(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us) Upload
See other formats

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"






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



Which have been already publifned : 


Written to his mofl intimate Friends, and Perfons of Dillindlion, in 
England^ Scotlatid, Ireland^ and America^ from the Year 1734., to 
1770, including the whole Period of his Minillry. 


Some other Pieces on Important Subjects, 

never before printed ; prepared by Hi'mfelf for the Prefs, 
To which is prefixed, 

An ACCOUNT of his LIFE, 

Compiled from his Original Papers and Letters. 



Printed for Edward and Charles Dilly, in the Poultry; 
and JVLcirrs. Kincaid and Creech, at Ediabvirj^h. 


f ni I 



QERMON XXXli. A Penitent Heart, the beft New 
O Year's Gift. 

Luke xiii. 3. Except ye repent, ye JJiall all tlkivife perijh. 

Page 3 

SERM. XXXIII. The Gofpel Supper. 

Luke xiv. 22^ 23, 24. And the fervant faid, Lord^ It is 
done as thou haji commanded, and yet there is room. And the 
lord faid unto the fervant. Go out into the highways, and 
hedges, and compel them to come in, that my houfe may be 
filled. For I fay unto you, that none of thofe men which luere 
hiddeni Jhall tajie of my f upper » p. 20. 

SERM. XXXIV. The Pharilee and Publican. 

Luke xvili. 14. / tell ycu, this man went down to his houfe 
jufiified rather than the other : For every one that exalteth 
hirnfelf, Jhall he ahafed , and he that humbleth himfelf, jhall he 
exalted, p. 36 

SERM. XXX V. The Converfion of 2accheus. 

Luke xIx. 9,10. And Jefus faid unto him,This day is faha- 
lion come to this houfe ; forafmuch as he alfo is the Son of 
Abraham. For the Son of man is come to fee k and to fave that 
which was lofl. — • — — P* 49" 

SERM, XXXVL The Marriage of Cana. 

John ii. 11. nis beginning of miracles did JefUs in Cana of 
Galilee, and majiifefied forth his glory j a7id his difciples 
believed on him, — - — ^ — p. 64 

♦ The Sermons marked with a *, arc now firft published from the Authoi's own 

Vol. VL a SERM. 

C iv ] 

S K R M. XXXVir. The Duty of fearching the Scriptures. 
John v. 39. Search the Scriptures* — — P» 79 

SERM. XXXVIII. The Indwelling of the Spirit, the 
common Privilege of all Believers. 

John vii. 37, 38, 39. In the lajl day^ that great day ofthefeajij 
J ejus Jiood and cried^ faying-, Jf ^^y ^^^^ ^^^^J^t ^^' ^^^^ ^°^^^ 
unto me and drink. He that believeth on me^ as the fcripture 
hath faid^ out of his belly jhall floiv rivers of living zvater. 
But this fpake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him 
Jhould receive, — — — P» 89 

SERM. XXXIX. The Refurreaion of Lazarus. 

John xi. 43, 44. And when he had thus fpoken^ he cried with 
a hud voice, Lazarus come forth. Jnd he that was dead^ 
came forth, bound hand and foot with grave-cloaihs : and his 
face was bound about with a napkin* Jefus faith unto them^ 
Loofe him, a?td let him go* — — p. 1 03 

SERM. XL. The Holy Spirit convincing the World of 
Sin, Righieoulhefs, and Judgment. 

John xvi. 8. And ivhen he is come, he will reprove the world of 
fm, and of righteoitfnefs, and of judgment. P- 127 

SERM. XLI. Saul's Converfion. 

Acts ix. 22. But Saul increafed the more in Jlrength, and 
confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damafcus, proving that this 
is very ChrijL — — — P* 14-3 

SERM. XLII. Marks of having received the Holy Ghoft. 

Acts xix. 2. Have ye received the Holy Ghoji fmce ye 
believed? — — — - p. 161 

SERM. XLIII. The Almoft Chrlftian. 

Acts xxvi. 28. Almoft ihou perfuadejl me to he a chrijlian, 

p. 174 


C V ] 

SERM. XLIV. Chrlft, the Believer's Wifdom, Righ- 
teoufnefs, San£lification, and Redemption. 

I Cor. i. 30. But of htm are ye in Chriji Jefus^ who of God 
is made unto us, w'tfdom, righteoufnefs^ fanSi'ification, and 
redemption, — — — P» 187 

SERM. XLV. The Knowledge of Jefus Chrift the bcft 

I CoR. ii. 2. / determined not to know any thing among you^ 
fave Jefus Chriji ^ and him crucified, — ?• 203 

SERM. XL VI. Of Juftification by Chrift. 

I Cor. vi. II. But ye are jujiified. The whole verfe is : Jnd 

fuch were fame of you ; but ye are waj})ed^ but ye are fanSlified^ 
but ye are jujiified in the name of our Lord Jefus Chriji, and by 
the Spirit of our God. — -— p. 214 

SERM. XLVII. The great Duty of Charity recom- 

I Cor. xiii. 8. Charity never faileth, — p. 227 

SERM. XLVIII. Satan's Devices. 

1 Cor. ii. 11, Leji Satan Jhould get an advantage over us\ 
for ive are not ignorant of his devices. -;- P» 241 

SERM. XLIX. On Regeneration. 

2 Cor. V. 17. If any man be in Chriji y he is a new creature. 

P- 257 

* S E R M. L. Chriftians, Temples of the living God. 

2 CoR. vi, 16. Te are the Temple of the living God. p. 273 

SERM. LI. Chrift the only Prefervative againft a Re- 
probate Spirit. 

2C0R. xiii. 5. Know ye not your ownfelves, how that Jefus 
Chriji is in you, except ye be Reprobates. — P* 287 

SERM. LII. The heinous Sin of Drunkennefs. 
Ephesians v. 18. Be not drunk with wine, ivherein is exccfs ; 
but be filled with the Spirit, — — P- 3^3 


[ vi ] 
SERM. LIII. The Power of Chrift's Refurreaion. 

Philip, iii. lO. That I may know him ^ and the power of his 
refurreclicn. — — — P* 3^7 

SERM. LIV. Interceflion every Chriffian's Duty. 

1 Th£Ss. v. 25. Brethren^ pray for us. — p. 331 

SERM. LV. Perfecutlon every Chriftlan's Lot. 

2 Tim. iii. .12. Tea, and all that will live godly in Chrijl JefuSy 
j})qII fujfcr perjccution. — — p. 345 

SERM. LVI. An Exhortation to the People of God not 
to be difcouraged in their Way, by the Scoffs and Con- 
tempt of wicked Men. 

Hebrews iv. 9. There remaimtb therefore a reji to the people 
of God, — — — - P- 361 

4(fSERM. LVII. Preached before the Governor and 
Council, and the Houfe of Allembly, in Georgia, on 
January 28, J 770. 

Zech. iy. .10. For -who hath defpifid the day offnall things^ 

■^ • p. 36g^ 



A Penitent Heart, the beft New Teaf-'s Gift. 

Luke xiii. 3, 
Except ye repent^ yeJJiall all like-wife periJJi, 

WHEN we confider how heinous and aggravating our 
offences are, in the fight of a jutt and holy God, that 
they bring down his wrath upon our heads, and occafion us 
to live under his indignation; how ought we thereby to be 
deterred from evil, or at leaft engaged to ftudy to repent 
thereof, and not commit the fame again ; but man is fo 
thoughtlefs of an eternal ftate, and has fo little confideration 
of the welfare of bis immortal foul, that he can nn Vi^ithout 
any thought that he muft give an account of bis ailions at 
the day of judgment; or if he, at times, has any reflexions 
on his behaviour, they do not drive him to true repentance : 
he may, for a fhort time, refrain from falling into fome grofs 
fins which he had lately committed ; but then, when the 
temptation comes again with povi^er, he is carried away with 
theluil; and thus he gees on promifing and refolving, and 
in breaking both his refolutions and his promifes, as faft al- 
moft as he has made them. This is highly offenfive to God, 
it is mocking of him. My brethren, when grace is given us 
to repent truly, we fnall turn wholly unto GoD; and let me 
befeech you to repent of your fins, for the time is haflening 
when you will have neither time nor call to repent ; there is 
none in the grave, whither we are going ; but do not be afraid, 
for God often receives the greateft fmner to mercy through 
the merits of Christ Jesus ; this magnifies the riches of 
his free grace ; and fliould be an encouragement for you, 
who are great and notorious finners, to repent, ff)r he will 
have mercy upon you, if you through Christ return unto 

A 2 St. Paul 

[ 4 ] 

St. Paul was an eminent inftance of this ; he fpeaks of him- 
fejf as " the chief of finners," and he declareth how God 
fliewcd mercy unto him. Christ loves to fliew mercy unto 
finners, and if you repent, he will have mercy upon you, 
put as no word is more miftajcen than that of repentance, 
i fhall 

I. Shew you what the nature of repentance is, 

II. Confider the feveral parts and caufes of repentance, 

III. I fliall give you feme realbns, why repentance is necef- 
iary to falvation. And 

IV. Exhort all of you, high and low, rich and poor, one 
with another, to endeavour after repentance. 

I. Repentance, my brethren, in the Brfl place, as to its na- 
ture, is the carnal and corrupt difpofition of men being changed 
into a renewed and fandified difpofition. A man that has truly 
repented, is truly regenerated : it is a different word for one 
and the fame thing ; the motley mixture of the beaft and devil 
is ^one ; there is, as it were, a new creation wrought in your 
ke-ir:s. If your repentance is true, you are renewed through- 
out, both in foul and body ; your underduudings are cn- 
Ijahtened with the knowleda;e of Gop, and of the Lord 
Jesus Christ ; and your wills, which were ftubborn, obiii- 
uate, and hated all good, are obedient and conforujable to the 
will of God. Indeed, our.deifts tell us, that man now has 
a free v.'iil to do good, to love God, and to repent when he 
will; but indeed, there is no free will in any of you, but to 
fin ; nay, your free-will leads you fo far, that you would, if 
poPaible, pull God from his throne. This may, perhaps, offend 
the Pharifees; but (it is the truth in Christ which I fpeak, 
I lie not) every man by his own natural will hates GoDi but 
when he is turned unto the Lord, by evangelical repentance, 
then his will is changed ; then your v^onfciencej, now har- 
dened and benumbed, (hall be quickened and awakened ; then 
your hard hearts fliall be melted, and your unruly affedlions 
ihall be crucified. Thus, by that repentance, the whole foul 
will be changed, you will h^ve new inclinations, new deilres, 
^nd new habits. .^. 

[ 5 ] 

You may fee how vile we are by nature, that it requires (0 
great a change to be made upon us, to recover us from thij 
i\zte of fin, and therefore the confideration of our dreadful 
ftate (hould make us earnefl: with God to change our condi- 
tion, and that change, true repentance implies ; therefore, my 
brethren, copfider how hateful your v/ays are to God, while 
you continue in fmj how abominable you are unto him, while 
you run into evil : you cannot be faid to be cbriHians while 
you are hating Christ, and his people ; true repentance will 
entirely change you, the blafs of your fouls will be chan2;ed, 
then you will delight in God, in Christ, in his law, and in 
his people; you will then believe that there is fuch a thing as 
inward feeling, though now you may efteem it madneis and 
enthufiafm ; you will not then be afliamed of becoming fools 
for Christ's fake; you will not regard being fcofFed at; it 
is not then their pointing after you and crying, " Here comes 
*' another troop of his followers," will difmay you; no, your 
foul will abhor fuch proceedings, the ways of Christ and his 
people will be your whole delight. 

It is the nature of fuch repentance to make a change, and 
the greateft change as can be made here in the foul. Thus you 
fee what repentance Implies in its own nature ; it denotes an 
abhorrence of all evil, and a forfaking of it. I fhail now 

Secondly^ To (hew you the parts of it, and the caafes con- 
curring thereto. 

The parts are, forrow, hatred, and an entire forfaking of 

Our forrow and gtief for fin, muft not fpring merely frorh ^ 
fear of wrath ; for if we have no other ground but that, it 
proceeds from felf-love, and not from any lo'/e to GoD ; and if 
love to Gob is not the chief motive of your repentance, your 
repentance is in vain, and not to be elteemed true. 

Many, in our days, think their trying, God forgive me! 
or. Lord have mercy upon me I or, 1 am forry for it I is 
repentance^ and that GoD will efleem it as fuch; but, indeed^ 
they ai-e miftaken ; it is not the drawing near to GoD with 
our lips, while our hearts are far from him, which he regards. 
Repentance does not ^ome by fits and flarts 5 no, it Is on0 
A 2> continue^ 

[ 6 ] 

continued as^ of our lives ; for as we daily commit finj fo wc 
need a daily repentance before God, to obtain forgivenefs for 
thofe fins we commit. 

It is not your confeiTmg yourfelves to be fmners, it is not 
knowing your condition to be fad and deplorable, fo long as 
you continue in your fins ; your care and endeavours fhould 
be, to get the heart thoroughly afFeded therewith, that you 
may feel yourfelves to be loft and undone creatures, for 
Christ came to fave fuch as are loft; and if you are enabled 
to groan under the weight and burden of your fins, then 
Christ will eafe you and give you reft. 

And till you are thus fenfible of your mifery and loft coa^ 
dition, you are a fervant to fm and to your lufts, under the 
bondage and command of Satan, doing his drudgery : thou 
art under the curfe of God, and liable to his judgment. Con- 
fider how dreadful thy ftate will be at death, and after the 
day of judgment, when thou wilt be expofed to fuch mifeiies 
which the ear hath not heard, neither can the heart conceive, 
and that to all eternity, if you die impenitent. 

But 1 hope better things of you, my brethren, though I thus 
fpeak, and things which accompany falvation ; go to God in 
prayer, and be earneft with him, that by his Spirit he would 
convince you of your miferable condition by nature, and make 
you truly fenfible thereof. O be humbled, be humbled, I be- 
feech you, for your fins. Having fpent lo many years in fin- 
ning, what canft thou do lefs, than be concerned to fpend fome 
hours in mourning and forrowing for the fame, and be hum- 
bled before God. 

Look back into your lives, call to mind thy fins, as many 
as poffible thou canft, the fins of thy youth, as well as of thy 
riper years; fee how you have departed from a gracious Father, 
and wandered in the way of wickednefs, in v/hich you have 
loft yourfelves, the favour of God, the comforts of his Spirit, 
and the peace of your own confciences ; then go and beg par- 
don of the I.oiiD, through the blood of the Lamb, for the evil 
thou haft committed, and for the good thou haft omitted. 
Confider, likewife, the hcinoufnefs of thy fins ; fee what very 
aggravating circumftances thy fins are attended with^ how you 
have abufed the patience of God, which fiiould have led you 
to repentance ; aii J vvhen thou findeft thy heart hard, beg of 


[ 7 3 

God to foften it, cry mightily unto him, and he will take 
away thy ftony heart, and give thee a heart of flefti. 

Refolve to leave all thy finful lufts and pleafures; renounce^ 
forfake, and abhor thy old fmful courfe of life, and ferve God 
in holinefs and righteoufnefs all the remaining part of life. If 
you lament :ind bewail pafl: fms, and do not forfake them, your 
^repentance is in vain, you are mocking of God, and dcceiv- • 
ing your own foul ; you muft put ofF the old man with his 
deeds, before you can put on the new man, Christ Jesus. 

You, therefore, who have been fwearers and curfers, you^ 
who have been harlots and drunkards, you, who have been 
thieves and robbers, you, who have hitherto followed the fm- 
ful pleafures and diverfions of life, let me befeech you, by the 
mercies of God in Christ Jesus, that you would no longer 
continue therein, but that you would forfake your evil ways, 
and turn unto the Lord, for he waiteth to be gracious unto 
you, he is ready, he is willing to pardon you of all your fins | 
but do not expect Christ to pardon you of fin, when you run 
' into itj and will not abftain from complying with the tempta- 
tions j but if you will be perfuaded to abftain from evil ancf 
chiife the good, to return unto the Lord, and repent of 
your wickednefs, he hath promifed he will abundantly pardon 
you, he will heal your back-flidings, and will love yoii 
freely. Refolve now this day to have done with your fins 
for ever; let your old ways and you be feparnted j you muft 
tefolve againft it, for there can be no true repentance without 
a refolution to forfake it. Refolve for Christ, refolve againft 
the devil and his works, and go on fighting the Lord's battles 
againft the devil and his emifiaries; attack him in the ftrongeft 
holds he has, fight him as men, as chriftians, and you will 
■foon find him to be a coward ; refift him and he will fly frotrt 
you. Refolve, through grace, to do this, and your repentancd 
is half done •, but then take care that you do not ground youf 
refolutions on your own ftrength, but in the ftrength of the 
Lord Jesus Christ ; he is the way, he is the truth, and he 
is the life ; without his afTiftance you can do nothing, but 
through his gtace ftr<:ngihening thee, thou wilt be enabled rci 
do all things ; and the more thou art fenfibleof thy own weak- 
nefs and inability, the more ready Christ will be to help 
thee J and what can all the men of the world do to thee when 
A 4 Christ 

. [ 8 ] 

Christ is for thee ? thou wilt not regard what they fay againft 
thee, for you will have the teftimony of a good confcience. 

Refolve to caft thyfelf at the feet of Christ in fubj'-6^ion 
to him, and throw* thyfelf into the arms of Christ for falva- 
tion by him. Confider, my dear brethren, the many invita- 
tions he has given you to come unto him, to be faved by him; 
" God has laid on him the iniquity of us all." O let me 
prevail with you, above all things, to make choice of the Lord 
Jesus Christ; refign yourfelves unto him, take him, O take 
him, upon his ov.'n terms, and v/hofoever thou art, bow great 
a finner foever you have been, this evening, in the name oC 
the great God, do I offer Jesus Christ unto thee ; as thou 
valueft tiiy life and foul refufc him not, but (lir up thyfelf to 
accept of the Lord Jesus, take him wholly as he is, for he 
will be applied wholly unto you, or ejfe not at all. Jesus 
Christ muft be your whole wifdom, Jesus Christ muft be 
your whole rjghteoufnefs, Jesus Christ muft be your whole 
fan£lification, or he will never be your eternal redemption. 

What though you have been ever fo wicked and profligatCy 
yet, if you will now abandon your fins, and turn unto the 
Lord Jesus Christ^ thou {halt have him given to thee, and 
all thy fms (hall be freely forgiven. O why will you neglecSt 
the great work of your repentance ? do not defer the doing of 
it one day longer, but to-day, even nowj take that Christ 
who is freely offered to you. 

Now as to the caufes hereof, the firft caufe is God ; he Is 
the author, " we are born of God," God hath begotten us, 
even God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ ; it is he 
that ftirs us up to will and to do of his own good pleafure : 
and another caufe is, God's {ttQ graoe ; it is owi-ng to the 
*' riches of his free grace," my brethren, that we have beer> 
prevented from going down to hell long ago; it is becaufe the 
companions of the Lord fail not, they are new every morn- 
ing, and frefli every evening. 

Sometimes the inftruments are very unlikely : a poor de-* 
fplfed minifter, or member of Jesus Christ, may, by the 
power of God, be made an inftrument in the hands of God, 
of bringing you to true evangelical repentance; and this may 
be done to fliew, that the power is not in men, but that it 
15 entirely owing to the good pleafure of God ^ and i( there 

C 9 ] 

has been any good done among many of you, by preaching 
the word, as 1 truft there has, though it was preached in a 
field, if God has met and owned us, and bleffed his word, 
though preached by an enthufiaftic babbler, a boy, a mad- 
jDan ; I do rijoice, yea, and will rejoice, let foes fdy what 
they will. I Ihall now 

Thirdly^ Shew the rcafons why repentance is neceiTary to 

And this, my brethren, Is plainly revealed to us in the word 
of God, " The foul that does not repent and turn unto the 
Lord, fhall die in its fins, and their blood (liall be required 
at their own heads." It is neceflary, as we have fmncd, we 
fhould repent ; for a holy God could nor, nor ever can, or 
will, admit any thing that is unholy into his prefence : this 
is the beginning of grace in the foul ; there mull be a change 
in heart and life, before there can be a dwelling with a holy 
God. You cannot love fin- and God too, you cannot love 
God and mammon ; no unclean perfon can ftand in the pre- 
fence of God, it is contrary to the holir.efs of his nature ; 
there is a contrariety between the holy nature of God, and 
the unholy nature of carnal and unregenerate men. 

What communication can there be between a finlefs God, 
and creatures full of fin, between a pure God and impure 
creatures? If you were to be admitted into heaven with your 
prefent tempers, in your impenitent condition, heaven itfelf 
would be a hell to you ; the fongs of angels would be as ea- 
thufiafm, and would be intolerable to you j therefore you muft 
have thefe tempers changed, you muft be holy, as God is : 
he muft be your God here, and you muft be his people, or 
you will never dwell together to all eternity. If you hate the 
ways of God, and cannot fpend an hour in his fervice, hov/ 
will you think to be eafy, to all eternity, in finging praifes to 
him that fits upon the throne, and to the Lamb for ever. 

And this is to be the em.ploymenr, my brethren, of all 
thofe who are admitted into this glorious place, where neither 
fin nor finner is admitted, where no fcoffer ever can come, 
without repentance from his evil ways, a turning unto GoBj 
and a cleaving unto him : this muft be done, before any can 
be admitted into the glorious manfions of God, which are 
1 prepared 

[ 10 ] 

prepared for all that love the Lord Jesus Christ In fincerl- 
ty and truth : repent ye then of all your fins. O my dear 
brethren, it makes my blood run cold, in thinking that any of 
YOU fhould not be admitted into the glorious maniions above. 
O that it was in my power, I would place all of you, 
yea, you my fcoffing brethren, and the greateft enemy I have 
on earth, at the right-hand of Jesus ; but this I cannot do : 
however, I advifeand exhort you, with all love and tendernefs, 
to make Jesus your refuge ; fly to him for relief ; Jesus died 
to fave fuch as you ; he is full of compaffion ; and if you go to 
bim, as poor, loft, undone fmners, Jesus will give you his 
fpirit ; you fhall live and reign, and reign and live, you (hall 
love and live, and live and love with this Jesus to all eternity. 

I am, Fourthly^ to exhort all of you, high and low, rich 
and poor, one with another, to repent of all your fins, and 
turn unto the Lord. 

And I {hall fpeak to each of you ; for you have either re- 
pented, or you have not, you are believers in Christ Jesus, 
or unbelievers. 

And firft, you who never have truly repented of your fins^- 
and never have truly forfaken your lufts, be not offended if I 
fpeak plain to you ; for it is love, love to your fouls, that con- 
llrains me to fpeak : I fhall lay before you your danger, and 
the mifery to which you are expofed, while you remain im- 
penitent in fin. And O that this may be a means of making 
you fly to Christ for pardon and forgivenefs. 

While thy fins are not repented of, thou art in danger of 
death, and if yon fhould die, you would perifh for ever. 
1'here is no hope of any who live and die in their fins, but that 
they will dv/ell with devils and damned fpirits to all eternit}^ 
And how do we know we fhall live much longer : we are not 
fure cf feeing onr own habitations this night in fafety. What 
mean ye then being at eafe and pleafure while your fins are 
not pardoned. As fure as ever the word of God is true, if 
you die in that condition, you are fliut out of all hope and 
mercy for ever, and fhall pafs into eafelefs and endlefs mifery. 

What is all ihy pleafures and diverfions worth ? They lafi 
but for a moment, they are of no worth, and but of fhort 
continuance. And fure it muft be grofs folly, eagerly to purfue 

* thofe 

[ I' ] 

thofe finful lufls and pleafures, which war ao^ainft the fouJ 
which tend to harden the heart, and keep us from clofin<^ 
with the Lord Jesus ; indeed, thefe are deftruc^ive of our 
peace here, and without repentance, will be of our p;;ace 

O the folly and madnefs of this fenfual world ; fure if there 
were nothing in fin but prefent flavery, it would keep an in- 
genuous fpirit from it. But to do the devils drudf>-ery ! and if 
we do that, v^e jfhall have his wages, which is eternal death 
and condemnation ; O confider this, my guilty brethren, you 
that think it no crime to fwear, whore, drink, or feoff and 
jeer at the people of God ; confider how your voices will 
then be changed, and you that counted their lives madnefs, 
and their end without honour, fhall howl and lament at your 
own madnefs and folly, that fhould bring you to fo much 
woe and diftrefs. Then you will lament and bemoan your 
ov/n dreadful condition ; but it will be of no fignificiition : 
for he that is now your merciful Saviour, will then become 
your inexorable Judge. Now he is eafy to be entreated ; but 
then, all your tears and prayers will be in vain : for God 
hath allotted to every man a day of grace, a time of repent- 
ance, which if he doth not improve, but negleds and defpifes 
the means which are offered to him, he cannot be faved. 

Confider, therefore, while you are going on in a courfe of 
fin and unrighteoufnefs, I befeech you, my brethren, to thfnJc 
of the confequence that will attend your thus mifpendinrr 
your precious time ; your fouls are worth being concetned 
about : for if you can enjoy all the pleafures and divernons 
of life, at death you muft leave them ; that will put an end 
to all your worldly concerns. And will it not be very de- 
plorable, to have your good things here, aUyour earthly, fen- 
fual, devilifh pleafures, which you have been fo much taken 
up with, all over : and the thought for how trifling a concern 
thou haft loft eternal welfare, will gnaw thy very foul. 

Thy wealth and grandeur will ftand in no ftead ; thou 
canft carry nothing of it into the other world : then the con- 
fideration of thy uncharitablenefs to the poor, and the ways 
thou didft take to obtain thy wealth, wiU be a very hell unco 


r 12 1 

Now you enjoy the means of grace, as the preaching of 
his word, prayer, and facraments ; and God has fent his mi- 
nifters out into the fields and highways, to invite, to woo you 
to come in j but they are tireiome to thee, thou h;idlt rather 
be at thy pleafures : ere long, my brethren, they will be over, 
and you will be no more trcubk-d with them ; but then thou 
wouldft give ten thoufand worlds for one moment of that 
merciful time of grace which thou had abufed ; then you 
will cry for a drop of that precious blood which now you 
trample under your feet ; then you will \\'\(\\ for one more 
oft'er of mercy, for Christ and his free grace to be oiTered to 
you again ; but your crying will be in vain : for as you 
would not repent here, God will not give you an opportunity 
to repent hereafter: if you would not in Christ's time, you 
fhall not in your own. In what a dreadful condition will you 
then be ? What horror and adonilhment will poiTtIs your 
fouls ? Then all thy lies and oaths, thy fcofts and jeers at 
the people of God, all thy filthy and unclean thoughts and 
actions, thy mifpent time in balls, plays, and afTembhes, thy 
fpending whole evenings at cards, dice, and mafquerades, thy 
frequenting of taverns and alehoufes, thy worUilinefii, cove- 
toufnefs, and thy uncharitablenefs, will be brought at once 
to thy remembrance, and at once charged upon thy guilty 
foul. And how can you bear the thoughts of thefe things '( 
Indeed I am full of compaffion towards you, to think that 
this (hould be the portion of any who now hear me. Thefc 
are truths, though awful ones ; my brethren, thefe are the 
truths of the gofpel ; and if there was not a necefiity for 
thus fpeaking, I would willingly forbear : for it is no pleafmg 
fubje6t to me. any more than it is to you j but it is my duty 
to fhew you the dreadful confequences of continuing in fin. 
I am only now ading the part of a ficilful furgeon, that 
fearches a wound before he heals it : I would fliew you your 
danger firft, that deliverance may be the more readily accepicd 
by you. 

Confider, that however you may be for putting the evil 
day away from you, and are now firiving to hide your fins, at 
the day of judgment there fhall be a full difcovery of all -, hid- 
den things on that day fiiall be brought to light ; and after all 
thy fms have been revealed to the whole world, then ycu mud 


r 13 ] 

depart Into cvcrhHing fkre in hell, which will not be qiienchec! 
night and day ; it will be without intermiiiion, without end. 
O then, what ftupidity and renfclefsnefs'hath pofleftcd your 
hearts, that you are not frighted from your fins. The fear 
of N-jbuchadnezxar<i fiery furnace, made men do any thins; to 
avoui it; and llial) not an cverlafting fire make men, make 
you, do airy thincr to avoid it ? 

O that this would awaken and caufe you to humble your- 
felves for your fins, and to beg pardon for them, that you 
might find mercy in the Lord. 

Y)o not go away, let hot the devil hurry you away before 
th : fermon is over ; but flay, and you fhall have a Jesus 
oRVrt-d to you, who has made fiJi fatisfa6fion for all your fins. 

Let me bcfeech you to cait away your tranfgreiTions, to 
fhive againft fin, to watch againil it, and to beg power and 
ftren^th from Christ, to keep down the power of thofe lufts 
that hurry you on in your finful ways. 

But if you will not do any of thefe things, if you are re- 
folved to fin on, you muft expert eternal death to be the con- 
lequence ; you muft expecSl to be feized with horror and 
treir.bling, with horror and amazement, to hear the dreadful 
fentence of condemnation pronounced againft you : and then 
you Vv'ill run' and call upon the mountains to fall on you, to 
hide you from the Lord, and from the fierce anger of his 

Had you now a heart to turn from your fins unto the living 
God, by true and unfeigned repentance, and to pray unto 
him for mercy, in and through the merits of Jesus Christ, 
there were hope ; but at the day of judgment, thy prayers 
and tears will be of no fignification ; they will be of no fer- 
vice to thee, the Judge will not be entreated by thee : as you 
would not hearken to him when he called unto thee, but de- 
fpifcd both him and his minifters, and v/ould not leave your 
iniquities ; therefore, on that day he will not be entreated, 
notwithflanding all thy cries and tears ; for God him.fclf hath 
faid, " Bccaufe I have called, and you refufed ; 1 have 
{h etched out my hand, and no man regarded, but ye have fet 
at nought all mv counfel, and would have none of my re- 
proof; I will alfo laugh at your calam.ity, and mock when 
your fear cometh as ^efolation, and your deftru£lion cometh 


[ U ] 

as a whirlwind ; when diftrefs and anguifii cometh upon you, 
then (hall they call upon me, but I will not ^nfwer, they 
fhall leek me early, but they (hall not find me.'* 

Now you may call this enthufiafm and madnefs ; but at 
that ereat day, if you repent not of your fins here, you will 
find, by woeful experience, that your own ways were mad- 
nefs indeed ; but God forbid it fliould be left undone till 
then : feelc after the Lord v/hile he is to be found 3 call upon 
him while he is near, and you fhall find mercy: repent this 
hour, and Christ will joyfully receive you. 

What fay you ? Muft 1 go to my Mafter, and tell him you 
will not come unto him, and will have none of his counfels ? 
No ; do not fend me on fo unhappy an errand : I cannot, 1 
will not tell him any fuch thing. Shall not I rather tell him, 
vou are willing to repent and to be converted, to become new 
men, and take up a new courfe of life : this is the only wife 
refolution you can make. Let me tell my Mafter, that you 
will come unto, and will wait upon him : for if you do not, it 
will be your ruin in time, and to eternity. 

You will at death wi(h you had lived the life of the righte- 
ous, that you might have died his death. Be advifed then \ 
confider what is before you, Christ and the world, holinefs 
and fin, life and death : choofe now for yourfelves ; let your 
choice be made immediately, and let that choice be your dying 

If you would not chufe to die in your fins, to die drunkard?, 
to die adulterers, to die fwearers and fcofi-crs, &c. live not 
out this night in the dreadful condition you arc in. Some of 
you, it may be, may fay. You have not power, you have no 
ftrength : but have not you been wanting to yourfelves in 
fuch things that were within your power ? Have you not as 
much power to go to hear a fcrmon, as to go into a playhoufe, 
or to a ball, or mafquerad^ ? You have as much power to 
read the Bible, as to read plays, novel?, and romances ; and 
you can afibciate as well with the godly, as with the wicked 
and prophane : this is but an idle cxcufe, my brethren, to go 
on in your fins ; and if you will be found in the means of 
grace, Christ hath promifed he will give you ftrength. While 
fcter was preaching, the flyly Ghoft fell on all that heard the 
word : how then fl^ould j^ou be found in the way of your duty ? 
3 Jesus 

[ 15 ] 

Jesus Christ will then give thee ftrength ; he will put his 
Spirit within thee ; thou flialt find he will be thy wifdom, 
thy righteoufnefs, thy fan6lification, and thy reden.ption. Do 
but try what a gracious, a kind, and loving Mafter he is ; he 
will be a help to thee in all thy burdens : and if the burden 
of fin is on thy foul, go to him as weary and heavy laden, and 
thou (halt find reft. 

Do not fay, that your fins are too many and too great to 
expe6l to find mercy : No ; be they ever fo many, or ever fo 
great, the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ will cleanfe you 
from all fins. God's grace, my brethren, is free, rich, and 
fovereign. Manaffah was a great finner, and yet he was par- 
doned ; Zaccheus was gone far from God, and went out to 
fee Christ, with no other view but to fatisfy his curiofityi 
and yet Jesus met him, and brought falvation to his houfe. 
Manaffah was an idolater and murderer, yet he received 
Hiercy ; the other was an opprefTor and extortioner, who had 
gotten riches by fraud and deceit, and by grinding the faces 
of the poor : fo did Matthew too, and yet they found mercy. 

Have you been blafphemers and perfecutors of the faints 
and fcrvants of God ? So was St. Paul^ yet he received 
mercy : Have you been common harlots, filthy and unclean 
pcrfons ? fo was Mary Magdalene^ and yet {he received mercy : 
Haft thou been a thief? the thief upon the crofs found mercy. 
I defpair of none of you, however vile and profligate you have 
been ; I fay, I defpair of none of you, efpecially when GoD 
has had mercy on fuch a wretch as I ani. 

Remember the poor Publican, how he found favour with 
GoD, when the proud, felf-conceited Pharifee, who, pufffd up 
with his own righteoufnefs, was rejected. And if you will go 
to Jesus, as the poor Publican did, under a fcnfe of your 
own unworthinefs, you fiiall find favour as he did : there is 
virtue enough in the blood of Jesus, to pardon greater finners 
than he has yet pardoned. Then be not difcouraged, but 
come unto Jesus, and you will find him ready to help in all 
thy diftrelTes, 'to lead thee into all truth, to bring thee from 
darknefs to light, and from the power of Satan unto God. 

Do not let the devil deceive you, by telling you, that then 
all your delights and pleafures will be over : No ; this is fo f.:r 
fforn depriving you of all pleafure, that it is an inlet unto 


f I<5 ] 

ttfifpeakaVie dellglits, peculiar to all who are truly regenerated. 
7 be new birth is the very beginning of a life of peace and 
connfort ; and the greiiteil plcafantnefs is to be found in the 
ways of holincfs. 

Solomon, who had experience of all other pleafures, yet 
faith of the ways of godlinefs, '* That all her ways are ways 
of plcafantnefs, and all her paths are paths of peace.'* Thea 
fure you will not let the devil deceive you ; it is all he wants, 
it is that he aims at, to make religion appear to be melan- 
choly, miferable, and enthufiaitic : but let him fay what he 
vvii), give not ear to him, regard him not, for he always 
was and will be a liar. 

What words, what entreaties {hall I ufe. to make you come 
unto the Lord Jesus Christ ? The little love I have ex- 
perienced fmce 1 have been brought from fm to God, is fo 
great, that 1 would not be in a natural ftate for ten thouf^nd 
worlds ; and what i have felt is but little to what I hope to 
feel ; but that little love which I have experienced, is a fuffi- 
cient buoy againft all the ftorms and tempcfts of this boiller- 
Gus world : and let men and devils do their worfl, I rejoice 
in the Lord Jesus, yea, and I will rejoice. 

And O if you repent and come to Jesus, I would rejoice 
on your accounts too ; and we fhould rejoice together to all 
eternity, when once pafled on the other fide of the grave. O 
come to Jesus. The arms of Jesus Christ vi-ill embrace 
you ; he will wafh away all your fins in his blood, and will 
love you freely. 

Come, I befeech you to come unto Jesus Christ. O 
that my words would pierce to the very foul ! O that Jesus 
Christ was formed in you ! O that you would turn to the 
Lord Jesus Christ, that he might have mercy upon you ! 

I would fpeak till midnight, yea, I would fpeak till I could 
fpeak no more, fo it might be a means to bring you to Jesus : 
let the Lord Jesus but enter your fouls, and you fhall find 
peace which the world can neither give nor take away. There 
15 mercy for the greatcft finner amongft you ; go unto the 
Lord as finners, helplefs and undone without it, and then 
you (liall find comfort in your fouls, and be admitted at lad 
amongft thofc who iing praifbs unto the Lord to all eternity, 


['7 3 

Now, my biethrenj let me fpeak a word of exhortation to 
thofeof you, who are already brought to the Lord Jesus, who 
are born again, who do belong to GoD, to whom it has been 
given to repent of your fuis, and are cleanfcd from their guilt ; 
and that is, be thankful to God for his mercies towards you* 
O admire the grace of God, and blefs his name for ever ! Are 
you made alive in Christ Jesus ? Is the life of God begun 
in your fouls, and have you the evidence thereof? Be thank- 
ful for this unfpeakable mercy to you : never foraet to fpeak 
of his mercy. And as your life was formerly devoted to fin, 
and to the pleafures of the world, let it now be fpent wholly 
in the ways of God ; and O ernbrace every opportunity of 
doing and of receiving good. Whatfocver opportunity you 
have, do it vigoroufiy, do it fpeedily, do not defer it. If thou 
feeft one hurrying on to deftruvSiion, ufe the utmoft of thy 
endeavour to ftop him in his courfe ; fhew him the need he 
has of repentance, and that without it he is loft for ever; do 
not regard his defpifing of you ; ftill go on to (hew him his 
danger : and if ihy friends mock and defpife, do not let that 
difcourage you ; hold on, hold out to the end, fo you fhall 
have a crown which is immutable, and that fadeth not away. 

Let the love of Jesus to you, keep you alfo humble j do 
iiot be high minded, ketp clofe unto the Lord, obferve the 
rules which the Lord Jesus Christ has given in his word, 
and let not the inflructions be loft which yoii are capable of 
giving. O confider what reafon you have to be thankful to the 
Lord Jesus Christ for giving you that repentance you 
yourfelvcs had need of: a repentance which worketh by love. 
Now you find more pleafure in walking with God one hour, 
than in all your former carnal delights, and all the pleafures 
of fin. O ! the joy you feel in your own fouls, which all the 
men of this world, and all the devils in hell, though they 
were to combine together, could not deftroy. Then fear not 
their wrath or malice, for through many tribulations we muft 
enter into glory. 

A few days, or weeks, or years mere, and then you will be 
beyond their reach, you will be in the he2iVQn\y Jerufaism ; 
there is all harmony and lovcj there is ail joy and dtjjght i 
there the weary foul is at reft. 

Vol. VL B ^ Now 


[ i8 ] 

Now we have many enemies, bvtt at death they are all loft ; 
they cannot follow us beyond the grave : and this is a great 
tncourH2;cment to us not to regard the feoffs and jccms of the 
men of this world. 

O let the love of Jnsus be in your thoughts continually. 
It was his dying that brought you life 5 it was his crucifixion 
that paid the fatisfacSlion for your fuis ; his death, burial, and 
refurredion that complcated the work ; and he is now in hea- 
ven, interceding for you at the right-hand of his Father. 
And can you do too much for the Lord Jesus Christ, who 
has done fo much for you ? His love to you is unfathomable, 
O the height^ the depth, the length and breadth of this love, 
that brought the King of glory from his throne, to die for fuch 
rebels as we are, v/hen we had ad^ed fo unkindly againll: him., 
and defcrved nothing but eternal damnation. He came down 
and took our nature upon him j he was made of fleih and 
dwelt among us ; he was put to death on our account ; he 
paid our ranfom : furely this fhould make us love the Lord 
Jesus Christ ; (hould make us rejoice in hirn, and not do 
as too many do, and as we ourfelves have too often, cru- 
cify this Jesus afreili. Let us do all we can, my dear bre- 
thren, to honour him. 

Come, all of you^ come, and behold him (li etched out for 
you ; fee bis hands and feet nailed to the crofs. O come, 
come^ my brethren^ and nail your fins thereto ; come, come 
and fee his fide pierced -, there is a fountain open for fin, and 
for unclean nefs : O wafn, wafh and be clean : come and fee 
his head crowned with thorns, and all for you. Can you 
think of a panting, bleeding, dying Jews, and not be filled 
with pity tovv^ards him ? He underwent all this for you. 
Come unto him by faith ; lay hold on him : there is mercy 
for every foul of you that will come unto him. Then do not 
delay ; fly unto the arms of this Jesus, and you fiiall be 
Fnade clean in his blood. 

O what fnall I fay unto you to make you come to Jesus : 
1 have fliewcd you the dreadful confequence of not repenting 
of your fins : and if after all I have faid, you are refolved ta 
perfift, your blood will be required at your own heads > but I 
hope better things of you, and things that accompany falva- 
tion. Let me beg of you to pray in good earneft for the 


r t9 ] 

grace of repentance. I may nev-er fee your faces again ; but 
at the day of judgment I will meet you : there you will 
either blefs God that ever you were moved to repentance ; or 
elfe this fermon, though in a lield, will be as a fwift witnefs 
againfl: you. Repent, repent therefoiCj my dear brethren, 
as John the Bapiljl^ and as our blefled Kedeemer himfelf 
earneftly exhorted, and turn from your evil ways, and the 
Lord will have mercy on you. 

Shew them, O Father, wherein they have offended thee ; 
make them to fee their own vilenefs, and that they are loft 
and undone without true repentance 5 and O give them that 
repentance, we befeech of thee, that they may turn from 
fm unto thee the living and true God. Thefe things, and 
whatever elfe thou feeft needful for us, we entreat that thou 
wouldfl beftow upon us, on account of what the dear Jesus 
Christ has done and fuffered ; to whom, with Thyfelf, and 
holy Spirit, three perfons, and one God, be afcribed, as is 
moft due, all power, glory, might, majefty, and dominion,, 
noWj henceforth, and for evermore. Amm, 

fi 2 SERMON 

[ 20 ] 


The Gofpel Supper. 

Luke xiv. 22, 23, 24. 

And the few ant faid^ Lord, it is done as thou haft com- 
manded, and yet there is room, A7id the lord/aid unto 
the ftrvant, Co out into the high -ways, and hedges, 
and compel them to come in, that my houfe may be filled. 
For I fay unto you, that fione of thofe men which ivere 
bidden, Jliall tafte of my fufpcr, 

THOUGH here is a large and folemn afiembly, yet I 
fuppofe you are all convinced, that you are not to live 
in this world always. May I not take it for granted, that 
even the moft prophane amongft you, do in your hearts be- 
lieve, what the facred oracles have moft clearly revealed, 
" That as it is appointed for all men once to die, fo after 
death comes the judgment ?" Yes, I know you believe, that 
nothing is more certain, than that we are to " appear before 
the judgment-feat of Chris/f, to be rewarded according to 
the deeds done in the body, whether they have been good, or 
whether they have been evil." And, however hard the fay- 
ing may feem to you at the firft hearing, yet I cannot help 
informing you, that I am thoroughly perfuaded, as many 
will be driven from that judgment-feat, with a "Depart ye 
curfed into everlafting fire," for purfuing things in themfelves 
lawful, out of a wrong principle, and in too intenfe a degree ; 
as for drunkennefs, adultery, fornication, or any other grofs 
enormity whatfoever. Bad as the world is, bleflld be God, 
there are great numbers yet left amongft us^ who either 
through the reftraints of a religious education, or fclf-love^ 


[ 2. ] 

and outward reputation, abflain from grofs fin themfelves, 
and loc?k with deteftation and abhorrence upon others, who 
indulge themfelves in it. But then, through an over-eaoer 
purfuit after the things of fenfe and time, their fouls are in- 
ienfibly lulled into a fpiritual flumber, and by degrees become 
as dead to Gop, and as deaf to all the gracious invitations 
of the gofpel, as the fpoft abandoned prodigals. It is remark- 
able, therefore, that our Saviour, knowing how defperately 
wicked and treacherous the heart of man was, in this, as well 
as other refpe6ts, after he had cautioned his difciples, and us 
in them, to " take heed that their hearts were not at any time 
overcharged with furfeiting and drur.kcnnefs," immediately 
adds, '^ and the cares (the immoderate anxious cares) of this 
life." For they are of a diftracSling, intoxicating nature, and 
foon overcharge and weigh down the hearts of the children of 
men. To prevent or remedy this evil, our Lord, during the 
time of his tabernacling here below, fpake many parables, but 
not one more pertinent, not one, in which the freenefs of the 
gofpel-call, and the frivolous pretences men frame to excufe 
t-heinfelves from embracing it, and the dreadful doom they in- 
cur by fo doing, are more difplayed, or fet off in livelier co- 
lours, than that to which the words of the text refer. '• And 
the lord faid unto the fervant. Go out into the highways and 
hedges, and compel them to come in, that my houfe may be 
filled : For I fay unto you, that none of thofe that v;ere bid- 
den (hall tafte of my fupper." 

In order to have a clear view of the occafion, fcope, and 
f.ontents of the parable, to v/hich thefe words belong, it is 
necelTary for us to look back to the very beginning of this 
chapter. " And it came to pafs, as he went into the houfe 
of one of the chief pharifees to eat bread, on the fabbatj? day, 
that they watched him." The perfon here fpoken of, as go- 
ing into this Pharifee*s houfe, is our blefled Saviour. For as 
he came eating and drinking, agreeable to his character, he 
was free, courteous and affable to all ; and therefore though 
it was on the fabbath-day, he accepted an invitation, and went 
into the houfe of one of the chief Pharifees to eat bread, not- 
withftanding he knew the Pharifees were his profeffed enemies, 
and that they watched him, hoping to find fome occafion to 
upbraid him, either for his difcourfe or behaviour. If the 

13 2 Pharifee 

f 22 ] 

Pharifee into whofc houfe our Lord went, was one of this 
flamp, his invitation bcfpcaks him to be a very ill man, and 
may ferve to teach us, that much rancour and heart-enmity 
againft Jesus Christ, may be concealed and cloaked under 
a great and blazing profeiTion of religion. Flowever, our Sa- 
viour was more than a match for all his enemies, and by ac- 
cepting this invitation, hath warranted his miniftcrs and dif- 
ciples, to comply with the lilce invitation?, and converfe 
freely about the things of God, though thofe who invite 
them, may not have real religion at heart. For how knowcft 
thou, O man, but thou mayeft drop fomething, that may 
benefit their fouls, and make them religious indeed ? And 
fuppofing they (hould watch thee, watch thou unto prayer, 
whiift thou art in their company, and that fame Jesus, who 
went into this Fharifee's houfe, and was fo faithful and edify- 
ing in his conveifation when there, will enable thee to go and 
do likewife. 

That our Lord's converfation was not trifling, biit fuch 
as tended to the ufe of edifying, and that he behaved among 
the gueds as a faithful phyfician, rather than as a carelefs, in- 
different companion, is evident from the yth verfe of this 
chapter, where we are told, that '^ he marked how they chofe 
the chief rooms i" or, to fpeak in our common way, were 
dcfirous of fitting at the upper end of the table. And whether 
we think of it or not, the Lord Jesus takes notice of our 
behaviour, even when we are going to fit down only at our 
common meals. Would to God, all that make a profeflioii 
of real chriftianity, confidered this well ! Religion then would 
not be fo much confined to church, or meeting, but be 
brought home to our private houfes, and many needlefs un- 
chriftian compliments be prevented. For (with grief I fpeak 
jt) is it not too true, that abundance of profefl'ors love, and 
are too fond of the uppermofl: places in houfes, as well as fy- 
Jiagogues ? This was what our Lord blamed in the gueib 
v/here he now was. He marked, he took notice, he looked 
before he fpake (as we fliould always do, if we would fpeak 
to the purpofc) how they chofe out the chief rooms. There- 
fore, though thty v/cre rich in this world's goods, and were 
i-'.o^ii: of his guefts, yet unwilling to fuffer the leaft fin upon 
Uitmj or lofe any opportunity of giving inilrudion, he gave 


[ 23 ] 

them a le^ure upon humility, faying unto them, or dirc£llng 
his difcourre to all in general, though probably he fpake to 
one in pariicular, who fat near him, and whom, it may be, he 
took notice of, as more than ordinarily folicitous in choofing 
a chief room, or couch, on which they lay at meals, after the 
cuftom of the Romrifjs ; " When thou art bidden of any man 
to a wedding (which fcems to intimate that this was a wed- 
ding- feaft) fit not down in the highefl room, left a more ho- 
nourable man than thou be bidden of him ; and he that bade 
thee and him come and fay to thee, Give this man place ; and 
thou begin with ftiame to take the loweft room. But whea 
thou art bidden, go and fit down in the loweft room ; that 
when he that bade thee cometh, he may fay unto thee. 
Friend, go up higher : then fhalt thou have worftiip (or refpedl) 
in the prefence of them who fit at meat with thee." O glo- 
rious example of faith fulnefs and love to fouls ! How ought 
minifters efpcially, to copy after their blefled Mafler, and, 
with fimplicity and godly fmcerity, mildly and opportunely 
rebuke the faults of the company they are in, though fuperior 
to them in outward circumftances ? What rightly informed 
perfon, after reading this pafTage, can think they teach right 
and agreeable to the word of God in this refpecSl, who fay, 
we muft not, at leaft need not, reprove natural men ? Surely 
fuch doctrine cometh not from above ! For are we not com- 
manded, in any wife, to reprove our neighbour (whether he 
be a child of God or no) and not to fufier fin upon him ? 
Is it not more than probable, that all thefe guefts were na- 
tural men ? And yet our Lord reproved them. Help us 
then, O Saviour, in this and every other inftance of thy mo- 
ral condudl, to walk as thou haft fet us an example ! 

Neither did our Lord ftop here ; but obferving that none 
but the rich, the mighty, and the noble, were called to the 
feaft, he took occalion alfo from thence, to give even his 
hoft (for the beft return we make our friends for their kind- 
nefs, is to be faithful to their fouls) one of the chief Phari- 
fees, a wholefome piece of advice. *' Then faid he alfo to 
him that bade him, when thou makcft a dinner or a fupper, 
call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinfmen 
nor thy rich neighbours, left they alfo bid thee again, and a 
jecompence be made thee. But v»'hen thou makeft a feaft, 

B 4 ^aU 

r 24 ] 

call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind, and th(?u 
fhalt be bleflcd ; for they cannot rccompcnce thee : For thou 
fhalt be rccompenced at the refurredion of the juft !" Thus 
did our Lop.d entertain the company. Words fpoken in fuch 
due feafon, how good are they ! Would Christ's followers 
thus exert themfelves, and, when in company, begin fome 
uftful difcourfe for their great mafter, they know not what 
good they might do, and how many might be influenced, by 
their good example, to fecund them in it. 

An inftanceof this vvc have in the 14th verfe: " And when 
one of them that fat at meat with him heard thefe things, he 
faid unto him, Blefled is he that (hdU eat bread in the king- 
dom of God." Happy they who fliall be rccompenced at that 
rcfurreCiion of the juft, which thou haft been fpeaking of. 
A very pertinent faying this ! every way fuitable to perfons 
fittinf^ down to eat bread on earth, which v/e (hould never do^ 
without talking of, and longing for that time, when we Oiall 
fit down and eat bread in the kingdom of heaven. This 
opened to our Lord a frefh topic of converfation, and occa- 
fioned the parable, which is to be the more immediate fub- 
je£l of your prefent meditation. As though he had faid to 
the perfon that fpoke laft. Thou fayeft right : blciTed are they 
indeed, who fliall fit down to eat bread in the kingdom of 
God : But alas ! moft men, cfpecially you Pharifces, a6l as 
if you did not believe this ; ai^d therefore he faid unto him, 
'* A certain man made a great fuppcr, and bade many ;" by 
the certain man making a great fuppcr, we are to underftand 
God the Father, who has made provifion for perifhing fouls, 
bv the obedience and death of his beloved Son Christ Jesus. 
This provifion is here reprefented under the character of a 
fupper, becaufe the Cc:ena or fupper, among the ancients, was 
their grand meal : Men could never have made fuch provifion 
for themfelves, or angels for them. No, our falvation is all 
from God, from the beginning to the end. He made it, and 
not we ourfelves ; and it is wholly owing to the divine wif- 
dom, and not our own, that we are become God's people, 
and the flicep of his pafture. This provifion for perifhing 
fouls, maybejuftly called great, becaufe there is rich and 
gmple provifion made in the gofpel for a great many fouls. 
For however Christ's flcek may be but a little flock, when 


t 25 ] 

afunder, yet when they come all together, they will be a mul- 
titude which no man can number. And it is efpccially called 
great^ becaufe it was purchafed at To great a price, the price 
of Christ's moft precious blood. And therefore, when the 
apoftle would exhort the chriftians to glorify God in their fouls 
and bodies, he makes ufc of this glorious motive, " That 
they were bought with a price." He does not fay what price, 
biit barely 2. price y emphatically fo called ; as though all the 
prices in the world were nothing (as indeed they are not) when 
compared to this price of Christ's mofl precious blood. 

For thefc reafons, Jesus faid in the parable, " A certain 
man made a great fupper, and bade many, and fent his fervant 
at fupper-timie, to fay to them that were bidden, Come, for all 
tilings are now ready.'* He bade many ; the eternal God 
took the Jews for his peculiar people, under the Mofa'ic dif- 
penfation ; and by types, (hadows, and prophefies of the Old 
Tertament, invited them to partake of the glorious privile2;es 
of the gofpel. " But at fupper-time," in the fulnefs of time, 
which God the Father had decreed from eternity, in the 
evening of the world (for which reafon the gofpel times are 
called the laffc times) '' he fent his fervant," Christ his Son, 
here called his fervant, becaufe a(51:ing as Mediator he was 
inferior to the Father ; therefore fays the prophet Ija'iah^ 
" Behold my fervant whom 1 havechofen :" " to fay to them 
that were bidden," to the profefling "Jews^ called by St. Jchn^ 
"his own," that is, his peculiar profcffing people — with 
this mcffage, " Come ;" repent and believe the gofpel. 
Nothing is required on man's part, but to come, or accept 
of the gofpel offer. It is not according to the old covenant, 
'' Do and live ;" but only " come, believe, and thou flialt 
be faved." All things are ready. Nothing is wanting on 
God's part. " All things are now ready." There feems to 
be a particular cmphafis to be put upon NOVv^, implying, this 
was an efpecial feafon of grace, and God was now exerting 
his laft efforts, to fave loll: man. Well then, if the great 
God be at fo great an expcnce, to make fo great a fupper, 
for perid^ng creatures, and fends fo great a perfon as his own 
Son, in the form of a fervant, to invite them to come to it; 
one would imagine, that all who heard thefe glad tidings 
(hould readily fay. Lord, Id we come. But inlicad ot tnis, 


[ 26 ] 

we are told, *' They all, (the greateft part of the Jews) with 
one conlent began to make excui'e." Confcience told them 
they ought to come, and in all probability they had Tome 
faint defire to come J and they had nothing, as we hear of, 
to object cither againft the perfon who prepared the fupper, 
or the perfon that invited them, or the entertaiiiment itfelf ; 
neither do we hear that they treated either with contempt, 
as is the cuftom of too many in the days wherein we live. In 
all probability, they acknowledged all was very good, and 
that it was kind in that certain man, to fend them fuch an 
invitation. But being very bufy, and as they thought very 
lawfully engaged, they begun to make excufe. 

But the cxcufes they made, rendered their refufal inexcu- 
fabic. " The firft faid unto him, I have bought a piece of 
ground, and I muft needs go and fee it :" Thou fool, buy a 
piece of ground, and then go fee it ! A prudent man would 
have gone and feen the ground firft, and bought it afterwards. 
Why muft he needs go ? At leaft, why muft he needs go noiv ? 
The land was his own, could he not therefore have accepted the 
invitation to-day, and gone and feen his eftate, or plantation, 
on the morrov/ ? As he had bought it, he need not fear lofing 
his bargain, by anothers buying it from him. But notvvith- 
ftanding all this, there is a needs maft for his going, and 
therefore fays he, " I pray thee, have me excafed," and im- 
prove thy intereft with thy mafter in 'my behalf. This was 
a bad excufe. 

The fecond was rather worfe. For what hys the evange- 
lift, verfe 19 ? " And another faid, I have bought five yoke 
of oxen, and I go to prove them :" One, it fcems, had hten. 
buying an eftate ; another, cattle, to ftock an eftate already 
boughtj and boih equally foolifh in making their bargains. 
For this fecond had bought five yoke of oxen, which muft: 
needs coft them a confiderable fum, perhaps all he had in 
the world, and no*v he muft go and prove them. A wife 
dealer would have proved the oxen fiift, and bought them 
afterwards : But our Saviour fpcaks this, to ftiew us, that we 
will truft one another, nay I may add, the devil himfclf, 
more than we \v\A truft God. 

The excufe which the third makes, is worft of all. " I 
have married a wife, and therefore 1 cannot come." Had he 


[ 27 ] 

f^iJ, I will not come, he had fpoken the real fentlmcnt?? of 
his heart : for it is not (b much mens impotcncy, as their 
want of a will, and inclination, that keeps them from the 
gofpel-fcaft. But why cannot he come? He has "married 
a wife." Has he fo ? Why then, by all means he fhould 
come. For the fupper to which he was invited, as it (liould 
feem, was a wedding- fupper, and would have faved him the 
trouble of a nuptial entertainment. It was a great fupper, and 
confequently there was provifion enough for him, and his 
bride too. And it was made by a great man, who fent out 
his fervant to bid many, fo that he need not have doubted 
of meeting with a hearty welcome, though he fnould bring 
his wife with him. Or fuppofmg his wife was unwilling 
to come, yet as the hufband is the head of the wife, he ought 
to have laid his commands on her, to accompany him. For 
we cannot do better for our yoke-fellows, than to bring them 
to the gofpel-feaft. Or, fuppofing after all, flie would not 
be prevailed upon, he ought to have gone without her : for 
" thofe that have wives, muft be as though they had none ;" 
and we muft not let carnal afFedion get fuch an afcendancy 
over u.s as to be kept thereby from fpiritual entertainments. 
Jikm paid dear for hearkening to thevoice of his wife ; and 
fometimes, unlefs we forfake wives, as well as houfes and 
lands, we cannot be the Lord's difciples. 

This then was the reception the fervant met with, and 
fuch were the excufes, and anfwers, that were fent back. 
And what was the confequence ? " So that fervant came (no 
doubt with a forrowful heart) and (hewed his Lord thefe 
things." However little it be thought of, yet minifters muft 
fhew the Lord, what fuccefs their miniftry meets with. We 
muft fhew it to our Lord here. We muft fpread the cafa 
before him in prayer. We muft (hew it to our Lord here- 
after, before ihe general afTembly of the whole world. But 
how dreadful is it, when minifters are obliged to go upon 
their knees, crying, *' O 1 my leannefs, my leannefs !'* and 
£//^;-like, to intercede as it were againft thofe, to whom 
they would not only have imparted the gofpel, but even their 
own lives. It is a heart-breaking confideration. But thus 
it muft be ; " The fervant came and fhewed the Lord thefe 
things j" fo muft we. Well, and what fays the Lord? 

C 23 ] 

We are told, vepfe lift, that " the maftcr of the houfe was an- 
gry ?" Not with the fervant : for though Ifracl be not gather- 
ed, yet (hall Christ be glorious ; and faithful miniftcrs fliall 
be rewarded, whether people obey the gofpel or not. " We 
are a fweet favour unto God, whether the word be a favour of 
life unto life, or a favour of death unto death." The mafter 
of the houfe therefore was angry, not with the fervant, but 
with thefe-worldly-minded, pleafure-taking refufers of his 
gracious invitation ; who, in all probability, went to fee and 
flock their eftates, and attend upon their brides, not doubt- 
ino^, but their excufcs would be taken, becaufe they were law- 
fully employed. And, indeed, in one fenfe, their excufes 
were accepted. For I do not hear that they were ever invited 
any mort. God took them at their word, though they would 
not take him at his. They begged to be excufed, and they 
were excufed, as we (hall fee in the fequel of this parable. 
Let us not therefore harden our hearts, as in the day of pro- 
vocation ; *' Now is the accepted time, now is the day of fair 
vation." But muft the feaft want gucfts ? No, if they cannot, 
or will not come, others fhall, and v;ill. The mafter of the 
houfe therefore being angry, fent the fervant upon a fecond 
errand. " Go out quickly into the ftr-ets, and lanes of the 
city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the 
halt, and the blind." Every word befpeaks a fpirit of refent- 
ment and importunity. Go out quickly, make no delay, 
dread no attempt or danger, into the ftreets and lanes of the 
city, and bring in hither, not only call them, but bring them 
in (for the maftcr here, to encourage the fervant, alFures him 
of fuccefs) the poor, and the maimed, and the hair, and the 
blind. This was fulfilled, when Jesus Christ, after the 
gofpel was rcjcded by the Jeu)s^ went and invited the Gentiles^ 
and when the publicans^ and harlots took the kingdom of 
God by a hoiy violence, whilft the fcif- righteous fcribes 
and Pharifees rejecled the kingdom of God againft themr 
fclves. This was alfo a home reproof to the rich Pharifee, 
at vvhofe houfe the Lord Jesus vyas, as well as a cutting 
leffon to the other guefts. For our Saviour v»'ould hereby fhev/ 
them, that God took a quite different method from his hoft, 
and was not above receiving the poor, and hair, and blind, 
and maimed, to the gofpel fupper, though he had called none 


[ 29 ] 

fiich to fit down at his tabic. Whether the gucfts irefcntcd 
it or not, we are not told. But if they were not quite blind, 
both hoft and guefts might eafily fee that the parable was 
fpoken againfl them. But to proceed. 

The fervant again returns, but with a more pleafing an- 
fwer than before, *' Lord, it is done as thou haft commanded, 
and yet there is room." The words befpeak the fervant to be 
full of joy at the thoughts of the fuccefs he had met with. 
None can tell, but thofc who experience it, what comfort 
minillers have in feeing their Ubours blcft. " Now I live, 
(fays the apeftle) if you ftand faft in the Lord. Ye are our 
joy and crown of rejoicing; in the day of the Lord Jesus." 
" Lord, it is done as thou haft commanded. The poor, 
and maimed, and halt, and blind, have been called, and 
have obeyed the fummons, and I have brought them with me; 
yet. Lord, thy houfe, and thy fupper is fo p-reat, there is 
room for more. Hereby he infinuated that he wanted to be 
employed again, in calling more fouls ; and the more we do, 
the more may we do for God : " To him that hath, fliall be 
given ;" and piefent fuccefs is a great encouragement to fu- 
ture diligence. Such hints are pleafing to our Saviour. He 
delights to fee his miuifters ready for new work, and waiting 
for frefti orders. " The Lord, therefore, wc are told, ver. 23, 
faid unto his fervant, (the fame fervant,) Go out into the 
highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my 
houfe may be filled ; 24. For I fay unto you, that none of 
thofe who are bidden, ftiall tafte of my fupper." O cutting 
words to thofe that fat at meat, if they had hearts to make the 
application ! But glad tidings of great joy to the publicans, 
harlors, and Gentiles, who were reje6led by the proud Phari- 
fees, as aliens to the commonwealth of Jfrael^ and ftrangers 
to the covenant of promife I This was fulfilled, when our 
Lord fent the apoftles, not only into the ftreets and lanes of 
the city, and places bordering upon Jernfakm znA Judea -y 
but when he gave them a commifiion to go out into all the 
world, and preach the gofpel to every creature. Gentile as 
well 2s Jew ', and not only gave them a command, but 
blefied their labours with fuch fuccefs, that three thoufand 
were converted in one day. And I am not without hopes 
that it will be ftill further fulfilled, by the calling of fome of 


t 30 ] 

you home this day : For however this p-araWe was fpoken ori- 
ginally to the Jdws^ and upon a particular occafion, as at a 
feaft, yet it is applicable to us, and to our children, and to as 
many as are afar cfF; yea, to as many as the Lord our God 
(hall call. It gives a fandion, mcthinks, to preaching in the 
fields, and other places bcfides the fynagogues ; and points out 
the reception the gofpel meets with in 'thefe days, in fuch a 
lively manner, that one would think it had a particular refe- 
rence to theprefent age. For is it not too, too plain, that the 
gofpel-offers, and gofpel-grace, have been flighted, and made 
light of, by many profellbrs of this generation ? We have been 
in the churches, telling them, again and again, that God has 
made a great fupper (and has invited many, even them) and 
fent us by his providence and his fpirit, " to fay unto them that 
were bidden. Come, for all things are now ready. Believe 
on the Lord Jesus, and you fhall be faved." But the gene- 
rality of the laity have made light of it, they have given us 
the hearing, but are too bufy in their farms and their mer- 
chandizes, theic marrying and giving in marriage, to come 
and be blefTed in the Lord of life. We have told them, 
ac^ain and again, that we do not want them to hide themfelves 
from the world, but to teach them how they m.ay live in, and 
yzt not be of it* But all will not do. Many of the clergy 
alfo (like the letter-learned Scribes and Pharifees in our Savi- 
our's time) rejed the kingdom of God againft themfelves^ 
and deny us the ufe of the pulpits, for no other reafon but 
becaufe wc preach the do6lrine of juftification in the fight of 
God by faith alone, and invite fmncrs to come and tafle of 
the gofpel feaft freely, without money and without price. 

Whatever they may think, we are pcrfuaded, the great 
mafter of the houfe is angry with them, for being angry with 
us without a caufe. He therefore now, by his providence, 
bids us '' Go out quickly into the flreets and lanes of the city, 
and bring in the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and 
the blind," or call in the publicans and harlots, the common 
curfers and fwearers, and fabbath-breakers, and adulterers, 
who, perhaps, never entered a church door, or heard that 
Jesus Christ died for fuch finners as they are. We, through 
grace, have obeyed the command, we have gone out, though 


[ 31 ] 

cxpofeJ to much contempt for fo doing, and, blefTed be GoS, 
our labour has not been in vain in the Lord. f^or many 
have been made willing in the day of God's power; and, 
we would fpeak it with humility, we can go chearfully to 
our Saviour, and fay, " It is done. Lord, as thou hafl com- 
manded, and yet there is room." He is therefore plcafcd, 
in fpite of all oppofition from men or devils, to continue, 
and renew, and enlarge our commiflion ; he hath fcnt us 
literally into the highways and hedges; and, I truft, has 
given us a commiflion to compel fmners to come : For, could 
we fpeak with the tongues of men and angels, yet if the 
Lord did not attend the word with his power, and fweetly 
inclined men's wills to comply with the gofpel-cal], we fhould 
be as a founding braf??, or a tinkling cymbal. But this we 
believe our Saviour will ilo, for his houfe mult be filled : every 
foul for whom he has fhed his blood, fliall finally be faved, 
** and all that the Father hath given him, fhall come unto 
him, and whofoever cometh unto him he will in no wife cafl 
out." This comforted our Lord, when his gofpel was re- 
jevfled by the Jews, As though he had faid. Well, tho' you 
dcfpife the ofFers of my grace, yet 1 fhall not fhed my blood in 
vain J for all that the Father hath given me fliall come unto 

Supported by thi.^ confideration, I am not afliamed to come 
out this day into the highways and hedges, and to confefs 
that my bufinefs is to call the poor, and the maimed, and 
the halt, and the blind, felf-condemned, helplefs finners, to 
the marriage-feaft of the fupper of the Lamb. My cry is. 
Come, believe on the Lord Jesus ; throw yourfelves at the 
footftool of his mercy, and you fhall be faved ; for all things 
are now ready. God the Father is ready, God the Son is 
ready, God the Koly Ghoft is ready j the blefled angels 
above are ready, and the blefTed faints below are ready, to 
welcome' you to the gofpel- feafl. A perfect and everlafling 
righteoufnefs is now wrought out by Jesus Christ. God, 
now, upon honourable terms, can acquit the guilty. God 
can now be juft, and yet juflify the ungodly. «^ For he hath 
made Christ to be fin for us, who knew no fin, that we 
might be made the righteoufnefs of God in him." The 
fatted calf is now killed, and '' Christ, our pafibver, is 
I facrificed 

f 32 ] 

facrificed for us." Come, finncrs, and feed upon him irt 
your hearts by faith, with thankfgiving. For Jfsus Christ's 
fake, do not with one confent begin to make excufe. Do 
not let a piece of ground, five yoke of oxen, or even a wife, 
keep you from this great fupper. Thefe you may enjoy, as 
the gifts of God, and make ufc of them for the Mediatoi'^ 
glory, and yet be prefent at the gofpel-feaft. True and un- 
defiled religion docs not take away, but rather greatly en- 
hances the comforts of life ; and our Lord did not pray that 
we fliould be taken out of the world, but '■' that we fhould 
be delivered from the evil of it." O then that you would all, 
with one confent, fay, Lo ! we come. Aflure yourfelves there 
is provifion enough. For it is a great fupper. In our Father's 
houfe there is bread enough and to fpare. And though a 
great God makes the fupper, yet he is as good and conde- 
scending as he is great. Though he be the high and lofty one 
that inhabiteth eternity, yet he will dwell v/ith the humble 
and contrite heart, even with the man that trembleih at his 
word. Neither can you complain for want of room ; " for 
yet there is room. In our Father's houfe are many man- 
fions." If it was not fo, our Saviour would have told us. 
The grace of Christ is as rich, as free, and as powerful as 
ever. He is " the fame yefteiday, to-day, and for ever ;" 
He is full of grace and truth, and out of his fulnefs, all that 
come to him may receive grace for grace. He giveth liberally, 
and upbraidcth not. He willeth not the death of a finner, 
but rather that he fhould believe and live. Come then, all 
ye halt, poor, maimed, and blind fmners ; take comfort, the 
Lord Jesus has fent his fervant to call you. It is now fup- 
pcr-time, and a day of uncommon grace. The day may be 
far fpent. Haltc, therefore, and away to the fupper of the 
Lamb. If you do not come, I know the mafter will be angry. 
And who can ftand before him when he is angry ? " Hardert 
not therefore your hearts, as in the day of provocation,- 
as in the day of temptation in the wildernefs." Do not: 
provoke the Lord to f^iy, " None of thofe that were bid- 
den fhall t?.fte of my fupper." O dreadful words ! Much 
more is implied in them than is exprefled. It is the fame 
with that in the pfalms, " I fware In my wrath, that they 
fhould not enter into my reft." And if you do not enter into' 
God's refl, nor taflc of CfiRisT^i fupper, you mufi lift up 
3 ^ your 

t n ] 

^our eyes in torments, where you will luve no reft, and mu(i 
fup with the damned devils for ever more. 

Knovvirig therefore the terrors of the LoiiD, we pcrfuade 
you to hade away, and make no niore frivolous exciifes. For 
there is no excufe againft believing. Perhaps you fay. You 
call to the halt, and maimed, and blind, and poor. But if 
we are halt, and maimed, how can we come ? If we arc blind, 
how can we fee our way ? If we are poor, how can we cx- 
pCiSl admiflion to fo great a table? Ah! Happy are ye, if 
you are fenfible, that you are halt and maimed. For if you 
feel ydurfelves fo, and are lamenting it, who knows but whiift 
I an) fpeaking, God rhay fend his Spirit with the word, and 
fetch you hortie ? Though you arc blind, Jesus has eye falve 
to anoint you. Though you are poor, yet you are welcome 
to this rich feaft. It coft Jesus Christ a great price, but 
you (hall have it gratis. For fuch as you was it defigned. 
*' BlefTed are the poor in fpirit, for theirs is the kingdom of 
heaven." Rich, felf-righteous, felf-fufficient fiiiners, I know, 
will fcorri both the feaft and its great provider. They have 
done fo already, therefore the LoiiD has fent us into the high- 
ways and hedges, to bring fuch poor fouls as you are in. Ven-> 
ture then, my dear friends, and honour Gob, by taking hint 
at his v/ord. Come to the marriage- feaft. Believe me, 
you will there partake of moft delicious fare. 

Tell me, ye that have been made to tafte that the 
Lord is gracious, will you not recommend this feaft to all ? 
Are you not, whiift I am fpeaking, ready to cry out. Come 
Jill ye that are without, come ye, obey the call, for we 
Have fat under the Redeemer's ftiadow with great delight, 
^nd his fruit has been pleafant to our tafte. Whiift 1 am 
fpeaking, does not the fire kindle, do not your hearts 
burn with a defire that others may come and be blelTed too ? 
If yoii are chriftians indeed, I know you will be thus minded, 
and the language of your hearts will be. Lord, whiift he 
is calling, let thy Spirit Jcompel them to come in. O that 
the Lord may fay. Amen! And why fhould we doubt? 
Surely oUr Saviour will not let rfie complain this day 
that I have laboured in vain, and fpent my ftrength for nought. 
Methinks I fee many defining to come. O how fliall I com- 
pel you to come forwards. 1 will not ufe fire or fword, as 

Vol. VI. C the 


[ 34 3 

the Papijh do, by terribly perverting this text of fcripture. But 
1 will tell you ol the love of God, the love of God in Christ, 
and furely that muft compel you, that muft conftrain you, 
whether you will or not. Sinners, my heart is enlarged to- 
wards you. I could fill my mouth with arguments. Con- 
fider the greatnefs of the God who makes the fupper. Con- 
fider the greatnefs of the price, wherewith it was purchafed. 
Confider the greatnefs of the provifion made for you. What 
would you have more ? Confider God's infinite condefcen- 
fion, in calling you now, when you might have been in hell, 
*' vvhere the worm dieth not, and the fire is nor quenched.'* 
And that you might be without excufe, he has fent his fer- 
vant into the highways and hedges to invite you there. O 
that you tafted what I do now ! I am fure you would not 
want arguments to induce you to come in : No, you would 
fly to the gofpel-feaft, as doves to the windows. 

But, poor fouls ! many of you, perhaps, are not hungry. 
You do not feel yourfelves halt, or maimed, or blind, and 
therefore you have no relifli for this fpiritual entertainment. 
Well, be not angry with me for calling you ; be not offended 
if I weep over you, becaufc you know not the day of your 
vifitation : If I muft appear in judgment as a fwift witnefs 
againft you, I muft. But that thought chills my blood! I 
cannot bear it ; I feel that I could lay down my life for you. 
J3ut I am not willing to go without you. What fay you, my 
>dear friends ? I would put the queftion to you once more. 
Will you tafte of Christ's fupper, or will you not? You 
fliall all be welcome. There is milk at this feaft for babes, 
as well as meat for ftrong men, and for perfons of riper years. 
There is room and provifion for high and low, rich and poor, 
one with another; and our Saviour will thank you for 
coming. Amazing condefcenfion ! Aftonifhing love ! The 
thought of it quite overcomes me. Help me, help me, O be-* 
lievers, to blefs and praifc him. 

And O ! that his love may excite us to come afrefh ta 
him, as though we had never come before ! For, though wc 
have been often feafted, yet our fouls will ftarve, unlefs we 
renew our a61s of faith, and throw ourfclves, as loft, undone 
fmners, continually at the feet of Christ. Feeding upon 
paft experiences will not fatisfy our fouls, any mors than what 
5 w:^ 

I 35 1 

we did e^t yefterday will fuftain our bodies to day. No, be- 
lievers muft look for frefh influences of divine grace, and be"- 
of the Lord to water them every moment. The parable 
therefore fpeaks to faints as well as finners. Come ye to the 
marriage-feaft ; you are as welcome now as ever. And may 
God fet your fouls a longing for that time when we fhall fit 
down and eat bread in the kingdom of heaven ! There we 
(hall have full draughts of divine love, and enjoy the glorious 
Emmanuel for ever more. Even fo, Lord Jesus, Jmen, 


[ 36 3 


The Pharifee and Publican. 

Luke xviii. 14. 

I tell you^ this man went down to his hcufe jujlified rather 
than the other: For every one that exalteth himfelf, 
fliall he ahajcd \ and he that humbUth himfelf, Jhall be 

THOUGH there be fome who dare to deny the Lord 
Jesus, and difbelieve the revelation he has been pleafed 
to give us, and thereby bring upon themfelves fwift deftruc- 
tion; yet I would charitably hope there are but few if any 
fuch among you, to whom I am now to preach the kingdom 
of God. Was I to afk you, how you expecSl to be juftified 
in the fight of an offended God? I fuppofe you would anfwer, 
only for the fake of our Lord Jesus Christ. But, was I 
to come more home to your confciences, I fear that moft 
would make the Lord Jesus but in part their Saviour, and go 
about, as it were, to eftablifh a righteoufnefs of their own. 
And this is not thinking contrary to the rules of chriftian cha- 
rity : for we are all felf-righteous by nature; it is as natural 
for us to turn to a covenant of works, as for the fparks to fly 
upwards. We have had fo many legal and fo few free-grace 
preachers, for thefe many years, that moft profeflbrs now feem 
to be fettled upon their lees, and rather deferve the title of 
Phartjees than chrillians. 

Thus it was with the generality of the people during the 
time of our Lord's public miniftration : and therefore, in al- 
moft all his difcourfes, he preached the gofpel to poor fmners, 
and denounced terrible woes againft proud felf-jufticiaries. 
The parable, to which the words of the text belong, looks 
3 botii 

[ 37 ] 

both thefe ways : For the evangelift informs us (ver. 9.) that 
our Lord " fpalce it unto certain who trufted in thcnifelves 
that they were righteous, and defpifed others." And a notable 
parable it is ; a parable worthy of your moft ferious attention. 
" He that hath ears to hear, let him hear," what Jesus 
Christ fpeaks to all vifible profeflbrs in it. 

Ver. 10. " Two men went up to the temple to pray (and 
never two men of more op{X)rite chara6lers) the one a Pha- 
rifee and the other a Publican." The Pharifees were the 
ftrideft fe(3: among the Jews. '' I was of the ftri6left fe6t, of 
the Pharifees," fays Paul. They prayed often ; not only fo, 
but they made long prayers ; and, that they might appear ex- 
traordinary devout, they would pray at the corners of the 
ftreet, where two ways met, that people going or coming, 
feoth ways, might fee them. " They made broad (as our 
Lord informs us) the borders of their phylad^eries," they had 
pieces of parchment fown to their long robes, on which fome 
parts of the Scripture were written, that people might from 
thence infer, that they were lovers of the law of God. They 
were fo very punctual and exa£i: in outward purifications, that 
they walhed at their going out and coming in. They held 
the wafliing of pots, brazen vcfiels and tables, and many other 
fuch-like things they did. They were very zealous for the 
traditions of the fathers, and for the obfervation of the rites 
and ceremonies of the church, notwithftanding they frequently 
raade void the law of God by their traditions. And they were 
fo exceedingly exa6l in the outward obfervation of the fabbath, 
that they condemned our Lord for making a little clay with 
his fpittle ; and called him a finner, and faid, he was not of 
God, becaufe he had given fight to a man born blind, on the 
fabbath-day. For thefe reafons they were had in high vene- 
ration among the people, who were fad ly milled by thefe blind 
guides : they had the uppermoft places in the fynagogues, and 
greetings in the market-places (which they loved dearly) and 
were called of men. Rabbi ; in (hort, they had fuch a repu- 
tation for piety, that it became a proverb among the Jews^ 
that, if there were but two men faved, the one of them muft 
be a Pharifee. 

As for the Publicans, it v/as not fo with them. It fecms 
they were fometimes Jrivs, or at kail profclytes of the gate ; 

C 3 for 

[ 38 ] 

for we find one here coming up to the temple ; but for thfr 
generality, I am apt to think they were Gentiles-^ for they were 
gatherers of the Roman taxes, and ufed to amafs much wealth 
(as appears by the confeflion of Zaccheus, one of the chief of 
them) by wronging men with falfe accufations. They were 
fo univerfally infamous, that our Lord himfelf tells hi^^ difci- 
pies, ** the excommunicated man ihould be to them as a hea- 
then man, or a Publican." And the Pharifees thought it a 
fufficient impeachment of our Lord's chara6ter, that he was 
a friend to Publicans and finners, and went to lit down with 
them at meat. 

But, however they difagreed in other things, they agreed in 
this, that public worfhip is a duty incumbent upon all : for 
they both came up to the temple. 1 he very heathens were 
obfervers of temple-worfnip. We have very early notice of 
mens facrificing to, and calling upon the name of the Lord, 
in the Old Teibment ; and I find it no where contradicted in 
the New. Our Lord, and his apoftles, went up to the tem- 
ple ; and we are commanded by the apoftle, *' not to forfake 
the aflenibling ourfelves together," as the manner of too many 
is in our days ; and fuch too, as would have us think well of 
them, though they feldom or never tread the courts of the 
Lord's houfe. But, though our devotions begin in our clofets, 
they muft not end there. And, if people never fhew their de- 
votions abroad, I muft fufped they have little or none at home. 
*' Two men went up to the temple." And what went they 
thither for? Not (as multitudes amongft us do) to make the 
houfe of God a houfe of merchandize, or turn it into a den of 
thieves; much lefs to ridicule the preacher, or difturb the con- 
gregation ; no, they came to the temple, fays our lyORD, " to 
pray." . Thither fiioulJ the tribes of God's fpiritual Jfrael go 
up, to talk vv'th, and pour out their hearts before the mighty 
God of Jacob, 

" Two men went up to the temple to pray." I fear one of 
them forgot his errand. I have often been at a lofs what to 
call i\\t Pharifeis ad d re fs ; it certainly does not deferve the 
name of a prayer: he may rather be faid to come to the temple 
to boajiy than to pray ; for I do not find one word of confelli- 
on of his original guilt; not one fingle petition for pardon of 
his pad adlual fins, or for grace to help and aflift him for the 


[ 39 ] 

time to come: he only brings to God, as it were, a reckoning 
of his performances 5 and docs that, which no flcfti can juftly 
do, I mean, glory in his prefence. 

Ver. II. " The Pharilee flood, and prayed thus with him- 
felf ; God, I thank thee that I am not as other men are, ex- 
tortioners, un)uft, adulterers, or even as this Publican.'* 

Our Lord firft takes notice of his pofturej *' the Pharifee 

ftood^'* he is not to be condemned for that ; for ftandino^, as 

well as kneeling, is a proper pofture for prayer. '' When you 

ftand praying," fays our Lord; though fometimes our Lord 

kneeled, nay, lay flat on his face upon the ground ; his apof- 

tles alfo kneeled, as we read in the Acis^ which has made me 

wonder at feme, who are fo bigotted to {landing in family, as 

well as public prayer, that they will net kneel, notwithftand- 

ins; all kneel that are around them. I fear there is fomethins: 

of the Pharifee in this condu(St. Kneeling and ftanding are 

indifferent, if the knee of the foul be bent, and the heart up- 
right towards God. We fhould ftudy not to be particular in 
indifferent things, left we offend weak minds. What the Pha- 
rifee is remarked for, is his *' ftanding by himfelf :" for the 
words may be rendered, he ftood by himlelf, upon fome emi- 
nent place, at the upper part of the temple, near the Holy of 
holies, that the congregation might fee what a devout man he 
was: or it may be underftood as we read it, he prayed by him- 
felf, or of himfelf, out of his own heart ; he did not pray by- 
form ; it was an extempore prayer : for there are many Pha- 
rifees that pray and preach too, extempore. I do not fee why 
thefe may not be acquired, as well as other arts and fciences. 
A man, with a good elocution, ready turn of thought, and 
good memory, may repeat his own or other mens fermons, 
and, by the help of a JVilkins or Henry^ may pray feemingly 
excellently well, and yet not have the leaft grain of true grace 
in his heart ; I fpeak this, not to cry down extempore prayer,. 
or to difcourage thofc dear fouls who really pray by the fpirit; 
I only would hereby give a word of reproof to thofe who are 
fo bigotted to extempore prayer, that they condemn, at leaft 
judge, all that ufe forms, as though not fo holy and hea- 
venly, as others who pray without them. Alas ! this is 
wrong. Not every one that prays extempore is a fpiritual, nor 
every one that prays with a form, a formal man. Let us not 
judge one another; let not him that ufes a form, judge him 

C 4. thac 

[ 40 ] 

that prays extempore, on that account ; and let not him that 
prays extempore, defpife him who ufes a form. 

'* The Pharifee flood, and prayed thus by himfelf." Which 
may fignify alfo praying inwardly in his heart ; for there is a 
way (and that an excellent one too) of praying when we can- 
not fpeak J thus ^mia prayed, w^hen file fpoke not aloud, only, 
her lips moved. Thus God fays to Moffs, •:' Why crieft thou ?'* 
when, it is plain, he did not fpeak a word. This is what the 
apoftie means by the " fpiiit making intercefTion (for believers) 
with groanings which cannot be uttered." For there are times 
when the foul is too big to fpeak ; when God fills it as it 
were, and overfhadows it with his prefence, fo that it can 
only fall down, worfhip, adore, and lye in the duft before 
the Lord. Again, there is a time when the foul is benumbed, 
barren and dry, and the believer has not a word to fay to his 
heavenly Father ; and then the heart only can fpeak. And I 
mention this for the encouragement of weak chrifiians, who 
think they never are accepted but when they have a flow of 
words, and fancy they do not pleafe God at the bottom, for 
no other reafon but becaufe they do not pleafe themfclvcs. 
Such would do well to confider, that God knows the language 
of the heart, and the mind of the fpirit ; and that we make ufe 
of words, not to iniorm God, but to affe£l: ourfclves. When- 
ever therefore any of you find yourfelves in fuch a frame, be 
not difcouraged : offer yourfelves up in filence before Goo, as 
clay in the hands of the potter, for him to write and flamp his 
own divine imgge upon your fouls. But I believe the Phari- 
fee knew nothing of this way of prayer : he was fclf- righteous, 
a llranaer to the divine life: and therefore either of the former 
cxplanaiiuns may be bed put upon thefe words. 

" He ilood, and prayed thus with himfelf j God, I thank 
thee that I am not as other men are, extortioner, unjuft, adul- 
terer, or even as this Publican." Here is fome appearance of 
devciir.n, but it is only in appearance. To thank God that 
we are not extortioners, unjuli, adulterers, and as wicked in 
our practices as other men are, is certainly meet, right, and our 
boiindcn duty: for whatever degrees of goodnefs there may be 
in us, more than in others, it is owing to God's reflraining, 
preventing, and affifting grace. We are all equally conceived 
2nd born in fm j all are fallen iliort of the glory of God, and 


[ 41 ] 

liable to all the curfes and maledictions of the law ; To that 
" he whoglorieth, muft glory only in the Lord." For none 
of us have any thing which we did not receive; and whatever 
we have received, we did not in the leaft merit it, nor could 
vye lay the leaft claim to it on any account whatever : we are 
wholly indebted to free grace for all. Had the Pharifee thought 
thus, when he faid, '' God, I thank thee that I am not as 
other men are," it would have been an excellent introduction 
tp his prayer: but lie was a free-wilier, as well as felf-righteous 
(for he that is one muft be the other) and thought by his own 
power and ftrength, he had kept himfelffrom thefe vices. And 
yet I do not fee what reafon he had to truft in himfelf that he 
was righteous, merely bccaufe he was not an extortioner, un- 
juft, adulterer ; for all this while he might be, as he certainly 
vvas (as is alfo every felf-righteous perfon) as proud as the 
devil. But he not only boafts, but lies before God (as all 
felf-jufticiaries will be found liars here or hereafter.) He thanks 
God that he was not unjuft: but is it not an a6l of the higheft: 
injuftice to rob God of his prerogative ? is it not an a«Sl of in- 
juftice to judge our neighbour ? and yet of both thefe crimes 
this felf-righteous vaunter is guilty. *' Even as this Publi- 
can !" He feems to fpeak with the utmoft difdain ; this Pub- 
lican I Perhaps he pointed at the poor man, that others might 
treat him with the like contempt. Thou proud, confident 
boafter, what hadft thou to do with that poor Publican ? fup- 
pofing other Publicans were unjuft, and extortioners, did it 
therefore follow that he muft be fo ? or, if he had been fuch 
a finner, how knoweft thou but he has repented of thofe fins? 
His coming up to the temple to pray, is one good fign of a re- 
formation at leaft. Thou art therefore inexcufable, O Pha- 
rifee, who thus judgeft the Publican : for thou that judgeft 
him to be unjuft, art, in the very aCi: of judging, unjuft thv- 
ftlf : thy facrihce is only the facrifice of a fool. 

We have (een what the Pharifee's negative goodncfs comes 
to; I think, nothing at all. Let us fee how far his pofitive 
goodnefs extends; for, if we are truly religious, we fliall not 
only efciiew evil, but alfo do good : " I faft twice in the week, 
1 give tithes of all that I poftefs." 

The Pharifee is not here condemned for his fafting, for faft- 
ing is a chriilian duty^ " when you faft," fays our Lord, 


[ 42 ] 

thereby taking it for granted that his difciplcs would faft. And 
•' when the bridegroom (liall be taken away, then fhall they 
fad in thofe days." " In fading often," fays the apoftle. And 
all that vvoild not be caft-aways, wiil take caie, as their pri- 
vilet^e, without legal conftraint, to " keep their bodies under, 
and bring them into fubjccSlion." The Phaiifee is only con- 
demned for making a right( oufnefs of his failing, and think- 
incr that God would accept him, or that he was any better 
than his neighbours, merely on account of his fading : this is 
what he was blamed for. The Pharifee was not to be difcom- 
mcndcd for fading twice in a week ; I wifh fome chridians 
would imitate him more in this : but to depend on fading in 
the lead, for his judification in the fight. of God, was really 
abominable. " I give tithes of all that I pofiefs." He might 
as well have faid, I pay tithes. But felf- righteous people 
(whatever they may fay to the contrary) think they give fome- 
thing to God. " I give tithes of all that I podefs :" I make 
confcience of giving tithes, not only of all that the law re- 
quires, but of my mint, annife, and cummin, of all things 
whatfoever I podefs; this was well; but to boad of fuc h 
things, or of fading, is pbarifaical and devilifii. Now then 
let us fum up all the righteoufnefs of this beading Pharifee, 
and fee what little reafon he had to trud in himfelf, that he 
was righteous, or to defpife others. He is not unjud (but we 
have only his bare w'ord for that, I think I have proved the 
contrary;) he is no adulterer, no extortioner; he fads twice 
in the week, and gives tithes of all that he podefles ; and all 
this he might do, and a great deal more, and yet be a child of 
the devil: for here is no mention made of his loving the Lord 
his God with all his heart, which was the " fird and great 
commandment of the law ;" here is not a dngle fyilable of in- 
ward leligion ; and he was not a true ^ew^ who was only one 
outwardly. It is only an outdde piety at the bed ; inwardly 
he is full of pride, felf-judification, free-will and great uncha- 

Were not the Pharifees, do you think, highly offended at 
this charatSler ? for they might eafily know it was fpoken 
againd them. And though, perhaps, fome of you may be 
offended at me, yet, out of love, I mud tell you, I fear this 
parable is fpoken againd many of you: for are there not many 


[ 43 1 

xf you, who go up to the temple to pray, with no better fpirit 
than this Pharifee did? And becaufe you faft, it may be in the 
Lcnt^ or every Friday^ and becaufe you do no body any harm, 
receive the I'acrament, pay tubes, and give an alms row and 
then ; you think that you arc lafe, and truft in youiTelves that 
you are righteous, and inwardly defpife thoie, who do not come 
up to you in theie outward duties? this, I am pcrfuadcd, is the 
cafe of many of you, though, alas I it is a defperate one, as I 
fiiall endeavour to (hew at the clofe of this difcourfe. 

Let us now take a view of the Publican, ver. 13. " And the 
Publican ftanding afar off, would not lift up fo much as his eyes 
unto heaven, but fmote upon his breaft, faying, God be mer- 
ciful to me a finner." 

'* The Publican (landing afar off:" Perhaps in the outward 
court of the temple, confcious to himfelf that he was not wor- 
thy to approach the Holy of holies; fo confcious and fo weigh- 
ed down with a fenfe of his own unworthinefs, that he would 
not fo much as lift up his eyes unto heaven, which he knew 
was God's throne. Poor heart! what did he feel at this time! 
none but returning Publicans, like himfelf, can tell. Me- 
thinks I fee him {landing afar oft', peniive, opprefled, and even 
overwhelmed with forrow; fometimes he attempts to look up; 
but then, thinks he, the heavens are unclean in God's fight, 
and the very angels are charged with folly; how then fhall 
fuch a wretch as I dare to lift up my guilty head ! And to 
(hew that his heart was full of holy felf-refentment, and that 
he forrowed after a godly fort, he fmote upon his breaft; the 
Word in the original implies, that YiQ Jlruck hard upon his 
breaft : he will lay the blame upon none but his own wicked 
heart. He will nor, like unhumbled Adam^ tacitly lay the 
fault of his vilenefs upon God, and lay, l^he p;iftions which 
thou gaveft me, they deceived me, and 1 finned : he is too 
penitent thus to reproach his Maker; he fmites upon his 
breaft, his treacherous, ungrateful, defperately wicked breaft ; 
a breaft now ready to burft : and at length, out of the abun- 
dance of his heart, I doubt not, with many tears, he at lafl: 
cries out, *' God be merciful to me a finner." Not, God bp 
merciful to yonder proud Pharifee : he found enough in him- 
felf to vent his refentment againft, without lookino; abroad 
upon others. Not, God be merciful tome a faint; for he 


[ 44 ] 

knew " all his righteoufnefTes were but fihhy rags.*' Not, 
God be merciful to fuch or fuch a one; but, God be iri'^rci- 
iul to me, even to mc a finncr, a finncr by birth, a Tinner in 
thought, word, and deed ; a Tinner as to my perlon, a Tmner 
as to all my performances; a Tinner in whom is no health, in 
whom dwcUcth no good thing; a Tmncr, poor, miferable, blind 
and naked, from the crown uf the head to the Tole of the 
feet, full of wounds, and bruifcs, and putrifying Tores ; a TclT-r 
accufed, felf-condemned Tinner. What think you? would this 
Publican have been ofFendcd if any minifter had told him that 
he deferved to be damned ? would he have been angry, if any 
one had told him, that by nature he was half a devil and half 
a beaft? No: he would have confefied a thoufand hells to havQ 
been his due, and that he wzs an earthly, devilifh Tinner. He 
felt now what a dreadful thin^ it was to depart from the living 
God: he felt that he was inexcufable every way; that he 
could in nowife, upon account of any thing in himTelf, bejuT-r 
lifted in the Ti^^ht of God ; and therefore lays himfelf at the 
feet of fovereign mercy, " God be merciful to me a Tinner." 
Here is no confidence in the flefh, no plea Tetched from faftr 
w^i paying tithes, or the performance of any other duty ; here 
isno boafting that he was not an extortioner, unjufi-, or an 
adulterer. Perhaps he had been guilty of all theTe crimes, at 
leaft he knew he would have been guilty of ail thefe, had he 
been left to follow the devices and deTires of his own heart ; 
and therefore, with a broken and contrite Tpirit, he cries out, 
'' God be merciful to me a Tinner." 

This man came up to the temple to pray, and he prayed 
Indeed. And a broken and contrite heart God will not de- 
fpiTe. " I tell you," Tays our Lord, I who lay in the boTom 
of the Father from all eternity ; I who am God, and there- 
fore know all things ; I who can neither deceive, nor be de- 
ceived, whofe judgment is according to right ; I tell you, 
whatever you may think of it, or think of me for telling you 
fo, " this man," this Publican, this dcTpifed, Tinful, but bro- 
ken-hearted man, " went down to his houf<^ ju (lifted (acquit- 
ted, and looked upon as righteous in the ftght of God) rather 
than the other." 

Let Pharifees take heed that they do not pervert this text: 
for when it is Tiid, "■ This man Vf cm down tp his houfe juT- 


t 45 3 

lified rath&r than the other," our Lord does not mean that 
both were tuftified, and that the Publican had rather more juf- 
tification than the Pharifee : but it implies, either that the 
Publican was adually juftified, but the Pharifee was not; or, 
that the Publican was in a better way to receive juflification, 
than the Pharifee; according to our Lord's faying, " The 
Publicans and Harlots enter into the kingdom of heaven before 
you." That the Pharifee was not juftified is ccrtainj for 
** God refifteth the proud ;'* and that the Publican was at 
this time adi^ually juftified (and perhaps went home with a 
fenfe of it in his heart) we have great reafon to infer from the 
latter part of the text, " For every one that cxalteth himfelf 
(ball be abafed, and he that humbleth himfelf fliall be exalt- 

The parable therefore nOw fpeaks to all who hear me this 
day : for that our Lord intended it for our learning, is evi- 
dent, from his making fuch a general application; *' For every 
one that exalteth himfelf ftiall be abafed, and he that humbleth 
himfelf fhall be exalted." 

The parable of the Publican and Pharifee, is but as it were 
a glafs, wherein we may fee the different difpofition of all 
mankind ; for all mankind may be divided into two general 
clafTes. Either they trufl wholly in themfelves, or in part, 
that they are righteous, and then they are Pharifees; or they 
have no confidence in the flefh, are felf-condemned Tinners, 
and then they come under the charader of the Publican juft 
now defcribed. And we may add alfo, that the different re- 
ception thefe men met with, points out to us in lively colours, 
the different treatment the felf-jufticiary and felf-condemned 
criminal will meet with at the terrible day of judgment : 
*' Every one that exalts himfelf (hall be abafed, but he that 
humbleth himfelf (hall be exalted." 

" Every one," without exception, young or old, hi^h or 
low, rich or poor (for God is no refpedcr of perfons) " every 
one," whofoever he be, that exalteth himfelf, and not free* 
grace ; every one that trufteth in himfelf that he is righteous, 
that refts in his duties, or thinks to join them with the righ- 
teoufnefs of Jesus Christ, for juftification in the fight of 
GcD, though he be no adulterer, no extortioner, though he 
be not outwardly urjuft, nay, though lie fiift twice in the 


'[ 46 ] 

week, and gives tithes of all that he poflefTes ; yet fliall he be 
abafed in the fight of ail good men who know him here, and 
before men and-angels, and GoD himfelf, when Jesus Christ 
comes to appear in judgment hereafter. How low, none but 
the almighty God can tell. He (hall be abafed to live with 
devils, and make his abode in the loweft bell for evermore. 

Hear this, all ye felf-jufticiaries, tremble, and behold your 
doom ! a dreadful doom, more dreadful than words can ex- 
prefs, or thought conceive! If you refufe to humble yourfelves, 
after hearing this parable, I call heaven and earth to witnefs 
againft you this day, that God ftiall vifit you with all hi$ 
ftorms, and pour all the vials of his wrath upon your rebelli- 
ous heads; you exalted yourfelves here, and God (hall abafe 
you hereafter ; you arc as proud as the devil, and with devils 
(hall you dwell to all eternity. '' Be not deceived, God is 
not mocked ;" he fees your hearts, he knows all things. And, 
notwithftanding you may come up to the temple to pray, your 
prayers are turned into fin, and you go down to your houfes 
unjuflified, if you are felf-jufticiaries; and do you know what 
it is to be unjuftified ? why, if you are unjuftified, the wrath 
of God abideth upon you ; you are in your blood ; all the 
curfes of the law belong to you : curfed are you when you go 
out, curfed are you when you come in ; curfed are your 
thoughts, curfed are your words, curfed are your deeds; every 
thing you do, fay, or think, from morning to night, is only 
one continued feries of hn. However highly you may be 
cfteemed in t!ie fight of men, however you may be honoured 
with the uppermoft feats in the fynagogues, in the church 
militant, you will have no place in the church triumphant, 
** Humble yourfelves therefore under the mighty hand of 
God :" pull down every felf-righteous thought, and every 
proud imagination, that now exalteth itfelf againft the per- 
fe£l, perfonal, imputed righteoufnefs of the dear Lord Jesus: 
" For he (and he alone) that humbleth himfelf (hall be ex- 

He that humbleth himfelf, whatever he be : if, inftead of 
fafting twice in the week, he has been drunk twice in the 
week; if, inftead of giving tithes of all that he poflefTes, he 
has cheated the minifter of his tithes, and the king of his 
taxes ; notwithftanding he be unjuft, an extortioner, an adul- 

[ 47 ] 

tcrer, nay, notwithftanding the fins of all mankind center and 
unite in him j yet, if through grace, like the Publican, he is 
enabled to humble himftlf, he (hall be exalted ; not in a tem- 
poral manner; for chriftians muft rather expect to be abafcd, 
and to have their names caft out as evil, and to lay down their 
lives for Christ Jesus in this world : but he {hall be ex- 
alted in a fpiritual (enk; he fhall be freely juftified from all 
his fins by the blood of Jesus ; he fhall have peace with God, 
a peace which pafleth all underftanding ; not only peace, but 
joy in believing ; he fhall be tranflated from the kingdom of 
Satan, to the kingdom of God's dear Son : he fiiall dwell in 
Christ, and Christ in him : he (hall be one with Christ, 
and Christ one with him : he fhall drink of divine pleafures, 
as out of a river: he fliall be fanc^ified throughout in fpirit, 
foul and body 5 in one word, he fhall be filled with all the 
fulnefs of God. Thus (hall the man that humbleth himfelf 
be exalted here; but O, how high fhall he be exalte^ here- 
after ! as high as the higheft heavens, even to the right-hand 
of God : there he (hall fit, happy both in foul and body, and 
judge angels ; high, out of the reach of all fin and trouble, 
eternally fecure from all danger of falling. O finners, did you 
but know how highly God intends to exalt thofe who hum- 
ble themfelves, and bel:e/e in Jesus, furely you would hum- 
ble yourfelves, at lead beg of God to humble you ; for it is 
he that muft ftrike the rock of your hearts, and caufe floods of 
contrite tears to flow therefrom. O that God would give this 
fermon fuch a commiflion, as he once gave to the rod of 
Mofes ! I would ftrike you through and through with the rod 
of his word, until each of you was brought to cry out v^ith the 
poor Publican, *' God be merciful to rne a finner.'* What 
pleafant language would this be in the ears of the Lord of 
Sabbaoth ! 

Are there no poor finners among you ? what, arc you all 
Pharifees ? Surely, you cannot bear the thoughts of returning 
home unjuftified ; can you ? what if a fit of the apoplexy fhould 
feize you, and your fouls be hurried away before the av/ful 
Judge of quick and dead ? what will you do without Christ's 
righteoufnefs ? if you go out of the world unjuftified, you muft 
remain {o for ever. O that you would humble yourfelves I 
then would the Lord exalt you; it may be, that, whilft I am 


[.48 1 

fpeaking, the Lord might juftify you freely by his grace. 1 
obferved, that perhaps the Publican had a feiife of his jufti- 
fication before he went from the temple, and knew that his 
pardon was fealcd in heaven : and who knows but you may 
be thus exalted before you go home, if you humble yourfelves? 

what peace, love and joy, would you then feel in your 
hearts! you would have a heaven upon earth. O that I could 
hear any of you fay (as I once heard a poor firtner, under my 
preaching, cry out) He is come, He is cojne ! How would you 
then, like him, extol a precious, a free-hearted Christ! how 
would you magnify him for being fuch a friend to Publicans 
and finners ? greater love can no man (hew, than to lay down 
his life for a friend j but Christ laid down his life for his 
enemies, even for you, if you are enabled to humble your- 
felves, as the Publican did. Sinners, I know not how to leave 
ofF talking v/ith you ; I v;ould fill my mouth with arguments, 

1 would plead with you. " Come, let us reafon together ;" 
though your fms be as fcarlet, yet, if you humble yourfelves^ 
they (hall be as white as fnow. One a6l of true faith in 
Christ, juftifies you for ever and ever ; he has not promifed 
you what he cannot perform ; he is able to exalt you : tor 
God hath exalted, and given him a name above every name, 
that at the name of Jesus every knee (hall bow; nay, God 
hath exalted him to be not only a Prince, but a Saviour. May 
he be a Saviour to you ! and then 1 fiiall have reafon to rejoicCp- 
in the day of judgment, that I have net preached in vain^ not 
Iflboured in vain. 


