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NICHOL'S SERIES OF STANDARD DIVINES. 

PURITAN PERIOD. 



xtfr <,emral 



Br JOHN 0. MILLER, D.D., 

LINCOLN COLLEGE ; HONORARY CANON OF WORCESTER ; RECTOR OF 8T MARTIN'S, BIRMINGHAM. 



THE 

WORKS OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D 

VOL. I. 



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' 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. 



EEV. THOMAS SMITH, M.A., EDINBUBGH. 



THE COMPLETE WORKS 



OF 



RICHARD SIBBES, D,D,, 

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

LONDON. 



, foitjjr gfommr, 



BY THE REV. ALEXANDER BALLOCH GROSART, 

(COR. MKMB. 80C. ANTIQ. OF SCOTLAND) 
KINROSS. 



VOL. I. 

CONTAINING I 

THE DESCRIPTION OF CHRIST THE BRUISED REED AND SMOKING FLAX 

THE SWORD OF THE WICKED THE SOUL'S CONFLICT 

THE SAINTS' SAFETY IN EVIL TIMES CHRIST is BEST, OR ST PAUL'S STRAIT- 
CHRIST'S SUFFERINGS FOR MAN'S SIN THE CEURGH's VISITATION 

THE UNGODLY' s MISERY THE DIFFICULTY OF SALVATION 
THE SAINTS' HIDING : PLACE ITS THE EVIL DAY. 



EDINBURGH: JAMES NICHOL. 

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

M.DCCC.LXII. 



KVINBCRCH . 
BT JOHtf QREIQ ANJ> 




TO 

THE RET. JAMES AUGUSTUS EESSET, T>CL, 

PREACHER TO THE HON. SOCIETY OF GRAY'S INN, LONDON, 
&C. &C. &C. 

AND 

THE REV. CHARLES KIRKBY ROBINSON, M.A., 

MASTER OF ST CATHARINE'S COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE, 
DISTINGUISHED OCCUPANTS OF OFFICES FORMERLY HELD BY 

RICHARD SIBBES, D.D., 

THIS EDITION OF HIS WHOLE WORKS IS, WITH THEIR KIND PERMISSION, 
RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED BY 

THE EDITOR. 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE 

PREFACE, ....... xiii 

MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D., xix 

APPENDIX TO MEMOIR, ..... cxxxi 



DESCRIPTION OF CHRIST MAT. XII. 18, . 1 

Notes, ....... 31 

THE BRUISED REED AND SMOKING FLAX MAT. XII. 20, . 83 

Epistle Dedicatory, ...... 85-37 

To the Christian Reader, ..... 88-41 

PART I. CHRIST WILL NOT BREAK THE BRUISED REED. 

The text opened and divided. What the reed is, and what the 

bruising, . . . . . . . 43, 44 

Those that Christ hath to deal withal are bruised, . . 44 

Bruising is necessary, 1. before conversion ; 2. after conversion, 44 

Use. Not to be rash in judging such, ... 44 

Christ will not break the Bruised Reed, ... 45 

Confirmed from his borrowed titles, relations, offices, . . 45 

Use 1. Go boldly to the throne of grace, ... 46 

Use 2. Despair not in thy bruisings, ... 46 

Use 3. See the contrary to this in Satan, ... 46 
(1.) Signs, (2.) Means, (3.) Measure, (4.) Comfort 

to the bruised, .... 46-48 

PART II. NOR QUENCH THE SMOKING FLAX. 

Grace is little at the first, ..... 49 

Use. Not to be discouraged at small beginnings, . . 49 

Grace is mingled with corruption, .... 50 

Use. Hence we judge so variously of ourselves, . . 50 
Christ will not quench small and weak beginnings 



i CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

Because it is from him, 

Because it is for him, . . . 51 

Use 1. No more should we : therefore 

1. Let all men in general carry themselves with modera 

tion ; yet with wisdom to discern those that are not 

such, and tenderness towards beginners, . .51, 52 

2. In particular to admonish of this, (1.) ministers, (2.) 

the church, (3.) magistrates, (4.) private Christians: 
that they quench not good things in others by their 
example, slanderings, censuring and judging them 
[1.] for matters indifferent, [2.] for weaknesses, . 53-57 
Use 2. Examine whether we be such as Christ will not quench : 

1. Kules how to examine ourselves, ... 58 

2. Signs whereby to examine ourselves, . . 59 
Some scruples of heart answered, that keep us from the com 
fort of our examination, ..... 62 

Use 3. We are encouraged to set upon duties, notwithstanding 

our weaknesses and disabilities, .... 65 

A case about indisposition to duty resolved, ... 66 

Two doubts of acceptance, either, 1. From scruples about 

duties ; 2. Ignorance of our condition in Christ, . . 67 

Weaknesses what, ...... 68 

How to recover lost peace, ..... 69 

Use 4. Let us frame our conceits accordingly, and not believe 

Satan's representations of Christ to us, . 

Or of us unto ourselves, . . . . . 71 

Use 5. Reproof of such as sin against this merciful disposition 

in Christ, as those do, 

1. That go on in ill courses, either from despair, or pre 

sumption, or a wilful purpose to quench the light 

that is in them, ..... 78 

2. That neglect good courses from hopes to have comfort, 

because Christ is thus merciful, ... 74 

3. That ill requite so gracious a Saviour as Christ is, (1.) 

by neglecting his Mediatorship, (2.) or by being cruel 
to him in his [1.] members, [2.] name, [3.] by divi 
sions in opinion, . . . . . 75, 76 

4. That walk contrary to Christ in their dealing with the 

tender, for their own gain, ... 77 

5. That despise and stumble at this low stooping of Christ, 77 

PART III. UNTIL HE SEND FORTH JUDGMENT UNTO VICTORY. 

Explanation of the words, . . . . . 77, 78 

The matter whereof is drawn out into six conclusions . 78 

Conclusion 1. Christ is so mild that yet he will rule those that 

enjoy the comfort of his light mildness, ... 79 

Use. For trial to discern who may lay just claim to Christ's 

mercy, ....... 79 

Conclusion 2. The spiritual government of Christ is joined with 

judgment and wisdom, ... 80 

Use 1. Spiritual wisdom and judgment is excellent, and in 

what respects, ... 81 



CONTENTS. IX 

PAGE 

Why Satan envies and spiteth it, . . . . 81 

It is most necessary for the managing of a Christian's course, 81 

Where true wisdom and judgment is, there Christ sets up his 
government, ...... 

The best method for practice, .... 83 

Use 2. There is no true judgment where the life is ill governed, 83 

Conclusion 3. Christ's government is victorious, . . 84 

1. In every private Christian, .... 

2. In the church in general, .... 85 
Why the victory seems sometimes to go on the contrary side, 85 
Use 1. Comfort to weak Christians: the least spark in them, 

if it be right, will prevail, .... 86 

(1.) Signs whether there be any such grace in us as will be 

victorious, ...... 87 

Means to be used that it may be so, . . . 88 

se 2. To admonish 1. nations and states, 2. families, 3. 
every one in particular, (1.) for himself, (2.) his friends, 
to side with Christ, and to embrace his government, . 91 

Use 3. To inform us that then Popery must come down, . 91 

Conclusion 4. As Christ's government shall be victorious, so 
it shall openly appear, it shall be brought forth to the view 
of all to victory, ...... 91 

Use. Deceit and error shall be laid open to shame, . . 92 

Conclusion 5. This government is advanced and set up by 
Christ alone, ...... 93 

In all spiritual essays look for strength from Christ, and not 

from thyself, ...... 94 

Conclusion 6. This prevailing and victory shall not be without 

fighting, ....... 95 

Because it is 1. government, 2. spiritual government, 3. 

government with judgment, .... 95 

Use. It is no sign of a good condition to find all quiet, . 96 

Wheresoever Christ cometh, there will be divisions, . . 97 

Miserable are those men that stand out against him, and arc 

still under Satan's government, . . .97 

Conclusion and general application of this third part, to en 
courage Christians to go on comfortably and cheerfully, with 
confidence of prevailing, both in respect, 1. of ourselves, 
although beset with corruption; and, 2. the church, although 
compassed with enemies, ..... 97 

Notes, . 100, 101 



THE SWORD OF THE WICKED Ps. XLII. 10, . 103 

Notes, ....... 117. 118 

THE SOUL'S CONFLICT WITH ITSELF, AND VICTORY 

OVER ITSELF BY FAITH Ps. XLII. 11. . 119 

Dedication, ..... ,121 



CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

To the Christian Reader, ..... 122-127 

Verses by Benlowes and Quarles, .... 128, 129 

CHAP. 1. General observations upon the text, . . 131 

2. Of discouragements from without, . . . 133 

3. Of discouragements from within, . . . 136 

4. Of casting down ourselves, and specially by sorrow. 

The Evils thereof, .... 142 

5. Remedies of casting down : to cite the soul, and press 

it to give an account, . . . .144 

6. Other observations of the same nature, . . 148 

7. Difference between good men and others in conflicts 

with sin, ..... 153 

8. Of unfitting dejection : and when it is excessive. And 

what is the right temper of the soul herein, . 155 

9. Of the soul's disquiets, God's dealings, and power to 

contain ourselves in order, . . . 160 

10. Means not to be overcharged with sorrow, . . 162 

11. Signs of victory over ourselves, and of a subdued spirit, 169 

12. Of original righteousness, natural corruption, Satan's 

joining with it, and our duty thereupon, . . 172 

13. Of imagination : sin of it, and remedies for it, . 178 

14. Of help by others : of true comforters, and their graces. 

Method. Ill success, .... 191 

15. Of flying to God in disquiets of souls. Eight obser 

vations out of the text, . . . .197 

16. Of trust in God: grounds of it: especially his provi 

dence, ...... 202 

17. Of graces to be exercised in respect of divine provi 

dence, ...... 207 

18. Other grounds of trusting in God: namely, the pro 

mises. And twelve directions about the same, . 212 

19. Faith to be prized, and other things undervalued, at 

least not to be trusted to as the chief, . . 218 

20. Of the method of trusting in God, and the trial of that 

trust, ...... 221 

21. Of quieting the spirit in troubles for sin : and objec 

tions answered, ..... 226 

22. Of sorrow for sin, and hatred of sin, when right and 

sufficient. Helps thereto, . . . 232 

23. Other spiritual causes of the soul's trouble discovered 

and removed : and objections answered, . . 237 

24. Of outward troubles disquieting the spirit ; and com 

forts in them, ..... 239 

25. Of the defects of gifts, disquieting the soul. As also 

the afflictions of the church, . . . 242 

26. Of divine reasons in a believer, of his minding to praise 

God more than to be delivered, . . . 244 

27. In our worst condition we have cause to praise God. 

Still ample cause in these days, . . . 248 

28. Divers qualities of the praise due to God. With helps 

therein. And notes of God's hearing our prayers, 252 



CONTENTS. XI 

PAGE 

CHAP. 29. Of God's manifold salvation for his people ; and why 

open, or expressed in the countenance, . . 258 

80. Of God, our God, and of particular application, . 262 

81. Means of improving and evidencing to our souls that 

God is our God, .... 267 

82. Of improving our evidences for comfort in several pas 

sages of our lives, .... 271 

83. Of experience and faith, and how to wait on God com 

fortably. Helps thereto, ... 277 

84. Of confirming this trust in God. Seek it of God him 

self. Sins hinder not : nor Satan. Conclusion 

and soliloquy, ..... 282 

Notes, ....... 289-294 

THE SAINT'S SAFETY IN EVIL TIMES Ps. VII. 14, . . 295 

Notes, 818 

THE SAINT'S SAFETY IN EVIL TIMES, MANIFESTED BY 
ST PAUL, FKOM HIS EXPERIENCE OF GOD'S 

GOODNESS IN GREATEST DISTRESS 2 TIM. IV. 17, 18, 814 

Notes, 881 

CHRIST is BEST ; OR, ST PAUL'S STRAIT PHIL. I. 23, 24, 885 

Notes, ....... 850 

CHRIST'S SUFFERINGS FOR MAN'S SIN MAT. XXVII. 46, 851 

Notes, ....... 869 

THE CHURCH'S VISITATION 1 PET. IV. 17-19, 871 

Notes, 384 

THE UNGODLY'S MISERY 1 PET. IV. 17, . 885 

THE DIFFICULTY OF SALVATION : 1 PET, IV. 18, . 895 

THE SAINT'S HIDING-PLACE IN THE EVIL DAY 1 PET. IV. 19, . 401 

Notes, ....... 410 

THE SAINT'S HIDING-PLACE IN THE EVIL DAY ..1 PET. IV. 19, . 411 



*%* The ' Notes ' prefixed to the several Treatises and Sermons will shew, that in 
the present volume are included the whole of the works published by Stbbes himself: 
4 The Description of Christ,' and * The Sword of the Wicked,' being restored to their 
proper places, as introductory to * The Bruised Keed,' and ' The Soul's Conflict,' re 
spectively.' 0. 



EDITOR'S ADVERTISEMENT. 

Having now in my library the whole of the works of Sibbes, with the excep 
tion of two small volumes, I beg to note them here, in the hope that thereby I may 
secure them. 

(I.) The Saint's Comforts, being the substance of divers sermons preached on Ps. 
cxxx., the beginning ; The Saint's Happiness, on Ps. Ixxiii. 28 ; The Kich Pearl, on 
Mat. xiii. 45, 46 ; The Success of the Gospel, on Luke vii. 34, 35 ; Mary's Choice 
on Luke x. 38-40. By a Reverend Divine now with God. Printed at London by 
Thos. Cotes, and are to be sold by Peter Cole, at the sign of the Glove, in Cornhill, 
near the Exchange. 1638. 12mo. 

(2.) Antidotum contra Naufragium Fidei et Bonse Conscientise, Concio Latine. . . 
2 Tim. i. 14. Pp. 78. 18mo. 

In view of the bibliographical list (see a of this Preface), it is also exceedingly de 
sirable to have the following editions : 

(3.) Bruised Reed. 4th edition. 1632. 18mo. 

(4.J Two Sermons on First Words of Christ's Last Sermon. 4to. 1636. 1st 
edition. 

(5.) Spiritual Man's Aim. ^d edition, 

(6.) Fountain Sealed. 2d edition. 

(7.) Divine Meditations. 2d edition. 



PREFACE. 



IN presenting the public with the first volume of what, it is hoped, 
will prove a standard edition of the hitherto uncollected and in- 
edited works of Dr Richard Sibbes, I may be permitted to make 
the following remarks : 

(a) Sibbes has had no preceding editor. The edition (so-called), 
of his ' Works,' noted below,* contains a mere fraction, and 
those which are included have been mutilated and most care 
lessly printed. It were invidious to point out the abounding 
blunders of these volumes. * This edition/ says the late William 
Pickering, our English Aldus, 'which purports to be the entire 
works of Sibbes, contains only a small portion ; besides being 
incorrectly printed, and omitting the prefaces, dedications, and 
tables/ 1 

There have been many editions, more or less accurate, and 
more or less attractive in their typography, of separate treatises, 
especially of the Bruised Reed and Soul's Conflict. These, so far 
as known to us, will be recorded in a bibliographical list of editions 
in the concluding volume. 

(6) It may therefore be pleaded, that any shortcomings, whether of 
omission or commission, claim indulgence, in that the editor has had 
wholly to prepare his text from the original and early editions ; J 

* The Works of the Keverend Richard Sibbes, D.D., late Master of Catherine 
Hall, in the University of Oxford (sic), and Preacher of Gray's Inn, London, &c. 
Aberdeen, 1812. 3 Vols. 8vo. f ' Bruised Reed,' reprint of 1838, p. xxi. 

t To explain ; Adams's ' Sermons ' were collected by himself from the early 4tos 
into a folio, and so it is an editor's text. Had Sibbes's numerous writings been 
brought together into a folio or otherwise, by himself, or under his authority, it is 
plain that the labour of editing would have been much simplified. 



PREFACE. 



and that these, excepting the three small volumes published by or 
under the sanction of the author, swarm with misprints and 
mispunctuations. The posthumous publication of the larger pro 
portion explains this. It can hardly be hoped that in every 
case perfect accuracy has been attained, as many points must 
always remain to some extent matter of opinion ; but I have given 
a good deal of thought and pains to the production of an accurate 
text. It need scarcely be said, that in nothing save the modern 
isation of the orthography and punctuation, are Sibbes's words 
touched. 

(c) By the kind help of friends interested in the work, every 
quotation and reference, coming within the general rule laid down 
for this series,* has been verified or filled in, as the case may be. 
Occasional casual references and allusions have been traced. It 
is believed that no quotation of any moment has been overlooked. 
This does not apply to the mere pointing of a sentence or barbing 
of an appeal with a saying introduced after the fashion of the age, 
as ' one saith/ or ' the heathen saith/ But when traced, even those 
have been given. 

(d) To the treatises embraced in this volume, which were pub 
lished originally and superintended subsequently by the author in 
different editions, the ' various readings ' are appended as foot-notes. 
The letters a, 6, c, &c., refer to the few 'notes ' of the editor, added 
at the close of each treatise. These might have been multiplied ; but 
his design is simply to explain names, dates, facts. The old signi 
ficant words that occur will be given as a 'glossary' in the last 
volume, with references to the places where they occur. This may 
prove a not unacceptable addition to the stores of the ' Philological 
Society/ in their laudable endeavour to furnish that great desi 
deratum, a national dictionary of our English tongue. 

(e) Foi the ' Memoir ' I have done my humble best. None can 
regret its deficiencies more than myself. Yet has it, as the whole 
undertaking, been done lovingly and as an honest piece of work. 
Those who have engaged in kindred investigations will best appre 
ciate the difficulties involved. As compared with preceding me 
moirs of Sibbes (or notices rather, for no one exceeds at the most 
five of our pages), it will be found more ample. I have been en 
abled to enrich it with new matter, to recover old which was lost 
or neglected ; and to bring together what is scattered through 
many volumes. I felicitate myself upon the possession of Zachary 
Catlin's MS.*)* Writing of one who came under the persecution 

* See 'Editorial Note,' Adams' Works, vol. i. pp. ix, x. 
t See Appendix A. to Memoir. 



PREFACE. XV 

of Laud, and who was a ' Puritan ' of the true stamp, the policy 
of Laud must come under review. On that policy I have decided 
opinions, which I have not concealed. But I trust I have not spoken 
uncourteously, much less untruthfully. There are some minds that 
cannot speak well of their own favourites except at the expense of 
others. They cannot laud the Churchman without, to use a word of 
Sibbes's, ' depraving ' the Puritan, or the Puritan without impaling 
the Churchman. Such men would quench Orion that Saturn's rings 
may gleam the brighter. Whereas our dark world needs both, 
neeas all its stars. Let them all shine. Our great names are not 
so numerous, either in Church or State, that we can afford to ob 
scure any of our historic lights. Let all irradiate the firmament of 
fame. 

(/) It would have unduly extended the ' Memoir ' to have in 
cluded an analysis and estimate of the works of Sibbes, or a view 
of his ' opinions ' and ' character ' as reflected therein. This I hope 
to overtake in a short essay, to be given in the course of the 
issue of the works, in which I trust to be able to throw some little 
light on his relations to other writers and theirs to him, and per 
chance to guide the casual reader to the treasures of rare thought, 
ripe wisdom, spiritual insight, beauty of illustration, sweetness of 
consolation, of this incomparable old worthy. 

(#) The pleasant duty remains of returning my warm thanks to 
very many friends and correspondents. It were to savour of osten 
tation to name all who have rendered assistance, or endeavoured to 
do so. But I must mention a few. To the Rev. John Eyton Bicker- 
steth Mayor, M.A., Fellow of St John's College ; the Rev. Charles 
Kirkby Robinson, M. A., Master of St Catherine's College ; Charles 
Henry Cooper, Esq., F.S.A., and Thompson Cooper, Esq., F.S.A. ; 
Mr Wallis, all of Cambridge, I owe special acknowledgments for 
various favours, and for local inquiries most obligingly made and 
communicated. My thanks are similarly due to Dr Hessey, 
preacher of Gray's Inn, London ; and to the Rev. Paul M. Sted- 
man, vicar of Thurston ; the Rev. W. G. Tuck, rector of Tostock ; 
the Rev. A. H. Wratislaw, Bury St Edmunds, from each of whom I 
have received many tokens of their interest in my labours, as well 
by letter, as personally on occasion of a visit to Suffolk. From 
his Grace the Duke of Manchester ; Richard Almack, Esq., Mel- 
ford, Sudbury ; James Spedding, Esq., editor of Bacon ; Joshua 
Wilson, Esq., Nevill Park, Tunbridge Wells ; Edward Foss, Esq., 
Churchill House, Dover ; William Durrant Cooper, Esq., F.S.A. ; 
Albert Way, Esq., F.S.A. ; R. Siegfried, Esq., Trinity College, 
Dublin ; Jonathan B. Bright, Esq., Waltham, Massachusetts, 



Dub 



XVI PREFACE. 

United States ; the Rev. W. G. Lewis, Westbourne Grove ; the Rev, 
George Thomson, Hackney ; the Rev. E. Pattison, Gedding ; the Rev. 
Robert Redpath, M.A., London; W. E. Whitehouse, Esq., Bir 
mingham, I have received various memorabilia, communicated with 
such ungrudging alacrity and kindness as much to deepen the obli 
gation. 

I beg to thank the Rev. J. C. Robertson, Canterbury ; the Rev. 
Hastings Robinson, D.D., Great Warley; the Rev. William West, 
Hawarden ; the Rev. William Webster, M.A., Richmond ; Charles 
Bird, Esq., London ; the Rev. Dr Cairns, Berwick ; the Rev. Dr 
Bonar, Kelso ; the Rev. Dr Bryce, Belfast ; and the Rev. Thomas 
Smith, M.A., Edinburgh, and numerous anonymous correspond 
ents, for service in verification of references in this volume and 
those that are to follow. I ain sure the edition will owe much 
to the willing hand and vigilant eye of the last-named gentle 
man, as General Editor of the series, in revision of the proofs with 
myself. 

It would be ungrateful not to acknowledge the unvarying courtesy 
with which I have been permitted access to the stores of the great 
libraries, e. g., British Museum, where Mr Watt, as he is to all, was 
ever eager to assist ; Red Cross Street ; University and Advocates', 
Edinburgh. Nor can I withhold a grateful word from the Editors 
and Correspondents of 'Notes and Queries,' and other literary 
journals, whose columns I have had occasion to use. I have 
endeavoured to leave no source of information unconsulted, and 
have given the authority for my statements, whether in Memoir or 
Notes. ' For in all faculties, their writings have been of longest 
continuance, who have made fairest use of other authors.' Tor 
mine owne, either judgment or opinion ' also, with the foregoing, in 
the words of Sir John Hayward, ' as I do nothing the more value 
the spider's for that she draweth it out of her own bowels ; so doe 
I not esteeme the lesse of the honeycombe, because it is gathered 
out of many flowers.' (Sanctuary of a Troubled Soul, Part ii. To 
the Reader, 1631. 18mo). Wherever I have been indebted to a pre 
decessor, it is duly recorded. 

And now, with unfeigned diffidence in myself and my part, but 
with the conviction that no common service is being rendered to 
Christian literature by this edition of Sibbes, I would say, in the 
words of Isaak Walton, ' If I have prevented an abler person, I beg 
pardon of him and my reader.' (7nr. to Life of Herbert.) 

A. B. G. 

IST MANSE, 
KINROSS, 2d May 1862. 



MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 






CHAPTER I. 

'MEMORIALS ' THAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN. 

Izaak Walton Dr William Gouge Richard Baxter John Davenport, B.D. 
Leading ' Puritans ' Sibbes's own indifference. 

THERE are more than common reasons to cause regret that hitherto 
there has not been, and in this later time can scarcely be, a worthy 
life of the ' heavenly' RICHARD SIBBES (the adjective, like the 
'venerable' Bede, the 'judicious' Hooker, the 'holy' Baxter, being 
the almost invariable epithet associated with every mention of his 
name, through many generations after his departure).* I look 
upon my own gatherings, after no small expenditure of time 
and endeavour, all the more sorrowfully because of these reasons. 
I would fain have placed upon the honoured forehead of the 
author of the 'Bruised Reed' and 'Soul's Conflict' a wreath of 
'amaranthine flowers;' but alas! have instead with difficulty 
gleaned a few crushed and withered leaves, some poor spires of 
faded grass and braids of grave-stone moss, with perchance a sprig 
of not altogether scentless thyme ; whereas in the course of my 
researches, I have come upon various notices and scintillations of 
revelation, which shew how different it might have been had con 
temporaries discharged their duty. These tantalizing indications 

* ' Heavenly.' The famous Dr Manton thus speaks of him : ' This is mentioned 
.... because of that excellent and peculiar gift which the worthy and reverend 
author had in unfolding and applying the great mysteries of the gospel in a sweet 
and mellifluous way ; and, therefore, was by his hearers usually termed the " sweet 
dropper" sweet and heavenly distillations usually dropping from him with such a 
native elegancy, as is not easily to be imitated.' (To the Reader .... Commentary 
. ... on 2 Cor. i.). 'That "heavenly" man,' says Zachary Catlin ; and Neal, 
' His works discover him to have been of a " heavenly," evangelical spirit.' (Hist, 
of the Puritans, vol. i. 582, edition, 3 vols. 8vo, 1837.) 

VOL. I. 6 

-I ' 



XX MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 

of personal knowledge, and ot reserved and now lost information, 
may perhaps most fitly introduce our narrative. 

First of all, in that ' Last Will and Testament,' over which so 
many eyes have brimmed with unsorrowing tears drawn out ' in 
a full age,' very shortly before the venerable writer went up to lay 
his silver crown of gray hairs at His feet good, gentle, blithely 
garrulous Izaak Walton bequeaths, among numerous other tokens 
and legacies, his copies of the ' Bruised Reed' and ' Soul's Conflict,' 
and there gleams upon the antique deed, like a ray of sunlight, 
these noteworthy words about them : ' To my son Izaak, I give 
Doctor Sibbes his Soul's Conflict, and to my daughter his Bruised 
Reed, DESIRING THEM TO BEAD THEM so AS TO BE WELL ACQUAINTED 
WITH THEM.'* Nor was this the only expression of esteem for 
Sibbes by the ' old man eloquent/ In a copy of ' The Returning 
Backslider,' now preserved in Salisbury Cathedral library, he has 
written this inscription : 

' Of this blest man, let this just praise be given, 
Heaven was in him, before he was in heaven. IZAAK WALTON.' 

Pity that either Wotton was not assigned to another, or that Richard 
Sibbes made not a sixth to the golden five ' Lives' of this most 
quaintly-wise and wisely-quaint of all our early English biographers. 
How lovingly, how tenderly, with salt of wit and warbling of poetic 
prose, would he have made 'sacrifice to the memory' (his own 
phrase) of Master Richard Sibbes, the more than equal of Donne 
or Herbert, Sanderson or Wotton, and only in degree, not in kind, 
beneath Hooker himself. 

Again, in Sibbes's own will, the usual sum was left to Dr William 
Gouge of 'Blackfryer's, London,' to preach a funeral sermon. The 
wording runs, ' To my reverend frende Dr Gouge, I doe give as a 
testimony of my love, twenty shillings, desiring him to take the 
paynes to preach my funeral sermon/ Pity once more that 
this noble preacher, whose great 'Exposition of Hebrews' is 
worthy of a place beside the kindredly-massive folios of John 
Owen, having preached it, as he doubtless did, gave not his ' ser 
mon' to the press. Spoken by one who was his fellow-student 
at the university, and who knew and greatly loved him, while 
men's eyes were yet wet for him, while the tones of his 'sweet- 
dropping' voice (Manton's word) still lingered in the groined roof 
of the chapel of Gray's Inn, it must have contained not a little that 
we of the nineteenth century would have prized. It is vexatious 
that importunity should have got printed this large-thoughted man s 

' WiU of Walton.' Introductory Essay to ' The Angler' by Major, 4th edition 
1844, pp. xlii.-vi. 



MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. XXI 

funeral sermons, for a ' Mrs Margaret Ducke ! ' and numerous others 
equally unknown, and secured not this. 

Further, Richard Baxter, his survivor for upwards of half a cen 
tury, might have been the biographer of Sibbes. In the story of 
his earlier days, in that marvellous ' Reliquiae Baxterianse,' which 
won the heart of Coleridge, he speaks gratefully of him : ' About 
that time [his fifteenth year] it pleased God that a poor pedlar 
came to the door that had ballads and some good books, and 
my father bought of him Dr Sibbes's Bruised Reed. This also I 
read, and found it suited my state and seasonably sent me, which 
opened more the love of God to me, and gave me a livelier appre 
hension of the mystery of redemption, and how much I was beholden 
to Jesus Christ.'* This circumstance alone, observes Granger, in 
his meagre and chary fashion missing the right word 'immortal/ 
would have rendered his (Sibbes's) name memorable.'^ How 
priceless would have been a life of Sibbes from this like-minded man, 
as a companion to his Alleine ! How thankfully should we have 
spared half a dozen of his ' painful' controversial books for half 
a dozen pages of such a memoir ! 

Nor is my roll of casualties shall I say ? done. In the address 
'to the Christian Reader,' prefixed to 'The knowledge of Christ 
indispensably required of all men who would be saved' (4to, 
1653), of JOHN DAVENPORT, who, like Gouge, was Sibbes's contem 
porary, coadjutor, and bosom friend, he informs us of a grievous 
loss to himself and to us : ' My far distance from the press,' he 
says, dating from his sequestered ' study in Newhaven,' New 
England, ' and the hazards of so long a voyage by sea, had almost 
discouraged me from transmitting this copy ; foreseeing that what 
soever <rpaX/Aarat are committed by the printer, men disaffected 
will impute it to the author ; and being sensible of my great loss 
of some manuscripts by a wreck at sea, together WITH THE LIVES 
OF SUNDRY PRECIOUS ONES, about six years since.' From the peculi 
arly close and endeared friendship between the two, there can be little 
doubt that among those precious ones would be Richard Sibbes. 

Then again, we have Thomas Goodwin, Thomas Manton, and 
Philip Nye, Simeon Ash, and Jeremiah Burroughs, John Sedgwick, 
Arthur Jackson, James Nalton, and John Dod, John Hill, John 
Goodwin, Robert Towne, Joseph Church, Lazarus Seaman, William 
Taylor, Ezekiel Culverwell, in truth, all the foremost puritan names 
of the period, as the writers of ' Prefaces/ ' Epistles,' ' Dedications/ 

* ' Baxter,' R. B., pp. 3, 4, lib. i., pt. 1, 1696, folio. 
t ' Granger,' Biog. Hist, of England, 2d edition, 1776. 
J That is, ' slips, blunders.' 



XXii MEMOIB OF EICHABD SIBBES, D.D. 

addresses ' To the Header/ in the original quartos and duodecimos 
as they were issued in quick succession. In these there are pro 
voking hints, so to speak, of withheld information. Thus say Ash, 
Nalton, and Church : * The scope and business of this epistle is not 
so much to commend the workman (whose name is a sweet savour 
to the church), as to give a short and summary view of the generals 
handled in this treatise. THOUGH MUCH MIGHT BE SAID of this 
eminent saint, if either detraction had fastened her venomous nails 
in his precious name, or the testimony of the subscribers of this 
epistle might give the book a freer admission into thy hands.'* 
Again, John Goodwin thus pleads : ' Good reader, to discourse the 
worth or commendations of the author, especially the pens of others 
having done sacrifice unto him in that kind, / judge it but an 
unpertinency, and make no question but that if I should exchange 
thoughts or judgments with thee herein, / should have but mine 
own again'-}" A sketch of our saintly Calvinist by the great Ar- 
minian would have been worth having. 

Once more, Arthur Jackson, William Taylor, and James Nalton, 
deem any enlargement supererogatory : ' WE NEED SAY NOTHING OF 
THE AUTHOR, his former labours sufficiently ' speak for him in the 
gates/ his memory is HIGHLY HONOURED AMONGST THE GODLY 
LEARNED. He that enjoys the glory of heaven needs not the 
praises of men upon earth.' J 

Further, how many pleasant memories lay behind, when Jeremiah 
Burroughs thus poured out his reverence and love : ' Bless God for 

this work, AND THE MAN THAT INDITED 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.' 

Finally (for it were endless to cite all), in the ' Marrow of Eccle 
siastical History' (folio, 1675), in the address 'to the Christian 
Reader/ signed ' Simeon Ash, John Wall/ we read : ' Here, we 
might have given in a true though short character of some precious 
servants and ministers of Christ, whose graces were admired whilst 
they lived, and whose memory their surviving friends do much 
honour, viz., Dr Preston, SIBBES, Taylor, Stoughton/ &c. 

There are again and again such things, in every variety of loving 

* ' To the Header,' Heavenly Conference betwixt Christ and Mary 12mo, 1654. 
4to, 1656. 

t ' To the Reader,' Exposition of 3d chapter of Philippians, &c., 4to, 1639. 
I ' To the Reader,' Glorious Feast of the Gospel, 4to, 1650. 
g ' To the Reader,' The Christian's Portion, 12rao. 1688. 



MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. XX111 

epithet, but we look in vain for any adequate memorial of the 
tender and tenderly treasured friendships ; for even the welcome 
gossip that abounds, of far inferior men. 

The ' evil days and evil tongues,' the crowding and trampling of 
events, England's 'ix/ag xaxwv, that made men hold their breath and 
ask, ' What next V explains, if it does not mitigate, the neglect of 
Sibbes's friends to place on record their knowledge and wealth of 
regard for him. He departed when the shadows of great calamities 
were falling, huge and dark, over the nation calamities that were 
to recall, as with a clarion-blast, John Milton from Italy ; and it is 
easily to be understood, how, under such circumstances, there 
was delay issuing in forgetfulness. To all this must be added 
Sibbes's own splendid indifference to any blazoning of his name 
or fame, other than what might come spontaneously. His three 
small volumes all that were published during his own life, 
under his own sanction were literally compelled from him. Of 
the first, the ' Bruised Keed,' he tells us, with a touch of complaint, 
almost of anger, ' To prevent further inconvenience, I was drawn 
to let these notes pass with some review, considering there was an 
intendment of publishing them by some who had not perfectly 
taken them. And these first as being next at hand.' Of the ' Soul's 
Conflict,' he says also, ' I began to preach on the text about twelve 
years since in the city, and afterwards finished the same in Gray's 
Inn. After which, some having gotten imperfect notes, endea 
voured to publish them without my privity. Therefore, to do 
myself right, I thought fit to reduce them to this form.' 

All this was the expression, not of passing irritation, much less 
of petulancy wearing the vizard of modesty, but of principle. For, 
in his ' Description of Christ/ the introductory sermons to the 
' Bruised Reed' (which are now restored to their proper place), he 
had deprecated all eagerness after human applause. ' Let us com 
mit the fame and credit,' says he, * of what we are or do to God. 
He will take care of that, let us take care to be and to do as we 
should, and then for noise and report, let it be good or ill as God 

will send it If we seek to be in the mouths of men, to dwell 

in the talk and speech of men, God will ahhor us Therefore 

let us labour to be good in secret. Christians should be as minerals, 
rich in the depth of the earth. That which is least seen is his (the 
Christian's) riches. We should have our treasure deep ; for the 
discovery of it, we should be ready when we are called to it ; and 
for all other accidental things, let it fall out as God in his wisdom 
eees good. .... God will be careful enough to get us applause. 
.... As much reputation as is fit for a man will follow him in 



MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 

being and doing what he should. God will look to that There 
fore we should not set up sails to our own meditations, that unless 
we be carried with the wind of applause, to be becalmed, and not 
go a whit forward, but we should be carried with the Spirit of God, 
and with a holy desire to serve God and our brethren, and to do 
all the good we can, and never care for the speeches of the world, 
.... We should, from the example of Christ, labour to subdue 
this infirmity, which we are sick of naturally. . . / Then, in words 
that have the ring of Bacon in them, 'We shall have glory 
enough, and be known enough to devils, to angels, and men, ere 
long. Therefore, as Christ lived a hidden life that is, he was not 
known what he was, that so he might work our salvation, so let 
us be content to be hidden ones.' More grandly, and even more 
like a stray sentence from ' The Essayes,' he elsewhere gives the 
secret of his unconcern as to what men might say or leave unsaid 
of him. ' THERE WILL BE A RESURRECTION OF CREDITS, as well as 
of bodies. We'll have glory enough BY AND BY.' The very ease, 
nay, negligence of that 'by and by' (recalling Henry Yaughan's 
' other night,' in his superb vision of the great ring of eternity), 
sets before us one who ' looked not at the things that are seen and 
temporal, but at the things unseen and eternal,' one who would 
shine not in the lower firmament of human fame, but up higher, 
in the ' new heavens/ as a star for ever and ever. 

With all explanations, and all the modesty of Sibbes himself, 
we cannot help lamenting that his contemporaries so readily ac 
quiesced in his choice of being a ' hidden one.' 

But I must now try to put together such particulars as have been 
found, and in proceeding to do so it can only be needful to remind 
those who have attempted similar service, of the Greek proverb 
To/s airov 'a-rogoDtf/ ffirov&dfyvTai oi ogojSo/ which may be freely rendered, 
* Chick-peas are eagerly sought after when we lack corn/ 

CHAPTER II 

PARENTAGE AND BIRTH BIRTH-PLACE AND SCHOOLS. 

Suffolk Martyrs and ' Puritans' Name, its various orthography Bishop Mountagu 
' Blue blood' Tennyson Birth-place, Tostock, not Sudbury Zachary Catlin 
The old English Village Removal to Thurston The ' Wheel- wright' 
School at Pakenham Richard Brigs The ' boy father of the man' John 
Milton Contemporary 'boys' Grammar-school at Bury St Edmunds Father 
begrudges ' expense' Master Sibbes put in the ' wheel-wright's' shop Friends 
step in. 

RICHARD SIBBES was a native of Suffolk, one of the great martyr 
and puritan counties of England, that furnished many of the early 



MEMOIR OF RICHAUD SIBBES, D.D. XXV 

fugitives to Holland, a very unusual proportion of the emigrants 
to New England (whose lustrous names are still talismans over 
the Atlantic), and nearly a hundred of the 'ejected' two-thousand 
of 1662. The name 'Sibbes' is variously spelled. The spelling 
now given, and adopted in our title-page, is his own signature to 
his own dedications and ' epistles to the reader.' But he is fre 
quently called Sibbs, and such is the orthography of his Will, as 
well as of his heirs and their descendants. There is a third vari 
ation, Sybbes or Sybesius. But it is the Latinized form, as 
it occurs in Richterus Redivivus.* A fourth, Sibs, is common 
to many of the original editions, and furnishes a side-thrust in a 
play upon the word to Bishop Mountagu, in his ' Appello ad Caesarem' 
(1625), that over-clever ' Defence.' Even thus early Sibbes was 
speaking bravely out in his post at ' Gray's Inn' against the semi- 
popish practices of the prelates ; and the venal bishop, afraid to 
strike openly, must needs hint dislike in this taunt, 'So .... with 
our Puritans, very Sibs unto those fathers of the society, every 
moderate man is bedaubed with these goodly habiliments of Ar- 
minianism, popery, and what not, unless he will be frantic with 
them for their holy cause.' -f- This may, perchance, be a mere jest 
ing use of the word ' sib/ but the capital S and plural, and the 
man, seem to indicate an intended hit at our author, ever out 
spoken against such as the unquestionably astute but also unques 
tionably unscrupulous Richard Mountagu. The earliest occurrence 
of the name that I have met with is in a Robert Sibbes or Sybbs of 
Cony-Weston, Norfolk, who, in 1524, purchased Ladie's Manor, 
Rockland-Tofts, which again was sold by his son and heir, also a 
Robert, in 1594.J Perhaps, by further inquiries, it might be possible 
to connect the neighbouring Norfolk with the Suffolk Sibbeses ; and, 
though I have searched in vain in Burke's 'Armoury,' and all 
through the Davy ' Suffolk MSS.,' for genealogical record, it is pos 
sible that further research might even shew 'blue blood' in the 
descent of the author of the ' Bruised Reed/ But it would serve 

* ' Kichterus Redivivus.' In a curious letter of Christopher Arnold, containing new 
and apparently unused information about Milton. Writing to Geo. Richter (from 
Lond., A.D. 7 Aug. (sic) 1651, printed in Richterus Redivivus, p. 485), he says, ' In 
Academia Cantabrigiensi vir peramans mei, Abrah. Whelocus, Arab, atque Anglo- 
Baxonicse Linguarum Professor et Bibliothecarius publicus codices manuscriptos cum 

primis Grsecos, &c Obstupui in Johannitica (bibliotheca), cum mihi magnum 

sacrorum librorum Grsecobarbarorum copiam o&tenderent, a benefactore quodam 
anonymo, suasione Richardi Sybbes, S. Th. Prof, et hujus Coll. quondam socii seni- 
oris, A.D. 1628, dono oblatorum.' 

t ' Appello ad Csesarem, a Just Appeale from Two Unjust Informers.' By Richard 
Mountagu. 4to, 1625, p. 139. 

J Blomefield's Norfolk, vol, i., pp. 481-82. g In British Museum. Addl. MSS. 



MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 

little purpose to do so, or to prove him ' sib' to this, that, or the other 
great family. The far-fountained 'red' ichor that has come down from 

* The grand old gardener and his wife '* 

suffices, the more especially as, at the time of his birth at least, 
our author's family was assuredly lowly, and of the people : 

' Kind hearts are more than coronets, 
And simple faith than Norman blood.' t 

In all preceding notices, Sudbury, the old town, so far back as Ed 
ward Ill's times inhabited by the Flemings, is given as Sibbes's 
birth-place. ' At Sudbury/ says Neal (' History of the Puritans'), and 
Brook (' Lives of the Puritans'), and so all the ' Biographical Diction 
aries.' 'Nigh Sudbury/ says Fuller ; ' At the edges of Suffolk, near 
Sudbury/ says Clarke. This is a mistake. The town, 'as great as 
most, and ancient as any/ according to Thomas Fuller, that can 
boast of Thomas Gainsborough and Thomas Constable later, as 
natives, and of Faithful Teate, William Jenkyn, and Samuel Peyto 
earlier, as ministers, can afford to give up an honour to which it has 
no claim. Tostock, not Sudbury, was his birth-place. The ' regis 
ters' of the period, of Sudbury and Tostock alike, have perished; 
but a contemporary manuscript 'Memoir' of Sibbes, from the pen 
of Zachary Catlin (of whom more anon), which the stream of time, 
while engulphing so much else of what was precious and what w<as 
worthless, has floated down and placed by lucky accident in my 
possession, states the fact. As this contemporary manuscript 
must be frequently laid under contribution in the sequel, it 
may be as well to give here its proem, which is sufficient, 
apart from what will subsequently appear, to attest its au 
thority and trustworthiness. ' At the request of a noble friend, 
Sir William Spring, I have here willingly contributed to the happy 
memory of that worthy man of God, Dr Sibbes, a few such flowers 
as I could collect, either from the certain relation of those that 
knew his first education, or from mine own observation of him&i 
that distance whereat we lived. And if anything here recorded 
may seem convenient for his purpose, who is (as I am informed) 

* and f Tennyson. ' Lady Clara Vere de Vere .' Even were it possible to trace the 
name of Sibbes up to 'Norman blood,' we must remember our Scottish proverbs: 
A' Stuarts are no rib to the king, 1 = Though of the same name, 

A' Campbells are no rib to the duke, / not of the same family. 

Moreover, as he says himself of another (Sherland), 'What should I speak of these 
things, when he has personal worth enough ? I need not go abroad to commend 
this man, for there were those graces and gifts in him that made him so esteemed, 
that verily I think no man of his place and years lived more desired, and died more 
lamented.' ( Christ is Best,' page 347 of this volume of the works.) 



MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. XXV11 

about to publish the lives of some worthies deceased, I shall think 
my labour well bestowed. For I am not of that philosopher's 
mind, who lighting upon a book newly put forth, entitled, " The En 
comium of Hercules," cast it away, saying,^ quisLacedcemoniorum 
eum vituperavit ? accounting it a needless work to praise him whom 
no man did or could find fault withal. I rather judge it a com 
mendable thing to perpetuate and keep fresh the memory of such 
worthy men whose examples may be of use for imitation in this 
declining and degenerate age.'* I give his ipsissima verba of the 
birth-place, as above, and embrace in the quotation the birth-date 
as well. ' But I come to the matter. This Richard, the eldest son 
of Paul Sibs and Johan [= Joanna ?] was born at Tostock, in Suffolk, 
four miles from Bury, anno domini 1577.'f The source of the 
blunder of making Sudbury the birth-place is evidently confound 
ing 'Bury' St Edmunds with Sudbury. Tostock is 'nigh' the 
former, but not 'nigh' the latter, and cannot at all be described as 
1 on the edges' of Suffolk, being fifteen or twenty miles in the 
interior. Tostock, to which I thus restore, if not in the popular 
sense a great, at least a revered, name, and one of which any place 
might be proud, remains to-day very much as we may suppose it to 
have been two hundred years ago, except perhaps that 'its tide 
of work has ebbed away,' and it is now wholly rural. It is a small 
sequestered village in Thedwestry hundred, about, as we have seen, 
four miles from Bury St Edmunds, and about thirteen miles from 

Sudbury. 

' A quaint, old, gabled place 
With Church stamped on its face. 

Exactly such a ' village ' as ' Our Village ' has made dear to us all. 
Its few picturesquely scattered houses cluster around an unenclosed 
'common' (once abundant in 'merry England,' but now sparse), 
and present fine specimens of what every year is seeing disappear 
the peaked-roofed, mossy-thatched, or saffron-tiled ' homes ' of our 
forefathers of the 16th and 17th centuries, with every ' coign of van 
tage' of the over-hanging upper storeys and lozenge-paned windows, 

' Held by old swallows on a lease of love 
Unbroken, immemorial ;' 

and little gardens a-front flinging out into the air the breath of 

* Above and throughout I modernise the orthography ; but in Appendix A to 
this Memoir I reprint from my MS. the whole very interesting document. Thither 
I refer for further information concerning its author. 

t Neal gives 1579, and is followed by others; but the misprint is corrected by the 
statement that his death took place in 1635, in his 57th year, which, however, ought 
to be 58th. The ' Kegisters' of Tostock that remain commence long subsequent to 
1577, and hence the date of his birth-rfoy is lost. 



MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBE3, D.D. 

old-fashioned flowers. It is pleasant in our day to come upon 
such a virgin spot. 

For it is well, amid the whirr 
Of restless wheels and busy stir, 
To find a quiet spot where live 
Fond, pious thoughts conservative, 

That ring to an old chime, 

And bear the moss of time. 



4 And sweeter far and grander too 
The ancient civilisation grew, 
With holy war and busy work 
Beneath the spire and round the kirk 

Than miles of brick and stone 

In godless monotone.' 

The 'church,' lichened and lady-ferned, but in excellent preser 
vation, is approached by a fragrant lane that strikes off from 

' the rectory,' 

... where the budding purple rose, 
Prolific of its gifts, the long year through 
Breaks into beauty. 

It is dedicated to St Andrew. 

' Nor gargoyle lacks, grotesque and quaint, 
Nor saintly niche without its saint, 
Nor buttress lightsome, nor the tower, 
Where the bell marks the passing hour, 

And peals out with our mirth, 

And tolls our earth to earth.' 

The ' font' from which no doubt little Richard Sibbes was bap 
tized is noticeable. The 'benches' are of dark oak, grotesquely 
carved. The graves around are ozier-woven, and on some of the 
stones, the once great Suffolk name of Bacon, is still to be read ; 
also in the wrecks of the ' Registers' that remain, the mighty 
name of Wolsey occurs, as elsewhere in the neighbourhood (by a 
strange link with Germany and the Reformation), is to be found 
that of Luther. We visited the primitive hamlet on one of 
the finest of English September days, and our Scottish eye and 
heart were touched with the quiet English scenery, long familiar 
by the 'landscapes' of Suffolk's Gainsborough and Constable, and 
her poets, Bloomfield and Crabbe. There were the 'Cart on a 
Road,' ' Cows crossing a Ford,' ' Boys a-straddle on a Gate,' the 
' Stile,' ringed with honey-suckle, and now the glowing, and now 
the bleak originals of ' The Farmer's Boy' and of 'The Borough.' 
Tostock was a cheery, sunny, many-memoried birth-place ; to 
this hour, with its sister-villages, possessing traditions of martyrs 
and reformers, Rowland Taylor and Yeoman, and, farther off, 



MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. XXIX 

Hooper and Coverdale and John Rogers, and legends of the Tudors 
and the Commonwealth. For a 'Puritan' none could have been 
more fitting, for all around were the family seats of grand old 
Puritan worthies, Barton-Mere, Talmach Hall, Pakenham, Nether 
Hall, where 'godly ministers' were ever welcome to the Bar- 
nardistons and Brights, Yeres and Brooks, Winthrops and Riches, 
Springs and Cavendishes, and the Bacon stock. 

But Sibbes was very soon removed thence to Thurston, a similar 
hamlet only about three miles distant. Here, our old worthy the 
Yicar of Thurston informs us, Mr and Mrs Sibbes ' lived in honest 
repute, brought up and married divers children, purchased some 
houses and lands, and there both deceased.' 

There will be something to say afterward of these ' divers chil 
dren' who were 'married ;' but it is to be regretted that, the 'registers 
having perished, no positive light can be cast on the dates of the de 
cease of the elder folks, except that the father was dead before 1608. 
Concerning him this is Catlin's testimony : ' His father was by his 
trade a wheel-wright, a skilful and painful workman, and a good, 
sound-hearted Christian.' ' Skilful and painful' * were very weighty 
words then, particularly 'painful,' which was the highest praise 
that could be given to a laborious, faithful, evangelical minister 
of the gospel. It is found in many an olden title-page, and un 
derneath many a grave, worn face. A ' mill-wright,' or ' wheel 
wright/ for they are interchangeable, was by no means an unim 
portant ' craftsman ' in those days. In country places, such as 
Thurston and Tostock, where division of labour could not be car 
ried so far as in the large towns, the ' wheel-wright ' was compelled 
to draw largely upon his own resources, and to devise expedients to 
meet pressing emergencies as they arose. Necessarily this made 
him dexterous, expert, and ' skilful ' in mechanical arrangements. 
If thus early, the whole of Smiles's description, on whose authority 
I am writing this,-)" does not hold (for he speaks of him devising 
steam-engines, pumps, cranes, and the like) ; yet in those primitive 
days, perhaps more than some generations later, such tradesmen 
were, in all cases of difficulty, resorted to, and looked upon as a 
very important class of workmen ; while the nature of their business 
tended to make them thoughtful, decided, self-reliant. The cradle of 
little Richard, therefore, would seem to have been rocked at a fireside 
not altogether unprosperous. And yet there must have been in the 
outset somewhat of poverty and struggle, or, the elder Sibbes will 
need the full benefit of Catlin's character of him. For our guileless 

* Painful = full of pains, i.e., painstaking, laborious. 

t Smiles's Life of Brindley, in Lives of the Engineers, vol. i. p. 312. 



XXX MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 

chronicler, carrying us swiftly onward, adds immediately thereafter, 
' This Eichard he brought up in learning at the grammar school, 
though very unwillingly in regard of the charge' We will in 
charity give Master Paul Sibs, wheel-wright, the benefit of the 
vicar's testimony, and ascribe the ' unwillingness ' to the res angustce 
domi. Whether or not, the ' charge/ I fear, had prematurely 
removed the little fellow from the school to the wheel-wight's 
bench, but for his own bookish tastes, and the watchful interest of 
friends. This is explicitly affirmed in what follows. The sentence 
above, that tells us of the unwilling school-learning, through the 
' charge,' thus continues ' had not the youth's strong inclination 
to his books, and well profiting therein, with some importunities of 
friends, prevailed so far as to continue him at school till he was fit 
for Cambridge.' Most truly the ' boy was father of the man.' I 
turn again to the Izaak Walton-like words of the Vicar of Thurston. 
He says ' Concerning his love to his book, and his industry in 
study, I cannot omit the testimony of Mr Thomas Clark, high 
constable, who was much of the same age, and went to school 
together with him at the same time, with one Mr Kichard Brigs 
(afterward head master of the Free School at Norwich), then 
teaching at Pakenham church. He hath often told me that, when 
the boys were dismissed from school at the usual hours of eleven 
and five or six, and the rest would fall to their pastime, and some 
times to playing the wags with him, as being harmless and meanly 
apparelled (for the most part in leather), it was this youth's con 
stant course, as soon as he could rid himself of their unpleasing 
company, to take out of his pocket or satchel one book or other, 
and so to go reading and meditating till he came to his father's 
house, which was near a mile off, and so he went to school again. 
This was his order, also, when his father sent him to the Free 
School at Bury, three or four miles off, every day. Whereby the said 
Mr Clark did then conceive, that he would in time prove an excel 
lent and able man, who of a child was of such a manly staidness, and 
indefatigable industry in his study.'* Milton's immortal portraiture 

of ' The Child ' may be taken to describe Master Richard : 

4 When I was yet a child, no childish play 

To me was pleasing ; all my mind was set, 

Serious to learn and know, and thence to do, 

What might be public good.' Paradise Regained. [B. i. 201-204.] 

The ' school near Pakenham church ' has long since disappeared, 

* 'StaM&iew'isthe very word Lord Brooke uses to describe the youthhood of 
Philip Sidney : and indeed his whole description is reflected in the above. Cf. 
the Life of the renowned Sir Philip Sidney (ed. 1652), pp. 6, 7. 



MEMOIK OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. XXXI 

and no memorial whatever has been transmitted of it. The man 
sion of Pakenham was the seat of the Gages, whence the mother of 
Sir Nicholas Bacon, father of the Bacon, came ; and later was the 
residence of Sir William Spring, at whose request Catlin drew up 
his notice of Sibbes. Probably, we err not in tracing back the 
after-friendship with Sibbes to those school-boy days. One likes to 
picture little Master Richard in his leathern suit (not at all uncom 
mon at the period), studiously walking day by day from Pakenham 
to Thurston, and home again. Nor can we avoid thinking of other 
* boys,' who were then likewise ' at school,' and destined to cross one 
another's paths. Not a few of them will be found united in inti 
mate friendship with the little leathern-suited pupil of Master Brigs. 
With others he came into conflict. They are relegated to a foot 
note.* 

Having obtained all that he could, apparently, at the school of 
Master Brigs (of whom nothing has come down), little Richard, as 
our last citation from the vicar's manuscript has anticipated us in 
stating, was sent to Bury St Edmunds, to the ' Free School' there, 
by which must be intended the still famous c School ' founded by 
Edward VI. ; and we can very well understand the zest with which 
one so thoughtful and eager would avail himself of the advantages of 
such an institution. Dr Donaldson has failed to enrol Sibbes among 
the celebrities of the school, an omission which, it is to be hoped, will 

* Contemporary 'boys.' The greatest of all, Master Willie Shakespeare, rising 
into his teens, has only very lately been tossing his auburn curls at Stratford 
' school ; ' and, still a ' boy,' is now wooing his fair Anne Hathaway. Master 
Joseph Hall is playing about Bristow Park, Ashby-de la-Zouch, under the eye of 
Mistress Winifred, of whom he was to write so tenderly as his more than Monica. 
Away in the downs of Berks, diminutive Willie Laud is playing at marbles under 
the acacia-walk of Eeading. Master George Herbert is ruffling the humour of his 
stately brother, afterwards Lord Herbert of Cherbury, the 'doubter, 1 by overturning 
a glass of malmsey on his slashed hose and 'roses of his shoon.' In not distant 
Tarring, Master John Selden is already storing up in the wizard cave of memory 
those treasures of learning the world is one day to marvel at. Masters Phineas 
and Giles Fletcher are truanting in the linden glades of their father's vicarage. 
Masters George Wither and Francis Quarles are agog (in strange contrast with 
their grim scorn of such ' gaudery,' by-and-bye) over their new lace-frill. Master 
William Browne is chasing the butterflies in Tavistock. Masters Ussher and Hobbea 
are perchance busy over their ABC. Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher are still 
asunder. Master Massinger, tossing ha'pence under the minster of Salisbury, no 
vision yet of the ' Virgin Martyr,' and no shadow of the ' stranger's grave ' he is to fill. 
Moreover, as Master Sibbes was thus footing it between Thurston and Bury, men 
were alive who had seen martyr-faces, ' pale i' the fire.' In the words of Bourne, of 
a few years earlier, ' The English air was thick with sighs and curses. Great men 
[were] heavy-hearted at the misery which had fallen upon the land .... and he 
[may] have listened to their earnest, mournful talk. (Memoirs of Philip Sidney, 
by H. R. Fox Bourne, 8vo, 1862, pp. 9, 10.) 



MEMOIR OF EICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 

henceforward be supplied, for any school may boast of a name so 
venerable as the author of the ' Bruised Reed.' In the ' registers 
of the school the name of Sibbes has not been recorded. One 
would have been glad to know some of his schoolmates. I am 
not aware that history or biography has named any of them, none 
at any rate more distinguished than himself. The statutes and 
other documentary manuscripts of the school have been lost, and 
nothing is known of its celebrated scholars till 1610 long subse 
quent to Sibbes when the list is headed by that twin-brother to 
Pepys, Sir Symonds D'Ewes. Only one Master is given before 1583, 
a Philip Mandevill. In 1583, the office was filled by a John Wright, 
M.A., and in 1596, by Edmund Coote, M.A., who seems to have pub 
lished his 'English Schoolmaster' (hardly to be placed beside 'The 
Schoolmaster ' of Roger Ascham, though not without merit), during 
his short term of office. 

The earliest extant list of 'boys' is dated 1656. It is a fine 
glimpse of the student-boy old Catlin gives, leisurely footing from 
Pakenham to Thurston, and it is to be remembered he did the same 
to the more distant Bury. We can avouch that, in this good year 
Eighteen hundred and sixty-two, twenty-fourth of Queen Victoria I., 
few more pleasant rural roads can be found than that which now 
winds from Thurston to Bury. On either side are picturesque 
hurdle-fences tangled with purple cornel, or hedge-rows odorous 
with hawthorn spray. But it must have been very different in 
Master Richard's time. Macadam was still unborn; and even a 
century and half later, Arthur Young* has anything but praise for 
this turnpike. ' I was forced/ he tells us in reference to it, ' to 
move as slow in it as in any unmended lane in Wales. For ponds 
of liquid dirt, and a scattering of loose flints, just sufficient to lame 
every horse that moves near them, with the addition of cutting vile 
grips across the road, under the pretence of letting the water off, but 
without effect, altogether render at least twelve out of these sixteen 
miles (between Bury and Sudbury) as infamous a turnpike as ever 
was beheld.' Alas ! for bookish, studious Master Richard, if he 
found his school-walk such a Slough-of-Despond. 

Sent to Bury ' Free School' (visiting which I looked up at the time- 
stained bust of its youthful royal founder with interest for Sibbes's 
sake, who, perchance, practised his first Latin in spelling out the not 
over-elegant or accurate inscription beneath), there would, no doubt, 
be rapid advancement. But the ' child' had become a ' lad,' and 
again there was threatened interruption to his school-learning. I 

* ' Six Weeks' Tour through the Southern Counties of England and Wales.' 2d 
ed. 1769. Pp. 88, 89. 



MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. XXX111 

find an objurgation rising to my lips against this so 'unwilling' 
father ; but it is silenced by the recollection of the vicar's testi 
mony : ' He was a skilful and painful workman, and a good, sound- 
hearted Christian.' Master Catlin, I suspect thy sweet-nurtured 
charity was blind to Master Paul Sibs's penuriousness ! It may 
have been, again let us say, pressure of circumstances, many mouths 
to be fed, multiplied 'work' demanding another pair of hands. 
Still it is not altogether what we should like, to find Master 
Richard again hindered. 'His father,' continues our vicar, 'at 
length grew weary of his expenses for books and learning, 
took him from school, bought him an axe and some other tools, 
and set him to his own trade, to the great discontent of the youth, 
wnose genius wholly carried him another way.' So Master Paul Sibs 
proposed, but Another disposed. The lad was destined to work for 
his generation and many generations with other tools than these. 



CHAPTER III. 

STUDENT AND PREACHER AT CAMBRIDGE. 

Leaves Bury St Edmunds for ' St John's College,' Cambridge Greaves Knewstub 
Rushbrook Enters as ' sub-sizar ' Jeremy Taylor 'pauper scholaris ' Pro 
gress Degrees B. A. ' Fellow ' M. A. ' Taxer ' B.D. Paul Bayne 
1 Conversion ' A 'Preacher ' Lectureship of' Trinity,' Cambridge Memorial 
' Hobson 'Accepts Results Samuel Clarke Thomas Cawton John Cotton 
' Word in season ' to Thomas Goodwin Prevalent ' preaching.' 

Once more vigilant friends stepped in. They saw the 'youth* 
set utterly against the grain, at the wheel-wright's bench. 'Where 
upon,' approvingly, with the faintest touch of rebuke, chronicles 
good Zachary Catlin : ' Mr Greaves, then minister of Thurston, and 
Mr Rushbrook, an attorney there, knowing the disposition and fit 
ness of the lad, sent him, without his father's consent, to some of 
the Fellows of St John's College of their acquaintance, with their 
letters of recommendation ; where, upon examination, he was so 
well approved of, that he was presently entertained as a sub-sizar, 
shortly after chosen scholar of the house, and at length came to be 
Fellow of the College, and one of the taskers of the university ; his 
father being hardly brought to allow him twenty nobles a year to 
wards his maintenance in Cambridge, to which some good friends 
in the country, Mr Greaves, Mr Knewstub, and some others, made 
some addition, for a time, as need required.' I am sure all my 
readers will wish that we knew more of those ' good friends.' All 



MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIB iES, D.D. 

honour to the memory of ' Mr Greaves and Mr Rushbrook.' Of 
' Mr Knewstub,' the scholarly, the pious, the brave-hearted, no ad 
mirer of the Puritans needs to be informed. Has is truly a historic 
clarum et venerabile nomen. His letter of recommendation to St 
John's College would have the greater weight, in that he was one 
of its greatest lights, and, subsequently, its benefactor. One is 
pleased, nevertheless, to learn that it was ' upon examination/ not 
mere ' recommendation,' the youth was received. He was then in 
his eighteenth year. Entered as a sub-sizar, which is even beneath 
a sizar, young Sibbes must have been placed at a disadvantage. 
Jeremy Taylor, however, was entered as 'pauper scholaris,' lower 
still. That has transfigured, if not ennobled, the lowly ' sizar.' Cer 
tainly the more honour is due to those who, starting with the 
meanest, have won for themselves the highest places. How many 
who entered among the highest are forgotten, while the lapse of 
time only brightens the lustre of our ' sub-sizar' and the ' pauper 
scholaris! 

The career of Sibbes at the university was singularly successful, 
and indicates in the son of the wheel-wright of Tostock and Thurston, 
no common energy and devotion to study. It is probable that his 
'school-learning' at Pakenham and Bury St Edmunds, alike, was 
frequently interrupted and hindered. Nevertheless, he seems to 
have at once placed himself abreast of the most favoured students. 
The records and registers of St John's College, shew that he passed 
B.A. in 1598-9 ; was admitted ' Fellow' 3d April 1601, commenced 
M.A. in 1602, taxer (the ' tasker' of Catlin) in 1608, was elected 
'College Preacher' feast of 1st March 1609, and graduated B.D. in 
1610. 

We must return upon these dates. When Sibbes, in 1595, pro 
ceeded to Cambridge, ' without the consent of his father! but witt 
kind words of cheer and something more from Mr Greaves, Mr Knew 
stub, and Mr Rushbrook, it does not appear that he had any specific 
intentions in regard to the future. An academic life was evidently 
his ambition ; but to what profession, whether divinity, law, or 
medicine, he was ultimately to devote himself, was probably left 
undetermined. An event, or more accuratety, the one great event 
and ' change' in every man his conversion (I like and therefore use 
the good old puritan, because Biblical, word), in all likelihood led him 
to decide to serve God in the ministry of the gospel of his Son. Paul 
Bayne, sometimes Baine and Baines, one of the most remarkable of 
the earlier ' Doctrinal Puritans' (that name of stigma imposed by 
Laud), whose ' Letters/ second only to those of Samuel Rutherford, 
and other minor books, were long the chosen fireside reading of every 



MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. XXXV 

puritan household, and whose ' Exposition of Ephesians' is worthy 
to take its place beside Rogers and Byfield on Peter, Jenkyn on 
Jude, Fetter on Mark, Elton on Colossians and Romans, Newton 
on John, and their kindred folios, that lie now-a-days like so many 
unworked mines of gold had succeeded Perkins as preacher at 
St Andrew's, Cambridge, ' and it pleased God,' says Clarke, ' to make 
him an instrument of the conversion of that holy and eminent 
servant of Christ, Dr Sibbes.' Sibbes himself is reverently reticent 
on the momentous matter, even in his preface to Bayne's ' Exposi 
tion of the first chapter of Ephesians' (published separately in 1618), 
making no allusion to it ; but it probably took place somewhere 
about 1602-3.* In 1602, having passed M.A., he shortly there 
after became a 'preacher.' By 1608 'he was a preacher of good 
note/ Where he did preach we are not informed. In his address 
to the reader prefixed to the ' Soul's Conflict/ he states that the 
' Sermons' which compose it had been preached first of all ' about 
twelve years' before 'in the city,' i.e., London, and afterwards 
at ' Gray's Inn.' I have utterly failed to come upon any memorial 
of this ' city' ministry ; bat it is probable that it was commenced 
between 1602 and 1607. Elected 'College Preacher' in 1609, he 
must have been then well known and distinguished. 

In 1610, when he had graduated B.D., another very important 
event happened. In that year a 'Memorial' was addressed to him, 
which, in so far as I can learn, appears to have been the origin of 
the subsequently celebrated ' Trinity Lectureship,' held since by 
some of the greatest names of the church. The memorial gives us 

* ' Conversion .... reticent.' This is quite in accord with Sibbes's declared senti 
ments. I would refer the reader to ' The Description of Christ,' pp. 30, 31. There he 
will find not more sound than admirably expressed counsels and warnings as to the 
' vainglory' of publishing abroad things too solemn to be so dealt with. I assume 
the responsibility of affirming, that at no period have those warnings been more 
demanded than the present. Every one who ' loves the Lord,' who prays and longs 
for the coming of ' the kingdom,' who mourns the wordliness and coldness of all sec 
tions of Christ's divided church, must rejoice in the past two years' awakening and 
' revival.' I would gladly recognise the work of the Spirit of God in much that has 
taken place. I verily believe very many have been 'born again,' and more who were 
half asleep have been stirred and quickened. At the same time, it were to be un 
faithful and untruthful to blink the ' evil' that has mingled with the ' good.' It 
becomes every reverent soul to protest against those premature declarations of ' con 
versions,' and publication of 'experiences' that have got so common. It is perilous 
to forget the Master's words, Luke xvii. 20. Paul was fourteen years a ' servant' of 
Christ before he made known his ineffable rapture and vision. Modern ' converts,' 
do not allow as many hours to expire ere their whole story is blazoned in the public 
prints. Surely a thing so awful and so sacred, unless in very exceptional instances, 
is for the ear of God alone. The Tract Societies would act wisely if they circulated 
by thousands as a ' Tract for the Times,' Sibbes's priceless words of ' Vainglory.' 
VOL. I. C 



MEMOIK OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 

insight into the popularity of Sibbes as a preacher.* The ortho 
graphy and wording of the original are retained : 

1 A Coppye of the general request of the inhabitants of o r p'ishe deliv'ed 
to Mr Sibs, publique p'acher of the house of Cambridge. 

* We whose names ar heerunderwritten, the Churchewardens and P'ishion- 
ers of Trinity p'ishe in Cambridge, with the ful and fre consent of Mr Jhon 
Wildbore o r minister, duely considering the extream straytnes & div'se 
other discomodities concerning the accustomed place of y r exercise & 
desireing as much as in vs lyeth y e more publique benefit of yo r ministery, 
doe earnestlye entreat you wold be pleesed to accept of o r p'ishe Churche, 
which al of vs doe willingly^ offer you for & concerning the exercising of 
yo r ministery & awditorye at the awntient and usual daye & houre. In 
witnes hereof wee have heervnto set to o r hands this 22th (sic) of Noveber 
1610. * JOHN WILBORE, Minister. 

' EDWARD ALMOND, ) i -, 

-r h Churchewardens. 

* THOMAS BANKES, ) 

(Signed also by 29 Parishioners.) 

The churchwardens of the parish having kindly permitted access 
to their ' Records/ I find amongst them a list of the names of the sub 
scribers to the lectureship in the several parishes of the town, with 
the amount of each person's subscription, which runs generally 
13s. 4d., 10s., and 6s. 8d. per annum. Three gave 1 per annum 
each, of whom one was Mr Hobson, the carrier, immortalised by 
Milton, and later by Steele in the 'Spectator,' and to this day 
a ' household word' in Cambridge, in kindly eccentric associa 
tion with the proverb, ' Hobson's choice, that or none,' which no 
one book-read will need explained. One thing is noticeable, that 
a goodly number of the signatures to the memorial are with 
marks -]-. This is of the last interest and not a little touching. 
The ' common people' heard Sibbes, like his Master, ' gladly,' and 
the ' straytnes of the place' hindered others. This is a sign of 
change for the better in Cambridge very worthy of observation. 
The old longing after that full preaching of the gospel which had 
characterised the period of Perkins's seraphic yet pungent ministry, 
was revived. Sibbes responded to the memorial, and immediately 
it was felt that ' Trinity' had a man of mark as its ' Lecturer,' the 
coequal of Bayne of St Andrew's. How those saintly servants 
of the same Lord would rejoice to be fellow-helpers of each other, 
the younger 'serving' with the elder, as a son with a father. The 
lectureship of ' Trinity' was a complete success. Besides the 
townsmen, many scholars resorted to him, whereby he became, in 
the words of Clarke, a ' worthy instrument of begetting many sons 

' Trinity Lectureship.' The ' Memorial' is given by Mr Cooper in his Annals of 
Cambridge, iii. 168. 



MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. XXXV11 

and daughters unto God, besides the edifying and building up of 
others.'* 

We have incidental confirmations of the weighty testimony of the 
1 Pastor of St Bennet Fink, London.' More generally, in that 
curious little rarity of Puritan biography, ' The Life and Death of 
that Holy and Reverend man of God, Mr Thomas Cawton't (1662), 
we read ' He conscientiously and constantly laboured to counter 
work those factors of hell, and drove a trade for God in bestirring 
himself to insinuate into any lad that was ingenious, and was 
very successful therein, to the astonishment and confusion of his 
opposers. Many had great cause to bless God for him, and their 
first acquaintance with him, for his bringing them to Dr Preston's 
and Dr Sibbes, his Lectures in those times.' More specially, Cot 
ton Mather, the Thomas Fuller of New England, tells us of one 
memorable conversion through his instrumentality John Cotton, 
who was in turn the ' leader to Christ ' of a greater than himself, 
Dr Preston, and whom Oliver Cromwell himself addressed as ' my 
esteemed friend.' J 

It were like to rubbing off with coarse fingers the powder from a 
moth's wing, in any wise to change the loving and grave narrative 
It is as follows : ' Hitherto we have seen the life of Mr Cotton 
while he was not yet alive ! Though the restraining and prevent 
ing grace of God had kept him from such outbreakings of sin as 
defile the lives of most in the world, yet like the old man who for 
such a cause ordered this epitaph to be written on his grave, ''Here 
lies an old man who lived but seven years," he reckoned himself to 
have been but a dead man as being " alienated from the life of God," 
until he had experienced that regeneration in his own soul, which was 
thus accomplished. The Holy Spirit of God had been at work upon 
his young heart, by the ministering of that reverend and renowned 
preacher of righteousness, Mr Perkins ; but he resisted and smothered 
those convictions through a vain persuasion, that if he became a 
godly man 'twould spoil him for being a learned one. Yea, such 
was the secret enmity and prejudice of an unregenerate soul against 
real holiness, and such the torment which our Lord's witnesses give 

* Clarke, Lives of Thirty-two English Divines, 3d edition, 1677, folio, p. 143. 

t ' Cawton,' p. 11. 

J Cotton and Cromwell. The letter of the great Protector, alluded to, a very 
striking one, will be found in Brook's Lives of the Puritans, iii. 158-9. It is also 
given with characteristic annotation in Carlyle's ' Cromwell,' iii. 221-225 (3d ed. 
1850). When, may I ask in a foot-note, will America give us worthy editions of 
the still inedited and uncollected ' Works' of John Cotton, Thomas Hooker, Daven 
port, and others of their kindred ? Surely this were better than much that has been 
reprinted over the Atlantic. 



MEMOIR OF HICHAKD SIBBES, D.D. 

to the consciences of the earthly-minded, that when he heard the 
bell toll for the funeral of Mr Perkins, his mind secretly rejoiced 
in his deliverance from that powerful ministry by which his conscience 
had been so oft beleaguered ; the remembrance of which things after 
wards did break his heart exceedingly ! But he was at length more 
effectually awakened by a sermon of Dr Sibs, wherein was dis 
coursed the misery of those who had only a negative righteousness, 
or a civil, sober, honest blamelessness before men. Mr Cotton became 
now very sensible of his own miserable condition before God ; and 
the errors of those convictions did stick so fast upon him, that after 
no less than three years disconsolate apprehensions under them, 
the grace of God made him a thoroughly renewed Christian, and 
filled him with a sacred joy which accompanied him into the ful 
ness of joy for ever. For this cause, as persons truly converted 
unto God have a mighty and lasting affection for the instruments 
of their conversion, thus Mr Cotton's veneration for Dr Sibs was 
after this very particular and perpetual, and it caused him to have 
the picture of that great man in that part of his house where he 
might oftenest look upon it.'* 

Various similar memorabilia might be here adduced from the 
Puritan 'Biographies' and 'Histories.' One additional 'word in 
season,' spoken to Dr Thomas Goodwin, may suffice. In his earlier 
days this celebrated divine leant to Arminianism rather than to 
Calvinism, and it was through Sibbes that his views were cleared, 
to his life-long satisfaction, on the point of Jesus Christ being the 
Head and Representative of his people. It is also recorded that, in 
familiar discourse with Goodwin, Sibbes said, 'Young man, if you ever 
would do good, you must preach the gospel, and the free grace of 
God in Christ Jesus.'f The counsel was as a ' nail in a sure place,' 
and no reader of Goodwin needs to be told how fully and magnifi 
cently he sets forth the ' grace' of God in Christ. 

Well was it that such men as Paul Bayne and Richard Sibbes 
were preachers in such a place and at such a time. From contem 
porary accounts it is apparent, that notwithstanding the profound 
impression 'on the town' by Perkins, and notwithstanding that 
there were a few who, Mary-like, ' kept all the things' they had 
heard from him, ' and pondered them in their hearts,' Cambridge 
was sunken down, as a whole, to ail its former indifferentism and for 
mality. The preaching that was fashionable among the ' wits ' of 

* Cotton. Magnalia Christi Americana : or the Ecclesiastical History of New 
England, book iii., c. i., 6, p, 15. Folio, 1702. 

t Robert Trail, A.M., Justification by Faith, Works, vol. i. p. 261 (edition 4 vols. 
8vo, 1810). 



MEMOIR OF EICHAED SIBBES, D.D. XXXIX 

i 

the university was a very different thing from the stern reproofs, 
bold invectives, burning remonstrances, prophet-like appeals of 
William Perkins. What was now cultivated and extolled was a 
frivolous, florid eloquence, that boasted itself on its deftly-turned 
tropes, its high-flown paraphrases of the classics, especially Seneca 
and Cicero, and the Fathers, the multiplied quotations of the ' ser 
mons' published shewing like purple patches on a thread-bare robe. 
There was trick of manner, mellifluous cadence, simpering refine 
ment, nothing more. The Senhouses et hoc genus omne sprinkled 
eau-de-cologne over their hearers (if they durst it had been 'holy 
water'), while parched lips were athirst for the ' living water' 
tickled the ear when the heavily-laden soul sought pardon, the 
weary rest, the bruised balm. The cross lifted up on Calvary be 
neath the pallid heavens the cross as proclaimed by Paul was 
' vulgar,' and to be kept out of sight. The awful blood must first 
be wiped off the coarse nails withdrawn. Whoso gainsays, let 
him turn to their extant ' Sermons.' But amid the faithless some 
faithful were found. There were some not ashamed of the gospel/ 
some who could stand and withstand 'the loud laugh.' The 'towns 
people' would have that which the ' collegians' (so they called them) 
rejected. In such circumstances we may conceive that the ministry 
of Sibbes could scarcely fail to be a ministry of power. * The Day' 
alone will fully reveal its fruits. 



CHAPTER IV. 

' PREACHER' AT GRAY'S INN, LONDON. 

'Deprived' of Lectureship and 'Outed' from Fellowsnip Sir Henry Yelverton 
' Preacher' at Gray's Inn Correction of date The ' Chapel' The < Inn' Segar 
MS. The Auditory Lord Bacon. 

From 1610 to 1615, Sibbes held his lectureship and other 
honours without molestation. But in the latter year he was de 
prived (' outed,' says Clarke) both of his fellowship and lecture. 
Even thus early Laud was at work against all Puritanism and 
'preaching ;' and this was the manner of his working. However, 
as in many other instances, while there was unquestionable hard 
ship and hurt done by the double deprivation, it ' fell out for the 
furtherance of the gospel.' Sir Henry Yelverton, that ' constant 
patron to godly ministers/ stepped in and secured the 'preacher- 
ship ' of ' Gray's Inn/ London, for him. All preceding authorities 



Xl MEMOIK OF RICHAED SIBBES, D.D. 

give 1618 the 'Synod of Dort' year or 'about 1618,' as the date 
of this well-timed appointment. This is incorrect. I found the fol 
lowing entry in the ' Order-Books : ' * 

< Quinto die, Feb. A.D. 1616. 

' At this penton [pension] Mr Richd. Sibbs is chosen preacher of Graies 
Inne ; and it is ordered that he shal be continually resident, and shall not 
take any other benefice or livinge.' f 

This appointment introduced him at a bound to the first society 
of the metropolis. 

Among the treasures of the British Museum is a noble folio, 
drawn up from the books of 'Gray's Inn/ by Segar, one of the 
society's former ' butlers.' J In it, with superb blazonry of shield 
and scutcheon, and all the 'pomp of heraldry,' are registered 
the names of those who were resident 'readers, benchers, an 
cients, barristers, students,' from the earliest date. If one had 
the Greek of Homer, or the ' large utterance ' of Milton, or even 
the rhetoric of Macaulay, it were possible to revivify the auditory 
of the 'chapel.' A more illustrious can scarcely be imagined. 
The flower of the old nobility, the greatest names of the state and 
of history, men who mark epochs, were embraced in it. I have 
looked through the roll from 1616 to 1635 the period of Sibbes's 
office and almost at random I note Abbots and Ashleys, Audleys 
and Amhersts, Bacons and Barnardistons, Boyles and Brookes, 
Bradshaws and Barrows, Cromwells and Cholmleys, Cornwallises 

* ' Order Books.' These are deposited at ' Gray's Inn,' where I had the privilege 
of an unrestricted examination of them. The volume from which I make all my 
excerpts, is a huge folio, marked ' Gray's Inn. Book of Orders. II. of Eliz. to 
XVIII. of Chs. II.' 

t ' Chapel ' of Gray's Inn.' I cull from the above authority a record of the 
foundation of the ' preachership ' to which Sibbes was elected : 

CHAPELL. 

* It appeareth as well by a deed of the Cort of Augmentacons, bearinge date the 
10th of November, in ye 33th (sic) yeare of ye reigne of King Henry 8. As also 
by an Exemplificacon thereof, made ye 12th November in ye said yeare. As also 
by another Exemplificacon thereof, granted by ye late Queen Elizab., dated at 
Westminster the 12th of ffebruary, in the fourth yeare of her reigne. That ye 
treasurer of ye Cort of Augmentacons, of ye said revenue of ye crowne, for the time 
beinge, should yearely pay out of ye said treasurres to ye treasurer of ye house of 
Graye's Inn, Nigh Holborne, in ye county of Midd. for ye time being, ye sume of 
vi xiij iiij d (6, 13s. 4d.), in recompense of a yearly stipend of vij xiij iiij (7, 
13s. 4d.), wch. was duely proved before ye said Cort of Augmentacons to be issuinge 
out of ye possessions of ye late monasterie of St Bartholomew in Smithfield, besides 
London ; and of right payable, time out of mind, by ye prior and convent of the said 
monastrie and their p'decessors, for ye findinge of a chaplaine to celebrate divine 
service in ye chapell of Graye's Inn aforesaid, for ye students, gent., and fellowes 
of ye said house,' &c. &c. &c. 

t ' Segar.' Harleian MSS , 1912. 94, c. 25. Plut. xlvii. E folio. 



MEMOIK OF EICHAKD SIBBES, D.D. xl 

and Chetwinds, Drakes and Egertons, Fairfaxes and Fitzgeralds, 
Nevills and Pelhams, Riches and Sidneys, Staffords and Stanleys, 
Standishes and Talbots, Wallers, and Yaughans, and Veres.* 
Truly the wheel-wright's son has a worthy audience ; ay, and what 
is better, he is worthy of the audience. 

At the date of Sibbes's appointment, the greatest of all the names 
enumerated, Francis Bacon, had ' chambers ' in Gray's Inn ; and, 
after his fall, was a permanent resident.*)- When it was dark with 
him, he had Sibbes for his 'preacher.' Am I wrong in thinking 
that the touching appeal of the stricken Lord Chancellor to his 
peers, recorded by every biographer, ' I am a bruised reed,' may 
have been a reminiscence of the golden-syllabled words which he 
had heard from the 'preacher' at Gray's Inn ? 

I know not that the author of the Bruised Reed is once named 

* * Gray's Inn.' I may give in a foot-note, from Segar's folio, the earlier history 
of the Society with which the name of Sibbes is so indissolubly associated. Having 
recited certain ancient mediaeval-Latin records, which are also supplemented by 
prior relations to the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's, the chronicler proceeds : 

' By all w** severall offices, it appeares that the said manor of Portepole, now 
Gray's Inne, or within ye which a part of Graye's Inne is now situate, was anciently 
the Inheritance of the Grayes. But I do not find in any of ye said former, &c. 
. . . that any Gray, lord or owner of ye said manor or messuage, did at any time 
reside there. Keginald de Gray, in ye 44th year of ye reign of Kinge Edw. 3, for 
ye yearly rent of Q (?), as is mentioned in ye office, then found after his decease. 
And in ye w 011 office (the same beinge in form 1 inquisitions named mesuagium), 
is thereby found to be hospitium and in lease whereby it's manifested yt. ye house 
then and yet knowne by the name of Gray's Inn, was demised to some p'sons of 
speciall regard and rank, and not to meane ones, or p'sons of meane or privat behav r , 
but to such as were united into a Society p'fessinge ye lawes, that in those dayes 
begunn to congregat and setle themselves within ye Court (?) as an associated 
company entertayning hospitalitie together. And then this house grew to be off an 
higher title in denominacon and became to be totally termed by ye Intitulacon of 
Hospitium in Portopole. And it also appeareth that ye said Keginald de Gray 
devised ye said messuage as aforesaid in ye reigne of King Edw. 3, in his life 
time, and at his death was held for hospitium and by the jury before whom ye said 
inquisition was taken in ye said 44th yeare of Edw. 3d (a 1370), was found to bee 
hospitium, and not mesuaginm. Imediatly whereupon ye said hospitium is called 
Grey's Inne, or Hospitium Graiorum, for that that estate had been soe long and by 
Boe many severall descents in yt name,' &c. &c. &c. 

This quaint and curious narrative, which I believe is now for the first time pub 
lished, explains the origin of the name ' Gray's Inn.' Those interested will find 
much additional information in Segar, all the more valuable that many of the 
originals were destroyed by a fire at Gray's Inn. These missing portions have been 
transcribed, but not very accurately, for the Hon. Society. 

f ' Bacon and Gray's Inn.' See an interesting chapter of an unusually interest- 
ing, but not very accurate, book, Meteyard's ' Hallowed Spots of Ancient London ' 
(4to, 1862), entitled ' York House, Strand, and Gray's Inn,' pp. 80-99. An engrav 
ing of Gray's Inn ' is given on page 90. I need hardly say that all the old build 
ings, and the ' faire gardenne,' with its Bacon-planted elms, have long disappeared. 



Xl MEMOIE OF RICHAED SIBBES, D.D. 

in all Bacon's writings, but then neither is Shakespeare. Still, I 
cannot help rejoicing that, in his closing years of humiliation and 
penitence, while he was building up the Cyclopean masonry of his 
* Novum Organum,' he had Kichard Sibbes to lift his thoughts 
higher. I delight to picture to myself the mighty thinker and 
the heavenly preacher walking in the 'faire gardenne' of the 
Inn, holding high and sanctified discourse.* I fancy I can trace 
the influence of Sibbes on Bacon, and of Bacon on Sibbes. There 
are in Sibbes many aphoristic sayings, pregnant seeds of thought, 
felicitous ' similies ' (so marked on the early margins), that bear the 
very mintage of the 'Essays ;' and again there is in them an insight 
into Scripture, a working in. of its cloth-of-gold with his own medi 
tations, an apposite quotation of its facts and words, that surely 
came of the sermons and private talk under the elms with Sibbes. 
It is something to know that two such men knew each other. 

The ' Bruised Heed ' and ' Soul's Conflict/ and indeed nearly all 
his works, present specimens of the kind of preaching to which the 
auditory of ' Gray's Inn' listened from Sunday to Sunday. One is 
gladdened to think that such men heard such preaching, so wise, 
so grave, so fervid, so ChristfuL There grew out of it life-long 
friendships. 



CHAPTER V. 

PROVOSTSHIP OF TRINITY COLLEGE, DUBLIN. 

Archbishop Ussher Dr John Preston Letter of Sibbes Sir William Temple 
Letters of Ussher to Archbishop Abbot and the Hon. Society of Gray's Inn 
Sibbes to Ussher Archbishop Abbot to Ussher Declines the Provostship. 

Installed as 'preacher' at Gray's Inn, Sibbes seems to have 
acted up to the letter of his appointment ; which, it will be re 
membered, required that he was 'to be continually resident/ and 
' to take no other benefice or living/ This he continued appa 
rently to do, with the exception of occasional ' sermons ' in the 
'city 'or in Cambridge, until 1626. In that year new honours 
came to him. Archbishop Ussher sought to have him made pro 
vost of Trinity College, Dublin; and he was elected, on the death 
of Dr John Hills, ' Master' of St Katherine Hall (now College), Cam 
bridge. A very interesting correspondence remains in relation to 

: One asks wistfully if they took any note of one William Shakespeare, who, 
within three months of the appointment to the preachership' at ' Gray's Inn,' was 
laid beside his little Hamnet by the Avon ! (Died, 23d April 1616.) 



MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 

the former, which I would now introduce. He had long been in 
intimate friendship with the illustrious primate of Ireland, who, on 
his visits to London, was wont to invite himself to his ' study/ * 
One early notice of their mutual regard is contained in a por 
tion of a letter from Dr John Preston to Ussher. It is as fol 
lows : ' March 16. 1619. Your papers you shall surely have with 
you ; and if there be no remedy that I cannot see you myself, I 
shall entreat you to make plain to Mr Sibbes (or whom else you will) 
the last point especially, when the LXX weeks began, though I 
should speak to you about many other things/ f The following 
brief letter of Sibbes himself a few years onward, 1622, gives us a 
further glimpse of their relations, as well as of various memorable 
names and occurrences. Ussher was then Bishop of Meath. 
Mr R. Sibbs to the Bishop of Meath. I 

I could not, Right Reverend Sir, omit so fit an opportunity of writing 
unto you as the coming of two of my worthy friends, Sir Nathaniel Rich 
and Mr Crew ; though it were but to signify unto you that I retain a 
thankful and respectful remembrance of your lordship's former love and 
kindness. Mr Crew is already known unto you ; Sir Nathaniel, I think, a 
stranger yet unto you ; you shall find him for sincerity, wisdom, and right 
judgment worthy your inward acquaintance. How matters stand here you 
shall have better information from those worthy gentlemen than from me. 
For Cambridge matters, I suppose your lordship hath already heard that 
Dr Ward is chosen professor in Dr Davenant's place ; there is hope of Mr 
Preston's coming to be lecturer at Lincoln's Inn, which place is now void. 
Mrs More, Mr Drake and his wife, Mr Dod, with others that love you 
heartily in the Lord, are in good health, the Lord be praised. Sir Henry 
Savil hath ended his days, secretary Murray succeeding him in Eton, but 
report will prevent my letter in this and other matters. Sir, I long to see 
your begun historical discourse of the perpetual continuity of a visible 
church, lengthened and brought to these latter times. No one point will 
stop the clamour of our adversaries more, nor furnish the weaker with a 
better plea. Others not very well affected to the Waldenses, &c., for some 
tenets . . . have gone about to prove what you do some other ways. But 
perhaps the present exigence of your Church is such as taketh up your 
daily endeavours and thoughts. And I know the zeal of your heart for the 
public good will put you forward for whatsoever is for the best advantage 
of the common cause. I fear lest the encountering with that daring chal- 

* ' Ussher and Sibbes.' Brook's 4 Lives of the Puritans,' vol. ii. p. 416. From 
Brook's own copy, interleaved and containing additional MS. notes. In the library 
of Joshua Wilson, Esq., Tunbridge Wells. 

f ' Preston and Ussher.' This and the succeeding correspondence I take from 
1 The whole Works of the Most Kev. James Ussher, D.D., Lord Archbishop of 
Armagh and Primate of all Ireland. With a Life of the Author, and an Account 
of his Writings. By Charles Kichard Elrington, D.D., Kegius Professor of Divinity 
in the University of Dublin. Dublin : Hodges & Smith. 16 vols. 8vo, 1847, seq? 
See vol. xvi. p. 873. Elrington supersedes Parr (who also gives the most of the 
letters), and I therefore take the whole from him. 

t ' Sibbes to Usher.' Letter ccclxiii. Vol. xvi p. 395, 396. 



x li v MEMOIE OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 

lenger breed you a succession of troubles. How far you have proceeded 
in this matter we know not. The Lord lead you through all conflicts and 
businesses, with comfortable evidence of his wisdom in guiding you, and 
goodness in a blessed issue. 

Your Lordship's in all Christian affection and service, 

R. SIBBS. 

Gray's Inn, March 21. 1622. 

Advancing to 1626-27, Ussher was now archbishop and primate, 
and involved in an imbroglio of political and ecclesiastical difficul 
ties. His was only a splendid exile. He writes, half-mournfully 
half in dread, under date ' Feby. 9th, 1626 :' ' As for the general 
state of things here, they are so desperate that I am afraid to write 
anything thereof.'* He was specially ' troubled ' in the matter of 
' Trinity College/ of which he was the patron. Sir William Temple 
was provost, and from his great age, utterly inefficient, and even in 
dotage. There were perpetual disputes between him and the 
' fellows,' so much so that the removal of the provost, in some 
quiet manner, was felt to be the only method of preserving the 
discipline and good order of the college. To this Ussher addressed 
himself, and ultimately persuaded the old man a not unhistoric 
name to resign, on condition that Sibbes took his place. This we 
learn from a letter of the primate to Archbishop Abbot, to 
whom, on 10th January 1626-27, he writes : 'The time is now 
come wherein we have at last wrought upon Sir William Temple 
to give up his place, if the other may be drawn over.' That 
' other ' was Sibbes. But all difficulty about the resignation, with 
or without conditions, was unexpectedly removed by the death of 
Sir William, who expired on the 15th of January 1626-27, five 
days only after the date of Ussher's letter, upon which he again 
wrote Abbot in favour of Sibbes. The whole correspondence is of 
the last interest, and is self-explanatory. It may now be given in 
order, the more so, that, excepting one of the letters, it has been 
overlooked or left unused : 

The Archbishop of Armagh to the most Reverend GEORGE ABBOT, 

Archbishop of Canterbury. f 

MY MOST GRACIOUS LORD. When I took my last leave of you at Lam 
beth, I made bold to move your grace for the settlement of the provostship 
of our college here upon some worthy man, whensoever the place should be 
come void. I then recommended unto you Mr Sibbes, the preacher of 
Gray's Inn, with whose learning, soundness of judgment, and uprightness 
of life I was very well acquainted ; and it pleased your grace to listen unto 
my motion, and give way to the coming over of the person named, when 
time required. The time, my lord, is now come, wherein we have at last 
wrought Sir William Temple to give up his place, if the other may be 

* Ussher, xv. 365-6. f Ussher, letter cxxi. xv. 361-2. 



MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. xv 

drawn over. And therefore I most humbly entreat your grace to give unto 
Mr Sibbes that encouragement he deserveth ; in whose behalf I dare under 
take that he shall be as observant of you, and as careful to put in execution 
all your directions, as any man whosoever. The matter is of so great im 
portance for the good of this poor church, and your fatherly care, as well of 
the church in general, as our college in particular, so well known, that I 
shall not need to press you herein with many words. And therefore, leav 
ing it wholly to your grace's grave consideration, and beseeching Almighty 
God to bless you in the managing of your weighty employments, I humbly 
take my leave, and rest, 

Your grace's in all duty, ready to be commanded, 

J. A. 
Drogheda, January 10. 1626. 

At the same time, the primate addressed a similar letter to the 
' Honourable Society of Gray's Inn,' to deprecate their putting any 
obstacles in the way of Sibbes's acceptance. By a slip of the pen, he 
inserts ' Lincoln's? instead of ' Gray's ' Inn. As himself formerly 
'preacher' in 'Lincoln's,' the mistake was natural : 

The Archbishop of Armagh to the Honourable Society of Gray's-Inn.* 

MY MOST WORTHY FRIENDS, I cannot sufficiently express my thankful 
ness unto you for the honour which you have done unto me, in vouchsafing 
to admit me into your society, and to make me a member of your own 
body. Yet so is it fallen out for the present, that I am enforced to dis 
charge one piece of debt with entering into another. For thus doth the 
case stand with us. Sir William Temple, who hath governed our college 
at Dublin these seventeen years, finding age and weakness now to increase 
upon him, hath resolved to ease himself of that burthen, and resign the 
same to some other. Now of all others whom we could think of, your 
worthy preacher Mr Sibbes is the man upon whom all our voices have here 
settled, as one that hath been well acquainted with an academical life, and 
singularly well qualified for the undertaking of such a place of government. 
I am not ignorant what damage you are to sustain by the loss of such an 
able man, with whose ministry you have been so long acquainted ; but I 
consider withal, that you are at the well-head, where the defect may quickly 
be supplied ; and that it somewhat also tendeth to the honour of your 
Society, that out of all the king's dominions your house should be singled 
out for the place unto which the seminary of the whole Church in this king 
dom should have recourse for help and succour in this case. And therefore 
my most earnest suit unto you is, that you would give leave unto Mr Sibbes 
to repair hither, at leastwise for a time, that he may see how the place will 
like him. For which great favour our whole Church shall be obliged unto 
you : and I, for my part, shall evermore profess myself to rest 

Your own in all Christian service, Ready to be commanded, 

J.A. 

Drogheda, January 10. 1626. 

Further : 

The Archbishop of Armagh to the most Eeverend GEORGE ABBOT, 

Archbishop of Canterbury, f 

MY VERY GOOD LORD, I wrote unto your grace heretofore concerning 
* Ussher, letter cxx., xv. 363-4. t TJssher, letter cxxi., xv. 366. 



Xlvi MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 

the substitution of Mr Sibbes into the place of Sir William Temple. But 
having since considered with myself how some occasions may fall out that 
may hinder him from coming hither, and how many most unfit persons are 
now putting in for that place, I have further emboldened myself to signify 
thus much more of my mind unto you, that in case Mr Sibbes do not come 
unto us, I cannot think of a more worthy man, and more fitted for the 
government of that college, than Mr Bedel, who hath heretofore remained 
with Sir Henry Wotton at Venice, and is now beneficed about Berry. If 
either he, or Dr Featly, or any other worthy man whom you shall think 
fit, can be induced to accept of the place ; and your grace will be pleased to 
advise the fellows of the college to elect him thereunto ; that poor house 
shall ever have cause to bless your memory for the settlement of it at such 
a time as this, where so many labour to make a prey of it. 

Of the ' occurrences ' that might ' fall out ' to hinder Sibbes from 
coming, the primate had been informed in our next letter : 
MR R. SIBBS to the Archbishop of Armagh.* 

RIGHT REV. AND MY VERY GOOD LORD, I answered your letters presently 
upon the receipt of them, but out of a mind diversely affected as divers 
things presented themselves to me ; it much moved me when I perceived 
your great care of the place, the cost, the trouble, the more than ordinary 
inclination towards me, far beyond any deserts of mine. Yet as I signi 
fied to your grace, when I consider God's providence in raising me so little 
before, to another place, and that compatible with my present employment 
here in London, it moveth me to think it were rash to adventure upon 
another place. And I have entered into a course of procuring some good 
to the college, which is like to be frustrate, if I now leave them, and they 
exposed to some who intend to serve their own turn of them. The scandal 
whereof would lie upon me. The judgment of my friends here is for my 
stay, considering I am fixed already, and there must be a call for a place ; 
as to a place, they allege the good which may be done, and doubtfulness of 
good succession here ; and that it were better that some other man had 
that place that were not so fixed here. These and such like considerations 
move them to think, that when your lordship shall know how it is with me 
at this time, that you will think of some other successor. Nothing of a 
great time so much troubled me. I humbly desire you, my lord, to take in 
good part this my not accepting, considering now there be other difficulties 
than were when you were in England with us. It is not yet openly known 
that I refuse it, that so you may have tune of pitching upon another. I 
write now this second time, fearing lest my former letter might miscarry. 
I could set the comfort by you against many objections, were not that late 
chief in Cambridge. I count it one part of my happiness in especial man 
ner, that ever I knew your lordship ; the remembrance of you will be fresh 
in my heart whilst I live, which will move me to desire the multiplying of 
all happiness upon you and yours. 

I have not delivered the letter to my lord of Canterbury, because it hath 
reference to the business as it concerneth me. The Lord continue to 
honour you in his service for the good of many, and to keep you in these 
dangerous times. Your Grace's to command in the Lord, 

R. SIBBS. 
Gray's Inn, Feb. 7. A.D. 1626. 

I humbly desire you to remember my service and respects to Mrs Ussher. 
* Ussher, letter ccclxxxvi., x \i 440-1. 



MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 

Upon receipt of this the primate wrote :* * But now very lately, 
even by the last packet, I have received a letter from Mr Sibbs, 
signifying his doubtfulness of accepting the place of provost here 
(he having beine at the same time chosen head of another college 
in Cambridge), which hath much altered our intentions.' A few 
days later, Ussher was informed more definitely by Dr Samuel 
Ward of Sibbes's election to the Mastership of ' Catherine Hall.' 
I give an extract, with context, as it introduces to us an eminent 
ornament of Sibbes's circle : 

Dr SAMUEL WARD to USSHER London, Feb. 13. 1626.'f 

The 25th of January deceased your good friend and mine, Mr Henry 
Alvey, at Cambridge. I was with him twice when he was sick : the first 
time I found him sick, but very patient and comfortable. He earnestly 
prayed that God would give him patience and perseverance. The later 
time I came lie was in a slumber, and did speak nothing : I prayed for 
him, and then departed. Shortly after he departed this life. He desired 
to be buried privately, and in the churchyard, and in a sheet only, without 
a coffin, for so, said he, was our Saviour. But it was thought fitting he 
should be put in a coffin, and so he was : I was at his interring the next 
day at night. Thus God is daily collecting his saints to himself. The 
Lord prepare us all for the dies ascensionis, as St Cyprian styleth it. 
Since the death of Dr Walsall, Dr Goslin, our vice-chancellor, and Dr Hill, 
master of St Katherine Hall, are both dead. In their places succeed, in 
Bennet College, Dr Butts ; in Caius College, Mr Bachcroft, one of the fel 
lows ; in Katherine Hall, Mr Sibbes of Gray's Inn. 

Notwithstanding Sibbes's intimation, that he had not delivered 
the primate's letter to Abbot, he must have subsequently changed 
his mind, and done so. To Ussher's recommendation, Archbishop 
Abbot lent a cordially willing ear. This appears by his letter in reply, 
which would also seem to indicate that Sibbes had been persuaded 
to go over to Ireland, probably to consult personally with his friend : 

The most Reverend GEORGE ABBOT, Archbishop of Canterbury, to 
the Archbishop of Armagh.^. 

MY VERY GOOD LORD, I send unto you Mr Sibbes, who can best report 
what I have said unto him. I hope that college shall in him have a very- 
good master, which hitherto it hath not had. You shall make my excuse 
to the fellows that I write not unto them. You shall do well to pray to 
God that he will bless his church ; but be not too solicitous in that matter, 
which will fall of itself, God Almighty being able and ready to support his 
own cause. But of all things take heed that you project no new ways; for 
if they fail you shall bear a grievous burden ; if they prosper, there shall be 
no thanks to you. Be patient, and tarry the Lord's leisure. And so com 
mending me unto you, and to the rest of your brethren, I leave you to the 
Almighty, and remain, 

Your lordship's loving brother, G. CANT. 

Lambeth, March 19. 1626. 

Sibbes no doubt found, on his arrival in Dublin, that the ' place 
* Ussher, letter cccxci., xvi. 453. f Ussher, xv. 369. 1 Ussher, xv. 376 



Xlviii MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 

was likely to prove harassing, and to lead him into controversy. 
A sentence from a letter of Joseph Mede, in like circumstances, 
explains his declinature : ' I would not/ he writes to Ussher, ' be 
willing to adventure into a strange country upon a litigious title, 
having seen the bad experience at home of perpetual jars and dis 
contents from such beginnings/ * Similar reasons, combined with 
the attractions of Gray's Inn and Cambridge, led Sibbes to return, 
leaving the provostship of Trinity College, Dublin, to be filled by 
the afterwards revered Bishop Bedell. 



CHAPTER VI 

MASTER OF CATHARINE HALL, CAMBRIDGE. 

Accepts Mastership Relaxation of ' order' at Gray's Inn Founder of Catharine 
Hall and its celebrities Its condition ' Troublous times' Dr John Preston 
Trinity Lectureship Bishopric declined Friendship between Sibbes and 
Preston Fellow-labourers Conversion of Preston The effect of the preach 
ing of the two Puritan Masters Auditory of St Mary's Memorials of Trinity 
Lecture Success of Sibbes as Master Clarke and Fuller Fellows. 

Having declined the Provostship of Trinity College, Dublin, 
Sibbes at once accepted the Mastership of Catharine Hall, Cam 
bridge, to which, as has been narrated, he was almost simultane 
ously elected. No record remains of the influence used to secure 
this coveted and often contested honour for the 'outed' Fellow and 
' deprived' Lecturer. It is not improbable that it was to Dr John 
Preston, the Puritan Master of the 'nest of Puritans' (so his enemies 
designated it), Emmanuel, that he was indebted. Preston was then 
in the height of his favour with the Duke of Buckingham, the 
acceptance of whose patronage is one of the stains upon the memory 
of the Puritans. He had long been in close friendship with the 
preacher of Gray's Inn. 

There must have been some relaxation of the 'order' under 
which Sibbes accepted the appointment of preacher to Gray's 
I nn > to admit of his accepting the mastership of Catharine Hall, 
without resignation of the other. The statute is very explicit, as 
will be seen : ' 15 Nov. 40 Eliz. (1598-9). The divinity-reader 
to be chosen shall be nominated, having no ecclesiastical prefer 
ment other than a prebend without cure of souls, nor readership in 
any other place ; and shall keep the same place as long as he con 
tinues thus qualified, and no longer; and to be charged with 
reading but twice a week, except when there is a communion.'t 

* Ussher, as ante, p. 455-66, vol. xvi. 

f This ' order ' was made in the term previous to the election of the successor of 



MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. xlix 

There were then, as now, the two distinct offices of reader, some 
times called chaplain, and of preacher, sometimes called lecturer, and 
as in above order, ' divinity-reader.' * So that it was the more easy 
to arrange for Sibbes's absence during the week. From an entry, 
under date 19th Jan. 1612, we learn that ' The preacher, ye chap 
lain, ye steward were to be allowed such commons as 

gentlemen'^ Not as 'gentleman' merely, but as associate and 
friend, was Sibbes regarded. The anxiety of the ' ancients, barris 
ters, students,' to retain his services, would also smoothe the way to 
place in practical desuetude the ' order ' as to ' no other ecclesiastical 
preferment.' Be all this as it may, Sibbes entered on the master 
ship of Catharine Hall forthwith. J 

Catharine or Katharine Hall, on whose Mastership Sibbes thus 
entered, was then, as it continues, one of the minor Colleges of the 
University. Yet is it not without its own celebrities, even the 
foremost names of English theology, Church and Puritan, before 
and since. It proudly tells of John Bradford the martyr, John 
Maplet, John Overall, William Strong, Ralph Robinson, Ralph 
Brownrig, John Arrowsmith, William Spurstowe, James Shirley 
(the dramatist), John Lightfoot, Thomas Goodwin, John Ray, Wil 
liam Wotton, John Strype, Thomas Sherlock, Joseph Milner, and 
has recently lost Charles Hardwick. It was founded by a Robert 
Woodlark, D.D., (whose name has passed away like his namesake's 
song of a previous summer), in 1475 ; and took its name in honour 
of the ' virgin and martyr St Katherine.' Its original endowment, 
beyond ' the tenements and garden,' was small for even those d&ys. 

a certain Dr Crooke, who was preacher from 1583 to 1599. His successor was a Mr 
Fenton, elected 7th Feb., 41st Eliz., 1598-99. In respect to the preacher being 
unmarried, the ' order ' was rigid, and probably explains why Sibbes remained so 
to the end. I cull a couple of entries that don't say very much for the chivalry of 
the Gray's Inn authorities : 1612, 'A ffine paid upon change of life.' 1630 
4 Noe women to come into any pt. of ye Chapell.' 1647, ' No familie to bee in the 
house.' Segar MS. 

* ' Chaplain.' I note certain little memoranda in relation to the ' Chaplain,' as 
distingushed from the ' preacher :' the later from Segar, being one of the items 
included in the destroyed originals the warrrant itself having perished ; and the 
earlier from the 'order-book' at Gray's Inn: 1625, "Warrant (granted) to pay to 
the treasurer of Gray's Inn 6 : 13 : 4, June 25. yearly, during pleasure, for a chap 
lain to read service daily in the chapel there. An earlier entry runs thus : ' 5th 
Feb. 1620. Mr Finch allowed 4/ a week for reading in the Chappell.' 

f ' Order-Book ' Gray's Inn, p. 16, Segar MS. 

t In Carter's History of the University of Cambridge (pp. 202-6), and Graduati 
Cantabrigienses, Dr Brownrig is erroneously stated to have been elected Master 
of Catharine Hall in 1631. Even so accurate a writer as Mr Kussell (' Memorials 
of Fuller', p. 114) repeats the blunder. 

' Dr Woodelark.' The Cambridge Antiquarian Society have published a Cata 
logue of Books presented by the founder to ' Catharine Hall.' 



1 MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 

It had some subsequent c benefactors/ among whom appear, earlier 
and later, Barnardistons and Claypoles. At the period of Sibbes's 
election, the buildings were dilapidated, the revenues limited, the 
students few in number. But he threw his whole soul into his 
office, and speedily not only attracted a fair share of young men, 
but also persuaded his many noble and wealthy friends to become 
'benefactors. So early as 1630, there were no fewer than twenty- 
eight new entries of students ; and, by that time, the hall was reno 
vated and adorned. 

Sibbes entered on his mastership in 'troublous times.' When 
deprived of his 'lectureship' at Trinity which in all probability, 
as we said, originated with the memorial addressed to him by the 
parishioners he was succeeded by a John Jeffrey, of Pembroke 
Hall, who resigned in 1624. Upon his resignation a remarkable 
contest for the situation ensued. The ' townsmen' who were now 
leavened with Puritanism through his preaching, and that of his 
associates were desirous of electing Dr Preston ; and to make it 
better worth his acceptance, raised the stipend from 4<Q or JL5Q, 
to 80 a year. He was opposed by Paul Micklethwaite, felk w of 
Sidney College, who was supported by the Bishop of Ely, Francis 
White, a creature of Laud's, and the heads of colleges. It is diffi 
cult to understand on what plea there was interference with the 
' townsmen.' They had themselves originated the lectureship , 
had themselves appointed Sibbes, had themselves supported it. 
But the matter came before the king at Royston, and so intense 
was the royal wish to root out Puritanism, his primate inciting 
him to the dastardly work, that Dr Preston was actually offered a 
bishopric, the see of Gloucester being then void. He refused to 
withdraw. He accepted and entered upon the lectureship. All 
honour to the man who spurned a mitre, its honours and revenues 
alike, when offered at the price of proving false to the earnest 
desires of 'the people' to have the gospel, the very gospel, 
preached to them, wherein, in the high but truthful enco 
mium of Goodwin, he did ' bow his more sublime and raised parts 
to lowest apprehension/* When Sibbes returned to Cambridge 
therefore, he found in Preston one like-minded, while equally did 
Preston find in him one worthy to stand by his side, and ' display a 
banner because of the truth.' 

Preston and Sibbes, from the date of the mastership of the latter, 
were the two great centres of influence in Cambridge, in so far as 
the preaching of the gospel was concerned. They loved one an 
other with a love that was something wonderful. They were as 
* To the Reader. . . . Sermons before His Majesty, 1630. 4to. 



MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D,D. \i 

David and Jonathan in earlier, and as Luther and Melanchthon in 
later, days. They were never found apart when anything was to 
be done for THEIR MASTER. To the last it was so ; and when the 
prematurely old Master of ' Emmanuel' died, he left all his 
papers to his beloved friend the Master of Catharine Hall, along 
with John Davenport, sending words of kindly greeting by Lord 
Say and Seale to Gray's Inn. As Sibbes's return to Cambridge, 
and association with Preston, formed a marked era in his life and 
life-work, it is needful to dwell for a little on the history of his friend. 

Dr Preston was a man of extraordinary force of character 
and splendour of eloquence, and burned with the zeal of a 
seraph. Very remarkable were his antecedents. For years, 
like John Cotton, he had been the glory of the ' wits ' fo" 
his learning and faculty of utterance. But by John Cotton's 
first sermon after his 'change,' he had been smitten as between 
joints and marrow, soul and spirit, and thenceforward had known 
nothing but Christ Jesus crucified. Cotton Mather tells the story 
of his conversion finely, and we may pause over it for a moment. 
'Some time after this change upon the soul of Mr Cotton/ he 
says, ' it came to his turn again to preach at St Mary's ; and 
because he was to preach, an high expectation was raised through 
the whole university that they should hear a se.mon flourishing 
indeed with all the learning of the whole university. Many diffi 
culties had Mr Cotton in his own mind, and what course to steer.' 
And then he proceeds to tell how he decided ' to preach a 
plain sermon, even such a sermon as in his own conscience he 
thought would be most pleasing unto the Lord Jesus Christ ; and 
he discoursed practically and powerfully, but very solidly, upon 
the plain doctrine of repentance.' What then ? ' The vain wits 
of the university, disappointed thus with a more excellent sermon, 
that shot some troublesome admonitions into their consciences, 
discovered their vexation at this disappointment by their not 
humming, as according to their sinful and absurd custom they had 
formerly done; and the vice-chancellor, for the very same reason 
also, graced him not as he did others that pleased him. Never 
theless,' adds Mather, 'the satisfaction which he enjoyed in his 
own faithful soul abundantly compensated unto him the loss of 
any human favour or honour ; nor did he go without many en 
couragements from some doctors, then having a better sense of 
religion upon them, who prayed him to persevere in the good way 
of preaching which he had now taken.' And then he continues, 
with exultation, ' But perhaps the greatest consolation of all, was a 
notable effect of the sermon then preached. The famous Dr 

VOL. i. d 



lij MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 

Preston, then a fellow of Queen's College in Cambridge, and of 
great note in the university, came to hear Mr Cotton, with the 
same " itching ears " as others were then led withal. For some 
good while after the beginning of the sermon, his frustrated ex 
pectation caused him to manifest his uneasiness all the ways that 
were then possible ; but before the sermon was ended, like one of 
Peter's hearers, he found himself "pierced at the heart/' His 
heart within him was now struck with such resentment of his own 
interior state before the God of heaven, that he could have no 
peace in his soul, till, with a " wounded soul/' he had repaired 
unto Mr Cotton, from whom he received those further assistances 
wherein he became a " spiritual father " unto one of the greatest 
men in his age.'* 

These were men who believed in a ( living,' presiding God, and 
who were not ashamed to recognise, nor afraid to avouch, ' the 
finger of God,' the very interference of God, as real as when 
the Lord met Saul of Tarsus, in the turning of a human soul 
to Himself. They saw in Sibbes reaching the conscience of John 
Cotton, and in John Cotton touching the heart of Dr Preston, 
so many links of the mighty chain of predestination, whose last 
link is fast to the throne of the Eternal. They are weaker and 
not wiser men who scorn such faith. It is not to be wondered 
at, then, that in the correspondence of the Puritans in Cambridge 
of this period, it was felt to be ' of God/ that quick as one preacher 
of the word, in its blessed height and depth, breadth and length, 
was removed thence, another succeeded. William Perkins was taken 
away, but Paul Bayne was ' sent' in his room. Paul Bayne was 
removed, and Sibbes was sent ; Sibbes was ' outed/ and John Preston 
took his place ; and now while the Master of Emmanuel was longing 
for one who might be a fellow-helper with him, again came Eichard 
Sibbes. The hearts of the praying few were cheered, and under 
the awakening, rich, full, grand, proclamations of the ' grace of God 
that bringeth salvation/ all Cambridge was moved. Preston was 
from day to day at Emmanuel and Trinity, and Sibbes from day 
to day at Catharine Hall, preaching as * dying men to dying men / 
knowing nothing among them save Jesus Christ and him crucified, 
yea, regarding the demand of the ' wits' for ' polite' preaching as but 
an awful echo of the olden cry, ' Let him come down from the 
cross and we will believe him.' 

From the title-pages of the early editions of their Sermons, we 
find that they were, again and again, appointed to preach at St 
Mary's, the church of the whole University. On these occasions 
* Magnalia, as ante page 16. 



MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. liti 

there was such a galaxy of men assembled as could not have been seen 
elsewhere in all the world. The effect was electric, among gentle 
as among simple. It rejoices one to scan the roll of the names of 
those who were then Masters, Fellows, and Students, and all 
of whom were found in attendance on the preaching of Sibbes 
and Preston. With relation to Sibbes, we read ' The Saint's Safety ' 
and ' Christ is Best/ ' Christ's Sufferings for Man's Sin' and ' The 
Church's Visitation,' and ' The Saints' Hiding-place/ with deepened 
interest, as, turning to the original title-pages, we find they were 
addressed to auditories that included the foremost names of the 
age. The dates inform us that these sermons, which are almost 
unrivalled for largeness, I might even say grandeur, of thought, rich 
ness of gospel statement, irnpressiveness and pungency of application, 
and music of diction, were delivered when the several colleges sent to 
St Mary's names such as these. Foremost stands John Milton, then at 
Christ's, and himself writing sonnets on the very themes of Sibbes 's 
discourses. Next comes Jeremy Taylor, just entered 'pauper scho- 
laris' as Sibbes assumed the Mastership. Behind him, already 
renowned as a ' public orator/ mark George Herbert. Side by side 
with him rises the girlish face, with its strange shadow of sorrow, of 
Matthew "Wren, destined to belie God's handwriting in that face, by 
becoming a ' persecutor/ Yery different is the next that meets our 
eye, William Gouge, of King's. And beside him is one who will 
be the preacher's successor at Catharine Hall, Ralph Brownrig, 
looking wistfully upward with his large, beaming eyes. Snug in 
some sequestered pew, taking keen note of all in that marvellous 
memory of his, see Thomas Fuller. Worn and weary, yet moved 
to listen, picture Edmund Castell and Abraham Whelock. Sitting 
at the foot of the pulpit stairs are Charles Chauncy and Richard 
Holdsworth, and dreamy Peter Sterry from Emmanuel. Taking 
notes, and wishing the hour-glass were turned again, is Joseph 
Mede. Fronting the preacher, and intent as any, lo ! the young 
Lord Wriothesly, son of Shakespeare's Earl of Southampton, and 
young Sir Dudley North, son of Lord North of Kirkling, both of 
Sibbes's own college, St John's. Linking himself arm-in-arm with 
the preacher as he descends, mark stormy John Williams, after 
wards Bishop and * Lord Keeper/ And thus might be recounted, 
almost by the hundred, names that still shine like a winter's night of 
stars. St Mary's pews and lobbies, crowded, above and below, with 
such hearers, to such preachers, is a noticeable mark of progress.* 
Perhaps I cannot better illustrate the advance of Puritanism 

* I have gathered these names, after Masson (Life of Milton, i. 92-99), from 
numerous sources, but mainly from Cooper's 'Annals of Cambridge,' Wood's ' Athenso' 



Hv MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 

in Cambridge than by here submitting a hitherto unpublished 
document of this period, 1626-27, recovered from the 'Church 
wardens' books of the parish.* It very strikingly reveals the in 
terest pervading the community in the Trinity lectureship. 

The document explains itself. I adhere to its orthography 

' Whereas, such p'sons as are interessed in the seates of the gallerie of 
this church (" Trinity") to sit there dureinge the time of the lecture, have- 
inge paid for the same to the p'ish, and yet, notwithstanding, are displaced 
by others haveinge not interest there, to their greivance and wronge ; and, 
unles redresse herein be speedely had, such p'sons soe greived will with 
draw their cotribucons from the said lecture. For remedie whereof, it is 
ordered and agreed unto, by a joynt consent of all the p'shioners, that from 
henceforth noe p'son nor p'sons of what condyc'on soever, except such 
who have interest in the seats, shal be permytted to goe up into the gal 
leries untyl the bell have done tollinge ; and then, yf any place be voyd, 
or may be spared to p'mytt, in the first place, grave divines, and after 
them such others as shall be lyked of by such as shall keep the dore ; 
and yf any who have interest in the seates shall bringe any stranger to be 
placed there, and will have him to have bis place in the gallerie, then such 
p'son bringing such stranger, to keepe belowe, and take bis place els where 
for such tyme ; and yf any person interessed in the seats doe not repair to 
the church before the bell have done tollinge, then he to lose his place for 
that tyme. 

' It is likewise ordered, by ye like consent, that such p'sons as have inte 
rest in any of ye seates in ye church, shall not have it particularly to them 
selves to place and displace whom they will, but only to have ye use of the 
seats, duringe the tyme of the lecture, for tbeire owne p'sons, and to receave 
into them such other of the parish, yf any such come, as shall belonge to 
such seate, and such others likewise as are people of qualitye who doe con 
tribute to ye lecture ; and not to receave any children into their seats. 

1 It is further ordered that noe seats eyther in ye galleries or in ye church 
shall hereafter be disposed of to any w tb out the consent of the parishiners 
at a publiq meetinge in the church, f 

Thus moving the ' whole city/ Sibbes and Preston went hand-in- 
hand ; and long after they were gone, when a very different spirit 

(by Bliss), Fuller's ' Worthies' (by Nichols), and the * Lives of Nicholas Ferrar, and 
of Matthew Kobinson,' two of, I trust, a series of like ' Biographies,' under the scho 
larly editorial care of Mr Mayor of St John's. Consult also the ' Memoirs' of each 
name given. All, however, wishing to get real insight into Cambridge-life of 
the period, I must again and again refer to Mr Masson's 'Milton.' Sibbes 's 
popularity and success is testified by all who write about him, and I can trace none 
who was so frequently called to preach in St Mary's. 

* From Between the Churchwarden's Accounts for 1626 and 1627, Trinity Parish, 
Cambridge.' Kindly pointed out to me by Mr Wallis, and obligingly transcribed, 
with his usual exactness, by Mr Cooper. 

t It may be as well to round off, in a foot-note, such additional memoranda as are 
in my possession about the lectureship. On llth May 1630, there was again in 
terference and controversy, Dr Thomas Goodwin being the lecturer. A letter 
respecting it was addressed to the vice-chancellor by Dudley Carleton, Viscount Dor 
chester, one of the principal secretaries of state. This ' letter' may be here given from 



MEMOIB OF BICHABD SIBBES, D.D. lv 

reigned in Cambridge, born of the wild licence of the Restoration, 
white-headed men would recall their honoured names with a sigh. 

But, while thus faithful as a ' servant of Jesus Christ' in preach 
ing, Richard Sibbes had the faculty of government. Catharine 
Hall soon found itself on an equality with its sister colleges. He 
returned from Sunday to Sunday, while the 'Courts' sat, to Gray's 
Inn, and was ever forward to plead the claims of his ' little house,' 
with his noble friends there. 

We have many testimonies to his influence and usefulness in 
both. Of the former, Samuel Clarke observes : ' About the year 
1618 (1616), he was chosen Preacher to Gray's Inn, one of the 
learnedest societies in England, where his ministry found such 
general approbation and acceptance that, besides the learned 
lawyers of the house, many noble personages, and many of the 
gentry and citizens, resorted to hear him, and many, till this day 

the Baker MSS. (xxvii. 137), as inserted in Cooper's Annals of Cambridge (iii. 229- 
30). 

To my Reverend Friend Mr Dr BUTS, Vice-chan, $c. 

SIR, By reason of his Majesties late directions concerning lecturers, that they 
should read divine service according to the Liturgy, before their lectures, and the 
afternoone sermons to be turned into catechising, some doubt hath beene made of the 
continuance of the lecture at Trinity Church, in Cambr. which for many yeares past 
hath beene held at one of the clocke in the afternoone, without divine service read 
before yt, and cannot be continued at that hower, if the whole service should be reade 
before the sermon begin. Whereupon his Majestic hath been informed that the same is 
a publick lecture, serving for all the parishes in that town (being fourteen in number), 
and that the university sermon is held at the same tyme, which would be troubled 
with a greater resort than can be well permitted, yf the towne sermon should be 
discontinued : and that the same being held at the accustomed hower, there will be 
tyme enough left after that sermon ended, and the auditory departed thence to their 
own parish churches, as well for divine service as for catechising in that and all 
other churches in the towne, which could not well be, yf divine service should be 
read in that church before the lecture ; besides the catechising in that church, would 
hereby be lost. Upon these motives his Majesty, being graciously pleased that the 
said lecture may be continued at the accustomed hower, and in manner as yt hath 
been heretofore used, hath given me in charge to make knowne to you his royall 
pleasure accordingly, but under this caution, that not only divine service, but cate 
chising be duely read and used after that sermon ended, both in that and the rest 
of the churches of the towne ; and that the sermon doe end in convenient tyme for 
that purpose, soe as no pretext be made, either for the present or in future tyme, by 
color of the foresaid sermon, to hinder either divine service or catechising, which 
his Majestie is resolved to have maintained. And so I bidd you heartily farewell, 
and rest, Yours to doe you service, DOKCHESTEE. 

From Whitehall, the llth of May 1630. 

Mr Cooper annotates : ' Kandolph in a poem " On Importunate Dunnes,'' after a 
curious malediction on the Cambridge tradesmen, adds 

" And if this vex 'um not, I'le grive the town, 
With this curse, State, put Trinity -Lecture down." ' 

Randolph's Poems, ed. 1643, p. 119. 



Ivi MEMOIK OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 

(1674-77), bless God for the benefit which they received of him/* 
Besides this, various regulations and ' orders' as to seats and right 
of entrance in the order-books, inform us of over-crowded attendance. 
Thus, under 1623, 'All strangers to be kept out of the Chapell at 
Sermon, but such as are brought in by some of y e society.' Per 
haps even more significant of a crowd is what follows : ' And all y e 
gentlemen to goe out of y e Chappell bare-headed in decent manner/ 
Of the latter, again, Clarke says, ' About the year 1625, or '26, he 
was chosen Master of Katharine Hall in Cambridge, the government 
whereof he continued till his dying day ; and, indeed, like a faithful 
governor, he was always very solicitous and careful to procure and 
advance the good of that little house. For he procured good means 
and maintenance, by his interest in many worthy persons, for the 
enlargement of the College, and was a means and instrument to 
establish learned and religious Fellows there ; inasmuch as, in his 
time, it proved a very famous society for piety and learning, both in 
Fellows and Scholars/-)- To the same effect, though with character 
istic quaintness, Fuller testifies, ' He found the House in a mean 
condition, the wheel of St. Katharine having stood still (not to say 
gone backwards) for some years together ; he left it replenished with 
scholars, beautified with buildings, better endowed with revenues/ { 
Somewhat boastfully, perhaps, Daniel Milles, in his list of Masters, 
thus describes Sibbes : 

1 Ricardus Sibbs, Sacrse Theologiae Professor, omnium quos praesens 
setas viderit vir pientissimus, concionator mellitissimus, qui haud paucoram 
corda suavitate dicendi emolliit, et vivendi sanctitate ad bonam frugem 
plane rapuit. Hie erat qui collegium istud partim temporum injuria, 
partim Prsefectorum socordia et avaritia bonis suis spoliatum, et omni 
honore exutum, ad pristinam famam et dignitatem restituit, quiaque erat 
apud omnes pios autoritate maxima, largam benefactorum messem, in hoc 
vacuum gymnasium feliciter diduxit. Adeo fit non nudo Prsefecti nomine 
dignus videatur, sed alter fundator censeri debeat.' 

Other testimonies, as of Eachard, || might be given, were it needful ; 
and, indeed, the tribute of Sir Philip Sidney to Hubert Languet 
must have been his, from many, 

" hating what is naught, 

For faithful heart, clean hands, and mouth as true. 
With his sweet skill my skill-less youth he drew 
To have a feeling taste of Him that sits 
Beyond the heaven, far more beyond our wits? 

(Arcadia, Book iii. pp. 397-8, ed. 1755.) 

Of the Fellows, during Sibbes's Mastership, may be named Anthony 

* ' Clarke,' as ante, p. 144. | ' Clarke,' as ante, p. 144. 

J Fuller, ' Worthies,' edited by. Nichols. 2 vols. 4to. 1811. Vol. ii. p. 343. 

i.., D.D. || Eachard,' History of England, p. 451. 



MEMOIK OF RICHAKD SIBBES, D.D. Ivii 

Pym (1628), probably a relative of the John Pym, who was a per 
sonal friend, and mentioned in his will ; William Spurstowe (1630);* 
John Sibbes (1631), his nephew; Charles Pym (1631), brother of 
Anthony ; Roger Fleetwood (1632) ; Joseph Spurstowe (1634). 

CHAPTER VII. 

SIBBES AND LAUD ' THE PALATINATE/ 

The Puritans watched The Elector Palatine Disasters Shame of England 
Battle of Prague Frederick and Elizabeth fugitives Persecution Circular 
Letter by Sibbes, Gouge, Taylor, and Davenport Citation before the Star- 
Chamber Pronounced ' Notorious Delinquents.' 

All the emotion and interest to hear such preaching as was that 
of Sibbes and Preston, while it gives a measure of the progress of 
Puritanism (using the word in its recognised historic and lustrous 
sense), is also to the student of the period a measure of the hate with 
which the king (in so far as he had stamina enough to hate) and 
Bishop Laud, now rising into notice, regarded it. So early as 1611, 
the latter was a ' whisperer' a ' busy-body' ever going about with 
sly, stealthy-paced, panther-like foot-fall, and keen, cold eye, if by 
any means, he might possess himself of secrets. Between Gray's Inn, 
and Catharine Hall, and St Mary's, with not unfrequent ' sermons* 
elsewhere, Sibbes had noble vantage-ground for noble service, and 
he was occupying it to the full ; and Laud was ready to pounce upon 
him. I have now to narrate the occasion. Sibbes was not a man 
to narrow his activities to his own immediate sphere, or to his own 
country. He watched with profoundest interest the progress of the 
great Protestant sister-countries, rejoicing in their joy and mourning 
with their mourning. In 1620, he had spoken burning words 'of 
the Palatinate ;' words that reveal the common shame of England 
for her king's pusillanimous desertion of the Elector Frederick, a man 
true and good in himself, and knit by the tenderest ties to the king of 
England. From shore to shore the nation had rung with acclaim over 
revolting Bohemia the land of John Huss and many martyr-names. 
They had said 'Amen' to the rejection of Ferdinand II., and their 
hearts beat high for the Elector Palatine chosen in his stead, when 
he fearlessly said ' Yes' to the call. History tells the tragic sequel. 

* Spurstowe. The date, 1630, of Spurstowe's ' fellowship ' (he was afterwards 
Master), shews that Mr Masson has made a slip in enumerating his name among the 
distinguished ' fellows ' under Dr Hill's Mastership. Life of Milton, i. 97. I cannot 
make even this small reference to Mr Masson without, in common with every literary 
man since the issue of his book, acknowledging my indebtedness to his industry, 
and almost prodigal elucidation and illustration of contemporary events and names. 



MEMOIR OF EICHAKD SIBBES, D.D. 

Then opened what proved the 'Thirty Years' War/ in which the 
emperor, and pope, and the king of Spain were leagued against 
Frederick, and against the Protestant Union in him. All Europe 
looked on. Our own England was humiliated, all but treasonous, 
as James talked his foolish talk and lived his unclean life, and for 
got daughter, son-in-law, Protestantism all. Driven to do some 
thing, he did his little when too late. In November 1620, 
the Protestants were smitten in one decisive battle Prague ; and 
Frederick and his queen, losing Bohemia, losing the Palatinate, 
losing all, fled as refugees to Holland. What followed, only the 
great sealed 'book' above will declare. The triumphant enemy 
* played havoc ;' and, through many dark and terrible years, the 
sufferings of the Protestants of Bohemia and the ' palatinate,' were 
something unimaginable. The cry reached England, and public 
help was sought and denied. But it went not everywhere unheard, 
unheeded. The Puritans, Sibbes among the first, recognised their 
brotherhood, and out of their own private resources sought to do a 
little, if it were only to shew their sympathy. I have been for 
tunate enough to recover a touching memorial of their efforts. 
Preserved among very different papers in Her Majesty's Record 
Office is a ' circular' letter, which, in the pathos of its simple words, 
goes right to the heart. Here it is : 

Whereas, a late information is given to his Ma tie of the lamentable dis 
tresses of two hundred and forty godly preachers, with their wifes and 
families, and sundrie thousands of godly private persons with them, cast 
out of their house and homes, out of their callings and countreys, by 
the furie of the mercilesse papists in the Upper Palatinate, whose heavie 
condicion is such as they are forced to steale their servises of religion in 
woods and solitarie places, not without continual feare and damage of their 
lives ; and whose present want is such as they would be very thankfull for 
coarse bread (and) drinke if they could gett it. As tenderinge the miserie 
and want of deare brethren and sisters, desire all godly persons to whom 
these presents may come, as fellowe feelinge members of the same body of 
Jesus Christ, to comiserate their present want and enlarge their hearts and 
hands for some present and private supply for them till some publique 
means (which hereafter may be hoped) may be raised for their reiiefe, as 
suring themselves that whatsoever is cast into heaven, and falleth into the 
lappe of Christ in his members, shall return with abundant increase in the 
harvest ; neither lett any be discouraged least their bounty should miscarrie, 
for we knowe a sure and safe way whereby whatsoever is given shall un 
doubtedly come to their hands to (whom) it is intended. 

2 Martii 1627. (Signed) THO. TAYLOR. 

BiCHARD SlBBS. 

JOHN DAVENPORT. 
WILLIAM GOUGE.* 

* ' Circular.' Described in ' Calendar of State Papers, Domestic Series of the 
Reign of Charles I., 1627-28.' By John Bruce, 1858 (Longman). 



MEMOIR OF RICHAED SIBBES, D.D. llX 

One of two copies of this affecting ' circular ' is endorsed by 
Laud, and the names noted so carefully, that the Sibbs within is 
corrected to Sibbes without. One marvels what ground even a 
Laud could find for opposition, much less persecution, in so piteous 
an appeal. But when there is a will to hurt or hinder, an occasion 
is not ill to devise. Perchance the vehement words, ' merciless 
papists,' stung. At any rate, the four honoured men, Richard 
Sibbes, William Gouge, Thomas Taylor, John Davenport, were 
summoned before the Star Chamber, and reprimanded. It is not at 
all wonderful that William Prynne, in his ' Canterburie's Doom/ 
should ask, ' By what law of the land' a question, by the way, 
that rings all through the charges of this extraordinary book, like 
a Gerizzim curse ' did they convert Doctor Gouge, Doctor Sibbes, 
Doctor Taylor, and Master Davenport, as notorious delinquents, 
only for setting their hands to a certificate upon entreaty, testifying 
the distressed condition of some poor ministers of the Palatinate, 
and furthering a private contribution among charitable Christians 
for their relief, when public collections failed ?' 

It does not appear what further steps, if any, were taken ; but one 
thing is certain, the miserable persecution did not 'silence' Sibbes. 
For he not only preached, but published passionately rebuking 
words against the national lukewarmness. ' What,' asks he, ' shall 
the members of Christ suffer in other countries, and we profess 
ourselves to be living members, and yet not sympathize with them ? 
We must be conformable to our Head, before we can come to 
heaven.' * What a pass things had reached, when those in autho 
rity would have shut even the hand of private charity against such 
sufferers ! It is impossible to restrain indignation when reading 
of James's more than poltroonly, more than mean, desertion of 
his own ' flesh and blood,' not to speak of Protestantism ; but 
doubly base was Laud's interference to stamp out as a pestilent 
thing, this little effort to relieve 'godly preachers and private 
persons.' "It only added to that thunder-cloud, which in a few 
years was to launch its lightnings on his own head, and whose 
preluding shadows were even now darkening the sky : such retribu 
tion as comes 

4 "When the quick darting lightning's flash 
Is the clear glitter of His golden spear.' f 



4 Soul's Conflict.' f Cecil and Mary, by Jackson, p. 19 (1868.) 



h MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 

CHAPTER VIII. 

SIBBES AND LAUD AGAIN ' THE IMPKOPRIATION FEOFEES.' 

The Preacher of Gray's Inn under surveillance Controversy not sought by Sibbes 
Loyal to Church and State The Puritans no ' Schismatics ' Witness-bearing 
"Wonder and yet no Wonder Laud's ' Beauty of Holiness ' ' Solemnity ' 
Persecution ' Silencing' William Prynne Puritan Literature Laudian- 
Bishop's Literature Sibbes against Popery Lord Keeper Finch The ' Im- 
propriation ' Scheme Sibbes a ' Feoffee ' Checks upon Laud ' Overthrow ' 
of ' Feoffees ' Confiscation Banishment Verdict upon Laud. 

The Star Chamber citation, because of The Palatinate, with its 
result a severe reprimand, and treatment as of ' notorious delin 
quents/ was only a slighter issue of that unsleeping and venge 
ful resolution to suppress all Puritanism, which through upwards 
of a quarter of a century, Laud had planned. Accordingly, though 
defeated in the matter of the Palatinate, in so far as ' silencing' 
Sibbes and his compeers was concerned, they, in common with all 
the ' good men and true ' of the period for really it appears that 
every man of note in his day, who was not his creature, was 
the object of his annoyance were watched* Nor is it at all diffi 
cult to understand, that such preaching as was being heard from 
Sunday to Sunday at ' Gray's Inn/ and down in Cambridge, and 
by crowds in St Mary's, when reported to him, as everything was 
reported must have been superlatively offensive. We do not find 
Sibbes mixed up with the controversies of the day. There is in his 
works a noteworthy absence of those fires of intolerant passion that 
burn so fiercely in many of the writings and actings of his contempo 
raries. Never once do we meet with him in the ante-chamber of 
' the Court/ or mingling with the venal crowds that in unholy rivalry 
bade high and higher, or more properly low and lower, for place, 
seeking to cover their ' multitude of sins/ not with charity, but lawn 
sleeves. He lived serenely apart from the miserable squabbling 
and personal resentments, and exacerbations of the semi-political, 
semi-theological polemics that agitated state and church. He was 
loyal, even tenderly charitable to those in authority ; and true to 
the church, if only the church would be true to him, by being 
true to its Head. Let us hear what he was saying about both in 
those days. Of the State he thus speaks : ' Sometimes it falleth 
out that those that are under the government of others are most 

* ' Watched.' Scattered up and down Sibbes's writings are various indications of 
his knowledge of this espionage, e. g., ' So in coming to hear the word of God, 
some come to observe the elegancy of words and phrases, some to catch advantage, 
perhaps, against the speaker, men of a devilish temper.' (' Bowels Opened,' pp. 130-31.) 



MEMOIR OP RICHARD SIBEES, D.D. 1x1 

injurious, by waywardness and harsh censures, herein disparaging 
and discouraging the endeavours of superiors for public good. In 
so great weakness of man's nature, and especially in this crazy age 
of the world, we ought to take in good part any moderate hap 
piness we enjoy by government ; and not be altogether as a nail 
in the wound, exasperating things by misconstruction. Here love 
should have a mantle to cast upon the lesser errors of those above 
us. Oftentimes the poor man is the oppressor by unjust clamours. 
We should labour to give the best interpretation to the actions of 
governors that the nature of the actions will possibly bear! * Simi 
lar sentiments abound. Of the Church we have many wise and 
considerate words. He had no wish for separation : none of the 
Puritans had, until they were driven to it. So far from seeking 
to divide 'the church' and injure it the refrain of many an 
accusation Sibbes has sarcasms that perhaps might have been 
spared, against those who even then felt they could not remain 
within her pale. ' Fractions/ he says, with an approach to un- 
kindness very unusual with him, 'always breed factions/ He 
could not mean it ; but this was capable of being turned by 
Laud to his own account. He was quick as a sleuth-hound to 
discern taint of treason. But we have more full and explicit state 
ments. Thus with more than ordinary vehemence he expostulates, 
accuses : ' What a joyful spectacle is this to Satan and his faction, 
to see those that are separated from the world fall in pieces among 
themselves ! Our discord is our enemy's melody. The more to 
blame those that for private aims affect differences from others, 
and will not suffer the wounds of the church to close and meet 
together.'-]- 

Was this man, so truly a man of peace, one to track and keep 
under surveillance, as though he had been at once traitor and 
fanatic ? Whence came it ? The answer is too easy. Though ' slow 
to speak/ and sweet-natured to a fault, he was fearless when the 
occasion demanded it.J Even immediately on saying the above, 

* Bruised Reed, c. xvii. t Bruised Reed, c. xvii. 

J ' Sweet-natured to a fault.' Brook (' Lives of the Puritans,' ii. 419) remarks : 
1 This reverend divine was eminently distinguished for a meek and quiet spirit, 
being always unwilling to offend those in power.' This is too general, for however 
gentle, Sibbes, when roused, spoke out with no thought of who might be, or 
might not be, offended. For, says he, ' It argues a base disposition, either for 
frown or favour, to desert a good cause in evil times ' (' Bowels Opened,' 1st edition, 
1639, 4to, p. 45). Brook continues, from Calamy (Calamy's Account, vol. ii. pp. 
605, 606) : ' This trait in his character will appear from the following anecdote : 
A fellowship being vacant in Magdalen College, for which Archbishop Laud 
recommended his bell-ringer at Lambeth, with an ardent design of quarrelling with 



foji MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 

he takes care to guard himself from misconstruction, by adding : 
' Which must not be understood, as if men should dissembk their 
judgment in any truth where there is just cause of expressing them 
selves ; for the least truth is Christ's, and not ours : and therefore 
we are not to take liberty to affirm or deny at our pleasure. There 
is a due in a penny, as well as in a pound ; therefore we must be 
faithful in the least truth, when season calleth for it! But 
again, so gentle and unpolemic was he, he continues finely : ' But 
in some cases peace, by keeping our faith to ourselves, Rom. xiv. 
22, is of more consequence than the open discovery of some things 
we take to be true : considering the weakness of man's nature is 
such, that there can hardly be a discovery of any difference in 
opinion, without some estrangement of affection. So far as men 
are not of one mind, they will hardly be of one heart, except where 
grace and the peace of God, Col. iii. 15, bear great rule in the heart. 
Therefore, open show of difference is never good but when it is 
necessary ; however some, from a desire to be somebody, turn into 
by-ways, and yield to a spirit of contradiction in themselves.'* 
And then, Leighton-like, he turns away from the distractions 
around him, and thinks of the ' rest that remains.' ' Our blessed 
Saviour, when he was to leave the world, what doth he press upon 
his disciples more than peace and love ? And in his last prayer, 
with what earnestness did he beg of his Father that they might be 
one, as he and the Father were one ! John xvii. 21. But what he 
prayed for on earth, we shall only enjoy perfectly in heaven. Let 
this make the meditation of that time the more sweet to us.'f 
Even so 

' Search well another world ; who studies this, 
Travels in clouds ; seeks manna where none is.' J 

One wonders, and yet does not wonder, how such a peaceable 
and loveable man came to be thus harassed. But what has the 
dove done to make the serpent strike its fang into it ? Simply 

them if they refused, or of putting a spy upon them if they accepted, Dr Sibhes, who 
was ever unwilling to provoke his superiors, told the fellows that Lambeth-house 
would be obeyed ; and that the person was young, and might in time prove hopeful. 
The fellows therefore consented, and the man was admitted.' This ' anecdote ' 
carries improbability in the face of it, and neither Calamy nor Brook adduce any 
authority. Sibbes could have no voice in ' Magdalen,' in the election or rejection of 
a ' fellow.' Nor is there the slightest memorial of such an appointment as is stated. 
Surely if it had been made, name and date would have been notorious. Amid the 
many charges against Laud, this has no place either in Prynne or elsewhere. 
Calamy is not guilty, ordinarily, of introducing mere idle gossip, but it would seem 
that in the present instance he has. 

* and t Bruised Keed, c. xvii. 

J Henry Vaughan, Silex Scintillans. Edition by Lyte, 1847, page 17. 



MEMOIB OF EICHAKD SIBBES, D.D. xi 

crossed its path. What the lamb, to cause the wplf to take it by 
the throat ? Again, simply crossed its path. Sibbes had don* , 
that with Laud. While the king, under his mitred councillor's 
tuition, was straining every nerve to un-Sabbath Sunday, Sibbeo 
and his co-Puritans held fast its inviolable authority. Whiln 
proclamations, unsanctioned by Parliament, were issued to sub 
stitute the May-pole for the Cross, the Book of Sports for the Book 
of God, and the village green for the sanctuary, Sibbes held up the 
cross and summoned the people to the sanctuary. While all dov~ 
trinal preaching, all declarations of the grace of God in Jesus Christ, 
was sought to be put down (precursor of the infamous 'Directions'), 
Sibbes avouched his Calvinism, and spoke with no bated breath of 
Arminianism. While churchmen of the school of Laud would 
have men regard transubstantiation as a ' school nicety,' bowing 
to the table of the Lord, as 'becoming reverence' images in churches 
worthy ' commemoration,' sacerdotal absolution and confession to a 
priest as 'proper things 'the Lord's Supper not as a sacrament, but ao 
a sacrifice, Sibbes protested, and gave them their proper designa 
tion, with no periphrasis or courtly phrase, of papistical innovation, 
and delusions of the devil. I am not sure that I would make all 
his and the Puritans' side-thrusts against ' the papist' my own. I 
fear I cannot acquit either them or him of * upbraiding/ and 
even blameable uncharity for the men, in the honesty of his 
indignation against their doctrines and measures. But we must 
not forget the circumstances of ' the time.' He was old enough 
to remember the Armada, sent to his own Suffolk shore under 
a pope's blessing, and a ' bull ' being nailed to the palace-door 
with a pope's ban. He was cognizant of innumerable plots, not 
merely against our religious, but also our civil, liberties. He 
heard claims asserted, not for equality, but supremacy. And 
then there were those high in authority, coquetting with that 
popery that had incarnadined England with her best blood, 
and had been got rid of at a cost inestimable. He could not 
but speak, and, speaking as a patriot and Protestant, it was not 
easy to 'prophesy smooth things.' Perhaps Laud would have 
endured Sibbes's bold and passionate rebuke of the prevailing 
sins of the age, and even, however galled, have winked at his full 
and fervid assertions of the principles of the reformation from 
popery, and clear and articulate condemnation of Arminianism, 
had he gone no further. But words were not only to be answered 
with words, be it granted unadvised words, with occasional kindredly 
unadvised words. Action was to be met with action, if ' the 
church ' were not to be only a masked re-establishment of popery, 



Ixlv MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 

and if the Calvinism of its fathers were not to degenerate into 
u^ra-Arminianism ; and it was done, as we shall see. Peter Heylin 
was now at the ear of Laud ; and Racket observes, that ' they 
that watched the increase of Arminianism, said, confidently, that 
it was from the year 1628 that the tide of it began to come in , 
and this because it was from that year that ' all the preferments 
were cast on one side.' * Similar is the testimony concerning the 
favour shewn to popery. Thus opposing Laud in his two darling 
objects, it is easy to foresee that one like Sibbes, resident in 
London,' could not fail to come into conflict with the vigilant 
and suspicious head of the church. Nor are we to suppose 
that, if he was watched by Lambeth's police, Lambeth went 
unwatched. How far the primate was going in his ' papisti 
cal tendencies,' may be gathered from one notorious exhibition. 
Besides its bearing on the persecution springing out of the im- 
propriation scheme, it gives point to a suggestive hit by Sibbes, 
which was probably the thing that stung Laud to further action 
against him and his coadjutors in another blessed work. I there 
fore give the record of it from the admittedly authoritative 
pages of Kushworth and Wharton, in extenso : On Sunday the 
16th of January 1630-1, a new church St Catherine Creed in 
Leadenhall Street, was consecrated. It had been re-built, and had 
been suspended by the primate from all divine service, sermons or 
sacraments, until it should be re-consecrated. Laud and a number 
of his clergy came in the morning to perform the ceremony. Then 
as strange and sad a ' performance ' as ever men beheld was en 
acted, regard being had to the fact that the performer was the 
Protestant Primate of England : 

' At the bishop's approach to the west door,' says Kushworth, ' some 
that were prepared for it cried, with a loud voice, " Open, open, ye ever 
lasting doors, that the king of glory may enter in !" and presently the 
doors were opened, and the bishop, with some doctors, and many other 
principal men, went in, and immediately, falling down upon his knees, 
with his eyes lifted up, and his arms spread abroad, uttered these words : 
" This place is holy ; the ground is holy: in the name of the Father, Son, 
and Holy Ghost, I pronounce it holy." Then he took up some of the dust, 
and threw it up into the air, several times, in his going up towards the 
chancel, f When they approached near to the rail and communion-table, 
the bishop bowed towards it several times ; and, returning, they went 
round the church in procession, saying the 100th Psalm, and after that 
the 19th Psalm, and then said a form of prayer, commencing, "Lord Jesus 

* Hacket . . . Life of Williams, Lord Keeper. Pt. ii. p. 42 and p. 82. 

t Masson, ' Life of Milton,' i. 850, adds here this foot-note : This was sworn to 
on Laud's trial by two witnesses ; but Laud denies it, and moreover, says that, if it 
had been true, it would not have been a popish ceremony, as the Komish pontifical 
prescribes, not ' dust,' but ' ashes ' to be thrown up on such occasions. 



MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. IxV 

Christ," &c., and concluding, " We consecrate this church, and separate it 
unto thee, as holy ground, not to be profaned any more to common use." 
After this, the bishop being near the communion-table, and taking a written 
book in his hand (a copy, as was afterwards alleged, of a form in the 
Romish pontifical, but according to Laud, furnished him by the deceased 
Bishop Andre wes), pronounced curses upon those that should afterwards 
profane that holy place by musters of soldiers, or keeping profane law- 
courts, or carrying burdens through it ; and at the end of every curse, 
bowed towards the east, and said, "Let all the people say, Amen." When 
the curses were ended, he pronounced a number of blessings upon all those 
that had any hand in framing and building of that sacred and beautiful 
church, and those that had given, or should hereafter give, any chalices, 
plate, ornaments, or utensils ; and at the end of every blessing, he bowed 
towards the east, and said, " Let all the people say, Amen." After this 
followed the sermon, which being ended, the bishop consecrated and ad 
ministered the sacrament in manner following : As he approached the 
communion-table, he made several lowly bowings ; and coming up to the 
side of the table, where the bread and wine were covered, he bowed seven 
times ; and then, after the reading of many prayers, he came near the 
bread, and gently lifted up a corner of the napkin wherein the bread was 
laid ; and when he beheld the bread, he laid it down again, flew back a 
step or two, bowed three several times towards it, then he drew near again, 
and opened the napkin, and bowed as before. Then he laid his hand on 
the cup, which was full of wine, with a cover upon it, which he let go 
again, went back, and bowed thrice towards it ; then he came near again, 
and lifting up the cover of the cup, looked into it, and seeing the wine, let 
fall the cover again, retired back, and bowed as before. Then he received 
the sacrament, and gave it to some principal men ; after which, many 
prayers being said, the solemnity of the consecration ended.' 

That was the sort of thing that the primate and his like-minded 
bishops, sought to impose on men as 'SOLEMNITY !' That 'mounte 
bank holiness' (it is Sir Philip Sidney's word of scorn) was to be 
its translation of the grand old ' Beauty of Holiness/ (1 Chron. 
xvi. 29 ; Ps. xxix. 2, and xcvi. 9).* It is no light occasion that 

* ' Beauty of holiness.' The vehement words of John Milton, stern as Jeremiah. 
a few year later, are memorable, and may not be passed by : ' Now for their de 
meanour within the church, how have they disfigur'd and defac't that more than 
angelick brightnes, the unclouded serenity of Christian religion, with the dark over 
casting of superstitious coaps andflaminical vestures. . . . Tell me. ye priests, where 
fore this gold, wherefore these roabs and surplices, over the gospel ? Is our religion 
guilty of the first trespasse, and hath need of cloathing to cover her nakednesse ? 
What does this else but cast an ignominey upon the perfection of Christ's ministery 
by seeking to adorn it with that which was the poor remedy of our shame ? Believe 
it, wondrous doctors, all corporeal resemblances of inward holinesse and beauty are now 
(The Keason of Church Government, B. II. ch. ii. p. 154. Mitford's Milton. 
Prose Works, vol. i. Pickering.) Elsewhere, denouncing the ' chaff of over-dated 
ceremonies,' he thus describes the Laudian ' prelaty :' ' They began to draw down 
all the divine intercourse betwixt God and the soul, yea, the very shape of God 
himself, into an exterior and bodily form, urgently pretending a necessity and 
obligement of joining the body in a formal reverence and worship circumscribed : 
they hallowed it, they fumed it, they sprinkled it, they bedecked it, not in robes of 



oy 

it,' 

Prc 
cer 



Ixvi MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 

calls for one's judgment of another in so awful and sacred a 
thing as his religion, however it may be darkened by super 
stition, or lightened by the fires of the wildest fanaticism. De 
plorable, therefore, as this mummery may be to us, we may not 
pronounce that it was an unreal, much less that it was a 
farcical thing to its chief actor. Such a soul as his, so small, 
so narrow, may have found channel deep enough for its reve 
rence in such return upon an effete ritualism. "We may 
agree with Macaulay's epithet of ' imbecile/ but not with the 
Puritan's angry charge of ' hypocrite/ But when one realises 
that prison, fine, the knife, the shears, persecution to the death, 
were the award of every honest soul that refused to regard as 
the ' Beauty of Holiness ' such exaggerations of even popery, it is 
hard to withhold an anathema, ringing as Paul's, on the memory 
of him who devised, and of the craven bishops who cravenly 
enforced them. There the spider-soul sat, in its craft, spreading 
out its net-work over broad England, and by its Harsnets and 
Curies, Mountagus and Buckridges, Bancrofts and Wrens, and Main- 
warings, united in a brotherhood of evil, sought to entrap all who 
held to the divine simplicity of the New Testament. The secret 
threads, revealed by the tears of the persecuted, as by the morning 
dew is revealed the drop-spangled and else concealed web of the 
open-air spider, thrilled news up to the hand that grasped all, and' 
forth the fiat went. ' Within a single year, at this period/ says 
Neal, ' many lecturers were put down, and such as preached against 
Arminianism or the new ceremonies were suspended and silenced, 
among whom were the Rev. Mr John Rogers of Dedham, Mr Daniel 
Rogers of Wethersfield, Mr Hooker of Chelmsford, Mr White of 
Knightsbridge, Mr Archer, Mr William Martin, Mr Edwards, Mr 
Jones, Mr Dod, Mr Hildersam, Mr Ward, Mr Saunders, Mr James 
Gardiner, Mr Foxley, and many others/ * 

We have the burning words of Prynne, that at a ' later day/ in 
the day of his humiliation, the primate had to meet. Thus forcibly 
is the charge put nor was it ever touched : 

1 As he thus preferred Popish and Arminian clergymen to the chief eccle- 

jrare innocency, but of pure linen, with other deformed and fantastic dresses, in 
palls and mitres, gold and gewgaws, fetched from Aaron's old wardrobe or the 
flamen's vestry ; then was the priest sent to con his motions and his postures, his 
liturgies and lurries, till the soul, by this means of overbodying herself, given up to 
fleshly delights, bated her wing apace downwards.' In our own day, one has cha 
racterised the same phenomenon, as presented by Tractarianism, which, indeed, was 
the harvest of the baleful seed sown by Laud, as ' a thing of flexions and genuflexions, 
postures and impostures, with a dash of man -millinery.' 

* Hist, of Puritans, Vol. i. p. 589, &c. (eel., 3 vols. 8vo, 1837.) 



MEMOIR OF KICHAED SIBBES, D.D. 

eiastical preferments in our church, so, on the contrary, (following the 
counsel of Cautzen, the Mogonutive Jesuit, in his politics, see ' Look about 
you'), he discountenanced, suspended, silenced, suppressed, censured, 
imprisoned, persecuted most of the prime, orthodox, diligent preaching 
ministers of the realm, and forced many of them to fly into America, Hol 
land, and other foreign places, to avoid his fury, only for opposing his 
popish innovations, and expressing their fears of the change of our religion. 
Not to trouble you with any forementioned instances of Mr Peter Smart, 
Mr Henry Burton, Mr Snelling, and others, we shall instance in some 

fresh examples ' Mr Samuel Ward's case, and Mr Chauncy's case, 

are then narrated. * To these we could add,' he proceeds, ' Mr Cotton, 
Mr Hooker, Mr Davenport, Mr Wells, Mr Peters, Mr Glover, and sundry 
other ministers, driven into New England and other plantations.' And 
then Dr Stoughton, Dr Sibbes, Dr Taylor, Dr Gouge, Mr White of Dor 
chester, Mr Rogers of Dedham, with sundry more of our most eminent 
preaching, orthodox divines, were brought into the High Commission, and 
troubled or silenced for a time by his procurement upon frivolous pre 
tences, but in truth because they were principal props of our Protestant 
religion against his Popish and Arminian innovations.'* 

Now, we have the actual books containing the actual preach 
ing of these men, and the numerous others who shared their per 
secution. They are in our libraries and he must be either a bold 
or a very foolish man, not only rash, but reckless, who gainsays 
that, remove these books from the Christian literature of the period 
and you remove the very life-blood of that literature. 

The most recent, truthful, and catholic of 'the church' histo 
rians, Mr Perry, t admits that all the practical writers of the age were 
of the puritans and sufferers for nonconformity ; and he names a 
few, Willet and Dyke, Preston and Byfield, Bolton and Hildersam, 
and Sibbes. ' This fact/ he candidly observes, ' must needs have 
told with extreme force against the interests of the church. It was 
doubtless alleged that the church divines could only speak when 
their position or their order was menaced, but in the face of the great 
and crying sins and scandals of the age they were dumb and tongue- 
tied ;' and he might have added, in view also of the gross ignorance 
and darkness in which whole districts of the country were shrouded. 

I should make larger reservation or exceptions in favour of 'church' 
writers than Mr Perry does ; for I find in Thomas Adams and 
Anthony Farindon, and others, whom I love equally with the fore 
most of the puritans, the same preaching with theirs. Still it re 
mains that the men whom Laud delighted to honour were the men 
who were vehement enough to bring men to ' the church/ but not 
at all concerned about bringing them to Christ ; ready to dispense 

* Canterburie's Doom,' pp. 862, teq. 1646, folio. 

t The History of the Church of England from the death of Elizabeth to the pre 
sent time. By the Rev. G. G. Perry, M.A., Rector of Waddington. Vol. I. 1861. 
ifcaunders. Otley, & Co.) See C. ix. p. 326. 

VOL. I. 



MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 

the sacraments, but oblivious of their antitype ; swift to jangle in 
hot controversies on ' super-elementation,' but cold about the one 
transcendent change ; reverers of the altar, but despisers of the 
cross. We have defences of the church, its tithes and dignities, 
its upholstery and repairs, ad nauseam. We have the primate 
himself fervid about his genu-flexions and reverence to the 
name of Christ, and the name only ; and a Mountagu, ribald as 
Billingsgate against holy Samuel Ward. They were, as was 
jested of a modern Lord Chancellor, buttresses rather than pillars 
of * the church/ We look in vain all through the extant writings 
of the bishops named, from Laud downward, for anything ap 
proaching one earnest, heartfelt utterance as from a servant of 
Jesus Christ to perishing sinners, one living word to men as ' under 
wrath/ nay, for one flash of genius, one gush of human feeling. They 
had no answer for the 'Anxious Inquirer' as he cried 
' I am a sinner, full of doubts and fears, 
Make me a humble thing of love and tears.' * 

There exists not a more meagre, inane, contemptible literature, 
taken as a whole, than that composed of the Laudian books pro 
per; for it were a historic blunder, as well as a slander, to include 
Hall or Ussher or Bedell or Davenant among them, from the mere 
accident of their first appointment, more or less, coming from Laud. 
Yet we must believe that what they printed and gave to the world 
was their best, and at least was the preaching their auditories heard. 
On the other hand, it equally remains unchallengeable that the 
men whom Laud delighted to persecute were the only men then 
in England who were really discharging, in the fear of God, their 
office of preachers of the gospel, men, at the same time, of gener 
ous loyalty, and lovers, with the deepest affection, of that reformed 
church from which they were driven in 1662. 

Such having been the state of things, it is only what we should 
expect, to find even the unpolemic and gentle Sibbes speaking 
out against the doings and tendencies of the men in authority. 
There is a time to be silent, and a time to speak. Fealty to 
truth demanded plain words, and translating of words into acts. 
Nor was either awanting. For words take these, over which we 
can conceive even the rheumy eyes of the primate flashing fire. 
They are taken from sermons preached during this period, and 
afterwards fearlessly published. I venture to italicise some few 
lines : 

' What shall we think them to be of that take advantages of the bruised- 
ness and infirmities of men's spirits to relieve them with false peace for 

Hartley Coleridge. Poems, ii. p. 387 (edition 1851). 



MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. Ixix 

their own worldly ends ? A wounded spirit will part with anything. Most 
of the gainful points of popery, as confession, satisfaction, merit, purga 
tory, &c., spring from hence, but they are physicians of no Talue, or rather 
tormentors than physicians at all. It is a greater blessing to be delivered 
from " the sting of these scorpions" than we are thankful for. Spiritual 
tyranny is the greatest tyranny, and then especially when it is where most 
mercy should be shewed ; yet even there some, like cruel surgeons, delight 
in making long cures, to serve themselves upon the misery of others. It 
bringeth men under a terrible curse, " when they will not remember to 
shew mercy, but persecute the poor and needy man, that they might even 
slay the broken in heart," Ps. cix. 16. 

4 Likewise, to such as raise temporal advantage to themselves out of the 
spiritual misery of others, join such as raise estates by betraying the church, 
and are unfaithful in the trust committed unto them, when the CHILDREN 

SHALL CRY FOR THE BREAD OF LIFE, AND THERE IS NONE TO GIVE THEM, 

bringing thus upon the people of God that heavy judgment of a spiritual famine, 
starving Christ in his members. Shall we so requite so good a Saviour, 
who counteth the love and mercy shewed in " feeding his lambs," John 
xxi. 15, as shewed to himself? 

' Last of all, they carry themselves very unkindly towards Christ, who 
stumble at this his low stooping unto us in his GOVERNMENT and ORDINANCES, 
that are ashamed of the simplicity of the gospel, that count preaching foolishness. 

' They, out of the pride of their heart, think they may do well enough 
without the help of the WORD and SACRAMENTS, and think CHRIST TOOK NOT 

STATE ENOUGH UPON HIM, AND THEREFORE THEY WILL MEND THE MATTER 

WITH THEIR OWN DEVICES, whereby they may give the better content to 
flesh and blood, as in popery.'* 

Elsewhere, in his most eloquent sermon entitled 'The Saint's 
Safety in Evil Times/ he thus fearlessly speaks : 

* I beseech you consider, what hurt have we ever had by the " Reforma 
tion " of religion ? Hath it come naked nnto us ? Hath it not been 
attended with peace and prosperity? Hath God been " a barren wilder 
ness to us?" Jer. ii. 81. Hath not God been a wall of fire about us? 
which if he had not been, it is not the water that compasseth our island 
could have kept us.f 

Once more, in the ' TJngodly's Misery/ also ' preached ' at this 
period, we have these plain-spoken words : 

' What is the gospel but salvation and redemption by Christ alone ? 
Therefore, Rome's church is an apostate church, and may well be styled 
an adulteress and a whore, because she is fallen from her husband Christ 
Jesus. And what may we think of those that would bring light and dark 
ness, Christ and Antichrist, the ark and Dagon, together, that would re 
concile us, as if it were no great matter ?' \ 

Still again, in his exceeding precious sermons on Canticles, 
he strikes high, even right at the prelates, on their neglect of 
abounding error : 

' Thus,' says he, popery grew up by degrees, till it overspread tb* 

* ' Bruised Reed,' page 78. f < Ungodly's Misery,' p. 388. 

t ' Saint's Safety,' page 312. 



1XX MEMOIR OF RICHARD S1BBES, D.D. 

church, whilst the watchmen that should have kept others awake FELL ASLEEP 
THEMSELVES. And thus we answer the papists when they quarrel with us 
about the beginning of their errors. They ask of us when such and such 
an heresy began ; we answer, THAT THOSE THAT SHOULD HAVE OBSERVED 
THEM WERE ASLEEP. Popery is a " mystery," that crept into the church by 
degrees UNDER GLORIOUS PRETENCES. Their errors had modest beginnings.' * 

These two words, ' glorious pretences/ must have been treasured 
up by Laud. They reappear in his ' Answers ' to the ' Charges ' 
against him, as I shall notice anon. 

These were fiery words, and given to the world in print, the 
former in 'The Bruised Reed/ in 1629-30, the latter in 'The 
Saint's Safety/ in 1632-3, they could not fail to rouse the pri 
mate. Almost immediately upon his appointment to the preacher- 
ship of Gray's Inn, Laud had sought to have him deprived and 
silenced; for tidings had reached him of the Trinity lecture 
ship and the evangelical, ' soul-fatting ' (good old Bolton's word) 
preaching there. But Lord Keeper Finch had interfered to de 
feat his machinations, a right good service by not the best of men 
I fear, which he did not forget to plead when he stood at the bar 
of the House. Thus did he bring it up, the little quarto contain 
ing the full ' speech ' being now before me : ' I hope for my affec 
tion in religion no man doubteth me. What my education was, 
and under whom I lived for many yeares, is well knowne. I lived 
neere thirty years in the society of Gray's Inne ; and if one (that 
was a reverend preacher there in my time, Doctor Sibs) were now 
living, he were able to give testimony to this House that when a 
party ill-affected in religion sought to tyre and weary him out, he 
had his chiefest encouragement and help from me/ Let the erring 
Lord Keeper have the benefit of this redeeming trait. 

Defeated in this earlier effort, Laud postponed, but did not aban 
don, his purpose. He' soon found a pretext. As was observed before, 
Sibbes was a man of beneficent action as well as of beneficent 
words ; and holding as he did that the church was for the nation, 
and not the nation for the church, that the ministry was for 
the preaching of the gospel, he joined hand and heart in counter 
working those schemes, that, by quenching every ' golden candle 
stick * within which burned the oil of the sanctuary, sought to bring 
back the darkness and superstitions of the worst of popish times. 
Things had come to the crisis of endurance. If Laud and his myr 
midons would ' deprive/ ' out/ ' silence/ ' persecute ' the humble, 
faithful, godly preachers of salvation by grace, who were bearing the 
' heat and burden ' of work, and would intrude men, from the bishop 
to his humblest curate, who enforced a thinly-veiled popery in 
* ' Bowels Opened,' pp. 84-5. 



MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. x 

practice, and tmscriptural, cmtfiscriptural teaching in doctrine, 
something was demanded that should neutralise such doings. What 
was devised is matter of history. * Feoffees ' were appointed the 
sacred ' twelve ' in number to raise funds, and buy in from time 
to time such ' impropriations ' as were in the hands of laymen, when 
they could be purchased, and then to appoint therein as lecturers 
those who would really do the work of preaching. Superadded 
was the appointment of similar lecturers in the more neglected 
regions where lay-impropriations were not purchasable. Years 
before Sibbes had expressed his earnest wish that a ' lecturer ' were 
in every dark corner of England.* It was a noble enterprise, and 
was nobly responded to. The best and wisest, the purest and 
holiest men of the age, took their part in the undertaking. I hesi 
tate not to avouch, that there was scarcely a man whose name is 
now remembered for good, but was found subscribing amply and 
co-operating zealously for its accomplishment. The national heart 
was stirred, and it was found to beat in the right place. Sibbes, 
along with his old friends and coadjutors, Davenport and Gouge, 
was appointed one of the 'Feoffees.' It needs not to be told 
how this drew down the vengeance of Laud. The scheme had 
been more or less hindered from its inauguration in 1626, but 
not till 1632-3 (coincident with Sibbes's defences of 'The Re 
formation from Popery ') was open action taken. The delay was 
caused by no relenting, much less forgetfulness. But events in the 
interval had transpired to ' give pause.' James had died, and his 
son reigned in his stead. The plague had passed over the metro 
polis in 1625, and there was 'lamentation and woe' in tens of 
thousands of households, again returning dolefully in 1630. 
There were political movements, also, that whitened to pallor the 
proudest cheek. One 'Mr Cromwell' had come up to Parlia 
ment in 1627-8. Besides ' the Petition of Right/ and the ex 
torted and memorable Soit fait comme il est desire, and the 
'Declaration,' most uncourtly words fell from Masters Pym and 
Hampden and Eliot, and many others. But very especially 
was there plain-speaking, in his own stammering but forcible 
and resolute fashion, by ' Mr Cromwell ' about increase of ' popery.' 
The House of Commons resolved itself into a Committee of Re 
ligion. Let Thomas Carlyle, tell the issue. ' It was,' says he, ' on 
the llth day of February 1628-9, that Mr Cromwell, member for 

* His words are memorable : ' If it were possible, it were to be wished that there 
were set up some lights in all the dark corners of this kingdom, that might shine to 
those people that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.' (Saint's Safety, 
). 331 of the present volume.) 



MEMOIR OF EICHABD SIBBES, D.D. 

Huntingdon (then in his thirtieth year), stood up and made his first 
speech, a fragment of which has found its way into history, and is 
now known to all mankind. He said : " He had heard by relation 
from one Dr Beard (his old schoolmaster at Huntingdon) that Dr 
Alabaster (prebendary of St Paul's and rector of a parish in Herts) 
had preached flat popery at Paul's Cross ; and that the Bishop 
of Winchester (Dr Neile) had commanded him, as his diocesan, he 
should preach nothing to the contrary. Main waring, so justly cen 
sured in this House for his sermons, was, by the same bishop's 
means, preferred to a rich living. If these are the steps to church- 
preferment, what are we to expect ? " ' * We shall probably not 
greatly err if we conclude that even the ' red face' of Laud blanched 
under that question of ' Mr Cromwell/ knowing as he well did that 
the facts named were only two out of many, and knowing also the 
1 stuff ' of which the men were made who were upon the inquisition. 
Then came ' remonstrances ' and ' declarations ' stronger still, and 
they who drew them up meant to have what they demanded. 
True, the chief speakers were * indicted ' in the Star-Chamber, and 
ultimately sent to the Tower, ' Mr Cromwell,' and ' Mr Pym,' and 
' Mr Hampden ' alone excepted (marvellous and suggestive excep 
tions). There lay Denzil Holies and Sir John Eliot, John Selden, 
Benjamin Valentine, and William Couton, Sir Miles Hobart and 
William Longe, William Strode and Sir Peter Hayman. For eleven 
years it was decreed to be penal so much as to speak of assembling 
another Parliament. There were ' wars and rumours of wars/ too. 
Every one who at all knows the time can see that a constraint which 
could not be disregarded was put upon Laud in the matter of his 
persecuting for religion. He durst not go in the teeth of the unmis- 
takeable menaces of the last memorable Parliament. He noted down 
everything, and certainly would not fail to note down what Rous 
and Pym, Eliot and Selden, had said. Let us hear a little of what 
was said. Francis Rous, trembling like an old Hebrew prophet 
with his ' burden/ had denounced that ' error of Arminianism which 
makes the grace of God lackey it after the will of man/ and called 
on the House to postpone questions of goods and liberties to this 
question, which concerned ' eternal life, men's souls, yea, God him 
self.' Sir John Eliot repudiated the claim that ' the bishops and 
clergy alone should interpret church doctrine ; and, professing his 
respect for some bishops, declared that there were others, and two 
especially, from whom nothing orthodox could come, and to em 
power whom to interpret would be the ruin of national religion* 
John Selden, grave and calm, referred to individual cases in which 
* Cromwell's Letters and Speeches, 3d edition, i. 29. 



MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. Ixxiii 

Popish and Arminian books were allowed, while Calvinistic books 
were restrained, notwithstanding that there was no law in England 
to prevent the printing of any books, but only a decree in Star- 
Chamber.' And then on one occasion the whole House stood up 
together, and vowed a vow against ' innovations in the faith' The 
issue of that, passed with closed doors, and with clenching of teeth 
and gripping of sword-hilts, none will soon forget. We have to 
do wkh only one of the three ' Resolutions : ' Whoever shall 
bring in innovation of religion, or by favour or countenance seem 
to extend Popery or Arminianism, or other opinion disagreeing 
from the true and orthodox church, shall be reputed a capital 
enemy to this kingdom and commonwealth.' * 

After these things it is remarkable that the king, a man without 
mind, and Laud, a man without either mind or heart, should at 
all have adventured to go against the mind and heart of England. 
But so it was. There was of necessity greater secrecy, very much of 
covert plotting against the liberties, civil and religious, of England. 
The ' feoffees' at last, borne with involuntarily from 1626, were 
summoned before the Star Chamber and High Commission both. 
And that was but the execution of Laud's cherished purpose from 
the beginning. For in that strangest of strange 'Diaries,' the 
oddest combination, that ever has been written, of piety and gro 
velling superstition, of faith and the most babyish credulity, (for 
Pepys' is wisdom itself in comparison f), we light upon this entry : 

' Things which I have projected to do, if God bless me in them 
' III. To overthrow the feoffinent, dangerous both to Church and State, 
going under the specious pretence of buying in impropriations.' 

Opposite these words, a few out of many equally deplorable, 
that a little onward came to be to their writer terrible as the 
mystic ' handwriting ' of Babylon's palace- wall, is inscribed ' DONE.' 
And it was done for the moment ; but it was a tremendous success 
to its doer. If only Nemesis had been touched with ruth to blot 
out the handwriting ! But no ! There the entry stood, when per 
haps not altogether lawfully or honourably, at least not courteously, 
the diary was seized : 

* Consult for the facts introduced Masson's Life of Milton, i. 181, 829, seq. ; Car- 
lyle's * Cromwell ; John Forster's ' Statesmen of the Commonwealth,' and others of 
his historical works about this period. 

t Pepys. I do not know if his prescient entry in favour of the Puritans hasheen 
remarked. Having witnessed Ben Jonson's ' Bartholomew Fair,' he jots down, 
' And is an excellent play ; the more I see it the more I love the wit of it ; only the 
business of abusing the Puritans begins to grow stale, and of no use, they being the 
people that at last will be found the wisest.' See Index of any edition of ' Diary ' under 
' Bartholomew Fair.' 



MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBEES, D.D. 

'Feb. 13. 1632. 

* Wednesday. The feoffes that pretended to buy in impropriations were 
dissolved in the Chequer Chamber. They were the main instruments for the 
Puritan faction to undo the Church. THE CRIMINAL PART RESERVED.'* 

Reserved ! Ay, and transferred ! 

Those who had engaged in the impropriation scheme, including 
Sibbes, having been thus summoned before the Star-Chamber, 
were dealt with, not as honourable and good men, but as ' crimi 
nals and traitors/ The verdict was CONFISCATION of the funds 
and BANISHMENT of the men ! 

Some fled to Holland, some to New England.f Had the nation's 

* Laud's ' Works,' vol. iii. p. 216, 217. 

t Of the ' fugitives' associated with Sibbes in the ' feoffees' scheme, the most 
eminent was John Davenport. In Anderson's Life of Lady Mary Vere, in ' Memor 
able Women of Puritan Times,' some very touching letters of his are given from the 
Brit. Museum MSS. (Birch 4275, No. 69). Two extracts will shew the anxiety in 
which these godly men were kept, and at the same time shew how far they were from 
wishing to be ' schismatics,' or in any way to injure the church. First of all, while he 
and Sibbes and others were under the ban of the ' High Commission' as mentioned 
above, he writes, ' I have had divers purposes of writing to your honour, only I de 
layed in hope to write somewhat concerning the event and success of our High Com 
mission troubles ; but I have hoped in vain, for to this day we are in the same 
condition as before, delayed till the finishing of the session in Paliament, which 
now is unhappily concluded without any satisfying contentment to the king or 
commonwealth. Threatening $ were speedily revived against us by the new Bishop of 
London, Dr Laud, even the next day after the conclusion of the session. We now expect 
a fierce storm from the enraged spirits of the two bishops ; ours, as I am informed, 
hath a particular aim at me upon a former quarrel, so that I expect ere long to be 
deprived of my pastoral charge in Coleman Street. But I am in God's hand, not 
in theirs, to whose good pleasure I do contentedly and cheerfully submit myself.' 

A more beautiful charity, or more modest assertion of conscience, than in our next 
extract, can scarcely be imagined. 

1 Be not troubled, much less discouraged, good madam, at any rumours you meet 
with concerning my present way. The persecution of the tongue is more fierce and 

terrible than that of the hand. At this time I have some of both The 

truth is, I have not forsaken my ministry, nor resigned up my place, much less sepa 
rated from the church, but am only absent a while to wait upon God, upon the settling 
and quieting of things, for light to discover my way, being willing to lie and die in 
prison, if the cause may be advantaged by it, but choosing rather to preserve the 
liberty of my person and ministry for the service of the church elsewhere, if all doors 

are shut against me here The only cause of all my present sufferings is the 

alteration of my judgment in matters of conformity to the ceremonies established, 
whereby I cannot practise them as formerly I have done ; wherein I do not censure 
those that do conform (nay, I account many of them faithful and worthy instruments of 
God's glory ; and I know that I did conform with as much inward peace as now I 
do forbear ; in both my uprightness was the same, but my light different). In this 

notion I walk by that light which shineth into me With much advice of 

many ministers of eminent note and worth, I have done all that I have done hither 
to, and with desire of pitching upon that way wherein God might be most glorified, 
la his due time he will manifest it.' 



MEMOIR OF EICHAKD SIBBES, D.D. 

tongue not been cut out no Parliament sat for years ! there had 
been stormy debates on that ! 

So far as Sibbes was concerned, it does not appear that any 
part of the sentence was ever put into execution. He continued 
preacher at Gray's Inn, and Master of Catharine HalL This assures 
us that powerful friends, the Brooks and Veres, Manchesters and 
Warwicks, must have stood by him. But there was no compromise 
on his part. I find that almost like a menace, and most surely a 
defiance, Sibbes introduced into a sermon, preached immediately 
after the decision, an explicit eulogy of Sherland, the recorder of 
Northampton, for what he had done toward the impropriation 
scheme ; and published the sermon.* 

Still it was crushed, the ' monies ' confiscated, the ' purchases ' 
reversed, the whole holy enterprise branded, and its agents dis 
graced. One thing is to be recalled. Among the 'things pro 
jected,' Laud enumerates, with imbecile forgetfulness, precisely 
such a scheme of purchase of ' impropriations ' by HlMSELF.t 
So that it stands confessed that not the thing itself was dan 
gerous and illegal, but the doers of it. Let only him and his 
appoint to the places, and all was well and right. But let men 
such as Sibbes, Gouge, Taylor, Davenport in the Church, and the 
foremost men for worth in the State, their enemies themselves 
being witnesses, be the appointers, and instantly it smells of 
'treason, stratagem, wiles.' These or those dangerous to Church 
and State ? What is the award of posterity ? And yet defenders 
have been found for the transparently mendacious and infamous 
act. Such jeer at the paltry minority of Puritanism, oblivious of 
what a living poet has finely expressed 

4 You trust in numbers, I 

Trust in One only.' J 

Let us see how Laud himself met it when it came in awful re 
surrection back upon him. Every one is aware that the suppres 
sion of the ' feoffment-impropriation ' scheme formed one of the 
counts in the great roll of accusation, whose issue was the block on 
Tower Hill. A careful record was kept of charges and answers, 
and the whole have been republished in the Works of Laud. It 
is but fitting that what he had to say should appear. Here, then, 
are 'charge' and 'defence.' The whole case, so vital as between 
Laud and the Puritan worthies, among whom Kichard Sibbes was 
prominent, can then be judged of : 

* See ' Christ is Best,' in the present volume, p. 349. 
f See the whole list in his works, as after-referenced. 
J Cecil and Mary, as ante, p. 10. 



Ixxvi 



MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 



That whereas divers gifts and dispositions of divers sums of money were here 
tofore m,ade by divers charitable and well-disposed persons, for the buying in 
of divers impropriations, for the maintenance of preaching the word of God in 
several churches; the said archbp., about eight years last past, wilfully and 
maliciously caused the said gifts, feoffments, and conveyances, made to the uses 
aforesaid, to be overthrown in his majesty's Court of Exchequer, contrary to 
law, as things dangerous to the Church and State, under the specious pretence of 
buying in appropriations ; whereby that pious work was suppressed and trodden 
down, to the great dishonour of God and scandal of religion. 

This article is only about the feoffments. That which I did was this : 
I was (as then advised upon such information as was given me) clearly of 
opinion, that this was a cunning way, under a glorious pretence, to over 
throw the church government, by getting into their power more dependency 
of the clergy than the king, and all the peers, and all the bishops in all the 
kingdom had. And I did conceive the plot the more dangerous for the 
fairness of the pretence ; and that to the State as well as the Church. 
Hereupon, not "maliciously" (as 'tis charged in the article), but con 
scientiously, I resolved to suppress it, if by law it might be done. Upon 
this, I acquainted his majesty with the thing, and the danger which I con 
ceived would in few years spring out of it. The king referred me to his 
attorney, and the law. Mr Attorney Noye, after some pause upon it, pro 
ceeded in the exchequer, and there it was, by judicial proceeding and sen 
tence, overthrown. If this sentence were according to law and justice, 
then there's no fault at all committed. If it were against law, the fault, 
whate'er it be, was the judges', not mine ; for I solicited none of them. 
And here I humbly desired, that the Lords would at their leisure read 
over the sentence given in the exchequer,* which I then delivered in ; 
but by reason of the length, it was not then read. Whether after it were, 
I cannot tell. I desired likewise that my counsel might be heard in this 
and all other points of law. 

1. The first witness was Mr Kendall. f He says, that speaking with me 
about Presteen, * I thanked God that I had overthrown this foeffment.' 

2. The second witness, Mr Miller, J says he heard me say, ' They would 
have undone the church, but I have overthrown their feoffment.' These 
two witnesses prove no more than I confess. For in the manner afore 
said, I deny not but I did my best in a legal way to overthrow it. And if 
I did thank God for it, it was my duty to do so, the thing being in my 
judgment so pernicious as it was. 

3. The third witness was Mr White, one of the feoffees. He says, 
' that coming as counsel in a cause before me, when that business was 
done, I fell bitterly on him as an underminer of the church.' I remember 
well his coming to me as counsel about a benefice. And 'tis very likely I 
spake my conscience to him, as freely as he did his to me ; but the parti 
culars I remember not ; nor do I remember his coming afterwards to me to 

* Sir Leolin Jenkins hath a copy of it out of the records of the exchequer. 
W. S. A. C. (See Rushworth's Collections, vol. ii. pp. 151, 152.) 

f ' William Kendall.' Prynne's Cant. Doom, p. 388. 

J ' Tempest Miller.' Ibid. 

John White. He was, in 1640, M.P. for South wark, and chairman of the 
Committee for Religion. He was commonly called ' Century' White from the title 
of his celebrated tractate, ' The First Century of Malignant Priests,' (Wood. Ath. 
Ox. iii. 144, 145). 



MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 

Fulham; nor his offer to change the men or the course, so the thing might 
stand.' For to this I should have been as willing as he was ; and if I re 
member right, there was order taken for this in the decree of the Exchequer. 
And his majesty's pleasure declared, that no penny so given should be 
turned to other use. And I have been, and shall ever be, as ready to get 
in impropriations, by any good and legal way, as any man (as may appear 
by my labours about the impropriations in Ireland). But this way did not 
stand either with my judgment or conscience. 

1. First, because little or nothing was given by them to the present in 
cumbent, to whom the tithes were due, if to any ; that the parishioners 
which payed them, might have the more cheerful instruction, the better 
hospitality, and more full relief for their poor. 

* 2. Secondly, because most of the men they put in, were persons dis 
affected to the discipline, if not the doctrine, too, of the Church of Eng 
land. 

1 3. Thirdly, because no small part was given to schoolmasters, to 
season youth above, for their party ; and to young students in the univer 
sities, to purchase them and their judgments to their side, against their 
coming abroad into the church. 

' 4. Fourthly, because all this power to breed and maintain a faction, 
was in the hands of twelve men, who were they never so honest, and free 
from thoughts of abusing this power, to fill the church with schism, yet 
who should be successors, and what use should be made of the power, was 
out of human reach to know.' 

5. Because this power was assumed by, and not to themselves, without 
any legal authority, as Mr Attorney assured me. 

He further said, ' that the impropriations of Presteen, in Radnorshire, 
was specially given to St Antolin's, in London.* I say the more the 
pity, considering the poorness of that country, and the little preach 
ing that was among that poor people, and the plenty which is in Lon 
don. Yet because it was so given, there was care taken after the decree, 
that they of St Antolin's had consideration, and I think to the full. He 
says, ' that indeed they did not give anything to the present incumbents, 
till good men came to be in their places.' Scarce one incumbent was 
bettered by them. And what then ? In so many places not one good 
man ' found ? ' Not one factious enough against the church, for Mr 
White to account him good ? ' Yet he thinks ' I disposed these things 
afterwards to unworthy men.' Truly, had they been at my disposal, I 
should not wittingly have given them to Mr White's worthies.' But his 
majesty laid his command upon his attorney, and nothing was done or to be 
done in these things, but by his direction. For Dr Heylin, if he spake 
anything amiss concerning this feoffment, in any sermon of hisf he is 
living to answer it ; me it concerns not. ' Mr Brown in the sum of the 
charge omitted not this. And I answered as before. And in his reply he 

* This impropriation was, after the forfeiture, granted by King Charles I. to the 
rector of Presteign for ever. This grant was revoked during the Rebellion, but con 
firmed by King Charles II. at the beginning of his reign. 

t The Sermon to which reference is here made, was preached by Heylin, at St 
Mary's, Oxford, July 11. 1630, at the Act. The passage relating to the feoffees will 
be found in Prynne (Cant. Doom, p. 386), who transcribed it from a MS. copy of the 
Sermon in Abp. Laud's study ; and in Heylin (Cypr. Ang. p. 199, Lond. 1671). 
who appears in his turn to have transcribed it from Prynne. 



MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 

turned again upon it, that it must be a crime in me, because I projected to 
overthrow it. But, under favour, this follows not. For to project (though 
the word ' projector' sounds ill in England), is no more than to forecast 
and forelay any business. Now as 'tis lawful for me, by all good and fit 
means, to project the settlement of anything that is good; so is it as lawful, 
by good and legal means, to project the overthrow of anything that is cun 
ningly or apparently evil. And such did this feoffment appear to my under 
standing, and doth still.' As for reducing of impropriations to their proper 
use, they may see (if they please) in my Diary (whence they had this) an 
other project to buy them into the church's use. For given they will 
not be. But Mr Pryn would shew nothing, nor Mr Nicolas see anything, 
but what they thought would make against me. 

Of this Defence, it must be said in the apophthegm of Helps, 
* It would often be as well to condemn a man unheard, as to con 
demn him upon the reasons which he openly avows for any course 
of action/* Still, in common with the whole of the ' Answers/ as 
tragically told in the ' History of the Troubles/f it exhibits no little 
astuteness and dexterity, and more than all his resoluteness in 
assertion of conscience. There is also characteristic strategy shewn 
in his retreats behind others who acted with him, now Attorney- 
General Noye, and now the king himself, with an almost humorous 
contrast in the surrender of Hey 1 in to his fate. While then we 
cannot altogether deny that an answer (not reply merely, but 
answer) is returned, nor that his infamy was shared ; yet there 
lies behind all the indisputable fact, that here was an associa 
tion of the very salt of Cburcb and State, seeking from their 
own resources to purchase in a legal way, in the very way their 
accuser himself had done, and still proposed to do, ' impropriations' 
in the hands of laymen who were not only willing, but wishful, to 
part with them, and to place therein, through the recognised autho 
rities, men of kindred character with themselves, in order that tbe 
gospel might be fully preached, and the people cared for and 
Laud prevents. It is not more strange than sad, that in this nine 
teenth century, men should be found maintaining that Laud did right 
that in entering among ' the things to be done,' the overthrow of 
the ' Feoffees,' or the frustration of an earnest effort whereby men 
of God, in the truest sense, would bave 'fed the flock of God, 
which he hath redeemed with his own blood,' he came to a 
resolution, and in the execution of it performed a service, to be 
remembered and praised, not deplored. But, indeed, such de 
fences only mask a deeper hatred. For often, as Lovell Beddoes 
puts it 

* Thoughts in the Cloister and the Crowd. 1835, 12mo, page 9. 
f The History of the Troubles and Trial of Archhishop Laud. Works (edited by 
Scott and Bliss in ' Anglo-Catholic Library'), vol. iv. pp 302-306. 



MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 

These are the words that grow, like grass and nettletf 
Out of dead men ; and speckled hatreds hide, 
Like toads, among them.'* 

There is always a certain nimbus of glory around a decollated 
head, and I am disposed to concede that a truer man, great among 
the small, fell on Tower Hill than he whose face paled on the 
awful block of Whitehall window, though it was a king's and has 
been canonized as a martyr's. There was a stout-heartedness in the 
face of fearful odds in the stricken and forsaken primate through 
out his trial that commands a measure of respect ; and, perhaps, 
such is the inscrutable mystery of poor human nature, he deceived 
himself into a conscientious suppression of all consciences that dif 
fered from his own. Neither would I forget that one or two, or 
even three or four Hall and Prideaux, Ussher, Davenant, and 
William Chillingworth may be named, who, self-contradictorily, 
were advanced in the church more or less by him.t I will not 
conceal this, though historic candour compels me to affirm that, 
in so far as they fell in with his wishes (taking Bishop Hall as an 
example), they stained the white of their souls, and that Ussher and 
the apostolic Bedell and Chillingworth protested against the ulti 
mate development of his views and actings. 

I gladly give him all praise for his honest and courageous word to 
the king, when his irreverent Majesty camein too late and interrupted 
' prayers.' It was a brave and worthy request that he made that the 
king should be present ' at prayers as well as sermon every Sunday.' J 

I found no common joy also in coming, in the arid pages of the 
' Diary,' upon these pitying words about a very venerable Puritan, 
gleaming like a drop of dew, or even a human tear : ' In Leicester 
the dean of the Arches suspended one Mr Angell, who had con 
tinued a lecturer in that great town for these divers years, without 
any license at all to preach, yet took liberty enough. I doubt 
his violence hath cracked his brain, and do therefore use him more 
tenderly, because I see the hand of God hath overtaken him.' 

Brook (' Lives of the Puritans ' ||) testily criticises the entry. 
The conclusion was false, for the ' violence ' of the good Angell 
was the ' fine frenzy ' of a man in awful earnest, in a fashion which 
Laud could not so much as apprehend. Still he is entitled to the 
full advantage of it, and to have it placed beside the kindred touch- 

* Poems : Posthumous and Collected, vol. i. p. 109. 

t ' Advanced.' The most has been made of this in the following acute and, in 
certain respects, valuable pamphlet : ' A Letter to the Rev. J. C. Ryle, A.B., in Reply 
to his Lecture on " Baxter and his Times." By a Clergyman of the Diocese of 
Exeter. Exeter, 1853. 8vo.' 

J Diary, Nov. 14. 1626. g Ap. for 1634, pp, 325-6. fl Brook, iii. 236. 



1XXX MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBZS, D.D. 

ing notices of his dying servants, his love for whom is remarkable.* 
But with every abatement, unless we are to blur the noblest names of 
the Christianity of England ; to write ' false ' against its truest, and 
refuse honour to men who, rather than fail in fealty to what they 
believed was written in the word of God, hazarded all that was 
dear to them ; unless we are to overtop the loftiest intellects by one 
of the lowest, and sanctified genius and learning by one who was 
no scholar, and even could not write tolerable English, we must 
denounce every attempt to exalt and extol the morbid craving for 
an impossible ' uniformity' of this hard, cruel, unlovingly zealous, 
and unlovable man, around whom there kangs but a single gentle 
memory of tenderness to frailty or mercy to penitence ; from whose 
pen there never once flowed one true word for Christ or the salva 
tion of souls ; from whom, in his darkened end, there came not so 
much as that remorseful touch that wins our sympathy for a Stephen 
Gardiner, ' Erravi cum Petro at non flevi cum Petro.'-f Claver- 
house, the ' bloody,' and the first Charles, the ' false/ have been 
idealised. We look upon their pensive faces, and feel how traitorous 
they must have been to their better nature. But Laud it is not pos 
sible to idealise. The more, successive biographers have elucidated 
his history j they have only the more made him a definite object of 
contempt. He was elevated above men who, by head and shoulders 
(and we know what the head includes), were taller than himself. I 
The stilts fell from beneath him, and he found his level, as ' im 
becile ' (it is Lord Macaulay's word), as contemptible, as worthless 
a man as ever rose to power a mitred Robespierre. A certain 
party are voluble in pronouncing their judgments upon the victims 
of Laud. It were to play false to truth to let them go unanswered ; 
and the present is undoubtedly an occasion demanding such answer 
and out-speaking. But 

' I say not that the man I praise 

By that poor tribute stands more high, 
I say not that the man I blame 
Be not of purer worth than I ; 

* Laud's servants. I give one entry in Diary : ' Sept. 23. 1621. Thy. Mr 
Adam Torless, my ancient, loving, and faithful servant, then my steward, after ho 
had served me full forty-two years, died, to my great loss and grief.' 

f Gardiner. Foss's Judges of England, v. 370. 

J A few wise words from ' Thoughts in the Cloister and the Crowds' may enforce our 
remarks ' Perhaps it is the secret thought of many that an ardent love of power 
and wealth, however culpable in itself, is nevertheless a proof of superior sagacity. 
But in answer to this it has been well remarked, that even a child can clench its 
little hand the moment it is born ; and if they imagine that the successful, at any 
rate, must be sagacious, let them remember the saying of a philosopher, that the 
meanest reptiles are found at the summit of the loftiest pillars.' (Pp. 20-1.) 



MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 

But when I move reluctant lips 
For holy justice, human right, 

The sacred cause I strive to plead 
Lends me its favour and its might.'* 



CHAPTER IX. 

SIBBES'S ' INTRODUCTIONS' TO WORKS OF CONTEMPORARIES. 

Whitaker Duke of York Paul Bayne Henry Scudder Ezekiel Culverwell Dr 
John Preston John Smith John Ball Richard Capel. 

But I turn the leaf, and pass on in our * Memoir.' And it is a 
pleasant change to turn from a Laud, chaffering over the breadth 
of a phylactery ; from a Mountagu, overwhelming holy men, such as 
Samuel Ward, with the ribaldry of a ' Gagg for the new gospel ! 
no, a new gagg for an old goose ! ' from a Wren, tracking every 
* two or three ' who sought to meet together in the name of 
the Lord, to Richard Sibbes at his post, discharging his duties 
as a minister of Christ through ' good and evil report,' and sus 
taining the kindliest relationship with all the * good men and true' 
of his contemporaries. There are pleasant memorials of the latter 
in various occasional productions, such as 'prefaces' and 'epistles 
dedicatory,' which Sibbes from time to time prefixed to good books 
of good men. These I would now bring together. They give us 
some very precious glimpses of his society, from a pretty early date 
to near the close. They are, indeed, so many little ' essays' on reli 
gious subjects, written in his very best style, and breathing all the 
sweetness, and informed with all the spirituality, of his larger writings. 
Where can we turn to more felicitous words about ' faith/ and 
' prayer,' and c holiness,' and the ' Christian life' ? while there is a 
modesty of praise of the author introduced, whether living or dead, 
in striking contrast with the adulation then prevalent. First of all, 
I find among the ' Epicedia in Obitum Gul : Whitakeri,' t a copy of 
Greek verses to the memory of that truly great man, whose mother 
was Elizabeth No well, sister of Dr Alexander Nowell, and who, if he 
had found such a biographer as Nowell has in Archdeacon Churton, 
would be better known to the present generation. As a Master 
of Sibbes's own College of St John's, and as having married a sister 
first of Samuel and Ezekiel Culverwell, and next the widow of 
Dudley Fenner, and in every-day association with the Culverwells 

* ' Passion-Flowers,' by Mrs Howe. Boston, 1854, p. 113. 

t Works, Geneva, fol. 1610, vol. i. p. 706 ; previously published in 1696. 4to. 



MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 

and Fenners, Cartwright, Fuller, Chadderton, and Dod, Whitaker 
could not but be known and esteemed by him. He was venerated 
by all parties. He was, says even the atrabilious Anthony Wood, 
' one of the greatest men his college ever produced, the desire and 
love of the present times and the envy of posterity, that cannot 
bring forth a parallel.' * ' The learned Whitaker,' observes Leigh, 
' the honour of our schools and the angel of our church, than whom 
our age saw nothing more memorable/ 1 ' Who,' exclaims Bishop 
Hall, ' ever saw him without reverence, or heard him without won 
der?'} Whitaker died in 1596, the second year of Sibbes's stu 
dentship. It is significant that the verses of such a mere youth 
received a place beside the tributes of the greatest men of the 
age: 

tfoXXoig, 'fdwrfrJfgcc Tlavriffruv 
ig, Ou/Vap^g, ffocpoig 
dcravrwc, o ft avsdgafA&v epe'i /Vog, 
Movffuv ogdug rag avswys $ugag. 
rexdidov, 'g' sppguv xa.1 nXoia 
Tqv Xv/aqv KCCK^V ^uv rg Oavuv 
NDy ye aeifAvrjffrov <piyiAi 
Attf&Vj ffqyd^ei doyfAara 

E[ICHARD] S[IBBES]. 

It is hardly worth while turning these verses into English, but 
one remark is suggested by them. Spite of the "ga/ffrSjga Uaviffruv* 
(= hammer of the papists), won by his controversies with Cam- 
pian and Bellarmine and others, Bellarmine thought so highly of 
Whitaker that he sent for his portrait, and gave it a prominent 
place in his study ; and when his friends were introduced to him 
he used to point to it and say, ' he was the most learned heretic he 
ever read.' || 

Though it anticipates the order in date, it may be as well to in 
troduce here the only other verses of Sibbes that are known (this 
time Latin) on the birth of the Duke of York : H 

* Fasti Oxon. (ed. by Bliss, vol. i. p. 210, &c.) 

t Edward Leigh's Treatise of Religion and Learning, folio, 1656, p. 363. 

J Quoted in Leigh, supra, p. 364. Hall wrote an English ' Elegy ' and Latin 
verses on Whitaker. The former will be found in Caroli Horni Carmen Funebre 
in Obitum Ornatissimi viri Gul., Whitakeri, &c. Lond. 4to, 1596. The latter pre 
fixed to Whitaker's Prselectiones, 1599, 4to. Both, in Hall's Works by Peter Hall, 
xii. 323-25 and 330. Given verbatim et literatim from the volume of Whitaker. 

|| Wood's Athense, ante. For full notice of Whitaker, with, as usual, ample 
authorities, consult Cooper's Athense Cantab., vol. ii., p. 196, seq. 

^ From ' Ducis Eboracensis Fasciae a Musis Cantabrigiensibus,' 1633, p. 6. For 
pointing out both the Greek and Latin verses I am indebted to Charles H. Cooper, 
Esq., Cambridge, not more erudite than willing to place his multitudinous col 
lections at the disposal of a fellow-labourer. 



MEMOIR OF RICHAED SIBBES, D.D. 

IN NATALEM DUCIS EBOKACENSIS AUSPICATISSIMUM. 
Anglia ter felix, ternS, jam prole beata : 

Pax regno namque est pignore firma novo. 
Major si ex populi numero sit gloria regis ; 

Natorum ex numero an non mage surgit lionos ? 
Candidiora nitent tria Lilia, tresque Leones 

Exultant, sceptra ut nobilitata vident, 
Fratribus et binis stipatur utrinque Maria : 

Delicias junctas cum Patre Mater habet. 
Kegia stirps crescit ; crescunt hinc gaudia regni : 

Crescat et hinc summo gloria summa Deo ! 

At Tu, Magne puer, Kegum de stemmate germ en, 

Cura Dei, Patriss spes nova, vive, vige. 
Gloria Te niveis semper circum volet aiis, 

Teque ipso major crescito, parve puer ! 
Gratia te et virtus semper comitentur euntem ! 

In vultu et labris sessitet ipsa Charts ! 
Angelicusque cborus tua stet cunabula circum, 

Sitque Dud semper Dux DEUS atque Comes! 
Et nati natorum, et qui nascentur ab illis 

Perpetuent seriem, Carole magne, tuam ! 
Germinet usque, ferax jam fauste, regia vitis 

Germinet, fructus edat et usque novos ! 

K[ICHARD] S[IBBES], Aul(B Sauctce Catharines. Prcefectus* 
It were a waste of pains to translate these lines. Neither their 
subject nor their merit claims this.-)- 

It is clear that Sibbes wanted the afflatus of the poet, of whom 
the old axiom, one of the world's memorabilia, must ever hold, 
nascitur non fit. And alas ! for the ' gratia' and other prayers ! 
for this Duke of York became the Second Charles of England. 

Returning upon our chronology, Paul Bayne, whose ' ministry ' 
along with Sibbes has been described in an earlier part of this 
Memoir, J having died in 1617, there was issued immediately a 
quarto volume containing an Exposition of the 1st chapter of the 
Epistle to the Ephesians. Its main theme is 'Predestination/ 
one of the ' doctrinal' points forbidden by royal proclamation to 
be discussed. Soberly, wisely, suggestively, and with much beauty 
of wording does Sibbes introduce his ' father in the gospel/ 

' Notwithstanding the world's complaint of the surfeit of books (hasty 
wits being over forward to vent their unripe and misshapen conceits), yet 

* This also is given verbatim from the volume. 

t Perhaps the classical scholar will agree with me, that in the couplet, 
Gratia te et virtus semper comitentur euntem, 

In vultu et labris sessitet ipsa Charis ! 

= ' May grace itself sit on thy countenance and lips,' we have a reminiscence of a 
fragment from Diodorus flT/0w ri$ farntdtoon IKI roig p^g/Astf/v = ' Persuasion eat 
upon his lips.' Quoted in Keightley's History of Greece, p. 160. 
J See pages xxxvi, xxxviii. 

\ Commentary on 1st Chapter of Ephesians, handling the controversy of Pre 
destination, 4to, 1618. 

VOL. I. / 



MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 

in all ages there hath been, and will be necessary uses of holy treatises, 
appliable to the variety of occasions of the time ; because men of weaker 
conceits cannot so easily of themselves discern how one truth is inferred 
from another, and proved by another, especially when truth is controverted 
by men of more subtile and stronger wits. Whereupon, as God's truth hath 
in all ages been opposed in some branches of it ; so the divine providence 
that watcheth over the church, raised up some to fence the truth, and make 
up the breach. Men gifted proportionably to the time, and as well furnished 
to fight God's battles, as Satan's champions have been to stand for him : 
neither have any points of Scripture been more exactly discussed, than those 
that have been most sharply oppugned, opposition whetting both men's wits 
and industry, and in several ages men have been severally exercised. The 
ancientest of the fathers had to deal with them without (the Pagans), and 
especially with proud heretics, that made their own conceits the measure 
of holy truth, believing no more than they could comprehend in the articles 
of the Trinity, and natures of Christ, whence they bent their forces that way, 
and for their matter wrote more securely. Not long after, the enemies of 
grace, and flatterers of nature, stirred up St Augustine to challenge the 
doctrine of God's predestination and grace out of their hands, which he did 
with great success, as fitted with grace, learning, and wit for such a con 
flict, and no Scriptures are more faithfully handled by him, than those that 
were wrested by his opposites, and such as made for the strengthening of 
of his own cause. In other writings he took more liberty, his scholars Pros 
per, Fulgentius and others interest themselves in the quarrel. 

In process of time, men desirous of quiet, and tired with controversies, 
began to lay aside the study of Scriptures, and hearken after an easier way 
of ending strife, by the determination of one man (the Bishop of Borne), 
whom virtually they made the whole church ; so the people were shut up 
under ignorance and implicit faith, which pleased them well, as easing them 
of labour of search, as upon the same irksomeness of trouble in the eastern 
parts, they yielded to the confusion and abomination of Mahometism. 

And lest scholars should have nothing to do, they were set to tie and 
untie school knots, and spin questions out of their own brain, in which 
brabbles they were so taken up, that they slightly looked to other matters ; 
as for questions of weight they were schooled to resolve all into the decisive 
sentence of the see apostolic, the authority of which they bent their wits to 
advance ; yet then wisdom found children to justify her : for Scriptures that 
made for authority of princes and against usurpation of popes, were well 
cleared by Occam, Marsilius, Patavinus, and others, as those of predestina 
tion and grace by Ariminensis, Bradwardine, and their followers, against 
Pelagianism, then much prevailing. At length the apostasy of popery spread 
so far, that God in pity to his poor church, raised up men of invincible 
courage, unwearied pains, and great skill in tongues and arts to free religion, 
so deeply enthralled ; from whence it is that we have so many judicious 
tractates and commentaries in this latter age. And yet will there be neces 
sary use of farther search into the Scriptures as new heresies arise, or old 
are revived, and further strengthened. The conviction of which, is then 
best when their crookedness is brought to the straight rule of Scriptures to 
be discovered. Besides, new expositions of Scriptures will be useful, in 
respect of new temptations, corruptions in life and cases of conscience, in 
which the mind will not receive any satisfying resolution, but from explica 
tion and application of Scriptures. Moreover, it is not unprofitable that 
there should be divers treatises of the same portion of Scriptures, because 



MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 1XXXV 

the same truth may be better conveyed to the conceits of some men, by 
some men's handling than others', one man relishing one man's gifts more 
than another. And it is not meet that the glory of God's goodness and 
wisdom should be obscured, which shineth in the variety of men's gifts, 
especially seeing the depth of Scripture is such, that though men had large 
hearts, as the sand of the sea shore, yet could they not empty out all things 
contained ; for though the main principles be not many, yet deductions and 
conclusions are infinite, and until Christ's second coming to judgment, theft 
will never want new occasion of further search and wading into these deeps. 

In all which respects this exposition of this holy man, deserves acceptance 
of the church, as fitted to the times (as the wise reader will well discern). 
Some few places are not so full as could be wished, for clearing some few 
obscurities ; yet those that took the care of setting them out, thought it 
better to let them pass as they are, than be over-bold with another man's 
work, in making him speak what he did not, and take them as they be. 
The greatest shall find matter to exercise themselves in ; the meaner, matter 
of sweet comfort and holy instruction, and all confess, that he hath brought 
some light to this excellent portion of Scripture. 

He was a man fit for this task, a man of much communion with God, 
and acquaintance with his own heart, observing the daily passages of hia 
life, and exercised much with spiritual conflicts. As St Paul in this epistle 
never seemeth to satisfy himself in advancing the glory of grace, and the 
vileness of man in himself, so this our Paul had large conceits of these 
things, a deep insight into the mystery of God's grace, and man's corruption : 
he could therefore enter further into Paul's meaning, having received a large 
measure of Paul's spirit. He was one that sought no great matters in the 
world, being taken up with comforts and griefs, unto which the world is a 
stranger ; one that had not all his learning out of books ; of a sharp wit, 
and clear judgment : though his meditations were of a higher strain than 
ordinary, yet he had a good dexterity, furthered by his love to do good, in 
explaining dark points with lightsome similitudes. His manner of hand 
ling questions in this epistle is press, and school-like, by arguments on both 
sides, conclusions, and answers, a course more suitable to this purpose than 
loose discourses. 

In setting down the object of God's predestination, he succeeds him in 
opinion, whom he succeeded in place ; * in which point divines accord not 
who in all other points do jointly agree against the troubles of the church's 
peace, in our neighbour countries ; for some would have man lie before 
God in predestinating him, as in lapsed and miserable estate ; others would 
have God in that first decree to consider man abstracted from such respects, 
and to be considered of, as a creature alterable, and capable either of hap 
piness or misery, and fit to be disposed of by God, who is Lord of his own 
to any supernatural end ; yet both agree in this : First, that there was an 
eternal separation of men in God's purpose. Secondly, that this first 
decree of severing man to his ends, is an act of sovereignty over his 
creature, and altogether independent of anything in the creature, as 
a cause of it, especially in comparative reprobation, as why he rejected 
Judas, and not Peter ; sin foreseen cannot be the cause, because that was 
common to both, and therefore could be no cause of severing. Thirdly, all 
agree in this, that damnation is an act of divine justice, which supposeth 
demerit ; and therefore the execution of God's decree is founded on sin, 
either of nature, or life, or both. My meaning is not to make the cause 

* Perkins. 



MEMOIE OF KICHAED SIBBES, D.D. 

mine, by unnecessary intermeddling. The worthiness of the men on both 
side is such, that it should move men to moderation in their censures either 
way. Neither is this question of like consequence with others in this busi 
ness, but there is a wide difference between this difference and other differ 
ences. And one cause of it, is the difficulty of understanding, how God 
conceives things, which differs in the whole kind from ours, he conceiving 
of things altogether and at once without discourse, we one thing after 
another, and by another. Our comfort is, that what we cannot see in the 
light of nature and grace, we shall see in the light of glory, in the university 
of heaven ; before which time, that men should in all matters have the same 
conceit of things of this nature, is rather to be wished for, than to be 
hoped. That learned bishop (now with God) that undertook the defence 
of Mr Perkins, hath left to the church, together with the benefit of hia 
labours, the sorrow for his death, the fame of his worth, an example like 
wise of moderation, who, though he differed from Mr Perkins in this point, 
yet shewed that he could both assent in lesser things, and with due respect 
maintain in greater matters.* If we should discern of differences, the church 
would be troubled with fewer distempers ; I speak not as if way were to be 
given to Vorstian, lawless, licentious liberty of prophecy ; that every one, 
so soon as he is big of some new conceit, should bring forth his abortive 
monster : for thus the pillars of Christian faith would soon be shaken, and 
the church of God, which is a house of order, would become a Babel, a 
house of confusion. The doleful issues of which pretended liberty, we see 
in Polonia, Transylvania, and in countries nearer hand. We are much to 
bless God for the king's majesty's firmness this way, unto whose open ap 
pearing in these matters, and to the vigilancy of some in place, we owe our 
freedom from that schism, that troubleth our neighbours. 

But for diversity of apprehensions of matters far remote from the founda 
tion ; these may stand with public and personal peace. I will keep the 
reader no longer from the treatise ; the blessing of heaven go with it, that 
through the good done by it, much thanksgiving may be to God in the 
Church ! Amen. R. SIBBS. 

Gray's Inn. 

Our next name is Henry Scudder, whom Richard Baxter and John 
Owen united to praise while he was alive. In 1620, he published 
his inestimable little treatise, worthy companion to his ' Christian's 
Daily Walk in Holy Security and Peace/ entitled ' Key of Heaven, 
the Lord's Prayer Opened.'t To it Sibbes prefixed a 'Recom- 

* The ' learned bishop ' is Robert Abbot, Bishop of Salisbury, and the reference is 
to his ' Defence of the Reformed Catholick of W. Perkins against Dr "W. Bishop.' 
4to, 1611. 

t A Key of Heaven : the Lord's Prayer opened, and so applied, that a- Christian 
may learn how to pray, and to procure all things which may make for the glory of 
God, and the good of himself, and of his neighbour. Containing likewise such 
doctrines of faith and goodness, as may be very useful to all that desire to live godly 
in Christ Jesus. The second edition, enlarged by the author. Mat. vii. 7, Ask, 
and it shall he given you ; seek, and ye shall find ; knock, and it shall be opened 
unto you. Oratio justi clavis cceli. London : Printed by Thomas Harper, for Ben 
jamin Fisher, and are to be sold at the sign of the Talhot in Aldersgate Street. 1633. 
This ' Key ' has been erroneously included among Sibbes's own writings, e. g., Brook 
(' Lives of Puritans, ii. 420), and even in Dr Bliss's Sale-Catalogue. 



MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 

mendation/ which is in itself an Essay on Prayer, of rare value. 
Scudder was a contemporary of Sibbes in Cambridge, of Christ's 
Church. Afterwards he became successively minister at Dray ton, in 
Oxfordshire, and at Collingborn-Dukes, in Wiltshire. In the year 
1643, he was chosen one of the 'Assembly of Divines,' and was exem 
plary in his attendance. His books are pre-eminently scriptural 
and practical, and there are occasional similes and scraps of out- 
of-the-way incidents of a quaint beauty and appositeness. It is 
easy to understand that such a man would be dear to Richard 
Sibbes.* Thus he writes : 

To be much in persuading those that be favourites of some great person, 
to use that interest for their best advantage, were an endeavour somewhat 
needless, considering natural self-love inclineth men in such cases to be 
eensible enough of their own good. Yet so dull is our apprehension of 
matters that are of an higher nature, that though we have the ear of God 
always open unto us, and free access to the throne of grace through Christ 
who appeareth in heaven for us, carrying our names in his breast, yet we 
need stirring up to improve this blessed liberty, though, the whole world be not 
worth this one prerogative, that we can boldly call God Father. This dis 
proportion of our carriage ariseth in part from Satan's malice, who laboureth 
to keep us in darkness, that we believe not, or mind not our best privileges, 
which if we did, how glorious would our lives appear ! how comfortably 
and fruitfully should we walk ! what honour should God have by us ! what 
sweet sacrifice from us ! how should we overlook all opposite power ! But 
now by reason we are prone to believe Satan, and the lies of our own heart ; 
and ready to call truth itself into question, as if these things were too good 
to be true, no marvel if we pass our days so deadly. For what use of an 
hidden and locked up treasure, if we use not this key of prayer to fetch 
from thence for all our need ? What benefit of all the precious promises 
made in Christ unto us, unless we allege them unto God, and with a re 
verend boldness bind him with his own word, which he can no more deny, 
than cease to be God ? If we took these things to heart, God should hear 
oftener from us, we would be more in heaven than we are, seeing we should 
bring as much grace and comfort from God as we could bring faith to grasp 
and carry away. 

Besides this fore -mentioned mindlessness of our privileges, since the fall 
the soul naturally loveth to spend and scatter itself about these present 
sensible things, and cannot without some strife gather itself together, and 
fix upon heavenly things. Now this talking with God requireth an actual 
bent of the mind, and carrieth up the whole soul into heaven, and exerciseth, 
as all the parts, so all the graces of the soul, faith especially, prayer being 
nothing else but the flame of faith. And Satan knowing that when we send 
up our desires to God, it is to fetch supply against him, troubleth the soul, 
weak of itself, with a world of distractions. Where he cannot corrupt the 
doctrine of prayer (as in popery) with heresies and superstitious follies, there 
he laboureth to hinder the exercise of it. Wherein we should be so far 
from being discouraged, that we should reason rather that must needs be 
an excellent duty which is so irksome to the flesh, and which the devil so 
eagerly sets against. This should encourage us to this exercise, wherein 
* Scudder. Consult Brook's ' Lives of the Puritans,' ii. 504, seq. 



MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 

lieth all our strength, that if in spite of Satan's annoyance and our own in 
disposition, we will set upon this duty, we shall find ourselves by little and 
little more raised up to heaven, and our hearts more and more enlarged, 
God rewarding the use of that little grace we find at the first, with increase 
of strength and comfort. To him that hath (in the exercise of that he hath) 
shall be given more. We should labour not to be ignorant of Satan's en 
terprises, who besides his diverting our minds from prayer, and disturbing 
us in it, laboureth by all means to draw us to some sin, the conscience 
whereof will stop our mouths, and stifle our prayers, and shake our confi 
dence, and eclipse our comfort ; which he oft aimeth more at than the 
ein itself unto which he tempteth us. We should labour therefore to pre 
serve ourselves in such a state of soul, wherein we might have boldness with 
God, and wherein this gainful trading with him might not be hindered. 

To pass over many other causes of the neglect of this intercourse, and 
dealing with God by prayer, we may well judge, as one of the chief, a self- 
sufficiency whereby men dwell too much in themselves. He that hath no 
thing at home will seek abroad. The poor man (saith Solomon) speaketh 
supplications. If we were poor in spirit, and saw our own emptiness, it 
would force us out of ourselves. Alas ! what temptation can we resist, 
much less overcome, without fresh succour ? What cross can we endure 
without impatience, if we have not new support ? What success can we look 
for, yea, in common affairs, without his blessing ? What good can we do, 
nay, think of, without new strength ? When we do any good by his power, 
do we not need pardon for the blemishes of our best performances ? What 
good blessing can we enjoy, so as we defile not ourselves in it, without a 
further blessing, giving us with the thing the holy use of it ? Yet we se( 
most men content to receive blessings as they come from God's genen 
providence, without regarding any sanctified use by prayer, whereas hoi] 
men, knowing that God will be sought unto even for those things of which 
he hath given a promise, Ezek. xxxvi. 37, in obedience to this his divin< 
order, desire to receive all from him as a fruit of their prayers. And God's 
manner is to keep many blessings from his children until they have begget 
them, as delighting to hear his children speak. The consideration where( 
moveth those that have nearest communion with God to acknowledge him 
in all their ways, depending on him for direction, strength, success, where 
upon he delighteth in shewing himself more familiarly unto them in the 
sweetest experiences of his love, guiding them by his counsel whilst they 
abide here, and after, bringing them to glory, Ps. xxxvii. 24, As other 
graces grow in those that are in the state of grace, so this spirit of prayer 
receiveth continual increase upon more inward acquaintance with God, and 
their own estates. Whence they can never be miserable, having God to 
pour forth their spirits and ease their hearts unto, who cannot but regard 
the voice of his own Spirit in them. But of ourselves, such is our case, 
that God who knoweth us better than we know ourselves, saith, we know 
not what or how to pray, Rom. viii. 26. This language of Canaan is 
strange unto us. Which our blessed Saviour in mercy considering, stirred 
up a desire in his disciples to be taught of him the Son, how to speak to 
the Father. Where thereupon he teacheth them a form, which for heavenly 
fulness of matter, and exactness of order, sheweth that it could come from 
no other Author. 

This holy pattern comprising so much in so little, all things to be desired 
in six short petitions, it is needful for the guides of God's people to lay open 
the riches of it to the view of those that are less exercised. An endeavour 



MEMOIE OF KICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 

which his excellent majesty thought not unbeseeming the greatness of a king. 
For the use of a set form of prayer, and this in special, I will make no 
question ; yet in the use of this prayer, we may dwell more in the medita 
tion and enforcing such petitions as shall concern our present occasions. 
For instance, if ever there were time of praying, ' Let thy kingdom come,' 
let Christ arise and his enemies be scattered, then certainly now is the 
time for us to ascend up into heaven by our prayers, and awake Christ, 
that he would rebuke the winds and waves, and cause a calm ; that he 
would be strong for his church, in maintaining his own cause. It is God's 
manner, before any great work for his church, to stir up the spirits of his 
beloved ones to give him no rest. How earnest was Daniel with the Lord 
immediately before the delivery out of Babylon, Dan. xi. And undoubtedly, if 
we join the forces of our prayers together, and set upon God with an holy 
violence, he would set his power, his wisdom, his goodness on work for the 
exalting of his church, and ruin of the enemies of it. Now is the time for 
Moses his hands to be upheld, whilst Amalek goeth down. 

The prevailing power of prayer with God in times of danger, appeareth 
not only in the sacred history of the Bible, but hath been recorded in all 
ages of the church. In the primitive church, A.D. 175, the army of Chris 
tians was called the thundering legion, because, upon their prayers, God 
scattered their enemies with thunder, and refreshed themselves with showers 
in a great drought. 

After, in the good Emperor Theodosius his time, A.D. 394, upon an 
earnest prayer to Christ, the winds fought from heaven for him against his 
enemies, as they did for us in 1588. And continually since, God never 
left the force of faithful prayer without witness. If we would observe how 
God answereth prayers, we should see a blessed issue of all the holy desires 
he kindles in our hearts ; for he cannot but make good that title whereby 
he is styled, ' a God hearing prayer,' Ps. Ixv. 2, which should move us to 
sow more prayers into his bosom, the fruit whereof we should reap in our 
greatest need. It would be a strong evidence in these troublesome times of 
the future good success of the church, if we were earnest in soliciting Christ 
with these words which himself hath taught us, ' Let thy kingdom come.' 
For put him to it, and he will never fail those that seek him,' Ps. ix. 10. 
He loveth importunity. 

But to speak something of this treatise of this godly and painful minister 
of Christ, which is written by him without affectation, as desirous to clothe 
spiritual things with a spiritual manner of writing, the diligent and godly 
reader shall observe a sound, clear, substantial handling of the greatest 
points that naturally fall within the discourse, and a more large and useful 
unfolding of many things, than in former treatises. It appeareth he sought 
the good of all ; so that, besides the labours of other holy men, there will 
be just cause of blessing God for his assistance in this work. To whose 
blessing I commend both it and the whole Israel of God. 

Gray's Inn. E. SIBBES. 

Passing on to 1623-4, we have a delightful ' epistle' prefixed to 

Ezekiel Culverwell's ' Treatise of Faith applied especially 

unto the use of the weakest Christians.' * This little volume had 

* A Treatise of Faith. Wherein is declared how a man may live by faith, and 
find relief in all his necessities. Applied especially unto the use of the weakest 
Christians. By Ezekiel Culvenvell. The just shall live by faith. The seventh 



XC MEMOIK OF EICHAKD SIBBES, D.D. 

passed through seven editions by 1633; and it were well if its 
popularity could be revived ; for it overflows with profound thought, 
sagacious counsel, pungent appeal, and true eloquence. But let 
Dr Gouge characterise it and its author. ( God/ he says, ' sent 
Ezekiel Culverwell, as of old he sent Ezekiel Buzi, to set forth the 
promises of God more plentifully and pertinently than ever before ; 
and that to breed faith where it is not, to strengthen it where it is 
weak, to settle it where it wavereth, to repair it where it decayeth, 
to apply it aright to every need, to extend it to sanctification as 
well as to justification, and to point out the singular use of it in 
matters temporal, spiritual, and eternal.' And he adds ( What I 
say of him, I know of him ; for from mine infancy have I known 
him, and under his ministry was I trained up in my younger years, 
he being at least two-and-twenty years older than myself * 
Let us now read Sibbes's ' Epistle to the Christian Reader : ' 

The leading of a nappy life (the attainment whereof this treatise directeth 
unto) is that which all desire, but God's truth only discovereth, and faith 
only enjoyeth. In the first Adam, our happiness was in our own keeping ; 
but he, by turning from God to the creature, made proof what and whence 
he was ; a creature raised out of nothing, and without the supporting power 
of him in whom all things consist, subject to fall into a state worse than 
nothing again. Hence God, out of his infinite power, and depth of goodness 
intending the glory of his mercy, in restoring man, would not trust man 
with his own happiness ; but would have it procured and established in the 
person of a second Adam, in whom we recover a surer estate than we lost 
in the first. For though Adam's soul was joined to God, yet that knitting was 
within the contingent and changeable liberty of his own will ; but now we 
are brought to God in an everlasting covenant of mercy, by faith in Christ ; 
who, by taking the nature of man into unity of his person, and not the 
person of any, became a public person, to be the author of eternal salvation 
to all that receive him ; and so gathering us that were scattered from God, 
into one head, bringeth us back again to God, by a contrary way to that where 
by we fell, that is, by cleaving to God by faith, from whom we fell by distrust. 
A fit grace for the state of grace, giving the whole glory to God, and empty 
ing the soul of all self-sufficiency, and enlarging it to receive what is freely 
wrought and offered by another. Thus we come to have the comfort, and 
God the glory of mercy ; which sweet attribute moved him to set all other 
attributes on work to make us happy. Out of the bowels of which mercy, 
as he chose us to eternal salvation in Christ, so vouchsafeth he all things 
necessary to life and godliness. And as the same love in God giveth us 
heaven, and furnisheth us with all things needful in the way, until we come 
thither ; so the same faith which saveth us, layeth hold likewise on the 
promises of necessary assistance, comfort, provision, and protection : and 
edition, corrected and amended. Ephes. vi. 16, ' Above all, taking the shield of faith.' 
Kora. xv. 4, ' Whatsoever things were written aforetime, were written for our learn 
ing, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.' 
London : Printed by J. D. for Hen. Overton, and are to be sold at his shop at the 
entering in of Pope's-head Alley, out of Lumbard Street, 1633. 

* ' To the Christian Reader,' prefixed to Treatise of Faith, supra. 



MEMOIR OF RICHAED SIBBES, D.D. XC1 

this office it performeth in all the several stations of this life, until it hath 
brought us unto the enjoying of him * in whose presence is fulness of joy 
for evermore,' Ps. xvi. 11. 

We see that same love in parents, which moveth them to give an inheri 
tance to their sons, moveth them likewise to provide for them, and to train 
them up in experience of their fatherly care. So it pleaseth our first and 
best Father, besides the main promise of salvation, to give us many other 
rich and precious promises, that in taste of his goodness and truth in these, 
we may at length yield up our souls to him, as to our faithful Creator, 
1 Pet. iv. 19, with the more assured comfort ; and the longer we live here, 
be more rooted in faith. * I know whom I have trusted,' 2 Tim. i. 12, saith 
aged St Paul. But alas ! how little is that we know of his ways, Job xxvi. 
14, because we observe him not, making good his word unto us ! ' All his 
ways are mercy and truth,' Ps. xxv. 10, and every word is a tried word,' 
Ps. xii. 6. For the better help of God's people, to know their portion in 
those good things, which their father not only layeth up for them, Ps. xxxi. 
19, for times to come, but layeth out for them here as his wisdom seeth 
fit ; this reverend and holy man of God hath compiled this treatise, 
wherein he layeth open the veins of promises hidden in the Scriptures, to 
the view of every Christian, and digesteth them in their orders ; and withal, 
sheweth their several value and use, for the beautifying of a holy life ; 
which wits less exercised, of themselves, would not so well have discerned. 

Now that we may the rather benefit ourselves by this treatise, it will 
not be inconvenient to know these four things. 

First, that it supposeth a reader grounded in the knowledge of the 
nature and properties of God, of Christ and his offices, of the covenant of 
grace, and such like : because as in an arch, one stone settleth another, so 
there is such a linking together of points in divinity, that one strengthened 
another. For from whence hath faith that efficacy, but because it is that 
which is required in the covenant, to lay hold on the free promises ? And 
whence have the promises their strength, but from the constant nature of 
Jehovah ; who giveth a being to his word, and is at peace with us, by the 
all-sufficient sacrifice of the Mediator of the new covenant ? Words have 
their validity from the authority of the speaker. Were not faith founded 
on the word of an infinite God, so thoroughly appeased, the soul would 
sink in great temptations, whereas now even mountains vanish before a 
believing soul. For what can stand against Christ, who is able to subdue 
all to himself? Hence it is, that now we are by faith, Phil. iii. 21, safer 
than Adam in Paradise, because we have a promise, which he wanted. 
Safer it is to be as low as hell with a promise, than in paradise without it, 
because faith wrought by the power of God, hath what strength God hath, 
on whom it resteth, and therefore worketh such wonders : God honouring 
that grace, which honours him so much. 

But howsoever the knowledge of these things serveth the argument hi 
hand ; yet it must not be expected, that he should be long in these things, 
which are but coincident, and should be foreknown : which I speak, be 
cause some of weaker judgment, not considering the just bounds of treatises, 
may expect larger handling of some things. Whereas he hath laboured 
especially to furnish the argument in hand, and not to load the discourse. 

In the second place, it must be known, that the fruit of these things 
belong to such as are in Christ, in whom all promises are yea and amen, 
made and performed. He that by the immortal seed of the word and Spirit 
is born again, may claim a title to that he is born unto. These promises 



X cii MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 

be as well his inheritance, as heaven itself is. For clearing of this, there 
be three degrees of promises ; one of salvation to absolute and personal 
obedience ; but this, by reason of weakness of the flesh, driveth us to 
a despair of ourselves, and so to the second promise of life by Christ. 
This requireth nothing but receiving by faith, which is wrought in those 
that are given to Christ, whilst grace is offered, the Spirit clothing the 
words with a hidden and strong power, and making them operative ; when 
they are commanded to believe, their hearts are opened to believe. To 
persons in this estate, are made a third kind of promises, of all that is 
needful in this world, until all promises end in performance. Of both 
these promises, and the last especially, this book speaketh. 

Thirdly, it must be pressed upon those that mean to profit, that they 
resolve to come under Christ's government, and be willing to be led by the 
Spirit into all revealed truth. Wisdom is easy to such as are willing ; and 
the victory is as good as gotten, when the will is brought from thraldom to 
base affections, to resolve to be guided. For such a heart lieth open to 
God's gracious working, and the Spirit readily closeth with such a spirit, 
as putteth not bars of obstinacy. 

Notwithstanding, we must know in the fourth place, that when we are 
at the best, we shall yet be in such a conflicting state, as that we shall long 
after that glorious liberty of the sons of God, after we have done the work 
God hath given us to do. For God will have a difference betwixt heaven 
and earth ; and sharpen our desire of the coming of his kingdom, which 
nothing doth so much, especially in times of outward prosperity, as those 
tedious combats of the inner man. And yet let this raise up our spirits, 
that it is so far that this remainder should prejudice our interest in hap 
piness, that thereby we are driven every day to renew our claim to the 
promise of pardon, and so to live by faith until this unclean issue be dried 
up. These sour herbs help us to relish Christ the better. Moreover, 
though in this life our endeavours come short of our desires, and we always 
allow a greater measure than we can attain unto ; yet we may, by stirring 
up the graces begun in us, and by suing God upon those promises of his 
Spirit and grace, whereby he hath made himself a debtor unto us, come 
to that measure, whereby we shall make the profession of religion glorious, 
and lovely in the eyes of others, and comfortable to ourselves ; and so shine 
far brighter than others do. Why then do we not, in the use of all sancti 
fied means, beg of God, to make good the promises wherein he hath caused 
us to,jbrust ? Do we not, beside life of our bodies, desire health and strength 
to discharge all the offices of civil life ? And why should we not much 
more (if the life of God be in us) labour after health and vigour of Spirit, 
and for that anointing of the Holy Ghost, whereby we may do and suffer 
all things, so as we may draw others to a liking of our ways ? The truth 
is, Satan laboureth to keep us under belief of particular promises, and from 
renewing our covenant, in confidence, that God will perfect the work that 
he hath begun, and not repent him of his earnest. So far as thus we 
cherish distrust, we lie open to Satan. Strengthen faith, and strengthen 
all. Let us therefore at once set upon all duties required, and be in love 
with an holy life, above all other lives, and put ourselves upon God's mercy 
and truth ; and we shall be able from experience, so far to justify all God's 
ways as that we would not be in another state for all the world. What 
greater encouragement can we wish, than that our corruptions shall fall 
more and more before the Spirit, and we shall be able to do all things 
through Christ that strengthened us ? 



MEMOIE OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. XC111 

To make these ways of God more plain unto us, this pains is taken by 
this man of GOD. Not to disparage the labours of other holy men (as far 
as I can judge), there is nothing in this kind more fully, judiciously, or 
savourily written, with greater evidence of a spirit persuaded of the goodness 
and truth of what it sets down. And though (distinct from respect to the 
author) the treatise deserveth much respect, yet it should gain the more 
acceptance, especially of those that are babes and young men in Christ, 
that it is written by a father of long and reverend esteem in the church ; 
who hath begun in all these rules to others. As for our bodies, so for our 
souls, we may more securely rely on an old experienced physician. He 
commendeth it unto thee, having felt the kindly working of it upon him 
self. The Lord by his Spirit convey these truths into thy heart, and upon 
good felt hereby in thy soul, remember to desire God that he may still 
bring forth more fruit in his age, until he hath finished his course with 
credit to the gospel, and an assured hope of a blessed change. 

Gray's Inn. RICHARD SIBBES. 

We place along with this another 'epistle' by Sibbes, prefixed to 
another small book by Culverwell. The copy of this in my library, 
was formerly in the possession of Charles I., and has his royal arms 
enstamped in gold on each side. Judging from its appearance, it 
must have been well read. The book is entitled, ' Time Well Spent 
in Sacred Meditations, Divine Observations, Heavenly Exhortations ;' 
and the 'Epistle Dedicatory' is addressed to an ' excellent Chris 
tian woman,' who seems to have been greatly beloved by Sibbes, 
Mrs More. * It runs as follows : 

To the right worshipful and truly religious Mrs MORE. 

RIGHT WORSHIPFUL AND WORTHY MRS MORE. The church of God hath 
not only benefit by exact and just treatises knit together in a methodical 
dependency of one part from another, but likewise of sententious independent 
speeches, that have a general lustre of themselves, as so many flowers in a 
garden, or jewels in a casket, whereof every one hath a distinct worth of 
themselves ; and this maketh them the more acceptable, that being short 
they are fitter for the heart to carry, as having much in a little. 

This moved this reverend man of God, to spend what spare hours his 
sickness would afford him about thoughts in this kind. He was many 
years God's prisoner under the gout and stone, such diseases as will allow 
but little liberty to those that are arrested and tortured by them. So fruitful 
an expense of time in so weak and worn a body is seldom seen, scarce any 
came to him but went away better than they came ; God gave much strength 
of spirit to uphold his spirit from sinking under the strength of such diseases. 
It were a happy thing if we that are ministers of Christ, would on all con 
ditions and times think of our calling, that our office is not tied to one day 
in a week, and one hour or two in that day, but that upon all fit occasions 
we are to quicken ourselves and others in the way homeward, as guides to 
heaven. We read not of the opening of heaven but to some great purpose. 
So it should be with the man of God, he should not open his mouth and let 
any thing fall (so far as frailty and the necessary occurrences of human life 
will permit) but what might minister some grace to the hearers. 

The reason why I made choice of you to dedicate them unto, is not that 
* Mra More. She is named in hia Will 



MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 

I might discharge mine own debt unto you with another man's coin, but 
that I could not think of any fitter than yourself, whom this ancient minister 
of Christ esteemed always very much for eminency of parts and grace, and 
you him as a man faithful, and one that maintained his ministerial authority 
with good success in his place ; God allotting your habitation in your 
younger years in that part of the country where he lived, and where you 
first learned to know God and yourself. In those times those parts were 
in regard of the air unhealthful, yet that air was so sweetened with the 
savoury breath of the gospel, that they were termed the holy land. Here 
upon I thought meet to commend these sententious speeches by your name 
to others. Which though (divers of them) may seem plain, yet what they 
want in show they have in weight, as coming from a man very well ex 
perienced in all the ways of God. The Lord follow you with his best bless 
ings, that you may continue still to adorn the gospel of Christ in your 
place ! 

Yours in all Christian service, E. SIBBES. 

Before passing on to other ' Epistles' of a public kind, I would 
here introduce a letter to Ussher, of probably 1628-29, which hap 
pens to have been preserved. It reveals to us the keen zest and 
interest with which Sibbes observed what was transpiring, ' Peti 
tion of Right/ and the like. It falls in here fittingly as an intro 
duction to the next ' Epistle/ as there is in it a passing notice of the 
last illness of the ' Master' of ' Emmanuel.' 

MR E. SIBBS to the Archbishop of Armagh. 

EIGHT EEVEREND, My duty and service premised. I am forced of the 
sudden in midst of straits and distractions to write unto you, your ser 
vant being presently to depart here : but I choose rather thus to express 
my remembrance of your grace, than to let slip so fit an opportunity. I 
hope I shall always carry you in my heart, and preserve that deserved 
respect I owe to you, who are oft presented to me as one that God hath 
shewed himself unto in more than ordinary measure, and set up high in 
the affections of the best. I know not the man living more beholden to 
God, in those respects, than yourself. It went for current here a while 
that you were dead, which caused the hearts of many to be more refreshed 
upon hearing the contrary. It is very ill losing of men of much meaner 
service in the church in these almost desperate times. Yesterday there 
was an agreement between the two houses about a petition of right, whereby 
the liberty of the subject is like to be established. Here is much joy for 
it, if it prove not a lightning before death. Our fears are more than our 
hopes yet. Doctor Preston is inclining to a consumption, and his state is 
thought doubtful to the physicians. The neighbour schism getteth still more 
strength with us. Boni deficiunt, mali perfidunt. I cannot now enlarge 
myself, your servant hastening hence. The Lord still delight to shew 
himself strong with you, and to shield you in the midst of all dangers, 
and glorify himself by you, to the great comfort of his church, and the dis 
heartening of his enemies ! I desire your grace to remember my respect to 
your wife, humbly thanking you both for your undeserved love. Your 
Grace's in all Christian service, to be commanded, E. SIBBS.* 

May 27. 

* Ussher, ante xvi. letter ccccxxii. 



MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. XCV 

We have a series of prefaces, in union with John Davenport, 
to various posthumous works of Dr John Preston, of whom I have 
had occasion to speak repeatedly in this memoir. I trust that the 
time is not distant when we shall have a worthy edition of his 
writings to place beside those of Sibbes. No books had such a wide, 
nay, universal audience through many generations. Edition fol 
lowed upon edition, and now it is not easy to collect them all. Tt 
is mournful to think how Cambridge neglects her most illustrious 
sons ! 

The Preston epistles call for no comment beyond an explana 
tory word. I give them in order : 

I. The ' New Covenant or Saint's Portion.' * 

Dedication. 

Ulustrissimis, et Honoratissimis Viris, Theophilo Comiti Lincolniensi, et 
Gulielmo Vice- Comiti Say et Sele, Doniinis suis submississiine colendis 
has Johannis Prestoni, S.S. Theol. Doct., et Collegii Immanuelis Magistri 
Primitias Devotissimi, Tarn Authoris, Dum Viveret, Quam Ipsorum, Qui 
Supersunt, Obsequii Testimonium, L.M.D.D.D. 

KlCHARDUS SlBS. 

JOHANNES DAVENPORT. 

To the Eeader. 

It had been much to have been desired (if it had so pleased the Father 
of spirits), that this worthy man had survived the publishing of these and 
other his lectures ; for then, no doubt, they would have come forth more 
refined and digested; for, though there was very little or no mistake in 
taking them from his mouth, yet preaching and writing have their several 
graces. Things livened by the expression of the speaker, sometimes take 
well, which after, upon a mature review, seem either superfluous or flat. 
And we oft see men very able to render their conceits in writing, yet not 
the happiest speakers. 

Yet we, considering (not so much what might have been, as) what now 
may be for the service of the church, thought good rather to communicate 
them thus, than tbat they should die with the author. He was a man of 
an exact judgment and quick apprehension, an acute reasoner, active in 
good, choice in his notions ; one who made it his chief aim to promote the 
cause of Christ and the good of the church, which moved him to single out 
arguments answerable, on which he spent his best thoughts. He was 
honoured of God to be an instrument of much good, whereunto he had 
advantage by those eminent places he was called unto. As he had a short 

* The New Covenant, or the Saint's Portion : a Treatise unfolding the All-Suffi 
ciency of God, Man's Uprightness, and the Covenant of Grace. Delivered in four 
teen sermons upon Gen. xvii. 1, 2; whereunto are adjoined four sermons upon 
Eccles. ix. 1, 2, 11, 12. By the late faithful and worthy minister of Jesus Christ, 
John Preston, Dr in Divinity, Chaplain in Ordinary to his Majesty, Master of 
Emmanuel College in Cambridge, and sometimes preacher of Lincoln's Inn. The 
fourth edition, corrected. ' He hath given a portion to them that fear him : he will 
ever he mindful of his covenant,' Ps. cxi. 6. London : Printed by I. D. for Nicholas 
Bourne, and are to be sold at the south entrance of the Royal Exchange 1630, 4to. 



XCT1 MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBEES, D.D. 

race to run, so he made speed, and did much in a little time. Though he 
was of an higher elevation and strain of spirit than ordinary, yet, out of 
love to do good, he could frame his conceits so as might suit with ordinary 
understandings. A. little before his death (as we were informed by the 
Right Honourable the Lord Viscount Say and Sele, in whose piety, wis 
dom, and fidelity he put great repose), he was desirous that we should 
peruse what of his was fit for public use. 

We are not ignorant that it is a thing subject to censure to seem bold 
and witty in another man's work, and, therefore, as little is altered as may 
be. And we desire the reader rather to take in good part that which is 
intended for public good, than to catch at imperfections, considering they 
were but taken as they fell from him speaking. And we entreat those that 
have anything of his in their hands, that they would not be hasty, for 
private respects, to publish them, till we, whom the author put in trust, 
have perused them. We purpose (by God's help) that what shall be judged 
fit shall come forth. We send forth these sermons of God's All- Sufficiency, 
and Man's Uprightness, and the Covenant of Grace first, as being first pre 
pared by him that had the copies, and because the right understanding of 
these points hath a chief influence into a Christian life. The Lord give a 
blessing answerable, and continue still to send forth such faithful labourers 
into his harvest ! 

RICHARD SIBS. 

JOHN DAVENPORT. 

II. The * Breastplate of Faith and Love.'* 

Dedication. 

Illustrissimo, Nobilissimoque Viro, Roberto Comiti Warwicensi, Johannis 
Prestoni, S.T.D., et Collegii Immanuelis Q. { Magistri (cujus tutelas, dum 
in vivis esset, Primogenitum suum in Disciplinam et Literis expoliendum 
tradidit), posthumorum tractatuum partem de natura fidei, ejusque effi- 
cacia, deque amore et operibus bonis, Devotissimi, tarn authoris, dum 
viveret, quam ipsorum qui supersunt, obsequii testimonium. M.D.D.D. 

RICHARDUS SIBS. 
JOHANNES DAVENPORT. 

To the Christian Reader. 

CHRISTIAN READER Innumerable are the sleights of Satan, to hinder a 
Christian in his course towards heaven, by exciting the corruption of his 
own heart to disturb him, when he is about to do any good ; or by dis 
couraging him with inward terrors, when he would solace himself with 
heavenly comforts ; or by disheartening him under the fears of sufferings, 

* The Breastplate of Faith and Love. A treatise, wherein the ground and exercise 
of faith and love, as they are set upon Christ their object, and as they are expressed 
in good works, is explained. Delivered in 18 sermons upon three several texts, by 
the late faithful and worthy minister of Jesus Christ, John Preston, Dr in Divinity, 
chaplain in ordinary to his Majesty, Master of Emmanuel College in Camhridge, and 
sometimes Preacher of Lincoln's Inn. The fourth edition. ' But let us who are of 
the day he sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and bve,' 1 Thess. v, 8. ' What 
will it profit, my brethren, if a man say he have faith, and hath not works ? Can 
faith save him?' James ii. 14. Imprinted at London hy K. Y. for Nicholas Bourne 
and are to be sold at the south entrance of the Royal Exchange. 1634. 

t Qu. ' quondam ?' ED. 



MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. XCV11 

when he should be resolute in a good cause. A type whereof were the 
Israelites, whose servitude was redoubled when they turned themselves to 
forsake Egypt. "Wherefore we have much need of Christian fortitude, 
according to that direction, * Watch ye, stand fast, quit yourselves like 
men,' 1 Cor. xvi. 13 ; especially since Satan, like a serpentine crocodile 
pursued, is by resistance put to flight. 

But as in wars (which the Philistines knew well in putting their hope in 
Goliath) the chief strength of the soldiers lieth in their captain, so in spiri 
tual conflicts all a Christian's strength is in Christ, and from him. For 
before our conversion we were of no strength ; since our conversion we are 
not sufficient of ourselves to think a good thought. And to work out from 
the saints all self-confidence, God, by their falls, teacheth them ' to rejoice 
in the Lord Jesus, and to have no confidence in the flesh.' 

Whatsoever Christ hath for us, is made ours by faith, which is the hand 
of the soul enriching it by receiving Christ, who is the treasure hid in the 
field, and with him, those unsearchable riches of grace, which are revealed 
and offered in the gospel ; yea, it is part of our spiritual armour. That 
which was fabulously spoken of the race of giants is truly said of a Chris 
tian, he is born with his armour upon him ; as soon as he is regenerate he 
is armed. It is called a breastplate, 0w0ag, 1 Thess. v. 8, because it 
preserves the heart ; a long, large shield, Qvgsbs of 6vga, Eph. vi. 16 (as 
the word signifieth), which is useful to defend the whole man from all sorts 
of assaults. Which part of spiritual armour, and how it is to be managed, 
is declared in the former part of the ensuing treatise, in ten sermons. 

Now, as all rivers return into the sea whence they came, so the believ 
ing soul, having received all from Christ, returneth all to Christ. For 
thus the believer reasoneth, Was God's undeserved, unexpected love such 
to me that he spared not his only-begotten Son, but gave him to die for 
me ? It is but equal that I should live to him, die for him, bring in my 
strength, time, gifts, liberty, all that I have, all that I am, in his service, 
to his glory. That affection, whence these resolutions arise, is called love, 
which so inclineth the soul that it moveth in a direct line towards that ob 
ject wherein it expecteth contentment. The soul is miserably deluded in 
pursuing the wind, and is taking aim at a flying fowl, whilst it seeks hap 
piness in any creature ; which appears in the restlessness of those irregular 
agitations and endless motions of minds of ambitious, voluptuous, and 
covetous persons, whose frame of spirit is like the lower part of the 
elementary region, the seat of winds, tempests, and earthquakes, full of 
unquietness ; whilst the believer's soul, like that part towards heaven 
which is always peaceable and still, enjoy eth true rest and joy. And in 
deed the perfection of our spirits cannot be but in union with the chief of 
spirits, which communicateth his goodness to the creature according to its 
capacity. This affection of love, as it reflecteth upon Christ, being a fruit 
and effect of his love to us apprehended by faith, is the subject of the second 
part of the following treatise, in seven sermons. 

The judicious author, out of a piercing insight into the methods of the 
tempter, knowing upon what rocks the faith of many suffers shipwreck ; 
that neither the weak Christian might lose the comfort of his faith through 
want of evidences, nor the presumptuous rest upon a fancy instead of faith, 
nor the adversaries be emboldened to cast upon us, by reason of this doc 
trine of justification by faith only, their wonted nicknames of Solifidians 
and Nullifidians ; throughout the whole treatise, and more especially in 
the last sermon, he discourseth of good works as they arise from faith and 



XCV111 MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 

love. This is the sum of the faithful and fruitful labours of this reverend, 
learned, and godly minister of the gospel, who, whilst he lived, was an ex 
ample of the life of faith and love, and of good works, to so many as were 
acquainted with his equal and even walking in the ways of God, in the 
several turnings and occasions of his life. But it will be too much injury 
to the godly reader to be detained longer in the porch, We now dismiss 
thee to the reading of this profitable work, beseeching God to increase 
faith, and to perfect love in thy heart, that thou mayest be fruitful in good 
works. 

Thina in our Lord Jesus Christ, RICHARD SIBBS. 

JOHN DAVENPORT. 

III. The Saint's Daily Exercise. * 

To the Reader. 

COURTEOUS READER, To discourse largely of the necessity and use of 
this piece of spiritual armour, after so many learned and useful treatises 
upon this subject, may seem superfluous, especially considering that there 
is much spoken to this purpose, for thy satisfaction, in the ensuing treatise, 
wherein, besides the unfolding of the nature of this duty (which is the 
saint's daily exercise), and strong enforcement to it, there is an endeavour 
to give satisfaction in the most incident cases, want of clearing whereof is 
usually an hindrance to the cheerful and ready performance thereof. In 
all which, what hath been done by this reverend and worthy man we had 
rather should appear in the treatise itself, to thy indifferent judgment, than 
to be much in setting down our own opinion. This we doubt not of, that, 
by reason of the spiritual and convincing manner of handling this argument, 
it will win acceptance with many, especially considering that it is of that 
nature wherein, though much have been spoken, yet much more may be 
said with good relish to those that have any spiritual sense ; for it is the 
most spiritual action, wherein we have nearer communion with God, than 
in any other holy performance, and whereby it pleaseth God to convey all 
good to us, to the performance whereof Christians find most backwardness 
and indisposedness, and from thence most dejection of spirit, which also in 
these times is most necessary, wherein, unless we fetch help from heaven 
this way, we see the church and cause of God like to be trampled under 
feet. Only remember, that we let these sermons pass forth as they were 
delivered by himself in public, without taking that liberty of adding or de 
tracting, which perhaps some would have thought meet ; for we thought it 
best that his own meaning should be expressed in his own words and 
manner, especially considering there is little which perhaps may seem super 
fluous to some, but may, by God's blessing, be useful to others. It would 
be a good prevention of many inconveniences in this kind, if able men 
would be persuaded to publish their own works in their lifetime ; yet we 
think it a good service to the church when that defect is supplied by giving 

* The Saint's Daily Exercise ; a Treatise unfolding the whole Duty of Prayer. 
Delivered in five sermons upon 1 Thes. v. 17. By the late faithful and worthy 
minister of Jesus Christ, John Preston, Dr in Divinity, Chaplain in Ordinary to his 
Majesty, Master of Emmanuel College in Cambridge, and sometime Preacher of 
Lincoln's Inn. The fourth edition, corrected. ' The effectual fervent prayer of a 
jighteous man availeth much,' James v. 16. ' If I regard iniquity in my heart, tne 
Lord will not hear my prayer,' Ps. Ixvi. 18. London : Printed by W. I. for Nicholas 
Bourne, and are to be sold at the south entrance of the Koyal Exchange. 1630. 4to. 



MEMOIR OF RICHAKD SIBBES, D.D. XC1X 

some life to those things, which otherwise would have died of themselves. 
The blessing of these labours of his we commend unto God, and the benefit 
of them unto thee, resting thine in our Lord Jesus Christ, 

RICHARD SIBS. 

JOHN DAVENPOBT. 

IV. The Saints' Qualification. * 

Dedication. 

Illustrissimo, Nobilissimo Viro, Philippo, Pembrochise, et Montis 
Gomerici Comiti, Baroni Herbert ode Cardiffe et Sherland, Ordinis Gar- 
terii Equiti, RegiaB Domus Camerario, Eegiae Majestati a Secretioribus 
Consiliis, &c., triplicem hunc Johannis Prestoni, S.S., Theologiae Doct. 
Colleg. Immanuelis Nuper Magist. et Regiae Majest. a Sacris, Tractatum, 
de Humiliatione, Nova Creatura, Prseparatione ad Sacram Synaxin, in 
Devotissimae, Tarn authoris, quam Ipsorum, Observantias Testimonium, 
L.M.D.D.D. 

RICHARDUS SIBS. 
JOANNES DAVENPOBT. 

To the Christian Header. 

The good acceptance the sermons of this worthy man have found amongst 
well-disposed Christians, hath made us the willinger to give way to the 
publishing of these, as coming from the same author. The good they may 
thus do prevails more for the sending of them forth than some imperfec 
tions (that usually accompany the taking of other men's speeches) may do 
to suppress them. Something may well be yielded to public good in things 
not altogether so as we wish. They are enforced upon none that shall except 
against them, they may either read or refuse them at their pleasure. The 
argument of them is such as may draw the more regard, being of matters 
of necessary and perpetual use. 

For * Humiliation' we never so deeply see into the grounds of it (sinful - 
ness of nature and life) ; or, so far as we see, look upon it with that eye of 
detestation we should ; and therefore a holy heart desireth still further 
light to be brought in, to discover whatsoever may hinder communion 
with God, and is glad when sin is made loathsome unto it, as being its 
greatest enemy, that doth more hurt than all the world besides, and the 
only thing that divides between our chief good and us. As this humilia 
tion increaseth, so in the like proportion all other graces increase ; for the 
more we are emptied of ourselves, the more we are filled with the fulness 
of God. The defects of this appear in the whole frame of a Christian life, 

* The Saints' Qualification: or, a treatise 1, of humiliation, in ten sermons; 
2, of sanctification, in nine sermons ; whereunto is added a treatise of communion 
with Christ in the sacrament, in three sermons. Preached by the late faithful and 
worthy minister of Jesus Christ, John Preston, Doctor in Divinity, chaplain in 
ordinary to his majesty, master of Emmanuel College in Cambridge, and sometime 
preacher of Lincoln's Inn. The third edition, corrected. When men are cast 
down, then thou shalt say, There is lifting up : and he shall save the humble 
person,' Job xxii. 29. Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have 
transgressed, and make you a new heart, and a new spirit,' &o., Ezek. xviii. 31. 
1 He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood, dwelleth in me and I in him,' John 
vi. 66. London ; Printed by E. B. for N. Bourne, and are to be sold by T. Nicholea 
at the Bible in Pope's -head Alley. 1637. 4to. 
VOL. i. 



MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 

which is so far unsound as we retain anything of corrupted self, unhumbled 
for. 

The foundation of Christianity is laid very low ; and therefore the trea 
tise of 'Humiliation' is well premised before that of the 'New Creature.' 
God will build upon nothing in us. We must be nothing in ourselves 
before we be raised up for a fit temple for God to dwell in, whose course is 
to pull down before he build. Old things must be out of request before 
all become new ; and without this newness of the whole man from union 
with Christ, no interest in the new heavens can be hoped for, whereinto 
no defiled thing shall enter, as altogether unsuitable to that condition and 
place. Nothing is in request with God but this new creature, all things 
else are adjudged to the fire ; and without this it had been better be no 
creature at all. By this we may judge of the usefulness of discourses 
tending this way. One thing more thou art to be advertised of (courteous 
reader), and that is, of the injurious dealing of such as for private gain 
have published what they can get, howsoever taken, without any acquaint 
ing either of those friends of the author's that resided in Cambridge (to 
whose care he left the publishing of those things that were delivered there) 
or of us, to whom he committed the publishing of what should be thought, 
fit for public view of that which was preached in London. Hereby not 
only wrong is done to others, but to the deceased likewise, by mangling 
and misshaping the birth of his brain ; and therefore once again we desire 
men to forbear publishing of anything until those that were entrusted have 
the review. And so we commit the treatise and thee to God's blessing. 

RICHARD SIBS. 

JOHN DAVENPORT. 

In 1 632, Sibbes introduced to the world the excellent folio of 
John Smith on ' The Creed/ * and the well-known and still vital 
treatise of John Ball on ' Faith.' -f- John Smith was 'preacher of 
the word at Clavering in Essex.' He succeeded Bishop Andrewes 
as lecturer in St Paul's Cathedral. Anthony Wood speaks of him 
as being skilled in the original languages, and well acquainted with 
the writings of the ablest divines. He died in November 161 6. J 

* An Exposition of the Creed ; or, an Explanation of the Articles of our Christian 
Faith. Delivered in many afternoon sermons, by that reverend and worthy divine, 
Master John Smith, late preacher of the Word at Clavering in Essex, and sometime 
Fellow of St John's College, in Oxford. Now published for the benefit and behoof 
of all good Christians, together with an exact table of all the chiefest doctrines and 
uses throughout the whole book. ' Uprightness hath boldness.' Heb. xi. 6, ' But 
without faith it is impossible to please him : for he that cometh unto God must be 
lieve that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.' At 
London : Imprinted by Felix Kyngston, for Kobert Allot, and are to be sold at his 
ehop, at the sign of the Black Bear, in Paul's Churchyard. 1632. 

t A Treatise of Faith. Divided into Two Parts, the first shewing the Nature, the 
second the Life of Faith, both tending to direct the weak Christian how he may pos 
sess the whole word of God as his own, overcome temptations, better his obedience, 
and live comfortably in all estates. By John Ball. Hab. ii. 4, ' The just shall 
live by his faith.' The third edition, corrected and enlarged. London : Printed by 
Robert Young, for Edward Brewster, and are to be sold at his shop, at the sign of 
the Bible, upon Fleet Bridge. 1637. 4to. 

t Wood's Athene (ed. by Bliss), ii. 188. And see Chalmers's Biog. Diet., sub. voce 



MEMOIR OF EICHAKD SIBBES, D.D. ci 

So far as I have been able to read his folio, I must regard Sibbes's 
Introduction as its most valuable feature. Pearson, indeed, over 
shadows all such works. John Ball has been very lovingly written 
of by very many. Wood and Clarke, Thomas Fuller, and Richard 
Baxter, and Simeon Ash join in speaking 'well' of him. His 
books, larger and smaller, are worthy of a place beside those of 
Sibbes. His ' Power of Godliness ' (1657), a thin folio, is marked 
by extraordinary acquaintance with the workings of the human 
heart. There are touches of weird subtlety, and one in reading 
can easily understand the stillness of his auditory. His treatise 
on ' Faith ' is rich and practical.* With these few words, let us 
turn to the two ' epistlf <* : ' 
I. Smith on the Creed. 

To the Christian Reader. 

It is available, for the better entertainment of this work, to know some 
thing concerning the author, concerning the work itself, and concerning the 
argument ; for the author, my acquaintance with him was especially towards 
the declining part of his years, at what time (as they speak of the sun towards 
setting) the light and influence which comes from worthy men is most mild 
and comfortable. The gifts of men then, perhaps, are not so flourishing as 
in their younger time, but yet more mature, and what cometh from them is 
better digested. In the prime of his years he was trained up in St John's 
College, in Oxford, being there Fellow of the House, and for piety and 
parts esteemed highly in the University of those that excelled in both. 
Afterwards he grew to that note that he was chosen to read the lecture in 
Paul's, succeeding therein that great, learned man, Doctor Andrewes, late 
Lord Bishop of Winchester, which he discharged not only to the satisfac 
tion, but to the applause of the most judicious and learned hearers, wit 
nessed by their frequency and attention. Not long after he was removed 
to a pastoral charge in Clavering, in Essex, where being fixed till his death, 
he shined as a star in his proper sphere. 

This good man's aim was to convey himself by all manner of ways into 
the heart, which made him willingly heard of all sorts ; for witty things 
only, as they are spoken to the brain, so they rest in the brain, and sink 
no deeper ; but the heart (which vain and obnoxious men love not to be 
touched), that is the mark a faithful teacher aims to hit. Bat because the 
way to come to the heart is often to pass through the fancy, therefore this 
godly man studied by lively representations to kelp men's faith by the 
fancy. It was our Saviour Christ's manner of teaching to express heavenly 
things in an earthly manner ; and it was the study of the wfse man, Solo 
mon, becoming a preacher, to find out pleasant words, or words of delight, 
Eccles. xii. 10. But when all pains are taken by the man of God, people 
will relish what is spoken according as their taste is. It falleth out here 
as it doth in a garden, wherein some walk for present delight, some carry 
flowers away with them to refresh them for a time ; some, &s bees, gather 
honey, which they feed on long afterwards ; some, spider-like, come to 
suck that which may feed that malignant and venomous disposition that 
they bring with them. There cannot be a better character of a man than 
* Consult Brook, ' Lives of the Puritans,' ii. 440, seq. 



Cii MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 

to observe what he relisheth most in hearing ; for as men are, so they 
taste, so they judge, so they speak. Ezekiel, besides prophetical gifts fit for 
so high a calling, had no doubt a delightful manner of expression of him 
self, whereupon the wickeder sort of Jews, engaged in sinful courses, came 
to hear him but as a musician to please their ears, neglecting the authority 
of his person and the weight of his message, Ezek. xxxiii. 32. It is no 
wonder, therefore, if in these days people stick in the bark and neglect the 
pith ; though sometimes it falleth out with some, as with Augustine hear 
ing Ambrose, whilst they bite at the bait of some pleasing notions, they are, 
at the same time, catched with the Spirit's hook. 

He was skilful in the original languages, and thereupon an excellent 
textman, well read in writers that were of note in the several ages of the 
church, which made him a well furnished and able divine. His judgment 
was clear and his conscience tender, and, which helped him most, he 
brought to the great work of the ministry an holy and gracious heart, which 
raised and carried him to aims above himself and the world. In his con 
versing he was modest, fruitful, wise, and winning j in his expressions witty 
and graceful, insomuch that he hath left a fresh and sweet remembrance of 
them to this day. Towards his end he grew more spiritual, setting light by 
all things here below, and only waited (as his expression was) for the coming 
of the Comforter ; at length, his work being finished, breathing out his life 
with that wish of the spouse, ' Yea, come, Lord Jesus,' Rev. xxii. 20. Thus 
much I thought not unfit to be made known of the man. 

Now, for the work itself, it must be considered by the learned reader that 
these things were spoken, though to a people high-raised in knowledge, 
and more refined than ordinary by his teaching, yet to the people, not with 
a purpose that they should come to the view and censure of the learned. 
But though they were delivered to the people, yet are they not so popular, 
but (if my love to the man and the work deceive me not) they will leave 
the best reader either more learned or more holy, or both. It must, there 
fore, be remembered, for the more favourable acceptation of this work, that 
these sermons were taken by one of his parish, a man, though pious and of 
good parts, yet not skilful in the learned languages ; and therefore it must 
needs be that many apt and acute sentences of the fathers, by which this 
learned man did use to beautify and strengthen the points he delivered, are 
fallen to the ground and lost, for lack of skill to take up. But howso 
ever much of the spirits be lost, yet here you have the corpse and bulk of 
the discourse, and not without some life and vigour, wherein this is peculiar 
in his manner of handling, that he hath chosen fit texts of Scripture to 
ground his exposition of every article upon. 

Now, for the argument itself, the Creed, I think it fit to premise some 
thing, because it hath been omitted by the author, or at least not gathered 
with the rest. The Creed is of middle authority, between divine and 
human, and called the Apostles' Creed, not only for consanguinity with the 
apostles' doctrine, but because it is taken out of the apostles' writings, and 
therefore of greatest authority next to the Scriptures. It is nothing else 
but a summary comprehension of the counsel and work of God concerning 
our supenmtural condition here and hereafter. The doctrine of salvation 
is spread through the Scriptures as spirits in the arteries and blood in the 
veins, as the soul in the body. And here, for easier carriage, the most 
necessary points are gathered together, as so many pearls or precious 
stones, that we might have a ready use of them upon all occasions, being, 
as it were, a little Bible or Testament that Christians of all ranks, as suited 



MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. Clll 

for all conditions, may bear about with them everywhere without any 
trouble. In every article there is both a shallow and a depth, milk for 
babes and meat for strong men. Though there be no growth in regard of 
fundamental principles (which have been alike in all ages of the church), 
yet there hath and will be a proficiency in regard of conclusions drawn out 
of those principles. The necessities of every Christian, and the springing up 
of unsound opinions in the church, will continually enforce diligence and 
care in the further explication and application of these fundamental truths. 

It will not, therefore, be amiss to set down a few directions for the more 
clear understanding of the Creed, and for the better making use of it. And 
first, for the understanding of it, it hath the name of Creed or Belief, from 
the act exercised about it, to shew that it doth not only contain doctrine to 
be believed, but that that doctrine will do us no good unless, by mingling it 
with our faith, we make it our belief. Therefore, both the act and the object 
are implied in one word, Belief. Secondly : From the execution in crea 
tion and incarnation we must arise to God's decree ; nothing done in time 
which was not decreed before all times, ' Known unto the Lord are all his 
works from the beginning of the world,' Acts xv. 18. Thirdly: We must 
arise from one principal benefit to all that follow and accompany it, as in 
forgiveness of sins, follow righteousness, peace, and joy, the spirit of 
sanctification, Christian liberty, &c. Though the articles be nakedly pro 
pounded, yet are we to believe all the fruits and privileges. So to God's 
creating of heaven and earth we must join his providence in upholding and 
ruling all things in both. Fourthly : In the consequent we are to under 
stand all that went before by way of cause or preparation, as in the crucify 
ing of Christ, his preceding agony and the cause of it, our sins, and the 
love of God and Christ in those sufferings, &c. Fifthly: Though we are to 
believe circumstances as well as the thing itself, yet not with the same 
necessity of faith, as it is more necessary to believe that Christ was cruci 
fied than that it was under Pontius Pilate ; though when any circumstance 
is revealed we ought to believe it, and to have a preparation of mind to 
believe whatsoever shall be revealed. Yet in the main points this preparation 
of mind is not sufficient, but there must be a present and an expressed faith. 
We must know that, as in the law, he that breaketh one commandment 
breaketh all, because all come from the same authority; so, in the grounds 
of faith, he that denies one in the true sense of it denies all, for both law 
and faith are copulatives. The singling out of anything is contrary to the 
obedience of faith. Fides non eligit objectum. 

For particular and daily use, we must know, first, that every article re 
quires a particular faith, not only in regard of the person believing, but 
likewise in regard of the application of the article believed ; or else the 
devil might say the creed, for he believes there is a Creator, and that there 
is a remission of sins, &c. ; but because he hath no share in it, it enrageth 
him the more. Our adversaries are great enemies to particular faith, and 
think we coin a thirteenth article when we enforce particular assurance, 
because, say they, particular men are not named in the Scripture, and what 
is not in Scripture cannot be a matter of faith. But there is a double 
faith, a faith which is the doctrine we do believe, and faith which is the 
grace whereby we believe ; and this faith is a matter of experience wrought 
in our hearts by the Spirit of God. It is sufficient that that faith which 
we do believe is contained in the Scriptures. Now whereas they object 
that we make it a thirteenth article, their fourteenth apostle adds to these 
twelve many more articles of faith, which he enforceth to be believed, with 



CIV MEMOIR OF EICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 

the same necessity of faith as these twelve ; neither hath he only entered 
upon Christ's prerogative in minting new articles of faith, but likewise they 
have usurped over all Christian churches by adding Roman to the catholic 
church in the creed. A bold imposture ! 

But for special faith, the main office of the Holy Spirit is in opening 
general truths, to reveal our particular interest in those truths, and to 
breed special faith whereby we make them our own, because the Spirit of 
God reveals the mind of God to every particular Christian, 1 Cor. ii. 11, 12 ; 
for as the things believed are truths above nature, so the grace of faith 
whereby we believe is a grace above nature, created as a supernatural eye 
in the soul, to see supernatural truths. 

Secondly, Where sacred truths are truly apprehended, tliere the Spirit 
works an impression in the soul suitable to the things believed ; every 
article hath a power in it which the Spirit doth imprint upon the soul. 
The belief of God to be the Father Almighty breeds an impression of de 
pendence, reverence, and comfort. The belief and knowledge of Christ cru 
cified is a crucifying knowledge. The true knowledge and faith in Christ 
rising, is a raising knowledge. The knowledge of the abasement of Christ 
is an abasing knowledge ; because faith sees itself one with Christ in both 
states. We cannot truly believe what Christ hath wrought for us, but at 
the same time the Spirit of Christ worketh something in us. 

Thirdly, It is convenient for the giving of due honour to every person to 
consider of the work appropriated to every one : all come from the Father ; 
all are exactly performed by the Son in our nature for the redemption of 
those that the Father hath given him. The gathering out of the world of 
that blessed society (which we call the church) into an holy communion, 
and the sanctifying of it, and sealing unto it all the privileges believed, 
as forgiveness of sins, resurrection of the body, and life everlasting, &c., 
proceed from the Holy Ghost. 

Fourthly, It has pleased the great God to enter into a treaty and cove 
nant of agreement with us his poor creatures, the articles of which agree 
ment are here comprised. God, for his part, undertakes to convey all th 
concerns our happiness, upon our receiving of them, by believing on hi 
Every one in particular that recites these articles from a spirit of fai 
makes good this condition, and this is that answer of a good conscience 
which Peter speaks of, 1 Pet. iii, whereby being demanded what our fai 
is, every one in particular answers to every article, I believe ; I not on 
understand and conceive it, but assent unto it in my judgment as true, an 
consent to it in my will as good, and build my comfort upon it as good 
me : this act of belief carries the whole soul with it. 

Fifthly, Though it is we that answer, yet the power by which we answer 
is no less than that whereby God created the world and raised Christ from 
the dead. The answer is ours, but the power and strength is God's, 
whereby we answer, who performs both his part and ours too in the cove 
nant. It is a higher matter to believe than the common sort think it. 
For this answer of faith to these truths, as it is caused by the power of God's 
Spirit, so is it powerful to answer all temptations of Satan, all seducements 
of the world, all terrors of conscience from the wrath of God and the curse 
of the law ; it setteth the soul as upon a rock above all. 

Sixthly, These articles are a touchstone at hand to try all opinions by, 
for crooked things are discerned by bringing them to the rule. What 
directly, or by immediate and mere consequence, opposeth these, is to be 
rejected as contrary to the platform of wholesome doctrine. That one 



MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D CT 

monster of opinions, of the bread into the body of Christ by transubstan- 
tiation, overthrows at once four articles of the Creed the incarnation of 
Christ, ascension, sitting at the right hand of God, and coming to judgment; 
for if Christ's body be so often made of a piece of bread, being in so many 
places at once here upon earth, how can all these articles be true ? 

Again, seventhly, These grounds of faith have likewise a special influence 
in direction and encouragement unto all Christian duties. A holy life is 
but the infusion of holy truths. Augustine saith well, Non bene vivitur, ubi 
bene de Deo non creditur : men of an ill belief, cannot be of a good life ; 
whereupon the apostles' method is, to build their exhortations to Christian 
duties upon the grounds of Christian faith. But we must remember, that 
as faith yields a good life and conscience, so a conscience is the vessel to 
preserve the doctrine of faith, else a shipwreck of faith will follow. If there 
be a delighting in unrighteousness, there will not be a love of the truth ; 
and if we love not the truth, then there will be a preparedness to believe 
any lie, and that by God's just judgment, 2 Thes. ii. 12. 

Eighthly. As these fundamental truths yield strength to the whole frame 
of a Christian life, so they are so many springs and wells of consolation for 
God's people to draw from ; whereupon that good Prince George Anhalt 
(who in Luther's time became a preacher of the gospel), intending to com 
fort his brother Prince John, raiseth his comfort from the last three articles 
remission of sins, resurrection of the body, and life everlasting ; which, 
as they have their strength from the former articles, are able to raise any 
drooping spirit, and therefore in the greatest agonies it is the readiest way 
to suck comfort from these benefits. But I omit other things, intending 
only to say something by way of preface. And thus, good reader, I com 
mend this work unto thee, and both it and thee to God's blessing. 

Thine in the Lord, R. SIBBES. 

II. Ball on Faith.' 

The Preface to the Reader. 

Glorious things are spoken of the grace of graces (faith) in the Scrip 
tures, God setting himself to honour that grace that yields up all the hon 
our unto him in Christ : who indeed is the life of our life, and the soul of 
our soul. Faith only as the bond of union bringeth Christ and the soul 
together, and is as an artery that conveys the spirit from him as the heart, 
and as the sinews which convey the spirit to move all duty from him as 
head, whence St Paul maketh Christ's living in us, and our living by faith 
all one, Gal. ii. 20. Now that which giveth boldness and liberty to faith, 
is not only God's assignment of this office to it in the covenant of grace to 
come unto Christ, and unto him in Christ, to receive grace, but likewise 
the gracious promises whereby the great God hath engaged himself as a 
debtor to his poor creature, for all things needful to life and godliness, until 
that blessed time when we shall be put into a full possession of all things 
we have now only in promise, when faith shall end in fruition, and pro 
mises in performances. 

Faith first looks to this word of promise, and in the promise to Christ, 
in whom and for whom they are yea and amen, both made and performed. 
And in Christ it eyeth God in whom it last resteth, as its proper centre and 
foundation ; otherwise how should we weak sinful creatures dare to have any 
intercourse with God that dwelleth in that light that none can attain unto, 
if he had not come forth and discovered his good pleasure in Christ the 
substantial Word, and in the word inspired by the Holy Ghost for the good 



CVl MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 

of those whom God meant for to make heirs of salvation ? Now these pro 
mises whereon all our present comfort and future hope dependeth lie hid in 
the Scriptures, as veins of gold and silver in the bowels of the earth, and 
had need he laid open, that God's people may know what upon good grounds 
to lay claim unto. Those, therefore, that search these mines to bring to 
light these treasures, deserve well of God's church. We commend (and 
not without cause) the witty industry of those that from springs remote 
bring rivers to cities, and by pipes from these rivers derive water to every 
man's house for all domestical services ; much more should we esteem of 
the religious pains of men that brings these waters of life home for every 
man's particular use, in all the passages and turnings of this life. 

In which regard, I do not doubt, but the pains of this godly, painful, 
and learned man will find good entertainment of all children of the pro 
mises that hope to inherit them, who hath with great pains, and with good 
evidence of spiritual understanding, endeavoured to clear most matters con 
cerning faith, and likewise discovered the variety and use of the promises, 
with teaching Christians how to improve their riches in Christ here spread 
before them, how to use the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit upon 
all occasions, that so they might not only be believing but skilful Christians, 
knowing how to manage and make the best advantage of their faith and the 
word of faith. Which if they could do, there would another manner of 
power and beauty shine in their lives than doth. He is a man that hath 
formerly deserved well of the church, but in more special manner fitted for 
a treatise of this nature, as having been put to it to know by experience 
what it is to live by faith, having in sight for matters of this life very little 
whereupon to depend. Those that are driven to exercise their faith cannot 
but find God faithful, as never failing those that trust in him, they see more 
of God than others do. 

If it be objected that others of late time have digged in the same mine 
and laboured in the same field, and to good purpose and success, I answer, 
it is true, the more this age is bound to God that directs the spirits of men 
to so useful, so necessary, an argument, seeing without faith we have no 
communion with the fountain of life, nothing in this world that can yield 
settled comfort to ground the soul upon, seeing without it the fairest car 
riage is but empty and dead morality, neither finding acceptance with God 
nor yielding comfort to us in our greatest extremities, and by it God him 
self and Christ, with all that he hath done, suffered, conquered, becometh 
ours and for our use. Besides, none that I know have written in our lan 
guage so largely of this argument ; and such is the extent and spiritualness 
of this heavenly point, that many men and of the greatest graces and parts, 
may with great benefit to the church dive and dig still into this mystery. 
Neither let any except against the multitude of quotations of Scriptures ; they 
are brought under their proper head, and set in their proper place, and the 
matter itself is cut out into variety of parts. Store (as we used to speak) 
is no sore, we count it a delight to take out of a full heap ; the more light 
the conviction is the stronger ; what suits not at one time will suit our 
spirits and occasions at another, and what taketh not with one may take 
with another. But the full and well handling of matters in this treatise 
carries such satisfaction with it, that it frees me from necessity of further 
discourse, and mine own present weakness of body taketh me off. Only I 
was willing to yield that testimony to the fruitful pains of a faithful labourer 
in God's vineyard, and I judge it deserved. Eeceive it, therefore, Chris 
tian reader, with thanks to God that stirreth up such helpers of that faith 



MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. CV11 

by which we live, stand, conquer, and in which we must die, if we look to 
receive the end of our faith, the salvation of our souls 

RICHARD SIBBES. 

The last epistle known to me is prefixed to a very striking 
and suggestive book, to wit, Richard Capel's ' Treatise of Tempta 
tions.' * Nearly related to the noble family of Capel, he was yet a 
staunch Puritan and ' Nonconformist : ' his son Daniel having also 
been one of the ' ejected ' of 1662. He was very much esteemed 
by Sibbes, who left to him a memorial ' ring ' in his willt The 
book itself is well fitted to comfort the despondent, and may be 
placed beside Brook's 'Precious Remedies for Satan's Devices,' which 
it somewhat resembles, though wanting in the wonderful learning 
and ingenuity of illustration of that most learned and vivid of the 
later Puritans. The ' epistle ' follows : 

To the Christian Header. 

After the angels left their own standing, they envied ours, and out of 
envy became both by office and practice tempters, that they might draw 
man from that happy communion with God, unto that cursed condition with 
themselves. And success in this trade hath made them both skilful and 
diligent, especially now, their time being but short. And if neither the 
first or second Adam could be free from their impudent assaults, who then 
may look for exemption ? The best must most of all look to be set upon as 
having most of Christ in them, whom Satan hates most, and as hoping and 
disheartening of them, to foil others, as great trees fall not alone ; no age 
or rank of Christians can be free. Beginners he labours to discourage ; 
those that have made some progress, he raiseth storms against ; those that 
more perfect he labours to undermine by spiritual pride ; and above all 
other times, he is most busy when we are weakest, then he doubles and multi 
plies his forces, when he looks either to have all, or lose all. His course 
is either to tempt to sin or for sin. To sin, by presenting some seeming 
good to draw us from the true good, to seek some excellency besides God 
in the creature, and to this end he labours in the first place to shake our 
faith in the word ; thus he dealt with Adam, and thus he dealeth with all 
his posterity. And besides immediate suggestions, he cometh unto us, by 
our dearest friends, as unto Christ by Peter ; so many tempters, so many 
devils in that ill office, though neither they or we are oft aware of it ; the 

* Tentations : their nature, danger, cure. By Kichard Capel, sometime Fellow 
of Magdalen College in Oxford. The sixth edition. The fourth part left enlarged 
by the author, and now there is added his remains to the work of Tentations. To 
which thou hast prefixed an abridgment of the author's life, by Valentine Marshall, 
of Elmore, in Gloucestershire. 1 Cor. x. 13, There hath no tentation taken you, 
but such as is common to man : but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be 
tempted above that you are able ; but will with the tentation also make a way to 
escape, that ye may be able to bear it. London : Printed by Tho. Katcliffe, for John 
Bartlet, long since living in the Goldsmith's Eow in Cheapside, at the Gilt Cup ; 
since at St Austine's Gate ; now in the New buildings on the south side of Paul's 
near St Austine's Gate, at the sign of the Gilt Cup, and at the Gilt Cup in West 
minster Hall, over against the Upper Bench. 1659. 

t Consult Brook, supra, iii. 289 seq. 



CV111 MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBE3, D.P. 

nearest friend of all our own flesh, is the most dangerous traitor, and there 
fore most dangerous because most near, more near to us than the devil 
himself, with which, if he had no intelligence, all his plots would come to 
nothing ; this holding correspondence with him, layeth us open to all danger ; 
it is this inward bosom enemy that doth us most mischief. When Phocas 
(like another Zimry) had killed his master, Mauricius the emperor, he 
laboured like Cain, to secure himself with building high walls, after which 
he heard a voice telling him, that though he built his walls never so high, 
yet sin within the walls would undermine all. It is true of every particular 
man, that if there were no tempter without, he would be a tempter to him 
self ; it is this lust within us that hath brought us an ill report upon the 
creature. This is that which makes blessings to be snares unto us ; all 
the corruption which is in the world is by lust, which lieth in our bosom, 
2 Pet. i. 4, and as Ahithophel, or Judas, by familiarity betrayeth us, yea, 
oftentimes in our best affections, and actions, nature will mingle without * 
zeal, and privy pride will creep in, and taint our best performances with 
some corrupt aim. Hence it is, that our life is a continual combat. A 
Christian, so soon as new born, is born a soldier, and so continueth until 
his crown be put upon him ; in the mean time our comfort is, that ere 
long, we shall be out of the reach of all tentation ; ' the God of peace will 
tread down Satan under our feet,' Rom. xvi. 20. A carnal man's life is 
nothing but a strengthening and feeding of his enemy, a fighting for that 
which fighteth against his soul. Since Satan hath cast this seed of the 
serpent into our souls, there is no sin so prodigious, but some seed of it 
lurketh in our nature ; it should humble us to hear what sins are forbiddei 
by Moses, which if the Holy Ghost had not mentioned, we might have beei 
ashamed to hea? of, they are so dishonourable to our nature ; the very 
hearing of the monstrous outrages committed by men, given up of God, as 
it yields matter of thanks to God for preservation of us, so of humility, to 
see our common nature so abused, and so abased by sin and Satan. Nay, 
so catching is our nature of sin, that the mention of it, instead of stirring 
hatred of it, often kindles fancy to a liking of it ; the discovery of devilish 
policies and stratagems of wit, though in some respects to good purpose, yel 
hath no better effect in some, than to fashion their wits to the like 
practices ; and the innocency of many ariseth not from the love of that whicl 
is good, but from not knowing of that which is evil. 

And in nothing the sinfulness of sin appears more than in this, that it 
hindereth all it can, the knowledge of itself, and if it once be known, it 
studieth extenuation, and translation upon others ; sin and shifting cam* 
into the world together ; in St James his time, it seems that there wei 
some that were not afraid to father their temptations to sin, upon him 
hateth it most (God himself), whereas God is only said to try, not to tempt 
Our adversaries are not far from imputing this to God, who maintain 
concupiscence, the mother of all abominations, to be a condition of natui 
as first created, only kept in by the bridle of original righteousness, 
from hence, they might the better maintain those proud opinions of perfe 
fulfilling the law, and meriting thereby. This moved St James to set do\ 
the true descent and pedigree of sin ; we ourselves are both the temptei 
and the tempted ; as tempted we might deserve some pity, if as tempters 
deserve not blame. In us there is both fire and matter for fire to take hole 
on. Satan needs but to blow, and oftentimes not that neither ; for many, if 
concupiscence stir not up them, they will stir up concupiscence. So long 
* Qu. ' with our ?' ED. 



MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. C1X 

as the soul keeps close to God and his truth, it is safe ; so long as our way 
lieth above, we are free from the snares below. All the danger first riseth 
from letting our hearts loose from God by infidelity, for then presently our 
heart is drawn away by some seeming good, whereby we seek a severed ex 
cellency and contentment out of God, in whom it is only to be had. After 
we have once forsaken God, God forsakes us, leaving us in some degree to 
ourselves, the worst guides that can be ; and thereupon, Satan joins forces 
with us, setting upon us as a friend, under our own colours ; he cannot 
but miscarry that hath a pirate for his guide. This God suffereth to make 
us better known to ourselves ; for by this means, corruption that lay hid 
before, is drawn out, and the deceitfulness of sin the better known, and so 
we are put upon the daily practice of repentance and mortification, and 
driven to fly under the wings of Jesus Christ. Were it not for temptations, 
we should be concealed from ourselves ; our graces as unexercised, would 
not be so bright, the power of God should not appear ; so in our weakness, 
we would not be so pitiful and tender towards others, nor so jealous over 
our own hearts, nor so skilful of Satan's method and enterprises, we should 
not see such a necessity of standing always upon our guard ; but though, 
by the overruling power of God, they have this good issue, yet that which 
is ill of itself, is not to be ventured on, for the good that cometh by acci 
dent. The chief thing wherein one Christian differs from another is watch 
fulness, which though it require most labour, yet it bringeth most safety ; 
and the best is no farther safe, than watchful, and not only against sins, 
but tentations, which are the seeds of sin, and occasions which let in ten- 
tations. The best, by rash adventures upon occasion, have been led into 
temptations, and by temptation into the sin itself; whence sin and temp 
tation come both under the same name, to shew us that we can be no 
further secure from sin, than we be careful to shun temptations. And in 
this every one should labour so well to understand themselves, as to know 
what they find a temptation to them. That may be a temptation to one 
which is not to another ; Abraham might look upon the smoke of Sodom, 
though Lot might not ; because that sight would work more upon Lot's 
heart than Abraham's. In these cases a wise Christian better knows what 
to do with himself than any can prescribe him. And because God hath 
our hearts in his hand, and can either suspend or give way to temptations, 
it should move us especially to take heed of those sins, whereby, grieving 
the good Spirit of God, we give him cause to leave us to our own spirits ; 
but that he may rather stir up contrary gracious lustings in us, as a con 
trary principle. There is nothing of greater force to make us out of godly 
jealousy ' to fear always.' Thus daily * working out our salvation,' that 
God may delight to go along with us, and be our shield, and not to leave 
us naked in the hands of Satan, but second his first grace with a farther 
degree, as temptations shall increase. It is he that either removeth occa 
sions, or shutteth our hearts against them, and giveth strength to prevail 
over them ; which gracious promise you cannot be too thankful for. It is a 
great mercy when temptations are not above the supply of strength against 
them. This care only taketh up the heart of those who, having the life of 
Christ begun in them, and his nature stamped upon them, have felt how 
sweet communion and acquaintance with God in Christ, and how comfort 
able the daily walking with God, is ; these are weary of anything that may 
draw away their hearts from God, and hinder their peace. And therefore 
they hate temptations to sin as sin itself, and sin as hell itself, and hell 
most of all, as being a state of eternal separation from all comfortable 



CX MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 

fellowship with God. A man that is a stranger from the life of God, can 
not resist temptation to sin, as it is a sin, because he never knew the 
beauty of holiness ; but from the beauty of a civil life, he may resist 
temptations to such times * as may weaken respect, and from love of his own 
quiet, may abstain from those sins that will affright conscience. And the 
cause why civil men fear the less disturbance from temptations is, because 
they are wholly under the power of temptation, till God awaken their heart. 
What danger they see not, they feel not, the strong man holds his posses 
sion in them, and is too wise, by rousing them out of their sleep to give 
them occasion of thoughts of escape. None more under the danger of 
temptation, than they that discern it not ; they are Satan's stales, ' taken by 
him at his pleasure,' whom Satan useth to draw others into the same snare. 
Therefore Satan troubleth not them, nor himself about them ; but the true 
Christian fears a temptation in everything. His chief care is, that in what 
condition soever he be, it prove not a temptation to him. Afflictions, 
indeed, are more ordinarily called temptations, than prosperity, because 
Satan by them breedeth an impression of sorrow and fear, which affections 
have an especial working upon us in the course of our lives, making us 
often to forsake God, and desert his cause. Yet snares are laid in every 
thing we deal with, which none can avoid but those that see them. None 
see, but those whose eyes God opens ; and God useth the ministry of his 
servants for this end, to open the eyes of men, to discover the net, and 
then, as the wise man saith, * In vain is the net spread before the sight of 
any bird.' Domine, quis evadet laqueos istos multos nisi videat istos ? Et 
quis videbit istos, nisi quern illuminaveris lumine tuo ? ipse enim pater tenebra- 
rum laqueos suos dbscondit. Soliloq. cap. 16. Which goeth under August 
ine's name. Tom. 9 

This moved this godly minister, my Christian friend, to take pains in 
this useful argument, as appeareth in this treatise, which is written by him 
in a clear, quick, and familiar style ; and for the matter and manner of 
handling, solid, judicious, and scholar-like ; and which may commend it 
the more, it is written by one that, besides faithfulness and fruitfulness in 
his ministry, hath been a good proficient in the school of temptation him 
self, and therefore the fitter, as a skilful watchman, to give warning and 
aim to others ; for there be spiritual exercises of ministers more for others 
than for themselves. If by this he shall attain, in some measure, what he 
intended, God shall have the glory, thou the benefit, and he the encourage 
ment to make public some other labours. Farewell in the Lord, 

RICHAED SIBBES. 

These ' epistles ' and ' prefaces ' shew the cordial relations sus 
tained by Sibbes towards his fellow-divines and contemporaries ; 
and down to a late period, the booksellers found it a profitable 
advertisement to say of a book, ' Recommended by Dr Sibbes.' ( 

* Qu. ' sins ?' ED. 

t ' Kecommended by Dr Sibbes.' The various books of Preston are usually thus 
advertised ; and those of Burroughs, Hooker, and Cotton as ' approved by Dr 
Sibbes.' Eglesfield and Cole in their book-lists supply various examples. 



MEMOIE OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. Oil 

CHAPTER X. 

SIBBES VICAR OF TRINITY, CAMBRIDGE PEACE-MAKER. 

Presentation to Vicarage of Trinity by the King Another relaxation of ' order' of 
Gray's Inn Lord Keeper Williams 'Tender Conscience' 'Consolatory Letter' 
Thomas Goodwin 'Summer visits' Earls of Manchester and Warwick 
Truro and Say and Seal Brooks and Veres Thurston 'Mother and brethren.' 

From the manner in which Sibbes escaped the practical effects 
of the ' High Commission ' and ' Star-Chamber ' decisions, in strik 
ing contrast with Davenport and Hooker, and others of the fugitives 
to Holland and New England, and from the fearless way in which 
he continued to preach the same sentiments, it is evident that he 
must have personally commanded the weightiest regard, and secured 
influence that could not be disregarded. In 1627, he passed D.D. 
In 1633 (shortly after the overthrow of the ' Feoffees ' scheme, 
which makes it the more memorable), he was presented by the 
king, Charles I., on its resignation by Thomas Goodwin, who scarcely 
held it a year,* to ' the vicarage of the holy and undivided Trinity, 
in the town of Cambridge.' We have the fact in the ' Fcedera : 

' Kicardus Sibbes, clericus, in Sacra Theologia Professor, habet con- 
similes Literas Patentes de presentatione ad Vicariam sanctae et individuae 
Trinitatis in Villa Cantabrigiaa, Diocesis Eliensis, per resignationem ultiini 
Incumbentis ibidem jam vacantem, et ad nostram presentationem pleno 
jure spectantem ; et deriguntur has Literae Reverendo in Christo Patri 
Domino Francisco Eliensi Episcopo. Teste Rege apud Westmonasterium, 
vicesimo primo die Novembris 1633.' f 

This ' presentation ' speaks much for Sibbes ; for at this date 
Laud was filling every place with men of his own kind. We have 
not the means of determining by what influence this appointment 
was obtained. One tells us Goodwin resigned ' in favour of Sibbes/ 
but that could scarcely be, inasmuch as he at the same time resigned 
all his offices and honours in the University. Besides, the difficulty 
is only removed back a stage ; how did it come about that a Puritan 
resigned and another stepped into his place ? It may be that it was 
a tacit recompence for the former injustice of ' outing ' him from his 
lectureship of Trinity and his fellowship ; but it is more probable 
that on the "Feoffees" decision, the powerful friends of the preacher 
at Gray's Inn interfered in such a way as to let the primate under 
stand that they, at any rate, were not to be trifled with ; and that 
then he secured, or at least did not hinder, this ' presentation.' 

But there is the further difficulty of the ' order ' of Gray's Inn, 
that their preacher was not only to be continually resident, but 

* Rymer's Fcedera, six., 440, No. 81, ed. 1732. t MM-, xix., 536. 



Cxil MEMOIR OF EICHAKD SIBBES, D.D. 

likewise to have no other ecclesiastical preferment. As Sibhes 
actually accepted and acted as vicar, the ' order ' must once more 
have been relaxed in his favour. Indeed, I suspect that ' order ' 
was originally passed for a personal object and from a personal 
reason. The immediate predecessor of Sibbes was a Mr Fenton, 
in all likelihood, though no Christian name appears in the ' Order- 
Books ' of Gray's Inn, the same with Roger Fenton, D.D., who 
was a great pluralist, and who died 16th January 1615-16. He 
held the prebend, rectory, and vicarage of St Pancras, and the 
rectory of St Stephen's, Walbrook, and also the vicarage of Chig- 
well, Essex, till his death. Probably he neglected his duties as 
preacher at Gray's Inn. Hence the check put upon his successor.* 
For one so faithful in the discharge of his office, and who was 
regarded by all as a personal friend, there would be no great diffi 
culty in making arrangements, in order to his accepting the ' pre 
sentation/ and still continuing the honoured preacher of Gray's Inn. 

It is greatly to be lamented that the most diligent and persistent 
research has failed to add any memorials to the fact of his en 
trance on the vicarage of Trinity. Though he must have been 
non-resident, he would have many opportunities to officiate during 
' vacation ' time at the Inn. 

This is the last public honour recorded as having been conferred 
upon Sibbes. What remains to be told partakes of the privacy of 
his daily life. 

One little fact, half-casually recorded in that extraordinary 
folio, ' Scrinia Reserata : a Memorial offer'd to the great de- 
servings of John Williams, D.D., who some time held the place 
of Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England, &c., &c., &c., by John 
Hacket, late Lord Bishop of Litchfield and Coventry/ 1693 a 
book sui generis, and than which none gives profounder insight 
into the ' form and pressure of the age/ brings out a very beautiful 
side of Sibbes's character, and dates to us, if I err not, one of the 
most interesting, biographically, of his minor writings. Vindicating 
Williams a vindication which, the more successful it is, the more 
it damages the strangely contradictory character of the Lord Keeper 
from the rumour of favouring Puritans, Hacket thus introduces 
Sibbes : 

' Another rank for whose sake the Lord Keeper suffer'd, were scarce an 
handful, not above three or four in all the wide Bishoprick of Lincoln, who 
did not oppose, but by an ill education seldom used the appointed cere 
monies. Of whom when he was certified by his commissaries and officials- 

* ' Check put upon his successor.' For these facts and the inference from them 
I owe thanks to Dr Hesse y 



MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. CX1U 

he sent for them, and confer'd with them with much meekness, sometimes 
remitted them to argue with his chaplain. If all this stirred them not, he 
commended them to his old collegiate Dr Sibbes, or Dr Gouch (Gouge), who 
knew the scruples of these men's hearts, and how to bring them about, the 
best of any about the city of London.'* 

There is such a fascination, spite of all his errors, or it may be 
crimes, about the hot-blooded Welshman, so stormy and impulsive, 
so wise and yet so foolish, that one is glad to find, that even when 
he was ' Lord Keeper,' and surrounded by very different men, he 
forgot neither him who was once his humble fellow-student of 
St John's, nor the staunch puritan of ' Blackfryers/ William Gouge, 
also a contemporary at Cambridge, but 

1 They had been friends, when friendship is 
A passion and a blessedness ; 
And in a tender sacrament 
Unto the house of God they went, 

And plighted love, caressing 
The same dear cup of blessing. 

' They had been friends in youth, most dear ; 
In studious night, and mirthful cheer, 
And high discourse, and large debate, 
Unmixed by bitterness or hate 

Their fellowship, 1 ween, 

A pleasant thing had been.' 

It is specially pleasing to know what was the occasion of again 
associating the students of earlier years to wit, tender dealing 
with tender consciences. I like to place that over against his after 
humiliating repudiation of all Puritans, extorted from him while 
under the shadow of a charge of treason, and in a letter to LAUD.t 
He was truthful in his favour ; untruthful in his disfavour. The 
fact also dates, as I have intimated, one of the minor writings of 
Sibbes, which illustrates how he would discharge the office assigned 
to him. It is entitled : 

A CONSOLATORY LETTER To an afflicted Conscience : full of pious admo 
nitions and Divine Instructions. Written by that famous Divine, Doctor 
SIBBS : and now published for the common good and edification of the 
Church. Ecclesiastes vi. 18, Be not thoujust overmuch, neither make thy 
selfe overwise ; wherefore shouldest thou be desolate. 

[Woodcut portrait. JEtat: Suse 58.] London, Printed for Francis 
Coules. 1641. | 

* i. 95. ' Scrinia ' seems to have been a favourite title. The historical student 
will recall also Scrinia Ceciliana.' 

t Works of Laud. vi. pp. 312-314. Sept. 9. 1633. 

t For a copy of this excessively rare Letter,' published in a thin 4to, pp. 6, 1 am 
indebted to the kindness of Joshua Wilson, Esq., Nevill Park, Tunbridge Wells, 
who has devoted much time to good purpose in investigating the history, and bio 
graphy, and bibliography of Puritanism. His ' Historical Inquiry concerning the 
Principles, &c., of English Presbyterians ' (1835) has not gathered all its renown yet. 



CX1V MEMOIR OF EICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 

I introduce this ' Letter ' here, retaining its ortnography : 

Deare Sir, 

I understand by your Letter, that you have many and great 
tryals ; some externall and bodily, some internall and spiritual! : as the de- 
privall of inward comfort, the buffetings (and that in more then ordinary 
manner), of your soule, with Satans temptations : and (which makes all 
those inward and outward, the more heavy and insupportable) that you 
have wanted Christian society with the Saints of God, to whom you might 
make knowne your griefes, and by whom you might receive comfort from the 
Lord, and incouragement in your Christian course. 

Now that which I earnestly desire in your behalfe, and hope likewise you 
doe in your owne, is that you may draw nearer to God, and be more con 
formable to his command by these afflictions ; for if our afflictions be not 
sanctified, that is, if we make not an holy use of them by purging out the 
old leaven of our ingenerate corruptions, they are but judgments to us, and 
makes way for greater plagues : loh v. 14. And therefore the chiefs end 
and ayme of God in all the afflictions which he sends to his children in love, 
is, that they may be partakers of his holinesse, and so their afflictions may 
conduce to their spirituall advantage and profit, Heb. xii. 10. The Lord 
aymes not at himselfe in any calamities he layes on us, (for God is so 
infinitely all-sufficient, that we can adde nothing to him by all our doings or 
sufferings) but his maine ayme is at our Melioration and Sanctification in 
and by them. And therefore our duty in every affliction and pressure, is 
thus to thinke with our selves : How shall we carry and behave our selves 
under this crosse, that our soules may reap profit by it ? This (in one 
word) is done by our returning and drawing nearer to the Lord, as his holy 
Apostle exhorts us, lames iv. 8. This in all calamities the Lord hath a 
speciall eye unto, and is exceeding wroth if he finde it not. 

The Prophet declares That his anger was not turned from Israel, because 
they turned not to him that smote them, Isa. i. 4, 5. Now it is impossible 
that a man should draw nigh to God, and turne to him, if he turne not from 
his evill wayes : for in every conversion there is Terminus a quo, something 
to be turned from, as well as Terminus ad quod, something to be turned to. 

Now, that we must turn to, is God ; and that we must turne from, is 
sinne ; as being diametrally opposite to God, and that which separates 
betweene God and us. 

To this purpose we must search and try our hearts and wayes, and see 
what sinnes there be that keepe us from God, and separate us from his 
gracious favour : and chiefly we must weed out our speciall bosom-sins. 
This the ancient Church of God counsels each other to doe in the time of 
their anguish and affliction, Lam. iii. 39, 40, Let us search and try our 
wayes, and turne againe to the Lord : for though sinne make not a finall 
divorce betwixt God and his chosen people, yet it may make a dangerous 
rupture by taking away sense of comfort, and suspending the sweet influ 
ence of his favour, and the effectuall operation of his grace. 

And therefore (deare Sir) my earnest suit and desire is, that you would 
diligently peruse the booke of your conscience, enter into a thorow search 
and examination of your heart and life ; and every day before you goe to 
bed, take a time of recollection and meditation, (as holy Isaac did in his 
private walkes, Gen. xxiv. 63), holding a privy Session in your soule, and 
indicting your selfe for all the sins, in thought, word, or act committed, & 
all the good duties you have omitted. This self-examination, if it be so 
strict and rigid as it ought to be, will soone shew you the sins whereto you 






MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, P.D. CXY 

are most inclinable (the chiefe cause of all your sorrowes), and conse 
quently, it will (by God's assistance) effectually instruct you to fly from 
those venomous and fiery serpents, which have so stung you. 

And though you have (as you say) committed many grievous sinnes, as 
abusing God's gracious ordinances, and neglecting the golden opportunities 
of grace : the originall, as you conceive of all your troubles ; yet I must tell 
you, there is another Coloquintida in the pot, another grand enormity 
(though you perceive it not) and that is your separation from Gods Saints 
and Servants in the Acts of his publike Service and worship. This you 
may clearly discern by the affliction it selfe, for God is methodicall in his 
corrections, and doth (many times) so suite .the crosse to the sinne, that 
you may reade the sin in the crosse. You confesse that your maine afflic 
tion, and that which made the other more bitter, is, that God tooke away 
those to whom you might make your complaint ; and from whom you 
might receive comfort in your distresse. And is not this just with God, 
that when you wilfully separate your selfe from others, he should separate 
others from you ? Certainly, when we undervalue mercy, especially so 
great a one as the communion of Saints is, commonly the Lord takes it 
away from us, till we learne to prize it to the full value. Consider well 
therefore the haynousnesse of this sin, which that you may the better conceive, 
First, consider it is against Gods expresse Precept, charging us not to for 
sake the assemblies of the Saints, Heb. x. 20, 25. Again, it is against 
our own greatest good and spirituall solace, for by discommunicating & 
excommunicating our selves from that blessed society, we deprive our 
selves of the benefit of their holy conference, their godly instructions, their 
divine consolations, brotherly admonitions, and charitable reprehensions ; 
and what an inestimable losse is this ? Neither can we partake such profit 
by their prayers as otherwise we might : for as the soule in the naturall 
body conveyes life and strength to every member, as they are compacted 
and joyned together, and not as dis-severed ; so Christ conveyes spirituall 
life and vigour to Christians, not as they are disjoyned from, but as they 
are united to the mysticall body, the Church. 

But you will say England is not a true Church, and therefore you 
separate ; adhere to the true Church. 

I answer, our Church is easily proved to be a true Church of Christ : 
First, because it hath all the essentialls, necessary to the constitution of a 
true Church ; as sound preaching of the Gospell, right dispensation of the 
Sacraments, Prayer religiously performed, and evill persons justly punisht 
(though not in that measure as some criminals and malefactors deserve :) 
and therefore a true Church. 

2. Because it hath begot many spirituall children to the Lord, which for 
soundnesse of judgement, and holinesse of life, are not inferiour to any in 
other Reformed Churches. Yea, many of the Separation, if ever they 
were converted, it was here with us : (which a false and adulterous Church 
communicated.) 

But I heare you reply, our Church is corrupted with Ceremonies, and 
pestered with prophane persons. What then ? must we therefore separate 
for Ceremonies, which many think may be lawfully used. But admit they 
be evils, must we make a rent in the Church for Ceremonious Rites, for 
circuinstantiall evils ? That were a remedy worse than the disease. Be 
sides, had not all the true Churches of Christ their blemishes and deformi 
ties, as you may see in seaven Asian Churches ? Rev. ii. and iii. And 
though you may finde some Churches beyond Sea free from Ceremonies, 
VOL. i. k 






CXV1 MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 



yet notwithstanding they are more corrupt in Preachers, (which is the 
maine) as in prophanation of the Lord's day, &c. 

As for wicked and prophane Persons amongst us, though we are to labour 
by all good meanes to purge them out, yet are we not to separate because 
of this residence with us : for, there will bee a miscellany and mixture in 
the visible Church, as long as the world endures, as our Saviour shewes by 
many parables : Matth. xiii. If therefore we should be so overjust as to 
abandon all Churches for the intermixture of wicked Persons, we must saile 
to the Antipodes, or rather goe out of the world, as the Apostle speaks : 
it is agreed by all that Noahs Arke was a type and embleme of the Church. 
Now as it had been no lesse then selfe-murder for Noah, Sem, or laphet, 
to have leapt out of the Arke, because of that ungracious Cains * company ; 
so it is no better then soule-murder for a man to cast himself out of the 
Church, either for reall or imaginall corruptions. To conclude, as the 
Angell injoyned Hagar to returne, and submit to her Mistris Sarah, so let 
me admonish you to returne your selfe from these extravagant courses, and 
submissively to render your self to the sacred communion of this truly 
Evangelicall Church of England. 

I beseech you therefore, as you respect Gods glory and your owne eternall 
salvation, as There is but one body and one spirit, one Lord, one Baptisme, 
one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all ; so 
endeavour to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace, Eph. iv., as the 
Apostle sweetly invites you. So shall the peace of God ever establish you, 
and the God of peace ever preserve you ; which is the prayer of 

Your remembrancer at the Throne of Grace K. SIBS. 

The preceding ' Letter,' the more valuable because of the 
paucity of such memorials of Sibbes, was in all likelihood ad 
dressed to Thomas Goodwin, D.D., who has been designated the 
Atlas and patriarch of Independency. Francis White, Bishop of Ely, 
within whose jurisdiction the Church of Trinity, Cambridge, lay, 
being one of the ultra-zealous adherents of Laud, had put every 
obstacle possible in the way of Goodwin's acceptance, and subse 
quently of his installation ; but he was ultimately installed as 
vicar, having passed from the curacy of St Andrew's, Cambridge, 
thereto. On the succession of Laud to the primacy, his special 
charge to his bishops was to watch over the lecturers, and ' watch 
over' had a terrible significance. White harassed all within his dio 
cese who sought to preach evangelically. He renewed his attacks 
upon Goodwin. The result was, that, dissatisfied with the restric 
tions imposed upon preaching that truth which, from the time of 
Sibbes's barbed words to him, he had found to be the very life of 
his own soul, he resigned at once his vicarage, lectureship of 
Trinity, and fellowship of Catharine Hall, and removed, as it 
would appear, to London, where he began to propagate his new 
views and conclusions in regard to clmrch government. He shrank j 
not from the name, then of evil omen, of ' Separatist.' t The ! 
* Qu. ' Cham's ?' ED. 
t Consult Dr Halley's Memoir of Goodwin in this series, II, xxiii-iv. 



I 




MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. CXV11 

whole circumstances of the case, their previous friendship, their 
mutual sentiments, warrant, I apprehend, the supposition that this 
grave, loving, skilful, and admirable letter was addressed to Thomas 
Goodwin. If so, it was unsuccessful in winning him back to ' the 
church.' Methinks Sibbes would have acted more faithfully as well 
as more consistently, had he followed the example of his friends, 
Goodwin, John Cotton, John Davenport, Thomas Hooker, Samuel 
Stone, and their compeers. The spirit that pervades his letter is 
worthier than his arguments. It seems difficult to see how 
Goodwin could have remained within the pale of the church, gagged 
and hindered as he was in what was to him momentous beyond 
all earthly estimate ; and it was equally impossible to give ' assent 
and consent' to what those in authority pronounced to be the 
' beauty of holiness,' and teaching of the Book of Common Prayer. 
Sibbes allowed of neither. By the powerful influence of his many 
friends, while certainly, as we have seen, summoned before Star 
Chamber and High Commission, he held on in his way of preach 
ing the same gospel everywhere. That explains his remaining 
within the church. Who doubts for a moment, that, if his mouth 
had been shut, as was Goodwin's, on the ' one thing,' Sibbes would 
have placed himself beside his friend ? Perhaps there would have 
been more of lingering effort, to get above the difficulties, more 
pain in sundering of the ties that bound him to the church, more 
sway given to heart than head. Still the final decision, beyond all 
debate, would have been that of the ' two thousand' of 1662. The 
more shame to those who compelled such loyal lovers of 'the 
church' to leave her. This letter gives us insight into Sibbes's 
method of procedure in dealing with the scruples of the conscien 
tious. It is to be regretted that we have no more of such letters, 
and none of his conversations with them. But we have the fact, upon 
various authority, that he was at all times ready to speak a word in 
season, and on principle, contrived to sanctify all his intercourse 
with his fellow-men, as well more privately as publicly. He had 
many opportunities of influencing for good some of the finest minds 
of the age ; and he availed himself of such opportunities. He was wont, 
Samuel Clarke informs us, ' in the summer time, to go abroad to the 
houses of some worthy personages, where he was an instrument of 
much good, not only by his private labours, but by his prudent 
counsel and advice, that upon every occasion he was ready to minis 
ter unto them.' * Charles Stanford has well limned to us such 
visits in Alleine's day. If you wish, he says, ' to see what 
Puritan life was like in " the high places," go with Mr Alleine and 
* Clarke, ante, p. 145. 



CXVU1 MEMOIR OF KICHAED SIBBES, D.D. 

his brother Norman, to spend an evening with Admiral Blake at 
his country house at Knowle.' * Instead of Alleine let us go with 
Sibbes, and instead of Admiral Blake at Knowle, let the visit be 
to John Pym, or to Lady Mary Yere, or to Sir Kobert and Lady 
Brooke, or any of those great and true families, whose heads 

' bore, without abuse, 

The grand old name of gentleman,' 

and ' feared God/ and were ' lovers of all good men.' Suppose 
Colonel Hutchinson and the Puritan Admiral to be also guests. 
There would be the simple meal, the Bible would be brought in, 
there would be prayer, there would be conversation such as 
Christians love, and which they can only have when in ' their own 
company,' there would probably be discourse, in logical forms, 
on some of the mysteries of Christian truth, of course, there would 
be reasonings over some ' case of conscience/ Dr Gouge would be 
apt to get prosy, in discussing the opinions of Fragosa, Talet, 
Sayrus, and Roderiques, or of Doctors Ursinus or Lobetius; 
Master Davenport would interpose a ' why ' or ' how ;' and Richard 
Sibbes would close with some sweet words from John or the 
Lord himself, modestly confirming his own elucidations of them 
from Bernard, or with a quaint saying from Luther, or a wise 
apophthegm from Augustine. Then there would be a flow of grace 
ful and varied talk, not only on politics (' Petition of Right,' and so 
on), but on books, pictures, gardening, or the last scientific experi 
ments of the ' Oxford Society;' and the tall-browed statesman, and 
the great sailor, ' would affect a droll concern to prove before the 
ministers, by the aptness and abundance of their Latin quotations, 
that in becoming ' leader in the House ' and admiral, they had not 
forfeited their claim to be considered good classics/ You could 
not find better types of the winning, yet stately Christian gentle 
man, than among such Puritan circles ; and where will you match 
their ' fair ladyes V We have confirmation of the 'visits' and of their 
results in the several ' epistles ' and ' dedications ' of his posthu 
mous writings. Each of these records personal intercourse and kind 
nesses, and the tenderest cherishing of his memory. He was a fre 
quent guest with the Earls of Manchester and Warwick, and Ladies 
Anne and Susanna, their Countesses, Lord Say and Seal, Lord Roberts, 
Baron Truro, and Lady Lucie his consort, but most of all with the 
Brooks and Yeres, with whom he lived on the most familiar terms. 
The ' dedications' and ' epistles' will be found in their respective! 

* Joseph Alleine: his Companions and Times, pp. 131-2; and Hepworth Dixon's, 
Life of Blake, p. 267. I accommodate, rather than quote from Stanford's picturesque ' 
and masterly work. 



MEMOIE OF KICHARD SIBBES, D.D. CX1X 

places ; but, as it reflects interesting light and mutual honour on 
both, I must introduce in full the ' epistle dedicatory' of the 'Foun 
tain Sealed,' to * the truly noble and much honoured lady, the 
Lady Elizabeth Brooke, wife to Sir Robert Brooke,' and also glean a 
few biographic sentences from others. The 'epistle' to Lady Brooke, 
one of the most remarkable women of England, at a period when 
there were many such, is as follows : 

To the truly noble and much honoured lady, the LADY ELIZABETH BBOOKE, 

wife to Sir Robert Brooke. 

' Madam, Besides that deserved interest your Ladyship held in the 
affections and esteem of this worthy man more than any friend alive, which 
might entitle you to all that may call him author, this small piece of his 
acknowledged a more special propriety unto your Ladyship. For though 
his tongue was as the pen of a ready writer in the hand of Christ, who 
guided him, yet your Ladyship's hand and pen was in this his scribe and 
amanuensis, whilst he dictated a first draught of it in private, with intention 
for the public. In which labour, both of humility and love, your Lady 
ship did that honour unto him which Baruch, though great and noble, did 
but receive in the like transcribing the words of Jeremiah from his mouth, 
wherein yet your Ladyship did indeed but write the story of your own life, 
which hath been long exactly framed to the rules herein prescribed. We, 
therefore, that are intrusted in the publishing of it, deem it but an act of 
justice in us to return it thus to your Ladyship, unto whom it owes even 
its first birth, that so, wherever this little treatise shall come, there also 
this that you have done may be told and recorded for a memorial of you. 
And we could not but esteem it also an addition of honour to the work, 
that no less than a lady's hand, so pious and so much honoured, brought 
it forth into the world, although in itself it deserveth as much as any other 
this blessed womb did bear. The Lord, in way of recompense, write all the 
holy contents of it yet more fully and abundantly in your ladyship's heart, 
and all the lineaments of the image of Jesus Christ, and seal up all unto 
you by his blessed Spirit, with joy and peace, to the day of redemption. 
Madam, we are your Ladyship's devoted, THOS. GOODWIN. 

PHILIP NYE. 

It was no uncommon thing for ladies moving in the highest 
circles thus to 'take down' the sermons of their ministers, or 
discharge the office of amanuenses. Contemporaneously with Lady 
Brooke we find Lady Elizabeth Rich, another of Sibbes's friends, 
transcribing and preparing for the press WILLIAM STRONG'S great 
folio ' Of the Covenants.' * Of Lady Brooke, her biographer Park- 
hurst states, among many other things of note, that 

' She used a mighty industry to preserve what either instfn"*^ *"" mind 
or affected her heart in the sermons she had heard. To w<^ one gave 
great attention in the Assembly, and heard them repeated in her family. 
And thus she would discourse of them in the evening ; and hi the follow 
ing week she had them again repeated, and discoursed the matter of them 
to some of her family in her chamber. And besides all this, she wrote the 
substance of them, and then digested many of them into questions and 
* 1678. Dedication by Theophilus Gale to Lady Elizabeth Eich. 



CXX MEMOIE OF RICHAKD SEBBES, D.D. 

answers, or under heads of common-places, and then they became to her 
matter for repeated meditation. And by these methods she was always in 
creasing her knowledge, or confirming the things that were known.' * 

Addressing Lord Roberts, Baron Truro, and Lady Lucie, John 
Sedgwick thus commences his ' dedication ' of the ' Beams of Divine 
Light :' 

* BIGHT HONOUEABLE AND TRULY NOBLE, It was not so much the nobility 
of your blood, as that of grace given unto you from the divine hand, which 
did so much interest you in the love and esteem of that worthy servant of Christ, 
the author of this work, in whom Urim and Thummim met, whose whole 
course being a real and vital sermon, sweetly consonant to the tenor of his 
teaching, made him amiable living and honourable dead, in the opinion of 
as many as well knew him. This was the thing, I suppose, which wrought 
unto him from you, as well as from many others of your noble stock and rank, 
more than an ordinary esteem.' f 

Again, in like manner he addresses Robert, Earl of Warwick, and 
Lady Susanna, in ' Light from Heaven :' 

* For me to commend the author, were to make the world to judge him 
either a stranger unto you, or a man that had not ingratiated himself with 
you whilst he lived near unto you. I well knew that he had an honourable 

opinion of you both, and of yours You that knew and loved him 

so well shall, in vouchsafing to read over these ensuing sermons, find his 
spirit in them.' J 

These ' testimonies ' might be greatly multiplied, and it is very 
pleasing to know that one who so carried about with him the 
' sweet savour ' of Christ was thus welcomed at the Kimboltons, 
and Cockfields, and Hevinghams, and other of the family seats 
and castles of the nobility and gentry. It is especially honourable 
to Sibbes that he received such cordial welcome from the nobles 
and gentry of his own native county of Suffolk. The Tostock 
' wheelwright's ' son reversed the too often true saying of a pro 
phet not being without honour 'save in his own country and 
among his own kin.' The Day will declare the good effected 
by these summer visits and 'conferences in private, done aptly, 
pithily, and profitably .... much in few words.' 

While thus a visitor among the ' great ones,' he did not forget 
his birth-place or school-boy haunts, his ' mother, and brethren.' 
I turn here to the manuscript of the Vicar of Thurston : 

1 Anno Domini 1608. I came to be minister of Thurston, and he wasi 
then a Fellow of the College, and a preacher of good note in Cambridge,! 
and we soon grew well acquainted. For whensoever he came down into the 

* Quoted in Wilford's ' Memorials and Characters,' folio, 1741, page 210. Con 
sult pp. 209-213, and Appendix xvii. 

t Ep. Bed., 4to, 1639. J Ep. Bed., 4to, 1638. 

j ' Epistle Dedicatory ' to ' Evangelical Sacrifices,' 4to, 1640. 






MEMOIR OF EICHAKD SIBBES, D.D. CXX1 

country to visit his mother and brethren (his father being deceased) he 
would never fail to preach with us on the Lord's day, and for the most part 
twice, telling me that it was a work of charity to help a constant and a pain- 
fid preacher, for so he was pleased to conceive of me. And if there were 
a communion appointed at any time he would be sure not to withdraw him 
self after sermon, but receiving the bread and wine at my hands, he would 
always assist me in the distribution of the cup to the congregation.' 

The church of Thurston, in which Sibbes thus ministered, has 
only within these two years disappeared. Its great tower fell, and 
it was found necessary to rebuild the whole. This has been done 
nearly in fac-simile of the original.* The parsonage of the excel 
lent vicar remains. It has degenerated into a kind of farmer's house, 
but on a recent visit I found many traces of former elegance and 
comfort. It is two-storied, with lozenge-paned windows, and heavy 
sculptured doorway. In front is an avenue of noble chesnuts and 
beeches, and pollard limes. The * garden ' must have been of con 
siderable extent. Imagination was busy calling up Sibbes and 
Catlin walking arm-in-arm along the mossed avenue. I stepped 
across the threshold of the ancient house, sat down by the carved 
mantel-pieced fireside with reverence. It was something to know 
that there our worthies had many and many a time exchanged 
loving words, perhaps smoked a pipe. 

Finely does the vicar continue bis personal reminiscences of the 
visits to Tburston, and of his friend's kindnesses. We must again 
listen to him : 

' As for his kindness to his kindred, and neglect of the world, it was very 
remarkable. For this I can testify of my own knowledge, that, purchasing 
of Mr Tho. Clark and others in our town a messuage and lands at several 
times to the value of fifty pounds per annum, he paid the fines to the lords 
but never took one penny of the rents or profits of them, but left the benefit 
wholly to his mother and his two brethren as long as he lived. So much did 
this heavenly-minded man of God' ('heavenly' seems instinctively to drop 
from every one who writes of him) ' slight this present world (which the 
most men are so loth to part withal when they die) that he freely and un- 
desired parted with it whilst he lived, requiring nothing of them but only 
to be liberal to the poor. Nay, over and besides, if any faithful, honest 
man came down from Cambridge or London, where he lived, by whom he 
might conveniently send, he seldom or never failed to send his mother a 

* An engraving of the church as it was before its fall is given in one of those 
privately printed family histories, for which we are indebted to the love of the 
Americans towards their mother country. The Brights of Suffolk, England ; repre 
sented in America by the descendants of Henry Bright jun., who came to New 
England in 1630, and settled in Watertown, Massachusetts. By J. B. Bright. For 
private circulation. Boston. 1 vol. royal 8vo. 1858.' See opposite page 109. 
This book is of the deepest interest, well arranged, and illustrated lavishly with 
portraits and other illustrations.' Mr Bright in the most obliging manner sent rne 
a copy. 



CXX11 MEMOIR OF EICHAED SIBBES, D.D. 

piece of gold, for the most part a ten shilling piece, but five shillings was 
the least,* and this he continued as long as his mother lived. And would 
she have been persuaded to exchange her country life for the city, he often 
told me that he would willingly have maintained her there in good view and 
fashion, like his mother, but she had no mind to alter her accustomed course 
of life in her old days, contenting herself with her own means, and that 
addition which her son made thereunto.' 

And still farther the good old man continues, with a love and 
reverence most affecting, and that only a true man could have se 
cured : 

For his special kindness to myself, in particular, I cannot omit that, 
being trusted by personages of quality with divers sums of money for pious 
and charitable uses, he was pleased, among many others, not to forget me. 
At one time he sent me down three twenty- shilling pieces of gold enclosed 
in a letter, and at two other times he delivered to me with his own hand 
two twenty- shilling pieces more ; and so far was this humble saint from 
pharisaical ostentation and vainglory, and from taking the honour of these 
good works to himself, that he plainly told me that these gratuities were 
not of his own cost, but being put in trust, and left to his own discretion 
in the distribution, he looked upon me as one that took great pains in my 
ministry and in teaching scholars, and at that time labouring under the 
burden of a great charge of children, and so thought me a fit object of their 
intended charity. And from myself his love descended down to my son 
for my sake, for whom (before he had ever seen him, being then at the 
grammar-school at Bury, he then, chosen Master of Katherine Hall, pro 
mised me a scholarship there of five pounds a year, and to provide for him 
a tutor and a chamber. And such was his constancy of spirit and his 
reality, that whatsoever promise he made me he would be sure both to re 
member it and to make it good as freely as he first made it, that was un 
asked and undesired. And for these manifold kindnesses all that he de 
sired at my hands was no more but this, that I would be careful of the 
souls of my people, and, in special, of his mother, his brethren, and his sisters, 
and would give them good counsel in their disposing themselves in mar 
riage, or upon any other occasion, as I saw they stood in need. And this 
one thing I may not pass over concerning myself, that in his last will and 
testament he gave me a legacy of forty shillings, with the title of " his loving 
friend," which I the rather mention, because I had not the least thought to 
have been in that sort remembered by him at his death, living at no less 
distance from him than of threescore miles. In a word, such was the low 
liness of this sweet servant of God, such his learning, parts, piety, pru 
dence, humility, sincerity, love, and meekness of spirit (whereof every one 
was a loadstone to attract, unite, and fasten my spirit close to his), that I 
profess ingenuously no man that ever I was acquainted withal got so far 
into my heart or lay closer there, so that many times I could not part from 
him with dry eyes. But who am I ? or what is it to be beloved of me, 
especially for him that had so many and great friends as he had ? Yet even 
to me the great God is pleased to say, " My son, give me thy heart," 
and this poor and contrite heart I know he will not despise ; and this heart 
of mine, as small as it is, yet is too great to close with a proud, profane, 
worldly, malicious heart, though it be in a prince. But true virtue and 

* This may fairly be considered equal to a pound of our present money. 



MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. CXX111 

grace are the image of God himself, and where they are discerned by wis 
dom's children they command the heart and are truly lovely and venerable, 
whereas carnal notions and unmortified affections (whereof this man of God 
was as free as any man I know living), they do render a man, whatever he 
be, if not hateful and contemptible, yet at least less lovely and honourable. 
But my love to this good man hath transported me beyond my purpose, 
which was to speak of some things less visible to others, especially con 
cerning his first education. For when he came to the university and the 
city, there his life and actions were upon a public theatre, and his own 
words, without a trumpet, would praise him in the gates. As for his kind 
ness to his kindred and to myself, I know none that took more notice oi 
them than I, and therefore I could not hide them from the world upon 
this occasion without some kind of sacrilege.' 

Thanks, chatty Zachary, for thy golden words I Thou wert a 
meet companion of Richard Sibbes ! Would that we might recover 
thy ' Hidden Treasure,' * for, of a truth, it must breathe thy very 
spirit ! All the notices of the author of The Bruised Reed and 
Soul's Conflict harmonise with the tribute of the vicar of Thurston. 
Whether it be Clark or Thomas Fuller, Prynne or Eachard, or his 
numerous 'prefacers,' he is invariably spoken of with the most 
touching kindliness. 






CHAPTER XL 

' THE BEGINNING OF THE END/ 



, 



trospect Character Humility the English Leighton his ' Cygnea-Cantio ' 

vel Concio. 



We have now reached ' the beginning of the end.' A few months 
later, and Richard Sibbes lay dying. But at this point, I would 
observe, that up to the latest he continued faithfully to execute his 
office as a ' preacher of the word' Left alone (for Preston was gone : 
and Cotton, and Davenport, and Hooker, and many others of his 
circle, were fugitives in New England), he had ever-increasing de 
mands made upon him, and no ' door of entrance' was opened into 
which he did not enter, still 

' Hoping through the darkest day.' f 

He continued to preach at Gray's Inn, in the good old way, the 
simple gospel that Paul preached, and that of all men JOHN CAL 
VIN, following Augustine, in his estimate, had best interpreted. 

* The following is the title, from Crowe's Catalogue of our English writers on 
Old and New Testament, &c., 1668: 'Hidden-Treasure, two sermons on Mat. 
xiii.44. 4to. 1633.' Can any reader help to this ? 

t Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell, p. 34, 12mo. 1846. 



CXX1V MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 

He resided with enlarged acceptability as Master of Catharine 
Hall, adding to its Fellows, and Students, and Eevenues, and from 
1632-3, he was, as already recorded, Vicar of Trinity, Cambridge. 
One incidental sentence informs us, that he was very fully, if not 
over, occupied, even before his presentation to the Vicarage of 
Trinity. It occurs at the close of the address ' To the Christian 
Header' prefixed to ' The Bruised Reed :' ' What I shall be drawn 
to do in this kind/ he says, ' must be by degrees, as leisure in the 
midst of many interruptions will permit.' 

His was a self-sacrificing, self-consuming life. Quaintly does 
Mather put it of another. ' There,' he says, ' 'twas that, like a silk 
worm, he spent his own bowels or spirits to procure the " garments 
of righteousness " for his hearers ; there 'twas ... he might chal 
lenge the device and motto of the famous Dr Sibs, a wasting lamp, 
with this inscription, " Prcelucendo pereo" or, " My light is my 
death."'* 

Another casual reference indicates earlier personal sickness. He 
closes one of his ' Epistles ' prefixed to Balrf by saying, ' Mine own 
weakness of body taketh me off.' 

His published writings afford the best evidence of what stamp 
his preaching was. The most cursory reader is struck with 
the Paul-like kindling of emotion, the Paul-like burning of utter 
ance, as often as the name of Christ occurs ; and it is most interest 
ing to mark the majestic procession of his words as he walks along 
some great avenue of thought, leading up to the cross, and from the 
cross, in farther vista, to the house of many mansions, and to the 
throne of sculptured light. Very beautifully does Clarke put this : 

His learning was mixed with humility, whereby he always esteemed lowly 
of himself, and was ready to undervalue his own labours, though others 
judged them to breathe spirit and life, to be strong of heaven, speaking with 
authority and power to men's consciences. His care in the course of his 
ministry was to lay a good ^foundation in the heads and hearts of his 
hearers. And though he were a wise master-builder, and that in one of 
the eminentest auditories for learning and piety that was in the land, as was 
said before, yet according to the grace which was given to him (which was 
indeed like that of Elisha in regard of the other prophets, 2 Kings i. 9, 
the elder brother's privilege, a double portion), he was still taking all occa 
sions to preach of the FUNDAMENTALS to them ; and amongst the rest, of the 
incarnation of the Son of God, one of the chief fundamentals of our faith, 
one of the chief of those wonders in the mercy- seat which the cherubim 
gaze at, which the angels desire to pry into, 1 Pet. i. 12. And preaching 
at several times, and by occasion of so many several texts of Scripture con 
cerning this subject, there is scarce any one of those incomparable benefits 
which accrue to us thereby, nor any of those holy impressions which the 
meditation hereof ought to make on our hearts, which was not by him 
* Life of Urian Oakes. Magnalia Am. as ante, b. iv. pp. 186, 187. t Ante p. cvi. 



MEMOIR OF EICHAED SIBBES, D.D. CXXV 

sweetly unfolded, as may appear by those sermons now in print. And 
therefore,' saith a reverend divine, * the noted humility of the author I less 
wonder at, finding how often his thoughts dwelt upon the humiliation of 
Christ.'* 

The ' reverend divine' referred to was Thomas Fuller, who plays 
with the conceit in his own wisely-witty way. We cannot pass 
it by : 

He was most eminent for that grace which is most worth, yet costs the 
least to keep it, viz., Christian humility. Of all points of divinity, he most 
frequently pressed that of Christ's incarnation ; and if the angels desired to 
pry into that mystery, no wonder if this angelical man had a longing to look 
therein. A learned divine imputed this good doctor's great humility to his 
much meditating on that point of Christ's humiliation when he took our 
flesh upon him. If it be true what some hold in physic, that omne par 
nutrit suum par, that the vitals of our body are most strengthened by feed 
ing on such meats as are likest unto them, I see no absurdity to maintain 
that men's souls improve most in those graces whereon they have most 
constant meditation, whereof this worthy doctor was an eminent instance. f 

Aye, quaint and loveable Fuller, and there is a higher autho 
rity than * physic' for it, even 2 Cor. iii. 18, ' We all, with open face 
beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the 
same image from glory to glory, even of the Lord, the Spirit/ 

Thus growing in holiness and humility, Richard Sibbes passed 
along his ' pilgrimage/ We have found that he lived in troublous 
times, and that he did not escape his own share of its trials and 
persecution. It had argued time-serving or a cold neutrality had 
it been otherwise. We find him also taking a fitting stand for ' the 
truth/ and speaking brave and noble words, and flinching not from 
giving them to the world. At the same time, it must be apparent 
to all who have followed our memoir thus far, that naturally Sibbes 
was of a ' meek and quiet spirit/ willing to bear and forbear much. 
I picture him as an English ' Leighton/ as he has been pourtrayed 
in a little volume of 'poems/ entitled ' The Bishop's Walk/ J We 
have to change very little in the scenery, have but to translate 
1 Dunblane' to the * fair garden' lined with elms, of Gray's Inn, or to 
the acacia-bordered ' Walk' of St Catherine Hall, Cambridge, or, 
perhaps, to the bosky glades of the Veres, or Brooks, or Man- 
chesters, or Warwicks. I invite my readers to judge : 

* Clarke, ante p. 144. 

t Fuller's ' Worthies,' ante p. 343 of vol. ii. 

J The Bishop's "Walk and the Bishop's Times, By Orwell. Cambridge : Macmillan 
and Co. 1861. The measure will reveal the source of earlier quotations in this 
memoir ; and certainly the gifted author promises to take a high place among the 
poets of Scotland. It may be noted here, that among the few Puritan books in the 
library of Leighton (preserved at Dunblane) are Sibbes's Bruised Reed (6th edition, 
1638) and Soul's Conflict (4th edition, 1638). 



CXXV1 



MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 



Two hundred years have come and gone, 
Since that fine spirit mused alone 
On the dim walk, with faint green shade 
By the light -quivering ash-leaves made, 
And saw the sun go down 
Beyond the mountains brown. 

Slow pacing with a lowly-look, 
Or gazing on the lettered book 
Of Tauler, or A Kempis, or 
Meek Herbert with his dulcimer, 

In quaintly pious vein 

Rehearsing a deep strain : 

Or in the Gold-mouthed Greek he read 

High rhetoric, or what was said 

Of Augustine's experience, 

Or of the Gospel's grand defence 

Before assembled lords, 

In Luther's battle-words. 

Slow-pacing, with a downcast eye, 
Which yet, in rapt devotion high, 
Sometimes its great dark orb would lift, 
And pierced the veil, and caught the swift 
Glance of an angel's wing, 
That of the Lamb did sing ; 

And with the fine pale shadow, wrought 
Upon his cheek by years of thought, 
And lines of weariness and pain, 
And looks that long for home again ; 
So went he to and fro 
With step infirm and slow. 

A frail, slight form no temple he, 

Grand, for abode of Deity ; 

Rather a bush, inflamed with grace, 

And trembling in a desert place, 
And unconsumed with fire, 
Though burning high and higher. 



A frail, slight form, and pale with care, 
And paler from the raven hair 
That folded from a forehead free 
Godlike of breadth and majesty 
A brow of thought supreme 
And mystic, glorious dream. 

And over all that noble face 
Lay somewhat of soft pensiveness 
In a fine golden haze of thought, 
That seemed to waver light, and float 
This way and that way still, 
With no firm bent of will. 

God made him beautiful, to be 
Drawn to all beauty tenderly, 
And conscious of all beauty, whether 
In things of earth or heaven or neither ; 
So to rude men he seemed 
Often as one that dreamed. 

But true it was that, in his soul, 
The needle pointed to the pole, 
Yet trembled as it pointed, still 
Conscious alike of good and ill ; 
In his infirmity 
Looking, Lord, to thee. 

Beautiful spirit! fallen, alas, 
On times when little beauty was ; 
Still seeking peace amid the strife, 
Still working, weary of thy life, 
Toiling in holy love, 
Panting for heaven above : 

I mark thee, in an evil day, 
Alone upon a lonely way ; 
More sad-companionless thy fate, 
Thy heart more truly desolate, 

Than even the misty glen 

Of persecuted men. 



For none so lone on earth as he 
Whose way of thought is high and free 
Beyond the mist, beyond the cloud, 
Beyond the clamour of the crowd, 

Moving, where Jesus trod, 

In the lone walk with God. 

We have here the very man before us, and the very books he 
loved, and the very age he ' fell on,' and from which he was ' taken 
away/ Looking at the portrait, over and over engraved for the 
early quartos and duodecimos, and his one folio, Richard Sibbes 
must have been a man of larger mould, of more massive head, 
ampler brain-chamber, keener vision than Robert Leighton.* As 

* Russell, in his 'Memorials of Fuller' (1844), and Mr Mayor, in his prefatory 
remarks to Catlin's MS., from the Baker MSS., have anticipated the comparison of 
Sibbes with Leighton. The former says 'Dr Richard . Sibbes ... a writer sur 
passed by none in that purity and depth of true spirituality, which also characterised 



MEMOIR OP RICHARD SIBEES, D.D. CXXV11 

one studies the ruff-girted ' Master '-capped face, a more robust 
soul looks out from the benignant eyes. The seamed and lined 
forehead tells of deeper thinking, not without storms of doubt and 
wrestling (that always so leave their mark, like the waves on the 
sea-shore sands, as though the soul's mystic sea beat there). But 
the ' inner men,' in their spiritual-mindedness, unworldliness, meek 
ness, humility, peacefulness, surely very closely resemble one an 
other. 

But now the stage darkens for ' the end/ 

' Like a cave's shadow enter'd at mid-day.' * 

He has to preach but other two ' sermons,' and then go forth 
on the last great journey. With strange fitness he chooses for 
his texts, John xiv. 1, 2, ' Let not your heart be troubled ; ye 
believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are 
many mansions ; if it were not so, I would have told you/ These 
ro sermons will appear in an early volume. 



CHAPTER XII 

' THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH/ 

Last Illness Finishes ' The Soul's Conflict 'Draws up hia ' Will ' 
'Falls on Sleep.' 

Having preached the last of these two ' sermons,' he ' fell sick 
that very night, June 28,' with some un-named illness. Feeling 
that he was indeed dying, he, on ' July 1,' put the finishing touches 
to his ' Address to the Christian Reader,' for the ' Soul's Conflict/ 
which had been passing through the press during bis absence at 
Cambridge. Glancing over the proof-sheets, he detected certain 
passages which he found misunderstood, and noticed them ; but 
apparently was too weak to do more. On the 4th, he ' set his house 
in order/ by revising and altering his ' last will and testament/ 
He had many friends, gentle and simple, and it is with no com 
mon satisfaction that it is in our power to present this closing me 
morial : | 

Leighton in a succeeding age,' p. 81. The latter ' When we consider the beauty 
of Sibbes' language, and the gentleness of his temper, in both which respects ho 
almost deserves the name of the Puritan Leighton, we cannot but wonder at the 
general neglect which has obscured his memory,' p. 253. 

* 'Adon:' Poems. By Mrs Olive. 1856. P. 39. 

t Extracted from the Principal Registry of Her Majesty's Court of Probate, in the 
Prerogative Court of Canterbury. 



CXXV111 MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 

' IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN, I, RICHARD BIBBS, Doctor of Divinity, 
weake in body, but of p'fect memory, doe make and ordaine this my last 
will and testament, in manner and forme followeing : First, I comend and be 
queath my soule into the hands of my gratious Saviour, whoe hath redeemed 
it w th his most pretious blood, and appeares now in heaven to receave it, 
with humble thankes that he hath vouchsafed I should be borne and live 
in the best tymes of the gospell, and have my interest in the comforte of it ; 
as alsoe, that he hath vouchsafed me the honour of being a publisher 
thereof w th some measure of faythftdlnes. My body I would have to be 
buried at the discretion of my executors. And as for that outward estate 
that God, in his rich goodnes, hath blessed me w tb all, my minde and will is 
as followeth : First, I give and bequeath unto my brother Thomas Sibbs of 
Thurston, in the countie of Suffolk,* all my messuages, lands, and tene 
ments, with the appurtenances, lyeing and being in Thurston aforesaid, or 
elsewhere, for and dureing the terme of his naturall life ; and after my said 
brother's decease, to John Sibbs, sonne of my late brother John Sibbs, and 
now a student at Katherine Hall, in Cambridge,! and to his heires for ever : 
Item, I give unto my sister, Margaret Mason, fourtie pounds ; and unto 
the children of my late sister, Susann Lopham, deceased, the some of 
thirty pounds, to be equally devided amongst them ; as likewise, I give 
unto the children of my late sister, Elizabeth King, deceased, the some of 
fourtie pounds, to be equally devided amongst them ; the said threescore 
and ten pounds, soe given to the children of my said sisters, I would have 
payed to the said children, severally and proporconably, at the dayes of their 
marriage, or when they shall accomplish their severall ages of one-and- 
twenty yeares, or otherwise sooner, at the discretion of my executors : Item, 
I give unto my uncle Sibbs, yf he be liveing, fourtie shillings ; and unto the 
children of my late aunte ..... who dwelt in or neer Walding- 
feild, in Essex, J the some of three pounds : Item, I give unto my cosen, 
Jeremy Huske, unto my cosins, Anne Beckett and Elizabeth Beckett, to 
every of them fourtie shillings : Item, I give unto the poore of the said 
towne of Thurston twentie shillings : Item, I give unto such of my poore 
kindred as are now dwelling at Stowlangton, in Suffolke, or elsewhere, 
whoe are now knowne to my executors, fourtie shillings, to be disposed 
according to the discretion of my executors : Item, I give unto James 
Joyner of London, whoe hath beene very faithfull in his service unto me 
tenn pounds ; and to my loveing frends, Mr Dermer, haberdasher, dwelling 
on Ludgate Hill, twenty shillings, and to his wife twentie shillings, and to 
Widdow Dermer twentie shillings ; and to my good friends Goodman Pin- 
kaur and Goodman Rocke, dwelling in Perpoole Lane, to each of them 
twenty shillings : Item, I give unto Mr Nicholas Parry, steward of Grayes 
Inne, three pounds ; and to Mr Guy, cheife cooke there, a ring of tenn 
shillings ; and to his under servants, to be disposed at his discretion, the 
some of twenty shillings in the whole : Item, I give unto the three cheife 
butlers of Grayes Inne, to every of them, twenty shillings ; alsoe, I give unto 
the inferiour servants of that house twenty shillings, to be disposed of ac 
cording to the discretion of the steward ; and as for that Hono ble Society of 
Grayes Inne, I have nothing to bequeath unto it but the prayers of a sicke 
and dyeing man, that it may continue to be still a semenary of worthy men, 



* See B in Appendix to this Memoir. f 

J This is a slip. It is in Suffolk, near Sudbury, on borders of Essex. 

\ Stowlangtoft, three miles from Thurston. 



MEMOIR OF RICHAED SIBBES, D.D. CXX1X 

whoe may be alwayes ready to maintaine religion and justice, w th humble 
thankes for all their kindnesse and loveing respects towardes mee : Item, I 
give unto my auncient and deare frend, ould Mr Mew, in remembrance of 
my love, one of Mr Downham's books, called a Direccon to a Christian 
Life ;# and to my deare and very worthy frend, Mr John Pym,f a ring of 
fourtie shillings : Item, I give unto my very good frend, Mr William Mew, 
one silver spoone, now in the custody of James Joyner aforenamed : Item, 
I give unto the poore of the parrish where I shal be buried twenty shillings : 
Item, I give unto my very worthy, religious, and bountifull frend, Mrs 
Mary Moore, J as a poore remembrance of my harty love unto her, one ryng 
of fourtie shillings ; and to my very worthy frends S r Robert Brooke of 
Langly, to his lady, and to his brother, Mr John Brooke, to each of them 
a ring of fourtie shillings ; and to my kind frend, Mr Stevens of Gloucester 
shire, a ring|| of twentie shillings ; and to my worthy friend, Mr Capell, IF late 
preacher in Gloucestershire, twenty shillings : Item, I give five pounds to 
the poore of the p'ishes of Trinity and St Andrews, in Cambridge : Item, 
Whereas there is due unto me, from the Colledge of St Katherine, in Cam 
bridge, one hundred pounds, for w ch Mr Goodwyn and Mr Arrow Smith** 
stand bound to mee, haveing the seale of the said colledge for their securetie, 
I doe hereby give and bequeath unto the said colledge, for ever, the said 
some of one hundred pounds, for the setling of a scholarship of fower pounds 
p. ann. ; to w ch said scholarship my will and desire is, that my kinsman, John 
Sibbs, aforemenconed, shal be first elected and admitted ; and that in all 
future eleccons, when the same shal be void in tyme to come, yf any of 
my kindred shal be then students in the said colledge, the p'son soe of 
kynne to me shal be p r ferred before another : Item, I give unto my loveing 
frend, Mr Catline, preacher of Thurston, fourtie shillings : Item, I give unto 
my good frend, Mr Almond of Cambridge, fyve pounds, praying him to im- 
ploy the same for the benefit of his sonne and my godsonne : Item, I give 
unto my godsonne, Richard Clerk, fortie shillings ; and whereas, by the 
will of Mrs Gardiner, late of London, widdow, deceased, I was desired to 
dispose a certain some of money, in such manner as in her said will is spe 
cified, all w ch money hath beene accordingly disposed, excepting only fyve 
pounds, payable unto Mr Symons of Katherine Hall, my will therefore 
is that payment be made of the said fyve pounds unto Mr Symonds afore 
said ; and to my reverend frende, Dr Gouge, I doe give, as a testimony of 
my love, twenty shillings, desiring him to take the paynes to preach my 
funerall sermon : ff Item, My will is, that my reverend frend, Mr Downeham, 
shall have two of those bookes of his owne making backe againe w ch were 
by him delivered unto me, and are remayning in my studie at Grayes Inne ; 
all the rest of my goods and chatties, my funerall, debts, and legacies being 
payed and discharged, I give unto my brother and kinsman before named 
that is to saie, to my brother Thomas Sibbs, and my nephew John Sibbs, 
formerly menconed, whome, together w th John Godbold of Grayes Inne, 

* Published 1622, and entitled ' A Guide to Godliness ; or, a Treatise of a Chris 
tian Life.' The author was John Downame or Downham, B.D., brother of George, 
Bishop of Derry. He died 1644. 

t See references in loc. at p. cxxxvii, Appendix A 

t Sibbes dedicates Culverwell's ' Time Well-spent ' to her, ante p. xciii, eq. 

\ See reference in loc. p. cxxxvii, Appendix A. 

D Hid. \ Ibid. ** Drs Goodwin and Arrowsmith. 

ft See Mr Mayor's note in loc. Appendix A. 



CXXX MEMOIR OF RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. 

Esquire, I doe hereby ordayne, constitute, and appoynt to be the executors 
of this my last will and testament, giving unto the said Mr Godbould a 
peece of my owne plate, such as himself shall choose out of that plate of 
myne, which is now in the custody of the said James Joyner ; and I doe 
entreate my worthy and very loveing frends, S r Nathaniel Rich, Sir Natha- 
niell Barnardiston,* and S r William Spring, Knighte,f to be overseers of this 
my will, desireing my executors, in all things of difficulty, to be advised by 
them in the execution of the same ; and as a remembrance of my love to 
every of the said overseers of my will, I give unto each of them a ring of 
twentie shillings. In wittnes whereof I have hereunto set my hand and 
seale, this fourth daye of July, in the eleaventh yeare of the raigne of our 
sov'aigne Lord Charles, by the grace of God, kinge of England, Scotland, 
France, and Ireland, defender of the faith, &c., and in the yeare of our Lord 
God 1635. Signed, sealed, and published to be the last will and testament 
of the said Richard Sibbs in the presence of us. 

PROBATUM fuit testamentum sup r scriptum apud London coram ven u viro 
magistro Willimo Merricke legum doctore : Surrogate ven lu viri Domini 
Henrici Marten militis, legum etiam doctoris, curiae prerogatives Cantuar. 
magistri, custodis sive com 111 legitime constituti ; undecimo die mensis Julii 
anno Domini millesimo sexcentesimo tricesimo quinto, Juramentis Thorn 
Sibbs et Johannis Sibbs duorum executorum in senior J testamento nomi- 
natorum : Quibus commissa fuit administracio omnium et singulorum 
bonorum piriu (?) et creditorum dicti defuncti de bene et fideliter adminis- 
trando eadem ad sancta dei evangelia juratis : Reservata potestate similem 
commissionem faciendi Johanni Godbould Ar : alteri executori etiam in 
senior J testamento nominate cum ven'it eand m petitum.' 

His will was drawn up on Saturday the 4th, and then he quietly 
waited his ' change/ ' Paulisper senex, oculos claude, nam 
statim lumen Dei videbis ' (' Shut thine eyes a little, old man, 
and immediately thou shalt see the light of God '). 

Thus remembering his kinsmen and friends left behind, even 
the humblest, and looking UPWARD, he ' WALKED THROUGH the 
valley of the shadow of death/ and went, from the Sabbath below 
(it was a Sabbath morning) to the Sabbath above, to * be with the 
Lord/ 'Blessed are the dead who die in the LORD. . . . Yea, 
saith THE SPIRIT, for they rest from their labours, and their ivorks 
do follow them,' Rev. xiv. 13. He died 5th July 1635, in the 58th 
year of his age. An entry in the ' Register ' of St Andrew's Church, 
Holborn (within which parish Gray's Inn is situate), tells us he 
was buried there on the next day : 

* Sir Nathaniel Barnardiston. The ' Rich ' and ' Barnardiston ' families are 
historic in their warm support of the Puritans. It were superfluous to annotate 
names that are found in every Puritan ' History.' 

t Sir William Spring, Knt. Ho was of Pakenham, near Bury St Edmunds, of ( 
the ancient family of Lavenham. See Burke's 'Extinct' Baronetcies; also anti\ 
xx vi. 

| Qu. ' superscripts ?' ED. 

Sozomen, lib. ii. cap. ii. Stanford's Alleine, p. 21. 



MEMOIR OP RICHARD SIBBES, D.D. CXXX1 

4 1635. July 6. Richard Sibbes, D.D., sometime preacher in Gray's Inn, 
died in his chambers at Gray's Inn, 5th.' * 

1. 2. 

1 Servant of God ! well done ; Tranquil amid alarms, 

Kest from thy loved employ ; It found him in the field, 

The battle fought, the victory won, A veteran slumbering on his arms, 

Enter thy Master's joy.' Beneath his red-cross shield : 

The voice at midnight came ; His sword was in his hand, 

He started up to hear : Still warm with recent fight, 

A mortal arrow pierced his frame. Ready that moment at command, 

He foil, but felt no fear. Through rock and steel to smite. 

3. 

The pains of death are past, 
Labour and sorrow cease, 
Ana life's long warfare closed at last, 
His soul is found in peace. 
Soldier of Christ ! well done ; 
Praise be thy new employ ; 
And while eternal ages run 
Kest in thy Saviour's joy. f 

r ould have my readers turn to the perhaps over-garrulous, 
interesting ' reflections ' upon the death of SibbesJ and add 
L y a few words by Ashe, Church, and Nalton : 
' This bright star, who sometimes with his light refreshed the 
>uls of many of God's people while he shone on the horizon of our 
church, set, as we say, between the evening of many shadows and 
the morning of a bright hoped-for reformation, which, though for 
the present (1654) overcast, yet being so agreeable to the mind of 
Jesus Christ, and ushered in with the groans and prayers of so 
many of his saints, we doubt not but will in God's own time break 

gloriously, to the dissipating of those clouds and fogs which 
present do eclipse ano) darken it.' Even so : 
1 God's saints are shining lights ; . . . . 
They are indeed as pillar-fires, 
Seen as we go ; 
They are that city's shining spirea 
We travel to.' 1 
A. B. G. 

* It has been found impossible to identify his grave; no stone, the simplest, 
marks it. Is there to be no memorial raised? 

t James Montgomery, 'The Christian Soldier.' Poetical Works, p. 305, ed. 
1 vol. 8vo. 1851. 

t Appendix A, p. cxxxviii, eeq. See also B, pp. cxl-xli, in Appendix, for notices 
of Sibbes's family and name ; and C, p. cxli, for references concerning his suc 
cessors at Gray's Inn and Catharine Hall 

2 ' To the Reader,' Heav. Conf. between Christ and Mary, 12mo. 1654. 

1 Vaughan, as ante p. 39. 
TOL. I. i 



APPENDIX TO MEMOIR. 



A, page xxvi, et alibi. ZACHARY CATLIN. 



Rk has been deemed proper to give in full, in this appendix, the 
smoir ' of Sibbes, drawn up by Zachary Catlin (the manuscript of 
which, as has been stated, is in my possession). Accordingly it is sub 
joined, verbatim et literatim from the original holograph with signature. 
Two copies of this ' Memoir ' are preserved at Cambridge ; one among the 
Baker MSS. (xxxviii. 441446) ; the other, recently presented, in Univer 
sity Library.* That by Baker has been edited with scrupulous fidelity by 
Kev. J. E. B. Mayor, M.A. ; and forms one of the ' Communications ' of 
the Cambridge Antiquarian Society (read December 1. 1856, No. vii. pp. 
252-264). It is to be regretted that it abounds with the most singular 
misreadings ; for which Baker, not Mr Mayor, must be held responsible. 
Mr Mayor's notes, characteristically full of out-of-the-way reading, are 
appended. They are marked M. That in University Library, Mr 
Cooper informs me, is a transcript written about 1750, and contains some 
slight verbal variations from the Baker MS.,' but he adds, ' these variations 
can be of little value, because the scribe read the olden hand so imperfectly, 
that he throughout calls the subject of the memoir " Gibbs." ' 

Of Catlin very little is known beyond the incidental notices of himself 
and father, in his memoir of Sibbes. The ' Diary of John Kous, incum 
bent of Santon Downham, Suffolk, from 1625 to 1642, edited by Mary 
A. E. Green, (Camden Society, 4to, 1856,)' introduces him thus : 

' Upon Shrovemoonday, February 13. [A.D. 1632], Mr Catlin Thirston 
preaching at Bury, gave out before his sermon that it was good Mr Catiin's 
the ministers of the combination wold meete to consulte of 
the making of the combination, that those ministers that wold doe good 
might be put in seasonably for it. I learned since, that a newe-come 
minister was put in first in the combination, to beginne on Plough Moon- 
day, but as it seemed would not goe before the graver preachers, and, 
therefore, lefte the day unprovided ; but Mr Catlin by entreaty, preached 
at that time, ex improviso, and after wold have beene freed of this his owne 
time, but could not (thus he said before the sermon), and hi his sermon 
said thus much obiter, which I heard. We are blamed for our churches, 
but it is certaine, that these courtes extracte more from us than will re- 
payer our churches, adorne them, and keepe them so.' Pp. 68, 69. 
* A third is in Harl. MSS., 6037, fol. 17. 



CXXTIY APPENDIX TO 

Mr Mayor lias overlooked the marginal- note, ' Thirston,' when he asks 
if our Zachary Catlin were ' the Mr Catlin mentioned by John Rous.' 
* Thirston,' i.e., Thurston, gives the answer in the affirmative. 

Mr Cooper has favoured me with a note of various Catlins of the several 
colleges, Cambridge. There is a Zachary Catlin of Christ's, B.A. 1598, 
M.A. 1602. This was probably our Zachary. There is a Jonathan Catlin 
of Catharine-Hall, B.A. 1681, M.A. 1635, who was most likely the son 
mentioned as cared for by Sibbes. 

The name, spelled ' Catling' and ' Catlyn,' occurs in Mr Bright's volume 
(ante page cxxi), as an 'overseer' in the will of one of the Nether-hall 
Brights, and elsewhere as a ' witness ' (see pp. 108, 128). I have been 
unable to trace to any library the two sermons published by him (ante page 
cxxiii). Considerable ' Notes ' on the family and name of Catelyne or 
Catlin (unpublished), will be found in ' Davy's Suffolk Collections,' vol. xlvi. 
(pp. 812-24). . . . Pedigrees C, Caa Cha; Mus. Brit. Jure Emptionis, 
19, 122. Plut. clxxvi. E. With these slight memoranda, I beg now to 
submit, ' Dr Sibbs, his Life, by Zachary Catlin.' 

At the Request of a Noble Friend, S[ir] W. Spring,* I haue here will 
ingly contributed to the happy memory of that worthy man of God Doctour 
Sibs a few such Flowers, as I could collect, eyther from the certain Rela : 
tion of those yt knew his first Education, or from mine own observation of 
him, at that distance, whereat we lived. And if any thing here recorded, 

Mr ciark of mav seem convenient for His purpose, who is (as I am in- 
London.t formed) about to publish the Lives J of some Worthyes lately 
deceased, I shall think my labour well bestow'd. For I am not of that 
Philosopher's mind, who lighting upon a Book newly put forth, entitled, 
The encomium of Hercules, cast it away, saying, Et quis Lacedasmoniorum 
eum vituperavit ? accounting it a needles work to prayse him, whom noe 
man did, or could find fault withal. I rather iudge it a commendable thing, 
to perpetuate and keep Fresh the Memory of such worthy men, whose ex 
amples may be of use, for Imitation, in this declining, and degenerate Age. 
But I come to the matter. 

He was bom T m ' s Richard, the eldest Son of Paul Sibs and Johan, was 
677. born at Tostock|| in Suffolk, 4 miles from Bury, anno domini 

1577, from whence his Parents soon removed, to a Town adioining, called, 
Thurston, where they lived in honest Repute, brought up, and maried divers 
children, purchased some Houses and Lands, and there they both De 
ceased. His Father was by his Trade, a Wheelewright, a skilful and painful 
workman, and a good sound harted Christian. This Richard he brought 
up to Learning, at the Grammar Schole, though very ^f unwillingly, in re 
gard of the charge, had not the youth's strong Inclination to his Book, and 
wel profiting therein, with some Importunity of Freinds prevailed so far, as 
to continue him at Schole, til he was fit for Cambridge. Concerning his j 

His industry l ue to his Book, and his Industry in study, I cannot omit the i 
in his study. Testimony of M r - Thomas Clark, High Constable, who was 

* See Prynne's ' Canterb. Doome,' p. 376. M. 

f Mr Clark of London. Probably ' Samuel Clarke,' who included a Memoir of 
Sibbes in his ' Thirty-two lives ' (ante p. xxxvii), without however using Catlin's MS. i 
Perhaps as the volume was published in 1652, and the MS. is dated November 1st 
of that year, it may not have reached him in time. But neither does any trace of it ! 
appear in subsequent editions. G. J ' Plan ' in Baker, by Mr Mayor. G. 

\ 'Useless ' in Baker, by Mr Mayor. I designate the remaining mis-readings by 
M. B.-G. Tastock ' in M. B. G. - Yet ' in M. B. G. 



APPENDIX TO MEMOIR. CXXX7 

irrtich of the same Age, and went to schole, together with him, at the same 
Time, w th one M r - Rich. Brigs (afterward, Head Master of the Free Schole 
at Norwich) then teaching at Pakenham church. He hath often told me, 
that when the Boies were dismist from Schole, at the usuall Houres of 
eleuen, and 5, or 6, and the rest would fal to their pastime, and sometimes 
to plaiing the Waggs with him, being haimlet* and meanly apparel'd, for 
ye most part in Leather, it was this Youth's constant course, as soon as he 
could rid himself of their unpleasing company, to take out of his Pocket or 
Sachel, one Book or other, and so to goe reading t and meditating, til he 
came to his Father's house, w cb was neere a mile of, and so as he went to 
Schole agen. This was his order also, when his Father sent > ay ^ lX , 
him to the Free Schole at Bury, 3, or 4 Miles off, every day. 
Whereby ye said M r - Clark, did then conceive yt he would in 
Time prove an excellent and Able man, who of a child was of 
such a manly staydnes and indefatigable industry in his study, 
His Father at length grew weary of his expenses for books and Ascbam -$ 
learning, took him from Schole, bought him an Axe and some other tooles, 
and set him to his own Trade, to the great discontent of the youth, whose 
Genius wholy caried him another way. Whereupon, M r> Greaves \\ then 
Minister of Thurston, and M r - Eushbrook an Attorney there, knowing the 
disposition and fitnes of the lad, sent him, without his Father's consent, to 
some of the Fellowes of S t- John's colledge, of their acquaintance, with their 
Letters of Recommendation, where, upon examination, he was Hisprofiting 
eo wel approved off, that he was presently entertained as a Sub- inCambr. 
sizar, shortly after chosen Scholer of the House, and at length came to be 
Fellow of ye Colledge,!" and one of the Taskers of ye University, His Father 
being hardly brought to allow him 20 Nobles a yeare toward his maintenance 
in Carnbr., to which some good friends in the country, M r . Greaves** M r . Knew- 
etubjff and some others, made some addition, for a Time as need required. 

Anno domini 1608, I came to be Minister of Thurston, and he was then 
a Fellow of the Colledge, and a Preacher of good Note in Cambr., and wee}| 
soon grew wel acquainted, for whensoeuer he came down into ye Country, 
to visit his Mother and brethren (his Father being deceased) he would 
never faile to preach with us, |||| on the Lords day, and for the most part, 
twice, telling me, that it was a work of charity, to help a constant and 
painful preacher, for so he was pleased to conceiue of me. And If there 
were a Communion appointed at any Time, he would be sure not to with 
draw himselfe after sermon, but receiving the Bread and wine at my hands, 
he would always assist me in the distribution of ye cup to the congregation. 

As for his kindnes to his kindred,H1T and neglect of the world, HIS kindnes 
it was very remarkable, for this I can testify of my own know- JhiJJfnJt!! 
ledge, that purchasing of M r> Tho. Clark, and others in our lar neglect of 
Town, a Mesuage and Lands, at seueral times, to the value of yc v 
fifty pounds per annum, he paid the Fines to the Lords, but never took 
one peny of the Rents or profits of them, but left the Benefit wholly to his 

* ' Humble ' in M. B.G. t * Studying ' in M. B. G. 

t Not given in M. B. G. I ' Stryde ' in M. B. G. || ' Gwinn ' in M. B. G. 

If ' That house ' in M. B.G. ** ' Graves ' in M. B. G. 

ft See Brook's ' Puritans,'vol. ii. p. 308, seq. ; Clarke's ' Lives of Thirty-two Eng 
lish Divines,' ed. 1677, p. 133 ; Geffrey Whitney's 'Emblems,' p. 223 ; Bancrofts 
'Daungerous Positions,' pp. 5, 57 (Bk. 2, c. 10), 44 (Bk. 3, c. 2), 120, 122, 143; 
Sutcliffe's ' Answere to Throckmorton,' p. 47 ; Prynne's ' Canterb. Doome,' p. 376. 
M. ft Was ' in M. B.G. M ' Grown ' in M. B.G. 

HI] ' Mo ' in M. B.G. jj^[ ' Friends ' in M. B.G. 



CXXXV1 APPENDIX TO MEMOIR. 

Mother, and his 2 Brethren,* as long as he lined. So much did tltfs 
Heavenly-minded Man of God slight this present world (which the most 
men are so loth to part withal, when they Dye) that he freely and undesired, 
parted with it, whilst he liued, requiring nothing of them, but only to be 
liberal to the poore. Nay ouer and besides, if any faithful honest man 
came down from Cambridge or London, where he liued, by whom he might 
conveniently send, he seldome or never fayled to send his Mother a Peice 
of Gold, for the most part, a ten shillings Piece, but 5 shillings was the 
least, and this he continued as long, as his Mother liued. And would she 
haue been persuaded to exchange her Country Life for the citty, he often 
told me, yt he would willingly have maintain' d her there, in good view and 
fashion, like his Mother, but she had-no mind to alter her accustomed 
course of Life, in her old daies, contenting her self with her own Meanes, 
and that Addition, w ch her Son made thereunto. 

His special And for his special kindnes to my self, in particular, I can- 
kindness to not omit, that being Trusted by Personages of Quality, with 
diuers sumes of mony, for pious and charitable uses, he was 
pleased, among many others, not to forget Me. At one Time he sent me 
down three Twenty shillings peices of gold inclosed in a Letter : and at 2 
other Times, delivered] me, with his own hand, two Twenty shilling pieces 

His singular more i and so far was this Humble Saint from Pharisaical 
humility. ostentation, and vain glory, and from taking the honour of 
these good works to himself, that he plainly told me, that these Gratuities 
were not of his own cost, but being put in Trust, and f left to his own 
Discretion, in the distribution, he lookt upon Mee as One, that took great 
Paines in my ministry, and in teaching Scholers, and at that Time Labour 
ing under the Burden of a great charge of children, and so thought me a 
fit object of their intended charity. And from myselfe His love descended 
down to my Son, for my sake, for whom]; (before he had euer seen him, 
being ihen at the Grammar Schole at Bury) he, then chosen M r of Katherin 
Hal, promis'd me a Scholarship there, of 5 pound a yeare, and to provide for 

His reality him a Tutour and a chamber. And such was his constancy of 
in his pro- spirit, and his Reality, that whatsoeuer promise he made me, 
dives he would be sure, both to Remember it, and to make it good, 
as f ree ty as ne nrs ^ made it, that was, unaskt and undesired: 
and for these manyfold kindnesses, all that he desired at my 
hands, was no more but this, that I would be careful of the soules of my 
people, and in special of his Mother, his Brethren, and his sisters, and would 
give them good counsel, in their disposing themselves in Marriage, or upon 
any other occasion, as I saw, they stood in need. And this one thing, I 
may not passe over, concerning myself, that in his last wil and Testament, 
he gave me a Legacy of 40 sh. with the Title of his Loving Freind, w ch I the 
rather mention, because I had not the least thought, to haue been in yt sort 
remembred by him, at his Death, liuing|| at no lesse distance from him, then 
of three score miles. In a word, such was the Loneliness of this sweet^T ! 
seruant of God, such his learning, parts, piety, prudence, humility, sin- ; 
cerity, Loue and meeknes of Spirit (whereof euery one was a Lodeston to , 
attract unto, and fasten my spirit, close to his) that (I professe ingenuously) 
no man yt cuer I was acquainted withal, got so far into my hart, or lay** 

* ' Brothers ' in M. B., and so elsewhere. Not in M. B. 

t ' As ' in M. B. G. II ' Being ' in M. B. Q. 

j ' For whom ' dropped in M. B. G. ([ ' Same ' in M. B. G. 

** 'Was 'in M. B. G. 



APPENDIX TO MEMOIR. CXXXTU 

BO close therein : So that many Times I could not part from him, with 
dry eyes. But who am I ? or what is it to be belov'd of me, especially for 
Him, that had so many -and so great Friends, as he had ? yet even to Me, 
the great God is pleased to say, My son give me thy Heart, ProVi 2 s 26. 
and this poor and contrite hart, I know, he wil not despise, Psal - 51 - 17. 
And this Hart of mine, as small as it is, yet is too great, to close with a 
Proud, Profane, worldly, malicious hart, though it be in a Prince. But 
true* Vertue and Grace, are the Image of God himself, and where they are 
discerned f by Wisdom's children, they command the Hart, and are truly 
louely and venerable, whereas Carnal, vitious, and unmortified Affections 
(whereof this Man of God, was as Free, as any man, I know liuing) they 
do render a man (whateuer he bee), if not hateful and contemptible, yet at 
least less louely and honourable. But my Love to this good Man hath 
transported me beyond my purpose, w ch was to speake of some things, lesse 
visible to others, especially concerning his first Education : for when he 
came to the University and the Citty, there his Life, and Actions were 
upon a publick Theatre, and his own works, without a Trumpet, Prov 31 31 
would prayse him in the Gates. As for his kindnes to his and 23 - 
kindred, and to my selfe, I know none, yt took more notice of 
them, then I, and therefore I could not hide them from the Juiy'sth X 
world (upon this occasion) without some kind of Sacriledge. 8etat 58> 

But from his Life, I passe to his Death, and the disposing of his worldly 
estate, wherein are somethings very Remarkable, and coming to my certain 
knowledge and observation, I neyther wil, nor dare J conceal them. His 
Death was some what soden ; for having preach't at Graye's Inne, upon 
the Lords Day, on that sweet Text, Joh. xiv. 1, 2, * Let not HisCygnea 
your Harts be troubled, ye belieue in God, Believe also in me. Cantio vei 
In my Father's House are many Mansions,' as if he had 
presag'd his own Death, he fel sick that very night, and died on ye Tuesday!) 
following, being the 5 th of July A.D. 1635. ^Etatis suae 58, his Physitian, 
that knew his Body best IT being then out of ye Citty ; yet having his senses, 
and some respite of Time, as he set his Soule, so he set his 

, . - .n in' His last will. 

House in order, revising his former will, and altering, what he 
thought fitt to be altered. And first, he Bequeathed and commended ** 
his Soule, into the hands of his gracious Saviour, who Redeemed it, with 
his most precious Blood, and appeared then in heaven, to receive it. He 
gave him humble thanks, that he had vouchsafed him, to be 
born, and to live, in the Best Times of the Gospel, (mark this) 
and to have his Interest in the comfort of it. As also that he had vouch 
safed him the Honour of being a Publisher of it, with some measure of 
Faithfulnes (mark this, you that contemne ye office of the ministry). His 
Body he ordered to be buried, at the pleasure of his Executors. And 
for his worldly estate, wherewith God had blessed him, he 
thus disposed of it. His House and Lands at Thurston, ap2ed his 
to the value of 50 lib. a year, or more, he gave to his young- Jjjjjj Jjjjjj*" 
est and only Brother then liuing, Thomas Sibs, for ye terme 
of his natural Life, and the Remainder to John Sibs, the son of John, 
his second Brother deceased : and between these two, he diuided all his 

* ' This ' in M. B. G. t ' Discovered ' in M. B. G. J Doe ' in M. B. G. 

This is the title given to Whitaker's last sermon,' published 1599, 4to. G. 
\ This is a slip for Sunday. See Memoir, page cxxx., and title-page of ' last ser 
mons,' in this volume. G. 

T ' Best ' in M B. G. ** ' Committed ' in M. B. G. 



CXXXV1I1 APPENDIX TO MEMOIR. 

personal estate, which clearly amounted to 650 lib. (his large Legacies, 
and funeral charges being discharged and satisfied) making them, ye 
exequestors of his Wil and Test*. To the children of his 3 sisters 
deceased he gave 110 lib. To other poore kindred 13 lib. To his 
faithful Servant, James Joynar, 10 lib. To other 5 in London, 5 lib. To 
the poore of the parishes of Trinity and S l - Andrew's in Cambridge, 5 lib. 
To the poore of the Parish of Thurston, and of the parish, where he should 
be buried, 2 lib. To the Steward of Grayes Inne, 3 lib. To the 3 cheife 
Butlars, 3 lib. To their Servants, 1 lib. To the chiefe Cook, a Ring of 
10 sh. To his under Servants, 1 lib. To his deare and worthy Friend 
M r . Jo. Pym,* a Ring of 2 lib. To S r . Rob*- Brook f of Langley, his 
Legacies Lady, and Brother, 3 Rings of 6 lib. To Mr. Stephens} a Ring 
Riven out 288 of 2 lib. To M r Capell, Preacher, 1 lib. To his loving friend 

Mr. Catlin, Preacher of Thurston, 2 lib. To Mr. Almond of 
Cambr. for his Son (ye Doctours Godson), 5 lib. To his Godson Rich*- 
Clark, 2 lib. To Mr. Gouge [| of London, whom he requested to preach at 
his Funeral, 1 lib.lT To S r - Nath. Rich ;** to S r - Nath. Barnardiston ;ffand 
to S r - W m - Spring, Supervisors of his will, 3 Rings of 3 lib. To M 18 - Mary 
Moore, a Ring of 2 lib. To Mr. Jo. Godbold of Gray's Inn Esq., one of 
ye exequatours of his Will, the best peice of plate he had, valued at 10 lib. 
To Katherin-Hal in Cambr, for the setling of a Scholarship of 4 lib. per 
annum for ever, 100 lib. All wich Legacies amount to the total summe of 
288 lib. 10 sh. 

His eniarg- During the Time yt he was M r . of Kath-Hal, he was the 
5?i Katherin Meane by his great friends, of buying in the Inne, adioininge 

ye Colledge, called The Bull, and so of enlarging the Buildings 
of the Colledge, to the value of 500 lib. as I am informed : But I leave 
this toll a melius Inquirendum. what a Pious and charitable disposition 
do these things discouer, in this precious Saint, to be had in everlasting 
Remembrance. 

* Besides the common sources for Pym's life, consult the ' Charisteria and Epist 
Eucharist.' of Degory Whear, his tutor and acquaintance of many years' standing. 
Charist.' Dedn. and pp. 101, 102; 'Epist. Eucharist.' Nos. 2128. Pym was a 
friend and connection of Brownrigg's. B's ' Life,' pp. 190, 191. M. 

f Sir Robert Brook of Langley, his Lady .... See ' Dedication ' of ' Fountain 
Sealed ' (ante page cxix) G. 

J Dr Stephens, editor of ' Statins,' Master of Bury ? ' Life of Isaac Milles,' 1721, 
pp. 8-12, 74. M. 

I Richard Capel, Wood's ' Athense,' ed. Bliss, iii. 421, Clark's 'Lives' (as above), 
p. 303 seq. M. 

|| Dr Wm. Gouge. See his life in Clark (as above), p. 234 seq., Harwood's 
' Alumni Etonenses,' p. 202, Wm. Lilly's ' Life,' ed. 1774, p. 29, Prynne's ' Canterb. 
Doome,' p. 362, Life of Row' in Clark's ' Lives of E'minent Persons,' (1683), pt. ii. 
p. 106, Brook's ' Lives of the Puritans,' iii. 165, seq. M. Also ' Memoir ' prefixed 
to his Exposition of ' Hebrewes,' folio, 1655, vol. i. G. 

^f From a tract bound in the volume marked R. 10. 16 in the University Library 
of Cambridge (p. 525) it appears that 10s. was commonly charged to the poor, and 
20s. to the rich, for a funeral sermon. The tract contains tbe answer of George 
Finch (a Cambridge man, brother to Lord Fincb) to the articles against him A.D. 
1641. M. 

** See Birch's James I., vol. ii., p. 55, and Whear's ' Charisteria,' p. 127. M. 

ft See Ms life in Clarke's ' Lives of Eminent Persons,' (1683), pt. ii., p. 105, seq. 
Cf. ibid. pp. 161, 163, 169, 172, 175 ; Calamy's 'Account,' pp. 636, 637 ; 'Contin.'p. 
786.-M. 

tt The Black Bull was given by will to Cath. Hall by Dr Gostlin, for the found 
ing of six scholars, &c. M. 



APPENDIX TO MEMOIR. CXXXiX 

I shal conclude with an Observation, w ch I made of the Time, The tlme of 
when this holy man, and some other Godly and precious MS death, isa. 
Divines, were taken out of this world, by the wise Providence 57> ll 
of God. Tis that of ye Prophet Is : 57, i. That Righteous and merciful 
men are taken away, from the Evill to come. They enter into Peace, and 
rest in their Graues, as in Beds of Sleep. Thus ye Lord said, 2 K. 22. 19, 
concerning good Josia, I wil gather thee to the Fathers, and 2o - 
thou shalt go to thy Grave in Peace, And thine eyes shall not see all ye 
Evil, w ch I wil bring upon this place. In like manner, the Lord took away, 
about the same Time, with this Eeverend man diuers, that their eyes might 
not see that great Evils, then ready to break out, upon these 3 kingdoms. 
To instance in some few, D r - Sibs died July 5, 1635 ; M r< Sam. Dr Sibs, Mr 
Ward,* that Worthy Preacher of Ipswich, was censured in the Sam - Ward - 
High commission, and silencet in October folio w g ye same yeare 1635, and 
died, as I remember 1638. The Irish Rebellion, the slaughter of 100,000 
Protestants in a yeare, the long, fatal war, between the King and ParP. 

M r> Rogers f also, that Zealous and powerful Preacher of Mr Rogers 
Dedham in Essex, died Octob : 15 : 1636. And I may not of Dedham ' 
forget my own father also, M r - Robert Catlin, J an aged and a c ^ m Kobert 
faithfull Minister in Rutlandshire, about four score yeares old 
died July 24 : 1637 : who Being unable any longer to serue his great 
Pastoral cure, he came over to Barbara, neere Ipswich, to dy amongst his 
children (here) in Suffolk : who lying on his sick Bed, heard M r< Fenton, 
a Minister relating the Heavy censure, that was then newly passed upon the 
Bishop of Lincoln, and Deane of Westminster, Doctour Wil- Dr W iiiiams 
liams, reputed at that Time a very good Man, whom my Father cast into ye 
knew to be a great Freind to the Good ministers in his Diocese, 
and a great enimy to the setting the Tables Altarwise, and to the Altar 
worship, w oh then began to be much advocated, and one that had done 
many munificent works of charity, and had given yearely a great summe 
to the Releife of the Lady Elizabeth. The Bishop, by the malice of Arch 
bishop Laud and others his enemies, was suspended in the High Commis 
sion ab officio or beneficio, censured in the Star- Chamber, fined 10,000 lib. 
and cast into the Towre of London about July 15, 1637 : from whence he 
was fetchet out the beginning of this Parl*- Nov. 3d, 1640, with great 
applause. My Father, I say, hearing of this Bishop's censure (wherein 
my Brother Wm. Catlin, a minister was deeply concerned, as being a wit 
ness for ye Bishop), He brake out into these words, before the 2 Ministers, 
and others then present in the chamber. Alas poore England, thou hast 
now seen thy best daies ; I that am 4 score yeares old, and I have in 
al my time seene no alteration in Religion, nor any foreign Enemy setting 

^ * See Brook's ' Lives of the Puritans,' vol. ii. p. 452, seq., with the authors there 
cited; also Heylin's ' Cyprianus Angl.' p. 120, seq. ; Prynne's ' Canterb. Doome,' 




sermons' in present series (see Adams's, iii.). G. 
t See his life in Brook's ' Lives of the Puritans,' vol. ii. p. 421 : and Bastwick's 
'Utter Routing,' p. 474, Prynne's 'Canterb. Doome,' pp. 363, 373, Calarny's 'Ac 
count,' p. GOG, Clark's ' Lives of Eminent Persons ' (1683), p. 64 (Life of Blackerby), 
Mather's ' Life of T. Hooker,' p. 8, Mather's ' Life of John Cotton,' pp. 24, 25. M. 
Also Chester's ' John Rogers' . . . pages 245, seq. (I vol. 8vo, 1861). G. 

t This account has been printed in Brook's 'Lives of the Puritans,' vol. ii. 



pp. 428, 429. M. 



CXI APPENDIX TO 1IEMOIR. 

foot in England, nor any Ciuil wars, amongst ourselves, do now forsee euil 
dales a comming. But I shal go to the grave in Peace. Blessed be that 
God, whom I have served, who hath accepted my weake service, and wil 
be mine exceeding great reward. And within a few houres, he departed 
this Life, and lies Buried in the Chauncell of the Parish Church at Bar- 
ham, Doctour Young of Stow Market,* preaching at his Funeral : and as 
he Blessed God (with D r Sibs) yt he had lived in the best Times of the 
Gospel, so there was no great difference in the Time of their death. And 
shortly after the death of these men were those sparkles of discontent 
kindled between the Scots and us, w ch were the sad Prasludia, or beginnings 
of this late Universal Conflagration. The King went against 
agSt we ye the Scots, as far as York, in March 1638 : and the Scots were 
scots. March proclaimed Traitours in the Churches of England, in April 
following, and though this Proclamation were revoked, yet who 
knows not, what Tragical events have follow'd in al the 8 Kingdoms, to 
this very day,f to the astonishment of Heaven and Earth. This is ye 

BezseF 70 V6r ^ ODServa ^ on f Reverend Beza in his 70th Epistle : That 
as often as God kindleth and setteth vp these Lights (men of 
singular graces and special use in ye church) so often he testifies his good 
wil to y ose Times and Places in a certen special and peculiar manner. But 
when he extinguishes these Lights and puts them out, it must be accounted 
as an evident testimony of his sore Displeasure. For (saith he) it is 
apparant in al Histories that when greivous Tempests are comming upon a 
People, The Lord is wont to withdraw his especial servants into the Haven 
beforehand, w ch agrees with y* of ye Prophet Isay 2. 2, 3, 5. Behold .ye 
Lord wil take away out of Judah and Jerusalem ye Judges and ye Prophets ; 
the Wise man and ye Councellour and ye Honourable : and the People 
shal bee oppressed one of another etc. And no marvel, for such men are 
the ro xarr/jbc, . . . meanes as a shield to keep off the wrath of God from 

Gen. 7. 16. the Places where they live. The Lord with held the Flood 

u - 13 - of waters from ye old world, til Noah was safely shut up in the 

Ark, and the very selfe same day (saith the Text) were the Fountaines of 

the Deep broken up and the windowes of Heaven opened. The 

Gen. is. 22. Angel told Lot he could do nothing against wicked Sodom, till 

2Chron.34. he was got out of that place. The Lord held off the king of 
28, an > 6. B a bi} on from beseiging Jerusalem til good Josia was at rest. 

