devil and his agents have their clubs of revelling, and 
their focieties of drunkennefs; they are not afhamed to be ken 
and heard doing the devil their master's works ; they are not 
afhamtd to proclaim him ; and fure you are not aftiamcd of 
the Lord Jesus Christ ; you dare proclnim that Jesus, 
who died that you might live, and who will own you before 
his Father and all the holy angels : Therefore, dare to be 
fingularly good ; be not afraid of the face of man ; let not 
all the threats of the men of this world move you : what is 
the lofs of all the grandeur, or pleafure, or reputaaon of this 

T 4 life. 

[ 296 ] 

life, compared to the lofs of heaven, of Christ snd of \'oiir 
fouls? and as for the reproaches of the world, do not mind 
them ; when they revile you, never, never revile again ; do 
not anfwer r::iling with railing; but let iove, kinJ'v;M"s, m.eck- 
nefs, patience, long-fuffering, be found in you, a-^^ they were 
in the blciled Jesus ; therefore, I befeech you, do not negie(Sl: 
the frequent coming together, and tellit^g each otlier, what 
great things Jesus Christ hath done for your fouls, 

1 do not now, as the Phariiees fay I do, encourage you to 
leave your lawful callings, and your bufinefs, in which God, 
by his providence, hath placed you ; fur you have two call- 
ings, the one a general, and the other a I'pecial one ; it is 
your duty to regard your familes, and if you negleft them out 
of any pretence whatfoever, as going to church or to focieties, 
you are out of the way of your duty, and offering that to God 
which he commanded you not. But then, my brethren, you 
are to take care that the things of this life do not hinder the 
preparing for that which is to come; let not the bufinefs of 
the world make you unmindful of your fouls; but in all your 
moral actions, in the bufinefs of life, let all be done with a 
view to the glory of God, and the falvation of your fouls. 

The night draws on, and obliges me to haften to a conclu- 
fion ; though, methinks, I could fpeak until my tongue clave 
to the roof of my mouth, yea, until I could fpeak no more, if 
it was to fave your fouls from the paws of him who feekeih 
to devour them. 

Therefore let me befeech you, in all love and compaiTion : 
Confider, you, who are Pharifees; you, who will not come to 
Christ, but are trufting to yourfejvcs for righteoufnefs; who 
think, bccaufe you lead civil, honeft, decent lives, all will go 
well at lad; but let me tell you, O ye Pharifees, that harlots, 
murderers, and thieves, fliail enter the kingdom of God be- 
fore you. Do not flatter yourfelves of being in the way to 
heaven, when you are in the broad way to hell ; but if you 
will throw away your righteoufnefs and come to Christ, and 
be contented to let Jesus Christ do all for you, and in you, 
then Christ is willing to be your Saviour; but if you bring 
your good works with you, and think to be juflifitd on the 
account of them, you may feek to be juftified by them for ever, 
:ind never feejuilified; no, it is only the blood of Jesus that 


r 297 ] 

eleanfeth us from the filth and pollution of all our. fins; and 
you muft be fandified before you are juftified. As for good 
ivorks, we are juftified before God without any refpcdl to 
them, either paft, prcTcnt, or to come : when we are jufiifieJ, 
good works will follow our juftification, for we can do no 
good works, until we are cleanfed of our pollution, by the 
faniStification of the Spirit of God. 

ye fcofFcrs, come and fee this Jesus, this Lord of 
glory whom you have defpifed ; and if you will but come to 
Christ, he will be willing to receive you, notwithftandino- 
all the perfecution you have ufed towards his members: How- 
ever, if you are refolved to perfift in your obftinacy, remember, 
falvation was offered to you, that Christ and free 'yracc v/cre 
propofed ; but you refufed to accept of either, and therefore 
your blood will be required at your own hands. 

1 fiiall only fay this unto you, that hov/ever you may defpife 
either me or my miniilry, I fliall not regard it, but fliall fre- 
quently fhew you your danger, and propofe to you the remedy; 
and (hall earneftly pity and pray for you, that God would fliew 
you your error, and bring you home into his {heepfold, that 
you, from ravenous lions, may become peaceful lambs. 

And as for you, O my brethren, who defire to chufe 
Christ for your Lord, and to experience his power upon 
your fouls, and as yet do not iind your defires and prayers 
anfvvered; goon, and Christ will manifeft himfelf unto you, 
as he does not unto the world ; you fhall be made to fee and 
feel this love of Jesus upon your fouls ; you fhall have a wit- 
nefs in your own breaft, that you are the Lord's ; therefore, 
do not fear, the Lord Jesus Christ will gather you with 
his ele6l, when he comes at that great day of accounts, to 
judge every one according to the deeds done in the body, 
whether they be good, or whether they be evil : and, O that 
the thought of anfwering to God for all our a£lions, would 
make us more mindful about the confequences that will attend 

And now let me addrefs all of you, high and low, rich and 
poor, one with another, to accept of mercy and grace while 
it is offcre-.: to you : Now is the accepted time, now is the 
day of falvation; and will you not accept it, now it is oiTcrcd 
unio you? do not fland out one moment longer; but come 


[ 298 ] 

and accept of Jesus Christ in his own way, and then you 
fliall be taken up at the laft day, and be with him for ever and 
ever : and fure this fhould make you defirous of being with 
that Jesus who has done fo much for you, and is now inter- 
ceding for you, and preparing manfions for youj where may 
we all arrive and fit down with Jesus to all eternity ! 

Which God of his infinite mercy grant,, &c. 


[ 299 ] 


Worldly bufinefs no Plea for the Negledl of 

Matthew viii. 22. 
Let the dead bury their dead. 

ST. PW preaching at Athens^ tells them, that as he pafTcd 
by and beheld their devotions, he perceived they were 
in all things too fnper/iitious. But was this apoftle to rife, 
and C'jms publiining the glad t.dings of falvation in any of 
our populous cities, he would fee no reafon why he fhould 
charge the inhabitants with this ; but rather as he pafTed by 
and obferved the tenor of their life, fay, I perceive in all 
things ye are too vjorldly-minded ; ye are too eagerly bent on 
purfuing your lawful bufinefs ; fo eagerly, as either wholly 
to negle6^, or at lead too heedlefly to attend on the one thing 

There cannot then be a greater charity fliewn to the chrif- 
tian world, than to found an alarm in their ears, and to warn 
them of the inexpreflible danger, of continually grafping after 
the things of this life, without being equally, nay a thou^ 
fand times more concerned for their well-being in a future 

And there is ftill the more occafion for fuch r.n alarm, be- 
caufe worldly- mindednefs fo eafily and craftily belcts the 
hearts of men. For out of a fpecious pretence of ferving GoD 
in labouring for the meat which perifheth, they are infcnfibly 
lulled into fuch a fpiritual llumber, as fcarce to perceive 
their neglect to fecare that which endureth to everlafting 


[ Soo ] 

The words of the text, if not at firft view, yet when exa- 
mined and explained, will be found applicable to this calc, 
as containing an admirable caucioa not to purfue the affairs 
of this world, at the expence of our happinefs in the next. 

They are the words of Jesus Christ himfclf: the occa- 
fion of their being ipoken was this ; As ne was convcrfmg with 
thofe that were gathered round about him, he gave one of 
them an immediate fummons to follow him : but he, eiiher 
afraid to go afrer fuch a perfecuted mailer, or rather loving 
this prefent world, fays, " Suffer me hrft to go home and 
bury my father," or, as moft explain it, let me lirft go and 
difpatch fome niiportant bufmcfs 1 have now in hand. But 
Jesus faid unto him, " Let the dead bury their dead •," leave 
worldly bufmefs to worldly men, let thy fecular buhnefs be 
left undone, rather than thou fhouldii neglecl to follow 

Whether this perfon did as he was commanded, I know 
not ; but this i know, that what Christ faid here in perfon, 
he has often whifpered with the fmall ftill voice of his holy 
Spirit, and faid to many here prefent, that rife up early and 
late take reft, and eat the bread of carefulnefs, Come draw 
off your aP/tdions from the things of this life; take up your 
crofs and follow me. But they, willing tojuftify themfelves, 
make anfwer. Lord, fuffer us hril to bury our fathers, or dif- 
patch our fecular affairs. I fay unto all fuch, " Let the dead 
bury their dead," let your worldly bufmefs be left undone, 
rather than you {l:ould neglect to follow him. 

From the words thus explained, naturally arifes this propofi- 
tion, that no bufmefs, though ever io important, can juftify 
a negledt of true religion. 

The truth of which i fhall firft fhevv, and then make aa 
application of it. 

L Fi};/i then, I am to prot^e, that no temporal bufmefs, 
though ever fo important, canjuftify a neglect of true re- 

By the word religion^ I do not mean any fct of m.oral vir- 
tues, any partial amendment of ourfelves, or formal attend- 
ance on any outward duties whatfoever : but an application 
of Christ's whole and perfonal righteotifnefs, made by faith 


t 301 ] 

to our hearts ; a thorough real change of nature wrought iii 
us by the invifible, yet powerful operation of the Holy GhoR, 
preferved and nourifhed in our fouls by a conftant ufe of all 
the means of grace, evidenced by a good life, and bringin<r 
forth the fruits of the Spirit. 

This is true and undefiled religion, and for the perfecting 
this good work in our hearts, the eternal Son of God came 
down and Ihed his precious blood ; for this end were we made, 
and fent into the world, and by this alone can we become 
the Tons of God. Were we indeed to judge by the common 
practice of the world, we might think: we were fent into it 
for no other purpofe, than to care and toil for the uncertain 
riches of this life : but if we confult the lively oracles, they 
will inform us, that we were born for nobler ends, even to 
be born again from above, to be reftored to the divine like- 
nefs by Jesus Christ, ouf fccond Adam^ and thereby be 
made meet to inherit the kingdom of heaven ; and confe- 
quently, there is aji obligation laid upon all, even the moft 
bufy people, to fecure this end ; it being an undeniable truth, 
that all creatures ought to anfwer the end for which they were 

Some indeed are for confiuing religion to the clergy, and 
think it only belongs to thofe who ferve at the altar : but 
what a fatal miftake is this, feeing all perfons are indifferently 
called by God to the fame ftate of inward holinefs. As wc 
are all corrupt in our nature, fo muft we all be renewed and 
fandiiied. And though it muft be granted, that the clergy 
lie under double obligations to be examples to believers, in 
faith, zeal, charity, and whatever elfe is commendable and 
©f good report, as being more immediately dedicated to the 
fervice of God ; yet as we have been all baptized with one 
baptifm into the death of Christ, wc are all under the ne- 
ceflity of performing our baptifmal covenant, and perfcding 
holinefs in the fear of God : for the holy fcripturcs point out 
to us but one way of admiffion into the kingdom of Christ, 
through the narrow gate of a found converfion : and he that 
does not enter into the fheepfuld, whether clergy or lay-man, 
by this door, will find, to his everlafting confufion, there is 
no climbing up another way. 


C 302 ] 

Belides, what a grofs ignorance of the nature of true reli- 
gion, as well as of our own happinefs, does fuch a diftinclioa 
difcover ? For what does our Saviour, by willing us to be re- 
ligious, require of us ? but to fubdue our corrupt paffions, 
to root out ill habits, to engraft the heavenly graces of God's 
moft holy Spirit in their room ; and, in one word, to fill 
us with all the fulnefs of God. 

And will men be fo much their own enemies, as to affirm 
this belongs only to thofe who minifter in holy things ? Does 
it not equally concern the m®fl: active man living ? Is it the 
end of religion to make men happy, and is it not every one's 
privilege to be as happy as he can ? Do perfons in bufinefs 
find the corruptions of their rtature, and diforder of their 
pafllons, fo pleafing, that they care not whether they ever 
regulate or root them out ? Or will they confent that minif- 
ters fhall be alone partakers of the inheritance of the faints in 
light ? If not, as they defire the fame end, why will they not 
make ufe of the fame means ? Do they think that God will 
create a new thing upon the earth, and, contrary to the pu- 
rity of his nature, and immutability of his counfel, admit 
them into heaven in their natural ftate, becaufe they have 
been encumbred about many worldly things ? Search the 
fcriptures, and fee if they give any room for fuch a ground- 
lefs hope. 

But farther, one would imagine there was fomething of 
the highefl concern and utmoil importance in our temporal 
affairs, that they (hould divert fo many from purifying their 
hearts by faith which is in Christ Jesus. 

A covetous mifcr, who ncglc6ts religion by being conti- 
nually intent on feeking great things for himfelf and thofe of 
his own houfhold, flatters himfelf he herein a£ts moft wifely ; 
and at the fame time will cenfure and condemn a young pro- 
digal, who has no time to be devout, becaufe he is fo per- 
petually engaged in wafting his fubftance by riotous living 
and following of harlots. But yet a little while, and men 
will be convinced, that they are as much without excufe 
who lofe their fouls by hunting after riches, as thofe who 
lofe them by hunting after fcnfual pleafures. For though 
bufinefs may aftume an air of importance, when compared 
with other trifling amufements, yet when put in the balance 


[ 3^3 1 

with the lofs of our precious and immortal fouls, it is equally 
frivolous, according to that of our Saviour, '« What flia!] it' 
profit a man, it he fiiall gain the whole world, and lofe his 
own foul j or what iliall a man give in exchange for his 
foul ?" 

And now what need we any further proof? We have heard 
the decifion out of Christ's own mouth. But bccaufe it 
is fo difficult to convince fuch of this important truth, whofe 
hearts arc blinded by the deceitfulnefs of riches, that we had 
need cry out to them in the language of the prophet, ^' O 
earth, earth, hear the word of the Lord," I fliall lay 
before you one paiTiige of fcripture more, which I could 
wifh were written on the tables of all our hearts. In 
the xivth of St. Luke, the i8th and following verfes, our 
bleffed Lord puts forth this parable, " A certain man made 
a great fupper, and bade many, and fcnt his fcrvant at fuppcr- 
time, to call them that were bidden : but they all, with one 
confent, began to make excufe. The one faid, I have bought 
a piece of ground, and I muft needs go and fee it, I pray 
thee have me excufed. And another faid, I have boj&ht a 
yoke of oxen, and I muft needs go and prove them, I pray 
thee therefore have me excufed. So the fervant returned, and 
ihewed his mafter all thefe things." And what follows? 
Did the mafter accept of their excufes ? No, the text tells 
us the good man was angry, and faid, " that none of thofc 
which were bidden, (hould tafte ©f his fupper.'* And what 
does this parable teach, but that the moft lawful callings 
cannot juftify our negledl j nay, that they are no lono-er law- 
ful when they in any wifs interfere with the great concerns 
of religion ? For the marriage fupper here fpoken of, means 
the gofpel ; the mafter of the houfe is Christ ; the fervants 
fent out, are his minifters, whofe duty it is, from time to 
time, to call the people to this marriage-feaft, or, in other 
words, to be religious. Now we find thofe that were bidden, 
were very well and honeftly employed. There was no harm 
in buying or feeing a piece of ground, or in going to prove 
a yoke of oxen ; but here lay their fault, they were doing 
thefe things, when they were invited to come to the marriage 


t 304 ] 

Without doubt, perfons may very honeflly and Coifimen-s 
dably be employed in following their refpeilive callings. j 
but yet, if they are engaged fo deeply in thefe, as to hinder 
their working out their falvation with fear and trembling, 
they muil expert the fame fentence wi:h their predecefFors irr 
the parable, that none of them (hall tafte of Christ's fupper : 
for our particular calling, as of this or that profeffion, muft 
never interfere with our general and precious calling, as chiif- 
tians. Not that chriftianity calls us entirely out of the world, 
the holy fcriptures warrant no fuch docSlrine. 

It is very remarkable, that in the book of life, we find fome 
almoft of all kinds of occupations, who notwithttanding ferved 
God in their refpeclive generations, and (hone as fo many 
lights in the world. Thus we hear of a good centurion in 
the evangelifts, and a devout Cornelius in ihtJofs, a pious 
lawyer ; and fome that walked with God, even of Nerc's 
houfliolt], in the epifrles j and our divine mafter himfelf, in 
his check to Martha^ does not condemn her for minding, 
but for being cumbered or perplexed about many things. 

No, you may, nay, you muft labou-, out of obedience to 
God, even for the meat which periflieth. 

But I come, in the Second place, to apply what has been 

I befeech you, by the mercies of God in Christ Jesus, 
let not your concern for the meat which periflieth be at the 
cxpence of that which endureth to everlaftiug life; for, to 
repeat our bleiled Saviour's words, *' What fhall it profit a 
man, if he (hall gain the whole world, and lofe his own foul j 
or, what fhall a man give in exchange for his foul ?" 

Were we always to live in the world, then worldly wifdom 
would be our higheft wifdom : but forafmuch as we have 
here no continuing city, and were only fent into this world 
to have our natures changed, and to fit ourfelves for that 
which is to come ; then to negledl this important work for 
a little worldly gain, what is it but, with profane EfaUy to fell 
our birth- right for a mefs of pottage. 

Alas 1 how unlike are chriftians to chriftianity ! they arc 
commanded to *' feek firft the kingdom of God and bis 
rio^hteoufnefs," and all other real neceflaries fliall be added 
unto them ; but they are fearful (O men of little faith !) that 
if they Ihould do fo, all other neceffaries would be taken from 

* them ; 

I 205 ] 

them : ihcy are ftridly forbidden to be careful for the morr5w 
and yet they reft not night or day, but are continually heap- 
ing up riches for many years, ihough they know not who 
Ihall gather them. Is this ading like perfons that are ftran- 
gers and pilgrims upon earth ? Is this keeping their baptifmal 
vow ? Or rather^ is it not diretSlly apoftatizing from it, and 
deferting the fcrvice of Jesus Christ, to lift themfelves ui>- 
der the bajmer of mammon ? 

But what will be the hope of fuch worldlings, when God 
fhall take away their fouls ? What if the almighty (hould 
fay to each of them, as he did to the rich fool in the gofpc!^ 
" this night fliall thy foul be required of thee /* O then, 
what would all thofe things profit them, which they are now 
fo bufy in providing ? 

Was eternal life, that free gift of God in Christ Jesus, 
to be purchafcd with money ; or could men carry their ftocks 
beyond the grave, to buy oil for their lamps, i. e. grace for 
their hearts, when they fhould be called to meet the bride- 
groom, there might be fome reafon why God might well 
bear with them : but fmce their money is to perilh with them ; 
fmce it is certain, as they brought nothing into the world, 
{o they can carry nothing out ; or fuppofmg they could, fince 
there is nb oil to be bought, no grace to be purchafed when 
Once the lamp of their natural life is gohe out; vvould it 
not be much more prudent to fpend the fliort time they have 
here allotted them, in buying oil while it may be had, and 
not for fear of having a little lefs of that which will quickly 
be another man's^ eternally Idfe the true riches ? 

What think you ? Is it to be fuppofed, it grieved that co- 
vetous worldling before mentioned, when his foul fprung into 
the world of fpirits, that he could not ftay here till he had 
pulled dov/n his barns and built greater ? Or think you not 
that all things here below Teemed equally little to him then, 
and he only repented that he had not employed more t4n;e 
in pulling down every high thought that exalted itlelf againft 
the Almighty, and building up his foul in the knowledge and 
fear of God ? 

And thus it will be with all unhappy men^ who like him 
are difquieting themfelves in a vain purfuit after worldly 
riches, and at the fame time are not rich towards God. 

Vol. V, U They 


I 306 ] 

They may, for a feafon, feem excellently well employed In 
being folicitoufly careful about the important concerns of this 
life ; but when once their eyes are opened by death, and their 
fouls launched into eternity, they will then fee the littlencfs 
of all fubl unary cares, and wonder they fhould be fo befotted 
to the things of another life, while they were, it may be, 
applauded for their great wifdom and profound fagacity in the 
affairs of this world. 

Alas ! how will they bemoan themfelves for afling like the 
unjuft fteward, fo very wifely in their temporal concerns, in 
calling their refpeftive debtors fo carefully, and afking how 
much every one owes to them, and yet never remembring to 
call themfelves to an account, or enquire how much they 
owed to their own great Lord and mafter ? 

And now w^hat {hall I fay more ? The God of this world, 
and the inordinate defire of other things, muft have wholly 
ftifled the confcience of that man, who does not fee the force 
of thefe plain reafonings. 

Permit me only to add a word or two to the rich, and to 
perfons that are freed from the bufmefs of this life. 

But here I muft paufe a while, for I am fenfible that it is 
but an ungrateful, and as fome may imagine, an afluming 
thing, for fuch a novice in religion to take upon him to in- 
fl:ru(£t men in high flations, aiid who perhaps would difdain 
to fet me with the dogs of their flock. 

But however,, fmce St. Paul^ who knew what beft became 
a young preacher, commanded Timothy^ young as he was, to 
exhort and charge the rich with all authority ; I hope none 
here tbat are fo, will be offended, if with humility I beg 
leave to remind them, though they once knew this, that if 
perfons in the moft bufy employs are indifpenfibly obliged to 
" work out their falvation with fear and trembling," much 
more ought they to do fo, who are free from the toils and in- 
cumbrance of a lower way of life, and confequenily have 
greater opportunities and leifure to prepare themfelves for a 
future ftate. 

But is this really the cafe ? or do we not find, by fatal ex- 
perience, that too many of thofe whom GoD has exalted 
above their brethren, who are " cloathed in purple and fine 
linncn, and fare fumptuoufly every day," by a fad abufe of 
5 God's 

t 3^7 1 

God's great bounty towards them, think that their Nations (ei 
them above religion, and (o let the poor, who live by thC 
fweat of their brows, attend more conftaatly on the means 
of grace than do they ? 

But woe unto fuch rich men ! for they have received their 
confolation. Happy had it been if they had never been born : 
for if the carelefs irreligious tradefman cannot be faved, where 
will luxurious and wicked gentlemen appear ? 

Let me therefore, by way of conclufion, exhort all perfons^ 
high and low, rich and poor, one with another, to make the 
renewal of their fallen nature, the one bufinefs of their lives ; 
and to let no worldly profit, no worldly pleafure^ divert them 
from the thoughts of it. Let this cry^ '' Behold the bride- 
groom Cometh," be ever founding in our ears ; and let us live 
as creatures that are every moment liable to be hurried awav 
by death to judgment : let us rememberj that this life is a 
ftate of infinite importance, a point between two eternities^ 
end that after thefe few days are endedj there will remain nd 
more facrifice for fm ; let us be often afking ourfelves, how 
we (hall wifh we had lived when v/e leave the world ? And 
then we fhall always live in fuch a ftate, as we {hall never 
fear to die in. Whether we live, we ftlall live unto the 
Lord ; or whether we die, we fhall die unto the Lord ; fo 
that living or dying we may be the Lord's. 

To which end, let us befeech God, the prote61:or of a't 
them that put their truft in him^ without whom nothing is 
ftrong, nothing is holy, to increafe and multiply upon us his 
mercy, that he being our ruler and guide, we may Co pafs 
through things temporal, that we finally lofe not the things 
eternal) through Jesvs Christ our Lord. 

V 2 S L R it O K 

t 308 ] 


Christ the only Reft for the Weary and 

Matthew xi. 2 S(. 

Ccjne unto ;;.v, all ye that are weary and heavy laden y and 
I will give you rejl, 

NOTHING is more generally known than the duties 
which belong to chriftianity ; and yet, how amazing is 
it, nothing is lefs practifed ? There is much of it in name 
and (hew, but little of it in the heart and convcrfation ; in- 
deed, if going to church, and to the facrament, or, if our 
being called after the name of Chr.ist, and being baptized 
into that name ; if that will make us chriftians, I believe all 
of us would have a claim thereto : but if it confifts in the 
heart, that there muft be an inward principle wrought in us 
by faith ; that there muft be a change of the whole nature, 
a putting oft the old man with his deeds, a turning from fin 
■unto God, a cleaving only unto the Son of Righteoufnefs ; 
and that there muft be a new birth, and we experience the 
pangs thereof; and that you muft feel yourfelves weary and 
heavy laden with your fms, before you will feek for dclivcr- 
an£e from them j if this is to be the cafe, if there is fo much 
in being children of God, alas ! how many who pleafe ihem- 
felves with an outfide fhew, a name to live whilft they arc 
dead ; and how few that have any (hare in this fpiritual ftate, 
in this true and living name ? How few are they who are 
weary and heavy laden with their fms, and feek to Christ 
for reft ? They fay, in a formal cuftomary manner, we are 
finners, and there is no heulih in us j but how few feel thcm- 


[ 309 ] 

fclves finners, and are fo oppreft in their own fpirits, that 
they have no quiet nor reft in them, becaufe of the burden of 
their fins, and the weight that is fallen and lays on their 
minds ? 

Under thefe burdens, thefe heavy burden?, they arc at a 
lofs what to do whereby they may obtain relt ; they fly to 
their works, they go to a minifter, and he tells them ti 
read, to pray, and meditate, and take the facrament : thuj 
they go away, and read, and pray, and meditate almoft with 
out ceafing, and never neglect the facrament whenever there is 
an opportunity for the taking of it. Well, when the poor 
foul has done all this, it ftill finds no eafe, there is yet no re- 
lief : Well, what muft you do then ? To lie ftill under the 
burden they cannot, and to get rid of it they cannot : O what 
muft the burdened foul do ! Why, goes to the clergyman 
again, and tells him the cafe, and what it has done, and that 
it is no better. Well, he afks, have you given alms to the 
poor ? Why no. Then go and do that, and you will find 
reft. Thus the poor finner is hurried from duty to duty, and 
ftill finds no reft : all things are uneafy and difquiet within, 
and there remains no reft in the foul. And if it was to jro 
through all the duties of religion, and read over a thoufand 
manuals of prayers, none would ever give the foul any reft; 
nothing uill, until it goes to the Lord Jesus Christ, for 
there is the only true reft ; that is the reft which abideth, and 
will continue for ever. It is not in your own works, nor in 
your endeavours : no ; when Christ comes into your fouls, 
he pardons you, without any refpect to your works, either 
paft, prefent, or to come. 

From the worJs, my brethren^ I have now read, I Ihall 

I. Shew you who are the weary and heavy laden. 

II. Inquire what is meant by coming to Christ. And, 

in. Conclude with exhorting you to accept of the invita- 
tion which the Lord Jf.sus Christ gives unto you to 
come unto him, with the afturance of finding ruft. 

F'lrJ}^ I am to (hew you, who are the weary and heavy- 

y 3 And 

[ 3^0 ] 

And here it will be neceflary to confider who are not ; and 
then, to confider who they are that are really fo. 

I. Thofe who think thenifelves good enough, and are 
pleafed that they are not fo bad as others, thefe are not weary 
or heavy laden. 

No, thefe Pharifees are not thus troubled ; they laugh and 
jeft at thofe wlio talk of feeling their fins, and think there is 
IK) occafion to make fo much ado about religion : it is to be 
righteous over-much, and the means to deflroy yourfelves. 
They think if they do but mean well, and fay their prayers, 
as they call them, it is fufficient : though they may fay a 
prayer, yea, thoufands of prayers, and all the while be only 
oftering up the facrifice of fools. They may call God, Fa- 
ther, every day, when it is only mocking of God, and offer- 
ing up falfe fire unto him ; and it would be juft for him to 
ferve them, as he did Nahab and Ah'ihu^ deftroy them, cut 
them off from the face of the earth : but he is waiting to be 
gracious, and willing to try a little longer, whether you will 
bring forth any thing more than the leaves of an outward 
piofeffi )n, v;hich is not all that the Lord requires : no, he 
wants the heart \ and unlcfs you honour him with that, he 
does not regard your mouths, when the other is far from 
him. You may fay over your prayers all your lives, and yet 
you may never pray over one : therefore, while you flatter 
yourfelves you are good enough, and that you are in a ftate 
of falvation, you are only deceiving your own fouls, and 
haflening on your own defirudion. Come unto him, not as 
being good enough, but as vile finners, as poor, and blind, and 
paked, and miferable, and then Jesus v/ill have compafHon. 

O ye Pharifees, what fruits do ye bring forth ? Why, you 
are moral, polite creatures ; you do your endeavours, you do 
what you can, and fo Jesus is to make up the reft. You 
cfteem yourfelves fine,' rational, and polite beings, and think 
it is too unfafhionable to pray j it is not polite enough : per- 
haps you have read fome prayers, but knew not how to pray 
from your hearts j no, by no means : that was being righte- 
ous over-much indeed. 

But when once you are fenfible of your being loft, damned 
creatures, and fe hcU gaping ready to receive you ; if God 
was but to cut the thread of life, O then, then you would cry 


[ 3" 1 

earneflly unto the Lord to receive you, to open the door of 
mercy unto you ; your tones would then be chanecd, you 
would no more flatter yourfclvcs with your abilities and good 
wiflies : no, you would fee how unable you were, how inca- 
pable to fave yourfdves; that there is no fitnefs, no free will 
in you : no fitnefs, but for eternal damnation, no free will 
but that of doing evil ; and that when you would do o^ood, 
evil is prefent with you, and the thing that ye would not, 
that do ye. He knows the fecret intent of every heart ; and 
this is a pleafure to you, my dear brethren, who come on 
purpofe to meet with him, though it be in a field. And, 
however fome may efteem me a mountebank, and an enthu- 
fiaft, one that is only going to make you methodically mad ; 
they may breathe out their invectives againft me, yet Christ 
knows all ; he takes notice of it, and 1 fhall leave it to him 
to plead my caufe, for he is a gracious Mafter : I have al- 
ready found him fo, and am fure he will continue fo. Ven- 
geance is his, and he will repay it. Let them revile me ; let 
them caft me out of their fynagogues, and have my name in 
reproach, I (hall not anfwer them by reviling again, or in 
fpeaking evil againft them : no, that is not the Spirit of 
Christ, but meeknefs, patience, long-fufFering, kind- 
nefs, &:c. 

Ye pharifees, who are going about to eftablifli your own 
righteoufnefs ; you, who are too polite to follow the Lord 
Jesus Christ in fincerity and truth ; you, who are all for 
a little fhew, a little outfide work j who lead moral, civil, 
decent lives, Christ will not know you at the great day, 
but will fay unto you, O ye Pharifees, was there any place 
for me in your love ? Alas ! you are full of anger and malice, 
and felf-will ; yet you pretended to love and ferve me, and to 
be my people : but, however, I defpife you ; I, who am God, 
and knoweth the fecret of all hearts ; I, who am truth itfelf, 
the faithful and true witnefs, fay unto you, " Depart from me, 
ye workers of iniquity, into that place of torment, prepared 
for the devil and his angels." Good God ! and muft thefe 
difcreet polite creatures, who never did any one harm, but 
led fuch civil, decent lives, muft they fuffer the veno^cance of 
eternal fire ? Cannot their righteous fouls be faved ? Where 
then muft the finner and the ungodly appear ? Where wilt 
thou, O fabbath-breakcr, appear, thou, who canft take thy 

U 4 pleafure. 

[ 312 ] 

pleafure, thy recreation, on the Lord's- day, ivho rcfufcfl: to 
hear the word of God, who wilt not come to church to be 
jnftrucled in the ways of the Lord ? Where will you, O 
ye adulterers, fornicators, and fuch-like of this generation 
appear ? Whoremongers and adulterers God will judge, and 
them he will condemn. Then you will not call thefe tricks 
of youth : no, but you will call on the rocks and the moun- 
tains to fall on you, to hide you from the fury and anger of 
the Lord. Where wilt thou, O man, appear, that takes 
pleafure in making a mock of fin, who defpifeft all reproof, 
who throws about thy jefts as a madman does fire, and afks 
whether thou art not in fport ? Where wilt thou, O man, 
appear, that makes it thy bufinefs to preach againft the chil- 
dren of the Mod High ; thou, who art inventing methods in 
order to (lop the progrefs of the gofpel, and ufing thy utmoft 
power to quafh the preaching thereof; who art raifing of evil 
reports againfl the difciples of Christ, and efleemeft thetn 
rnadmcn, fools, fchifmatics, and a parcel of rabble ? Thou, 
O man, with all thy letter-learning, wilt furely fee the judg- 
ment-feat of Christ, though, perhaps, forely againft your 
will ; to be cafi by him into eternal fire, a place prepared for 
the devil and his angels. There is a burning tophet kindled 
by the fury of an avenging God, which will never, never be 
quenched. The devil longs to embrace you in his helbfh 
arms, whenever the fentence is paft, where you muft for 
ever bear the weight of your fin : there is no redemption 
then ; the day of grace is paft ; the door of hope is fhut ; 
mercy will be no more ofi-er cd, but you mud be fhut out 
from God for ever. O who can dwell with everlafling 
burnino;s I 

However you may think of hell, indeed it is not a painted 
fire ; it is not an imagination to keep people in awe : then, 
then you will feel the power of the almighty srm. If you 
will not lay hold on his golden fceptre, he will break you 
with his iron rod. O ye Pharifees, who are now To good, (a 
much better than others, how will ye ftand before Christ, 
when dreft in his glory as judge? You Arians, may now 
defpife his divmity ; then you Ihall have a proof of it; he 
will (hew, that he has all power, and that he was no fubor- 
dinate Godj he will (hew you that he has all power in heaven 


[ 3^3 ] 

and earth; that he was King of kings, nnd Lord of lords; 
that he was the mighty God, the everlaft.ng Father; and 
this power that he has, he will exercife in prefcrving you to 
no other end, but to punifh you for ever, llius you, who 
pleafe yourfelves with being good enough now, who are net 
weary and heavy laden with a fenfe of your fins here, will be 
weary and heavy laden with a fcnfe of your punifhnient here- 

2. Thofe, my brethren, arc not weary and heavy laden 
with a fenfe of their fins, who can delight thcmfelves in the 
police entertainments of the age, and follow the llnful diver- 
fions of life. 

Now they can go to balls and afTemblies, play-houfes and 
horfe-racing ; they have no thought of their fms ; they know 
not what it is to weep for fm, or humble themfe'ves under 
the mighty hand of God ; they can laugh away their for- 
rows, and Ting away their cares, and drive away thefe melan- 
choly thoughts ; they are too polite to entertain any fad 
thoughts ; the talk of death and judgment is iricfome to 
them, becaufe it damps their mirth ; they could not endure to 
think of their fm and danger; they could not go to a play, 
and think of hell ; they could not go quietly to a mafquerade, 
?.nd think of their danger ; they could not go to a ball or an 
allembly in peace, if they thought of their fms. 

And fo it is proved, even to a demonftration, that thcfe 
are not weary and heavy laden : for if they are not thought- 
ful about their fms, they will never be weary and heavy laden 
of them. But at the day of judgment all will be over : they 
fhall lofe all their carnal mirth, all their pleafurc, all their 
delight will be gone for ever. 

They will fay then of their laughter, it is mad ; and of 
mirth. What doft thou ? Their merry conceits, and witty 
jefts againfl: the poor dcfpifed pco})le of God, arc then over. 
Their mirth was but as the crackling of thorns up.der a pot ; 
it made a great blaze and unfeemly noife for a while, but it 
was prefently gone, and will return no more. 

They think now, that if they were to fid or to pray, and 
meditate and mourn, they (hould be righteous over much, and 
deilroy themfelves ; their lives would be a continual trouble, 
and it would make them run mad. Alas, my brethren, what 
mifcry muil that life be, where tlicre is no mure i-neafant days, 


[ 3r4 ] 

Dd more balls or plays, no cards or dice, thofe wafters of 
precious time, no horfc-racing and cock-fighting, from 
whence no good ever came, unlcfs abufing God Almight3*s 
creatures, and puuing them to that ui"^ which he never de- 
figned them, can be called fo. How miferable will your life 
be, when all your joys are over, when your pleafures are all 
paft, and no more mirth or paftime ? Do you ihi/ik. there is 
one merry heart in hell ? one pleafing countenance ? or jett- 
ing, fcoffing, fwearing tongue ? A fermon now is irkfome : 
the offer of i'alvation, by the blood of Jesus Christ, is now 
termed enthufiafm ; but then you would give thouiands of 
worlds, if in your power, for one tender of mercy, for one 
offer of grace, which now you fo much defpife. 

Now, you are not weary of your diverfions, nor are you 
heavy laden with the fins, with which they are accompanied; 
but then you will be weary of your puniOiment, and the ag- 
gravation which attends it. Your cards and dice, your 
hawks and hounds, and bowls, and your pleafant fports, will 
then be over. What nurth wilj you have in remembering 
your fports and diverfions ? I u^ould not have you miftake 
me, and fay, I am only preaching death and damnation to 
you ; I am only fhewing you what will be the confequence of 
continuing in thefe fmful pleafures ; and if the devil does not 
hurry you away with half a fermon, I fiiall {hew you how to 
avoid thefe dangers, which I now preach up as the effed of 
fin unrepented of. I mention ,this, left you fhould be hur- 
ried away by the devil : but be not offended, if I point out 
unto you more of the terrors which will attend your following 
ihefe polite and fafhionable entertainments of the prefent age, 
and of not being weary and heavy laden with a fenfe of your 

They who delight in drinking wine to excefs, and who 
are drunkards, what bitter draughts will they have inftead of 
wine and ale ? The heat of luft will be then alfo abated ; 
they will no more fmg the fong of the drunkard j no more 
fpend their time in courting their miftrcffes, in lafcivious dif- 
courfe, in amorous fongs, in wanton dalliances, in brutifh 
defilements : no, thefe are all over j and it will but prick each 
other to the heart to look one another in the face. Then 
they will wifh, that inftead of finnijig together, they had 


[ 315 ] 

prayed together ; had frequented religious fccletlcs • had 
ftirred up each other to love and holincfs, and endeavoured 
'to convince each other of the evil of fin, and how obnoxious 
they are to the wrath of God ; and the neceflity of bcin? 
weary and heavy laden with a fenfe thereof; that they miaht 
have efcaped the puniftiment which they fufler, by their fol- 
lowing the fmful and polite diverfions of the age they fell 
into. But as it was againft God himfelf they had finned, fo 
no lefs than God will punilh them for their offences : he 
hath prepared thefe torments for his enemies ; his continual 
anger will ftill be devouring of them ; his breath of inJio-na- 
tion will kindle the flame ; his wrath will be a continual bur- 
den to their fouls. Woe be to him who falls under the ftrokc 
of the Almighty ! 

Thus they are not weary and heavy laden with their fins, 
who can follow the polite and falhionable entertainments of 
the age. But, 

Seccndly^ I am to (hew you what it is to be weary and heavy 
laden with fins. And 

1. You may be faid, my brethren, to be weary and heavy 
laden, when your fins are grievous unto you, and it is with 
grief and trouble you commit them. 

You, who are awakened unto a fenfe of your fins, who fee 
how hateful they are to God, and how they lay you open to 
his wrath and indignation, and would willingly avoid them - 
who hate yourfelves for committing them ; when you are 
thus convinced of fin, when you fee the terrors of the law, 
and are arraid of his judgments ; then you may be faid to be 
weary of your fins. And O how terrible do they appear when 
you are firft awakened to a fenfe of them ; when you fee no- 
thing but the wrath of God ready to fall upon you, and you 
are afraid of his judgments 1 O how heavy is your fin to you 
then I Then you feel the vveight thereof, and that it is 
prievous to be borne. 


2. When you are obliged to cry out under the burden of 
your fins, and know not what to do for relief; when this is 
your cafe, you are weary of your fins. It docs not confifl: in a 
wearinefs all of a fudden : no, it is the continual burden of 
your foul, it is your grief and concern that you cannot live 
y/ithout offending GoD, and finning againft him ; and thefe 


[ 3>6 ] 

fins are fo many and fo great, that you fear they will not be 

I come, Secondly-^ to fhew you what is meant by coming to 

It is not, my brethren, coming with your own works : no, 
you muft come in full dependance upon the Lord Jesus 
Christ, looking on him as the Lord who died to fave fm- 
ners : Go to him, tell him you are loft, undone, miferabJe 
fmners, and that you deferve nothing but hell ; and when 
you thus go to the Lord Jesus Christ out of yourfelf, in 
full dependance on the Lord Jesus Christ, you will find 
him an able and a willing faviour : he is pleafed to lee finners 
coming to him in a fenfe of their own unworthinefs ; and 
when their cafe feems to be moft dangerous, moft diftrefled, 
then the Lord in his mercy ftcps in and gives you his grace ; 
he puts his Spirit within you, takes away your heart of ftone, 
^nd gives you a heart of fle(h. Stand not out then againft 
this Lord, but go unto him, not in your own ftrength, but 
in the ftrength of Jesus Christ. 

And this brings mc. Thirdly^ to confider the exhortation 
Christ gives unto all of you, high and low, rich and poor, 
one with another, to come unto him that you may have reft. 
And if Jesus Christ gives you reft, you may be fure it 
will be a reft indeed; it will be fuch a reft as your foul wants ; 
it will be a reft which the world can neither give nor take 
away. O come all of ye this night, and you fliall find reft : 
Jesus Christ hath promifed it. Here is a gracious invita- 
tion, and do not let a little rain hurry you away from the 
hearing cf it ; do but confider what the devil and damned 
fpirits would give to have the offer of mercy, and to accept of 
Christ, that they may be delivered from the torments they 
labour under, and muft do fo for ever ; or, how pleafin^ 
would this rain be to them to cool their parched tongues ; 
but they are denied both, while you have mercy offered to 
you J free and rich mercy to come to Christ : here is food 
for your fouls, and the rain is to bring forth the fruits of the 
earth, as food for your bodies. Here is mercy upon mercy. 


[ 317 ] 

Let me befecch you to come unto Christ, and he will 
give you reft : you fliall find reft unto your fouls. Q you 
my weary, burthencd brethren, do but go to Christ Id this 
manner, and though you go to him weary, you fhall find reft 
before you come from him : let not any thing fhort of the 
Lord Jesus Christ be your reft ; for wherever you fcek 
you will be difappointed ; but if you do but feelc unto the 
Lord Jesus Christ, there you wUl find a fulnefs of every 
thing which your weary foul wants. Go to him this 
night ; here is an invitation to all you who are weary fouls. 
He does not call you, O Pharifees ; no, it is only you 
weary finners 5 and fure you will not ftay from him, but ac- 
cept of his invitation ; do not delay ; one moment may be 
dangerous : death may take you off fuddenly. You know not 
but that a fit of the apoplexy may hurry you from time into 
eternity : therefore, be not for flaying till you have fome- 
thing to bring ; come in all your rags, in all your filthincf^j 
in ail your diftrelFes, and you will foon find Jesus Christ 
ready to help, and to relieve you : he loves you as well in 
your rags, as in your beft garments ; he regards not your 
drefs ; no, do but come unto him, and you Ihall foon find 
reft for your fouls. 

