Skip to main content

Full text of "The complete works of Richard Sibbes, D.D."

See other formats


OF 



micBf. 



0^ 



OCT 10 1988 

jCAL Sl^^ 

BX 9339 .S52 1862 v. A 
Sibbes, Richard, 1577-1635 
The complete works of 
Richard Sibbes, D.D 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2009 with funding from 

Princeton Theological Seminary Library 



http://www.archive.org/details/completeworkso04sibb 



NICHOL'S SERIES OF STANDARD DIVINES. 

PUEITAN PEEIOD. 



By JOHN C. MILLEE, D.D., 

LINCOLN COLLEGE ; HONORAET CANON OF WOECESTER ; RECTOR OF ST MARTIN'S, BIRMINGHAM. 



THE 



WORKS OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 

VOL. IV. 



COUNCIL OF PUBLICATION. 



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

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

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

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

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

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

©entral ©Uitor. 
REV. THOMAS SMITH, M.A., Ebinbuegh. 



THE COMPLETE WORKS 



RICHARD 8IBBES, D.D., 

MASTER OF CATHERINE HALL, CAMBRIDGE ; PREACHER OF GRAY's INN, 

LONDON. 



BY THE REV. ALEXANDER BALLOCH GROSART, 

(cor. memb. soc. an'tiq. or Scotland) 
KINROSS. 



VOL. IV. 

CONTAINING 

TREATISES AND SERMONS 

FROM 

THE EPISTLES TO THE COEINTHIANS, 

VIZ. : — 

A christian's PORTION ; OR, THE CHRISTIAN'S CHARTER 

THE SPIRITUAL MAN's AIM THE RIGHT RECER^ING JUDGMENT'S REASON 

YEA AND AMEN ; OR, PRECIOUS PROMISES AND PRIVILEGES 

A GLANCE OF HEAVEN ; OR, A PRECIOUS TASTE OF A GLORIOUS FEAST 

THE EXCELLENCY OF THE GOSPEL ABOVE THE LAW 

EXPOSITION OF 2 CORINTHIANS CHAPTER IV. AND, THE CHURCh's RICHES. 



EDINBURGH: JAMES NICHOL. 

LONDON: JAMES NISBET AND CO. DUBLIN: W. ROBERTSON. 



M.DCCC.LXIII. 



EDINBCRGH : 

PKINTED BT JOHN GRKIG AM> SOK, 

OLD PHTSIO GARDENS. 









vv 



PREFATORY NOTE. 

As a fitting sequel to Vol. III., which contains the Exposition of 
2 Corinthians chap, i., the present will be found to bring together 
all Sibbes's Treatises and Sermons founded upon other texts or 
portions of the Two Epistles to the Corinthians. A. B. G. 



CONTENTS.* 



A CHEISTIAN'S POETION; OB, THE CHRISTIAN'S CHARTEE. 

Page 

The Epistle to the Reader. ..... 2 

The occasion of the words ; — all persons, things, and events, a 

Christian's. ...... 7 

The ivorld, natural, civil, ecclesiastical ; wicked men. , . 8 

Life; death. ....... 9 

A sweet consideration against the fear of death. . . 13 

Things 2^1'^sent and to come. ..... 13 

Cases concerning property, alms, liberty in the use of things, 

heathen authors. . . . . . 15 

Grace better than riches. • .... 19 

Nothing can harm the Christian. .... 20 

Uses. ....... 20 

Fourfold restraint on the Christian in his use of things. . 23 

How a Christian is Christ's. ..... 24 

How all things are Christ's. ..... 25 

All our privileges to be seen first in Christ. ... 26 

Uses. ....... 28 

How to know whether Christ be ours and we his. . . 29 

In what sense Christ is God's. ... . . 32 

Our communion with God through a mediator. . . . 32 

Uses. ....... 34 

Notes. ....... 37 

* Abridged from the original Tables. The Indices in our closing volume of the 
works will preserve all the minuter details here omitted. — G. 



CONTENTS. 



THE SPIEITUAL MAN'S AIM, 



Page 



Way to satisfy particular cases of conscience. 


41 


Religion meddleth with all matters. 


42 


Shortness of life and of opportunity. 


42 


Advices to young and old. .... 


45 


Marriage lawful. ..... 


46 


Dangers of it. 


46 


Weeping lawful. ..... 


47 


Joy lawful. ...... 


48 


Affections to be moderated by religion. 


49 


Buying lawful. ..... 


49 


Using the world lawful. .... 


50 


The world a fashion or shew, while religion is real. 


51 


Uses. ...... 


64 


Why Christians are excessive in carnal things. . 


55 


Application to the Sacrament. 


57 



THE EIGHT KECEIVING. 



61 



JUDGMENT'S EEASON. 

God convicts his people, especially for irreverent coming to the 
sacrament. ..... 

Sickness and weakness of the body a fruit of sin. 

Backwardness in the duty of judging ourselves. 

God's Children not condemned ^\-ith the world. 

Delivered from condemnation bv correction and chastisement. 



78 
80 
83 
98 

104 



YEA AND AMEN;OE, PEECIOUS PEOMISES, 113 

Notes. ....... 149 



A GLANCE OF HEAVEN; OE, A PEECIOUS TASTE OF A 

GLOEIOUS FEAST. # 



To the Christian Reader. 

Connection of the text. 

The mystery of the gospel hid from natural men. 

God means a special good to his beloved children. 

Objection answered. .... 

Uses. 



153 
155 
156 
157 
157 
159 



CONTEXTS. 



Ground of the martyrs" patience. 

What popery is. 

Wisdom of God hid from wise men. 

What true riches and beauty are. 

Knowledge of the things of heaven, how to be acquir 

Nature of hope. 

Uses. .... 

Spiritual growth. 

God's people prepared in this world for heaven 

Self-examination. 

Love of the world. 

Love a commanding affection. 

Four things observable in love. 

Effects of the love of God. 

AH promises fulfilled in heaven. 

Love the most characteristic grace of a Christian 

Four objections answered. 

Directions for growing in the love of God. 

Notes. .... 



ed. 



Page 
163 
163 
164 
167 
167 
170 
170 
174 
176 
177 
179 
181 
182 
190 
191 
192 
193 
195 
200 



THE EXCELLEXCY OF THE GOSPEL ABOVE THE LAW. 



What is meant by Spirit. 

How Christ hath and giveth the Spirit. 

Spirit given in greatest measure after Christ's resurrection 

Uses. ...... 

Why Christians are so dark-spirited. 

The Spii'it the soul of the soul. 

Directions how to get the Spmt. 

Spiritual libei-ty and bondage. 

How the Spirit worketh hberty. 

All whom Christ redeems he frees. 

No benefit by Chi-ist \vithout union. 

Sanctification springs from justification. 

Christians rule their lusts. 

Four rules concerning the freedom of the Spirit. 

Liberty of the gospel. 

Uses. ...... 

Signs of Spiritual Liberty. 

Three degi'ees in the way to heaven. 

How the Spirit is grieved. 

Three differences between the Law and the Gospel. 

Four excellencies in the covenant of grace. 

The grace and free mercy of God his glory. 

Glory of God greatest in the gospel. 

Uses. ..... 

Christ's mind discovered in the gospel. 
The sacraments glasses to see God's love in Christ. 
Faith compai'ed to sight in four particulars. 
Hindrances to our beholding Christ. 



205 
205 
209 
210 
212 
213 
214 
216 
217 
218 
219 
221 
222 
225 
227 
229 
280 
233 
236 
238 
239 
240 
241 
242 
246 
249 
250 
251 



CONTENTS. 



We have boldness in the gospel. 

How to read the life of Christ in the gospel. 

How to become like Christ. 

Three comfortable sights seen in the glass of the gospel 

Four degrees of the glory of a Christian. 

Why the world despiseth those that are gracioiis. 

Grace and glory go both under one name. 

Degrees in the glory of a Christian. 

Christians compared to the best things. 

Marks whereby we know that we have the Spirit. 

Notes. 



Page 
253 
263 
264 
270 
273 
276 
280 
287 
290 
298 
304 



EXPOSITION OF 2D COEINTHIANS CHAPTEK lY, 

Notes. 



306 

485 



THE CHURCH'S EICHES. 



Epistle Dedicatory. 
To the Reader. 

Notes. 



491 
493 
526 



A CHEISTIAFS PORTION; 



OR, 



THE CHRISTIAN'S CHARTER. 



VOL. IV. 



A CHRISTIAN'S PORTION ; OR, THE CHRISTIAN'S CHARTER. 



NOTE. 

' The Christian's Portion' was published originally in 1637, and forms a tiny 
volume of 67 pages. It is very imperfect. Its title-page is given below.* This, 
the first edition, was superseded in the following year, by a much ' enlarged' -and 
' corrected' one, from evidently fuller and more accurate ' notes.' The latter is 
followed in our reprint. Its title-page will also be found below.f Prefixed to it is 
Marshall's smaller portrait of Sibbes. G. 

«■ The 
Christians 
Portion. 
"Wherein is unfolded the 
unsearchable Riches he hath by 
his interest in Christ. Whom in- 
joying hee possesseth aU 
things else. 

By R. Sibhs D.D. and Preacher 

to the Honorable Society of Grayes- 

Inne, and Master of Catherine 

Hall in Cambridge. 

Published by 
T. G. and P. N. 

London. 

Printed by John Norton 

for John Kothwell, and 

are to be sold at the Sunne in Pauls 

Churchyard. 1637. 

t The Christians 
Portion, or. 
The Charter of a 
Christian, (so stiled by 
the Eeverend Author.) 
"Wherein are laide open 
those unsearchable riches and 
priviledges, he hath by his inter- 
est in Christ : whom enjoying, 
he possesseth all things else. 

Bv the Eeverend Divine 

R. Sibbs, D.D. and Preacher 

to the Honourable society of 

Grates Inne, and Master of 

. Kaiherine Hall in Cambridge. 

Corrected and enlarged. 

Published by T, G. and P. N. 

Christ is all in all. 

LONDON . 

Printed by J. 0. for John Rothwell, 

and are to be sold at the Sunne in 

Paules Church-yard. 1638. 

* , « The T. G. and P. N. on both of these title-pages were Dr Thomas Goodwin 
and Philip Nye. Cf. Vol. II., page 3, but for Hanburg read Hanbury. G. 



THE EPISTLE TO THE READER. 



Good Reader ! didst thou ever yet read over thy own heart and life, and 
mend in some degree what was amiss in both ? If not, what comfort can 
this treatise afford thee ? If so, what comfort can it not ? This short 
discourse lays open a great matter. It is a counterpane of a Christian's 
charter. The author himself styles it ' The Christian's Charter.' 

If thy Ufe be good, thy tenure is large ; yea, larger than that of the 
Corinthians. The apostles, as Paul, ApoUos,* and Cephas were theirs ; 
so they are thine. And besides them, all that have succeeded them, the 
faithful ministers of the gospel, and all their studies and writings. The 
reverend author of this treatise is thine, and this book is thine ; thine 
to shew thee how much is thine. Let me be thine also to commend this 
w'ork to thee, and to pray for thee, that as the Lord opened the eyes of 
Elisha's man to see the mountain full of horses and chariots, and more 
with them than against them, 2 Kings vi. 17, so he would open thine, to 
see thy great riches and privileges in Jesus Christ. The want of sight 
makes us think we want. Post over the two great volumes of heaven and 
earth, and thou shalt find thyself wealthy. 

Man hath this excellency above all inferior creatures, to know what he 
is and what he hath above others. The brute beasts are better than plants, 
but they know it not ; and so plants are more excellent than the elements, 
&c. They have worth, but understand it not. Man hath this added 
to his dignity, to know it. And this is given him, as a schoolman saith, 
that he may rejoice in that he hath, and him that gave it (a). The sun 
rejoices not in its own beauty, because it knows it not. As there is iguoti 
nulla cupido, so nulla delectatio. We can as little delight in what we know 
not, as desire it. 

He therefore must needs be rich that hath the ' blood of Christ,' which 
purchased the world. When all losses, either in goods or children, befall 
such a man, yet he hath enough besides. When man says all is gone, 
Christ says all is his. This should make him hold up his head, but not 
too high. It should make him cheerful, but not withal scornful. 

Men are still apt to run into extremes. Tell men of the heinous nature 
of sin, and for the most part they either stop short and do not bewail it, 
or step beyond and quite despair. Obstinacy is the low extreme like the 
earth, hard also and rocky as it is. Despair is as much too high, as it 
were in the element of fire, which scorches up the spirit. The middle 
region of air and water, of sighs and tears, is the best. Thus when we 
treat of a godly man's privileges, some will overween them as fast as others 
undervalue them. Christian virtues are in medio as well as moral ; but 
generally men seem to promise to themselves, as Jonathan to David, 
1 Sam. XX. 36, either to shoot short or beyond. Men will either overdo 
or do nothing. The Mediator teaches us a middle way, St Paul, when 
the viper hung upon his hand, was thought some notorious malefactor ; 
* Spelled ' ApoUo.'— G. 



4 TO THE READER. 

when he shook it off without harm, was a god, Acts xsviii. 3, seq. The 
first was too bad, and the last too good. The middle had been best : if 
they had said, he is some good man. 

This causes many differences in religion. Men run so far one from an- 
other, some to one side and others to the other side of the circumference, 
that whilst they stand e diametro ojijJosUi, they leave the truth behind them 
in the centre. Some will give too much to this or that ordinance, because 
others give too little ; and some will give too little, because others give too 
much. It is a spirit of opposition that causes divisions. Two spheres 
will but touch in a point ; and so when men are swollen with pride and 
anger, they gather up one from another, and resolve not to adhere so much 
as in one point. 

The apostles were given to the church to rejoice in, but neither to de- 
spise nor deify ; they might neither glory over them, nor glory in them. 
It is the sin of these times ; look it, reader, that it be not thine. Some 
men fall out with the whole tribe, and thereupon begin to lay aside the 
principles of sobriety. But should I tell thee what is said by Baronius {b) 
and some others, and what might be said of the honour of that calling, 
this discourse would rather want an epistle than be one, for the length. 
Indeed, some have gone too far, and made the priesthood more than it is. 
A Latin postiller upon that in Exod. xsx. 31, where it is said, ' Thou shalt 
anoint Aaron and his sons,' &e., because it is said, ver. 32, 'upon man's 
flesh it shall not be poured,' thence infers, in an hyperbolical sense, that 
priests are angels, not having human flesh. Some kind of postils and 
glosses are like antique flourishings about a great capital letter, which is 
not so much adorned by them as darkened. Such is this. We have a 
dignity indeed, but no deity. Therefore in the words following the text 
here handled, chapter the fourth, verse the first, says the apostle, ' Let men 
so account of us, as the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mys- 
teries of God.' As the ministers of Christ, we are not to be abased, and 
as but ministers, not to be adored ; as stewards, not to be magnified, and 
as stewards of the mysteries of God, not to be vilified. Consider the 
Lord's messengers both as ' earthen vessels ' and as having a treasure in 
them. But there are those that set some too high, and depress others too 
low. This partiality hath brought many miseries upon the church, and 
diverted many men from the church. It hath sent many a reneijado bound 
for Rome. Discontent is a dangerous thing, when the occasion is just. 

In a word, I desire thee to weigh well one passage, and not to misdeem 
it, which the worthy author hath, page 16, concerning the right of wicked 
men to earthly things. He says it is a mistake to think they have no right 
to them. And so it is indeed, Ps. xvii. 14. They have their portion in 
this life. A man must needs have some right to his portion. What 
Ananias had, Acts v. 4, was his own, whilst he had it, as Peter tells him; 
and yet Satan had filled his heart. We are to do good to all, but especially 
the household of faith. Gal. vi. 10. Therefore we may do good, and dis- 
tribute to those that are not of the household of faith. But what needs 
this, if earthly things belong not to them ? If in giving them we shall 
make them usurpers, we had better not give to them. If a covetous man 
hath no title to his goods, when sentence of condemnation is passed upon 
him, he may say, Wliy am I condemned for not giving, when I had nothing 
to give ? Besides it will follow, that no man shall be condemned for want 
of liberality in not giving, but only for want of justice in not restoring. 
The earth was to bring forth to Adam fallen, or for Adam, though thorns 



TO THE KEADER. U 

and thistles. The sons of Adam have the earth, though the curse with it. 
A title therefore they have, though not the same title with the righteous. 
The godly have them as from a loving Father, the wicked as from a liberal 
Lord, who out of goodness makes the ' sun to shine both upon the just and 
unjust,' Mat. v. 45. Therefore a Chi-istian's right doth not exclude, but 
excel theirs. 

Let not therefore a godly man trouble himself to argue them out of their 
good things here received; they are all they shall have. Let the wicked 
make much of what they have, for they shall have no more. The servant 
of the Lord must seek his portion in another life. The greatest part of the 
things he hath here is the least part of the things he shall have hereafter. 

But then take the right course, and first make God thine, and then all 
shall be thine. But before God can be thine, Christ must be thine ; and 
before him, faith must be thine ; and before faith, the word must be thine. 
Therefore so order thy affairs as to hear, and so order thy hearing as to 
believe, and so thy faith as to find Christ in thy heart ; and then thou shalt 
find God in Christ, and all in God. 

But I entreat thee for the mercies of Christ, if thou undertakest a Chris- 
tian profession, walk answerably to it ; and to a good profession, add a good 
confession. * Oh ! that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and declare 
the wonders that he doth for the children of men,' Ps. cvii. 8. Bless God 
for all thou hast and shalt have ; yea, for this work, &c., the man that in- 
dited it : a man, for matter always full, for notions sublime, for expression 
clear, for style concise ; a man spiritually rational, and rationally spiritual ; 
one that seemed to see the insides of nature and grace, and the world and 
heaven, by those perfect anatomies he hath made of them all. But his 
work needs no letter of commendation from any, much less from one so un- 
worthy as I am. Therefore pardon me, and read him, and try thyself, and 
glorify God. Farewell. J. B.* 

* These initials probably represent Jeremiah Burrougbs, than whom none of the 
Puritans more nearly resembled Sibbes either as a man or as a writer. He died 
November 14. 1646. He is one of Fuller's ' Worthies.' For a short memoir, consult 
Brook's Lives of the Puritans, III. pp. 18-25. — G. 




SBM.). 



A CHRISTIAN'S PORTIOI(; 



A CHEISTIAN'S CHAETEE. 



Therefore let no man glory in men : for all tilings are yours ; ivhether Paul, 
or Apollos, or Cephas, or the ivorld, or life, or death, or things present, 
or thinqs to come; all are yours; and ye are Christ's; and Christ is 
God's.— 1 CoE. III. 21-23. 



One man is prone to idolise and set up another man in his soul higher 
than is fit, which is never without great danger and derogation from 
Christ. Men, for the love of that good that is in others, whom they reve- 
rence overmuch, take in ill, and all. We are very prone to this fault 
when we look too much to persons who are subject to like infirmities with 
ourselves. That is the reason why the apostle is so careful in this chap- 
ter to abase man in'^the beginning of this 21st verse. ' Let no man glory 
in men;' that is, so far as to depend upon them in matters of faith. This, 
therefore, is the principal scope of the apostle, in this place, to cut off" fac- 
tion and overmuch dependence upon men. There were some vainglorious 
teachers that had crept into the consciences of people (as it is their use),* 
and drew factions, and so set up themselves instead of Christ. The apostle, 
to prevent this, saith, ' Let no man glory in men.' Do not glory in your 
teachers ; they are but your servants and Christ's servants ; ' for all things 
are yours.' By means of those vain-glorious teachers the people grew 
divided, and began to set up one and cry down another. To redress this, 
the apostle saith, ' All things are yours ;' whether Paul, meaning himself, 
or Apollos, f another excellent man ; yea, Cephas, Peter himself. Paul 
with all his learning, Apollos with his eloquence, Peter with his vehe- 
mency of spirit ; what he is, and what he hath, all his endowments are for 
the good of the church. 

So that here we have, first, a dehortation : ' Let no man glory in man.' 
Then a reason of it ; ' For all things are yours.' 

He sets down the reason, first, in gross in the whole, ' All things are 
yours.' 

And then parcels it out, as it were, by retail : ' whether Paul, or Apollos, 

* That is == ' custom, way.' — G. 

t Again, and tliroughout, spelled Apollo. — G. 



A CHRISTIAN S PORTION. / 

or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to 
come.' And so by induction of particulars he lays open and unfolds this 
tapestry, that they may see the riches of this ' all,' and then he wraps 
up all again, ' all are yours.' Those things that I have named are yours, 
nay, things that are most unlike, ' life and death are yours.' What need 
we doubt of other things, when death is ours ? He that hath the power of 
death, the devil, is not excluded ; ' he is ours.' 

Here is also a gradation : ' All is ours.' Is there a full point there ? 
No. ' We are Christ's, and Christ is God's. The gradation is upwards 
and downwards. God descends to us. ' All' is from the Father, and from 
Christ mediator, to man, and for man's sake to the creature. The grada- 
tion up again is, ' We are Christ's, and Christ is God's.' Which rnakes a 
blessed concatenation, or chaining and linking of things from the wise and 
great God. All things hang on him, and are carried to him again ; and as 
they come from one, so they end in one. As a circle begins and ends in 
one point, so all comes from God and ends in God. 

In the reason we have the ' Charter of a Christian,' the dowry that the 
church hath by her marriage with Christ. He is the greatest king that 
ever was, and she is the greatest queen ; for Christ, he is Lord of heaven 
and earth, and of all things ; and her estate is as large as his, ' All things 
are yours,' &c., even from God to the poorest thing in the world. God 
passeth over himself to his children ; he is theirs, Christ is theirs. There- 
fore angels are theu's ; for angels ascend and descend upon Jacob's ladder, 
that is, Christ. 

Having set down this general, ' all things are yours,' to discourage them 
from glorying in men, he parcels that general into particulars : ' Paul, or 
Apollos, or Cephas, or life, or death,' &c. 

1. ^All persons are yours. 

2. All things are yours. 

3. All events are yours. 
Persons : ' Paul, Apollos, Cephas.' 
Things : ' The world, or life, or death.' 

Events : Whatsoever can come, for the present, or for time to come, * all 
is yours.' 

For persons : ' Paul, Apollos, Cephas are yours.' Therefore Peter is not 
the head of the church. He is named here in the third place, among the 
rest, and after the rest : ' Whether it be Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, he is 
yours.' You know who ground all their rehgion on this. Peter is the head 
of the church, and they are the successors of Peter. But Peter is the 
church's, and therefore cannot be the head and commander. The pope 
pretends that he is Peter's successor, and yet he will be head of the 
church. But you see Cephas is a servant of the church's, as well as Paul 
and Apollos. You see the hypocrisy of him, by the way. He will call him- 
self servus servorum Dei, the servant of the servants of God, as if he would 
justify this blessed speech. Cephas and Paul are servants of the church, 
and I, that am Peter's successor, am so ; but yet he stamps in his coin, 
' That nation and country that will not serve thee, shall be rooted 
OUT ' (c). And so, while he pretends to be servant of servants, he will be lord 
of lords ; he tyranniseth over the church, and overthrows this text that 
saith, ' All things are for the church, and we must glory in no man,' so as 
to let him be the author of our faith in anything. That man of sin and 
his adherents, the faction of Eome, wrong the church two ways especially. 

1. First of all, in that they have of their own brain, without Christ, the 



o A CHRISTIAN S PORTION ; OR, 

head of the church, ordained a world of idle ceremonies, which they will have 
to have supernatural effects, and to confer grace. 

2. And then, secondly, in that they make laws to bind the conscience, with- 
out reference to Christ, and their traditions must have the same authority 
with the word of God ; so they sit in the temple of God ; and that is the 
reason why popery prevaileth so. Whereas, indeed, no man is lord of the 
faith of another man. The chiefest men in the world are but servants of the 
church : Paul, and Apollos, and Cephas. ' The woman must not usurp 
authority over the man,' 1 Tim. ii. 12, nor must the church be above Christ. 

To go on ; not only all persons, but the whole world, is the church's. 

The world natural, the civil world, and the ecclesiastical world. 

(1.) First, the world natural is the church's; that is, the frame of heaven 
and earth. All things are made for man, and he is made for God. As a 
wise philosopher could say, that man is the end of all things in a semi- 
circle (d)]; that is, all things in the M'orld are made for him, and he is made for 
God. The world is ours, all things iu the world are our servants ; for they 
mourn in black, as it were, for our miseries since the fall, and in our restor- 
ing again they shall be restored. They wait for the day, as it is Rom. 
viii. 21, 'For the glorious liberty of the Son of God.' They have their 
happiness and misery together with men. The world stands for the elect. 
If all the elect were gathered out of the world, there would be an end of all 
things ; all would be in confusion presently. 

(2.) And so for the civil tvorld, all states are for the church. The com- 
monwealth is for the church. Therefore St Paul bids us ' pray for kings 
and princes,' &c. Why ? That under them we may live a godly and 
peaceable life,' 1 Tim. ii. 2. If it were not for the gathering of the church, 
God would take little care for commonwealths. They stand because the 
church is mingled with them. Take church from the commonwealth, and 
what is it but a company of men that make the world their god ? King- 
doms and commonwealths are but hospitals and harbours for the church. 
Though they despise the church, and account of it as Christ was accounted, 
H stranger that they will not acknowledge, yet notwithstandmg, those few 
despised ones are the substance of the kingdom. God intends the church 
as the considerable part of the world, though men think not so. The rest 
that are not the church, they are for the church. As we say of a field of 
wheat, the ploughing, the rain, the stalk, the ear, the husk, all is for the 
wheat ; so the standing of the world, the government of it, the parts and 
gifts of men, all are for the church, to do good to it. Were it not for the 
service they owe to the church, they should not continue. 

(3.) And in the church all that ever is good is for the elect's sake. As 
we stand under Christ in great terms, ambassadors, &c., so we stand to the 
church as servants. ' We preach ourselves servants for Christ's sake,' 
2 Cor. iv. 5. ' Let a man esteem of us as of the ministers of Christ,' 1 Cor. 
iv. 1. No greater nor no less, but as the ministers of Christ. Persons and 
ministry, calling and gifts, all are for the church, as it is Eph. iv. 11, seq., at 
large ; when he ascended up on high, he ' gave some to be apostles, some 
pastors,' &c., all for the good of the church. ' I suffer all for the elect's 
sake,' saith St Paul, 2 Tim. ii. 10. Therefore it forceth very well ; we 
should not glory in the ministers, nor in any creature. They are for us. 
But if a man will glory, let him glory in him who hath made all things his, 
that is, in Christ. 

(4.) Further, the world is ours, take it in the worst sense ; the world of 
wicked men, all their plots, and the ' prince of the world ' are the church's. 



A chbistian's charter. 9 

How is this ? He and all his instruments are under the command of him 
that turns all his designs contrary to his own intention. This is a hell to 
Satan, and one of the chief torments that he hath ; that as his maUce is 
above his power, so God overpowers him in his power. God overshoots 
him in his own bow. Whatever he designs against the head Christ, and 
against his members the church, it is overturned for the good of the church. 
In the apostles' times some were ' given over to Satan, that they might 
learn not to blaspheme,' 1 Tim. i. 20. It is a strange thing that Satan 
should teach not to blaspheme, who is the author of blasphemy ; yet by 
consequence, he afflicting their bodies, thereupon they came to be wise, and 
learned to be moderate and sober, and to be Christianly minded, and not to 
blaspheme. So the prince of the world is om's in this by an over-commanding 
power, that turns all to good against his intentions. For there is but one 
grand monarch in the world ; every kingdom is under a higher kingdom. 
There is but one to whom all are subject. There is one grand wheel that 
turns all the others. And therefore Satan himself is serviceable to God's 
end, whether he will or no. 

And then. for the world of wicked men, all their designs, though for the 
present they seem to be against the church, yet they are serviceable to the 
church. For wicked men are but the launderers of the church, to wash 
the church, to purge it, to do base services that God intends for the refin- 
ing of the church. And all their hatred is for the good of the church. 
For God suffers the world to hate his children, that his children might not 
love the world, because it would be a dangerous love. The church is a 
strange corporation ; it is such a corporation as hath greatest benefit by 
enemies. The enemies of the church are the promoters of the greatest 
good of the church. The very world is the church's, take it in the worst 
sense, for the ' wicked world that lies in mischief.' But I will not dwell 
upon that. To go on. 

As all things in general, so life especially is the church's. Why doth 
God prolong the life of good pastors and good people, but that they may 
be blessed instruments to convey truth to posterity ? As St Paul saith, 
Phil, i, 23, 24, ' It is for your sake that I am not with Christ. It were 
best for me to be dissolved, and to be with Christ,' a great deal ; but for 
your sake, for your good, I must remain still. So, for the life of pastors 
and good Christians, by communion with whom we have benefit. For 
their particular it were best for them to be in heaven, to be gathered to the 
triumphant church, to their friends, to Christ, to the saints, the souls of 
just men made perfect, there is no question of it ; but for the church's sake 
they are made to want their glory for a time. Paul was content to be 
without the joys of heaven for a while, to want his crown of glory, to live 
in the church, to do good. So the life of other able w^orthy men it is for 
the church, and it is the calamity of the church when God takes them away. 

And so the Hfe of good magistrates, it is for the benefit of the church. 
It were better for them to be in heaven. But as it is said of David, Acts 
xiii. 86, ' He served God in his own generation.' So every magistrate hath 
his generation, time, allotted, a generation to stand up in the church and 
state, and to serve God in, and then God takes him away. 

And then om- own hfe is ours, while we Hve in order to a better life (for 
all must be understood in order to happiness), which is the only life. This 
present life is nothing but a shadow, yet we have a world of advantage in 
this Hfe, to get assurance of a better. This life, indeed, is but a little spot 
of time between two eternities, before and after, but it is of great conse- 



10 



A CHKISTIAN S POETION ; OB, 



quence, and it is given us to get a better life in, that glory may be begun in 
grace, and that we may have a further and ' further entrance into the 
kingdom of heaven here,' as Peter saith, 2 Peter i. 11, 

Again, life is ours, because the time we live here is a seed time. This 
life is given us to do a great many of good things in, the crop and harvest 
of which is reserved for the world to come ; and when we have done the 
work that God hath given us to do, we are gathered to our fathers. 

And life is a special benefit, because by the advantage of life we further 
our reckonings after death. A good Christian, the longer he Hves, the 
larger good accounts he hath, the more he soweth to the Spirit. It is 
therefore a blessed thing for a godly man to live long, for a good man to 
be an old man. All his sins are wiped away ; they shall never be laid to 
his charge. He may say, he hath lived long, and sinned a long time, yet 
his sins are forgiven, and all his good deeds shall be upon the file,* and be 
set on the score, even to ' a cup of cold water,' Mat. x. 42, and he shall 
be rewarded. There is not a sigh, not a tear but it is registered. The 
longer a man liveth, if he should live Methuselah his days, the richer he 
should be in good works ; and the richer he is in good works, the more he 
shall have his part and share in glory after. The longer he lives, the 
happier the times are in which he lives ; for a good man makes the times 
happy, and it is happier for himself. The more rich he is in good works, 
the more rich he shall be in glory after, the heavier his crown, and his 
reward shall be in heaven. The richer shall be his harvest, the larger his 
seed-time hath been. 

Use. These things being so, we should bless God, and he very thankful that 
he yields to us this life ; for besides an advantage of doing good, it is a pre- 
parative to a better. This life is, as it were, the seminary f of heaven. 
Heaven indeed is the true paradise of all the plants of God, but they must 
have a seminary to be planted in first ; and therefore the church is called 
the kingdom of heaven, because we are first planted here. Therefore we 
should bless God for this life, and not wish ourselves dead out of murmur- 
ing, but in subjection yield ourselves when God will. Oh, this life is a 
blessed time. It is our seed time. The longer we live the more oppor- 
tunity we have to do good, to grow in grace, and to do good to others, and 
to enlarge our own accounts and reckonings to the end. The next thing 
to speak of is death. 

' Or death.' 

He doth well to join these two together, for if life be not ours for good, 
death will never be ours. He that doth not make a good use of life, never 
hath death to be his comfort ; but instead of an entrance into heaven, it 
shall be a trap-door to hell. But if life be ours, and we have made a blessed 
improvement of it, then death also shall be ours. And ' blessed are they 
that die in the Lord,' Rev. xiv. 13. 

It is a strange thing that death should be ours, that is a destroying 
hostile thing to nature ; the king of fear as the Scripture calls it. Job xviii. 14 ; 
and that terrible of all tei-ribles, as the philosopher saith, ( e) ' the last enemy,' 
as Paul saith, 1 Cor. xv. 26, Death is ours many ways. It is a piece of 
our jointure, for these words contain the jointure of the church. The 
church is Christ's spouse, ' All things are Christ's,' and therefore all things 
are the spouse's ; and among other particular gifts given to the church, 
death is one. 

But this death in the gospel is turned to another thing. It is a harmless 
* Cf. Note b, Vol. I., page 289,— G, t That is, ' seed-plot.'— G. 



A CHKISTIAN's CHAIiTER. 11 

death. The sting is pulled out. It hath lost all his venom in Christ. 
That which is malignant and hurtful in death is taken away. What is 
the poison and sting of death ? It is sin. Now that is forgiven in Christ. 
But that is not enough for God's bounty, that death should not hurt us. 
No ; it is ours, it tends to our benefit many ways. 

First, It unclothes us of these rags, these sick, weak, and untoward 
bodies of ours, that occasion so much disquiet to our souls ; these mud 
walls. It takes down the tabernacle, it puts off our old rags, and puts on 
a new robe of immortality, and garments of glory. It ends all that is ill. 
All is determined in death. It is the last evil. It puts an end to all our 
labours, to all our troubles, and sorrows. Then the cursed labour of all 
our sins (that are the cause of sorrow) shall have an end. ' Blessed are 
they that die in the Lord, they rest from their labours,' Rev. xiv. 13. 
There is no rest till we be dead. Death is the accomplishment of our 
mortification. 

And there is an end of the labour and toil in our callings, and the miseries 
and afiiictions that accompany them. It frees us from all labours whatso- 
ever. For death is a sleep, and all labours end in sleep. And as after 
sleep the spirits are refreshed ; so after death we are more refreshed than 
we can conceive now. Death is ours because it is our resting-place. After 
oar bodies are weary and worn out in toiling, then comes death, and then 
we rest in our graves. 

It frees us from wicked men, and sets us clear out of Satan's reach. 
This world is the kingdom of Satan, but when we are gone hence, he hath 
nothing to do with us. Sin brought in death, and now death puts an end 
to sin ; we shall be no more annoyed with Satan or his temptations, which 
is a great privilege. 

And then death is a passage to another world. It is the gate of glory 
and everlasting happiness. It is the beginning of all that is good, that is 
everlastingly and eternally good. Our death is our birthday. Indeed, 
death is the death of itself; death is the death of death (/). For when we 
die, we begin to live, and we never live indeed till we die. For what is 
this life ? Alas ! it is a dying. Every day we live, a part of our life is 
taken away. "We die every day, 1 Cor. xv. 31. The more we have lived, 
the less of our life we have to live. 

The Hfe in heaven begins at death. Death is the birthday of that hfe 
of immortality, and that is the life which can only truly be called life. 
When Christ came by dying to purchase hfe, it was not this sorry life on 
earth, but the life in the world to come, that life of immortal glory ; and 
death's day is the birthday of this life. And for our bodies, they are but 
refined by death, and fitted, as vessels cast into the fire, to be moulded, to 
be most glorious vessels after. 

Death is ours every way. It is our greatest friend under the mask of an 
enemy. So that, whatsoever Satan may suggest to the contrary,^ death is 
ours ; our friend that was our enemy ; a good thing that was an ill. Our 
fancy in a temptation may make us apprehend those things that are 
useful and good to be terrible and ill, and those things that are truly dan- 
gerous to us as if they were the only good. Satan abuseth our imagina- 
tion, by amplifying the good of evil, and the evil of good. But, indeed, 
death, and all that makes way unto it, sickness, and misery, they are ours ; 
they do us good, they fit us for heaven. Sickness, it fits us for death ; it 
unlooseth the soul from the body. As for the profits, and pleasures, and 
honours of the world, what do they ? They nail us fixster to the world, 



12 A christian's poetion ; or, 

and do us hurt. Therefore, death is ours. It is a good messenger ; it 
brings good tidings when it comes. Hereupon it is that the wise man 
saith, * The day of death is better than the day of birth,' Eccles. vii. 1. 
When we are born, we come into misery ; when we die, we go out of 
misery to happiness. It is better to go out of misery than to come into it. 
If the day of death be better than the day of birth to a Christian, certainly 
then death is theirs. It makes a short end of all that is miserable, and it 
is a terminus from whence all good begins. There is nothing in the world 
that doth us so much good as death. It ends all that is ill both of body 
and soul, and it begins that happiness that never shall have an end. 
Therefore, * blessed are they that die in the Lord, saith the Spirit,' Eev. 
xiv. 13, ' A voice from heaven ' saith so, and therefore, ' Write,' saith he. It 
may be written if the Spirit saith it : it is testimony and argument enough. 
* Blessed are those that die in the Lord : they rest from their labours ; and 
their reward follows them.' For they rest from all that is evil, and from 
that only. All that is good, ' their works follow them.' So that if all evil 
cease, and all good follows, I hope death may well be said to be ours, and 
for om' good. 

Use. If death be ours, and all that makes way to death, sickness, &c., the 
curse of them being taken away, and in the room a blessing hid in them, 
then why should we startle and be affrighted too much at the message of 
death, as if it were such a terrible thing ? Why should we be afraid of 
that that is a part of our portion ? Why should we be afraid of that which 
is friendly to us and doth us so much good? What, to be a Christian that 
lives in the household and family of faith, and to want faith so far as not to 
believe the glorious estate after death, or that it is not his, or that death 
lets^him not into it ! 

Nature will be nature, and death is a dissolution, and so the enemy of 
nature, the last enemy. Therefore nature cannot but in some measure be 
affrighted with death ; but then grace and the Spirit of God in his children 
should be above nature, and cause them to look beyond death to that happy 
condition which death puts them in possession of. Death is like Jordan. 
We go through the waters and waves of it to Canaan, the land of promise 
and happiness. Faith would let us see this ; and so grace would subdue 
nature, though nature will have a bout* with the best, death being the 
terrible of terribles, and the king of fear, as I said before. Therefore I 
speak not this that we should be senseless, but that we may see how far 
the meditation of these things, of this blessed prerogative, and this one part 
of our charter, should strengthen us. 

I beseech you, therefore, let us lay up this against those dark times 
wherein death will be presented unto us an ugly and grim thing. It is so 
to nature indeed, but to faith, death is become amiable. t Indeed, as I 
said, there is nothing in the world that doth us so much good as death, for 
it is the best physician. It cures all diseases whatsoever of soul and body. 
And indeed — for to shut up this point — death is the death and destruction 
of itself ; for after death there is no more death. It consumes itself. By 
death we overcome death. ' We can never die more,' Rom. vi. 9. We 
are freed from all death. Therefore, to be afraid of death, is to be afraid 
of life, to be afraid of victory ; for we never overcome death till we die. 
Lay up these considerations against the time of need. When death comes, 
there will be a confluence of a world of grief, when conscience, being guilty 

* That is, ' one turn,' ' one trial.' — G. f That is, ' lovely.' Cf. Ps. Ixxxiv. 1.— G. 



A christian's chaktee. 13 

of sin, shall be arraigned before God ; when tbere will be sickness, and 
diseases of body, and a deprivation of all the comforts and employments of 
the world. They will all meet in a centre, in a point, at death ; but a man 
had need to gather the greater comfort against that hour ; and what shall 
comfort us then ? There is a sweet comfort in Rom. viii. 88, 39, that 
neither life, nor death, nor things present, nor things to come, shall be able 
to separate us from the love of God in Christ. It is a sweet comfort, that 
nothing shall separate us; but this is a greater comfort, that death is ours. 
It shall not only not separate us from God and from happiness, but it shall 
bring us to nearer communion with God and Christ, for it is a separation 
that causeth a nearer conjunction ; the separation of soul and body causeth 
the conjunction of the soul to Christ for the present, and afterwards an 
eternal conjunction of soul and body in this blessed fruition of him. Now, 
blessed be God for Jesus Christ, that hath made in him even death, the 
bitterest thing of all, to be sweet unto us. 
* Or things present.' 

Whatsoever is present, good or ill. The good things present are ours, 
for our comfort in our pilgrimage and passage towards heaven. God is so 
good unto his children, as that he doth not only reserve for them happiness 
in another world, but the very gallery and passage to heaven by the way 
is comfortable. Things present are theirs. They may enjoy them with 
comfort; they have a liberty to all things, for refreshings, &c. 'All things 
are pure to the pure,' Titus i. 15. 'Every creature of God is good, so it 
be received with thanksgiving and prayer,' 1 Tim. iv. 4. We have a liberty 
to use them, but it must be with prayer and thanksgiving. Though a man 
hath a liberty and right to any thing, yet there must be a suing it out, 
there must be some passage in law to put him in possession. So, though 
we have a freedom to ' present things,' there must be somewhat to make 
a sanctified use of them. We must go to God by grace to use them well ; 
all must be sanctified by prayer and thanksgiving. 

And as good things, so ill things present are ours. Afllictions are ours, 
because they fit us for a happier state ; they exei'cise what is good in us, 
and mortify what is ill. They are sanctified to subdue that which is ill, 
and to increase that which is good, and to make us more capable of glory. 
Who is so capable of glory as he that hath been afllicted in this world ? 
To whom is heaven heaven indeed but to the man that hath led an afiiict- 
ing life, a conflicting course with the world and his own corruptions ? 
Heaven is a place of happiness indeed to him. Therefore, evil things are 
ours, because they sweeten happiness to come, and make us more capable 
and more desirous of it. So both good and evil things present are ours. 
" God governing the world, and all things coming from him as a father, 
nothing shall come to us for the present but what he means to guide for 
our good. 

Use. Therefore tve sJiould take them thankfully at God's hands. ' In all 
things be thankful,' 1 Thes. v. 18. ' In all things rejoice,' Phil. iv. 4. 
Because evil, though it be grevious for the time, yet it hath 'the quiet fruit 
of righteousness,' Heb. xii. 11. It quiets the soul after in that good we 
have by it. There are divers good things that we never have but by evil. 
There was never man yet could say he had patience but by sufiering. So 
* things present, whether they are good or ill, they are ours, to help us in 
the state of grace, and to fit us for the state of glory. But^ the most diffi- 
culty is in 

' Things to come.' 



14 A christian's portion ; or, 

For what assurance have we of things to come ? Yet ' things to come 
are ours,' whether they be good or evil. 

For good. The remainder of our life, that is ours to do good in. Death 
is to come, and that is ours. And judgment, that is ours ; for our Brother, 
our Head, our Saviour, and our Husband, he shall be our judge, 1 Cor. 
vi. 2 ; and at the day of judgment, ' we shall judge the world.' And then 
after judgment heaven is ours ; immortality and eternity is ours ; com- 
munion with the blessed company in heaven is ours. ' All is ours ' then. 

Indeed, the best is to come ; for if we had nothing but what we have in 
this world, ' we were of all men most miserable,' 1 Cor. xv. 19. Alas ! 
what have we, if things present only are ours ? But the best is behind. 
That for which Christ came into the world is behind. That which he en- 
joys in heaven is ours. He will take his spouse where himself is, into his 
own house, and he will finish the marriage, which is begun in contract, and 
then ' we shall be for ever with the Lord,' 1 Thes. iv. 17. ' The things to 
come ' are the main things, that which our faith lays hold on. That which 
we raise ourselves and comfort ourselves by, are especially the things to 
come, especially the promises of happiness and glory, and exemption and 
freedom from all ill. Whatsoever is to come is ours, and ours for eternity. 
Indeed, here I am swallowed up ; I cannot unfold to you what is ours in 
that sense. For ' if neither eye hath seen, nor ear hath heard, nor hath 
entered into the heart of man to conceive, what God hath prepared for his 
children in this world,' 1 Cor. ii. 9, that peace of conscience and joy in 
the Holy Ghost, how can we conceive here of that glory that is to come ? 
Indeed, it is to be in heaven to conceive of it. It is a part of heaven to 
know them ; and therefore the full knowledge of them it is deferred for 
that time till we come there. 

And evil things to come are ours also. They cannot do us harm, they 
cannot ' separate us from Christ,' Rom. viii. 35. Nothing for the time to 
come shall be prejudicial, to unloose that blessed union that is between our 
soul and Christ ; as St Paul, Rom. viii., in that heavenly discourse of his, 
towards the latter end of the chapter, Rom. viii. 38, 39, saith triumphantly 
and divinely, ' Nothing shall separate us from Christ ; neither life, nor 
death, nor things present, nor things to come.' We have the word of God 
for it, ' that nothing to come shall hinder us.' Whatsoever is to come, be 
it never so ill, it shall further us, as the apostle saith in the same chapter : 
Rom. viii. 28, ' All things shall work together for the best to them that 
love God.' Therefore, if nothing to come can hinder us, and all things 
that are to come shall further us, then all things to come must be ours. 
In 1 Pet. i. 5, ' We are kept by the power of God, through faith, to sal- 
vation.' Salvation is laid up for us, and we are kept through faith, by the 
power of God, to salvation. Therefore all things to come are ours. 

It is a great comfort that nothing shall separate us ; no, not death itself. 
But this text affords an exuberancy of comfort above that, that death is 
ours ; and in being so, it shall not only not separate us from Christ, though 
it separate soul and body, but join us to him. 

I beseech you, take it as a notion that may help against the terror of 
that doleful separation of soul and body. It parts two old friends, but it 
joins better friends together, the soul and Christ. 

Farther, all things to come are ours ; even all things in the largest sense, 
the bitterest of all things. 

The very judgment of the wicked, and the eternal sentencing of them, is 
the church's. Why ? It adds a lustre to God's mercy in advancing his 



A christian's charter. 15 

own, as it is Kom. ix. 23. God magnifies his mercy to ' the vessels of 
mercy,' by punishing a company of reprobates, in whom he hath no dehght, 
by reason of their sins. His mercy appears much by that, even by the 
eternal sentence and punishment of wicked men. So all serves to set out 
the glory and excellency of God's people. 

Use. The use that the apostle mainly intends is, that a Christian is as 
sure of the time to come as of the time past or present. We are sure of 
what we have had, and what we have ; but a Christian is in so firm a con- 
dition and state that he may be sure of what is to come : because God and 
Christ are not only ' Alpha, but Omega ' also ; Christ is not only he ' was, 
and is,' but ' is to come,' Kev. i. 8. He is ' Jehovah, the same for ever,' 
Heb. xiii. 8. And therefore, as things past could not hinder us from being 
elected and called ; and things present cannot hurt, but they are ours : so 
are things to come ; because God, and Christ, who is the mediator under 
God, hath the command of all things to come. And therefore we may be 
as sure of things to come as of things present. WTiat a comfort is this to 
a Christian, when he is casting what should become of him, if times of 
trouble and public calamity should come ! Presently he satisfieth himself 
with this, come what will come, all shall be for the best, ' all things to come 
are ours,' even all things whatsoever. 

* All things are yours.' 

But yet we must understand this with some limits. We therefore un- 
loose some knots, and answer some cases. 

Case 1. First, it may seem there is no distinction ofprojmetij,^- if all be a 
Christian's. 

Obj. And if every Christian may say, ' All is mine,' then what is one 
man's is another's, and there will be no propriety. 

Ans. I answer, undoubtedly there is a distinction of properties in the 
things of this life. ' All is ours,' but it is in another sense. * All is ours,' 
to help us to heaven ; ' all is ours ' in an order to comfort and happiness ; 
but for propriety, so all things are not ours. For you know the distinction : 
some things are common jure naturcc, by the law of nature, as the sun and 
air, and many such like things ; and some jure rfeniimn, by the law of 
nations. It is but some things are thus common. But then there are some 
that by particular municipal laws are proper. 

The distinction is established both by the law of God and the law of man.f 
Therefore, not to stand long in answering this question, the Scripture stab- 
lisheth the distinction of master and servant ; and therefore it establisheth 
distinction of goods. The Scripture establisheth bounty and alms. If 
there be not a distinction of property, where were alms ? Solomon saith, 
' The rich and the poor meet together : God is the maker of both,' Prov. 
xxii. 2. He means, not as men only, but as poor and rich. 

If riches be of God, then distinction of properties is of God ; for what is 
riches but a distinction of properties ? If God make poor and rich, then 
there must be poor and rich. The poor you have always with you,' Mat. 
xxvi. 11. Therefore the meaning is, ' All is yours ;' that is, all that we 
possess, and all that we need to help us, is ours in that order and carriage 
of things that may help us to heaven. And so the want of things is ours, 
as well as the having of them. The very things which a Christian wants 
are his ; not only the grace of contentment to want, but when God takes 
away those things that are hurtful for him, that may hinder him in his 

* That is, ' property.' — G. 

t In margin lierOj ' Eead Judges xi. from ver, 12 to 20.' — G. 



10 A christian's portion; or, 

course to heaven, that is his. It is a part of this portion, not to hare 
things, if God see it good. The want of things is a part of this ' alL' 

Ohj. That which is so commonly alleged to the contrary, in Acts ii. 44, 
' All things were common,' will easily receive answer. 

Ans. 1. For, ^/irst, it uris parthj upon necessity. If all things then had not 
been common, they had all been taken from them. 

2. And then, secondly, it ivas arbitrary also* ' Was it not thine own ?' 
saith Peter, Acts v. 4. Thou mightst not have parted with it, if thou 
wouldst. It was arbitrary,* though it was common. 

3. And then, thirdly, all things irere not common (g). Some good men 
kept their houses. Mary had her house, Acts xii. 12. 

4. And then, fourthly, all things were common, but how ? To distribute 
as they needed ; not to catch who would and who can. But they were 
so common as they had a care to distribute to every one that which they 
needed. 

Case 2. Ohj. Another case is this ; all is the church's, all is good 
people's, and therefore if a man be naught, f nothing is his. There is a 
great point of popery gi'ounded upon this mistake. For therefore say the 
Jesuited papists, the pope may excommunicate ill princes, in order to spiri- 
tual things, in ordine ad spiritualia. He is the lord and monarch of all. 
They are evil governors ; nothing is theirs, all is the church's. 

Ans. But we must know that political government is not founded upon 
religion ; that if a prince be not religious, he is no king ; but it is founded 
upon nature and free election, so that the heathen that have no religion, 
yet they may have a lawful government and governors, because it is not so 
built upon religion ; but where that is not, yet this may be, and God's 
appointment to uphold the world. So that, let the king be anything or 
nothing for religion, he is a lawful king. 

Ohj. But it is further objected, that they succeed Christ, &c., and he was 
the Lord of the world, and they are the vicars of Christ ; and therefore 
they may dispossess and invest whom they will. 

Ans. But you must know, Christ as man had no government at all : but 
Christ as God-man, mediator ; and so he hath no successor. That is in- 
communicable to the creature. Christ as man had no kingdom at all, for 
he saith, ' My kingdom is not of this world,' John xviii. 36. And St Aus- 
tin saith well, ' Surely he was no king, that feared he should be a king' (Ji). 
For when they came to make him king, ' he withdrew himself and went 
away,' John vi. 15. And now Christ governs all things in the church. 
How ? As God, as mediator, as God-man ; not as man, but as God-man ; 
and so he hath no substitute. They are all vain, impudent allegations, as 
if all were theirs, because all is the church's to dispose ; and the pope takes 
himself virtually to be the whole church. 

* All things are ours.' 

Case 3. Doth not this hinder bounty ? It is mine, and therefore I do 
not owe any bounty unto others ; as Nabal said, ' Shall I give my bread, 
and my water, and refreshing,' &c., 1 Sam. xxv. 11. He was too much 
upon the pronoun ' mine.' 

Ans. However all that we possess is ours in law, yet in mercy many 
times it is the poor's, and not ours. The bonds of dut}', both of humanity 
and religion, are larger than the bonds of law. Put case, in law thou art 
not bound to do so, yet in humanity, much more in Christianity, thou art. 
That that thou hast is the church's, and the poor's, and not thine. It will 
* That is, ' uncontrolled ' = of choice. — G. t That is, ' naughty ' == wicked. — G. 



A christian's charter. 17 

be no plea at the day of judgment to say, it was mine own. Tliou mayest 
go to hell for all that, if thou relieve not Christ in his members. There- 
fore ' all things are oui's ' now, not to possess all we have, but to use them 
as he will have them used, that gives them. And when Christ calls for 
anythmg that is ours, we must give it. And though we be not Kable to 
human laws, if we do not, yet we are hable to God's law ; and alms and 
works of mercy, IS justice in God's account; for we ought to be merciful 
to Christ s. And m the royal law, the works of love and mercy are jus- 
tice, and we withhold good from the owners, if we be not merciful. For 
m religion, the poor, that by God's providence are cast on us to be provided 
tor, have a right, and that which we detain from them is theirs And 
therefore, as St Ambrose saith very well, ' If thou hast not nourished one, 
howsoever m the law thou art not a murderer, yet before God thou art' (i). 
It IS a breach of that law, ' Thou shall not steal,' not to reheve. The very 
denial of comfortable alms is stealth in God's esteem ; and therefore, though 
all be ours,'_ yet it is so ours, as that we must be ready to part with it 
when Christ m his members calls for it ; for then it is not ours. 

Cas\4:. Again, here is another question; if all be ours, we may use a 
hberty m all things, what, and how we list, because all is ours. 

A}is. I answer: The following are good consectaries hence. 'All is 
ours ; and therefore with thankfulness we mav use any good creature of 
God. ' All IS ours ; ' and therefore we should not be scrupulous in the 
creatures, we should not superstitiously single out one creature from an- 
other, as if one were holier than another. 'All is ours;' and therefore 
with a good conscience we may use God's bounty. But hereupon we must 
not take upon us to use things as we list, because ' all is ours.' There is 
diiierence between right, and the use of that right. God's children have 
right to that which God gives them, but they have not the use of that right 
at all times, at least it may be suspended. As for example, in case the 
laws forbid the use of this or that, for the public good of the nation. Also 
in case of scandal. A man hath right to eat, or not to eat ; but if this eat- 
ing oltend his brother,' he must suspend the use of his ri,.^ht ' Whatso- 
ever IS sold in the shambles, that eat,' saith St Paul, ' asking no question,' 
1 Cor X. 2o ; that is, freely take all the creatures of God, without scruple. 
J^or the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof,' Ps. xxiv 1 God 
out of his bounty ,_ spreads a table for all creatures, for men especiallv! 
Ihe eyes of all things look up unto thee, and thou givest them meat in 
due season Ps. cxlv. 15, 16. ' The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness 
thereof. Make no scruple therefore. But mark, in verse 28, he restrains 
tlie use of that hberty upon the same text of Scripture : ' But if any man 
say. This is offered to an idol,' and take offence, ' eat not, for his sake that 
shewed It, and for conscience sake ; ' till he be better satisfied. « For the 
earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof.' 
Quest. Can the same reason be for contraries ? 

u ,1'"' ^.f \ ^^^* '^' ^^"^ *^^'''^^f' '^^^" ^^ou art alone, take all thincrg 
boldly. God envies not thy hberty. Take any refreshment, yet neede'st 
thou not to eat ' to offend thy brother;' God haidng given thee variety of 
creatures, even m abundance, and hath not limited thee to this or that 
creature ; so that the same reason answereth both. ' The earth is the 
Lord's and the fulness thereof.' Use it then alone, and not to the scandal 
)f thy brother. 'For the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof.' 
Why shouldst thou use this creatm-e, as if there were no more but this '> 

VOL.. IV. 



18 A cheistian's portion ; or, 

And therefore in case of scandal and offence, we should suspend our liberty, 
though all be ours. 

Again, though all be ours, yet notwithstanding we have not a sanctified 
use, but by the word and prayer. 'Every creature of God is good, if it 
be received with prayer and thanksgiving,' 1 Tim. iv. 4. His meaning is, 
though we have a right to all things to our comfort, to help us to heaven, 
to cheer us in our way, to be as it were chariots to carry us ; yet in the use 
of that right, wc must do it in faith, that we may apprehend our right, that 
we do not use them with a scrupulous conscience, and sanctify them by 
prayer. We must take them with God's leave. A father gives all to his 
son that he needs, and promiseth his son that he shall want nothing ; but 
he will have his son seek to him, and acknowledge him. You shall have 
all, but I will hear from you first ; you shall have all, but I will reach it 
to you from my hand. So God deals with his children. They have a 
right to all, but he reacheth it to them in the use of means. We must 
have a civil right by labour, or by contract, &c,, and then we must have a 
religious right by prayer. We must not pull God's blessings out of his 
hands. For though he give us a right in the thing, yet, in the use of that 
right, he will have us holy men. 

Case 5. If you ask, What is the reason that good men oft fall to decay, 
and have a great many crosses in the world ? 

Why surely (not to enter into God's mysteries), when they have God's 
blessings they sanctify them not with prayer ; they venture upon their 
right with scandal and offence to others. 

Case 6. Again, * all things are ours.' Therefore truth, wheresoever we 
find it, is ours. We may read [aj heathen author. Truth comes from God, 
whei'esoever we find it, and it is ours, it is the church's. We may take it 
from them as a just possession. Those truths that they have, there may 
be good use of those truths ; but we must not use them for ostentation. 
For that is to do as the Israelites ; when they had gotten treasure out of 
Egypt, they made a calf, an idol of them. So we must not make an idol 
of these things. But truth, wheresoever we find it, is the church's. There- 
fore with a good conscience we may make use of any human author. I 
thought good to touch this, because some make a scruple of it. 

' All things are ours.' 

Use 1. Now to make some use of this point, * all things are ours.' We 
see then that a Christian is a great man, a rich man indeed ; and only he is 
great and rich. It is but imagination and opinion that makes any worldly 
man great. Can we say that aU is his ? No. A spot of earth is his, and 
not his neither ; for it is his but to use for a time. He shall be tul-ned 
naked into the grave ere long, and then he shall be stripped of all. But a 
Christian is a great man ; though he be as poor as Lazarus, ' all is his.' 

Ohj. But you will say these are great words, ' all is his.' Perhaps he 
hath not a penny in his purse. 

Am. It is no great matter. God carries the purse for him ; he is in his 
non-age, and not fit for possession. He hath much in promises ; he is rich 
in bills and evidences. Again, let a Christian be never so poor, others are 
rich for him. Solomon saith there are some kind of oppressing rich men, 
' that gather for those that will be good to the poor,' Prov. xxviii. 8. God 
hath given gifts to wicked men for the good of the church. They them- 
selves are not the better for them. They want love and humility to make 
use of them. But all things are ours, as well what we want as what we 
have. For it is good for us that we should want them. A man hath riches 



A CHRISTIAN S CHARTER. 10 

when he hath a spirit to want riches. Is not he richer that hath a heart 
subdued by grace to be content to want, than he that hath riches in the 
world ? For outward things make not a man a whit the better. But he 
that hath the Spirit of God to support him, that he can submit to God, he 
is truly rich. It is the mind of a man that makes him rich, and not his 
purse. Now there is no child of God, but he is master of all things. 
Though he be poor, he is master of riches, because he can want them, and 
be without them. Grace teacheth him to want and to abound, as St Paul 
saith of himself, ' through Christ that strengtheneth him,' Phil. iv. 13. He 
hath grace to master poverty and whatsoever is ill, and to be content to be 
what God will have him to be. In want he hath contentment, and in 
suffering patience. I appeal to the conscience of any man that hath a con- 
science, is it not better to want temporal things, when we have supply in 
grace, in faith, &c., than to have great possessions as snares, for so they 
are to a carnal heart ? Is not a Christian better in his wants, than another in 
his possessions. Vfho would be as many great ones are and have been alway, 
though they be invested into much greatness, both of authority and riches ? 
Who would not rather choose the state of a Christian ? Though he 
be poor, yet he hath grace. [Who would choosej rather to be great 
without grace and to be left of God to their corruptions, to abuse that 
greatness and riches to their own destruction, and the destruction of many 
others ? 

Therefore a Christian is a happy man, a great man, take him as you will ; 
greater than the greatest man in the world without grace ; for what he hath, 
he hath with a curse, as God gave Israel a king in his rage, Hoseaxiii. 11. 
You know what Moses saith. Dent, xxviii. 17, ' Cursed shalt thou be in thy 
blessings.' A man may have a great many things, and be cursed in them. 
He doth not say he will curse them in the want of riches, that they should 
be poor, but he will curse them in their good things ; they should have the 
vengeance of God with them. A Christian may want these things, but he 
hath the grace of God to want them, and he hath comfort here and assur- 
ance of better hereafter. Therefore all things are his, even the worst, 
because all things have a command to do him good. All things have a 
prohibition that they do him no harm. As David said of Absalom, 
' Do the young man no harm,' 2 Sam. xviii. 5, so God gives all things a 
prohibition that they do his children no harm, nay, they have a command 
on the contrary to do them good. If they do them not good in one order, 
they do it in another ; if they do it not in their outward man, they do it in 
their inward ; and God's children by experience find him drawing them 
nearer to himself, both by having and wanting these things. So though 
they be not in possession theirs, yet in use, or, as we say, by way of reduc- 
tion. The worst things are God's children's. For God brings all things 
about to their good. And when God's children shall be on the shore here- 
after, and shall be past all and shall set their foot in heaven once, then they 
shall see by what a sweet providence God guided it, ' that all things 
wrought for their good,' Eom. viii. 28. 

Quest. But you will say this or that particular is not mine, nor possessed 
by any of the saints. 

Ans. All things are not ours by possession, but by some kind of use or 
other. We see and behold and meditate upon such things as are possessed 
by others, and exercise our thoughts profitably about God's providence in 
disposing these things as he pleaseth ; as also we hereby stir up within us the 
graces of patience, contentedness, and thankfulness for what we have. Thus 



20 A chkistian's portion ; ok, 

■what we possess not may be ours, and in a better and more profitable use 
of it to us than to them that possess it. 

A Christian therefore, I say again, is a great man, above other men. And 
this is the reason that carnal men, that have the spirit of the vorld in them, 
do so bitterly envy and malign them. Certainly, they secretly thinli, this 
man is greater than I am ; there is that in him that I have not. A Christian 
is above other men, and is able to judge them ; and knoweth what they are, 
even miserable in their greatest heights. ' The spiritual man is judged of 
none,' 1 Cor. ii. 15. Men judge him poor and Avretched, but it is false 
judgment, for he is ever truly rich and noble and happy. He fixeth a true 
judgment on them, but they cannot of him ; for he is in a rank of creatures 
above them. ' The saints shall judge the world,' 1 Cor. vi. 2. Thosev 
tliat are despised now shall judge others ere long ; they shall be assessorics 
in judging the world. No marvel wicked men secretly malign God's people. 
The wicked cannot but judge them better and happier than themselves. 
As the life of grace is a higher thing, in the nature of the thing, than the life 
of reason, so those that have a gracious spiritual life, they are in a rank 
of creatures above all other men in the world whatsoever. 

We see then what a great man a Christian is. He is master of what he 
hath, and of what he hath not. And is not this a wonderful prerogative 
that a Christian hath, that turn him to what condition you will, raise him 
or cast him down, kill him or spare his life, you cannot harm him ? If you 
spare his life, this life is his ; if you kill him, ' death is his.' Kill him, 
save him, enrich him, beggar him, his happiness is not at your com- 
mand. There is a commanding power to rule all things for the good of 
God's people. It is not at the devotion* of any creature in the world, 
either devils or men. God overturns and overpowers all, and all is and 
shall be theirs. 

The state of grace is higher than any earthly condition, therefore it can- 
not be tainted or blemished by earthly things. Nothing that sense suficrs 
hath power over reason, for it is above sense. If a man be sick he hath 
the use of reason ; if health, reason also manageth it. No inferior thing 
can manage a superior. Let a man's estate be what it will, grace will 
master it, because it is a condition above, a ruling commanding condition. 

Use 2. [l.J What a covifort is this in all troubles, that God tail sanctify all 
conditions to ns, and its to them. Who would be disconsolate in any condition 
•whatsoever ? Who would be disconsolate to live, when he knows that life 
is his ? If God had not good to do by his life, he would take him away. 
Who would grieve when death comes, when he knows that death is his ? 
So that a Christian may say, if poverty, if disgrace be good ; if the order of 
evil things will help me ; if cross winds will blow me to heaven, I shall have 
them. For the world and the miseries of the world, the persecutions and 
afflictions, ' all are ours.' The worst things are commanded to serve for 
our main good. Therefore let us comfort ourselves. We cannot be at 
loss in becoming religious and true Christians, for then * all things are ours.' 
He loseth nothing that, by losing anything, gainethall things. 

[2.] For grace: for seeing * all things are ours,' this should teach its to use 
all things to the honour of him that hath given us all things, not to he servants 
to anything, not to he subject to any creature, as St Paul saith of himself, ' I will 
not be in bondage to anything,' 1 Cor. vi. 12. Why? A Christian is master 
and lord over all. What a base thing is it for a man to be enthralled to such 
poor things ? As you have some in bondage to a weed.f Some are in bondage 

* That is, ' the option.'— G. f That is, 'tobacco' = smoking. — G. 



A CHPaSTLVIs's CHARTER. 21 

to ttis affection aud some to that, some to an idle custom. For a man to 
be as Rachel, * Give me my children, or I die,' Gen. xss. 1 ; I must have 
wealth, I must have pleasure, or else I cannot live ; as you know that 
wretched man Amnon, he pined away to have his will ; and so Ahab, who 
pined away himself because he had not that he would have — are these 
men masters ? No. They bring themselves in slavery and subjection to 
the creature. Can they say as Paul, ' All things are ours ; things pre- 
sent or to come' ? when they put themselves in subjection, and those 
blessed souls of tlieirs, they make slaves to their servants, to things worse 
than themselves, that they trample on. If all things be ours, let us bring 
ourselves in subjection to nothing ; but labour rather to have grace to sub- 
due and use all things to right ends. 

Use 3. Again, this should increase in 7ts the r/race of thankfulness. Hath God 
thus enriched us ? Hath he made all things ours to serve our turn (in 
such a way as he accounts service) ; that is, that whatsoever we have shall 
help us to heaven and hath a blessing in it ? Though it be sickness, or 
want, it is ours, and for our benefit. Lord, do what thou wilt, so thou 
bring me to heaven. If thou wilt have me poor, if it will do me good, let 
me be so ; if thou wilt have me abased, I am content, only sanctify it to 
bring me to heaven. How thankful should we be to God, that hath placed 
us in this rank, that he hath put all things under us, and made all things 
our servants ! It was at his liberty to have made us men or not, and 
when we were men, to make us Christians or not. But being made, ^>^e 
are made lords over all ; all things are put under our feet, being one with 
Christ, as Ps. viii. 6. In the thoughts hereof our hearts should rise up to 
the Lord thankfully, and say, as he doth there, ' Lord, how wonderful is 
thy name in all the world.' 

Use 4. And fourthly,* it should teach us, for matter of judgment, though 
it be a shame for us to be taught it, that there is a God and a wise God. 
There are a company, yea, a world of things in the world of different ranks 
and natures, as evil and good, &c., and yet you see how one thing is dis- 
posed for another. The sun shines upon the earth ; the earth is fruitful 
for the beasts ; the beasts serve man ; and we are Christ's, and Christ is 
God's. Where there are many things, and things t'aat understand not 
themselves, and yet there is subordination, there must needs be a wise God 
that made all things, and sets all in this frame and order. And as it shews 
there is a God, so that this God is one, because all tend to one. There 
are a world of things, but all are for man. There are a world of Chris- 
tians, but all are for Christ, and Christ is for God. ^Vhere there are 
variety of things, and all ordered to one, there must needs be one eternal, 
wise God. It helps and stablisheth our faith in that grand point, to knov/ 
that there is a wise, understanding, gracious, powerful God, that rules and 
marshals all the creatures, otherwise than themselves can do. If there be 
order in things that have no understanding, surely the ordering of them 
must come from an understanding. The work of nature, as we say, is a 
work of intelligence : as in bees, there is planted a wonderful instinct, aud 
in other things, but they understand it not themselves. Therefore the 
work of the creature, being a work of understanding, it must needs 
come from him that is a higher understanding, that orders these things. 
If all these things, good and evil, creatures, states, and conditions, serve 
God's children, and they are for God, then certainly there is a wise 
God that orders these things out of goodness to us. And we finding all 
* Misprinted ' thirdly.' — G. 



22 A chkistian's portion ; or., 

tilings ordered to us, should order ourselves to God. If there be a God 
that hath ordained variety of things, and of his goodness hath placed us in 
this rank of things, that all should be our servants, we ought to refer all 
our endeavours, what we are, and what we can do, to the glory of this God. 
And this indeed is the disposition of all those that can speak these words 
with any corufort, ' All things are ours, Paul, and ApoUos, magistrates, 
ministers, life, and death, things present or to come ; all are ours.' Those 
that can speak these words with comfort, are thus disposed ; finding all 
things theirs, they refer all to the glory of him who hath made all things 
serviceable to them. But to proceed. 

I come now to the next branch. 

* Ye are Cbrist's.' 

It pleaseth us well to hear that ' all things are ours.' Aye, but we must 
know further, that there is one above to whom we owe homage, and of whom 
we have and hold all that we have. ' Ye are Christ's.' This is the tenure 
we hold all things by, because ' we are Christ's.' Whatsoever the tenure 
in capite be amongst men (which you are better acquainted with than my- 
self*), I am sure it is the best tenure in religion, ' All is ours,' because 
' we are Christ's.' We hold all in that tenure. If we be not Christ's, 
nothing is ours comfortably. ' We are Christ's,' and therefore ' all is 
ours.' 

Quest. But what say you then of those that are not Christ's ? Are not 
the things theirs that they have, because they are not Christ's ; or have 
wicked men nothing that may be called theirs ? 

Ans. I answer, they have. And it is rigour in some that say otherwise, as 
that wicked men are usurpers of what thej^have. They have a title, both a 
civil title and a title before God. God gave Nebuchadnezzar Tyrus as a 
reward for his service; and God gives wicked men a title of that they have. 
And they shall never be called to account at the day of judgment for possessing 
of what they had, but for abusing that possession. And therefore properly 
they are not usurpers, in regard of possession ; but they shall render an 
account of the abuse of God's good bounty. 

It is in this as it is in the king's carriage to a traitor. When a king 
gives a traitor his life, he gives him meat and drink that may maintain his 
life, by the same right that he gives him his life. God will have wicked 
men to live so long, to do so much good to the church ; for all are not ex- 
tremely wicked that are not Christ's members, that go to hell. But there 
are many of excellent parts and endowments, that God hath appointed to 
do him great service. Though they have an evil eye, and intend not his 
service, but to raise themselves in the world, yet God intends their service 
for much purpose, and he gives them encouragement in the world, as he 
will not be behind with the worst men. If they do him service, they shall 
have their reward in that kind, Ps. Ixii. 12. If it be in policy of state, 
they shall have it in that ; and they shall have commendations and applause 
of men, if they look for that ; and if he give them not heaven, they cannot 
complain, for they care not for that ; they did it not with an eye for 
that. Now if God use the labour and the industry and the parts and endow- 
ments of wicked men for excellent purposes, he will give them their reward 
for outward things : ' Verily, you have your reward,' saith Christ, Mat. vi. 2j 

Obj. But the apostle saith, ' All things are yours,' because ' ye are 
Christ's ; ' as if those that have not Christ have nothing. 

Ans. It is true, howsoever, in some sense, men that are out of Christ, that 
* The auditory being at ' Gray's Inn.' — G. 



A christia:n's chakter. 23 

have not his Spirit, have title by virtue of a general providence to what 
they have ; yet they have not a title so good and so full as a godly man, as 
a Christian hath. They have not this tenure to hold all things in Christ. 
Therefore their tenure is not so good, nor so comfortable, in three respects. 

[1.] First, they have them not froin the love of God in Christ. They 
have it from God and Christ, as the governor and ruler of the world, and 
making all things serviceable to the church. Therefore he gives these gifts 
even to wicked men ; for the good of others, as the governor of the world ; 
but he bestows them on his children out of love. 

[2.] And then, secondly, they have them not from God, as a father in 
covenant. They have no title as children of God ; for so a Christian is the 
heir of the world. The first-born was to have a double portion. A true 
Christian hath a double portion. ' All things are his' here ; and heaven is 
his when he dies. ' Things present are his ' while he lives ; and ' things 
to come are his,' when he goes hence. 

[3.1 And then, thirdhj, in regard to the end, to rcicked men they do not 
further their salvation. They have them not from God with grace to use 
them well. But God's children, as they have them from his love, and from 
God as a Father in covenant, so it is for their good. AVicked men they 
have donuni Dei sine Deo, they have the gifts of God without God ; without 
the love and favour of God, as Bernard saith well (j). But God's 
children have the gifts of God with God too. Together with the gifts 
and good things from him, they have his favour, that is better than his 
gift. For all the good things we enjoy in this world, they are but conduits 
to convey his favour. God's love and mercy in Christ is conveyed in 
worldly things ; and the same love that moved God to us in heaven, and 
happiness in the world to come, it moves him to give us daily bread. There 
is no diflerence in the love, as the same love that moves a father to give 
his son his inheritance, moves him to give him breeding and necessaries in 
the time of his non-age. We are here in our non-age, and God shares out 
such a state to us ; and from the same love that he gives us these things, 
he gives us heaven afterwards. Now wicked men have not this full degree 
of title. Yet they have a title, as I said before ; and they shall never 
answer for the possession of what they have, but for the wicked use of that 
possession. 

Case 4. Again, a little further to clear one case I touched before.* If 
all things be ours because we are Christ's, may we as are Christians use all 
things as we list ? f 

Ans. There is a fourfold restraint in regard of the use. 

[l.J There is a restraint, yirs?, of religion. Though all things be ours in 
regard o( conscience : we may eat and drink, and use any creature of God 
without scruple ; yet there is a restraint put upon it sometimes in religion : 
that it be no prejudice to the worship of God. In the Lord's day we may 
refresh ourselves, but not so as to hinder the worship of God : here is a 
higher restraint put upon our liberty. 

[2.'i And then, secondh/, sobriety, it puts a restraint upon our liberty. 
* All things are ours' in Christ. We must not take liberty, therefore, to 
exceed sobriety. Licitis j^arimus omnes, it is an ordinary speech, we all 
perish by lawful things (k). Howsoever, ' all things are ours,' for our use ; 
yet we must use them soberly, and not exceed. 

[3.] And then, thirdly, charity puts another restraint. J It must be 

* Cf. page 16. — G. t That is, ' as we clioosc' — G. 

X In margin here, ' See Case 4 before.' 



24 



A CHRISTIAN S PORTION ; OB, 



without ofience to others. We must not think to have a free use of that 
may offend others. In that case there is a restraint. Therefore St Paul 
saith, ' I will never cat flesh whilst I live, rather than I will offend ray 
brother,' 1 Cor. viii. 13. 

[4.] And in the last j^lace, in case of obedience. There is a restraint 
upon 'all things' we have; that is, in outward things. Howsoever no 
man may meddle with the conscience ; yet the magistrate may restrain 
this or that creature. * All things are ours,' because we are Christ's. 
This may satisfy in some doubts. 

Now to come more directly to this branch, to shew how * we are Christ's.' 

"We are Christ's in all the sweet terms and relations that can be. Name 
what you will, ' we are Christ's.' We are his subjects, as he is a king : 
we are his servants, as he is a lord ; we are his scholars, as he is a pro- 
phet. If we take Christ as a head, we are his members ; if we take Christ 
as a husband, we are his spouse ; if we take Christ as a foundation, we are 
the building ; if we take Christ as food, he incorporates us to himself ; if 
we be temples, he dwells in us. There is no relation, nor any degree of 
subjection and subordination, but it sets forth this sweet union and agree- 
ment between Christ and us. So that ' Christ is ours,' and ' we are 
Christ's' in all the sweet relations that can be. We are his members, his 
spouse, his children : for he is the ' everlasting Father,' Isa. ix. 6. He is all 
that can be to us, and we are all that can be to him, that is lovely and good. 

But yet all relations are short.- They reach not to set out the excellency 
and the truth and reahty of this, that ' we are Christ's.' For what is 
a head to the body (which is one of the nearest) ? Can the head quicken 
the dead body ? No. But Christ can, agere in non membrum ; he can 
work in a dead member, that that is not a member, to make it one. Can 
a husband change his spouse ? Moses could not. He married a blacka- 
more. He could not alter her disposition or her hue (/). But Christ can 
alter his spouse. He is such a foundation as makes all ' living stones.' 
Therefore, in St John xvii. 21, because there is no manner of union in the 
world, that can serve to set out the nearness we have to Christ, saith 
Christ, ' Father, I will that they may be one, as thou and I am one.' 
He sets it out by that incomprehensible union. He goes divinely above 
earthly things, to set out the reality of this, how we are Christ's and 
Christ ours. We are Christ's in the most intimate nearness that can be ; 
we are so Christ's, as nothing in the world else is, when we believe once. 
Though all things are Christ's, yet the church is Christ's in a more pecu- 
liar manner. There is a peculiarity in this that we are Christ's ; that is, 
we are in the nearest bonds, nearer to Christ than the very angels. For 
they are not the ' spouse ' of Christ ; they are not the * members ' of 
Christ. They are ministering spirits to Christ, and so to us. There is no 
creature under heaven, no, nor in heaven, that is Christ's, as we are. We 
are his ' portion,' his ' jevrels,' his ' beloved.' We are Christ's in all the 
terms of nearness and dearness that can be. 

And this nearness is mutual. We are Christ's, and Christ is ours. He 
dwells in us and we in him. He abides in us, and we in him. He is in 
us as the vine is in the branches, and we are in him as the branches in 
the vine. And as it is intimate and mutual, so it is eternal; we are 
Christ's for ever. 

But to come more particularly : By what title are we Christ's ? 

(1.) The first title that Christ hath to us is the same that he hath to all 

* That is— they fall short of the relation between Christ and his people. — Ed. 



A christian's charter, 25 

things else. All tilings are God's and Christ's hy creation and preserva- 
tion : all things consist in Christ. 

(2.) But, secondly, there is a more near title than by creation ; namely, 
by gift. For the Father hath given us to him. For all that are God's by 
election, he gave them to Christ, to purchase for them* ' by his blood.' 

(3.) And, thirdly, he hath title to us ' by redemption.' We cost him dear. 
We are a spouse of blood to him, the price of his blood, Exod. iv. 25. He 
died for us. We could not be Christ's, but he must redeem us out of the 
hands of our enemies. And God would have his justice satisfied, that 
grace and justice might meet and kiss one another. God's justice must be 
satisfied before Christ would have us : for however there was amor henero- 
lentia;, a love of good will, that gave us to Christ, yet till Christ redeemed 
us, and made us his own, there was not amor amicitiw, a love of friendship 
between God and us. So all friendship comes upon title of redemption. 

(4.) Then, fourthly, upon redemption, there is a title of marriage that 
Christ hath to us. God, that brought Adam to Eve in paradise, he brings 
Christ and us together. And 

(5.) We give consent on our part, as it is in marriage, to Christ. He is 
GUI' husband, and we give our consent to take Christ to be so, that he 
shall rule and govern us, and we take him for better for worse in all con- 
ditions. Thus we see how Christ comes to be ours, and we to be 
Christ's. Now, the points that arise from this branch, 'And ye are 
Christ's,' are these, — 

First, That ' all things are Christ's.' 

Secondly, That ' we are Christ's.' 

Thirdly, That ' all are ours, because we are Christ's.' 

The connection of the text is this : ' All things are yours.' Why ? Be- 
cause 'you are Christ's.' How follows that? Because all things are 
Christ's. If all things were not Christ's and we Christ's, the argument 
would not hold. So that all are Christ's first. All the promises are made 
to Christ first, and all good things are his first. All the ' promises are yea 
in him,' 2 Cor. i. 20 ; they are made in him, and they are ' amen,' they 
are performed in him. I need not stand much upon this. All things in 
the world are Christ's, for he made all, as it is Col. i. 16, and he hath re- 
conciled all. All things are Christ's, especially by the title of redemption, 
as he redeemed man. And indeed we could not be Christ's unless Christ 
had subdued all things to himself. Unless he had possessed all good and 
subdued all that is ill, how could he have brought us out of the hands of our 
enemies ? Therefore, in St John xvii. 2, our Saviour Christ speaks there 
of tlie ' power that his Father had given him over all things.' But this 
was upon consideration of his resurrection. After his resurrection, he 
saith, ' All power is given to me in heaven and earth,' Mat. xxviii. 18. 
Christ, as mediator, had title to all things by virtue of the union. As soon 
as the human nature was knit to the divinity, there was a thorough title to 
all things. But it was not discovered,* especially till the resurrection was 
past, when he had accomplished the work of redemption. 

He was also to ask. ' Ask of me and I will give thee the heathen for thy 
possession,' Ps. ii. 8. God would not let his Son have anything (though 
he redeemed the church, and all things, in some sort) without asking. 
Shall any man then think to have anything without prayer, when all things 
were conveyed to the Son of God by asking ? 

Further, Christ is ' the heir of the world,' Heb. i. 2. Therefore, all 
* Qu. ' to purchase them ' ? — Ed. t That is, ' manifested.' — G. 



26 A christian's portion : or, 

things must be his as the heir. This is a clear point, and I do but name 
it, because it hath a connection with the truths I am now to speak of. 

Hereupon it comes, that ' all things are ours, because Christ is ours.' 
Christ is said ' to be the first-born of many brethren,' Rom. viii. 29 ; and 
the 'first-begotten of every creature,' Col. i. 15; and 'the first-begotten 
from the dead,' Col. i. 18. All these shew the priority of Christ, that 
Christ is fii'st, that he should have the pre-eminence in all things. For 
Christ is the prime creature of all ; he is God's masterpiece. That is the 
reason why nothing can be ours but it must be Christ's first. He is the 
first-begotten of every creature, both as God and man. He is the ' first- 
begotten,' because he is more excellent in order and dignity than any other 
whatsoever. So he is the 'first-begotten from the dead,' ' the first fruits ' 
of them that sleep, because all that rose rose by virtue of him. Hereupon 
it is that we can have nothing good but we must have it in Christ first. 

Use 1. Therefore we must know this to make a right use of it, u-hatsoerer 
privilege ive consider of as ours, we ought to see it in Christ first. Our elec- 
tion is in Christ first. He is chosen to be our head. Our justification is 
in Christ first. He is justified and freed from our sins being laid to his 
charge as our surety, and therefore we are freed. Our resurrection is in 
Christ first. We rise, because he is the ' first-begotten from the dead.' 
Our ascension is in Christ, and our sitting at the right hand of God in him 
first. All things that are ours, they are first his ; what he hath by nature 
we have by grace. Whj' do the angels attend upon us, and are minister- 
ing spirits to us? We are Christ's, and he is the Jacob's ladder upon whom 
the angels ascend and descend. All the communion those blessed spirits 
have with mankind is because we are Christ's. They are ministering 
spirits to Christ first, and then to us, because we are Christ's. 

Therefore it is a good meditation, fitting the gospel, never to think of 
ourselves in the first place, when we think of any prerogative, but to think 
of it in our blessed Saviour, who began to us in all. He was the first in 
everything that is good. As the elder brother, it was fit it should be so. 
And he must have the prerogative in all things. Therefore, 

Use 2. Let ks glorify Christ in everything. When we think of our title 
to anything, think, this I have by Christ : be it of our justification or 
glorification, this I had by Christ and in Christ. 

This is another use we are to make of it, the rather because it sweetens 
all things we have. If all things should come immediately from God, they 
were comfortable, but whenas all shall be derived from God by Christ, we 
have God's and Christ's love together. There is not the least good thing 
we have, but we must think. This I have by Christ, this victory over ill, 
and this conversion of ill to good. The thing is sweet, but the love of 
Christ is sweeter. The thing itself is not so good as the spring whence it 
comes. It pleaseth God we have a triple comfort at once in every good 
thing : comfort in God the Father, that we have it from his love, and 
comfort in the Sou of God, and comfort in the creature. Therefore, let 
us not be swallowed up in the creature, but reason thus : This is a sweet 
comfort, but whence have I it ? Oh ! it is from Christ, and the love of 
Christ, and I have Christ from the Father. There is Christ, and God the 
Father, and the thing, and the love of Christ, and the Father, which is 
sweeter than the thing itself. As in the gifts from friends, the gift is not 
so sweet as the love it comes from. The love and favour of God is better 
than the thing itself. This is indeed a comfortable observation to know, 
that ' all things are ours, because we are Christ's.' For why is Paul, and 



A chbistian's chakter. 27 

Cephas, and the ministers ours ? They are the ministers of Christ first. 

* We are the ministers of Christ, and your servants, for his sake,' saith the 
apostle, 2 Cor. iv. 5, 

Why is hfe and death ours ? Because Christ hath conquered death 
first ; and it was the passage of Christ to his glory. He conquered the ill 
of it. He took away ' the sting of it ; ' and thereupon it is so good and 
useful to us. He hath the * key of hell and death ; ' that is, he hath the 
government of it, having overcome it. And ' things present and to come.' 
Heaven, which he now possesseth, it is his, and thereupon it comes to be 
ours. Therefore, let us think of Christ in all things, and think of the 
sweetness of all things from this, that they come from Christ. 

To enlarge this point a little further. We have all from Christ, and in 
Christ, yea, and by Christ, and through him. 

[1.] First, We have all we have in Christ, as a head, as the first, as our 

* elder brother,' as a root, as the ' second Adam.' We have all in him, by 
confidence in him. We have whatsoever is good in him. 

[2. J And, secondly, we have all by and through him, as a viediator, for 
his sake. We have title to all, because Christ, b}' redemption, hath pur- 
chased a right to all, in and through him. 

[3.] Tliirdhj, We have all by him, by a kind of working as the efficient 
cause, because we have the Spirit of God to extract good out of all. For, 
being reasonable creatures, God will make all ours, as becomes understand- 
ing creatures ; that is, by sanctifying our understanding to extract the 
quintessence out of every thing. For a Christian hath the Spirit to let him 
see that God is leading him by his Spirit to good in all. And whence 
comes the Spirit ? From Christ. Christ hath satisfied the wrath of God 
the Father. And now the Father and Christ, both as reconciled, send the 
Spirit as the fruit of both their loves. So Christ, as the efiicient cause, 
makes all ours, because the Spirit is his, by which Spirit we make all ours. 

[4. J And, fourthly, Christ is an exemplary cause. We have all in him, 
and through him, and by him, as an exemplary pattern. The same Spirit 
that subdued all to him subdues all things to us. To make this clear a 
little. There was in Christ regnum patientia, a kingdom of patience, as 
well as regnum potenti(E, a kingdom of power and glory. There was a king- 
dom of patience ; that is, such a kingdom as Christ exercised in his great- 
est abasement, whereby he made all things, even the worst, to be service- 
able to his own turn and the church's. So in every member of his, there 
is a kingdom of patience set up, whereby he subjects all things to him. 
To make it yet clearer. 

When Christ died, which was the lowest degree of abasement, there was 
a kingdom of patience then. What ! When he was subdued by death and 
Satan, was there a kingdom then ? Yes, a kingdom. For though visibly, 
he was overcome and nailed to the cross ; yet invisibly, he triumphed over 
principalities and powers. For by death he satisfied his Father ; and he 
being satisfied, Satan is but a jailor. What hath he to do when God is 
satisfied by death ? Christ never conquered more than on the cross. 
When he died he killed death, and Satan, and all. And [did] not Christ 
reign on the cross when he converted the thief ? when the sun was 
astonished, and the earth shook and moved, and the light was eclipsed ? 
Who cares for Caesar when he is dead ? But what more efficacious than 
Christ when he died ? He was most practical when he seemed to do 
nothing. In patience he reigned and triumphed ; he subjected the greatest 
enemies to himself, Satan, and death, and the wrath of God, and all. In 



28 A christian's portion ; ok, 

the same manner all things are ours, the worst things that befell God's 
children, death, and afflictions, and persecutions. There is a kingdom of 
patience set up in them. The Spirit of God subdues all base fears in us, 
and a child of God never more triumphs than in his greatest troubles. 
This is that that the apostle saith, Kom. viii. 37, ' In all these things we 
are more than conquerors.' How is that, that in those great troubles we 
should be ' conquerors and more ' ? Thus the spirit of a Christian, take 
him as a Christian, reigns and triumphs at that time. For the devil and 
the world labour to subdue the spirits of God's children and their cause. 
Now to take them at the worst, the cause they stand for, and will stand 
for it ; and the spirit that they are led with is undaunted. So that the 
Spirit of Christ is victorious and conquering in them, and most of all at 
such times. 

It is true of a Christian indeed that one speaks of a natural man — but 
he speaks too vaingloriously— he subdues hope and fear, and is more 
sublime than all others. A Christian is so duni iMtltur vincit, &c. ; 
when he suffers he conquers, na}-, more then than at other times ; for the 
spirit gets strength, and the cause gets strength by suffering, and answer- 
able to his suffering is his comfort and strength. So tha,t all things are 
his. The Spirit that subdued all things to Christ, subdues them to him. 
Nay, he makes all advantageous for the time to come ; as St Paul saith, 
' These light afEictions that we suffer, work unto us an exceeding weight of 
glory,' 2 Cor. iv. 17 ; because they fit and prepare our desires for glory. 
And ansv/erable to that measure that we glorify God, shall our reward be 
in heaven ; and the more we suffer, the more ' entrance ' we have into 
heaven in this world ; we enter further into the kingdom of grace, and by 
consequent into the kingdom of glory. So that there is a kingdom set up 
in a Christian, as there was in Christ, in patience in suffering. So we see 
that ' all things are ours,' because ' we are Christ's,' and what we may 
observe from thence. 

To shut up this point with some use. 

Use 1. Let lis be stirred iip to study Christ, and in Christ to study our own 
excellency. St Paul accounted all ' dross and dung, in comparison of the 
excellent knowledge of Jesus Christ,' Phil. iii. 8. And indeed we cannot 
study Christ but there will be a reflection upon the soul presently ; it is a 
transforming study. The study of the love of Christ must needs make us 
love him again. The study of the choice that Christ hath made of us, it 
will make us choose him again, and to say, ' Whom have I in heaven but 
thee ? ' Ps. Ixxiii. 25. If we studj' the grace and mercy of Christ, we 
cannot but be transformed in marvellous respect to him again. Therefore 
let us raise up our thoughts more to think of Christ, and the excellencies 
of Christ, with appropriation to ourselves, ' All things are yours, and you 
are Christ's.' We should not study Christ and any excellency in him, but 
we should also think. This is mine, this is for me. The more the spouse 
hears of the riches and advancement of her husband, the more she blesses 
herself, and saith. This is for me. And the more we think of Christ, the 
more we think of our own advancement and excellency. Therefore we 
should be willing to hear ' the unsearchable riches of Christ ' unfolded to 
us ; for these serve to kindle the love of the spouse to Christ. 

The ministers are paranimidiy ,''' friends of the bridegroom, that come 
between the spouse and Christ, to make up the match between them ; and 
one blessed way whereby they do it, is to unfold to the church her own 
* That is, cragavu/Ap/o/. 



A christian's charter. 29 

beggary, and the riches she hath hj Christ ; her own necessity, and the 
excellency that she hath in Christ. The main scope of the ministry is to 
shew us our beggary in ourselves, and our danger : that we are more indebted 
than we are worth ; that we are indebted to God's justice for body, and 
soul, and all ; and as we are indebted, so we must have supply from the 
riches of another of necessity, or else we go to prison and perish eternally. 

Now Christ doth not only pay our debts — for that we may look for out 
of self-love — but he is * the chief of ten thousand,' Cant. v. 10, he is an 
excellent person in himself. Now the unfolding of the excellencies in Christ 
is a means to procure the contract and marriage between the church and 
Christ. And let us labour by all means to be one with Christ, to study 
further union and communion with Christ, because upon this term and 
tenure ' all things are ours,' if we be Christ's ; if not, nothing is ours but 
damnation. And considering that the more union we have with him, the 
more we shall know our own prerogative, that ' all things present and to 
come are ours,' therefore we should labour to know him more. There are 
three graces tending to union : 

Knowledge, faith, and love. 

The more we know him, the more we shall trust him. ' They that know 
thy name will trust in thee,' Ps. ix. 10. And the more we trust in him, 
the more we shall love him. Knowledge breeds trust, and trust breeds 
love. Therefore let us labour to grow in our knowledge, and trust, and 
love to Christ. 

And to that end, as I said, to take all occasions to hear of the excellencies 
of Christ, to study them ourselves, and to hear of them from others, espe- 
cially in the ministry. In Cant. v. 9, those that were not converted, the 
daughters of Jerusalem, they ask the church, ' What is thy beloved more 
than another's beloved?' ' My beloved,' saith the church, ' is white and 
ruddy, the chiefest of ten thousand ;' and thereupon she sets him out from 
top to toe, in all his excellencies, and saith, ' This is my beloved ;' and 
thereupon she that before asked in slighting, ' What is thy beloved more 
than another's beloved V ' in the 6th chapter saith, ' Where is thy beloved, 
that we may seek him with thee ? ' * So when we know Christ and his 
excellencies, the next query will be, ' Where is thy beloved ?' Of all argu- 
ments in divinity we can study, we hear of nothing more comfortable than 
of Christ and the benefits we have by him ; for God will be glorified in 
nothing so much as in that great mystery of Christ. Therefore let these 
things be more and more sought after. 

Quest. But how shall I know that Christ is mine, or that I am in Christ, 
or no ? For all depends upon this tenure, that we are in Christ. 

Ans. Ask thine own heart. (1.) Hast thou given thy consent, and con- 
tracted thyself to Christ, or no ? This is one way, as I said, whereby we 
are Christ's, by giving our consent. Our own hearts will tell us whether 
we have given our consent to take Christ to be a head, a governor, and a 
king to rule us, as well as for a priest to die for us. If thou be content to 
come under the government of Christ, to be ruled by his Spirit, thou 
mayest say, I am Christ's ; I have given up myself to him ; I am content 
to take him. We know what hath proceeded from our own will, and there 
are none that have given up themselves to Christ, but they may know it. 
Therefore let us consider whether we have passed our consent to Christ, 
or no. I fear it is yet to do with many ; for instead of contracting them- 
selves to Christ, they have yielded to their own lusts. 
* Cf. Vol. II., page 132, seg.— G. 



30 A christian's portion ; or, 

(2.) Again, secondly, consider by what sjnrit thou art guided, whetlier by 
the Spirit of Christ or no. ' He that hath not the Spirit of Christ is none 
of his,' Rom. v. 8. Christ is a husband that will rule his spouse. He 
will rule in his own temple and house. He is a head that will rule his 
own members. Consider what spirit guides and actuates thee, whether 
the Spirit of Christ or the spirit of the world. If the Spirit of Christ rule 
in us, it will work as it did in Christ, that judgment of things that Christ 
had, heavenly things to be the most excellent, and the same judgment of 
persons to esteem of those that Christ esteems of. It will work the same 
carriage to God, to men, to enemies, to Satan. If we have the Spirit of 
Christ, it will transform us to be like Christ m our judgment and disposi- 
tions and affections every way, in some degree, according to our capacity 
and measure. Therefore let us not deceive ourselves ; if we be led by the 
spirit of the world, and not by the Spirit of Christ, we cannot say with 
comfort, I am Christ's. When every one shall come to challenge their 
own, the devil will say. Thou art mine, thou wert led by my spirit. But 
if we yield ourselves to be guided by the blessed truth of God, when that 
challenge shall come, ' Who is on my side. Who ?' Christ will own us 
for his in evil times. 

(3.) Thirdly, He that is Christ's will stand for Christ upon all occasions, 
and stand for religion. He will not be a lukewarm neuter. If we be Christ's, 
it is impossible but we should have a word to speak for him and for religion. 
If we be Christ's, we will be strong for Christ ; we will be true to him ; we 
will not betray Christ and the cause of religion that is put into our hands. 
But, by the way, let us take heed of making this a name of faction, as the 
Corinthians did, to say ' I am of Paul, and I am of ApoUos, andl am of 
Christ ;' as some that say they are neither papists nor protestants, but 
Christians. But in times wherein profession is required, a man must shew 
his religion here. Not to say, I am Christ's, is to be an atheist. In case of 
confession and profession of religion, we must own the side of Christ and 
say we are Christ's indeed. 

It is said in the Revelation, that so many hundreds and thousands were 
sealed with a ' seal in their foreheads,' Rev. vii., throughout. For even as 
the slaves of antichrist are sealed in the hand, they have a mark in their 
hand ; that is, they are bold for antichrist ; so all God's children are sealed 
in their foreheads. That is the place of confession and profession, the 
forehead being an open place. Christ carries God's broad seal. He seals 
all that come to heaven in the forehead. He seals them first in their hearts 
to believe the truth, and then he seals them in the forehead, openly to con- 
fess. ' With the heart we believe, and with the mouth we confess to 
salvation,' Rom. x. 10. Therefore those that are not bold to confess and 
profess religion when they are called to it, they are none of Christ's ' sealed 
ones,' for he seals them to make them bold in the profession of religion. 
Let this be one evidence whether thou art Christ's or no ; if the question 
be, ' Who is on my side ?' to own Christ's side, to stand for Christ and the 
religion reformed and stablished. If a man do not this, he cannot say I 
am Christ's ; but his heart will give his tongue the lie, if he stand not 
boldly for the cause of Christ. ' He that is ashamed of me before men, I 
will be ashamed of him before my heavenly Father,' Mark iii. 38. 

It is a comfortable consideration, if upon trial we find ourselves Christ's, 
that we own the cause of Christ and his side. It is the best side, and we 
shaU find it so in the hour of death and the day of judgment. If we find 
ourselves to be Christ's, what a comfort will this be ? Of all conditions in 



A christian's chaeter. 31 

the world, it is the sweetest and the safest condition to be in Christ. It is 
to have all below us ours, and all above us too to be ours ; to have God 
the Father ours, and God the Holy Ghost ; to have all in heaven and earth 
to be ours, ' things present and things to come.' "What a comfortable 
consideration is this in all storms, to be housed in Christ, to dwell in Christ, 
to be clothed with Christ ! When the storm of God's anger shall come upon 
a nation, and at the day of judgment to be found in Christ, ' not having our 
own righteousness,' Philip, iii. 9, and in the hour of death to die in Christ ! 
If we be Christ's, we live in him and die in him, and shall be found in him 
at the day of judgment. If we be Christ's, we are in heaven already in 
Christ our head. We sit in heavenly places together with him. In all 
the vicissitude and interchanging of things in the world, which are many, 
' life and death, and things present, and things to come,' there is a world 
of vicissitudes ; but in all, in life and death, look backward, or forward, or 
upward, or downward, if a man be in Christ, he is upon a rock. He may 
overlook all things as his servants. All things shall be commanded by God 
to serve for his good, and to bring him to heaven, to yield him safe con- 
duct. We study evidences and other things. This is worth our study 
more and more, to make this sure, that we are Christ's, and Christ is ours. 
The more we grow in knowledge, and faith, and love, the more we shall 
gi'ow in assurance of this. 

Use 2. Again, if we be Christ's, ivhy then should ice fear irartt, irhen all 
things are ours, and tve are Christ's? Can a man want at the fountain ? 
Can a man want light that is in the sun ? Can a Christian that hath all 
things his ; and in this tenure his, all things are his, because Christ is his, 
— can anything be wanting to him ? It should comfort us against the time 
to come, if we be stripped of all, yet we have the Fountain of all. We 
must be stripped of all at the hour of death, whether we will or no ; but if 
we be Christ's, and Christ be ours, all things are in him in an eminent 
manner. It is a wonderful comfort for the present, against all fears and 
wants ; and it is a comfort for the time to come, that when all things shall 
be taken from us, yet he that is better than all things, that is better than 
the world itself, will remain to us. Therefore let us think of these things. 
It is wondrous comfortable to be Christ's, and to be his in such a peculiar 
manner. 

Use 3. And, thirdhj, let vs learn, as ire are adrised, Ps. xlv. 10, 'to forget 
our father's house,' to forget all former base acquaintance, and to be con- 
tented with Christ. What saith our blessed Saviour in the Gospel ? ' Those 
that hear my words, they are my brother, and sister, and mother,' Mark 
iii. 85. Are they so ? And shall not we, for Christ's sake, that is nearer 
than any in the world, ' hate father and mother,' &c., Luke xiv. 26, that 
is, not regard them for Christ. If we be so near Christ, and he will stick 
to us when all will leave us, then let us answer Christ's love. He is to us 
instead of all kindred ; let him be so, if we cannot have their love upon 
other terms than to forsake Christ. Thus we see what we may observe 
from this, that ' we are Christ's.' Now it is said here besides, that 

' Christ is God's.' 

Here is a sacred circle that ends where it begins ; for all things come 
out from God at the first, and all things go back again to God and end in 
him. ' All are yours, and you are Christ's, and Christ is God's.' Man is, 
as it were, the horizon of all things ; that hath one half of the heavens 
below, divided and terminated, and the other above. A holy man is between 
all things, above him and under him. All things are his below him. They 



32 A christian's poetion ; or, 

.serve his turn and use, to help him to heaven, as a viaticum. And all 
things above him are his ; that is the cause that all things below are his. 
Now to come to this last branch. 

'And Christ is God's.' 

In what sense is Christ God's? Was he not the Son of God? Yes! 
That is true. He was the eternal Son of God. But that is not here meant. 
Christ is God's, as Mediator. The Father, the fii-st person of the Deity, 
is the fountain ; and the Mediator comes from him in a double sense. 

First, Because the Father, the first person, was ofi'ended ; therefore he 
must appoint a mediator. Now, by what bonds is Christ God's ? By all 
the strong terms that can be devised. God sent him into the world : ' He 
sent his Son,' Rom. iii. 25. God set him forth as a propitiation : ' Him 
hath the Father sealed,' John vi. 27. He came forth with God's broad 
seal. God sealed him to be Mediator in his baptism, and by his working 
of miracles, and raising him from the dead. God the Father sealed him, 
and set his stamp upon him to be his. He sent him, and set him forth, 
and sealed him : ' He was anointed with the oil of gladness above his fel- 
lows,' Ps. xlv. 7. He was anointed to shew his authority. Kings, and 
priests, and prophets were anointed. So God the Father hath appointed 
him to be king, priest, and prophet of his church. He is anointed in all 
these terms : ' It pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell,' 
Col. i. 19. And Mat. xi. 27, ' All power is given to me of my Father, in 
heaven and earth.' So when he was to ascend, saith he, ' All power is 
given to me in heaven and earth,' Mat. xxviii. 18. He came out from the 
Father with all authority. The Scripture is mai-vellous pregnant in this 
point, to shew with what authority Christ came from the Father. The 
points here considerable are, first of all, that all things are Christ's, and 
therefore we ai'e Christ's ; so 

All things are the Father's. 

This is the highest degree. We can go no further. There is the centre 
wherein we must rest : ' All things are the Father's.' All things are of 
God, that made all of nothing, and can turn all to dust at his pleasm-e. 
' All things are of him, and by him, and through him,' as it is Romans 
si. 1, scq., divinely set forth. There is no question of this. It were to 
add light to the sun to shew that all things are the Father's ; and here- 
upon Christ is the Father's in the first place. And then ' all things are 
ours,' because ' Christ is ours,' and ' Christ is the Father's.' The point 
that is more material, and worth standing on, is this, that 

Though all things come from the Father, yet not from the Father imme- 
diatehj, but they come from Christ. 

Christ is the Father's, and we are the Father's in Christ ; and all things 
are ours in Christ. There is no immediate communion between us and 
the Father, but Christ comes between God an4 us. 

Why is this needful ? 

For many undeniable reasons. 

Jxeason 1, First, Because there is no proportion between God the Father and 
ns, but a vast disjjroportion. He is holiness and purity, and a ' consuming 
fire ' of himself. What are we without a mediator, a middle person, with- 
out Christ coming between ? Nothing but stubble, fit fuel for his wrath. 
So that all love and good that comes from the first Person, it must come 
to us through a middle person : ' You are Christ's, and Christ is God's.' 
We cannot endure the brightness of the majesty of the Father. It is too 
great a presence : * He dwells in that height that no man can attain unto,' 



A chbistian's chartek. 83 

as the apostle saith, 1 Tim. vi. 16. Therefore there must come a person 
between, invested in our nature. God in our nature comes between the 
Father and us, and all things come from God to us in him. As the salt 
waters of the sea, when they are strained through the earth, they are sweet 
in the rivers, so the waters of majesty and justice in God, though they be 
terrible, and there be a disproportion between them and us, yet being 
sti-aiued and derived* through Christ, they are sweet and delightful; but 
out of Christ there is no communion with God. He is a friend to both 
sides : to us as man, to him as God. All things come originally from the 
fountain of all, God. They are God's ; and you know the three persons 
meet, in one nature, in God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Ay ; but, 
as I said, the holy God doth not convey immediately good things to us, 
but by the mediation of Christ. For God would have it thus since the 
fall, that having lost all, we should recover all again by the 'second 
Adam,' that should be a public person, a mediator between him and us ; 
and so through Christ we should have access and entrance to the Father, 
and that by him we should have boldness. And that God again downward 
might do all things with due satisfaction to his justice ; because, as I said, 
we are as stubble, and God ' a consuming fire.' Were not Christ in the 
middle, what intercourse could there be between the Lord and us ? No 
other than between the fire and the stubble : majesty on his side, and 
misery and sin on ours. There must be a mediator to bring these two 
contraries together. So all comes downward through Christ from God to 
us. God doth all in Christ to us. He chooseth us in Christ, and sancti- 
fies us in Christ ; he bestows all spiritual blessings on us in Christ, as 
members of Christ. To Christ first, and through him, he conveys it to us. 
He hath put fulness in him, and of his fulness ' we receive grace for grace,' 
John i. 16 ; for Christ is complete, and in him we are complete. 

Reason 2. Then again, secondly, God will have it thus, as it is fit it 
should be so, because Christ is fitted for it. He is the Son by nature ; and 
it is fit that we, that are sons by adoption, should have communion with the 
Father in the Son by nature. He is beloved of the Father first : * In him 
I am well pleased,' Mat. iii. 17. We come to have communion with God 
in him in whom he is well pleased. Christ is primuni amabile, the first 
beloved of all ; for God looks on Christ as the first begotten of him. He 
is the first Son by nature, and beloved of God. Hereupon God comes to 
delight in us that are sons by adoption, that are heirs, because we are 
' fellow heirs with Christ.' He delights in us, because we are one with 
Christ, in whom he beholds us. 

Reason 3. Again, thirdly, God doth this, not only to keep his state in 
remoteness from us, and his greatness, hut he doth it in mercy. He hath 
appointed Christ to come between, that now we might not be afraid to go 
to God by the middle person, appointed by himself, ' who is bone of our 
bone, and flesh of our flesh.' Now, we go to God, who is bone of our 
bone and flesh of our flesh ; God not simply and barely considered, but 
God incarnate. There is no going to him in ourselves, but God being 
bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh ; as Bernard saith, I go willingly 
to a Mediator made bone of my bone, my brother {m). It was a comfort 
to Joseph's brethren, that they had Joseph their brother the second man 
in the kingdom. And is it not a sweet comfort to Christians that they 
have one that is the second person in the Trinity, that is their brother, 
that is the high steward of heaven and earth ? Is it not a comfort to the 
* That is, ' communicated.' — G. 

VOL. lY. 



34 A christian's portion ; or, 

spouse that her hushand is advanced over all, and is nearest to the king ? 
Is it not a comfort to every one that is in relation to another to have one 
that may stand for them, that is both able and willing ? Now, Christ is 
able as God, and willing as our brother ; and therefore is a fit person to 
come between God and us. He can do us good, because he is God ; and 
he will do us good, because he is ' bone of our bone, and flesh of our 
flesh.' So we see that Christ is God's, and why there must be a third 
person come between God and us ; and Christ is fitted to be the middle 
person. 

Now, to confirm it by a place of Scripture or two. The Scripture ia 
everywhere full of this argument : ' It pleased God to reconcile all to him- 
self in Christ, in whom we have obtained the inheritance, that in the ful- 
ness of time he might gather together in one all things in Christ,' Eph. 
i. 10, seq. It is a recapitulation, a bringing all to one again. God the 
Father, in Christ, brought all to a head again ; he brought all to himself 
again ; for without Christ we are scattered, and severed, and distracted* 
from God. But in Christ God brought in allf one head again, both that 
are in heaven and in earth. And so in Col. i. 19, ' It pleased God that in 
Christ all fulness should dwell, and in him to reconcile all things in heaven 
and earth.' 

The use of this is manifold, and very comfortable. 