[ 49 ] 


The Converfion of Zacchcus. 

Luke xix. 9, 10. 
And Jesus faid unto him^ This day is falvation come to 
this houfe •, forafmuch as he alfo is the Son of Abra- 
ham. For the Son of man is coins to feek and to fave 
that which was lofii 

SALVATION, every v^here through the whole fcri'p- 
ture, is faid to be the free gift of God, through Jesus 
Christ our Lord. Not only free, becaufe God is a fove- 
teign agent, and therefore may withhold it from, or confer it 
on, whom he pleafeth ; but free, becaufe there is nothing to 
be found in man, that can any way induce God to be mer- 
ciful unto him. The righteoufnefs of Jesus Christ is the 
fo)e caufe of our finding favour in God's fight : this righte- 
Cuf! jfs apprehended by faith (which is alfo the gift of God) 
makes it our own ; and this faith, if true, will work by love. 

Thefe are parts of thofe glad tidings which are publiftied in 
the gofpel ; and of the certainty of them, next to the exprefs 
word of God, the experience of all fuch as have been faved, 
is the beft, and, as I take ,it, the nrioft undoubted proof. 
That God might teach us every way, he has been pleafed 
to leave upon record many inftances of the power of his 
grace exerted in the falvation of feveral perfons, that we, 
hearing how he dealt with them, might from thence infer the 
manner we muft expect to be dealt with ourfelves, and learn 
in what way we muft iook for falvation, if we truly defire to 
.be made partakers of the inheritance with the founts in light. 

The converfion of the perfon referred to in the text, I 
^hink, will be of no fmall fervice to us in this matter, if 

Vol. VL D rightly 


[ 50 1 

t\<y\\t]y improved. I would hope, moft of you know who the 
perfon is, to whom the Lord Jfesus fpeaks ; it is the publi- 
can Zaccheus, to whofe houfe the blefTed Jesu.^ faid, falvation 
came, and whom he pronounces a Son o^ Abraham. 

It is mv defign (GoD helping) to make fome remarks upon 
his converfion recorded at large in the preceding verfes, and 
then to inforce the latter part of the text, as an encourage- 
ment to poor undone fmners to come to Jesus Christ. 
*« For the Son of man is conie, tofeek and to fave that which 

was lofl." 

The evangelrft Luke introduces the account of this man's 
converfion thus, verfe I. " And Jesus entered and paffed 
through Jericho'* The holy Jesus made it his bufmefs to 
jTO about doing good. As the fun in the firmament is conti- 
nually fpreading his benign, quickening, and cheering influ- 
ences over the natural ; fo the Son of righteoufnefs arofe with 
healing under his wings, and was daily and hourly diffufing 
his gracious influences over the moral world. The preceding 
chapter acquaints us of a notable miracle wrought by the holy 
Jesus, on poor blind -B^r/zWwj ; and in this, a greater pre- 
sents itfelf to our confideration. The evangelift would have 
us take particular notice of it ; for he introduces it with the 
word " behold :" " and behold, there was a man named Zac- 
chetis, who was the chief among the Publica?iSy and he was 

Well might the evangelift uflier, in the relation of this 
man's converfion with the word " behold !" For, according 
to human judgment, how many unfurmountable obftacles 
tay in the way of it ! Surely no one will fay there was any 
litnefs in Zaccheus for falvation ; for we are told that he was 
a Publican^ and therefore in all probability a notorious Tinner. 
The Publicans were gatherers of the Roman taxes j they were 
infamous for their abominable extortion ; their very name 
therefore became fo odious, that we find the Pharifees often 
feproached our Lord, as very wicked, becaufe he was a 
friend unto and fat down to meat with them. Zaccheus then, 
being a Puhlican^ was no doubt a finner ; and, being chief 
among the Publkam^ confequently was chief among finners^ 
Nay, '^ He was rich." One infpired apoftle has told us, that 
** not many mighty, not many nobk are called." Another 
% faith. 

. f 5* ] 

faith, " G^D has fchofen the poor of this world, rich iri 
faith." And he who was the Mulcer and Redeemer of the 
apoftles, afTures us, " that it Is eafier for a camel, (or cable- 
rope) to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rl ch man 
to enter into the kingdom of God." Let not therefore the 
fich glory in the multitude of their riches. 

But rich as he was, we are told, verl'e 3. that " he fouc^ht 
to fee Jesus."- A wonder indeed ! The common people heard 
our Lord gladly, and the poor received the gofpel. Th^ 
multitude, the oy^Mi, the mob, the people that knew not the 
law, as the proud hlgh-priefts called them, ufed to follow 
him on foot into the country^ arid fometimts ftaid with him 
three days together to hear him preach : But did the rich be- 
lieve or attend on him ? No. Our Lord preached up ihe 
do6^rine of the crofs ; he preached too fearching for them# 
and therefore they counted him their enemy, perfecuted and 
Ipoke all manner of evil againft hua falfly. Let not the 
miniflers of Christ marvel, if they meet with the Jike 
treatment from the rich men of this wicked and adulterous 
generation. I fhould think it no fcandal (fuppofing it true) 
to hear it affirmed, that none but the poor attended my mini- 
ftry. Their fouls are as precious to our Lord Jesus Christ, 
fis the fouls of the greateft men. "J'hey were the poor that 
attended him in the days of his flefli : thefe are they whom 
he hath chofen to be rich in faith, and to be the i^-reateft ia 
the kingdom of heaven. Were the rich in this world's goods 
generally to fpeak well of me, wo be unto me; I (hoiild think 
it a dreadful fign that I was only a wolf in fheep's cloihing, 
that I fpoke peace, peace, when there was no peace, and 
prophefied fmoother things than the gofpel would allow of. 
Hear ye this, O ye rich. Let who will dare to do it, God 
forbid that I fhould defpife the poor; in d£>ing fo, I fliould 
reproach my Maker. The poor are dear to my foul ; I rejoice 
to fee them fly to the do61:rine of Christ, like the doves to 
their windows. I only pray, that the poor who attend, may 
be evangelised, and turned into the fpirit of the gofpel : if i'o, 
*' BleiTed are ye ; for yours is the kingdom of heaven." 

But we muft return to Zaccheus, ^' He fought to fee Jesus." 

'That is good news. 1 heartily wifli I could fay, it was out 

of a good principle : but, without fpcaking contrary to that 

D 2 charitjr 

[ 52 ] 

charity which hopes and believeth all things for the beft, we 
may fay, that the fame principle drew him after Christ^ 
which now draws multitudes (to fpeak plainly, it may be 
multitudes of you) to hear a particular preacher, even curi- 
ofity : for we are told, that he came not to hear his dodrine, 
but to view his perfon, or, to ufe the words of the evangelift^ 
" to fee who he v/as." Our Lord's fame was now fpread 
abroad through all Jerufalem^ and all the country round about: 
ibme faid he was a good man ; others, " Nay, but he de- 
ceiveth the people." And therefore curiofity drew out this 
rich Publican Zaccheus^ to fee who this perfon was, of whom 
he had beard fuch various accounts. But it feems he could 
not conveniently get a fight of him for the prefs, and becaufe 
he was little of ftature. Alas ! how many are kept from fee- 
ing Christ in glory, by reafon of the prefs 1 I mean, how 
many are afliamed of being Angularly good, and therefore follov7 
a multitude to do evil, becaufe they have a prefs or throng of 
polite acquaintance I And, for fear of being fet at nought by 
thofe with whom they ufed to fit at meat, they deny theLoRD 
of glory, and are afhamed to confefs him before men. This 
*bafe, this fervile feai of man, is the bane of true chriflianity ; 
it brings a dreadful fnare upon the foul, and is the ruin of 
ten thoufands ; for I am fully perfuaded, numbers are ration- 
ally convitSted of gofpel-truihs 5 but, not being able to brook 
contempt, they will not profecute their convidions, nor re- 
duce them to pra£lice. Happy thofe, who in this refpet^-, 
like Zaccheus, are refolved to overcome all impediments that lie 
in their way to a fight of Christ: for, finding he could not 
fee Christ becaufe of the prefs and the littlenefs of his na- 
tural flature, he did not fmite upon his bread, and depart, 
faying, " It is in vain to feek after a fight of him any longer, 
I can never attain unto it." No, finding he could not fee 
Christ, if he continued in the midft of, " he ran before 
the multitude, and climbed up into a fycamore-tree, to fee 
him ; f<v he was to pafs that way." 

There is no feeing Christ in Glory, unlefs we run before 
the multitude, and are willing to be in the number of thofe 
defpifed fev/, who take the kingdom of Gop by violence. 
The broad way, in which fo many go, can never be that 
flrait and narrow way which Jeads tg life* C^ur Lord's flock 


[ 53 ] 

was, and always will be, comparatively a little one: and un- 
lefs we dare to run before the multitude in a holy fingularity, 
and can rejoice in being accounted fools for Christ's fake, 
we fliall never fee Jesus with comfort, when he appears in 
glory. From mentioning the fycamore-tree, and confidcring 
the difficulty with which Zaccheus muft climb it, we may far- 
ther learn, that thofe who would fee Christ, muft undero-o 


Other difficulties and hardfhips, befides contempt. Zaccheus^ 
without doubt, went through both. Did not many, think 
you, laugh at him as he ran along, and in the language of 
Michal^ SauVs daughter, cry out, " How glorious did the rich 
Zaccheus look to-day, when, forgetting the greatnefs of his 
ftation, he ran before a pitiful, giddy mob, and climbed up a 
fycamore-tree, to fee an enthufiaftic preacher !" But Zaccheus 
cares not for all that; his curiofity was ftrong : if he could 
but fee who Jesus was, he did not value what fcoffers faid of 
him. Thus, and much more will it be with all thofe who 
have an efFecSlual defire to fee Jesus in heaven : thev will o-o 
on from ftrength to ftrength, break through every difficulty 
lying in their way, and care not what men or devils fay of or 
do unto them. May the Lord make us all thus minded, for 
his dear Son's fake ! 

At length, after taking much pains, and going (as we may 
well fuppofe) through much contempt, Zaccheus has climbed 
the tree; and there he fits, as he thinks, hid in the leaves of 
it, and watching when he fhould fee Jesus pafs by : " For 
he was to pafs by that way." 

But fing, O heavens, and rejoice, O earth ! Praife, mag- 
nify, and adore fovereign, electing, free, preventing love ; 
Jesus the everlafting God, the Prince of peace, who faw 
Nathanael under the fig-tree, and Zaccheus from eternity, now 
fees him in the fycamore-tree, and calls him in time. 

Verfe 5. <' And when Jesus, came to the place, he looked 
up, and faw him, and faid unto him, Zaccheus, make hafte 
and come down ; for this day I muft abide at thy houfe." 
Amazing love ! Well might Luke ufher in the account with 
*' behold !" It is worthy of our higheft admiration. When 
Z.accheus thought of no fuch thing, nay, thought that Christ 
Jesus did not know him ; behold, Christ does what we 
never hear he did before or after, I mean, invite himfelf to 

D 3 the 

[ 54 1 

thf houfe of Zactheui^ faying, '' Zaccheus, make hafte gnd 
come dowTi ; for thi^ day I muft abide at thy houfe." Mot 
pray let me abide, but 1 muft abide this day at thy houfe. fie 
<alfo calls him by name, as though he was well acquainted 
>vith him: and indeed well he might; for his name was writ- 
ten in the book of life, he was one of thpfe whom the Father 
had given him from all eternity : therefore he muft abide at 
his houfe that day, *' For whom he did predeftinate, them 
he alfo called." 

Here then, as through a glafs, we may fee the dodlrine of 
free grace evidently exemplified before us. Here was no fit- 
jiefs in Zaccheus, He was a Publican, chief among the Pub- 
licans ; not only fo, but rich, and came to fee Christ only 
put of curiofity: but fovereign grace triumphs over all. Anc} 
if we do God juftice, and are effectually wrought upon, we 
jnuft acknowledge there was no more fitnefs in us than iri 
T^accheus ; and, had not Christ prevented us by his call, we 
had remained dead in trefpafles and fms, and alienated from 
^he divine life, even as others. " Jesus looked up, and favv 
him, and faid unto him, Zacchues^ make hafte and come down j 
for this day I muft abide at thy houfe." 

With what different emotions of heart may we fuppofe 
Zaccheus received this invitation ? Think you not that he was 
furprifed to hear Jesus Christ call him by name, and not 
only fo, but invite himfelf to his houfe? Surely, thinks Zac^ 
chcus^ I dream : it cannot be ; how fhould he know me ? \ 
never faw him before : befides, I fhall undergo much con* 
tempt, if I receive him under my roof. Thus, I fay, we 
may fuppofe Zaccheus thought within himfelf. But what faith 
the fcripture ? *' I will make a willing people in the day of 
mw power." With this outward call, there went an effica- 
cious power from God, which fweetly over-ruled his natural 
Will : and therefore, verfe 6. " He made hafte, and came 
down, and received him joyfully j" not only into his houfe, 
but alfo into his heart. 

Thus it is the great God brings home his children. He 
calls them by name, by his word or providence ; he fpeaks to 
them alfo by his fpirit. Hereby they are enabled to open their 
hearts, and are made willing to receive the King of glory, 
for Zaaheui\ fake, let us not entirely condemn people that 

[ 55 1 

come tinker the word, out of no better principle than curio- 
fity. Who knows but God may call them ? It is good to be 
where the Lord is pafling by. May all who are now prefent 
out of this principle, hear the voice of the Son of God fpcak- 
ing to their fouls, and fo hear that they may live ! Not that 
men ought therefore to take encouragement to come out of 
curiofity. For perhaps a thoufand more, at other times, 
came to fee Chri^st out of curiofity, as well as 'Zaccheus^ 
who were not effectually called by his gra^e. I only mention 
this for the ■encouragement of my own (oul, and the confo- 
lation of God's children, who are too apt to be angry with 
thofe who do not attend on the word out of love to God : 
but let them alone. Brethren, pray for them. How do you 
know but Jesu5 Christ may fpeak to their hearts ? A few 
words from Christ, applied by his fpirif, will fave their 
fouls. " Zaccheus^ fays Christ, make haile and come down. 
And he made hafte, and came down, and re,ceived him joy- 

I have obferved, in holy foripture, how particularly it is 
remarked, that petfons rejoiced upon believing in Christ, 
Thus the converted Eunuch went on his way rejoicing; 
thus the Jaylor rejoiced with his whole houfe; thus Zacchois 
received Christ joyfully. And well may thofe rejoice who 
neceive Jesus Christ; for with Jiim they receive righteouf- 
fiefs, fandification, and eternal redemption. Many have 
brought up an ill report upon our good land, and would fain 
perfuade people that religion will make them melancholy mad. 
So far from it, that joy is one ingredient of the kingdom of 
God in the heart of a believer ; " The kingdom of God is 
-righteoufnefs, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghoft." To re- 
joice in the Lord, is a gofpel-duty. " Rejoice in the Lord 
always, and again I fay, rejoice.'* And who can be fo joyful, 
as thofe who know that their pardon Is fealed before they go 
hence and are no more feen ? The godly may, but I cannot 
fee how any ungodly men can, rejoice : they cannot be truly 
cheerful. What if wicked men may fomeiimes have laughter 
amongft them ? It is only the laughter of fools ; in the midft 
of it there is heavinefs : At the beft, it is but like the crack- 
ling of thorns under a pot; it makes a blaze, but foon goes 
out. Bat, as for jthe ^odly, it is not ^o with them j their joy 

D 4 is 

[ 5^ ] 

is folid and laftlng. As it is a joy that a ftranger intermed-» 
dleth not with, fo it is a joy that no man taketh from them : 
it is a joy in God, a " joy unfpeakable and full of glory." 

It fhould feem that Zaccheus was under foul-diftrefs but a 
little while ; perhaps (fays Guthrie^ in his book intituled, The 
Trial concerning a fav'ing Interefi in Chriji) not above a quar- 
ter of an hour. I add, perhaps not fo long : for, as one ob-f 
ferves, fometimes the Lord Jesus delights to deliver fpeedily. 
God is a fovereign agent, and works upon his children in 
their effectual calling, according to the counfel of his eternal 
will. It is with the fpiritual, as natural birth : all v/omcn 
have not the like pangs; all chriflians have not the like degree 
of convi(5tion. But all agree in this, that all have Jesus 
Christ formed in their hearts : and thofe who have not fo 
many 'trials at fxrft, may be vifited with the greater conflids 
hereafter ; though they never come into bondage again, after 
they have once received the fpirit of adoption. " We have 
not, (fays Paul) received the fpirit of bondage again unto 
fear." We know not what Zaccheus underwent before he 
died : however, this one thing I know, he now believed in 
Christ, and was juftified, or acquitted, and locked upon as 
righteous in God's fight, though a Publican, chief among the 
Publicans, not many moments before. And thus it is with 
all, that, like Zaccheus^ receive Jesus Christ by faith into 
their hearts : the very moment they find reft in him, they 
are freely juftified from all things from which they could not 
be juftified by the law of Mofes ; " for by grace are we faved, 
through faith, and that not of ourfelves, it is the gift of 

- Say not within yourfelves, this is a licentious Antinomian 
do6lrine ; for this faith, if true, will work by love, and be 
produdive of the fruits of holinefs. See an inftance in this 
convert Zaccheus: no fooner had he received Jesus Christ 
by faith into his heart, but he evidences it by his works; for, 
ver. 8. we are told, " Zaccheus ftood forth, and faid unto the 
Lord, Behold, Lord, the half 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." 

Having believed on Jesus in his heart, he now makes con- 
feilion of him wilh his mouth to falvation. " Zaccheus flood 

forth ;" 

i 57 1 

forth :" he was not afhamed, but flood forth before his bro^ 
ther Publicans ; for true faith cafts out all fervile, fmful fear 
of man ; " and faid, Behold, Lord." It is remarkable, 
Jiow readily people in fcripture have owned the divinity of 
Christ immediately upon their converfion. Thus the woman 
at Jacob's well ; " Is not this the Christ ?" Thus the man 
born blind ; " Lord, I believe j and worfliippcd him." Thus 
Zaccheusy *' Behold, Lord." An inconteflable proof this to 
me, that thofe who deny our Lord's divinity, never efFe6lu- 
ally felt his power : if they had, they would not fpeak fo 
lightly of him ; they would fcorn to deny his eternal power 
and Godhead. " Zaccheus flood forth, and faid. Behold, 
Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if \ 
have taken any thing from any man by falfe accufation, I re- 
llore him four- fold." Noble fruits of a true living faith ii> 
the Lord Jesus I Every word calls for our notice. Not 
fome fmall, not the tenth part, but the half. Of what ? My 
goods ; things that were valuable. My goods, his own, not 
•another's. I give : not, I will give when I die, when I can 
ieep them no longer ; but, I give now, even now. Zaccheus, 
.would be his own executor. For whilft we have time W9 
Jhould do good. But to whom would he give half of his 
goods ? Not to the rich, not to thofe who were already 
clothed in purple and fine linen, of whom he might be re- 
,Compenfed again ; but to the poor, the maimed, the halt, 
the blind, from which he could expe6l no recompence till the 
refurre(9:ion of the dead. " I give to the poor." But know- 
ing that he muft be juft before he could be charitable, and 
confcious to himfelf that in his public adminiflrations he had 
wronged many perfons, he adds, " And if I have taken any 
thing from any man by falfe accufation, I reftore him four- 
fold." Hear ye this, all ye that make no confcience of 
cheating the king of his taxes, or of buying or felling run 
goods. If ever God gives you true faith, you will never refl, 
till, like ZaccheuSy you have made reftitution to the utmofl of 
your power. I fuppofe, before his converfion, he thought it 
JIG harm to cheat thus, no more than you may do now, and 
pleafed himfelf frequently, to be fure, that he got rich by 
doing fo : but now he is grieved for it at his heart; he con- 
fefles his injuflice before men, and promifes to make ample 



[ 58 ] 

reftitution. Go ye cheating Publicans, learn of Tacchem ; 
go away and do likewife. If you do not make reftitution 
here, the Lord Jesus fhall make you confefs your fms before 
men and angels, and condemn you for it, when he comes irt 
the glory of his P'ather to judgment hereafter. 

After all this, with good reafon might our Lord fay unto 
him, " This day is falvation come to this houfe ; forafmuch 
as he alfo is the Son of Abraham ;" not fo much by a natural 
as by a fpiritual birth. He was made partaker of like pre- 
cious faith with Abraham : like Abraham he believed on the 
Lord, and it was accounted to him for righteoufnefs : his 
faith, like Abraham's^ worked by love ; and I doubt not, but 
he has been long fince fitting in Abraham^ harbour. 

And now, are you not afhamed of yourfelves, who fpoak 
againft the do6lrines of grace, efpecially that do6^rine of being 
juftified by faith alone, as though it leaded to licentioufnefs ? 
What can be more unjuft than fuch a charge ? Is not the 
inftance of Zaccheu's, a fufficient proof to the contrary ? Have 
I ftrained it to ferve my own turn ? God forbid. To the beft 
of my knowledge I have fpoken the truth in fmcerity, and the 
truth as it-is in Jesus. I do affirm that we are favcd by grace, 
and that we are juftified by faith alone : but I do alfo affirm^ 
that faith rouft be evidenced by good works, where there is 
an opportunity of performing them. 

What therefore has been faid of Zaccheus^ may ferve as a 
rule, whereby all may judge whether they have faith or not. 
You fay you have faith , but how do you prove it? Did you 
ever hear the Lord Jesus call you by name? Were you ever 
made to obey that call? Did you ever, like Zauheus, receive 
Jesus Christ joyfully into your hearts? Are you influenced 
by the faith you fay you have, to ftand up and confefs the 
Lord Jesus before men? Wer^ you ever made willing to 
own, and humble yourfelves for, your paft offences ? Doei 
your faith work by love, fo that you c(5nfcientioufly lay up, 
according as God has profpered you, for the fupport of the 
poor ? Do you give alms of all things that you poflefs ? And 
have you made due reftitution to thofe you have wronged ? If 
fo, happy are ye; falvation is come to your fouls, you arc fons, 
you are daughters of, you (hall (liortly be everlaftingly blefTed 
with, faithful Abraham, But, if you are not thus minded, do not 


C 59 ] 

Receive your own fouls. Though you may talk of juftlfica- 
(ion by faith, like angels, it will do you no good ; it will only 
inereafe your damnation. You hold the truth, but it is in 
ynrighteoufnefs : your faith being without works, is dead : 
you have the devil, not Abraham ^ for your father. Unlefs you 
get a faith of the heart, a faith working by love, with devils 
^nd damned fpirits (hall you dwell for evermore. 

But it is time now to enforce the latter part of the text ; 
f' For the Son of man is come to feek and to favethat which 
was loft." Theie words are fpoken by our Saviour in anfwer 
to fome felf- righteous Pharifees, who, inftead of rejoicing 
with the angels in heaven, at the converfion of fuch a finner, 
murmured, *' That he was gone to be a gueft with a man 
that was a finner." To vindicate his condu6t, he tells them, 
jhat this was an a(5t agreeable ta> the defign of his coming ; 
" For the Son of man is come to feek and to fave that which 
was loft." He might have faid, the Son of God. But O 
the wonderful ccndcfcenfion of our Redeemer f He delights 
to ftile himfelf the Son of man. He came not only to fave, 
but to feek and to fave that which was loft. He came to Je- 
rUho to feek and fave Zaccheus ; for otherwife Zaccheus would 
never have been faved by h,im. But from whence came he ? 
Even from heaven, his dwelling-place, to this lower earth, 
this vale of tears, to feek and fave that which was loft ; or 
fill that feel themfelves loft, and are willing, like Zaccheus^ to 
receive him into their hearts to fave them ; with how great 
a falvation ? Even from the guilt, and alfo from the power 
of their fms ; to make them heirs of God, and joint heirs 
with himfelf, and partakers of that glory which he enjoyed 
with the Father before the world began. Thus will the Son 
of man fave that which is loft. He was made the fon of man, 
on purpofe that he might fave them. He had no other end 
but this in leaving his Father's throne, in obeying the moral 
law, and hanging upon the crofs : all that was done and fuf- 
fered, merely to fatisfy, and procure a righteoufnefs for poor, 
loft, undone ftnners, and that too without refped of perfons. 
" That which was loft ;" all of every nation and language, 
that feel, bewail, and are truly defirous of being delivered 
from their loft ftate, did the Son of man come down to feek 
]and to fave : for he is mighty, not only fo, but willing, to fave 


[ 6o ] 

to die uttcrmofl: Ml that come to God through him. He will 
in no wife call them out : for he is the fame to-day, as he was 
yellerday. He comes now to Tinners, as well as formerly; 
and, I hope, hath fcnt me out this day to fcek, and, under 
him, to bring home fome of you, the loft flieep of the houfe 
of Ifrael. 

What hy you ? Shall I go home rejoicing, faying, That 
many like (lieep have went aftray, but they have now be- 
lieved on Jesus Christ, and fo returned home to the great 
Shepherd and Bifliop of their fouls ? If the Lord would be 
ptcafed thus to profper my handy-work, I care not how many 
Jcgalifts and fclf-righteous pharifees murmur againft me, for 
offering falvation to the worft of finners : for 1 know the Son 
of man came to fcek and to fave them ; and the Lord Jesus 
will now be a gucft to the worft Publican, the vilefl fmner 
that is amongft you, if he docs but believe on him. Make 
hafte then, O ilnners, make hafte, and come by faith to 
Christ. Then, this day, even this hour, nay, this moment, 
if you believe, Jesus Christ fiiall come and make his eter- 
nal abode in your hearts. Which of you is made willing to 
receive the King of glory ? Which of you obeys he call, 
as Zaccheus did ? Alas ! why do you ftand flill ? How know 
you, whether Jesus Christ may ever call you again? 
Come then, poor, guilty finners ; come away, poor, loft, un- 
done publicans : make hafte, I fay, and come away to Jesus 
Christ. The Lord condefcends to invite himfelf to come 
under the filthy roofs of the houfes of your fouls. Do not be 
afraid of entertaining him ; he will fill you with all peace and 
joy in believing. Do not be afhamed to run before the mul- 
titude, and to have all manner of evil fpoke againft you falfly 
for his fake : one fight of Christ will make amends for all. 
Zaccheus was laughed at ; and all that will live godly in 
Christ Jesus, fliall fufter perfecution. But what of that ? 
V.accheus is now crowned in glory ; as you alfo ftiall fhortly 
be, if you believe on, and arc reproached for Christ's fake. 
Do not, therefore, put me ofF with frivolous excufes : there's 
no cxcufc can he given for your not coming to Christ. You 
are loft, undone, without him \ and if he is not glorified in 
your falvation, he will be gionficd in your deftrudlion ; if he 
does not co-.r.s and mai^e his abode in your hearts, you muft 


[ Ci ] 

take up an eternal abode with the devil and his angels. O that 
the Lord would be pleafed to pafs by fome of you at this 
time ! O that he may call you by his Spirit, and make you a 
willing people in this day of his power ! For I know my 
calling will not do, unlefs he, by his efficacious grace, compel 
you to come in. O that you once felt what it is to receive 
Jesus Christ into your hearts ! You would foon, like Zac-- 
cheus^ give him every thing. You do not love Christ, be- 
caufe you do not know him ; you do not come to him, becaufe 
you do not feel your want of him : you are whole, and not 
broken hearted ; you are not Tick, at leaft not fenfible of 
your ficknefs ; and, therefore^ no wonder you do not apply to 
Jesus Christ, that great, that almighty phyficiani You 
do not feel yourfelves loft, and therefore do not feek to be 
found in Christ. O that God would wound you with the 
fword of his Spirit, and caufe his arrows of convidion to 
flick deep in your hearts ! O that he would dart a ray of 
divine light into your fouls ! For if you do not feel yourfelves 
loft without Christ, you are of all men moft miferable : 
your fouls are dead j you are not only an image of hell, but 
in fome degree hell itfelf: you carry hell about with you, 
and you know it not. O that I could fee fome of you fen- 
fible of this, and hear you cry out, " Lord, break this 
hard heart ; Lord, deliver me from the body of this death ; 
draw me. Lord, makis me willing to come after thee ; I am 
loft; Lord, fave me, or I perifh!" Was this your cafe, 
how foOn would the Lord ftretch forth his almighty hand, 
and fay. Be of good cheer, it is I ; be not afraid ? What a 
wonderful calm would then poflefs your troubled fouls ! Your 
fellovvfhip v/ould then be with the Father and the Son : your 
life would be hid with Christ in God. 

Some of you, I hope, have experienced this, and can fay, I 
was loft, but I am found ; I was dead, but am alive again : 
the Son of man came and fought me in the day of his power, 
and faved my finful foul. And do you repent that you came 
to Christ ? Has he not been a good maftcr ? Is not his 
prefence fweet to your fouls? Has he not been faitliful to hh 
promife ? And have you not found, that even in doing and 
fuftering for him, there is an exceeding prefent great reward ? 
I am perfuadcd you will anfwer. Yes. O then, ye faints, re- 

[ 62 ] 

commend and talk of the love of Christ to others, and tell 

them, O tell them what ^reat things the Lord has done for 

you! This may encourage others to come unto him. And who 

knows but the Lord may make you fifners of men ? The 

ftory of Zacihcus was left on record for this purpofe. No 

truly convicted foul, after fuch an inftance of divine grace 

has been laid before him, need defpair of mercy. What if 

you arc Publicans ? Was not Zaccheus a Publican ? What if 

you are chief among the Publicans ? Was not Zaccheus like- 

vvife ? What if you are rich ? Was not Zaccheus rich alfo ? 

And yet almighty grace made him more than conqueror ovet 

all ihcfc hindrances. All things are pofTible to Jesus Christ; 

rothing is too hard for him : he is the Lord almighty. Our 

mountains of fms muft all fall before this great ZeruhbahcL 

On htm God the Father has laid the iniquities of all that 

fnall believe on him ; and in his own body he bare them on 

the tree. There, there, by faith, O mourners in ^lon^ may 

you fee your Saviour hanging with arms ftretched out, and 

hear him, as it were, thus fpeaking to your fouls ; " Behold 

** how I have loved you ! Behold my hands and my feet t 

" Look, look into my wounded fide, and fee a heart flaming 

" with love : love ftrenger than death. Come into my arms,- 

*' O fmners, come wafli your fpotted fouls in m.y heart's 

*' blood. See here is a fountain opened for all fin and all 

*' uncleannefs ! See, O guilty fouls, how the wrath of God 

'* is now abiding upon you : come, hafte away, and hide 

'* yourfelves in the clefts of my wounds ; for I am wounded 

*' for your tranf^reflions ; I am dying that you may live for 

" evermore. Behold, as Mofes lifted up the ferpent in the 

** wildernefs, fo am I here lifted up upon a tree. See how I 

*' am become a curfc for you : the chafli'fementof your peace 

** is upon me. I am thus fcourged, thus wounded, thus cru- 

•* cified, that you by my ftripes may be healed. O look unto 

** me, all ye trembling fmners, even to the ends of the earth \ 

•' Look unto me by faith, ami you fhall be faved ; for I came 

" thus to be obedient iven unto death, that I might fave that 

*' which was loft.'* 

And what fay you to this, O fmners ? Suppofe you fav/ 
the King of glory dyin-g, and thus fpeaking to you ; would 
you believe on him r No, you would not^^ uiJefs you believe 


i: 63 ] 

on him now : for though he is dead, he yet fpcakcth all this 
in the fcripturej nay, in effect. Cays all this in the words of 
the text, " The Son of man is come to feck and to fave that 
which is loft.'* Do not therefore any longer crucify the 
Lord of glory. Bring thofe rebels, your fms, which will not 
have him to reign over them, bring them out to him : though 
you cannot flay them yourfelvcs, yet he will flay them for you. 
The power of his death and refurredlion is as great now as 
formerly. Make hafl:e therefore, make hafte, O ye publicans 
and flnners, and give the dear Lord Jesus your hearts, your 
whole hearts. If you refufe to hearken to this call of the 
Lord, remember your damnation will be juft : I am free 
from the blood of you all : you mufl: acquit my Mafler and 
me at the terrible day of judgment. O that you may know 
the things that belong to your everlafting peace, before they 
are eternally hid from your eyes ! Let all that love the Lord 
Jesus Christ in fmcerity fay, Amen. 

S E R i\^ O N 

t 64 ] 


The Marriage of Cana, 

John ii. 11. 

nis hegimiiu^ cf miracles did ]^^v% in Cana of Galilee^ 
and mar.ij eft cd forth his glory , and his difciples believed 
en him. 

I Have more than once had occafion to obferve, that the 
chief end St. John had in view, when he wrote his gofpel, 
was to prove the divinity of Jesus Christ, [that Word, 
who not only was from evcrlafting with God, but alfo was 
really God blefled for evermore] againft thofe arch-heretics 
Ehion and Coriuthiis^ whofe pernicious principles too many 
follow in thefe laft days. For this purpofe, you may take 
notice, that he is more particular than any other Evangelift^ 
in relating our Lord's divine difcourfes, as alfo the glorious 
miracles which he wrought, not by a power derived from ano- 
ther, like Mofes^ and other prophets, but from a power inhe- 
rent in himfclf. 

The words of the text have a reference to a notable miracle 
vhich CnrasT performed, and thereby gave proof of his 
eternal power and Godhead. " This beginning of miracles 
did Jesus in Cana of Galilecy and manifefted forth his glory j 
and his difciplcs believed on him." 

'Jlic miracle here fpoken of, is that of our Lord's turning 
water into wine at a marriage feaft. I defign, at prefent, by 
God's help, to make fome obfervations on the circumftances 
and certainty of the miracle, and then conclude with fome 
praflical inftrudtions j that you, by hearing how Jesus Christ 
has fhewed forlh his glory, may, by the operation of God's 
Spirit upon yoi:r hearts, with the difciplcs mentioned in the 
uxt, be brought Co believe on him> 


[ 65 ] 

FirJ]^ then, I would make fome obfervations on the miracJe 

Vcrfe I and 2. " And the third day there was a marriage 
in Cana of Galilee ; and the mother oF Jesus was there. And 
both Jesus was called, and his difciples, to the marriap-c." 
By our Lord's being at a fcaft we may learn, that feaftincr 
upon folemn occafions is not abfolutely unlawful : but then 
we muft be exceeding careful at fuch feafons, that the occa- 
fion be folemn, and that we go not for the fake of eatinn- and 
drinking, but to edify one another in love, Feafling in any 
other manner, I tlwnk abfolutely unlawful for the followers 
of Jesus Christ : becaufe if we eat and drink out of an/ 
other view, it cannot be to the glory of God. The Son of 
man, we know, " came eating and drinking." If a pharifee 
afked him to come to his houfe, our Lord went, and fat 
Hown with him. But then we find his difcourfe was always 
fuch as tended to the ufe of edifying. We may then, no 
iloubt, go and do likewife. 

We may obferve farther, that if our Lord was prefent at a 
marriage feaft, then, to deny marriage to any order of men, 
is certainly a " doctrine of devils." '' Marriage (fays the 
Apoilie) is honourable in all." Our Lord graced a marriape 
feafl with his firft public miracle. It was an inftitution of 
tjOD himfelf, even in paradife : and therefore, no doubt, 
lawful for all chriftians, even for thofe who are made pcrfetSi 
in. holinefs through the faith of Jesus Christ. But then, 
we may learn the reafon why we have fo many unhappy mar- 
riages in the world ; it is becaufe the parties concerned do not 
call Jesus Christ by prayer, nor afk the advice of his true 
difciples when they are about to marry : No ; Christ and 
religion are the laft things that arc coniulted : and no wonder 
then if matches of the devil's making (as all fuch are, which' 
are contracted only on account of outward beauty, or for 
iilthy lucre's fake) prove mod miferable, and grievous to be 

I cannot but dwell a little on this particular, becaufe I ^rtl 
perfuaded the devil cannot lay a greater fnare for young 
chriftians, than to tempt them unequally to yoke themlelves 
with unbelievers : as are all who are not born again of GcD. 
This was the fnare wherein the fons of God were entangled 

"^oi.. VL E before 


[ 66 ] 

before the flood, and one great caufe why God brought that 
flood upon the world. For what fays Mofes, Gen, vi. 2, 3. 
*' The Tens of God (the pofterity of pious Seih) faw the 
dau'^htcMs of men, (or the poiterity of wicked Cain) that they 
were fair, (not that they were pious) and they took them 
wives of all which they chofe :" not which God chofe for 
them. What follows ? " And the Lord faid. My fpiric 
fliall not always ftrivc with man, for that he alfo is flefh ;" 
that is, even the few righteous fouls being now grown carnal 
by tlicir ungodly marriage?, the whole world was altogether 
become abominable, and had made themfelves veflels of wrath 
fitted for deftrudlion. I might inftance farther, the care the 
ancient patriarchs took to chufe wives for their children out 
of their o\Ni-\ religious families ; and it was one great mark of 
Efaus rebellion againft his father, that he took unto himfelf 
wives of the daughters of the Canaanhes^ who were flrangers 
to the covenant of promife made unto his fathers. But I for- 
bear. Time will not permit me to enlarge here. Let it 
fufHce to advife all, whenever they enter into a marriage ftate, 
to imitate the people of Cana in Gal'ike^ to call Christ to 
the marriage : He certainty will hear and chufe for you ; and 
you will always find his choice to be the befl. He then will 
direct ydu co fuch yoke- fellows as fhall be helps meet for you 
in the great work of your falvatlon, and then he will alfo 
enable you to ferve him without dif^radion, and caufe you 
to walk, as Zad\iry and Elizabeth ^ in all his commandments 
and ordinances blamelefs. 

But to proceed. Who thefe perfons v/cre that called our 
Lord and his difciples to the marriage, is not certain. Some 
(becaufe it is faid, that the mother of Jesus was there) have 
fuppofed that they were related to the Virgin, and that there- 
fore our Lord and his difciples were invited on her account. 
However that be, it (liould feem they were not very rich, [iot 
whit had rich folks to do with a def|-;ifed Jesus of Nazarelb^ 
and his mean followers ?) becaufe we find they were unfur- 
nifhed with a fufficient quantity of wine for a large company, 
and iherefore, '< when they v/anted wine, the mother of 
Jesus," having, as it fliould feem by her applying to him fo 
readily on this occafion, even in his private life, fecn fome 
inftunccs of his. miraculous power, '« faith unto him, They 


' have no wine,'* She thought it fufHcient only to inform him 
of the wants of the hoft, knowing that he was as ready to 
give as flie to a(k. In this light the blefTed Virgin's requeft 
appears to us at the tirft view ; but if we examine our Lord's 
anfwer, we fhall have reafon to think there was fomething 
which was not right; for Jesus faith unto her, ver. 4. 
" Woman, what have I to do with thee?" Obferve, he 
calls her woman, not mother; to fhew her, that though fhe 
was his mother, as he was man, yet flie was his creature, as 
he was God. " What have I to do with thee ?" Think 
you that I mufl work miracles at your bidding ? Some have 
thought that {he fpoke as though (he had an authority over 
him, which was a proud motion, and our Lord therefore 
checks her for it. And if Jesus Christ would not turn a 
little water into wine, whilft he was here on earth, at her 
command, how idolatrous is that church, and how juftly do 
we feparate from her, v;hich prefcribes forms, wherein the 
Virgin is defired to command her Son to have compallion 
on us I 

But notwithftanding the holy Virgin v/as blartieable in this 
refpecSl, yet Ihe hath herein fet^ rich and poor an example 
which it is your duty to follow. You that are rich, and live 
in cieled houfes, learn of her to go into the cottages of the 
poor ; your Lord was not above it, and why fhould you ? 
And when you do vifit them, like the virgin-mother, examine 
their wants ; and when you fee they have no wine, and are 
ready to perifli with hunger, (hut not up your bowels of com- 
paffion, but blefs the Lord for putting it in your power to 
adminifter to their ncceflities. Believe me, fuch vifits would 
do you good. You would learn then to be thankful that 
God has given you bread enough, and to fpare. And I am 
perfuaded, every mite that you beftow on feeding the hungry 
and cloathing the naked difciples of Jesus Christ, will 
afford you more fatisfa6tion at the hour of death, and in the 
day of judgment, than all the thoufands Squandered away in 
balls and aflemblies, and fuch-like entertainments. 

You that are poor in this world's goods, and thereby are 
difabled from helping, yet you may learn from the Virgin, to 
pray for one another. She could not turn the water into wine, 
but fhe could entreat her fon to do it : and fo may you ; and 

E 2 doubt 

[ 68 ] 

doubt not of the Lord's hearing you ; for God has chof^ri 
the poor in this world, rich in faith : and by your fervent 
prayers, you may draw down many a blcfling on your poor 
fellow- creatures. O that I may ever be remembered by you 
before the throne of our dear Lord Jesus ! But what (hall 
we fav ? Will our Lord entirely difregard this motion of 
his mother ? No; though he check her with, '^ Woman, 
what have I to do with thee?" yet he intimates that he 
would do as flie defircd by-and-by : " Mine hour is not yet 
come." As though he had faid. The wine is almoft, but not 
quite out ; when they are come to an extremity, and fenfible 
of the want of my afliflance, then will I fliew forth my glory, 
that they may behold it, and believe on me. 

Thus, Sirs, hath our Lord been frequently pleafed to deal 
with me, and, I doubt not, with many of you alfo. Often, 
often when I have found his prefence as it were hidden from 
my foul, and his comforts well nigh gone, I have went unto 
him complaining that I had no vifit and token of his love, 
as ufual. Sometimes he has feemed to turn a deaf ear to my 
requefl-, and as it were faid, " W^hat have I to do with thee ?" 
which has made me go forrowing all the day long ; (o foolifli 
was I, and faithlefs before him : for I have always found he 
loved me notwithftanding, as he did Lazarus, though he 
ftayed two days after he heard he was fick. But when m^ 
hour of extremity has been come, and my will broken, then 
hath he lifted up the light of his blefied countenance afrefti ; 
he has flicvved forth his glory, and made me afhamed for dif- 
believing him, who often hath turned my water into wine. 
Be not then difcouraged, if the Lord does not immediately 
fccm to regard the voice of your prayer, when you cry unto 
him. The holy Virgin we find was not ; no, fhe was con- 
vinced his time was the bcft time, and therefore, verfc 5. 
** faith unto the fcrvants, (O that we could follow her ad- 
vice!) vvhatfoever he faith unto you, do it." 

And now, behold the hour is come, when the eternal Son 
of God will fliew forth his glory. The circumftance of the 
miracle is very remarkable ; ver. 6. " And there were fet fix 
water-pots of water, after the manner of the purifying of the 
Jms^ containing two or three firkins a-piece." The manner 
of this purifying wc have an account of in the other 
3 Evangeiifts, 

C 69 ] 

Evangelids, efpecially St. Mark^ who informs us, that the 
pharifees, and all the Jews^ except they wafh their hands oft, 
eat not ; and when they come from the market, except they 
waih they eat not. This was a fuperltitious cuftom ; but, 
however, we may learn from it, whenever we come in 
from converfing with thofe that are v\ithout, to purify our 
hearts by felf-examination and prayer ; for it is hard to go 
through the world, and to be kept unfpotted from it. 

Obferve further, verfe 7. " Jesus faith unto them," not 
to his own difciples, but unto the fervants of the houfe, who 
were flrangers to the holy Jesus, and whom the virgin had 
before charged to do whalfoever he faid unto them ; " Fill 
the water-pots with water. And they filled them to the brim. 
And he fiiith unto them, draw out now, and b^ar to the go- 
vernor of the feaft. And they bear it." How our Lord 
turned the water into wine we are not told. What have Vv'e 
to do v^ith that? Why (liould we defire to be wife above 
what is written ? It is fumcicnt for the manifedation of his 
glorious godhead, that we are aflured he did do it. For 
we are told, vq[-^q 9, 10. ^' When the ruler of the fcaft had 
tafted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it 
was (but the fervants that drew the water knew) the gover- 
nor of the fea(l called the bridegroom, and faith unto him, 
every man at the beginning doth fet forth good wine, and 
when they have well drunk, that which is worfej but thoi4 
haft kept the good wine until now." 

To explain this pafiage, you muft obferve, it was the cuf- 
fiom of the Jews^ nay even of the heathens themfelves, (to 
the {hame of our chriftian baptized heathens be it fpoken) at 
their public feafts to chufe a governor, who was to overfeeand 
regulate the behaviour of the guefts, and to take care that all 
things were carried on with decency and order. To this pcr- 
fon then did the fervants bear the wine ; and we may judge 
how rich it was by his commendation of it, *' Every man at 
the beginning, &c." Judge ye then, whether Jesus did not 
fiiew forth his glory, and whether you have not good reafon, 
like the difciples here mentioned, to believe on him ? 

Thus, my brethren, I have endeavoured to make fome ob- 
fervations on the miracle iifelf. But alas ! this is only the 
outward court thereof, the veil is yet before our eyes j tuni 

E 3 that 

[ 70 ] 

that afide, nn.l we Oiall fee fuch myfleries under it, as will 
make our hearts to dance for joy, and fill our mouths with 
praife for evermore ! 

But here I cannot help remarking what a fad inference 
one of our mafters of //'KW, in a printed fermon, has lately 
drawn from this commendation of the bridegroom. His 
words arc ihcfe. " Our blefled Saviour came eating and 
drinking, was prefent at weddings, and ether entertainments, 
(though I hear of his being only at one ;) nay, at one of them 
(which I fuppofe is that of which I am now difcourfmg) 
worked a miracle to make wine, when it is plain there had 
been more drank than was abfolutely neceflary for the fupport 
of nature, and confequently fomething had been indulged to 
pleafure and chearfulncfs."* 

I am forry fuch words fhould come from the mouth and pen 
of a dignified clergyman of the Church o^ England. Alas ! 
how is (he fallen ! or at leafl, in what danger mud her tot- 
tering ark be, when fuch unhallowed hands are ftretched out 
to fupport it ! Well may I bear patiently to be ftiled a blaf- 
phemcr, and a fetter forth of flrange doctrines, when my dear 
Lord Jesus is thus traduced ; and when thofe who pretend 
to preach in his name, urge this example to patronize licen- 
tioufncfs and excefs. It is true (as I obferved at the begin- 
ning of this difcourfe) our blefled Saviour did come eating and 
drinking-, he was prefent at a wedding, and other entertain- 
ments ; nay,- at one of them worked a mjracle to make wine, 
(you fee I have been making fome obfervations on it) but then 
it is not plain there had been more wine drank than was ab- 
folutely neceflary for the fupport of nature ; much lefs does it 
appear, that fomething had been indulged to pleafure and 

The governor does indeed fay, " When men have well 
drunken," but it no where appears that they were the men* 
Is it to be fuppofed, that the moft holy and unfpotted Lamb 
of God, who was manifcfted to deftroy the works of the de- 
vil, and who, when at a Pharifee's houfe, took notice of even 
the gefturcs of thofe with whom he fat at meat; is it to be 
fuppofed, that our^ dear R.edeemcr, whofe condant pracftice 
it was to tell people they muft deny themfelves, and take up 

•* See Dr. Trop^ Armon againft being righteous over-tnucb, p. 17. 


[ 71 ] 

their crofles dally ; who bid his difciples to take heed, left at 
any time their hearts might be over-charged with furfeiting 
and drunkennefs y can it be fappofed, that fuch a felf- denying 
Jesus fhould now turn fix large water-pots of water into the 
richeil: wine, to encourage excefs and drunkennefs in pcrfons, 
who, according to this writer, had indulged to pleafure and 
chearfulnefs already ? Had our Lord fat by, and feen them 
indulge, without telling them of it, v/ould it not be a fin? 
But to infmuate he not only did this, but alfo turned water 
into wine, to increafe that indulgence ; this is making Christ 
a minifter of fin indeed. What is this, but ufing him like the 
Pharifces of old, who called him a glutton, and a wine»-bibber ? 
Alas ! how may we expert our dear Lord's enemies will 
treat him, when he is thus wounded in the houfe of his feem- 
ing friends ? Sirs, if you follow fuch do6lrine as this, you 
will not be righteous, but I am perfuaded you will be wicked 

But God forbid you fhould think our Lord behaved (o 
much unlike himfelf in this matter. No, he had nobler ends 
in view, when he wrought this miracle. One, the evangelift 
mentions ^ the words of the text, " to fhew forth his glory,'* 
or to give a proof of his eternal power and godhead. 

Here feems to be an a'lufion to the appearance of God in 
the tabernacle, which this fame evangel ift takes notice of in 
his firft chapter, where he fays, " The Word (Jesus 
Christ) was made flefh, and dwelt (or, as it is rendered in 
the margin, tabernacled) amongft us." Our dear Lord, 
though very God of very God, and alfo mod perfedl and 
glorious in himfelf as man, was pleafed to throw a veil of flefh 
over this his great glory, when he came to make his foul an 
offering for fin. And that the world might know and believe 
in him as the Saviour of all men, he performed many miracles, 
and this in particular; for thus fpeaks the cvangclifl", " This 
firfl," he 

This then was the chief defign of our Lord's turning the 
water into wine. But tliC.e are more which our Lord may 
be fu!\Dofed to have had in view, fome of v/hich I fliall proceed 
to mention. 

Secondly^ he might do this to reward the heft for calling 
him and his difciples to the marriage. Jesus Christ will 

E 4 not 

[ 72 1 

not be behind -hand with thofe who receive him or his follow- 
ers, for Ins name's fake. Thofe who thus honour him, he 
will honour. A cup of cold water given in the name of a 
dil'ciple, fhall in np wife lofc its reward. He will turn water 
into wine. Though thofe who abound in alms-deeds, out 
of a true faith in, and love for Jesus, may feem as it were 
to throw their bread upon the waters, yet they fhall find it 
again after many days. For they who give to the poor out 
of this principle, lend unto the Lord ; and look, whatfoever 
they lay out, it (hall be repaid them again. Even in this life, 
God otan orders good meafure prefixed down and running 
over, to be returned into his fervants bofoms. It is the fame 
in fpirituals. To him that hath, and improves what he hath, 
for the fake of Christ and his difciples, fliall be given, and 
he fliull have abundance. Brethren, I would not boaft ; 
bur, to my mafter's honour and free grace be it fpoken, 1 can 
prove this to be true by happy experience. V/hen I have con- 
fidcred that I am a child, and cannot fpeak, and have fecn fo 
many of you come out into the wildernefs to be fed, I have 
ofren faid wichin myfclf, what can I do with my little {lock 
of grace and knowledge among fo great a multitude? Bur, 
at my Lord's command, I have given you to eat of fuch fpi- 
ritual food as I had, and before I have done fpcaking, have had 
my foul richly fed with the bread which comcth down from 
heaven. Thus (hall it be done to all fuch who are willing 
to fpcnd and be fpent for Christ or his dilciples^ for there 
is no rrfpccl of perfons with God. 

7hirdly^ Our Lord's turning the water, v.'hich was poured 
out fo plentifully, into wine, is a fign of the plentiful pour- 
ing out of his Spirit into the hearts ot believers. The holy 
Spirit is in fcripture compared unto wmc ; and therefore 
the prophet calls us to buy wine as well as milk, that is, the. 
fpirit of Jove, which fills and gladdens the foul as it were with 
j)ew wine, The apoftle alludes to this, when he bids the 
Ephcf:ans *' not to be drunk with wine, wherein is excefs, 
but be filled with the Spirit." And our Lor.d Oiews us thus 
much by chufing wine ; to (hew forth the flrength and re- 
frcfhment of his blood, in the blefibd facrament. 1 know 
thefe terms are unintelligible to natural men, they can no 
more underHand me, than if I fpake to them in an unknown 
tongue, for they are only to be fpiritually difcerncd. To 


F 71 1 

you then that are fplritual do I fpealc, to you who arejufti- 
Jied by faith, and feel the blefled Spirit of Jesus Chris r 
working upon your hearts, you can judge of wliat I lay • you 
have aheady (I ani pcrfuaded) been as it were filled with new 
wine by the infpiration of his Holy Spirit. But alas ! you 
have not yet had half your portion; thefe are only earntfts, 
and in comparifon but Ihadows of good things to come ; our 
Lord keeps his beft wine for you till the laft ; and thouglx 
you have drank deep of it already, yet he irttencis to give you 
more : He will not leave you, 'till he has filled you to the brim, 
'till you are ready to cry out, Lord, ftay thine hand, thy poor 
creatures can hold no more I Be not ftraitened in your own 
bowels, flnce Jesus Christ is not ftraitened in his, Open 
your hearts as wide as ever you will, the Spirit of the Lord 
fhall fill them. Christ deals with true believers, as Eli/a/j did 
with the poor woman, whofcoil increafed, to pay her hufband's 
debts J as long as (he brought pitchers, the oil continued. It 
did not ceafe till (he ce'afed bringing veilels to contain it. My 
brethren, our hearts are like thofe pitchers ; open them freely 
by faith, and the oil of God's free gift, the oil of gladnefs, the 
love of God through Christ, fliali be continually pouring 
in ; for believers are to be filled with all the fulnefs of God. 

Fourthly^ Our Lord's turning water into wine, and keep- 
ing the beft until laft, may fhew forth the glory of the latter 
days of his marrkige feaft with his church. Great thini^s God 
has done already, whereat millions of faints have rejoiced, 
and do yet rejoice. Great things God is doing now, but 
yet, my brethren, we (hall fee greater things than thefe. It 
is meet, right, and our bounden duty, to give thanks unto Gob, 
even the Father ; for many righteous men have defired to fee 
the things which we fee, and have not ktn them ; and to 
hear the things which we hear, and have not heard them. But 
ftill there are more excellent things behind. Glorious things 
are fpoken of thefe times, "when the earth fhall be filled 
with the knowledo-e of the Lord, as the waters cover the 
fea." There is a general expecSlation among the people of 
God, when the partition-wall between ynv and Gentile fnall 
be broken down, and all Ifracl be favcd. Happy thofe who 
live when God does this. They (liall fee Satan^ like light- 
ning, fall from heaven. They (iiall not weep, as the Jews 
did at the building of the fccor.d temple. No, they fhall re- 

[ 74 ] 

joicc with exceeding great joy. For all the former glory of 
the chriCfian church flmll be nothing in comparifon of that 
glory which fliall excel. Then (hall they cry out with the 
governor of the fcait, " thou haft ku'pt thy good wine until 
now !" 

Fifthly, and laftly, This fliews us the happinefs of that 
blcflcd (late, when we (hdl ail fit together at the marriage 
fupper of the Lamb, and drink of the new wine in his eternal 
and glorious kingdom 1 

The rewards which Jesus Christ confers on his faithful 
fervants, and the comforts of his love wherewith he comforts 
them, whilfl: pilgrims here on earth, are often fo exceeding 
great, that was it not promifed, it were almoft prefumption 
for them to hope for any reward hereafter. But, my brethren, 
all the manifeftations of God that we can poffibly be favoured 
with here, when compared with the glory that is to be 
revealed in us, are no more than a drop of water when 
compared with an unbounded ocean. Though Christ 
frequently fills his faints even to the brim, yet their cor- 
ruptible bodies weigh down their fouls, and caufe them to 
cry, ** Who (hall deliver us from thefe bodies of death ?'* 
Thefe earthly tabernacles can hold no more : But, blefTed be 
God, thefe earthly tabernacles are to be difiblved ; this cor- 
ruptible is to put on incorruption ; this mortal is to put on 
immortality : and when God fhall caufe all his glory to pafs 
before us, then fhall we cry out. Lord, thou haft kept thy 
good wine until now. We have drank deeply of thy fpirit ; 
we have heard glorious things fpoken of this thy city, O 
God I but we now find, that not the haK, not the thoufandth 
part hath been told us. O the invifible realities of the world 
of faith I P2ye hath not feen, ear hath not heard, neither hath 
it entered into the heart of the greateft faint to conceive hov/ 
Christ will ftiew forth his glory there I St. Paul, who was 
carried up into the third heavens, could give us little or no 
account of it. And well he might not — -for he heard and faw 
fuch things as is not pofiible for a man cloathed with flefh 
and blood to utter. Whilft I am thinking, and only fpeaking 
of thofe things unto you, I am almoft carried beyond myfelf. 
Methinks, I now receive fome little foretaftes of that nev/ 
wine which I hope to drink with you in the heavenly king- 
dom for ever and ever. 


t 75 ] 

And v»?hereforc do you think I have been faying thefc things ? 
Many, perhaps, may be ready to fay, To manifcft thy own 
vain-::lory. But it is a fmall matter with me to be judged of 
man's judgment. He that judgeth me is the Lord. He 
knows that I have fpoken of his miracle, only for the fame 
end for which he at firft performed it, and which I at firft pro- 
pofed, that is, " to fhew forth his glory," that you alfo may 
be brought to believe on him. 

Did 1 come to preach myfelf, and not Christ Jesus my 
Lord, I would come to you, not in this plainnefs of fpeech, 
but with the enticing words of man's wifdom. Did I defire 
to pieafe natural men, I need not preach here in the wilder- 
nefs. I hope my heart aims at nothing elfe, than what our 
Lord's great fore-runner aimed at, and which ought to be 
the bufinefs of every gofpel minifler, that is, to point out to 
you the God-man Christ Jesus. " Behold then (by faith 
behold) the Lamb of God, who taketh away the fins of the 
world." Look unto him, and be faved. You have heard 
how he manifeftcd, and will yet maniiefi: his glory to true be- 
lievers ; and why then, O fmners, will you not believe in 
him ? I fay, O fmners, for now I have fpoken to the faints, I 
have many things to fay to you. And may God give you 
all an hearing ear, and an obedient heart ! 

The Lord Jesus who {hewed forth his glory above 1700 
years ago, has made a marriage feaft, and offers to efpoufe 
all fmners to himfelf, and to make them fi^fti of his flefli, and 
^)one of his bone. He is willing to be united to you by one 
fpirit. In every age, at fundry times, and after divers man- 
ners, he hath fent forth his fervants, and they had bidden 
many, but yet, my brethren, there is room. The Lord 
therefore now has given a commifTion in thefe laft days to 
others of his fervants, even to compel poor finners by the 
cords of love to come in. For our mafter's houfe mulf and 
ihall be filled. He will not (lied his precious blood in vain. 
Come then, come to the marriage. Let this be the day of 
your efpoufals with Jesus Christ, he is v/illing to receive 
you, thourrh other lords have had dominion over you. Come 
then to the marriage. Behold the oxen and fatlings are 
killed, and all things are ready ; let me hear you fay^ as 
Rebecca did, when they afked her, whether flic would go and 
5 b^ 

[ 76 ] 

he a wife to Ifa.^c ; O let me hear you fay, we will come, 
l.ideed you will not repent it. The Lord (hall turn your 
water into wine. He fliall fill your fouls with marrow and 
fatncfs, and caufe you to praife him with joyful lips. 

Do not lay, you are miferable, and poor, and blind, and 
naked, and therefore afhamed to come, for it is to fuch that 
this invitation is now fent. The polite, the rich, the bufy, 
felf-ri'^hteous Pharifees of this generation have been bidden 
already, but they have rejc61:ed the counfel of God againft 
thcu^felves. They are too deeply engaged in going, one to 
his country houfe, another to his merchandize. They are fo 
deeply wedded to the pomps and vanities of this wicked world, 
that thjy, as it were with one confent, have made excufe. And 
though they have been often called in their own fynagogues, 
yet all the return they make, is to thruft us out, and thereby 
in eltect fay, they will noi come. But God forbid, my bre- 
thren, that you ihould learn of them ; no, llnce our Lord 
condefccnds to call firfl-, (becaufe if left to yourfelves you 
would never call after him) let me befeech you to anfwer him, 
as he anfwered for you, when called upon by infinite offended 
juftice to die for your fins, *' Lo ! 1 come to do thy will, O 
God !" What if you are miferable, and poor, and blind, and 
naked, that is no excufe ; faith is the only wedding garment 
which CHRis;r requires ; he does not call you becaufe you 
already are, but becaufe he intends to make you faints. It 
pitiss him to fee you naked. He wants to cover you with his 
rightcoufnefs. In fhort, he defires to fhew forth his glory, 
that is, his free love through your faith in him. Not but 
that he will be glorified, v/hether you believe in him or not ; 
for the infinitely free love of Jesus Christ will be ever the 
fame, whether you believe it, and fo receive it, or the con- 
trary. But our Lord will not always fend out his fervants in 
vain, to call you ; the time will come when he will fay. None 
of thofe which were bidden, and would not come, fhall tafte 
of my fupper. Our Lord is a God of juftice, as well as of 
love ; and if finners will not take hold of his golden fceptrc, 
verily he will bruife them with his iron rod. It is for your 
fakes, O finners, and not his own, that he thus condefcends 
to invite you : fufil-r him then to fhew forth his glory, even 
the glory of the exceeding riches of his free grace, by believ- 

r 11 i 

ing on him, " For we are faved by grace through faith." It 
was grace, free grac^, that moved the f^uher fo to love 
the world, as to " give his only begotten Son, that whofo- 
ever believeth in him (liould not perilh, but have evcfilafting; 
life!" It v;'as grace, that made the Son to come down and 
die. It was grace, free grace, that moved the Holy G'noft 
to undertake to fan^tify the eledl people of God : and it was 
grace, free grace, that moved our Lord Je^us Christ to 
lend forth his miniiters to call poor finncrs this day. Let me 
not then, my brethren, go without my errand. Why Will 
you not believe in him ? Will the devil do fuch great and 
good things for you as Christ will ? No indeed, he will not. 
Perhaps, he may give you to drink at firfi: of a little brutifh 
pleafure ; but what will he give you to drink at lall ? a cup 
of fury and of trembling i a never-dying worm, a felf-con- 
demning confcience, and the bitter pains of eternal death. 
But as for the fervants of Jesus Christ, it is not fo with 
them. No, he keeps his befl wine till the laft. And thouf^h 
he may caufe you to drink of the brook in the way to heaven, 
and ofthecupof afflidion, yet he fweetens it with a fenfe 
of his goodnefs, and makes it pleafant drink, fuch as their 
fouls do love. I appeal to the experience of any faint here 
prefent, (as I doubt not but there are many fuch in this field) 
whether Christ has not proved faithful, ever fince you have 
been efpoufed to him ? Has he not fiiewed forth his '^loiy, 
ever fmce you have believed on him ? 

And now, fmners, what have you to object ? I fee you 
are all filent, and well you may. For if you will not be 
drawn by the cords of infinite and everlafting love, what will 
draw you ? I could urge many terrors of the Lord to per- 
fuade you ; but if the love of Jesus Christ will not con- 
ftrain you, your cafe is defperate. Remember then this day 
1 have invited all, even the worft of finners, to be married to 
the Lord Jesus. If you perifh, remember you do not pcrifli 
for lack of invitation. You yourfelves (hall (tand forth at the 
laft day, and I here give you a fummons to meet me at the 
judgment feat of Christ, and to clear both my mafter and 
me. Would weeping, would tears prevail on you, I could 
vvifh my head were waters, and my eyes fountains of tears, 
that I miffht weep out every argument, and melt you into 


[ 78 ] 

Jove. Would an}' thing I could do or fuffer, influence your 
hearts. I think I could bear to pluck out my eyes, or even 
to hv down my life for your fakes. Or was I fure to prevail 
on v<;u bv importunity, I could continue my difcourfe till 
midnight, I would wr^ftie with you even till the morning 
watch, as Jacob did with the angel, and would not go away 
till I had overcome. But fuch power belongeth only unto 
the Lord, I can only invite ; it is He only can work in you 
both to will and to do after his good pleafure ; it is his pro- 
perty to take away the heart of ftone, and give you a heart 
of flcfh ; it is his fpirit that muft convince you of unbelief, 
snd of the everlafling righteoufnefs of his dear Son ; it is He 
alone mud: give faith to apply his righteoufnefs to your hearts; 
it is He alone can give you a wedding garment, and bring 
you to fit down and drink new wine in his kingdom. As 
to fpirituals we are quite dead, and have no more power to 
turn to God of ourfelves, than Lazarus had to raife himfelf^ 
after he had lain flinking in the grave four days. If thou 
canft go, O man, and breathe upon all the dry bones that 
lye in the graves, and bid them live ; if thou canft take thy 
mantle and divide yonder river, as Elijah did the river Jordan ; 
then will we believe thou haft a power to turn to God of thy- 
felf: But as thou muft defpalr of the one, fo thou muft de- 
fpair of the other, without Christ's quickening grace; in 
him is thy only help ; fly to him then by faith ; fay unto 
him, as the poor leper did, " Lord, if thou wnlt," thou 
canft make me v^'illino- ; and he will ftretch forth the ricrht- 
hand of his power to aflift and relieve you : He will fwectly 
guide you by his wifdom on earth, and afterwards take you 
Lp to partake of his glory in heaven. 

To his mercy therefore, and Almighty prote£!ion, do I ear- 
neftly, humbly, andmoft afi'c^iionately commit you : the 
Lord blcfs you and keep you ; the Lord lii't up the 
light of his blcffed countenance upon ycu, and give you 
all peace and joy in believing, now and for evermore 1 


[ 79 ] 


The Duty of fearching the Scriptures. 

John v. ^g. 

Search the Scriptures, 

WHEN the Sadducees came to our blelTed Lord, and 
put to him the queftion, " whofe wife that woman 
fhould be in the next life, who had feven hufbands in this," 
he told them " they erred, not knowing the fcriptures." 
And if we would know whence all the errors, that have 
over-fpread the church of Christ, firft afofe, we fhould find 
that, in a great meafure, they flowed from the fame fountain, 
ignorance of the word of God. 

Our blefled Lord, though he was the eternal God, yet as 
man, he made the fcriptures his conftant rule and guide. And 
therefore, when he was afked by the lawyer, which was the 
great commandment of the law, he referred him to his Bible 
for an anfwer, " What readeft thou?" And thus, when led 
by the Spirit to be tempted by the devil, he repelled all his 
afTaults, with " it is written." 

A fufEcient confutation this, of their opinion, who fay, 
*' the Spirit only, and not the Spirit by the Word, is to be 
our rule of adion." If fo, our Saviour, who had the Spirit 
without meafure, needed not always have referred to the 
written word. 

But how fev/ copy after the example of Christ ? How 
many are there who do not regard the word of God at all, 
bot throw the facred oracles afide, as an antiquated book, fit 
only for illiterate men ? 

Such do greatly err, not knowing v/hat the fcriptures are, 
or for what they are defigned. 

I (hall. 

[ So ] 

I ftiall, therefore, 

Firji^ Shew, that it is every one's duty to fcarch them. 

And, Secondly^ Lay down fome direcSlions for you, to fearch 
them with advantage. 

I. I am to {hew, that it is every perfon's duty to fearch the 

By the Scriptures, I undcrftand the law and the prophets, 
and thofe hoi)ks which have in all ages been accounted cano- 
nical^ ?.:id which make up that volume commmonly called the 

Thclt arc emphatically fliled the Scriptures^ and, in one 
pbce, the '' Scriptures of Truth," as though no other books 
deibrvcd the name of true writings or fcripture in comparifon 
of them. 

They are not of any private interpretation, authority, or 
invention, but holy men of old wrote them, as they were 
moved by the Holy Ghoft. 

The foundation of God's revealing himfelf thus to man- 
kind, was our fall in Adam, and the neceiTity of our new birth 
in Christ Jesus. And if we fearch the fcriptures as we 
ought, we (hall find the fum and fubftance^ the Jlpha and 
Omega^ the beginning and end of them, is to lead us to a 
knowledge of thefe two great truths. 

All the threats, promifes and precepts, all the exhortations 
and dc6lrines contained therein, all the rites, ceremonies and 
facriiices appointed under the 'JewiJJi law; nay, almofl all the 
hiftoricai parts of holy fcripture, fuppofe our being fallen in 
Adam, and either point ont to us a Mediator to come, or fpeak 
of him as already come in the flefn. 

Had man continued in a ftate of innocence, he would not 
have needed an outward revelation, becaufe-the law of God' 
wai fo deeply written in the tables of his heart. But having 
eaten the forbidden fruit, he incurred the difpleafure of GoDy 
and loft ihc divine Image, and, therefore, without an exter- 
fial revelation, could never tell how God would be reconciled 
unto him, or how he {hould be faved from rhe mifery and 
darkncfs of his fallen nature, 


f 8, 3 

That thefe truths are Co, I need not refer you to any other 
book, than your own hearts. 

For unlefs we are fallen creatures, whence thofe abominable 
corruptions which daily arife in our hearts ? We could not 
come thus corrupt out of the hands of our Maker, bccaufe he 
being goodnefs itfelf could make nothing but what is like 
himfelf, holy, juft, and good. And that we want to be deli- 
vered from thefe diforders of our nature, is evident, becaufe 
we find an unwillingncfs within ourfclves to own we are thus 
depraved, and are always ftriving to appear to others of 4 
quite different frame and temper of mind than what we are. 

I appeal to the experience of the moft learned difputer 
againft divine revelation, whether he does not find ih himfelf^ 
that he is naturally proud, angry, revengeful, and full of* 
other pafTions contrary to the purity, holinefs, and long-fuf- 
fering of God. And is not this a demonftration that fome 
way or other he is fallen from God ? And I appeal alfo^ 
whether at the fame time that he finds thefe hurtful lufts in 
his heart, he does not firive to feem amiable, courteous, kind 
and affable; and is not this a manifeft proof, that he is fen- 
fible he is mlferable, and \Aants, he knows not how, to be re- 
deemed or delivered from it? 

Here then, God by his word fleps in, and opens to his 
view fuch a fcene of divine lov^^, and infinite goodnefs in the 
holy fcriptures, that none but men, of fuch corrupt and re- 
probate minds as cur modern deifls, would fiiut their eyes 
againft it. 

What docs God in his written word do more or lefs, than 
fhcw ihcc, O man, how thou art fallen into that blindnefs, 
darkncfs, and mifcty, of v.hich thou feeleft and complaineft? 
And, at the fame time, he points out the way to what thou 
defircft, even how thou mayeft be redeemed out of it by be- 
lieving in, and copyiiig after the Son of his love. 

As I told you before, fo I tell you again, upon thefe twor 
truths reft all divine revelation. It being given us for no 
other end, but to {hew us our njifery^ and our hnppinefs ; our 
fall and recovery ; or, in one word, after what manner we 
died in Jdam, and how in Christ we may iigain be made 

Vol. VI. F Hence 


[ 82 ] 

Hence then aiifes the neceflity of fearching the fcriptures r 
tor Iwice they are nothing elfe but the grand charter of our 
falvation, the revehition of a covenant made by God with 
men in Christ, and a light to guide us into the way of 
peace ; it follows, that all are obliged to read and fearch 
them, bccaufe all are equally fallen from God, all equally 
{land in need of being informed how they mud be reftored to> 
and again united with him. 

How fooliflily then do the difput'ng infidels of this gene- 
ration a£>, who are continually either calling for figns from' 
heaven, or feeking for outward evidence to prove the truth of 
divine revelation ? Whereas, what they fo earneftly feek for 
is nif^h unto, nav, within them. For let them but confulE 
their own hearts, they cann^ot but feel what they want. Let 
them but confult the lively oracles of God, and they cannot 
but fee a remedy revealed for all their wants, and that the 
written word does as exa6lly anfwer the wants and defires of 
their hearts, as face anfwers to face in the water. Where 
then is the fcribe, where is the wife, where is the folidity of 
the rcafoning of the difputers of this world ? Has not Goix 
tcvealed himfelf unto them, as plain as their own hearts could 
vvifli ? And yet they require a fign : but there fhall no other 
fign be given them. For if they believe not a revelation 
which is every way fo fuited to their wants, neither will they 
be perfuadtd though one fhould rife from. the dead. 

But this difcourfe is not defigned fo much for them that 
believe not, as for them, who both know and believe that the 
fcriptures contain a revelation which came from. God, and 
that it is their duty, as being chief parties concerned, not 
only to read but fearch them alio. 

I pafs on, therefore, in the 

Scccnd place, to lay down fome dire£lions, how you maj 
fearch them with advantajre. 

FirJ}^ Have always in view, the end for which the fcrip- 
tures were written, even to fhew us the way of falvation, by 
Jesus Christ. 

'' Search the fcriptures," fays our blefled Lord, *' for they 
are they that teftify of me." Look, therefore, always for 
Christ in ihe fcripture. He is the treafurc hid in the field, 


[ 83 ] 

both of the Old and New Teftament. In the Old, you will 
find him under prophefies, types, facrifices, and fhadows ; in 
the New, manifefted in the flefli, to become a propitiation for 
our fins as a Prieft, and as a Prophet to reveal the whole will 
of his heavenly Father. 

HaveCnitisT, then, always In view when you are readino- 
the word of God, and this, like the ftar in the eaft, will 
guide you to the MefTiah, will ferve as a key to every thing 
that is obfcure, and unlock to you the wifdom and riches of 
all the myfteries of the kingdom of God. 

Secondly^ Search the fcriptures with an humble child-like 

For whofoever does not read them with this temper, fhall 
in no wife enter into the knowledge of the things contained in 
them. For God hides the fenfe of them, from thofe that are 
wife and prudent in their own eyes, and reveals them only to 
babes in Christ : who think they know nothing yet as they 
ought to know ; who hunger and thirft after righteoufnefs, 
and humbly defire to be fed with the fmcere milk of the word, 
that they may grow thereby. 

Fancy yourfelves, therefore, when you are fearching the 
fcriptures, efpecially when you are reading the New I'efta- 
ment, to be with Mary fitting at the feet of the holy Jesus ; 
and be as willing to learn what God fhall teach you, as Sa^ 
muel was, when he faid, " Speak, Lord, for thy fervant 

Oh that the unbelievers would pull down every high 
thought and imagination that exalts itfelf againft the revealed 
will of God ! O that they would, like new-born babes, defire 
to be fed with the pure milk of the word ! then we fliould have 
them no longer fcoffing at Divine Revelation, nor would they 
read the Bible any m.ore with the fame intent the PhiUjUnes 
brought out Sampforij to make fport at it ; but they would fee 
the divine image and fuperfcription written upon every line. 
They would hear God fpeaking unto their fouls by it, and, 
confequently, be built up in the knowledge and fear of him, 
who is the Author thereof. 

Thirdly^ Search the fcriptures, with a fincere intention to 
put in practice what you read. 

F 2 A de- 

A defire to do the will of God is the only way to know it 5 
if any man v/ill do my will, fays Jesus Christ, " He fliall 
know of my doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I 
fpcak of myfelf." As he alfo fpeaks in another place to his 
difciples, " To you, (who are willing to pra61:ife your duty) 
it is given to know th€ myfteries of the kingdom of God, 
but to thofe that are without, (who only want to raifc'cavils 
afi-ainft my doctrine) all thefe things are fpoken in parables, 
that feeino- they may fee and not undeifland, and hearing they 
may hear and not perceive." 

For it is but juft in God to fend thofe ftrong delufions, 
that they may believe a lie, and to conceal the knowledge of 
himfelf from all fuch as do not feek him with a fingle in- 

Jesus Christ is the fame now^ as formerly, to thofe who 
defire to know from his word, who he is that they may be- 
lieve on, and live by ; and to him he will reveal himfelf as 
clearly as he did to the woman of Samaria^ when he faid, *' I 
that fpeak to thee am he," or as h© did to the man that was 
born blind, whom the Jews had caft out for his name's fake, 
" He that talketh with thee, is he." But to thofe who con- 
fult his word with a defire neither to know him, nor keep his 
commandments, but either merely for their entertainment, or 
to fcofF at the fimplicity of the manner in which he is re- 
vealed, to thofe, I fay, he never will reveal himfelf, though 
they fliould fearch the fcriptures to all eternity. As he never 
would tell thofe whether he was the Mrjftah or not, who 
put that queftion to him either out of curiofity, or that they 
might have whereof to accufe him. 

Fourthly^ In order to fearch the fcriptures ftill more effec- 
tually, make an application of every thing you read feo your 
own hearts. 

For whatever was written in the book of God, was written 
for our learning. And what Christ faid unto thofe afore- 
time, we muft look upon as fpoken to us alfo : for fince the 
holy fcriptures arc nothing but a revelation from God, how 
fallen man is to be reftored by Jesus Christ : all the pre- 
cepts, threats, and promifes, belong to us and to our chil- 
dren, as well as to thofe, to whom they were immediately 
made known. 

I Thus 

[ 85 ] 

Thus the Apoftlc, when he tells us that he lived by the 
faith of the Son of Gop, adds, " who died and gave himfelf 
for me." It is this application of Jesus Christ to our 
hearts, that makes his redemption cfFedual to each of us. 

And it is this application of all the doctrinal and hiflorical 
parts of fcripture, when we are reading them over, that muft 
render them profitable to us, as they were defigned for reproof, 
for corredlion, for inftrudion in righteoufnefs, and to make 
every child of God perfedl, thoroughly furnifticd to every 
good work, 

I dare appeal to the experience of every fpiritual reader of 
holy writ, whether or not, if he confulted the word of Gon 
in this manner, he was not at all times and at ail feafons aa 
plainly direded how to a£t, as though he had confulted thq 
Urim and Thummim, which was upon the high-prieft's 
breaft. For this is the way God now reveals himfelf to man ; 
not by making new revelations, but by applying general 
things that are revealed already to every fincere reader's heart. 

And this, by the way, anfwers an objedion made by thofe 
who fay, '^ The word of Gop is not a perfed rule of adion, 
^' becaufe it cannot dired us how to ad or how to determine 
** in particular cafes, or what place ^o go to, when we are in 
^' doubt, and therefore, the Spirit, and not th^ word, is to 
" be our rule of adion.'* 

But this I deny, and affirm on the contrary, that God at 
all times, circumftances, and places, though never fo minute, 
never fo particular, will, if we diligently feek the afTiftance 
of his Holy Spirit, apply general things to our hearts, and 
thereby, to ufe the words of the holy Jesus, will lead us into 
all truth, and give us the particular afliftance we want : But 
this leads me to a 

Fifth diredion how to fearch the fcriptures with profit : La- 
bour to attain that Spirit by which they were written. 

For the natural man difcerneth not the words of the Spirit 
of God, becaufe they are fpiritually difcerned j the words 
that Christ hath fpoken, they are fpirit, and they are life, and 
can be no more underftood as to the true fenfe and meaning 
of them, by the mere natural man, than a perfon who never 
had learned a language can underfland another fpeaking in it. 
The fcriptures, therefore, have not unfitly been compared, by 

F 3 fome. 

[ 86 ] 

fome, to the cloud which went before the Ifraeliies^ they are 
dark' and hard to be underftood by the natural man, as the 
cU)ud appeared dark to the Egyptians ; but they are light, they 
are life to chriftians indeed, as that fame cloud which feemed 
dark to Pharaoh and his houfe, appeared bright and altogether 
glorious to the Ifrael of God. 

It was the want of the afliftancc of this Spirit, that made 
Nicodemus, a teacher of Ifrael, and a ruler of the Jews, fo ut- 
terly ignorant in the do6bine of regeneration : for being only 
a natural man, he could not tell how that thing could be ; it 
was the want of this Spirit that made our Saviour's difciples, 
though he To frequently converfed with them, daily miftake 
the nature of the dodrines he delivered ; and it is becaufe the 
natural veil is not taken off from their hearts, that fo many 
who now pretend to fearch the fcriptures, yet fee no farther 
than into the bare letter of them, and continue entire Grangers 
to the fpiritual meaning couched under every parable, and 
contained in almoft all the precepts of the book of God. 

Indeed, how fliould it be othcrwife, for God being a fpirit, 
he cannot communicate himfelf any otherwife than in a fpi- 
ritual manner to the hearts of men ; and confequently if we 
are flran^^ers to his Spirit, we muft continue flrangers to his 
word, becaufe it is altogether like himfelf, fpiritual. Labour, 
therefore, carneftly for to attain this blelTed Spirit ; otherwife, 
your underftandings will never be opened to underftand the 
fcriptures aright : and remember, prayer is one of the moH 
immediate means to get this Holy Spirit. Therefore, 

Sixthly, Let me advife you, before you read the fcriptures, to 
pray, that Christ, according to his promife, would fend his 
Spirit to guide you into all truth ; interfperfe fhort ejacula- 
tions whilft you are engaged in reading ; pray over qw^v^ 
word and vcrfe, if poffible j and when you clofe up the "book, 
molt carneftly befeech God, that the words which you have 
read, may be inwardly engrafted into your hearts, and bring 
forth in you the fruits of a good life. 

Do this, and you will, with a holy violence, draw down 
God's Holy Spirit into your hearts j you will experience his 
gracious influence, and feel him enlightening, quickening, 
and inflaming your fouls by the word of God ; you will thcri 
ppt only read^ but mark^ learn, and inwardly digeft what you 

read : 

f 87 ] 

read : and the word of God will be meat indeed, and drink 
indeed unto your fouls ; you then will be as Jpollos was, 
powerful in the fciiptures ; be fcribes ready inftruded to the 
kingdom of God, and bring out of the good treafures of your 
heart, things both from the Old and New Teftament, to en- 
tertain all you converfe with. One 

Direaion more, which (liall be the lad, Seventhly, Read 
the fcripture conftantly, or, to ufe our Saviour's expreffion ia 
the text, " fearch the fcriptures j" dig in them as for hid 
treafurej for here is a manifeft allufion to thofe who dio- in 
mines ; and our Saviour would thereby teach up, that we muft 
take as much pains in conftantly reading his word, if we 
would grow wife thereby, as thofe who dig for gold and filver. 
The fcriptures contain the deep things of God, and there- 
fore, can never be fufHciently fearched into by a carelefs, fu- 
perficial, curfory way of reading them, but by an induftrious, 
clofe, and humble application. 

The Pfalmift makes it the chara£^erlftic of a good man, 
that he " meditates on God's law day and night." And 
" this book of the law, (fays God to Jojhua) (hall not go 
out of thy mouth, but thou flialt meditate therein day and 
night ;" for then thou {halt make thy way profperous, and 
thou flialt have good fucccfs. Search, therefore, the fcriptures, 
not only devoutly but daily, for in them are the words of eter- 
nal life ; wait conftantly at wifdom's gate, and (lie will then, 
and not till then, difplay and lay open to you her heavenly 
treafures. You that are rich, are without excufe if you do 
not \ and you that are poor, ought to take heed and improve 
that little time you have : for by the fcriptures you are to be 
acquitted, and by the fcriptures you are to be condemned at 
the laft day« 

But perhaps you have no tafte for this defpifcd book ; per- 
haps plays, romances, and books of polite entertainment, fuit 
your jtafte better : if this be your cafe, give me leave to tell 
you, your tafte is vitiated, and u:ilefs correiled by the Spirit 
and word of God, you ftiall never enter into his heavenly 
kingdom : for unlefs you delight in God here, hov»/ will you 
be made meet to dwell with him hereafter. Is it a fm then, 
you will fay, to read ufelefs impertinent books ; I anfwer. Yes : 
And that for the fame reafon, as it is a fm to indulge ulelcfs 

F 4. con- 

[ 88 1 
converfation, becaufe both immediately tend to grieve and 
quench that Sj)irit, by which alone we can be fealed to the 
day of redemption. You may reply, How fl^all we know 
this? Why, put in practice the precept in the text -, fearch 
the fcripturc in the manner that has been recommended, and 
then you will be convinced of the danger, rmfulnefs, and un- 
fatisfad^orinefs of reading any others than the book of God, 
or fuch as are wrote in the fame ({mh. You will then fay, 
when I was a child, and ignorant of the excellency of the 
word of God, I read what the world calls harmlefs books, as 
other children in knowledge, thou^'^h old in years, have done, 
and ftill do ; but now I have tafted the good word of life, and 
am come to a more perfed knowledge of Christ Jesus my 
Lord, I put away thefe childifli, trifling things, and am de- 
termined to read no other books but what lead me to a know- 
ledge of myfelf and of Christ Jesus. 

Search, therefore, the fcriptures, my dear brethren ; tafte and 
fee how good the word of God is, and then you will never leave 
that heavenly manna, that angel's food, to feed on dry hulks, 
that light bread, thofe trifling, fmful compofitions, in which 
men of falTe tafte delight themfelvcs : no, you will then difdain 
fuch poor entertainment, and blufh that yourfelves once were 
fond of it. The word of God will then be fweeter to you 
than honey, and the honey-comb, and dearer than gold and 
filver ; your fouls by reading it, will be filled as it were, with 
marrow and fatnefs, and your hearts infenfibly moulded into 
the fpirit of its blcfled Author. In fhort, you will be guided by 
God's wifJom here, and conducted by the light of his divii^e 
WQrd into glory hereafter. 


[ 89 3 

SERMON xxxvirr. 

The Indwelling of the Spirit, the common 
Privilege of all Believers. 

John vii. 2>1^ 3^, Z<^^ 

In the lafi day, that great day of the feaft, Jesus flood 
a7id cried, f^yif^g-> V ^i^y man thirft, let him come unto 
me and drtnk. He that believe th on me, as the fcrip- 
tiire hath f aid, cut of his belly fJiall flow rivers of living 
water. But this fpake he of the Spirit^ which they 
that believe on him fliould receive. 

NOTHING has rendered the crofs of Christ of lefs 
efFe£l; nothing has been a greater ftumbling-block 
and rock of offence to weak minds, than a fuppofition, now 
current among us, that mofl; of what is contained in the gofpel 
of Jesus Christ, was deftgned only for our Lord's firft and 
immediate followers, and confequently calculated but for one 
or two hundred years. Accordingly, many now read the life, 
fufferings, death, and refurredion of Jesus Christ, in the 
fame manner as Cafars Commentaries, or the Conquejls of Alex- 
ander are read : as things rather intended to afford matter for 
fpeculation, than to be aded over again in and by us. 

As this is true of the doctrines of the gofpel in general, fo 
it is of the operation of God's Spirit upon the hearts of be- 
lievers in particular ; for we no fooner mention the neceiTity 
of our receiving the Holy Ghoft in thefe laft days, as well as 
formerly, but we are looked upon by fome, as enthufiafts and 
madmen ; and by others, rcprefented as wilfully deceiving 
the people, and undermining the eilablifhed conftitutioa of 
the church. 


[ 90 ] 

Judge ye then, whether it is not high time for the true mi- 
niltcrs of Jesus Christ, who have been made partakers of 
this heavenly gift, to lift up their voices like a trumpet ; and 
if they would not have thofe fouls perifli, for which the Lord 
Jesus has flied his precious blood, to declare, with all bold- 
ncfs, that the Holy Spirit is the common privilege and portion 
of all believers in all ages ; and that we as well as the firfl 
chriftians, muft receive the Holy Ghoft, before we can be 
truly called the children of God. 

For this reafon, (and alfo that I might anfwer the defign 
of our church in appointing the prefcnt feftival *) I have 
chofen the words of the text. 

They were fpoken by Jesus Christ, when he was at the 
feaft of tabernacles. Our Lord atiendcd on the temple-fer- 
vice in freneral, and the feftivals of the Jewijlo church in par- 
ticular. The fcftival at which he was now prefent, was that 
of the feaft of tabernacles, which the Jews obferved according 
to God's appointment in commemoration of their living in 
tents. At the laft day of this feaft, it was cuftomary for 
many pious people to fetch water from a certain place, and 
brincj- it on their heads, ftnging this anthem out of Ifaiahy 
" And with joy fliall they draw water out of the wells of 
falvation." Our Lord obferving this, and it being his con- 
ftant prndice to fpiritualize every thing he met with, cries 
cut, " If any man thirft, let him come unto me, (rather 
than unto that well) and drink. He that believeth on me, 
as the fcripture hath fpoken, (where it is faid, God will make 
water to fpring out of a dry rock, and fuch-like) out of his 
belly (hall flow rivers of living water." And that we might 
know what our Saviour meant by this living water, the Evan- 
gclift immediately adds, " But this fpake he of the Spirit, 
which they that believe on him fliould receive.'* 

The laft words 1 fliall chiefly inflft on in the enfuing dif- 
courfe : And 

F'lrjl^ I (hall briefly (hew, what is meant by the word 


Secondly,, That this Spirit is the common privilege of all 

♦ Whitfuntide. \ 


[ 91 ] 

Thirdly^ I fiiall fliev/ the reafon on which this dovflrlne is 
founded. And 

Loftly^ Conclude with a general exhortation to' believe on 
Jesus Christ, whereby alone we can receive this 

F'lrji^ I am to fhew, what is meant by the word Spirit, 
By the Spirit, is evidently to be underftood the Holy Ghofl, 
the third perfon in the cver-blefTed 7>inity, confubftantial and 
co-eternnl with the Father and the Son, proceeding from, yet 
equal to them both. For, to ufe the words of our Church in 
this day*s office, that which we believe of the glory of the Fa- 
ther, the fame we believe of the Son, and of the Holy Ghoft, 
without any difference or inequality. 

Thus, fays St. John^ in his firft epiille, chap. v. ver. 7. 
^' There are three that bare record in heaven, the Faiher, 
the Word, and the Holy Ghoft, and thefe three are one." 
And our Lord, when he gave his Apoftles commiflion to go 
and teach all nations, commanded them to baptize in the 
name of the Holy Ghoft, as well as of the Father and the 
Son. And St. Petcr^ Aas v. 3. faid to Ananias^ '« Why 
hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghoft ?" And 
ver. 4. he fays, " Thou haft not lied unto men, but unto 
God." From all which paftages, it is plain, that the Holy 
Ghoft, is truly and properly God, as well as the Father and 
the Son. This is an unfpeakable myftery, but a myftery of 
God's revealing, and, therefore, to be affented to with our 
whole hearts : feeing God is not a man that he ftiould lie, 
nor the fon of man that he fliould deceive. I proceed. 

Secondly^ To prove that the Holy Ghoft is the common 
privilege of all believers. 

Bur, here I would not be underftood of fo receivino- the 
Holy Ghoft, as to enable us to work, miracles, or fliew out- 
ward figns and wonders. I allow our adverfaries, that to pre- 
tend to be infpired, in this fenfe, is being wife above what is 
written. Perhaps it cannot be proved, that God ever inter- 
pofed in this extraordinary manner, but when fome new reve- 
lation v/as to bp eftabliflied, as at the firft fettling of the 
5 Mofaic 

[ 92 ] 

ALfdk and gofpel difpenfation : and as for my own part, I 
cannot but iufpea the fpirit of thofe who infift upon a repe- 
tition of fuch miracles at this time. For the world being now 
become nominally chriftian, (though, God knows, little of 
the povvtir is left among us) there need not outward miracles, 
but only an inward co-operation of the Holy Spirit with the 
word, to prove that Jesus is the Melliah which was to come 
into the world. 

BeiiJes, if it was poflible for thee, O man, to have faith, fo 
9S to be able to remove nwuntains, or caft out devils ; nay, 
couldfl thou fpeak with the tongue of men and angels, yea, 
and bid the fun ftand ftill in the midft of heaven ; what would 
all thefe gifts of the Spirit avail thee, without being made 
partaker of his ran6lifying graces ? Saul had the fpirit of go- 
vernment for a while, fo as to become another man, and yet 
probably was a caft-away. And many, who caft out devils in 
Christ's name, at the laft will be difowned by him. If, 
therefore, thou hadft only the gifts, and was deftitute of the 
graces of the Holy Ghoft, they would only ferve lo lead thee 
with fo much the more folemnity to hell. 

Here then we join ifTue with our adverfaries, and will 
readily grant, that we are not in this fenfe to be infpired, as 
were our Lord's firft Apoftles, But unlefs men have eyes 
which fee not, and ears that hear not, how can they read the 
latter part of the text, and not confefs that the Holy Spirit, iii 
another fenfe, is the common privilege of all believers, even 
to the end of the world ? " This fpake he of the Spirit, 
which they that believe on him {hould receive." Obferve, he 
does not fay, they that believe on him for one or two ages, but 
they that believe on him in general, or, at all times, and in 
all places. So that, unlefs we can prove, that St. John was 
under a delufion when he wrote thefe words, we muft beHeve 
that even we alfo, (hall receive the Holy Ghoft, if we believ}e 
on the Lord Jesus with our whole hearts. 

Again, our Lord, juft before his bitter paflion, when he 
was about to ofFer up his foul an offering for the fins of the 
eledl world ; when his heart was mod enlarged, and he would 
undoubtedly demand the moft excellent gift for his difciples, 
prays, " That they all may be one, as thou. Father, art in 
me, and I in thee ; that they aho may be one in us, I in 

[ 93 ] 

them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfe^ in one;" 
that isi that all his true followers might be united to him by 
his holy Spirit, by as real, vital, and myftical an union, as 
there was between Jesus Christ and the Father. I fay all 
his true followers 'f for it is evident, from our Lord's own 
words, that he had us, and all believers, in view, when he put 
up this prayer j " Neither pray 1 for thefe alone, but for them 
alfo which (hall believe on me through their word ;" fo that, 
unlefs we treat our Lord as the high priefts did, and count 
him a blafphemer, we muft confefs, that all who believe in 
Jesus Christ, through the word, or miniftration of his fer- 
vants, are to be joined to Jesus Christ, by being made par- 
takers of the Holy Spirit. 

A great noife hath been made of late, about the word en- 
ihufiajl^ and it has been caft upon the preachers of the gofpel, 
as a term of reproach ; but every chriftian, in the proper fenfe 
of the word, muft be an enthufiaft ; that is, muft be infpired 
of God, or have Gcd, by his Spirit, in him. St. Peter tells 
us, " we have many great and precious promlfes, that we may 
be made partakers of the divine nature ;" our Lord prays, 
*' that we may be one, as the Father and he are one;" and 
our own church, in conformity to thefe texts of Scripture, in 
her excellent communion-office, tells us, that thofe who re- 
ceive the facrament worthily, " dwell in Christ, and Christ 
in them ; that they are one with Christ, and Christ with 
them." And yet, chriftians muft have their names caft out as 
evil, and minifters in particular, muft be looked upon as de- 
ceivers of the people, for affirming, that we muft be really 
united to God, by receiving the Holy Ghoft. Be aftoniftied, 

heavens, at this ! 

Indeed, I will not fay, all our letter-learned preachers deny 
this doctrine in exprefs words; but however^ they do in efFe6t; 
for they talk profefledly againft inward feelings, and fay, we 
may have God's Spirit without feeling it, which is in reality 
to deny the thing itfelf. And had I a mind to hinder the pro- 
grefs of the gofpel, and to eftablifh the kingdom of darknefs, 

1 would go about, telling people, they might have the Spirit 
of God, and yet not feel it. 

But to return: When our Lord was about to afcend to hw 
Father and our Father, to his God and our God, he gave 


[ 94 ] 

his apodles this commiiTion, " Go and teach all nations, bap- 
tizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of 
the Holy Ghoft." And accordingly, by authority of this com- 
mifTion, we do teach and baptize in this, and every age of the 
church. And though we tranflate the words, " baptizing them 
in the name\' yet, as the name of God, in the Lord's prayer, 
and feveral other places, fignifies his nature, they might as 
well be tranflated thus, " baptizing them into the nature of 
the Father, into the nature of the Son, and into the nature of 
the Holy Ghoft." Confequently, if we are all to be baptized 
into the nature of the Holy Ghoft, before our baptifm be effec- 
tual to falvation, it is evident, that we all muft a61:ually receive 
the Holy Ghoft, and ere we can fay, we truly believe in Jesus 
Christ. For no one can fay, that Jesus is my Lord, but 
be that has thus received the Holy Ghoft. 

Numbers of other texts might be quoted to make this doc- 
trine, if poflible, ftill more plain; but I am aftonifhed, that 
any who call themfelves members ; m.uch more, that many, 
who are preachers in the church of England^ fhould dare fo 
much as to open their lips againft it. And yet, with grief I 
fpeak it, God is my Judge, perfons of the eftablifhed church 
{eem more generally to be ignorant of it, than any diftenters 

But, my dear brethren, what have you been doing ? how 
often have your hearts given your lips the lye? how often have 
you offered to God the facrifice of fools, and had your prayers 
turned into fm, if you approve of, and ufe our church-liturgy, 
and yet deny the Holy Spirit to be the portion of all believers? 
In the daily abfolution, the minifter exhorts the people to pray, 
that " God would grant them repentance, and his Holy Spi-^ 
rit;" in the Collect for Chrijlmas- day^ we befeech God, " that 
he would daily renew us by his Holy Spirit;" in the laft 
week's Colledi, we prayed that " we may evermore rejoice in 
the comforts of the Holy Glioft;" and in the concluding 
prayer, which we put up every day, we pray, not only that 
the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, 
but that ** the fellowHiip of the Holy Ghoft" may be with us 
all evermore. 

But farther, a folcmn feafon, to fome, is nov/ approaching; 
I mean the Ember- dap ^ at the end of which, all that are to 


C 95 ] 

be ordained to the office of a deacon, are in the fight of God, 
and in the prefence of the congregation, to declare, that 
'' they truft they are inwardly moved by the Holy Ghoft, to 
take upon them that adminiftration ;" and to thofe, who arc 
to be ordained priefts, the biftiop is to ^repeat thefe folemn 
words, " Receive thou the Holy Ghoft, now committed unto 
thee, by the impofition of our hands." And yet, O that I 
had no reafon to fpeak it, many that ufe our forms, and many 
who have witnefTed this good confcffion, yet dare to both talk 
and preach againft the neceffity of receiving the Holy Ghoft 
now ; and not only fo, but cry out againft thofe, who do infift 
upon it, as madmen, enthufiafts, fchifmatics, and underminers 
of the eftablifhed conftitution. 

But you are the fchifmatics, you are the bane of the church 
of England^ who are always crying out, '^ the temple of the 
Lord, the temple of the Lord ;" and yet fiarve the people 
out of our communion, by feeding them only with the dry 
hufks of dead morality, and not bringing out to them the fatted 
calf; I mean, the doctrines of the operations of the bleiTed 
Spirit of God. But here is the misfortune ; many of us are 
not led by, and therefore no wonder that we cannot talk feel- 
ingly of, the Holy Ghoft; we fubfcribe to our articles, and 
make them ferve for a key to get into church-preferment, and 
then preach contrary to thofe very articles to which we have 
fubfcribed. Far be it from me, to charge all the clergy with 
this hateful hypocrify; no, blefted be God, there are fome 
left among us, who dare maintain the do6^rincs of the Refor- 
mation, and preach the truth as it is in Jesus: But I fpeak 
the truth in Christ, I lye rot ; the generality of the clergy 
are fallen from our articl : , and do not fpeak agreeable to 
them, or to the form of found words delivered in the Scrip- 
tures ; wo be unto fuch blind leaders of the blind I how can 
you efcape the damnation of hell ? It is not all your learning 
(falfely fo called) it is not all your preferments can keep you- 
from the juft judgment of God. Yet a little while, and we 
fiiall all appear before the tribunal of Christ ; there, there 
will I meet you; there Jesus Christ, the great Shepherd 
and Biftiop of fouls, ftiall determine who are the falle pro- 
phets, who are the wolves in ftieep*s cloathing. Thofe who 
5 fay. 

[ 96 ] 

fav, that we mufl: now receive and feel the Holy Ghoft, of 
thole who exclaim againft it, as the do£trine of devils. 

But I can no more; it is an unpleafing tafk to ceDfure any 
order of men, cfpecially thofe who are in the miniftry ; nor 
would any thing excufe it but ncceflity : that necefHty which 
extorted from our Lord himfejf fo many woes againft the 
Scribts and Pharifees, the Icttcr-lcarned rulers and teachers of 
the ^cwljl church ; and furely, if I could bear to fee people 
peri(h for lack of knowledge, and yet be filcnt towards thofe 
who keep from them the key of true knowledge, the very ftones 
would cry out. 

Would we reftore the church to its primitive dignity, the 
only way is to live and preach the dodfrine of Christ, ami 
the articles to which we have fubfcribed ; then we (liall find 
the number of dilTenters will daily dccreafe, and the church of 
England become the joy of the whole earth. 

I am, in the Third place, to fliew the reafonablenefs of this 

I fay, the reafonablenef. of this do£lrine ; for however it 
may feem foolifhnefs to the natural man, yet to thofe, who 
have tafled of the good word of lif?, and have felt the power 
of the world to come^ it will appear to be founded on the 
highefl reafon ; and is capable, to thofe who have eyes to fee^ 
even of a demonftration ; I fay of demonftration : for it (lands 
on this felf-evident truth, that we are fallen creatures, or, to 
ufe the fcripture-cxpreiTion^ "• have all died in Adamr 

I know indeed, it is now no uncommon thing amongft us, 
to deny the dodrine of original fin, as well as the divinity of 
Jesus Christ; but it is incumbent on thofe who deny itj 
hrft to difprove the authority of the holy Scriptures; if thou 
canfl: prove, thou unbeliever, that the book, which we call 
The Bible, does not contain the lively oracles of God; if thou 
canft (liew, that holy men of old, did not write this book, as 
they were inwardly moved by the Holy Ghclf, tiicn will we 
give up the doctrine of original fin ; but unlefs thou canft do 
this, we mufl: infift upon it, that we are all conceived and 
born in fin ; if for no other, yet for this one reafon, becaufe 
that CiOD, who cannot lye, has told us fo. 

But what has light to do with daiknefs, or polite infidels 
with the Bible ? Alas ! as they are ftrangcrs to the power, fo 


th(ty are gehdrally a^ grc^t ftrahgers to the word of God. 
And therelbre, if we will preach to them, we mufl preach td 
and from the heart: for talking in the language of fcripturc, 
to them, is but like talking in an unknown tongue. Tell me 
then, O man, whofoever thou art, that denied the do6lrine of 
original fni, if thy confcience hfe not feared as with a hot 
iron ! tell me, if thou doft not find thyfelf, by nature, to be 
a motly mixture of brute and devil ? I know thefe terms will 
ftir up the whole Pharifee in thy heart; but let not Satan 
hurry thee hence 5 flop a little, and let us reafon together 3 
doft thou not find, that by nature thou art prone to pride ? 
otherwife, wherefore art thou now offended ? Again, doft not 
thou find in thyfelf the "feeds of malice, revenge, and all un- 
charitablenefs? and what are thefe but the very tempers of the 
devil ? Againj do we not all by nature follow, and fufFer our- 
felves to be led by our natural appetites, always looking down- 
wards, never looking upwards to that God, in whom we live^ 
move, and have our being ? and what is this but the very na- 
ture of the beaffs that perifh? Out of thy owri heart, therefore^ 
will I oblige thee to confefs, what an infpired apoftle has long 
fince told us, that " the whole world (by nature) lies in the 
wicked one ;" we are no better than thofe whom St. Jude calls 
" brute beafts ;" for v;e have tempers in us all by nature, that 
prove to a demonfttation, that we are earthly^ fenfual, dc- 

And this \Vill fefve as another argument, to prove the reality 
of the operations of the blefled Spirit on the hearts of believers, 
againft thofe falfe profefTors, who deny there is any fuch thing 
as influences of the Holy S-pirit, that may be felt. For if they 
will grant that the devil wotketh, and fo as to be felt ih the 
hearts of the children of difobedience (which they muft grant, 
unlefs they will give an apoftle the lye) where is the wonder 
that the good Spirit fhould have the fame power over thofe whal 
are truly obedient to the faith of Jesus Christ ? 