Josephus. And ere the Roman Army sate down before it, the Lord by a 
Miracle warned the Christian Jewes to remove from thence to 

Augustine. Pella. Again, no sooner was that worthy Bishop of Hippo 
St Augustin deceased, but the Citty was taken and sacked by the Goths 

M. Luther. an< ^ Vandals. No sooner was Martin Luther translated to a 
better Life, but the Smalcaldick warre brake out w ch wasted 
almost al the Protestants in Germany. No sooner was that 

D. Pareus. wor thy man, aged Pareus taken from Heydelberg, but presently 
Marques Spinola with his Army entered the Town. And no sooner had 
the Lord taken away these worthy Divines, but presently the Fire of war 

Psai 11 3 an ^ confusion (a iust punishment for our great and crying 

sins) brake out upon these 3 nations. For if the Foundations 

(of Religion and Government) be cast down and destroy'd, what can the , 

Righteous do. The voice of wise men is not heard in the cry of Fooles : 

The counsel of moderate and unbiased men is not regarded in such a 

* The celebrated Scottish tutor and friend of John Milton. 

t From 'very day,' on to 'The Lord in Mercy/ not in M.-B. G. 






APPENDIX TO MEMOIR. 



Tempest of clamour, violence, and confusion. Such men would have been 
Alighted and lay'd aside in such Times as these. The Lord therefore hath 
put them into their safe harbour and Haven of Rest, while wee that survive 
'are tossed to and fro upon the turbulent Eurypus of Anabaptistical, An 
archical, Fanatical, and Atheistical barretings and Yittlitigations.* 

The Lord in Mercy vouchsafe to stil the Raging of the waters, p s . 55. 7. 
and the madnes of (that many headded monster) the People, isay. 39. 8. 
that once more his faithful Servants in these 3 Nations, may Matt: 8. 25. 
,enjoy a blessed calm. That there may yet once again, be Peace and 
! Truth in our Daies. Lord save us, or we perish. 

Compiled and attested, by Zachary Catlin, Minister of Thurston, Nov. 1. 
,1652: Anno retatis 69 : currente. 

(I have presented Catlin's MS. to ' University Library,' Cambridge). 



B, pages xxix and cxxxi. SIBBES'S FAMILY AND NAME. 

The Will of Sibbes (ante p. cxxviii, seq.}, enumerates various relatives 
deceased and alive. His father had died before 1608, and his mother, 
Catlin informs us, also predeceased him. Dr Sibbes himself never married, 
perhaps through the ' order ' of Gray's Inn, that forbad its ' preacher ' to 
marry. The name seems to have utterly died out, not in Suffolk merely, 
i but everywhere. While all the other Puritans of this Series are living names, 
i I have failed to trace any Sibbes beyond 1737. No doubt the blood has 
been transmitted in the issue of the several sisters named in the * Will.' 

The following memorabilia from the sources enumerated above each, con 
tain all that I have been able to collect about the family and name. 
Catharine-Hall ' Registers.' 
) John Sibbes, B.A. 1635 (mentioned in ' Will '). 

2.) Richard . . . B.A. 1664, M.A. 1668. (See entry in Thurston 
' Register,' Mo. 2.) 

(3.) Robert . . . B.A. 1675. 

(4.) Richard . . . B.A. 1716. 

II. Tostock ' Registers.' 

The merest fragment of the Registers ' of Tostock has been preserved ; 
and the first occurrence of the name of Sibbes therein, it will be observed, 
is long posterior to his death. 

1. Hannah Sibbs, the daughter of Thomas Sibbs (probably a grand- 
nephew), and Elizabeth his wife, was baptized the 6th day of January 1679. 

2. Francis, ye daughter of Thomas Sibbes and Elizabeth his wife, was 
baptized ye 5th of June 1683. 

%* See an entry from Thurston ' Register,' of her marriage. 

8. Richard, the son of Thomas Sibbs and Elizabeth his wife, was bap 
tized May ye 1st 1688. 

From the deaths ' we find Thomas Sibbes was buried January ye 18th 
1690,' and * Elizabeth Sibbes, widow, was buried, August 9th 1706.' 

4. John Nunn and Sarah Sibbes (probably a grand- neice), both of 
this parish, were married, April 12. 1697. 

Of this marriage were born : 

(!.} Mary, baptized December ye 30th 1702.' 

(2.) John, ' baptized January ye 9th 1706.' (Died in a few days.) 

(8.) Esther, ' baptized May ye 26th 1708.' 

* Qu. 'Vile litigations ?' ED. 



APPENDIX TO MEMOIR. 

Of ' Sarah Sibbes ' = Mrs Nunn, we read, * Sarah, the wife of John 
Nunn of Thurston, was buried here, April 28th 1719.' A < Frances Nunn 
of Rattlesden, was buried, Feb. 18. 1725.' 

A third branch is as follows : 

5. ' John Limner of Chevington, and Elizabeth Sibbes (probably another 
grand-niece), of this town, were married, August ye 23d 1700.' 

There was issue : 

' Esther, daughter of John Limner and Elizabeth his wife, . . baptized 
Octob. ye 15th 1701.' 

III. Thurston Registers,' as Tostock. 

Only two occurrences of the name of Sibbes are found : 

1. Titulus Matrimonii, 1707. 

' Robert Steggles of Tostock, and Frances Sibbes of Thurston, married, 
Ap. 23.' (See under Tostock, No. 2.) 

2. ' Mr Richard Sibbes, clerk, rector of Gedding 65 years, aged 93, Feb. 
2. 1737.' 

This was doubtless the ' Richard ' of the Cambridge list (supra No. 2). 
He was probably non-resident. In the ' registers ' of Gedding, only one 
entry during the whole period of his incumbency, bears his signature as 
' rector.' 

IV. Bright's ' Brights of Suffolk ' (ante pp. Ixxxv-vi). 

In the family papers of ' the Netherhall Family,' John Sibbes, no doubt 
the Doctor's nephew, appears as a 'witness' in a dispute about a 'meadow' 
(page 127). On the back of a letter (January ye 6th 1703), is a memor 
andum by Thomas Bright, relating to accounts and rents, under the heads 
of Thurston, Pakenham, Barton, and Tostock, in which, among others, 
occur the names of ' John, Robert, and Thomas Sibbes,' perhaps ' tenants' 
on the estate. Finally, in a letter, * June 10. 1729,' a Mr Howard writes to 
the famous beauty, * Mary Bright,' that ' yesterday he view 4 Mr Sibbs' copy 
hold lands, held of her manor.' 



C, page cxxvi. SUCCESSORS OF SIBBES IN HIS OFFICES. 

1. ' PREACHER,' GRAY'S INN. 

1 3th November 1635. Hannibal Potter, Dr of Divinity, chose preacher. 

9th February 1641. Mr Jackson is chose lecturer, to preach twice of a 
Sunday. 

28th May 1647. Mr Horton chose preacher. 

13th January 1662. Mr Caley, preacher and lect r of this Society, if he 
please to accept thereof. 

12th November 1662. Mr Cradock chose lect r , w tb same allowance as 
Mr Wilkins. 

2. ' MASTER,' CATHERINE HALL, CAMBRIDGE. 

There was a keen contest for the * Mastership.' The subsequently cele 
brated Bishop Brownrig was appointed. For interesting notice, with refer 
ences, of Brownrig, and for the papers relating to the disputes, consult M 
Mayor's ' Autobiography of Matthew Robinson ' (pp. 130146) ; als 
4 G-arrard's Letter to Stratford (September 1. 1635, Stratford's Letters, vex 
i. p. 462). 



A DESCRIPTION OF CHRIST 



YoL. 1. 



A DESCEIPTION OF CHKIST. 



NOTE. 

THE title-page, which is given below,* of the original and only early edition of 
the ' Description of Christ ' bears, it will be observed, that it consists of the ' lead 
ing i. e. t introductory sermons to that treatise called the Bruised Reed.' Hence 
its position in our reprint. It seemed proper to place the two together. 

The ' Description,' as having been published posthumously, will not compare in 
finish with the more famous ' Bruised Reed,' and, indeed, occasionally (as at p. 6, 
line 10 from bottom, p. 13, line 8 from bottom), partakes very much of the nature 
of those ' notes ... by some who had not perfectly taken them,' to which Sibbes 
deprecatingly refers in his address to the ' Christian reader,' prefixed to the latter. 
Still, in substance, if not in composition, the ' Description ' is valuable ; and having 
been published in the ' Beams of Divine Light ' according ' to the doctor, his own 
appointment,' it carries his authority. It is to be hoped that in no after-reprints 
will the ' Description ' and ' Bruised Reed be disjoined. G. f 

* Original Title page 

A 
DESCRIPTION 

OF CHRIST, 
( His neerenesse to God, 
j I His calling, 

1 His qualification, 

v His execution of his calling. 

In three Sermons. 

Being the leading Sermons to that Trea 
tise called the Bruised Reed, preached 

upon the precedent words. 
By the late Reverend and learned Di 
vine, Richard Sibs, 

Doctor in Divinitie, Master of Katherine Hall in 

Cambridge, and sometimes Preacher at 

Grayes Inne. 

Isa. 61. 1. 

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord hath annoynted 
me to preach good tidings unto the meeke. 

London. 

Printed by G. M. for N. Bourne and R. Harford, and are to be sold at the south 

entrance of the Royall Exchange, and at the guilt Bible in Queenes-head- 

Alley in Pater-noster-row. MDCXXXIX. 

f Throughout the present edition of Sibbes, those foot-notes without any signature 
or initial belong to the author or his original editors. For all others prefixed or 
subjoined to the several treatises, &c., having G. attached, the Editor is responsible. 



A DESCRIPTION OF CHRIST. 



Behold my servant; whom I have chosen ; my beloved, in whom my sold is well 
pleased : I will put my Spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the 
Gentiles. He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in 
the streets, &e. MATT. XII. 18. 

THE words are the accomplishment of a prophecy, taken out of Isaiah xlii. 
1, 2, as we may see by the former verse, ' that it might be fulfilled.' Now 
the occasion of bringing them in here in this verse, it is a charge that 
Christ gives, verse 16, that they should not discover and make him 
known for the miracles he did. He withdraws himself; he was desirous to bo 
concealed, he would not live to the view over much, for he knew the re 
bellious disposition of the Jews, that were willing to change their govern 
ment, and to make him king ; therefore, he laboured to conceal himself all 
kind of ways. Now, upon this charge, that they should tell nobody, he 
brings in the prophet Isai'ah prophesying of him, * Behold my servant, &c. ; 
he shall not strive nor cry, neither shall any man hear his voice in the 
streets.' Other kings labour that their pomp and magnificence may be 
seen ; but he shall not mind ostentation, he shall not be contentious nor 
clamorous. For these three things are meant when he saith, 'he shall not 
strive, nor cry, neither shall his voice be heard in the streets ;' he shall 
not yield to any ostentation, for he came in an abased state to work our 
salvation ; he shall not be contentious, nor yet clamorous in matter of 
wrong ; there shall be no boasting any kind of way, as we shall see when 
we come to the words. You see, then, the inference here. 

^ The inference in the prophet Isaiah is to comfort the people, and to 
direct them how to come to worship the true God, after he had declaimed 
against th^ir idolatry, as we see in the former chapter, ' Behold my ser 
vant,' &e. Great princes have their ambassadors, and the great God of 
heaven hath his Son, his servant in whom he delights, through whom, and 
by whom, all intercourse between God and man is. 

It is usual in the prophecies, especially of Isaiah, that evangelical pro 
phet, when he foretells anything comfortable to the people, in the promise 
of temporal things, he riseth to stablish their faith in better things, by 
adding thereto a prophecy, and promise of Christ the Messiah, to insinuate 
thus much, I will send you the Messiah, that is a greater gift than this that 
I have promised you ; therefore you may be sure of the less, as the apostle 



4 A DESCRIPTION OF CHRIST. 

reasons excellently, ' If he spared not his own son, but delivered him to 
death for us all, how shall he not with him give us all things ?' Rom. viii. 
32. So here, I have promised you deliverance out of Babylon, and this 
and that ; do you doubt of the performance ? Alas ! what is that in com 
parison of a greater favour I intend you in Christ, that shall deliver you 
out of another manner of Babylon ? ' Behold my servant whom I have 
chosen ;' and in Isaiah vii. 14, ' Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear 
a son,' &c. I will send you the Messiah ; God shall become man ; there 
fore, I will not stand for any outward favour or deliverance whatsoever. So 
he goes to the grand promise, that they might reason from the greater to 
the less. 

There is another end, why in other promises there is mention of the pro 
mise of the Messiah, to uphold their faith. Alas ! we are unworthy of 
these promises, we are laden with sin and iniquity. It is no matter, I will 
send you the Messiah. ' Behold my servant in whom my soul delighteth,' 
and for his sake I will delight in you. I am well pleased with you, because 
I am well pleased in him ; therefore, be not discouraged. ' All the pro 
mises are yea and amen in Jesus Christ,' 2 Cor. i. 19 ; for all the promises 
that be, though they be for the things of this life, they are made for Christ, 
they are yea in him, and they are performed for his sake, they are amen in 
him. So much for the occasion of the inference in the evangelist St 
Matthew, and likewise in the prophet Isaiah. 

To come more directly to the words, ' Behold my servant whom I have 
chosen, my beloved in whom my soul is well pleased,' &c. 

In the words you have a description of Christ, his nearness to God: 
' Behold my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved in whom my soul is 
well pleased.' And then his calling and qualification: * I will put my Spirit 
upon him.' And the execution of that calling : ' He shall shew judgment to 
the Gentiles.' Then the quiet and peaceable manner of the execution of his 
calling : * He shall not strive nor cry, neither shall any man hear his voice 
in the streets,' &c. 

Behold ! This word is as it were a beacon lighted up to all the rest. In 
all the evangelists you have this word often repeated, and the prophets 
likewise when they speak of Christ ; there is no prophecy almost but there 
is this word, Behold/ 

Why ? Not to spend time in the variety of acceptions (= acceptations), 
but to speak of it as may serve for the present purpose. The use of it 
in the prophet, especially out of which these words are taken, was to pre 
sent Christ to the hearts of the people of God then ; therefore, he saith, 
' Behold,' for Christ was present to the believers then; he did profit before 
he was, he did good before he was exhibited, because he was ' the Lamb of 
God slain from the beginning of the world,' Rev. xiii. 8 ; he was yesterday 
as well as to-day, and to-morrow as well as to-day, ' yesterday, to-day, and 
the same for ever,' Heb. xiii. 8 ; he was present to their faith, and present 
to them in types and sacrifices, and present in God's acceptation of him 
for them ; therefore, the prophets mount up with the wing of prophecy, 
and in regard of the certainty of the things to come, they speak as if they 
were present, as if they had looked on Christ present, ' Behold my servant,' 
and ' Behold a virgin,' &c. 

But that is not all. Another use of this word * behold,' was to call the 
people's minds from their miseries, and from other abasing objects that 
dejected them, and might force despair. Why do you dwell upon your 
unworthiness and sin ? raise up your mind, ' Behold my servant whom I 



A DESCRIPTION OF CHBIST. 5 

have chosen,' &c. This is an object worth beholding and admiration, 
; especially of a distressed soul that may see in Christ whatsoever may com 
fort it. 

A third end of it is to raise the mind from any vulgar, common, base 

contents.* You look on these things, and are earned away with common 

: trivial objects, as the poor disciples when they came to the temple ; they 

stood wondering at the stones. What wondrous stones ! what goodly build- 

. ing is here! Mark xiii. 1. So shallow-minded men, they see any earthly 

, excellency, they stand gazing. Alas, saith Christ, do you wonder at these 

i things ? So the prophet here raiseth up the minds of men to look on an 

object fit to be looked on, ' Behold my .servant,' &c. So that the Holy 

| Ghost would have Ahem from this saving object, Christ, to raise satisfaction 

j to their souls every way. Are you dejected ? here is comfort ; are you 

sinful ? here is righteousness ; are you led away with present contentments ? 

here you have honours, and pleasures, and all in Christ Jesus. You have 

a right to common pleasures that others have, and besides them you have 

interest to others that are everlasting pleasures that shall never fail, so that 

there is nothing that is dejecting and abasing in man, but there is comfort 

for it in Christ Jesus ; he is a salve for every sore, a remedy for every 

malady; therefore, 'Behold my servant.' 

This word * behold,' it is a word of wonderment, and, indeed, in Christ 
there are a world of wonders, everything is wonderful in him. Things 
new and wonderful, and things rare, and things that are great, that tran 
scend our capacity, are wonderful, that stop our understanding that it 
cannot go through them. Vulgar things, we see through them quickly, but 
when we see things that stay our understandings, that raise our understand 
ings higher, and that are more capacious than our understandings, here is 
matter of admiration and wonder. Now whatsoever may make wonderment 
is in Jesus Christ, whose name is Wonderful, as it is in Isa. ix. 7 ; there 
fore the prophet saith, ' Behold.' 

My servant. Christ is called a servant, first, in respect of his creation, 

because being a man, as a creature he was a servant. But that is not all. 

He was a servant in respect of his condition. Servant implies a base 

and low condition, Philip, ii. 7. Christ took upon him the form of a 

servant ; he emptied himself ; he was the lowest of all servants in con- 

! dition : for none was ever so abased as our glorious Saviour. 

And then, it is a name of office, as well as of base condition. There 

are ordinary servants and extraordinary, as great kings have their servants of 

: state. Christ besides his abasement, he was a servant of state, he was an 

\ ambassador sent from the great God ; a prophet, a priest, and a king, as 

\ we shall see afterwards ; an extraordinary servant, to do a piece of service 

| that all the angels in heaven, and all the men on the earth joined together, 

could not perform. This great master-piece of service was to bring God 

and man together again, that were at variance, as it is, 1 Peter iii. 18, ' to 

bring us to God.' We were severed and scattered from God. His office 

was to gather us together again, to bring us all to one head again, to bring 

us to himself, and so to God, to reconcile us, as the Scripture phrase is, 

Col. i. 20. Now, it being the greatest work and service that ever was, 

it required the greatest servant ; for no creature in the world could perform 

it. All the angels of heaven would have sunk under this service, to have 

undergone satisfaction to divine justice ; for the angels themselves, when 

they sinned, they could not recover themselves, but sunk under their own 

* That is, 'contentments.' ED. 



6 A DESCRIPTION OF CHRIST. 

sin eternally. Thus we see how he is God's servant, who set him apart, 
and chose him to this service. 

And then he was a servant to us ; for the Son of man came to minister, 
not to be ministered unto, Matt. xx. 28. He washed his disciples' feet. 
He was a servant to us, because he did our work and suffered our punish 
ment ; we made him serve by our sins, as the prophet saith, Isa. xliii. 24. 
He is a servant that bears another man's burden. There was a double 
burden of obedience active, and obedience passive. He bore them both. 
He came under the law for us, both doing what we should have done, and 
indeed far more acceptably, and suffering that we should have suffered, and 
far more acceptably. He being our surety, being a more excellent person, 
he did bear our burden, and did our work, therefore he was God's servant, 
and our servant ; and God's servant, because he was our servant, because 
he came to do a work behoveful to us. 

Herein appears the admirable love and care of God to us wretched 
creatures, here is matter of wonderment. 

If we look to him that was a servant ; 

If we look to that in God and him, that made him stoop to be a servant; 

If we look to the manner of the performance of this service ; 

If we look to the fruit of that service ; they are all matter of wonderment. 

If we look to the person that was this servant ; the apostle, in Philip, ii. 
6, will tell you, he thought it not robbery to be equal with God, yet he 
took upon him the shape of a servant. Was not this wonderful, for God 
to become man, the glorious God to abase himself, to be a servant ? God- 
man, glorious God, and base servant ; for the living God to die, for the 
incomprehensible God to be enclosed in the womb of a virgin, for glory 
itself to be abased, for riches to become poor, what matter of wonderment 
is here ! The very angels stand at a gaze and wonder, they pry into these 
things, 1 Peter i. 12 ; his name may well be wonderful. 

There are four notable conjunctions that are especially wonderful, two in 
us, and two above us. 

One in us, is the conjunction of so excellent a thing as the soul breathed 
in by God. The soul of man is an admirable thing. The world is not 
worth it in the judgment of him that gave himself for it. That this should 
be joined to a piece of earth (indeed, I am wonderfully made, saith David, 
Ps. cxxxix. 14) in regard of his body, but the conjunction of the soul and 
body together, so excellent a substance to so base a thing as earth, to a 
piece of red, well-coloured earth (a),* to a lump of flesh, it is a wondrous con 
junction. 

But there is a more supernatural conjunction of man when all of us, 
sinners as we are, are knit to Christ our head, and head and members 
make one Christ. Here is a wondrous conjunction. St Paul calls it a 
mystery, Eph. v. 32. These conjunctions in us are wonderful. 

But now, to go higher, in Christ there are more wonderful conjunctions ; 
for the greatest and the meanest to join together, for God and man to 
come together, the Lord of all and a servant, and such a servant as should 
be under a curse, for the Highest of all to come to the deepest abasement. 
For there was no abasement ever so deep as Christ's was, in a double regard. 

First, None ever went so low as he, for he suffered the wrath of God, j 
and bore upon him the sins of us all ; none ever was so low. 

And then in another respect his abasement was greatest, because he 

* The letters a, b, c, &c., in the text, refer to notes appended to the respective 1 
treatise, &c. G. 



A DESCRIPTION OF CHRIST. 7 

descended from the highest top of glory; and for him to be man, to 
be a servant, to be a curse, to suffer the wrath of God, to be the lowest 
of all Lord, whither dost thou descend ? Here is a wonder in these 
conjunctions. 

Next to Christ's abasement was Adam's ; because he was the most ex 
cellent, being in the state of innocency, and carrying the image of God, 
and being familiar with God. For him presently to come into that fearful 
condition, it was the greatest abasement ; because it was from the greatest 
dignity that made the abasement of Christ so great. For lordship to submit 
to service, for God to be man, the blessed God to become a curse, here is 
matter of wonder indeed. 

In Christ, again, there was a conjunction of perfect body, perfect soul, 
and perfect God, and all make one Christ. In the Trinity there is a con 
junction of three persons in one nature. That is a wondrous conjunction, 
but it belongs not to our present purpose. Here you see there is matter 
of wonder in the person, that Christ should be a servant. 

There is matter of wonder likewise in that from whence he is a servant. 
Whence comes it that Christ is a servant ? ft is from the wondrous love 
of God, and the wondrous love of Christ. To be so abased, it was won 
drous love in God to give him to us to be so abased, and the wondrous 
misery we were in, that we could not otherwise be freed from ; for such 
was the pride of man, that he, being man, would exalt himself to be like 
God. God became man, he became a servant to expiate our pride in Adam, 
so that it is wondrous in the spring of it. There was no such love as 
Christ's to become a servant, there was no such misery as we were in, out 
of which we were delivered by this abasement of Christ becoming a servant ; 
so it is wondrous in that regard, springing from the infinite love and mercy 
of God, which is greater in the work of redemption and reconciliation 
than in the creation of the world, for the distance between nothing and 
something was less than the distance between sin and happiness. For 
nothing adds no opposition ; but to be in a sinful state there is opposition. 
Therefore it was greater love and mercy for God, when we were sinful, and 
so obnoxious to eternal destruction, to make us of sinners, not only men, 
but to make us happy, to make us heirs of heaven out of a sinful and 
cursed estate, than to make us of nothing something, to make us men in 
Adam, for there God prevailed over nothing, but here his mercy triumphed 
over that which is opposite to God, over sinfulness and cursedness. To 
shew that the creature cannot be so low but there is somewhat in God 
above the misery of the creature, his mercy shall triumph over the basest 
estate where he will shew mercy. Therefore there is mercy above all mercy 
and love above all love, in that Christ was a servant. 

Thirdly, It is wondrous in regard of the fruit we have by this service of 
Christ, the work of our redemption, to be translated from the kingdom of 
Satan to the glorious liberty of the sons of God, Horn. viii. 21, to be 
brought out of darkness into marvellous light. It is a marvellous matter ot 
wonder, the good we have by this abasement of Christ, ' Behold what love 
the Father hath shewed us, that we should be called the sons of God ! ' 
1 John iii. 1. Now, all this comes from Christ's being a servant. Our 
liberty comes from his service and slavery, our life from his death, our 
adoption and sonship and all comes from his abasement. Therefore it is a 
matter of wonderment for the great things we have by it, the depth, 
the depth, saith St Paul, Eom. xi. 33. Here are all dimensions in this 
excellent work that Christ hath wrought by his abasement, by his incarna- 



8 A DESCRIPTION OF CHRIST. 

tion, and taking upon him the form of a servant, and dying for us ; here is 
the height and breadth, and length and depth of the love of God in Christ. 
the riches of God's mercy ! The apostles they stand in a wonder and 
admiration of this, and indeed, if anything be to be admired, it is Christ, 
that wondrous conjunction, the wondrous love that wrought it, and the 
wondrous fruit we have by it. 

It is the baseness of our nature we can wonder at shallow things. There 
cannot be foolery, but there will be many about it presently, and stand ad 
miring every empty idle thing that the nature of man is carried away with ; 
whereas indeed there is nothing worthy of admiration but the wonderful 
love of God. how wonderful are thy works, saith David, of the works of 
creation, Ps. viii. 1. The work of creation and of providence whereby God 
guides the world are wonderful, and the psalmist cries out of the folly of 
men, that do not regard the work of the Lord, * Fools regard not this ' 
Ps. xiv 1 ; ' The works of the Lord are worthy to be considered, they are 
known of all that delight in them,' Ps. cxi. 2, But if these things be so 
wonderful, and to be regarded and delighted in, alas ! what is all the work of 
redemption ! Great is the mystery of godliness, God manifested in the flesh, 
&c., 1 Tim. iii. 16. There are mysteries, matters of admiration, but 
carnal men think these trival matters, they can hear matters of more rarity; 
and when they speak of these things, alas ! they are too wise to wonder, 
tush, they know the gospel well enough, whereas indeed, as we see here, 
they are 'things that deserve the admiration of angels ; and as they deserve 
it, so the angels pry into these excellent secrets in Jesus Christ, 1 Pet. i. 12. 

Christ was a servant by office and by condition. We must not rest in 
this base condition ; for he took upon him the form of a servant that he 
might be an excellent servant. There is both baseness and excellency in 
the word servant ; for his humiliation was a degree of his exaltation, and 
a part of his advancement. If we regard his human nature, it was an ad 
vancement for man's nature to be grafted into God by conception and incar 
nation ; but if we regard his Godhead, for him to conceal himself, and lay 
aside the beams and rays of majesty, and clothe himself with man's flesh, 
this was the first degree of humiliation. It was an advancement to his 
flesh, but it was a concealing and hiding to his Godhead. For God to be 
come a servant this was an abasement : but then consider the excellency 
of the service, how God delighted hi it, and how useful it was to us, and we 
shall see that he was a servant by way of excellency. There was first in 
Christ human flesh, abased flesh, and then glorious flesh. Abasement was 
first necessary for Christ ; for he could not have performed the office of a 
servant, unless he had undertaken the condition of a servant. He must 
first be abased and then glorious, our ill must be his before his good could 
be ours ; and how could he undergo our ill, our sin and misery, and the 
curse due to us, but he must be abased ? Our sins must be imputed to him, 
and then his righteousness and whatsoever is good is ours ; so here is both 
the abasement of his condition, and the excellency of his office to be a king, 
priest, and prophet to his church, as we shall see afterwards. 

Is the Lord Christ a servant ? This should teach us not to stand upon 
any terms. If Christ had stood upon terms, if he had refused to take upon 
him the shape of a servant, alas ! where had we and our salvation been ? 
And yet wretched creatures, we think ourselves too good to do God and 
our brethren any service. Christ stood not upon his greatness, but, being 
equal with God, he became a servant. Oh ! we should dismount from the 
tower of our conceited excellency. The heart of man is a proud creature, a 



A DESCRIPTION OF CHRIST. 9 

proud piece of flesh. Men stand upon their distance. What ! shall I 
stoop to him ? I am thus and thus. We should descend from the heaven 
of our conceit, and take upon us the form of servants, and abase ourselves 
to do good to others, even to any, and account it an honour to do any good 
to others in the places we are in. Christ did not think himself too good 
to leave heaven, to conceal and veil his majesty under the veil of our flesh, 
to work our redemption, to bring us out of the cursed estate we were in. 
Shall we think ourselves too good for any service ? Who for shame can 
be proud when he thinks of this, that God was abased ? Shall God be 
abased, and man proud ? Shall God become a servant, and shall we that 
are servants think much to serve our fellow-servants ? Let us learn 
this lesson, to abase ourselves ; we cannot have a better pattern to look 
unto than our blessed Saviour. A Christian is the greatest freeman in the 
world ; he is free from the wrath of God, free from hell and damnation, 
from the curse of the law ; but then, though he be free in these respects, 
yet, in regard of love, he is the greatest servant. Love abaseth him to do 
all the good he can ; and the more the Spirit of Christ is in us, the more 
it will abase us to anything wherein we can be serviceable. 

Then, again, here is comfort for us, that Christ, in whatsoever he did in 
our redemption, is God's servant. He is appointed by God to the work ; 
so, both God and Christ meet together in the work. Christ is a voluntary 
in it, for he emptied himself, he took upon him the form of a servant, 
Phil. ii. 6, he came from heaven voluntarily. And then withal the Fa 
ther joins with him, the Father appointed him and sent him, the Father 
laid him as the corner-stone, the Father sealed him, as it is, John vi. 27, the 
Father set him out, as it is, Bom. iii. 25. * He hath set him out as the propi 
tiatory.' Therefore, when we think of reconciliation and redemption, and 
salvation wrought by Christ, let us comfort ourselves in the solidity of the 
work, that it is a serrvdce perfectly done. It was done by Christ, God-man. 
It is a service accepted of God, therefore God cannot refuse the service of 
our salvation wrought by Christ. Christ was his servant in the working 
of it. We may present it to God, it is the obedience of thy servant, it is the 
satisfaction of thy servant. Here is that will give full content and satis 
faction to conscience, in this, that whatsoever Christ did, he was God's ser 
vant in it. But we shall better understand the intent of the Holy Ghost 
when we have gone over the rest of the words, ' Behold my servant whom I 
have chosen.' 

Christ was chosen before all worlds to be the head of the elect. He was 
predestinate and ordained by God. As we are ordained to salvation, so 
Christ is ordained to be the head of all that shall be saved. He was chosen 
eternally, and chosen in time. He was singled out to the work by God ; 
and all others that are chosen are chosen in him. There had been no 
choosing of men but in him ; for God saw us so denied, lying in our filth, that 
he could not look upon us but in his Son. He chose him, and us in him. 

Here is meant, not only choosing by eternal election to happiness, but 
a choosing to office. There is a choosing to grace and glory, and a choos 
ing to office. Here, it is as well meant, a choosing to office, as to grace 
and glory. God, as he chose Christ to grace and glory, so he chose him 
to the office of Mediatorship. Christ did not choose himself ; he was no 
usurper. No man calls himself to the office, as it is in Heb. v. 4 ; but 
Christ was called and appointed of God. He was willing, indeed, to the 
work, he took it voluntary upon him ; but as Mediator, God chose him, 
God the Father and he joining together. 



10 A DESCRIPTION OF CHRIST. 

If we respect eternal salvation, or grace, or office, Christ was chosen in 
respect of his manhood ; for, as it is well observed by divines, Christ is 
the head of all that are predestinate ; and the human nature of Christ 
could not merit its choice, it could not merit its incarnation, it could not 
merit union with the Godhead, it was merely from grace. How could 
Christ's manhood deserve anything of God before it was ? Things must 
have a subsistence before they can work : our blessed Saviour is the pattern 
of all election, and his manhood could not merit to be knit to the second 
person ; as how could it, being a creature ? Therefore the knitting of the 
human nature of Christ to his divine, it is called the grace of union. The 
choosing of the human nature of Christ to be so gracious and glorious, it 
was of grace. 

Christ he was both a chosen servant and a choice servant. In calling 
him a chosen servant, it implies his excellency, as a chosen vessel, Acts ix. 
15, a chosen arrow in God's quiver, Lament, iii. 13, so a chosen servant, 
every way excellent. 

This adds to our comfort, that whatsoever Christ did for us, he did it as 
chosen ; he is a chosen stone, as St Peter saith, 1 Peter ii. 6, ' a precious 
corner-stone ;' though refused of the builders, yet precious in God's sight ! 

Was Christ a chosen servant of God, and shall not we take God's 
choice ? Is not God's choice the best and the wisest ? Hath God chosen 
Christ to work our salvation, and shall we choose any other ? Shall we 
run to saints' mediation, to the virgin Mary, and others, for intercession, 
which is a part of Christ's office ? Who chose Mary, and Peter, and Paul 
to this work ? There is no mention in Scripture of them for this purpose, 
but behold my servant, whom I have chosen. 

God in paradise did choose a wife for Adam, so God hath chosen a 
husband for his church ; he hath chosen Christ for us : therefore it is 
intolerable sacrilegious rebellion and impudency to refuse a Saviour and 
Mediator of God's choosing, and to set up others of our own, as if we 
were wiser to choose for ourselves than God is. We may content our 
selves well enough with God's choice, because he is the party offended. 

Besides, it is folly to go out from Christ, where there is all fulness and 
content, to leave God's chosen servant, and to go to any other servant, to 
any broken vessel. God rests in this servant as Pharaoh did in Joseph, 
the second person in the kingdom, Gen. xli. 40, 43. Therefore let God's 
choice and ours agree. 

And this directs us also, in our devotions to God, how to carry our 
selves in our prayers and services, to offer Christ to God. Behold, Lord, 
thy chosen servant, that thou hast chosen to be my Mediator, my Saviour, my 
all in all to me, he is a mediator and a Saviour of thine own choosing, thou 
canst not refuse thy own choice ; if thou look upon me, there is nothing but 
matter of unworthiness, but look upon him whom thou hast chosen, my 
head and my Saviour ! 

Again, if Christ be a chosen servant, let us take heed how we neglect 
Christ. When God hath chosen him for us, shall not we think him worthy 
to be embraced and regarded ; shall we not kiss the Son with the kiss of 
love, and faith, and subjection ? He is a Saviour of God's own choosing, 
refuse him not. What is the reason that men refuse this chosen stone ? 
They will not be laid low enough to build upon this corner stone, this 
hidden stone. The excellency of Christ is hidden, it appears not to men, 
men will not be squared to be built upon him. Stones for a building must 
be framed, and made even, and flat. Men stick out with this and that 



A DESCRIPTION OF CHRIST. 11 

lust, they will not be pared and cut and fitted for Christ. If they may 

have their lusts and wicked lives, they will admit of Christ. But we must 

I make choice of him as a stone to build upon him ; and to be built on him, 

'we must be made like him. We like not this laying low and abasing, 

therefore we refuse this corner stone, though God hath made him the 

corner of building to all those that have the life of grace here, or shall have 

glory hereafter. 

The papists admit him to be a stone, but not the only stone to build on, 
but they build upon him and saints, upon him and works, upon him and 
traditions. But he is the only corner stone. God hath chosen him only, 
and we must choose him only, that we may be framed and laid upon him 
to make up one building. So much for that, ' Behold my servant whom I 
have chosen.' 

My Beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased. How do we know that 
these words in the prophet Isaiah are fitly appliable to Christ ? By the 
greatest authority that ever was from the beginning of the world, by the 
immediate voice of God the Father from heaven, who applies these words 
in Isaiah to Christ, Matt. iii. 17, in his inauguration when he was baptized, 
' This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,' this is that my Son, that 
beloved, 6 aydnqrog, the beloved Son, so beloved that my soul delights in 
him, he is capable of my whole love, I may pour out my whole love upon 
him. In whom I am well pleased,' it is the same with that here, ' in whom 
my soul delighteth,' the one expresseth the other. 

How, and in what respect is Christ thus beloved of God ? 

First as he is God, the Son of God, the engraven image of his Father, so 
he is primum amabile, the first lovely thing that ever was. When the 
Father loves him, he loves himself in him, so he loves him as God, as the 
second person, as his own image and character. 

And as man he loves him, for as man he was the most excellent creature 
in the world, he was conceived, fashioned, and framed in his mother's 
womb by the Holy Ghost. It is said, Heb. x. 5, God gave him a body. 
God the Father by the Holy Ghost fashioned and framed and fitted him 
with a body, therefore God must needs love his own workmanship. 

Again, there was nothing in him displeasing to God, there was no sin 
found in his life any way, therefore as man he was well pleasing to God. 
He took the manhood and ingrafted it into the second person, and enriched it 
there ; therefore he must needs love the manhood of Christ, being taken into 
so near a union with the Godhead. 

As God and man mediator especially, he loves and delights in him. In 
regard of his office, he must needs delight in his own ordinance and de 
cree. Now he decreed and sealed him to that office, therefore he loves and 
delights in him as a mediator of his own appointing and ordaining, to be 
our king, and priest, and prophet. 

Again, he loved and delighted in him, in regard of the execution of his 
office both in doing and suffering. In doing, the evangelist saith, He did 
all things well,' Mark vii. 37. When he healed the sick, and raised the 
dead, and cured all diseases, whatsoever he did was well done. And for 
his suffering, God delighted in him for that, as it is in John x. 17, ' My 
Father loves me, because I lay down my life ;' and so in Isa. liii. 12, He 
shall divide him a portion with the great, because he poured out his soul 
unto death;' and in Phil. ii. 9, Because he abased himself to the death of 
the cross, ' God gave him a name above all names :' therefore God loves and 
delights in him for his suffering and abasement. 



12 A DESCRIPTION OF CHRIST. 

It is said of Noah, Gen. viii. 21, that he offered a sacrifice after the 
flood, and 'the Lord smelled a sweet savour of his sacrifice,' and thereupon 
he saith, ' I will not curse the earth again.' So God loves and delights in Christ 
as he offered himself a sacrifice of a sweet smelling savour wherein God rests; 
he felt such a sweet savour in the sacrifice of Christ, he is so delighted in 
it, that he will never destroy mankind, he will never destroy any that be 
lieve in Christ. The sacrifice of Noah was a type of Christ's sacrifice. 

Now, that Christ's sacrifice was so acceptable to God, there is a direct 
place for it in Eph. v. 2, ' Walk in love, as Christ hath loved us, and hath 
given himself an offering and a sacrifice to God of a sweet smell.' And in 
deed how many sweet savours were there in the sacrifice of Christ offered on 
the cross ! Was there not the sweet savour of obedience ? he was * obedient 
to the death of the cross,' Phil. ii. 8. There was the sweet savour of 
patience, and of love to mankind. Therefore God delighted in him, as God, 
as man, as mediator God-man, in his doings, in his sufferings, every way. 

Doth God delight thus in Christ, in his person, or considered mystically? 
I answer ; both. God loves and delights in Christ mystical, that is, in 
Christ and his members, in whole Christ. ' This is my beloved Son, in 
whom I am well pleased,' not only with whom alone by himself, but * in 
whom,' in him as God, in him in body and soul, in him as head of the 
church, in him mystically, in all that are under him any kind of way. God 
delights in him, and all his. 

Is it possible that he should delight in the head, and refuse the mem 
bers ? that he should love the husband, and mislike the spouse ? no ; 
with the same love that God loves Christ, he loves all his. He delights in 
Christ and all his, with the same delight. There is some difference in the 
degree, ' that Christ in all things may have the pre-eminence,' Col. i. 18, 
but it is the same love ; therefore our Saviour sets it down excellently in 
his own prayer, he desires ' that the same love wherewith his Father loved 
him may be in them that are his,' John xvii. 20, that they may feel the 
love wherewith his Father loves him, for he loved him and his members, 
him and his spouse, with all one love. 

This is our comfort and our confidence, that God accepts us, because he 
accepts his beloved ; and when he shall cease to love Christ, he shall cease 
to love the members of Christ. They and Christ make one mystical Christ. 
'Ibis is our comfort in dejection for sin. We are so and so indeed, but 
Christ is the chosen servant of God, ' in whom he delighteth,' and delights 
in us in him. It is no matter what we are in ourselves, but what we are 
in Christ when we are once in him and continue in him. God loves us 
with that inseparable love wherewith he loves his own Son. Therefore St 
Paul triumphs, Rom. viii. 35, ' What shall separate us from the love of 
God in Christ Jesus ? ' This love, it is founded in Christ, ' therefore 
neither things present, nor things to come (as he goes on there gloriously), 
shall be able to separate us.' You see what a wondrous confidence and 
comfort we have hence, if we labour to be in Christ, that then God loves 
and delights in us, because he loves and delights in Christ Jesus. 

And here is a wondrous comfort, that God must needs love our salvation 
and redemption when he loves Christ, because l he poured out his soul to 
death to save us.' Doth not God delight that we should be saved, and our 
sins should be forgiven, when he loves Christ because he abased himself 
for that purpose ? What a prop and foundation of comfort is this, when 
the devil shall present God to us in a terrible hideous manner, as an 
avenging God, ' and consuming fire,' &c., Heb. xii. 29; indeed out of Christ 



A DESCRIPTION OF CHEIST. 13 

he is so. Let us present to ourselves thoughts of God as the Scripture 
sets forth God to us ; and as God sets forth himself, not only in that sweet 
relation *s a Father to Christ, but our father, 'I go to my Father and 
your Father, to my God and your God,' John xx. 17, having both one God, 
and love and care. There is none of us all but the devil will have a say- 
: ing to us, either in the time of our life, in some terrible temptation, espe 
cially when any outward abasement comes, or at the hour of death ; and 
all the cordials we have gathered out of the word will then be little enough 
to support the drooping soul, especially in the hour of temptation. be- 
\ loved, what a wondrous stay and satisfaction to a distressed conscience 
; doth this yield, that Christ in all that he hath wrought for us is God's 
I chosen servant, ' whom he loves and delights in,' and delights in him for 
I this very work, that he abased himself and gave himself for us, that he 
wrought God's work, because he wrought reconciliation for us ! If we can 
; believe in Christ, we see here what ground of comfort we have, that God 
loves and delights in us, as he doth in his own Son. 

And what a comfort is it now, in our daily approach to God, to minister 

i boldness to us in all our suits, that we go to God in the name of one that 

\ he loves, ' in whom his soul delights,' that we have a friend in court, a 

i friend in heaven for us, that is at the right hand of God, and interposeth 

i himself there for us in all our suits, that makes us acceptable, that 

! perfumes our prayers and makes them acceptable. His intercession 

i is still by virtue of his service, dying for us. He intercedes by virtue 

; of his redemption. If God love him for the work of redemption, he 

: loves him for his intercession, therefore God must needs regard the prayers 

; made by him, by virtue of his dying for us, when he loves him for dying for 

i us. Be sure therefore, in all our suits to God, to take along our elder brother, 

; to take our beloved brother, take Benjamin with us, offer all to God in him, 

; our persons to be accepted in him, our prayers, our hearing, our works, 

and all that we do, and we shall be sure to speed ; for he is one in whom 

the soul of God delights. There must be this passage and repassage, as 

God looks upon us lovely in him, and delights in us as we are members of 

! him. All God's love and the fruits of it come t o us as we are in Christ, 

and are one with him. Then in our passage to God again we must return 

all, and do all, to God in Christ. Be sure not to go to a naked God ; for so 

he is ' a consuming fire,' but go to him in the mediation of him whom he 

loves, ' and in whom his soul delighteth.' 

And shall God love him and delight in him, and shall not our soul delight 
in Christ ? This therefore should stir up our affections to Christ, to be 
i faithful in our conjugal affection as the spouse of Christ, to say, * My be- 
i loved is mine and I am my beloved's,' Cant. ii. 16. Christ calls his church, 
' My love and my dove,' Cant. vi. 9. Doth Christ delight in us, and God 
' delight in Christ, and shall not we delight in Christ that delights in us, and 
! in whom God delights ? In the 1 Cor. xvi. 22, the apostle is bold to pro 
nounce a bitter curse, ' Anathema Maran-atha,' upon him that loves not 
the Lord Christ Jesus, a most bitter curse. When Christ shall become a 
servant to do our work for us, to suffer for us, to bear the burden of our 
sins upon the tree, to become our husband, to bestow his riches upon us, 
to raise us to the same condition with himself, and withal to be such a one 
as God hath chosen out to love and delight in as the best object of his 
love, and most capable of it, and for us not to solace and delight ourselves 
in him that God delights in, when God delights in him for our sake. God 
loves and delights in him for the work of salvation and redemption by his 



14 A DESCRIPTION OF CHRIST. 

blood, and shall not we love and embrace him for his love which is for our 
good ? What good hath God by it but only the glory of his mercy, in 
saving our souls through Christ ? Therefore if God love him for the good 
he doth to us, much more should we love him for the fruit of it that we 
receive ourselves. 

It should shame us therefore when we find dulness and coldness upon 
us, that we can hear of anything better than of Christ ; and arguments 
concerning Christ are cold to us. Alas ! where is our love, and joy, and 
delight ; and when we can make no better but a carnal use of the incarna 
tion and other benefits by Christ ! We should therefore desire God to shed 
the love of Christ into our hearts more and more, that we may feel in our 
souls the love that he bears to us, and may love God and Christ again, for 
that that he hath done for us. 

Hence we have also a ground of estimation of Christians to be excellent 
persons. Doth God value poor sinful souls so much as to give Christ for 
them to become a Saviour ? doth he delight in Christ for giving himself for 
them ? and shall not we love one another whom God and Christ so loves ? 

But if God love and delight in those that are in Christ, with the same 
love and delight that he hath in him, how shall I know that I am in Christ, 
and that God thus delights in me ? 

Briefly, a man may know that he is in Christ, if he find the Spirit of 
Christ in him ; for the same Spirit when Christ took our nature, that 
sanctified that blessed mass whereof he was made, when there was a union 
between him and the second person, the same Spirit sanctifies our souls 
and bodies. There is one Spirit in the head and in the members. There 
fore if we find the Spirit of Christ in us, we are in Christ and he in us. 
Now this Spirit is renewing, ' Whosoever is in Christ is a new creature,' 
2 Cor.v. 17; all is new, ' old things are done away,' the old manner of 
language, the old disposition, old affections, old company, all old things are 
past, all is new ; and if a man be a new creature, he hath right and title to 
' the new heaven and new earth,' 2 Pet. iii. 13. Let us examine the work 
of grace in us. If there be no change in us we have no present interest in 
Christ. We have to do with him because he is still wooing us to be in him, 
but as yet we have no title to him. 

The very beholding of Christ is a transforming sight. The Spirit that 
makes us new creatures, and stirs us up to behold this servant, it is a trans 
forming beholding. If we look upon him with the eye of faith, it will make 
us like Christ ; for the gospel is a mirror, and such a mirror, that when we 
look into it, and see ourselves interested in it, we are changed from glory 
to glory, 2 Cor. iii. 18. A man cannot look upon the love of God and of 
Christ in the gospel, but it will change him to be like God and Christ. 
For how can we see Christ, and God in Christ, but we shall see how God 
hates sin, and this will transform us to hate it as God doth, who hated it 
so that it could not be expiated but with the blood of Christ, God-man. 
So, seeing the holiness of God in it, it will transform us to be holy. When | 
we see the love of God in the gospel, and the love of Christ giving himself 
for us, this will transform us to love God. When we see the humility and 
obedience of Christ, when we look on Christ as God's chosen servant in all 
this, and as our surety and head, it transforms us to the like humility andi 
obedience. Those that find not their dispositions in some comfortable' 
measure wrought to this blessed transformation, they have not yet those' 
eyes that the Holy Ghost requireth here. ' Behold my servant whom I have 
chosen, my beloved in whom my soul delighteth.' 



A DESCRIPTION OF CHRIST. 15 

/ will put my Spirit upon him. Now we come to the qualification of 
Christ for his calling, in these words, I will put my Spirit upon him that 
is, I will clothe him with my Spirit, I will put it, as it were, upon him as 
| a garment. 

Now there were divers degrees of Christ's receiving the Spirit at several 
, times. For he was conceived by the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost did 
; sanctify that blessed mass whereof his body was framed in the womb of the 
virgin, he was quickened in the womb in his conception by the Holy Ghost, 
and he was graced by the Holy Ghost, and led by the Spirit in all things 
'before his baptism. But afterward, when he came to set upon his office, 
|to be the prophet and priest and king of his church, that great office of 
I saving mankind, which he did not solemnly set upon till he was thirty 
! years old, then God poured upon him a special portion of the Spirit, an- 
'swerable to that great calling, then the Spirit lighted upon him, Matt. iii. 16. 
I Christ was ordained to his office by the greatest authority that ever any 
i was ordained from the beginning of the world. For at his baptism, when he 
iwas ordained and set apart to his office, there was the Father from heaven 
uttered an audible voice, ' This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well 
pleased,' Mat. iii. 17 ; and there was Christ, the party baptized and installed 
into that great office ; then there was the Holy Ghost, in the form and shape 
I of a dove. It being a matter of the greatest consequence that ever was in 
|th6 world, greater than the creation, it was fit it should be done with the 
j greatest authority; and so it was, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost being 
I present at the admission of Christ into his office. This is especially here 
I intended, though the other be included, I will put my Spirit upon him 
Ithat is, I will anoint him, as it is in Isa. Ixi. 1, ' The Spirit of the Lord 
| is upon me,' saith Christ, 'because the Lord hath anointed me to preach 
I good tidings to the meek, to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty 
to the captives, to open the prison for them that are bound, to proclaim 
the acceptable year of the Lord' that is, the year of jubilee, for that was a 
type of Christ, to preach the gospel deliverance to all that are in captivity, 
servitude, and thraldom under Satan and sin. This was accomplished 
when Christ, at his baptism, entered upon his office. God put his Spirit 
upon him, to set him apart, to ordain him, and to qualify him with abund- 
| ance of grace for the work ; for there are these three things especially meant 
| by putting the Spirit upon him, separation or setting apart, and ordaining, 
I and enriching with the gifts of the Spirit. 

When any one is called to great place, there is a setting apart from 
others, and an ordaining to that particular, and a qualifying. If it be a 
| calling of God, he qualifies where he ordains always. 

But Christ had the Spirit before. What doth he mean, then, when he 
| saith he will put the Spirit upon him now ? 

I answer, he had the Spirit before, answerable to that condition he was 
m. Now he received the Spirit answerable to that condition he was to un 
dertake. He was perfect then for that condition. Now he was to be made 
perfect for that office he was to set upon. He was always perfect. He 
had abundance of Spirit for that estate he was in, but now he was to enter 
upon another condition, to preach the gospel, to be a prophet, and after to 
be a priest. Therefore he saith now especially, I will put my Spirit upon 
him. 

Now, this putting of the Spirit, it is expressed in Isa. Ixi. 1, and other 
places, by anointing. There were three sorts of persons that were 
anointed before Christ, prophets, priests, and kings. Now Christ was to be 






16 A DESCRIPTION OF CHRIST. 

a prophet, a priest, and a king. Therefore he was to be anointed with the 
Spirit, to enable him to these three offices. 

I might here take occasion to enlarge myself in the offices of Christ, but 

will only speak of them as the text ministereth just occasion. 

There are three main defects in man since the fall. 

There is ignorance and blindness. 

There is rebellion in the will and affections. 

And in regard of his condition, by reason of the sins of nature and life, 
a subjection to a cursed estate, to the wrath of God and eternal damnation. 

Now, answerable to these three grand ills, whosoever shall be ordained a 
saviour must provide proportionable remedies for these. Hereupon comes 
a threefold office in Christ, that is ordained to save man, to cure this three 
fold mischief and malady. 

As we are ignorant and blind, he is a prophet to instruct us, to convince 
us of the ill state we are in, and then to convince us of the good he intends 
us, and hath wrought for us, to instruct us in all things concerning our 
everlasting comfort. He is such a prophet as teacheth not only the out 
ward, but the inward man. He openeth the heart, he teacheth to do the 
things he teacheth. Men teach what we should do, but they teach not the 
doing of them. He is such a prophet as teacheth us the very things ; he 
teacheth us to love and to obey, &c. 

And answerable to the rebellion and sinfulness of our dispositions, he is 
a king to subdue whatsoever is ill in us, and likewise to subdue all opposite 
power without us. By little and little he will trample all enemies under 
his feet, and under our feet, too, ere long. 

Now, as we are cursed by reason of our sinful condition, so he is a priest 
to satisfy the wrath of God for us. He was made a curse for us, Gal. iii. 
13. He became a servant, that, being so, he might die, and undergo the 
cursed death of the cross ; not only death, but a cursed death, and so his 
blood might be an atonement as a priest. So, answerable to the threefold \ 
ill in us, you see here is a threefold office in Christ. 

Now Christ performs these three offices in this order. 

First of all he is a prophet. When he was baptized the Spirit was put ! 
upon him, as in Isa. Ixi. 1, to preach deliverance to the captives. First, j 
he preached wherefore he came into the world, why God sent him, and dis 
covered to the world the state they were in ; and when he had preached ' 
as a prophet, then as a priest, he died, and offered himself a sacrifice. 

After death his kingly office was most apparent. For then he rose again! 
as a triumphant king over death and all our enemies, and ascended in his 
triumphant chariot to heaven, and there he sits gloriously as a king in his 
throne at the right hand of God. So that however at his baptism, and 
before, when he was sanctified in his mother's womb, he was both king, 
priest, and prophet, yet in regard of the order of manifestation, he mani 
fested himself first to be a prophet, secondly a priest, and thirdly to be a king. 
For his kingly office brake forth but seldom in the time of his abasement; 
Sometimes it did, to shew that he was ruler and commander of earth anc 
sea, and devils, and all. He wrought miracles, but the glorious manifesta-. 
tion of his kingly office, it was after his resurrrection. 

Now, the fundamental, the chief office to which he was anointed by th<; 
Spirit, upon which the rest depends, it was his priestly office ; for where; 
fore was his teaching, but to instruct us what he must do and suffer for us 
and what benefit we have by his sacrifice reconciliation with God, an< 
freedom from the wrath of God, and right unto life everlasting, by hi; 



A DESCRIPTION OF CHRIST. 17 

obedience to the cursed death of the cross ? And how comes he to be a 
king to rule over us by his Holy Spirit, and to have a right unto us, but 
because as a priest he died for us first ? He washed us with his blood, he 
ipurged us with his blood, and then he made us kings and priests, Eev. i. 
5. All other benefits came from this he washed our souls in his blood 
first. Whatsoever we have from God, is especially from the great work of 
Christ as a priest abasing himself, and dying for us ; and thereupon he 
comes to be a prophet and a king. Thus we see the order of Christ's 
offices, how they come to be fruitful to us, the rest especially, by virtue of 
his priestly office. 

Note this by the way : Christ's priestly office, his sacrificing himself for 
ins, includes two branches. A priest was to offer sacrifice and to pray for 
ithe people. Our Saviour Christ did both in the days of his humiliation, 
|in his prayer in John xvii. There, as a priest, he commends his sacrifice 
|to God before he died ; and now he is in heaven making intercession for 
,11s, to the end of the world. He appears for us there. We see, then,- 
jto what purpose God put the Spirit upon Christ, to enable him to be a, 
jprophet, a priest, and a king, and thereupon to take away those mischiefs and 
;evils that we were subject and enthralled to ; so that We have a supply for 
.all that may any way abase us and cast us down, in the all-sufficiency that 
is in Christ Jesus, who was anointed with the Spirit for this end. 

It may be objected, Christ was God himself ; he had the Spirit, and 
igives the Spirit ; therefore, how could the Spirit be put upon him ? 

I answer, Christ is both God and man. Christ, as God, gives the Spirit 
ifco his human nature ; so he communicates his Spirit. The Spirit is his 
Spirit as well as the Father's. The Spirit proceeds from them both. 
iChrist, as man, receives the Spirit. God the Father and the Son put the 
Spirit upon the manhood of Christ ; so Christ both gives and receives the 
;Spirit in diverse respects. As God, he gives and sends the Spirit. The 
spiration and breathing of the Spirit is from him as well as from the 
jFather, but as man he received the Spirit. 

1 And this is the reason of it : next under the Father, Son, and Holy 
iGrhost, Christ the Mediator, was to be the spring and original of all comfort 
and good. Therefore, Christ's nature must not only be sanctified and! 
ordained by the Spirit ; but he must receive the Spirit to enrich it, for 
whatsoever is wrought in the creature is by the Spirit. Whatsoever Christ 
flid as man, he did by the Spirit. Christ's human nature, therefore, must 
be sanctified, and have the Spirit put upon it. God the Father, the first 
person in Trinity, and God the Son, the second, they work not immediately, 
ibut by the Holy Ghost, the third person. Therefore, whatsoever is 
Iwrought upon the creature, it comes from the Holy Ghost immediately. 
!So Christ received the Holy Ghost as sent from the Father and the Son. 
Now as the Holy Spirit is from the Father and the Son, so he works from the 
iFather and the Son. He sanctifieth and purifieth, and doth all from the 
Father and the Son, and knits us to the Father and the Son ; to the Son 
first, and then to the Father. Therefore it is said, The grace of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the communion of the 
Holy Ghost,' 2 Cor. xiii. 14 ; because all the communion we have with 
God is by the Holy Ghost. All the communion that Christ as man had 
with God was by the Holy Ghost ; and all the communion that God hath 

ith us, and we with God, is by the Holy Ghost : for the Spirit is the 
bond of union between Christ and us, and between God and us. God 
communicates himself to us by his Spirit, and we communicate with God 

VOL. i. B 



18 A. DESCRIPTION OF CHRIST. 

by his Spirit. God doth all in us by his Spirit, and we do all back again 
to God by the Spirit. Because Christ, as a head, as the second Adam, 
was to be the root of all that are saved, as the first Adam was the root of 
all that are damned, he was therefore to receive the Spirit, and to have it 
put upon him in a more excellent and rich manner : for we must know 
that all things are first in Christ, and then in us. 

God chose him first, and then he chose us. God singled him out to be 
the Saviour, the second Adam, and he calls us in Christ. 

God justified Christ from our sins, being our surety, taking our sins 
upon him. We are justified, because he by his resurrection quit himself 
from the guilt of our sins, as having paid the debt. 

Christ is the first fruits of them that rise again, 1 Cor. xv. 20. We rise 
again because he is risen. Christ first ascended ; we ascend in Christ. 
Christ is first loved ; we are loved in the Beloved. Christ is first blessed ; 
we are blessed with all spiritual blessings in Jesus Christ, Eph. i. 3. So, 
whatsoever is in us, we have it at the second hand. We have the Spirit 
in us, but he is first in Christ ; God hath put the Spirit in Christ, as the 
spring, as the second Adam, as a public person, that should receive the 
Spirit for us all. He is first in all things ; Christ must have the pre 
eminence. He hath the pre-eminence in all, both before time, in time, and 
after time, in election, in whatsoever is done here in this world, and in 
glorification. All is first in Christ, and then in us. He is the elder 
brother. 

We must understand this, to give Christ his due honour and respect, and 
to know whence we have all we have. Therefore the Spirit is said here, 
first, to be ' put upon Christ.' We have not the Holy Ghost immediately 
from God, but we have him as sanctifying Christ first, and then us ; and 
whatsoever the Holy Ghost doth in us, he doth the same in Christ first, j 
and he doth it in us because in Christ. Therefore, in John xvi. 14, 15, i 
Christ saith, He shall take of mine. Whatsoever the Holy Ghost works in 
us, he takes of Christ first. How is that ? 

Thus : the Holy Ghost comforts us with reasons from Christ. He died, j 
and hath reconciled us to God ; therefore, now God is at peace with tliee.i 
Here the Holy Ghost takes a ground of comfort from the death of Christ. 
When the Holy Ghost would raise a man up to holiness of life, he tells 
him, Christ thy Saviour and head is quickened, and is now in heaven. 
therefore we ought to rise to holiness of life. If the Holy Ghost be tc 
work either comfort or grace, or anything, he not only doth the same tiling 
that he did first in Christ, but he doth it in us by reasons from Christ, by 
grounds fetched from Christ. The Holy Ghost tells our souls that Goc 
loves Christ first, and he loves us in Christ, and that we are those tha 
God gave Christ for, that we are those that Christ makes intercession fo 
in heaven. The Holy Ghost witnesseth to us the love of the Father am 
the Son, and so he fetcheth from Christ whatsoever he works. 

And hence the work of the Holy Ghost is distinguished from illusion! 
and delusions, that are nothing but frantic conceits of comfort that ar 
groundless. The Holy Ghost fetcheth all from Christ in his working an 
comfort, and he makes Christ the pattern of all ; for whatsoever is i ! 
Christ, the Holy Ghost, which is the Spirit of Christ, works in us as it i 
in Christ. Therefore, in John i. 13, it is said, ' of his fulness we receiv 
grace for grace ' that is, grace answerable to his grace. There are thre 
things that we receive answerable to Christ by the Spirit. 

We receive grace that is, the favour of God answerable to the favoi 



A DESCRIPTION OF CHRIST. 19 

God shews his Son. He loves his Son, he is graciously disposed to him, 
and he loves us. 

So grace habitual. We have grace in us answerable to the grace in 
Christ. We have love answerable to his love, patience answerable to his 
patience, obedience and humility answerable to that in Christ. The Spirit 
works a conformity to Christ in all things. 

Likewise, in the third place, the Spirit assures us of the same privileges 
that issue from grace. Christ is a Son ; the Spirit tells us we are sons. 
Christ is an heir ; the Spirit tells us we are heirs with Christ. Christ is 
the king of heaven and earth ; the Spirit tells us that we are kings, that 
his riches are ours. Thus we have ' grace for grace,' both favour and grace 
in us, and privileges issuing from grace, we have all as they are in Christ. 
Even as in the first Adam we receive of his emptiness, curse for curse, ill 
for ill ; for his blindness and rebellion we are answerable ; we are born as 
he was after his fall : so in the second Adam, by his Spirit, we receive 
grace for grace. 

Hence issues this, that our state now in Christ is far more excellent than 
our state in Adam was. 

How doth it spring hence ? 

Thus, Christ is God-man. His nature was sanctified by the Spirit ; he 
was a more excellent person, he gives and sends the Spirit. Adam was 
only a mere man, and therefore his goodness could not be so derived to his 
posterity ; for, however the Holy Ghost was in Adam, yet the Holy Ghost 
did not so fill him, he was not so in him as in Christ. The Holy Ghost is 
in Christ in a more excellent manner ; for Christ being equal with God, he 
gave the Holy Ghost ; the Holy Ghost comes from Christ as God. Now 
the second Adam being a more excellent person, we being in Christ the 
second Adam, we are in a more excellent, and in a more safe estate ; we 
have a better keeper of our happiness than Adam. He being a mere man, 
he could not keep his own happiness, but lost himself and all his posterity. 
Though he were created after the image of God, yet being but a mere man, 
he shewed himself to be a man that is, a changeable creature ; but Christ 
being God and man, having his nature sanctified by the Spirit, now our 
happiness is in a better keeping, for our grace hath a better spring. The 
grace and sanctification we have, it is not in our own keeping, it distils 
into us answerable to our necessities ; but the spring is indeficient, it never 
fails, the spring is in Christ. So the favour that God bears us, it is not 
first in us r but it is first in Christ ; God loves him, and then he loves us ; 
he gives him the Spirit, and us in him. Now, Christ is the keeper both of 
the love of God towards us and the grace of God ; and whatsoever is good 
he keeps all for us, he receives all for himself and for us ; he receives not 
only the Spirit for himself, but he receives it as Mediator, as head : for we 
all of his fulness receive grace for grace.' He receives it as a fountain to 
diffuse it, I say. This shews us our happy and blessed condition in Jesus 
Christ, that now the grace and love of God and our happiness, and the 
grace whereby we are sanctified and fitted for it, it is not in our own 
keeping originally, but in our head Christ Jesus. 

These be comfortable considerations, and, indeed, the life and soul of a 
Christian's life and comfort. If we conceive them aright, they will quicken 
us to obedience, and we shall know what the gospel is. To come to make 
some use of it. 

I might observe this, that none should take that office upon them to 
which they are not called of God, nor qaalined by his Spirit, especially 



20 A DESCRIPTION OF CHRIST. 

ministers, because Christ did not set upon his office, till the Spirit was put 
upon him. The Spirit must enable us and fit us for everything. But I 
leave that, and come to that which concerns us all. 

First, then, hath God put the Spirit upon Christ, as the evangelist saith 
in John iii. 34, * He whom God hath sent' that is Christ ' he speaketh the 
word of God : for God gives him not the Spirit by measure.' God doth 
not stand measuring grace out to Christ, but he pours it out upon him, full 
measure, running over, because he receives it not for himself alone, but for 
us. We receive the Spirit by measure, Eph. iv. 7, ' according to the 
measure of the gift of Christ.' Christ gives us all a measure of sanctifying 
knowledge and of every grace, till we ' grow to be a perfect man in Christ,' 
Eph. iv. 13. Therefore it is called the ' first fruits of the Spirit,' Rom. 
viii. 23, as much as shall fit us for heaven, and grace sufficient, though 
it be not that measure we shall have hereafter, or that we would have here. 
Christ had a full measure, the fulness of a fountain, diffusive, not only 
abundance for himself, but redundance, and overflowing for the good of 
others ; he being the head of the church, not only a head of eminence, 
but of influence to bestow and convey all grace in him to all his members, 
proportionable to the service of every member. Therefore he received not 
the Spirit according to measure that is, sparingly but it was showered 
upon him ; he was filled and clothed with the Holy Ghost. Is it so ? 

Let us labour, then, to see where to have supply in all our wants. We 
have a full treasury to go to. All treasure is hid in Christ for us. What 
a comfort is this in anything we want ! If we want the favour of God, go 
to his beloved Christ, desire God to love us in his beloved, and to accept 
us in his gracious Son, in him whom he hath made his servant, and 
anointed with his Spirit for that purpose. 

If we want particular graces, go to the well-head Christ, consider of 
Christ now filled for us, as it was in Aaron. The oil that was poured on 
Aaron's head ran down to his beard, and to the skirts of his clothing, Ps. 
cxxxiii. 2, the meanest parts of his garment were bedewed with that oil : so 
the graces of God's Spirit poured upon our head Christ, our Aaron, our 
High Priest, run down upon us, upon all ranks of Christians, even upon 
the skirts, the weakest and lowest Christians. Every one hath grace for 
grace ; we all partake of the oil and anointing of our spiritual Aaron, our 
High Priest. If we want anything, therefore, let us go to him. I can do 
all, saith St Paul, in Christ that strengthened me, Philip, iv. 13. Go to 
him for patience, for comfort, for everything, because God hath put his 
Spirit upon him, to supply all our wants ; he hath the oil of gladness above 
his fellows, Ps. xlv. 7 ; but for his fellows he hath the oil of grace more 
than any, but it is not only for him, but for us all. Therefore, let us have 
comfortable meditations of the fulness of Christ, and make use of it, all 
this is for me. In Col. ii. 9, St Paul sets it out, 'in him the fulness of thej 
Godhead dwells personally ; ' for that is meant by ffuftarixus, and itj 
follows after, ' in him we are complete.' Wherefore is all the fulness that' 
is in him ? to shew that in him we are complete. So, in 1 John v. 20, 21, j 
to shew how the spirits of the apostles agree, in this saith he, ' we kno\v| 
that the Son of God is come in the flesh, and hath given us an under 
standing to know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even iij 
his Son Jesus Christ. This is true God and eternal life.' Christ is inn 
God and eternal life for us all ; for our comfort, * we know that the Son o 
God is come, and hath given us an understanding, &c. Little children 1 
keep yourselves from idols.' How doth this depend upon the other ? Thus 



A DESCRIPTION OF CHRIST. 21 

will you go to idols, stocks and stones, devices of men's brain, for supply 
of grace and comfort ? Christ, whom God hath sent, he is come into the 
world ; he is God and eternal life. ' God hath given eternal life, and this 
life is in his Son,' 1 John v. 11 ; therefore, why should you go to idols ? 

What is the ground of popish idolatries and abominations ? They con 
ceive not aright of the fulness of Christ, wherefore he was ordained, and 
sent of God ; for if they did, they would not go to idols and saints, and 
leave Christ. Therefore let us make this use of it, go out of Christ for 
nothing. If we want favour, go not to saints, if we want instruction, go not 
to traditions of men. He is a prophet wise enough, and a priest full enough 
to make us accepted of God. If we want any grace, he is a king able 
enough, rich enough, and strong enough to subdue all our rebellions in us, 
and he will in time by his Spirit overcome all, ' Stronger is he that is in 
us than he that is in the world,' 1 John iv. 4. The spirit in the world, 
the devil and devilish -minded men, they are not so strong as the Spirit of 
Christ ; for by little and little the Spirit of Christ will subdue all. Christ 
is a king, go not out of him therefore for anything. ' Babes, keep your 
selves from idols,' 1 John v. 21. You may well enough, you know whom 
to go to. 

Therefore let us shame ourselves. Is there such a store -house of com 
fort and grace every way in Christ ? Why are we so weak and comfortless ? 
Why are we so dejected as if we had not such a rich husband ? All our 
husband's riches are ours for our good, we receive of it in our measure, 
why do we not go to the fountain and make use of it ? Why, in the midst 
of abundance, are we poor and beggarly ? Here we may see the misery of 
the world. Christ is a prophet to teach us the way to heaven, but how few 
be there that will be directed by him ! Christ is a king to subdue all our 
spiritual and worst enemies, to subdue those enemies that kings tremble 
at, to subdue death, to subdue the fear of judgment and the wrath of God, 
and yet how few will come under his government ! ' Christ is the light of 
the world,' John ix. 5, yet how few follow him! Christ is the way, yet 
how few tread in his steps ! Christ is our wisdom and our riches, yet how 
few go to him to fetch any riches, but content themselves with the transi 
tory things of this life ! Men live as if Christ were nothing, or did nothing 
concern them, as if he were a person abstracted from them, as if he 
were not a head or husband, as if he had received the Spirit only for him 
self and not for them, whereas all that is in Christ is for us. I beseech 
you therefore let us learn to know Christ better, and to make use of him. 

Again, if Christ hath ' the Spirit put upon him for us all,' then in our 
daily slips and errors make this use, to offer Christ to God with this argu 
ment. Take an arguaient from God himself to bind him. God will be 
bound with his own arguments. We cannot bind him with ours, but let 
us go to him and say, Lord, though I be thus and thus sinful, yet for Christ 
Jesus' sake thy servant, whom thou lovest and hast put thy Spirit upon 
him to be a priest, and to make intercession for me, for his sake pardon, 
for his sake accept. Make use of God's consecration of Christ by the Spirit 
to God himself, and bind him with his own mediator, and with his own 
priest of his own ordaining. Thou canst not, Lord, refuse a Saviour and 
mediator of thine own, sanctified by thine own Spirit, whom thou hast set 
apart, and ordained and qualified every way for this purpose. Let us go 
to God in the name of this mediator Jesus Christ every day, and this is to 
make a good use of this, that God hath ' put his Spirit upon him.' 

But to make a use of trial, how shall we know that this comfort belongs 



22 A DESCRIPTION OF CHEIST. 

to us, that Christ hath the Spirit put upon him for us or no, whether he be 
ordained a king, priest, and prophet for us ? That which I said before will 
give light to this. We must partake of the same Spirit that Christ hath, 
or else we are none of his members. As we partake of his name, so we 
must also of his anointing. Thereupon we are called Christians, because 
we partake of the anointing and Spirit of Christ, and if we have the Spirit 
of Christ, it will work the same in us as it did in Christ, it will convince us 
of our own ill, of our rebellions, and cursed estate, and it will convince us 
likewise of the good we have in him. And then, he is a Spirit of union, to 
knit us to Christ, and make us one with him, and thereupon to quicken us, 
to lead us, and guide us, and to dwell in us continually, to stir up prayers 
and supplications in us, to make us cry familiarly to God as to a Father, 
to comfort and support us in all our wants and miseries, as he did Christ, 
' to help our infirmities,' as the apostle at large, in Rom. viii. 20, sets down 
the excellent office of the Holy Ghost, what he doth in those that are 
Christ's. Let us therefore examine ourselves, what the Spirit doth in us, 
if Christ be set apart to redeem us as a priest. Surely all his offices go 
together. He doth by the same Spirit rule us, Rev. i. 5, ' He hath washed 
us in his blood, and made us kings and priests.' Whosoever he washeth 
in his blood he maketh him a king and a priest, he makes him by the 
power of his Spirit able to rule over his base corruptions. We may know 
then, whether we have benefit by Christ by his Spirit, not only by the Spirit 
witnessing that we are the sons of God, but by some arguments whereby 
the Spirit may witness without delusion. For though the Spirit of Christ 
tells us that we are Christ's, yet the proof must be from guiding and lead 
ing, and comforting and conforming us to Jesus Christ, in making us kings 
and prophets, enlightening our understandings to know His will, and con 
forming us to be like him. The Spirit of Christ is a Spirit of power and 
strength. It will enable us to perform duties above nature, to overcome 
ourselves and injuries, it will make us to want and to abound, it will make 
us able to live and to die, as it enabled Christ to do things that another 
man could not do. So a Christian can do that, and suffer that that another 
man cannot do and suffer, because he hath the Spirit of Christ. 

At the least, whosoever hath the Spirit of Christ, he shall find that Spirit 
in him striving against that which is contrary, and by little and little getting 
ground. Where there is no .conflict, there is no Spirit of Christ at all. I 
will not be large in the point, only I speak this by way of trial, to know 
whether we have the Spirit of Christ in us or no. If not, we have nothing 
to do with Christ ; for Christ saves us not as he is out of us only. Christ 
was to do something of himself that we have no share in, only the good of 
it is ours. He was to redeem us by his blood, to be a sacrifice. The title 
to heaven and salvation was wrought by Christ out of us. But there is 
somewhat that he doth not only for us, but he works in us by his Spirit, 
that is, the fitting of us for that he hath given us title to, and the applying 
of that that he hath done for us. Whosoever therefore hath any benefit by 
Christ, he hath the Spirit to apply that to himself and to fit and qualify 
him to be a member of such a head, and an heir of such a kingdom. 
Whosoever Christ works anything for, he doth also work in them. There 
is a Spirit of application, and that Spirit of application, if it be true, it is a 
Spirit of sanctification and renovation fitting us every way for our condition. 

Let us not abuse ourselves, as the world commonly doth, concerning 
Christ. They think God is merciful, and Christ is a Saviour. It is true, but 
what hath he wrought in thee by his Spirit ? hast thou the Spirit of Christ ? 



A DESCEIPTION OF CHRIST. 28 

or ' else thou art none of his,' Eom. viii. 9. Wherever Christ is, he goes 
with his Spirit to teach us to apply what Christ hath done for us, and to 
fit us to be like him. Therefore, let those that live in any sins against con 
science, think it a diabolical illusion to think God and Christ is merciful. 
Aye, but where is the work of the -Spirit ? All the hope thou hast is only that 
thou art not in hell as yet, [only] for the time to come ; but for the present 
I dare not say thou hast anything to do with Christ, when there is nothing 
of the Spirit in thee. The Spirit of Christ conforms the spouse to be like 
the husband, and the members to be like the head. Therefore, beg of 
Christ that he would anoint himself king in our hearts, and prophet and 
priest in our hearts, to do that that he did, to know his will as a prophet, to 
rule in us as a king, and to stir up prayers in us as a priest, to do in some 
proportion that that he doth, though it be in never so little a measure, for we 
receive it in measure, but Christ beyond measure. We must labour for 
so much as may manifest to us the truth of our estate in Christ, that we 
are not dead but living branches. 

Now Christ gives and conveys his Spirit especially, and most of all since 
his ascension and sitting at the right hand of God, for after his resurrec 
tion he declared his victory over all his enemies, and therefore was able to 
give the Spirit without opposition, and upon his resurrection, death and 
hell and the anger of God were overcome, and our sins were satisfied for. 
Now Christ was head indeed, having trod all his enemies under his feet ; 
now he was enabled to give the Spirit. But upon his ascension into 
heaven, and his sitting there, he was more enabled. For even as the sun 
being so high above the earth, doth convey his light and heat and influence 
upon the inferior bodies, so Christ being so highly advanced, is fitter to 
infuse his Spirit and grace here below since his exaltation. Therefore, the 
church is fuller of grace, and grace hath been more spread and diffused 
since the ascension of Christ than before, and the evangelist gives it as a 
reason, The Spirit was not yet given, because Christ was not ascended,' 
John vii. 39 ; intimating that, after his ascension, there was a more full 
portion of the Spirit given, God being fully appeased by the death of Christ, 
and Christ staying the advantage that was fittest to give the Spirit. Now 
God the Father gives the Spirit with the Son, so in both regards there was 
a greater fulness of the Spirit. Therefore, the prophets speaking of the 
times of Christ, especially of his exaltation, shew that then they should be 
filled with the Spirit, that the Spirit should be poured upon all flesh more 
abundantly than before. And that is the reason that the apostles so 
differed from themselves, before and after Christ's ascension. What a 
wondrous alteration was there ! Peter before, he flies even at the voice of 
a maid, and they were full of contention and vainglory : but after we see, 
when the Spirit, the Holy Ghost, came down after Christ's ascension into 
heaven, how courageous and valorous they were, that they accounted it a 
matter of glory to suffer anything ; and, indeed, we have more or less 
valour and courage, the more or less Spirit we have. Now they having 
received more abundance of Spirit, hereupon they were more courageous 
and undaunted at one time than another. And this abundance of the 
Spirit conies especially since Christ's advancement. 

But how or by what means doth Christ give his Spirit to us ? This 
Spirit that is so necessary for us, it is given by the ministry of the gospel, 
which is the ministry of the Spirit. Received ye the Holy Ghost by the 
works of the law, or by the hearing of faith preached ?' Gal. iii. 2. When 
the love of God in Christ, and the benefits by Christ, are laid open in the 



24 A DESCRIPTION OF CHRIST. 

preaching of the gospel to us, God gives his holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ. 
Now God in Christ would save us by a triumphant and abundant love and 
mercy, and the Spirit of God never goes but where there is a magnifying 
of the love and mercy of God in Christ ; therefore the ministry of the gos 
pel, which only discovers the amity and love of God to mankind, being now 
reconciled in Christ, it is accompanied with the Spirit, to assure us of our 
part and portion in those benefits, for the Spirit is the fruit of God's love 
as well as Christ. Christ is the first gift, and the Spirit is the second, 
therefore that part of the word that discovers God's exceeding love to man 
kind, leaving angels when they were fallen, in their cursed estate, and yet 
giving his Son to become man, and * a curse for us :' the discovery of this 
love and mercy of God, and of his Son Christ to us, is joined with the 
Spirit. For by the Spirit we see our cursed estate without the love and 
mercy of God in Christ, and likewise we are convinced of the love .of God 
in Christ, and thereupon we love God again, and trust to his mercy, and 
out of love to him perform all cheerful obedience. Whatsoever we do else, 
if it be not stirred by the Spirit, apprehending the love of God in Christ, it 
is but morality. A man shall never go to heaven but by such a disposition 
and frame and temper of soul as is wrought by the Holy Ghost, persuading 
the soul first of the love and favour of God in Christ. What are all our 
performances if they be not out of love to God ? and how shall we love 
God except we be persuaded that he loves us first ? Therefore the gospel 
breeds love in us to God, and hath the Spirit together with it, working a 
blessed frame of sanctification, whereby we are disposed to every good duty. 
Therefore if we would have the Spirit of God, let us attend upon the sweet 
promises of salvation, upon the doctrine of Christ ; for together with the 
knowledge of these things, the Holy Ghost slides and insinuates andinfuseth 
himself into our souls. 

Therefore the ministers of the gospel should be much in laying open the 
riches of God in Christ. In unfolding Christ, all other things will follow, as 
St Paul in Titus ii. 11, 12, ' The grace of God hath shined, hath appe.ared 
gloriously, teaching us to deny all ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to 
live holily and soberly in this present world.' Where the grace and love 
of God is persuaded and shed into the soul, all will follow. 

What is the reason that former times were called dark times (and so they 
were), the times of popery a dark age ? Christ was veiled, the gospel was 
veiled, there was no preaching of salvation by Christ alone, people were 
sent to stocks and stones, and to saints, and instead of the word, they were 
sent to legends and such things. Christ was obscured, thereupon they were 
dark ages. Those ages wherein the Spirit of God is most, is where Christ 
is most preached, and people are best always where there is most Spirit ; 
and they are most joyful and comfortable and holy, where Christ is truly 
laid open to the hearts of people. The preaching of mere morality, if men 
be not careful to open Christ, to know how salvation is wrought by Christ, j 
and how all good comes by Christ, it will never make a man perfectly 
good and fit him for heaven. It may make a man reform many abuses, j 
like a philosopher, which hath its reward and respect amongst men, but j 
nothing to give comfort at the hour of death and the day of judgment. 
Only that whereby the Spirit is conveyed, is the knowledge and preaching j 
of Christ in his state and offices. 

Again, the Spirit of Christ is given in obedience to this gospel, Acts v. 32. 
He gives the Holy Ghost to them that obey him. Now, there is the obe- ' 
dience of faith, and the obedience of life. When the soul is wrought to 



A DESCRIPTION OF CHRIST. 25 

obedience, to believe, and to be directed by God, then the Holy Spirit is 

i given in a further measure still. The Holy Ghost is given to them that 

i obey, to them that do not resist the Spirit of God. For in the ministry of 

! the gospel the Spirit is given in some degree to reprobates. It is offered, 

; it knocks at the hearts of the vilest persons, that live in filthy and false 

i courses of life, whose tongues and bodies are all instruments of an unsanc- 

' tified soul to offend God, They have gracious motions offered them, but 

j then they do not obey them. Therefore the Spirit seizeth not upon them, 

i to rule in them. They have the Spirit knocking upon them ; he doth not 

i dwell in them, and take up his lodging in them. The Spirit is given to 

: them that obey the sweet motions of it. Now, who is it that hears the 

I blessed word of God, the blessed tidings of salvation, but he hath sweet 

j motions of the Spirit to be in love with God, and the mercy of God, 

\ and to hate sin a little for a time, then presently upon it corruption joins 

i and swells against those motions, and they only rest in the bare motion, 

and never come to any perfection. This is the state of reprobates in the 

church. They have many motions by the Holy Ghost, but their hearts are 

not subdued to obedience, not to constant obedience. Therefore, if we 

would have the Spirit of Christ, let us labour to subject ourselves unto it. 

I When we have any good motion by the ministry of the word, or by con- 

I ference, or by reading of good things (as holy things have a savour in them, 

i the Spirit breathes in holy exercises), Oh give way to the motions of God's 

| Spirit. We shall not have them again perhaps, turn not back those blessed 

messengers, let us entertain them, let the Spirit dwell and rule in us. It 

is the most blessed lodger that ever we entertained in all our lives. If we 

let the Spirit guide and rule us, it will lead us and govern and support us 

in life and death, and never leave us till it have raised our bodies (the 

Spirit of Christ in us at length will quicken our dead bodies), Kom. viii. 11, 

it will never leave us till it have brought us to heaven. This is the state 

of those that belong to God, that give way to the motions of God's Spirit 

to rule and guide them. Therefore, if we would have the Spirit of Christ, 

let us take heed of rebelling against it. 

This is the state of many of us, the Lord be merciful to us, and cure us, 

that we do not only not receive the motions of the Spirit deeply into us, 

| but if they be such as cross us in our pleasures and profits, though the 

| word and Spirit join together, there is a rising of the proud spirit of man 

| against so much of the Spirit and the motions of it, and against such parts 

| of the word as crosseth us. This will be laid heavy to our charge one day, 

j that we would bring the Spirit of God to our corruptions, and not bring 

j our hearts to God's Spirit ; and hereupon be those phrases in the Scripture 

of tempting the Spirit. Ananias and Sapphira tempted the Spirit, Acts v. 9 

that is, when men will do that which is naught, and try whether God 

will forgive them, and put it off or no. How many are there that tempt 

the Spirit, that put it off, Perhaps I shall have the like motions another 

time,' * I shall have better occasion when I can gain no more, when I 

can have my pleasure no more.' Thus men resist the Spirit, as St 

Stephen saith, Acts vii. 51 that, is, when the Spirit discovers to them 

what they should believe, and what they should do, and they see it 

crosseth their resolution to be naught. Hereupon they resist the work 

of the Spirit, that else would close with their souls, and sanctify them, 

and fit them for heaven, if they would give way to it. And there is 

a quenching of the Spirit that is, when men have sweet motions of the 

Spirit, and presently by some ill language or course of life they defile 



26 A DESCRIPTION OF CHRIST. 

their vessels, and quench the sweet motions of the Spirit. Let us take 
heed of all these, of tempting, of resisting, and quenching the Spirit. 
For undoubtedly, living in the bosom of the church, we have many heavenly 
motions, especially those that have so much goodness in them as to attend 
upon God's ordinances. They have those motions at those times that 
they never have after perhaps, but they either resist them or quench them, 
and wrong and grieve the Spirit, as St Paul saith, ' Grieve not the Spirit 
of God, whereby you are sealed to the day of redemption,' Eph. iv. 30. 
Men speak or do somewhat that grieves the Spirit of God in them, 
their conscience being enlightened by the Spirit, tells them that they have 
done that which is naught ; yet notwithstanding, for this or that advantage, 
to please this or that company, they will speak or do that which is ill, and 
then the Spirit that was given in some measure before is grieved at this 
carnal and sinful liberty. Therefore, if ye would be guided by the Spirit 
of Christ, take heed of all these, and of such like courses. 

Another means whereby we may come to obtain the Spirit is prayer. 
To be guided by the Spirit of Christ, next to Christ himself, our Saviour, 
is the most excellent thing in the world, therefore it is worth the begging 
and getting. * How much more shall your heavenly Father give his Holy 
Spirit to them that ask him?' Luke xi. 13, insinuating that we can ask 
nothing greater than the Spirit. A man that hath a sanctified judgment, 
next the forgiveness of his sins through Christ, he begs nothing more than 
the Spirit to witness the favour of God in Christ, and to fit him for other 
favours, especially to fit us for the world to come. God can give nothing 
greater, nor can we beg nothing greater, if we have sanctified judgments, 
than the Spirit of God. Therefore let us have an high esteem of the Holy 
Spirit, of the motions of it, and out of an high esteem in our hearts beg of 
God the guidance of the Spirit, that he would lead us by his Spirit, and 
subdue our corruptions, that we may not be led by our own lusts, and so 
consequently by Satan, that leads us by our own lusts in the way that > 
leads to perdition. So much for that, ' I will put my Spirit,' &c. 

And he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. After Christ was fully fur 
nished, as he was furnished with the Spirit of God, and with a commission | 
from heaven, from Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, having this high commission, j 
and gifts for it by the Spirit, he falls upon his office presently. We are never! 
fit for anything till we have the Spirit, and when we have the Spirit it is! 
active and vigorous and working. * He shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.' i 

What is meant by judgment here ? 

By judgment is meant laws. He shall declare his laws, his truth, and,! 
together with declaring the truth of the gospel, which is his evangelical law, I 
he shall declare it in the soul, and bow the neck of the inward man to the I 
obedience of this his judgment. Christ then, by himself and his apostles 
and ministers, shall declare his truth, which is the sceptre of his govern-i 
ment, to the Gentiles ; and not only declare it as princes do their laws ; 
by proclamations and statutes, &c., but he shall declare it to the heart fr' 
his Spirit. 

Now, in the Hebrew language, ordinarily, wise government is called 
judgment (b). He shall declare judgment, that is, his manner of government 1 
he shall declare it by his Spirit, and cause our spirits to submit to it. 

And, indeed, grace is called judgment, in the phrase of Scripture, th; 
grace of sanctification, because it is agreeable to judgment, to God's law 
It is agreeable to it, and wrought by it in the soul, and it is the best jud| 
ment. For grace whereby the soul is subject to the judgment and law an ; 






A DESCEIPTION OF CHKIST. 27 



rule of God, it must needs be the best judgment, because it is agreeable to 
.God's judgment. Grace judgeth aright of things, and subdues all things, 
.the aifections and inward man to itself. 

But why is the word of God called judgment ? 

It is called so frequently in the Psalms, and in other places of Scripture, 
because the truth of God shews what God doth judge. Judgment is 
originally in God, who is the first truth and the first good. The first truth 
judgeth best of truths ; what is light and what is darkness, what is truth 
,and what is error, what is good and what is ill, what is safe and what is 
[dangerous. All will grant that God is the first light and the first truth ; 
therefore, he doth originally judge of the difference of things ; for even as 
|in the creation he put an eternal difference between light and darkness, and 
severed things that were in the confused chaos, and established an orderly 
'world, that heaven should be above, and earth below, that one thing should 
|be above another, and all in judgment ; so in the governing of mankind, he 
ishews his judgment by his word, and that word shews how God judgeth of 
Ithings. Laws shew judgment, what is to be done, and what is not to be 
[done. The gospel shews God's judgment, what he will have us believe 
'and hope for, and how we must carry ourselves in way of thankfulness. If 
jwe do this, then the gospel, the word of God, judgeth what shall become of 
|us ; ' we shall be saved,' Mark xvi. 16. If we do the contrary, the word 
jagain judgeth what our state shall be, ' we shall be damned,' ibid. So it 
is called judgment, because it judgeth what is good and what is ill, and 
because it determineth what shall become of us if we obey or disobey. 

Hereupon it is that the word of God is a glass wherein we may see our 
own condition infallibly, what will become of us. The word of God judgeth 
thus : he that lives in such and such sins shall come to this end, God will 
inflict these and these judgments upon him. Judgment, in the first place, 
is, You shall do this and this, because it is good. Judgment, in the second 
place, is, Because you have not done this, this shall befall you. So the 
evangelical judgment of the gospel is this, ' He that repents and believes 
shall not perish, but have everlasting life,' John iii. 15 ; but he that arms 
and furnisheth his heart to rebellion, he shall perish in his sins, * He that 
believeth not is condemned already, the wrath of God hangs over his head,' 
John iii. 18. So from this, that God's truth is called judgment, we may 
know how to judge of ourselves, even as God judgeth in his word. We 
may see our own faces and conditions there. He that is a man of death 
may see it in the word, and he that is appointed for happiness may there 
see his condition. 

Again, not only the word of God, the gospel, which is out of us in the 
book of God, is called judgment, but the work of God in the soul, sanctifi- 
cation, is called judgment. Hence, we may observe what is the most- 
judicious course in the world, the most judicious frame of soul, when it is 
framed to the judgment and truth of God, being the first truth. When a 
man is sanctified and set in a holy frame, it is from a sanctified judgment. 
The flesh is subject to the Spirit. Here is all in a gracious order. The 
baser part doth not rule the higher, but the higher part of the soul, a 
sanctified judgment, rules all, because the whole is in right judgment. 
Therefore, sanctification is called judgment, and other courses, though they 
be never so fashionable, are but madness and folly and disorder in the cen 
sure in the Scripture. Nothing is judgment and true wisdom, but sanctifi 
cation and obedience flowing from sanctification. Therefore, saith Moses, 
in Deut. iv. 6, ' Then shall you be known to be a wise people when you 






28 A DESCRIPTION OF CHEIST. 

obey the laws that I have given you.' Only that, shews a wise, judicious 
man to be obedient to God's truth by the Spirit sanctifying him. Without 
the truth of God and the Spirit in us, framing our souls answerable to the 
truth, we are out of all good order ; for then the affections that should be 
ruled, rule us ; then the body and the lusts of the body rule the soul ; and 
the devil rules by both. What a shameful disorder is this, when a man 
shall be ruled by the devil and his own lusts, that he should tread under 
feet and trample upon ! And this is the state of all that have not this 
judgment in them, that have not the word of God written in their hearts, I 
bowing and bending them by the Spirit of God to spiritual obedience. ! 
To prove this, I will name but one place among many, Tit. iii. 3 ; he 
shews the state of all men that are not brought into subjection by j 
this judgment, by the word and Spirit of truth. We, ourselves, saith ! 
he, ' were sometimes foolish and disobedient ;' till this judgment is set up 
in us, we are foolish in our understandings, and disobedient in our wills 
and affections, deceived and misled by the devil and our own lusts : for 
that follows upon folly. Those that are foolish and disobedient are deceived 
and led away to eternal destruction. * There is a way that seems good in a 
man's own eyes, but the issues of it are death,' saith Solomon, Prov. xiv. 
12. This is the state of all men that are not led with the judgment of 
God's truth and Spirit, sanctifying and framing their souls to obedience, 
they are foolish and disobedient and deceived, and so it will prove with 
them in the end, ' serving diverse lusts, and pleasures, living in malice and 
envy, hating one another,' Titus iii. 3. Now when God by his blessed truth 
and Spirit sets up his rule in the heart, it brings all into captivity ; as St 
Paul saith, it brings all the inner man into subjection : ' The word of God 
is the weapon of God ; these judgments are mighty in operation, together with 
the Spirit, to beat down all strongholds and to set up another judgment j 
there ; it brings all into captivity to the truth and command of God, and to 1 
the motions of the Spirit, 2 Cor. x. 4, 5 (c). The word and Spirit beat down 
all the strongholds that are raised up in the heart by Satan, and our cor 
ruptions. So we see here what is meant by this phrase, ( he shall declare I 
judgment to the Gentiles.' It is a militant word, therefore I have stood 
somewhat the longer in unfolding of it. 