Use 1. First of all, do all things come from God the Father to us in 
Christ, a middle person ? As all things below us are ours in Christ, so all 
things above us : God the Father is ours in Christ. Then it should teach 
us to direct our devotion irpward to God, as God comes doivnward to us. All 
things come down from God in Christ. God is the Father of Christ, and 
Christ is the Father of us. As nothing comes immediately from the Father 
down to us, so let us not go mediately up but in Christ to the Father ; 
that is, let us offer all our prayers to God in the niediation of his beloved 
Son, the Son of his own appointing, Jesus Christ. We must ask all in 
his name. 'Whatsoever ye ask the Father in my name,' &e., John xiv. 
13, 14. ' Do all in the name of Christ,' Col. iii. 17. It is ignorant pre- 
sumption, arrogant, and fruitless, in any of our devotions and prayers to 
God, to go to God in our own name, to think of God without a relation of 
a Father in Christ. Though we do not alway name Christ, yet w^e must 
think of God in the relation of a Father, in which Christ is implied ; for 
how comes he to be a Father but in Christ ? He is Christ's first, and ours 
in him. Let us not consider of a bare naked God, but of God invested 
with a sweet relation of a Father in Christ, by whom he is become our 
Father. Therefore, Lord, we come not to thee in our own name, and in 
our own worth and desert, which is none at all ; but we come to thee in 
the merits of Christ, in the mediation of Christ, in that love thou bearest 
to him, and that for his sake thou bearest to us that are his members. 
This is the way of intercourse between God and us. To think of God out 
of Christ, out of the mediator, it is a terrible thought, nothing more ter- 
rible : but to think of God in Christ, nothing more sweet ; for now the 
nature of God is lovely, coming to us in Christ, and the majesty and justice 
of God are lovely. When it comes through Christ to be satisfied, it is 
Eweet; for. Lord, thou wilt not punish the same sin twice. And the 
majesty and greatness of God is comfortable. Wliatsoever is God's is ours, 
because Christ is ours. God in his greatness, in his justice, in his power. 
All things being derived and passing through Christ, are sweet and com- 
* That is, ' separated ' = violently.— G. f Q^- ' ^■U in ' ?— Ed. 



A christian's charter. 35 

fortable to us. Therefore, seeing ' Christ is God's,' and all things come 
from God in Christ, let it direct us to perform all to God in Christ. 

Use 2. Again, secondly, if so be that God be ours, and all things ours in 
Christ, then, when we are to deal with God the Father, or to deal v/ith 
Satan, or to deal with others soliciting us, then let us make use of this, 
Christ is God's, and I am God's through Christ. When we have to deal 
with God the Father, that seems angry for our sins, and our consciences 
are wakened and terrified, say. Lord, Christ is thine ; I have nothing to 
bring thee myself but a mediator of thy own setting and sending forth ; of 
thine own anointing and sealing ; and thou wilt not refuse the righteousness 
and obedience of a mediator of thine own. Christ is God's. Let us carry 
our elder brother with us whensoever we would have anything of God. 
When we have offended him, come not alone, but bring our Benjamin with 
us ; come clothed with our elder brother's garments. God will not refuse 
the very name of his Son ; it is a prevailing name with his Father. It is 
thine own Son ; he is a mediator of thine own : though I have nothing of 
my own to bring thee, yet I bring thee thine own Son. I beseech you, let 
us think of this when we have oflended God, and our consciences are 
troubled ; let us go to God in the sweet name of his Son. 

Use 3. Again, thirdhj, if so be that Christ is God's, and nothing comes 
from God but through Christ, let us give Christ the greatest pre-eminence. 
Christ is of God's own appointment, and all things are ours because Christ 
is ours ; nay, God is ours, because Christ is ours. Therefore let no man 
set up themselves in our consciences but Christ and God. The conscience 
is for Christ, for our husband. Christ is ordained of God to be our head, 
and to be all in all to us of God the Father. Therefore, in the solicitations 
of our judgment, to judge thus and thus, let us think what saith Christ my 
husband, who is God's. God will have us hear him : ' This is my beloved 
Son, hear him,' Mat. iii. 17. He comes with authority from God the 
Father ; what saith he ? If it be not the judgment of Christ, who shall sit 
in my conscience but Christ ? Shall the pope ? Shall any man usurp by 
an infallibility of judgment to say it is so ; you must, upon pain of damna- 
tion, believe it ? I cannot but speak a little of it by the way. The modestest 
and learnedest Jesuit of late times, speaking of this argument of Christ : 
bringing an objection that some may make against the pope's authority : 
saith he, If the pope say otherwise, his authority were more to me than the 
definition of all the holy fathers ; nay, saith he, I say with Paul, ' If an angel 
from heaven should come and say it,' and the pope should say otherwise, 
I would believe the pope before I would believe an angel from heaven (w). 
Such a place hath that ' man of sin ' in the conscience of those great learned 
men. This is intolerable. We are Christ's ; he is our husband. Christ 
comes with authority from the Father. We must hear him ; he is God's. 
Therefore let no man prevail in our consciences that brings not the word of 
God and of Christ. 

Use 4. Again, fourthly, if Christ be God's, and all things come to us 
from God by Christ, then ive see a rest for our souls. We can go no farther 
than God, and in God to the first person in trinity. The Christian religion 
pitcheth down a centre for the soul to rest in, a safe pitching place, a safe 
foundation. It shews our reconciliation with the great God now. Chris- 
tian religion shews that all is ours, and we are Christ's, and Christ is God's ; 
and there it sets down a rest for our souls. In Mat. xi. 28, Christ, after 
he had said, ' All things are given me of my Father,' saith he, ' Come unto 
me,' therefore, ' all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will ease you.' 



36 A chkistian's portion ; or, 

What encouragement have we to come to him ? ' All things are given me 
of the Father.' ' Christ is God's.' Therefore ye may boldly come unto 
me. * Ye shall find rest to your souls in me.' Ay, but is Christ the last 
rest ? No ; the Father is the last rest : for in Christ I know the Father is 
well pleased. Ye shall find rest in Christ, because he hath satisfied the 
Father. So all solid comfort must be terminated in God, in the first person 
in the Trinity. We can go no further than God, the first person, the foun- 
tain of the Trinity. So you see in that we are Christ's, and Christ is God's, 
there the soul hath footing for itself in God the Father. 
^ Quest. But may we not rest in Christ ? 

Ahs. Yes. Because he is authorised of God the Father ; and we can 
go no further ; for the party ofiended first of all by our sins is God the 
Father, and he hath found out this remedy, this mediator. And therefore 
why should we suspect anything, to trouble our souls, to run in a maze, 
but go to God in the name of Christ upon this very ground ? Lord, thou 
that art the party ofiended, and out of the bowels of mercy hast found out 
this mediator, I rest in him, because he came out from thee. And there- 
fore here is a solid rest for the soul, when the soul goes back to God the 
Father, and rests in him. We say of a circle, it is the strongest of all 
figures, because it is a round figure: it strengtheneth itself; whereas a 
straight line is weak. As we see those round bodies that are made arches, 
&c., they are the strongest figures, because every stone strengthens another ; 
so this is the strongest reflection of all, that as all things come from God 
the Father, so when we go to him and rest there, who can make a rupture ? 
It is the strongest of all. The soul stays not in the way in this and that 
thing : all are false rests ; but it goes to Christ. And to satisfy the soul 
the more, when it rests in Christ, it rests in the Father. Therefore when 

1 deal with Christ, and think of Christ, I must think I have to deal with 
the Father. Christ was incarnate ; it was as much as if the Father had 
been incarnate ; for it was by his authority. Christ suffered, but God ' gave 
him to death for us all.' See the Father in all, and there the soul will rest. 

We see herein the wondrous strong salvation of a Christian. It is 
not only founded in the good will of the Son, or of the Father, but it is 
founded in the love of both, and upon the authority of Christ coming from 
the Father. For ' God was, in Christ, reconciling the world to himself,' 

2 Cor. V. 19. So our salvation is founded and built upon the mutual love 
of the Father and of the Son to us. The Son loves us as from the Father, 
and the Father in the Son, so strong is our salvation built. 

Use 5. Then again, /ifthhj, for comfort. If Christ be God's, appointed by 
God a Saviour, and to make all things ours, to bring us back again, shall not 
we reason with the apostle, Ptom. viii. 32, ' If he hath not spared his own 
Son, but given him to death for us all, how shall he not with him give us 
all things else ?' That place is a proof of the text in hand. How shall we 
prove that * all things are ours ' for our good ? Because ' God hath not 
spared his own Son,' that is better than the world. Therefore God will 
rather create another world, than we shall want anything that is for our 
good. If he have ' given his Son for us all, how shall he not with him give 
us all things ? ' as much as shall be conduceable for our good. 

Use 6. Now for an use of duty. Since God hath ordained and anointed 
Christ for our good, let us thank God for Christ, as the apostle doth : 
' Blessed be God the Father of cur Lord Jesus Christ,' Eph. i. 3. We 
forget it. We see it is the beginning of every epistle almost of Paul and 
Peter. ' Blessed be the Lord and Father of Christ,' 1 Peter i. 3. Alas ! 



A chkistian's chakter. 37 

how had he been our Father if he had not been the Father of Christ first ? 
And where had been our anointing, if Christ had not been^anointed first ? 
Where had been our inheritance, if he had not been the heir first ? And 
where had been his love to us, if he had not loved him first ? For there 
could be no communion between the holy God and us without that middle 
person. Therefore * blessed be God, the Father of Christ.' 

We bless God for our meat and drink, for the comforts of this world, for 
everything ; but do we remember to bless God for Christ ? We bless God 
for petty things, as indeed we cannot be too much in thanksgiving ; it is 
the employment of heaven. Oh ! but let us bless God especially for him, 
in whom we have all in this world and in another world. Blessed be God 
for anointing Christ. So ' God loved the world, that he gave his Son,' 
John iii. 16. He could not express how much. ' Christ is God's.' 
Therefore bless God for Christ above all other things whatsoever. 

Use 7. And now, seveuthly, to go boldly upon all occasions to the throne of 
grace. Now in Christ there is good terms between heaven and us. So 
long as we have our flesh sitting at the right hand of God to plead for us, 
to be an intercessor and advocate for us, let us go boldly in all our necessities 
to the throne of grace in the mediation of Christ. ' Christ is God's,' and 
with God at his right hand in all glory and majesty making request for us, 
nothing can be thought of more comfortable. Indeed, without these con- 
siderations, what is our religion ? What is all mortality* without knowing 
God in Christ ? * This is eternal life, to know thee, and whom thou hast 
sent, Jesus Christ,' John xvii. 3. It is the beginning of heaven, as Christ 
saith. It is not only the way to bring us to heaven, but it is initial salva- 
tion. The knowledge of God the Father, and the knowledge of Christ 
coming from the Father with a commission to work all for our good, it is 
eternal life. 

Thus we see what we may observe out of this, that Christ is God's. We 
can go no further. We cannot take up our rest better than in this. * All 
is ours, and we are Christ's, and Christ is God's. Therefore let us end 
with that in Rom. xi. 36, ' Of him, and by him, and through him are all 
things : therefore to him be glory for ever, and for ever.' If all things 
come from the Father, by and through the Father in Christ, to the Father 
therefore be all glory for ever and ever. Amen. 
* Qu. • morality ' ?— G. 



NOTES. 



(a) P. 3. — ' Man hath this added to his dignity, to know it. And this is given 
him, as a schoolman saith, that he may rejoice in that he hath, and him that gave 
it.' This sentiment occurs with even more than his ordinary grandeur of expres- 
sion in the ' Thoughts ' of Pascal, who has clothed with new splendour many of the 
incidental observations of the Schoolmen. Pascal was of course much later than 
Sihbes ; but their reading lay in the same directions. Cf. Pascal by Pearce after 
Faugere ; ' Thoughts on Religion,' c. iii. iv. ; Disproportions or Inequalities in Man ; 
The Greatness and the Misery of Man (1850). 

(b) P. 4. — ' But should I tell thee what is said by Baronius and some others, and 
what might be said of the honour of that calling ' [the ministry], &c. . . . Cassar 
Baronius (or Baron) was a cardinal of the Church of Rome. A list of his numerous 
ecclesiastical and controversial writings will be found in "Watt's Bibliotheca Britan- 
nica, sub voce. Throughout he extols, rather exaggerates, the office of, not the ministry 
as Sibbes understood it, but the priesthood. This he does in common with aU the 



88 A christian's portiok. 

papist controversalists, who in proportion as they degrade the Priest, exalt the 
priests. Pity the Romisli writers are so oblivious of tlie Epistle to the Hebrews. 

(cj P. 7. — ' Cephas and Paul are servants of the church, and I that am Peter's suc- 
cessor am so ; but yet he stamps in his coin " That nation and country that will not 
serve thee, shall be rooted out.' " This legend is found on a coin of Pope Julius III., 
about 1557, as follows : — ' Gens. et. Regnum. quod. non. servierit. tibi perebit,' 
A rei)resentation of one of these coins is given by Elliot in his Ilorce ApocalypticoB 
(II. page 474, 5th ed., 1862). It is understood to have had special reference to 
the invasion of England by the Spanish Armada in the following year. 

(d) P. 8. — ' As a wise pliilosoplier could say, that man is the end of all things in 
a semi-circle.' That is, probably, the final cause, for whose sake the inferior crea- 
tures exist. 

(e) P. 10. — ' That terrible of terribles, as the philosopher saith' [of death]. Sibbes 
usually employs the historic formula of the orator = Cicero ; the philosopher = Aris- 
totle. His present reference is probably therefore to the familiar iravruv ruv 
(po^iQMV (polBisoiTarog of Aristotle. The phrase is frequent in the Latin classics also- 

(f) P. 11. — •" Indeed, death is the death of itself; deatli is the death of death.' Dr 
John Owen has appropriated these words as the title of one of his most striking 
boolvs, viz., ' Tlie Death of Death in the Death of Christ ; or a Treatise of the Ee- 
demption and Reconciliation that is in the Blood of Christ ' (1642. 4to). 

{g) P. 16. — ' And then, all things were not common.' Sibbes is probably inaccu- 
rately reported here. Tlie thought may be thus brought out. ' All' [did not make 
the] things (or property) [which they possessed] common. Witliout this caveat 
Sibbes would seem to contradict Acts ii. 44, than whom none would have shrunk 
with greater horror from so doing. Perhaps the following paraphrase renders the 
statement of the original : ' All that believed who were together, had all things 
common ;' i. e., the associated Christians as distinguished from the permanent resi- 
dents in Jerusalem. 

(h) P. 16. — ' And St Austin saith well, " Surely he was no king that feared he 
should be a king.' " The words of St Augustine are, ..." Quid enim ? Non erat rex 
qui timebat fieri rex? Erat omnino' (Tract, xxv. in Joan vi.). Sibbes appears to 
have read the sentence without the note of interrogation. 

{i) P. 17. — ' And therefore, as St Ambrose saith very well, " If thou hast not 
nourished one, howsoever in the law thou art not a murderer, yet before God thou 
art." ' This sentiment occurs again and again in the writings of St Ambrose, and 
is dwelt upon in his treatise on Ahab and Naboth's vineyard ; but the actual ex- 
pression has not been found. 

(y) P. 23. — ' As Bernard saith well, Donum Doi sine Deo, they have the gifts of 
God, without God ; without the love and favour of God.' The passage referred to is 
probably the following, ' Neque enim quse habemus ab eo, servare aut teneie pos- 
sumus sine eo.' — Bern, in Ps. xc, Serm. I. 

{k) P. 23. — ' Licitis perimiis omnes, it is an ordinary speech : we all perish by 
lawful things.' This is probably a recollection of Gregory's fuller statement : Solus 
in iUicitis non cadit, qui se aliquando et a licitis caute restringit (Moral, lib. v. et Homil 
35 in Evang.). 

(I) P. 24. — ' Moses married a blackamore. He could not alter her disposi- 
tion,' &c. This, wliich is a common illustration in Sibbes's age, is surely unwar- 
ranted, at least if by 'blackamore' he intended wliat we understand thereby, viz., 
a thick-lipped negress. Shakespeare makes a similar mistake respecting Othello. 

(m) P. 33. — ' As Bernard saith, I go willingly to a Mediator made bone of my 
bone, my brother.' The following are the words of Bernard : — Ut ex aequo partibus 
congruens mediator, neutri suspectus sit, Deus filius Dei fiat liomo, fiat filius homi- 
nis ; et certum me reddit in hoc osculo oris sui. Securus suscipio mediatorem Dei 
filium quem agnosco et meum. Minime, plane, jam mihi suspectus erit. Frater 
enim et caro mea est. Puto enim, speruere me non poterit os de ossibus meis, et 
caro de carne mea. — Bern, in Cant. Cant. Ser. II. 

(w) P. 35. — ' The modestest and learnedest Jesuit of late times, speaking of this 
argument,' &c. A very similar passage from Bellarmine is quoted in Vol. I. p. 313. 

G. 



THE SPIRITUAL MAN'S AIM. 



THE SPIEITUAL MAN'S AIM. 



NOTE. 

• The Spiritual Man's Aim' was originally published in a small volume (less than 
18mo) in 1637. Its title-page is given below* Prefixed to it is Marshall's 
smaller portrait of Sibbes, which is found in 'The Christian's Portion ' and else- 
where. A second edition, which is our text, appeared in quarto in 1656. Its title- 
page is likewise given below.f The initials T. G. and P. N. represent the well- 
known Dr Thomas Goodwin and Philip Nye. Cf. Vol. II. page 3, but for Hanburg 
read Hanbury. G. 

t The 
Spikituall-Mans 

AlME. 

Guiding a Christian in his 

Affections ^ Actions, through the 

sundry passages of this Life. So that 

God's glory and his Salvation may be 

the maine end of all. 

By the faithfuU and Eeverend 
Divine, R. Sibbes, D. D. and some- 
time Preacher to the Honourable 
Society of Graies Inne. 
Published by 
T. G. and P. N. 

London, 

Printed by E. G. for John Eothwell, 

and are to be sold at the Sunne in 

Paul's Church-yard. 1637 

t THE 

SPIRITUALL 
MANS AIME. 

GUIDING 

A Christian in his Affections and 

Actions through the sundry passages of 

this Life. So that God's glory, and his own 

Salvation may be the maine end of all. 

BY 

The faithfull and Reverend Divine, 
Richard Sibbs, D. D. and sometime 
Preacher to the Honourable Society 

of Graies Inne. m 

Published by 

T. G. and P. N. 

LONDON, 

Printed by W. H. for John Eothwell, at the 

Sign of the Beare and Fountaine in 

Cheapside, 1656. 



THE SPIRITUAL MAN'S AIM. 



It rema'metli, brethren, the time is short : let those that have iv.ives he as if they 
had none; and they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that 
rejoice, as though they rejoiced not ; and they that buy, as though they pos- 
sessed not ; and they that use this world, as not abusing it : for the fashion 
of this world passeth away. — 1 Cor. VII. 29—31. 

The blessed apostle, in the former part of this chapter, had given direction 
in cases of conscience, being a man that had the tongue of the learned to 
speak a word in season to the weary, Isa. 1. 4 ; whereupon, having in his 
eye greater matters, as his use is almost in every epistle, he calls them from 
particular cases, that they should not overmuch trouble themselves about 
them, but mind the main, ' The time is short : let those that are married 
be as if they were not,' &c. But yet, notwithstanding, 

He gives satisfaction to the particular cases. For as, in travelling, it is 
not enough to know that a man's way lies east, or west, or north, or south, 
but he must know the turnings and windings, the particularities of the way; 
so in religion it is not enough to know that we must serve God above all, 
and love our neighbour as ourself, &c. Those generahties atheists will 
embrace, and in pretence of them shake off all further study of religion. 
Our knowledge must stand in clearing particular cases also, which, being 
cleared, the way is smoother to heavenward. Yet, notwithstanding, we 
must not dwell too much upon particulars, for here you see the apostle calls 
them off, ' Finally, my brethren, the time is short ;' it remains that we look 
to the main, &c. ' For the fashion of this world passeth away ;' wherein 
we considered* two points in general, which I will only name, and hasten 
to that which foUoweth. 

The first was this, that, 

Boct. 1. A very good ivay to satisfy cases of conscience in particular, is to 
have in our mind the main. 

For there be many that puzzle themselves all their life about this and 
that particular, and forget the main in the mean time. Let a man look 
to the main, and he will soon resolve in such particulars as these whether 
it be good to redeem time to hear a sermon now and then. He will do the 
thing, and not stand making a case of it ; for when he considers how it 

* From this reference it would appear Sibbes bad delivered sermons that have not 
been preserved, from tbe present text. — G. 



42 



THE SPIRITUAL MAN S AIM. 



helps to tlie main, the saving of his soul, &c., for which he came into the 
world, he will easily be resolved. 

And so for sanctifying the Lord's day entirely ; many have scruples and 
keep ado, but if they had the love of God in their souls, and did look to 
the main, they would see it to be an idle question. For how much con- 
duceth it to the main ? 

And so for conversing with company, are they such as are comfortable 
and cheerful ? Are they such as we may profit by ? Why do I entangle 
myself and hinder the main? So we see Paul, in resolving the particulars, 
he calls them to the main : ' Brethren, the time is short,' and therefore be 
in these things as if ye were not (as we shall see anon in the particulars), 
' for the fashion of this world passeth away.' This is the reason why none 
but a true Christian can carry himself moderately in the things of this 
world. Why ? Because none but a sound Christian hath a main, and a 
chief end that sways the stern* of his whole life ; he looks to heaven and 
happiness, and how it shall be with him afterwards, and he considers parti- 
culars thereafter ; when another man of necessity must err in particular 
cases, because he hath not a gracious aim. You have no man but a Chris- 
tian, but he loseth himself in the things of this world. 

The second thing is this ; you see that, 

Doct. 2. Eeligion meddles with all matters. 

With the world, with marriage, with buying, and possessing, as we shall 
see afterwards. Saith an atheist that stomachs it, that his ways should be 
hindered from that commanding skill of religion which hath to do in all 
things, What hath the minister to do with our caUings, with lawyers, with 
tradesmen, or statesmen ? What hath the minister to do with these 
things ? 

It is true, not with the materials, with the particular matters of those 
callings. That is left to those that are artists, and that have skill in the 
particulars of their professions in each kind. But a minister and a Chris- 
tian, and religion in any man, hath to deal with these things, as they help 
to further the main. For religion is a skill that fits a man for a further 
end, for his last end, for heaven. 

Now, being such a skill, it must direct evei^ything so far as it helps or 
hinders that. State knowledge, we say, is a commanding knowledge. 
Why ? Because it meddles with all trades. How ? Hath a statesman 
skill in this or that trade ? No ; not in the particular mystery, but he 
hath skill so far as he sees what may serve for the public good. Let the 
safety of the commonwealth be the law of all trades. The state knowledge 
is the supreme knowledge, which is for the good of the whole ; therefore he 
cuts off particulars if they be mischievous to the whole. So all trades 
must be told of their faults, as they are blemishes to religion, for we must 
not be so in this or that trade, as that we forget we are Christians, and 
therefore we must hear meekly the word of God when it meets with our 
particular callings. We see Paul meddleth with buying and selling, with 
marriage, &c. How ? As far as they might hinder the main : ' Finally, 
my brethren, the time is short, and the fashion of this world passeth away.' 
Therefore be not overmuch in these things. 

It is the suprema ratio, &c., it is the main reason that makes for religion : 

as I said before of state knowledge, it is suprema lex. Yet though that be 

supreme in regard of inferiors, yet there is one above that, the chief reason 

of all that makes for religion ; there be many particular reasons that make 

* That is, as the ' helm' placed in the ' stern,' ruling the ship. — G. 



THE SPIRITUAL MAN's AIM. 43 

for this and that. Ay, but religion saith the contrary, and then that must 
rule, that is the suprema ratio. Now I come to unfold the particulars. 
The apostle here stands upon five directions and bounds. Those five direc- 
tions with three reasons : — 

* Let those that are married be as if they were not.' 

* Those that weep, as if they wept not.' 

* Those that rejoice, as if they rejoiced not.' 

* And they that buy, as though they possessed not.' 

* And they that use this world, as not abusing it.' 
How are these five directions enforced ? 

They are enforced from three reasons : — 

Theyirs^ is in the front of the text : ' The time is short.' Therefore be 
moderate in all things here. 

The second is in the shutting up of the text : ' For the fashion of this 
world passeth away.' 

The tlurd reason is a main reason too, that is, from their state and con- 
dition in Christ : ' Why, brethren," saith he, ' partakers of the heavenly 
calling,' Heb. iii. 1, as he saith in another place, ' Partakers of better 
things,' 2 Cor. i. 7, and by being ' brethren,' ' brethren in Christ,' ' mem- 
bers of Christ.' He is the knot of the brotherhood, being born again * sons 
of God ;' ' brethren of Christ,' not brethren only among yourselves, but 

* brethren in Christ,' and so sons of God and heirs of heaven. What ! for 
you to be immoderate in the things of the world. Paul wraps up a moving 
reason, not only to insinuate to gain their afiections, ' Oh ! my brethren,' 
but to add a force of reason likewise. ' Brethren, the time is short.' And, 
brethren, ' the fashion of this world passeth away.' So add these three 
reasons to the five directions, and see how strongly Paul backs his direc- 
tions. Indeed, it was needful for Paul so to do. We are so desperately 
set on the things of this world, we are so hardly taken oif, that there must 
be reason upon reason ; for the Holy Ghost, the Holy Spirit of God, loves 
not waste of reasons, to spend them where there is no use. And therefore 
we must think it is a weighty point, and of great equity, that we give ear 
to these directions. 

We must remember that every one of these reasons has a' force in every 
direction. You that have wives, be as if you had none, for the ' time is 
short,' and ' the fashion of the world passeth away.' And so you that 

* weep, as if you wept not,' ' for the time is short, and the fashion of the 
world passeth away.' And you are ' brethren,' you that ' use the world, as 
not abusing it,' for ' the time is short, and the fashion of the world passeth 
away.' So that all these reasons must be thought on in every particular 
direction that I speak of, only in general. I will speak a little of the fii'st 
reason, ' The time is short.' 

What time? 

(1.) The time of the world. There is but a little time before the day of 
judgment, Christ is at hand to judge the quick and the dead. The time 
between this and that is short. It was short then, it is shorter now. ' The 
time is short.' We are fallen into the latter end of the world. But that is 
not all. 

(2.) The time is short of our little icorld ; our particular judgment is near 
at hand. It shall be with us at the latter day as it is when we die. Our 
time is short ; the time of our particular life is short, and that is more 
forcible to persuade us ' the time is short.' 

(3.) The season of the time, which is the prime time. The season and 



44 



THE SPIRITUAL MAN S AIM. 



opportunity of time is shorter than the time of life ; for we have not oppor- 
tunity of time all our life. ' The time is short ;' that is, 

[1.] The advantage of doing good and of taking good is short. All the 
year is not harvest or seed-time. It is not always tide ; it is not always 
sunshine. And as it is in nature, so it is in the spiritual state of things ; 
we have not always advantages and opportunities ; we have not always gales. 
Opportunity therefore is shorter than time, as our time is shorter than the 
time of the world. * The time is short ; ' the opportunity and season of 
time is shorter. 

[2.] Ay, and uncertain ; we cannot tell how short. If it wei'e told any 
of us here that within two days he shall die, it would startle us, the best of 
us all ; it would make us look about us : but who of us all knows certainly 
that he shall live two hours ? The time, as it is short, so it is uncertain, 
and here is the wondrous folly of our nature, that we will take so much 
time to come in trust, as though we should live so long, and make a cove- 
nant with death. But one party cannot make a covenant. God and the 
time to come make no covenant with us. Therefore it is extremity of folly 
to say, I will live so long, and so long. * Thou fool,' saith God, when he 
projected for a long time and had treasure laid up for many years, ' Thou 
fool, this night they shall take thy soul,' Luke xii. 20. A man is a fool 
when he makes account of continuing that he hath no promise of. And 
therefore the time being short, and uncertain too, take it while we may 
catch hold of it, especially the opportunity of time. 

[3.] And in the third place, it is irrecoverable when it is gone. There is 
no recalling back of time when it is past. In all these respects we must 
be good husbands ; we must be thrifty of our time, and not take care how 
to drive away that, that flies away of itself so fast. It is a precious thing, 
precious for great purposes. What is this little time given us for ? To 
provide for eternity, world without end. And we trifle it away about this 
thing and that thing to no pui-pose ; we fill it up with vanity, and with sin, 
which is worse. In this little time we do that, that in a long time we 
cannot undo again. That is our madness and folly. Therefore ' the time 
being short,' let us take heed what we do in it. We may do that in a 
little time that we may rue for eternity. We may do that good, and get 
that good in a little time, that may stand by us world without end. Those 
that have but a little plot of ground, they will husband it so, as not to lose 
a handful of it ; so those that have but a little time, let them husband it 
well, sow to the Spirit, that our harvest may be eternal life ; that we may 
say. Oh ! it was a great blessing, that God gave me a little time to get 
into Christ, to repent of my sins, &c. Beloved, there are three main parts 
of this little time : ; 

Past, present, to come. 

(1 .) The time that is gone ; let us repent of it, if it have not been spent well. 
That is the best use we can make of the time past ; for there is nothing to 
be done in the time that is past. But if things have been done ill, repent. 

(2.) The time present is to do good in ; and for the time to come, it is 
out of our power ; and therefore even for the present we must work. The 
time past ; the best use we can make of it, is to comfort ourselves, as 
Hezekiah, in our sincerity, Isa. xxxviii. 3, or to repent if anything have 
been done amiss. But look to the present, put not off, do the work for 
which we came into the world, presently. * The time is short,' the journey is 
long, the business is great. It is a great journey from earth to heaven ; it 
is a great matter to get from earth to heaven. 



THE SPIRITUAL MAN S AIM. 45 

(3.) Now having such business as to go to heaven, let us, I beseech you, 
consider the iveight of the business, and give our eyes no sleep, nor our eyelids 
slumber, till ice are gotten into such a state and condition as is not liable to 
time; let us make this special use of precious time. Those that are young, 
let them be advised to take time along with them, which is to be esteemed 
far above gold, and consecrate the prime and the flower of their time to 
God and to the best things ; especially considering, that we have no assur- 
ance of this time. And those that are old, that through age are going into 
the grave, let them not neglect their time. A young man, as we say, may 
die soon ; an old man cannot live long. And therefoi-e let those that are 
stricken in years be put in mind to think that their time is shorter than 
others'. All men's times are short, old men's shortest. Let those there- 
fore think of this, ' The time is short.' Our folly is this, we make it 
shorter than it is by our ' Vanity, vanity.' It were well if it were only 
vanity. By sinful and intemperate courses many shorten their days, and 
so are felons upon themselves ; or by their wickedness, they give God 
occasion to shorten them. ' A bloodthirsty and cruel man shall not live 
out half his days,' Ps. Iv. 23. God meets with him. So ' the time is 
short,' and we make it shorter. We are guilty of the shortness of it. Let 
us take heed of that. But I have been over long in this point ; only because 
it is the prime reason, set before all the particulars, I beseech you consider, 
' the time is short.' If we do not make use of it we are worse than the 
devil himself ; he makes use of the shortness of his time. What doth he ? 
'Because the time is short,' he doth all the mischief he can, Rev. xii. 12. 
He fills up his time to increase his kingdom ; he doth all the mischief he 
can, for this reason ; because his time is short. Let us learn somewhat of 
the worst of spirits. But that which it serves for in particular here, is 
this ; we have many things to do, and the time being short, let us be sure 
we do the main thing that we come for, and other things as they help ihe 
main, and not hinder it. The time is short, and we have many businesses 
to do ; let us be sure that we do our business, so as that we leave not the 
main undone. That is the thing he aims at here. ' The time is short.' 
' It remains that those that have wives be as if they had none.' 
1. That is the first particular; for before they had asked him cases of eon- 
science about marriage, and that makes him speak of it. All the particu- 
lars have dependence one upon another. Those that marry will have 
occasion to weep, that is next, for there will be cause. There will be loss 
of husband, or wife, or child, and there is somewhat always ; family 
crosses attend upon marriage. And therefore he adds weeping after 
marriage. 

And then because there is joy. ' A woman brings forth in sorrow, but 
she joys when a man child is born,' as Christ speaks, John xvi. 21. There 
is joy in children, and there is a mutual joy in that sweet conjugal friend- 
ship, there is much joy ; and therefore as there is weeping, so there is joy 
in marriage. 

' And those that buy, as if they possessed not.' There must be buying 
where there is wife and children ; there must be looking to posterity ; and 
then all this enforceth, ' using of the world.' And men when they enter 
into that estate, they enter into the world ; as we use to say, they begin 
the world anew. They enter into the world ; for there are many things 
necessary to maintain that society. Therefore we see one thing depends 
upon another. He joins all together, aiming especially at one thing, at 
that kind of life especially. 



46 THE SPIRITUAL MAN S AIM. 

Now in every one of tlicse particulars, lie gives a liberty to do the thing. 
You may marry, you may weep, you may joy, you may buy, you may use 
the world. But as there is a liberty, so there is a danger ; you may, but 
you may not go too far. And therefore with a liberty he gives a restraint. 
Do them, but take heed you overdo them not. And this restraint is backed 
with reason ; he hath reason for his restraint. ' The time is short ; ' and 
therefore there is danger, lest you shoot yourselves too far, lest you pass 
too deep into these things. ' And the fashion of this world passeth away ; ' 
all things here pass away. Therefore it is in vain for you to be overmuch 
in those things that are passing things. 

And then you are, brethren, called to greater matters ; so there is a 
liberty, a danger, and a restraint upon the danger ; and likewise a reason 
to back it in every particular. 

(1.) The liberty : We may marry. It is not questioned. There is not 
only a liberty, but it is an honourable estate, and necessary ; honoured in 
paradise, honoured by Christ's presence ; a liberty by which the church 
is upheld, heaven is increased. It was the devil that brought in a base 
esteem of that honourable condition. In popery, they rather will be the 
members of an harlot, than the head of a wife. It was the devil that 
brought in those abominable opinions and writings to disparage that honour- 
able condition, and so it must be thought. 

(2.) But there is a danger ; and that is the main thing. You that have 
•wives, ' be as if you had none.' There is a great danger in a double re- 
spect. A danger in the things, and a peril if we go too far in them. That 
is, there is a great hazard, and we shall go overfar in that condition, and 
a danger that it tends to. 

For instance, those that haveVives, have they not been drawn away by their 
wives, as Solomon was, to idolatry ? 1 Kings xi. 4. Is there not a danger 
of being drawn away ? And in being drawn away is there not a hazard to 
our souls ? Did not sin come in that way ? Was not Adam led away by 
his wife ? And how many men perish by being too nxorions* by being 
too flexible in that kind ? If they had remembered the apostle's precept 
to marry as if they had not, they would not have been so drawn away. 
Because there is a danger, there is a restraint : ' Let those that have wives 
be as though they had none.' What ! to use them as if they had none ? 
To care for them as if they had none ? No ; that is not the meaning ; 
* but to be as if they had none.' That is, let them be as resolute for God's 
truth, as if they had no wives to hinder them ; let them be as willing to 
suffer crosses, if God call them, as if they had none ; let them be as ready 
to good duties, if it fall within their calling, as if they had none ; let them 
avoid distracting cares, and worldly incumbrances, as if they had none ; let 
them not pretend their marriage for baseness and worldliness, and for 
avoiding of crosses and afflictions when God is pleased to call them unto 
them ; let them not pretend marriage for their doubling in religion and dis- 
sembling, ' I shall undo my wife and children,' ' Let them be as if they 
had none,' for Christ hath given us direction to hate all for Christ, A man 
is not worthy of Christ and of religion, that undervalues not wife and 
children and all, for the gospel. If things stand in question, whether shall 
I stick to them or to Christ, my chief husband ; I must stick to Christ. 
The reason is, the bond of religion is above all bonds. And the bond that 
binds us to Christ it abides when all bonds cease ; for all bonds between 
husband and wife, between father and children, they end in death; but the 
* That is, ' wifely ' = wife over-loving.^ — G. 



THE SPIRITUAL MAN's AIM. 47 

bond of Christ is eternal. Every bond must serve the main bond ; and 
therefore we must not pretend this and that to wrong Christ and religion, 
which is the main bond. We must so labour to please others, that we dis- 
please not our chief husband. For the time will be, when we shall neither 
marry, nor be given in marriage, but we shall be as the angels, Mat. xxii. 30 ; 
and that time shall be without bounds and limits, for eternity ; and we 
must look to that. And therefore those that marry, ' let them be as if 
they were not married.' You know how it fared with them in the gospel, 
that pretended this, for his not coming to Christ ; he that was married 
saith, ' I cannot come.' His excuse was more peremptory than the rest, 
' he could not.' Could not this excuse him ?- And will pretending 
this excuse men when they are called to duties ? Tliere is that dispro- 
portion so much between Christ, our chief husband, and any other, though 
it be the wife of our bosom, or the children of our loins (the one having 
redeemed us, and is our best husband, a husband for eternity in heaven), 
that no excuse will serve the turn for a man to wrong the bond of religion 
for any bond whatsoever. And thei'efore you know the peremptory answer 
to him that pretended that excuse, ' You shall never taste of my feast,' 
Luke xiv. 24. 

' And those that weep, as though they wept not.' 

2. It is Jairful to u-eep, not only for sin — that should be the main — but 
likewise to weep for the miseries of the time and state we live in. There 
is a liberty here, ' Oh that my head were a fountain of tears,' saith Jere- 
miah, ix. 1. He thought he could not weep enough ; and therefore he 
wished that his head were ' a fountain.' He thought his tears would soon 
be dry. ' Oh that my head were a fountain,' so that there is a liberty to 
weep. Nay, men are bound to weep. There are tears of sympathy for 
the misery of the state and time we live in. And so for family losses and 
crosses. We are flesh, and not spirit ; and God hath made us men, and 
hath given us sensible apprehensions of grief; and it is a cursed temper to 
be without natural affection. We may weep, and we may grieve ; nay, we 
ought to grieve. 

Now grief is as it were a cloud from whence the shower of tears comes, 
and weeping is but a distillation of that vapour. 

If we may gi'ieve and ought to grieve for the times ; and it is a stupid 
temper not to apprehend the miseries of the state and times we live in ; if 
we may grieve, we may weep. That is put for the spring whence weepinw 
comes. For grief itself, there is a liberty, no question of that ; we may 
weep, but we must weep as if we wept not : for there is a danger in weep- 
ing over-much for any crosses. Here is a danger, for we may flatter our 
grief too much for wives and children. God takes it ill ; he takes it 
unkindly ; that when Christ himself is a perpetual husband, and God is an 
everlasting Father, that we should weep and grieve too much for the loss 
of father, or of wife, or of child. For is not God worth all ? So there is 
a danger that naturally we are prone to over-grieve, when we do grieve, as 
we are to over-joy when we do joy. For our nature can hardly keep bounds ; 
and God takes it unkindly when we do so, when we over-grieve ; for it is a 
sign we fetch not that comfort from him that is the spring and fountain, 
that we should do. And therefore let those that weep be as if they wept 
not. That is, not over-much. * For the time is short.' Dost thou lose 
any friend, or any thing ? ' The time is short,' we shall meet again. There 
is but little time between this and the latter judgment, ' and the fashion of 
* Qu. ' This could not excuse liim ' ? — G 



48 THE SPIBITUAL MAn's AIM. 

this world passeth away.' There will be a new world, a new heaven, and a 
new earth. And then we shall ' live for ever with the Lord.' 

And then, my ' brethren.' Why ? ' Brethren' should not be without 
hope of the resurrection, as the Gentiles are. They may weep that never 
think to see one another again. But a Christian, a brother, that hath hope 
of meeting again, let not him weep as without hope ; ' so let us weep, as if 
we wept not.' So he lays a restraint upon that ; nay, though our weeping 
be for sin, there must be a moderation in that, for we may over-grieve. We 
are bound to joy in the Lord, and alway to rejoice. And therefore we 
must weep for sin, so as we must remember to joy. We must with one 
eye look upon our sins to humble us, and to look upon our hearts to 
grieve ; but with the other eye we must look upon God's mercy in Christ 
to comfort us again. The best grief of all, that must be moderate ; much 
more, grief for any earthly thing. 

Now, when we are tempted to over-grieve for any earthly thing, the best 
way is diversion.* Do I grieve for these ? Ay, but is my soul as it 
should be ? Let me weep over my dead soul, as Christ wept over Lazarus 
when he was dead. Let me weep over my dull soul, let me weep over that. 

As physicians, when the blood runs too much one way, they give an 
issue another way ; so let us turn our grief the right way. How is it with 
us ? Is the life of grace there ? Is reckonings even between God and my 
soul ? Am I fit to end my days ? Am I in a state fit for heaven ? Then 
we shall weep for something. It is pity such pearls as tears should be 
lost. God hath no bottles for tears that are shed over- much for the things 
of the world. But if they be for our sins, and the sins of the time we live 
in, and for the ills and miseries of the state that are on us, and hang over 
our heads, then let us weep to purpose ; turn our grief the right way ; and 
then let us grieve amain, if we will, so our grief run in that channel. 

' Those that joy, as if they did not.' '' 

3. Joy we may and u-e oiif/ht ; for God envies not our joy. He hath 
given us wherewith in this life to joy, abundance of comforts of all sorts 
for all our senses, flowers and colours, &c. We have nothing in soul or 
body but it hath objects to delight in. God hath made himself for the soul 
to delight in, and there is somewhat to delight us in every creature. So 
sweet is God, we may and ought to rejoice. God gives us wife and chil- 
dren to rejoice in : ' Rejoice in the wife of thy youth,' Prov. v. 18. There 
is no question of a liberty in these things. 

But then there is a danger, especially in sweet affections. There is dan- 
ger, because we are like to over-joy. And poison is the subtlest conveyed 
in sweet things. We are prone to over-joy. There is a danger ; there- 
fore there must be a restraint. ' We must joy as if we rejoiced not ;' that 
is, so joy, in any thing here, as considering that ' the time is short,' I can- 
not enjoy it long. Shall I joy in that I cannot enjoy ? ' The time is 
short.' I cannot enjoy them. If a man cannot enjoy a thing long, he 
cannot joy. ' The time is short ;' you must go. The things must go, and 
both must go. ' And the fashion of this world passeth away.' All the 
frame of things pass away ; marriage passeth away ; callings and friends 
pass away ; and all pass away. I beseech you, let us learn to joy as if we 
rejoiced not. The prophet calls Nineveh a rejoicing city, Jonah iii. 3, and 
we live in a jovial age. Men eat and drink as they did in the days of the 
old world, in Noah's time ; they marry and give in marriage. Mat. xxiv. 37; 
and therefore we had need to lay some restraint upon our joy : especially 
* That is, ' turning away from.'— G. 



THE SPIRITUAL. jMAN's AIJI. 49 

when God calls us to mourning as well as joy, as he doth if we look round 
about VIS. If we look upon the time, we shall see cause to joy as if we did 
not. We must not always be on the merry pin, as we say, but we must 
temper and qualify our joy. 

Now, considering that the apostle adds, weeping, grieving, and joy, you 
see that 

Pu'Ur/ion is especiaUy in moderating the affections. 

Religion is purging the affections from the evil that is in them, and 
moderating them, if they be lawful and good ; and therefore think not that 
you are religious enough if you know a great deal, as many Christians are 
very greedy of knowing, and jei if you look to their lives, their gi'ief and 
joy is intemperate ; they have not learned to bridle and to school their 
affections. You see that religion is in moderating of grief and joy in 
earthly things. Let us see men shew the power of religion in bearing of 
crosses, so that ' they weep as if they wept not ;' and in bearing prospe- 
rity so as they can learn to abound, to joy as if they rejoiced not. That 
man hath learned religion to purpose ; for religion is especially about the 
affections. For we are good if we joy welFand grieve well, but not if we 
know much. The devil knoweth more than we. Therefore, especially 
labour, that God would vouchsafe grace to govern the affections, that we 
may know how to grieve and how to joy ; as naturally indeed we do not. 

And then we see here another point, which now I add, that 

The affections of GocVs j^eople are mixed. 

They so weep as that it is mingled with joy, and their joy is mingled 
with weeping. * They weep as if they wept not,' ' they joy as if they joyed 
not.' 

A carnal man is in simples altogether. If he joy, he thrusts the house 
out of the window, as we say. If he be merry, he is mad ; he hath no 
bounds. If he be sorrowful, if somewhat restrain him not, he sinks like 
a beast under his sorrow, as Nabal did, 1 Sam. xxv. 37, 38, for he hath no 
grace to temper his sorrow and to temper his joy ; and, therefore, he is 
over- sorrowful or over-jocund. Ah ! but grace, considering that we have 
objects of both, doth temper the affections. A Christian, when he joys, he 
doth not over-joy, for he hath cause at that time to mourn for somewhat ; 
and when he grieves, he doth not over-grieve, for he hath somewhat then 
to joy in ; for Christ is his, and heaven is his, and the providence of God 
to direct all for good is his still ; he hath somewhat to joy in at the worst. 
And therefore all his affections are tempered and qualified. So much for 
that point. 

' And they that buy, as if they possessed not.' 

4. It is law/id to hwj. It is lawful to make contracts ; and propriety* is 
lawful. Every man ought to have his own. There were no theft if there 
were no propriety, nor there could be no works of mercy Now, if pro- 
priety and dominion of things be lawful, that we may possess things as 
our own, then buying is lawful. That is one way of contract of making 
things our own ; there is no danger in that. But there is a danger in the 
manner of buying. Men buy to perpetuate themselves : ' They call their 
lands after their names,' Ps. xlix. 11, and they think to continue for ever. 
God makes fools of them ; for how few have you that go beyond the third 
generation ? How few houses have you that the child, or the grandchild, 
can say, This was my grandfather's and my great-grandfather's ? How few 
houses have you, that those that are now in them can say, My ancestor 
* That is, ' property.' — G. 

VOL. IV. D 



50 THE SPIRITUAL MAN's AIM. 

dwelt here, and these were his lands ? Go over a whole country, few can 
say so. 

Men when they build, together with building in the earth, they build 
castles in the air ; they have conceits. Now I build for my child, and for 
my child's child. God crosses them. Either they have no posterity, or 
by a thousand things that fall out in the world, it falls out otherwise. ' The 
time is short, and the fashion of this world passeth away ;' that is, the 
buildings pass away, the owning passeth away, all things here pass away : 
and therefore buy as if you possessed not, buy so as we neglect not the 
best possession in heaven, and so possess these things, as being not pos- 
sessfed] and commanded of them. 

In Lev. XXV. 8, there you see the year of Jubilee was that all possessions 
might return again, if men would. God trained them up by this, to teach 
them that they should not think of inheriting things long that they bought, 
for it returned in the year of Jubilee, in the fiftieth year. So we must learn 
that we cannot possess things long. Though we possess them ourselves, 
we may be thrust out by fraud or tyranny. Therefore ' let those that buy be 
as though they did not possess.' Jer. xxii. 23 he saith, ' Thou makest thy 
nest in the cedars,' and thinkest it shall be thus and thus with thee. Oh ! 
beloved, let us not build and dwell in our hopes and assurance upon that 
which will yield no certain hope and assurance in this world. ' For the 
fashion of this world,' as we shall see hereafter,' ' passeth away.' 

And then for * brethren ' that have an inheritance in heaven ; for them 
to buy as if they should live here for ever ! ' Brethren,' that is a reason 
to take them off. ' Brethren, buy as if you possessed not.' Thus much 
of the four directions. 

' They that use the world, as not abusing it.' 

5. We may use the icorld, while we are here in it, for we cannot want the 
things of this life. We are members of two worlds while we are here. We 
are members of this world, and we are heirs of a better ; we have relation 
to two worlds. 

Now while we live in this world we must use the things of this world. 
How many things doth this poor life need while we are in this world ! 
While we are passengers we must have things to help us in the way to 
heaven. Passengers must have necessaries ; there is no question of that. 
And therefore we must use the world many ways. 

' As not abusing it.' 

There is danger in using the world ; there is a danger of cleaving in your 
affections to the things of this world, so much as that we forget a better 
world ; and therefore we should use it as not abusing it. 

How should we use it ? 

Why, use this world as laying a foundation for a better world. While 
we live here, use the world as we may further our reckonings for a better. 
Use the things of the world as we may express some grace in the using of 
it. Use the world as that the using of it may comfort us when the thing 
passeth. The ' world passeth.' But let us use the world, as that the grace 
that we express in the use of it may continue. Use the world to the honour 
of God, to the good of others, to the increase of our reckoning ; abuse it not 
to the dishonour of God ; fight not against God with his own blessings. 
That is to abuse the world. Forget not God the giver. Were it not an 
unkind thing if a man should invite strangers, if they should turn their 
kind friend that had invited them out of doors ? And so it is to use the 
things of the world bo as to turn God out of our hearts that gives all. 



THE SPIBITUAL MAN's AIM. 51 

Turn not the thin,!^s of tliis world against GoJ, or against others, to make 
them weapons of injustice, to be great to ruin others. Abuse them not to 
wrong, and to pierce our own souls, as the apostle saith, ' with cares and 
the like,' 1 Tim. vi. 10. This is to abuse the world, when we dishonour 
God and wrong others, or to pierce our own souls. God hath not given 
us the things of this world for this end, to hurt ourselves with them. And 
therefore together with the things, let us desire a gracious use of them, for 
it is better than the thing itself. Labour to use them as not abusing them, 
as we shall if we have not grace to use them well. Many have the gifts of 
God without God, because they have not his grace. When we have the 
gifts of God, desire grace to manage them well. To his children God gives 
this with the other ; he never gives them anything, but he gives them grace 
to make a sanctified use of it. They are sanctified to all things, and all 
things are sanctified unto them. ' Use the world as not abusing it.' The 
reason is strong, ' The time is short.' Why should we be overmuch in 
using the things of this world ; for that is one way of abusing the things of 
this world. ' The time is short.' We must be pulled from them whether 
we will or no. And therefore let us wean ourselves. And then, 'the 
fashion of this world passeth away.' Why should we doat, upon a 
perishing fashion ? All things here pass awaj^ and a new fashion comes 
after. You, ' brethren,' that are heirs of a better world, use this ' world as 
not abusing it.' ' Brethren,' he puts them in mind of a higher calling. 
And so I come to the last. 

' For the fashion of this world passeth away.' 

G. That is the second reason. The schema* that is, the apparition of 
this world, the outward fashion, the outward view and hue of the things of 
this world, pass away. It is a notable diminishing word in the original, as 
if the world were not a substance, but a fashion, schema. As we say in 
philosophy, in the air there are apparitions and substances ; as there arv^ 
flying horses sometimes and fighting men in the air. These are not sub- 
stances, but apparitions of things. It is but ^;/irtS('s, but an apparition, or 
shape. The substance and true reality of these things is another matter. 
So whatsoever is in the world, it is but an apparition. When the devil 
shewed Christ all the kingdoms of the world, he shewed him but an appari- 
tion, but a show of things. There is a diminishing in the word ' show' {a). 

And then in the word ' fadeth away.' 

' The fashion of this world passeth away ;' or, as some translate it, ' de- 
ceives, and turns us aside' [h). And so it doth indeed from better things. 
' The fashion of this world passeth away.' That translation is fit enough. 
' It passeth away.' Now shall we be immoderate in anything that passeth 
away ? It is but an apparition, but a show, but a pageant. The word is 
partly taken from a pageant, or a show that hath a resemblance of this and 
that. But there is no reality or substance in a pageant. From this. 

Use 1. Learn to conceive aright of the things of this life, that there is no 
reality in them to speak of. They have a kind of reality. Eiches are in 
some sort riches, and beauty is in some sort beauty, and nobility is in some 
sort nobility, and so possessions are in some sort possessions. But all 
this is but a pageant as it were, as a man that acts in a pageant, or in a 
play ; he is in some sort a king, or a beggar for the time. But we value 
him not as he is then, but as he is when he is otf the stage. And while 
we live here, we act the part, some of a rich man, some of a nobleman, 

* That is, ^yjtlJ^oi.. Cf. Philip, ii. 8.— G. 



52 THE SPIKITUAL MAN's AIM. 

some of a beggar or poor man ; all is but an acting of a part (c). And there 
is a less proportion between the acting of a part in this life, than there is 
between our life and eternity. All is but the acting of a part. We are not 
rich in the grave more than others. The king is as poor in the grave as 
the base peasant ; his riches follow him not. The worm and the grave know 
no difference. "WTien we go to that house there is no difference ; all acting 
and all differences end in the grave. And therefore, considering that this 
world is but an apparition, but the acting of a part, why should we think 
ourselves the better for anything here ? Doth he that acts the part of a 
nobleman upon the stage think himself better than another that acts the 
part of a poor man ? No. He knows he shall go off in a short time, and 
then he shall be as he was before. Why are we not thus wise in better 
things ? It is not he that acts the greatest part, but he that acts any part 
best. He that acts the part of a poor man may do better than he that acts 
the part of a rich man. It is not the greatness of the part, but the well 
acting of it. All is but an apparition. If a mean man honour God in his 
condition, and be faithful in a mean estate, he is a thousand times better 
than a great man that makes his greatness an instrument of injustice, as if 
all the world were to serve his turn, and to make men idolise him ; such a 
man is' a wretched man, and will be when he is turned off the stage. It is 
no matter how long he hath lived, or how great a part he hath acted, but 
how well. We value not men as they are when they are acting, but as they 
are after. If they were bad before, they are bad after ; and they are praised 
after if they do it well. So it is no matter what a man acts. If he do it 
well, he is for ever happy ; if he do it ill, he is for ever miserable ; all here 
is but a pageant. If you talk of realitj^, it is in the things of religion. If 
you talk. of true nobility, it is to be the child of God. If you talk of true 
riches, they are those that we carry to our deathbed ; those that we carry 
to heaven ; those that comfort the soul ; those that enrich the soul with 
grace and comfort and peace ; that is true riches. If _you talk of true 
beauty, it is to have the image of God stamped upon our souls, to be like 
Christ, to be new creatures. If we talk of true strength, it is to stand 
against temptations, to be able to serve God, and to go through the world 
without polluting our souls, to bear crosses as we should ; that is the true 
reality. The things of this life are all but apparitions and pageants. The 
greatest man in the world will say so when he lies a-dying, as that great 
emperor said, ' I have run through all things, and now nothing doth me 
good.'* The realitj^ was gone that he thought of, and now there was 
nothing but a show and apparition ; when the reality was gone, nothing doth 
me good. Come to a man that is gasping out his life, and ask him, What 
doth honours do you good ? What doth riches do you good ? What doth 
possessions do you good ? Solomon, a wise man, wise b}^ the Spirit of 
God ; wdse by experience, because he was a king ; wise by a special gift of 
God, a gift of wisdom ; he had all to enable him to give a true sentence ; he 
that had run through the variety of all good things, what doth he pronounce, 
but ' vanity of vanities ?' He cannot express himself. ' Vanity of vanities,' 
saith wise, holy, experienced Solomon. He that had all abilities, that no 
man was able to say it so well as he, yet he saith, ' Vanity of vanities ;' 
and that which is worse, ' vexation of spirit,' if a man have not especial 
grace to manage them aright. And therefore I beseech you, ' brethren,' do 
but represent the things of this life, even under the notion here ; they are 
but apparitions, they are but pageants. If we go to buy anything in this 
* Cf. Note, Vol. III. page 531, note z.—G. 



THE SPIRITUAL MAn's AIM. 53 

world, we first pull off the trappings ; we pull off the mask, or else we 
may be cozened in the thing. So if we would judge of the things of this 
world as they are : what is within riches ? Is there not a great deal of 
care ? What is within government ? What is within the things of this life ? 
There is a goodly show and apparition. What is within ? Pull off the 
mask, and then you shall see the things of this world. The more you 
pierce into them, and the more you know them, the worse you like them. 
There is emptiness, and not only so, but vexation. But in the things of 
heaven, the nearer you are the more you will love them, the more you will 
admire them. The more a man knows God, the more he may know him. 
The more a man knows Christ, and loves Christ, the more he may. There 
is a height, and breadth, and depth there, all dimensions in the love of 
God in Christ, and in the joys of heaven ; they are beyond comprehension. 
The things that we have in Christ, they are larger than the soul ; we cannot 
comprehend them. There is nothing here but we may compass it ; it is 
inferior to our knowledge and affections. Our affections and our knowledge 
are larger than anything here ; the things of a better life are beyond all. 
Shall we be taken with apparitions, that the more we know them the more 
we shall undervalue them ? 

' And the fashion of this world passeth away.' 

It is a fashion, it is but a fashion; and then it ' passeth away.' Indeed, 
they do pass away ; experience sheweth that they pass even like a river. 
The water passeth away ; it goes, and goes along, but it never comes. So 
the things of this world; they pass away, but they never come again. They 
vanish away, and we pass away with them too. Even as men in a ship, 
whether they eat, or drink, or sleep, or walk, the ship goeth, and they go 
in it. So it is in this world, whether we eat, or drink, or sleep, we pass 
away to death. Every day takes a part of our life away ; and evea-y day 
we live, we live a day less. It is gone and past, and never returns again, 
as water when it is gone ; and whether we walk or do anything, the time 
pa,sseth. While you hear, and while I speak, the time passeth, and never 
returns again. So ' the fashion of this world passeth away.' All things 
are passing here. 

We say they are moveables, and indeed those things that we call im- 
moveables are moveables. All pass away ; heaven and earth will pass 
away ere long, and there wild be a new heaven and a new earth. Rev. 
xxi. 1. Kingdoms pass away, and kings pass away, and states pass away. 
What is become of Rome ? What is become of Jerusalem ? What is 
become of Babylon, and all those goodly cities ? All are ' passed away ;' 
they are all gone. This experience speaks as well as divinity. 

Reason 1. Now, the ground of all this is, not only the nature of things 
— all things that are [are] made of nothing. Being therefore subject to 
fall to their first principles again, that is the fundamental reason why 
things may be moveable ' and pass away.' But that they are so, it is not 
a sufficient reason, for God might have suspended the mutability of things 
if he would ; as, the heavenly angels are mutable, because they are created, 
but God hath suspended their mutability world without end ; and therefore 
it is not sufficient that all things are of nothing. It shews that of them- 
selves they may turn to nothing indeed. 

Fieason 2. But there is another reason ; since the fall of man there is a 
curse upon all things. There is a sentence of mutability and change, and 
a sentence of * passing' is passed upon all. All things that have a begin- 
ning shall have an end, and that this world shall be a stage of changes and 



54 THE SPIKITUAX MAN's AIM. 

alteration. There is a sentence of vanity upon the creature : ' The crea- 
ture is subject to vanity ; not of his own will, hut because God hath sub- 
dued it to vanity,' Kom. viii, 20. Man committed treason, and therefore 
the creatures, which are man's servants, all mourn for their master's fall ; 
they all mourn in black, as it were. All the creatures are subject to vanity, 
all the creatures under the sun are subject to mutability and change ; but 
"we may thank ourselves, we are the grand traitors that brought this misery 
upon the creature. That is the true reason why all things ' pass away,' 
and so why ourselves have the sentence of death upon us. ' We pass 
away,' and the things ' pass away ;' and we in the use of them. Thus 
you see the ground of this, why things pass away in the sentence of muta- 
bility and vanity that God hath passed upon them. 

Use 2. If this be so, beloved, let us learn not to jmss* much for things that 
will '2^<^ss aivaij.' Not to pass for them, learn all the former directions : 
' The fashion of this world passeth away.' Shall we grieve much for the 
loss of that that we cannot hold ? If a glass be broke, is a man much 
angr}^ ? We say it is but brittle metal, and nothing lasteth always. If a 
friend be dead, shall a man be therefore angry ? ' The fashion of this 
world passeth away.' A sentence is passed upon them. Shall I be moved 
at that that God hath set down a law for, that one generation shall go and 
another shall follow after, and there is a succession as in the streams of 
water ? Shall I oppose God's sentence ? God hath made all things frail, 
and it is but the common condition of all since the fall. 

Use 3. So it should be a use of comfort and contentment with anything in 
this u-orld. Place, or riches, or honour, I must leave them, I know not 
how soon ; and this will breed a disposition of contentment. It is enough 
for him that must leave all, I know not how soon ; have I little or much, 
I must leave all. Here is enough for him that must leave all. And there- 
fore leave worldly things to worldly men ; leave all these vain things to 
vain men. Shall I build a fixed hope on vain things ? Oh, no ! that should 
not be so. 

Use 4. As we must learn contentment, so it should tale us off from the 
hopes of this u-orld, and from promising ourselves that u-hicli ive have 7W ])ro- 
mise in the world for, nor experience. Who promised thee thou shouldst 
enjoy thy wife long ? that thou shouldst enjoy thy children long ? thy 
place long ? Hast thou a promise for this ? The nature of things fight 
against thee. The things of the world are variable. Have we not experi- 
ence of former times ? And have we not scriptures to shew that all is 
* vanity ' ? Why should we promise ourselves that which the word doth 
not promise us, or that we cannot see experience of in the world ? Why 
would we have a condition severed from all men ? The seeing of things 
in a condition of fading, as it should teach us contentment in the use of 
all things, so it should teach us moderation and wisdom, that we should 
not promise ourselves anything in this world. 

Use 5. And it should teach us to 2}rovide for stable, for certain things in 
changes and alterations. Look to somewhat that may stand by us when all 
things are gone. Will all these things leave me, and must I leave them? 
How is it with me for the world without end ? Shall I not therefore look 
for those comforts, and those graces, and for that condition that will abide 
when I am gone hence ? What desperate folly were it ! Let us labour 
for a sanctified use of the ' passing away ' of these things, that we may 
provide for that which is not subject to alteration and change. The 
* That is, • put a high value upon.' — G. 



THE SPIRITUAL MAn's AIM. 55 

favour of God in Christ is for everlasting. The graces of God's Spirit are 
for everlasting. The condition of God's children is for everlasting. And 
therefore why should we look after perishing things, and neglect better ? 
For a Christian hath the reality of things : he hath a husband for ever, he 
hath matter of joy for ever, he hath a possession for ever ; and then there 
will be a new world. All these things are but shows. The Christian hath 
the reahty of all, that never * passes away.' And therefore, considering 
that all things else ' pass away ' but the things that belong to a Christian 
as a Christian, let Christians learn to- make most of their best calling, and 
value themselves as they are Christians, and value others as they are 
Christians, not as they are rich, or as they are poor, as they are noble, or 
as they are great : * The fashion of this world passeth away.' Value them 
by that they have of eternity. What of the Spirit is in them ? What of 
the image of God is in them ? What grace is in them ? Are they new 
born ? Ai-e they truly noble ? Are they new creatures ? Value them by 
that, and labour to get that stamped upon our children, and upon our 
friends. Labour to have communion so with those that we love, that we 
may have eternal communion in heaven with them. Labour so to enjoy 
our friends that our friendship may continue in heaven, considering that 
' the fashion of this world passeth away.' All friendship, all bonds, all 
possessions, and all that we doat of and are desperately mad on, all passeth 
away : ' The fashion of this world passeth away.' 

It is a strange thing, beloved, that a man capable of high thoughts, of 
excellent thoughts, should spend the marrow of his soul, and the strength 
of his spirits, about these things ; that he should tire his spirits, that he 
should crack his conscience, that he should wear out his life, about things 
which he cannot tell how long he shall enjoy them, and neglect these things 
that abide for ever. For a man this is ill ; but for ' brethren,' as he saith, 
for ' brethren ' to do so, that have an inheritance immortal ; for them to be 
cast off the hooks for every cross, for every loss, that are the children of 
God and heirs of heaven ; what a shame is this, that Christians are so 
much in joy, and so much in sorrow, for these things ! It comes from 
these grounds : 

[1.] First, They do not consider and look 7ipon things as jiassed. They 
look not with the eye of faith upon things ; these things will pass. But 
they look upon things in passing, and they see no alteration for the pre- 
sent. They should consider ; ay, but what sentence is upon them ? 
These are as good as passed ; they will be gone ere long. Look upon 
them therefore as things passed. We are dead ; our friends are dead ; 
and the world is gone. Faith saith this. We consider not this ' ay,' and 
so we are carried away with them. We look upon things passing, and 
there we see little alteration. A man that looks upon the shadow passing, 
he cannot see it ; but if he come two or three hours after, he shall see it 
past. Let us look upon things as gone. Though they be not for the pre- 
sent gone, see them in the eye of faith, and that will make us consider them 
as ' passing away.' 

[2.] Again, we are deceived hence in the passing of the things of this 
life, that we comj^are them not icith eterniti/. We think it a great matter to 
enjoy things twenty or forty years. What is this point of time to eternity ? 
Compare this short time here, of health and strength, of honour and place 
and friends ; what is this to eternity ? What desperate folly is it to ven- 
ture the loss of eternity for the enjoying of these things ! Compare these 
things with world without end, Eph. iii. 21, and that will keep us from 



56 THE SPIRITUAL MAn's AIM. 

being deceived with these passing things. We are deceived, because we 
lay them not in the balance with things that are for ever. 

[3.] And then the third ground is, ire arefon/effid, ice are not mindful of 
our best condUkm, we make not that use of our knowledr/e (hat we mifjht. 

When a Christian is all in passion, all in joy, all in fears, or in grief; 
why, what is the matter at that time ? What thoughts hath he of his 
eternal estate ? of the fading condition of these things ? He is forgetful 
and mindless. xVnd therefore let us labour oft to keep our souls in 
a heavenly frame. And to draw to- a conclusion, let us learn to value 
ourselves. If we be Christians, as we all profess ourselves to be, value 
ourselves. It is a poorness of spirit for a Christian to over -joy, or to 
over-grieve for anything that is worse than himself. Are not all things so, 
that are here, if we be Christians indeed ? If we be not Christians, the very 
toads and serpents are better than blaspheming and filthy creatures, that 
are opposers of God's ordinances ; they are better than such wretches, as 
many among us. The devil is almost as good as they ; such are next the 
devil. The eai-th they tread on is better than they. But if a man have 
grace in him, all the world is inferior to him. What weakness of spirit is 
it therefore, and emptiness, to be put off with over-much cause of grief and 
sorrow for anything below that is meaner than ourselves, for anything that 
is fading, when we have a condition that is not subject to fade ? And 
therefore oft think of our dignity in Christ ; think of the motive here ; 
' brethren,' think of that as well as of the fading condition here. If we 
would wean ourselves from these things, oft think of the eternal estate of a 
Clu'istian, that our thoughts may run upon that much ; and then upon the 
frail condition of all things below, that we may be taken oif from them, for 
two things mortify -;= a man. 

The taking off of his affections from that they are set on, and to set them 
upon that that will fiJl them a^nd satisfy them to the full; if a man do that, 
he doth that th-at a mortified man should do, who is in this world, passing 
to a better. 

To conclude all with this. 

All things here in tJiis tiorld are subordinate to a further end. And let us 
consider therefore that we use them as that we lose not the main. 

All the contentments of a traveller are subordinate in the way to his 
journey's end. If things come amiss in his inn, will he quarrel with his 
host that he hath not a soft bed ? He will think, I am going, I shall have 
better at home ; and these lead me homeward. So all things below are 
subordinate helps to better. Shall we make them the main ? Shall we 
make all things subordinate to them as worldlings do ? subordinate religion 
to worldly things, and make all things contrary ? They do not ' grieve as 
if they grieved not ;' but they hear as if they heard not. They receive the 
sacrament as if they received it not. They pray as if they prayed not. 
They speak of holy things, and do them, as if they did them not. But for 
other things they are drowned in them. This is the policy of Satan, that 
labours to bring religion to be subordinate. So that if men can be religious 
and have the favour of such a one, if he can be religions and be great in 
the world, he will ; but if religion itself, and the standing for it, hinder their 
aims, away with it ; they will rather be hollow than stand for a good cause, 
because they have not learned to subordinate things to the main end. And 
the reason is, because they have not grace and heavenly wisdom to teach 
them in what place things should be valued ; what is the main, and what 
That is, = make a man dead to such and such. — G. 



THE SPIKITUAL MAN S AIM. 57 

attends upon the main ; and therefore they take by-things for the main, 
and the main for the by. Indeed no man is wise but a sound Christian, 
and he is wise for his soul, and he is wise for eternity. But what is this 
for the sacrament ? To cut off other things, it is this.* 

Are these things perishing food, such as we must leave — vain and empty 
things ? Will not this therefore make us seek the main — the food that 
endures to everlasting life ; and labour to be in Christ more and more, 
labour to cherish communion with Christ, that everlasting bond ? What 
is the sacrament but the food of our souls, our everlasting manna, that will 
continue for ever, and make us continue for ever ? Christ, if we have him, 
he continues for ever, and he makes us continue for ever too. And there- 
fore considering that all things else are vain, I beseech you let the con- 
sideration of that that hath been spoken be as ' sour herbs ' to make the 
passover, to make Christ relish the better. Oh ! Are all things vain, and 
shall I not labour to have my part in that that shall never die, in him that 
is my husband for ever, and my Lord for ever ? Shall I not labour to 
strengthen mine interest in him that hath all good things in him ? What 
if all the earth should fail ? If I have communion with Christ, I have all. 
If I marry Christ, I have all with him. All is my jointure, if I have Christ 
once : * Ail things are yours, if you are Christ's,' 1 Cor. iii. 21-23. If I 
have Christ, what can I want ? Let this strengthen my desire to come to 
the sacrament. Christ is the food of the soul ; all other food the sweetness 
of it is gone within a quarter of an hour. The sweetness is gone presently, 
and the strength within a day or two, of all other food that we take. But 
this food, Christ, the food of the soul, Christ offering himself unto death, 
and shedding out his blood, and giving his body to be crucified for us, 
this food feeds our souls to everlasting life. We cherish our faith in the 
assurance of the favour of God to everlasting ; the sweetness, the strength, 
and the comfort of this food endures for ever. And therefore, considering 
that all other things are food that perisheth, labour for that that will feed 
us to everlasting life. And then we shall make a right use of the altera- 
tion and change of all things. 

A heathen man can say this text, set ' brethren ' aside ; a heathen man 
could tell you. Transit <jloria miindi (d), and ' The fashion of things pass 
away.' He sees them, and thereupon could infer the negative part. There.- 
fore we should not be worldly. By the light of nature, a man that hath no 
religion may be sound in that, and therefore not to care much for earthly 
things, considering that we must be gone. 

A heathen man could speak very sweetly this way, as Plutarch, and 
Seneca, and the rest. What fine speeches had they this way. Oh, but 
the positive part, that is, when we see all things here are vain and fading, 
to know what we must cleave to, that is proper to religion, to know Christ, 
and the good we have by Christ. When we have him we have all. He is 
the food of our souls. These things are proper to religion. And therefore 
let us arise from the consideration of the vanity of all things to the positive 
part, to interest ourselves in that that is better than all things. Which if 
we have, we have all ; and then we shall make a right use of this. 
* In the margin here, ' Application to the sacrament.' — G. 



58 THE sPI^JTU.^x man's aim. 



NOTES. 

(a) P. 51. — ' Tlierc is a diminishing in the word " show."' The ' diminution ' 
is that spoken of at the beginning of the paragraph ; that it is not said the world, 
but only cyriiia, the fashio7i, or show of the world. 

(b) P. 51. — 'Deceives and turns us aside.' The verb is Ta^dyoj . . . -ra^dysi 
yag TO GyJjfMa rov zog/mv rovrov. Cf. Ps. xxxix. 4-6. 1 John ii, 17, and Eev. 
xxi. 1. I have not met with tlie alternative translation offered; therefore cannot 
say who the ' some ' are, intended by Sibbes. 

(c) P. 52. — ' All is but acting a part.' The whole of this passage recalls the famous 
' All the world's a stage,' of the greatest of Sibbes's contemporaries (cf. As you like it, 
II. 7). It is interesting to notice those not unfrequent tacit references to Shake- 
speare and Bacon found in Sibbes. 

{d) P. 57. — ' Transit gloria mundi.' This saying ' Sic transit gloria mundi,' forms 
the beginning of a sequence of the llomish Church ; and is used at the inauguration 
of the popes. Cardinal Wiseman, in his ' Recollections,' has described the accom- 
panying ceremony with much pictorial beauty and efi'uct. G. 



THE RIGHT RECEIVING. 



THE EIGHT RECEIVING. 



NOTE. 

This sermon of ' Right Receiving,' from 1 Corinthians xi. 2b. 29, forms No. 19 of the 
first edition of a folio volume, entitled ' The Saint's Cordials.' 1 lie separate iitle-page is 
given below. * This sermon was excluded from the subsequeiiC editions of 1637 and 
1658. Probably the original edition of the ' Cordials ' was suiifaptitiously published 
from ' imperfect notes ;' but it seems to have been revised by the author, with the 
result shewn in the various readings of the aftei" editions, many of which in other 
of the sermons are large and important, and all interesting as shewing Sibbes' care. 
' Right Receiving ' was, no doubt, along with others, withheld from the editions of 
1637 and 1658 because of the looseness and unsatisfactoriness ^f the report of it. Of 
the ' Cordials,' more than of any other of his works, Sibbes' mig«. t well make the com- 
plaint in his ' Epistle ' to the ' Bruised Reed.' Cf. Note in loc. As ' Right Receiving ' 
is the first contribution from the ' Cordials ' to the works of Sibbes in our edition, I 
subjoin the full title-page of the volume in its three editions, which will facilitate 
after references, t J ?. Throughout, in reprinting ' The Saint's Cordials,' I take 
for text the edition published during Sibbes' own life — 1629 — adding the ' various 
readings ' of 1637 and 1658. — G.j 

"■ The Right Receiving. In One Sermon. Which shews, wherein unworthy receiv- 
ing consists. What it is to eate Judgement to ones selfe. The properties wherein 
we are to examine our selves. Divers sacramentall actions in receiving. The 
examination of the Heart and Aifections. And what is to be done tor triall of our 
estates in the matter of Sanctification, &c. [A wood-cut here of a ' burning candle ' 
in an old-fashioned ' candlestick,' with the motto, ' Prfelucendo Fereo.] Vpright- 
nes Hath Boldnes. John 6. 54, 55. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my 
blood, hath eternall life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is 
meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. London, Printed in the yeare 1629, 

t The Saints Cordials. As they were delivered in svndry Sermons upon speciall 
Occasions, in the Citie of London, and else-where. Published for the Churches good. 
[Woodcut as in *.] Vprightnes Hath Boldnes. Isa. 40. 1, 2. Comfort yee, comfort 
yee my people, saith our God : Speake yee comfortably to Hierusa^sm, and cry unto 
her that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquitie is pardoned ; for shee hath 
received of the Lords hand double for all her sins. London, Printed for Robert 
Dawlman dwelling at the Brazen-Serpent in Pauls Church-yard. [No date, but the 
separate Sermons within the Volume are dated 1629.] 

X The Saints Cordialls ; delivered in svndry Sermons at Graies-Inne, and in 
the Citie of London. Whereunto is now added, 'The Saints Safety in Evill Times, 
Preached in Cambridge upon speciall occasions. By Richard Sibbs D.D. Late Master 
of Katherine-Hall in Cambridge, and Preacher at Grayes-Inne. [Woodcut here of 
Time with a scythe, and the motto ' Virtus retvndit sola aciem banc.'] My strength 
and my heart faileth, but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever, 
Psal. 73. 26. London, Printed by M. F. for Henry Overton, and are to be sold at 
the entring in of Popes Head Alley out of Lumbard street. 1637. 

§ The Saints Cordialls, Wherein We have particularly handled. The Saints 
safety and hiding-place. The Saints Assurance, Christs suff'erings for mans sin, 
The Saints Refreshing, Salvation applyed. The Churches Visitation, Christ is best, 
The Life of Faith, The Art of self-judging and humbling, The diificulty of Salva- 
tion, The danger of back-sliding. The ungodlies misery, With other material things. 
Delivered in sundry Sermons, at Graies-Inne, in the City of London, and at Cam- 
bridge. By Richard Sibbs, D.D. Late Master of Katherine-Hall in Cambridge, and 
Preacher at Grayes-Inne. Psal. 73. 26. My strength and my heart faileth ; but 
God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. London, Printed hj 
M. S. for Henry Cripps, and are to be sold at the entring in of Popes-Head-Alley, 
out of Lumbard-street, 1658. 



THE RIGHT RECEIVING. 



But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of 
that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh wucorthihj, eateth and drinketh 
damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord' s body. — 1 Cor. XI. 28, 29. 

In the former words the apostle had propounded to the Corinthians the 
first institution of the Lord's Supper, declaring the causes why our blessed 
Saviour appointed these ordinances, the especial end whereof was the 
remembrance of the Lord's death until he came ; and not only a bare remem- 
brance thereof, but likewise the communion of the virtues of that death — 
for the comfort of all Christians — until his coming. And from the same 
the apostle in the verse going before draweth his conclusion : that seeing 
this holy supper is instituted by our blessed Saviour for such an end as 
this, so excellent, to be a lively representation of the crucifying of the Son 
of Ood, of the breaking of his body, and the pouring forth of his blood for 
our salvation ; therefore he inferreth that all men should come with a 
reverend* regard thereunto, not as to a common table. Seeing the matter 
is thus, saith the apostle, that this is not an ordinary supper, it behoveth 
us not to come thither as unto an ordinary feast. We may not make any 
small difterence betwixt this and our common banquets ; but if a man cometh 
unworthily, that is, unbeseemingly, such a man as this, instead of comfort, 
reapeth unto himself judgment. If we come hand over head, without pre- 
paration ; if we so eat, we shall be ' guilty of the body and blood of the 
Lord.' It sheweth that we make no reverend * account of it when we will 
come so unreverently unto the same, making no difference betwixt this 
heavenly manna and our ordinary food ; and therefore, eating unworthily, — 
coming to partake of the body and blood here set, without due preparation, 
— shall be culpable of judgment. 

Quest. But here some will say. How doth a man come unto the Lord's 
table unworthily ? Is any man worthy ? Seeing under these veils is sig- 
nified, and, more than that, exhibited unto us, the body and blood of Christ 
Jesus, is any man worthy ? It was a great thing, that the ancient people 
of the Jews were fed with manna. John vi. 31, ' They ate manna in the 
wilderness, he gave them bread from heaven to eat, and jei they died. 
But he that eateth the flesh of the Son of man, and drinketh his blood, 
hath eternal life.' Now, howsoever it be true that the body of Christ is in 
heaven and we upon earth, yet here is the conveyance, whereby we have 
interest in his body and blood ; here is the seal of the great indenture. 
* Qu. 'reverent "?— Ed. 



62 TUE r.IGUT RECEIVING. 

God giveth us not onl}' the great drauglit, -which we are in possession of ; 
not only his word, that we have an interest in his Son ; but also unto his 
deed made unto us in his word he giveth a more propriety,"- even these holy 
sacraments, whereiuf he clappeth this broad seal, thus tendered unto us. 

Ans. I answer, then, that no man is worthy to be a guest ; but worthiness 
here is taken in another sense. A man is not said to be worthy in regard 
of any worthiness in himself, but in respect of his affection and preparation, 
and in regard of his fit and seemly receiving. As we use to say, the king 
received worthy entertainment in such a gentleman's house, not for that he 
was worthy to receive him, but because he omitted no compliments and 
service in his power fit to entertain him : even so I say, we are not worthy 
of Christ, that he should enter into our houses, that he should come under 
our roof. But, notwithstanding, we are said to be worthy when we do all 
things which are in our power, fit for the entertainment of him. If we 
come not in pride and in our rags, but with repentance, joy, comfort, and 
humility, then are we worthy. 

This therefore being the ground of the exhortation, let us come to the 
words, ' Let a man therefore examine himself.' He that eateth unworthily 
procureth great hurt unto himself, therefore examine yourselves ; as if he 
should say, Wouldst thou know how to come worthily ? Examine thine 
own heart, and see whether all things are well within ; whether thou mayest 
put God's seal to the grace that thou findest in thyself. 

I will open it as plain as I can, ' Let a man therefore examine himself,' 
&c. The question is here, How a man comcth to the Lord's table wor- 
thily ? The apostle saith he cometh worthily if he examineth himself; 
whence, in the first place, we observe this doctrine, that the Lord hath 
appointed the sacrament of the mpper, not as the sacrament of baptisvi, once 
to he administered, and never after, but he hath appointed it to be received oftev. 

The reason is apparent : it is sufficient for a man once to be born. Now 
baptism is the sacrament of our spiritual regeneration ; therefore but once 
to be administered. But it is not sufficient for a man to make one dinner 
and no more, but we must daily eat and get strength. Now this sacrament 
of the supper, signifj-ing not our new birth, but our proceeding, our strength, 
and obedience, is therefore, as a means to increase strength, often to be 
received. As he that hath a weak stomach will eat his meat often, and 
little at once ; so we, having found our great want and weakness, must often 
receive this sacrament. Well ! so often as we come, the apostle biddeth us to 
examine ourselves, if we would be good guests. Examine ! Why ? Saith 
the apostle to these Corinthians in another place, 2 Cor. xiii. 5, ' Try your- 
selves, whether ye be in the faith or not,' &c. Thou comest to have God's 
seal put unto the communion thou hast with him. Well ! then God con- 
tenteth not himself with once examination for all ; but he calleth Christiana 
unto this duty often. This is worthy to be considered. There are many 
who in the beginning of their conversion can take some pains to sift and 
ransack their own hearts, to bring them unto the sight of sin. They can 
consider the fearful estate of sinners when they go out of the world. It 
may be also that they find some beginnings of repentance. Now, because 
this goeth against their hearts, this often examination, they would therefore 
post off all thus, to their first conversion. Once I have found the grace of 
repentance ; God is unchangeable ; whom he loveth once, those he loveth 
for ever. Now the Lord, knowing it to be dangerous for us to pitch upon 
this ground, doth therefore call upon us to try our title. There are many 
* That is, 'property.' — G. f Qu. 'whereon"? — G. 



THE RIGHT RECEIYIXG. 63 

corners in the heart of man ; it is hardly sounded ; it is full of hypocrisy ; 
and he is wonderful ready to deceive his own heart. In regard whereof, 
seeing it is so deceitful, we must not content ourselves with once humiliation 
and repentance, nor suppose every Hght motion to be God's Spirit, but we 
must, as often as we eat of this bread and drink of this wine (and as any 
occasion is given us), try and examine ourselves, and labour to make our 
election sure. And if we consider the flattering of our own hearts, together 
with the delusion of Satan, this will be found needful. The greatest hypo- 
crite will have a good conceit of himself, and will be ready to say with the 
proud Pharisee, ' I thank God I am not as other men are, an adulterer, 
extortioner,' &c., Luke xviii. 11. Thus he blesseth himself in his heart ; 
and if then there be but any light motion, any common gift of God's Spirit 
in his heart, the devil is ready to persuade him that he is in heaven, and 
that all things are well with him. Now for a man to content himself with 
being once enlightened (with having once some tokens of God's favour come 
towards him) it is very dangerous. Consider this. God's children in the 
beginning of their conversion, their faith is weak, — small as a grain of mus- 
tard seed, "hich, though small, yet in time groweth great, — like the flax not 
always smoking. The hypocrite will shew a greater measure of profession 
in the sight of man than a true Christian, insomuch as a man would think 
he should never come to that perfection which they seem to have attained 
who perish with their holiness ; for he groweth fast, and is quickly down 
again ; soon ripe, soon rotten, like unto the corn which groweth upon the 
house-top ; whereas the child of God goeth on fair and softly, soft and sure, 
and doth constantly proceed, in renewing the work of faith and repentance. 
Use. Let this move us unto this duty, that we often examine ourselves. 
because, besides our old debts (those sins we committed before our calling), 
we multiply new sins, and do every day run upon a new score ; for do we 
not know that sin is odious unto almighty God ? Why ? Consider it is 
worse for thee to continue in rebellion against God, than for a stranger who 
knoweth him not. A man that is dead, what works can be expected from 
him but dead works ? But the Lord having translated thee from that death, 
looks to have new fruit ; and for thee to bring forth sour grapes, this should 
trouble and grieve thee exceedingly. And this is especially to be observed 
of them who come unto the Lord's table. It becometh them to examine 
themselves, whereby they may be rightly entertained. It is much to be 
bewailed that this sacrament is in such small account, that men come unto 
it they know not how, so unpreparedly, that I am persuaded if they were 
to sit at the king's table, they would come with more preparation. Haman 
boasted of Ahasuerus his honour he had done unto him, and what was 
that ? He accounted it a great honour that he was called to the ban- 
quet of a king, Esther v. 9 ; and shall we not account it a greater favour 
that the King of kings doth invite us to his table ? Shall we come with 
such unwashed hands hither ? Eemember that the ground is holy ; put 
off thy shoes when thou comest to this sacrament. You shall see therefore 
how the Lord was angry with his people when they did not respect but 
disgraced his sacrament, Exod. iv. 24. Moses was sent to redeem the 
Israelites. He being employed in this service, and being great in the 
favour of God, it came to pass by the way in the inn, the Lord met him, 
and would have killed him. A man would think that he with whom God 
was but even now so familiar had committed some great offence, that God 
should kill him. And what was it ? But because he did neglect the Lord's 
sacrament. Ay, though Zipporah called him a bloody husband, because 



64 THE EIGHT EECEIVING. 

of the circumcision, yet the Lord would have killed him if he had not done 
it. And so they that receive unworthily, you may see are guilty, as 2 Chron. 
XXX. 3, seq. : the sacrament there was not wholly omitted ; but because they 
came to it without due preparation, as the Lord required, he smote the 
people ; for a multitude of Ephraim and Manasseh had not cleansed them- 
selves. Yet did they eat the passover, but not as it was written. The 
Lord also, you see, would have killed Moses, because he administered not 
circumcision to his son. Many other come unto this sacrament, but they 
come not according unto God's ordinance. 

Well, Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, ' Th^ good Lord be merciful 
unto them, who prepare their whole heart to seek the Lord God, the God 
of their fathers, though they be not cleansed according to the purification 
of the sanctuary.' So that here you have a plain token, that God is dis- 
pleased when a man presumeth to come with unwashen hands. Now, when 
a good man prayeth for mercy, for whom doth he pray ? What ! for him 
who never respecteth God, but will be constant in a wicked course ? If all 
the hands in heaven and earth were lifted up for such a one, all possibly 
could do him no good. When Hezekiah prayed, the Lord, notwithstanding 
his ordinance was broken, was moved to be merciful. For whom ? for them 
that had an upright heart ; for them who prepared their hearts to seek him. 
So that here is an evidence, what a fearful thing it is for a man to come to 
the sacrament without this preparation. And to go no further for proof 
than where my text is now, ver. 29, ' He that eateth unworthily' — he that 
will come to this table without preparation, not addressing of his heart to 
entertain the Lord, — ' he eateth judgment to himself.' We see, therefore, 
Avhat a fearful thing it is. Now that the law, which was prepared and 
ordained for life, is now become unto us as death, what is the cause of this ? 
The rebellion of thy heart hath turned the course of the law ; so that that 
which was appointed for life is now become death. Ay, but is not this 
also a heavy thing, that the same is said also of the gospel ? that the gospel, 
which was ordained for life, is now by thy negligence proved to be thy 
death ? It is so : ' He that eateth unworthily, he eateth destruction, he 
eateth judgment to himself.' 

Now, judgment we must not take in the terrible sense, that he that 
cometh unworthily shall eat judgment presently. But it is taken otherwise. 
Wilt thou, his enemy, eat unworthily ? He will judge thee. If thou beest a 
child, he will whip thee ; if thou beest a wicked man, he will for ever con- 
demn thee ; if his servant, he will inflict other outward judgments upon 
thee. So that I take it in another sense : if the child of God come un- 
worthily, the Lord will make him smart ; if the wicked man, who reviles 
him daily, intrude himself to the Lord's table, he shall eat damnation ; so 
that neither the children of God nor the wicked shall escape judgment : 
the one shall have sentence of damnation, the other of sharp punishment. 
That this is the meaning of the apostle, it appeareth by the words follow- 
ing : ' for this cause,' when he had said ' many eat judgment,' he addeth, 
' many are sick,' where in particular he setteth down that judgment whereof 
he spake of before. God's children, if they come without preparation, 
unreverently, they eat such judgment to themselves ; God will send sickness 
upon them. For this cause it is that many of you are punished with death 
itself ; and it foUoweth, ver. 81, ' But when we are punished, we are 
chastened of the Lord.' Why ? * Because we should not be condemned 
with the world.' You see judgment is opposed to condemnation. God's 
children eat judgment to themselves to avoid condemnation, which I stand 



THE EIGHT RECEIVING. 65 

upon, because many think that if they come unworthily, they shall be 
damned presently ; as I have known some who have abstained seven years, 
because they were afraid they should eat vmworthily. ! then be not 
damned. The apostle saith ' that we are chastised of the Lord, that we 
may not be condemned.' 

For the necessity of this duty then, seeing it is necessary for a man to 
examine himself, as hath been shewed, it foUoweth now that we consider 

The x>roperties ivherein a man is to examine himself. 

Wherein mustheexaminehimself ? lanswer, this dependeth upon the know- 
ledge of the institution of the sacrament. Let us then consider for what end 
it was instituted, and let us see what that is which is done in the sacrament. 

The end of a sacrament, Eom. iv. 11 — speaking of one sacrament — 
namely, of circumcision : Abraham received the sign of circumcision, as 
the seal of the righteousness of that faith which he had when he was uncir- 
cumcised. In those words j^ou have a second use for a sacrament set down. 
It is appointed of God, first, to be ' a sign of the righteousness of faith.' 
A sign to inform the understanding, touching the benefits we have by the 
communion of Christ. And secondly, it is not only the bare sign, as words 
are, but it is also a seal, that is, a thing appointed of God, to confirm that 
there is a difference betwixt these two. As for instance : if a man hath the 
picture of a king, he hath a sign of the king ; but it he have a deed, con- 
firmed with a seal from the king, this sheweth that he hath an interest in 
something which he receiveth from the king. Well then, the sacrament is 
a sign to inform the understanding of man, touching the benefits we have 
by Christ, and a seal to assure us of that there signified. The first use of 
the sacrament is, to open the mysteries of the gospel to all that have under- 
Btanding ; the second is, to seal the comforts which are there signified in 
the sacrament : for, as in the former use, it is not every one unto whom 
the gospel giveth knowledge, but to them that believe. So, doth this sac- 
rament seal unto all ? No ; but to them who besides understanding have 
grace. So that then here is the point : the sacrament is a sign to declare 
the mysteries of the gospel unto all that have understanding ; secondly, it 
is a seal to assure some of the comforts of Christ, and not to all, but unto 
them who have grace. 

1. So that I must, first, examine myself, whether that I have understanding ; 
and secondly, whether I have grace, whereby I must make use of it, for I 
must be knit to it, not by the brain, but by the affection. Otherwise, if I 
come to it as the Papists, to a dumb show, not bringing an understanding 
heart of the mysteries thereof, I shall come unworthily. Now for the first 
point. The matter to be considered is, whether thou art an ignorant body ? 
whether thou knowest what is meant by these ? That this is needful, it 
may appear by this : this is the Lord's table, and he inviteth hitherto his 
friends and acquaintance. And dost thou think that thou, which knowest 
neither Father, Son, nor Holy Ghost, mayest come ? For thee to thrust 
in amongst his friends and familiars, is not this presumption ? Therefore, 
first ye must examine yourselves. And besides this, they that are ignorant 
are not only strangers, but also enemies to God ; yea, such as against whom 
the Lord will come, 2 Thess. i. 7, 8, ' in flaming fire, rendering vengeance 
unto them which know not God, nor obey unto the gospel of our Lord 
Jesus Christ.' Here you see the enemies of Christ, against whom he shall 
stand, are ranked into two kinds : first, they are such as know him not ; 
secondly, they are such who|have knowledge and understanding, but they 
have not grace, * they obey not the gospel of Christ Jesus.' 

VOL. IV, E 



66 THE RIGHT KECEIVING. 

Examine, then, yourselves. ' Doth the ignorance of God make you to be 
his enemies ? Of this examine thyself ; for dost thou think that ever God 
■will endure his enemies shall come unto his table ? Let all ignorant per- 
sons examme themselves ; for howsoever they may come, yet it grieveth 
the Lord that they come. And this shall be a judgment unto them at the 
last, that they were so bold to come without examination. I speak not 
this to discourage a man from coming, for thou shalt pay for it if thou 
comest not ; but know this, if thou come ignorantly, there standeth the 
angel of the Lord to keep thee, as Adam was, Gen. iii. 24, from this sacra- 
ment, or any comfort by it. 

- 2. Another reason why the sacrament was instituted, is it not to strengthen 
faith ? as Rom. v. 4. ' It was the seal of faith.' Well ; and can there be 
faith without knowledge ? No ; Isa. liii. 11. ' By his knowledge' (speak- 
ing of his Son) * shall my righteous servant justify many.' By faith ; and 
this faith is expressed by knowledge, to shew that where there is no know- 
ledge, there is no faith. The sacrament is instituted for this end. And 
where there is no faith, there is no worthy receiving of the sacrament. As 
then thou lovest thine own salvation, inform thyself in this point ; please 
not thvself in thine ignorance. For the informing then of our understand- 
incr, two things are here to be considered ; first, we must not here have any 
dumb shows, but we must understand that all these things are a gospel, 
preached unto our eyes. Now, the things presented to our eyes are two : 

1. Outward elements. 2. Certain actions done by us. 

For the outward elements, you see there are bread and wine, set apart 
for an holy use. The bread is broken, and the wine is poured out. All 
this is done before we partake. When we come to see these things done, 
we must bring with us looking hearts and affections to see what God hath 
done for us. The next thing is, we see not only bread and wine set apart, 
but it is given unto us, taken by us, drunk of us, and nourisheth us. It 
fliL4 shews us that accomplishment of our redemption by the Son of God. 
Dost thou see thee sanctified to this work ? What, then, dost thou think 
is meant by the breaking ? what by the pouring out of the wine ? This is 
my body broken, this is my blood shed for many. It is the man Jesus 
Christ who is put before your eyes. When you come thither, there is a 
spectacle of Christ crucified. And it is set apart to shew that, as it was in 
the paschal lamb, there was a lamb to be taken out of the flock, to be sepa- 
rated from the rest, to shew that it was set apart for some extraordinary 
■work, I say, ■what doth this shew, but that our high priest, Christ Jesus, 
was separated from sinners ? More ; thou seest the bread broken, and the 
wine poured forth. This should stir thee up to be in the same estate, as 
if thou wert upon Golgotha, at the place whereupon he was crucified, cry- 
ing with a loud voice, ' My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me ;' as 
if thou sawest him sweat water and blood. And our affections should be 
like that of the blessed virgin, to whom the sight of her son in his anguish 
could not but be a great vexation and grief. Consider that this is a pro- 
perty of God's Spirit, Zech. xii. 10 : 'I will pour upon the house of David, 
and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of compassion : 
and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall lament 
and mourn for him, and be in bitterness,' &c. Such should be thine affec- 
tions, when thou seest the bread broken and the wine poured forth. Thou 
must consider the circumstances of Christ's breaking, and his soul poured 
out for sin ; that God had broken him, ' then shall they look upon him 
whom they have crucified.* It is not sufficient for thee to say that they, 



THE BIGHT RECEIVING. 67 

speaking of tlie Jews, would do thus. We are ready to spit in their faces. 
Ay, but saith the text, ' they shall look upon him.' It is I that crucified 
the Lord of glory ; it is we that murdered him by our sins. And this should 
move us in a spiritual compassion, that we have imbrued our hands in his 
most innocent blood. That this might move the people in the old law, you 
see there was an innocent beast ; but before it was slain, the man that was 
to offer the sacrifice, was first to put his hand upon the head thereof, to 
signify that every one of our sins was the cause of this. Lev. i. 4, et alibi. 
This must be our mature consideration. We lay our hands upon the im- 
maculate Lamb ; we put our hands upon his head : we have murdered him. 
Let us then see whether this afiecteth us. 

You should all say. Is sin so deadly and dangerous as this, that it will 
seize upon the Son of God himself, rather than sin shall be unpunished ? 
Is my sin a dart shot up into heaven to pull him down from thence ? Is 
my sin such a thing as this ? Is it so that it will make the Son of God to 
lie upon the ground ? and have I such a hard heart that it will not make 
me to weep ? These, and such like godly cogitations, we should make when 
we see the bread and wine broken and poured forth. And let us go further. 
Do you not esteem of an oath, of an idle word, or such like sin ? This is that 
which made Christ to be crucified, and therefore is not to be dallied withal. 
There is the first thing to be considered. When thou seest the bread 
broken and the wine poured forth, it is a calling to mind of the sufferings 
of the Son of God. 

The second point. What is meant by these actions performed by us ? 
That is, what Christ did for us. But what is that to thee ? All thy comfort 
standeth in the apprehending it unto thyself. Christ hath prepared a 
medicine in the apothecaries' shop, ministering no comfort unless we apply 
it to ourselves. This bread thus broken is given. Here God bringeth his 
Son bathed in his blood. The Father seeth him in his gore blood, and 
saith, Take him. What a wonderful comfort is this, that he should come 
and say, ' Take and eat.' Be it that God once moveth thy heart to receive 
him, he meaneth as plainly as the minister doth, when he saith, take the 
bread ; he offereth him plainly and freely. This is his offer, and will not 
this be a great condemnation to the world ? So often as it is administered, 
so often is condemnation read to a wicked man. Doth God offer his Son, 
and will not thou take him ? 1 Cor. ii. 4, seq. The apostle there speaketh in 
the ministry of the gospel, that we are not to think it a mean matter that 
God sendeth a minister to make an offer of his Son, but we must think 
that this is done by God himself. The apostle, 2 Cor. v. 20, saith, ' Now 
then are we ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you,' &c. 
Oh, say some, if I might hear Christ say thus much, or if I might hear but 
God say so, I would receive him. The case is alike ; we are ambassadors 
for Christ, we pray you in Christ ; as if God were present in person, we 
say, Receive him, God beseecheth you to be reconciled. It were fit for us 
to beseech him, but he cometh to our doors and offereth us pardon ; and 
therefore this will be condemnation, that where mercy is brought home, we 
notwithstanding reject it. Well ! besides the offer, there is further the 
actual delivery of it. Take, eat. They take, eat, and drink. What is 
represented by this ? It representeth a further point, that we are not only 
in Christ, flesh of his flesh, and bone of his bone, but thai Christ is actually 
delivered ; that we seize* upon him. When we see the bread and wine 
taken, he meaneth that hereby we by faith do accept of Christ, and do lay 
* That is, == ' take possession,' a law term. Of. note 66, Yol III., p. 531.— G. 



DO THE EIGHT RECEIVING. 

hold of him. Here is the foundation of our comfort, that a Christian man 
may say of Christ, that he can be assured of nothing so much which he 
possesseth for his own, as he may be of him. His cloak upon his back, 
his house he dwells in, his lands, yea, the blood in his veins, and whatso- 
ever he hath, is not so much his ; he cannot be so assured thereof as of 
Christ. Take him. There is delivery and seizement of Christ — as by the 
ring of a door — we are interested into heaven, and if he be ours, with him, 
we have all things. 

Nay, I will go further — for the Papists will go thus far — they will say 
Christ is to be delivered and received ; ay, but how ? After a gross 
caparnaicalU- opinion, eaten really and bodily with the mouth. But Christ 
is transferred into me, and I into him, by faith ; we are made one with 
him, flesh of his flesh, and bone of his bone ; as it is John vi. 54, ' He 
that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.' 
I would not have him for a while, but for ever. Well, he is planted into 
thee, and dwelleth in thee ; that as meat, by the wonderful work of nature, 
is turned into ourselves, so is Christ, by the supernatural work of grace, 
once being entertained, made one with us. We are one body, one flesh. 
He hath more assured hold of us than we have of him. We know the 
devil is strong, but he may not pull ofl' a leg or an arm, or any of his mem- 
bers. He is stronger than all. We dwell in him, and he in us, and no 
man can take us out of his hands. And then that which is next, all com- 
forts shall be ours when we have Christ. We cannot have the benefits of 
Christ unless we have Christ himself; and therefore, in the Lord's supper, 
Christ saith not, This is justification, or sanctification, but This is my body, 
&c. We may not look for the graces of sanctification, justification, or 
redemption before we have Christ. If we have him, we shall with him have 
all things else. The apostle, Heb. iii. 1, 14, saith, ' We are made partakers 
of Christ, if we keep sure unto the end, the beginning wherewith we are 
upholden.' The apostle useth the term of being partakers of Christ. We 
are made partakers of Christ if we constantly hold what we have begun 
unto the end. He saith not only we are made partakers of the benefits of 
Christ, but also of Christ himself, which is more than all the others. Now 
for the opening of this : will a man be nourished by bread if it be not eaten ? 
No ; but he must first eat and drink. So, faith, it is like unto an eagle that 
flieth up unto heaven, and there seizeth upon the Son of God ; and there hav- 
ing thus seized upon him, then cometh remission of sins, justification, sanc- 
tification, and redemption, many blessings, and a floodgate of all graces. 

These are the points which we are to consider, they are the signs to 
which God giveth a voice unto us ; as the Lord speaketh unto Moses, Exod. 
iv. 8, ' So shall it come to pass, that if they will not believe thee, neither 
obey the voice of the first sign, yet shall they believe for the voice of the 
second sign.' You see to the sign is given a voice. [You see] that the 
sacrament, when the bread is broken, and the wine poured out, it is a 
voice speaking unto thee. Thou must therefore be a man of understanding 
to discern the same. 

The next point; the sacrament is not only a sign to signify that all 
things are to be had in Christ, for a wicked man may know thus much ; 
but Abraham received the sign of circumcision as a seal : it is also a seal. 
We must therefore examine ourselves in our knowledge as whether we have 
faith and grace, otherwise God sealeth no comfort unto us. But how shall 
a man know this ? 

* Probably refers to John vi. 52, a question put in Capernaum. — G. 



THE EIGHT RECEIVING. 0^ 

There is a general life. I will touch it as briefly as I can, and so make 
an end. The matter to be understood is this, whether we have grace in 
us, whether living and regenerate. No man spreads his table for dead 
men. We are dead by nature, and if we find that we are dead, this ban- 
quet is not for us. We must then be regenerate. I know many come 
when they are dead, and therefore they abuse God and their own souls, 
and they put his seal to a false deed. Well, the apostle's conclusion is, 
1 John V. 12, ' He that hath the Son hath life.' But the point of this 
examination is, namely, how a man may know whether he be dead or Uv- 
ing, which must be the point of trial in the next place. 

That matter and examination ivhich concerneth the heart and affections. 

For knowledge, with examination, is not enough to make a man a right 
receiver ; but there must first be understanding, and then grace in the 
heart. For we must understand thus much of the sacrament of the supper, 
it never bringeth grace where it findeth none. It confirmeth that good 
grace which it findeth before. So that, as I have said, it always presup- 
poseth some grace to be in the heart. When we come, we come not to 
receive life, but to have our strength increased. For if a man were to deal 
with the king, and would have him to confirm some estate unto him, it 
were to no end if his title and ground were not good ; so, if the ground of 
our estate fail, if we have not some grace, faith, and the like, the receiving 
of the sacrament will not give them, they will not make an ill matter good. 
Therefore we must labour for grace in our hearts if we would have comfort. 
Upon this we may expect a blessing. I will touch the heads of this 
briefly, because it is very large. The points wherein a man must examine 
himself are, 

1. Whether he discerneth of the necessity of this new life: whether he dis- 
cerneth that without this supply from heaven, ivithout the body of Christ, his 
estate is most ivretched and miserable. 

This is the first thing in our examination, which may bo thought a thing 
needless to examine our conscience upon : that our estate is miserable with- 
out Christ. But it is necessary, and that course which God taketh with his 
children. He first makes them discern in what a miserable estate they are. 
And it is not every one that can discern this ; for it must be the work of 
God's Spirit to shew a man the death of sin ; because every man hath 
naturally pride in his heart. So the apostle Paul confesseth, Kom. vii. 9, 
seq., before the Lord had shewed him his misery by the law. Whilst he 
was left to natural direction, [he] thought himself a man of worth — by his 
own confession — a great man. Now, therefore, before the Lord would dis- 
cover unto him the riches of his grace, he applieth the law unto him ; the 
law that told him, ' Thou shalt not lust.' Then he perceiveth his misery, 
as soon as the commandment came, seeing himself to be full of concupis- 
cence. Then, when the commandment came, sin revived and appeared to 
be sin, saith the apostle. A man must first, therefore, discern that he is in 
a miserable estate. Hereupon, John xvi. 8, seq., when the works of God's 
Spirit are set down, the first is this, ' to convince the world ; ' when the 
Spirit shall come and shall convince the world of sin. The ground of our 
sensible comfort in this action stands in the humiliation of our souls, when 
a man becometh out of love with his sin ; when he, finding the body of 
sin about him, can say, ' Who shall deliver me from this bondage of corrup- 
tion ? ' when this giveth him an edge to come unto Christ, for we must not 
think that we are thus ready to come, unless we be drawn by some scourge 
or other. The prodigal son, when he had wasted his goods riotously, if 



70 THE EIGHT KECEIVING. 

he might have had husks to keep his Hfe and soul together, he would never 
have come home. So we, the sons of Adam, might we have but fig-leaves 
to cover our nakedness, we would never become suitors unto God for par- 
don. Here, then, examine ; dost thou discern that without the receiving 
of his body and blood thou art like a man kept from meat and drink, and 
that thou art dead ? If thou findest this, there is one step good ; but if 
otherwise thou standest stoutly and thinkest that thou hast no need thereof, 
thou art an unworthy receiver. These are for matter of grace. The second 
point wherein a man must examine himself is, 

2. Whether upon the disccrnuui of his wants, upon the discerning of that 
death irhich certainly heJongeth unto him, he rely upon Christ ; whether the 
Lord icorketh upon his heart a true longing for that righteousness without* 
himself. 

When the Lord spreads his table to feast his friends, he calleth not them 
who have no kind of appetite, nor stomach ; and therefore thou must 
examine thyself whether thou hast a stomach, an hungering after Christ 
Jesus. This is a special point, which certainly if a man find not, he may 
doubt whether he be sound or not. If a man have his victuals taken from 
him, he grows hungry and thirsty, is vexed and discontented. How then 
cometh it to pass that our bodily hunger is so sensible, when yet our 
soul's hunger is not felt of us ? He that is in this estate, a- starving, and 
feels it, is not that man ready to die ? Before we come therefore to the 
Lord's table, let us labour to get an appetite, for, I say, God thinketh such 
precious meat as this ill bestowed upon them that have no appetite unto it- 
We see worthy patterns in the Scriptures. David he says, ' As the hart 
panteth after the rivers of water, so my soul longeth after the living God,' 
Ps. xlii. 1. And, beloved, blessed is he that findeth this thirst, blessed 
are they, they shall be blessed. Contrary to this, whenas children play 
with their meat, it is time it should be taken from them. Their estate in 
this case is woful for the present. The third point whereupon a man must 
examine himself is, 

3. Whether these two grounds being laid (that first he discerneth his 
misery, his death, that he is a dead man without he get Christ ; and 
secondly, that he hungers and thirsts after him), he setteth himself about it. 

For it is not sufficient for a man to hunger, and never go about the work ; 
but as a hungry man is eager to feed, nothing should keep him from it. 
Here is the point, whether our hunger after righteousness putteth us so on 
that we will have it whatsoever it costs us. A man that is ready to die for 
hunger will give all that he hath rather than he will go without meat. Even 
so the soul, when it is once pinched and hunger-bit, and seeth bread in 
heaven, it presenteth itself before God, beggeth as for life that God would 
bestow his Son for cure. So that I may truly say, ' The kingdom of heaven 
suffers violence,' Mat. xi. 12, and nothing shall withhold the violent from 
taking it, when they come into the presence of God. The fourth point is, 

4. Whether (upon this touch of conscience, upon this earnest hungering 
and thirsting after righteousness) we })resently can set forward without delay, 
and go to the throne of grace. 