If i<t be true then, that we are all by nature, fince the fall, 
a mixture of brure and devil, it is evident, that we all muft 
receive the Holy Ghoft, ere we can dwell with and enjoy 

When you read, how the prodigal, in the gofpel, was re- 
duced to fo low a condition, as to eat hufks with fv.'inc, and 

Vol. VI. G how 


t 98 ] 

how Kchuchadnezznr was turned out, to graze with oxen; I 
am confident, ycu pity their unhappy ftate. And when you 
hear, how Jesus Christ will fay, at the laft day, to all that 
are not born again of God, " Depart from me, ye curfed, 
into everlafting lire, prepared for the devil and his angels," do 
not your hearts fhrink within you, with a fecret horror ? And 
if creatures, with only our degree of goodnefs, cannot bear 
even the thoughts of dwelling with beafls or devils, to whofe 
nature we are fo nearly allied, how do we imagine God, who 
is infinite goodnefs, and purity itfelf, can dwell with us, while 
we are partakers of both their natures? we might as well think 
to reconcile heaven and hell. 

When Addm had eaten the forbidden fruit, he fled and hid 
himfcif from God ; why? becaufe he was naked; he was 
alienated from the life of God, the due punifhrnent of his dif- 
obedience. Now, we are all by nature naked and void of God, 
as he was at that time, and confequently, until we are changed, 
renewed, and cloathed with a divine nature again, we m aft fly 
from God alfo. 

Hence then appears the reafonablenefs of our being obliged 
to receive the Spirit of God. It is founded on the doctrine 
of original fin: and, therefore, you will always find, that thofe 
who talk againll feeling the operations of the Holy Ghoft, 
very raiely, or flightly at leafl:, mention our fall in Adam; 
no, they refer St. Paul's account of the depravity of unbe- 
lievers, only to thofe of old time. Whereas it is obvious, on 
the contrary, that we are all equally included under the guilt 
and confequences of our fird parent's fin, even as others; and 
to ufe the language of our own church-article, " bring into 
the world with us, a corruption, which renders us liable to 
God's wrath, and eternal damnation." 

Should I preach to you any other doctrine, I fliould wrong 
my own foul ; I fliould be found a falfe witnefs towards Goi> 
and you; and he that preaches any other doctrine, howfoever 
dignified and diftinguiflied, Ihall bear his punifhrnent, who- 
foever he be. 

From this plain reafon then appears the ncceflity why we, 
as well as the firft apoftlef, in this fenfc, mull receive the 
Spirit of God. 


C 99 ] 

For the great work of fandification, or making us holy, ic 
jparticularly referred to the Holy Ghoft ; therefore, our Lord 
fays, " Unlefs a man be born of the Spirit, he cannot enter 
into the kingdom of God." 

Jesus Christ came down to fave us, not only from the 
guilt, but alfo from the power of fin : and however often 
we have repeated our creed, and told God we believe in the 
Holy Ghoft, yet, if we have not believed in him, fo as to be 
really united to Jesus Christ by him, we have no more 
concord with Jesus Christ than i5t'//W himfelf. 

And now, my brethren, what fhall I fay more? tell me, are 
not many of you offended at what has been faid already ? do 
not fume of you think, though I mean well, yet I have carried 
the point a little too far ? are not others ready to cry out, if 
this be true, who then can be faved? is not this driving peopU 
into defpair ? 

Yes, I ingenuoufly confefs it is j but into what dcfpair ? a 
defpair of mercy through Christ ? no, God forbid j but a 
defpair of living with GoD without receiving the Holy Ghoft. 
And I would to GoD, that not only all you that hear me this 
day, but that the whole world was filled with this defpair. 
Believe me, I have been doing no more than you allow your 
bodily phyficians to do every day : if you have a wound, and 
are in earneft about a cure, you bid the furgeon probe it to 
the very bottom ; and ftiall not the phyfician of youi' fouls be 
allowed the fame freedom? What have I been doing but fearch- 
ing your natural wounds, that I might convince you of your 
danger, and put you upon applying to Jesus Christ for a 
remedy ? Indeed I have dealt with you as gently as I could ; 
and now 1 have wounded, I will attempt to heal you. For I 
was in the 

Lajl place, to exhort you all to come to Jesus Christ by 
faith, whereby you, even you alfo, fliall receive the Ho'y 
Ghoft. ' " For this fpake he of the Spirit, which they that 
lelieve on him ftiould receive.'* 

This, this is what I long to come to. Hitherto I have been 
preaching only the law; but behold I bring you gla^d tidings of 
great joy. If I have wounded you, be not afraid ; behold, I 
now bring a remedy for all your wounds. Notvvithftanding 
y©u are funk into the nature of the beaft and devil, yet, if you 
' G 2 truly 

[ 100 ] 

truly believe on Jesus Christ, you {hall receive the quicken- 
ino- Spirit piomit'cd in the text, and be reftored to the glorious 
liberties of the Tons of God ; I fay, if you believe on Jesus 
Christ. " For by faith we are faved ; it is not of works, 
left any one {hould boaft." And, hou'ever fome men may fay, 
there is a fitnefs requiied in the creature, and that we muft 
have a righreoufncfs of our own, before we can lay hold on 
the righteoufnefs of Christ ; yet, if we believe the fcripture, 
falvation is the free gift of God, in Christ Jesus our Lord; 
and whofoever believeth on hini with his wh<jle heart, though 
his foul be as black as hell itfelf, fha!l receive the gift of the 
Holy Ghoft. Behold then, I Hand up, and cry out in this 
great day of the fcaft, let every one that thirftcth come unto 
Jesus Christ and drink. '' He that believeth on him, out 
of his belly fliall flow (not only ftreams or rivulets, but whole) 
rivers of living water." This I fpeak of the Spirit, which ihey 
that believe on Jesus fliall certainly receive. For Jesus 
Christ is the fame yefterday, to-day, and for ever ; he is the 
way, the truth, the refurredion, and the life; "-whofoever 
believeth on him, though he were dead, yet {hall he live," 
There is no refpeil of perfons with Jesus Christ ; high and 
low, rich and poor, one with another, mav come to him with 
an humble confidence, if they draw near by faith ; from him 
we may all receive grace upon grace; for Jesus Christ is 
full of grace and truth, and ready to fave to the uttcrmoft, all 
that by a true faith turn unto him. Indeed, the poor generally 
receive the gofpel, and " C^OD has cholcn the poor in this 
world, rich in faith." But though not many mighty, not 
many noble are called ; and though it be eafier for a camel 
to go through the eye of a needle, th<in for a rich man to 
enter into the kingdom of (Jod, yet, even to you that are 
jich, do I now freely offer falvation, by Jesus Christ, if 
you will renounce yourfelves, and come to Jesus CHrisT as 
poor finners; I fay, as poor fmners ; for the " poor in fpirit** 
arc onlv fo blefl'ed, as to have a right to the kingdom of GoD. 
And Jesus Christ calls none to him, but thofe who thirfl 
after his righteoufnefs, and feel themfelves weary, and heavy 
]aden with the burden of their fins. Jesus Christ jufliiies 
the ungodly ; he came not to call the righteous, but finncrs to 


C 101 ] 

Do not then hy you are unworthy; for this is a faithful and 
true faying, and worthy of all men to be received, " that Jesus 
Christ came into the world to fave Tinners ;" and if you are 
the chief of Tinners, if you feel yourfelves fuch, verily Jesus 
Christ came into the world chiefly to fave you. When Jo-^ 
feph was called out of the prifon-houfe to PharoaJo's court, we 
are told, that he (laid fome time to prepare himfelf; but do you 
come with all your prifon cloaths about you ; come poor, and 
miferahle, and blind, and naked, as you are, and God the 
Father (hall receive you with open arms, as was the returning 
prodigal. He (hall cover your nakednefs with the beft robe of 
his dear Son's righteoufnefs, fnall Teal you with the Tignet of 
his Spirit, and feed you with the fatted calf, even with the 
comforts of the Holy Ghoft. O, let there then be joy in 
heaven over fome of you, as believing j let me not go back to 
my Mafter, and fay. Lord, they will not believe my report. 
Harden no longer your hearts, but open them v^ide, and let the 
King of glory enter in; believe me, I am willing to go to pri- 
fon or death for you ; but I am not willing to go to heaven 
without you. The love of Jesus Christ conftrains me to 
lift up my voice like a trumpet. My heart is now full ; out of 
the abundance of the love v/hich 1 have for your precious and 
immortal fouls, my mouth now Tpeaketh ; and I could now 
jiot only continue my difcourfe until midnight, but I could 
fpeak until I could fpeak no more. And why fliould I defpair 
of any ? no, I can defpair of no one, when I conTider Jesus 
Christ has had mercy on fuch a wretch as I am; but the free 
grace of Christ prevented me; he faw me in my blood, he 
pafled by me, and faid unto me. Live ; and the fame grace 
which was fufficient for me, is fufncient for you alfo ; behold, 
the fame blefTed Spirit is ready to breathe on all your dry bones, 
if you will believe on Jesus Christ, whom God has Tent; 
indeed, you can never believe on, or ferve a better mailer, one 
that is more mighty, or more willing to fave; I can fay, the 
Lord Christ is gracious, his yoke is eafy, his burden ex- 
ceeding light ; after you have ferved him many years, like the 
fervants under the lav/, was he willing to difcharge you, you 
would fay, we love our Mafter, and will not go from him. 
Come then, my guilty brethren, come and believe on the Lord 
that bought you with his precious blood 3 look up by faith, 

Q 3 and 

[ 102 ] 

and fee him whom you have pierced ; behold him bleeding, 
panting, dying ! behold him with arms flrctched out ready tq 
receive you all ; cry unto him as the penitent thief did, Lord, 
remember us now thou art in thy kingdom, and he {hall fay to 
your fouls, fhortly (hall you be with me in paradife. For thofe 
whom Christ juftifies, them he alfo glorifies, even with that 
glory which he enjoyed with the Father, before the world be- 
gan. Do not fay, I have bought a piece of ground, and muft 
needs go fee it; or I have bought a yoke of oxen, and mufl 
needs go prove them ; or I have married a wife, I am engaged 
in an eager purfuit after the luft of the eye, and the pride of 
life, and therefore cannot come. Do not fear having your 
name caft cut as evil, or being accounted a fool for Christ*s 
fake ; yet a little while, and you (hall fhine like the flars in 
the firmament for ever. Only believe, and Jesus Christ 
fhall be to you wifdom, righteoufnefs, fandification, and eter- 
nal redemption ; your bodies (hall be fafhioncd like unto his 
glorious body, and your fouls be partakers of all the fulnefs of 

Wiiich God of his infinite mercy, ^c. 


[ 103 ] 


The Refurredion of Lazarus. 

John xi. 43, 44. 

^nd when he had thus fpoken^ he cried with a loud voice, 
Lazarus come forth. And he that was dead^ came 
forth^ hound hand and foot with grave- cloaths : and 
his face was hound ahout with a napkin. Jesus faith 
unto them, Loofe him, and let him go. 

WHEN Jesus Christ, the eternal Word, was pleafed 
to make all things by the word of his power, his Lift 
works were the heft. When he looked back upon, and be- 
held the firft produ6^s of his almighty power, he pronounced 
them " good ;" but when that laft, that lovely creature man, 
was formed, he pronounce^ them " very good." So, the 
fame Jesus, when he came to tabernacle among us, and to 
begin and carry on a new and fecond creation, though all his 
works were miracles of wonder, and manifefted forth the 
glory of his eternal Godhead, yet the nearer he came to the 
end of his public miniftrations, the greater and more noble 
did the miracles which he wrought appear. The rtfurrecSlion 
Gt' Lazarus, that is to be the fubj'cSl of the following d.T- 
courfe, I think, is a fufficient proof of this. To an eye of 
fenfe, it feems to be one of the greateft, if not the very 
grcateft miracle of all which our bkfl'ed Lord performed. 
When our Saviour bid Johns difciples go and tell- their Mafter 
what things they had feen and heard, he commands them to 
inform him, that by his divine power *' the dead were railed ;" 
alluding no doubt to the Ruler's daughter, who was raifed 
immediately after her deceafe ; and the Widow's fon, who at 
the command of Jesus, rofe. out of his coffin, as they were 
carrying his eorpfe to the burial. Thefe were pregnant 
G 4 pioofs. 

[ 104 ] 

proofs, that Jesus was indeed the MefTiah that was to come 
into the world. But his railing o^ Lazarus from the dead, 
aficr he had lain four days dead, and faw corruption, is ftill, 
if pofTible, a greater miracle ; and confequently a ftronger 
proof of his being the Anointed, the Christ of God. The 
cvangelift yohn is very particular in giving us an account of 
this miracle ; even fo particular, as to fpend a whole chapter 
in relating the circumftaiiccs which preceded, attended, and 
followed after it. And as he was undoubtedly direiled herein 
by the all-wife, unerring Spirit of God, does it not point 
out unto us, that this miracle, with all its rerpe6live circum- 
ftances, cails for our particular and mofl fcrious meditation ? 
It appears to me in this light ; and therefore, as the LoPvD 
(hall be plcafcd to afTill, 1 (liall go back to the beginning of 
this chapter, follow the cvangelift ftep by flep, and confider 
the particulars of this wondercus miracle, make fome pradlical 
cbfervan'ons as I go along, and conclude with fome fuitable 
ir.Qrudions and exhortations, which will naturally arife from 
the body of the difcourfe. 

The evange'ift in the firO: verfe, makes mention of the 
fickncfs of Lazanis. '' Now, a certain man mas fick, named 
Lazarus of Bethany^ the town of Mary^ and her fifter Mar^ 
tha^ Some think thefe fillers were very wealthy, fo as to 
own good part of the town, or, as the original word feems to 
imply, the village.. But then it is probable the evangelift 
would have faid the town o^ Lazarus^ eftates ufually defcend- 
ing, as u'ith us, in the male line : it means therefore no 
more, than that Martha and Mary lived in Betkany. The 
Holy Ghoft pointing out to us hereby, that nothing makes a 
town fo worthy of a gracious foul's remark or efteem, as its 
having many of God's dear children for its inhabitants. 
Belhsny^ though a little place, is more famous becaufe it was 
the town oi Alarlha ^nd Alary, than if Jlcxanaer hid fought 
in it one of his greateft battles. Both thefe women loved, 
Jesus in finccrity, and were as good as they were great. But 
Mary, though the younger fifter, feems to be the moft emi- 
nent : for the evang^lift in the fecond verfe, fpeaks of her in 
a very diftinguilhing manner. " It was that Mary, (thaC 
never-to-be-forgotten Alury) which anointed the Lord with 
pintnient (expenfive as it was) and wiped his feet, (after fhe 


[ 105 ] 

had wafhcd them with tears of love) with her hair,'* even the 
hair of her head. What notice is taken of this action ! With 
what an eulogy, and in what a high Itrain of commendation 
is it here fpoken of? And fuch are the honours of all Gop's 
faints. 11-iough all our good works are not recorded as 
AJary's are, yet GoD is not unm-indful, that he fhould forget 
our works of faith, and labours which have proceeded of love. 
Every tear we fhed, every figh we fetch, every alms we give, 
th.iugh it he only a cup of cold v-^'ater, are all recorded in the 
Lam^b's book of remembrance, and fhall be produced to our 
eternal honour, and rewarded with a reward of grace, though 
not of debt, at the great and terrible day of the Lord. '* I 
was an hur>gcred, and ye gave me meat, I was thirfty, and 
ye gave me drink, naked, and ye cloathed me. Tick and in 
piifon, and ye came unto me." What reafon have we then 
to be '* ftcdfaft and unmoveable, always abounding in the 
W' ik of the Lord, forafmuch as we are afTured, that our 
labours will not be in vain or forgotten by the Lord ?" It 
was that A4ary that anointed the Lord with ointment, and 
v/ipsd his feet with her hair. And what follows? " Whofe 
brother Lazarus was fick." So that being related to Cptrist, 
cr his difciples, will not exempt perfons from fickneis. Li 
this life, time and chance happen to all, only with this ma- 
terial difrVrence, thofe afRidions which harden the obfli- 
naiely impenitent, foften and purify the heart of a true 
believer. *' My fon, therefore defpife not the chaftening of 
the Lord (on one hand), nor faint when thou art re- 
buked of him (on the other) : for whom the Lord lovcth 
he chafteneth, and fcourgeth every fon whom he receiveth.'* 

Jesus loved Lazarus^ and yet Lazarus was fick. And 
what do his fifters do for him now he is fick? No doubt they 
applied to a phyfician, for it is tempting God to neglei^ 
making ufe of means for the recovery of our health, when it 
is impaired. But then they v;ere not guilty of y^'s crime, 
" who fought to the phyficians, but not to the Lord." No; 
they knew the moft fl:ilful prefcriptions would be of no efFecSl", 
unlefs attended with a blefling from Jesus the Great and Al- 
mighty Phyfician ; and therefore his fillers fent unto him, 
probably at the beginning of their brother's illnefs. How un- 
like is their condud, to that of the generality of people, 


[ io6 ] 

cfpecially the rich and great! Flow unfafii ion able is it now-a- 
days for perfons to Tend to Jesus in behalf of their lick rela-i- 
lions ! It is io very uncultoniary, that in fome places, if a 
minifter be fent for to a fick perfon, it is a fad fymptom that 
the patient is almoft paft hopes of recovery. Thus did not 
Martha and her Tifter Mary ; they fent unto Jesus, though 
he was now beyond Jordan^ (chap. x. 40.) where he abode, 
or thicfly refided, for fome time. Hence it was that they knew 
where to fend to him. But what kind of mefiage did they 
fend ? A very humble and fuitable one. " Lord, Behold, 
he whom thou loveft is fick." They might have faid, Lord, 
he who loveth thee is fick. But they knew, that our love was 
not worth mentioning, and that we love Jesus only becaufe 
he firft loved us. Befides, here is no piefcribing to our Lord 
what he fliould do, or what means he (hould make ufe of. 
They do not fo much as fay. We pray thee to come, or only 
Ipeak the word, and our fick brother Ihall be redored. They 
fimply tell Jesus the cafe, knowing it was fufficient barely to 
]ay it before an infinitely compalTionate Redeemer, and leave it 
to him to a£t according to his own fovereign ^ood-will and 
pleafure. *' Lord, Behold he whom thou loveft is fick." 
Oh how fweet is it when the foul is brought to this ! And 
with what a holy confidence may we pray to, and intercede 
with the holy Jesus, when we have reafon to hope, that 
thofe we pray and intercede for, are lovers of, and are beloved 
of him ! P'or his eyes are in a peculiar manner over the 
righteous, and his ears always open to their prayers. This 
was their meflage, and it foon reached Jesus Christ. And 
how does he receive it ? *We are told, verfe 4. '* When Jesus 
heard that, (that he whom he loved was fick) He faid, this 
fjcknefs is not unto death, but unto the glory of God, that 
the Son of God may be glorified thereby." To whom thefe 
words were fpoken is not certain. In all probability, Jesus 
fpake them to the perfons that delivered Marthas and Marys 
mefiage. And if fo, it was no doubt a comfortable anfwer 
tor the prefent, though it muft afterwards puzzle them as well 
as the difciples how to explain it, when they found that La- 
T^arus was actually dead. '' This ficknefs is not unto death," 
not unto an abiding death, becaufe he intended to raife him 
?£ain, foon after his deceafe. It is like that exprelTion of our 


C 107 ] 

Lord In St. Marh^ " The damfel is not dead, but flccpeth ;'* 
which mult not be underftood in a literal, but metaphorical 
fenfe. And this and fuch-like inftances, ought to teach us to 
weigh carefully our bkfled Lord's words, and to wait for an 
explication of them, by fubfequent providences ; otherwifc 
we (hall be in danger of miHipplying them, and thereby bring 
our fouls into unfpeakable bondage. " Tliis ficknefs is not 
unto death, but unto the glory of God, that the Son of God 
may be glorified thereby." This is the end both of the afflic- 
tions and the deaths of God's people. By all that happens to 
them he will be glorified one way or another, and caufe every 
thing to work together for their good. And who then but 
would be content to be fick, or willing to fubmit to death 
itfelf, if fo be the Son of God may be glorified thereby ? 
This anfwer, no doubt, proceeded from love. For we are 

Verfe 5. that " Jesus loved Martha and her fifter, and La- 
%arus.'* Oh happy family ! Three in it beloved of Jesus, 
with a peculiar, everlafting love. " Very often it fo happens, 
(to ufe the words of the pious Bifhop Beveridge) that there 
" is but one in a city, and two in a country of this ftamp." 
But here are two fifters and a brother, all lovers of, and be- 
loved by the glorious Jesus. What {hall we fay to thefe 
things .f* Why, that our Saviour's grace is free and fovereign, 
and he may do what he will with his own. They who are 
thus fo highly favoured as to have fo many converted in one 
houfe, ought to be doubly thankful ! Such a blelTing have not 
all his faints. No ; many, very many, go mourning over 
their perverfe and gracelefs relations all their lives long ; and 
find, even to their dying day, that their greateft foes are thofe 
of their own houfhold. Surely thefe three relations lived a 
heaven upon earth. For what can they want, what could 
make thcni mifcrable, who are alTured of Jesu's love ? But 
furely if Jesus loves this dear little family, the next news one 
might think we (hould hear, would be, that he went imme- 
diately and healed Lazarus ; or at leaft cured him at a dif- 
tance. But inftead of that, we are told, verfe 6. '* When 
he had heard that he was fick, he abode two days flill in the 
fame place where he was." A flrange w-s this, in the eye 
of natural reafon, of exprcfTing love 3 but not fo flrange in 


[ 'o8 ] 

the eye of faith : for the Lord Jesus very often fheweth his 
love, by deferring to give immediate anfwers to our prayers. 
Hereby he tries our faith and patience, and exercifes all our 
paffive graces. We have a proof of this in the Syrophcnician 
woman, upon whom the blclled Jesus frowned, and fpake 
roughly to at firft, only that he might afterwards turn unto 
her and fay, " O woman, great is thy faith." Let not thofe 
then who btlieve, make too much hafle ; or immediately in 
their hearts repine againft the Lord, becaufe he may not 
anfwer their requefts, in their own tin.e and way. God's 
time and way is beft. And we {hall find it to be fo in the 
end. Martha and A4ary experienced the truth of this, though 
imdoubtcdiy our Lord's fceming delay, to come and heal 
their brother, coft them great fearchings of heart. But will 
the Lord Jesus forget his dear Lazarus^ whom his foul 
loveth ? " Can a woman forget her fucking child ?" Indeed 
file may ; but the Lord never faileth thofe that fear him. 
Neither is he flack concerning his promife, as fome men 
count flacknefs : for his very delays are anfwers. The vifioa 
is for an appointed time ; in the end ic will fpeak and not 

Though our Lord abode two days where he was, to try 
the faith of ihefe fifters, yet after this, he faid unto his dif- 
ciples, verfe y. " Let us go into Judea again." With what 
a holy familiarity does Jesus eonverfe with his dear children \ 
Our Saviour fcems to fpeak to his difciples, as though he was 
only their brother, and as it were upon a level with them ; 
*' Let us go into Judea again." How gently, according to 
what was predicted of him, does he lead thofe that are with 
young ! Jesus very well knew the weaknefs of his difciples, 
2nd alfo what a dangerous place Judea was : how gradually 
therefore does he make known unto them, his defign o^ going 
thither ! And how does he admit his difciples to cxpoifulate with 
him on this account! " MaOer, fay they, the Jews of- late 
fought to ftone thee, and gotft thou thither again ?'* They 
were amazed at our Lord's boldnefs, and were ready to call 
it prcfumption; as we generally are prone to cenfure and con- 
demn other zealous and enterprizing perfons, as carrying 
matters too far ; it m.ay be for no other reafon, if we examine 
\ht bottom of our hearts, but becaufe they go before, and 


[ 109 ] 

excel ourfelves. The difciples, no doubt, thought that they 
fpoke out of love to their Lord, and afiuredly they did ; but 
what a deal of felf-love was there mixed and blended with it? 
They feem much concerned for their Mafter, but they were 
more concerned for themfelves. However Jesus overlooks 
their weaknefs, and mildly replies, verfe 9, and 10. " Are 
there not twelve hours in the day ? If any man walk in the 
day, he ftumbleth not, becaufe he feeth the light of the 
world ; but if any man walk in the night, he ftumbleth, 
becaufe there is no light in him." As though our Lord had 
faid, My dear difciples, I thank you for your care and con- 
cern for me. Jttdea is a dangerous place, and what you fay 
of the treatment I met with from its inhabitants, is jufi: and 
true : but be not afraid of going there upon my account. 
For as a man walkcth fafcly twelve hours of the day, becaufe 
he walkeih in the light : fo as long as the time appointed by 
my Father for my public adminifiration lafts, I fhall be as 
fecure from the hands of my enemies, as a man that walks in 
broad-day is fecure from falling. But as a man ftumbleih if 
he walketh in the night, fo when the night of my paflion 
cotr.cih, then, but not till then, fliali I be given up into the 
hands of my fpiteful foes. Oh what comfort have thefe 
words, by the bleiTing of God, frequently brought to my 
foul ! Hew may all Christ's miniP.eis ftrcngthen themfelves 
with thitj cortfideration, that fo long as God hath work for 
them to do, they are immortal ! And if after our work is 
over, our Lord Ihould call us to lay down our lives for the 
brethren, and to feal the truth of our dodhine v/ith our blood, 
it would certainly be the higheft honour that can be put upon 
us. " To you it is given not only to believe, but alfu to 
fuffer," fays the apoftie to the Pbilippians. 

*' Thefe things (the evangelift tells us, ver. 1 1.) faid Jesus, 
and after that, (to fatisfy them that he was not going into 
Judea without a proper call) he faith unto them, Our friend 
Lazarus fleepeth." Our friend. Amazing ! For what is a 
friend ? As one's own foul. Hovy dear then, and near are 
triie believers to the mod adorable Jesus ! " Our friend La- 
zarus." Still more amazing ! Here is condefcenfionj here is 
unparalleled familiarity indeed. And what of him ? " He 
flecpeth." A hgurative way of e::prcffion. For what is death 


[ no ] 

to the lovers of Jesus Christ, but a flccp, and a rcfrelhirif^ 
one too? Thus it is faid o^ Stephen when he d'ied, that " hs 
fell aflcep." Christ indeed died, but believers only fleep. 
And " ihofe that flccp in Jesus, (fays the fcripture) will GoD 
bring with him." " Our friend Lazarus fleepeth." For 
though he be dciid, I fhall raife him from the grave fo foon, 
that his dying will be only like a perfon's taking a fliort fleep. 
*' Our friend Lazarus fleepeth, but I go that I may awake 
him out of fl'jcp." By this time, one would imagine, our 
Lord's difciplcs {hould have undcrftood him : But how un- 
willing are we to believe any thing that we do not like. 
'* Then faid his difciplcs, Lord, if he fleep he (hall do 
well." Oh fearful, and flow of htart to believe I Kow fain 
would they excufe themfelves from going into Judea^ for fear 
cf a few Ooncs ! By this way of talking, how do they in efFedt 
impeach their blelled Maker's conduct, and under a pretence 
of prcferving his prrfcn, fcder, and as it were plead for their 
own (though pirhaps undifcerned) cowardice and unbelief ? 
That charity, which hopeth and belicveth all things for the 
bcft, tracheth us to judge thus favourably of them. For, 
" Howbeit Jesus fpake of his death : they thought that he 
had fpoken of taking reft in fleep." The great and compaf- 
fionate High-pritft knowing and remembering they were but 
duft, throws a veil of love over their infirmity; and at length, 
verfc 14. " Saith unto them plainly (for if we wait on Jesus, 
we {hall know his will plainly, one wav or another) Lazarus 
is dead." And even then, left they fhould be fwallowed up 
with overmuch forrow, he immediately adds, verfe 15. " And 
I am glad for your fakes that I was not there, to the intent ye 
may believe," or have norc faith, or hnve that faith which 
you already poflefs increafed and confirmed. A plain proof 
this, that all Jesu's delays to anfwer prayer, are only to 
Urcngthen our faith. 

'* NeveriheKfs, fays our Lord, let us go unto him." This 
was a fufficient hint, if they knew how to improve it, that he 
intended to do Something extraordinary, thoiish he would not 
tell them d!re<£^ly what he intended. For the Lord Jesus 
will keep thofe whom he love?, at his foot, and dependant cii 
him. " Let us go unto him." He ft ill fpeaks as though they 
were his equals. Oh that Chriillans in general, Oh that mil 
5 nifters 

[Ill 3 

nlftcrs in particular, would learn of him their grcit exemplar, 
to condcfcend to men of low degree ! Well, the fecret is now 
out. Jesus has faid unto them plainly, Laznrus is dead. 
And what reception does this melancholy news meet wiih ? 
With great condolancc, efpccially from Tho?iuis ; for veifc 
1 6. *' Then faid Thomas^ who is called Didynius, unto his 
fellow difciples, let us aifo go and die with himj" i. e. ac- 
cording to fome, with Lazarus^ with whom, it may be, 
Thofniu had contra£led an intimate acquaintance. But grant- 
ing it was fo ; lliall I commend him for this paffionate ex- 
preflion ? I commend him not. Surely he fpakc unadvifcdly 
with his lips; "Let us alfo go and die with him." As' 
though there was no comfort henceforward to be cxpe'cled 
in the world, now his friend Lazarus was gone. This was 
a great fault, and yet a fault that many of God's children 
run into daily, by mourning for their deceafed relations over- 
much, like perfons that have no hope. But this infirmity 
ou^-ht not to be indul<red. For if our friends and dear relatives 
are dead, Jesus, that friend of fmners, is not dead. H^ 
will be better to us than {ty^^ fons, and will abundantly fupply 
the place of all creature-comforts. But I am more inclined 
to think that the word /;/>;;, refers to Jesus his dear Mafte'r; 
and if fo, he is fo far from being blamed, that he fpake like 
a good foldicr of Jesus Christ. Let us alfo go, that we 
may die with him. If our dear mafter will go into "Judea^ 
and hazard his precious life, let us not any longer make fucli 
frivolous excufes, but let us manfully accompany him ; and 
if the y^?-{;i (hould not only be permitted to ftone, but alio 
to kill him, let us alfo go and die with him, wc cannot die 
in a better caufe. This was a fpeech worthy of a chriftian 
hero, and Thomas herein hath fet us an example, that we 
fliould follow his ftep?, by exciting and provoking one ano- 
ther clofcly to adhere to the blelFv^d Jesus, efpecially when 
his caufe and intcrcft is in any immediate danger. 1 his ex- 
hortation, it feems, had a proper efFecl. They all went, and 
as far as we know, chearfully accompanied their glorious 

How their thoughts were exercifed on the rr>aJ, we are not 
told. But I am apt to believe they were a litilc difcouraged 
when they came to Bethany. Fur " When Jesus came, he 


[ 11^ 1 

found that Lazarus had licr. in the grave for four clays already.*' 
And what would it avail them, to come To many miles only 
to lee a dead man's ton-.b I But how wifely were all things 
ordered by the blelTed Jesus, to manifeft his glory in the moll: 
extraordinary manner, that not only his difciples might have 
their faith confirmed, but many allb of the Jews might be- 
lieve on him. This Bethany, it feems, verfe 18. " was n"gh 
unto "Icrujalcm, about fifteen furlongs offj" or about two 
miles i and Martha and Mary, being what we may call peo- 
ple of fafhion, and devout likevvife; many of the devout, 
and we may fuppofe many of the wealthy Jews came from 
the metropolis, as well as other adjacent places, verfe 19. to 
Martha and Mary \ not to pay an idle, trifling, but a fcrious, 
profitable vifit, " to comfort them concerning their brother." 
This was kind and neighbourly. To weep with thofe that 
weep, and to vifit the afHi(5led in their diftrefles, is one eflen- 
tial branch of true and undcfiled religion. And O hov*^ fweet 
is it when we vifit furviving friends, that we have reafon to 
think that their departed relations died in the Lord ! And 
we can therefore give them comfort concerning them : For 
«' blefied are the dead, that die in the Lord, even fo faith 
the Spirit, for they reft from their labours." This and fuch- 
like arc^uments, no doubt, thefe vifitors made ufe of, to com- 
fort Martha and Mary. And indeed they flood in much need 
of confolation. For we have reafon to fuppole, from our 
Lord's anfwer, " This ficknefs is not unto death, but the 
glory of God i" that they had entertained thoughts of the 
recovery of their brother. But who can tell what thefe two 
holy fouls muft feel, when they found their brother did not 
recover, but was dead, laid out, and now (linking in the filent 
grave! What hard thoughts, without judging them, may 
we fuppofe they entertained concerning Jesus I Think ye 
not that they were ready to cry out in the language cf the 
prophet, " Thou haft deceived us, and we are deceived r" 
But man's extremity is Jesu's opportur.ity. In the multitude 
of the forrows that they had in their hearts, the news of 
Christ's coming refrefhes their fouls. Somebody or ano- 
ther, commendably officious, privately informs Martha of it. 
*' Who, as foon as (he heard that Jesus was com.e (without 
making any apology to the company for her rudenefs) went 
^ and 

[ II? ] 

Rnd met him : But Adary fat flill in the houfe." But why 
fo, Alary? I thought ihou hadit been moil forward to attei^.d 
on Jesus, and thy fifter Martha more prone to be cumbered 
about the many things of this life. Why fitteft thou ftil! ? It 
may be the news was brought only privately to Martha (for 
it is plain from verfe 3 1 ft", that the ^eivs who were in the 
houfe knew not of it ;) and Mdriha knowing how our Lord 
had chid her once, was refolved he fliould have no reafon on the 
fame account to chide her any more ; therefore vv'hen the news . 
was brought, (he would not fo much as fiay to inform her 
fifler, but went out to fee whether it were true or not, and if 
fo, as the cldeft fifter, fhe would invite the bleffed Jesus in. 
How happy is it, when Christ's reproofs for palt ncgledls, 
excite our future zeal to come out and meet him ! Such re- 
proofs are an excellent oil. Or, it may be, the news reached 
Mdry% ears, as well as Martha's^ but being overcome with 
forrow, (lie thought it too good news to be true, and therefore 
fat ftill in the houfe. O how careful ought believers to be, 
to cherifh and maintain, even in the midft of tribulation, a 
holy confidence and joy in God ! For the joy of the L0RJ3 
is a believer's ftrength. Whereas giving way to melancholy 
and unbelief, raifes gloom and vapours in the mind, clouds 
the underftanding, clogs us in the way of duty, and gives the 
enem.y, who loves to fifti in troubled waters, a very great ad- 
vantage over us. 

Mary^ perhaps, through the prevalence of this, and being 
alfo naturally of a fedentary difpofition, " fat ftili in the 
houfe," while her filler Martha got the ftart of her, and went 
out to meet Jesus. And how does (he accoft him ? Why, 
in a language befpeaking the diftrefs of a burdened and difor- 
dered mind. For flie faid unto Jesus, verfe 21, ''Lord, 
if thou hadft been here, my brother had not died." Here is 
a mixture of faith and unbelief. Faith made her fay, "Lord, 
if thou hadft been here, my brother had not died." But un- 
belief made her confine Christ's power to his bodily prefencc. 
Befides, here was a tacit accufation of the blefled Jesus of 
unkindnefs, for not coming when they fent unto him the 
melTage, '' Lord, he whom thou loveft is fick." Once fhe 
charged Jesus with want of care ; " Lord, careft thou not, 
that my fifter hath Icfc me to ferve alone f" Now flie taxes 

Vol. VI. H hi.ii 


[ TI4 ] 

hrm wltli want of kindnefs. " If thou hadd been here j'^ as 
much as to fay, if thou hadft been fo kind as to have come 
when we fent for thee, *' my brother had not died i" and by 
iayin'- thus, flie does as it were by her brother's death to 
JEbUs Christ. O how apt are even thole whom jEsys 
loves in a peculiar manner, to charge him looli{l:ily ! How 
often iiocs the enmity of our dcfperately wicked hearts rife 
again(t Christ, when we are under the afHiding hand of 
his providence ! Are not the very belt of us frequently tempted, 
in fuch ciicumf^ances, to fay within ourfclvcs at leafl, Why 
does God thus cruelly deal with us ? Why did not he keep 
•ofi-"this ftroke, feeing it was in his power to have prevented 
it ? How fhould we be afliamed and confounded before him 
upon this account ? How fhould we pray and labour to be 
delivered from this remaining enmity of the heart, and long 
for that time, when mortality Ciall be fwallowed up of life, 
;ind we (hall never feel one fingle rifing of heart, againft a 
<Tood and gracious, and all-wife and glorious Redeemer, any 
mere ? However, to do A<fariha ]\i(iicej fhe pretty well reco- 
vers herfelf, verfe 22. " But I know, that even now, what- 
foever thou wilt afk of God, God will give it to thee." 
Whether thefe words imply an aclual belief of our Lord's 
divinity, is not certain. To me they do ; becaufe we {hall pre- 
fently find, that flie did believe our Lord was the Son of 
God, and the Mcffiah w^hich was to come into the world. 
Therefore when (lie faid, (lie knew that whatfoever he afkcd 
cf Goj), God would give it to him, (lie may be underftood 
a^ referring to God the Father, under whom the Lord Jesus 
acflcd as Mediator, though equal to him in refpedt to his 
eternal glory and godhead. This myftery ws may well fup- 
pofe her acquainted with, becaufe Jesus had been frequently 
preaching at her houfc, and confcquently, had opened that 
myftery unto her. O what a blelTed thing muft it be to have 
fuch a Mediator ! fuch an high-prieft and intercefTor at the 
Father's right-hand, that whatever he afks the Father in our 
behalf, he will give unto us ! Jesus takes this kindly at 
]ilarthu\ hrnd, and paflcs over her infirmity. For if the LoRl> 
was exiiJl to mark every thing that we fay or do amifs, alas 1 
lid abide ? He only calmly fays unto her, verfe 23,. 

wno coui 


C i'5 ] 

Glad tidings thefe of great joy. This fliould comfort us 
concerning our dcceafcd, pious relations, that ere long they 
fhall rife again, and foul and body be for ever with the Lord. 
Howbeit Jesus fpake here of an immediate refurreftion, 
though he did not fpeak plainly : For Christ loves to exer- 
cife the fiiith and patience of his difciplcs, and frequently 
leaves them to find out his meaning by degrees. It is beft 
for us in our prefent (late, that it fhould be fo. In heaven 
it will be otherwife. " Thy brother, (fays Christ to Mar- 
tha) {hall rife again." She might immediately hav^e replied. 
When, Lord ? But (lie fetches a circuit as it were, and la- 
bours to find out the mind of Jesus by degrees* " I knovi', 
fays fhe, that he fnall rife again at the reruire6*:ion of the laft 
day." Thefe words feem to imply, that fhe had fome diflant 
thought of our Lord's defign to raife her brother now, and 
that fhe fpoke thus only to draw our Saviour to fpeak, and 
tell her plainly whether he meant to do fo or not. Thofe 
who are acquainted with Jesus, are taught an holy art by 
the blefTed Spirit, in dealing with their blelTed mafter. " I 
know, fays (he, he fhall rife again at the refurre»rtion of the 
lafl day," (a notable proof this, by the way, that the pious 
yews believed the refurre^lion of the body). It is juft the fame 
as though fhe had faid, Lord, doft thou mean that my bro- 
ther fhall rife again before that time ? Our Saviour wifely 
keeps ofF from giving her a diredt anfwer, but chufes rather 
to preach to her heart. " Jesus faid unto her, I am the re- 
furredion and the life : He that believeth in me, though he 
were dead, yet fhall he live." On this Marthas faith, if in 
exercife, m.ight take hold. O glorious words ! How encou- 
raging to you poor fmners lying in your blood ! Though ynii 
are dead in trefpailes and ^ins^ and might juflly be condemned 
to die the fecond death, yet if you believe on the Lord Jesus 
you fhall live. He adds, '' And whofoever belicveth in me fhall 
never die ;" never die as to their fouls, never die eternally, and 
confcquently never finally fall away from God. This is an 
encouraging foul-comfoning declaration for you, O believers, 
who are thus kept, as it were, in a garrifcn, by the mighty 
power of God, through faith, unto falvation ! " Bdievcfl thou 
this?" fay3 QviKi-,T io Martha, verfc 26. What avail all 
the many great 2nd precious promJ.fes of the g"fpel, unlefs 
they arc applied and brought home in particuh-*-- to each of our 
^H a fouli ? 

[ 1.6 ] 

fouls ? The word does not profit unlcfs it is mixed with faith. 
"We therefore do well, when we are reading Christ's words, 
to put ^his quirftion to ourfclves i O my foul, bclieveft thou 
this ? And WL'll would it be for us, if upon putting this quef- 
tion to ourfclves, we could with the fame holy confidence, 
and in the fame delightful frame, fay with Martha^ verfe 27. 
*' Yea, Lord : I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son 
of God, whicii fhould come into the world." This I think 
is a di;c^ cor.fclTion of our Lord's divinity. How full was 
her heart when (he fpoke thcfe words ! I am perfuaded it 
burnt within her. What a divine warmth had (he contraded 
by talking with Jesus ! How does (he long that her filler 
niight fliare in her holy joy! For when fhe had fo faid, verfe 
28. " file went away j" full of love, no doubt, and called 
Alary her fifter, as all will labour to call their near relations, 
who have felt the Lord Jesus to be the refurredllon and the 
life themfclves. But Martha took care, in the midft of her 
zeal (as we ihould always do) to behave with prudence ; and 
therefore " (he called her fifler fecretly, faying. The mafter 
is come, and calleih for thee." The mafter is come. She 
need fay no more; Mary knew very well whom file meant. 
For holy fouls eafily underhand one another when talking of 
their mafier Jesus. The divine Herbert ufed to delight (when 
fpeaking of Jesus) to fay, " My Mafter ;" perh.ips he learned 
It o( MiUthjy who faid here, *' The Mafter is come, and 
calleth for thee." But what is this thou fayeft, Martha P 
The Mafter is come, and calleth for thee ? Surely a woman 
of thy exalted piety will not tell a deliberate lie, and in order 
to induce thy fifter to come to Jesup, acquaint her that Jesus 
called her, when indeed he did not. Thou needeft not put 
thyfelf to fuch an expence, or do fo much evil, that good 
may come of it. Only mention Jesus to Mary^ and let her 
know for a certainty that the Mafter is indeed come, and I 
Lm perfuaded file will fit no longer. Martha no doubt knew, 
and therefore I cannot judge her as fome do, as though in 
her hnfte flic faid what was not true. For Jesus might bid 
her to call her fifter, though it be not dlredly meniioned in 
this chapter. And it is very probable, that our Lord did 
enquire after Mary^ becaufe fhe ufed to takti fuch great delight 
in fitting at his feet, and hearing the gracious words that 
proceeded out of his mouth. *« The Mafter is come (faith 


[ "7 ] 

Martha to herfifter) and calleth for thee." And fq fay I to all 
poor firiners. Jesus, your Lord and Mafter, your Prince 
and Saviour, is come, come unto this lower world, und is 
Come this day in his word, and by mc^, who am lefs than the 
]eaft of all his fervants, and calleth for you. O that \\z may 
alio come in the demonftration of the Spirit, and by his mighty 
power bow your ftubborn hearts and wills to obey the call, 
as holy Mary diJ. 

For we are told, verfe 29. " When ftie heard that, flie 
rofe quickly, and came to Jesus." Sinners, when will you 
do fo \ Or why do you not do fo ? How know you whether 
Jesus ^.v'il call for you any more, before he calls you by 
death to judgment ? Linger, O linger no lonp;er. Fly, fly 
for your lives. Arife quickly, and with Mary come to 
Jesus. She obeyed the call fo very fpecdily, that her hafte 
was taken notice of by her vifitors. " The "jeivs then, who 
were with her in the houfe, and comforted her, v/lien they 
faw Mary that fhe rofe up haftily (without any ceremony at 
all) and went out, followed her, faying, fhe goeth to the 
grave, to weep there." How wifely does our Lord permit 
and order all this, to bring the Jews out to behold the won- 
derful miracle that he was about to perform ! Little did Mary 
and the Jews think for what end they w-ere thus providentially 
led out. But when Jesus hath work to be done, he will 
bring fouls to the place where he intends to call them, in 
fpite of men or devils. But how does Aiary behave when {he 
comes to Jesus .'* We may be allured, not without great hu- 
mility. No wonder then we are told, veife 32. that " when 
ihe faw him, (lie immediately fell down at his feet (a place 
Mary had been ufed to, and in an agony of grief, fays, as 
her fifter had done before her) Lord, if thou hadft been here, 
my brother had not died." Poor Mary / Her concern was 
great indeed. Though fhe was a holy woman, (lie could not 
well bear the lofs of her brother. She knew very well, that 
the world would mifs him, and no doubt he had been a kind 
and tender brother to her. But I am afraid (he was fmfully 
overcome with overmuch forrow. However, had we been 
there, the fight mufl: have affe<flcd us. It fecms to have af- 
fetfled the vifitors, efpecially the blcflcd Jesus. He, inftead 
of blaming her, for her tacitly accufing hiia of unkindnefs, 
and for net coming to her brother's relief, pities and fympa- 

H 3 thizss 

[ ii8 3 

thizes both with Mary and her weeping friends ! «' When 
Tesus faw her weep, and the Jews alfo weeping, he groaned 
in his Spirit, and was troubled.'* Troubled : Not with any 
fmful perturbation we may be aflured : nothing of that na- 
ture could poiTibly be in his fmlefs foul. And, therefore, 
fume have judicioufly enough compared the trouble our Lord 
now felt, to fome chryftal water (haken in a glafs or bottle; 
you may fliake it, but there will be no fediment : it will be 
chryftal water ftill. *' He groaned in his fpirit." I do not 
fee why this may not be underftood of his praying in the 
fpirit, which maketh intercefiion for the faints, with ahrj.x))roti 
(FTiv^y y-oi(j " groanings that cannot be uttered." Methinks 
l fee the immaculate Lamb of God, fecretly, but powerfully 
acTonizing with his Father ; his heart is big with fympathy ! 
At length, out of the fulncfs of it, he faid, ver. 34. " Where 
have ye laid him ? They (I fuppofe Alary and Martha) fay 
Xinto him. Lord, come and fee." He came, he faw, " He 
wept," ver. 35. ]t is put in a verfe by itfelf, that we might 
paufe a while, and afk, v,hy Jesus wept ? 

He wept, to (hew us, that it was no fm to (hed a tear of 
love and refignation at the grave of a deceafed friend ; he 
v/ept, to fee what havock fm had made in the world, and how 
it had reduced man, who was originally little lower than the 
ancrels, (by making him fubje^l to death) to a level with the 
beads that perifh : but above all, he wept at the forefight of 
the people's unbelief; he wept, to think how many then pre- 
fent, would not only not btlieve on, but would be hardened, 
and have their prejudices increafed more and more againft him, 
thoucrh he fliould raiie Lazarus from the dead before their 
eyes. Well then may minifters be excufed, who, whilft they 
are preaching, now and then drop a few tears, at the con- 
fideration of their fermons being, through the pcrverfenefs and 
unbelief of many of their audience, a favour of death unto 
dca;h, inftcad of a favour of life unto life. Upon a like occa- 
fion Jesus wept. What an afPeding fight was here ! Let 
us for a while fuppo'c ourfelvcs placed amidft thcTe holy 
mourners ; let us imagine that we fee the fepulchre jaft be- 
fore us, and the JeivSy and Alary^ and the blefied Jesus weep- 
ing round it. Surely, the moft obdurate of us all muft drop 
a tear, or at leaft be afFecSlcd with the fight ; we find that it 
^{Rctcd ihofe who were really by-ftanders : for then faid the 


t 119 ] 

7^"^;^) ver. 36. *' Behold, how he loved him." And did thev 
fay, Behold, how he loved him, when Jesus only (lied a few 
tears over the grave of his departed Lazarus? Come then, O 
finners, and view Christ dying and pouring out his precious 
heart's blood for you upon an accurfed tree, and then furely 
you muft needs cry out, Behold, how he loved us 1 

But alas, though all were affected, yet, it fcems, all were 
not well affei^ed at feeing Jesus weep ! For we arc told, 
ver. 37. that fome of them faid, " Could not this man, who 
opened the eyes of the blind, have caufed that even this man 
fhould not have died ?" One would imagine, that Satan him- 
felf could fcarce have uttered a more perverfe fpeech : every 
word is full of fpice and rancour. Could not this man, this 
fellow, this deceiver, who pretends to fay, that he opened 
the eyes of the blind, have caufed that this man, whom he 
feems to love fo, (hould not have died ? Is not this a fufficient 
proof that he is a cheat ? H.we we catched him at lad: ? Is it 
likely that he really helped others, when he could not help his 

own friend? O how patient ought the fervants of our 

Lord to be ! And how may they expecl to be cenfured, a;:d 
have their good deeds quedioned, and leflened, when their 
blefied Mafter has been thus treated before them ! However, 
Jesus will do good, notwithftanding all thefe flights put upon 
him; and therefore, again groaning in himfelf, " he cometh 
to the grave ; it was a cave, (or vault, as is cuftomary in great 
families) and a ftone lay upon it ; Jesus faid, ver. 39. 
Take ye away the ftone." How gradually does our Lord 
proceed, in order to engage the people's attention the more ! 
Methinks I fee them all eye, all ear, and eagerly waiting to 
fee the ifTue of this aftair. But Martha now returning with 
the reft of the company, feems to have loft that good frame 
which {ht was in when flie went to call her fifter ; '* She 
faith unto him, (ver. 39.) Lord, by this time he ftinketh : 
for he hath been either dead or buried four days." O the dii- 
mal effects of carnal reafoning ! How naturally do we fall 
into doubts and fears, when we have not our eye Amply di- 
rected to the blefled Jesus ! Martha, inftead of looking up 
to him, looks down into the grave, and poring upon her bro- 
ther's ftinking corpfe, falls into a fit of unbelief: " By this 
time he ftinketh ;" and, therefore, a fight of him will ordy be 
offcnfive. J-'erhaps (he might think our Lord only wanted 

li 4 to 

[ 120 ] 

to take a view of her brother La%arus ; Jesus, therefore, to 
give her yet a further hint, that he intended to do fomething 
extraordinary, faith unto her, ver. 40. " Said I not unto thee, 
that if thou woiildft believe, thou fliouldil; fee the ^;lory cf 
God ? '* Our Lord i:^cak«; here with fome degree of warmth : 
for nothing difpleafes him more than the unbelief of his own 
difciples. " Said I not unto thee, if thou wouldfl belitve, 
thou fliouldfl fee the glory of God ?" When Christ firil 
/poke thefc words unio her, we are not told ; it might be, 
this was part of their converfation upon another occafion fome 
time before : however, he checks her openly for her unbelief 
row : for thnfe whom Jesus loves, muft expcdt to be rebuked 
iliarply by him, whenever they difhonour him by unbelief. 
The reproof is taken. 

Without making any more obje61ion?, '*' They took away 
the flone from the place where the dead was laid." And now 
behold with v/hat folemnity the holy Jesus prepares himfelf 
to execute his gracious defign ! *' And Jesus lift up his eyes, 
and faid, Father, I thank thee thatnhou haft heard me; and 
I knew that thou heareft me always : but becaufe of the peo- 
ple which ftand by, I faid it, that they may believe that thou 
haft fent me.'* Who can exprefs with what fervor and in- 
tenfenefs of fpirit, our glorious High-prieft uttered thefe 
words ! They are a thankfgiving arifing from an afTurance 
that his Father had heard him : for Christ, as Mediator, 
was inferior to the Father, ** I knew that thou heareft me 
always (and fo may every believer in his degree fay too) ; but 
becaufe of the people which ftand by, I faid it." — -Said what ? 
We do not hear that Jesus faid any thing by way of prayer 
before; and that is true, if we mean vocally, but mentally he 
did fay fomething, even when he groaned in the fpirit once 
and again, and was troubled. There is a way of praying, 
even when we do not, and cannot fpeak. *' Why cryeft 
thou," faid God to Mofes \ though we do not hear that he 
fpoke one fmgle word : but he cried in his heart. And I 
obfcrve this for the comfort of fome weak, but real chriftians, 
who think they never pray, unlefs they can have a great flow 
of words ; but this is a great miftake : for we often pray beft, 
when we can fpeak leaft. There are times when the heart is 
too big 10 fpeak : and the fpirit itfelf maketh interceftion \or: 
the ffiintSj and th^lt too according to the will of God, with 

groan ings 

[ 121 ] 

gToanings that cannot be uttered. Such was HannaVs prayer 
for a fon, *' She fpake not, only her lips moved :" and fuch 
was our Lord's way of pray'ng at this time. And perhaps 
the foul is never in a bttter frame, than when in a holy ftill- 
T\z^s^ and unTpeakable ferenity, it can put itfelf as a blank 
in Jesus's hand, for him to ftamp on it juft what he pleafes. 

And now the hour of our Saviour's performing this 
long-expe£led miracle, is come. Ver. 43. " When he thus 
had fpoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus^ come 
forth." With the word there went an irrcfiftible power : he 
fpake, and it was done : he cried, and behold, " He that was 
dead came forth bound hand and foot with grave cloaths ; 
and his face was bound about with a napkin." What a fight 
was here ! Aiethinks I fee furprize fit upon each fpecStator's 
face : as the body rifes, their wonder rifes too. See how they 
gaze ! See how their looks befpeak the language of aftoniflied 
hearts ; and all with a kind of filent, but expreflive oratory, 
ready to fay, What manner of man is this ? Surely this is 
the Meiliah that was to come into the world. How did the 
hearts of Martha and Mary, as we may very well fuppofe, leap 
for joy ! How v/ere they afhamed of themTelves, for chargino- 
Jesus foolifhly, and taxing him with unkindnefs, for not 
coming to prevent their brother's dying I It is true, Christ 
fuffered him to die, but behold he is now alive again 1 Jesus 
never denies us one thing, but he intends to gi\'e us fomething 
better in the ilead of it. Think you not that Martha and 
■ Mary were now the moft officious to obey our blelTed Lord's 
command, *' Loofe him, and let him go ? " That fame power 
that raifed Lazarus from the dead, might, have alfo taken the 
grave-cloaths from him : but Jesus Christ never did, and 
never will work a iicedlefs miracle. Others could unloofe 
bis grave-cloaths, but Jesus alone could unloofe the bands of 

And now, perhaps, fome may be ready to afk, What news 
hath Lazarus brought from the other world ! But flop, O 
man, thy vain curiofity ! It is forbidden, and therefore ufe- 
lefs knowledge. The fcripturts are filent concerning it. 
Why flioiild we defire to be wife above what is written f It 
becomes us rather to be wholly employed in adoring the gra- 
cious hand of that mighty R.edecmer who raifed him from the 


[ 122 ] 

dead, and to fee (now we have heard the hlflory) what im- 
proveinent we can make of fuch a remarkable and inftruclive 

Would to God that my preaching upon the refurre£tion of 
Lazarus to-day, may have the fame blefled effecSls upon you, 
as the fight of it had upon fome of the ftanders-by : For we 
are told, vcr. 45. " Then many of the Jews who came to 
Mary^ and had feen the things which Jesus did, believed on 
him." A profitable vifit this ! The beft, no doubt, that they 
ever paid in their lives. And this was in anfwer to our Sa- 
viour's prayer, " But becaufe of the people who {land by, I 
faid it, that they may believe, that thou haft fent me." One 
would imagine, that all who faw this miracle, were induced 
thereby, really to believe on him : But alas ! I could almoft 
fay, that I can tell you of a greater miracle than raifmg La- 
zarus from the dead. And what is that ? Why, that fome of 
ihefe very perfons who were on the fpot, inUead of believing 
on him, " went their way to the Pharifees, and told them 
what Jesus had done." ver. 46. It was fo far from convinc- 
ing them, that it only excited their envy, ftirred up the whole 
hell of their felf-righteous hearts, and made them, from that 
day forward, *' takecounfel together," to execute what they 
had long before dcfigned, to put the innocent Jesus to death. 
See how bufy they arc, ver. 47. *' Then gathered the chief 
priefts and the Pharifees a council, and faid, What do we ? 
For this man doeth many miracles." Envy itfelf, it feems, 
could not deny that. And need they fay then, " What do 
we," or what fliould we do ? Believe in, to be fure, and 
fubmit to him ; take up the crofs, and follow him. No ; on 
the contrary, fay they, ver. 48. '^ U we let him thus alone, 
(which they would not have done fo long, had not God put 
a hook in the Leviathan's jaws) all men will believe on 
him." And fuppofe they did ? Then all men would be bleffed 
indeed, and have a title to true happinefs. No, fay they, 
*' then the Romans fhall come and take away both our place 
and nation." But were not the Romans come already ? Were 
they not at this time tributaries to Ccsfar ? But they were 
afraid of the church as well as the ftate : " They will come 
and take away our place," our place of worfliip : and confe- 
quently, they look upon Jesus Christ and his proceedings, 
and adherents, as dangerous bcth to church and ftate. 


[ 123 ] 

This hath been always the method of Pharlfees and hioh- 
priefts, when they have been taking counfel againfl: the Lord 
Jesus, and his dear anointed ones. But they need not have 
been afraid on this account : for our Saviour's kingdom nei- 
ther was, nor is of this world ; and the only way to have pre- 
ferved their place and nation, was to have countenanced, and 
as much as in them lay, caufed all to believe on Jesus. How 
miferably were they out in their politics ! The death of 
Jesus, which they thought would fave, was the grand caufe 
of the utter deftru6lion both of their place and nation : And 
fo win all politics formed againft Christ and his gofpel 
end at laft in the deftru£lion of thofe who contrived them. 

O the defperate wickednefs and treachery of man's deceitful 
heart ! Where are the fcribes, where are the infidels, where 
are the letter-learned difputers of this world, who ar-e daily 
calling for a repetition of miracles, in order to confirm and 
evidence the truth of the chriftian religion ? Surely if they 
believe not Mofes and the prophets, neither would they believe, 
though one rofe from the dead. Here was one raifed from 
the dead before many witnefles, and yet all thofe witneflcs did 
by no means believe on Jesus. For divine faith is not 
wrought in the heart by moral perfuafion (though moral 
fuafion is very often made ufe of as a means to convey it) ; 
faith is the peculiar gift of God : no one can come to Jesus 
unlefs the Father draw him : and, therefore, that I may draw 
near the clofe of this difcourfe, let me jQiut up all with a word 
of exhortation. 

Come, ye dead, Chriftlefs, unconverted finners, come and 
fee the place where they laid the body of the deceafed Lazarus ; 
behold him laid out, bound hand and foot with grave-cloaths, 
locked up and ftinking in a dark cave, with a great ftone 
placed on the top of it ! View him again and again ; go 
nearer to him ) be not afraid ; fmell him, ah ! how he ftinketh. 
Stop there now, paufeawhile; and whilft thou art gazing 
upon the corpfe of Lazarus^ give me leave to tell thee with 
great plainnefs, but greater love, that this dead, bound, en- 
tombed, ftinking carcafe, is but a faint reprefcntation of thy 
poor foul in its natural ftate : for, whether thou bclieveft it or 
not, thy fpirit which thou beared about with thee, fepulchred 
in ilefh and blood, is as literally dead to God, and as truly 


[ 124 } 

d-ead in trefpaflcs and fins, as the body of Lozmus was in the 
cave. Was he bound hand and foot with grave-cloaths ? So art 
thou bound hand and foot with thy corruptions : and as a ftone 
was laid on the fcpulchre, fo is there a ftone of unbelief upon 
thy ftupid heart. Perhaps thou haft lain in this ftate, not only 
four days, but many years, ftinking in God's noftrils. And, 
what is ftill more afFedting, thou art as unable to raife thyfelf 
out of this loathfome, dead ftate, to a life of righteoufnefs and 
true holinels, as ever Lazarus was to raife himfclf from ihe 
cave in which he lay fo long. Thou mayeft try the power 
of thy own boafted free-will, and the force and energy of 
moral perfuafion and rational arguments (which, without all 
doubt, have their proper place in religion) ; but all thy eftbrts, 
exerted with never fo much vigour, will prove quite fruitless 
and abortive, till that fame Jesus, who faid, " Take away 
the ftone," and cried, " Lazarus^ come forth," comes by his 
mighty power, removes the ftone of unbelief, fpeaks life to thy 
dead foul, loofes thee fro-m the fetters of thy fins and corrup- 
tions, and by the influences of his blefled Spirit, enables thee to 
arife, and to walk in the way of his holy commandments. 
And O that he would now rend the heavens, and come down 
amongft you ! O that there may be a ftirring among the dry 
bones this day ! O that whilft I am fpeaking, and faying, 
*' Dead fmners, come forth/' a power, an almighty power 
might accom^^any the word, and caufe you to emerge into 
nev/ life ! 

If the Lord fiiould vouchfafe me fuch a mercy, and but 
,one firgle foul in this great congregation, fhould arife and 
ftiake himfelf from the duft of his natural ftate -, according to 
the prefent frame of my heart, I fiiould not care if preaching- 
this iermon here in the fields, was an occafion of haftcning 
my death, as raifing Lazarus haftencd the death of my blefled 
Mafter. For methinks death, in fome refpeils, is more to- 
lerable, than to fee poor finners day by day lying fepulchrej^, 
dead and ftinking in fin. O that you faw how loathfome you 
are in the fight of God, whilft you continue in your natural 
ftate ! I believe you would not fo contentedly hug yoyr 
<:hairs3 and rcfufe to be fct at liberty, 


[ ti5 ] 

Methinks I fee fomc of you affected at this part of my dif- 
Courfe. What fay you ? Are there not fomc ready to com- 
plain, alas I we have fome relations prefcnt, who are fo no- 
torioufly wicked, that they not only hug their chains, but 
make a mock of fin, and ftink not only in the fio;ht of God 
but man. Dear fouh ! you are ready to urge this, as a rea- 
fori why Jesus will not raifc them ; and think it hard, per- 
haps, that Jesus does not come, in anfwer to your repeated 
groans and prayers, to convert and fave them. But what 
Jesus faid unto Af art ha, I fay unto you, " Believe, and you 
Ihall fee the glory of God." Think it not a thing incredible, 
that God (hould raife their dead fouls. Think not hard of 
Jesus for delaying an anfwer to your prayers : afTure your- 
felves he heareth you always. And who knows, but this day 
Jesus may viht fome of your dear relations hearts, upon 
whofe account you have travelled in birth till Christ be 
formed in them ? You have already fympathized with Martha 
and Mary, in their doubts and fears ; who knows but you 
may alfo be partakers of that joy which their fouls experi- 
enced, when they received their rifen brother into their lono-_ 
jng arms. 

O Chriftlefs fouls, you do not know what grief your con- 
tinuance in fin occafions to your godly relations I You do not 
know how you grieve the heart of Jesus. I befeech you 
give him no frefh caufe to weep over you upon account of 
your unbelief: let him not again groan in his fpirit and be 
troubled. Behold how he has loved you, even (o as to lay 
down his life for you. What could he do more ? I pray you, 
therefore, dead finners, come forth ; arife and fup with Jesus. 
This was an honour conferred on Lazarus, and the fame ho- 
nour awaits you : Not that you fhall fit dov/n with him per- 
fonally in this life, as Lazarus did ; but you fliall fit down 
with him at the table of his ordinances, efpecially at the table 
of the Lord's-fupper, and ere long fit down with him in the 
kingdom of heaven. 

Happy, thrice happy ye, who are already raifed from fpi- 
ritual death, and have an earned of an infinitely better and 
more glorious refurre6lion in your hearts. You knew a little, 
how delightful it m.uft have been to Martha and Alary and 
Lazarus^ to fit down with the bleflld Jf.sus here b'-Iow ; but 
q how 

[ 126 ] 

how infinitely more delightful will it be, to fit down, not 
on!v with Mary and Martha^ but with Abraham^ Ifaac^ and 
^acoh^ and all your other dear brethren and fifters, in the 
kingdom of heaven. Do you not long for that time, when 
Jesus (liall fay unto you, " Come up hither r " Well ! blefied 
be God, yet a little while, and that fame Jesus, who cried 
with a loud voice, " Lazarus^ come forth j" (hall with the 
fame voice, and with the famt; power, fpeak unto all that are 
in their graves, and they fliall come forth. That all who 
hear me this day may be then enabled to lift up their heads 
and rejoice, that the day of their compleat redemption is in- 
deed fully come, may Jesus Christ grant, for his infinite 
mercy's fake. Anwiy and Amen, 


[ 127 ] 


The Holy Spirit convincing the World of Sin^ 
Righteoufnefs, and Judgment. 

John xvi. 8. 

And 'when he is come^ he will reprove the world of ftn^ 
and of righteoufnefs^ and of judgment, 

THESE words contain part of a gracious promife, which 
the blefled Jesus was plcafed to make to his weeping 
and forrowful difciple?. The time was now drawing near, 
in which the Son of man was firft to be lifted up on the crofs, 
and afterwards to heaven. Kind, wondrous kind ! had this 
merciful High-prieft been to his difciples, during the time of 
his tabernacling amongft them. He had compafiion on their 
infirmities, anfvvered for them when afiaulted by their ene- 
mies, and fet them right when out of the way, either in prin- 
ciple or practice. He neither called nor ufed them as fervants, 
but as friends ; and he revealed his fecrets to them from time 
to time. He opened their underftandings, that they might 
undcrftand the fcriptures ; explained to them the hidden my« 
fteries of the kingdom of God, when he fpoke to others in 
parables : nay, he became the fervant of them all, and even 
condefcended to wafh their feet. The thoughts of parting 
with fo dear and loving a Mafter as this, efpecialiy for a long 
feafon, mufl needs affedl them much. When on a certain 
occafion he intended to be abfent from them only for a night, 
we are told, he was obliged to conftrain them to leave him ; 
no wonder then, that when he now informed them he mufl 
entirely go away, and that the Pharifees in his abfence fhould 
put them out of their fynagogues, and excommunicate them ; 
yea, that the time fl:iould come, that wh;^foever killed them, 
6 would 

[ 128 ] 

would think they did God fervice (a prophecy, one would 
imatMne, in an cfpecial manner defigned for the Tuiiering mi- 
riltcrs of this generation) ; no wonder, 1 fay, confidering all 
this, that we arc told, ver. 6. Sorrow had iilled their hearts : 
" Becaufe I have faid thefe things unto you, forrow hath 
filled your hearts." The exprefiion is very emphatical -, their 
hearts were To full of concern, that they v/ere ready to burH. 
In ord.r, therefore, to reconcile them to this mournful difpen- 
fation, our dear and compalTionate Redeemer fhews them the 
neccirity he lay under to leave them ; " Neverthelefs I tell 
you the truth \ it is expedient for you that I go away :" As 
though he had faid. Think not, my dear difciples, that I 
leave you out of anger : no, it is for your fakes, for your 
profit, that I go av/ay : for if I go not away, if I die not iipOn 
the crofs for your fins, and rife again for your juftification, 
and afcend into heaven to make interceflion, and plead my 
merits before my Father's throne ; the Comforter, the Holy 
Ghofl, will not, cannot come unto you ; but if I depart, I 
will fend him unto you. And that they might know what he 
was to do, " When he is come, he will reprove the world of 
fin, and of rightcoufnefs, and of judgment." 

The perfon referred to in the words of the text, is plainly 
the Comforter, the Holy Ghoft ; and the promife was fiitt 
made to our Lord's apoftles. But though it was primarily 
made to them, and was literally and remarkably fulfilled at 
the day of Pentecou, when the Holy Ghofl came down as a 
mighty rufliing wind, and alfo when three thoufand were 
pricked to the heart by Peter s preaching ; yet, as the Apoftles 
were the reprefentativcs of the whole body of believers, we 
muft infer, that this promife m.uft be looked upon as fpoken 
to us, and to our children^ and to as many as the Lord our 
God (hall call. 

My dcfign from thefe words, is to fnew the manner in 
which the Holy GhoR generally works upon the hearts of 
thofe, who, through grace, are made vefTels of mercy, and 
trar.flated from the kingdom of darknefs into the kingdom of 
God's dear Son. 

1 fay, generally : For, as GoD is a fovereign agent, his fa- 
cred Spirit bloweth not only on whom, but v/hen and how it 
lidtth. Therefore, far be it from me to confine the Almighty 


[ 129 ] 

to one way of aifling, or fay, that all undergo an equal 
degree of convidlion : no, there is a holy variety in God's 
methods of calling home his chiSi, But this we may affirm 
alTuredly, that, wherever there is a work of true convi(5tion 
and converfion wrought upon afmner's heart, the Holy Ghoft, 
whether by a greater or lefs degree of inward foul-trouble, 
does that which our Lord Jesus told the difciples, in the 
words of the text, that he fhould do vvhen he came. 

If any of you ridicule inward religion, or think there is no 
fuch thing as our feeling or receiving the Holy Ghoft, I fear 
my preaching will be quite foolifhnefs to you^ and that you 
will undcrftand me no more than if I fpoke to you in an un- 
known tongue. But as the promife in the text, is made to 
the world, and as I know it will be fulfilling till time {hall be 
no more, I fhall proceed to explain the general way whereby 
the Holy Ghoft works upon every converted finner^s heart ; 
and I hope that the Lord, even whilft I am fpeaking^ will be 
plcafed to fulfil it in many of your hearts. " And when he is 
come, he will reprove the world of fm, of righteoufncfs, and 
of judgment." 

The word, which we tranflate reprove, ought to be rendred 
convince ; and in the original it implies a convid\ion by v^'ay 
of argumentation, and coming with a power upon the mind 
equal to a demonftration. A great many fcofFers of thefe laft 
days, will afk fuch as they term pretenders to the Spirit, hovir 
they feel the Spirit, and how they know the Spirit ? They 
might as well afk, how they know, and how they feel the fun 
when it (bines upon the body ? For with equal power and 
demonftration does the Spirit of God work upon and con- 
vince the foul. And, 


Firji^ It convinces of fin j and generally of fome enormous 
fin, the worft perhaps the convi6led perfon ever was guilty of. 
I'hus, when our Lord was converfing wiih the woman of 
Samaria^ he convinced her firft of her adultery : '* Woman, 
go call thy hufband. The woman anfwered, and faid, I have 
no hufband. Jesus faid unto her. Thou haft well faid, I 
have no hufband : for thou haft had five huihands, and he 
whom thou now haft, is not thy hufband : in this faidft thou 
truly." With this there went fuch a powerful conviction of 

Vol. VL I all 

[ no 3 

all her other actual fin?, that loon after, " fhe left her water- 
pot, and went her way into the city, and faith to the men. 
Come, and fee a man that told me all things that ever I did : 
is not this the Christ ?" 1 hus our Lord alfo dealt with the 
pcrfccutor Saul : he convinced him firft of the horrid fin of 
pcifccution ; " S^ii/Ij Snul^ why perfecuteft thou me?" Such 
a fenfe of all his other fins, probably at the fame time revived 
in his mind, that immediately he died ; that is, died to all his 
falfe confidences, and was thrown into fuch an agony of foul, 
that he continued three dajs, and neither did eat nor drink. 
I'his is the method the Spirit of God generally takes in deal- 
ing; with finners ; he firft convinces them of fomc heinous 
actual fin, and at the fime time brings all their other fins into 
rcmembracc, and as it v/ere fets them in battle-array before 
them : *' Wht^n he is conic, he will reprove the world of 

And wns it ever thus with you, my dear hearers ? (For I 
mufi: qucftion you as I go along, becaufe I intend, by the Di- 
vine help, to preach not only to your heads, but your hearts). 
Did the Spirit of God ever bring all your fins thus to remem- 
brance, and make you cry out to God, '' Thou writeft bitter 
things againft me?" Did your adual fins ever appear before 
you, as though drawn in a map ? If not, you have great rea- 
ion (unlefs you v/ere fan6\ified from the womb) to fufpecl 
that you are not convi6led, much more not converted, and 
that the promifc of the text was never yet fulfilled in your 

Farther : When the Comforter comes into a finner's heart, 
ihoucih it generallv convinces the fmner of his a6^ual fm fir(K 
vet it leads him to fee and bewail his original fin, the fountain 
from which all thefe polluted flreams do fiow. 

Though every thing in the earth, air, and water •, evr-.-y 
thing both without and within, concur to prove the truth of 
that affertion in the Icripture, '^ in Jdam we all have died ;" 
yet moft are (o hardened throu^'h the deceitfulnefs of fm, that 
r.otwithflanding they may j^iye an affent to the truth of the 
propofition in their heads, yet they never felt it really in their 
hearts. Nay, fome in words prolefiedly deny it, though their 
works too, too plainlv prove them to be degenerate fons of a 
degenerate father. But when the Comforter, the Spirit of 


God, arrets a finncr, and convinces him of fin, a!l carnal 
reafoning againft original corruption, every proud and hiati 
imagination, which exalteth itfelf againft that doctrine, is 
immediately thrown down ; and he is made to cry our, 
" Who fhall deliver me from the body of this death ?'* He 
now finds that concupifcence is fin ; and does not fo much 
bewail his adual fins, as the inward perverfenefs of his heart, 
which he now finds not only to be an enemy to, but alio direcbl: 
enmity againft God. 

And did the Comforter, my dear friends, ever come with 
fuch a convincing power as this into your hearts ? Were you 
ever made to fee and feel, that in your ficfii dwelleth no good 
thing ; that you are conceived and born in fin ; that you are 
by nature children of wrath ; that God would be juft if he 
damned you, though you never committed an adtual fin in your 
lives ? So often as you have been at church and facramenr, 
did you ever feelingly confefs, that there was no health in 
you ; that the remembrance of your original and a£lual fins 
was grievous unto you, and the burden of them intolerable ? 
If not, you have been only ofiering to God vain oblations ; 
you never yet prayed in your lives ; the Comforter never vet 
came efFe6tually into your fouls : confequently you are not in 
the faith properly fo called ; no, you are at prefent in a ftate 
of death and damnation. 

Again, the Comforter, when he comes effectually to work 
upon a finner, not only convinces him of the fin of his na- 
ture, and the fin of his life, but alfo of the fin of his duties. 

We all naturally are Legalifts, thinking to be juftified by 
the works of the law. When fomewhat awakened by the ter- 
rors of the Lord, we immediately, like the Pharifees of old, 
go about to eftablifti our own righteoufnefs, and think we 
fhall find acceptance with God, if we feek it with tears : 
finding ourfelves damned by nature and our a(5lual fins, we 
then think to recommend ourfelves to God by our duties, and 
hope, by our doings of one kind or another, to inherit eternal 
life. But, whenever the Comforter comes into the heart, it 
convinces the foul of thcfe falfe refts, and makes the finner to fee 
that all his righteoufnefles are but as filthy rags; and that, for 
the moft pompous fervices, he deferves no better a doom than 
that of the unprofitable fervant, *' to be thrown into outer 

1 2 darkncfs. 

[ t32 3 

darknefs, where is weeping, and wailing, and gnafhing of 


And was this degree of convi(flion ever wrought in any of 
your fouls ? Did the Comforter ever come into your hearts, 
{o as to make you fick of your duties, as well as your fms ? 
Were you ever, with the great Apoftle of the Gentiles^ made 
to abhor your own righteoufnefs which is by the law, and ac- 
kncwlcdfre that you deferve to be damned, though you fhould 
eive all your goods to feed the poor? Were you made to feel, 
that your very repentance needed to be repented of, and that 
every thing in yourfelves is but dung and drofs ? And that all 
the arguments you can fetch for mercy, muft be out of the 
heart and pure unmerited love of God ? Were you ever made 
to lye at the feet of fovereign Grace, and to fay, Lord, 
if thou wilt, thou mayeft fave me; if not, thou mayeft 
juftly damn me; I have nothing to plead, I can in no wife 
juftify myfelf in thy fight ; my beft performances, I fee, will 
condemn me; and all I have to depend upon is thy free grace? 
What fay you ? Was this ever, or is this now, the habitual 
lan^^ua^e of your hearts ? You have been frequently at the 
temple"; but did you ever* approach it in the temper of the 
poor Publican, and, after you have done all, acknowledge 
that you have done nothing ; and, upon a feeling experimen- 
tal fenfe of your own unwonhinefs and finfulncfs every way, 
fmite upon your breafts, and fay, " God be merciful to us 
finners ?" If you never were thus minded, the Comforter 
never yet efFe6)uariy came into your fouls, you are out of 
Christ ; and if God (Viould require your fouls in that con- 
dition, he would be no better to you than a confuming^fire. 

Fut there is a fourth fm, of which the Comforter, when 
he comes, convinces the foul, and which alone (it is very 
remarkable) our Lord mentions, as though it was the only 
fin worth mentioning ; for indeed it is the root of all other 
fins whatfoever : it is the reigning as well as the damning fm 
of the world. And what now do you imagine that fm may 
be ? It is that curfcd fm, that root of all other evils, I mean 
the fin of unbelief. Says our Lord, verfe 9. '* Of fm, bccaufc, 
they believe not on me." 

But does the chriftian world, or any of you that hear me. 
this day, want the Holy Ghoft to convince you of unbelief? 


[ '33 ] 

Are there any infidels here ? Yes, (O that I had not too 
great reafon to think fo I) I fear moft are fuch : not indctd 
fuch infidels as profefledly deny the Lord that bou<rht us 
(though I fear too many even of fuch monHers are in every 
country) ; but I mean fuch unbelievers, that have no more 
faith in Christ than the devils themfelvcs. Perhaps you 
may think you believe, becaufe you repeat the Creed, or fub- 
fcribe to a Confeffion of Faith ; becaufe you go to church or 
meeting, receive the facrament, and are taken into full com- 
munion. Thefe are blefled privileges ; but all this may be 
done, without our being true believers. And I know not 
how to dete6l your falfe hypocritical faith better, than by 
putting to you this queftion : How long have you believed ? 
Would not moft of you fay, as long as we can remember ; we 
never did difoelieve ? Then this is a certain fign that you have 
no true faith at all ; no, not fo much as a grain of muftard- 
Teed : for, if you believe now, (unlefs you were fanclified 
from your infancy, which is the cafe of fome) you muftknow 
th^t there was a time in which you did not believe on the 
Lord Jesus Christ ; and the Holy Ghoft, if ever you re- 
ceived it, convinced you of this. Eternal truth has declared, 
" When he is come, he will convince the world of fin, be- 
caufe they believe not on me." 

None of us believe by nature: but after the Holy Ghoft 
has convinced us of the fin of our natures, and the fin of our 
lives and duties, in order to convince us of our utter inability 
to fave ourfelves, and that we muft be beholden to God, as 
for every thing elfe, fo for faith (without which it is impof- 
fible to pleafc, or be faved by Christ) he convinces us alfo, 
that we have no faith. " Doft thou believe on the Son of 
God r" is the grand queftion which the Holy Ghoft now puts 
to the foul: at the fame time he works with fuch power and 
demonftration, that the fouLfees, and is obliged to con fefs, 
that it has no faith. 

This is a thing little thought of by moft who call 
themfelves believers. They dream they are chriftians, be- 
caufe they live in a chriftian country : If they were born 
Turksy they would believe on Mahomet', for what is that 
which men commonly call faith, but an outward confcnt to 
^he eftab^iflied religion ? But do not you thus deceive your 

I 3 ovva 

[ 134 1 

cwn fclves ; true faiih is quite another thing. Afk your- 
felves therefore, whether or not the Holy Ghoft ever power* 
iully convinced you o\ tl^e Im of unbelief? You are perhaps 
fo devout (you may imagine) as to get a catalogue of fins ; 
which you look over, and confefs in a formal manner, as 
ofien as you go to the holy facrament : but among all your 
iuis did you ever once confefs and bewail that damning fin 
of unbelief? Were you ever made to cry out, " Lord, give 
me iaith ; Lord, give me to believe on thee; O that I had 
faith ! O that I could believe !" If you never were thus 
diftrefied, at leaft, if you never faw and felt that you had no 
faith it is a certain fign that the Holy Gholl, the Comforter, 
never came into and worked favingly upon your fculs. 

I>ut is it not odd, that the Holy Ghoft fhould be called a 
Comforter, when it is plain, by the experience of all God's 
children, that this work of convitSlion is ufually attended with 
fore inward conflicts, and a great deal of foul-trouble ? I 
anfvver. The Holy Ghoft may well be termed a Comforter, 
even in this work ; becaufe it is the only way to, and ends 
in, true folid comfort. Blefled are they that are thus con- 
vided by him, for they fhall be comforted. Nay, not only 
i'oy but there is prefent comfort, even in the midft of thefe 
conviclions : the foul fecretly rejoices in the fight of its own 
mifery, blefies God for bringing it out of darknefs into light, 
and looks forward with a comfortable profpetSt of future deli- 
verances, knowing, that, " though forrovv may endure for a 
night, joy will come in the morning." 

Thus it is that the Holy Ghoft convinces the foul of fin. 
And, if fo, how wretchedly are they miftaken, that blend the 
light of the Spirit with the light of confciencc, as all fuch do, 
who fay, tiiat Christ lighteth every man that cometh into 
the world, and that light, if improved, will bring us to Jesus 
Christ ? If fuch dodtrine be true, the promife in the text 
was needlefs : our Lord's apodles had already that light; the 
wo: Id hereafter to be convinced, had that light; and, if 
that was luffieient to bring them to Christ, why was it ex^ 
pedient that Christ ft^jould go away to heaven, to fend down 
the Holy Ghoft to do this for them I Alas I all have not this 
Spirit : it is the fpecial gift of God, and, without this fpecial 
rift, \vp can never come to Christ. 

5 Ths 

r 135 ] 

The light of confcience will accufe or convince us of any 
common fin ; but the light of natural confcience never did 
never will, and never can, convince of unbelief. If it could, 
how comes it to pafs, that not one of the heathens, who im- 
proved the light of nature in fi:ch an eminent degree, was 
ever convinced of unbelief? No, natural conlcience canr.ot 
tffciSi this ; it is the peculiar property of the Hc>ly Ghofl: the 
Comforter: " When he is come, he will reprove (or con- 
vince) the world of fm, of righteoufnefs, and judgment." 

We have heard how he convinces of fin : we come now to 

Secondly^ What is the righteoufnefs, of which the Comfor- 
ter convinces the world. 

By the word righteoufncfiy in fome places of fcripture, v\e 
are to underftand that common juflice which we ounlu to 
pra6life between man and man ; as when Paul is faid to rea- 
fon of temperance and righteoufnefs before a trembling Fdiix, 
But here (as in a multitude of other places in holy writ) wc 
are to underftand by the word righteoufnefs, the a£live and 
paffive obedience of the dear Lord Jesus ; even that perfect, 
perfonal, all-fufHcient righteoufnefs, which he has wrought 
out for that world which the Spirit is to coiwince. " Of 
righteoufnefs, (fays our LoPwD) becaufe I go to the Father, 
and ye fee me no more.'* This is one argumeni: that the 
Holy Spirit makes ufe of to prove Christ's righieoufnef^, 
becaufe he is gone to the Father, and wc fee hitn no more. 
For, had he not wrought out a fufficicnt righteoufnefs, the 
Father would hiive fent him back, as not having done Vvhat 
he undertook ; and a'C (hould have {ten him a^iain, 

O the righteoufnefs of Christ 1 It fo comforts my foul, 
that I muft be excufed if I mention it in almoft all my difcour- 
fes. 1 would not, if I could help it, have one ferm.on v/ithout it. 
Whatever infidels may objed, or Anninians fopliiilically argue 
againft an imputed righteoufnefs ; yet whoever know themfehes 
and God, muft acknowledge, that " Jesus Christ is the 
end of the law for righteoufnefs, (and perfect juftification in 
the fi!j,ht of God) to every one that believeth," and that wc 
are to be made the righteoufnefs of God in him. This, and 
this onl/j a poor fmner can by hold of, as a fure anchor of 

1 4- Mi$ 

[ 136 ] 

his hope. Whatever other fcheme of falvatiofi men may lay, 
I acknowledge I can fee no other foundation whereon to build 
my hopes of falvation, but on the rock of Christ's perfonal 
righteoufnefs, imputed to my foul. 

Many, I believe, have a rational conyidllon of, and agree 
with me in this : but rational convictions, if reftcd in, avail 
but little ; it muft be a fpiritual, experimental convi6tion of 
the truth, which is faving. And therefore our Lord fay?, 
when the Holy Ghoft comes in the day of his power, it con- 
vinces of this righteoufnefs, of the reality, compleatnefs, and 
fufRciency of it, to fave a poor fmner. 

We have feen how the Holy Ghoft convinces the fmner of 
the fm of his nature, life, duties, and of the fm of unbelief; 
and what then muft the poor creature do ? He muft, he muft 
inevitably defpair, if there be no hope hut in himfelf. When 
therefore the Spirit has hunted the fmner out of all his falfe 
rcfts and hiding-places, taken oft' the pitiful fig-leaves of his 
own works, and driven him out of the trees of the garden 
(his outward reformations) and placed him naked before the 
bar of a fovereign, holy, juft, and fm-avenging G«: p ; then, 
then it is, when the foul, having the fentence of death within 
itfelf becaufe of unbelief, has a fweet difplay of Christ's 
righteoufnefs made to it by the Holy Spirit of God. Here it 
is, that he begins more immediately to a61: in rh'^ quality of a 
Comforter, and convinces the foul fo powerfully of the reality 
and all-fufficiency of Christ's righteoufnefs, that the foul is 
immediately fet a hungering and thirfting after it. Now the 
{inner begins to fee, that though he has deftroyed himfelf, yet 
in Christ is his help ; that, though he has no righteoufnefs 
c( his own to recommend him, there is a fulnefs of grace, a 
fulnefs of truth, a fulnefs of righteoufnefs in the dear Lord 
Jesus, which, if once imputed to him, will make him happy 
for ever and ever. 

None can tell, but thofe happy fouls who have experienced 
it, with what demonftration of the Spirit this convidion 
comes. O how amiable, as well as all-fufficienr, does the 
blefled Jesus now appear! With what new eyes does the 
foul now fee the Lord its righteoufnefs ! Brethren, it is un- 
utterable. If you were never thus convinced of Christ's 
righteoufnefs in your own fouls, though you may believe it 


[ 137 ] 

.do£lrinally, It will av^il you nothing, if the Comforter never 
C2ime favingly into your fouls, then you are comfortlcfs indeed. 

What will this righteoufnefs avail, if the foql has it not in 
pofleHion ? 

Thirdly^ The next thing therefore the Comforter, v;hen he 
comes, convinces the foul of, is judgment. 

By the vi-ord judgment, I underftand that v/e!l-arounded 
peace, that fettled judgment, which the foul forms of itfejf 
when it is enabled by the Spirit of God to Jay hold on 
Christ's righteoufnefs, which I believe it always does, when 
convinced in the matter before-mentioned. *' Of judgment 
(fays our Lord) becaufe the Prince of this world is judrred;'* 
the foul, being enabled to lay hold on Christ's perfect 
righteoufnefs by a lively faith, has a convi^Slion wrought in it 
by the Holy Spirit, that the Prince of this v/orld is judged. 
The foul being now juftified by faith, has peace with God 
through our Lord Jesus Christ, and can triumphantly fay. 
It is Christ that juftifies me, who is he that condemns me ? 
The ftrong man armed is now caft out ; my foul is in a true 
peace ; the Prince of this world will come and accufe, but 
he has now no {hare in me : the blefTed Spirit which I have 
received, and whereby I am enabled to apply Christ's ri<rhte- 
oufnefs to my poor foul, powerfully convinces me of this : 
why fhould I fear? or of what fhall I be afraid, fince God*s 
Spirit witnefles with my fpirit, that I am a child of God ? 
The Lord is afcended up on high ; he has led captivity cap- 
tive; he has received the Holy Ghoft the Comforter, that bed 
of gifts for men : and that Comforter is come into my heart: he 
is faithful that hath promifed : I, even I, am powerfully, ra- 
tionally, fpiritually convi6led of fin, righteoufnefs and jadg- 
inent. By this I know the Prince of this world is judged. 

Thus, I fay, may we fuppofc that foul to triumph, in which 
the promife of the text is happily fulfilled. And though, at 
the beginning of this difcourfe, I faid, mod had never expe- 
rienced any thing o'i this, and that therefore this preaching 
muft be foolifhnefs to fach ; yet I doubt not but there are 
(ome few happy fouls, who, through grace, have been enabled 

[ 138 ] 

to follow me ftep by ftep ; and notwithflanding the Holy 
Ghoft might not diredly work in the fame order as I have 
dcfcribed, and perhaps they cannot exaclly fay the time when, 
yet they have a well-grounded confidence that the work is 
done, and that they have really been convinced of fin, righte- 
oulncfs and judgment in fome way, or at fome time or 

And now, what (hall I fay to you ? O thank God, thank 
the Lord Jesus, thank the ever-blefTed Trinity, for this un- 
fpeakable gift: for you would never have been thus highly fa- 
voured, had not he who firft fpoke darknefs into light, loved 
you with an everlafting love, and enlightened you by his Holy 
Spirit, and that too, not on account of any good thing fore- 
feen in you, but for his own name's fake. 

Be humble therefore, O believers, be humble : look to the 
rock from whence you have been hewn : extol free grace ; 
admire elccSting love, Vv'hich alone has made you to differ from 
the reft of your brethren. Has God brought you into light ? 
Walk as becometh children of light. Provoke not the Holy 
Spirit to depart from you: for though he hath fealed you to 
the day of redemption, and you know that the Prince of this 
tvorld is judged ; yet if you backflide, grow luke-warm, or 
forget your firft love, the Lord will vifit your offences with 
the rod of aiBi£^ion, and your fin with fpiritual fcourges. Be 
not therefore high-minded, but fear. Rejoice, but let it be 
with trembling. As the ele<Sl: of God, put on, not only 
humblenefs of mind, but bowels of compaffion ; aftd pray, O 
pray for your unconverted brethren ! Help me, help me now, 
O children of God, and hold up my hands, as Jaron and Hur 
once held up the hands of Mofes. Pray, whilft f am preach- 
ing, that the Lord may enable me to fay. This day is the 
promife in the text fulfilled in fome poor finners hearts. Cry 
mightily to God, and, with the cords of holy violence, pull 
down bleffings on your neighbours heads. Christ yet lives 
and reigns in heaven : the refidue of the Spirit is yet in his 
hand, and a plentiful effufion of it is promifed in the latter 
days of the church. And O that the Holy Ghoft, the bleffed 
Comforter, would now come down, and convince thofe that 
are Chriftlcfs amongft you, of fin, of righteoufnefs, and of 

judgment 1 

[ 139 ] 
judgment ! O that you were once made willing to be con- 
vinced ! 

But perhaps you had rather be filled with wine than with 
the Spirit, and are daily chafmg that Holy Ghoft from your 
fouls. What (hall I fay for you to God ? " Father, forgive 
them, for they know not what they do." What (hall 1 fay 
from God to you ? Why ? That " God was in Christ re- 
conciling the world unto himfelf :" Therefore I bcfeech you, 
as in Christ's ftead, be ye reconciled to God. Do not go 
away contradiding and blafpheming. I know Satan would 
have you be gone. Many of you may be uneafy, and are 
ready to cry out, " What a wearinefs is this !" But I will not 
let you go : I have wreftled with God for my hearers in pri- 
vate, and I muft wreflle with you here in public. Though 
of myfcjf I can do nothing, and you can no more by your 
own power come to and believe on Christ, than Lazarus 
could come forth from the grave ; yet who knows but God 
may beget fome of you again to a lively hope by this foolifh- 
nefs of preaching, and that you may be fome of that world, 
v/hich the Comforter is to convince of fin, of righteoufnefs, 
and of judgment ? Poor Chriftlefs fouls ! do you know what 
a condition you are in I Why, you are lying in the wicked 
one, the devil ; he rules in you, he walks and dwells in you, 
unlefs you dwell in Christ, and the Comforter is come into 
your hearts. And will you contentedly lie in that wicked 
one the devil ? What wages will he give you? Eternal death. 
O that you would come to Christ I The free gift of God 
through him is eternal life. He will accept of you even now, 
if you will believe in him. The Comforter may yet come 
i.nto your hearts, even yours. All that are now his livino- 
temples, were once lying in the wicked one, as well as you. 
This bleffed gift, this Holy Ghoft, the blefled Jesus received 
even for the rebellious. 

I fee many of you affected : but are your paffions only a 
little wrought upon, or are your fouls really touched with a 
lively fcnfe of the heinoufnefs of your fins, your want of faith, 
and the precioufnefs of the righteoufnefs of Jesus Christ? 
If fo, I hope the Lord has been gracious, and that the Com- 
forter is coming into your hearts. Do not ftifle thefe con- 

vidliuns I 

[ 140 ] 

vlc^lons! Do not go away, and ftraightvvay forget what man- 
ner of dodrine you have heard, and thereby (liew that thefe 
are only common workings of a few tranfient convidlions, 
floating upon the furface of your hearts. Beg of God that 
you may be fincere (for he alone can make you fo) and that 
you may indeed defire the promife of the text to be fulfilled 
in your fouls. Who knows but the Lord may be gracious ^ 
Remember you have no plea but fovereign mercy ; but, for 
your encouragement alfo, remember it is the world, fuch as 
you are, to whom the Comforter is to come, and whom he 
is to convince : wait therefore at wifdom's gates. The bare 
probability of having a door of mercy opened, is enough to 
keep you ftriving. Christ Jesus came into the world to 
fave finners, the chief of them : you know not but he came 
to fave you. Do not go and quarrel with GoD*s decrees, and 
fay, if I am a reprobate, I {hall be damned j if I am elected, 
1 (hall be faved ; and therefore I will do nothing. What 
have you to do with God's decrees ? Secret things belong to 
to him ; it is your bufmefs to " give all diligence to make 
your calling and eledlion fure,'* If there are but few who find 
the way that leads to life, do you ftrive to be fome of them ; 
you know not but you may be in the number of thofe few, 
and that your flriving may be the means which God intends 
to blefs, to give you an entrance in. If you do not ad thus, 
you are not fincere; and, if you do, who knows but you may 
find mercy ? For though, after you have done all that you 
can, God may juflly cut you of^*, yet never was a fingle per- 
fon damned who did all that he could. Though therefore 
your hands are withered, ftretch them out; though you are 
impottnt, fick, and lame, come, lie at the pool. Who knows 
but by and by the Lord Jesus may have compailion on you, 
and fend the Comforter to convince you of fin, righteoufnefs, 
and of judgment ? He is a God full of compailion and long- 
fuftering, otherwife you and I had been long fince lifting up 
our eyes in torments. But ftill he is patient with us ! 

O Chriftlefs finners, you are alive, and who knows but 

CjOD intends to bring you to repentance ? Could my prayers 

or tears effedt it, you fhould have vollies of the one, and fiood^ 

of the other. My heajt is touched with a fanfe of your con- 

3 dition ; 

f 141 ] 

dition : May our merciful High-pricft now fend down the 
Comforter, and make you fenfible of it alfo ! O the love of 
Christ ! It conftrains me yet to befeech you to come to him • 
what do you rejcdt, if you rejed Christ, the Lord of 
glory ! Sinners, give the dear Redeemer a lodging in your 
fouls. Do not be Bcthft^cmites \ give Christ your hearts, 
your whole hearts. Indeed he is worthy. He made you, and 
not you yourfelves. You are not your own ; give Christ 
then your bodies and fouls, which are his ! Is it not enough 
to melt you down, to think that the high and lofty One, 
who inhabiteth eternity, fhould condefcend to invite you 
by his minifiers ? How foon can he frown you to hell ? 
And how know you, but he may, this very inftant, if 
you do not hear his voice? Did any yet harden their hearts 
againft Christ, and profper ? Come then, do not fend me 
forrowful away : do not let me have reafon to cry out, O my 
leannefs, my leannefs ! Do not let me go weeping into my 
clofet, and fay, " Lord, they will not believe my report; 
Lord, I have called them, and they will not anfwer ; I am 
unto them as a very pleafant fong, and as one that plays upon 
a pleafant inftrument ; but their hearts are running after the 
luft of the eye, the luft of the flefh, and the pride of life." 
Would you be willing that I (liould give fuch an account of 
you, or make fuch a prayer before God ? And yet I muit 
not only do fo here, but appear in judgment againfi you here- 
after, unlefs you will come to Christ. Once more therefore 
I intreat you to come. What obje£lions have you to make ? 
Behold, I ftand here in the name of God, to anfwer ait 
that you can offer. But I know no one can come, unlefs 
the Father draw him : I will therefore addrefs me to my 
God, and intercede with him to fend the Comforter into your 

O blefled Jesus, who art a God whofe compaiTions fail 
not, and in whom all the promifes are yea and amen ; thou 
that fitteft between the cheruhims, (hew thyfelf amongft 
us. Let us now fee thy outgoings ! O let us now tafte that 
thou art gracious, and reve^d thy almighty arm ! Get thyfelf 
the vidlory in ihefe poor fmners hearts. Let not the word 
fpoken prove like water fpilt upon the ground. Send down, 


[ U2 ] 

fend (Jown, O great High-prieft, the Holy Spirit, to con- 
vince the world of fin, of rightcoufnefs, and of judgment. 
So will we give thanks and praife to thee, O Father, thee 
O Son, and thee O blefled Spirit ; to whom, as three Per- 
fons, but one God, be afcribed by angels and archangels, 
by cherubims and feraphims, and all the heavenly hofts, all 
poffible power, might, majefty, and dominion, now and for 
evermore. Amen, Amen, Amen. 


[ 143 ] 


Said's Converfion. 

Acts ix. 22. 

But Said increafed the more in ftrength^ and confounded 
the Jczvs which dwelt at DamafctiSy proving that this 
is very Christ. 

IT is an undoubted truth, however paradoxical it may feem 
to natural men, that " whofoever will live godly in 
Christ Jesus, fhall fufFer perfecution." And therefore it 
is very remarkable, that our bleffed Lord, in his glorious 
fermon on the mount, after he had been pronouncing thofe 
blefled, who were poor in fpirit, meek, pure in heart, and 
fuch like, immediately adds (and fpends no lefs than three 
verfes in this beatitude " Blefled are they who are perfecuted 
for righteoufnefs fake." No one ever was or ever will be 
endowed with the forementioned graces in any degree, but 
he will be perfecuted for it in a meafure. There is an irre- 
concileable enmity between the feed of the woman, and the 
feed of the ferpent. And if we are not of the world, but 
fhew by our fruits that v;e are of the number of thofe whom 
Jesus Christ has chofen out of the world, for that very 
reafon the world will hate us. As this is true of every parti- 
cular chriftian, h it is true of every chriftian church in gene- 
ral. For fome years pad we have heard but little of a public 
perfecution : Why ? Becaufe but little of the power of god- 
linefs has prevailed amongft all denominations. The ftrong 
man armed has had fall pofleffion of mod profefTors hearts, 
and therefore he has let them reft in a f^lfe peace. But we 
may aflure ourfelves, when Jesus Christ begins to gather 


r 144 1 

In his ele£l in any remarkable manner, and opens an cffedual 
door for preaching the everlafting goipel, perfecution will 
flame out, and S(/ian and his emillaries will do their utmoft 
(though all in vain) to ftop the work of God. Thus it was 
in the firft ages, thus it is in our days, and thus it will be, 
till time fliall be no more. 

Chrillians and chriftian churches muft then expe£l enemies. 
Our chief concern fliould be, to learn how to behave towards 
them in a chriftian manner : For, unlefs we take good heed 
to o'lrftlves, we (hall imbitter our fpirits, and a6l unbecom.- 
incr the followers of that Lord, *' who, when he was reviledsj 
reviled not again ; when be fufFered, threatned not j and, 
as a lamb before his (hearers is dumb, (o opened he not his 
mouth.'* Biitwhat motive fhall we make ufe of to bring our- 
felves to this blefTed lamb-like temper? Next to the imme- 
diate operation of the Holy Spirit upon our hearts, I know 
of no confideration more conducive to teach us long-fufFering 
towards our moft bitter perfecutors, than this, ".That, fot 
all we know to the contrary, fome of thofe very perfons, who 
are now perfecuting, may be chofen from all eternity by God, 
and hereafter called in time, to edify and build up the church 
of Christ." 

The pcrfccutor .SW, mentioned in. the words of the text, 
(and whofe converfion, QoD willing, I propofe to treat o^v 
in the following difcourfe) is a noble inftance of this kind. . 

I fay, a perfecutor, and that a bloody one : For fee how 
he is introduced in the beginning of this chapter; " An4 
Saul yet breathing out thrcatnings and flaughter againft the 
difciples of our Lord, went unto the high prieft, and defired 
of him letters to Dornofcus -io the fynagpgues, that if h^ fouad 
any of this way, whether .th^y were men. or women, he might 
bring them bound to 'JeruJaUni.'''' 

'' And Saul yet breathing out." This implies that he had 
been a pcrftrcutor before. 'I'o prove which, we need only 
look back to the 7th chapter, where we (hall find him fo very 
remarkably active at Stephens death, that " the witnefles laid 
down their clothes at a young man's feet, whofe name was 
Saul.''* He feems, though young, to be in fome authority. 
Perhaps, for his zeal againft the chriftians, he was preferred 
in the church, and was allowed to lit in the great council or 


[ HS ] 

Sanhedrfm : For wc are told, chap. vill. ver. i. <« That Saul 
was confenting unto his death j'* and again, at ver* 3. he is 
brought in as exceeding all in his oppofuion ; for thus fpcaks 
the evangclift, " As for StuJ, he made havock of the church, 
entring into every houfe, and haling men and women, com- 
mitted them to prifon." One would have imagined, that 
this (hould have fatisfied, at leafl: abated the fury of this youn:; 
realot. No : being exceedingly mad againft them, as he him- 
fclf informs J^rippa^ and having made havock of all in Jeru- 
falem^ he now is refolved to perfecute the difciples of the 
Lord, even to ftrange cities ; and therefore yet breathing out 
threatnings. *' Breathing out." The words are very empha- 
tical, and exprefTive oi" his bitter enmity. It was as natural to 
him now to threaten the chriftians, as it was for him to 
breathe: he could fcarce fpeak, but it was fotne threatnings 
againft them. Nay, he not only breathed out threatningr, 
but flaughters alfo (and thofc who threaten, wouid alio 
(laughter, if it were in their power) againft the difciples of 
the Lord. Infatiable therefore as hell, finding he could not 
confute or flop the chriftians by force of argument, he is re- 
folved to do it by force of arms j and therefore went to tiie 
high prieft (for there never was a perfccution yet without a 
high prieft at the head of it) and defired of him letters, iftlied 
out of his fpiritual court, to the fynagogues or ccclefiaftical 
courts at Danwfcus, giving him authority, " that if he found 
any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might 
bring them bound unto ^erufalem^'' I fuppofe, there to be 
arraigned and condemned in the high prieft's court. Obferve 
how he fpeaks of the chriftians. Lukc^ v/ho wrote the A5fs^ 
calls them *' difciples of the Lord," and ^aul ftilcs them 
*' Men and women of this way." I doubt not but he reprc- 
fented them as a company of upftari enthufiajis^ that had lately 
•gotten into a new method or way of living; that would not 
be content with the temple-fervice, but they muft be righte- 
ous over-much, and have their private meetings or conven- 
ticles, and break bread, as they called it, from houfe to 
houfe, to the great difturbance of the eftabliftied clergy, and 
to the utter fubverfion of all order and decency. I do not 
hear that the high pr-tft makes any obje(5lion : no, he was as 
willing to grant letters, as ^aul was to aft; them ; and won- 
VoL. VI. K derfully 


[ 146 ] 

dcrfully plcafed within himfelf, to find he had fuch an acli^'C 
zealot to employ againft the chriftians. 