What fay you ? Shall I tell my Mafter you will come 
unto him, and that you will accept him on his own .terms. 
Let me, my brethren, befeech you to take Jesus without 
any thing of your own righteoufnefs : for if you expert to mix 
any thing of yourfelf with Christ, you build upon a fandy 
foundation ; but if you take Christ for your reft, he will 
be that unto you. Let me befeech you to build upon this 
rock of ages. O my brethren, think of the gracious inrita- 
tion, " Come unto me," to Jesus Christ: it is he that 
calls you : And will you not go f 

Come, come unto him. If your fouls were not immortal, 
and }»ju in danger of lofing them, I would not thus fpeak 
unto you 3 but the love of your fouls conftrains me to fpeak : 
methinks this would conftrain me to fpeak unto you for ever. 
Come then by faith, and lay hold of the Lord Jesus : 
though he be in heaven, he now calleth thee. Come, all ye 
d;-unkards, fwearcrs, fabbath-breaki\''s, adulterers, fornicators ; 
Gome, all ye feoffors, harlots, thieves, and murderers, and 

3, ' J^s^'^ 

( 3i8 ] 

Jesus Christ will fave you ; he will give you reft, if yoy 
are weary of your fins. O come lay hold upon him. Had I 
lefs love for your fouls, I might fpeak lefs ; but that love qf 
God, which is fhed abroad in my heart, will not permit me 
to leave you, till I fee whether you will come to Christ or 
no, O for your life receive him, for fear he may never call 
you any more. Behold, the Bridegroom cometh ; it may be 
this night the cry may be made. How would you bear thisy 
if you vere fure to die before the morning light ? God 
grant you may begin to live, that when the king of terrors 
fhall come, you may have nothing to do but to commit your 
fouls into the hands of a faithful Redeemer. 

Now to God the Father, God the Son, and God the 
Holy Ghoft, be all honour, praifes, dominion, and 
power, henceforth and for evermore, Jmen^ Amen, 


[ 3'9 ] 


The Folly and Danger of parting with Christ 
for the Pleafures and Profits of Life. 

Matthew vili. 2j, to the End. 

And when he was entered into a JJ)ip^ his d'lfcipks followed him. 
And hehoUU there arofe a great tempeji in the fca^ infomuch that 
the JJjip was covered with the waves : But he zvas afeep. And 
his difciples came to him^ and awoke him, faying^ Lord^ fave us^ 
tve periJJj. And he faith unto them ^ Why are ye fearful^ O ve 
cf little faith? Then he arofe and rebuked the zvlnds and the J ea^ 
and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled^ f^y^^St 
What manner of man is this^ that even the winds and the jea 
obey him ! And ivhen he was come to the other fide into the coun* 
try of the Gergefenes, there met him tivo pofjcffed with devils^ 
coming cut of the tombs ^ exceeding fierce^ fo that no man might 
pafs by that way. And behold^ they cried out ^ faying^ What hav£ 
%ue to do with thee, Jefus, thou Son rf GodF Art thou come 
hither to torment us before the time ? And there was^ a good 
way off from them, an herd of many fwine, feeding. So the 
devils befought him, faying. If thou caji us out, fuffer us to g» 
away into the herd offwine. And he [aid unto them. Go : And 
zvhen they were cofne cut, they went into the herd of f wine ; 
and behold, the whole herd offivine ran violently down a Jieep 
•place into the fea, and perijhed in the waters* And they that 
kept them, fed and went their ways into the city, and told every 
thing ; and what was befallen to the pofjeffed of the devils. And 
beheld, the whole city came out to meet Jefus, and zvhen they faw 
him, they befought him thai he would depart out of their coajls, 

IF we were but fenfible of the great neceflity there is, in 
this our day, of being real chriftians, fure we fhould not 
be contented with being nominal ones; but we arc funk into 
I know not what ; we are no better than baptifcd heathens : 


[ 320 3 

And how amazing is it, that we fhould profefs the name of 
Christ, and yet fo little converfe about him ; furely, this 
name whereby we are called, fliould he the theme of our dif- 
courfe here, and of 6ur eternal Hallelujahs in a vvorW to ccr?i£. 
But is it not more amazing, tdconfider, that inftead of the name 
of Jesus, whereby we are to have falvation, v/e are taught to 
look for it in ourfelves, and that there muft be a fitnefs in us 
before God beftows his grace and favour upon us. But what 
doiSlrine is this? Not the dodrine of the fcripture, not the 
doiilrine of Jesus, not that of the primitive chrilHaas, not that 
of the reformation, nor that of the articles of the church of 
England: No, it is the dodrine of the devil : this is makii^g 
Christ but half a Saviour, and driving man into an error of 
the greateft confequence, in making him go to Jesus in his 
own ftrength, and not in the name of the Lord Jesus 
Christ : But, my brethren, unlefs you go in the ftrength of 
Jesus Christ; unlefs you depend only upon him for falva- 
tion; unlefs he is your wifdomj righteoufnefs and fan£lifica- 
tion, he will never be your redemption. Our falvation is the 
free sift of God : it is owinir to his free love, and the free 
grace of Jesus Christ, that ever you are faved. 

Do not flatter yourfelves of being good enough, becaufe 
you are morally fo ; becaufe you go to church, fay the prayers, 
and take the facrament, therefore you think no more is re- 
quired : alaSj you are deceiving your own fouls ; and if God, 
in his free grace and mercy, does not fliew you your error, 
it will only be leading you a fofter way to your eternal ruin j 
but God forbid that any of you, to whom 1 am now fpeak- 
in^, fliould imagine this ; no^ you muft be abafed, and GoD' 
muft be exalted, or you will never begin at the right end, you 
will never fee Jesus with cornfort or fatisfadion, unlefs you 
oo to him only on the account of what he has done and 

Is it not plain to a demonftration, that we are ading the 
part of the GergcfeneSy who came and defired Jesus to depart 
from them : Let us confider the words, and then we fliali ftc 
how exa^ly we are performing the part oi thefe men ovzt 

And when he was entered into a Jlnp hh dljciples folkivcd him* 


t 321 ] 

Christ had been working of many miracles, as we may 
read a few verfcs before; and as he continually went about 
doing good, fo now he was going to the country of the Ger~ 
gefenes to difpoffefs two, who were pofTefTed with devils; and 
his difciples followed him : No doubt they were reproached 
and pointed at, for following fuch a babbler, as the Scri'nes 
and Pharifees efteemed the Lord Jesus Christ : Doubtlefs 
they were pointed at, jeered, fcofFed, and efteemed madmen^ 
cnthufiails, and a parcel of rabble ; but dill they followed the 
Lord Jesus Christ, they did not mind a little reproach ; no, 
they loved their Mafter too well to forbear following him for 
the fake of a little perfecution. And if you do but love the 
Lord Jesus Christ, love him above all, you will follow 
him in fpight of the malice of all the Scribes and Pharifees of 
this generation. 

And behold there arofe a great tempejl en the Jea. 

The prefence of Christ in the fliip, did not preferve the 
difciples from fears and troubles; they were filled with uneafi- 
nefs, although Christ was with them : this was only for a 
trial of their faith, to fee if they would (land fad for the Lord 
in a perfecuting time. My dear brethren, if the Lord is try- 
ing of you, do not give out ; no, {land faft in all that the Lord 
may call you to fufFer : It is eafy to follow Christ when all 
things are fafe : but your love to Jesus Christ would be 
feen more, if you muft lofe your lives, or deny your Jesus ; 
it would be a trial of your love, when fire and faggot was be- 
fore you, if you would rufh into that, rather than flie from the 
truth as it is in Jesus. Though all things are calm now, the 
ftorm is gathering, and by and by it will break; it is at prc- 
fent no bigger than a man's hand ; but when it is full it will 
break, and then you will fee whether you are found chiifiians 
or not. Perfecution would fcattcr th.e hypocrites, and make 
nominal chriftians afraid to worfhip God ; they would then 
foon turn unto the world and the things of it. 

And his difciples came to him^ and awoke hi?n^ fi)"''-Si Lord, 
fave us^ we peri Jh, And he faith unto them^ JVhy arc ye fcarjuly 
O ye of little faith ? Then he arofe and rebuked the zvinds and the 
fea, and there %vas a great culm. But the men niarvcllcd, faying^ 

Vol. V. X ii%,t 


[ 522 ] 

U'hat manner of man is thi$^ that even the winds and ihe fea obey 
him / 

Here we may fee the great compaflion of the Lord Jesus 
Christ; no fooner had the difciples awakened him, and he 
jaw their danger, but he rebuked the winds and feas, and all 
things were calm : Thus it was in a natural way, and will 
be fo in a fpiritual one; for no fooner does Jesus Christ 
fpeak peace to a troubled foul, but all is calm and quiet: Now 
none but God could have performed this great miracle, and 
therefore it is no wonder that his difciples and the men of 
the (hip were amazed to fee the wonders he performed ; and 
they could not forbear to exprefs their fenfe thereof, by in- 
quiring, *' What manner of man is this !" 

And when the Lord has brought you out of trouble, you 
will be amazed at the gracious dealings of the Lord with 
you, and wonder that he would fo eafily remove your troubles 
from you, when you have deferved nothing but wrath and 
deftru6lion, and to be puniftied to all eternity. 

And ivhsn he zvas come to the other fide into the country of the 
Gergefenes, there met him two pcjfejpd with devils^ coming out of 
ihe tombs ^ exceeding fierce^ fo that no man might pafs by that way. 
And behold^ they cried out^ f^yi^gt What have we to da with thee^ 
Jesus, thou Son of God ^ Art thou come hither to torment us before 
ihe time f 

Two men, who were pofTefTed bodily with that evil one who 
is going about feeking whom he may devour, met Jesus ; 
as foon as they faw him they were afraid, and creid out : 
though they made every one afraid of them, yet they no 
fooner faw Christ, but their power left them, and they 
cried out, ** What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou 
Son of God ?" We know that thou art God ; we do not 
want thee, we have no power over thee, but thou haft over us, 
and we fear thou art come to torment us before our time; we 
know that we are to be brought to judgment, arKi therefore 
we would not be tormented until that time come. 

And there was, a good way offfro?n them^ a herd of many fwim 
feeding. So the devils hefought him^ f^yii^-g-x Jf ihou cajl us outy 
fttjfer us to ^0 into ihe herd offivi?:e. 


[ 3^3 ] 

The evil fplrlts were fenfible that Christ was come to 
difpoflcfs them, and that their time was now come, when they 
hi lift leave the bodies of thcfc two men j for when Christ 
comes, who is ftronger than the ftrong man armed, all muft 
fall before him ; they could not ftand againft the power of 
Christ : And here we may obferve, that though the devil is 
an enemy, yet he is a chained one; he cannot hurt a poor 
fwine until he has power given him from above : and we may 
likewife fee the malice of the devil, that he would hurt a poor 
fwine rather than do no mifchief ; and the devil wouid, if in 
his power, deftroy each of your fouls, but Christ, by his 
mighty power, prevents him. 

And he [aid unto thcm^ Go : And when they were come out^ they 
went into the herd of fwine ; a7id behrJd^ th-e whole herd of fwv.e 
ran violently down a Jleep place into the fea^ and perifjcd in the 
waters. And tlify that kept the?n fled^ and went their ways into the 
tlty^ and told every things and what was befallen to the poffcjfed 
of the devils* And behold^ the vjhole city came out to ?neet Jesus, 
and when they faw him^ they befought him that he would depart 
out of their coajls. 

Here obferve, that no foonex had Christ given the devils 
permiflion to enter the fwine, but they did, and their malice 
Was fo great, that the fwine ran violently down a fteep place 
into the fea, and were drowned. 

What poor fpite was here, that the devil {hould difturb poor 
fwine ! And the city, therefore, was fo grieved for the lofs of 
a little wealth, that they came and befought GnnisT to de- 
part ; they did not want his company; they preferred a fevvr 
poor fwine before the company of Christ; a {Q.\f^ worldly 
goods, a little pleafure, or any thing rather than Christ, part 
with Christ before any thing ; but one, who is fenfible of 
the love of Christ, will part with all, rather than with the 
Lord Jesus Christ. 

Thus far the letter of the ftory goes ; perhaps you think 
there is nothing to be learned herefrom, and that this is all 
you are to underftand by it ; but if {o^ my brethren, you are 
much miftaken ; for here is an ejccellent leflbn to be learned, 
and that you will fee, by confidering the words again, in a 
fpiritual lenfe. 

X 2 And 

[ 324 ] 

And behold^ there arofe a great tempeji In the fea^ infomuch thai 
the Jh'ip was covered with the waves : but he ivas ajleep. 

And do not you frequently experience great tempefts in this 
world ? does not the fea of temptation beat over your fouls ? 
you are afraid left you (hould be overcome by them ; you cart 
lee no way to efcape, for your fouls are covered with waves, 
and you expect: to be fvi^allowed up in the tempeft; you arc 
afraid left you fhould fall into the hands of the evil one. O 
do not fear, for Jesus Christ, though he may be afleep to 
your thinking, yet will keep you, he will preferve you from 
the raging of the men, of the Pharifees of this world ; they 
may rage and fpit forth all their venom againft you, ftiil 
Christ will deliver,. preferve and protect you; if you but 
feek unto him in a fenfe of your own helplefsnefs and unvi'or- 
thinefs, you will foon find he is a God ready to pardon and 
forgive. O that all that hear me would be perfuaded to bow 
their knee, and their hearts, as foon as they.go home ; but 
alas, how many of our chriftians go to God, day by day, and 
call him. Father, which is but mocking of God, when the 
devil is their father : None have a right to call him father, 
but thofe who have received the fpirit of adoption, whereby 
they have a right to call him, " Abba, Father." Could the 
brute beafts fpeak, they might call God father as well as fome 
of vou ; for he is their Creator to whom they owe their being; 
but this will not entitle you to call God father, in a fpiritual 
fenfe ; no, you muft be born again of GoD ; however you 
may flatter yourfelves, you muft have an inward principle 
wrought in your hearts by faith. This you muft experience, 
this, this you muft feel before you are chriftians indeed. 

The Lord Jesus Christ takes notice of each of you: 
you may think the Lord does not take notice of us, becaufe 
we are in a field, and out of church walls; but he does ob- 
ferve with what viev^^ you came this evening to hear his word ; 
he knows whether it was to fatisfy your curiofity, or to find 
out wherewith you might ridicule the preacher. The thoughts 
and intentions of all your hearts are not hidden from Jesus 
Christ ; though he may feem to be afleep, becaufe you are, 
at prefent, infenfible of his workings upon your heart, and he 
may not feem to take notice of you, and regard you, no more 
than he did the Syrophcenician woman ; yet he will turn to 


f 325 ] 

you and behold you with love; the Lord will be mindful of 
you in due time, and fpeak peace to your troubled foul, though 
the fea of troubles is beating over you, though the Pharifecs of 
this day are fcoffing at you, yet, when Christ rebukes, then 
they Ihall ceafe. 

Do not depend on yourfelf : fay unto him, " Save us, Lord, 
or we periOi :" befeech him to be your guide, and your fal- 
vation : I befeech you, by the tender mercies of God, which 
are in Christ Jesus, that you prefcnt yourfelves to him, 
as your reafonable fervice. 

Awake, you that deep, and arife from the dead, from the 
death of fin, and Christ then will give you the light of his 
righteoufnefs. Come to Christ and you (hall be welcome ; 
O come unto this bleficd Jesus, come notwithftanding your 
vilenefs ; for if you come not you will perifh : If Christ 
does not fave you, your own good meaning, your own good in- 
tentions cannot ; no, as you are in your blood, fo you muft 
perifh in your blood ; but if you come to Christ you will 
find mercy, you fhall not perifh. You cannot find falvation in 
any other but in Christ ; if the difciples could have faved 
themfelves, they would not have awoken Jesus Christ ; but 
they were fenfible that no one could fave them but him ; and 
therefore they cried out unto him ; and fo you, who are 
under the fenfe of fin, who are in fear of hell, if you feelc 
unto your own works, you only feek your own death ; for 
there is no fitnefs in you. I fpeak the truth in Christ 
Jesus, I lie not, there is no fitnefs in you, but a fitnefs for 
eternal damnation ; for what are you by nature, but children 
of wrath, and your hearts are Satan's garrifon. Becaufe you 
have gone to church, faid the prayers, gone to the facra- 
ment, and done no one any harm, you fpeak peace to your 
fouls ; and all is in peace you think, and your cafe is good 
enough ; but indeed, all is a falfe peace, and if you have no 
other peace than this, you miAl: fhortly lie down in everlafting 
flames J this is an ungrounded, felf created peace, and if 
you truft to this peace you will perifh. 

But do as the difciples did when they were in diftrefs ; 
they go to Christ and fay to him, " Lord, fave us, we 
perifh. " I ofl^er you falvation this day ; the door of mercy is 
not yet {hut, there does yet remain a facrificc for fin, for all 

X 3 that 

[ 326 ] 

that v;ill accept of the Lord Jesus Christ ; he only knows 
the inmoft thoughts of thy heart, he will embrace you in the 
arms of his love ; he fees the flrft rifings of grace in you, and 
would willingly encourage it : the angels long for your be- 
ing in the love and favour of God j they will rejoice to fee 
you turn from fm unto him. All the minifters of the blefled 
Jesus would be glad to be inftruments to turn you from 
dark^jcfs to light, and from the power of Satan unto God. 

Jnd he faith to them^ why are ye fearful^ Q ye of little falih ? 
And fo, my brethren, I may fay to you ; why are yoij 
fearful to leave your fins and turn to God ? Q turn to him, 
turn in a fenfe of your own unworthinefs ; tell him how 
polluted you are, how vile^ and be not faithlefs, but believe ; 
do not go in your own firength, and then you need not fear- 
Why fear ye that the Lord Jesus Christ will not accept 
of you ? your fms will be no hindrance, your unworthinefs 
vill be no hindrance 3 if your own corrupt hearts do not keep 
you back, or if your own good works do not hinder you from 
coming, nothing will hinder Christ from receiving of you : 
he loves to fee poor fmners coming to him, he is pleafed to 
fee them lie at his feet pleading his promifes : and if you 
thus come to Chuist, he will not fend you away without 
his Spirit ; no, but will receive and blefs you. 

O do not put a flight on infinite love : what would you 
have Christ do more ? Is it not enough for him to come 
on purpofe to fave ? Will you not ferve God in your fouls, 
as well as with your bodies I If not, you are only deceiving 
yourfelves, and mocking of God j he muft have the heart. 
O ye of little faith, why are ye fearful led he {hould not 
accept of you? If you will not believe me, fure you will be- 
lieve the Lord Jesus Christ ; he has told thee that he 
will receive you : then why tarry ye, and do not go to him 
dire<5ijy ? Docs he d«:;fire impoHibilities ? It is only, '' Give 
nie thy^ heart :" or, does he want your heart only for the 
fame end as the devil does, to make you miferable ? no, he 
only wants you to believe on him, that you might be faved, 
Thjs, thiii, is all the dear Saviour defires, to make you happy, 
that you may leave your fms, to fit down eternally with him, 
ai the marriage fupper of the Lamb. 

* Then 

[ 327 ] 

Then he arofe and rebuked the winds and the fea^ and there ivas 
a great calm. 

Thus, you fee, it was only in the power of Christ to 
flop the raging of the fea ; he rebuked it : the difciples might 
have fpoken for ever, and it would not have ceafcd : To ic is 
with the word preached ; I may preach to you while I live ; 
I may fpcak till I can fpeak no more ; but the do6lrincs of 
Christ will never do you good, unlefs he imprefs them upon 
your hearts : O then, in all thy troubles look up to Christ, 
that he may rebuke them ; and if he fpeaks the word, then 
they fhall ceafe. If the Pharifees of this generation fcofF and 
jeer you, if they fay all manner of evil againft you, do not 
anfwer them ; leave it unto Christ to rebuke them ; for all 
you can fay will be of no more fignification, than the dif- 
ciples fpeaking to the fea ; but when Christ fpeaks the 
word, then they fhall ceafe ; let it not difcourage you, for 
if you will live godly in Christ Jesus, you muft fufFer pcr- 

It is true, that thofe who are fmcerely good, are fet w.p 
for marks for every one to fhoot at. There is a continual 
enmity between the feed of the woman and the feed of the fcr- 
pent J if you were of the world, the world would love its 
own ; but becaufe Christ hath chofen you out of ihc world, 
therefore it hateth you. 

Do not think of following Christ into glory, unlefs you 
go through the prefs here. Look forward, my brethren, into 
eternity, and behold Christ coming, and his reward with 
him, to give a kind recompence for all the temptations and 
difficulties of this prefent life. 

But the men marvelled^ fay'^^gt J^hat manner of man is thh^ 
that even the winds and the feas obey him ! 

The men of the (hip were amazed to fee the miracle that 
Jesus Christ wrought only by his v/ord ; they thought he 
was fomething more than a man. And have not we as much 
reafon to admire, that when we are overwhelmed with 
troubles, from within and without, that Jf.sus Christ, 
only by the word of his power, fliouki Ip ^ik peace, and then 
there is pence indeed. When (lOD firll a>A'akens us with a 
fen'x- of iin, and Cct^ lii^ terror?; in array Dgninll u^, then there 
7.:2 iroubles and teinp'rflsj for S^tan havifig got pofi'^-di'^n, 

X 4 bwfore 

[ 3*8] 
before he will give place, he will fight and drive hard to keep 
the foul from clofing with Jesus : But when Christ comes, 
he ftorms the heart, he breaks the peace, he giveth it moft 
terrible alarms of judgment and hell, he fets all in a com- 
buftion of fear and forrow, 'till he hath forced it to yield to 
his mere mercy, and take him for its governor j then Satan 
is caft out ; then the ftorm is rebuked, and he eftabliflies a 
firm and lafting peace. 

Can the fea be ftill while the wind is raging ? no, it is im- 
poffible : fo it is that there can be no peace in the foul, while 
it is at enmity with Christ j indeed, it may flatter itfelf 
and fpeak peace, but there can be no true peace : tho* thou, 
O Pnarifee, may harden and fortify thy heart againft fear, 
grief, and trouble, yet, as fure as God is true, they will 
batter down thy proud and fortified fpirit, and feize upon it, 
and drive thee to amazement. This will be done here, or 
hereafter; here in mercy, or hereafter in v/rath and judg- 

O my brethren, confider what Christ hath done, and 
you will be aftonifhed that he has done fo much for fuch 
wicked wretches as you and I are. If you are eafy under 
the florm and tempeft of fin, and do not cry to Christ for 
falvation, thou art in a dangerous condition : and it is a 
wonder to confider, how a man that is not fure of having 
made his peace with God, can eat, or drink, or live in peace; 
that thou art not afraid, when thou lieft down, that thou 
(hoLild'il awake in hell : but if Christ fpeak peace unto thy 
foul, who can then fpeak trouble ? None ; no, not men or 
devils : Therefore, lie down at the feet of Christ whom 
you have refifted, and fay. Lord, what wouldft thou have 
|Tie to do ? and he will rebuke the winds and feas of thy 
troubled mind, and all things will be calm. 

Jnd ivhen he was come to the other fide into the country of the 
Gergefenes, there met him two pofi'tfied with devils^ coining out 
of the tombs ^ exceeding fierce^ fo that no man might pafs by that 

The Lord Jesus Christ, who went about doing good 
continually, veiy .veil knew, 'hat he fliould meet two poor 
fiicn in this country of the Gergefenes^ who were poflefled with 

devils I 

[ 3^9 ] 

devils ; and Jesus Christ went on purpofe that way, that 
he might relieve them. The devil, where he has the power, 
never wants will : but as I faid before, To I fay aoaln, though 
the devil is an enemy, yet he is a chained one; he could 
not deftroy thefe two poor men, he could not hurt the people 
that pafTed that way, he could only terrify them : and thus it 
is with you ; the devil tries his utmoft (kill and power to 
frighten you from coming to the Lord Jesus Christ ; he 
ufes the utmoft of his endeavours to keep poor ficlc and 
weary fmners from coming to Jesus ; if he can but make 
you lofe your fouls, it is the end he aims at. 

And how many fouls does he keep from Christ, for fear 
of reproach? Many thoufands would willingly fee Christ 
in his glory, in the world to come, and would be happy with 
him there, but they are afraid of being now laughed at, and of 
hearing the pharifees fay, here is another of his followers : 
they are afraid of lofing their worldly bufmefs, or of being 
counted methodiftically mad and fit for bedlam. I doubt 
not but many are kept from Jesus Christ, for fear of a 
little hurt or inconveniency. 

What will fuch fay, when the Lord Jesus Christ fliall 
appear in his glory ? Would you be glad to be confefled 
by him then, you muft now not be afhamed of confefling 
him before men : let not the fiercenefs of the devil keep yoii 
back from Christ, for fear of being counted fools ; for the 
time will come, when it will be found who are truly wife, 
and who are truly mad. 

Are you afraid to ftand up for the caufe of Christ in the 
world ? Dare not you be fingularly good ? Are you afraid 
of being members of Jesus Christ? I tell you, fuch per- 
fons would crucify him afrefh were he in the world. But do 
not you, my brethren, fo learn Christ ; let not the temp- 
tations of the devil keep you from oming to the Lord Jesus 
Christ ; he may be fierce, he may hurry you from place to 
place, but ftrive with him, fo thar he may not drive you 
from Christ ; and if you feek unto Christ, he will fo help 
you that you (hall refift the devil, and then he will fly from 
you ; Christ wii) dii[.vjfrefs him, be not afraid therefore 
to meet Jesus Christ 3 tell him all that your fouls want, 


and he will give it to you ; and you (hall not be any longer 
troubled with the fierce outrages of the devil. 

And they cried outy faying^ what have we to do with thee^ 
Jesus, thou, Son of God I Art thou come to torTueut us before th: 
time ? 

As foon as the devils obferved J^sus coniing near, then 
they were afraid, left he was come to punifti them before that 
day of accounts, when all muft be brought to judgment. 

The devils themfelves are enough to convince all our polite 
Arians and Socinians. They here own the Lord Jesus 
Christ to be God blefTed for ever; they feel his power, 
and are afTured of his being the God who muft condemn them 
at the great day of accounts ; and they were afraid left the 
Lord Jesus Christ was come to punifti them now. But 
though the devils believe the divinity of Christ, yet the 
world fwarms with Arians and Socinians. 

The Arians make Christ no more than a titular God, a 
fubordinate deity, one who was more than man, and yet lefs 
than God ; that he was a prophet fent from God they own, 
but deny him to be equal with the Father. But I hope, my 
brethren, he is to you, what our creed makes him, God of 
GoD, very God of very God, co-eternal and confubftantial 
with the Father ; that as there was not a moment of time in 
which God the Father was not, fo there is not a moment of 
time in which God the Son was not. For he fays himfelf, 
" All things were made by him ;" and if they u^ere made by 
him, he muft be God ; and w^hoever reads but the word of 
God, will find divine homage is paid to him, '* and th2.t 
he thought it no robbery to be equal with God ;" he is " the 
Alpha and Omega.'* Thefe and a great many more places 
mieht be brought to prove the divinity of the Lord Jesus 
Christ ; he could never have made fatisfa6lion for our fins 
if he had not been Gop as well as Man. As Man he fuffered ; 
as God he fatisfied \ fo was God and man in one perfon ; 
he took our nature upon him, and was offered upon the crofs 
for the fins of all thofe who come unto him, which if he had 
not been God he could never have fatisfied for. It may be 
proved, even to a demonftration, that the Lord Jesus 
Christ is God, and that he is equal with the Father. 


C 331 ] 

The Socinians do not go fo far as the others ; they look 05 
Christ to be no more than a good man, who told the people 
their duty, and died in defence of the do6lrincs which he de- 
livered unto them. 

But I hope there are none fuch here, that have fo low and 
diflionourable thoughts of the blefled Jesus, and that thus 
defpife the divinity of the Lord who bought theai. No, 1 
hope better things of you, and things that accompany falvation. 
Think you, that any one who denies the deity of Christ can 
ever be faved by him, living and dying in that ftate ? Surely, 
the time will come, when they who have denied his Deity, 
fhall feel the power of it hereafter; they fliall feel that he is 
God as well as man ; then he will be owned as God by all 
thofc who now dare to deny his truths ; but Gqd forbid it 
ihould go undetermined till then ! Woe unto the polite in- 
fidels of this generation, for the devils will rife up in judg- 
ment againft them. 

If any fuch are here, confider what you arc doing of, be- 
fore it is too late ; return, return ye unto the Lord, and 
he will hare mercy upon you, and to Jesus Christ, and he 
will abundantly pardon. O my friends, let me befeech you 
to confider what you are abqut, left you fall into hell, and 
there be none to deliver you. 

And the devih hcfought him^ faying^ If thou taj} ui oiit^ fiffcr 
us to go away into the herd offiuine. And he [aid unto them^ Go : 
And when they were come out^ they went into the herd of jiuine ; 
and beholdy the vjhole herd of fwine ran violently down a Jisep 
place into the fee, ^ and perifoed in the luaters. 

Here we may fee, that no fooner had the devil power, but 
he puts it into execution ; thus, if the devil has but power to 
tempt, or to hurry a foul, O how grievous a tyrant he is, 
hurrying from one temptation to another, from one fm unto 
another, and would, if it were poffible, hurry you all into 
hell with as much violence, as he did the poor fwine into the 
fea ; but Chrjst by his grace prevents it. Jesus Christ 
died for fouls, and therefore the devil cannot do with them as 
he will ; he may have the will, but he cannot get the power. 
It is plain, that when the devil himfdf, or periecuting men, 
get the power, they will harrafs the poor chriltians ; every 


t ^z^ 3 

thing is too good for them, and they are not worthy to be fet 
with the dogs of the flock. My brethren, how joyful would 
many be, if the laws of our land would permit them to de- 
ilroy us ; how would the Pharifees hurry us to prifon and to 
death ; but, blefled be God, he does not fay to them, as 
to the devil, " Go :" No, he bids them flay, he hedges 
their way up with thorns that they cannot flir to hurt us; 
they would fain, but they dare not deftroy us ; nothing with« 
holds them but the power of the blefied Jesus. And there- 
fore, be not afraid of their wrath though it is cruel, and of 
their angtr though it be fierce: let them {hoot their arrows, 
even bitter word.s, ^gainft us, blefied be God, the fhield of 
faith will be a prcfervative againft them all. 

And when you are thus preferved, it will be the occafion 
of joy in the Holy Ghoft ; though many look on the joy of 
the Holy Ghoft as enthufiafm and madnefs, and fay that 
there is no fuch thing ; but well do I know there is, it car- 
ries its own evidence along with i.. Plead therefore with 
God, in the name of Jesus Christ ; continue to wreftle 
with him, until he beftows the blefling upon you, and gives 
you a feeling of that joy which the world intermeddles not 
with, and which they are ftrangers to : indeed the devil may 
ilir up his agents to hurry us from one trouble to another; 
but It will not fignify, for the Lord Jesus Christ will 
not fufFer him to hurry us into hell ; no, but will give us 
his Spirit, which will be a prcfervative againft all the af- 
faults of the devil. Now fee what followed this miracle, 
which Jesus had wrought, by permitting the devil to ente^ 
into the herd of fwine. 

And they that kept them jiedy and went their ways into the city^ 
mid told every thing ; and what was befallen to the pojfejfed of the 

The people were fo amazed to fee the power that Christ 
had, and the malice with which the devil was pofTeiTed, that 
they were afraid, and told all that had befallen the poffefTed 
of the devils : and fo, when the fpirit of God has been at 
wotk on your fouls, and you are brought to feel the power 
of God upon your hearts, you will be fo overjoyed that you 
will tell to every one what great things God has done for 
5 your 

C 333 ] 

your fouls; you will be (o full of joy, that you will de- 
clare the whole working of God on your hearts, and you 
will declare how you have been enabled to overcome Satan 
and how you were affected at fuch a fcrmon, in fuch a place 
and at fuch a time. 

You will then love to talk of Jesus ; no converfation will 
be fo pleafing as that of the Lord Jesus Christ ; no, 
he will be altogether lovely unto you, when you have once 
tailed of his love, and felt the power of his grace upon your 

j^nd behold, the whole city came cut to meet ]?.s\JS, and when 
they faw him, they he/ought him that he would depart out of their 

The whole city came to meet Jesus, not to worfhip, nor 
to thank him for the releafmg of the two poor men who were 
poflefled ; no, but to befeech him to go from them ; they 
valued their fwine more_:han the Lord Jesus Christ, and 
had rather part from /nm, than them : and have we not 
among us, thoufands who call themfelves chriflians, who had 
rather part with Christ than their pleafures ? A play, a ball, 
or an aflembly is far more agreeable to them than the com- 
pany and prefence of the Lord Jesus Christ : if they can 
but indulge their fenfual appetite, pleafe and pamper their 
bellies, fatisfy the luft of the eye, the lufb of the flefli, and 
the pride of life, they regard no more, but reft contented, as 
if they were to live here always. O my dear brethren, I 
hope none of you can reft contented with fuch proceed- 
ings as thefe, but that you like the company of the Lord 
Jesus too well to part with him for a few delights of this 
life : and are there not many, who part with Christ for 
their own good works, and thlftk they can go to heaven, if 
they do but go to church and fay their prayers and take the 
facrament ? but alas ! they will be much deceived, for if they 
reft in any thing fhort of the Lf-RD Jesus, if they do not 
make him the chief corner-ftone, they will fall infinitely fliort 
of what they flattered themfelves to attain unto. 

I would fpeak a few words to you before I part from you 
this evening, by v/a/ of application. Let me befeech you 
to come to Jesus Christ \ I invite you all to come to him 


I 3H 1 

and receive him as your Lord and Saviour ; he Is ready to 
receive you : if you arc afraid to go becaufe you are in a loft 
condition, he came to fave fuch ; and to fuch as were weary 
and heavy laden, fuch as feel the weight and burden of their 
fins, he has promifed he will give reft : fuch as feel the 
weight and burden of their iins on their fouls, a burden too 
heavy for them to bear, are weary of it, and know not how 
to obtain deliverance of it, in the name of my Lord and 
mafter, I invite you to come to him, that you may find reft 
for your fouls. 

If you will but come unto him he will not reproach you, as 
juftly he might; he will not refledl upon you for not corning 
fooner unto him ; no, my dear brethren, he will rejoice and 
be glad, and will fay unto you, " Son, daughter, be of good 
cheer, your fins are forgiven you :*' thefe words he faid to 
others ; and if you will but come unto him, by faith in Kis 
blood, he is ready to fay the fame unto you now, as he did 
to them formerly, for " he is the Js.'ne to-day, yefterday and 
for ever :" thoucrh he fufFered on the crofs feventeen hundred 


years ago, yet he is the fame in goodnefs and power as ever 
he was. 

He calls you, by his minifters; O come unto him, beg of 
him to break your ftubborn hearts, that you may be willing 
to be brought to him in his own way, to be made poor in 
fpirit, and entitled to an inheritance among them that are 

O come and drink of the water of life ; you may buy with- 
out money and without price ; he is labouring to bring you 
back from fin, and from Satan unto himfelf : open the door 
of your hearts, and the King of glory fhall enter in. 

But if you are ftrangers to this dodrine, and account it 
foolifhnefs ; or, if you think you have enough of your own 
to recommend you to the favour of God, however you may 
go to church, or receive the facrament, you have no true 
love to the Lord Jesus Christ ; you are ftrangers to the 
truth of grace in your hearts, and are unacquainted with the 
new-birth ; you do not know what it is to have your natures 
changed ; and 'till you do experience thefe things, you never 
can enter into the kingdom of God. 


C r,5 1 

What (liall I fay, my brethren, unto you ? My heart Is 
full, it is quite full, and I muft fpeak, or I fhall burft. 
What, do you think your fouls of no value ? do you efteem 
theni as not worth faving ? Are your plcafures worth more 
than your fouls ? Had you rather regard the divcrfions of 
this life, than the falvation of your fouls ? If fo, you will 
never be partakers with him in glory ; but if you come unto 
him, he will give you a new nature, fupply you with his 
grace here, and bring you to glory hereafter ; and there you 
may fing praifes and hallelujahs to the Lamb for ever. 

And may this be the happy end of all who hear me ! may 
the Lord guide you by his counfel, until he comes to fetch 
you to heaven, and make you partakers of his glory ! 

May he direft you in his ways, and lead you in thofe paths 
which lead to everlafting life ! May you be holy here, and 
happy hereafter : may your lives anfwer the profeiTion you 
make, that we may all be found at the right hand of the 
Lord Jesus Christ^ vhen he fhall come to judge the world 
according to our works, whether they be good or evil ! and 
that we then may be prefented faultlcfs before the prefence 
of his glory with exceeding joy, God oi his infinite mercy 
grant, ^q. 


[ 336 } 


Marks of a true Convcrfion* 

Matthew xviii. 3. 

Verily^ I fay unto you ^ except ye be converted^ and become 
as little children^ ye Jliall not enter into the kingdom 
cf heaven, 

ISuppofe I may take it for granted, that all of you, among 
whom I am now about to preac^^v^the kingdom of God, 
are fully convinced, that it is appointed for all men once to die, 
and that ye all really believe that after death comes the judg- 
ment, and that the confequence of that judgment will be^ 
that ye muft be doomed to dwell in the blacknefs of darknefs, 
or afcend to dwell with the blefled God, for ever and ever. 
I may take it for granted alfo, that whatever your pradtice in 
common life may be, there is not one, though ever fo profli- 
gate and abandoned, but hopes to go to that place, which the 
fcriptures call Heaven, when he dies. And, I think, if I know 
any thing of mine own heart, my heart's defirc, as well as my 
prayer to God, for )ou all, is, that I may fee you fitting down 
in the kingdom of our heavenly Father. But then, though we 
all hope to go to heaven when we die, yet, if we may judge by 
people's lives, and our Lord fays, *' that by their fruits we 
may know them," I am afraid it v/ill be found, that thoufands, 
and ten thoufands, who hope to go to this bleiTed place after 
death, are not now in the way to it while they live. Though 
we call ourfelves chriftians, and would confider it as an affront 
put upon us, for any one to doubt whether we were chriflians 
or not ; yet there are a great many, who bear the name of 
Christ, that yet do not fo much as know what real chrif- 
tianity is. Hence it is, that if you a(k a great many, upon 


C 2Z1 ] 

what their hopes of heaven are founded, they will tell you, 
that they belong to this, or that, or the othjr denomination, 
and part of chriflians, into which Chri/iendom is now unhappily 
divided. If you afk others, upon what foundation they have 
built their hope of heaven, they will tell you, that they have 
been baptized, that their fathers and mothers prcfented them 
to the Lord Jesus Christ in their infancy; and though^ 
inftead of fighting under Christ's banner^ they have been 
lighting againft him, almoft ever fmce they were baptifcd, yet 
becaufe they have been admitted to church, and their names 
are in the Regifter-book of the parifli, therefore they will 
make us believe, that their names are alfo written in the book 
of life. But a great many, who will not build their hopes of 
falvation upon fuch a forry rotten foundation as this, yet if 
they are, what we generally call, negatively good people j if 
they live fo as their neighbours cannot fay that they do any 
body harm, they do not doubt but they fhall be happy wheri 
they die ; nay, I have found many fuch die, as the fcripturci 
fpeaks, " without any bands in their death." And if a perfon 
is what the world calls an honeft moral man, if he does juftly, 
and, what the world calls, loves a little mercy, is now and 
then good-natured, reacheth out his hand to the poor, receives 
the facrament once or twice a year, and is outwardly fober and 
honell; the world looks upon fuch an one as a chrillian in- 
deed, and doubtlefs we are to judge charitably of every fuch 
perfon. There are many likewife, who go on in a round of 
duties, a model of performances, that think they fliall go to 
heaven; but if you examine them, though they have a Chris t* 
in their heads, they have no Christ in their hearts. 

The Lord Jesus Christ knew this full v/cll ; he knew 
how defperately wicked and deceitful mens hearts were ; he 
knew very well how many would go to hell even by the very 
gates of heaven, how many would clin^.b up even to the door, 
and go fo near as to knock at it, and yet after all be difmified 
v?ith a «' verily I know you not." The Lord, therefore, 
plainly tells us, what great change muft be wrought in us, and 
what muft be done for us, before we can have any well ground- 
ed hopes of entering into the kingdom of heaven. Henct, he 
tells Nicode?nus, ** that unlcfs a man be born again, and from 
above, and unlefs a man be born of water and of the Spirit, 

Vol. V, Y ^^ 


[ 338 ] 

he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." And of all xhc 
folemn declarations of our Lord, 1 mean with refpe(f^ to th's, 
perhaps the words of the text are one of the moft folemn, " ex- 
cept, (fays Christ) ye be converted, and become as little 
children, ye fhall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." The 
words, if you look back to the context, are plainly dire6led to 
the difciples ; for we are told, " that at the fame time came 
the difciples unto Jesus." And I think it is plain from many 
parts of Scripture, that thefe difciples, to whc^m our Lord 
addrefled himfelf at this time, were in fome degree converted 
before. If we take the words Mriclly, they are applicable only 
to thofe, that have already gotten fome, though but weak, 
faith in Christ. Our Lord means, that though they had 
already tatted the grace of God, yet there was fo much of the 
old man, fo much indwelling Tin, and corruption, yet remain- 
ing in their heart?, that unlefs they were more converted than 
they were, unlefs a greater change paft upon their fouls, and 
fandification was ftill carried on, they could give but very 
little evidence of their belonging to his kingdom, which 
was not to be fct up in outward grandeur, as they fuppcfed, 
but was to be a fpiritual kingdom, begun here, but com- 
pleated in the kingdom of God hereafter. But though the 
words had a peculiar reference to our Lord's difciples; yet as 
our Lord makes fuch a declaration as this in other places of 
Scripture, efpecially in that difcourfe to Nicodc?nuSy I believe 
the words may be juftly applied to faints and fmncrs ; and a^ 
I fuppofe there are two forts of people here, fome who know 
Christ, and fome of you that do not know him ; fome that 
are converted, and fome that are ftrangers to converfion, I 
ihall endeavour fo to fpeak, that if God (hall be plcafcd to 
affift me^ and to give you an hearing ear and an obedient hearfj 
both faints and finners may have their portion. 

ivr/?, I fhall endeavour to fliow you in what refpe6ls we are 
to underftand this aflcrtion of our Lord*s, *' that wc muft be 
converted and become like little children." I fliall then. 

Secondly^ Speak to thofe who profefs a little of this child-like 

And Lojlly^ fhall fpeak to you, who hare no reafon to thi«k 
Hhat this change has ever paft upon your fouls-. And 

[ 339 ) 

Plr/?f i fliall endeavour to fhow you, what wc are to under- 
ftand by our Lord's faying, " Except ye be converted and- 
become as little children." But I think, before I fpeak to thi^ 
point, it may be proper to premife one or two particulars. 