That we consider our case is now like the case of him who had committed 
man-slaughter amongst the Jews, for whom there was appointed a city of 
refuge, unto which if he could fly before he was apprehended, he saved his 
life ; if otherwise taken before he came thither, he was to die. Without 
question that man would make great haste thither. Examine then thyself 
* That is, = outside of, independent, — G, 



THE EIGHT KECEIVING. ' 71 

whether thy hungering after righteousness worketh this effect, that without 
all delay thou wilt come after Christ Jesus thy refuge and defence. It is 
not sufficient for thee to say, I know that without Christ I shall die ; I will 
do it to-morrow, when I have done other things, I will purchase his favour. 
Well ; hoast not of to-morrow ; examine thyself whether thy hunger after 
righteousness be so great, that it will not suffer thee to rest or sleep till 
thou hast his favour. He that cometh thus affected, and that will make 
no delay, but be an earnest suitor unto God for his Son, that he may have 
Christ — though the request be great, the necessity yet is such a matter 
that we forget all good manners, and so presently do well ; and what do 
we then ? We take unto us words. Then a man cometh before the throne 
of grace ; but standeth he there mute ? No certainly. He that is partaker 
of Christ, and hath grace in his heart, standeth he there mute ? No ; but 
he can put up an elegant note in the ears of God, as it is said, Eom. viii. 
26, ' We know not how to pray as we ought ; what shall we say then ? ' 
Why, saith the apostle, ' If you are the sons of grace, the Spirit helpeth 
your infirmities, and maketh request for you with sighs and groans which 
cannot be uttered.' There is the point wherein we ought to examine our 
hearts, whether the Spirit of God hath made such an intercession in us ? 
that is, whether he hath made us able when we come into the presence of 
God, upon the consideration of his mercy, to send up a volley of sighs unto 
him ? whether we can fill heaven with our groans, and dart them upwards ? 
He that can do this, that when he presents himself before God (that 
knoweth the heart, who knoweth what is the meaning of his groans, what 
he would say, and is accepted of him) ; he that can find in himself the 
Spirit of prayer, that he can come before him, unwrap and shew his sores ; 
desire the Lord to pity him, and will never give him over till he hath 
graciously answered, and hath invited him — the Lordjoveth such a suitor. 
Perhaps he will not give him a ready answer and despatch at first, but will 
have him attend. But if like Israel* he will still solicit him, till he have 
got the blessing, if he will take no denial ; the Lord hath said, and his 
word shall stand, ' Take my Son ;' this man may have full consolation ; 
this man hath grace. And then followeth, 

5. A setting of tJie heart upon the 2)ro7)iises of God. 

That a man having discerned that God hath so compassed him with 
favour that he hath seen his misery ; that he hath seen a way to get out, 
and hath found a way to approach unto the throne of God ; he presently 
thereupon cometh unto God, looks whether or not he will hold forth unto 
him the golden sceptre. He seeth the Lord hath made him to beg Christ 
earnestly, and that he can confess his sins unto him ; then presently there 
cometh a setting of the heart upon the promises. Hath not God said, 
' Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousness : for they shall 
be satisfied,' Mat. v. 6. He hath given me but a cold answer ; but it is 
true, hath not he said, ' Come unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy 
laden, and I will ease you ' ? Mat. xi. 28. I find but little ease, but I know 
that I am in his favour. He hath given unto me feet, affection, and an heart 
to come unto him ; and hereupon I will set mine affections. Howsoever 
he spurneth me, yet I know that he is just, and therefore will not be broken 
off. I know he is faithful, and therefore will forgive me. And hereupon 
the Christian setteth himself upon a settled resolution. Having considered 
the promise of God, he is persuaded ' that neither life nor death, princi- 
palities nor powers, things present nor things to come, shall separate him 
* That is, Jacob. Of. Genesis xxxii. 26, seq. — G. 



72 



THE RIGHT RECEIVING. 



from the love of Christ,' Rom. viii. 35, 38. And that man who is thus 
persuaded and assured by faith, though not by sense, whom God hath thus 
far carried, will thus reason the matter with himself. Well, I know that 
he that hath ' begun this good work will finish it,' Philip, i. 6. And there- 
fore with this conclusion, I will come looking for an increase of grace. 
Now I see some life, some health, some strength ; I will look for an increase 
of these ; more life, more health, and more strength. Therefore I will 
come unto the Lord's table ; this is a worthy receiver. These concern our 
justification, wherein a man must examine himself. 

And take this; he that cometh without faith, that man cometh without 
his wedding garment, whom the master of the feast (when he cometh to 
take notice of the guests that are come) shall single out from the rest, and 
say, ' Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into everlasting torments,' 
Mat. xxii. 13. But a man will say. May not I read good books at home, 
the Bible or others ? Ay, but thou shalt not have such a feast at home. 
He here pi'ovideth a feast ; and when the feasters are set, he cometh and 
seeth them. Thus God is present here in these assemblies, and seeth of 
what disposition his guests are. Now when a man comes without his 
wedding garment, that putteth to the seal, but wanteth the writing, will 
not this make God to single him out ? There is a day when he shall be 
mute. Know therefore, that this table is provided for God's friends, and 
therefore unless thou by faith canst know that thou art friends with God, 
thou canst have no comfort ; therefore examine thyself, for before that thou 
findestthy heart settled, before thy sins are forgiven, thou art not fit. A 
man will say, Alas ! I would, if I had it, give all the world for it, but alas ! 
all is in vain ; I have often sought for it ; often groaned and shed many 
tears for it before God ; and yet things go not as I would. And what 
then ? Shall I abstain ? No ; if thou discernest that thou art weak,|thou 
must come. This table is provided for them that are weak. And if thy 
faith be weak, if thou hast but the least grain of faith, thou must come. 
As the church in the Canticles, when she began to be sick, desired to be 
stayed with flagons. Cant. ii. 5 ; so when our souls are ready to faint, we 
must desire him to come unto us, to comfort us, to stay us. ' The Lord 
quencheth not the smoking flax, nor breaketh the bruised reed, Mat. xii. 20, 
but will make it grow to a great tree ; only be thou patient, and wait the 
Lord's leisure. And thus much shall sufiice to have spoken of the first 
point, wherein the afiections must be examined ; that is, upon the point of 
justification. We come now to the next point and matter, which is the 
grace of sanctification. 

We must examine ourselves next in the grace of sanctification. 

And for this, they that come must especially look unto it ; for let us ask 
the question, Why will God provide a table ? Why will he feed them ? 
Is it not that they may do him service ? Especially then examine thine own 
heart, whether thou art minded to serve God thyself, or the devil. Is there 
a man who saith, I will serve mine own turn, by hook or crook. I will get 
this ? Is the table of the Lord, think you, provided for him ? to strengthen 
him to do service against him ? Thou that wouldst come unto the table, 
thou must remember thou art to be one of his family ; he will have thee 
sit down with him. And doth he not then require that thou shouldst do 
him service ? If then thou art ready to serve against him, if thou runnest 
into the camp of the enemy, to join with Satan against thy Maker, dost 
thou think that thou art fit to come ? Nay, let me speak unto them that 
are profane, who break his Sabbaths and blaspheme his name. I say, that 



THE RIGHT KECEIVrNG. 73 

man who thus cometh with a covetous heart, if it Be with resolution, I will 
not be broke off from it ; take what sin thou wilt, if thou come with a 
resolution that thou wilt not part from it ; w^hen a 'man shall say, I will 
follow my course, this is a great sin. And I say that man taketh a cup of 
poison in his hands ; I say, he that cometh with such a heart, proclaimeth 
war against him and kiUeth him, as Judas did. The Lord will not be 
mocked ; and know this, that that man shall he be partaker of God's 
mercy ? No ; for he that partaketh of God's mercies cannot be profane. 
And it is as true, that that man who hath not hoHness, whose heart is not 
set to please God, that that man shall never see God. The Papists cannot 
enforce this doctrine so much as we, because they be ignorant of the power 
and true life of holiness springing from the true ground thereof. 

A wicked man, I say, shall have no benefit in the body and blood of Christ 
Jesus. This is a fearful saying, you will think. But it is true, that a man 
intending to live and die in his sin, and will not be broken off, shall have no 
portion in his body and blood. Was there ever any man who so much magni- 
fied the free mercy of God without works as the apostle Paul [did? yet he] 
saith, ' Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. If to the flesh, of 
the flesh he shall reap corruption ; if to the Spirit, of the Spirit he shall 
reap hfe everlasting,' Gal. vi. 7. Mark, saith the apostle, look you to this, 
if there be a man who soweth nothing but tares in the seed-time, and yet 
in the harvest will look for good corn, will we not think him mad ? ^ If 
thou hast sown good corn, thou mayest then expect good fruit ; if otherwise, 
bad ; accordingly as thou hast sown thou shalt reap. And will you deceive 
yourselves, that when you have sown to the flesh, you think to reap of the 
Spirit? Deceive not youi'selves thus. And, Gal. v. 19, seq., now, saith the 
apostle, < The works of the flesh are manifest, which are adultery, fornica- 
tion, uncleanness, wantonness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, debate, emula- 
tions, wrath, contentions, seditions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, 
gluttony,' and such like. There is a black guard of them. Well, then, 
saith the apostle, do you think to reap the harvest of God's children, 
whilst you sow such fruits ? No ; I tell you now as before, they which do 
such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God, This shall not be re- 
versed, but shall stand as firm as the law of the Medes and Persians, not 
to be revoked, Esther i. 19. Such wicked persons, as it is Kev. xxii. 15, 
shall be thrust out amongst the dogs, ' enchanters, whoremongers, murderers, 
and idolaters, and whosoever loveth or maketh lies.' 

So now to come to the point : he that cometh unto the Lord's table, let 
him examine his heart, whether or not he be given unto these vices. Some 
will say, I am no Papist, no idolater ; nay, I hate such ; I am not envious. 
But the apostle here speaketh of all such things as are like them. Yea, he 
speaketh against such things as are accounted but petty matters, as envy, 
drunkenness. Oh! they say, some have not gentlemen's qualities, which 
cannot swear. But the apostle's words stand firm, that such shall not see 
God ; their gentlemen-like qualities shall bring their souls to hell. When 
they have so malicious and quarrelsome spirits, when they have such proud 
contentious spirits, that men cannot live quietly amongst them, what fruit 
is this ? What doth it argue but certainly this, that there is no gi-ace in 
them, whenas their hearts are thus set against all men ? 

But you will say as in justification, so in this matter of sanctification, I 
thank God, I am not given to these gross Tyburn- matters, though mine 
heart telleth me that I have a great sink of corruption in me. 

* That is, Tyburn, or the place of the gallows = great sins.— G. 



74 THE RIGHT RECEIVING. 

I will then examine thee how dost thou stand affected towards sin ? 
Hast thou shaken hands with it ? hast thou shaken off familiarity with all 
sin, and not from some only ? For so an hypocrite. But see whether there 
is not some sin remaining which thou wilt and dost make reckoning of. 
If it be to thee as a right eye, or as a right hand, Mat. v. 30, as our 
Saviour saith, look unto that esjDecially, which is so dear and profitable 
that it bringeth in great wealth ; see how thou standest affected to that. 
Art thou content, though it be as profitable as thy right hand, to have it 
chopped off ? If thou findest this resolution to be in thee, thou art in a 
good estate ; thy case is happy. This sheweth that there is good seed in 
thee. For it is impossible that there should be such a divorce betwixt thee 
and thy corruption, if grace were not in thy heart. A man then who cometh 
unto the Lord's table must consider and say, I have been wanting in the 
service of God ; I have not been so careful in keeping of the Sabbath ; I 
have not had that watchfulness over my corruptions. Well ; I will now get 
me new strength ; I will go to this table that I may be more strengthened 
in time to come, to fight afresh ; that whereas I was weak and feeble 
before, I will now get strength. He that cometh with this resolution, if 
his heart can say, This I aim at, it is wonderful to think what profit the 
Lord will give unto him. If we say, we come to get strength to fight 
against Satan, and so forth, we shall prevail and obtain it. Would not a 
man think his meat ill bestowed on him whom it doth no good, who eateth 
and drinketh, and yet is never the better, whose meat is never seen by him. 
Even so he that cometh to the Lord's table, and yet thriveth not by that 
heavenly food there eaten, he discrediteth the same. It is with him as it 
was with the ill-favoured kine, Gen. xli. 1, seq., who albeit they ate up 
seven others, yet they themselves were still so ill-favoured and lean, that 
it could not be seen that they had eaten anything. It is so with many 
poor Christians, who often feast and yet are never the better, remaining as 
lean as ever. 

We must therefore have a care in this case that we discredit not those 
heavenly commons,- but we must find our strength increased. If before 
we could be able to beat down one sin, we must now be able to beat down 
three. Jonathan in the first of Samuel, when Saul was in the pursuit of 
his enemies, charging that they should taste no food till they had gotten the 
victory, hereupon saith he, ' My father hath troubled the people, because 
he hath forbidden them to eat, whereby their strength faileth,' 1 Sam. 
xiv. 19. So when God cometh to feed us, let us find strength, let us see, 
are not our eyes enlightened as were Jonathan's, being cleared after he had 
tasted a little honey ? Have we not better hearts than before ? Shall we 
not make a greater slaughter of our enemies than before ? If we find this, 
what a hand shall we get over our enemies ? Let us therefore eat, and so 
eat, that we labour to go ' forty days in the strength of this meat,' 1 Kings 
xix. 8, until we come to the full and final possession of Horeb, the mount 
of God ; and so shall the Lord take delight to refresh us. We shall get 
new hearts, new courage, and we shall more and more tread down Satan 
under our feet ; and, as the apostle speaketh, ' The God of peace shall at 
length tread him finally under our feet,' Rom. xvi. 20; when we shall have 
the blessed fruition of our dear Saviour, and the eternity of those unspeak- 
able joys, to reign with him for ever. Which God grant, and that for 
Christ Jesus' sake ! Amen. 

* That is, ' meals.'— G. 



JUDGMENT'S REASON. 



JUDGMENT'S REASON. 



NOTE. 

The 'Two Sermons' from 1 Cor. xi. 30, 31, also appeared originally in the folio 
volume entitled ' The Saint's Cordials,' in the first — 1629— edition of which they 
form Nos. 3 and 4. Their separate title-page therein is given below.* In the 
editions of the ' Saint's Cordials' of 1637 and 1658, they form Nos. 5 and 6, under a 
different title, which will also be found below.f Our text, as explained in note to 
' Right Receiving,' follows the edition of 1629. Those of 1637 and 1658^: are 
designated by the letters B and C respectively in the ' various readings' appended to 
each page. ' Readings' peculiar to C are noted by numerals 1, 2, &c. G. 

*IVDGEMENTS 

REASON. 

In Two Sermons. 

WHEREIN THAT GREAT QVESTION 

IS DECIDED, AND THE AFFLICTED 

SATISFIED ; 

Why God sends so many crosses and (roubles in (his life ; ho(h upon 
his bes( Seruan(s ; and (hose who are not yet brought iiito (he way 
of life. 

[The woodcut of ' Right Receiving' here.] 

Vpeightness Hath Boldnes. 

Hebe. 12. 10. 

For, (hey verely for a few dayes, chaslened us after their own pleasure : hut hee for 

our profit, thot we might be partakers of his Holinesse. 

LONDON, 

Printed in the yeare 1629. 

t The Art of 
Self-Ivdging. 

Delivered 

In A Preparatory Sermon 

To The Sacrament : 

At Coleman-street Church in London. 

By R. Sibbs D.D. Master of Katherine Hall in Cambridge 
and preacher of Grayes Inne London. 

The second Edition. 
[Same woodcut as in 1629.] 

Esay 57. 15. 
For thus saith the high and lofty One, that inhabotith Eternity, whose Name is Holy; I 
dwellin the high and holy Place: with him also that is of acontrite and humble spirit, to re- 
vive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. 

London, 

Printed for R. Dawlraan, at the brazen Serpent in 
Pauls Churchyard. 1637. 

X The edition of 1658 is marked ' The Third edition,' and ' Printed for Henry 
Cripps at his shop in Popes head Alley. 1658.' It spells 'self and 'street' with 
final ' e,' and substitutes a different woodcut. Cf. title-pages subjoined to note to 
' Right Receiving. — G. 



JUDGMENT'S REASON, 



SERMON I. 



For this cause many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. For if 
we uvuld judge ourselves, ice should not he judged,' dc. — 1 Coe. XI. 30, 31. 

I NiTEND at this time especially to stand upon the duty of judging, as being 
fittest for the occasion,* But yet, by God's assistance, wef will take the 
words I in order, because I desire to speak somewhat of the other which 
follow. 

' For this cause many are sick,' &c. After the holy apostle, the seeds- 
man of God, had sown the seed of heavenly doctrine, Satan also by his 
instruments had sown his cockle of abuses among the Corinthians, of which, 
amongst many, this was one, to come irreverently to the holy communion. 
Whereupon God was forced to take them into his own hands ; and lest 
they should be ignorant of the cause, the blessed apostle points them here, 
as it were with the finger, to the cause of the visitation among them, § for 
their irreverent and unprepared coming to the Lord's table, ' For this cause,' 
&c. In the words we will speak of, 

1. The cause of the correction among them. 

2. And then of the kinds of it : ' Many are sick, and weak, and sleep.' 

3. And then of the care, if it had been used, that might have prevented 
those contagious sicknesses among them : ' If we would judge ourselves, 
we should not be judged.' 

But lest God's children should despair when they are judged and sharply 
corrected of him, he adds, in the next place, the comfort ; howsoever things 
fall out, our salvation is promoted. ' When we are judged,' and chastened 
of the Lord, ' it is that we should not be condemned with the world.' 

First, of the cause. \\ 

I will speak briefly' of the former verse, but dwell most upon the next, of 
self -judging. ' For this cause many are weak and sick, and many sleep.' 
Observe here in the cause. 

* That is, celebration of the sacrament. Cf. preliminary note t. — G. 
t ' By . . . assistance ' omitted in B, C, and for ' we ' is substituted ' I.' — G. 
X ' Text ' in B, C ; and the sentence, ' and speak somewhat of the other 
words.' — G. 

§ ' Their unprepared coming,' &c., in B, 0. — G. 

I ' Observe here ' in B, C, and ' I will speak ... in the cause,' omitted. — G. 



78 jxtdgment's reason. 

Doct. (1.) First, when there is a cause, God uill correct; and ichere there 
is this cause, heicill correct, that is, irreverent coming to the communion. 

Doct. (2.) Secondly, As there is a cause ivhen God doth correct, so usually 
there is this or that particular cause. 

For the first, where there is cause he will correct, and vrhere there is this 
cause. Where there is no cause he will not correct. ' For this cause.' 
There is always a cause, and a particular cause, [and a particular cause of 
God's judgment is J * 

Quest. Why must there be alway a cause ? 

Ans. Because God is the judge of the world, and the judge of the world 
must needs do that which is right. Gen. xviii. 25. And therefore he will 
not judge without a cause, f We have ill in us, before we suffer ill. God 
is forced to mortify sins by afflictions, because we mortify them not by the 
Spirit, and in the use of holy means. There is a cause always. J God doth 
favours from his own bowels, and fi'om his own nature ; but he never 
correcteth without a cause from us. Corrections and judgments are always 
forced. It is a stranger ^ work to him than favours that come from his own 
nature as a gracious God, and therefore the cause of his judgment is always 
in us. But when he is beneficial to us, it comes from himself, as water 
comes from a fountain. 

Instruction. This should teach us in all visitations to justify God, and to tahe 
heed of that which our nature is prone to, of swelling and murmuring, and 
rising up against God. Just thou art, and righteous are thy judgments. * I 
will bear the wrath of the Lord, because I have sinned,' &c., as it is said, 
Micah vii. 9. Let us lay om* hand upon our mouth, and justify God in all 
his visitations. There is a cause. 

And not only a cause at random, but if we search ourselves there is this or 
that particular cause. So 2 Thes. ii. 10 it is said, ' For this cause God gave 
them up to strong delusions, because they entertained not the truth in the 
love of it.' There is a ' this ;' for God shoots not his judgments, as children 
shoot their arrows, at random, light where they will ; but he hath his aim. 
Quest. How shall we find out that ' this' ? 

Ans. 1. Our consciences irill upbraid us. If we be well acquainted with 
our consciences, we shall know it by them, as Joseph's brethren did. It 
was because they used their brother hardly many years before. Gen. xlii. 21. 

2. Again, tchat the irord meets most with when we hear it. 

3. And ivhat our friends tell us most of. 

4. And ivhat our enemies uph-aid. us most with. 

5. That we may know the cause, tee may knoir the sin by the contrary. God 
cures contraries with contraries. We may read ofttimes the cause in the 
judgment. Is the judgment shame ? Then the cause was 2^ride. Is the 
judgment want ? Then our sin was in abundance. W^e did not learn to 
abound as we should when we had it. It is an oi'dinary rule, contraries 
are cured with contraries. Usually God meets with men, he pays them 
home in their own coin and kind. Those that have been unmerciful, they 
shall meet with those that shall shew them no mercy, &c. § By searching 
into our own hearts, by considering these things, we may know what is the 
* this,' the particular cause. 

* The words enclosed added in B, C, intended to link on to the sentence 
interrupted by the question, Why, &c. — G. 

f ' And therefore . . . cause,' omitted in B, C. — G. 

I ' There is . . . always,' omitted in B, C. — G. ^ ' Strange' in C — G. 

§ The ' &c.' characteristic of Sibbes's style omitted in B, C. — G. 



JUDGMENT S EEASON. 79 

And, if we fail in the search, then go to God, that he would teach us, as 
well as he corrects us, as usually he doth his children : Ps. xciv. 12, 
' Blessed is the man that thou correctest and teachest.' Desire God that 
unto correction he would add teaching, that we may know what the mean- 
ing of the rod and of the cross is. Whatsoever it is, if we join prayer with 
the other means, we may know the ' this,' the particular sin that God aims 
at. So you see these things * clear, that there is a cause, and usually the 
' this,' some particular cause. 

Doct. (3.) The next point is that ii-liere there is a cause, God ivill correct first 
or last, and where there is this cause mentioned, irreverent coming to the 
communion, he will do it because he is just. If we prevent f it not by 
repentance, and so afflict our souls, surely we must fall into God's hands. 
He will lose the glory of none of his attributes. Where there is a cause he 
will correct. Sin is against his nature, against his truth, against his 
manner of dealing with us by favours and benefits, and therefore he will 
correct us. 

For even as smoke goes before fire, and as conception goes before 
birth, and as seed-time goes before harvest ; so sin goes before some correction 
or other universal]}^, I unless it be those daily infirmities that God's children 
fall into, those sins of daily incursion, as we call them. Wlien we labour 
to knit our hearts fast and close to God, some infirmities slip from us that 
God overlooks ; he takes not notice of every slip ; § he bears with our 
infirmities ' as a father bears with a son that serves him,' Mai. iii. 17. 
And yet if we allow ourselves in any infirmity, we shall not go unpunished. 
II Infirmities are one thing, and allowance and defence of them is another. 
Therefore I beseech you make this use of it. ^ 

Use. Take heed of sinning iqwn this false conceit. We shall escape, ice shall 
never hear of it arjaiu. No ; it will be owing first or last. As we say of 
those that make bold with their bodies, to use them hardly, to rush upon 
this thing and that thing : in their j'outh, they may bear it out, but it will 
be owing them after ; they shall find it in their bones when they are old. 
So a man may say of those that are venturous persons, that make no con- 
science of running into sin, these things will be owing to them another day ; 
they shall hear of these in the time of sickness, or in the hour of death. 
And therefore never sin upon vain hope of concealing ; for as there is a 
cause alway, and ' this cause,' so where there is a cause, God will correct 
his own children. 

Again, n-here there is this cause, God will visit. What was this cause ? 
This cause was irreverent, unprofitable coming to the holy table of the 
Lord. Why, is this so great a matter as to provoke God's judgment? 
Oh, yes ! Favours neglected provoke anger most of all. 

Is it not a great favour for the great God to condescend^ to help our 
weakness in the sacrament ? Is it not a special favour that he will stoop 
to strengthen our weak faith this way ? And shall we, when he con- 
descends to us, rise up in pride against him, and forget our distance, forget 
with whom we have to deal ? No ; God will be honoured of all that come 
near him ; if not by them, yet in them. Those that come not to God now 

♦ ' See it clear that there is a cause, and usually some particular cause ' in B, C. — G. 
t That is, ' anticipate.' — G. 

i This reads more accurately in B, C ; 'So some sin or other goes before correc- 
tion universally.' — G. 

§ ' From us ' in C— G. |j ' For infirmities ' in B, C— G. 

\ ' Therefore ... use of it ' omitted in B, C— G. ^ ' To descend ' in C— G. 



80 jtjdgment's beason. 

in Christ, a Father, they know not his goodness ; and those that come 
irreverently, know not his greatness and majesty. Take heed, therefore, 
when we come before God, that we come not with strange fire, as Nadab 
and Abihu ; that we come not irreverently and unpreparedly, with carnal 
affections ; but that we converse in holy business with holy affections. Is 
it not a great pity that those things which God hath ordained for the com- 
fort of our souls, and the help of cur faith, that we by our cai-elessness 
Bhould turn them to our hurt, as we do by an irreverent coming to the 
holy things of God ? We procure our own judgments, and therefore we 
ought to help this irreverent demeanour and carriage of ourselves in the 
holy things of God by all means, with the consideration of his majesty, 
and our dependence upon him ; * and such considerations, which I cannot 
now enter into, because I hasten. So you see these things clear, the cause, 
and the particular cause, this cause. 

To go on to the lands therefore. The kinds are set down in three de- 
grees : 

1. Some are weak. ^ 

2. And some sick. 

' 3. And some sleep. 

Nay, ' many are sick and weak, and many sleep.' Here are three de- 
grees, like the three degrees of sin amongst them. Some are more pre- 
sumptuous than other, and, 

Doct. 4. God, irho made all in number, weight, and measure, dispenseth 
all in number, weight, and measure. Some are weak, and some are sick, 
which is greater ; and some sleep, that is, die.f Even as in the common- 
wealth, those that are discreet governors have degrees of punishment, as 
the stocks, the prison, and the gibbet, violent death, and the like ; so God, 
the great Governor of heaven and earth, according to the different degrees 
of sin, hath different degrees of correction. 

A physician loves all his patients alike, but he doth not minister sharp 
potions alike to all ; but out of the same love there is a different carriage 
of the same, according to the exigent J of the party. So doth the wise 
God. ' Some are weak, and some sick, and some sleep.' 

Doct. 5. Again, we may observe here, that sickness and weakness of the 
body come from sin, and is a fruit of sin. Some are weak, and some are sick, 
* for this cause.' I shall not need to be long in the proof of that, which 
you have whole chapters for, as Deut. xxviii. 27, seq. ; and many psalms, 
cvii., and others. § It is for the^ sickness of the soul that God visits with 
the sickness of the body. He aims at the cure of the soul in the touch of 
the body. And therefore in this case, when God visits with sickness, we 
should think our work is more in heaven with God than with men or 
physic. Begin first with the soul. So David, Ps. xxxii. 5, till he dealt 
roundly with God, without all kind of guile, and confessed his sins, he 
roared ; || his moisture was turned into the drought of summer. But when 
he dealt directly and plainly with God, and confessed his sins, then God for- 
gave him them, and healed his body too. And therefore the best method, 
when God visits us in this kind, is to think that we are to deal with God. 
Begin the cure there with the soul. When he visits the body, it is for the 
soul's sake : ' Many are weak and sick among you.' We see what taber- 

* ' And the like ' in B, C ; and ' which I cannot . , . this cause ' omitted — G. 
t ' Which is greatest of all ' added in JB, C— G. || ' And ' in B C— G. 
X That is, ' exigency.' — G. i ' The ' not in C. — G. 

2 Cf. Mat. ix. 2, Luke vii. 47.— G. 



judgment's reason. 81 

nacles of dust we carry about us, that if we had no outward enemy, yet 
God can raise that in our own bodies that shall cast out the greatest giant, 
* weakness and sickness,' that we may learn to fear God, in whose hand is 
both health and sickness. And it should teach us to make precious use 
of our health while we have it. It were a thousand times better for many 
persons to be cast on the bed of sickness, and to be God's prisoners, than 
so scandalously and unfruitfully to use the health that they have : ' many are 
weak and sick.'* 

Doct. 6. The sin was general, and God's visitation was as general. 
When siiis grow general, corrections grow general. It is an idle and vain 
excuse that many think to make to themselves. The world doth thus ; 
others do thus. Oh ! there is the more danger of a spreading and general 
visitation ! Do others so ? Is it a spreading sin ? Take heed of a 
spreading and contagious punishment. We must not follow a multitude 
to do evil, Exod. xxiii. 2. He is not a whit the less^ tormented that is 
tormented with company. The plea therefore that they make from many, 
that the world doth thus, it should rather, if they did wisely reason, move 
them to take heed. ' Many are sick and weak, and many sleep,' saith 
he ;f that is, many even die. God takes away the life of many for the 
irreverent coming to^ the holy things of God. So that sin brings with it 
death itself, not only at the last, but sin it shortens a man's days ; and 
this kind of sin, irreverent coming to the holy things of God, shortens 
our days, and puts out our own candle, and pulls our own houses about 
our ears. They are felons upon themselves, soul-murderers and body- 
murderers, that wilfully commit sin ; yea, if it be this sin in the holy things 
of God, not only if they commit gross sins, but if they commit this sin, if 
they be careless and unconscionable J in the performance of this holy duty. 
If any other did us the thousand part of that harm we do ourselves by a 
careless life, a loose and lawless kind of course, we would not bear them. 
We see here what hurt we do om'selves [what injury, what wrong we do to 
our own souls and bodies also] ; § for ' for this cause many are weak and 
sick, and many sleep.' 

We are the greatest enemies to ourselves. We cry out of Judas and 
Ahithophel that made away themselves, and we may well. Every stubborn 
man, that goes on in a course of sin, and forgets with whom he hath to 
deal, he is like Judas and Ahithophel ; he is an enemy to himself, and a 
murderer of himself. Oh ! take heed therefore of the Devil's baits ; 
meddle not with this pitch ; touch it not ; hate all shows and appearances 
of evil. 

Doct. 7. Again, it is not to be forgotten here that he saith, ' Many of 
you,' that is, ' you, believing Corinthians ;' whence learn, that God will 
correct sin wheresoever he finds it, even in his dearest children ; nay, he will 
correct them more sharply in this world, because he will save their souls in 
another world, than he will others. The careless, brutish || world, that 
are not worthy of correction, God lets them go on in smooth ways to hell ; 
but ' many of you,' &c. Let none think to be exempt, and venture them- 
selves from grace they have. No. God will look to those of his family, 
that are near him ; ^ he will have a special eye to them, he will have his 

* Not given in B, C— G. § Added in B, C— G, 

t ' Saith he' omitted in B, C— G. |j ' Brutish ' omitted in B, C— G. 

X That is, ' unconscientious.' — G. ^ ' That are near him ' omitted in B, C. -G 

^ ' The less ' is blunderingly omitted in C. — G. 

" ' Of ' in C, another misprint. — G. 
VOL. IV. F 



82 judgment's reason. 

family* well ordered : * You have I known of all the nations of the world,' 
saith he, ' and therefore I will be sure to punish and to correct you,' Amos 
iii. 2. Let none therefore bear themselves upon their profession, I do thus 
and thus, so many good things, therefore I may be bold ; nay, therefore, 
you may be the less bold. Moses cannot so much as munnur at the waters 
of strife, but he must not come into Canaan, Num. xx. 2. David cannot 
have a proud thought of numbering the people, but he must smart for it, 
1 Chron, xxi. 2. The Corinthians cannot come irreverently to the com- 
munion, ' but for this cause many are weak and sick.' 

I beseech you, let us take it to heart, and let no profane person take en- 
couragement because God so deals with his own : ' If God deal thus with 
the green tree, what will he do with the dry ?' ' If judgment begin at the 
house of God, where shall the sinner and ungodly appear ? ' 1 Pet. iv. 18. 
If the godly taste of the cup of God's anger, the wicked must drink 
off the dregs of his wrath. And therefore let no man take offence that 
God follows the church with crosses, that the cross follows the poor church 
in the world. Alas ! they carry corruptions about them continually. We 
see here,t ' jou, many of you,' &c. Let us therefore labour to make an 
end of our salvation with fear and trembling, the best of us all. 

Doct. 8. One thing more before I leave this ; that is, how God in justice 
rememhereth mercy. ' Many,' he saith not, ' all,' and ' many of you are 
weak ;' he takes not all away with death. It is a mercy, then, that the 
correction is outward in the body, weak in body, and sick. There was not 
a spiritual gi^ ing up to hardness of heart. Beloved ! if we consider what 
kind of judgments spiritual judgments are, to have a seared conscience, and 
a hard and desperate heart, which are forerunners of hell and of eternal 
judgment and damnation, we would much prize mercy in judgment. Oh ! 
it is not so ^\ith God's church. Their visitations are in the outward man ; 
they are weak, and sick, and die, but God is merciful to their souls, as we 
shall see after.^ And it should be an art we should learn and labour to be 
expci-t in, to consider God's gracious dealing in the midst of his correction ; I 
that in the midst of corrections § we might have thankful, and cheerful, |j 
and fruitful hearts, which we shall not have, except we have some matter 
of thankfulness. Consider, doth God make me weak ? He might have 
struck me with death, or if not taken away my mortal life, he might have 
given me up to a spiritual death, to a hard heart, to desperation, &c. So 
let us search out in the visitations that we are in, always some matter of 
mitigation, and we shall always find that it might have been worse with us 
than it is.H So much shall serve for that verse, that is, the cause and the 
kinds, ' For this cause many are weak and sick, and many sleep.' Now I 
come to the cure. 

* If we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.' 

This com-se, if it had been used by the Corinthians, they might have 
prevented their weakness, sickness, and over- timely** death; and so we, if 
we take the course prescribed by the apostle here, may prevent the like ; 
and perhaps God will not now, in this dispensation that he useth in the 
latter end of the world, outwardly visit us, for now usually his dispensation 
and government is more inward. And therefore we should take the more 

* • Them ' in B, C— G. § ' That in them ' in B, C— G. 

t ' As we see here ' in B, C. — G. \\ ' Cheerful ' omitted in B, C. — G. 

X ' Corrections ' in B, C. — G. 

^ ' This shall serve for the cause ' in B, C ; and ' So much . . . sleep ' omitted. — G. 
♦* That is, ' untimely ' or ' premature.' — Ed. ^ ' Hereafter ' in C. — G. 



judgment's eeason. 83 

heed to what foUoweth ; he may give us up, I say, to blindness, to deadness, 
to security. He doth not usually give men up to sickness, and to death, 
now, for such breaches, but his government is more spiritual. Indeed then, 
for the terror of all, his government was more outward in the primitive 
times of the church. To come therefore to that I mean to speak of: the 
cure of all is judging. There is a judge set up in our own hearts. ' If we 
would judge ourselves, we should not be judged of the Lord.' To open the 
words a little.* 

That which is translated here 'judging,' is by the best expositors, one 
and other,^ and according to the nature of the word, ' if we would discern. 
of ourselves,' ' if we would try ourselves,' and have our senses exercised to 
distinguish what is good, and what is ill in us, and then to fall upon judging, 
trial, and discussing. The word signifieth primarily ' to discuss,' and ' to 
sift,' and then ' to censure' upon that ; and then after, ' To sever ourselves 
from the ill we censure.' The word implies all these duties. f 

God hath so framed man, that he alone of all other creatures can work 
upon himself; he hath this reflexed act, as we call it, he can examine, judge, 
try, and humble himself; other creatures look straight forwards. Man, I 
say, can discern and put a difference ; he can discern of relations ; this and 
that hath relation to such and such a thing. The beast cannot discern of 
relations :| the beast goes to the water, and to the fodder, but knows not 
what relation that hath to spiritual things. But man, when he sees the 
sacrament, he can think of Christ ; when he seeth one thing, he can think 
of this relation to more spiritual things. So he can discern of himself, and 
of the things he takes in hand, by a principle that God hath put into him 
peculiar to himself. Now God hath set up in a man a judgment-seat, 
wherein things should be judged, before they come to this scanning and 
judgment. . We ourselves are the parties judged, and we should be the 
judges ; we are the parties that examine, and the parties examined; we are 
the parties that condemn, and the parties condemned. This is the power 
of conscience, that God hath made his vicegerent and deputy in us. But to 
acquaint you with what things I mean to speak of, as the time will give leave. 

Doct. 9. [1.] First of all, out of these words, the cure I will shew; that 
naturally we are very backward to this duty, because the Corinthians here 
were failing in the duty.§ 

[2.] Secondly, I will shew you the necessity, profit, and use of this self- 
judging. 

[3.] Then of the time when we should judge especially; when we are to 
deal with God in holy things. 

[4.] And then, II what to do after all, when we have judged ourselves; 
what course to take then. The unfolding of these things will help us to 
understand this great point that is so necessary. 

[l.j First of all, naturally ice are uvndrous hacJnmrd, to this duty, as we 
see here in the Corinthians ; they slubbered over this duty of examination 
and self-judging. 

Quest. What is the reason ? 

Sol. The reason is, it is an inward act ; and naturally we look to outward 
glorious things. There is no glory in it before the world ; it is in God, 

* ' To open . . . little ' omitted in B, C— G. 

t The word is diax^ivu, on which consult Eobinson, suh voce, and cf. Hodge and 
Stanley, and Webster and Wilkinson, in loc. — G-. 

X ' Eelation ' in B, C. — G. g ' Because . . . duty ' omitted in B, C. — G. 

II ' Then ' omitted in B, C— G. i ' Another ' in C— G. 



84 judgment's reason. 

and his own soul, and usually the life of careless persons, even of Chris- 
tians sometimes, it is spent outwardly ; they never enter into their own 
souls to see what is there. 

Again, naturalh/ ice rest in the judgment of others. Others conceive well 
of us, and therefore we conceive well of ourselves. Remember they are 
but our fellow-prisoners. What can they excuse, if God accuse and con- 
demn us ? Those things that make us most odious to God are undis- 
cernible of the eye of man, as a proud heart, a revengeful spirit, an earthly 
disposition, and the like ; no man can see these things. 

Again, usually we rest in this, that we have wit enough to judge others. 
The proud nature of man thinks itself somebody, when it can get up and 
judge others perhaps better than itself. This is a poor contentment, and 
an easy thing for a man to spend his censures upon others, and is done 
usually with some glory. It is necessary sometimes to those that are under 
us, to discover to them what we judge of their ways, but ofttimes, I say, it 
is done only of self-love and pride. 

Again, ice are hacJacard to this duty. Hence that the heart of man is a 
proud piece of flesh ; and therefore he is loath to be conceited * of himself as 
there is cause. Man naturally would be in [a] fool's paradise. He knows 
if he enters deeply into himself, somewhat will be presented to the eye of 
his soul that will be an ungrateful object to him ; and therefore, because he 
will not force upon himself other conceits of himself than he hath for the 
present, he is content never to exau;iine his courses, but to go on still. As 
there are some creatures in the world deformed, that are loath to come to 
the water, because they will not see their deformity in it ; so it is with the 
nature of man, he is loath to see his deformity, he is willing to be deceived. 
In other things we are loath to be mistaken, but in our state between God 
and us, we are willing to be deceived. We deceive ourselves, we are 
sophiaters unto ourselves, in this great point. Thus we see that it is a duty 
to which we are very backward, and that it is something hard, because, I 
say,f it reflects upon ourselves, and requires retiring ; for naturally we are 
slothful and idle ; and then sin it loves corners, which makes it harder. 

Now, what is this sifting and searching of the heart, but a searching of 
all the corners of the soul by the light of God's word and Spirit ? A 
searching of all the corners of the heart. This requires much pains. Natu- 
rally we are loath to take pains with our own souls, though indeed this be 
a preventing pains, to shun a worse misery hereafter ; there is nothing 
gotten by favouring ourselves. What need I be large in this point ? It is 
clear that naturally we are loath to judge ourselves, as we shall see here- 
after.]; Oh ! if the worst man hadfthat judgment of himself, as he shall 
have ere long, when he shall not be besotted, but be free from his spiritual 
drunkenness and madness that he is in, carried with the course of the world, 
then he shall judge truly of himself. Oh 1 that he could do it in time. 
But naturally, I say, what for negligence, and what for pride, and resting 
in the conceits that others have of us, we neglect so necessary a duty. 

Well, then, to go to the second point : as we are prone to neglect it, so 
we must know, 

Doct. 10. That it is a jiecessary and useful duty to judge ourselves: for 
it is the ground of all repentance, Jer. viii. 6. He complains that they 
rushed as^ * a horse into the battle, and no man said, what have I done ?' 

* That is = to conceive. — G. f ' I say ' omitted in B, 0. — G. 

, t ' It is clear ... of himself ' omitted in B, C. — G. 
^ ' As,' by a misprint, not in C. — G. 



JUDGMENT S REASON. 



85 



Quest. "What was- the reason they rushed as a horse into the battle ? , 

Sol. No man entered into himself and said, What have I done ? I con- 
sidered my ways, and turned my feet to thy testimonies, saith David, 
Ps. cxix. 59. Consideration is the ground therefore of repentance and con- 
version. Thus in discussing of our ways, and trial of them, and of every 
good work, there must be this judging, this discerning, what is spirit and what 
is flesh. A man cannot do a good work without the use of this principle 
that God hath put into him, of judging himself, and judging his ways. 

And then again, it is a duty that makes a wan good in himself: for when 
we do outward good duties, they are good for others. If a man be bounti- 
ful, another hath the benefit ; if he be merciful, another hath the profit ; 
but when a man judge th himself, and sets up a court in himself, his own 
soul is the better for it ; he is the more holy man, the more watchful man, 
the more clear from his sins ; he is the fitter framed for holy duties ; it is 
the better for his own self ; and therefore this duty it is the spring of all 
other good duties, and it is most beneficial to a man's own soul. 

Again, this is such a duty as doth settle the judgment, and make us impreg- 
nahle in temptation. When we have passed a judgment upon ourselves, let 
this or that judgment be, we care not ; for we have judged ourselves as we 
should by the rule. We know what we have done,, we know what we have 
said, we are able to justify it : it makes us ready and able to give an 
account to God, and to the world for what we do. But what, should I go 
further than the text ? Here is a special good use it hath : if we judge 
ourselves, we shall not be judged of the Lord. This judging of ourselves, 
it* prevents a further judgment. 

Quest. How is that ? 

Ans. First of all, because we spare God a labour. When we judge our- 
selves, he need not take us in hand to judge us. His corrections and his 
statutes are often called judgments in the Psalms.t Now upon the neglect 
of his judgments ^ and statutes, we run into his judgments and corrections ; 
yet if we were careful of our duty, we might prevent the judgments of cor- 
rection. § 

Then again, things judged in one court cannot be judged in another by 
equity.^ Now|| the God of all justice and equity will surely strictly observe 
equity. When our sins are judged in an inferior court ; when in the court 
of conscience we have cited, indicted ourselves before ourselves, and given 
sentence upon ourselves, before ourselves, H then what is** condemned in 
this lower court of conscience, it shall never be condemned for hereafter : 
and, therefore, the necessity of this duty issues hence ; ' if we judge our- 
selves, we shall not be judged.' 

Quest. What is the ground that men are judged with the judgment of 
correction ?f f 

Sol. We may learn hence, that we may thank ourselves for not return- 
ing into our souls. I was careless of setting up a court in myJJ own heart ; 
careless in using those abilities that God hath given me to discern, to 

* The ' it,' which with other pronouns is a characteristic in this use of Sibhes, as 
of his contemporaries, omitted in B, C — G. 

t Cf. Ps. X. 5 ; xix. 9 ; xxxvi. 6 ; Ixxii. 1 ; cxix. 7, ei alibi. — G. 

X ' Judgments and' omitted in B, C. — G. 

^ ' Yet if ... of correction' omitted in B, C — G. 

II ' Now' omitted in B, C— G. H ' Before ourselves,' omitted in B, C— G. 

•'-« ' Was' in B 0.— G. 

tt The question ' What,' &c., omitted in B, C— G. 

IX 'Mine/ in B, C— G. 



86 



JUDGMENT S REASON. 



understand my* own ways. I have been careless there ; and because I did 
not judge myself, it is just with God to judge me. We see here the necessity 
from the text ; when we judge ourselves, we shall not be judged ; therefore, 
when we are judged, we have been negligent in this duty of judging ourselves.f 

Well, to hasten ;| if this be so, if it be a duty that we are backward to, 
and yet it is a holy and useful duty, then we come, in the next place, to 
some directions how to carry ourselves in it. 

(1.) First, in judging ourselves, let us call and cite ourselves before our- 
selves, and fall to a reckoning both with our persons and the state 
wherein we stand, and likewise the actions that come from us ; what 
is good in us, and what is ill ; what omitted, and what committed ; what 
corruption is mingled with our best performances, and such like, as we 
shall see after. First, call ourselves to a reckoning, and see whether we 
can give account to ourselves or no. And if we cannot give account to our- 
selves, much less can we to the all-seeing eye and justice of God. I would 
fain have a worldling give account to himself, why the elder he grows the 
more worldly he should be ; he cannot give an account to himself for it. 
I would have a profane swearer give account to himself, why he dallies with 
the great and terrible majesty of God, as if he were greater than he, when 
he pronounceth * that he will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name 
in vain,' Exod. xx. 7. I would fain know of those that spend the prime of 
their time and years in the service of the devil, and bring their rotten old 
age to God, what account they can give to their own hearts. I would have 
any sinner, that lives in a course of sin, give account to his own heart : 
thou wretched man, canst thou not give an account to thyself ? God is 
greater than thy heart ; how dost thcu think to stand before the judgment- 
seat of God ere long ? The first thing, therefore, is to arraign ourselves 
at our own bar. I exclude not others that have calling to examine others, 
but especially present ourselves. 

(2.) And when vre find anything amiss, then besides this arraifjning of 
ourselves, toe must give sentence against ourselves. That is the second thing 
in discussing : as David, Ps. Ixxiii. 22, ' So foolish was I, and as a beast,' 
when he had entertained a thought that God neglected his church, and 
regarded it no more ; he had a dishonourable thought of God raised in his 
heart. ' Oh,' saith he, ' I was ashamed, so foolish, and so like a beast was I.' 
And so you have the prodigal; and Dan. ix. 4, seq., and Ezra ix. 6. seq., 
for examples how to pass a censure upon ourselves, when we find anything 
amiss ; and labour that those afiections that are in us towards ill, as grief, 
and shame, and sorrow, may be stirred up in us, by setting ourselves in 
grief, and shame, and sorrow, as we should, to turn the stream of our afiec- 
tions the right way. 

When we find anything amiss in our own hearts, when we have given 
sentence and judgment upon ourselves ; § 

(3.) Then proceed to execution: let them go together, judgment and exe- 
cution. This the apostle calls an holy revenge, 2 Cor. vii. 11. If we have 
been proud, let us abase ourselves. If we have been base in the duties of 
charity and good works to others, let us now, as Zaccheus, labour for the 
contrary, Luke xix. 8. If we have misspent our precious time, let us labour 

* ' Mine' in B, C— G. 

t The sentence ' We see here,' &c., omitterl in B, C — G. 

t ' To hasten,' and ' If this be so,' not in B, C, and reads simph', ' If this be a 
duty,' &C.-G. 

§ The sentence ' When we find,' &c., omitted in B, C— G. 



judgment's reason. 87 

now to redeem tlie time, to do the contrary good. This course we ought 
to take. 

And for the things that we ought to sift, and to try, and to judge, they 
are not only our persons, but whatsoever comes from us : we are to judge 
all our actions, not only our^ ill actions, but our good actions. There is 
much dross mingled with our gold : let us examine our best actions. Nay, 
and not only our outward, but go to the very root. When we find a fault 
in any outward action, follow it to the very corrupt spring. Those that 
have a plant, that bears venomous fruit, they dig it at the root ; so when 
any bad fruit comes from us, go to the root, strike there at it ; follow sin 
to its burrow, its first hatching place, to the very heart. Thus David doth, 
Ps. li. 5 : he goes to his birth sin. What, should I speak, saith he, of the 
sins that I have committed ? ' In sin was I conceived.' In all actual sins 
look to the corrupt root and puddle whence they come ; as. Oh, what is this 
word that I have spoken ? what is this action ? I have a corrupt nature, 
that is ready to yield to an hundred such upon the like occasion ; and 
thereupon go to the heart, and to -:= the soul, and censure that ; for that is 
worse than any particular act whatsoever. 

Take heed of laijing the fault upon this occasion, or that occasion, f xvlien 
we find ourselves faulty. No. Say it was thou, my proud heart ! it was 
thou, mine angry heart ! my base worldly heart ! The occasion did but 
help ; the principal was mine own heart. Let us labour, therefore, to be 
acquainted thoroughly with our heart, that is wondrous unfaithful. There is 
a mystery of deceit in it. 

What is the reason that God's children sometimes fall into sins that they 
never thought of, and that naturally they are not prone to ? 

Sol. Because there is no man that sufficiently knows the depth of the 
falsehood of his own heart. For Moses to become an angry man, that was 
the meekest man on earth, it was strange, yet at the waters of strife he 
brake forth into passion. Num. xx. 10. For David, that had his heart 
touched for cutting off the lap of Saul's garment, it was strange to come to 
murder, 1 Sam. xxiv. 5, 2 Sam. xi. 15, seq. Now, who would have thought 
that murder had lodged in David's heart ? For Peter, that loved Christ so 
much, to come to deny and to forswear his Master ; who would have thought 
that forswearing had lurked in the heart of Peter ? Mat. xxvi. 72. Beloved ! 
we know not what corruption lurks" in our hearts. Nay, sometimes we shall 
find, if we search our hearts narrowly, those corruptions therein that at 
other times we are not prone to, so deceitful is our heart. And therefore, 
in all breaches outwardly, in speech or carriage, be sure to run to the heart 
to condemn sin, and to strike at it there. 

Well, thus we see some directions how to carry ourselves. It is not, 
beloved, the having of corruption that damns men, hut the affections we carry 
towards our corruptions. The best of us have corruptions, but mark how 
we do carry ourselves towards them. A carnal man pleads for his corrup- 
tions, he strengthens them ; and another man hath corruption, but it is 
hardly used. Corruption is difierently used in the heart of a carnal and of 
a gracious man, for in the one it is fostered, cherished, and pleaded for : 
in a civil, carnal man ; \ in the other man it is indeed, but it is subdued and 
mortified, it is judged and condemned. As we say of a man, when judg- 
ment is passed upon him, he is a dead man, though he be not dead, be- 
cause the sentence of death is passed upon him, who, when he comes to 

1 Misprinted ' for' in 0. — G. f ' Upon this or that occasion' in B, C. — G. 

* ' To' not in B, G. — G. J ' In a civil . . . man' omitted in B, 0. — G. 



oO JUDGMENT S REASON. 

be executed, by little and little he dies, till he be perfectly dead ; so it is 
■when corruption is judged by us and condemned in our hearts, it is as it 
were dead, because we have passed the sentence on it, we have condemned 
it, and because^ we have begun the execution that shall end in death; and 
therefore, as we would difference ourselves from the world, let us labour 
more and more, that though we have corruption, yet to carry ourselves thus 
towards it, to make it more hateful by all means. We cannot make it too 
hateful to us ; it doth us all the mischief in the world ; it is the ill of ills. 
All other ills are but the fruits ^ of it ; it puts a fiery, venomed sting into 
all things ; it makes things comfortable uncomfortable : as the hour of death, 
that should be thought on as our entrance into heaven ; and the day of 
judgment, the consideration whereof should be our joy. What makes these 
things terrible ? Oh ! it is sin, the sin that we cherish and love better than 
our souls ; it is that that makes things that are most comfortable uncomfort- 
able. What a thing is that that makes us afraid to go to God ! to think of 
a gracious God ! that hinders us in our best performances ! that makes us 
backward and dull ! Labour, by all means, to make sin odious, I say. In 
the best commonwealth in the world there will be lurking rebels, base 
people. What! doth the commonwealth bear the blame ? No. The laws 
are against them, and they are executed when they are found out. So in the 
best heart there will be rebellious thoughts, evil thoughts, but let it not be laid 
to the charge of God's people. There are laws against them ; they labour 
to find them out and to execute them. Here is the comfort of God's 
children, that though they groan under many infirmities, yet they look 
upon them as enemies, and as objects of their mortification. 

Well, to hasten : again, in judging ourselves, let us labour to jiidr/e our- 
selves for those tJihif/s that the u-orld takes no yiotice of ; for spiritual, for in- 
ward things : as for stirring of pride, of worldliness, of revenge, of security, 
unthankfulness, and such like ; unkindness towards God, barrenness in 
good duties, that the world cannot see. Oh, let these humble our hearts ! 
For want of judging ourselves'for these, God gives us up to outward breaches, 
and justly too. When we make not conscience of spiritual sins, God gives 
us up to open sins, that stain and blemish our profession. 

Again, for the sins in good duties. Take heed in our best performances 
that we be not deceived in them. Poison is dangerously taken in sweet 
gloves, and in sweet things, because it is conveyed in sweetness ; and so 
in holy duties there is conveyed pride and resting in them. Take heed, 
lest corruption mingle some deadly thing with our best performances. 

The Corinthians came to the table of the Lord ; but because they thought 
the duty a good duty,* and that they might not sin in a good duty, they 
came hand over head, carelessly [unto itj.f Oh, but we see how God 
deals with them. And therefore, let us examine, in good duties and per- 
formances, with what minds we come, with what preparation, with what 
aims and ends [we perform them].| Many thousands, we may fear, are 
damned even for good duties ; for § duties that are not ill in themselves, 
because they think they may be bold there, and put off the power of grace, 
and rest in common civil things, [even] [j in outward performances. When 
we regard not the manner, God regards not the matter of the things we do, 

* ' But because they thought the duty good,' in B, C— G. 

t 'Unto it' added in B, C— G J Added in B, C— G. 

§ ' For because they are not ill in themselves,' &c., in B, C. — G. 

i ' Even' added in B, C— G. 

^ ' Therefore because ' in C. — G. ^ ' Fruit ' in C. — G, 



judgment's reason. 89 

bat oftentimes punisheth for the performance of good duties, as we see here 
in the Corinthians. But to proceed. 

Let us observe some helps to all this that we have spoken. To help us, 
let us get a good rule* Let the rule of our judging and discerning be 
digested into our hearts ; let the word of God be engrafted into us ; that 
is the word that we must judge by, that we must be saved or damned by 
ere long ; [asjf for false rules, the practice of the world, our own imagina- 
tions, away with them. We must not judge by those, but by the truth of 
God ; and, I therefore, be sm-e of this, that so the rule and our souls may 
be one, that we may have the rule as ready as any corruption and as any 
sin is ; when anything ariseth in our hearts, that the word engrafted in our 
hearts may be ready to check it presently. An unlearned judge oftentimes 
may mar all, whatsoever the cause be, though never so good. So, when 
the judgment is not instructed, an ignorant person can never manage his 
own soul. Let us labour for knowledge, that we may be learned in this 
judicature and judgment§ of ourselves. 

Quest. What is the reason that many good souls are ready to bear false 
witness against, and to condemn themselves for what they should not ? 

Sol. (1.) Sometinies tliey condemn their state,\\ and think [that^^ they are 
not the children of God, ivhen they are. They want judgment out of God's 
book. Because they have corruption in them, they conclude that they 
have no grace ; because they have but little grace, therefore they have none 
at all ; as if God's glory were not to shew his strength in the midst of their 
weakness, and so, for want of judgment out of the Scriptures, they laj' a 
plaster upon a sound place, and a true man is condemned for a traitor. 
Just persons condemn themselves in their courses that are gracious, for 
want of a sanctified and good judgment. Let us labour to have our judg- 
ment rightly instructed out of God's word, and in the use of all good 
means, grow in knowledge, that we may be discerning Christians, to judge 
between the flesh and the spirit,^ between good and bad, to have our senses 
exercised in this kind. 

Sol. (2.) And not only to have the law, but to know the gospel too. To 
know in what estate Christians should be under the gospel, not to look to 
legal breaches altogether, but what the gospel requires ; not only how short 
we are of the law (which we can never attain to),** but of that which we 
might attain to in the gospel. Let us bring ourselves to that which we 
might be, and which others have attained to, to the view of others better 
than ourselves, and this will make us to judge ourselves. But, as I said 
before, let us labour to know the sins against the gospel ; let us know what 
condition of life is required under the gospel : a fruitful life and a thankful. 
Our whole life should be nothing but thankfulness under the gospel, and 
fruitfulness ; we should be inflamed with the love of Christ. Oh ! take heed 
of turning that grace of God into wantonness. Oh ! would we have fresh 
evidence of the love of God in Christ ?tf Take heed of sins against the 
gospel ; know what the conversation of a Christian should be, to walk 
worthy of the gospel, worthy of the high calling of a Christain. The state 
of the gospel requires that we should deny all ungodliness and worldly lust, 
and live righteously, and soberly, and godly, &c., Titus ii. 12; that we 

* ' To help . . . rule' not in B, C.—G. \\ 'Estate' in B, C— G. 
t ' As' inserted in B, C— G. ^ ' That' added in B, C— G. 

t ' And' omitted in B, C— G. ** ' Unto ' in B, C— G. 

l ' And judgment' not in B, C— G. ft ' Of liis favour ' in B, C— G. 

* ' The flesh and the spirit' not in 0. — G. 



90 judgment's keason. 

be earnest, and zealous of good works. Wlien we find ourselves otherwise, 
think, Oh ! this is not the life of a Christian under the gospel. The gos- 
pel requires a more fruitful, more zealous carriage, more love to Christ. 
' Anathema maranatha' belongs to him that loves not the Lord Jesus, 1 Cor. 
xvi. 22 ; and therefore, when we find any coldness to so gracious a God, and 
so blessed a Saviour, let us condemn ourselves. 

Sol. (3.) And take the benefit likeicise of the judgment of others, if im iconld 
learn to judge ourselves thoroughly ; consider what others say ; it is one 
branch of the communion of saints to regard the judgment of others. Oh, 
it is a blessed thing to have others tell us of our faults, and as it were to 
pull us out of the fire with violence, as Jude speaketh, 23 ; rather to pull 
us out with violence, with sharp rebukes, than we should perish and be 
damned in our sins. If a man be to weed his ground, he sees need of the 
benefit of others ; if a man be to demolish his house, he will be thankful to 
others for their help ; so he that is to pull down his corruption, that old 
house, he should be thankful to others that will tell him. This is rotten, and 
this is to blame ; who if he be not thankful for seasonable reproof, he knows 
not what self-judging means. If any man be so uncivil when a man shews 
him a spot on his garment, to grow choleric, will we not judge him to be^ 
an unreasonable man ? And so when a man shall be told. This will hinder 
your comfort another day ; if men were not spiritually besotted, would they 
swell and be angry against such a man ? Therefore take the benefit of the 
judgment of others among whom you live. This was David's disposition, 
when he was told of the danger [inj* going to kill Nabal and his household ; 
when Abigail, a discreet woman, came and diverted him ; Oh, saith he, 
* Blessed be God, and blessed be thou, and blessed be thy counsel,' 1 Sam. 
XXV. 32 ; thou hast kept me from shedding of innocent blood this day. So 
we should bless God, and bless them that labour by their good counsel and 
advice to hinder us from any sinful course, whatsoever it is.f 

Sol. (4.) And then again, as a help to awaken thy conscience, go to tlw 
house of mouniing. That will help us by awakening conscience. Consider 
the judgments of God abroad in the church, and consider our danger at 
home, and labour to have our hearts awakened ; and then we will be ready 
to judge ourselves, when we keep our souls in a waking temper ; take heed 
of spiritual security above all things. 

Sol. (5.) For our conversion,] let it not he with the world; for then we will 
justify ourselves, but converse with those that are better, and the light of 
their excellency will abase us, and make us to judge ourselves. I have 
reason to be as good as they, to be as forward as they; what a shame is it 
for me not to do as they do ! To bring ourselves to the light of good 
examples, it doth much good to Christians, and makes them ashamed of 
their backwardness and duluess. Those that have false hearts they§ shun 
the company of those that are better than themselves ; who because they 
would have all alike, they besmear and sully others in their reputation, 
because they shall not be thought to be better than they. A base and 
devilish course ! Whereas a Christian labours to converse with those that 
are better, because he would grow better than himself ; take heed of a false 
heart in this kind. 

Sol. (6.) Again, because I cannot follow the argument so fully as I 

* ' In ' added in B, 0, — Gr. t Qu. ' conversation ' ? — Ed. 

t ' It is ' not in B, C— G. ? ' They ' not in B, C— G. 

' The words ' a spot,' &c., blunderingly omitted in C ; and reads, ' If any man 
be so uncivil, when a man shews him to be an unreasonable man.' — G. 



judgment's reason. 91 

thought I should have done, when all these helps and directions perhaps 
are not sufficient, jom ivith this"^' a desire that God ivoidd help us by his own 
Sjnrit to search our hearts and judge ourselves ; and complain to him of our 
corruptions and weaknesses ; as the virgin when she was forced, Deut. xxii. 
26, if she complained, she saved her reputation and her life. So complain 
to God, Lord, I would serve thee, but corruption bears too great a sway in 
me ; and desire God to help us with heavenly light and strength, so shall 
we escape eternal death. Corruption is his enemy. [It isjf Christ's enemy 
as well as ours, and Christ, if we beg of him, will help us against his enemy 
and ours ; this should be our daily course and practice. 

Ohj. Now some will object, Here is a troublesome course ! what a deal 
of do is here- What kind of hfe would you have the life of a Christian to 
be, to be thus discussing and censuring ? 

Sol. I answer, it is the trouble of physic that prevents tli-e trouble of sickness. 
Is it not better to be troubled with physic, than to be troubled with a long 
and tedious sickness ? Is it not better to be troubled with the pain of a 
tent, I than with the pain of a wound ? All this is but preventing ; by this 
course we prevent further trouble. For we must know that God hath put 
conscience into us, and this conscience must, and it shall have its work, 
either in this world or in the world to come ; and therefore let us discharge 
it now by sifting, by examining and condemning ourselves, that it may not 
rise and stand against us, when we would have it our friend. Oh, carry 
things so that conscience may be a friend at the day of judgment, put it § 
out of office now, let it say what it can, stifle it not, stop it not, divert it 
not, let it have its full scope to say what it can. For I beseech you do 
but consider the fearful estate of a man that hath neglected self-examina- 
tion : when he comes to die, and is in any trouble, when he sees death 
before him, live he cannot, and to die he is unfit ; for if he look back, he 
looks back to a world of sin"^ not repented of; forwards he sees eternal 
damnation before him ; if he look to God, he is offended for his rebellious 
course of life. Where is then the comfort of sucb a one, that in the 
glorious light of the gospel doth not practise this duty of judging himself? 
Sin must be judged either in a repentant heart or [else] || by God, [it] || 
being against God's prerogative, for he hath made a law against it. Judged 
it must be : we must give account of every ' idle word,' either in a repentant 
heart, by afflicting our own souls for it, or at the day of judgment, Mat. 
xii. 36. Now what a fearful thing will this be, to have all to make 
account for then. Is it not a great mercy, beloved, that God hath pointed 
out such a course to set up a court of conscience to prevent shame '? Were 
it not a shame for us to have our faults written in our foreheads '? And yet 
better so, than to have all to reckon for at the day of judgment. For if all 
our faults were laid open, our corrupt thoughts and vile aftections here — ■ 
there were hope of repentance in this world ; but to have them laid open 
to our shame and confusion in the world to come, it is a matter of eternal 
despair. Now God, to prevent both these, hath set up a com't of conscience, 
that we might judge ourselves, and prevent shame here, and damnation 
hereafter. 

Quest. And how shall this torment [wretches] IT in hell, when a man** 
shall think, God put conscience in me ; if I had not put it off, but suffered 

* ' These ' in B, C— G. |1 ' Else ' and ' it ' added in B, C— G. 

t ' It is ' added in B, C— G. 1[ ' Wretches ' added in B, C— G. 

i That is = ligature made ' tent ' or ' tight.' — G. ** ' They ' in B, C— G. 
f Qu. ' put it not ' ?— Ed. ^ ' Yet • in C— G. 



92 judgment's reason. 

it to have done wliat it would, I might have been thus and thus, but now 
I have wilfully cast myself into this [misery].* It will be the hell in hell, 
that shall torment us more than hell,} when we shall think, I have brought 
myself carelessly and securely to that J cursed estate such shall be then 
in ; § therefore, I beseech joi\, consider the misery of a man that neglects 
the practice of this duty, and consider withal how happy and how sweet 
the condition of that man is that hath and carefully doth daily perform this 
duty : he is afraid of no ill tidings ; if anything come, he hath made his 
reckoning and account with God, there is no sin upon the filel| unrepented 
of, and unjudged, and unconfessed to God. If he looks back, he considers 
his sins, but he hath repented of them. If he look forward, he sees 
nothing but God reconciled, and he can think of death and judgment with 
comfort. Oh, the happiness, and the peace, and the inward paradise of 
such a man, about 11" another careless man that puts off his estate, because 
he will not trouble and afflict his own soul, and torment himself before his 
time. 

Here is the difference between a careless and a sound Christian ; what 
the one thinks now, the other shall ere long. But only the one is mad 
now, and is not his own man, but besotted with ambition and covetousness ; 
the other is sober, and in his right wits, able to judge and to censure him- 
self. And therefore let holy persons that are careful, pass not a whit for 
the censures of vain persons ; they speak against what they know not ; 
against a strict course of life. Those that truss up the loins of their souls, 
and are careful of their ways, they are the only sound Christians ; they are 
the only comfortable Christians, that can think of all conditions, and of all 
estates comfortably. I beseech you take these things to heart, and let us 
be stirred up to perform this duty I speak of,** of daily trying and examin- 
ing of ff our ways, that daily we may relish Christ. 

Quest. What is the reason there is no more rejoicing and thankfulness- 
for Christ ? 

Sol. We keep not the wound, I mean corruption, open ; we see that 
which is unmortified, but we dry it up ; and therefore we do not relish 
Christ. Sweet is Christ to the soul that is exercised in a search of his own 
heart and ways. 
, Quest. But at what times especially are we to examine ? 

Sol. At all times, every day ; because we must feed on Christ every day. 
Therefore we ought to have these sour herbs, considering that we daily sin, 
that Christ may relish. Christ justifieth the ungodly every day. We have 
use of justification ; and therefore we should daily see our corruptions, and 
judge ourselves for them : then Christ is Christ indeed,, and Jesus is Jesus 
indeed to us. Every day let us do this. We have short memories ; and 
sin when it is green it is easily rooted out. Therefore, 

1. Every day, before sin be rooted, let us judge ourselves. The more 
we do it now every day, the less we shall have to do when we die, and when 
we are on our sickbeds ; and therefore do it still, that we may have the 
less to do when we are weak. Is that a fit time to go over our life, and 
to censure our courses, when we are in such a case as we cannot think of 
earthly things ? Oh, it is an ill time to get grace when we should use 
grace. And therefore, that we may have the less to do when we shall have 

« ' Misery ' added in B, C— G. 1| Cf. Vol. I., note I, p. 289.— G. 

t ' The iiames ' in B, C— G. "jf Qu. ' above ' ?— Ed. 

I ' This ' in B, C— G. ** ' I speak of ' omitted in B, C— G. 

'i ' Such shall be then in ' omitted in B, C— G. jt No ' of ' in B, C— -G. 



judgment's reason, 93 

enough to do to struggle with sickness ; ai^d have nothing to do when we 
die, but to die and comfortably yield up our souls to God let us be exact 
in our accounts every day. 

2. But more especially we should do so when we are to deal with God, 
as now we are to receive the communion, wherein we draw near to God.* 
Those that go to great persons, they will not go in rags, but put on their 
best attire, and make all neat and handsome, that nothing may be offensive. 
Have we this wisdom when we appear before any greater than ourselves ? 
When we are to appear before God and Christ (especiallyt to have so near 
communion as we have in the sacrament), let us labour, I say,| to come 
neat and prepared. When they were to come to the passover, the lamb 
was singled out beforehand three days, that they might have time to pre- 
pare themselves in, Exod. xii. 6. But we ought especially § to examine 
and to judge ourselves when we come near to God in holy communion, to 
feast with God,]] which is here intended, when we come to receive the 
blessed sacrament. They should have prepared and have judged them- 
selves. ^ Because they neglected it they were judged of God ; and therefore 
know you that mean to receive now, now is the time when we should judge 
ourselves, the more especial time.*'"' Though we should do it every day, 
yet this is the special time. Take heed of superstition though, to thrust 
all religion into one time, to the time of the communion, as many do. They 
turn off all their examination to a little time before the communion, and 
the taking of the communion to one time of the year, to Easter ; and thus 
they think God will bear with them. Oh, take heed ! ff that is superstition. 
As I said before, keep a daily account ; every week examine how we have 
kept our daily account ; and every month examine how we have kept our 
weekly account ; and when we come to the communion, examine how we 
have kept our daily account, whether we have slubbered anything before, ];| 
especially when we come to take the communion. 

Quest. But what shall we do, when we have done all ? When we have 
examined, and judged, and passed a censure upon ourselves, §§ what shall 
[we] do when we have done all ? 

Sol. When we are condemned in one court, go to another ; as a man 
that is condemned in the Common Law, he appeals to the Chancery. When 
we are condemned in the court of justice, fly to God's chancery, fly to 
mercy. He that hath a sentence passed in one court, he appeals to another : 
when we have judged ourselves, then appeal to mercy ; for this is to do it 
in faith ; and when we judge ourselves in faith, then, upon our judging, we 
know that God will pardon. You know he hath promised, ' If we confess 
our sins, he is merciful to forgive them,' 1 John i. 9. Say, Lord, I con- 
fess them, cancel thou the bond, cancel thou the debt. Therefore a Chris- 
tian's plea is, when he hath judged himself, to fly to God for pardon. Saul, 
we know, could judge himself ; and Judas could pass a sentence upon his 

* ' Unto liim ' in B, C— G. t ' Specially ' in B, C— G. 

J ' I say ' not in B, C ; and ' much more ' added after labour. Neat = pure. — G. 

§ ' And ought not we ' in B, C. — G. 

II ' Him ' in B, C ; and ' -wliicli is here intended ' omitted. — G. 

^ ' But because ' in B, C. — G. 

** ' The more ... is the special time ' omitted in B, C. — G. 

ft ' Of such a superstitious course ' added in B, C ; and ' That is . . . before ' 
omitted. — G. 

XX ' We have grown in grace, got ground of corruption, been exact in time, hung 
loose from God or not ' added in B, C. — G. 

§2 ' In a strict manner ' added in B, C ; and ' when we have done all ' omitted. — G. 



94 judgment's reason. 

own act, that lie had sinned ; but they went no further, they did not fly to 
God for mercy in Christ. Therefore let us fly to the throne of grace ; as 
we have an excellent pattern of this, Ps. csxx. 3 : saith the psalmist there, 
* If thou be strict to mark what is done amiss, Lord, who shall abide it ?' 
There he is condemned in one court. If thou be strict to mark what is 
done amiss, who shall abide it ? There, being condemned in that court, 
he flies to the throne of grace : ' But there is mercy with thee, that thou 
mightst be feared.' Lord, if thou be strict to mark what is done amiss 
by me in this action and in that action, who shall abide it ? But, Lord, 
there is mercy with thee in Jesus Christ, in whom thou hast stablished a 
throne of mercy ;'"' there is mercy with thee, that thou mayest be feared. 
Take this course, and undoubtedly God will shew mercy ; because the Son 
directs us to the Father in the Lord's prayer that we should ask forgiveness ; 
and God the Father directs us to his Son, to believe his Sonf for forgive- 
ness. ' This is his commandment, that we believe in his Son Jesus Christ,' 
1 John iii. 23. We cannot honour the Father more, we cannot honour 
the Son more, than to go to God for mercy ; because God in Christ now 
will be glorified in his mercy. | 

Let us fetch out a pardon of course for every sin. * If we confess our 
sins, he is merciful to forgive our sins.' And therefore it is our own fault 
if we find not the assurance of the forgiveness of them, because we deal not 
roundly, without a spirit of guile, with God. That is the next duty then, 
after we have judged ourselves, to go to mercy. And to shew you one 
example, how peace comes in after this judging of ourselves, Rom. vii. 24, 
the blessed apostle complains of his own corruptions. He had laid sore to 
his own charge, that the ill that he would not do, that he did ; and the good 
that he would do, that he did not ; and he breaks out, ' Oh ! wretched man 
that I am.' What did he find presently upon this ? ' Thanks be to God,' 
presently upon it, as if he had found peace presently upon complaining of 
his corruptions. Oh, miserable man, &c.§ So when we honour God by 
confessing and judging ourselves, he will honour us with inward peace and 
joy ; because faith honours him by trusting and relying upon his mercy. 
If therefore we would find inward peace in the pardon of our sins, let us 
deal faithfully with our souls in spreading our sins before God ; and we 
shall find peace presently upon it. If not, learn to wait ; for undoubtedly 
God will make good his promise. 

Quest. But what shall we do in the next place, after we have so opened 
the case to God, and gone to him for pardon, and forgiveness, and mercy 
in Christ ? 

Sol. Then renew our covenant with God for the time to come, of better 
service, and enter upon reformation, || upon our resolution ; for this is a 
fruit of the former. 

Quest. How shall we' know that we have humbled ourselves, and judged 
ourselves as we should do ? 

Sol. When we relish the mercy of God in the pardon of our sins. 

Quest. But how shall we know when God hath pardoned our sins ? 

Sol. When he gives us grace to renew our covenants for the time to come, 
not to ofiend him ; and when he gives us strength to reform our ways ; for 
with pardoning mercy there goeth healing mercy: Ps. ciii. 1, 'Praise the 

* ' Grace ' in B, ; and ' There is . . . feared ' omitted. — G. 

t ' In him ' in B, C. — G. I ' In mercy to penitent sinners ' in B, C. — G. 

^ ' Oh, miserable man ' omitted in B, C. — G. 

il ' Of life ' in B, C ; and ' Upon ... of the former ' omitted. — G. 



judgment's eeason. 95 

Lord, my soul, that forgives all thy sins, and heals all thine infirmities.' 
So these must go together, judging and censuring of ourselves ; then plead- 
ing for mercy, and renewing of our covenants, with reformation thereupon. 
A Christian looks as well to the time to come as to the time past : for the 
time past he repents ; for the time to come he resolves against all sin, A 
wicked carnal man could be content to be freed from the guilt of sins past, 
that his conscience might not twitch* him and torment him. But for the 
time to come he makes no conscience to entertain any vows, and purposes, 
or desire, that God would assist him against all sin. Butf a Christian is 
as careful of the sin that he is in danger to commit for the time to come, J 
as a wicked man is to have the sin past off his conscience. § 

As therefore we would have an evidence of our certainty, || let us look 
that we renew our covenants and purposes for the time to come ; an excel- 
lent pattern for this you have, Ps. xis. 12, where David prays, 'Lord, 
cleanse me from my secret sins' (for the sins that hung upon him, and his 
sins past^), and what for the time to come ? ' Lord, keep me that presump- 
tuous sins have not the dominion over me.' So we should pray to God, 
' Lord, cleanse me from my former sins, and keep me by thy Holy Spirit, 
that presumptuous sins for the time to come have not the dominion over 
me ;'** and as it is in the Lord's Prayer, to join both together, ' Forgive us 
our debts,' and ' lead us not into temptation' for the time to come. Those 
that feel in their souls' assurance of pardon, they-jf will entertain purposes 
against all sin for the time to come ; they wall as heartily say. Lord, lead 
me not into temptation, as they will say, Lord, forgive my sins. 

Use 1. WellyJJ I beseech you, let iis lay these things to heart, to practise 
them. Our peace depends upon them. Oh ! how sweet is peace and rest, 
after we have made our peace with God, when we have dealt thoroughly 
and soundly with our own souls, and have not daubed with them !§§ There 
may be dangerous times a-coming ; there is a cloud hangs over our heads ; 
•we know not how it may fall ; v/e see all the world is in combustion. Who, 
■when troubles come, will be the happy man ? [Even]l|i| he that hath judged 
himself, accused himself, that hath mortified his corruptions, and, accord- 
ing to the grace that God hath given him, renewed his covenant and laboured 
to reform his life, and keeps it in his pui-pose of heart so to do (as David 
prays, that he may not ofi'end God for the time to corneal!), he is fit for all 
times ; whatsoever times come they shall find him in good purposes. What 
a fearful thing were it if death, if some terrible judgment should light on us 
in an evil course of life ; what would become of us then ? Happy man is 
he that is in the good way, in good purposes, in good resolutions, that the 
bent of his soul is to God and to heavenward ; and therefore, as we would 
evidence to ourselves, that our state is good, that we are wise, and not 
fools, I beseech you let us practise this duty, and make it more familiar to 

* ' Tonch ' in B, C— G. J ' For the future ' in B, C— G. 

t ' But ' not in B, C. — G. § ' Of his conscience pardoned ' in B, C G. 

II ' In bliss' added in B, C— G. 

^ ' The present sins that hung upon him, and his sins past ' in B, C— G. 
** ' Have no power over me ' in B, C ; and the ' and ' following omitted, together 
with ' to join both together.' — G. 
tt ' They ' not in B, C ; neither ' for the time to come ' following. — G. 
XX ' Well ' not in B, C— G. 

§§ That is = ' have not dealt superficially.' Cf. Ezek xiii. 10, 11,12 l ^ ytu. 28. 
— G. 

ill ' Even' added in B, C— G. 
\^ ' As David ... to come' omitted in B, C. — G. 



96 jtjdgment's eeason. 

us than we have done ; and then undoubtedly we shall find somewhat in us 
better than nature. Nature cannot judge itself. Corruption cannot pass a 
censure upon itself. It is grace, a principle above nature, that censures 
corruption ; and therefore when we judge ourselves, it is an undoubted evi- 
dence that we are in the state of grace. Who would want such an evidence ? 
Use 2. Again, when we find want of grace, go out of ourselves, fjo'^ to God 
and to Christ. Naturally we stick in ourselves. Judas and Saul, they 
could not go to God for mercy, when their conscience was awaked with the 
sense of their sin. To go to God for pardon, it is an argument that there 
is somewhat wrought above nature in the heart ; and therefore, as we would 
have an evidence to our souls, that there is somewhat in us above common 
men, let us judge ourselves; let us spare no sin, that God way simre all. 
Be severe to ourselves, that God may be merciful to us; and when we 
have done this, look to the abundant mercy of God in Christ. ' Where sin 
hath abounded, grace hath more abounded,' Kom. v. 13. Oh ! mercy is 
sweet after we have searched into our corruptions. There is a height, and 
breadth, and depth of mercy, when we have felt the height, and breadth, 
and depth of corruption first. The Lord give a blessing to that which hath 
been delivered. 

^ ' On ' inserted in B, C, and ' to ' omitted. — G. 



JUDGMENT'S KEASON. 



SEEMON II. 



For tJiis cause many are iveak and sick amomj you, and many sleep. For 
if we would judge ourselves, ive should not he judged. But when we are 
judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that ive should not he condemned ivith 
the uvrld.—l Cor. XI. 30-32. 

After blessed St Paul had sown tlie seed of heavenly doctrine, Satan had 
sown some tares. Besides some corruption in doctrine, there was also 
corruption in life among the Corinthians ; whereupon God was forced in 
mercy to visit them with some judgment : and lest they should be ignorant 
of the cause, the blessed apostle here doth put his finger to it, ' for this 
cause.' We have considered these four things in the words : the cause of 
the judgment ; and then the kinds ; and the remedy for the prevention, if it 
had been used : ' If we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged ; ' 
and the comfort : howsoever, ' when we are judged, we are chastened of 
the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.' Of the cause, 
the kinds, and the remedy we have spoken ; and now we proceed to the 
comfort. 

Mark here the text that I have read unto you. Though we do all neglect 
this forenamed remedy in part, yet God is wonderful merciful : ' When we are 
judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned 
with the world.' We will unfold the comfort, as the text leads us. In the 
words consider these things especially, these general heads : — -= 

1. First of all, that there is a world that must he condemned: we -shall 
not be condemned with the world. f 

2. And then, God's j^eople shall not he condemned ivith the xcorld. 

8. The third conclusion that ariseth out of the text is this, that the way 
that God sanctifies to prevent his children from, damnation, is fatherly correc- 
tion and chastisement ; and therefore we are judged, that we should not be 
condemned with the world ; in the unfolding of which course that God 
takes, these three things are to be touched : — 

(1.) That God's dealings ivith his children are hut chastisements. 

(2.) And his chastise^nents .-j * We are chastened of the Lord.' 

* 'These general heads' omitted in B, C. — G. 

t ' We . . . world' omitted in B, C— G. % ' They are his' in B, C— G. 

VOL. IV. G 



98 judgment's eeason. 

(3.) And that* they are blessed for this end, to keep us from damnation. 
These things we will speak of in order. 

Doct. 1. First, There is a world that is to he condemned : God's children 
shall not be condemned ivith the icorld. 

What is the world in this place ? 

The world in this place, it is not the frame of heaven and earth ; hut (to 
avoid multiplicity of acceptions, in which were idle to spend time) by world 
here is meant those that Peter speaks of, the ungodly world, the world of 
ungodly. t As we see, 2 Pet. iii. 7, they are called the world of ungodly ; 
so there is a world took out of the world, the world of the elect. For as 
in the great world there is the little world — man — so in the great world of 
mankind, there is a little world — the world of God's people ; but here it is 
the world of the ungodly. 

Why are they called the world ? 

They are called the world, jmrthj because they are great in the loorld. 
They swagger in the world, as if they were upon their own dunghill there, and 
as if they were the only men in the world, as indeed for the most part they 
are. God's people are a concealed, a hidden people here. And then again, 
they are the world, because they are the most of the world. But especially 
they are the world, because the best thing in them is the ivorld. They have 
their name from that they love. Love is an affection of union. What we 
love, that we are knit unto. Now because carnal men are in love with the 
things of the world, being united in their afiections to it, they have their 
name from that they love. And indeed, anatomise a carnal man that is 
not in the state of grace, rip him up in his soul, what shall you find in him 
but the world ? You shall find in his brain worldly plots, worldly policy and 
vanity. You shall find little of the word of God there, and scarce any thing 
that is good, because the best thing in him is the world ; therefore he is the 
world. 'I But to pass from the meaning of the word to the point : This world 
must be condemned. Why condemned ? Mark these four or five reasons. 

[1.] First of all, because the world doth set itself upon things that must be 
condemned, upon present vanities. Why ? § All things in this world must 
pass through the fire ere long, the frame of heaven and earth and all in it. 
Now those that love the world especially, and have'no better things in their 
souls, they must perish with the world. He that stands on ice, and on 
slippery things, he slips with the thing he stands on. So those that fasten 
their souls upon the world, upon slippery and vain things, they fall, and slip 
with the things themselves. Now, because the world pitched their happi- 
ness || in the things of this life, they are vain as the things themselves.^ 
But to go on. 

[2.] A second reason why the world must be condemned is this, because 
they serve a damned prince, and it is pity that the state of the subject and 
the state of the prince should be severed. Satan they serve ; Satan rules 
in them according to his own lust ; Satan bathes himself in their humour 
as it were, in their anger, in their pride [in their covetousness**], in their 
melancholy, in their passion. As Saul, when he was given up to an evil 
passion, the devil seized upon him ; so the devil leads them according to 
the stream of their own humour and of their own lusts ; they are led 

* No ' that' in B, C— G. 

t ' The world of ungodly' omitted in B, C. — G. 

t ' Therefore . . . world' not in B, 0.— G. || ' The worldly men pitch' in B, 0.— G. 
§ ' Why' not in B, C— G. S ' Are' added in B, C— G. 

** ' In their covetousness' added, and ' in their melancholy' omitted in B, C. — G. 



judgment's reason, 99 

according to the bent of the prince of the world.* Now, being led by the 
temptations of Satan, who knows where to have them upon any temptation, 
and leads them as we lead sheep with a green bough, when he presents 
anything to them, he knows where to have them ; and he being a damnedf 
prince and governor, all that are under him are in the same condition. 

[3.] The third reason why the world shall be damned is this, because the 
world condemns God. It is but quittance. Carnal people in the world 
condemn God's ways and God's children, and the ways of religion to be 
nicej and foolish. The world hath its conceits of itself, and scorns the 
sweetness of religion, and accounts the word and obedience to be a weak 
and poor spirit. §Considering that the world passeth such censures upon 
God's ways, and condemns the generation of the righteous, if God condemn 
the world, do you wonder, when the base and slavish world, led by the devil 
and by their own lusts, will condemn God and his ways ? And certainly, 
if 3^ou would see into the poisonful disposition of persons among whom we 
live, that are yet in the world, how malicious they are to God's courses, 
you will not wonder that God hath ordained such to be set on the left hand, 
to pass the sentence of eternal condemnation upon them ; because though 
the light discover to them which way they should walk, yet they abhor all 
God's ways, and take ways of their own : as if they would teach God wisdom, 
and prescribe what he should do ; as if they were wiser than God. All 
your politicians they |1 are such : they lead their lives as' if they would teach 
God wisdom : what he should prescribe ; as if they were wiser than he a 
great deal. Do you wonder that he condemns them [then] ?^ 

Ohj. But you will say, ' the world ?'** What do you talk ? We are 
baptized. We hear now and then a sermon ! Are we the world ? The 
world are Pagans, and Turks, and Jews, and such ; perhaps papists. Such 
as they are the world. 

Ans. Oh no, beloved, ' Babylon is in Jerasalem,' as the father saith,f f 
the world is in the city of God, the world is among you. Nay, and that 
part of the world that shall be deepest damned is here amongst us. For 
our damnation shall be deeper than the Turks' or Jews'. ' You have I 
known of all the nations of the world, saith God ; and therefore I will be 
sm-e to visit you,' Amos iii. 2. The three bad grounds, || beloved, were 
the world, Mat. xiii. 1, seq. Howsoever, all heard the word, yet there was 
but one good. You may be of the world, and yet live in the midst of the 
church, as Paul, Phil. iii. 18, seq., complains of many, ' of whom, saith he, 
I have told you often, and now tell you weeping, they are enemies to the 
cross of Christ,' [they were teachers in the church ; they were so far from 
being aliens], 'whose end is damnation, whose belly is their god, whose 
glory is their shame, who mind earthly things.' When the guides and 
teachers of the church, that should give aim at§§ salvation to other people ; 
when they shall make ' their belly their god, and damnation their end ;' 
shall we secure ourselves that we are in a good estate, because we are bap- 
tized, and because we hear the word ; when the ' three bad grounds' did 
so ? It is another manner of matter to be out of the world, and to be in 
Christ, than the world takes it for. Beloved, in holy duties there are two 

* ' They are led ... of the world' omitted in B, C. — G. 
t That is, ' condemned.'— G. ** ' The world' omitted in B, C— G 

X Cf. Note c, Vol. 11. p. 194— G. tf Augustine de Civitate Dei.— G. 

§ ' Now considering' in B, C. — G. jj ' Beloved' not in B, C. — G. 

II ' They' not in B, C— G. §§ ' Of in B, C— G. 

t ' Then' added in B, C— G. 



100 judgment's reason. 

things ; there is the outward^ duty, the shell, and the life and soul of the 
duty. A carnal worldly man may do the outward thing ; he may be bap- 
tized and receive the communion ; he may come to hear the word of God, 
but there is a life and soul in the duty ; to hear as he should ; to be 
moulded into the performance of it ; to obey that we hear, and to come to 
receive the sacrament with reverence and due preparation ; and to increase 
the assurance of salvation, and our comfort and joy. This is the hard part 
of the duty ; this the world cannot do. Let us value ourselves by the 
practice of the inward part of the duty, the power of the duty, and not rest 
in the outward performance. 

[4.] The next reason to shew that the world must needs be condemned, 
it is this, because even in the church there are a comjmny of men (I beseech 
you, let not your thoughts go out of your* congregations and places we live 
in when we speak of the world) that ivill be damned. It is a strange thing ; 
that will be damned ! Who will be damned ? I say, there are a company 
among whom we live, that resolve to be damned. Why ? There are evil 
courses, which whosoever will take, they will go to hell ; they will end in 
death, as in the Proverbs, Prov. viii. 35. ' He that takes such a course, 
hates his own soul.' God saith thus, thatf is Wisdom himself; and 
therefore if you wilfully walk in those courses that lead to hell, it is as 
much as if you wouldj be damned. Indeed, there is none but would be 
saved, if they would be saved in the paths of the broad way, that lead to 
damnation ; they could be content to go to heaven in a race of vanity. 
Who would not be saved in that sense ? But the world will be damned in 
this sense, if they resolve to take a course to flatter their own lusts, going 
their own ways in spite of God, in spite of his truth, in spite of con- 
science, and to despite the Spirit that awakeneth them and tells them 
that there is another way that they should walk in, and puts them in mind, 
' This is the way, walk in it,' Isa. xxx. 21 ; and this is not the way, avoid 
it ; and yet they will rush on in their courses, as the horse rusheth into 
the battle. Say God what he will, the world will be damned. Are there 
not many that have been told of their pride§, of their vanities, of their 
lusts, of their sins that their conscience tells them they pamper themselves 
in ? and they will not amend for all this. This, in God's construction (and 
this conscience will tell them another day), is because they would go on 
rebelliously in courses tending to damnation. Nay, which is worse, there 
is a generation of venomous persons, that hate the ministers, hate good 
people, hate the image of God, and hate anything, that may present to their 
hearts a dislike of the courses they are wedded to. Oh ! I would they 
would hate the devil so ; and do you wonder that these are damned, that 
hate the image of God, the motions of the Spirit, and raise reproaches upon 
religion, and make it odious as much as they can, that their vileness may 
the less appear, and be the less disgraced in their wicked ways ? And yet 
this is the course of many thousands in the bosom of the church, and in 
the best places, that are guilty of this ; whom if one tell, that this temper 
and frame of soul is contrary to God, and will yield nothing but despera- 
tion in the end,|| notwithstanding they will not regard what you say. Well, 
beloved, H I must hasten. Many other reasons there are to shew that the 
world must be damned, as, 

* ' Our' in B, C— G. § < And hypocrisy' in B, C— G. 

t ' Who' in B, C— G. || • They will noihinc; res^ard' in B, C— G. 

X ' Kesolved' in B, C— G. \ ' Beloved' not in B, C— G. 

1 ' Holy' in B, C— G. 



judgment's reason. 101 

[5.] The world, it is shut out of Christ's 2:)rayer. They have no part in the 
prayer of Christ, in him that died to redeem us. And the world will not 
receive the Spirit, because they maintain their own lusts. Many other 
reasons the Scripture heaps upon this, that there are a company of men 
that must and will be damned. But what is the use of this ? 

Use (1.) First, to j^ull our friends, our children, out of the world ; to get 
ourselves out of the world, as soon as we can. Come out of Sodom, come 
out of Babylon, make all haste ; for, as the angel tells Lot, ' I will destroy 
this place,' Gen. six. 16. The world is a place that God will destroy. It 
is Sodom ; it is Babylon ; get oat of it. There is no being there, except 
you will reap eternal damnation with the world. 

(2.) Again, ^jrtSi'* not for the censures of worldli/ proud j^'^ojjle, that think 
that they are jolly Christians, when they are but in truth damned persons. 
God may recover them, but yet they are in damnable ways. Who cai'esf 
for the sentence of a damned person, till he have gotten his pardon ? Suck 
are all profane persons, that have not the work of grace wrought in their 
hearts in an effectual manner ; they are yet in the state of damnation. 
"Why should we pass for their censures ? There are a company of weak 
persons, who reason as weakly. If I do this, the world will say thus and 
thus. What is the world ? The world is a generation of unregenerate 
wretched people, that must be damned. Who would regard the censure of 
a damned person ? and indeed who would follow the guise of damned per- 
sons ? And yet of late such is the madness of people, that they take up 
the fashions, though they be condemned fashions. They| do not con- 
sider the vanity of it, so to take up 'the fashions of damned persons. § 
Th^ world is a condemned generation ; therefore take not up the guise and 
fashion of the world. 1| The world's fashion is the worst fashion of all. I 
speak not of correspondency with the world in civil actions in the passages 
of our life. We must ' come out of the world,' as Christ saith, ' if we will 
not be correspondent in outward things,' 2 Cor. vi. 17 ; and here should 
be a redeeming of om- peace with the world in yielding in lesser matters. 
But I speak of those things which concern our inward comfort and peace, 
and that concern the practice of holy duties ; let us not stand in it, what 
the world judgeth or allows, but practise holy duties, though the world 
censure them ; and abstain from wicked courses, though the world applaud 
them. So we shall have a seal that we are taken out of the world. 

Use (2.) Let us make another use of trial, and examine whether ice he 
taken out of the world or no. In brief, therefore, let us ask^ our aims, our 
ends. For, those that are taken out of the world have aims beyond the 
world ; they frame their courses to supernatural ends, to eternity ; and 
labour so to guide themselves in this, that they may be saved in another 
world. We should steer and guide our actions suitable to our peace here- 
after. We should have further ends than the world hath. He that is a 
worldling confines his thoughts within the compass of the world ; he hath 
no further aim. Sometimes he hath by-thoughts of heaven and happiness. 
But he makes it not his aim, it is not his scope to which he directs his 
course. In the second place, answerable to our aims, let us examine 
what our affections are. Our affections will tell us of what city we are, 
whether of Jerusalem, or of Babylon, as one of the ancients saith well.** 

* That is, = heed not. — G. || ' Therefore take not up their guise' in B, C. — G 

t That is, ' who would wish.' — G. •jf ' Observe' in B, C. — G. 

X 'And do not' in B, 0. — G. ** Augustine. — Cf. **p. 99, an'.e. — G. 

i ' So to take . . . persons' not in B, C. — G. 



102 judgment's reason. 

Ask thy love, Whither dost thou weigh down in thy love ? Doth earthly love 
as a weight press thee to things below ? or is it a sanctified love, that 
carries thee to Christ, and to the things of God ? Examine thy afiections 
of love,* of joy and delight, of what city thou art. Mere earthly actions 
are hypocritical ; therefore the inward affections are the best discoverers of 
the estate of our soul, where our joy and delight is.f And ask likewise in 
the third place, our relish, What do we savour most ? Come to a carnal 
man ; put him to a course of vanity ; he hath learned the language of the 
times, all jouy complimental phrases ; he hath them exactly ; all the lan- 
guage of the time he can speak. But come to him in matters of religion ; 
he is out of his theme there ; he savours not those things. Those that are 
of the world speak of the world. Talk to them of vanity, of this and that, 
and you put them to their proper theme ; but tell them of other things, 
they are mere strangers ; and they speak as if they had never learned any- 
thing in that element. And so those that are of the world, they converse 
with those that are of the same bent ; doves flock to doves, and delight in 
those that are like themselves. Many such arguments of trial we may 
have, but especially think what I have said before. '| Look to yo,ur aims, 
to your affections, and to your imcard relish and hcnt of soul, which way your 
and conversation is bent,§ and how it relisheth ; and these will discover to 
us our state, as in Kev. siii. 11, scq., and other places: there antichrist is 
called the beast that riseth out of the earth ; because Romish religion is 
taken out of the earth, that is, it hath earthly aims, earthly grounds and 
principles. It is all for the world ; it is a fallacy indeed, popery and not reli- 
gion ; and thereupon the pope is called the beast rising out of the earth. 
All the considerations that feed popery are out of the earth. Oh ! a 
glorious monarch of the church, to have glory ; and in the church to have 
all that may feed the senses, and that may please the outward man. Every 
thing, I say, is to please the outward man, to get riches, &c. They are 
called Gentiles ; * the outward court shall be cast to the Gentiles.' He 
speaks there, that antichrist with his crew that follows him, they should 
trouble, vex, and persecute the church, and cast it out to the Gentiles. 
The followers of antichrist are called Gentiles. But I speak not of them. 
We are earth and Gentiles, if our aims, projects, and afiections be towards 
the earth, as the Scripture useth to speak. [| Therefore,^ let us examine 
ourselves by what I have said. I beseech you, let us consider that the world 
must be condemned. And before I leave it, do but think what damnation 
is. I beseech you,** have no slight thoughts of it. The Scripture saith, 
' We shall not be condemned with the world.' 

What is condemnation ? 

To be condemned is to be adjudged from the presence of God, and to 
be adjudged ft to eternal torment with the devil and his angels. It were 
somewhat unseasonable to enlarge this point ; but I beseech you consider 
what is wrapped in this word ' condemned,' j;[ * condemned with the world ;' 

* ' Love' not in B, C — G. 

t ' Where our joy and delight is' not in B, C. — G. 

% ' But . . . before' not in B, C. After ' we may liave' there is ' therefore.' — G. 
§ ' Sways' in B, C. -G. 

II The paragraph ' Everything I say' ... to ' useth to speak' not in B, C. — G. 
^ ' I beseech you, let us examine ourselves by what I have said and considered, 
that,' &c., in B, C— G. 

** ' I beseech you' not in B, C . . . nor ' the Scripture saith,' &c. — G. 
tt ' Cast ' in B, C— G. JJ ' Condemned ' not in B, G.— G. 



judgment's eeason. 103 

that so if we hate the end, damnation, we may hate the way that leads to 
it, the ways of the world. But to go on. 

Boct. The second general is this, that God's children shall not he condemned 
with the u'orld. 

Quest. Why ? 

Ans. 1. Because they are the first-fruits dedicated to God out of the world, 
and Christ was condemned for them.. How can they be condemned for whom 
Christ himself * was condemned ? 

Ans. 2. And then arjodhj man in the state of grace, he is in heaven already ; 
and who shall pull him from heaven ? How can he be condemned that is 
in heaven already ? We sit in heavenly places already. Beloved, to hold 
that an elect Christian may fall away, is to pull Christ himself out of 
heaven ; we are in heaven already in Christ. A Christian being a member 
of Christ cannot be condemned, no more than Christ can be condemned, 
be it spoken with reverence to his majesty. 

Ans. 3. Again, for ichom Christ is a priest, he is a kinij. He is a king to 
rule them in this world, and to subdue whatsoever might oppose their sal- 
vation. Whom he hath bought with his blood as a priest, he rules as a 
king, and orders all things to help their salvation. Where Christ is a king, 
for those he is a priest. f Can those be condemned then ? X And he 
vouchsafes them a spirit stronger than the world, God's children have a 
spirit in them that overcomes the world : ' Stronger is he that is in you,' 
saith John, ' than he that is in the world,' 1 John iv, 4, For the Spirit of 
God suggests reasons, and arguments, and motives that are stronger to a 
beHeving soul than the temptations of the world are ; the world biasseth 
them one way, and the Spirit of God another way. The children of God 
have the Spirit of God, especially a spirit of faith, therefore they overcome 
the world. It presents better things in religion than the world can afford. 
Now those that have the Spirit of God, and a spirit of faith, by which they 
overcome the world, how can they be condemned with the world ? And 
God takes a safe course with his children. 

Note. That they may not be condemned with the world, he makes the 
world to condemn them ; that they may not love the world, he makes the 
world to hate them ; that they may be crucified to the world, he makes 
the world be crucified to them. Therefore they meet with crosses, and 
abuses, and wrongs in the world. Because he will not have them perish 
with the world, he sends them afflictions in the world, and by the world. 
Thus I might enlarge myself in the condition of God's people, of his 
saints ; § they shall not be condemned with the wicked world. 

Use. The use of it is this, that we should be in love with the state of God's 
people.\\ Who would not be in love with this condition? I may boldly 
speak it, my beloved. The meanest poor soul that hath the work of grace 
upon it, that is taken out of the world, is in a better condition than the 
greatest worldHng. Let a man be as happy as a world ^ can make him ; 
if he be a condemned man, what is his condition ? All the time that other 
men live, that are not in the state of grace, it is but the time between the 
sentence passing and the execution. Now, that is but a little time. The 
life of a carnal man, it is but the life of a man condemned at the bar, 
and is deferred for the execution a while. Another man, that is in the 

« ' Himself in B, C— G. f ' Where Christ . , . priest,' not in B, C— G. 

X ' Whom Christ vouchsafes a sjjirit,' &c., in B, C. — G, 

I ' Of his saints ' not in B, 0.— G. *l ' The world ' in B, C— G. 

II 'Holy men' in B, C— G. 



104 judgment', i REASON. 

state of grace, lie is safe ; he shall not be condemned with the world ; he 
is in heaven already ; he is sure of it, as if he were there. I beseech jjon, 
let this make lis in love with the sincerity of religion, and let us never 
cease labouring till we have gotten out of this cursed state into this happy 
estate.* There is but a little flock of Christ. We should never give our 
temples f quiet, and our souls rest, till we J evidence to them that we are 
of the little number which are taken out of the world ; till we see that we 
are a first-fruits dedicated to God ; till we find the beginnings of grace 
wrought in our souls. Why should we defer one hour till we have gotten 
this assurance, considering our life is so uncertain ? 

Doct. 3. The third general thing is this, the course that God takes ivith his 
children in this world, ivhereby tliey are lyreservcd frovi damnation, it is correc- 
tions and chastisements. We are chastened of the Lord, that we should not 
be condemned with the world ; wherein, as I shewed you, there are these 
three branches. I will specially speak of the last.§ 

(1.) First, that ivliatsoever God's dealinr/s be ivith his children, it is but a 
fatherly correction and chastisement ; and therefore it is in mercy, in discre- 
tion ; a little punishment is enough of a mother to her child. God hath 
the wisdom of a father, but he hath the bowels of a mother ; and therefore 
God II is pitiful and merciful, because he is a Father. There is a won- 
drous sweet comfort wrapped in that w^ord Father. The whole world is 
not worth tliis^ that is yielded to a Christian from this, that a Christian** 
is the child of God, and that God is his Father. I might enlarge mj'self 
in the point, that all are but fatherty corrections. A father, when he sees 
his child in an evil way, he corrects him ; but it is a preventing correction, 
it is to prevent execution after. A child set at liberty makes his mother 
and his father ashamed ; and so if we should be set too much at liberty, 
if God should not meet us with seasonable correction, we should shame 
religion and shame Christ ; and therefore God in mercy corrects us with 
fatherly correction. Oh ! it is a wonderful comfort to think, when we are 
taken into the covenant of grace, all comes from God as a Father then ; 
and having taken us of enemies to be children, will he cast off" his children 
for infirmities ? Will a mother cast ofi' her children for breaches, for 
something that displeaseth her ? No ! But rather she will be more 
merciful and more pitiful. But I will not enlarge myself in this point. 
It is a familiar point ; and, I suppose, jon hear it often. But, I 
beseech you, do but think of it, that it may be ready in your hearts and 
in your memories against temptation, to have a good conceit of God. It 
overcomes temptation-)- f ofttimes to have a good conceit of God, to present 
God to our souls as a father, whereas the devil would present him as a 
judge, as one that hates us. Oh! take heed of it, this is but fatherly 
correction. God is our Father : ' Our Father which art in heaven,' saith 
Christ. Let us help our souls by presenting God to us in these colours, as 
a father in temptation, and all that we sufier as fatherly corrections. To 
speak familiarly, we know in the street, J J when one child is corrected, and 
another is not, we know he is the father that corrects. God doth not use 
to correct those that are not his children ; he lets them go on still, they 

* ' Condition ' in B, C— G. f That is, = bodies. Cf. 1 Cor. vi. 19.— G. 

X ' Can evidence ' in B, C. — G. 

§ ' I will . . . last ' not in B, C ; nor ' because he is a Father.'— G. 
II ' He ' in B, C— G. ft ' Temptations ' in B, C— G. 

^ ' The comfort ' in B, C. — G. jj ' When we see in the street ' in B, 0.— G. 
** 'He'inB, C.-G. 



JUDGMENT S REASON. 



105 



are not worth correctiug ; * because they have abused his mercy before, he 
lets them go on.f When God takes us in our sinful course, and meets 
with us, and hedgeth our ways with thorns, he shews himself to be a 
Father. We are bastards, and not sons, if we have not correction, as at 
large it is sweetly followed, and many arguments to it,J Heb. xii. 7, seq. 
God shews himself a Father when he corrects us, or else we are bastards, 
and not sons. 

Use 1. Well, let iis take all things therefore the better at God's hands, be- 
cause they are but corrections; for we need it, the best of us. The bes 
gardens have need of weeding, and the best metals have need of purging, 
and the best linen hath need of washing. God knows it well enough, and 
therefore he will purge us. As the Scripture saith, As gold and silver is 
purged, he will purge out the dross, and all in mercy. We lose nothing 
by any visitations of God but corruption. The fruit of all his dealing with 
us is to take sin from us. 

2. It is said here in the second place, that as they are corrections, so they 
are from God. We are chastened of the Lord. I will but touch it m a 
word, and that to help our forgetfulness in a main point. In the governing 
of a Christian life we are carried naturally to second causes. Now all 
second causes are but rods in God's hands. Look therefore to the hand 
that smites, look to God in all. He chastiseth us, as David said in the 
matter of Shimei, 2 Sam. xvi. 10 ; and as Job, ' It is the Lord that hath 
given, and the Lord hath' taken away,' Job i. 21. And so in benefits we 
should see God in all things, and think we are to deal with him. Our 
work hes in heaven, therefore in any visitation or cross, I beseech you, think 
of it. We are to deal with the great Mover of heaven and earth, that hath 
all second causes in his hand ; that hath the hearts of kings in his hand; § 
and let us make our peace with him. 

Quest. Why should we go to the Serjeant ? We should make our peace 
with the judge ; make not peace with the second causes, but with the 
principal. It is God that chastiseth ; let us make our peace there, 1| and 
he will take off the second cause. I cannot follow the point ; I beseech 
you think of it. We forget it in our practice, and that makes us so 
atheistical, as if there were not a God to govern the world, but we run 
presently upon second causes.^ 

Let us go on; God's corrections are but chastenings, and they are from 
him. A7id they are sanclified of him, which is the main point, to preseiwe 
us from being damned with the world. These corrections are sanctified 
by God for that end.** 

Quest. And how is that ? 

Ans. 1. Because they embitter sinful courses tons. When we are crossed 
in oar sinful courses, sinful courses are embittered unto us ; we grow out 
of love with them. 

Ans. 2. And then again, these chastisements, they help lis to relish heaven 
and heavenly things better. Oh 1 then the word of God is the word of God 
indeed ; then Christ is Christ ; then heavenly things are heavenly things ; 

* ' Chastising ' in B, C— G. f ' He lets them go on ' not in B, C— G. _ 

X 'And many arguments to it,' with the next sentence, ' God shews," &c., not in 
B, C— G. 

§ ' That hath the hearts,' &c., not in B, C— G. 
II ' Agree with him ' in B, C. — G. 
^ ' Inferior things,' and ' I go on,' in B, C. — G. 
** • These ... end ' not in B, C— G. 



106 



JUDGMENT S REASON. 



then a messenger, one of a thousand, will he heard, as Job xxxiii. 23; then 
welcome the man of God all that time. When a man cannot relish earthly- 
things, when he cannot take comfort by his friends, then welcome heavenly 
comforts. Chastisements, therefore, they help us, that we be not damned 
with the world, by making us out of love with vanities, that we shall not 
care for them. Wo see they do us good, to help us to relish heavenly 
things. Blessed are those corrections that are sanctified that way. We 
hear with other ears then. When we have been in the fire, and God hath 
met with us by crosses, we hear with another manner of attention than at 
other times. Though* I might be large on the point, for it is very large, 
rather let us think of it to make use of it. Butf first to take away all 
objections, that I may fasten the comfort upon our souls the better, it may 
be objected, 

Obj. 1. Oh ! hit it is sucli a correction as takes away my friends from me. 
I cannot have the use of my friends, as sometime in a noisome contagious 
disease. 

Ans. What if thou hast no friends but God and his angels to help thee 
to heaven ? Whatsoever comfort God conveys by friends, he hath it in 
himself still ; and he can convey those immediate comforts which are most 
sweet, when they come from the spring ; when outward comforts fail, those 
are the best comforts. It is a greater grace for a prince to visit a sick body 
himself than to send a messenger to visit him. So when no man can come 
to us, God himself comes from heaven, and visits us by the comforts of the 
Holy Spirit ; and what do we loosej then ? 

Obj. 2. Oh ! but it is a sharp affliction, a sJiarp cross. 
^' Ans. Oh ! but it is a sweet hand it comes from. Shall not I take a cup 
out of a father's hand ? It is a bitter cup, but it is out of a father's hand, 
and therefore out of a loving hand. It is from love, and it is directed to 
my good, and it is sweetly tempered and mixed, and moderated ; and 
therefore if it come from love, and be directed to my good, and for the 
present be mixed and moderated§ — why should I complain of the correc- 
tion, that is for my good, to keep me that I should not be damned with the 
world ? 

Obj. 3. But how can death itself be a correction, ivhen it takes away life, 
that we have no time to be better ? 

Ans. I answer, God, to his children, before he takes them out of the 
world, he II gives them his Spirit, that they sharply repent, and put much to 
a little time ; and God requires rather truth of heart than length of time. 
As we see sick bodies shoot out suddenly that did not grow before, so a sick 
afflicted soul it shoots out suddenly. God visits it with sharp repentance, 
though it be short, perhaps that they call their ways to account ;1[ and 
though he take them out of the world, jei he saves their souls. 

Obj. 4. But perhaps it is but hypocritical repentance before my death 
(because many recover, and shew themselves to be hypocrites after) ; and 
so if I shoxdd die, p)erhaps I should die an hypocrite. 

Ans. Oh! take heed of that. Many do so; as an ancient saith, He that 
is never good but under the cross (he means only), is never good.-* He 
that is good under bonds is never good ; if he doth it from fear, and not 

» ' Though ' not in B, C— G. t ' And ' in B, C— G. % Qu. ' lose ' ?— Ed. 
§ ' By him ' in B, C— G. || ' He ' not in B, C— G. 

^ ' Perhaps that . . , account,' not in B. C — G. 