Now this is wrought by the preaching of the gospel, ' he shall declare! 
judgment to the Gentiles.' All grace comes by declaring ; ' The gospel is 
the power of God to salvation,' Rom. i. 16. Let but the gospel (which is 
God's judgment how men shall be saved, and how they shall walk ir 
obedience by way of thankfulness to God) be declared, and all that belong 
to God shall come in, and yield homage to it, and be brought in subjection 
The devil in the antichristian state knows this well enough. Therefore h< 
labours to hinder the declaration of judgment by all means ; he will not havt 
God's judgments but men's traditions declared. He knows the declaring o 
God's judgments will breed an alteration quickly in men's dispositions : Fo 
when he saith, he shall declare judgment to the Gentiles, he means the conse 
quent as well as the thing, he shall so declare judgment that they shalj 
yield spiritual obedience and come in and be saved. 

Let the devil do his worst, let all seducers of souls do their worst, if the 1 
would but give way to the preaching of the gospel, let but judgment bj 
declared, let God's arm be stretched forth in delivering the truth, he woul: 
soon gain souls out of the captivity and bondage of Satan. They know : ; 
well enough ; therefore by all the ways they can, they stop the preaching (I 
the gospel, and disgrace and hinder it, and set up men's traditions instea 



A DESCRIPTION OF CHRIST. 29 

Df the gospel. But I will not enlarge myself farther upon these words, but 
70 on to the next. 

, He shall not strive nor cry, neither shall any man hear his voice in the 
Streets. These words set down the mild and sweet and amiable manner of 
Christ's carriage upon earth. Here, in his first coming to work the 
great work of our redemption, he did not carry the matter in an outward 
glorious manner, in pomp ; but he would have his miracles concealed ofttimes 
and himself hidden. His Godhead was hid under the veil of his manhood. 
He could not have wrought our salvation else. If the devil and the world had 
iknown Christ to be as he was, they would never have made those attempts 
:against him. Therefore, considering he had such a dispensation to work 
jour salvation as a king, priest, and prophet, he would not cry and contend 
iand strive, he would not come with any great noise. 

Now, here is an opposition to the giving of the law, and likewise to the 

icoming and carriage of civil princes. You know when the law was given 

|all the mount was on fire, and the earth thereabout quaked and trembled, 

|and the people fled. They could not endure to hear the voice of God 

I speaking in the mount; there was such a terrible smoke and fire, they were 

; all afraid. Thus came Moses. Now, did Christ come as Moses? Was 

jthe gospel delivered by Christ as the law was, in terrors and fears ? Oh, 

no. Christ came not in such a terrible manner, in thunder and lightning; 

! but the gospel, it came sweetly. A dove, a mild creature, lit upon the 

j head of Christ when he was baptized, to shew his mild manner of carriage ; 

and he came with blessing in his mouth in his first sermon of all : 'Blessed 

are the poor in spirit, blessed are they that mourn, blessed are they that 

j hunger and thirst after righteousness,' Matt. v. 3, 4, 6. The law came with 

i curses : * Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things written in 

! the law to do them,' Gal. iii. 10. Christ came in another manner; the 

i gospel was delivered in a mild, sweet manner. Christ, as an ambassador, 

j came sweetly to entreat and beseech. There is a crying, indeed, but it is 

a crying out of love and entreaty, not a shouting in a terrible manner as 

was at the giving of the law, no, nor as at the coming of other civil 

princes into a city, with shouting and noise of trumpets, with pomp, and 

state, and great attendants. Christ came not into the world to execute his 

kingdom and oifice in such pomp and noise as it is said of Agrippa, Acts 

xxv. 23, * He came with great pomp.' So worldly princes carry things thus, 

and it is needful in some sort. People must have shows and pomp ; the 

outward man must have outward things to astonish it withal. It is a policy 

in state so to do. But Christ came in another manner. He came not to 

make men quake and tremble that came to speak and deal with him. He 

came not with clamour and fierceness ; for who would have come to Christ 

then ? But he came in a mild, and sweet, and amiable manner. We see a 

little before the text (ver. 16), upon occasion of the inference of these words, 

he commands and chargeth them that they should not discover him and make 

him known. When he had done a good work he would not have it known. 

Now, there are three things especially insinuated in this description, 

1 He shall not strive nor cry, neither shall any man hear his voice in the 

street.' That Christ should not be outwardly glorious to publish his own 

excellency, nor contentious ; he should not cry nor quarrel, nor he should 

not be clamorous, if he had any wrong, to be all on fire presently, but he 

should be as a meek lamb, he should make no noise, he should not come 

in vainglory or clamour, &c. 

But here we must know that Christ was a wise discerner of the fitness of 



80 A DESCRIPTION OF CHRIST. 

times ; for sometimes he would have things published, sometimes he would 
not ; sometimes he would be known, sometimes he would not. Christ, in 
his second coming, shall come all in majesty and glory with his angels, and 
all the earth shall appear before him ; but now his wisdom told him, now 
he came to save the world as a prophet, priest, and king, to work man's 
salvation, that he must hide and conceal himself ; and so he ordered all his 
courses by discretion. Every sacrifice must be salted with salt, everything 
should be seasoned with the salt of discretion. This is the steward of aU 
our actions, to know what is fit. Christ knew it was fittest to conceal him 
self now at this time. 

Now, by Christ's example we should learn this, not to be vainglorious, 
not to make a great noise. You have some, if they do anything that is 
good, presently all the world must know it. This was not Christ's disposi 
tion. It is a disposition that is hardly wrought out of man's heart without 
an exceeding great measure of the Spirit of God ; for we see good men 
have been given this way. David would number the people, that it might 
be known what a great monarch he was, what a great number of people he 
had, 2 Sam. xxiv. He was a good man, yet vainglorious. He smarted 
for it. So good Hezekiah. Ambassadors were sent to him from the king 
of Babylon, and that they should know that Hezekiah was no beggarly 
prince, out must come the vessels of the temple and all his treasures, to 
shew what a rich king the king of Judah was, 2 Kings xx. 13, et seq. His 
vainglory cost him all his riches, as the prophet told him. So the disciples. 
Before they received a great measure of the Spirit, how vainglorious were 
they ! They contended for the higher place ; therefore they advise Christ 
to go up to Jerusalem, that he might be known. As Jehu said to Jonadab, 
* Come up and see my zeal for the Lord of hosts,' 2 Kings x. 16, he 
accounts it nothing unless it be seen. So flesh and blood. If there be 
anything done that is good, all the world must know it presently. Christ 
chargeth them that no noise should be made, but that they should conceal 
him. 

What should we learn hence ? 

To be of Christ's disposition, that is, to have no more care of the know 
ledge of things than the light of the things themselves will discover, to do 
works of light, and if the things themselves will break forth to men's eyes 
and they must see our light shine, then let them, and imitate our good 
works ; but for us to blazon them abroad ourselves, it is not the spirit of 
Christ. 

Let us labour to have humility of spirit, that that may grow up with us 
in all our performances, that all things that we speak and do may savour of 
a spirit of humility, that we may seek the glory of God in all things more 
than our own. 

And let us commit the fame and credit of what we are or do to God. 
He will take care of that. Let us take care to be and to do as we should, : 
and then for noise and report, let it be good or ill as God will send it. We 
know ofttimes it falls out that that which is precious in man's eye is abomi 
nable in God's. If we seek to be in the mouths of men, to dwell in the 
talk and speech of men, God will abhor us, and at the hour of death it will 
not comfort us what men speak or know of us, but sound comfort must be 
from our own conscience and the judgment of God. Therefore, let us 
labour to be good in secret. Christians should be as minerals, rich in the 
depth of the earth. That which is least seen is his riches. We should 
have our treasure -deep. For the discovery of it we should be ready when 



A DESCRIPTION OP CHEIST. 81 

we are called to it, and for all other accidental things, let them fall out as 
God in his wisdom sees good. So let us look through good report and bad 
ireport to heaven ; let us do the duties that are pleasing to God and our own 
[conscience, and God will be careful enough to get us applause. "Was it not 
sufficient for Abel, that though there was no great notice taken what faith 
:he had, and how good a man he was, yet that God knew it and discovered 
it ? God sees our sincerity and the truth of our hearts, and the graces of 
our inward man, he sees all these, and he values us by these, as he did 
iAbel. As for outward things there may be a great deal of deceit in them, 
iand the more a man grows in grace, the less he cares for them. As much 
reputation as is fit for a man will follow him in being and doing what he 
| should. God will look to that. Therefore we should not set up sails to 
our own meditations, that unless we be carried with the wind of applause, 
to be becalmed and not go a whit forward ; but we should be carried with 
the Spirit of God and with a holy desire to serve God, and our brethren, 
and to do all the good we can, and never care for the speeches of the world, 
as St Paul saith of himself : ' I care not what ye judge of me, I care not 
what the world judgeth, I care not for man's judgment,' 1 Cor. iv. 3. This 
is man's day. We should, from the example of Christ, labour to subdue 
this infirmity which we are sick of naturally. Christ concealed himself till 
I he saw a fitter time. We shall have glory enough, and be known enough 
' to devils, to angels, and men ere long. Therefore, as Christ lived a hidden 
life, that is, he was not known what he was, that so he might work our sal 
vation, so let us be content to be hidden men. A true Christian is hidden 
to the world till the time of manifestation comes. When the time came, 
Christ then gloriously discovered what he was ; so we shall be discovered 
what we are. In the mean time, let us be careful to do our duty that may 
| please the Spirit of God, and satisfy our own conscience, and leave all the 
j rest to God. Let us meditate, in the fear of God, upon these directions 
for the guidance of our lives in this particular. 




NOTES. 

(a) P. 6. ' Red, well-coloured earth.' The allusion is to the name of Adam, or 
man DIN, re d, ruddy and to his derivation, as recorded in Gen. ii. 7. 



(b) P. 26. In the Hebrew language ordinarily wise government is called judg 
ment.' This holds of various Hebrew terms. In the passage explained (Isa. xlii. 1), 
the term rendered judgment, is ZOSD, which is equivalent to rPlH, law - 



(c) P. 28. 2 Cor. x. 4, 5. Si'bbes's translation of this somewhat difficult 
passage may be profitably compared with Alford, Stanley, Hodge, and others, in loc. 
It is surprising how many of these unpretending and almost incidental renderings 
anticipate the results of the highest scholarship of our time. He may not be who 
is? invariably accurate critically, but he rarely fails in his insight into the ' mind 
of the Spirit.' G. 



THE BRUISED REED AND SMOKING FLAX. 



VOL. 



NOTE. 

The editions of the ' Bruised Reed and Smoking Flax ' known to the editor are, 
with the letters used to designate those collated for the present publication, as 
follows : 

(a) The Brvised Reede, and Smoaking Flax. Some Sermons contracted out of 
the 12. of Matth. 20. At the desire, and for the good of weaker Christians. By B. 
Sibbes, D.D. Zach. 4, 10, Who hath despised the day of small things ? 

London. Printed for R. Dawlman, dwelling at the signe of the Brazen Serpent in 
Paul's Church-yard. 1630. 18mo. A. 
This is the first edition. 

(b) The second Edition, enlarged.' 1G31. 18mo. B. 
(e) 3d edition 1631. 18mo. 

(d) 4th 1632. 18mo. 

(e) 6th ' corrected,' 1635. l&mo. ti 

(f) 6th 1638. 18mo. 

(g) 6th [so designated] * corrected, and divided into chapters.' 

1658. 18mo. G. 

The text of our reprint is E, as having been the last issued during the lifetime 
of Sibbes. The ' corrections' and ' enlargements' of B, and the original readings of 
A, are noted. These will shew the watchful pains which Sibbes took in the matter 
even of style. It also deepens the regret that so many of his writings labour under 
the disadvantage of posthumous publication. 

The division ' into chapters,' which we probably owe to the celebrated John : 
Goodwin, who also prefixed an admirable ' Epistle' to another of Sibbes's volumes : 
(Exposition of Philippians, c. iii., &c., &c., 4to, 1639), it has been deemed advisable j 
to retain. It is the form in which all subsequent editions have appeared. 

The ' various readings,' are given as foot-notes. 

G 



4 

TO THE EIGHT HONOUBABLE 

SIE HOBATIO VEEE, KNIGHT, 

LORD VEBE OF TILBURY, AND GENERAL OF THE ENGLISH FORCES 

UNDER THE HIGH AND MIGHTY LORDS 
THE STATES GENEBAL OF THE UNITED PROVINCES IN THE NETHERLANDS I 






AND TO HIS PIOUS CONSORT, 

THE LADY MAEY VEEE,! 

INCREASE OF GBACE, ETC. 



RIGHT HONOURABLE, 

Soldiers that carry their lives in their hands had need, above all 
lothers, to carry grace in their hearts, that so having made peace with God, 
jthey may be fit to encounter with men ; and having by faith in Christ dis- 
larmed death before they die, they may sacrifice their life with the more 

* Sir Horatio Vere was the youngest son of Geffrey de Vere, Esq., who again was 
(son of John Vere, 15th Earl of Oxford. He was born at Kirkby Hall, Essex, in 
1565. As the titles of the present ' Epistle Dedicatory ' shew, he was a military 
commander of note, only second to his illustrious brother Sir Francis. Returning 
from a campaign in Bohemia, in 1622-3, the king (James I.), according to Camden, 
' received him so graciously and thankfully, that forgetting himself, he stood baro 
to him.' On the accession of Charles I., in 1625, he was, in consideration of his 
eminent services, raised to the peerage, by the title of Lord Vere, Baron Tilbury. 
He was the first peer created by Charles. He died, May 2. 1635, only three months 
before Sibbes himself. Besides the tribute of the author of the ' Bruised Eeed,' to 
the worth of Sir Horatio, Fuller has burnished his name as of one renowned for 
piety, meekness, and valour. A volume of poems, now rarely to be met with, was 
published on his death. It is entitled, * Elegies, celebrating the happy memory of 
Horatio Vere.' (London, 1642, 8vo.) For full ' Memoirs ' of him, consult the 
Extinct Peerage books. G. 

t Lady Mary Vere. Anderson in his ' Memorable omen of the Puritan Times,' 
(2 vols., 1862, just issued,) has given a singularly interesting, and on the whole, 
laccurate account of this remarkable Lady. (See vol. i. pp. 31-85.) It was to her 
|the Parliament entrusted the care of the children of Charles I. She died on the 
|25th of December 1671, in the ninety-first year of her age. Gurnall preached her 
funeral sermon. G. 



36 EPISTLE DEDICATORY. 

courage and comfort, which to neglect, being a matter of eternity, is not 
valour, but desperate madness, because in this business, as in oversights 
of war, there is no place for a second repentance, the first error being un 
recoverable. In evils above the strength of man to prevail against- 1 -- and 
his patience to endure, there God hath planted the affection of fear, which 
might stir us up to avoid the danger by flying to him in Christ, who being 
our friend, it is no matter who is our enemy : we may be killed, but cannot 
be hurt ; so safe it is to be under his command that hath command over 
death, hell, judgment, and all that we most fear. Yet such is our nature, 
that by familiarity with danger, we grow by degrees insensibly to be hard 
ened against it, and to look no further than death, as if to die were only to 
give up the ghost, and then an end of all. And hereupon it is, that they 
that follow the wars are generally taken to be men not most religious ; the ; 
more respect those of that profession deserve, that have learned upon what ] 
terms to live and die, that are sure of a better life before they leave this, 
that have laid up their life in Christ ; amongst whom, Eight Honourable, I 
the world hath a long time taken notice of you, in whom both religion and | 
military employment, meekness of spirit with height of courage, humility j 
with honour, by a rare and happy combination have met together. Whereby 
you have much vindicated your profession from common imputation, and 
shewed that piety can enter into tents, and follow after camps, and that 
God hath his Joshuas and his Corneliuses in all ages. But I will not use 
many words of yourself to yourself, because though you have done much 
that may and will be spoken, yet you love not to hear or speak of what you 
have done. 

It may seem to some unbefitting to offer a discourse of a ' bruised reed ' j 
to such a strong and flourishing cedar. But experience sheweth that the \ 
strongest plants in God's house are exposed sometimes to strong winds of j 
temptation, and thereupon meet with bruisings, that they may the better ! 
know by whose strength they stand, and that the greatest may learn to go j 
out of themselves to the same common rock and fountain of strength with : 
the meanest. David was a valiant man; yet upon experience of his oft! 
failings and recoveries, he became towards God as a weaned child. Low 
liness of mind to Godward and greatness of spirit against His enemies may! 
well stand together ; for the way to be above all other things is to submit 
to God first. Besides, this text speaketh of the prevailing government of 
Christ in his church and in his children, which may be an encourage-! 
ment to your Lordship still, not only to own the cause of Christ in these 
times, wherein men are ashamed of what they should glory in, and glonl 
in their shame ; but likewise to fight the Lord's battles, when callec, 
to it, and help him against the mighty, for victory attendeth Christ's sid<i 
in the end. Though God, to revenge the quarrel of his covenant, suffe: 
his enemies to prevail yet for a time, to harden them the more, yet the;j 
have undertaken a damned cause ; and howsoever the church hath justl; 
provoked God, yet the cause shall stand impregnable against all create', 
* ' Against,' added first in B. 



EPISTLE DEDICATORY. 87 

power of devils and men. We naturally desire victory, and many desire it 
more than truth or goodness, which only are victorious ; and so out of a 
depraved judgment they cross their own desires, seeking to overcome in 
that wherein it were safer for them to be overcome. These * are sure to 
meet with shame in the conclusion instead of victory ; or else we must 
deny Christ to be King of his church and Judge of the world. Proceed on 
still, Honourable Lord, to stand for Christ both in peace and war, and this 
shall be found to your honour when Christ shall come ' to be glorious in 
his saints,' 2 Thess. i. 10, that he thought you worthy to honour himself by, 
when others, that oppose or betray the cause of Christ for base ends, shall 
not dare to hold up their heads. 

I would not divide you from your Honourable Lady, being obliged to 
both, and both being one, as in other bands, so in that above nature, in 
love to the best things ; both exemplary in all religious courses ; both in 
your places, likewise, having been employed in great services for the 
common good, so that not only this but foreign States are bound to bless 
God for you both. Going on in these ways, you will find God making his 
promise good of honouring them that honour him. 

I do not so far overvalue this poor work as to think it worthy of your 
Honours, but thus I thought meet to witness my deserved respect to you 
both. If I be to blame for suffering these sermons, long since preached, 
thus to come forth, others must divide the fault with me, who had brought 
it to that pass that it was almost necessary for me to take this course. The 
Lord continue to bless your Honours, with all your branches, and to 
maintain his grace in you, ' until he hath brought forth judgment unto 
victory,' Mat. xii. 20. 

Your Honours' to command in the Lord, 

RICHARD SIBBES. 
* They/ in A. 



TO THE GENEKAL EEADEE. 



To prevent a farther inconvenience, I was drawn to let these notes pass 
with some review, considering there was an intendment of publishing 
them, by some who had not perfectly taken them ; and these first, as being 
next at hand : and having had occasion lately of some fresh thoughts con 
cerning this argument, by dealing with some, the chief ground of whose 
trouble was the want of considering of the gracious nature and office of 
Christ ; the right conceit of which is the spring of all service to Christ, and 
comfort from him. God hath laid up all grace and comfort in Christ for 
us, and planted a wonderful sweetness of pity and love in his heart towards 
us. As God his father hath fitted him with a body, Heb. x. 7, so with a 
heart to be a merciful Redeemer. What do* the Scriptures speak but 
Christ's love and tender care over those that are humbled ? and besides the 
mercy that resteth in his own breast, he works the like impression in his 
ministers and others, to comfort the feeble-minded, and to bear with the weak, 
1 Thess. v. 14. Ministers by their calling are friends of the Bride, and to 
bring Christ and his Spouse together, and therefore ought, upon all good 
occasions, to lay open all the excellencies of Christ, and amongst others, as 
that he is highly born, mighty, One ' in whom all the treasures of wisdom 
are hid,' Col. ii. 3, &c., so likewise gentle, and of a good nature, and of a 
gracious disposition. It cannot but cheer the heart of the spouse, to con 
sider, in all her infirmities and miseries she is subject to,f that she hath a | 
husband of a kind disposition, that knows how to give the honour of mild j 
usage to the weaker vessel, that will be so far from rejecting her, because I 
she is weak, that he will pity her the more. And as he is kind at all times, j 
so especially when it is most seasonable ; he will speak to her heart, ' espe- j 
cially in the wilderness,' Hos. ii. 24. The more glory to God, and the 
more comfort to a Christian soul, ariseth from the belief and application of 
these things, the more the enemy of God's glory and man's comfort labours 
to breed inispersuasions of them, that if he cannot keep men from heaven, 
and bring them into that cursed condition he is in himself, yet he may 
trouble them in their passage ; some and none of the worst, Satan prevails i 
withal so far as to neglect the means, upon fear they should, being so sin- ; 
ful, dishonour God and increase their sins ; and so they lie smothering j 
under this temptation, as it were bound hand and foot by Satan, not daring i 
to make out to Christ, and yet are secretly upheld by a spirit of faith, , 
shewing itself in hidden sighs and groans unto God. These are abused by! 
false representations of Christ ; all whose ways to such being ways of ! 
mercy, and all his thoughts, thoughts of love. The more Satan is malicious, 
* Doth,' in A and B. f ' Unto,' in A and B. 



TO THE CHEISTIAN KEADEK. 39 

in keeping the soul in darkness, the more care is to be had of establishing 
the soul upon that which will stay it. Amongst other grounds to build our 
faith on, as the free offer of grace to all that will receive it, Rev. xxii.17 ; 
the gracious invitation of all that are weary and heavy laden, Matt. xi. 28 ; 
those that have nothing to buy withal, Isa. Iv. 1 ; the command binding to 
believe, 1 John. iii. 23; the danger of not believing, being shut up prisoners 
thereby under the guilt of all other sins, John xvi. 9 ; the sweet entreaty 
to believe, and ordaining ambassadors to desire peace, 2 Cor. v. 20 ; put 
ting tender affections into them, answerable to their calling, ordaining 
sacraments for the sealing of the covenant. Besides these, I say, and such 
moving inducements, this is one infusing vigour and strength into all the 
rest, that they proceed from Christ, a person authorised, and from those 
bowels that moved him not only to become a man, but a curse for us ; 
hence it is, that he * will not quench the smoking wick or /lax.' It adds 
strength to faith to consider, that all expressions of love issue from nature 
in Christ, which is constant. God knows that, as we are prone to sin, so, 
when conscience is thoroughly awaked, we are as prone to despair for sin ; 
and therefore he would have us know, that he setteth himself in the 
covenant of grace to triumph in Christ over the greatest evils and enemies 
we fear, and that his thoughts are not as our thoughts are, Isa. v. 8 ; that 
he is God, and not man, Hos. xi. 9 ; that there are heights, and depths, 
and breadths of mercy in him above all the depths of our sin and misery, 
Eph. iii. 18 ; that we should never be in such a forlorn condition, wherein 
there should be ground of despair, considering our sins be the sins of men, 
his mercy the mercy of an infinite God. But though it be a truth clearer 
than the sunbeams, that a broken-hearted sinner ought to embrace mercy 
so strongly enforced ; yet there is no truth that the heart shutteth itself 
more against than this, especially in sense of misery, when the soul is fittest 
for mercy, until the Holy Spirit sprinkleth the conscience with the blood of 
Christ, and sheddeth his love into the heart, that so the blood of Christ in 
the conscience may cry louder than the guilt of sin ; for only God's Spirit 
can raise the conscience with comfort above guilt, because he only is greater 
than the conscience. Men may speak comfort, but it is Christ's Spirit that can 
only comfort. Peace is the fruit of the lips, but yet created to be so, Isa. Ivii. 
19. No creature can take off wrath from the conscience, but he that set it on, 
though all the prevailing arguments be used that can be brought forth, till 
the Holy Ghost effectually persuadeth, by a divine kind of rhetoric, which 
ought to raise up our hearts to him who is the comforter of his people, that 
he would seal them to our souls. Now God dealing with men as under 
standing creatures, the manner which he useth in this powerful work upon 
their consciences, is by way of friendly intercourse, as entreaty and persua 
sion, and discovery of his love in Christ, and Christ's gracious inclination 
thus even to the weakest and lowest of men. Loquitur Deus ad modum 
nostrum, agit ad modum suum. And, therefore, because he is pleased by 
such like motives to enter into the heart and settle a peace there, we ought 
with reverence to regard all such sanctified helps, and among the rest this 
of making use of this comfortable description of Christ by God the Father, 
n going boldly in all necessities to the throne of grace. But we must 
know this comfort is only the portion of those that give up themselves to 
Christ's government, that are willing in all things to be disposed of by him. 
For here we see in this Scripture both joined together, mercy to bruised 
reeds, and yet government prevailing by degrees over corruptions. Christ 
so favoureth weak ones, as that he frameth their souls to a better condition 



40 TO THE CHRISTIAN READER. 

than they are in. Neither can it be otherwise, but that a soul looking foi 
mercy should submit itself at the same time to be guided. Those relations 
of husband, head, shepherd, &c., imply not only meekness and mercy, but 
government likewise. When we become Christians to purpose, we live not 
exempt from all service, but only we change our Lord. Therefore, if any 
in an ill course of life snatch comforts before they are reached out unto 
them, let them know they .do it at their own perils. It is as if some igno 
rant man should come into an apothecary's shop, stored with variety of 
medicines of all sorts, and should take what comes next to hand, poison 
perhaps, instead of physic. There is no word of comfort in the whole book 
of God intended for such as regard iniquity in their hearts, Ps. Ixvi. 18 ; 
though they do not act it in their lives. Their only comfort is, that the 
sentence of damnation is not executed, and thereupon there is yet oppor 
tunity of safer thoughts and resolutions, otherwise they stand not only con 
victed but condemned by the word ; and Christ that rideth on the white Jwrse, 
Rev. vi. 2, will spend all his arrows upon them, and wound them to death. 
If any shall bless himself in an ill way, God's wrath shall burn to hell 
against such. There is no more comfort to be expected from Christ, than 
there is care to please him. Otherwise to make him an abettor of a law 
less and loose life, is to transform him into a fancy, nay, into the likeness 
of him whose works he came to destroy, 1 John iii. 8, which is the most 
detestable idolatry of all. One way whereby the Spirit of Christ prevaileth 
in his, is to preserve them from such thoughts ; yet we see people will 
frame a divinity to themselves, pleasing to the flesh, suitable to their own 
ends, which, being vain in the substance, will prove likewise vain in the 
fruit, and as a building upon the sand. 

The main scope of all, is, to allure us to the entertainment of Christ's ! 
mild, safe, wise, victorious government, and to leave men naked of all pre- j 
tences, why they will not have Christ to rule over them, when we see sal 
vation not only strongly wrought, but sweetly dispensed by him. His 
government is not for his own pleasure, but for our good. We are saved 
by a way of love, that love might be kindled by this way in us to God 
again ; because this affection melteth the soul, and mouldeth it to all duty 
and acceptable manner of performance of duty. It is love in duties that 
God regards, more than duties themselves. This is the true and evangelical 
disposition arising from Christ's love to us, and our love to him again ; and 
not to fear to come to him, as if we were to take an elephant by the tooth. 
It is almost a fundamental mistake, to think that God delights in slavish 
fears, whenas the fruits of Christ's kingdom are peace and joy in the Holy 
Ghost : for from this mistake come weak, slavish, superstitious conceits. 

Two things trouble the peace of Christians very much (1), their weak 
nesses hanging upon them, and (2) fear of holding out for time to come. 
A remedy against both is in this text, for Christ is set out here as a mild 
Saviour to weak ones ; and, for time to come, his powerful care and love is 
never interrupted, until he bring forth judgment to victory. And there-i 
upon it is that both the means of salvation and grace wrought by means, ; 
and glory the perfection of grace, come all under one name of the KINGDOM! 
OF GOD so oft ; because whom by means he brings to grace, he will bj! 
grace bring to glory. 

This makes * the thoughts of the latter judgment comfortable unto us ! 
that he who is then to be our judge, cannot but judge for them who hav< 
been ruled by him here ; for whom he guides by his counsel, those h< ( 
* ' Maketh,' in A and B. 



TO THE CHRISTIAN READER. 



41 



brings to glory, Ps. Ixxiii. 24. If our faith were but as firm as our state in 
Christ is secure and glorious, what manner of men should we be ? 

If I had gone about to affect writing in a high strain, I should have 
missed of mine end, and crossed the argument in hand. For shall we that 
are servants quench those weak sparks which our Lord himself is pleased to 
cherish ? I had rather hazard the censure of some, than hinder the good 
of others ; which, if it be any ways furthered by these few observations, I 
have what I aimed at. I intended not a treatise, but opening of a text ; 
what I shall be drawn to do in this kind must be by degrees, as leisure in 
the midst of many interruptions will permit : the Lord guide our hearts, 
tongues, and pens for his glory and the good of his people. 

RICHARD SIBBES. 



THE BRUISED REED AND SMOKING FLAX. 



A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till 
he send forth judgment unto victory. MATT. xii. 20. 



[CHAPTER I. The Text opened and divided. What the Reed is, and what 

the Bruising.] 

THE prophet Isaiah being lifted up, and carried with the wing of propheti 
cal spirit, passeth over all the time between him and the appearing of Jesus 
Christ in the flesh, and seeth with the eye of prophecy, and with the eye 
of faith, Christ as present, and presenteth him, in the name of God, to the- 
spiritual eye of others, in these words : ' Behold my servant whom I have' 
chosen,' &c., Isa. xliii. 10. Which place is alleged by Saint Matthew as| 
fulfilled now in Christ, Matt. xii. 18. Wherein is propounded 

First, the calling of Christ to his office. 

Secondly, the execution of it. 

I. For his calling: God styleth him here his righteous servant, &c.i 
Christ was God's servant in the greatest piece of service that ever was ; aj 
chosen, and a choice servant : he did and suffered all by commission froirj 
the Father : wherein we may see the sweet love of God to us, that counts 
the work of our salvation by Christ his greatest service ; and that he wil 
put his only beloved Son to that service. He might well prefix Behold, i( 
raise up our thoughts to the highest pitch of attention and admiration. Ii 
time of temptation, misgiving consciences look so much to the presen 
trouble they are in, that they need be roused up to behold him in whon 
they may find rest for their distressed souls. In temptations it is safest t<i 
behold nothing but Christ the true brazen serpent, the true Lamb of Go<\ 
that taketh away the sins of the world, John i. 29. This saving object hat. 
a special influence of comfort into the soul, especially if we look not onli 
on Christ, but upon the Father's authority and love in him. For in a| 
that Christ did and suffered as Mediator, we must see God in him recoi 
citing the world unto himself, 2 Cor. v. 19. 

What a support to our faith is this, that God the Father, the part 
offended by our sins, is so well pleased with the work of redemption ! AD 
what a comfort is this, that seeing God's love resteth on Christ, as we 



I 

THE BKUISED REED AND SMOKING FLAX. 43 

pleased in him, we may gather that he is as well pleased with us, if we be 
in Christ ! For his love resteth in whole Christ, in Christ mystical, as well 
as Christ natural, because he loveth him and us with one love. Let us, 
therefore, embrace Christ, and in him God's love, and build our faith safely 
on such a Saviour, that is furnished with so high a commission. 

See here, for our comfort, a sweet agreement of all three persons : the 
Father giveth a commission to Christ ; the Spirit furnisheth and sanctifieth 
to it ; Christ himself executeth the office of a Mediator. Our redemption 
is founded upon the joint agreement of all three persons of the Trinity. 

II. For the execution of this his calling, it is set down here to be modest, 
i without making a noise, or raising dust by any pompous coming, as princes 
use to do. ' His voice shall not be lieard.' His voice indeed was heard, but 
what voice ? ' Come unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden,' Mat. 
xi. 28. He cried, but how? 'Ho, every one that thirsteth, come,' &c., Isa. 
Iv. 1. And as his coming was modest, so it was mildj which is set down in 
I these words : The bruised reed shall he not break, &c. Wherein we may 
i observe these three things : 

First, The condition of those that Christ had to deal withal. (1.) They 
were bruised reeds ; (2.) smoking flax. 

Secondly, Christ's carriage toward* them. He brake not the bruised reed, 
: nor quenched the smoking flax : where more is meant than spoken ; for he 
will not only not break the bruised reed, nor quench, &c., but he will cherish 
them. 

Thirdly, The constancy and progress of this his tender care, ' until judg- 
\ merit come to victory' that is, until the sanctified frame of grace begun in 
; their hearts be brought to that perfection, that it prevaileth over all opposite 
corruption. 

1. For the first, the condition of men whom he was to deal withal is, 
'that they were bruised reeds, and smoking flax ; not trees, but reeds ; and 
not whole, but bruised reeds. The church is compared to weak things ; 
to a dove amongst the fowls ; to a vine amongst the plants ; to sheep 
I amongst the beasts ; to a woman, which is the weaker vessel : and here 
God's children are compared to bruised reeds and smoking flax. First, f 
we will speak of them as they are bruised reeds, and then as smoking flax. 

They are bruised reeds before their conversion, and oftentimes after: 
! before conversion all (except such as being bred up in the church, God hath 
j delighted to shew himself gracious unto from their childhood), yet in dif- 
iferent degrees, as God seeth meet; and as difference is in regard of tem 
per, parts, manner of life, &c., so in God's intendment of employment foi 
I the time to come; for usually he empties such of themselves, and makes 
'them nothing, before he will use them in any great services. 

(1.) This bruised reed is a man that for the most part is in some misery, 

ias those were that came to Christ for help, and (2) by misery is brought to 

see sin the cause of it ; for whatsoever pretences sin maketh, yet bruising or 

: breaking is the end of it ; (3) he is sensible of sin and misery, even unto 

bruising; and (4), seeing no help in himself, is carried with restless desire 

to have supply from another, with some hope, which a little raiseth him 

out of himself to Christ, though he dareth not claim any present interest 

of mercy. This spark of hope being opposed by doubtings, and fears 

'ising from corruption, maketh him as smoking flax ; so that both these 

together, a bruised reed and smoking flax, make up the state of a poor dis- 

* ' Towards,' in A and B. t ' And first,' in A and 6. 



44 THE BKUISED REED 

tressed man. Such an one as our Saviour Christ termeth poor in spirit, 
Mat. v. 3, who seeth a want, and withal seeth himself indebted to divine 
justice, and no means of supply from himself or the creature, and there 
upon mourns, and upon some hope of mercy from the promise and examples 
of those that have obtained mercy, is stirred up to hunger and thirst after it. 



[CHAPTER II. Those that Christ hath to do withal are Bruised.'] 

This bruising is required [1] before conversion (1), that so the Spirit may 
make way for itself into the heart by levelling all proud, high thoughts, 
and that we may understand ourselves to be what indeed we are by nature. 
We love to wander from ourselves and to be strangers at home, till God 
bruiseth us by one cross or other, and then we bethink ourselves, and come j 
home to ourselves with the prodigal (Luke xv. 17.) 

A marvellous hard thing it is to bring a dull and a shifting heart to cry j 
with feeling for mercy. Our hearts, like malefactors, until they be beaten I 
from all shifts, never cry for the mercy of the Judge. Again (2), this 
bruising maketh us set a high price upon Christ. The gospel is the gospel ! 
indeed then ; then the fig-leaves of morality will do us no good. And (3) j 
it maketh us more thankful, and (4) from thankfulness more fruitful in our 
lives ; for what maketh many so cold and barren, but that bruising for sin 
never endeared God's grace unto them ? Likewise (5), this dealing of God 
doth establish us the more in his ways, having had knocks and bruisings 
in our own ways. This is the cause oft of relapses and apostasies, because 
men never smarted for sin at the first ; they were not long enough under 
the lash of the law. Hence this inferior work of the Spirit in bringing 
down high thoughts, 2 Cor. x. 5, is necessary before conversion. And, forj 
the most part, the Holy Spirit, to further the work of conviction, joineth, 
some affliction, which, sanctified, hath a healing and purging power. 

Nay, [2] after conversion we need bruising, that (1) reeds may know; 
themselves to be reeds, and not oaks ; even reeds need bruising, by reasonl 
of the remainder of pride in our nature, and to let us see that we live by^ 
mercy. And (2) that weaker Christians may not be too much discouraged] 
when they see stronger shaken and bruised. Thus Peter was bruised wher 1 
he wept bitterly, Matt. xxvi. 75. This reed, till he met with this bruise.! 
had more wind in him than pith. * Though all forsake thee, I will not, 1 
&c., Matt. xxvi. 35. The people of God cannot be without these examples; 
The heroical deeds of those great worthies do not comfort the church S(! 
much as their falls and bruises do. Thus David was bruised, Ps. xxxiij 
35, until he came to a free confession, without guile of spirit ; nay, hrj 
sorrows did rise in his own feeling unto the exquisite pain of breaking oj 
bones, Ps. li. 8. Thus Hezekiah complains that God had ' broken hij 
bones' as a lion, Isa. xxxviii. 13. Thus the chosen vessel St Paul neede< 
the messenger of Satan to buffet him, lest he should be lifted up abov 1 
measure, 2 Cor. xii. 7. 

Hence we learn that we must not pass too harsh judgment upon om 
selves or others when God doth exercise us with bruising upon bruising' 
there must be a conformity to our head, Christ, who ' was bruised for us 
Isa. liii. 5, that we may know how much we are bound unto him. Prc' 
fane spirits, ignorant of God's ways in bringing his children to heaver 
censure broken-hearted Christians for desperate persons, whenas Go 
is about a gracious good work with them. It is no easy matter to bring 



AND SMOKING FLAX. 45 

man from nature to grace, and from grace to glory, so unyielding and un- 
, tractable are our hearts. 



[CHAPTER III. Christ ivill not Break the Bruised Reed.] 

2. The second point is, that Christ will not ' break the bruised reed.' Phy- 
, sicians, though they put their patients to much pain, yet they will not de- 
, stroy nature, but raise it up by degrees. Chirurgeons* will lance and cut, 
i but not dismember. A mother that hath a sick and froward child will not 
i therefore cast it away. And shall there be more mercy in the stream than 
i in the spring ? Shall we think there is more mercy in ourselves than in 
i God, who planteth the affection of mercy in us ? But for further declara 
tion of Christ's mercy to all bruised reeds, consider the comfortable rela- 
! tions he hath taken upon him of husband, shepherd, brother, &c., which 
he will discharge to the utmost ; for shall others by his grace fulfil what he 
calleth them unto, and not he that, out of his love, hath taken upon him 
these relations, so thoroughly founded upon his Father's assignment, and 
his own voluntary undertaking ? Consider his borrowed names from the 
j mildest creatures, as lamb, hen, &c., to shew his tender care ; consider his 
| very name Jesus, a Saviour, given him by God himself; consider his office 
i answerable to his name, which is that he should ' heal the broken-hearted/ 
i Isa. Ixi. 1. At his baptism the Holy Ghost sate on him in the shape of a 
j dove, to shew that he should be a dove-like, gentle Mediator. See the 
i gracious manner of executing his offices. As a prophet, he came with 
i blessing in his mouth, ' Blessed be the poor in spirit,' &c., Matt. v. 3, and 
i invited those to come to him whose hearts suggested most exceptions 
; against themselves, ' Come unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden,' 
Matt. xi. 28. How did his bowels yearn when ' he saw the people as 
sheep without a shepherd ! ' Matt. ix. 36. He never turned any back again 
that came unto him, though some went away of themselves. He came to 
die as a priest for his enemies. In the days of his flesh he dictated a form 
of prayer unto his disciples, and put petitions unto God into their mouths, 
and his Spirit to intercede in their hearts ; and now makes intercession in 
| heaven for weak Christians, standing between God's anger and them ; and 
i shed tears for those that shed his blood. So he is a meek King ; he will 
i admit mourners into his presence, a king of poor and afflicted persons : as 
he hath beams of majesty, so he hath bowels of mercies and compassion ; 
* a prince of peace,' Isa. ix. 6. Why was he ' tempted, but that he might 
I succour those that are tempted,' Heb. ii. 18. What mercy may we not 
; expect from so gracious a mediator, 1 Tim. ii. 5, that took our nature upon 
i him that he might be gracious. He is a physician good at all diseases, 
especially at the binding up of a broken heart ; he died that he might heal 
our souls with a plaster of his own blood, and by that death save us, which 
we were the procurers of ourselves, by our own sins ; and hath he not the 
same bowels in heaven ? Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me ?' Acts 
ix. 4, cried the head in heaven, when the foot was trodden on, on earth. 
His advancement hath not made him forget his own flesh ; though it has 
:eed him from passion, yet not from compassion towards us. The lion of 
a tribe of Judah will only tear in pieces those that ' will not have him 
rule over them,' Luke xix. 17. He will not shew his strength against those 
tliat prostrate themselves before him. 

* ' Surgeons,' in A and B. 



46 THE BKUISED REED 

Use 1. What should we learn from hence, but 'to come boldly to the 
throne of grace,' Heb. iv. 16, in all our grievances ? Shall our sins dis 
courage us, when he appears there only for sinners ? Art thou bruised ? 
Be of good comfort, he calleth thee ; conceal not thy wounds, open all be 
fore him, keep not Satan's counsel. Go to Christ though trembling ; as 
the poor woman, if we can but ' touch the hem of his garment,' Matt. ix. 20, 
we shall be healed and have a gracious answer. Go boldly to God in our 
flesh ; for this end that we might go boldly to him, he is flesh of our flesh, 
and bone of our bone. Never fear to go to God, since we have such a 
Mediator with him, that is not only our friend, but our brother and husband. 
Well might the angels proclaim from heaven, ' Behold, we bring you tidings 
of joy,' Luke ii. 10. Well might the apostle stir us up to ' rejoice in the 
Lord again and again,' Phil. iv. 4 : he was well advised upon what grounds 
he did it. Peace and joy are two main fruits of his kingdom. Let the 
world be as it will, if we cannot rejoice in the world, yet we may rejoice in 
the Lord. His presence maketh any condition comfortable. ' Be not 
afraid,' saith he to his disciples, when they were afraid as if they had seen 
a ghost, ' it is I,' Matt. xiv. 27, as if there were no cause of fear where he 
is present. 

Use 2. Let this stay us when we feel ourselves bruised. Christ his course 
is first to wound, then to heal. No sound, whole soul shall ever enter into 
heaven. Think in temptation, Christ was tempted for me ; according to 
my trials will be my graces and comforts. If Christ be so merciful as not 
to break me, I will not break myself by despair, nor yield myself over to 
the roaring lion Satan, to break me in pieces. 

Use 3. Thirdly, See the contrary disposition of Christ, and Satan and his 
instruments. Satan setteth upon us when we are weakest, as Simeon and 
Levi upon the * Shechemites, when they were sore,' Gen. xxxiv. 25 ; but 
Christ will make up in us all the breaches sin and Satan have made ; he 
'binds up the broken-hearted,' Isa. Ixi. 1. And as a mother tendereth 
most the most diseased and weakest child, so doth Christ most mercifully 
incline to the weakest, and likewise putteth an instinct into the weakest 
things to rely upon something stronger than themselves for support. The 
vine stayeth itself upon the elm, and the weakest creatures have oft the 
strongest shelters. The consciousness of the church's weakness makes her 
willing to lean on her beloved, and to hide herself under his wing. 

[CHAPTER IV. Signs of one truly bruised. Means and measure of bruising, \ 
and comfort to such.] 

Objection. But how shall we know whether we are such as those that ' 
may expect mercy ? 

Answer 1. By bruising here is not meant those that are brought low only 
by crosses, but such as by them are brought to see their sin, which bruiseth 
most of all. When conscience is under the guilt of sin, then every judgment j 
brings a report of God's anger to the soul, and all less* troubles run into j 
this great trouble of conscience for sin. As all corrupt humours run to 
the diseased and bruised part of the body, and as every creditor falls upon j 
the debtor when he is once arrested, so when conscience is once awaked, 
all former sins and present crosses join together to make the bruise the 
more painful. Now, he that is thus bruised will be content with nothing 
* ' Lesser,' in A and B. 



AND SMOKING FLAX. 47 

but with mercy from him that hath bruised him. ' He hath wounded, and 
he must heal,' Isa. Ixi. 1. Lord, thou hast bruised me deservedly for my 
sins, bind up my heart again,* &c. 2. Again, a man truly bruised judgeth 
sin the greatest evil, and the favour of God the greatest good. 3. He had 
rather hear of mercy than of a kingdom. 4. He hath mean conceits of 
I himself, and thinketh he is not worth the earth he treads on. 5. Towards 
1 others he is not censorious, as being taken up at home, but is full of sym 
pathy and compassion to those that are under God's hand. 6. He thinketh 
those that walk in the comforts of God's Spirit the happiest men of the 
1 world. 7. 'He trembleth at the word of God,' Isa. Ixvi. 2, and honoureth 
! the very feet of those blessed instruments that bring peace unto him, Eom. 
|x. 15. 8. He is more taken up with the inward exercises of a broken 
| heart than with formality, and yet careful to use all sanctified means to 
(convey comfort. 

Question. But how shall we come to have this temper ? 

Answer. First, we must conceive of bruising either as a state into which 
God bringeth us, or as a duty to be performed by us. Both are here 
meant. We must join with God in bruising of ourselves. When he 
humbles us, let us humble ourselves, and not stand out against him, for 
then he will redouble his strokes ; and let us justify Christ in all his chas 
tisements, knowing that all his dealing towards us is to cause us to return 
into our own hearts. His work in bruising tendeth to our work in bruising 
ourselves. Let us lament our own untowardness, and say, Lord, what an 
heart have I that needs all this, that none of this could be spared ! We 
must lay siege to the hardness of our own hearts, and aggravate sin all we 
can. We must look on Christ, who was bruised for us, look on him whom 
we have pierced with our sins. But all directions will not prevail, unless 
God by his Spirit convinceth us deeply, setting our sins before us, and 
driving us to a stand. Then we will make out for mercy. Conviction will 
breed contrition, and this humiliation. Therefore desire God that he would 
bring a clear and a strong light into all the corners of our souls, and accom 
pany it with a spirit of power to lay our hearts low. 

A set measure of bruising ourselves cannot be prescribed ; yet it must 
be so far, as 1, we may prize Christ above all, and see that a Saviour must 
be had ; and 2, until we reform that which is amiss, though it be to the 
: cutting off our right hand, or pulling out our right eye. There is a dan- 
;gerous slighting of the work of humiliation, some alleging this for a pre- 
jtence for their overly dealing with their own hearts, that Christ will not 
break the braised reed ; but such must know that every sudden terror and 
I short grief is not that which makes us bruised reeds ; not a little hanging 
.down our heads like a bulrush, Isa. Iviii. 5, but a working our hearts to such 
a grief as will make sin more odious unto us than punishment, until we 
offer an holy violence against it ; else, favouring ourselves, we make work 
for God to bruise us, and for sharp repentance afterwards. It is dangerous, 
I confess, in some cases with some spirits, to press too much and too long 
I this bruising, because they may die under the wound and burden before 
they be raised up again. Therefore it is good in mixed assemblies to mingle 
! comfort, that every soul may have its due portion. But if we lay this 
for a ground, that there is more mercy in Christ than sin in us, there can 
be no danger in thorough dealing. It is better to go bruised to heaven 
than sound to hell. Therefore let us not take off ourselves too soon, nor 
pull off the plaster before the cure be wrought, but keep ourselves under 
* Lord . . . , again,' not in A and B, but in E. 




48 THE BRUISED REED 

this work till sin be the sourest, and Christ the sweetest, of all things. And 
when God's hand is upon us in any kind, it is good to divert our sorrow 
for other things to the root of all, which is sin. Let our grief run most in 
that channel, that as sin bred grief, so grief may consume sin. 

Quest. But are we not bruised unless we grieve more for sin than we do 
for punishment ? 

Am. Sometimes our grief from outward grievances may lie heavier upon the 
soul than grief for God's displeasure ; because in such cases the grief works 
upon the whole man, both outward and inward, and hath nothing to stay 
it, but a little spark of faith : which, by reason of the violent impression of 
the grievance, is suspended in the exercises of it : and this is most felt in 
sudden distresses which come upon the soul as a torrent or land-flood, and 
especially in bodily distempers, which by reason of the sympathy between 
the soul and the body, work upon the soul so far as they hinder not only 
the spiritual, but often the natural acts. Hereupon St James wisheth in 
affliction to pray ourselves, but in case of sickness to send for the elders, 
James v. 14 ; that may, as those in the gospel, offer up the sick person to 
God in their prayers, being unable to present their own case. Hereupon 
God admitteth of such a plea from the sharpness and bitterness of the 
grievance, as in David, Ps. vi., &c. ' The Lord knoweth whereof we are 
made, he remembereth we are but dust,' Ps. ciii. 14 ; that our strength is 
not the strength of steel. It is a branch of his faithfulness unto us as his 
creatures, whence he is called * a faithful Creator,' 1 Pet. iv. 19 > ' God is 
faithful, who will not suffer us to be tempted above that we are able,' 
1 Cor. x. 13. There were certain commandments which the Jews called 
the hedges of the law : as to fence men off from cruelty, he commanded j 
they should ' not take the dam with the young, nor seethe the kid in the ! 
mother's milk,' Exod. xxiii. 19 ; * nor muzzle the mouth of the ox,' 1 Cor. j 
ix. 9. Hath God care of beasts, and not of his more noble creature ? And ' 
therefore we ought to judge charitably of the complaints of God's people j 
which are wrung from them in such cases. Job had the esteem with | 
God of a patient man, notwithstanding those passionate complaints. Faith I 
overborne for the present will get ground again ; and grief for sin, although j 
it come short of grief for misery in violence, yet it goeth beyond it in con- ! 
stancy ; as a running stream fed with a spring holdeth out, when a sudden ! 
swelling brook faileth. 

For the concluding of this point, and our encouragement to a thorough \ 
work of bruising, and patience under God's bruising of us, let all know thatj 
none are fitter for comfort than those that think themselves furthest off. j 
Men, for the most part, are not lost enough in their own feeling for a 
Saviour. A holy despair in ourselves is the ground of true hope, Hos. 
xiv. 3. In God the fatherless find mercy: if men were more fatherless,} 
they should feel more God's fatherly affection from heaven ; for God that! 
dwelleth in highest heavens, Isa. Ixvi. 2, dwelleth likewise in the lowest 
soul. Christ's sheep are weak sheep, and wanting in something or other ;i 
he therefore applieth himself to the necessities of every sheep. ' He seeks 
that which was lost, and brings again that which was driven out of the; 
way, and binds up that which was broken, and strengthens the weak,'' 
Ezek. xxxiv. 16 ; his tenderest care is over the weakest. The lambs he 
carrieth in his bosom, Isa. xl. 11 ; ' Peter, feed my lambs,' John xxi. 15.' 
He was most familiar and open to the troubled souls. How careful was 
he that Peter and the rest of the apostles should not be too much dejected, 
after his resurrection ! ' Go, tell the disciples, and tell Peter,' Mark xvi. 7, 



AND SMOKING FLAX. 49 

Christ knew that guilt of their unkindness in leaving of him had de 
jected their spirits. How gently did he endure Thomas his unbelief! and 
stooped so far unto his weakness, as to suffer him to thrust his hand into 
his side (a). 



[CHAPTER V. Grace is little at first.] 

For the second branch, God will not quench the smoking flax, or wick, 
but will blow it up till it flameth. In smoking flax there is but a little light, 
and that weak, as being not able to flame, and this little mixed with smoke. 
The observations hence are, first, That in God's children, especially in 
their first conversion, there is but a little measure of grace, and that little 
mixed with much corruption, which, as smoke, is offensive. Secondly, That 
Christ will not quench this smoking flax. 

Obs. 1. For the first, Grace is little at the first. There are several ages 
hi Christians, some babes, some young men : grace is as 'a grain of mus 
tard seed,' Matt. xvii. 20. Nothing so little as grace at first, and nothing 
more glorious afterward : things of greatest perfection are longest in coming 
to their growth. Man, the perfectest creature, comes to perfection by little 
and little ; worthless things, as mushrooms and the like, like Jonah's gourd, 
soon spring up, and soon vanish. A new creature is the most excellent 
frame in all the world, therefore it groweth up by degrees ; we see in 
nature that a mighty oak riseth of an acorn. It is with a Christian as it 
was with Christ, who sprang out of the dead stock of Jesse, out of David's 
family, Isa. liii. 2, when it was at the lowest, but he grew up higher than 
the heavens. It is not with the trees of righteousness as it was with the 
trees of paradise, which were created all perfect at the first. The seeds of 
all the creatures in this goodly frame of the world were hid in the chaos, in 
that confused mass at the first, out of which God did command all creatures 
to arise ; in the small seeds of plants lie hid both bulk and branches, bud and 
fruit. In a few principles lie hid all comfortable conclusions of holy truth. 
All these glorious fireworks of zeal and holiness in the saints had their 
beginning from a few sparks. 

Let us not therefore be discouraged at the small beginnings of grace, 
but look on ourselves, as ' elected to be blameless and without spot,' Eph. 
i. 4. Let us only look on our imperfect beginning to enforce further strife 
to perfection, and to keep us in a low conceit. Otherwise, in case of dis 
couragement, we must consider ourselves, as Christ doth, who looks on us 
as such as he intendeth to fit for himself. Christ valueth us by what we 
shall be, and by that we are elected unto. We call a little plant a tree, 
because it is growing up to be so. ' Who is he that despiseth the day 
of little things ? ' Zech. iv. 10. Christ would not have us despise little things. 

The glorious angels disdain not attendance on little ones ; little in their 
own eyes, and little in the eyes of the world. 

Grace, though little in quantity, yet is much in vigour and worth. 

ft is Christ that raiseth the worth of little and mean places and persons. 
Bethlehem the least, Micah v. 2, Mat. ii. 6, and yet not the least ; the 
least in itself, not the least in respect Christ was born there. The second 
temple, Hag. ii. 9, came short of the outward magnificence of the former ; 
yet more glorious than the first, because Christ came into it. The Lord of 
the temple came into his own temple. The pupil of the eye is very little, 

' seeth a great part of the heaven at once. A pearl, though little, yet is 
OL. i. D 



THE BRUISED REED 



of much esteem : nothing in the world of so good use, as the least dram of 



grace.* 



[CHAPTER YI. Grace is mingled with Corruption.] 

Obs. 2. But grace is not only little, but mingled with corruption ; 
whereof it is, that a Christian is said to be smoking flax. Whence we see, 
that grace doth not waste corruption all at once, but some is left to conflict 
withal. The purest actions of the purest men need Christ to perfume f 
them, and so is his office. When we pray, we need to pray again for Christ 
to pardon the defects of them. See some instances of this smoking flax. 
Moses at the Red Sea, being in a great perplexity, and knowing not what to 
say, or which way to turn him, groaned to God : no doubt this was a great 
conflict in him. In great distresses we know not what to pray, but the 
Spirit makes request with sighs that cannot be expressed, Rom. viii. 26. 
Broken hearts can yield but broken prayers. 

W T hen David was before the king of Gath, 1 Sam. xxi. 13, and disfigured 
himself in an uncomely manner, in that smoke there was some fire also ; 
you may see what an excellent psalm he makes upon that occasion, Ps. 
xxxiv. ; wherein, upon experience, ver. 18, he saith, * The Lord is near 
unto them that are of a contrite spirit.' Ps. xxxi. 22, ' I said in my haste, 
I am cast out of thy sight ; there is smoke : yet thou heardest the voice of 
my prayer ; there is fire.' ' Master, carest thou not that we perish ?' Mat. 
viii. 25, cry the disciples ; here is smoke of infidelity, yet so much light of 
faith as stirred them up to pray to Christ. * Lord, I believe : ' there is light ; 
1 but help my unbelief,' Mark ix. 24 : there is smoke. 

Jonah cries, ii. 4, * I am cast out of thy sight :' there is smoke ; ' yet will 
I look again to thy holy temple :' there is light. 

' miserable man that I am,' Rom. vii. 24, saith St Paul upon sense of 
his corruption ; but yet breaks out into thanks to God through Jesus Christ 
our Lord. 

' I sleep,' saith the Church in the Canticles, 'but my heart wakes,' Cant. v. 
2. In the seven Churches, which for their light are called ' seven golden 
candlesticks,' Rev. ii. iii., most of them had much smoke with their' light. 

The ground of this mixture is, that we carry about us a double principle, 
grace and nature. The end of it is especially to preserve us from those two 
dangerous rocks which our natures are prone to dash upon, security and 
pride ; and to force us to pitch our rest on justification, not sanctification, 
which, besides imperfection, hath some soil. 

Our spiritual fire is like our ordinary fire here below, that is, mixed ; but 
fire is most pure in its own element above ; so shall all our graces be when 
we are where we would be, in heaven, which is our proper element. 

Use. From this mixture it is, that the people of God have so different 
judgments of themselves, looking sometimes at the work of grace, sometimes j 
at the remainder of corruption, and when they look upon that, then they 
think they have no grace ; though they love Christ in his ordinances and 
children, yet dare not challenge so near acquaintance as to be his. Even 
as a candle in the socket sometimes sheweth its light, and sometimes the 
show of light is lost ; so sometimes well persuaded they are of themselves 
sometimes at a loss. 

* ' As the least dram of grace is, 1 in A and B. f ' Perform,' in A and B. 



AND SMOKING FLAX. 51 



[CHAPTEB VII. Christ ivill not quench small and weak beginnings.] 

Doct. Now for the second observation, Christ will not quench the smoking 
flax. First, because this spark is from heaven, it is his own, it* is kindled 
by his own spirit. And secondly, it tendeth to the glory of his powerful 
grace in his children, that he preserveth light in the midst of darkness, a 
spark in the midst of the swelling waters of corruption. 

There is an especial blessing in that little spark ; * when wine is found in 
a cluster, one saith, Destroy it not ; for there is a blessing in it,' Isa. Ixv. 8. 
We see how our Saviour Christ bore with Thomas in his doubting, John 
xx. 27 ; with the two disciples that went to Emmaus, who staggered ' whether 
he came to redeem Israel or no,' Luke xxiv. 21 : he quenched not that little light 
in Peter, which was smothered : Peter denied him, but he denied not Peter, Mat. 
xxvi. * If thou wilt, thou canst,' said one poor man in the gospel, Mat. viii. 2 ; 
* Lord, if thou canst' said another, Mark ix. 22 ; both were this smoking flax, 
neither of both were quenched. If Christ had stood upon his own greatness, 
he would have rejected him that came with his if, but Christ answers his i/ 
with a gracious and absolute grant, ' I will, be thou clean.' The woman that 
was diseased with an issue did but touch, and with a trembling hand, and 
but the hem of his garment, and yet went away both healed and comforted. 
In the seven churches, Rev. ii. and iii., we see he acknowledgeth and 
cherisheth anything that was good in them. Because the disciples slept of 
infirmity, being oppressed with grief, our Saviour Christ frameth a com 
fortable excuse for them, The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak,' Mat. 
xxvi. 41. 

If Christ should not be merciful, he would miss of his own ends ; ' there is 
mercy with thee that thou mayest be feared,' Ps. cxxx. 4. Now all are 
willing to come under that banner of love which he spreadeth over his : 
'therefore to thee shall all flesh come,' Ps. Ixv. 2. He useth moderation 
and care, ' lest the spirit should fail before him, and the souls which he hath 
made,' Isa. Ivii. 16. Christ's heart yearned, the text saith, ' when he saw 
them without meat, lest they should faint,' Mat. xv. 32 ; much more will he 
have regard for the preventing of our spiritual faintings. 

Here see the opposite disposition between the holy nature of Christ, and 
the impure nature of man. Man for a little smoke will quench the light ; 
Christ ever we see cherisheth even the least beginnings. How bare he with 
the many imperfections of his poor disciples. If he did sharply cneck them, 
it was in love, and that they might shine the brighter. Can we have a better 
pattern to follow than this of him by whom we hope to be saved 7 ' We 
that are strong ought to bear with the infirmities of them that are weak,' 
Rom. xv. 1. 'I become all things to all men, that I may win some,' 1 Cor. 
ix. 22. that this gaining and winning disposition were more in many ! 
Many, so far as in us lieth, are lost for want of encouragement. See how 
that faithful fisher of men, St Paul, labours to catch his judge, I know thou 
beliovest the prophets,' Acts xxvi. 27 ; and then wisheth all saving good, 
but not bonds ; he might have added them too, but he would not discourage 
one that made but an offer, he would therefore wish Agrippa only that which 
was good in religion. How careful was our blessed Saviour of little ones 
i that they might not be offended, Mat. xii. xiii. How doth he defend his 
disciples from malicious imputations of the Pharisees ! How careful not to 
| put now wine into old vessels, Mat. ix. 17, not to alienate new beginners 

* ' That,' in A. 



62 THE BRUISED REED 

with the austerities of religion (as some indiscreetly). 0, saith he, they 
shall have time to fast when I am gone, and strength to fast when the Holy 
Ghost is come upon them. 

It is not the best way to fall foul presently with young beginners for 
some lesser vanities, but shew them a more excellent way, and breed them 
up in positive grounds, and other things will be quickly out of credit with 
them. It is not amiss to conceal their wants, to excuse some failings, to 
commend their performances, to cherish their towardness, to remove all 
rubs out of their way, to help them every way to bear the yoke of religion 
with greater ease, to bring them in love with God and his service, lest they 
distaste it before they know it. For the most part we see Christ planteth 
in young beginners a love which we call * the first love,' Rev. ii. 4, to carry 
them through their profession with more delight, and doth not expose them 
to crosses before they have gathered strength ; as we breed up young plants, 
and fence them from the weather, until they be rooted.* Mercy to others 
should move us to deny ourselves in our lawful liberties oftentimes, in case 
of offence of weak ones ; it iS'the ' little ones that are offended, 'Matt, xviii. 6. 
The weakest are aptest to think themselves despised, therefore we should be 
most careful to give them content. 

It were a good strife amongst Christians, one to labour to give no offence, 
and the other to labour to take none. The best men are severe to them 
selves, tender over others. 

Yet people should not tire and wear out the patience of others : nor 
should the weaker so far exact moderation from others, as to bear out them 
selves upon their indulgence, and so to rest in their own infirmities, with 
danger to their own souls, and scandal to the church. 

Neitherf hereupon must they set light by the gifts of God in others, 
which grace teacheth to honour wheresoever they are found, but know their 
parts and place, and not enterprise anything above their measure, which 
may make their persons and their case obnoxious to scorn. When blindness 
and boldness, ignorance and arrogance, weakness and wilralness, meet 
together in one, it renders men odious to God, it maketh men burdensome 
in society, dangerous in their counsels, troublers of better designs, untract- 
able and uncapable of better direction, miserable in the issue : where Christ 
sheweth his gracious power in weakness, he doth it by letting men under 
stand themselves so far as to breed humility, and magnifying of God's love to 
such as they are : he doth it as a preservative against discouragements 
from weakness, seeing it bringeth men into a less distance from grace, as 
being an advantage to poverty of spirit, than greatness of condition and 
parts, which yield to corrupt nature fuel for pride. Christ refuseth none 
for weakness of parts, that none should be discouraged ; accepteth of none 
for greatness, that none should be lifted up with that which is of so little 
reckoning with God. It is no great matter how dull the scholar be, when 
Christ taketh upon him to be the teacher : who as he prescribeth what to 
understand, so he giveth understanding itself even to the simplest. 

The church suffereth much from weak ones, therefore we may challenge 
liberty to deal with them, as mildly, so oftentimes directly. The scope of 
true love is to make the party better, which by concealment oftentimes is 
hindered ; with some a spirit of meekness prevaileth most, but with some, 
a rod. Some must be * pulled out of the fire,' Jude 23, with violence, and: 
they will bless God for us in the day of their visitation. We see our 
Saviour multiplies woe upon woe when he was to deal with hard-heartedj 
* ' Well-rooted,' in A. f ' Neither . . . simplest.' This paragraph first added in B 



hvnoi 



AND SMOKING FLAX. 53 



hypocrites ,Mat. xxiii. 13, for hypocrites need* stronger conviction than 
gross sinners, because their will is nought, and thereupon usually their 
conversion is violent. An hard knot must have an answerable wedge, else 
in a cruel pity we betray their souls. A sharp reproof sometimes is a 
precious pearl, and a sweet balm. The wounds of secure sinners will not 

I be healed with sweet words. The Holy Ghost came as well in fiery tongues, 

' as in the likeness of a dove, and the same Holy Spirit will vouchsafe a 
spirit of prudence and discretion, which is the salt to season all our words 

, and actions. And such wisdom will teach us ' to speak a word in season,' 
Isa. 1. 4, both to the weary, and likewise to the secure soul. And, indeed, 
he had need have * the tongue of the learned,' Isa. 1. 4, that shall either 

1 raise up or cast down ; but in this place I speak of mildness towards those 

i that are weak and are sensible of it. These we must bring on gently, and 
drive softly, as Jacob did his cattle, Gen. xxxiii. 14, according to their pace, 

: and as his children were able to endure. 

Weak Christians are like glasses which are hurt with the least violent 
usage, otherwise if gently handled will continue a long time. This honour 

! of gentle use we are to give to * the weaker vessels,' 1 Pet. iii. 7, by which we 
shall both preserve them, and likewise make them useful to the church and 
, ourselves. 

In unclean bodies if all ill humours be purged out, you shall purge life 
and all away. Therefore though God saith, that * he will fine them as silver 
iis fined,' Zech. xiii. 9 ; yet, Isa. xlviii. 10, he said, 'he hath fined them, 
but not as silver,' that is, so exactly as that no dross remaineth, for he hath 
; respect to our weakness. Perfect refining is for another world, for the 
world of the souls of perfect men, 



B VIII. Tenderness required in ministers toward young beginners.] 

Divines had need to take heed therefore how they deal with these in 
particulars : as first let them be careful they strain not things too 
high (fr), making those general and necessary evidences of grace, which 
agree not to the experience of many a good Christian, and lay salvation and 
damnation upon those things that are not fit to bear so great a weight, where 
upon men are groundlessly cast down lower by them, than they can hastily 
be raised up again by themselves or others. The ambassadors of so gentle 
a Saviour should not be over-masterly, setting up themselves in the hearts 
of people where Christ alone should sit as in his own temple. Too muchf 
respect to man was one of the inlets of popery. ' Let a man account of 
us as of the ministers of Christ,' 1 Cor. iv. 1, neither more nor less, just so 
much. How careful was St Paul in cases of conscience not to lay a snare 
upon any weak conscience. 

They should take heed likewise that they hide not their meaning in dark 
speeches, speaking in the clouds. Truth feareth nothing so much as con 
cealment, and desireth nothing so much as clearly to be laid open to the 
view of all : when it is most naked, it is most lovely and powerful. 

Our blessed Saviour, as he took our nature upon him, so he took upon 
him our familiar manner of speech, which was part of his voluntary abase 
ment. St Paul was a profound man, yet became as a nurse to the weaker 
sort, 1 Thess. ii. 7. 

That spirit of mercy that was in Christ should move his servants to be 
1 ' Do need,' in A and B. f ' Too much .... just so much,' added first in B 




54 THE BEUISED REED 

content to abase themselves for the good of the meanest. What made the 
' kingdom of heaven suffer violence,' Matt. xi. 22, after John the Baptist's 
time, but that comfortable truths were with that plainness and evidence laid 
open, that the people were so affected with them, as they offered a holy 
violence to them ? 

Christ chose those to preach mercy, which had felt most mercy, as St 
Peter and St Paul ; that they might be examples of what they taught. St 
Paul ' became all things to all men,' 1 Cor. ix. 2, stooping unto them for 
their good. Christ came down from heaven, and emptied himself of ma 
jesty in tender love to souls ; shall we not come down from our high con 
ceits to do any poor soul good ? shall man be proud after God hath been 
humble ? We see the ministers of Satan turn themselves into all shapes to 
'make proselytes,' Matt, xxiii. 15. A Jesuit will be every man. We see 
ambitious men study accommodation of themselves to the humours of those 
by whom they hope to be raised ; * and shall not we study application of 
ourselves to Christ, by whom we hope to be advanced, nay, are already 
sitting with him in heavenly places ? After we are gained to Christ our 
selves, we should labour to gain others to Christ. Holy ambition and 
o,ovetousness will move us to put upon ourselves the disposition of Christ : 
but we must put off ourselves first. 

We should not, thirdly, rack their wits with curious or * doubtful dis 
putes,' Rom. xiv 1 ; for so we shall distract and tire them, and give occasion 
to make them cast off the care of all. That age of the church which was 
most fertile in nice questions, was most barren in religion : for it makes 
people think religion to be only a matter of wit, in tying and untying of 
knots ; the brains of men given that way are hotter usually than their hearts. 

Yet notwithstanding, when we are cast into times and places wherein 
doubts are raised about main points, here people ought to labour to be 
established. God suffereth questions oftentimes to arise for trial of our 
love and exercise of our parts. Nothing is so certain as that which is 
certain after doubts. Nil tarn cerium qndm quod ex dubio cerium. Shaking 
settles and roots. In a contentious age, it is a witty thing to be a 
Christian, and to know what to pitch their souls upon ; it is an office of 
love here to take away the stones, and to smooth the way to heaven. 
Therefore, we must take heed that, under pretence of avoidance of disputes, 
we do not suffer an adverse party to get ground upon the truth ; for thus i 
may we easily betray both the truth of God and souls of men. 

And likewise those are failing that, by overmuch austerity, drive back ! 
troubled souls from having comfort by them ; for by this carriage many 
smother their temptations, and burn inwardly, because they have none into! 
whose bosom they may vent their grief and ease their souls. 

We must neither bind where God looseth, nor loose where God bindeth,! 
nor open where God shutteth, nor shut where God openeth ; the right use 
of the keys is always successful. In personal application there must be,; 
great heed taken ; for a man may be a false prophet, and yet speak the 
truth. If it be not a truth to the person to whom he speaketh ; if he ' grievej 
those whom God hath not grieved,' Lam. iii. 33, by unseasonable truths.; 
or by comforts in an ill way, the hearts of the wicked may be strengthened 
One man's meat may be another's bane. 

If we look to the general temper of these times, rousing and wakin; 
Scriptures are fittest ; yet there be many broken spirits need soft and oil; 
words. Even in the worst time the prophets mingled sweet comfort fo 1 
* ' To raise themselves,' in A and B 



AND SMOKING FLAX. 55 

the hidden remnant of faithful people. God hath comfort ; ' Comfort ye 
my people,' Isa. xl. 1, as well as ' lift up thy voice as a trumpet,' Isa. Iviii. 1. 
And here likewise there needs a caveat. Mercy doth not rob us of our 
right judgment, as that we should take stinking* fire-brands for smoking 
flax. None will claim mercy more of others, than those whose portion is 
due severity. This example doth not countenance lukewarmness, nor too 
much indulgence to those that need quickening. Cold diseases must have 
hot remedies. It made for the just commendations of the church of 

, Ephesus, ' that it could not bear with them which are evil,' Rev. ii. 2. We 

' should so bear with others, as we discover withal a dislike of evil. Our 
Saviour Christ would not forbear sharp reproof, where he saw dangerous 

j infirmities in his most beloved disciples. It bringeth under a curse ' to do 

. the work of the Lord negligently,' Jer. xlviii. 10 ; even where it is a work 

of just severity, as when it is sheathing the sword in the bowels of the 

enemy. And those whom we suffer to be betrayed by their worst enemies, 

their sins, will have just cause to curse us another day. 

It is hard to preserve just bounds of mercy and severity, without a spirit 

: above our own ; which we ought to desire to be led withal in all things. 

That * wisdom which dwelleth with prudence,' Prov. viii. 12, will guide us 
in these particulars, without which virtue is not virtue, truth not truth. The 
rule and the case must be laid together ; for if there be not a narrow in- 

; sight,, seeming likeness in conditions will be the breeder of errors in our 
opinions of them. Those fiery, tempestuous, and destructive spirits in 

I popery, that seek to promote their religion by cruelty, shew that they are 
stmngers to that wisdom which is from above, which maketh men gentle, 
peaceable, and ready to shew that mercy they have felt before themselves. 
It is a way of prevailing, as agreeable to Christ, so likewise to man's 
Edttire, to prevail by some forbearance and moderation. 

And yet oft we see a false spirit in those that call for moderation. It is 
but to carry their own projects with the greater strength ; and if they prove 
of the prevailing hand, they will hardly shew that moderation to others 
they now call for from others. And there is a proud kind of moderation 
likewise, when men will take upon them to censure bothf parties, as if they 
were wiser than both, although, J if the suirit be right, a looker on may see 
more than those that are in conflict. 



[CHAPTER IX. Governors should be tender of weak ones, and also private 

Christians.] 

2. So in the censures of the church, it is more suitable to the spirit of 
Christ to incline to the milder part, and not to kill a fly on the forehead 
with a beetle (c), nor shut men out of heaven for a trifle. The very snuffers of 
the tabernacle were made of pure gold, to shew the purity of those cen 
sures, whereby the light of the church is kept bright. That power that is 
given to the church is given for edification, not destruction. How careful 
was St Paul, that the incestuous Corinthian, 2 Cor. ii. 7, repenting, should 
not be swallowed up with too much grief. 

As for civil magistrates, they, for civil exigences and reasons of state, 

ust let the law have its course ; yet thus far they should imitate this mild 
king, as not to mingle bitterness and passion with authority derived from 
God. Authority is a beam of God's majesty, and prevaileth most where 

' Smoking,' in A and B. f. Either party,' in A. J Though,' in A and B. 



56 THE BRUISED KEED 

there is least mixture of that which is man's. It requireth more than 
ordinary wisdom to manage it aright. This string must not be too much 
strained up, nor too much let loose. Justice is tn harmonical thing. Herbs 
hot or cold beyond a certain degree, kill. We see even contrary elements 
preserved in one body by a wise contemperation. Justice in rigour is oft 
extreme injustice, where some considerable circumstances should incline 
to moderation ; and the reckoning will be easier for bending rather to 
moderation than rigour. 

Insolent carriage toward miserable persons, if humbled, is unseemly in 
any who look for mercy themselves. Misery should be a loadstone of 
mercy, not a footstool for pride to trample on. 

Sometimes it falleth out that those that are under the government of 
others, are most injurious by waywardness and harsh censures, herein dis 
paraging and discouraging the endeavours of superiors for public good. In 
so great weakness of man's nature, and especially in this crazy age of the 
world, we ought to take in good part any moderate happiness we enjoy by 
government ; and not be altogether as a nail in the wound, exasperating 
things by misconstruction. Here love should have a mantle to cast upon 
lesser errors of those above us. Oftentimes the poor man is the oppressor 
by unjust clamours. We should labour to give the best interpretation to 
the actions of governors that the nature of the actions will possibly bear. 

In the last place, there is something for private Christians, even for all 
of us in our common relations, to take notice of : we are debtors to the 
weak in many things. 

1. Let us be watchful in the use of our liberty, and labour to be inoffen 
sive in our carriage, that our example compel them not. There is a com 
manding force in an example, as Peter, Gal. ii. Looseness* of life is 
cruelty to ourselves, and to the souls of others. Though we cannot keep 
them from perishing which will perish, in regard of the event ; yet if we do 
that which is apt of itself to destroy the souls of others, their ruin is im- 
putable to us. 

2. Let men take heed of taking up Satan's office, in depraving the good 
actions of others, as he did Job's, ' doth he serve God for nought ? ' Job i. 
9, or slandering their persons, judging of them according to the wickedness 
that is in their own hearts. The devil getteth more by such discourage 
ments, and these reproaches that are cast upon religion, than by fire and 
fagot. These, as unseasonable frosts, nip all gracious offers in the bud ; 
and as much as in them lieth, with Herod, labour to kill Christ in young 
professors. A Christian is a hallowed and a sacred thing, Christ's temple ; 
' and he that destroy eth his temple, him will Christ destroy,' 1 Cor. 
iii. 17. 

3. Amongst the things that are to be taken heed of, there is amongst 
private Christians a bold usurpation of censure towards others, not con 
sidering their temptations. Some will unchurch and unbrother in a passion. 
But distempers do not alter true relations ; though the child in a fit should 
disclaim the mother, yet the mother will not disclaim the child. 

There is therefore in these judging times good ground of St James's 
caveat, that there should not ' be too many masters,' James iii. \ ; that we 
should not smite one another by hasty censures, especially in things of an 
indifferent nature ; some things are as the mind of him is that doth them,: 
or doth them not ; for both may be unto the Lord. 

A holy aim in things of a middle nature makes the judgments of men,i 
* ' A looseness,' in A. 



AND SMOKING PIAX. 57 

although seemingly contrary, yet not so much blameable. Christ, for the 
good aims he seeth in us, overlooketh any ill in them, so far as not to lay 
it to our charge. 

Men must not be too curious in prying into the weaknesses of others. 
We should labour rather to see what they have that is for eternity, to in 
cline our heart to love them, than into that weakness which the Spirit of 
God will in time consume, to estrange us. Some think it strength of grace 
to endure nothing in the weaker, whereas the strongest are readiest to bear 
with the infirmities of the weak. 

Where most holiness is, there is most moderation, where it may be with 
out prejudice of piety to God and the good of others. We see in Christ a 
imarvellous temper of absolute holiness, with great moderation, in this text. 
|What had become of our salvation, if he had stood upon terms, and not 
'stooped thus low unto us ? We need not affect to be more holy than 
iChrist ; it is no flattery to do as he doth, so it be to edification. 

The Holy Ghost is content to dwell in smoky, offensive souls. that 
that Spirit would breathe into our spirits the like merciful disposition ! We 
endure the bittemess of wormwood, and other distasteful plants and herbs, 
jonly because we have some experience of some wholesome quality in them ; 
and why should we reject men of useful parts and graces, only for some 
harshness of disposition, which, as it is offensive to us, so grieveth them 
selves ? 

Grace whilst we live here is in souls, which as they are unperfectly 
'renewed, so they dwell in bodies subject to several humours, which will 
.incline the soul sometimes to excess in one passion, sometimes to excess 
in another. 

Bucer was a deep and a moderate divine ; upon long experience he resolved 
to refuse none in whom he saw, aliquid Christi, something of Christ. 

The best Christians in this state of imperfection are like gold that is a 
little too light, which needs some grains of allowance to make it pass. You 
must grant the best their allowance. We must supply out of our love and 
'mercy, that which we see wanting in them. 

The church of Christ is a common hospital, wherein all are in some 
measure sick of some spiritual disease or other ; that we should all have 
ground of exercising mutually the spirit of wisdom and meekness. 

1. This that we may the better do, let us put upon ourselves the spirit 
:of Christ. The spirit of God carrieth a majesty with it. Corruption will 
hardly yield to corruption in another. Pride is intolerable to pride. The 
; weapons of this warfare must not be carnal, 2 Cor. x. 4. The great 
apostles would not set upon the work of the ministry, until they were 
1 clothed as it were with power from on high,' Luke xxiv. 49. The Spirit 
will only work with his own tools. And we should think what affection 
Christ would carry to the party in this case. That great physician, as 
he had a quick eye and a healing tongue, so had he a gentle hand, and a 
tender heart.* 

2. And secondly, put upon us the condition of him whom we deal withal : 
we are, or have been, or may be such : make the case our own, and withal 
consider in what near relation a Christian standeth unto us, even as a 
brother, a fellow-member, heir of the same salvation. And therefore let 
us take upon ourselves a tender care of them every way ; and especially in 
cherishing the peace of their consciences. Conscience is a tender and 

* Nil sic spiritualem virnm indicat quam alieiii peccali tractatio. Aug\ustme] in 
Gal. vi. 



58 THE BRUISED REED 

delicate thing, and so must be used, It is like a lock, if the wards be 
troubled, it will be troublesome to open.* 



[CHAPTER X. Rides to try whether we be such as Christ will not quench.] 

For trial, to let us see whether we be this smoking flax which Christ will 
not quench. In this trial remember these : 1. Rides. 2. Signs. 

1. We must have two eyes, one to see imperfections in ourselves and 
others ; the other to see what is good. * I am black,' saith the church, but 
yet comely,' Cant. i. 5. Those ever want comfort that are much in quar 
relling with themselves, and through their infirmities are prone to feed upon 
such bitter things, as will most nourish that distemper they are sick of. 
These delight to be looking on the dark side of the cloud only. 

2. We must not judge of ourselves always according to present feeling; 
for in temptations we shall see nothing but smoke of distrustful thoughts. 
Fire may be raked up in the ashes, though not seen ; life in the winter is 
hid in the root. 

3. Take heed of false reasoning ; as because our fire doth not blaze out 
as others, therefore we have no fire at all ; and by false conclusions come 
to sin against the commandment in bearing false witness against ourselves. 
The prodigal would not say he was no son, but that he was not worthy to be 
called a son, Luke xv. 19. We must neither trust to false evidence, nor 
deny true ; for so we should dishonour the work of God's Spirit in us, and 
lose the help of that evidence which would cherish our love to Christ, and 
arm us against Satan's discouragements. Some are so faulty this way, as 
if they had been hired by Satan, the ' accuser of the brethren,' Rev. xii. 10, 
to plead for him, in accusing themselves. 

4. Know, for a ground of this, that in the covenant of grace, God 
requires the truth of grace, not any certain measure ; and a spark of fire is 
fire as well as the whole element. Therefore we must look to grace in the 
spark as well as in the flame. All have not the like strong, yet the like 
precious faith, 2 Pet. i. 1, whereby they lay hold, and put on, the perfect 
righteousness of Christ. A weak hand may receive a rich jewel ; a few 
grapes will shew that the plant is a vine, and not a thorn. It is one thing 
to be wanting in grace, and another thing to want grace altogether. God \ 
knoweth we have nothing of ourselves, therefore in the covenant of grace ' 
he requireth no more than he giveth, and giveth what he requireth, and 
accepteth what he giveth : ' He that hath not a lamb may bring a pair of 
turtle doves,' Lev. xii. 6. What is the gospel itself but a merciful modera 
tion, in which Christ's obedience is esteemed ours, and our sins laid upon 
him, and wherein God of a judge becometh the father, pardoning our sins 
and accepting our obedience, though feeble and blemished ! We are now 
brought to heaven under the covenant of grace by a way of love and mercy. 

It will prove a special help to know distinctly the difference between the ! 
covenant of works and the covenant of grace, between Moses and Christ ; 
Moses without all mercy breaketh all bruised reeds, and quencheth all> 
smoking flax. For the law requireth, 1, personal ; 2, perpetual ; 3, perfect' 
obedience ; 4, and from a perfect heart ; and that under a most terrible; 
curse, and giveth no strength, a severe task-master, like Pharaoh's requir-f 
ing the whole tale, and yet giving no straw. Christ cometh with blessing 

* Nil magis ad misericordiam inclinat quam proprii periculi cogitatio. Au 



AND SMOKING FLAX. 59 

kfter blessing even upon those whom Moses had cursed, and with healing 
>alm for those wounds which Moses had made. 

The same duties are required in both covenants ; as, * to love the Lord 
vith all our hearts, with all our souls,' &c., Deut. vi. 5. In the* covenant 
)f works, this must be taken in the rigour ; but under the covenant of 
rrace, as it is a sincere endeavour proportionable to grace received (and so 
t must be understood of Josias, and others, when it is said, ' they loved 
jod with all their hearts,' &c.), it must have an evangelical mitigation. 
, The law is sweetened by the gospel, and becometh delightful to the inner 
nan, Rom. vii. 22. Under this gracious covenant sincerity is perfection. 
This is the death in the pot in the Roman religion, f that they confound 
;;wo covenants ; and it deads the comfort of drooping ones, that they can 
not distinguish them. And thus they suffer themselves to be held under 
3ondage,' Isa. Ixi. 1, 2, when Christ hath set them free ; and stay them 
selves in the prison, when Christ hath set open the doors before them. 

5. Grace sometimes is so little as is undiscernible to us ; the Spirit 
sometimes hath secret operations in us, which we know not for the pre- 
!*ent ; but Christ knoweth. Sometimes in bitterness of temptation, when 
he Spirit struggles with sense of God's anger, we are apt to think God an 
; 3nemy; and a troubled soul is like troubled water,]; we can see nothing in 
it ; and so far as it is not cleansed, it will cast up mire and dirt. It is 
ull of objections against itself, yet for the most part we may discern some 
thing of the hidden life, and of these smothered sparks. 

In a gloomy day there is so much light whereby we may know it to be 
lay, and not night ; so there is something in a Christian under a cloud, 
whereby he may be discerned to be a true believer, and not a hypocrite. 
There is no mere darkness in the state of grace, but some beam of light, 
whereby the kingdom of darkness wholly prevaileth not. 

[CHAPTER XI. Signs of smoking flax which Christ will not quench.'] 

These things premised, let us know for a trial, 1. First, if there be any 
holy fire in its, it is kindled from heaven by the ' Father of lights, who com- 
mandeth light to shine out of darkness,' 2 Cor. iv. 6. As it is kindled in 
the use of means, so it is fed. The light in us, and the light in the word, 
spring one from the other, and both from one Holy Spirit ; and, therefore, 
those that regard not the word, it is because there * is no light in them,' Isa. 
viii. 20. Heavenly truths must have a heavenly light to discern them. 
Natural men see heavenly things, but not in their own proper light, but by 
an inferior light. God in every converted man putteth a light into the 
eye of his soul, proportionable to the light of truths revealed unto him. A 
carnal eye will never see spiritual things. 

2. Secondly, the least divine light hath heat with it in some measure ; light 
in the understanding breedeth heat of love in the affections. Claritas in 
intellectu parit ardorem in affectu. In what measure the sanctified under 
standing seeth a thing to be true, or good, in that measure the will em 
braces it. Weak light breeds weak inclinations ; a strong light, strong 
inclinations. A little spiritual light is of strength enough to answer strong 
objections of flesh and blood, and to look through all earthly allurements 
and opposing^ hindrances, presenting them as far inferior to those heavenly 
objects it eyeth. 

4 This,' in A and B. j Waters,' in A and B. 

t Hainan religion = Popery. G. ' And all,* in A and B. 



60 THE BRUISED REED 

All light that is not spiritual, because it wanteth the strength of sanctify 
ing grace, yieldeth* to every little temptation, especially when it is fitted 
and suited to personal inclinations. This is the reason why Christians 
that have light little for quantity, but yet heavenly for quality, hold out, 
when men of larger apprehensions sink. 

This prevailing of light in the soul is because, together with the spirit of 
illumination, there goeth, in the godly, a spirit of power, 2 Tim. i. 7, to 
subdue the heart to truth revealed, and to put a taste and relish into the 
will, suitable to the sweetness of the truths ; else a mere natural will will 
rise against supernatural truths, as having an antipathy and enmity against 
them. In the godly, holy truths are conveyed by way of a taste ; gracious 
men have a spiritual palate as well as a spiritual eye. Grace altereth the 
relish. 

3. Thirdly, where this heavenly light is kindled, it directeth in the right 
way. For it is given for that use, to shew us the best way, and to guide 
in the particular passages of life ; if otherwise, it is but common light, 
given only for the good of others. Some have light of knowledge, yet 
follow not that light, but are guided by carnal reason and policy ; such as 
the prophet speaks of, ' All you that kindle a fire, walk in the light of your 
own fire, and in the sparks that you have kindled ; but this you shall have 
of mine hand, ye shall lie down in sorrow,' Isa. 1. 11. God delights to 
confound carnal wisdom, as enmity to him, and robbing him of his prero 
gative, who is God only wise. We must, therefore, walk by his light, and 
not the blaze of our own fire. God must light our candle, Ps. xviii. 28, 
or else we are like to abide in darkness. Those sparks that are not 
kindled from heaven, are not strong enough to keep us from lying down 
in sorrow, though they make a greater blaze and show than the light from 
above, as madmen do greater things than sober, but by a false strength : 
BO the excess of these men's joy ariseth from a false light, ' the candle of 
the wicked shall be put out,' Job xviii. 6. 

The light that some men have, it is like lightning, which after a sudden 
flash leaveth them more in darkness. They can love the light as it 
shines, but hate it as it discovers and directs. A little holy light will 
enable to keep the word, and not betray religion,, and deny Christ's name, 
as Christ speaketh of the church of Philadelphia, Rev. iii. 8. 

4. Fourthly, where this fire is, it will sever things of diverse natures, and 
shew a difference between things, as gold and dross. It will sever between 
flesh and spirit, and shew that this is of nature, this of grace. All is not 

11 in a bad action, or good in a good action. There is gold in ore, which 
God and his Spirit in us can distinguish. A carnal man's heart is like a 
dungeon, wherein is nothing to be seen but horror and confusion ; this 
light maketh us judicious and humble, upon clearer sight of God's purity, 
and our own uncleanness ; and maketh us able to discern of the work of 
the Spirit in another. 

5. Fifthly, so far as a man is spiritual, safaris light delightful unto him, 
.s willing to see anything amiss, that he may reform, and any further 

service discovered that he may perform, because he truly hateth ill and 

loveth good ; if he goeth against light discovered, he will soon be re- 

cJaimed, because light hath a friendly party within him. Whereupon, at 

little sight of his error he is soon counselable, as David in his intendment 

kill Nabal, and blessed God afterwards, when he is stopped in an ill 

way, 1 Sam. xxv. 32. 

* ' It yieldeth/ in A and B. 



AND SMOKING FLAX. 61 

In a carnal man, the light breaks in upon him, but he labours to shut 

the passages, he hath no delight to come to the light. It is impossible 

: before the Spirit of grace hath subdued the heart, but that it should sin 

against the light, either by resisting of it, or keeping it prisoner under base 

lusts, and burying it, as it were, in the earth ; or perverting of it, and so 

making it an agent and factor for the flesh, in searching out arguments to 

plead for it, or abusing that little measure of light they have, to keep out 

'a greater, higher, and more heavenly light ; and so, at length, make that 

light they have a misleading guide to utter darkness. And the reason is, 

, because it hath n friend within, the soul is in a contrary frame ; and light 

I always hindereth that sinful peace that men are willing to speak to thern- 

I selves : whence we see it oft enrages men the more, as the sun in the 

; spring breedeth aguish distempers, because it stirreth humours, and doth 

j not waste them. There is nothing in the world more unquiet than the 

heart of a wicked man, that sitteth under means of knowledge, until, like a 

! thief, he hath put out the candle, that he may sin with the less check. 

I Spiritual light is distinct, it seeth spiritual good, with application to our- 

| selves ; but common light is confused, and lets sin lie quiet. Where fire 

i is in any degree, it will fight against the contrary matter. God hath put 

I irreconcilable hatred between light and darkness at first, so between good 

j and ill, flesh and spirit, Gal. v. 17 ; grace will never join with sin, no more 

! than fire with water. Fire will mingle with no contrary, but preserveth its 

iown purity, and is never corrupted as other elements are. Therefore, 

j those that plead and plot for liberties of the flesh, shew themselves strangers 

from the life of God. Upon this strife, gracious men oft complain that 

they have no grace, but they contradict themselves in their complaints ; as 

; if a man that seeth should complain he cannot see, or complain that he is 

! asleep, when the very complaint, springing from a displeasure against sin, 

sheweth that there is something in him opposite to sin. Can a dead man 

complain ? Some things, though bad in themselves, yet discover good ; 

as smoke discovers some fire. Breaking out in the body shews strength of 

nature. Some infirmities discover more good than some seeming beautiful 

actions. Excess of passion in opposing evil, though not to be justified, yet 

sheweth a better spirit than a calm temper, where there is just cause of 

being moved. Better it is that the water should run something muddily, 

than not at all. Job had more grace in his distempers, than his friends in 

their seeming wise carriage. Actions soiled with some weaknesses, are 

more accepted than complemental performances. 

6. Sixthly, fire, where it is in the least measure, is in some degree active', 
so the least measure of grace is working, as springing from the Spirit of 
God, which, from the working nature of it, is compared to fire. Nay, in 

i sins, when there seemeth nothing active, but corruption, yet there is a 
contrary principle, which breaks the force of sin, so that it is not out of 
measure sinful, as in those that are carnal, Rom. vii. 13. 

7. Seventhly, fire maketh metals pliable and malleable, so doth grace, 
where it is begun ; it worketh the heart to be pliable and ready for all good 
impressions. Untractable spirits shew that they are not so much as smok 
ing flax. 