I. I think, that the v/ords plainly imply, that before you or 
I can have any well-grounded, fcriptural hope, of being happy 
in a future ftate, there muft be fome great, fome notable, and 
amazing change pafs upon our fouls. I believe, there is not 
one adult perfon in the congregation, but will readily confefs, 
that a great change hath palt upon their bodies, fince they 
came firft into the world, and vvere infants dandled upori 
their mothers knees. It is true, ye have no more members 
than ye had then; but how are the'e altered I Tho* you are iri 
one refped the fame ye were, for the number of your limbs, 
and as to the (hape of your body, yet if a perfon that knevO 
you when ye were in your cradle, had been abfent from you 
for fome years, and faw you when grown up, ten thoufand 
to one if he would know you at all, ye are fo altered, fo dif- 
ferent from what ye were, when ye were little ones. And as 
the words plainly imply^ that there has a great change paft 
upon our bodies fmce we were children, fo before we can go 
to heaven, there muft as great a change pafs upon our fouls ; 
Qur fouls confidered in a phyfical fenfe are ftill the fame, 
there is to be no philofophical change wrought on them : But 
then, as for our temper, habit and condu6^, we muft be foi 
changed and altered, that thofe who knew tis the other day, 
when in a ftate of fin^ and before we knew Christ, and 
are acquainted with us now, muft fee fuch an alteration, that 
they may ftand as much amazed at it, as a perfon at the al- 
teration wrought on any perfon he has not feen fof twenty 
years from his infancy. 

i. But I think it proper to premife fornething farther, be- 
caufe this text is the grand ftrong-hold of Jtminians, and 
Others. They learn of the devil to bring texts to propagate 
bad principles : when the devil had a mind to tempt Jesu;?' 
Christ, becaufe Christ quoted fcripture, therefore Satan 
did fo too. And fach perfons, that thcrr doilrine and bad 
principles may go dovvn the better, would fain perfuade un- 
wary and unftable fouls, that they ate founded upon the word 
of GuD, Though the docfrine of original fin, is a doctriric 

Y 2 writl€ii 

[ 340 ] 
written in fuch legible chara£lers in the word of God, that 
he who runs may read it; and though, I think, every thing 
without us, and every thing within us, plainly proclaims that 
we are fallen creatures ; though the very heathens, who had 
no other light, but the dim light of unaffifted reafon, com- 
plained of this, for they felt the wound, and difcovered the 
difeafe, but were ignorant of the caufe of it ; yet there are too 
many perfons of thofe v.'ho have been baptized in the name of 
Christ, that dare to fpeak againft the do(Slrine of original 
fin, and are angry with thofe ill-natured minifters, who paint 
man in fuch black colours. Say they, " It cannot be that 
" children come into the world with the guilt of Adam's lin 
*' lying upon them." Why? Defire them to prove it from 
Scripture, and they will urge this very text, our Lord tells 
xxs^ " Except ye be converted, and become as little children, 
ye fhall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." Now their 
argument runs thus, " It is implied in the words of the text, 
" that little children are innocent, and that they come into the 
*' world like a mere blank piece of white paper, otherwife our 
'' Lord muft argue abfurdly, for he could never pretend to 
*' fay, that we muft be converted, and be made like wicked 
** creatures ; that would be no converfion." But, my dear 
friends, this is to make Jesus Christ fpeak what he never 
intended, and what cannot be deduced from his words. That 
little children are guilty, I mean, that they are conceived and 
born in fm, is plain from the whole tenor of the book of 
God. David was a man after God's ov^n heart, yet, fays 
he, '' I was conceived in fm." Jeremiah fpeaking of every 
one's heart, fays, *' the heart of man is deceitful and defpe- 
rately wicked above all things." God's fervants unanimoufly 
declare, (and Paul cites it from one of them) " that we are 
altogether now become abominable, altogether gone out of 
the way of original righteoufnefs, there is not one of us that 
doth good (by nature), no not one." And 1 appeal to any of 
you that are mothers and fathers, if ye do not difcern original 
fin or corruption in your children, as foon as they come into 
the world ; and as they grow up, if ye do not difcovcr felf- 
will, and an averfion to goodnefs. What is the reafon your 
children are fo averfe to inflrudlion, but becaufe they bring 
enmity into the wprld with them, againft a good and gracious 

God ? 

[ 341 ] 

God ? So then, It is plain from fciipture and h&, that chil- 
dren are born in fin, and confequently that they are children 
of wrath. And for my part, 1 think, that the death of every 
child is a plain proof of original fin ; fickncfs and death came 
into the world by fin, and it feems not confident with God's 
goodnefs and juftice, to let a little child be fick or die, unlcfs 
j^Jam's firfl fin was imputed to him. If any charge God with 
injuftice for imputing Jdams fin to a little child, behold we 
have gotten a fecond Adam, to bring our children to him. 
Therefore, when our Lord fays, '' unlefs ye arc converted, 
and become as little children," we are not to undcrftand, as 
though our Lord would infinuate, that little children arc 
perfedly innocent ; but in a comparative, and as 1 {hall fliew 
you by and by, in a rational fenfe. Little children are inno- 
cent, compare them with grown people ; but take them as 
they are, and as they come into the world, they have liearts 
that are fenfual, and minds which are carnal. And I mention 
this with the grcateft concern, becaufc I verily believe, unlefs 
parents are convinced of this, they will never take proper care 
of their children's education. If parents were convinced, that 
children's hearts were fo bad as they are, you would never 
be fond of letting them go to balls, aflemblies, and plays, the 
natural tendency of which is to debauch their minds, and 
make them the children of the devil. If parents were con- 
vinced of this, I believe they would pray more, when they 
bring their children to be baptized, and would not make it a 
mere matter of form. And I believe, if they really were con- 
vinced, that their children were conceived in fin, they would 
always pwt up that petition, before their children came into 
the world, which I have heard that a good woman always 
did put up, " Lord Jesus, let me never bear a child for hell 
" or the devil." O ! is it not to be feared, that thoufands 
of children will appear, at the great day, before God, and 
in prefence of angels and men will fay. Father and mother, 
next to the wickednefs of mine own heart, I owe my damna- 
tion to your bad education of me. 

Having premifcd thefe two particulars, I n'nv proceed to 
fliew in what fenfe we are really to underftand the words, that 
wc muft be converted and become like little children. The 
Evangf'lift tells us, ** that the difciples at this time came 

y 3 unto 

[ 342 ] 

unto Jesus, faying, Who is the greateft in the kingdom of 
heaven ?'* Thefe difciples had i nab i bed the common prevail- 
ing notion, that the Lord Jesus Christ was to be a tem- 
poral prince ; they dreamed of nothing but being minlfters of 
ftatc, of fitting on Christ's right-hand in his kingdom, and 
lording it over God's people ; they thought thcmfelves qua- 
lified for ftate offices, as generally ignorant people are apt to 
conceive of themfelves. Well, fay they, '' Who is the 
greateft in the kingdom of heaven r" Which of us (hall have 
the chief management of public affairs ? A pretty queftion 
for a few poor fiftiermen, who fcarcely knew how to drag 
their nets to ihore, much lefs how to govern a kingdom. Our 
Lord, therefore, in the 2d verfe, to mortify them, calls a lit- 
tle child, and fets him in the midft of them. This a6lion 
was as much as if our Lord had faid, *' Poor creatures ? 
your imaginations are very towering ; you difpute who (hall 
be greateft in the kingdom of heaven ; I will make this little 
child preach to you, or I will preach to you by him : Verily 
I fay unto you, (I who am truth itfclf, I who know in what 
manner my fubjeds are to enter into my kingdom 5 I fay unto 
you, ye are fo far from being in a right temper for my king- 
dom, that) except ye be converted, and become as this little 
child, ye fhall not enter into the kingdom of heaven, (unlefs 
ye are, cornparatively fpcakjng, as loofe to the world, as loof;: 
to crowns, fcepters, and kingdoms, and earthly things, as this 
poor little child I have in my hand) ye (hall not enter into my 
kingdom/* So that what our Lord is fpeaking of, is not the 
innocency of little children, if you confider the relation they 
ftand in to God, and as they are in themfelves, when brought 
into the wocld ; but what our Lord means is, that as to am- 
bition and lui^ after the world, we muft in this fenfe become 
as little childrcii. Is there never a little boy or girl in this 
congregation ? Afk a poor little child, that can juft fpeak, 
about a crown, fcepter, or kingdom, the poor creature has no 
notion about it : give a little boy or girl a fmall thing to play 
with, it will leave the world to other people. Now in this 
fenfe we muft be converted, and become as little children ; 
that is, we muft be as loofe to the world, comparatively 
fpeaking, as a little child. 


t 34J ] 

Do not miftakc me, I am not going to perfuade you to 
Cluit up your fhops, or leave your bufinefs ; J am not going 
to perfuade you, that if ye will be chriUians, yc mull turn 
hermits, and retire out of the world : ye cannot leave your 
wicked hearts behind you, when you leave the world j for I 
find when I am alone, my wicked heart has followed me, go 
where I will. No, the religion of Jesus is a focial religion. 
But though Jesus Christ does not call us to go out of the 
world, (hut up our (hops, and leave our children to be pro- 
vided for by miracles ; yet this muft be faid to the honour of 
chriilianity, if we are really converted, we (hall be loofe from 
the world. Though we are engaged in it, and are obliged 
to work for our children ; though we are obliged to follow 
trades and merchandize, and to be ferviceable to the com- 
monwealth ; yet if wc are real chriftians, we fliall be loofe 
to the world ; though I will not pretend to fay that all real 
chriftians have attained to the fame degree of fpiritual-mindcd- 
nefs. This is the primary meaning of thefe words, that we 
muft be converted and become as little children ; neverthelefs, 
I fuppofe the words are to be underffood in other fenfes. 

When our Lord fays, we mu(t be converted and become 
as little children, I fuppofe he means alfo, that we muffc be 
fenfible of our weaknefs, comparatively fpeaking, as a little 
child. Every one looks upon a little child, as a poor weak 
creature ; as one that ought to go to fchool and learn fome 
new lefTon every day ; and as fimple and artlefs : one without 
guile, having not learned the abominable art, called diilimu- 
lation. Now in all thefe fenfes, I believe we are to under- 

ftand the words of the text. Are little children fenfible of 

their weaknefs ? Muft they be led by the hand ? Muft we 
take hold of them or they will fall ? So, if we are converted, 
if the grace of God be really in our hearts, my dear friends, 
however we may have thought of ourfelves once, whatever 
were our former high exalted imaginations ; yet we (hall now 
be fenfible of our weaknefs ; we fliall no more fay, " We are 
rich and increafed with goods, and lack nothing j" we (hall be 
inwardly poor : we (hall feel " that we are poor, miferable, 
blind, and naked." And as a little child gives up its hand to 
be guided by a parent or a nurfe. fo thofe v/ho are truly con- 
vened, and are real chriftians, will give up the heart, their 

Y 4. under- 

[ 344 ] 

underClandlngs, their wills, their affedions, to be guided by 
the word, providence, and the Spirit of the Lord. Hence 
it is, that the Apoille, fpeaking of the fons of God, fays, 
'' As many as are led by the Spirit of Gop, they are (and to 
be fure hp means they only are) the fons of God." 

And as liiile children look upon themfelves to be ignorant 
creatures, To thofe that are converted, do look upon them- 
felves as ignorant too. Hence it is, that 'Johiy fpeaking to 
chriftians, calls them little children ; " I have written unto 
you, litile children." And Christ's flock is called a little 
flock, not only becaufe little in number, but alfo bccaufe thofe 
who are members of his flock, are indeed little in their own 
eyes. Hence that great man, that great apoftle of the Gentiles^ 
that fjjiritual father of fo many thoufands of fouls, that man, 
who in the opinion of Dr. Gocdwin^ " fits neareft the God- 
man, the Lord Jesus Christ, in glory," that chofen vefTel, 
the Apoftle Paul^ when he fpeaks of himfelf, fays, *' Unto me, 
who am Itfs than the lead: of all faints, is this grace given, that 
I fliould preach among the Gentiles the unfearchable riches of 
Christ.'* Perhaps fome of you, when you read thefe words, 
will be apt to think that Paul did not fpeak true, that he did 
not really feel what he faid ; becaufe you judge Paul's heart 
by your own proud hearts : but the more ye get of the grace 
of God, and the more ye are partakers of the divine life, the 
more will ye fee your own meannefs and vilenefs, and be lefs 
in your own eyes. Hence it is, that Mr. Flauel^ in his book 
called, Hufbandry Spiritualized, compares young chriftians to 
green corn ; vi-hich before it is ripe, flioots up very high, 
but there is little folidity in it : whereas, an old chriftian is 
like ripe corn ; it doth not lift up its head fo much, but thcri 
it is more weighty, and fit to be cut down, and put into the 
farmer^s barn. Young chriftians are aUo like little rivulets ; 
ye know rivulets are (hallow, yet make great noife; but an 
pid chriftian, he makes not much noife, he goes on fweetly, 
like a deep river (liding into the ocean. 

And as a little child is looked upon as an harmlefs creature, 
and generally fpeaks true; fo, if we are converted, and be- 
come as Utile children, we flial! be guilelefs as well as harm- 
Jcfs. What faid the dear Redeemer when he (aw Nathaniel P 
A3 though it was a rare fight he gazed upon, and would 


[ 345 ] 

have others gaze upon it; " Behold an IfraeUte indeed:" 
Why fo ? " In whom is no guile." Do not miftake me; I 
am not fayinp;, that chriftians ought not to be prudent; they 
ought exceedingly to pray to God for prudence, othcrwife 
they may follow the delufions of the devil, and by their im- 
prudence give wrong touches to the ark of God. It was the 
lamentation of a great man, '* God has given me many 
*' gifts, but God has not given me prudence." Therefore 
when I fay, a chriftian muft be guilelcfs, I do not mean he 
(hould expofe himfelf, and lie open to every one's aflault : we 
(hould pray for the wifdom of the ferpent, thourrh we fhall 
generally learn this wifdom by our blunders and imprudence : 
and we muft make fome advance in chriftianity, before wc 
know our imprudence. A perfon really converted, can fay 
as it is reported of a philofopher, " I wifh there was a win- 
" dow in my breaft, that every one may fee the upriohtnefs 
*' of my heart and intentions :" And though there is too 
much of the old man in us, yet, if we are really converted 
there will be in us no allowed guile, we fhall be harmlefs. 
And that is the reafon why the poor chriftian is too often 
impofed upon ; he judgeth other people by himfelf; havino- 
an honeft heart, he thinks every one as honeft as himfelf, and 
therefore is a prey to every one. I might enlarge upon each' 
of thefc points, it is a copious and important truth ; but I 
do not intend to multiply many marks and heads. 

And therefore, as I have fomething to fay by way of per- 
fonal application, give me leave therefore, with the ucmoft 
tendernefs, and at the fame time with faithfulnefs, to call 
upon you, my dear friends. My text is introduced in an 
awful manner, " Verily I fay unto you ;*' and what Jesus 
faid then, he fays now to you, to me, and to as many as fit 
under a preached gofpel, and to as many as the Lord our 
God fhall call. Let me exhort you to fee whether ye are 
converted ; v^hether fuch a great and almighty change has 
pafTed upon any of your fouls. As I told you before, fo I 
tell you again, ye all hope to go to heaven, and I pray God 
Almighty ye may be all there : when I fee fuch a congrega- 
tion as this, if my heart is in a proper frame, 1 feel myfelf 
ready to lay down my life, to be ?nftrumental only to fave 
one foul. It makes my heart bleed within me, it makes me 


[ 546 ] 

fomeutties mofl iinvviDirg to preacn, left that word that I 
hope will do good, may incrcafe the damnation of any, and 
perhaps of a great part of-" the auditory, through their own un- 
belief. Give me leave to deal faithfully with your fouls, 
I have your dead warrant in my hand : Christ has faid it, 
Jesus will ftand to it, it is like the laws of the ALdcs and 
PerfianSy it altereth not. Hark, O man ! hark, O woman ! 
he that hath ears to hear, let him hear what the Lord Jesus 
Christ fays, *' Verily I fay unto you, except ye be con- 
verted, and become as little children, ye (hall not enter into 
the kingdom of heaven." Though this is Saturday night, 
and ye are now preparing for the fabbath, for what you know, 
you may y€t never live to fee the fabbath. You have had 
awful proofs of this lately ; a woman died but yeilerday, a 
man died tne day before, another v/as killed by fomething 
that fell from a houfe, and it may be in twenty-four hours 
more, many of you may be carried into an unalterable ftate. 
Now then, for God's fake, for your own fouls fake, if ye 
have a mind to dwell with God, and cannot bear the thought 
of dwelling in everlafling burning, before I go any further, 
filently put up one prayer, or fay Jmen to the prayer I would 
put in your mouths ; " Lord, fearch me and try me; Lord, 
examine my heart, and let my confcience fpeak ; O let me 
knvow whether I am converted or not !" What fay ye, my 
clear hearers ? what fay ye, my fellow-fmners ? what fay ye, 
my guilty brethren ? Has God by his bleiled Spirit wrought 
fuch a change in your hearts ? I do not afk you, whether 
God has made you an'j;els ? That I know will never be 5 I only 
«llc you. Whether ye have any well-grounded hope to think 
that God has made you new creatures in Christ Jesus ? 
So renewed and changed your natures, that you can fay, I 
humbly hope, that as to the habitual temper and tendency of 
my mind, that my heart is free from wickednefs ; I have a 
hufband, I have a wife, I have alfo children, 1 keep a fhop, I 
mind my buhnefs ; but I love thefe creatures for God's fake, 
and do every thing for Christ : and if God was now to call 
hie away, according to the habitual temper of my mind, I 
can fay. Lord, I am ready ; and however 1 love the crea- 
t'jres, I hope I can fay. Whom have I in heaven but thee .? 
Whom have I in heaven,.0 my God and my dear Redeemer^ 


[ 347 ] 

that I dcfirc in comparifon of thee ? Can you thank Goo 
for the creatures, and fay at the fame time, thcfe are not my 
Christ ? 1 fpeak in plain language, you know my way of 
preaching: I do not want to play the orator, I do not want 
to be counted a feholar ; I want to fpeak fo as I may reach 
poor people's hearts. What fay ye, my dear hearers ? Are 
ye fenfible of your weakncfs ? Do yc kel that ye are poor, 
miferable, blind, and naked by nature ? Do ye give up your 
hearts, your affe£lions, your wills, your underftanding to be 
guided by the Spirit of God, as a little child gives up its 
hand to be guided by its parent ? Are ye little in your own 
eyes ? Do ye think meanly of yourfclves ? And do you 
want to learn fomeiliing new every day ? 1 mention thefe 
marks, becaufe I am apt to believe they arc more adapted 
to a great many of your capacities. A great manv of you 
have not that flowing ot" affection ye fometimes had, therefore 
ye are for giving up all your evidences, and making way for 
the devil's coming into your heart. You are not brouc^ht up 
to the mount as ye ufed to be, therefore ye coacluce ye have 
no grace at all. But if the Lord Jesus Christ has emptied 
thee, and humbled thee, if he is giving thee to fee and know 
that thou art nothing ; though thou art not growing upward^ 
thou art growing downward ; and though thou hall not fo 
much joy, yet thy heart is emptying to be more abundantly 
replenifhed by and by. Can any of you follow me? Then, 
give God thanks, and take the comfort of it. 

If thou art thus converted, and become a little child, 1 
welcome thee, in the name of the Lord Jesus, into God*» 
dear family ; I welcome thee, in the name of the dear Re- 
deemer, into the company of God's children. O ye dear 
fouls, though the world fees nothing in you, though there bt- 
no outward difference between you and others, yet I look 
upon you in another light, even as fo many kings fons and 
daughters : all hail ! in the name of God, I wifti every one 
of you joy from my foul, ye fons and daughters of the Kinf; 
of kings. Will not you henceforth exercife a child-like tem- 
per? Will not fuch a thought melt down your hearts, when 
1 tell you, that the great God, who might have frowned you 
to hell for your fccret fins, that nobody knew of but God 
Slid your own fouls, and who might have damned you times 
I without 

C 348 ] 

without number, hath caft the marule of his love over you ; 
bis voice hath been. Let that man, that woman live, for I 
have found a ranfom. O will ye not cry out. Why me. 
Lord ? VVas King George to fend for any of your children, 
and were you to hear they were to be his adopted fons, how 
iiighly honoured would you think your children to be ? What 
great condefcenfion was it for Pharaoh's daughter to take up 
Mofes^ a poor child expofed in an ark of bulrufties, and breed 
him up for her child ? But what is that happinefs in coni- 
parifon of thine, who was the other day a child of the devil, 
but now by converting grace art become a child of God \ 
Are ye converted ? Are ye become like little children ? Then 
what muft ye do ? My dear hearers, be obedient to God, 
remember God is your father j and as every one of you muft 
know what a dreadful crofs it is to have a wicked, difobedient 
child J if ye do not want your children to be difobedient to 
you, for Christ's fake be not difobedient to your heavenly 
parent. If God be your father, obey him : if God be your 
father, ferve him ; love him with all your heart, love him 
with all your might, with all your foul, ard with all your 
flrength. If God be your father, fly from every thing that 
may difpleafe him ; and walk worthy of that God, who has 
called you to his kingdom and glory. If ye are converted and 
become like little children, then behave as little children : 
they long for the breaft, and with it will be contented. Are 
ye new-born babes ? then defire the fmcere milk of the word, 
that ye may grow thereby. I do not want that Arminian 
hufks fhould go down with you j ye are kings fons and 
daughters, and have a more refined tafte ; you muft have the 
doctrines of grace j and blefled be God that you dwell in a 
country, v/here the fmcere word is fo plainly preached. Are 
ye children ? then grow in grace, and in the knowledge of 
your Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Have any of you 
children that do not grow ? do not ye lament thefe children, 
and cry over them ; do not ye fay, my child will never be 
fit for any thing in the world ? Well, doth it grieve you to 
fee a child that will not grow \ how much muft it grieve the 
heart of Christ to fee ycu grow fo little ? Will yc be always 
children ? Will ye be always learning the firft principles of 
chriftianity, and never prefs forward tov/aixl the mark, for the 


[ 349 ] 

prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus ? God 
forbid. Let the language of your heart be, '' Lord Jesus 
" help me to grow, help me to learn more, learn me to live 
*' fo as my progrefs may be known to all !'* 

Are ye God's children ? Are ye converted, and become 
like little children ? Then deal with God as your little 
children do with you ; as foon as ever they want any thin<T, 
or if any body hurt them, I appeal to yourfelves if they 
do not directly run to their parent. Well, are ye God's 
children ? Doth the devil trouble you ? Doth the world 
trouble you ? Go tell your father of it, go directly and com- 
plain to God. Perhaps you may fay, I cannot utter fine 
words : but do any of you expett fine words from your chil- 
dren ? If they come crying, and can fpeak but half words, 
do not your hearts yearn over them ? And has not God un- 
rpeakably more pity to you f If ye can only make figns to 
him ; *' As a father pitieth his children, fo will the Lord 
pity them that fear him.'* I pray you therefore be bold with 
your Father, faying, " Abba, Father," Satan troubles me, 
the world troubles me, my own mother's children are angry 
with me j heavenly Father, plead my caufe ! the Lord will 
then fpeak for you fome way or other. 

Are ye converted, and become as little children, have ye 
entered into God's family ? Then alTure yourfelves, that your 
heavenly father will chaften you now and then ; " for what 
fon is there whom the father chaftneth not : if ye are without 
chaftifement, of which all are partakers, then are ye baftards 
and not fons." It is recorded of bifhop Latimer^ that in the 
houfe where he came to lodge, he overheard the mailer of the 
houfe fay, I thank God I never had a crofs in my life: O 
faid he, then I will not flay here. I believe there is not a 
child of God, when in a good frame, but has prayed for 
great humility ; they have prayed for great faith, they have 
prayed fur great love, they have prayed for all the graces of 
the Spirit : Do ye know, when ye put up thcfe prayers, that 
ye did alfo fay, Lord fend us great trials : for how is ic 
polTible to know ye have great faith, humility and love, un- 
lefs God put you into great trials, that ye may know whether 
je have them or not. I mention this, becaufe a great many 
of the children of God (I am fare i: bus bscn a temptation 
3 "^ 

[ ,^50 ] 
to me many times, when I have been under God*s fmarting 
rod) when they have great trials, think God is giving 
them over. If therefore ye are God's children; if ye are 
converted and become as little children ; do not expe6l that 
God will be like a foolifli parent; no, he is a jealous God, 
he loves his child too v/ell to fparc his rod. How did he cor- 
TtSi Miriam F How did he coxxeSt Mofes ? How hath God 
in all ages corre<9:ed his deareft children ? Therefore if ye are 
converted, and become as little children, if God hath taken 
away a child, or your fubftance, if God fuftcrs friends to 
forfake you, and if you are forfaken as it were both by God 
and man, fay, Lord I thank thee ! I am a perverfe child, 
or God would not ftrike me fo often and fo hard. Do not 
blame your heavenly Father, but blame your feives ; he is a 
loving God, and a tender Father, " he is affli£led in all our 
afHidions :" therefore when God fpake to A^ojes, he fpake out 
of the bufh, as niuch as to fay, " Mofes^ this bufli reprefents 
my people ; as this bufh is burning with fire, fo are my chil- 
dren to burn with aiHiilion'; but I am in the bufh ; if the 
bufh burns, I will burn with it, I will be with them in the 
furnace, I will be vv^ith them in the water, and though the 
water come over them^ it fhall not overflow th<:im." 

Are ye God*s children ? Are ye converted and become as 
Httle children ? Then will ye not long to go home and fee 
your Father ? O happy they that have gotten home before 
you ; happy they that are up yonder, happy they who have 
afcended above this field of coiifli<51:. I know nor v/hat you 
may think of it, but fmce 1 heard that fome, whofe hearts 
God was pleafed to work upon, are gone to glory, 1 am 
fometimes filled with grief, that God ib not pleafed to let me 
go home too. How can you fee fo much coldnef^i among 
God's people I How can ye fee God's people like the moon, 
waxing and waning ? Who can but defire to be forever with 
the Lord ? Thanks be to God, the time is foon coming j 
thanks be to God, he will come and will not tarry. Do not 
be impatient, God in his own time will fetch you home. 
And though ye may be brought to fhort allowance novf, 
though fome of you may be narrow in your circumflancesr, 
yet do not repine ; a God, and the gofpel of Christ^ with 
brown bread, are great riches. In thy Father's houfe thefe 


[ 351 ] 

is bread enough and to fpare ; though thou art now tormented, 
yet by and by thou flialt be comforted ; the angels wiil look 
upon it as an honour to convey thee to Ahroharns bolom, 
though thou art but a Lazarus here. By the frame of my 
heart, I am much inclined to fpeak comfortably to God's 

But I only mention one thing more, and that Is, if ye are 
converted, and become as little children, then for God's 
fake take care of doing what children often do ; they are too 
apt to quarrel one with another. O love one another ; " he 
that dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him." Jo- 
//>^ knew. that his brethren were in danger of falling out, 
therefore when he left them, fays he, " fall not out by the 
way." Ye are all children of the fame Father, ye are all go- 
ing to the fame place ; why (hould ye difFer ? The world has 
enough againft us, the devil has enough againft us, without 
our quarelling with each other ; O walk in love. If I could 
preach no more, if I was not able to hold out to the end of 
my fermon, I would fay as John did, when he was grown old 
and could not preach, " Little children, love one another :" 
if ye are God's children, then love one another. There is 
nothing grieves me more, than the differences amongft God's 
people. O haften that time, when we fhall either go to 
heaven, or never quarrel any more ! 

Would to God I could fpeak tt) all of you in this com- 
fortable language ; but my mafter tells me, I mult " not give 
that which is holy to dogs, I muft not caft pearls before fwinci" 
therefore, though I have been fpeaking comfortably, yet what 
I have been faying, efpeclally in this latter part of the dif- 
courfe, belongs to children ; it is children's bread, it belongs 
to God's people. If any of you are gracelefs, chriftlefs, un- 
converted creatures, I charge you not to touch it, I fence it m 
the name of God ; here is a flaming fword turning every way 
to keep you from this bread of life, till ye are turned to Jpsus 
Christ. And therefore, as I fuppofe many of you are un- 
converted, and gracelefs, go home, and away to your clofcts, 
and down with your flubborn hearts before God ; if ye ha^e 
not done it before, let this be the night : Or, do not flay till 
ye go home; begin now, whilt: ftanding here ; pray to God, 
and let the language of thy heart be, Loiui i:o:ivert mc ! 


[ 352 ] 

Lord make mc a little child. Lord Jesus let me not befca- 
nifhed from thy kingdom ! My dear friends, there is a great 
deal more implied in the words, than is exprelled : when 
Christ fays, *' Ye (liall not enter into the kingdom of hea- 
ven," it is as much as to fay, " ye fhall certainly go to hell, 
ye fliall certainly be damned, and dwell in the blacknefs of 
darknefs for ever, ye fhali go where the worm dies not, and 
where the fire is not quenched." The Lord God imprefs 
it upon your fouls ! Mayan arrow (as one lately wrote me in 
a letter) dipped in the blood of Christ, reach every uncon- 
verted fmner's heart ! May God fulfil the text to every one 
of your fouls ! It is he alone that can do it. If ye confefs 
your fins, and leave them, and lay hold on the Lord Jesus 
Christ, the Spirit of God (hall be given you ; if you u'il! 
go and fay, turn me, O my God ! thou knoweft not, O 
man, what the return of God may be to thee. Did I think 
that preaching would be to the purpofe, did I think that ar- 
guments would induce you to come, I would continue my 
difcourfd till midnight. And however fome of you may 
hate me without a caufe, would to God every one in this 
congregation was as much concerned for himfelf, as at pre- 
fent (blefled be God) I feel myfelf concerned for him. O 
that my head were waters, O that mine eyes were a 
fountain of tears, that I might weep over an unconverted, 
gracclefs:, wicked, and adulterous generation. Precious fouls, 
for God's fake think what will become of you when ye die, 
if you die without being converted ; if ye go hence without 
the wedding garment, God will ftrike you fpeechlefs, and 
ye fliall be bauifned from his prefence for ever and ever. 1 
know ye cannot dwell with everlafting burnings ; behold then 
I (hew you a way of efcape ; Jesus is the way, Jesus is the 
truth, the Lord Jesus Christ is the refurreclion and the 
life. It is his Spirit mufl convert you, come to Christ, 
and ye fhall have it; and may God for Christ's fake give 
it to you all, and convert you, that we may all meet, never 
to part again, in his heavenly kingdom j even fo Lord Jesusj 
Amen and Amen. 

SERM 01| 

C 353 1 


What think ye of Christ ? 

Matthew xxii. 4I. 
pP^Ipai think ye of Christ? 

WHEN it pleafed the eternal Son of God to tabernacle 
among us, and preach the glad tidings of falvation 
to a fallen world, different opinions were entertained by dif- 
ferent parties concerning him. As to his perfon, fome faid 
he was Mofes ; others that he was EiiaSy Jeremias, or one of 
the ancient prophets ; few acknowledged him to be what he 
really was, God bleffed for evermore. And as to his do6lrine^ 
though the common people, being free from prejudice^ were 
perfuaded of the heavenly tendency of his going about to do 
good, and for the generality, heard him gladly, and fiid he 
was a good man 5 yet the envious, worldly-minded, felf- 
righteous governors and teachers of the JewiJ}) church, be- 
ing grieved at his fuccefs on the one hand, and unable (hav- 
ing never been taught of God) to understand the purity of 
his doctrine, on the other ; notwithftanding our Lord fpakc 
as never man fpake, and did fuch miracles which no man 
could pofTibly do, uniefs God was with him ; yet they not 
only were fo infatuated, as to fay, that he deceived the people, 
but alfo were fo blafphemous as to affirm, that he was in 
league with the devil himfelf, and caft out devils by Beelztbub 
the prince of devils. Nay, our Lord's own brethren and 
kinfmen, according to the flcfh, were io blinded by prejudice 
and unbelief, that on a certain day, when he went out to 
teach the multitudes in the fieldsj they fent to t^kc hold oa 
Vol. V. Z hira, 


I .354 ] 
him, urging this as a reafon for their condu£l, " That he 
was befides himfelf." 

Thus was the King and the Lord of glory judged by 
man's judgment, whtn manifcft in flefh : far be it from any 
of his minifters to expe6l better treatment. No, if we come 
in the fpirit and power of our Mafter, in this, as in every 
other part of his fufFerings, we muft follow his fteps. The 
lilcc reproaches which were caft on him, will be thrown on 
us alio. Thofe that received our Lord and his do6lrine, 
will receive and hear us for his name's fake. The poor, blefied 
'-be God, as our prefent meeting abundantly teftiiies, receive 
the gofpel, and the common people hear us gladly; whilft 
thofe who are fitting in Mofes' chair, and love to wear long 
robes, being ignorant of the righteoufnefs which is of God 
by faith in Christ Jesus, and having never felt the power 
of God upon their hearts, will be continually crying out 
againft us, as madmen, deceivers of the people, and as adting 
under the influence of evil fpirits. 

But he is unworthy the name of a minifler of the gofpel 
of peace, who is unwilling, not only to have his name caft 
out as evil, but alfo to die for the truths of the Lord 
Jesus. It is the charadler of hirelings and falfe prophets^ 
who care not for the fheep, to have all men fpealc well of 
them, " Bleiled are you, (fays our Lord to his firft apoftles, 
and inthem to all fucceeding minifters) when men fpeak all 
manner of evil againil: you falfely for my name's fake.'* And 
indeed it is impolTible but fuch ofFenccs muft come : for raen 
.will always judge of others, according to the principles from 
which they a6l themfelves. And if they care not to yield 
obedience to the doctrines which we deliver, thev muft ne- 
ceflarily, in felf- defence, fpeak againft the preachers, left 
they ftiould be afked that queftion, which the Pharifees of 
old feared to have retorted on them, if they confefled that 
John was a prophet, " Why then did you not believe on 
him?" In all fuch cafes, we have nothing to do but to fearch 
our own hearts, and if we can afiTure our confciences, before 
God, that we a(Sl with a fingle eye to his glory, we are 
chearfully to go on in our work, and not in' the leaft (o re- 
. gard what men or devils can fav againft, or do unto us. 


[ 355 1 

But to return. You have heard what various thou<^Vits 
there were concerning Jesus Christ, vvhilft here on earth*, 
nor is he other wife treated, even now he is exalted to fit 
down at the right hand of his Father in heaven. A ftrangcr 
to chriftianity, was he to hear, that we all profefs to hold 
one Lord, would naturally infer, that we all thought and 
fpoke one and the fame thing about hini. But alas ! to our 
fliame be it mentioned, though Christ be not divided in 
himfelf, yet profefTors are fadly divided in their thoughts 
about him ; and that not only as to the circumftances of his 
religion, but alfo of thofe eflential truths which muft necef' 
farily be believed and received by us, if ever we hope to be 
heirs of eternal falvation. 

Some, and I fear a multitude whicli no man can eafily 
number, there are amongfl: us, who call themfelvcs chriftians, 
and yet fcldom or never ferioufly think of Jesus Christ a»: 
all. They can think of their {hops and their farms, their 
plays, their balls, their aflemblies, and horfe-raccs (enter- 
tainments which dire£lly tend to exclude religion out of the 
world) ; but as for Christ, the author and finiflicr of faith, 
the Lord who has bought poor finners with his precious 
blood, and who is the only thing worth thinking of, alas ! 
he is not in all, or at moft in very few of their thought-,. 
But believe me, O ye eafthly, fenfual, carnally-minded pro- 
feflbrs, however little you may think of Christ now, or 
however induftrioufly you may drive to keep him out of your 
thoughts, by purfuing the luft of the eye, the luft of the 
flefb, and the pride of life, yet there is a time coming, when 
you will wifh you had thought of Christ more, and of 
your profits and pleafures lefs. For the gay, the polite, the 
rich alfo muft die as well as others, and leave their pomps 
and vanities, and all their wealth behind them. And O ! 
what thoughts will you entertain concerning Jesus Christ, 
in that hour ? 

But I muft not purfue thefe refleaions : they would carry 
me too far from the main dcfign of this difcourfe, which is 
to (hew, what thofe who are truly defirous to know how to 
worfhip God in fpirit and in truth, ought to think concerning 
Jesus Christ, whom God hath lent to be the end of the 
law for righteoufnefs to all them that fhall believe. 

2 2 I :ruft. 

[ 35^ ] 

t truft, my hrethren^ you are more noble than to think me 
too ftri6l or fcrupulous, in thus attempting to regulate your 
thoughts about Jesus Christ : for by our thoughts, as well 
as our words and adions, are we to be judged at the great 
day. And in vain do we hope to believe in, or worfhip 
Christ aright, unlefs our principles, on which our faith and 
pradiceare founded, are agreeable to the form of found words 
delivered to us in the fcriptures of truth. 

^ Befides, many d'^ceivers arc gone abroad into the world. 
Mere heathen morality, and not Jesus Christ, is preached 
in moftof our churches. And how fhould people think rightly 
of Christ, of whom they have fcarcely heard? Bear with 
me a little then, whilft, to inform your confciences, I afk 
you a few qucftions concerning Jesus Christ : For there is 
no other name given under heaven, whereby we can be faved, 
but his. 

FlrJ}^ What think you about the perfon of Christ ? 
*' Whofe Son is he /" This is the queftion our Lord pur 
to the Pharifees in the words following the text ; and never 
was it more neceflary to repeat this queftion than in thefe laft 
days. For numbers that are called after the name of Christ, 
and I fear, many that pretend to preach him, are fo far ad- 
vanced in the blafphemous chair, as openly to deny his being 
really, truly, and properly God, But no one that ever was 
partaker of his Spirit, will fpeak thus lightly of him. No, 
if they are aflied, as Peter and his brethren were, " But 
whom fay ye that I am ?'* they will reply without hefitation, 
*' Thou art Christ the Son of the ever-living God." For 
the confeflion of our Lord's divinity, is the rock upon which 
fee builds his church. Was it poflible to take this away, the 

, gates of hell would quickly prevail againft it. My brethren, 

i if Jesus Christ be not very God of very God, I wou-lcl 
never preach the gofpel of Christ again. For it wotild not 
be gofpel ; it would be only a fyftem of moral ethics : Seneca^ 
CicerOy or any of the Gentile philofophers, would be as good 
a Saviour as Jesus of Nazareth. It is the divinity of our 
Lord that gives a fan£i:ion to his death, and makes him fuch 
a high-prieft as became us, one who by the infinite merits of 

■ his fuflTering could make a full, perfe£l, fufficient facrrficCj 
,fatisfa£tion and obhtion to infinitely offended jitftice. And 

w hat foe ver 

[ ZSl ] 

whatfoever minliler of the church o{ England, makes ufe of 
her forms, and eats of her bread, and yet holds not this doc- 
trine (as I fear too many fuch are crept in amongft us) fuch 
a one belongs only to the fynagogue of Satan. He is not a 
child or miniller of God : no ; he is a wolf in fheep's cloath- 
ing ; he is a child and miniller of that wiclccd one th<j 

Many will think thefe hard fayings : But I think it no 
breach of charity to afHrm, that an Jrian or Sjcinian cannot 
be a chriiVian. The one would make us believe [esus 
Christ is only a created God, which is a felf-contradicSlion : 
and the other would have us look on him only as a good man ; 
and inflead of owning his death to be an atonement for the 
fins of the world, would perfuade us, that Christ died only 
to feal the truth of his doctrine with his blood. But if Jesus 
Christ be no more than a mere man, if he b;: not truly God, 
he was the vileft Tinner that ever appeared in the world. For 
he accepted of divine adoration from the man who had been 
born blind, as we read "John ix. 38. *' And he faid, Lord I 
believe, and worfliipped him." Befides, if Christ be not 
properly God, our faith is vain, we are yet in our fms : for 
no created being, though of the higheft order, coujd pofTibly 
merit any thing at God's hands : it was our Lord's divinity, 
that alone qualified him to take away the fins of the world ; 
and therefore we hear St. John pronouncing fo pofitively, that 
*' the Word (Jesus Christ) was not only with God, but 
was God." For the like reafon, St. Paul fays, *' that he 
was in the form of God : That in him dwelt all the fulnefs 
of the godhead bodily." Nay, Jesus Christ afliimcd the 
the title which God gave to himfelf, when he fent Mofes to 
deliver his people IJrael. " Before Abraham was, I am.'* 
And again, " I and my father are one." Which laft words, 
though our modern infidels would evade and wreft, as they do 
other fcriptures, to their own damnation, yet it is evident that 
the Jewi underftood our Lord, when he fpake thus, as 
making himfelf equal with God; otherwife, why did they 
ftone him as a blafphemer .? And now, why fliould it be 
thought a breach of charity, to affirm, that thofe who deny 
the divinity of Jesus Christ, in the ftri£teft fenfe of the 
word, cannot be chriltians ? For they arc greater infidels thaa 

Z 3 th? 

t 358_ ] 

(he devils themfclvcs, who confefleJ that they knew who he 
was, " even the holy^one ot God." They not only believe, 
bur, which is more than the unbelievers of this generation do, 
th'jy tremble. And was it poiiible for arch-hereticks, to be 
releafed from their chains of darknefs, under which (unlefs 
they altered their principles before tlicy died) they arc now 
refcrvcd to the judgment of the great day, I am perfuaded 
ihey would inform us, how hell had convinced them of the 
divinity of Jesus Christ, and that they would advife their 
followers to abhor their principles, lell they fhould come 
into the fame place, and thereby incrcafe each others tor^ 

But, Secondly^ What think you of the manhood or incar- 
nation of Jesus Christ ? For Christ was not only God, 
but he was God and man in one perfon. Thus runs the 
text and context, '' When the Pharifees were gathered to- 
gether, Jesus afked them, faying, What think ye of Christ ? 
Whofe Son is he? They fay unto him, The Son oi David, 
How then, fays our divine mafter, does David in fpirit call 
him Lord ?" From which palTage it is evident, that we do 
not think rightly of the perfon of Jesus Christ, unlefs we 
believe him to be perfect God and perfe6l man, of a reafona- 
ble foul and human flefli fubfifting. 

For it is on this account that he is called Christ, or the 
anointed one ^ who through his own voluntary offer was fet 
spart by the father, and ftrengthened and qualified by the 
anointing or communication of the Holy Ghoft, to be a me- 
diator between Him and offending man. 

The reafon why th-^. Son of God took upon him our nature, 
was, the fall of our firft parents. I hope there is no one 
prefcnt fo atheiftical, as to think, that man made himfelf: 
no, it was God that made us, and not we ourfelves. And I 
would willingly think, that no one is fo blafphemous as to 
fuppofe, that if God did make us, he made us fach creatures 
as we now find ourfelves to be. For this would be giving 
God's word the lie, which tells us, that " in the image of 
God (not in the image which we now bear on our fouls) 
n>ade he man." As God made man, fo God made him 
perfect. He placed him in the garden of Eden^ and conde- 
scended to enter into a covenant with him, promifing him 


f 359 ] 

eternal life, upon condition of unfinning obedience; and 
threatening eternal death, it" he broke his law, and did eat the 
forbidden fruit. 