** Tliis reads in B, C, ' He that is never good but under the cross, such a one is 
never good ' in B 0. — G. 



judgment's eeason. 107 

from hatred of sin. But thou shalt know that it was not in hypocrisy that 
now thou hast repented in thy sickness, if thou desire rather the grace of 
God, than to recover. A soul that is sanctified had rather have pardon of 
sin, and strength against corruption, than to have recovery ; and he desires 
God from his soul : Now, Lord, sanctify this sickness, and this cross before 
thou take it away ; for the plaster would fall off if the wound were healed ; 
and the malady would cease if there were not a ground. I beseech you 
therefore, those that make that objection, let them consider whether they 
desire the removal of the cross rather,* or to have it sanctified, before it 
be removed from them. A true heart doth so ; and it were better that we 
should be under the cross all the days of our lives, and to have the cross 
laid more heavy upon us, than that we should grow worse under it, as many 
do, and are not the better for it. But say thou, ' Nay, Lord, rather sear 
me, and burn me, and chastise me ; save my soul and do what thou wilt.' 
That is the disposition of a Christian ; for God takes a great deal of liberty 
with our carcases, and in our outward estate. Such things we must leave 
behind us, we know not how soon ; andf therefore he takes liberty to correct 
us in them sharply ; but so he saves our souls, all is in mercy. It is a 
blessed correction that draws us nearer to him, that makes us hate sin 
more, and love the ways of God more. 

Obj. 5. But it will be objected again, but I am accessary to my oivn death, 
I hare been an intemperate man, I hare shortened my oim days. 

Ans. Beloved, a heavy temptation at the hour of death ! But be not 
discouraged. For so blessed Josiah shortened his own days ; for he went 
rashly when he had counsel to the contrary; and so ' the good prophet' 
shortened his own days when the lion met him and slew him by the way 
for his disobedience, 1 Kings xiii. 24 ; and so the good thief. Therefore 
despair not at that, if the thing should be that thou shouldst fall into some 
course whereby thou shouldst shorten thine own days, and be accessary to 
thine own death ; as these Corinthians, they were accessary to their own 
deaths, J. and they slept before their time ; they cut the thread of their own 
life and they put out their own candle. No question but this was heavy upon 
the conscience ; I brought myself to it. This is the hell of hells of the 
damned souls ; I brought myself hither. So when we are guilty of the 
punishment and affliction of ourselves, it is most bitter unto us. But, I say, 
consider the former examples, God hath strange ways to bring his children 
home to him, and sometimes the furthest way about is the nearest way. 
home. § God suffers his children to sin, and by sin to shorten their days, 
and all to occasion repentance and a sight of their corruption, and a hatred 
of themselves, and of their base courses, and to give themselves to him 
more thoroughly than before. So infinitely wise and gracious is God to 
those that belong to him. So that, notwithstanding all objections to the 
contrary, the position laid down before is true, that God sanctifies correc- 
tions to us, that we should not be damned with the world. 

Uses of all. Use 1. Now to make some general use of all that hath been 
spoken, and so to end all.|| Is this so ? Here we might stand upon a 
point to instruct our judgment, to shew that all the corrections of God's 
children, they come not from vindictive justice, but from a fatherly affection, 

* ' Or ' in B, C— G. t ' And ' not in B, C— G. 

I ' They were accessary to their own deaths ' not in B, C, but simply, ' who slept 
before their time, they cut,' &c. — G. 

g In the margin here, ' As in Israel's forty years' voyage. Cf. 
Jl ' So ' not in B, C— G. 



108 



JUDGMENT S KEASON. 



against that doctrine of popery that maintains satisfaction ; that judgments 
are for satisfaction. A proud and damnable point. Can a man with a 
penny deserve a thousand pounds ? Sin deserves eternal damnation. Can 
we with a little suflering satisfy that ? ' The wages of sin is death,' Eom. 
vi. 23, eternal death. It is a gross position. No ! They are corrections, 
not satisfactions ; they come fi'om fatherly affection. This is to rectify our 
Judgment in that point. 

Use 2. And then again, to help us a(/ainst Satan's tonptations. He useth 
afflictions as temptations to weaken our faith. 

Ohj. If God did love thee, he would never do so and so ; God hates thee ;* 
vvhy doth he follow thee with his judgments, but that he hates thee and 
hath no delight in thee ? And why should he single out thee more than 
others ? 

Ans. Eetort back again. Nay ! because God loves me, he deals thus with 
me ; because he meansf to save my soul, therefore he will not suffer me 
quietly to run the broad way to destruction. Therefore it is rather an 
argument of love, from that, whereby Satan would shake our faith. Doth 
not Satan set upon Christ with this temptation ? He comes with an ' if.' 
' If thou be the Son of God,' Matt. iv. 3, seq. If thou wert the child of 
God, shouldst thou be so afflicted ? Whereas, indeed, because we are the 
sons of God, therefore w^e are afflicted. Beat back therefore Satan's 
weapons into his own bosom again. If God corrected his own Son, that 
is, the author of our salvation (when yet under the signs of his greatest dis- 
pleasure, his Father loved him), let us think that we may be beloved of God 
in the signs of his greatest displeasure, as Christ upon the cross, ' My God, 
my God,' &c.J He apprehended, in the signs of greatest displeasure, God's 
love, and so should we. Let us answer God's dealing with the like. His 
dealing is this.§ In the worst condition he calls us children, and he is our 
father, and loves us. Therefore, in the worst condition, let us trust him, and 
say with Job. ' Though thou kill me, yet will I trust in thee,' Job xiii. 15. 

Quest. Why? 

Ans. Because thou mayest kill me, and yet be a father, and mayest do it 
in love. I will answer thy dealing by my faith again ; therefore though thou 
kill me, yet will I trust in thee. 

Use 3. Again, this strengthe)is our judgment in the point of 2)erseverance, 
that being once in the state of grace, ive shall hold out still. For rather than 
God's children shall fall away, God will take a course that they should not 
be damned with the world ; he will correct them. It is most divinely set 
down, Rom. viii. 35. Saith he, among other things,|| 'Neither life nor 
death shall be able to separate us from the love of God ;' neither life, nor 
the vanities of this life. 

Quest. And what if we give God cause to visit us with death.lF 

Ans. ' Yet neither hfe nor death shall separate us from the love of God,' 
as here the Corinthians they were visited with death ; yet neither hfe nor 
death shall be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ ; and there- 
fore be stablished in the truth of that point. 

Use 4. Then again, for a further use, itfenceth the soul against the scandal** 

* ' God hates thee ' not in B, C— G. 

t ' Meaneth ' in B, C— G. J ' Still ' in B, 0.— G. 

§ ' His dealing is this ' not in B, C. — G. 
^ II ' Saith he among other things ' not in B, C. — G. 

^ ' As here the Corinthians were visited ' inserted here in B, C. — G. 
** That is, the ' stumhlinghlock.'— G. 



judgment's reason. 109 

of the cross, and of visitations and sicknesses and crosses that we meet 
withal in the world ; for the scandal is this : shall we be in love with the 
ways of God, wherein we meet with these and these corrections ? Oh, 
yes ! take not scandal* at that which is sanctified by God to be a means to 
preserve us from being damned with the world. And the child of God, 
take him at the lowest, take him at the worst, he is better than a world- 
ling at the best. Take no offence, therefore, at God's dispensation with 
his children. All is, that they may not be damned with the world. Do 
not only justify God, but magnify God for his corrections, and after thou 
shalt receive fruit by them. And we have reason, when we find ourselves 
more mortified to the world, and to have the quiet fruit of righteousness to 
magnify God. Hath the Spirit sanctified it to thee to make thee lead 
another course of life ? Say, Blessed be God for sending this cross, for 
indeed we have ofttimes occasion to bless God more for crosses than for 
comforts. There is a blessing hidden in the worst things to God's children, 
as there is a cross in the best things to the wicked. There is a blessing in 
death ; a blessing in sickness ; a blessing in the hatred of their enemies ; a 
blessing in their losses whatsoever. There is a blessing hidden in the 
worst things ; and therefore let us not only justify God, but glorify and 
magnify God for his mercy, that rather than we shall be condemned with 
the world, he will take this course with us. 

Use 5. And then here again, youhave a ground of imprefipalh comfort in all 
temptations ivhatsoever ; a wondrous comfort, that God will take a course with 
his to bring them to heaven. What a blessed course is this, thatf the time to 
come we may take in trust of God, as well as the time past ? That now in the 
state of grace, rather than he will condemn us, he will take one course or 
other to bring us to heaven? Rather than David shall live in his sin, he 
will send Nathan to him ; rather than Peter shall not repent, Christ will look 
back upon him ; rather than God's children shall go the broad way, God| 
will send the devil himself to annoy them, and to infest them, and to vex 
them. God will be sure to lose none of his. What a comfort is this ? and 
therefore never think that we can be in such a condition wherein there is 
true ground of despair. No ! We cannot. We are under hope in the most 
woeful condition in the world. We are under hope still ;§ for there is more 
mercy in God than can be sin and evil in us ; and he is infinitely wise to 
rule all to his own ends. What if things seem untoward ? They are in 
his hands ; he hath a powerful hand to manage the worst thingsj] to good. 
So gloriously wise and powerful is God, that he sways the worst things. 
' All things work for the best for those that love God,' Rom. viii. 28, even 
the worst things in this world. 

Ohj. Oh ! but profane spirits will object and say, ' If this be so, we 
may be careless ; if our salvation be made sure, that we shall not be 
condemned with the world, that God will take care even to bring us to 
heaven. 

Ans. Oh ! but the text takes away that objection of profane spirits that 
take liberty from this blessed truth of God. For though God do not damn 
his with the world, yet he sharply corrects them here.^ By a careful sober 

* ' Take no offence ' in B, C— G. 

t ' For,' and ' we may trust God,' in B, C. — G. 

X ' He ' in B, C— G. 

§ ' We are under hope still ' not in B, C. — G. 

II ' All evil ' in B, C— G. 

\ ' That by,' &c., iu B, C— G. 



110 judgment's reason. 

life they might obtain many blessings, and prevent many judgments, and 
make their pilgrimage more comfortable. Therefore it argues neither grace, 
nor wit to argue so, because God will save me, therefore I will take liberty. 
No ! Though God will save thee, yet he will take such a course that thou 
shalt endure such sharpness for thy sin, that it shall be more bitter than 
the sweetest of it was pleasant. There is no child of God that ever came 
to heaven, but God hath made their sinful courses more bitter to them 
than ever they have had benefit by them, though their souls have been safe. 
Put the case a man were sure not to be executed, yet to be branded, to be 
stigmatised, or to be disgi'aced in the country, would he for a paltry thing, 
not worth the speaking of, do wrong, because he should not be executed, and 
have fiiends to keep him from that ? Who would* do such a thing as that, 
to bring himself to shame for a thing of nothing ? So put the case thou 
shalt not be damned, thou art sui-e of that ; yet thou mayest fall into such 
a coui'se as God ma}- brand thee ; and thou mayest bring disgrace to reli- 
gion ; and mayest weaken the comfort of thine own soul ; and maj-est 
make Satan rejoice ; and mayest grieve the angels about thee ; and mayest 
vex the Spirit in thee ; we may put a sting to the affliction we sufler, we 
may deprive ourselves of comfort in the midst of comforts for our boldness. 
Who, that hath the use of his wits, would do this for the pleasures of sin 
for a season ? 

Oh ! therefore, when you go about to sin, consider what you go about. 
I go about to grieve God's Spu-it, to provoke my heavenly Father ; I go 
about to force out of his hand some rod, some correction ; I go about to 
rejoice Satan ; to grieve the angels, that are about me for my custody ; to 
put a sting to my trouble, and to embitter it. This is the iU of ills, when 
a man is iu affliction ; my own wickedness brought me to this. Let us 
wisely consider this : though God save our souls, yet he will take such a 
com'se in this world, as we shall wish that we had not tried conclusions 
with God. David gave liberty to his lusts, but he wished (no doubt a 
thousand times), that he had not bought his pleasui'3 at so dear a rate. 
Therefore, this I add, to fence this truth from the oftence that a carnal 
heart takes at it. But to come to the proper and native use of it. Con- 
sider, I beseech you, how this doctrine is a fence against the rock of despair, 
and against the rock of presumption. 

First, A(jaiiist the rock of presionption. The soul may say, shall I be 
bold to sin ? Surely I shall buy the pleasm-es of sin at a dear rate ;t God 
will correct me sharply. And shall I forcei God for such a pleasure, and 
for such a profit ? No ! I will not buy sin at that rate. So it fenceth the 
soul from presumption. 

Again, it fenceth the soil! from desjxdr. Oh! but I have sinned ; my own 
weakness hath given me the foil ; and Satan he joins with my weakness 
and hath foiled me. Oh ! but do not you yet despair, for therefore we are 
corrected, that we should not be condemned with the world ; as I said be- 
fore, § a Christian is never so low, but mercy triumphs over the ill in him. 
There is more abundant mercy|| in God, than there can be ill in us. So 
happy a condition it is to be in Christ, that^ in the covenant of grace, God 

« ' Could' in B, C— G. 

t ' Dearly' in B, C— G-. 

i ' Provoke him' in B, C— G. 

§ ' As I said before' not in B, C. — G. 

II ' Goodness' in B, C — G. 

*![ ' That' not in B, C ; and ' wherein God sets,' &c. — G. 



judgment's reason. Ill 

sets himself to triumph over the greatest ills, over sin, and over affliction. 
There can be no ill so gi'eat, but it yields to his mercy in Jesus Christ, and 
therefore be not discouraged,'" whatsoever ill we suffer. And so it keeps 
us from these two rocks of presumption and despair. Let us therefore for 
a conclusion of all take this course. 

First of all, be sure, beloved, that ice get out of the ivorld,j get out of Sodom, 
get out of the condition ice are in by nature. Trust not to a formal profes- 
sion of religion. Do not deceive your souls ; it will deceive you. Get out 
of the world, and get into Christ ; get something by attending upon the 
means, and by prayer, and by crossing youi' corruptions ; get somewhat in J 
you, that may evidence that you are taken out of the world, and that you 
are in Christ, being led with a better spirit than your own. 

In the next place, ichen you are in the state of grace, honour that condition. 
Walk worthy of that glorious condition. § Oh ! the state of a Christian, it is a 
glorious state. It requires much holy wisdom to manage the state of Chris- 
tianity. If we be Christians, let us carry ourselves like Christians worthily ; 
if we will have good of our profession. Let us carry ourselves so, as that 
we may not go so far in religion,^ as may minister God more matter to damn 
us. What good is it to have so much knowledge, and so much profession 
as shall damn us the more ? But if we will be religious, let us be religious 
to purpose, II and let us walk worthy of this glorious state. 

Ohj. Oh ! but in the next place, I have not done it,^ I have forgotten 
my condition, forgotten my hopes, forgotten my state, and** regarded my 
base lusts more ; I have been surprised, and catched. 

Sol. Then take this course : judge yourselves, if you have been over- 
taken ; take the counsel of the apostle, while there is hope, and judge 
yourselves. ft 

Obj. But I see now, God is ready to take me out of the world, and 
I have not judged myself as I should ; though I be out of love with 
my courses, and am in league with no evilj course, yet I have been|| 
faulty. 

Sol. Oh ! comfort thyself, let not Satan swallow thee up in despair ; 
mark what the apostle saith, God sends this, that we should not be con- 
demned with the world ; and therefore presently make a covenant with him, 
renew thy purposes presently, as Ps. xxv. 1, seq. All his ways to his 
children are mercy and truth ; his ways of correction and his ways of love, 
all his ways§§ are mercy. And therefore take heed that we never deny our 
own mercy, that we never forsake our own mercy ; let not Satan prevail so 
much. We have need of all this, beloved, especially to remember it|||l in 
the time of temptation, in spiritual desolation, when we gasp for comfort ; 
let us laboui" to learn this spiritual wisdom, to present to our own souls the 
promises of the gospel, and the relation that God hath put upon himself, 

* ' Whatsoever . . . therefore' not in B, C ; and the latter sentence ' won for 
a conclusion.' — G. 

t ' Be sure . . . world' not in B, C. — G. 

X ' To' in B, C— G. 

§ ' Calling' in B, C— G. 

II ' In deed and not in word only' in B, G ; but ' and let us,' &c., omitted. — G. 

f ' This' in B, C— G. 

** ' And' not in B, C ; but with this addition, * and walked loosely with God.' — G. 

tt ' Eepent speedily' in B, C— G. 

XX ' Exceeding' not in B, C. — G. 

§§ ' All his ways to his' in B, C. — G. 

1111 'To remember it' not in B, C— G. 



112 judgment's reason. 

to be a father ; Ms dealings to us, that they are fatherly corrections. Let 
not Satan wring these comforts out of our souls. But let us honour God 
by trusting him in life and death, and say with Job, ' Though he kill me, 
yet will I trust in him,' Job xiii. 15. So sweet and powerful is the death 
of Christ, that it turns all things, even the bitterest, to the greatest good. 
But this may be suincient by the blessing of God's Spirit. 



YEA AND AMEN; 



OK, 



PRECIOUS PROMISES AND PRIVILEGES. 



VOL. IV. 



TEA AND AMEN ; OE, PEECIOUS PKOMISES AND PRIVILEGES. 



NOTE. 

' Tea and Amen ' forms a moiety of a little volume, -wliicli consists of it and a 
kindred but independent treatise. The title-page is given below.* The ' Privi- 
leges ' ■will appear in its proper place. ' Yea and Amen,' being based upon a passage 
in the Commentary which fills our third volume, has unavoidable repetitions, but 
of such a kind as rather to excite interest than weary. The illustrations are multi- 
plied, and new phases of the ' precious promises ' developed ; while the language is 
unusually compact. Indeed ' Yea and Amen,' for insight into the ' mind of the 
Spirit,' and of the sorrowful and despondent believer, and tenderness of consolation, 
and pathetic pleading, must take its place beside ' The Bruised Eeed.' G. 

* YEA AND AMEN : 

OE 

PRETIOUS PROMISES, 

AND 

PRIVILEDGES. 
Spiritually unfolded in 
their Nature and Use. 

Driving at the assiirance 
& establishing of weak Believers. 

By R. Sibbs, D.D. master of Kath- 
erine Hall in Cambridge, and 
Preacher of Grayes-inne London. ' 

Reviewed by himselfe in his life 
time, & since perused by T, G, & P. N, 

London, 

Printed by R. Bishop for R. Dawlman, 

& are to be sold by Humphrey Mosley 

at the Princes Armes in Pauls 

Church-yard. 1638. 



YEA AND AMEN; 

OR, 

PBECIOUS PEOMISES LAID OPEN OUT OF 2 COE. I. 19-23. . 



But as God is true, our tvord toicards you rcas not yea and nay. For the 
Son of God, Jesus Christ, ivho was preached among you by us, was 7\ot yea 
and nay, hut in him ivas yea. For all the promises of God are in him yea, 
and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by ms. 

The blessed apostle, tliat he miglit have the better place in the hearts of 
his hearers, endeavours here with all diligence to wipe oflf any imputation 
which they might have against him ; that so his doctrine might come home 
to their souls, and have the freer access to work upon their consciences. 

We have therefore in these words St Paul's apology for not coming unto 
the Corinthians, according to his promise. Wherein he allegeth that it 
was not from any inconstancy in him, but indeed from corruption in 
manners among them : ver. 23, ' I call God to record, that to spare you I 
came not.' The apostle as a man, and as a holy man, might promise 
many things common to this life, and might lawfully vary afterwards upon 
the appearance of real impediments. 

But the things which he promiseth, and speaks of as an apostle, they 
admit of no such uncertainty. Therefore his care is to decline* all thoughts 
of wavering therein, and to maintain the credit of the gospel, which he had 
taught, to the uttermost ; knowing well how ready ' false teachers ' would 
be to persuade the people that Paul was as light in his preaching as he was 
in keeping his word with them. Therefore ' our word is true, as God is 
true,' saith he. 

There is the same ground of the certainty of evangelical truths, as there 
is of God himself. ' Jesus Christ,' whom I preached among you, was not 
* yea and nay,' saith the apostle, but ' yesterday and to-day, and the same 
for ever.' Whence may be observed : 

Doct. 1. That the object of preaching noiv in the time of the gospel, is 
especially Jesus Christ. This is the rock upon which the church is built. 
Christ should be the subject matter of our teaching, in his nature, offices, 
and benefits ; in the duties which we owe to him, and the instrument 
whereby we receive all from him, which is faith. 
* That is, ' repudiate.' — G. 



116 YEA AND AMEN ; OE, 

If we preach the law, and discover men's corruption, it is but to make 

way for the gospel's freer passage into their souls. And if we press holy 
duties, it is to make you walk worthy of the Lord Jesus. All teaching is 
reductive to the gospel of Christ, either to make way, as John Baptist did, 
to level all proud thoughts, and make us stoop to him, or to make us walk 
worthy of the grace we receive from him. 

The bread of life must be broken ; the sacrifice must be anatomised and 
laid open ; the riches of Christ, even his ' unsearchable riches,' must be 
unfolded. ' The Son of God,' must be preached to all ; and therefore God, 
who hath appointed us to be saved by Christ, hath also ordained preaching, 
to lay open the Lord Jesus, with the heavenly treasures of his grace and 
glory. But to go forward. 

Jesus Christ who was preached among you by me, and Silvanus, and 
Timotheus, was not yea and nay. 

Ohs. Here observe, that the consent of preachers in the viysteries of salva- 
tion, is an excellent means to strengthen faith in their hearers ; not in regard 
of the truth itself, but in regard of men. So it pleaseth God to condescend 
to our weakness, in adding sacraments and oath unto his promises, thereby 
to shew the more stableness of his counsel towards us. 

By 'yea' here is meant certain, constant, invariable. The times vary, 
but not the faith of the times. The same fundamental truth is in all ages. 
Sometimes indeed it is more explicated and unfolded ; as we have in the 
New Testament divers truths more clearly revealed than in the Old. There 
is not a new faith, but a larger explication of the old faith. Divine truth 
is always the same. If there hath been a church always, there hath ever 
been a divine truth. Now it is an article of our faith in all times to believe 
a ' catholic church.' Certainly then there must be a catholic truth to be 
the seed of this church. Therefore we should search out what was that 
' yea,' that positive doctrine in those apostolical times of the church's 
purity, before it was corrupted. 

The church was not long a virgin ; yet some there were that held the 
truth of Christ in all ages. Our present church holds the same positive 
truths with the apostles before us. Therefore we say, ' Our church was 
before Luther,* because our doctrine is apostolical; as also is our church 
that is continued thereby, because it is built upon apostolical doctrine.' Put 
the case we cannot shew the men, as they ridiculously urge ; what is that 
to the purpose ? From an ignorance of particular men, will they conclude 
us to be ignorant of the church of Christ, which hath ever been ? 

Hence the true church may easily be discerned. The points of religion 
wherein our adversaries dilier from us, be but patcheriesf of their own. 
They were not ' yea ' in the apostles' times. Their purgatory, invocation 
of saints, and sacraments of divers kinds, were devised by themselves after- 
wards. And indeed, for a thousand years after Christ, many of the diffe- 
rences betwixt us and the papists were never heard of, neither were they 
ever established by any council till the Council of Trent. | 

Our positive j^oints are grounded upon the Holy Scriptures. We seek the 
' old way' and the 'best way,' as Jeremiah adviseth us, Jer. vi. 16. There 
was no popish trash in Abraham's time among the blessed patriarchs, nor 
in Christ's time, no, nor many hundred years after. They came in by 
little and little, by human invention, for their own advantage ; a mere 
policy to get money and abuse the people. Indeed, they hold many of 

* Cf. note sss. Vol. III., p. 536.— G. % Viz., 1545 to 1563.— G. 

t That is, ' additions.' — G. 



PRECIOUS PEOJIISES. 117 

our truths, but they add something of their own to them. They add 
necessity of tradition to the Scriptures, merits to faith ; they add saints to 
Christ in divine worship. They have seven sacraments to our two (a). They 
may safeHer therefore come to us than we to them. We hold all that they 
should hold, only their own additions we hold not ; we leave them to them- 
selves. So much for that. 

Boct. 2. To touch only another point that borders a little upon it. Divine 
truth is of an inflexible nature. This crosseth another rule of theirs ; for 
they hold that they may give what sense of Scripture they will, and that the 
current of the present church must judge of all former counsels. What ! 
doth the truth vary according to men's judgments ? Must we bring the 
straight rule to the crooked timber for to be measured ? Shall the judg- 
ment of any man be the rule of God's unerring truth ? Shall present men 
interpret it thus, and say it is so now ? And shall others that succeed 
after say, Wliatever it was then, now it is thus ? and must we believe all ? 
God forbid. 

Doct. 3. This declareth that no man can dispense xdtli God's law. This 
written word is alike in all. Truth is truth, and error error, whether men 
think it to be so or no. Reason is reason in Turks as well as amongst us. 
The light of nature is the light of nature in any country as well as here. 
Principles of nature vary not as languages do, they are inbred things. And 
if principles of nature be inviolable and indispensable, much more is 
di\dnity. Filth is filth, we all confess. Opinion ought not to be the rule 
of things, but the nature of the thing itself. 

Therefore, what is against nature, none can dispense withal. God can- 
not deny himself. What is naught in one age is naught in another, and 
for ever naught.* There is no monarch in the world can dispense with the 
law of nature, or with the divine law of God. For the opinion of any man 
in the world is not the rule which he may comfortably live by, but the 
undoubted light of Christ's written word. 

I speak this the rather to cross their base practices, who, when God calls 
them to stand for his cause and truth, they will bend and bow the sacred 
truth (which is always ' yea and amen ' ) to their own by-ends and base 
respects. As if the opinion of any man in the world were the rule of their 
faith and obedience. This is to make God no God. Is not right right? 
Is not the law the law ! Is not the word of Christ a word that alters not 
but remains stedfast to all eternity ? 

Assure yourselves there is a truth of God that we must maintain to tha 
death, not only in opposing heresy, but resisting of impiety wheresoever 
we meet it. John Baptist was a martyr when he stood out against Herod, 
and said, ' Thou must not have thy brother Philip's wife,' Mat. xiv. 3. He 
would not be meal-mouthed in reproving his sin, but cried out against the 
unlawfulness of it, though it cost him his life. Men ought to sufler for the 
truth, and not, for base ends, deny the least word of God, because it is a 
divine sparkle from himself. 

* For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him are amen.' 

This comes in after this manner. The word that I preached, saith Paul, 
is invariable, because Christ himself is always yea, and I have preached 
nothing but Jesus Christ among you. My preaching, then, must needs be 
a certain and immutable truth. 

There are divers readings of the words {h), but the most material is (as 
this translation and the best expositors have it), ' All the promises of God 
* That is, ' naughty,' wicked. — G. 



118 YEA. AND AMEN ; OE, 

in Christ are yea ; ' that is, they are certain and constant in him. And 
then they are ' amen ; ' that js, in Christ they are fulfilled. In him they 
are made, and in him they are accomplished. The whole carriage of the 
promises are in Christ ; for his sake they were first given, and in him they 
shall be performed. As Christ himself was yesterday and to-day, and the 
same for ever, so are all God's promises made in him, undoubtedly, eter- 
nally, and unchangeably true to all posterities. 

Here are divers truths which offer themselves to our consideration. 

Obs. first. Take notice, that since the fall of man, it hath pleased our good 
God to establish a covenant of grace in Jesus Christ, and to make him a 
second Adam, by whom we might be restored to a better estate than ever 
we had in the first Adam. In which happy condition there can be no 
intercourse betwixt God and man without some promise in his Christ, so 
that now God deals all by promises with us. The reason is this. 

Reason 1. Hoiv can poor dust and ashes dare to challenge anything of the 
great Majesty of heaven, without a warrant from himself? How can the con- 
science be satisfied ? (Conscience, you know, is a knowledge together with 
God.)* How can that rest quiet in anything but in what it is assured comes 
from God ? And therefore, for any good I hope for from God, it behoves 
me to have some promise and word of his mouth for it, this being his con- 
stant course of dispensation to his people. While we live in this world 
we are always under hope. ' We rejoice in hope of the glory of God,' 
Kom. V. 2. Now, hope looks still to the promise, whereof some part is 
unperformed. 

How doth heaven diff'er from earth but in this ? Heaven is a place all 
for performances. Here we have some performances to encourage us, but 
are always under some promise not yet accomplished. And therefore, the 
manner of our apprehension of God in this world exceedingly differs from 
that in heaven. 

Here it is by faith and hope ; there it is by vision. Vision is fit for per- 
formance. Faith and hope look always to a word revealed ; God therefore 
rules his church in this manner for their greater good. Alas ! what can 
we have from God but by the manifestation of his own good will ? May 
we look for favour from God for anything in ourselves ? It is a fond f 
conceit. 

Reason 2. Again, God tvill hare his church ruled by promises in all ages, 
to exercise the faithful in prayer and dependence upon him. God will see of 
what credit he is among men, whether they will rely upon his bare promise 
or no. He might do us good, and give us no promise ; but he will try his 
graces in us, by arming us against all difficulties and discouragements, till 
the thing promised be performed to us. Promises are, as it were, the stay 
of the soul in an imperfect condition ; and so is faith in them, until our 
hopes shall end in full possession. And we must know that divine promises 
are better than earthly performances. Let God give man never so much 
in the world, if he have not a promise of better things, all will come to 
nothing at the last. And therefore God supports the spirits of his servants 
against all temptations, both on the right hand and on the left, by sweet 
promises. He will have them live by faith, which always hath relation to 
a promise. This is a general ground, then, that God now in Christ Jesus 
hath appointed to govern his church by way of promises. 

But what is a promise ? 

A promise is nothing but a manifestation of love ; an intendment of be- 
* Cf. notes hh, ii, Vol. III., p. 532.— G. f That is, 'foolish.'— G. 



PRECIOUS PROMISES. 119 

stowing some good, and removing some evil from us. A declaring of a 
man's free engagement in this kind is a promise. It always comes from 
love in the party promising, and conveys goodness to the believing soul. 
Now what love can there be in God to us since the fall, which must not be 
grounded on a better foundation than ourselves ? If God love us, it must 
be in one that is first beloved. Hereupon comes the ground of the promises 
to be in Jesus Christ. All intercourse between God and us must be in him 
that is able to satisfy God for us. The almighty Creator will have our 
debts dischai'ged before he enters into a covenant of peace with us. 

Now this Christ hath perfectly done, and thereby reconciled lost sinners. 
Hereupon the promise immediately issues from God's love in Christ to 
believing souls. He must first receive all good for us, and we must have it 
at the second hand from him. The promises in Christ are as the spirits 
in the body. They run through all the ages of the church. Without him 
there is no mercy nor comfort to be had. God cannot look on this cursed 
nature of ours out of Christ ; and therefore whosoever apprehends any 
mercy from God, he must apprehend it in Christ, the promised seed. To 
make it clearer. Our nature since the fall is odious to God ; a sinful, cursed 
nature remains in the best of us ; and therefore that God may look peace- 
ably upon it, he must look upon it in him that hath it undefiled, and in 
him whom he loves, even his only Son, like unto himself, that hath taken 
our nature upon him. 

Now, our nature in Christ must needs be lovely and acceptable ; and if 
ever God love us, it is for Christ alone, who was predestinated before all 
worlds to be a sacrifice for us, to be the head of his church, 1 Peter i. 10. 
He was ordained to do us good before we ourselves were ordained. Christ 
is the first beloved, and then we. God loves us in his beloved one. ' This 
is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,' Mark i. 11. As if the 
Lord had said, I am pleased in him, and in all his ; in his whole mystical 
body. Christ is the Son of God by nature, we by adoption. Whatever 
good is in us is first and principally in him. God conveys all by the 
natural* Son to the adopted sons. 'Therefore, all the promises are made 
to us in Christ. He takes them from God for us. He himself is the first 
promise, and all are ' yea and amen in him.' They are not directed to ua 
abstracted from him ; but we are elected in Christ, sanctified in him, 
acquitted from sin through him. ' By his stripes we are healed,' Isa. Uii. 5. 
If Christ had not satisfied the wrath of God by bearing our iniquities upon 
the cross, we had been liable every moment to condemnation. If he had 
not been free from our sins, we had for ever lain under the burden of them. 
' You are yet in your sins,' saith St Paul, * if Christ be not risen,' 1 Cor. 
XV. 17. We are freed from our debts, because Christ our surety is out of 
prison. He is in heaven, and therefore we are at liberty. 

The promises are a deed of gift which we have from and by Christ, who 
is the first object of all the respect that God hath to us. Why are the 
angels attendants on us ? Because they attend upon Jacob's ladder ; that 
is, upon Christ, that knits heaven and earth together. So that the angels, 
because they attend upon Christ first, become Hkewise our attendants. We 
have a promise of ' eternal life,' but this life is ' in his Son,' 1 John v. 11. 
God blesseth us with all spiritual blessings in him, Eph. i. 3, and makeg 
us sons in him the natural Son. Whatsoever prerogative we enjoy, it is in 
Christ first, and so belongs to us ; but no further than we by faith are 
made one with him. How darest thou think of God, who is a ' consuming 

* That is, ' Son of his nature,' not at all in the modern sense of ' natural.'— Q. 



120 YEA AND AMEN ; OR, 

fire?' Heb. sii. 29, and not think of him as he is pleased and pacified with 
thy person in Christ, who took thy nature upon him, to be a foundation of 
comfort, and a second Adam ; a public person, satisfying divine justice for 
all that are members of his body ? 

We may think upon God with comfort, when we see him appeased in his 
Christ. As long as he loves Christ, he cannot but love us. Never think 
to have grace, or salvation, or anything without Christ. Doth God love 
me ? Doth he do good to my soul for my own sake, abstracted from his 
Son ? No, surely. Then should I fly from his presence. But he looks 
upon me in his beloved, and in him accepts of my person. Therefore our 
Saviour prayeth, ' I desire thee, blessed Father, that the love wherewith 
thou lovest me, may be in them, and I in them,' John xvii. 23. 

This should direct us in our dealing with God, not to go directly to him, 
but by a promise. And when we have a promise, look to Christ, in whom 
it is performed. If we ask anything of God in Christ's name, he will give 
it us, John xiv. 13. If we thank God for anything, thank him in Christ, 
that we have it in him. What a comfort is this, that we may go to God 
in Christ and claim the promises boldly, because he loves us with the same 
love he bears to his only beloved Son. If we get fast hold on Christ, and 
cleave there, God can as soon alter his love to him as alter his love to us ; 
his love is every whit as unchangeable to a believing member, as to Christ 
the head of the body. The promises are as sure as the love of God in 
Christ is, upon which they are founded, and from which 'nothing can sepa- 
rate us,' Rom. viii. 35. For promises being the fruit of God's love, and 
God's love being founded first upon Christ, it must needs follow, that all 
the promises are both made and made good to us through him. 

If a prince should love a man, and his love should be founded upon the 
love he bears to his own son, surely such a one may have comfort : that 
love will never fail him, because it is an aiFection natural, and therefore 
unalterable. He will always love his son, and therefore will always delight 
in him in whom his son dehghteth. Now Christ is the everlasting Son of 
the Father — his dear and only Son, in whom he is ever well pleased, and 
through whom he cannot be offended with those that are his. So surely as 
God loves Christ, so surely he loves all that are united to him. There is 
nothing in the world can separate his love from his own Son ; neither is 
there anything able to separate his love from us that are one with him, 
Rom. viii. 35. God loves Christ's mystical body, as well as his natural 
body. He hath advanced that to glory at his right hand in heaven ; and 
will he, think you, leave his mystical bod}', the church, in a state of abase- 
ment here on earth ? No certainly. God loves every member of his Son ? 
for as he gave us to Christ, so him hath he sealed and anointed to be a 
Saviour for his people. 

This is the reason why God looks upon us with a forbearing eye, not- 
withstanding the continual matter of displeasure he finds in us : he looks 
on us in his Son ; his love to us is grounded on his love to Christ. And 
hereupon comes our boldness with God the Father, that we can go to him 
in all distresses with comfort, and say, ' Lord, look on thy Son whom thou 
hast given for us, and in him behold his poor members now before thee.' 
* In ourselves we have dread, but in thy dearly beloved we have joy in thy 
presence.' If we come in the garments of our elder brother, we are sure to 
get a blessing ; but in ourselves, God cannot endure to behold us. If we 
bring Benjamin to^ our father, if we carry Christ along with us, then come 
and welcome. 



PEECIOUS PROMISES. 121 

Upon wliat unchangeable grounds is the love of God and the faith of a 
Christian builded ? How can the gates of hell prevail against the faith of 
a true believer, when it is carried to the promise, and from the promise to 
God's love ? The love of God to Christ shall as soon fail, as the faith of 
a sincere Christian shall be shaken. The promises else should be of no 
effect ; they should be ' yea and nay,' and not ' yea and amen.' 

If the promises could be shaken, the love of God and Christ should be 
uncertain. Overturn heaven and earth, if we overturn the faith of a true, 
persevering Christian. There is nothing in the world of that firmness as a 
believing soul is ; the ground he stands upon makes him unmoveable. Our 
union with the Lord Jesus makes us like ' mount Sinai, that cannot be 
shaken.' But we must know there are three degrees or steps of love, 
whereof a promise is the last : — 

1. Inuard love. 

2. Real i^erformance. 

3. A manifestation of performance intended before it be done. 

Love concealed doth not comfort in the interim. Therefore God, who is 
love, doth not only affect* us for the present, and intend us mercy hereafter; 
but because he will have us rest sweetl}' in his bosom, and settle ourselves 
on his gracious purposes, he gives us in the mean time many ' rich and 
precious promises,' 2 Pet. i. 4. He not only loves us, and shews the same 
in deeds now, but he expresseth his future care of us, that we may build on 
him, as surely as if we had the thing performed already. 

By this we see how God loves us. He hath not only an inward liking 
and good will to us in his breast, but manifests the same by word. He 
reveals the tenderness of his bowels towards us, that we may have the 
comfort of it beforehand. God would have us live by faith, and estab- 
lish ourselves in hope, because these graces fit us for the promise. If 
there were no promises, there could be no faith nor hope. 

What is hope but the expectation of those things that the word saith ? 
And what is faith, but a building on the promise of God ? Faith looks to 
the word of the thing ; hope to the thing in the word. Faith looks to the 
thing promised ; hope to the possession and performance of it. ' Faith is 
the evidence of good not seen,' Heb. xi. 1, making that which is absent as 
present to us. Hope waits for the accomplishment of that good contained 
in the word. If we had nothing promised, what need hope ? and where 
were the foundation of faith ? But God being willing to satisfy both (that 
we may be heavenly-wise, in relying upon a firm foundation ; and not as 
fools, ' trust in vanity,' Ps. iv. 2), in mercy gives us promises, and seals 
them with an oath for our greater supportment. That love which engaged 
the Almighty to bind himself to us in ' precious promises,' 2 Pet. i. 4, 
will furnish us likewise with grace needful till we be possessed of them. 
He will give us leave to depend upon him, both for happiness and all quiet- 
ing graces, which may support the soul till it come to its perfect rest in 
himself. 

Now these gracious expressions of our good God may be reduced into 
divers ranks. I will but touch some few particulars, and shew how we 
should carry ourselves to make a comfortable use of them. 

First, There are some universal promises for the good of all mankind; as 
that God would never destroy the world again, &c.. Gen. ix. 11. 

Secondly, There are other promises that more particulavly concern the church. 
And these are promises. 

* That is, 'love,' ' have an affection for.' — .G. 



122 YEA AND AMEN ; OR, 

(1.) Either of outward tilings. 

(2.) Oi* oi spiritual and eternal tilings, of grace and glory. 

In the manner of promising they admit of this distinction. All the pro- 
mises of God are made to us either, 

(1.) Ahsolutehj, without any condition. So was the promise of sending 
Chiist into the world, and his glorious coming again to judgment. Let the 
world be as it will, yet Christ did come, and will come again, with thousands 
of angels, to judge us at the last, 2 Tim. iv. 1. 

Or (2.) Conditional ; as the promise of grace and glory to God's 
children, that he will forgive their sins, if they repent, &c. God deals with 
men (as we do by way of commerce one with another), propounding mercy 
by covenant and condition ; yet his covenant of grace is always a ' gracious 
covenant.' For he not only gives the good things, but helps us in perform- 
ing the condition by his Spirit ; he works our hearts to believe and to 
repent. 

Thus all promises for outward things are conditional; as thus, God hath 
promised protection from contagious sickness, and from trouble and war ; 
that he will be 'an hiding-place,' Ps. xxxii. 7, and a 'deliverer' of his 
people in time of danger, Ps. xl. 17 ; that he will do this and that good for 
them. But these are conditional; so far forth as in his wise providence he 
sees they may help to preserve spiritual good things in them, and advance 
the graces of the inward man. For God takes liberty in our outward estate 
to afflict us or do us good, as may best farther our soul's welfare. Because, 
do what we can with these bodies, they will turn to dust and vanity ere 
long. We must leave the world behind us. Therefore he looks to our 
main estate in Christ, to the ' new creature ; ' and so far as outward blessings 
may cherish and increase that, so far he grants them, or else he denies 
them, to his dearest ones. 

For we cannot still enjoy the blessings of this life, but our corrupt nature 
is such, that, except we have somewhat to season the same, we shall surfeit, 
and not digest them. Therefore they are all given with exception of the 
cross ; as Christ saith, he that doth for him anything, ' shall have a hun- 
dredfold here,' Mat. xix. 29, but ' with persecution.' Be sure of that, what- 
soever else he hath. Let Christians look for crosses to season those good 
things they enjoy in this life. 

Use. To come now to some use of the point. Are all the promises, of 
what kind soever, whether spiritual or outward, temporal or eternal, are 
they all made to us in Jesus Christ ? And are they certainly true, ' yea 
and amen ' in him ? Then I beseech you get into Christ betimes, strengthen 
your interest in him, by all means, out of ivhoni we have nothing that is sav- 
ingly good. Rest not in anything abstracted from him, so as to be accepted 
with God. 

Ohj. But you will say. Doth not God do many good things to them that 
are out of Christ ? Doth not the sun shine, and the rain fall, upon the 
just and the unjust ; upon the evil as well as the good ? Doth he not 
clothe, and feed, and protect wicked men daily ? 

Ans. He doth indeed, it cannot be denied. But are they blessings ? 
Are these favours to them ? No ; but as God saith to Moses, Deut. xxviii. 
16: 'If thou sin against me, cursed shalt thou be in thy basket and thy 
store. Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the 
increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep : cursed at home, cursed 
abroad.' They are cursed in their very blessings. A graceless, brutish 
person, though he swim with worldly pleasures, and have never such 



PRECIOUS PROMISES. 123 

revenues and comings in to maintain his bravery,* is yet an accursed creature 
in the midst of all. For what are we made for, think you ? To live here 
only ? Oh no. * Then we were of all others the most miserable,' 1 Cor. 
XV. 19. There is an eternity of time a- coming, wherein, after a few days 
spent in the flesh, we shall live either in perpetual bliss, or unspeakable 
torment. The very best things beneath have a snare in them ; they rather 
hinder than further our eternal welfare. 

Quest. How doth that appear ? 

Ans. Because for the most part they make men secure and careless in 
the worship of God, so as to despise the power of godliness, and follow ini- 
quity with greediness. We may see by men's conversations that outward 
things are snares to them. They are not promises in Christ ; for then 
they would come out of God's love only, which alone makes mercies to be 
mercies indeed to us, and without which, the best of blessings will prove 
but a curse in the end. 

If I have anything in this world, any deliverance from evil, or any posi- 
tive good thing, I may know it is for my benefit, when my heart is made 
more spiritual thereby, so as to value grace and holiness at the highest 
rate ; I esteeming my being in Christ above all transitory things whatso- 
ever, above riches and honour and the favour of great persons, which at 
the best is fading. Our interest in him will stand by us, when all these 
things are withered and shrunk to nothing. Christ is a fountain never 
drawn dry ; his comforts are permanent. The good in the creature soon 
vanisheth and leaveth the soul empty. Therefore get into Christ speedily, 
it concerns thee nearly. 

For this purpose attend upon the means of salvation, and beg of God that 
he would make his own ordinances, by his Spirit accompanying the same, 
effectual to thy soul ; that he would open the excellencies of Christ to thee, 
and draw thy affections to close with him. 

Quest. How are we in Christ ? 

Ans. When, by knowing of him, our knowledge carries our hearts unto 
him, John xvii. 3. When our wills cleave to that which we know to be 
excellent and necessary for us, when I firmly adhere to Christ as the only 
good for me, then I love him, then I rest on him, then I have peace in him. 

I may discern that I am in Christ, if upon my knowledge of him, my 
heart is united to him, and I find peace of conscience in him. Faith hath 
a quieting and establishing power. If I be in Christ, my soul will be 
cheered and satisfied with him alone. I know all is yea and amen in him ; 
therefore my soul rests securely here. However our outward condition be 
various and perplexed, yet our estate in Christ is firm and constant. 

Quest. What is a man out of Christ ? 

Ans. As a man in a storm that hath no clothes to hide his nakedness, 
or to shelter his body from the violence of the weather. As one in a tem- 
pest, that hath not house nor harbour to cover him. As a stone out of the 
foundation, set lightly by, and scattered up and down here and there. As 
a branch out of the root ; what sap is there in such a thing, it being good 
for nothing but to be cast into the fire ? 

A man that is not built up in Christ, planted in him, nor clothed with 
him, is the most destitute, despicable creature in all the world ; and if we 
look with a single eye, we shall so discern him. Such a man's case ia 
deeply to be bewailed. Had we but hearts to judge righteously, we would 
prefer the meanest condition of God's child, before the greatest estate of 
* That is, ' grandeur.' — G. 



124 



YEA AND AMEN *, OR, 



any earthly monarch, be their flourishing fehcity never so resplendent. Oh ! 
the miserable and woeful plight that all profane ^Yretches are in, who neglect 
grace and the mysteries of Christ, to gratify their base lusts. Such an one, 
there is but a step between him and hell ; he hath no portion in the Lord 
Jesus. ' I account all dung and dross,' saith St Paul, ' in comparison of 
Christ, to be found in him, not having on mine own righteousness,' Philip, 
iii. 8. Happy is that man at the day of judgment, who thus appears. 

Use 2. Again, if so be that all promises are ' yea and amen in Christ,' 
then here take notice of the stability of a Christian, that hath promises to nj)- 
hold him. Compare him with a man that hath present things only, with an 
Esau that abounds with worldly goods ; and how great is the cliiference ? 
God gives them their portion here, as he saith to Dives, * Thou hadst thy 
good things,' Luke xvi. 25, seq. : that thou chiefly caredst for, thou hadst 
them here, but Lazarus had pain, misery, and poverty. Now therefore the 
case is altered ; he is advanced, ' and thou art tormented.' 

A believing Christian enjoys the sweetness of many promises in this life 
(for God is still delivering, comforting, and perfecting of him ; renewing of 
his spirit, and supplying him with inward peace) ; but the greatest part is 
yet to be accomplished. Perfection of grace and glory is to come. He is 
a child, he is a son. The promise here is his chief estate. 

Another man hath present paj'ment, and that is all he cares for ; he hath 
something in hand, and swells with a conceit of happiness thereby. Alas ! 
what are we the better to have a great deal of nothing ? Solomon, that 
had tried all the world, resolves it to * vanity and vexation of spirit,' Eccles. 
i. 14. All things below are uncertain, and we are uncertain in the use of 
them. If we have no better a life than a natural one, eternal joy apper- 
tains not to us. Take a Christian and strip him in your thoughts from all 
the good things in the world, he is yet a happier man than the greatest 
worldly favourite out of Christ ; for the one hath nothing but present 
things, with a gi'eat deal of addition of miser}^ which his ease and content- 
ment makes him more sensible of ; as being more tender and apprehensive 
of an evil than other men. The other, though he want many comforts of 
this life, and enjoys not present performances ; yet he is rich in bills and 
bonds. God is bound to him, who hath promised he ' will never forsake 
him, but be his portion for ever,' Heb. xiii. 5. He hath a title to every 
communicable good. ' Godliness hath the promise of this life, and that which 
is to come,' 1 Tim. iv. 8. A happy man ! Whatever is most useful for his 
safe conduct to heaven, he is sure to have it. He that will give us a king- 
dom, will not deny us daily bread ; he that hath prepared a country for us, 
will certainly preserve us safe, till we come there. 

Besides that we have here in performance, we have many excellent 
promises of a greater good in expectation, which in Christ are all ' jea and 
amen.' They are certain, though our life be uncertain, and the comforts 
of our life, less than life itself, mutable and perishing. If life, the founda- 
tion of outward comforts, be but a vapour, what are all the comforts them- 
selves, think you ? 

It is a Christian's rejoicing in the midst of all changes beneath, that he 
hath promises invested into him from above that are lodged in his heart, 
and made his own by faith, which have * a wondrous peculiarising virtue to 
make that a man's own that is otherwise generally propounded in the 
gospel. A Christian, take him at all uncertainties, he hath somewhat to 
build on, that is ' yea and amen,' undoubtedly sure, that will stick by him. 
* Qu. ' hath ' ?— Ed. 



PRECIOUS PROMISES. ] 25 

I speak this to commend the estate of a believing Christian ; to make 
you in love with it, seeing in all the changes and varieties of this world he 
hath somewhat to take to. In all the dangers of this life he hath a rock 
and chamber of providence to go unto, as it is Isa. xxvi. 20. God hath 
secret rooms to hide his. children in in times of public disturbance, when 
there is a confusion of all things. God hath a safe abiding place for thee. 
' I have many troubles,' saith David, ' but God is my defence continually,' 
Ps. Ixxsviii. 4. He is my ' shield and strong tower ;' whatsoever I want 
I have it in him. What a comfort is this ! 

A Christian knows either he shall be safe here or in heaven, and therefore 
rests securely. ' He that dwells in the secret place of the most High, shall 
abide under the shadow of the Almighty,' Ps. xci. 1, 2 ; that is, in the love 
and protection of God above. As Moses saith, ' Lord, thou hast been our 
habitation from everlasting to everlasting,' Ps. xc. 1 ; that is, thou art our 
sure help in the greatest extremity that can befall us in any age of 
the world. 

Therefore build on his promise, for God and his word are all one. If 
we have nothing to take to when troubles come, woe unto us ! In ourselves 
considered, we are even as grass, and as a tale that is told, soon vanishing. 
But our estate in God is durable. We have here no continuing city ; sick- 
ness may come, and death may environ us the next moment. Happy are 
they that have God for their habitation. We dwell in him when we are 
dead. When we leave this world we shall live with God for ever. ' The 
righteous is not troubled for evil tidings,' Ps. cxii. 7. He is not shaken 
from his rock and stay. He fears no danger, because ' his heart is fixed,' 
ver. 8. 

What a blessed estate is it to be in Christ, to have promises in him, to 
be protected and preserved, not only whilst we are in this vale of tears, but 
when this earthly tabernacle shall be dissolved, even to all eternity. If our 
hearts be fixed on God, let us hear evil tidings of war, or famine, or pesti- 
lence, let it be what it will, blessed men are we. ' Every word of God is 
tried as silver in the fire,' saith the psalmist, Ps. xii. 6. The promises are 
tried promises ; we may safely rest upon them. But if we have nothing to 
take to when troubles arise, we are as a naked man in a storm, without any 
shelter, encompassed round w'ith distress and misery. 

The promises are our inheritance, yea, our best inheritance in this life. 
Though the Lord should strip us naked, and take away all things else, yet 
if the promises remain ours, we are rich men, and may say with the 
psalmist, ' My lot is fallen into a good ground ; thy testimonies are better unto 
me than thousands of gold and silver,' Ps. xvi. 6. For the promises are as 
so many obligations, whereby God is bound to his poor creature. And 
if wretched men think themselves as rich as they have bonds, though they 
have never a penny in their purses, much more may a true Christian, who 
hath the promises of Christ for his security, esteem himself a wealthy per- 
son ; as having many bonds whereby not man, but God, is engaged to him, 
and that not only for temporal good things, but for heavenly favours and 
spiritual blessings, for all which he may sue God at his pleasure, and desire 
him to make good his word of truth. 

There is little difi'erence betwixt a poor Christian and him that abounds 
in this world's riches ; only this, the one hath wealth in his own possession, 
the other hath it in God's bond ; the one hath it in hand, the other in trust. 
As for the worldling, he hath but a cistern when he hath most ; whereas 
every faithful soul hath the spring-head, even God himself to fly unto in all 



126 YEA AND AMEN ; OE, 

distresses, who will never fail him, but be a ' sun and a shield,' to defend 
us from all evil and preserve us in all goodness all our days. But I go on. 

* Now he which stabhsheth us with you in Christ, and hath also anointed 
us, is God.' 

Obs. 1. Here observe, that the Christian needs not only converting hut 
establishing grace. He that hath begun any good work in us must perfect 
it. The God of strength must give up his promise to support our weakness, 
without which we cannot stand. Peter was in the state of grace, and yet 
when God did not stablish him, we see how he fell. The weakest believer 
with the establishing grace of God will stand ; and the strongest Christian, 
without divine assistance, will sink and fall away. 

Obs. 2. Whence this may be further considered, that the life of a Chris- 
tian is a perpetual dependent life. He not only lives by faith in his first 
conversion, but ever after. He depends upon God for protection and 
strength throughout his whole course. God doth establish us in Christ. 
The ignorance of this makes men subject to backsliding. For when we 
trust to grace received, and seek not for new supply, we are straight of 
Peter's condition, ' Though all forsake thee, yet will not I,' Luke xxii. 33, 
which occasioned his shameful fall. He had too much confidence in grace 
received. 

God is therefore fain to humble his children, to teach them dependence. 
And usually where any special grace is bestowed upon sinners, God joins 
something therewith to put them in mind that they do not stand by their 
own strength. Peter makes a glorious confession, ' Thou art Christ, the 
Son of the living God,' Mat. xvi. 17, 18, 19 ; and Christ honoured him 
exceedingly, saying, ' Upon this rock will I build my church.' But yet by 
and by we see he calls him, * Satan, get thee behind me,' Mat. xvi. 23, to 
teach us that we stand not by our own power. When we are strong, it is 
of God ; and when we are weak, it is of ourselves. Jacob wrestled with the 
Almighty, and was a prevailer, but he was fain to halt for it. Though he 
had the victory, and overcame at last, yet he was stricken with lameness 
all his days. God did this to mind him that he had that strength whereby 
he prevailed out of himself. 

Use. A Christian then should set iqmn nothing in his own strength. Hannah 
eaith comfortably, ' No man shall be strong in his own might,' 1 Sam. 2, 9. 
God is all our sufficiency. Man naturally affects * a kind of divinity, and 
will set upon things in confidence of his own abilities, without prayer and 
seeking of God's help. He thinks to compass great matters, and bring 
things to a good issue by his own wit and discretion. Oh ! delude not 
yourselves. This cannot be. ' Acknowledge God in all thy ways, and he 
shall direct thy paths, Prov. iii. 6. Seek unto the Lord in every enterprise 
thou goest about ; acknowledge him in the beginning, progress, and issue of 
all thy employments. What do we but make ourselves gods, when we set 
upon business without invocation and dependence ? A Christian is wondrous 
weak, even vanity of himself ; but take him as he is built upon the promises, 
and as he is in God, and then he is a kind of almighty person, ' He can do 
all things through Christ that strengthens him,' Philip, iv. 13. A Christian 
is in sort omnipotent whilst he commits his ways to God, and depends 
upon the promise ; otherwise he is weakness itself, the most impotent 
creature in the world. 

Let God, therefore, have all the glory of our establishing, and depend 
on him by prayer for the same. As all comes of his mere grace, so let all 
* That is, ' pretends ' = chooses to appear.— G. 



PEECIOUS PKOMISES. 127 

return to his mere glory. * Not to us, Lord, not to us, but to thy name 
be given the praise,' Ps. cxv. 1. It is the song of the church miUtant on 
earth, and it is the song of the church triumphant in heaven, that all glory 
is to God in the whole carriage of our salvation. The promises are in him. 
He only made the covenant, and he must perform it to us : without him 
we can do nothing. Labour, therefore, to be wise in his wisdom, strong in 
his strength, to be all in all in Christ Jesus. 

Ohj. How shall we know that a man hath establishing grace ? 

Ans. His assurance is firm when his temptations are great, and his 
strength to resist little ; and yet notwithstanding he prevails over them. 
Satan is strong and subtile. Now if we can stand against his snares, it is 
a clear evidence of greater strength than is in ourselves. In great afflic- 
tions, when God seems an enemy, and clouds appear between him and us, 
if then a man's faith can break through all, and in the midst of darkness 
see God shining in Christ upon him, and resolve, ' Though thou kill me, 
yet I will trust in thee,' Job xiii. 15 ; here is a strong establishing. 

In the times of martyrdom there was fire and faggot, and the frowns of 
bloody men ; but who were the persons sufiering ? Even many children, 
old men and women, the weakest of creatures. Notwithstanding the Spirit 
of God was so strong in these feeble ones, as their lives were not precious 
to them ; but the torments and threatenings of their cruel persecutors 
were cheerfully undergone by them, as Heb. xi. 34, seq. Here was God's 
power in man's infirmit3\ If we have not something above nature, how 
is it possible we should hold out in great trials ? 
I Means to obtain establishing grace. 

By what means may a Christian obtain this stablishing grace ? 

First, Labour for fundamental graces. If the root be strengthened, the 
ti'ee will stand fast. 

(1.) Humiliation is a special radical grace. The foundation of religion 
is very low. Abasement of spirit is in all the parts of holiness. Every 
grace hath a mixture of humility, because they are all dependencies on 
God. Humility is an emptying grace, and aeknowledgeth that in ourselves 
there is nothing. If God withhold his influence, I am gone ; if he with- 
draw his grace, I shall be like another man, as Samson was when his hair 
was cut oif. Self- emptiness prepares for spiritual fulness. ' When I am 
weak,' saith blessed Paul, ' then I am strong ;' that is, when I feel and 
acknowledge my weakness, then my strength increases ; otherwise a man 
is not strong when he is weak ; but when he is sensible and groans under 
the burden of his infirmities, then he is inwardly strong. 

(2.) Another fundamental grace is dependence upon God; for considering 
our own insufiiciency, and that faith is a grace that grows out of ourselves, 
and lays hold of the righteousness of another to justify us, nothing can be 
more necessary to quiet the soul. ' Believe, and you shall be established :' 
as the promises are sure in themselves, so should we repose firm confidence 
in them. 

Obj. But how doth God establish us by faith ? 

Ans. By working sound knowledge in us : ' This is life eternal, to know 
thee,' John xvii. 3. When we know the truth of God's word aright, we 
have a firm ground to depend on ; for the more a man knows God in cove- 
nant, the more he knows Christ and the promises, the more he will trust 
and rely upon them. * They that know thy name will trust in thee,' Ps. 
ix. 10, saith the prophet. Therefore labour for certainty of knowledge, 
that thou mayest have a certainty of faith. What is the reason our faith 



128 YEA AND AMEN ; OR, 

is weak ? Because we are careless to increase in knowledge. The more 
we know of God, tlie more we shall trust in him. The more we know of 
a man that he is able and just of his word, the more safely we put confi- 
dence in him. So the more our security is in God's promises, as his bonds 
increase, so our trust will be strengthened. 

(3.) Thirdly, if thou wouldst have establishing grace, heg it earnesthj of 
God. Our strength in him is altogether by prayer. Bind him, therefore, 
with his own promise ; beseech him to do unto thee according to his good 
word. He is the God of strength, desire of him the spirit of strength ; 
allege to him thy own weakness and inability without him, and that if he 
helps not, thou shalt soon be overcome ; lay open thy wants in God's pre- 
sence ; shew him how unable thou art of thyself to withstand temptations, 
to bear crosses, to perform duties, to do or suffer anything aright ; turn his 
gracious promises into prayers ; desire God that he would stablish thee 
by his grace ; that he would prop and uphold thy soul in all extremities. 

Quest. What is the reason that Christians are so daunted, and fly off in 
time of danger ? 

Ans. They have no faith in the promise. The righteous is as mount 
Sinai, that shall not be moved. He builds on a foundation that can never 
be shaken, for the heart is never drawn to any sinful vanity, or frighted 
with any terror of trouble, till fixith lets go its hold. Out of God there is 
nothing for the soul safely to stay itself upon. 

No marvel to see men fall that rest on a broken reed. Alas ! whatsoever 
is besides* God, is but a creature; and can the creature be other than 
changeable ? The comfort that we have in God never fadeth ; it is an 
abiding, lasting comfort, such as contents the soul, and satisfies all the 
wants and desires of it, which things beneath can never accomplish. 

We see that the heavens continue ; and the earth, without any other 
foundation, hangs in the midst of the world by the bare word of the 
Almighty. Therefore well may the soul stay itself on that, when it hath 
nothing else in sight to rely upon. 

In this case Christians should look, first, that their principles and foun- 
dations be good ; and, sccondhj, builded strongly upon them. For the soul 
is as that which it relies on : if upon empty things, itself becomes poor 
and empty ; which the devil knowing, strives to unloose our hearts from 
our Maker, and draw us to rely upon false objects. He sees full well, 
that whilst our souls cleave close to God, there is no prevailing against us 
by any malice or subtilty of men or devils. The saints, in him, are bold 
and undaunted in the midst of troubles and torments. Indeed, the sweetest 
communion with God is, when we are beaten from other helps : though 
misery upon misery encounters us below, yet there is still succour issuing 
from above to a believing soul. If God hath it in heaven, faith will 
fetch it down and enjoy the sweetness of it here. That man can never do 
amiss that hath his dependency upon the Almighty ; there being no com- 
munion like that of a faithful heart with the Lord. 

It is the office of faith to quiet our souls in all distresses ; for it relies 
upon God for heaven itself, and all the necessary provision, till we come 
thither. Strengthen faith, therefore, and you strengthen all. What can 
daunt that soul, which in the sorest afiliction hath the great God for his 
friend ? Such a spirit dares bid defiance to all the powers of darkness. 
Satan may for a tune exercise, but he can never wholly depress a gracious 
heart. True believers can triumph over that which others are slaves unto. 
* That is, ' beside,' as elsewhere ' sometimes' for ' sometime.'— -G. 



PRECIOUS PROMISES. 129 

They can set upon spiritual conflicts, and endure fiery trials, which others 
tremble to think of. They can put oif themselves, and be content to be 
nothing, so their God may appear the greater ; and dare undertake or 
undergo anything for the glory of their Maker. Considering they are not 
their own, but have given up themselves to Christ, ' they count not their 
lives, or anything that is theirs, dear for him,' Acts xx. 24. 

He that stablisheth us with you is God, who hath anointed us, &c, 

Messiah signifies ' anointed.' Our nature is enriched in Christ with all 
graces : ' He is anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows ' for 
us, Ps. xlv. 7, that we might have a spring of grace in our own nature ; 
that God and Christ being one, and we being in the Lord Jesus, might 
have all our anointing of the first anointed, for ' of his fulness we receive 
grace for gi-ace,' John i. 16. 

Quest. What are those graces which we receive from Christ's fulness ? 

A71S. (1.) First, The grace oi favour and accejJtaiice ; for the same love 
that God bears to Christ, he bears to all his, though not in so high a 
degree. 

(2.) Secondly, The grace of sanctification, answerable to the grace of 
sanctification in him. Every renewed work in us comes from Christ. 

(3.) Thirdly, The rich privileges and 2^rerogatives that issue to persons 
sanctified. We have dignity for dignity, favour for favour, gracious quali- 
fications for gracious qualifications in Christ. God anoints us all in his 
Son. As the ointment that was poured upon Aaron ran down to ' the 
skirts of his garment,' so the weakest Christian is stablished with grace by 
Christ. Grace runs from the Head to the poorest member, ' the hem of 
the garment.' Every one that doth but touch Christ, draws virtue and 
strength from him. 

Quest. Why is it called here an anointing ? 

Am. Because, as the holy anointing, Exod. xxx. 31-33, was not to be 
applied to profane uses, so neither are the graces of the Spirit (God being 
the author of them) to be slighted and undervalued by the professors* of 
them. 

Quest. What are the virtues of this ointment ? 

Ans. First, It hath a cherishing 'poiver ; it revives the drooping soul, and 
cheers a fainting spirit. When men are ready to sink under the burden of 
their sins, this easeth them. 

Second, Anointing hath a strengthening poiver. It makes our limbs 
vigorous. So doth grace fortify the soul, nothing more. Our life is a 
combating life with Satan, and temptations of all sorts ; therefore we 
need continual anointing to make us nimble and active in resisting our 
enemy. Oil hath a suppling quality ; so the Spirit of God makes pliable 
the joints of the soul. It supports us with hidden strength, and enables 
us to encounter gi-eat oppositions, and to be victorious through Christ 
over all. 

Grace is little in quantity, but it is mighty in operation. It carries the 
soul through difficulties ; nothing can stand in the way of a gracious man, 
no, not the gates of hell. The spirit of grace that is in a Christian is 
stronger than he that is in the world. 'A grain of mustard seed,' the 
very least measure of true holiness, is stronger than the greatest measure 
of opposition. A Christian's strength lies out of himself. He never over- 
comes by his own power : ' He can do all things through Christ assisting 
him,' Philip, iv. 13. > Otherwise he is a most impotent creature, unable to 
* Qu. ' possessors ' ? — G. 

VOL. rv. I 



130 TEA AND AMEN ; OR, 

do or suffer anything, ready to give over at the least trouble, and sink under 
every pressure of affliction. 

Third, Again, ointment doth excellently deUc/ht and refresh our spirits; 
as we see the box in the gospel, when it was opened, the whole house 
smelled of it, John xii. 3. So grace is a wondrous sweet thing. Before 
we are anointed with the Spirit of Christ, with stablishing grace, what are 
we but a company of nasty, abominable persons in the eyes of God ? All 
things are accursed to us, and we are accursed in whatever we do. God 
cannot look on us but as loathsome creatures ; as the prophet saith, ' I 
would not so much as look on thee, if it were not for Jehoshaphat's sake,' 
2 Kings iii. 14. 

That which makes a man sweet is gi*ace. This makes our nature, that 
is noisome and offensive in the nostrils of the Almighty, in itself, to become 
pleasant and amiable. A wicked man is a vile man, an ulcerous, deformed 
creature. Grace is of a healing nature wheresoever it is. This cures our 
spiritual distempers, beautifying the inner man, and making the whole 
frame of a Christian's carriage sweet and delectable. 

(1.) First, to Gcd, who loves the scent of his own grace, wheresoever he 
finds it. 

(2.) Secondhj, to angels. The conversion of sinners rejoiceth them, Luke 
sv. 10. When our custody is committed to their charge, how are they de- 
lighted with the beauty of holiness shining in us ! The graces of God in 
his saints are a feast to them. The very name of a godly and gracious man 
* is as a sweet ointment ' everywhere. Cant. i. 3. 

(3.) Holy men, when they are read of in stories, ivliat a savour do they 
cast in. the church! So far as a Christian is a ' new creature,' it makes him 
in love with himself, scorning to be so undervalued as to defile himself with 
base services. So far as a man is gracious, he gives himself to honourable 
employments. Being a vessel of grace, he improves his abilities to glorious 
uses, esteeming things below too mean for him. 

Grace is a wondrous pleasant thing, offensive to none but to wicked men, 
that have no savour of God or goodness. It sweetens the soul, makes it 
delectable for Christ and his Holy Spirit to lodge in, as in ' a garden of 
spices.' A gracious man, that hath subdued his corruptions, is wondrous 
amiable, both to himself and to the communion of saints. His heart is 
' as fine silver.' Everything is sweet that comes from him. Grace is full 
of comfort to a man's own conscience, the sense of which enlargeth the soul 
to all holy services. 

Fourthly, An ointment hath another property, it consecrates 2Jersons to holy 
uses. Anointed persons are raised above the ordinary rank. The graces 
of God's Spirit elevate men above the condition of others with whom they 
live. Anointed persons are sacred persons, they are inviolable : ' Touch 
not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm,' Ps. cv. 15. We wrong 
the ' apple of God's eye,' Zech. ii. 8, we offer indignity to Christ himself, 
if we hurt these. Indeed, nothing can hm't them ; but God, by his over- 
ruling power, turns all for their good. 

Lastly, An ointment is a royal liquor. It will be above all. So the 
graces of God's Spirit, where they are, will be uppermost, they will guide 
and govern all. As if a man have excellent parts, grace will rule these 
and make them serviceable to Christ his truth and members. If we have 
weakness and corruption, grace will subdue it by little and little, and never 
leave conflicting till it hath got the victory. 
; What are our souls without God's anointing ? Dead, stinking, offensive 



PKECIOUS PROMISES. 131 

to God, to good men, and to ourselves. We cannot see witli peace the 
visage of our own souls. Who can reflect seriously into his heart and life 
without horror, that hath no grace ? A man that sees his conscience 
awakened without this anointing, what is he ? Surely as the body with- 
out the soul. It is not all the excellencies of the soul laid upon a dead 
body, or aU the goodly ornaments that bedecked it, can keep it from stink- 
ing, and being a loathsome object, because it wants the soul to quicken and 
enliven it to good employments. Of itself it is but a piece of earth. All 
the vigour and life that the body hath is communicated from the soul. 
They are beholden to our souls for many things. Put the richest orna- 
ments whatsoever upon the body, and not the Spirit of grace upon the 
soul (to cherish and refresh the same, that it may appear lovely in God's 
sight), all is to no purpose. 

Likewise this anointing hath relation to the persons anointed : kings, 
priests, and prophets. Christ is primarily anointed, and all our grace is 
derived from him. He teacheth us divine things by a divine light. The 
poorest Christian in the world, whose heart is right with God, sees good 
things with such convincing love, that he embraces them, and ill things with 
such a convincing hatred, that he abhors them. A man that lives without 
God in the world may talk, but he cannot do ; he may speak of death, but 
he dares not die ; he trembles to think of the last tribunal, and of resigning 
his soul into the hands of his Maker. Such an one may discourse of suffer- 
ing, but when it comes to the point, his heart fails him. Oh ! how he 
shrinks when danger approacheth. What indirect courses will he take to 
save his skin ! How hardly is corrupt self brought under ! How heavily 
do men come off in this point of doing and suffering for Christ, laying down 
all at his feet, and resolving to be disposed of at his pleasure in everj'thing. 
Men speak much of patience and self-denial, but they do not practise them. 
These virtues shine not forth in their conversation, which is the shame of 
religion. Only a true Christian hath the right knowledge of the doing of 
things, and is able to speak a word ' in due season,' Isa. 1. 4, to reprove, 
to admonish, to comfort. Every member in the communion of saints hath 
some qualification for the good of the whole body. 

A ftiithful man is likewise spiritually anointed a priest to stand before God 
Almighty. He pours out his soul for himself and for others, having God's 
ear open at all times to his suits. Every sincere Christian is a favourite in 
heaven. He hath much credit there, which he improves for the welfare of 
the church here below. And he keeps himself as a priest, unspotted of the 
world. A true Christian is taught of God, and knows the meaning of that 
law of his, which prohibiteth priests so much as to touch defiled things. 
Therefore he studies innocency ; he runs not after the course of the multi- 
tude, neither is carried away with the streams of the times. He will not 
converse familiarly with those that may stain him but so far as his calling 
leads him, lest he should thereby contaminate his spirit. A Christian priest 
hath his heart always to the ' holy of holies,' that so he may offer up thanks and 
praise to God, and offer himself a sacrifice to him. His endeavour is to kill and 
slay those beasts, those lusts, that lurk in his heart, contrary to the Almighty. 

Lastly, He that is anointed by the Spu'it is a king in regard of his great 
possessions, for all are ours. ' Things present, and things to come, life and 
death, prosperity and adversity,' all help us to heaven, Eom. viii. 38. Evil 
things are ours in advantage and success, though in disposition they be not 
Ours, but have a hostile disposition in them. God overpowers the evil of 
things, and gives a Christian a living principle of grace, to suck sweet out 



132 YEA AND AMEN ; OR, 

of sour, and draw good out of evil. What a king is this, that even the most 
terrible things are at his command, and work for the best unto him ! He 
conquers and brings under his greatest enemies, and fears neither death or 
judgment, nor the vengeance to come. Knowing Ood in Christ to be his 
reconciled Father, he rests assured all things else will be at peace with him. 
Others have kingdoms out of themselves, but in themselves they are slaves. 
Every lust leads them away captive. A Christian is such a king as hath a 
kingdom within himself. He hath peace and joy and rest from base allure- 
ments, and terrors of conscience. He walks by rule, and therefore knows 
how to govern all. The glory of his Maker is the chief thing he eyes, and 
to that he refers every action. 

' Who hath anointed us, and sealed us.' 

Anointing and sealing go together. The same God anoints us doth also 
seal us. Both are to secure us of our happy condition. Now Christ is 
the first sealed : John vi. 27, ' Him hath the father sealed.' God hath set 
Christ apart from others, hath distinguished him, and set a stamp upon him 
to be the Messiah by the graces of the Spirit, whereof he was richly 
beautified, and by many miracles, whereby he shewed that he was the Son 
of God ; by his resurrection from the dead, by his calling of the Gentiles, 
and many other things. 

Christ being sealed himself, he sealed all that he did for our redemption 
with his blood, and hath added for the strengthening of our faith outward 
seals, the sacraments, to secure his love more firmly to us. 

But in this place another manner of sealing is to be understood. For here 
is not meant the sealing of Christ, but the sealing of us that have com- 
munion with him. The same Spirit that seals the Eedeemer seals the 
redeemed. 

Quest. What is the manner of our sealing by the Spirit ? 
Ans. (1.) Sealing we know hath divers uses. First of all, it doth im- 
print a likeness of him that doth seal. When the king's image is stamped 
upon the wax, everything in the wax answers to that in the seal, face to 
face, eye to eye, body to body. So we are said to be sealed when we carry 
in our souls the image of the Lord Jesus ; for the Spirit sets the stamp of 
Christ upon every true convert. There is the likeness of Christ in all things 
to be found in him. As the child answers the father, foot for foot, finger 
for finger in proportion, but not in quantit}^ so it is in the sealing of a 
believer. There is a likeness in the soul that is sealed by the Spirit to the 
Lord Jesus. There is understanding of the same heavenly supernatural 
truths ; there is a judging of things as Christ judgeth, a loving of that which 
he loves, and a hating of that which he hates ; a rejoicing to do that which 
he delights in, and a grief to commit anything that displeaseth his majesty. 
Every afiection of the soul is carried that way that the afiections of our 
blessed Saviour are carried, in proportion ; everything in the soul is answer- 
able to him in its degree. 

There is no grace in Christ, but there is the like in every Christian in 
some measure. The obedience of Christ to his Father, even to the death, 
is to be found in every true Christian. The humility whereby Christ abased 
himself, it is in every renewed heart. Christ works in the soul that receives 
him a conformity to himself. The soul that believes that Christ hath loved 
him, and done such great things for him, is ambitious to express Christ in all 
his ways. Being once in Christ, we shall delight to be transformed more 
and more unto him. To bear the image of the ' second Adam ' upon our 
breasts, to make it appear that Jesus Christ lives in us, and that we * live 



PEECIOUS PROMISES. 133 

not to ourselves, but to him that died for us,' 2 Cor. v. 15 ; to be meek and 
hoavenlj-minded as he was, talking and discoursing of spiritual things, going 
about doing good everywhere ; active for Grod, fruitful in holiness, doing 
and receiving all the good we are able, drawing others from this world to 
meditate of a better estate, labouring for the advancement of God's kingdom, 
and approving ourselves to him. This is one use of sealing, to imprint a 
likeness. 

(2.) A second use of the seal is distinction. Sealing is a stamp upon one 
thing among many. It distinguisheth Christians from others, as we shall 
see after. 

(8.) Again, it serves for opprojmation. Men seal those things that are 
their own. Merchants, we see, set their stamp on those wares which they 
have or mean to have a right unto. It pleaseth God thus to condescend 
unto us, by applying himself to human contracts. He appropriates his own 
to shew that he hath chosen and singled them out for himself to delight in. 

(4.) Sealing further serves to make things authentical, to give authority 
and excellency. The seal of the prince is the authority of the prince. This 
gives validity to things, answerable to the dignity and esteem of him that seals. 

These are the four principal uses of sealing ; and God by his Spirit doth 
all these to his. He stamps his own image upon us ; he distinguisheth us 
from others, even from the great refuse of the world. God by his Spirit 
appropriates us to himself; he makes us to be his, and shews that we are 
his. He likewise authoriseth us, and puts an excellency upon us, to secure 
us against all temptations. When we have God's seal on us, we stand firm 
in the greatest trial. * "Who shall separate us from the love of God ?' 
Rom. viii. 35. We dare defy all objections of Satan, and accusations of 
conscience whatsoever. A man that hath God's seal stands impregnable 
in the most tempestuous season ; for it is given for our assurance, and not 
for God's. The Lord knows who are his. He seals not because he is 
ignorant, but for our comfort and establishment. 

Quest. Whether is the Spirit itself this seal, or the work of the Spirit, 
and the graces thereof wrought in us ? 

Ans. I answer, the Spirit of God, where it is, is a sufficient seal that God 
hath set us out for himself ; for whosoever hath the Spirit of Christ, the 
same is his. He is the author of our sealing ; so that, except you take the 
Spirit for that which is wrought by the Spirit, you have not the compre- 
hension of sealing, for that which the Spirit worketh is the seal. The Spirit 
goes always with his own mark and impression. Other seals, when they 
are removed from the stamp, the stamp remains still. But the Spirit of 
God dwells and keeps a perpetual residence in the heart of a Christian, 
guiding him, moving him, enlightening him, governing him, comforting 
him, doing all offices of a seal in his heart, till he hath brought him to 
heaven. The Holy Ghost never leaves us. It is the sweetest inhabitant 
that ever lodging was given to. He doth all the saving good that is done 
to the soul, and is perpetually with his own work in joy and comfort. 
Though he seem sometimes to be in a corner of the heart, and is not easily 
discerned, yet he always dwells in his sealed ones. 

Quest. What is the stamp that the Spirit seals us withal ? 

Ans. 1. The Spirit works in this order for the most part. First of all, 
the Spirit doth, together with the word (which is the instrument, and the 
chariot wherein it is carried) convince us of the ill that is in us, and the 
misery attending on us for the same. It convinceth us of sin, and the fear- 
ful estate we are in by that, and abaseth us thereupon. Therefore it is 



134 YEA AND AMEN ; OR, 

called the ' spirit of bondage,' Rom. viii. 15, because it makes a man 
tremble and quake, till lie see his peace made up in Christ. 

Ans. 2. When he hath done this, then he convinceth us of righteousness, 
by a sweet light discovering the excellencies of the Lord Jesus, and the 
remedy in him provided for sinners. God opens the eye of the soul, to 
see the all-sufficiency of his Son's sanctification,* and inclines the heart to 
cast itself by faith upon him. 

Ans. 3. When we are thoroughly convinced of the ill that is in us, and 
of the good that is in Christ, and are moved by the Holy Ghost to go out 
of ourselves, and embrace reconciliation in the Lord Jesus, then a super- 
added work is vouchsafed unto us ; for the Spirit daily per/ecteth his own 
work. He adds, therefore, after all, his seal, to confirm us ; which seal is 
not faith ; for the apostle saith, ' After you believed, you ivere sealed,' Eph. 
i. 13, where we see the work of faith and sealing distinguished. First, the 
soul is set in a good estate, and then follows assurance and establishment. 

Quest. But what needs confirmation when we believe ? Is not faith con- 
firmation enough : when a man may know by a private reflect act of the 
soul that he is in a state of grace ? 

Ans. This act of ours in believing is oft terribly shaken, and God is won- 
drous desirous that we should be secure of his love. He knows he can 
have no glory, nor we any solid peace else. Therefore when we by faith 
have sealed to his truth, he sees that we need further sealing that our 
faith be current and good ; for all is little enough in the time of tempta- 
tion ; the single witness of our soul is not strong enough in great assaults. 
For sometimes the Spirit is so tossed and disquieted with temptations, that 
we cannot reflect aright on ourselves, nor discern what is in our own breasts 
without much ado. Therefore God first works faith to apply the promise, 
Whosoever believes in Christ shall be saved,' Acts ii. 21. I beheve in 
Christ, therefore I shall be saved ; and then sealeth this belief with an addi- 
tion of his Holy Spirit ; for this sealing is a work upon believing, an 
honouring of faith with a superadded confirmation. 

Quest. How shall we know that there is such a spiritual sealing in us ? 

Ans. (1.) I answer, when we truly believe, the * Spirit of adoption,' Rom. 
viii. 15, reveals unto us that ive are the ' sons of God' by a secret whisper- 
ing and intimation to the soul (which the believing heart feels better than I 
am able to express), saying, ' Be of good comfort, thy sins are forgiven.' 
There is a sweet kiss vouchsafed to the soul : the Lord refresheth it with 
the light of his countenance, and assures it that aU enmity is now slain. 
I am thy salvation. Thou art for ever mine, and I am thine. Because 
thou believest, behold thou art honoured to be my child. 

Ans. (2.) Again the ' Spirit of adoption, 'yuicA-e^s andfills the soul ivith heavenly 
ejacidations to God ; it stirs up fervent supplications to cry, * Abba, Father.' 
The soul when it truly believes, hath a bold and famihar speech to God. 

There are two things in the prayer of a Christian that are incompatible 
with a carnal man : there is, first, an inward confidence ; and secondly, an 
earnestness in the soul, whereby he goes to God as a child to his loving 
father, not considering his own worthiness or means, but the constant love 
that is borne to him. 

This spiritual speech of God to the soul, and of the soul to God, is an 
evident demonstration of our truth in grace, because we can do that which 
no hypocrite in the world can attain to. 

^_ A71S. (3.) Thirdly, This sealing of the Spirit after we believe, is known by 
* Qu. ' satisfaction ' ? — Ed. 



PRECIOUS PROMISES. 135 

the work of sanctification which it ejfectetli, in as. The Holy Spirit set Is our 
spirits, by stamping the hkeness of Christ upon us ; so as when a man finds 
in his soul some lineaments of the heavenly image, he may know thereby 
that he is ' translated from death to life,' Col. i. 13, When he finds his 
heart subdued to humility and obedience, to such a holy and gracious frame 
as Christ's was, he may clearly discern that he hath something more than 
the ' old man' in him. When a man can say, Natm-ally I am proud, but 
now I can abase myself; naturally I am full of malice, now I can love and 
pray heartily for my enemies ; naturally I am lumpish and dead-hearted, 
now I can joy in the Holy Ghost ; naturally I am apt to distrust the Lord, 
and be discontented with my condition, now I can rest securely upon his 
promise and providence ; sin hath been my delight, now it is my sorrow 
and heart-breaking ; I find somewhat contrary to corruption in me, I 
carry the image of the ' second Adam' about me now ; I say, whosoever 
hath this blessed change, may rest assured of his right to happiness. 
' Know you not that Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates ? ' saith the 
apostle, 2 Cor. xiii. 5. A Christian that upon a thorough search finds 
something of Christ always in his soul, can never want a sweet evidence 
that he is ' sealed to the day of redemption.' 

Ans. (4.) ^he fourth way is hj the joij of the Spirit; which is the begin- 
ning of heaven as it were, and a possessing of glory before our time. There 
are few of God's children, but in the course of their pilgrimage, first or last, 
have this divine impression wrought in them, enlarging and ravishing their 
souls to joy in the Almighty. 

Yet this is especially seen after conflict, when the soul hath combated 
with some strong corruption or temptation. ' To him that overcomes will 
I give of the hidden manna,' saith Christ, ' and a white stone, which none 
can read but he that hath it,' Rev. ii. 17 ; that is, he shall have assurance 
that he is in the state of grace, and the sweet savour of goodness itself shall 
be his portion. Usually God gives comfort after we have conflicted with 
some sinful disposition and have got the victory, as we see in Job. After 
God had exercised that champion a long time, at the last he discovered 
himself in a glorious manner to him. Job xlii. 12. 

In the midst of afliictions, when a Christian is under great crosses, and 
God sees he must be supported with spiritual strength, or else he sinks, 
then he puts in with supply from above. When the creature cannot help 
us, the Creator of all things will. Thus Paul in the midst of the dungeon, 
being sealed with the Spirit, ' sang at midnight' when he was in the stocks, 
Acts xvi. 24, seq. : and so David in the midst of persecution ; Daniel in a 
lion's den ; the three children in the fiery furnace, &c. God doth as parents, 
smile on their little ones when they are sick and dejected. He reserves his 
choicest comforts for the greatest exigents.* When God hath a great work 
for his children to do, or some sharp suffering for them to undergo, as an 
encouragement beforehand, he oft enlargeth their spirits that they may be 
able to go through all ; as our Saviour Christ had James and John with 
him upon the mountain, to strengthen them against his ensuing suffering. 

Let us then examine ourselves by that which hath been delivered. Hath 
God spoken to thy soul, and said, ' I am thy salvation,' ' thy sins are 
remitted,' and thy person received into my favour? Doth God stir up thy 
spirit to call upon him, especially in extremity, and to go with boldness 
and earnestness to his throne ? Surely this is an evidence of the seal of 
the Spirit; for whoever wants this cannot look God in the face when 
* That is, ' exigencies.' — G. 



136 YEA AND AMEN ; OR, 

distress is upon him. Saul in this case goes to the witch, and Ahithophel 
to desperate conclusions. Judas in extremity, we see what becomes of him. 
So every one that hath not this sealing of the Spirit (to whom God speaks 
not peace, ' by shedding abroad the love of Christ in his heart,' Rom. v. 5), 
must needs sink as lead in the bottom of the sea, which hath no consistence, 
till it come to the centre, to hell. Did you ever feel the joy of the Spirit 
in holy duties, after inward striving against your lusts, and getting ground 
of them ? This is a certain sign that God hath sealed you. 

Quest. But you will say. How can that be a seal ? A seal continues 
with the thing, but the joy of the Spirit comes after the work of the Spmt, 
and abides not with us. 

Ans. I answer, though we have not always the joy of the Spirit, yet we 
have the Spirit of joy ; which, though it be not known by joy, yet may be 
discerned by its operation and working. A Christian may have a gracious 
work of the Spirit in him, and yet want the delight and joy of the Spirit. 
Therefore when that fails, look to thy sanctification, and see what resem- 
blance of Christ is formed in thee. See if thy heart be humble and broken ; 
if thou have a heavenly disposition like to thy Saviour. When the joy of 
the Spirit ceaseth, go to the work of the Spirit, and from the work of the 
Spirit to the voice of the Spirit. Canst thou cry to God with strong 
supplications ? or if thou canst not pray with distinct words, canst thou 
mourn and groan ? * The Spirit helps our infirmities, when we know not 
what to ask,' Rom. viii. 26. This sighing and groaning is the voice of 
God's Spirit, which he will regard wheresoever he finds it. This made 
Job in his distress to swim above water. 

If one be in the midst of extremity, and can seriously seek to God, it is 
an undoubted sign that such a one is sealed, especially when the corruption 
of his soul joins with Satan's temptations the more to afflict him. For a 
sinner in the midst of storms and clouds of darkness, then to cast anchor, 
and quiet his soul in Christ, argues great faith. So when a temptation 
closes with our corruption, and affliction yields ground to further the 
temptation, then to pray and rely securely upon God is a gracious sign. 
For Satan useth the afflictions we are in as temptations to shake our faith, 
as thus. Canst thou be a child of God, and be so exercised, so vilified, 
so persecuted ? Didst thou belong to Christ, would ever these crosses 
and losses and miseries have befallen thee ? Deceive not thyself ! Thus 
affliction is a weapon to temptation, for Satan to help his fiery darts with, 
he having such a dangerous party in us — as our own corruption — doth us 
the more harm continually. 

Quest. How shall a man know whether God hath a part in him ? 

Ayis. I answer. If he can run against the stream ; if he find his soul 
resisting Satan's temptations, and raising him above afflictions, standing 
out and combating with corruptions to the uttermost. "When he can check 
his carnal heart that draws him downwards, saying, ' Why art thou cast 
down, my soul ? and why art thou disquieted within me ? Ps. xlii. 5, 
it is a good sign. 

David found inward corruptions and outward afflictions joining with 
Satan's temptations, to depress his spirit ; hereupon he chides his own soul, 
' Why is it thus with thee ? why art thou dejected in this manner ?' And 
then he lays a charge upon it, ' Trust in God,' ver. 11. Whatsoever 
hardship we meet with in the world, yet there is hope in God still. Though 
we can find little comfort below, yet there are rivers of consolation above. 
It argues a gracious heart to quiet one's self in God in the worst times. 



PRECIOUS PROMISES. 137 

Use 1. I beseech you let us labour to have our souls sealed with the Spiyit 
of God, to have further and clearer evidence of our estate in grace. It is 
a blessed thing to have Christ live in us. The enemies of our salvation 
are exceeding many, and how soon death or judgment may seize us, we 
know not. God will set none at his right hand but his sheep, those that 
have his own image on them. His best sheep have no outward mark, but 
an inward. The world sees not their beauty ; ' The king's daughter is 
all glorious within,' Ps. xlv. 13. 

How comfortably will the soul commend itself to Christ, when it finds 
itself stamped with the Spirit of Christ ; when he can cheerfully say, Lord 
Jesus, receive my soul,' Acts vii. 50. Thou that hast redeemed me by thy 
blood, and sealed me by thy Spirit, acknowledge thine own likeness in 
me. Though it be not as it should be, yet there is somewhat of thine in me. 

Beloved, we must not give false evidence of ourselves, as we must not 
against others. What a comfort hath a sealed soul in the hour of death, 
and in all extremities. What a difference is there between such a soul and 
others in the time of affliction, as in the time of pestilence, war, and per- 
secution for Christ. The soul that is sealed knows that he is marked out 
for happiness in the world to come. Whatsoever befalls him in this life, he 
knows that God in all confusion of times knows his own seal, and that his 
destroying angel shall spare and pass over those that are marked, Ezek. ix. 
4, seq. And though our bodies escape not, yet our souls shall. 

Josiah we see was taken away from the evil to come ; and Lot was 
delivered from the judgment of the Sodomites. If we partake not of the 
sins of the wicked, we shall never partake of their plagues. God hath a 
special care of his ' little ones' in this life ; and if he take them away, yet 
their death is precious in his sight, Ps. cxvi. 15. He will not part with 
them but upon special consideration. He sees if they live it will be worse 
for them. Their precious souls are in continual danger. He sees it is 
best for them to be gathered to God, and the souls of perfect ones in 
heaven ; therefore he provides a shelter to free them from all storms on 
earth. 

And as he hath an eye over them in regard of outwai'd miseries, so in 
respect of spiritual corruption and infection, as Eev. vii. 3. God's holy 
ones were ' sealed,' so many of such a tribe, and so many of such a tribe, 
to signify that God hath always some that he will keep and preserve from 
the leprous contagion of sin and antichrist ; even in evil times God hath 
his 'little flock' still. 

In the obscure ages of the church, nine hundred years after Christ, when 
there was little learning and goodness in the world, and Egyptian darkness 
had overspread the earth, God had always sealed ones, marked out for him- 
self, whom he preserved from the danger of dark times. Why then should 
we be afraid of evil tidings ? Let any affliction, or death itself, come, Christ 
will know his own stamp in us. He hath a book of remembrance for those 
that are his ; and when he gathers his jewels, they will be highly set by, 
Mai. iii. 17. God in common calamities suffers his luggage, wicked men, 
to go to wreck ; but he will secure his jewels, his darhngs, whatever come 
of it. Labour therefore to be a sealed person. 

Quest. But you will say. What shall I account of myself, if there be but 
a little sign of grace in me ? 

Ans. Be not discouraged. You know in wax, though the stamp be 
almost out, yet it is current in law notwithstanding. Put the case the stamp 
of the prince be an old coin, is it not current though it be cracked ? Sup- 



138 YEA AND AMEN ; OE, 

pose the mark of the Spirit should be dim and blurred, scarce discernible 
in us (this ought to be our shame and grief), yet some evidences of grace 
are still remaining ; there are some sighs and groans against corruption, 
which may continually support us. If we mourn in our spirits, and 
do not join with our lusts, nor allow ourselves in them, this is a divine 
impression, though it be, as it were, almost worn out. The more comfort 
we desire, the fresher we should keep this seal of comfort. 

Use 2. And labour to (jww in faith and obedience, that ice may read our 
evidence clearly ; tliat it he not overgrown with the dust of the ivorld, so as xve 
cannot see it. Sometimes God's children have the graces of the Spirit in 
them, yet they yield so much to fears and doubtings, that they can read 
nothing but their corruption. When we bid them peruse their evidences, 
they can see nothing but worldliness, nothing but pride and envy, because 
they grieve the Holy Spirit by their negligence and distrust. Though there 
be a stamp in them, yet God holds the soul from it, and gives men up to 
mistake their estates, for not stirring up the graces of his Spirit in them. 

Honour God by believing, and he will honour thee by stamping his 
Spirit more clearly on thee. What a comfort is it to have the evidence of 
a gracious soul at all times. When a man carries about him the mark of 
the Spirit, what in the world can discourage such a soul ? On the contrary, 
if a man have not something above nature in him, when death and judg- 
ment comes, how miserable is his condition ? If a man be a king or an 
emperor of the world, and have not an interest in Christ's righteousness, 
ere long he shall be stripped of all, and adjudged to eternal torments. Oh, 
the excellency of man's soul ; a jewel more to be prized than a prince's 
diadem. 

It is the folly of the times to set up curious pictures, but what a poor 
delight is this in comparison of the ambition of a true Christian, to see the 
image of Christ stamped in his soul, to find the joy of the Spirit, and God 
speaking peace to his inner man. 

The transforming of ourselves into the image of Christ is the best 
picture in the world. Therefore we should labour for the ' new creature,' 
that as we grow downward one way, we may grow up towards heaven 
another ; that as the life of nature decays, so the spiritual life may be more 
active and working. It should be our daily study, while we live in this 
world, to attain that ' holiness, without which no man shall ever see God,' 
2 Cor. vii. 1, et alibi. 

There is besides the common broad seal of God, his privy seal. What 
is the reason that many proud-hearted persons are damned ? The truth is, 
they' are all for external contentments, and despise the ordinances of God. 
For though they stand upon their admission into the church, upon the 
common seals and prerogatives (which in themselves are excellent), yet 
relying on these things over- much betrays many souls to the devil in the time 
of distress. It is another manner of seal than the outward seal in the 
sacrament, that must settle peace in the conscience. When once the be- 
ginnings of faith are wrought in us, then we may with comfort think upon 
our receiving of the communion ; but the special thing to be eyed is the 
hidden seal. If the external means work no inward sanctification in our 
hearts, we shall be the worse rather than the better for them ; yet we must 
not be so profane as to think slightly of God's ordinances ; they are of 
great consequence. 

For when Satan shakes the confidence of a Christian, and saith, Thou 
art an hypocrite, God doth not love thee, these help us to hold out. Why, 



PRECIOUS PROMISES. 139 

saith the soul, I can speak by experience tliat I have found the contrary ; 
the Lord hath removed my fears, he hath pardoned my sin and accepted 
my person ; he hath given me many precious promises to support my spirit. 
Here is the excellency of the sacrament. It comes more home to me ; it 
seals the general promises of God particularly to myself ; for finding the 
inward work of the Spirit in my heart, and God having strengthened my 
faith by the outward seal, I can defy Satan with all his accusations, and 
look death in the face with comfort. We should labour therefore to 
observe God's sealing days, when he uses to manifest himself to his people ; 
which though it may be every day (if we be spiritually exercised), yet it is 
in the Lord's day more especially; for then his ordinance and his Spirit go 
together. 

Now there is a sealing of persons, and of truths, besides the sealing of 
our estates, that we are the children of God. There is a sealing of every 
particular truth to a Christian. For where there is grace to beheve the 
truth, God seals those truths firmly to that soul by the comforts of his 
Spirit. For example, this is a truth, ' Whosoever believes in Christ, shall 
not perish but have everlasting life,' John iii. 15. Now the same Spirit 
that stirs up the soul to believe this, seals it fast upon the conscience even 
to death. There is no promise, but upon our beUeving the same, it is 
sealed by God upon us ; for those truths only abide firm in the soul which 
the Holy Ghost sets on. What is the reason that many forget their con- 
solations ? The reason is, they hear much, but the Spirit settles nothing 
on their hearts. 

Quest. What is the reason that unlettered men many times stand out in 
their profession to blood, whereas those that are more able and learned 
yield to anything ? 

A)is. The reason is, the knowledge of the one is set fast upon the soul ; 
the Spirit brings his seal and this man's knowledge close together ; whereas 
the learning and abilities of the other, is only a discoursive thing, swimming 
in the brain without any solid foundation. Their knowledge of truths is 
not spiritual ; they see not heavenly things by heavenly, but by a natural 
light. Those that would not apostatise must have a knowledge ' suit- 
able to the things they know ; they must see spiritual things by the Spirit 
of God. Therefore when we come to hear the word, we should not come 
with strong conceits of our own, to bring all to our wits, but with reverent 
dispositions and dependence upon God, that he would teach us together 
with his ministers, and close with his ordinances so as to fasten truths upon 
our souls ; else shall we never hold out ; for that which must stablish and 
quiet the soul, must be greater than the soul. 

In time of tentations, when the terrors of the Almighty encompass us, 
when God lays open our conscience, and writes bitter things against us, 
those truths that most satisfy the soul at such a time must be above the 
natural capacity of the soul. Therefore, saith the apostle, ' It is God that 
establishes,' and God by his Spirit that seals us up unto the day of redemp- 
tion ; because divine truths of themselves in the bare letter cannot stir up 
the heart. It is only the blessed Spirit (which is above our spirits) that 
must quiet the conscience in all perplexities. The Lord can soon still the 
soul when he settles spiritual truths upon it. Therefore go to him in thy 
distress and trouble of mind. Send up ejaculations to God, that he would 
seal the comfort revealed in his word to thy soul, that as it is true in itself, 
so it may be true to thee likewise. 

This is a necessary observation for us all. Oh, we desire in the hour 



140 YEA AND AMEN ; OR, 

of deatli to find some comforts, that be standing comforts, that may uphold 
us against hell and judgment. Know that nothing will do this but spiritual 
truths spiritually known ; but holy truths set on by the Holy Ghost upon 
the soul. Oft therefore enter into thine heart, and examine upon what 
grounds and motives thou believest. Consider well what it is thou believest, 
and upon what evidences, and with what light ; otherwise expect not to 
find solid peace. 

Quest. What course may a Christian generally take when he wants com- 
fort and inward refreshing ? 

Ans. There are, in 1 John v., ' three witnesses in heaven and three in 
earth,' to secure us of our estate in grace, The three witnesses in heaven 
are, * the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost.' And the three wit- 
nesses in earth are, ' the Spirit, the water, and blood ; ' and these thi'ee on 
earth, and those three in heaven agree in one.* Now by the Spirit here 
is meant the feelings and sweet motions thereof. The water may well be 
the laver of sanctiiication ; and by blood is understood the sufierings of 
Christ for our justification. 

When therefore we find that extraordinary seal I spake of before — the 
joys of the Spirit of God — that it is not in us, what shall wa do ? Shall 
we despair then ? No. Then go to the water. When the witness of the 
Spirit is silent, go to the work of the Spirit ; see what gracious dispositions 
are found in thee. 

Quest. Ay, but what shall we do if the waters be troubled in the soul, 
as sometimes there is such a confusion that we cannot see the image of 
God upon it in sanctification. 

Ans. Then go to the blood. There is always comfort. Go to the 
' fountain set open for Judah and Jerusalem to wash in,' Zech. xiii. 1. 
That is never dry. If we find much sin upon our consciences, and no peace 
in our hearts, apply the blood of sprinkling. That will give rest. 

When thou findest nothing but corruption and filthiness in thy soul, 
when thou seest neither joy nor sanctification of spirit, go to the Lord 
Jesus, and he will purge thee from all guilt, and wash thee with clean 
water. But to go on. 

Who hath sealed us, and given us the earnest of his Spirit in our hearts. 

This is the third word, borrowed from human contracts, to set forth 
God's gracious work in the soul. Anointing we had before, and sealing. 
Now here is ' earnest.' The variety of expression shews there is a great 
remainder of unbelief in the soul of man, which causeth the blessed Spirit 
to use so many words to manifest God's mind, and assure the soul of sal- 
vation ; stablishing, anointing, sealing, and earnest. 

And indeed so it is. Howsoever we in the time of prosperity, when all 
things go well with us, are apt to presume our estate is good, yet in the 
hour of death, when conscience is awaked, we are prone to nothing so much 
as to call all in question, and believe the lies and doubts and fears of our 
own deceitful hearts, more than the undoubted truth and promise of God. 
Therefore the Lord takes all courses to establish us. He gives us rich and 
precious promises ; he gives us the Holy Spirit to confirm us in those 
promises, he seals us with that Spirit, and gives us a comfortable ' earnest' 
thereof, and all to settle these wretched and unbelieving hearts of ours. 
So desirous is God that we should be well conceited of him, that he loves 
us better than we love ourselves. He prizeth our love so much, that he 
labours by all means to secure us of our eternal welfare ; as knowing, that 
* Cf. Note dddd, Vol. III. page 536.— G. 



PRECIOUS PROMISES. 141 

except we appreliend his love to us, we can never love him again, nor 
delight in him as we ought to do. 

Now the Spii'it is an ' earnest' of our inheritance in heaven. We are 
sons here indeed ; but we are not heirs invested into the blessed estate we 
have title to. God doth not keep all our happiness till another world, but 
gives us somewhat to comfort us in our absence from our husband. He 
gives us the Holy Ghost in our hearts, as a pledge of that glorious condi- 
tion, which we shall one day have eternally with him. This is the meaning 
of the words. 

But to shew you more particularly in what regard the Spirit is called an 
* earnest.' 

(1.) First of all, you know an earnest is used for securitij of a contract. 
So the Holy Spirit doth secure us of the blessed estate we shall have in 
heaven for ever. 

(2.) Secondly, An earnest is r)art of the bargain, a jmrt of the whole which is 
secured. Though it is a very little part, yet it is a part. So it is with the 
Spirit of God in its gracious work upon our hearts. The joy of the Spirit 
is a part of that full joy and happiness which shall be revealed hereafter 
to us. 

(3.) Thirdly, An earnest is little in comparison of the whole. So the Spirit, 
in the work and graces thereof, is little in regard of that fulness which we 
shall have in heaven. But though an earnest be small in itself, yet it is 
great in security. A shilling secures a bargain of a thousand pounds, we 
see. We value an earnest not for its own worth so much as for that which 
it is a pledge of : for the excellent bargain and rich possession which it doth 
interest us into. So the Spirit of God with its blessed effects in the soul, 
the joy and peace of the Spirit, cheering and reviving perplexed sinners ; this 
earnest, I say, though it be little in itself, yet it is great to us in respect of 
the assurance that we have by it. 

(4.) Again, it hath the term of an earnest, because an earnest is given 
rather for the security of the party that receives it, than in regard of him that 
gives it. So God gives its the ' earnest of the Spirit,' grace and comfort in 
this life, not so much for God. For he means to give us heaven and happi- 
ness when we are dissolved. As he hath passed his promise, so he will 
undoubtedly perform the same ; he is Lord and Master of his word. He 
is Jehovah that gives a being to his word, as well as to every other thing. 
But notwithstanding, having to do with mistrustful, unbelieving men, he is 
pleased to condescend to our weakness ; he stoops to the lowest capacity, 
and frames his speech to the understanding of the simplest soul, for which 
purpose this term of earnest is here borrowed. 

In these respects the Spirit of God, together with the graces of it, and 
the comforts it brings (for they are not divided) is called an * earnest.' And 
thus having cleared the point, we will observe this doctrine for our further 
instruction. 

That a Christian ought to he, and may he assured of his interest in God ; 
because, as I have said before, an earnest is given not so much for God's 
sake, as for our sakes. This then must needs follow from hence. Either 
none have this earnest, or else those that have it may be assured of their 
comfortable condition. Otherwise God is fickle, and plays fast and loose 
with his children, which is blashemy to afiirm. Besides, if none have this 
earnest, then the apostle speaks false when he saith, ' God hath stablished 
us, and given us the earnest of his Spirit,' which is horrible impiety once 
to conceive. 



142 TEA AND AMEN ; OR, 

Qnest. If this be so, then either such as have this seal and earnest of the 
Spirit may be assured of their estate in grace or not. And if not, where 
is the fault ? Will not God really and truly vouchsafe unto his people this 
earnest of the Spirit in their hearts ? 

Ans. Undoubtedly he will. He is desirous that we should be persuaded of 
his love in all things, and therefore we may and ought to be assured of his 
favour towards us. St John's whole epistle* contains little else but 
sundry marks and evidences how we may know that we are the children of 
God. Wherefore was Christ himself sealed of the Father to the office of 
Mediator ? wherefore did he die and rise again 7 and wherefore doth he still 
make intercession for us in heaven ? That we should doubt of God's love, 
whenas he hath given us that which is greater than salvation, yea, greater 
than all the world, even his own Son ? No, certainly. Can we desire a 
more ample testimony of his favour than he hath already bestowed upon us ? 
Is it not the errand of all God's mercies to bring us nearer to himself, that 
we should not doubt of his love, but rest securely upon him 7 Why 
then do we distrust the Almighty, who is truth itself, and never failod 
any 7 

Yet we must know that Christians have not at all times alike assurance 
of their interest ; for there is an infancy of grace, where we are ignorant of 
our own condition. And there is a time of desertion, whenas God, to make 
us look better to our footing, leaves us a little, as if he would forsake us 
quite ; when indeed he only withdraws his assistance for a while to make us 
cleave the closer to him. There be also certain seasons, wherein, though 
we are assured of God's favour, yet we have no feeling or apprehension of 
the same, which diflereth in Christians much, according as they are more 
or less sensible of their estates. Some again use not that care and diligence 
in the use of means which God requires, whereupon they are justly deprived 
of that inward peace and comfort which others enjoy. There is a difference 
likewise in growth and continuance in Christianity. Some are strong 
Christians, and some weak ; answerable whereunto is the difference of assur- 
ance of God's love usually in the hearts of his people. Nay, it is possible 
that for a long time the Lord's jewels, his redeemed ones, may want this 
blessed comfort. 

For we must conceive there is a double act of faith. 

First, An act whereby a poor distressed sinner casts himself upon God as 
reconciled to him in Christ. 

Secondh/, There is a reflect act, whereby knowing that we rely upon the 
truth and promise of the Almighty, we have assurance of his favour. Now 
a man may perform the one act and not the other. Many of the saints 
sometimes can hardly say that they have any assurance ; but yet, notwith- 
standing, they will daily cast themselves upon the rich mercy and free grace 
of God in Jesus Christ. 

Besides, There are many things which may hinder this act of assurance, 
because (together with believing) God may present such things to my mind 
as may so damp and disquiet my soul, that I cannot have any definitive 
thoughts about that which God would especially have me to think upon. 

As when God would humble a man, he takes not away the Spirit of faith 
wholly from him, but sets before such a sinful creature his anger and sore 
displeasure, together with the heUish torments and pains of the damned as 
due to his soul, which makes him for the present to be in an estate little 
(iiffering from the reprobate. So that he is far from saying he hath any 
* Viz., 1st Epistle.— G. 



PRECIOUS PEOMISES. 143 

assurance at that time. Yet, notwitlistancling, he doth not leave off nor 
renounce his confidence, but casts himself upon God's mercy still. ' Though 
the Lord kill him, yet will he trust in him,' Job xiii. 15, although he sees 
nothing but terror and wrath before him. This God doth to tame our pre- 
sumption, and to prepare us for the enjoyment of his future glory. If we 
feel not sense of assurance, it is good to bless God for what we have. We 
cannot deny but God offers himself in mercy to us, and that he intends our 
good thereby; for so we ought to construe his merciful dealing towards us, 
and not have him in jealousy without ground. Had we but willing hearts 
to praise God for that which we cannot but acknowledge comes from him, 
he will be ready in his time to shew himself more clearly to us. We taste 
of his goodness manj' ways, and it is accompanied with much patience. 
And these, in their natui'es, should lead us not only to repentance, but to 
nearer dependence on him. We ought to follow that which God leads us 
unto, though he hath not yet acquainted us with his secrets. 

These things we must observe, that we give not a false evidence against 
ourselves. Though we have not such assurance as we have had, yet 
always there is some ground in us whereupon we may be comforted that we 
are God's children, could we but search into it. Let us not then be negli- 
gent in labouring for the same, and in the Lord's good time we shall 
certainly obtain it. It is the profaneness of the world that they improve 
not those helps which God hath afforded for this purpose. 

Nay, they had rather stagger, and take contentment in their own ways, 
saying, If God will love me in a loose, licentious course, so it is ; but I 
will not 'give diligence to make my calling and election sure,' 2 Peter i. 10; 
I will never bar myself of such profits and delights, nor forsake all, 
chiefly to mind spiritual things. 

Whereas we ought constantly to endeavour for assurance of grace, that 
God may have honour from us, and we the more comfort from him again, 
that we may live in the world above ihe world, and pass cheerfully through 
the manifold troubles and temptations which befall us in our pilgrimage. 

A man in his pure naturals will swell against this doctrine, because he 
feels no such thing, and thinks what is above his measure is hypocrisy. 
He makes himself the rule of other Christians to walk by, and therefore 
values and esteems others by his uncertain condition. But the heart of 
a Christian hath a light in it ; the Spirit of God in his soul makes him 
discern what estate he is in. 