8. Eighthly, fire turneth all, as much as it can, to fire ; so grace 
laboureth to breed the like impression in others, and make as many good as it 
can. Grace likewise rnaketh a gracious use even of natural and civil 
things, and doth spiritualise them. What another man doth only civilly, a 
gracious man will do J^olily. Whether he eateth or drinketh, or whatsoever 



62 THE BKUISED EEED 

he doth, he doth all to the glory of God, 1 Cor. x. 31, making everything 
serviceable to the last end. 

9. Ninthly, sparks by nature fly upwards ; so the Spirit of grace carrieth 
the soul heaven-ward, and setteth before us holy and heavenly aims. As it 
was kindled from heaven, so it carries us back to heaven. The part followeth 
the whole : fire mounteth upward, so every spark to its own element. 
Where the aim and bent of the soul is God-wards, there is grace, though 
opposed. The least measure of it is holy desires springing from faith and 
love, for we cannot desire anything which we do not believe first to be, and 
the desire of it issues from love^ Hence desires are counted a part of the 
thing desired, in some measure ; but then they must be, first, constant, for 
constancy shews that they are supernaturally natural, and not enforced ; 
secondly, they must be carried to spiritual things, as to believe, to love God, 
&c. : not out of a special exigent, because, if now they had grace, they 
think they might escape some danger, but as a loving heart is carried to 
the thing loved for some excellency in itself ; and thirdly, with desire there 
is grief when it is hindered, which stirs up to prayer : ' Oh that my ways 
were so directed, that I might keep thy statutes !' Ps. cxix. 5 ; miserable 
man that I am, who shall deliver ? &c., Kom. vii. 24 ; fourthly, desires put 
us onward still : that I might serve God with more liberty ; that I 
were more free from these offensive, unsavoury, noisome lusts ! 

10. Tenthly, fire worketh itself, if it hath any matter to feed on, into a 
larger compass, and mounteth higher and higher, and the higher it riseth, the 
purer is the flame ; so where true grace is, it groweth in measure and purity. 
Smoking flax will grow to a flame ; and as it increaseth, so it worketh out 
the contrary, and refineth itself more and more. Ignis, quo magis lucet, eo 
minus fumat. Therefore, it argueth a false heart to set ourselves a measure 
in grace, and to rest in beginnings, alleging that Christ will not quench the 
smoking flax. But this merciful disposition in Christ is joined with perfect 
holiness, shewed in perfect hatred to sin ; for rather than sin should not 
have its deserved punishment, himself became a sacrifice for sin, wherein 
his Father's holiness and his own most of all shined. And besides this, 
in the work of sanctification, though he favours his work in us, yet favours 
he not sin in us ; for he will never take his hand from his work, until he 
hath taken away sin, even in its very being, from our natures. The same 
Spirit that purified that blessed mass whereof he was made, cleanseth us 
by degrees to be suitable to so holy a head, and frameth the judgment and 
affection of all to whom he sheweth mercy, to concur with his own, in 
labouring to further his ends, in abolishing of sin out of our nature. 



[CHAPTER XII. Scruples hindering comfort removed.] 

Use. From the meditation of these rules and signs, much comfort may 
be brought into the souls of the weakest ; which, that it may be in the 
more abundance, let me add something for the helping them over some few 
ordinary objections and secret thoughts against themselves, which getting 
within the heart, oftentimes keep them under. 

1. Some think they have no faith at all, because they have no full 
assurance ; whenas the fairest fire that can be will have some smoke. 
The best actions will smell of the smoke. The mortar wherein garlic hath 
been stamped, will always smell of it ; so all our actions will savour some 
thing of the old man. 



AND SMOKING FLAX. 63 

2. In weakness of body some think grace dieth, because their perform 
ances are feeble, their spirits, being the instruments of their souls' 
actions, being wasted ; not considering that God regards those hidden 
sighs of those that want abilities to express them outwardly. He that 
pronounceth them blessed that consider the poor, will have a merciful 
consideration of such himself. 

3. Some again are haunted with hideous representations to their fantasies, 
and with vile and unworthy thoughts of God, of Christ, of the word, &c., 
which, as busy flies, disquiet and molest their peace ; these are cast in like 

, wildfire by Satan, as may be discerned by the, 1, strangeness ; 2, strength 
and violence ; 3, horribleness of them even unto nature corrupt. Vellem 
servari Domine, sed cogitationes non patiuntur. A pious soul is no more 
guilty of them, than Benjamin of Joseph's cup put into his sack. Amongst 
other helps prescribed by godly writers, as abomination of them, and diver 
sion from them to other things, &c., let this be one, to complain unto 
Christ against them, and to fly under the wings of his protection, and to 
desire him to take our part against his and our enemy. Shall every sin 
and blasphemy of man be forgiven, and not these blasphemous thoughts, 
which have the devil for their father, when Christ himself was therefore 
molested in this kind, that he might succour all poor souls in the like 

| case ? 

But* there is a difference betwixt Christ and us in this case, by reason 
that Satan had nothing of his own in Christ, his suggestions left no impres 
sion at all in his holy nature ; but, as sparks falling into the sea, were 

j presently quenched. Satan's temptations of Christ were only suggestions 

I on Satan's part, and apprehensions of the vileness of them on Christ's part. 
To apprehend ill suggested by another, is not ill. It was Christ's grievance, 
but Satan's sin. But thus he yielded himself to be tempted, that he might 
both pity us in our conflicts, and train us up to manage our spiritual weapons 
as he did. Christ could have overcome him by power, but he did it by 
argument. But when Satan cometh to us, he findeth something of his own 
in us, which holdeth correspondency and hath intelligence with him ; there 
is the same enmity in our nature to God and goodness in some degree, that 
is in Satan himself; whereupon his temptations fasten for the most part 
some taint upon us. And if there wanted a devil to suggest, yet sinful 
thoughts would arise from within us ; though none were cast in from without, 
we have a mint of them within : these thoughts, morosa cogitatio, if the soul 
dwell on them so long as to suck or draw from and by them any sinful 
delight, then they leave a more heavy guilt upon the soul, and hinder our 
sweet communion with God, and interrupt our peace, and put a contrary 
relish into the soul, disposing of it to greater sins. All scandalous breakings 
out are but thoughts at the first. Ill thoughts are as little thieves, which, 
creeping in at the window, open the door to greater ; thoughts are seeds of 
actions. These, especially when they are helped forward by Satan, make 
the life of many good Christians almost a martyrdom. In this case it is an 
unsound comfort that some minister, that ill thoughts arise from nature, 
and what is natural is excusable ; but we must know, that nature, as it 
came out of God's hands at the first, had no such risings out of it : the 
soul, as inspired of God, had no such unsavoury breathings ; but since that 
by sin it betrayed itself, it is in some sort natural to it to forge sinful 
imaginations, and to be a furnace of such sparks ; and this is an aggravation 

* ' But' to ' subjection in himself.' This long paragraph first intro- 

, duced in B. 



64 THE BRUISED HEED 

of the sinfulness of natural corruption, that it is so deeply rooted, and so 
generally spread in our nature. 

It furthereth humiliation to know the whole breadth and depth of sin ; 
only this, that our nature now, so far as it is unrenewed, is so unhappily 
fruitful in ill thoughts, ministers this comfort, that it is not our case alone, 
as if our condition herein were severed from others, as some have been 
tempted to think, even almost to despair ; none, say they, have such a 
loathsome nature as I have. This springs from ignorance of the spreading 
of original sin, for what can come from an unclean thing, but that which is 
unclean ? ' As in the water face answers face, so the polluted heart of one 
man answereth to the heart of another,' Prov. xxvii 19, where grace hath not 
made some difference. As in annoyances from Satan, so here, the best way is 
to lay open our complaints to Christ, and cry with St Paul, Domine simpatior, 
' miserable man that I am, who shall deliver me from this body of death ?' 
Bom. vii. 24, 25 : upon this venting of his distressed soul, he presently 
found comfort ; for he breaketh into thanksgiving, ' Thanks be to God,' &c. 
And it is good to take advantage from hence to hate this noisome body of 
death the more, and to draw nearer unto God, as that holy man after his 
' foolish and beastly thoughts,' Ps. Ixxiii. 22 and 28, did, and to keep our 
hearts closer to God, seasoning them with heavenly meditations in the 
morning, storing up good matter that our heart may be a good treasury, 
and begging of Christ his Holy Spirit to stop that cursed issue, and to be a 
living spring of better thoughts in us. Nothing more abaseth the spirits of 
holy men that desire to delight in God after they have escaped the common 
defilements of the world, than these unclean issues of spirit, as being most 
contrary to God, who is a pure Spirit : but the very irksomeness of them 
yields matter of comfort against them ; they force the soul to all spiritual 
exercises, to watchfulness, and a more near walking with God, and to raise 
itself to thoughts of a higher nature, which the truth of God, works of God, 
communion of saints, the mystery of godliness, the consideration of the 
terror of the Lord, of the excellency of the state of a Christian, and con 
versation suitable, do abundantly minister. They discover to us a necessity 
of daily purging and pardoning grace, and of seeking to be found in Christ, 
and so bring the best often upon their knees. 

But our chief comfort is, that our blessed Saviour, as he bade Satan avaunt 
from himself after he had given way awhile to his impudency, Mat. iv. 10 ; 
so he will command him to be gone from us, when it shall be good for us ; 
he must be gone at a word. And he can and will likewise in his due time 
rebuke the rebellious and extravagant stirrings of our hearts, and bring all 
the thoughts of the inner man in subjection to himself. 

4. Some think, when they begin once to be troubled with the smoke of 
corruption more than they were before, therefore they are worse than they 
were. It is true, that corruptions appear now more than before, but they 
are less. 

For, first, sin, the more it is seen the more it is hated, and thereupon is the 
less. Motes are in a room before the sun shines, but they then only appear. 

Secondly, contraries, the nearer they are one to another, the sharper is 
the conflict betwixt them : now of all enemies the spirit and the flesh are 
nearest one to another, being both in the soul of a regenerate man, and in 
faculties of the soul, and in every action that springeth from those faculties, 
and therefore it is no marvel the soul, the seat of this battle, thus divided 
in itself, be as smoking flax. 

Thirdly, the more grace, the more spiritual life, and the more spiritual 



AND SMOKING FLAX. 65 

life, the more antipathy to the contrary ; whence none are so sensible of 
corruption, as those that have the most living souls. 

And fourthly, when men give themselves to carnal liberties, their corrup 
tions trouble them not, as not being bound* and tied up ; but when once 
grace suppresseth their extravagant and licentious excesses, then the flesh 
boileth, as disdaining to be confined ; yet they are better now than they 
were before. That matter which yields smoke was in the torch before it 
was lighted ; but it is not offensive till the torch begins to burn. Let such 
know, that if the smoke be once offensive to them, it is a sign that there 
is light. It is better to enjoy the benefit of light, though with smoke, than 
to be altogether in the dark. 

Neither is smoke so offensive, as light is comfortable to us, it yielding an 
evidence of truth of grace in the heart ; therefore, though it be cumbersome 
in the conflict, yet it is comfortable in the evidence . It is better corruption 
should offend us now, than by giving way to it to redeem a little peace with 
loss of comfort afterwards. Let such therefore as are at variance and odds 
with their corruptions, look upon this text as their portion of comfort. 



[CHAPTER XIII. Set upon Duties notwithstanding Weaknesses. .] 

Here is an use of encouragement to duty, that Christ will not quench 
the smoking flax, but blow it up. Some are loath to perform good duties, 
because they feel their hearts rebelling, and duties come off untowardly. 
We should not avoid gdod actions for the infirmities cleaving unto them. 
Christ looketh more at the good in them that he meaneth to cherish, than 
the ill in them that he meaneth to abolish. A sick man, though in eating 
he something increaseth the disease, yet he will eat, that nature may get 
strength against the disease ; so though sin cleaveth to what we do, yet let us 
do it, since we have to deal with so good a Lord, and the more strife we 
meet withal, the more acceptance. Christ loveth to taste of the good fruits 
that come from us, although they will always relish of the old stock. A 
Christian complaineth he cannot pray. I am troubled with so many 
distracting thoughts, ancl never more than now. But hath he put into 
thine heart a desire to pray ? He will hear the desires of his own Spirit 
in thee. * We know not what to pray for as we ought' (nor do anything elso 
as we ought), 'but the Spirit helpeth our infirmities, with inexpressible sighs 
and groans,' Rom. viii. 26, which are not hid from God. ' My groanings aro 
not hid from thee,' Ps. xxxviii. 9. God can pick sense out of a confused 
prayer. These desires cry louder in his ears than thy sins. Sometimes 
a Christian hath such confused thoughts, he can say nothing, but as a child 
crieth, Father, not able to shew what it needs, as Moses at the Red Sea. 

These stirrings of spirit touch the bowels of God, and melt him into 
compassion towards us, when they come from the spirit of adoption, and 
from a striving to be better. 

Object. Oh, but is it possible, thinketh the misgiving heart, that so holy 

lod should accept such a prayer ? 
Ins. Yes, he will accept that which is his own, and pardon that which 

)urs. 'Jonah prayed in the whale's belly,' Jonah ii. 1, being burdened 
with the guilt of sin, yet God heareth him. Let not, therefore, infirmities 
discourage us. St James takes away this objection, v. 17. Some might 
it, If I were as holy as Elias, then my prayers might be regarded ; 
* ' Bounded/ in G. 

VOL. I. E 



66 THE BRUISED REED 

but, saith he, ' Elias was a man of like passions to us,' he had his passions 
as well as we ; for do we think that God heard him because he was with 
out fault ? No, surely. But look we to the promises : * Call upon me in 
the day of trouble, and I will hear thee,' Ps. 1. 15; 'Ask and ye shall 
receive,' Matt. vii. 7 ; and such like. God accepteth our prayers, though 
weak. 1 . Because we are his own children, they come from his own Spirit. 
2. Because they are according to his own will. 3. Because they are offered 
in Christ's mediation, and he takes them, and mingleth them with his own 
odours, Eev. viii. 3. There is never a holy sigh, never a tear we shed, lost. 
And as every grace increaseth by exercise of itself, so doth the grace of 
prayer. By prayer we learn to pray. So, likewise, we should take heed 
of a spirit of discouragement in all other holy duties, since we have so gra 
cious a Saviour. Pray as we are able, hear as we are able, strive as we 
are able, do as we are able, according to the measure of grace received. 
God in Christ will cast a gracious eye upon that which is his own. Would 
St Paul do nothing, because 'he could not do the good he would ? ' Phil. iii. 
14. Yes, he * pressed to the mark.' Let us not be cruel to ourselves when 
Christ is thus gracious. 

There is a certain meekness of spirit whereby we yield thanks to God 
for any ability at all, and rest quiet with the measure of grace received, 
seeing it is God's good pleasure it should be so, who giveth the will and 
the deed, yet so as we rest not from further endeavours. But when, upon 
faithful endeavour, we come short of that we would be, and short of that 
others are, then know for our comfort, Christ will not quench the smoking 
flax, and that sincerity and truth, as before was said, with endeavour of 
growth, is our perfection. It is comfortable what God saith, ' He only 
shall go to his grave in peace, because there is some goodness,' 1 Kings 
xiv. 13, though but some goodness. Lord, I believe,' Mark ix. 24, with 
a weak faith, yet with faith ; love thee with a faint love, yet with love ; 
endeavour in a feeble manner, yet endeavour. A little fire is fire, though 
it smoketh. Since thou hast taken me into thy covenant to be thine of an 
enemy, wilt thou cast me off for these infirmities, which, as they displease 
thee, so are they the grief of my own heart ? 



[CHAPTER XIV. The Case of Indisposition Resolved, and Discouragements.] 

1. From what hath been spoken, with some little addition, it will not be 
difficult to resolve that case which some require help in, namely, whether 
we^oughtto perform duties, our hearts being altogether indisposed. For 
satisfaction we must know, 1, Our hearts of themselves do linger after 
liberty, and are hardly brought under the yoke of duty; and the more 
spiritual the duty is, the more is their untowardness. Corruption getteth 
ground, for the most part, in every neglect. It is as in rowing against the 
tide, one stroke neglected will not be gained in three ; and therefore it is 
good to keep our hearts close to duty, and not to hearken unto the excuses 
they are ready to frame. 

2. In the setting upon duty, God strengthened his own party that he 
hath in us. We find a warmness of heart, and increase of strength, the 
Spirit _ going along with us, and raising us up by degrees, until it leaveth 
us as it_were in heaven. God often delighteth to take the advantage of 
our indisposition, that he may manifest his work the more clearly, and that 
all the glory of the work may be his, whose all the strength is. 



AND SMOKING FLAX. 67 

3. Obedience is most direct when there is nothing else to sweeten the 
action. Although the sacrifice be imperfect, yet the obedience with which 
it is offered hath acceptance. 

4. That which is won as a spoil from our corruptions will have such a 
; degree of comfort afterwards, as for the present it hath of cumber. Feeling and 
i freeness of spirit is oft reserved until duty be discharged ; reward followeth 
! work. In and after duty we find that experience of God's presence which, 
1 without obedience, we may long wait for, and yet go without. This hin- 

dereth not the Spirit's freedom in blowing upon our souls when it listeth, 

; John iii. 8. For we speak only of such a state of soul as is becalmed, and 

' must row, as it were, against the stream. As in sailing, the hand must be 

to the stern, and the eye to the star ; so here, put forth that little strength 

we have to duty, and look up for assistance, which* the Spirit, as freely, so 

seasonably will afford. 

Caution. (1.) Yet in these duties, that require as well the body as 'the 
soul, there may be a cessation till strength be repaired. Whetting doth 
not let (d) t but fit. (2.) In sudden passions there should be a time to com 
pose and calm the soul, and to put the strings in tune. The prophet would 
have a minstrel to bring his soul into frame, 1 Sam. xvi. 16, 17. 

So likewise we are subject to discouragements in suffering, by reason of 
impatience in us. Alas ! I shall never get through such a cross. But if 
God bring us into the cross, he will be with us in the cross, and at length 
bring us out more refined ; we shall lose nothing but dross,- Zech. xiii. 9. 
Of our own strength we cannot bear the least trouble, and by the Spirit's 
assistance we can bear the greatest. The Spirit will join his shoulders to 
help us to bear our infirmities. * The Lord will put his hand to heave us 
up,' Ps. xxxvii. 24. ' You have heard of the patience of Job,' saith James, 
j chap. v. 11. We have heard likewise of his impatiency too ; but it pleased 
God mercifully to overlook that. It yields us comfort also in desolate con 
ditions, as contagious sicknesses, and the like, wherein we are more imme 
diately under God's hand. Then Christ hath a throne of mercy at our 
! bed's side, and numbers our tears and our groans. And, to come to the 
I matter we are now about, the Sacrament, f it was ordained not for angels, 
! but for men ; and not for perfect men, but for weak men ; and not for 
Christ, who is truth itself, to bind him, but because we are ready, by rea 
son of our guilty and unbelieving hearts, to call truth itself into question. 
Therefore it was not enough for his goodness to leave us many precious 
promises, but he giveth us seals to strengthen us ; and, what though we 
are not so prepared as we should, yet let us pray as Hezekiah did : ' The 
Lord pardon every one that prepareth his heart to seek the Lord God of 
his fathers, though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the 
sanctuary,' 2 Chron. xxx. 19. Then we come comfortably to this holy 
sacrament, and with much fruit. This should carry us through all duties 
with much cheerfulness, that, if we hate our corruptions, and strive against 
them, they shall not be counted ours. It is not I, saith St Paul, but ' sin 
that dwelleth in me,' Rom. vii. 17 ; for what displeaseth us shall never hurt 
us, quod non placet, non nocet, and we shall be esteemed of God to be that 
we love, and desire, and labour to be. What we desire to be we shall be, 
and what we desire truly to conquer we shall conquer ; for God will fulfil 
the desire of them that fear him, Ps. cxlv. 19. The desire is an earnest of 
thing desired. How little encouragement will carry us to the affairs of 

* 'Which .... afford/ not in A, B, but in E. 

t Marginal note This was preached at the Sacrament 



68 THE BRUISED REED 

this life ! And yet all the helps God offers will hardly prevail with our 
backward natures. Whence are, then, discouragements? 1. Not from 
the Father, for he hath bound himself in covenant ' to pity us as a father 
pitieth his children,' Ps. ciii. 13, and to accept as a father our weak endea 
vours ; and what is wanting in the strength of duty, he giveth us leave to 
take up in his gracious indulgence, whereby we shall honour that grace 
wherein he delights, as much as in more perfect performances. Possibilitas 
tua mensura tua. 

2. Not from Christ, for he oy office will not quench the smoking flax. 
We see* how Christ bestoweth the best fruits of his love upon persons, for 
condition mean, for parts weak, for infirmities, nay, for grosser falls, offen 
sive : first, thus it pleaseth him to confound the pride of flesh, which 
usually taketh measure of God's love by some outward excellency. Secondly, 
thus he is delighted to shew the freedom of his grace and his prerogative 
royal, that ' whosoever glorieth, may glory in the Lord,' 1 Cor. i. 31. 

In the eleventh to the Hebrews, among that cloud of witnesses, we see 
Kahab, Gideon, and Samson, ranked with Abraham the father of the faith 
ful, Heb. xi. 31, 32. Our blessed Saviour, as he was the image of his 
Father, so in this he was of the same mind, glorifying his Father for re 
vealing the mystery of the gospel to simple men, neglecting those that 
carried the chief reputation of wisdom in the world, Heb. xi. 31, 32. 

It isf not unworthy of the remembering that which Saint Augustine 
speakethj of a silly man in his time, destitute almost altogether of the use 
of reason, who when he was most patient of all injuries done to himself, 
yet from a reverence of religion he would not endure any injury done to 
the name of Christ ; insomuch that he would cast stones at those that 
blasphemed, and would not in that case spare his own governors ; which 
sheweth that the parts of none are so low, as that they are beneath the 
gracious regard of Christ ; where it pleaseth him to make his choice, and to 
exalt his mercy, he passeth by no degree of wit, though never so plain. 

3. Neither do discouragements come from the Spirit ; he helps our 
infirmities, and by office is a comforter, Rom. viii. 26. If he convinceth 
of sin, and so humbleth us, it is that he may make way to shew his office 
of comforting us. Discouragements, then, must come from ourselves and 
Satan, who laboureth to fasten on us a loathing of duty. 



[CHAPTER XV. Of infirmities. No cause of discouragement. In whom 
they are. And how to recover peace lost.] 

And among other causes of discouragement, some are much vexed with 
scruples, ^even against the best duties ; partly by distemper of body, helped 
by Satan's malice, casting dust in their eyes, in their way to heaven ; and 
partly from some remainder of ignorance, which like darkness breedeth , 
fears ; and as ignorance of other things, so especially of this merciful dis- ! 
position in Christ, the persuasion of which would easily banish false fears, ! 
they conceive^ of him as one sitting at a catch for all advantages against j 
them ; wherein they may see how they wrong not only themselves but his j 
goodness. This scrupulosity, for the most part, is a sign of a godly soul, ! 



'We see' .... to ' wisdom in the world.' This paragraph added first in B. 
T it is ... to never so plain.' This paragraph not in A, B, but in E. 
j Aug. de peccatorum meritis et remiss., lib. i. cap. 14 
$ ' Not from the Spirit,' in A. 



AND SMOKING FLAX. 69 

as some weeds are of a good soil : therefore are they the more to be pitied, 
for it is a heavy affliction, and the ground of it in most is not so much from 
trouble of conscience, as from sickness of fantasy. The end of Christ's 
coming was to free us from all such groundless fears. 

There is still in some, such ignorance of that comfortable condition we are 
in under the covenant of grace, as by it they are much discouraged. There 
fore we must know, 1, That weaknesses do not break covenant with God. 
They do not between husband and wife ; and shall we make ourselves more 
pitiful than Christ, who maketh himself a pattern of love to all other 
husbands ? 2. Weaknesses do not debar us from mercy, nay, they incline 
God the more, Ps. Ixxviii. 39. Mercy is a part of the church's jointure, 
' Christ marries her in mercy,' Hos. ii. 19. The husband is bound to bear 
with the wife, as ' being the weaker vessel,' 1 Pet. iii. 7 ; and shall we think 
he will exempt himself from his own rule, and not bear with his weak spouse ? 

3. If Christ should not be merciful to our infirmities, he should not have 
a people to serve him. 

Put case therefore we be very weak, yet so long as we are not found 
amongst malicious opposers and underminers of God's truth, let us not give 
way to despairing thoughts ; we have a merciful Saviour. But lest we 
flatter ourselves without ground, we must know that weaknesses are accounted 
either, 1, Imperfections cleaving to our best actions; or, 2, Such actions 
as proceed from want of age in Christ, whilst we are babes ; or, 3, 
From want of strength, where there hath been little means ; or, 4, They 
are sudden indeliberate breakings out, contrary to our general bent and 
purpose, whilst our judgment is overcast with the cloud of a sudden temp 
tation. After which, 1, we are sensible of our infirmity; 2, We grieve for 
it; 3, And from grief, complain; and 4, With complaining strive and labour 
to reform ; and 5, In labouring get some ground of our corruption. 

Weaknesses* so considered, howsoever they be matter of humiliation, 
and the object of our daily mortification, yet may stand with boldness with 
God, neither is a good work either extinguished by them, or tainted so far 
as to lose all acceptance with God. But to plead for an infirmity is more 
than an infirmity; to allow ourselves in weaknesses is more than a weakness. 
The justification of evil sealeth up the lips, so that the soul cannot call God 
Father with that child- like liberty, or enjoy sweet communion with him, 
until peace be made by shaming ourselves, and renewing our faith. Those 
that have ever been bruised for sin, if they fall they are soon recovered. Peter 
was recovered with a gracious look of Christ ; David by Abigail's words. 
Tell a thief or a vagrant that he is out of the ,way, he regards it not, because 
his aim is not to walk in any certain way, but as it serveth his own turn. 

For the further clearing of this, we must conceive, 1, That wheresoever 
sins of infirmity are, there in that person must be the life of grace begun. 
There can be no weakness, where there is no life. 2. There must be a 
sincere and general bent to the best things ; though for a sudden a godly 
man be drawn or driven aside in some particulars, yet by reason of that in 
terest the Spirit of Christ hath in him, and because his aims are right for 
the main, he will either recover of himself, or yield to the counsel of others. 
8. There must be a right judgment allowing of the best ways, or else the 
heart is rotten, and infuseth corruption into the whole conversation, so that 
all their actions become infected at the spring-head ; they justify looseness, 
and condemn God's ways, as too much strictness ; their principles whereby 
they work are not good. 4. There must be a conjugal love to Christ, so 
1 Weaknesses' . . to 'perfecteth his strength.' This paragraph first added in B 



70 THE BRUISED REED 

as upon no terms they will change their Lord and husband, and yield 
themselves absolutely over to be ruled by their own lusts, or the lusts of 
others. 

A Christian's carriage towards Christ may in many things be very offen 
sive, and cause some strangeness ; yet he will own Christ, and Christ him ; 
he will not resolve upon any way wherein he knows he must break with 
Christ. 

Where the heart is thus in these respects qualified, there we must know 
this, that Christ counteth it his honour to pass by many infirmities, nay, in 
infirmities he perfecteth his strength. There be some almost invincible 
infirmities,* as forgetfulness, heaviness of spirit, sudden passions, fears, &c., 
which though natural, yet are for the most part tainted with sin; of these, f 
if the life of Christ be in us, we are weary, and would fain shake them off, 
as a sick man his ague ; otherwise it is not to be esteemed weakness so 
much as wilfulness, and the more will, the more sin ; and little sins, when 
God shall awake the conscience, and * set them in order before us,' Ps. 1. 21, 
will prove great burdens, and not only bruise a reed, but shake a cedar. 
Yet God's children never sin with full will, because there is a contrary law 
of the mind, whereby the dominion of sin is broken, which always hath some 
secret working against the law of sin. Notwithstanding J there may be so 
much will in a sinful action, as may wonderfully waste our comfort after 
ward, and keep us long upon the rack of a disquieted conscience, God in his 
fatherly dispensation suspending the sense of his love. So much as we give 
way to our will in sinning, in such a measure of distance we set ourselves 
from comfort. Sin against conscience is as a thief in the candle, which 
wasteth our joy, and thereby weakeneth our strength. We must know, 
therefore, that wilful breeches in sanctification will much hinder the sense of 
our justification. 

Quest. What course shall such take to recover their peace ? 

Am. Such must give a sharp sentence against themselves, and yet cast 
themselves upon God's mercy in Christ, as at their first conversion. And 
now they had need to clasp about Christ the faster, as they see more need 
in themselves, and let them remember the mildness of Christ here, that will 
not quench the smoking flax. Offctimes we see that, after a deep humiliation, 
Christ speaks more peace than before, to witness the truth of this recon 
ciliation, because he knows Satan's enterprises in casting down such, lower, 
and because such are most abased in themselves, and are ashamed to look 
Christ in the face, by reason of their unkindness. We see God did not 
only pardon David, but after much bruising gave him wise Solomon to suc 
ceed him in the kingdom. We see in the Canticles, chap. vi. 44, that the 
church, after she had been humbled for her slighting of Christ, Christ 
sweetly entertains her again, and falleth into commendation of her beauty. 
We must know for our comfort that Christ was not anointed to this great 
work of the mediator for lesser sins only, but for the greatest, if we have 
but a spark of true faith to lay hold on him. Therefore, if there be any 
bruised reed, let him not except himself, when Christ doth not except him ; 
1 Come unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden,' &c., Matt. xi. 28. 
Why should we not make use of so gracious a disposition ? we are only 
therefore poor, because we know not our riches in Christ. In time of 
temptation, rather believe Christ than the devil, believe truth from truth 
itself, hearken not to a liar, an enemy, and a murderer. 



* A necessitatibus meis libera me Domine. Aug [ustine]. 
t ' If .... in us,' added in B. j Yet,' i: 



in A. 



; 



AND SMOKING FLAX. 71 



[CHAPTER XVI. Satan not to be believed, as he\epresenteth Christ unto its.] 

Since Christ is thus comfortably set out unto us, let us not believe Satan's 
representations of him. When we are troubled in conscience for our sins, 
his manner is then to present him to the afflicted soul as a most severe 
judge armed with justice against us. But then let us present him to our 
souls, as thus offered to our view by God himself, as holding out a sceptre 
of mercy, and spreading his arms to receive us. When we think of Joseph, 
Daniel, John the Evangelist, &c., we frame conceits of them with delight, as 
of mild and sweet persons ; much more when we think of Christ, we should 
conceive of him as a mirror of all meekness. If the sweetness of all flowers 
were in one, how sweet must that flower needs be ? In Christ all perfec 
tions of mercy and love meet ; how great then must that mercy be that 
Ibdgeth in so gracious a heart ? whatsoever tenderness is scattered in hus 
band, father, brother, head, all is but a beam from him, it is in him in the 
most eminent manner. We are weak, but we are his ; we are deformed, 
but yet carry his image upon us. A father looks not so much at the 
es of his child, as at his own nature in him ; so Christ finds matter 
from that which is his own in us. He sees his own nature in us : 
we are diseased, but yet his members. Who ever neglected his own mem 
bers because they were sick or weak ? none ever hated his own flesh. Can 
head forget the members ? can Christ forget himself ? we are his fulness, 
he is ours. He was love itself clothed with man's nature, which he 
united so near to himself, that he might communicate his goodness the more 
freely unto us ; and took not our nature when it was at the best, but when 
it was abased, with all natural and common infirmities it was subject unto. 
Let us therefore abhor all suspicious thoughts, as either cast in or 
cherished by that damned spirit, who as he laboured to divide between the 
er and the Son by jealousies, 'If thou be the Son of God,' &c., Matt. 
. 6, so his daily study is, to divide betwixt the Son and us, by breeding 
" persuasions in us of Christ, as if there were not such tender love in him 
to such as we are. It was his art from the beginning to discredit God with 
man, by calling God's love into question, with our first father Adam ; his 
success then makes him ready at that weapon still. 

Object. But for all this, I feel not Christ so to me, saith the smoking 
flax, but rather the clean contrary ; he seemeth to be an enemy unto me, I 
see and feel evidences of his just displeasure, 

Ans. Christ may act the part of an enemy a little while, as Joseph did, 
but it is to make way for acting his own part of mercy in a more seasonable 
time ; he cannot hold in his bowels long. He seemeth to wrestle with us, as 
with Jacob, but he supplies us with hidden strength, at length to get the 
better. Faith pulls off the vizard from his face, and sees a loving heart 
under contrary appearances. Fides Cliristo larvam detrahit. At first he 
answers the woman of Canaan crying after him not a word ; 2, Then gives 
her a denial ; 8, Gives an answer tending to her reproach, calling her dog, as 
being without the covenant ; yet she would not be so beaten off, for she 
considered the end of his coming. As his Father was never nearer him in 
strength to support him, than when he was furthest off in sense of favour 
to comfort him ; so Christ is never nearer us in power to uphold us, than 
when he seemeth most to hide his presence from us. The influence of the Sun 
of righteousness pierceth deeper than his light. In such cases, whatsoever 
Christ's present carriage is towards us, let us oppose his nature and office 




72 THE BRUISED KEED 

against it ; he cannot deny himself, he cannot but discharge tne office his 
Father hath laid upon him*' We see here the Father hath undertaken that 
he shall not < quench the smoking flax ;' and Christ again undertaking for 
us to the Father, appearing before him for us, until he presents us blame 
less before him, John xvii. 6, 11. The Father hath given us to Christ, 
and Christ giveth us back again to the Father. 

Object. This were good comfort, if I were but as smoking flax. 

Ans. It is well that thy objection pincheth upon thyself, and not upon 
Christ ; it is well thou givest him the honour of his mercy towards others, 
though not to thyself : but yet do not wrong the work of his Spirit in thy 
heart. Satan, as he slandereth Christ to us, so he slandereth us to our 
selves. If thou beest not so much as smoking flax, then why dost thou not 
renounce thy interest in Christ, and disclaim the covenant of grace ? This 
thou darest not do. "Why dost thou not give up thyself wholly to other con 
tents ? This thy spirit will not suffer thee. Whence come these restless 
groanings and complaints ? lay this thy present estate, together with this 
office of Christ to such, and do not despise the consolation of the Almighty, 
nor refuse thy own mercy. Cast thyself into the arms of Christ, and if 
thou perishest, perish there ; if thou dost not, thou art sure to perish. If 
mercy be to be found anywhere, it is there. 

Herein appears Christ's care to thee, that he hath given thee a heart in some 
degree sensible : he might have given thee up to hardness, security and profane- 
ness of heart, of all spiritual judgments the greatest. He that died for his 
enemies, will he refuse those, the desire of whose soul is towards him ? He 
that by his messengers desires us to be reconciled, will he put us off when we 
earnestly seek it at his hand ? No, doubtless, when he prevents us by kind 
ling holy desires in us, he is ready to meet us in his own ways. When the 
prodigal set himself to return to his father, his father stays not for him, but 
meets him in the way. When he prepares the heart to seek, he will cause his 
ear to hear,' Ps. x. 17. He cannot find in his heart to hide himself long from 
us. If God should bring us into such a dark condition, as that we should 
see no light from himself, or the creature, then let us remember what he 
saith by the prophet Isaiah, < He that is in darkness, and seeth no light,' 
Isa. 1. 10, no light of comfort, no light of God's countenance, ' yet let him 
trust in the name of the Lord.' We can never be in such a condition, 
wherein there will be just cause of utter despair ; therefore let us do as 
mariners do, cast anchor in the dark. Christ knows how to pity us in this 
case ; look what comfort he felt from his Father in his breakings, Isa. liii. 
5, the like we shall feel from himself in our bruising. 

The sighs of a bruised heart carry in them some report, as of pur affec 
tion to Christ, so of his care to us. The eyes of our souls cannot be towards 
him, but that he hath cast a gracious look upon us first. The least love we 
have to him is but a reflection of his love first shining upon us. As Christ 
did in his example whatsoever he gives us in charge to do, so he suffered in 
his own person whatsoever he calleth us to suffer, that he might the better 
learn to relieve and pity us in our sufferings. In his desertion in the 
garden, and upon the cross, he was content to want that unspeakable solace 
m the presence of his Father, both to bear the wrath of the Lord for a time 
ior us, and likewise to know the better how to comfort us in our greatest 
remities. God seeth it fit we should taste of that cup of which his Son 
rank so deep, that we might feel a little what sin is, and what his Son's 
love was ; but our comfort is, that Christ drank the dregs of the cup for 
us, and will succour us, that our spirits utterly fail not under that little 



AND SMOKING FLAX. 73 

taste of his displeasure which we may feel. He became not only a man, 

but a curse, a man of sorrows for us. He was broken, that we should not 

, be broken ; he was troubled, that we should not be desperately troubled ; 

, he became a curse, that we should not be accursed. Whatsoever may be 

i wished for in an all-sufficient comforter, is all to be found in Christ, 

1. Authority from the Father, all power was given him,' Matt, xxviii. 18. 

2. Strength in himself, as having his name the mighty God, Isa. ix. 6. 
8. Wisdom, and that from his own experience, how and when to help. 
4. Willingness, as being flesh of our flesh, and bone of our bone, Isa. ix. 6. 



[CHAPTER XVII. Eeproof of such as sin against this merciful disposition in 
Christ. Of quenching the Spirit.] 

We are now to take notice of divers sorts of men that offend deeply 
against this merciful disposition of Christ : as, 1, Such as go on in all ill 
courses of life upon this conceit, as if it were in vain to go to Christ, their 
lives have been so ill ; whenas so soon as we look to heaven, all encourage 
ments are ready to meet us and draw us forward. Amongst others this is 
one allurement, that Christ is ready to welcome us, and lead us further. 
None are damned in the church but those that will. Such as either enforce 
upon themselves hard conceits of Christ, that they may have some show of 
reason to fetch contentment from other things : as that unprofitable ser 
vant, Matt. xxv. 30, that would needs take up a conceit, that his master 
was a hard man ; hereby to flatter himself in his unfruitful courses, in not 
improving that talent which he had. 

2. Such as take up a hope of their own, that Christ will suffer them to 
walk in the ways to hell, and yet bring them to heaven : whereas all com 
fort should draw us nearer to Christ, else it is a lying comfort, either in 
itself or in our application of it. 

And 3. Those that will cast water themselves upon those sparks which 
Christ labours to kindle in them, because they will not be troubled with the 
light of them. 

Such must know that the Lamb can be angry, and they that will not 
come under his sceptre of mercy, shall be crushed in pieces by his sceptre 
of power, Ps. ii. 9. Though he will graciously tender and maintain the 
least spark of true grace, yet where he findeth not the spark of grace, but 
opposition to his Spirit striving with them, his wrath once kindled shall 
burn to hell. There is no juster provocation than when kindness is 
churlishly refused. 

When God would have cured Babylon, and she would not be cured, then 
she was given up to destruction, Jer, li, 9. 

When Jerusalem would not be gathered under the wing of Christ, then 
their habitation is left desolate, Matt, xxiii. 37, 38. 

When wisdom stretcheth out her hand and men refuse, then wisdom will 
laugh at men's destruction, Prov. i. 2(3. Salvation itself will not save those 
that spill the potion, and cast away the plaster. A pitiful . case, when this 
merciful Saviour shall delight in destruction : when he that made men shall 
have no mercy on them, Isa. xxvii. 11. 

0, say the rebels of the time, God hath not made us to damn us. Yes, 
if you will not meet Christ in the ways of his mercy, it is fit you should 
| eat the fruit of your own ways, and be filled with your own devices,' Prov. 



74 THE BRUISED REED 

This will be the hell of hell, when men shall think, that they have loved 
their sins more than their souls ; when they shall think, what love and 
mercy hath been almost enforced upon them, and yet they would perish. 
The more accessary we are in pulling a judgment upon ousselves, the more 
the conscience will be confounded in itself, when they shall acknowledge 
Christ to be without all blame, themselves without excuse. 

If men appeal to their own consciences, they will tell them, the Holy 
Spirit hath often knocked at their hearts, as willing to have kindled some 
holy desires in them. How else can they be said to resist the Holy Ghost, 
but that the Spirit was readier to draw them to a further degree of goodness 
than stood with their own wills ? whereupon those in the church that are 
damned are self-condemned before. So that here we need not rise to higher 
causes, when men carry sufficient cause* in their own bosoms. 

4. And the best of us all may offend against this merciful disposition, if 
we be not watchful against that liberty our carnal disposition will be ready 
to take from it. Thus we reason, if Christ will not quench the smoking 
flax, what need we fear that any neglect on our part can bring us under a 
comfortless condition ? If Christ will not do it, what can ? 

Ans. You know the apostle's prohibition notwithstanding, 1 Thess. v. 19, 
' Quench not the Spirit.' These cautions of not quenching are sanctified by the 
Spirit as means of not quenching. Christ performeth his office in not 
quenching, by stirring up suitable endeavours in us ; and none more soli 
citous in the use of the means than those that are most certain of the good 
success. The ground is this : the means that God hath set apart for the 
effecting of any thing, fall under the same purpose that he hath to bring 
that thing to pass ; and this is a principle taken for granted, even in civil 
matters ; as who, if he knew before it would be a fruitful year, would there 
fore hang up his plough and neglect tillage ? 

Hence the apostle stirs up from the certain expectation of a blessing, 
1 Cor. xv. 57, 58, and this encouragement here from the good issue of final 
victory is intended to stir us up, and not to take us off. If we be negligent 
in the exercise of grace received, and use of means prescribed, suffering our 
spirits to be oppressed with multitudes and variety of cares of this life, and 
take not heed of the damps of the times, for such miscarriage God in his 
wise care suffereth us oft to fall into a worse condition for feeling, than 
those that were never so much enlightened. Yet in mercy he will not suffer us 
to be so far enemies to ourselves, as wholly to neglect these sparks once 
kindled. Were it possible that we should be given up to give over all 
endeavour wholly, then we could look for no other issue but quenching ; 
but Christ will tend this spark, and cherish this small seed, so as he will 
preserve in the soul always some degree of care. If we would make a com 
fortable use of this, we must consider all those means whereby Christ doth 
preserve grace begun ; as first, holy communion, whereby one Christian 
heateth another ; < two are better than one,' &c., Eccles. iv. 9. Did not our 
hearts burn ?' Luke xxiv. 32, said the disciples. Secondly, much more ; 
communion with God in holy duties, as meditation and prayer, which doth 
not only kindle, but addeth a lustre to the soul. Thirdly, we feel by 
experience the breath of the Spirit to go along with the ministerial breath, 
whereupon the apostle knits these two together : < Quench not the Spirit ;' 
' despise not prophecies,' 1 Thess. v. 19, 20. Nathan by a few words blew 1 
up the decaying sparks in David. Kather than God will suffer his fire in 
us to die, he will send some Nathan or other, and something always is left 
* ' Of their own damnation,' in A and B. 



AND SMOKING FLAX. 75 

in us to join with the word as connatural to it ; as a coal that hath fire in 
it will quickly catch more to it : smoking flax will easily take fire. Fourthly, 
grace is strengthened by the exercise of it ; ' Up and be doing, and the Lord 
be with thee,' 1 Chron. xxii. 16, said David to his son Solomon : stir up 
the grace that is in thee, for so holy motions turn to resolutions, resolu 
tions to practice, and practice to a prepared readiness to every good work. 

Caution. Yet let us know that grace is increased in the exercise of it, 
not by virtue of the exercise itself, but as Christ by his Spirit floweth into 
the soul, and bringeth us nearer unto himself the fountain, and instilleth 
such comfort in the act, whereby the heart is further enlarged. The heart 
of a Christian is Christ's garden, and his graces are as so many sweet spices 
and flowers, which his Spirit blowing upon makes* them to send forth a 
sweet savour : therefore keep the soul open for entertainment of the Holy 
Ghost, for he will bring in continually fresh forces to subdue corruption, and 
this most of all on the Lord's day. John was in the Spirit on the Lord's 
day, even in Patmos, the place of his banishment, Rev. i. 10 ; then the 
gales of the Spirit blow more strongly and sweetly. As we look, therefore, 
for the comfort of this doctrine, let us not favour our natural sloth, ' but 
exercise ourselves to godliness,' 1 Tim. iv. 7, and labour to keep this fire 
always burning upon the altar of our hearts, and dress our lamps daily, and put 
in fresh oil, and wind up our souls higher and higher still : resting in a good 
condition is contrary to grace, which cannot but promote itself to a further 
measure ; let none turn this ' grace into wantonness,' Jude 4. Infirmities are 
a ground of humility, not a plea for negligence, not an encouragement to 
presumption. We should be so far from being ill, because Christ is good, 
as that those coals of love should melt us ; therefore those may well suspect 
themselves in whom the consideration of this mildness of Christ doth not 
work that way : surely where grace is, corruption is as ' smoke to their 
eyes, and vinegar to their teeth,' Prov. x. 29. And therefore they will labour 
in regard of their own comfort, as likewise for the credit of religion and the 
glory of God, that their light may break forth. If a spark of faith and 
love be so precious, what an honour will it be to be rich in faith ! Who 
would not rather walk in the light, and in the comforts of the Holy Ghost, 
than to live in a dark, perplexed estate ? and not rather to be carried with 
full sail to heaven, than to be tossed always with fears and doubts ? The 
present trouble in conflict against a sin is not so much as that disquiet 
which any corruption favoured will bring upon us afterward ; true peace is 
in conquering, not in yielding. The comfort in this text intended is for 
those that would fain do better, but find their corruptions clog them ; that 
are in such a mist, that ofttimes they cannot tell what to think of themselves ; 
that fain would believe, and yet oft fear they do not believe, and think that 
it cannot be that God should be so good to such sinful wretches as they are ; 

" yet they allow not themselves in these fears and doubts. 

5. And among others, how do they wrong themselves and him, that will 

r e other mediators to God for them than he ? Are any more pitiful than 
he, who became man to that end, that he might be pitiful to his own flesh ? 
Let all at all times repair to this meek Saviour, and put up all our suits in 
his prevailing name. What need we knock at any other door ? can any be 
more tender over us than Christ ? What encouragement have we to com 
mend the state of the church in general, or of any broken-hearted Chris 
tian, unto him by our prayers ? Of whom we may speak unto Christ, as 
they of Lazarus, Lord, the church which thou lovest, and gavest thyself 
* ' Maketh,' in A and B. 




76 THE BRUISED REED 

for, is in distress : Lord, this poor Christian, for whom thou wert braised, 
Isa. liii. 5, is bruised and brought very low. It cannot but touch his 
bowels when the misery of his own dear bowels is spread before him. 

6. Again, considering this gracious nature in Christ, let us think with 
ourselves thus : when he is so kind unto us, shall we be cruel against him 
in his name, in his truth, in his children ? how shall those that delight to 
be so terrible ' to the meek of the earth,' Zech. ii. 3, hope to look so gracious 
a Saviour in the face ? they that are so boisterous towards his spouse, shall 
know one day they had to deal with himself in his church. So it cannot 
but cut the heart of those that have felt this love of Christ, to hear him 
wounded who is the life of their lives, and the soul of their souls : this 
maketh those that have felt mercy weep over Christ, whom they have pierced 
with their sins. There cannot but be a mutual and quick sympathy between 
the head and the members. When we are tempted to any sin, if we will 
not pity ourselves, yet we should spare Christ, in not putting him to new 
torments. The apostle could not find out a more heart-breaking argument 
to enforce a sacrificing ourselves to God, than to conjure us by the mercies 
of God in Christ, Rom. xii, 1. 

7. This mercy of Christ likewise should move us to commiserate the 
state * of the poor church, torn by enemies without, and rending itself by 
divisions at home. It cannot but work upon any soul that ever felt com 
fort from Christ, to consider what an affectionate entreaty the apostle useth 
to mutual agreement in judgment and affection. ' If any consolation in 
Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels 
and mercies, fulfil my joy, be like-minded,' Phil. ii. 1 ; as if he should 
say, Unless you will disclaim all consolation in Christ, &c., labour to 
maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. What a joyful spec 
tacle is this to Satan and his faction, to see those that are separated from the 
world fall in pieces among themselves ! Our discord is our enemy's melody. 

The more to blame those that for private aims affect differences from 
others, and will not suffer the wounds of the church to close and meet 
together. Which must not be understood, as if men should dissemble 
their judgment in any truth where there is just cause of expressing them 
selves ; for the least truth is Christ's and not ours, and therefore we are 
not to take liberty to affirm or deny at our pleasures. There is a due in a 
penny as well as in a pound, therefore we must be faithful in the least 
truth, when season calleth for it. Then our ' words are like apples of gold 
with pictures of silver,' Prov. xxv. 11. One word spoken in season, will do 
more good than a thousand out of season. But in some cases peace, by 
' keeping our faith to ourselves,' Rom. xiv. 22, is of more consequence than 
the open discovery of some things we take to be true ; considering the 
weakness of man's nature is such that there can hardly be a discovery of 
any difference in opinion, without some estrangement of affection. So far 
as men are not of one mind, they will hardly be of one heart, except where 
grace and the peace of God, Col. iii. 15, "bear great rule in the heart : 
therefore open show of difference is never good but when it is necessary ; 
howsoever some, from a desire to be somebody, turn into by-ways, and 
yield to a spirit of contradiction in themselves ; yet, if St Paul may be 
judge, ' are they not carnal ? ' 1 Cor. iii. 3 ; if it be wisdom, it is wisdom 
from beneath : for the wisdom from above, as it is pure, so it is peaceable, 
James iii. 17. Our blessed Saviour, when he was to leave the world, what 
doth he press upon his disciples more than peace and love ? And in his 
* ' Estate,' in A and B. 



AXD SMOKING FLAX. 77 

last prayer, with what earnestness did he beg of his Father that ' they might 
be one, as he and the Father were one ! ' John xvii. 21. But what he 
prayed for on earth, we shall only enjoy perfectly in heaven. Let this 
make the meditation of that time the more sweet unto us. 

8. And further, to lay open offenders in this kind, what spirit shall we 
think them to be of, that take advantages of the bruisedness and infirmi- 
; ties of men's spirits to relieve them with false peace for their own worldly 
! ends ? A wounded spirit will part with anything. Most of the gainful 
' points of popery, as confession, satisfaction, merit, purgatory, &c., spring 
; from hence, but they are physicians of no value, or rather tormentors than 
| physicians at all. It is a greater blessing to be delivered from the ' sting of 
these scorpions,' Rev. ix. 5, than we are thankful for. Spiritual tyranny is 
the greatest tyranny, and then especially when it is where most mercy 
should be shewed ; yet even there some, like cruel surgeons, delight in 
making long cures, to serve themselves upon the misery of others. It 
bringeth men under a terrible curse, ' when they will not remember to shew 
mercy, but persecute the poor and needy man, that they might even slay 
the broken in heart,' Ps. cix. 16. 

Likewise, to such as raise temporal advantage to themselves out of the 
spiritual misery of others, join such as raise estates by betraying the 
church, and are unfaithful in the trust committed unto them : when the 
children shall cry for the bread of life, and there is none to give them, 
bringing thus upon the people of God that heavy judgment of a spiritual 
famine, starving Christ in his members ; shall we so requite so good a 
Saviour, who counteth the love and mercy shewed * in feeding his lambs,' 
John xxi. 15, as shewed to himself? 

Last of all, they carry themselves very unkindly towards Cnrist, who 
stumble at this his low stooping unto us in his government and ordinances, 
that are ashamed of the simplicity of the gospel, that count preaching 
foolishness. 

They, out of the pride of their heart, think they may do well enough 
without the help of the word and sacraments, and think Christ took not 
state enough upon him ; and therefore they will mend the matter with their 
own devices, whereby they may give the better content to flesh and blood, 
as in popery. What greater unthankfulness can there be than to despise 
any help that Christ in mercy hath provided for us ? In the days of his 
flesh, the proud Pharisees took offence at his familiar conversing with 
sinful men, who only did so as a physician to heal their souls. What 
defences was St Paul driven to make for himself, for his plainness in unfold 
ing the gospel ? The more Christ, in himself and in his servants, shall 
descend to exalt us, the more we should, with all humility and readiness, 
entertain that love, and magnify the. goodness of God, that hath put the 
great work of our salvation, and laid the government upon so gentle a 
Saviour, that will carry himself so mildly in all things wherein he is to deal 
betwixt God and us, and us and God. The lower Christ comes down to 
us, the higher let us lift him up in our hearts : so will all those do that 
j have ever found the experience of Christ's work in their heart. 

[C, 



[CHAPTER XVIII. Of Christ's judgment in us, and his victory, what it is.] 



M O 

I power, 



We come to the third part, the constant progress of Christ's gracious 
iwer, until he hath set up such an absolute government in us, which shall 



78 THE BRUISED SEED 

prevail over all corruptions. It is said here, he will cherish his beginnings 
of grace in us, until he bring forth judgment unto victory. By judgment 
here, is meant the kingdom of grace in us, that government whereby Christ 
sets up a throne in our hearts. Governors among the Jews were first 
called judges, then kings : whence this inward rule is called judgment ; as 
likewise, because it agrees unto the judgment of the word, which the psalm 
ist oft calleth judgment, Ps. Ixxii. 1, 2, because it agreeth to God's 
judgment. Men may read their doom in God's word, what it judgeth of 
them God judgeth of them. By this judgment set up in us, good is 
discerned, allowed, and performed ; sin is judged, condemned, and executed. 
Our spirit being under the Spirit of Christ, is governed by him, and so far 
as, it is governed by Christ, it governs us graciously. 

Christ and we are of one judgment, and of one will. He hath his will in 
us ; and his judgments are so- invested into us, as that they are turned into 
our judgment, we carrying 'his law in our hearts, written by his Spirit,' Jer. 
xxxi. 33. The law in the inner man and the law written, answer as counter 
panes each other. 

The meaning then is, that the gracious frame of holiness set up in our 
hearts by the Spirit of Christ, shall go forward until all contrary power be 
brought under. The spirit of judgment will be a spirit of burning, Isa. iv. 
4, to consume whatsoever opposed corruption like rust eats into the soul. 
If God's builders fall into errors, and build stubble upon a good foundation, 
God's Spirit, as a spiritual 'fire, will reveal this in time, 1 Cor. iii. 13,' and 
waste it. They shall, by a spirit of judgment, condemn their own errors 
and courses. The whole work of grace in us is set out under the name of 
judgment, and sometimes wisdom, because judgment is the chief and lead 
ing part in grace ; whereupon that gracious work of repentance is called 
a change of the mind,* and an after- wisdom. As on the other side, hi 
the learned languages, the words that do express wisdom imply likewise the 
general relish and savour of the whole soul,f and rather more the judgment 
of taste than of sight, or any other sense, because taste is the most neces 
sary sense, and requireth the nearest application of the object of all other 
senses. So in spiritual life, it is most necessary that the Spirit should 
alter the taste of the soul, so as that it might savour the things of the 
Spirit so deeply, that all other things should be out of relish. 

_ And as it is true of every particular Christian, that Christ's judgment in 
him shall be victorious, so likewise of the whole body of Christians the 
church. The government of Christ, and his truth, whereby he ruleth as 
by a sceptre, shall at length be victorious in spite of Satan, antichrist, 
and all enemies. Christ ' riding on his white horse,' Rev. vi. 2, hath a bow, 
and goeth forth conquering, Rev. xix. 11, in the ministry, that he may over 
come either to conversion or to confusion. But yet I take judgment for 
Christ's kingdom and government within us principally. 1. Because God 
especially requireth the subjection of the soul and conscience as his proper 
throne. 2. Because if judgment should prevail in all other J about us and 
not in our own hearts, it would not yield comfort to us ; hereupon it is the 
first thing that we desire when we pray, ' Thy kingdom come,' that Christ j 
would come and rule in our hearts. The kingdom of Christ in his ordi- ! 
nances serves but to bring Christ home into his own place, our hearts. 

Ik) words being thus explained, that judgment here includeth the govern- 

mt of both mind, will, and affections, there are divers conclusions that 
naturally do spring from them. 

* ttsravo/a. f <pow, yj sa pere. j 'Others,' in A and B. 



AND SMOKING FLAX. 79 



[CHAPTER XIX. Christ is so mild that yet he will govern those that enjoy \ 
the comfort of his mildness.] 

' The first conclusion from the connection of this part oi the verse with 
the former is, that Christ is upon those terms mild, so that he will set up 
his government in those whom he is so gentle and tender over. He so 
i pardons as he will be obeyed as a king ; he so taketh us to be his spouse, 
as he will be obeyed as a husband. The same Spirit that convinceth us of the 
necessity of his righteousness to cover us, convinceth us also of the neces- 
jsity of his government to rule us. His love to us moveth him to frame us 
;to be like himself, and our love to him stirreth us up to be such as he may 
| take delight in, neither have we any more faith or hope than care to be 
I purged as he is pure; he maketh us subordinate governors, yea, kings under 
1 himself, giving us grace not only to set against, but to subdue in some 
; measure our base affections. It is one main fruit of Christ's exaltation that 
j he may turn every one of us from our wickedness, Acts iii. 26. ' For this 
'end Christ died and rose again and liveth, that he should be Lord of 
jthe dead and living,' Rom. xiv. 9. God hath bound himself by an oath 
i that he would grant us, that ' without fear we might serve him in holiness 
iand righteousness in his sight,' Luke i. 75, not only in the sight of the 
i world. i 

1. This may serve for a trial to discern who may lay just claim to Christ's 
mercy ; only those that will take his yoke, and count it a greater happiness 
to be under his government, than to enjoy any liberty of the flesh ; that 
will take whole Christ, and not single out of him what may stand with their 

I present contentment ; that will not divide Lord from Jesus, and so make a 
| Christ of their own : none ever did truly desire mercy pardoning, but de- 
I sired mercy healing. David prayeth for a new spirit, as well as for sense 
of pardoning mercy, Ps. li. 10. 

2. This sheweth that those are misled, that make Christ to be only 
righteousness to us, and not sanctification, except by imputation : whereas 
it is a great part of our happiness to be under such a Lord, who was not 
only born for us, and given unto us, but * hath the government likewise 

; upon his shoulders,' Isa. ix. 6, 7, that is our Sanctifier as well as our Saviour, 
| our Saviour as well by the effectual power of his Spirit from the power of 
sin, as by the merit of his death from the guilt thereof; so that this, 1, Be 
remembered, that the first and chief ground of our comfort is, that Christ 
as a priest offered himself as a sacrifice to his Father for us. The guilty 
soul flieth first to Christ crucified, made a curse for us. Thence it is that 
Christ hath right to govern us, thence it is that he giveth us his Spirit as 
our guide to lead us home. 

2. In the course of our life, after that we are in state of grace, and be 
overtaken with any sin, we must remember to have recourse first unto 
Christ's mercy to pardon us, and then to the promise of his Spirit to 
govern us. 

3. And when we feel ourselves cold in affection and duty, it is the best 
way to warm ourselves at this fire of his love and mercy in giving himself 
for us. 

4. Again, remember this, that Christ, as he ruleth us, so it is by a spirit 
of love from a sense of his love, whereby his commandments are easy to us. 
He leadeth us by his free Spirit, a Spirit of liberty : his subjects are volun- 

I taries. The constraint that he layeth upon his subjects is that of love : he 



80 THE BRUISED REED 

draweth us with the cords of love sweetly. Yet remember withal, that he 
draweth us strongly by a Spirit of power, for .it is not sufficient that we 
have motives and encouragements to love and obey Christ from that love of 
his, whereby he gave himself for us to justify us ; but Christ's Spirit must 
likewise subdue our hearts, and sanctify them to love him, without which 
all motives would be ineffectual. Our disposition must be changed, we 
must be new creatures ; they seek for heaven in hell that seek for spiritual 
love in an unchanged heart. When a child obeys his father, it is so from 
reasons persuading him, as likewise from a child-like nature which giveth 
strength to these reasons : it is natural for a child of God to love Christ so 
far as he is renewed, not only from inducement of reason so to do, but like 
wise from an inward principle and work of grace, whence those reasons have 
their chief forces ; first, we are made partakers of the divine nature, and 
then we are easily induced and led by Christ's Spirit to spiritual duties. 



[CHAPTER XX. The spiritual government of Christ is joined with 
judgment and wisdom.] 

The second conclusion is, that Christ's government in his church and in ' 
his children is a wise and well-ordered government, because it is called 
judgment, and judgment is the life and soul of wisdom. Of this conclusion 
there are two branches : 1. That the spiritual government of Christ in us 
is joined with judgment and wisdom. 2. Wheresoever true spiritual wisdom 
and judgment is, there likewise the Spirit of Christ bringeth in his gracious 
government. For the first, a well-guided life by the rules of Christ standeth 
with the strongest and highest reason of all ; and therefore holy men are 
called the ' children of wisdom,' Luke vii. 81, and are able to justify, both 
by reason and experience, all the ways of wisdom. Opposite courses are j 
folly and madness. Hereupon St Paul saith, that a ' spiritual man judgeth ] 
all things,' 1 Cor. ii. 15, that appertain to him, and is judged of none that 
are of an inferior rank, because they want spiritual light and sight to judge ; 
yet this sort of men will be judging, and speaking ill of what they know 
not,' 2 Pet. ii. 12 ; they step from ignorance to prejudice and rash censure, 
without taking right judgment in their way, and therefore their judgment j 
comes to nothing. But the judgment of a spiritual man, so far forth as he ! 
is spiritual, shall stand, because it is agreeable to the nature of things : as 
things are in themselves, so they are in his judgment. As God is in him 
self infinite in goodness and majesty, &c., so he is to him ; he ascribes to 
God in his heart his divinity and all his excellencies. As Christ is in him 
self the only mediator, and all in all in the church, Col. iii. 11, so he is to 
him, by making Christ so in his heart. ' As all things are dung in com 
parison of Christ,' Phil. iii. 8, so they are to Paul, a sanctified man. As 
the very worst thing in religion, < the reproach of Christ is better than the ( 
pleasure of sin for a season,' Heb. xi. 26; so it is to Moses, a man of a right; 
esteem. < As one day in the courts of God is better than a thousand else-! 
where/ Ps. Ixxxiv. 10, so it is to David, a man of a reformed judgment.' 
There is a conformity of a good man's judgment to things as they are inj 
themselves, and according to the difference or agreement put by God in' 
things, so doth his judgment differ or agree. 

Truth is truth, and error, error, and that which is unlawful is unlawful! 
whether men think so or no. God hath put an eternal difference betwitf ,' 
light and darkness, good and ill, which no creature's conceit can alter; and 



AND SMOKING FLAX. 81 

therefore no man's judgment is the measure of things further than it agrees 
to truth stamped upon things themselves by God. Hereupon, because a 
wise man's judgment agrees to the truth of things, a wise man may in some 
i sense be said to be the measure of things ; and the judgment of one holy 
'wise man to be preferred before a thousand others. Such men usually are 
immoveable as the sun in its course, because they think, and speak, and 
ilive by rule. ' A Joshua and his house will serve God,' Josh. xxiv. 15, 
whatsoever others do, and will run a course contrary to the world, because 
their judgments lead them a contrary way. Hence it is that Satan hath a 
ispite at the eye of the soul, the judgment, to put out that by ignorance and 
[false reason, for he cannot rule in any until either he hath taken away or 
iperverted judgment : he is a prince of darkness, and ruleth in darkness of 
jthe understanding, Therefore he must first be cast out of the understand* 
ling by the prevailing of truth, and planting it in the soul. Those therefore 
that are enemies of knowledge help Satan and antichrist, whose kingdom, 
'like Satan's, is a kingdom of darkness, to erect their throne. Hence it is 
1 promised by Christ, that ' the Holy Ghost shall convince the world of judg- 
iment,' John xvi. 8; that is, that he is resolved to set up a throne of 
i government, because the great lord of misrule, ' Satan, the prince of the 
i world,' is judged by the gospel, and the Spirit accompanying it, his im- 
I postures are discovered, his enterprises laid open ; therefore when the gospel 
i was spread, the oracles ceased, * Satan fell from heaven like lightning,' 
i Luke x. 18 ; men were < translated out of his kingdominto Christ's,' Col. i. 13. 
| Where prevailing is by lies, there discovery is victory ; ' they shall proceed 
no further, for their folly shall be manifest to all,' 2 Tim. iii. 9. So that 
manifestation of error giveth a stop to it, for none will willingly be deceived. 
Let truth have full scope without check or restraint, and let Satan and his 
instruments do their worst, they shall not prevail ; as Jerome saith of the 
i Pelagians in his time.* The discovery of your opinions is the vanquishing 
of them, your blasphemies appear at the first blush. 

Use. Hence we learn the necessity, that the understanding be principled 
with supernatural knowledge, for the well managing of a Christian con 
versation. 

There must be light to discover a further end than nature, for which we 
are Christians, and a rule suitable directing to that end, which is the will 
of God in Christ, discovering his good pleasure toward us, and our duty to 
wards him ; and in virtue of this discovery we do all that we do, that any way 
may further our reckoning : ' The eye must first be single, and then the whole 
body and frame of our conversation will be light,' Matt. vi. 22 ; otherwise both 
j we and our course of life are nothing but darkness. The whole conversation of a 
! Christian is nothing else but knowledge digested into will, affection, and 
practice. If the first concoction in the stomach be not good, that in the 
liver cannot be good ; so if there be error in the judgment, it mars the 
whole practice, as an error in the foundation doth the building : God will 
have ' no blind sacrifices, no unreasonable services,' Mai. i. 13, but will 
have us to 'love him with all our mind,' Rom. xii. 1, that is, wih our 
understanding part, as well as ' with all our hearts,' Luke x. 27, that is, 
the affecting part of the soul. 

This order of Christ's government by judgment is agreeable ilnto the 
soul, and God delighteth to preserve the manner of working peculiar unto 
man, that is, to do what he doth out of judgment : as grace supposeth 

* Sententias vestras prodidisse, superasse est. Hieron. in Epist. ad Ctesiphon : 
rima froute apparent blasphemiae. 

VOL. i. F 



82 THE BRUISED REED 

nature as founded upon it, so the frame of grace preserveth the frame of 
nature in man. And, therefore Christ bringeth all that is good in the 
soul through judgment, and that so sweetly, that many out of a dangerous 
error think, that that good which is in them and issueth from them is from 
themselves, and not from the powerful work of grace. As in evil, the devil 
so subtilly leadeth us according to the stream of our own nature, that men 
think that Satan had no hand in their sin ; but here a mistake is with little 
peril, because we are ill of ourselves, and the devil doth but promote what 
ill he findeth in us. But there are no seeds of supernatural goodness at ail 
in us. God findeth nothing in us but enmity ; only he hath engraven this 
in our nature to incline in general to that which we judge to be good. 
Now when he shall clearly discover what is good in particular, we are 
carried to it ; and when convincingly he shall discover that which is ill, we 
abhor it as freely as we embraced it before. 

From whence we may know, when we work as we should do or no, that 
is, when we do what we do out of inward principles, when we fall not upoft 
that which is good, only because we are so bred, or because such or such 
whom we respect do so, or because we will maintain a side, so making 
religion a faction ; but out of judgment, when what we do that is good, we 
first judge it in ourselves so to be ; and what we abstain from that is ill, we 
first judge it to be ill from an inward judgment. A sound Christian, as he 
enjoyeth the better part, so hath first made choice of it with Mary, Luke 
x. 42 ; he established all his thoughts by counsel, Prov. xx. 18. God 
indeed useth carnal men to very good service, but without a thorough 
altering and conviction of their judgment.* He worketh by them, but not 
in them, therefore they do neither approve the good they do, nor hate the 
evil thev abstain from. 



[CHAPTER XXI. Where true wisdom and judgment is, there Christ sets up 

his government.] 

The second branch is, that wheresoever true wisdom and judgment is, 
there Christ hath set up his government ; because where wisdom is, it directs 
us not only to understand, but to order our ways aright. Where Christ by 
his Spirit as a prophet teaches, he likewise as a king by his Spirit subdueth 
the heart to obedience of what is taught. This is that teaching which is 
promised of God, when not only the brain, but the heart itself, is taught : 
when men do not only know what they should do, but are taught the very 
doing of it; they are not only taught that they should love, fear, and obey, 
but they are taught love itself, and fear and obedience itself. Christ sets 
up his chair in the very heart, and alters the frame of that, and makes his 
subjects good, together with teaching of them to be good. Other princes 
can make good laws, but they ' cannot write them in their people's hearts,' 
Jer. xxxii. 40. This is Christ's prerogative, he infuseth into his subjects his 
own Spirit, Upon him there doth not only rest the spirit of wisdom and 
understanding, but likewise the spirit of the fear of the Lord,' Isa. xi. 2. 
The knowledge which we have of him from himself, is a transforming know 
ledge, 2 Cor. iii. 18. The same Spirit that enlighteneth the mind, inspireth 
gracious inclinations into the will and affections, and infuseth strength 
into the whole man. As a gracious man judgeth as he should, so he 
aflecteth and doth as he judgeth, his life is a commentary of his inward 
* ' Judgments,' in A and B. 



AND SMOKING FLAX. 83 

man ; there is a sweet harmony betwixt God's truth, his judgment, and his 
whole conversation. The heart of a Christian is like Jerusalem when it 
was at the best, a city compact within itself, Psa. cxii. 3 ; where are set up 
the thrones of judgment, Ps. cxxii. 5. Judgment should have a throne in 
the heart of every Christian. Not that judgment alone will work a change, 
there must be grace to alter the bent and sway of the will, before it will 
yield to be wrought upon by the understanding. But God hath so joined 
these together, as that whensoever he doth savingly shine upon the under 
standing, he giveth a soft and pliable heart ; for without a work upon the 
iheart by the Spirit of God, it will follow its own inclination to that which it 
affecteth, whatsoever the judgment shall say to the contrary : there is no 
connatural proportion betwixt an unsanctified heart and a sanctified judg- 
iment. For the heart unaltered will not give leave to the judgment coldly 
land soberly to conclude what is best : as the sick man whilst his aguish 
distemper corrupteth his taste, is rather desirous to please that, than to 
Ihearken what the physician shall speak. Judgment hath not power over 
jitself where the will is unsubdued, for the will and affections bribe it to give 
sentence for them, when any profit or pleasure shall come in competition 
jwith that which the judgment in general only shall think to be good ; and, 
'therefore, it is for the most part in the power of the heart, what the under- 
istanding shall judge and determine in particular things. Where grace hath 
ibrought the heart under, there unruly passions do not cast sucn a mist 
jbefore the understanding, but that in particular it seeth that which is best ; 
jand base respects, springing from self-love, do not alter the case, and bias 
I the judgment into a contrary way ; but that which is good in itself shall be 
Igood unto us, although it cross our particular worldly interests. 

Use. The right conceiving of this hath an influence into practice, 
which hath drawn me to a more full explanation : this will teach us the 
right method of godliness, to begin with judgment, and then to beg of God, 
! together with illumination, holy inclinations of our will and affections, that 
I so a perfect government may be set up in our hearts, and that our * know 
ledge may be with all judgment,' Phil. i. 9, that is, with experience and 
feeling. When the judgment of Christ is set up in our judgments, and 
thence, by the Spirit of Christ, brought into our hearts, then it is in its pro 
per place and throne ; and until then, truth doth us no good, but helpeth 
to condemn us. The life of a Christian is a regular life, and he that walketh 
by the rule, Gal. vi. 16, of the new creature, peace shall be upon him : 
' he that despiseth his way and loveth to live at large, seeking all liberty to 
the flesh, shall die,' Prov. xix. 16. And it is made good by St Paul, 'If 
we live after the flesh, we shall die,' Eom. viii. 13. 

We learn likewise, that men of an ill governed life have no true judg 
ment : no wicked man can be a wise man. And that without Christ's 
| Spirit the soul is in confusion, without beauty and form, as all things were 
in the chaos before the creation. The whole soul is out of joint till it be 
set in again by him whose office is to * restore all things.' The baser part of 
j the soul which should be subject, ruleth all, and keepeth under that little 
truth that is in the understanding, holding it captive to base affections ; and 
j Satan by corruption getteth all the holds of the soul, till Christ, stronger 
' than he, Cometh, and driveth him out, and taketh possession of all the 
owers and parts of soul and body, to be weapons of righteousness, to serve 
him, and then new lords new laws. Christ as a new conqueror changeth the 
fundamental laws of old Adam, and establisheth a government of his own. 




g4 THE BKUISED REED 

[CHAPTER XXII. Christ's government is victorious.] 

The third conclusion is, that this government is victorious. The reasons 

are : 

1. Because Christ hath conquered all in his own person first, and he is 
God over all, blessed for evermore ; and therefore over ' sin, death, hell, 
Satan, the world,' &c., Rom. ix. 5. And as he hath overcome them in 
himself, so he overcomes them in our hearts and consciences. We use to 
say, conscience maketh a man a king or a caitiff, because it is planted in us 
to judge for God, either with us or against us. Now if natural conscience 
be so forcible, what will it be when besides its own light it hath the light of 
divine truth put into it ? It will undoubtedly prevail, either to make us 
hold up our heads with boldness, or abase us beneath ourselves. If it 
subject itself by grace to Christ's truth, then it boldly overlooks death, 
hell, judgment, and all spiritual enemies, because then Christ sets up his j 
kingdom in the conscience, and makes it a kind of paradise. 

The sharpest conflict which the soul hath is between the conscience and j 
God's justice : now if the conscience, sprinkled with the blood of Christ, | 
hath prevailed over assaults fetched from the justice of God as now satisfied i 
by Christ, it will prevail over all other opposition whatsoever. 

2. We are to encounter with accursed and damned enemies ; therefore, i 
if they begin to fall before the Spirit in us, they shall fall : if they rise up j 
again, it is to have the greater fall. 

3. The Spirit of truth, to whose tuition Christ hath committed his 
church, and the truth of the Spirit, which is the sceptre of Christ, abide for 
ever ; therefore the soul begotten by the immortal seed of the Spirit, 1 Pet. 
i. 23, and this truth, must not only live for ever, but likewise prevail over 
all that oppose it, for both the word and Spirit are mighty in operation, 
Heb. iv. 12 ; and if the ill spirit be never idle in those whom God delivereth 
up to him, we cannot think that the Holy Spirit will be idle in those whose 
leading and government is committed to him. No ; as he dwelleth in them, \ 
so he will drive out all that rise up against him, until he be all in all. 

What is spiritual is eternal. Truth is a beam of Christ's Spirit, both in! 
itself and as it is ingrafted into the soul, therefore it, and the grace, thoughj 
little, wrought by it, will prevail. A little thing in the hand of a giant will; 
do great matters. A little faith strengthened by Christ will work wonders.j 

4. ' To him that hath shall be given,' Matt. xxv. 29 ; the victory over any' 
corruption or temptation is a pledge of final victory. As Joshua said wher 
he set his foot upon the five kings which he conquered, * Thus God shall d( 
with all our enemies,' Josh. x. 25 ; heaven is ours already, only we strive 
till we have full possession. 

5. Christ as king brings in a commanding light into the soul, and bows 
the neck, and softens the iron sinew of the inner man ; and where he begin 
to rule, he rules for ever, his kingdom hath no end,' Luke i. 33. 

6. The end of Christ's coming was to destroy the works of the devil, bot' 
for us and in us ; and the end of the resurrection was, as to seal unto nj 
the assurance of his victory ; so, 1, To quicken our souls from death i{ 
sin ; 2, To free our souls from such snares and sorrows of spiritual deat 
as accompany the guilt of sin ; 3, To raise them up more comfortable, | 
the sun breaks forth more gloriously out of a thick cloud ; 4, To raise ii 
out of particular slips and failings, stronger; 5, To raise us out of a. 
troublesome and dark conditions of this life ; and, 6, At length to raise 01! 



AND SMOKING FLAX. 85 

bodies out of the dust. For the same power that the Spirit shewed in 
raising Christ, our head, from the sorrows of death, and the lowest degree 
of his abasement ; the same power obtained by the death of Christ from 
IGod, now appeased by that sacrifice, will the Spirit shew in the church, 
which is his body, and in every particular member thereof. 

And this power is conveyed by faith, whereby, after union with Christ in 
.both his estates of humiliation and exaltation, we see ourselves not only 
I* dead with Christ, but risen and sitting together with him in heavenly places,' 
Eph. ii. 6. Now we, apprehending ourselves to be dead and risen, and 
thereupon victorious over all our enemies in our head, and apprehending 
ithat his scope in all this is to conform us to himself, we are by this faith 
(changed into his likeness, 2 Cor. iii. 18, and so become conquerors over all 
our spiritual enemies, as he is, by that power which we derive from him 
!who is the storehouse of all spiritual strength for all his. Christ at length 
[will have his end in us, and faith resteth assured of it, and this assurance 
is very operative, stirring us up to join with Christ in his ends. 

And so for the church in general, by Christ it will have its victory : 
Christ is ' that little stone cut out of the mountain without hands, that 
breaketh in pieces "that goodly image,' Dan. ii. 35, that is, all opposite 
! government, until it become ' a great mountain, and filleth the whole earth.' 
!o that the stone that was cut out of the mountain, becomes a mountain 
| itself at length. Who art thou, then, mountain, that thinkest to stand 
up against this mountain ? All shall lie flat and level before it : he will 
bring down all mountainous, high, exalted thoughts, and lay the pride of all 
flesh low. When chaff strives against the wind, stubble against the fire, 
when the heel kicks against the pricks, when the potsherd strives with the 
potter, when man strives against God, it is easy to know on which side the 
victory will go. The winds may toss the ship wherein Christ is, but not 
: overturn it. The waves may dash against the rock, but they do but break 
1 themselves against it. 

Object. If this be so, why is it thus with the church of God, and with 
i many a gracious Christian ? the victory seemeth to go with the enemy. 

Ans. For answer, remember, 1, God's children usually in their troubles 
1 overcome by suffering ; here lambs overcome lions, and doves eagles, by 
! suffering, that herein they may be conformable to Christ, who conquered 
| most when he suffered most ; together with Christ's kingdom of patience 
| there was a kingdom of power. 

2. This victory is by degrees, and therefore they are too hasty- spirited 
| that would conquer so soon as they strike the first stroke, and be at the end 
| of their race at the first setting forth ; the Israelites were sure of their vic- 

! tory in their voyage (/) to Canaan, yet they must fight it out. God would 
i not have us presently forget what cruel enemies Christ hath overcome for 
\ us ; * Destroy them not, lest the people forget it, saith the Psalmist, Ps. lix. 11. 
; That so by the experience of that annoyance we have by them, we might be 
kept in fear to come under the power of them. 

3. That God often worketh by contraries : when he means to give vic 
tory, he will suffer us to be foiled at first ; when he means to comfort, he 
will terrify first ; when he means to justify, he will condemn us first ; whom 

! he means to make glorious, he will abase first. A Christian conquers, even 
when he is conquered ; when he is conquered by some sins, he gets victory 
over others more dangerous, as spiritual pride, security, &c. 

4. That Christ's work, both in the church and in the hearts of Christians, 
I often goeth backward, that it may go the better forward. As seed rots in 



86 THE BRUISED EEED 

the ground in the winter time, but after comes better up, and the harder 
the winter the more flourishing the spring, so we learn to stand by falls, 
and get strength by weakness discovered virtutis custos infirmitas we take 
deeper root by shaking ; and, as torches flame brighter by moving, thus 
it pleaseth Christ, out of his freedom, in this manner to maintain his govern 
ment in us. Let us herein labour to exercise our faith, that it may answer 
Christ's manner of carriage towards us ; when we are foiled, let us believe 
we shall overcome ; when we are fallen, let us believe we shall rise again. 
Jacob, after he had a blow upon which he halted, yet would not give over 
wrestling,' Gen. xxxii. 24, till he had gotten the blessing; so let us never 
give over, but in our thoughts knit the beginning, progress, and end toge 
ther, and then we shall see ourselves in heaven out of the reach of all ene 
mies. Let us assure ourselves that God's grace, even in this imperfect 
estate, is stronger than man's free will in the state of first perfection, being* 
founded now in Christ, who, as he is the author, so will be * the finisher, of 
our faith,' Heb. xii. 2 ; we are under a more gracious covenant. 

That f which some say of faith rooted, fides radicata, that it continueth, 
but weak faith may come to nothing, seemeth to be crossed by this Scrip 
ture ; for, as the strongest faith may be shaken, so the' weakest where truth 
is, is so far rooted, that it will prevail. Weakness with watchfulness will stand 
out, when strength with too much confidence faileth. Weakness, with 
acknowledging of it, is the fittest seat and subject for God to perfect his 
strength in ; for consciousness of our infirmities driveth us out of ourselves 
to him in whom our strength lieth. 

Hereupon it followeth that weakness may stand with the assurance of 
salvation ; the disciples, notwithstanding all their weaknesses, are bidden 
to rejoice, Luke x. 20, that their names are written in heaven. Failings, 
with conflict, in sanctification should not weaken the peace of our justifica 
tion, and assurance of salvation. It mattereth not so much what ill is in 
us, as what good ; not what corruptions, but how we stand affected to them; 
not what our particular failings be, so much as what is the thread and tenor 
of our lives ; for Christ's mislike of that which is amiss in us, redounds not 
to the hatred of our persons,}: but to the victorious subduing of all our 
infirmities. 

Some have, after conflict, wondered at the goodness of God, that so little 
and shaking faith should have upheld them in so great combats, when Satan 
had almost catched them. And, indeed, it is to be wondered how much a 
little grace will prevail with God for acceptance, and over our enemies for 
victory, if the heart be upright. Such is the goodness of our sweet Saviour, 
that he delighteth still to shew his strength in our weakness. 

Use 1. First, therefore, for the great consolation of poor and weak 
Christians, let them know, that a spark from heaven, though kindled under 
greenwood that sobs (g) and smokes, yet it will consume all at last. Love once 
kindled is strong as death, much water cannot quench it, and therefore it 
is called a vehement flame, or flame of God, Cant. viii. 6, kindled in the 
heart by the Holy Ghost ; that little that is in us is fed with an everlast 
ing spring. As the fire that came down from heaven in Elias his time, i 
1 Kings xviii. 38, licked up all the water, to shew that it came from God, j 
so will this fire spend all our corruption ; no affliction without, or corrup 
tion within, shall quench it. In the morning we see oft clouds gather about | 
the sun, as if they would hide it, but the sun wasteth them by little and : 
little, till it come to its full strength. At the first, fears and doubts hinder, 
' And it is,' in A. f < That . . . lieth,' added first in B. J Person,' in A and B. ' 



AND SMOKING FLAX. 87 

the breaking out of this fire, until at length it gets above them all, and 
Christ prevails ; and then he backs his own graces in us. Grace conquers 
: us first, and we by it conquer all things else ; whether it be corruptions 
within us, or temptations without us. 

The church of Christ, begotten by the word of truth, hath the doctrine 
of the apostles for her crown, and tramples the moon, that is, the world, 
: and all worldly things, ' under her feet,' Rev. xii. 1 ; ' every one that is 
born of God overcometh the world,' 1 John v. 4. Faith, whereby espe 
cially Christ rules, sets the soul so high, that it overlooks all other things 
I as far below, as having represented to it, by the Spirit of Christ, riches, 
honour, beauty, pleasures of a higher nature. 

Now that we may not come short of the comfort intended, there are two 

I things especially to be taken notice of by us : 1. Whether there be such a 

I judgment or government set up in us, to which this promise of victory is 

t made. 2. Some rules or directions how we are to carry ourselves, that the 

judgment of Christ in us may indeed be victorious. 

The evidences whereby we may come to know that Christ's judgment in 

I us is such as will be victorious, are, 1, If we be able from experience to 

I justify all Christ's ways, let flesh and blood say what it can to the contrary, 

i and can willingly subscribe to that course which God hath taken in Christ, 

i to bring us to heaven, and still approve a further measure of grace than we 

I have attained unto, and project and forecast for it. No other men can 

i justify their courses, when their conscience is awaked. 2. When reasons 

of religion be the strongest reasons with us, and prevail more than reasons 

fetched from worldly policy. 3. When we are so true to our ends and fast 

to our rule, as no hopes or fears can sway us another way, but still we are 

looking what agrees or diners from our rule. 4. When we * can do nothing 

1 against the truth, but for the truth,' 2 Cor. xiii. 8, as being dearer to us 

than our lives ; truth hath not this sovereignty in the heart of any carnal 

man. 5. When if we had liberty to choose under whose government we 

would live, yet out of a delight in the inner man to Christ's government we 

would make choice of him only to rule us before any other, for this argues, 

that we are like-minded to Christ, a free and a voluntary people, and not 

compelled unto Christ's service, otherwise than by the sweet constraint of 

love. When we are so far in liking with the government of Christ's Spirit, 

that we are willing to resign up ourselves to him in all things, for then his 

kingdom is come unto us, when our wills are brought to his will. It is the 

bent of our wills that maketh us good or ill. 

6. A well ordered uniform life, not by fits or starts, shews a well ordered 
heart a m a clocjk when the hammer strikes well, and the hand of the dial 
points well, it is a sign that the wheels are right set. 7. When Christ's 
will cometh in competition with any earthly loss or gain, yet if then, in 
that particular case, the heart will stoop to Christ, it is a true sign ; for the 
.truest trial of the power of grace is in such particular cases which touch us 
nearest, for there our corruption maketh the greatest head. When Christ 
came near home to the young man, Matt. x. 22, in the gospel, he lost a 
disciple of him. 8. When we can practise duties pleasing to Christ, though 
contrary to flesh, and the course of the world, and when we can over 
come ourselves in that evil to which our nature is prone, and standeth 
so much inclined unto, and which agreeth to the sway of the times, and 
which others lie enthralled under, as desire of revenge, hatred of enemies, 
private ends, &c., then it appears that grace is in us above nature, heaven 
above earth, and will have the victory. 






88 THE BRUISED REED 

For the further clearing of this and helping of us in our trial, we must 
know there be three degrees of victory. 1. When we resist though we be 
foiled. 2. When grace gets the better though with couflict. 3. When all 
corruption is perfectly subdued. Now we have strength but only to resist, 
yet we may know Christ's government in us will be victorious, because 
what is said of the devil is said of all our spiritual enemies, ' If we resist, 
they shall in time fly from us,' James iv. 7 ; because ' stronger is he that 
is in us,' thattaketh part with his own grace, ' than he that is in the world,' 
1 John iv. 4. And if we may hope for victory upon bare resistance, what 
may we not hope for when the Spirit hath gotten the upper hand ? 

[CHAPTER XXIII. Means to make Grace victorious.] 

For the second, that is, directions. 

We must know, though Christ hath undertaken this victory, yet he ac- 
complisheth it by training us up to fight his battles ; he overcometh in us, 
by making us 'wise to salvation,' 2 Tim. iii. 15 ; and in what degree we 
believe Christ will conquer, in that degree we will endeavour by his grace 
that we may conquer ; for faith is an obedient and a wise grace. Christ 
maketh us wise to ponder and weigh things, and thereupon to rank and 
order them so as we may make the fitter choice of what is best. Some rules 
to help us in judging are these.: 

(1.) To judge of things as they help or hinder the main ; (2.) as they 
further or hinder our reckoning; (3,) as they make us more or less 
spiritual, and so bring us nearer to the fountain of goodness, God himself; 
(4.) as they bring us peace or sorrow at the last ; (5.) as they commend us 
more or less to God, and wherein we shall approve ourselves to him most ; 
(6.) likewise to judge of things now, as we shall do hereafter when the soul 
shall be best able to judge, as when we are under any public calamity, or 
at the hour of death, when the soul gathereth itself from all other things to 
itself. (7.) Look back to former experience, see what is most agreeable 
unto it, what was best in our worst times. If grace is or was best then, it 
is best now. And (8.) labour to judge of things as he doth who must judge 
us, and as holy men judge, who are led by the* Spirit ; more particularly, 
(9.) what those judge, that have no interest in any benefit that may come 
by the thing which is in question : for outward things blind the eyes even 
of the wise ; we see papists are most corrupt in those things where their 
honour, ease, or profit is engaged ; but in the doctrine of the Trinity, which 
doth not touch upon these things, they are sound. But it is not sufficient 
that judgment be right, but likewise ready and strong. 

1. Where Christ established his government, he inspireth care to keep 
the judgment clear and fresh, for whilst the judgment standeth straight and 
firm, the whole frame of the soul continueth strong and impregnable. 
True judgment in us advanceth Christ, and Christ will advance it. All sin 
is either from false principles, or ignorance, or mindlessness, or unbelief of 
true. ^ By inconsideration and weakness of assent, Eve lost her hold at first, 
Gen. iii. 6. It is good, therefore, to store up true principles in our hearts, 
and to refresh them often, that in virtue of them our affections and actions 
may be more vigorous. When judgment is fortified, evil finds no entrance, 
but good things have a side within us, to entertain them. Whilst true 
convincing light continueth, we will not do the least ill of sin for the greatest 
* ' His.' in A and B. 



AND SMOKING FLAX. 89 

ill of punishment. ' In vain is the net spread in the eyes of that which 
hath wings,' Prov. i. 17. Whilst the soul is kept aloft, there is little 
danger of snares below; we lose our high estimation of things before we 
,can be drawn to any sin. 

And because knowledge and affection mutually help one another, it is 
good to keep up our affections of love and delight, by all sweet inducements 

1 and divine encouragements ; for what the heart liketh best, the mind 
studieth most. Those that can bring their hearts to delight in Christ know 

:most of his ways. Wisdom loveth him* that loves her. Love is the best 
'entertainer of truth; and when it is not 'entertained in the love of it,' 

2 Thess. ii. 10, being so lovely as it is, it leaveth the heart, and will stay 
; no longer. It hath been a prevailing way to begin by withdrawing the love 
! to corrupt the judgment ; because as we love, so we use to judge ; and 
i therefore it is hard to be affectionate and wise in earthly things ; but in 
i heavenly things, where there hath been a right information of the judgment 
i before, the more our affections grow, the better and clearer our judgments 
I will be, because our affections, though strong, can never rise high enough 
I to the excellency of the things. We see in the martyrs, when the sweet 
i doctrine of Christ had once gotten their hearts, it could not be gotten out 
! again by all the torments the wit of cruelty could .devise. If Christ hath 
! once possessed the affections, there is no dispossessing of him again. A 

fire in the heart overcometh all fires without. 

3. Wisdom likewise teacheth us wherein our weakness lieth, and our 
enemy's strength, whereby a jealous fear is stirred up in us, whereby we 
are preserved ; for out of this godly jealousy we keep those provocations 
which are active and working, from that which is passive and catching in 

i us, as we keep fire from powder. They that will hinder the generation 
! of noisome creatures will hinder the conception first, by keeping male and 
i female asunder. This jealousy will be much furthered by observing strictly 
I what hath helped or hindered a gracious temper in us ; and it will make 
! us take heed that we consult not with flesh and blood in ourselves or others. 

How else can we think that Christ will lead us out to victory, when we 

take counsel of his and our enemies ? 

4. Christ maketh us likewise careful to attend all means whereby fresh 
thoughts and affections may be stirred up and preserved in us. Christ so 
honoureth the use of means, and the care he putteth into us, that he 
ascribeth both preservation and victory unto our care of keeping ourselves. 
'He that is begotten of God keepeth himself,' 1 John v. 18, but not by 
himself, but by the Lord, in dependence on him on the use of means. We 
are no longer safe than wise to present ourselves to all good advantages of 
acquaintance, &c. By going out of God's walks we go out of his govern 
ment, and so lose our frame, and find ourselves overspread quickly with a 
contrary disposition. When we draw near to Christ, James iv. 8, in his 
ordinances, he draws near unto us. 

5. Keep grace in exercise. It is not sleepy habits, but grace in exercise, 
that preserveth us. Whilst the soul is in some civil or sacred employment, 
corruptions within us are much suppressed, and Satan's passages stopped, 
and the Spirit hath a way open to enlarge itself in us, and likewise the 
guard of angels then most nearly attends us ; which course often prevails 
more against our spiritual enemies than direct opposition. It stands upon 

'"-'fit's honour to maintain those that are in his work. 

Sixthly, in all directions we must look up to Christ the quickening 
* < Them,' in A and B. 



90 THE BKUISED REED 

Spirit, and resolve in his strength. Though we are exhorted to < cleave to 
the Lord with full purpose of heart,' Acts xi. 23, yet we must pray with 
David, ' Lord, for ever keep it in the thoughts of our hearts, and prepare 
our hearts unto thee,' 1 Chron. xxix. 13. Our hearts are of themselves 
very loose and unsettled, Lord, unite our hearts unto thee to fear thy 
name,' Ps. Ixxxvi. 11, or else, without him, our best purposes will fall to 
the ground. It is a pleasing request, out of love to God, to beg such a 
frame of soul from him, wherein he may take delight ; and therefore in the 
use of all the means we must send up our desires and complaints to heaven 
to him for strength and help, and then we may be sure that ' he will bring 
forth judgment unto victory.' 