Well then, a judicial procefs is immediately iffued out, 
with the high prieft's feal affixed to it. And now methinks 
I fee the young perfecutor finely equipped, and pleafing him- 
felf with thoughts, how triumphantly he Ihould ride back 
with the " men and women ot this way," dragging them af- 
ter him to ^Jerujalem, 

What a condition may we imagine the poor difciplcs at 
Damnfcus were in at this time ! No doubt they had heard of 
SauFs imprifoning and making havock of the faints at Jcru- 
falcm^ and we may well fuppofc they were apprifed of his de- 
fign againft them. I am perfuaded this was a growing, be- 
Cflufe a trying time with thefe dear people. O how did they 
wrciHc with God in prayer, befeeching him either to deliver 
them from, or fjive them grace fufficient to enable them to 
bear up under, the fury of their perfecutors ? The high prieft 
doubtltfs with the reft of his reverend brethren, flattered them- 
felves, that they fhould now put an effectual ftop to this 
growing herefy, and waited with impatience for Saul\ re- 

But '* He that fitteth in heaven laughs them to fcorn, the 
Lord has them in derifion." And therefore, ver. 3. " As 
5^w/ journeyed, and came even near unto Daniafcus^^ perhaps 
to the very gates, (our Lord permitting this, to try the faith 
of his difciples, and more conlpicuoufly to baffle the defigns 
of his enemie.^) " fuddenly (at mid-day, as he acquaints 
Agrippa) there ihined round about him a light from heaven," 
a light brighter than the fun ; " and he fell to the earth (why 
not into hell ?) and heard a voice faying unto him, Sauly 
Saul^ why pcTiecuteft thou me r" The word is doubled, 
•' Saul^ Saul:'' Like that of our Lord to Martha ; " Martha^ 
Aiartha ;" or the prophet, " O earth, earth, earth !" Per- 
haps thefe words came like thunder to his foul. That they 
were fpoken audibly, we are affured from verfe 7. "His com- 
panions heard the voice." Our Lord now arrefts the per- 
•fecuting zealot, calling him by name ; for the word never 
does us good, till we find it fpoken to us in particular. *' Sauly 
Sauiy Why perfecuteft thou Me ?" Put the emphafis upon the 
word ivby^ ^hat evil have I done ? Put it upon the v/ord per- 

• 3 JHttUfy 

C '47 1 

fecute/iy why perfccutefl ? I fuppofe San! thought he was not 
t)errecuting; no, he was only putting the laws of the cccle- 
iiaftical court into execution ; but Jesus, whofe eyes :\re as a 
flame of fire, faw through the hypocrify of his heart, that, 
notvviihftanding his fpecious pretences, all this proceeded from 
a perfccuting fpirit, and fecret enmity of heart againft God ; 
and therefore fays, " Why perfecuteft thou mer" Put the em- 
phafis upon the word f?ie^ why peffecuteft thou me ? alas f 
Saul was not perfecuting Christ, was he ? he was only 
taking care to prevent innovations in the church, and bring- 
ing a company of enthufiafts to juftice, who otherwife would 
overturn the eftabliflied conflitution. But Jesus fays, " Why 
perfecuteft thou me?" For what is done to Christ's difci- 
ples, he takes as done to himfelf, whether it be good, or 
whether it be evil. He that touches Christ's difciples, touches 
the apple of his eye j and they who perfecute the followers of 
our Lord, would perfecute our Lord himfcIf, was he again 
to come and tabernacle amongft us. 

I do not find that Saul gives any reafon why he did perfe- 
cute ; no, he was ftruck dumb; as every perfecutor will be, 
when Jesus Christ puts this fame qucftion to them at the 
terrible day of judgment. But being pricked at the heart, no 
doubt with a fenfe not only of this, but of all his other offen- 
ces againft the great God, he faid, ver. 5. '^ Who art thou. 
Lord ?" See how foon Goi) can change the heart and voice 
of his moll bitter enemies. Not many days ago, Saul was not 
only blafpheming Christ himfelf, but, as much as in him lay, 
compelling others to blafpheme alfo: but nowj he, who before 
was an impoflor, is called Lord ; " Who art thou. Lord :'* 
This admirably points out the way i-n which God's Spirit 
works upon the heart: it firft powerfully convinces of fin, and 
of our damnable ftate ; and then puts us upon enquiring after 
Jesus Christ. Saul being (truck to the ground, or pricked 
to the heart, cries out after Jesus, " Who art thou, Lord ?" 
As many of you that were never fo far made fcnfible of your 
damnable ftate, as to be made feelingly to feek after Jesus 
Christ, were never yet truly convicfed by, much lefs con- 
verted to, God. May the Lord, who flruck Sauly eftedually 
now ftrike all my chriftlefs hearers, and fet them upon enquir- 
ing after Jesus, as their all in all ! SanI faid, '^'' Who art thou, 

K 2 Lord ? 

[ hS ] 

Lord r And the LoRrJ laid, 1 am Jesus, whom thou perfe- 
cuteft '* Never did any one enquire truly after Jesus Christ, 
bnt Christ made a faving difcovery of himfelf, to his foul. 
It (hould fccm, our Lord appeared to him in perfon ; for Ana- 
nias^ afterwards, fays, " 7'he Lord who appeared to thee in 
the way vf hich thou earned ;" though this may only imply 
Christ's meeting him in the way; it is not much matter: it 
is plain Christ here fpeaks to him, and fays, *' I am Jesus, 
whom thou perfccuteft." It is remarkable, how our Lord 
takes to himlelf the name of J^fi^ ', ^oi" it is a name in which 
he delights : I am Jesus, a Saviour of my people, both from 
the 2;uilt and power of their finsi " a Jesus, whom thou per- 
iecutell." 7'his feems to be fpoken to convince Saul more and 
more of his fin; and I doubt nor, but e\ ery word was (liarpcr 
than a two ed.ed fword, and came like fo many daggers to his 
heart ; O how d.d thefe '.vords afFecl him ! a Jesus I a Savi- 
our! and vet I am perlecuting h;m! this flrikes him with hor- 
ror; but then tiie word Jesus, though he was a perftcutor, 
might give him fome hope. However, our dear Lord, to 
convince Saul that he was to be faved by grace, and that he 
was not afraid of his power and enmity, tells him, " It is hard 
for thee to kick againft the pricks." As much as to fay, though 
he was perfecuting, yet he could not overthrow the church of 
Christ: for he would fit as King upon his holy hill of Z/V; ; 
the malice of men or devils fhould never be able to prevail 
againfl him. 

Ver. 6. " And he, tremblino; and aftonifhed, faid, Lord, 
what wilt thou have me to do ?" Thofe, who think Saul had 
a difcovery of Jesus made to his heart before, think that this 
queltion is the refuU of his faith, and that he now defires to 
knovv' what he fliall do, out of gratitude, for u'hat the Lord 
had done for his foul; in this ieni'e it may be underftood ; 
^ and 1 have made ufe of it as an inrtance to prove, that faith 
will work by love; but perhaps it may be more agreeable to 
the context, if we fuppofe, that Snul had only fome diftant 
difcovery of Christ made to him, and not a full alTurance of 
faith : for we are told, " he trembling and aftonifhed," trem- 
bling at the thoughts of his perfecuting a Jesus, and aftonifh- 
cd at his own vilenefs, and the intinite condefcenfion of this 

♦Set Vol. V. Samon z^.- 

5 J«sus, 

f H9 1 

Jesus, cries ouf, " Lord, what wilt thou have me to do ?" 
Perfons under foul-trouble, and fore convidion, would be 
glad to do any thing, or comply on any terms, to get peace 
with God. *' Arile, (fays our Lord) and go into the city, 
and it fliall be told ihee what thou fhalt do." 

And here we will leave Saul 2. while, and fee what is become 
of his companions. But what Ihall we fay ? God is a fovc- 
relgn agent; his facred Spirit bloweth when and where it lill- 
eth ; " he will have mercy on whom he will have mercy.'"* 
Saul is taken, but, as far as we know to the contrary, his fel- 
low-travellers are left to perilh in their fins : for we are told, 
ver. 7. " That the men who journeyed with him ftood, in- 
deed, fpeechlefs, and hearing a confufed voice;" I fay, a co7i- 
fujcd voice ^ for io the word fignifies, and muft be fo interpret- 
ed, in order to reconcile it with chap. xxii. ver. 9. wligre Saul, 
giving an account of thefe men, tells Agr'ippa^ " They heard 
not the voice of him that fpake to me." They heard a voice, 
a confufed noife, but not the articulate voice of him that fpyke 
to Saul, and therefore remained unconverted. For what are all 
ordinances, all, even the moft extraordinary difpenfations of 
providence, without Christ fpeaks to the foul in them? Thus 
it is now under the word preached : many, like 5Ws compa- 
nions, are fometimes fo ftruck with the outgoings of God ap- 
pearing in the fan^luary, that they even {land fpeechlefs; they 
hear the preacher's voice, but not the voice of the Son of God, 
who, perhaps, at the fame time is fpeaking effect^ uaily to many 
other hearts ; this I have known often; arid what fhall we fay 
to thefe things? O the depth of the fovereignty of God! 
it is paft finding out. Lord, 1 defire to adore what I cannot 
comprehend. " Even fo, Father, for fo it feemetli good in 
thy fight!" 

But to return to Saul: the Lord bids him " arife and go 
into the city \' and we are told, ver. 8. that *' Saul arolc 
from the earth ; and when his eyes were opened, (he was fo 
overpowered with the greatnefs of the light that Qione upoa 
them, that) he favv no man ; but they led him by the hand, 
and brought him into Dnmnjciis^' that very city which was 
to be the place of his executing or imprifoning the difciples of 
the Lord. " And he was three days without fight, and nei- 
ther did eat nor drink." But who can teil what horrors of 
K 3 "^ confcience, 

t 150 ] 

confcicnce^ what convulfions of foul, what deep and pungent 
conviclions of fin he underwent during thefe three long days ? 
it was this took away his appetite (for who can eat or drink 
when under a kn{e of the wrath of God for fin ?) and, being 
to be greatly employed hereafter, he muft be greatly humbled 
now; therefore, the Lord leaves him three days groaning 
under the fpirir of bondage, and buffeted, no doubt, with the 
fiejfy darts of the devil, that, being tempted like unto his bre- 
thren, he might be able hereafter to fuccour thofe that were 
tempted. Had .S^:^/ applied to any of the blind guides of the 
'^ewifi church, under thefe circumftances, they would have 
faid, he was mad, or going befides himfelf ; as many carnal 
teachers and blind Pharifees now deal with, and fo more and 
nnore diftrefs, poor fouls labouring under awakening convic- 
ti.ons of their damnable ftate. But God often at our firft 
awakening?, vifits us with fore trials, efpecially thofe who are, 
like Saul, to fliine in the church, and to be ufed as inftruments 
in bringing many fons to glory : thofe who are to be highly 
exalted, muft firft be deeply humbled j and this I fpeak for the 
comfort of fuch, who may be now groaning under the fpirit of 
bondage^ and perhaps, like Saul, can neither eat nor drink ; 
for I have generally obfcrved, that thofe who have had the 
dcepeft convi61:ions, have afterwards been favoured with the 
fr.oft precious communications, and enjoyed moft of the divine 
prefence in their fouls. This was afterwards remarkably ex- 
emplified in Saul, who w^as three days without fight, and nei- 
ther did eat nor drink. 

But will the Lord leave his poor fervant in this diflrefs? 
ro; his Jesus (though iS^m/ perfecuted him) promifed (and he 
w.U perform) that *' it fhould be told him v/hat he mufl do. 
And there was a certain difciple at Damafcus, named Jnamas\ 
and unto him, faid the Lord, in a vifion, Ananias-, and he 
faid, Behold, I am here, Lord." What a holy familiarity is 
there between Jesus Christ and regenerate fouls ! Ananias 
Ijad been ufed to fuch love-vifics, and therefore knew the 
voice of his beloved. The Lord fays, " Ananias \' Ananias 
fays, " Behold, I am here, Lord." Thus it is that Christ 
now, as ;well as formerly, often talks with his children at 
fundiy times and after divers manners, as a man talketh with 
his friend. But what has the LorvD to fay to Ananias? 

Ver. II, 

[ 151 ] 

Ver. II. "And the Lord faid unto him, Arife, and go 

into the flreet, which is called Siraighty and enquire in the 

houfe of Judasy for one called Said of Tarfus ;" (See here for 

your comfort, O children of the moft high God, what notice 

Jesus Christ takes of the ftreet and the houfe where his 

own dear fervants lodge) " for behold, he prayeth ;" but why 

i-s this ufhered in with the word behold? what, was it fuch a 

wonder, to hear that Saul was praying? why, Saul was a Pha- 

rifee, and therefore, no doubt, fafted and made long prayers: 

and, fince we are told that he profited above many of his 

equals, I doubt not but he was taken notice of for his gift in 

prayer; and yet it feems, that before thefe three days, Saul 

never prayed in his life; and why? becaufe, before thefe three 

days, he never felt himfelf a condemned creature: he was alive 

in his own opinion, becaufe without a knowledge of the fpiri- 

tual meaning of the law; he felt not a want of, and therefore, 

before now, cried not after a Jesus; and confequently, though 

he might have faid or made a prayer (as many Pharifees do 

now-a-days) he never prayed a prayer ; but now, ^' behold ! 

he prayed indeed ;" and this was urged as one 'reafon why he 

was converted. None of Gdd's children, as one obferves, 

comes into the world flill-born; prayer is the very breath of 

the new creature : and therefore, if we are prayerlefs, we are 

chriftlefs ; if we never had the fpirit of fupplication, it is a 

fad fign that we never had the fpirit of grace in our fouls; 

and you may be allured you never did pray, unlefs you have 

felt yourfelves Tinners, and {t^n the want of Jesus to be your 

Saviour. May the Lord, whom I ferve in the gofpcl of his 

dear Son, prick you all to the heart, and may it be faid of ypu 

all, as it was of Saul^ behold, they pray I 

The Lord gees on to encourage Ananias to go to Saul : 
fays he, ver. 12. " For he hath feen in a vifjon a man named 
Jnanias^ coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he 
might receive his fight.'* So that though Christ converted 
Saul immediately by himfelf, yet he. will carry on the work, 
thus begun, by a minifter. Happy they, who under foul- 
troubles have fuch experienced guides, and as well acquainted 
with Jesus Christ as Ananlns was : you that have fuch, 
snake much of and be thankful for them ; and you who have 

K 4 them 

f 152 ] 

thrm not, trufl in God; he will carry on his own work with- 
uut them. 

Doubtlefs, Jnanias was a crood man ; but fliall I commend 
him for his anfvver to our Lord? 1 commend him not: for 
fays he, ver. 13. '^ Lord, I have heard by many of this man, 
how -much evil he hath done to thy faints at Jerufalem: Ai^d 
here, he haih authority from the chief pricfts to bind all that 
call upon thy name." I fear this anfwer proceeded from fomc 
relicks of fclf-righteoufncfs, as well as infidelity, that lay un- 
dil'covered in the heart q>^ Ananias, " Arife, (faid our Lord) 
and go into the flreet, which is called Straight^ and enquire 
v.\ the houfe of Judas^ for one called Saul of Tarfus ; for be- 
hold, he prayeth !" One would think this was fufncif-nt to 
fatisfy him; but fays Anajiias^ " LORD, I have heard by many 
of this man (he feems to fpeak of him with much contempt; 
for even good men are apt to think too contemptuoufly of 
ihofe who are yet in their fins) how much evil he ha'h done 
to thy faints in Jerufalem: And here, he hath authority from 
the chief pricfts, to bind all that call upon thy name." And 
v/hat then, Ananias? Is any thing too hard for the LoRD ? 
Who made thee to differ ? Could not he who converted thee, 
convert him alfo? Surely Ananias here forgets himRlf, or per- 
haps fears, left this man, who had authority from the chief 
priefts to bind all that call upon Christ's name, fhould bind 
him alfo, if he went unto him ; but the Lord filcnces all 
cbjcilions, with a " Go thy way, for he is a chofen veflel 
unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles^ and kings, and 
the children of IfraeL For I will fnew him how great things 
he muft fufFcr for my name's fake." Here God ftops his 
mouth immediately, by alierting his fovereignty, and preach- 
ing to him the doclrine of ele6iion. And the frequent con- 
verfion of notorious fmners to God, to me is one great proof, 
amongft a thoufand others, of that precious, but too much 
exploded and fadly mifreprtfented, dochine of God's electing 
love; for whence is it that fuch are taken, whllft thoufands, 
not near fo vile, die fenfelefs and ftupid ? All the anfwer that 
can be given, is, ihey are chofen vefj'tls \ " Go thy way, (fays 
God; for he is a chofen vefTel unto me, to bear my name be- 
fore the Gentilcs^ and kings, and the children of Jfrael : For 
\ will facw him ho'^ great things he inuft fuiur for my name's 

[ '53 1 

fake.'* Obferve what a clofe connexion there is between do- 
ing and fufFering for Christ. If any of my brethren in the 
niiniftry are prefent, let them hear what preferment we mud 
expert, if we are called out to work remarkably for God : 
not great prebendaries or biftiopricks, but great fufFerings for 
our Lord's name fake ; thefe are the fruits of our labour : and 
he that will not contentedly fufFer great things for preaching 
Christ, is not worthy of him. Suffering will be found to 
be the bell: preferment, when we are called to give an account 
*of our miniftry at the great day. 

I do not hear, that Ananias quarrelled with God concern- 
ing the dodrine of eletSlion ; no, (O that all good men would, 
in this, learn of him !) "He went his way, and entered into 
the houfe; and put his hands on him, and faid. Brother 5i??// j" 
juft now, it was this man-, now it is brother Saul: it is no mat- 
ter what a man has been, if he be now a chriftian ; the fame 
fhould be our brother, our fitter and mother ;~ God blots ou^ 
every convert's tranfgreffions as with a thick cloud, and fo 
(hould we ; the more vile a man has been, the more fhould 
we love him when believing in Christ, becaufe Christ will 
be more glorified on his behalf. I doubt not, but Ananias was 
wonderfully delighted to hear that fo remarkable a perfecutor 
was brought home to God : I ;im perfuaded he felt his foul 
immediately united to him by love, and therefore addrefles 
him not with, thou perfecutor, thou murderer, that cameft to 
butcher me and my friends ; but, <* brother Saul" It is re- 
markable that the primitive chriftians much ufed the word 
brother and brethren ; I know it is a term now much in re- 
proach ; but thofe who defpife it, 1 believe, would be glad to 
be of our brotherhood, when they fee us fitting at the ri^ht- 
hand of the Majefty on high. " Brother Saul, the Lord (even 
Jesus that appeared unto thee in the way as thou cameft) hath 
fent me, that thou mighteft receive thy fight, and be filled 
with the Holy Ghoft." At this time, we may fuppofc, he 
kid his hands upon him. See the confequences. 

Ver. i8. " Immediately there fell from his eyes as it had 
been fcales, and he received fight forthwith;" not only bodily, 
but fpiritual fight ; he emerged as it were into a new world ; 
he faw, and felt too, things unutterable: he felt a union of 
(oul with Godj he received the fpirit of adoption; he could 


[ '54 ] 
Kow, vvith a full aiTurance of faith, crv, '* Abba, Father.** 
Now was he filled vvith the Holy Ghoft ; and had the love of 
God fhed abroad in his heart; novir were the days of his 
mourning ended ; now was Christ formed in his foul j now 
he could give men and devils the challenge, knowing that 
Christ had juOified him ; now he faw the excellencies of 
Christ, and efteemed him the faireft among ten thoufand. 
You onJy know how to fympathize with the apoftle in his 
joy, who, after a long night of bondage, have been fet free 
by the Spirit, and have received joy in the Holy Ghoft. May 
all that are now mourniiig> as Saul was, be comforted in like 
manner I 

The fcales are now removed from the eyes of SauF^ mind ; 
Ananias has done that for him, under God : he muft now do 
another office, baptize him, and fo receive him into the vifi- 
ble church of Christ; a good proof to me of the neceinty of 
baptifm where it may be had : for I find here, as well as elfe^ 
where, that baptifm is adminiftered even to thofe who had re^ 
ceived the Holy Ghoft; Saul was convinced of this, and there- 
fore arofe and was bapti;£ed ; and now it is time for him to 
recruit the outward man, which, by three days abftinence and 
fpiritual conflidh, had been much impaired : we are there- 
fore told, (ver. 19.) " when he had received meat, he w^s 

But O5 with what comfort did the apoftle now eat his food 1 
I am fure it was with finglenefs, I am perfuaded alfo with 
gladnefs of heart ; and why ? he knew that he was reconciled 
to God ; and, for my own part, did I not know how blind 
and flinty our hearts are by nature, I fliould wonder how any 
one could eat even his common food with any fatisfadlion, 
who has not fome well-grounded hope of his being reconciled 
to God. Our Lord intimates thus much to us : for in his 
glorious prayer, afccr he has taught us to pray for our daily 
bread, immediately adds that petition, " Forgive us our tref- 
pafies;'* as though our daily biead would do us no fervice,- 
unlefs we were fenfible of having the forgivenefs of our fins. 

To proceed: 5^v7v/ hath received meat, and is ftrengthened; 
and whither will he go now? to fee the brethren; *' then was 
Saul certain days with the difciples that were at Damafcus^ If 
we know and love Christ, wc il:iall alfo love ^nd defire tQ 


I ^55 ] 

be acquainted with the brethren of Christ : we may gene- 
rally know a man by his company. And though all are not 
faints that affociate with faints, (for tares will be always 
fpringing up amongft the wheat till the time of harvefl) yet, 
if we never keep company, but are fliy and afhamed of the 
defpifed children of God, it is a certain fign we have not yet 
experim.entally learned Jesus, or received him into our hearts. 
My dear friends, be not deceived j if we are friends to the 
Bridegroom, we (hall be friends to the children of the Bride- 
groom. Saul^ as foon as he was filled with the Holy Ghoft, 
^' was certain days with the difciples that were at Damafcus** 

But who can tell what joy thefe difciples felt when Saul 
came amongft them ! I fuppofe holy Ananias introduced him. 
Methinks I fee the once perfecuting zealot, when they came 
to falute him with a holy kifs, throwing himfelf upon each of 
their necks, weeping over them with floods of tears, and fay- 
ing, " O my brother, O my fuler. Can you forgive me ? 
*' Can you give fuch a wretch as I the right-hand of fellow- 
" fhip, who intended to drag you behind me bound unto '7^- 
" riifalem!'' Thus, I fay, we may fuppofe ^SW addreifed 
himfelf to his fdlow-difciples 5 and I doubt not but they were 
as ready to forgive and forget as Ananias was, and faluted him 
with the endearing title of " brother Said.'' Lovely was 
this meeting; fo lovely, that it feemed iSW continued cer- 
tain dijys with them, to communicate experiences, and to 
"learn the way of God more perfectly ; to pray for a bleiiing 
on his future miniftry, and to praife Christ Jesus for what 
he had done for their fouls. Sau!^ perhaps, had fat certain 
years at the feet of Gamaliel^ but undoubtedly learned more 
thefe certain days, than he had learned before in all his life. 
It pleafes me to think how this great fcholar is transformed by 
the rf newing of his mind : What a mighty change was here ! 
That fo great a man as Saul was, both as to his ftation in life, 
and internal qualifications, and fuch a bitter enemy to the 
chriflians ; for him, I fay, to go and be certain days with the 
people of this mad way^ and to fit quietly, and be taught of il- 
literate men, as many of thefe difciples we may be fure were ; 
what a fubdantial proof was this of the reality of his con- 
verfiun ! 


C 156 3 

What a hurry and confufion may we fuppoA? the chief 
priefts were now in ! I warrant they were leady to cry out. 
What ! is he aifo deceived ? As for the common people, 
who knew not the law, and are accurfed, for them to be car- 
ried away, is no fuch wonder ; but for a man bred up at 
the feet of Gamaliel^ for fuch a fcholar, fuch an enemy to the 
caufe as Saul', for him to be led away with a company of filly, 
deceived men and women, furely it is impoflible : we cannot 
believe it. But Saul foon convinces them of the reality of 
his becoming a fool for Christ's fake : for ftraightway, in- 
ftead of going to deliver the letters from the high priefts, as 
they expelled, in order to bring the difciples that were zt Da^ 
mafcus bound to Jerufalem^ '' he preached Christ in the fy« 
iiago^ues, that he is the Son of God." This was another 
proof of his being converted. He not only converfed with 
chriftians in private, but he preached Christ publicly in the 
Synagogues : efpecially, he infilled on the divinity of our 
Lord, proving, notwithftanding his ftate of humiliation, that 
he was really the Son of God. 

But why did Saul preach Christ thus ? Becaufe he had 
felt the power of Christ upon his own foul. And here is 
the reafon why Christ is (o feldom preached, and his divinity 
fo (lightly infifted on in our fynagogues ; becaufe the gene- 
rality of thofe that pretend to preach him, never felt a faving 
work of converfion upon their own fouls. How can they 
preach, unlefs they are iirfi: taught of, and then fent by God? 
Saul did not preach CHRi:iT before he knew him ; no more 
Ihould any one elfe. An unconverted minifter, though he 
could fpeak with the tongues of men and angels, will be but 
as a founding brafs and tinkling cymbal to thofe whofe fenfes 
are cxercifed to difcern fpiritual things. Minifters that are 
unconverted, may talk and declaim of Christ, and prove 
from books that he is the Son of God ; but they cannot 
preach with the demcnflration of the Spirit and with power, 
unlefs they preach from experience, and have had a proof of 
his divinity, by a work of grace wrought upon their own 
fouls. God forgive thofe, who lay hands on an unconverted 
man, knowing that he is fuch : I would not do it for a thou- 
fand worlds. Lord Jesus, keep thy own faithful fervants 
pure, and let ihenx not be partakers of other mens fms ! 


C ni ] 

Such an inftance as was ^aid\ converfion, we may be af- 
fured, ip.uft make a great deal of noife ; and, therefore, no 
wonder we arc told, ver. 21. " But all that heard him were 
amazed, and faid. Is not this he that deftroyed them who 
called on this name in 'Jerufalem^ and came hither for that in- 
tent, that he might bring them bound to the chief priefts." 

Thus it will be with all that appear publicly for Jfisus 
Christ ; and it is as impoffible for a true chriftian to be hid, 
as a city built upon a hill. Brethren, if you are faithful to, 
you muft be reproached and have remarks made on you for 
Christ ; efpecially if you have been remarkably wicked be- 
fore your converfion. Your friends will fay, is not this he, 
or fhe, who a little while ago would run to as great an excefs 
of riot and vanity as the worft of us all ? What has turned 
your brain ? — Or if you have been clofe, falfe, formal hypo- 
crites, as Saul was, they will wonder that vou (hould be fo 
deceived, as to think you were not in a fafe (fate before. No 
doubt, numbers were furprized to hear Said^ who was touch- 
ing the Jaw blamelefs, affirm that he was in a damnable con- 
dition (as in all probability he did) a iz^^^' days before. 

Brethren, you muft expe<Sl: to meet Vv'ith many fuch difHcul- 
tles as thefe. The fcourge of the tongue, is generally the firft 
crofs we are caHeJ to bear for the fake of Christ. Let not, 
therefore, this move you : It did not intimidate, no, it rather 
encouraged Saul r fays the text, '' Bat Saul increafed the 
more in ftrength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt at Da^ 
mafcus^ proving that this is very Christ." Oppofition never 
yet did, nor ever will hurt a fmcere convert : Nothing like 
oppofition to make the man of God perfeiSt. None but a 
hireling, who careth not fur the (beep, will be affrighted at 
the approach or barking of wolves. Christ's minifters are 
as bold as lions : it is not for fuch men as they to flee. 

And therefore (that I may draw tov/ards a conclufion) let 
the minifters and difciples of Christ learn from Saul^ not to 
fear men or their revilings j but, like him, increafe in ftrength, 
the more wicked men endeavour to weaken their hands. VVe 
cannot be chriftians without being oppofed : no ; difciples in 
general muft fufFer ; minifters in particular muft fufter great 
things. But let not this move any of us fiom our ftedT/Knefs 


[ '58 ] 

in the gofpel : He that Itood by and flrengthened 6W/, will 
alfo ftand by and ftrengthen us : He is a God mighty to fav6 
all that put their truft in him. If we look up with an eye 
of faith, we, as well as the tirft martyr Stephen^ may fee Jesus 
flanding at the right hand of God, ready to aflift and protect 
us. Though the Lord's feat is in heaven, yet he has refpeet 
to his faints in an efpecial manner, when fufFering here on 
earth : then the Spirit of Christ and of glory refts upon 
their fouls. And, if I may fpeak my own experience, " I 
never enjoy more rich communications from God, than when 
defpifed and rejedled of men for the fake of Jesus Christ." 
However little they may defign it, my enemies are my greateft 
friends. What I mofl fear, is a calm ; but the enmity which 
is in the hearts of natural men againft Christ, will not 
fuffer them to be quiet long : No ; as I hope the work of 
God will increafe, fc the rage of men and devils will increafe 
alfo. Let us put on, therefore, the whole armour of God : 
let us not fear the face of men : " Let us fear him only, who 
can deftroy both body and foul in hell :" I fay unto you, let 
us fear him alone. You fee how foon God can flop the fury 
of his enemies. 

You have juft now heard of a proud, powerful zealot flopt 
in his full career, ftruck down to the earth with a light from 
heaven, converted by the almighty power of efficacious grace, 
and thereupon zealoufiy promoting, nay, refolutely fuffering 
for, the faith, v/hich once with threatenings and flaughters he 
endeavoured to deftroy. Let this teach us to pity and pray 
for our Lord's mofl inveterate enemies. Who knows, but 
in anfwer thereunto, our Lord may give them repentance 
unto life ? Moft think, that Christ had refpeet to Stephens 
prayer, when he converted Saul. Perhaps for this reafon God 
fuffers his adverfaries to go on, that his goodnefs and power 
may fliine more bright in their converfion. 

But let not the perfecutors of Christ take encouragement 
from this to continue in their oppofuion. Remember, though 
Saul was converted, yet the high-prieft, and Saul^s companions, 
were left dead in trefpaiTes and iins : And, if this {hould be 
your cafe, you will of all men be moft miferable : for perfe- 
cutors have the lowefl place in hell. Andj if Saul v.'as flruck 


[ '59 ] 

to the earth by a light from heaven, how will you be able to 
ftand before Jesus Christ, when he comes in terrible ma- 
jefty to take vengeance on all thofe who have petfecutej his 
gofpel ? Then the queilion, " Why perfecuicft thou me ?** 
will cut you through and through. The fecret enmity of 
your hearts (hall be then detedled before men and angels, and 
you (hall be doomed to dwell in the blacknefs of darknefs for 
evermore. Kifs the Son, therefore, left he be angry : for evea 
you may yet find mercy, if you believe on the Son of God : 
though you perfecute him, yet he will be your Jesus. I 
cannot defpair of any of you, when I find a Saul amonp^ the 
difciples at Damafcus. What though your fins are as fcarlet, 
the blood of Christ {hall walh them as white as fnow. Hav- 
ing much to be forgiven, defpair not ; only believe, and like 
Saul, of whom I have now been fpeakingf, love much. He 
counted himfelf the chiefefl fmner of all, and therefore la- 
boured more abundantly than all. 

Who is there among you fearing the Lord ? Whofe hearf? 
hath the Lord now opened to hearken to the voice of his 
poor unworthy fervant .' Surely, the Lord will not let me 
preach in vain. W^ho is the happy foul that is this day to be 
wafned in the blood of the Lamb ? Will no poor (inner take 
encouragement from Saul to come to Jesus Christ ? You 
are all thronging round, but which of you will touch the Lord 
Jesus ? What a comfort will h be to Saul, and to yourowa 
fouls, when you meet him in heaven, to tell him, that hearing 
of his, was a means, under God, of your converfion ! Doubc- 
\t(s it was written for the encouragement of all poor, returning 
fmners ; he himfelf tells us fo : for *' in me God fiiewed 
all iong-fuftering, that I might be an example to them that 
(hould hereafter believe." Was iSW here himfelf, he would 
tell you fo, indeed he would ; but being dead, by this account 
of his converfion he yet fpeaketh. O that God may fpe^^k: 
by it to your hearts 1 O that the arrov/s of God might this 
day^flick faft in your fouls, and you made to cry out, " Who 
art thou. Lord V Are there any fuch amongft you ? Me- 
thinks I feel fomething of what this Saul felt, when he faid, 
" I travail in birth again for you, till Christ be formed 
again in your heartb." O come, con?e away to Jesus, in 


[ i6o 1 

whom Saul believed ; and then I care not if the high-prieAs 
iflue out never fo many writs, or injurioufly drag me to a 
piifon. The thoughts of being inftrumental in faving you, 
will make me fing praifcs even at midnight : And I know you 
will be my joy and crown of rejoicings when I am delivered 
from this earthly prifon, and meet you in the kingdom oi 
God hereafter. 

Now to God, &c. 


[ iSi 3 

Marks of having received the Holy Ghoft. 

Acts xix. 2. 
Have ye received the Holy Ghojl fince ye believed? 

TWO different fignificatlons have been given of thefe 
words. Some have fuppofed, that the queftion herd 
put, is. Whether thefe difciples, virhom St. Paul found at 
Ephefus^ had received the Holy Ghoft by impofition of hands 
at confirmation ? Others think, thefe difciples had been al- 
ready baptized into Johns baptifm j which not being attended 
with an immediate cffufion of the Holy Spirit^ the Apoftle 
here afks them, Whether they had received the Holy Ghoft 
by being baptized into Jesus Christ ? And upon their an- 
fwering in the negative, he firft baptized, and then confirmed 
them in the name of the Lord Jesus. 

Which of thefe interpretations is the moft true, is neither 
eafy nor very neceiTary to determine. However, as the words 
contain a moft important enquiryj without any reference tg 
the context, I (hall from them, 
/Vr/7, Shew who the Holy Ghoft here fpoken of;^ is ; and 
that we muft all receive him, before we can be ftiled true 

Secondly^ I {hall lay down fome fcripture marks whereby 
we may know^ whether we have thus received the Holy 
Ghoft or not. And 

Thirdly y By way of conclufion, addrefs myfelf to feveral 
diftind^ clafles of profeflbrs, concerning the doctrine that 
Ihall have been delivered. 

Vol. Vi. L Firji, 


[ l62 I 

Firji^ I am to fhew who the Holy Ghofl fpoken of in the 
the text, is ; and that we muft all receive him before we can. 
be ftiled true believers. 

By the Holy Ghoft is plainly fignified the Holy Spirit, the 
third Perfon in the cver-blefled Trinity, confubftantial and 
co-eternal with the Father and the Son, proceeding from, yet 
equal to them both. He is emphatically called Holy, becaufe 
infinitely holy in himfelf, and the author an<i finiftier of all 
holinefs in us. 

This blcfled Spirit, who once moved on the face of the 
great deep ; who over-fliadowed the bleffed Virgin before that 
holy child' was born of her j who defcended in a bodily fhape, 
like a dove, on our bleflcd Lord, when he came up out of 
the water at his baptifm ; and afterwards came down in fiery 
tongues on the heads of all his Apoftles at the day of Pente- 
coft : this is the Holy Ghoft, who muft move on the faces of 
our fouls ; this power of the Moft High, muft come upon us, 
and v/e muft be baptized with his -baptifm and refining fire, 
before we can be ftiled true members of Christ's myftical 

Thus fays the Apoftle Paid^ " Know ye not that Jesus 
Christ is in you, (that is,, by his Spirit) unlefs you are re- 
probates?" And, " If any man hath not the Spirit of 
Christ, he is none of his." And a-gain, fays St. "johrty 
*' We know that we are his, by the Spirit that he hath givea 

It is not, indeed, neceflary that we (hould have the Spirit 
now given in that miraculous manner, in which he was at firft 
given to our Lord's Apoftles, by figns and wonders ; Jjut it 
is abfolutely neceftary, that we ftiould receive the Holy Ohoft 
in bis fandifying graces, as really as they did :. and fo will it 
continue to be till the end of the world. 

For thus ftands the cafe between God and man : God at 
firft made man upright, or as the facred Penman expreftbs it, 
*' In the image of God made he man ;" that is, his foul was 
the very copy, the tranfcript of the divine nature. He, who 
before, by his almighty fiat, fpoke the world into being, 
breathed into man the breath of fpiritual life, and his foul was 
adorned with a refemblance of the perfediions of Deity, 


[ 1^3 ] 

This was the finidiing llroke of the creation r the perfection 
both of the moral and material world. And fo near did man 
refemble his divine Original, that God could not but rejoice 
and take pleafure in his own likenefs : And therefore we read, 
that when Gob had finiflied the inanimate and brutifh part 
of the creation, he looked upon it, and beheld it was good % 
but when that lovely, God- like creature man was made, be- 
hold it was 'very good, 

Happy, unfpeakably happy muft man needs be, when thuf? 
a partaker of the divine nature. And thus might he have ftill 
Continued, had he continued holy. But God placed him in 
a ftate of probation, with a free grant to cat of every tree in 
the garden of Eden^ except the tree of knowledge of good and 
evil : the day he Ihould eat thereof, he was furely to die ; 
that is, not only to be fubjed to temporal, but fpiritual death ; 
and confequently, to lofe that divine image, that fpiritual 
life God had not long fmce breathed into him, a:nd which was 
as much his happincfs as his glory, 

Thefe, one would imagine, were eafy conditions for a 
finite creature's happinefs to depend on. But man, unhappy 
man, being feduced by the devil, and defirine, like him, to 
be equal with his Maker, did eat of the forbidden fruit ; and 
thereby became liable to that curfe^ which the eternal God, 
who cannot lie, had denounced againft his difobedience. 

Accordingly we read, that foon after Adam had fallen, he 
complained that he was naked ^ naked, not only as to his 
body, but naked and deftitute of thofe divine graces which 
before decked and beautified his foul. The unhappy mutiny 
and diforder which the vifible creation fell into, the briars 
and thorns which now fprung up and overfpread the earth, 
were but poor emblems, lifckfs reprefentations of that con- , 
fufion and rebellion, and thofe divers lufts and pafTions which 
fprung up in, and quite overwhelmed the fool of man imme- 
diately after the fall. Alas I he was now no longer the image 
of the invifible God ; but as he had imitated the devil's fin, 
he became as it were a partaker of the devil's nature, and 
from an union with, funk into a ftate of direcSl enmity againft 

Now in this dreadful difordered condition, are all of us 
brought iato the world ; for as the root is, fuch muft the- 

L 7. ■ branches 

r 164 ] 

branches be. Accorf^ingly wc are tolJ, " That Adam begat 
a fon in his own likenefs j" or, with the fame corrupt nature 
which he himfelf had, after he had eaten the forbidden fruit. 
And experience as well as fcripture proves, that we alfo are 
altof^ether born in fin and corruption ; and therefore incapa- 
ble, whilfl: in fuch a ftate, to hold communion with God. 
For as light cannot have communion with darknefs, fo God 
Can have no communion with fuch polluted fons of Belial. 

Here then appears the end and defign why Christ was 
manifeft in the flefli ; to put an end to thefe diforders, and to 
reftore us to that primitive dignity in which we were at firft 
created. Accordingly he (hed his precious blood to fatisfy 
his Father's juftice for our fins \ and thereby alfo he procured 
for us the Holy Ghoft, who fliould once more re-inftamp 
the divine image upon our hearts, and make us capable of 
Jiving with and enjoying the blefled God. 

This was the great end of our Lord's coming into the 
world ; nay, this is the only end why the world itfelf is now 
kept ill being. For as foon as a fufficient number are fandi.^ed 
out of it, the heavens fhall be wrapped up like a fcroll, the 
elements fhall melt with fervent heat, the earth, and all that 
therein is, ihall be burnt up. 

This fandlification of the Spirit, is that nsw birth men- 
tioned by our blefled Lord to Nicodenius, " without which 
we cannot fee the kingdom of God.'* This is what St. Paul 
calls being " renewed in the fpirit of our minds ;" and it is 
the fpring of that holinefs, without which no man fhall fee 
the Lord. 

Thus then, it is undeniably certain, we muft receive the 
Holy Ghoft ere wc can be fliled true members of Chrkt'3 
myftical body. I come in the 

Second place to lay down fome fcriptural marks, whereby 
we may eafily judge, whether we have thus received the Holy 
Ghoft or not. And the 

FirJ} I fhall mention, is, our having received a fpirit of 
prayer and fupplication -, for that always accompanies the 
fpirit of grace. No fooner was Paul converted, but " behold 
he praycth/* And this v^^as urged as an argument, to con- 
vince Ananias that he was converted. And God's eled are 
alfo faid to '' cry to him day and night," 


C -65 ] 

And fince one great worlc of the Holy Spirit Is to convince 
us of fin, and to fet us upon feeking pardon and renewing 
grace, through the all-fufBcient merits of a crucified Re- 
deemer, whofoever has felt the power of the world to come, 
awakening him from his fpiritual lethargy, cannot but be al- 
ways crying out, " Lord, what wouldft thou have me to 
do?'* Or, in the language of the importunate blind 5^;-//- 
meus, " Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy upon me." 

The blelled Jesus, as he received the Holy Ghoft without 
meafure, fo he evidenced it by nothing more, than his frequent 
addrefles at the throne of grace. Accordingly we read, that 
he was often alone on the mountain praying ; that he rofe a 
great while before day to pray : nay, that he fpent whole 
nights in prayer. And whofoever is made partaker of the 
fame Spirit with the holy Jesus, will be of the fame mind, 
and delight in nothing fo much, as to " draw nigh unto 
God," and lift up holy hands and hearts in frequent and de- 
vout prayer. 

It muft be confefied, indeed, that this fpirit of fupplicatioii 
is often as it were fenfibly loft, and decays, for fome time, 
even in thofe who have adlually received the Holy Ghoft. 
Through fpiritual drynefs and barrennefs of foul, they find in 
themfelves a liftlefnefs and backwardnefs to this duty of 
prayer ; but then they efteem it as their crofs, and ftill perfe- 
vere in feeking Jesus, though it be forrowing : and their 
hearts, notwithftanding, are fixed upon God, though they 
cannot exert their affecSHons fo ftrongly as ufual, on account 
of that fpiritual deadnefs, which God, for wife reafons, has 
fufFered to benumb their fouls. 

But as for the formal believer, it is not fo with him : no; 
he either prays not at all, or if he does enter into his clofet, 
it is with relucStance, out of cuftom, or to fatisfy the checks 
of his confcience. Whereas the true believer can no more 
live without prayer, than without food day by day. And he 
finds his foul as really and perceptibly fed by the one, as hi^ 
body is nourifhed and fupported by the other. A 

Second fcripture mark of our having received the Holy Ghoft, 
is. Not committing fin. 

" Whofoever is born of God, (fays St. John) finneth not, 
neither can he fin, bccaufe his feed remaineth in him.'^ 

L 3 Niithcr 

[ i66 ] 

Neither can he ftn. This expreflion does not imply the im- 
poflibility of a chriftian's finning : for we are told, that " \x\. 
many things we ofFend all :" It only means thus much ; that 
a man who is really born again of God, doth not wilfully 
commit fin, much lefs live in the habitual pradice of it. For 
how (hall he that is dead to fin, as every converted perfon is^ 
live any longer therein ? 

It is true, a man that is born again of God, may, through 
furprize, or the violence of a temptation, fall into an ad of 
Cm: witnefs the adultery o( David, and Peter's denial of his 
Mailer. But then, like them, he quickly riles again, goes out 
from the world, and weeps bitterly ; waihes the guilt of fm 
away by the tears of a fincere repentance, joined with faith 
in the blood of Jesus Christ j takes double heed to his 
yj2iys for the future, and perfects holinefs in the fear of God. 

The meaning of this expreffion of the Apoftle, that " a 
man who is born of God, cannot commit fin," has been ^ 
fitly illuftrated, by the example of a covetous worldling, to 
the general bent of whofe inclinations, liberality and profufe- 
nefs are direflly oppofite : but if, upon fome unexpected, 
fudden occafion, he does play the prodigal, he immediately 
repents him of his fault, and returns with double caie to his 
Jiiggardlinefs again. And fp is every one that is born again: to 
commit fin, is as contrary to the habitual frame and tendency 
of his mind, as generofity is to the inclinations of a mifer; 
but if at any time, he is drawn into fin, he immediately, with 
double zeal, returns to his duty, and brings forth fruits meet 
for repentance. Whereas, the unconverted finner is quite 
dead in trefpaffes and fins : or if he does abftain from grofs 
a6is of it, through worldly felfifli motives, yet, there is fome 
right eye he will not pluck out; fome right-hand which he 
will not cut off; fome fpecious Agag that he will not facrifice 
for God ; and thereby he is convinced that he is but a mere 
Saul : and confequently, whatever pretenfions he may make to 
the contrary, he has not yet received the Holy Ghoft. A 

Third mark whereby we may know, whether or not we 
have received the Holy Ghoft, is. Our conqueft over the 

* LawV Ckrijlian ?erfe5lion» 

*« For 

C 167 3 

** For whofoever is born of God, (fays the Apoftle) over- 
Cometh the world." By the world, we are to underftand, as 
St. y^^w exprefles it, " all that is in the world, the luft of 
the eye, the luft of the flefli, and the pride of life:" And by 
overcoming of it, is meant, our renouncing thefe, fo as not 
to follow or be led by them : for whofoever is born from 
above, has his afFedions fet on things above : he feels a divint 
attradtion in his foul, which forcibly draws his mind heaven- 
wards ; and as the hart panteth after the water- brooks, {o 
doth it make his foul to long after the enjoyment of his God. 

Not that he is fo taken up with the affairs of another life, 
as to negled the bufinefs of this : No ; a truly fpiritual man 
dares not ftand any day idle ; but then he takes care, though 
he laboureth for the meat which perifheth, firft to fecure that 
which endureth to everlafting life. Or, if God has exalted 
him above his brethren, yet, like Alofes, Jofeph^ and Daniel^ 
he, notwithftanding, looks upon hrmfelf as a ftranger and pil- 
grim upon earth : having received a principle of new life, he 
walks by faith and not by fight j and his hopes being full of 
immortality, he can look on all things here below as vanity 
and vexation of fpirit : In (hort, though he is iru, yet he is 
not of the world j and as he was made for the enjoyment of 
Go-d, fo nothing but God can fatisfy his foul. 

The ever-bleffcd Jesus was a perfect inftance of overcom- 
ing the world. For though he went about continually doing 
good, and alwaj's lived as in a prefs and throng ; yet, wherevet 
he was, his converfation tended heavenwards. In like man- 
ner, he that is joined to the Lord in one fpirit, will fo order 
his thoughts, words, and adions, that he will evidence to all, 
that his converfation is in heaven. 

On the contrary, an unconverted man being of the earthy 
is earthy ; and having no fpiritual eye to difcern fpiritual 
things, he is always feeking for happinefs in this life, where 
it never was, wiH, or can be found. Being not born again 
from above, he is bowed down by a fpirit of natural infirmity: 
the ferpent's curfe becomes his choice, and he eats of the duft 
of the earth all the days of his life. A 

Fourth fcripture mark of our having received the Holy 
Ghoft, is, Our loving one another. 

L 4 ^' Wa 

[ '68 ] 

« We know (fays St. John) we are pafTed from death 
unto life, becaufc we love the brethren.'* " And by this 
(fays Christ himfelf ) (hall all men know that ye are my 
difcinles, if ye have love one towards another." Love is the 
fulfilling of the gofpel, as well as of the law : for " God is 
love; and whofoever dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God. 

Bat by this love, we are not to underftand a foftnefs and 
tendcrncfs of mere nature, or a love founded on v/orldly mo- 
tives (for this a natural man may have) ; but a love of our 
brethren, proceeding from love towards God : loving all men 
in general, becaufe of their relation to God ; and loving 
good men in particular, for the grace we fee in them, and 
bccaufc they love our Lord Jesus in fmcerity. 

This is chriflian charity, and that new commandment 
which Christ gave to his difciples. New^ not in its objedV, 
but in the motive and example whereon it is founded, even 
TecUS Christ. This is that love which the primitive chrif- 
tians were fo renowned for, that it became a proverb. See how 
ihcfi chriflians love one another. And without this love, though 
we fliould give all our goods to feed the poor, and our bodies 
to be burnt, it would profit us nothing. 

Further, this love is not confined to any particular fet of 
tT\en, but is impartial and catholic : A love that embraces 
God's image wherever it beholds it, and that delights in no-, 
thing fo much as to fee Christ's kingdom come. 

This is the love wherewith Jesus Christ loved mankind : 
J-Ie loved all, even the worll of men, as appears by his weep- 
ing over the obflinately perverfe ; but wherever he faw the 
leaft appearance of the divine likencfs, that foul he loved in 
piirticular. Thus we read, that when he heard the youjig 
man fay, " All thcfe things have 1 kept from my youth,'* 
that fo far he loved him. And wherr he faw any noble in- 
ilance of faith, though in a Centurion and a Syropheniciany 
aliens to the commonwealth of Jfrae!^ how is he faid to mar- 
vel at, to rejoice in, fpeak of, and commend it ^ So every 
fpiritual difciplc of Jesus Christ will cordially embrace all 
V'ho worfhip God in fpirit and in truth, however they may 
differ as to the appendages of religion, and in things not 
efTeutially neceflary to (alv^;ion, 

I con- 

[ «% 3 

I Confcfs, indeed, that the heart of a natural man is not 
thus enlarged all at once i and a perfon may really have re- 
ceived the Holy Ghoft, (as Peter^ no doubt, had when he 
was unwilling to go to Corneliui) though he be not arrived to 
this : but then, where a ptrfon is truly in Christ, all nar- 
rowncfs of I'pirit decreales in him daily ; the partition wall of 
bigotry and party zeal is broken down more and more ; and 
the nearer he comes to heaven, the more his heart is enlarged 
with that love, which there will make no difference between 
any people, nation, or language, but we (hall all, with one 
heart, and one voice, fing praifes to him that fitteth upon the 
throne for ever. But I haften to a 

Fifth fcripture mark, Loving our enemies. 

'* I fay unto you, (fays Jesus Christ) Love your ene- 
mies, blefs them that curfe you, do good to thofe that hate 
you, and pray for them that defpitefully ufe you and perfe- 
cute you." And this duty of loving your enemies is fo necef- 
fary, that without it, our righteoufnefs does not exceed the 
righteoufnefs of the Scribes and PharifeeSjOr even of Publicans 
and finners : " For if you do good to them only, who do 
good to you, what do you more than others ?'* What do you 
extraordinary? " Do not even the Publicans the fame?" 
And thefe precepts our Lord confirmed by his own example ; 
when he wept over the bloody city ; when he fufFered himfelf 
to be led as a fheep to the (laughter^ when he made that mild 
reply to the traytor Judas^ " Judas^ betrayeft thou the Son of 
man with a kifs ;" and more efpecially, when in the agonies 
and pangs of death, he prayed for his very murderers, "Fa- 
ther, forgive them, for they know not what they do." 

This is a difficult duty to the natural man ; but whofoever 
is made partaker of the promife of the Spirit, will find it 
practicable and eafy : for if we are born again of God, wc 
muft be like him, and confcquently delight to be perfciSt ia 
this duty of doing good to our worft enemies in the fame 
manner, though not in the fame degree as he is perfe£t : He 
fends his rain on the evil and the good ; caufeth his fun to 
(hine oh the juft and unjuft ; and more efpecially commended 
his love towards us, that whilft we were his enemies, he fent 
forth his Son, born of a woman, made under the law, that 
he might become a curfe for us. 


t '70 ] 

Klany other marks are fcattered up and down the fcrlp- 
tures, whereby we may know whether or not we have received 
the Holy Ghoft : fuch as, " to be carnally minded, is death, 
but to be fpiritually minded is life and peace." " Now the 
fruits of the Spirit are joy, peace, long-fufFering, meeknefs,'* 
with a multitude of texts to the fame purpofe. But as moft, 
if not all of them, are comprehended in the duties already 
laid down, I dare affirm, v/hofoever upon an impartial ex- 
amination, can find the aforefaid marks on his foul, may be 
as certain, as though an angel was to tell him, that his pardon 
is feaied in heaven. 

As for my own part, I had rather fee thefe divine graces, 
and this heavenly temper ftamped upon my foul, than to 
hear an angel from heaven faying unto me. Son, be of good 
cheer, thy fms are forgiven thee. 

Thefe are infallible witnefles ; thefe are Emmanuel^ God 
with and in us j thefe make up that white ftone, which none 
knoweth, faving he who hath receiveth it ; thefe are the earnefts 
of the heavenly inheritance in our hearts : In fhort, thefe^are 
glory begun, and are that good thing, that better part, and 
which if you continue to ftir up this gift of God, neither mea 
fior devils (hall ever be able to take from us. 

I proceed, as was propofed, in the Third place, to make aa 
application of the doctrine delivered, to feveral diftin(9: clafles 
<?f profeilbrs. And 

. Firjl^ 1 fhall addrefs myfelf to thofe who are dead in tref-^ 
paOes and fins. And, O how could I weep over you, as our 
Lord wept over JerujaUjii! For, alas ! how diftant muft you 
he from Gcd ? What a prodigious work have you to finilh, 
who, inftead of praying day and night, feldom or never pray 
at all ? And, inilead of being born again of God, fo as not 
to commit fin, are fo deeply funk into the nature of devils, as 
to make a mock at it ? Or, inftead of overcoming the world, 
{a as not to follow or be led by it, are continually making 
provifion for the ilefli, to fulfil the lufts thereof. And, inftead 
of being endued with the god-like difpofition of loving all 
men, even your enemies, have your hearts full of hatred, 
Kialice, and revenge, and deride thofe who are the fincere 
ioWo^uz of the lowly jESUa, But think you, O finners, 


[ «7' ] 

that God will admit fuch polluted wretches into his fght ? 
Or fliould he admit you, do you imagine you could take any 
pleafure in him ? No ; heaven itfelf would be no heaven to 
you ; the devilifh difpofitions which are in your hearts, would 
render all the fpiritual enjoyments of thofe blefled manfions, 
inefFed:ual to make you happy. To qualify you to be blifs- 
ful partakers of that heavenly inheritance with the faints in 
light, there is a meetnefs required : to attain which, ought to 
be the chief bufinefs of your lives. 

It is true, you, as well as the righteous, in one fenfe, {hall 
fee God ; (for we muft all appear before the judgment-feat of 
Christ) but you muft fee him once, never to fee him more. 
For as you carry about in you the devil's image, with devils 
you muft dwell : being of the fame nature, you muft (hare 
the fame doom. '' Repent, therefore, and be converted, that 
your fms may be blotted out." See that you receive the Holy 
Ghoft, before you go hence : for otherwife, how can you 
efcape the damnation of hell ? 

Secondly^ Let me apply myfelf to thofe who deceive them- 
felves with falfe hopes of falvation. Some, through the in- 
fluence of a good education, or other providential reftraints, 
have not run into the fame excefs of riot with other men, and 
they think they have no need to receive the Holy Ghoft, but 
flatter themfelves that they are really born again. 

But do you (hew it by bringing forth the fruits of the Spi- 
rit ? Do you pray without ceafing } Do you not commit fm ? 
Have you overcome the world ? And do you love your ene- 
rnies, and all mankind, in the fame manner, as Jesus Christ 
loved them ? 

If thefe things, brethren, be in you and abound, then may 
you have confidence towards God ; but if not, although you 
may be civilized, yet you are not converted : no, you are yet 
in your fms. The nature of the old Jdani ftill reigneth in 
your fouls ; and unlefs the nature of the fecond Adam be 
grafted in its room, you can never fee God. 

Think not, therefore, to drefs yourfelves up in the ornaments 
of a good nature, and civil education, and fay with Jgag^ 
*' furely the bitternefs of death is paft :" For God's juftice, 
notwithfianding that, like Samuel^ fhall hew you to pieces. 
However you may be highly efteemed in the fight of men, yet, 


r 172 ] 

in the fight of God, you are but like the apples of Sodom^ 
dunghills covered over with fnow, mere whited fepulchres, 
appearing a little beautiful without, but inwirrdly full of cor- 
ruption and of all uncleannefs : and confequently will be dif- 
mifTed at the laft day with a " Verily, 1 know you not." 

But the word of God is profitable for comfort as well as 

Thirdly^ Therefore I addrefs myfelf to thofe who are under 
the drawings of the Father, and are exercifed with the Spirit 
of bondage, and not finding the marks before mentioned, are 
crying out, Who fhall deliver us from the body of this death ? 

But fear not, little flock ; for notwithftanding your prefent 
infant ftate of grace, it fhall be your Father's good pleafure 
to give you the kingdom. The grace of God, through 
Jesus Christ, fhall deliver you, and give you what you 
thirft after: He hath promifed, he will alfo do it. Ye fhall 
receive the fpirit of adoption, that promife of the Father, if 
you faint not 1 only perfevere in feeking it ; and determine 
not to be at reft in your foul, till you know and feel that you 
are thus born again from above, and God's Spirit witnefleth 
with your fpirits that you are the children of GoD. 

Fourthly and Lnftly, I addrefs myfelf to thofe who have re- 
ceived the Holy Ghoft in all his fandtifying graces, and are 
almoft ripe for glory. 

Hail, happy faints I for your heaven is begun on earth : 
you have already received the firft fruits of the Spirit, and are 
patiently waiting till that blelTed change come, when your 
harveft ihall be compleat. I fee and admire you, though, 
alas ! at fo great a diftance from you : your life, I know, is 
hid with Christ in God. You have comforts, ycru have 
meat to eat, which a finful, carnal, ridiculing world knows 
nothing of. Christ's yoke is now become eafy to you, and 
his burden light. You have pafTed through the pangs of the 
new birth, and now rejoice that Christ Jesus is fpiritually 
formed in your hearts. You know what it is to dwell in 
Christ, and Christ in you. Like Jacob's ladder, although 
your bodies are on earth, yet your fouls and hearts are in 
heaven : and by your faith and conftant recolle6lion, like the 
bleffed angels, you do always behold the face of your Father 
which is in heaven. 

I need 


I need not exhort you to prefs forward, for you know that 
in walking in the Spirit there is a great reward. Rather will 
1 exhort you, in patience to poiTefs your fouls yet a little while, 
and Jesus Christ will deliver you from the burden of the 
flefli, and an abundant entrance (hall be adminiftered to you, 
into the eternal joy and uninterrupted felicity of his heavenly 

Which God of his infinite mercy grant, through Jesus 
Christ our Lord : To whom, with the Father, and 
the Holy Ghoft, three Perfons and one God, be afcribed 
all honour, power, and glory, for ever and ever. 


t m J 

The Almofl Chridian. 

Acts xxvi. 28. 

Jhnojl then pcvfuadcfi me to he a Chriilian, 

THESE words contain the ingenuous confeiTlon of king 
Agr'tppa \ which Inwing (bmc reference to, it may not 
be improper to relate the fubllance of the preceding verfes^ 
with which the words are fo clofely connected. 

The chapter, out of which the text Is taken, contains an 
admirable account whicii the great St. Pciul g'dXQ of his won- 
derful converfion froni Judaifm to Chriiiianity, when he was 
called to make his defence before Fijins a Gentile governor, and 
king Jgrippa. Our bleiTed Lord had long fmce foretold, 
that when the Son of man fhould be lifted up, " his dif- 
ciples fhould be brought before kings and rulers, for his 
name's fake, for a teftimony unto them." And very good 
was the defign of infinite wifdom in thus ordaining it ; for 
Chriftianity being, from the beginning, a do6^rine of the 
Crofs, the princes and rulers of the earth thought themfelves 
too high to be inftrucled by fuch mean teachert, or too happy 
to be difturbed by fuch unwelcome truths; and therefore 
would have always continued ftrangers to Jesus Christ^ 
and him crucified, had not the apoftles, by being arraigned 
before them, gained opportunities of preaching to them " Jesus 
and the n-furre^tion." St. Paul knew full well that this 
was the main reafon, why his blefled Mafter permitted his 
enemies at this time to arraign him at a public bar j and 
therefore, in compliance with the divine will, thinks it not 
6 fufficient. 

[ 175 ] 

fulficient, barely to make his defence, but endeavours at the 
fame time to convert his judges. And this he did with fucb 
demonftration of the fpirit, and of power, that Fejlus^ un- 
willing to be convinced by the ftrongeft evidence, cries out 
with a loud voice, '' Paul^ much learning doth make thee 
mad." To which the brave apoftle (like a true follower of 
the holy Jesus) meekly replies, I am not mad, moft noble 
Feftus, but fpeak forth the words of truth and fobernefs.'* But 
in all probability, feeing king Jgrippa more affedled with his 
difcourfe, and obferving in him an inclination to know the 
truth, he applies himfelf more particularly to him. " The 
king knoweth of thefe things ; before whom alfo I fpcalc 
freely; for I am perfuaded that none of thefe things are hidden 
from him." And then, that if pofTible he might complete hl3 
wiftied-for converfion, he with an inimitable ftrain of oratory, 
addrefles himfelf ftill more clofely, " King Agrippa^ believeft 
thou the prophets ? I know that thou believeft them." At 
which the palHons of the king began to work fo ftrongly, that 
he v/as obliged in open court, to own himfelf afFe6ted by the 
prifoner's preaching, and ingenuoully to cry out^ " Faul^ al- 
moft thou perfuadeft me to be a Chriftian." 

Which words, taken with the context, afford us a lively^ 
reprefentation of the different reception, which the doctrine 
of Christ's minifters, who come in the power and fpirit of 
St. Paul^ meets with now-a-days in the minds of men. For 
Botwithftanding they, like this great apoftle, " fpeak forth 
the words of truth and fobernefs ;" and with fuch energy and 
power, that all their adverfaries cannot juftly gainfay or 
refift ; yet, too many, with the noble Fejlm before-men- 
tioned, being like him, either too proud to be taught, or too 
fenfual, too carelefs, or too worldly-minded to live up to the 
dotSlrine, in order to excufe thcmfcives, cry out, that " mucli 
learning, much ftudy, or,, what is more unaccountable, much 
piety, hath made them mad." And though, bleffed be God ! 
all do not thus dift)elieve our report ; yet amongft thofe who 
gladly receive the word, and confefs that we fpeak the words 
of truth and fobernefs, there are fo few, v/ho arrive at any 
higher degree of piety than that o'i Agrippa^ or are aay farther 
psrfuaded than to be almoft Ghriftians, that I cannot but 


f .76 ] 

think it highly neceflary to warn my dear hearers of the dan- 
ger of fuch a ftate. And therefore, from the words of the 
text, (hall endeavour to (hew thefe three things : 

F'lrjl^ What is meant by an almoft chriftian. 

Secondly^ What are the chief reafons, why fo many are no 
more than ahnoft chri'ftians. 

Thirdly, I fliall confider the inefFe£luaInefs, danger, abfur- 
dity, and uneafmefs which attends thofe wha arc but almoft 
chriftians ; and then conclude with a general exhortation, to 
fct all upon ftriving not only to be almoft, but altogether 

I. And, /Vr/?, I am to confider what is meant by an almoft 

An almoft chriftian, if we confider him in refpei^ to his 
duty to God, is one that halts between two opinions •, that 
wavers between Christ and the world; that would reconcile 
God and Mammon, light and darlcnefs, Christ and BclUd, 
It is true, he has an inclination to religion, but then h^ is 
very cautious how he goes too far in it : his falfe heart is 
always crying out, Spare thyfclf, do thyfelf no harm. He 
prays indeed, that " God*s will may be done on earth, as it 
is in heaven." But notwithftanding, he is very partial in his 
obedience, and fondly hopes that God will not be extreme 
to mark every thing that he wilfully does amifs ; though aa 
infpired apoftle has told him^ that '•' he who offends in one 
point is guilty of all." But chiefly, he is one that depends 
much on outward ordinances, and on that account looks upon 
himfelf as righteous, and defpifes others; though at the fame 
time he is as great a ftranger to the divine life as any other 
perfon whatfoever. In fliort, he is fond of the form, but 
never experiences the power of godlinefs in his heart. He 
goes on year after year, attending on the means of grace, but 
then, like Pharaoh's lean kine, he is never the better, but 
rather the worfe for them. 


f i77 ] 

if you confider him in relpedl to his rej^hbour, he (3 
one that is ftridlly juft to all ; but then this does not proceed 
from any love to God or regard to man, but only tluouf^h ^ 
principle of fclf-love : becaufc he knows ciifhontfty will fpoil 
his reputation^ and confequently hinder his thriving in the 

He is one that dejiends much updri beinj^ n&gatii^ely good^ 
and contents himfelf with the confcioufncfs of having done 
iio one any harm ; though he reads in the gofpel, that " the 
unprofitable fervant was caft into outer darknefs," and the 
barren fig-tree was curfed and dried up from the roots, net 
for bearing bad, but no fruit. 

He is no enemy to charitable contributions iii public, if 
Jiot too frequently recodimended : but then he h unacquainted 
with the kind offices of vifiting the fick and imprifoncd, 
cloathing the naked, and relieving the hungary in a private 
manner. He thinks that thefe things belong only to the 
clergy, though his own falfe heart tells him, that nothing but 
pride keeps him from exercifing thefe ac^s of humility; and 
that Jesus Christ, in the 25th chapter of St. Mattheiu^ 
Condemris perfons to everlafting puniih'ment, not merely for 
being fornicators^ drunkards, or extortioners, but for negle6l- 
ing thefe charitable offices, '<^ When the Son of man fhall 
come in his glory, he fhall fet the flieep on his fight-hand, 
and the goats on his left. And then fliall he fay unto them 
on his left-hand, depart frorh me, ^e curfed, into everlafting 
fife prepared for the devil and his angels : for I was an hun- 
gred, and ye gave riie no meat ; I was thirfty, and ye gave me 
no drink ; I was a (Granger, and ye took me not in; naked,^ 
and ye cloathed me not ; fick and in prilbn, -and ye vifited 
me not. Then (hall they alfo fay. Lord, when fav7 we theci 
an hungfcd,- or a-thirft, or a Granger, or naked, or fick, of 
in prifon, and did not minifier unto thee? 7'hen fhall he an- 
fwcr them, Verily 1 fay unto you, inafinuch as yt have not 
done it onto one of the leaft of thefe my breihren,- yt did it 
not unto me : and thefe fhall go away into everlafiing punifii- 
ment/* I thought proper to give you this whole pafTage of 
fcripture at large^ becaufe our Saviour lays fuch a particular 
Vol. VI. M ftrefs 


r 1/8 ] 

ftrefs^upon It ; and yet it is fo little regarded, that were we to 
judge by the practice of chriftianF, one fhould be tempted to 
thinlc there were no fuch verfes in the Bible. 

But to proceed in the character of an ahnojf chrijlian : If 
we confidcr him in refpfdl of himfelf; as we faid he was 
flridtly honed to his neighbour, To he is likevvife ftricSlly fober 
in himfelf: but then both his honefty and fobriety proceed 
from the fame principle of a falfe felf-love. It is tiue, he 
runs not into the fame excefs of riot with other men ; but 
then it is not out of obedience to the laws of God, but either 
bccaufe his conditution will not away with intemperance; or 
rather becaufe he is cautious of foi'teiting his reputation, or 
unfitting himfelf for temporal bufmefs. But though he is fo 
prudent as to avoid intemperance and excefs, for the reafons 
before-mentioned ; yet he always goes to the extremity of 
what is lawful, it is true, he is no drunkard; but then he 
has no chrijlian f elf-denial. He cannot think our Saviour to 
be fo auflere a Mailer, as to deny us to indulge ourfelves in 
fome particulars : and fo by this means he is deftitute of a 
fenfe of true religion, as much as if he lived in debauchery, or 
any other crime whatever. As to fettling his principles as 
well as pradice, he is guided more by the world, than by the 
word of God : for his part, he cannot think the way to hea- 
ven {o narrow as fome would make it ; and therefore confiders 
Jiot fo much what fcripture requires, as what fuch and fuch a 
good man does, or what will beft fuit his own corrupt incli- 
nations. Upon this account, he is not only very cautious 
himfelf, but likewife very careful of young converts, whofe 
faces are fet heavenward ; and therefore is always ailing the 
.devil's part, and bidding them fpare themfelves, though they 
are doing no more tlian what the fcripture ftri6lly requires 
them to do : The confequence of which is, that " he fuffers 
not himfelf to enter into the kingdom of God, and thofe that 
are entering in he hinders." 

Thus lives the almofl chriftian : not that I can fay, I have 
fully defcribed him to you ; but from thefe outlines and 
f*cefc»ies of his character, if your confciences have done their 
proper plHcej and Kiade a particular application of what has 


[ 179 ] 

been fald to ^our own hearts, I cannot but fear that fome of 
you may obferve fome features in his pid^ure, odious as it is^ 
too near refcmbling your own ; and therefore 1 cannot hui 
hope, that you will join with the apoftle in the words imme- 
diately following the text, and wilh yourfelves *' to be not 
only almoft, but altogether chriftians.'* 

II. I proceed to the fecond general thing propofed ; to 
confidcr the reaibns why fo many are no more than almoft 

1. And the firft reafcn I ftiall mention is, becaufe fo many 
fet out with falfe notions of religion ; though they live in a 
chriftian country, yet they know not what chriftianity is. 
This perhaps may be efteemed a hard faying, but experience 
fadly evinces the truth of it ; for fome plact- religion in being 
of this or that communion ; more in morality ; moft in a 
round of duties^ and a model of performances ; and kw, very 
few acknowledge it to be, what it really is, a thorough in- 
ward change of nature, a divine life, a vital participation of 
Jesus Christ, an union of the foui with God j which the 
apoftle exprefles by faying, *' He that is joined to the LoRjd 
is one fpirit." Hence it happens, that fo many, even of the 
moft knowing profefTors, when you Come to cOnverfe with 
them concerning the efience, the life, the foul of religion, I 
mean our new birth' in Jesus Christ, confefs thfcmfelve? 
quire ignorant of the matter, and cry out with Nicodemus^ 
'* How can this thing be?" And no wonder then, that fo 
many are only almoft chiiftians, wben fo rnany know not 
what chridianity is : no marvel, that fo many take up vviih 
the form, when they are quite ftrangers to the power of god- 
linefs ; or content themfelves with the ftiadowj when they 
know fo little about the fubftance of it. And this is one caufe 
why fo many are almoft, and fo few are altogether chriftians. 

2. A fecond reafon that rriay be afligncd why fd many are 
ho more than almort chriftians, is a i^rvile fear of rhan: mul- 
titudes there are and have been^ who, though awakened to 
a fenfe of the divine life, and have tafted and felt the powers 
*f the world to cOme ; yet out of a bafs fmfui fear of being 

M 2 couu'eJ 

[ iSo ] 

counted fingular, or contemned by men, have fufFcrcd all 
thofe good imprefTions to wear ofF. It is true, they have Tome 
cfteem for Jesus Christ; but then, like Nicodemus^ they 
would come to him only by night : they are willing to ferve 
him ; but then they would do it fecretly, for fear of the 
'Jews: they have a mind to fee Jesus, but then they cannot 
come to him becaufc of the prefs, and for fear of being 
laughed at, and ridiculed by thcfe with whom they ufed to fit 
at meat. But well did our Saviour prophely of' fuch perfons, 
*' How can ye love me, who receive honour one of another r" 
Alas ! have they never read, that " the friendfhip of this 
world is enmity with God ;" and that our Lord himfelf has 
threatened, " Whofocvcr fhall be afhamed of m.e or of my 
words, in this vVicked and adulterous generation, of him fhall 
the Son of man be afliamed, when he cometh in the glory of 
his Father and of his holy angels ?'* No wonder that fo many 
are no more than almoft chriftians, fnice fo many '* love the 
praife of men mote than the honour which cometh of God/' 

3, A third reafon why fo many are no more than almoft 
chriftians, is a reigning love of money. This was the pitiable 
cafe of that forward young man in the gofpcl, who came run- 
ning to our blefTed Lord, and kneeling before him, enquired 
*'• what he muft do to inherit eternal life;" to whom our 
blefled Mafter replied, *' Thou knoweft the commandments^ 
Do not kill. Do not com.mit adultery. Do not fleal :'* To 
which the young man replied, *•' All thefc have I kept from 
my youth.'* But when our Lord proceeded to tell him, 
*' Yet lacked thou one thing; Go fell all that thou haftj and 
give to the poor ; he was grieved at that faying^ and went 
away forrowful, for he had great pofTeiTions I" Poor youth ! 
he had a good mind to be a chriftian, and to inherit eternal 
life, but thought it too dear. If it could be purchafed at no 
lefs an expence than of his eflate ! And thus many, both 
young and old, now-a-days, come running to v/orP.iip our 
blefled Lord in public, and kneel before him in private, and 
enquire at his gofpel, what they muft do to inherit eternal 
life; but when they find they muft renounce the felf-enjoy- 
ment of riches, and forfake all in alFeclion to follow him, they 


[ i8i ] 

cry, ** The Lord pardon us in this thing ! We pray thee, 
have us cxcuied.'* 

But is heaven fo fmall a trifle in men's efteem, as not to 
be worth a little gilded earth ? Is eternal lite lb m^an a pur- 
chafe, as not to deferve the temporary renunciation of a fcv^ 
tranfitory riches ? Surely it is. But however inconfiftent fuch 
a behaviour may be, this inordinate love of money Is too evi» 
dently the common and fatal caufe, why fo many are no more 
^han almof): chriftians. 

4. Nor is the love of pleafure a lefs uncommon^ or a Icfs 
fatal caufe why fo many are no more than almoft chriftians. 
Thoufands and ten thoufands there are, who defpife riches, 
and would willingly be true difciples of Jesus Christ, if 
parting with their money would make them fo ; but wheii 
they are told that our bleffed Lord has faid, " Whofoever 
will come after him muft deny himfclf j'* like the pitiable 
young man before-mentioned, " they go away forrowful :" for 
they have too great a love for fenfual pleafures. They will 
perhaps fend for the minifters of Christ, as Herod did for 
"Johrij and hear them gladly : but touch them in their Hero,-- 
dlas^ tell them they muft part with fuch or fuch a darling 
pleafure ; and with wicked Jbab they cry out, " Haft thou 
found us, O our enemy ?'* Tell them of the necellity of mor- 
tification and felf-denial, and it is as difHcult for them to 
hear, as if you was to bid them " cut oft' a right-hand, or 
pluck out a right-eye." They cannot think our blefted Lord 
requires -fo much at their hands, though an infpired apoille 
has commanded us to " mortify our members which are upon 
earth." And who himfejf, even after he had converted thou- 
fiinds, and was very near arrived to the end of his race, yet 
profefled that it was his daily pradlice to " keep under his 
body, and bring it into fubjection, left after Jie had preacheci 
to others, he himfelf fliould be a caft-away !" 

But fome men would be wifer than this great apoftle, and 
chalk out to us what they falfely imagine an eafier way to 
hrippinefs. They would flatter us, we may go to heaven 
without offering violence to our fenfual appetite? i and entei 

Al 3 into, 

[ i82 ] 

into the ftrait ^ate without ftriving againft our carnal Inclina- 
tions. And this is another reafon why fo many are oniy al- 
luofl, and not altogether chriftians. 

5. The fifth and laft rcafon I fhall aiTign why fo many are 
only almoil chnilians, is a ficklenefs and inftability of tem- 

It has been, no doubt, a misfortune that many a minifler 
and fmcere chriftian has met vv/jth, to weep and wail over 
numbers of promifing converts, who feemingly began in the 
Spirit, but after a while fell away, and bafely ended in the 
flefii ; and this not for want of right notions in religion, nor 
put of a fervile fear of man, nor from the love of money, or 
of fenfual pkafure, but through an inftability and ficklenefs 
of temper. They looked upon religion merely for novelty, as 
fomethirg which plealed them for a while; but after their 
curiofity was fatisfitd, they laid it afide again : like the young 
man that came to fee Jesus with a linen cloih about his naked 
body, they have followed him tor a leafon, but when tempta- 
tions came to take hold on them, for want of a little more 
refolution, they have been ftripped of all their good inten- 
tions, and fled away naked. They at firft, like a (ree plantej 
by the water-fide, grew up and flourifl^icd for a while; but hav- 
ing no root in themfelves, no inward principle of holinefs 
and piety, like yonah's gourd, they were foon dried up and 
withered. Their good intentions are too like the violent 
motions of the animal fpirits of a body newly beheaded, whicl^, 
though impetuous, are not lading. In fhort, they fet out 
well in their journey to heaven, but finding the way either 
narrower or longer than they expe^^ed, through an unlleadi- 
iiefs'of temper, they have made an eternal halt, aj:d fo ^' re- 
turned like the dog to his vomit, or like the i'ow that was 
Vraflicd to her wallowing in the mire !" 

Ivat I tremble to pronounce the fate of fuch unflable pro- 
feilois, who having put their hands to the plough, for want 
of a little more rclbliition, (hamc fully look back. How {hail 
I repeat to them that arradful threateniiig, *' If anv man draw 
b^^k, my- fou'. fliall have nu pleafuis in hiiji :*' And ?!J;aiu, 

3 '"It 

[ i83 1 

*' It is impoffible (that is, exceeding difficult at leafl) for 
thofe that have been once enlightened, ai d have taftcd of the 
heavenly gift, and the powers of the world to come, if they 
fhould fall away, to be renewed again unto repentance." But 
Jiotwithftanding the gofpel is fo fevere againft apoftates, yet 
many that begun well, through a ficklcncfs of temper, (O 
that none of us here prefent may ever be fuch) have been by 
this means of the number of thofe that turn back unto per- 
dition. And this is the fifth, and the iaft reafon I Ihall give, 
why Co many arc only almofl, and not altogether chriftians. 

III. Proceed we now to the third general thing propofed, 
namely, to confider the folly of being no more than an almoft 

I. And theyfr/? proof I (hall give of the folly of fuch a pro- 
ceeding is, that it is ineffeiStual to falvation. It is true, fuch 
men are almoft good ; but almoft to hit the mark, is really to 
mi's it. God requires us ^' to love him with all our hearts, 
with all our fouls, and with all our tlrength.'* He loves us 
too well to admit any rival ; becaufe, fo far as our hearts are 
empty of God, fo far muft they be unhappy. The devil, 
indeed, like the falfe mother that came before Solomon^ would 
have our hearts divided, as (lie would have had the child ; buc 
God, like the true mother, will have all or none. *^ My 
Son, give me thy heart," thy whole heart, is the general call 
to all : and if this be not done, we never can expc(5l the di- 
viiie mercy. 

Perfons may play the hypocrite; but God at the great (Izy 
will ftrike them dead, (as he did Ananias and Sapphira by th<i 
mouth of his fervant Peter) for pretending to offer him all 
their hearts, when they keep back from him the greatell part. 
'J hey may perhaps impofe upon their fellow- creatuies for a 
while; but he that enabled Elijah to cry out, '"■ Come in thou 
wife of "Jeroboarn^^ when fhe came dift»:uired to enquire about 
her fick fon, will alfo difcover them through their moft artlul 
diflimulations ; and if their hearts are not wholly with him, 
appoint them their portion vvith hypocrites and unbelievers. 

M 4 2. Bu!, 

[ iS4 ] 

2. But, Jetondly^ What renders an half-way- piety more 
inexcufable is, that it is not only infufficient to our own fal- 
vation, but alio very prejudicial to that ot" others. 

An almofr chilftian is one of the mod hurtful creatures in 
the world : he is a wolf in fheep's cloathing : he is one of 
thofc falfc prophets, our bkiled Lord bids us beware of it^ 
his fermon on the mount, who would perfuade men, that the 
vay to heaven is broader than it really is; and thereby, as it 
was obfervrd before, " enter not into the kingdom oi God 
thcmfelves, and thofe that are entering in they hinder/' 
Thef^, thefe are the men that turn the world into a lukcr 
warm Lq:diccan fpirit; that hang out falfe lights, and fo (hip- 
wreclc unthinking benighted fouls in their voyage to the 
haven of eternity. Thefe are they who are greater enemies 
to the crofs of Christ, than infidels themfelves : for of an 
unbeliever every one will be aware j but an almoft chriftian, 
through his fubtle hypocrify, draws away many after him j 
and therefore muft expect to receive the greater damnation. 

3. But, thirdly^ As it is mofl prejudicial to purfelves and 
hurtful to others, fo it is the greatcft inftance of ingratitude 
we can exprefs towards our Lord and Mafter Jesus Christ. 
For did he come- down from heaven, and {bed his precious 
blood, to purchafe thefe hearts of OL?rs, and fhall we only 
give him half of them ? O how can we fay we love him, 
when our hearts are not wholly with him ? How can we call 
him our Saviour, when we will not endeavour fincerely to 
approve ourfe'vcs to him, and fo let hiqn fee thje travail of his 
foul, and be fatisfied ! 

Had any o^ us purchafed a Have at a moft expenfive rate, and 
who was before involved in the utmoft mifcries and torments, 
and fo muft have continued for ever, had we (hut up our 
bowels of compafiion from him ; and was this flave afterwards 
to grow rebellious, or deny giving us but hajf his fervicc ; 
how, how fliould we exclaim againit his bafe ingratitude ! 
And yet this bafe qngrateful (lave thou art, O man, who ac- 
knowlcdgefl thyfelf to be redeemed from infinite unavoidable 
mifery and punifhment by the death of Jesus Christ, and 


[ i85 ] 

yet wilt not give thyfelf wholly to him. But (hall we deal 
with God our Maker in a manner we would not be dealt 
with by a man like ourfelves ? God forbid ! No. Suffer me, 

To add a word or two of exhortation to you, to excite you 
to be not only almoft, but altogether chriftians. O let us 
Icorn all balis and treacherous treatment of our King and Sa- 
viour, of our God and Creator. Let us not take fome pains 
all our lives to go to heaven, and yet plunge ourfelves into 
hell at lad. Let us give to God our whole hearts, and no 
longer halt between two opinions : if the world be God, let 
us ferve that; if pleafure be a God, let us ferve that ; but if 
the Lord he be God, let us, O let us ferve him alone. 
Alas ! why, why fliould we ftand out any longer ? Why 
fhould we be fo in love with flavery, as rot wholly to re- 
nounce the world, the flefn, and the devil, which, like fo 
many fpiritual chains, bind down our fouls, and hinder them 
from flying up to God. Alas! what are we afraid of? Is 
not God able to reward our entire obedience? If he is, as 
the almoft chriftian's lame way of ferving him, feems to grant, 
why then will we not ferve him entirely ? For the fame rea- 
fon we do fo much, why do we not do more ? Or do you 
think that being only half religious will make you happy, 
but that going farther, v/ill render you miferable and uneafy ? 
Alas! this, my brethren, is delufion all over : for what is it 
but thi^ half piety ^ this wavering between God and the world, 
that makes fo many, that are feemingly w^ll difpofed, fuch 
utter flrangers to the con.forts of religion ? They chufe juft 
fo much of religion as will difturb them in their lufts, and 
follow their Jufts fo far as to deprive themfclves of the com- 
forts of religion. Whereas on the contrary, would they fin- 
cerely leave all in afFcdtion, and give their hearts wholly to 
God, they would then (and they cannot till then) expe- 
rience tjbe unfpeakable pleafure of having a mind at unity 
with itfelf, and enjoy fuch a peace of God, which even in 
this li^e paffes all underftanding, and which they were entire 
Grangers to before. It is true, if we will devote ourfelves 
entirely to God, we muft meet with contempt ; but then it 
is bcqaufe contempt is necefiary to heal our pride. We mud 
I renounce 

[ jS6 1 

renounce fome fenfual pleafures, but then it is becaufe thofe 
unfit us for fpiritual ones, which are infinitely better. We 
muft renounce the love of the world -, but then it is that we 
may be filled with the love of God : and when that has once 
enlarged our hearts, we (hall, like Jacob when he ferved for 
his beloved Rachel, think nothing too difficult to undergo, no 
hardftiips too tedious to endure, becaufe of the love we fliall 
then have for our dear Redeemer Thus eafy, thus delightful 
will be the ways of God even in this life : but when once 
we throw off thcfe bodies, and our fouls are filled with all 
the fulnefs of God, O ! what heart can conceive, what 
tongue can exprefb, with what unfpeakable joy and confola- 
tion (liall we then look back on our paft fincere and hearty 
icrvices. Think you then, my dear hearers, we fhall repent 
we had done too much ; or rather think you not, we fhall he 
afhamed that we did no more ; and bluOi we were fo backward 
to give up all to God ; when he intended hereafter to give us 

Let me therefore, to conclude, exhort you, my brethren, 
to have always before you the unfpeakable happinefs of en- 
joying God. And think withal, that every degree of holi- 
nefs you neglect, every adl of piety you omit, is a jewel taken 
out of your crown, a degree of bleiltdnefs loit in the vifion of 
Gcd O ! do but always think and adl thus, and you will 
no longer be Jabouiirig to compound matters between God 
and the world ; but, on the contrary, be daily endeavouring 
to give up yourfelves more and more unto him ; you will be 
always watching, always praying, always afpiring after far- 
ther degrees of purity and love, and confequently always pre- 
priring yourfelves for a fuller fight and enjoyment of that 
God, in whole prefence there is fulnefs of joy, and at whofe 
right-hand there are pleafures for ever more. Amen!. Amen! 


t 187 ] 


Christ the Believer's Wifdom, Ri^^hteouf- 
mk, Sanftification, and Redemption, 

I Cor. i. 30. 

But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, z^jho of God is 
made unto us^ ii'ifdomj righteoufnefs^ fan^ification^ and 

OF all the verfes in the book of God, this which T have 
now read to you, is, I believe, one of the mo(t compre- 
hcnfive : What glad tidings does it bring to believers ! what 
precious privileges are they herein ir.veiied with ! how are they 
|iere led to the fountain of them all, I me.ni, the love, the 
evetlafting love of God the Father ! '* 0\ him are ye in 
Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us, wifdom, ri -h- 
teoufnefs, fan6liiication, and redemption." 

"Without referring you to the context, I (liall from the 

i^?■>y?, Point out to you the fountain, from which all thofe 
bleflings flow, that the elecfl of God partake of in Jesus 
Christ, *' who of God is made unto us." And, 

Secondly^ I fhall confider what thefe bleflings arc, " wifdom, 
righteoufnefs, fandtification, and redemption." 

FiyJ}^ I would point out to you the fountain from which 
all thofe bleflings flow, that the elec^ of God partake of in 
Jksus, *' who of God is made unto us," the Father, he it 
is who is fpoken of here. Not as though Jesus Christ was 
pot God alioi but God the P'athe; is the fountain of the 


[ iSS ] 

Deity; and, if we confidcr Jesus Christ a61ing as Media- 
tor, God the Father is greater than he j there was an eternal 
contrail between the Father and the Son : " I have made a 
covenant with my chofen, and I have fworn unto David my 
fervant ;" now David was a type of Christ, with whom the 
Father made a covenant, that if he would obey and fuffer, and 
make himfclf a facrifice for fin, he fliould *' fee his feed, he 
Ihould prolong his days, and the pleafure of the Lord fhould 
profper in his hands." This compa6b our Lord refers to, in 
that glorious prayer recorded in the 17th chapter of John ; 
and therefore he prays for, or rather demands with a full 
afiurancc, all that were given to him by the Father: " Father, 
I will that they alfo whom thou haft given me, be with me 
where I am.'* For this fame reafon the apoftlc breaks out into 
praifes of God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ ; 
for he loved the ele6l with an everlafting love, or, as our Lord 
cxprtfi'c^s it, " before the foundation of the world ;" and there- 
fore, to Ihcw them to whom they were beholden for their fal- 
vation, our Lord, in the 25th o( Matthew, reprefents him- 
felf, faying, " Come, ye bleiFed children of my Father, re- 
ceive the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the 
world." Aid thus, in reply to the mother of Xchcdee\ chil- 
dren, he fays, " It is not mine to give, but it fhall be given 
to them, for whom it is prepared, of the Father." The apofllc 
therefore, when here fpeaking of the chriftian's privileges, left 
they fhould facrifice to their own drag, or think their falvation 
was owing to their own faithfulnefs, or improvement of their 
own free-will, reminds them to look back on the everlafling 
love of God the Fathers '^ who of God is made unto us, 

Would to God, this point of doctrine was confidered more, 
and people were more ftudious of the covenant of redemption 
between the Father and the Son ! we fhould not then have fo 
much difputing againft the doctrine of election, or hear it 
condemned (even by good men) as a doctrine of devils. For 
my own part, I cannot fee how true humblenefs of mind can 
be attained without a knowledge of it ; and though I will not 
fay, that every one who denies election is a bad man, yet I 
will fay, with that fweet finger, Mr. Trails it is a very bad 

[ i89 ] 

fign : fuch a one, whoever he be, I think cannot truly know 
himfelf: for, if we deny eleiRion, we mud, partly at leaft, 
glory in ourfclvcs ; but our redemption is fo ordered, that no 
flefli fliould glory in the divine prefence ; and hence it is, that 
the pride of man oppofes this do6lrine, becaufe according to 
this dodrine, and no other, " he that glories, muft glory only 
in the Lord." But what fhall I fay? Election is a myftery 
that (hines with fuch refplendent brightnefs, that, to make ufe 
of the words of one who has drank deeply of elc6i:ing love, it 
dazzles the weak eyes even of fome of God's dear children ; 
however, though they know it not, all the bleffings they re- 
ceive, all the privileges they do or will enjoy, through Jesus 
Christ, flow from the everlafting love of God the Father : 
" But of him are you in Christ Jesus, who of God is made 
unto uSj wifdom, righteoufnefs, fan^tification, and redemp- 

Secondly^ I come to (hew what thefe bleifings are, which are 
here, through Christ, made over to the eled. And 

I. Firji^ Christ is made to them wifdom -^ but wherein does 
true wifdom confift ? Was i to aflc fome of you, perhaps you 
would fay, in indulging the luft of the flcih, and faying td 
your fouls, eat, drink, and be merry; but ihis Is only the 
wifdom of brutes; they have as good a guft and rclifh for fen- 
fual pleafures, as the greatcft epicure on earth. Others would 
tell me, true wifdom confifted in adding houfe to houfe, and 
field to field, and calling lands after their own names; but this 
cannot be true wifdom; for riches often take to themfelvcs 
wings, and fly away, like an eagle tov/ards heaven. Even 
wifdom itfelf aflures us, *' that a man's life doth not confill 
in the abundance of the things which he pofle/lcs;" vanity, 
Vanity, sU thefe things are vanity ; for, if riches leave not the 
owner, the owners muft foon leave them ; '* for rich men muft 
alio die, and leaVe their rirhes for others;" their riches cannot 
procure them redemption from the grave, whither we are all 
haftening apace. 

But perhaps you defplfe riches and pleafure, and therefore 
^lace wifdom in the knowledge of books: but il is poifible for 


[ I90 ] 

you to tell the numbers of the flars, and call them all by the;f 
names, and yet be mere fools ; learned men are not always 
wife; nay, our common learning, To much cried up, makes, 
men only fo many accompliflitd fools; to keep you therefore 
no longer in fulpenfe, and withal to humble you, I will fend 
you to an heathen to fchool, to learn what true wifdom is : 
*' Know thyfelf," was a faying of one of the wife men oi' 
Greece-, this is certainly true wiidom, and this is that wifdom 
fpoken of in the text, and which Jesus Christ is made to 
all ele£t fmners ; they are made to know themfelves, fo as not 
to think more highly of themfelves than they ought to think* 
Before they were darknefs, now they are light in the Lord j 
and in that light they fee their own darknefs ; they now be- 
wail themfelves as fallen creatures by nature, dead in trefpafles 
and fins, fons and heirs of hell, and children of wrath ; they 
row fee that all their righteoufnefTes are but as filthy rags j 
that there is no health in their fouls; that they are poor and 
niiferable, blind and naked ; and that there is no name given 
under heaven, whereby they can be favedj but that of Jesus 
Christ. They fee the neceffity of clofmg with a Saviour; 
and behold the wifdom of God in appointing him to be a Sa- 
viour ; they arc alfo made willing to accept of falvation upon 
our Lord's own terms, and to receive him as their all in all : 
thus Christ is made to them wifdom. 

2. Secondly, Rtghteoufnefs. <* Who of GoD is made unto us^ 
wi(dom, righteoufnefs ;" Christ's whole perfonal righteouf- 
nefs is made over to, and accounted theirs. Being enabled to. 
lay hold on Christ by faith, God the Father blots out their 
tranfgreffions, as with a thick cloud ; their fms, and their 
iniquities he remembers no more ; they are made the righ- 
teoufnefs of God in Christ Jesus, " who is the end of the 
law for righteoufnefs to every one that believeth." In on^ 
fenfe, God now fees no fin in them ; the whole covenant of 
works is fulfilled in them; they are actually juftified, acquitted^ 
and looked upon as righteous in the fight of God ; they are 
perfectly accepted in the beloved ; they are ccmpleat iii him j 
the flaminc fword of God's wrath, which before moved every 
way, is now removed, and free accefs given to the tree of liiei* 
they are enabled \q reach owt the arm of faith, and pluck, and 

[ 191 ] 
live for evermore. Hence it is that the apoftle, ur«.'-r a fc^nfe 
of this blelFed privilege, breaks out into this triumphant lan- 
guage ; " It is Christ that jaftifics, who is he that con- 
demns?" Does fin condemn? Christ's righteoufnefs delivers 
believers from the guilt of it: Christ is their Saviour, atjd is 
become a propitiation for their fins : who therefore fliall lay 
any thing to the charge of God's eled ? Does the law con« 
demn ? By having CyRisT's righteoufnefs imputed to them, 
they are dead to the law, as a covenant of works j Christ 
has fulfilled it for them, and In their ftead. Does death threaten 
them ? they need not fear: the fting of death is fin, the ftrcDgth 
of fin is the law; but God has given them the victory, by im- 
puting to them the righteoufnefs of the Lord Jesus. 

And what a privilege is here! Well might the angels at the 
birth of Christ, fay to the humble fhepherds, " Behold I 
bring you glad tidings of great joy ;" unto you that believe in 
Christ, " a Saviour is born." And well may angels rejoice 
at the converfion of poor finners : for the Lord is their 
righteoufnefs; they have peace with God, through faith ir^ 
Christ's blood, and fliall never enter into condemnation. O 
believers! (for this difcourfe is intended in a fpecial manner for 
you) lift up your heads; " Rejoice in the Lord always; agaia 
I fay, rejoice." Christ is made to you of God righteouf- 
nefs, what then fliould you fear ? you are made the rio-hteouf- 
nefs of God in him ; you may be called, " The Lord our 
righteoufnefs." Of what then (liould you be afraid ? what 
{hall feparate you henceforward, from the love of Christ ? 
" {hall tribulation, or diftrefs, or perfecution, or fami(ie, or 
nakednef , or peril, or fword ? No, I am perfuaded^ neither 
death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor 
things prefenf, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor 
any other creature, Oiall be able to feparate you from the love 
of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord/' who of 
God is made unto you righteoufnefs. 

This is a glorious privilegp, but this is only the beginning 
of .the happinefs of believers : For 

3. Tl'irdly, Christ is not only made to them righteoufnefs, 
\i\xi f(in^iification\ by fandlifivation. I do not mean a bare hypo- 


[ 19^ ] 

critical attendance on outward ordinances, though rightly-in- 
formed cbriftians will think it their duty and privilege *con- 
ftantly to attend on all outward ordinances. Nor do I mean 
by fandification, a bare outward reformation, and a few tran- 
fient conviiStions, or a little legal forrow ; for all this an un- 
landlified man may have; but, by fandification, I mean a total 
renovation of the whole man ; by the righteoufnefs of Christ, 
believers become legally, by fan^lification they are made fpiri- 
luallv, alive ; by one they are entitled to, by the other they are 
made meet for, glory. They arc fandified, therefore, through- 
out, in fpirit, foul and body. 

Their underftandings, which were before dark, now be- 
come light in the Lord ; and their wills, before contrary to^ 
now become one with, the will of Gop : their affections arc 
now fet on things above ; their memory is now nlled with di- 
vine things 5 their natural confciences are now enlightened 5 
their members, which were before inftruments of uncleannefs^ 
and of iniquity unto iniquity, are now inRruments of righte- 
oufnefs and true holinefs ; in fhort, they are new creatures; 
*' old things are palled away, all things are become new," in 
their hearts; fin has now no longer dominion over them; they 
are freed from the power, though not the indwelling and be- 
ins:, of it ; they are holy both in heart and life, it\ all manner 
of converfation ; they are made partakers of a divine nature ; 
and from JesUs Christ, they receive grace for grace ^ and 
every grace that is in Christ, is copied and tranfcribed into 
their fouls ; they are transformed into his iikencf<; he is formed 
within them ; they dwell in him, and he in therh ; they are led 
bv the Spirit, and bring forth the fruits thereof; they know 
th.at Christ is their Emmanuel^ God with and in them; they 
are living temples of the Holy Ghoft. And th^refofe, being 
a holy habitation unto the Lord, the vi'hole trinity dwells and 
walks in them; even here, they fit together With CniiisT im 
heavenly places, and are vitally united to him, their head, by a 
living faith ; their Redeeniier, their Maker, is their hufband j 
they are flcPn of his flefh, bone of his bone ; the'y talk, they 
walk with him, as a man talketh and walkeih with his friend; 
in (liorr, they are one with Christ, even as JesUs Christ 

and the Father are one, 


[ ^93 T 

Thus is Christ made to believers fan^lification. And O 
what a privilege is this ! to be changed from besfts into faints, 
end from a dcvilifh, to be made partakers of a divine n.uurc j 
to be tranflaied from the kingdom of Satan, into the kingdom 
of God's dear Son ! to put off the old man, which is corrupt, 
and to put on the new man, which is created after God, in 
righteoufnefs and true holinefs. O what an unfpeakable blcff- 
ing is this ! I almoft iiand amazed at the contemplation there- 
of. Well might the apoftle exhort believers to rejoice in the 
Lord; indeed they have reafon always to rejoice, yea, to re- 
joice on a dying bed ; for the kingdom of God is in them ; 
they are changed from glory to glory, eVen by the Spirit of 
the Lord : well may this be a myftery to the natural, for it 
is a myftery even to the fpiritual man himfelf, a myftery which 
he cannot fathom. Does it not often dazzle your eyes, O ye 
children of God, to look at your own brightnefs, when the 
candle of the Lord (bines out, and your Redeemer lifts up the 
light of his blefted countenance upon your fouls ? Are not you 
aftonifhed, when you feel the love of God fhed abroad in vour 
hearts, by the Holy Ghoft, and GoD holds out the golden 
fceptre of his mercy, and bids you afk what you will, and*it 
fliall be given you ? Does no( that peace of God, which keeps 
and rules your hearts, furpafs the utmoft limits of your under- 
ftandings ? and is not the joy you feel unfpeakable? is it not 
full of glory ? I am perfuaded it is > and in your fecret com- 
munion, when the Lord's love flows in upon your fouls, you 
are as it were fvvallowed up in, or, to ufe the apoftle*s phrafe^ 
" filled with all the fulnefs of God.** Are not you ready to 
Cry out with Solomon, " And will the Lord, indeed, dwell 
thus with men !" How is it that we fbould be thus thy fons 
»nd daughters, O Lord God Almighty? 

If you are children of God, and know what it is fo have 
fellowftiip with the Father and the Son; if you walk by faith, 
and hot by fight; 1 am afl'ured this is frequently the language 
of your hearts. 

But look forward, and fee an unbounded profpe^t of eternal 
happinefs lying before thee, O believer I what thou haft already 
received, are only the firft-fruits, like the clufter of grapes 

Vol. VI. N brought 


[ 194 1 

brought out of the land of Canaan ; only an earnefl and pledge 
of yet infinitely better things to come: the harveft is to follow; 
thy grace is hereafter to be fvvallowed up in glory. Thy great 
J.oJhu^^ and merciful high Prieft, fhall adminifter an abundant 
entrance to thee into the land of promife, that reft which awaits- 
ihe children of God : For Christ is not only made to believ- 
ers, wifdom, righteoufne^^5 and fan<5lification5 but alfo redernp" 

But, before we enter upon the expranation and contempla- 
tian of this privilege, 

/'V;j/?, Learn hence the great miftake of thofe writers, and 
clergy, who, noiwithllanding they talk of fandlification and 
inward holinefs (as i?ideed fometimes they do, though in a very 
looie and fuperlicial manner) yet they generally make it the 
r.VA</, ,. v/hercas they lliouid confider it as the ejjed^ of our jufti- 
iicairion. " Of him are ye in Christ Jesus, vvhaof God 
is made unto us, wifdom, righteoufnefsr, ^and then) fanclifica- 
tion.'* For Christ's nghteoufncfs, or that which Christ 
has done in our ftead without us, is the fole caufe of our ac- 
iieptance in the fight of God, and of all holinefs wrought ia 
us : to this, and not to the light within, or any thing wrought 
within, (hould poor linners feek for j unification in the fight of 
God : for the fake of Christ's righteoufnefs alone, and aot 
any thing wrought in us, does God look favourably upon us \ 
our fanclificadon at beft, in this life, is not compleat : though 
we are delivered from the power, we are not freed from the 
in-being of fin ; but not only the dominion, but the in-beinp- 
of fm, is forbidden by the perfed law of God : for it is not 
faid, thou fnalt not give way to luft, but, " thou fhalt not 
luft/' So that whilll: the principle of luft remains in the leaft 
degree in our hearts, though we are otherwife never fo holy, 
yet we cannot, on account of that, hope for acceptance with 
God. We muft firft, therefore, look for a righteoufnefs with- 
out us, even the righteoufnefs of our Lord Jesus Christ : 
ior this reafon the apoftle mentions it, and puts it before fanc- 
tification in the words of the text. And whofoever teacheth 
any other dodrinc, doth not preach the uutli as it is in 


[ 195 ] 

SeCQJtdly^ From hence alfo, the Ahtinomiaris and formal hy- 
pocrites may be confuted, who talk of Christ without, but 
know nothing, experimentallyj of a v/ork of fan£lification 
wrought within them. \Vhatever ihcy may pretend to, fince 
Christ is not in them, the LorI) is not their righteoufnefs, 
and they have no well-grounded hope of glory : for though 
fan6lification is not the caufe, yet it is the effect of our ac- 
ceptance with God ; '' Who of God is made unto us righ- 
teoufnefs and fandification." He therefore, that is really in 
Christ, is a new creature; it is not going back to a covenant 
of works^ to look into our hearts, and, feeing that they are 
changed and renewed, from thence form a comfortable and 
well-grounded aflurance of the fafety of our ftates : no, but 
this is what we are diredled to in fcripture ; by our bringing 
forth the fruits, we are to judge whether or no we ever did 
truly partake of the Spirit of God. *' We know, (fays John) 
that we are pafled from death unto life, becaufe we love the 
brethren." And however we may talk of Christ's righte- 
oufnefs, and exclaim againft legal preachers ; yet, if we are 
iiot holy in heart and life, if we are not faft£\ified and renewed 
by the Spirit in our minds, we are felf-deceivers, we are only 
formal hypocrites: for we muft not put afunder what God has 
joined together 5 we muft keep the medium between the two 
extremes ; not infift fo much on the one hand upon Christ 
without, as to exclude Christ w'thin, as an evidence of our 
being his, and as a preparation for future happinefs 5 nor, on 
the other hand, fo depend on inherent righ.teoufnefs or holi- 
nefs wrought in us, as to exclude the righteoufnefs of Jesus 
Christ without us. But 

4. Fourthly. Let us now go on, and take a view of the other 
link, or rather the end, of the believer's golden chain of privi- 
leges, redemption. But we muft look very high; for the top of 
it, like Jacob's ladder, reaches heaven, where all believers will 
afcend, and be placed at the right-hand of God. " Who of 
God is made unto us, wifdom, righteoufnefs, fan£^ification5 
and redemption.''* 

This is a golden chain indeed! and, what is beft of all, not 
one link can ever be broken afunder from another. Was there 

N 2 no 

no other text In the book of God, this fingle one fufficlentl/ 
proves the finial pcrfcverance of true believers : for never did 
God yetjuftify a man, whom he did not fanctify; nor fancSlify 
one, whom he did not compleatly redeem and glorify; no; 
as for God, his way, his work, is pcrfecSl ; he always carried 
on and finiflicd the work he begijn ; thus it was in the firfl:^ 
fo it is in the new creation ; when God fays, *' Let there be 
light," there is li^ht, that (hines more and more unto the per- 
fect dav, when believers enter into their eternal reft, as GoD 
entered into his. Thofe whom God has juftified, he has in 
cffefl glorified : for as a man's worthincfs was not the caufe 
of God's giving him Christ's rightcoufnefs, fo neither fhall 
his unworthinels be a caufe of his taking it away; God's gifts 
and callir.gs are without repentance; and I cannot think, they 
are clear in the notign of Christ's righteoufnefs, who deny 
the final perfcverance of the faints ; I fear, they underftand 
juftification in that low fcnfc, which 1 underftood it in a few 
years ago, as implying no more than remiffion of fins : but it 
not only fignifies remiflion of fins paft, but alfo difcederal right 
to all good things to come. If God has given us his only 
Son, how fhall he not with him freely give us all things? 
Therefore, the apoftle, after he fays, '' Who of*GoD is made 
unto us righteoufnefs,'* does not fay, perhaps he may be made 
to us fandtincation and redemption ; but, " he is made :" for 
there is an eternal, indifibluble connection between thefehlefled 
privileges. As the obedience of Christ is imputed to believ- 
ers, fo his perfeverance in that obedience is to be imputed to 
them alfo : and it argues great ignorance of the covenant of 
grace and redemption, to objc£t againfl it. 