In a natural man, all is dark. He sees nothing, because his heart is in a 
dungeon. ' His eye being dark, the whole man must needs be in blind- 
ness,' Mat. vi. 22, seq. All is alike to him ; he sees no difference between 
flesh and spirit, and therefore holds on in a doubting hope, in a confused 
disposition and temper of soul, to his dying day. 

But a Christian, that labours to walk in the comforts of the Holy Ghost, 
cannot rest in such an unsettled estate ; he dares not venture his eternal 
welfare upon such infixm grounds. What ! To depart this life, and be 
tossed in uncertainty, whether a man goes to heaven or to hell ! What a 
miserable perplexity must such a soul needs be in ! Therefore, he is still 
* working out his salvation,' Phil. ii. 12, and storing up of grace against 
the evil day. 

And well may this condition challenge all our diligence in labouring for 
it, because it is neither attained nor maintained without the strength and 
prime of our care. For the sense of God's favour will not be kept with- 
out keeping him in our best affections, above all things else in the world 



144 YEA AND AMEN ; OK, 

besides ; without keeping of our hearts constantly close and near to him ; 
which can never be done without keeping a most narrow watch over our 
loose spirits, which are ever ready to stray from him, and fall to the 
creature. 

It cannot be kept without exact walking, and serious self-denial. But 
what of that ? Can we spend labours to better purpose ? One sweet 
beam of God's countenance will requite all abundantly. A Christian 
indeed undergoes more trouble and pains, especially with his own heart, 
than others do ; but what is that to his gains ? One day spent in com- 
munion with God is sweeter than a thousand without it. What comforts 
so great as those that ai'e fetched from the fountain ! Oh, woe to him 
that savours not these heavenly, but lingers after carnal comforts. It 
cannot but grieve the Holy Spirit, when the 'consolations of the Almighty ' 
are either forgotten, or seem ' nothing to us,' Job xv. 11. 

Quest. But why doth the Spirit thus establish and seal us, and convey 
grace to our souls ? Why doth that do all ? 

Ans. 1. Because since the fall we have no principles of supernatural 
good in us ; and there must be a principle above nature to work grace in 
our barren hearts. 

Ans. 2. Again, there is still remaining in us an utter averseness to that 
which is spiritually good in the best. Therefore there must be somewhat 
to overpower their corrupt disposition. 

Quest. But why the Spirit rather than the Father or the Son ? 
Ans. He comes from both, and therefore is fit to witness the love of 
both. The Holy Ghost is in the breast of the Father and the Son ; he 
knows their secret affections towards us. A man's spirit is acquainted 
with his inmost thoughts. The blessed Spirit is privy to the hidden love 
of God, and of Jesus Christ to us poor creatures, which we are strangers 
unto. Therefore none so fit to cheer and revive us. 

Indeed, the love originally is from the Father ; but in regard of applica- 
tion of what is wrought by the Son, all proceeds from the Holy Ghost ; he 
receives grace from Christ for us. It must needs be so, because no less 
than the Spirit of God can quiet our perplexed spirits in time of tentation. 
For when the conscience of a guilty person is afii'ighted, what man can 
allay its fears ? That which must settle a troubled spirit must be a spirit 
above our own ; it being no easy thing to bring the soul and God together 
after peace is broken. We have both wind and tide against us in this 
business, grace being but weak, and corruption strong in the best of us. 

We should labour therefore for heavenly spirits, and get something 
more than a man in us. There can never be any true peace attained till 
the Spirit from above settle it in our souls. An unsanctified heart is an 
unpacified heart. If there be a neglect of holiness, the soul can never be 
soundly quiet. Where there is not a clear conscience, there cannot be a 
calm conscience. That is a general rule. Sin, like Jonah in the ship, will 
raise continual storms both within and without a man. Take away God 
once, and farewell all true tranquillity. Spiritual comforts flow imme- 
diately from the Spirit of comfort, who hath his office designed for that 
purpose.* 

Quest. But how shall we know that we have the Spirit ? How may a 
man know that he hath a soul ? 

Ans. 1. By living and moving, by actions vital, &c. Even so may a 
man know he hath the Spirit of God by its blessed effects and operations. 
* That is, ' The Comforter' (nagazXTjroj).— G, 



PRECIOUS PROMISES. 145 

It is not idle in us, but as the soul quickens the body, so doth the Spirit 
the soul. Every saving grace is a sign that the Spirit is in us. Where- 
soever the Spirit dwells, he transforms the soul, and changes the party, 
like himself, to be holy and gracious. This is an undoubted symptom of 
the Spirit's habitation. 

^ Ans. 2. Secondly, All spiritual graces are ivith conflict ; for that which 
is true is with a great deal of resistance of that which is counterfeit. ' The 
flesh still lusts against the Spirit,' Gal. v. 17, and Satan cannot endure to 
see any man walk comfortably to heaven. What, thinks he, such a base 
creature as this is to have the earnest of salvation, to live here as if he 
were in heaven already ; and to defy all opposite powers ! Sure he shall 
have little peace this way. I will disquiet and vex his spirit. If he will 
go to heaven he shall go mourning thither. 

This is the reasoning of the cursed spirit, whereupon he labours to shake 
our assurance and follow us with pei-plexities. The grace and comfort of a 
Christian is with much conflict and temptations, not only with Satan, but 
with his own heart ; which, so long as guilt remains, will ever be misgiving 
and casting of doubts. There must, therefore, be a higher power than the 
soul of man to quiet and allay its own troubles. 

Ans. 3. Thirdly, The Spirit enables us to the practice of those duties which 
by nature we are averse unto, as to love an enemy, to overcome our revenge, 
to be humble in prosperity, and contented with any estate. It draws our 
aSection heavenward, and makes us delight in God above all as our best 
portion. He that hath the Spirit joys in spiritual company and employ- 
ment ; he hates sin, as being contrary to that blessed ' earnest ' which he 
hath received. He looks on things as God doth, and approves of the same, 
as he is made more or less spiritual thereby, and so is brought nearer to 
that fountain of goodness — God himself. By them he esteems his best 
being to be in Christ, and therefore labours more and more to be trans- 
formed into his likeness. He values nothing in the world fux'ther than it 
conduceth to his spiritual welfare. If all be well for that, he accounts him- 
self happy, whatsoever else befalls him. Indeed, where the Spirit hath taken 
up his firm abode, that soul will little set by any outward change. Nothing 
can be very ill with a man that hath all well within him. 

But that I may not distract your thoughts, you shall find divers properties 
of the Spii'it of God in Eom. viii. 1, seq., which I will briefly touch. First, 
it is said that the Spirit where it is ' dwells ' in that heart, as in a house ; 
it ' rules ' wherever it comes. The Holy Ghost will not be an underling 
to our lusts. It repairs and makes up all our inward breaches. The Spirit 
prepares his own dwelling, he begets knowledge and acquaintance of God 
within us. He is not in us as he is in the wicked ; he only knocks at their 
hearts, but hath not his abode there. 

Secondly, When the Spirit comes into a man, he subdues ivhatsoever is con- 
trary to it, and makes %vay for itself by pulling down all strongholds which 
oppose it. Therefore we are said ' to mortify the deeds of the flesh ' by the 
Spirit, ver. 13. Those that by help of the Spirit have got the victory of 
sin, can in no wise be led as slaves by the flesh ; as, on the contrary, he 
that cherishes corruption and crucifies it not (by spiritual reasons, but out 
of civil respects to be freed from aspersions, and to uphold his reputation 
or the like) is a mere * stranger to the Holy Ghost's working. 

Thirdly, As many as are ' led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God.' 
As the angel went before the Israelites from Egypt into Canaan, so the 
* That is, ' altogether.'— G. 
VOL. rv. K 



1 i6 YEA AND AMEN ; OR, 

Spirit of God goes along with his in all their ways, removing all lets and 
strengthening against all impediments in their Christian race. It conducts 
us sweetly, not violently, as the devil doth those that are possessed with the 
Spirit.- We are led strongly indeed, because it is against corruption within 
us, and opposition from without us ;.but yet sweetlj^ to preserve the liberty 
and freedom of the soul still. We are all by nature Hke children or blind 
men. We cannot lead ourselves. The Spirit must be our conduct[orJ, or we 
shall wander and go aside presently. Those therefore that enjoy the same, 
submit themselves to its guidance and direction in all things. 

Fourth, Again, The Spirit stirs up sighs and groans, that cannot be 
expressed. When we are not able to pray, or lay open the griefs of our 
souls, if we can but send our sighs and groans to heaven, they shall be 
accepted ; for God will hear the voice of his own Spirit, from whence these 
sobs and complaints come. How should we be overwhelmed with despair, 
did not the Spirit support us ? Those, therefore, that in extremity have 
nothing to comfort them, yet are able to send forth holy desires to the Lord, 
may certainly conclude that the Spirit is in them. 

Fifth, Again, The Spirit makes us mourn and wait for the adoption of 
sons. The same Spirit that sanctifies a sinner, witnesses to his soul that 
God is his. Worldlings grieve not for their absence from Christ, neither at 
all long they for his blessed appearing, because their heaven is here. They 
mourn not for the hidden distempers and secret imperfections of their souls ; 
whereas the godly are much in condemning themselves for that which no 
creature can tax them of. Want of communion with their Maker, strait- 
ness of spirit, distraction in duty, that they cannot obey as they would — 
these exceedingly deject them, yet wait they will without despair till God 
have finished their course. There is such a divine power in faith, as a very- 
little beam of it, having no other help than a naked promise, will uphold 
the soul against the greatest discouragements, and keep it from utter sinking. 

Indeed, ' waiting ' is a diflicult duty, both in regard of the long day 
which God usually takes before he performs his promise, as also by rea- 
son of the untowardness of our natures, being ready to be put ofi" by the 
least frown, did not God by a Spirit of constancy preserve the soul im- 
moveable in all conditions, whether present or to come, so as it fails not 
before him: and why? Because it knows full well that God, in whom it 
rests, is unchangeably good. 

Alas ! we are at the best but light and vain creatures, till the divine 
Spirit fix and settle us. The firmer our union is here, the surer will be 
our standing in all danger ; for what can daunt that soul, which in the 
greatest troubles hath made the great good to be his own ? Such a per- 
son dares cheerfully encounter any opposition, as having a Spirit higher 
than the world about him ; and seeing all but God far beneath him. 
Though I might name more, what a many sweet evidences are here to 
manifest a soul truly acted and led by the Spirit of God ! 

Quest. How may a man obtain this blessed guest, to lodge in his soul 
and rule over him ? 

Ans. First, Attend vpon the teaching of the gospel. * Eeceived ye the 
Spirit by the hearing of the law, or of faith preached ?' saith the apostle, 
Gal. iii. 2. The Spirit is usually given with a clear unfolding of Christ. 

Secondly, Omit likevdse no means wherein the Spirit is effectual ; for as a 
man walking in a garden, though he think not of it, draws a sweet scent 
of the flowers, so the word of God, being dictated by the Spirit, leaves a 
* Qu. 'his spirit' ?— Ed. 



PRECIOUS PROMISES. 147 

heavenly savour in such as converse with it. The spirit of a man is like 
water that runs through minerals. We see baths have their warmth 
from minerals that they run through. So it is with the soul in its holy 
employments. When it hath to deal with good books and good company, 
it draweth a spiritual tincture from these things, and is bettered by them. , 

Thirdly, Withal, take heed that thou ' grieve not the Holy Ghost,' for 
that will cause an estrangement of his presence in thy soul. 

Quest. How is that done ? 

Ans. By cherishing contrary affections and lusts to his blessed motions, 
as when we hear the word, but resolve never to obey it. When God 
knocks at our hearts for entrance, oh how readily should we set open 
these everlasting doors to receive him ! If Christ be willing to give us his 
Spirit, it must needs be our own fault if we remain carnal ; there being 
nothing in a manner required to be spiritual, but not to resist the Spirit. 
What greater indignity can we offer to the blessed Comforter, than to pre- 
fer our base lusts before his motions, leading to happiness ? What greater 
unkindness can a man do his friend, than to slight his loving direction, 
and embrace the counsel of a professed enemy ? The Holy Ghost presses 
such forcible reasons upon us of heavenly-mindedness and despising earthly 
things, that it is more than evident none are damned in the bosom of the 
church but those that set a bar against the Spirit of God in their hearts. 
Such are damned because they will be damned, that, say the preacher 
whatever he will, think it better to be as they are, than to entertain such 
a guest as will mar and alter all that was there before. 

Take heed, therefore, of resisting the Spirit in the least kind ; sad* not 
his blessed motions, but make much of the same by yielding subjection 
thereunto. Lay thy soul often before the Spirit ; suffer thyself to be 
moulded and fashioned by his gi-acious working. Oh consider how high 
the slighting of a gracious motion reaches, even to the contemning of God 
himself. Certainly as we use these, so would we use the Spirit himself, 
were he [not] invisible to us. 

And converse not with carnal company ; for what wilt thou gain there 
but sorrow to thine heart, if thou belongest to God ; and as holy Lot, vex 
thy righteous soul with the unclean conversation of these Sodomites ? It 
is an undoubted sign of a man destitute of grace, not to care at all what 
company he frequents. 

Fourthly, Seeing the Holy Ghost is promised to them that ask it, beg ear- 
nestly, for it is at God's hands. This is the ' good thing' that God gives. 
Christ seems to insinuate as much, saying, "What can I give you better than 
the Holy Ghost ? Yet this ' will I bestow on them that ask it,' Mat. vii. 
7, seq. ; for indeed that is the seed of all grace and comfort. A world of 
promises is included in the promise of giving the Spirit. 

Labour therefore, above all gettings, to obtain this high prerogative. The 
comforts of the Spirit are above all earthly comfort, and the graces of the 
Spirit enable to encounter the greatest temptations whatsoever. A man 
that hath this stands impregnable. God may withdraw his favour for a 
time, to humble us ; but to quench the work of the Spirit, once wrought 
in the soul, all the power of all the devils in hell cannot stir it. This will 
carry us through all oppositions and difficulties in our Christian race. Let 
a man never baulk or decline a good cause for anything that he shall suffer ; 
for the seal and earnest of the Spirit is never more strong than when we 
are deprived of all other comforts save that alone. 

* That is, ' sadden,' as elsewhere ' dead,' for ' deaden.' — G. 



148 YEA AND AMEN ; OR, 

What makes a man diffei' from himself and from other men but this ? 
Take a Christian that hath the ' earnest of the Spirit,' you shall have him 
defy death, Satan, the world, and all. Take another that is careless to 
increase his * earnest,' how weak and feeble will you find him, ready to be 
overcome by every temptation, and sink under the least burden. 

The apostle Peter, before the Holy Ghost came upon him, was astonished 
with the voice of a weak damsel ; but after, how forward was he to suffer 
anything.* 

Labour not then to be strengthened in things below, neither value thy- 
self by outward dependences. Alas ! all things here are perishing. If 
thou hast grace, thou hast that which will stand by thee when these fail. 
The Comforter shall never be taken away. What are all friends in the 
world to the Holy Ghost ! This will speak to God for us when no crea- 
ture dares look him in the face. The Spirit will make requests with ' sighs 
and groans ' in our behalf ; and we may be sure we shall be heard when 
that intercedes for us. What prison can shut up the Spirit of God? Oh 
gain this, whatever thou losest ; prefer it to thy chief treasure. The very 
' earnest ' of the Spirit is far more precious than the creature's full quint- 
essence. If the promises laid hold on by faith quicken and cheer the soul, 
what shall the accomplishment of them do ! If the giving a taste of heaven 
so lift our souls above all earthly discoui-agements, how glorious shall we 
shine forth when the Spirit shall be all in all in us ! This will make us 
more or less fruitful, more or less glorious in our profession, and resolute 
in obedience through our whole course. 

If we want this, we can never be thankful for anything ; for it is the love 
of God that sweetens every mercy to us ; and indeed is more to be valued 
than any blessing we enjoy besides : which if we eye not or are ignorant of, 
what can we expect but wrath and displeasure in all that befalls us ? Oh 
it is sweet to see favours and benefits issuing from grace and love. They 
do not always prove mercies which men ofttimes esteem to be so. We can 
have no solid comfort in any condition, further than God smiles upon us in 
it. What a fearful case must that then be, wherein a man cannot be thank- 
ful for what he hath. 

Every condition and place we are in should indeed be a witness of our 
thankfulness to God. We must not think life was given only to live in. 
Our life should not be the end of itself, but the praise of the Giver thereof. 
It is but fit that we should refer all that is good to his glory, who hath 
joined his glory to our best good, in being glorified in our salvation ; which 
while we question and doubt of, it is impossible ever to be cheerful towards 
him. 

Besides, how can a man suffer willingly, that knows not that God hath 
begun any good work in him ? How lumpish and dead is he under the 
cross without this assurance ! It is worth the considering, to see two men 
of equal parts under the same affliction, how quietly and calmly the one 
that hath interest in Christ will bear his grievances, whereas the other rages 
as a fool, and is more beaten. A man will endure anything comfortably, 
when he considers it proceeds from his Father's good pleasure. This 
breeds a holy resigning of ourselves to God in all estates ; as Eli, the ' will 
of the Lord be done.' His will is a wise will, and ever conduceth to his 
people's good. 

Fearest thou danger ? Cry unto God, ' I am thine,' ' Lord, save me.' 
I am the price of thy Son's blood, let me not be lost. Thou hast given me 
* Cf. Mat. xxvi. 71 with Acts v. 41.— G. 



I 



PRECIOUS PROMISES. 149 

the earnest of thy Spirit, and set thy seal upon me for thine own, let me 
neither lose my bargain nor thou thine. 

Hence it is that God's child can so easily deny himself in temptations and 
allurements which others sink under. Oh ! saith he, the Holy Ghost hath 
* sealed' me up *to the day of redemption,' shall I grieve and quench the 
same for this base lust ? It is a great disparagement to prefer husks 
before the provision of our Father's house. When we give content to Satan 
and a wretched heart, we put the Holy Ghost out of his office. 

Again, without this we can never comfortably depart this life. He that 
hath the earnest of the Spirit in his heart, may laugh Satan in the face, and 
rejoice at death's approaching, as knowing there will be an accomplishment 
then of all the bargain. Then the marriage will be perfectly consummate ; 
then shall be the great year of jubilee, the Sabbath of rest for ever. He 
that lives much by faith will find it no hard matter to die in it. But let 
a man stagger and doubt whether he belong to God or no, what a miser- 
able case will he be in at the time of dissolution ! Death, with the eternity 
of torment after it, who can look it in the face without the assurance of a 
happy change ? This makes men, that see no greater pleasure than the 
following of their lusts, resolve of swimming in worldly delights still. 
Alas ! say they, I had as good take this pleasure as have none at all ; 
what shall become of me hereafter, who knows ? 



NOTES. 



(a) P. 117. — 'They have seven sacraments to our two,' viz., '(I) The Supper, 
(2) Baptism, (3) Marriage, (4) Penance, (5) Confession, (6) Extreme Unction, (7) 
Orders. 

(6) P. 117. — ' There are divers readings of the words.' Instead of 'all the pro- 
mises,' the Greek is ' as many promises.' Cf. Dr Hodge in loc. for exposition, and 
Alford and Webster and "Wilkinson for 'variations' of text. G. 



A GLANCE OF HEAVEN; 



OR, 



A PRECIOUS TASTE OF A GLORIOUS FEAST. 

I 



A GLANCE OF HEAVEN. 



NOTE. 

' A Glance of Heaven * was first published in 1638. Its title-page is given below.* 
It is among the rarest of Sibbes's books. Prefixed to it is an engraving by Marshall 
representing the Table of the Lord ' spread ' for the supper. At the top is placed, 
' Wisdom hath built her house, she hath hewn out seven pillars, and furnished her 
table, Prov. ix. 1, 2,' Beneath the table, ' Compare Prov. ix. 1, 2, and Isa. xxv. 6 
with 1 Cor. ii. 9. Secrets which the gospel reveals, election, redemption, justifica- 
tion, peace of conscience, joy unspeakable, faith, love. A feast prepared for them 
that love God in heaven consummated.' 

* A 

GLANCE 

OF HEAVEN. 

OR, 

A PKETIOVS TASTE 

of a glorious Feast. 

"Wherein thou mayst taste and see 
those things which God hath pre- 
pared for them that love him. 

The secrets of the Lord are with them that 
feare him, S(c. Psal. 25. 14. 

Ey E. SiBS, D.D. Master oi Katherine Hall, 
and preacher of Grayes Time London. 

LONDON 
Printed by E. G. for /. R. and are 

to bee sold by Henry Overton, at 
the entring in of Popes head Palace out 
of Lumbard street. 16S8. 



TO THE CHEISTIAN READEE. 

Beloved ! it is grown a custom that every book whosever, or of whatso- 
ever subject, must be presented to you in state ; with some prescript pur- 
posely. Were it not that custom is a tyrant, this labour might now be spared. 
Such matter from such an elder as here follows, needs no ' epistle of 
recommendation.' The reverend author is well approved to be ' a man of 
God,' a ' seer in Israel,' by those things which, without control, have already 
passed the press. Might I have my wish, it should be no more but a 
' double portion ' of that Spirit of God which was in him. The divine light, 
which radiated into his breast, displays itself in many other of his labours, 
but yet it is nowhere more condensed than in this following. It is truly 
said of Moses, by faith ' he saw him that was invisible,' Heb. xi. 27. 

And St Paul prays for the Ephesians, ' that they might know the love of 
that which passeth knowledge,' Eph. iii. 19. These things imply a con- 
tradiction. Yet in like phrase I fear not to say of this father and brother, 
he saw those things ' which eye hath not seen,' spake those things which 
* ear hath not heard,' and uttered those things ' which have not entered 
into the heart of man to conceive,' 2 Cor. ii. 9. This knot needs no 
cutting. He that rightly understands the text will easily look through this 
mystery without the help of an hyperbole. His scope was to stir us up to 
love God ; his motive to persuade is taken from the excellency of those 
things which God hath prepared for them who love him. That excellency 
is expressed in a strange manner ; by intimating it cannot be expressed, 
no, nor so much as comprehended by any natural ability of the body or 
mind. Yet it is expressed in the doctrine of the gospel sufficiently. So as 
here, as in a glass, we may ' behold the glory of God,' and in beholding, 
be ' changed from glory to glory,' 2 Cor. iii. 18. What duty more neces- 
sary than to love God ? What motive more effectual than the gospel ? For 
what is the gospel but a revelation of such things as natural men could never 
invent ? Such things, that is, so precious, so useful, so comfortable to us ; so 
divine, admirable, and transcendent in themselves. Many of us are like 
the angel of Ephesus, ' We have lost our first love,' Rev. ii. 4 ; yea, as our 
Saviour prophesied. Mat. xxiv. 12, ' The love of many waxes cold.' One 
reason may be, because to see-to,* we reap so little fruit of our love. Were 
it so, that we had nothing in hand, no present pay, that we served God 
altogether upon trust, without so much as an earnest, yet there is some- 
thing ' prepared.' Let us believe that, and our hearts cannot but be 
warmed. We shall then be * fervent in spirit, serving the Lord,' Rom. 
xii. 11. Be we persuaded of that, ' God is not unrighteous to forget your 
work and labour of love, which you have shewed towards his name,' Heb. 
vi. 10, and then we may triumphantly insultf with Paul, ' Who shall sepa- 
rate us from the love of Christ ? ' Rom. viii.i'SS. There is this difference 
between natural sight and spiritual. The one requires some nearness of 
the object, the other perceives things at greatest distance. As faith makes 

* That is, = outward appearance. — G. t That is, = exult, boast. — G. 



154 TO THE READER. 

future things present, so it makes remote things near, and things ' pre- 
pared ' to affect as if they were enjoyed. But what hath God prepared ? 
If I could answer this, it might not only satisfy, but inebriate. ' Such as 
eye hath not seen,' &c. It seems to be a proverbial form of speeeh, 
whereby the rich plenty of the divine blessings and benefits which God 
intendeth to us in and by Christ, according to the gospel, is shadowed 
forth. The words are to see-to* as a riddle, but here is ' one of a thou- 
sand, an interpreter,' Job xxxiii. 23, at hand, to unfold them. I could say 
much to invite you, but that the matter itself is as a loadstone. My testi- 
mony will add little weight, yet, having some care committed to me by Mr 
P. N.,f whom this business chiefly concerned, I could do no less than let 
you understand here is one rich piece of spiritual workmanship, wrought 
by a master builder, very useful for the building up and beautifying of 
God's temples. The blessing of God Almighty be with it, and upon the 
whole Israel of God. — So prays L. Seaman. | 

* Of. ante, = sense.— G. t That is, Philip Nye. Cf. Vol. II. p. 3.— G. 

J Dr Lazarus Seaman was one of the ' Ejected,' having been at the time in 
Alhallows, Bread Street, to which he had been presented by Laud in 1642. He 
died in September 1675. Jenkyn preached his funeral sermon. See the Noncf. 
Mem., I. 80-83.— G. 



HIDDEN SECRETS REVEALED BY THE GOSPEL. 



But, as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered 
into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that 
love him. — 1 Cor. II. 9. 

The holy apostle St Paul, the trumpet of the gospel, * the vessel of elec- 
tion,' was ordained to be a messenger of reconciliation, and to spread the 
sweet savour of the gospel everywhere. And answerably to his calling, he 
makes way for the excellency of his embassage into the hearts of those 
he had to deal with. This he doth by the commendation of his function. 
And that he might the better prevail, he removes all objections to the 
contrary. There were some that would debase his office, saying that the 
gospel he taught — Christ crucified — was no such great matter. Therefore, 
in the 6th verse of this chapter, he shews that the gospel ' is wisdom, and 
that among them that are perfect ; ' among the best and ablest to judge. 
St Paul did not build, as the papists do now, upon the blindness of the 
people. But it were not popery if they did not infatuate the people. St 
Paul saith to this effect : — We dare appeal to those that are the best, and 
of the best judgment, let them judge whether it be wisdom or no ; the more 
perfect men are, the more able they are to judge of our wisdom. 

It might be objected again, You see who cares for your wisdom, neither 
Herod, nor Pilate, nor the great men and potentates, the scribes and 
pharisees, great, learned men, and withal men of innocent hves, notable 
for carriage. Therefore, saith he, 'We speak not the wisdom of this world, 
or the princes of this world, that come to nought.' Do not tell us of such 
men's wisdom, they and their wisdom will come to nought too. We teach 
wisdom of things that are eternal, to make men eternal. As for the princes 
of the world, they and all that they know, their thoughts and all their plots 
and devices, perish. But *we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery;' that 
is, the wisdom of God's revealing, a deep wisdom, a mystery that * God 
ordained before the world ; ' ancient wisdom, not a yesterday's knowledge, 
though lately discovered. The preaching of the gospel is the discovery of 
that wisdom that was hidden before the world was. 

And to invite you, and make you more in love with it, it is a wisdom 'to 
your glory.' God hath a delight to shew himself wise in devising a plot to 
glorify poor wretched man. 

As for the words themselves, they are a proof of what he had said before, 



156 A GLANCE OF HEAVEN. 

•why none of the princes of the world knew this great mystery. If so be 
that the ' eye of any man hath not seen, nor the ear of any man hath heard, 
nor the heart of any man hath conceived,' what do you tell us of the wise 
men, which were not all, nay, what should I speak of men ? The very 
angels (as we know by other places) are excluded from a full knowledge of 
these mysteries. Therefore it is no marvel though none of the princes of 
this world knew them. They are universally hidden from all natural men. 
This I take to be the sense of the words. They are taken out of Isaiah 
Ixiv. 4. St Paul delights to prove things by the prophets. But here it is 
not so much a proof as an allusion, which we must observe to understand 
many such places. For Isaiah there speaks of the great things God had 
done for his church, such as eye had not seen, nor ear heard. And the 
apostle alludes to it here, and adds somewhat. This clause, ' nor hath entered 
into the heart of man,' is not in that place, but it is necessarily understood. 
For if the eye doth not see, and the ear hear, it never enters into the heart 
of man. For whatsoever enters into the heart of man, it must be by those 
passages and windows, the gates of the soul, the senses. 

And whereas St Paul saith, ' for them that love him,' it is for them that 
* expect him,' as in Isaiah. The sense is all one. Whosoever love God, 
they expect and wait for him. Where there is no expectation, there is no 
love. 

This is the apostle's drift. If God did do such great matters for his 
church, as ' eye hath not seen, nor ear heard,' according to the prophet 
Isaiah, what shall we think he will do in the kingdom of grace here and of 
glory hereafter ? 

The words then, as we see, contain the excellency of the mysteries of the 
gospel, described first by the hiddenness of it to men at first. 

Secondly, By the goodness of the things revealed, such as ' neither eye 
hath seen,' &c. 

The hiddenness and excellency of the gospel in that respect is set forth 
by way of negation. ' Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor heart con- 
ceived.' And indeed this is the way to set forth excellent divine things. 
God himself is set out by way of denial ; by removing imperfections : he is 
invisible, immortal, &c. And so heaven, that is near to God, as being 
prepai-ed by him, it is set out by way of denial, as St Peter saith, ' It is an 
inheritance immortal, undefiled,' &c., 1 Peter i. 4. 

So here positive words could not be found sufficient to set out the 
excellency of the things that God hath prepared. 

As for the knowledge of the mystery of salvation in Jesus Christ, we 
neither can come to it by natural invention nor by natural discipline. All 
the things that we know naturally, we know by one of these two ways ; 
but divine things are known neither way. 

Where could there have been any knowledge of Christ, if God had not 
opened his breast in the gospel, and come forth of his hidden light, and 
shewed himself in Christ, God-man ; and in publishing the gospel estab- 
lished an ordinance of preaching for this purpose — where had the know- 
ledge of salvation in Christ been ? 

To prove this we have here a gradation. The eye sees many things, 
but we hear more things than we see. Yet ' neither eye hath seen nor ear 
heard.' Ay, but the conceits of the heart are larger than the sight of the 
eye or the hearing of the ear. Yet neither eye hath seen, nor ear hath 
heard, ' nor hath entered into the heart of man to conceive,' &c. The 
philosopher saith, there is nothing in the understanding, but it came into 



A GLANCE OF HEAVEN. 157 

the senses before : (a) and therefore it cannot enter into the heart of man, 
if it enter not by the^eye or by the ear. 

The things here spoken of be especially the graces, and "Comforts, and 
privileges to be enjoyed in this life, and the consummation and perfection 
of them in heaven. Christ brings peace and joy, justification and sancti- 
fication, and the like ; and even in this life. The perfection of these is in 
heaven, where the soul and the body shall be both glorified, in a glorious 
place, together with glorious company ; the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, 
innumerable angels and just men. These are those things that ' eye hath 
not seen,' &c. ; the beginnings here, and the perfection and consummation 
of them hereafter. Having thus far unfolded the words, I come to the 
points considerable. 

Doct. First, God hath a comjyanij of beloved children in the world, that he 
means a special good unto. 

The second, God hath prepared great matters for them. 

1. If great persons prepare great things for those whom they greatly 
aflfect,* shall we not think that the great God will prepare great things for 
those that he hath afiection to, and that have affection to him ? If God be 
a friend to the elect, and they be his friends, surely he will answer friend- 
ship to the utmost. Answerable to the great love he bears his children, he 
hath provided great things for them. 

• If that be excellent that is long in preparing, then those things which 
belong to God's children must needs be excellent; for they were pre- 
paring even before the world was. Solomon's temple was an excellent 
fabric ; it had long preparation, 1 Chron. xxii. 5. Ahasuerus made a feast 
to a hundred and twenty-seven provinces, Esther i. 1, seq. It was long in 
preparing. Great things have great preparation. Now these things that 
God intends his children have been preparing even from everlasting ; and 
they are from everlasting to everlasting. They must needs be excellent. 
But before I dwell on any particular point, here is a question to be answered. 

Quest. If the things that God hath prepared for his children be secret 
and excellent, how then come we to know them at all ? 

We come to know them (1.) By divine revelation. God must reveal them 
first, as it is in the next verse, ' God hath revealed them by his Spirit.' 

The Spirit reveals them by way of negation, and indefinitely ; as also by 
way of eminence. Whatsoever is excellent in the world, God borrows it 
to set out the excellency of the things that he hath provided for his children 
in grace and glory. 

A feast is a comfortable thing. They are called a feast. A kingdom is 
a glorious thing. They are called a kingdom. Marriage is a sweet thing. 
They are set forth by that ; by an inheritance ; and adoption of children, 
and such like. So that all these things are taken to be shadows of those 
things. And indeed they are but shadows ; the reality is the heavenly 
kingdom of grace and gloiy, the heavenly riches, the heavenly inheritance, 
the heavenly sonship. When all these things vanish and come to nothing, 
then comes in the true kingdom, sonship, and inheritance. 

Again (2.) We know them in this world hg wag of taste. For the things 
of the life to come there are few of them but God's children have some 
experimental taste of them in this world. God reserves not all for the life 
to come, but he gives a grape of Canaan in this wilderness. 

(3.) Thirdly, bg arguing from the less to the greater. If peace of con- 
science be so sweet here, what is eternal peace ! If a little joy here be so 
* That is, ' love,' ' choose.' — G. 



158 A GLANCE OF HEAVEN. 

pleasant and comfortable that it makes us forget ourselves, what will be that 
eternal joy there ! If the delights of a kingdom be such that they; fill 
men's hearts so full of contentment that ofttimes they know not themselves, 
what shall we think of that excellent kingdom ! So by way of taste and 
relish we may rise from these petty things to those excellent things, which 
indeed are scarce a beam, scarce a drop of those excellencies. 

If Peter and John, when they were in the mountain, were not their own 
men, — when they saw but a glimpse, but a little glory of Christ manifested 
in the mount, Mat. ix. 6, — what shall we think when there is the fulness 
of that glorious revelation at the right hand of God, where there is * fulness 
of pleasures for ever' ? Ps. xvi. 11. How shall our souls be filled at that 
time ! Thus by way of rising from the lesser to the greater, by tasting, 
feeling, and by divine revelation, we may know in some measure the 
excellency of those things prepared for us. 

Now to clear this thing more fully, know that there are three degrees of 
revelation. 

First, There must be a revelation of the things themselves, by word, and 
writing, or sjMech, and the like ; as we know not the mind of a man but 
either by speech or writing. So there must be a revelation of these things, 
or else the wit of angels could never have devised how to reconcile justice 
and mercy, by infinite wisdom, by sending a mediator to procure peace, 
God-man, to work our salvation. Therefore we could not know them 
without a revelation and discovery outward. This is the first degree, that 
we may call revelation by Scripture, or by the doctrine of the gospel. 
Who could discover those things that are merely supernatural, but God 
himself ? 

Second, Then again. When they are revealed by the word of God, and by 
men that have a function to unfold the unsearchable riches of Christ by the 
ministry of the gospel, yet notwithstanding they are hidden riddles still to 
a company of carnal men. Put case the veil be taken off" from the things 
themselves, yet if the veil be over the soul, the understanding, will, and 
afi'ections, there is no apprehension of them. Therefore there must be a 
second revelation, that is, by the Spirit of God. Of necessity this must 
be ; for even as the apostle saith in this chapter, ' None knoweth the mind 
of man but the spirit that is in man,' ver. 11, so none knoweth the mind 
of God but the Spirit of God. "What is the gospel, without the Spirit of 
Christ to discover the mind of God to us ? We know not the good mean- 
ing of God to us in particular. We know in general that such things are 
revealed in Scripture ; but what is that to us if Christ be not our Saviour 
and God our Father ? unless we can say as St Paul saith, ' He loved me, 
and gave himself for me,' Gal. ii. 20. Therefore you see a necessity of 
revelation by the Spirit. 

But this is not all that is here meant. There is. 

Thirdly, A higher discovery, and that is in heaven. That that is revealed 
here is but in part ; and thereupon if we beheve, we believe but in part, 
and we love but in part. If our knowledge, which is the ground of all other 
graces and afi'ections, be imperfect, all that follows must needs be imperfect 
also. Therefore St John saith, ' We know that we are the sons of God, but 
it appears not what we shall be,' 1 John iii. 2. What we shall be in heaven 
it doth not appear now. There must be a further revelation, and that will 
be hereafter, when our souls shall be united together with our bodies. And 
then, indeed, our eyes shall see, our ears hear, and hearts shall conceive 
those things that while we are here in the womb of the church we neither can 



A GLANCE OF HEAVEN. 159 

see, nor hear, nor understand, more than the child in the womb of the 
mother can conceive the excellencies in this civil* life. Thus we see these 
truths a little more unfolded, I will now add somewhat to make use of 
what hath been spoken. 

Use 1. First of all, therefore, for matter of instruction. If it be so, that 
the things of the gospel be such, as that without a revelation from God 
they could not be known, then we see that there is no princiide at all of the 
gospel in nature. There is not a spark of light, or any inclination to the 
gospel, but it is merely above nature. For he removes here all natural 
ways of knowing the gospel, eye, ear, and understanding. Therefore the 
knowledge of it is merely supernatural. For if God had not revealed it, 
who could ever have devised it ? And when he revealed it, to discover it 
by his Spirit, it is supernatural ; but in heaven much more, which is the 
third degree I spake of. Therefore, by the way, you may know the reason 
why so many heresies have sprung out of the gospel, more than out of the 
law and the misunderstanding of it. There are few or no heresies from 
that, because the principles of the law are written in the heart. Men 
naturally know that whoredom, and adultery, and filthy living, &c., are 
sins. Men have not so quenched nature but that they know that those 
things are naught. Therefore there have been excellent law- makers among 
the heathens. But the gospel is a mere ' mysterj^ ' discovered out of the 
breast of God, withoutf all principles of nature. There are thousands of 
errors that are not to be reckoned, about the nature, the person, and the 
benefits of Christ ; about justification and sanctification, and free will and 
grace, and such things. What a world of heresies have proud wits con- 
tinually started up ! This would never have been but that the gospel is a 
thing above nature. Therefore, when a proud wit and supernatural know- 
ledge revealed meet together, the proud heart storms and loves to struggle, 
and deviseth this thing and that thing to commend itself; and hereupon 
comes heresies, the mingling of natural wit with divine truths. If men had 
had passive wits to submit to divine truths, and to work nothing out of 
themselves, as the spider out of her own bowels, | there had not been such 
heresies in the church ; but their hearts meeting with supernatural truths, 
their proud hearts mingling with it, they have devised these errors ; that I 
note in the first place. 

Use 2. Then again, if the things that we have in the gospel be such 
divine truths, above nature altogether, then ice must not stand to look for 
reason too much, nor trust the reason or ivit of any man, but divine authority 
especially. For if divine authority cease in the gospel, what were it ? 
Nothing. The law is written in men's hearts ; but we must trust divine 
authority in the gospel above all other portions of Scriptm'e, and not to the 
wit of any man whatsoever. 

The Church of Rome, that is possessed with a spirit of pride and ignor- 
ance and tyranny, they will force knowledge on them that be under them 
from their sole authorities. The church saith so, and we are the church ; 
and it is not for you to know, &c., and Scriptures are so and so. But is 
the gospel a supernatural mystery above the capacity of any man ? and 
shall we build upon the authority of the church for these truths ? Oh, no ! 
There must be no forcing of evangelical truths from the authority or parts 
of any man. But these are not things that we stand in so much need of. 

* That is, ' outward life.'— G. t That is, ' outside of.'— G. 

X This is a comparison constantly used by Bacon, in his Novum Organum, and 
elsewhere. — Ed. 



IGO A GLANCE OF HEAVEN. 

Therefore I hasten to that which is more useful. ' Eye hath not seen, nor 
ear heard,' &c. 

Use 3. Here then we have an use of direction how to carry ourselves in 
reading and studtjl)ig hohj truths; especially the sacred mysteries of the gospel. 
How shall we study them ? We think to break into them with the engine 
of our wit, and to understand them, and never come to God for his Spirit. 
God will curse such proud attempts. ' Who knows the things of man, but 
the spirit of a man ? and who knows the things of God, but the Spirit ' of 
God ?' Therefore in studying the gospel, let us come with a spirit of faith, 
and a spirit of humility and meekness. There is no breaking into these 
things with the strength of parts. That hath been the ground of so many 
heresies as have been in the church. Only Christ * hath the key of David, 
that shutteth, and no man openeth ; and openeth, and no man shutteth,' 
Rev. iii. 7. He hath the key of the Scripture, and the key to open the 
understanding. And to press this point a little. If ' eye hath not seen, nor 
ear heard, nor hath entered into the heart of man to conceive, the things 
of the gospel,' without the revelation of the Spirit, then we must come with 
this mind when we come to hear the things of the gospel. Lord, without 
thy Holy Spirit they are all as a clasped book ; they are hidden mysteries 
to me, though they be revealed in the gospel. If my heart be shut to 
them, they are all hidden to me. 

We see men of excellent parts are enemies to that they teach themselves, 
opposing the power of the gospel. Whence is all this ? Because they 
think only the opening of these things makes them divines, whereas without 
the Holy Ghost sanctifying and altering the heart in some measure to taste and 
relish these things, that as they are divine in themselves, so to have some- 
what divine in the heart to taste these things, it is impossible but that the 
heart should rise against them ; and so it doth. For when it comes to 
particulars, you must deny yourself in this honour, in this pleasure, and 
commodity ; now you must venture the displeasure of man for this and 
that truth. The heart riseth in scorn and loathing of divine truth. When 
it comes to particulars they know nothing as they should. For when is 
truth known, but when in particulars we stand for it ; and will neither 
betray it nor do anything that doth not benefit* a Christian ? If we have 
not the Spirit of God to relish truths in particular, they will do us no good. 
And except the Spirit sanctify the heart of man first by these truths, the 
truth will never be understood by the proud natural heart of man. 

Therefore the course that God takes with his children is this. Those 
that he means to save, he first inspires into their hearts some desire to 
come to hear and attend upon the means of salvation, to understand the 
gospel ; and then under the means of salvation he shines into the under- 
standing by a heavenly light, and inspires into the will and afiections some 
heavenly inclination to this truth of the gospel, to justification, sanctifica- 
tion, self-denial, and the like, and works a new life ; and new senses, and 
upon them, wrought under the means, comes the soul to relish, and to 
understand these mysteries ; and then the ears and the eyes are open to 
see these things, and never before. A holy man, that hath his heart sub- 
dued by the Spirit of God in the use of the means, oh he relisheth the 
point of forgiveness of sins ; he relisheth the point of sanctification ; he 
studies it daily more and more, and nearer communion with God ; he 
relisheth peace of conscience and joy in the Holy Ghost ; they are sweet 
things, and all the duties of Christianity, because he makes it his main 

* Qu. ' befit ' ?— Ed. 



A GLANCE OF HEAVEN. 161 

business to adorn his profession ; and to live here, so as he may live for 
ever hereafter. And this must be of necessity ; for mark out of the text : if 
the natural eye and ear and heart can never see nor hear, nor conceive the 
things of God, must there not be a supernatural ear and eye and heart put 
into the soul ? Must not the heart and all be new-moulded again ? If the 
former frame be not sufficient for these things, of necessity it must be so. 

Use 4. From hence learn to arm yourselves against all scandals.-'- When 
ye see men of all parts and account, and such there may be, men of deep 
apprehensions and understanding in the Scripture for the matter of notion, 
and for the language of the Scripture exquisite, and yet to be proud, ma- 
licious, haters of sanctity, next to devils, none greater, consider what is 
the reason. Either they have proud spirits that despise and neglect the 
mSans of salvation altogether ; or if they do come, they come as judges ; 
they will not submit their proud hearts to the sweet motions of the Spirit. 
Stumble not at it, if such men be both enemies to that they teach them- 
selves, and those that practise it. The reason is, because their proud 
hearts were never subdued by the Spirit to understand the things they speak 
of. For such a teacher understands supernatural things by a natural light, 
and by human reason ; that is, to talk, and discourse, &c., but he sees not 
supernatural things by a supernatural light, divine things by a divine light. 
Therefore a poor soul that heai's the things published by him, understands 
them better by the help of the Spirit than he that speaks them ; better 
indeed for his use and comfort. As we see, there are some that can 
measure land exactly ; but the man that owneth the land measured, he 
knows the use of the ground and delights in it as his own. The other can 
tell, here is so much ground, &c. So some divines, they can tell there are 
such points, and so they are raised ; and they can be exquisite in this ; but 
what profit have they by it ? 

The poor soul that hears these things, by the help of the Spirit he can 
say, These are mine, as the man for whom the ground is measured. As it 
is with those that come to a feast, the physician comes and says. This is 
wholesome and good, and this is good for this and that, but eats nothing. 
Others that know not these things, they eat the meat, and are nourished in 
the mean time. So when such men discourse of this and that, a poor man 
that hath the Spirit, he relisheth these things as his own. The other goes 
away, only discourseth as a philosopher of the meat, and eats nothing. 

And therefore when you read and hear these things, content not your- 
selves with the first degree of revelation. No ; that is not enough. When 
you have done that, desire of God to join his Spirit, to give you spiritual 
eyes and hearts, that you may close with divine truths, and be divine as 
the truths are ; that there may be a consent of the heart with the truth. 
Then the word of God will be sweet indeed. 

Use 5. Again, here we see this divine truth, that a vian when he hath 
the Spirit of God knoivs things otherwise than he did know them before, 
though he did not know them by outward revelation of hearing and reading, 
do. And he believes them otherwise than he did before ; he sees them 
by a new light. It is not the same knowledge that an unregenerate 
man hath with that he hath after, when God works upon his heart, 
1 Cor. ii. 14, 15; for then it is a divine supernatural knowledge. And 
it is not the same faith and belief. The Spirit of God raiseth a man up in 
a degree of creatures above other men, as other men are above beasts ; he 
gives new eyes, new ears, and a new heart ; he moulds him anew every 
* That is, ' stumbling-blocks.' — G. 

vol/, rv. L 



162 



A GLANCE OF HEAVEN. 



way. Therefore you have good men sometimes wonder at themselves, 
when God hath touched their hearts, that they have had such shallow conceits 
of this and that truth before. Now they see that they were in the dark, 
that they were in a damp before, that they conceived things to be so and 
so, and thought themselves somebody. But when God opens their eyes, 
and takes away the scales, and lets them see things in their proper light, 
heavenly things by a heavenly Hght, and with a heavenly eye, they wonder 
at their former foolishness in divinity, especially so far as concerns the 
gospel. For there is more in the Scripture than pure supernatural divi- 
nity ; there are many other arts in the Scripture. 

The gospel, I say, is a knowledge, not of natural men, or great wits, but 
of holy sanctified men. Therefore we must not think that these things 
may be known by nature, &c. It is a sacred knowledge, so much as will 
bring us to heaven ; it is a knowledge of holy men, that have their hearts 
brought to love and taste, and relish that they know. Therefore it is no 
wonder, though a company of men of great parts live naughtily. They 
are no true divines, because they have no true knowledge. The devil is no 
divine, nor a wicked man properly. Though he can discourse of such 
things, yet he is not properly a divine ; because he knows not things by a 
divine light, or heavenly things by a heavenly light. The knowledge of 
the gospel, it is a knowledge of sanctified, holy men. But to come nearer 
to our practice. 

Use. 6. If eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor hath entered into the heart 
of mfin to conceive those things that God hath prepared for his, then let us make 
this the rule of our esteem of anythhui that is f/ood, or amjtlunri that is ill ; make 
it a rule of ral nation. The apostle here, you see, hath a rank of things above 
the sight of the eye, or the hearing of the ear, or the conceiving of the heart 
of man. If there be such a rank of things above this, then the greatest 
ills are those that eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor hath entered into 
the heart of man ; and indeed they are so. We grieve at the ague, and at 
the stone, and at the gout ; they are grievous things indeed. Oh, but 
what be these things that we feel and see, to those in another world, that 
we cannot apprehend for the greatness of them ! The torments of hell, we 
cannot conceive and understand them here ; for it is indeed to be in hell 
itself to conceive what hell is. And therefore when God enlargeth men's 
spirits to see them, they make away themselves. And so for the greatest 
good. These goods here, this outward glory, we can see through it. 
Christ could see through all the glory in the world that the devil shewed 
him. Mat. iv. 8. And these are things that we can hear of, and hear the 
utmost that can be spoken of them. Therefore surely they are not the 
greatest good. There are more excellent things than they. Because the 
eye sees them, the ear hears of them, and the understanding can conceive 
of them. But there be things that the eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, 
nor the soul conceived ; and these be the joys of heaven. And thereupon, 
to descend to practice, if this be a rule to value things that the best things 
are transcendent, beyond sense and comprehension, then shall I for those 
things that I can see, and can hear, and feel, and understand, shall I lose 
those excellent good things, that ' neither eye hath seen nor ear heard,' 
&c. ? Is not this desperate folly, to venture the loss of the best things, 
of the most transcendent things, that are above the capacity of the 
greatest reaches of the world ? Shall I lose all for petty poor things that 
are within my own reach and compass ? 
• How foolish, therefore, are those that are given to pleasures ! They feel the 



A GLANCE OF HEAVEN. 163 

pleasure indeed, but the sting comes after. They dehght in those ill things 
that they can hear, and hear all that can be spoken of them, and never think 
of the excellent things that the eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, &c. 

Let this make us in love with divine truths in the Scripture, with the 
gospel, that part of the Scripture that promiseth salvation by Christ, and 
all the graces and privileges of Christianity. They are above our reach. 
We study other things. We can reach them. We can reach the mysteries 
of the law by long study, and the mysteries of physic, and to the mysteries 
of trades by understanding, and when men have done all they may be fools 
in the main — Solomon's fools. They may do all these things, and be wise 
for particular things, by particular reaches of that which eye hath seen, 
and ear heard, &c. ; and then for the best things that are above the capacity 
of men, they may die empty of all, and go to the place of the damned. To 
be wise to salvation is the best wisdom. 

What a pitiful case is this, that God should give us our understandings 
for better things than we can see or hear in this world, yet we employ them 
in things of the world wholly. Let us not do as some shallow, proud 
heads, that regard not divine things. The holy Scriptures they will not 
vouchsafe to read once a- day, perhaps not once a- week ; nay, some scarce 
have a Bible in their studies. For shame ; shall we be so atheistical, when 
God hath provided such excellent things contained in this book of God, 
the Testament ? Shall we shght these excellent things for knowledge that 
shall perish with us ? as St Paul saith before the text. The knowledge of 
all other things is perishing, knowledge of perishing men. Learn on earth 
that that will abide in heaven, saith St Austin. If we be wise, let us 
Icnow those things on earth, that the comfort of them may abide with us in 
heaven. Therefore let us be stirred up to value the Scriptures, the mysteries 
of salvation in the gospel ; they are things that ' eye hath not seen, nor ear 
heard,' &c. Nay, I say more, that little that we have here, by hearing 
truths unfolded, whereby the Spirit of God slides into our hearts, and works 
with them. There is that peace that a man hath in his heart, in the 
unfolding of the point of justification or adoption, or any divine comfort, 
that it breeds such inward peace and joy as is unspeakable and glorious. All 
that we have in the world is not worth those little beginnings that are wrought 
by the hearing of the word of God here. If the first fruits here be joy 
ofttimes ' unspeakable and glorious,' 1 Peter i. 8, if the first fruits be 
* peace that passeth understanding,' Phil. iv. 7, what will the consumma- 
tion and perfection of these things be at that day ? 

Again, here you see a ground of the wonderful patience of the martj^rs. 
You wonder that they would sufier their bodies to be torn, and have their 
souls severed so violently from their bodies. Alas !* cease to wonder; when 
they had a sense wrought in them by the Spirit of God of the things that 
eye hath not seen nor ear heard. If a man should have asked them why 
they would suffer their bodies to be misused thus, when they might have 
redeemed all this with a Httle quiet ? Oh, they would have answered pre- 
sently, as some of them have done : We sufier these things in our bodies 
and in our senses, for those that are above our senses ; we know there are 
things laid up for us that eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, &e. What do 
you tell us of this torment and that torment ? We shall have more glory in 
heaven than we can have misery here. For we can see this, and there 
is an end of it ; but we shall have joy that ' eye hath not seen, nor 
ear heard, &c. As St Paul most divinely, in divers places in Rom. 
* Another example of Sibbes's unusual use of ' alas.' — G. 



164 A GLANCE OF HEAVEN. 

viii. 18, the things that we suffer here are not ' worthy of the glory- 
that shall be revealed.' Therefore let us not wonder so much at their 
patience as to lay up this ground of patience against an evil day when we 
may be drawn to seal the truth with our blood. By the way learn what 
popery is. They think to merit by their doings, but especially by their 
sufferings, though they be ill doers, and suffer for their demerits ; this is 
their glory. Shall those stained good works (put case they were good 
works, they be defiled, and stained, and as menstruous cloths, as it is, 
Isa. XXX. 22), shall they merit the glory to be revealed, that is so great 
that eye hath not seen ? &c. What proportion is there ? In merit there 
must be a proportion between the deed done and the glory. "WTiat propor- 
tion is there between stained imperfect defiled works, and the glory to be 
revealed ? Should not our lives be almost angelical ? ' What manner of 
men should we be in all holy conversation,' 2 Pet. iii. 11, considering 
what things are laid up in heaven, and we have the first fruits of them 
here ? Can men be too holy and exact in their lives, that look for things 
' that eye hath not seen, nor ear heard?' &c. 

I wonder at the stupidity and hellish pride and malice of men's hearts, 
that think any man can be too exact in the main duties of Christianity, in 
the expression of their love to God, in the obedience of their lives ; in 
abstinence from the filthiness of the world, and the like. Can a man that 
looks for these excellent transcendent things be too careful of his life ? I 
beseech you yourselves be judges. 

THE END OF THE FIKST SEKMON. 



THE SECOND SERMON. 
As it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, d'C. — 1 Cor. II. 9. 

The apostle sets out the gospel here with all the commendations that any 
skill in the world can be commended by. From the author of it, ' God.' 
From the depth of it, it is ' wisdom ;' in a mystery, ' hidden wisdom.' 
From the antiquity of it, ' it was ordained before the world was.' From 
the benefit and use of it, ' for our glory.' God is content his wisdom should 
he honoured in glorifyincf us, such is his love. And then when it was 
revealed, that none of the ' princes of the world ' (he means not only com- 
manding potentates, but, he being a scholar himself, esteemed philosophers, 
Pharisees, and learned men to be princes, because the excellency of a man 
is in the refined part of man, his soul), none of these princes of the world, 
for all their skill and knowledge, knew this. 

In this verse he shews the reason why 'eye hath not seen, nor ear 
heard,' &c. He removes knowledge, by removing the way and means of 
knowledge. The means of knowledge in this world is by the passage and 
entrance of the senses. Now, this heavenly mj^stery of the gospel, it is 
such a knowledge as doth not enter into the soul by the senses. 

The points we propounded were these : 1. That God hath a people in the 
world, ivhom he favours in a special manner. 

Then, secondly, /or these that he accounts his friends, he hath prepared 
great matters. Kings prepare great matters for those they mean to advance ; 
what shall we think then God will do for his friends ? 

Now, these things prepared, they are great matters indeed ; for, in the 
third place, they are such as eije hath not seen, nor ear heard, do. 



A GLANCE OF HEAVEN. 165 

And then, in the fourth place, the disposition and qualification of tliose 
for whom God hath prepared such great matters. It is for those ' that love 
him ; ' not for his enemies, or for all men indifferently, but for those that 
love him. 

Of the first and second I spake in the former ; and I will not now stand 
to speak of them, but enlarge myself in the two last. 

Tlte things that God hath prepared for them that love him, are such excellent 
things as neither eye hath seen, nor ear heard, do. He means the natural 
eye, and ear, and understanding, or heart of man. 

There be three degrees of discovery of heavenly things : 

First, In the doctrine of them ; and so they are hid to them that are out 
of the church. 

And then, secondly, in the spiritual meaning of them ; and so they are 
hid to carnal men in the church. 

And then, thirdly, in regard of the full comprehension of them, as they 
are indeed ; and so they are reserved for heaven. We have but a little 
glimpse of them, a little light into them in this world. Now, in this place 
is meant the things that are discovered in the gospel, especially as they 
are apprehended by the Spirit, together with the consummation of them 
in heaven. For they differ only in degree, the discovery of the heavenly 
things in the gospel here ; the privileges, and graces, and comforts of 
God's children, and the consummation of them in heaven. And we may 
reason from the lesser to the greater, if so be that a natural man — though 
he have natural eyes, and ears, and wits about him — cannot conceive the 
hidden mysteries of the gospel spiritually with application ; much more 
unable is he, and much less can he conceive, those things of a better life. 
Now the things of the gospel, the privileges, the graces, and comforts 
which Christ, the spring and head of them all, in whom all are, and 
whence we have all, cannot be comprehended by a natural man. He can 
discourse of them as far as his natural wit conceives them, but not under- 
stand heavenly things in their own light as heavenly things, as the things 
of the gospel. They can talk of repentance — that we commonly speak of, 
which is a mystery — but notwithstanding who knows repentance by the 
light proper to it, but he that by the Spirit of God hath sin discovered to 
him in its own colours ! He knows what it is to grieve for sin. 

The sick man knows what it is to be sick. The physician knows it by 
definition, by books, and so he can enlarge it ; but if he be not sick, the 
sick patient will speak to better purpose. So there is a mystery in the 
common things of the gospel, repentance and grief for sin. A holy man 
feels it another matter, because he feels sin discovered by the Spirit of 
God. And so in faith, in the love of God, and every grace of the gospel 
is a mystery. If one come to the Schoolmen, they will tell you of faith, 
and dispute learnedly of it, and deduce this from that ; but when he comes 
to be in extremity, when the terrors of the Lord are upon him, when he 
comes to use it, he is a mere stranger to it ; to cast himself, being a sinful 
creature, into the arms of God's mercj', he cannot do it without a further 
light of the Spirit discovering the hidden love of God to him in particular ; 
and so for other graces. Therefore they do but speak of these things — 
men that are unsanctified — as a blind man doth of colours. They inwardly 
scorn the truth they speak of; and those to whom they speak, if by the 
power of God's Spirit they come to profit by the things they teach, if 
themselves be carnal, they hate them. A carnal man believes not a whit 
of what he saith ; he hath only a common light for the good of others, a 



166 A GLANCE OF HEAVEN. 

common illumination to understand and discover things, and a doctrinal 
gift to unfold things for others, and not for themselves. For themselves 
they scorn them in their hearts, and in their lives and conversations, and 
they will speak as much when it comes to self-denial in preferment, in 
pleasures, in anything that is gainful. Tush ! tell him what he hath 
taught, or what he knows out of the book of God, he cares not, he knows 
them only by a common light ; but for a particular heavenly light with 
application and taste to himself, springing from an alteration by the Spirit, 
he never knows them so. Therefore content not thyself with a common 
light, for together with our understanding God alters the taste of the whole 
soul ; he gives a new eye, a new ear, to see and hear to purpose, and a 
new heart to conceive things in another manner than he did before. 

But you will ask. How can a godly man know them at all, seeing ' eye 
bath not seen, nor ear heard,' &c. ? 

I answer, first, the things of another life, as we see here, are known by 
negation, as God is, by way of removing imperfections. The natural eye 
sees them not, nor the natural ear hears them not, &c. No ; nor the 
spiritual eye nor ear in a full measure. So things transcendent, that are 
above the reach of man, are described in the Scriptures by the way of 
denial, which is one good way of knowledge. 

That ' ye may know the love of God that is above knowledge,' saith the 
apostle, Eph. iii. 19 ; that ye may know it more and more. But it is 
above all knowledge in regard of the perfection of it. As a man may see 
the sea, but he cannot comprehend the sea. He may be much delighted 
in seeing the sea, but he sees neither the bottom nor the banks ; he can- 
not comprehend such a vast body. He may see the heavens, but he can- 
not comprehend them. So a man may know the things when they are 
revealed, but he cannot comprehend them ; apprehension is one thing, 
and comprehension is another. There may be apprehension in a poor 
degree, suitable to the capacity of the soul here ; but, alas ! * it is far from 
the comprehension that we shall have in heaven. That is one way of 
knowing them, by way of negation and denial of imperfections to them. 

And tlien, secondhj, they are known, as we call it, by way of eminence ; 
that is, by comparing them with other things, and preferring them before 
all other excellencies whatsoever ; as we may see the sun in water by 
resemblance. For God borrows from nature terms to set out grace and 
glory, because God will speak in our language. For they are called a 
' kingdom' and a ' feast,' and a ' crown' by way of comparison. Shallow 
men think there is a great deal in a kingdom ; and indeed so there is, if 
there were no other. There is great matters in a ' crown,' in ' the feasts' 
of kings, and the like. But alas ! these be shadows ; and there is no rhe- 
toric or amplification in this, to say they be shadows. A shadow is as 
much in proportion to the body as these are to eternal good things. The 
true reality of things are in the things of another world, for eternity. If 
we talk of a kingdom, let us talk of that in heaven ; if of a crown, of that 
wherewith the saints are crowned in heaven. If we talk of riches, they 
are those that make a man eternally rich ; that he shall carry with him 
when he goes out of the world. What riches are those that a man shall 
outlive, and die a beggar, and not have a drop to comfort him, as we see 
Dives in hell had not? Luke xvi. 19, seg. Here are riches indeed. So 
if we talk of beauty, it is the image of God that sets a beauty on the 
soul, that makes a man lovely in the eye of God. True beauty is to be 
* Cf. footnote, page 163. — G. 



A GLANCE OF HEAVEN. 167 

like God. And to be born anew to that glorious condition is the birth and 
inheritance. All these poor things are but acting a part upon a stage for 
a while, as the proudest creature of all that is invested in them will judge 
ere long ; none better judges than they. This is one way of knowing the 
things of the gospel, by naming of them in our own language. As if a man 
go into a foreign country, he must learn that language, or else hold his 
peace : so God is forced to speak in our own language, to tell us of glory 
and happiness to come, under the name of crowns and kingdoms, and 
riches here. If God should set them out in their own lustre, we could not 
conceive of them. 

But, thirdhj, the most comfortable way whereby God's people know the 
things of heaven, and of the life to come, is in regard of some taste; for 
there is nothing in heaven but God's children have a taste of it before they 
come there in some measure. They have a taste of the communion that 
is in heaven, in the communion they have on earth : they have a taste of 
that eternal Sabbath, by some relish they have of holy exercises in these 
Christian Sabbaths. A Christian is as much in heaven as he can be, when 
he sanctifies the holy Sabbath, speaking to God in the congregation by 
prayer, and hearing God speak to him in the preaching of the word. That 
peace that we shall have in heaven, which is a peace uninterrupted, with- 
out any disturbance, it is understood by that sweet peace of conscience 
here ' that passeth all understanding,' Eph. iii. 19. We may know, there- 
fore, what the sight of Christ face to face will be, by the sight we have 
of Christ now in the word and promises. If it so transform and affect us, 
that sight that we have by knowledge and faith here, what will those sights 
do ? So that by a grape we may know what Canaan is : as the spies, they 
brought of the grapes of Canaan into the desert. We may know by this 
little taste what those excellent things are. 

The fourth way is by authority and discovery. St Paul was rapt up in[to] 
the third heaven ; he saith, they were such things that he saw, that could 
not be spoken of, strange things, 2 Cor. xii. 4. And Christ tells us of a 
kingdom. Christ knew what they were. And the word tells us what they 
are. Our faith looks to the authority of the word, if we had not the first 
fruits, nor any other discovery. God that hath prepared them, he saith 
so in his word, and we must rest in his authority. And there are some 
that have been in heaven. Christ our blessed Saviour, that hath taken into 
a perpetual union the manhood with the second person, which he hath 
knit unto it, he knows what is there ; and by this means we come to have 
some kind of knowledge of the things to come. 

Fifthly, Again, by a kind of reasoning likewise from the lesser to the greater^ 
we may come to know not only the things, but the greatness of them. As, 
is there not comfort now in a little glimpse, when God shines upon a 
Christian's soul, when he is as it were in heaven ? Is there such content- 
ment in holy company here, what shall there be in heaven ? Is there such 
contentment in the delights of this world, that are the delights of our pilgri- 
mage ? (They are no better ; our houses are houses of pilgrimage ; our 
contentments are contentments of passengers.) If the way, the gallery that 
leads to heaven, be so spread with comforts, what be those that are reserved 
in another world ! A man may know by raising his soul from the lesser 
to the greater. And if the things that God hath provided in common for 
his enemies as well as his friends (as all the comforts of this world, all the 
delicacies and all the objects of the senses, they are comforts that are com- 
mon to the enemies of God, as well as his friends) : if these things be so 



168 A GLANCE OF HEAVEN. 

excellent, that men venture their souls for them, and lose all to be drowned 
in these things. Oh what peculiar things are they that God hath reserved 
for his own children, for those that love him, when those that are common 
with his enemies are so glorious and excellent ! These kind of ways we 
may come to know them by the help of the Spirit. 

Those unmixed joys, those pure joys, that are full of themselves, and 
have no tincture in heaven, are understood by those joys we feel on earth ; 
the joy of the Holy Ghost, which is after conflict with temptations, or after 
afflictions, or after hearing and meditating on good things. The heavenly 
joys that flow into the soul, they give us a taste of that full joy that we 
shall have at the right hand of God for evermore. That comfort that we 
shall have in heaven, in the presence of God, and of Christ, and his holy 
angels, is understood in some little way by the comfortable presence of 
God to the soul of a Christian, when he finds the Spirit of God raising 
him, and cheering him up, and witnessing his presence ; as ofttimes, to the 
comfort of God's people, the Holy Ghost witnesseth a presence, that now 
the soul can say, God is present with me, he smiles on me, and strength- 
eneth me, and leads me along. This comfortable way God's children have 
to understand the things of heaven, by the first fruits they have here. For 
God is so far in love with his children here on earth, and so tender over 
them, that he purposes not to reserve all for another world, but gives them 
some taste beforehand, to make them better in love with the things there, 
and better to bear the troubles of this world. But alas ! what is it to that 
that they shall know ? as it is 1 John iii. 2, ' Now we are the sons of God, 
but it appears not what we shall be.' That shall be so great in comparison 
of that we are, that it is said not to appear at all. It appears in the first 
fruits in a little beginnings ; but alas ! what is that to that glory that shall 
be ! ' Our life is hid with Christ in God,' Col. iii. 3. It is hid. There 
is no man knows it in regard of the full manifestation ; because here it is 
covered with so mRnj infirmities, and afilictions, and so many scorns of the 
world are cast upon the beauty of a Christian life ; it is hid in our head 
Christ. It is not altogether hid, for there is a life that comes from the 
root, from the head Christ to the members, that quickens them ; but in 
regard of the glory that shall be, it is a hidden life. 

Reasons. Let us consider the reasons why God will have it thus, to make 
it clear, before I go further. We must be modest in reasons when we 
speak of God's counsels and courses. I will only name them to open our 
understandings a little. 

1st Reason. (First.) R is enouf/h that God idll have it so. A modest 
Christian will be satisfied Avith that, that God will have a difierence be- 
tween heaven and earth. God's dispensation may satisfy them. 

(Second.) God will have a difference between the ivarrinrj church and the 
triiimphing church. 

This life is a life of faith, and not of sight. "We walk and live by faith. 
Why ? Partly to try the truth of our faith, and partly for the glory of 
God, that he hath such servants in the world here that will depend upon 
him, upon terms of faith, upon his bare word ; that can say. There are 
such things reserved in heaven for me, I have enough. What a glory is it 
to God that he hath those that will trust him upon his bare word ! It 
were no commendation for a Christian to live here in a beautiful, glorious 
manner, if he should see all and live by sight. If he should see hell 
open, and the terrors there, for him then to abstain from sin, what glory 
were it ! The sisrht would force abstinence. If we should see heaven 



A GLANCE OF HEAVEN. 109 

open, and the joys of it present, it were no thanks to be a good man, for 
sight would force it. 

2cl Reason. The second reason is this, that God will have a known differ- 
ence hetiveen h)jpocrites and the true children of God. If heaven were upon 
earth, and nothing reserved in faith and in promise, every one would be a 
Christian. But now the greatest things being laid up in promises, we 
must exercise our faith to wait for them. Now, there are none that will 
honour God in his word but the true Christian. That there are such 
excellent things reserved in another world, in comparison of which all 
these are base, there is none but a true Christian that will honour God 
upon his word, that will venture the loss of these things here for them in 
heaven, that will not lose those things that they have in reversion and pro- 
mise for the present delights of sin for a season 1 Whereas the common 
sort, they hear say of a heaven, and happiness, and a day of judgment, &c. 
But in the mean time they will not deny their base pleasures and their 
rebellious dispositions, they will cross themselves in nothing. Do we 
think that God hath prepared heaven for such wretches as these ? Oh 
let us never think of it ! God therefore hath reserved the best excellencies 
for the time to come, in promises and in his word, if we have grace to 
depend upon his word, and in the mean time go on and cross our corrup- 
tions. It is an excellent condition to be so. It shews the difference that 
God will have between us and other men. 

3o? Reason. Again, thirdly, our vessels could not contain it. We are in- 
capable ; our brain is not strong enough for these things. As weak brains 
cannot digest hot liquors, so we cannot digest a large revelation of these 
things. As we see St Peter was not himself in the transfiguration ; he 
forgot himself, and was spiritually drunk with joy, with that he saw in the 
mount. He wot not what he said, as the scripture saith, when he said, 
'Master, let us make three tabernacles,' &c., Mark ix. 5. Nay, St Paul 
himself, the great apostle, when he saw things in heaven above expression, 
that could not nor might not be uttered, could not digest them, 2 Cor. 
xii. 4. They were so great, that if he had not had somewhat to weigh 
him down, to balance him, he had been overturned with pride. Therefore 
there was a 'prick in the flesh' sent to Paul himself, to humble him, 
2 Cor. xii. 7. Are we greater than Paul and Peter, the great apostles of 
the Jews and Gentiles ; when these grand apostles could not contain 
themselves ? When they see these heavenly things, and but a glimpse of 
them, the one did not know what he said, and the other was humbled, by 
way of prevention, with a prick in the flesh ; and shall we think to con- 
ceive of these things ? No ! we cannot ; for that is to be in heaven before 
our time. These and the like reasons we may have to satisfy us in this, 
why we cannot conceive of the things to come as they are in their proper 
nature. God saith to Moses, when Moses would have a fairer manifesta- 
tion of God, * No man can see me and live,' Exod. xxxiii. 20. If we would 
Bee God as he is, we must die. If we would see heaven, and the joys 
of it as it is, we must die first. No man can see the things that the 
apostle here speaks of, in their proper light and excellency, but he must 
die first. 

They are not proportionable to our condition here. For God hath 
resolved that this life shall be a life of imperfection, and that shall be a per- 
fect estate of perfect glory. ' Alas ! our capacities now are not capable, our 
affections will not contain those excellent things. Therefore God trains 
us up by little and little to the full fruition and enjoying of it. Thus we 



170 A GLANCE OF HEAVEN. 

see how we come to have some knowledge of them, and why we have not a 
full knowledge of them here. 

Use 1. Well, to leave this and go on. If this be so, then let us oft think 
of these thinrfs. 

The life of a Christian is wondrously ruled in this world by the con- 
sideration and meditation of the life of another world. Nothing more 
steers the life of a Christian here than the consideration of the life here- 
after ; not only by way of comfort, that the consideration of immortal life 
and glory is the comfort of this mortal base life, but likewise by way of 
disposition and framing a man to all courses that are good. There is no 
grace of the Spirit, in a manner, but it is set on work by the consideration 
of the estate that is to come ; no, not one. 

What is the work of faith ? ' It is the evidence of things not seen,' 
Heb. xi. 1. It sets the things of another world present before the eye of 
the soul, and in that respect it is victorious. It conquers the world, 
because it sets a better world in the eye. Where were the exercise of faith, 
if it were not for hope of such an estate which feeds faith ? The excellency 
of faith is, that it is about things not seen. It makes things that are not 
seen to be seen ; it hath a kind of omnipotent power ; it gives a being to 
things that have none, but in the promise of the speaker. 

And for hope, the very nature of hope is to expect those things that faith 
believes. Were it not for the joys of heaven, where were hope ? It is the 
helmet of the soul, to keep it from blows and temptations. It is the 
anchor of the soul, that being cast within the veil into heaven, stays the 
soul in all the waves and troubles in this world. The consideration of the 
things to come exerciseth this grace of hope. We look within the veil, 
and. cast anchor there upward, and not downward ; and there we stay 
ourselves in all combustions and confusions by the exercise of hope, 
Heb. vi. 19. 

And where were patience ? If it were not for a better estate in another 
world, a Christian ' of all men were most miserable,' 1 Cor. xv. 19. Who 
would endure anything for Christ, if it were not for a better estate afterwards ? 
And so for sobriety. What forceth a moderate use of all things here ? 
The consideration of future judgment, that made even Felix to tremble, 
Acts xxiv. 25. The consideration of the estate to come, causes that we 
surfeit not with the cares of the world and excess, but do all that may 
make way for such a glorious consideration. 

What enforceth the keeping of a good conscience in all things ? St Paul 
looked to the resurrection of the just and of the unjust ; and this made him 
exercise himself to keep a good conscience. 

And so purity and holiness, that we take heed of all defilements in the 
world, that we be not ' led away with the error of the wicked,' 2 Peter 
iii. 17; but 'keep ourselves unspotted,' James i. 27. What forceth this 
but the consideration of a glorious condition in another world ! ' He that 
hath this hope pm-geth himself,' 1 John iii. 3. There is a purgative power 
in hope ; a cleansing efiicacy, that a man cannot hope for this excellent 
condition, but it will frame and fit the soul for that condition. Can a man 
hope to appear before a great person, and not fit himself in his deportment 
and attire beforehand, to please the person before whom he appears ? So 
whosoever hopes to appear before Christ and God, of necessity that hope 
will force him to purge himself. Let us not stand to search curiously into 
particulars, what the glory of the soul or of the body shall be (the apostle 
discovers it in general, we shall be ' conformed to Christ our head in soul 



A GLANCE OF HEAVEN. 171 

and body'), but rather study bow to make good use of tbem ; for therefore 
they are revealed beforehand m general. 

ilse 2. And withal to humble ourselves, and to say with the psalmist, ' Lord, 
what is man, that thou so far considerest him ?' Ps. viii. 4 ; sinful man, 
that hath lost his first condition, and hath betrayed himself to thine and 
his enemy ; to advance him to that estate, ' that neither eye hath seen, nor 
ear heard,' &e. This consideration will make us base in our own eyes. 

Shall not we presently disdain any proud conceits ? Shall we talk of 
merit ? What can come from a creature that shall deserve things that 
' eye hath not seen nor ear heard ;' that such proud conceits should enter 
into the heart of man ? Surely grace never entered into that man's heart, 
that hath such a conceit to entertain merit. Shall a man think by a penny 
to merit a thousand pounds ; by a little performance to merit things that 
are above the conceit of men and angels ? But a word is enough that way. 

Use 3. And with humiliation, take that which always goes with hurniUation, 
thankfulness, even beforehand. When the apostle St Peter thought of the 
' inheritance immortal and undefiled,' &c., he begins, ' Blessed be God, the 
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,' &c., 1 Peter i. 3, 4. He could not think 
of these things without thankfulness to God. For we should begin the life 
of heaven upon earth, as much as may be ; and what is that but a blessing 
and praising of God ? Now we cannot more effectually and feelingly praise 
God, than by the consideration of what great things are reserved for us ; 
for faith sets them before the soul as present, as invested into them. Now 
if we were in heaven already, we should praise God, and do nothing else. 
Therefore faith making them sure to the soul, as if we had them, sets the 
soul on work to praise God, as in Eph. i. 3, and in 1 Peter i. 3. St Peter 
and Paul, they could never have enough of this. Thus we should do, and 
cheer and joy our hearts in the consideration of these things in all conflicts 
and desolations. We little think of these things, and that is our fault. 
We are like little children that are born to great matters, notwithstanding 
not knowing of them, they carry not themselves answerable to their hopes. 
But the more the children grow into years, the more they grow in spirit 
and conceits,* and carriage fitting the estates they hope for. 

So it is with Christians at the first ; when they are weak they are 
troubled with this temptation and with that, with this loss and with that 
cross ; but when a Christian grows to a full stature in Christ, every petty 
cross doth not cast him down. He thinks. What ! shall I be dejected with 
this loss, that have heaven reserved for me ? Shall I be cast down with 
this cross, that have things that ' eye hath not seen nor ear heard,' &c., 
prepared for me ? He will not. He makes use of his faith to fetch com- 
fort from these things that are reserved for him, that are inexpressible and 
inconceivable. 

Use 4. And let us comfort ourselves in all the slightimfs of the ivorld. A 
man that hath great hopes in his own country, if he be slighted abroad, he 
thinks with himself, I have other matters reserved elsewhere, and I shall 
have another manner of respect when I come home. The world it knows 
not God, nor Christ, nor us. Shall not we be content to go up and down 
as unknown men here, when God the Father and Christ our Saviour are 
unknown ? There are better things reserved at home for us. Therefore 
let us digest all the slightings and abusage of carnal men. And let us not 
envy them their condition that is but for term of life, use it as well as they 
will ; that hath a date that will be out we know not how soon. Alas ! all 
* That is, ' concei^tious.' — G. 



172 



A GLANCE OF HEAVEN. 



their happiness it is but a measured happiness ; it is within their under- 
standings ; their ej'es can see it and their ears can hear it, and when they 
can neither see nor conceive more in this world, then there is an end of all 
their sensible * happiness. Shall we envy, when they shall shortly be 
turned out naked out of this world to the place of torment ? We should 
present them to us as objects of pity, even the greatest men in the world, 
if we see by their carriage they be void of grace ; but not envy any condi- 
tion in this world. But what affection is due and suiting to the estate of a 
Christian ? If we would have the true affection, it is admiration and 
wonderment. What is wonderment ? It is the state and disposition of 
the soul toward things that are new and rare and strange ; that we can give 
no reason of, that are bej^ond our reach. For wise men wonder not, 
because they see a reason, they can compass things. f But a Christian 
cannot but wonder, because the things prepared are above his reach. Yea, 
when he is in heaven, he shall not be able to conceive the glory of it. He 
shall enter into it ; it shall be above him ; he shall have more joy and peace 
than he can comprehend. The joy that he hath there it is beyond his 
ability and capacity, beyond his power ; he shall not be able to compass all. 
It shall be a matter of wonder even in heaven itself, much more should it 
be here below. Therefore the holy apostles, when they speak in the 
Scriptures of these things, it is with terms of admiration and wonderment, 
'joy unspeakable and glorious,' 1 Peter i. 8, and ' peace that passeth under- 
standing,' Philip, iv. 7 ; and when they speak of our deliverance out of the 
state of darkness into the state of grace, they call it a being ' brought out 
of darkness into his marvellous hght,' 1 Peter ii. 9. And so ' God loved 
the world,' he cannot express how, John iii. 16. ' Behold what love hath 
the Father shewed us, that we should be called the sons of God,' 1 John 
iii. 1. To be called, and to be, is all one with God ; both beyond expression. 

Use 5. Again, if this be so that God hath provided such things as neither 
* eye hath seen nor ear hath heard,' &c, beg of God first the Spirit of grace 
to conceive of them, as the Scripture reveals them, and then beg of God a 
further degree of revelation, that he would more and more reveal to us by his 
Spirit those excellent things. For the soul is never in a better frame than 
when it is lift up above earthly things. When shall a man use the world 
as though he used it not ? When he goes about his business in a com- 
manding manner, as seeing all things under him ; when he is raised up to 
conceive the things that are reserved for him above the world. That keeps 
a man from being drowned in the world. What makes men drowned in 
the world to be earth-worms ? They think of no other heaven but this ; 
they have no other thing in their eye. Now by the Spirit discovering these 
things to them that have weaned souls, it makes them go about the things 
of the world in another manner. They will do them, and do them exactly, 
with conscience and care, considering that they must give an account of all ; 
but they will do them with reserved affections to better things. Therefore 
let us oft think of this, and labour to have a spirit of faith to believe them 
that they are so, that there are such great things ; and then upon believing, 
the meditation of such excellent things will keep the soul in such a frame 
as it will be fit for anything without defiling of itself. A man that hath 
first faith that these things are so, and then that hath faith exercised to 
think and meditate what these things are, he may be turned loose to any 
temptation whatsoever. For first of all, if there be any solicitation to any 
base sin, what will he think ? Shall I for the pleasures of sin for a season, 

* That is, ' sentient,' = sense-derived.— G. t Cf. note h, Vol. II. p. 518.— G. 



A GLANCE OF HEAVEN. 173 

if not lose the joys of heaven and happmess that ' eye hath not seen,' &e., 
yet surely I shall lose the comfort and assurance of them. A man cannot 
enjoy the comfort of heaven upon earth without self-denial and mortifica- 
tion. Shall I lose peace of conscience and joy in the Holy Ghost for these 
things ? When Satan comes with any bait, let us think he comes to rob 
us of better than he can give. His bait is some present pleasure, or prefer- 
ment, or contentment here. But what doth he take from us ? That which 
' eye hath not seen, nor ear heard,' &c. He gives Adam an apple, and takes 
away paradise. Therefore in all temptations consider not what he offers, 
but what we shall lose ; at least the comfort of what we shall lose. We 
shall lose the comfort of heaven, and bring ourselves to terrors of conscience. 

Religion is not so empty a thing as that we need to be beholding to the 
devil for any preferment, or riches, or contentment, or pleasure. Hath 
God set up a profession of religion, and do we think that we must be 
beholding to his, and our enemy, for any base contentments ? No. It is 
a disparagement to our religion, to our profession and calling, and to our 
Lord and Master we serve, to think that he will not provide richly for his. 
You see here he hath prepared things that ' eye hath not seen,' &c. 

And by this likewise we may judge of the difference of excellencies ; the 
difference of degrees of excellencies may be fetched from hence. The 
things that the eye can see they may be excellent good things, but if the 
eye can see them there is no great matters in them. The thing that the 
ear hears by reports are more than the eye sees. We may hear much that 
we never saw, yet if we can hear them and conceive of them upon the 
hearing, they are no great matters, for tjie soul is larger than they. We 
conceive more than we can hear ; the conceit is beyond sight and hearing. 
If we can conceive the compass and latitude of anything, it is no c^reat 
matter, for it is within the reach, and model, and apprehension of man's 
brain ; it is no wondrous matter. Ay, but then the things that are most 
excellent of all they are above sight and beholding and hearing and conceit, 
that the soul cannot wholly compass and reach them. Those are the 
excellent things of all. The rule of excellency is to know what we can 
conceive, and what is beyond our comprehension. The wit of man can 
conceive all things under the heavens. All the knowledge we have comes 
within the brain of man ; the government of states and the like. Oh but 
the things that God hath provided for his never came wholly within the 
brain of man, and therefore they are the most excellent ! 

And so by way of contraries for ills ; what are the greatest ills ? Those 
that the eye can see, that we can feel, and hear of, and conceive ? Oh 
no. The greatest ills are those torments that never eye saw, that ear 
never heard of. It is to be in hell to know these things. They are beyond 
our conceit. ' The worm that dies not, fire unquenchable,' Mark ix. 43, 
the things above our apprehension are the most ten-ible things. It is not 
the gout or the stone. Men feel these things, and yet suffer them with 
some patience. These are not the greatest ills, but those of another world 
that are reserved for God's enemies ; as the best things are those that are 
reserved for his friends. 

Therefore let us make use of our understandings in laying things toge- 
ther, and make use of God's discovery of the state of Christianity, the 
excellencies of religion. Why doth God reveal these things in the word ? 
That we should oft meditate of them, and study them, that we may be 
heavenly-minded. For there are none that come to heaven but they must 
have a taste of these beforehand. There are none ever enjoy them in per- 



174 A GLANCE OF HEAVEN. 

fection. When the day of revelation shall come (the gospel now is the 
time of revelation, but the day of revelation is the time of judgment), then 
shall we be revealed what we are. But in the mean time there is a revelation 
by the Spirit in some beginnings of these things, or else we shall never come 
to have the perfection of them in heaven. If we know not what peace, and joy, 
and comfort, and the communion of the saints, and the change of nature 
is here in sanctiiication, we shall never know in heaven the fulfilling of it. 

And those that have the first fniits here, if they be in a state of growth, 
that they desire to grow better continually, ^they shall, no question, come to 
the perfection ; for God will not lose his beginnings. Where he gives 
earnest, he wdll make up the bargain. 

Therefore let us all that know a little what these things ai'e by the reve- 
lation of the Spirit, let us be glad of our portion. For God that hath 
begun, he will surely make an end. 

The affection, and bent and frame of soul due to these things is admira- 
tion, and not only simple hearing. If these things in their beginnings 
here be set out by words of admiration, ' peace that passeth understand- 
ing,' and 'joy unspeakable and glorious,' what affection and frame of 
spirit is suitable to the hearing of those things that are kept for us in 
another world ! If the light that we are brought into here be admirable, 
great (we are brought out of darkness into admirable wonderful light), if 
the light of grace be so wonderful to a man that comes out of the state of 
nature, as it is indeed (a man comes out of a damp into a wonderful clear 
light), what then is the light of gloiy ! Therefore let us often think of it. 
Those that are born in a prison, they hear great talk of the light, and of the 
sun, of such a glorious creature ; but being born in prison, they know not what 
it is in itself. So those that are in the prison of nature, they know not 
what the light of grace is. They hear talk of glorious things, and have 
conceits of them. And those that here know not the glory that shall be 
after, when they are revealed, that affection that is due to them is admira- 
tion and wonderment. ' So God loved the world, that he gave his only 
begotten Son,' John iii. 16 ; and ' Behold what love the Father hath 
shewed to us, that we should be called the sons of God,' 1 John iii. 1. 
What love ! He could not tell what, it is so admirable ; and to know the 
love of God, that is above all knowledge ! Who can comprehend the love 
of God, that gave his Son ! Who can comprehend the excellency of 
Christ's gift ! The joys of heaven by Christ, and the misery of hell, from 
which we are delivered and redeemed by Christ ! These things come from 
the gospel, and the spring from whence they come is the large and infinite 
and incomprehensible love of God. And if it be so, what affection is 
answerable but admiration ? Behold what love I If God have so loved 
flesh and blood, poor dust and ashes, so as to be heirs of heaven, and of 
such glory as eye sees not, nor cannot in this world ; nor ear hears not ; 
nor hath entered into the heart of man, till we come fully to possess them ; 
let us labour to admire the love of God herein. 

And labour to know more and more our inheritance, as we grow in 
years, as children do. They search into the great matters their parents 
leave them, and the nearer they come to enjoy them, the more skill they 
have to talk of them. So should we : the more we grow in Christianity 
and in knowledge, the more we should be inquisitive after those great things 
that our Father hath provided in another world. But to go on. 

Hoic shall we know u'hether these things he prepared for us or no ? whether 
we he capable of these things or no ? God hath prepared them, and he hath 



A GLANCE OF HEAVEN. 175 

prepared them for those that love him ; but how shall we know that God 
hath prepared them for us ? 

In a word, xvhom God hath prejmred great matters for, he prepares them for 
great matters. We may know by God's preparing of us, whether he hath 
prepared for us. God prepared paradise before Adam was created : so 
God prepares paradise, he prepares heaven before we come there. And 
we may know that we shall come to possess that, if we be prepared for it. 
What preparation ? If we be prepared by a spirit of sanctification, and 
have holy desires and longing after those excellent things ; for certainly 
there is preparation on both sides. It is prepared for us, and us for it. It 
is kept for us, and we are kept for it. Whom God keeps heaven for, he 
keeps them for heaven in a course of piety and obedience. We may know 
it by God's preparing of us, by loosing us from the world, and sanctifying 
us to himself. Thus a man may know whether those great things be pre- 
pared for him or no. 

But the especial thing to know whether they be provided for us or no is 
love. God hath prepared them for them that love him : not for his ene- 
mies. He hath prepared another place, and other things for them ; those 
torments that ' eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor hath entered into the 
heart of man,* for those that are his enemies, that would not come under 
his government ; but these things are prepared ' for those that love him.' 

* For those that love him.' Especially that love is all in all, in the dis- 
position of a holy man. All graces are one in the spring, which is love. 
They are several in the branches, but they are one in the root. 

Thus you have heard the use we are to make of this, that there is a reser- 
vation of a glorious condition for the people of God so great that neither 
' eye hath seen,' &c. 

But who be the parties that God hath prepared these things for ? 

* For them that love him.' 

This is the fourth part, the disposition of the parties for whom, ' for 
them that love him.' 

Quest. 1. Why not for those that God hath elected? Why doth he not 
go to the root of all ? The great things that God hath prepared for those 
that he hath chosen to salvation ? No. Tliat is out of our reach. He 
would not have us to go to heaven, but rather go to our own hearts. We 
must search for our election, not above ourselves, but within ourselves. 

Quest. 2. Why doth he not say, to them that believe in him, because faith 
is the radical grace from uhence the rest spring ? 

Ans. But faith is a hidden grace many times ; and the apostle's scope is to 
point to such a disposition, that every one may know, that is more familiar. 
Sometimes faith is hidden in the root, and it is shewed in the efiect more 
than in itself, in love. A poor Christian that is in the state of grace, that 
saith, ' Oh, I cannot believe,' ask him if he love God. Oh yes ; he loves 
the preaching of the word ; he loves good people and good books, and the like. 
When he cannot discover his faith, he can his love. Therefore the Holy 
Ghost sets it out by the more familiar disposition, by love rather than faith. 

Quest. 3. Why doth he not say, For those that God loves? God's love is 
the cause of our love. 

Ans. Because God's love is manifested more familiarly by our love to him^ ; 
for that is always supposed. Wheresoever there is love to God, and good 
things, there is God's love first. For our love to God is but a reflection of 
that love he bears to us. First, he shines on us, and then the beams of 
our love reflect upon him. Therefore he need not say, whom God loves 



176 A GLANCE OF HEAVEN, 

(though that he the cause of all), but who love God ; and know thereby 
that he loves them. 

Quest. 4. But why for them that love him more than for any other thing ? 

Ans. Because all can love. Therefore he sets down this affection. There 
is no man living, not the poorest lazar'^' in the world, that hath a heart and 
affections, but he can love. He doth not say, that are prepared for this 
great Christian, and that learned Rabbi. No. But for all that love him, 
be they poor or rich, great or small, all those that love him. Therefore he 
sets down that to cut off all excuses. Yea, and all that love him, be they 
never so man}', are sure to have these great things prepared for them. 
God hath ' prepared these things for those that love him.* 

To come therefore to some observations. The first general thing is 
this, that 

Obs. God doth qualify all those in this world, that he hath prepared heaven 
and happiness for in anotlier ivorld. 

The cause of it is his free love. But if you ask me what qualifications 
the persons must have ? They are such as ' love him.' This is not the 
proper cause why, but the qualification of the persons 'for whom these 
things are. There must be an inward disposition and qualification, before 
we come to heaven. All those that hope for heaven without presumption 
must have this qualification, they must be such as ' love him.' 

Why? 

Reasons. The Scripture is plain, (1.) No unclean thing shall enter into 
heaven. No whoremonger, or drunkard, or filthy person. Be not deceived, 
saith the apostle, you think God is merciful, and Christ died, &c., but 
neither such, nor such as you are (and your consciences tell you so) shall 
ever enter into heaven, 1 Cor. vi. 9, seq. We must not think to come 
e cmno in caelum, out of the mire and dirt of sin into heaven. There is no 
such sudden getting into heaven ; but there must be an alteration of our 
dispositions, wrought by the Spirit of God, fitthig us for heaven. 

(2.) Another is, that that I touched before, that heaven and earth differ 
hut in degrees, therefore what is there in perfection must be begun here. 

(3.) Then again, thirdly, it is impossible for a man, if he he not truly 
altered, to desire or ivish heaven as it is holy. He may wish for it under the 
notion of a kingdom, of pleasure, and the like ; but as heaven contains a 
state of perfect hoHness and freedom from sin, he cares not for it. A man 
that is out of relish with heavenly things, and can taste only his base sins, 
whereon his affections are set and exercised, cannot relish heaven itself. 
A common, base sinner, his desires are not there. There must be some 
proportion between the thing desired, and the desire. But here is none. 
He is not for that place, being an unholy wretch. 

Therefore his own heart tells him, I had rather have this pleasure and 
honour that my heart stands to, than to have heaven, while he is in that 
frame of desire. Therefore there is no man that can desire heaven that is not 
disposed aright to heaven before. Beetles love dunghills better than oint- 
ments, and swine love mud better than a garden. They are in their element 
in these things. So take a swinish base creature, he loves to wallow in this 
world. Tell him of heaven : he hath no eyes to see it, no ears to hear it ; 
except he may have that in heaven that his heart stands to (which he shall 
never have), he hath no desire of heaven. Therefore in these and the 
like respects, of necessity there must be a disposition wrought before we 
come there. These things are prepared for those that ' love God.' 
* That is, ' diseased beggar like Lazarus.' — G. 



A GLANCE OF HEAVEN. 177 

Use 1. If tliis be so, let us not feed ourselves ivith vain hopes. There are 
none of us but we desire, at least we pretend that we desire, heaven ; but 
most men conceive it only as a place free from trouble and annoyance ; and 
they are goodly things they hear of, kingdoms, crowns, and the like. But 
except thou have a holy, gracious heart, and desirest heaven that thou 
mayest be free from sin, and to have communion with Christ and his saints, 
to have the image of God, the divine nature perfect in thee, thou art an 
hypocrite, thou earnest a presumptuous conceit of these things ; thy hope 
will delude thee ; it is a false hope. ' Every one that hath this hope 
purgeth himself,' 1 John iii. 3. Eveiy one, he excludes none. Dost thou 
defile thyself, and live in sinful courses, and hast thou this hope ? Thou 
hast a hope, but it is not this hope ; for every one that hath this hope 
purgeth himself. No, no ; however in time of peace, and pleasure, and 
contentment that God follows thee with in this world, thou hast a vain 
hope ; yet in a little trouble, or sickness, &c., thy own conscience will tell 
thee another place is provided for thee, a place of torment, that neither 
' eye hath seen nor ear heard, nor hath entered into the heart of man to 
conceive ' the misery of it. There is not the greatest man living, when he 
is troubled, if he be a sinful man, whose greatness can content him. All 
his honour and friends cannot pacify that poor conscience of his. But 
death, ' the king of fears,' will aflright him. He thinks, I have some 
trouble in this world, but there is worse that remains ; things that he is 
not able to conceive of. Let us not therefore delude ourselves. There is 
nothing will stand out but the new creature, that we find a change wrought 
by the Spirit of God. Then we may without presumption hope for the 
good things which neither ' eye hath seen,' &c. 

Use 2. Again, we see in the second place God's mercy to us ; the quali- 
fication is u-ithin 21s, that ice need not go far to know what our evidence is. 
Satan abuseth many poor Christians. Oh I am not elected, I am not 
the child of God ! Whither goest thou, man ? Dost thou break into 
heaven ? When thou carriest a soul in thy breast, and in that soul the 
affection of love ; how is that set ? Whither is thy love carried, and 
thy delight, and joy, those affections that spring from love ? Thy evidence 
is in thine own heart. Our title is by faith in Christ. His righteousness 
gives us title to heaven. But how knowest thou that thou pretendest a 
just title ? Thou hast the evidence in thy heart. What is the bent of 
thy soul ? Whither is the point of it set ? Which way goeth that ? 
Dost thou love God, and divine things, and delight in them ? Then thou 
mayest assure thyself that those things belong to thee, as verily as the 
Scriptures are the word of God, and God a God of truth. When thou 
findest the love of God in thy heart, that thy heart is taught by his Spirit 
to love him, then surely thou mayest say. Oh blessed be God that hath 
kindled this holy fire in my heart. Now I know that ' neither eye hath 
seen, nor ear heard, nor hath entered into the heart of man, those excellent 
things that are laid up for me.' 

THE END OF THE SECOND SEKMON. 



THE THIRD SERMON. 

Eye hath not seen, &c. — 1 Cor. II. 9. 

Saint Paul, as we heard before, gives a reason in these words, why the 
* princes of this world ' (not only the great men, that ofttimes are not the 

vol,. IV. M 



178 A GLANCE OF HEAVEN. 

greatest clerks,- but the learned men of the world, princes for knowledge), 
why they were ignorant of the mysteries of the gospel. 

Now the fourth is the disposition of those for whom he doth all this ; 
the quality he infuseth into them, they are such as ' love him.' 

1. He hath prejjared them be/ore all eternity. He prepared happiness for 
us before we were ; nay, before the world was. As he prepared for Adam 
a paradise before he was ; he created him, and then brought him into 
paradise : so he prepared for us a kingdom with himself in heaven, a 
blessed estate before we were ; i. e., in election, before the heavens were. 
And then in creation he prepared the blessed place of the happy souls of 
happy persons hereafter, where he himself is. He prepared it for himself, 
and for all those that he means to set his love upon from the beginning to 
the end. 

2. And then, secondly, he prepared them more effectually in time. He 
prepared these things when Christ came in the flesh, and wrought all things 
for us, in whom we have all. Of these things thus prepared he saith, ' Eye 
hath not seen, nor ear heard them,' &c. In what sense it is meant we 
heard before. Now take the whole of the matter; the meaning is, the matters 
of grace, the kingdom of grace, and the kingdom of glory, they are but one. 
For (to add this by the way) the kingdom of heaven in the gospel includes 
three things. 

First, The doctrine of the gospel, the publishing of it. 

And then, secondly, Grace by that doctrine. 

And thirdly. Glory upon grace, the consummation of all. 

So the mysteries of salvation is, first, the doctrine itself. That is the 
first degree of the kingdom. The doctrine itself is a mystery to all those 
that never heard of it ; for what creature could ever conceive how to recon- 
cile justice and mercy, by devising such a way as for God to become man, 
to reconcile God and man together ? That Immanuel, he that is ' God 
with us,' should make God and us one in love, this could be no more 
thought of, than Adam could think of himself to be made a man when he 
was dust of the earth. Could man when he was worse than dust, in a lost, 
damned estate, think of redemption ? It is impossible for a man that 
cannot tell the form and the quintessence, that cannot enter into the depth 
of the flowers, or the grass that he tramples on with his feet, that he should 
have the witf to enter into the deep things of God, that have been con- 
cealed even from the angels themselves till God discover them. I add this 
to illustrate what I said before. Therefore the doctrine itself, till God 
discover it out of his own breast, was concealed to the angels themselves ; 
and since the discovery, they are students in it, and look and pry into it, 
1 Peter i. 12. But where the doctrine is no mystery, but is discovered, 
there the application and spiritual understanding, to those that have not 
the light of the Spirit, is such a thing as ' eye hath not seen nor ear heard.' 
And therefore we must have a new light, a new eye, a new ear, and a new 
heart, before we can apprehend the gospel, though we understand it for 
the literal truth. As for the things of glory, we have no conceit of them 
fully, but by a glimpse and weak apprehension ; as a child conceives of the 
things of a man, by some poor weak resemblances. As St Paul saith, 
* When I was a child I spake as a child, I thought as a child,' 1 Cor. xiii. 
11. So when we are now children, in comparison of that perfect estate we 
shall attain in heaven, we think and speak as children, of these holy and 
heavenly things that shall be accomplished in another world. 

» That is, = ' scholars.' — G. f That is, ' wisdom.'— G. 



A GLANCE OF HEAVBN. 179 

And observe this too, that when we would understand anything of heaven, 
and see anything, say, ' This is not that happiness I look for,' ' I can see 
this, but that is not to be seen,' And when we hear of anything that is 
excellent, ' I can hear this, it is not my happiness.' And when we compre- 
hend anything, * I can comprehend this ;' therefore it is not the happiness 
I look for, but those things that are above my comprehension, that are 
unutterable and inexpressible. 

Moreover, let us be stirred up to think it a base thing for a Christian to 
lose the comfort and assurance he hath of these thinr/s ^ that eye hath not 
seen nor ear heard,* for any earthly thiny whatsoever, "We account it a 
poor thing of Esau to sell his birthright for a mess of pottage, Heb. xii. 16. 
And we all smart for Adam's ill bargain that he made, to sell paradise for 
an apple. And it was a cursed sale that Judas made, that sold Christ 
himself for thirty pieces of silver. Surely it is that that every carnal man 
doth ; and howsoever we cannot lose heaven, yet it should be our endeavour 
to enjoy heaven upon earth, to enjoy the assurance of this condition. 
When we do anything to weaken our assurance, and to weaken our comfort, 
what do we but with Adam lose heaven for an apple, and with Esau part 
with our birthright, as much as the assurance and comfort of it is, for a 
mess of pottage ? Therefore let us account it a base thing to be over-much 
in love with any earthly thing, whereby we may weaken (though we could* 
lose) the comfort and assurance of this happy condition, which is so trans- 
cendent. All wicked men, and indeed all men whether good or bad, as 
far as^they fall into sin, are fools ; the Scripture terms them so.f There is 
none wise indeed but the true Christian, and that Christian that preserves 
the sense, and feeling, and assurance of his happy condition. 

* For those that love him.' 

The disposition of the parties is, they are such as ' love God.' He saith 
not, such as are elected, because that is a thing out of our reach to know ; 
but by going upward, by going backward, to go from our grace to our 
calling, and from thence to election ; nor such as believe, because that is 
less discernible than love ; nor the love of God to us, for that is supposed 
when we love him. Our hearts being cold, they cannot be warm in love to 
him, but his love must warm them first. Love is such an affection as 
commands all other things, therefore he names that above all. And love 
is such a thing as every one may try himself by. If he had named either 
giving or doing of this or that, men might have said, I cannot do it, or I 
cannot part with it, but when he names love, there is none but they may 
love. The point considered was, that 

There must he a qualification of those that heaven is p7-ovided for^ 

They must be such as love God, such as are altered, and changed, and 
sanctified to love him ; because no unclean thing shall enter in thither ; 
because we cannot so much as desire heaven without a change.. We cannot 
have communion there with Christ and those blessed souls without hke- 
ness to them, which must be by a spirit of love ; our natures must be 
altered. Therefore it is a vain presumption for any man to think of heaven 
unless he find his disposition altered. For we may read our eternal con- 
dition in heaven by our disposition upon earth. The apostle Peter saith, 
1 Pet. i. 3, ' Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, that 
hath begotten us to a lively hope of an inheritance immortal and undefiled, 
reserved in heaven.' So that the inheritance in heaven, we are begotten 
to it ; we must be new born ; we must have a new birth before we can 
* Qu. * should not?'— Ed. f Cf. Psalm siv. 1 ; Prov. xviii. 7 ; Luke xii. 20.— G. 



180 A GLANCE OF HEAVEN. 

inherit it ; 'He hath begotten us to an inheritance immortal,' &c. He 
that is not a child may not think of an inheritance. Put case there be 
never so many glorious things in heaven that ' eye hath never seen nor 
ear ever heard,' &c., if our names be not in Christ's will, that we are not 
his, and prove ourselves to be his, by the alteration of our dispositions, what 
are all those good things to us, when our names are not contained there ! 

It is called a hope of life, * a lively hope,' 1 Pet, i. 3 ; because he that 
hath this ' hope purgeth himself.' It makes him vigorous and active in 
good. If his hope of life make him not lively, he hath no hope of life at 
all. Therefore those that will look for heaven (that Satan abuse them not 
by false confidence), let them look whether God have altered their hearts ; 
that the work of grace be wrought in some measure. For God hath not 
ordained these great things for his enemies ; for blasphemers, that take 
God's name in vain ; that run on in courses contrary to his will and word ; 
that live in sins against the light of nature ; do you think he hath provided 
these great matters for them ? He hath another place for them. There- 
fore let us not be abused by our own false hearts to think of such a happy 
condition. Unless we find ourselves changed, unless we be new born, we 
shall never enter into heaven. 

* Lord, Lord,' say they. Christ brings them in pleading so, ' Lord, 
Lord ;' not that they shall say so then, that is not the meaning ; but now 
they cherish such a confidence. Oh we can speak well, and we can pray 
well, ' Lord, Lord.' Oh thou vain, confident person, thy confession and 
profession, ' Lord, Lord,' shall do thee no good. I will not so much as 
own thee; ' Away hence, thou worker of iniquity,' Mat. xxv. 41. Thy 
heart tells thee thou livest in sins against conscience. Away, avaunt, I 
will none of thee. God in mercy to us will have the trial of the truth of 
our evidence in us. The ground of all our salvation is his grace, his free 
favour, and mercy in his own heart ; but we cannot go thither ; he would 
have us to search within ourselves, and there we shall find ' love.' 

' God hath prepared for those that love him.' 

Obs. In particular, therefore, those that God hath provided so excellent 
things for, they are such as lore him. They are such, first of all, that are 
beloved of him ; and shew that they are beloved of him by their love to 
him. Therefore, when the papists meet with such phrases, they think of 
merit. He hath provided heaven for them that love him, and shew their 
love in good works. But we must know that this is not brought in as a 
cause why, but as a qualification of the persons who ; who shall inherit 
heaven, and who shall have these great things. It is idle for them to 
think that these things are prepared for those whom God foresees would 
do such and such good works. It is as if we should think he hath pro- 
vided these happy things for those that are his enemies. For how could 
he look for love from us in a state of corruption, when the best thing in us 
was enmity to him ? Is it not a vain thing to look for light from darkness ? 
to look for love from enmity and hatred ? Therefore how could God fore- 
see anything in us, when he could see nothing but enmity and darkness in 
our dispositions by nature ? 

And then (as we shall see afterward) this love in us it must be with all 
our heart, and soul, and might. It is required and commanded ; and when 
we do all this, we do but what we are bound to do. But they abuse such 
places upon so shallow ground, that indeed it deserves not so much as to 
be mentioned. 

To come then to the point itself, the disposition of those that shall come to 



A GLANCE OF HEAVEN. 181 

heaven then is, they imist he such as love God. Now he names this because 
these two go always together. There goes somewhat of ours together with 
somewhat of God's, to witness to us what God doth. There goes our 
choice of God, with his choosing of us ; our knowing of God, with his 
knowledge of us ; our love to him, with his love to us. Therefore, because 
these are so connexed and knit together, he takes the one for the other ; 
and to make it famiUar to us, he takes that which is most familiar to us, 
our love to him. 

Now he names this above all other affections, because love is the com- 
manding affection of the soul. It is that affection that rules all other 
affections. Hatred, and anger, and joy, and delight, and desire, they all 
spring from love ; and because all duties spring from love both to God and 
man, therefore both tables are included in love. And when the apostle 
would set down the qualifications of those that shall enjoy these things, 
he saith they are for those ' that love him.' Because it stirs up to all duty, 
and adds a sweet qualification to every duty, and makes it acceptable and 
to rehsh with God. It stirs up to do, and qualifies the actions that come 
from love to be accepted. 

All duties to man spring from love to man, and love to man from love 
to God. It is the affection that stirs up the duty, and stirs up the affection 
fit for the duty ; it stirs up to do the thing, and to do all in love. What- 
soever we do to God or man, it must be in love. All that God doth to us 
it is in love. He chooseth us in love, and doth everything in love ; and 
all that we do to God it must be in love. Therefore he names no other 
affection but this, because it is the ground, the first-born affection of the 
soul. Therefore Christ saith it is the great commandment to love God, 
John sv. 12. It is the great commanding commandment, that commands all 
other duties whatsoever; it is the first wheel that turns the whole soul about. 

Again, it is such an affection as cannot be dissembled. A man may paint 
fire, but he cannot paint heat. A man may dissemble actions in religion, 
but he cannot affections. Love is the very best affection of truth. A man 
may counterfeit actions ; but there is none that can love but the child of 
God. ' God hath prepared these things for those that love him.' 

Then again, without this, all that we do is nothing, and we are nothing. 
We are nothing but an empty cymbal. Whatsoever we do is nothing ; all 
is empty without love. ' My son, give me thy heart,' Prov. xxiii. 26 ; that 
is, if thou wilt give me anything, give me thy affections, or else they are 
still-born actions, that have no life in them. If we do anything to God, 
and do it not in love, he regards it not. That is the reason why he men- 
tions love instead of all. It is so sweet an affection, and so easy ; what is 
more easy than to love ? It is comfortable to us to consider that God 
hath made this a qualification of those that he brings to heaven ; they are 
such as ' love him.' 

Qu£st. But why doth he set down any qualification at all, and not say, 
for Christians ? 

Ans. Because profession mmt have expression. When God sets down a 
professor of religion, he sets him down by some character that shall dis- 
cover him to be as he is termed. How dost thou know thou art good ? 
Dost thou love God, or call upon God ? as it is in other places, ' To all 
those that call upon his name,' 1 Cor. i. 2, to let us know that religion 
and holiness is a matter of power. Wouldst thou know what thou art in 
religion ? Dost thou love God, or call upon God ? 

It is not to be tolerated, to be Christians, to profess as Demas, 2 Tim. 



182 A GLANCE OF HEAVEN. 

iv. 10. Oh no ! but they must be such as from the heart-root are good, 
* such as love God.' 