Man did cat; and herein a£ling as our reprefentativc, 
thereby involved both himfelf and us in that curfe, which 
God, the righteous judge, had faid fliould be the confcquence 
of his difobedience. But here begins that myftery of godli- 
iiefs, God manifefted in the flcfh. For (fmg, O heavens, 
and rejoice, O earth !) the eternal Father, forcfeeing how 
Satan would bruife the heel of man, had in his eternal coun- 
fel provided a means whereby he might bruife that accurfed 
Serpent's head. Man is permitted to fall, and become fub- 
jed to death ; but Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, be- 
gotten of the Father before all worlds, Light of light, very 
God of very God, offers to die to make an atonement for his 
tranfgreiTion, and to fulfil all righteoufnefs in his ftead. And 
becaufe it was impoflible for him to do this as he was God, 
and yet fince man had offended, it was necelfary it fhould 
be done in the pcrfon of man ; rather than we fhould pcrifh, 
this everlafting God, this Prince of Peace, this Antient of 
Days, in the fulnefs of time, had a body prepared for him by 
the Holy Ghofl, and became an infant. In this body he 
performed a compleat obedience to the law of God j whereby 
he, in our ftead, fulfilled the covenant of works, and at lafl 
became fubje£t to death, even death upon the crofs ; that as 
God he mi'ght fatisfy, as man he might obey and fuffer ; and 
being God and man in one perfon, might once more procure 
a union between God and our fouls. 

And now. What think you of this love of Christ ? Do 
not you think it was wondrous great ? Efpecially when you 
confider, that we were Christ's bitter enemies, and that he 
would have been infinitely happy in himfelf, not\A ithftanding 
we had perifned for ever. Whatever you may think of it, I 
know the bleffeci angels, who are not fo much concerned in 
this myftery of godlinefs as we, think moft highly of it. 
They do, they will defire to look into, and admire it, through 
all eternity. Why, why O ye finners, will you not think of 
this love of Christ ? Surely it muft melt down the moft 
hardened heart. Whilft I am fpeaking, the thought of this 
infinite and condefcending love fires and warms my foul. I 

Z 4 toiili 

[ 36P ] 

couW dwell on it for ever. ' But it Is expedient for you, that 
I ihould a(k you another queflion concerning Jesus Christ. 

Thirdly^ What think you about being juftified by Christ ? 
I believe I can an Twer for fome of you : for many, I fear, 
think to be jufiified or looked upon as righteous in God's 
fight, without Jesus Christ. But fuch will find themfelves 
dreadfully miflaken : for out of Christ, " God is a con- 
fuming fire." Others fatisfy themfelves, vi^ith believing that 
Christ was God and man, and that he came into the world 
to fave finners in general ; whereas, their chief coiicern ought 
to be, how they may be afilired that Jesus Christ came 
into the world to fave them in particular. '' The life that I 
now live in the flefh, (fays the Apoftle) is by faith of the 
Son of God, who loved me, and gave himfelf for me." Ob- 
ferve, for me : it is this immediate application of Jesus 
Christ to our own hearts, that renders his merits efFeclual 
to our eternal falvation. An unapplied Christ will do us no 
Icrvice at all. Others there are who go ftill farther : for 
they think that Jesus Christ is God-man ; that he is to be 
applied to their hearts ; and that they can bejuftified in God's 
fight, only in or through him : but then they make him only 
in part a faviour : They are for doing what they can them- 
felves, and then Jesus Christ is to make up the deficiencies 
of their righteoulhefs. This is the fum and fubftance of our 
modern divinity. And was it poflible for me to know the 
thoughts of moft that hear me this day, I believe they would 
tell me, this was the fcheme they had laid, and perhaps de- 
pended on for fome years, for their eternal falvation. Is it 
wot then high time, my brethren, for you to entertain quite 
different thoughts concerning juftiiication by Jesus Christ I 
For if yoy think thus, you are in the cafe of thofe unhappy 
"Jeivs^ who went about to eilablifh their own righteoufnefs, and 
Vvould not fubmit to, and confequently miffed of that righte- 
oufnefs which is of God by faith in Christ Jesus our 
LoRp. What think you then, if I tell you, that you are to 
be jufiified freely throiigh faith in Jesus Christ, without 
any regard to any work or fitnefs forefeen in us at all ? For 
falvation is the free gift of God. I know no fitnefs in man, 
but a fitnefs to be caft into the lake of fire and brimflone for 
^vef. pur rightepufneffes, in God's fight, are but as filthy 
' rags ; 

[ 36i ] 

rags : he cannot away with ihem. Our holinefs, if wc have 
anv, is not the canfe, but the efFe6t of our juftificaticn in i 
God's fi[;ht, " We love God, becai^fe he firfl loved us."' 
Wc mufi: not come to God as the proud Pharifee did, brin'^- 
ing ill as it were a reckoning of our fervices ; v/e muft come 
ill che temper and language of the poor Publican, fmiting 
lipon cur breafts, and faying, *' God be merciful to me a 
finner :" for Jesus Ckrist juftifies us whilfl we are un- 
godly. He came not to call the righteous, but Imners to re- 
pentance. The poor in fpirit only, they Vv'ho are willing to 
go out of themfelves, and rely wholly on the righteoufnefs' 
of another, are fo blelled as to be members of his kingdom. 
The righteoufnefs, the whole righteoufnefs of Jesus Christ, 
is to be imputtd to us, inflead of our own : '^ For we aie net 
under the law, but under grace : and to as many as walk, 
after this rule, peace be on them :" for they, and they only 
are the true Ifrael of God. In the great work of man's re- 
dempLion, boafting is entirely excluded : which could not be, 
if only one of our v.?orks was to be joined with the merits of 
pHRiST. Our falvation is all of God, from the beginning 
to the end : it is not of works, left any man (hould boaft : 
man has no hand in it : it is Christ who is to be made to us 
' of God the father, wifdom, righteoufnefs, fan6fification, 
and eternal redemption. His a£tive as well as his paffive obe- 
dience, is to be applied to poor fmners. He has fulfilled all 
righteoufnefs in our ftead, that we might become the righte- 
oufnefs of God in him. All we have to do, is to lay hold on 
this riglneoulnefs by faith : and the very moment we do ap- 
prehend it by a lively faith, that very moment we may be af- 
furcd, that the blood of Jesus Christ has cleanfcd us from 
all fin : '* For the promife is to us and to our cliildren, and 
to as many as the Lord our God (hail call." U we and 
cur whok' houfes believe, we fhall be faved as well as the 
jaylor and his houfe : for the righteoufnefs of Jesus Christ 
is an everlafting, as well as a perfect righteoufnefs. It is as 
efFe£tual to all who believe in him now, as formerly; and fo 
it will be, till time (hall be no more. Search the fcriptures, 
as the Bereans did, and fee whether thefe things are not (o. 
Search St. Paulas epiftles to the Romans and Galations^ and 
ihcre you will find this do6t;ine fo plainly taught you, that, 


[ ?62 J 

enlefs you have eyes and fee not, he that runs may rrad. 
Search the Eleventh Article of our Church : " We are ac- 
*' counted righteous before God, only for the merits of our 
*' Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by faith, and not for our 
" ov/n works or defervings." 

This do6lrine of our free juftification by faith in Christ 
Jesus, however cenfured and evil fpoken of by our prefent 
Mailers of Ifraely was highly efteemed by our wife fore-fa- 
thers : for in the fubfequent words of the forementioned ar- 
ticle, it is called a moft wholefome doSlrine^ and very full of 
comfort : and fo it is to all that are weary and heavy laden, 
and are truly willing to find reft in Jesus Christ. 

This is gofpel, this is glad tidings of great joy to all that 
feel themfelves poor, loft, undone, damned finners. " Ho, 
every one that thirftcth, come unto the waters of life, and 
drink freely ; come and buy without money and without 
price." Behold a fountain opened in your Saviour*s fide, for 
fin and for all uncleannefs. " Look unto him whom you 
have pierced :" look unto him by faith, and verily you fhall 
be faved, though you came here only to ridicule and blaf- 
pheme, and never thought of God or of Christ before. 

Not that you muft think God will fave you becaufe, 
or on account of your faith ; for faith is a work, and then 
you would be juftified for your works : but when I tell you, 
we are to be juftified by faith, I mean that faith is the inftru- 
ment whereby the finner applies or brings home the redemp- 
tion of Jesus Christ to his heart. And to whomfoever 
God gives fuch a faith, (for it is the free gift of God) he may 
lift up his head with boldnefs, he need not fear j he is a (pi- 
ritual fon of our fpiritual David ; he is pafled from death to 
life, he fhall never come into condemnation. This is the 
gofpel which we preach. If any man or angel preach any 
other gofpel, than this of our being freely juftified through 
faith in Christ Jesus, we have the aulhority of the greateft: 
Apoftle, to pronounce him accurfed. 

And now, my brethren, what think you of this foollfbnefs 
of preaching ? To you that have tafted the good word of 
life, who have been enlightened to fee the riches of God*s 
free grace in Christ Jesus, I am periuaded it is precious, 
and has diftilled like the dew into your fouls. And O that 


[ 3^3 ] 

all were like-minded ! But I am afraid, numbers are ready 
to go away contradi<5ling and blafphcming. Tell me are 
there not many of you faying within yourfelve?, '< This is a 
" licentious do£lrinc ; this preacher is opening a door for en- 
" couragement in fin." But this does not furprize me at all 
it is a ftale, antiquated objection, as old as the do£lrine of 
juftification itfelf j and (which by the way is not much to the 
credit of thofe who urge it now) it was made by an infidel. 
St. Paul^ in his epiftic to the Romans, after he had, in the firft 
five chapters, demonftrably proved the dodrine of juftifica- 
tion by faith alone ; in the fixth, brings in an unbeliever fay^ 
ing, " Shall we continue in fin then, that grace may abound ?" 
But as he rcjeded fuch an inference with a " God forbid !" 
fo do I : for the faith which we preach, is not a dead fpecu- 
lative faith, an aflenting to things credible, as credible, as it 
is commonly defined : it is not a faith of the head only, but 
a faith of the heart. It is a living principle wrought in the; 
foul, by the Spirit of the ever-living God, convincing the 
finner of his loft:, undone condition by nature ; enabling him 
to apply and lay hold on the perfedt righteoufnefs of Jesus 
Christ, freely offered him in the gofpel, and continually 
exciting him, out of a principle of love and gratitude, to fhew 
forth that faith, by abounding in every good word and work. 
This is the fum and fubftance of the dodi ine that has been 
delivered. And if this be a licentious dodrine, judge ye. No, 
my brethren, this is not deflroying, but teaching you how to 
do good works, from a proper principle. For to ufe the 
words of our Church in another of her Articles, " Works 
** done before the grace of Christ, and the infpiration of 
" the Spirit, are not plcafant to God, forafmuch as they 
" fpring not of faiih in Jesus Christ ; rather, for that they 
*' are not done as God has willed and commanded them to 
" be done, we doubt not but they have the nature of fin." 
So that they who bid you do, and then live, are juft as wife 
as thofe who would perfuade you to build a beautiful magni- 
ficent houfe, without laying a foundation. 

It is true, the dodrine of our free juftification by faith in 
Christ Jesus, like other gofpel truths, may and will be 
abufed by men of corrupt minds, reprobates concerning the 
faith ; but they v/ho receive the truth of God in the love of 


[ 364 ] 

ir, will always be fliewing their faith by their works. For 
this reafon, Sc. Pauly after he had told the Ephefians^ " By 
grace they were faved through faith, not of works, left any 
man (hould boaft," immediately adds, '' For we are his 
workmanfiiip, created in Christ Jesus unto good works." 
And in his epjftle to T//«i, having given him directions to tell 
the people they were juftiiied by grace, di redly fubjoins, 
chap. iii. ver. 8. " I will that you affirm conftantly, that they 
who have believed in God might be careful to maintain good 
works." Agreeable to this, we are told in our Twelfth 
Article, " That albeit good works, which are the fruits of 
*' faith, and follow after juftification, cannot put away our 
*' fins, and endure the feverity of God's judgment ; yet are 
*' they pleafmg and acceptable to God in Christ ; and do 
*' fpring iiecedarily out of a true and lively faith, infomuch, 
•' that a lively faith jnay be as evidently known by them, as 
*' a tree difcerned by the fruit." 

What would I give, that this Article was duly underftood 
and preached by all that have fubfcribed to it ! The ark of 
the Lord would not then be driven into the wilderncfs, nor 
would fo many perfons difTent from the Church o{ England, 
For I am fully perfuadcd, that it is not fo much on account 
«f rites and ceremonies, as our not preaching the truth as it 
is in Jesus, that fo many have been obliged to go and feek 
for food elfewhere. Did not we fall from our eftablifhed doc- 
trines, few, comparatively fpeaking, would fall from the 
Eftabliihed Ci^urch. Where Christ is preached, though it 
fee in a church or on a common, diflenters of all denomina- 
tions have, and do moft freely come. But if our clergy will 
preach only the law, and not fliew the way of falvation by 
faith in Christ Jesus, the charge of fchifm at the day of 
judgment, 1 lear, will chiefly lye at their door. The true 
iheep of Christ know the voice of Christ's true fliepherds, 
and ftrangers they will not hear. 

Obferve, my dear brethren, the words of the Article, 
" Good v/orks are the fruits of faith, and follow after jufHfi- 
cation." How then can they precede, or be any way the 
caufe of it ? Our perfons muft be juftined, before our per- 
formances can be accepted. God had refpecl to Abel before 
he had refped to his oiFering.: and therefore the rightGoufnef& 


r 365 ] 

of Jesus Christ muft be freely imputed to, and appre- 
hended by us through faith, before we can offer an accept- 
able fcicriiice to God : for out of Christ, as I hinted before, 
God is a confuming fire : and whatfoevcr is not of faith in 
Christ, is fin. 

That people miftake the do6lrine of free jufllfication, I 
believe, is partly owing to their not rightly confidering the 
different perfons to whom St. Paul and St. JiWies wrote in 
their epiftles ; as alfo the different kind of juflification each of 
them writes about. The former aflerts in line upon line, ar- 
gument upon argument, " 7"hat we are juftified by faith 
alone:" The latter put this queftion, " Was not Abraham 
juftified by works ?" From whence many, not confidering 
the different views of thefe holy men, and the different per- 
fons they wrote to, have blended and joined faith and works, 
in order to juftify vis in the fight of God. But this is a ca- 
pital miftake; for St. Paul was writing to the Jewijh profe- 
lytes, who fought righteoufnefs by the work;^, not of the 
ceremonial only, but of the moral law. In contradiftiniSlion ro 
that, he tells them, they were to look for juflification in 
God's fight, only by the perfect righteoufnefs of Jesus 
Christ apprehended by faith. St. Jaines had a different fet 
of people to deal with ; fuch who abufed the doctrines of 
free juftification, and thought they ftiouIJ be faved (as num- 
bers among us do now) upon their barely profefHng to believe 
on Jesus Christ. Thefe the holy Apoftle endeavours 
wifely to convince, that fuch a faith was only a dead and 
falfe faith ; and therefore, it behoved ail v/ho would be bleffcd 
with faithful Abraham, to fhew forth their faith by their 
works, as he did : " For was not Abraham ]\i^\^t^ by works ? " 
Did he not prove that his faith was a true juftifying faith, by 
its being produ(f^ive of good works ? From whence it is piain^ 
that St. James is talking of a declarative juftification before 
men ; fliew me, dcmonftrate, evidence to me, that thou haft 
a true faith, by thy works : Whereas, St. Paul is talking 
only of our being juftified in the fight of God ; and thus he 
proves, that Abraham^ as we alfo are to be, was juftified be- 
' fore ever the moral or ceremonial law was given to the Jews : 
for it is written^ " Abraham believed in the Lord, and it v/as 

accounted to him for ri^bteoufnefs.' 


[ 366 ] 

Take the fubftance of what has been faid on this head, in 
the few following words. Every man that is faved, is jufti- 
fied three ways : Flrji^ meriiorioujly^ by the death of Jesus 
Christ : " It is the blood of Jesus Christ alone that 
cleanfes us from all fin.'* Secondly^ injlrumentally^ by faith : 
faith is the means or inflrument whereby the merits of Jesus 
Christ are applied to the finner's heart : *' Ye are all the 
children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." Thirdly^ we 
iire juftified declaraivvely \ namely, by good works : good works 
declare and prove to the world, that our faith is a true faving 
faith. " Was not v^/^rj^^wjuftified by works ?'* And again, 
*' Shew me thy faith by thy works." 

It may not be improper to illuftrate this do£lrine by an ex- 
ample or two. I fuppofe no one will pretend to fay, that 
there was any fitnefs for falvation in Zaccheus the publican, 
"when he came to fee Jesus out of no better principle, nhan 
that whereby perhaps thoufands are led to hear me preach ; I 
mean, curiofity : but Jesus Christ prevented and called 
him by his free grace, and fweetly, but irrefiflibly inclined 
him to obey that call ; as, I pray God, he may influence all 
you that come only to fee w^ho the preacher is. Zaccheus re- 
ceived eur Lord joyfully into his houfe, and at the fame 
time by faith received him into his heart : Zaccheus was then 
.freely juftified in the fight of God. But behold the imme- 
diate fruits of that juftiiication ! He ftands forth in the midft-, 
and as before he had believed in his heart, he now makes 
confeflion with his mouth to falvation : " Behold, Lord, 
the h;^lf of my goods I give unto the poor ; and if i have 
taken any thing from any man by falfe accufation, I reftore 
him four-fold." And thus it will be with thee, O believer, 
as foon as ever God's dear Son is revealed in thee' by a living 
faith •, thou wilt have no reft in thy fpirit, till out of love and 
gratitude for what (jod has done for thy foul, thou (heweft 
forth thy faith by thy works. 

Again, I fuppofe every body will grant there was no fitnefs 
for falvation in the perfecutor Saul \ no more than there is in 
thofe perfecuting zealots of thefe laft days, who are already 
breathing out thrcatenings, and, if in their power, would 
breathe out Slaughter alfo, againft the difciples of the Lord. 


'[ 3^7 ] 

Now our Lord, we know, freely prevented him by tiis 
grace, (and O that he would thus eflcvllually call the perfe- 
cutors of this generation) and by a light from heaven flruck 
him to the ground. At the fame time, by his Spirit, he 
pricked him to the heart, convinced him of fin, and caufcd 
him to cry out, " Who art thou. Lord ?" Christ replies, 
" I am Jesus whom thou perfecutcrt." Faith then was in- 
ftantaneoufiy given to him, and behold, immediately Saul 
cries out, " Lord, what wonldit thou have me to do r " And 
fo will every poor foul that believes on the Lord Jesus with 
his whole heart. He will be always afking. Lord, what 
fhall I do for thee ? Lord, what wouldft thou have me to 
do ? Not to juftify himfelf, but only to evidence the fincerity 
of his love and thankfulnefs to his all-merciful High-prieft, 
for plucking him as a firebrand out of the fire. 

Perhaps many felf- righteous perfons amongft you, may- 
flatter yourfelves, that you are not fo wicked as either Zac 
chcus or Saul was, and confequently there is a greater fitnefs 
for falvation in you than in them. But if you think thus, 
indeed you think more highly of yourfelves than you ought 
to think : for by nature we are all alike, ail equally fallen 
fhort of the glory of God, all equally dead in trefpaflbs and 
fins, and there needs the fame almighty power to be exerted 
in converting any one of the moft fober, good-natured, moral 
perfons here prefcnt, as there was in converting the publican 
Zaccheus,, or that notorious perfecutor Saul. And was it poffi- 
ble for you to afcend into the higheft heaven, and to enquire 
of the fpirits of juft men made perfetSt, I am perfuadcd they 
would tell you this do<5lrine is from God. But we have a 
more fure word of prophecy, to which we do well to give heed, 
as unto a light fhining in a dark pl.'.ce. My brethren, the 
word is nigh you ; fearch the fcriptures ; beg of GoD to make 
you willing to be faved in this day of his power : for it is 
not flefh and blood, but the Spirit of Jesus Christ, that 
alone can reveal thefe things unto you. 

Fourthly and Ltf/?//, What think you of Jesvs Christ 
being formed within you ? For whom Christ juftifics, 
them he alfo fandifies. Although he finds, yet he docs not 
leave us unholy. A true chriuian may not (o properly be 
faid to live, as Jesus Christ to live in him. For they only 
c * that 

[ 368 ] 

that are led by the Spirit of Christ, are the true Tons of 

As I obferved before, To I tell you again, the faith which 
we preach is not a dead, but a lively a£tive faith wrought in 
the foul, working a thorough change, by the power of the 
Holy Ghoft, in the whole man : and unlefs Christ he thus 
in you, notwithftanding you may be orthodox as to the fore- 
going principles, notwithftanding you may have good defires, 
and attend conflantly on the means of grace ; yet, in St. PWs 
opinion, you are out of a ftate of falvation. " Know you 
not, (fays that Apoflle to the Corinthians^ a church famous 
for its gifts above any church under heaven) that Christ is 
in you, (by his Spirit) unlefs you are reprobates ?'* 

For Christ came not only to fave us from the guilt, but 
from the power of our fins : till he has done this, however he 
may be a Saviour to others, we can have no afiurance or 
well-grounded hope, that he has faved us : for it is by receiv- 
ing his blciled Spirit into our hearts, and feeling him witnef- 
fing with our fpirits, that we are the fons of God, that 
we can he certified of our being fealed to the day of re- 

This is a great myflery ; but I fpeak of Christ and the 
new-birth. Marvel not at my af^ing you, what you thmk: 
about Christ being formed within you ? For either God 
muft change his nature, or we ours. For as in Jdatn we ail 
have fpiritually died, fo all that are efte^lually laved by 
Christ, mufl in Christ be fpiritually made ative. His onlv 
end in dying and rifing again, and interceding for ns now in 
heaven, is to redeem us from the mifery of our fallen nature, 
and, by the operation of his bleilcd Spirit, to make us meet to 
be partakers of the heavenly inheritance with the faints in 
light. None but thofe that thus are changed by his grace 
here, fliall appear with him in glory hereafter. 

Examine yourfelves, therefore, my brethren, whether you 
are in the faith ; prove yourfelves ; and think it not fufHcient 
to fay in your creed, I believe in Jesus Christ : many fay 
fo, who do not believe, who are reprobates, and yet in a llatc 
of death. You takeGoD*s name in vain, when you call him 
Father, and your prayers arc turned into fm, unlefs you be- 
lieve in Christ, fo as to have your life hid with him in 
I Ggd, 

[ 2^9 ] 

God, and to receive life and nourifhmcnt from him, as 
branches do from the vine. 

I know, indeed, the men of this generation deny there is 
any fuch thing as feeling Christ within them j but alas ! 
to what a dreadful condition would fuch reduce us, even to 
the (late of the abandoned heathen, who, St. Paul tells us, 
" were paft feeling." The Apoftle prays, that the Ephcfiam 
may abound in all knowledge and fpiritual undcrftanding, or 
as it might be rendered, fpiritual fenfation. And in the oliice 
for the vifitation of the fick, the minifter prays, that the Lord 
may make the fick perfon know and feel, that there is no 
other name under heaven given unto men, in whom and 
through whom they may receive health and falvation, but 
only the name of our Lord Jesus. For there is a fpiritual, 
as well as a corporeal feeling ; and though this is not com- 
municated to us in a fenfible manner, as outward objeds af- 
fe«Sl our fcnfes, yet it is as real as any fenfible or vidbie fenfa- 
tion, and may be as truly felt and difcerned by the foul, as 
any impreffion from without can be felt by the body. All 
-who are born again of God, know that I lie not. 

What think you. Sirs, did Naaman feel, when he was cured 
of his leprofy ? Did the woman feel virtue coming out of 
Jesus Christ, when flie touched the Hem of his garment, 
^nd was cured of her bloody ifllie ? So furely mayft thou feel, 

believer, when Jesus Christ dwelleth in thy heart. I 
pray God to make you all know and feel this, ere you depart 

O my brethren, my heart is enlarged towards you. I trufl 

1 feel fomething of that hidden, but powerful prefcnce of 
Christ, whilft I am preaching to you. Indeed it is fwcef, 
it is exceedingly comfortable. All the harm I wilh you, who 
without caufe are my enemies, is, that you felt the like. Be- 
lieve me, though it would be hell to my foul, to return to a 
natural ftate again, yet I would willingly change ftates with 
you for a little wliile, that you might know what it is to have 
Christ dwelling in your hearts by faith. Do not turn your 
backs ; do not let the devil hurry you away : be not afraid of 
convictions j do not think worfc Q'i the docTirine, becnule 
preached without the church walls. Our Lord, in the Jays 
of his flefti, preached on a mount, in a thip, vind a field ; and 

Vol. V. A a 1 ^m 


[ 27"^ ] 

T am perfuaded, many have felt his gracious presence herf. 
Inelced we fpcak what we know. Do not reject the kingdom 
oi'GoD againft youiTelves : be fo wife as to receive our wir- 
•iicfs. I cannot, I will not let you go j ftay a little, let ?iS 
reafon together. However lightly you may efieem your fouls, 
i know our Lord has fet an unfpeakabie value on them. He 
thought them worthy of his moft precious bloo<l. I befecci^ 
you, therefore, O fmners, be ye reconciled to QoD.' \ hope 
you do not fear being accepted in the beloved. Behold, he 
calleth you \ behold, he prevents and follows you with his 
mcrcy^ and hath fent forth his fervants into the highways and 
hedges, to compel you to come in. Remember then, that at 
fuch an hour of fuch a day, in fuch a year, in this place, you 
were all told what you ought to think concerning Jesus 
Christ. If you now pcrifh, it will not be for lack of know- 
ledge : I am free from the blood of you all. You cannot fay 
I have been preaching damnation to you ; you cannot fay I 
have, like legal preachers, been requiring you to make brick 
without Itraw. I have not bidden you to make yourfelves 
faints, and then come to God j but 1 have offered you falva- 
tion on as cheap terms as you can defire. I have offered you 
Christ's whole wifdom^ Christ's whole righteoufnefs, 
Christ's whole fan6lification and eternal redemption, if you 
will but believe on him. If you fay, you cannot believe, you 
fay right ; for faith, as well as every other bleffing, is the gift 
of God : but then wait upon God, and who knows but he 
may have mercy on thee ? Why do we not entertain more 
Moving thoughts of Christ } Or do you think he will have 
mercy on others, and not on you .? But are you not fmners ? 
And did not Jesus Christ come into the world to fave fm- 
ners ? If you fay you are the chief of fmners ; I anfwer, that 
will be no hindrance to your falvation, indeed it will not, if 
you lay hold on him by faith. Read the Evangelifts, and fee 
how kindly he behaved to his difciples who fled from and de- 
nied him : '* Go tell my brethren," fays he. He did not fay. 
Go tell thofe traitors; but, " Go tell my brethren, and 
Pder ;" as though he had faid. Go tell my brethren in gene- 
ral, and poor Peter in particular, *' that I am rifen ;'* O 
comfort his poor drooping heart, tell him I am reconciled to 
him; b;d him weep no, more fo bitterly : for though with 


C 37t 1 

oaths aiid curfes he thrice denied mc, yet I have died for h\!i 
llns, I am rifen again for his juftification : I freely forgive hiiii 
all. Thus flow to angCr, ar\d of great kiudiiefs, was our nll- 
merriful High-prieft. And do you thiiil: he has chaiv.!;cd his 
nature, and forgets poor Tinners, now he is cxnhcd to the 
right-hand of GoD ? No, he is the fame ycftcrday, to-day, 
and for ever, and fittcth there only to make interccinon f.»r 
us. Coitie then, ye harlots, come ye publicans come ye nK^ft 
abandoned of finners, come and believe on JesUs Christ. 
Though the whole world defpife you and cart you our, yet he 
will not difdairi to take you up. O amazing, O infinitely con- 
defcending love ! even you, he will not be afhamed to call his 
brethren. How will you efcape if you negle6l fuch a glorious 
offer of falvation ? What would the ddmned fpirits, now in the 
prifon of hell, give, if ChiIist was fo freely offered to their 
Touls ? And why are riot we lifting up our eyes in torments ? 
Does any one out of this great multitude dare fay, he does not 
deferve damnation ? If not, why are we left, and others takeni 
away by death ? What is this but an inftance of God's free 
gracfe, and a fign of his good will towards us ? Let God's 
goodnefs lead us tq.repentance ! Olct there be joy in heaven 
over fome of you repenting I Though we are in a field, I am 
perfuaded the bieffed angels are hovering now around us, and 
do long, " as the hart panteth afcer the water- brooks," to 
flng an anthem at your converfion. Bleffed be God, I hope 
their joy will be fulfilled. An awful filence appears amongft- 
us. I have good hope that the words which the Lord ha$ 
enabled me to fpeak in your ears this day, have not altogether 
fallen to the ground. Your tears and deep attention, are an 
evidence, that the Lord God is amongft us of a truth. 
Come, ye Pharifecs, come and fee, in fpite of youf fatanical 
rage and fury, the Lord Jesus is getting himfelf the victory. 
And brethren, I fpeak the truth in Christ, I lie not, if one 
foul of you, by the bleffing of God, be brought to think fav- 
ingly of Jesus Christ this day, I care not if my enemies 
were permitted to carry me to prifon, and put my feet faft in 
the flocks, as foon as 1 have delivered this fcrmon. Brethren, 
my heart's defire and prayer to God is, that you may be 
favcd. For this caufe I follow my Marter with^>ut the camp. 
I rare not how much of his facrcd reproach I bear, (o fhut 

A a ?. ^^'^^ 

t Zl'^ ] 
Tome of you be concerted from the errors of yotir ways. 
1 rejoice, yea and I will rejoice. Ye men, ye devils, do 
your worft : the Lord who fent, will fupport me. And 
when Christ, who is our life, and whom I have now 
been preaching, (hall appear, I alfo, together with his de- 
fpifed little ones, fhall appear with him in glory. And 
then, v/hat will you think of Christ ? I know what you 
will think of him. You will then think him to be the fairefl 
among ten thoufand : You will then think and feel him to be 
a juft and fin-avenging judge. Be ye then perfuaded to kifs 
him left he be angry, and fo you be baniftied for ever from the 
prefence of the Lord. Behold, I come to you as the angel 
did to LQt^ Flee, flee, for your lives ; hafte, linger no longer 
in your fpiritual Sodcm-, for otherwifeyou will be eternally de- 
ftroyed. Numbers, no doubt, there are amongft you, that 
may regard me no more than Lot's fons-in-law regarded him, 
I am perfuaded I feem to fome of you as one that mockcth ^ 
but I fpeak the truth in Christ, I lie not ; as fure as fire and 
brimftone was rained from the Lord out of heaven, to de- 
ftroy Sodofu and Gomorrah^ fo furely, at the great day, (hall 
the vials of God's wrath be poured on you, if you do not 
think ferioufly of, and a61: agreeable to the goTpel of the 
Lord's Christ. Behold, I have told you before ; and I 
pray God, all you that forget htm may ferioufly think oP 
what has been faid, before he pluck gou away, and there be 
none to deliver you. 

Now to God the Father, 5cc. 


i 372 1 


The wife and foolifli Virgins. 

Matthew xxv. 13. 

Watch therefore^ for ye know neither the day nor the hour 
in which the Son of man cometh, 

THE apoftle Paul, in his cpiftle to the Hebrews, informs 
us, ** That it is appointed for all men once to die ; 
after that is the judgment." And I think, if any confideration 
be fufRcient to awaken a fleeping drowfy world, it muft be 
this, That there will be a day wherein thefe heavens (hall 
be wrapt up like a fcroll, this element melt with fervent 
heat, the earth and all things therein be burnt up, and every 
foul, of every nation and language, fummoned to appear be- 
fore the dreadful tribunal of the righteous Judge of quick and 
dead, to receive rewards and puniflimenrs, according to the 
deeds done in their bodies. The great apoftle juft mentioned, 
when brought before Felix, could think of no better means to 
convert that finful man, than to reafon of temperance, righ- 
teoufnefs, and more efpecially of a judgment to come. The 
firft might in fome meafure affecSl:, but, I am perfuaded, it was 
the laft confideration, a judgment to come, that made him to 
tremble: and fo bad as the world is now grown, yet there are 
few have their confciences fo far feared, as to deny that there 
will be a reckoning hereafter. The promifcuous difpenfations 
of providence in this life, wherein we fee good men affliiSled, 
deftitute, tormented, and the wicked permitted triumphantly 
to ride over their heads, has been always looked upon as an 
indifputable argument, by the generality of men, that there 
will be a day in which God will judge the world in righte- 
©ufnefs, and adminiftej- equity unto his people. Some indeed 

A a 3 *rc 

[ .^74 ] 

are (b bold as to deny it, while they are engaged in the purfuit 
of the lull of the eye, and the pride of life. But follow them 
to their deaih-bcds, afk them, when their fouls are ready to 
launch into eternity, what they then think of a judgment tp 
come ? and they will tell you, they dare not give their con- 
fciences the lie any longer. They feel a fearful looking for of 
judgment and fiery indignation in their hearts. Since then 
thefe things are fo, does it not highly concern each of us, my 
brethren, before we come on a bed of ficknefs, ferioufly to 
examine how the account (lands between God and our fouls, 
and how it will fare Vv'ith 14s in that day ? As for the openly 
prophane, the drunkard, the whoremonger, the adulterer, and 
fuch-like, there is no doubt of what will become of them; 
without repentance they fhall never enter into the kingdom of 
God and his Christ; no ; their damnation flumbereth not; 
^ burning fiery Tiphet, kindled by the fury of God's eternal 
y.'rath, is prepared for their reception, wherein they muft 
fufper the vengeance of eternal fire. Nor is there the leaft 
doubt of the ftate of true believers. For though they are dc- 
fpifed and reje<Sied of natural men, yet being born again of 
God, they are heirs of Gop, and joint heirs with Christ. 
They have the earned of the promifed inheritance in their 
hearts, and are afTured, that a new and jiving way is made 
open for them, into the holy of holies, by the blood of Jesus 
Christ, into which an abundant entrance (hall be adminif- 
tered to them at the great day of account. The only qycf- 
tion is, what will become of the ahno,^ Chrijliariy one that is 
content to go, as he thinks, in a middle way to heaven, with- 
out being prophane on the one hand, or, as he fallly imagines, 
righteous over-much on the other? Many there are in every 
congregation, and confequently fome here prefent, of this 
llamp. And what is woril of all, it is more eafy to convincp 
the moll: notorious publicans and finners of their being out of 
a flate of falvation, than any of thefe. Notwithftanding, if 
Jksus Christ may be our judge, they (hall as certainly be 
rejecled and difowned by him at the laft day, as though they 
lived in open defiance of all his laws. For wh^t fays our 
Lord in the parable of which the words of the text are a 
conclufion, and which I intend to make the fubjecl of my 
prefent difcourfe. ** Then," at the day of jtidgment, which 

■ • ■ ' ■ he 

" he had been difcourfing of in the foregoing, and profeciites fri 
this chapter, " (hall the kingdom of heaven, (the ftatc of pro- 
feiTors in the gofpel church) be likened unto ten virgins, who 
took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom." In 
which words, is a manifeft allufion to a cuOom prevailing in 
our Lord's time among the Jeivs^ at marriage folemnides, 
which were generally at night, and at which it was cuftomary 
for the perfons of the bride-chamber to go out in proccfHon, 
with many lights, to meet the bridegroom. By the bridegroom^ 
you are here to underftand Jesus Christ. The church, i. e. 
true believers, are hxsfpoufe; he is united to them by one fpi- 
rit, even in this life; but the folemnizing of thefe facred nup- 
tials, is referved till the day of judgment, when he (hall rome 
to take them home to himfelf, and prefent them before nien 
and angels, as his purchafc, to his Father, without fpot or 
wrinkle, or any fuch thing. By the ten virgins wc are to 
underftand, the profeflbrs of chriftianity in general. All are 
called virgins, becaufe all are called to be faints. Whofocvcr 
names the name of Christ, is obliged by that very profcfTion 
to depart from all iniquity. But the pure and chafte \n heart, 
are the only perfons that will be fo bleflcd as to fee God. As 
Christ was born of a virgin, fo he can dwell in none but vir- 
gin fouls, made pure and holy by the cohabitation of his holy 
Spirit. What fays the apoflle ? " All are not Ifraelites that are 
o^ Ifrael" all are not chrjftians that are called after the name 
of Christ : No, fays our Lord, in the 2d verfc, *' Five of 
thofe virgins were wife," true believers, " and five were 
foolifli," formal hypocrites. But why are five faid to be wife, 
and the other five foolifli ? Hear what our Lord fays in the 
following verfes ; *' They that were foolifh took their lamps, 
and took no oil with them: but the wife took oil in their vcf- 
fels with their lamps." They that were foolifli took their 
lamps of an outward profeffion. They would go to church, 
fay over feveral manuals of prayers, come perhaps into a field 
to hear a fermon, give at a collection, and receive the facra- 
ment conftantly, nay, oftner than once a month. But then 
here lay the miftake ; they had no oil in their lamps, no prin- 
ciple of grace, no living faith in their hearts, without which, 
though we fhould give all our goods to feed the poor, and our 
bodies to be burnt, it would profit us nothing. In fhort, they 
A a 4 were 

[ 376 ] 

were exaiSf, nay, perhaps fuperftitious bigots as to the form, 
but all the while they were ftrangers to, and, in cfFeiS^, denied 
the power of godlinefs in their hearts. They would go to 
church, but at the fame time, think it no harm to go to a 
ball or an afTembly, notwithftanding they promifed at their 
baptifm, to renounce the pomps and vanities of this wicked 
world. They were fo exceedingly fearful of being righteous 
over-much, that they would even perfecute thofe that were 
truly devout, if they attempted to go a ftep farther than them- 
fclvcs. In one word, they never effedually felt the power of 
the world to come. They thought they might be chriftians 
without To much inward feeling, and therefore, notwithftand- 
ing their high pretenfions, had only a name to live. 

And now. Sirs, let me paufe a while, and in the name of 
God, whom I endeavour to ferve in the gofpel of his dear 
Son, give me leave to afk one queftion. Whilft I have beea 
drawing, though in miniature, the character of thefe foolifh 
virgins, have not many of your confciences made the applica- 
tion, and vAth a fmall, ftill, though articulate voice, faid. 
Thou man, thou woman, art one of thofe foolifh virgins, for 
thy fentiments and pra6^ice agree thereto ? Stifle not, but ra- 
ther encourage thefe convicSlions ; and who knows, but that 
Lord who is rich in mercy to all that call upon him faith- 
fully, may fo work upon you even by this foollfl-jnefs of preach- 
ing, as to make you wife virgins before you return home ? 

What they were you fliall know immediately : " But the 

ivife took oil in their veflels with their lamps." Obferve, the 

wife, the true believers, had their lamps as well as the foolifh 

virgins ; for chriftianity docs not require us to cafl ofFall out- 

v;ard forms ; we may ufe forms, and yet not be formal : for 

jnflance, it is poffible to worfhip God in a fet form of prayer, 

and yet worfhip him in fpirit and in truth. And therefore, 

brethren, let us not judge one another. The wife virgins had 

their lamps ; herein did not lie the difference between them 

and the foolifh, that one worfhipped God with a form, and 

the other did not: No: as the Pharifee and Publican went up 

to the temple to pray, fo thefe wife and foolifli virgins might 

go to the fame place of worfhip, and fit under the fame mi- 

niflry ; but then the wife took oil in their veffels with iheir 

lamps; they kept up the form, but did not reft in it; their 

5 word* 

[ 377 ] 

words in prayer were the language of their hearts, and they 
were no ftrangers to inward feelings ; they were not afraid of* 
fearching doctrines, nor affronted when minifters told them 
they deferved to be damned ; they were not felf-righteous, but 
were willing that Jesus Christ fliould have all the glory of 
their falvation ; they were convinced that the merits of Jesus 
Christ were to be apprehended only by faith ; but yet were 
they as careful to maintain good works, as though they were 
to be juftified by them : in (hort, their obedience flowed from 
love and gratitude, and was chearful, conftant, uniform, uni- 
verfal, like that obedience which the holy angels pay our Fa- 
ther in heaven. 

Here then let me exhort you to paufe again ; and if any of 
you can faithfully apply thefe charadters to your hearts, give 
God the glory, and take the comfort to your own fouls ; you 
are not falfe but true believers. Jesus Christ has been made 
of God to you wifdom, even that wifdom, whereby you (hall 
be made wife unto falvation. God fees a difference between 
you and fooiifh virgins, if natural men will not. You need 
not be uneafy, though one chance and fate in this life may 
happen to you both. I fay, one chance and fate ; for, ver. 5. 
*' while the bridegroom tarried," in the fpace of time which 
pafTed between our Lord's afcenfion and his coming again to 
judgment, " they all flumbered and fit pt." The wife as well 
as fooiifh died, for duft we are, and to duft we muft return. 
It is no reflection at all upon the divine goodnefs, that be- 
lievers, as well as hypocrites, muil pafs through the valley of 
the ftiadow of death -, for Christ has taken away the fting of 
death, fo that we need fear no evil. It is to them a paflyge 
to everlafting life: death is only terrible to thofe who have no 
hope, becaufe they live without faith in the world. Who- 
foever there are amongft you, that have received the firfl-fruits 
of the fpirit, I am perfuaded you are ready to cry out, we 
would not live here always, we long to be difTolved, that we 
may be with Jesus Christ; and though worms muft deflroy 
our bodies as well as others, yet we are content, being allured 
that our Redeemer liveth, that he will ftand at the latter days 
upon the earth, and that in our flefh we (hall fee God. 

But it is not fo with hypocrites and unbelievers beyond the 
graves for what fays our Lord? »' And at midnight :"^ 


t 378 ] 

ol^rerve, at midnight, when all was hufhcd and quiet, and no 
one dreaming of any fuch thing, ''a cry was made;" the 
voice of the arch-angel and the trump of God was heard 
founding this p-eneral alarm ; to things in heaven, to things 
in earth, and to things in the waters under the earth, " Be- 
hold !" mark how this awful fummons is uftiered in with 
the word behold^ to engage our attention ? " Behold the 
bridegroom cometh !" even Jesus Christ, the defire of na- 
tions, the bridegroom of his fpoufe the church : Becaufe he 
tarried for a while to exercife the faith of faints, and give Tin- 
ners fpace to repent, fcofFers were apt to cry out, " Where 
is the promife of his coming ? But the Lord is not flack con- 
cerning his promife, as thefe men account flacknefs." For 
behold, he that was to come, now cometh, and will not tarry 
any longer : he cometh to be glorified in his faints, and to 
take vengeance on them that know not God, and have not 
obeyed his gofpel ; he cometh not as a poor defpifcd Galilean ; 
not to be laid in a ftinking manger ; not to be dcfpifed and 
rejc£led of men ; not to be blindfolded, fpit upon, and buffet- 
ed; not to be nailed to an accurfed tree ; he cometh not as the 
Son of man, but as he really was, the eternal Son of the eter- 
nal God : He cometh riding on the wings of the wind, in the 
glory of the Father and his holy angels, and to be had in ever- 
lafling reverence of all that fliall be round about him. '' Go 
ye forth to meet him ;" arife, ye dead, ye foolifh, as well as 
wife virgin, arife and come to judgment. Multitudes, no 
doubt, that hear this awakening cry, would rejoice if the 
rocks mi2;ht fall on, and the hiils cover them from the pre- 
fencc of the Lamb : what would they give, if as they lived as 
beafts, they might now die like the beads that perifh ? How 
would they rejoice, if thofe fame excufes which they made on 
this fide eternity for not attending on holy ordinances, would 
ferve to keep them from appearing before the heavenly bride- 
groom I But as Adam^ notwithftanding his fig-leaves, and 
the trees of the garden, could not hide himfelf from God, 
when arretted with an <' Jdam^ where art thou ?'* So now 
the decree is gone forth, and the trump of God has given 
its laft found ; all tongues, people, nations, and languages, 
both wife and foolilli virgins, muft come into his prefence, and 
bow beneath his footflool ; even Poniius PilaU, Jnnas and 

Caiaphas ; 

t 379 1 

Cuiciphas \ even the proud pcrfccutin^ high-prlefts and Pha- 
riCees of this generation, mull appear before him : for fays our 
Lord, " then, (when the cry was made, Behold, the bride- 
groom cometh !) in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, 
the graves were opened, the fea gave up its dead, and '* all 
thofe virgins, both wife and foolifh, arofe and trimmed their 
lamps," or endeavoured to put themfclvcs in a proper pofturc 
to meet the bridegroom. 