By the word rcdnnptlon, we are to underfland, not only a 
compleat deliverance from all evil, but alfo a full enjoyment of 
all good both in body and foul : 1 fay, both in body and foul; 
for the Lord is alfo for the body ; the bodies of the faints in 
this life are temples of the Holy Ghoft ; God makes a cove- 
nant with the duft of believers; after death, though worms 
tleftroy them, yet, even in their flefh (hall they fee God. I 
fear, indeed, there are fome Sadducees in our days, or at leaft 
lieretic?, who fay, either, that there is no refurredion of the 
body, or that the refurrf<itian is paft already, namely, in our 

regeneration : 

r '97 ] 

regeneration: Hence it is, that our Lord's coming in the 
\ flelh, at the day of judgment, is denied ; and confcqucntly, 
we muft throw afide the facrament of the Lord's fupper. For 
why Hiould we remember the Lord's death until he comes to 
judgment, when he is already come to judgi' our hearts, and 
will not come a fecond time ? but all this is only the icafon- 
l ing of unlearned, unftable men, who certainly know not what 
I they fay, nor whereof they affirm, That wc muft follow our 
Lord in the regeneration, be partakers of a new b r.h, and 
that Christ muft come into our heart?, we freely confefs ; 
and we hope, when fpcaking of thefe things, we fpeak n<.> 
more than what we know and feel : but then it is plain, that 
Jesus Christ will come, hereafter, to judgment, and that 
he afcended into heaven with the body which he had here on 
earth J for fays he, after his refurredion, " Handle me, and 
fee ; a fpirit has not flefti and bones, as you fee me have." 
And it is plain, that Christ's refurredion was an earneft 
of ours: for fays the apoftle, " Christ is rifen from the dead, 
and become the firft-fruits of them that fleep i" and as in Jc/nm 
all die, and are fubje6t to mortality ; fo all that are in Christ, 
the fecond Adam^ who reprefented believers as their fcederal 
head, fhall certainly be made alive, or rife again witii their 
bodies at the laft day. 

Here then, O believers ! is one, though the lovveft, degree 
of that redemption which you are to be partakers of hereafter; 
I mean, the redemption of your bodies : for this corruptible 
muft put on incorruption, this mortal muft put on immortality. 
Your bodies, as well as fouls, were given to Jesus Christ 
by the Father; they have been companions in watching, and 
fafting, and praying : your bodies therefore, as well as fouls, 
fhall Jesus Christ raife up at the laft day. Fear not, there- 
fore, O believers, to look into the grave; for to you it is no 
other than a confecrated dormitory, where your bodies ftiall 
fleep quietly until the morning of the rcfurre6lion ; when the 
voice of the archangel fliall found, and the trump of God 
give the general alarm, " Arife yc dead, and come to judge- 
ment ;" earth, air, fire, water, ftiall give up your fcattered 
atoms, and both in body and foul (liall you be ever with the'* 
Lord. I doubt not, but many of" you aie groaning under 

N 3 crazy 

f 198 .] \ 

crazy bodies, and complain often that the mortal body weighs j 
down the immortal foul ; at lead this is my cafe ; but let us 
have a little patience, and we fhall be delivered from our earthly 
prifons ; ere long, thefe tabernacles of clay fhall be difTolved, 
and we {lull be clothed with our houfe which is from heaven ; 
hereafter, our bodies fliall be fpiritualized, and fi-iall be fo far 
from hindering our fouls through weaknefs, that they fhall be- 
come ftrong; fo ftrong, as to bear up under an exceeding and 
eternal weight of glory ; others again may have deformed bo- 
dies, emaciated alfo with ficknefs, and worn out with labour 
and age ; but wait a little, until your blefled change by death 
comes ; then your bodies (hall be renewed and made glorious, 
like unto Christ's glorious body : of which we may form 
fome faint idea, from the account given us of our Lord's 
transfio-uration on the mount, when it is faid, " His raiment 
became bright and glidering, and his face brighter than the 
fun." Well then may a believer break out in the apoPcle's 
triumphant language, " O death, where is thy fling ! O 
grave, where is thy vidlory !" 

But what is the redemption of the body, in comparifon of 
the redemption of the better part, our fouls? I muft, therefore, 
fay to you believers, as the angel faid to Johny " Come up 
higher,'* and let us take as clear a view as we can, at fuch a 
diflance, of the redemption Christ has purchafed for, and 
will fhortly put you in acSlual poiTeirion of. Already you are 
juflified, already you are fanclified, and thereby freed from the 
guilt and dominion of fin : bur, as I have obfervcd, the being 
and indwelling of fin yet remains in you ; GoD fees it proper 
to leave fome Amalekltes in the land, to keep his Jfrael in ac- 
tion. The moft pcrfe61: chriftian, I am perfuaded, muft agree, 
according to one of our articles, " That the corruption of na- 
'* ture remains even in the regenerate; that the flefh lufteth 
" always againft the fpirit, and the fpirit againfi the fiefh." 
So that believers cannot do things for God with that perfec- 
tion they defire j this grieves their righteous fouls day by day, 
and, with the holy apoflle, makes them cry out, *' Who fliall 
deliver us from the body of this death 1" I thank GoD, our 
IvORD Jesus Christ will, but not compleatly before the day 
of our diiTolutionj then will the very being of fm be dcflroyed, 


[ 199 ] 

■and an eternal flop put to inbred, indwelling corruption. And 
is not this a great redemption ? I am fure believers cflcem it 
fo: for there is nothing grieves the heart of a child oi God (o 
inuch, as the remains of indwelling fin. Again, believers arc 
often in heavinefs through manifold temptations 5 God fees 
that it is needful and good for them fo to be; and though they 
may be highly favoured, and wrapt up in communion with 
God, even to the third heavens ; yet a meflenger of Satan is 
often fent to bufFet them, left they fnould be puffed up with 
the abundance of revelations. But be not weary, be not faint 
in your minds : the time of your compleat redemption draweth 
nigh. In heaven the wicked one fhall ceafe from troubling 
you, and your weary fouls (hall enjoy an everlafting reft; his 
fiery darts cannot reach thofe bliOful regions: Satan will never 
come any more to appear with, difturb, or accufe the fons of 
God, when once the Lord Jesus Christ (huts the door. 
Your righteous fouls are now grieved, day by day, at the un- 
godly converfation of the wicked; tares now grow up among 
the wheat; wolves come in (heeps clothing: but the redemp- 
tion fpoken of in the text, will free your fouls from all anxiety 
on thefe accounts ; hereafter you fliall enjoy a perfe£^ commu- 
nion of faints; nothing that is unholy or unfan6lified fhall enter 
jnto the Holy of holies, v/hich is prepared for you above : this, 
and all manner of evil whatfoever, you ihall be delivered from, 
when your redemption is hereafter made compleat in heaven ; 
not only fo, but you fhall enter into the full enjoyment of all 
good. It is true, all faints will not have the fame degree of 
happinefs, but all will be as happy as their hea.ns can defire. 
Believers, you {hall judge the evil, and familiarly converfe with 
good, angels ; you fliail fit down with Abraham, Ifaac^ Jacoly 
and all the fpirits of juft men made perfe<St ; and, to fum up 
all your happinefs in one word, you ftiall fee God the Father, 
Son, and Holy Ghoft ; and, by feeing God, be more and 
more like unto him, and pafs-from gWy to glory, even to all 

But I muft flop : the glories of the upper world croud in 
fo faft upon my foul, that 1 am loft in the contemplation of 
them. Brethren, the redemption fpoken of is unutterable; we 
cannot here find ic out; eye harh not fccn, nor tar heard, nor 

N 4 haj 

[ 200 ] 

has it entered into the hearts of the moft holy men living, to 
conceive how great it is. Was I to entertain you whole ages 
with an account of it, when you come to heaven, you muft 
fay, with the Qaceo of Sheba^ '^ Not half, no, not one thou- 
fandth part was told us." All we can do here, is to go upon 
mount Pifgjh^ and by the eye of faith, take a diftant view of 
the promiitd land : We may fee it, as Abraham did Christ, 
afar ofT, and rejoice in it ; but here we only know in part. 
BleOed be GoD, there is a time coming, when we {hall know 
God, even as we are known, and God be all in all. Lord 
Jesus, accomplifh the number of thine eledl ! Lord jEsys, 
haflen thy kingdom 1 

And now, where are the fcoffers of thefe lad days, who 
count the lives of chriftians to be madnefs, and their end to 
be without honour ? Unhappy men ! you know not what 
you do. Were your eyes open, and had you fenfes todifcern 
fpiritual things, you would not fpeak all manner of evil againft 
the children of God, but you would eftcem them as the ex- 
cellciu ones of the earth, and envy their happinefs : your 
fouls would hunger and thirft after it : you alfo would become 
focis for Christ's fake. You boaft of wifdom ; fo did the 
philofophers of Corinth : but your wifdom is the fooliflinefs of 
folly iii the fight of God. What will your wifdom avail you, 
if it does not make you wife unto falvation \ Can you, with 
all your v./ifdom, propofe a more confiftcnt fchcme to build 
your h(>pes of falvation on, than what has been now laid be- 
fore you ? Can you, with all the ftrength of natural rcafon, 
find out a better way of acceptance with God, than by the 
righteoufnefs of the Lord Jesus Christ ? Is it right to 
think your own works can in any meafure deferve or procure 
it ? If not, Why will you not believe in him ? Why will 
you not fubmit to his righteoufiiefs ? Can you deny that you 
are fallen creatures ? Do not you find that you are full of 
cJifordcrs, and that thefe diforders make you unhappy ? Do 
not you find that you cannot change your own hearts ? Have 
you not refolved many and many a time, and have not your 
corruptions yet dominion over you ? Are you not bond-flaves 
to your lufts, and led captive by the devil at his will ? Why 
then will you not come to Christ for fan<Siification I Do 

3 y^"* 


[ 201 ] 

you not defire to die the death of the righteous, nnd that your 
future ftate may be like theirs ? I am perfuaded you cannot 
bear the thoughts of being annihilated, much lefs of being 
miferable for ever. Whatever you may pretend, if you fpealc 
truth, you muft confefs, that confcience breaks in upon you 
in your more fober intervals whether you will or not, and 
even conftrains you to believe, that hell is no painted fire. 
And why then will you not come to Christ ? He alone can 
procure you everlafting redemption. Haftc, hafte away to 
him, poor beguiled finners. You lack wifdom ; afk it of 
Christ. Who knows but he may give it you ? He is able : 
for he is the wifdom of the Father ; he is that wifdom which 
was from everlafting. You have no rigbteoufnefs ; away, 
therefore, to Christ : '' He is the end of the law for righte- 
cufnefs to every one that believeth.'* You are unholy j flee 
to the Lord Jesus : He is full of grace and truth ; and of 
his fulnefs all may receive that believe in him. You are 
afraid to die ; let this drive you to Christ : He has the keys 
of death and hell j in him is plenteous redemption ; he alone 
can open the door which leads to eveilafting life. Let not, 
therefore, the deceived reafoner boaft any longer of his pre- 
tended reafon. Whatever you may think, it is the moft un- 
reafonable thing in the world, not to believe on Jesus 
Christ, whom God hath fent. Why, why will you die? 
why will you not come unto him, that you may have life r 
** Ho! every one that thirfteth,come unto the water? of life and 
drink freely : come, buy without money and without price." 
Were thefe blefied privileges in the text to be purchaftd with 
money, you might fay, We are poor, and cannot buy : or, 
were they to be conferred only on finners of fuch a rank or 
degree, then you might fay. How can fuch finners as we ex- 
pe6l to be fo highly favoured ? But they are to be freely given 
of God to the worrt of finners. " To us," fays the Apoftle ; 
to me a perfecutor, to you Corinthians, who were " unclean, 
drunkards, covetous perfons, idolaters.'* Therefore, each 
poor finner may fay then. Why not unto me ? Has Christ 
but one blefiing ? What if he has blefled millions already, by 
turning them away from their iniquities ; yet, he fiill continues 
the fame : he lives for ever to make intcrcefiion, and therefore 
Vy-ill blefs you, even you a]fo. Though, E/^m like, you have 


[ 202 ] 

been prophane, and hitherto defpifed your heavenly Father's 
birth-right; even now, if you believe, " Christ will be 
made to you of God, wifdom, righteoufnefs, fan<Slification, 
and redemption.'* 

But T mufl: turn again to believers, for whofe inftruaion, 
as I obferved before, this difcourfe vj2ls particularly intended. 
You fee, brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, what 
great bleflings are treafured up for you in Jesus Christ your 
head, and what you are entiiled to by believing on his name. 
Take heed, therefore, that ye walk worthy of the vocation 
wherewith ye are called. Think often how highly you are 
favoured ; and remember, you have not chofen Christ, but 
Christ hath chofen you. Put on (as the elea of God) 
humblenefs of mind, and glory, but let it be only in the 
Lord : for you have nothing but what you have received of 
God. By nature ye were as foolifli, as legal, as unholy, and 
in as damnable a condition as others. Be pitiful, therefore, 
be courteous ; and, as fanclification is a progrellive work, be- 
ware of thinking you have already attained. Let him that is 
holy, be hcly ftill ; knowing, that he who is moft pure in 
heart, fliall hereafter enjoy the cleared vifion of God. Let 
indwelling fin be your daily burden ; and net only bewail and 
lament, but fee that you fubdue it daily by the power of di- 
vine grace ; and look up to Jesus continually to be the 
finiPaer, as well as author of your faith. Build not on your 
own faith^ulnef^, but on God's unchangeablenefs. Take 
heed of thinking you Hand by the power of your own free- 
will. The everlailing love of God the Father, mufl: be your 
only hope and confolation : let this fupport you under all 
trials. Remember that God's sifts and callino-s are without 
repentance ; that Christ having once loved you, will love 
you to the end. Let this conftrain you to obedience, and 
make you long and look for that blefled time, when he ihall 
not only be your wifdom, and righteoufnefs, and fan6lific.ation, 
but alfo compleat and everlailing redemption. 

Glory be to God in the highcfl: I 

S E R M O N 

C 203 ] 


The Knowledge of J e s u s Christ the bed 

I Co R. ii. 2. 

/ detirmined not to know any thing among ycu^ fave 
Jesus Christ, and him crucified, 

THE perfons to whom thefe words were written, were 
the members of the church of Cori?ith ; who, as appears 
by the foregoing chapter, were not only divided into different 
feds, by one faying, " I am of Paul^ and another, I am of 
Jpoilos-" but alfo had many amongft them, who were fo full 
of the wifdom of this world, and fo wife in their own eycs^ 
that they fet at nought the fimplicity of the gofpel, and ac- 
counted the Apoftle's preaching fooliflinefs. 

Never had the Apoftle more need of the wifdom of the fer- 
pent, mingled with the innocency of the dove, than now. 
What is the fum of all his wifdom ? he tells them, in the 
words of the text, *' I determined not to know any thing 
amongft you, fave Jesus Christ, and him crucified.'* 

A refolution this, worthy of the great St. Paul ; and no lefs 
worthy, no lefs neceflary for every minifter, and every difci- 
ple of Christ, to make always, even unto the end of the 

In the following difcourfe, I fiiall, 

Firjiy Explain what is meant by " not knowing any thing, 
fave Jesus Christ, and him crucified." 

6 Secondly^ 

[ 204 ] 

Secondly^ Give fome reafons why every chrifllan fhould de- 
termine not to know any thing elfe. And 

Thirdly^ Conclude with a general exhortation to put this 
determination into pra<^ice. 

FirJ}^ I am to explain what is meant by " not knowing 
any thing, lave Jesus Christ, and him crucified." 

By Jesus Christ, we are to underftand the eternal Son 
of God. He is called Jesus, a Saviour, becaufe he was to 
Cave us from the guilt and power of our fins ; and, like 
Jojhua^ by whom he was remarkably typified, to lead God'^ 
spiritual Ifrael through the wildcrnefs of this world, to the 
heavenly Canaan^ the promifcd inheritance of the children of 

He is called Chr'yl, which fignifies anointed, beqaufe he was 
anointed by the Holy Ghoft at his baptifm, to be a prophet to 
inftru6^, a pried to make an atonement for, and a king to go- 
vern and prote(St his church. And he was crucified, or hung 
(O ftupendous love !) till he was dead upon the crofs, that he 
mioiht become a curfe for us : for it is written, " Curfed is 
every man that hangeth upon a tree,'* 

The foundation or firfl: caufe of his fufFering, was our fall 
in /Idam -f in whom, as the living oracles of God declare, 
'* We all died ;" his fin was imputed to us all." It pleafcd 
God, after he had fpoken the World into being, to create 
man after his own divine image, to breathe into him the breath 
of life, and to place him as our reprefentative in the garden of 

But he being left to his own free will, did eat of the for^ 
bidden fruit, notwithftanding God had told him, " The day 
in which he eat thereof, he fliould furely die ;" and thereby 
he, with his whole pofterity, in whofe name he adled, became 
liable to the wrath of God, and funk into a fpiritual death. 


[ 205 ] 

But behold the goodnefs, as well as the feverity of God ! 
For no fooner had man been convicSled as a finner, but lo ! a 
Saviour is revealed to him, under the chara£)er of the feed of 
the woman : the merits of whofe facrifice were then immedi- 
ately to take place, and who fliould, in the fulnefs of time, 
by fuffering death, fatisfy for the. guilt we had contradtcd j 
by obeying the whole moral law, work out for us an everlaft- 
ing righteoufnefs ; and by becoming a principle of new life in 
us, deftroy the power of the devil, and thereby reftore us to a 
better ftate than that in which we were at firft created. 

This is the plain fcriptural account of that myftery of god- 
iinefs, God manifefted in the flefh ; and to this our own 
hearts, unlcfs blinded by the god of this world, cannot but 
yield an immediate afTent, 

For, let us but fearch our own hearts, and afk ourfelves, if 
we could create our own children, whether or not we would 
not create them with a lefs mixture of good and evil, than we 
find in ourfelves ? Suppofing God then only to have our 
goodnefs, he could not, at firft, make us fo finful, fo polluted 
as we are. But fuppofing him to be as he is, infinitely good, 
or goodnefs itfelf, then it is abfolutely impoflible that he 
ftiould create any thing but what is like himfelf, perfe£l, en- 
tire, lacking nothing. Man then could not come out of the 
hands of his Maker, fo miferably blind and naked, with fuch 
a mixture of the beaft and devil, as he finds now in himfelf, 
but muft have fallen from what he was ; and as it does not 
fuit with the goodnefs and juftnefs of God, to punifii the 
whole race of mankind with thefe diforders merely for no- 
thing ; and fince men bring thffe diforders into the v/orlJ 
with them ; it follows, that as they could not fin theinfelves, 
being yet unborn, fome other man*s fin muft have been im- 
puted to them ; from whence, as from a fountain, all thefe 
evils flow. 

I know this dncflrine of our origmal fn^ or fall in Ailam^ Is 
cfteemed fooliftinef^ by the wife difputer of this world, vvho 
will reply. How does it fuit ths goodnefs of God, to inipute 


I 266 -j 

cne man's fin Co an innocent pofterity ? But has It not heen. 
proved to a dernonllration, that it is fo ? And therefore, lup- 
pofing we cannot reconcile it to our (hallow comprchenfionsy 
that is no argument at all : for if it appears that God has 
done a thing, v.-c mzy be fure it is right, whether we can fee 
the reafons for it or not* 

But this is entirely cleared up by what was faid before, that 
i\o fooner was the fm imputed, but a Christ was revealed j 
and this CkrisTj this God incarnate, who was conceived by 
the Holy Ghoil, that he might be freed from the guilt of our 
Original fin ; who was born of the Virgin Mary^ that he 
might be the {t^^ of the woman only ; who fuffered undei' 
pGtit'ms Pilate, a GcnUh governor, to fulfil thefe prophecies j 
which fignified what death he fliould die : This fame Jesus^ 
who was crucified in weaknefs, but raifed in power, is that 
divine perfon, that Emmanuel^ that GoD with us, whom we 
preach, in v/hom ye believe, and whom alone the Apoflle, in 
the text, was cctsrmined to know. 

By which word bicvj, we are not to underftand a bare hlilo- 
rical knowledge ; for to know that Christ was crucified by 
his enemies at 'Jeyitjahm, in this manner or;]y, will do us no 
more fervice, than to knov/ that Ccsfar was butchered by his 
friends at P^ome ; but the word know^ means to know, fo as to 
approve of him \ as when Christ fays, '* Verily^ I knov/ 
you not ;'* I know you not, fo as to approve of you. It fig- 
nifies to know him, fo as to embrace him in all his offices 5 
to take him to be our prophet, priefl:, and king ; fo as to give 
up ourfelves wholly to be inftrucled, faved, and governed by 
him. It implies an experimental knowledge of his cruci^ 
fixion, fo as to {t^\ the power of itj and to be crucified unto 
the v/orld, as the Apoflle explains himfelf in the epiftle to the 
Pkilipptans, where he fays, " I count all things but dung and 
drofs, that I might know him, and the power of his refurrec* 

This knowledge the Apoftle was fo fwallowed up in, that 
he was determined not to know any thing elfe j he was re- 
fc»ivcd to make that his only {ludv, the governing principle of 


[ 207 1 
his life, the point and end in which all his thoughts, word-?, 
and adions, fhould center. 

Secondly^ I pafs on to give fome reafons why every chriftian 
fhould, with the Apoftle, determine " not to know any 
thing, fave Jesus Christ, and him crucified." 

Firji^ Without this, our perfons will not be accepted in 
the fight of God." " This (and confequently this only) is 
life eternal, to know thee, the only true God, and Jesus 
Christ, whom thou haft fent." As alfo St. Peter fays, 
*' There is now no other name given under heaven, whereby 
v/e can be faved, but that of Jesus Christ." 

Some, indeed, may pleafe themfelves in knowing the 
world, others boaft themfelves in the knowledge of a multi- 
tude of languages ; but could v/e fpeak with the tongue of 
men and angels, or did we know the number of the ftars, and 
could call them all by their names, yet, without this experi- 
mental knowledge of Jesus Christ, and him crucified, i* 
would profit us nothing. 

The former, indeed, may procure us a little honour, which 
cometh of man ; but the latter only can render us acceptable 
in the fight of God ; for, if we are ignorant of Christ, God 
will be to us a confuming fire. 

Christ is the way, the truth, and the life ; " No one 
cometh to the Father, but through him ;" " He is the Lamb 
flain from the foundation of the world j" and none ever were, 
or ever will be received up into glory, but by an experimental 
application of his merits to their hearts. 

We might- as well think to rebuild the tower of Bahel^ oc 
reach heaven with our hands, as to imagine we could enter 
therein by any other door, than that of the knowledge of 
Jesus Christ. Other knowledge may make you wife in 
your own eyes, and puff you up j but this alone edifietb, and 
Hiakcth wife unto falvation. 


[ 208 ] 

As the meaneft chrlflian, if he knows but this, though he 
know nothing elfe, will be accepted ; (o the grcateft mafter 
in I/raely the moft letter-learned teacher, without this, will be 
rcied^ted. His philofophy is mere nonfenfe, his wifdom mere 
foolilhnefs in the fight of God. 

The author of the words now before us, was a remarkable 
inftance of this ; never, perhap?, was a greater fcholar, in all 
what the world calls fine learning, than he : for he was bred 
lip at the feet of Ga?naUcly and profited in the knowledge of 
books, as well as in the yeivijh religion, above many of his 
equal?, as appears by the language, rhetoric, and fpirit of his 
writings ; and yet, when he came to know what it was to 
be a chriftian, " He accounted all things but lofs, fo he might 
win Christ." And, though he was now at Corinth, that 
feat of polite learning, yet he was abfolutely determined not to 
know any thing, or to make nothing his ftudy, but what 
taught him to know Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 

Hence then, appears the folly of thofe who fpend their whole 
lives in heaping up other knowledge ; and, inftead of fearch- 
inty the fcriptures, which teftify of Jesus Christ, and are , 

alone able to make them wife unto falvation, difquiet them- i 

felvcs in a purfuit after the knowledge of fuch things, as when 3 
known, concern them no more, than to know that a bird \ 

dropped a feather upon one of the Pyrefiean mountains. 

Hence it is, that ^o many, who profefs themfelves wife, be- 
caufc they can difpute of the caufes and efFeds, the moral 
fitnefs and unfitntfs of things, appear mere fools in the thing^r 
of God ; fo that when you come to converfe with them 
about the great work of redemption wrought out for us by 
Jesu^ Christ, and of his being a propitiation for our fins, a 
fulfillcr of the covenant of works, and a principle of new life 
to our foul?, they are quite ignorant of the whole matter; 
and prove, to a demonftration, that, with all their learning, 
they know nothing yet, as they ought to know. i 

But, alas I how muft it furprize a man, when the Moft 
High is about to take away his im\<i to think that he has 

p. i fled 

f 200 ] 

pafTed for a wife man, and a learned difputer in this worlcj, 
and yet is left deftitute of that knowledge which alone can 
make him appear with boldnefs before the jiidgment-fcat of 
Jhsus Christ ? How muft it grieve him, in a future ftate^ 
to fee others, whom he defpifed as illiterate men, becaufe 
they experimentally knew Christ, and him crucified, exalted 
to the right-hand of God ; and himfelf, with all his fine ac- 
complifhments, becaufe he knew every thing, perhaps, but 
Christ, thrufl down into hell ? 

Well might the Apoille-, in a holy triumph, cry Out, 
*' Where is the wife ? Where is the fcribe ? Where is the 
difputer of this world ?" For, God will then make foolifli 
the wifdom of this world, and bring to nought the wifdom of 
thofe who were fo knowing in their own eyes. 

I have made this digreflion from the main point before u?, 
not to condemn or decry human literature^ but to fhew, that 
it ought to be ufed only in fubordination to divine ; and that 
a chriftian, if the Holy Spirit, guided the pen of the Apoftle, 
when he wrote this epiflle, ought to ftudy no books, but fuch 
as lead him to a farther knowledge of Jesus Christ, and 
him crucified. 

And there is the more reafon for this, becaufe of the great 
mifchief the contrary prad ice has done to the church of Goo : 
for, vvhat v^as it but this learning, or rather this ignorance^ 
that kept fo many of the Scribes and Pharifees from the fav- 
ing knowledge of Jesus Christ ? And what is it, but this 
human wifdom, this fclence, falfciy fo called^ that blinds 
the underftanding, and corrupts the hearts of fo many modern 
unbelievers, and makes them unwilling to fubmic to the 
righteoufnefs which is of God by faith in Christ Jesus ? 

Secondly^ Without this knowledge aur performances, as 
well as perfons, will not be acceptable in the fight of God. 

*' Through faith," fays the Apoftlc, that is, through a 

lively faith in a Mediator to come, " yf/*^/ offered a more ac- 

VoLi VI. O ceptabl* 


[ 210 ] 

ccptable facriflce than Cain.'' And it is through a like falth^ 
or an experimental knowledge of the fame divine Mediator, 
that our facrifices of prayer, praife, and thankfgivings, come 
up as an incenfe before the throne of grace. 

Two perfons may go up to the temple to pray ; but he 
only will return home juftified, who, in the language oF our 
collc6is, fmcerely offers up his prayers through Jesus Christ 
our Lord. 

For it is this great atonement, this all-fufficient facrifice, 
which alone can give us boldnefs to approach with our 
prayers to the Holy of Holies : and he that prefumes to go 
without this, acSis Korah's crime over again ; offers unto GoD 
ftrange fire, and, confequently, will be rejected by him. 

Farther, as our devotions to God will not, fo neither, 
without this knowledge of Jesus Christ, will our a£ts of 
charity to men be accepted by him. For did we give all our 
goods to feed the poor, and yet were deflitute of this know- 
ledge, it would profit us nothing. 

This our bleffed Lord himfelf intimates in the xxvth of 
Matthew^ where he tells thofc who had been rich in good 
works, " That inafmuch as they did it unto one of the lead 
of his brethren, they did it unto him." From whence we 
may plainly infer, that it is feeing Christ in his members, 
and doing good to them out of an experimental knowledge of 
his love to us, that alone will render our alms-deeds reward- 
able at the laft day. 

LaJIly^ As neither our a£ls of piety nor charity, fo neither 
will our civil nor moral adions be acceptable to God, with- 
out this experimental knowledge of Jesus Christ. 

Our modern pretenders to reafon, indeed, fet up another 
principle to act from ; they talk, I know not v/hat, Of doing 
moral and civil duties of life, frorji the moral f^nefs and un- 
fitnefs of things. But fuch men are blind, however they may 
pretend to fee; and going thus about to eftablifh their own . 


t 2il ] 

Hghteoufnefs, are utterly ignorant of the rlghteoufnefs which 
is of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 

For though we grant that morality is a fubftantial part of 
chriftianity, and that Christ came hot to dcftroy, or take off 
the moral law, as a rule of a6lion, but to explain, and fo fulfil 
it i yet we affirm, that our moral and civil ailions are now 
no farther acceptable in the fight of God the Father, than as 
they proceed from the principle of a new nature, and an ex- 
perimental knowledge of, or vital faith in his dear Son. 

The death of Jesus Christ has turned our whole lives 
into one continued facrifice ; and whether we eat or drink 
whether we pray to God, or do any thing to man, it mud all 
be done out of a love for, and knowledge of him who died 
and rofe again, to render all, even our moft ordinary deeds, 
acceptable in the fight of God. 

If we live by this principle, if Christ be the Alpha and 
Omega of all our adlions, then our leaft are acceptable facri- 
fices ; but if this principle be wanting, our moft pompous 
fervices avail nothing : we are but fpiritual idolaters ; we fa- 
crifice to our own net -, we make an idol of ourfelves, by 
making ourfelves, and not Christ, the end of our a6lions : 
and, therefore, fuch adtions are fo far from being accepted by 
God, that, according to the language of one of the Articles 
of our Church, " We doubt not but they have the nature of 
" fin, becaufe they fpring not from an experimental faith in, 
" and knowledge of Jesus Christ." 

Were we not fallen creatures, we might then n61:, perhaps, 
from other principles ; but fmce we are fallen from God in 
Adam^ and are reftored again only by the obedience and death 
of Jesus Christ, the face of things is entirely changed, and 
all we think, fpeak, or do, is only accepted in and through 

Juftly, therefore, may I, in the 

Third 3.n(\ Laji place, Exhort you to put the Apofilc's re- 
foluiion in practice, and befcech you, with him, to dcttrmint-, 

O 2 Not 

[ 212 ] 

*' Not to know any thing, fave Jesus Christ, and him 

I fay, determbie ; for unlefs you fit down firfl:, and count 
the coft, and from a well-grounded conviclion of the excel- 
lency of this, above all other knowledge whatfoever, refolve 
to make this your chief ftudy, your only end, your one thing 
needful, every frivolous temptation will draw you afide from 
the purfuit after it. 

Your friends and carnal acquaintance, and, above all, yom 
grand advcrfary the devil, will be perfuading you to determine 
not to know any thing, but how to lay up goods for many 
years, and to get a knowledge and tafte of the pomps and va- 
nities of this wicked world ; but do you determine not to fol- 
low, or be led by them ; and the more they perfuade you to 
know other things, the more do you " determine not to knov/ 
any thing, fave Jesus Christ, and him crucified." For, 
this knowledge never faileth ; but whether they be riches, 
they Ihall fail ; whether they be pomps, they (hall ceafe ; 
whether they be vanities, they ftiall fade away : but the know- 
ledge of Jesus Christ, and him crucified, abideth for ever. 

Whatever, therefore, you are ignorant of, be not ignorant 
of this. If you know Christ, and him crucified, you know 
enough to make you happy, fuppofing you know nothing 
clfe ; and without this, all your other knowledge cannot 
keep you from being everlaftingly miferable. 

Value not then, the contempt of friends, which you muft 
necefTarily meet with upon your open profcffion to a(Sl accord- 
ing to this determination. For your Mafter, whofe you are, 
was defpifed before you ; and all that will know nothing elfc 
but Jesus Christ, and him crucified^ muft, in fome degree 
or other, fufFer perfecution. 

It Is ncceflary that ofFences fhould come, to try what is in 
©ur hearts, and whether we will be faithful foldiers of Jesus 
Christ or not. 



[ 2^3 ] 

Dare ye then to confefs our blefied Mafter before men, and 
to fliine as lights in the world, amidft a crooked and pervcrfe 
generation ? Let us not be content with following him afar 
off; for then we fliall, as Peter did, foon deny hirn ; but Jet 
us be altogether chriflians, and let our fpeech, and all our 
a£lions declare to the world whofe difciples we are, and that 
we have indeed '*^ determined not to know any thing, fave 
Jesus Christ, and him crucified.'* Then, well will it be 
with us, and happy, unfpeakably happy fiiall we be, even 
here ; and what is infinitely better, when others that defpifed 
us, fhall be calling for the mountains to fall on them, and 
the hills to cover them, we fhall be exalted to fit down on the 
right-hand of God, and fhine as the fun in the firmament, in 
the kingdom of our moft adorable Redeemer, for ever and 

Which God of his infinite mercy grant, 6vC. 

O 3 S E R. 

[ 2.4 ] 


Of Juftification by Christ. 

I Cor. vi. ii. 

But ye are jujiified. 
The whole verfe is : And fuch were fome of you \ hut 
ye are wajhed^ hut ye are JanBiJiedy hut ye are jufti- 
fed in the narae of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by 
the Spirit of our God. 

IT has been obje6led by fome, who diflent from, nay, I 
may add, by others alfo, who a6lually are friends to the 
prefent ecclefiaftical eftabhfhment, that the minifters of the 
Church of England preach themfelves, and not Christ 
Jesus the Lord ; that they entertain their people with lec- 
tures of mere morality, without declaring to them the glad 
tidings of falvation by Jesus Christ. How well grounded 
fuch an objection may be, is not my bufinefs to enquire : 
AH I fliall fay at prefent to the point is, that whenever fuch 
a grand objcdion is urged againft the whole body of the 
clergy in general, every honeft minifter of Jesus Christ 
fhould do his utmoft to cut off all manner of occafion, from 
thofe who defire an occafion to take offence at us ; that fo 
by hearing us continually founding forth the word of truth, 
and declaring with all boldnefs and affurance of faith, " that 
there is no other name given under heaven, whereby they can 
be favcd, but that of Jesus Christ," they may be aihamed 
pf this their fame confident boafting againft us. 

It was an eye to this objection, joined with the agreeable- 
^efs and dclightfulnefs of the fubje^t (for who can but delight 

■' ^ ' tQ 


C 215 ] 

to talk of that which the blcfled angels defire to look into ?) 
that induces me to difcourfe a little on that great and funda- 
mental article of our faith ; namely, our being freely juflified 
by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. " But ye are 
wafhed, but ye are fan6lified, but ye are juftified, in the name 
of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by the Spirit of our 

The words beginning with the particle but^ have plainly a 
reference to fomething before ; it may not therel'ore be im- 
proper, before I defcend to particulars, to confider the words 
as they fl-and in relation to the context. The apoftle, in the 
verfes immediately foregoing, had been reckoning up many 
notorious fins, drunkennefs, adultery, fornication, and fuch 
like, the commiilion of which, without a true and hearty re- 
pentance, he tells the Corinthians^ would entirely Ihut them 
out of the kingdom of God. But then, left they fhould, on 
the one hand, grow fpiritually proud by feeing themfelves 
differ from their unconverted brethren, and therefore be 
tempted to fet them at ncughr, and fay with the felf-conceited 
hypocrite in the prophet, " Come not nigh me, for I am 
holier than thou ;" or, on the other hand, by looking back 
on the multitude of their pafi: offences, fl:iould be apt to 
think their fins were too many and grievous to be forgiven : 
he firft, in order to keep them humble, reminds them of their 
fad ftate before converfion, telling them in plain terms, 
" fuch (or as it might be read, thefe things) were fome of 
you j" not only one, but all that fad catalogue of vices I 
have been drawing up, fome of you were once guilty of; 
but then, at the fame time, to preferve them from defpair, 
behold he brings them glad tidings of great joy : " But ye 
are wafhed ; but ye are fan6tified, but ye are juftified in the 
name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by the Spirit of our 

The former part of this text, our hc\ng fa ni^ijiecl, I have 
in fome meafure treated of already ; I would now enlarge 
on our being freely juftified by the precious obedience and 
death of Jesus Christ : " But ye are juftified in the name 
of our Lord Jesus Christ." 

O 4 From 

[ 2>6 ] 

From which words I /hall confider three things ; 

Firji^ What is meant by the word jufificd. 

Secondly^ I fhall endeavour to prove that all mankind In 
general, and every individual perfon in particular, ftand? 
in need of being juftified. 

Thirdly^ That there is no poffibillty of obtaining this jufti- 
f.cation, which we fo much want, but by the all-perfect 
obedience, and precious death of Jesus Christ. 

Fir/It I am to confider what is meant by the word juflT- 

*' But ye are juflified," fays the apoftle ; v/hich is, z% 
though he had faid, you have your hns forgiven, and are 
looked upon by God as though you never had offended him 
at all : for that is the meaning of the word juCiified, in al- 
moft all the paiTages of holy fcripture where this word is men- 
tioned. Thus, when this fame apoftle writes to the Romansy 
he tells them, that " whom God called, thofe he alfo jufti- 
ficd :" And that this v/ord juftified, implies a blotting out of 
all our trnnfgreffions, is manifeil: from what follows, " them 
he alfo glorified," which could not be if ajuuified perfon was 
not looked upon by God, as though he never had ofrende4 
him at all. And again, fpeaking of Abraham's faith, he tells 
them, that " Abraham believed on Him that juftifies the un- 
godly," who acquits and clears the ungodly man ; for it is a 
law-term, and alludes to a judge acquitting an accufcd cri- 
minal of the thing laid to hi§ charge. Which exprcflion the 
apoftle himft-lf explains by a quotation out of the P/c7//7/j : 
*' BlefTed is the man to whom the Lord imputeth no fin." 
From all which proofs, and many others that might be urged, 
it is evident, that by being juftified, we are to underftand, 
being fo acquitted in the fight of God as to be looked upon 
as though we never had offended him at all. And in this 
I'enfe vve are to undcrfland that article, v/hich we profefs to 


[ 217 ] 

believe in our creed, when each of us declare in his own 
perfon, I believe the forgivenefs of fins. This leads me to 

Second thing propofed, to prove that all mankind in ge- 
neral, and every individual perfon in particular, ftands in 
need of being juftitied. 

And indeed the apoftle fuppofes this in the words of the 
text : " But ye arc juilified," thereby implying that the Co- 
rinthians (and confequently all mankind, there being no dif- 
ference, as will be ftiewn hereafter) flood in need of beinf»- 

But not to reft In bare fuppofitions, in my farther enlarge- 
ment on this head, I (hall endeavour to prove, that we all 
iland in need of being juftined on account of the fin of our 
patures, and the fm of our lives. 

I. FirJ!^ I affirm that we all ftand in need of being juftf- 
fied, on account of the fm of our natures : for we are ail 
chargeable with original fm, or the fm of our firft parents. 
Which, though a proportion that may be denied by a felf- 
juilifying infidel, who " will not come to Christ that he 
may have life ;" yet can never be denied by any one vi'ho 
believes that St. Paul's epiftles were written by divine in- 
fpiration ; where we are told, that " in Jdam all died ;'* 
that is, Adanis fm was imputed to all : and left we fhould 
forget to make a particular application, it is added in ano- 
ther place, " that there is none that docth good (that is, by 
nature) no, not one : That we are all gone out of the way, 
(of original righteoufnefs) and are by nature the children of 
wrath." And even David, who was a man after GoD*s own 
heart, and, if any one could, might furely plead an exemp- 
tion from this univerfal corruption, yet he confefTcs, that 
" he was (hapen in iniquity, and that in fm did his mother 
conceive him." And, to mention but one text more, as 
immediately applicable to the prefent purpofe, St. Paul^ m 
his epiftle to the Romans^ fays, that " Death came upon all 
nien, for the difobedience of one, namely, o^ Jdam, eveh 


[ 2l8 ] 

upon tliofe, (that is, little children) who had not finned after 
the fimilitude o^ Alarns tranll^reilion ;" who had not been 
guilty of a(£lual fin, and therefore could not be puniflied with 
temporal death (which came into the world, as this fame 
apoftle elfcwhcrc informs us, only by fin) had not the difo- 
bedience of our firft parents been imputed to them. So that 
what has been faid in this point fcems to be excellently fum- 
med up in that article of our church, where (he declares, 
that " Original fin flandeth not in the following of Adam^ 
*' but it is the fault and corruption of every man, that na- 
'« turally is engendered of the offspring of Adam ; whereby 
" man is very far gone from original righteoufnefs, and is 
" of his own nature inclined to evil, fo that the flefh lufteth 
*' always contrary to the fpirit ; and therefore in every perfon 
^' born into this world, it deferveth God's wrath and damna- 
*' lion." 

I have been more particular in treating cf this point, be- 
caufe it is the very foundation of the chriftian religion : For 
I am verily perfuaded, that it is nothing but a want of being 
well grounded in the doctrine of original fin, and of the help- 
lefs, nay, I may fay, damnable condition, each of us comes 
into the world in, that makes fo many infidels oppofe, and 
fo many who call themfelves cbrifl:ians, fo very lukewarm in 
their love and afredlions to Jesus Christ. It is this, and 
I could almoft fay, this only, that makes infidelity abound 
among us fo much as it does. For, alas ! we are miftaken 
if we imagine that men now commence or continue infidels, 
and fet up corrupted reafon in oppofition to divine revelation 
merely for want of evidence, (for I believe it might eafily be 
proved, that a modern unbeliever is the mcft credulous 
creature living ;) no, it is only for want of an humble 
mind, of a fenfe of their original depravity, and a wllling- 
iiefs to own themfelves fo depraved, that makes them fo 
obftinatcly fiiut their eyes againft the light of the glorious 
gofpel of Christ. XVhereas, on the contrary, were they 
but once pricked to the heart with a due and lively fenfe of 
their natural corruption and liablenefs to condernnation, we 
ihould have them no more fcoifing at divine revelation, and 
look'iig on it as an idle tale \ but they would ccy out with 
5 , ,'••■'■ the 

[ 219 ] 

the trembling jaylor, "What fliali I do to be faved ?" It 
was an error in this fundamental point, that made fo many 
refift the evidence the Son of God himfelf gave of his divine 
miilion, vi^hen he tabernacled amongfi us. Every word he 
fpake, every adion he did, every miracle he wrought, proved 
that he came from God. And why then did fo many harden 
their hearts, and would not believe his report? Why, he 
himfelf informs us, " They will not come unto me that they 
may have life :" They will obftinately ftand out againft thofe 
means God had appointed for their falvation : And St. Paul 
tells us, " that if the gofpel be hid, it is hid to them that are 
loft ; in whom the God oi this world hath blinded the eyes 
of them which believe not, left the light of the glorious gof- 
pel of Christ, who is the image of God, fnould ftiiae upori 
them." 2 Cor, iv. 3, 4. 

If it be afkcd, how it fuits with the divine goodnefs, to im- 
pute the guilt of one man's ftn, to an innocent pofterity } I 
fhould think it fufficient to make ufe of the apoftle's words : 
«' Nay, but O man, who art thou that replieft againft God ? 
Shall the thing formed fay to him that formed it, why haft 
thou made me thus r" But to come to a more dire<5l: reply : 
Perfons would do well to confider that in the firft covenant 
God made with man, Adam acted as a public perfon, as the 
common reprefentative of all mankind, and confequently we 
muft ftand or fall vv^ith him. Had he continued in his obe- 
dience, and not eaten the forbidden fruit, the benefits of that 
obedience would doubtlefs have been imputed to us : But 
fmce he did not perfift in it, but broke the covenant made 
with him, and us in him ; who dares charge the righteous 
Judge of all the earth with injuftice for imputing that to us 
^Ifo ? I proceed, 

Secondly, To prove that we ftand in need of being juftified, 
on account of the fin of our lives. 

That God, as he made man, has a right to demand his 
obedience, I fuppofe is a truth no one will deny: that he 
hath alfo given us both a natural and a written law, whereby 
V/e are to be judged, cannot be qucftioned by any on^ who 


[ 220 ] 

bellcvcB ^t. PauVs cpiftle to the Rcrnnns to be of divine autho-. 
rity : For in it we are told of a lav/ written in the heart, 
and a law given by Mofcs ; and that each of us hath broken 
thefe laws, is too evident from our fad and frequent expe- 
rience. Accordingly the holy icriptures inform us that 
" there is no man which liveth and finncth not j'* that " in 
many things we offend all ;" that " if v/e fay we have no 
fm we deceive ourfclves," and fuch like. And if we are thus 
offenders againft God, it follows, that we fland in need of 
forgivenefs for thus offending Him ; unlefs we fuppofe God 
to enacSl laws, and at the fame time not care whether they are 
obeyed or no ; which is as abfurd as to fuppofe that a prince 
fhould eftablifti laws for the proper government of his country, 
and yet let every violator of them come off with impunity. 
But God has not dealt fo foolilhly with his creatures : no, 
as he gave us a law, he demands our obedience to that law, 
and has obliged us univerfally and perfeveringly to obey it, 
under no lefs a penalty than incurring his curfe and eternal 
death for every breach of it : For thus fpeaks the fcripture ; 
" Curfed is he.that continucth not in ail things that are writ- 
ten in the law to do them ;" as the fcripture alfo fpeaketh in 
another place, " The foul that fmneth, it fhall die." Now 
it has already been proved, that we have all of us finned ; 
and therefore, unlefs fome means can be found to fatisfy 
God's juflice, we mufi: perifh eternally. 

Let us then {land a while, and fee in what a deplorable 
condition each of us comes into the world, and ftill conti- 
nues, till v*^e are tranflated into a ftate of grace. For furely 
nothing can well be fuppofcd more deplorable, than to be 
born under the curfc of God ; to be charged with original 
guilt; and not only fo, but to be convi6^ed as a6lual breakers 
of God's law, the leaft breach of which iuftly deferves eter- 
nal damnation. Surely this can be but a melancholy profpc6l 
to view ourfelves in, and muft put us upon contriving fome 
means whereby we may fatisfy and appeafe our offended judge. 
But what muft thofe means -be? Shall we repent? Alas! 
there is not one word of repentance mentioned in the flrft 
covenant : " The day that thou eateft thereof, thou fhalt 
farely die." So that, if God be true, unlefs there be fome 
1 way 


[ 221 ] 

way found out to fatlsfy divine juftice, we muft perifli ; and 
there is no room left for us to expert a change of mind in 
God, though we fhould feck it with tears. Well then, if 
repentance will not do, fliall we plead the law of works ? 
Alas 1 " By the law fliall no man living bfe juftified : 
for by the law comes the knowledge of Sin." It is that 
which convidls and condemns, and therefore can by no 
means juftify us; and " all our righteoufnefles (fays the 
prophet) are but as filthy rags." Wherewith then fhall 
we come before the Lord, and bow down before the 
moft high God ? Shall we come before Him with calves 
of a year old, with thoufands oFrams, or ten thoufands 
of rivers of oil ? Alas ! God has fhewed thee, O man, 
that this will not avail : For he hath declared, " I will take 
no bullock out of thy houfe, nor he-goat out of thy fold: 
for all the beafts of the forefts are mine, and fo are the cattle 
upon a thoufand hills." Will the Lord then be pleafed to 
accept our firft-born for our tranfgreffion, the fruit of our 
bodies for the fm of our fouls ? Even this will not purchafe 
our pardon : for he hath declared that " the children fhall 
not bear the iniquities of their parents." Befides, they are 
fmners, and therefore, being under the fame condemna- 
tion, equally fland in need of forgivenefs with ourfelves. 
They are impure, and will the Lord accept the blind and 
Jame for facrifice ? Shall fome angel then, or archan^^el, 
undertake to fulfill the covenant which we have broken, and 
make atonement for us? Alas! they are only creatures, 
though creatures of the highefl order; and therefore are 
obliged to obey God as well as we ; and after they have done 
all, muft fay they have done no more than what was their 
duty to do. And fuppofmg it was pofTible for them to die, 
yet how could the death of a finite creature fatisfy an infinitely 
offended juflice ? O wretched men that we are ! Who (hall 
deliver us ? I thank God, our Lord Jesus Christ. Which 
naturally leads me to the 

Third thing propofed, which was to endeavour to prov(?, 
that there is no poHibility ©f obtaining this juftification, which 
we fo much want, but by the all-perfe6t obedience and pre- 

[ 222 ] 
clous death of JEsus Christ, " But ye arejuftified in the 
name of our Lord Jesus Christ." 

But this having been in fome meafure proved by wh^t has 
been faid under the foregoing head, wherein I have fhewn 
that neither our repentance, righteoufnefs, nor facrifice, no 
not the obedience and death of angels themfelves, could pof- 
fibly procure juftification for us, nothing remains for me to 
do under this head, but to fhew that Jesus Christ has pro- 
cured it for us. 

And here I (hall ftlll htve recourfe " to the hw and to 
the tellimony." For after all the molt fubtle difputations on 
either fule, nothing but the lively oracles of God can give 
us any fatisfa£lion in this momentous point : it being fuch an 
inconceivable myftery, that the eternal only-begotten Son of 
God fhould die for finful man, that we durft not have pre- 
funded fo much as to have thought of it, had not God re- 
vealed it in his holy word. It is true, reafon may ihew us 
the wound, but revelation only can lead us to the means of 
our cure. And though the method God has been pleafed 
to take to make us happy, may be to the infidel a flumbling- 
block, and to the wife opiniator and difputer of this world, 
foolifhnefs ; yet wifdom, that is, the difpenfation of our re- 
demption, will be juftified, approved of, and fubmitted to, by 
all her truly wife and holy children, by every fmcere and up- 
right chriftian. 

But to come more directly to the point before us. Two 
things, as was before obferved, we wanted, in order to be at 
peace with God. 

1. To be freed from the guilt of the fin of our nature. 

2. From the fin of our lives. 

And both thefe (thanks be to God for this unfpeakable 
gift) are fecured to believers by the obedience and d:ath of 
Jesus Christ, For what fays the fcripture ? 

I. As 

[ 223 ] 

1. As to thtjirj}^ it informs us, that " as by the^ifobcdi- 
cnce of one man, (or by one tranfgreflion, namely, that of 
Adam) many were made fmners ; fo by the obedience of one, 
Jesus Christ (therein including his paflive as well as ac- 
tive obedience) many were made righteous.'* And a^rain, 
'• As by the d.fobedience of one man, judgment came upon 
ail men unto condemnation ;" or all men were condemned oji 
having Adams fin imputed to them ; " fo by the obedience of 
one, that is, Jesus Christ, the free gift of pardon and 
peace came upon all men, (all forts of men) unto juftifica- 
tion of life." 1 fay all forts of men ; for the apoftle in this 
chapter is only drawing a parallel between the firlland fecond 
Adatn in this refpedl, that they aded both as reprcfentatives ; 
and as the pofterity of Adam had his fin imputed to them, fo 
thofe for whom Christ died, and whofe reprefentative he h^ 
fhall have his merits imputed to them alfo. Whoever run 
the parallel farther, in order to prove univcrfal redemption 
(whatever arguments they may draw for the proof of it from 
other pafTages of fcripture,) if they would draw one from 
this for that purpofe, 1 think they ftrctch their line of inter- 
pretation beyond the limits of fcripture. 

2. Pardon for the fin of our lives was another thin?, 
which we wanted to have fecured to us, before we could be 
at peace with Gcd. 

And this the holy fcriptures inform us, is abundantly done 
by the death of Jesus Christ, The evangelical prophet 
foretold that the promifed Redeemer (hould be " wounded 
for our tranfgrefTions, and bruifed for our iniquities; that 
the chaftifement of our peace (liould be upon him ; and 
that by his ftripes we fliould be healed," Ifaiah liii. 6. The 
angels at his birth faid, that he (hould " fave his people from 
their fins." And St. Paul declares, that " this is a faithful 
faying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ 
came into the world to fave fmners." And here in the 
words of the text, " Such (or, as I nbferved before, thefe 
things) were fome of you; but ye are wafhed, 5cc." and 
again, " Jesus Christ is the end of the law for righteouf-r 
ncfs to every one that believeth." And, to fnevv us that 


[ 224 ] 

none but Jesus Christ can do all this, the apoftle St. PeW 
fays, " Neither Is their falvation in any other j for there is 
no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we 
muft be favcd, but the name of Jesus Christ. 

How God will be pleafed to deal with the Gentiles^ who 
yet fit in darknefs and under the (hadow of death, and upon 
whom the fun of righteoufnefs never yet arofe, is not for us 
to enquire. " What have we to do to judge thofe that are 
without ?'* To God's mercy let us recommend them, and 
wait for a folution of this and every other difficult point, till 
the great day of accounts, when all God's difpcnfations, 
both of providence and grace, will be fully cleared up by 
methods to us, as yet unknown, becaufe unrevealed. How- 
ever, this we know, that the judge of all the earth willj moft 
afliiredly, do right. 

But it is time for me to dravi' towards a conclufion. 

I have now, brethren, by the blefling of God, difcourfec^ 
on the words of the text in the method I propofed. Many 
ufeful inferences might be drawn from what has been deli- 
vered J but as I have detained you, I fear, too long already, 
permit me only to make a refle6lion or two on what has beea 
faid, and I have dene. 

If then we are freely ju ft ified by the death and obedience 
of Jesus Christ, let us here paufe a while ; and as before: 
we have rcfleded on the mifery of a fallen, let us now turn 
afide and fee the happinefs of the believing, foul. But alas ! 
how am I loft to think that God the Father, when we were 
in a ftate of enmity and rebellion againfi: Him, fhould not- 
withftanding yearn in his bovi^els towards us his faHen, his 
apoftate creatures : And becaufe nothing but an infinite ran- 
fom could fatisfy an infinitely oflended juftice, that fhould 
fend his only and dear Son Jesus Christ (who is God, 
blefled for ever, and who had lain in his bofom from all eter- 
nity) to fulfil the covenant of works, and die a curfed, pain- 
ful, ignominious death, for us and for our falvation ! wha 
can avoid crying out, at the confideration of this myftery of 


[ 225 ] 

godlinefs. /' Oh^thc depth of the riches of God's love" to us 
his wretched, miferable and undone creatures ! " How un- 
fearchable is his mercy, and his ways paft finding out 1" 
Now know we of a truth, O God, that thou haft loved us, 
*' fince thou hall not with-held thy Son, thine only Son 
Jesus Christ,'* from thus doing and dying for us. 

But as we admire the Father fending, let us likewlfe hum- 
bly and thankfully adore the Son coming, when fent to die 
for man. But O ! what thoughts can conceive, what words 
exprefs the infinite greatnefs of that unparalleled love, which 
engaged the Son of God to come down from the manfions 
of his Father's glory to obey and die for finful man ! The 
yeivsy when he only fh?d a tear at poor Lazarus's funeral, 
faid, " Behold how he loved him." How much more juftly 
then may we cry out. Behold how he loved us 1 When he 
not only fulfilled the whole moral law, but did not fpare to 
ihed his own moft precious blood for us. 

And can any poor truly-convi£led firuner, after this, de- 
fpair of mercy ? What, can they fee their Saviour hanging 
on a tree, with arms ftretched out ready to embrace them^ 
and yet, on their truly believing on him, doubt of finding 
acceptance with him ? No, away with all fuch difhonour- 
able, defponding thoughts. Look on his hands, bored with 
pins of iron; look on his fide, pierced with a cruel fpear, 
to let loofe the fluices of his blood, and open a fountain for 
fin, and for all uncleannefs ; and then defpair of mercy if 
you can ! No, only believe in Him, and then, though you 
have crucified him afrefh, yet will he abundantly pardon you ; 
♦' though your fins be as fcarlet, yet (hall they be as wool ; 
though deeper than crimfon, yet (hall they be whiter than 

Whicb God of his infinite mercy grant, ^cc, 

Vol. VI. ft SERMON 



[ 227 ] 


The great Duty of Charity recommended. 

I Cor. xiii. 8. 
Charity never faikth, 

NOTHING is more valuable and commendable, and 
yet, not one duty is lefs pra6^ifed, than that of charity. 
We often pretend concern and pity for the mifery and diflrefs 
of our fellow-creatures, but yet we feldom commifcrate their 
condition fo much as to relieve them according to our abi- 
lities J but unlefs we alTift them with what they may iland in 
need of, for the body, as well as for the foul, all our wifhes 
are no more than w^ords of no value or regard, and are not 
to be efteemed or regarded : for when we hear of any de- 
plorable circumftance, in which our fellow-creatures are 
involved, be they friends or enemies ; it is our duty, as 
chriftians, to afTift them to the utmofl of our power. 

Indeed, we are not, my brethren, to hurt ourfelves or our 
families ; this is not that charity which i s fo much recom- 
mended by St. Paul \ no, but if we are any ways capable of 
relieving them vvithout injuring either ourfelves, or families, 
then it is cur duty to do it ; and this never faileth, where it 
proceeds from a right end, and with a right view. 

St. Paul had been fhewing, in the preceding chapter, that 
fpiritual gifts were divers ; that God had difpofed of one blcf- 
fing to one, and another to another ; and though there was a 
diverfity of blcfTings, God did not beftow them to one perfon, 
but gave to one a bkffing which he denied to another, and 
P 2 gave 

[ -2S 1 

gave a blefling, or a gift to the other which might make him 
as eminent in one way, as the other's gift made him fo in an- 
other : but though there are thefe divers fpiritual gifts, they 
are all aivcn fcr fome wife end, even to profit withal, and to 
that end they are thus diverfly beftowed. We are not, on the 
one hand, to hide thofe gifts which God has given us: neither 
are we, on the other, to be fo lavifh of them, as to fpend 
them upon our lufts and pleafures, to fatisfy our fenfual appe- 
tites, but they are to be ufed for the glory of God, and the 
o-ood of immortal fouls. After he had particularly illuftrated 
this, he comes to iliew, that all gifts, however great they 
may be in themfelves, are of no value unlefs we have charity, 
as you may fee particularly, by confidering from the begin- 
ning of this chapter. 

But before I go any further, I fhall inform you what the 
apoftle means by charity -, and that is, Love ; if there is true 
love, there will be charity ; there will be an endeavour to 
affift, help, and relieve according to that ability wherev^'ith 
God has bleiTed us : and, fince this is fo much recommended 
by the apoftle, let us fee how valuable this charity is, and 
how commendable in all thofe who purfue it. I fhall, 

I. Confider this bleiling as relating to the bodies of men. 

II. I fhall {hew how much more valuable it is, when re- 
lating to the fouls of men. 

III. Shall (hew you when your charity is of the right kind. 

IV. Why this charity, or the grace of love, never faileth. 

V. Shall conclude all, with an exhortation to high and 
low, rich and poor, one with another, to be found in the 
conftant pradlice of this valuable and commendable duty. 

Firji^ I {hall confider this duty, as relating td the bodies of 
fnen. And, 

I. O 

t 229 ] 

I. O that the rich would confider how pJ-aife-vVorthy this 
duty is, in helping their fellow -treatures! We were created t(> 
be a help to each other; God has made no one fo indepen- 
dent as not to need the affiftance of another ; the richeft and 
moft powerful man upon the face of this earth, needs the help 
and afTiftauce of thofe who are around him; and though he 
may be great to-day, a thcufand accidents may make him as 
low to-morrow J he that is rolling in plenty to-day, may be 
in as much fcarcity to-morrow. If our rich men would be 
more charitable to their poor friends and neighbours, it 
would be a means of recommending them to the favour of 
others, if Providence (hould frown upon them ; but alas, our 
great men had much rather fpend their money in a playhoufe^ 
at a ball, an aflembly, or a mafquerade, than relieve a poor 
diftrefTed fervant of Jesus Christ. They had rather fpend 
their eftates on their hawks and hounds, on their whores, and 
earthly, fenfual, devilifh pleafureSj than comfortj nourifh, or 
relieve one of their diftrefTed fellow-creatures. What diffe- 
rence is there between the king on the throne, and the beggar 
on the dunghill, when God demands their breaths ? There 
is no difference, my brethren, in the grave, nor will there 
be any at the day of judgment. You will not be excufed 
becaufe you have had a great eftate, a fine houfe, and lived in 
all the pleafures that earth could afford you j no, thefe things 
will be one means of your condemnation ; neither will you be 
judged according to the largenefs of your eftate, but accord- 
ing to the ufe you have made of it* 

NoWj you may think nothing but of your pieafurfes and 
delights, of living in eafe and plenty, and never confider how 
many thoufands of your fellow-creatures would rejoice at 
what you are making wafte of, and fetting no account by. 
Let me bsfeech you, my rich brethren, to confider the poor 
of the world, and how commendable and praife-worthy it is 
to relieve thofe who are diftreffed. Confider, how pleafing 
this is to Got), how delightful it is to rhan, and how many 
prayers you will have put up for your welfare, by thofe per- 
f^ns whom you relieve ; and let this be a confidcration to 
fpare a little out of the abundance wherewith God has 

P 3 bleiTed 

[ 230 ] 

bicfled you, or the relief of his poor. He could have placed 
you in their low condition, and they in your high flate ; it 
is only his good plcafure that has thus made the difFerence, 
and fhall not this make you remember your diftrefTed fellow- 
creatures ? 

Let me befeech you to confider, which will ftand you beft 
at the day of judgment, fo much money expended at a horfe- 
race, at a cockpit, at a play or mafquerade, or fo much given 
for the relief of your fellow-creatures, and for the diftrefild 
members of Jesus Christ. 

I befeech you, that you would confider how valuable and 
commendable this duty is : do not be angry at my thus ex- 
horting you to that duty, which is fo much recommended by 
Jesus Christ himfelf, and by all his apoftles : 1 fpeak par- 
ticularly to you, my rich brethren, to intreat you to confider 
thofe that are poor in this world, and help them from time to 
time, as their neceility calls for it. Confider, that there is a 
curfe denounced againft the riches of thofe, who do not thus 
do good with them; namely, " Go to now you rich men, 
weep and howl for your miferies that (hall come upon you ; 
your riches aie corrupted, your garments are moth-eaten, 
your gold and filver is cankered, and the ruft of them (hall 
be a witnefs againft you, and fhall eat your flefti, as it were 
fire ; ye have heaped your treafure together for the laft day." 
You fee the dreadful wue pronounced againft all thofe who 
hoard up the abundance of the things of this life, without re- 
lieving the diftrefles of thofe who are in want thereof: and 
the apoftle y^w^i goes on alfo to fpeak againft thofe who have 
acquired eftates by fraud, as too many have in thefe days, 
" Behold the hire of the labourers, which have reaped down 
your fields, which is by you kept back by fraud, crieth ; and 
the cries of them who have reaped, are entered into the ears 
of the Lord God of Sabbaoth. Ye have lived in pleafure 
on the earth, and been wanton ; ye have nourifhed your 
hearts, as in a day of flaughter." Thus, if you go on to 
live after the luft of the flefli, to pamper your bellies, and 
make them a God, while the poor all round you are ftarving, 
5 God 

[ 231 1 

God will make thefe things a witnefs againll you, which 
fhall be as a wormto your fouls, and gnaw your confciences 
to all eternity ; therefore, let me once more recommend cha- 
rity unto the bodies of men, and befeech you to remember 
what the blefied Lord Jesus Christ has promifed unto 
thofe who thus love his members, that *' as they have done 
it to the lead of his members, they have done it unto him." 

I am not now fpeaking for myfelf j I am not recommend- 
ing my little flock in Georgia to you ; then you might fay, as 
many wantonly do, that I wanted the money for myfelf ; rio, 
my brethren, I am now recommending the poor of this land 
to you, your poor neighbours, poor friends, yea, your poor 
enemies ; they are whom I am now fpeaking for ; and when 
I fee fo many ftarving in the ftreets, and almoft naked, my 
bov/els are moved with pity and concern, to confider, that 
many in whofe power it is, to lend their aflifting hand, fhou'.d 
fhut up their bowels of companion, and will not relieve their 
fellow-creatures, though in the moH deplorable condition for 
the want thereof. 

As I have thus recommended charity particularly to the 
rich among you 3 fo now I would, 

2. Secondly^ Recommend this to another fet of people among 
us, who, inftead of being the moft forward in a£ts of cha- 
rity, are commonly the moft backward ; I mean the clergy of 
this land. 

Good God ! how amazing is the confideration, that thofe, 
whom God has called out to labour in fpiritual things, (hould 
be fo backward in this duty, as fatal experience teacheth. 
Our clergy (that is the generality thereof) are only fceking 
after preferment, running up and down, to obtain one be- 
nefice after another; and to heap up an eftate, either to 
fpend on the pleafures of life, or to gratify their fenfual ap- 
petites, while the poor of their flock are forgotten ; nay, 
worfe, they are fcorned, hated, and difdained, 

P 4 I am 

[ ^32 ] 

I am not now, my brethren, fpeaking of all the clergy; 
no, blefled be God, there are fome among them, u'ho abhor 
fuch proceedings, and are willing to relieve the nrcefTitous ; 
but God knows, thefe are but very few, wh.le many take 
no thought of the poor among them. 

They can vifit the rich and the great, but the poor they 
cannot bear in their fight ; they are forgetful, wilfully forget- 
ful of the poor members of Jesus Christ. 

They have gone out of the old paths, and turned into a 
new polite way, but which is not warranted in the word of 
God : they are funk into a fine way of ading; but as fine as 
it is, it was not the pracSlice of the apcflles, or of the chrifti- 
ans in any age of the church : for they vifited and relieved 
ihe poor among them ; but how rare is- this among us, how 
feldom do we find charity in a clergyman ? 

'It is with grief I fpcak thefe things, but woful experience 
is a witnefs to the truth thereof : and if all the clergy of this 
land were here, I would tell them boldly, that they did not 
keep in the ways of charity, but were remifs in their duty ; 
inftead of " felling all and giving to the poor," they will not 
fell any thing, nor give at all to the poor. 

3. Thirdly, I would exhort you who are poor, to be cha- 
ritable to one another. 

Though you may not have money, or the things of this 
life, to beftow upon one another ; yet you may afTift them, 
by comforting, and advifing them not to be difcouraged 
though they are low in the world ; or in ficknefs you may 
help them according as you have time or ability : do not 
be unkind to one another : do not grieve, or vex, cr be 
angry with each other , for this is giving the world an advan- 
tage over you. 

And if God ftirs up any to relieve you, do not make an 
ill ufe of what his providence, by the hands of fome chriftian,. 

t 233 ] 

hath beftowecl upon you ; be always humble and wait on 
God ; do not murmur or repine, if you fee any relieved and 
you are not ; ftill wait on the Lord, and help one another, 
according to your abilities, from time to time. 

Having Ihewed you how valuable this is to the bodies of 
men, I now proceed. 

Secondly^ To (hew you how much more valuable this charity 
is, when it extends to the fouls of men. 

And is not the foul more valuable than the body ? It would 
be of no advantage, but an infinite difadvantage, to obtain all 
the world, if we were to lofe our fouls. The foul is of infinite 
value, and of infinite concern, and, therefore, we fhould ex- 
tend our charity whenever we fee it needful, and likevvife 
fhould reprove, rebuke, and exhort with all godlinefs and 

We fhould, my dear brethrien, ufe all means and opportu- 
nities for the falvation of our own fouls, and of the fouls of 
others. We may have a great deal of charity and concern for 
the bodies of our fellow-creatures, when we have no thought, 
or concern, for their immortal fouls : But O how fad is it, to 
have thought for a mortal, but not for the immortal part; to 
have charity for the body of our fellow-creatures, while we 
have no concern for their immortal fouls ; it may be, we help 
them to ruin them, but have no concern in the faving of 

You may love to fpend a merry evening, to go to a play, 
or a horfe-race, with them; but on the other hand, you can- 
not bear the thoughts of going to a fermon, or a religious 
fociety, with them ; no, you would fing the fongs of the 
drunkard, but you will not fing hymns, with them ; this is 
not polite enough, this is unbecoming a gentleman of tafte, 
unfafhionable, and only practifed among a parcel of enthufiails 
and madmen. 


t 234 ] 


Thus, you will be (o uncharitable as to join hand in hand | 
with thofe who are haftening to their own damnation, while \ 
you will not be fo charitable as to aflift them in being brought j 
from darknefs to light, and from the power of Satan unto • 

God. But this, this, my dear brethren, is the greateft cha- -i 
rity, as can be, to fave a foul from death : this is of far greater 
advantage, than relieving the body of a fellow-creature : for 
the moft miferable obje6t as could be, death would deliver it 
from all. But death, to thofe who are not born again, would 
be fo far from being a releafe from all mifery, that it would 
"be an inlet to all torment, and that to all eternity. There- 
fore, we fhould aiTift, as much as poffible, to keep a foul from 
falling into the hands of Satan : for he is the grand enemy of 
fouls. How fhould this excite you to watch over your own 
and others fouls P for unlefs you are earneft with God, Satan 
will be too hard for you. Surely, it is the greateft charity to 
watch over one another*s words and adlions, that we may 
forewarn each other when danger is nigh, or when the enemy 
of fouls approaches. 

And if you have once known the value of your own fouls, 
and know what it is to be fnatched as brands out of the burn- 
ing fire, you will be felicitous that others may be brought out 
of the fame flate. It is not the leading of a moral life, being 
honeft, and paying every man his juft due 5 this is not a prodf 
of your being in a ftate of grace, or of being born again, 
and renewed in the fpirit of your minds : No, you may die 
honeft, juft, charitable, and yet not be in a ftate of falva- 

It is not the preaching of that morality, which moft of our 
pulpits now bring forth, that is fufticient to bring you from 
fin unto God. I faw you willing to learn, and yet were ig- 
norant of the neceflity of being born again, regenerated, of 
having all old things done away, and all things becoming 
new in your fouls : I could not bear, my brethren, to fee you 
in the highway to dcftrudion, and none to bring you back. 
It was \o\Q to your fouls, it was a defue to fee Christ 


[ 235 ] 

formed in you, which brought nie into the fielJs, the high- 
ways, and hedges, to preach unto you Jesus, a crucified 
Jesus as dying tor you. It was charity, indeed it was charity 
to your fouls, which has expofed me to the prefcnt ill treat- 
ment of my letter-learned brethren. 

Therefore, let me advife you to be charitable to the fouls 
of one another ; that is, by advifing them with all love and 
tendernefs, to follow after Christ, and the things which be- 
long to their immortal peace, before they be for ever hid from 
their eyes. 

I now proceed, in the 

Tlnrd place, to fhew when your charity is of the right 

And here, my brethren, I (hall fiiew, F'lrji^ When it is 
noti and. Secondly^ When it is of the right kind. 

I. F/r/?, Your charity is not of the right kind, when It 
proceeds from worldly views or ends. 

If it is to be feen of men, to receive any advantage from 
them, to be efteemed, or to gain a reputation in the world ; 
or if you have any pride in it, and expecl to reap benefit from 
God merely for it ; if all, or each of thefs is the end of your 
charity, then it is all in vain ; your charity does not proceed 
from a right end, but you are hereby deceiving your own 
fouls. If you give an alms purely to be obferved by man, or 
as expelling favour from God, merely on the account thereof, 
then you have not the glory of God, or the benefit of your 
fellow-creatures at heart, but merely yourfelf: this, this is 
not charity. Nor, 

Secondly, Is that true charity, when we give any thing io 
our fellow-creatures purely to indulge them in vice : this is 
id far from being charity, that it is a fin, both againlf God, 
and a^ainfl our fellovz-creaturcs. And yet, this is as common. 

[ 236 ] 

as it is fiiifu], to carry our friends, under a fpecious pretence 
of charity, to one or the other entertainment, with no other 
view, but to make them j;uilty of excefs. Hereby you are 
gulry of a double fm : we are not to fm ourfelves, much lefs 
Ihould we endeavour to make another fm likewife. But, 

Thirdly^ Our charity comes from a right end, when it pro- 
ceeds from love to God, and for the welfare both of the 
body and foul of our fellow-creatures. 

When this is the fole end of relieving our diftrefTed fellow- 
creatures, then our charity comes from a right end, and we 
may expect to reap advantage by it : this is the charity which 
is pleafing to GcD. God is well pleafed, when all our a6tions 
proceed from love, love to himfelf, and love to immortal fouls. 

Confider, my dear brethren, that it was love for fouls, 
that brought the blefled Jesus down from the bofom of his 
Father; that made him, who was equal in power and glory, 
to come and take upon him our nature ; that caufed the 
Lord of life to die the painful, ignominious, and accurfed 
death of the crofs. It was love to immortal fouls, that 
brought this blefied Jesus among us. And O that we might 
hence confider how great the value of fouls was and is ; it 
was that which made Jesus to bleed, pant, and die. And 
furely fouls muft be of infinite worth, which made the Lamb 
of God to die fo fliameful a death. 

And fliall not this make you have a true value for fouls ? 
It is of the greateft worth : and this, this is the greatefl cha- 
rity, when it comes from love to God, and from love to 
fouls. This will be a charity, the fatisfadion of which will 
laft to all eternity. O that this may mak€ you have fo much 
regard for the value of fouls, as not to negledt all opportuni- 
ties for the doing of them good : here is fomething worth 
having charity for, becaufe they remain to all eternity, 
Therefoie^ let me earneftly befeech you both to confider the 
worth of immortal fouls, and let your charity extend to them, 
that by your ad vice and admonition, you may be an inftru- 


C 237 ] 

ment, in the hands of God, in bringing fouls to the LoRil 

I Jesus. 

I am in the next place to confider, 

Fourthly^ Why this charity, or grace of love never faileth. 

And it never faileth in rcfpedl of its proceeding from an 
unchangeable God. We are not to undcrftand, that our 
charity is always the fame : No, there may, and frequently 
are, ebbs and flowings ; but ftili it never totally faileth : No, 
the grace of love remaineth for ever. There is, and will be, 
a charity to all who have erred and run aftray from God. Wc 
cannot be eafy to fee fouls in the highway to deftruotion, and 
not ufe our utmofl endeavour to bring them back from fin, 
and (hrw them the dreadful confequence of running into evil. 
Chrifl.ans cannot bear to fee thofe fouls for whom Christ 
d.ed, per^fh for want of knowledge: and if they fee any of 
thi^ bodies of their fellow-creatures in want, they will do the 
utmolt in their power to relieve them. 

Charity will never fail, among thofe who have a true love 
to the Lord Jesus, and know the value of fouls : they will 
be cnaritable to thofe who are in diftrefs. And thus you fee, 
that true charity, if it proceeds from a right end, never 

I now proceed, my brethren, in the 

Lajl place, to exhort all of you, high and low, rich and 
poor, one with another, to practice this valuable and com- 
mendable duty of charity. 

It is not rolling in your coaches, taking your pleafure, and 
not confidering the miferies of your fellow-creatures, that is 
commendable or praife-worthy j but the relieving your di- 
ftjefled poor fellow-creatures, is valuable and praife-worthy 
wherever it is found. But alas ! bow very few of our gay 
^nd polite gentlemen confider their poor friends 3 rather they 


[ 238 ] 

defpifc, and do not regard them. They can Indulge them- 
fdves in the follies of hfe, and had much rather fpend their 
cflates in I lifts and pleafures, while the poor all round them 
are not thought worthy to be fet with the dogs of their flock. 
If you have an abundance of the things of this world, then 
you are efteemed as companions for the polite and gay in life ; 
but if vou are poor, then you muft not expe61: to find any fa- 
vour, but be hated, or not thought fit for company or coji- 
verfation : and if you have an abundance of the things of 
this life, and do not want any affiftance, then you have many 
ready to help you. My dear brethren, I do not doubt but 
your own experience is a proof of my aflertions ; as alfo, that 
if any come into diftrefs, then thofe, who promifed to give 
relief, quite forget what they promife, and will defpife, becaufe ^ 
Providence has frowned. But this is not adding like thofe 
who are bound for the hezv^nly Jsrufakm ; thus our hearts 
and our a6lions give our lips the lie : for if we profefs the 
name of Christ, and do not depart from all iniquity, we are 
not thofe, who are worthy of being efleemcd chriftians 

For, if we have not charity, we are not chriflians : charity 
is the great duty of chriftians : and where is our chriftianity, 
if we want charity ? Therefore, let me befcech you to exer- 
cife charity to your diftrefied fellow-creatures. Indeed, my 
dear brethren, this is truly commendable, truly valuable; and 
therefore, I befeech you, in the bowels of tender mercy to 
Christ, to confider his poor diftrefled members ; exercife, 
exercife, I befeech you, this charity : if you have no gom- 
paflion, you are not true difciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. 
I humbly beg you to confider thofe who want relief, and are 
really deftitute, and relieve them according to your abilities. 
Confider, that the more favourable Providence has been to 
you, it ftiould make you the more earneft and folicitous to 
relieve thofe whom you may find in diftrefs : it is of the ut- 
moft confequence, what is well pleafing to your fellpw-crea- 
tures, and doing your duty to GoD. 

When you are called from hence, then all riches and 
grandeur will be over 3 the grave will make no diftindlion ; 


[ 239 ] 

great eftates will be of no figniticatioin in the other world • 
and if you have made a bad ufe of the talent which God hath 
put into your hands, it will be only an aggravation of your 
condemnation at the great day of account, when God (hall 
come to demand your fouls, and to call you to an account, for 
the ufe to which you have put the abundance of the things of 
this life. 

To conclude, let me once more befeech each of you to 
a<St according to jhe circumftances of life, which God, in 
his rich and free mercy, has given you. 

If you were fenfible of the great confequences which would 
attend your ading in this charitable manner, and confidercd 
it as a proof of your love to God, the loving his members ; 
you could not be uncharitable in your tempers, nor fail to 
relieve any of your diftrelTed fellow creatures. 

Confider hovir eafy it is for many of you, by putting your 
mites together, to help one who is in diitrefs ; and how can 
you tell, but that the little you give, may be the means of 
biinging one from diftrefs into flourifiiing circumftances; 
and then, if there is a true fplrit of a chriftian in them, they 
can never be fufficiently thankful to God the author, and to 
you as the inftrument, in being fo great a friend to them in 
their melancholy circumftances : confider alfo, once more, 
how much better your account will be at the day of judgment, 
and what peace of confcience you will enjoy. How fatisfac- 
tory muft be the thought of having relieved the widow and 
the fatherlefs ? This is recommended by the Lord Jesus 
Christ, and has been pradifed in all ages of the church : 
and therefore, my brethren, be ye now found in the pra^Stice 
of this duty. 

I have been the larger upon this, becaufe our enemies fay 
>ve deny all moral anions ; but, blefled be God, they fpeak 
againft us without caufe : we highly value them ; but we 
fay, that faith in Christ, the love of God, and being born 
again, are of infinite more worth 3 but you cannot be true 


[ 240 ] 

eliriillans without having charity to your fellow- creatures, be 
they friends or enemies, if in diftrefs. And, therefore, exert 
yourfelves in this duty, as is commanded by the bleiled Jesus : 
and if you have true charity, you fhall live and reign with, 
him for ever. 

Now to God the Father, God the Son, and God the 
Holy Ghoft, be all honour, power, glory, might, ma- 
jefty, and dominion, both now and for evermore. Jmen^ 


[ 241 ) 


Satan's Devices, 

2 Cor. ii. ii. 

Left Satan /Iiould get an advantage over us ; for we are 
not ignorant of his devices, 

THE cccafion of thefe words was as follows : In the 
church of Corinth there was an unhappy perfon, who 
had committed fuch inceft, as was not fo much as named 
among the Gentiles^ in taking his father's wife ; but either on 
account of his wealth, power, or fome fuch reafons, like 
many notorious offenders now-adays, he had not been expofed 
to the cenfures of the church. St. Paul^ therefore, in his 
firft epiftle, feverely chides them for this neglect of difcipline, 
and commands them, *' in the name of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, when they were gathered together, to deliver fuch 
a one, whoever he was, to Satan, for the deftru6lion of the 
fle(h, that his Spirit might be faved in the day of the Lord ;" 
that is, they fhould folemnly excommunicate him ; which 
was then commonly attended with fome bodily difeafe. The 
Corinthians y being obedient to the Apoftle, as dear children, 
no fooner received this reproof, but they fubmitted to it, and 
caft the offending party out of the church. But whilft they 
were endeavouring to amend one fault, they unhappily ran 
into another ; and as they formerly had been too mild and 
remifs, fo now they behaved towards him with too much fe- 
verity and refentment. The Apoftle, therefore, in this chap- 
ter, reproves this, and tells them, that " fulncient to the 
Vol. VI. Q^ GfFender's 


[ 242 ] 

offender's fhame, was the punifhment which had been infll£lecl 
of many :" that he had now TufFered enough ; and that, there- 
fore, left he fhould be tempted to fay with Cain^ " My pu- 
niftiment is greater than I can bear ;'* or to ufc the Apoftle's 
own words, " Left he ftiould be fwallowed up with over- 
much forrow 5" they ought, now he had given proof of his 
repentance, to forgive him, to confirm their love towards him, 
and fo reftore him in the fpirit of meeknefs ; " Left Satan, 
(to whofe buftetings he was now given, by tempting him to 
defpair) ftiould get an advantage over us :" and fo, by re- 
prefenting you as mercilefs and cruel, caufe that holy name 
to be blafphemed, by which you are called ; " for we are not 
ignorant of his devices :" we know very well how many 
fubtle ways he has to draw afide and beguile unguarded un- 
thinking men.] 

Thus then, ftand the words in relation to the context ; 
but as Satan has many devices, and as his quiver is full of 
other poifonous darts, befides thofe which he fhoots at us to 
drive us to defpair, I ftaall, in the following difcourfe, 

/Vr/?, Briefly obferve who we are to underftand by Satan* 

Secondly^ Point out to you, what are the chief devices he 
generally makes ufe of, to draw off converts from Christ, 
and alfo prefcribe fome remedies againft them. 

/Vr/?, Who are we to underftand by Satan ? 

The word Saian^ in its original fignificatlon, means an ad- 
verfary ; and in its general acceptation, is made ufe of, to 
point out to us the chief of the devils, who, for ftriving to be 
as God, was caft down from heaven, and is now permitted, 
*' with the reft of his fpiritual wickedneffes in high places, 
to walk up and down, feeking whom he may devour." We 
hear of him immediately after the creation, when in the fhape 
of a ferpent, he lay in wait to deceive our firft parents. He 
is called Satan, in the book of Job^ where we are told, that 

" when 

[ 243 ] 
•* when the fons of God came to prcfent themfclves before 
the Lord, Satan alfo came amongft them." As the fcripture 
alfo fpeaketh in the book of Chronicles ; <« and Satan moved 
David to number the people." In the New Teftament he 
goes under different denominations ; fomctimes he is called 
i\\Q evil One y becaufe he is evil in himfelf, and tempts us to 
evil. Sometimes, " the Prince of the power of the air ;'* 
and, " the Spirit that now ruleth in the children of difobe- 
dience;" becaufe he refides chiefly in the air, and throu<>h 
the whole world : and all that are not born of God, are faid 
to lie in him. 

He is an enemy to God and goodnefs ; he is a hater of all 
truth : Why elfe did he flandcr God in paradife ? Why did 
he tell Evcy " You (hall not furely die ?" And why did he 
promife to give all the kingdoms of the world, and the glories 
of them, to Jesus Christ, if he would fall down and wor- 
fhip him ? 

He is full of malice, envy, and revenge : For what other 
motives could induce him to moleft innocent man in paradife? 
And why is he ftill fo refllefs in his attempts to deilroy us^ 
who have done him no wrong ? 

He is a being of great power, as appears in his being able 
to act on the imagination of our blefled Lord, (o as to re- 
prefent to him all tha kingdoms of the world, and the glories 
of them, in a moment of time. As alfo in carrying his facred 
body through the air up to a pinacle of the temple ; and his 
driving a herd of fwine fo furioufly into the deep. Nay, fo 
great is his might, that, I doubt not, was God to let him ufw- 
his full ftrength, but he could turn the earth upfide down, or 
pull the fun from its orb. 

But what he is moft remarkable for is, his fubtlety : for not 
having power given him from above, to take us by force, 
he is obliged to wait for opportunities to betray us, and to 
catch us by guile. He, therefore, made ufc of the ferpent, 
which was fubtle above all the beads of the field, in order to 

Q 2 tempt 

[ 244 ] 

feiYipt our fii ft parents ; and accordingly he is faid, in the Nev/ 
Teftament, " To lie in wait to deceive ;" and, in the words 
of the text, the Apoftle fays, '' We are not ignorant of his 
devices j" thereby implying, that we are more in danger of 
being feduced by his policy, than over-borne by his power. 

From th;-? fhort defcription of Satan, we may eafily judge 
Avhofe children they are, who love to make a lie, who fpeak 
evil of, and flander their neighbour, and whofe hearts are 
full of pride, fubtiety, malice, envy, revenge, and all uncha- 
ritabknefs. Surely they have Satan for their father : for the 
tempers of Satan they know, and the works of Satan they do. 
But were they to fee either themfelves, or Satan as he is, 
they could not but be terrified at their own likenefs, and 
abhor themfelves in dull and afties. 

But, the juftice of God in fufFering us to be tempted, is 
vindicated from the following confiderations : That we are 
here in a ftate of diforder ; That he has promifed not to fufFer 
us to be tempted [above what we are able to bear ; and not 
only foj but to him that overcometh be will give a crown of 

The holy angels themfelves, it fliould feem. were once put 
to a trial whether they would be faithful or not. The firft 
Adam was tempted, even in paradife. And Jesus Christ, 
that fecond Adam^ though he was a fon, yet was carried, as 
our reprefentative, by the Holy Spirit, into the wildernefs, 
to be tempted of the devil. And there is not one fingle faint 
in paradife, amongft the goodly fellowfliip of the prophets, 
the glorious company of the apoftles, the noble army of mar- 
tyrs, and the fpirits of juft men made perfe6l, who, v^hen on 
earth J was not afTaulted by the fiery darts of that wicked one, 
the devil. 

What then has been the common lot of all God's children, 
and of the angels, nay, of the eternal Son of God himfelf, we 
muft not think to be exempted from : No, it is fufficient if 
we are made perfed through temptations, as they were. And, 


r 245 ] 

therefore, fince we cannot but be tempted, unlefs we could 
unmake human nature, inftead of repining at our condition, 
we fhould rather be enquiring, at what time of our lives Satan 
moft violently afTaults us ? And what thofe devices are, which 
he commonly makes ufe of, in order to " get an advantage 
over us ?" 

As to the firft queftion, what time of life ? I anfv/er, we 
muft expe6l to be tempted by him, in feme degree or ether, 
all our lives long. — For this life being a continual warfare, we 
muft never expert to have reft from our fpiritual adverfary the 
devil, or to fay, our combat v/ith him is finifhed, 'till, with 
our bicffcd mafter, we bow down our heads, and give up the 

But fince the time of our converfion, or firft entring upon 
the fpiritual life, is the moft critical time at which he, for the 
moft part, violently befets us, as well knowing, if he can pre- 
vent our fetting out, he can lead us captive at his will ; and 
fmce the wife fon of Sirach particularly warns us, when we are 
going to ferve the Lord, to prepare our fouls for temptation, 
I fhall, in anfwer to the other queftion, pafs on to the 

Second general thing propofed ; and point out thofe devices, 
which Satan generally makes ufe of at our fIrft converfion, in 
order to get an advantage over us. 

But let me obferve to you, that whatfoever fliall be delivered 
in the following difcourfe is only defigned for fuch ^s have 
actually entered upon the divine life ; and not for carnal 
almoft Chriftians, who have the form of godlincfs, but never 
yet felt the power of it in their hearts. This being premifed. 

Firft device I {hall mention^ which Satan makes ufe of, is, to 
drive us to defpair. 

When God the Father awakens a finner by the terrors of 
the law, and by his Holy Spirit convlnceth him of fin, in order 

0.3 »> 

[ 246 ] 

to lead him to Christ, and (hew hitn the neceflity of a 
Redeemer ; then Saran generally ftrikes in, and aggravates 
thofe convidions to fuch a degree, as to make the finner doubt 
of finding mercy thro' the Mediator. 

Thus, in all his temptations of the Holy Jesus, he 
chiefly aimed to make him queftion, whether he was the Son 
of God ? " If thou be the Son of God," do fo and fo. With 
many fuch defponding thoughts, no doubt, he filled the heart of 
the great St, Paul, when he continued three days, neither 
eating bread nor drinking water ; and therefore he fpeaks by 
experience, when he fays, in the words of the text, " We are 
not ignorant of his devices,*' that he would endeavour to drive 
the inceftuous perfon to defpair. 

But let not any of you be influenced by him, to defpair of 
finding mercy. For it is not the greatnefs or number of our 
crimes, but impenitence and unbelief, that will prove our ruin : 
No, were our fins more in number than the hairs of our head, 
or of a de per die than the brighteft fcarlet ; yet the merits of 
the death of Jesus Christ are infinitely greater, and faith in 
his blood (hall make them white as fnow. 

Anf'vver always, therefore, his defpairing fuggeftions, as 
your Blv il^-d Lord did, with an " It is v/ritten," Tell him, 
you know that your Redeemer liveth, ever to make interceflion 
for you ; that the Lord hath received from him double for all 
your crimes : And tho' you have finned much, that is no reafon 
why you (hould defpair, but only why you ihould love much, 
having fo much forgiven, A 

Second device that Satan generally makes ufe of, to get an 
advantage over young converts, is, to tempt them io prefume^ 
or to think more highly of themfelves than they ought to 

When a perfon has for fome little time tafled the good 
word of life, and felt the powers of the world to come, he Is 
commonly (as indeed well he may) moft highly tranfportcd 
with that fuddea change he finds in himfelf. But then, 


[ 247 ] 
Satati will not be wanting, at Tach a time, to pufF him up 
with a hio-h conceit of his own attainments, as if he was fome 
great perlbn ; and will tempt him to fet at nought his bre- 
thren, as though he was holier than they. 

Take heed therefore, and let us beware of this device of our 
fpiritual adverfary ; for as before honour is humility, fo a 
haughty fpirit generally goes before a fall} and God is 
obliged, when under fuch circumliances, to fend us fome 
humbling vifitation> or permit us to fall, as he did Peter^ into 
fome grievous fm, that we may learn not to be too high 

To check therefore all fuggeftlons to fpiritual pride, let us 
confider, that we did not apprehend Christ, but were ap- 
prehended of him. That we have nothing but what we have 
received. That the free grace of God has alone made the 
difference between us and others ; and, was God to leave us 
to the decei^fulnefs of our own hearts but one moment, we 
fhould become weak and wicked, like other men. We 
ihould farther confider, that being proud of grace, is the moft 
ready way to lofe it. " For God refifteth the proud, and 
giveth more grace only to the humble.'' And were we en- 
dowed with the perfections of the feraphim j yet if we were 
proud of thofe perfedlions, they would but render us more 
accompliflied devils. Above all, we fhould pray eiiineftly 
to Almighty God, that we may learn of Jesus Christ, 
to be lowly in heart. That his grace, through the fubtlety 
and deceivablenefs of Satan, may not be our poifon. But 
that we may always think foberly of ourfelves, as we ought 
to think. A 

Third device I fn-^ll mention, which Satan generally makes 
ufe of, " to get an advantage over us," is to tempt us to un- 
eaftncfs^ and to have hard thnights ofGoDy when we are dead 
and barren in prayer. 

Though this is a term not underftood by the natural man, 
yet, whofoever there are amongft you, who have pafTed through 

Q-4 . ^^^^ 

[ 248 ] I 

the pangs of the new hlrtb^ they know full well what I mean, ' 

when I talk of deadnefs and drynefs in prayer. And, I doubt ' 

not, but many of you, amonglt whom I am now preaching I 

the kingdom of G od, are at this very time labouring under it. j 

For, when perfons are flrft awakened to the divine life, be- 
caufe grace is weak and nature ftrong, God is often pleafed to 
vouchfafe them fome extraordinary illuminations of his Holy 
Spirit ; but when they are grown to be more perfe<Sl: men in 
Christ, then he frequently feems to leave them to them- 
felves ; and not only fo, but permits a horrible deadnefs and 
dread to overwhelm them ; at which times Satan will not be 
wanting to vex and tempt them to impatience, to the great 
difcomfort of their fouls. 

But be not afraid ; for this is no more than your blefled 
Redeemer, that fpotlefs Lamb of God, has undergone before 
you : witneis his bitter agony in the garden, when his foul 
was exceeding forrowful, even unto death. When he fweat 
great drops of blood, falling on the ground ; when the fenfe 
of the Divinity was drawn from him ; and Satan, in all pro- 
bability, was permitted to fet all his terrors in array before 

Rejoice, therefore, my brethren, when you fall into the 
like circumftances ; as knowing, that you are therein partakers 
of the fufferings of Jesus Christ, Confider, that it is ne- 
cefTary fuch inward trials fnould come, to wean us from the 
immoderate love of ftnfible devotion, and teach us to follow 
Christ, not merely for his loaves, but out of a principle of 
love and obedience. In pationce, therefore, poficfs your fouls, 
and be not lerrified by Satan's fuggeflions. Still perfevere in 
feeking Jesus in the u(e of means, though it be forrowing ; 
and though through barrennefs of foul, you may go mourning 
^11 the day long. Confider that the fpoufe is with you, though 
behind the curtain ; as he v»^as with Mary^ at the fepulchre, 
though fn knt'w it not. T^hat he has withdrawn but for a 
li tie while, to make his next vifit more welcome. That 
though he may now feem to frown and look back on you, as 


[ 249 ] 

he did on the Syrophmician vjomsin -, yet if you, like her, or 
blind Bartimeus^ cry out fo much the more earneftly, " Jesus, 
thou Son oi Davldy have mercy onus;'* he will be made 
known unto you again, either in the temple, by breaking of 
bread, or fome other way. 

But amongft all the devices that Satan makes ufe of, " to 
get an advantage over us," there is none in which he is more 
fuccefsful, or by which he grieves the children of God 
worfe, than a 

Fourth device I am going to mention, his troubling you 
with hlafphemous^ profane^ unbelieving thoughts ; and fometimes 
to fuch a degree, that they are as tormenting as the rack. 

Some indeed are apt to Impute all fuch evil thoughts to a 
diforder of body. But thofe who know any thing of the fpi- 
xitual life, can inform you, with greater certainty, that for the 
generality, they proceed from that wicked one, the devil ; 
who, no doubt, has power given him from above, as well 
now as formerly, to diforder the body, as he did Johh^ that 
he may, with the more fecrecy and fuccefs, work upon, 
ruffle and torment the foul. 

You that have felt his fiery darts, can fubfcrlbe to the truth 
of this, and by fatal experience can tell, how often he has 
bid you, '' curfe God and die," and darted into your thoughts 
a thoufand blafphemous fuggeftions, even in your moft fe- 
cret and folemn retirements ; the bare looking back on which 
makes your very hearts to tremble, 

I appeal to your own confciencies ; Have not fome of you, 
when you have been lifting up holy hands in prayer, been 
peftered with fuch a crowd of the moil: horrid infmuations, 
that you have been often tempted to rife ofFfrom your knees, 
and been made to believe your prayers were an abomination 
to the Lord ? Nay, when, with the reft of your chriftian 
brethren, you have crouded round the holy table, and taken 
the facred fymbob of Christ's moft blciTed body and blood 


[ 250 ] 
into your hands, inftead of remembring the death of your 
Saviour, have you not been employed in driving out evil 
thoughts, as Abraham was in driving away the birds, that 
came to devour his facrifice ; and thereby have been terrified, 
left you have eat and drank your own damnation ? 

But marvel not, as though fome flrange thing happened 
unto you ; for this has been the common lot of all God's 
children. We read, even in Job^ time, *' That when the 
fons of God came to appear before their Maker, (at public 
worfhip) Satan alfo came amongft them," to difturb their de- 

And think not that God is angry with you for thefe dl- 
fi:ra£ling, though ever fo blafphemous thoughts : No, he 
knows it is not you, but Satan working in you ; and there- 
fore, notwithftanding he may be difpleafed with, and cer- 
tainly will punifli him ; yet he will both pity and reward you. 
And though it be dinicult to make perfons in your circum- 
llances to believe fo j yet I (doubt not but you are more 
acceptable to God, when performing your holy duties in 
the midft of fuch involuntary diftradions, than when you are 
wrapped up by devotion, as it were, into the thiid heavens ; 
for you are then fufFering, as well as doing the v^ill of God 
at the fame time ; and, like Nehemiah\ fervants at the build- 
ing'of the temple, are holding a trowel in one hand, and a 
fword in the other. Be not driven from the ufe of any or- 
dinance whatever, on account of thofe abominable fuggcf- 
tions ; for then you let Satan get his defired advantage over 
you J it being his chief defign, by thefe thoughts, to make 
you fall out with the m^ ans of grace ; and to tempt you to 
believe, you do not pleafe God, for no other reafon, than 
becaufc you do not pleafe yourltlves. Feather perfevere in the 
ufe of the holy communion cfpecially, and all other means 
whatever ; and when thefe temptations have wrought that 
refignaticn in you, for which they were permitted, God will 
vifit you with freili tf^kens of his love, as he met Abraham^ 
when he reiurned from the flaughter of the five kings ; and 
will fend an angel from heaven, as he did to his Son, on 
purpofe to flrcngrhcn you. 

5 Hitherto 

C 251 ] 


Hitherto we have only obferved fuch devices as Satatt 
makes ufe of immediately by himfelf ; but there is a 

Fifth I (hall mention, which is not the leaft, tempting us 
by our carnal friends and relations. 

This is one of the moft common, as well as moft artful 
devices he makes ufe of, to draw young converts from God ; 
for v^^hen he cannot prevail over them by himfelf, he v^^ill 
try vi^hat he can do by the influence and mediation of 

Thus he tempted Eve^ that flie might tempt Adam. Thus 
he rtirred up Jobh wife, to bid him " Curfe God and die." 
And thus he made ufe of Peter's tongue, to perfuade our 
bleiled Lord " to fpare himfelf," and tl ereby decline thofe 
fufFerings, by which alone we could be preferved from fufFer- 
jng the vengeance of eternal fire. And thus, in thefe laft 
days, he often flirs up our mott powerful friends and deareft 
intimates, to difluade us from going in that narrow way, 
which alone leadeth unto life eternal. 

But our blefTed Lord has furniflied us with a fufficient 
anfwer to all fuch fuggeftions. " Get you behind me, my 
adverfarics ;" for otherwife they will be an offence unto you ; 
and the only reafon why they give fuch advice is, becaufe 
they " favour not the things that be of God, but the things 
that be of men." 

Whoever, therefore, among you are refolved to ferve the 
Lord, prepare your fouls tor many fuch temptations as thefe ; 
for it is neceffary that fuch offences fliould come, to try your 
fincerity, to teach us to ceale from man, and to fee if we 
will forfake all to follow Christ. 

Indeed our modernifers of chriflianity would perfuade us, 
that the gofpel was calculated only for about two hundred 
years ; and that now there is no need of hating father and 


[ 252 ] 

mother, or of being perfecuted for the fake of Christ and 
iiis gofpel. 

But fuch perfons err, not knowing the fcriptures, and the 
power of godlinefs in their hearts ; for whofoever receives 
the love of God in the truth of it, will find, that Christ 
came to fend not peace, but a fword upon earth, as much 
now as ever. That the father-in-law fhall be againft the: 
dai;ghter-in-law, in thefe latter, as well as in the primitive 
times; and that if we will live godly in Christ Jesus, we 
muft, as then, fo now, from carnal friends and relations^ 
fufFer perfecution. But the devil hath a 

Sixth device, which is as dangerous as any of the former, 

by not tempting us at all, or rather, by withdrawing himfslffor 
<i while, in order to come upon us at an hour when we think 
not of it. 

Thus it is faid, that he left Jesus Christ only for a fca- 
fon i and our blefled Lord has bid us to watch and pray al- 
ways, that we enter not into temptation ; thereby implying, 
that Satan, whether we think of it or nor, is always feeking 
how he may devour us. 

If we would therefore behave like good foldiers of Jesus 
Christ, we muft be always upon our guard, and never 
pretend to lay down our fpiritual weapons of prayer and 
watching, till our warfare is accomplifhed by death 3 for if 
we GO, our fpiritual Amalek will quickly prevail againft us. 
What if he has left us ? it is only for a feafon 5 yet a little 
while, and, like a roaring lion, with double fury, he will 
break out upon us again. So great a coward as the devil is, 
he feldom leaves us at the firft onfet. As he followed our 
blefled Lord with one temptation after another, fo will he 
treat his fcrvants. And the reafon why he does not renew 
his attacks, is fometimes, becaufe God knows we arc yet 
weak and unable to bear them, fometimes, becaufe our grand 
adverfary thinks to befet us at a more convenient feafon. 