Therefore, dark disputes of election and predestination, at the first espe- 
cially, let them go. How standest thou affected to God and to good things? 
Look to thy heart whether God have taught it to love or no, and to relish 
heavenly things. If he hath, thy state is good. And then thou mayest 
ascend to those great matters of predestination and election. But begin 
not with those, but go first to thine own heart, and then to those deep 
mysteries afterward. If a man love God, he may look back to election, 
and forward to glorification, to the things that ' eye hath not seen nor ear 
heard,' &c. But see first what God hath wrought in thy heart, what affec- 
tion to heavenly things ; and thence from thy affections to go backward to 
election, and forward to glorification, there is no danger in it. 

To come therefore to express more particularly this aflection of love, 
which is the disposition that God requires and works in all those that he 
intends heaven to. Let us search into the nature of this love to God. 
What it is to love we need not be taught, for all men know it well enough. 
It is better known, indeed, by the affection than by discourse. Wliat it 
is to love is known by those that love better than by any books or treatises 
whatsoever, for it is the affection that is in all men. Natural love, it is in 
those that have no grace at all, and civil love in those that are evil men. 
They know what it is to love by reason of that wild fire, that carnal love 
that is in them, that transports them. A man may see the nature of it in 
those as well as in any ; for set aside the extravagant nature of it in such 
kind of persons, we may see the nature of it. Therefore I will not meddle 
with that point ; it is needless. I come therefore to this love of God, to 
shew how this stream of aflection should be carried in the right channel to 
God, the right object of it, who only can make us happy by loving of him. 
Other things, by loving of them, they make us worse, if they be worse than 
ourselves ; for such as we love, such we are. Indeed, our understandings 
make us not good or ill, but our love doth. By loving God and heavenly 
things we become good. Our affections shew what we are in religion.* 

There be four things in this sweet affection in true natural love. 

1. There is an estimation and valuing of some good thing, especially when 
the lore is to a better, ivhen it is not heticeen equals. Now there is a great 
distance between God and us. There is a high esteem in common love ; 
love will not stoop to nothing. There cannot be love maintained but upon 
sight of a supposed excellency ; love will not stoop but where it sees some- 
what worth the valuing. Therefore there is a high esteem of somewhat as 
the spring of it. And that is the reason that we say a man cannot be wise 
and love in earthly things, because love will make a man too much to value 
those things that he that apprehends better would not. 

2. In the second place, tJiere is a desire to he joined to it, that we call the 
desire of union. 

3. In the third place, upon union and joining to it, there is a resting, a 
coniplacencg and contentment in the thing to which we are united, for what is 
happiness itself but fully to enjoy what we love ? When we love upon judg- 
ment and a right esteem, to enjoy, that is happiness and contentment indeed. 

4. In the fourth place, where this true affection is, there is a desire of 
contentment to the party loved, to j^lease him, to approve ourselves to him, to 
dis2)lease him in nothing. Every one knows that these things are in that 
affection by nature. 

* Cf. President Edwards' treatise on ' The Keligious Affections.' — G. 



A GLANCE OF HEAVEN. 183 

Look to carnal self-love, a man may know what it is to love ; the aflfec- 
tion is all one in both. Take a man when he makes himself his idol, as 
till a man love God he loves himself above all, he is the idol and the 
idolater ; he hath a high esteem of himself, and those that do not highly 
esteem him he swells against them. Again, self-love makes a man desire 
to enjoy himself, and to enjoy his content, to procure all things that may 
serve for his contentment. 

Now, when the Spirit of God hath purged our hearts of this carnal 
idolatry of self-love, and self-seeking, and sufficiency, and contentment in 
himself, then a man puts God instead of himself; grace, and the Spirit doth 
so ; and instead of highly esteeming of himself, he esteems highly of God, 
and of Christ, and religion. Then, instead of placing a sufficiency in him- 
self and the things of this life, and resting in them, there is a placing of 
sufficiency in God all-sufficient. And instead of seeking his own will and 
content in all things, mens viihl pro regno, my mind is to me a kingdom,* 
then a man seeks to give contentment to God in all things, and 'to be a 
fool, that he may be wise,' 1 Cor. iii. 18, and to have no will and no 
delight in anything that cannot stand with the pleasure of and obedience 
to God. 

Thus a man, by knowing what his own natural corruption is, he may 
know what his affection is to better things. 

First of all, there must be mi estimation, an esteem of God and Christ ; for 
to avoid misconceit, we take both these to be one : God^^our Father in Christ, 
and Christ. Whatsoever Christ did for us in love, he did it from the love 
of the Father who gave him. And when we speak of the love of God, we 
speak of the love of Christ to us. Therefore there must be a high esteem- 
ing, and valuing, and prizing of God above all things in the world, and of 
his love. 

(1.) Now, this must needs be so; for where grace is, it gives a sanctified 
judgment ; a sanctified judgment values and esteems things as they are. 
Now the judgment, apprehending God and his love to be the best thing to 
make us happy, prizeth it above all : ' Whom have I in heaven but thee ? 
and what have I in earth in comparison of thee ?' Ps. Ixxiii. 25. He prizeth 
God and his love above all things in the world. 

V Now, if we would know if we have this judgment, we may know it by 
our choice. This valuing it is known by choice : for what a man esteems 
and values highly he makes choice of above all things in the world. What 
men make choice of is seen by their courses. We see it in holy Moses, 
Heb. xi. 26, seq. He had a high esteem of the estate of God's people, that 
afflicted people. As afflicted as they were, yet he saw they were God's 
people, in covenant with him, and more regarded of him than all the people 
in the world besides ; and upon his estimation he made a choice : ' he chose 
rather to suffer afflictions with the people of God, than to enjoy the plea- 
sures of sin for a season.' His choice followed his esteem. So if we value 
and esteem God and religion, and love God above all things, we will make 
choice of the Lord. As St Peter saith, John vi. 68, seq., when Christ 
asked them, ' Will ye also forsake me ? ' saith he, ' Lord, whither shall we 
go ? ' We have made choice of thee ; ' whither shall we go ? thou hast the 
words of eternal life.' Let us do that in truth that he for a time failed to 
do, when he said, * Though all forsake thee, yet will not I,' Mat. xxvi. 33. 
If we make this choice of Christ from the truth of our hearts, this shews 
our esteem. 

* This Latin apophthegm forma the burden of Byrd's classic little poem. — G. 



184 A GLANCE OF HEAVEN. 

What is thy choice ? Is it religious ways and religious company ? la 
it the fear of God above all things ? ' One thing have I desired, that I 
may dwell in the house of God for ever, and visit his temple,' Ps. xxvii. 4. 
Hast thou with Mary made choice of the better part '? Dost thou value 
thyself as a member of Christ, and an heir of heaven, as a Christian above 
all conditions in this world (for what a man esteems he values himself by) ? 
Then thou art a true lover, thou hast this love planted in thy heart, because 
thou hast a true esteem. You see Paul accounted ' all dung and dross in 
comparison of the excellent knowledge of Christ,' Philip, iii. 8. Oh that 
we could come to that excellent affection of St Paul, to undervalue all 
things to Christ, and the good things by Christ and religion ! Certainly 
it is universally true, where Christ is loved, and God in Christ, the price 
of all things else fall in the soul. For when we welcome Christ, then fare- 
well all that cannot stand with Christ. 

(2.) Again, our esteem is known by our uilling imrtlng with amjtJiing far 
that that we esteem; as a wise merchant doth sell all for the pearl. Mat. 
xiii. 46. We may know therefore that we esteem G od and his truth ; for 
they go together, God and his truth and religion. We must take God 
with all that he is clothed with, wherein he shews himself unto us. If we 
sell all for the truth of God, and part with all, and deny all for the love 
and obedience of it, it is a sign we have an esteem answerable to his worth, 
and that we love him. 

Those therefore that will part with nothing for God, nor for religion and 
the truth, when they are called to it, do they talk of love to God ? They 
have no esteem, they value not God. If they did esteem him, they would 
sell all for the pearl. Therefore those that halt in religion, that care not 
which way religion and the truth goes, so they may have honour and 
pleasures in this world, where is their esteem of the gospel, and of the 
truth of Christ and of God ? They have no love, because they have no 
estimation. 

(3.) Again, what we esteem highly of ive speak largely of. A man is 
always eloquent in that he esteems. It will put him, to the extent of his 
abilities, to be as eloquent as possible he can be. You never knew a man 
want words for that he prized, to set it out. Therefore when we want 
words to praise God, and to set out the value of the best things, it is an 
argument we have poor esteem of them. All go together, God and the 
things of God. What ! do we talk of loving God, and despise Christians 
and religion ? They are never severed. If a man esteem the best things, 
he will be often speaking of them. If a man set his affections upon a 
thing, it will suggest words at will. Therefore those that are clean out of 
their theme, when they speak of good things, are to seek, Alas ! where is 
the affection of love ? where is esteem ? Esteem it makes a readiness to 
speak. 

(4.) Esteem likewise carries our thoughts. Wouldst thou know what 
thou esteemest highly ? What dost thou think of most and highest ? 
Thou mayest know it by that. We see the first branch, how we may know 
we love God, if we have a high esteem and valuing of God, by these signs. 

Secondly, Where there is true love and affection, there is a desire of union; 
of knitting and coupling with the thing loved. Of necessity it must be so ; 
for love is such a kind of affection, it draws the soul all it can to the thing 
loved. It hath a magnetical force, the force of a loadstone. Every one 
knows what this means. 

This affection of love makes us one with that we love. If a man love 



A GLANCE OF HEAVEN. 185 

the world, lie Is a worldling, a man of the world, because affection breeds 
union. Though a man be never so base in choosing, whatsoever a man 
loves he desires union with it; and being so, he hath his name from that 
he loves. He that loves the world is a worldling, an earthworm. Now, 
if there be the love of God, as in covenant, as a Father in Christ, for so 
we must conceive of God, there will be a desire of fellowship and com- 
munion with him by all means, in the word and sacrament, &c. If a man 
desire strangeness, that he cares not how seldom he receive the sacrament 
or come into God's presence, is here love ? How can love and strangeness 
stand together ? Thou art a strange person from God, and the things of 
God ; thou hast no joy in his presence. Where thou mayest enjoy his 
presence here in holy things in this world, if thou delight not in his pre- 
sence and in union with him, how canst thou say thou lovest him ? 

Can a man say he loves him whose company he cares not for ? Thou 
carest not for God's company. Thou mayest meet him in the word and 
sacraments, and in good company : * Where two or three are gathered 
together, I will be in the midst,' Mat. xviii. 20. Dost thou pretend thou 
lovest God if thou carest not for these ? Thou hast no fellowship in this 
business ; all that relish not heavenly things, they do not love. 

Now, to try whether we have this branch of love, that is, a desire of 
union. Where therefore there is a desire of union with the party loved, 
of uniting to that person (for we speak of persons), there will be a desire 
of communion. 

(1.) A desire of union ivill breed a desire of coynmunion ; that is, there will 
be a course taken to open our minds. If we have a desire of communion 
with God, we will open our souls often to him in prayer, and we will desire 
that he will open himself in speaking to our hearts by his Spirit. And we 
will desire that he will open his mind to us in his word. We will be care- 
ful to hear his word, and so maintain that sweet and heavenly commerce 
between him and our souls by this intercourse of hearing him and speaking 
to him: ' Where two or three are gathered together, I will be in the midst.' 
Therefore those that make no conscience either of hearing the word, or of 
prayer public and private, and of using the glorious liberty that we have in 
Christ, of free access to the throne of grace, that do not use this preroga- 
tive and privilege to cherish that union and communion they ma}^ have 
with God, they love not God and Christ. Strangeness is opposite to love, 
and it dissolves and disunites affections. Therefore when we are strange 
to God, that we can go from one end of the week to the other, and from 
the beginning of the day to the end of it, and not be acquainted with God, 
and not open our souls to him, it is a sign we have no love ; because there 
is no desire of union and communion with him. 

(2.) Again, where we love ice consult and advise, and rest in that advice, 
as CO m in [f from a Jovinff person, especially if he be as wise as loving. So 
in all oxu- consultations, we will go to God and take his counsel ; and 
when we have it, we will account it the counsel of one that is wise and 
loving. 

Those therefore that trust to their own wits, to policy and such like, 
what do they speak of love when they make not use of that covenant that 
is between God and them ? They consult not with him ; they make not 
his word the ' man of their counsel,' Ps. cxix. 24 ;'^they go not to him by 
prayer for advice ; they commit not their ' ways ' to him, as the psalmist 
speaketh, Ps. xxxvii. 5. 

(3.) And this distinguisheth a good Christian from another man : a good 



186 A GLANCE OF HEAVEN. 

Christian he is such a one as acquaints himself with his God, and will not 
lose that intercourse he hath with God for all the world. As Daniel, he would 
not but pray ; they could not get him from it with the hazard of his life, 
Dan. vi. 11. 

(4.) Again, where this desire of union and joining is, there is a desin 
even of death itself, that there may he a fuller union, and a desire of the con- 
summation of all things. Therefore so far as we are afraid of death, and 
tremble at it, so far we want love. When the contract is once made 
between Christ and the soul of a Christian, for him to fear the making up 
of the marriage, when we are now absent from the Lord, to fear the sweet 
eternal communion we shall have in heaven, where we shall have all things 
in greater excellency and abundance, it is from want of faith and love. 
Therefore we should be ashamed of ourselves when we find such thoughts 
rising in our hearts, as they will naturally, to be basely and distrustfully 
afraid of death. St Paul saith, ' I desire to be dissolved, and to be with 
Christ;' that is good, nay, it is much better for me, Philip, i. 23. Nay, it 
is best of all to be with Christ. Therefore, you see, it stirred up his 
desire : ' I desire to be dissolved, and to be with Christ.' ' Come, Lord 
Jesus ; come quickly,' saith the church, Rev. xxii. 20. And the Spirit in 
the spouse stirs up this desire likewise : ' Come ; the Spirit and the 
spouse say. Come,' Rev. xxii. 17. And we should rejoice to think there 
are happier times to come, wherein there will be an eternal meeting together 
that nothing shall dissolve, as the apostle saith, 1 Thes. iv. 17, ' when we 
shall be for ever with the Lord.' Oh those times cheer up the heart of a 
Christian beforehand ! 

Now where these things possess not the soul, how can we say that we 
love God ? In Cant. i. 1 the church begins, ' Let him kiss me with the 
kisses of his mouth.' She desires a familiar communion with Christ in his 
"word and ordinances, ' Let him kiss me,' &c. Let him speak by his Spirit 
to my heart. In this world Christ kisseth his church with the kisses of 
his mouth. But in the latter end of the Canticles, ' Make haste, my 
beloved,' viii. 14, she desires his second coming, thinks it not enough to 
have the kisses of his mouth ; ' Make haste, my beloved, and be as the 
young roes upon the mountains of spices ; ' that is, come hastily from 
heaven, the mountain of spices, and let us meet together, my beloved. 
These things be somewhat strange to our carnal dispositions, but if we 
hope ever to attain to the comfort of what I say, we must labour that our 
hearts may be brought to this excellent condition, to desire the presence of 
Christ. That is the second property of love. 

The third is to rest 2^lecLsed and contented in the thing when ive are joined 
with it; so far as we are joined with it to place our contentment in it. And 
it is in the nature of that aflection to place contentment in the thing we 
desire to have, when we have it once. 

Now we may know this our contentment whether we rest in God or no 
by the inward quiet and peace of the soul in all conditions, when whatso- 
ever our condition be in this world, yet we know we have the light of God's 
countenance, and can rest and be content in it more than worldly men in 
their corn and wine and oil, as David saith, Ps. iv. 7, ' I rejoice more in 
the light of thy countenance, than when they have their corn and wine and 
oil ;' when we can joy and solace ourselves with the assurance of God's 
favour and love in Jesus Christ. 'Being justified by faith, we have peace 
with God,' and rejoice in God, as it is Rom. v. 1 ; we rejoice in God as ours. 
' Therefore those that go to outward contentments, that run out to them 



A GLANCE OF HEAVEN. 187 

as if there were not enough in God and divine things to content their souls, 
but they must be beholding to the devil and to the flesh, this is not to rest 
in God. He is over-covetous whom God cannot content. If we be in 
covenant with him, he is able to fill our soul, and all the corners of it ; he 
is able to satisfy all the delights and desires of it ; he is a gracious Father 
in Christ. Whither should we go from him for contentment ? Why 
should we go out of religion to content ourselves in vain recreations and 
pleasures of sin for a season, when we have abundance in God ? 

And where there is contentment, there will be trusting in him and relying 
upon him. A man will not rely upon riches, or friends, or anything ; for 
where we place our contentment, we place our trust. So far as we love 
God, so far we repose affiance and trust in him ; he will be our rock and 
castle and strength. Wouldst thou know whether thou restest in him or 
no ? In the time of danger, whither doth thy soul run ? To thy purse 
if thou be a rich man ? or to thy friends if thou be a worldly-minded man ? 
Every man hath his castle to fly to. But ' the name of the Lord is a 
strong tower,' Ps. Ixi. 3. He that is a child of God flieth thither for 
refuge, and there he covereth himself, and is safe. He enters into those cham- 
bers of divine providence and goodness, and there he rests in all troubles. 

Therefore ask thy affections whither thou wouldst run if there come a 
confusion of all things. When men are apt to say. Oh what will become 
of us ! and they think of this and that, a good Christian hath God to 
rest in. He hath God reconciled in Christ, and in his love he plants him- 
self in life and death. He makes God his habitation and his castle, as it 
is Ps. xviii. 2, ' I love the Lord dearly, my rock and my fortress.' And 
Moses in Ps. xc. 1, seq. (for his psalm it is), ' Thou hast been our habita- 
tion from everlasting to everlasting.' We dwell in thee. Though in the 
world we are tossed up and down, and live and die, yet we alway dwell 
with thee. So a Christian hath his contentment and his habitation in God ; 
he is his house he dwells in, his rock, his resting-place, his centre in which 
he rests. * Come unto me, and ye shall find rest to your souls,' Mat. xi. 28. 
When a man is beat out of all contentments, he may know by this whether 
he love God or no. As David when he was beat out of all, and they were 
ready to stone him ; but ' he trusted in the Lord his God,' Ps. xxvi. 1, 
et alibi So in losses and crosses hast thou contentment in God, thou 
wilt fetch what thou losest out of the love of God, and what thou art crossed 
in thou wilt fetch out of God's love. Thou wilt say. This and that is taken 
from me, but God is mine ; I can fetch moi'e good by faith from him than 
I can lose in the world. A soul that is acquainted with God, when he 
loseth anything in the world, he can fetch it out of the fountain and spring. 
He is taught to love God ; he is skilful this way to pitch his hope and 
affiance in God, where he hath enough for all crosses. Let us labour to 
bring our souls more and more to this, and then we shall know what it is 
to love God by this placing of our contentment in him. ' Take all from 
me,' saith holy Austin, ' so thou leave me thyself (bj. So a Christian can 
say. Take all from me, so I have God. 

Indeed, where shall a man have comfort in many passages of his life, if 
he find it not in religion ? What will become of a man in this uncertain 
world, if he have not somewhat where he may place his content ? Oh, he 
will find before he die that he is a wretched man. He knows not w.iere 
to find rest and contentment before he dies ; he will be beat out of all his 
holds here either by sickness or one thing or other. 

The fourth and last is, where the true affection of love to God is, it stirs 



188 



A GLANCE OF HEAVEN. 



vp the soul to give all contentment to God, to do all things that may please him. 
This is the nature of love. It stirs up to please the party loved. Isaac's 
sons saw that their father loved venison, therefore they provided venison 
for him, Gen xxv. 28. Those that know what God loves will provide what 
they can that that God may delight in. He loves a humble and a believing 
heart. ' Thou hast wounded me with one of thine eyes,' Cant. iv. 9 — the 
eye of faith, when the soul can trust in the word, and humbly go out of 
itself. His delight is in a broken yielding heart, that hardens not itself 
against his instructions, but yields. A broken heart that lies low, and 
hears all that God saith. Oh ' it is a sacrifice that God is much delighted 
in,' Ps. li. 17, et alibi. A humble spirit is such a spirit as God dwells in, 
' He that dwells in the highest heavens dwells in a humble spirit,' Isa. 
Ivii. 15. Doth God delight in a meek, broken, humble spirit? Oh then 
it will be the desire of a Christian to have such a spirit as God may delight 
in. A meek soul is much esteemed ; * the hidden man of the heart,' 1 Pet. 
iii. 4, is much prized. Search in God's word what he delights in, and let 
us labour to bring ourselves to such a condition as God may delight in us, 
and we in him. And then it is a sign we love him, when we labour to 
procure all things that may give him content. You know that love where 
it is, it stirs up the affections of the party to remove all things that are 
distasteful to the party it loves. Therefore it is a neat * affection ; for it 
will make those neat that otherwise are not so, because it will not offend ; 
much more this divine heavenly affection, when it is set on a right object, 
upon God, it is a neat, cleanly affection. It will purge the soul ; it will 
work upon the soul a desire to be clean as much as can be, because God 
is a pure, holy God, and it will ' have no fellowship with the works of 
darkness,' Eph. v. 11, Therefore as much as human frailty will permit, 
it will study purity, to keep itself ' unspotted of the world,' James i. 27. It 
will not willingly cherish any sin that may offend the Spirit. Those there- 
fore that are careless of their ways and carriage and affections, that 
make nothing of polluting, and defiling their affections and their ways, there 
is not the love of God in their hearts. It stirs up shame to be offensive 
in the eyes of such a one, especially if they be great. There is both love 
and respect met together. Where it is a reverential love with respect, there 
is a shame to be in a base, filthy, displeasing condition. God hates pride 
and idolatry, &c. Therefore a man that loves God will hate idols and all 
false doctrine and worship that tends this way. His heart will rise against 
them, because he knows God hates it, and all that take that course. He 
observes what is most offensive to God, and he will avoid it and seek what 
is pleasing to him. 

God and Christ are wondrously pleased with faith. * Thou hast wounded 
me with one of thine eyes.' Faith, and love from faith, wounds the breast 
of Christ : therefore let us labour for faith. ' woman, great is thy 
faith,' Mat. xv. 28, It is such a grace as binds and overcomes God, it 
honours him so much. Let us therefore labour for faith, and in believing, 
for all graces. They are things that God loves. Therefore let us labour 
to be furnished with all things that he loves. Especially those graces that 
have some excellency set upon them in the Scripture we should most 
esteem. Isaac, when he was to marry Eebecca, he sends her jewels before- 
hand, that having them, she might be more lovely in his eye. Mat. xv. 28. 
So Christ, the husband of his church, that he might take more delight and 
content in his church, he sends her jewels beforehand ; that is, he enricheth 
* That is, = nice, clean, opposed to filthy. Cf. Vol. II. p. 80— G. 



A GLANCE OF HEAVEN. 189 

his cliurcli with the spirit of faith, meekness, humility, and love, and all 
graces, that he may delight and take content in his spouse. Those that 
have not somewhat that God may delight in them, they have not the spmt 
of love. Those, therefore, that rebel instead of giving God content ; that 
resist the Spirit, and the motions of it, in the ministry, and in reprehen- 
sions, and the like : those that live in sins directly against God's command, 
that are common swearers, and filthy persons, neglect ers of holy things, 
profane, godless persons, do they talk of the love of God and of heaven ? 
You may see the filthiness of their hearts by the filthiness that issues from 
them. God keeps not such excellencies for such persons. The love of 
God, and living in sins against conscience, will not stand together. A 
demonstration of love is exhibit io operis, the exhibition of somewhat to 
please God. Shew me in thy course what thou doest to please God. If 
thou live in courses that are condemned, never talk of love. It is a pitiful 
thing to see in the bosom of the church, under the glorious revelation of 
divine truth, that men should live apparently* and impudently in sins 
against conscience, that glory in their shame. It is a strange thing that 
they should glory in their profaneness and swaggering ; that they should 
glory in a kind of atheistical carriage. As they have been bred, so they 
will be still. Many are marred in that ; they are either poisoned in their 
first breeding, or neglected in it. 

To see under the glorious gospel of Christ, that those that think they 
have souls eternal, that they should live in impudent base courses, void of 
religion and humanity, only to satisfy their own lusts, instead of satisfying 
and obeying God ; men that live in the bosom of the church as beasts, and 
yet hope to be saved as well as the best ; Oh, but the hope of the hypo- 
crite, the hope of such persons, will deceive them. 

Oh let us labour therefore to have this affection of love planted in our 
hearts ; that God by his Spirit would teach us to love him, and to love one 
another. This affection of love must be taught by God. It is not a mat- 
ter of the brain to teach that, but a matter of the heart. God only is the 
great schoolmaster and teacher of the heart. He must not only com- 
mand us to love, but teach our affections by his Holy Spirit, to enable our 
affections to love him. 

Where love is in this regard likewise to give content, there will be love 
of all those whom the party we approve ourselves to loves. Is there any 
of Jonathan's posterity, saith David, that I may do good to them for his 
sake ? 2 Sam. ix. 1. The soul that loves God and Christ saith. Is there 
any good people, any that carry the image of God and Christ ? It will 
be sure to love them. It will do good to Jonathan's posterity. Those 
that hate them that carry the image of God and Christ, that their sto- 
mach riseth against good men, how do they ' love him that begets, 
when they love not him that is begotten ?' 1 John v. 1. There cannot be 
the love of God in such a man. Undoubtedly if we love God, we shall 
love his children, and anything that hath God's stamp upon it. We shall 
love his truth and his cause and rehgion, and whatsoever is divine and 
toucheth upon God. We shall love it, because it is his. It is such an 
affection as sets the soul on work to think, Wherein may I give content to 
such a person ? It is full of devices and inventions to please. Therefore 
it thinks. Can I give consent in loving such and such ? As Christ saith, he 
that respects these little ones, it is to me, it is accountable on my part, I 
will see it answered, Matt, xviii. 5. If the love of Christ be in us, we will 
* That is, ' openly.' — G. 



190 A GLANCE OF HEAVEN. 

regard this, because we will think : Christ will regard me for the good I do 
for his sake, and in his name, to this and that party. Thus we see how 
we may try this sweet affection, and not deceive our own souls. 

And therefore, where there is a desire of giving content, there will be a 
zeal against all things ; to remove all things in our places and callings that 
may offend. It will carry us through all difficulties. To please him, it 
will make us willing to sufier. I will please him, by suffering some indig- 
nity for his cause. 1 will do it, that I may engage his affection to me. 
Therefore the disciples gloried in this, when the}' were thought worthy to 
Buffer for Christ's sake. Acts v. 41. Where there is a desire to please 
God, it is so far from being ashamed or afraid to suffer, that it joys in this. 
Oh, now there is occasion given to shew that God respects me more, 
if I, for his sake, stand out in his quarrel, and break through all diffi- 
culties. 

It will make us please him in all things that we are capable, in all things 
that we can do any way in our standings ; as Christ describes it out of 
Moses, to ' love God with all our mind, with all our soul, and with all our 
strength,' Deut. vi. 5. Where love is, it sets all on work to please and 
give content. It sets the mind on work to study. Wherein shall I please 
God ? And it will study God's truth, and not serve him by our own inven- 
tions. We must serve and love God after his mind ; that is, as he hath 
commanded. It will set the wits on work to understand how he will be 
served, and to love him with all our soul, and with all our heart ; that is, 
with the marrow and strength of our affections, with all my strength, be a 
man what he will be. If he be a magistrate, with the strength of his magis- 
tracy ; if he be a minister, with the strength of his ministerial calling. In 
any condition I must love him, with all that that condition enableth me to. 
For it is a commanding affection ; and being so, it commands all within and 
without to give content to the person loved. It commands the wit to 
devise, and the memory to retain, good things. It commands joy and 
delight ; it commands anger to remove hindrances.; and so all outward 
actions, love commands the doing of all things ; it sets all on work. It is 
a most active affection. It is like to fire. It is compared to it. It sets all 
on work, and commands all that man is able to do. Therefore those that 
study not in all their endeavours according to their callings and places, 
according to every thing that God hath entrusted them with, to please God 
and to honour him in their conditions, they love not God. 

What a shame is it, that when God hath given us such a sweet affection 
as love, that he should not have our love again, when we make ourselves 
happy in loving him ? He is happ}'^ in his own love, the Father, Son, and 
Holy Ghost ; but when he intends to make us happy, it is a shame that 
we should not bestow our affections upon him. 

Much might be said to this purpose for the trial of ourselves, whether 
we love God or no. Let us not then forget these things ; for it is the com- 
mand both of the Old and New Testament ; they run both upon love. ' I 
give you a new command,' saith Christ, John sv. 12 ; and yet it is no 
new command, but old and ordinary. But it is commanded now in the 
gospel ; that is, it is renewed by new experiments* of God's love in Christ, 
' that we should love him, as he hath loved us,' John xiii. 34, which is 
wonderfully ; that we should love him, and ' love one another.' And all 
this is in this affection, as we see when the Holy Ghost would set out the 
disposition and qualification of such as those great things are prepared for, 
^ That is, ' experiences' = ' manifestations.' — G. 



A GLANCE OF HEAVEN. 191 

that ' neither eye hath seen, nor ear heard, nor hath entered into the heart 
of man,' he sets it down by this, ' They are for those that love him.'* 

THE END OF THE THIRD SERMON. 



THE FOURTH SERMON. 

As it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor hath entered into the 
heart of man, the things that God hath prepared for them that love him. — 
1 Cor. II. 9. 

That which hath already been said should force us to beg the Spirit of 
God to teach the heart, to teach us the things themselves, the inside of 
them. For a spiritual holy man hath a spiritual knowledge of outward 
things of the creatures ; he sees another manner of thing in the creature 
than other men do. As another man hath a natural knowledge of spiritual 
things, so a holy man hath a spiritual knowledge even of the ordinary works 
of God ; and raiseth and extracts a quintessence out of them, that a worldly 
man cannot see, to glorify God, and to build up his faith in the sense of 
God's favour, &c. This I add by the way to that. 

But the highest performance of this, that there are things provided for 
God's people that ' neither eye hath seen nor ear hath heard,' &c., it is 
reserved for another world. For the promises of the gospel have then their 
fulfilling indeed. These words are true of the state of the gospel here now, 
but they have their accomplishment in heaven. For whatsoever is begun 
here is ended there. Peace begun here is ended there. Joj"- that is begun 
here it shall be ended there. Communion of saints that is begun here it 
shall be ended there. Sanctification that is begun here it shall be ended 
there. So all graces shall be perfect, and all promises performed then. 
That is the time indeed when God shall discover things that ' neither eye 
hath seen nor ear heard,' &c. In the mean time let us learn to believe 
them, and to live by faith in them, that there are such things. 

And God reserves not all for another world, but gives his children a taste 
of those things beforehand to comfort them in their distresses in this world, 
as indeed there is nothing in this world of greater use and comfort to raise 
them, than the beginnings of heaven upon earth, A little peace and joy 
in the Holy Ghost will make a man swallow all the discontents in the 
world. Now God is so far good to us, as that he lets us have some drops 
of these things beforehand to raise up our spirits, that by the taste we may 
know what great things he hath reserved for us. But of these things, and 
the use of them, I spake before. 

We come then to speak of the qualification of the persons. 
\ ' For them that love him.' 

Not that we love God first, and then God prepares these things for us ; 
but God pi'epares them, and acquaints us what he means to do with us, 
and then we love him. A Christian knows before what title he hath in 
Christ to heaven, and then he works. He knows Christ hath wrought 
salvation for him, and then he works out his salvation in a course tending 
to salvation. For there must be working in a course tending to the pos- 

* At close of this sermon is placed ' Finis,' and the 4th follows on a separate pagi- 
nation. Probably it was given to the publisher after the others had been printed, — G. 



192 A GLANCE OF HEA\"EN. 

session of salvation. That Christ hath purchased ; we must not work and 
think by it to merit heaven. We know we have heaven, and those great 
things in the title of Christ, and then we fall on loving and working. There 
is a clean contrary order between us and those mercenaries. They invert 
the order of God ; for, for whom God hath prepared these things, he dis- 
covers them to the eye of faith, and then faith works by love. This I add 
by the way. 

Now he sets down this description of those persons for whom these 
excellent things are prepared, by this affection of love, by this grace of love, 
as being the fittest for that purpose to describe a Christian. Faith is not 
so fit, because it is not so discernible. We may know our love when we 
cannot know our faith. Ofttimes those that are excellent Christians, they 
doubt whether they believe or no ; but ask them whether they love God 
and his truth and children or no ? oh yes ! they do. Now God intending 
to comfort us, sets out such an affection as'^a Christian may best discern ; 
for of all affections we can discern best of our love. But to come to the 
affection itself, there are three things in love. 

There is the affection, passion, grace of love. We speak of the grace here. 

The affection is natural. 

The passion is the excess of the natural affection when it overflows its 
bound. 

Grace is the rectifying of the natural affection, and the elevating and 
raising it up to a higher object than nature can pitch on. The Spirit of 
God turns nature into grace, and works corruption and passion out of 
nature, and elevates and raiseth that which is naturally good, the affection 
of love to be a grace of love. He raiseth it up to love God (which nature 
cannot discover), by spiritualizing of it. He makes it the most excellent 
grace of all. So that while I speak of the love of God, think not that I 
speak of the mere affection, but of the affection that hath a stamp of grace 
upon it. For affections are graces when they are sanctified. And indeed 
all graces (set illumination aside, which is in the understanding) spring 
from this. What is true grace but joy, and love, and delight in the best 
things? And all others spring from love. What do we hate but what is 
opposite to that we love ! And when are we angry, but when that we love 
is opposed and wronged ? Then there is a holy zeal. So that indeed all 
grace is in the affections, and all affections are in this one primitive affec- 
tion, this first-born and bred affection, love. I speak of it then as a special 
grace. Now the way of discerning of it we heard partly before. The way 
to discern of this sanctified affection, this grace, is to know what we esteem, 
for love, it is from an estimation. And likewise, in the second place, 
esteem breeds a desire of union. And desire of union breeds content in 
the thing when we have it. And contentment in the person breeds desire 
of contenting back again. These things I stood on, and will not press 
further. 

Let us examine and try ourselves oft by our affections, how they stand 
biassed and pointed, whether to God and heavenward, or to the world ; for 
we are as we love. For what we love, we, as it were, marry ; and if we 
join our love to baser things, we marry baser things, and so debase our- 
selves. If we join in our affections to things above ourselves, to God, and 
spiritual things, we become spiritual as they are. So that a man stands 
in the world between two goods, somewhat that is better than himself, and 
something that is meaner ; and thereafter as he joins in his affections, 
thereafter he is. For the affection of love to God and to the best things 



A GLANCE OF HEAVEN. 193 

makes him excellent ; and liis aifection to baser things makes him base. 
Let a man be never so base in the world, if his affections be base, he is a 
base person. Therefore we have the more need to try our affections. 
But to answer some cases briefly. 

1. It will be objected, may we not love anything but God and holy 
things ? May we not love the creatures, because it is here specified as a 
note of those, that these things are ' prepared for those that love God ' ? 

Yes. We may love them as we see somewhat of God in them, as every 
creature hath somewhat of God in them. Whereupon God hath the style 
of every creature that hath good in it. He is called a ' Fountain,' a ' Rock,' 
a ' Shield,' evei'y thing that is good, to shew that the creatures every one 
hath somewhat of God. He would not have taken the style of the creature 
else. We may love the creature as it hath somewhat of God in it, a being, 
or comfortable being, or somewhat ; and as it conveys the love of God to 
us, and leads us back again to God. There is no creature but it conveys 
some love, and beams, and excellency of God to us in some kind, and leads 
us to God. So we may love other things. We may love men, and love 
God in them, and love them for God, to bring them to God, to leave a holy 
impression in them, to be like God. There is no question of this. But 
the love of God, that is the spring of all. 

But it will be said by some weak conscience. How shall I know I love 
God, when I love the world and worldly things ? I love my children, and 
other things, perhaps that are not ill ; I fear I love them more than God. 

We must know for this, that when two streams run in one channel they 
run stronger than one stream. When a man loves other good things, 
nature goes with grace. So nature, going with grace, the stream is strong. 
But when a man loves God, and Christ, and heavenly things, there is grace 
only ; nature yields nothing to that. When a man loves his children or 
his intimate friends, &c., nature going with grace, it is no wonder if the 
stream be stronger when two streams run in one. So corruption in ill 
action ofttimes carry the affections strong. As in many of our loves there 
is somewhat natural that is good, yet there is some corruption, as to love 
a man for ill. Here nature and coiTuption is strong, but in supernatural 
things grace goes alone. 

Then again, we must not judge by an indeliberate passion, by what our 
affection is carried suddenly and indeliberately to ; for so we may joy more 
in a sudden thing than in the best things of all, as in the sight of a friend 
there may be a sudden aftection. But the love of God, it is a constant 
stream. It is not a torrent, but a current that runs all our lifetime. There- 
fore those affections to God and heavenly things, in a Christian, they are 
perpetual. They make no great noise, perhaps, but they are perpetual in 
the heart of a Christian. A sudden torrent and passion may transport a 
man, but yet he may have a holy and heavenly heart. I Bpeak this for 
comfort. 

2. Ay, but my love to God is faint and little. 

Well, but it is a heavenly spark, and hath divinity in it. It is from 
heaven, and is growing, and vigorous, and efficacious: and a little heavenly 
love will waste all carnal love at length, it is of so vigorous and constant a 
nature. It is fed still by the Spirit ; and a little that is fed and main- 
tained, that is growing, that hath a blessing in it (as the love of God in the 
hearts of his hath ; for God continually cherisheth his own beginning), that 
little shall never be quenched, but shall overgrow nature at length, and eat 
out corruption, and all contrary love whatsoever. Though for the present 

yOL. IV. N 



194 A GLANCE OF HEAVEN. 

we see corruption overpower and oppress grace, yet the love of God being 
a divine spark, and therefore being more powerful, though it be little, than 
the contrary, it hath a blessing in it to grow, till at length it consume all. 
For love is like fire ; as in other properties so in this, it wastes and con- 
sumes the contrary ; and raiseth up to heaven, and quickens, and enlivens 
the persons, as fire doth. And it makes lightsome dead bodies ; it trans- 
forms them all into fire like itself. So the love of God, by little and little, 
transforms us all to be fiery ; it transforms us to be lovers. These cases 
needed a little touching, to satisfy some that are good and growing Chris- 
tians, and must have some satisfaction. 

3. But it maj' be asked again, as indeed we see it is true, what is the 
reason that sometime meaner Christians have more loving souls than great 
scholars, men of great parts ? One would think that knowledge should 
increase love and afiection ? 

So it doth, if it be a clear knowledge ; but 'great wits and pates* and 
great scholars busy themselves about questions and intricacies, and so they 
are not so much about the affections. A poor Christian ofttimes takes 
those things for granted that they study, and dispute, and canvass, and 
question. There is a heavenly light in his soul that God is my Father in 
Christ, and Christ, God and man, is my Mediator. He takes it for granted, 
and so his affections are not troubled. Whereas the other, having corrup- 
tion answerable to his parts, great wit and gi'eat corruption, he is tangled 
with doubts and arguments. He studies to inform his brain ; the other to 
be heated in his afiections. A poor Christian cares not for cold niceties, 
that heat not the heart and affections ; he takes these for granted if they 
be propounded in the Scripture. Instead of disputing, he believes, and 
loves, and obeys ; and that is the reason that many a poor soul goes to 
heaven with a great deal of joy, when others are tangled and wrapped in 
their own doubts. So much for satisfying of these things. To go on, 
therefore, to give a few directions how to have this heavenly fire kindled in 
ns, to love God, considering such great things are provided for those that 
love God. It is a matter of consequence : as we desire heaven, we must 
desire this holy fire to be kindled in us. 

Let us know for a ground, as it were, that it is our duty to aim at the 
highest pitch of love that we can, and not to rest in the lowest. The 
lowest pitch of loving God, is to love God because he is good to us. That 
is good. The Scriptures stoops so low as to allow that God would have us 
love him and holy things for the benefit we have by them. But that is 
mercenary if we rest there. But God stoops to allure us by promises and 
favours, though we must not rest there. But we must love God, not for 
ourselves, but labour to rise to this pitch, to love ourselves in God, and to 
see that we have happiness in God, and not in ourselves. Our being is in 
him. We must love ourselves in him, and be content to be lost in God ; 
that is, so to love God, that if he should cast us away (his kindness is 
better than life), do others what they will, we will love him, and ourselves 
for his excellencies, and because we see ourselves in him and are his 
children. We must labour to rise to that, and that is the highest pitch 
that we can attain to. We must know that for a ground. 

And know this for another, that when we speak of the love of God, we 

speak of love incorporate into our conversations and actions ; not of an 

abstracted love and affection, but of love in our places, and callings, and 

standings, love invested into action. Therefore the Scripture saith, we 

* Qu. ' parts ' ? If ' pates,' = heads. — G. 



A GLANCE OF HEAVEN. W5 

must love God ' witli all our mind, with all our heart, with alt our power 
and strength,' Deut. vi. 5 ; that is, in our particular places. To make it 
clear. When we speak of love to God, we speak of love to him in our 
particular callings. He loves God that is a magistrate and executes justice 
for God's sake ; and he that is a minister, and teacheth the people con- 
scionahly for God's sake, and shews them the way to heaven. He loves 
God as a man in the commonwealth, a statesman, &c., that in that place 
seeks the glory of God, and the good of the church and religion. Shall 
men talk of love to God, and their affections are stirred up I know not 
whereabout ? No. It is an affection that is discovered in actions. 

How can we love God with all our might, except as far as our might 
extends, our love extends ? How far doth thy activity, thy power, thy 
sphere, that thou canst do anything, stretch ? So far must thy love ; and 
thoii must shew thy love in all the powers and abilities that God hath fur- 
nished thee with. 

For a man that hath great place and opportunity to do good, and to think 
it enough only to lo\-e God in his closet, &c., this is not the love we speak 
of. A man must love God with all his might, as he stands invested in 
relation this way or that way. 

The love of God in a private man will not serve for a magistrate or a 
public man. He must shew his love in his place by standing in the gap, 
to hinder all the ill, and to do all the good he can. Every man must do 
so, but such a one more especiall}^ because God hath trusted him with 
more. Well, these things premised, to come to some directions how to 
come to love God. 

First of all, the way to love God is to have a heavenly light to discover 
what %ve are in ourselves and our emptiness ; for being as we are, we can 
never love God till we see in what need we stand of his favour and grace, 
that we are damned creatures else. 

Now when we come to have our eyes opened to see our sinfulness and 
emptiness, we will make out to God, and make out to his mei'cy in Christ 
above all things. Indeed, the first love is the love of dependence, before 
we come to a love of friendship and complacency with God ; a love to go 
out to him, and to depend upon him for mercy and grace and all. A love 
that riseth from the sense of our misery, and goes to him for supply. 

There is a sweet concurrence of misery and mercy ; of emptiness and 
fulness ; of beggary and riches. 

Now when we see our own misery, and beggary, and sinfulness ; and 
then a fulness in God to supply ; of riches to enrich us every way ; then 
this breeds a love. This is the way to all other loves that follow. And 
where this is not premised, and goes before, a man will never deUght in 
God. In Luke vii. 47 that good woman she loved much. Why ? Much 
was forgiven her ; many sins were forgiven her. 

So when the soul shall see what need it hath af forgiving mercy, of par- 
doning mercy, and how many great debts God hath forgiven us in Christ, 
there will be a great deal of love, because there is a great deal forgiven. 
And we must begin indeed with seeing the infinite mercy of God before any 
other attribute of God, and then we shall love him after. This is the first 
thing. There is no soul that ever loves God so, as the poor soul that hath 
been abased with the sense of sin and its emptiness, that it is empty 
of all goodness ; and then sees a supply in the mercy of God in Christ. 
Those souls love God above all. 

Another way to love God is to consider of his wonderful goodness, to 



196 A GLANCE OF HEAVEN. 

meditate and think of it. He is good and doth good. It is a communi- 
cative goodness. Let us think of his goodness, and the streaming of it out 
to the creature. The whole earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. 
What are all the creatures hut God's goodness ? We can see nothing but 
the goodness of God. What is all the creatures but Deus e.rplicatiis, God 
unfolded to our senses ? He offers himself to our bodies and souls ; all is 
God's goodness. 

And then see this goodness fitted to us. It is a fit goodness that comes 
from God. He is good and doth good, and so fitly he proportions his 
goodness. For he hath fitted every part of us, soul and body, with good- 
ness ; all the senses with goodness. What do we see but goodness in 
colours ? What do we hear but his good, in those delights that come that 
way ? We taste and feel his goodness. Against the cold we have clothing ; 
in hunger we have food ; in all necessities, in all exigencies, we have fit 
considerations of God for all necessities whatsoever outward. 

But then for our souls, what food hath he for that ? The death of 
Christ, his own Son, to feed our souls. The soul is a spiritual substance ; 
and he thought nothing good enough to feed it but his own Son. We feed 
on God's love in giving Christ to death ; and on Christ's love in giving 
himself to death. 

The soul being continually troubled with the guilt of some sin or other, 
it feeds on this ; it is nourished with Christ every day more and more, espe- 
cially at the sacrament. Thus we see how God hath fitted his goodness to 
us. And then in particular dangers how he fits us with several deliverances ; 
so seasonably as we may see God's love in it. 

Then as God's goodness is great and fit, so it' is near us. It is not a 
goodness afar ofl', but God follows us with his goodness in whatsoever con- 
dition we be. He applies himself to us, and he hath taken upon him near 
relations, that he might be near us in goodness. He is a father, and 
everywhere to maintain us. He is a husband, and everywhere to help. 
He is a friend, and everywhere to comfort and counsel. So his love it is a 
near love. Therefore he hath taken upon him the nearest relations, that 
we may never want God and the testimonies of his love. 

And then again this goodness of God, which is the object of love, it is a 
free goodness, merely from himself; and an overflowing goodness, and 
an everlasting goodness. It is never drawn dry ; he loves us unto life 
everlasting. He loves us in this world, and follows us with signs of his 
love in all the parts of us, in body and soul, till he hath brought body and 
soul to heaven to enjoy himself for ever there. These and such like con- 
siderations may serve to stir us up to love God, and direct us how to love 
God. 

Benefits will work upon a beast ; as it is Isaiah i. 2, ' Hear, heavens ; 
and hearken, earth : the ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's 
crib ; but my people have forgotten me.' 

Proud men become baser, and more brute than the very brutes ; benefits 
will move the very brute creatures. So, I say, these favours to us in 
particular should move us, except we will be more brute than the brutes 
themselves. 

Especially to move us all, consider some pai-ticularities of favours to us 
more than to others, for specialties do much increase love and respect. 

Consider how God hath foUonrd thee iiith goodness outwardly, iihen others 
have been neglected. Thou hast a place in the world, and riches, and friends, 
when many other excellent persons want all these. There are some common 



A GLANCE OF HEAMilN. 



197 



favours to all Christians ; as the favour we have in Christ, forgiveness of 
sins, sanctification, and such other favours. But there be some special- 
ties of divine providence, whereby it appears that God's providence hath 
watched over us in some particulars more than others ; those be special 
engagements. And is there any of us that cannot say that God hath dealt 
specially, in giving them some mercy more than to others ? I add this there- 
fore to the rest. 

Again, to help us to stir up this grace of love, consider those examples of 
loving of those that have then lived informer times. Take David, and Paul, 
and other holy men. David wonders at his own love : ' Lord, how do I 
love thy law ! ' Ps. cxix. 97. And have we not more cause comparing the 
grounds of our affection, when we have more than they in those times ? 
What ! did he wonder at his love of God's law, when the canon was so 
short? They had only Moses, and some few books, and we have the 
canon enlarged ; we have both the Old and New Testament, shall not we 
say much more. How do I love thy law, thy gospel, and divine truths ! 
This should shame us, when they in dark times so loved the truth of God, 
and we see all clear and open, and yet are cold. 

Likewise it is good in this case to converse with those that are affectionate. 
As face answereth face, so spirit answers spirit ; as ' iron sharpeneth iron,' 
so one sharpens another, Prov. xxvii. 17. Conversation with cold ones will 
make one cold : ' For the abundance of iniquity, the love of many shall 
wax cold,' Mat. xxiv. 12. Conversing with sinful, cold people casts a 
damp upon us. But let us labour, if we will be wise for our souls, when 
we find any coldness of affection, to converse with those that have sweet 
and heavenly affections. It will marvellously work upon our hearts. 

I might say much this way to stir us up, and direct us how to love God. 

But indeed nothing will so much enable us to love God as a new nature. 
Nature will love without provocation. The fire will burn, because it is 
fire ; and the water will moisten, because it is water ; and a holy man will 
love holy things, because he is holy ; a spiritual soul will love spiritual 
things, because he is spiritual. Therefore, besides all, add this, that our 
natures be changed more and more, that they be sanctified and circumcised 
as God hath promised : ' I will circumcise your hearts, that ye may love 
me,' Deut. xxx. 6. There must be a circumcised heart to love God. We 
must be sanctified to love God ; for if nature be not renewed, there cannot 
be this new commandment of love. Why is love called a new command- 
ment, and an old commandment ? 

It is called old for the letter, because it was a command in Moses' time : 
' Thou shalt love the Lord with all thy soul,' Deut. \i. 5. But now it is 
a new commandment, because there is abundance of spirit given by Christ ; 
and the Spirit sanctifies us and writes this affection in our hearts. It was 
written in stone before, but now is written in our hearts by the Spirit. 
And now there are new incentives and motives to love, since Christ came 
and gave himself for us, new encouragements and provocations to love. 
Therefore it is a new commandment, from new grounds and motions, that 
are more a great deal than before Christ. But there must be a new heart 
to obey this new command of love. The old heart will never Jove. 

Therefore we must, with all the means that may be used, beg the Spirit 
of sanctification especially, beg the discovery of God's love to us, for our 
love is but a reflection of God's love. We cannot love God except he love 
us first. Now, our love being a reflection of God's love, we must desire 
that he would give us his Spirit to reveal his love ; that the Spirit being a 



198 A GLANCE OF HEAVEN. 

witness of God's love to us, may thereupon be a Spirit of love and sancti- 
fication in us. 

And let us labour to grow more in the assurance of God's love, and all 
the evidences of it. Let us dwell long in the meditation of these things. 
The dwelling in the meditation of God's love, it will make us to love him 
again. As many beams in a burning-glass meeting together they cause 
a fire, many thoughts of the many fruits of God's love in this world, and 
what he intends us in the world to eome, our hearts dwelling on them, 
these beams will kindle a holy ni-e in our hearts. 

Many are troubled with cold affections, and wish. Oh that they could 
love ! They forget the way how to love. They will not meditate ; and if 
they do meditate, they think to work love out of their own hearts. They 
may as well work fire out of a flint, and water out of a stone. Our hearts 
are a barren wilderness. Therefore let us beg the Spirit that God would 
alter our hearts, with meditation and all other helps ; that God would 
sanctify us, and discover his love to us, and that he would give us his 
Spirit (for he doth the one where he doth the other). When God doth 
so, then we shall be enabled to love him. We must not think to bring 
love to God, but we must fetch love from God. We must light our candle 
at his fire. Think of his love to us, and beg the Spirit of love from him ; 
love is a fruit of the Spirit. That is the course we ought to take, for God 
will teach our hearts to love. 

Now, to stir us up the more, to add some motives and encouragements to 
labour more to get this afiection. Let us consider seriously that without 
this love of God we are dead ; and v/hatsoever comes from us it is still- 
born, it is dead. Without love we are nothing ; without love all that 
comes from us is nothing ; without love ' I am as a tinkling cymbal,' saith 
Paul, 1 Cor. xiii. 1. For a man to be nothing in religion, and all that 
comes from him to be dead and still-born, to be abortive actions, who 
would be in such a case ? Therefore lei us labour, before we do anything 
that is good, to have our hearts kindled with the love of God, and then we 
shall be somebody, and that that we do will be acceptable ; for love 
sweetens all performances. It is not the action, but the love in the 
action ; as from God it is not the dead favour that comes from him that 
comforts the soul of a Christian, so much as the love and sweetness of God 
in the favour. That is better than the thing itself. When we have favour 
from God in outward favours, consider the sweetness : ' Taste and see how 
gracious the Lord is,' Ps. xxxiv. 8. The taste of the love and favour of 
God in the blessing is better than the thing itself, for it is but a dead 
thing. And so from us back again to God. What are the things we 
perform to him ? They are dead. But when they are sweetened with the 
affection of love, done to him as a father in Christ, he tastes our perform- 
ances as sweet. Love makes all we do to have a relish, and all that he 
doth to us. Therefore we should labour for this sweet affection. 

And withal consider, that we may be called to do many things in this 
world. Surely there are none of us but we have many holy actions to per- 
form. We have many things to sufiier and endure in the world, many 
temptations to resist. What shall or will carry us through all ? Nothing 
but love. If we have loving and gracious hearts, this affection will carry us 
through all good actions, through all oppositions and temptations ; for 
' love is strong as death,' Cant. viii. 6. Consider therefore that there are 
so many things that will require this affection, this blessed wing and wind 
of the soul, to carry us along, in spite of all that is contraiy, through all 



A GLANCE OF HEAVEN. 199 

opposition; let m labour for love, and that affection mil carry us througTi all. 
Indeed, if we have that it is no matter what a man suffers. A man can 
never be miserable that hath this affection of love. If this heavenly fire be 
kindled in him he cannot be miserable ; take him in what condition you 
will, take him upon the rack. St Paul in the dungeon sang at midnight in the 
dungeon, in the stocks, at an uncomfortable time and place. When he had 
been misused, his heart was enlarged to sing to God out of love, Acts xvi. 25. 
Nay, everything increaseth it. The things we suffer increaseth this flame. 
Let a man love God, whatsoever he suffers in a good cause it increaseth his 
love, he shall find his love increased with it. The more he loves the more he 
can suff'er ; and the more he suffers the more he loves God, and the more he 
increaseth in a joyful expectation of the times to come. And love is alway 
with joy, and hope, and other sweet affections. It draws joy with it always, 
and hope of better things ; and as joy increaseth and hope increaseth, so a 
man's happiness increaseth in this world. Therefore it is no matter what 
a man suffers that hath a gracious and loving heart, enlarged by the Spirit 
of God. Let him never think of what he suffereth of pain, of losses and 
crosses, if God discover his fatherly breast, and shine on him in Christ ; 
and he look on God reconciled, and taste of the joys of heaven before- 
hand. If you tell him of sufferings, you tell him of that that encourageth him. 
It is an argument I might be long in, and to great purpose ; for if we get 
this holy fire kindled once, we shall need little exhortation to other duties. 
It would set us on work to all. And like the fire of the sanctuary that 
never went out, so it is such an affection, that if it be once kindled in the 
heart it will never out. It is a kind of miracle in ill when we love other 
things besides God, baser than ourselves ; it is as much as if a river should 
turn backward. For man that is an excellent creature, to be carried with 
the stream of his affection to things worse than himself, it is a kind of 
monster for a man to abuse his understanding so. What a base thing is it 
for a man to suffer such a sweet stream as love, a holy current, to run into 
a sink ? Who would turn a sweet stream into a sink, and not rather into 
a garden ? into a sweet place to refresh that ? Our love is the best thing 
in the world, and who deserves it better than God and Christ ? We can 
never return anything, but this affection of love we may again. And can 
we place it better than upon divine things, whereby we are made better 
ourselves ? Doth God require our affections for himself ? No. It is to 
make us happy. It advanceth our affection to love him ; it is the turning of 
it into the right stream. It is the making of us happy that God requires it. 
For consider all things that may deserve this affection. It will keep us from 
all sin. What is any sin but the abuse of love ? For the crookedness of 
this affection turns us to present things, that is the cause of all sin. For 
what is all sin, but pleasure and honours and profits, the three idols of the 
world ? All sin is about them. And what are all good actions but love 
well placed ? The well ordering of this affection is the well ordering of our 
lives ; and the misplacing of this affection is the cause of all sin. 

And to make us the more careful this way, consider that when we place 
our affections upon anything else, consider the vanity of it. We lose our 
love and the thing and ourselves. For whatsoever else we love, if we love 
not God in it, and love it for God, it will perish and come to nothing ere 
long. The affection perisheth with the thing. We lose our affections and the 
thing ; and lose ourselves too, misplacing of it. These are forcible con- 
siderations with understanding persons. And if we would use our under- 
standing and consideration and meditation, and our souls, as we should, to 



200 A GLANCE OF HEAVEN. 

consider of the grounds and encouragements we have to love God, and thehest 
things whereby we may be dignified above ourselves, it would not be as it is ; 
we should not be so devoid of grace and comfort. It was a miracle that the 
three young men should be in the midst of the furnace, and be there as if 
they were in another j)Iace, no hotter, Dan. iii. 12, 13, seq. And it is a 
miracle that men should be in the midst of all encouragements that we have 
to love God (as there is not the like reasons for anything in the world to 
keep our souls in a perpetual heat of affection to love God — no motives, 
or arguments, or incentives ; all are nothing to the multitude of arguments 
we have to inflame our affections), and yet to be cold in the midst of the 
fire. It is a kind of miracle to have dark understandings and dead afiec- 
tions ; that notwithstanding all the heavenly means we have to keep a 
perpetual flame of love to God, yet to be cold and dark in our souls ; let 
us bewail it and be ashamed of it. 

What do we profess ourselves ? Christians, heirs of heaven; so beloved 
of God as that he gave his own Son to deliver us, being rebels and enemies, 
in so cursed a state as we are all in by nature. Poor creature ! inferior to 
the angels that fell, that he should love man, sinful dust and ashes, so much 
as to give his own Son to free us from so gi'eat misery, and to advance us 
to so great happiness, to set us in ' heavenly places with Christ,' Eph. i. 3, 
and to have perpetual communion with him in heaven; to have such 
encouragements, and to be cold and dead-hearted ; nay, wilfully opposite 
in om- aflections, to be enemies to the goodness of God and grace, having 
such arguments to love God. And yet how many spirits edged by the 
devil oppose all that is good, and will not give way to God's Spirit ? God 
would have them temples, they will be sties. God would marry them ; 
nay, they will be harlots. God would have them happy here, and here- 
after. No ; they will not ; they will have their own lusts and aflections. 

Let us be afraid of these things, as we love our own souls and ourselves ; 
and consider what encouragements we have to love God for which such 
great things are reserved as ' neither eye hath seen, nor ear heard, nor 
hath entered into the heart of man to conceive.' 

Imprimatur; Tho. Wykes. Aug. 1638. 



NOTES. 



(a) P. 15V. — ' The philosopher saith, there is nothing in the understanding but it 
came into the senses before.' The philosopher is of course Aristotle, whose sugges- 
tive fragments of philosophical thinking on mental and moral science have loeen 
systematized by Locke and Bishop Berkeley. The latter observes of him, ' That 
philosopher held that the mind of man was a tabula rasa, and that there were no 
innate ideas.' — Siris, § 308. 

(b) P. 188. — ' Take all from me,' saith holy Austin, ' so thou leave me thyself.' 
One of the memorabilia of the ' Confessions,' and frequent in this Father. G. 



THE EXCELLENCY OF THE GOSPEL ABOVE 
THE LAW. 



THE EXCELLENCY OF THE GOSPEL ABOVE THE LAW. 



NOTE. 

' The Excellency of the Gospel above the Law ' fills a considerable volume, which 
was originally jDublished in 1639, under the supervision of Goodwin and Nye. 
See title-page below.* G. 

* The 
EXCELLENCIE 

OF 

THE GO SPELL 
above the LA W. 
Wherein the Liberty of the 
Sonnes of God is shewed. 
With the Image of their Graces 
here, and Glory hereafter. 
Which affords much Comfort and 
great Incouragement, to all such as Be- 
gin Timely, and Continue Constant- 
ly in the wayes of God. 
By R. Sibbs, D.D. M''. of Eatherin 
Hall, Cambridge, and Preacher 
GrayeS'Inne, London, 
Begun in his life time, and published 
by T[homas] G[oodwin] and P[hilip] N[ye].t 
LONDON 
Printed by Tho. Cotes, and are to be sold by 
lohn Barilet, at his shop, at the Signe of the guilt 
Cup, neere S. Austins gate. 1639. 



t Cf. Vol. ii. p. 3.— G. 



EXCELLENCY OF THE GOSPEL ABOVE 
THE LA¥. 



Now the Lord is that Sjnrit: and where the Sjnnt of the Lord is, there is 
liberty. But ive all, xcith open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the 
Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the 
Spirit of the Lord. — 2 Cor. III. 17, 18. 

The Apostle beginneth this chapter with the commendation of his ministry, 
having been put upon it by their undervaluing of him ; yet so as together 
with himself he commendeth them as his best and only testimonial and 
letters of commendation, ver. 2 ; and so maketh way for himself to fall 
into a more set and large commendation of the glorious gospel itself, whereof 
God ' hath made him so able a minister to them, ver. 6. And because the 
excellency of anything is best commended by comparing and setting by it 
something else that excels in itself, and yet is exceeded by it, therefore he 
carrieth along his commendation of the ministry of the gospel through the 
whole chapter, by comparing it with the law and the ministry of the Old 
Testament. This comparison is made by the apostle. 

First, more briefly, in laying down soine distinct properties and prerogatives 
of the gospel wherein it excelleth the law, ver. 6, as 

(1.) That this was 'the ministry of the New Testament;' that of the 
law of the Old. 

(2.) And ' not of the letter,' as the law was ; ' but of the Spirit.' 

(3.) Nor of death, * for the letter killeth'; but of life, for 'the Spirit 
quickeneth.' 

And then, by inferences drawn from these projje^iies thus briefly summed 
up, the apostle moreJ.argely illustrates the transcendent glory of the gospel, and 
how far it exceedeth tlie glory of the law ; although it be granted the law be 
glorious. As 

[1.] If that which was but a ministration of the letter written and 
engraven in stone was glorious, verse the seventh ; that is, if the literal 
notions and bare knowledge of the law, which (like so many dead words or 
characters) maketh no alteration at all, but leaveth their hearts hard and 
stony, like the tables on which the law was written, which remained stones still ; 
if this was glorious, even the literal knowledge of the law : as it was, both 
in the Jews' own account of themselves and in the judgment of the nations 
amongst whom they lived : ' how shall not the ministration of the Spiiit 



204 



EXCELLENCY OF THE GOSPEL 



be rather glorious ? verse the eighth ; the meaning whereof is largely ex- 
plained in the third verse ; where the Corinthians are said to be an ' epistle 
written not with ink ' (or dead letters), * but with the Spirit of the living 
God ' ; which kind of writing leaveth not the heart a heart of stone, as the 
dead writing of the law did, but changeth it into a ' heart of flesh,' and 
maketh such a thorough alteration in the whole man, as the writing within, 
* in the tables of their hearts,' is * known and read- of all men. So that 
their lives and conversations being answerable to that spiritual and gracious 
writing of Christ in their hearts, they are ' manifestly declared to be the 
epistle of Christ.' And therefore such a ministry as this is, by which the 
Spirit of the living God is received (and not by the law. Gal. iii. 2), which 
is a Spirit of glory, and worketh glorious things both in the hearts and 
lives of men, must needs be ' rather glorious.' 

[2.] Another inference we have in the ninth verse ; ' If the ministration 
of condemnation be glorious ; ' that is, if that word which ' concluded men 
under sin,' Gal. iii. 22, and pronounced the sentence of death upon them, 
' be glorious, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in 
glor}'. For it is more glorious to pardon than to condemn ; to give life, 
than to destroy. It is the glory of a man to pass over an offence, Prov. 
xix. 11., and in God it is called the 'riches of his glory,' Rom. ix. 23. 
' The law, which was made glorious,' in terrifying, condemning, and stop- 
ing the mouths of men, insomuch as they had not a word to say for them- 
selves, 'hath no glory, by reason of the glory' of the gospel ' that excelleth,' 
even in this respect, that it bringeth such a righteousness, as by the merit 
whereof and satisfaction given by it, we are justified and have peace towards 
God, notwithstanding the utmost rigour of the law. 

[3.] The apostle argueth further, ver. 11, 'If that which is done away 
was glorious,' as the old covenant is, which was made old by the coming of 
the new, Heb. viii. 8, and by it removed as a thing grown weak and shaken, 
Heb. xii. 27, ' much more that which remaineth,' which is the new cove- 
nant, which cannot be shaken, but shall remain, and is ' the everlasting 
gospel,' Rev. xiv. 6, ' is more glorious,' as God's last works exceed the 
former, and taketh away the remembrance of them in comparison. As 
when he createth ' new heavens and a new earth,' the former shall not be 
remembered nor come into mind, Isa. Ixv. 17. 

[4.] There is another excellency of the gospel above the law, which the 
apostle addeth, and insisteth upon it more largely than upon all the rest, and 
that is, the comfortable plainness and perspicuity of the doctrine and ministry 
of it: verse the 12th, ' Seeing we have such hope, we use great plainness of 
speech.' In which it excelled the ministry of Moses, which was in much 
difficulty and obscurity, and that in a threefold respect, laid down in the 
13th, 14th, and 15th verses. 

(1.) The matter of it teas terrible, tending to the shame, confusion of face, 
and condemnation of the hearers ; insomuch as they were not able to stand 
before him, nor stedfastly to behold his face, it was such a dazzling and 
amazing light that shined in his ministry. 

(2.) The manner of delivery teas in obscure and dark expressions, that ' the 
children of Israel could not see to the end of that which is abolished ; ' that 
is, they could not see the drift and scope of his ministry, by reason of the 
types and shadows, which was ' the veil he put upon his face.' 

(3.) Their minds were blinded. There was ' a veil upon their hearts,' 
which is evident by experience in the Jews at this day, who so cleave in 
their affection to Moses, and to the shadows and ceremonies of his ministry, 



ABOVE THE LAW. 205 

that they reject the scope and end of it, which is Jesus Christ crucified. 
And they can do no other. For although the veil that was upon Moses's 
face be removed, as it is by the doctrine of the gospel, which sheweth us 
in all possible plainness what the drift and meaning of Moses was in all 
those types and ceremonies, yet until the gospel in the spirit and efficacy 
of it Cometh home to their hearts, and taketh off ' the veil that is upon 
their hearts ' also ; that is, until their natural blindness and obstinacy be 
taken away, which cannot be, but is rather increased, by the law — ' For 
although Moses be read, yet until this day remaineth the same veil untaken 
away,' 2 Cor. iii. 14 — the Jews will unavoidably abide in their ignorance 
and bondage. 

Now, in opposition to this darkness and obscurity of the law in all those 
respects, the apostle exalteth the gospel in this high and excellent privilege 
of it, that it is plain, and evident, and full of demonstration, and that the 
light of it is not terrifying and amazing, but sweet and comfortable. So 
that we may with much liberty and boldness of spirit look constantly upon 
the great and glorious things set before us in it, although it be no other but 
the gloiy of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

[5. J And there is, moreover, such an efficacy and working power in this 
ministry of the gospel, as it will not suffer men to remain the same without 
alteration, as they did under Moses's ministry, though he was read daily, 
but it will ' change ' them even ' into the image of Jesus Christ, and carry 
them on still in that image and likeness, from one degree of glory to 
another,' after a most admirable and spiritual manner of working. 
a This special excellency and prerogative of the gospel is laid down in the 
two last verses of this chapter, which are the words upon which we shall 
more largely insist in the following discourse. 

Verse 17. 'Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord 
is, there is liberty.' 

' The Lord is that Spii-it ' that takes away the veil that is spoken of 
before. 

He sets down what Christ is by what he doth ; Christ is ' that Spirit,' 
because he gives the Spirit. 

And then a sweet effect of the Spirit of Christ, ' Where the Spirit of 
Christ is, there is liberty.' 

The Spirit here is not taken for the person of God, as if the Holy Ghost 
had said, ' The Lord is a Spirit,' and not a bodily thing, though that be a 
truth. 

And as it is not meant naturally,* so not personally, ' Christ is that 
Spirit,' as if Christ were the Holy Ghost. That were a confusion of per- 
sons. Nor as restrained to the third person. The Holy Ghost is the 
Spirit. Neither, as some heretofore would have it, to shew that the Spirit 
is Jehovah, God. It is neither to shew that Christ is God, nor that the 
Spirit is God, nor that Christ is the Holy Ghost. But it is meant in regard 
of a special dispensation. ' The Lord is that Spirit ; ' that is, the Lord 
Jesus Christ, who is the Lord of his church by marriage, office, &c., 'is 
that Spirit ; ' that is, he 

(1.) Hath the Spirit in himself eminently ; and 

(2.) Dispenseth and giveth the Spirit unto others ; all receiving the 
Spirit from him as the common root and fountain of all spiritual gifts. 

First, He was 'that Spirit,' as having the Holy Ghost in himself as mav. 
The Holy Ghost filled the human nature and made it spiritual. "The Spirit 
* That is, as speaking of the nature of Go J, or of the Holy Spirit, the third person. — G. 



206 EXCELLENCY OF THE GOSPEL 

is all in all in the human nature of Christ ; and whatsoever he doth, he 
doth, as it were, being full of the Spirit, in himself. He gives the Spirit 
as God, and receives it as man. So he both gives and receives. The 
Spirit proceedeth from the Father and the Son as God, but the Spirit 
sanctified Christ as man, as it did in the virgin's womb. The Holy Ghost 
sanctified that blessed mass of his body. It sanctified him, and filled him 
with all graces and gifts ; whereupon it is said, ' He received the Spirit 
without measure,' John iii. 34 ; that is, in abundance. Christ hath the 
Spirit in himself in a more eminent excellent manner than all others ; and 
it must needs be so for these reasons : 

(1.) From the near union between the human nature and the divine. They 
are one person. Therefore there is more Spirit in Christ than in all crea- 
tures put them together ; than in all the angels, and all men, because the 
divine nature is nearer to Christ than it is to the angels or to any creature. 

(2.) Christ hath the Spirit without measure, both in regard of extension 
and intension, as we say. He hath all graces in all degrees, even next to 
an infinite. All others have it in their measure and proportion, j 

(3.) The Spirit doth rest upon Christ invariably. In other men that have 
the Spirit, it ebbs and flows ; it is sometimes more and sometimes less. 
There be spiritual desertions, not only in regard of comfort, but in regard 
of grace, though not totally. But the Spirit rests on Christ eternally in a 
full measure ; and therefore you have it thus in Isa. xi. 2, ' The Spirit 
of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, 
the Spirit of counsel and might,' &c. 

(4.) By reason of his place or offices in relation to the church, as head, 
husband, king, priest, prophet, &c. The head is made by nature the seat 
of the more noble faculties, as of seeing, hearing, understanding, judging, 
and is furnished accordingly with greater plenty of spirits for the ruling and 
governing the whole body. So Christ is the Head of the church, and the 
government of all the world is laid upon him, and all excellencies are 
derived from him unto all his members, as from the root life is derived- unto 
all the branches. And therefore he must needs have the Spirit in greatest 
abundance. His fulness of the Spirit is as the fulness of the fountain ; ours 
is but as the fulness of the cistern. He hath grace in the spring ; we have 
it but in the conduit. His graces are primitive ; ours derivative. We 
have nothing but what we have received. Therefore it is said, * He hath 
the oil of gladness poured upon him above his fellows,' Ps. xlv. 7. 

He hath his name from anointing, ' Christ. 'f He was anointed; that 
is, separated and ordained to the office of mediatorship, by anointing, not 
properly, J that is, with any material oil, but with the Spirit. This was in 
regard of his human nature only, but it was above his fellows ; that is, 
above all kings and priests, for they are his fellows in regard of titles. He 
was above them all, for all have their anointing from him. Therefore he 
is the King of kings, and the Prophet of prophets, &c. Also above all his 
fellows. As we take his fellows for Christians, they are his fellows ; ' I 
go to my God and your God,' &c., John xx. 17. He is the 'first-born' 
amongst them, and in all things he hath the pre-eminence. 

(5.) He is to be as the imttern, we are to follow him. We are 'predesti- 
nated to be conformed to him,' Rom. viii. 29, and to grow up to that ful- 
ness which is in him. And in this respect there is cause why he should 
have the Spirit and all the graces of it in greater abundance, that he might 

* That is, communicated. — G. f That is, X^isrog (xi'^) anointed. — G. 

X That is, = literally.— G. 



ABOVE THE LAW. 207 

exceed all, even Christians of greatest growth and perfection. He is to be a 
pattern and example to all : to the strongest as well as to the weak. Even 
Paul himself, who was a leader to others, for the excellency of the grace of 
Christ that was in him, was yet a follower of Christ. ' Be you followers of 
me, as I am of Christ,' 1 Cor. iv. 16. 

Quest. When did this fulness of the Spirit come upon Christ ? When 
had he it ? 

Ans. 1. There was a fulness of the Spirit poured out upon Christ in the 
union of the human nature with the divine. Union and unction went to- 
gether. There was anointing of the Spirit, together with the union of the 
Spirit. 

Am. 2. There was a more full manifestation of the Spirit ?n his baptism. 
When the Holy Ghost fell on him in the shape of a dove, then he received 
the Spirit. He was to enter into the ministry of the gospel. ' The Spirit 
of the Lord God was upon him,' because he had anointed him to preach 
good tidings unto the meek, &c., Isa. Ixi. 1. 

Ans. 3. But the fullest degree of declaration and manifestation of the 
Spirit upon Christ was after his resurrection ; after he had satisfied fully for 
our salvation. Then the stop of his glory was taken away. For to work 
our salvation, there was a keeping back of the glory of Christ from his 
human nature, that he might be abased to suffer for us. When he had 
fully suffered for us, that stay of his glory, his abasement, was taken away, 
and then nothing appeared but all glory and Spirit in Christ. All things 
were put under his feet, and he was set upon his throne as a glorious king. 
His priestly office appeared in his death, his prophetical office before his 
death. But then he appeared to be King and Lord of all in the resurrection. 
Thus we see how Christ is that Spirit ; that is, he is full of the Spirit in 
regard of himself. 

Secondly, He is 'that Spirit' in regard of his dis})ensations toirards his 
church and children. ' The Lord is that Spirit ;' that is, [1.] of all truths, 
and [2.] of all persons, to give life and quickening to them. 

(1.) First, of truths. What is the scope of the whole Scriptures but 
Christ ? from the first promise of the blessed seed, ' The seed of the woman 
shall break the serpent's head,' Gen. iii. 15, to the end of the book. What 
is all the Scriptures without Christ ? The law is a dead letter ; yea, and 
so is the gospel too without Christ. He is ' that Spirit ' which gives life 
unto all the Scriptures. Moses without Christ is but a shadow without a 
body, or a body without a soul. Take away Clnist, what was the brazen 
serpent ? What was the ark ? What were the sacrifices ? "What is all ? 
Is not Christ ' all in all' these ? The kings, and priests, and prophets, 
they were types of Christ ; all the promises they w^ere made and fulfilled 
in Christ. The law ceremonial aimed at Christ ; the law moral is to drive 
us to Christ. Christ is the Spirit of all. And the Scripture without Christ 
it is but a mere dead thing ; it is but a shell without a kernel, as it is to 
the Jews at this day. 

(2.) Christ is ' that Spirit,' in regard of persons, quickening them. He 
is a universal principle of spiritual life, infusing it into all his church and 
children. Christ is always with his church from the beginning of the world, 
and will be to the end. It was no loss to the church that Christ in his 
bodily presence left it, for he left them ' the Comforter,' his Spirit, by which 
he wrought greater works after his ascension than he did before. He is 
' anointed with the oil of gladness,' and grace * above his fellows,' Ps. xlv. 
7, but all was for his fellows. Whatsoever he is, or hath, all is for his 



208 EXCELLENCY OF THE GOSPEL 

church and children. * For us ' he was born, ' for us' he was given. He 
is a King, a Priest, a Prophet for us. He died for us, he rose again for us. 

And he doth all he doth towards the church, as he hath the Spirit, and 
by the Spirit. The Father is the first in the Trinity, ^ from whom' all 
comes ; and the Son, ' hij whom' all things are ; but the Holy Ghost is 
the immediate worker of all things, next the creature. All things are 
applied /ro»t God the Father, throur/h the Son, bij the Spirit. What Christ 
wrought, and what the Father in wisdom devised, was applied by the Spirit ; 
and so the framing of us to be fit for such a glorious condition as we have 
by Christ, is also by the Spirit. And this is the reason why Christ giveth 
the Spirit to those to whom he purposeth to give faith or love, or to work 
any gracious work. 

For where Christ saveth, he doth it not only by merit and satisfying the 
wrath of God for us, but also by sanctifying and efiectual working in us, 
that he might be a perfect Saviour. Now the essential vigour and operative 
principle in all things, either wrought by or from the Father or the Son, 
is the Spirit. As in man there is his will from which he resolveth and 
purposeth, there is wisdom and understanding by which he proceedeth, 
and then there is a vigorous power in man by which he executeth and doth 
all. So is it in this working of God. The Father plotteth* and determineth 
of what is to be done ; the Son, ' who is the wisdom of the Father,' 1 Cor. 
i. 24, dispenseth what the Father willeth ; the Holy Spirit, the power of 
both, finisheth and worketh all upon us, and therefore he is called the 
' power of the highest,' Luke i. 35. 

Whatsoever works come from God to the creature in general, and are 
wrought in the world, as works of creation and providence, are immediately 
by the Holy Spirit nakedly considered, as the third person coming from the 
Father and the Son. And in those special works, wrought in his church 
and on his children, all things cometh from the Holy Ghost, but not simply 
considered as the third person, but as he is ' the Spirit of Christ ; ' that 
is, first sanctifying and filling the human nature of Christ, and then sancti- 
fying and filling us. Christ could not give the Holy Ghost immediately 
to us, we being in enmity with God, and separated from him through our 
sins ; but he must first take it to himself, who having by his death and 
sufferings reconciled us to his Father, and purchased the Spirit /or us, may 
now dispense and give forth his Spirit to us. 

If we had stood in Adam, we should not have received grace so as now 
we do ; for we should have received it from the first Adam but as from a 
man. Now we receive it not from mere man, but, which is much more, 
from the ' second Adam,' who is God-man. Nay, Adam himself received 
not his grace after so glorious a manner as we do, for he received it from 
the Spirit nakedly considered as the third person in the Trinity, and as all 
other creatures received their excellencies. But we receive it from the 
Holy Spirit, which doth not only proceed from the Father and the Son, 
but cometh, as it were, through our own nature, which was marvellously 
united to God the Son, and made one with him, unto us, and worketh in us. 

' The first Adam was a living soul, the last Adam was a quickening 
Spirit,' 1 Cor. xv. 45. He quickened himself when he was dead, and he 
quickens all his members too. First, he receives the Spirit himself, and 
the same Spirit that filled and sanctified his human nature, the same Spirit 
sanctifieth his church, which he ' loves even as himself.' As he loveth that 
his own human nature, which the Holy Ghost sanctified, so doth he love 
* That is, ' deviseth.'— G. 



ABOVE THE LAW. 209 

his own mystical body, his church, being mystically united, to him, and 
eanctifieth it by the same Spirit. 

Christ dispenseth his Spirit unto us, as head of his church, and this he 
doth in divers respects. 

(1.) As he is God, by way of immediate influence. He poureth it out 
upon us as the prime and principal cause. And this he doth as God, not 
as man, for the manhood cannot work above itself, it cannot do the work 
of God, it cannot work grace or give the Spirit. 

(2.) As he is man, considered as joined together with the Godhead, by 
vraj of vierit and satisfaction. He procureth the Spirit to be given and 
poured out, which is done by the Father and the Son on all those who are 
beloved in the Son. So that the Spirit is given by Christ, with the Father, 
as Mediator, meritoriously. For he by suffering and satisfying procured 
the gift. Christ himself is the first gift, yea, the greatest that ever was 
given, the giving of Christ to die, to satisfy the wrath of God, and to obtain 
eternal life. Next to that main gift is the gift of the Spirit, in which is 
the seed of all gifts and gi-aces ; and this we have by his merit and media- 
torship. Yet this we must likewise remember, that although Christ be 
said to give the Spirit, as he doth, yet the Holy Spirit giveth itself too. 
For there is such a unity in the Trinity of consent and nature, that though 
the Father and the Son send the Spirit, jet the Spirit comes of his own 
self. Though the Father and the Son give the Spirit, yet the Spirit giveth 
himself. 

(3.) We have the Spirit from Christ not only by way of merit, but in 
some kind by way of exawj^le. He is the exemplary cause of all graces in 
us ; looking to whom, we are transformed, as we shall see afterwards, 
' from glory to glory.' For when we consider that Christ hath done so 
much for us as to save us, and redeem us, and die for us, this begetteth a 
love in us to Christ, and makes us often to think of him, and desirous to 
imitate him, as we usually do such as we love and highly esteem of. 

The dispensation of the Spirit is in most abundance after the resurrection 
of Christ. As he appeared in himself then to be most spiritual and glorious 
after he rose again ; so then being as the sun in its full height and perfect 
beauty, casteth his beams most plentifully abroad, and that for these 
reasons, 

[1.] Because then he having finished the work of redemption and satisfied 
the wrath of God fully, and given contentment to divine justice, and 
accomplished all by his death, there was nothinr/ to hinder the blessed gft 
of the Spirit. It is said that ' before, the Holy Ghost was not given, 
because Christ was not glorified,' John vii. 39. The gift of the Holy Ghost 
especially depends upon the glorifying of Christ. When he had fulfilled the 
work of redemption, and was raised to glory, God being paciSed gave the 
Holy Ghost as a gift of his favour. 

[2. J Then again after his resurrection and ascension, he did give the 
Holy Ghost more abundantly than before to his church, because noiv lie is 
in heaven, and hath the advantage of the place, being exalted on high. As 
that glorious creature the sun, by the advantage it hath being placed in the 
heavens above us, is able to shine upon the greatest part of the earth at all 
times ; and we need not call the sun down from its place to come into our 
houses, or fields, or gardens. No. Where it is seated in its proper place 
or orb, it hath the best opportunity, in most abundance and largest extent, 
to send down heat and light and influence to inferior things. So Christ 
doth his church more good now he is in heaven, from whence he sends the 

VOL. IV. o 



210 EXCELLENCY OF THE GOSPEL 

Spirit, than he could do if he were helow ; because though his human 
nature be confined in heaven, his person is everywhere. And being 
' ascended now far above all heavens,' he giveth gifts more liberally and 
plentifully, insomuch as he filleth all things, Eph. iv. 10. He enlargeth 
the tents of his gospel, and hath taken in a greater people to himself. We 
see in winter, when the sun is low and near the earth, all things are dead 
and cold ; but when the sun in the spring cometh to overtop us, to be in a 
higher point above us, we see how all things put a new garment upon them. 
There is a new vigour and freshness in them. So there was more abundant 
vigom' of the Spirit when Christ came in the flesh ; his virtue appeared much 
more every way than before. But when this blessed Son of righteousness 
was advanced, and seated at the right hand of his Father, where his nature 
was perfectly enriched, and perfectly adorned with all kind of graces what- 
soever in the highest glory of them, his influence of light and heat now 
beginning to be increased, and the efficacy and working of it to be felt 
everywhere, the glorious beams of the sun began to be scattered, and the 
light of the gospel to shine to a greater number of people. Now there was 
no respect of persons, whether Jew or Gentile, bond or free, male or female, 
all was one. The commission was enlarged to all, Mark xvi. 15, ' Go 
preach the gospel to every creature ;' and with the word the Spirit went, 
and was received ; and those that were ' added to the church,' even such as 
* should be saved,' were many thousands, Acts ii. 47. 

Thus have we opened the meaning of the words, and shewed ' how Christ 
is that Spirit,' both in respect of the Spirit's being eminently in him, and 
his giving of it, and spiritual gifts by it. All the vigour and life and influ- 
ence we have that is spiritual and supernatural, and above the ordinary 
course, is from the Spirit ; and whatsoever the Spirit hath, or doth for us, 
is done as sent from Christ, in whom the Spirit is in all fulness. Now we 
shall shew how many ways the consideration of these truths will be pro- 
fitable and useful to us in the course of our lives, and for the comfort of our 
spirits. 

Use 1. Christ is the Spirit of the Scriptures, of all truths, of all ordi- 
nances. We may by this be able to reconcile the Scriptures, one place with 
another, where they seem to contradict. The law is said to be 'a dead letter,' 
a ' ministration of condemnation,' &c., 2 Cor. iii. 6, seq. ; but in the 19th 
Psalm there it is said, ' The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul,' 
&c., Ps. xix. 7. These places are thus reconciled. The law is said to be 
dead, so it is without Christ, without the Spirit which quickeneth ; and so 
is the gospel too, even ' a savour of death,' 2 Cor. ii. 15. And so are the 
sacraments also as well as the word, dead ordinances if Christ be not in 
them. The law is said to be 'perfect,' and ' to convert the soul.' So it 
doth, when the Spirit goeth along with it, as it did ordinarily before Christ 
came in the flesh, as in David's time. But after Christ was come, who was 
the substance of those shadows, they became ' beggarly rudiments,' as in 
Paul's time. Gal. iv. 9. And the Spirit did not work with them, but with 
the gospel, ' the hearing of faith,' Gal. iii. 2. 

Use 2. And we may understand likewise from hence what the reason is 
that an ordinance at one time differeth so much from itself at another time in 
respect of the life and comfort of it, as we often find even in our own 
experience ; as also why the same ordinance (be it word, or sacrament, &c.) 
at the same time is profitable to one, and another hath no benefit at all from 
it. This is from the presence or absence of Christ, who is ' that Spirit.* 
What is the reason that wine, or aqua vita;, doth more refresh and 



ABOVE THE LAW. 211 

strengthen than common water ? It is of the same substance, of the same 
colour that other water is. But there is more spirit in it. All things 
work answerable to the spirits that is in them. So what is the reason that 
the reading or hearing of the same thing affecteth one, and not another at 
all ? The substance of the thing is the same, but the Spirit is not the 
same. The Spirit goeth with the one, and not with the other. We grant 
that our negligence in preparation and attention, our pride and earthly- 
mindedness, our want of faith to mingle with the word : these, or the like, 
may be causes why we are many times sent empty away ; yet this still must 
be observed as a most evident truth, that all the efficacy and fruit of any 
ordinance dependeth upon Christ's being present in it, who is ' that Spirit ' 
that quickeneth. The most powerful means that ever was ordained for our 
good will be dead and heartless if he be not there by his Spirit to put life 
into it. It may seem strange what John saith, chap. vi. ver. 63, ' The 
flesh profiteth nothing.' ' The flesh of Christ,' our nature which Christ 
took, and in which so much was wrought for us, which is the greatest ordi- 
nance of all, yet this flesh ' profiteth not,' nor will there be any benefit of 
it, if it be not applied to us spiritually. For it is not the flesh simply 
considered, but as by it and with it we receive the Spirit of Christ, which 
Spirit quickeneth and maketh the flesh of Chi'ist ' meat indeed,' As it is 
with the flesh of Christ, so with all other ordinances. The Scriptures 
profit nothing, preaching profiteth nothing, the sacraments will profit 
nothing ; there is none of these will be ' meat indeed,' unless the Spirit of 
Christ quicken them. 

Therefore we ought to join with all the ordinances of God, a desire that 
Christ would join his Spirit, and make them effectual. We ought to come 
to the ordinances in a dependence upon Christ for a blessings upon them, 
and for his presence in them, who is the life and scope of all ; and then 
we should not find such dulness and deadness in them. It is the sin of 
this age, this formality. It is the sin of those that have any thing in them. 
Set desperate drunkards and roarers and such wretches aside, as plainly 
discover themselves to be acted by the spirit of the devil. Take them that 
conform themselves in any fashion to religion, the killing sin that they lie 
under is this same dead formality. They will hear a sermon now and 
then, look on a book, and it may be pray morning and evening, but never 
look up to the living and quickening Spirit Jesus Christ. So that all they 
do is dead and loathsome, like salt that hath no savour. What is the best 
liquor if it hath lost its life and spirit, but flat and unsavoury : and blood 
when the spirits are out of it, what is it but loathsome gore ! So are all 
their performances, even like sacrifices that had no fire in them. The Lord 
loathed such sacrifices as he did Cain's ; and so he doth all our flat and 
lifeless services, yea and our persons too, being as Jude saith, * fleshly, and 
not having the Spirit,' ver, 19, 

Use 3. What need is there that tve sJiouhl sanctify all ice take in hand hrj 
prayer ! When we go to hear a sermon, when we take up the Bible to read 
a chapter alone by ourselves, or in our families, we should lift up our eyes 
and hearts and voices to heaven ; we should say to Christ, Lord, join thy 
Spirit, be present with us ; without thee thy word is dead, our hearts are 
dead, and will harden under the means, and darken in the light, and we 
shall fall under the heavy condemnation of these secure and formal times, 
if thou leavest us. 

Use 4. Christ is said to be that Spirit, to send the Spirit as God, and to 
receive it as man, in fulness, and that for our sakes. It is a point of much 



212 EXCELLENCY OF THE GOSPEL 

comfort, that there is such abundance of Spirit in our nature in Christ, and 
for the behalf of the church, that we have a fulness to receive of. It was 
a comfort to Joseph's brethren, and that family, that Joseph was full of 
honour, and rules the second in the kingdom. Therefore they should want 
nothing that was good in Egypt. Is it not a comfort for Christians to 
know that Christ is the Spirit, that he hath the Spirit to give, the Spirit of 
wisdom in all straits, the Spirit of truth to keep us from all errors, the 
Spirit of strength for all services, the Spirit of comfort for all afflictions ? 
He that is their Lord hath abundance of Spirit in him, and for them. 
Therefore, when we want any grace, or gift of the Spirit, we should go to 
Christ ; for God doth all by Christ. Christ doth all by the Spirit. Desire 
Christ that he would vouchsafe his Spirit to rule us, counsel us, comfort 
us, and strengthen us. Therefore in our emptiness, as indeed we are 
empty creatures of ourselves, let us go to Christ for the Spirit. He hath 
received that fulness for us ; desire him that out of his fulness he would 
vouchsafe to give unto us. 

It is the reason why Christians are so dead and so dull and so dark in 
their spirits ; they do not first consider themselves, and then go to Christ. 
We should all, in all exigents* whatsoever, make use of this our great high 
treasurer, the great high steward of heaven and earth, of this our Joseph, 
the second person in heaven. He is at the right hand of God, and all to 
fill his church with his Spirit. Our comfort is now that our strength and 
comfort lies hid in Christ, that is near to us as man, and near to God as 
God. He is between the Father and us ; he is near the Father as being of 
the same nature with him ; he is near us as being of the same nature with 
US. So being a mediator in office, and being so fit for a mediator in nature, 
what a comfort is this. 

Indeed, there is no coming to God, no intercourse between God and us 
immediately, but between God-man and God and us, who is the mediator 
between God and us. He comes between. In Christ we go to God, in 
our flesh, in our nature ; and in Christ, and from Christ, and by Christ, 
we have all gi-ace and comfort. From Christ we have all as God, together 
with the Holy Ghost and the Father ; and we have all in Christ as a head 
and husband ; and we have all through Christ as mediator by his merit. 
Therefore we should go to Christ every way. 

Use 5. Let us labour to he in Christ that we may get the Spirit. It is of 
great necessity that we should have it. Above all things next to redemp- 
tion by Christ, labour for the Spirit of Christ. 

Christ is our Saviour, not only by merit and satisfaction, but by efficacy 
and grace, that is, as he hath purchased us for his people by his blood ; so 
be will subdue our corruptions, and rule us by his Spirit. 

For, Jirst, ' He that hath not the Spirit of Christ is none of his,' Kom. 
viii. 13. Those that have not the efficacy of the Spirit in them to rule 
them, shall not have benefit by his death to reconcile them, for these go 
alway together, Christ as a king to rule, and as a priest to die. ' He 
came by blood and by water,' 1 John v. G, to satisfy and to sanctify. 

Secondly, There is a necessity of the Spirit, that ive he new creatures. It 
was the Spirit's brooding upon the chaos that brought forth all, Gen. i. 2 ; 
so the Spirit must sit upon our souls before any change will be made. Now 
there is a necessity that we be changed, and that we be new, or else we can 
never be inhabitants of the new heavens and the new earth. We must 
have the Spirit of God. Therefore, Zech. iv. 6, as in the material temple 
* That is, 'exigencies.' — G. 



ABOVE THE LAW. 213 

* it is not by might, or by power, but by the Spirit,' so in raising up 
spiritual temples it is not by strength of wit or parts, but by the Spirit. 
Therefore the Spiiit is necessary for us, even as our being in grace_ is 
necessary. 

The holy apostles, we know, till the Spirit came more abundantly 
upon them, what dark creatures they were ! But when the Holy Ghost 
was come upon them, how full of life and light and courage they were ! 
that the more they sufiered, the more they might sufi'er ! So it will be 
with Christians : the more spiritual they grow, the more lightsome and 
courageous ; the more strong, the more lively and vigorous to all duties. 
The Holy Ghost is the substantial vigour of all creatures whatsoever. All 
the spiritual vigour of every thing comes from the Holy Spirit, and the Holy 
Spirit from Christ. 

For nothing can work above itself. Nature cannot work above nature. 
That which elevates nature above itself, and sets a spiritual stamp, and puts 
divine qualities upon it, is the Spirit of God. That divine quality is called 
spirit. There is the flesh and the spirit. All in us is flesh by nature, and 
whatsoever is spiritual and divine cometh from the Spirit, and therefore it 
is called spirit. You see therefore a necessity of the working of the Spirit, 
even as there is a necessity to be new creatures, and to be spiritual. If 
we will be spiritual, we must have it from him that is first spiritual, the 
Spirit himself ; that is the principal* and fountain of all that is spiritual. 

Thirdly, We are called ofttimes to do and suffer such things as are above 
nature ; and therefore ice must have a spirit above nature. When we feel sin, 
to believe the forgiveness of sins ; when we see death, to believe life ever- 
lasting ; and when we are in extremity, to believe God present with us to 
deliver us, to believe contraries in contraries, is a strange almighty work of 
faith, by the work of the Spirit. It is above the work of nature to die, to 
end our days with comfort, and to resign up our souls, for nature sees 
nothing but darkness and desolation in the grave and destruction. Nothing 
can make a man comfortable in death, but that which raiseth him above 
nature, the Spirit of God. 

Now these things, and many such like, we must do and sufi'er, if we be 
Christians ; and therefore we must have the Spirit to enable us to do all. 
The Spirit is to the soul as the soul is to the body. What is the body 
without the soul ? A carcase, a loathsome dead thing. What is the soul 
without the Spirit ? A chaos of darkness and confusion. 

Well, how shall we know whether we have the Spirit of Christ or no ? 

(1.) We may know it partly by that I said before. The Spirit is a vigorous 
working thing, and therefore all three persons take upon them the name of 
Spirit, but the Holy Ghost especially, because he is the spiritual vigour. 
The Spirit is an operative thing. The spirits are the quintessence and 
extraction of things, that is nothing but operation. God that is nothing 
but a pure act is said to be a spirit. Those that have the Spirit of God 
are full of act and \dgour. The spirits of dull creatures are active when 
they are extracted. Shall the spirits of bodies be vigorous, and shall not 
the Holy Ghost be vigorous, that is a substantial vigour ? Therefore, if a 
man have the Sphit of God in him, it will work in him ; it is very operative. 

Therefore it is compared to fire in divers respects, for. 

First, Fire it is of a uvrldng nature. It is the instrument of nature. If 
we had not fire, what could we work ? All fabrics and all things are done 
by fire, especially metals ; they are framed and made malleable by fire. So 
* Qu. ' principle ?' — Ed. 



214 EXCELLENCY OF THE GOSPEL 

the Holy Ghost, it is a working thing and softeneth the heart, and makes 
us malleable ; it makes us fit for the impression of all good. 

Secondly, Fire, again, thourjh bodies be dark, it makes them lightsome like 
itself. Iron is a dark body, but if the fire penetrate it, it makes it light- 
some. We are dark creatures of ourselves : if we have the Spirit it makes 
us light. 

Thirdly Again, fire it makes cheerful, and ascends upwards. If a man 
have the Spirit of God, his conversation will be upward, his conversation 
will be heavenly, he minds the things of God, he doth not grovel here 
below ; so in divers such respects the Holy Ghost is compared to fire, and 
hath such effects in us. In some sort we find our understandings enlight- 
ened, and ourselves quickened, and carried up to the above nature, in holy 
and heavenly actions ; and then it is a good sign that we have the Spirit of 
Christ. A part will follow the whole. As we see a part of the earth it 
falls to the centre, because all the earth is heavy, all the whole earth falls 
down to the centre, and therefore every little clod will do it ; so Christ our 
head, that hath abundance of the Spirit, is in heaven, and if we have the 
Spirit we will follow him, and mind the things where Christ is. 

(2.) Where the Spirit of Christ is likewise, it convinccth, as it is John 
xvi. 8, seq. ; that is, it brings a clear evident conviction with it, that the 
truth of God is the truth of God. It is no doubtful thing. Therefore 
when a man staggers in the truth, in this and that course, whether he 
should do this or that, it is a sign he hath not the Spirit, or that he hath 
it in a very little measure, because the Spirit is a convincing thing, as light 
it convinceth a man. He doth not doubt of that that he seeth at noon-day. 
So that that a man seeth by the Spirit, he is convinced of. When a man 
doubts and wavers, whether he should take a good course or a bad, and 
wavers, it is a sign he is carnal, and hath not the Spirit of God ; for if he 
had not the Spirit* it would convince him, and set him down. You must take 
this course if you will be saved. That is said to convince, that saith 
more for a thing than anything can say against it. Now when a man hath 
the Spirit of God, he can say more for God and for good things and good 
ways, than all the devils in hell by discouragement can say against them. 
Therefore, when a man cannot say anything for God, and for good causes 
to purpose, he hath not the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God would so 
convince him, that he should answer all cavils and objections. The argu- 
ment is wondrous large. I give you but a taste, to know whether the Spirit 
of Christ be in you or no. 

(8.) In a word, if Christ be that Spirit, and have infused the Spirit into 
us, it ivill make us like him ; it will transform us into his likeness, it will 
make us holy and humble and obedient as he was, even to the death. 
These things might be largely followed, but we have occasion to speak of 
these in other portions of Scripture. Therefoi'e, that ye may get the Spirit 
of God, take these directions. 

[1.] We must go to Christ, study Christ. If we will have the Spirit, study 
the gospel of Christ. What is the reason that before Christ there was so 
little Spirit in comparison ? There was but a little measure of the know- 
ledge of Christ. The more Christ is discovered, the more is the Spirit 
given ; and according to the manifestation of Christ what he hath done for 
us, and what he hath, the more the riches of Christ is unfolded in the 
church, the more the Spirit goes along with them. The more the free 
grace and love of God in Christ alone is made known to the church, the 
* Qu. ' had the Spirit ?'— Ed. 



ABOVE THE LAW, 215 

more Spirit there is ; and again back again, the more Spirit the more 
knowledge of Christ ; for there is a reciprocal going of these two, the 
knowledge of Christ and the Spirit. What is the reason, that in popery 
the schoolmen that were witty to distinguish, that there was little Spirit in 
them ? They savoured not the gospel. They were wondrous quick in 
distinctions, but they savoured not the matters of grace, and of Christ. It 
was not fully discovered to them, but they attributed it to satisfaction, and 
to merits, and to the pope, the head of the church, &c. They divided 
Christ, they knew him not ; and dividing Christ, they wanted the Spirit of 
Christ ; and wanting that Spirit, they taught not Christ as they should. 
They were dark times, as themselves confessed, especially about nine hun- 
dred and a thousand years after Christ, because Christ was veiled then in 
a world of idle ceremonies — to darken the gospel and the victory of Christ 
— that the pope made, who was the vicar of Satan. These were the doctors 
of the church then, and Christ was hid and wrapped in a company of idle 
traditions and ceremonies of men ; and that was the reason that things were 
obscure. 

[2.] Now when Christ, and all good things bij Christ, and by Christ only, 
are discovered, the veil is taken off. Now of late for these hundred years, 
in the time of reformation, there hath been more spirit and more lightsome- 
ness and comfort. Christians have lived and died more comfortably. Why ? 
Because Christ hath been more known. And as it is with the church, so 
it is with particular Christians, the more they study Christ, and the fulness 
that is in Christ, and all comfort in him alone to be had — ' wisdom, 
righteousness, sanctification, and redemption,' 1 Cor. i. 30 — the more men 
grow up in the knowledge of Christ, the more they grow spiritually ; and 
the more spiritually they grow, the more they grow in the knowledge of 
Christ. Therefore, if we would have the Spirit, let us come near to Christ, 
and labour to know him more, who is the fountain of all that is spiritual. 

[3.] Then again, if we would be spiritual, let us take heed ice trust not too 
much to dead things, without Christ ; to have a kind of popery in the work 
done ; to think that reading, and hearing, and receiving the sacrament, 
and that the government of the church will do it, as if it were as man 
would have it. Put case there were all these, which are excellent good 
things ; but what are all these without the Spirit of Christ ! A man may be 
dead with all these. Though he hear never so much, and receive the 
sacrament never so often, if a man go not to Christ the quickening Spirit in 
this manner : Lord, these, and my soul too, are dead things without thy 
Spirit, therefore quicken me. Join Christ with all our performances, without 
which all is nothing, and then he will be spiritual to us. 

[4.] And when we go to Christ for the Spirit, as we must beg it if we 
will have it, — God will give the Holy Ghost to them that ask him, Luke 
xi. 13, — remember that we use the means carefully; reading, and hearing, and 
holy communion of saints, because though these without the Spirit can do 
nothing, yet the Spirit is not given but by these. These are the golden 
conduits of the Spirit of Christ. No man is ever spiritual but they are 
readers, and hearers, and conferrers of good things, and attenders upon the 
means of salvation, because God will work by his own tools and instru- 
ments. Therefore it is said. Rev. i. 9, that John was ' full of the Spirit 
upon the Lord's day.' Let a Christian sanctify the Sabbath as he should 
do, he will be in the Spirit on the Lord's day more than on other 
days. Why ? Because then he is reading, and hearing, and conferring, 
and in some spiritual course ; and the more a man on the Lord's day 



216 EXCELLENCY OF THE GOSPEL 

is in a spiritual course, tlie more he is in the Spirit : ' John was in the 
Spirit on the Lord's day.' So much for these words, ' The Lord is that 
Spirit.' 

' And where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is hherty.' 

We see here what the Spirit works where it is. ' Where the Spirit of 
the Lord is, there is Uberty.' I will name the instance that I gave before, that 
I may the better go on. We say the sun is heat and influence ; not that it 
is so, for they be accidents, but the sun appears to us for our comfort in 
heat and influence, therefore we call it by that name. We say of a man, 
he is all spirit. So Christ is all Spirit. The sun is all light, and where 
the light and heat of the sun is there is fruitfulness. So Christ is all 
Spirit, and where the Spirit of Christ is there is spiritual liberty. 

It were expense of time to no purpose to tell you of the divers kinds of 
liberty. In a word, liberty is that that all desire, but our miscarriage is in 
the means of it, the way to attain to it. Here we see whence to have it, 
from the Spirit of Christ. Liberty is a sweet thing, especially liberty from 
the greatest enemies of all. If outward liberty be such a sweet thing — 
liberty from tyranny and base servitude, it is a thing that man's nature 
delights in ; and the contrary, man as a man abhors ; and he hath not the 
nature of a man that doth not abhor it, — what shall we think then of the 
liberty of the Spirit from the great enemies that daunt the greatest 
monarchs in the world ? Liberty from the anger of the great God ; and 
liberty from Satan, God's executioner ; liberty from the terror of con- 
science, from the fear of death, and hell, and judgment ; what shall we 
think of liberty in these respects ? Therefore we speak of great matters 
here below when we speak of liberty. 

Now liberty is either Christian or evangelical. 
\ You may think this a nice difierence, but there is some reality in it. 

(1.) Christian liberty is that that belongs to all, even to those before 
Christ. Though they have not the term of Christians, yet they were mem- 
bers of Christ. Christ was head of the church ' yesterday, and to-day, 
and for ever,' Heb. xiii. 8. 

(2.) Evangelical libert)j is that that is more appi'opriated to the times of 
the gospel since the coming of Christ. Now the liberty that belongs to 
Christians as Christians, is perpetual from those grand enemies, the greatest 
enemies of all, spiritual and inward liberty. In evangelical liberty, besides 
that, there is another outward liberty, from the ceremonial and moral 
law and such like ; and a liberty from the restraint of the law. The 
Jews were under many restraints, that under the gospel in this time we 
are not. I speak therefore of liberty as it runs through all ages of the 
church, not of evangelical merely since the time of Christ. Where the 
Spirit is, both these liberties are now since the coming of Christ. Now 
in that the Holy Ghost saith here, ' Where the Spirit of Christ is there 
is liberty,' it supposeth that ice are in bondage be-fore we have the Sjnrit of 
Christ. 

That is a supposed ground and truth, and indeed so it is. For out of 
Christ we are slaves, the best of us all are slaves. In Christ the meanest 
of all is a free man, and a king. Out of Christ there is nothing but thral- 
dom. We are under the kingdom of the devil. When he calls us we come. 
We are in thraldom under the wrath of God, under the fear of death and 
damnation, and all those spiritual enemies that I need not mention. They 
are well enough known to you by often repetition. There is no man but 



ABOVE THE LAW. 217 

he is a slave till lie be in Christ ; and the more free a naan thinks himself 
to be, and labours to be, the more slave he is. For take a man that 
labours to have his Hberty, to do what he list,* he thinks it the happiest 
condition in the world ; and others think it the best condition to have 
liberty not to be tyrannised over by others. It is the disposition of man's 
nature without grace. They account it a happiness to have their wills over 
all other, but the more liberty in this, the more slavery. Why ? 

The more liberty that a man hath to do lawlessly what he will, contrary 
to justice and equity, the more he sins. The more he sins the more he 
is enthralled to sin. The more he is enthralled to sin the more he is in 
bondage to the devil, and becomes the enemy of God. Therefore if a man 
would pick out the wretchedest man in the world, I would pick out the 
greatest man in the world if he be naught, f that hath most under him ; he 
hath most liberty, and seeks most liberty, and accounts it his happiness 
that he may have his liberty. This is the greatest thraldom, and it will 
prove, when he dies and comes to answer for it, the greatest thraldom of 
all. Therefore the point needs not much proof, that if we be not in Christ 
we are slaves, as Augustine saith in his book l)e Civitate Dei, ' He is a 
slave though he domineer and rule.' 

A man till he be in Christ is a slave ; not of one man or of one lord over 
him, but he hath so many lords as he hath so many lusts. There are but 
two kingdoms that the Scripture speaks of, that is, the kingdom of Satan 
and darkness, and the kingdom of Christ ; all therefoi'e that are not in the 
kingdom of Christ, in that blessed libcirty, they must needs be shoaled I 
under the other kingdom of Satan. This is a ground. Therefore I speak 
shortly of it, as an incentive and provocation to stir us. up, to get into 
Christ, to get the Spirit of Christ, that we may have this spiritual liberty, 
or else we are all slaves, notwithstanding all our civil hberties, whatsoever 
they be. Now, ' where the Spirit of Christ is there is liberty,' there is 
fi'eedom from that bondage that we are in by nature, and which is 
strengthened by a wicked course of life. For though we be all slaves by 
nature, born slaves, yet notwithstanding by a wicked course of life, we put 
ourselves into bonds and tangle ourselves ; so many sins and so many 
repetitions of sin, so many cords ; the longer a man lives the greater slave 
he is. Now when the Spirit of Christ comes, it frees us from all ; both 
from the natural and from the customary § slavery. 

Now this Hberty is wrought by Christ and applied by the Spirit. What 
Christ works he makes it ours by his Spirit, which takes all from Christ. 
As Christ doth all by the Spirit, so the Spirit takes all from Christ. All 
the comfort it hath is from reasons taken from Christ, from grounds from 
Christ, and doctrines from Christ, but yet both have their efficacy — Christ 
as the meritorious cause, and the Spirit as the applying cause. The Spirit 
discovers the state of bondage we are in by nature, and it discovers withal 
a more excellent condition ; and as it discovers, so likewise the Spirit of 
God brings us to this state, by working faith in that that Christ hath done 
for us. Christ hath freed us by his death from the curse of the law, from 
the wrath of God, from death and damnation, and the like. Now whatso- 
ever Christ hath done the Spirit works faith, to make this our own by 
uniting us to Christ. When Christ and we are one, his sufferings are ours, 
and his victory is ours, all is ours. Then the Spirit persuading us of the 
love of God, and Christ redeeming us from that cursed slavery we were in, 
* That is, ' chooses.'— G. J That is, = massed.— G. 

t That is, ' uaughty' = ' wicked.' — G. § That is, = through custom, habit. — G. 



218 EXCELLENCY OF THE GOSPEL 

that Spirit, it works love in us, and other graces whereby the dominion of 
sin is broken more and more, and we are set at liberty by the Spirit. 

Now the Spirit doth not work liberty properly originally, but Christ is 
the grand redeemer. But Christ redeemeth two ways. 

First, He redeems us by jmijiiuj the imce, and so he only* redeemeth, for 
he paid the price to divine justice. We are in bondage to the wrath of 
God under his justice ; and so there must be satisfaction to justice before 
we can be free. 