But how may we imagine the foolifh virgins were furprized, 
when, notvvithfianding their high thoughts and proud imagi- 
nations of their fecurity, they now Hnd themftdves wholly 
naked, and void of that inward holinefs and purity of heart, 
without which no man living at that day fliall comfortably 
meet the Lord ! I doubt not, but many of thefe foolifh vir- 
gins, whilft in this world, were cloathed in purple and fine 
linnen, fared fumptuoufly every day, and difdained to fet the 
wife virgins, fome of whom might be as poor as Lazarus^ even 
with the dogs or their flock. Thefe v/ere looked upon by 
them asenthufiafts and madmen, as perfons that were righteous 
over-much, and who intended to turn the world upfide down : 
but now death hath opened their eyes, and convinced them, 
to their eternal forrow, that he is not a true chriftian, who is 
only one outwardly. Now they find (though, alas ! too late) 
they, and not the wife virgins, had been behde themfclvcs. 
Now their proud hearts are made to floop, their lofty looks 
are brought low ; and as Dives entreated that Lazarus might 
dip the tip of his finger in water, and be fent to cool his 
tongue, fo thefe foolifii virgins, thefe formal hypocrites, are 
obliged to turn beggars to thofe whom they once defpifed : 
" Give us of your oil j" O ! impart to us a little of thaj 
grace and holy fpirit, for the infifting on which we fools ac- 
counted your lives madncfs ; for alas I " our lamps are gone 
out ;" we had only the form of godlinefs ; we were whited 
fepulchres ; we v/ere heart-hypocrites ; we contented our- 
felves with defiring to be good ; and though confident of fal- 
vation whilft we lived, yet our hope is entirely gone, now 
God has taken away our fouls : Give us therctore, O ! give 
us, though we once defpifed you, give us of your oil, for our 
lamps of an outward profefiion, and tranfient convictions, are 
quite gone out. " Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people, faith 


t 380 ] 

the Lord." My brethren in Christ, hear what the fooViih 
lay to the wile virgins, and learn in patience to pofTefs your 
fouls. If you are true followers of the lowly Jesus, I am 
perfuaded you have your names caft out, and all manner of 
evil fpokcn falfly againft you, for his name's fake; for no one 
ever did or will live godly in Christ Jesus, without fufFer- 
ing pcrfecution ; Jiay, I doubt not but your chief foes are 
thofe of your ov/n houfhold : tell me, do nor your carnal re- 
lations and friends vex your tender fouls d?y by day, in bid- 
ding you fpare yourfelves, and take heed kit )ou go too far : 
And as you pafied along to come and hear the word of God, 
have you not heard many a Pharifee cry out. Here comes ano- 
ther troop of his followers ! Brethren, be not furprized, 
Christ's fervants were always the world's fools ; you know 
it hated him before it hated you. Rejoice and be exceeding 
glad. Yet a little while, and behold the bridegroom cometh, 
and then (hall you hear thefe formal fcoffing Pharifees faying 
unto you, " Give us of your oil, for our lamps are gone out." 
When you are reviled, revile not again : when you fufFer, 
threaten not ; commit your fouls into the hands of him that 
judgeth righteoufly : for behold the day cometh, when the 
children of God fliall fpeak for themfelves. 

The wife virgins, in the parable, no doubt endured the 
fame cruel mockings as you may do ; but as the lamb before 
the (liearers is dumb, fo in this life opened they not their 
mouths ', but now we find they can give their enemies an. 
anfwer : " Not fo, left there be not enough for us and you ; 
but go ye rather to them that fell, and buy for yourfelves." 
Thefe words are not to be underftood as though they were 
fpoken in an inCulting manner; for true charity teaches us to 
ufe the worft of finners, and our moft bitter enemies, with 
the meekoefs and gentlenefs of Christ : Though Dives was 
in hell, yet Abraham does not fay. Thou villain, but only, 
'' Son, remember :" and I am perfuaded, had it been in the 
power of thefe wife virgins, they would have dealt with the 
foolifh virgins, as, God knows, I would willingly deal with 
my moft inveterate enemies, not only give them of their oil, 
but alfo exalt them to the right hand of God. It was not 
then for want of love, but the fear of wanting a fufficiency 
for themfelves, tha: made them return this anfwer, " Not 

t 381 3 

fo, left there be not enough for us and you :" For thev that 
have moft grace, have none to fparc ; none but fclf-ri^^hteous, 
foolifti virgins think they arc good enough, or have already 
attained. Thofe who arc truly vi^ife are always moft diftruft- 
ful of thcmfelves, prefTing forwards to the things that are be- 
fore, and think it well if after they have done all, they can 
make their calling and ele«Slion fure. '' Not fo, left there 
be not enough for us and you ; but go ye racher to them that 
fell, and buy for yourfelves." Thefe words indeed fcem to 
be fpoken in a triumphant, but certainly they were uttered 
in the moft compaffionate manner ; " go ye to them that fell, 
and buy for yourfelves ;" unhappy virgins ! you accounted 
our lives folly ; whilft with you in the body, how often have 
you condemned us for our zeal in running to hear the word 
of God, and looked upon us as enthufiafts, for talking and 
affirming, that we muft be led by the fpirit, and walk by the 
fpirit, and feel the fpirit of God witnefling with our fpirits, 
that we are his children ? But now you would be glad to be 
partakers of this privilege, but it is not ours to give. You 
contented yourfelves with fceking, when you fhould have been 
ftriving to enter in at the ftrait gate. And now go to them 
that fell, if you can, and buy for yourfelves. 

And what fay you to this, ye foolifti formal profeflbrs ? 
For I doubt not but curiofity and novelty hath brought many 
fuch, even to this defpifed place, to hear a fermon. Can you 
hear this reply to the foolifti virgins, and yet not tremble ? 
Why, yet a little while, and thus it fliall be done to you. 
Rejoice and bolfter yourfelves up in your duties and forms ; 
endeavour to cover your nakednefs with the fig-leaves of an 
outward profeflion and a legal righteoufnefs, and defpife the 
true fervants of Christ as much as you pleafe, yet know, 
that all your hopes will fail you when God brings you into 
judgment. For not he who commendeth himfelf is juftified, 
but he whom the Lord commendeth. 

But to return j we do not hear of any reply the foolifti vir- 
gins make : No, their confciences condemned them ; like the 
perfon without a wedding-garment, they are ftruck dumb, 
and are now filled with anxious thoughts how they ftiall buy 
oil, that they may lift up their heads before the bridegroom. 
« But vrhilft they went to buy," ver. 10, whilft they were 


t 382 1 

thinking whnt they fliould do, the bridegroom, the Lord Je- 
sus, the king, the hufband of his fpoufe the church, cometh, at- 
tended with thoufands and twenty times ten thoufands of faints 
and angels, publicly to count up his jewels ; " and they thiit 
were ready," the wife virgins who had oil in their lamps, 
and were feaied by his fpirit to the day of redemption, thefi 
having on the wedding garment of an imputed righteoufnefs, 
and a new nature, " went in with him to the marri?.ge.*' 

But who can exprefs the tranfports that thefe wife virgins 
felt, when they were thus admitted, in holy triumph, into 
the prefence and full enj-oyment of him, whom their fouls 
hungred and thirfled after ! No doubt they had tafted of his 
love, and by faith had often fed en him in their hearts, when 
fitting down to commemorate his laft fupper here on earth • 
but how full may we think their hearts and tongues were of 
his praifes, when they fee themfelves featcd together to eat 
bread in his heavenly kingdom. And what was beft of allj 
*' the door was fhut," and fhut them in, to enjoy the evet 
blefTed GcD, and the company of angels and the fpirits of jufl 
men iiiade per fec>, without interruption for evermore. I fay, 
without interruption ; for in this life, their eyes often gufhed 
out with water, becaufe mCn kept not God's law; and they 
could never come to appear before the Lord, or to hear hii 
wordj but Satan and his cmifiaries would come alfo to difturb 
them 5 but now " the door is fhut," now there is a perfect 
communion of faint?, which they in t'ain longed for in thi^l 
lower world ; now tares no longer grow up with the wheat ; 
not one fingle hypocrite or unbeliever can fcrecn himfelt 
amongft them. " Now the wicked ceafe from troubling, and 
now their weary fouls enjoy an everlafling reft." 

Once more, O believers, let me exhort you in patience to 
pofiefs 5'our fouls. God, if he has frei^ly juftified you by 
faith in his fon, and given you his fpirir, has feaied you to 
be his ; and has fecured you, as furely as he fecured AW;, 
when he locked him in the ark. But though heirs of God^ 
and joint heirs with Christ, and neither men nor deviL can* 
pluck you out of your heavenly Father's hands, yet you muft 
be tofled about with manifold temptations ; however, lift up 
your heads, the day of your perfe^l, compleat redemption 
draweth nigh, Behold the bridegroom cometh to take yoti 
• I " to 

[ 3R3 ] 

to bimfelf, the door (hall be (hut, and you (hall be fur ever 
wiih the Lord. 

But 1 even tremble to tell you, O nominal chriflians, that 
ihe door will be (hut, I mean the door of mercy, never, 
never to be opened to give you admifTion, though you (hould 
continue knocking to all eternity. For thus (peaks our 
Lord, v. ii. "Afterwards," after thofe that were ready 
went in, and the door was (hut ; after they had, to their for- 
row, found that no oil was to be bought, no grace to be pro- 
cured, "came alfo the other virgins;" and zs Efau^ after 
yacob had gotten the blefling, cried with an exceedin^r bitter 
cry, " Blefs me, even me alfo, O my father j" fo they came 
faying, " Lord, Lord, open to us." Obferve the impor- 
tunity of thefe foolifli virgins, implied in the words, " Lord, 
I^ORD." Whilft in the body, I fuppofe they only read, did 
not pray over their prayers. If you now tell them, they fhould 
" pray without ceallng," they fhould pray from their hearts, 
and feel the want of what they prayed for ; they would an- 
Iwer, they could not tell what you mean by inward feelings ; 
that God did not require us to be always on our knees, but 
if a man did juflly, and loved mercy, and did as the church 
forms required him, it was as much as the Lord required at 
his hands. 

I fear, firs, too many among us are of this mind : nay, I 
fear there are many fo polite, fo void of the love of God, as 
to think it too great a piece of felf-denial, to rife early to of- 
fer up a facrifice of praife and thankfgiving acceptable to (joD 
through Jesus Christ. If any fuch, by the good provi- 
dence of God, are brought hither this morning, I befcech 
you to confider your ways, and remember, if you are not 
awakened out of your fpiritual lethargy, and live a life of 
prayer here, you (hall but in vain cry out with the foolifli 
virgins, " Lord, Lord, open unto us," hereafter. Ob- 
ferve farther, the impudence, as well as importunity of thefc 
other virgins ; "Lord, Lord," f?.y they, as thoMgh they 
were intimately acquainted with the holy Jesus. Like num- 
bers among uf, who bccaufe they go to church, rt.peat their 
creeds, and receive the blcfled facrciment, think thry have a 
right to call Jesus their Saviour, and dare call Gon their 
Father, when they ^wi \]d the Lord's prayer. But J 1:5 us ig 


[ 3^4 ] 

not your Saviour. The devi), not GoD, is your father, un« 
lefs your hearty are purified by faith, and you are born agairj 
from above. It is not merely being baptized by water, but 
"being born again of the Holy Ghoft that muft qualify you 
for falvation ; and it will do you no fervice at the great day, 
to fay unto Christ, Lord, my name is in the regifter of 
fuch and fuch a parifh. I am perfuaded, the foolifli virgins 
could fay this and more j but what anfwer did Jesus make ? 
He anfwered and faid, ver. 12. " Verily, I fay unto you:" 
He puts the word Verily, to afiure them he was in earneft, 
*' I fay unto you,'* I who am truth itfelf, I whom you have 
owned in words, but in works denied, " verily, I fay unto 
you, I know you not." Thefe words muft not be underftood 
]iterally ; for whatever Arians and Socinians may fay to the 
contrary, yet we affirm, that Jesus Christ is God, God 
blefled for ever, and therefore knoweth all things. He faw 
Nathanlely when under the fig-tree : he fees, and is now look- 
ing down from heaven, his dwelling-place, upon us, to fee 
how we behave in thefe fields. Brethren, I know nothing 
of the thoughts and intents of your hearts, in coming hither; 
but Jesus Christ knows who come like new-born babes, 
defirous to be fed with the fmcere milk of the word ; and he 
knows who came to hear what the babler fays, and to run 
away with part of a broken fentence, that they may have 
whereof to accufe him. This expreffion then, " I know you 
not," muft not be underftood literally ; no, it implies a know^- 
ledge of approbation, as though Christ had faid, " You 
call me. Lord, Lord, but you have not done the things 
that I have faid ; you defire me to open the door, but how 
can you come in hither not having on a wedding garment ? 
Alas, you are naked 1 Where is my outward righteoufnefs 
imputed to you ? Where is my inherent righteoufnefs wrought 
in you ? Where is my divine image ftamped upon your fouls ? 
How dare you call me Lord, Lord, when you have not re- 
ceived the Holy Ghoft, whereby I feal all that are truly mine ? 
*' Verily, I know you not ; depart from me, ye curfed, into 
cverlafting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels." 

And now, he that hath ears to hear, let him hear what man- 
ner of perfons thefe were, whom Jesus Christ difmifled 
with this anfwer. Remember, I entreat you, remember they 


C 3S5 ] 

?.rc not fe'nt, away for being fornicators, fwcarcrs. fabbith- 
breakers, or prodigals. No, in all probability, as I ubfcrved 
before, they were, touching the outward obfcrvances of the 
moral law, blamelefs ; they were conftant as to the form of 
religion ; and if they did no good, yet no one could fay, they 
<lid any one any harm. The only thing for which they were 
condemned, and eternally baniflied from the piefcncc of the 
Lord, (for fo much is implied in " I, know you not") was 
this, they had no oil m their lamps, no principle of a true 
Jiving faith and holinefs in their hearts. And if perfons may 
go to church, receive the facrament, lead honcft moral lives, 
and yet be fent to hell at the laft day, as they certainly will 
be if they advance no farther. Where wilt thou, O drunkard ? 
Where wilt thou, O fwearcr i* Where wilt thou, O fabbath- 
breaker ? Where wilt thou that denicfl divine revelation, atul 
even the form of godlinefs ? Where will you, and fuch-like 
finners appear ? I know very well. You muft appear before 
the dreadful tribunal of Jesus Christ: however you may, 
like Fe/ixy put ofF the profecution of your convitSlions, yet 
you, as well as others, muft arife after death, and appear in 
judgment ; you will then find, to your eternal forrow, what 
I juft hinted at in the beginning of this difcouiR-, that your 
damnation flumbereth not : fm has blinded your hearts, and 
hardened your foreheads now, but yet a little while, and our 
Lord will eafe him of his adverfaries. Methinks, by faith, 
1 fee the heavens opened, and the holy Jesus coming, with 
his face brighter than ten thoufand funs, darting fury upon 
you from his eyes ! Methinks I fee you rifing from your 
graves, trembling and aftonifhed, and crying out, who can 
abide this day of bis coming ! 

And now what inference (hall I draw from what has been 
delivered? Our Lord, in the words of the text, has drawn 
one for me ; " Watch therefore, for ye know neither the 
day nor the hour wherein the Son of man comcth." 

^^ IFatcb •" that i<, be upon your guard, and keep your 
graces in continual exercife : For as when we are commanded 
to watch unto prayer, it fignifies that we ihould continue in- 
ftant in that duty ; fo when we are required to watch in ge- 
neral, it means that we (hould put on the whole armour o( 
God, and live every day as though it was our laft. And O ! 

Vol. V. B b that 


[ S86 ] 

that the LoTiD may now enable me to lift up my voice like a 
trumpet ! For had I a thoufand tongues, or could I jpeak To 
loud that the whole world might hear me, I could not found 
a more ufeful alarm than that which is contained in the text. 
Watch therefore, my brethren, I befeech you by the mer- 
cies of God in Christ Jesus, watch ; be upon your guard ; 
awake, ye that fleep in the duft : for ye know neither the day 
nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh. Perhaps to- 
day, perhaps this midnight, the cry may be made : *' for in 
a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, the trump is to 
found." However, fuppofnig the final day of judgment m/ay 
yet be a great way ofF, the day of death is certainly near at 
hand : for what is our life ? " It ig^but a vapour," but a fpan 
long, foon paiTeth it away, and we are gone. Blefled be 
God, we are all here well ; but who, out of this great mul- 
titude, dares fay, I fliall go home to my houfe in fafety ? 
Who knows, but whilft I am fpeaking, God may commif- 
fion his miniftring fpirits immediately to call fome of you . 
away by a fudden ftroke, to give an account with what atten- 
tion you have heard this fermon. You know, my brethren, 
fome fuch inftances we have lately had. And what angel or 
fpirit hath afTured us, that fome of you fhall not be the next ? 
*' Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the 
hour wherein the Son of man will come:" And it is chiefly 
for this reafon, that God has hidden the day of our deaths 
from us. For fmce I know not but I may die tomorrow,' 
why, O my foul, may each of us fay, wilt thou not watch 
to day ? Since I know not but I may die the next moment, 
why wilt thou not prepare for dying this ? Many fuch re- 
fle£lions as thefe, my brethren, croud in upon my mind. At* 
prefent, blelTed be the Lord, who delights to magnify his 
ilrength in a poor worm's weaknefs, I am at a ftand, not fo 
much about what I (hall fay, as what I fhall leave unfaid. 
My belly, like Elihus^ is, as it were, full of new wines 5 
" out of the abundance of my heart my mouth fpeaketh." 
The feeing fo great a multitude ftanding before me ; a fenfe of 
the infinite majefty of that God in whofe name I preach, and 
before whom I as Well as you muft appear, to give an account ; 
and the uncertainty there is whether I fhall live another day, 
to fpeak to you any more : thefe confiderations, efpecially 


f 3^7 ] 

the prefence of God, which I nov/ feci upon my foul, fur- 
nifhes me with fo much miUter, that 1 fcarce know where to 
begin, or where to end my application. However, for mc- 
thoJ-fake, by the divine afliftance, I v/ill branch it into three 

And fir/f, I would remind you that arc riotorloufly ungodly, 
of what our Lord fays in the text: For though I have faid 
that your damnation flumbereth not, vvhilft you continue in 
an impenitent (late; yet that v/as only to fct you upon your 
watch, to convince you of your danger, and excite you to 
cry out, " What fliall we do to be faved ?" I appeal to all 
that hear me, whether I have faid, the door of mercy flioulJ 
be fliut againft you, if you believe on Jesus Christ : No, 
if you are the chief of Tinners ; if you are murderers of fathers, 
and murderers of mothers ; if you are emphatically the dung 
nnd ofpscouring of all things; yet if you believe on Jesus 
Christ, and cry unto him with the fame faith as the expir- 
ing thief, " Lord, remember me, now thou art in thy king- 
dom 5" I will pawn my eternal falvation upon it, if he dues 
not fhortly tranflate you to his heavenly paradife. "W^ondcr 
not at my fpeaking with fo much aflurance : For I know " it 
is a faithful and true faying, and worthy of all acceptation, 
that Jesus Christ came into the world to fave (all truly af- 
fected and believing) Tinners : Nay, fo gre^t is his love, that 
I am perfuaded, was it neccjffary, he would come again into 
the world, and die a fecond time for them on the crofs. But, 
blefled be God, wijen our Lord bowed down his her.d, and 
gave up the ghoft, our redemption w^as finifhed. It is not 
our fins, but our want of a lively faith in his blood, that will 
prove our condemnation : if you draw near to hira by faith, 
though ye are the word of finners, yet he will not fay unto 
you, " Verily I know you not." No, a door of mercy (hall 
be opened to you. Look then, look then, by an eye of faith, 
to that God -man whom ye have pierced. Behold him blced- 
ino", panting, dving upon the crofs, with arms ftretched out 
ready to embrace you all. Hark 1 how he groans ! See how 
all nature is in an agony ! The rocks rend, the graves open ; 
the fun withdraws its light, afliamcd as it were to fee the G jd 
of nature fufFer ; and all this to uflicr in man's great redemp- 
tion. Nay, the iloly Jfsus, in the very agonies and pangs 
' B b 2 of 

[ 388 ] 

of death, prays for his very murderers ; " Father, forgive them, 
for they knov^' not vi^hat they do/* If then you have crucified 
the Son of God afrcfh, and put him to an open fhame, yet do 
not defpalr, only believe, and even this {hall be forgiven. 
You have read, at leaft you have heard, no doubt, howr 
three thoufand were converted at St. Peter*s preaching one 
fingle fermon, after our Lord's afcenfion into heaven ; and 
many of the crucifiers of the Lord of glory undoubtedly were 
amongft them ; and why fhould you defpair ? For " Jesus 
Christ is the fame yefterday, to-day, and for ever." The 
Holy Ghoft (hall be fent down on you, as well as on them, 
if you do but believe ; for Christ afccnded up on high to re- 
ceive this gift even for the vileft of men. Come then, all 
ye that are weary and heavy laden with the fenfe of your fins, 
lay hold on Christ by faith, and he will give you reft ; for 
falvation is the free gift of God to all them that believe. And 
though you may think this too good news to be true, yet I 
fpeak the truth in Christ, I lie not, this is the gofpel, this 
is the glad tidings which we are commiilioned to preach to 
every creature. Be not faithlcfs then, but believing. Let not 
the devil lead you captive at his will any longer ; for all the 
wages he gives his fervants is death, death often in this life,- 
death everlafting in the next : But the free gift of God, is 
eternal life to all that believe in Jesus Christ. Pharifees 
are and will be offended at my coming here, and offering you 
falvation on fuch cheap terms ; but the more they bid me hold 
my peace, the more will I cry out and proclaim to convided 
finners, that Jesus, David's Son according to the flefti, but 
David\ Lord as he was God, will have mercy upon all that 
by a living faith truly turn to him. If this is to be vile, I 
pray God, I may be more vile. If they v;ill not let rQ.e preach 
Christ crucified, and offer falvation to poor finners in a 
church, I will preach him in the lanes, ftreets, highways and 
hedges ; and nothing pleafes me better, than to think I am 
now in one of the devils ftrongeft holds. Surely, the Lord 
has not fent me and all you hither for nothing ; no, blefled 
be God, the fields are white ready unto harveft, and many 
fouls I hope will be gathered into his heavenly garner. It is 
true, it is the midnight of the church, efpecially the poor 
church ofEngLmd', but God has lately fent forth his fervants 


t 389 ] 

to cry, "Behold the bridegroom cometh :" I befeech you, 
O finners, hearken unto the voice ! Let me efpoufe you by 
faith to my dear marter ; and henceforward " watch and pray," 
that you may be ready to go forth to meet him. 

Secondly^ I would apply myfclf to thofe amongft you, that 
are not openly profane, but by depending on a formal round 
of duties, deceive your own fouls, and are only foolidi virf^ins. 
But I muft fpeak to your convi(5lion, rather than your com- 
fort. My dear brethren, do not deceive your own fouls. You 
have heard how far the foolifli virgins went, and yet were 
anfwered with *' Verily I know you not :'* The rcafon i?, 
becaufe none but fuch who have a living faith in Jesus 
Christ, and are truly born again, can poffibly enter into 
the kingdom of heaven. You may, perhaps, live honeft and 
outwardly moral lives, but if you depend on that moraliry, 
or join your works with your faith, in order to juftify you 
before God, you have no lot or (hare in Christ's redemp- 
tion : For what is this but to deny the Lord that has bought 
you ? What is this but making yourfelvcs your own Savi- 
ours? taking the crown from Jesus Christ, and putring 
it on your own heads ? The crime of the devil, lome have 
fuppofed, confifted in this, that he would not bow to Jesus 
Christ, when the Father commanded all the angels to v/or- 
fhip him; and wnat do you lefs ? You will not own and 
fubmit to his righteoufnefs ; and though you pretend to wor- 
fhip him with your lips, yet your hearts are far fi'im him; 
befides you, in effe£l, deny the operations of his bleficd fpi- 
rit, you miftake common for effectual grace ; y>u hope to 
befaved, becaufe you have good defires, and a few lliort con- 
victions ; and what is this, but to give God, his word, and 
all his faints, the lie ? A Jew, a Tur^, has equally as good 
grounds whereon to build his hopes of lalvation. Need I 
not then to cry out to you, ye foolKh virgins, watch. Beg of 
God to convince y(;u of your fclf-righteoufncfs, and tiie fe- 
cret unbelief of your hearts; or otherwifc, whcnfocvcr the 
cry (hall be made, " Behold the bridegroom comcih," you 
will find yourfelves utterly unprepared to go forth to nieet 
him: You may cry "Lord, Lord i" but the anfwcr will 
be, " Verily, I know you not." 

B b 3 Tbirdi)'^ 

[ 39^ 3 

nirdl)\ I would fpeak a word or two by way ot cxhorta* 
tjoii to thofe v/ho are wife virgins, and are aflured that they 
have on a wedding-garment. That there are many fuch 
amongfl you, who by grace have renounced your own righte- 
oufnefs, and know that the righteoufnefs of the Lord Jesus 
is imputed to you, 1 make no doubt. God has his fecret 
ones in the wo: ft of times ; and I am perfuaded he has not let 
{o loud a gofpel cry to be made amongft his people, as of late 
lias been heard, for nothing. No, I am confident, the Holy 
Gholl has been given to many at the prenching of faith, and 
has powerfully fallen upon many, whilft they have been hear- 
ing the word. You are now then no longer foolifli, but wife 
virgins ; notwithftanding, 1 befecch you alfo to fuffer the 
word of exhoitation ; for wife virgins are too apt, whilft the 
bridegroom tarries, to Dumber and fieep. Watch therefore, 
my dear brethren, watch and pray, at this time efpecially j 
for perhaps a time of fuftering is at hand. The ark of the 
Lord begins already to be driven into the vvildernefs. Be 
ye therefore upon your v/atch, and ftill perfevere in following 
your Lord, even without the camp, bearing his reproach : 
the crv that has been lately made, has awakened the devil and 
his fervants j they begin to rage horribly ; and well they may ; 
for I hope their kingdom is in danger. Watch therefore, for 
if we are not always upon our guard, a time of trial may over- 
take us unawares ; and, inftead of ov/ning, like Peter we may 
be tempted to deny our mafler. Set death and eternity often 
before you. Look unto Jesus, the author and finiiher of 
your faith, and confider how little a while it will be, ere he 
comes to judgment 5 and then our reproach fnall be wiped 
away ; the accufers of us and our brethren fliall be caft down, 
and we all (liall be lodged in heaven for ever, v/ith our dear 
IjORD Jesus. 

Lajlly ; what I fay unto you, I fay unto all, watch ; high 
and low, rich and poor, young and old, one with another, 
I befeech you, by the mercies of Jesus, to be upon your 
guard : fly, fly to Jesus Christ, that heavenly bridegroom : 
behold he defires to take you to himfelf, miferable, poor, 
blind and naked as you are ; he is willing to cloath you with 
his everlafting righteoufnefs, and make you partakers of that 
glory, which he enjoyed u'ith the Father before the world 


[ 39' 3 

began. Do not turn a deaf ear to me ; do not rejt^iEl the mef- 
fage on account of the meanncfs of the meffenger. I am a 
child ; but the Lord has chofen me, that the glory mi ^ht be 
all tis own. Had he fent to invite you by a learned rabbi, 
you might have been tempted to think the man had done 
Ibmething; but now God iias fent a child, that the excel- 
lency of the powder may be feen not to be of man, but of God. 
Let the learned Pharifccs then defpife my youth : I care not 
hovv^ vile I appear in the fjght of fuch men 3 I glory in it. 
And I am perfuaded, if any of you fliould be married to 
Christ by this preaching, you will have no reafon to repent, 
when you come to heaven, that God fent a child to cry, 
'' Behold the bridegroom cometh 1" O! my brethren, the 
thought of being inftrumental in bringing one'of you to glory, 
fills me with frefii zeal. Once more I entreat you, " Watch, 
watch and pray :" For the Lord Jesus will receive all that 
call upon him faithfully. Let that cry, " Behold the bride- 
groom cometh," be continually founding in your ears ; and 
begin now to live, as though you were afTured, this night you 
were to " go forth to meet him.'* I could fay more, but 
the other bufmefs and duties of the day oblige me to flop. May 
the Lord give you all an hearing ear, and obedient heart, and 
fo clofely unite you to himfelfbyone fpirit, that when he 
fliall come in terrible majefty, to judge mankind, you may be 
found having on a wedding garment, and ready to go in with 
him to the marriage. 

Grant this, O Lord, for thy dear Son's fake ! 


C 392 ] 


The Eternity of Hell-Torments. 

To the INHABITANTS of Savannah in 

Aly dear Friends^ 

THOUGH the following fermon has been preached 
elfewhere, yet as the occafion of my preaching it 
among you was particular, as you feemed to give an uncom- 
mon attention to it in public, and afterwards exprefled your 
fatisfa£lion in it to me, when I came to vifit you in your 
own houfes, I thought proper to offer it to you. 

And here I cannot but blefs God for the general diflike 
of heretical principles that 1 have found among you ; as alfo 
for your zeal and approbation of my condudl, when the glory 
of God and your welfare, have obliged me to refent and pub- 
licly declare againfl the antichriftian tenets of fome lately 
under my charge. 

I need only exhort you to beg of God to give you a true 
faith, and to add to your faith virtue, that you may adorn the 
gofpel of our Lord Jesus Christ in all things. 

Your conflant daily attendance upon public worfhip, the 
gladnefs wherewith you have received me into your houfes, 
the mildnefs wherewith you have fubmitted to my reproofi;, 
more efpecially the great (though unmerited) concern you 
Ihewed at my departure, induce me to hope this will be your 

How long God of his good providence will keep me from 
you, I know not. However, you may allure yourfelves I 
will return according to my promife, as foon as I have re- 

[ 393 ] 
celveii Impofitlon of hands, and compleated the other bufinefs 
that called me hither. 

In the mean while, accept of this, as a pledge of the un- 
difiembled love of 


Your afFe«£lionate though unworthy paftor, 
George White field. 

Matthew xxv. 45. 
'Thefe JJiall go away into everlafling piiniJJiment. 

THE excellency of the gofpel difpenfatlon. Is greatly evi- 
denced by thofe fan£lions of rewards and punifhments, 
which it offers to the choice of all its hearers, in order to 
engage them to be obedient to its precepts. For it promifes 
no lefs than eternal happinefs to the good, and denounces no 
ilighter a punifhment than everlafling mifcry againft the 
wicked : On the one hand, " It is a favour of life unto life," 
on the other, " A favour of death unto death." And though 
one would imagine, the bare mentioning of the former would 
be fufficient to draw men to their duty, yet minifters in all 
ages have found it ncceflary, frequently to remind their peo- 
ple of the latter, and to fet before them the terrors of the 
Lord, as fo many powerful difTuafives from fm. 

But whence is it that men are fo difingenuous ? The rea- 
fon feems to be this : The promife of eternal happinefs is fo 
agreeable to the inclinations and wifhes of mankind, that all 
who call themfelves chriftians, univerfally and willingly fub- 
fcribe to the belief of it : but then there is fomething fo (hock- 
ing in the confideration of eternal torments, and fcemingly 
fuch an infinite difproportion between an endlcfs duration cf 
pain, and a fliort life fpent in pleafurc, that men (fome at leafl 
of them) can fcarcely be brought to confefs it as an article of 
their faith, that an eternity of mifery awaits the wicked in a 
future ftate. 

I (hall 

[ S94 ] 

I fhall therefore at this time, beg leave to infift on the proof 
of this part of one of the Articles of our Creed 5 and endea- 
vour to make good what our bleffed Lord has here threatened 
in the words of the text, " Thefe (that is, the v/icked) (hall 
go away into everlafting puniiliment." 

Accordingly, without confidering the words as they ftand 
in relation to the context, I fhall refolve all I have to fay, 
into this one general propofition, " That the torments re- 
ferved for the wicked hereafter, are eternal." 

But before I proceed to make good this, I muft inform you 
that I take it for granted. 

All prefent do ftedfaftly believe, They have fomething 
within them, which we call a foul, and which is capable of 
furviving the diflblution of the body, and of being miferable 
or happy to all eternity. 

I take it for granted farther. That you believe a divine 
revelation ; that thofe books, emphatically called the Scrip- 
tures, were written by the infpiration of God, and that the 
U^5> things therein contained, arc founded upon eternal truth. 

I take it for granted, That you believe, that the Son of 
God came down to die for fmners j and that there is but one 
Mediator between God and man, even the man Christ 

Thefe things being granted, (and they were necefTary to be 
premifed) proceed we now to make good the one general pro- 
pofition afTerted in the text. That the torments referved for 
the wicked hereafter are eternal. " Thefe (hall go away 
vjnto everlafting punifliment." The 

'F'lrji argument I fhall advance to prove that the torments 
referved for the wicked hereafter, are eternal, is. That the 
v/ord of God himfelf afTures us, in line upon line, that it will 
be fo. 

To quote all the texts that might be produced in proof of 
this, would be endlefs. Let it fufHce to inflance only in 4 
|ew. Li the Old Teflament, in the book q{ Daniel^ chap. xii. 
ver. 2. we are told, that " fome fhall awake to everlafting 
life, and others to everlafting contempt." In the book oC 
Ijaiah^ it is faid, that " the worm of thofe that have tranf- 
grefled God's law, and die impenitently, fhall not die, nor 
their fire be quenched." And in another place, the holy 


[ 29S ] 

prophet, {Iruck, no doubt, with aftonKhment and horror 
at the profpcdl of the continuance of the torments of the 
damned, breaks out into this moving expoftulation, *• Who 
can dwell vviih everlaltin<2; burnino;s ?" 

The New Tcil-Ament is flill fuller as to this point, it beino- 
a revelation which brought this and fuch-Iike particulars to a 
clear light. The Apoftle Judc tells us of the profane dc- 
fpilers of dignities in his days, that " for them was refervcd 
the blacknefs of darkucfs for ever.'* And in the book of the 
Reveliitions^ it is written, that " the fmoke of the torments 
cf the wicked afcendeth for ever and ever." And if we be- 
lieve the witnefs of mcii infpired, the v/itnefs of the Son of 
God, who had the Spirit given him, as Mediator, without 
nieafure, is flill far greater : and in St. AIurKS gofpel. He 
repeats this folemn declaration three feveral times, *« It is 
better for thee to enter into life maimed ;" that is, it is better 
to forego the gratification of thy luft, or incur the difplcafurc 
of a friend, which may be as dear to thee as a hand, or as 
uleful as a foot, " than having two hands and feet, (that is, 
for indulging the one, or difobeying God to oblige the other) 
to be'caft into hell, where the worm dieth not, and the fire is 
not quenched." 

And here again, in the words of the text, '' Thefc (the 
wicked) fliall go away into everlalling puniflnnent." 

I know it has been objeded by fome who have denied the 
eternity of hell-torments. That the words rjcrlajVing and ever ' 
(ind e\jcr^ are often ufed in the Holy Scriptures, (efpecially in 
the Old Teftament) when they fignify not an endlefs dura- 
tion, but a limited term of time. 

And this we readily grant : but then we reply. That when 
the v/ords are ufed with this limitation, they either manifeftly 
appear to be ufed fo from the context ; or are put in oppofi- 
tion to occafional types Vv'hich God gave his people on fome 
fpecial occafions, as when it is faid, " It {hall be a perpetual 
or everlafling ftatute," or, '' a ftatute for ever ;" that is, a 
ftanding type, and not merely tranfient or occafional, as was 
the pillar of cloud, the manna, and fuch-like. Or, laftly, 
they have a relation to that covenant, God made with his 
fpiritually ^77^/; which, if undcrftood in a fpiritual fenfe. 

C 395 ] 

will be everlafting, though the ceremonial difpenfation be 

Beficles, it ought to be obfervcd, that feme of the pafTages 
juft now referred to, have neither of thefe words fo much as 
mentioned in them, and cannot poflibly be interpreted, fo as 
to denote only a limited term of years. 

But let that be as it will, it is evident even to a demonftra- 
tion, that the words of the text will not admit of fuch a re- 
flrained fignification, as appears from their beitig dire£^ly op- 
pofed to the words immediately following, " That the righte- 
ous fliall go into life eternal." From which words, all are 
ready to grant, that the life promifed to the righteous will be 
eternal. And why the punifhmcnt threatened to the wicked 
ihould not be underftood to be eternal likcwiTe, when the very 
fame word in the original, is ufed to exprefs the duration of 
each, no fliadow of a reafon can be given. 

But, Secondlyj There cannot be one argument urged, why 
God fhould reward his faints with everlafting happinefs, 
which will not equally prove that he ought to punifh finners 
with eternal mifery. 

For, fince we know nothing (at leaft for a certainty) how 
he will deal with either, but by a Divine Revelation ; and 
fince, as was proved by the foregoing argument, he hath as 
pofitively threatened eternally to puniih the wicked, as to re- 
ward the good ; it follows, that his truth will be as much im- 
peached and called in queftion, did he not inflict his punifh- 
ments, as it v.?ould be, if he did not confer his rewards. 

To this alfo it has been objedled, That though God is 
obliged by promife to give his rewards, yet his veracity could 
not be called in queftion, fuppofing he fhould not execute 
his threatenings, as he actually did not in the cafe o{ Nineveh ; 
which God exprefsly declared by his Prophet Jonah^ " fhould 
be deftroyed in forty days :" notwithftanding the fequel of 
the ftory informs us, that Nineveh was fpared. 

But in anfwer to this obje6tion we affirm, that God*s 
threatenings, as well as promifes, are without repentance; 
and for tliis reafon, becaufe they are both founded on the 
eternal laws of right reafon. Accordingly we always find, 
that where the conditions were not performed, on the non- 
performance of which the threatenings were denounced, God 


[ w ] 

always executed the punifhmcnt threatcncil. The diiviiiir 
Adam out of Eden^ the deftru6tion of the old world by a de- 
luge of water, and the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah^ arc 
and will be always fo many (landing monuments of (iOD*ij 
executing his threatenings when denounced, thouf^h to our 
weak apprehenfions, the punifliment may (ecm far to exceed 
the crime. 

It is true, God did fpare Nineveh, and that bccaufe the in- 
habitants did a£lually repent, and therefore performed the con- 
ditions upon which it was fuppofed, by the Prophet's being 
fent to warn them, the threatened punifliment fliould be 

And fo in refpetSt to gofpel threatenings. If men will fo 
far confult their own welfare, as to comply with the gofpel, 
God certainly will not punifli them, but on the contrarv, 
confer upon them his rewards. But to affirm that he will 
not punifh, and that eternally to, impenitent, obftinatc Tin- 
ners, according as he hath threatened ; what is it, in efFeui, 
but to make God like a man, that he (hould lie, or the fon 
of man, that he fhould rcpen: ? 

But the abfurdity of fuch an opinion will appear ftill more 
evident from 

The Third argument I (hall ofFer to prove, that the tor- 
ments referved for the wicked hereafter are eternal, From the 
nature of the chriftian covenant. 

And here I muft again obferve, that it was taken for granted 
at the beginning of this difcourfc, that you believe the Son of 
God came down to fave Tinners ; and that there is but one 
Mediator between God and man, even the man Christ 

And here I take it for granted farther, (unlefs you believe 
the abfurd and unwarrantable doctrine of purgatory) that you 
are fully perfuaded, this life is the only time allotted by Al- 
mighty God for working out our falvation, and that after a 
few years are pafFed over, there will remain no mere facrificc 
for Tm. 

And if this be granted (and who dares deny it ?) it follow;, 

that if a wicked man dieth in his wickedncfs, and under the 

wrath of God, he muft continue in ihat ftatc to all eternity. 

5 For, 

[ 398 ] 

For, fince there is no pofBbility of their being delivered out'of 
fuch a condition, but by and through Christ ; and fince, at 
the hour of death, the time of Christ's mediation and in- 
terceflion for him is irrecoverably gone ; the fame reafon that 
may be given, why God fhould punifh a fmner that dicth 
under the guilt of his fins for a fingle day, will equally hold 
good, why he diould continue to puniili him for a year, an 
age, nay to all eternity. 

But I haften to the Fourth and lafl: argument, to prove, 
That the torments refervcd for the wicked hereafter are eter- 
nal, Becaufe the devil's punifliment is to be fo. 

That there is fuch a being whom we call the devil 5 that 
he was once an angel of light, but for his pride and rebellion' 
againft God, was cafl down from heaven, and is now per- 
mitted, with the reft of the fpiritual wickedneffe?, to walk to 
and fro, feeking whom they may devour; that there is a place 
of torment referved for them, or, to ufe the Apoftle's words, 
*'' That they are refervcd in everlafting chains under darknefs 
unto the judgment of the great day ;" are truths all here pre- 
fent were fuppofed to be convinced of, at the beginning of this 
difcourfe, you believing ihe Holy Scriptures to be written by 
the infpiration of God, wherein thefe truthi; are delivered. 

But then if we allow all this, and think it no irjudice in 
God to punifh thcfe once glorious fpirits fur their rebellion ; 
how can we think it unjull in him, to punifii wicked men for 
their impenitency to all eternity ? 