6 Watch 

[ 253 ] 
Watch carefully therefore over thy heart, O chriftlan ; 
and whenever thou perceivcft thyfelf to be falling into a fpiri- 
tual flumber, fay to it, as Christ to his difciplcs, " Arife 
(my foul) why fleepcft thou?" Awake, awake; put on 
ftrength, watch and pray, or otherwife^he Philijlines will be 
upon thee, and lead thee whither thou wouldft not. Alas ! 
Is this life a time to lie down and flumber in ? Arife, and call 
upon thy God ; thy fpiritual enemy is not dead, but lurketh 
in fome fccret [4^ce, feeking a convenient opportunity how 
he may betray thee. If thou ceafeft to ftrive with him, thou 
ccafeft to be a friend of God ; thou ceafeft to go in that nar- 
row way which leadcth* unto life. 

Thus have I endeavoured to point out to you fome of 
thofe devices, that Satan generally makes ufe of " to get an 
advantage over us ;" many others there are, no doubt, which 

he often ufes. 


But thefc, on account of my youth and want of experience, 
I cannot yet apprife you of; they who have been lifted for 
many years in their mafter's fervice, and fought under his 
banner againft our fpiritual Amalek, are able to difcover more 
of his artifices ; and, being tempted in all things, like unto 
their brethren, can, in all things, advife and fuccour thofe 
that are tempted. 

In the mean while, let me exhort my young fellow-foldier?, 
who, like myfelf, are but juft entring the field, and for whofe 
fake this was written, not to be difcouraged at the fiery trial 
wherewith they muft be tried, if they would be found faith- 
ful fervants of Jesus Christ. You fee, my dearly beloved 
brethren, by what has been delivered, that our way through 
the wildernefs of this world to the heavenly Canaan, is befet 
with thorns, and that there are fons of Anak to be grappled 
with, ere you can pofiefs the promifed land. But let not 
thefe, like fo many falfe fpics, difcourage you from going 
lip to fight the Lord's battles, but (?.y with Caleb and yojlma^ 
*' Nay, but we will go up, for we are able to conquer them." 
Jesus Christ, that great captain of our falvation, has in 


[ 254 ] 
our ftead, and as our reprefentative, baffled the grand enemjr 
of mankind, and we have nothing to do, but manfully to 
fight under his banner, and to go on from conquering to 
conquer. Our glory does not confift in being exempted from, 
but in enduring temptations. <' Blefled is the man, (fays 
the apoftle) that endureth temptation ;'* and again, *' Bre- 
thren, count it all joy, when you fall into divers temptations :" 
And in that perfe6t form our blefled Lord has prefcribed t© 
us, we are taught to pray, not fo much to b^ delivered from 
all temptation, as " from the evil" of it. Whilft we are on 
this fide eternity, it muft needs be that temptations come ; 
and, no doubt, *' Satan has defired to have all of us, to fift 
us as wheat." But wherefore fhould we fear ? For he that 
is for us, is by far more powerful, than all that are againft 
us. Jesus Christ, our great High-prieft, is exalted to the 
right hand of God, and there ntteth to make intercelliokn for 
us, that our faith fail not. 

Since then Christ is praying, whom fhould we fear ? 
And fmce he has promifed to make us more than conquerors, 
of whom fhould we be afraid ? No, though an hoft of devils 
are fet in array againft us, let us not be afraid ; though there 
fhould rife up the hottefl perfecution againft us, yet let us put 
our truft in God. What though Satan, and the reft of his 
apoftate fpirits, are powerful, when compared with us ; yet, if 
put in competition with the Almighty, they areas weak as the 
meanefl worms. God has them all referved in chains of dark- 
nefs unto the judgment of the great day. So far as he permits 
them, they fhall go, but no farther ; and where he pleafes, 
there fhall their proud malicious defigns be flayed. We read in 
the gofpel, that though a legion of them pofTefled one man, yet 
they could not deftroy him ; nor could they fo much as enter 
into a fwine, without firft having leave given them from above. 
It is true, we often find they foil us, when we are alTaulted 
by them ; but let us be flrong, and very couragious ^ for, 
though they bruife our heels, we fhall, at length, bruife 
their heads. Yet a little while, and he that fhall come, will 
come ; and then we fhall fee all our fpiritual enemies put un- 
der our feet. What if they do come out againft us, like fa 


[ ^55 ] 

many great Goliahs ; yet, if we can go forth, as the ftrlpling 
David, in the name and ftrcngth of the Lord of hofls, wc 
may fay, O Satan, where is thy power ? O fallen fpirits, 
where is your vidory ? 

Once more therefore, and to conclude ; let us be ftrong, 
and very couragious, and let us put on the whole armour of 
God, that we may be able to (land againft the fiery darts of 
the wicked one. Let us renounce ourfelves, and the world, 
and then we fhall take away the armour in which he trufteth, 
and he will find nothing in us. for his temptations to work 
upon. We ftiall then prevent his malicious defigns ; and be- 
ing willing to fufFer ourfelves, (hall need lefs fufFerings to be 
fent us from above. Let us have our loins girt about with 
truth ; and for an helmet, the hope of falvacion ; " praying 
always with all manner of fupplication." Above all things, 
*' Let us take the fword of the fpirit, which is the word of 
God," and " the fhield of faith," looking always to Jesus, 
the author and finiftier of our faith, who for the joy that was 
fet before him, endured the crofs, defpifmg the (hame, and is 
now fat down at the right hand of God. 

To which happy place, may God of his infinite mercy 
tranflate us all, through our Lord Jesus Christ. 

To whom, with the Father, and the Holy Ghcfl:, three 
perfons and one eternal God, be all honour and glory, 
now and for evermore. Amen. 


£ 257 J 


On Rei^eneratlon. 

2 Cor. v. 17. 

If any man he in Christ, he is a ?iezv creo.turi, 

TH E doolrine of our regeneration, or new birth ia 
Christ Jesus, though one of the moft fundamen- 
tal do6lrines of our holy religion ; though fo plainly and 
often prefied on us in facred writ, " that he who runs may 
read ;" nay though it is the very hinge on which the falvation 
of each of us turns, and a point too in which all finccre chrif- 
tians, of every denomination, agree ; yet it is fo feldom con- 
fidered, and fo little experimentally underftood by the gene- 
rality of profeiTors, that were we to judge of the truth of it, 
by the experience of moft who call themfelves chriftians, we 
fhould be apt to imagine they had " not fo much as heard*' 
whether there be any fuch thing as regeneration or not. It 
is true, men for the moft part are orthodox in the common 
articles of their creed ; they believe " there is but one God, 
and one Mediator between God and men, even the man 
Christ Jesus i" and that there is no other name given un- 
der heaven, whereby they can be faved, befidcs his : But 
then tell them, they m.uft be regenerated, they muft be born 
again, they muft be renevvcd in the very fpirit, in the inmoft 
faculties of their minds, ere they can truly call Christ, 
*' Lord, Lord," or have an evidence that they have any 
fhare in the merits of his precious blood ; and they are ready 
to cry out with Nicodcmus, " How can thcfe things be?" 
Or with the yhhenians, on another occafion, " What will 
this babler fay ? he feemeth to be a fctier-forth of ftrange 
Vol. VL R doarines •," 


r 258 ] 

oo(n;flnes;" becaufe we preach unto theni Christ, and the 

That I may therefore contribute my mite towards curing 
the fatal miflake of fuch perfons, who would thus put afun- 
der what God has infeparably joined together, and vainly 
think they are juftified by Christ, or have their fins for- 
given, and his perfect obedience imputed to them, when they 
are not fanilified, have not their natures changed, and made 
holy, I fliall beg leave to enlarge on the words of the text in 
the following manner : 

FlrJ}^ I {hall endeavour to explain what is meant by being 
in Christ : " If any man be in Christ.'* 

^aondly^ What we arc to underftand by being a new crea- 
ture : " If any man be in Christ he is a new crea- 

Thirdly, I fliall produce fome arguments to make good the 
apoftle's afTertion. And sn^ 

Fourthly, I fhall draw fome inferences from what may be 
delivered, and then conclude with a word or two of ex- 

Firfiy I am to endeavour to explain what is meant by this 
cxprefHon in the text, " If any man be in Christ." 

Now a pcrfon may be faid to be in Christ two ways. 

/Vr/?, Only by an outv*'ard profcflion. And in this fenfe, 
every one that is called a chriftian, or baptized into Christ's 
church, may be faid to be in Christ. But that this is not 
the fole meaning of the apoftle's phrafe before u?, is evident, 
becaufc then, every one that names the name of Christ, or 
h baptized into his vihble church, would be a new creature. 
Which is notorioufly falfe, it being toO plain, beyond all 
contraditS^ion, that comparatively but few of thofe that ar^ 
'* born of waLer," are '' born of the Spirit" likcv/ife; to ufe 
3 another 

f 259 ] 

Rnothcr fpiritual way of rpeaking,^many arc baptized with 
water, which were never baptized with the Holy Ghoft. 

To be in Christ therefore, in the full import of the worj, 
fnuft certainly mean fomething more than a bare outward pro- 
feffion, or being called after his name. For, as this fame 
apoftle ttlls us, '' All are not Ifraeliies that are o{ Ifracl^'* (o 
when applied to chriftianity, all are not real chiiliians that 
are nominally fuch. Nay, this is fo far from being the cafcj 
that our blc/Ted Lord himfelf informs us, that many who 
have prophefied or preached in his name, and in his nam^c 
caft out devils, and done many wonderful v;orks, fliall not- 
withflanding be difmiiled at the iafl day, with " dtrpart froai 
me, I know you not, yc workers of iniquity." 

It remains thcreforCj that this expreflion, '' if any man ba 
in Christ," muft be underllood in a 

Second and elofer fignification, to be/« him (o as to partake 
of the benefits of his iufferings. To be in him not only by 
an outward profefTion, but by an inward change and purity 
of heart, and cohabitation of his holy fpirit. To be in him, 
fo as to be myftically united to him by a true and lively faith, 
and thereby to receive (piritual virtue from him, as the mem- 
bers of the natural body do from the her.d, or the branches 
from the vine. To be in him in fuch a manner as the apoftle^ 
fpeaking of himfelfj acquaints us he knew a perfon was, " I 
knew man in Christ," a true chriftian ; or, as he himfelf 
defires to be in Christ, when he wifhcs, in his epidle to 
the Philippians, that he might be found In him. 

This is undoubtedly the proper meaning of the apoftle's 
exprefTion in the words of the text j fo that what he fays in 
his epiftic to the Romans about circumcifion, may very v/ell 
be applied to the prellnt fubje6t; that he is not a real chrif- 
tian who is only one outwardly ; nor is that true baptifm, 
which is only outward in the flelli. But he is a true chrif- 
tian, who is one inwardly, whole baptifm is that of the heart, 
in the fpir;t, and not mcrtly in the watcr^ vvhcfe praife is 

K 2 no^ 

[ 26o ] 
not of man but of God. Or, as he fpeakcth in anothef 
place, " Neither circumcifion nor uncircumcifion availeth 
any thing (of itfelf) but a new creature." Which amounts 
to what he here declares in the verfe now under confideration, 
that if any man be truly and properly in Christ, he is a 
new creature. Which brings me to fhcw. 

Secondly^ What we are to undcrftand by being a mw creature^ 

And here it is evident at the fird view, that this expreflion 
is not to be fo explained as tho,ugli there was a phyfical change 
required to be made in us ; or as though we were to be re- 
duced to our primitive nothings, and then created and formed 
ao-ain. For, fuppofmg we were, as Nicodemus ignorantly 
imagined, to enter a " fecond time into our mother's womb, 
and be born," alas ! what would it contribute towards ren- 
dering us fpiritually new creatures ? Since " that which was 
born of the flelh would be flefli ftill -," we fhould be the fame 
carnal perfons as ever, being derived from carnal parents, 
and confequently receiving the leeds of all manner of fin and 
corruption from them. No, it only means, that we muft be 
fo altered as to the qualities and tempers of our minds, that 
we muft entirely forget what manner of perfons we onoe were. 
As it may be faid of a piece of gold, that was once in the ore, 
after it has been cleanfed, puiified and poliflied, that it is a 
,new piece of gold j as it may be faid of a bright glafs that 
has been covered over with filth, Vv'hen it is wiped, and fo 
become tranfparent and clear, that it is a new glafs : Or, as 
it might be faid o^ Naamariy when he recovered of his leprofy, 
and his fldTi returned unto him like the flefh of a young child, 
that he v>'as a new man 5 fo our fouls, though flill the fame 
as to effence, yet are fo purged, purified and cleanfed from 
their natural drofs, filth and leprofy, by the blefled influences 
of the Holy Spirit, that they may be properly faid to be 
made anew. 

Hew this j^lorious change is wrought in the foul, cannot 
cafil.y be explained : For no one knows the ways of the Spirit, 
fave the Spirit of God himfelf. Not that this ought to be 

6 a^y 

[ 26. ] 

any argument againft this dodrine ; for, as our blefTcd Lord' 
obferved to Nicodernus^ when he was difcourfing on this ver» 
fubjed, " The wind blowcth where it lifteth, and thou 
heareft the found thereof, but knowefl not whence it comcth 
and whither it goeth j" and if we are told of natural thino-s 
and we underftand them not, how much lefs ought we to 
v/onder, if we cannot immediately account for the invifible 
workings of the Holy Spirit ? The truth of the matter is 
this : the dodrine of our regeneration, or new birih in 
Christ Jesus, is hard to be underliood by the natural man. 
But that there is really fuch a thing, and that each of us 
muft be fpiritually born again, I fliall endeavour to fnew under 

Third general head, in which I was to produce fome aro-u- 
ments to make good the apoftle's aiiertion. 

And here one would think it fufficient to affirm, 

FirJ}^ That God himfelf, in his holy word, hath told us 
fo. Many texts might be produced out of the Old Teftament 
to prove this point, and indeed, one would wonder how A7- 
codemus^ who was a teacher in Ifrael, and who was therefore 
to inftrutSl tl\e people in the fpiritual meaning of the law, 
fhould be fo ignorant of this grand article, as we find he 
really was, by his afking our blefled Lord, when he was 
preffing on him t!iis topic, How can thefe things be? Surely, 
he could not forget how often the Pfalmift had begged of 
God, to make him " a new heart," and " to renew a rif>ht 
fpirit WMthin him ;" as lilcevi^ife, how frequently the prophets 
had warned the people to m.ake them " new hearts,'* and 
new minds, and fo turn unto the Lord thtir God. Jjut not 
to mention thefe and fuch like texts out of the Old Tefta- 
ment, this do61:rine is fo often and plainly repeated in the 
New, that, as I obferved before, he who runs may read. For 
what fays the great Prophet and Inftruclor of the world him- 
felf: " Except a man (every one that is naturally the ofl- 
fpring of Adam) be born again of water and the Spirit, he 
cannot enter into the kingdom of God," And left wc Pr.ouU 

R 3 be 

[ 2 62 ] 

196 apt to flight this afTertion, and NUo(^emus-]\k^, rejc^l the 
clo6lrire, bccnufe vvc cannot immediately explain *•' How this 
thing can be ;" our blclTed Mafter therefore affirms it, as it 
were, by an oath, ^' Verily, verily, 1 fay unto you," or, as 
it may be read, I the Amen ; I, who am truth itfelf, fay unto 
you, that it is the unalterable appointment of my heavenly 
Father, that '' unlefs a man be born again, be cannot enter 
into the kingdom of God." 

Agreeable to this, are thofe many palTagcs we meet with in 
theepiftles, where we arc commanded to be ** renewed in the 
Spirit," or, which was before explained, in the inmoil fa- 
culties of our minds ; to ^' put on' the Old Man, which is 
corrupt ; and to put on the New Man, which is created after 
God, in righteoufnefs and true holmefs ;" that " old things 
muft pafs away, and that all things muil become new j" that 
we are to be ^' favcd by the wafliing of regeneration, and the 
renewing of the Holy Gholl." Or, methinks, was there no 
pther pafTape to be produced befides the words of the text, it 
would be full enough, Gnce the apoftle thereiii pofitively 
affirms, that ^' U any man be in Christ, he is a new crca- 

Now, what can be underftood by all thefe different terms 
of beinL^^ bcm again^ of putting cff the Old Man^ and putting 
en the Kcw^ of being renewed in the fpirit of our minds ^ and 
becoming new creatures ; but that chriftianity requires a 
thorough, real inward change of heart ? Do we think thefe, 
and fuch-like forms of fpeaking, are mere metaphors, words 
of a bare found, without any real folid fignification ? Indeed, 
it is to be ftarcd, fome men would have theni interpreted fo ; 
but alas ! unhappy men ! they are not to be envied in their 
metaphorical interpretation : it will be well, if they do not 
interpret themfelves out of their falvation. 

Multitudes of other texts might be produced to confirm 
this fame truth ; but thofe already quoted are fo plain and 
convincing, that one would imagine no one fhould deny it ; 
^ere v;e not told, there are fome, *' who having eyes, fee 

[ 26j ] 

not, and ears, hear not, and that will not under fland with 
V their hearts, or hear with their ears, left they fliould be con- 
verted, and Christ (hould heal them." 

But I proceed to a 

Second argument ; and that (hall be taken from the purity 
of God, and the prefent corrupt and polluted {late oi man. 

God is defcribed in holy fcripture (and I fpeak to thofe 
who profefs to know the fcripture) as a Spirit ; as a being iof 
fuch infinite fandity, as to be of ** purer eyes than to behold 
iniquity ;" as to be fo tranfcendently holy, that it is faid 
*' the very heavens are not clean in his fight; and the angels 
themfelves he chargeth with folly." On the other hand, man 
is defcribed (and every regenerate perfon will find it true by 
his own experience) as a creature altogether *' conceived and 
born in fin ;" as having '* no good thing dwelling in hinii" as 
being '^ carnal, fold under fin;" nay, as having " a mind 
which is at enmity with God," and fuch-like. And fince 
there is fuch an infinite difparity, can any one conceive how 
a filthy, corrupted, polluted wretch can dwell with an infi- 
nitely pure and holy God, before he is changed, and ren- 
dered, in fome meafure, like him ? Can he, who is of purer 
eyes than to behold iniqtiity, dwell with it ? Can he, in 
whofe fight the heavens are not clean, delight to dwell with 
uncleannefs itfelf? No, we might as well fuppofe light to ha^e 
communion with darknefs, or Christ to have concord with 
Belial, But I pa fs on to a 

Third argument, which fhall be founded on the confide- 
ration of the nature of that happinefs God has prepared for 
thofe that unfeignedly love him. 

To enter indeed on a minute and particular defcrlption of 
heaven, would be vain and prefumptuous, fince we are told 
that '* eye hath not feen, nor ear heard, neither hath it en- 
tered into the heart of man to conceive, the things that arc 
there prepared" for the fincere followers of the holy Jesus, 

R 4 even 

[ 264 ] 

even in this life, much lefs in that which is to come. How- 
ever, this we may venture to affirm in general, that as^GoD 
is a Spirit, To the happinefs he has laid up for his people is 
fpiritual likewife ; and confequently, unlefs our carnal minds 
are changed, and fpiritualized, we can never be made meet 
to partake of that inheritance with the faints in light. 

It is true, we may flatter ourfelves, that, fuppofing we con- 
tinue in our natural corrupt eftate, and carry all our lufts 
along with us, we (hould, notwithflanding, relifh heaven, 
was God to admit us therein. And fo we might, was it a 
Mahometan paradife, wherein we were to take our full fwing 
in fenfual delights. But fmce its joys are only fpiritual, and 
no unclean thing can poffibly enter thofe bleffed manfions, 
there is an abfolute neceffiiy of our being changed, and un- 
der2;oing a total renovation of our depraved natures, before 
we can have any tafte or relifh of thofe heavenly pleafures. 

It is, doubtleis, for this reafon, that the apoftle declares it 
to be the irrevocable decrcee of the Almighty, that " with- 
out holinefs, (without being made pure by regeneration, and 
having the image of God thereby reinftamped upon the foul) 
no man fnall fee the Lord." And it is very obfcrvable, that 
*our divine Mailer, in the famous paflage before referred to, 
concerning the abfolute necefiity of regeneration, does not 
fay, Unlefs a man be born again, he fiall not^ but '' unlefs 
a man be born again, he cannot enter into the kingdom of 
God." It is founded in the very nature of things, that unlefs 
we have difpofitions wrought in us fuitablc to the obje£ls that 
:ire to entertain us, we can take no manner of complacency 
or fatisfaclion in them. For inflance ; what delight can the 
moft harmonious mufic afford to a deaf, or what pleafure can 
the moft excellent picture give to a blind man ? Can a tafte- 
lefs palate relifli the richeft dainties, or a lilthy fwine be 
pleafed with the iineft garden of flowers ? No : and what 
reafon can be afl^igned for it ? An anfwer is ready ; becaufe 
they have neither of them any tempers of mind correfpondent 
or agreeable to what they are to be diverted with. And thus 
it is with the foul hereafter : for death makes no more alte^ 


C. 265 7 

ration In the foul, than as it inlarges its faculties, and makes 
it capable of receiving deeper imprefHons either of pleafurc «r 
pain. If it delighted to convcrfe with (}od here, it will be 
tranfported with the fight of his glorious j^4ajefty hereafter. 
If it was pleafcd with the communion of faints on earth, it 
will be infinitely more fo with the communion and fociety of 
holy angels, and the fpirits of juft men made perfect in hea- 
ven. But if the oppofite of all this be true, we may afTure 
ourfelves the foul could not be happy, was God himfdf to 
admit it (which he never will do) into the regions of the 
blefled. But it is time for me to haften to the 

Fourth argument, becaufe Christ's redemption will not 
l5e complete in us, unlefs we are new creatures. 

If we refledl indeed on the firft and chief end of our blefled 
Lord's coming, we fhall find it was to be a propitiation for 
our fins, to give his life a ranfom for many. But then, if 
the benefits of our dear Redeemer's death were to extend no 
farther than barely to procure forgivenefs of our fins, we 
Ihould have as little reafon to rejoice in it, as a poor con- 
demned criminal that is ready to perifli by fomc fatal difcafe, 
would have in receiving a pardon from his judge. For chri- 
{lians would do well to confider, that there is not only a legal 
hinderance to our happinefs, as v/e are breakers of God's 
Jaw, but alfo a moral impurity in our natures, which readers 
us incapable of enjoying heaven (as hath been already proved) 
till fome mighty change have been wrought in us. It is ne- 
ceilary therefore, in order to make Christ's redemption 
compleat, that we fliould have a grant of God's holy Spirit 
to change our natures, and fo prepare us for the enjoyment 
of that happinefs our Saviour has purchaied by his precious 

Accordingly the holy fcriptures inform us, that whom 
Christ juftifies, or whofe fins he forgives, and to whom he 
imputes his perfeCf obedience, thofe he alfo fan61ifies, purifies 
and cleanfcs, and totally changcth their corrupted natures. 
As the fcrinture alfo fpeaketh in another place, <' Christ is 


f 266 ] 

to us juflification, fandification, and then redemption.'* 

Fourthly, Proceed we now to the next general thing pro- 
pofed, to draw fome inferences from what has been delivered. 

Firjy If he that is in Christ be a new creature, this may 
ferve as a reproof for thofe who reft in a bare performance of 
outward duties, without perceiving any real inward change of 

We may obferve a great many perfons to be very p'jn(£lual 
in the regular returns of public and private prayer, as like- 
wife of receiving the holy communion, and perhaps now and 
then too in keeping a fafl. But here is the misfortune, they 
reft barely in the ufe of the means, and think all is over, 
when they have thus complied with thofe facrcd inftitutions j 
whereas, were they rightly informed, they would confider, 
that all the inftituted means of grace, as prayer, fafting, 
hearing and reading the word of God, receiving the blefled 
facrament, and fuch-like, are no farther ferviceable to us, 
than as they are found to make us inwardly better, and to 
carry on the fpiritual life in the foul. 

It is true, they are means ; but then they are only means ; 
they are part, but not the whole of religion : for if fo, who 
more religious than the Pharifee ? He failed twice in the 
week, and gave tythes of all that he pofl'efTed, and yet was 
not juftified, as our Saviour himfelf informs us, in the fight 
of God. 

You perhaps, like the Pharifee, may faft often, and make 
long prayers j you may, with Heiod^ hear good fermons 
gladly. But yet, if you continue vain and trifling, immoral 
or worldly-minded, and differ from the reft of your neigh- 
bours barely in going to church, or in complying with fome 
outward performances, are you better than they ? No, in no 
wife; you arc by far much worfe ; for if you ufe them, and 


[ 267 ] 

at the fame time abufe them, you thereby encourage others 
to think there is nothing in them, and therefore muft expe6l 
to receive the greater damnation. But, 

Secondly^ If he that is in Christ be a new creature, then 
this may check the ground lefs prefumption of another clafs of 
profeilurs, who reft in the attainment of fome moral virtues, 
and falfely imagine they are good chriftians, if they are juft 
in their dealings, temperate in their diet, and do no hurt or 
violence to any man. 

Bat if this was all that is requifite to make us chriftians, 
why might not the heathens of old be good chriftians, who 
were remarkable for thefe virtues ? or St. Paul before his con- 
verfion, who tells us, that he lived in all good confcience? but 
we find he renounces all dependance on works of this nature, 
and only defires to be found in Christ, and to know the 
power of his refurrei^ion, or have an experimental proof of 
receiving the Holy Ghoft, purchafed for him by the death, 
and enfured and applied to him by the rcfurredion of Jesus 

The fum of the matter is this : chriftianity includes mora^ 
lity, as grace does reafon j but if we are only mere Moralifts, 
if we are not inwardly wrought upon, and changed by the 
powerful operations of the Holy Spirit, and our moral acS^ions, 
proceed from a principle of a new nature, however we may- 
call ourfelves chriftians, we fhall be found naked at the great 
day, and in the number of thofe, who have neither Christ*s 
righteoufnefs imputed to them for their juftification in the 
fight, nor hclincfs enough in their fouls as the confequence 
of that, in order to make them meet for the enjoyment, of 
God. Nor, 

Thirdly^ Will this do6lrine lefs condemn thofe, who reft in 
a partial amendment of thcmfelves, without experiencing a 
thorough, real, iiiyi'ard change of heart. 

A little 

[ 2^8 ] 

A little acquaintance with the world will furniCa us with 
inftances, of no fniall number of perfons, who, perhaps, were 
before openly profane j but feeing the ill confequences of 
their vices, and the many worldly inconveniencies it has re- 
duced them to, on a fudden, as it were, grow civilized ; and 
thereupon flatter themfelves that they are very religious, be- 
caufe they differ a little from their former felves, and are not 
fo fcandaloufly wicked as once they were : whereas, at the 
fame time, they fhall have fome fecret darling fin or other, 
fome beloved Dalilah or Hcrodiasy which they will not part 
with; fome hidden luft, which they will not'mortify; fome 
vicious habit, which they will not take pains to root out. But 
vvouldft thou know, O vain man ! whoever thou art, what 
the Lord thy God requires of thee? thou muft be informed, 
that nothing fhort of a thorough found converfion will fit 
thee for the kingdom of heaven. It is not enough to turn 
from profanenefs to civility •, but thou muft turn from civility 
to godlinefs. Not only fome, but '' all things muft become 
new" in thy foul. It will profit thee but little to do many 
thin"-s, if vet fome one thing thou lackeft. In fliort, thou 
muft not only be an almoft, but altogether a new creature, 
or in vain thou boafteth that thou art a chriftian. 

Fourthly^ If he that is in Christ be a new creature, then 
this may be prefcribed as an infallible rule for every perfon of 
whatever denomination, age, degree or quality, to judge 
himfelf by; this being the only folid foundation, whereon we 
can build a well-grounded affurance of pardon, peace, and 

We may indeed depend on the broken reed of an external 
profefHon ; we may think we are good enough, if we lead 
fuch fober, honeft, moral lives, as many heathens did. We 
may imagine we are in a fafe condition, if we attend on the 
jyablic offxces of religion, and are conftant in the duties of 
our clofets. But unlefs all thefe tend to reform our lives, and 
change our hearts, a-nd are only ufed as fo many channels of 
divine grace ; as I told you before, fo I tell you again, chri- 
ilianity will profit you nothing. 


[ 26g ] 

Let each of us therefore ferioufly put this queftlon to our 
hearts : Have we received the Holy Ghoft fince we believed ? 
Are v^^e new creatures in Christ, or no? At leafl-, if we are 
not fo yet, is it our daily endeavour to become fuch ? Do we 
conftantly and confcientioufly ufe all the means of grace re- 
quired thereto r Do we fafl, watch and pray? Do we, not 
lazily feck, but laborioufly ftrlve to enter in at the flrait gate? 
In fliort, do we renounce our own righteoufnefs, take up our 
crolles and follow Christ ? If fo, we are in that narrow 
way which leads to life ; the good feed is fown in our 
hearts, and will, if duly watered and nourifhed by a regular 
perfevcring ufe of all the means of grace, grow up to eternal 
life. But on the contrary, if we have only heard, and know 
not experimentally, whether there be any Holy Ghoft; if v/e 
are ftrangers to fafting, watching and prayer, and all the 
other fpiritual exercifes of devotion ; if we are content to go 
in the broad way, merely becaufe we fee moft other people 
do fo, without once refleding whether it be the right one or 
not ; in fliort, if we are ftrangers, nay enemies to the crofs 
of Christ, by lives of worldly-mindednefs, and fenfual plea- 
fure, and thereby make others think, that chriftianity is but 
an empty name, a bare formal profellion ; if this be the cafe, 
I fay, Christ is as yet dead in vain, to us ; we arc under 
the guilt of our fins ; and are unacquainted with a true and 
thorouo-h converfion. 

But beloved, I am perfuaded better things of you, and 
things that accompany falvation, though I thus fpeak ; I 
would humbly hope that you are fincerely perfuaded, that he 
who hath not the Spirit of Christ is none of his ; and that, 
unlefs the Spirit, which raifed Jesus from the dead, dwell in 
you here, neither will your mortal bodies be quickened by the 
fame Spirit to dwell with him hereafter. 

Let me therefore (as was propofed in the /<?/? place) ear- 
neftly exhort you, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
to act fuitablc to ihofe convictions, and to live as chriftians, 
that are commanded in holy writ, to " put off their former 
<:onveriauoii concerning the Old Man, and to put on the 


[ 270 ] 

New Man, which is created after God in righteoufnefs and 
true holinefs." 

It muft be owned indeed, that this is a great and difficult 
work; but, blefled be God, it is not impoffible. Many 
thoufands of happy fouls have been aflifted by a divine power 
to bring it about, and why fhould we defpair of fuccefs ? Is 
God's hand (hortened, that it cannot fave ? Was he the God 
of our Fathers, is he not the God of their children alfo ? Yes, 
doubtlefs, of their children alfo. It is a tafk likewife, that 
will put us to fome pain ; it will oblige us to part with fome 
Juft, to break with fome friend, to mortify fome beloved paf- 
flon, which may be exceeding dear to us, and perhaps as hard 
to leave, as to cut off a right-hand, or pluck out a right-eye. 
But what of all this ? Will not the being made a real living 
member of Christ, a child of God, and an inheritor of the 
kingdom of heaven, abundantly make amends for all this 
trouble ? Undoubtedly it will. 

The fetting about and carrying on this great and neceilary 
work, perhaps may, nay afTuredly will expofe us alfo to the 
ridicule of the unthinking part of mankind, who will won- 
der, that we run not into the fame excefs of riot with them- 
felves ; and becaufe we deny our fmful appetites, and are not 
conformed to this world, being commanded in fcripture to do 
the one, and to have our converfation in heaven, in oppo- 
fition to the other, they may count our lives folly, and our 
end to be without honour. But will not the being numbered 
among the faints, and fhining as the ftars for ever and ever, 
be a more than fufficient recompenfe for all the ridicule, ca- 
lumny, or reproach, we can poffibly meet with here? 

Indeed, was there no other reward attended a thorough 
converfion, but that peace of God, which is the unavoidable 
confequence of it, and which, even in this life, *' pafTeth ajl 
underftanding," we fhould have great rcafon to rejoice. But 
when we confider, that this is the leaft of thofe mercies God 
has prepared for thofe that are in Christ, and become new 
creatures ; that, this is but the beginning of an eternal fuc- 

t 271 ] 

ceflion of pleafures ; that the day of our deaths, which the 
unconverted, unrenewed finner muft fo much dread, will be, 
as it were, but the firft day of our new births, and open to 
us an everlafting fcene or happinefs and comfort j in fhort, if 
we remember, that they who are regenerate and born again, 
have a real title to all the glorious promifes of the gofpel, 
and are infallibly certain of being as happy, both here and 
hereafter, as an all-wife, all-gracious, all-powerful God can 
make them ; methinks, every one that has but the leail con- 
cern for the falvation of his precious and immortal foul, 
having fuch promifes, fuch an hope, fuch an eternity of hap- 
pinefs fet before him, ihould never ceafe watching, praying, 
and ftriving, till he find a real, inward, faving change 
wrought in his heart, and thereby doth know of a truth, that 
he dwells in Christ, and Christ in him -, that he is a new 
creature, therefore a child of God ; that he is already an in- 
heritor, and will ere long be an adtual pgfTeflbr of the king- 
dom of heaven. 

Which God of his infinite mercy grant, through Jesus 
Christ our Lord. 

To whom, &:c. 


£273 3 


Chriftians, Temples of the living God. 

2 Cor. vi. i6, 

Te are the temple of the living Gcd, * 

ISAIAH, rpeaking of the glory of gofpel days, faid, "^^ Men 
have not heard nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the 
-eye feen, O God, befides thee, what he hath prepared for 
him that waiteth for him.*' Chap. Ixiv. 4. Could a world 
]ying in the wicked one^ be really convinced of this, they 
would need no other motive to induce them to renounce 
themfelves, take up their crofs, and follow Jesus Christ. 
And had believers this truth always deeply imprefled upon 
their fouls, they could not but abftain from every evil, be con- 
tinually afpiring after every good ; and in a word, ufe all 
.diligence to walk worthy of Him who hath called them to his 
kingdom and glory. If I miftake not, that is the jend pur- 
pofed by the apoftle Paul^ in the words of the text, " Ye are 
the temple of the living God." Words originally dire'^led to 
the church of Corinth, but which equally belong to us, and 
to our children, and to as many as the Lord our God fhall 
call. To give you the true meaning of, and then practically 
to improve them, flikll be my endeavour in the following 

Firji, I fiiall endeavour to give you the true meaning of thefe 
■words, '' Ye arc the temple of the living God." The 
cxpreffion undoubtedly is metaphorical, or figurative : but 

Vol. VI. 5 un^der 


[ 274 T 

under the metaphor, fomething real, and of infinite im- 
portance, is to be undcrftood. And there feems to be a 
manifeft allufion, not cniy to what we call temples or churches 
in o-eneral, but to the "Jewijh ietiiple in particular. I truft, 
that but few, if any here, need be informed, that the prepa- 
rations for this edifice were exceedingly grand, that it was 
modelled and built by a divine order, and when compleated, 
was feparatcd from common ufes, and dedicated to the fervicc 
of the incomprehennble Jehovah, with the utmofl folemnity. 

It is thus that chriftians are '^ the temple of the living 
GoDj" of Father, Son, and Holy Ghofl ; they who once held 
a confultation to create, are all equally concerned in making 
preparations for, and eflFc(^ual!y bringing about the redemption 
of man. The Father creates, the Son redeems, and the 
Holy Ghoft fancStifies all the ele£l: people of God. Being 
loved from eternity, they are elFedlu ally called in time, they 
are chofen out of the world, and not only by an external 
formal dedication at baptifm, or at the Lord's fupper, but by 
a free, voluntary, unconftrained oblation, they devote 
themfelves, fpirit, foul, and body, to the entire fervice of Kim, 
who hath loved and given himfeif for them. 

This is true and undefiled religion before God our heavenly 

Father : This is the real chriftian's reafenable fcrvice^ or, as 

fome think the word imports, this is the fervice required of us 

in the word of God. It Implies no lefs than a total renuncia<^ 

tion of the world ; in fnort, turns the chriflian's whole life 

into one continued facrifice of love to God j fo that, " whether 

he eats or drinks, he does all to his glory." Not that I 

would hereby infmuate, that to be chriftians, or to keep to the 

words of our text, in order to be temples of the living God, 

we muft become hermits, or fliut ourftlves up in nunneries or 

cloyfters ; this be far from me ! No. The rellgioii, which 

this bible in my hand prefcribes, is a focial religion, a religion 

equally pra£licab'e by high and low, rich and poor, and 

which abfolutcly requires a due difcbarge of all relative duties, 

ia whatfoever ftate of life God fhall be pleafcd to place and 

continue us, 

K That 

[ 275 1 

That fome, in all ages of the church, have literally feparated 
themfelves from the world, and from a fincere defire to fave 
their fouls, and attain higher degrees of chrillian ptfrfeiSlion, 
have wholly devoted themfelves to folitude and retirement, is 
what I make no doubt of. But then fuch a zeal is in no wife 
according to knowledge ; for private chriftians, as well as 
minifters, are faid to be *' the fait of the earth, and the lights 
of the world," and are commanded to " let their light Ihine 
before men/' But how can this be done, if we fliut ourfelves 
up, and thereby entirely exclude ourfelves from all manner 
of converfation with the world ? Or fuppofing we could take 
the wings of the morning, and fly into the mod diftant and 
defolate parts of the earth, what would this avail us, unlefs 
we could agree with a wicked heart and wicked tempter not 
to purfue and jnoleft us there ? 

So far fliould we be from thus getting eafe and comfort, 
that I believe we fhould on the contrary foon find by our 
experience the truth of what a hermit himfelf once told me, 
that a tree which (lands by itfelf, is moft expofed and liable 
to the ftrongeft blafts. When our Saviour was to be tempted 
by the devil, he was led by the Spirit into the wildernefs. 
How contrary this to their pradice, who go into a wildernefs 
•to avoid temptation ! Surely fuch are unmindful of the 
petition put up for us by our blcfled Lord, <' Father, I pray 
not that thou wouldft take them out of the world, but that 
thou wouldft keep them from the evil." This then is to bs 
a chriftian indeed ; to be in the world, and yet not of it ; to 
have our hands, according to our refpeclive ftations in life, 
employed on earth, and our hearts at the fame time fixed on 
things above. Then, indeed, are we " temples of the living 
God," when with a humble boldnefs, we can fay with a 
great and good foldier of Jesus Christ, we. are the fame 
in the parlour, as we are in the clofet ; and can at night 
throw oft' our cares, as we throw off" cur cloaths ; and being 
at peace with the world, ourfelves, and God, arc indifferent 
whether we fleep or die. 

Farther, the Jewifh temple was a houfe of prayer. '' My 
houfe (fays the Great Gud) ftiall be called a houfe of prayer :" 

S 2 and 

[ 276 ] 

and implies that the hearts of true believers 'are the feats of 
prayer. For this end was it built, and adorned with fuch fur- 
niture. Solomon^ in that admirable prayer which he put up to 
God at the dedication of the temple, faith, <' Hearken therefore 
unto the fupplication of thy fervanr, and of thy people Ifrael^ 
which they fliall make towards this place." And hence I 
fuppofe it was that Daniel^ that man greatly beloved, in the 
time of captivity, *' prayed as aforetime three times a day with 
his face towards the temple," And what was faid of the firfr, 
our Lord applies to the fecond temple, " My houfe {hall be 
called a houfe of prayer." On this account alfo, true 
believers may be ftiled, " the temple of the living God." 
For being wholly devoted and dedicated to God, evtn a God 
in Christ, their heart becomes the feats of prayer, from 
whence, as io many living altars, a perpetual facrifice of 
prayer and praife (like unto, tho* infinitely fuperior to the 
perpetual oblation under the Mofaic difpenfation) is conti- 
nually afcending, and ofFcred up, to the Father of Mercies, 
the God of all Confolations. Such, and fuch only, who 
thus worfnip GoD in the temple of their hearts, can truly be 
faid to be made priefts unto God, or be ftiled a royal prieft- 
hood ; fuch, and fuch only, can truly be ftiled, ^' the temple 
of the living God," becaufe fuch only pray to him, as one 
exprefles it, in the temple of their hearts, and confequently 
vvorfhip him in fpirit and in truth. 

Let no one fay that fuch a devotion is impracticable, or at 
lead only pra6iicabie by a few, and thofe fuch who have 
nothing to do with the common affairs of life ; for this is the 
common duty and privilege of all true chriflians. " To pray 
without ceafing," and '' to rejoice in the Lord always," are 
precepts equally obligatory on all that name the name of 
Christ. And though it muft be owned, that it is hard for 
perfons that are immerfed in the world, to ferve the Lord 
without diftra6lion ; and though wc muft confefs, that the 
lamp of devotion, even in the beft of faints, fometimes burns 
too dimly, yet thofe who are the temple of the living God, 
find prayer to be their very element : And when thofe v/ho 
make this objection, once come to love prayer, as fome un- 

[ 277 ] 

happy men love fwearlng, they will Had no more difficulty in 
praying to, and praifing God always, than thefe unhappy 
creatures do in curfing and fwearing always. What hath 
been advanced, is far from being a itate peculiar to perfons 
wholly retired from the world. 

My brethren, the love of God is all in all. When once 
pofTefled of this, as we certainly muft be, if we are " the 
temple of the living God," meditation, prayer, praife, and 
other fpiritual exercifes, become habitual and delightful. When 
once touched with this divine magnet, for ever after the foul 
feels a divine attraction, and continually turns to its centre, 
God ; and if diverted therefrom, by any fudden or violent 
temptation, yet when that obftrudlion is removed, like as a 
needle touched by a loadftone when your finger is taken away, 
turns to its reft, its centre, its God, its All, again. 

The Jewifh temple was alfo a place where the Great 
Jehovah was pleafed in a more immediate manner to refide. 
Hence, he is faid to put and record his name there, and to fit 
or dwell between the cherubims ; and when Solomon firft 
dedicated it, we are told, " the houfe was filled with a 
cloudj fo that the priefts could not ftand to minifter by reafon 
of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord had filled the houfe." 
And wherefore all this amazing manifeftation of the Divine 
Glory ? Even for this, O man, to fhew thee how the High 
and Lofty One thacinhabiteth eternity, would make believers 
hearts his living temple, and dwell and malce his abode in all 
thofe that tremble at his word. 

To this, the apoftle more particularly alludes in the words 
immediately following our text ; for having called the 
Corinthians " the temple of the living God," he sdds, " as 
God hath faid, I v.'ill dwell in them, and I v/ill walk in them, 
and I will be their God, and they fhall be my people." 
Strange and ftrong expreffions thefe ! But firange and ftrong 
as they are, rriuft be experienced by all who are indeed '* the 
temple of the living God." For they are faid, to be " chofen 
to be a holy habitation through the Spirit j to dwell in God, 

S 3 and 

[ 278 ] 

and God in them ; to have the witnefs in themfelves, and 
to have God's Spirit witncffing with their fpirits that they arc 
the children of God." Which expreflions import no more 
or lefs, than that prayer of our Lord vrhich he put up for 
his church and people a little before his bitter palTion, " That 
they may be one, even as we are one, I in them, and thou 
in mc, that they may be made perfeft in one :" This glori- 
ous pafTage our church adopts in her excellent communion 
office, and is fo far from thinking that this v^ras only the pri- 
vileo^e of the apoftles, that fhe afTerts in the ftrongeft terms> 
that it is the privilege of every worthy communicant. For 
then (fays fhe) if we receive the facrament worthily, we are 
one with Christ, and Christ is one with us -, we dwell in 
Christ, and Christ in us. And what is it, but that in- 
fpiration of the Holy Spirit, which we pray for in the begin- 
ning of that office, and that fellow/hip of the Holy Ghoft, 
which the minifter, in the conclufion of every day's public 
prayer, entreats the Lord to be with us all evermore ? 

Brethren, the time would fail me to mention all the fcrlp- 
tures, and the various branches of our liturgy, articles, and 
homilies, that fpeak of this ineftimable blelfing, the indwell- 
ing of the blefTed Spirit, whereby we do indeed become, " the 
temples of the living God." If you have eyes that fee, or 
ears that hear, you may view it almoft in every page of the 
lively oracles, and every part of thofe offices, which fome of you 
daily ufe, and hear read to you, in the public worfhip of Al- 
mighty God. In allerting therefore this dodrine, we do not 
vent the whimfies of a difordered brain, and heated imagi- 
nation ; neither do we broach any new do£lrines, or fet up 
the peculiar opinions of any particular (td: or denomination 
of chriftians whatfoever ; but we fpeak the words of truth 
and fobernefs, we (hew you the right and good old way, even 
that, in which the articles of all the reformed churches, and 
all ilncere chriftians of all parties, however differing in other 
refpecls, do univerfally agree. We are now infifting upon a 
point, which may properly be termed the chriftiany/;//'^^^/^, 
fomething which is the grand criterion of our moft holy re- 
, Ijgion i and on account of which, the holy Ignatiusy one of 


C ^19 ] 

the firft fathers of the church, was ufcd to flilc himfclf a 
hearer of God^ and the people to whom he wrote, bearers of 
God : For this, as it is recorded of him, he was arraigned 
before Trajan^ who imperioufly faid, Where is this man, that 
fays, he carries God about with him. With an humble 
boldnefs he anfwered, I am he, and then quoted the paflage 
in the text " Ye are the temple of the living God ; as God 
hath faid, I will dwell in them, and walk in them, and I 
will be their God, and they {hall be my people." Upon 
this, to cure him of his enthufiafm, he was condemned to be 
devoured by lions. 

Blefied be GoD ! we are not in danger of being called be- 
fore fuch perfecuting Trojans now : under our prefent nii'd 
and happy adminiftration, the fcourge of the tongue is all 
that they can legally lafh us with. But if permitted to go 
farther, we need not be afhamed of witnefTing this good con- 
feflion. SufFering grace will be given for fuffering times ; and 
if, Ixk^ Ignatius ^ we are bearers of God, we alfo fliall be ena- 
bled to fay with him, when led to the devouring lions, Now 
I begin to be a difciple of Christ. 

But it is time for me, 


Secondly^ To make fome practical improvement of what has 
been delivered. You have heard in what fenfe it is that real 
chriftians are " the temple of the living God.'* Shall I a{k. 
Believe ye thefe things f I know and am perfuaded that fome 
of you do indeed believe them, not becaufe I have told you, 
but becaufe you yourfelves have experienced the fame. 

I congratulate you from my inmoft foul. O that your 
hearts may be in tune this day to " magnify the Lord," and 
your fpirits prepared to *' rejoice ia God your Saviour." 
Like the Virgin Mary^ you are highly favoured, and from 
henceforth all the generations of God*s people fl^iall call you 
blefied. You can call Christ, Lord, by the Holy Ghoft, 
and thereby have an internal, as well as external evidence of 
the divinity, both ofhisperfon, and of his holy word. Yoa 

S 4 caa 

[ 2?0 ] 

can now prove that defpifedj book, emphatically called The 
Scriptures, doth contain the perfed and acceptable will of 
God. You have found the fecond Jdam to be a quickening^ 
fpirit ; He hath raifed you from death to life. And being- 
thus taught, and born of God, however unlearned in other 
refpeds, you can fay, " Is not this the Christ ?" O in- 
effable blefTing ! inconceivable privilege ! God's fpirit wit* 
nefleth with your fpirits, that you are the children of God, 
When you think of this, are you not ready to cry out with, 
the beloved difciple, '^ What manner of love is this, that we 
fhould be called the children of God !" I believe that holy 
man was in an extafy when he wrote thcfe words ; and tho' 
he has been in heaven To long, yet his extatic furprize is but 
now beginning, and will be but as beginning through the ages 
of eternity. Thus Ihall it be with all you likewifs, whom 
the high and lofty One, that inhabiteth eternity, hath made his 
living temples. For He hath fealed you to the day of redemp- 
tion, and hath given you the earneft of your future inheri- 
tance. His eyes and heart ihall therefore be upon you con- 
tinually : and in fpite of all oppofition from men or devils, 
the top-ftone of this fpirituaul building Ihall be brought forth, 
and you fhall fhout Grace, grace unto it : your bodies Ihall 
be fafhioned like unto the Redeemer's glorious body, and 
your fouls, in which (O infyiite condefcenrion !) He now de- 
lights to dwell, fhall be filled with all the fulnefs of God, 
You (liall then go no more out ; you fhall then no more 
need the light of the fun or the light of the moon, for the- 
Lord himfelf will be your temple, and the Lamb in the midft 
thereof fhall be your glory. Dearly beloved in the Lord, 
what fay you to thefe things ? Do not your hearts burn 
within you whilft thinking of thefe deep, but glorious truths 
of God. Whilft I am muiing, and fpeaking of them, me- 
tiiinks a fire kindles even in this cold, icy heart of mine : O^ 
what fhall we render unto the Lord for all thefe mercies [ 
Surely He hath done great things for us : How great is his. 
goodnefs, and his bounty ! O the heiglnh, the depth, the 
length, and the breadth of the love of God ! Surely it pafiethr 
knowledge. O for humility ! and a foul-abafing, GoD-ex- 
ahing fenfe of thefe things 1 When the bleficd virgin went 
6 into 

[ 2Sl ] 

into the hill country, to pay a vifit to her coufin EUzaheth^ 
amazed at fuch a favour, (he cried out, " Whence is it that 
the mother of my Lord vouchfafes to come to me ?" And 
when the great Jehovah filled the temple vi'ith his glory, out 
of the abundance of his heart, king Solomon burft forth into 
this pathetic exclamation, " But u^ill God in very deed dwell 
with men on the earth ?" With how much greater aftonifli- 
ment ought we to fay. And will the Lord himfelf in very 
deed come to us ? Will the high and lofty One that inha- 
biteth eternity, dwell in, and make our earthly hearts his li- 
ving temples ? My brethren, whence is this ? From any 
iitnefs in us forefeen ? No, I know you difclaim fuch an un- 
becoming thought. Was it then from the improvement of 
our own free-will ? No, I am perfuaded you will not thus 
debafe the riches of God*s free grace. Are you not all ready 
to fay. Not unto us, not unto us, but unto thy free, thy un- 
merited, thy fovereign, diftinguifiiing love and mercy, O 
Lord, be all the glory. It is this, and this alone, hath made 
the difference between us and others. We have nothing but 
what is freely given us froni above : if we love God, it is 
becaufe God firit loved us. Let us look then unto the rock 
from whence we have been hewn, and the hole of the pit 
from whence we have been digged. And if there be any con- 
folation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowfhip 
of the fpirit, if any bowels and mercies, let us fludy and 
llrive to walk as becometh thofe who are made the temples 
of the living God, or, as the apoftle elfewhere exprefleth him- 
felf, <« a holy temple unto the Lord." What manner of 
perfons ought fuch to be in all holy converfation and godlinefs ? 
How holily and how purely fliould we live ! As our apoftle 
argues in another place, " For what fellowfhip hath righte- 
oufnefs with unrighteoufnefs ? What communion hath light 
with darknefs ? Or v/hat concord hath CnaisT with Belial f " 
Shall thofe who are temples of the living God, fufFcr them- 
felves to be dens of thieves and cages of unclean birds ? 
Shall vain unchafte thoughts be fuffered to dwell within 
them ? much lefs fhall any thing that is impure be conceived 
or adled by them ? Shall v/e provoke the Lord to jealoufy ? 
Gqd forbid 1 We all know v/ith what diftinguifncd ardor 


[ 282 ] 

our blefTed Redeemer purged an earthly temple ; a zeal for 
bis father's houfe even cat him up : with what a holy vehe- 
mence did he overturn the tables of the money-changers, and 
fcourge the buyers and fellers out before him I Why ? They 
made his father's houfe a houfe of merchandife : they had 
turned the houfe of prayer into a den of thieves. 

O my brethren, how often have you and I been guilty of 
this great evil ? Hovi^ often have the luft of the flefti, the luft 
of the eye, and the pride of life, infenfibly ftolen away our 
hearts from God ? Once they were indeed houfes of prayer ; 
faith, hope, love, peace, joy, and all the other fruits of the 
blefTed Spirit lodged within them ; but now, O now, it may 
be, thieves and robbers.. Hinc tllce hchrymce. Hence thofe 
hidings of God's face, that drynefs, and deadnefs, and bar- 
rennefs of foul, thofe wearifome nights and days, which many 
of us have felt from time to time, and have been made to 
groan under. Hence thofe dolorous and heart-breaking com- 
plaints, " O that I knew where I might find him ! G that 
it was with me as in days of old, when the candle of the 
Lord (hone bright upon my foul !'' Hence thofe domeftic 
trials, thofe perfonal lofTes and difappointments : and to this 
perhaps fome of us may add, hence all thofe public rebukes 
with which we have been vifited : they are all only as fo 
many fcourges of fmall cords in the loving Redeemer's hands, 
to fcourge the buyers and fellers out of the temple of our 
hearts. O that we may know the rod and who hath ap- 
pointed it I He hath chaftifed us with whips: may we be 
wife, and by a more clofeand circumfpe<Sl: walk prevent his 
chaftifing us in time to come with fcorpions ! But who is 
fufficient for this thing ? None but thou, O Lord, to whom 
alone all hearts are open, all defires known, and from whom 
no fecrets are hidden ! CIcanfe thou therefore the thoughts 
of our hearts by the infpiration of thy blefled Spirit, that 
henceforward we may more perfectly love thee, and more 
wonhily magnify thy holy name 1 

But are not fome of you ready to object, and to fear, that 
the Lord hath forgotten to be gracious, that he hath (hut 


' . . . .f ^^3 ] 

wp bis loving kindnefs in difplcafure, and that he will be no 

more entreated ? Thus the pfalmift once thought, when vi- 
lited for his backflidings with God's heavy hand. But he 
acknowledged this to be his infirmity; and whether you think 
of it or no, I tell you, this is your infirmity, O ye dejected, 
defponding, diftruftful fouls, hear ye the word of the Lord, 
and call to mind his wonderful declarations of old to his peo- 
ple. " I, even I am He that blotteth out thy tranfgrefTions : 
for a fmall moment have I forfaken thee, but with everlafting 
mercies v/ill I gather thee. Can a woman forget her fuck- 
ing child ? Yes fhe may, but the Lord will not forget you, 

ye of little faith, For as a father pitieth his own chil- 
dren, fo doth the Lord pity them that fear him. How {hall 

1 give thee up, O Ephraim? How fhall I make thee as Admah? 
How fhall I fet thee 2iS Zeboim?'' And what is the re- 
fult of all thefe interrogations ? " My repentings are kind- 
led together : I will not return to execute the fiercenefs of my 
anger againft Ephraim : For 1 am God, and not man." And 
is not the language of all thefe endearing paflages, like that 
of Jofepb to his felf-convicted, troubled brethren ? " Come 
near to me." O that it may be faid of you, as it is faid of 
them, " And they came near unto him." Then fhould you 
find by happy experience, that the Lord, the Lord God, 
merciful and gracious, is indeed flow to anger and of great 
kindnefs, and repenteth him of the evil. Who knows but 
he may come down this day, this hour, nay this mo- 
ment, and fuddenly revifit the temple of your hearts } Who 
knows but he may revive his work in your precious fouls, 
caufe you to return to your firft love, help you to do your 
firfl works, and even exceed your hopes, and caufe the glory 
of this fecond vifitation even to furpafs that glory which filled 
your hearts, in that happy, never to be forgotten day, in 
which he firfl vouchfafed to make you his living temples ? 
Even fo, Father, let it feem good in thy fight ! 

But the improvem.ent of our fubje6l mufl not end here. 
Hitherto I have been giving bread to the children ; anc' it is 
my meat and drink fo to do : but mult nothing be faid to 
tbofe of you who are without ? I mean to fuch who cannot 


[ 284 ] 

yet fay, that they are " the temple of the living God.** 
And O how great^ put you all together, may the number of 
you be : by far, in all probability, the greateft part of this 
auditory. Say not I am uncharitable ; the God of truthj 
hath faid it, " Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, 
which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." Suffer 
me to fpeak plainly to you, my brethren ; you have heard 
what his been faid upon the words of our text, and what 
muft be wrought in us, ere we can truly fay that we are 
*' the temple of the living God." Is it fo with you ? Are ye 
feparated from the world and worldly tempers ? Are your 
hearts become houfes of prayer ? Doth the Spirit of GcD 
dwell in your fouls ? and whether you eat or drink, or what- 
foever you do, as to the habitual bent of your minds, do 
you do all to the glory of God ? Thefe are fhort, but plain, 
and let me tell you very important queftions. What anfvver 
can you make to them } Say not, " Go thy way, and at a 
more convenient feafon I will call for thee." I will not, I 
muft not fuffer you to put me off fo ; I demand an anfwer in 
the name of the Lord of Hofts. What fay ye ? Methinks, 
I hear you fay. We have been dedicated to God in baptifm, 
we go to church or meeting, we fay our prayers, repeat our 
creeds, or have fubfcribed the articles, and the confeflion of 
faith ; we are quite orthodox, and great friends to the doc- 
trines of grace ; we do no body any harm, we are honefl mo- 
ral people, we are churc-hmembers, we keep up family- 
prayer, and conftantly go to the table of the Lord." All 
thefe things are ggod in their places.. But thus far, nay 
much farther may ycu go, and yet be far from the kingdom 
of God. The unprofitable fervant did no one any harm; 
and the foolifli virgins had a lamp of an outward profefiion, 
and went up even to heaven's gate, calling Christ, " Lord, 
Lord." Thefe things may make you whited fepulchres, but 
r.ot " the temples of the living God." Alas ! Alas ! one 
thing you yet lack, the one chief thing, and without which 
all is nothing ; I mean the indwelling of GoD*s bleffed Spi- 
rit, without which you can never b-^come " the temples of 
the living Gou." 


C 285 ] 

Awake therefore, ye deceived formallfls, awake ; who, 
vainly puffed up with your model of performances, boaftingly 
cry out, " The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, 
the temple of the Lord are we." Awake, ye outward-court 
worftiippers : ye are building on a iandy foundation : take 
heed left you alfo go to hell by the very door of heaven. Be- 
hold, and remember, I have told you before. 

And as for you who have done none of thefe things, who 
inftead of making an outward profeffion of religion, have as 
it were renounced your baptifm, proclaim your fin like So» 
dorriy and wilfully and daringly live as without God in the 
world ; I a(k you, how can you think to efcape, if you perfift 
in negleding I'uch a great falvation. Verily, I (houid utterly 
defpair of your ever attaining the blefTed privilege of being 
temples of the living God, did I not hear of thousands, who 
through the grace of God have been tranflated from a like 
flate of darknefs into his marvellous light. Such, fays the 
apoftle Paul^ writing to thefe very Corinthiaits who were now 
God's living temples, (drunkards, whoremongers, adulterers, 
and fuch like) " fuch were fome of you. But ye are walhed, 
but ye are fandtified, but ye are juftified in the name of the 
Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.'* O that the 
fame blefled Spirit may this day vouchfafe to come and pluck 
you alfo as brands out of the burning ! Behold, I warn yoa 
to flee from the wrath to come. Go home, and meditate on 
thefe things; and think whether it is not infinitely better, 
even here, to be temples of the living God, than to be bond- 
flaves to every brutifli luft, and to be led captive by the de- 
vil at his will. The Lord Jesus can, and if you fly to 
him for refuge, he will fet your fouls at liberty. He hath 
led captivicy captive, he hath afcended up on high, on pur- 
pofe to receive this gift of the blefled Spirit of God for men, 
*' even for the rebellious,'* that he might dwell in your hearts 
by faith here, and thereby prepare you to dwell with Him 
and all the heavenly hoft in his kingdom hereafter. 

That this may be the happy lot of you all, may God of 
his infinite mercy grant, for the fake of his dear Son Christ 


[ 286 ] 

JEsvs our Lord ; to whom with the Father, and the blc/TcJ 
Spirit, three perfons, but one God, be afcribed all power, 
might, majcfty, and dominion, now and for evermore. 
Amen ! and Amen ! 


[ 287 ] 


Christ the only Prefervative againft a Re- 
probate Spirit. 

2 Cor. xiii. 5. 

Knowye not your ownfelves^ how that Jesus Christ is 
in you^ except ye be Reprobates. 

TH E do£lrines of the gofpel are do6lrInes of peace, and 
they bring comfort to all who believe in them ; they 
are not like the law given by MofeSy which confifted of 
troublefome and painful ceremonies ; neither do they carry 
with them that terror which the law did ; as, " curfed is 
every one who continueth not to do all things which are 
written in the book of the law :" If you were to keep the 
whole law, and break but in one point, you arc guilty of the 
breach of all. The law denounces threatnings againft all who 
do not conform to her ftri£t commands ; but the gofpel is 
a declaration of grace, peace and mercy ; here you have an 
account of the blood of Christ, blood which fpeaketh better 
things than that of Jbel ; for JheFs blood cried aloud for 
vengeance, vengeance : But Jesus Christ's crieth mercy, 
mercy, mercy upon the guilty finner. If he comes to Christ, 
confeiTes and forfakes his fm, then Jesus will have mercy 
upon him : And if, my brethren, you are but fenfibleof your 
fms, convinced of your iniquities, and feel yourfelves loft, 
undone Tinners, and come and tell Christ of your loft 
conditicn^ you will foon find how ready he is to help you ; 


[ 288 ] 

he will give you his fpirit ; and if you have his fpirityou can- 
not be reprobates : you vi'ill find his fpirit to be quickening 
and refrcfhing ; not like the fpirit of the v^^orld, a fpirit of 
reproach, envy, and all unchsritablenefs. 

Moftof your own experiences will confirm the truth hereof; 
for arc not you reproached and flandered, and does not the 
world fay all manner of evil againft you, merely becaufe you 
follow Jesus Christ ; becaufe you will not go to the fame 
excefs of riot with them ? While they are finging the fongs of 
the drunkard, you are finging pfalms and hymns : while they 
are at a playhoufe, you are hearing a fermon : while they arc 
drinking, revelling and mifpending their precious time, and 
haftening on their own deftruclion, you are reading, praying, 
meditating, and working out your falvation v/ith fear and 
trembling. This is matter enough for a worid to reproach 
you ; you are not polite and fafnionable enough for them. If 
you will live godly, you muft fuffer perfecution ; you muft not 
€xpe£t to go through this world without being perfecutcd and 
reviled. If you were of the world, the world would love you; 
for it always loves its own ; but if you are not of the world, it 
will hate you ; it has done fo in all ages, it never loved any 
but thofe who were pleafed with its vanities and allurements. 
It has been the death of many a lover of Jesus, merely 
becaufe they have loved him : And, therefore, my brethren, do 
not be furprizcd if you meet with a fiery trial, for all thofe 
things will be a means of fending you to your mafter the 

The fpirit of the world is hatred ; that of Christ is love : 
the fpirit of the world is vexation ; that of Christ is 
pleafure : the fpirit of the world is forrow ; that of Christ 
is joy : the fpirit of the world is evil, and that of Christ is 
good : the fpirit of the world will never fatisfy us, but 
Christ's fpirit is all fatisfadlion : the fpirit of the world is 
mifery ; that of Christ is eafe. In one word, the fpirit of 
the world has nothing lafting ; but the fpirit of Christ is 
durable, and will laft through an eternity of ages : the fpirit 
•f Christ v/ill remove every difficulty, fatisfy every doubt, 


r 2S9 1 

and be a means of bringing yoa to hirafclf, to live with him 
for ever and ever. 

From the words of my text, I fliall fhew you, 

I. The necefiity of receiving the fpirit of Christ. 

II. Who Christ is, whofe fpirit you are to receive* 
And then 

Shall conclude with an exhortation to all of you, high and 
low, rich and poor, to come unto the Lord Jesus Christ^ 
and to beg that you may receive his fpirit, fo that you may not 
be reprobates. 

F/r/?, I am to fhew you the neceffity there is of receiving 
the fpirit of Christ. 

And here, my brethren, it will be necefTary to cbnfider you 
as in your firft ftate ; that is, when God firft created Adarriy 
and placed him in the garden oi Ederiy and gave him a privilege 
of eating of all the trees in the garden, except the tree of 
knowlcd^re of sood and evil, which flood in the midft thereof. 
Our firft parents had not been long in this ftate of innocence, 
before they fell from it, they broke the divine commands, and 
involved all their pofterity in guilt ; for as Adam was our 
reprefentative, fo we were to ftand or fall in him -, and as he 
was our fcederal headj his falling involved all our race undec 
the power of death, for death came into the world by fin ; and 
we all became liable to the eternal punifhment due from GoD, 
for man's difobedience to the divine command. 

Now as man had finned^ and a fatisfa£iion was demanded, it 
U'as impOiTible for a finite creature to fatisfy him, who was 
a God &, fo ftri£i purity as not to behold iniquity : And man 
by the juftice of God would have been fent down into the 
pit, which was prepared of old for the devil and his angels; 
but when juftice was going to pafs the irrevocable fentcnce, 
then the Lord Jesus Christ came and offered himfelf 

Vol. VL T *ranfona 

[ 290 ] 

a ranfom for poor fmners. Here was admirable condercenfion 
of the Lord Jesus Christ ! that he who was in thebofom 
of his father, fhould come down from all that glory, to die for 
fuch rebels as you and I are, who if it lay in our power, would 
pull the Almighty from his throne : Now can you think that 
if there was no need of Christ*s death, can you think that if 
there could have been any other ranfom found, whereby poor 
finners miuht have been faved, God would not have ipared 
his only begotten Son, and not have delivered liim up for all 
that believe in him f 

This, my brethren, I think proves to a demonilration, that 
it was neceilary for Christ to die : But confider, it will be 
of nofervice to know that Christ died for Tinners, if you do 
not accept of his fpirit, that you may be fan(51:iiied, and fitted 
for the reception of that Jesus, who died for all thofe who 
believe in him. The I'm of your nature, your original fm, is 
fufRcient to fmk you into torments, of which there will be no 
end; therefore unlefs you receive the fpirit of Christ you arc 
reprobates, and you cannot be faved : Nothing (hort of the 
blood of Jesus applied to your fouls, will make you happy ta 
all eternity : Then, feeing this is fo abfolutely neceflary, that 
you cannot be faved without having received the fpirit of 
Christ, but that ye are reprobates, do mot reft contented 
'till you have good hopes, through grace, that the good work 
is begun in your fouls ; that you hivve received a pardon for 
your fins j that Christ came down from heaven, died, and 
made fatisfaclion for your fins. Don't flatter yourfelves that 
a little m.orality. v.ill be fufncient to fave you ; that goitig to 
church, or prayers, and facrament, and doing all the duties of 
religion in an external manner, will ever carry ^'ou to 
heaven ; no, you muft have grace in your hearts , there muft 
be a change of the whole man. 

You muft be born again, and become new creatures, and 
have the fpirit of Christ within you : And until you have 
that ipirit of Christ, however you may think to the con- 
trary, and pleafe yourfelves in your own imagination, 1 fay, 
you are no beutr than reprobates. You may content your- 
5 felves 

[ 29^ ] 

fclves with leading civil, outward decent lives, but vihat will 
that avail you, unlefs you have the fpirit of the Lord Jesus 
Christ in your hearts : His kingcloni mufl: be fer up in your 
fouls ; there muft be the life of God in the foul of man, eife 
you belong not to the Lord Jesus Christ j and until you 
belong to him, you are reprobaies. 

This may feem as enthufiafm to fome of you, but if it is fo, 
it is wha!. the apoftle P^w/ taught ; and therefore, my brethren, 
they are the words of truth. I befecch you, in the mercies of 
God in Christ Jesus, not to defpife thefe words, as if they 
<io not concern you, but were only calculated for the fiift ages 
of chriftianity, and, therefore, of r.o fignificcition : If you 
think thus, you are wronging your own fouls ; for whatever 
is written, was written for you in thefe time-, as well as for 
the chriftians in the firfl ages of the church. 

For the cafe flands thus between God and man : God, at 
firft, made man upright, or, as the facred penman expreircs it, 
*' In the image of God made he man ;" his foul v/as the very 
copy, the tranfcript of the divine nature. He who had, by his 
almighty power, fpolcen the world into being, breathed into 
man the breath of fpiritual life ; and his foul became adorned 
with puricy and perfe6lion. This was the finifliing (Iroke of 
the creation ; the perfection both of the moral and material 
world ; and it fo refembled the divine Original, that God 
could not but rejoice and take pleafure in his own likenefs : 
Therefore, we read, that when God had finifiied the inani- 
mate and brutifli part of the creation, " he looked, and behold 
it was good." But when that lovely, god-like creature man 
was made, " behold it was very good." 

Happy, unfpeakably happy, to be thus partaker of a divine 
Nature; and thus man might have continued ftill, had he 
continued holy ; but God placed him in a ftate of probation, 
vith a free grant to eat of every tree in the garden, except the 
tree of knowledge of good and evil. The day he did eat 
thereof he was not only to become fubject to temporal, but 
fpiritual death ; and fg lofe that divine image, that fpiritual 

T 2 life 

[ 292 ] 

life which God had breathed into hiai, and which was as 
much his happineis as his glory. 

But man, unhappy man, being feduced by the devil, did 
eat of the forbidden fruit, and thereby became liable to that 
curfe which the eternal God had pronounced on him for his 
difobedience.' And we read, that foon after Jt^arn was fallen, 
he complained that he was naked ; naked, not only as to 
his body, but naked and deftitute of thofe divine graces 
which before beautified his foul. 

An unhappy mutiny and diforder then fell upon this world j 
thofe briars and thorns Which now fprir<g up and overfpread 
the earth, were but poor emblems, lifelefs reprefentations of 
that confuficn and rebellion which fprung up in, and over- 
whelmed, the foul of man, immediately after the fall. He 
iiow funk into the temper of a beaft and devil. 

In this dreadful and difordered condition are all of us 
brought into the world : We are told, my brethren, that 
*' Jdlam had a fon in his o\^'n likenefs," or v.'ith the fame 
corrupt nature which he himfelf had funic into, after eating 
the forbidden fruit: And experience, as well as fcripture, 
proves, that we are altogether born in fm, and, therefore, un- 
capable, whilft in fuch a ilate, to have communion with 

For as light cannot have communion with daikiiefs, fo 
God can have no communion with iuch polluted fons of 
Belial. Here, here, appears the great and glorious end, why 
Christ was manifeft in the flelh, to put an end to thefe 
diforders, and to reftore us unto the favour of God. He 
came down from heaven and fhed his precious blood upon the 
crofs, to fatisfy the divine juftice of his Father, for our fins ; 
and fo, he purchafed this Holy GhoO, who mufl: once more 
re-ilamp the divine image on our hearts, and make us capable 
()f living with, and enjoyyig of God. VVc muft be renewed 
by the fpirit of God ; he mud dwell in us before we can he 
nev/ creatures, and be freed from a reprobate fpirit : the 
I fpirit 

r 293 ] 

fpirit of Christ muft bring us home unto that fold where all 
his {heep are, and implant his grace in our hearts, atid take 
from us that fpirit of fin which reigns in us : And till this is 
rooted out of our hearts, however we may flatter ourfelves 
with being good chriftians, becaufe we are good moralift^, 
and lead civil, moral, decent lives, yet if wc live and die, my 
brethren, in this way, v/e are only flattering ourfelves into 

I think I have proved, to a demonftration, the neceflity 
there is of receiving the fpirit of Christ. I now jcome tQ 
fhew you, 

Secondly^ Who Christ is, whofe fpirit you are to receive. 

My brethren, Jesus Christ is coequal, coefTential, 
coeternal, and confubftantial with the Father, very God of 
very God ; and as there was not a moment of time in which 
God the Father was not, fo there was not a moment of time 
in which God the Son was not. 

Jrians and Sodnians deny this godhead of Christ, and 
efteem him only as a creature: The Jrians look on him as 
a titular Deity, as a created and fubordinate God ; but, if 
they would humbly fearch the fcriptures they would find 
divine homage paid to Christ. He is called God in 
fcripture, particularly when the great evangelical Prophet fays, 
" He fhall be called the mighty God, the everlafting Father, 
and the government fliall be upon his flioulder^ :" And 
Jesus Christ himfelf fays, that he is the Alpha and 
Omega ;" and that " the world was made by him :'* But 
though this be ever fo plain, our gay airy fparks of this age 
will not believe the Lord Jesus Christ to be equal with 
his Father, and that for no other reafon, but becaufe it is 
a fafhionable and polite docSlrine to deny his divinity, and 
efteem him only as a created God. 

Our Sccinians do not go fo far ; they look upon Christ 
only to be a good man fcnt from God, to (hew the people the 

T 3 way 

[ 294 ] 

way the/ (hould go, on their forfaking of Judalfm ; that he 
was to be alfo an example to the world, and that his death was 
only to prove the troth of his dodrines. 

Many of thofc who call themfelvcs members, yes, teachers 
of the church o^ Englayid^ have got into this polite fchemc. 
Good God ! my very foul jQiudders at the thoughts of the 
confequence that will atter.d fuch a belief. O my brethren, 
do not think fo di{honourably of the Lord who bought you; 
of the Jesus who died for you : he muft be all in all unto 
your fouls, if ever you are faved by him : Christ muft be 
your adivc, as well as palTive obedience ; his righteoL' fnefs 
muft be imputed to you. The dodrine of Christ's righ- 
teoufp.efs being imputed, is a comfortable, a defirable doctrine 
to all real chriftians : And to you, fuiners, Vv'ho are enquiring 
what you muft do to be faved ? how uncomfortable would ic 
be to tell you, by your own good works, when, perhaps, you 
have never done one good work in all your lives : 'I'his would 
be driving you to defpair indeed ; no, " believe in the Lord 
Jesus Christ and you fhall be faved j" come to the Lord 
JEsus by faith, and he fliall receive you. He is able and 
willing to fave you. 

This fecond perfon In the Trinity, who is God-man, the 
mediator of the new covenant; he, my brethren, hath virtue 
enouo^h, in his blood, to atone for the fins of millions of 
worlds: As man he died, he was crucified, nailed to, and 
pierced on the accurfed tree : This was the love of the Lord 
Jesus Christ for you ; and will you then have low and 
diflionourable thoughts of Jesus Christ, after his having 
done fo much for you ? O my dear brethren, don't be fo 
polite as to deny the Deity of Christ ; though you may be 
counted fools in the eye of the world, yet in God's accountj 
you (hall be efteemed wife, wife for falvation. 

You may now be looked upon as fools and madmen, as 
a parcel of rabble, and, in a fhort time, fit for Bedlam. They 
rx\?iy fay you are going to undermine the eftablifhed, church j 
but G0D5 who knows the fecrets of all hearts, knows our 

innocency ; 

C 295 ] 

Iftnocency; and I fpeak the truth In Christ, I lie no% 
I fliould rejoice to fee all the world adhere to her articles ; 
I fliould rejoice to fee the teachers, the minifters of the church 
of England, preach up thofe very articles they h;ivc fubfcribed 
to; but thofe minifters who do preach them up, they clicem 
as madmen, and look on them, as the off-icouring of the 
earth, unfit for company and converfation. 

The evil things they fay of me, blefied be Gon, are with- 
out foundation ; I am a friend to che church homilies ; I am 
a friend to her liturgy, and if they did not thrult me out of 
their churches, I would read it every day. 

My brethren, I am not for limiting the fpiritof God, but 
am for uniting all in the bonds of love ; I love all that love the 
Lord Jesus Christ : This will make more chrifHans, 
than will the fpiritof perfecution. 

The Pharifees may think it madnefs to mention perfecut'on 
in a chriftian country, but the fpirit of perfecution refides in 
many : their will is as great, but blelFed be God, they want 
the power ; if they had that, my brethren, fire and fagc^ot is 
what we muft expe6l, for the devil's temple is (haken. Many 
are coming unto Jesus, 1 hope many of you are already 
come, and many more coming ; this muft make Satan rage, 
to fee his kingdom weakened ; he will ftir up all his malice 
againft the people of God. We mufr exped, that a fuffering 
time will certainly come ; it is now haftening on, it is ripen- 
ing a-pace ; then it will be proved, to a demonftration, 
whether you are hypocrites or not ; for fufl-'ering times are 
always trying times. O my brethren, do not be afraid of 
a little reproach, but look on it as a fore-runner of what will 
be the attendant upon it : 1 hcrefore let me, by way of 

Exhort all of you, high and low, rich and poor, one with 
another, to come unto the Lord Jesus Christ, that he 
may give you ftrcngth to undergo vvhatfoevcr he, in his 
wifJom, calls you to. Come, come, my brethren^ to Jesus 

T 4 Christ, 

[ 296 ] 

Christ, an^l he will give you grace, which will make yoil 
\\'llling and ready to TufFcr all things for Jesus Christ. 

It is not being pointed at ; it is not being defpifed and 
looked on as mad, and a deluded people : Alas ! what does 
thlsfigniry to a foul who has Jesus Christ ? Do not be 
afraid to confefs the bleffed Jesus ; dare to be fin.'ularly 
good : Don't be afraid of Tinging of hymns, or of meeting 
together to build each other up in the ways of the LoRD : 
Shine ye as lights in the world amidft a crooked and perverfe 

It is neccfTary that offences fnould come, to try what is In 
our hearts, and v^hether we will be faithful foldiers of Jesus 
Christ or not : Be not content v/ith follov/ing Christ afar 
off, for then we fhall, as Peter did, foon deny him ; but let us 
be altogether chriftians. Let our fpeech and all our acSlions 
declare to the whole world, whofe difciples we are, and that 
we have determined to know nothing but Jesus Christ, 
and him crucified. O then, then, will it be well with us, 
happy, unfpeakably happy, fliall we be, even here; and what 
is infinitely better, when others that defpifed us fhall be 
calling for the mountains to fall en them, and the hills to 
cover them, we fhall be exalted to fit down on the right 
hand of God, and Oiine as the fun in the firmament, and live 
for ever with our Redeemer. And will not this be a fuflicient 
recompcncc for all the fufferings you have undergone here? 
Therefore, do not lUive to have the greatnefs, the riches, the 
honour, and pleafures of this world, but ikive to have Jesus 

Your friends and carnal acquaintance, and, above all, your 
grand adverfary the devil, will be perfuading you not to have 
Christ until you are grov/n old ; he would have you lay up 
goods for many years ; to fee plays, play at cards ; go ta 
balls, and mafqueiades; and to m.ake you the more willing, 
to draw you in, he calls fmful pleafures, innocent diverfions. 

A late learned Rabbi of our church, told the people, in 
2. (ermon, which I my fclf heard, that if people went to church 


of a Sandny, and faid the prayers while there, that it was no 
hariji, neither would God count it a fm, to take tbeir recrea- 
tion, stter the fervice of the church was over : But I fay, my 
brethren, and che command of God fays fo too, that the whole 
iUbhath muft be kept holy; and that as God has allowed 
you fix days for yourfelvcs, to do the duties in thofe feveral 
Nations wherein Provid'v.'ncc has placed you, he expects you 
fhould give him one day to himfelf ; and will you wafte that 
fabbath v/hich (hould be fpent in gathering provifions for yout 
fouls ? God forbid [ 

You had ten thoufand times better be ignorant of all the 
polite diverfions of the age, than to be ignorant of the fpirit of 
Christ's being within you, ar.d that it mufl be, before you 
are mw crenitires^ and are in Christ ; and if you have not an 
intereli in Christ, you are loll, your damnation is haftening 
on. " He that believeth (liall be faved, and he that believeth 
not f'lail be damned." 

If you fland out againfl Christ, you are flghtlno; afrainfl 
yourfelves. O come unto him, do not flay to bring good 
works with you, for they will be of no fervice ; all your 
v.orks will never carry you to heaven, they will never 
pardon one fin, nor give you the Icaft comfort in a dying 
hour ; if you have nothing more than your own works to 
recommend you to God, they will not prevent your finkin^ 
into that eternal abyfs, where there is no bottom. 

But come unto Christ, and he will give you that rl^h- 
teoufnefs which will ftand you in good account at the orreat 
day of the Lord, when he Ihall come to take notice of them 
that love him, and of thofe who have the wedding garment on. 

Let all your aflions fpring from the love of Jesus ; let him 
l>e the Alpha and Omega of all your atStions 5 then, my 
brethren, our indifferent ones are acceptable facrifires ; but if 
this principle be wanting, our moft pompous fervices avail 
nothing ; v.'e are only fpiritual idolaters; wc facrifice to our 
own net, and make an idol of ourfclve?, by making ourfelves, 


[ 298 ] 

and not ChiIist, the fpring of our actions ; and therefore, 
my brethren, fuch actions are (o far trora being ac<:epted by 
God, that according to the language of one of the articles of 
our church, '' We doubt not but that they have the nature of 
fm, becaufe they fpring not from an experimental faith in, and 
knowledge of Jesus Christ. 

Were we not fallen creatures, we might then act upon 
other principles ; but fince we are fallen in Jdam^ and are 
reftored again only by the death of Jesus Christ, the face of 
things is intirely changed, and all we think, fpeak, or do, is 
only accepted in and through him. 

Therefore, my brethren, I befeech you, in the bowels of 
love and compaliion, that you would come unto Jesus : Do 
not go away fcoffing, oftended, or blafpheming. Indeed, all 
I fay is in love to your fouls ; and if 1 could be but an 
inftrument of bringing you to Jesus Christ, if you were 
to be never fo much exalted, I fliould not envy, but rejoice 
in your happinefs : If I was to make up the laft of the train 
of the companions of the blelTed Jesus, it would rejoice me 
to fee you above me in glory. I do not fpeak out of a falfe 
humility, a pretended fan6tity ; no, God is my judge, 
I fpeak the truth in Christ, I lie not, I would willingly go 
to prifon, or to death for you, fo I could but bring one foul 
from the devil's flrong holds, into the falvation which is by 
Christ Jesus. 

Come then unto Christ every one that hears me this 
night ; I offer Jesus Christ, pardon, and falvation to all 
you, who will accept thereof. Come, O ye drunkards, lay 
afidc your cups, drink no more to excefs ; come and drink of 
the water which Christ will give you, and then you will 
thirft no more : come, O ye thieves ; let him that has fiolen,. 
fteal no more, but fly unto Christ and he will receive you. 
Come unto him, O ye iiarlots ; lay afide your lufts and turn 
unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon you, he will 
cie^nfe you of ail your lins, and wa(h you in his blood. 


C 299 ] 

Come, all ye liars ; come, all ye Pharifees ; come, all ye 
fornicators, adulterers, fwearers, and blafphemers, come to 
Christ, and he will take away all your filth, he will cleanfe 
you from your pollution, and your fins fliall be done away. 
Come, come, my guilty brethren 5 I befeech you for Christ's 
fake, and for your immortal foul's fake, to come unto 
Christ : Do not let me knock at the door of your hearts in 
vain, but open and let the King of Glory in, and he will 
dwell with you, he will come and fup with you this night ; 
this hour, this moment he is ready to receive you, therefore 
come unto him. 

Do not confult with flefh and blood, let not the world 
hinder you from coming to the Lord of life : What are a few 
tranfitory pleafures of this life worth ? They are not worth 
your having, but Jesus Christ is a pearl of great price, he is 
worth the laying out all you have, to buy. 

And if you are under afflidions, fly not to company to 
divert you, neither read what the world calls harmlefs books ; 
they only tend to harden the heart, and to keep you from 
clofing with the Lord Jesus Christ. 

When I was a child, yea, when I came to riper years, God 
knows, it is with grief I fpeak it, when ignorant of th« 
excellency of the word of God, I read as many of thefe 
harmlefs books as any one ; but now 1 have tafted the good 
word of life, and am come to a more perfect knowledge of 
Christ Jesus my Lord ; I put away thefe childilh, trifling 
things, and am determined to read no other books but what 
lead me to a knowledge of myfelf, and Jesus Christ. 

Methinks I could fpeak till midnight unto you, my 
l^rethren -, I am full of love towards you ; let me befeech 
you to fly to Christ for fuccour : " Now is the accepted 
lime, now is the day of falvation ;" therefore delay not, but 
drive to enter in at the (trait gate ; do not go the broad way 
of the polite world, but choofe to fuffer afflidion with the 


f ^00 1 

people of God, rather than to enjoy the pleafures of fin for 
aleaion : You will have a reward afterwards, that will make 
amends for all the taunts, jeers, and calamities you may under- 
go here. 

And will not the prefence of Christ be a fufficient reward 
for all you have fuffered for his name's fake ? Why will you 
not accept of the Lord of glory ? Do not fay you have not 
heard of Christ, for he is now offered to you, and you will 
not accept of him ; do not blame my mafter, he is willing ta 
fave you, if you will but lay hold on him by fajth ; and if you 
do not, your blood will be required of your own heads. 

But I hope that you will not let the blood of Jesus be fhcd 
in vain, and that you will not let my preaching be of nofigni- 
Jfication. Would you have me go and tell my mafter, you 
^vill not come, and that I have fpent my ftrength in vain ; 
I c.uinot bear to carry fo unplealing a mcilage unto him, 
I would not, indeed, 1 would not be a fwift witnefs againil 
any of you at the great day of accounts ; but if you will refufe 
thefe gracious invitations, and not accept of them, I muft do 
it : and will it not move your tender hearts to fee your friends 
taken up into heaven, and you yourfelves thruft down into 
bell ? But I hope better things of rnoft of you, even chat you 
Vv'iii turn unto the Lord of love, the Jesus who dit^d for 
you, that in the day when he (hall come to take his people 
to the manfions of evcrlafting reff-, you may he.ir his voice, 
*' Come, ye bldVcd of my Father, enter into the kingdom 
prepared for you before the foundation of the world." And 
that we may all enter into that glory, do thou, O Jesus, 
prepare us, by thy grace; give us thy fpirit; and may our 
hearts be united to thee : May the word that has now been 
fpoken, take deep root in thy people's hearts, that it may 
fpring up and bring foi th fruit, in fomc thirty, in fome forty, 
and in fome an hundred fold ; do thou preferve them while 
in this life from all evil, and keep them from falling, and 
at laft prefent them faultlefs before thy Father, when thou 
comeft to judge the world, that where thou art, they mny 

[ 301 ] 

be alfo. Grant this, O Lord Jesus. Christ, with what- 
ever elfe thou fceft needful for us, both at this time and 
for evermore. 

Now to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy 
Gholl, be afciibed all honour, power, glory, might, 
majefty and dominion, both now and for evermore, 

S E R M O N 

[ 3°i 3 


The heinous Sin of Drunkenncfs. 

Ephesians v. i8. 

Be not drunk with Wine^ wherein is Excefs ; lut be filled 
with the Spirit. 

THE perfons to whom thefe words were written, were 
the inhabitants o^ Ephefus^ as vvc are told in the y//f7/, 
had been worfhipppers of the great goddefs Diana^ and, ia 
all probability, worfliipped the God Bacchus alio; at the cele- 
bration of whofe feftivals, it was always cuftomary, nav, part 
of their religion, to get drunk j as though there was no uther 
way to pleafe their God, but by turning themfelyes into 

The apoftle therefore in this chapter, amongft many other 
precepts more efpecially applicable to them, lays down this 
in the text ; and exhorts them, as they had now, by the free 
grace of God, been turned from heathenish darknefs to the 
light of the gofpel, to walk as children of light, and no longer 
make \t part of their religion or pra6lice to be ^' drunk with 
wine, wherein is exccfs 5 " but, on the contrary, ftrive to 
" be filled with the Spirit" of that Saviour, after whofe name 
they were called, and whofe religion taught them to abi^ain 
from a filthy fin, and to live foberly as they ought to liv'e. 

The world being now chriflian, and the do£lrines of the 
gofpel every where received, one would imagine, there fhould 
be no reafon for repeating the piecept now before us. But 


[ 301 ] 
alas, chriftians ! I mean chriitians falftly (o called, are ]ed 
captive by all fin in general, and by this of drunkennefs in 
particular ; that was St. Paul to rife again from the dead, 
he might be tempted to think moft of us vvcre turned back 
to the worfliip of dumb idols ; had fet up temples in honour 
of Bacchus ; and made it part of our religion, as the Ephejians 
did of theirs, " to be drunk with wine, wherein is cxcefs.'* 

Some of our civil magiftrates have not been wanting to ufo 
the power given them from above, for the puniihment and 
reftraint of fuch evil doings; and I wiTn it could be faid this 
plagHC of drinking, by what they have done, had been flayed 
amongil: us. But alas ! though their labour, u'e truil, ioas 
not been altogether in vain in the Lop.d, yet thoufands, and 
I could almoft fay ten thoufands, fall daily at our right-hand, 
by this Tin of drunkennefs, in our ftrects ; nay, men fcem to 
have made a covenant with hell, and though the power of the 
civil magiftrate is exerted againft them, nay, though they 
cannot but daily fee the companions of their riot hourly, by 
this fm, brought to the grave, yet '' they will rife up early 
to follow ftrong drink, and cry. To-morrow fliall be as to- 
day, and fo much the more abundantly; when we awake, vvc 
will feek it yet i^gain.** 

It is high time therefore, for thy minillcrs, O God, to lift 
up their voices like a trumpet ; and fince human threats can- 
not prevail, to fet before them the terrors of the Lord, and 
try if thefe will not peifuade them to ceafe from the evil of 
their doings. 

But alas! hov/ fhall I addrefs myfclf to them ? I fear excefj 
of drinking has made them fuch mere Nabals^ that there is no 
i'peaking to them. And many of God's fervan's have toiled 
all their life-time in difluading them from this fm of drunken- 
nefs, yet they will not forbear. However, at thy command, 
I will fpeak alfo, though they be a rebellious houfe. Mag- 
nify thy flrength, O Lord, in my weaknefs, and grant that 
I may fpeak Vi'iih fuch demonftration of the S^)':!!:, and power, 


t 305 ] 

that from hencoforward they may ceafe to aȣl Co un wifely, and 
this fin of di unkenncfs may not be their ruin. * 

Believe me, ye unhappy men of Belial, (for fuch, alas ! 
this fin has made you) it is not without the ftrongeft reafons, 
as well as utmoft concern for your precious and immortal 
fouls, that I now conjure you, in the Apoftle's words, " Not 
to be drunk with wine, or any other liquor, wherein is ex- 
cefs." For, 

Fityi, Drunkennefs is a fin which muft be highly difpleafing 
to God j becaufe it is an abufe of his good creatures. 

When God firft made man, and had breathed into him the 
breath of life, he gave him dominion over the works of his 
hands ; and every herb bearing feed, and every tree, in which 
was the fruit of a tree yielding feed, to him was given for 
meat : but when JJam had tafted the forbidden fruit, which 
was the only reftraint laid upon him, he forfeited this pri- 
vilege, and had no right, after he had difobeyed his Creator, 
to the ufe of any one of the creatures. 

But, blefTed be God, this charter, as well as all other pri- 
vileges, is reflored to us by the death of the fecond Jclam^ 
our Lord and Matter Jesus Christ. Of every beaft of the 
field, every fi(h of the fea, and whatfoever flieth in the air, 
or moveth on the face of the earth, that is fit for food, *' we 
may freely eat,'* without fcruple take and eat ; but then, 
with this limitation, that we ufe them moderately. For God, 
by the death of Jesus, has given no man licenfe to be intem- 
perate ; bur, on the contrary, has laid us under the ftrongeft 
obligations to live foberly, as well as godly, in this prefent 

But the drunkard, defpifmg the gocdnefs and bounty of 
G<.'D, in reftoring to us what we had fo juftly forfeited, turns 
his grace into wantonncfs; and as tjiough the creature was 
not of itfelf enough fubje^l to vanity, by being curfed for our 
lake, he abufes it itill more, by making it adminilicr to his 

Vol. Vl. U lufki 

[ 30^ 1 

lufts ; and turns that wine which was intcndeg to make glad 
his heart, into a deadly poi/bn. 

But thinkeft thou, O drunkard, whofoever thou art, thou 
ilialt efcape the righteous judgment of" God f No, the time 
will foortly come that thou muft he no longer fleward, and 
then the Sovereign Lord of all the earth will reckon with 
thee for thus wafting his goods. Alas I wilt thou then wreft 
fcripture any longer to thy own damnation ? And becaufe 
Jesus Christ turned water into wine at the marrlage-feaft, 
to fu^ply the wants of his indigent hoft, fay, that it is there- 
fore meet to make merry, and be drunken. No, thou (halt 
be illent before him ; and know, that though thou haft 
encouraged thyfelf in drunkennefs by fuch-like arguments, 
yet for ail thefe things God will bring thee into judgment. 


Secondly^ What makes drunkennefs more exceedingly fin- 
ful, is, that a man, by falling into it, finneth againft his own 

When the apoftle would diftTuade the Coritithicins from for- 
nication, he urges this as an argument, '' Flee fornication^ 
brethren ; for he that committeth forjiication, fmneth againft 
his own body." And may not I as juftly cry out, Flee drun- 
kennefs, my brethren, fince he that committeth that crime, ' 
finneth againft his own body ? For, from whence come lb 
many difeafcs and diftempers in your bodies ? Come they not 
4rom hence, even from your intemperance in drinking? Who 
hath pains in the head ? Who hath rottennefs in the bones ? 
Who hath rednefs of eyes ? He that tarries long at the wine, 
he that rifes early to feek new wine. How many walking 
fl^eletons have you feen, whofe bodies were once exceeding 
fair to look upon, fat and well-favoured ; but, by this fin of 
drinking, how has their beauty departed from them, and how 
have they been permitted to walk to and fro upon the earth, 
as though God intended to fet them up, as he did Lot\ wife, 
for monuments of his juftice, that others might learn not to 
get drunk ? Nay, I appeal to yourfelves : are not many, for 


f 307 ] 

this caufc, even now fickly among you ? And have not mihny 
of your companions, whom you once faw To flourifliimr, lil^e 
green bay trees, been brought by it with lorrow to their 
graves ? 

We might, perhaps, think ourfelves hardly dealt with by 
God, was he to fend us, as he did the royal Plalmift, to 
choofe one plague out of three, whereby we (liould be de- 
ftroyed. But had the Ahnighty decreed to cut off man from 
the face of the earth, and to fliorten his days, iie could not 
well fend a more efFeclual plague, than to permit men, as 
they pleafcd, to over-charge themfclves with xlrunkcnncrs ; 
for though itjibe a flow, yet it is a certain poifon. And if the 
Avord has flain its thoufands, drunlcennefs has ilain its ten 

And will not this alarm 3'ou, O ye tranfgreflbrs ? Will not 
this pcrfuade you to fpare yourfelves, and to do your bodies 
no harm ? What, have you loft the firft principles of human 
nature, the fundamental law of fclf-prefervation ? You {ccm, 
to have a great fon'dnefs for your bodies ; why, otherwife, to 
gratify the inordinate appetites, do ycu drink to cxcefs ? But 
furely, if you truly loved them, you would not thus deftroy 
t^em ; and was there no other argument to be urged aa;ainft 
drunkennefs, the confideration that it will deftroy thofe lives 
you ar^ fo fond of, one would imagine, fliould be fufficicnr. 

I know, indeed, that it is a common anfwer, which 
drunkards make to thofe, who, out of love, would pull theni 
as firebrands out of the fire, we are no body's eciemy but our 
own. But this, inftead of being an excufe for, is an aggra- 
vation of their guilt : for (not to mention that the drunken- 
nefs of one man has cloathed many a family with rags, and 
that it is fcarce poftible for a perfon to be drunk, without 
tempting his neighbour alfo) not to mention thefe, and many 
other ill confequenccs, which would prove fuch an excufe to 
be entirely falfe ; yet what is dearer to a man than hmifclf ? 
And if he himfelf be loft, what would all the whole v\orld 
avail him ? But how wilt thou Hand, O man, before the 

U 2 judgment- 

[ 308 1 

judgment- feat of Christ, and make fuch an cxcufc, when 
thou fhaU be arraigned before him as a felf-murderer ? Will 
it then be fufficient, thinkeft thou, to fay, I was no man*s 
enemy but my own? No; God will then tell thee, that thou 
oughteft to have glorified him with thy fpirit, and with thy 
body, which were his ; and fince thou hafl, by intemperance, 
deflroyed thy body, he will deftroy both thy body and foul in 
hell. But, 

Thirdly^ What renders drunkcnnefs more inexcufable, is, 
that it robs a man of his reafpn. 

Reafon is the glory of a man ; the chief thing whereby 
God has made us to differ from the brute creation. And our 
rnodern unbelievers have exalted it to fuch a high degree, as 
even to fet it in oppofition to revelation, and fo deny the 
Lord that bought them. But though, in doing" this, they 
greatly err, and whilft they profefs thcmfelves wife, become 
real fools; yet we raufl acknowledge, that reafon is the candle 
of the Lord, and whofoever puts it out, (hall bear his punifh^' 
ment, whofoever he be- 
But yet, this the drunkard does. Nebuchadnezzar's curfc 
he makes his choice, his reafon departcth from him ; and 
then what is he better than a brute \ 

The very heathen kings were fo fenfible of this, that, in 
order to deter their young princes from drinking, they ufed 
to make their Haves get drunk, and be expofed before them. 
And didfl: thou but fee thine own pi6iure, O drunkard, when, 
after having drowned thy reafon, thou flaggerefl to and fro, 
Jike one of the fools in IfraeU and feeft thy very companions 
making fongs upon thee, furely thou vvouldft not return to 
thy vomit again, but abhor thyfelf in dufl and afhes ! 

When Dauld^ in a holy ecflary, was dancing before the 
aik, Michal^ Saul^s daughter, defpifed him in her heart; and 
when he came home, ihe faid, " How glorious v/as the king 
oi I'racI to-day, who uncovered himfelf to-day in the eyes of 


[ Z^9 1 

the hand-maids of his fervants, as one of the vain fellows 
iliamelefly uncovereth himfelf." But may not every one that 
meets a drunkard, more juftly fay. How glorious docs he, 
that was made a little lower than the angels, look to-day, 
when, unmindful of his dignity, he has by drinking robbed 
himfelf of his reafon, and reduced himfelf to a level with the 
beads that pcrifli. 

But what if God, In the midfi of one of thefe drunken 
£ts, (hould arreft thee by death, and fay unto thee, " Thou 
fool, this moment fljall thy foul be required of thee." O ! 
how wouldft thou appear in thofe filthy garments before that 
God, in whofe fight the heavens are not clean. And how 
knoweft thou, O man, but this may be thy lot ? Haft thou 
not known many fummoned at fuch an unguarded hour ? 
and what afiurance haft thou, that thou fhah not be the next? 
Becaufe God has forborn thee fo long, thinkeft thou he v/ill 
forbear always ? No, this is rather a fign that he will come 
at an hour thou lookeft not for him 5 and fince his goodnefs 
and long-fufFering has not led thee to repentance, he will cut 
thee down, and not permit thee to cumber the ground arty 
longer. Confider this then, all ye that count it a pleafure to 
turn yourfelves into brutes, left God pluck you away by a 
fudden death) and there be none to deliver you. 

Fourthly^ There is a farther aggravation of this crime, that 
it is an inlet to, and forerunner of many other fins; for it 
feldom comes alone. 

We may fay of drunkennefs, as Solomon does of ftrifc, that 
It is like the letting out of water; for we know not .what 
will be the end thereof. Its name is Legion ; behold a troop 
of fins Cometh after it. And, for my own part, when I fee 
a drunkard, with the holy Prophet, when he looked in Ha- 
Gael's face, I can hardly forbear weeping, to confider how 
many vices he may fall into, ere he comes to himfelf again. 

What horrid Inceft did righteous Let commit with his own 
daughters, when th^y had made him drunk ? And, I doubt 

U 3 not, 

C 510 ] 

not, but there are many amongft you, who hare committed 
fuch crimes when you have deprived yourfelves of your reafon 
by drT.king, that were you to hear of them, your heart, like 
XabaFs^ after he was told how he had abufed David when 
he was drunk, vt'ould die v/ithin you. And, had any one 
told you, when you were fober, that you would have been 
guilty of fuch crimes, you would have cried out, Wxih Hazaei 
before- mentioned, '*• Are thy fervants fo ma-ny dogs, that they 
lliould da thus r" 

But no marvel that drunkards commit fuch crimes ; for 
drunkenncfs drives the Holy Spirit from them 5. they become 
mere machines for the devil to work up to what he pleafes ;. 
])e enters into them, as he entered into the herd of fvvine;. 
and no wonder if they then commit all uncleannefs, and any 
other crime^ with greedinefs. But this leads me to a 

Fifth confideration, which highly aggravates the fm of 
drunkennefs,. it feparates the Holy Spiiit from us. 

It is to be hoped, that no one here prefent need be In- 
formed, that before we can be aiTured we are chriftians indeed,, 
we muft receive the Holy Ghoft, mud be born again from 
above,, and have the Spirit of God witnelTing with our fplrits, 
that VvC are the fons of God-. This, this alone is true chri- 
ftianity ; and without the cohabitation of this blefled Spirit iri 
our hearts, our righteoufncfs does not exceed the righteoufnefs 
of the Scribes and Pharifees, and we ihall in no wife enter 
into the kingdom of God, 

But now, drunkards do In effe£l: bid this blefled Spirit to 
depart from them : for what has he to do with fuch filthy 
fwine ? They have no lot or fliare in the Spirit of the Son of 
David. They have chafed him out of their hearts, by de- 
filing his temple ; I mean their bodies. And he can no more 
hold comm.union with them, than light can have communion 
with darknefs, or Christ have concord with Belial, 


[ 3ii ] 

The apnflle, therefore, in the words of the t^xt, exhorts 
the Ephffumsy " not to be drunk with wine, wherein is cxcefs, 
but to be filled with the Spirit j" thereby implying, that 
drunkennefs and the Spirit of God' could never dwell in the 
fame heart. And in another epiftle, he bids them to avoid 
tinprofitable converfatign, as a thing which grieved the Holy 
Spirit : whereby alone they could be fealed to the day of re- 
demption. And if unprofitable convcrfiition grieves the Holy 
Spirit, at what an infinite diftance muft drunkennefs drive him 
from the hearts of rrien ? 

O that you were wife ! that yoii would confider v/hat a 
c3readful thing it is to have the Spirit of the living GoD depart 
from you ! for, affure yourfelves, if you live Without him, yoii 
will live without Gop in the world. You are in the fartle 
tniferable forlorn condition as Saul was, when an evil fpirit 
of the Lord came upon himj and you are only fo many 
teflels of wrath fitted for deftriidtion. But this brings me 
to a 

^Ixth reafoh againft the fin of drunkennefs ; it abfolutelj^ 
unfits a man for the enjoyment of GoD in heaven, and ex- 
pofes him to his eternal wrath. 

To fee and enjot God, and to be like the blcfled angelsj 
always beholding the face of our heavenly Father, in the glo- 
ries of his kingdom, is fuch an unfpeakable happinefs, that 
even wicked men, though they will not live the life of the 
righteous, cannot but wifli their future ftate to be like his. 

But think yo'j, O ye drunkards, that you fliall ever be par- 
takers of this inheritance v/ith the faints in light? Do you 
flatter yourfelves, that you, who^ have made them often the 
fubjccl of your drunken fongs, (hall now be exalted to fmg 
\vith them the heavenly fongs of Sion f No, as by drunken- 
nefs you have made your hearts cages of unclean birds, with 
impure and unclean fpirits muft you dwell, 

U 4 *A burning 

C 312 ] 

A burning Tophet, kindled by God's wrath, is prepared 
for your reception, where you muft fuffer the vengeance of 
eternal fire, and in vain cry out for a drop of water to cool 
your tongues. Indeed you (hall drink^ but it fiiall be a cup 
of God's fury ; for in the hand of the Lord there will be a 
cup of fury, it will be full mixed 5 and as for the dregs there- 
of, all the drunkards of the land fliallTuck them out. 