Then, secondly. We are in bondage to Satan, as God's executioner and 
jailor. Now from him we are freed by strong hand. So Christ freeth us 
by his Holy Spirit, working such graces in us as makes us see the loath- 
someness of that bondage ; working likewise grace in us to be in love with 
a better condition, that the Spirit discovers to us. So that the Spirit brings 
us out by discovery and by power. All that Christ freeth by virtue of 
redemption, paying the price for, all those he frees likewise by his Spirit, 
discovering to them their bondage, and the blessed condition whereunto they 
are to be brought to a state of freedom, which freedom he perfects by 
little and little, till he bring them to a glorious freedom in heaven. 

And the reason of this, — that where Christ doth free by way of redemp- 
tion, to die and satisfy God's justice for any, to those he gives his Spirit, 
by which Spirit they are set at liberty — the reasons are manifold. To 
name one or two. 

[1.] Christ doth save all that he doth save answerable to the nature of the 
party saved. He saves them as reasonable persons, for he saves us that he 
may make us friends. He saves us as men, and redeems us as men. He 
doth not only pay a price for us as we buy a thing that is dead, but like- 
wise he frees us, so as we may understand to what, and by whom we are 
freed, and what condition we are freed from. Therefore there must be a 
Spirit joined with the work of Christ, to inform us thoroughly, being 
creatures fit to be informed. 

[2.] And God intending to come into covenant with us, that we may be 
friends with him, which is our glory and happiness, he acquaints us as 
friends ivith all the favours and blessings that he hath done for us. He 
acquaints us what misery he brings us out of, and what happiness he brings 
us unto, and what is our duty. This is the work of the Spirit, to shew U3 
what he hath done for us, that we may be friends. 

[3.] And then it is a ground to love God. God saveth us by a way of 
love in the covenant of grace. His desire is that we may love him again, 
and maintain love. Now how can this be, without the Spirit of God dis- 
cover what God in Christ hath done for us ? Therefoi'e there must be the 
Spirit to shew to the eye of the soul, and to tell us, this Christ hath done 
for us. 

[4.] Then again there must be a fitting for heaven, for that glory that God 
intends us in election. Now this fitting must be altogether by the Spirit. 
The same Spirit that sanctified Christ in the womb, the same Spirit that 
anointed Christ, anoints all those that are Christ's, that they may be fit 
for so glorious a head. So there must be the Spirit as well as Christ in 
the work of redemption and liberty. 

Now this Spirit of God doth set us at liberty, in all the course and whole 
carriage of salvation, from the beginning to the end. 

He sets us at Hberty at the first in calling us. 

He sets us at liberty when we are justified. 
* That is, = ' alone.' 



ABOV^ THE LAW. 219 

He sets us at liberty when he sanctifieth us. 

And he sets us then at liberty fully in glorification. 

First of all, the Spirit of God is a Spirit of liberty, ichen ive are first called 
powerfully and effectualhj. For living in the church sets us not at liberty, 
unless the Spirit stir us up to answer a divine call. ' For many are called 
but few are chosen,' Mat. xx. 16. In the church there is Hagar and 
Ishmael as well as Isaac. There are hypocrites as well as sound Christians. 
There is outward baptism as well as inward. There is outward circum- 
cision of the flesh as well as inward of the spirit. A man may have all 
these outward privileges, and yet notwithstanding be a slave in the bosom 
of the church ; for Ishmael was a bond- slave though he were in the house 
of Abraham. Therefore the first beginning of spiritual liberty is, (1.) 
When the Spirit of God in the ordinances, in the means of salvation, stirs up 
the heart to answer God's call as it ivere. When we are exhorted to believe 
and repent, the Spirit gives power to echo to God, ' Lord, I believe ; help 
thou my unbelief,' Mark ix. 24. Lord, I repent, and desire to repent more 
and more. When the Spirit of God in the ordinance saith, ' Seek my face, 
Thy face, Lord, will I seek,' Ps. xxvii. 8. Be thou mine. Lord, and I will 
be thine. This spiritual echo and answer of the soul comes from the 
Spirit of God in calling, and it is the first degree of liberty. 

(2.) Now this answer of the soul, by the power of the Spirit, over- 
powering our corruptions, is together u-ith the obedience of the inward man 
to go out. For man answereth the call, not only by the speech of the heart, 
Lord, I do it ; but he doth it indeed. Therefore when by the power of the 
Spirit we come out of the world and out of our corruptions, and walk more 
freely in the ways of God, then we are set at spiritual liberty. Now the 
Spirit doth all this. For if it were not the Spirit that persuaded the soul, 
when the minister speaks, alas ! all ministerial persuasions are to no pur- 
pose. If the Spirit do not stir up the soul to answer, all speech is to no 
purpose from men. But this the Spirit doth. In the first place he openeth 
the eyes with spiritual eye-salve to see our natural bondage ; he openeth 
our eyes to see, I must come out of this condition if I will be saved, of 
necessity, or else I am miserable for ever. And it is enough for the soul 
of a miserable man if he be convinced to see his misery and bondage, what 
he is by nature ; for let us be convinced of that once, and all the rest of the 
links of the golden chain of salvation will follow. Let a man be convinced 
that he is as the Scripture saith he is, and as hereafter he shall find to his 
cost, you shall not need to bid him come out of his conversation and condition, 
and worldly course that he is in. All this wiU follow where there is con- 
viction of spirit. Therefore the first work of the Spirit in spiritual liberty 
is to convince us of sin and misery ; and then to work, as I said, an answer 
of the soul, and an obedience of the whole man. This I will not be long 
in, being a clear point. 

Second, ' Where the Spirit is, there is liberty.' Again, in ^natter of justi- 
fication there is a liberty and freedom of conscience from sin and the curse 
of sin, and all the danger that follows upon sin, by the Spirit. 

Ohj. But you will say, the liberty of justification is wrought by Christ ; 
we are justified by the obedience of Christ ; and the righteousness of Christ 
is imputed to us. 

Ans. It is true Christ is our righteousness. But what is that to us 
except we have something to put it on ? Except we be united to Christ, 
what good have we by Christ if Christ be not ours ? If there be not a 
spiritual marriage, what benefit have we by him if we have not him to pay 



220 



EXCELLENCY OF THE GOSPEL 



our debt ? For his riclies to be ours, and our debt to be bis, there must 
be a union first. Now this union is wrought by the Spirit. It is begun 
in effectual calling. From this union there comes to be a change ; his 
righteousness is mine, as if I had obeyed and done it by myself ; and my 
debts and sins are his. This is by the Spirit, because the union between 
Christ and me is by the Spirit. For whatsoever Christ hath done, it is 
nothing to me till there be a union. And then freedom is by the Spirit 
likewise, because the Spirit of God works faith in me, not only to unite 
and knit me to Christ, but faith to persuade me that Christ is mine, and 
that all his is mine, and that my debts are his. This supernatural hand 
of faith the Spirit works to lay hold upon Christ, and then to persuade mc. 
For the Spirit is a lightsome thing, and together with the graces it tells me 
the graces it works. As reason, besides reason, it tells me that I use 
reason when I do. It hath a reflex act. So the Spirit of Christ it hath a 
reflex act upon itself ; for, being above reason, it doth not only lay hold 
upon Christ, it doth not only do the work, but it tells me that I do so when 
I do. Therefore it not only tells me that Christ is mine when I believe, 
but it assures me that I do believe. It carries a light of its own. I know 
the light by the light, and reason by reason, and faith by faith, together 
with the reflex act joining with it. So that the reflex act joining with it, 
the Spirit is the cause of liberty in justification in that respect, as it is 
a means of union, whereupon there is a passage of all that is Christ's to 
be mine, and mine to be Christ's. And likewise it assures me that I 
do believe, when I do believe without error. For the Spirit is given me 
to know the things that I have by Christ, not only to know the privileges 
by Christ, but the graces of Christ. 

And, beloved, unless the Spirit should do it, it would never be done ; for 
the soul of man is so full of terrors and fears and jealousies, that except 
the Spirit of God witness to my spirit, that God is reconciled in Christ, 
and that Christ's righteousness is mine, I could never be persuaded of it. 
For the soul it alway thinks God is holiness itself, and I am a mass of sin. 
What reason have I to think that God will be so favourable to such a 
■wretch, to such a lump of sin as I am, were it not that God the Son hath 
satisfied God the Father ? God hath satisfied God ; and the Spirit certifies 
my conscience. So the Spirit, that searcheth the deep things of God, that 
knows what love is in the breast of God, and therefore he searcheth the heart, 
he searcheth the heart of God, and he searcheth my spirit. Except the 
Spirit should tell me that God the Son hath satisfied (and God the Father 
will accept of the satisfaction of God the Son), I should never believe it. 
Therefore God must stablish the heart in a gracious liberty of justification, 
as well as that God the Son hath wrought it. 

It is no wonder that men of great parts without grace are full of terrors 
and despair ; for the more parts and wit a man hath without the Spirit 
of God, the more he disputes against himself, and entangles himself with 
desperate thoughts. But when the Spirit is brought to speak peace to the 
Boul in Christ, and makes the soul to cast itself on him for salvation, then 
God's Spirit is above the conscience. Though conscience be above all 
things else, yet God is above conscience, and can still the conscience ; and 
the Spirit tells us that God the Father is reconciled by the death of God 
the Son. And when God witnesseth what God hath wrought, then con- 
science is at peace. Thus we see how the Spirit sets us at liberty in the 
great matter of justification. 

Third, So likewise in the matter of holy life, in the whole course of a holy 



ABO\'E THE LAW. 221 

life, ' where the Spirit of Christ is, there is liberty,' and freedom from the 
slavery of sin. For there the understanding is freed from the bondage of 
ignorance, and there the will is freed from the bondage of rebellion ; there 
the affections likewise, and the whole inward and outward man is freed. 
But this liberty of holiness, inherent liberty, it doth spring from the liberty 
that we have by justification, by the righteousness of Christ, whereby we 
are perfectly righteous, and freed from all the title that Satan hath in us. 
We are freed from the curse of God, from the law, and enabled in a course 
of sanctification to go on from grace to grace. The Spirit of Christ comes 
after justification. For whom God gives forgiveness unto, he gives his 
Spirit to sanctify them. The same Spirit that assures me of the pardon of 
my sin, sanctifies my nature. Where the Spirit is of sanctification, it breaks 
the ruling power of sin. Before then the whole life is nothing but a con- 
tinual sinning and ofi'ending of God ; but now there is a gracious liberty of 
disposition, a largeness of heart which follows the liberty of condition. 
When a man is free in state and law from wrath, and from the sentence of 
damnation, then he hath a free and voluntary disposition wrought to serve 
God freely, without fear or constraint. 

When a man is under the bondage of the law, when he is under the fear 
of death, being armed with a sting, whatsoever he doth he doth it with a 
slavish mind. Where the Spirit of God is, there is the spirit of adoption, 
the spirit of sons, which is a free spirit. The son doth not duties to his 
father out of constraint and fear, but out of nature. The Spirit alters our 
nature and disposition. It makes us sons, and then we do all freely. God 
doth enlarge the hearts of his children. They can deny themselves in a 
good work. They are * zealous of good works.' It is the end of their 
redemption ; as it is Tit. ii. 14, ' We are redeemed to be a peculiar people, 
zealous of good works.' For then we have a base esteem of all things that 
hinder us from freeness in God's service, as worldliness, &c. What doth 
a Christian when he seeth his gracious liberty in Christ ? The love of the 
world and worldly things, he is read}' to part with all for the service of God. 
He is so free-hearted that he can part with life itself. Paul saith of him- 
self, ' My life is not dear to me, so I may finish my course with joy,' Acts 
XX. 24. As we see in the martyrs and others how free they were, even of 
their very blood. 

What shall we think of those therefore, that if we get anything of them, 
it must be as a sparkle out of the flint. Duties come from Christians as 
water out of a spring. They are natural, and not forced to issue, so far 
forth as they are spiritual. 

I confess that there is remainders of bondage where the Spirit sets at 
liberty ; for there is a double principle in us, while we live in this world, of 
nature and grace. Therefore there will be a conflict in every holy duty. 
The flesh will draw back when the Spirit would be liberal. The flesh will 
say. Oh but I may want ! "When the Spirit would be most courageous, 
the flesh ■vN'ill say, But there is danger in it. So that there is nothing that 
we can do but it must be gotten out of the fire. We must resist. Yet 
notwithstanding here is liberty to do good, because here is a principle that 
resists the backwardness of the flesh. 

In a wicked man there is nothing but flesh, and therefore there is no 
resistance. And we must understand the nature of this spiritual liberty 
in sanctification. It is not a liberty freeing us altogether from conflict, 
and deadness, and dulness, and the like ; but it is a liberty enabling us to 
combat, not freeing us from combat. It is a liberty to fight the battles 



222 EXCELLENCY OF THE GOSPEL 

of the Lord against our own corruptions, not freeing us from it. That 
is the Hberty of glory in heaven, when there shall be no enemy within or 
without. 

Therefore let not Christians be discouraged with the backwardness and 
untowardness of the flesh, to good duties. If we have a principle in us to 
fio-ht against it, to enable us to fight against our con-uptions, and to get 
good duties out of it in spite of it, it is an argument of a new nature. God 
will perfect his own beginnings, and subdue the flesh more and more, by 
the power of his Spirit. We see our blessed Saviour, what a sweet excuse 
he makes for his disciples when they were dead-hearted and drowsy, when 
they should have comforted him in the garden : Oh, saith he, ' the spirit is 
willing, but the flesh is weak,' Mat. xxvi. 41, 

Indeed, there is a double hindi-ance in God's people when they are 
about holy duties, sometimes from their very mould and nature, considered 
not as corrupted ; the very mould without the consideration. 

And then consider it as it is made more heavy and dull by the flesh, and 
corruptions in them, as there be invincible infirmities and weaknesses in 
nature. Sometimes deadness, after labour and expense of spirits, creeps 
in invincibly, that a man cannot overcome those necessities of nature. So 
that ' the spirit may be willing, and the flesh weak ;' the flesh without any 
great corruption. God looks upon our necessities ; as the father saith, 
Free me from my necessities (a). As we see, Christ made an excuse for 
them. It was not so much corruption, though that were an ingredient in 
it, as nature in itself. Christ saAV a great deal of gold in the ore, therefore 
we see how he excuseth them. Therefore when we are dull, let us strive. 
Christ is ready to make excuse for us, if our hearts be right : ' The spirit 
is willing, but the flesh is weak.' I speak this for the comfort of the best 
sort of Christians, that think they are not set at liberty by the Spirit, 
because they find some heaviness and dulness in good duties. As I said, 
there is sin in us while we live here, but it reigns not. After a man hath 
the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of Christ maintains a perpetual combat and 
conflict against sin. It could subdue sin all at once if God saw it good ; 
but God will humble us while we live here, and exercise us with spiritual 
conflicts. Therefore God sees it sufficient to bring us to heaven, to set up 
a combat in us, that we are able by the help of the Spirit to fight God's 
battles against the flesh. So that the dominion of sin may be broken in 
us, and excellently, saith Paul, Kom. viii. 2, ' The law of the spirit of life 
in Christ Jesus hath freed me from the law of sin and of death.' The law 
of the Spirit of life, that is, the commanding power of the Spirit of Christ, 
that commands as a law in the hearts of God's people, it frees us from the 
law, that is, from the commanding power of sin and death. So that the 
dominion and tyranny of sin is broken by the Spirit of Christ, and so we 
are set at a gracious liberty. In some respects we are under grace, there- 
fore sin shall not have dominion over us, as the apostle speaks. 

Again, by the Spirit of Christ in sanctification we are made kings, to 
rule over our own lusts in some measure ; not kings to be freed altogether 
from them, but kings to strive against them. It is a liberty to fight, and 
in fighting to overcome at last. When the Israelites had a promise that 
God would give their enemies into their hands, the meaning was not that he 
would give them without fighting a blow, but I will give them into your 
hands. You shall fight ; and be of good comfort, in fighting you shall 
overcome. So this liberty of sanctification, it is not a liberty that we 
should have no combat with our corruptions, but a gracious liberty to keep 



ABOVE THE LAW. 223 

them under, till by subduing them by Httle and little, we get a perfect 
victory. What greater encouragement can a man have to fight against his 
enemy, than when he is sure of the victory before he fights, of final victory ! 
You see then how the Spirit brings a liberty into the soul. It brings us 
out of that cursed kingdom of Satan and sin. It brings us out of the curse 
of God and the law in justification ; and it brings us from the dominion 
and tyranny of sin, by a spirit of sanctification. 

But this is not all that is in Hberty ; for the Spirit doth not only free us 
from all that is ill, from sin, but from that that follows it. There is some 
ill that follows, as fear and terrors of conscience, &c. They follow sm and 
death and wrath, and such like, the subjection to these. Now, where the 
Spirit of God is, it frees from the ill consequents, from the tail that follows 
sin. Where the Spirit is, it frees us from fear ; for the same Spirit that 
tells us in justification that God is appeased, the same Spirit frees us from 
the fear of damnation and death and- judgment ; from the terrors of an evil 
conscience. Being ' sprinkled with the blood of Christ,' 1 Pet. i. 2, we are 
freed from fear. 

And it frees not only from the fear of ill things, but it shews immunity 
and freedom to good. Liberty implies here two things : a freedom from ill, 
from a cursed condition, and likewise a liberty to a better; a liberty from 
ill, and to good. We must take it in the just latitude, because the benefits 
of Christ are complete, not only privative but positive ; not only to free us 
from ill, but to confer all good to us, as much as our nature is capable of. 
As much as these souls of ours are capable of, they shall be made free and 
glorious and happy in heaven, God will leave no part of the soul unfilled, 
no corner of the soul empty. By little and little he doeth it, as we shall 
see in the next verse. When we are called out of Satan's kingdom we are 
not only called out of that cursed state, but we are made free of a bet- 
ter kingdom ; we are made the members of Christ ; we are enfranchised. 
And so in justification we are not only freed from damnation, from the jus- 
tice and wrath of God, but likewise we can implead- our righteousness 
whereby we have title to heaven, which is a blessed privilege and preroga- 
tive. We are not only free from the curse of the law, but likewise we have 
other gracious prerogatives and privileges. We are not only freed from the 
dominion of sin, but we are likewise set at liberty by the Spirit to do that 
that is good. We have a voluntary free spirit to serve God with as great 
cheerfulness as we served our lusts before ; and as we are freed from the 
rigour and curse of the law, so we have prerogatives to good answerable. 
We are now by the Spirit set at liberty to delight in the law, to make the 
law our counsellor, to make the word of God our counsellor. That that 
terrified and afirighted us before, now it is our direction. Even as he that 
was a severe schoolmaster to one in his under years, after, when he comes 
to years, becomes a wise tutor to guide and direct him ; so the law that 
terrified and whipped us when we were in bondage, till we be in Christ, — it 
scares us to Christ, — that law after comes to be a tutor, to tell us this we 
shall do, to counsel us, and say this is the best way ; and we come to 
delight in those truths, when they are discovered to us in the inward man. 
And the more we know, the more we would know, because we would please 
God every day better. So that besides freedom from that that is ill, and 
the consequents of ill, there is a blessed immunity and prerogative and 
privilege. That is meant here by liberty. 

For God's works are complete. We must know when he delivers from 
* That is, = ' use the plea,' — G. 



224 EXCELLENCY OF THE GOSPEL 

ill he advaneeth to good. His works are full works always. He doth not 
things by halves. Therefore we have through Christ, and by the Spirit, 
not only freedom from that that is ill, but advancement to all that is com- 
fortable and graciously good. 

And one thing give me leave to touch, which though it be more subtle, 
yet it is useful, that the text puts me to speak of. ' Where the Spirit of 
God is, there is liberty' of the inward man, liberty of judgment, and liberty 
of will. Where the Spirit of God is not, there is no liberty, no free will. 
A little to touch upon that. 

I That which we call free will, it is either taken for a natural power and endow- 
ment that God hath put upon the soul, and so the will is alway free in earth 
and in hell. The devil's will is free so, free to evil. There is the natural free- 
dom ; for freedom it is a do^Ty upon the will, invested upon the will, that 
God never takes from it. To do it freely, that is, upon reason that it sees, be 
it good or evil, so I mean not freedom ; but I take freedom for ability and 
strength to that that is good. For any liberty and ability to that that is good 
is only from the Spirit ; and the defence of Luther's and others (b), that wrote 
of this freedom, is sound and good, that the will of man is slavish altogether, 
without the Spirit of God. ' Where the Spirit is there is liberty :' liberty 
as it is taken for power and ability to do good. In a word, there is alway 
a liberty of the subject, of the person ; a liberty of the understanding, but 
not of the object, to this or to that thing. A liberty to supernatural 
objects comes from supernatural principles. Nothing moves above its own 
sphere ; nothing is acted above its own activity, that God hath put into it. 
Now a natural man can do nothing but naturally ; for nothing can work 
above itself, by its own strength, no more than a beast can work according 
to the principles of a man. Therefore the soul of man hath no liberty at 
all to that which is spiritually good, without a supernatural principle, that 
raiseth it above itself, and puts it into the rank of supernatural things. 

First, The Spirit of God puts a new life into the soul of a man ; and then 
when he hath done that, it preserves that life against all opposition ; and 
together with preserving that life, it applies that inward life and power it 
hath put into it to particular works. For when we have a new life, yet we 
cannot do particular actions without the exciting power of the Spirit of God. 
The Spirit stirs up to every particular thing, when the soul would be quiet 
of itself. The moving comes from the Spirit of God. As every particular 
moving in the body comes from the soul, so the Spirit it j)uts a new life, it 
applies that life, it applies the soul to every action. Where the Spirit of 
God therefore is not, there is no liberty to any supernatural action ; but 
' where the Spirit of God is, there is liberty.' It follows both negatively 
and affirmatively. There is a liberty of will to that that is good. So then 
this riseth from hence, again, that where the Spirit of God is efficacious 
and effectual in his working, there it robs not the soul of liberty, but per- 
fects that liberty. 

You have some divines, too many indeed, that hold that the Holy Ghost 
only works by way of persuasion upon the soul, and by way of moving, as it 
were, without ; but he doth not enter into the soul, nor alter and change the 
soul ; he doth not work upon the soul as an inward worker, but only as an 
outward entreater and persuader and allurer, propounding objects, and with 
objects persuasions and allurements. This is too shallow a conceit for so 
deep a business as this ; for the Spirit works more deeply than so. It puts a 
new life into the soul ; it takes away the stony heart and gives a fleshly heart, 
Ezek. xl. 19. Those phrases of Scripture are too weighty to fasten such a 



ABOVE THE LAW. 225 

shallow sense upon them, only as to entreat them to be converted, as a man 
would entreat a stone to be warm, and to come out of its place. He might 
entreat long enough. But the Spirit with that speech, it puts a new life 
and power, and then acts and stirs that power to all that is good. 

Ohj. Oh, say they, which is their main objection, here is a prejudice to 
the liberty of the will ! This is to overthrow the nature of man ! 

Aus. Oh, by no means ! This is no prejudice to the liberty of the will ; for 
the Spirit of God is so wise an agent that he works upon the soul, preserving 
the principles of a man. It alters the judgment by presenting greater reasons, 
and further light than it saw before ; and then it alters the will, that we will 
contrary to that we did before, by presenting to the will greater reasons to be 
good than ever it had to be ill before. Then the soul chooseth freely of its 
own will anything, when it doth it upon discovery of light and reason, with 
advisement and reason. Then the soul doth things freely, when it doth them 
upon the designment of reason, when judgment tells me this is good. Now 
when the Spirit changeth the soul, it presents such strong reasons to come 
out of that cursed estate I am in, and to come to the blessed estate in 
Christ, that the will presently follows that that the understanding presents 
as the chief good of all. Here the freedom is preserved, because the will 
is so stirred by the Holy Ghost, as that it stii's itself, being stirred by the 
Holy Ghost ; and upon this groimd it sees a better good. So that grace 
takes not away liberty. No ; it stablisheth liberty. Though we hold that 
in effectual grace the Spirit of God works upon the soul throughly, yet not- 
withstanding we preserve liberty, because we say that the soul works of its 
own principles, notwithstanding grace ; because the Spirit of God acts and 
leads the soul according to the nature of the soul. The Spirit of God pre- 
serves things in the manner of doing of things. It is the manner of doing of 
the reasonable creature, to do things freely. Therefore the Spirit working 
upon the soul, it preserves that modus, though it work effectually upon the 
soul ; and the more effectually it works upon the soul, the more* the soul 
is ; because it seeth reason to do good. Therefore the more we give to 
the Spirit in the question of grace and nature, the more we stablish liberty, 
and prejudice it not. WTaere these three or four rules are observed, 
there liberty is preserved, though there be a mighty working of the Holy 
Spirit ; as. 

First, Where the will chooseth ami makes choice, and inclines to a thing with 
the advisement of reason. Alway that must be, or else it is not a human 
action. Now when the Spirit of God sets the will at liberty, a man doth 
that he doth with full advisement of reason ; for though God work upon 
the will, it is with enlightening of the understanding at the same time ; and 
all grace in the will comes through the understanding, as all heat upon 
inferior things it comes with light. So that though heat cherish the earth, 
it Qomes with light. So all the work upon the soul is by the heat of the 
Spirit. But it comes from the hght of the understanding. So the freedom 
of the soul is preserved, because it is with light. 

Second ; Again, where freedom is, there is a poicer to apprehend other 
thinc/s, as icell as that it doth ; to reason on both sides, I may do this or that. 
For that power to reason on both sides is proper to the soul alway. Now 
grace takes not away that power to reason on both sides ; for when a man 
is set at liberty from the base slavery of ill to do good, he can reason with 
himself, I might have done this and that if I would be damned. So that 
the judgment is not bound to one thing only, but the judgment tells him 
* Qu. ' the more free ' ? — Ed. 

VOL. IV. P 



226 EXCELLENCY OF THE GOSPEL 

he miglit have done otherwise if he would ; but he sees he must do this if 
he will not be damned. 

Third ; Again, ivhcre there is liberty and freedom, there is an enlargement to 
understand more things than one, or else there ivere no freedom ; and though 
the soul be determined to choose one thing, and not many, yet of itself it 
hath power to choose many things. To make this clear a little : some 
creatures are confined to one thing, out of the narrowness of the parts they 
have ; some are confined to one thing, out of the largeness of parts.' These 
seem contrary, but thus I will give this instance to make it clear. The 
creature that is unreasonable * is alway confined to one manner of working, 
because they want understanding to work in a diverse manner. Birds 
make their nests and bees make their hives always after one manner, 
because of their narrowness, that they have not choice. 

Now when the Spirit sets a man at liberty to holy things, he is confined 
to good ; especiall[y] this is in heaven. This is out of largeness of under- 
standing, apprehending many goods and many ills ; and that good that he 
conceives to be the best good, out of a large understanding be is determined 
to that one. So that, though the Spirit of God take away as it were that 
present liberty that a man cannot do ill, — it will not suffer him to be so 
bad as he was, — yet it leaves him in a state of good, to do a multitude of 
good things. And then, though it confine him to a state of happiness, that 
he cannot will the contrary, yet here is no liberty taken away, because it is 
done out of strength of knowledge, not out of narrowness ; because there 
is no more things for him to judge, but out of largeness, telling him this is 
the best of all, and carries all the soul after it. The glory of heaven robs 
not a man of his power. 

What is the reason they are determined eternally to that that is good ? 
Is it for want of understanding that the angels choose not ill ? No ! They 
know what ill is by speculation, but there is a strength of understanding to 
know that that is good ; and the understanding, where it hath full light, it 
carries the will to choose. Therefore * where the Spirit of the Lord is, 
there is hberty.' Notwithstanding all objections to the contrary, the Spirit 
takes not away, nay, it strengtheneth, the liberty of the soul. It is an idle 
objection and a gi'eat stay of many that are willing to be deceived. Oh if 
grace confine a man, determine him, as the word is, sway him one way 
perpetually, that he holds on to the end, and leaves him not at liberty to 
his will, this confining and swaying one way it is an abridging him of his 
liberty, &c. No. For it comes not from weakness of understanding, but 
from strength of understanding ; and it is perfect liberty to do well. There- 
fore, on the contrary, it is so far from abridging the liberty of the soul that 
it cannot do ill, or that it cannot but persevere to do good, that it is the 
strength of liberty. 

For I would know whether the first Adam's liberty were greater, or the 
liberty in heaven, the second Adam's liberty ? Our liberty in grace or that 
in glory ? The liberty of the first man was, that he might not sin if he 
■would ; the liberty of Christ was, tbat he could not sin at all. Which 
think you was the chief ? He that could not, or he that might not sin if 
he would ? Was there not a more gracious and blessed liberty in Christ 
than in Adam, when he might not sin if he would ? Is this a worse liberty 
then when a man cannot sin ? So when the Spirit of God bears that 
sway over the soul, and takes away that potentiality and possibility to sin, 
that a man cannot sin, because he will not, his will is so carried by the 
* TLat is, 'without reason.' — G. 



I 



ABOVE THE LAW. 227 

strength of judgment, this is the greatest good. I will not move out of this 
circle. If I go out of this I shall be unhappy. And this is the greatest 
hberty of all. 

What do we pray in the Lord's prayer but for this liberty ? ' Thy will 
be done,' Mat. vi. 10. That is, take me out of my own will more and 
more ; conform my will to thine in all things. The more I do so, the more 
liberty I have. The strength of that petition is, that we may have perfect 
liberty in serving God. 

The greatest and sweetest liberty is, when we have no liberty to sin at 
all ; when we cannot sin. It is greater chastity not to have power to resist, 
to be impregnable in continence and sobriety. When there is such a 
measure of these graces as they are not to be overcome, it is greater strength 
than when they may be prevailed over. So men mistake to think this the 
greatest liberty to have power to good or e\'il. That is the imperfection of 
the creature. Man was at the first created free to either good or evil of 
himself, that he might fall of himself. This was not strength, but a thing 
that followed the creature that came out of nothing, and that was subject to 
fall to his own principles again. But to have the soul stablished that it 
shall not have freedom to ill, it is so stablished in good. It hath the under- 
standing so enlightened, and the will so confirmed and strengthened, that 
it is without danger of temptation. That is properly glorious liberty, and 
that is the better endowment of both, so that we see it clearly that grace 
takes not away liberty, but establisheth it. 

Now besides this inward spiritual liberty that we have by the Spirit, there 
is an outward preserving liberty that must be a little touched, and that is 
twofold. 

(1.) A liberty of preaching the gosjjel ; and (2.) A liberty of discipline, as 
tve call it ; of government that is in the church of God ; and should be at 
least in all places, because we are men, and must have such helps. Now 
these are liberties that the Spirit bestows upon the church wheresoever 
there is an inward spiritual liberty. Men are brought into the church by 
the liberty of the gospel, and preserved by government. There must be a 
subjection to pastors ; there must be teaching and some discipline, or else 
all will be in a confusion. Now this inward liberty is wrought by the liberty 
of the gospel. 

Quest. What is the liberty of the gospel ? 

Ans. When there is a blessed liberty in the church to have true liberty 
opened, the charter of our liberty. 

Quest. What is the charter of our liberty ? 

Ans. The word of God. When the charter and patent of our liberty is 
laid open, in laying it open we come to have interest in those liberties. 
Therefore the liberty of the temple, the liberty of the church, of the word 
and sacraments, and some order in the church with it, it brings in spiritual 
liberty and preserves it. It is as it were the bonds and sinews of the 
church. Now where the Spirit of God is with the gospel, there is this 
liberty of the gospel ; there are the doors of the temple and sanctuary set 
open, as, blessed be God, this kingdom hath had. With the spiritual 
liberty, there is an outward hberty of the tabernacle of God and the house 
of God, that we can all meet to hear the word of God and to receive the 
sacraments ; that we can all meet to call upon God in spirit and in truth ; 
and these outward liberties, beloved, are blessed liberties. For where God 
gives these outward liberties, he intends to bestow and to convey spiritual 
liberty. How shall we come to spiritual liberty without unfolding the 



228 EXCELLENCY OF THE GOSPEL 

charter, the word of God ? Therefore Christ hath established a ministry, 
apostles, and doctors,* and pastors, to edify the church to the end of the 
■world ; and therefore we see where there is no outward liberty of unfolding 
the word, where there is no outward liberty of the ministry, there wants 
this inward liberty. For God by the preaching of the gospel sets us at 
liberty. 

Again, when Christ preached the gospel first, it was the year of jubilee. 
Now, in the year of jubilee, all servants were set at liberty, and those that 
had not soldf their inheritances might recover them again if they would. 
This jubilee was a type of the spiritual liberty that the gospel sets us 
at. Those that have served sin and Satan before, if they will regard the 
gracious promises of the gospel, they may of slaves of sin and Satan be- 
come the free men of Jesus Christ. But in those times some would be 
servants still, and would not be set at liberty. Their ears were bored for 
perpetual slaves ;J and it is pity but their ears should be bored for ever- 
lasting slaves, that now, in the glorious jubilee of the gospel, resolve stOl 
to be slaves. When a proclamation of liberty was made to come out of 
Babylon all that would, many would stick there still. So many are in love 
with Egypt and Babylon and slavery. It is pity but they should be slaves. 
But those that have more noble spirits, as they desire liberty, so they should 
desire spiritual liberty especially. And here you see how to come by it. 
' Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty;' and where the ordinance 
of God is ; that is, the ministry of the Spirit, there is the Spirit. Where 
these outward liberties are, it is a sign that God hath an intendment to set 
men at spiritual liberty. 

Those, therefore, that are enemies of the dispensation of the gospel in 
the ministry, they are enemies to spiritual liberty ; and it is an argument 
that a man is in bondage to Satan when he is an enemy any way of the 
unfolding of the word of God. For it is an argument that he is licentious, 
that he will not be called to spiritual libert}', but live according to the flesh ; 
when he will not hear of the liberty of the Spirit, as you have some kind 
of men that account it a bondage, ' Let us break their bands, and cast 
away their cords,' Ps. ii. 3. Why should we be tied with the word and 
with these holy things ? It is better that we have no preaching, no order 
at all, but live every man as he would. Though they speak not so in words, 
yet their lives and profane carriage shew that they regard not outward 
liberties ; and that argueth that they are in spiritual bondage, and that 
they have no interest in spiritual liberty, because they are enemies of that 
whereby spiritual liberty is preserved. 

Therefore the gospel is set out by that phrase, ' The kingdom of God.' 
Not only the kingdom of God set up in our hearts, the kingdom of the 
Spirit, but likewise where the gospel is preached, there is the kingdom of 
God. Why ? Because with the dispensation of divine truth Christ comes 
to rule in the heart ; by the outward kingdom comes the spiritual kingdom. 
They come under one name. 

Therefore those that would have the spiritual kingdom of God, by grace 
and peace to rule in their hearts till they reign for ever in heaven, they 
must come by this door, by the ministry, by the outward ordinance. The 
ordinance brings them to grace ; and grace to glory. And it is a good and 
sweet sign of a man spiritually set at liberty, brought out of the kingdom of 
Satan, and freed from the guilt of sin, and from the dominion of sin, which 

* That is, ' teachers.'— G. X Cf. Exodus xxi. 6.— G. 

t Qu. ' had sold ' ?— Ed. 



ABOVE THE LAW. 229 

is broken in sanctification, when we can meekly and cheerfully submit to 
the ordinance of God, with a desire to have his spiritual thraldom dis- 
covered, and to have spiritual duties unfolded, and the riches of Christ laid 
open. When he hears these things with a taste and relish, and a love, it 
is a sign God loves his soul, and that he hath interest in spiritual liberty, 
because he can improve the charter of his soul so well. ' Where the Spu'it 
of the Lord is, there is liberty.' 

And besides this liberty in this world, there is a liberty of glory, called 
' the liberty of the sous of God,' Rom. viii. 21. The liberty of our bodies 
from corruption, the glorious liberty in heaven, when we shall be perfectly 
free. For, alas! in this world we are free to fight, not free from fight; 
and we are free, not from misery, but free from thraldom to misery. But 
then we shall be free from the encounter and encumbrance. ' All tears 
shall be wiped from our eyes,' Rev. vii. 17. We shall be free from all hurt 
of body, in sickness and the like, and free from all the remainders of sin 
in our souls : that is perfect liberty, perfect redemption, and perfect adop- 
tion, both of body and soul. And that we have by the Spirit too ; for 
where the Spirit of God is, there is that too in this world in the beginning 
of it. For, beloved, what is peace of conscience and joy in the Holy 
Ghost ? Is it not the beginnings of heaven ? Is it not a grape of the 
heavenly Canaan ? Is it not the Spirit that we have here an earnest of 
that inheritance ? An earnest penny ; and an earnest is a piece of' the 
bargain. It is never taken away, but is made up with the bargain. 
Therefore, when by the Spirit we have the beginnings of grace and comfort, 
we have the beginnings of that glorious liberty ; and it assures us of that 
glorious liberty as sure as we have the earnest. For God never repents of 
his bargain that he makes with his children. Grace in some sort is glory, 
as we see in the next verse ; because grace is the beginning of glory. It 
frees the soul from terror and subjection to sin, from the thraldom of sin. 
So the life of glory is begun in grace. We have the hfe of glory begun by 
the Spirit, this glorious life. 

Use 1. If we have all these blessed liberties in this world and in that to 
come by the Spirit, then we should labour to have the Spirit of Christ, or 
else we have no Liberty at all ; and labour every day more and more to get 
this spiritual liberty in our consciences, to have our consciences assured by 
the Spirit that our sins are forgiven, and to feel in our consciences a power to 
bring under sin that hath tyrannized over us before. Let us every day more 
and more labour to find this spiritual liberty, and prize daily more the 
ordinances of God, sanctified to set us at liberty. Attend upon spiritual 
means, that God hath sanctified, wherein he will convey the Spirit. There 
were certain times wherein the angel came to stir the waters of the pool, 
John V. 3. So the Spirit of God stirs the waters of the word and ordi- 
nances, and makes them efi"ectual. Attend upon the ordinances of God, the 
communion of saints, &c., and the Spirit of God will slide into our souls 
in the use of holy means. There is no man but he finds experience of it. 
He finds himself raised above himself in the use of holy means. The more 
we know the gospel, the more we have of the Spirit ; and the more Spirit 
we have, the more liberty we enjoy. If we prize and value outward liberty, 
as indeed we do, and we are naturally moved to do it, how should we prize 
the charter of our spiritual liberty, the word of God, and the promises of 
salvation (whereby we come to Icnow all our liberty, where we have all the 
promises opened to us ; the promise of forgiveness of sins, of necessary 
grace ; the promise of comfort in allconditions whatsoever). _ Therefore 



230 EXCELLENCY OF THE GOSPEL 

let US every day labour to grow farther and farther both in the knowledge 
and in the taste and feeling of this spiritual liberty. 

Use 2. Oh beloved, ivhat a blessed condition it is to have this spiritual 
liberty ! Do but see the blessed use and comfort of it in all conditions. 
For if a man hath the Spirit of God to set him at spiritual liberty, in all 
temptations, either to sin, he hath the Spirit of God to free him from 
temptation ; or, if temptation catch hold on him for sin, he hath the Spirit 
of God to fly to, the blood of Christ, to shew that if he confess his sins 
and lay hold on Christ, he hath pardon of sin ; and the blood of Christ 
' speaks better things than the blood of Abel.' It speaks mercy and 
peace. If he by faith sprinkle it upon his soul, if he know the liberty of 
justification, and make use of it : what a blessed liberty is this when we 
have sinned ! 

In restraint of the outward man. If ever God restrain us to humble us, 
what a blessed thing is this, that the spirit is at liberty ! and that is the 
best part of a man. A man may have a free conscience and mind, in a 
restrained condition ; and a man may be restrained in a free state. In the 
guilt of sin, bound over to the wrath of God, and bound over to another 
evil day, a man in the greatest thraldom may have liberty. What a blessed 
condition is this ! 

So in sickness, to consider that there is a glorious liberty of the sons of 
God, and a redemption of body, as well as of soul, that this base body of 
mine shall be like Christ's glorious body ; that there is a resurrection to 
glory — the resurrection will make amends for all these sicknesses and ills 
of body — what a comfort is it to think of the resurrection to glory ! 

And so when death comes, to know that by the blood of Christ there is 
a liberty to enter into heaven ; that Christ by his blood hath opened a 
passage to heaven. 

And so in all necessities, to think I have a liberty to the throne of grace ; 
I am free of heaven ; I am free of the company of saints in earth and in 
heaven too ; I am free to have communion with God ; I have a freedom in 
all the promises ; — what a sweet thing is this, in all wants and necessities, 
to use a spiritual liberty, to have the ear of God, as a favourite in heaven ! 
Not only to be free from the wrath of God, but to have his favour, to have 
his care in all our necessities : what a blessed liberty is this, that a man 
may go with boldness to the throne of grace by the Spirit of Christ ! 

Beloved, it is invaluable. There is not the least branch of this spiritual 
liberty but it is worth a thousand worlds. How should we value it, and 
bless God for giving Christ to work this blessed liberty ; and for giving his 
Spirit to apply it to us more and more, and to set us more and more at 
spiritual liberty. For both the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost, 
all join in this spiritual Hberty. The Father gives the Son, and he gives the 
Spirit ; and all to set us free. It is a comfortable and blessed condition. 

Use 3. Brit how shall ice know whether we be set at liberty or no ? Because 
all will pretend a liberty from the law and from the curse of God, and his 
wrath in justification ? And though it be the foundation of all, I will not 
speak of that, but of that that always accompanies it, a liberty of holiness, 
a Hberty to serve God, a liberty from bondage to lusts, and to Satan. 
Therefore, 

(1.) Wheresoever the Spirit of God is, there is a Hberty of holiness, to 
free us from the dominion of any one sin. We are freed ' to serve him in 
holiness all the days of our lives,' Luke i. 75. Where the Spirit therefore 
is, it will free a man from thraldom to sin, even to any one sin. For the 



ABOVE THE LAW. 231 

Spirit discovers to the soul the odiousness of the bondage. For a man to 
be a slave to Satan, who is his enemy, a cruel enemy, what an odious thing 
is this ! Now whosoever is enthralled to any lust, is in thraldom to Satan 
by that lust. Therefore where this liberty is, there cannot be slavery to 
any one lust. Satan therefore cares not how many sins one leaves, if he 
live in any one sin ; for he hath them in one sin, and can pull them in by 
one sin. As children when they have a bird, they can give it leave to fly, 
so it be in a string to pull it back again ; so Satan hath men in a string, if 
they live in any one sin. The Spirit of Christ is not there, but Satan's 
spirit, and he can pull them in when he will. The beast that runs away 
with a cord about him, he is catched by the cord again ; so when we leave 
many sins, and yet notwithstanding carry his cords about us, he can pull 
us in when he lists. Such are prisoners at liberty more than others, but 
notwithstanding they are slaves to Satan by that, and where Satan keeps 
possession by one sin, and rules there, there is no liberty. For the spirit 
of sanctification where it is, is a counter-poison to the corruption of nature, 
and it is opposite to it, in all the powers of the soul. It suffers no corrup- 
tion to get head. 

(2.) Again, where this liberty from the Spirit is, there is not'only a free- 
dom from all gross sins, but likewise a blessed freedom to all duties, an 
enlargement of heart to duties. God's people are a voluntary people. Those 
that are under grace, they are * anointed by the Spirit,' Ps. Ixxxix. 20, and 
that spiritual anointment makes them nimble. Christian is nothing but 
anointed.* Now he that is truly anointed by the Spirit, is nimble, and 
quick, and active in that that is good in some degree and proportion. One 
use of anointing is to make the members nimble, and agile, and strong ; so 
the Spirit of God is a spirit of cheerfulness and strength where it is. There- 
fore those that find some cheerfulness and strength to perform holy ser- 
vices, to hear the word, to pray to God, and to perform holy duties, it is a 
sign that this comes from the Spirit of God. The Spirit sets them at this 
liberty, because otherwise spiritual duties are as opposite to flesh and blood 
as fire and water. When we are drawn therefore to duties, as a bear to a 
stake, as we say, with foreign motives, for fear, or out of custom, with 
extrinsecal motives, and not from a new nature, this is not from the Spirit. 
This performance is not from the true liberty of the Spirit. For the liberty 
of the Spirit is, when actions come off naturally without force of fear or 
hope, or any extrinsecal motive. A child needs not extrinsecal motives to 
please his father. When he knows he is the child of a loving father, it is 
natural. So there is a new nature in those that have the Spirit of God to 
stir them up to duty, though God's motives may help as the sweet encour- 
agements and rewards. But the principal is to do things naturally, not for 
fear, or for giving content to this or that man. 

Artificial things move from a principle without them, therefore they are 
artificial. Clocks and such things have weights that stir all the wheels 
they go by, and that move them ; so it is with an artificial Christian that 
composeth himself to a course of religion. He moves with weights without 
him ; he hath not an inward principle of the Spirit to make things natural 
to him, and to excite and make him do things naturally and sweetly. 
* Where the Spirit of God is, there is freedom;' that is, a kind of natural 
freedom, not forced, not moved by any foreign extrinsecal motive. 

(3.) Again, where the freedom of spirit is, there is a kind of courage 
against all opposition ivhatsoever, joined ivith a kind of light and strength of 
* That is, as Christ is = anointed, so Christian. — G. 



232 EXCELLENCY OF THE GOSPEL 

faith, breaking through all ojipositions. A consideration of the excellent 
state I am in ; of tlie vileness of the state we are moved to by opposition ; 
— when the Spirit discovers these things with a kind of conviction, what 
is all opposition to a spiritual man ? It adds but courage and strength to 
him to resist. The more opposition, the more courage he hath. In Acts 
iv. 23, scq., when they had the Spirit of God, they opposed opposition ; and 
the more they were opposed, the more they grew. They were cast in prison, 
and rejoiced ; and the more they were imprisoned, the more courageous 
they were still. There is no setting against this wind, nor no quenching 
of this fire, by any human power, where it is true ; for the Spirit of God, 
where it sets a man at liberty indeed, it gathers strength by opposition. 
See how the Spirit triumphed in the martyrs over all opposition, fire, and 
imprisonment, and all. The Spirit in them set them at liberty from such 
base fears, that it prevails in them over all. The Spirit of God, where it 
is, is a victorious Spirit. It frees the soul from base fears of any creature. 
' If God be on our side, who shall be against us ?' Rom. viii. 33, 34. It 
is said of St Stephen, that they could not withstand the Spirit by which he 
spake. Acts vi. 10 ; and Christ promiseth a Spirit that all the enemies shall 
not be able to withstand : so those that are God's children, in the time of 
opposition, when they understand themselves and that to which they stand, 
God gives them a Spirit against which all their enemies cannot stand. The 
Spirit of Christ in Stephen put such a glory upon him, that he looked as if 
he had been an angel. Acts vi. 15 ; so the Spirit of liberty, where it is, it is 
with boldness, and strength, and courage against opposition. Those, there- 
fore, that are awed with every petty thing for standing in a good cause, 
they have not the Spirit of Christ ; for where that is, it frees men from 
these base fears, especially if the cause be God's. 

(4.) Again, where the Spirit of liberty is, it gives hohhiess uith God him- 
self, and thus it is known especially where it is : ' where the Spirit is, there 
is liberty.' What to do ? Even to go to God himself, that otherwise is a 
' consuming fire,' Heb. xii. 29. For the Spirit of Christ goes through the 
mediation of Christ to God. Christ, by his Spirit, leads us to God. He 
that hath not the Spirit of God cannot go to God with a spirit of boldness. 
Therefore, when a man is in affliction, in the time of temptation or great 
affliction, especially when there is opposition, he may best judge what he 
is in truth. When a man is in temptation, or opposition from the world, 
within or without, and can go boldly to God, and pour out his soul to God 
freely and boldly as to a father, this comes from the Spirit of liberty. 
Where the Spirit of Christ is not, though the parts be never so strong, or 
never so great, it will never do thus. Take another man, in the time of 
extremity, he sinks ; but take a child of God in extremity, yet he hath a 
spirit to go to God, and to cry, Abba, Father ; to go in a familiar manner 
to God. Saul was a mighty man. When he was in anguish, he could not 
go to God. Cain could not go to God. Judas, a man of great knowledge, 
he could not go to God. His heart was naught ;'"' he had not the Spirit of 
Christ, but the spirit of the devil ; and the spirit of bondage bound him 
over for his treason to hell and destruction ; because he had not the Spirit 
to go to God, but accounted him his enemy ; he had betrayed Christ. If 
he had said as much to God as he did to the scribes and Pharisees, he 
might have had mercy in the force of the thing. I speak not of the decree 
of God, but in the nature of the thing itself. If he had said so much to 
Christ and to God, he might have found mercy. So let a man be never so 
* That is, ' iiaughty'=wicked. — G. 



ABOVE THE LAW. 233 

great a sinner, if he can go to God, and spread his soul, and lay open his 
sins with any remorse ; it" he can come, and open his soul in confession 
and in petition, and beg mercy of God in Christ, to shine as a Father upon 
his soul — this Spirit of liberty to go to God, it argues that the Spirit of 
Christ is there, because there is liberty to go to God. In Rom. viii. 26, 
speaking there of comfort in afflictions, this is one among the rest, ' that 
the children of God have the Spirit of God, to stir up sighs and groans.' 
Now, where the Spirit of God stirs up sighs and groans, God understands 
the meaning of his own Spirit. There is the spirit of liberty, and there is 
the spirit of sons ; for a spirit of liberty is the spirit of a son. A man may 
know that he is the son of God, and a member of Christ ; and that he hath 
the spirit of liberty in him, if he can, in affliction and trouble, sigh and 
groan to God in the name and mediation of Christ ; for the Spirit stirs up 
groans and sighs : they come from the Spirit. 

That familiar boldness whereby we cry ' Abba, Father,' it comes from 
sons. They only can cry so. This comes from the Spirit. If we be sons, 
then we have the Spirit, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. So, if we can go 
to God with a sweet familiarity, — Father, have mercy upon me, forgive me ; 
look in the bowels of pity upon me, — this sweet boldness and familiarity, 
it comes from the spirit of liberty, and shews that we are sons, and not 
bastards. 

Your strong, rebellious, sturdy-hearted persons, who think to work out 
[of] their misery, out of the strength of parts and friends, &c., they die in 
despair. Their sorrows are too good for them. But when a broken soul 
goes to God in Christ with boldness, this opening of the soul to God, it is 
a sign of liberty, and of the liberty of sons, for this liberty here is the liberty 
of sons, of a spouse, of kings, of members of Christ : the sweetest liberty 
that can be imagined. It is the liberty that those sweet relations breed of 
a wife to the husband, and of loving subjects to their prince, and of children 
to their father. Here is a sweet liberty ; and ' where the Spirit of God is, 
there is all this sweet liberty.' 

There are three degrees that a man is in, that is in the way to heaven. 

[1.] The state of nature, when he cares neither for heaven nor hell in 
a manner, so he may have sensual nature pleased, and go on without 
fear or wit,* without grace, nay, without the principles of nature, so he 
may satisfy himself in a course of sin. That is the worst state, the state 
of nature. 

[2.] But God, if he belong to him, will not suffer him to be in this sottish 
and brutish condition long, hut brings him under the law ; that is, he sets 
his own corrupt nature before him, he shews him the course of his life, and 
then he is afraid of God : ' Depart from me, I am a sinner ;' as Adam he 
ran from God when he had sinned, that was sweet to him before ; so a 
brute man, when he is awakened with conscience of sin, considering that 
there is but a step between him and hell, and considering what a God he 
hath to deal with, and that after death there is eternal damnation, — when 
the Spirit of God hath convinced him of this, then he is in a state of fear, 
and when he is in this state, he is unfit to have liberty to run to God. 
He useth all his power to shift from God all he can, and hates God, and 
wisheth there were no God, and trembles at the very thought of God, and 
of death, &c. 

[3.] Oh, but if a man belong to God, God will not leave him in this 
condition (and though this be better than the first, it is better that a man 
* That is, ' wisdom' = knowledge. — G. 



234 



EXCELLENCY OF THE GOSPEL 



were out of his wits almost, than to be senseless as a block) ; there is 
another condition spoken of here, that is, 0/ liberty : when God by his 
Spirit discovers to him in Christ forgiveness of sins, the gracious face of 
God ready to receive him, ' Come unto me all ye that are weary and heavy 
laden,' Mat. xi. 28, saith Christ ; and * where sin hath abounded, grace 
more abounds,' Kom. v. 20 ; when a man hears this still sweet voice of the 
gospel, he begins then to take comfort to himself, then he goes to God 
freely. Now all in this state of freedom, take them at the worst, they have 
boldness to go to God. David in his extremity, he runs to God. David 
trusted in the Lord his God. When he was at his wits' end, what doth 
Saul in his extremity ? He runs to his sword's point. Judges ix. 54, seq. 
Take a man under nature, or under the law, in extremity, the greater wit 
he hath, the more he entangleth himself. His wit serves to entangle him, 
to weave a web of his own despair. But take a gracious man, that is 
acquainted with God in Christ, in such a man there is a hberty to go to 
God at the lowest ; for he hath the Spirit of Christ in him. What did the 
Spirit in Christ himself direct him to do at the lowest ? ' my God, my 
God,' Mark xv. 34. In the deepest desertion, yet ' my God.' There was 
a liberty to go to God. So take a Christian that hath the same Spirit in 
him, as indeed he hath, ' My God' still. He owns God and knows him in 
all extremity. 

Many are discovered hence to have no Spirit of God in them. In 
trouble whither go they ? To their purse, to their friends, to anything. 
They labour to overcome theu' troubles one way or other, by physic and 
the like, but never to go with boldness and comfort, and a kind of fami- 
liarity to God. They have no famiHarity with God. Therefore they have 
not a Spirit of liberty. 

[4.] Again, where this Spirit of liberty is, as there is a freedom to go to 
God, so in reyard of the creature and the things here below, there is a freedom 
from popular, vulgar conceits, from the errors of the times and the slavish 
courses of the times. 

There are alway two sorts of wicked persons in the world. 

(1.) The one ivho accounts it their heaven, and happiness, to domineer over 
others ; to bring them into subjection, and to rule over their consciences if 
they can, and sell all to please them, conscience and all. 

(2.) Another sort again, so they may gain, they will sell their liberty, their 
reason and all : if it be but for a poor thing, so they may get anything that 
they value in the world, to make them beasts, as if they had no reasonable 
understanding souls, much less grace. Between those two, some domineer- 
ing and others beastly serving, a few that go upon terms of Christianity, are 
of sound judgment. Now where the Spirit of God is, there is liberty, that 
is, a freedom not to enthral our judgments to any man, much less con- 
science. The judgment of man enlightened by reason is above any creature ; 
for reason is a beam of God, and all the persons in the world ought not to 
think to have power over a man, to say anything against his knowledge.* 
It is to say against God, if it be but in civil matters, be it what it will. 
Judgment is the spark of God. Nature is but God's candle. It is a light 
of the same light that grace is of, but inferior. For a man to speak against 
his conscience to please men, where is hberty ! For a man to enthral his 
conscience to please another man ! No man that hath the spirit of a man 
will be so Pharisaical, to say as another man saith, and to judge as another 
man judgeth, and to do all as another man doth, without seeing some 

* That is, power to make a man say anything that he knows to be untrue. — G. 



ABOVE THE LAW. 



235 



reason himself ; going upon the principles of a man himself. It is true of 
a man as a man, unless he -will unman himself. It is much more true of a 
Christian man. He will not for base fears and engagements enthral his con- 
science, and sell heaven and happiness and his comfort for this and that ; 
and those that do it, though they talk of liberty, they are slaves ; though they 
domineer in the world, the curse of Cain- is upon them, they are slaves of 
slaves. 

Therefore, where the Spirit of Christ is, there is an independent liberty. 
A man is independent upon any other man, further than he sees it agrees 
with the rules of religion ; and he is dependent only upon God, and upon 
divine principles and grounds. The apostle saith, ' The spiritual man 
judgeth all things, and is judged of none,' 1 Cor. ii. 15. So far as a man 
is ' led with the Spirit,' Rom. viii. 14, he discerns things in the light of 
the Spirit, He judgeth all things to he as they are, in the hght of the 
Spirit, and is judged of none. His meaning is not, that none will usurp 
judgment of him, for that they will do. The emptiest men are most rash 
and censorious ; but he is judged of none aright. It is a fool's bolt. But 
the spiritual man indeed passeth a right verdict upon persons and things, 
as far as he is spiritual. And that is the reason that carnal men especially 
hate spiritual men above all things. They hate men that have a natural 
conscience, that judge according to the light of reason, for that is above any 
creature. When a man will not say white is black, that good is evil, to 
please any man in the world, a man that hath a natural conscience will not 
do this. And this is very distasteful. Where men idolise themselves they 
love not such, but such as are slaves to them. But much more, when a 
man is spiritual, he judgeth all things and censureth them and their courses ; 
for he is above all, and seeth all beneath him. Therefore the greatest men 
in the world are holy men. They are above all other men, and without 
usurpation, they pass a censure upon the course and state of other men, 
though they be never so great. Howsoever the image of God is upon them, 
in regard of their authority and the like, yet in their dispositions they are 
base, and slaves to their corruptions and to Satan. They are not out of 
the base rank of nature. Now a man that is a child of God, he is taken 
into a better condition, and hath a spiritual liberty in him. ' He judgeth 
all things and is judged of none.' They may call him this and that ; it is 
but malice, and a spice of the sin against the Holy Ghost ; but their heaits 
tell them he is otherwise. He shall judge them ere long, for ' the saints 
shall judge the world. 'f Therefore Christians should know, and take notice 
of their excellency. ' Where the Spirit of God is, there is liberty' to judge 
all things as far as they come within their reach and calling, to judge aright 
of all things. Therefore we should know how to maintain the credit of a 
Christian, that is, to maintain a liberty independent upon all but God ; and 
other things with reservation, as far as they agree with conscience and 
religion. Thus we see how we may judge of this liberty. ' Where the 
Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.' 

He doth not say licentiousness to shake off all government ; for by too 
much Ucentiousness all liberty is lost ; but ' where the Sjnrit of God is, 
there is liberty.' For a true Christian is the greatest servant and the 
greatest freeman in the world ; for he hath a spirit that will yield to none. 
In things spiritual he reserves a liberty for his judgment, yet for outward 
conformity of hfe and conversation he is a servant to all, to do them good. 
Love makes him a servant. Christ was the greatest servant that ever was. 
* Qu Ham? Gen. ix. 25.— G. t Cf. 1 Cor, vi. 3 ; Mat. xis. 28.— G. 



236 EXCELLEXCY OF THE GOSPEL 

He was both the servant of God and our servant. And there is none so 
free. The greater portion of the Spirit, the more inward and spiritual 
freedom ; and the more freedom, the more disposition to serve one another 
in love, and to do all things that a man should do outwardly, all things 
that are lawful. We must take heed of that, mistake not this spiritual 
liberty. It stands with conformity to all good lav/s and all good orders, 
and there is a great mistake of carnal men for want of this. They think 
it liberty to do as men list.* It is true, if a man have a strong and a holy 
understanding, to be a good leader to it, but it is the greatest bondage in 
the world, to have most freedom in ill. As I said before, those that are 
most free in ill are most slaves of all ; for their corruptions will not suffer 
them to hear good things, to be where good things are spoken, to accompany 
with those that are good, their corruptions hath them in so narrow a 
custody. Some kind of men, their corruptions are so malignant and binding, 
that they will not sutler them to be in any opportunity wherein their cor- 
ruptions may be restrained at all, but they hate the very sight of persons 
that may restrain them, and all laws that might restrain them. Now this 
is the greatest slavery in the world, for a man to have no acquaintance 
with that that is contrary to his corrupt disposition. 

Well, ' new lords new laws,' as soon as ever a man is in Christ and hath 
Christ's Spirit, he hath another law in his soul to rule him contrary to that 
that there was before. Before he was ruled by the law of his lusts, that 
carried him whither he would ; but now in Christ he hath a new Lord and 
a new law, and that rules him according to the regiment f of the Spirit, ' The 
law of the Spirit of life in Christ hath freed me from the law of sin and of 
death,' Rom. viii. 2. 

Use 4. Again, seeing where the Spirit of God is, there is this sweet and 
glorious liberty, let us take heed by all means that ice do not grieve the Spint. 
When we find the Holy Ghost in the use of any good means to touch upon 
our souls. Oh give him entrance and way to come into his own chamber, 
as it were to provide a room for himself ; as Cyprian saith, Consecra habi- 
taculum, dv., enter into thy bedchamber ; consecrate a habitation for 
thyself fcj. So let us give him way to come into our souls when he 
knocks by his motions. We that live in the church, there is none of us 
all but our hearts tell us that we have often resisted the Holy Ghost. We 
might have been saved if we had not been rebellious and opposite. Grieve 
not the Spirit by any means. 

Quest. How is the Spirit grieved ? 

Ans. Especially these two or three ways. 

(1.) The Spirit being a Spirit of holiness, is grieved ivith unclean 
courses, with unclean motions and words and actions. He is called the Holy 
Spirit, and he stirs up in the soul holy motions like himself. He breathes 
into us hoty motions, and he breathes out of us good and holy and savoury 
words, and stirs us up to holy actions. Now when we give liberty to our 
mouths to speak rottenly, to swear — I am ashamed almost to name that 
word — when we give liberty to such filthiness, is not this a grieving of the 
Spirit, if we have the Spirit at all ? If we have not a care to grieve our- 
selves, do we not grieve all about us ? Therefore take heed of all filthy 
unholy words, thoughts, or carriages. It grieves the Spirit. 

(2.) Then the Spirit is a Spirit of love, take heed of canker and malice. 
We grieve the Spirit of God by cherishing canker and malice one against 
another. It drives away the sweet spirit of love. Therefore make con- 
* That is, ' choose.' — G. t That is, ' goTernment.' — G. 



ABO'V'E THE LAW. 237 

science of grieving the Spirit. He will not rest in a malicious heart who 
is the Spirit of love. 

(3.) Again, the Spirit of Christ, wheresoever it is, it is joined with a 
spirit of humility. ' God gives grace to the humble,' James iv. 6. It 
empties the soul that it may fill it. It empties it of what is in it, of windy 
vanity, and fills it with itself. Therefore those that are filled with vain, 
high, proud conceits, they grieve and keep out the good Spirit of 
God ; for we should empty om- souls that the Spirit of God may have a 
large dwelling there, or else we grieve the Spirit. 

(4.) In a word, any sin ayainst conscience grieves the Spirit of God, and 
hinders spiritual liberty, because ' where the Spirit of God is, there is 
liberty.' Would we preserve liberty, we must preserve the Spirit. If we 
sin against conscience, we hinder liberty every way. We hinder our liberty 
to good duties. When a man sins against conscience he is dead to good 
actions. Conscience tells him. Why do you go about it, you have done 
this and that ? He is shackled in his performances ; he cannot go so 
naturally to prayer and to hearing. Conscience lays a clog upon him. J 

[1.] He is shackled, in prayer especially ; he hath not liberty to the throne 
of grace. How dares he look to heaven, when he bath grieved the Spirit 
of God, and broken the peace of his conscience ? What communion hath 
he with God ? So it hinders peace with God. A man cannot look 
Christ in the face. As a man, when he hath wronged another man, he is 
ashamed to look on him, so the soul when it hath run into sins against 
conscience, it is ashamed to look on Christ, and to go to God again. There- 
fore any sin against conscience grieves the Spirit, and hinders all sweet 
liberty that was before. It takes away the degree of it. 

[2.] It hinders boldness ivith men, for what makes a man courageous in his 
dealings with men ? A clear conscience. Let it be the stoutest man in the 
world, let him maintain any lust against conscience, it will make him so far a 
slave ; for when it comes to the crossing of that lust once, then you shall see he 
will even betray all his former stoutness and strength. If a man be covet- 
ous and ambitious, he may be stout for a time, but when he comes to be 
crossed it will take away all liberty that a man hath, to cherish any sin. 

In a word, to preserve this liberty, let us go to Christ, from whom we 
have this liberty ; complain to him. When we find any corruption stirring, 
go to the Lord in the words of St Austin, and say, ' Now, Lord, free me from 
my necessities.'* I cannot serve thee as I should do, nor as I would do. ,1 
am enthralled to sin, but I would do better. I cannot do so well as I 
would ; free me from my necessities. Complain of our corruptions to God. 
As the woman in the law, when she complained if she were assaulted, she 
saved her life by complaining, Deut. xxii. 25-27, so let us complain to 
Christ if we find violence offered to us by our corruptions. I cannot by my 
own strength set myself at liberty from this corruption. Lord, give me thy 
Spirit to do it. Set me more and more at liberty from my former bondage, 
and from this that hath enthralled me. So complain to Christ, and desire 
him to do his office. Lord, thy office is ' to dissolve the works of the 
devil,' 1 John iii. 8. And go to the Spirit. It is the office of the Holy 
Ghost to free us, to be a Spirit of liberty. Now desire Christ and the 
Holy Ghost to do their office of setting us at spiritual liberty. And this 
we must do in the use of means and avoiding of occasions, and then it will 
be efficacious to preserve that spiritual liberty as will tell our consciences that 
we are no hypocrites ; and that will end in a glorious liberty in the life to come. 

* Cf. Note a— G. 



238 EXCELLENCY OF THE GOSPEL 

And let this be a comfort to all poor struggling and striving Christians 
that are not yet set at perfect liberty from their lusts and corruptions ; that 
it is the office of the Spirit of Christ as the King of the church ; it is his 
office by his Spirit to purge the church perfectly, to make it a glorious 
spouse. At last he will do his own office. And besides this liberty of grace 
joined with conflict in this world, there is another liberty of glory, when 
I shall be freed from all oppositions without, and from all conflict and 
corruption within. It is called ' the liberty of the sons of God,' Rom. 
viii. 21, and those that look not more and more for the gracious liberty to 
be free from passions and corruptions here, they must not look for the 
glorious liberty in heaven. But those that live a conflicting life, and pray 
to Christ more and more for the Spirit of liberty to set up a liberty in us, 
these may look for the liberty of the Son of God, that will be ere long, 
when we shall be out of reach, and free from corruption ; when the Spirit 
of God shall be all in all. Now our lusts will not sufier the Spirit to be 
all in all, but in heaven he shall ; there shall be nothing to rise against 
him. This that hath been spoken shall suffice for that 17th verse, ' The 
Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty.' 
I proceed to the next verse, which I pui-pose to dwell more on. 

Verse 18. ' But we all, as in a glass, with open face behold the glory of the 
Lord, and are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, as by the 
Spirit of the Lord.' 

As the sun riseth by degrees till he come to shine in glory, so it was 
with the Sun of righteousness. He discovered himself in the church by 
little and little. The latter times now are more glorious than the former ; 
and because comparisons give lustre, the blessed apostle, to set forth the 
excellency of the administration of the covenant of grace under the gospel, 
he compares it with the administration of the same covenant in the time of 
the law ; and in the comparison prefers that administration under the 
gospel as more excellent. Now besides other difl"erences in the chapter, he 
insists upon three especially. 

They difi'er in generality, evidence, efficacy. 

(1.) First, in regard^of the generality, ' We all now with open face,' &c. 
Moses only beheld the glory of the Lord in the mount, but ' we all,' not all 
men, but all sound Christians that have their eyes opened ; all sorts of 
believers, behold this glory. In spiritual things there is no envy. Every 
one may be partaker in solidum, entirely of all. Envy is in the things of 
this life, where the more one hath the less another hath. It is a matter of 
glory and excellency the more are partakers of spiritual things. The Jews 
rejoiced that the Gentiles should be called, and we now rejoice in hope, 
and should rejoice marvellously if we could see it efi"ected, that the Jews 
should be taken in again ; the more the better ; ' we all.' 

(2.) And then for evidence. ' We behold with open face,^ that is, with 
freedom and boldness, which was not in the time of the law. For they 
were afraid to look upon Moses when he came down from the mount, his 
countenance was so majestical and terrible. But * we all with open face,' 
freely, boldly, and cheerfully, look upon the glory of God in the gospel. 
The light of the gospel is an alluring comforting light ; the light of the law 
was dazzling and terrifying. 

' As in a glass.' They beheld God in a glass, but it was not so clear a 
glass. They beheld him as it were in the water, we behold him in crystal. 
We see God in the glass of the word and sacraments, but they in a 



ABOVE THE LAW. 239 

world of ceremonies. Christ was to them swaddled and wrapped up in a 
great many types. 

(3.) And then for the power and efficacy, the gospel is beyond the law. 
The law had not power to convert, to change into its own likeness ; but 
now the gospel, which is the ministry of the Spirit, it hath a transforming 
changing power, into the likeness of Christ whom it preacheth. ' We are 
changed from glory to glory,' It is a gradual change, not all at once, but 
from glory to glory, from one degree of gi'ace to another ; for gi-ace is here 
called glory. We are changed from the state of grace till we* come to 
heaven, the state of glory. 

And then the cause of all. It is ' by the Spirit of the Lord.' The Spirit 
runs through all. It is ' hj the Spirit of the Lord ' that we behold. It is 
the Spirit of the Lord that takes away the veil. It is by the Spirit that 
we are changed from glory to glory. 

Thus you see how many ways the administration of the covenant of grace 
now is more excellent than the administration of the covenant of grace 
was then. In a word it hath four excellencies especially, as. 

First, Liberty and freedom from the bondage of ceremonies and of the 
law. In a great part they had little gospel and a great deal of law mingled 
with it. We have much gospel and little law. We have more freedom 
and liberty. 

Second, And thereupon we have more clearness. We see Christ more 
clearly. ' With open face we behold the glory of the Lord.' 

Third. And thirdly, there is more intension of grace. The Spirit works 
more strongly now, even to a change. The ministry of the gospel hath 
the Spirit with it, whereby we are changed from the heart-root inwardly 
and thoroughly. 

Fourth, And lastly, in the extension. It is more large. ' We aU,' 
Gentiles as well as Jews, ' behold,' &c. 

Hence, let us seriously and fruitfully consider in what excellent times 
the Lord hath cast us, that we) may answer it with thankfulness and 
obedience. God hath reserved us to these glorious times, better than ever 
our forefathers saw.f 

There are three main parts of the text : Our communion and feUou-ship 
with God in Christ. ' We all now in a glass behold the glory of the Lord.' 
And then, 

Our conformity thereupon. By beholding we are changed into the same 
image. 

The third is the cause of both ; the cause why we ' behold the glory of 
God,' and why by beholding ' we are changed from glory to glory;' it is 
* the Spirit of God.' 

This text hath many themes of glory. All is glorious in it. There is 
the glorious mercy of God in Christ, who is the Lord of glory, the gospel 
in which we see the grace of God and of Christ ; ' The glorious gospel,' 
1 Tim. i. 11, the change by which we are changed, a glorious change * from 
glory to glory,' and by a glorious power, by * the Spirit of the Lord,' all 
here is glorious. Therefore blessed be God, and blessed be Christ, and 
blessed be the Spirit, and blessed be the gospel, and we blessed that live 
in these blessed and glorious times ! But to come to the words. 

* But we all as in a glass,' &c. 
^ The happiness of man consists especially in two things : 

* Misprinted ' he.'— G. 

t Cf. Introduction to Sibbes's Will, Vol. I. page cxxvii. — G. 



240 EXCELLENCY OF THE GOSPEL 

In communion with God, in conformity to God. 

The means how to attain them both are laid down in this verse. 

I shall speak of them in order. First, of our communion idth the chief 
good ; and then of the confonnity wrouffht iqjon that communion. 

And in the communion, j'rrst of God's discoverincj of himself hy his Spirit. 

And then of our apprehension of him hy beholdiny. 

' We all with open face behold the glory of the Lord,' &c. 

In the glass of the gospel we see Christ, and in Christ the glory of God 
shining, especially of his mercy. 

The point then here is, that, 

Doct. The grace and free mercy of God is his glory. Now in our fallen 
estate the glory of God is especially his mercy shining in Jesus Christ. 

What is glory ? 

Glory implieth these things. 

[1.] First, Excellency. Nothing is glorious but that that is excellent. 

[2.] Secondly, Evidence and manifestation ; for nothing is glorious, though 
it be excellent, if it appear not so. Therefore light is said to be glorious, 
because the rays of it appear and run into the eyes of all as it were. And 
therefore we call things that are glorious by the name of light, iUnstrissimus 
and clarissimus, terms taken from light, (fZ) because where glory is there 
must be manifestation. Thus light, it is a creature of God that manifests 
itself and other things. 

[3.] Thirdly, Victoriousness. In glory there is such a degree of excel- 
lency as is victorious, and convincing that it is so indeed ; conquering the 
contrary that opposeth it. Light causeth darkness to vanish presently. 
When the sun which is a glorious creature appears, where are the stars ? 
And where are meaner men in the appearance of a glorious prince ? They 
are hid. The meaner things are shadowed by glory. 

[4.] Again, usually glory hath with it the suffrage and app)rohation of 
others, or else it hath not its right end ; that is. Why doth God create such 
glory in nature as light, and such like, but that men may behold the light ? 
and why are kings and great men glorious at certain times, but that there 
be beholders ? If there were no beholders there would be no glory. 

Now to apply this to the point in hand. ' The glory of the Lord ;' that 
is, his attributes, especially that of grace, mercy, and love in Christ. That 
especially is his excellency. 

And there is an evidence and manifestation of it. It appears to us in 
Christ, ' The grace of God had appeared,' Titus ii. 11. Christ is called 
grace. He is the grace of God invested and clothed with man's nature. 
When Christ appeared, the grace and mercy and love of God appeared. 

Then again it is victorious, shining to victory over all that is contrary. 
For, alas ! beloved, what would become of us if there were not grace 
above sin, and mercy above misery, and power in Christ Jesus above all 
the power in Satan and death ! 

And then they have a testimony of all that belong to God ; for they have 
their eyes opened to behold this glory, and by beholding are transformed 
from glory to glory, as we shall see after. 

So that whatsoever may be said of glory may be said of this glory, whence 
aU other glory indeed is derived. 

' The glory of the Lord.' 

By the glory of the Lord then is meant especially the glory of his mercy 
and love in Jesus Christ. 

The several attributes of God shine upon several occasions: They have 



ABOVE THE LAW. 241 

as it were several theatres whereon to discover their glory. In creation 
there was power most of all. In governing the world, wise providence. 
In hell, justice in punishing sinners. But now to man in a laj^sed estate, 
what attribute shines most, and is most glorious ? Oh it is mercy and free 
grace. If grace and mercy were hid, our state being as it is since the fall, 
what were all other attributes but matter of terror ? To think of the wis- 
dom, and power, and justice of God would add aggravations. He is the 
more wise and powerful to take revenge on us, &c. Grace is the glorious 
attribute whereby God doth as it were set himself to triumph over the 
greatest ill that can be, over sin. That that is worse than the devil himself 
cannot prevail over his grace. There is a greater height and depth and 
breadth ; there are greater dimensions in love and mercy in Christ than 
there is in our sins and miseries ; and all this is gloriously discovered in 
the gospel. 

Do you wonder then why the grace of God hath found such enemies as 
it hath done alway, especially in popery, where they mingle their works 
with grace ? For the opposite heart of man being in a frame of enmity to 
God, sets itself most against that that God will be glorified in. Therefore 
we should labour to vindicate nothing so much as grace. We have a dan- 
gerous encroaching sect risen up, enemies to the grace of God, that palliate 
and cover their plot cunningly and closely, but they set nature against 
grace. Let us vindicate that upon all occasions ; for we live by grace, 
and we must die by grace, and stand at the day of judgment by grace ; not 
in our own righteousness, but in the righteousness of Christ, being found 
in him. But because it is a sweet point, and may serve us all in stead, to 
consider that God will honour himself gloriously in this sweet attribute, let 
us see a little how the glory of God shines in Christ more than otherwise ; 
parallel it with other things a little. 

(1.) The glory of God ivas in Adam: for Adam had the image of God 
upon him, and had communion and fellowship with God ; but there is 
greater glory now shining in the gospel, in Jesus Christ, to poor sinners. 
For when man stood in innocency, God did good to a good man, and God 
was amiable and friendly to a friend. Adam was the friend of God then. 
Now to do good to him that is good, and to maintain sweet communion 
with a friend, this is good indeed, and it was a great glory of God's mercy 
that he would raise such a creature as man hereto. But now in Jesus 
Christ there is a further glory of mercy ; for here God doth good to ill 
men, and the goodness of God is victorious and triumphant over the greatest 
misery and the greatest ill of man. Now in the gospel God doth good to 
his greatest enemies herein, as it is Eom. v. 10. God set forth and com- 
mended gloriously his love, that ' when we were enemies, he gave his Son 
for us. Therefore here is greater glory of mercy and love shining forth to 
fallen man in Christ than to Adam in innocency. 

(2.) The ylory of God shines in the heavens. ' The heavens declare the 
glory of God, and the firmament sheweth his handiwork,' Ps. xix. 1. 
Eveiy creature hath a beam of God's glory in it. The whole world is a 
theatre of the glory of God. But what is the glory of creation, of preser- 
vation, and governing of the world, to the glory of his mercy and compassion 
that shines in Christ ? The glory of the creature is nothing to this ; for 
all the creatures were made of nothing ; but here the glory of mercy is such 
in Christ that God became a creature himself. 

(3.) Nay, to go higher, to the angels themselves. It is not philangelia, but 

VOL. IV. Q 



24.2 EXCELLENCY OF THE GOSPEL 

philanthwpia that outshines all.* God is not called the lover of angels. 
He took not upon him the nature of angels, but the nature of man ; and 
man is the spouse of Christ, the member of Christ. Angels are not so. 
They are but ministering spirits for the good of them that shall be saved. 
Christ, as it is Eph. i. 21, when he rose again, he was ' advanced above all 
principalities and powers,' therefore above the angelical nature. Now 
Christ and the church are all one. They make but one mystical body. 
The church is the queen, and Christ is the king. Therefore Christ mys- 
tical, the church, is above all angelical nature whatsoever. The angels are 
not the queen and spouse of Christ. So the glory of God's goodness is 
more to man, to sinful man, after he believes and is made one with Christ, 
than to any creature whatsoever. Thus God hath dignified and advanced 
our nature in Jesus Christ. Comparisons give lustre. Therefore this 
shews plainly unto us Christians that the glory of the mercy and love and 
kindness of God to man in Christ shines more than his glory and mercy 
and kindness to all the creatures in the world besides. Therefore here is 
a glory with an excellency. 

On the other side, nothing more terrible than to consider of God. Out 
of Christ, what is he but a * consuming fire'? Heb. xii. 29. But to con- 
sider of his mercy, his glorious mercy in Jesus Christ, nothing is more 
sweet. For in Jesus Christ God hath taken upon him that sweet relation 
of a Father ; ' The Father of mercy, and God of all comfort,' 2 Cor. i. 3. 
So that the nature of God is lovely in Christ, and our nature in Christ is 
lovely to him. And this made the angels, who, though they have not 
increase of grace hj Christ, yet having increase of comfort and glory, when 
Christ was born, to sing from heaven ' Glory to God on high,' &c., Luke 
ii. 14. What glory ? Why, the glory of his mercy, of his love, of his 
grace to sinful men. Indeed, there is a glory of wisdom to reconcile justice 
and mercy together, and a glory of truth to fulfil the promise. But that 
that sets all attributes for our salvation on work was mercy and grace. 
Therefore that is the glory of God especially here meant. For as we say 
in morality, that is the greatest virtue that other virtues serve, so in 
divinity, that attribute which others serve is the greatest of all. In our 
salvation, wisdom, yea, and justice itself, serves mercy. For God by his 
wisdom devised a way to content justice, by sending his Son to take our 
nature, and in that nature to give satisfaction to justice, that there might 
be a harmony among the attributes. To make some use of this. 

Use 1. Doth God manifest his glory? I will not speak at large of glory, 
being an endless argument, but confine it to the glory of grace and mercy 
in the gospel, which therefore is called the glory of the gospel. I say, doth 
God shew such glorious mercy in Christ ? Then, I beseech you, let us 
justify God, and justify this course that God hath taken to glorify his tnercy in 
Jesus Christ, hy emhracing Christ. It is said of the proud Pharisees, ' they 
despised the counsel of God,' Luke vii. 30. God hath poured out mercy, 
bowels of mercy, in Christ crucified. Therefore, in embracing Christ, we 
justify the counsel of God concerning our salvation. 

Do but consider what a loving God we have, who would not be so far in 

love with his only Son as to keep him to himself, when we had need of 

him : a God that accounts himself most glorious in those attributes that 

' are most for our comfort. He accounts not himself so glorious for his 

wisdom, for his power, or for his justice, as for his mercy and grace, for 

* That is, not p/Aayy£X/a, but (piXa\'&^u-iia. — G. 



ABOVE THE LAW. 



243 



his pMlanthropia, his love of man. Shall not we therefore even be inflamed 
with a desire of gratifying him, who hath joined his glory with our salva- 
tion ? that accounts himself glorious in his mercy above all other attributes ? 
Shall the angels, that have not that benefit by Christ as we have, shall they 
in our behalf, out of love to us and zeal to God's glory, sing from heaven, 
' Glory to God on high ' ? and shall we be so dead and frozen-hearted that 
reap the crop, as not to acknowledge this glory of God, breaking out in the 
gospel, the glory of his mercy and rich grace ? The apostle is so full when 
he falls upon this theme, that he cannot speak without words of amplifica- 
tion and enlargement; one while he calls it ' rich grace,' Eph. i. 7, another 
while he stands in admiration, ' Oh the depth of the love of God,' Kom. 
xi. 33. What deserves admiration but glorious things ? The best testi- 
mony that can be given of glorious things is when we admire them. Now 
if we would admire, is there anything so admirable that we can say, Oh the 
height, and depth, as we may of the love of God in Christ ? There are 
all the dimensions of unparalleled glory, height, and breadth,, and depth. 
Therefore, I beseech you, let us often even stand in admiration of the love 
of God to us in Christ. ' So God loved the world,' John iii. 16. The 
Scripture leads to this admiration by phrases that cannot have a podesis* a 
redition* back again. 'So.' How? We cannot tell how. 'So' as is 
beyond all expression. The Scripture itself is at a stand for words. Oh base 
nature, that we are dazzled with anything but that we should most admire. 
How few of us spend our thoughts this way, to consider God's wonderful 
and admirable mercy and grace in Christ, when yet there is no object in 
the world so sweet and comfortable as this is, that the very angels pry into ! 
They desire to pry into the mystery of our salvation by Christ. They are 
students therein. The cherubins, they were set upon the mercy seat, 
having a counterview, one upon another, implying a kind of admiration. 
They pry into the secrets of God's love in governing his people, and bring- 
ing them to heaven. Shall they do it, and shall not we study and admire 
these things, that God may have the glory ? God made all for his glory, 
beloved ; and ' the wicked for the day of wrath,' as Solomon saith, Prov. 
xvi. 4. And hath he not new made all for his glory ? Is not the new 
creature more for his glory than the old creature ? Therefore if we will 
make it good that we are new creatures, let us seek to glorify God every 
way, not in word alone, but in heart admiring him, and in life conversing 
with him. 

And that we may glorify God in deed, let us glory in God's love ; for 
we must glory in this glory. Nature, beloved, is glorious of itself, and 
vain-glorious. But would you glory without vanity ? Go out of your- 
selves and see what you are in Christ, in the grace and mercy and free 
love of God, culling us out from the rest of mankind ; and there you may 
glory safely over sin, and death, and hell. For being justified freely from 
our sins, you can think of death, of the damnation of others, of hell, with- 
out fear. ' God forbid,' saith St Paul, ' that I should glory in anything, 
but in the cross of Christ,' Gal. vi. 14 ; that is, in the mercy of God 
appointing such a means for satisfaction. ' Let not the wise man glory in 
his wisdom, nor the strong man glory in his strength,' &c., Jer. ix. 23. 
There is a danger in such glorying. It is subject to a curse. But if a man 
will glory, let him ' glory in the Lord.' 

Use 2. Again, if God account his mercy and love in Christ, especially his 
glory, shall we think that God ivill admit of any partner with Christ in the 
* Qu. ' apodosis ' and ' reddition ' ? — Ed. 



244 EXCELLENCY OF THE GOSPEL 

matter of salvation ? If, as tlie psalmist saitb, ' be made us. and not we 
ourselves,' Ps. c. 3, shall we think that we have a hand in making our- 
selves again ? Will God suffer his glory to be touched upon by interces- 
sions of saints' merits, and satisfaction, and free will ? Grace is not 
glorious if we add the least thing of our own to it. Cannot we make a hair 
of our head, or the grass that we trample upon, but there must be a glory 
and power of God in it ? And can we bring ourselves to heaven? There- 
fore away with that ' Hail, Mary, full of grace ! ' * Hail, Mary, freely 
beloved ! ' is the right interpretation ; and they that attribute matter of 
power and grace and favour to her, as in that ' Oh beseech thy Son,' &c., 
they take away that wherein God and Christ will be glorified, and attribute 
it to his mother and other creatures (e). I do but touch this, to bring us 
into loathing and abomination of that religion that sets somewhat of the 
creature against that wherein God will be glorified above all. 

Use 3. Again, let us stay ourselves, ivheii we ivalk in darkness, ivitJi the con- 
sideration of the gloriousness of God's mercy in Jesus Christ, here called 
* the glory of the Lord.' It is no less mercy than glorious mercy that will 
satisfy us, when we are in distress of conscience ; and if this will not, what 
will ? Let Satan aggravate our sins as much as may be, and join with 
conscience in this business ; yet set this glorious mercy against all our 
sins, make the most of them, they are sins of a finite creature. But here 
is infinite mercy, triumphing and rejoicing over justice, having gotten the 
victory over it. Oh beloved, when the time of temptation comes, and the 
hour of death, and conflict with conscience, and a confluence and con- 
currence of all that may discourage, Satan will bestir himself; and he is a 
cunning rhetorician to set all the colours upon sin, especially in the time of 
despair; be as cunning to set all colours upon mercy, glorious mercy. If 
God were glorious in all other attributes, and not in mercy, what would 
become of us ? The glory of other attributes without mercy tends to 
despair ; glorious in wisdom to find us out; glorious in justice to deal with 
us in rigour. These afiiight, but that that sweeteneth all other attributes 
is his mercy. 

What a comfort is this to sinful man, that in casting himself upon Christ, 
and upon God's mercy in Christ, he yields glory to God ; that God hath joined 
his glory with our special good ; that here is a sweet concurrence between 
the summum ftnis* and the summmn homini of man! The last end of man of 
all is the glory of God ; for that is as it were the point of the circle 
from which all came (for he made all for his glory), and in which all ends ; 
so is the chief good. Therefore by the way it is a vain conceit for some 
to think, ' Oh we must not look to our own salvation so much ; this is 
self-love.' 

It is true, to sever the consideration of the glory of God's mercy and 
goodness in it, but see both these wrapped and knit together indissolvable, 
our salvation and God's glory. We hinder God's glory if we believe not 
his mercy in Christ to us. So at once we wrong ourselves and him, and 
we wrong him not in a mean attribute, but in his mercy and goodness, 
wherein he hath appointed to glorify himself most of all ; and therefore, I 
beseech you, let us yield to him the glory of his mercy, and let us think 
that when we sin we cannot glorify him more than to have recourse to his 
mercy. When Satan tempts us to run fi'om God, and discourageth us, 
as he will do at such times, then have but this in your thoughts, God hath 
set himself to be glorious in mercy, above all other attributes. And this 
* Qu. ' summum finem ' .? or ' summus finis ' ? — Ed. 



ABOVE THE LAW. 245 

is the first moving attribute that stirs up all the rest, and therefore God 
will account himself honoured if I have recourse to him. Let this thought 
therefore be as a city of refuge. When the avenger of blood follows thee, 
flee presently to this sanctuary. Think thus. Let not me deny myself 
comfort and Grod gloiy at once : ' Where sin abounds, grace abounds 
much more,' Rom. v. 20. Though sins after conversion stain our profes- 
sion more than sins before conversion, yet notwithstanding go to the 
glorious mercy of God still, to seventy times seventy times,* there is yet 
mercy for these. f We beseech you be reconciled, saith St Paul to the 
Corinthians, when they were in the state of grace, and had their pardon 
before. Let us never be discouraged from going to Christ. 

Oh, but I have offended often and grievously. What saith the prophet? 
' My thoughts are not as your thoughts ; but as high as the heavens are 
above the earth,' &c., Isa. Iv. 8. Therefore howsoever amongst men, oft 
offences breed an eternal alienation, yet notwithstanding with God it is not 
so. But so oft as we can have spirit to go to God for mercy, and spread 
our sins before him, with broken and humble hearts, so often we may take 
out our pardon. Compare Exod. xxxiii. with Exod. xxxiv. Moses, in 
chap, xxxiii. 18, seq., had desired to see the face of God. There was some 
little curiosity perhaps in it. God told him that none could see him and 
live. To see the face of God in himself must be reserved for heaven, we 
are not proportioned for that sight. But in the next chapter there he 
shews himself to Moses ; and how doth he shew himself and his glory 
to Moses ? ' The Lord, the Lord, gracious, merciful, long-suffering,' . 
clothed all in sweet attributes. He will be known by those names. Now, 
then, if we would know the name of God, and see God as he is pleased 
and delighted to discover himself to us, let us know him by those names 
that he proclaims there, shewing that the glory of the Lord in the gospel 
especially shines in mercy ; and as I said before, it must be glorious 
mercy that can satisfy a distressed conscience, howsoever in the time of 
ease and peace we think a little mercy will serve the turn. But when 
conscience is once awaked, it must be glorious and infinite mercy must 
allay it. 

And therefore those that find their consciences anything wounded with 
any sin, stand not out any longer with God, come and yield, lay down 
your weapons, there is mercy ready. The Lord is glorious in his mercy 
in Jesus Christ. It is a victorious triumphing mercy over all sin and 
unworthiness whatsoever. Look upon God in the face of Jesus Christ ; 
as you have it in 2 Cor. iv. 6, ' God, who commanded light to shine out 
of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give us the light of the know- 
ledge of God, in the face of Jesus Christ.' In the face of Christ God is 
lovely. Loveliness and excellency is in the face above all the parts of the 
body. 

' The glory of God.' 

We are never in such a condition as we ought to be, except grace be 
glory to us ; and when is grace glory to a sinner ? Oh, when he feels the 
weight and burden of his sin, and languishing desires. Oh that I might 
have a drop of mercy ! Then grace is glory, not only in God's esteem, 
but in the eye of the sinner. Indeed, we are never soundly humbled till 
grace in our esteem be glory; that is, till it appear excellent and victo- 
rious. I beseech you remember it. We may have use of it in the time 
of desertion. 

» Cf. note * Vol. III. p. 36.— G. t Q^- ' thee ' ?— Ed. 



246 EXCELLENCY OF THE GOSPEL 

How is this grace of God in Christ conveyed to us yet nearer ? By the 
gospel. 

' As in a glass.' 

The gospel is the * good word of God,' Heb. vi. 5. It reveals the good 
God to us, and the good Christ. It is a sweet word. For Christ could do 
us no good without the word, if there were not an obligation, a covenant 
made between God and us, the foundation of which covenant is the satis- 
faction of Christ. If there were not promises built upon the covenant of 
grace, whereby God hath made himself a debtor, what claim could a sinful 
soul have to Christ and to God's mercy ? But God hath bound himself in 
his word. Therefore the grace of God shines in Christ, and all that is in 
Christ is conveyed to us by the word, by the promise. The gospel then is 
a sweet word. You know that breeding promise of all others. Gen. iii. 15, 
' The seed of the woman.' That repealed* and conveyed the mercy of God 
in Christ to Adam. So the continuance of that and all the sweet and 
gracious promises bud from that ; all meet in Christ as in a centre, all are 
made for him and in him. He is the sum of all the promises. All the 
good things we have are parcels of Christ. Christ he is the Word of 
the Father, that discovers all from the bosom of his Father. Therefore 
he is named 'the Word.' The gospel is the Word from him. Christ was 
discovered to the apostles, and from the apostles to us, to the end of the 
world, by his Spirit accompanying the ordinance. So the mirror wherein 
we see the glorious mercy of God, is first Christ. God shines in him, and 
then there is another glass wherein Christ is discovered, the glass of the 
gospel. Thus it pleaseth God to condescend to stoop to us poor sinners, 
to reveal his glory, the glory of his mercy, fitly and suitable in a Saviour, 
God-man, God incarnate, God our brother, God our kinsman, and to do it 
all yet more familiarly, to discover it in a word. And then to ordain a 
ministry together with the word, to lay open the riches of Christ ; for 
it is not the gospel considered nakedly, but the gospel unfolded by the 
ministry. 

Christ is the great ordinance of God for our salvation. The gospel is 
the great ordinance of God, to lay open ' the unsearchable riches of 
Christ,' Eph. iii. 8. The casket of this jewel, the treasury of his treasure, 
the grace and love and mercy of God, are treasured in Christ ; and Christ 
and all good things are treasured in the gospel. That is the rich mine ; 
and the ministry of the gospel lays open that mine to the people. Nay, 
God yet goes further. He gives his Holy Spirit with the ministry. It is 
the ministry of the Spirit, ^hat howsoever there are many that are not 
called and converted in the gospel, yet tna Spirit of God is beforehand 
with them. There are none under the gospel but the Spirit gives them 
sweet motions. He knocks at their hearts, he allures and persuades 
them ; and if they yield not, it is because of the rebellion of their hearts. 
There is more grace of the Spirit offered than is entertained. So that the 
mouths of men shall be stopped. Thus God descends, and Christ, and 
grace, the gospel, the ministry, the Spirit, all in way of love to us, that we 
may do all in a way of love to God again. It should therefore work us to 
do all with ingenuous hearts to him again. 

The gospel is the glass wherein we see this glory. Christ indeed in some 

sort is the glass, for we cannot see God out of Christ but he is a terrifying 

sight. But in the glass Christ we can see God, as we see the sun in the 

water. If we cannot see the sun in his glory, that is but a creature, how 

* That is, ' repealed the curse.' — G. 



ABOVE THE LAW. 247 

can we see God himself but in some glass ? Therefore we must see him 
in Christ, and so his sight is comfortable. 

And in the dispensing of the gospel, especially in the preaching and 
unfolding of the word, the riches of God in Christ are unfolded, and not 
only unfolded, but the Spirit in unfolding conveys the sense, assurance, 
and persuasion thereof unto us. 

There is such a connection between the evangelical truth of God and 
Jesus Christ, that they have both one name,-- to insinuate to us that as we 
will be partakers of Christ, so it must be of Christ, as he is revealed in 
the gospel, not in conceits of our own. The word is truth, and Christ is 
truth. They have the same name ; for were there never so much mercy 
and love in God, if it were concealed from us, that we had nothing to plead, 
that we had not some title to it by some discovery of it in his will, the 
word and the seal of the word, the sacraments (for the sacrament is but a 
visible word, they make one entire thing, the word and sacraments ; the one 
is the evidence, the other the seal), what comfort could we take in it ? Now 
his will is in the promise, wherein there is not only a discovery of what he 
doth or will do, but he hath engaged himself: ' If we believe, we shall not 
perish, but have life,' John iii. 15 ; and ' Come unto me,' Matt. xi. 28, and 
be refreshed, saith Christ. Every one that thirsts, come and be satisfied, 
John vii. 37. And now we may claim the performance of what he hath 
spoken, and bind him by his own word. ' He cannot deny himself,' John 
vii. 37. So now we see him comfortably in the glass of the word and 
sacraments. 

These three go together, the glory of God ; Christ the foundation of all 
grace, in the covenant of grace ; and then the gospel of grace, the gospel 
of the kingdom, the gospel of life, that discovers the gracious face of God 
shining in Christ. We have communion with God through Christ, with 
Christ through the gospel ; therefore in the gospel ' we behold as in a glass 
the glory of God.' 

This is suitable to our condition while we are here below. We cannot 
see divine things otherwise than in a glass. That sight of God that we 
shall have in heaven, immediately, without the word and sacraments, that 
is of a higher nature ; when our natures shall be perfect. But while we 
live here we cannot see God but in Christ, and we cannot see him but in 
the word and sacraments. Such is the imperfection of our sight, and such 
is the lustre and glory of the object, the glory of God, that we cannot per- 
fectly see it but in a glass. God said to Moses, ' None can see me and 
live.' His meaning is, none can see me as I am, none can see me imme- 
diately and live. If we would see God, and the glory of God immediately 
without a glass, we must see it in heaven. We must die first. We must 
pass through death to see God foce to face as he is ; then, not as he is, 
but more familiarly than we can now. Then God will represent himself so 
as shall be for our happiness, though not simply as he is ; for he is infinite, 
and how should finite comprehend infinite ? We shall apprehend him, but 
not comprehend him (/). While we are in earth, therefore, we must be 
content to see him in a glass, which is the gospel, especially unfolded. 

Now in this word ' glass,' in which we see the glory of God, is impUed 
both a perfection and some imperfection. 

Perfection, because it is as a clear crystal glass in regard of the glass ' 
that was before ; for those under the law saw Christ in a glass of cere- 

* That is, Xoyog and aXi^Ssia,. Cf. John x. 35 with i. 1, and John xiv. 6 with 
ivii. 17.— G. 



248 EXCELLENCY OF THE GOSPEL 

monies. And, as I said before, there is difference between one's seeing his 
face in water and in a crystal glass. So then this implies perfection in 
regard of the former state. 

Again, in regard of heaven, it implies bnjwrfection, for there we shall not 
see in a glass. Sight in a glass is imperfect, though it be more perfect 
than that in water. For we know out of the principles of learning and 
experience, that reflections weaken, and the more reflections, the more 
weak. When we see a thing by reflection, we see it weakly; and [when] we 
see it by a second reflection from that, we see it more weakly. When we 
see the sun on the wall, or any thing that is light, it is weaker than the light 
of the sun itself. When a man seeth his face in a glass, it is a weaker 
representation than to see face to face. But when we see the sun upon the 
wall, reflexing upon another wall, the third reflection is weaker than the 
first. The more reflections the more weak. So here all sight by glasses is not 
so powerful as that sight and knowledge which is face to face in heaven. That 
is the reason that St James saith, that he that seeth his face in a glass is 
subject to forget (i. 23). What is the reason that a man cannot remem- 
ber himself, when he seeth his face in a glass, so well as he can remember 
another man's face when he seeth it ? Because he seeth himself only by 
reflection. Therefore it is a weaker presentation to him, and the memory 
and apprehension of it is weaker. Wlien he seeth another face to face, he 
remembers him longer, because there is a more lively representation. It is 
not a reflection, but face to face. So there is imperfection in this sight 
that we have of God, while we are here, as in a glass. It is nothing to that 
when we shall see face to face, without the word and sacraments or any 
other medium, which sight, what it is, we shall know better when we are 
there. We cannot now discover it. It is a part of heaven to know what 
apprehensions we shall have of God there. But sure it is more excellent 
than that that is here. Therefore this implies imperfection. 

We consist of body and soul in this world, and our souls are much confined 
and tied to our senses. Imagination propounds to the soul greater things 
than the senses. So God helps the soul by outward things that work upon 
the senses ; sense upon the imagination, and so things pass into the soul. 

God frames his manner of dealing suitable to the nature he hath created 
ns in. Therefore he useth the word and sacraments, and such things, 
whereby he makes impressions upon the very soul itself. 

And this indeed, by the way, makes spiritual things so difficult as they 
are ofttimes, because we are too much enthralled to imagination and sense, 
and cannot abstract and raise our minds from outward sensible things to 
spiritual things. Therefore you have some, all the da^^s of their life, spend 
their time in the bark of the Scriptures ; and they are better than some 
others that are all for notions and outside : such things as frame to the 
imagination, and never come to know the spirit of the Scriptures, but rest 
in outward things, in languages and tongues, and such like. Whereas these 
things lead further, or else they come not to their perfection. The Scrip- 
ture is but a glass, to see some excellencies in it. ' We see as in a glass.' 

Now the use of a glass among us especially is twofold. 

(1.) It is either to help tveakuess of sir/ht against the excellency of the 
object. When there is a weak sight and an over excellent object, then a 
glass is used, or some polite* and clear body, as we cannot see the sun in 
itself. The eye is weak and the sun is glorious. These two meeting 
therefore together, we help it by seeing the sun in water, as in an eclipse. 
* That is, = polished. — G. 



ABOVE THE LAW. 249 

If a man would judge of an eclipse he must not look on the sun, but see it 
in water, and there behold and discern these things ; so to see the glory of 
God in himself, it is too glorious an object. Our eyes are too weak. How 
doth God help it ? He helps it by a glass, by ' God manifest in the flesh,' 
1 Tim. iii. 16, and by the word and sacraments whereby we come to have 
communion with Christ. To apply this more particularly. 

Now that we are to receive the sacrament, conceive the sacraments are 
glasses wherein we see the glory of the love and mercy of God in Christ. 
For take the bread alone, as it doth not represent and figure better things, 
and what is it ? and take the wine alone, as it doth not represent better 
things, and what is the wine ? But an ordinary poor creature. Oh, but 
take them as they are glasses, as things that convey to the soul and repre- 
sent things more excellent than themselves, so they are glorious ordinances. 
Take a glass as a glass, it is a poor thing ; but take the glass as it repre- 
sents a more excellent thing than itself, so they are of excellent use ; so 
bread and wine must not be taken as naked elements, but as they represent 
and convey a more excellent thing than themselves, that is, Christ and all 
his benefits, the love and mercy and grace of God in Christ ; and so they 
are excellent glasses. Therefore I beseech you now, when you are to receive 
the sacrament, let your minds be more occupied than your senses. When 
you take the bread, think of the body of Christ broken ; and when you 
think of uniting the bread into one substance, think of Christ and you made 
one. When the wine is poured out, think of the blood of Christ poured 
out for sin. When you think of the refreshing by the wine, think of the 
refreshing of your spirits and souls by the love of God in Christ, and of 
the love of Christ that did not spare his blood for your soul's good. How 
doth Christ crucified and shedding his blood refresh the guilty soul, as wine 
refresheth the weak spirits. Thus consider them as glasses, where better 
things are presented, and let your minds be occupied as well as your senses, 
and then you shall be fit receivers, as ' in a glass.' 

' We behold,' &c. 

God when he made the world, this glorious frame of the creatures, and 
all their excellencies, he created light to discover itself, and all other excel- 
lencies. For light is a glorious creature. It discovers itself. It goes with 
a majesty and discovers all other things, good and bad whatsoever ; and 
together with light God created sight in man, and other senses, to appre- 
hend the excellency of the creation. What were all this goodly frame of 
creatm-es, the sun, and moon, and stars, and glory of the earth, if there 
were not light to discover and sight to apprehend it by ? Is it not so in 
this outward creation of the old heavens and old earth that must be con- 
sumed with fire ? And is it not much more in the new creation ? There is 
excellent glory, marvellous glory, wondrous grace in* Christ, &c. Must 
there be light, and must not there be an eye to discover this ? Surely there 
must. Therefore it is said here, ' We behold.' 

God puts a spiritual eye by his Spirit into all true believers, whereby 
they behold this excellent glory, this glorious grace, that God may have the 
gloiy, and we the comfort. Those are the two main ends. God intends 
his own glory and our salvation. There must be a ' beholding.' How 
should he have glory and we comfort, unless all were conveyed by spiritual 
sight ! Well then the Spirit creates and works in us spiritual senses. 
With spiritual life there are spiritual senses, sight, and taste, and feeling. 
Sight is here put for all, ' We behold.' 

* Misprinted ' and.' — G. 



250 



EXCKLLEXCY OF THE GOSPEl. 



There are many degrees of sight. It is good to know them. Therefore 
I will name some of them. 

[1.] We see God in his creatures, for ' the heavens declare the glory of 
God.' They are a book in folio (//). There God is laid open in his crea- 
tures. That is a goodly sight. But what is this to the knowledge of him 
in his will to us, what he means to us ? The creatm-es discover not what 
he means to us. 

[2.] Besides therefore the sight of God in the creatures, there is a sight 
of God in his uill, in his word and j^romises. There we see what he is. 
His grace is revealed in Christ, and what his good will to us is, and his wiU 
from us, what he will do to us, and what he will have from us again. There 
we see him as a spouse sees her husband in a loving letter which concerns 
herself. We see him as the heir sees a deed made to him with an inheri- 
tance. He sees with application. It is not a bare sight, but a sight with 
feeling and discovery of a favour. So the sight in the word and sacraments, 
it is a higher sight. 

[3. J There was a sir/ht of Christ when he was in the flesh. When he was 
covered with the veil of our flesh upon earth, it was a sweet sight. Abraham 
desired to see it, John viii. 56, and Simeon, when he saw it, was willing to 
be dissolved and to depart, Luke ii. 29. He had enough. But that out- 
ward sight is nothing without another inward sight of faith. 

[4.] There is a sight therefore of faith, and other sights are to no purpose 
if they be without this, a sight of God shining in Christ. And this is 
perfected in heaven, in the sight of glory, when we see him as he is. Now 
there is a comfort in all these sights, to see him in his word and works. It 
was a glorious thing to see him in his bodily presence ; and by faith to see 
God in Christ, to see his face in Christ. Oh it is a sweet and lovely 
sight to see God shining in Christ ! Oh but what is all this to the sight 
of him after in glory ! Now this beholding meant here especially, is the 
beholding of faith, in the ordinances, in the word and sacraments. ' We 
all behold,' as in the glass of the word and sacraments, by the eye of faith. 
Faith is expressed by beholding, by knowledge ; for indeed faith is nothing 
but knowledge with application. Therefore faith includes knowledge. What 
is faith, but to know God and Christ, and the promises as mine? Christ in 
the sacrament as mine, as verily as the outward things are mine : Know- 
ledge with application is faith. Therefore, when I say faith, I include 
knowledge, ' We behold.' 

The knowledge of the mind is compared to the eye of the body. Know- 
ledge and faith is compared to seeing and beholding, for many reasons. 

First, Because sight is the most glorious and noble sense. It is the highest 
in situation, and the quickest in apprehension, for in a moment, presently 
sight apprehends its object in the highest heavens. So it is with faith. It 
is the most noble sight of all, and it is quick as sight is ; for faith is that 
eagle in the cloud. It breaks through all, and sees in a moment Christ in 
heaven : it looks backward, and sees Christ upon the cross ; it looks for- 
ward, and seeth Christ to come in glory. Faith is so quick a grace, that 
it presents things past, things above, things to come, and all in a moment, 
60 quick is this eagle- eye of faith. 

Second, Again, it is the largest sense ; for we can see almost the whole 
hemisphere at one view. That a little thing in the eye should apprehend 
so much in a moment, as it is quick in apprehension, so it is large in 
comprehension. 

Third, Again, it is the most sure sense — sight more than hearing ; therefore 



ABOVE THE LAW. 



251 



that divine act of knowledge is compared to seeing ; believing is compared 
to beholding. When faith looks upon God in the glass of the word and 
promises, it is as certain as the object is certain. Now, how certain is the 
object ? The mercy and love of God in Christ, who is truth itself, is most 
certain. 

Fourth, Then it is that sense that works ynost ujjon the soul, sight ; for 
what the body seeth, the soul is aflected and moved with. The affections 
of desire and love rise out of sight. It works upon the affections most. 
Therefore the knowledge that stirs up the affections, and works upon the 
heart, is compared to sight. It affects us marvellously, for, answerable to 
our faith, we love, and joy, and delight. It alters the frame of the whole 
man. Therefore it is expressed here by beholding. Divine, spiritual 
knowledge, it works upon the heart. So we see why this beholding spi- 
ritually] of the understanding and soul, is compared to outward sight. It 
is called beholding, because it is a most noble spiritual act of the soul ; 
and it is most certain and sure. ' Faith is the evidence of things not seen,' 
Heb. xi. 1 ; and it works upon the heart and soul. 

Use. Therefore, we should labour to clear this eye of the soul, that we 
may behold the glory of God in the glass of the gospel. 

Quest. How shall we have the eye of our souls fit to behold the glory of 
God? 

Ans. 1. We mristjjx the eye of the soul ; fix our meditation upon the glory 
of God and the excellency of Christ. A moving, rolling eye seeth nothing. 
Therefore we must set some time apart, to fix our meditations upon these 
excellent things in the gospel. 

Ans 2. Then again, we must labour to have the hindrances removed, both 
within and ivithout. 

(1.) Sight within is hindered by some inward suffusion. We must labour 
that the soul be cleansed and purged from all carnal passions and desires 
and base humours, that we may clearly behold this spiritual object. Unless 
the soul be spiritual, it can never behold spiritual things. The bodily eye 
cannot apprehend rational things, nor the rational eye behold not spiritual 
things. Therefore there must be a spiritual eye. The soul must be purged 
and sanctified by the Spirit. There must be some proportion between the 
soul and spiritual things, before the soul can behold them. Therefore, as 
the soul must be fixed upon this meditation, so the Spirit of God must 
sanctify and purge the soul. 