You will fay, perhaps, that they have fmned againft greater 
light, and therefore deferve a greater punifhment. And {o we 
grant that the puniihment of the fallen angels may, be greater 
as to degrecj than that of wicked men ; but then we affirm^ 
it will be equal as to the eternal duration of it : for in that 
day, as the lively oracles of God inform us, (hall the Son of 
Man fay to them on his left hand, *' Depart from me, ye 
curfed, into everlafting fire, prepared for the devil and his 
angels." Where we find that impenitent fmners are to be 
caft into the fame everlafting iire, with the devil and his an- 
gels ; and that too very juftly. For though they may have 
fmned againft greater light, yet chriftians fm againft greater 
mercy. Since Christ Look not hold of, did not die for, the 
I fallen 

[ 399 ] 

fallen angels, but for men and for our falvation. So that If 
God fpared not thofe excellent beings, afTure thyfelf, O ob- 
ftinate finner, whoever thou art, he will by no means fpare 

From what then has been faid it plainly appears, that 
verily the torments referved for the wicked hereafter, are 
eternal. And If fo, brethren, how ought we to fly to Jesus 
Christ for refuge ; how holy ought we to be in all manner 
of convcrfation and godlinefs, that we may be accounted 
worthy to efcape this wrath to come ! 

But before I proceed to a pradtical exhortation, permit me 
to draw an inference or two from what has been faid. 

And Fifji, If the torments referved for the wicked here- 
after are eternal, what fhall we fay to thofe, v^ho make an open 
profelTion in their creed to believe a life everlafting, a life of 
mifery as well as happinefs, and vet dare to live in the actual 
commifiion of thofe fins which will unavoidably, without re- 
pentance, bring them into that place of torment ? Thou be- 
lieveft that the punifliments of the impenitently wicked in ano- 
ther life, are eternal : '' Thou dofl well, the devils aho believe 
and tremble." But know, O vain man, unlefs this belief 
doth influence thy praciice, and makes thee bid adieu to fhv 
fins, every time thou repeateft thy creed, thou doeft in effect 
lay, I believe I (hall be undone for ever. 

But, Secondly, If the torments referved for the wicked here- 
after are eternal, then let this fcrve as a caution to fuch per- 
fons, (and it is to be feared there are fome fuch) who go about 
to difluade others from the belief of fuch an important truth : 
There being no furer way, in all probability, to encourage 
and promote infidelity and prophanenefs, than the broaching 
or maintaining fo unwarrantable a doctrine. For if the po- 
fitive threats of God concerning the eternity of hell-torments, 
are already found infufHcient to deter men from fin, what a 
higher pitch of wickcdncfs may we imagine they will quickly 
arrive at, when they arc taught to entertain any hopes of a 
future recovery out of them ; or, what is (lill vvorfe, that their 
fouls are hereafter to be annihilated, and become like the 
beafts that perifh ? But wo unto fuch blind leaders of the 
blind. No wonder if they both fall' into the ditch. And let 


[ 400 ] 
fuch corrupters of God's word know, that I teflify unto every 
man that heareth me this day, " That if any one {hall add 
unto, or take away from the words that are written in the 
book of God, God (hall take his part out of the book of 
life, and fhall add unto him all the plagues that are in that 

Thirdly and Lajlly^ If the torments referved for the wicked 
hereafter are eternal, then this may ferve as a reproof for thofe 
who quarrel with God, and fay it is inconfiftent with his 
juftice, to punifh a perfon to all eternity, only for enjoying 
the pleafures of fm for a feafon. But fuch perfons muft be 
told, that it is not their thinking or calling God unjuft, will 
make him fo, no more than a condemned prifoncr's faying 
the law or judge is unjuft, will render either duly chargeable 
with fuch an imputation. But knowcft thou, O worm, 
whatblafphemy thou art guilty of, in charging GoD with in- 
juftice ? " Shall the thing formed fay to him that formed it, 
why haft thou made me thus?" Wilt thou prefume to ar- 
raign the Almighty at the bar of thy {hallow reafoning ? 
and call him unjuft, for puni{hing thee eternally, only becaufc 
thou wi{lie{l it may not be fo ? But hath God faid it, and 
(hall he not do it ? He hath faid it : and let God be true, 
though every man be a liar. " Shall not the judge of all the 
earth do right?" AfTuredly he will. And if fmners will not 
own his juflice in his threatenings here, they will be com- 
pelled ere long to own and feel them, when tormented by 
him hereafter. 

But to come to a more pradical application of what has 
been delivered. 

You have heard, brethren, the eternity of hell-torments 
plainly proved, from the exprefs declarations of holy fcrip- 
tures, and confequences naturally drawn from them. And 
row there feems to need no great art of rhetoric to perfuade 
any underftanding perfon to avoid and abhor thofe fins, which 
without repentance will certainly plunge him into this eternal 
gulph. The difproportion between the pleafure and the pain 
(if there be any pleafure in fin) is fo infinitely great, that 
luppofing it was only pofTible, though not certain, that the 
wicked would be everla{lingly punifhed, no one that has the 
reafon of a man, for the enjoying a little momeiUary pleafure, 


[ 401 3 

would, one might imagine, run the hazard ofendurlr.o- etcr* 
nal pain. But fince the torments of the damned are not only 
pofTible, but certain, (ftnce God himfelf, who cannot lie, 
has told us fo) for men, notwithftanding, to pcrfift in their 
difobedience, and then flatter themfelves, that God will not 
make good his threatenlngs, is a mcft egregious inflancc of 
folly and prefumption. 

Dives himfelf fuppofed, that if one rofe from the dead, his 
brethren would amend their lives j but Chriftians, it fcems, 
will not repent, though the Son of God died and rofe again, 
and told them what they muft expe6l, if they continue obfti- 
nate in evil-doing. 

Would wc now and then draw ofF our thoughts from fcn- 
fible objedls, and by faith meditate a while on the miferies of 
the damned, I doubt not but we (hould, as it were, hear 
many an unhappy foul venting his fruitlefs forrows, in feme 
fuch piteous moans as thefe. 

'* O wretched man that I am, who fhall deliver me from 
this body of death !" O foolifh mortal that I was, thus to 
bring myfelf into thefe never- Ceafing tortures, for the tranfi- 
tory enjoyment of a few fliort-lived pleafures, which fcarcely 
afforded me any fatibfadlion, even when I moft indulged my- 
felf in them. Alas ! are thefe the wages, thefe the cfFe£ls of 
fin ? Are all the grand deceiver's inviting promifes come to 
this ? O damned apoftatc ! Firft to delude me with pre- 
tended promifes of happinef?, and after feveral years drudgery 
in his fcrvice, thus to involve me in eternal woe. O that I 
had never hearkened to his beguiling infmuations ! O that I 
had rejedled his very firft fuggeftions with the utmoft detefta- 
tion and abhorrence ! O that 1 had taken up my crofs and 
followed Christ ! O that I had never ridiculed ferious god- 
iinefs j and out of a falfe politenefs, condemned the truly 
pious as too fevere, enthufiaftic, or fuperftitious ! For I then 
))ad been happy indeed, happy beyond expreffion, happy to all 
eternity, yonder in thofe blefTed regions where they fit, 
cloathed with unfpeakable glory, and chanting forth their (e- 
raphic hallelujahs to the Lamb that fitteth upon the throne for 
ever. But, alas ! thefe reflections come now too late : thefe 
wifhes now are vain and fruitlefs. I have not fufFered, and 
therefore muft not reigu with them, I have in effed denied 

Vol. V. C c ihc 


[ 402 ] 

the Lord that bought me, and therefore juftly am I now de- 
nied by him. Bat muft I live for ever tormented in thefe 
flames ? Muft this body of mine, which not long fmce lay 
in ftate, was cloathed in purple and fine linen, and fared 
fumptuoufly every day, muft it be here eternally confined, and 
made the mockery of infuking devils ? O eternity ! that 
thought fills me with defpair : I muft be miferable tor ever." 

Come then, all ye felf-deluding, felf-deluded ftnners, and 
imagine yourfelves for once in the place of that truly wretched 
man I have been here defcribing. Think, I befeech you by 
the mercies of God in Christ Jesus, think wiih yourfelves, 
how racking, how unfupportable the never-dying worm of a 
fclf-condemning confcience will hereafter be to you. Think 
how impofTible it will be for you to dwell with everlafting 

Come, all ye chriftians of a lukewarm, Laodicea7i fpirit, ye 
Gallio's in jeligion, who care a little, but not enough for the 
things of God ; O think, think with yourfelves, how deplor- 
able it will be to lofe the enjoyment of heaven, and run into 
endlcfs torments, merely becaufe you will be content to be 
almoft, and will not ftnve to be altogether chriftians. Con- 
iider, I befeech you confider, how you will rave and curfe 
that fatal ftupidity which made you believe any thing lefs 
than true faith in Jesus, productive of a life of ftridl piety, 
feif-dcnial, and m.ortiiication, can keep you from thofe tor- 
ments, tiie eternity of which i have been endeavouring to 

But I can no more. Thefe thoughts are too melancholy 
for me to dwell on, as well as for you to hear ; and God 
knows, as punifhing is his ftrange work, fo denouncing his 
threatenings is mine. But if the bare mentioning the tor- 
ments of the damned is fo (hocking, how terrible mult the 
enduring of them be ! 

And now, are not fome of you ready to cry out, " Thefe 
are hard fayings, who can bear them ?" 

But let not fincere chriftians be in the leaft terrified at what 
has been delivered : No, for you is relerved a crown, a king- 
dom, an eternal and exceeding weight of glory. Christ 
never faid that the righteous, the believing, the upright, the 
fiucere, but the wicked^ mercilefs, negatively good profefTors 


i 40i 1 

before defcribed, fhall go into everlafting puniflinient. For 
you, who love him in fincerity, a new and livin<^ wjy is laid 
open into the Holy of Holies by the blood of jEiiUo Christ : 
and an abundant entrance will be adniiniflered un:6 you at 
the great day of account, into eternal life. Take heed, there- 
fore, and beware that there be not in any of you a root of 
bitternefs fpringing up of unbelief : but on the contrary, ftcd- 
faftly and heartily rely on the many precious promifcs reached 
out to you in the gofpel, knowing that he who hath promifed 
is faithful, and therefore will perform. 

But let no obftinately wicked profefTors dare to apply any 
of the divine promifes to themfelves : '' For it is not meet to 
take the childrens meat and give it unto dogs :" No, to fuch 
the terrors of the Lord only belong. And as certainly as 
Christ will fay to his true followers, " Come, ye blelTcd 
children of my Father, receive the kingdom prepared for you 
from the beginning of the world ;" fo he will unalterably pro- 
iiounce this dreadful fentence againft all that die in their fins, 
'' Depart from me, ye curfed, into everlafting fire, prepared 
for the devil and his angels." 

From which unhappy (late, may God of his infinite mercy 
deliver us all through Jesus ChrIst ; to whom, with thee 
O Father, and thee O Holy Ghoft, three Perfons and one 
eternal God, be afcribed, as is moft due, all honour, powcr^ 
stjight, majefty, and dominion, now and for evermore. 

C c 2 S E R- 


Blind Bartimeus, 

M A R K X. 52. 
And JiE.svsfaid unto him^ Go thy way, thy faith hath 
made thee whole. And immediately he received his fight ^ 
md followed Jesus in the way, 

WHEN the apoftle Peter was recommending J^sus of 
Nazareth^ in one of his fermons to the Jews^. he 
gave him a (hort, but withal a glorious and exalted chara6^er, 
*' That he went about doing good." He went about, he fought 
occafions of doing good j it was his meat and drink to do the 
works of him that fent him, whilft the day of his public ad- 
miniftration lafked. Juftly was he filled by the prophet, the 
fun of righteoufnefs. For, as the fun in the natur:\l firnoament 
difFufes his quickening and reviving beams through the uni- 
verfe, fo, wherever this fun of righteoufnefs, the blefTed Jesus 
arofe, he arofe with healing under his wings. He was indeed 
a prophet like unto Mofes^ and proved that he was the MeHiah. 
which was to come into the world, by the miracles which he 
"wrought; though with this material difference, the miracles of 
Mofes^ agreeable to the Old Teftament difpenfation, were mi- 
racles of judgment; the miracles of Jesus, who came to bear 
our ficknefTes and heal our infirmities, were miracles of mercy, 
and were wrought, not only for the cure of people's bodies, 
but alfo for the convcrfion of their precious and immortal fouls. 
Sometimes, one and the fame perfon was the fubjedl of both 
thefe mercies. A glorious proof of this, we have in the mi- 
raculous cure wrought upon a poor blind bfggar, named Bar^ 
ii?mui, who Is to be the fubjedt of the following difcourfe, and 
to whom the words of the text refer. *' Jesus faid unto him. 

[ 405 ] 

Go thy way, thy fiaith hath made thee whole, AnJ Imme- 
diately he received his fight, and followed Jesus in the 

My dcfign is, /Vr/?, to make fome obfervations on the mat- 
ter of fadt, as recorded by the evangelids. And then, 

SecGtidlyy To point out the improvement that may be made 
thereof. May Jesus fo blefs this following difcourfe, that 
every fpiritualiy blind hearer may receive his fight, and, after 
the example of Bartimeus, " follow Jesus in the way !" 

If we would take a view of the whole ftory, wc mud go 
back to the 46th verfe of this chapter. " And they (our 
Lord and his difciples, who, we find by the context, had 
been converfing together) came to Jericho^" a place devoted 
by Jc/hua to the curfe of God ; and yet, even this place yields 
converts to Jesus ; Xaccheus had been called there formerly; 
and Bartimeus, as we {hall hear by-and-by, in all probabilitv, 
was called now. For fome good may come even out of A^^^- 
zareih. Christ himfelf was born there, and his fovereicrn 
grace can reach and overcome the worft of people, in the very 
worfl of places. Jesus came to Jericho. Let not his minif- 
ters, if providence points out their way, fhun going to feem- 
ingly the mod unlikely places to do good, fome chofen vefTels 
may be therein, Jesus and his difciples came to Jericho, 
They were itinerajits ; and, as I have frequently obferved, 
.feldom ftayed long in a place; not that this is any argument 
againft the flated fettlement of particular paftors over particu- 
lar parifhes. But however, our Lord's praiSlice, in this rc- 
fpedt, gives a kind of a fandlion to itinerant preaching, when 
perfons are properly called to, and qualified for, fuch an 
employ. And I believe we may venture to affirm (though 
we would by no means prefcribe or dictate to the Holy Ons 
of Ifrael) that, whenever there fhall be a general revival of 
religion in any country, itinerant preaching will be more in 
vogue. And it is to be feared, that thofe who condemn it 
now, merely on account of the meanncfs of its appearances, 
would have joined with the felf-righttous Scribes and Phari- 
fees, in condemning even the Son of God himfelf, for fuch 
a pra^ice. 

C c 3 *' X0 

[ 4o6 ] 

*' And as he went out of Jericho with his dlfcipjes, and a 
great number of people^;" Cyh^Dietv'^ a great number of inob, 
or rabble, as the High-priefts of that generation termed them : 
for tiiefe were the conftant followers of Jesus o^ Nazareth -, 
it was the poor that received his gofpel, the common people 
heard him gladly, and followed him from place to place. Not 
that all who followed him, were his true difciples. No, fome 
followed him only for his loaves, others out of curiofity; 
thouo-h fome undoubtedly followed to hear, and be edified by 
the crracious words that proceeded out of his mouth. Jesus 
knew this, and was alfo fenfible how difpleafing this crowding 
after him was to fome of the rulers of the Jcwijh church, 
>\'ho, upon every occafion, were ready to fay, " Have any of 
the Scribes and Pharifees believed on him r" But, notwith- 
ftandino;, I do not hear of our blefled Lord':s fending them 
home but once ; and that was, after they had been with him 
three days, and had nothing left to eat, he faw they were as 
fheep having no fhepherd, and therefore had compainon on 
them, and taught them. A fufficient warrant this for gofpel- 
minifters to preach to poor fouls that follow to hear the word, 
whatever principle their coming may proceed from. At the 
fame time, they fhould caution people againft thinking them- 
felves chriflians, becaufe they follow Christ's minifters. This 
our Lord frequently did. For there are many that followed 
Jesus, and now follow bis minifters, and hear them gladly; 
nay, perhaps ^o many things, as Herod di\^, who, it is to be 
feared, will never follow them into the kingdom of heaven. 
Much people followed Jesus out of Jericho^ but how many 
pf them were offended in him ; and afterwards, it may be, 
cried out, " Crucify him, crucify him." Who would depend 
on popularity ? It is like the morning cloud, or early dew, 
that palleth away. But what a prefs, and feemingly continued 
hurry of bufmefs did the blefTed Jesus live in ! he could not 
be hid ; go where he would, much people followed him. He 
had fcarce time to eat bread. Happy is it for fuch who are 
called to a£l: in a public ftation in the church, and to be more 
abundant in labours, that their Jesus has trodden in this dan- 
gerous path before them. Popularity is a fiery furnace, and 
no one, but he who kept the three children amidft Nebuchad- 
nezzar's ilames; can prefcrve popular minifters from being hurt 
^ - ' by 

L 407 ] 

hy it. But we can do all things through Christ drencythcn- 
ing us. And I have often thought, that there is one confi- 
deration ("ufficient to extinguiHi, or moderate at Icaft, any 
excefs of joy and felf-complacencc, which the mod popular 
preacher may feel, when followed even hy the rrreateft multi- 
tudes ; and that is this, '' How many of thefe hearers will go 
*' away, without receiving any faving benefit by my preach- 
" ing; nay, how many, it may be, will only have their dam- 
*' nation increafed by it !'* As we find many will fay at the 
great day, " haft thou not taught in our ftreets ;" to whom 
Jesus fhall anfwer, '' Verily, I know you not." 

But to proceed, " As our Lord went out of Jericho with 
his difciples, and a great number of people, blind Burtlmeusj 
(the Ton of Thneus) fat by the highway-fide begging." It 
Ihould feem that he was a noted, though by no means what 
we commonly call, a flurdy beggar; having no ether wav, 
as he had loft his fight, to get his bread ; his cafe was ftill the 
more pitiable, if he was, as fome think the name imports, the 
blind fon of a blind father. It may be, he begged for his father 
ar.d himfelf too; and if fo, then this may give us light into 
that pafTage of Mattheiv xx. 22. where we are told, that 
" two men fpake to Jesus." It might be father and fon, 
though only one is mentioned here, becaufe he only followed 
Jesus in the way. Thus that holy, judicious, and praifliral 
expofitor of holy writ, Mr. Henry. But however this be, he 
is not blamed for begging, neither fhould we difcommend 
others for fo doing, when providence calls to it. It was the 
unjuft fteward that faid, " To beg I am afhamed." It is our 
pride that often makes us unwilling to be beholden; Jesus was 
not thus minded, he lived, as it were, upon alms; the women 
that followed him, miniftred to him of their fubftance. Bar- 
iimeusy not being able to dig, begs for his living; and, in 
order to make a better trade of it, fat by the highway -fide, in 
all probability, without, or near the gate of the city, where 
people muft neceflarily pafs in and out. But though he had 
loft his fight, he had his hearing pcrfe^l ; and it fhould com- 
fort us, if we have loft one fen fe, that we have the u("e of 
another, and that we are not deprived of the benefit of all. 
Happy was it for Bartimeus that he C(^-uld h<^ar, though not 
fee. For in all probability, upon hearing the noifc and cla- 
C c 4. inour 

[ 4o8 ] 

mour of the much people that followed after our Lord, his 

curiofity fet him upon enquiring into the caufe of it, and 
fome one or another told him, " that Jesus o^ Nazareth was 
pafling byj" Jesus of Nazareth^ called fo, becaufe he was 
bred there, or out of contempt ; Nazareth being either a very 
mean, or very wicked place, or both, which made guilelefs 
Nathaniel fay, ^' Can any good come out of Nazareth f And 
what does Bartimeus do when he hears of Jesus? We are 
told, ver. 47 ; " And when he heard that it was Jesus of 
Nazareihy he began to cry out." This plainly denotes, that 
though the eyes of his body were (hut, yet the eyes of his 
mind were, in fome degree, opened, fo that he faw, perhaps, 
' more than moft of the multitude that followed after Jesus; 
for, as foon as he heard of him, he began to cry out ; which 
he would not have done, had he not heard of him before, and 
believed alfo, that he was both able a.od v^illing to redorc 
fight to the blind. *' He began to cry out.'* I'his implies, 
that he had a deep fenfe of his own mifery, and the need 
which he had of a cure; his prayers did not freeze as they 
went out of his lips ; he began to cry out, that Jesus might 
hear him, notwithftanding the noife of the throng ; and he 
began to cry out, as foon as he heard he was palling by, not 
knowing whether he might ever enjoy fuch an opportunity 
any more. <^' He began to cry out, Jesus, thou Son oi Davidy 
have mercy upon me." I'he people called him Jesus of 
Nazareth. Bartimeus ftiles him, '^ Jesus, thou Son o^ David,''* 
Thereby evidencing, that he believed him to be the Mefliah 
who was to come into the world, unto whom the Lord God 
\^'as to give the throne of his father Davia\ and of whofe 
kingdotn there was to be no end. " Jesus, thou Son of 
David i'* or, as it is in the parallel place of St« Matthew xx, 
30. '' O Lord, thou fon of David -y'^ of whom it had been 
long foretold, Ifiiah xxxv. that when he fliould come, " the 
eyes of the blind fhould be opened." " Have mercy upon 
me," the natural language of a foul brought to lie down at 
the feet of a fovercign God. Here is no laying claim to a 
cure by way of merit; no proud, felf-righteous, God I thank 
thee that I am not as other men are: no brin^ino; in a reckon- 
ing of performances, nor any doubting of Jesus's power or 
willingnefs to heal him, but out of the abundance of the 


[ 409 ] 
heart, his mouth fpeaketh, and, in the language of the poor, 
broken-hearted publican, he cries out, " Jesus, thou Son of 
Davids have mercy on me." Jesus, thou friend of Tinners, 
thou Siu'iour, wiio, though thou be the true God, waft plci^fcd 
to hfcomc the Son of Davidy and to be made man, that thou 
mighteft feek and fave thofe that were loft, have mercy upon 
me; k-L thy bowels yearn towards a poor, mifcrablc, blind 
bego;ar ! 

One would have thought that fuch a moving petition as this 
%^'ould have melted the whole multitude, that heard his pitcoui 
cry, into companion, and induced fome at Icaft to turn fuitors 
in his behalf, or help to carry him to the bicfled Jesus. But 
inftead of that, we are told, ver. 48, that '« many char^'ed 
him." The word in the original fecms to imply a charge, 
attended with threatning, and fpoken in an angry manner. 
They charged him '* to hold his peace ;" and it may be, 
threatned to beat him if he did not. They looked upon him 
beneath the notice of Jesus of Nazareth, and were ready 
enough to afl<:, whether he thought Jesus Christ had no- 
thing elfe to do but to wait upon him. This was, no doubt, 
very difcouraging to blind Bartimeus. For oppofition comes 
clofcft when it proceeds from thofe who are cfteemed followers 
of the Lamb. The fpoufe complains as of fomething peculiarly 
afflitSling, that her own mother's children were angry with her. 
But oppofition only ferves to whet the edge of true devotion, 
and therefore Bartimeus, inftead of being filenccd by their 
charges and threatnings, '' cried out the more a great deal, 
thou Son o^ Dcjvid, have m.ercy on me." Still he breaks out 
into the fame humble language, and, if Jesvs, the Son of 
Davidy will have mercy on him, he cares not much what fome 
of his peevifti followers faid of, or did unto him. This w;is 
not a vain repetition, but a devout reiteration of his rcqueft. 
We may fomctimes repeat the fame words, and yet net be 
guilty of that L±TTo\oyia, or vain fpcaking, which our Lord 
condemns. For our Lord himfelf prayed in his agony, and 
faid twice the fame words; " Father, if it be poftible, let this 
cjp pafs from me." Thus Bartimeus, *' Jesus, thou Son of 
David, have mercy upon me." And how does the Son of 
David treat him ? does he join iftue with the multitude, and 
charge him to hold his peace ? or does he go on, thinking him 
i beneath 

[ 410 ] 

beneath his notice ? no; for, fays St. Mar^, ver. 49. "And 
Jesus ftood flill," though he was on a journey, and it may be 
in hafte (for it is not lofmg time to ftop now and then on a 
journey to do a good office by the way) " and commanded 
him to be called :" why fo ? to teach us to be condefcending 
and kind even to poor, if real beggars, and tacitly to reprove 
the blind, mifguided zeal cf thofe who had charged him to 
hold his peace. By this alfo our Lord prepares the multitude 
the better to take the more notice of the blind man's faith, 
and of his own mercy and power exerted in the healing of 
him. For there are times and feafons wlien we are called ,to 
perform a6fs of charity in the mod public manner, and that 
too very confiftently with the injun6lion of our Saviour, " not 
to let our right hand know what our left hand doth.'* For 
there is a great deal of diflerence between giving alms, and 
exercifmg ails of charity, that are feen of men, and doing 
them, that they may be feen ; the one is always fmfiil, the 
other often becomes our duty. Jesus comm.anded Bartimeus 
to be called, " and they called him." Who called him.^ it may 
be, thofe who a little before charged him to hold his peace. 
For it often happens, that our cppofers and difcourager?, after- 
wards become our friends. " When a man's ways pleafe the 
Lord, he makes his enemies be at peace with him." And it 
is to be wifhed, that all who have charged poor fouls, that are 
crying after Jesus, to hold their peace, and to fpare them- 
feU'Cs, and not be righteous over-much, would imitate the 
people here, and eneourage thofe they once perfecuted and 
maligned. " They call the blind man, faying unto him. Be 
of 2:ood comfort, rife, he callcth thee." The words, and man- 
ner of fpcaking them, implies hafte, and a kind of folicitude 
for the blind man's relief. O! that we might hereby learn to 
be patient, and long-fuffering, towards oppofers. P'or it may 
be, that many may oppofe awakened fouls, not out of enmity, 
but through prejudice and rnifinformation, through ignorance 
and unbelief, and a real, though perhaps falfe, pcrfur.fion, that 
their relations are going in a wrong way. By and by they 
nu^.y be convinced, that Christ is indeed calhiig them, and 
then they may become real and open friends to the caufe and 
work of God ; if not, it is our duty to behave with meeknefs 
towards all, and not tojcnder railing for railing, but contrary- 


f 4M ] 

ivife blelTing, knowing that we are thereunto callotl, that wc 
may inherit a blefling ; Jf.sus did not break (>ut into harfh 
language againft thcfe oppoicrs, neither did Bartimeus. «^ Our 
Lord ftood ftill, and commanded him to be called ; and they 
call the blind man, faying unto him. Be of good comfort, 
rife, he calleth thee ; and he, carting away his garment, rofe 
and came to Jesus." Had Bartimcus not been in carntft when 
he cried, '^ Jesus, thou Son of DaviJ^ have mercy upon me," 
he might have fa;d, why do you mock me ? why bid ye mc 
arife ; rife indeed I can, but after I am rifcn, how can I, 
being blind, find my way unto him ? If he will come to me, 
it i- Aell; if not, all your calling availeth nothing, it being 
impolTible for me to find my way. l^hus thoufands now-a- 
days obje6l to evangelical preachers, faying, Why do you 
bid us come to, and believe on Jesus Christ, when you tell 
us it is impciTible of ourfelves to turn to God, or to do good 
works ; and that no one can come unto him, unleis the Father 
draw him. Is not this like tne people's calling upon Baril- 
mcus^ to arife and come to Jesus, \vhcn he could not polTibly 
fee his way before him ? true, it is fo; cmd v/ouM to God that 
all wiio make this cbjeclion, would imitate Bartimcus^ and 
put forth the flrength they have ! What if wc do call you to 
come, and to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, that you 
may be faved? does this imply, that you have a power in your- 
felves to do f o ? no, in no wife, no more than Jesus faying 
unto Laxann's dead and (linking carcafe, '' Come forth," 
implied, that Lazarus had a power to raife himfelF from the 
grave. We call to you, being commanded to preach the gof- 
pel to every creature, hoping and praying, that Christ's 
power may accompany the word, and make it eftcclual to the 
quickenins; and raifmg of your dead fouls. Wc alfo call to 
you to believe, upon the fame account as Jesus faid unto the 
lawyer, " do this, and thou flialt live ;" that you feeing your 
utter inability to come, might thereby be convinced of your 
unbelief, and be led to afk for faith of him, whofe gift it is, 
and who is therefore in fcripture emphatically ililed the Au- 
thor^ as well as FiniJJjer^ of our faith. Add to this, that it is 
your duty to wait at the pool, or to make ufe of the ftrength 
you have, in the carneft and Oeady pcrfv^rmance of all com- 
manded duty. For though you cannot do what is.-fpiritually 


[412 ] 

^ood, becaufe you want fpiritual principles of allien, yet ye 
may do what is morally and materially good, inafmuch as ye 
are reafonable creatures; and though doing your duty as you 
can, no ways deferves mercy, or entitles you to it, yet it is 
the way in which you are required to walk, and the way in 
which God is ufLially found. While you are attempting to 
ftretch out your withered arm, peradventure it may be re- 
flored ; and who knows but Jesus may work faith in ycu, by 
his almiL!,hty power? 

Bartimeus has fet before fuch obje£lors an example ; O that 
they would once fubmit to be taught by a poor blind beggar ! 
For he, cafting away his garment, rofe, and blind as he was, 
came to Jesus; ''calling away his garment." This fecms 
to be a large coat or cloak, that he wore to fcreen himfelf 
from the rain and cold ; undoubtedly, it was the moft necef- 
fary and valuable veftment he had, and one would have 
thought, that he fhould have taken this along with him ; but 
he knew very well, that if he did fo, it might hang about his 
heels, and thereby his reaching Jesus be retarded at leaft, if 
not prevented entirely. Valuable therefore as it was to him, 
he caft it away. The word implies, that he threw it from 
ofF his fhoulders, with great precipitancy and refolution^ 
knowing that if he got a cure, which he now hoped for, by 
Christ's calling him, he (liould never want his garment 
again. And thus will all do that are in earneft about coniing- 
to Jesus here, or feeing and enjoying him in his kingdom 
eternally hereafter. They will cut off a right-hand, they will 
pluck out a right-eye, they will leave father and mother, huf- 
band and wife, yea, and their own lives alfo, rather than not 
be hi.s difciplcs. The apoftle Pauly therefore, exhorts chrifti- 
ans, to " lay afide every weight, and the fin that doth moft 
cafily befet them,'* or hang about their heels, as the word in 
the original imports; alluding to the cuftom of the Romansy 
who wore long garments. Such a one was this, which Bar^ 
iimeus had wrapped round him. But he, to fliew that he fm- 
cercly defired to recover his fight, cafting it away, arofe and 
came to Jesus. And what treatment did Jesus give him ? 
rlid he fay, come not nigh me, thou impudent noify beggar? 
No, '' he anlvvered and faid unto him. What wilt thou, that 
I (bould da uuto thee ?" aa odd ^ueftioa this, fecmingly. For 


[ 4<3 ] 

did not our Lord know what he wanted ? yes, he did ; but 
the Lord Jesus dealt with him, as he deals with us. He 
will make us acknowledge our wants ourfelves, that we there- 
by may confefs our dependance upon him, and be made more 
fenfible of the need we ftand in, of his divine affiftance. The 
blind man immediately replies, " Lord, (thereby intimating 
his belief of Christ's divinity) that I might receive my fight." 
Methinks, I fee the poor creature liftening to the voice of our 
Saviour, and with looks and geftures bei'peaking the inward 
earneftnefs of his foul, he cries out, " Lord, that I may re- 
ceive my light." As though he had faid, 1 believe thou art 
that Mt^fTiah who was to come into the world. I have heard 
of thy fame, O Jesus! and hearing the long- wiflied- for glad- 
tidings of thy coming this way, I cry unto thee, afkino- not 
for filver and gold, but what thou, thou alone canft give me. 
Lord, that i might receive my fight. No fooner does he 
a{k, but he receives. For, verfe 52, " Jesus faid unto him. 
Go thy way, thy faith hath made thee whole j and immedi- 
ately h,Q received his fight." With the word there went a 
power J and he that fpake light out of darkncfs, faying, *' Let 
there be light, and there was light," commanded light into 
this poor blind beggar's eyes, and behold there was light. The 
miracle was inftantaneous ; immediately he received his fight. 
And next to a miracle it was, that by breaking into open light 
all at once, he was not ftruck blind again : but he that gave 
the fight, preferved it when given. O! happy Bartimeus ! 
thy eyes are now opened, and the very hrft obje£t thou doft 
behold, is the ever-loving, altogether-lovely Jesus. Methinks 
I fee thee tranfported with wonder and admiration, and all the 
difciplcs, and the multitude, gazing around thee ! And now, 
having received thy fight, why doft thou not obey the Lord*s 
command, and go thy way ? why doft thou not hafte to fetch 
thy garment, that thou juft now in a hurry didft caft away ? 
No, no ! with his bodily eyes, I believe he received alfo a 
frefti addition of fpiritual fight, and though others faw no 
form or comelincfs in the bleffed Jesus, that they fhould defire 
him i yet he by an eye of faith difcovered fuch tranfccndent 
excellencies in his royal perfon, and felt at the fame time fuch 
a divine attraction towards his all- bountiful benefactor, that 
iiiftead of going his way to fetch his garment, *'' fee followed 


C 4H 1 

Jesus in the way;" and by his adlion?, fays with faithful, 
honcfl- hearted Ruth^ '' entreat me not to leave thee ; for whi- 
ther thou goeft, I will go^ where thou lodgcft, I will lodge; 
thy people fhall be my people; and thy God, my God.*' He 
followed Jesus in the way; the narrow way, the way of the 
crofs ; and I doubt not but long fmce he has followed him 
to his crown, and is at this time fitting with him at the right 
hand of his Father. 

And now, my dear hearers, how find you your hearts af- 
fecSkd at the relation of this notable miracle which Jesus 
wrought ? are you not ready to break out into the language of 
the fong of Mofes^ and to fay, " Who is like unto thee, O 
Lord, glorious in holincfs, fearful in praifes, continually do- 
ing wonders!" Marvellous are thy works, O Jesus, and that 
our fouls know right well ! But we muft not flop here, in ad- 
miring what the Lord did for Bartiineus\ this, no doubt, as 
well as othcT parts of Scripture, was written for our learning, 
upon v^'hom the ends of the world are come ; confequently, as 
was propofed in the 

Second place, we fliould fee what fpiritual improvement can 
be made of this hiftory, upon which we have already been 
making fome remarks. 

A natural man, indeed, goes no further than the outward 
court of the Scripture, and reads this, and the other miracles 
of our bicifcd Saviour, juli in the fame manner as he reads 
Homer ^ battles, or the exploits o{ Alexander. But God for- 
bid, that we fliould rell in only hearing this matter of fa£f. 
For I tell thee, O man, I tell thee, O woman, whoever thou 
art, that fitted this day under a preached gofpel, that if thou 
art in a natural ftate, thou art as blind in thy foul, as Barti- 
mens was in his body; a blind child of a blind father, even of 
thy father Adam^ who loft his fight when he loft his inno- 
cence, and entailed his blindnefs, juftly inflicSled, upon thee, 
and me, and his whole pofterity. Some think indeed, that 
they fee ; but ahis ! fuch talk only like men in their fleep, like 
peifons befide thcmfelvcs ; the fcripturcs every where repre- 
fent fallen man, not only as fpiritually blind, but dead alfo; 
and we no more knov/, by nature, favingly the way of falva- 
tion by Jesus Christ, than Bariimeits^ when he was blind, 
knew the colours of the rainbow. This, I truft, fome o-f yau 


[ 415 3 

begin to feel, I fee you concerned, I fee you weeping, and, 
was I to afk Tome of you, what you want to have done unto 
you ? I know your anfwer would be, that we may receive our 
ri<iht. And God forbid, that I fliould charge you to hold 
your peace, as though Jesus would not regard you! no, your 
being made fenfible of your natural blindnefs, and crying thus 
earneftly after Jesus, is a fign at leaft, that you are awakened 
by his holy Spirit (though it is poiTible, that you may cry 
with an exceeding bitter cry, as Efau did, and be loft at laft); 
however, chriftian charity induces me to believe and hope the 
beft ; I will therefore, in the language of thofe who afterwards 
encouraged Bartimeus^ fay unto you, Arife, take conifort; for, 
1 truft, Jesus is calling you; follow therefore the example of 
BartiTncus^ caft away your garment ; lay afide every weight, 
and the fin which doth moft eafily befct you, arife, and come 
to Jesus. He commands me, by his written word, to call to 
you, and fay, *' Come unto him, all ye that are weary, and 
heavy Jaden, and he will refrefli you, he will give you refl:.'* 
Be not afraid, ye feek Jesus o^ Nazareth ; behold, he comes, 
forth to meet you ; ye are now on the highway fide, and 
Jesus, I truft, is pafTing by ; I feel his prefcnce, I hope many 
of you feel it too ; O then, cry mightily to him, who is 
mighty and willing to fave you ; lay yourfelvcs at the feet of 
fovereign grace, fay unto him, "Jesus, thou Son oi David^ 
have mercy on me," in the fame frame as Barthneus did, and 
Jesus will anfwer you, he will not caft out your prayer; ac- 
cording to your faith, fo (hall it be done unto you. Blind 
as you art-, you fliall, notwithftanding, receive your fight; 
Satan, indeed, and unbelief, will fuggeft many objections to 
you, your carnal relations will alfo join iflue with them, and 
charge you to hold your peace; one will tell you, that your 
blindnefs is too inveterate to be cured ; another, that it is too 
late: a third, that though Jesus can, yet he will not have 
mercy upon Inch poor, blind, defpicable beggars, as ye are ; 
but, the more they charge you to hold your peace, do vou 
erv out fo much the more a great deal, *' Jesus, thou Son of 
Da-Old^ have mercy on us." Jesus, thou Saviour, thou friend 
Of finners, thou Son of David^ and thercfine a Son of man ! 
'gracious words ! endearing appellations ! be encouraged by 
them, to diaw niiih unto him. Thout'h Duvid\ Lord, v^*t 
K he 

[ 4i6 ] 

he is become David's Son, after the flefh, that yc through him 
may be made the Tons of God : no matter what thou art, 
O woman, what thou art, O man ; though thou art literally 
a poor beggar, think not thy condition too mean for Jesus 
to take notice of j he came into the highways and hedges, to 
call fuch poor beggars in ; or, if you are rich, think not your- 
lelves too high to ftoop to Jesus j for he is the King of kings ; 
and you never will be truly rich, until you are made rich in 
Jesus ; fear not being defpifed, or lofing a little worldly ho- 
nour : one fight of Jesus will make amends for all : you will 
find fomething fo inviting, fo attra6ling, fo fatisfying, in the 
altogether -lovely Lamb of God, that every fublunary enjoy- 
ment will ficken, and die, and vanifh before you j and you 
will no more defire your former vain and trifling amufemcnts, 
than Bartimeus^ after he had received his fight, defircd to go 
back again and fetch his garment. O that there may be many 
fuch blind beggars among you this day ! 

Here is a great multitude of people following me, a poor 
worm, this day. I rejoice to fee the fields thus white, ready 
unto harveft, and to fpread the gofpel-net amidft fo many j 
but alas ! I (hall return home with a heavy heart, unlefs fome 
of you will arife and come to my Jesus ; I define to preach 
Him, and not myfelf ; reft not in hearing and following nje. 
Behold, believe on, and follow the Lamb of God, who came 
to take away the fms of the world. Indeed, I do not defpair 
of any of you, neither am I difcouraged, on account of my 
preaching in the highways and hedges; Jesus called Zaccheur^ 
Jesus called Bartijmus^ as he paflvd through 'Jericho \ that 
curfed, that devoted place ; and why may he not call fome 
of you, out of ihefe defpifed fields? is his arm {hortcned, that 
he cannot fayc ? is he not as mighty now, and as willing to 
fave, evep to the uttermof^, all that come to the Father through 
him, as he was feventeen hundred years ago? alluiedly he is j 
he hath faid, and he alfo will do it, " Whofoever cometh to 
me, I will in no wife caft out." In no wife, or by no means, 
O encouraging words ! fmners, believe ye this ? arife then, be 
of good comfort, for Jesus is indeed calling you. Some of 
you, I tfuft, have obeyed this invitation, and have had a iight 
of him long ago ; I know then, you will blefs and love him \ 
and if he ftiould fay uiuo you, as he did unto- Barw.'iius, go 


C 417 ] 

you your way; your anfwer would be, we love our maftcr, 
and will not go from him. But fufFer ye the word of exhor- 
tation : 

Suffer me to ftir up your pure minds by way of remem- 
brance, fhew that you have indeed feen him, and that you 
do indeed love him, by following him in the way; I mean, 
in the way of the crofs, the way of his ordinances, and in 
the way of his holy commandments ; for alas ! the love of 
many waxeth cold, and few there are that follow Jesus 
rightly in the way ; few there are that caft away their gar- 
ments fo heartily as they fiiould ; fome idol or another hangs 
about us, and hinders us in running the race that is fet before 
us. Awake therefore, ye fleepy, though, it may be, wife vir- 
gins. Awake, awake, put on ftrength ; fliake yourfelves from 
the duft; arife and follow Jesus more clofcly in the way, than 
ever you did yet. Lift up the hands that hang down, and 
Itrengthen the feeble knees. Provide right paths for your feet, 
left that which is lame be turned out of the way, but rather 
be ye healed. For though the way be narrow, yet it is not 
long; " though the gate be ftraight, (to ufe the words of pious 
*' bifhop Beveridge) yet it opens into everlafting life." O that 
ye may get a frefh fight of him again this day I That would 
be like oil to the wheels of your graces, and make your fouls 
like the chariots of Aintnadab, It is only owing to your lofing 
fight of hi«i, that you go fo heavily from day to day. A fight 
of Jesus, like the fun rifing in the morning, difpels the dark- 
nefs and gloominefs that lies upon the foul. Take therefore 
a frefh view of him, O believers, and never reft until you 
are tranflated to fee him as he is, and to live with him for 
evermore, in the kingdom of heaven. Even fo, Lord Jesus, 
Amen and Amen I 

Vol. V. Da SERMON 


t 418 ] 


Direftions how to hear Sermons. 

Luke viii. 18. 
J'ake heed^ therefore, how yt hear, 

THE occafion of our Lord's giving this caution, was 
this : Perceiving that much people were gathered to- 
gether to hear him out of every city, and knowing (for he is 
God, and knoweth all things) that many, if not moft of 
them, would be hearers only, and not doers of the word ; 
he fpake to them by a parable, wherein, under the fimilitude 
of a fower that went out to fow his feed, he plainly intimated, 
how few there were amongft them, who would receive any 
faving benefit from his dodrine, or bring forth fruit unto 

The application one would imagine ftiould have been plain 
and obvious ; but the difciples, as yet unenlightened in any 
great degree by the Holy Spirit, and therefore unable to fee 
into the hidden myfteries of the kingdom of God, dealt with 
our Saviour, as people ought to deal with their minifters ; 
they difcourfed with him privately about the meaning of 
what he had taught them in public; and with a fmcere defire 
of doing their duty, afked for an interpretation of the parable. 