But perhaps you may not believe this report* Thefe words 
may be looked upon by you as idle tales, and I may feem to 
you as Lot did to his fons-in-law, when he came to warn 
them to get up out oi Sodom ^ " as one that mocketh.'* But 
if you believe not me, believe eternal truth itfelf, which has 
pofitively declared, that no drunkard fhall ever enter into his 

And I call heaven and earth to witnefs againft you this day, 
that as furely as the Lord rained fire and brimftone, as foon 
as Lot went out of Sodom^ fo furely will God caft you into a 
lake of fire and brimftone, when he fliall come to take ven- 
geance on them that know not God, and have not obeyed 
the gofpel of our Lord Jesus Christ, 

Behold then I have told you before; remember, that you 
this day were informed what the end of drunkennefs would 
be. And I fummon you, in the name of that God whom I 
fcrvc, to meet me at the judgment-feat of Christ, that you 
niay acquit both my Mafter and me ; and confefs, with your 
own mouths, that your damnation was of yourfelves, and that 
we are free from the blood of you all. 

But, Lord, has no one believed our report r Wilt thou 
fuffer fo many words to be fpoken in vain, if it be yet in 
vain? No, mechinks I fee fome pricked to the hciirt, and ready 
to cry out, in the language oi David to Abigail^ " Ijleffed 
- be the Lord God of Jfrady which fent thee this day to fpeak 
unto us." For furely, unlefs he had fent thee, this fin of 
drunkennefs had been our ruin: but now, fince we find whi- 
3 ther 

t 313 ] 

tber it will lead us, we are refolved to drink no liquor to 
excefs while the world ftands, left we (liould be tormented in 
the flames of hell. 

But alas! how (hall we be delivered from the power of this 
fm ? Can the Ethiopian change his fkin, or the leopard his 
fpots ? So hard, almofl, will it be for you who have been ac- 
cuftomed to be intemperate, to learn to live fober. 

But io not defpair; for what is impofTible with man, is 
poffible with God. Of whom then fhould you feek. for fuc- 
cour, but of him your Lord ? Who, though for this fin of 
drunkennefs, he might juftly turn av/ay his face from you; 
yet obfervc, 

Firji, If you pour out your hearts before him in daily prayer^ 
and afk affiftance from above, it may be God will endue you 
with power from on high, and make you more -than conque- 
rors through Jesus Christ. Had you kept up communion 
with him in prayer, you would not fo long, by drunkennefs, 
have had communion with devils. But, like the Prodigal, 
you have defired to be your own mafters ; you have lived 
without prayer, depended on your own ftrength j and now 
fee, alas ! on what a broken reed you have leaned. Hov7 
foon have you made yourfelves like the beafts that have no 
underftanding? But turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways. 
Come to him with the repenting Prodigal, faying, '' Father 
we have fmned 5" we befeech thee, let not this fm of drun- 
kennefs have any longer dominion over us. Lay hold on 
Christ by faith, and lo ! it (hall happen to you even as yoa 
will. A 

Second means I would recommend to you, in order to get 
the better of drunkennefs, is to avoid €vi/ ompany : ¥01 it is 
the evil communication of wicked men, that has drawn many 
thoufands into this, fin, and fo corrupted their good manners. 

But you may fay, If I leave my companions, I muft expe£l 
contempt : for thev will certainly dtfpife me for being (ingu- 


f 514 ] 

iiu And thinkeft thou, O man, ever to enter In at the ftralt 
gttte by a true converfiori, without being had in derifion of 
them that are round about thee? No ; though thou mayft be 
defpifed, and not go to heaven, yet thou canft tiot go to hea- 
ven without being defpifed : " For the friendfliip of the world 
is enmity vvith Gob." And they that are born after the flefh, 
will perfecute thofe tHat are born after the Spirit. Let not, 
therefore, a fervile fear of being defpifed by a man that fliall 
die, hinder thy turning unto the living God. For what is a 
little contempt ? It is but a vapour which 'i'anifheth away, 
and cometh not again. Better be derided by a few compa- 
nions here, than be made afhamed before men and angels 
hereafter. Better be the fong of a few drunkards on earth, 
than 'dwell with them, vvhere they will be eternally reproach- 
ing and curfing each other in hell. Yet a little while, -and 
they themfelves fnall praife thy doing?; and fhall fay. We, 
fools, counted his leaving us to be folly, and his end to be 
without honour : but- how is he numbered among the fons of 
of God, and his lot among the faints ! 

But I haften to lay cfown a 

57j/V^ means for thofe who would overcome the fm of drun- 
kennefs, to enter upon a life o^ Jfri'f Jelf-denial and mortifi- 
cation: for this kind of fin goeth not forth but by prayer and 
fafting. It i? true, this may feem a difHcult tritk; but then, 
we muft thank ourfelves for it; for had we begun fooner, our 
work would have been the eaficr. And even now, if you will 
but ftrive, the yoke of mortification will grow lighter and 
lighter every day. 

And now, by way of conclufion, I cannot but exhort all 
perfons, high and low, rich and poor, to prailife a fi:ri6t felf- 
denial in eatinrr and drinkine. For though " the kingdom 
of God confiils not in m.cats and drinks^'* yet an abftemious 
life .of God's good creature;, greatly promotes the fpiritual 
life. Add perhaps there are more deftroyed bv living in a re- 
gular fenfuality, than even by the very fin I have nov/ been 

warn in 2: 

t 3^5' 1 

warning you oi'. I know indeed, that manj', who are only 
almoft chriftians, and who fcek, but do not ftrivc to enter 
into the kingdom of God, urge a text of fcripture to juftify 
their indulgence, faying, that '* it is not what entereth int» 
the man dcfileth the man." And fo we grant, when taken 
moderately ; but then they (hould confider, that it is pof- 
fible, nay, it is proved by daily experience, that a perfon 
may eat and drink fo much as not to hurt his body, and yet 
do infinite prejudice to his foul : for felf-indulgcnce lulls the 
foul into a fpii itual {lumber, as well as d\vc6l intemperance ; 
and though the latter may expofe us to more contempt among 
men, yet the former, if continued in, will as certainly fhut 
us out from the prefence of God. St. Paul knew this full 
well ; and therefore, though he was the fpiritual father of 
thoufands, and was near upon finifhing his courfe, yet he 
fays, it was his daily pradice to " keep his body under, and 
bring it into fubjecSlion, left after he had preached to others, 
he himfelf (hould be a caft-away," or difapproved of, or do 
fbmething that might make him an offence or ftumblin^-- 
block to any of God's children : for of his own, and all other 
faints final pcrfeverance, he makes no doubt, as is evident 
from many of his epiftles ; and the word Aj^oz///o^ bears this 
fenfe, 2 Cor. xiii. 5. and fundry other places. But why 
urge I the apoftlc's example, to excite you to a ftridi: tempe- 
rance in eating and drinking ? Rather let me exhort you only 
to put in pradice the latter part of the text, to labour to 
" be filled with the Spirit of God," and then, you will no 
longer fearch the fcripture?^ to find arguments for felf-indul- 
gence ; but you will deal fincerely with yourfelvcs, and eat 
and drink no more at any time, than what is confident with 
the ftricleft precepts of the gofpel. O beg of God, that you 
may fee, how you are fallen in Adam^ and the ncceffity of 
being renewed, ere you can be happy, by the Spirit of Jesus 
Christ ! Let us befeech him to enlighten us to fee the 
treachery of our corrupt hearts, and how pure and holy thefe 
bodies ought' to be, that they ought to be living temples of 
the Eloly Ghoft, and then we Oiall (hew ourfelves men. And 
being made temples of the Holy Ghoft, by his dwelling in our 


t 316 1 

bodies here, thdugh after death, worms may deftroy them, 
yet ihall they be raifed by the fame Spirit at the general refur- 
re£lion of the laft day, to be fafliioned like unto Christ's 
glorious body hereafter. 

Which God of his infinite mercy grant, &Ct 

S E R M O xN 

[ 317 ] 


The Power of Christ's Refurredtlon. 

Philip, iii. lo. 
That I may know Him, and the Power of his RefurreHionl 

THE apoftle, in the verfes before the text, b«d been cau- 
tioning the Philippians to " beware of the concifion," 
Judaizing teachers^ who endeavoured to fubvert them from the 
fimplicity of the gofpel, by telling them, they ftill ought to 
be fubje6t to circumcifion, and all the other ordinances of 
Mofes, And that they might n©t think he fpoke out of pre- 
judice, and condemned their tenets, becaufe ke himfelf was 
a ftranger to the JewiJJo difpenfation, he acquaints them, that 
if any other man thought he had whereof he might truft in 
the flefh, or feek to be juftified by the outward privileges of 
the Jewsy he had more : For he was " circumcifed the 
eighth day ; of the ftock of ]frael (not a profelyte, but a na- 
tive Jfraelite) ; of the tribe of Benjamin (the tribe which ad- 
hered to Judah when the others revolted) ; an Hebrew of the 
Hehreius ^ Jew both on the father's and mother's fide) ; and 
as touching the law, a Pharifee^'' the ftridleft fe6l amongftall 
Ifrael, To fhew that he was no Gallio in religion, through 
his great, though mifguided zeal, he had perfccuted the 
church of Christ ; and ** as touching the righteoufnefs of 
the law (as far as the Pharifees expofition of it went, he was) 
blamelefs," and had kept it from his youth. But, when it 
pleafed God, who feparated him from his mother's womb, 
to reveal his Son in him, " What things were gain to me,'* 
(he /ays) thofe privileges I boafted myfelf in, and fought to 


[ 3'8 ] 

bejuftified by, "I counted lofs for Christ.'* And that- 
they might not think he repented that he had done fo, he 
tells them, he was now more confirmed than ever in his judg- 
ment. For, fays he, "* yea doubtlefs (the 'i^xpreffion in the 
original rifes with a holy triumph) and I do ccunt all things 
but lofs for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus 
my Lord." And that they might not object that he faid, 
and did not, he acquaints them, he had given proofs of the 
fmcerity of thcfe profelTions, becaufe for the fake of them, he 
had fuffered the lofs of all his worldly things, and ftill was 
willing to do more ; for, ." I count them but dung (no more 
than offals thrown out to dogs) fo that I may win, ( or have 
a faving intereft in) Ci^RIST, and be found in him (as the 
rnanflayer in the city of refuge) not having my own righte- 
oufnefs which is of the law, (not depending on having Abra- 
ham for my father, or on any works of righteoufnefs which I 
Jiave done, either to atone or ferve as a balance for my evil 
(deeds) but that which is through the faith of Christ, the 
rio;hteoufnefs which is of God by faith," a righteoufnefs of 
God's appointing, and which will be imputed to me, if I 
believe in Christ, '' that I may know him, and the power 
of lus refurreiStion j" that I may have an experimental know- 
ledge of the efficacy of his refurredlion, by feeling the in- 
fluences of his bleiled SpVit on my foul. In which words 
vwo things are implied. 

Firfli That Jiisus Christ did rife from the dead, 

Secondly -t That it highly concerns us to know the power of 
his nfmg again. ^ 

Accordingly, in the following difcourfe I iliail endeavour 
to (liew, 

//r/?. That Christ is rilen indeed from the dead; and 
that it was neceiTary for him fo to do j and, 

Secondly^ That it highly concern.s us to know and experi- 
ence the Dower of his refurrectio:;. 

* 6 ^C/^. 

I 3^9 J 

F'lrjl^ Christ is indeed rifen. 

That Jesus fliould rife from tl^e dead was abfolutdy iie- 
jCeflary j 

1. FirJ}^ On his own account. He had often appealed to 
this as the laft and mod convincing proof he would give them 
that he was the true Mefliah, *' 'inhere (hall no other fign be 
given you, than the fign of the prophet Jonas," And again, 
.*' Deftroy this temple of my body, and in three days I will 
build it Mp." Which words his enemies remembered, and 
jjrged it as an argument, to induce Pilate to grant them a 
watch, to prevent his being ftolen out of the grave. " Wc 
know that deceiver faid, whilfl he v/as yet alive.^ after three 
days I will rife again.'* So that had he not rifen again, they 
might have juftly faid, we know that this man was ;in im- 

2. Secondly^ It was neceflary on our account. *' He rofc 
again" (fays the apoftle) for our juftincation i" or that the 
debt we owed to Gop for pur fins, might be fully fatistied 
and difcharged. 

It had pleafeq the Father (for ever adored be his infijiite 
love and free grace) to wound his only Son for our tranfgref- 
fions, and to arreft and corifine him in the prifon of the grave, 
as our furety for the guilt we had contra(5led by fetting at 
nought his commandments. Now had Christ continued 
always in the grave, we could have had no more aflurance 
that our fins were fatisfied for, than any common debtor can 
have of his creditor's being fatisiied, whjlft his furety is kept 
confined. But he being relcafed from the power of death, 
we are thereby allured, that with his facrifice God was well 
pleafed, that our atonement was f.nifhed on the crofs, and 
that he hath made a full, perfedl, and fufhcient facrifice, 
oblation, and [<itibfaciion for the fiai: of the world. 

3. Tulrdiy, 

[ 3^0 ] • 

3. Thirdly^ It was neceflary that our Lord Jesus fhould 
rife again from the dead, to aflure us of the certainty of the 
refurredion of our own bodies. 

The do(?lrine of the refurreclion of the body was entirely 
exploded and fet at nought among the Gentiles^ as appears 
from the Athenians mocking at, and calling St. Paul '' a 
babbler and a fetter forth of ftrange do<ftrines," when he 
preached to them Jesus, and the refurre6tion. And though 
it was believed by mod of the Jews^ as is evident from many 
parages of fcripture, yet not by all; the whole feci of the 
Sadducees denied it. But the refurretStion of Jesus Christ 
put it out of difpute. For as he aclcd as our reprefentative, 
if he our head be rifen, then muft we alfo, who are his mem- 
bers, rife with him. And as in the firft Jda7n we all died, 
even fo in him our fecond Adatn we muft all, in this fcnfe, 
be made alive. 

As it was neceflary, upon thefe accounts, that our blefled 
Lord fliould rife from the dead ; fo it is plain beyond con- 
tradiction, that he did. Never was any matter of fa6l betrer 
attefted ; never were more precautions made ufe of to pre- 
vent a cheat. He was buried in a fepulchre, hewn out of a 
rock, fo that it could not be faid that any digged under, and 
conveyed him away. It was a fepulchre alfo wherein ne- 
ver man before was laid ; fo that if any body did rife from 
thence, it mull be the body of Jesus of Nazareth, Befides, 
the fepulchre was fealed ; a great ftone rolled over the mouth 
of it ; and a band of foldicrs (confifting not of friends, but of 
his profciTed enemies) was fet to guard it. And as for his 
difciples coming by night and fteaiing him away, it was al- 
together improbable : For it v^as not long fince, that they 
had all forfaken him, and they were the moft backward in 
believing his refurredlion. And fuppofmg it was true, that 
they carne v.'hilfr the foldiers fiept \ yet the foldiers muft be 
call into a deep f]eep indeed, that the rolling away fo great a 
Hone did not av/akc Tome of them. 


i 3^-i ) 

And our bkfTcd Lord's afterwards appearing at fundry 
timcj, and in divers manners, to his difciple.^, as when they 
were aflemblcd together, when they were walking to Ernmrms^ 
when they were h(hing ; nay, and condefcending to {hew 
them his hands and feet, and his appearing to above five 
hundred brethren at once, put the truth of his rcfurred^ion 
Out of all difputCi 

Indeed, there i» one objc£lion that may be made againft 
what has been faid, that the books wherein thcje fadls are 
recorded were written by his difciples. 

And who more proper perfons than thofe who were cye- 
WitnefTes of what they related, and eat and drank with him 
after his refurreclion ? " Rut they were illiterate and ignorant 
men." Yet as good vvitnefTes of a plain matter of facl, as 
the moft learned mafters in Ijracl. Nay, this rendered them 
more proper witnefles. For being plain men, they were 
therefore lefs to be fufpe6ted of telling or making a lye, par- 
ticularly, fmce they laid down their lives for a tellimony of 
the truth of it. We read indeed o^ Jacob's telling a lie^ 
though he was a plain man, in order to get his father's blef- 
fing. Bwt it was never heard fmce the world began, that 
any man^ much lefs a whole fet of men, died martyrs, for 
the fake of an untruth, when they themfeives were to reap 
no advantage from it. 

No, this fingle circumflance proves them to be Jfraclitei 
indeed, in v/hom was no guile. And the wonderful fuccefs 
God gave to their miniftry afterwards, when three thoufand 
were converted by one fermon ; and twelve poor fifherrnen, 
in a very Ihort time enabled to be more than conquerors over 
all the oppofition men or devils could make, was as plain a 
^emonftration, that Christ was rifen, according to their 
gfiifpel, as that a divine power, at the found or a few ram's 
horns, caufed the walls of Jericho to fall down. 

But what need we any farther witnefles ? Believe you the 
refurreclion of our blefkd Lord r I know that you believe 
Vol. V[. X it, 


[ 322 ] 

tt, as your gathering together on this firft day of the week in 
the courts of the Lord's houfe abundantly tcftiiies. 

What concerns us moft to be allured of, and which is 
the s 

Second thing I was to fpeak to, is, Whether w^e have ex- 
perimentally known the power of his refurreiStion ; that is. 
Whether or not we have received the Holy Ghoft, and by 
his powerful operations on our hearts have been raifed from 
the death of iin, to a life of righteoufnefs and true holi- 

Tt was this, the great apoftle was chiefly defirous to know. 
The refurreclion of Christ's body he was fatisfied would 
avail him nothing, unlefs he experienced the power of it in 
raifing his dead foul. 

For another, and that a chief end of our blcficd Lord's 
rifing from the dead, was to enter heaven as our reprefenta- 
tive, and to fend down the Floly Ghoft to apply that redemp- 
tion he had finifhed on the crols, to our hearts, by working 
an entire change in them. 

Without this, Christ would have died in vahi. For it 
would have done us no fervice to have had his outward 
righteoufnefs imputed to us, unlefs we had an inward inhe- 
rent righteoufnefs wrought in us. Becaufe, being altogether 
conceived and born in fin, and confequently unfit to hold 
communion with an infinitely pure and holy GoD, we can- 
not polTibly be made meet to fee or enjoy him, till a thorough 
renovation has pafled upon our hearts. 

'Without this, we leave out the Holy Ghoft in the great 
work of our redemption. But as we were made by the joint 
concurrence and confultation of the blefled trinity j and as we 
were baptized in their name, fo muft all of them concur in 
our falvation : As the Father made, and the Son redeemed, 
I fo 

[ 323 ] 

fo rtitift the Holy Ghoft faniSlify and feal us, or othcrwife we 
have believed in vain. 

This then is what tHe apoftle means by the " Power of 
Christ's refurredlion," and this is what we are as much con- 
cerned experimentally to know, as that He rofc at all* 

Without this, though We may be moralifts, though we 
may be civilized, good-natured people, yet wc are no chrif- 
tians. For he is not a true chriftian, who is only one out- 
wardly ; nor have we therefore a right, becaufe we daily pro- 
fefs to believe that Christ rofe again the third day from the 
dead. But he is a true chriftian who is one inwardly; and 
then only can we be ftiled true believers, when we not only 
profefs to believe, but have felt the power of our blelTcd 
Lord's rifing from the dead, by being quickened and raifed 
by his Spirit, when dead in trefpaiTes and fms^ to a thorouo-h 
newnefs both of heart and life. 

The devils themfelves cannot but believe the do£lrine of 
the refurre(£lion, andtreaible; buc yet they continue devils^ 
becaufe the benefits of this refurre(Stion have not been applied 
to them, nor have they received a renovating power from it, 
to change and put off their diabolical nature. And (o^ un- 
}efs we not only profefs to know, but alfo feel that Christ 
is rifen indeed, by being born again from above,* we fnall bs 
as far from the kingdom of God as they : our faith will be 
as ineffectual as the faith of devils. 

Nothing has done more harm to the chriflian world, no- 
thing has rendered the crofs of Christ of lefs effedl, than a 
vain fuppofition, th-t religion is fomething without us. 
Whereas we (hould confider, that every thing that Christ 
did outwardly, muft be done over again in our fouls ; or 
Otherwife, the believing there was fuch a divine perfon once 
on earth, who triumphed over hell and the grave, will profit 
lis no more, than believing there was once fuch a perfon a$ 
Alexander ^ who conquered the world. 


[ 324 ] ^ 
As CimiST was born of the Virgin's womb, To mi;ft he 
be fpirituallv formed in our hearts. As he died for fin, (o 
muit we die to fin. And as he rofe again from the dead, fo 
mufl we alfo rife to a divine life. 

None but thofc who have followed him in this regeneration, 
or new-birth, (hall fit on thrones as approvers of his fentence, 
when he fhall come in terrible majcfty to judge the twelve 
tribes of IjraeL 

It is true, as for the outward work of our redemption, it 
was a tranfient acl, and was certainly finifhed on the crofs. 
but the application of that redemption to our hearts, is a 
work that will continue always, even unto the end of the 

So long as there is an ch<zi man breathing on. the earth, 
who is naturally engendred of the offspring of the firft Jda/n, 
fo long muft the quickning fpirit, which was purchafed by 
the rerurre61:ion of the fecond Jdaniy that Lord from heaven, 
be breathing upon his foul. 

For though we may exifl by Christ, yet we cannot be 
faid to exi{b in him, till we are united to him by one fpirit, 
and enter into a new ftate of things, as certainly as he entered 
into a new ftate of things, after that he rofe from the dead. 

We may throng and crowd round about Christ, and 
call him " Lord, Lord," when we come to worfliip be- 
fore his footflocl ; but we have not cfFe£tualJy touched him, 
till by a lively faith in his refurre61ion, we perceive a di- 
vine virtue coming out of him, to renew and purify our 

How greatly then do they err who reft in a bare hiftorica! 
faith of our Saviour's refurredion, and look only for external 
proofs to evidence it ? Whereas were we the moil learned 
ciifputcrs of this world, and could fpeak of the certainty of 


[ 325 ] 

this fa\£l with the tongue of men and angels, yet without this 
inward teftimony of it in our hearts, though we mii:;ht con- 
vince others, yet we (hould never be faved by it ourlelves. 

For we are but dead men, wc are like (o many carcafcs 
-wrapt up in grave cloaths, till that fame Ji-sus who called 
Jl,aza*-us from his tomb, atid at whofc own rdurrc^tion many 
that Hept arofe, doth raife us alio by his quickening Spirit 
from our natural death, in which wc have fo long lain, to a 
holy and heavenly life. 

We might think ourfelves happy, if we had fcen the Holy 
Jesus after He was rifen from the dead, and our hands had 
handled that Lord of life. But more happy arv; they who 
have not fecn him, and yet having felt the power of his re- 
furreclion, therefore believe in him. For many faw our di- 
vine mafter, who were not faved by him ; but vvhofoever has 
thus felt the power of his refurredlion, has the earned of his 
inheritance in his heart, he has palled from death to life, and 
ihall never fall into final condemnation. 

I am very feniible that this is fooliHincfs to the natural 
jnan, as were many fuch like truths to our Lord's own dif- 
ciplcs, when only weak in faith, before he rofe again. But 
when thefe natural men, like them, have fully felt the power 
of his refurre£lion, they will then own that this do6lrine is 
from QoD, and fay with the Safjiaritans, " Now we believe 
not becaufe of thy faying," for we ourfelves have experienced 
it in pur hearts. 

And O that all unbelievers, all letter-learned mailers of 
IJrael^ who now look upon the docSlrine of the power of 
Christ's refurreition, or our new birth, as an idle talc, 
and condemn the preachers of it as enthufufts and madmen, 
did but thus feel the power of it in their fouls, they would 
no longer aflc, how this thing could be ? But they would be 
convinced of it, as much as Thomas was, when he faw the 
LoE-d'o Christ ; and like iiim, when Jfsl's bid liim reach 

X 3 out 

[ 32^ 1 , 

out his hands and tbrufl them into his fide, In a holy cortfu-» 
fion they would cry out, " My Lord and my God !" 

But how fliall an unbeliever, how fliall the formal chriftiail 
come thus to " know Christ, and the power of his refur- 
redion ?'* God, who cannot lye, has told us, " I am the 
refurredlion and the life, whofoever liveth and believeth in 
me, though he were dead, yet Ihall he live." Again, fays 
the apoftle, " By faith we are faved, and that not of ourfelves, 
it is the gift of God." 

This, this is the way, walk in it. Believe, and you fliall 
live in Christ, and Christ in you ; you fliall be one with 
Christ, and Christ one with you. But without this, 
your outward goodnefs and pjofeffions will avail you no- 

But then, by this faith we are not to underftand a dead 
fpeculative faith, a faith in the head j but a living principle 
wrought in the heart by the powerful operations of the Holy 
Ghoii:, a faith that will enable us to overcome the world, 
and forfake all in affection for Jesus Christ. For thus 
fpeaks our bleflcr Malkr, '* Unlefs a man forfake all that he 
hath, he cannot be my difciple." 

And fo the apoftle, in the words immediately following 
the text, fays, *' being made conformable t,o his death ;'-* 
thereby implying, that we cannot know the power of Christ's 
refurrc6Uonj unlefs we are made conformable to him in his 


If we can reconcile light and darknefs, heaven and hell, 
then we may hope to know the power of Christ's refurrec^ 
tion without dying to ourfelves and the world. But till we 
can do this, we might as well expect; that Christ will have 
concord with Belial. 

For there is fuch a contrariety between the fpirit of this 
world, and the Spirit of J^sus Christ, that he who will 


be at friendfliip with the one, muft be at enmity with the 
other : *' We cannot ferve God and mammon." 

This may, indeed, feem a hard faying ; and many, with 
the young man In the gofpel, may be tempted to go away 
forrowful : But wherefore fhould this offend them ? For 
what is all that is in the world, the lull of the eye, the luft 
of the fleflij and the pride of life, but vanity and vexation of 
fpirit ? 

God is love ; and therefore, could our own wills, or the 
world, have made us happy, he never w^ould have fent hj^ 
own dear Son Jesus Christ to die and rife again, to deliver 
us from the power of them. But becaufe they only tor- 
ment, and cannot fatisfy, therefore God bids us to re- 
nounce them. 

Had any one perfuaded profane Efau not to lofe fo glorious 
a privilege, merely for the fake of gratifying a prefent corrupt 
inclination, when he faw him about to fell his birth-right for 
a little red pottage, would not one think that man to have 
been Efau'^ friend ? And juft thus flands the cafe between 
God and us. By the death and refurre£tion of Jesus 
Christ, we are new-born to an heavenly inheritance 
amongft all them which are fandified ; but our own corrupt 
wills, would tempt us to fell this glorious birth-right for the 
vanities of the world, which, like Efaus red pottage, may 
pleafe us for a while, but will foon be taken away from us. 
God knows this, and therefore rather bids us renounce them 
for a feafon, than for the fhort enjoyment of them lofe the 
privilege of that glorious birth-right, to which, by knowini; 
the power of the refurrccStion of Jesus Christ, we are 

O the depth of the riches and excellency of chriftianity ( 
Well might the great St. Pan! count all things but dung and 
drofs for the excellency of the knowledge of it. Well might 
be dcfire fo ardently to know Jesus, and the power of his 

X 4 rcfurreition. 

C 328 ] 

refurrcclion. For even on this fide eternity it raifes us above 
the world, and makes us to fit in heavenly places in Christ 

Well might that glorious company of worthies, recorded 
in the Holy fcripturcs, fupported with a deep fenfe of their 
heavenly calling, defpife the pleafures and profits of this 
life, and wander about In (lieep-fkins, and goat-fkins, in 
dens and caves of the earth, being deilitiite, afflidled, tor- 

And O that we were all like minded I that we felt the 
power of Christ's refurredion as they did ! How fhould we 
then '' count all things as dung and drofs for the excellency 
of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord !'* How 
fiiould we then recover our primitive dignity, trample the 
earth under our feet, and with our fouls be continually gafp- 
ing after God ? 

And what hinders but we may be thus minded ? Is Jesus 
Christ, our great High Pried:, altered from what he was? 
No, "he is the fame yefterday, to-day, and for ever." 
And thoygh he is exalted to the right-hand of God, yet he 
is not afhamed to call us brethren. The power of his re- 
furrciSliori isas great now as formerly, and the Holy Spirit, 
which was alTurcd to us by his rcfurre6lion, as ready and 
able to quicken us who are dead in trefpafTes and fms, as any 
faint that ever lived. Let us but cry, and that inftantly, 
10 Him that is mighty and able to fave ; let us, in fmcerity 
and trulh, without fecretly keeping back the lead part, re- 
nounce ourfelvcs and the world ; then we fliall be chrif- 
tinns indeed. And though the world may call us out, and 
feparate from our company, yet Jesus Christ will walk 
W'ith, Jind abide in us. And at the general refurreftion of the 
Jaft day, when the voice of the archangel and trump of God 
fnali bid the fea and the graves to give up their dead, and all 
nations fliall appear before him, then will he confcfs us be- 
fore his Father and the holy angels, and we jfhall receive that 


r 3^9 3 

invitation which he fhall then pronounce to all who love and 
fear him, *' Come, ye blefled children of my Father, inherit 
the kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the 

Grant this, O Father, for thy dear Son's fake, Jesus 
Christ our LoRpj to whom, with Thee and the Koly 
Ghoft, &c. 


t 33t 3 


Interceflion every Chriftlan's Duty. 

1 Thess. v. 25. 

Brethren J -pray for iis, 

IF we enquire, why there is fo little love to be found 
amongft chriftians, why the very chara^teriftlc, by which 
every one (hould know that we are dilciples of the holy Jesus, 
is almoft banifhed out of the chriftian world, we fhall find 
it, in a great meafure, owing to a neglect or fuperHcial per- 
formance of that excellent part of prayer, intercijjimy or 
imploring the divine grace and mercy in behalf of others. 

Some forget this duty of praying for others, becaufe they 
feldom remember to pray for themftrlves : and even thofe who 
are conftant in praying to their Father who is in heaven, are 
often fo felfiili in their addrefies to the throne of grace, that 
they do not enlarge their petitions for the welfare of their 
fellow Chrillians as they ought; and thereby fall fhort of attain- 
ing that chriftian charity, that unfeigned love to their brethren, 
which their facred profefTion obliges them to afpire after, and 
without which, though they (liould beflow all their goods to 
feed the poor, and even give their bodies to be burned, yet it 
would profit them nothing. 

Since thef- things are fo, J fiiall from the words of the text 
(though originally intended to be more confined) endeavour 
to (hew, 

I. Frji, 

I. Firjly That it is every chriftian's duty to pray for others, 
as well as for himfelf. 

II. Secondly^ Shew, whom we ought to pray for, and in 
what manner we {hould do it. And, 

JIT. Thirdly^ I fliall offer feme motives to excite all 
chriftians to abound in this great duty of interceflion. 

I. Fh'J}^ I (liall endeavour to fhew. That it is every 
chriftian'g duty to pray for others, as well as for himfelf. 

Now prayer is a duty founded on natural religion j the very 
heathens never negleded it, though many chriftian heathens 
amongfl us do : and it is fo efiential to chriftianity, that you 
might as reafonably exped^ to find a living man without 
breath, as a true chriftian without the fpirit of prayer and 
fupplicatiop. Thus, no fooner was St. P<^«/ converted, bui 
** behold he prayeth," faith the LoRp Almighty. And thus 
will it be with every child of God, as foon as he becomes' 
fuch ; prayer being truly called, The natural cry of the nev/- 
born foul. 

., For in the heart of every true believer there is a heavenly 
tendency, a divine attradlion, which as fenfibly draws him to 
converfe with God, as the load-ftone attrach the needle. 

A deep fenfe of their own v/eaknefs, and of Christ's 
fulnefs ; a ftrong convidlion of their natural corruption, and 
of the neceiTity of renewing grace ; will not let them reft 
from crying day and night to their Almighty Redeemer, that 
the divine image, which they loft in Adam^ may through his 
all-powerful mediation, and tiie fantSlifying operations of his 
bleffed fpirit, be begun, cairicd on, and fully perfeded both 
in their fouls and bodies. 

Thus carncft, thus importunate, are all fmcere chriftians 
in praying for themfelves : but then, n^t having fo lively, 


f 333 1 

lading, and deep a fenfe of the wants of their chriftian 
brethren, they are for the moft part too remifs and dcfecStive 
in their prayers for them. Whereas, was the love of God 
flied abroad in our hearts, and did we love our neighbour in 
that manner, in which the Son of God our Saviour loved usy 
and according to his command and example, we could not 
but be as importunate for their fpiritual and temporal welfare, 
as for our own j and as earneftly define and endeavour that 
others fhould (hare in the benefits of the death and paiTion of 
Jesus Christ, as we ourfelves. 

Let not any one think, that this is an uncommon degree of 
charity ; an high pitch of perfecStion, to which not every one 
can attain : for, if we are all commanded to " love our 
neighbour (that is every man) even as .ourfelves," nay to 
*' lay down our lives for the brethren ;" then, it is the duty 
of all to pray for their neighbours as much as for themfelves, 
and by all poflible a6ls and expreilions of love and afledion 
towards them, at all times, to fliew their readinefs even to lay 
down their lives for them, if ever it (hould pleafe God to carll 
them to it. 

Our blefled Saviour, as " he hath fet us an example, that 
we fhould follow his fleps" in every thing elfe, fo hath he 
more efpecially in this : for in that divine, that perfedl: and 
inimitable prayer (recorded in the x\riith of St. jfohn) which 
he put up juft before his paffion, we find but few petitions for 
his own, though many for his difciples welfare : and in that 
perfect form which he has been pleafed to prefcribe us, we 
are taught to fay, not My^ but " Our Father," thereby to 
put us in mind, that, whenever we approach the throne of 
grace, we ought to pray not for ourfelves alone, but for all 
our brethren in Christ. , 

Intercellion then is certainly a duty Incumbent upon all 

ir. Whom we are to intercede for, and how this duty is to 
be perf6>rmed, comes next to h<i confidered. 

I. And 

C 334 I 

I. And firft, our intercefTion muft be unlverfal « I willv 
(fays theapoftlc) that prayers, fuppllcatlons and interceFion^ 
be made for ail men.'* P'or as GoD*s mercy is over all his 
works, as Jesus Christ died to redeem a people out of all 
nations and languages ; fo we (hould pray, that " all mca 
may come to the knowledge of the truth, and be faved." 
Many precious promifes are made in holy writ, that the 
gofpel fliall be publifhed through the whole world, that 
*« the earth fiiall be covered with the knowledge of the Lord, 
as the waters cover the fea :" and therefore it is our duty 
not to confine our petitions to our own nation^ but to pray 
that all thofe nations, who now fit in darknefs and in the 
fhadow of death, may have the glorious gofpel fhine out upon 
them, as well as upon us. But you need not that any maa 
£hould teach you this, fince ye yourfelves are taught of God, 
and of Jesus Christ himfelf, to pray, that his kingdom may 
come ', part of the meaning of which petition is, that 
•' GoD*s ways may be known upon earth, and his favin^ 
health an>ong all nations." 

i. Next to the praying for all men, we (hould, according' 
to St. PauPs rule, pray for Kings ; particularly for our prefent 
fovereign King George^ and all that are put in authority under 
him : that we may lead quiet lives, in all godlinefs ana 
honefty. For, if we confider how heavy the burden of 
government is, and how much the welfare of any people 
depends on the zeal and godly converfation of thofe that have 
the rule over them: if we fet before us the many dangers ancl 
difficulties, to which governors by their ftation are expofed, 
and the continual temptations they lie under to luxury and 
felf-indulgence ; we {hall not only pity, but pray for them : 
that he who preferved £/?/;^r, David, and ^bfiahy '* un- 
fpotted from the world," amidft the grandeur of a court, and 
gave fuccefs to their defigns, would alfo preferve them holy 
and unblameable, and profper all the works of their hands 
upon them. But 

3. Thirdly, you ought, in a more efpecial manner, to pray 
for thofe, whom '*the Holy Ghoft hath mad^ Overfeers over 


[ 335 ] 

you." This is what St. Paul begs, again and again, of the 
churches to whom he writes : Says he in the text, *' Brethren, 
pray for usj'* and again, in his epiftle to the EphcfianSy 
" praying always, with all manner of fupplication ; and for 
me alfo, that I may open my mouth boldly, to declare the 
myftcry of the gofpel." And in another pjacc, to exprefs his 
earneftnefs in this requeft, and the great importance of their 
prayers for him, he bids the church " ftrive, (or, as the 
original word fignifics, be in an agony) together with him in 
their prayers." And furely, if the great St. Pauly that 
chofen vefTel, that favourite of heaven, needed the moft 
importunate prayers of his cbriftian converts ; much more do 
the ordinary miniilcrs of the gofpel ftand in need of the 
interceflion of their refpe£live flocks. 

And I cannot but in a more efpecial manner infifl upon 
this branch of your duty, becaufe it is a matter of fuch 
importance : for, no doubt, much good is frequently with-, 
held from many, by reafon of their neglecting to pray for- 
their minifters, and which they would have received, had 
they prayed for them as they ought. Not to mention, that 
people often complain of the want of diligent and faithful 
paftors. But how do they deferve good paftors, who will not 
earncftly pray to God for fuch ? If we will not pray to the 
Lord of the harveft, can it be expected he will fend forth 
labourers into his harveft ? 

Befides, what ingratitude is it, not to pray for your 
minifters ! For ftiall they watch and labour in the word and 
do£trine for you, and your falvation, and fhall not you pray 
for them in return ? If any beftow favours on your bodies, 
you think it right, meet, and your bounden duty, to pray for 
them ; and fhall not they be remembered in your prayers, 
who daily feed and nourifli your fouls ? Add to all this, that 
praying for your minifters, will be a maniteft proof of your 
believing, that though Paul plant, and Jpcllos water, yet it is 
God alone who giveth the increafe. And you will alfo find 
it the beft means you can ufe, to promote your own welfare ; 
becaufe God, in anfwer to your prayers, may impart a double 


r 336 ] 

portion of his holy fpirit to them, whcrehy they will \)& 
qualified to deal out to you larger meafures of knowledge in 
Ipiritual things, and be enabled more fkilfully to divide the 
word of truth. 

Would men but conftantly obferve this direction, and when 
their minirters are praying in their name to God, humble/ 
befeech him to perform all their petitions : or, when they are 
fpeaking in God's name to them, pray that the Holy Ghoft 
may fall on all them that hear the word ; we fhould find 
a more vifible good effcdl of their doctrine, and a greater 
mutual love between miniHers and their people. For 
minifters hands would then be held up by the people's inter- 
ceflions, and the people will never dare to villify or traduce 
thofe who are the conftant fubjeds of their prayers. 

4. Next to our minifters, our friends claim a place in our 
interceffions J but then we fnould not content ourfelves with 
praying in general terms for them, but fuit our prayers to their 
particular circumftances. When Miriam was afflif^ed with 
a leprofy from GoD, Mofes cried and faid, " Lord, heal 
her." And when the nobleman came to apply to Jesus 
Christ, in behalf of his child, he faid, " Lord, my linle 
daughter lieth at the point of death, I pray thee to come and 
heal her." In like manner, when our friends are under any 
<i£Ii(Sting circumftances, we (hould endeavour to pray for them, 
with a particular regard to thofe circumftances. For inftance, 
is a friend fick ? we fiiould pray, that if it be God's good 
pleafure, it may not be unto death ; but if otherwife, that hd 
v./oukl give him grace fo to take his vifitation, that, after this 
painful life ended, he may dwell with him in life everlafting. 
Is a friend in doubt in an important matter ? we (hould lay 
his cafe before God, as Mofes did that of the daughters of 
Xelophehady and pray, that God's Holy Spirit may lead him 
into all truth, and give all feafonable direction. Is he in 
want ? we fhould pray, that his faith may never fail, and 
that in God's due time he may be relieved. And in all other 
cafes, we fhould not pray for our friends only in generals, but 
fuit our psHitions to their particular fufterings and aifliiSlions ]> 

3 ^^'^ 

for otherwlfe, we may never alk perhaps for the things our 
friends moft want. 

It muft be confefTsd, that fuch a procedure will oblige 
fome often to break, from the forms they ufe ; but if we 
accuftom ourfelvcs to it, and have a deep fenfe of what we afk 
for, the mofl illiterate chriftiari will not want proper words to 
exprefs themfelves. 

We have many noble Inftaaces in holy fcripture of the 
fuccefs of this kind of particular intercefHon ; but none more 
remarkable than that o{ Abraham^ fervant, in the book of 
Genefts^ who being fent to feek a wife for his fon Ifaac^ prayed 
in a moft particular manner in his behalf. And the feduel 
of the ftory informs us, how remarkably his prayer was 
anfwered. And did chriftians now pray for their friends in 
the fame particular manner, and with the fame faith as 
jlbrdha?ji^s fervant did for his mafter ; they would, no doubt, 
in many inftances, receive as vifible anfwers, and have as 
much reafon to blefs GoD for them, as he had. But 

5. As we ought thus to intercede for our friends, fo in like 
manner muft we alfo pray for our enemies, " Blefs them that 
curfe you, (fays Jesus Christ) and pray for them that 
defpitefully ufe you^ and perfecute you." Which commands 
he enforced in the ftrongeft manner by his own example : in 
the very agonies and pangs of death, he prayed even for his 
murderers, " Father, forgive them, for they know not what 
they do !" This, it muft needs be confefled, is a difficult duty, 
yet not impradticable, to thofe who have renounced the 
things of this prefent life, (from an inordinate love of which 
all enmities arife) afid who knowing the terrible woes de- 
nounced againft thofe who offend Christ's little ones, can,' 
6ut of real pity, and a fenfe of their danger, pray for thofe by 
ivhom fuch oftences come. 

6. Laftly, and to conclude this head, we fhould intercede 
|br all that are any ways offlt^ed in mind, body, or eftate ; for 

Vol. VI. y all 


t 338 ] 

all who defire, and ftand in need of our prayers, and for all 
who do not pray for themfelves. 

And Oh ! that all who hear me, would fet apart fome time 
every day for the due performance of this mod necelTary duty ? 
In order to which, 

I {hall now proceed, 

III, To (liew the advantages, and offer fome confideration^ 
to excite you to the pradice of daily interctffion. And 

I. Firjl^ It will fill your hearts with love one to another* 
He that every day heartily intercedes at the throne of grace 
for all mankind, cannot but in a (liort time be filled with 
love and charity to all : and the frequent exercife of his love 
jn this manner, will infenfibly enlarge his heart, and make 
him partaker of that exceeding abundance of it which is in 
Christ Jesus our Lord ! Envy, malice, revenge, and fach 
like hellifh tempers, can never long harbour in a gracious 
intercefibr's breafl ; but he v/ill be filled with joy, peace, 
meeknefs, long-fufFering, and all other graces of the Holy 
Spirit. By frequently laying his neighbour's wants before 
God, he will be touched with a fellow-feeling of them ; he 
will reioice with thofe that do rejoice, and weep with thofe 
that weep. Every blelTing beftowed on others, inftead of 
exciting envy in him, will be looked on as an anfwer to his 
particular interceffion, and fill his foul with joy unfpeakable 
and full of glory. 

Abound therefore in a£ls of general and particular inter- 
cefiions ; and when you hear of your neighbour's faults, 
inftead of relating them to, and expofing them before others, 
jay them in f«cret before God, and beg of him to corre£t and 
amend them. When you hear of a notorious finncr, inftead 
of thinking you do well to be angry, beg of Jesus Christ 
to convert, and make him a monument of his free grace 5 
you cannot imagine what a blefted alteration this pracflice 
will make in your heart, and how much you will increafe 

. day 

[ 339 ] 

day by day in the fpirit of love and meeknefs towards all 
mankind ! 

But farther, to excite you to the conftant pra£tice of this 
duty of interceflion, confider the many inftances in holy 
fcripturc, of the power and efRcacy of it. Great and excellent 
things are there recorded as the efFeds of this divine employ. 
It has flopped plagues, it has opened and Ihut heaven ; and 
has frequently turned away God's fury from his people. Hov; 
was Abimelech\ houfe freed from the dilcafe God fent amongft 
them, at the interceffion oi Abraham ! When " Phineas llood 
up and prayedi," how foon did the plague ceafo ! When 
Daniel humbled and afflided his foul, and Interceded for the 
LoRb*s inheritance, how quickly was an angel difpatched to 
tell him, " his prayer was heard 1". And, to mention but one 
inftance more, how does God own himfelf as it were over- 
come with the importunity of Mofes^ when he was interceding 
for his idolatrous people, " Let me alone," fays God! 

This fufficiehtly fhews, I could almofl fay, the omnlpo- 
tency of interceflion^ and how we may, like Jacobs wreftle 
with God, and by«n holy violence prevail both for ourfelves 
and others. And no doubt it is owing to the fccret and 
prevailing interceflions of the itw righteous fouls who ftill 
remain among us, that God has yet fpared this mifcrably 
fmful nation : for were there not fome fuch faithful ones, 
like Mofes, left to ftand in the gap, we fhould foon be de- 
ft royed, even as was Sodom^ and reduced to aflies like unto 

But, to ftir you tip yet farther to this exercife of interceflion, 
confider, that in all probability, it is the frequent employ- 
ment even of the glorified faints : for though they are de- 
livered from the burden of the flefh, and reftored to the 
glorious liberty of the fons of God, yet as their happinefs 
cannot be perfectly confummated 'till the rerurre6lion of the 
laft day, when all their brethren will be glorified with the.m, 
we cannot but think they are often importunate in befeech- 
ing our beayeiily F^ithcr, fhortly to accompliih the number 

Y 2 of 

[ 340 1 

of his ele(Sl, -and to haften his kingdom. And fhall not we,, 
v*'ho are on earth, be often exercifed in this divine emplo3r 
with the glorious company of the fpirits of juft men made 
perfe^i: ? Since our happinefs is (o much to confift in the 
communion of faints in the church triumphant above, fhall 
we not frequently intercede for the church militant here 
below t, and carneftly beg, that we may all be one, even as 
the Holy Jesus and his Father are one, that we may alfo be 
made perfect in one ? 

To provoke you to this great work and labour of love,, 
remember, that it is the never ceafing employment of the 
holy and highly exalted Jesus himfelf, who fits at the right 
hand of God, to hear all our prayers, and to make continual 
interceffion for us! So that he who is conftantly employed in 
interceding for others, is doing that on earth,, which the 
sternal Son of God is always doing in heaven. 

Imagine therefore, when you are lifting up holy hands in 
prayer for one another, that you fee the heavens opened, 
and the Son of God in all his glory, as the great high-prieft 
of your falvation, pleading for you the all-fufKcient merit of 
his facrifice before the throne of his heavenly Father ! Join 
then your interceflions with his, and befeech him, that they 
may, through him, come up as incenfe, and be received as 
a fvveet-fmelling favour, acceptable in the fight of God ! 
This imagination will ftrengthen your faith, excite a holy 
earnefl-nefs in your prayers, and make you wreftle with God, 
as Jacch did, when he faw him face to face, and his life was 
prelfirved ; as Jbraham, when he pleaded for Sodom ; and as 
Jesus Christ himfelr, when he prayed, being in an agony, 
i'o much the more earneftly the night before his bitter pairion. 

And now, brethren, what (hall I fay more, fince you arc 
taught of Jesus Christ himfelf, to abound in love, and in 
this good work of praying one for another. Though ever fo 
mean, though as poor as Lazarus, you will then become 
benefadors to all mankind ; th^ufands, and twenty times ten 
thoufands, will then be bkfled lor yoLir fiikcs ! and after you 
6 have 

C 341 3 

have employed a few years in this divine exercife here, you 
will be tranllated to that happy place, where you have fo 
often wilhcd others might be advanced ; and be exalted to 
fit at the right hand of our All-powerful, All-prevailing 
IntercelTor, in the kingdom of his heavenly Father here- 

However, I cannot but in an efpccial manner prefs rhis 
upon you now, becaufe »11 ye, amongft whom I have now 
been preaching, in all probability will fee me no more : for 
I am now going (I truft under the condudt of GoD*s moft 
Holy Spirit) from you, knowing not what fhall befal me : 
J need therefore your moft importunate interceiTions, that 
nothing may move me from my duty, and that I may not 
*' count even my life dear unto myfelF, fo that I may finifti 
*' my courfe with joy, and the miniftry I l:.ive received of 
*' the Lord Jesus, to teftify the gofpel of the grace of 
** God!" • 

V/hilft I have been here, to the beft of my knowledge, 
I have not failed to declare unto you the whole will of God : 
•and though my preaching may have been a favour of death 
unto death to fome ; yet I truft it has been alfo a favour of 
life unto life to others ; and therefore I earneftly hope that 
thofe will not fail to remember me in their prayers. As for 
my own part, the many unmerited kindnefles I have received 
from you, will not fuffer me to forget you : out of the deep, 
therefore, I truft (hall my cry come unto God ; and whilft 
the winds and ftorms are blowing over me, unto the Lord 
will I make my fupplication for you. For it is but a little 
while, and " we muft all appear before the judgment feat of 
Christ j" where I muft give a ftri6t account of the doctrine 
I have preached, and you of your improvement under it. 
And O that I may never be called out as a fwift witnefs, 
againft any of thofe, for whofe falvation I have fmccrely, 
though too faintly, longed and laboured ! 

It is true, I have been cenfured by fome as ailing out of 
fuiifter and kifilh views j <' but it is a fmrdl matter with me 

Y 3 tej 

[ 342 ] 

to be judged by man's judgment ; I hope my eye is fingle ; 
but I befcech you, brethren, by the mercies of God in 
Christ Jesus, pray that it may be more (o ! and that I may 
jncreafe with the increafe of grace in the knowledge and love 
of GpD through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

And now, brethren, what fhall I fay more ? I could wifh to 
continue my difcourfe much longer ; for I can never fully 
cxprefs the defire of my foul towards you I Finally, there- 
fore, brethren, " whatfoever things are holy, whatfoever 
things are pure, whatfoever things are honeft, whatfoever 
things are of good report : if there be any confolation in 
Phris T, if any fellowfhip of the fpirit," if any hopes of 
cur appearing to the comfort of each other at the awfql 
tribunal of Jesus Christ, " think of the things that you 
have heardp" and of thofe which your pallors have declared, 
and will yet declare unto you ; and continue under thejr 
miniftry to " work out your own falvation with fear and 
trembling:" fo that whether I ibould never fee you any 
more, or whether it ftiall pleafe God to bring me back again 
at any time, I may always have the fatisfa6tion of knowing 
that your converfation is fuch *' as becometh the gofpel of 

I almoft perfuade myfelf, that I could willingly fuffer all 
things, fo that it might any ways promote the falvation of 
your precious and immortal fouls ; and I befeech you, as my 
laft requeft, " obey them that have the rule over you in the 
Lord ; and be always ready to attend on their miniftry, as it 
is your bounden duty. Think not that I defire to have 
myfelf exalted at the expence of another's character ; but 
rather think this, not to have any man's perfon too much in 
admiration ; but efteem all your minifters highly in love, as 
they juftly deferve for their work's fake. 

And now, " brethren, I commend you to God, and to the 

word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and give 

you an inheritance amongft all them that are fan6tified," 

May God reward you for all your works of faith, and 

2 labours 

[ 343 ] 
labours of love, and make you to abound more and more in 
every good vi^ord and work towards all men. May he truly 
convert all that have been convinced, and awaken all that 
are dead in trefpaHcs and fins ! May he confirm all that are 
wavering ! And may you all go on from one degree of grace 
unto another, till you arrive unto the meafure of the ftature 
of the fulnefs of Christ ; and thereby be made meet toftand 
before that God, " in whofe prefence is the fulnefs of joy, 
and at whofe right-hand there are pleafures for evermore I" 
Amen ! Amen ! 



I 345 1 


Perfecution every Chriftian's Lot. 

2 Tim. iii. i2. 

Tea^ and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus, /hall 
fuffer Perfecution. 

WHEN our Lord was pleafed to take upon himfclf the 
form of a fervant, and to go about preaching the 
kingdom of GoEf ; he took all opportunities in public, and 
more efpecially in private, to caution his difciples againft feek- 
ing great things for themfelves, and alfo to-forevvarn them of 
the many diftrelTes, affli6Lions and perfecutions, which they 
muft exped to endure for his name's fake. The great apollle 
Paul therefore, the author of this epiftle, in this, as in all 
other things, following the fteps of his blefl'ed Mafter, takes 
particular care, among other apoftolical admonitions, to warn 
young Timothy of the difficulties he mull expetfl to meet with 
in the courfe of his miniflry : '^ This know alfo, that in the 
lad days perilous times fliail come. For men fliall be lovers 
of their ownfelves, covetous, proud, blafphemers, difobedient 
to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural afFedion, 
truce-breakers, falfe accufers, incontinent, fierce, defpifers 
of thofe that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers 
of pleafure more than lovers of God ; having a form of god- 
linefs, but denying the power therec^f: from fuch turn away. 
For of this fort are they who creep into houfcs, and lead 
captive filly women laden with fins, led away with divers 
lulls, ever learning, and wtvtr able to come to the knowledge 
of the truth. Now, as Jannes and Jambres (two of the Egyp^ 
iian magicians) v/Jthflccd Mofes (by working fhani miracles) 


[ 346 ] 

fo do they alfo refift the truth ; and (notwithftanding they 
keep up the form of religion) are men of corrupt minds, re- 
probate concerning the faith." But, in order to keep him 
from fmking under their oppofition, he tells him, that though 
God, for wife ends, permitted thefe falfe teachers, as he did 
the magicians, to oppofe for fome time, yet they fhould now 
proceed no farther : *' For their folly (fays he) (hall be made 
manifeft unto all men, as theirs (the Magicians) alfo was," 
when they could not ftand before Mofes becaufe of the boil ; 
for the boil was upon the Magicians^ as well^^ upon all the 
Egyptians, And then, to encourage Timothy yet the more, he 
propounds to him his own example ; " But thou haft fully 
known my doctrine, manner of life, purpofe, faith, long- 
fufFering, charity, patience, perfecutions, affli£lions, which 
came unto me at Jntioch, at Jconium, at Ly^Ira ; what perfe- 
cutions I endured ; but out of them all the Lord delivered 
iTie.'* And then, left Timothy might think that this was only 
the particular cafe of P^juI^ fays he, in the words of the text, 
*' Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus, (lull 
iuffer perfecution." 

The words, without confidering them as they ftand in re- 
lation to the context, contain an important truth, that perfe- 
cution is the common lot of every godly man. This is a hard 
faying, How few can bear it? I truft God, in the following 
ilifcourfe, will enable me to make it good, by fliewing, 

I. What it is to live godly in Cj^rist Jesus. 

II. The different kinds of perfecution to which they, who 
live godly, are expofed. 

III. Why it is, that godly men muft expect to fufFcr per-. 

Lfljlly^ We (hall apply the whole. 

I. /Vr/?, Let us confider what it is to live godly in Christ \ 
Jesl's. This fuppofss, that we are made the righteoufnefs * 

of / 

[ 347 ] 

of GcD in Christ, that we are born again, and are one 
with Christ by a living faith, and a vital union, even as 
Jesus Christ and the Father are One. Unlefs we are thus 
converted, and transformed by the renewing of our minds, 
yvQ cannot properly be faid to be in Christ, much lefs to 
live godly in him. To be in Christ merely by baptifm, 
and an outward profeflion, is not to be in Him in the flri6i: 
fenfe of the v/ord : noj " They that are in Christ, are 
new creatures J old things are palTed away, and all things 
are become new " in their hearts. Their life is hid with 
Christ in God ; their fouls daily ked en the invifible re- 
alities of another world. To " live godly in Christ," is 
to make the divine v.'ill, and not our own, the fole principle 
of all our thoughts, words, and adlions j fo that, " whether 
we eat or drink, or wliaifoever we do, we do all to the glory 
of God.'* Thofe who live godly in Christ, may not fo 
much be faid to live, as Chri-st to live in them : He is their 
Alpha and Omega, their firft and laft, their beginning and 
end. They are led by his Spirit, as a child is led by the 
hand of its father ; and are willing to follow the Lamb 
-whitherfoever he leads them. They hear, know, and obey 
his voice. Their afFedlions are fee on things above ; their 
hopes are full of immortality ; their citi^enfhip is in heaven. 
Being born again of God, they habitually live to, and daily 
walk with, God. They aje pure in heart; and, from a 
principle of faith in Christ, are holy in all manner of con- 
verfation and godlinefs. 

This is to " live godly in Christ Je?us :" and hence 
y/e may eafily learn, why fo few fuffer periecution ? Becaufe, 
ib few live godly in Christ Jesus. You may live formally 
in Christ, you may attend on outward duties j you may 
live morally in Christ, you may (as they term it) do no 
one any harm, and avo;d perfecution : but they " that will 
live godly in Christ Jesus, (hall fuffer perfecution." 

2. S.eccndly^ What is the meaning of the word Perfecution, 
and how many kinds there are of it, I come now to con- 


[ 348 ] 

The word Perfecution, is derived from a Greek word figni- 
fying to purfue, and generally implies purfuing a perfon for 
the fake of his goodnefs, or God's good-will to him. The 

FIrJ} kind of it, is that of the Heart. We have have an 
early example of this in that wicked one Cairiy who, becaufe 
the Lord had refpedl to Jbel and his offering, and not to 
him and his offering, was very wroth, his countenance fell, 
and at length he cruelly flew his envied brother. Thus the 
Pharifecs hated and perfecated our Lord long before they 
3aid hold on him : and our Lord mentions being inwardly 
hated of men, as one kind of Perfecution his difciples were 
to undergo. This heart-enmity (if I may fo term it) is the 
root of all other kinds of Perfecution, and is, in fome de- 
gree or other, to be found in the foul of every unregenerated 
man ; and numbers are guilty of this perfecution, who never 
have it in their power to perfecute any other way. Nay, 
numbers would actually put in nradlice all other deo;rees of 
perfccuiion, was not the name of Perfecution become odious 
amongfl mankind, and did they not hereby run the hazard 
of lofmg their reputation. Alas ! how many at the great 
day, whom we know not now, will be convicled and con- 
demned, that all their life harboured a fecret evil-v^iil againft 
Xion I They may now fcreen it before men ; but God feeth 
the enmity of their hearts, and will judge them as Perfecutors 
at the great and terrible day of judgment. A 

Second degree of Perfecution is that of the tongue ; " out 
of the abundance of the heart, the mouth fpiaketh." Many, 
I fuppofe, think it no harm to fhoot out arrows, even bitter 
words, againfl the difciples of the Lord : they fcatter their 
firebrands., airows and death, faying, " Are we not in fport?" 
But, however they may eftcem it, in God's account evil- 
fpeaking is a high degree of Perfecution. Thus JJlmiaePs 
mocking IfaaCy is termed perfecuting him. " Blefl'ed are ye 
(fays our Lord) when men (liali revile you and perfecute 
you, and fliall fay all manner of evil againfl you faUely for 
my name's fake." From whence we may gather, that re- 
viling, and fpeaking all manner of evil for Christ's fake. 


[ 349 ] 

13 a high degree of perfecution. For " a good name, (fays 
the wife man) is better than precious ointment," and, to 
many, is dearer than life itfelf. It is a great breach of the 
fixth commandment, to flander any one; but to fpeak evil 
of and flander the difciples of Christ, merely becaufe they 
are his difciples, muft be highly provoking in the fight of 
God ; and fuch who a:e guilty of it (without repentance) 
will find that Jesus Christ will call them to an account, 
and punifli them for all their ungodly and hard fpeeches in a 
lake of fire and brimftone. This (hall be their portion to 
drink. The 

Third and laji kind of Perfecution, is that which exprefles 
itfelf in aSlions : as when wicked men feparate the children 
of God from their company ; '' Bleiled are ye, (fays our 
Lord) when they (hall feparate you from their company :'* 
or expofe them to church-cenfures. '' They fhall put you 
cut of their fynagogues ;" threatening and prohibiting them 
from making an open profeflion of his religion or worfhip ; 
or interdiding minifters for preaching his word, as the high- 
priefts threatened the apoftles, and " forbad them any more 
to fpeak in the name of Jesus ;" and Paul breathed out 
threateniags and flaughters againft the difciples of the Lord: 
or when they call them into courts ; " You fhall be called 
before governors," fays our Lord : or when they fine, im- 
prifon, or punifti thena, by confifcation of goods, cruel 
fcourging, and, laitly, death itfelf. 

It would be impoflible to enumerate in what various fhapes 
perfecution has appeared. It is a many-headed moniier, 
cruel as the grave, infatiable as hejl ; and, what is worfe, it 
generallly appears under the cloak of religion. But, cruel, 
infatiable, and horrid as it is, they that live godly in Christ 
Jesus, mufl expc(5l to fufFer and encounter v/ith it in all its 

This is what we are to make good under our next gener?! 

3. Thirdly, 

[ 350 j 

j. Thirdly, Why is it that godly men muft expert to fafFeir 
perfecution ? And, 

Firji, This appears from the whole tenor of our Lord's 
do6lrine. We will begin with his divine ftrmon on the 
inount. " Blefled are they who are perfecuted for righte- 
oufnefs fake; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." So that,^ 
if our Lord fpoke truth, wc are not (o blefTed as to have an 
intereft in the kingdom of heaven, unlefs we are or have been 
perfecuted for righteoufnefs fake. Nay, our Lord (it is re- 
markable) employs three verfes in this beatitude, and only 
one in each of the others ; not only to (liew that it NV'as a 
thing which men (as men) are unwilling to believe, but alfa 
the necelTary confequence of it upon our being chriflians. 
This is likewife evident from all thofe pafFages. wherein our 
Lord informs us, that he came upon the earth, " not w 
fend peace, but a fv.ord ;" and that the father-in-law fliould 
be againft the mother-in-law, and a man's foes fhould be 
thofe of his own houfliold. Pallages, which though con- 
fined by falfe prophets to the firft, I am perfuaded will be 
verified by the experience of all true chriftians in this, and 
every age of the church. It would be endlefs to recount all 
the places, wherein our Lord forewarns his difciples^ that 
they fhould be called before rulersj and thruft out of fyna- 
gogues, nay, that the time would come^ wherein men fhould 
think they did God fervice to kill them. For this reafon he 
fo frequently declared, that " unlefs a man forfake all that 
he had, and even hated life itfelf, he could not be his dif- 
ciple." And therefore it is worthy our obfervation, that in 
the remarkable paflage, wherein our Lord makes fuch an 
extenfive promife to thofe who left all for him, he cautioufly 
inferts perfecution. " And Jesus anfwered and faid, Verily 
i fay unto you, there is no man that hath left houfe, or bre- 
thren, or fiflers, or father, or mother, or wife^ or children, 
or lands, for my (ake and the gofpel's, but he fhall receive an 
hundred-fold now in this time; houfes and brethren, and 
fifters and mothers, and children and lands, with perfecu- 
tions; (the word is in the plural number, including all kinds 
of perfecution} and in the world to e-ome eternal life." He 



[ 351 ] 

thnt hath ears to hear, let him hear what Christ fays In all 
thcfe parages, and then confefij, that all who will live godly 
in Christ Jesus (liall lufFer perfecution. 

As this is proved from our Lord's do61rine, fo it is no Icfs 
evident from his life. Follow him from the manner to the 
crofs, and fee whether any perfecution was like that which 
the Son of God, the Lord of glory, underwent whilfl: here 
On earth. How was he hated by wicked men ? How often 
would that hatred have excited them to lay hold of him, had 
it not been for fear of the people ? How was he reviled, counted 
and called a Blafphemer, a Wine- bibber, a Samaritan, nay, 
a Devil, and, in one word, had all manner of evil fpokeii 
againfl him falfcly ? What contradiiSlion of finners did he 
endure againfl himfelf? How did men feparate from his com- 
pany, and were afhamed to walk with him openly? infomucli 
that he once faid to his own difciples, " Will you alfo go 
away ?" Again, How was he ftoned, thrufl out of the fyna- 
gogues, arraigned as a deceiver of the people, a fed itious and 
peftilent fellow, an enemy to Cafar^ and as fuch fcourgcd, 
blind-folded, fpit upon, and at length condemned, and nailed 
to an accurfed tree ? Thus was the Mafter perfecuted, thus 
did the Lord fuffer; and the fervant is not above his Malkr, 
nor the difciple above his Lord : " If they have perfecuted 
me, they will alfo perfecute you,'* fays the blcfled Jesus. 
And again, *' Every man that is perfecSt (a true chriftian) 
mufl be as his Mailer," or fufter as he did. For in all thele 
things our Lord has fet us an example, that we Ihould fol- 
low his fteps : and therefore, far be it that any, who live 
godly in Christ Jesus, fhould henceforv/ard expe£l to efcape 
fufFering perfecution. 

But farther : not only our Lord's example, but the ex- 
ample of all the faints that ever lived, evidently demonllrates 
the truth of the apoille's afleriion in the text. How fooa 
was Jbel made a martyr for his religion ? Hovv was Ifaac 
mocked by the fon of the bond-woman ? And what a large 
catalogue of fuftering Old Teftament faints, have wc rc- 


[ 352 1 

corded In the xith chapter of the Hebrews ! Read the JSIs of 
the Apoftlcs, and fee how the firfl: chrlftians were threatened, 
floned, imprifoned, fcourged, and perfecuted even unto death. 
Examine Church Hifrory in after-ages, and you v/ill find the 
inurder of the innocents hy Herod^ was but an earned of the 
innocent blood which fliould be flied for the fake of Jesus. 
Examine the experience of faints now living on earth ; and, 
if it were poilible to confult the fpirits of juft men made 
perfe6^, I am perfuaded each would concur with the apoftle 
in afTerting, that " all who will live godly in Christ Jesusj 
fiiail fuffer perfecution/' 

How can it be otberwife in the very nature of things ? 
Ever fince the fall, there has been an irreconcileable enmity 
between the feed of the woman and the feed of the ferpent. 
Wicked men hate God, and therefore cannot but hate thofe 
who are like him : they hate to be reformed, and therefore 
muil: hate and perfecute thofe, who, by a contrary behaviour, 
teftify of them, that their deeds arc evil. Befides, pride of 
heart leads men to perfecute the fervants of Jesus Christ. 
If they commend them, they are afraid of being afked, Why 
do not you follow them ? And therefore becaufe they dare 
jiot imitate, though they may fometimes be even forced to 
approve their way, yet pride and envy make them turn per- 
fecutors. Flence it is, that as it was formerly, fo it is now, 
and fo will it be to the end of time ; " He that is born after 
the flefli, (the natural man, docs and) will perfecute him 
that is born after the Spirit," the regenerate man. Becaufe 
chriftians are not of the world, but Christ hath chofen 
them out of the world, therefore the world will hate them. 
If it be objected againft this doctrine, that we now live in a 
chriftian world, and therefore muft not expe<3: fuch perfe- 
cution as formerly ; I anfwer, All are not chriflians that are 
called fo ; and, till the heart is changed, the enmity againfi: 
God (which is the root of all perfecution) remains: and 
confequently chriftians, falfely fo called, will perfecute as well 
as others. I obferved therefore, in the beginning of this dif- 
courfc, that FW mentions ihofe that bad a form of religion, 


[ 353 3 

as perfons of whom Timothy had need be chiefly aware ; for, 
as our Lord and his apoftles were moftly perfecutcd by their 
countrymen the Jews^ fo we mud cxpe6l the like ufage from 
the P'ormalifts of our own nation, the Pharifees^ who feem 
to be religious. The moft horrid and barbarous perfecutions 
have been carried on by thole who have called themfclves 
Chriftians ; witnefs the days of queen Alary ; and the fines, 
banifliments and imprifonments of the children of God in 
the laft century, and the bitter, irreconcileable hatred that 
appears in thoufands who call themfclves Chriilians, even iii 
the prefent days wherein we live. 

Perfons, who argue againft perfecution, are not fufficl- 
tntly fenfible of the bitter enmity of the heart of every unre- 
generate man againft God. For my own part, I am fo far 
from wondering that chriftians arc perfecuted^ that I wonder 
our ftreets do not run with the blood of the faints: was mens 
power equal to their wills, fuch a horrid fpedlacla would 
ibon appear. But^ 

Perfecution is neceflary in fefpe£l to the godly themfclves. 
If we have not all manner of evil fpoken of us, how can we 
know whether we feek only that honour which cometh froni 
above? If wc have no perfecutors, how can our paflive graces 
be kept in exercife? How can many chriftian precepts be put 
into practice I How can we love, pray for, and do good to, 
thofe who defpitefully ufe us ? How can we overcome evil 
with good? In fhort, how can we know we love God better 
than lifeitfelf? Paul was fenfible c.- all this, and therefore 
fo pofitively and peremptorily afterts, that '* all who will live 
godly in CnaiST Jesus, fhall fuffer perfecution." 

Not that I affirm, all are perfecuted in a like degree; No: 
this would be contrary both to fcripture and experience. But 
though all chriftians are not really called to fufFer every kind 
6f perfecution, yet all chriftians are liable thereto : and not- 
withftanding fome may live in more peaceful times of the 
church than others, yet all chriftians, in all ages, Vf'ill find 

Vol. VL Z by 


[ 354 ] 

by their own experience, that, whether they a^t in a private 
or public capacity, they muft, in fome degree or other, luffer 

Here then I would paufe, and, hjiiy^ by way of applica- 
tion, exhort all pcrfons, 

F'lrJ}^ To ftand a while and examine themfelves. For, 

by what has been faid, you may gather one mark, whereby 

you may judge whether you are chriftians or not. Were 

you ever periecuted tor righteoufnefs fi\ke ? If not, you 

never yet lived godly in Christ our Lord. Whatever you 

may fay to the contrary, the infpired apoftle, in the words 

of the text (the truth of which, I think, I have fufficiently 

proved) pofitiveiV afferts, that all who will live godly in 

Him, fhall fufter perfecution. Not that all who ltc perfe- 

cuted are real chriftians ; for many fometimes fuffer, and are 

perfecuted, on other accounts than for righteoufnefs fake. 

The great queftion therefore is. Whether you were ever 

perfecuted for living godly ? You may boaft of your great 

prudence and fagacity (and indeed thcfe are excellent things) 

and glory becaufe you have not run fuch lengths, and made 

yourfelves fo lingular, and liable to fuch contempt, as fome 

others have. But, alas! this is not a mark of your being 

of a Chriftian, but of a Laodicean fpirit, neither hot nor 

cold, and fit only to be fpewed out of the mouth of God. 

That which you call prudence, is often, only cowardice, 

dreadful hypocrify^ pride of heart, which makes you dread 

contempt, and afraid to give up your reputation for God, 

You are afhamed of Christ and his gofpel 5 and in all 

probability, was he to appear a fecond time upon earth, in 

words, as v/cll as works, you would deny him. Awake 

therefore, all ye that live only formally in Christ Jesus, 

and no longer feek that honour which cometh of man. I 

do not defire to court you, but I intreat you to live godly, 

and fear not contempt for the fake of Jesus Christ. Beg 

of God to give you his Holy Spirit, that you may fee 

through, and difcovcr the latent hypocrify of your hearts, 

and no longer deceive your own fouls. Remember you 


r 355 1 

tannot reconcile two irreconcileable difference?, God and 
Mammon, the friendfliip of this worM with the favour of 
God. Know you not v/ho hath told you, that " the 
friendfhip of this world is enmity with God ?" If therefore 
you are in friendfhip with the world, notwithltandino- all 
your fpecious pretences to piety, you are at enmity with 
God : you are only heart- hypocrites ; and, " What is the 
hope of the hypocrite, when God fljall take away his foul ?" 
Let the words of the text found an alarm in your ears ; O let 
them fink deep into your hearts ; " Yea, and all that will 
live godly in Christ Jesug, fhall fuilcr perfecution." 

Secondly, From the words of the text, I vVould take occa- 
fion to fpeak to thofe, who are about to lift themfelves under 
the banner of Christ's crofs. What fay you ? Are you re- 
folved to live godly in Christ JEsus, notwithftanding the 
confequence will be, that you muft fuffer perfecution ? You 
are beginning to build ; but have you taken our Lord's 
advice, to " fit down firft and count the coft ?" Have you 
well weighed with yourfelves that weighty declaration, " He 
that loveth father or mother more than Me, is not worthy 
of Me;" and again, " Unlefs a man forfake all that he hath 
he cannot be my difciple ?" Perhaps feme of you have great 
pofTeffions ; will not you gO away forrowful^ if Christ 
fhould require you to fell all that you have ! Others of you 
again may be kinfmen, or fome way related, or under obli- 
gations, to the high-priefts, or other great perfonages, who 
may be perfecuting the church of Christ : What fay you ? 
Will you, with Mojh, " rather chufe to fufFer afflidion 
with the people of God, than enjoy the pleafures of fin for 
a feafon ?" Perhaps you may fay, my friends will not oppofi^ 
me. That is more than you know : in all probability your 
chief enemies will be thofe of your own houfhold. If there- 
fore they fhould oppofe you, are you willing naked to follow 
a naked Christ ? and to wander about in flieep-ikins and 
goats-fkins, in dens atid caves of the earth, being afflicted, 
deflitute, tormented, rather than not be Christ's difciples ? 
You are now all following with zeal, as Ruth and Orpab 
did Naomij and may weep under the word^ but are net your 

Z 2, tears 

[ 356 ] 

tears crocodiics tears ? And, when difRcuItiSs come, wlil 
you not go back from following your LoRi>, as Orpah de- 
parted fiom foHowing Naomi? Have you really the root of 
grace in your hearts ? or, are you only ftony-ground hear- 
ers ? You receive the word with joy; but, when perfecution 
arifes becaufe of the word, will you not be immediately of- 
fended ? Be not angry with me for putting thefe queftions to 
you. I am jealous over you, but it is with a godly jealoufy: 
for, alas ! how many have put their hands to the plough, 
and afterwards have (hamefully looked back ? I only deal 
with you, as our Lord did with the perfon that faid, 
" Lord, I will follow thee whitherfoever thou wilt." 
*' The foxes have holes, and the birds of the arr have nefts, 
*' but the fon of man, (fays he) hath not where to lay his 
head." What fay you ? Are you willing to endure hard- 
iiefs, and thereby approve yourfelves good foldiers of Jesus 
Christ ? You now come on foot out of the towns and vil- 
lages to hear the word, and receive me as a meflenger of 
God : but will you not by and by cry out. Away with him, 
away with him; it is not fit fuch a fellow fliould live upon 
the earth? Perhaps fome of you, like Hazael^ may fay, " Are 
we dogs, that we fhould do this ? " But, alas I I have met 
with many unhappy fouls, who have drawn back unto per- 
dition, and have afterwards accounted me their enemy, for 
dealing faithfully with them ; though once, if it were pof- 
fible, they would have plucked out their own eyes, and have 
given them unto me. Sit down therefore, I befeech you, 
and ferioufly count the coft, and afk yourfelves again and 
again, whether you count all things but dung and drofs, and 
are willing to fufFer the lofs of all things, fo that you may 
win Christ, and be found in him : for you may afTure 
yourfelves, the apoftle hath not fpoken in vain, " All that 
will live godjy in Christ Jesus, Ihall fufFer perfecution," 

Thirdly^ The text fpeaks to you that are patiently fufFer- 
ing for the truth's fake : '' Rejoice, and be exceeding glad ; 
great fhall be your reward in heaven." For to you it is 
^^iven, not only to believe, but alfo to fufFer, and perhaps 
remarkably too, for ^he fake of Jesus ! This is a mark of 


[ 357 ] 

yourdircipleiliip, an evidence that you do live godly in ChRist 
Jesus. Fear not, therefore, neither bs difmayed. O be 
not weary and faint in your minds ! Jesus, your Lord, 
your life, cometh, and his reward is with him. Thouf^h 
all men forfake you, yet will not he : no ; the Spirit of 
Christ and of glory fliall reft upon you. In patience 
therefore poflefs your fouls. Sanctify the Lord God in 
your hearts. Be in nothing terrified by your adverfaries : on 
their part Christ is evil fpoken of j on your part he is glo- 
rified. Be not afhamed of your glory, fince others can glory 
in their (hame. Think it not ftrange concerning the fiery 
trial, wherewith you are or may be tried. The Devii ra^-es, 
knowing that he hath but a fhort time to reign. He or his 
emifiaries have no more power than what is given them from 
above : God fets them their bounds, which they cannot 
pafs; and the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear 
not ; no one fliall fet upon you to hurt you, without your 
heavenly Father's knowledge. Do your earthly friends and 
parents forfake you ? Are you caft out of the fynagogues ? 
The Lord fhall reveal himfelf to you, as to the man that 
was born blind ? Jesus Christ fhall take you up. If they 
carry you to prifon, and load you with chains, fo that the 
iron enter into your fouls, even there fhall Christ fend an 
angel from heaven to ftrengthen you, and enable you, with 
Paul and S'llasy to '' fing praifes at midnight." Are you 
threatened to be thrown into a den of lions, or caft into a 
burning fiery furnace, becaufe you will not bow down and 
worfhip the beaft ? Fear not ; the God, whom you ferve, is 
able to deliver you : or, if he fhould fuffer the flames to de- 
vour your bodies, they would only ferve, as fo many fiery 
chariots, to carry your fouls to God. Thus it was with 
the martyrs of old ; fo that one, when he was burning, cried 
out, " Come, you Papifts, if you want a miracle, here, be- 
hold one! This bed of flames is to me a bed of down.'* Thus 
it was with almoft all that fufFered in former times : for 
Jesus, notwithftanding he withdrew his own divinity from 
himfelf, yet has alv/ays lifted up the light of his countenance 
Upon the fouls of fuflering faints. *' Fear not therefore thofe 
that can kill the body, and after that have no more that they 

Z 3 can 

[ 358 ] 

can do; but fear Him only, who is able to deflroy botb bod^ 
3nd foul in hell." Dare, dare to live godly in Christ 
Jesus, though you fuffer ail manner of perfecution. But, 

Fourthly^ Are there any true ralnifters of Jesus Christ 
here ? You will not be offended if I tell you, that the words 
of the text arc, in nn efpecial manner, applicable to you. 
Paul wrote them lo Timothy ; and we, of all men, that live 
godly in Christ Jesus, muft expect to fufFer the feverc{]: per- 
fecution. Satan will endeavour to bruife our heels, let who 
will cfcape : and it has been the general way of God's pro- 
vidence, in times of perfecution, to permit the fhepherds 
firft to be fmltten, before the iliecp are fcattered. Let us 
not therefore fhcw that we are only hirelings, who care not 
for the fheepj but, like the great Shepherd and Bifti.op of 
fouls, let us readily lay down our lives for the flieep. Whilfl; 
others are boafling of their great preferments, let us rather 
glory in our great aii^liciions and pcrfecutions for the fake of 
Christ. Paul rejoiced that he fuftered affli(!^ions and pcr- 
fecutions at Iconium and Lyjlra : out of all, the Lord deli- 
vered him 5 out of all, the Lord will deliver us, and caufe 
us hereafter to fit down with him on thrones, when he corner 
to judge the twelve tribes of JfracL 

I could proceed ; but I am confclous, in this part of my 
difcourfe, I ought more particularly to fpeak to myfelf, 
knowing that Satan has defired to have me, that he may f^ft 
me as wheat. Without a fpirit of prophecy, we may eafily 
difcern the figns of the times. Perfecution is even at the 
doors : the tabernacle of the Lord is already driven into the 
wildernefs : the ark of the Lord is fallen into the unhal- 
lowed hands of uncircumcifed Philijlines. They have long 
fmce put us out of their fynagogues, and high-priefts have 
been calling on civil magiftrates to exert their authority 
againfl the difciples of the Lord. Men in power have been 
breathing out threatenings : we may cafily gucfs what will 
follow, imprifonment and flaughter. The ftorm has been 
gathering fome time j it mult break fliortly. Peihaps it may 
fall on me rirft. 

^ Brethren 

[. 359 1 
Brethren therefore, whether in the miniHry or not,I befeecli 
you, " priiy for me," that I may never fufFer julViy, as aa 
evil-doer, but only for riohteoufnefs fake. O pray that I 
may not deny my Lord in any wife, but that I may joyfully 
follow him, both to prifon and to death, if he is pleafed to 
call mc to feal his truths with my blood. Be not aftiamcd 
of Christ, or of his gofpel, though I fhould become ^ 
prifoner of the Lord. Though I am bound, the word of 
God will not be bound : no ; an open, an cfFe6lual door is 
opened for preaching the everlafting gofpel, j^nd men or 
devils (liall never be able to prevail againft it. Only pray 
that, whether it be in life or death, Christ may be ^lori- 
iied in me : then 1 ihall rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. 

And now, to whom (hall I addrefs myfelf next ? 

Fifthly^ To thofe, who perfecute their neighbours for liv- 
ing godly in Christ Jesus, But, what fhali I fay to you ? 
Howl and weep for the miferies that fhall come upon you : 
for a little while the Lord permits you to ride over the 
heads of hi:; people; but, by and by, death will arreft you, 
judgment will find you, and Jesus Christ fliall put a que- 
flion to you, whicl) will ftrilce you dumb, IFhy perfecuted 
you Me ? You may plead your laws and your canons, and 
pretend what you do is out of zeal for God ; but God fliall 
difcover the curfed hypocrify and ferpentine enmity of your 
hearts, and give you over to the tormentors. It is well, if 
in this life God does not fend fome mark, upon you. He 
pleaded the caufe of Naboth, when innocently condemned 
for blafpheming God and the king; and our Lord fent 
forth his armies, and deftroyed the city of thofe who killed 
the prophets, and ftoned them that were fent unto them. Jf 
you have a mind therefore to fill up the meafure of your 
iniquities, go on, perfecute and defpiie the difciples of the 
Lord : but knov/, " that for all thcfe things, God fhall 
bring you into judgment." Nay, thofe you now perfecute, 
fhall be in part your judges, and fit on the right-hand of 
the Majefty on high, whilft you are dragged by infernal 
fpirits into a lake that burneth with fire and brimftonc, and 

^ 4 thjs 

I[ 3^0 ] 
the fmoke of your torment fhall be afcending up for ever 
and ever. Lay down therefore, ye rebels, your arms againft 
the moft high God, and no longer perfecute thofe who live 
godly in Christ Jesus. The Lord will plead, the Lord 
will avenge, their caufe. You may be permitted to bruife 
their heels, yet in the end they (hall bruife your accurfed 
heads. I fpeak not this, as though I were afraid of you ; 
for I know in whom 1 have believed : only out of pure love 
I warn you, and becaufe I know not but Jesus Christ 
may make fome of you veflels of mercy, and fnatch you, 
even you perfecutors, as fire-brands out of the fire. Jesus 
Christ came into the world to fave finners, even perfecu- 
tors, the word of finncrs : his righteoufnefs is fufficient for 
them ; his Spirit is able to purify and change their hearts. 
He once converted Saul: mny the fame God magnify his 
power, in converting all thofe who are cr.ufing the godly in 
Christ Jesus, as much as in them lies, to fufFer perfecu- 
tion ! 1 he Lord be with you all. Amen. 


[ 36' 3 


An Exhortation to the People of God not to 
be difcouraged in their Way, by the Scoffs 
and Contempt of wicked Men. 

Hebrews iv. 9, 

'There remaineth therefore a Reft to the People of God.' 

WHEN we confider the perfecutlons they are expofed 
to, who five righteoufly and godly in this prefent 
world ; it is amazing to confider, that the people of this gene- 
ration fhould be To fond of a name to live, while they are in 
eiFecfl dead. The people of God are to expert little elfe but 
troubles and trials while they are in this world ; common 
experience is a contradiction to my text, that there is a reft to 
the people of GoD ; but the author of the Hebrews^ when 
fpeaking of this reft, did not mean that they ftiould have a reft 
here. No ; he too well knew that the people of God, all 
who would feek and ferve the Lord Jesus, muft be defpifed, 
hated, fcofFed, flandered, and evil intreated ; but the time was 
haftening when they ftiould have a perfect reft : there is a reft 
laid up for them, and this is an encouragement for you, my 
brethren, to hold on, and hold out your way rejoicing ; after 
death there will be a reft for ever ; at judgment, you ihall be 
taken up to dwell with the Lord Jesus Christ ; and there, 
you ftiall be for ever exempted from fm ; you ftiall reft from 


t 362 ] 

all manner of forrow, and be no more troubled with the 
temptations of Satan. Now, you can fet about nothing for 
the glory of God, or for your own foul's welfare, but the devil 
is difluading you from it, or diftradting you in it, or difcou- 
rao-ing you after it. Here we are fcoffed and derided ; as the 
world hated the Lord Jesus Christ, fo will it hate you : 
but be not difcouraged, though we are here the fcorn and off- 
fcouring of all things ; and are as a gazing ftock to men and 
angels. Though they put us out of their fynagogues, caft 
out our name as evil, and look on us as perfons unfit for their 
company ; yet, in that reft which is prepared for you, my 
brethren, we fliall then be gazed at for our glory, and they 
{hut out of the aflembly of the faints, and feparated from us, 
whether they will or no ; unlefs the Lord Jesus Christ, 
by his free, rich, and fovereign grace, brings them unto 

The letter-learned Scribes and Pharifees of this day, look 
on us as madmen and enthufiafts ; but though they make fo 
much noife about the word enthufwjly it means no more than 
this, one in God ; and what chriftian can fay, he is not in 
God, and God in him ? And if this is to be an enthufiaft, 
God grant I may be more and more fo^ if we being in 
Christ, and Christ in us, makes us enthufiafts, I would 
to God we were all more and more enthufiafts. They now 
think it ftrange, that we run not with them into all excefs of 
riot, and becaufe we will not go to the devil's diverfions with 
them, therefore they fpeak evil of us. We cannot now go 
along the ftrect, but every one is pointing out his finger with 
fcorn, and cries. Here comes another of his followers ; what ! 
you are become one of his difciples too ! But there is a reft 
which will be a complete deliverance for you. Let none of 
thefe things move you; for, though you are thus treated here, 
confider, you fiiall in heaven have no difcouraging company, 
nor any but what will be an afiiftance to you ; you will have 
no fcofter there, all will be ready to join with heart and voice 
in your everlafting joy and praifes. You will not be counted 
enthufiafts, madmen, and rabble, in that reft which remaineth 


[ 3^,? 1 
for the people of God. Therefore, pofiefs your fouls la 
patience; account it matter of joy when you fall into tribu- 
lation ; God, in his own time, will deliver us ; let not their 
hindering us from preaching in the church, be any difcourage- 
ment; do not flirink, and draw back, becaufe of oppofition ; 
be not afhamed of your work or m after ; but hold faft your 
integrity. You mud expetSt to go through evil report, and 
good report ; fear not the violence of unreafonable men ; let 
them hate you, and cafl: you out for the Lord*s fake, behold 
he (hall appear to your joy, and they fhall be afhamed : 
therefore hold on, and hold out to the end. Be fiedfaft and 
patient, and bear the troubles of the world ; if you are the 
people of God, there is a reft provided for you, which you 
ihall certainly obtain, 

I fhall not fpeak unto you, Pharifees, this morning, nor to 
any, except to you who have experienced the pangs of the 
new-birth, or are at prefent under them, and who know what 
it is to love the Lord Jesus in fincerity and truth : do not 
be difcouraged, or think hard of the ways of God, my dear 
brethren, becaufe you are not loved by the men of this 
world ; if you were of the world it would love you ; it would 
then be pleafed with your company ; it would not thruftyou 
from a tavern, or an alehoufe ; it would not diflikc you for 
finging the fongs of the drunkard, or for going to plays, 
balls, or other polite and fafhionable entertainments, as they 
are called ; no, thefe the children of the world like; but 
if you will fing hymns and pfalms, and go to hear what Gqd 
hath to fay unto your fouls, and fpend your time in reading, 
praying, and frequenting religious affemblies, then it is that 
they diflike you, and thruft you out of their company, as 
pn worthy thereof; but let none of thefe things move you, 
for the reft which Jesus Christ hath prepared for you, is 
jjn ample recompence for all you may meet with here. 

This reft is the fruit of the blood of the Lord Jesus 
Christ : O how will it fill our fouls with love, to think 
Jljat through the ftreams of this blood, we have overcome the 


[ 3^4 1 

Violence cf the world, and the fnarcs of the devil. My dear 
brethren, be not difcouraged at the treatment you meet with 
here, but let it be a means to flir you up to advance in the 
love of the Lord Jesus Christ, who hath prepared a reft 
for you. Can you confider, what Christ has done and 
fufFered for you, and have your hearts ftupified with vile and 
fenfelefs pleafures ? Can you hear of a panting, bleeding, 
dying Jesus, and yet be dull and unafFedled ? Was there 
any forrow like unto his forrow ? and all this, he under- 
went to fave you, who were vile, and polluted, and by na- 
ture, fince the fall, a motly mixture of the beaft and devil. 
Jesus Christ, by dying upon the crofs, intended to take 
away the devil and beaft from your heart, and to prepare 
it for himfelf to dwell in. Think of the love of this your 
Jesus, and then, will a little reproach and fcorn move you ? 
fure it will not. I hope better things of you, and things 
that accompany faivation. 

O think with what pleafing aftonifliment you will fee the 
Lord Jesus Christ, when he comes to take you to hi§ 
left: nov^ his heart is open to us; but our hearts are fhut 
againft him ; then, then, his heart ftiall be open, and ours 
(hall be fo too. O my brethren, how will your love be in-r 
creafed ? With what raptures will you fee the Lord Jesus 
Christ ? Therefore, undergo a few reproaches here pati- 
entlv, and revile not again. Let them fay what they pleafc 
of nic, the reproaches, fcorns, and contempt of this world, 
will no ways hurt me, but will recoil upon their own heads; 
leave it to the Lord, who knows what is beft for you and 
me: do not queftion his love; he will be with you; only do 
you, who have tafted the Lord to be gracious, follow har4 
after him. 

And now, let me fpeak a word unto you, who have not 
yet experienced the love of Christ to your fouls, but are 
waiting for his appearance. I (hall be but very fhort, becaufe 
I would not break in upon the duties of the day. 

I fhall 

C 3^5 ] 

I (hall fpeak unto you a word of invitation ; even, to wait 
ftill on the Lord ; do not forfake him, though he may not 
anfwer your petitions at once or twice feeking unto him ; 
hold on, do not leave feeking him, and you (hall have an 
anfwer of peace ; remember the poor man who was lame, 
and had lain at the pool of Bethefda thirty-eight years for 
relief, yet at laft he found that it was worth waiting for, he 
obtained his defire. 

And if you are but zealous for the Lord, and feek unto 
Jesus, if your zeal be according to godlinefs, and you pray 
unto him for his Spirit, you fhall certainly have an anfwer 
of peace ; you (hall find it is good to feek unto the Lord, 
you will be adopted into his family, and by his fpirit be 
enabled to cry, " Abba, Father." O then do not leave, buc 
be continually waiting at wifdom's gate, and you (hall find 
all her ways to be ways of pleafantnefs, and all her paths are 
peace j then, you (hall find that it is worth waiting on the 
Lord Jesus ; and when you have got his Spirit within you, 
all the power of men or devils cannot make you forfake the 
ways of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

If you do but once tafte of his pardoning love, it will be 
fo delightful unto you, that you will cry for more and more 
thereof; you will be as full as you can hold, and ftill not be 
fatisfied -, you will defire more and more of this love of 
Jesus, you will hunger and thirft, and hunger and thirft 
again, and never be fatisfied till you come to that reft which 
is prepared for the people of God, where all hungering and 
thirfting will ceafe, and will be turned into fongs and halle- 
lujahs, and that for ever and ever. 

As many of you as defign to partake of the emblems of 
the body and Hood of our dying Lord, examine well your- 
fclves, left by eating and drinkin;^ unworthily, you eat and 
drink damnation unto yourfelves : remember the dying love 
of your dying Lord, and eat and c'rink in commemoration 

[ 366] 

thereof; do not let the world keep you from partaking here- 
of ; and when you have eaten and drank, do not go away 
and run into the world; let the world fee that you have been 
with Jesus ; give them no room to fpeak unfeemly, they do 
that enough without occafion j but how would they rejoice 
if they had juit reafon. 

Look well then unto your paths, that you do not flip 5 
remember that all your faults are magnified, and that all 
your little flips are laid upon me; therefore, look well unto 
your ways, your words, your adlions, that they may filence 
gainfayers ; let them fee that we have the prefence of God 
with us, and that there has been good done by field-preach- 

Let me exhort you once more to confider the love of the 
Lord Jesus Christ. O do not forget his love. Confider, 
I befeech you, how great it has been unto you, and do not 
flight this his grace, the riches, the love, the kindnefs of 
vour dear Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ, who hath 
prepared this eternal reft for you 3 he alfo laid down his life 
for your fakes : what great love was here ! that while you 
v;ere enemies to the Lord of glory, he died for you, to re- 
deem you from fin, from hell and wrath, that you might live 
and reign with him, world without end. 

The Lamb that died, and was buried, is now rifen and 
exalted, and fits on the right-hand of God the Father ; and 
when he (hall come to judge all the world, then, my bre- 
thren, it v;iil be feen whether we have deferved the ufage 
the world has given us; then it v^ill be known who are the 
true followers of the Lord Jesus, and who are madmen 
and fools ; but, may it be determined in this world, that we 
and our prefent enemies may enter into that reft which Gop 
hath prepared for thofe that love him. 

Which God of his infinite mercy grant ! 

C z^i ] 

My brethren, let not thefe few words of exhortation be 
forgotten, but lay them up in your hearts, and remember 
they muft be called over another day. I fhould have enlarged 
but the duties of the day obliged me to forbear. 

Now, to God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghoft, be all 
power, ^c. 


[ 3% 3 


Preached before the Governor, and Council, 
and the Houfe of Afiembly, in Georgia^ 
on January 28, 1770. 

Z E c H. iv. Id. 
For 'uoho hath defpifed the Day of fmall Things ? 

MEN, brethren, and fathers, at fundry times and in 
divers manners, God fpake to the fathers by the 
prophets, before he fpoke to us in thefe laft days by his Son. 
And as God is a fovereign agent, and his facred Spirit 
bloweth when and where it lifleth, furely he may reveal and 
make known his will to his creatures, when, where, and how 
he pleafeth ; " and who fhall fay unto him, what doeft thou r" 
Indeed, this feems to be one reafon, todifplay his fovereigntv, 
why he chofe, before the canon of fcripcure was fettled, to 
make known his mind in fuch various methods^ and to fuch 
a variety of his fervants and mefTengers. 

Hence it Is, that we hear, he talked with Abraham as 
" a man talketh with a friend." To Mcfei he fpoke " face 
to face." To others by " dreams in the night," or by 
*' vifions" imprcfled ftrongly on their imaginations. This 
feems to be frequently the happy lot of the favourite evan- 
gelical prophet Zechariah, I call him evangelical prophet^ 
becaufe his predictions, however they pointed at fome ap- 
proaching or immediate event, ultimately" terminarcd in 
Him, who is the Alpha and Omega, the berrinning and the 

Vol. VI. A a ^ ^ end 


[ 370 ] 

fnd of all the lively oracles of God. The chapter from 
which our text is feleded, among many other paildges, is 
a ftriking proof of this : An angel, that had been more than 
once fent to him on former occafions, appears again to him, and 
by way of vifion, and *' waked him, (to ufe his own words) 
as a man that is wakened out of his deep.'* Prophets, and 
ihc greateft fervants of God, need waking fometimes out oF 
their drowfy frames. 

Methinks I fee this man of God Parting out of his ilecp, 
and being all attention : the angel afked him, " what feeit 
thou?'* He anfwers, " I have looked, and behold, a candle- 
Hick all of gold," an emblem of the church of Goo, *' with 
a bowl upon the top of it, and feven lamps thereon, and fevcn 
pipes to the feven lamps, which were upon the top thereof ;'* 
implying, that the church, however reduced to the lowcffc 
ebb, fhould be preferved, be kept fupplied, and fhining, 
through the invifible, but not Icfs real, bccaufe invifible aids 
and operations of the blefl'ed Spirit of God. The occafion 
of fuch an extraordinary vifion, if we compare this paflagc 
with the fecond chapter of the Prophecy of the prophet 
Haggai^ feems to be this : It was now near eighteen ycrirs 
fmce the JewlJ)) people had been delivered from their long 
and grievous Babylonijh captivity ; and being fo long de- 
prived of their temple and its worfhip, which fabric had been 
rafed even to the ground, one would have imagined, that 
immediately upon their return, they fhould have poi^poned 
all private works, and with their united flrcngth have firft 
fet about rebuilding that once (lately and magnificent 
flruiSlure, But they, like too many chiilHans of a like luke- 
warm ftamp, though all acknowledged that this church-work 
was a neceflary work, yet put themCelves and others oft", 
with this godly pretence, " The time is not come, the time 
that the Lord's houfe (liould be built:'* The time is not 
come ! \vhat, not in eighteen years ! for fo long had they 
now been returned from their ftate of bondage : and pray, 
why was not the time come? The prophet Haggai tells 
them ; their whole time was fo taken up in building for 
themfelves cieled houfcs, that they had no time left to build 
J an 

[ 37^ ] 
an habitation for their great and glorious Bencfaclor, the 
mighty GoD o^ Jacob, 

This ingratitude muH: not be pafled by unpuniHied. Om- 
nifcience obfervesj Omnipotence refents it ! And that they 
might read their fin in their punifbment, as they thought it 
beft to get rich, and fecure hoiifes and lands and eftates for 
themfelvcs, before they fet about unnecefTary church-work, 
the prophet tells them, *' You have fown much, but bring 
in little : ye eat, but ye have not enough : ye drink, but ye 
are not filled with drink : ' ye clothe you, but there is none 
warm : and he that earneth wages, carneth wages to put it 
into a bag with holes." Still he goes on thundering and 
lightening, " Ye looked for much, and lo it came to little : 
and when ye brought it home, (pleafing yourfelves with your 
fine crops) I did blow upon it : why ? faith the Lord of 
Hofts ; becaufe of mine houfe that is wafte, and ye ruri 
every man unto his own houfe." A thundering fermon this ! 
delivered not only to the common people, but alfo unto, and 
in the prefence of " Zeruhhabel^ the fon of Sbeaitiely governor 
of Judahy and to JofiniGy the fon of Jofedech the high-prieft. 
The prophet's report is believed ; and the arm of the Lord 
was revealed. Zerubbabei^ the fon o^ Sbeaitiely and Jojhua, the 
fon o^ Jofedech^ (O happy times when church and ftate are 
thus combined) with all the remnant of the people, obeyed 
the voice of the Lord their God^ and the words of Haggai 
the prophet.*' 

The fpirit of Zerubhabel^ dnd ofjojhua, and the fpirits of all 
the remnant of the people were ftirred up, and they imme- 
diately came, difregarding, as it v/ere, their ov;n private 
buildings, '* and did work in the houfe of the Lord of 
Hofts their God" For a while, they proceeded with 
vigour J the foundation of the houfe is laid, and the fuper- 
ftru£lure raifed to fome confiderable height : but whether 
this fit of hot zeal foon cooled^ as is too common, or the 
people were difcouraged by the falfe reprcfentations of their 
enemies, which perhaps met with too favourable a reception 
at the court of Darius j it fo happened, that the hearts of 

A a 2 th? 

[ 372 ] 

the magiftrates and minlfters of the people waxed faint 5 and 
an awful chafm intervened, between the finifliing and laying 
the foundation of this promifing and glorious work. 

Upon this, another prophet, even Xechariah, (who with 
Hag^ai had been joint fufftrer in the captivity) is fent to life 
up the hands that hang down, to ftrengthen the feeble knees, 
and by the foregoing inflru£live vifion, to reanimate 'Jojlma 
and the people in general, and the \\^2iXto^ Zeruhbabel^ the fon 
of Skealliel^ in particular, niaugre all difcouragcments, 
either from inveterate enemies, or from timid unftable friends, 
or all other obftacles whatfoever. If Haggai thunders,. 
Zcchariah's meflage is as lightening. " This is the word of 
the Lord unto Zeruhbahel^ faying, Not by might, nor by 
power, (not by barely human power or policy) but by my 
fpirit, faith the Lord of Hods : Who art thou, O great 
mountain ? (thou Sanlallai and thy ailociates, who have been 
fo long crying out, what mean thefe feeble yews ? however 
great, formidable, snd feemingly infurmountable) before 
Xeruhhald thou (lialt (not only be lowered and rendered 
more acceiTible, but) become a plain j" thy very oppo- 
fition flialj, in the end, promote the work, and help to 
expedite that very building, which thou intendeft to put a flop 
to, and deltroy. 

And leR Zerubhahel^ through unbelief and outward oppofi- 
tion, or for want of more bodily ftrength, fliould think this 
would be a work of time, and that he fhould not live to fee 
it compleated in his days, '' The word of the Lord 
ciime to Zechariah^ faying. The hands of Zerulhahcl have laid 
the foundation of this houfe ; his hands alfo fhall finifh it, 
and he fhail bring forth the headftone thereof with flioutings, 
crying, Grace, grace unto it." Grace ! grace ! unto it : 
a double acclamation, to fiiew, that out of the abundance of 
their hearts, their mouth fpake ; and this with fhoutings and 
crying from all quarters.. .Even their enemies fhould fee the 
hand and providence of God in the beginning, continuance, 
and ending of this feemingly improbable and impradicable 
wurki fo that they fliould be conftrained to cry, "Grace 


C zn ] 

unto it," and wifh both the work and the builders much 
profperity : But as for its friends, they flijuld be Co tranf- 
ported with heart-felt joy in the reflection upon t'ne f^rnal 
providences which had attended them through the whole 
procefs, that they would fliout and cry, " Grace, grace unto 
it :" or, This is nothing but tlie Lord's doing; God profper 
and blefs this work more and more, and make it a place 
where his free grace and glory may be abundantly difplayed. 
Then by a beautiful and pungent farcafm, turning to the 
infulting enemies, he utters the fpirited interrogation in my 
text, " Who hath dcfpifed the day of fmall things ?" Who 
are you, that vauntingly faid, what can thefe feeble "Jews do, 
pretending to lay the foundation of a houfe which they 
never will have money, or ftrength, or power to finifli ? Or, 
who are you, O timorous, (hort-fighted, doubring, though 
well-meaning people, who, through unbelief, were dif- 
couraged at the fmall beginnings and feeblenefs of the attenipc 
to build a feccnd temple ? And, becaufe you thought it could 
not come up to the magnificence of the firft, therefore were 
difcouraged from fo much as beginning to build a fecond 
at all ? 

A clofe inflru6iive queftion this ; a queftlon, implying, 
that whenever God intends to bring about any great thing, 
he generally begins with a day of fmall things. 