(2.) Outward hindrances of sight, as dust in the eyes, and clouds, &c., 
they hinder sight. Satan labours to hinder the sight of the soul from 
beholding the glory of God shining in the gospel, with the dust of the 
world, as the apostle saith in the next chapter, ' The god of this world 
blind's the eyes of men,' 2 Cor. iv. 4, that they behold not the glory of God 
shining in the gospel. Therefore, if the gospel be hid, it is hid to them 
that perish, that are lost, in whom the god of this world hath blinded their 
minds, that they believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ 
should shine upon them, 2 Cor. iv. 4. Therefore, take heed of too much 
worldly things, of fixing our souls upon the dust of the world, upon things 
here below. The sight of Christ, and of God in Christ, it is not gotten by 
looking below, by fixing the soul upon base things below. Let us look, 
therefore, that our souls be inwardly cleansed, and fixed upon spiritual 
things ; and then we shall the better behold the glory of God shining in 
the gospel. 

And we should preserve this sight of faith by hearing. Hearing begets 



252 EXCELLENCY OF THE GOSPEL 

seeing in religion. Death came in by the ear at the first. Adam hearing 
the serpent, that he should not have heaixl, death came in by the ear. So 
life comes in by the ear. We hear, and then we see : ' As we have heard, 
so have we seen,' say they in the psalm, Ps. xlviii. 8. It is true in religion, 
most of our sight comes by hearing, which is the sense of learning. God 
will have it so. Therefore we should maintain all we can this beholding of 
the glory of the Lord in the glass of the word ; and for that end hear much. 

You will ask me. What is the best glass of all to see and know Christ in ? 

If you ask a papist, he will shew you crucifixes, and such kind of things. 
Oh but to behold Christ in the glass of the word, with a spirit of faith, 
that is the best picture and representation that can be ! It is scarce worth 
spending so much time, as to confute that foolery, to have any grace wrought 
in the heart by such abominable means as that is, as they use it. Take it 
at the best, it is but a bastardly help, and bastardly means breed a bastardly 
devotion. For will God work grace in the heart by means of man's devis- 
ing ? If pictures be any teachers, they are ' teachers of lies,' saith the 
prophet, Isa. ix. 15 ; and in the church of God, till pastors and teachers 
became idols, idols never became teachers. Then came the doctrine of 
idols teaching of simple people, when idols became teachers a thousand 
years after Christ. So that the best picture to see Christ in, is the word 
and sacraments ; and the best eye to see him with, is the eye of faith in the 
word and sacraments. Keep that clear, and we need no crucifixes, no such 
bastardly helps of bastardly devotion, devised by proud men that -would not 
be beholden to God for his ordinances. But a touch is almost too much 
for such things, that are so clear to men that have spiritual eyes. In Gal. 
iii. 1, see what St Paul saith his judgment was: ' Oh foolish Galatians, be- 
fore whom Christ hath been painted and crucified !'(/;) How was he painted ? 
Nothing but by the preaching of Christ crucified in the gospel, and the 
riches of Christ in the gospel ; and in the sacraments laid open. Do you 
think there were any other crucifixes in the world then ? 

' With open face.' 

The manner of this beholding is ' with open face.' There must be a 
double veil taken away before we can behold the glory of God : the veil of 
obscurity, and the veil of slavery ; the veil of ignorance and infidelity within, 
and the veil of the things themselves. These two veils are both taken away 
before we can with open face behold the glory of the Lord. The inward 
veil is taken away by the Spirit of God illuminating our understandings, 
and giving us a spirit of faith. The outward veil of the obscurity of the 
things is taken away by the teaching and ministry of the gospel, having 
that help to know the meaning of the Scriptures ; so that now in these 
glorious times of the gospel, both the veils are taken away, that we may 
behold without hindrance the glory of God shining in the gospel. Fot now 
we enjoy the ministry of the Spirit. The Spirit is efi"ectual to shine in our 
hearts. And then we have the gifts of men, outward gifts, whereby the 
veil of ignorance is taken away in regard of the things themselves, the 
things are unfolded. 

If the things of themselves be dark ; or if they be lightsome, and there be 
no sight within ; or if there be sight, and that sight be veiled ; there can 
be no seeing. But now to God's elect he takes away all these veils, he 
shines inwardly and gives outward light in the help of means ; and yet not- 
withstanding while we live here, there is always some obscurity and dark- 
ness, for the veil of the Scriptures is not quite took-;= away. There is some 
* That is, ' taken.'— G. 



ABOVE THE LAW, 253 

darkness of the Scriptures, and likewise tlie veil of ignorance and infidelity 
is not altogether taken away. There are some remainders of ignorance, of 
infidelity, and hardness of heart ; but yet in a great measure it is taken 
away here, and shall by little and little [bej took away, till we come to see 
God face to face in heaven. 

' With open. face.' 

Coverings had two uses in the Jewish state. 

They had a use of subjection. Therefore the women had their veils in 
token of subjection. 

And thej^ had a use likewise of obscurity, to hinder the ofiensive* lustre 
of that that is glorious. Therefore Moses put a veil on his face when he came 
down fx'om the mount. Now in Christ Jesus in the gospel, both these veils 
are taken away in some respects. The veil of subjection and slavery, so 
far as it is a slavery, is taken away. The Spirit of Christ works liberty. 
As I said before, now we serve God as sons, and not as servants any longer. 
The veil of subjection is taken away, only there is a spouse-like filial sub- 
jection ; the servile subjection we are freed from. 

And then the veil that hid the things is taken away too. So now * with 
open face we behold the glory of the Lord.' Now the things themselves, 
Christ and the gracious promises of grace and glory and comfort, they are 
clearly laid open without any veil. How comes it then that we see them 
not ? There is a veil over our hearts. The more shame for us, that when 
the things are unveiled we should have a veil upon our hearts, of ignorance 
and unbelief. Therefore if any believe not, it is because ' the God of this 
world hath blinded their eyes,' 2 Cor. iv. 4. Where the means of salva- 
tion are, and Christ laid open in the means, if men do not believe, the fault 
is not in the things ; for they are unveiled, they are discovered and laid 
open. The fault is in us. There is a veil over the heart. There is a 
cloud of ignorance and unbelief, that keeps the heart from beholding the 
glory of the mercy of God in Christ. 

' With open face.' 

We see the glory of God with boldness in the gospel. We go boldly to 
God. Christ takes us by the hand and leads to his Father. We have 
boldness and access to God through Christ by the Spirit, as St Paul 
teacheth in divers places, f God is not terrible to us. Now in Christ, God's 
nature is fatherly and sweet to us. Christ in the gospel is our head. 
Therefore we go boldly to God in Christ ; and Christ by his Spirit brings 
us to his Father. We may boldly lay open our souls in prayer ; and all 
our complaints before him as to a Father. We come not as malefactors to 
a judge, as slaves to a lord, but as children to a father, as a wife to her 
spouse. ' With open face' in the gospel, we behold God, that is, with 
boldness we go to him. The gospel by shining upon us takes away a spirit 
of fear and bondage ; the more we see Christ the less fear ; the more love 
the less fear. The more we see the grace of God in Christ, it diminisheth 
a spirit of fear, and puts into us a spirit of love and boldness. For it 
presents to us in Christ, full satisfaction to divine justice, that when we 
offer Christ to the Father whom he hath sent and sealed for us, God can- 
not refuse a Saviour of his own sending and sealing, and appointing to 
satisfy his justice. Therefore we go boldly to the throne of grace. It is a 
marvellous privilege that we see God clearly in the gospel, with open face, 
with a spirit of boldness, the veil of ignorance being taken away. For the 
sight^of God to a conscience that is natural, and is not convinced of the 

* That is, ' offending ' = injuring.- G. t Cf. Eph. iii. 12 ; Heb. x. 19.— G. 



254 EXCELLENCY OF THE GOSPEL 

mercy of God by the Spirit, it is a terrible sight. A guilty conscience can- 
not see a man but it trembles. It cannot see a judge without trembling. 
And will not the trembling conscience, the guilty soul, flee from the face of 
God apace, that trembles at the sight of a man ? What is so contrary as 
the nature of God to the nature of man out of Christ ? The unholy, impure, 
and unclean nature of man, to the pure, holy nature of Go.d ? If Christ 
had not taken our nature and sanctified it in himself, and satisfied justice 
in it, what boldness could this unclean nature of ours have had to go to 
the holy God ? Let us, I beseech you, be wrapped up in admiration of the 
singular love of God to us, especially in the days of the gospel, that now 
we see in a glass, in a clear glass, the love of God in Christ, and with open 
face boldly we may go to God. 

Sometimes when the soul is bold in sin, it weakeneth boldness and faith, 
and makes us look upon that object that our sins hath deserved, upon a 
wise God. For howsoever we may behold his glorious face in Christ, yet 
if we behold sin against conscience, God will hide himself, Christ will hide 
his face, and hide the promises, and leave us to terrors of conscience ; and 
the soul shall not apprehend his gracious face in Christ, but that correction 
that our sin hath deserved. God hath power over the soul, and makes the 
soul apprehend what object he will ; and he presents to a bold soul that 
runs into sin what it deserves, hell for the present. There is no terrors to 
the terror of a Christian that is bold in sin, till God shine upon him in his 
grace again. Sins against conscience, especially wasting sins, weaken faith, 
that we cannot go so boldly to God. Therefore those that say when they 
sin against conscience, that all the cause of their grief is because they do 
not conceive the free mercy of God, they are ignorant of God's ways. God 
is wise, and though he pardon sin, as sin is pardoned in heaven, before it 
be pardoned in the conscience, they shall never be pardoned in thy con- 
science till God have made thy conscience smart for it ; and God will let 
■wrath into thy conscience, and thy faith shall stagger. It is a sin for faith 
to stagger, it should not do so ; but it will tremble and quake, till we have 
humbled ourselves before God. 

What is the way, after we have had boldness and sweet familiarity with 
God, and it hath been interrupted by sin ? how shall we recover ourselves ? 

Surely, to apprehend our sins to be pardonable in Christ, and that God 
is an everlasting Father, and that the covenant of grace is everlasting, and 
that there is mercy in Israel for this thing ; and the conceit* of mercy must 
work our hearts to grief and shame. That is certain ; for mark in the 
gospel, ' Come unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden,' Mat. xi. 28. 
He calls us when we find our consciences afflicted and tormented. ' He 
came to save that which was lost,' Mat. xviii. 11. By the blessed power 
of the Spirit, the blood of Christ is as a fountain ' for Judah and Jerusalem 
to wash in,' Zech, xiii. 1, and the ' blood of Christ purgeth us from sin,' 
1 John i. 7 ; and Christ bids us for daily trespasses ask pardon, Mat. vi. 12. 
Daily therefore conceive goodness in God still, an everlasting current of 
mercy ; and this must work upon us grief and shame, and recover and 
strengthen our faith again. For God's children, after breaches, arise the 
stronger rather than ever they were before. But this only by the way. 
We see here how God's glorious grace is conveyed to us, and what is 
wrought in us to apprehend it, a spiritual eye to see it, in the glass of the 
gospel, and ' with open face we behold it,' we may go boldly to the throne 
of grace. 

Tliat is, 'conception.' — G. 



ABOVE THE LAW. 255 

I beseech you, let not that privilege be forgotten, this privilege of the 
gospel. What is the glory of the times we live in, but God's face dis- 
covered in Christ ? In the gospel faith is wrought in us to apprehend 
this, to see God's face openly, and that we ma}^ come boldly with Benja- 
min, our elder brother ; * come with Esau's garments. Gen. xxvii. 23 ; 
come with Christ, and we cannot be too bold. Remember alwaj there 
must be a reverent familiarity, because he hath majesty mixed with his 
bowels of mercy. Both are mixed together ; beams and bowels. So our 
carriage to him must be loving and familiar, as he is full of bowels of mercy. 
But then he hath majesty. A reverent familiarity is fit for a father, and 
for so gracious and so sweet a God. Therefore that phrase we see in the 
Scriptures, ' We go boldly,' and cry, ' Abba, Father,' Rom. viii. 15. Father 
is a word of reverence ; that is, we go boldly to God in Christ, and open 
our wants as to a father, with love and reverence ; as it is said here, 'with 
open face.' Let us not forget this privilege. 

' We all.' 

Here is the generality, ' We all.' Before, in Moses's time, he alone 
went into the mount and saw God ; but now ' we all,' Jews and Gentiles, 
where the gospel is preached, ' we all.' Therefore, you see here the church 
is enlarged by the coming of Christ. And it was a comfort to St Paul, and 
to all good Christians, to think of the enlargement of the church by taking 
in the Gentiles, as it will be a comfort hereafter to think of the enlarging of 
the church by taking in the Jews again. The more the better in religion. 
Why is it a privilege for many, that ' we all ? ' Because in matters of 
grace and glory there is no envj' at all. All may share without prejudice. 
All cannot be kings here upon earth, nor all cannot be great men, because 
the more one hath the less another hath. But in Christ and in religion 
all may be gracious. God respects every one, as if there were none 
but them. He respects all as one, and one, as if there were none but he. 
Every man in soUduin, as civilians express it, entirely enjoj'eth Christ, as 
if there were none but he. He is to all as one, and to one as if there were 
none but he. There is no envy, as I said, in grace and glory, where all 
may share alike. And that is the reason why it is alway comfortable to 
think of community in religion. It is joined with comfort. 

And indeed so it is matter of comfort to see a communion of many in 
one ; for what is the mystical body of Christ Jesus but many members 
joined in one body, under one gracious and glorious head ? And therefore 
it is a deformed sight to see fraction and disunion. It is that the devil 
rules in. Divide and rule. It is fit for the devil. God and Christ rule 
in union. The same Spirit of God that knits the members to the head by 
faith, knits the members one to another in love ; and all grace is derived 
from the head to the members, as they are united to the body. If there be 
therefore disunion, there is no grace conveyed so far as there is disunion. 
There is no grace conveyed fr-om the head ; for the body grows up as com- 
pact under one head. 

Therefore let us labour to cherish union, and as we hate distractionf itself, 
so hate distraction and division ; for dissipation causeth distraction. f There- 
fore by all means labour for union, especiallj'' now we are to take the com- 
munion, that is a seal of our communion with Christ by faith, and one with 
another. By love let us labour to bring our hearts to a holy communion. 

* There seems to be a mis-recollection here. Perhaps the thought is, ' Come 
boldly with [our] Benjamin — [come with] our elder brother,' &c, — G. 
t Qu. ' destruction ' ? — Ed. 



256 EXCELLENCY OF THE GOSPEL 

None gains bj^ disunion but the devil himself. Alway his policy is to make 
the breach greater where any is. Therefore let us labour by all means to 
be united. The more join together in the blessed mysteries of the gospel, 
the more comfort and the more glory. When all live and join together in 
holy things of God, and in sweet love one to another, it is the glory of 
that place and society and state. So much for that ' we all.' 

' And are changed.' 

I shewed before how man's happiness stands partly in communion with 
God, and partly in his conformity and likeness to God. And surely where- 
soever there is communion there will be conformity. This conformity is 
here set down springing from communion. ' We all behold the glory of 
God.' Now, reconciled in Jesus Christ, what doth that beholding work ? 
A conformity. We are ' changed into the same image, from glory to glory.' 
In these words we see. 

First, A necessity of a change ; changed we must be. 

Then in this change there must be a pattern of conformity. We are 
changed into the image of Christ, who is the prototype, the first type and 
idea of all perfection. We are changed into the same image. 

And then, how this change is wrought to the image of Christ. It is by 
beholding the glory of Christ in the gospel. There is a transforming power 
in beholding the glory of God's mercy in Christ. It is not a delighting 
object only, to see the mercy of God in Christ, but it is a powerful object 
that hath an influence upon the soul. 

And then the state of man after this change, it is a glorious condition, 
' We are changed from glory.' 

And then it is a growing condition, ' We are changed from glory to 
glory.' Still, till we come to that pitch, where there can be no growth ; 
when the soul shall be filled ' with the fulness of God,' as the apostle 
speaks, Eph. iii. 19 ; when the soul shall have all the powers that it hath 
to receive and retain, and comprehend, all the corners of it filled. So we 
grow from glory to glory till then. These things follow one another. To 
begin with the first. 

There is a 'necessity of a change. 

In the state we are we must be changed, as Christ tells Nicodemus, 
John iii. 1, seq. There must be a change ; and such a change as is a new 
birth. It must be all new, as a bell ; if there be but a crack in it, it must be 
new moulded and cast again. It is good for nothing else. So the soul of 
man, if there be but a flaw, but a crack, all is naught. It must be cast 
and moulded again anew. We must be set in tune again. All is out 
of tune. Before the soul can make any sweet harmony in the ears of 
God, there must be a change. There is no coming to heaven without 
a change. What need I press this, it is so easy a point in religion. 
' Except we be born anew we cannot enter into heaven,' John iii. 3. 
But to clear from evidence of reason the necessity of a change in the 
whole man. 

First, Because ive are in a contrary state to grace and to God. We are 
dead. There must be life in us before we come to heaven. We are 
enemies, and if* enemies we must be made friends. How shall we be fit 
for communion else with God, wherein our happiness stands, without con- 
formity ? Communion is between friends. Before those that are in an 
opposite condition can be friends, there must be an alteration ; and this 
alteration it must be on God's part, or on our part. Now who must change ? 

* Qu. 'of— Ed, 



ABOVE THE LAW. 257 

God that is unchangeable, or we that are corrupt and changeable ? God 
will not change. There is no reason he should. He is goodness itself, 
alway unchangeable. His perfection stands in an individual point. He 
cannot alter a whit. There is not a shadow of change in God. Therefore, 
when there is difference between God and us, the change must be on our 
part. We must be changed, as it is Eom. xii. 2, and other places, ' in the 
spirit of our minds.' We must be wholly moulded anew. Where there is 
a condition so opposite as the frame of our hearts is to God, he being holi- 
ness and we a mass and lump of sin, of necessity there must be a change. 
God intends in the gospel to bring us near himself, and Christ's end is 
to bring us to God, as it is 1 Pet. iii. 18. All the gospel is to bring us 
back to God from whom we fell. Now our nature, as I said, is defiled and 
unholy ; and we cannot be friends with God till there be a likeness in dis- 
position to God. Therefore our natures must be suitable to the sweet and 
holy and pure nature of God in some measure. We enter into a covenant 
with God, in the covenant of grace, and how can we maintain the covenant 
of grace, without some likeness to God and Christ ? In that regard of 
necessity there must be a change ; and this change must be on our part. 
As we see in an instrument, those strings that are out of tune are brought 
to them that are in, so it is we that must change and alter, and not God. 
God is alway unchangeable, like himself in his love ; and it is our comfort 
that he is so unchangeable in his mercy and holiness and justice. There- 
fore I say the change must be on our part. 

' Flesh and blood, as it is, cannot enter into heaven,' 1 Cor. xv. 50 ; 
that is, the nature of man, as it is corrupted; we must have new judgments 
of things, and new desires, and new esteem, new affections, new joys, new 
delights, new conversation, new company. All the frame of the soul must 
be new. There must be a new bent of soul. It must be turned another 
way. The face of the soul must look clean another way. Whereas before 
it looked to the world-ward, and to things below, now it must look to God- 
ward and heaven-ward. Therefore those that are in their pure naturals, 
that feel no change in themselves, what shall we think of them ? They 
are not in the state of grace, for of necessity there must be a change. 

There is a double change, real and gradual. 

First, A real charuje, from ill to noocl. 

And then, A gradual change from better to better, * from glory to glory.' 

The first change is from the state of nature to grace at our first conver- 
sion, when God puts the first form and stamp upon us. 

And then a change in grace, ' from glory to glory,' we must be changed. 

Second, Then again, ice all expect glory in heaven ; and how can we do 
that except we be fitted for it ? The church is the fitting place for glory. 
We enter into heaven in the church here. We are hewn and squared 
here. If we be not holy here, we shall never enter into heaven. There 
must be a change begun here if ever it be perfected in heaven. ' No un- 
clean thing shall come there,' Eev. xxi. 27. As soon as ever Satan, an 
angel of light, sinned, he was tumbled out of heaven. It will brook * no 
unclean thing ; no unclean thing shall ever come there again. Therefore 
our nature must be altered suitable to that place and glorious condition, 
before we come to heaven. Except we be new born, we cannot enter into 
the kingdom of God. There is direct Scripture for it. Beloved, this is 
forgot. Men trust to the grace and mercy of God, and look not after a 
change ; and this holds many from embracing the gospel in the truth of it ; 
* That is, ' suffer,' ' endure.'— G. 



258 EXCELLENCY OF THE GOSPEL 

from knowing Clirist as the truth is in him. They hear they must be 
changed, which they are unwilling to. The}" believe that God is merciful, 
and that Christ died, &c. They snatch so much of the gospel, as may 
serve to build them up in self-love. So far they think all is well. But 
when they see siich grace as must teach them ' to deny ungodliness and 
worldly lusts,' Titus ii. 12, and such grace as must change and alter them, 
this they cannot brook. They are content to go to heaven if they may have 
it in a way to hell ; in maintaining their corruptions ; being proud and 
covetous and worldly, as they are. This must not be. Of necessity there 
must be a change. 

Third, Nay, I say more, beside the former reasons, the soul that truhj 
desires mercy and favour, desires always ])oiver against sin. Pardon and 
power go together, in God's gift and in the desire of a Christian's soul. 
There is no Chi'istian soul but he desires the grace of sanctification to 
change him, as much as the grace of pardon ; for he looks upon corruption 
and sin as the vilest thing in the world ; and upon grace and the new 
creature as the best thing in the world. There is no man changed but he 
hath those apprehensions of sanctification. 

Remember this against some weak conceits likewise, that would have all 
the change in justification. They rent* Christ's offices, as if he were all 
priest, and not a king to govern ; as if he were righteousness, and not 
sanctification ; as if he had merit to die for us and to give us his righteous- 
ness, and no efiicacy to change oui* natures ; as if in the covenant of grace 
God did not WTite his law in our hearts, but only forgave our sins. He 
doth both in the covenant of grace. And where God makes a combination, 
we must not break it. Efiicacy and merit, justification and sanctification, 
water and blood, go together. There must be a change. But to follow 
the point a little further. 

Fourth, There must be change, because no holy action can come from an 
unchanged power and faculig. Actions spring from powers and faculties. 
They are suitable to them. Therefore there must be a change in the 
powers and faculties of the soul, before there be a change in the life and 
conversation. These three follow in nature. 

The form, and living, and being of things ; and powers ; and action issuing 
from the power. So in the life of grace and sanctification there is a power 
and ability to believe in God, and to be holy, and to love God ; and then 
the actions of love spring from that power. We live, and then we have a 
power to move. In nature, being and life and moving go together. So 
if we have a being in grace, we have a power to move. I beseech you, 
therefore, consider the necessity of a change of the inward man, of the 
powers and faculties of the soul. Can the eye see without a power of see- 
ing ? or the ear hear without a faculty of hearing ? Can the soul perform 
sanctified actions without a sanctified power ? It is impossible. 

And especially the alteration and change is in the will, which some 
would have untouched. They would have it free ; those that would have 
no more given to grace than needs must. But grace works upon the will 
most of all. Divinity rules the will especially. For the bent of the will 
makes a good or a bad man ; and the desires of the will carry the whole 
man with it. "We are as the bent is of our will. We are as the choice of 
our will is. If the choice, and bent, and bias be the right way, by the 
Spirit, it is good. If the will be not inclined and wrought to go the best 
way, there is no work of grace at all. Though all grace come in through 
* That is, ' rend,' ^ separate. — G. 



ABOVE THE LAW. 259 

the understanding enlightened, that is the first, yet it goeth into the will. 
It passeth through the understanding into the will, and it puts a new taste 
and relish upon the will and affections. 

Well, 3'ou see, therefore, that the grace wrought in the gospel it is not a 
mere persuasion and entreaty, &c., but a powerful work of the Spirit enter- 
ing into the soul and changing it, and altering and turning the bent and 
inclination of the will heavenward, whereas* corruption of nature turns the 
soul downward to things below. When the Spirit of God entereth into the 
soul, it is not only by mere outward persuasion to leave it to the liberty 
of will, but it altereth the taste of the will. The soul is carried up, and is 
shut to things below. It useth the world as though it used it not. We 
must have great conceits of the work of grace. The Scripture hath great 
words of it. It is an alteration, a change, a new man, a new creature, new 
birth, &c. We see the necessity of a change. 

Fifth. Again, another reason is this : God, tchere he calls and dignifies, 
he also qualifies. Princes cannot qualify those they raise, but God, whom 
he advanceth to glory, he fits and qualifies for glory ; where he bestows his 
mercies and favours to life everlasting, he calls to great matters, and he 
also changeth them. If Saul were changed when he came to be a king, in 
regard of a new quality, shall we think that God will call any to the par- 
ticipation of his gloriolis mercy in Christ, in pardoning their sin, and 
accepting them to life eternal, but he will change them ? No. Whosoever 
he calls to glory, he changeth and altereth their dispositions to be fit 
for so glorious a condition as a Christian is called to. There must be a 
change. 

Proud men love not to hear of this. It is a prejudice to their former 
authority. What ! I that was accounted a wise man, now to be a fool ! I 
that was accounted so and so, to alter all my frame and course, and to turn 
the stream another way — the world will say I go mad. I say because grace 
altereth and changeth all : ' Old things are passed away, and all things are 
become new,' 2 Cor. v. 17 ; those that are carnal and proud cannot endure 
a change, because it is some prejudice to their reputation. But it must be 
so if they look for salvation. Thus you see that point proved enough. 

' Into the same image.' 

The pattern to which we are changed is the image of Christ. It is a 
rule, and a true rule, the first in every kind is the measure of all the rest. 
It is the idea, the pattern, and platform of all the rest. Now Christ is the 
first, for he is the ' fii'st-born,' the ' first fruits,' the 'first beloved.' There- 
fore he is the pattern of all the rest, and the measure of all other. The 
nearer we come to Christ, the better we are ; for that is the measure of a 
thing, the nearer it answcreth to that the better. Now Christ is the best, 
and our nature in Christ is joined to the Godhead in one person. There- 
fore we are changed to the likeness of Christ, ' the second Adam;' for as 
before we are changed, we are corrupted and depraved according to the like- 
ness of the first Adam after his fall ; and as before his fall, if he had not 
fallen, we had been born according to his likeness, that is, good and right- 
eous ; so now being fallen, as soon as by faith we are planted and grafted 
into the second Adam we are changed into his likeness. Christ as it were 
is God's master-piece, that is, the excellentest work, and device, and frame 
of heaven that ever was, to set up such a Mediator, to reconcile justice and 
mercj^ in bringing God and man into one person. Now Christ being God's 
master-piece, the best and most excellent frame of all, he is fit to be the 
* A misprinted ■ by' here. — G. 



260 EXCELLENCY OF THE GOSPEL 

pattern of all excellency ■whatsoever. Therefore he is the image, the idea, 
the pattern and platform of all our sanctification. 

Christ the second Adam is the image into -which ^we are changed. We 
are not changed to the image of the first Adam by grace, but to the image 
of the second Adam. There is from him a derivation of all cood, opposite 
to all the ill Tve drew from the first Adam. We drew from the first Adam 
the displeasure of God ; by the second we obtain the favour of God by his 
death and satisfaction. With the wrath of God we drew corruption from 
the first Adam, in the second we have grace. From the first Adam we 
have death, and all the miseries that attend death and follow it. In the 
second Adam we have life and all happiness, till it end in glory. In a 
word, whatsoever ill we have in the first Adam, it is repaired abundantly 
in the second, when we are changed into his image. Therefore, when you 
read of the image of God in the New Testament, it must be understood of 
the image of God in Jesus Christ, the second Adam. 

Now this image consists in knowledge, in holiness and righteousness. 
If we compare Col. iii. with Eph. iv., this was perfect in Christ, who was 
the image of his Father, and we must be like Christ the second Adam in 
sanctification. 

Now the grounds v^^hy we must be conformable to the image of the second 
Adam, and not to the first, are these : 

Because the second Adam is far excelling the first Adam ; and as I said, 
we must be conformed to the best image. As we have borne the image of 
the first, so we must bear the image of the second, as it is in 1 Cor. xv. 49. 

And then the image of God in the second Adam is more durable. For 
all excellencies and grace is more firmly set on Christ than ever they were 
upon Adam. It is set upon him with such a character and stamp as shall 
never be altered. When God set his image on the first Adam it was rased, 
and decayed, and lost, by the malice of the devil, because it was not set on 
so firmly, Adam being a man and a good man, yet he was a man change- 
able. But Christ is God-man ; in one nature God hath set such a stamp of 
grace on the human nature, being eternally united to the Godhead, that 
shall never be altered. Therefore we are renewed according to the image 
of God as it is stamped on Christ, not as it was stamped on the first Adam. 

And that is the reason why the state of God's children is unalterable, 
why being once gracious they are so for ever. If God set the stamp of 
the Spirit of Christ on them, it is firm, as it is upon Christ. It never 
alters in Christ, nor in those that are members of Christ. The alteration 
is in grovvth from better to better. God's children sometimes a little 
deface that image by sin, security, and the like. But as a piece of coin that 
is a little defaced, yet it hath the old stamp still, and is acknowledged for 
good coin, so a Christian in all desertions, in the worst state, he hath the 
stamp still. Though it be darkened by his carelessness, yet after it receives 
a fresh stamp it is an everlasting stamp. When once we are God's coin 
we are never reprobate silver. And all is, because we are ' renewed accord- 
ing to the image of Christ,' and grace is firmly set in our nature in Christ 
so sure that all the devils in hell cannot rase it out. And he is the 
' quickening Spirit,' and therefore able to transform us to his likeness better 
than the first Adam was. Therefore the image of God is the likeness of 
the second Adam, and we are changed into that. 

Now the reasons why the second Adam changeth us into his own image 
are many : 

First, Because he is a pou'erful head that changeth all his members, a 



ABOVE THE LAW. 261 

powerful root that changeth all his branches into his own nature, a powerful 
husband that changeth his own spouse. I say, he is a quickening Spirit, a 
public person, and the root of all believers, as the first Adam was of us all 
as we are natural men. 

Second, Again, it is meet that brethren should be all alike; therefore, as 
it is in Rom. viii. 29, ' we are predestinate to be conform to Christ.' ' He is 
the first among many brethren.' The chief brethren must be all alike. 
Therefore we being predestinate to salvation, it was fit we should be pre- 
destinate to be conformable to our elder brother, that brethren might be of 
one nature and disposition. It is fit that the husband and wife should be 
of one disposition. Christ is the husband and we are the spouse. There- 
fore by grace he alters, and cleanseth, and purgeth his spouse, as it is Eph. 
V. 25, seg., ' He loved his spouse, and gave himself for it ; that he might 
purge it, and make it a glorious spouse.' It is meet the wife should be 
the glory of the husband, as St Paul saith, 1 Cor. xi. 7, that is, that she 
should reflect the excellencies of her husband. Therefore that the church 
might be the glory of Christ and reflect the excellencies of Christ, she is 
changed to be like Christ more and more daily. There is a kind of con- 
gruity that brethren should be like, and that the spouse and the husband 
should be alike. Therefore God hath ordained that we should be like him 
in a threefold degree : in suffering, in grace, and in glory. Whosoever will 
be like him in glory, must be like him in grace. First God's election and 
ordaining must have its issue ; that is, the representation of the likeness of 
Christ in our natures. 

Third, Again, the end of Christ's coming was ' to destroy the ii-orks of the 
devil,'' 1 John iii. 8, to deface all Satan's works, especially his work in us, 
the image of Satan in our dispositions. For every man by nature carries 
the image of the devil on him, till the image of Christ be stamped on, and 
the image of Satan rased out. For in man there is naturally an opposition 
to the truth, a hatred of God and of good things. Now Christ coming to 
dissolve the works of the devil, puts out this image, and sets his own stamp 
and image upon the soul. Therefore unless Christ change us to his own 
image he should miss of the end of his coming. These and many such 
reasons there are to prove that we are restored according to the image of 
Christ Jesus, and why Christ will change us to his own likeness. To add 
one more : 

Fourth, The end of Christ is, that we shoulxl enter into a sweet communion 
with him. Therefore he will set such a stamp upon us as he may delight 
in us and be friends. Now if he should not change our natures, what cor- 
respondence could there be between Christ and us ? Now when he hath 
altered and changed us, he looks on us as carrying his stamp and image. 

Use 1. If this be so, that we are changed into the image of the second 
Adam, Jesus Christ, then I beseech you let us labour every day more and 
more to study Christ, that so by beholding Christ we may be transformed 
into his likeness. For the looking upon Christ is a transforming sight. 
Therefore let us look into his disposition as it is set forth in the gospel, and 
to his carriage, and look to his privileges, that so we may receive ' grace 
for grace,' grace suitable to his grace, disposition suitable to his disposition, 
conversation suitable to his conversation, and privilege and prerogative 
suitable to his prerogative, that we may be like him every way. 

What was his disposition and carriage ? It were too large to unfold it 
to you as it is in the gospel, but because we must be changed into the image 
of Christ, it is good to look to that picture, that we may resemble that 



262 EXCELLENCY OF THE GOSPEL 

image as mucli as may be. You see in the gospel how he carried himself 
to his friends, enemies, the devil, himself. 

You see how full of love he was. What drew him from heaven to earth, 
and so to his cross and to his grave, but love to mankind ? Yen see how 
full of goodness he was : ' He went about doing all the good he could,' Acts 
X. 38. How much good doth that speech savour of that Paul speaks of 
him, ' It is a more blessed thing to give than to receive,' Acts xx. 35. See 
how full of zeal he was ! He whipped the buyers and sellers out of the 
temple, John ii. 15. He was full of goodness. It was his meat and drink 
to do good, John iv. 32, seq. It was as natural to him as for a fountain to 
stream out. 

(1.) And as I said for his carriage toward his friends, to those that were 
good, how sweet and indulgent was he. 

[1.] Where there icas any beginniiir/s of goodness, he did encourage it. He 
never sent any back again, but those that went back again of their own 
head, as the young man. Christ sent him not back. He was so full of 
sweetness to weak Christians, nay, he discovered himself most to the weakest. 
He was never more familiar with any than with the woman of Samaria, that 
was an adulteress, John iv. 6, seq. ; and Mary that had been a sinner, how 
sweetly did he appear to her first, John xx. 1, seq. How sweet was he to 
sinners when they repented ! how ready to forgive and pardon ! See it in 
Peter. He never cast him in the teeth with his apostasy ; he never 
upbraided him with it ; he never so much as tells him of it, only he ' looks ' 
upon him, and afterward, ' Lovest thou me ?' &c., John xxi. 15. 

[2. J He uvtdd not ' quench the smoking flax, nor break the bruised reed,' 
Mat. xii. 20, so gentle and sweet a Saviour have we. He was sweet to those 
that were good in the lowest degree of goodness ; nay, where there was but 
a representation of goodness, as in the young man, he kissed and embraced 
him when he came and said, ' What good thing shall I do to inherit eternal 
life ?' Mark x. 17. He embraced him, and made much of him. And so 
to the Pharisee, ' Thou art not far from the kingdom of God,' Mark xii. 34. 
He laboured to pull him further. He was of a winning, gaining disposi- 
tion. Those that were good he loved them, and carried himself so to all 
as much as might be. Shall we not labour to be of his disposition, not to 
set people further off, but to be of a gaining, winning nature ? 

[3.] See how obedient he was to his Father, ' Not my will, but thine be 
done,' Mat. xxvi. 42 ; both in active and passive obedience, in all things he 
looked to his Father's will, being subordinate to him. Wheresoever there 
is subordination, there ought to be obedience. Now there is a subordina- 
tion to God as our Father in Christ. Therefore we should labour to be 
obedient even to death, as Christ was. Our happiness stands in subordi- 
nation. The happiness of the inferior is in subjection to the superior that 
may do him good. Therefore we must be obedient to God as Christ was. 
We see he prayed whole nfghts.* 

(2.) For his oim jmrticidar, how holy and heavenly was he. f He takes 
occasion of vines, of stones, of water, of sheep, and all things to be heavenly 
minded, to raise his soul upon all occasions. And when he rose from the 
dead, and conversed with his disciples, what was his talk ? He discoursed 
all of matters of the kingdom of heaven. So his whole disposition was 
heavenly and holy in himself, and patient in wrongs done to him. He did 

«Cf. Luke vi. 12: xxi. 37. 

t According to tlie metliod on page 201, at bottom, this ought to hare been the 
fourth particular.— G. 



ABOVE THE LAW. 2G3 

not return injury for injury. You see how meek he was. I give you but 
a touch of every particular. You may by proportion apply the rest. He 
was in his own particular holy and heavenly, and full of purity and holi- 
ness and heavenliness. 

(3.) What was he to his enemies ? Did he call for fire from heaven when 
they wronged him ? Was he all on a heat ? When his poor disciples, being 
more flesh than sjiirit, would have fire from heaven, ' You know not what 
spirit you are of,' saith he, Luke ix. 55. He shed tears for those that shed 
his blood, ' Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem,' &c., Mat. xxiii. 37, that afterward 
crucified him. And upon the cross you see there to his very enemies, 
' Father, forgive them, they know not what they do,' Lake xxiii. 34. So 
then if we Avill be like to Christ, consider how he carried himself to God in 
devotion and obedience, and how in himself he was full of purity and holi- 
ness, unspotted every way ; how to his friends, to all that had any goodness 
in them ; and how to his enemies, he prayed for his very enemies. 

(4.) And for the devil himself. Deal with him as Christ did, that is, have 
no terms with him, although he come to us in our nearest friends. He 
came to Christ in Peter. ' Satan avoid,' saith he. Mat. xvi. 32. If the 
devil come to us in our wives, in our children, in our friends, ' avoid Satan.' 
Satan comes to us sometime in our friends, to give corrupt judgment, to 
maintain self causes, to do this or that that may crack our conscience. 
Discern the devil in our best friends ; for sometime they may be the trunks* 
of the devil. The devil may convey his spirit through Peter. Let us imi- 
tate Christ. Discern between our friends' love and the subtilty of the devil 
in them, and be able to give them an avaunt, ' avoid Satan.' We see Christ 
when he encountered Satan, he fights not with Satan's weapons ; and when 
he was to deal with his instruments, but with the word of God. He gives 
not reproach for reproach, nor sophistry for sophistry ; but ' It is written,' 
Mat. iv. 4, et alibi, shewing that we must encounter Satan with God's 
armour}^, with weapons out of the book of God. 

And then when Satan would confess him, and make much of him, ' Oh 
thou art the Son of God,' he would have nothing to do with him. So those 
that are manifestly led with the spirit of Satan, and would press kindness 
on us, have nothing to do with them so far. As we say of the devil he is 
not alway a liar, but he alway cozeneth ; so take those that are led by the 
spirit of the devil, that are Jesuited papists, they lie not in all, but there is 
cozening in all ; for all is but snaring kindness and gifts that will hurt more. 
All offers from Satan, and those that are led with the spirit of Satan, we 
ought to suspect, as Christ we see when Satan offered him a kindness, he 
saw he was to be took heed of. Therefore saith he, ' away,' you and your 
kindness. So have nothing to do with devilish men. Those are best at 
ease, and prosper most that have least to do with them ; those that see they 
are alway deceivers though they be not alway liars ; those that are nearest 
hostilit}' prosper best. Thus jon see a taste of Christ's carriage to his 
friends, to his enemies, to Satan. And for hypocrites he speaks, ' Woe to 
them,' Mat. xxiii. 13. He hated them above all the proud Pharisees. 
I might spend much time in going over particulars in the gospel, to see 
what expressions there are of Jesus Christ. 

Use 2. I beseech you, make this use of it, when in the gospel you read 

of any expression of his love and gentleness, of his obedience and humility, 

in washing his disciples' feet, and ' Learn of me for I am meek,' &c.. Mat. 

xi. 29, and ' Come unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden,' Mat. 

*■ That is, truuk or chest, = instruments of the devil. — G. 



264 



EXCELLEN'CY OF THE GOSFEL 



xi. 28, then tliink this is the expression of wy blessed Saviour, ' the second 
Adam,' to tchose image I must he coiiformed, and transformed, and changed; 
and therefore when you are moved and tempted to sin, from your o\Yn 
corruption, or from Satan, reason thus with yourselves : Would our blessed 
Saviour, if he were upon earth, do this ? would he speak thus ? would he 
not do thus if he were here now ? would he not be ready to do this good 
turn ? Surely he would ; and I must be changed into his image and like- 
ness. Therefore let me consider what my blessed Saviour would do in the 
like case. Surely our blessed Saviour would not stain and defile his body. 
He would not make his tongue an instrument of untruth to deceive others. 
He would not be covetous and injurious. Art thou a Christian or no ? If 
thou be a Christian thou hast the anointing of Jesus Christ. That anoint- 
ing that was poured on him as the head, it runs down to thee as a member, 
as Aaron's ointment ran down to his skirts. If thou be the skirt of Christ, 
the meanest Christian, thou hast the same grace if thou be a Christian. 
And therefore thou must express Christ, that as thou art partaker of his 
name, so thou must be partaker of his anointing. If thou be a Christian, 
why doest thou thus ? Doth this suit with thy profession ? Dost thou carry 
the image of Satan, and dost thou think to be a Christian, except it be in 
title and profession only ? No. There is no Christian but if he be a true 
Christian he is changed into the likeness of Christ, into his image. There- 
fore it is a good thought upon all occasions, every day to think what would 
my blessed Saviour say if he were here ? and what did he in the like case 
when he was upon earth ? I must be ' led by the Spirit of Christ,' or else 
I am none of his. Therefore let us shame ourselves when we are moved 
by our corruptions and temptations to do anything contrary to this blessed 
image. 

And consider, the more we grow into the likeness of Christ, the more we 
grow in the love of God, who delights in us as he doth in his own Son : 
* This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,' Mat. iii. 17. Now 
the more hke we are to Christ, the more he is pleased with us. 

And the more we shall grow in love one to another ; for the liker pictures 
are to the first pattern, the liker they are one to another. So the liker we 
grow to Christ, the liker we are one to another, and the more like, the 
more love. 

Who keeps Christ alive in the world, but a company of Christians that 
carry his resemblance ? As we say of a child that is like his father, this 
man cannot die as long as his son is alive, because he resembleth his father; 
so as long as Christians are in the world, that have the Spirit of Christ, 
Christ cannot die. He lives in them, and Christ is alive no otherwise in 
the world than in the hearts of gracious Christians, that carry the picture 
and resemblance of Christ in them. 

But how are we changed into the likeness of Christ ? How come we to 
be like him ? . 

When once we believe in Christ, we are graft into the similitude of his 
death, and into the likeness of his resurrection. It is a point somewhat 
mystical, yet it is stood upon in the Scriptures, in Rom. vi. especially, 
at large. 

How come we to die to sin by virtue of Christ's death ? and to live to 
righteousness by the fellowship of Christ's resurrection ? It is said we are 
transformed into the likeness of Christ. The phrases of Scripture shew it. 
But to stand upon these phrases a little. 

Beloved, as it was in Christ's own person when Christ died, whole 



ABOVE THE LAV^. 2G5 

Christ died and was crucified, but yet the death itself, the crucifying was 
terminate in the human nature : the human nature died and not the God- 
head ; yet by reason of the union, whole Christ died and was crucified : 
the ' Lord of glory' was crucified, as the Scripture speaks. And as it was 
in Christ natural, so it is in Christ mystical, whole Christ mystical was 
crucified, whole Christ mystical is risen again, notwithstanding the cruci- 
fying was terminate in Christ the head, not in the members. As his death 
was terminate in his human nature, it ended and was confined in that ; so 
this crucifying belonged to the head, and the head rose ; yet whole Christ, 
all believers as soon as they are one with Chi'ist, by reason of the mystical 
union, thej^ are dead and crucified in Chi'ist their head, and risen and sit 
in heavenly places, in Christ their head. So then a true believer, when he 
is made one with Christ, he reasons thus. My corruption of nature, this 
pride of heart that naturally I have, this enmity of goodness, this is cruci- 
fied ; for I am one with Christ. When he died, I and my head did die, 
and this pride and covetousness and worldliuess, this base and filthy carnal 
disposition, was crucified in Christ my head. I in my head was crucified, 
and I in my head now am risen and sit in heaven. Therefore now I am 
in some sort glorious. Therefore I mind things above in my head. And 
therefore because of the necessary conformity of the members to the head, 
I must more and more die to sin, be crucified to sin, and rise by the 
Spirit of Christ and ascend with him. The more I knov/, and consider, 
and meditate of this, the more I am transformed into the likeness of his 
death and resurrection. But to go a little further. 

Quest. What things in Christ's death did especially discover themselves 
to us, when we once believe, to our comfort ? 

Ans. Three things. 

In regard of its, wonderful love, that he died for us. 

In regard of sin, wonderful hatred, that he would die for sin. 

And ivonderfid holiness and love of grace. He shewed his hatred of sin, 
that he would shed his heart-blood for it ; and wanting the glory of God, 
as it were, by feeling the wrath of God for a time, even in hatred to sin. 

There were these two afi'ectious pregnant in Christ upon the cross, won- 
drous love for us to die for us, and wondrous hatred of sin to purge it, for 
which he died ; and wondrous holiness, from whence hatred of sin came. 
Whence doth hatred of sin come, but from wonderful purity and holiness, 
that cannot endure sin ? Thus, when the soul considers it is one with 
Christ, it hath the same afi"ections that Christ had. Christ in love to us 
died. Can I apprehend that love of Christ Vvhen he died and was crucified 
and tormented for my sin, but out of love I must hate sin again ? And 
when I consider how Christ stood afi'ected to sin upon the cross, when he 
died to purge it, and to satisfy for it, can I have other affections,', being one 
with him, than he had upon the cross ? I cannot. So, whether I consider 
his love to me, or the hatred he bore to sin, considering myself one v/ith 
him by a mystical union, I shall have the same affection of love to him, 
and be like him every way, to love what he loves, and to hate what he 
hates. 

I cannot but hate sin ; and, hating sin, I must act his part anew, that is, 
as he died for sin, so I die to sin ; as he was crucified for it, so it is crucified 
in me ; as he was pierced, so he gives corruption a stab in me ; as he was 
buried, so my corruption is buried ; and as he died once, never to die again, 
so I follow my sins to the grave, to death, and consumption of old Adam, 
that he never riseth again. So I say, the consideration of my union with 



266 



EXCELLENCY OF THE GOSPEL 



Christ, that I in Christ did die and was crucified, because my head died 
and was crucified. And then it puts that afiection into me that was in 
Christ, and makes me act Christ's part, to die to sin daily more and more. 
These and the Hke thoughts are stirred up in a Christian, which St Paul 
aims at in Rom. vi. and other places. 

So by the virtue of his resurrection I am conformable more and more to 
the graces in him ; for as the power of God's Spirit raised him up when he 
was at the lowest, when he had been three days in the grave, so the Spirit 
in every Christian raiseth them up at the lowest to comfort, to a further 
degree of grace, more and more ; nay, when they are fallen into any sin or 
any affliction for sin, the same power that raised Christ when he was in 
the grave, for our sins, in the lowest humiliation that could be, it raiseth 
them from their sins daily, that they gather strength from their sins. The 
power that raised Christ at the lowest raiseth a Christian at the lowest in 
sin and in affliction for sin ; for when he is tripped and undermined by his 
corruptions, God by that power that raised Christ at the lowest recovers 
and strengthens him, and makes him afresh revenge himself upon his sin. 
And when he is at the lowest, in the grave, the same power will raise him, 
like Christ every way. So you see how we are changed to the likeness of 
Christ. 

How shall we know then whether we have the image of Christ stamped 
upon us or no ? 

If we be changed into the likeness of Christ, we shall be changed in our 
understandings, to judge of things as he did. His aim was to please his 
Father in all things. If we have the same ends, and the same opinion and 
esteem* of things, . . .* He judged matters of grace and of the king- 
dom of God above all other ; for the soul is more worth than the whole 
world. See the judgment that he passed upon things : ' Seek ye first the 
kingdom of God, and all other things shall be cast upon you,' Mat. vi. 33, 
We must be changed in our judgment if we will have his image upon us. 
We must be like him in our will, in our choice, in the cleaving, and pur- 
pose, and resolution of our will. We must have the bent of our soul as 
his was. Our souls must be edged and pointed as his was, wholly for 
heaven and the kingdom of God, And so for our affections, there must 
be a change in them, in our love, and joy, and delight. We must love and 
joy and delight in whatsoever he did. 

Now the way to stir us up to this is to see what image we naturally carry, 
and to see ourselves in the glass of the law. If a man consider thus, if 
Christ's image be not upon me, I carry the image of the devil, this would 
make him labour to get another image upon him. For, beloved, at the 
day of judgment Christ will not own us if he see not his image upon us. 
Cffisar will own Caesar's coin if he see his image upon it. ' Whose image- 
and superscription is this ? Give unto Cfesar that which is Caesar's,' Mat. 
xxii. 20. If Christ see his stamp on us, he will own lis at the day of 
judgment, or else not. Naturally we are all opposite to Christ ; naturally 
we are full of pride and malice ; of the spirit of the world and the devil. 
Get out this by all means, or else Christ will not own us at the day of 
judgment. He will not look on us. He cannot abide to see us if we 
have not his image. We must bear the image of the second Adam as we 
did the image of the first. 

Again, the law of God was written in Adam's heart, it is expressed and 
copied out. There see ourselves. There see all the curses. There see 
* Sentence unfinished. — G. 



ABOVE THE LAW. 267 

ourselves guilty of the breach of every commandraent. If we understand 
the law spiritually, that desire of women and revengeful thoughts are 
murder and adultery. Understand the law spiritually, and see ourselves 
in that glass, see ourselves utterly condemned. This will make us fly to 
the glass of the gospel, that we may be changed into the image of Christ. 

There is another image that we more desire to be changed into. We 
are transformed into the likeness of the world, cast into the mould of the 
times. We labour to have those opinions that the times have, and those 
ways of getting and rising to preferment that the world hath, and to have 
that carriage and disposition every waj^ that the world hath, and so frame 
to the spirit of the world in all things, that so we might not be observed by 
others, and crossed in our pleasures, and preferments, and profits. Well, 
this desire to be transfoi-med into the likeness of the world, to have the 
spirit of the world, what will it come to in the end ? The world shall be 
condemned. If we will be condemned with the world, let us labour to be 
transformed into the opinion of the world, and to go with the stream and 
errors of the time if we desire to be damned. The world must be condemned. 
It is the kingdom of Satan, wherein he rules. Therefore there is no image 
or likeness for us to be transformed into, if we will be saved and have 
comfort, but the image of Christ ; and can we have a better likeness to be 
transformed into than the image of him by whom we hope to be ' saved ? 
than to be like him, from whom we hope for so great a matter as 
salvation is ? 

Use 2. Again, that we may be changed into the likeness of Christ, let us 
fix our meditations iqjon him, and we shall find a change we know not how, 
insensible. As those that stand in the sun for other purposes, they find 
themselves lightened and heat [ed|; so let us set ourselves about holy 
meditations, and we shall find a secret, insensible change ; our souls will 
be altered and changed we know not how. There is a virtue goes with holy 
meditation, a changing, transforming virtue ; and indeed we can think of 
nothing in Christ but it will alter and change us to the likeness of itself, 
because we have all from Christ. Can we think of his humility and not be 
humble? Can we think, was God humble, and shall base worms be proud? 
Shall I be fierce when my Saviour was meek ? Can a proud, fierce heart 
apprehend a sweet, meek Saviour ? No. The heart must be suitable to 
the thing apprehended. It is impossible that a heart that is not meek, 
and sweetened, and brought low, should apprehend a loving and humble 
Saviour. There must be a suitableness between the heart and Christ. As 
he was born of a humble virgin, so he is born and conceived in a humble 
heart. Christ is born and conceived, and lives and grows in every Christian ; 
and in a humble and lowly heart, made like him by his Spirit : that is the 
womb. The heart that is suitable, that is the heart that he is formed in. 

Use 3. Again, to be changed into this image, when we are once in the 
state of grace, let its look to the rcniaiader of our corruptions. The best of 
us shall see that that will make us look after Christ. Look to our worldly- 
mindedness, to our passions, to our rebellions, to our darkness and dead- 
ness of spirit, and then go to Christ. Lord, thou hast appointed Christ to 
be a head, to be a full vessel, that of his grace we might have grace for 
grace. He was ' anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows,' Ps. 
xlv. 7, but for his fellows. I am earthly-minded, he is heavenly. I am 
full of rebellions, of lusts ; all is at peace in him. The image of God is 
perfect in him, and he is a head to infuse grace, a head of influence as well 
as of eminence. He is not only above me, but he hath all grace for me. 



263 EXCELLIIN'CY OF THE GOSPEL 

Therefore, go to Christ. I need thy heavenly-mindedness, and some 
portion of thy meekness, of thy spiritual strength. I am weak, and dark, 
and dead, shine on me. Thou hast fulness for me. So go to Christ, and 
draw upon every occasion virtue and life from Christ our head. This is to 
know what is meant by being transformed to Christ our head. 

There are two conformities, beloved, exceeding comfortable to us, and 
we must meditate on both. 

First, Christ's conformitij to us. He was transfigured into our likeness. 
He became man in love to us; not only man, but in the form of a servant, 
base man. He took man's nature, and man's base condition, Phil. ii. 8. 
Here is the ground of our comfort, that Christ took our form, he trans- 
figured himself to our baseness ; and shall not we labour to be transformed, 
to be Hke him, that out of love stooped so low to be like us ? Let us but 
think of this, beloved ! Our blessed Saviour took our nature on him pure 
and holy by his Spirit. He followed sin to death. He was conceived, and 
lived, and died without sin, to satisiEy for sin ; and now by his Spirit he 
cleanseth out sin. He pursued and chased out sin from his conception in 
all the passages of his life ; so we should be like him. Drive away sin, 
get the Spirit, that our nature in us may be as it was in him : holy, and 
pure,';'and spiritual. Shall he be conformed to us, and shall not we be con- 
form to him ? Many such reasons and considerations there be to move us 
to be changed into the image of Christ. 

Christ, in this work of changing, is all in all; for (1.) first of all, by 
Christ's death and satisfaction to divine justice, ice have the Spirit of God 
that doth all ; for the Spirit is the gift of God's love, next to Christ, the 
greatest. Now Christ having reconciled God, God being reconciled, gives 
the Spirit. Our sins being forgiven, the fruit of God's love is the Spirit. 
So we have the Spirit by the merit of Christ. 

(2.) Again, we have it from Christ, as a head, derived* unto us. We 
have the Spirit for Christ and from Christ. Christ receives the Spirit 
first, and then he sends it into our hearts. So for Christ's sake, and from 
Christ as a head, we have the Spirit. 

(B.) Again, from Christ tve have the pattern of all grace whatsoever, to 
which we are changed. The pattern of all grace is from Christ. He 
begins to us in every grace. 

(4.) Again, in the fourth place, the reasons inducing are all from Christ. 
For we are not only changed by power, but by reason. There is the 
greatest reasons in the world to be a Christian, and to come out of the 
state of nature. When our understanding is enlightened to see the 
horrible state of nature, with the angry face of God with it, and then to 
have our ej^es opened at the same time to see the glorious and gracious face 
of God in Jesus Christ, here is the greatest wisdom in the world to come 
out of that cursed state to a better. Now, the reasons of this change are 
fetched from Christ, that by knowing Christ we know by reflection the 
cursed state out of him, and to see the glorious benefits by Christ's redemp- 
tion and glorification. These set before the eye of the soul, and then the 
heart wrought upon these by reasons. If Christ gave himself for me, shall 
not I give myself to Christ ? Paul hath his heavenly logic, ' Christ died 
for us, that we might live to him,' 2 Tim, ii, 11. So we have the merit 
of the Spirit from Christ, the derivation of the Spirit from Christ as a 
head, and the pattern of grace from Christ, and the inducing reasons all 
from Christ, in this changing to his image. 

* That is, = ' conveyed.' — Q-. 



AEOVE THE LAW. 269 

(5.) Again, in that Christ is the image to which we are changed, Jet us 
learn, if we would see anything excellent and comfortable in ourselves, see it in 
Christ first. There is nothing comfortable in man but it is in Christ first, 
as the first image, the first receiver of all, Christ Jesus himself. If we 
would see the love of God, see the love of God in Christ our head first, in 
him that is Gcd's beloved ; if we would see the gifts that God hath blessed 
us with spiritual blessings, but it is in Christ. We have it from our head 
first. If we would see God's favour, ' This is my beloved Son, in whom I 
am well pleased,' Mat. iii. 17. I am well pleased in him, and in all his, 
that are one mystical body with him. If we would see comfortably our ill 
done away, our sins removed, see it in Christ abased, in Christ crucified, 
and made a curse. See them all wiped away in the cross of Christ. If 
we would see glory upon the removal of our sins, see it in Christ first. 
He is first risen, and therefore we shall rise. He is ascended, and sits in 
heavenly places, therefore we ascend and sit in heavenly places with him. 
All that we have or look to have comfortable in us, see it in the first 
pattern and platform in Christ. The reason is clear in Rom. viii. 29. 
We are elected and predestinate * to be comformed to the image of his 
Son.' We are predestinate to be conformed to Christ in all things, to be 
loved as he is, to be gracious as he is. To rise to be glorious, to be freed 
and justified afterward from all our sins, as he our surety was. We are 
ordained to be conformable to him every way. In a word, the flesh of 
Christ it was holy, it was a suffering flesh, and then a glorious flesh, now 
it is glorious. So our nature must be like this image. It must be sanc- 
tified flesh, by the same Spirit that sanctified the mass that he was made 
of in the womb. It must be suficring flesh, in conformity to him ; for the 
flesh that he took was suffering flesh, and he had a kingdom of patience 
before he had a kingdom of glory. So we must go through a kingdom of 
patience to the kingdom of glory, and then upon conformity in holiness 
with Christ comes our conformity in glovj. When we are content to be 
conformed to Christ in our suffering flesh, then we shall be conformed to 
Christ in our glorious flesh ; for our flesh must be used as his was. It 
must be holy and patient and suffering, and then it shall be glorious. So 
in all things we must look to Christ first ; he must have the pre-eminence. 

Beloved, of all contemplations under heaven, there is no contemplation 
so sweet and powerful as to see God in Christ, and to see Christ first abased 
for us and ourselves abased in Christ, and crucified in Christ, and acquitted 
in Christ. And then raise our thoughts a little higher. See ourselves made 
by little and little glorious in Christ. See ourselves in him rising and 
ascending and sitting at the right hand of God in heavenly places. See 
ourselves, by a spirit of faith, in heaven already with Christ. What a 
glorious sight and contemplation is this ! If we first look upon ourselves 
what we are, we are as branches cut off from the tree ; as a river cut off 
from the spring, that dies presently. What is in us but we have it by 
derivation from Christ, who is the first, the spring of all grace, the sum of 
all the beams that shine upon us ? We are as branches cut oft'. There- 
fore now to see Christ, and ourselves in Christ, this transforms us to be 
like his image. It is the sweetest contemplation that can be. 

We see this change is wrought by beholding. The beholding of the 
glory of God in the gospel, it is a powerful beholding ; for, saith he, * we 
are changed, by beholding,' to the image of Christ. Sight works upon the 
imaginations in brute creatures ; as Laban's sheep, when they saw the 
parti- coloured rods, it wrought upon their imaginations, and they had 



270 EXCELLENCY OF THE GOSPEL 

lambs suittaLle.* Will sight work upon imagination, and imagination 
work a real change in nature '? And shall not the glorious sight of God's 
mercy and love in Christ work a change in our soul ? Is not the eye of 
faith more strong to alter and change than imagination natural ? Cer- 
tainly the ejG of faith, apprehending God's love and mercy in Christ, it 
hath a power to change. The gospel itself, together with the Spirit, hath 
a power to change. We partake by it of the divine nature. 

This glass of the gospel hath an excellency and an eminency above all 
other glasses. It is a glass that changeth us. When we see ourselves and 
our corruptions in the glass of the law, there we see ourselves dead. The 
law finds us dead, and leaves us dead. It cannot give us any life. But 
when we look into the gospel and see the glory of God, the mercy of God, 
the gracious promises of the gospel, we are changed into the likeness of 
Christ whom we see in the gospel. It is an excellent glass, therefore, that 
hath a transforming power to make beautiful. Such a glass would be much 
prized in this proud world ; such a glass is the gospel. 

Therefore let us be in love with this glass above all other glasses what- 
soever. Nothing can change us but the gospel. The gospel hath a chang- 
ing power, as you have it Isa. xi. 6, seq. : there the lion shall feed with 
the lamb,' &c. ' For the whole earth shall be full of the knowledge of the 
Lord,' ver. 9. The knowledge of Christ Jesus is a changing knowledge, that 
changeth a man even from an untractable, fierce creature, to be tractable, 
sweet, and familiar. So that the knowledge of God in Jesus Christ, you 
see, it is a transforming knowledge, and changeth us into the image of 
Christ, to the likeness of Christ. 

i* Especially upon this ground, that when we look upon Christ, and God 
in Christ, we see ourselves there in the love of Christ, and in the love of 
God ; and thereupon we are moved to be changed to Christ, not by seeing 
Christ alone, or by seeing God in Christ alone, but by seeing God's love 
in Christ to us, and Christ's love to us. For the Spirit of faith, which is 
given together with the gospel, it sees Christ giving himself for me, and 
sees God the Father's love in f me in Christ, and giving me to Christ. 
When the Spirit of faith with this appropriation seeth God, mine in Christ, 
and seeth Christ mine, and sees myself in the love of God, and in the love 
of Christ, hereupon the soul is stirred up from a holy desire to be like 
Christ Jesus, that loved me so much, and to be conformable to God all I 
can. For if the person be great and glorious, and our friend too, there is 
a natural desire to be like such, to imitate them, and express them all we 
can. Now when we see ourselves in the love of God and Christ, out of 
the nature of the thing itself, it will stir us up to be like so sweet, and 
gracious, and loving a Saviour. 

There are three sights that hath a wondrous efficacy, and they go 
together. 

God sees us in Christ, and therefore loves us as we are in Christ. 

Christ sees us in the love of his Father, and therefore loves us as he sees 
us in his Father's love. 

We see ourselves in Christ, and see the love of God to us in Christ. 

These three sights are the foundation of all comfort. God gives us to 
Christ, and sees us as given to him in his election. Christ sees us as 
given of the Father, as you have it John xvii. 12 ; and loves us as we are 
loved of the Father, and then sees us as his own members. And we by a 
Spirit of faith see Christ, and see ourselves in Christ, and given to Christ 
* Cf. Gen. XXX. 32, seq.—G. t Qu. ' to ' ?— Ed. 



ABOVE THE LAW. 271^ 

by the Father. Hereupon comes a desire of imitation and expression of 
Jesus Christ. When we see ourselves in Christ God looks upon us in 
Chiist, and we look upon ourselves in Christ ; and when we look upon the 
mercy of God in Christ, it kindleth love, and love kindleth love, as fire 
kindleth fire. Fire hath that quality, that it turns all to itself. Now the 
meditation of the glorious love of God in Christ it works love, and love is 
an afiection of changing ; love transforms as fire doth. The love of God 
warms us, and we are fit for all impressions, as things that are warm. 
Iron is a dull and heavy thing, yet when it is warm it is iDright and pliable, 
and hath as much as may be of the nature of fire imprinted upon it. So 
our dead, and dull, and inflexible, and unyielding souls become malleable 
and flexible by the love of Christ shining upon them. His love transforms 
them and kindles them. So here is the way how the glory of God's love 
in Christ transforms us, because the discovery of the bowels of mercy in 
God towards us kindles love to him ; and that being kindled it works like- 
ness, for love to greatness transforms us. It works a desire to be like 
those that are great. Where there is dependence there is a desire to be 
like, even among men. Much more considering that God so loves our 
nature in Christ, and that our nature is so full of grace in Christ as it is, 
the love of God in Christ, that hath done so much for us, it breeds a desire 
to be like Christ in our disposition, all we can. 

By looking to the glory of God in Christ we see Christ as our husband, 
and that breeds a disposition in us to have the afi'ections of a spouse. We 
see Christ as our head, and that breeds a disposition in us to be members 
like him. 

Quest. How shall we know then that we see God in Christ, and the glory 
of God in the gospel comfortably ? 

Ans. Hath this sight a transforming power in thee, to the image of 
Christ, to make thee like him ? If it have not a transforming power, it is 
a barren, empty contemplation, that hath no efiicacy or comfort at all. So 
far as the sight of God's love in Christ breeds conformity to Christ, so far 
it is gracious and comfortable. See therefore whether thou art transformed 
to the image of Christ. If there be not a change, there is no beholding of 
Christ to speak of. No man ever sees the mercy of God in Christ by the 
eye of faith, but he is changed. 

For, beloved, as there must be a change, so it is in this order, from be- 
holding the mercy of God in Christ. For can you imagine that any soul 
can see itself in the glass of God's love in Jesus Christ, that it should see 
in the gospel Christ, and in him God reconciled unto him in particular, 
but that soul, out of the apprehension of God's love in Christ, will love God 
again, and be altered and changed ? It is impossible such a sight therefore, 
whereby we see ourselves in this glass, as when we look in a glass, and see 
our own image, we see our own selves in Christ, and the love of God.* 
Such a sight altereth and changeth alway. It works love, and love is the 
worker of imitation ; for what doth make one labour to express another in 
their disposition, carriage, and conversation ? Oh it is love, as children 
imitate their parents. Love is full of invention, and of this kind of inven- 
tion, that it studies to please the person loved, as much as it can every 
way. Hereupon we come to be desirous to be like Christ, because we see 
the glory of God's mercy shining in Christ. 

The adversaries of the grace of God they fall foul upon us, because we 
preach justification by the free mercy and love of God in Christ. Oh, say 
* Sentence unfinished. — G. 



272 EXGELLEXCY OF THE GOSPEL 

ihoj, tills is to dead the spirits of men, that they have no care of good 
works. 

Beloved, can there be any greater incentive and motive in the world to 
sanctification, to express Christ and to study Christ, than to consider what 
favour and mercy we have in Christ ? how we are justified and freed by 
him, by the glorious mercy of God in Christ ? There cannot be a greater. 
Therefore we see here they depend one upon another. By seeing in the 
glass of the gospel the glory of God, we are transformed from glory to glory. 
An excellent glass the gospel is : by seeing God's love in it we are changed. 
The law is a glass too, but such a glass as St James speaks of, that when 
a man looks into it, and sees his duty, he goes away, and forgets all, i. 23. 
The law discovers our sin and misery. Indeed, it is a true glass. If we 
look there, we shall see the true picture of old Adam and of corruption ; 
but it is such a glass as works nothing upon us. But when this glass is 
held out by the ministers of the word, whose office it is to hold the glass to 
people, when they see the love of God in Christ, this is a changing, trans- 
forming glass, to make them that were deformed and disfigured before, that 
bore upon them the image of Satan before, now to be transformed to be 
like Christ, by whom they must be saved. Is there any study in the world, 
therefore, more excellent than that of the gospel, and of the mercy of God 
in Christ, that transforms and changes men from one degree of grace to 
another, as it follows in the text. 

Therefore, those that find themselves to be the ' old men' still, that have ' 
lived in corrupt courses, and do so still, let them not think to have any 
benefit by the gospel. They deceive themselves. They never knew God. 
For he that saith he hath communion with God, and walks in darkness, he ', 
is a liar, 1 John iv. 20. St John gives him the lie, for God is light. How 
can a man see himself in the love of God, and remain in a dark state oppo- 
site to love ? Will it not alter a man ? It will not suffer him to live in 
sins against conscience. Let no man that doth so, think he hath benefit ' 
by Christ. That knowledge is but a notional knowledge, a speculation, a 
swimming knowledge : it is not a spiritual knowledge ; because wheresoever 
the knowledge of God in Christ is to purpose, there is a change and con- 
version of the whole man. There is a new judgment and new afl'ections. 
The bent and bias of them is another way than they were before. There 
is a change which is called a turning in the Scripture.* Those things that 
were before them before, are now behind them ; and those things that were 
behind them, are now before them. Whereas they turned their back upon 
God and good things, now they turn their faces, they look God- ward and 
heaven-ward, and to a better condition ; for this change is nothing else but 
conversion. Therefore a man may say as he said, ' I am not I.' Those' 
that have seen Christ, it makes them differ from themselves ; this sight : 
works a change. 

If there were not a change, it would make God forsworn ; as it is Luke ; 
i. 13, srq., in'Zacharias's song, ' He hath sworn that, being delivered out of 
the hands of our enemies, we should serve him without fear, in holiness 
and righteousness, all the days of our lives.' If any man, therefore, say 
he is delivered from his enemies, thi*t he thinks he shall not be damned 
and go to hell, and yet doth not live in holiness and righteousness, he 
makes God's oath frustrate, for God's oath joins both together : ' He hath 
sworn that, being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, we should 
serve him without fear ;' without slavish fear, but with a fear of reverence ; 
* That is, 6T^s<psiy()ai. Mat. xviii. 3, and elsewhere. — G. 



ABOVE THE LAW. 273 

' in holiness and righteousnes all the days of our life.' Whosoever, there- 
fore, are in a state of deliverance, have grace granted them whereby they 
may serve God in holiness and righteousness all the days of their life ; 
they are changed into the same image, 

' From glory to glory.' 

By glory is meant especiall}' grace here, and that which accompanies the 
grace of God, the favour of God. When we are persuaded of it by the 
Spirit, by which grace is wrought in us, upon grace in us there follows 
peace, and joy, and comfort, and many such things which the Scripture 
accounts to be glor3\ 

We say there are four degrees of the glory of a Christian. 

First, initial glory, in his first conversion, and thereupon, the knowledge 
of his deliverance from that cursed and damnable state that he is in ; the 
knowledge, likewise, of his title to life everlasting. He comes to have 
friendship with God ; he comes to have his nature renewed, that he may 
be friends with God. There must be an assimilation by the Spirit, like 
God, in a holy disposition. Now, upon the favour of God we come to be 
friends with God, and to have our natures altered ; and hereupon comes 
those glorious qualifications, as peace, and joy, and consolation in all con- 
ditions, and liberty, and boldness to the throne of grace. This is glory, 
beloved ! Is it not a glory to be friends with God, and to have God deal 
with us as friends ? to reveal his secrets to us of his love and grace in 
Christ ? to discover the hidden mysteries of his love to us, that was hid 
from the beginning of the world ? We never know it till our effectual 
calling, till our first conversion, for God to be friends with us all our lives: 
Abraham was the friend of God. And then to have our nature renewed, 
to have our shame laid aside. Indeed, sin makes us shameful. It is the 
dishonour and abasement of the soul. The very change of our nature to 
be such as God may delight in, this is glory. The image of God is glory. 
Therefore in Rom. iii. 23, et alibi, it is said we are stripped and ' deprived 
of the glory of God' since the fall, that is, of the image of God, by Adam's 
sin, whereby we resembled God in holiness ; so grace whereby we resemble 
God is the image and likeness of God, and that is the glory of man. If 
one should ask, What is the best glory of a man ? that intrinsecal glory 
that characteriseth a man indeed ? It is the stamp of Christ upon him, the 
image of the second Adam, in his soul to be like him. 

And hereupon those glorious qualifications that follow upon it, glorious 
peace, and glorious joy ; glorious and unspeakable comfort, above all dis- 
comforts whatsoever ; as indeed the comforts of religion are comforts 
triumphing and prevailing above all discomforts. There are no comforts 
but those in religion, that are above the discomforts we meet with in this 
world. For what can be set against the wrath of God, against hell and 
damnation, but the comforts of the gospel ? Now when a man is in the 
state of grace, and hath these glorious things following him, sweet and glo- 
rious peace that passeth understanding, that all the world, and all the 
devils in hell caimot shake, and joy in the Holy Ghost, and comforts above 
all discomforts whatsoever : and then glorious liberty he hath to come into 
the presence of God upon all occasions, being a friend of God — are not 
these things glorious, beloved ? And these belong to every Christian. 

Second, Now as a Christian grows in assurance of his salvation and further 

I friendship icith God, and further peace and joy and con fort, there is a 

[ further degree of glory. The growth of grace is glory. Therefore in 2 Pet. 

i. 5, seq., he follows the point at large. When we add grace to grace, he 

VOL. IV. s 



274 EXCELLENCY OF THE GOSPEL 

saith it gives a furtlier entrance into the kingdom of God : for the kingdom 
of God is begun in grace here ; and the further we grow in grace, the more 
we enter into the kingdom of grace ; and the further we enter into that, 
the nearer we are to the kingdom of glory. 

Third, The next degree of glory is when the soul enjoys the j)resence of 
God ill heaven. 

Fourth, Then the upshot and conclusion, the closure and consummation 
of all, at the day of jiuhpnent, when body and soul shall be united again. 
Then is perfect glory. Here it is insinuated, when he saith we are changed 
from glory to glory, that is, from grace to grace, till all end in glory, which 
is the perfection of all in heaven, when body and soul shall be both glorious, 
' from glory to glory.' 

In this is considerable, first, that grace is glory : and then, that grace 
being glorj^, is growing in a continual course till it come to perfection. We 
grow 'from glory to glory,' from one degree of grace to another. 

[1.] Grace whereby we resemble Christ is glory, and indeed so it is, /or 
the imape and lil:eness of God is our f/Ionj, What was Adam's glory but 
his likeness to God '? He was created in God's image. And what is our 
glory ? To be like Christ. Therefore grace is our glory. 

[2.] Mail's perfection is his glory. But the renewing of God's image in 
grace is man's perfection. Therefore it is his glory. 

[3.] That which makes a man terrible to all opposites ivhatsoerer is glonj. 
But grace makes a man terrible to the devil and to wicked men. Both 
grace in one man, and grace in the church ; for the church is ' terrible, like 
an army with banners,' Cant. vi. 4. When the ordinances of God are set 
up in glory, and there is glorious obedience to them in the church, it is 
terrible to the enemies as an army with banners ; for there is a lustre and 
glory in all that is God's, both in the persons of believers, and likewise in 
the ordinances of God, Grace is glorious. As the wise man saith, ' Wis- 
dom makes a man's face to shine,' Eccles. viii. 1. Is not wisdom a glorious 
thing : to see a wise understanding man able to guide himself and others ? 
It puts a beauty upon a man, to be a wise and understanding man. Humi- 
lity makes a man glorious ; for it makes God put glorj- upon a man, when a 
man is glorious, and understands it not. As Moses when his face shined, 
he knew not that it shined himself. Many humble men are glorious and 
think not so. They are glorious, and they shine, though they see it not. 

Is it not a glorious thing to be taken out of ourselves, to deny ourselves, 
to ofler a holy violence to ourselves, and to our corruptions ? Is not thia 
a glorious thing, when others lie grovelling like slaves under their corrup- 
tions, to stand unmoveable in all the changes of the world, and in all inter- 
course of troubles to stand as a rock in the midst of all, unmoveable, 
founded upon the love of God in Christ, and the hope of glory after ? Not 
to be shaken with the wind of temptations from his standing, at least not 
to be shook oft' his standing : this is glorious, to have a constant spirit. 

Is it not glorious to have admittance boldly by grace ; to go into the 
presence of God at all times ; to be prevailer with God ? Faith overcomes 
not only the world, but God himself. It binds him with his own promise. 
Is not faith a glorious grace, that triumphs over the great God himself, 
binding him with his own word and promise ? 

Is not love a glorious grace, that melts one into the likeness of Christ ? 
Beloved, get love. It is the only artificial worker of imitation. It melts 
us into the likeness of Christ. It constrains, it hath a kind of holy vio- 
lence in it. No water can quench it. We shall glory in sufi"erings for that 



abo\t: the law. 275 

we love. Nothing can quench that holy fire that is kindled from heaven. 
It is a glorious grace. 

Hope, what doth it ? When it casts anchor in heaven, it keeps us ia 
all the waves. It purgeth our natures to be like the thing hoped for. 
There is no grace but it is glorious. So that grace is glory. The image 
of God is glory. It makes a man glorious. It makes him shine. 

Beloved, do but represent to jour thoughts such a one as Joseph, of 
a sweet, wise, and loving spirit. It is an excellent state to see a man ia 
his place in the commonwealth. What a glorious sight is it to see a 
Joseph, a Nehemiah, to see a man like Paul, all on tire for the glory of 
God and the good of the church ! The care of all the churches lay upon 
him. The conceit* of a man shining in grace, what a glorious representa- 
tion in our thoughts is it ! 

And so in men now living. When we see wisdom and love tending to 
the common good ; when we see a spirit of mortification, when we see a 
spirit of love, that is not for itself but for other men, a spirit of love above 
self-love, all for the good of others, as Christ ' went about doing good,' 
Acts X. 38, it makes them so lovely and glorious, as that no object in the 
world is so glorious, as to see a man in whom the image of Christ is ; it 
puts a glory upon him. 

Besides, it puts an inward glory upon a man, when it makes him rejoice : 
* The Spirit of glory rests upon him,' Isa. Ixi. i. Nay, in imprisonments 
and abasements, take a good man in any condition, he is glorious. His 
carriage is glorious. You shall not see flesh and blood, no revengeful 
humour. When flesh and blood is subdued, and nothing appears in a man 
but the image of Christ, he is a glorious creature in the greatest abase- 
ment that can be. When Paul was in the stocks, what a glorious condi- 
tion was he in ! When he sung at midnight, when the Spirit of glory was 
upon him ! To see the martyrs sufier without revenge, to pray for their 
enemies, that they had a spirit that conquered all wrongs and fear of death, 
and displeasure of men ; a triumphant spirit above all things below, to 
raise them above encouragements and discouragements, what a glorious 
thing was this ! To see a man in his right principles, with the image of 
God upon him, he sees all things below, beneath him. This is glorious, to 
see a man that overcomes the world, that cares no more for the ofiers of 
preferment on the right hand, or for threatenings on the other hand. All 
is nothing to him. He breaks it as Samson did his cords. To see such 
a victorious spirit, is not this glorious ! To see a glorious soul, that is 
above all earthly things whatsoever, that tramples the world under foot, as 
the * woman clothed with the sun' treads the ' moon under her foot,' Kev. 
xii. 1. The church clothed with Christ, who is the glory of the church, 
tramples all earthly things under feet. Grace is victorious and conquering, 
prevailing over those corruptions that prevail over ordinary men. A Chris- 
tian as David, when he had Saul in the cave, overcomes himself, 1 Sam. 
xxiv. 4, seq. It is an argument of a great deal of strength of grace. Christ 
overcame himself on the cross. He prayed for his enemies. So when the 
nature of man is so subject to the power of grace, that though there be 
rebellions in us, as there will be, while we are in this world, yet they can- 
not overpower the principle of grace. All this while a man is a glorious 
Christian, because he is not subject to the common humours and infirmities 
and weaknesses of men. Therefore that makes a Christian glorious, when 
he brings every thought and affection, and every corruption, as much as may 
* That is, ' conception.' — G. 



276 EXCELLENCY OF THE GOSPEL 

be, to the subjection of the Spirit of glory, to the Spirit of Christ in him. 
Though old Adam stir in him, yet he brings him down, that he doth not 
discover himself to the scandal of the gospel and profession, and to the 
weakening of the love of good things in the hearts of others. It shall not 
break out. He subjects these rising thoughts. Here grace is glorious. 

Another man cannot do this. He cannot love God ; he cannot deny 
himself; he cannot resist temptations, not inwardly. He may forbear an 
action out of fear, but a Christian can love, and fear, and delight in good 
things ; and he can resist, and he can enjoy the things of this life, in a 
subordinate manner to better things. A worldling cannot do it. There is 
a glory upon a Christian, a derivative glory from Christ. For we shine in 
his beams. We are changed according to his image ' from glory to glory.' 

Obj. The thing is not much questionable that grace is glorious, but it 
may be objected, Doth grace make one glorious ? Then how comes the world 
to despise such as have grace ? such as are like Christ ? 

A71S. 1. I answer it is from hlmdness, from spiritual drunkenness and 
madness. They cannot discern of things ; they are besotted ; they see no 
difference. Therefore they cannot discern things that are excellent. But 
take a man in his right principles ; take a sober man, and he will see an 
excellency in a Christian above himself. 

Ans. 2. Again, grace is not made so much of ofttimes in the world, 
because it is joined icith so manii infirmities. Our life ' is hid with Christ,' 
Col. iii. 3. It is hid under infirmities and under afflictions ofttimes ; and 
being hidden it doth not appear so much in this world. 

Ans. 3. And then again, however men force upon themselves a contempt of 
grace, and of the best things, yet notwithstanding it is but forced; for their 
conscience stoops at it. Witness conscience w^hen it gives evidence on 
their deathbed. Take a man when he is himself, when he is sober, when 
he is best able to judge, when those things are taken from him, that obscured 
and darkened his judgment, and then you shall have him justify all things 
that are good, both grace and the means of grace. 

Ans. 4. Again it must be so, that we may be conformable to Christ. The 
world misguideth'"' the state of a Christian. They think them vile and base 
persons. • So they did Christ the head of the church. You see how Christ 
was esteemed. His glory was veiled with our nature and with misery 
a while ; but it sparkled out ofttimes in his miracles. Now this was that 
he might suffer and perform the work of salvation. For the devil nor the 
wicked world would never have done that they did to him, if his glory had 
broken forth to the full lustre of it. 

So it is with the body mystical of Christ. The world misjudgeth of 
them. It appears not now what they shall be hereafter, nor what they are 
now indeed ; because God will have them conformable to Christ. If so be 
that the glory of Christians were discovered in the true lustre, who would 
wrong a Christian ? If they did see him indeed to be a member of Christ 
and an heir of heaven, the care of angels and the price of Christ's death ; if 
they did see him in his excellency, all the world would admire him, and 
make another man of him than of potentates and monarchs ! But how then 
should he be conformable to his head in afflictions ? The head was to save 
us by death. He must be abased. Ths world must take him as a strange 
man, and we that must be conformed to him, we must pass as unknown 
men in the world. But not so unknown, but that grace breaks out some- 
times to admiration and imitation ; and when it hath not imitation, it stirs 
* Qu. ' misjudgetli ' ?— G. 



ABOVE THE LAW. 277 

up envy and malice in others, in the children of the devil. Therefore, not- 
withstanding all objections, grace is glory. It makes us like Chi'ist, who is 
glorious, who is ' the Lord of glory.' 

And then it draws glory with it, glorious peace and glorious comfort, and 
joy in the Holy Ghost, the attendants of grace in the hearts of God's 
people. Is it not, as I said, a glorious thing for a man to have that peace 
in him that passeth all understanding, that shall settle and quiet his soul 
in all tumults in the world ? When all things are turned upside down, for 
a Christian to stand unmoveably built upon the rock : whence comes this 
glorious pitch, but from grace ? Grace and peace : one follow another. 
Then for a man to have inward joy and comfort in the midst of afflictions 
and disconsolations in the world, it is a wonderful and a glorious thing. 
It is called 'joy unspeakable,' 1 Peter i. 8, and 'glorious grace,' 2 Cor. 
iii. 8. Therefore in regard of that that follows it, in this world it is 
glory. 

Hence it is that the wise man saith, that ' the righteous is more excellent 
than his neighbour.' He is more glorious than another man, as pearls are 
above pebbles. He is more excellent in life, in death, and after death 
especially ; for there is a growing from glory to glory. He is glorious in 
life, more glorious in death, when his soul shall be put into glory in heaven ; 
and most of all glorious when Christ shall come to be glorious in his saints, 
as it is in 2 Thess. i. 10. So he is excellent in life, and in death, and for 
ever. For another man, that is but a man — a man, said I, nay, if a man 
be but a man, he is either like a devil in subtlety, or a beast in sensuality ; 
he carries the image either of a beast or of the devil, besides a man. A 
righteous man therefore that hath the image of God stamped upon him, he 
is better than another man every way ; for he is in a higher rank of creatures. 
Grace sets a man as far above other men as other men are above other 
creatures. At the first the creatures reverenced God in Adam. They 
came and took their names from him. They were subject to him. So 
grace is a glorious, majestical thing. Wicked men, even Herod, reverenced 
grace in John Baptist, Mark vi. 20, and evil men reverence it in their 
hearts, in God's people, though their mouths speak against it. A Christian 
is a spiritual man. As reason lifts a man above other creatures, so the 
image of God set upon a man, it lifts and raiseth him above other men. 

Use 1. If grace and the image of God and Christ in us be glory, and 
make us excellent, let us all labour for grace above all tilings. We all, as I 
said before, desire liberty ; and as we desire liberty, so we desire glory ; 
but we know not the way how to come to it. In seeking liberty, we seek 
licentiousness ; in seeking glory, we seek it from men that cannot give it. 
We seek glory in outward things that are nothing. What is the glory of 
all outward things, but the shining of a rotten piece of wood in the night 
time, or as a glow-worm ? What is all this glory but a flash ? It is 
nothing. If we would seek true glory indeed, as naturally all do, let us 
seek grace. Thereby we resemble Christ, ' the Lord of glory ; ' thereby 
we are glorious in the eyes of Christ ; thereby we are glorious both with- 
out and within. Though this glory for the present be hid, thereby we are 
terrible to the devil and all enemies. For ever since his head was crushed 
by Christ, that broke the serpent's head, he is afraid of man's nature in 
Christ ; he is afraid of Christians, as knowing that they be better than 
himself. And he shall be judged by them ere long. The devil shall be 
judged by Christians. Therefore let us study for this glory. A man is 
never glorious till he be a Christian. 



278 EXCELLENCY OF THE GOSPEL 

It is said of Antiochus, that he was a vile person. What ! Though he 
was a king (i) ? Yes. Let a man be never so great in the world, if lie be 
a wicked man, a man that dishonoureth his tongue, that should be his 
glory, that hath not the language of Canaan, that dishonours and defiles 
his body, that should be the ' temple of the Holy Ghost,' 1 Cor. vi. 19, a 
man that carries a malicious and malignant spirit, that hath the image of 
the devil in his soul : if he be never so great a person, he will be vile ere 
long, when all relations shall end in death. All excellencies must be laid 
down in death. Therefore seeing all other excellencies cannot keep a man 
from being a vile person, let us labour for that that will put a glory upon 
us. Labour for the image of Christ to be stamped upon our soul. There 
is a great humour in this age in looking to pieces of woi'kmanship. If a 
man have skill to discern a piece, as they call it, it is more than ordinary. 
Beloved, what a vanity is this (though these pictures be lawful ; they are 
a kind of mute poetry). But what is this to the having of the glorious 
image of Christ stamped upon us ; to be glorious in the eye of God and in 
the very judgment of carnal men ! 

There is nothing so excellent as grace, and nothing so base as sin. In- 
deed there is nothing base but sin ; and nothing excellent but grace. So 
that God's children, not only in their glorious riches and prerogatives to 
be the sons of God and heirs of heaven, are glorious, but they have an 
inwai'd glory. ' The spouse of Christ is glorious within,' Ps. xlv. 13. 
Insomuch that Christ is in love with his own graces. He wonders at his 
own graces in his children. 

Use 2. Again, oppose this to the scorn and hatred of the world ; base- 
minded persons, that disgrace goodness that their illness may be the less 
discerned. They labour to make all alike, all they can, b}' slanders at 
least, that their illness may not appear. Oppose the judgments of God's 
Spirit that esteems grace glory against all the judgment of the base world. 
Beloved, they shall know one day, that those that they despise shall judge 
them ; and their hearts secretly tell them so. What makes them malign 
men better than themselves ? They have a secret conceit, he is above me. 
' The spiritual man judgeth all things,' 1 Cor. ii. 15. He is a man that 
discerns by a spiritual eye. He judgeth and condemneth my ways, and 
hereafter he will judge me. A secret conscience in him makes him fear a 
good man. Though he deprave* and malign him, yet his heart stoops. 

Use 3. Again, is grace glory? When God sets in]- on its, shall ive cast our 
crown in the dirt? Shall we defile and blemish our glory by sinning against 
conscience ? We forget our excellency, that grace is glory. It teacheth 
us how to carry ourselves to ourselves. If there be grace in us, let us be 
honourable to ourselves. It is a good caveat that we should be venerable 
to ourselves ; that is. Christians should take a holy state to themselves. 
What ! I that am an heir of heaven ; I that am a king ; I that am a 
conqueror ; I that am the son of God ; I that am a freeman : should I 
tangle myself with these things ? Shall I go and stain myself ? Is it not 
an unsightly thing to see a golden pillar daubed with dirt ? or to see a 
crown cast into the dirt ? God hath put a crown upon me ; he hath made 
me a king ; he hath made me an heir of heaven ; he hath made me his 
son ; he hath put a glory upon me ; — shall I abase myself to devilish base 
courses ? No. I will be more honourable in my own eyes. Let us think 
ourselves too good for the base services of Satan. These thoughts we should 
take to ourselves. These are not proud thoughts, but befitting our con- 
* That is, ' undervalue.'— G. t Qu. ' it ' ?— Ed. 



ABOVE THE LAW. 



279 



dition. When we are tempted to any base course, whatsoever it is, it is 
contrary to my calling. 

Use 4. And let us comfort ourselves in the ivork of grace, thour/h it be 
wrought in never so jjoor a measure, in all the disparagements of the world; 
for those that are besotted with false vain-glory, they have the eyes of their 
souls put out, and dimmed and dazzled with false glory. They cannot 
judge of the glory of a Christian. They want eyes. Therefore let us be 
content to pass in the world as hidden. Christ passed concealed in the 
world ; only now, and then the beams of his glory brake forth in his 
miracles. So we must be content. For our glory is hid in Christ, for the 
most part ; and it is clouded with the imputations and malice of men, and 
sometimes with infirmities, as it will in this world. Let us comfort our- 
selves with this, that we are glorious howsoever, and glorious within ; and 
this glory will break out in a holy conversation. And it is better to be 
glorious in the eyes of God, and angels, and good men, and in the con- 
sciences of ill men, than to have glory from their mouths. Malice will not 
suffer them to glorify them with their mouths, but their consciences must 
needs stoop to goodness ; for God hath put a majesty into goodness, that 
any man that is a man, that is not a beast, that hath natural principles, 
will reverence it ; and the consciences of such men will make them speak 
the truth one day, and they shall say, ' We fools thought these men 
mad,' but ' now we see ourselves fools.' Therefore in the disparagements 
of worldly men, that know not where true glory lies, let us be content with 
this, that God hath made us truly glorious by working a change in a com- 
fortable measure ; let us comfort ourselves in this. 

Use 5. Again, by this ice may know u-hether we have grace in us or no. If 
we think grace to be glory, let us have that judgment and conceit of grace. 

(1.) Of the change of our natures, by the Spirit of God, and the truth of 
God, as the Holy Ghost hath here, calling it glory. That very judgment 
shews that there is an alteration in our affections ; that we are changed in 
the spirit of our minds ; that we have a right conceit of heavenly things. 
For none but a Christian indeed can judge grace to be glory, that can truly 
think so. For if a man think grace to be glory truly, if he be convinced 
by the power of the Spirit, he will be gracious. For there is an instinct 
in all men by nature to glory in something. You have the gulls* of the 
world, they glory in something, in swaggering, beastly courses. You have 
devilish men glory that they can circumvent others. Rather than men will 
have no glory, they will glory in that that is shame indeed. Man having a 
disposition alway to glory in something, if he be convinced that grace is 
glory, he will be gracious. 

Therefore, I beseech you, enter into your own souls, and see what con- 
ceits you have of the image of God, of the graces of Christianity, and then 
certainly it will raise a holy ambition to have that stamp set upon you. 

(2.) Again, this is another evidence that a man is gracious, if he can look 
upon the life of another that is better than he with a conceit that it is glory, 
and loving of it as glory. Many men see grace in other men, but with a 
maligning eye. They see it to disgrace it. For naturally this is in men. 
They are so vain-glorious and ambitious, that when the}' see the lives of 
other men outshew theirs, instead of imitation, they go to base courses. 
They obscure and darken that light with slanders, that they will not imitate 
in their courses. This is in the better sort of men, the prouder, and greater 
sort of men. What grace they will not imitate they will defame. They 
* That is, ' the deceived' =— fools. — G. 



280 



EXCELLENCY OF THE GOSPEL 



will not be outsliiued by anything. Therefore, those that can see so far into 
the life of another man, as they love it, and honour the grace of God in 
another man, it is a sign there is some work of glory begun in them. Men 
can endure good things in books, and by reports, and good things of men 
that are dead, &c., but ihej cannot endure good things running in their 
eyes. Especially when it comes in a kind of competition and comparison, 
they love not to be outshined. 

' From glory to glory.' 

We see the state of God's children here, and the state in heaven, come 
both under one name ; both are ' glory.' The children of God are kings 
here, they shall be kings in heaven. Thej^ are saints here, as they be 
saints in heaven. There is an adoption of grace as well as an adoption of 
glory, Rom. viii. 30, et alibi. There is a regeneration here of our souls ; 
there is a regeneration of soul and body then. We are new creatures 
here ; and we shall be new creatures there. 

Quest. Why do all come under one name, the state of glory in heaven, 
and the state of grace here ? Is there no difference ? 

Ans. Yes. But the difference is in degrees, and not otherwise. For 
heaven must be begun here. If ever we mean to enter into heaven here- 
after, we enter into the suburbs here. We must be new creatures here. 
We are kings here ; we are heirs apparent here ; we are adopted here ; we 
are regenerate here ; we are glorious here, before we be glorious hereafter. 
Therefore, beloved, we may read our future state in our present. We 
must not think to come ds sceJo in cceluin, as he saitli (j), out of the filth 
of sin to heaven, but heaven must be begun here. You see both have the 
same name, grace, and glory. Therefore, wouldst thou knew what thy 
condition shall be afterwards ? Read it in thy present disposition. If 
there be not a change and a glorious change here, never look for a glorious 
change hereafter. What is not begun in grace shall never be accomplished 
in glory. Both grace here and glory hereafter coming under the same name, 
it forceth this. 

And likewise it is a ground of comfort ; for why have we the same term 
here ? When we are in the state of grace, why are we decked and adorned 
with the same title as we shall be in heaven ? 

It is partly for certainty. Grace is glory, as well as the perfection of it 
is glory, to shew that where grace is truly begun it will end in glory. All 
the powers in the world cannot interrupt God's gracious progress and way. 
What is begun in grace will end in glory. Where the foundation is laid, 
God will be sure to put up the roof. He never repents of his beginnings. 
Solomon saith that the ' righteous is like to the sun,' that grows brighter 
and brighter, till he come to his full strength, Prov. iv. 18. So the state 
of the godly grows more and more, from light to light, till he come to full 
strength. The state of the wicked is clean contrar3^ The state of the 
wicked is like the declining day. The sun grows down and down till it be 
twilight, and thence to darkness, and then to utter darkness. So they 
being dark in themselves, they grow from the darkness of misery and terror 
of conscience to eternal darkness, black, dismal darkness in hell. But the 
state of the godly it is like the course of the sun after midnight, that is grow- 
ing up, up still, till it come to mid-day. So the state of the godly it is alway 
on the mending hand; it is always a growing state; it is a hopeful condition. 
They go from glory to glory. And therefore let us be assured of eternal 
glory for the time to come, as sure as we are of the beginnings of grace here 
wrought. You see, then, a main difference between the godly and others 



ABOVE THE LAW. 281 

Other meB grow backward, proficere in pejus, as we say. They talie degi-ees 
back from worse to worse, till they end in utter desolation and destruction 
for ever. But the other riseth by degrees, till they come to that happiness 
that can admit no further degrees. All the glory of the world ends in 
vanity and in nothing ; but the glory of a Christian that begins in grace, 
you see it proceeds from glory to glory, alway growing and amending. If 
men were not spiritually mad, would they not rather be in a condition 
alway amending and growing more and more hopeful still, than to be in a 
condition alway declining, and most subject to decline when it is at the top. 
There is no consistence in any human felicity, but it is in pnecipite, near a 
downfall when it is at the highest. God's children are near rising when 
they are at the lowest. There is a spirit of glory lights, and not only so, 
but rests on them. It doth not light upon them and then go away. It is 
not as a flash or blaze of flax or so {k). But the Spirit rests and grows still 
upon them, ' from glory to glory.' The state of a Christian it is comfort- 
able, that is soundly converted, when he shall think every day brings me 
nearer my glory ; every day I rise I am somewhat happier than I was the 
day before, because I am somewhat more glorious and nearer to eternal glory ; 
when another wretch that lives in sins against conscience may say, I am 
somewhat nearer hell, nearer eclipsing, and ebbing, and declining than before. 
So every day brings terror to the one, and matter of comfort to the other. 

* From glory to glory.' 

Grace, we see, is glory, especially when it is in strength ; and the more 
grace grows, the more glory. The more it shines, the more glory. We 
Bay of fire, the more it burns the less it smokes; the less infirmity appears 
that may disgrace it, the more grace. The more light and lustre, and the 
less infirmity. Glory belongs to the growth of grace in this world. For 
is not a Christian a glorious Christian when he is a grown Christian ? 
when he sends a lustre as a pearl ? v/hen as a glorious hght he shines to 
the example of others ? when he is able, as Paul saith gloriously of him- 
self, ' I can do all in Christ that strengtheneth me,' Philip, iv. 13, to want 
and to abound. Cast him into any condition what you will, he is like him- 
self. Cast Joseph into prison, he is Joseph still ; cast Paul in the dungeon, 
he is Paul still, and is never more glorious than in the midst ©f afflictions. 
So grace growing to some perfection is glorious ; ' wisdom makes a man's 
face to shine,' saith Solomon, Eccles. viii. 1. So it is true of all other 
graces in some perfection. They make a man shine. There is nothing in 
the world so glorious as a Christian that is grovm to some perfection. 
Indeed, he is so glorious, that the eye of the world, when it is cast upon 
him, it stirs up envy, as carnal persons, when they see a Christian man 
unmoveable in the midst of all motions, and unchangeable in all changes, 
when nothing can alter him, but he goes on, they wonder at the condition 
of this man, whenas indeed his grounds and resolutions are above all dis- 
couragements or encouragements that the world can afford. David was a 
king and a prophet, and David was a holy man, and David, for constitution 
of body, was ruddy and of a sweet complexion; and David, for the manner 
of his kingdom, was a king of a great people, There were many excel- 
lencies of David. Oh but what doth David account the prerogative of a 
man ? ' Blessed is the man whose sins are forgiven, in whose spirit there 
is no guile,' Ps. xxxii. 2; that is, that is truly sanctified in spirit; that 
is in the state of justification ; and as a witness of that, of the forgiveness 
of his sins, hath a spirit without guile. Happy is that man, not that is a 
king, or a prophet, or a strong man, or a beautiful man, or hath this endow- 



282 EXCELLENCY OF THE GOSPEL 

ment or that ; but happy is the man whose sins ai'e forgiven, and whose 
spirit is sanctified. 

' From glory to glory.' 

We see then that there must be an increase, a growing ' from glory to 
glory.' There is no stop nor stay to be made in rehgion. There must be 
of necessity a desire to grow better and better ; for glory will grow still to 
glory. Grace will never cease till it end in glory. 

[1.] Both in our dispositions that have it tcroi((/ht in us ; we shall desire it 
may increase in us the image of God and Christ more and more. 
I [2.] And in GocVs ■purpose. Where he begins he makes an end. Whe- 
ther we look to him that will not have us in a state of imperfection,* .... 
He hath not chosen us to imperfection, but to perfection ; and he hath called 
us not to imperfection, but to perfection. He hath elected ns to perfection. 
He hath chosen us to be spotless, not to be conflicting with our corrup- 
tions, and to be halting alway as Jacob. We shall have perfect strength. 
We are called and elected to perfection. Therefore there is no standing at 
a stay in religion ; there must be a perpetual growth. It is our disposition 
to desire and endeavour it still. 

For, beloved, it is that that is inbred to all things that are imperfect, to 
hasten to perfection, till they come to their iibi, to their pitch. We see it 
in grain, weak grain. Till it come to the full growth, it breaks through 
clods, through harder things than itself. There is a nature in corn and 
seeds, that have a beginning of life in their kind in them, till those seeds 
come to growth, they put out themselves with a great deal of strength 
against opposition. So grace is of such a strong nature. Being intended 
by God to perfection, it will not rest in mean beginnings, but puts itself 
forward still, and breaks through opposition. I will not stand upon the 
common place of growth in grace. It is a large discourse, and I touched 
it upon many occasions. You see the necessity of it. There must be a 
growth from glory to glory. 

A growth not in parts as we say. For at the first regeneration, in the first 
beginning, when we are gracious, there is the beginning of a new life, and 
there is the seeds of all graces. But especially this growth is in intension 
and extension. Grace grows more and more in strength, and extends and 
reacheth itself further and further to the use of many. Grace grows, I say, 
in the intension of itself, and extends and reacheth itself to the use of more. 
The more a Christian lives, when he is in a right state and fi'ame as a 
Christian should be, he is of more strength in all particular graces, and 
doth the more good, and shines more in his life and conversation to others. 
•• And likewise, as there is a growth in intension and extension, so there 
is a growth in the quality and purity of grace ; for the longer a man lives, 
those graces that he hath grow more refined. When a Christian is but a 
new Christian, he tastes much of the old stock. As all fruit at the first 
will taste of the stock, so there is no fruit of righteousness that comes from 
a man, at his first conversion, but it tastes a great deal of old Adam. It 
savours of the old stock. The more he live, and grows spiritual, the more 
that that comes from him relisheth of the Spirit, the more refined is his 
wisdom, the more refined is his love, the more refined from self-love, his 
joy and delight is more refined. 

Ohj. Hence we may answer an objection by the way ; an old man seems 
not to grow in grace. He seems not to be so good a man, not to be so 
zealous as when he was young ; not so forward. 
* Sentence unfinished. — G. 



ABOVE THE LAW. 283 

Avs. Beloved, In those that are young there is a great deal of nature 
joined with a little grace, and that grace in them makes a greater expres- 
sion, because it is carried with the current of nature. But in age it is 
more refined. That that is, that knowledge they have, is more pure and 
more settled, and that love and afiection is more refined. There is less 
self-love, and tliat zeal they have it is joined with more heavenly discre- 
tion. There is less wild fire, there is less strange fire with it. Though 
there be less heat of nature, that it do not work in outward demonstrations 
to the eye of the world, yet it is more refined and pure. So grace grows 
thus likewise in the purity and perfection of it ; not altogether pure, for 
somewhat will stick to our best performances, savouring of the worst prin- 
ciple in nature. For as we carry flesh and spirit alway, so that that comes 
from them will savour of corruption ; yet less in a grown Christian, that is 
a father in Christianity, than in another. 

' From glory to glory.' 

Grace is glory in regard of the state before. The least degree of grace 
is glory in regard of the state of nature. But grace is not glory properly 
till it come to a growth. Grace is not glorious, so in comparison to other 
Christians that are grown. In regard of the state of nature, grace is glory, 
take it in the lowest ; for is not this a glory for a man to be taken into the 
fellowship of Christ ? to be the son of God, and an heir of heaven ? to 
have angels for his attendants ? to be begotten by the glorious gospel, the 
word of God, that immortal seed ? Whatsoever thing is about a Christian 
it is glorious. Is not he glorious that hath God the Father, and God the 
Son, the Lord of glory, and the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of glorj^ and the 
glorious gospel, and glorious angels for his attendants ? Every thing is 
glorious in a Christian. In every Christian there is this. So grace is a 
kind of glory ; but notwithstanding we must not content ourselves with 
that. Grace is then especially glory when it comes to growth. We must 
labour that grace may appear. What is glory ? Properly glory is excel- 
lency and victory over the contrary with manifestation, excellency mani- 
fested. Now a man is said to be glorious in grace, when his grace comes 
to be excellent in view, and victorious over the contrary w-ith public mani- 
festation. 

Use 1. Now this we ought to labour for ; though grace be glory in respect 
of the former estate, yet in the rank of Christians ive ought to he glorious, 
that is, more and more gracious; both. 

I In regard of God, that God may have the more glory from us. The 
more grace, the more esteem from him, because we resemble him. 

And in regard of Christ Jesus : the more glorious we are, the more we 
resemble him. Let us labour to be more and more glorious, in regard 
likewise of the church, whom we shall benefit more. The more we grow 
in grace, the more we shall prevail with God by our prayers. Who pre- 
vailed more with their prayers than Moses, and such men ? Again, when 
grace is glorious, that is, with victory and full manifestation, the more we 
are fit to give a lustre and light, that others seeing it may glorify God ; to 
draw others to the love of grace, when they see grace glorious. Now grace 
is then glorious in us that others may be encouraged. When we can resist 
strong temptations, when we are not like children ' carried away with the 
wind of every doctrine,' Eph. iv. 14, this is a glorious thing. When a 
Christian can hold his own in the worst times ; when it is a witty* thing to 
be a Christian : as Hilary said in a time of schism, ' it required a great 
* That is, ' wise.' — G. 



284 EXCELLENCY OF THE GOSPEL 

deal of wit to be a Christian' (l), it requires a great deal of wit and study 
to hold a man on in Christianit3\ 

And for a man to be strong against temptations and the world, whether it 
frown or fawn, that he cares for neither, but holds his own, is not this a 
glorious thing ? When a man shall carry himself as a lion, break through 
oppositions in ill times, and fall square, cast him as you will, in all condi- 
tions, — here is a glorious Christian. Therefore through grace be glory, 
that must not content us, but we must labour to have such a measure of 
glory as that we may be glorious in our own rank. Is it not a glorious 
thing when a man can break through doubts and fears that trouble other 
folk too much ? As the sun is said to be in glory when he is gotten on 
high ; there are many clouds in the morning, but when the sun is gotten 
to his height at noon-day, he scatters all. So a Christian is in his glory 
and exaltation when he can scatter doubts, and fears, and terrors that 
trouble other weak beginning Christians. Therefore when we are troubled 
with scruples, with this and that, we should labour to get out of them, that 
grace may be glorious ; to shew that we have gotten such a light and such 
a convincing knowledge, and that we are so rooted in faith and grace, that 
the Spirit of Christ in us hath broken through all these clouds and mists, 
and made us glorious. 

' From glory to glory.' 

Our glory it is not like a torrent that runs amain for a time, and after is 
dried up for ever. Grace it is a continuing and an increasing thing. It 
continues still. As the stream that it is fed with is an ever-living spring, 
so is grace. It is fed with the gi'ace in Christ, and he is a never-dying 
spring, a fountain. For that grace in him is fed with his divinity. There- 
fore there must be a perpetual spring in Christ. So where Christ hath 
opened a spring in the heart, he will feed that grace perpetually. 

Use 2. Let none be discouraged that have grace begun in them. God wiU 
go on with his own grace. When he hath begun a good work, ' he will 
finish it to the day of the Lord,' 1 Cor. i. 8. Though grace be little at the 
first, yet it shall not stay there. It grows up we know not how ; but at 
last it is glorious indeed. For till grace be grown, it is little discerned from 
other things : as between weeds and herbs there is little difference when 
they be green, till they be grown. Grace is little at the first, as a grain of 
mustard-seed. Mat. xiii. 31. Jerusalem is not built in a day, as we say of 
Rome. You have some that are a weaker sort of Christians, that are good, 
they would fain be in Canaan, as soon as ever they are out of Egypt, and 
I cannot blame them. But hereupon they are discomforted. As soon as 
ever they have grace in them, they would have their pitch presently, out of 
spiritual covetousnees. Oh that I had more knowledge and more victory! 
&c. These desires are good ; for God puts not in vain desires into the 
hearts of his children, but they must be content to be led from glory to 
glory, from one degree of grace to another. Christ himself grew more in 
favour with God and man. As that little stone grew to a mountain, Dan. 
ii. 34, so we must be content to grow from grace to grace. There is a gradual 
proceeding in the new creature. We must not be presently in Canaan. 
God will lead us through the wilderness, through temptations and crosses, 
before we come to heaven. Many because they see they are far short of others 
that are stronger Christians, therefore they think they have no grace at all. 

Therefore let those that are on the growing hand, though they be short 
of many that are before them, let them not be discouraged with their over- 
little beginnings. For it is God's ordinance and course in this world, to 



ABOVE THE LAW, 285 

bring his cliildren by little and little through many stations. As they were 
led in the wilderness from standing to standing, and from place to place, 
BO God brings his children by many standings to heaven. And it is one 
part of a Christian's meekness to [be] subject to God's wisdom in this kind, 
and not to murmur that they are not so perfect as they would be, or as 
they shall be ; but rather to magnify the mercy of God that there is any 
change in such defiled and polluted souls ; that he hath vouchsafed any 
spiritual light of understanding, any love of good things ; that the bent of 
their affections are tui'ned to a contrary course than they were before ; that 
God hath vouchsafed any beginnings. Rather magnify his mercy than 
quarrel with his dispensation, that he doth not this all at once ; and, 
indeed, if we enter into our own hearts, it is our fault that we are not 
more perfect. But let us labour to be meek, and say. Lord, since thou 
hast ordained that I shall grow from glory to glory, from one degree of 
grace to another, let me have grace to magnify thy mercy, that thou hast 
given me any goodness, rather than to murmur that I have no more. And 
be content in the use of means, and endeavour to grow further, though we 
have not so much as others have. Nay, we may not be discouraged, 
because of the weakness of grace, but we may not be discouraged with a 
seeming interruption in our spiritual growth. God sometimes