Our blellcd Lord, as he always was willing to iftflrutSt 
thofe that were teachable, (herein fetting his minifters an ex- 
ample to be courteous and eafy of accefs) freely told them 
the figniHcation. And withal, to make them more cautious 
and more attentive to his doctrine for the future, he tells 
them, that they were in an efpecial manner to be the light of 
the world, and were to proclaim on the houfe-top whatfoever 

he told them in fecret ; and a^ their improving the knowledge 


[ 4^9 ] 

already imparted, was the only condition upon which more 
was to be given them, it therefore highly concerned them to 
*' take heed how they heard." 

From the context then it appears, that the words were pri- 
marily fpokcn to the Apoftles themfelves. But as it is to be 
feared, out of thofe many thoufands that flock to hear fermons, 
but few, comparatively fpeaking, are effe6lually influenced by 
them, I cannot but think it very neceflary to remind you of 
the caution given by our Lord to his difciples, and to exhort 
you with the utmoft earneftnefs, to *' take heed hov/ you 

In profecution of which defign I fhall, 

Fhjly Prove that every one ought to take all opportunities 
of hearing fermons. And, 

Secondly, 1 fhall lay down fome cautions and dirccTliions, in 
order to your hearing with profit and advantage. 

F'lrji, I am to prove, that every one ought to take all op- 
portunities of hearing fermons. 

That there have always been particular perfons fet apart 
by God, to inftru61: and exhort his people to pradlife what he 
fhould require of them, is evident from many paflages of 
fcripture. St. Jude tells us, that " Enoch, the feventh from 
Adam, prophefied (or preached) concerning the Lord's com- 
ing with ten thoufand of his faints to judgment.'* And Noahy 
who lived not long after, is ftiled by St. Peter ^ " a preacher 
of righteoufnefs." And though in all the intermediate fpace 
between the flood and giving of the law, we hear but of few 
preachers, yet we may reafonably conclude, that God never 
left himfelf without witnefsj but at fundry times, and after 
divers manners, fpoke to our fathers by the patriarchs and 

But however it was before, we are affured that after the de- 
livery of the law, God conftantly feparated to himfelf a cer- 
tain order of men to preach to, as well as pray for his people; 
and commanded them to enquire their duty at the pricfts 
mouths. And thqugh the Jews were frequently led into 
D d 2 captivity. 

[ 420 ] 

captivity, and for their fins fcattered abroad on the face of the 
earth, yet he never utterly forfook: his church, but ftill kept 
up a remnant of prophets and preachers, as Ezekiel^ Jeremiah^ 
Daniel, and others, to reprove, inftru6l, and call them to re- 

Thus was it under the law. Nor has the church been 
vvorfe, but infinitely better provided for under the gofpel. For 
when Jesus Christ, that great High-prieft, had through 
the eternal Spirit offered himfelf, as a full, perfed, fufficient 
facrifice and fatisfa£lion for the fins of the whole world, and 
after his refurredtion had all power committed to him, both in 
heaven and earth, he gave commiiTion to his Apoftles, and in 
them to all fucceeding minifters, to " go and preach his gof- 
pel to every creature ;" promifing to " to be with them, to 
guide, alTift, ftrengthen, and comfort them always, even to 
the end of the world.** 

But if it be the duty of miniflcrs to preach, (and woe be to 
them if they do not preach the gofpel, for a neccffity is laid 
upon them) no doubt, the people are obliged to attend to 
them ; for othcrwife, wherefore are minifters fent ? 

And how can we here avoid admiring: the love and tender 
care which our dear Redeemer has exprefled for his fpoufe the 
church ? Who, becaufe he could not be always with us in 
perfon, on account it was expedient he fliould go away, and 
as our forerunner take pofTeiTion of that glory he had pur- 
chafed by his precious blood, yet would not leave us comfort- 
lefs, but firfl: fettled a fufficient number of paft:ors and teachers ; 
and afterwards, according to his promife, actually did and 
will continue to fend down the Holy Ghoft^^ to furnifh them 
and their fucceflbrs with proper gifts and graces *' for the 
work of the minift:ry, for the perfed:ing of the faints, for the 
edifying of his body in love, till v/e all come in the unity of 
the fpirit, to the fulnefs of the mcafure of the flature of 

O ho7/ infenfible are thofe perfons of this unfpeakable 
gift, who do defpite to the Spirit of grace, who crucify the 
Sen of God afrefh, and put him to an open fhame, by wil- 
fully rcfufing to attend on fo great a means of their falvation ? 
How dreadful will the end of fuch men be ? How aggra- 
vating, that light ihould come into the world, that the glad 


[ 421 ] 

tidings of falvation fhould be fo very frequently proclaimed in 
this populous city, and that fo many fliould loath this fpiri- 
tual manna, this angels food, and call it light bread ? How 
much more tolerable will it be for Tyre and Sidon^ for Sodom 
and Gomorrahy than for fuch Tinners ? Better, that men had 
never heard of a Saviour being born, than after they have 
heard, not to give heed to the miniftry of thofc, who are em- 
ployed as his ambafladors, to tranfadl affairs between God and 
their fouls. 

We may, though at a dlftance, without a fpirit of prophefy, 
foretel the deplorable condition of fuch men j behold them 
caft into hell, lifting up their eyes, being in torment, and 
crying out. How often would our minifters have gathered us, 
as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings? But we 

to o 

would not. O that we had known in that our day, the 
things that belonged to our everlafting peace ! But now they 
are for ever hid from our eyes. 

Thus wretched, thus inconceiveably miferable, will fuch 
be as flight and make a mock at the public preaching of 
the gofpel. But taking it for granted, there are but few, if 
any, of this unhappy ftamp, who think it worth their while 
to tread the courts of the Lord's houfe, I pafs on now to the 

Second gtntT2\ thing propofed, to lay down fome cautionV^ 
and dire(Slions, in order to your hearing fermons with profit 
and advantage. 

And here, if we reflect on what has been already delivered, 
and confider that preaching is an ordinance of Gqp, a means 
appointed by Jesus Christ himfelf for promoting his king- 
dom amongft men, you cannot reafonably be offended, if, iji 
order that you may hear fermons with profit and advantage, I 

I. Diredl or entreat you to come to hear them, not out of 
curiofity, but from a fincere defire to know and do your 

Formality and hypocrify in any religious cxcrcife, is an 
abomination unto the Lord. And to enter his houfe merely 
to have our ears entertained, and not our hearts reformed, 
muft certainly be highly difpleafing to the Moft High Gop, 
as well as unprofitable to ourfelves. 

D d 2 Hence 

[ 422 ] 

Hence it is, that fo many remain unconvcrtC(}, yea, un- 
afFeded with the moft evangelical preaching ; fo that like St. 
Paul's companions, before his converfion, they only hear the 
preacher's voice with their outward ears, but dp not experience 
the power of it inwardly in their hearts : Or, like the ground 
near GideoJi's fleece, they remain untouched ; whilft others, 
who came to be fed with the fmcere milk of the word, like 
the fleece itfelf, are watered by the dew of God's heavenly 
bleffing, and grow thereby. 

Flee therefore, my brethren, flee curiofity, and prepare 
your hearts by a humble difpofition, to receive with meeknefs 
the engrafted word, and then it will be a means, under God, 
to quicken, build up, purify, and fave your fouls. 

2. A fecond dire6lion I fhall lay down for the fame purpofe^ 
is, not only to prepare your hearts before you hear, but alfo 
to give diligent heed to the things that are fpoken from the 
word of God. 

If an earthly king was to iffue out a royal proclamation, on 
performing or not performing the conditions therein contained, 
the life or death of his fubjefls entirely depended, how folici- 
tous would they be to hear what tbofe conditions were ? And 
(hall not we pay the fam.e refpef£t to the King of kings, and 
Lord of lords, and lend an attemive ear to his minifters, 
when they are declaring, in his name, how our pardon, peace, 
and happinefs may be fecured ? 

When God defcended on mount Sinai in terrible majefty, 
to give unto his people the law, how attentive were they to 
his fervant Mofes f And if they were fo earneft to hear the 
thunderings or threatenings of the law, fhall not we be as fe- 
licitous to hear from the minifters of Christ, the glad tidings 
of the gofpcl ? 

Whilft Christ was himfelf on earth, it is faid, that the 
people hung upon him to hear the gracious words that pro- 
ceeded out of his mouth. And if we looked on minifters as 
we ought, as the fent of Jesus Christ, wc fhould hang 
upon them to hear their words alfo. 

Befides, the facred truths that gofpel minifters deliver, are 

., not dry infipid le6lu:es on moral philofophy, intended only to 

amufe us for a while ; but the great myfteries of godlinefs, 

whichj therefore, we are bound ftudioufly to liften to, left: 


[ 423 ] 

through our negligence we (hould either not underftand them, 
or by any other means let them flip. 

But how regardlefs are thofe of this direction, who, inftead 
of hanging on the preacher to hear him, doze or fleep whilft 
he is fpeaking to them from God ? Unhappy men ! Can 
they not watch with our blefled Lord one hour ? What ! 
have they never read how Eutychus fell down as he was fleep- 
ing, when St. Paul continued his difcourfe till midnight, and 
was taken up dead ? 

But to return. Though you may prepare your hearts, as 
you may think, by a teachable difpofition, and be attentive 
whilft difcourfes are delivering, yet this will profit you little, 
unlefs you obferve a 

3. A third direcStion, Not to entertain any the leaft preju- 
dice againft the minifter. 

For could a preacher fpeak with the tongue of men and 
angels, if his audience was prejudiced againft him, he would 
be but as founding brafs, or tinkling cymbal. 

That was the reafon why Jesus Christ himfelf, the 
Eternal Word, could not do many mighty works, nor preach 
to any great efFe61: among thofe of his own country; for they 
were oftended at him : And was this fame Jesus, this God 
incarnate, again to bow the heavens, and to come down fpeak^ 
ing as never man fpake, yet, if we were prejudiced againft 
him, as the Jews were, we (hould harden our hearts as the 
Jews did theirs. 

Take heed therefore, my brethren, and beware of entertain- 
ing any diflike againft thofe whom the Holy Ghoft has made 
overfeers over you. Confider that the clergy are men of like 
paflions with yourfelves : and though we fliould even hear a 
perfon teaching others to do, what he has not learned himfelf; 
yet, that is no fufficient reafon for rejedling his do61:rine : 
for minifters fpeak not in their own, but Christ's name. 
And we know who commanded the people to do whatfoever 
the Scribes and Pharifees fhould fay unto them, though they 
faid but did not. But 

4. Fourthly^ As you ought not to be prejudiced againft, fo 
you fliould be careful not to depend too much on a preacher, , 
or think more highly of him than you ought to think. For 
though this be an extream that people feldom run into, yet 

P d 4 preferring 

[ 4H ] 

preferring one teacher in oppofition to another, has often been 
of ill confequence to the church of God. It was a fault 
which the great Apoflle of the Gentiles condemned in the Co- 
rinibiaris : For whereas one faid, " I am o^ Paul ; another, I 
am of Jpollos : are ye not carnal,'* fays he? " For who is 
Paul^ and who is ApcUoSy but inftruments in God's hands by 
whom you believed ?" And are not all minifters fent forth 
to be miniftring ambafladors to thofe who fhall be heirs of 
falvation ? And are they not all therefore greatly to be 
efleemed for their work's fake. 

The Apoftle, it is true, commands us to pay double honour 
to thofe who labour in the word and doctrine : but then to 
prefer one minifter at the expence of another, (perhaps, to 
fuch a degree, as when you have actually entered a church, 
to come out again becaufe he does not preach) is earthly, 
fenfual, devilifh. 

Not to mention that popularity and applaufe cannot but be 
exceedingly dangerous, even to a rightly informed mind ; 
and muii; necefiarily fill any thinking man with a holy jea- 
loufy, left he fhould take that honour to himfelf, which is due 
only to God, who alone qualifies him for his minifterial la- 
bours, and from whom alone every good and perfe6l gift 

5. A Fifth dire£tion I would recommend is, to make a 
particular application of every thing that is delivered to your 
own hearts. 

When our Saviour was difcourfing at the laft fupper with 
his beloved difciples, and foretold that one of them fliould 
betray him, each of them immediately applied it to his own 
heart, and faid, *' Lord, is it I ?'* And would perfons, in 
like manner, when preachers are difTuading from any fin, or 
perfuading to any duty, inftead of crying, this was defigned 
againft fuch and fuch a one, turn their thoughts inwardly, and 
fay. Lord, is it I ? how far more beneficial fhould we find 
difcourfes to be, than nov/ they generally are ? 

But we are apt to wander too much abroad ; always look- 
ing at the mote which is in our neighbour's eye, rather than 
at the beam which is in our own. Hafte we now to the 

6. Sixth and laft direction : If you would receive a bleiling 
iiom the Lord, when you hear his word preached, pray to 

him J 

[ 425 ] 
him, both before, in, and after every fermon, to endue the 
minifter with power to fpeak, and to grant you a will and 
ability to put in practice, what he (hall fhew from the book 
of God to be your duty. 

This would be an excellent means to render the word 
preached effe£iual to the enlightening and cnflaming your 
hearts ; and without this, all the other means before pre- 
fcribed will be in vain. 

No doubt it was this confideration that made St. Paul fo 
earneflly entreat his beloved Ephefians to intercede with God 
for him : " Praying always, with all manner of prayer and 
fupplication in the fpirit, and for me alfo, that I may open 
my mouth with boldnefs, to make known the myfteries of the 
gofpel." And if fo great an Apoftle as St. Paul^ needed the 
prayers of his people, much more do thofe miniflers, who 
have only the ordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit. 

Bef;des, this would be a good proof that you fincerely de- 
fired to do, as well as to know the will of God. And it 
muft highly profit both minifters and people ; becaufe God, 
through your prayers, will give them a double portion of his 
Holy Spirit, whereby they will be enabled to inflruift you 
more fully in the things which pertain to the kingdom of 

And O that all who hear rne this day, would ferioufly 
apply their hearts to pra(£lifc what has now been told them ! 
How would miniflers fee Satan, like lightning, fall from hea- 
ven, and people find the word preached fliarper than a two- 
edged fword, and mighty, through God, to the pulling down 
of the devil's ftrong holds ! 

The Holy Ghoft would then fall on all them that hear the 
word, as when St. Peter preached ; the gofpel of Christ 
would have free courfc, run very fwiftly, and thousands again 
be converted by a fermon. 

For " Jesus Christ is the fame yefterday, to-day, and 
for ever.'* He has pomifed to be with his minifters always, 
even unto the end of the world. And the reafon why we do 
not receive larger efiufions of the blefled Spirit of God, is not 
becaufe our all-powerful Redeemer's hand is fliortcncd, but 
becaufe we do not expert them, and confine them to the pri- 
mitive times. 

[ 426 ] 

It does indeed fometimes happen, that God, to magnify 
his free grace in Christ Jesus, is found of them that fought 
him not ; a notorious fmner is forcibly worked upon by a 
public fermon, and plucked as a firebrand out of the fire. 
But this is not God's ordinary way of afting : No, for the 
generality, he only vifits thofe with the power of his word, 
who humbly wait to know what he would have them to do ; 
and fends unqualified hearers not only empty, but hardened 

Take heed, therefore, ye carclefs, curious profefibrs, if any 
fuch be here prefent, how you hear. Remember, that whe- 
ther we think of it or not, ^' we muft all appear before the 
judgment-feat of Christ ;'* where minifters muft give a ftridt 
account of the do6trine they have delivered, and you as ftridl 
^ one, how you have improved under it. And, good God ! 
how will you be able to (land at the bar of an angry, fin- 
avenging judge, and fee fo many difcourfes you have defpifed, 
10 many minifters, who once longed and laboured for the 
falvation of your precious and immortal fouls, brought out 
as fo many fwift witneffes againft you ? Will it be fufficient 
then, think you, to alledge, that you went to hear them only 
out of curiofity, to pafs away an idle hour, to admire the 
oratory, or ridicule the fimplicity of the preacher? No; 
God will then let you know, that you ought to have come 
out of better principles ; that every fermon has been put 
down to your account, and that you muft then be juftly pu- 
riifhcd for not improving by them. 

But fear not, you little flock, who with mecknefs receive 
the ino rafted word, and bring forth the peaceable fruits of 
righteoufnefs ; for it fhall not be fo with you. No, you will 
be your minifter's joy, and their crown of rejoicing in the 
day of our Lord Jesus : And they will prefent you in a 
holv triumph, faultlefs and unblameable, to our common 
Redeemer, faying, " Behold us, O Lord, and the children 
which thou haft given us.'* 

But ftill take heed how you hear : for upon your improv- 
ing the grace you have, more fliali be given, and you fhall 
have abundance. '' He is faithful that has promifcd, who 
alfo will do it.'* Nay, God from out of Sian, (hall fo blefs 
you, that every ferir^on you hear (hall communicate to you a 
-? frefU 

[ 427 ] 

frefti fupply of fpiritual knowledge. The word of God fliall 
dwell in you richly ; you fhall go on from ftrength to 
ftrength, from one degree of grace unto another, till being; 
trrown up to be perfect men in Christ Jesus, and filled 
with all the fulnefs of God, you fhall be tranflated by death 
to fee him as he is, and to fmg praifes before his throne with 
angels and archangels, cherubim and feraphim, and the ge- 
neral aflembly of the firft-born, whofe names are written in 
heaven, for ever and ever. 

Which GoDj kc. 

S E R M O N 

[ 4?8 ] 


The Extent and Reafonablenefs of Self-Denial, 

Luke ix. 23. 

Jnd he f aid unto them all^ If any man will come after me, 

let him deny himfdf. 

WHOEVER reads the gofpel with a fingle eye, and 
fincere intention, will find, that our blefled Lord 
took all opportunities of reminding his difciples that his king- 
dom was not of this world ; that his dodtrine was a do£lrinc 
of the crofs ; and that their profeffing thcmfelves to be his 
followers, would call them to a conllant ftate of voluntary 
fufFering and felf- denial. 

The words of the text afford us one inftance, among many, 
of our Saviour's behaviour in this matter : for having in the 
preceding verfes revealed himfelf to Petery and the other apof- 
tles, to be " The Christ of God 5" left they fhould be too 
much elated with fuch a peculiar difcovery of his deity, or 
think that their relation to fo great a perfonage would be at- 
tended with nothing but pomp and grandeur, he tells them, 
in the 22d verfe, that " the fon of man was to fufFer many 
things," in this world, though he was to be crowned with 
eternal glory and honour in the next : and that if any of them 
or their pofterity would fhare in the fame honour, they muft 
bear a part with him in his felf-denial and fuiferings. For 
" He faid unto them all, if any man will come after me, let 
him deny himfelf." 

Erom which words I fliall confider thefe three things : 

I. Firfty The nature of the felf-denial recommended in the 
text ; and in how many refpetSls we muft deny ourfelves, 
in order to come after Jesus Christ. 


f 429 ] 

II. Secondly^ I (hall endeavour to prove the unlverfality and 
reafonablenefs of this duty of felf-denial. 

III. Thirdly^ I (hall ofFer fome confiderations, v/hich may 
ferve as fo many motives to reconcile us to, and quicken 
us in, the pradice of this felf-denial. 

I» /Vr/?, I am to fhew you the nature of the felf-denial re- 
commended in the text ; or in hov;^ many refpe^ls we muft 
deny ourfelves in order to follow Jesus Christ. 

Now as the faculties of the foul are diftinguilhed by the un- 
derftanding, will and afFedtions ; fo in all thefe muft each of 
us deny himfelf. We muft not lean to our own undcrftanding, 
being wife in our own eyes, and prudent in our own fight ; 
but we muft fubmit our fhort-fighted reafon to the light of 
divine revelation. There arc myfteries in religion, which are 
above, though not contrary to our natural reafon : and there- 
fore we (hall never become chriftians unlefs we caft down 
imaginations, " and every high thing that exalteth itfcif againft 
the knowledge of God, and bring into captivity every thought 
to the obedience of Christ." It is in this reipecl:, as well 
as others, that we muft become fools for Christ's fake, and 
acknowledge we know nothing without revelation, as we 
ought to know. We muft, with all humility and reverence, 
embrace the truths revealed to us in the holy fcriptures ; for 
thus only can we become truly wife, even " Wife unto fal- 
vation." It was matter of our blefled Lord's thankfgiving 
to his heavenly father, that he had *' hidden thefe things 
from the wife and prudent, and had revealed them unto 
babes." And in this refpedt alfo we muft " be converted and 
become as little children," teachable, and willing to follow 
the Lamb into whatfoever myfteries he (hall be plcafed to lead 
us; and believe and praclife all divine truths, not becaufe 
we can demonftrate them, but becaufe God, *' who cannot 
lye," has revealed them to us. 

Hence then we may trace infidelity to its fountain head : 
for it is nothing elfe, but a pride of the underftanding, an 
unwiUingnefs to fubmit to the truths of God, that makes fo 
many, profefting themfelves wife, to become fuch fools as to 
deny the Lord, who has fo dearly bought them ; and dif- 
pute the divinity of that eternal Word, '' in whoni ihey live, 
*' and move, and have their being:" VV^hereby it isjuftly to 


[ 430 ] 

be feared, they will bring upon themfelves fure, if not fwift 

But, as we muft deny ourfelves in our underftandings, (o 
muft we deny, or, as it might be more properly rendered, re^ 
nounce our wills : that is, we muft make our own wills no 
principle of a6lion, but " whether we eat or drink, or what- 
ibever we do, we muft do all, (not merely to pleafe ourfelves, 
but) to the glory of God." Not that we are therefore to 
imagine we are to have no pleafure in any thing we do : " Wif- 
dom's ways are ways of pleafantnefs 3'* but pleafmg ourfelves 
muft not be the principal, but only the fubordinate end of 
our actions. 

And I cannot but particularly prefs this do£i:rine upon you^ 
becaufe it is the grand fecret of our holy religion. It is this, 
my brethren, that diftinguiOies the true chriftian from the 
mere moralift and formal profeflbr ; and without which none 
of our adlions are acceptable in God's fight : For " if thine 
eye be fingle," fays our blefled Lord, Maith, vi. 22. that is, 
if thou aimeft fimply to pleafe God, without any regard to 
thy own will, " thy whole body, (or all thy anions) will be 
full of light i" agreeable to the gofpel, which is called light : 
*' But if thine eye be evil, (if thine intention be diverted any 
other way) thy w^hole body, (all thy a£tions) will be full of 
darknefs," finful and unprofitable, we muft not only do the 
will of God, but do it becaufe it is his will ; fittce we pray 
that " God's will may be done on earth as it is in heaven.'* 
And no doubt, the blelTed angels not only do every thing thaS 
God willeth, but do it chearfully, out of this principle, be- 
caufe God willeth it : And if we would live as we pray, we 
muft go and do likewife. 

But farther; as we muft renounce our wills in doing, fo 
likewife muft we renounce them in fufl'ering the will of God. 
Whatfoever befals us, we muft fay with good old £//, " It is 
the Lord, let him do v/nat feemeth him good ;" or with one 
that was infinitely greater than £//, '' Father, not my will, 
but thine be done." O Jesus, thine was an innocent will, 
and yet thou renouncedft it : Teach us, even us alfo, O our 
Saviour I to fubmit our wills to thine, in all the evils which 
fhall be brought upon us ; and in every thing enable us to give 
thanks, fince it is thy blefled will concerning us 1 


[ 431 ] 

Thirdly^ we muft deny ourfelves, as in our underftandij}gs 
and wills, fo likcwife in our afte£tions. More particulaily, 
we muft deny ourfelves the plealurable indulgence and felf- 
enjoyment of riches : " If any man will come after me, he 
muft forfake all and follow me.'* And again (to (hew the 
utter inconfiftency of the love of the things of this world 
with the love of the Father) he tells us, " unlefs a man fur- 
fake all that he hath, he cannot be my difciple." 

Far be it from me to think that thefe texts are to be taken 
in a literal fenfe; as though they obliged rich perfons to go 
fell all that they have and give to the poor, (for that would 
put it out of their power to be ferviceable to the poor for the 
future) but however, they certainly imply thus much, that 
we are to fit loofe to, fell and forfake all in affection, and be 
willing to part with every thing, when God (hall require it 
at our hands : that is, as the apoftle obferves, we muft 
" ufe the world as though we ufed it not ;" and though we 
are in the world, we muft not be of it. We muft look upon 
ourfelves as ftewards, and not proprietors, of the manifold 
gifts of God ; provide firft what is neceftary for ourfelves and 
for our houfliolds, and expend the reft, not in indulgencies 
and fuperfluous ornaments, forbidden by the apoftle, but in 
cloathing, feeding, and relieving the naked, hungry, dif- 
trefled difciples of Jesus Christ. This is what our blefled 
Lord would have us underftand by forfaking all, and in this 
fenfe muft each of us deny himfelf. 

I am fenfible that this will feem an hard faying to many, 
who will be offended becaufe they are covetous, and '' lovers 
of pleafure more than lovers of God :" but if I yet pleafed 
fuch men, I fhould not be the fervant of Christ. No, we 
muft not, like Ahab's falfe prophets, have a lying fpirit in our 
mouths, but declare faithfully the whole will of God ; and 
like honeft Micajah, out of pity and compaifion, tell men the 
truth, though they may falfely think we prophecy not good 
but evil concerning them. 

But to proceed : As we muft renounce our affc6\ion for 

riches, Co likewife our aftcclions for relations, when they 

Hand in oppofition to our love of, nnd duty to God : For 

thus faith the Saviour of the world : <' If any man will 

come after me. and hateth not his father and mother, 


[ 432 ] 

his children, and brethr«n, and fiftersj yea and his own life 
alfo, he cannot be my difciplci" Strange doctrine this! 
What, hate our own flefh ! What, hate the father that 
begat us, the mother that bare us 1 How can thefe things 
be? Can God contradid himfelf ? Has he not bid us to ho- 
nour our father and mother ? and yet we are here commanded 
to hate them. How can thefe truths be reconciled ? By in- 
terpreting the word hate, not in a rigorous and abfolute fenfe^ 
but comparatively : not as implying a total alienation, but a 
lefs degree of afFe6lion. For thus our blefled Saviour him^ 
felf (the beft and fureft expofitor of his own meaning) ex- 
plains it in a parallel text, Matth. x. 37." He that Joveth 
father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me : He 
that loveth fon or daughter more than me, is not worthy of 
me." So that when the perfuafions of our friends (as for our 
trial they may be permitted to be) are contrary to the will of 
Gt)D, we muft fay with Levi, " we have not known them ;" 
or, agreeably to our bleiled Lord's rebuke to P^/^r,/' Get. 
you behind me, my adverfaries ; for you favour not the things 
that be of God, but the things that be of man." 

Farther, we muft deny ourfelves in things indifferent : for 
it might eafily be (hewn, that as many, if not more, pcrifh 
by an immoderate ufe of things in themfelves indifferent, as 
by any grofs fm whatever. A prudent chriftian therefore, 
will confider not only what is lawful, but what is expedient 
alfo : not fo much what degrees of felf-deniai beft fuit his in- 
clinations here, as what will moft efFe£lually break his will, 
and fit him for greater degrees of glory hereafter. 

Lajlly, To conclude this head, we muft renounce our own 
righteoufnefs : For, though we fhouid give all our goods to 
feed the poor, and our bodies to be burned, yet, if we in the 
leaft depend on that, and do not wholly rely on the perfect 
all-fufficient righteoufnefs of Jesus Christ, it will profit us 
nothing. '* Christ is the end of the law for righteoufnefs to 
every one that believeth." We are compleat in him, and him 
only. Our own righteoufnefTes arc but as filthy rags. We muft 
count all things but dung and drofs, fo that we may be 
found in him, not having our own righteoufnefs, but the 
righteoufrtefs which is of God, through Jesus Christ our 


C 433 ] 

And Is this the dofliine of chiiftianity ? is not the chrif-* 
tian world then afleep ? If not, whence fo much felf-ri'^lue- 
cufnefs, whence the fdf-indulgence, whence the reigning 
love of riches which we every where rheet with ? Ahovc all 
whence that predominant grcedincfs after fcnfual plcafure^ 
that has (o over-run this finful nation, that was a pious Hran- 
ger to come amongil us, he would be ter-pted ro think fome 
hc:ithen Venus was worfliippcd here, and that temples were 
dedicated to her fervice. But we have th*^ authority of aa 
infpircd apoftlc to affirm, that they who live in a round of 
pleafure, ^' are dead while they live/' Wherefore, as the 
Holy Ghoft faith, '* Awake thou that flcepefi:, and arife froni 
the dead, and Christ fhall ^ive thee light." But the power 
of raifing the fpiritually dead belongeth only unto GoD. Dd 
thou therefore, O Holy jEsiis, who by thy almighty word 
commandeft Lazarus to come forth, though he had lain in 
the grave fome days, fpeak alfo as efFedlually to thefe fpiritu- 
ally dead fouls, whom Satan fof many years ha:h fo fafl bound 
by fenfual pleafures, that they are not fo much as able to lift 
up their eyes or hearts to heaven. 

II. But I pafs on to the fccond general thing propofed, to 
confider the univerfal obligation and reafonablenefs of this 
dc<Strine of feif-denial. 

When ourblefTcd mafter had been difcourfing publicly con- 
cerning the watchfulnefs of the faithful and wife fteward, 
his difciples afked him, *' Speakefl thou this parable to all, or 
only to us ?'* The fame queftion I am aware has been, and 
will be put concerning the foregoing dodrine : for too many,- 
unwilling to take Christ's eafy yoke upon them, in order to 
evade the force of the gofpel precepts, would pretend that all 
thofe commands concerning felf-denial, and renouncing ou[?- 
(elves and the v/orld, belonged to our Lord's fird and imme- 
diate followers, and not to us or to our children. But fuch 
perfons greatly err, not knowing the fcriptures, nor the power 
of godlinefs in their hearts. For the do6irinc of Jesus 
ClfiRlST, like his blefled felf, is " the fame yeficrday, to-day, 
and for ever." What he faid unto one, he faid unto all, 
even unto the ends of the world ; *' If any man will come 
after me, let him deny himfelf :" and in th^ tc^it it is pirti- 

VoL. V. E e culafl/ 


[ 434- ] 
cularly mcntioncJ that he faid it unto them all. And left 
we fhould ftill abfurdly imagiiie that this word all was to be 
confined to his apoftles, with whom he was then difcouriing, 
it is faid in another place, that Jesus turned unto the mul- 
titude and faid, " If any man will come after me, and hateth 
not his father and mother, yea and his own life alfo, he can- 
not be my difciple." When our blelTed Lord had fpoken a 
certain parable, it is faid, " the fcribes and Pharifees were 
offended, for they knew the parable was fpoken againft them :** 
And if chriftians can now read thefe plain and pofuive texts 
of fcripture, and at the fame time not think they are fpoken 
of them, they are more hardened than Jews, and more in- 
fmcere than Pharifees *. 

In the former part of this difcourfe I obferved, that the pre- 
cepts concerning forfaking and felling all, did not oblige us in 
a literal fenfe, becaufe the ftate of the church does not demand 
it of us, as it did of the primitive chriftians ; but ftill the fame 
deadnefs to the world, the fame abftemious ufe of, and rea- 
dinefs to part with our goods for Christ's fake, is as abfo- 
lutely necelTary for, and as obligatory on us, as it was on 
them. For though the church may differ as to the outward 
l^ate of it, in different ages, yet as to the purity of its inward 
ffate, it was, is, and always will be invariably the fame. 
And all the commands v/hich we meet with in the epiftles, 
about '^ mortifying our members which are upon the earth, 
of fetting our affections on things above, and of not being 
conformed to this world j" are but fo many inconteflible 
proofs that the fame holinefs, heavenly- mindednefs, and 
deadnefs to the world, is as neceffary for us, as for our Lord's 
immediate followers. 

But farther, as fuch an objeclion argues an ignorance of 
the fcriptures, fo it is a manifeft proof, that fuch as make it 
are ftrangers to the power of godlinefs in their hearts. For 
iince the fum and fubflance of religion confifts in recovery 
from our fallen eilate in Adam, by a new-birth in Christ 
Jesus, there is an abfolute neceility for us to embrace and 
praiSiife the felf-dcnial before fpoken of. If w£ are alive unto 
God, we (hall be dead to ourfclves and the world. If all 
things belonging to the fpirit live and grow in us, all things 
belongino; to the old man muff die in us. We muft mourn 
• Law's Cbnftian TirJ'e^mn, 


[ 435 ] 
before we are comforted, and receive the fplrit of bondage be- 
fore we are blefled with the unfpeakable privilege of the fpi- 
rit of adoption, and with a full aflurance of faith can fay, 
« Abba, Father." 

Were we indeed in a ftate of innocence, and had we, like 
AJaTTi before his fall, the divine image fully {lamped upon our 
fouls, we then fhould have no need of felf-denial ; but fmce 
we are fallen, fickly, difordered, felf- righteous creatures, we 
muft neceflarily deny ourfelves (and count it our privilege to do 
fo) ere we can follow Jesus Christ to glory. To reject 
fuch a falutary pradtice on account of the difficulty attending 
it at firft, is but too like the obftinacy of a pcrverfe fick child, 
who naufeates and refufes the potion reached out to it by a 
fkilful phyfician or a tender parent, becaufe it is a little un- 
grateful to the tafte- 

Had any of us feen Lazarus when he lay full of fores at the 
rich man*s gate ; or Job when he was fniittcn with ulcers, 
from the crown of his head to the fole of his foot : And had 
we at the fame time prefcribed to them fome healing medicines, 
which, becaufe they might put them to pain, they would noi: 
apply to their wounds, fhould we not moft juftly think, that 
they were either fond of a diftempered body, or were not fen- 
fible of their diftempers ? But our fouls, by nature, are in an^ 
infinitely more deplorable condition than the bodies o^ Job or 
Lazarus^ when full of ulcers and boils : for, alas ! " our 
whole head is fick, and our whole heart faint, fiom the crown 
of the head to the fole of the foot, we are full of wounds and 
bruifes and putrifying fores, and there is no health in us." 
And if we are unwilling to deny ourfelves, and come after 
Jesus Christ in order to be cured, it is a fign we are not 
fenfible of the wretchednefs of our flate, and that we are not 
truly made whole. 

Even Naamans fervants could fay, when he refufed (pur- 
fuant to Elijha\ orders) to wa(h in the river Jordan^ that he 
might cure his leprofy, " Father, if the prophet had bid thee 
do fome great thing, wouldft thou not have done it? How 
much rather then, when he faith to thee, wafh and be clean ?'* 
And may not I very properly addrefs myfclf to you in the fame 
manner, my brethren ? If Jesus Christ, our great prophet, 
had bid you to ck) fome far more difHcuic thing, would you 
E e 2 not 

[ 43(5 ] 
not have done it ? Much more then fhould you do it, when 
he only bids you deny yourfclves what would certainly hurt 
you if indulged in, and he will give you a crown of life. 

But to illuftrate this by another comparifon : In the 12th 
chapter of the A6U^ we read, that " St. Peter was kept in 
prifon, and was fleeping between two foldiers, bound with 
two chains : And behold an angel of the Lord came upon 
him, and fmote Peter on the fide, faying, arife up quickly : 
And his chains fell off from his hands." But had this great 
apoftle, inftead of rifmg up quickly, and doing as the blefTed 
angel commanded him, hugged his chains and begged that 
they might not be let fall from his hands, would not any one 
think that he was in love with flavery, and deferved to be ex- 
ecuted next morning ? And does not the perfon who refufes 
to deny himfelf, a6t as inconfiftently, as this apoftle would 
have done if he had negle£led the means of his deliverance ? 
For our fouls, by nature, are in a fpiritual dungeon, fleeping 
and faft bound between the world, the flefh, and the devil, 
not with two but ten thoufand chains of lufts and corruptions, 
l^ow Jesus Christ, like St. Peter's good angel, by the 
power of his gofpel comes and opens the prifon door, and 
bids us " deny ourfelves and follow him.*' But if we do not 
arife, gird up the loins of our mind and follow him, are we 
not in love with bondage, and do we not deferve never to be 
delivered from it ? 

Indeed, I will not affirm that this do6lrine of felf-denial 
appears in this juft light to every one. No, I am fenfible 
that to the natural man it is foolifhnefs, and to the young 
convert an hard faying. But what fays our Saviour ? " If 
any man will do my will, he fhall know of the doctrine, 
whether it be of God, or whether I fpeak of myfelf." This, 
my dear friends, is the beft, the only way of convidlion : 
Let us up and be doing; let us arife quickly, and deny our- 
felves, and the Lord Jesus will remove thofe fcales from the 
eyes of our minds, v/hich now, like fo many veils, hinder us 
from feeing clearly the reafonablenefs, neceflity, and inexpref- 
fible advantage of the dodrine that has been delivered. Let 
us but once thus fhev^ ourfelves men, and then the fpirit of 
God will move on the face of our fouls, as he did once upon 
the face of the great deep i and caufe them to emerge out of 


[ 437 1 

that confufed chaos, in which they are mofl: certainly now 
involved, if we arc ftrangers and enemies to felf-denial and 
the crofs of Christ. 

III. Proceed we therefore now to the third and lad general 
thing propofed, to offer fome confiderations, which may feivc; 
as fo many motives to reconcile us to, and quicken us in, the 
pradlife of this duty of felf-denial. 

I. And the firft means I fhall recommend to you, in order 
to reconcile you to this doctrine, is, to meditate frequently 
on the life of our blelled Lord and Mafter Jesus Christ. 
Follow him from his cradle to the crofs, and fee what a fclf- 
denying life he led ! And (hall not we drinlc of the cup that 
he drank of, and be baptized with the baptifm that he was 
baptized with ? Or think we, that Jesus Christ did and 
fuffered every thing in order to have us excufed and exempted 
from fufFerings ? No, far be it from any fmcere chriftian to 
judge after this manner : for St. Peter tells us, " He fuffered 
for us, leaving us an example that we (hould follow his 
fteps." Had Christ, indeed, like thofe that* fat in A^of^s* 
chair, laid heavy l)urthens of felf-denial upon us, (fuppofing 
they were heavy, which they are f\ot) and refufed to touch 
them himfelf with one of his fingers ; we might have had fome 
pretence to complain : But fince he has enjoined us nothing, 
but what he firft put in pra6\ife himfelf, thou art inexcufable, 
O difciple, whoever thou art, who wouldft be above thy 
perfecuted felf-denying mafter : And thou art no good and 
faithful fervant, who art unwilling to fufFer and fympathize 
with thy mortified, heavenly-minded Lord. 

2. Next to the pattern of our blefTed mafter, think often 
on the lives of the glorious company of the apoftles, the goodly 
fellowftiip of the prophets, and the noble army of martyrs ; 
who by a conftant looking to the author and finifher of our 
faith, have fought the good fight, and are gone before us to 
inherit the promifes. View again and again, how holily, 
how felf-dcnyingly, how unblameably they lived : And if 
felf-denial was neceflary for them, why not for us alfo ? 
Are we not men of like paflions with them ? Do we not live 
in the fame v.?icked world as they did ? Have we not the fame 
fpirit to ailift, fupport, and purify us, as they had ? 
E e 3 And 

[ 438 ] 

and is not the fame eternal Inheritance reached out to us, as 
was to them ? And if we have the fame nature to change, the 
fame wicked world to withftand, the fame good fpirit to help, 
and the fame eternal crown at the end j why fliould not wc 
lead the fame lives as they did ? Do we think, they did works 
of fupererogation ? if not, why do not we do as they did ? or 
why does your own church fet apart feftivals to commemorate 
the deaths and fufFerings of the faints, but in order to excite 
you to follow them as they did Christ. 

3. Thirdly, Think often on the pains of hell; confider, whe- 
ther it is not better to cut off a right-hand or foot, and pull 
out a right-eye, if they offend us (or caufe us to fm) " rather 
than to be caft into hell, where the worm dieth not, and the 
iire is not quenched." Think how many thoufands there are 
now referved with damned fpirits in chains of darknefs unto 
the judgment of the great day. And think withal, that this, 
this muff be our cafe fhortly, unlefs we are wife in time, deny 
ourfelves, and follow Jesus Christ. Think you, they now 
imagine Jesus Christ to be an hard mafter; or rather think 
you not, they would give ten thoufand times ten thoufand 
worlds, could they but return to life again, and take Christ's 
cafy yoke upon them ? And can we dwell with everlafting 
burnings more than they? No, if we cannot bear this precept, 
deny yourfclves, take up your croffes ; how fliall we bear the 
irrevocable fentence, " Depart from me, ye curfed, into ever- 
lafting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels?" But I hope 
thofe, amongft whom I am now preaching the kingdom of 
God, are not fo difmgenuous as to need to be driven to their 
duty by the terrors of the Lord, but rather defire to be drawn 
by the cords of love. 

LajUy^ Therefore, often meditate on the joys of heaven : 
think, think with what unfpeakable glory thofe happy fouls 
are now incircled, who when on earth were called to deny 
tl.emfelves as well as wc, and were not difobedient to that 
call ; Lift up your hearts frequently towards the manfions of 
eternal blifs, and with an eye of faith, like Stephen, fee the 
heavens opened, and the Son of man with his glorious retinue 
of departed faints, fitting and folacing themfelves in eternal 
joys. Hark! methinks I hear them chanting forth their ever- 
laitiiig HalUhijah^y and echoing triumphant fongs of joy. And 


C 439 ) 

do you not long, my brethren, to join this heavenly choir ? 
do not your hearts burn within you? As the hart panteth after 
the water brooks, do not your fouls fo long after the blefled 
company of thcfe fons of God? Behold then a heavenly ladder 
reached down to you, by which you may climb to this holy 
hill. Let us believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and deny 
ourfelves I By this alone, every faint that ever lived afcendcd 
into the joy of their Lord : And then, we, even we alfo fliall 
ere long be lifted up into the fame moft blifsful regions, there 
to enjoy an eternal reft with the people of God, and join with 
them in finging doxologies and fongs of praife, to the everlaft- 
ing, blefled, all-glorious, moft adorab^Je Trinity, for ever and 

Which God of his infinite mercy grant, ^c. 


[ 44<5 ] 


Chris t*s Transfiguration. 

Luke ix. 28 — j6. 

And it came to pafs about an eight days after thefefo.yings^ 
he took Pf ter and John and James, and "joent up into 
a mountain to pray. And as he prayed^ the fofliion of 
his countenance zvas altered, and his rayme?it ivas while 
{ind gJiftering. And behold, there talked with him two 
wen, which were Mofes ai^^d Elias : z^ho appeared in 
glory, and f pake of his defeafe, which he fJiould accom- 
plifli at Jerufalem. But Peter and they that were with 
him^ were heavy with fie ep : and when they were awake^ 
they fdw his glory, and the two men that flood with 
him. And it came to fafs, as they departed from him, 
Vtx.^x faid unto Jesus, Mafler^ it is good for us to be 
here \ and let us make three tabernacles, one for thee^ 
and one for Mofes, and one for Elias : not knowing 
what he faid. While he thus fpake, there came a clcud 
end ovcrjliadcived them, and they feared as they entered 
into the clcud. And there came a voice out of the clcud, 
fayingy 7'his is my beloved Son, hear him. And when 
the vcice was pafi, Jesus was found alone; and they kept 
it clofe, and told no man in thofe days any of thofe things 
which they had feen. 