As a proof of this, I will not lead you fo far back, as to the 
beginning of time, when the Everlafling " I am" fpoke 
all things into exiftencc, by his almighty /'«/ ; and out of 
a confu'ed chaos, " without form and void," produced 
a v/orld worthy of a God to create, and of his favourite 
creature man, liis vicegerent and reprcfentativc here below, 
to inhabit, and enjoy in it both himfelf and his God. 
A.nd yet, though the heavens declare his glory, and the 
firmament fl^eweth his handy wcik, though there is no fpeech 
nor language where their voice is not heard, and their line is 
gone out through all the earth ; and by a dumb, yet per- 
fuafive language, proves the hand that made them to be 
divine 5 yet there have been, and arc now, fuch fools in the 

A a 3 world, 

[ 374 ] 

world, as to " fay in their hearts. There is no GoD ;'* or fo 
vvife, as by their wKdom, not to know God, or own his divine 
image to be ftamped on that book, wherein thefe grand 
things are recorded, and that in fuch legible charadters, that 
Jie who runs may read. 

Neither will I divert your attention, honoured fathers, to 
^he hiftories oi Greece and Rome^ or any of the great kingdoms 
and renowned monarchies, which conftitute fo great apart of 
ancient hlftory \ but whofe beginnings were very fmall, 
(witnefs Romulus*^ ditch) their progrefs as remarkably great, 
and their declenfion and downfal, when arrived at their 
appointed zenith, as fudden, unexpected, and marvellous. 
Thefe make the chief fubjecls of the learning of our fchools; 
though they make but a mean figure in facred hiftory, and 
would not perhaps have been mentioned at all, had they not 
been, in fome meafure, connedled with the hiftory of God's 
people, which is the grand fubjc6l of that much defpifed 
book, emphatically called, The Scriptures. Whoever hath 
a mind to inform himfelf of the one, may read Rollins 
Ancient Hiftory, and whoever would fee the connection 
with the other, may confuk the learned Prideaux'^ admirable 
and judicious conne6tion. Books which, I hope, will be 
flrcnuoufly recommended, and carefully ftudied, when this 
prefent infant inftitution gathers more ftrength, and grows 
up into a feat of learning. I can hardly forbear mentioning 
the fmall beginnings of Great Britain^ now fo diftinguiftied 
for liberty, opulence and renown ; and the rife and rapid 
progrefs of the American colonics, which promifes to be one 
of the moft opulent and pov/erful empires in the world. 
But my prefent views, and the honours done this infant 
inftitution this day, and the words of my text, as well ag 
the feelings of my own heart, and I truft, of the hearts of 
all that hear me, lead me to confine your meditations to the 
hiftory of Qod's own peculiar people, which for the fimplicity 
and fublimity of its language, the veracity of its author, 
and the importance and wonders of the faCts therein re- 
corded, if weighed in a proper balance, hath not its equal 
under the fun. And yet, though God himfelf hath become 


an author among us, we will not condefcend to give his book 
one thorough reading. Be aftoniflied, O heavens^ at this I 

Who would have thought that from one, even from 
Abraham^ and from fo fmall a beginning, as the emigration 
of a fingle private family, called out of a land wholly givca 
to idolatry, to be fojourners and pilgrims in a ftrange land ; 
who would have thought, that from a man, who for a long 
ieafon was written childlefs, a man whofe firft poflefTion ia 
this ftrange land, was by purchafing a burying place for his 
wife, and in whofe grave one might have imagined he Vv'ould 
have buried all future expedations ; v/ho would have thought, 
that from this very man and woman, according to the courfe 
of nature, both as good as dead, fliould defcend a numerous 
oftspring like unto the ftars of heaven for multitude, and 
as the fand which is upon the fea fiiore innumerable ? 
Nay, who would have imagined, that againft all probability, 
and in all human appearance impoffible, a kingdom Ihould 
arife ? Behold a poor captive flave, even JofepJ?, who was 
cruelly feparated from his brethren, became fecond in 
Fharaoh^ kingdom : he was fent before to work out a great 
deliverance, and to introduce a family which fliould take 
root, deep root downwards and bear fruit upwards, and fill 
the land. How could it enter into the heart' of man to 
conceive, that when opprefTed by a king, who knew not 
Jofepb^ though they were the beft, mofl: loyal, induftrious 
fubjeds this king had, when an edi6t was iflued forth as 
impolitic as cruel, (fince the fafety and glory of all kingdoms 
chiefly confift in the number of its inhabitants) that an out- 
caft, helplefs infant fhould be taken, and bred up in all the 
learning of the Egyptians^ and In that very court from which, 
and by that very tyrant from v^hom the edi6l came, and that 
the deliverer fhould be nurtured to be king in Jejhurun I 

But time as well as ftrength would fail me, was I to give 
you a detail of all the important particulars refpedmg GoD*s 
peculiar people; as their miraculous fupport in the wildernefs, 
the events which took place while they were under a divine 
theocracy, and during their fettlement in Canaan to the time 

A a 4 of 

[ 3/6 ] 

cf their return from Babylon, and from thence to the de-? 
flru61ion of their fecond temple, kc. by the Romam. Indeed, 
confidering to vvliom I am fpeaking, perfons converfant in 
the facred and profane hiftory, I have mentioned thefe things 
" only to ftir up your minds by way of remembrance. 

But if we defcend from the Jewljlj, to the Chriftian sera, we 
Ihall find, that its commencement was, in the eyes of the 
world, a " day of fmall things" indeed. Our blefled Lord 
compares the beginning of its progrefs in the world, to 
a grain of mudard-feed, which though the fmalleft of all 
feeds when fown, foon becomes a great tree, and fo fpread, 
that the " birds of the air," or a multitude of every nation, 
language and tongue, came and lodged in its branches : and 
its inward progrefs in the believers heart, Christ likens to 
a little leaven which a woman hid in three meafures of meal. 
How both the Jewijh and Chriftian difpenfations have been, 
and even to this day are defpifed, by the wife difputcrs of this 
world, on this very account, is manifeft to all who read the 
lively oracles with a becoming attention. What ridicule, 
obloquy, and inveterate oppofition chriftianity meets with, 
in this our day, not only from the open deift, but from 
formal profeilbrs, is too evident to every truly pious foul. 

And what oppofition the kingdom of grace meets with In 
the heart, is well known by all thofe who are experimentally 
acquainted with their hearts : they know^, to their forrow, 
v/hat the great apoftle of the Gentiles means, by " the Spirit 
ilriving againft the flefli, and the fleih againft the Spirit." 

But the facred Oracles, and the hlftories of all ages ac- 
quaint us, that God brings about the greateft thing, not only 
by fmall and unlikely means, but by ways and means directly 
oppofite to the carnal reafonings of unthinking men : he 
chufes things that be not, to bring to nought thofe which 
are. Hov/ did chriftianity fpread and fiourifh, by one, who 
vvas defpifed and rejeded of men, a man of forrov.'s and 
acquainted with grief, and who expired on a crofs ? he 
was defpifed and rejected, net merely by the vulgar and 
5 " illiterate. 

C i^n ] 

illiterate, but the Rabbles and Matters o^ Ijrael^ the Scribes 
and Pharifees, who by the Jcivifn churchmen were held too 
in fo high a reputation for their outward fant'^ity, that it 
became a common proverb, " If only two went to heaven, 
the one would be a Scribe, and the other a Pharifee.'* Yec 
there were they who endeavoured to filence the voice of all 
his miracles and heavenly doclrine with, *' Is not this the 
Carpenter's fon ?" Nay, " He is mad, why hear you him ? he 
hath a devil, and cafteth out devils by Beelzebub the prince 
of the devils." And their defpite not only followed him to, 
but after death, and when in his grave. " We remember 
(faid they) that this deceiver faid, after three days I will rife 
again ; command therefore that the fepulchre be made fure ;" 
but, maugre all your impotent precautions, in fealing the 
ftone, and fetting a watch, he burft the bars of death 
afunder, and, according to his repeated predictions, proved 
himfelf to be the Son of God v^'ith power, by rifing the third 
day from the dead. And afterwards, in prelcnce of great 
multitudes, was he received up into glory 5 as a proof there- 
of, he fent down the Holy Ghoft, (on the miilion of whom 
he pav/ned all his credit with his difciples) in fuch an 
inftantaneous, amazing manner, as one would imasine, 
iliould have forced and compelled all who faw it to own, 
that this was indeed the finger of God. 

And yet how was this grand tranfa6lion treated ? with the 
utmoft contempt : when inftantaneoufiy the apoftles com- 
menced orators and linguiils, and with a divine profufion 
fpoke of the wonderful things of God ; " thefe men (faid 
fome) are full of new wine.'* And yet by thefe men, mean 
fiOiermen, illiterate men. Idiots, in the opinion of the Scribes 
and Pharifees, and notwithflanding all the oppofition of 
earth and hell, and that too only by the foolilhnefs of preach- 
ing, did this grain of muflard-fced grow up, till thoufands, 
ten thoufands of thoufands, a multitude which no man can 
number, out of every nation, language and people, came and 
lodged under the branches of it, 

Neither fliall it reft here ; whatever dark parenthefis may 
intervene, wc are aflured, that being dill watered by the 


C 378 ] 
fame divine hand, it fhall take deeper and deeper root down^ 
ward, and bear more and more fruit upward, till the whole 
earth be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters 
cover the fea. Who {hall live v/hen God doth this ? Haften 

Lord that blefled time ! O let this thy kingdom come ! 
Come, not only by the external preaching of the gofpel in the 
world, but by its renovating, heart-renewing, foul-trans- 
forming power, to awakened Tinners ! For want of this, 
alas ! alas I though we underftood all myfteries, could 
fpeak with the tongues of men and angels, we fhould be 
only like founding brafs, or fo many tinkling cymbals. 

And yet, what a " day of fmall things" is thefirft implan- 
tation of the feed of divine life in the foul of man ? Well 
might our Lord, who alone is the author and finilherof our 
faith, compare it to a little leaven, which a v/oman took, and 
hid in three meafures of meal, till the whole was leavened. 
Low fimilies, mean comparifons thefe, in the eyes of thofe, 
who having eyes, fee not ; who having ears, hear not ; whofe 
heart, being waxed grofs, cannot, will not underftand ! To 
fuch, it is defpicable, myfterious, and unintelligible in itsde- 
fcription ; and, if poiTible, infinitely more fo, when made ef- 
fectual by the power of God, to the falvation of any individual 
foul. For the wifdom of God will always be foolifhnefs to 
natural men. As it was formerly, fo it is now ; they who 
are born after the flefh, will perfecute thofe that are born after 
the fpirit: the difciple mud be as his mailer : they that will 
Jive godly in him ; they that live mcjl godly in him, muft, (hall 
fufPer perfecution. This is fo interwoven in the very nature 
and exifience of the gofpel, that our Lord makes it one part 
of the beatitudes, in that blcflcd fcrmon which he preached, 
"when, to ufe the words of my old familiar friend the feraphic 
Hervey^ a mount was his pulpit, and the heavens his founding 
board. A part, which, like others of the fame nature, 

1 believe, will be little reliflied by fuch who are always 
clamouring againft thofe fev/ highly favoured fouls, who dare 
ftand up and preach the dodlrine of jujuficaiion hy faith alone 
in the imputed righteoufnefs of Jesus Christ, and are re- 
proached with not preaching, like their mafler. Morality^ as 


[ 279 ] 

they term It, in his glorious fermon on the mount: for diJ 
we more preach, and more live it, we flioald foon find all 
manner of evil would be fpokcn againft us for Christ's 

But fliall this hinder the progrefs, the growth, and con- 
fummation ? and fliall the chriftian therefore be difmayed 
and difcouraged ? God forbid I On the contrary, the weakeil 
believer may, and ought, to rejoice and be exceeding glad. 
And why ? for a very good reafon ; bccaufe, he that hath 
begun the good work, hath engaged alfo to iinifli it ; though 
Christ found him as black as hell, he fhall prefent him, 
and every individual purchafcd with his blood, without fpot 
or wrinkle, or any fuch thing, before the Divine Prefence. 
O glorious profpe6l I how will the faints triumph, and the 
ions of God then fliout for joy ? If they fhouted when God 
laid, *' Let there be light, and there was light j" and' if there 
is joy in heaven over one finner only that repenteth, how will 
the heavenly arches echo and rebound with praife, when all 
the redeemed of the Lord fhall appear together, and the 
Son of God fhall fay, " of all thefe that thou haft given to 
me, have I loft nothing." On the contrary, what weeping, 
wailing, and gnaftiing of teeth will there be, not only amongft 
the devil and his angels, but amongft the fearful and un- 
believing, when they fee that all the hellifh temptations and 
devices, inftead of deftroying, were over-ruled to the fur- 
therance of the gofpel in general, and to the increafe and 
growth of grace in every individual believer in particular. 
And how will defpifers then behold and wonder and perifh, 
when they fhall be obliged to fay, *' we fools counted their 
lives madnefs, and their end to be without honour ; but how 
are they numbered among the children of God, and how 
happy is their lot among the iVmts V* 

But whither am I going ? Pardon me, my dear hearers, if 
you think this to be a digrefTion from my main point. It is 
true, whllft I am mufmg, the fire begins to kindle : I am 
flying, but not fo high, I truft, as to lofe fight of my main 
fubject. And yet, after meditating and talking of the rife 


. [ 38o ] 

and progxefs of the gofpel of the kingdom, I fliall find k 
fomewhat difficult to defcend fo low, as to entertain you 
with the fmall beginnings of this infant colony, and of the 
Orphan-houie, in which I am now preaching. But I fhould 
judge myfelf inexcufable on this occafion, if I did not detain 
you a little lor;ger, in taking a tranfient view of the traces of 
divine Providence, in the rife and progrefs of the colony in 
g^eneral, and the inllitution of this Orphan-houfe in particular. 
Children yet unborn, I truit, will have occafion to blefs Goi^ 
tor both. 

The very defign of this fettlement, as charity inclines us to 
hope all things, was, that it niight be an Afylum, and a place 
of buunefs, for as many as were in diftrefs ; for foreigners, 
as well as natives; ior "Jews and Gentiles, On February i, 
a day, the memory of which, I think, fhould ftill be perpe- 
tuated, the firft embarkation was made with forty-five 
Engl'ifo fdmilies ; men, who had once lived well in their 
native country, and who, with many perfecuted Saltxburghersy 
headed by a good old foidier of Jesus lately deceafed, the 
Jlev. Mr. Bohzius^ came to find a refuge here. They came, 
they faw, they laboured, and endeavoured to fettle ; but by 
an efleiitial, though well-meant defe(Si:, in the very beginning 
of the fetilement, too well known by fome now prefent, and 
too long, and too much felt to bear repeating, prohibiting 
the imiportation and ufe of negroes, &c. their numbers 
gradually diminifned, and matters were brought to {o low an 
tbb, that the whole colony became a proverb of reproach. 

About this time, in the year 1737, being previoufly ftirred 
up thereto by a ftrong impulfe, which I could by no means 
refid, I came here, after the example of my worthy and 
reverend friendi-', MeiTieurs John and Charles JP''cJJey\ and 
Mr. Ingham^ who, with che moft difinterefted views, had 
come hither to ferve the colony, by endeavouring to convert 
the Indians. I came rejoicing to ferve the colony alfo, and 
to become your willing fervant for Christ's lake. My 
fiiend and fa:hcr, good Bifliop Benfon^ encouraged me, 
though my brctliitn and kiafmen after the ficfh, as well as 


[ 33i ] 

religious friends, oppofed it. I came, and I Hiw (you will 
not be offended with mc to fpcak the truth) the nakedrnTs of 
the land. Gladly did I didribiitc about the four hundred 
pounds fterling, which I had colleifled in England^ among my 
poor parifliioncrs. The neceflity and propriety of erccling an 
Orphan-houfe, was mentioned and recommended before my 
firft embarkation. But thinking it a matter of too great 
importance to be fet about unwarily, I deferred the farther 
prolecution of this laudable dcfign till my return to England 
in the year 1738, for to have pricfts orders. 

Miferable was the condition of many grown pcrfons, as 
well as children, whom I left behind. Their caufe I endea- 
voured to plead, immediately upon my arrival; but being de- 
nied the churches, in which I had the year before coUecSled 
many hundreds for the London charity-fchools, I endeavoured 
to plead their caufe in the fields. The people threw in their 
mites moft willingly; once or twice, I think, twenty- two 
pounds were collected in copper; the alms were accompanied 
with many prayers, and which, as I told them, laid, I am 
perfuaded, a blefTed foundation to the future charitable fuper- 
ftrudure. In a fhort time, though plucked as it were out of 
the fire, the colleiiions and charitable contributions amounted 
to more than a one thoufand pounds fterling. 

With that I rcimbarked, taking Philadelphia In my way, 
and upon my fecond arrival, found the fpot fixed upon ; but, 
alas I who can defcribe the low cflate to which it was reduced ! 
the whole country almoft was left defolatc, and the metropolis 
Savannah, was but like a cottage in a vineyard, or as a lodge 
in a garden of cucumbers. Many orphans, whofe parents 
had been taken from them by the diftrelles that naturally at- 
tend new fettlements, were difperfed here and there in a very 
forlorn helplefs condition ; my bowels yearned towards them, 
and, animated by the example of the great Profefibr Francky 
previous to bringing them here, I hired a houfe, furnilhed an 
infirmary, employed all that were capable of employment, and 
in a few weeks walked to the houfe of (jOD with a large 
family of above fixty orphans, and others in as bad a con- 



C 382 ] 

Oil Alarch 25, 1740, in full afllirance of faith, I laid thd 
foundation < f this houfe ; and in the year following^ brouaht 
in my orphan family, who, with the workmeu, now made up 
the number of one hundred and fifty : by the money which 
was expended on thefe, the remaining few were kept in the 
colony, and were enabled to pay the debts they owed j fo that 
in a rcprcfentation made to the Houfe of Commons, by fome^ 
who for very good reafons wanted the conftitution of the 
colony akeied ; they declared, that the very exiftence of th<S 
colony was in a great meafure, if not totally, owing to th(? 
building and fupporting of the Orphan Houfe. ^ 

Finding the care of fuch a family^ inconrpatible with th^ 
care due to a parifh, upon giving previous warning to the then 
truftecs, I gave up the living of SavanJiah^ which wiihout fee 
or reward I had voluntarily taken upon me: I then ranged 
through the northern colonics, and afterwards once more re- 
turned home. What calumny, what loads of reproach, I for 
many years was called to undergo, in thus turning beggar for 
a family, few here prefent need to be informed ; a family, 
utterly unconne6led by any ties of nature ; a family, not only 
to be maintained with food, but cloathed and educated alfo, 
and that too in the deareft part of his Majefly's dominions, on 
a pine barren, and in a colony where the ufe of negroes wa? 
totally denied ; this appeared fo very improbable, that all be-» 
holders looked daily for its decline and annihilation. 

But, blefied be Got), the building advanced and flourifhed, 
and the wifhed-for period is now come; after having fupport- 
ed the family for thirty-two years, by a change of conftitutioai 
and the fmiles of government j with liberal donations front 
the northern, and cfpecially the adjacent provinces, the fan^ 
bands that laid the foundation, are now called to finifh it, by 
making an addition of a feat of learning, the whole produfts 
and profits of which, are to go towards the increafe of the 
fund, as at the beginning, for deftitute orphans, or fuch 
youths as may be called of GoD to the facrcd miniftry of hrff 
gofpcl. 1 need not call on any here, to cry, ** Grace, grace,- 


f 383 1 

unto It.'* For on the utmoft icruriny of the intention of thofe 
employed, and confidering the various exeroifes they have 
been called to undergo, agd the oppofition the building hath 
every where met with, we may jullly lay, " not by mi^ht, 
*' nor by power, but by thy Spirit, O Lord," hath this work 
been carried on thus far; it is his doing, let it be marvellous 
in our eyes. With humble gratitude, therefore, would we 
now fet up our Ebencxer, and fay, " Hitherto thou. Lord, 
*' haft helped us;" and wheiefore (liould we doubt, but that 
he, who hath thus far helped, will continue to help, when 
the weary heads of the firit founders and prefent helpers, are 
laid in the filent grave. 

I am very well aware, Vv'hat an invidious tafk it mufl: be 
to a perfon in my circumftances, thus to fpeak on an affair in 
which he hath been fo much concerned. Some may perhaps 
think, I am become a fool in thus glorying. But as I am 
now, blefied be God, in the decline of life, and as, in all 
probability, I fhall never be prefent to celebrate another 
anniverfary, 1 thought it beft to be a little more explicit, 
that if I have fpoken any thing but truth, I may be con- 
fronted ; and if not, that future ages, and future fuccefTors, 
may fee with what a purity of intention, and what various 
intcrpofitions of Providence, the work was begun, and hath 
been carried on to its prefer,: height. 

It was the reading of a like account, written by the late 
Profeflbr ivY7;/j/f , that encouraged me : who knows but here- 
after, the reading fcmcthing of a fimilar nature, may en- 
courage others to begin and carry on a like work elfewhere ? 
I have faid lis prefent height, for I would humbly hope, that 
this is, comparatively fpeaking, only a *' day of fmall things," 
only the dawn of brighter fcenes. Private genius's and 
individuals, as well as colleclive bodies, have, like the human 
body, the nonage, puerile, juvenile eftate, before they arrive 
at their zenith, and their lives as gradually they decline. But 
yet I vVould hope, that both the province and Bethefda, are 
but in their puerile or juvenile flatc. And long, long may 
they increafc, and make large ftrides, till th^y arrive at 

a glorious 

C 38+ ] 

a glorious zenith ! I mean not merely in trade, merchandifej 
and opulence, (though I would be far from fecluding them 
from the province, and would be thankful for the advances it 
hath already made) but a zenith of glorious gofpel bleiTings, 
without which, all outward emoluments arc lefs than no- 
thing, or as the fmall dufl: of the balance: '* For what fliall 
it profit a man, if. he (hall gain the whole world and lofe his 
own foul.'' 

Who can imagine, that the prophet Zecharlah would be 
fcnt to ftrengthen the hands of Zerubbabel, in building and 
layinor the foundation of the temple, if that temple was not 
to be frequented with worshippers that worfliipped the Fa- 
ther in fpirit and in truth. The moft gaudy fabrics, (lately 
temples, new moon fabbaths, and folemn afiemblies, are 
only folemn mockeries God cannot away with. This God 
hath (hewn by the deftruclion of both the firft: and fecond 
temples. What is become of the feven churches o^ Afta? 
How are all their golden candlefticks overthrown ? " God 
is a Spirit, and they who worfliip him muft worfhip him in 
fpirit and in truth." And no longer do I expe61: that this 
houfe will flourifh, than when the power of religion is en- 
couraged and promoted, and the perfons educated here, pro- 
fecute their ftudies, not only to be great fcholars, but good 

BleiTed be God ! I can fay with ProfefTor Franck^ that it 
is in a great meafure owing to the difinterefted fpirit of my 
firft fellow-helpers, as well as thofe who are now employed, 
that the building hath reached to its prefent height. This I 
am bound to fpeak, not only in honour to thofe who are 
now with God, but thofe at prefent before me. Nor dare I 
conclude, without offering to 

Your Excellency, our pepper corn of acknowledgm.ent for 
the countenance you have always (hewn Bethcfdas inftitu- 
tion, and the honour you did us laft year, in laying the firft 
brick of yonder wings : in thus doing, you have honoured 
Bethcfdas God. May he long delight to honour you here 


[ 385 ] 

oh earth ] and after a life fpcnt to his glory, and your coun- 
try's good, may he honour you to all eternity, in placing 
you at Christ's right-hand in the kingdom above ! 

Next to your Excellency, my dear Mr. Prcfidcnt, I mud 
beg your acceptance both of thanks and congratulation on 
the annual return of this feftival. For you was not only 
my dear familiar friend, and firft fellow-traveller in this in- 
fant province ; but you was diredlcd by Providence to this 
fpot, laid the fecond brick of this houfe, watched, prayed, 
and wrought for the family's good : A witnefs of innume- 
rable trials, partner of my joys and griefs ; you will have 
now the pl(*arure of feeing the Orphan-houfe a fruitful 
bough, its branches running over the wall. For this, no 
doubt, God hath fmiled upon and bleflld you, in a manner 
we could not expe61:, much lefs defign ; and may he con- 
tinue to blefs you with all fpiritual blelTings in heavenly 
places in Christ Jesus. Look to the rock from whence 
you have been hewn, and may your children never be 
aftiamed, that their father left his native country, and mar- 
ried a real chriftian, born again under this roof. May Be' 
ihefdas God grant this may be the happy portion of your 
children, and children's children ! 

Gentlemen of his Majefty's council, 

Mr. Speaker, and you members of the General AiTembly, 
many thanks are owing to you, for your late addrefs to his 
Excellency in favour of Bethefda. Your joint recommenda- 
tion of it, when I was laft here, which, though in fome 
meafure through the bi2:otry of fome, for the prefent is ren- 
dered abortive, by their wanting to have it confined to a 
party, yet I truft the event will prove that every thing fhall 
be over-ruled to the furtherance of the work. Here I repeat, 
what 1 have often declared, that as far as lies in my power 
before and after my dcceafc, Bethefda fhall be always on a 
broad bottom. All denominations have freely given j all de- 
nominations, all the continent, God being my helper, fhall 
receive benefit from it. May Bethefda s God blefs you all ! 

Vol. VI. B b ' in 


C 386 ] 

in your private as wpll as public capacity ; and as you are 
honoured to be the reprefentatives of a now flouriftiing in- 
creafing people : may you be directed in ail your ways ? 
May truth, juflice, religion, and piety be eflablifhed amongft 
you through all generations ! 

LqfiJy^ My reverend brethren, and you inhabitants of the 
colony, accept unfeigned thanks for the honour done me, 
in letting us fee you at Bethefda this day. You, Sir, for the 
fermon preached here laft year. Tell it in Germany^ tell my 
great, good friend, Profefibr Franck^ that Biihefdas God, 
is a God whofe mercy endureth for ever. O let us have 
your earneft prayers ! encourage your people not to '* defpife 
the day of fmall things." What hath Gop wrought ? From 
its infancy, this colony hath been bleffed with many faithfql 
gofpel minifters : O that this may be a nurfery to many more I 
This hath been the cafe of the New England College for 
almoft a century, and why not the Orphan-houfe Academy 
at Georgia ? 

Men, brethren, fathers, as many of you, whether inha- 
bitants or Grangers, who have honoured this day with your 
prefence, give us the additional bleflings of your prayers. 
And O that Bethefdah GoD may make this day, though but 
a day of fmall things, produ6live of great things to the foul$ 
of all amongft whom I have been now preaching the king- 
dom of God. A great and good day will it be indefd, if 
Jesus Christ, our great Zerubbabel^ (hould, by the power 
of the eternal Spirit, blefs any thing that hath now beeri 
fajd, to caufe every mountain of difficulty, that lies in the 
way of your converfion, to bepome a plain. And what art 
thou, O great mountain, whether the luft of the fle(h, the 
luft of the eye, or the pride of life, {in, or felf-righteouf- 
nefs ? Before our Bethefdd's God, thou fhalt become a 

Brethren, my heart is enlarged towards you : it is written, 

bleiled be God that it is written, " In the name of Jesus 

Gwciy knee {hall bow, whether things in heaven, or things 

6 in 

t 3^7 ] 

in earth, or things under the earth." O that we may be 
made a willing people in the day of his power! Look, look 
unto him, alJ ye that are placed in thefe ends of the earth. 
This houfe hath often been an houfe of God, a gate of 
heaven, to fome of your fathers. May it be a houfe of God, 
a gate of heaven, to the children alfo ! Come unto him, all ye 
that are weary and heavy laden, he will give you reft ; reft 
from the guilt, reft from the power, reft from the punifti- 
xnent of fm ; reft from the fear of divine judgments here, 
reft with himfelf eternally hereafter. Fear not, though the 
beginnings are but fmall, Christ will not defpife the day 
of fmall things. A bruifcd reed will he not break, and the 
fmoaking flax will he not quench, until he bring forth judg- 
ment unto vi(5lory. His hands that laid ihc foundation, alfo 
Ihall finifti it ; yet a little while and the top-ftone ftiall be 
brought forth with fhouting, and men and angels join in 
crying " Grace ! Grace I unto it." That all prefent may 
be in this happy number, may God of his infinite mercy 
grant, through Jesus our Lord. 

Vol. VL Cc S E R- 


C 3^ 3 

PeUr*s Denial of his Lord, 

Matthew xxvi. y^. * 

'And Peter remembered the words ofjefus^ which faid unto 
him^ Before the cock crovj twice^ thou /halt deny me 
thrice : and he went out^ and wept bitterly, 


BIOGRAPHY, as one obferves, is the beft hiftory; or, 
in other words, writing or reading the lives of great and 
good men, is one of the moft profitable and delightful kinds 
of hiftory we can entertain ourfelves with. For hereby we 
are convinced, that Wifdom's ways are indeed ways of plea- 
fantnefs ; and being proved to be pra£^icable by men of like 
paflions with ourfelves, we are infenfibly allured to follow 
them as they followed Chrijl^ and encouraged to run with pa- 
tience the race fet before us. This, one would hope, is the 
grand end propofed by all fuch who undertake to draw the 
chara£lers, or hand down to pofterity the remarkable tran- 
fadlions of perfons who have (hone as lights in the church of 
God. Many have done worthily in this refpe(Sl ; and for 
this their labour of love, thoufands as yet unborn, (hall rife 

* The two following Sermons came to hand after the others were in 
the prefs. 

C c 2 and 

C 390 ] 

and call them blefled. But without detracling any thing 
from their due praife, I cannot help obferving, that in moft 
of the lives that I have had an opportunity of perufuig, there 
feems to be one deficiency, I could almoft lay, common to 
them a|L It is this : The writers of them feldom or never 
mention the blemifhes or falls of thofe whofe cnaradlers they 
exhibit. They emblazon their good, without fo much as 
hinting at any of their bad qualities. In (hort, they paint 
them blamelefs, and by not mentioning any of their foibles, 
jQr the fins that did moft eafily befet them, they make them, 
as it were, equal to the angels of God, or rather to the Son 
of God himfelf, of whom alone it can truly be faid, " That 
he was without fin/' Such a method, (however well meant, 
becaufe we are niore prone to imitate others vices than their 
virtues) to fpeak in the fofteft terms, is not according to the 
pattern fhewn us in the mount, The fcriptures fet us a dif- 
ferent copy. In thofe lively oracles, as in a well-drawn 
picture, we have both fhade and light ; and at the fame time 
as they paint out to us, in the moft ftriking manner, the 
graces for which the holy men of old were moft eminent, 
they alfo, with an equally impartial hand, expofe to public 
view, not only the common infirmities, but even fome of the 
moft dreadful falls, with all their aggravating circumftances, 
of fome of the greateft men of God that ever did, or will 
iive, till time itfelf ftiall be no more. 

One of thefe is to be the mournful fubje<a of our prefent 
meditation. Procul he profani ! Let all profane perfons keep 
at an awful diftance : We are going to tread on holy ground. 
I fet an hedge about it in the name of the living God. Come 
rjot too nigh the mount, left that which was written for your 
learning, through your own perverfe abufe of it, ftiould prove 
wnto you a farther occafion of falling. 


C 3^' ] 

tf any fhould enquire, " Why all this caution?" I an- 
Aver, *« Wc are about to difcourfe on the Apoftle Feter^z 
•* (hameful dfenial of his and our blefled Lord and Saviour 
*' Jesus CHRist." A paflage recorded by all the evange- 
lifts, St. Mark himfelf not excepted, who is fuppofed to have 
been emanucnfis to St. Peter^ and to have taken his gofpel 
from Peter's own mouth. A proof this, not only of the im- 
partiality of the facred writers, but alfo that the Floly Ghoft 
intended that this awful ftory (hould, in an efpecial manner, 
be recorded for our learning, on whom the ends of the world 
are come. But though all the evangelifts are very explicit in 
relating this perfidious and wicked a6t, yet we fhall chiefly 
confine ourfelves^ at prefent, to the account given us of it in 
this xxvith chapter of St. MattheiVy and, for method fake^ 
purpofc to confider, 

Fir/?, The fteps that led to this great man's fall* 

Secondly^ The fall itfelf. And, 

Thirdly, His recovery from it, mentioned In the text : 
*' And Peter remembered the words of Jesus, which 
faid unto him, Before thfi cock crow, thou (halt deny 
me thrice. And he went out and wept bitterly." 

feut before we proceed to the profecUtion of thcfe points^ 
)t may be proper to premife, that we take it for granted the 
Apoftle Peter, before his fall, Was certainly a converted man. 
This is controverted by fome. For what reafon, is beft known 
tb themfelves. The fcriptures evidently leave us no room to 
difpute it. One paflage may fuffice for a proof. " Blefled 
art thou, Simon Bar Jonah (faid the glorious Emmanuel to Petcr^ 
when he vvitnefled that good confeflion^ Thou art CkrisT, 
the Son of the living God) -, for fiefh and blood hath not 
C c 3 revealed 

[ 392 ] 

revealed this unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven/^ 
Not content with this, he adds, " Thou art Piter^ and upon 
this rock will I build my church, and the gates of hell fhall 
never be able to prevail againft it :" Words that carry with 
them the ftrongeft prefumption, not only that Peter was a 
converted man, but that he had fome eminent place to be 
afligned him in the kingdom of grace. For our Lord pro- 
nounces him blefTed : " Blefled art thou, Simon Bar Jonah :'* 
and gives him a reafon for it ; " For flefti and blood hath 
not revealed this unto thee, but my heavenly Father." So 
that Peter called Christ Lord by the Holy Ghoft, which 
none but a converted perfon can do. And further, " Upon 
this rock, fays Christ, will I build my church ;" which, 
whether it be underftood of his confeflion of Christ*s di- 
vinity, or his being afterwards to be employed in firft preach- 
ing the gofpel to the Gentiles, feems to denote fome peculiar 
favour and honour afligned to, and hereafter to be conferred 
upon him. It is true, indeed, the fame all -feeing Redeemer, 
when afterwards he forewarned him of his fall, fubjoined 
this particular command ; " And when thou art converted, 
ftrengthen thy brethren." But this only implies, that his 
fall would be fo exceeding great, that his recovery out of it 
would be, as it were, a fecond converfion. 

The flaps that led to this terrible difafter, come now more 
particularly to be confidered. In order to be informed of 
thefe, (as I take it for granted you have brought your Bibles 
with you) I muft beg you to look back to the 33d verfe of 
this chapter, where we fhall find, that fpiritual pride, and a 
too great dependence on a flock of grace already received^ 
was one of the firfl fleps difcernible in this Apoflle*s denial of 

bis Lord. The blefled Jesus, knowing all things that 

fhould befal him, after the folemn inftitution and celebration 
of his lafl fupper, gave his difciples this tremendous warning, 
backed with a fcripture predidion ; " All ye (ver. 31.) (hall 


[ 39i 1 

be offended becaufe of me this night ; for It is written, I vviii 
fmite the (hepherd, and the fheep fliall be fcattered." A 
warning, one would imagine, terrible enough to have ftruck 
them all dumb, at leaft to have filled them with a holy jea- 
loufy of their own defperately wicked and deceitful hearts. 
But what fays our Apoftle ? He (ver. 33.) anfwered and 
faid, " Though all men fhall be offended becaufe of thee, 
yet will I never be offended." Poor Peter I How unlike thy 
former felf, when at thy firft calling, thou criedft out, " De-^ 
part from me, for I am a finful man, O Lord.*' Alas ! he 
now thinks his mountain is fo ftrong, that it never could be 
moved. *' Though all men (hould be offended becaufe of thee, 
yet will I never be offended." O thefe egotifms I How fre- 
quently are they ufed by, but how little do they become fuch 
frail creatures as we are 1 ** Yet will I never be offended ;" 
fo far from being offended this night, that I will never, at any 
time, or in any place, be offended becaufe of thee. No won- 
der, after hearing this, that the holy Jesus faid unto him, 
(ver. 34.) " Verily I fay unto thee, that this night, before the 
cock crow, thou (halt, or will deny me thrice :" (for Christ's 
predi6ling his fall, laid him under no neceflity of falling). 
Surely Peter v/ill now retrad I Nothing lefs. On the con- 
trary, depending too much on the fincerity of his intentions, 
and his prefentgood frame, he faid unto his Mafter, (ver. 35.) 
*« Though I fhould die with thee, yet will I not deny thee." 
As though he fhould have faid, " Die with thee I may; to 
" die with or for thee, I am ready : but to deny thee, I dare 
" not. Deny thee in any wife, I cannot, and neither will I. 
•' Is thy fervant a dog, a devil, that he fhould do this?" 
Stop, Peter ; whither art thou going ? Where is thy prefcnt 
warm zeal carrying thee ? What ! wilt thou give the God 
of truth the lie ? I begin to tremble for thee. Such felf- 
confidence and fpiritual pride, generally go before a fall. 

C c 4 Buf 

[ 394^ J 

But to proceed. Spiritual floth, as well as fpiritual 
pride, helped to throw this Apoftle down." The fun, 
that glorious Sun of righteoufnefs, was now about to enter 
into his laft edipfe. Satan, who had left him for a feafon, 
or, till the feafon of his pafllon, is now to be permitted to 
bruife his heel again. This is his hour, and now the powers 
of darknefs fummon and exert their ftrongtft and united 
efForts. A hymn is a prelude to his dreadful pailion. From 
the comtnunion-table, the Saviour retires to the garden. An 
horrible dread, and inexpreflible load of forrow begins to 
overwhelm and weigh dovvn his innocent foul. His body can 
fcarcely fuftain it. See how he faulters I See how his hands 
hang down, and his knees wax feeble under the amazing 
prefllire I He is afflicted and opprelled indeed. See, fee, O 
my foul, how he fweats ! But what is that which I fee ? 
Blood -^drops of blood — great drops of blood falling to the 
ground. Alas, was ever forrow like unto this forrow ! Hark! 
what is that 1 hear ? O dolorous complaint ? " Father, 
if it be pr ffible, let this cup pafs from me." Hark I he 
fpeaks again. Amazing ! the Creator complains to the crea- 
ture, " My foul is exceeding forrowful, even unto death : 
tarry you here and watch with me.*' And now he retires 
once more. But fee how his agony increafes — Hark ! how 
he prays, and that too yet more earneftly : '' Father, if It be 
poflible, let this cup pafs from me.'* And will his heavenly 
Father leave him comfortlefs ? No. — An angel (O happy, 
highly -favoured angel I) is fent from heaven to ftrengthen 
him. But where is Peter all this while ? We are told that 
;he holy Jesus took him, with Jawcs and John^ into the gar- 
den. Surely he will not leave his Lord in fuchdeep diftrefs! 
What is he doing ? I blufh to anfwer. Alas ! he is lleeping : 
nay, though awakened once by his agonizing Lord, v.ith a 
'^ Simon Peter^ fleepeft thou ? what ! couldeft thou not 
watch with me one hour?" yet his cycs^ notwithftandirg 


[ 395 1 
his profeffion of conftancy and care, are heavy with fleep. 
Lord, what is man ! 

After hearing all this, ' -^ -red not be furprized at the ac- 
count given us, (ver. 58.) of another ftep to his fall, viz. 
His following Jesus afar off. " But Peier, fays the Evan- 
gelifts, followed him afar off.'* The Redeemer's agony was 
now over, " and behold the hour is at hand, when he is 
to be betrayed into the hands of finners." He warns his 
fleepy difciples of it, and, a6ting like himfelf, goes out to 
meet the threatening ftorm. " Arife, faid he let us go : be- 
hold ! he that betrayeth me is at hand." JuJas, one of the 
twelve that eat of his bread, performs the hellifh tafk, and 
lifts up his heel againft him. He fays, Hail, Mafter J 
kiffes and then betrays him. For this was the fign agreed on, 
« Whomfoever I (hall kifs, the fame is he, hold him faft." 
They knew the watch-word, and, like fo many roaring lions, 
fcize on their unrefifling prey. This roufes Peitr, Out of 
an honeft, but mifguided zeal, he draws his fword, and cuts 
off the High-prieft*s fervant's ear. The blefied Jesus heals 
the one, reproves the other; and, according to Ij'aiah's pro- 
phecy, is contentedly led as a lamb to the fl^ughter. 
Peter's heat is foon cooled, and inftead of adhering to his 
Lord, or faying, as might juftly be expe6ted, «« Whither 
*' thou goeft, I will go; whitherfoever they lead thee, they 
*' (hall lead me a)fo :" Alas I alas ! he followed him afar 
off. Obferve, he does not deny his Lord all at once. No. 
Satan leads us on by degrees into great fins, and will not 
fuffer us to be very bad immediately. Peter at firft follows 
afar off: he fkulks behind, and keeps on purpofe at a diftance, 
left he (hould be accounted one of his followers. O Peter^ 
Pcter^ did I not know how prone my own deceitful heart is 
to go aftray from the great Shepherd and Bifliop of our fauls, 
I (hould now begin to fay, Fie upon thee, fie upon thee, 
liadll: thou kept clofe to thy Lord, thou mlgh:efl have been 


C 39^ ] 

fheltcred fafely under his almighty wings ; but how cSanft 
thou avoid falling, and that foully too, when thou beginneft 
thus to be aOiamed of thy glorious mafter ? 

But this is not all. For we are not only informed that he 
followed Jesus afar off, but that " He went into the High 
Prieft's palace (vcrfe 58.) and fat with the fervants." So 
that keeping bad company was another ftep that led to his 
threat fall. Oh Peter ! my blood begins now almoft to run 
cold within me. I tremble for thee more than ever. What 
canft thou propofe to thyfelf, or what bad thing may we not 
expedt to hear of thee, when fitting in fuch forry company ? 
I had much rather have heard that thou hadft fled with thy 
other cowardly brethren. Thou fittefl among thy matter's 
profeffed enemies to fee the end. Whatever becomes of him, 
1 dread to hear what the end of all this gradual backfliding 
will be, in refped to thy own foul. 

W^ell ! the blefied Jesus is now at the bar. Omnipotence 
fufters itfelf to be arraigned, and he who fet bounds to the 
fea which it cannot pafs, is content to be bound, and that as 
a criminal, by the work of his own hands. Falfe witneffes 
rife up againft him, and lay to his charge things that he knew 
not. " This fellow, fay they, (verfe 61.) faid, I am able 
to deftroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days." 
And what reply doth the innocent Jesus make ? None at all. 
Not only becaufe they all knew that it was a malicious flan- 
der, but becaufe he ftood as our reprefentative. He, there- 
fore, held his peace, and as a fheep before the fhearers is 
dumb, fo this immaculate Lamb of God opened not his 
mouth. At length, being adjured thereto by the High pricft 
in the name of the living God, he confefies himfelf to be the 
Christ, the fen of the Blefied ; and lets the imperious San^ 
hedrim know, that however contemptible his appearance 
might be now, yet they fhould hereafter fee him fitting onf 


[ ^91 ] 

the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. 
And does not this ftrike terror into his accufers and judges ? 
By no means. The haughty High-Prieft rifes in difdain, 
hypocritically rends his cloaths, urging this as a reafon, 
*' He hath fpoken blafphemy ; what further need have we of 
witnefles ?" Was ever indignity, like this indignity, put on 
thee, thou moft adorable Mediator ! Which fhall I marvel 
at moft, the High-Prieft*s impudence, or thy patience ? 
Both, doubtlefs, are unparalleled. And yet, alas! a further 
trial awaits our fuffering Lord. For whilft the mafter is 
thus arraigned, infulted, and caufelelly condemned at the bar 
within, ^atan is no lefs bufy in wounding him through Peter % 
fide, who was fitting in the palace without. Pcter^ indeed, 
thinks to fit there undifcovered ; but a damfel comes to him, 
(verfe 69) faying, «' Thou alfo waft with Jesus of Galilee.'' 
And what then ? Was that high treafon ? Or rather was it 
not the higheft honour ? Feter^ what fayeft thou ? Alas, 
(verfe 70) " He denied before them all, faying, I know not 
what thou fayeft." Know not what thou fayeft, Peter? her 
words were plain enough, " Thou alfo was with Jesus of 
Nazareth." Can any words be plainer? To deny this, in 
the leaft, was bad, but to deny this before them all, who 
could fo eafily confront thee, proves thee to be falling in- 
deed. Call him now no longer Peter ^ but call him Ichalod : 
for the glory of the Lord is departing from him. 

However, as yet there is hope concerning him. For, con- 
fcious, as it were, of his guilt (verfe 71) "He went out 
into the porch." ^atan purfues him. For when a faint be- 
gins to fall, his hellifh language is, Down with him, down 
with him, even to the ground. Another damfel, therefore, 
is put in Peter\ way, who, upon feeing him, fays, not unto 
Peter himfelf, but to them that were there, (verfe 71) 
" This fellow was alfo with Jesus of Nazareth." She 
fpeaks the fame language with her fifter fcofFcr, and with 
5 thofe 

r 398 ! 

thofe who accufed the blefled Jesus at the bar. Doubtlefs^ 
our modern fcofFers are related to them, for they ufe the fame 
diale£t every day when fpeaking of Christ, or thofe that, 
through grace, dare to own and confefs him before men. 
But here would I ftop and feign be excufed from relating to 
this great aficmbly PcUr's anfwer. Oh tell it not in Gaih^ 
publifh it not in the ftreets of j^/kelon ! But we muil not be 
wife above what is written. The Holy Spirit harh left it 
upon record, and proclaimed it by four Evangelifts upon the 
houfe-top, and, therefore, lam conftrained to tell you, that 
again (verfe 72.) " He denied with an oath, I do not know 
the man." What ! an Apoftle fwear ? Was it not enough 
barely to deny the damfel's aflertion, but he muft deny it 
with an oath ? Perhaps, it was a crime he never was guilty 
of before. Surely, the way of fin is down-hill. One ftep 
leads to another. At firft he only denied what was faid to 
him, by a kind of equivocation, " I know not what thou 
fayeft." Now he grows bolder, and denies with an oath, " I 
know not the man." What, Peter! Know not the man? 
That glorious God-man Christ Jesus thy Lord ? What! 
not know Him, who called thee from the poor occupation of 
catching fifh, to make thee an Apoftle and a fifher of men ? 
What I not know Him, who bad thee come to him upon 
the waters, and Him who with his own almighty arm faved 
thee from drowning, when thou waft anfwering thy name 
CephaSy and finking like a ftone ? What ! not know Him, 
with whom thou haft fo intimately converfed for three years 
laft paft, who, fo lately pronounced thee blefied, waflied thy 
feet, gave thee a new name, and took thee to Mount Tabor^ 
where he difplayed before thee his excellent glory, which 
made thee cry out. It is good for us to be here l What ! haft 
thou forgot all this, Peter ? 

Surely, it is high time for the cock to crow. Hark ! The 
cock does crow, not only once, but twice ; but all in vain. 


[ 399 ] 

Fallen as this great man is, he muft dill fall lower. Satan it 
now about to give him the laft and moft fatal thruft. He 
hath his quiver full of deadly arrows, and hath always inftru- 
mcnts at hand, the weakeft of which will foil the ftrongeft 
Apoftle when left to himfelf, *' After a while (verfe 73) 
came unto him they that flood by, and faid unto Peter^ 
Surely, thou alfo waft one of them, for thy fpeech betrayeth 
thee." As though they had faid, *' How canft thou have the 
" impudence to fay thou knoweft not the man, when thy 
*' very language and manner of fpeaking betrays thy being 
" even one of his followers ?" What fays P^ier now ? Can 
he withftand this glaring evidence ? Yes, he not only denies 
it with a fmgic oath, but (Oh, how ftiall 1 fpeak it !) he 
*' began to curfe and to fwear," and with a whole volly of 
execrable expreflions, ftriving to adl the bravado, he perfifts 
in faying (verfe 74) '' I know not the man." And now, 
Satan^ thou haft gained thy point. A great man, through to© 
much felf- confidence, fpiritual pride, fpiritual floth, and too 
great intimacy with fome of thy children, is fallen indeed I 
Thou haft ftfted him with a witnefs. 

But is he fallen, never to rife again ? Ts Peter funk toolovsr 
for free grace ever to raife him up ? Will the Redeemer fuf- 
fer his truth to fail ; or (hall the prayer put up for him be- 
fore be was led into temptation, viz. that his faith fliould 
not fail, remain unanfwered ? No, all the promifes in 
Chri$t Jesus are all yea and all Amen ; and having loved 
his own, he loves them unto the end. The enemy hath 
broke in upon Peter like a flood, but the almighty Redeemer 
will now lift up his ftandard againft him, and deliver his 
captive fervant. Immediately, (verfe 74) upon this laft de- 
nial of his Lord, " the cock crew.'* And what is moft of 
all (nay, without which the cock might have crowed ten 
thqufand times) another Evangelift tells us, that *' the 
LoRp turned, and looked upon Piter^^ Oh amazing con- 

defcenfion I 

[ 400 ] 

defcenfion ! Oh unparalleled inftance of endearing love! 
Our Lord was now upon a trial for his life. Fat bulls of 
Bajhan were furroundiug him on every fide. Yet the fame 
love, that in the night in which he was betrayed, would not 
permit him to forget his difciples in general, would not, 
though he was himfelf now arraigned at the bar, fuffer him 
to forget his poor fallen Apoftle in particular. *' The Lord, 
therefore, turned, and looked upon Peter" But who be- 
fides Feter^ and fouls like him recovering from their back- 
ilidings, can tell the language of that look ? Doubtlefs, it 
carried with it an " Et tu Peter ? And art thou there Peter ? 
*' Is it not enough for me to be falfely accufed, and con- 
*' demned by my enemies, but I muft be wounded alfo in 
*' the houfe of my friends ! Is it not fufficient that Judat 
*« betrays me, but thou muft add to my grief by denying 
*' me ? Deny me too with an oath, nay, with oaths and 
" curfes deny that ever thou kneweft me ? Is this thy 
*' kindnefs to thy friend ? Alas ! What is become of thy 
^' boafted profeffions nov/ ? Art thou the man that didft fo 
*' folemnly declare, that though thou fliouldft die with 
*' me, thou wouldft not deny me in any wife ? Yes, Thou art 
« the man." 

This, and much more of the fame kind, we may well 
fuppofe was the real language of that convincing, heart- 
piercing lookj which the Lord Jesus at this time gave his 
fallen Peter. Amazing ! He looks him into contrition ; 
whereas had he rewarded him according to his iniquity, he 
might have looked him into hell. Rejoice with me, there- 
fore, my dear hearers. This ftraying fheep, through the 
tender mercies of the companionate fliepherd and bifhop of 
our fouls, by this look is brought back to the fold again, 
*' And Peter ^ fays our text, remembered the words of Jesus, 
which faid unto him. Before the cock crow," i. e. at the 
time emphatically called the cock-crovving, which was about 


[ 401 } 

three in the morning, " thou fhalt deny me thrice. And he 
went out." (The word feems to import, that he threw him- 
felf out with a holy violence) " and wept bitterly." St. Mark 
only fays, " And when he thought thereon, he wept." For 
being an amanuenfis to St. Peter, though explicit in the ac- 
count of his fall, he is very fparing in mentioning his repent- 
ance. Unlefs we fupj ofe that St. Mark would infinuate that 
whenever Peter refleded on his fall, he always wept for ever 
after. However that be, he wept bitterly now. Methinks 
I fee him wringing his hands, rending his garments, ftamp- 
ing on the ground, and with the felf-condemned publican 
fmiting upon his ungrateful brcaft. See how it heaves ! Oh 
what piteous fighs and groans are thofe which come from the 
very bottom of his heart ! Alas ! It is too big to fpeak. But 
his tears, his briny, bitter, repenting tears plainly befpeak 
this to be the language of his awakened foul. " Alas I 
<* Where have I been ? On the devil's ground. With 
^^ whom have I been converfing ? The devil's children^ 
** What is this that I have done? Denied the Lord of 
" glory, with oaths and curfes denied that ever I knew him. 
" And now whither fhall I go ? Or v^'here {hall I hide my 
" guilty head ? I have fmned againfl light. I have finned 
*' againft repeated tokens of his dear diftinguifliing and hea- 
" venly love. I have finned againfl repeated warnings, re- 
" folutions, promifes and vows. I have finned openly in 
'' the face of the fun, in the prefence of my matter's ene- 
" mies, and thereby have caufed his name to be blafphemed. 
*' How can I think of being fufFcred to behold the face of, 
*' much lefs to be employed by, the ever-bleiled Jesus any 
" more ? O Peter, thou haft undone thyfelf. Juftly mayft 
^' thou be thrown afide like a broken vefTel. God be mer- 
" ciful to me a finner." 

And is this the language of thy tears, O Peter P BielTcd art 
thou ft ill then, thou Slmn Bar Jonah. Thefe tears, and this 


[ 402 1 

holy refentment againft thylelf, befpeak thee to be a holy 
mourner. Yet a litde while, and thou (halt be comforted 
with a *' Go tell hi^ brethren and Pster, that he is rifen ;** 
and with a '^ Simon Ton of Jonah, loveft thou me ? Then 
feed my lambs." And where is now thy boafting, O Satan? 
Or what haft thou gained by roiling this favourite of heaven? 
Thou didft defire to have him. Thy requcft was granted. 
Thou haft fifted him as wheat. But doft thou iuiagine the 
^11- prevailing Mediator will fufFer thee to pIucK him out of 
his hands ? No. Jesus hath prayed for h;m, and therefore 
Peter s faith fhall not finally fail. Rejoice not then over 
him, O thou enemy of fouls ! For though he has fallen, yet 
fee how he begins to rife again. Though at the prcfent he 
fits in darlcnefs, yet, ere long, the glory of the Lord (hall 
fhine around him. 

Where then are thofe Sons of Belialy thofc pcrvcrfe dif- 
puters of this world, and yet, if poftible, more perverfe pcr- 
verters of the Word of God f Dare any of you now go 
away, faying within yourfcivts, " Who can blame us for a 
*' little equivocating, or a little innocent lying, curfing, 
<' and fwearing ? Was not Peter ^ the great Apoftle Peter ^ 
'' truilty of all thefe ? " Yes he was, but with this difference, 
he fell through furprizc, and but once, you, perhaps, fin 
wilfully and habitually. Fall he did, and that dreadfully 
too; but if his fall was dreadful, his repentence was as fin- 
cere and lafting. Ere long you fliall fee this fame Peter^ 
boldly owning his Lord before the whole Jewljh Sanhedrim, 
and rejoicing that he was counted worthy to fuffer for his 
great name's fake. Ere long you fhall hear of an angel's be- 
ing Cent to bring him out of prifon, and at laft fealing his 
bleffed dodrine with his blood. Go yc then, and entreat the 
Lord to look you into a godly forrow, and fee that with Peter 
you bring forth fruits meet for repentance ; or as the Lord 
God livetb, in v/hoCe name I fpe^kj aod in whofe pxefence 


[ 403 ] 

"vve now ftand, you, with all your carnal reafonings and w\U 
iu\ wreftings of the word of God, fhaiJ, ere long, be thiuft 
dovvn to the nethcrmoft hell. 

But why fllould I v/aile my time in rcafoning with men of 
fuch perverfe minds ? To you who do, from your hearts, 
believe on Jesus of Nuzareth^ and who, in reality, arc the 
children of the mod High God, the mournful pafiao-e we 
are now upon, docs, in a more immediate manner, call me 
to addrefs myfclf. You, I am pcrfuaded, on hearinc^ of 
Fetef'*s fall, and the Lord's turning and looking upon him, 
\Vill not draw this abominable inference, " Let us fm then 
that grace may abound." No. I know you detcH: it from 
your iniTioft fouls ; and if it was proper to fpeak, would to 
a man cry out, " God forbid." Your hearts, I would 
humbly hope, are rather employed in filenc ejaculation to 
the holy Jesus, faying within yourfelves, " Oh, that he 
'* would this day look down from heaven, the habitation of 
*' his holinefs, and caufe, out of thefe rocky hearts, floods of 
*' repenting tears to flow." I will readily join with you in 
this neceflary requeft. For, alas! we are all guilty concern- 
ing this thing, viz. Of dt-nying our Lord, as well as 
Pi'tcr, Some of us, perhaps, have not fo openly with oaths 
and curfes denied that ever we knew him. But then, though 
we have in words owned, yet in works and practice, it may 
be, we have habitually denied him. For how often have we 
been fleeping, when we ought to have been watching? And 
how often have we been warm.ing and indulging cur bodies, 
when we fhould have been in' our clofets warming our hearts 
in prayer ? How often have we necdiefsly left the commu- 
nion of faints, and as needlefbly put ourfelves into the way 
of, and too intimately converfed with o; en and unconverted 
fmners, or at lead:, with thofe who we had icafon to think 
were enemies to the crofs of Christ ? How often have we 
been drowfy when hearing the word cf God ? Nay, how 

YoL. VI. D d often 


C 404 ] 

often have we been ftupid, and even as' dead as (loncs, at the 
table of the Lord, w^hen Chisrt has been evidently fet 
forth crucified before us ? How often have we been fo foolifh 
as to truft our hearts, and inftead of trufting the Lord, 
have leaned on the broken reed of our own underftandings ? 
How often have we been puffed up with fpiritual pride, and 
confidently boaftcd of our graces, as though we bad not 
received them ? And oh, how often have we fhamefully fol- 
lowed our Lord afar off? And notwithftanding he may 
have manifefted himfelf to us as he doth not to the world ; 
notwithftanding he may have taken us on the mount of or- 
dinances, given us to fee his glory, led us into his banquet- 
ing-houfe, and let his banner over us be love; notwithftand- 
ing our repeated vows that we would never leave him, never 
forfake him ; yet how often have we, as it were, been 
afliamed of him, and his glorious Gofpel, and given our 
Lord occafion, times without number, to complain in that 
cutting language, " Thefe wounds have I received in the 
*' houfe of my friends?" And now which of us fhall 
throw the firft ftone at Peter P Behold, he has been placed 
in the midft of us this day. My brethren, why ftand we 
like ftatues ? I fay, let him that is without this fin of deny- 
ing the Lord Jesus, caft the firft ftone. But with what 
face of juftice can we do this, being guilty in many refpedls 
equally, and in fome even more guilty than Peter himfelf ? 
Rather let us turn the edge of our refentment againft oar- 
felves, and imitating Peter in his repentance, as we have un- 
doubtedly too much imitated him in his crime, let us go 
out from a wicked, noify, and deluding world, and weep 
bitterly. Who knows but the Lord may return and leave 
a bleffing behind him ? For this end was this inftasice of 
human frailty and divine condefcenfion recorded. In him 
the Redeemer fhewed all this long-fuffering, that we, not- 
withftanding our manifold backflidings, might be kept from 
defpair, True, we have finned, but though we have finned 


r 465 7 

«gainft light and love, yet we have ftlll an advocate with 
the Father, even Jesus Christ the righteous, whofe pre- 
cious blood can, and, if applied to our fouls by a living 
faith, will certainly cleanfe us both from the guilt and power 
of all our fins. It was this which wafhed away the ftain of 
this foul and dreadful fall from Peters heart. He quickly 
rofe, and was as fpeedily reftored to his bleiTed mafter's fa- 
vour again. " Go tell his brethren and Pcter^*' faid the 
angel, *' that he goeth before you into Galilee, There fhall 
you fee him. They did fee him. And what faid Jesus 
unto him ? He renewed his commiflion, and bid him " feed 
his (beep and lambs.'* Accordingly we hear not only of his 
preaching, but of his being honoured fo to preach, that three 
thoufand were converted in one day. And is not the Lord 
Jesus the fame now as he was yefterday ? Yes, he is, and 
will continue the fame for ever. We have his own royal 
word for it, that he will heal our backflidings, and love us 
freely. Let us return then unto the Lord, from whom we 
have revolted. He is long-fufFering, flow to anger, and foon 
repenteth him of the evil which we provoke him to fend 
upon us. But oh let us not return again to folly, but care- 
fully watch and pray againft fpiritual pride, fpiritual fluth, 
and felf- indulgence, from whence all our evils flow. 

Young preachers, to you in an efpecial manner are thefe 
words of exhortation fent. Of all people in the world, you 
bad need watch moft againft fpiritual pride. It is a fly that 
often fpoils your whole pot of ointment. 7'his made aged 
Paul fo careful to warn Timothy not to lay hands upon no- 
vices, left, fays he, '' being puffed up with pride, they fall 
into the condemnation of the devil." How many awful in- 
ftances have we had of this in various places within thefc few 
years laft paft ? Young men, therefore, I exhort you to be 
humble. For Christ's fake, for your own fouls fake, for 
the take «f th« church gf God which he hath purchafetl with 

D d 2 his 

t 406 f 

his own blooJ, pray without ceafing that you may be cloath* 
ed with humility. Take care of carrying too high fail. Po- 
pularity is a dangerous Tea, and nothing but the fpecial and 
almighty grace of God can keep you from overfetting in it. 
Mark the rocks againft which others have made {hipwreck, 
and beg of the Lord Jesus night and day, to help you to 1 
fleer fuch a courfe as to avoid and keep clear of them : he \ 
alone can preferve you. Satan envies the honour put upon 
you ; he has a particular enmity againfl thofe whom he fees 
the Redeemer making ufe of. He knou's your weak fides, 
and will defire to have you, as he defired to have Peier^ that 
he may fift you as wheat. Watch, therefore, and pray | 
always, that you may not fall in an hour of temptation. If 
Peier could not fland when left to himfelf, v/hat are we f 

Have any from among ourfelves of late given proofs of 
this ? Nay, have any that once appeared boldly for our 
Lord, and feemed ready to follow him to prifon or to death, 
have any fuch, I fay, been permitted not only to follow him 
afar off, but fiiamefully and openly to difown and deny both 
him and his people ? Let us not marvel as though feme 
Urange thing happened unto us, but let us fearch the fcrip- 
tures. Many fuch inftances are recorded there ; and we 
know who hath forewarned us to expedt them now. " It mull 
needs be, fays the unerring, all-feeing Jesus, that offences 
come. Let us not therefore be high-minded, but fear; and 
let him that flandeth take heed left he fall." Brethren, pray 
for them. Who knows but they may yet rife, and the locks 
at prefent cut off, grow again ? Who knows but the cock 
may yet crow, Jesus may yet look, and fuch grievous back- 
flidcrs, being as it were reconverted, may appear more zealous 
than ever in ftrengthening their brethren ? When fnall this 
oftce be? " We wait for thy falvation, O Lord ; make no 
long tarrying, O our God I 


[ 407 ] 

In the mean while, let none of us be difcouraged, Gop 
will take care of his own caufe. The Redeemer hath de- 
clared, that the gates of hell fhall never be able to prevail 
againfl: his church : and, therefore, though the ark may tot- 
ter, he can keep it from falling; and thouL2;h driven for a 
while into the P/jilijIinis country, he afluredly can bring it 
back. He that healed the wound imprudently^ given by Peter 
to the ear of the High Prieft's fervant, he can and will heal 
all wounds, and repair all breaches that have been occafioned 
either by the backflidings, or unguarded conda^l of thofe 
whom he vouchfafes to employ. " Out of the eater fliall 
come forth meat, and out of the ftrong fliall come forth 
fweetnefs." The wicked, no doubt, rejoiced when they 
heard o^ Peter's fall, and in all probability frequently vented 
their fpleen in faying, *' Here is religion for you I Here is a 
^' pretty family of reformers, and fetters forth of new doc- 
*' trines. One of them hath betrayed his mailer with a kiD, 
'< and another with oaths and curfes denied that ever he. 
" knew him : if this be the beginning, what will the end of 
" their boafted reformation be r" What w\\\ the end of it 
be ? Ye fools ! I have an anfwer ready : Christ fhall be 
glorified, Siit.^m and all his emiflaries confounded, and a mul- 
titude of fouls out of every nation, language, and tongue, 
redeemed and finally favcd. Oh what a Christ have we 1 
Courage then, my brethicn, courage ! I beat to arms again 
in the name of the Lord of hofts. Let us not quit the field 
of battle, but in the ftrength of our once crucified, but now 
exalted Jesus, renew the combat. " He is faithful v/ho 
hath promifed not only to make us conquerors, but more 
than conquerors through his love." Yet a little while, and 
our warfare (hall be accomplifhcd, death will put an end to 
all. A wicked world, a wicked heart, a wicked devil (hall 
then ceafe from troubling us, and our weary fouls fhall never 
\it fo much as tempted to deny our blcfied Lord any more. 

D d 3 Wherq 

[ 408 1 

Where ,s Peter now? Yonder he fits, not weepln^r bitterly 
but rejoicing in God his Saviour, on a throne of'never-fa.' 
dmg glory. To Him, at whofe right hand he is now fitting, 
and wno alone is able to Iceep us from falling, and to prcfent 
us faultlefs before the prefence of his glory with exceedin-^ 
joy ; to H,m the only wife God our Saviour, be glory, mat 
jefly, dominion, and power, both now and ever. ^In, 

S K R M O N 

C 409 3 


The true Way of beholding the Lamb of 


John i. ^5^ 3^- 

v^^?/», the 72exl Day after ^ John ftood^ and two of his 
Difciples ; and looking upon Jefus as he walked^ he 
faith y Behold the h amb of God. 

GLoRious words thefe ! Before we fet about the open- 
ing and enforcing them, permit me to introduce my- 
felf in the language of Paul to King Jgrippa^ *' Would to 
*' God that both my own heart, and likewife the hearts of 
I *' all that hear me this day, may not only be almoft, but 
I *' altogether in fuch a divine frame, as I am perfuaded the 
*^' heart of that man of God was who firft uttered thefe 
*' words !" I need not tell you his name ; our text tells us, 
it was John ; emphatically called John the Baptift, bccaufe 
he was fent to baptize with water unto repentance, in order 
to prepare his hearers for the further baptifm of the Holy 
Ghoft. He was a Boanerges, a fon of thunder. He came 
in the fpirit and power of Elias, and thereby foon rendered 
^^ himfelf fo exceedingly popular, that not only Jcrufalcjn, all 
Judea^ and all the regions round about Jordan, flocked to 
D d 4 hear 

[ 4IO ] 

hear him preach, but even fome of the ycwljh Scmhedrlm 
began to doubr, whether he was not the Mejfiah himfclf. 
Accordingly we arc told in this chapter, " That they fenC 
priefts and levites from 'Jcrufalem to afk him, Who art thou I 
What fayeft thou of thylelf?" A mofl commodious opportu- 
nity this, had he any thing in view but his mafler^s glory 
and the good of fouls, for John to have fet up for himfelf. 
He might have faid, " iS/ popuhis vult dec'ipi^ dedpiatur ; if 
«' people will be deceived, let them ; I will impofe on their 
<' credulity, and let them look upon me as the Mejfiah :'\ 
But fcorning any fuch finiflier and bafe ends, " He confefTed, 
and denied not, but confefTed, I am not the Christ." The 
Evangelift exprefiei himfclf in a very peculiar manner, *' He 
confelled, and denied not, but confefTed j" implying that he 
took more than ordinary pains to re£lify their miftake, ancj 
guard them againfl thinking more highly of him than they 
ought to think : nay, impatient, as it were, of the leaft ap- 
pearance of any fuch thing, he fpeaks of himfelf in the moft 
diminutive terms, acknowledges that he was unworthy even 
of carrying his bleficd mafl-er's fhoes, and feizes the very firfl 
opportunity that offered itfelf to point him out in perfon to 
the people. The next day (ver. 29.) Juhn feeth Jesus 
coming unto him, and upon feeing him, immediately cries 
out, " Behold the Lamb of God :" " Gaze not on, nor 
" let your views terminate in me, but look to and behold 
<' the Lamb of God which taketh away the fin of the 
world." Thus yohn fpoke in public; and to prove that he 
acted the fame confiftent part in private, our text informs us, 
that, " Again, the next day after, 'John ftood, and two of 
his difciples," who like other newly awakened fouls, having 
their mafter's p'?rfon too much in admiration, he labours to 
divert their views alfo from himfelf to Christ, and that too 
in the very fame language. " For looking upon Jesus as he 
walked, he faith, Behold the Lame of God." 


t 4U 3 

T'nus does this dlfinterefted, honeft-hearted baptift, unwea^ 
riedly and repeatedly recommend the Lord Jesus, undef 
^he fame endearing charader of the Lamb ot God. 

It (hall be our bufinefs in the following dlfcourfe, 

Firjly To fhew you why it is that Jesus Christ is ftiledl 
the Lamb of God. And^ 

Secondly^ What we are to underftand by beholding him, 
Way will then be made for a word of application. 

And iirfl, Why is Jesus ftiled the Lamb of God ? 

I prefume one reafon that may be aligned for it may be 
drawn from the account we have given us of his moft amaz- 
ing and unparalleled meeknefs. A Lamb, you all know, 
is one of the moft pacific creatures in the world. When we 
would defcribe, or point out a perfon cf a peaceable difpofi- 
tion, we fay fuch a one is as quiet as a La-nb. But what is 
the meeknefs of any perfon, even Mjfes \\'v^k\{\ nay, of all 
the faints that ever lived, put them all together, in comparifon 
of the meeknefs of the blefled Jesus ? To prove this, I might 
refer you to his whole life, which was one continued meek 
and patient enduring of contradidion of finners againft him- 
felf ; but if you want me to fpecify particular inftances, only 
take a walk with me to Geibfe?nane's garden ; there you will 
fee the traitor Judas at the head of a troop of ruffians, accoft- 
ing hi? glorious Lord v/ith a Hail maftcr ! then kiffing him, 
and then betraying him. But what fays the Prince of peace? 
Only, " Friend, wherefore art thou come ? Judas^ betrayeil 
thou the fon of man with a kifs ?" But how does this fame 
Jesus behave after he was apprehended ? Even in the fame 
meek manner : for when his warm-hearted difciple Petcr^ 


C 412 ] 

through a mifguided seal, had cut ofF the High Prieft*s fer- 
vant*s ear. Suffer ye, faid the holy Jesus, thus far. In all 
probability thefe words were addrefled by our Lord to the 
officers who had tied his hands behind him. As though he had 
faid, " Be pleafed to unloofe me, whilft I cure that poor man's 
*' ear, which my too forward difciple hath imprudently cut 
*' oiF, and then you fhall bind me again." Was ever reply, 
was there ever meeknefs like unto this thy meeknefs, O thou 
bleffed Lamb of God ! Well did Jfaiah prophecy concerning 
thee, " That thou Ihouldft be led as a lamb to the 
flaughter," which goes as willingly to the fhambles, as to 
the pafture : and as juftly might thy forerunner call upon 
fmners to behold thee under the pacific character of the 
Lamb of God. Help us, holy Jesus, to come at thy invi- 
tation, and to learn of thee, who gaveft fuch amazing evi- 
dences of thy being meek and lowly in heart I then, and not 
'till then, Ihall we find true reft in our fouls. 

But further, the dear Lord Jesus may properly be called 
a Lamb, or The Lamb, by way of emphafis, not only in 
allufion to the Lamb that was offered under the law morning 
and evening, but more efpecially becaufe he was typified by 
the pafchal lamb. Hence he is ftiled, by that prince of 
preachers St. PauJ^ Christ our paffover ; and in allufion to 
the fame, the Apoftle Ptter tells us, " That we are not re- 
deemed with corruptible things, as filver and gold, from our 
vain converfation, but with the precious blood of Jesus 
Christ, as of a Lamb without blemifh and without fpot." 
This was an indifpenfable requifite to be found in the paf- 
chal lamb. It was to be a lamb without blemifh. A pro- 
per type of him who knew no fin, but was fpotlefly holy, 
harmlefs, and altogether undefilcd in heart, lip, and life. 
Indeed, if we confider him as having the chaftifement of our 
peace, and the iniquities of us all laid upon him by way of 
imputation, he was, as fome divines exprefs it, the greateft 


t 413 } 

Tmner that ever was : and we fhould eftcem him to be fuch 
in reality, were we to judge of his innocence by the abufivc 
and barbarous treatment that he met with whilft tabernaclino- 
on earth. But, notwithftanding all this, he was without 
fin, and therefore could boldly and truly give men and devils 
the challenge, and fay, " Which of you convinceth me of 
fm ? The prince of this world cometh, but fhall find nothing 
in me. There was no corruption in the heart of this imma- 
culate LAiMB of God for Satan s temptations to Jay hold on : 
But this properly belongeth only to him : for any of his fol- 
lowers, though arrived at the higheft pitch of chriftian per- 
fection, much lefs for young converts, mere novices in the 
things of God, to prefume that they either have, or ever 
(hall, while on this fide eternity, arrive at fuch a finlefs ftate, 
argues fuch an ignorance of the fpiritual extent ©f the moral 
Jaw, of the true interpretation of God*s word, of the uni- 
verfal experience of God's people in all ages, as weJl as of 
the remaining unmortified corruptions of their own defpe- 
rately wicked and deceitful hearts, that I dare venture to tell 
the preachers and abettors of any fuch do6lrine, however 
Icnowing they may be in other refpe£ts, that they Icnow not 
the true nature of gofpel-holinefs, nor the Compleatness 


Righteousness of Jesus Christ, as they ought to Icnow, 
or as I trufl they themfelves, through divine grace, will be 
made to know before they die. Surely it is high time ta 
awake out of this delufive dream ! Pardon this fhort, (would 
to God there was no occafion of adding) though too necef- 
fary a digreflion. 

But to proceed. The pafchal Iamb was further typical of 
Christ, its great antitype, in that it was to be killed in the 
evening, and afterwards roafted with fire. So Christ, our 
paffover, was facrificed for us in the evening of the world ; 
only with this material differences th? pafcbal Iamb was fiift 


f 4H ] 

JIaIn, and then roamed ; whereas the holy Jesus, the fpotlefs 
Lamb of God, was burnt and roafled in the fire of his Fa- 
ther's wrath before he adluaMy expired upon the crofs. Tq 
jfatisfy you of this, if you can bear to be fpedators of fuch 
an awful tragedy, as I dt-fired you juft now to go with mc 
to the entrance, fo I mujR: now entreat you to venture a little 
further into the fame garden. But — ftop— What is that we 
fee ? Behold the Lamb of God, undergoing the moft direful 
tortures of vindidive wrath I Of the people, even of his dif- 
ciples, there is none with him. Alas ! was ever forrow like 
unto that forrow, wherewith his innocent foul was afI]i(Sled 
in this day of his Father's fierce anger? Before he entered 
jnto this bitter pafiion, out of the fulnefs of his heart, he 
faid, " Now is my foul troubled." But how is it troubled 
jiow ! his agony befpeaks it to be exceeding forrowful, even 
iinto death. It extorts fweat, yea, a bloody fweat. His, 
face, his hands, his garments, are all over ftained with 
blood. It extorts ftrong cryings and many tears. See how 
^he incarnate deity lies proflrate before his Father, who now 
laid on him the iniquities of us all. See how he agonizes in 
prayer ! Hark ! Again and again he addrefles his Father 
with an " If it be poffible, let this cup pafs from me !" Tell 
me, ye blefied angels, tell mc, Gabriel (or whatfoever thou 
art called, who waft fent from heaven in this important hourj^ 
to ftrengthen our agonizing Lord) tell me, if ye can, what 
Christ endured in this dark and doleful night ; and tell me, 
tell me what you yourfelves felt when you heard this fame 
God-man, vvhilft expiring on the accurfed tree, breaking 
forth into that dolorous, unheard-of expoflulation, " My 
GcD, my God, why, or how haft thou forfaken me? Were 
you not all ftruck dumb? And did not an univerfal awful 
filence fill heaven itfclf, when God the Father faid unto his 
fword, " Svvord, fmite thy fellow?'' Well might nature put 
on its fable weeds ; well might the rocks rend, to (hew their 
fympathy with a fufFcring Saviour : and well might the funj 


t 4^5 ] 

Withdraw its light, as though it was fliockcd and confounded 
to fee its maker fuffer. But our hearts are harder than 
rockS) or otherwife they would now break, and our fouls 
more ftupid than any part of the inaniinate creation, or they 
would even now, in feme degree, at Icaft, fympathizc with 
a crucified Redeemer ; who for us men, and for our falva- 
tion, was thus roafted, as it were, in the fire of his Father's 
wrath, and therefore fitly fliled the Lamb of God. 

But further. The pafchal lamb was typical of Christ our 
pafTover in another refpedh For as the blood of the iamb, 
after it was flain, was fprinkled upon the door-pofts of the 
Ifraelites houfes, fo the blood of Jesus Christ, fhed for the 
(Ins of the world, is to be applied to, and by faith fprinkled 
upon the hearts of the true Ifrael of God. And as the de- 
ftroying angel had no power to execute vengeance on, or 
hurt thofe whofe door-pofts were thus fprinkled with the 
blood of the pafchal lamb, fo in the great and terrible day of 
the Lord, he (hali be prohibited both from deftroying or 
hurting true believers, who by a living faith in the blood 
of Jesus, have their hearts fprinkled from an evil confcience. 
Hence the blood of Christ is called " The blood of fprink- 
ling." And laftly, As the lamb under the law was feafted 
upon by God's people, after it was ilain, fo believers under 
the gofpel by faith feaft upon a crucified Redeemer. 
Christ, our pafibver, fays the apoftle, is facrificed for us, 
therefore let us keep the feaft, not barely upon an Eafter- 
day, but all the year round. For the juft, i. e. truly jufti- 
fied fouls, live by faith, and find, by happy experience, that 
in a fpiritual fenfe Christ's flefh is meat indeed, and his 
blood drink indeed j and therefore believing on him is ftilci 
*' Eating the flefti and drinking the blood o'i the fon of man." 
Agreeable to this, in our communion office, the minilier, 
when he gives the bread to the communicants, is directed to 
make ufe of thefc affecting words, '* Take and eat this in 
7 '"remembrance 

[ 4>6 1 

" remembrance that Christ died for thee, and feed or 
*' him in thy heart by faith with thankfgiving." May all 
who give, and all that receive that bread, feel the meaning of 
this form of found words experimentally, and powerfully 
prefled home upon their fouls I Then indeed, but not till 
then, may they expciSl to take this holy facrament to their 
comfort. Upon all thefe accounts then, well might the 
Baptift recommend the holy Jesus under the fignificant cha- 
racter of the Lamb. And with equal propriety might he be 
called the Lamb of God, not only becaufe he was a Lamb 
of God the Father's providing, but becaufe he was co-equal, 
co-cflential with the Father : " The Word that was with 
God, the Word that was God, even God over all, God 
blefled for evermore. For ever adored be the triune God for 
this great myftery of godlinefs, God manifeft in the flefli I 
O may it be continually marvellous in our eyes I O make 
us, thou altogether lovely Redeemer, like-minded with thy 
blefled angels, that with them we may always fo eagerly, and 
fo pcrfcvcringly defire to look into it, that neither the luft of 
the flefti, the luft of the eye, or pride of life^ may ever in the 
leaft divert us from beholding thee I 

What this beh6lding him imports, comes next to be con* 
fidered, under our fccond general head. 

And here I take it for granted, that it cannot imply a be- 
holding the Lord Jesus in perfon with our bodily eyes. It 
h true, indeed, when John called upon the people and his 
difciple§ to behold the Lamb of God, they were thus highly 
favoured : and we are apt to fay within ourfelves, BleiTed are 
the eyes which faw what they faw ; and fo undoubtedly they 
were. But had their views terminated only in beholding hia 
pcrfon, or knowing him barely according to the fiefh, they 
might noiwithftanding have died in their fins, and been con- 
demned to depart from him into everlafting fire, prepared for 


r 417 1 

the devil and his angels. — Our Lord himfclf hath told us, 
that there will be many who will plead that they eat and 
drank in his prefence, and heard him preach in their ftreets 
to whom he will fay, " Verily I know you not." A true 
beholding of the Lamb of God, niufl therefore neceflarily 
import fomething more ; and what can that be but a behold- 
ing him with an eye of faith ? This is what the Old Tefta- 
ment faints were invited to, when the glorious Redeemer 
called upon them in thofe emphatic terms, " Behold me, be- 
hold me;" and again, " Look unto me, all the ends of the 
earth." This our Lord in another place terms, believing 
on him : " Blefled are they which have not feen me, and 
yet have believed :" not barely as the refult of a mere rational 
convidion, which is no more than an hiftorical faith, but as 
the confequence of a true fpiritual convidion of our being 
every way undone, and liable to eternal condemnation with- 
out him. This is believing on him with the heart, and is 
fometimes exprefled by coming to, receiving, and trufting in 
him : different expreflions, but all importing one and the 
felf fame thing. " I wound, and I heal." That is the me- 
thod the Holy Ghoft takes, and that is the pattern gofpel 
minifters muft follow in preaching him. From any other, 
though prefcribed to us by an angel from heaven, good Lord, 
deliver us ! 

But fecondly. By beholding the Lamb of God, we are 
to underftand not only looking to him fo as to truft him for 
the pardon of our fins, but beholding him fo as to have our 
hearts broke with a true and godly forrow for having cruci- 
fied and flain him by them. For thus fpeaks the Lord by 
the mouth of the Prophet Zechariah, *' They (hall look upon 
him whom they h;ive pierced, and they (hall mourn for him, 
as one that mourneth for an only fon, and fhall be in bittcr- 
nefs for him, as one that is in bitternefs for his firft-born." 
This prediction was in fome degree fulfilled immediately after 
5 ^he 

f 4i8 ] 

the defcent of the Holy Ghofr, In the days of Penlecorf' 
when fo many being pricked to the heart, were made to look 
to, believe on, and lament over a pierced Jesus. But it will 
be continually fulfilling in the experience of every true be- 
holder of the Lamb of God, till time fhall be no more. 
True faith, at the fame time as it opens the heart to receive 
Christ, melts and diflblves it into tears of godly forrow, 
for having betrayed and crucified him. Such were the tears 
of Mary^ when fhe wafhed the feet of her fm-forgivlng Lord. 
They flowed from a fenfe of pardoning love. She loved 
much, having much forgiven her. And though (he knew 
the Lord had forgiven her, yet fne could not forgive herfelf. 
Hlnc ilia lachryma. Hence thofe repenting tears : they pro- 
ceeded from love : forrow, flowing from any other principle,. 
is not a godly, but a legal forrow, which the mofl: abandoned 
wretch may have without the leaft degree of faving grace. 
Thus we hear o^ ?i Judas his repenting, and oi^n Efau crying 
out with an exceeding bitter cry ; but the one all the while was 
a prophane perfon, and the other immediately went and hanged 
himfelf. And why ? Their forrow was only extorted by a fear of 
hell, and a defpairing fenfe of impending ruin. It is true, a godly 
forrow may, and I believe generally does, begin with fome- 
thing of this nature ; but then it does not end there. Through 
want of a due confideration of this, it is to be feared, many 
feeming converts have taken up with a few legal conviiSlions, 
which never ended in favingly and truly beholding the Lamb 
of God. May none here prefent, by a half-way repentance, 
and hypocritical forrow for fin, add to the unhappy num- 
ber ! 

But this is not all. A fcriptural beholding of the Lamb 
of God, denotes not only fuch a relying on Christ for par- 
don of fin, as is attended with a truly godly forrow for it, but 
fuch a believing on him, as is produ6live of a holy life, and 
a univerfal chearful obfervance of all his divine commands. 


[ 4^9 3 

When the two difclples mentioned in our text, heard John 
fpeak, we are told that they followed him, viz. the Lord 
Jesus Christ. And if God hath given us an hearing ear, 
when called upon to behold the Lamb of God, we fhall 
certainly have an obedient heart, and follow him in the way 
of holy obedience. But then it will be an obedience flowing 
from love : A working not for, but from life. Not out of a 
fervile fear of being damned, but from a grateful fenfe of hav- 
ing received the beginning of falvation in our hearts. And 
this is what the Apoftle calls " faith working by love.'* 
Many, I know, cenfure and look upon us as troublers of 
Ifrael^ for preaching up the do£trine of j unification by faith 
«lone in the imputed righteoufnefs of Jesus Christ. We 
own the charge. We do preach, and hope fhall continue to 
preach it, till we can preach no more. Luther ftiles it, Arti* 
cuius Jlantis aut cadentis ecclefics ; the article by which the 
church muft (land or fall : and in the nintli article of our 
own churchy it is termed, a moft wholefome doctrine. Take 
away this, and you take away the only folid foundation upoa 
which a truly weary and heavy-laden finner can poffibly build 
his hopes of pardon and acceptance in the fight of a holy and 
fm-avenging God, But why this outcry againft the dodrinc 
of juftification by faith alone ? They fay this dodrine deftroys 
good works. But do we, by preaching this do£lrine, make 
void the law of God ? No : We thereby eftablifli the law. 
For, though faith alone juftifies, yet, as the good old Puri- 
tans ufed toobferve. That faith which is alone, juftifieth not. 
Agreeable to this, fpeakeih the lath article of our Church, 
•' Albeit that 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 pleaf- 
•"^ ing and acceptable to God in Christ, and do fpring 
** out necefiarily of a true and lively faith, infomuch that by 
•* them a lively faith may be as evidently known as a tree is 

Vol. VL £e *' dif- 


[ 420 ] 

*' difcerned by the fruit.'* They, therefore, who 6b]e£k againd: 
our infifling upon jultification by faith alone, as deftru6live 
of morality, not only betray great ignorance of the articles of 
our Church, and of God's word, but give too great reafon to 
fufpe6l, that they never experienced the bleffed influence of a 
true and lively faith in their own hearts. For true alid unde- 
filed religion, is nothing more or lefs, than a univerfal mo- 
rality, founded upon the love of God and faith in Christ 
Jesus. And a true beholding him as pierced for our fins, 
will, in its own nature, fweetly compel us to cry out, 
*' What ftiall we render unto the Lord?" It was this, 
that, perhaps, in a quarter of an hour, made that covetous 
worldling Zaccheus, give half of his goods to the poor ; it was 
this, that all of a fudden made the Jailor wafti the ftripcs of 
thofe whom he had but a little before thruft into an inward 
prifon ; it was this that caufed Lydia, whofe heart the Lord 
had opened, fo freely to open her houfe to entertain the 
Apoftles ; and it was this that excited the Apoftles themfelves 
in general, and St. Paul in particular, to bid adieu to worldly- 
honours, to glory in nothing but the crofs of Christ, and 
to fly like an arch-angel from pole to pole, publ idling the 
bleffed and everlafting gofpel. " The love of Christ, faid 
he, conftraineth us." Preaching faith in this manner, feems 
to me the only fcriptural way of preaching Christ : and by 
this means we fhall fteer a middle courfe between two dan- 
gerous extremes. For to infift only upon morality and good 
works, and not lay a true lively faith, as a foundation whereon 
they are to be built, (as it is to be feared too many do) is to 
a6t like Pharaoh's tafk-mafters, and bid people make brick 
without (hewing them were to get ftraw. " My foul, come 
not thou into their fccret ! " On the other hand, to call upon 
people to believe in, and behold the Lamb of God, and at 
the fame time not exhort them to maintain good works, as 
an evidence and fruit of their beholding him, is the way to 
I . turn 

[ 421 5 

turn the grace of God into lafcivioufnefs. And therefore, 
however evangelical fuch preachers may feem in their own 
eyes, yet if the writings of Mofes and the Prophets, of our 
Lord and his Apoftles, are to be our judges, they do not 
rightly divide the word of truth. *' To their aflembly, mine 
honour, be not thou united 1" 

Once more. A true beholding of the Lamb of GoD> 
implies fuch a beholding him, as will transform us into his 
divine likenefs. This will be the effc£l of our feeing him as 
he is in heaven ; and this, in its degree, will always be the 
confequence of our beholding him with an eye of a true and 
lively faith on earth. When Mofes came down from mount 
Horeh^ where he had been converfing with God, we are told, 
that his face (hone ; and if we have been upon the mount of 
ordinances beholding by faith the bleffed Lamb of God, 
though our faces will not (hine, yet our hearts will be 
moulded into his bleffed image. This is what the Apoftic 
Paul terms, in one place, " Being transformed by the renew- 
ing of our minds ;" and in another, " PafTing from glory to 
glory, even by the Spirit of the Lord.'* All manifeftations, 
of whatever kind or degree, if not attended with this trans- 
forming and truly fandifying influence, are unprofitable^ de- 
lufive, or merely imaginary. 5fl/^^w could call himfelf the 
man whofe eyes were open, and the man who had feen the 
vifions of the Almighty, and yet he was a poor worldling all 
the while. He loved the wages of unrighteoufnefs, though 
forced by God not to receive them. Hence we may eafily 
and rationally account for the falling away of fome, and it 
may be the final apoftacy of many others, who in the late re- 
ligious ftir, (as fome are pleafed to call it) feemed to be un- 
commonly gifted, and to be lifted up, as it were, to the third 
heaven. Satan being fenfible that the Holy Spirit of God 
was working a great work upon the earth, turns himfelf into 
an ang-^l of light, introduces his extraordinaries, and thereby 
£ e 2 mimics 

[ 4^2 ] 

mimics God's true work now, as the magicians were once 
jiermitted to mimic the real miracles of Mojss formerly. Such 
counterfeits, thofe who are not ignorant of Satan's devices, 
Ought from time to time to add all diligence to fcarch out and 
detect ; but after the utmoft caution imaginable, I believe we 
fhall find the faying of a very zealous Reformer (who thought, 
at his firft coming out, that he fhould convert the whole 
world) to be too true, viz. " That old Satan will be, in many 
*' cafes, too hard for young MelanSfhon,''* Satan is an old 
praditioner, and we, comparatively fpeaking, but novices ; 
and therefore no wonder, that we fometimes miftake his e.^- 
traordinaries, for the powerful operations of the Holy Spirit ; 
or look upon thofe, at leaft for a while, who are only ftony- 
ground hearers, and have received the word with joy, as 
though they were truly converted to, and had by a living, 
foul-transforming faith, beheld the Lamb of God. Such 
miftakes may ferve to make us more cautious. But to con- 
demn a work in the lump, as merely dclufive and diabolical, 
or roundly to affirm, that all the pretended fubje£ts of it have- 
taken up only with an ideal Christ, becaufe fome have 
miftaken imaginations for the true fpiritual manifeftation of 
God's love to their hearts, difcovers fuch an ignorance of 
feripture, of Satan's devices, and the accounts given us of 
paft revivals in all ages, that if one did not know the dread- 
ful blindnefs of a bigoeted fe<Sl:arian zeal, and what a pronenefs 
there is in the beft of men, to condemn every thing that 
doth not come juft in their own way, we fhould think it 
morally impofTible that good men (hould run fuch lengths as 
fome have done of late, in cenfuring what I think may be 
called, amidft ail the infirmities and weaknefTes that have at- 
tended it, A great and glorious work of a GoD. 

But it is time for me to draw nearer to a conclufion. We 
have now then, my dear hearers, done with the doctrinal 
part of our text ; in opening of which, that we might deal 
4.7 with 

[ 423 ] 

with you as rational creatures, we have endeavoured calmly, 
and in the fear of God, to addrefs ourfelves to your under- 
{landings ; but the hardcft work, is yet behind, namely, to 
afFecSl and warm your hearts. This I take to be the very life 
of preaching : for man is a compound creature, made up of 
afFecSlions, as well as underftanding ; and, confequently, 
without addrefling both, we only do our work by halves. 
It is true, every one hath his proper gift, and fome excel in 
making ufe of a proper method to inform the judgment, 
whilft others are more eminent for exciting the paiTions. 
Both are beautiful in their feafon ; and both ought and will 
be ufed by all who have warm hearts, as well as clear heads. 
Mofes and the Prophets, Christ and his Apoftles, dealt 
much in exhortations, as well as in opening and explaining 
the weighty matters of the law. And if we arc taught by 
the fame Spirit, we ihall, like them, bring light and heat 
with us, when called to fpeak of, and enforce the things 
which concern the kingdom of God. Without a proper 
mixture of thefe, however a preacher may acquire the cha- 
racter, in the letter-learned and polite world, of being a calm 
and cool reafoner ; yet he never will be looked upon by thofe 
whofe fenfes are exercifed to difcern fpiritual things, as a 
truly evangelical and chriftian orator. — And furely if a mini- 
Her's heart is ever warm, it ought to be fo in a more efpecial 
manner, when calling on a blind and drowfy world, to be- 
hold the Lamb of GoD. O I that my tongue was at this 
time touched with a coal from his altar. O ! that my cold 
and frozen heart (for I muft again repeat the wifh I put up 
at the beginning of this difcourfc) was in the fame blefled 
and divine frame, as we have reafon to believe the holy Bap* 
tift was favoured with, when he called upon his difciples and 
the people, fo repeatedly, to behold the Lamb of God. But 
to whom (hall I apply myfelf firft ? Or with what language 
fhall I addrefs you, when prefling you to the fame important 
thing ? 

E e 3 WiH 

C 424 ] 

Will my brethren in the miniftry fuffer a word of exhorta- 
tion from one who is lefs than the leaft of them all ? Does 
not the practice of this fervent harbinger and fore-runner of 
the Son of God, naturally lead me to it ? For did he fo un- 
weariedly recommend the Lord Jesus ? Did he take fuch 
care to preach not himfelf, but Christ Jesus his Lord ? 
And fhall not we make this fame Jesus the Alpha and 
Omega, the beginning and end of all our difcourfes ? Did 
he take fuch pains to debafe himfelf, exalt his Lord, and 
evidence to the world that he was difinterefled, and fought 
not his own glory, but the glory of him whofe fore-runner 
he was ? And (hall we not go and do likewife ? To prepare 
the Redeemer's way before him, by turning the hearts of the 
difobedient to the wifdom of the juft, and to proclaim a com^ 
ing Saviour, John efteemed his higheft honour. This is an 
employ worthy angels. They thought themftlves highly fa- 
voured, when fent to give notice of the Mediator's birth to 
fome humble ihepherds. And I hope I am fpcaking to fome, 
who had rather be employed in fuch an errand, than be am- 
bafTadors to the greateft monarchs on earth. Go on then, 
my brethren, or rather fathers, as it becomes fuch a one as I 
to call you. Ye angels of the churches, ye ftewards of the 
myfteries of God, go on in the name and ftrength of the 
cverlafting I AM. Preach Christ, and him crucified^ 
continue to preach him : be inft^t in feafon and out of fea- 
fon ; and though you fhould be called to fufFer for fo doing, 
fear not, but rather rejoice, and be exceeding glad : great 
will be your reward in heaven ; for fo perfecuted they John 
the Baptift, and others that have been employed in calling 
upon finners to behold the Lamb of God before you. 

Are any here prefent who are entrufted with the care of 
youth that are intended for the miniftry ? My text warns mc 
not to leave you out in this addrefs. John diredted his difci- 

f 425 ] 

pies to behold the Lamb of God : and ought not fuch, who 
have the overfight of thofe who are hereafter to be employed 
in the fame divine work as John was, to make it one main 
part of their daily endeavours, to bring their pupils to a true, 
experimental, and faving acquaintance with the ever-blefled 
Lamb of God ? This may be done without leaving any one 
neceflary branch of true knowledge and ufefui learning un- 
done. A negle«St of this important point hath been, and it is 
to be feared even now is, the bane of the chriftian church. 
For, if young men's minds are from year to year wholly en- 
gaged in ftudying the heathen mythology, inftead of being 
fhewn the beauties of the New Tcflament; if they are taught 
to delight more in reading C(sfar''s Commentaries, or the ex- 
ploits of an Alexander^ than to admire the miracles of Jcfus of 
Nazareth ; if they are direded to employ themfelves more in 
giving an account of Homer''s battles, than of the important 
war between Michael and the Dragon ; if it is efteemed a 
greater excellency to be engaged in ftudying the folds of a 
Ro?r}an garment, than to enquire into the various turnings and 
windings of their own cornet hearts : if thefe, and fuch-like 
trifling things, are recommended to their daily ftudy, and the 
glorious dodtrines of the gofpel, fuch as regeneration, juftifi- 
cation, &c. wholly negleded, or fuperficially fpoken of, is it 
any wonder, that fo many ignorantly ftrike their heads againft 
the pulpit, or appear when put into it, more like heathen phi- 
lofophers or Roman orators, than gofpel preachers, though 
without half the clearnefs and found reafoning of the one, or 
a thoufandth part of the true [;aihos and unaffeded eloquence 
of the other ? The recommending and enforcing the practi- 
cal ftudy of the doiStrines and example of the blefled Jesus, 
feems to me to be the only remedy for this great, not to fay 
growing evil. 

And therefore, I beg leave in the next place to addrefs 

myfelf to thofe who are now actually engaged in the 

£ e 4 ftudy 

[[ -^^6 ] 

ftudy of divinity, and are defirous of being prepared accord- 
ing to the preparation of the fan6luary, for the great and fo- 
lemn work of calling upon finners, to behold the Lamb of 
God. When "John the Baptift was thus employed, he took 
care to aflure the people, that he himfelf was well acquainted 
with that Christ. ^' I faw, faid he, and bear record, that 
this is the Son of God/* And doth not this at leaft intimate 
to you, young fludents, that above all things you fhould 
ftudy to get an experimental acquaintance with the Lord 
Jesus in your own hearts, before you attempt to recommend 
liim to the choice of others ? Then, having believed, you 
will fpeak ; fpeak not as mere dead, formal, letter-learned 
icribes, but as men having authority. You will then, like 
yci?« the Baptifl-, be the voice of one crying i you will lift 
up your voices like trumpets ; you will preach not with the 
enticing words of man's wifdom, but with the demonftration 
of the rpirit and of power. This, with a moderate (hare of 
ufeful learning, which is quite necefTary in its place, will 
enable you to do wonders. Vallies (hall be filled up, moun- 
tains fhall be brought low, antfi a highway made, through 
your inftrumentality, into finners hearts, by the blelTed and 
all-powerfid operations -sf the Spirit of the everliving Gon. 
Such a method, perhaps, may render your preaching a little 
unfafhionable, but it is the only way to render it ufeful, and 
truly evangelical. Take the Apofile Faul for your enfample. 
He was a great fcholar, as well as a great faint ; and, if called 
to it, could have fought the learned world with their own 
weapons j but he chofe to fight only with the fword of the 
Spirit, which is the word of God. And even, when preach- 
ing at fo polite a place as Corinth^ determined to know no- 
thing among them, but Jesus Christ and him crucified. 
He too, like another yohn^ made it his conftant, uninter- 
r^pted employ to befeech poor finners to behold the Lamb of 
QoD. ^ay that mind be in you, which was alfo in him ! 


C 427 ] 

feut do not the words of our text lead me to addrefs all m 
general, as well as tutors and their pupils in particular ? 
Yes: to you, even to as many as hear me this day, whether 
high or low, rich or poor, young or old, one with another^ 
may a word of exhortation naturally be direded. It was to 
the people, as well as to his difciples, that yohn^ when he faw 
Jesus coming unto him, fpoke thofe endearing words, '< Be- 
hold the Lamb of God." I therefore call upon you all in 
the fame language, and for the fame reafon j for it is He, and 
He a!c»ne, that taketh away the fms of the world. It is this 
that you all ftand in need of, whether you know it or not. 
You are all ftung by that old and crooked ferpent the devil. 
*' Therefore, as Mofa lifted up the ferpent in the wildcrnefs, 
even fo was the Son of Man lifted up, that whofoever be- 
lieveth on him ftiould no^ perifli, but have everlafting life.'* 
O then behold him, behold him ! Look unto him, all ye ends 
of the earth, even ye upon whom the ends of the world arc 
come, and be ye faved. Some of you, I truft, through grace, 
have already been enabled to do this. O come, come, I be- 
feech you, and repeat the blefl'ed look : for this is the chrif- 
tian's grand catholicon, the fovereign remedy for all the re- 
maining difeafes of his foul. Are ye tempted ? Behold the 
Lamb of God. " He was tempted in all things like as we 
are," that he might be able experimentally to fympathize 
with, and fuccour thofe that are tempted. Are ye deferted, 
and bewailing an abfent God ? Behold the Lamb of God. 
He once complained, and that too to his own creatures, 
♦' My foul is exceeding forrowful, even unto death ;" He 
pnce cried out, and that to his heavenly Father, " My God, 
my God, why haft thou forfalcen me." Are ye poor ? Be- 
hold the Lamb of God : He had not where to lay his head. 
Are ye betrayed and forfaken by friends ? Behold the Lam9 
of God : He was betrayed by JudaSy denied by PeUr^ and 
when apprehended^ »11 forfook him and fl^d. Are you 


[ 428 ] 

blackened and maligned by enemies ? Behold the Lamb of 
God : He was accounted a mad-man, a deceiver, nay, a 
Beelzebub, the very chief of the devils. Are ye afraid of 
death, or dying ? Behold the Lamb of God : He hath taken 
^way the fting of that king of terrors, and came to deliver 
thofe, who through fear of death were all their life-time fub^ 
jeil to bondage. Doubt ye whether ye (hall hold out to the 
end ? Behold the Lamb of God ; *^ He is the Author and 
finifher of our faith ;" and having loved his own, he loved 
them even unto the end. Do ye want more grace, either to 
mortify remaining corruption, or to enable you to bring forth 
more fruit unto God f Behold the Lamb of God : " Out 
of his fulnefs we may all receive, and that too, even grace for 
grace ;" grace upon grace, grace to beget more grace, even 
till we are filled with all the fulnefs of God. O ye believers, 
my heart is erlarged towards you ; look to, and live much on 
the bleffed Jesus ; and then you will live to, and a£t for 
him more and more. Be thankful for what you have received, 
but be looking out continually for frefti difcoveries of his love, 
and frelh incomes of heavenly grace, till you are called to be- 
hold this Lamb of God in glory : that time, blefied be Gojpt, 
will (hortly come. Though worms deftroy our bodies, yet 
in our flefh we (hall fee our God • not as we do now, through 
a glafs darkly, but face to face : fee him as be is : and what 
is yet better, be growing up more and more into his divine 
iikenefs, through the endlefs ages of eternity, 

But as for ungodly and obflinate unbelievers that die in 
their fins, it {hall not be fo with them. Behold him indeed 
you {hall ; behold him you mu{l; '' For yet a little while, 
and we mufl all appear before the judgment feat of Christ." 
But O ! how {hall I fpeak it ? You mufl behold him once, 
never to behold him any more ! Behold him, not fo much 
as the Lamb of God, as the Lion of the tribe of Judah^ and 
hear him roaring out that dreadful fent^ence, ** Pepart, yc 


[ 429 ] 

curfed, into everlafting fire, prepared for the devil and his an- 
gels." O think of this, al) ye that have hitherto negledled to 
behold this Lamb of God by faith, (o (hail unbelief not 
prove your final ruin. To you, even to you I once more 
call. BlefTed be God, the door of mercy is not yet fhut ; the 
day of grace is not yet over ; look unto him, and you (hall yet 
be faved : his heart is open, and his arms flretched out ready 
to receive you, O that he would rend the heavens and come 
down amongft you ; and as he had once compaffion upon a 
poor woman, that was bowed down with the fpirit of infir- 
mity, lo eighteen years ! O that he would repeat that all- 
powerful command, " Be ye loofed from your infirmity," 
and enable every unconverted finner to look up to, and behold 
the Lamb of God ! However, if you will not come to him 
that you might have life, God forbid that I fhould ceafe to 
pray for you. Q Lord God moft holy, O Lord God moft 
mighty, O holy and merciful Saviour, tliou moft worthy 
Judge eternal, by thine agony and bloody fweat, by thy crofs 
and paflion, by thy precious death and burial, by thy glorious 
refurre£lion and afccnfion, and by the coming of the Holy 
Ghoft, we humbly entreat thee to help all fuch to take the 
warning that has now been given them J O help them to 
behold thee by faith here, that fo no pains of hell may fall 
from thee whenever they are fummoned to appear before thy 
awful tribunal hereafter I I am perfuaded all that love the 
]L,ord Jesus in fincerity, will fay, j^men ! Even fo. Lord 
Jesus ! Amen ! and Jmen f