WHEN the angel was fent to the P.edeemcr's beloved 
difciple fohn, we are told that the angel laid unto 
him, " Ccnne up hither :" He was to be exalted, to be 
{wrought nearer heaven, that his mind might be better pre- 
pared for thofe great manifeftations, which an infinitely great 
X and 

t 441 ] 

and cpndefccnding God intended to vouchfafe him. And oit 
reading the verfcs that you have jiift now heard, when I alfo 
fee fuch a great and ferious aflcmbly convened in tlic prcCencc 
of God, I think I muR addrcls you, as the angel addrefTed, 
'John^ and (ay unto you, " Come up hither;" leave your 
worldly thoughts, for a time forget the earth. And as it is 
the Lord's-day, a time in which we ought more paiticularly 
to think of heaven, I muft defiie you to pray to God, that 
yc may get up on Pifgah^ moinu, and take a view of the 
promifed land. It is true, indeed, eye haih not Teen, ear hath 
not heard, nor hath it entered into the heart of any man to 
conceive the great and good things, which God hath prepared 
for his people here ; much U{s^ thofe infinitely greater and 
more glorious things, that he hath laid up for them that fear 
him, in the eternal world : but, blefled be God ! though we 
are not yet in heaven, unlefs to be in Christ may properly 
be termed heaven, and thpn all real chriftians are there already ; 
yet, the blelfcd Jesus has been pleafed to leave upon record 
fome account of himfelf, of what happened to him in the days 
of his flefti, and of fome manifeftations he was pleafed to 
grant to a few of his difciples j that from what happened to 
them here belov/, we may form fome faint, thouch but a 
faint idea of that happincfs that awaits his people in his kin t- 
dom above. If any of you enquire, in what part of our 
Lord's life thofe inftances are recorded, I have an anf^er 
ready : One of thefe inftances, and that a very remarkable 
one, is recorded in the verfes that I have now choien for the 
fubje£t of your meditation. 

The verfes give us an account of what is generally called 
OMX YjO'^iiS Transfiguration \ his being wonderfully chan^^ed, 
and his being wonderfully owned by his Father upon the 
mount. Some think that this was done upon a fabl>:ith-day ; 
and the particular occafion of our blelTed Lord's cor.defcend- 
ing to let hi'^ fervants have fuch a fight as this, we may ea- 
ther from the 27th verfe. It fcems our blefled Lord had 
been promifmg a great reward to thofe who fhould not be 
afhamed of him : " Vv^hofoever fhali be aOiamed of me and 
of my words, of him fliall the Son of Man be afliamed, when 
he (hall com.e in his own glory, and of his Father, and of the 
|[ic]y apgeh.''* In this thrcutening is implied, a xcv/ard to thofe 


I! 442 ] 

who {hould not be afhamed of him : " But, (adds he) I tell 
you of a truth, there be feme Itanding here, who {hall not 
tafte of death, till they fee the kingdom of God :'* As much 
as to fay, There will be a day, when I will come in the glory 
of my Father and of his holy angels ; but I tell you there arc 
fome of my favonriics ; 1 tell )oa of a truth, though you 
may think it too good news, there are fome of you that fhall 
not tafte of dca'hj till ye fhall fee the kingdom of God. 
Some divines think, that this promife has reference to our 
Lord's ere<5ling a gofpel church ; and if we take it in this 
fenfe, it means that the Apoftles, who were then prefent, 
ibme of tliem at Icaft, fhould not die, till they faw Satan's 
kingdom in a great meafure pulled down, and the Redeemer's 
gofpel-kingdom ere6led. Sonic think it has a peculiar re- 
ference to ^ohn^ who it feems furvived all the other Apoftles, 
and lived till Christ came j that is, till he came to deftroy 
Jerufakm. But it is the opinion of Mr. Hcnry^ of Bifliop 
Hall^ of Burkity and others, who have written upon this 
pafl'age, that our blefled Lord has a peculiar reference to the 
transfiguration upon the mount : '' There be fome of you 
here, that ftiall not tafte of death, till ye fee my transfigura- 
tion upon the mount ; till ye fee fome glorified faint come 
down from heaven and pay me a vifit, and confequently fee a 
little of that kingdom of God, which ye fl^all have a full 
fight of, when ye come to glory." This feems to be the 
right interpretation. If you will look to the margin of your 
Bibles, you will fee the parallel place in Maitbew^ where the 
account of our Lord's transfiguration is given, and there you 
will find it immediately follows upon this promife of our 

Well, as Christ had told them, that they fhould not 
tafte of death, till they had feen the kingdom of God, why 
the Evangeiift, at the 28th verfe, tells us, " It came to pafs 
about an eight days after thefe fayings, he took Peter^ and 
Jolm^ and Ja7ncs^ and went up into a mountain to pray." 
About an eight days ; that is, as Biftiop Hall thinks, upon 
the fabbath-day ; or, according to fome, the firft day of the 
week, which was hereafter to be the chriftian fabbath ; our 
blefled Lord takes Peter^ Johiy and James : Why did not the 
Lord Jesus Christ take more of his difciples ? Why three, 
r and 

[ 443 ] 
and thefe three ? And why three only ? Our blefled Lord 
was pleafed to take three and no more, to (how us that he is a 
fovereign agent ; to fliow us, that though he loved all his 
difciples, yet there are fome to whom he is pleafed to allow 
peculiar vifits. He loved Pettr^ and all the other difciples ; 
yet John was the difciple that he peculiarly loved. And he 
took three rather than one, becaufe three were fuflicient to 
teftify the truth of his being transfigured : " Out of the 
mouth of two or three witneflcs every word fhali be efta- 
bliflied." And he took no more thaii three, becaufe thefe 
three were enough. And he took thefe three, Petcr^ John^ 
and James^ in particular, becaufe thefe very perfons that were 
now to fee Christ transfigured, were hereafter to fee him 
agonizing in the garden, fweating great drops of blood falling- 
unto the ground. And had not thefe three difciples feeii 
Christ upon the mount, the feeing him afterwards in the 
garden, might have ftaggered them exceedingly : they mi^ht 
have doubted whether it was poflible for the Son of God to 
be in fuch doleful circumftances. Well, our Lord takes 
thefe three " up into a mountain." Why fo ? Becatfe 
Christ Jesus was to be like Mofcs^ who was taken up into 
9 mountain, when GoD intended to deliver unto him the 
moral law : And our blefTed Lord went up into a mountain, 
becaufe a mountain befriended devotion. When he had a 
mind to retire to pray to his Father, he went to fuch places 
where he could be moft fecret, and give the greateft vent to 
his heart. Thus we arc told, that once when Feter prayed, 
it was upon the houfe-top. And if we have a mind to be 
near God, we fhould choofe fuch places as are freeft from 
oftentation, and that moft befriend our communion with 
God. Aud what doth Christ, when he got up into a 
mountain ? We are told, he went up into a mountain " to 
pray." Christ had no corruption to confcfs, and he had 
but few wants of his own to be relieved \ yet we hear of 
Christ being much in prayer ; we hear of his going up to 
a mountain to pray ; of his rifing up a great v/hile before it 
was day to pray ; and of his fpending a whole night in 
prayer to God. 

In the 29th verfe, you have an account of the ^edl of our 
X«g?.D's praying ; '* As he prayed, the fafhion of his counte- 

[ 444 1 

nance was altered, and his raiment was white and gllfterlng.** 
I would have you take notice, that our Lord was not changed 
in refped^ of his body, while he was going up to the mount, 
but when he got upon the mount, and while engaged in 
prayer. It is fufficient that way for our fouls to be trans- 
formed : the time we are more particularly to expe£l: the in- 
fluences of God's Spirit, is, when we are engaged in prayer. 
There feems to be a very great propriety in our Lord's being 
transfigured or changed upon the m,ount. 1 hope I need in- 
form none of you, that when Mofes went up to the mount of 
God, God was pleafed to fpeak to him face to face; and 
when he came down from the mount, the people of Ifrael 
obferved that Mofes's face (hone fo, that he was obliged to 
have a veil put upon his face. Now the fhining of i^^y^j's 
face, was a proof to the people, that Adofes had been con- 
verfing with God. And Mofes told the people, *' That the 
Lord would r^iie up unto them a prophet like unto him, 
whom the people were to hear." God the Father, in order 
to give his Son (confid^-ring him as man) a teftimony that 
he was a prophet, was pleafed not only to let his face glitter 
or fl^ine ; but to ftiow that he was a prophet far fuperior to 
J['Iofes^ be was pleafed to let his gaiment be white and glifter- 
in2;i and '' his countenance (iis we are told by another Evao- 
g.elii}) did (hinc as the fun." What a change was here ! 
What a fight ! Methinks I fee Peter ^ James^ and John fur- 
prized : and, indeed, well might the Evangelifl, confidering 
what happened, ufner in the following part of the ilory 
wiih the word Behold \ '' Behold, there talked with him two 
^en, Mo[es and FJias : And in the 31ft verfe, you have an 
account of their ^to.^^^ '* I'hey appeared in glory ;" and of 
their difcourfe, '*• They fpake of his deceafe which he fhould 
accomplifli at Jcrufalem.''^ 

'* Behold, two men, which were Mofes and EH.is;" thefe 
were two very proper perfons to come upon this embafly to 
the Son of God. Mofes was the great lawgiver, Ellas was 
the great reflorer of the law i The body of Mofes was hidden 
and never found, Elias's body was tranflated immediately, 
and carried up in a fiery chariot to heaven : And it may be 
that this v/as done particularly, becaufe thefe two were here- 
after to have the honour of waiting gpon the Son of Goi>, 


[ 445 ] 

^* They appeared la glory ;'" thvit is, their bodies were now 
m that glorious habir, in which the bodies of believers are to 
be at the morning of the refurreclion. Christ was, as it 
were, now fitting in his royal robes ; and as it is ufual for 
ambafladors, when they are to be admitted into the king's 
prefence, on bringing a mefTage from one king to another, ta 
appear in all their grandeur, to make the meflage more folemn ; 
fo here, thefe heavenly mefiengers being to wait upon the 
Lord Jesus Christ, are inverted as with royal dignity, they 
appeared in glory, and " they fpake of his deceafe which he 
ihould accomplifli at Jcrujakm^^ they came to tell the Re- 
deemer of his fuffcrings, and of the place of his fuffl^rings, and 
to acquaint him, that his fufFerings, however great, however 
bitter, v/ere to be accc??7pIiJJ)ed-y that there was to be an end put 
to them, as our Lord himfelf fpeaks, " The things concern- 
ing me are to have an end.'* What other particulars they 
fpoke to our Lord, we are not told. But what efFeiSt this 
had upon the dilciples, you may learn from the 32d verfe, 
*' Peter y and they that were with him, were heavy with 

We are not to fuppofe, that Fdev^ James and yohn^ were 
now afleep in a literal fcnfe ; no, if we compare this, with 
another pafTage of holy writ, I mean the account given us of 
Daniers being imprcfl'ed and overcome, when he faw the angel 
of the Lord, \ou wiil find that this fleep implies what we 
call a fvi'oon. They were overcome with the fight of the glory 
of Christ's garments, the gliilering of his body, and the 
glory in Alofes and Elias appeared : thefe quite overcame them, 
funk them down, and, like the Queen of Sheha, when (lie faw 
SdQmoris glory, they had no life in them. But they recovered 
themfelves: " when they were awake," that is, when they had 
recovered their ftrength, when God had put flrength into 
them, as the angel put (rrer.gth into Daniel^ *' they fav/ his 
glory, and the two men that Hood v/i:h him." And how do 
you think they gazed upon Christ? how may we fuppofe 
they fixed their eyes upon A'hfcs and Elias P Peter, who was 
always the firft fpeakcr, out of the abundance of his heart, 
fpoke upon this occafion. Verfe 33. ••' And it came to pafs as 
they departed from him, Peter faid unto JesUs, Maftcr, it is 
good for us to be here^ and let us make three tubcrnacks, one 


[ 446 ] 

for thee, and one for Mofes^ and one for Elias^ not knowing 
what he laid.'* Peter^ when he had drank a little of Christ's 
new wine, fpeaks like a perfon intoxicated ; he was over- 
powered with the brightnefs of the manifeftation. '* Let us 
make three tabernacles, one for thee, and one for Mofes^ and 
one for Elias,'' It is well added, " not knowing what he 
faid." That fhe fhould cry out, '* Mafter, it is good for us 
to be here," in fuch good company, and in fo glorious a con- 
dition, is no wonder; which of us all would not have been 
apt to have done the fame ? But to talk of building taberna- 
cles, and one for Christ, and one for Mofes^ and one 
for Eltas^ was faying fomething for which Peter himfelf muft 
fland reproved. Surely, Peter^ thou waft not quite awake ! 
thou talkeft like one in a dream: If thy Lord had taken thee 
at thy word, what a poor tabernacle wouldft thou have had, 
in comparifon of that houfe not made with hands, eternal in 
the heavens, in which thou haft long fmce dwelt, now the 
earthly houfe of the tabernacle of thy body is dilTolved ? What ! 
build tabernacles below, and have the crown, before thou haft 
borne the crofs ? O Peter^ Peter! " Mafter, fpare thyfelf," 
fticks too too clofely to thee : And why fo felfiOi, Peter P Careft 
thou not for thy fellow difciples that are below, who came 
not up with thee to the mount ? careft thou not for the pre- 
cious fouis, that are as fheep having no fhepherd, and muft 
perifti for ever, unlefs thy Mafter defcends from the mount to 
teach, and to die for them ? wouldft thou thus eat thy fpi- 
ritual morfels alone ? Befides, if thou art for building taber- 
nacles, why muft there be three of them, one for Christ, 
and one for Mofes^ and one for Elias? are Christ and the 
prophets divided ? do they not fweetly harmonize and agree \ti 
one ? did they not prophefy concerning the fuff^erings of thy 
Lord, as well as of the glory that fhould follow ? Alas, how 
unlike is their converfation to thine .? Mofes and Elias came 
down to talk of fufFering, and thou art dreaming of building I 
know not what tabernacles. Surely, Peter, thou art fo high 
upon the mount, that thy head runs giddy. 

However, in the midft of thefe infirmities, there was fome- 
thing that bcfpokc the honefty and integrity of his heart. 
Though he knew not very well what he faid, yet he was not 
io ftupjd as his pretended fucceflbr at Rome* He does not fall 


t 447 ] 
ilown and worfliip thefe two departed faints, neither do I hear 
him fay to either, Ora pro nobis \ he had not lb learnt Christ; 
no, he' applies himfelf diredlly to the head, '* he faid unto 
Jesus, Mafter, it is good for us to be here." And though 
he was for building, yet he would not build without his Maf- 
ter*s leave. *' Mafter, let us build," or, as St. A'lark words 
it, " wilt thou that we build three tabernacle?, one for thee, 
and one for Mefes^ and one for Ellas?'' I do not hear him add, 
and one for Jamcs^ and one for John^ and one for Peter. No, 
he would willingly ftay out with them upon the mount, though 
it was in the cold and dark night, fo that Christ and his hea- 
venly attendants were taken care of. The fweetnefs of fuch a 
heavenly vifion, would more than compenfate for any bodily 
fufFering that might be the confequence of their longer abode 
there: nay farther, he does not defire that cither Christ, or 
Mofes^ or Elias^ fhould have any trouble in building-, neither 
does he fay, let my curates, James and Johii^ build, whilft I fit 
idle and lord it over my brethren j but he fays, *' let us build ;'* 
he will work as hard, if not harder than either of ihem, and 
defire to be diftinguifhed only by his adivity, enduring hard- 
nefs, and his zeal to promote the welfare of their common 
Lord and Mafter. 

Doubtlefs, Peter had read how the glory of the Lord filled 
the tabernacle, and the temple of old ; and now Jesus is tranf- 
figured, and Mofes and Elias appear in glory, he thinks it right 
that new tabernacles fhall be creded for them. Such a mix- 
ture of nature and grace, of fliort-fightednefs and infirmity, 
is there in the moft ardent and well-meant zeal of the very 
beftof men, when neareft the throne of grace, or even upon 
the mount with God. Perfedion in any grace muft be 
looked for, or expe£ted, only among the fpirits of juft men 
made perfect in heaven. Thofe who talk of any fuch thing 
on earth, like Peter^ they know not what they fay. 

But how came .Peter fo readily to diftinguifh which was 
Mofes^ and which was Elias? He feems to fpeak without the 
leaft hefitation, " Let us build three tabernacles, one for thee, 
and one for MofeSy and one for Elias " as though he was very 
well acquainted with them, vi'hereas they had both been dead, 
long, long before Peier was born. Was there, do you imagine, 
any thing diftinguiftiing in their apparel? or any thing in their 


t 448 ] 

converfation that difcovered them? or rather, did he not know 
them here on the mount, as we may from hence infer, that 
departed faints do, and will know each other in heaven, evea 
by intuition and immediate revelation ? But alas ! how iran- 
fient are our views of heaven, during our fojourning here on 
earth: Vcrfe 34. " Whilft he thus fpake," whilfl Peter was 
talking of building tabernacles, whilft he was faying, " it is 
good for us to be here," whilfl: he was dreaming that his 
mountain was fo (Irong that it never could be moved, " there 
came a cloud and overfhadowed them." St. Adatihew ob- 
fcrves, it was a bright cloud, not dark like that on mount 
Sinai^ but bright, becaufe the gofpel opens to us a far more 
bright difpenfation than that of the law. This overfliadowed, 
and thereby not only filled them with an holy awe, but alfo 
fcreened them, in fome meafure, from the brightnefs of that 
glory with which they were now furroundcd, and Vv'hich other- 
wife would have been infupportable. This cloud was like the 
veil thrown on the face of Mojes^ and prepared them for the 
voice which they were foon to hear com.ing out of it. I am 
not much furprized at being informed by St. Matthcii\ that 
♦' they feared as they entered into the cloud, or by St. Mark^ 
that " they were fore afraid." For fince the fall, there is fuch 
a confcioufnefs in us all of deferved wrath, that we cannot 
help fearing when we enter into a cloud, even though Jesus 
Christ himfelf be in the midft of it. Ah Peter^ where is thy 
talk of building tabernacles novi^ ? is thy flrong mountain fo 
quickly removed ? what, come down fo foon ? why do we not 
now hear thee faying, " It is good for us to be here ?" Alas ! he 
and his fellow difciples arc quite ftruck dumb ; fee how they 
tremble, and, like Mojes upon another occafion, exceedingly 
quake and fear. But how quickly ate thofe fears difpelled, 
how foon is the tumult of , their minds huihcd and calmed, 
with that foul-reviving voice that came from the excellent 
glory, verfe 35, *' This is my beloved Son, hear him." 

St. Mark and St. Matthew add '' in whom I am wr!! 
pleafed." The fame teftimony tiiat God the Father gave to 
the blefled Jrsus at his baptifm, before he entered upon his 
temptation, is now repeated, in order to flrengthen and pre- 
pare him for his im.pcnding agony \^\ the garden. Proba- 
bly, it was a fmali (till thoiigh arti/culaic vcice^ attended nei- 


f 449 ] 

ther \Vith ttiunder rior lightning, nor the found of a trumpet, 
but, Agreeable to the blcfied news which it contained, ufhcred 
in with tokens of unfpcakable complacency and love. God 
the Father, hereby gives Mofes and Ellas a folemn difcharge, 
as though they were fent from heaven on purpofe to give up 
their commiiTion to their rightful Lord, and like the morn- 
ing ftar, difappear when the Sun of Righteoufnefs himfelf 
arifes to bring in a gofpel ^xy. '« This is my beloved Son, 
hear Him." But the cmphafis upon the word this j this Soh 
of Man, this Jesus, whom you are (hortly to fee in a bloody 
fweat, blindfolded, i'pit upon, buffeted, fcourged, and at len(;th 
hanging upon a tree, I arii not afiiamed to own to be my 
Sonj my only begotten Son, who was with me before the 
heavens were made, or the foundations of the earth were 
laid } my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleafcd, in whom 
my foul delighteth, ar.d whom I do by thefe prefents, publicl/ 
cojiftitiite and appoint to be the king, pried-, and prophet of 
the church. " Hear ye Him." No longer look to jMofes 
or Elias^ no longer expe6l to be faved by the works of the 
law ; but by the preaching and application of the ever-blefledi 
gofpel. Hear ye himj fo as to believe on, love, ferve, obey, 
nnd, if needs be, to die and lay down your very lives for him. 
*' Hear him i*' hear what he hath to fay, for he comes with a 
commifTion from above; Hear his dod^rine; hear him, fo as 
to obey him ; hear him^ fo as to put in pra6lice his precepts^ 
and copy after his good example. 

In the 36th verfe, we have the clofc of this heavenly feafl: ; 
*' When the voice was pafi, Jesus was found alone; and 
they kept it clofc, and told no man in thofe days, any of 
thofe things which they had kta.'* If we compare this, 
with the account which the other Evangelifts give of our 
bleflcd Lord's transfiguration, you will find this was done by 
Christ's order ; Peter ^ James, and yohn, would other wife 
have gone down and told the whole world, that they had kea 
the Lord Christ upon the mount of transfiguration ; but 
our Lord ordered them to keep it filent. Why fo ? If they 
had gone down from the mount, and told it to the other dif- 
ciples, it might have raifed ill blood in the others ; they 
might have faid, Why did our iVIafter fingle out Peter, James^ 
and John f Why might not we have had ths privilege of 

Vol. V, F f go^"€ 


[ 450 ] 

going up to the mount as well as they ? Had they faid, that 
their Lord was transfigured, people would not have believed 
them ; they would have thought, that Peier^ Jarjies^ and John 
were only enthufiafts ; but if they kept it till after his refur- 
recSlion, and he had broken the gates of death, for them then 
to fay, that they faw him upon the mount transfigured, 
would corroborate the evidence. 

I have thus paraphrafed the words for your better under- 
ftanding the account the Evangelift gives of our blefTed 
Lord's transfiguration ; but I have not yet done ; I have 
been fpeaking to your heads ; the practical part is yet to 
come. O that God may reach your hearts ! And though, 
according to order, I ought to begin with the practical in- 
ferences that might be drawn from the firft part ; yet, I think 
it beft to fhow you, who are the people of God, efpecially 
you young converts, that have hontfly, but not much pru- 
dence, what inftru6lions our Lord would here have you to 

" When the voice was pad, Jesus was found alone, and 
they kept it clofe, and told no man in thofe days any of thofe 
things which they had feen." There is nothing more com- 
mon, when God vouchfafes communications to a poor foul, 
than for the perfon that enjoys them, to go and tell all that 
he has feen and felt, and often at improper fcafons and to im- 
proper perfons. I remember that Mr. Hemy obfcrves, " Jo- 
feph had more honefty than he had policy, or elfe he would 
never have told his brethren of his dreams." Young chrif- 
tians are too apt to blunder thus : I am fure it is a fault of 
which I have been exceedingly guilty, fpcaking of things 
which, perhaps, had better been concealed ; which is a fault 
God's people are too apt to fall into. Though it is good for 
thofe that have feen Christ, and that have felt his love, to tell 
others what God hath done for their fouls ; yet, however you 
may think of it now, v;hen you come down from the mount, 
and know yourfelves a little, ye will find reafon often to hold 
your tongue. Young chriftians are like children, to whom 
if you give a little money in their pocket, they cannot be 
quiet till they have fpent it upon fomething or other : young 
chriftians, when they get a little of God, are ready to talk 
too much of it. They fhould therefore beware, and know 
when tQ fpeak, and yi\\^Xi to be filcnt. 


[ 451 ] 

But, my dear friends, did our Lord Jesus Christ tAe 
Peter, "Jamrs, and "jGhi into a mountain to pray ? Are any 
of you fathers, mothers, mafters and miftrcfles of families? 
Learn then from hence to take your children, your fervants, 
and thofe that belong to you, from the world, at certain 
times, and not only pray for them, but pray v.ith them. If 
Christ did thus, who had fev; v/ants of his o\"n to be {{ip- 
plied, and nothing to confefs and lament over ; if Christ was 
fuch a lover of prayer, furely, you and I, v/ho have fo many 
wants to be fupplied, fo many corruptions to mourn over -, 
you and I Ihould fpend much time in prayer. I do not faj 
that you are to lock yourfelves up in your clofets, and not 
mind your fhops or farms, or worldly bufinefs ; I cr.Iy {^y, 
that you ftiould take care to hufband all your time : and if 
you are God's children, you will frequently retire from the 
world, and fcek a vifit from your God. 

Was the Lord Jesus transformed or transfigured, while he 
was praying ? Learn hence, to be much in fpiritual prayer. 
The way to have the foul transformed, changed into, ?.nd 
made like unto God, is frequently to converfe with God. 
We fiiy, a man is as his company. Perfons by cot.verfing to- 
gether, frequently catch each others tempers: and if you 
have a mind to im.bibe the divine temper, pray much. And 
as Christ's garments became white and glifiering, fo fliall 
your fouls get a little of God's light to fhine upon them. 

Did Mcfes ar.d E/ias appear in glory ? Are there any old 
faints here ? I doubt not but there are a confiderable number. 
And are any of you afraid of death ? Do any of you carry 
about with you a body that v/eighs down your immortal 
foul ? I am fure a poor creature is preaching to you, that 
every day drags a crazy load along. But come, believers, 
come, ye children of God, come, ye aged decrepid faints, 
come and trample upon that monfter death. As thou goeft 
over yonder church-yard, do as I know an old excellent 
chriftian in Maryland did ; go, fit upon the grave, and 
meditate on thine own diflblution. Thou mayeft, perhaps, 
have a natural fear of dying : the body and the foul do not 
care to part without a little fympathy and a groan ; but O 
look yonder, look up to heaven, fee there thy Jesus, thy 
Redeemer, and karn, that thy body is to be falhioned here- 

F f 2 after 

t 452 ] 

after like unto Christ's mod glorious body; that poor body 
which is now fubjecl to gout and gravel, and that thou canft 
fcarce drag along ; that poor body, which hinders thee (o 
much in the fpiritual life, will ere lopg hinder thee no more: 
it (hall be put into the grave ; but though it be Town in cor- 
ruption, it fliall be railed in incorruption j though it is fown 
in diftionour, it (hall be raifed again in glory. This confider- 
ation made blefled PcjkI to cry out, " O death, where is thy 
iling ! O grave, where is thy vicSlory! " Thy foul and body fhall 
be united together again, and thou fhalt be " for ever with 
the Lord." Thofe knees of thine, which perhaps are hard 
by kneeling in prayer; that tongne of thine, which hath 
fung hymns to Christ ; thofe hands of thine, which have 
wrought for God ; thofe feet, which have ran to Christ's 
ordinances ; fhall all, in the twinkling of an eye, be changed; 
and thou fhalt be able to ftand under an exceeding: and an 
eternal weight of glory. Come then, ye believers in Christ, 
look beyond the grave ; come, ye dear children of God, and 
however weak and fickly ye are now, fay, Blefled be God, 
1 fliall foon have a body ftrong, full of vigour and of glory. 

But as this fpeaks comfort to faints, it fpeaks terror to 
fmners, to all perfons that live and die out of Christ. It is 
the opinion of Archbifiiop UJherj that as the bodies of the 
faints (liall be glorified, fo the bodies of the damned (hall be 
deformed. And if this be true, alas ! what a poor figure will the 
fine ladies cut, who die without a Christ ! What a poor figure 
will the fine gentleman cut in the morning of the refurrecStion, 
that now drtfies up his body, and at the fame time negleds 
to fecure an intereft in Christ and eternal happinefs ! It is 
the opinion, likewife, of Archbifhop Ufier^ that damned fouls 
will lofe all the good tempers they had here; fo that though 
God gave unregenerate people a conftitutional meeknefs, 
good nature, and courage, for the benefit of the common- 
wealth ; yet, the ufe of thefe things being over, and they 
having died without Christ, and it being impoffible there 
will be an appearance of good in hell, their good tempers 
will be for ever loft. If this be fo, it is an awful confider- 
ation ; and I think perfpns who love their bodies, fhould alfo 
kcncc take care to fecure the welfare of their fouls. 


t 453 ] 

Did Peter know which was Mofcs and which Elins ? Then 
I think, and God be praifed for it, it is plain from this and 
other paiTages of fcripture, that we (hall know one another 
when we come to heaven. Dives knew Lazarus : " Facher 
Jbraham^ fend Lazarus ;" And we are told, " he { aw Lazarus 
fitting in Jbrahanis bofom." Adam knew his wife Eve \ 
though caft into a deep fleep when God made her out of his 
rib, yet, by a kind of intuition, he fays, '' This is bone of 
my bone, and flefti of my flefh." And it is on this account, 
that the Apoflle, fpeaking to the Philippians^ fays, " Yc are 
my joy and crown of rejoicing, in the day of the Lord." 
What comfort will this be to a fpiritujl faiher ! S<*ys one. 
Here is the man, O Lord Jesus, that brought my foul to 
tafte of thy love ; fays another. This is the man, that at 
fuch a time, and with fuch words, ftruck my heart : thou, 
O Lord, knoweft it. Then the fpiritual father will rejoice 
over his children. You that have met and have prayed toge- 
ther, fighed and fympathized together, and told your tempta- 
tions to one another, fliall be for ever with the Lord and 
with each other. There we (hall fee Abraham^ Ifaac^ and 
^acoh fitting, with all the redeemed company ; and we fliall 
know the names of every one mentioned in the book cf God. 
O blefled profpecSl ! O blefied time ! Who that thinks of 
this, of feeing the Lamb fitting upon the throne, with all 
God's people about him, but muft defire to go to heaven, 
and be for ever, for ever with the Lord. And if there is 
fuch comfort for believers to know one another in heaven, .. 
with what comfort may any of you, that have loft fathers, 
mothers, or friends, think of them : we are parted for a little 
while, but we (hall fee them again. Aiy father died in 
Christ, my mother died in the Lord, my hufband, my 
wife, was a follower of Jesus ; I fliall fee them, though not 
now ; I fliall go to them, but they fliall not return to me ! 
This may keep you from forrowing as perfons without hope; 
and keep you from being fo cruel, as to wifli them to come 
down to this evil world. 

But O what a dreadful confideration is this for damned 
fouls I I believe, that as glorified fpirits will know one ano- 
ther, fo will damned fouls know one another too. And as the 
company of the bleffed increafes the happinefs of heaven, fo 

F f 3 * tho 

[ 454 1 

the company of the damned will increafe their torments. What 
made Dives to put up that pccition ? " I have five brethren ; 
ieud fomebody to my father's lioufe to tcftify unto them, 
left they alfo come into this place of torment." One would 
imagine at firft reading, that hell had mude Dives charitable, 
raid that though he was ill natured on earth, yet he had ac- 
quired fome good nature in hell. No, no, there is not a 
fpark of good nature in the place of torment. But Dives 
knew, if his five brethren came there, they might fay. We 
may thank you, next to an evil heart, for coming hither ; you 
made us drink healths, till we were drunk ; you taught us 
to game, to curfe, to fwcar, &c. He knew very well, that 
his five brethren being brought to hell by his example, hell 
would be heated five times hotter to torment his foul. One 
will cry out, Curfed be the day that ever I was companion 
with fuch an one in fin ; curfed be the day that ever we 
hearkened to one another's advice, and vjqvq. allured by each 
others example to fin againfl: God. 

But did a cloud overfhadovv Peter^ yaiiies^ and 'John? were 
heavenly and divine vifits here but fhort ? Then wonder not, 
ye people of God, if ye are upon the mount one hour, and 
down in the valley of the fhadow of death the next. There 
is nothing in the world more common, after you have been in 
a good frame, than for a cloud to overfhadow you. We gene- 
rally fay, " It is good to be here," and often make a Christ 
of our graces ; and therefore the Lord fends a cloud to over- 
fhadow us. But never fear ; God fiiall fpeak to you out of 
the cloud ; God will reveal himfelf to you j this cloud fliall 
foon be gone ; ere long we (hall be in heaven, and in that 
glory where no cloud can pofHbly reach us. 

I can now only mention one thing more, and that is, Did 
the Father fay, '' This is my beloved Son, hear him ?" then 
let every one of our hearts echo to this teliimony given of 
Christ, *' This is my beloved Saviour." Did God fo love 
the world, as to fend his only begotten Son, his well beloved 
Son to preach to us ? then, my dear friends, hear Him. 
What God fald feventeen hundred years ago, immediately by 
a voice from heaven, concerning his Son upon the mount, 
that fame thing God fays, to you immediately by his word, 
** Hear him." if ye never heard him before, hear him novv« 


[ 455 ] 

Hear him (o as to take him to be your prophet, priefl:, and 
your king ; hear him, (o as to take him to be your God and 
your all. Hear him to-day, ye yuuth, while it is called to- 
day J hear him now, left God (hould cut you off before you 
have another invitation to hear him ; hear him while he cries, 
" Come unto me ;" hear him while he opens his hand and 
his heart ; hear him while he knocks at the door of your 
fouls, left you fhould hear him faying, '' Depart, depart, ye 
curfed, into everlafting fire, prepared for the devil and his 
angels." Hear him, ye old and grey-headed, hear him, ye 
that have one foot in the grave ; hear him, I fay ; and if ye 
are dull of hearing, beg of God to open the ears of your 
hearts, and your blind eyes ; beg of God that you may have 
an enlarged and a believing heart, and that ye may know 
what the Lord God faith concerning you. God will refent 
it, he will avenge himfelf on his adverfaries, if you do not 
hear a blefled Saviour. He is God's fon, he is God's be- 
loved fon ; he came upon a great errand, even to fhed his 
precious blood for finners ; he came to cleanfe you from all 
fin, and to fave you with an everlafting falvation. Ye who 
have heard him, hear him again ; ftill go on, believe in and 
obey him, and by-and-by you (hall hear him faying, " Come, 
ye blefled of my Father, receive the kingdom prepared for 
you from the foundation of the world." May God grant it 
to you all, for the Lord Jesus Christ's fake. Jmen, and 

F f 4 S E R M O R 

[ 456 ] 


The Care of the Soul urged as the one thing 

Luke x. 42. 
But one thing is needful 

IT was the amiable chara£lcr of our blefled Redeemer, that 
" he \yent about doing good," this great motive, which 
animated all his adtions^ brought him to the houfe of hiq 
friend Lazarus^ at Bethany^ and directed his behaviour there. 
Though it was a feafon of recefs from public labour, our 
Lord brought the fentiments and the pious cares of a preacher 
of righteoufnefs into the parlour of a friend; and there his 
do£\rine dropped as the rain, and diftjlled as the dew, on the 
little happy circle that were then furrounding him. Mary^ 
the fifter of X^z^rwi, with great delight made one amongft 
them 5 {he feated herfelf at the feet of Jesus, in the pofture 
of an humble difciple ; and we have a great deal of reafon to 
believe, that Martha^ his other fifter, would gladly have been 
with her there; but domeftic cares preiTed hard upon her, 
and " ^Vi was cumbered with much ferving," being, per- 
haps, too folicitous to prepare a fumpt-uous entertainment for 
her heavenly mafter and the train that attended him. Happy- 
are they, who in a crowd of bufmefs do not lofe fomething 
t>r the fi)irituality of their minds, and of the compofurc and 
hvcetncfs of their tempers. This good woman comes to our 
Lord with too impatient a complaint ; infinuating fome little 
refleclion, not only on Mary^ but on himfelf too. " Lord, 
doll thou not care that my fifter hath left me to ferve alone ? 
Bid her, therefore, that fhs help me." Our Lord, willing 
to t^ke^aU opportunities of fuggefiing ufeful thoughts, an- 


[ 457 ] 

fwers her in thefe v^ords, of which the text is a part, *' Alar- 
iba^ Moriha^ thou art careful and troubled about many things, 
but one thing is needful ; and Mary has chofcn that good part, 
Avhich (hall not be taken away from her.'* Alas, Martha I 
the concerns of the foul are of fo much greater importance 
than thofe of the body, that I cannot blame your fifter on 
this occafion : I rather rcconirpend her to your imitation, and 
caution you, and all my other friends, to be much on your 
guard, that in the midft of your worldly cares, you do not 
Ipfe ilght of what much better defervcs your attention. 

I fhall confider thefe words, " One thing is needful," as 
a kind of aphorifm, or wife and weighty fentence, which 
ic^roppcd from the mouth of oqr blefled Redeemer, and is evi- 
i(}ently worthy of pur moft ferious regard. I (hall, 

I. Confider what we are to underftand by " The one 
thing" here fpoken of. 

JI. Shew you what Is intended, when it Is faid to be the 
one thing ncedfuL 

JII. I will (hew how juftly it may be fo reprefented, or 
prove that it is, indeed, the one thing needful. And 
then conclude with fome reflcdions. 

My friends, the words which are now before us, are to 
this day, as true, as they were feventeen hundred years ago, 
3et your hearts to attend to them. O that you may, by di- 
vine grace, be awakened to hear them with a due regard, 
and be fo imprefied with the plain and ferious things which 
are now to be fpoken, as you probably would, if I were fpe^k- 
ing by your dying beds, and you had the near and lively view 
of eternity ! 

FirJ}^ I am to confider, what we are to underftand by the 
" one thing needful." 

Now in a few words, it is the " Care of the foul ^' oppofcd, 
as you fee in the text, to the care, the exceilive care of the 
body ; to which Martha was gently admonifhed by our Lord. 
This is a general anfwer, and it comprehends a variety of im- 
portant particulars, which is the bufmcfs of our miniflry of- 
ten to open to you at large : The care gf the foul, implies a 
2 rtadinefs 

[ 453 ] 

readir.efs to hear the words of Christ, to feat ourfelves with 
Mary at his feet, and to receive both the law and the gofpel 
from his niouth. It fuppofes, that we learn from this divine 
teacher the worth of our fouls, their danger, and their re- 
medy; and that we become above all things folicitous about 
their eternal falvation. Thar, heartily repenting of all our 
fins, and cordially believing the everlafting gofpel, we receive 
the Lord Jesus Christ for righteoufnefs and life, refting 
our fouls on the value of his atonement, and the efficacy of 
his grace. It imports, the fincere dedication of ourfelves to 
the fervice of God, and a faithful adherence to it, notwith- 
ftandina; all oppofitions aiifing from inward corruptions, or 
outward temptaticnr. ; and a rcfolute perfeverance in the way 
of gofpel dependance, 'till we receive the end of our faith in 
our compleat falvation. This is the '' one thing needful," 
reprefented indeed in various fcriptures by various names. 
Sometimes it is called " Regeneration," or " the new crea- 
ture," becaufe it is the blefled work of God's efficacious 
grace. Sometimes the " Fear of God," and fometimes " his 
love, and the keeping his commandments;" and very fre- 
quently in the new teftament it is called " faith," or " re- 
ceiving Christ, and believing on him," which therefore is 
reprefented as the " great work of God," ^ohn vi. 29. the 
great thing which God in his glorious gofpel requires, as well 
as by his fpirit produces in us : each of thefe, if rightly un- 
derftood and explained, comprehends all that I have faid on 
this head. On the whole, we may fay, that, as the body is 
one, though it has many members, and the foul is one, 
though it has many faculties, fo in the prefent cafe, this real 
vital religion is " one thing," one facred principle of divine 
life, bringing us to attend to the care of our fouls, as of our 
greateft treafure. It is one thing, notwithftanding all the 
variety of views in which it may be confidered, and of cha- 
ra£lers under which it may be defcribed. I proceed, 

Secondly^ To confider vvhat may be intended in the repre- 
fentatlon which is here made of it, as the '' one thing need' 

Now I think it naturally includes thefe three particulars : 
it is a matter of univerfal concern ; of the highefl importance ; 


[ 459 ] 

and of (o comprchcnfive a naaiie, that every thing which is 
truly worthy of our regard, may be confidered as included in, 
or fubfcrvient to it. Let me a lutle illuftratc each of thefe 


I. The care of the foul may be called the "one thing 
needful," as it is matter of univcrfal concern. 

Our Lord, you fee, fpeaks of it as needful in the general. 
He fays nor, for this or that particular perfon ; or for thofe of 
fuch an age, ftation, or circumftance in life, but needful 
for all. A^id indeed, when difcourfrng on fuch a fubjedf, 
one might properly introduce it with thofe folemn words of 
the pfalmiO, " Give ear, all ye people, hear, all ye inhabi- 
tants of the earth, both high and low, rich and poor, tog?, 
ther," Pjhlm xlix. i, 2. For it is the concern of all, from 
th^ king that fits upon the throne, to the fervant that grind- 
eth at ^the mill, or the beggar that lieth upon the dunghill. 
It is needful for us that are winifun, for our own lalvation is 
concerned : and woe, infupporcabic woe will be to our fouls, 
if we think it enough to recommend it to others, and to talk of 
it in a warm, or an awful manner, in public alTemblies, or in 
our private converfe, while it does not penetrate our hearts, as 
our own grcateft care. Our cafe will then be like that of the 
Jfraelitijh lord in Samaria, l Kings vii. 2. who was employed 
to diftribute the corn when the fiege was raifed ; though we 
fee it with cur eyes, and difpenfe it with our hands, we (hall 
ourfelves die miferably, without tatting the blelTings we im- 
part It i5 needful to all you that are our hearers, without the 
exception of one fmgle perfon. It is needful to you that are 
rkh though it may on fome accounts be peculiarly difHcult 
for you ; even as difficult, comparatively ipeaking, as for a 
" Camel to go through the eye of a needle," Mat, xix. 24. 
.-et if it be nededed, you are poor in the midft of all your 
wealth and mlferable in all your abundance; a wretch flarv- 
incr for hunger, in a magnificent palace and a rich drefs, 
would be lefs the objea of compaffion than you. It is need- 
ful for you that are />..r; though you are d.ftrcfTed with fo 
many anxious cares, " what you (liall eat, and what you (hall 
drink and wherewithal you (hall be cloathed," Mat, vi. 3r. 
The nature that makes you capable of fuch anxieties as thele, 
arcucs your much greater concern in the ^^ bread wh.ch en- 

[ 46o ] 

dures to eternal life," ^ohn vi. 27. than in that by which 
this mortal body muft be fupported. It is needful for you 
that are advanced in yean ; though your ftrength be impaired 
fo that the " graftiopper is a burthen," Eccl. xii. 5. and 
though you have by your long continuance in fin rendered 
this great work fo hard, that were it lefs important, one 
would in pity let you alone without reminding you of it : 
yet, late as it is, it muft be done, or your hoary heads will 
be brought down to the grave with wrath, and fink under a 
curfe aggravated by every year and by every day of your lives. 
It is needful to you that 2ix^ youngs though folicited by fo many 
gay vanities, to negle6l it, though it may be reprefented as 
an unfeafonable care at prefent, yet I repeat it, it is needful 
to you ; immedi