7. Lastly, it furthers the state of the soul, to know what frame it should 
be in, that so we may order our souls accordingly. We should always be 
fit for communion with God, and be heavenly-minded in earthly business, 
and be willing to be taken off from them, to redeem time for better things. 
We should be ready at all times to depart hence, and to live in such a con 
dition as we would be content to die in. We should have hearts prepared 
for every good duty, open to all good occasions, and shut to all temptations, 
keeping our watch, and being always ready armed. So far as we come 
short of these things, so far we have just cause to be humbled, and yet 
press forward, that we may gain more upon ourselves, and make these 
things more familiar and lovely unto us ; and when we find our souls any 
ways falling downwards, it is best to raise them up presently by some 
waking meditations, as of the presence of God, of the strict reckoning we 
are to make, of the infinite love of God in Christ, and the fruits of it, of 
the excellency of a Christian's calling, of the short and uncertain time of 
this life ; how little good all those things that steal away our hearts will do 
us ere long, and how it shall be for ever with us thereafter, as we spend 
this little time well or ill, &c. The more we give way for such considera 
tions to sink into our hearts, the more we shall rise nearer to that state of 
soul which we shall enjoy in heaven. When we grow regardless of keeping 
our souls, then God recovers our taste of good things again by sharp crosses. 
Thus David, Solomon, Samson, &c., were recovered. It is much easier 
kept than recovered. 
, Object. But, notwithstanding my striving, I seem to stand at a stay. 

Ans. 1. Grace, as the seed in the parable, grows, we know not how, yet 
at length, when God seeth fittest, we shall see that all our endeavour hath 
not been in vain. The tree falleth upon the last stroke, yet all the former 
strokes help it forward. 

Ans. 2. Sometimes victory is suspended because some Achan is not 
found out, Judges xx. 26, or because we are not humble enough, as Israel 
had the worst against the Benjamites till they fasted and prayed ; or be 
cause we betray our helps, and stand not upon our guard, and yield not 
presently to the motions of the Spirit, which mindeth us always of the best 
things, if we would regard it. Our own consciences will tell us, if we give 
them leave to speak, that some sinful favouring of ourselves is the cause. 
The way in this case to prevail is, 1, To get the victory over the pride of 
our own nature, by taking shame to ourselves, in humble confession to God; 
and then, 2, To overcome the unbelief of our hearts, by yielding to the 
promise of pardon; and then, 3, In confidence of Christ's assistance, to set 
ourselves against those sins which have prevailed over us ; and then pre 
vailing over ourselves, we shall easily prevail over all our enemies, and 
conquer all conditions we shall be brought into. 



AND SMOKING FLAX. 91 



[CHAPTER XXIV. All should side with Christ.] 

Use 2. If Christ will have the victory, then it is the best way for nations 
and states to ' kiss the Son,' Ps. ii. 12, and to embrace Christ and his religion, 
to side with Christ, and to own his cause in the world. His side will prove 
the stronger side at last. Happy are we if Christ honour us so much as 
to use our help * to fight his battle against the mighty,' Judges v. 23. True 
religion in a state is as the main pillar of a house, and staff of a tent that 
upholds all. 2. So for families, let Christ be the chief governor of the family ; 
and 3, Let every one be as a house of Christ, to dwell familiarly in, and to 
rule. Where Christ is, all happiness must follow. If Christ goeth, all will 
go. Where Christ's government in his ordinances and his Spirit is, there 
all subordinate government will prosper. Religion inspireth life and grace 
into all other things ; all other virtues, without it they are but as a fair pic 
ture without a head. Where Christ's laws are written in the heart, there 
all other good laws are best obeyed. None despise man's law but those 
that despise Christ's first. Nemo humanam autlwritatem contemnit, nisi 
qui divinam prius contempsit. Of all persons, a man guided by Christ is the 
best ; and of all creatures in the world, a man guided by will and affection, 
! next the devil, is the worst. The happiness of weaker things stands in 
being ruled by stronger. It is best for a blind man to be guided by him 
that hath sight, it is best for sheep, and such like shiftless creatures, to 
be guided by man, and it is happiest for man to be guided by Christ, be 
cause his government is so victorious that it frees us from the fear and 
danger of our greatest enemies, and tends to bring us to the greatest happi 
ness that our nature is capable of. This should make us to joy when 
Christ reigneth in us. When * Solomon was crowned, the people shouted,' 
so that the earth rang,' 1 Kings i. 39, 40. Much more should we rejoice 
in Christ our king. 

And likewise for those whose souls are dear unto us, our endeavour 
should be that Christ may reign in them also, that they may be baptized by 
Christ with this fire, Matt. iii. 11, that these sparks may be kindled in them. 
Men labour to cherish the spirit and mettle, as they term it, of those they 
train up, because they think they will have use of it in the manifold affairs 
and troubles of this life. Oh, but let us cherish the sparks of grace in 
them ; for a natural spirit in great troubles will fail, but these sparks will 
make them conquerors over the greatest evils. 

Use 3. If Christ's judgment shall be victorious, then popery, being an 
opposite frame, set up by the wit of man to maintain stately idleness, must 
fall. And it is fallen already in the hearts of those upon whom Christ 
hath shined. It is a lie, and founded upon a lie, upon the infallible judg 
ment of a man subject to sin and error. When that which is taken for a 
principle of truth becomes a principle of error, the more relying upon it, 
the more danger. 



[CHAPTER XXV. Christ's government shall be openly victorious.] 

It is not only said, judgment shall be victorious, but that Christ mill bring 
it openly forth to victory. Whence we observe that grace shall be glory, 
and run into the eyes of all. Now Christ doth conquer, and hath his own 

Is, but it is in some sort invisiblv. His enemies within and without us 



92 THE BRUISED REED 

seem to have the better. But he will bring forth judgment unto victory, 
to the view of all. The wicked that now shut their eyes shall see it to 
their torment. It shall not be in the power of subtle men to see or not see 
what they would. Christ will have power over their hearts ; and as his 
wrath shall immediately seize upon their souls against their wills, so will he 
have power over the eyes of their souls, to see and know what will increase 
their misery. Grief shall be fastened to all their senses, and their senses 
to grief. 

Then all the false glosses which they put upon things shall be wiped off. 
Men are desirous to have the reputation of good, and yet the sweetness of 
ill ; nothing so cordially opposed by them as that truth which layeth them 
open to themselves, and to the eyes of others, their chief care being how to 
daub with the world and their own consciences. But the time will come 
when they shall be driven out of this fools' paradise, and the more subtle 
their conveyance of things hath been, the more shall be their shame. 
Christ, whom God hath chosen to set forth the chief glory of his excellen 
cies, is now veiled in regard of his body the church, but will come ere long 
to be glorious in his saints, 2 Thess. i. 10, and not lose the clear manifesta 
tion of any of his attributes ; and will declare to all the world what he is, 
when there shall be no glory but that of Christ and his spouse. Those 
that are as smoking flax now shall then * shine as the sun in the firmament,' 
Matt. xiii. 43, and their 'righteousness break forth as the noon-day,' Ps. 
xxxvii. 6. 

The image of God in Adam had a commanding majesty in it, so^that all 
creatures reverenced him ; much more shall the image of God in the per 
fection of it command respect in all. Even now there is a secret awe put 
into the hearts of the greatest, towards those in whom they see any grace 
to shine, from whence it was that Herod feared John Baptist ; but what 
will this be in their day of bringing forth, which is called ' the day of the 
revelation of the sons of God ?' Rom. viii. 19. 

There will be more glorious times when ' the kingdoms of the earth shall 
be the Lord Jesus Christ's,' Rev. xi. 10, and he shall reign for ever ; then 
shall judgment and truth have its victory ; then Christ will plead his own 
cause; truth shall no longer be called heresy and schism, nor heresy 
catholic doctrine ; wickedness shall no longer go masked and disguised ; 
goodness shall appear in its own lustre, and shine in its own beams ; things 
shall be what they are, 'nothing is hidden but shall be laid open,' Matt. x. 
26 ; iniquity shall not be carried in a mystery any longer ; deep dissemblers 
that think to hide their counsels from the Lord shall walk no longer in 
visible as in the clouds. As * Christ will not quench the least spark kindled 
by himself, so will he damp the fairest blaze of goodly appearances which 
are not from above. 

Use. If this were believed, men would make more account of sincerity, 
which will only give us boldness, and not seek for covershames ; the con 
fidence whereof, as it maketh men now more presumptuous, so it will ex 
pose them hereafter to the greater shame. 

If judgment shaU be brought forth to victory, then those that have been 
ruled by their own deceitful hearts and a spirit of error, shall be brought 
forth to disgrace ; that God that hath joined grace and truth with honour, 
hath joined sin and shame together at last ; aU the wit and power of man 
can never be able to sever what God hath coupled. Truth and piety may 
be trampled upon for a time, but as the two witnesses, Rev. xi. 11, after 
* ' As Christ .... above/ not in A, B, but in E. 



AND SMOKING FLAX. 93 

they were slain rose again, and stood upon their feet, so whatsoever is of 
God shall at length stand upon its own bottom. There shall be a resurrec 
tion not only of bodies but of credits. Can we think that he that threw 
the angels out of heaven will suffer dust and worms' meat to run a contrary 
course, and to carry it away always so ? No ; as verily as Christ is ' King 
of kings and Lord of lords,' Kev. xix. 16, so will he dash all those pieces 
of earth 'which rise up against him, as a potter's vessel,' Ps. ii. 9. Was 
there ever any fierce against God and prospered ? Job ix. 4. No ; doubt 
less the rage of man shall turn to Christ's praise, Ps. Ixxvi. 10. What 
was said of Pharaoh shall be said of all heady enemies, who had rather lose 
their souls than their wills, that they are but raised up for Christ to get 
himself glory in their confusion. 

Let us, then, take heed that we follow not the ways of those men, whose 
ends we shall tremble at ; there is not a more fearful judgment can befal 
the nature of man, than to be given up to a reprobate judgment of persons 
and things, because it cometh under a woe * to call ill good, and good ill,' 
Isa. v. 20. 

How will they be laden with curses another day, that abuse the judgment 
of others by sophistry and flattery, deceivers and being deceived ? 2 Tim. 
iii. 13. Then the complaint of our first mother Eve will be taken up but 
fruitlessly, Gen. xiii. 3 ; the serpent hath deceived me ; Satan in such and 
such hath deceived me ; sin hath deceived me ; a foolish heart hath de 
ceived me. It is one of the highest points of wisdom to consider upon what 
grounds we venture our souls. Happy men will they be, who have by Christ's 
light a right judgment of things, and suffer that judgment to prevail over 
their hearts. 

The soul of most men is drowned in their senses and carried away with 
opinions, raised from vulgar mistakes and shadows of things. And 

,tan is ready to enlarge the imagination of outward good and outward ill, 
and make it greater than it is, and spiritual things less, presenting them 
through false glasses. And so men, trusting in vanity, vanquish themselves 
in their own apprehensions. A woful condition, when both we and that 
which we highly esteem shall vanish together, which will be as truly as 
Christ's judgment shall come to victory ; and in what measure the vain 
heart of man hath been enlarged, to conceive a greater good in things of 
this world than there is, by so much the soul shall be enlarged to be more 
sensible of misery when it sees its error. This is the difference betwixt a 
godly wise man and a deluded worldling ; that which the one doth now 
judge to be vain, the other shall hereafter feel to be so when it is too late. 
But this is the vanity of our natures, that though we shun above all things 
to be deceived and mistaken in present things, yet in the greatest matters 
~* all we are willingly ignorant and misled. 



[CHAPTEK XXVI. Christ alone advanceth this government.] 

The fifth conclusion is, that this government is set up and advanced by 
irist alone ; he bringeth judgment to victory. We both fight and prevail 
' in the power of his might,' Eph. vi. 10 ; we overcome by the Spirit, obtained 
'the blood of the Lamb,' Rev. xii. 11. 

It is he alone that teacheth our hands to war and fingers to fight,' Ps. 
cxliv. 1. Nature, as corrupted, favours its own being, and will maintain 
itself against Christ's government. Nature, simply considered, cannot raise 




94 THE BBUISED REED 

itself above itself to actions spiritual of a higher order and nature ; there 
fore the divine power of Christ is necessary to carry us above all our own 
strength, especially in duties wherein we meet with greater opposition ; for 
there not only nature will fail us, but ordinary grace, unless there be a 
stronger and a new supply. In taking up a burden that is weightier than 
ordinary, if there be not a greater proportion of strength than weight, the 
undertaker will lie under it ; so to every strong encounter there must be a 
new supply of strength, as in Peter, Matt. xxvi. 69, when he was assaulted 
with a stronger temptation, being not upheld and shored up with a 
mightier hand, notwithstanding former strength, foully fell. And being 
fallen, in our raisings up again it is Christ that must do the work, 1, By 
removing ; or 2, Weakening ; or 3, Suspending opposite hinderances ; 4, 
And by advancing the power of his grace in us, to a further degree than we 
had before we fell ; therefore when we are fallen, and by falls have gotten a 
bruise, let us go to Christ presently to bind us up again. 

Use. Let us know, therefore, that it is dangerous to look for that from 
ourselves which we must have from Christ. Since the fall, all our strength 
lies in him, as Samson's in his hair, Judges xvi. 17; we are but subordinate 
agents, moving as we are moved, and working as we are first wrought upon, 
free so far forth as we are freed, no wiser nor stronger than he makes us to 
be for the present in anything we undertake.* It is his Spirit that actuates 
and enliveneth, and applieth that knowledge and strength we have, or else 
it faileth and lieth as useless in us ; we work when we work upon a present 
strength ; therefore dependent spirits are the wisest and the ablest. No 
thing is stronger than humility, that goeth out of itself ; or weaker than 
pride, that resteth upon its own bottom, Frustra nititur qui non innititur; 
and this should the rather be observed, because naturally we affect a kind 
of divinity, affectatio divinitatis, in setting upon actions in the strength of our 
own parts; whereas Christ saith, 'Without me you,' apostles that are in a state 
of grace, * can do nothing,' John xv. 5, he doth not say you can do a little, 
but nothing. Of ourselves, f how easily are we overcome ! how weak to re 
sist ! we are as reeds shaken with every wind ; we shake at the very noise 
and thought of poverty, disgrace, losses, &c., we give in presently, we have 
no power over our eyes, tongues, thoughts, affections, but let sin pass in 
and out. How soon are we overcome of evil ! whereas we should overcome 
evil with good. How many good purposes stick in the birth, and have no 
strength to come forth ! all which shews how nothing we are without the 
Spirit of Christ. We see how weak the apostles themselves were, till they 
were endued with strength from above, Matt. xxvi. 69. Peter was blasted 
with the speech of a damsel, but after the Spirit of Christ fell upon them, the 
more they suffered, the more they were encouraged to suffer ; their com 
forts grew with their troubles ; therefore in all, especially difficult encounters, 
let us lift up our hearts to Christ, who hath Spirit enough for us all, in all 
our exigencies, and say with good Jehoshaphat, Lord, we know not what to 
do, but our eyes are towards thee,' 2 Chron. xx. 12 ; the battle we fight is 
thine, and the strength whereby we fight must be thine. If thou goest not 
out with us, we are sure to be foiled. Satan knows nothing can prevail 
against Christ, or those that rely upon his power ; therefore his study is, how 
to keep us in ourselves, and in the creature : but we must carry this always 
in our minds, that that which is begun in self-confidence will end in shame. 

* Sic se habent mortalium corda : quse scimus, cum necesse non est, in necessitate 
nescimus. er[nard~] de consid. 
t ' Of ourselves .... troubles,' added first in B. 



AND SMOKING FLAX. 95 

The manner of Christ's bringing forth judgment to victory, is by letting us 
see a necessity of dependence upon him ; hence proceed those spiritual de 
sertions wherein he often leaveth us to ourselves, both in regard of grace 
and comfort, that we may know the spring head of these to be out of our- 
' selves. Hence it is that in the mount, that is, in extremities, God is most 
\ seen, Gen. xxii. 13. Hence it is that we are saved by the grace of faith, 
,; that carrieth us out of ourselves to rely upon another ; and that faith worketh 
best alone, when it hath least outward support. Hence it is, that we often 
fail in lesser conflicts, and stand out in greater, because in lesser we rest 

more in ourselves, in greater we fly to the rock of our salvation, which is 
I higher than we, Ps. Ixi. 2. Hence likewise it is, that we are stronger after 
; foils, because hidden corruption, undiscerned before, is now discovered, and 
| thence we are brought to make use of mercy pardoning, and power sup- 
j porting. One main ground of this dispensation is, that we should know it 
i is Christ that giveth both the will and the deed, and that as a voluntary 

work* according to his own good pleasure. And therefore we should ' work 
; out our salvation in a jealous fear and trembling,' Phil. ii. 12, lest by 
; unreverent and presumptuous walking, we give him cause to suspend his 

gracious influence, and to leave us to the darkness of our own heart. 

Those that are under Christ's government have the spirit of revelation, 
i whereby they see and feel a divine power sweetly and strongly enabling 
them for to preserve faith, when they feel the contrary, and hope in a state 
hopeless, and love to God under signs of his displeasure, and heavenly- 
mindedness in the midst of worldly affairs and allurements, drawing a 
contrary way. They feel a power preserving patience, nay, joy in the 
midst of causes of mourning, inward peace in the midst of assaults. 
Whence f is it that, when we are assaulted with temptation, and when 
compassed with troubles, we have stood out, but from a secret strength 
upholding us ? To make so little grace so victorious over so great a mass 
of corruption, this requireth a spirit more than , human ; this is as tc 
preserve fire in the sea, and a part of heaven even as it were in hell. Here 
we know where to have this power, and to whom to return the praise of it. 
And it is our happiness, that it is so safely hid in Christ for us, in one so 
near unto God and us. Since the fall, God will not trust us with our own 
salvation, but it is both purchased and kept by Christ for us, and we for it 
through faith, wrought by the power of God, and laying hold of the same : 
which power is gloriously set forth by St Paul, 1, To be a great power; 2, 
An exceeding power; 8, A working and a mighty power; 4, Such a 
power as was wrought in raising Christ from the dead, Eph. i. 19. That 
grace which is but a persuasive offer, and in our pleasure to receive or 
refuse, is not that grace which brings us to heaven ; but God's people feel 
a powerful work of the Spirit, not only revealing unto us our misery, and 
deliverance through Christ, but emptying us of ourselves as being redeemed 
from ourselves, and infusing new life into us, and after strengthening us, 
and quickening of us when we droop and hang the wing, and never leaving 
us till perfect conquest. 



[CHAPTER XXYII. Victory not to be had without fighting '.] 

sixth conclusion is, that this prevailing government shall not be 
out fighting. There can be no victory where there is no combat. In 
1 Worker,' in A and B. f Whence ... us,' added in B. 




96 THE BRUISED REED 

Isaiah it is said, * He shall bring judgment in truth,' Is. xlii. 3 ; here it is 
said, he shall send forth judgment unto victory. The word ' send forth ' 
hath a stronger sense in the original (7i), to send forth with force ; to 
shew, that where his government is in truth, it will be opposed, until he 
getteth the upper hand. Nothing is so opposed as Christ and his govern 
ment, both within us and without us. And within us most in our con 
version, though corruption prevails not so far as to make void the powerful 
work of grace, yet there is not only a possibility of opposing, but a prone- 
ness to oppose, and not only a proneness, but an actual withstanding the 
working of Christ's Spirit, and that in every action, but yet no prevailing 
resistance so far as to make void the work of grace, but corruption in the 
issue yields to grace. 

There is much ado to bring Christ into the heart, and to set a tribunal 
for him to judge there ; there is an army of lusts [in] mutiny against him. 
The utmost strength of most men's endeavours and parts is to keep Christ 
from ruling in the soul ; the flesh still laboureth to maintain its own 
regency, and therefore it cries down the credit of whatsoever crosseth it, 
as God's blessed ordinances, &c., and highly prizeth anything, though 
never so dead and empty, if it give way to the liberty of the flesh. 

And no marvel if the spiritual government of Christ be so opposed : 1. 
Because it is government, and that limits the course of the will, and 
casteth a bridle upon its wanderings-; everything natural resists what 
opposeth it ; so corrupt will labours to bear down all laws, and counteth it 
a generous thing not to be awed, and an argument of a low spirit to fear 
any, even God himself, until unavoidable danger seizeth on men, and then 
those that feared least out of danger fear most in danger, as we see in 
Belshazzar, Dan. v. 6. 

2. It is spiritual government, and therefore the less will flesh endure it. 
Christ's government bringeth the very thoughts and desires, which are the 
most immediate and free issue of the soul, into obedience. Though a man 
were of so composed a carriage, that his whole life were free from outward 
offensive breaches, yet with Christ to be carnally or worldly-minded is 
death,' Eom. viii. 6 : he looketh on a worldly mind with a greater detesta 
tion than any one particular offence. * 

But Christ's Spirit is in those who are in some degree earthly-minded. 

Truth it is, but not as an allower and maintainer, but as an opposer, 
subduer, and in the end as a conqueror. Carnal men would fain bring 
Christ and the flesh together, and could be content with some reservation 
to submit to Christ ; but Christ will be no underling to any base affection ; 
and therefore, where there is allowance of ourselves in any sinful lust, it is 
a sign the keys were never given up to Christ to rule us. 

3. Again,! tins judgment is opposed, because it is judgment, and men 
love not to be judged and censured. Now Christ, in his truth, arraigneth 
them, giveth sentence against them, and bindeth them over to the latter 
judgment of the great day. And therefore they take upon them to judge 
that truth that must judge them ; but truth will be too good for them. 
Man hath a day now, which St Paul calls ' man's day,' 1 Cor. iv. 33, wherein 
he getteth upon his bench, and usurpeth a judgment over Christ and his 
ways ; but God hath a day wherein he will set all straight, and his judg 
ment shall stand. And the saints shall have their time, when they shall 

* Gravius est peccatum diligere quam perpetrare, &c. Greg[ory]. Moral, lib. 
t ' Again .... opposed,' added in B. 



AND SMOKING FLAX. 97 

sit in judgment upon them that judge them now, 1 Cor. vi. 2. In the 
mean time, Christ will rule in the midst of his enemies, Ps. ex. 3, even in 
the midst of our hearts. 

Use. It is therefore no sign of a good condition to find all quiet, and 
, nothing at odds ; for can we think that corruption, which is the elder in 
us, and Satan, the strong man that keepeth many holds in us, will yield 
1 possession quietly ? No ; there is not so much as a thought of goodness 
discovered by him, but he joineth with corruption to kill it in the birth. 
And as Pharaoh's cruelty was especially against the male children, so 
! Satan's malice is especially against the most religious and manly resolutions. 
This, then, we are always to expect, that wheresoever Christ cometh, 
(there will be opposition. When Christ was born, all Jerusalem was 
! troubled ; so when Christ is born in any man, the soul is in an uproar, and 
all because the heart is unwilling to yield up itself to Christ to rule it. 

Wheresoever Christ cometh he breedeth division, not only, 1, between 
man and himself; but, 2, between man and man ; and 3, between church 
! and church : of which disturbance Christ is no more the cause than physic 
| is of trouble in a distempered body, of which noisome humours are the 
I proper cause ; for the end of physic is the peace of humours. But Christ 
thinketh it fit that the thoughts of men's hearts should be discovered, 
and he is as well for the falling as the rising of many in Israel, Luke ii. 34. 
Thus the desperate madness of men is laid open, that they had rather be 
under the guidance of their own lusts, and by consequence of Satan himself, 
to their endless destruction, than put their feet into Christ's fetters, and 
their necks under his yoke ; whereas, indeed, Christ's service is the only 
| true liberty. His yoke is an easy yoke, his burden but as the burden of 
| wings to a bird, that maketh her fly the higher. Satan's government is 
i rather a bondage than a government, unto which Christ giveth up those 
that shake off his own, for then he giveth Satan and his factors power 
over them, since they will not ' receive the truth in love,' 2 Thess. ii. 20 : 
take him, Jesuit, take him, Satan, blind him and bind him and lead him to 
perdition. Those that take the most liberty to sin are the most perfect 
! slaves, because most voluntary slaves. The will in everything is either the 
1 best or the worst ; the further men go on hi a wilful course, the deeper 
! they sink in rebellion ; and the more they cross Christ, doing what they will, 
i the more they shall one day suffer what they would not. In the mean time, 
j they are prisoners in their own souls, bound over in their consciences to the 
I judgment of him after death, whose judgment they would none of in their 
lives. And is it not equal that they should feel him a severe judge to con 
demn them, whom they would not have a mild judge to rule them ? 

HAPTER XXVIII. Be encouraged to (jo on cheerfully, with confidence 
of prevailing.] 

'or conclusion and general application of all that hath been spoken, unto 
ourselves. We see the conflicting, but yet sure and hopeful state of God's 
people. The victory lieth not upon us, but upon Christ, who hath taken 
I upon him, as to conquer for us, so to conquer in us. The victory lieth 
neither in our own strength to get, nor in our enemies to defeat it. If it 
lay upon us, we might justly fear. But Christ will maintain his own 
government in us, and take our part against our corruptions ; they are his 
enemies as well as ours. ' Let us therefore be strong in the Lord, and hi 
the power of his might,' Eph. vi. 10. Let us not look so much who are our 
VOL. i. G 



98 THE BRUISED REED 

enemies, as who is our judge and captain, nor what they threaten, but 
what he promiseth. We have more for us than against us. What coward 
would not fight when he is sure of victory ? None are here overcome, but 
he that will not fight. Therefore, when any base fainting seizeth upon us, 
let us lay the blame where it is to be laid. 

Discouragement* rising from unbelief and ill report, brought upon the 
good land by the spies, moved God to swear in his wrath, that they should 
not enter into his rest. Let us take heed a spirit of faint-heartedness, 
rising from seeming difficulty and disgrace, cast upon God's good ways, 
provoke not God to keep us out of heaven. We see here what we may 
look for from heaven. beloved, it is a comfortable thing to conceive of 
Christ aright, to know what love, mercy, strength we have laid up for us in 
the breast of Christ. A good conceit of the physician, we say, is half the 
cure ; letf us make use of this his mercy and power every day, in our daily 
combats. Lord Jesus, thou hast promised not to quench the smoking flax, 
not to break the bruised reed ; cherish thine own grace in me, leave me not 
to myself, the glory shall be thine. Let us not suffer Satan to transform 
Christ unto us, to be otherwise than he is to those that are his. Christ will 
not leave us, till he hath made us like himself, ' all glorious within and 
without, and presented us blameless before his Father,' Jude 24. What a 
comfort is this in our conflicts with our unruly hearts, that it shall not 
always be thus ! Let us strive a little while, and we shall be happy for ever. 
Let us think when we are troubled with our sins, that Christ hath this in 
charge of his Father, ' that he shall not quench the smoking flax,' until he hath 
subdued all. This putteth a shield into our hands to beat back all ' the 
fiery darts of Satan,' Eph. vi. 16. He will object, (1.) thou art a great 
sinner; we may answer, Christ is a strong Saviour; but he will object, (2.) 
thou hast no faith, no love ; yes, a spark of faith and love ; but (3.) Christ 
will not regard that; yes, 'he will not quench the smoking flax;' but (4.) thi$ 
is so little and weak, that it will vanish and come to nought : nay, but 
Christ will cherish it, until he hath brought judgment to victory. And thus 
much for our comfort we have already, that even when we first believed, we 
overcame God himself, as it were, by believing the pardon of all our sins ; 
notwithstanding the guilt of our own consciences, and his absolute justice. 
Now having been prevailers with God, what shall stand against us if we can 
learn to make use of our faith ? 

what a confusion is this to Satan, that he should labour to blow out a 
poor spark, and yet should not be able to quench it ; that a grain of mustard 
seed should be stronger than the gates of hell ; that it should be able to re 
move mountains of oppositions and temptations cast up by Satan and our 
rebellious hearts between God and us. Abimelech could not endure that it 
should be said, * a woman had slain him,' Jud. ix. 54 ; and it must needs 
be a torment to Satan, that a weak child, a woman, and decrepit old man 
should, by a spirit of faith, put him to flight. 

Since there is such comfort where there is a little truth of grace, that it will 
be so victorious, let us oft try what God hath wrought in us, search our good 
as well as our ill, and be thankful to God for the least measure of grace, 
more than for any outward thing ; it will be of more use and comfort than 
all this world, which passeth away and cometh to nothing. Yea, let us be 
thankful for that promised and assured victory, which we may rely on with 
out presumption, as St Paul doth ; thanks be to God, that hath given us 
* ' Discouragement .... heaven,' added in B. 
t ' Let . . . thine,' a transposition of A and B here. 



AND SMOKING FLAX. 99 

victory in Jesus Christ,' 1 Cor. xv. 57. See a flame in a spark, a tree in 
a seed ; see great things in little beginnings ; look not so much to the be 
ginning, as to the perfection, and so we shall be in some degree joyful in 
ourselves, and thankful unto Christ. 

Neither* must we reason from a denial of a great measure of grace, to a 
denial of any at all in us ; for faith and grace stand not in an indivisible 
point, so as he that hath not such and such a measure hath none at all ; but 
as there is a great breadth between a spark and a flame, so there is a great 
wideness between the least measure of grace 'and the greatest; and he that 
hath the least measure, is within the compass of God's eternal favour ; 
though he be not a shining light, yet he is a smoking wick, which Christ's 
tender care will not suffer him to quench. 

And let all this that hath been spoken allure those that are not yet 
in state of grace, to come under Christ's sweet and victorious government, 
for though we shall have much opposition, yet if we strive, he will help us ; 
if we fail, he will cherish us ; if we be guided by him, we shall overcome ; 
if we overcome, we are sure to be crowned* And for the present state of 
the church, we see now how forlorn it is, yet let us comfort ourselves, that 
Christ's cause shall prevail; ' Christ will rule, till he hath made his enemies 
his footstool,' PS; ex. 1, not only to trample upon, but to help him up to 
mount higher in glory. ' Babylon shall fall, for strong is the Lord who 
hath condemned her,' Eev. xviii. 8. Christ's judgment not only in his 
children, but also against his enemies, shall be victorious, for he is ' King 
of kings and Lord of lords,' Rev. xix. 1. God will not alwaysf suffer 
antichrist and his supports to revel and ruffle in the church as they do. 

If we look to the present state of the church of Christ, it is as Daniel in 
the midst of lions, as a lily amongst thorns, as a ship not only tossed, but 
almost covered with waves. It is so low, that the enemies think they have 
buried Christ, in regard of his gospel, in the grave, and there they think to 
keep him from rising ; but Christ as he rose in his person, so he will roll 
away all stones, and rise again in his church; How little support hath the 
church and cause of Christ at this day ! how strong a conspiracy is against 
it ! the spirit of antichrist is now lifted up, and marcheth furiously; things 
seem to hang on a small and invisible thread. But our comfort is, that 
Christ liveth and reigneth and standeth on Mount Sion in defence of them 
that stand for him, Rev. xiv. 1 ; and when States and kingdoms shall dash 
one against another, Christ will have care of his own children and cause, 
seeing there is nothing else in the world that he much esteemeth. At this 
very time the delivery of his church, and the ruin of his enemies, is in work 
ing ; we see no things in motion till Christ hath done his work, and then 
we shall see that the Lord reigneth. 

Christ and his church, when they are at the lowest, are nearest rising : 
his enemies at the highest are nearest a downfall. 

The Jews are not yet come in under Christ's banner ; but God, that hath 
persuaded Japhet to come into the tents of Shem, will persuade Shem to 
come into the tents of Japhet, Gen. ix. 27. The ' fulness of the Gentiles 
is not yet come in,' Rom. xi. 25, but Christ, that hatn the 'utmost parts of 
the earth given him for his possession,' Ps. ii. 8, will gather all the sheep 
his Father hath given him into one fold, that there may be one sheepfold 
and one shepherd, John x. 16. 

The faithful Jews rejoiced to think of the calling of the Gentiles ; and 
why should not we joy to think of the calling of the Jews ? 
* ' Neither . . . quench,' not in A', B, but in E. f ' God will not,' &c , added in B. 



100 THE BRUISED REED 

The gospel's course hath hitherto been as that of the sun, from east to 
west, and so in God's time may proceed yet further west (i). No creature 
can hinder the course of the sun, nor stop the influence of heaven, nor 
hinder the blowing of the wind, much less hinder the prevailing power of 
divine truth, until Christ hath brought all under one head, and then he will 
present all to his Father ; these are they thou hast given unto me ; these 
are they that have taken me for their Lord and King, that have suffered 
with me ; my will is that they be where I am, and reign with me. And 
then he will deliver up the kingdom even to his Father, and put down all 
other rule, and authority, and power, 1 Cor. xv. 24. 

Let us then bring our hearts to holy resolutions, and set ourselves upon 
that which is good, and against that which is ill, in ourselves or others, ac 
cording to our callings, upon this encouragement, that Christ's grace and 
power shall go along with us. What had become of that great work o:' 
reformation of religion in the latter- spring of the gospel, if men had not 
been armed with invincible courage to outstride all lets, upon this faith, 
that the cause was Christ's, and that he would not be wanting to his 
own cause. Luther ingenuously confessed, that he carried matters often 
inconsiderately, and with mixture of passion ; but upon acknowledgment, 
God took not advantage of his errors, but the cause being God's, and his 
aims being holy, to promote the truth, and being a mighty man in prayer, 
and strong in faith, God by him kindled that fire which all the world shall 
never be able to quench. According to our faith, so is our encouragement 
to all duties, therefore let us strengthen faith, that it may strengthen all 
other graces. This very belief, that faith shall be victorious, is a means to 
make it so indeed. Believe it, therefore, that though it be often as smok 
ing flax, yet it shall prevail. If it prevail with God himself in trials, shall 
it not prevail over all other opposition ? ' Let us wait a while, and we shall 
see the salvation of the Lord,' Exod. iv. 13. 

The Lord reveal himself more and more unto us in the face of his Son 
Jesus Christ, and magnify the power of his grace in cherishing those be 
ginnings of grace in the midst of our corruptions, and sanctify the conside 
ration of our own infirmities to humble us, and of his tender mercy to 
encourage us; and persuade us, that since he hath taken us into the 
covenant of grace, he will not cast us off for those corruptions ; which as 
they grieve his Spirit, so they make us vile in our own eyes. And because 
Satan labours to obscure the glory of his mercy, and hinder our comfort by 
discouragements, the Lord add this to the rest of his mercies, that, since he 
is so gracious to those that yield to his government, we may make the right 
use of this grace, and not lose any portion of comfort that is laid up for us in 
Christ. And [may] he vouchsafe to let the prevailing power of his Spirit in 
us be an evidence of the truth of grace begun, and a pledge of final victory, at 
that time when he will be all in all, in all his, for all eternity. Amen. Finis.* 

* Added here to G is the following couplet : 

Quassata (Lector) quid arundine vilius, aut te ? 

At non frangeris, si pius, Unctus ait G. J. 

It may be thus rendered : 

Than shaken reed what can more worthless be ? 
Header, just such thou art : 

But hast thou faith ? 
Then take good heart ; 
The Anointed saith, 
Nor it nor thou by him shall broken be. 
The initials are probably those of John Goodwin reversed. G. 



AND SMOKING FLAX. 1Q1 



NOTES. 

(a) P. 49. ' Stooped so far .... as to suffer him to thrust his hand into his side.' 
It is questionable if Thomas really did this. His early faith recovered itself in pre 
sence of the Lord, and the narrative seems rather to indicate that he did not avail 
himself of the tenderly-forgiving offer of his Master. See Archbishop Whately's 
lecture on the apostle Thomas in his Lectures on the Apostles, (2d ed. 1853). 

(b) P. 53. ' Strain not things too high, making those general and necessary evi 
dences of grace which agree not, ' &c. This characteristically gentle warning reminds 
us of an anecdote of the excellent Ebenezer Erskine, one of the founders of what is now 
the United Presbyterian Church. He had been delivering a course of sermons on 
' Marks of Grace,' and had spent much time in shewing how many things men might 
possess and nevertheless be ' hypocrites.' Chancing some time after to be on a visit to a 
very saintly but lowly ' aged ' believer, who was apparently dying, the good man 
was startled by an exclamation, ' Oh ! Mr Erskine, if I were just as good as one of 

your hypocrites, I would be happy.' The words struck home, and Erskine was 

wont to tell it, and to add that the remark opened his eyes to the danger by over-high 
4 marks ' of causing God's own dearest children to ' write bitter things against them 
selves ' without cause. This anecdote, related by one whose grandfather attended 
Mr Erskine at Stirling, strikingly enforces Sibbes's counsel. 

(c) P. 55. ' Kill a fly on the forehead with a beetle.' ' Beetle ' = mallet. In 
the margin opposite the passage in A, B, and E, is ' As Parisien.' Query, Peter 
Lombard ? 

(d) P. 67. ' Let ' [= hinder]. Few words present such a curious example of uttei 
reversal of meaning as this. Formerly to let was to ' hinder,' now it means to 
'permit.' It occurs in the former sense both in 0. T. and N. T., e. g., Isa. xliii. 13, 

id Rom. i. 13 ; 2 Thess. ii. 7. It is here referred to once for all. 
f e) P. 68. ' Catch ' = on the watch. This supplies Richardson's lack (in hia 
3at Dictionary), of an example of ' catch ' in the meaning here. 

(f) P. 85. ' Voyage ' = a travel, a journey ; but now limited to travel by sea. 
Milton uses it repeatedly in the earlier sense. See -P. L ., ii., 426, 919 ; vii. 431. 
~ . i., 103. 

(g) P. 86. ' Sobs.' To ' sob ' means to ' sop ' or ' soak,' and ' sobs,' as applied 
) kindled ' greenwood,' is vividly descriptive. 

(h) P. 96. ' Send forth hath a stronger sense in the original.' Consult and 
ipare Dr J. A. Alexander on -the passage in his commentary on Isaiah (ed. by 
lie, 1848). 

(i) P. 100. ' The gospel's course hath hitherto been as that of the sun, from 
east to west, and so in God's time may proceed further west.' This remarkable an 
ticipation may be placed side by side with the better known but much later, and 
littedly grander, vaticination of Berkeley : 

' Westward the course of empire takes its way ; 

The four first acts already past, 
A fifth shall close the drama with the day ; 
Time's noblest offspring is the last. 

Priest ' of Bemerton, George Herbert, may have had his equally memorable 
iplet suggested by Sibbes's words, the ' Bruised Reed ' having preceded ' The 
Temple ' by three years : 

* Religion stands a-tiptoe in our land, 
Ready to pass to the American strand.' 

Church MillitanL 

Sibbes and his Puritan contemporaries turned with wistful eye to ' New England,' 
and read in the light of the present position of America among the nations of the 
earth, it is curious to note the mingled hope and dread with which the mighty un 
known continent was regarded. John Cotton, J ohn Davenport, Thomas Hooker, and 
many other of Sibbes's personal friends, became fugitives thither. For various 
curious memorabilia on the subject of this note (Sibbes's being an addition thereto), 
consult Mayor's Nicholas Ferrar, pp. 52-3. G. 



THE SWORD OF THE WICKED, 



THE SWORD OF THE WICKED. 



NOTE. 

THE title-page, a copy of which is given below [*], will, as in the case of ' The 
Description of Christ,' in its relation to ' The Braised Reed,' explaifMhe position of 
' The Sword of the Wicked ' in the present publication. It will be observed that it 
consists of the leading, i.e., introductory sermons to that treatise, called ' The Soule's 
Conflict.' As such, it falls to be associated therewith. The ' Sword of the Wicked ' 
forms a small portion of one of the posthumously-published quartos of Sibbes, 
entitled ' Evangelicall Sacrifices ' [1640]. It labours under the same disadvantage 
with the ' Description,' as compared with its companion treatise, the ' Soul's Con 
flict,' being even more unfinished ; but abounds with pungent and vigorous writing. 

G. 
[*] Title-page 

The 
SWORD 

of 
THE WICKED. 

In two Sermons. 
Being the leading Sermons to that Treatise 

called 
The Soules Conflict. 

By 
The late Learned and Reverend Divine, 

Rich. Sibbs : 

Doctor in Divinity, Mr of Katherine Hall 

in Cambridge, and sometimes Preacher 

to the Honourable Society of 

Grayes-Inne. 

Psal. 67. 4. 

Their Tongue is a sharpe Sword. 

London, 
Printed by E. P. for N. B. and R. H. 1639. 4to. 



THE SWORD OF THE WICKED. 



As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach, me ; while they say unto 
me daily, Where is thy God ? PSALM XLII. 10. 



ita 




Psalms are, as it were, the anatomy of a holy man ; they lay the 
inside of a true devout man outward, even to the view of others. 

If the Scriptures be compared to a body, the Psalms may well be the 
, they are so full of sweet and holy affections and passions. In other 
ions of Scripture, God speaks to us ; in the Psalms, holy men (especially 

avid, who was the penman of most of them), speak to God, wherein we 
have the passages of a broken, humble soul to God. Among the rest, in 
this Psalm David lays open variety of passions. His condition at this time 
was such, as that he was an exiled man, from his own house and his own 
friends, and which grieved him worst of all, from the tabernacle, the house 
of God. It was upon the occasion of Saul's persecution, or of Absalom's, 
his son ; but I take it rather of Saul's, that hunted him as a partridge in the 
wilderness. Hereupon you have a discovery, how this holy man of God 
stood affected with this case and condition of his. First he lays open his 
grief. His grief ariseth from his desire. He that loves most and desireth 
most, he always grieves most ; and all other affections have their scantling (a) 
from love, which is the firstborn affection of the soul. Therefore, before 
he lays out his grief, he sets out his desire to the house of God, the want 
whereof grieved him most of all. As the hart panteth after the water 
brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, God,' ver. 1. As the chased hart 
panteth after water, so the soul thirsteth for God, for the living God, ' 
when shall I come and appear before God ?' ver. 2.* 

Then after his desire, he lays forth his grief, My tears have been my 
meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God ?' 
ver. 3. Grievances never come alone, but as Job's messengers, they come 
one after another, even to God's children. When he is disposed to correct 
them, they are multiplied. Therefore, here is not only a grief of want, that 
he was debarred of those sweet comforts which he had before in the taber 
nacle, but here is likewise a grief from the reproach of his enemies, that 
took occasion from his disconsolate estate to upbraid him, ' Where is thy 

* This opening paragraph is very nearly identical with the commencement of the 
1 Soul's Conflict.' G. 



106 THE SWOED OF THE WICKED. 

God ?' 'My tears have been my meat day and night, while they conti 
nually say unto me, Where is thy God ?' He dissolves the cloud of his 
grief into the shower of tears, ' My tears have been my meat.' They were 
so plentiful that they did feed his soul as it were. 

Then he sets down another ground of his grief, from the remembrance of 
his former happiness ; as usually, that doth make the grief raw and more 
sensible, for felix miser, maxime miser, he that hath been happy in former 
time and now is miserable, is most miserable of all, because his former 
happiness makes him most sensible. Therefore, of all men in hell, the 
torment of great men is most, because they had most sense of comfort in 
this world ; mighty men shall be mightily tormented, that is all the pri 
vilege they shall have in hell. Therefore, to aggravate his grief, 0, saith 
he, when I remember what comfort I had formerly in the house of God, I 
pour out my soul. It was not enough that he poured out his tears, or 
words, but I pour out my soul, for in former times, ' I went with the mul 
titude to the house of God,' ver. 4, and led a goodly train to the house of 
God, the picture of a good magistrate, and a good master of a family ; he 
goes not alone to the house of God, but he leads his train, he is attended 
on by his servants. David went not alone into the house of God, but with 
the multitude, ' with the voice of them that kept holiday,' ver. 4. Well, 
he had grief enough, his heart was full of grief. Now in the next verse he 
takes up his soul, and expostulates with himself, * Why art thou so sad, 
my soul ? and why art thou disquieted in me ? hope thou in God, for I shall 
yet praise him for the help of his countenance,' ver. 5. So you see here, 
he is not so flat in his grief that he gives over-long way to it, but he even 
falls a chiding of his soul, Why art thou cast down, my soul ? why art 
thou disquieted within me ?' ! but yet grief will not be so stilled ! 
affliction is not quelled at the first, nor grief stilled and stayed at the first. 
Therefore it gathers upon him again in the next verse, ' my God, my soul 
is cast down within me, when I remember thee from the land of Jordan, 
and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar.' When I remember thee from 
these places, my soul is cast down again, and my afflictions are multiplied ; 
though he had fallen out with his soul before, for his impatience. ' One deep 
calls to another,' deep calls upon deep, ' as the noise of the water-spouts,' 
ver. 7. He compares affliction to water-spouts, as it is in Scripture. ' All 
thy waves and billows have gone over me,' ver. 7. Even as one deep calls 
to another, so one affliction calls to another. Then when he had given a 
little way again to his grief, and complained to God, he takes up his soul 
another time ; yet, saith he, ' The Lord will command his lovingkindness 
in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me, and I will pray 
to the God of my life,' ver. 8. He presents to himself the goodness of 
God, to comfort his soul. And he presents to him in the next verse his 
own resolution, I will say to God (for the time to come) my rock, why 
hast thou forgotten me ? and why go I mourning, for the oppression of the 
enemy,' ver. 9. So here he stays his soul once again ; he presents to his 
soul the lovingkindness of God, with renewing his resolution to seek God : 
an effectual way to stay the soul, by considering God's love and mercy, and 
by renewing our resolutions and purposes to cleave to God, ' I will say to 
God my rock, why hast thou forgotten me ?' 

Aye, but here is a third assault of grief again, for there is a spring of 
corruption in us, and such a principle in us as will yield murmurings and 
discontent ^ again and again ; therefore in the verse I have read to you, he 
comes again to complain, As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies 



THE SWORD OF THE WICKED. 107 

reproach me ; while they say unto me daily, Where is thy God ?' ver. 10. 
He had complained once of this before, but it had a fresh working with his 
thoughts again, ' As with a sword in my bones,' &c. Hereupon, he is 
forced the third time to expostulate, and to fall out with his soul, ' Why 
art thou cast down, my soul ? and why art thou disquieted ? hope thou 
in God, for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, 
and my God,' ver. 11. He comes to his former remedy, he had stilled his 
grief once before with the same meditation and upbraiding of his own soul, 
and chiding himself ; but he comes to it here as a probatum est, as a tried 
remedy, he takes up his soul very short, Why art thou so cast down, 
my soul ? why art thou disquieted within me ?' You see how David's 
passions here are interlaced with comforts, and his comforts with passions, 
till at last he gets the victory of his own heart. Beloved, neither sin, nor 
grief for sin, are stilled and quieted at the first. You have some short- 
spirited Christians, if all be not quiet at the first, all is lost with them ; but 
it is not so with a true Christian soul, with the best soul living. It was 
not so with David : when he was in distemper, he checks himself ; the dis 
temper was not yet stilled, he checks himself again ; then the distemper 
breaks out again, then he checks himself again ; and all little enough to 
bring his soul to a holy, blessed, quiet temper, to that blessed tranquillity 
and rest that the soul should be in, before it can enjoy its own happiness, 
and enjoy sweet communion with God. As you see in physic, perhaps one 
purge will not carry away the peccant humour, then a second must be 
added ; perhaps that will not do it, then there must be a third ; so when 
the soul hath been once checked, perhaps it will not do, we must fall to it 
again, go to God again. And then it may be there will be breaking out of 
the grief and malady again ; we must to it again, and never give over ; that 
is the right temper of a Christian. 

Before I come to the words, observe in general this, that a living soul, the 
soul that is alive in grace, that hath the life of grace quickening it, is most 
sensible of all, in the want of spiritual means. As here, the grief of griefs 
was (which he begins with), that he was banished from the tabernacle. 

What shall we think therefore of those that excommunicate themselves 
from God's assembly, where there is the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, all 
the Trinity dispensing their bounty, and where the prayers of God's people 
meet together in one as it were, and bind God ? What shall we think of 
them that prefer their private devotions, as they say, before God's assem 
blies ? Surely they are not of David's mind ; and it is a shrewd argument, 
that they never had the life of grace in them yet : for where life is, there 
will be hunger and thirst. Acrius urgent qua ad naturam. It is a true 
aphorism, those things press upon nature hardest that touch upon the neces 
sities of nature, rather than those that touch upon delight. We can want de 
lights, but necessities of nature we cannot ; therefore hunger and thirst, they 
are such passions as will not be quiet. Delicacies and novelties the soul of a 
hungry man can be content to want, but not spiritual food for the soul. We 
see how famine wrought upon the patriarchs, it made them go down into Egypt 
for food. I note it only by the way, that men may know how to judge of 
themselves, when they can very well be content, without a blessed supply of 
holy means. Holy David, when the means was but dark and obscure, when 
the canon was not enlarged, when all was in types and clouds, yet he felt 
that comfort in the tabernacle and in the ordinances of God, that he could 
not endure the want of them ; but as the hart brayeth after the water- 
brooks, so his soul panted after God. But to come to the words themselves, 



108 THE SWORD OF THE WICKED. 

' As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me, when they say 
unto me daily, where is thy God ?' 

Here are two things considerable in the words. 

The carriage and disposition and expression of others to David. 

And David's affection towards it, how he was disposed towards it, how he 
did bear it. 

For their disposition, they were enemies, mine enemies, <&c. 
, The expression of it, they reproach me. 

The specialty of that expression, how they reproached him, they said 
unto him, ' Where is thy God T They do reproach him in his religion. 

The aggravation of that specialty is, they say, openly to his face, they 
go not behind my back, they esteem so slightly of me, they say it to my face. 
And continually too, they are never weary, they say daily, Where is thy 
God ? They are enemies, they reproach, they reproach in this, * Where is 
thy God ?' and they do it impudently, and daily. 

How doth David entertain this usage ? how doth he carry himself all this 
while ? He must needs be sensible of it, and therefore he expresseth it in 
most significant words. Oh, saith he, these things were as a sword in my 
bones. There be diverse readings of the words ; but we will take them as 
they are laid down, being very well, as with a sword in my bones (or as it is 
in the margin, (b) as killing in my bones), mine enemies reproach me. It was 
as killing to him, it did go to his heart, it cut him to the quick. As a sword 
is to the body and bones, so are their words to my soul, I cannot endure it, 
it is death to me. It is a most emphatical manner of expressing the enemies' 
disposition and carriage. Thus you have the words unfolded. I will but 
touch some particulars ; those that I think most needful for us to take notice 
of, I will dwell more upon. Mine enemies, saith he, reproach me. 

Mine enemies. There hath been contrary seeds from the beginning of 
the world, and will be while Satan is in the world. Till he be cast into the 
' burning lake,' and be there in perpetual chains adjudged to torment, he will 
raise up men alway that shall be of his side. And as long as that grand 
enemy is, and as long as men are that will be subject to his government, as 
alway there will be, he will have a great faction in the world. And by 
reason that he hath a party in us, the flesh, he will have the greatest party 
in the world. The most go the broad way, so that Gods children, even 
David himself, shall not want enemies. 

Mine enemies. It is strange that he should have enemies, that was so 
harmless a man, that when they were sick and distressed, he prayed for 
them, and put on sackcloth for them, as it is Ps. xli. This compassionate, 
sweet-natured man, yet notwithstanding you see he had enemies, and 
enemies that would discover themselves to reproach him, and that bitterly ; 
in the bitterest manner, they reproach him in his religion. It is a large 
point, if I should give myself liberty in it. I do but touch it, that we may 
be armed by this observation, against the scandal of opposition, that if we 
meet with enemies in the world, we should not be much offended at it ; 
grieve we may, but wonder we need not. Was there ever any that did more 
good than our Saviour Christ ? He went about doing good,' Acts x. 38. 
He did never a miracle that was harmful (but only of the swine that were 
drowned in the sea, and that was their own fault), but he went about 
doing all the good he could ; yet, notwithstanding, we see what malicious 
opposites he had. That that is true of the head must be true in the mem 
bers. Therefore, we should rejoice in our conformity to Christ, if it 
be in a good cause, that we find enemies and opposition. imperator, 



THE SWORD OF THE WICKED. 109 

<c., saith he, the emperor is become a Christian. It was a blessed 
time. Oh ! but the devil is not made a Christian yet, and he will never 
be made good : for he is in termino, as we say, he is in his bounds, his 
nature is immoveable ; he is in hell in regard of his estate, though he be 
loose to do mischief. Now, until the devil be good, God's children shall 
never want enemies ; and he will never be good. Therefore, though there 
were good kings and good governors over all the world, yet good men shall 
never want enemies as long as the devil is alive, as long as he hath any 
thing to do in the world. Enemies therefore we must look for, and such 
enemies as will not conceal their malice neither : for that were something 
if they would suffer their malice to boil and concoct in their own hearts, but 
that will not be, but ' out of the abundance of the heart the mouth will speak.' 
Where there is a bad treasury, there will be a bad vent ; * therefore we see 
here, they reproach him, ' mine enemies.' 

Reproach me. It is the proper expression of malice, reproach ; and it is 
that that the nature of man can least endure of all. The nature of man can 
endure an outward wrong, a loss or a cross, but a reproach, especially if it 
be a scornful reproach, the nature of man is most impatient of. For there 
is no man, but he thinks himself worthy of some respect. Now a reproach 
ful scorn shews a disrespect, and when the nature of man sees itself disre 
spected, it grows to terms of impatience. There is not the meanest man 
living but he thinks himself worthy of some regard. Therefore I cannot 
blame David, even out of the principle of nature, to be affected here when 
they reproached him, and gave him vile terms, ' mine enemies reproach me. 1 
Their tongues were tipt from hell, and they did but utter that that was in 
their hearts. If the tongues of wicked men, as St James saith, be a world 
of mischief, what is the whole man ? what is the heart, and tongue, and 
life, and all of wicked men ? 

Now this reproach of wicked men, it is a grievous persecution, as Ishmael 
persecuted Isaac in that manner, as it is, Gal. iv., taken out of the story in 
Genesis. I will not enter into the commonplace of reproach ; it is taken 
by the by here. 

Only by the way, let it be a support to us. If we be reproachfully used 
in the world, let us not be much cast down. It is no credit for a man to 
do that that the devil and his instruments do ; nor it is no discredit for us 
to suffer that that David suffered. Let this satisfy thee, there is not the 
vilest man living but hath this weapon to serve the devil with, a reproachful 
tongue. He that sits upon the ale bench, that rakes in the channel,! the 
basest wretch in the world, hath a tongue to serve the devil with in re 
proaches. It is no credit for them to do that that the vilest person in the 
world can do ; and it is no shame for thee to suffer that that the best man 
that ever lived did suffer. So much for that, mine enemies reproach me. 

But what is the specialty of this reproach ? To come to that more 
icularly. They say unto me, Where is thy God ? 

They touch him in his religion. They saw him persecuted by Saul, 
rned by Saul's courtiers ; they see him driven up and down, as a partridge 

the wilderness ; they saw him banished from the sanctuary, destitute of 
friends ; they saw him in this disconsolate estate, and they judge by sense 
and appearance, that they thought he was a man that God regarded not at 
all : therefore say they, Where is thy God ? 

God's children are impatient, as far as they are men, of reproaches ; but 
so far as they are Christian men, they are impatient of reproaches in reli- 
* That is, ' out-goiug.' ED. f That is, ' the kennel' or sewer. ED. 



HO THE SWORD OF THE WICKED. 

gion : Where is now thy God ? They were not such desperate atheists as to 
think there was no God, to call in question whether there were a God or no, 
though indeed they were little better ; but they rather reproach and up 
braid him with his singularity, Where is thy God ? You are one of God's 
darlings ; you are one that thought nobody served God but you ; you are 
one that will go alone your God. 

So this is an ordinary reproach, an ordinary part for wicked men, to cast 
at the best people, especially when they are in misery. What is become of 
your profession now ? What is become of your forwardness and strictness 
now ? What is become of your much reading and hearing now ; and your 
doing such things now ? What is become of your God that you bragged 
so of, and thought yourselves so happy in, as if he had been nobody's God 
but yours ? We may learn hence the disposition of wicked men. It is a 
character of a poisonful, cursed disposition to upbraid a man with his religion. 

But what is the scope ? The scope is worse than the words, Where is thy 
God ? The scope is to shake his faith, and his confidence in God ; and 
this is that that touched him so nearly while they upbraided him,Where is thy 
God ? Indeed, they had some probability and show of truth ; for now God 
seemed opposite to him, when he was banished from his house, from that 
blessed communion with him that he had. Their purpose was therefore to 
shake his faith and affiance in God ; and herein they shewed themselves 
right, the children of the devil, whose scope is to shake the faith and affiance 
of God's people, in all his temptations, and by his instruments. For the 
devil knows well enough, that as long as God and the soul join together, it 
is in vain to trouble any man ; therefore he labours to put jealousies, to 
accuse God to man, and man to God. He knows there is nothing in the 
world can stand against God. As long as we make God our confidence, all 
his enterprises are in vain. His scope is therefore to shake our affiance in 
God : Where is thy God ? So he dealt with the Head of the church, our 
blessed Saviour himself, when he came to tempt him. '. If thou be the Son 
of God, command these stones to be made bread,' Matt. iv. 3. He comes 
with an if; he laboured to shake him in his sonship. The devil, since he 
was divided from God himself eternally, is become a spirit of division ; he 
labours to divide the Son from the Father ; he labours to divide even God 
the Father from his own Son : If thou be the Son of God. So he labours 
to sever Christians from their head, Christ ; subjects from their princes, 
and princes from their subjects ; friends from friends, and one from 
another ; he is a spirit of division : Where is thy God ? There was his 
scope, to breed division, if he could, between his heart and God, that he 
might call God into jealousy, as if he had not regarded him : thou hast 
taken a great deal of pains in serving thy God ; thou seest how he regards 
thee now : Where is thy God ? 

We should labour to make this use . of it, to counter- work Satan ; to 
strengthen that most of all, that the devil labours to shake most of all. 
Shall the devil labour to shake our faith and affiance in God above all other 
things, and shall we not labour to strengthen that ? Above all things, let 
us look to our head, as the serpent winds about and keeps his head. 
Keep faith, and keep all. If faith be safe, all is safe ; let us strengthen 
that, and strengthen all ; weaken that, and we weaken all. What cares 
Satan for other sins that we fall into ? He aims at our assurance, that we 
may doubt of God's love, whom we have been so bold as to sin against. 
That is it he aims at, to make weak faith in the particular acts of sin we 
commit. He knows that sin naturally breeds doubts, as flesh breeds worms. 



THE SWORD OF THE WICKED. HI 

Where sin is, if it be in never such a little degree, he knows it will breed 
doubts arid perplexities, and where they are, he hath that he would have. 
He labours to hinder that sweet communion that should be between the 
soul and God : Where is now thy God ? You see wicked men are the 
children of the devil right in this. 

Again, they instance here in matter of religion against him. You see 
how ready wicked and devilish-minded men are, to tread over the hedge 
where it is lowest, as the proverb is, to add affliction to affliction, especially 
in that that may touch a man nearest. They could not touch him nearer 
than in this, Where is thy God ? They knew it well enough, where is now 
your religion ? This, they thought, would anger him to the heart. Here 
is a devilish disposition. You have a terrible psalm for it, Ps. cix., of 
those that add affliction to the afflicted ; they are cursed persons. This is 
the disposition of wicked men, they have no mercy. Malice, we say, is 
unsatiable. One would think that our Saviour Christ, when he was upon 
the cross, racked there in all his parts, a man exposed to so much misery 
and scorn as he was, that they should have had pity upon him ; but upon 
the cross they reproached him, Aha, he saved others, himself he cannot 
save ; let him come from the cross, and we will believe in him. What a 
bitter sarcasm was this, that came from hell itself ! Nay, when he was 
dead, one would have thought their malice should have been buried with 
his body. Malice is ordinarily among men living, not the dead ; but when 
he was dead, This impostor said, $c., Matt. xxvi. 61. They laboured 
to bury his good name, that nothing tending to his honour might remain of 
him. Indeed, it is the nature of malice to wish the not being of the thing 
it maliceth, no, not the name. Let his name perish from the earth, Ps. 
xli. 5. It was extremity of malice to work upon this disadvantage, when 
they see him thus afflicted, to vex him with that he was most affected with, 
Where is thy God? 

Therefore, let those that feel and feed that devilish disposition in themselves 
to insult over God's people, especially in matters of religion to vex them, and 
when there is a wound already, to make the affliction greater, to add afflic 
tion to affliction, let them judge of what disposition they are. 

They say unto me. You see here another circumstance, they say unto me. 
They are so impudent that they are not afraid to reproach him to his face ; 
they say unto him, as if they would stand to their reproach. This is one 
circumstance of aggravation. Indeed malice is very impudent, when it is 
come to the extremity. I only observe it, that if we meet with such 
)lency of malice, not to be discouraged ; it hath been thus before, and 
it will be to the end of the world. 

I, then, they are not wearied, their malice is unwearied ; they say to me, 
r . Day by day their malice is fed with a spring, with a malicious 
A malicious heart and a slanderous tongue alway go well together. 
The devil, that was the first grand slanderer, hath communion with a 
malicious heart, and he foments malice, and cherisheth that malicious, poison- 
ful disposition ; and a malicious disposition never wants malicious words. 
As one saith of anger and fury, it ministereth weapons (c), so we may say 
of malice and hatred, it ministereth words alway. A malicious heart will 
never want words : they say to me, daily. These are but circumstances, 
but yet they are somewhat considerable, for they tend to the aggravation of 
the disconsolate estate of this holy man, that he should meet with such 
wretched men, that had no pity at all on him, but say to him daily, 

Where is now thy God ? You see then from hence that God is a God, 



112 THE SWORD OF THE WICKED. 

as the prophet saith, ofttimes hiding himself, Isa. xlv. 15, that God vails 
himself ofttimes to his children. Not only from the eyes of wicked men, 
that they think godly men deserted of God, but sometimes from the very 
sense and feeling of God's children themselves. They are in such deser 
tions that they are fain to complain that God hath hid himself, and is as a 
stranger to them. This is the state of God's children in this world. 
Though God love them dearly, ' as the apple of his eye, and as the signet 
on his hand,' Zech. ii. 8, and Jer. xxii. 24, yet notwithstanding his car 
riage to them is ofttimes so strange, that those that look upon their estate 
in this world think they are men, as it were, forlorn and destitute of God. 
And this estate must needs be, because of necessity there must be a con 
formity between us and our Saviour. It was so with our Saviour, ' My 
God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me ? ' Matt, xxvii. 46. God was 
never nearer him in all his life than then, and yet he cries out, ' My God, 
my God, why hast thou forsaken me ? ' And as he spake, so the rest 
thought of him, as if he had been a man forsaken ; and so here they say 
to this holy man, Where is thy God ? 

Therefore let us lay up this likewise for the strengthening of our faith in 
the like case, that we be not overmuch discouraged. If God hide himself, 
if others think our estates miserable, and ourselves think ourselves so, it is 
no strange matter. It was thus with David. He was so neglected of God 
that they thought God had clean forsaken him. Where is thy God ? 

Our life is now hid with Christ, as the apostle saith, Col. iii. 3. We have 
a blessed and glorious life, but it is hid in our Head. Even as in winter 
time the trees have a life, but it is hid in the root, so a Christian hath a 
blessed condition at all times, but his glory and happiness is hid in hia 
Head, and there is a cloud between him and his happiness. 

Therefore let us support ourselves with this in all times, was God gone 
from David indeed when they said, Where is thy God ? ' Oh no ; God 
was as near David now as ever he was, nay, rather nearer. God was nevei 
nearer Moses than when he was sprawling upon the water in that ark they had 
made for him, Ex. ii. 3. He was never nearer Daniel than when he was in 
the lion's den, Dan. vi. 19. God came between the lion's teeth and Daniel. 
And, as I said, he was never nearer our Saviour than when he was on the 
cross. And he was never nearer to David than when they said, ' Where is 
thy God ? ' When trouble is near, God is never far off. That is an argu 
ment to make God near, Lord, be not far off, for trouble is near. And ex 
tremity and danger and trouble, it is God's best opportunity to be with his 
children, however he do not help for the present ofttimes. * Where is thy 
God?' 

David might rather have said to them, Where are your eyes ? where is 
your sight? for God is not only in heaven, but in me. Though David was 
shut from the sanctuary, yet David's soul was a sanctuary for God ; for 
God is not tied to a sanctuary made with hands. God hath two sanctua 
ries, he hath two heavens: the heaven of heavens and a broken spirit. 
God dwelt in David as in his temple. God was with David and in him; 
and he was never more with him, nor never more in him, than in his greatest 
afflictions. They wanted eyes, he wanted not God. Though sometimes 
God hide himself, not only from the world, but from his own children, yet 
he is there ; howsoever their sorrow is such that it dims their sight (as we 
see in Hagar), so that they cannot see him for the present, Gen. xxi. 19. 
He sometimes looks in their face, as we see Mary. She could not see 
Christ distinctly, but thought him to be the gardener. There is a kind of 



THE SWORD OF THE WICKED. 113 

concealment a while in heavenly wisdom, yet, notwithstanding, God is with 
his children always, and they know it by faith, though not by feeling always. 
As we know what Jacob said, ' God was in this place, and I was not aware,' 
i Gen. xxviii. 16, when he slept upon the stone, and had that heavenly vision ; 
so it is with God's people in their trouble. God is with his church and 
children, and wicked men are not aware of it. Christ is in them, and 
i they are not aware of it. Christ was in the saints when Saul persecuted 
; them, and Paul was not aware of it, ' Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me ? 
Who art thoii, Lord?' saith he. Alas! he dreamed not of Christ. How- 
1 ever wicked men of the world think, yet God is near his own children, in 
the most disconsolate condition that can be. It is, when they say, * Where 
\ is thy God ? ' as if a man should ask what is become of the moon between 
S the old and the new, when the dark side is towards us, when we see no 
moon at all for a time, till the new come ? The moon is near, and more 
enlightened with the sun then than at other times, and is nearer to him. 
So in afflictions. However the dark side of God's children be toward the 
! world, that they cannot see them, yet their light side is towards God. God 
i shines upon them, and enlightens them more then at that time with solid 
; comfort, that keeps them from sinking, than at other times. Therefore it 
was an ignorant question of them to ask, Where is thy God ? It shewed 
they were ignorant of the passages of God's dealing with his children, as 
indeed none are greater atheists than y6ur scoffers. Where is thy God ? 
as if God had been only a God of observation, to be observed outwardly in 
all his passages towards his children, whereas, as I said, he is a God hid 
ing himself ofttimes ; and he shews himself in contrary conditions most of 
all, most comfortably. His work is by contraries. But these carnal men 
were ignorant of the mysteries of religion, and the mysteries of divine provi 
dence towards God's children. Therefore their question savours of their 
disposition, Where is now thy God ? Thus briefly I have gone over their dis 
position and carriage towards the holy man David, that they were enemies 
of hostile nature and disposition, and they reproached him, and daily, and 
in his religion, Where is thy God ? 

beseech you let us loak to it in time, that it may not be truly said to 
by way of upbraiding, Where is now thy God ? God may be strange 
to us indeed ; let us so carry ourselves as that God may own us in the worst 
times. If they had said this truly, how grievous had it been to David ! 
but it was more malice than truth. For David found experience of God. 
He might rather have upbraided them, Where is your God ? and there is 
no wicked man, but a man may in his greatest extremity upbraid him, and 
that in truth, Where is your God ? your riches, honour, and estate ? where 
is all this that you supported yourself with, and bore yourself so big on, 
that you despised all others ? what has become of all now ? A man can 
not stand in a thing that stands not itself. A man cannot build on that 
that hath no good foundation. Now all men that are not truly religious, 
they have some idol or other that will deceive them. Therefore a man 
may truly say to them, that which they falsely and maliciously say to God's 
people, Where is your God ? 

So much for their disposition and carriage. Now how stands David 
affected with this ? that is the second part. 

As with a sword i)i my bones, It was as a sword to his bones. Now 
that that toucheth the bones is the most exquisite grief. That that we call 
the grief of the teeth, you see what an exquisite grief it is in that little 
member. When the bones are cut or touched, it is a most exquisite 
VOL. i. u 




T Wlj. 



114 THE SWORD OF THE WICKED. 

grief. As with a sword in my bones, my enemies reproach me. What was 
the matter that this reproach, Where is thy God ? touched him so to the 
quick ? What was the cause ? The causes were diverse. 

First of all concerning God : for when they said to him, ' Where is thy 
God?' 

First, It tended to the reproach of God, as if God were so fickle a friend 
as to desert his best friends in the time of misery. This touched upon God 
by way of disparagement, therefore it must needs touch David, who was 
God's friend. 

Then, again, it touched God in another thing, in his manner of provi 
dence, as if he had been a God of the hills and not of the valleys ; as if he 
had been a God for one time and not for another. Where is now thy God? 
What is become of him ? 

Again, in the third place, it touched upon him in this, as if he had 
favoured them, being cursed, formal hypocrites, more than David ; as if he 
had favoured their formal, hypocritical, base, dead courses, that were most 
abominable to God. For these persecutors were Saul's courtiers, and other 
enemies. Wicked men, they thought to justify their own ways by this re 
proach, You see we are as good as you. God respects us ; we fall not 
into such miseries ; we have recourse to Saul, though he have cast out 
you and others, &c. So it tended to God's reproach in that, as if God had 
justified their course, as if they had been dearer to him that were most 
abominable. 

And this is to make an idol of God, to make God justify those courses 
that he most abhors, as it is in Ps. 1., * Thou thoughtest I was like unto 
thee.' Because God lets a wicked man alone, thou thoughtest that I was 
a companion for thee, and would take thee by the hand ; whereas God will 
not do so. 

In these three respects, especially, God was wronged when they said, 
' Where is thy God ?' as if he had not been a true and faithful friend to his 
children ; and, besides, as if he had not a providence over his children in 
the worst condition ; as if he had allowed and liked of the base carriage, 
and condition, and profession of these wretched men as well as of David's. 
' Where is now thy God ? You see God respects us as well as you. But 
there was no such matter ; he respected David more than a thousand of 
them. 

Again, this touched upon religion itself, this reproach, Where is now 
thy God ?' where is your goodly profession ? as if it were in vain to serve 
God, a horrible reproach to religion. It is not in vain altogether to serve 
the devil ; he bestows somewhat upon his servants. This was a base 
thought, to think that God would do no good to them that serve him. 
That is the fountain of all good, that doeth good to his enemies, that 
suffers his sun to shine upon his enemies, Mat. v. 45. For him to desert 
his friends, for a man to be truly religious and get nothing by it, this tended 
to the reproach of religion ; and through David's sides they strike at God 
and religion^ as if it were in vain to serve God, as they said in Malachi's 
time, Mai. iii. 14. And, indeed, this is in the hearts of men now-a-days. 
.f they see a man that makes care and conscience of his ways, under a 
cloud, or that he doth not so prosper in the world as others do, they begin 
to have weak conceits of the profession of religion, as if that were the 
cause, as if there was nothing gotten by serving of God. But we may be 
loose professors, and go in a libertine course, and please God as well 
as others. This is a great grief to God's children. They know well 



THE SWORD OF 1'HE WICKED. 115 

enough it is not in vain to serve God. God is not a barren wilderness, 
Jer. ii. 31, to those that serve him ; they are not barren ground that are 
careful in his service. So you see upon what ground he was thus affected, 
because God and religion were touched in it. 

Take away a godly man's religion, and his God whom he serves in 
religion, you take away his life ; touch him in that, you touch him in his 
best freehold. Therefore, when these malicious enemies say, Where is 
thy God ? they could not more touch David than so. Profane men of the 
world come and tell them of religion and such things. Alas ! they turn it off 
with scorn, for they would have the world know that they are not very reli 
gious ; they never speak of God and of religion but in scorn, or by way of 
discourse. But a man that is religious to purpose, and makes it his trade, 
makes it that whereby he hopes to be saved, he takes to heart any thing 
that is spoken against religion, their words are as a sword in his bones, 
while they say unto him, Where is thy God ? It is better to be dis 
tempered than not to be moved, when God and religion are touched. The 
Holy Ghost that appeared in the shape of a dove, Matt. iii. 16, appeared 
at another time in fiery tongues, Acts ii. 3, to shew that the meek spirit of 
God is zealous other whiles in his children. This was another reason he 
was thus affected. 

And, thirdly, in this reproach of theirs, thus violent, 'Where is now thy 
God ?' here was a damping of the spirits of all good men in those times, 
that should hear of this reproach. Words affect strangely ; they have a 
strange force with men, especially in weak fancies, that are not grounded in 
their judgment and faith. The spies made a shrewd oration, and brought 
an ill report on the land : Oh ! it is a land that devours the inhabitants, Num. 
xiii. 32. It was a speech discomfortable, and it wrought so, that it made 
them all murmur and be discouraged. It is not to be thought what mis 
chief comes from speech cunningly handled. This malicious speech, 
' Where is thy God ?' and what is become of all thy devotion at the taber 
nacle, that thou didst frequent so, and drewest others, a great train with 
thee, what is become of all now ? When weak men, that had the begin 
nings of goodness in them^ should see a man reproached for this, question 
less it would damp the beginnings of goodness. would not this go to 
the heart of David, to see insolent men to quench good things in good men 
with reproaches ! Well, we see what reason the holy man David had to 
be so sensible of this reproach, for they said unto him daily, ' Where is 
thy God?' 

Now, therefore, to make some use of it to ourselves, let us enter into our 
own souls, and examine with what spirits and feeling we hear God reproached, 
and religion reproached, and hindered, and disgraced any kind of way. If 
we be not sensible of this, and sensible to the quick, we may suspect we 
are not of David's spirit, that was a man after God's own heart, 1 Samuel 
xiii. 14 ; Acts xiii. 22. It was a cutting of his bones, when they came to 
disparage his religion, and profession, and to touch him in that. Shah 1 a 
man see men forsake religion, and go backward, and desert the cause of 
God, and see it oppressed, and not be affected with all this ? Certainly he 
hath a dead soul. That which hath no grief, when there is cause of grief, 
certainly it is to be accounted but as dead flesh. That heart is but dead 
flesh that is not touched with the sense of religion. 

And to come a little nearer to our times, when we can hear of the estate 
of the church abroad, the poor church in the Palatinate, in Bohemia, (d) 
and those places, you see how like a canker, superstition is grown up amongst 



116 THE SWORD OF THE WICKED. 

them ; when we hear of these things and are not affected, and do not send 
up a sigh to God, it is a sign we have hollow and dead hearts. No ques 
tion but if we were there among those malignant spirits that are there, 
their speeches are daily such, as these wicked men's were to David, What is 
become of your reformation ? What is become of your new religion ? Where 
is that now, I pray ? You that do upbraid us with idolatry, what is become 
of your religion ? No question but they have these sarcasms and bitter 
speeches daily ; and those that have the Spirit of God, they are grieved 
to the heart. If we have the Spirit of God and of Christ in our breasts, 
and anything of the spirit of David and of holy men, we will grieve at this. 

The apostle St Paul, when Elyrnas laboured to stop, when one was to be 
converted, he breaks out, ' Thou child of the devil, and enemy of all good, 
why dost thou not cease to pervert the right ways of God ?' Acts xiii. 10. 
A man that is not fired in this case, hath nothing at all in him. When we 
see wicked men go about to pervert religion, and overturn all, and we are 
not stirred at it, it is an ill sign. 

Let us, therefore, take a trial of ourselves, how we stand affected in case 
of religion. He that hath no zeal in him hath no love. By an antiperis- 
tasis, an opposition of the contrary increaseth the contrary ; if a man have 
any goodness, if it be environed with opposition, it will intend (e) the goodness 
and increase it. Lot shewed his goodness in Sodom the more, because of 
the wickedness of the Sodomites. When a man is in vile company, and 
hears religion disgraced, and good persons scoffed at, and will not have a 
word to justify good causes and good persons, he hath no life at all of reli 
gion ; for if he had, he would then have more religion than ordinary, the 
contrary would then intend, and increase the contrary. There was a 
blessed mixture of many affections in this grief of the holy man David, 
when he said, ' their words were as a sword in his bones.' There was great 
grief, not only for himself, as a man being sensible of reproaches, for men 
are men ; and not out of corrupt nature, but out of the principles of nature, 
they are sensible of reproaches. Here was grief in respect of God, and in 
respect of himself ; and here was the love of God and the love of religion 
in this grief. Here was zeal in this, and a sweet mixture of blessed affec 
tions ; a sweet temper in this, when he saith, ' their words were as a sword 
in my bones.' 

Let us make a use of trial, bring ourselves to this pattern, and think, if 
we do come short of this, then we come short of that that should be in us. 
But especially let us consider with what hearts we entertain those doleful 
and sad reports of foreign churches, and with what consideration and view 
we look upon the present estate of the church, whether we be glad or no. 
There are many false spirits that either are not affected at all, or else they 
are inwardly glad of it ; they are of the same disposition that those cursed 
Edomites were of, ' Down with it, down with it, even unto the ground,' Ps. 
cxxxvii. 7. I hope that there are but few such amongst us here, therefore 
I will not press that. But if we be dead-hearted, and are not affected with 
the cause of the church, let us suspect ourselves, and think all is not well. 
The fire from heaven is not kindled in our hearts. Our hearts are not yet 
the altar where God hath kindled that heavenly fire, if we can hear religion 
disgraced, and good causes go backward, and not be affected. ' Curse ye 
Meroz.' Why ? Because ' they went not out to help the Lord,' Jud. v. 
2B. If those be cursed that do not help, as they can, by their prayers, then 
surely they are cursed that are dead-hearted, that are not affected at all, 
that join with the persecutors, that cry, ' Down with it even to the ground,' 



THE SWORD OF THE WICKED. 117 

and say, ' Aha, so we would have it.' If those be cursed that help not for 
ward the cause of the church, at least by their prayers, and strive and con 
tend for ' the faith once given,' Jude 3, what shall we think of those that are 
not affected at all ? nay, which is worst of all, that hinder good causes, that 
are scorners of religion and good causes, what shall we think of those 
wretched spirits ? How opposite are they to the spirit of David ! 

To add one thing more, we may learn hence the extent of the command 
ments, how to enlarge the commandments. Our Saviour, Christ, when he 
came to preach the gospel, he began with the enlargement of the command 
ments, shewing the spiritual meaning and extent of the law, * He that calleth 
his brother Raca, or fool, is in danger of hell fire,' and * He that looks on a 
woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her in his heart,' Mat. 
v. 22, 28. You see here the prophet David, when he speaks of their reproach, 
he speaks of it as if they had a murderous intention ; and in the event and 
issue it is a kind of murder. As with a sword in my bones, my enemies re 
proach me, &c. This sword were but words. He is a murderer in God's 
esteem, and so it will prove if he repent not, that wounds another man with 
his tongue. For what doth the Holy Ghost here in David ? Doth he not 
set out words by swords ? Is it not oft in the Psalms, ' Their words are as 
swords, the poison of asps is under their lips ?' Rom. iii. 13. There is an 
excellent place you have for this in Prov. xii. 18, 'There is that speaks 
like the piercing of a sword, but the tongue of the wise is health.' A good 
man hath a healing tongue, he hath a medicinal, salving tongue ; but a 
wicked man, his words are as swords, and, as he saith here, their speaking 
is as the piercing of a sword. Therefore, hence let us learn not to think 
ourselves free from murder when we have killed nobody, or free from 
adultery when we are free from the gross act. This is but a pharisaical 
gloss upon the commandments ; but if we will understand the command 
ments of God as they are to be understood, we must enlarge them as the 
Scripture enlargeth them. He that prejudiceth the life and comfort of any 
man, he is a murderer of him in God's esteem ; and he that labours to cut 
another man to the heart with sharp, piercing words, in God's esteem he is 
a murderer. Those that, though among men, they cannot say black is 
their eye, and pride themselves, as if they were very religious men ; yet, 
notwithstanding, they are men that are not wanting of their tongues, 
men that care not to speak bitterly and sharply of others. If they did con 
sider of this, it would take them down, and make them think a little 
meaner of themselves, when, indeed, in God's construction, they are little 
better than murderers. * As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies re 
proach me, while they say to me daily, Where is thy God ? ' So much for 
these words. 



NOTES. 

(a) P. 105.' Scantling' == a proportion, or simply, portion. This is a somewhat 
peculiar use of a not very common word. It occurs in Shakspeare once in the same 
sense with that here : 

' Trust to me, Ulyss?,s, 

Our imputation shall be oddly pcis'd 
In this wild action : for the success, 
Although particular, shall give a scantling 
Of good or bad unto the general.' Troilus and Cressida, i. 3. 
See also Locke, Human Understanding, b. ii., c. 21. 



118 THE SWORD OF THE WICKED. 

(b) P. 108. 'As killing in my bones.' The strong impression 'killing,' or even 
as it might be rendered, murder, is a literal equivalent of the original (H^H), which 

- v 

is intended to express excruciating pain. Compare Ezekiel xxi. 22, rendered 
' slayeth' in auth. version. 

(c) P. 111. ' As one saith of anger.' The reference is to Virgil, 2En., lib. i., 
v. 150 : 

1 Furor arma ministrat ; 

Turn pietate gravem ac meritis, si forte virum quern 
Conspexere,' &c. 

(<Z) P. 115. 'The poor church in the Palatinate.' Our memoir shews the deep 
interest Sibbes, in common with the ' Puritans,' took in the persecuted Protestants 
of Bohemia. 

(e) P. 116. ' Intend' = stretch, and so augment. Richardson illustrates the 
word from Barrow. 

G. 



T 



[E SOUL'S CONFLICT WITH ITSELF, 

AND VICTORY OVER ITSELF BY FAITH. 

A TREATISE OF THE INWARD DISQUIETMENTS OF DISTRESSED 

SPIRITS, WITH COMFORTABLE REMEDIES 

TO ESTABLISH THEM. 



THE SOUL'S CONFLICT, AND VICTORY OVER ITSELF BY 

FAITH. 



NOTE. 

The several editions of the ' Soul's Conflict,' known to the Editor, and collated 
for the present publication, are, with the letters used to designate them, as follows : 

(a) The Sovles Conflict with it selfe, and Victorie over it selfe by Faith. A Trea 
tise of the inward disquietments of distressed spirits, with comfortable remedies to 
establish them. ' Returne unto thy rest, my soule, for the Lord hath dealt bountifully 
with thee.' 

By R. Sibbs, D.D., Master of Katherine Hall, in Cambridge, and Preacher at 
Grayes Inne, London. 

Printed at London, by M. Flesher, for R. Dawlman, at the Brazen Serpent, in 
Paul's Churchyard. 1635. 12mo. A. 

* # * This is the first edition. 

(b) There was a re-issue in same year 1635 of A. It is distinguishable from 
it by having ' Victory ' for ' Victorie ' in title-page, and by certain corrections, and 
one alteration. The chief interest attaching to it rests on the latter, upon which 
Bishop Patrick makes his charge against the Puritans of * falsification.' See note 
at end of treatise. 

(c) 2d edition, 1635. 12mo. C. 

(d) Another called ' 2d edition,' 1636. 12mo. D. 

(e) 3d edition, 1636. 12mo. E. 
(/) 4th edition, 1638. 12mo. F. 

(g) Another called '4th edition,' 1651. 12mo. G. 

(h) 5th edition, 1658. 12mo, H. 

The text of our reprint is A (see title-page supra), with collations from B ; C to 
H consist simply of reproductions of C, and which, except in the addition of the 
' Verses ' by Benlowes and Quarles, follows B. I have preferred A as our text, from 
its having been published by Sibbes himself, but have carefully noted the ' correc 
tions ' and alteration supra as unquestionably made by his authority. The division 
into chapters of C has been retained, as facilitating perusal. 

G. 



TO THE RIGHT WORSHIPFUL 

SIB JOHN BANKES, KNIGHT, 

THE KING'S MAJESTY'S ATTORNEY- GENERAL,* 

SIE EDWABD MOSELY, KNIGHT, 

ms MAJESTY'S ATTORNEY OF THE DUCHY [OP LANCASTER],! 

SIB WILLIAM DENNY, KNIGHT, 

ONE OF THE KING'S LEARNED COUNCIL, J 

SIB DUDLEY DIGGES, KNIGHT, 

ONE OF THE MASTERS OF THE CHANCERY j|| 
AND THE REST OF THE WORSHIPFUL, 

READERS AND BENCHERS, WITH THE ANCIENTS, 
BARRISTERS, STUDENTS, 

ALL OTHERS BELONGING TQ THE HONOURABLE SOCIETY OF GRAY*S INN, 

R[ICHARD] SIBBES 

DEDICATETH THESE SERMONS, PREACHED AMONGST THEM, IN TESTIMONY 

OF HIS DUE OBSERVANCE, AND DESIRE OF THEIR 

SPIRITUAL AND ETERNAL GOOD. 



Sir John Bankes was a man of mark in his generation. He was constituted 
Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, from being attorney, as above described, 
16-10-41. He adhered to Charles I ; and was employed against Hampden the 
fcriot, in the case of ship-money. His wife's noble defence of Corfe Castle, and 
its fall by treachery in the next year, has been well told by a descendant in a volume 
licated to the story of Corfe Castle. He died in 1644, at Oxford. Consult Foss's 
lirable Judges of England, vol. vi. ; also Lloyd's ' Memoires,' pp. 586-7, 1668. 
t Sir Edward Mosely or Mosley was of the family of Ancoats, near Manchester, 
now represented by Sir Oswald Mosley, Bart, 

t Sir William Denny was of Cambridgeshire and Ireland. See Burke. 
|| Sir Dudley Digges, like Bankes, is a historical character. After fulfilling 
various senatorial and diplomatic appointments, and suffering imprisonment more 
than once, he was admitted Master in Chancery in 1631, and received a grant of the 
reversion of the office of Master of the Kolls after the death of Sir Julius Caesar 
He obtained possession of it at Sir Julius's death, in April 1636, and held it till hia 
in March 18. 1639. He is one of Fuller's ' Worthies.' See Foss, as supra. 

G. 



TO THE CHBISTIAN BEADEB. 



THERE be two sorts of people always in the visible church, one that Satan 
keeps under with false peace, whose life is nothing but a diversion to pre 
sent contentments, and a running away from God and their own hearts, 
which they know can speak no good unto them ; these speak peace to 
themselves, but God speaks none. Such have nothing to do with this 
Scripture, Ps. xlii. 11 ; the way for these men to enjoy comfort, is to be 
soundly troubled. True peace arises from knowing the worst first, and 
then our freedom from it. It is a miserable peace that riseth from ignor 
ance of evil. The angel ' troubled the waters,' John v. 4, and then it* cured 
those that stepped in. It is Christ's manner to trouble our souls first, and 
then to come with healing in his wings. 

But there is another sort of people, who being drawn out of Satan's 
kingdom and within the covenant of grace, whom Satan labours to unsettle 
and disquiet : being the * god of the world,' 2 Cor. iv. 4, he is vexed to see 
men in the world, walk above the world. Since he cannot hinder their 
estate, he will trouble their peace, and damp their spirits, and cut asunder 
the sinews of all their endeavours. These should take themselves to task 
as David doth here, and labour to maintain their portion and the glory of a 
Christian profession. For whatsoever is in God or comes from God, is for 
their comfort. Himself is the God of comfort, Eom. xv. 5 ; his Spirit 
most known by that office, John xiv. 26. Our blessed Saviour was so 
careful that his disciples should not be too much dejected, that he forgat 
his own bitter passion to comfort them, whom yet he knew would all for 
sake him: 'Let not your hearts be troubled,' saith he, John xiv. 1, 27. 
And his own soul was troubled to death, that we should not be troubled : 
' whatsoever is written is written for this end,' 2 Cor. ii. 9 ; every article 
of faith hath a special influence in comforting a believing soul. They are 
not only food, but cordials ; yea, he put himself to his oath, that we might 
not only have consolation, but strong consolation, Heb. vi. 18. The sacra 
ments seal unto us all the comforts we have by the death of Christ. The 
exercise of religion, as prayer, hearing, reading, &c., is, that ' our joy may 
be full,' 2 John 12. The communion of saints is chiefly ordained to com 
fort the feeble-minded and to strengthen the weak, 1 Thess. v. 14. God's 
government of his church tends to this. Why doth he sweeten our pil 
grimage, and let us see so many comfortable days in the world, but that we 
should serve him with cheerful and good hearts ? As for crosses, he doth 
but cast us down, to raise us up, and empty us that he may fill us, and 
* ' It,' removed in C. 



TO THE CHRISTIAN READER. 123 

melt us that we may be ' vessels of glory,' Rom. ix. 23, loving us as well 
in the furnace, as when we are out, and standing by us all the while. ' We 
are troubled, but not distressed ; perplexed, but not in despair ; persecuted 
but not forsaken,' 2 Cor. iv. 8. If we consider from what fatherly love 
afflictions come, how they are not only moderated but sweetened and sancti 
fied in the issue to us, how can it but minister matter of comfort in the 
greatest seeming discomforts ? How then can we let the reins of our affec 
tions loose to sorrow without being injurious to God and his providence ? 
as if we would teach him how to govern his church. 

What unthankfulness is it to forget our consolation, and to look only 
upon matter of grievance ! to think so much upon two or three crosses, as 
to forget a hundred blessings ! to suck poison out of that from which we 
should suck honey ! What folly is it to straiten and darken our own 
spirits ! and indispose ourselves from doing or taking good ! A limb out 
of joint can do nothing without deformity and pain ; dejection takes off the 
wheels of the soul. 

Of all other, Satan hath most advantage of discontented persons, as most 
eable to his disposition, being the most discontented creature under 
,ven ; he hammers all his dark plots in their brains. The discontent- 
.t of the Israelites in the wilderness provoked God to ' swear that they 
uld never enter into his rest,' Ps. xcv. 11. There is ' another spirit in 
servant Caleb,' saith God, Num. xiv. 24. The spirit of God's people is an 
mraging spirit. Wisdom teaches them, if they feel any grievances, to 
eal them from others that are weaker, lest they be disheartened. God 
atens it as a curse to give a trembling heart, and sorrow of mind, Deut. 
65 ; whereas on the contrary, joy is as oil to the soul, it makes duties 
.e off cheerfully and sweetly from ourselves, graciously to others, and 
itably to God. A prince cannot endure it in his subjects, nor a father 
his children, to be lowering at their presence. Such usually have stolen 
,ters, Prov. ix 17, to delight themselves in. 

How many are there, that upon the disgrace that follows religion, are 
.ted from it ? But what are discouragements, to the encouragements 
igion brings with it ? which are such as the very angels themselves ad- 
at. Religion indeed brings crosses with it, but then it brings corn- 
above those crosses. What a dishonour is it to religion to conceive 
.t God will not maintain and honour his followers ; as if his service were 
t the best service ! what a shame is it for an heir of heaven to be cast 
wn for every petty loss and cross ! to be afraid of a man whose breath 
in his nostrils, Isa. ii. 22, in not standing to a good cause, when we are sure 
God will stand by us, assisting and comforting us, whose presence is able to 
" :e the greatest torments sweet ! TIM presentia, Domine, Laurentio ipsam 
ticulam dulcem fecit. 

My discourse tends not to take men off from all grief and mourning ; 
'Light for the righteous is sown in sorrow,' Ps. xcvii. 11. Our state of 
absence from the Lord, and living here in a vale of tears, our daily infirmi 
ties, and our sympathy with others, requires it ; and where most grace is 
there is most sensibleness, as in Christ. But we must distinguish between 
grief and that sullenness and dejection of spirit, which is with a repining 
and taking off from duty. When Joshua was overmuch cast down at Israel's 
turning their backs before their enemies, God reproves him, * Get thee up, 
Joshua, why liest thou upon thy face?' Josh. vii. 10. 

Some would have men, after the committing of gross sins, to be presently 
comfortable, and believe, without humbling themselves at all. Indeed, 



124 TO THE CHRISTIAN HEADER. 

when we are once in Christ, we ought not to question our state in him, and 
if we do, it comes not from the Spirit ; but yet a guilty conscience will be 
clamorous and full of objections, and God will not speak peace unto it till 
it be humbled. God will let his best children know what it is to be too 
bold with sin, as we see in David and Peter, who felt no peace till they had 
renewed their repentance. The way to rejoice ' with joy unspeakable and 
glorious,' 1 Pet. i. 8, is to stir up sighs ' that cannot be uttered,' Rom. 
viii. 26. And it is so far, that the knowledge of our state in grace should 
not humble us, that very ingenuity considering God's love to us, out of the 
nature of the thing itself, worketh sorrow and shame in us, to oifend his 
Majesty. 

One main stop that hinders Christians from rejoicing is, that they give 
themselves too much liberty to question their grounds of comfort and kite- 
rest in the promises. This is wonderful, comfortable say they, but what is 
it to me, the promise belongs not to me ? This ariseth from want of giv 
ing all ' diligence to make their calling sure,' 2 Pet. i. 10, to themselves. 
In watchfulness and diligence we sooner meet with comfort than in idle 
complaining. Our care, therefore, should be to get sound evidence of a 
good estate, and then likewise to keep our evidence clear ; wherein we are 
not to hearken to our own fears and doubts, or the suggestion of our enemy, 
who studies to falsify our evidence, but to the word, and our own consciences 
enlightened by the Spirit ; and then it is pride and pettishness to stand out 
against comfort to themselves. Christians should study to corroborate their 
title. We are never more in heaven, before we come thither, than when 
we can read our evidences. *It makes us converse much with God, it 
sweetens all conditions, and makes us willing to do and suffer anything. 
It makes us have comfortable and honourable thoughts of ourselves, as too 
good for the service of any base lust, and brings confidence in God both in 
life and death. 

But what if our condition be so dark that we cannot read our evidence 
at all? 

Here look up to God's infinite mercy in Christ, as we did at the first, 
when we found no goodness in ourselves, and that is the way to recover 
whatsoever we think we have lost. By honouring God's mercy in Christ, 
we come to have the Spirit of Christ ; therefore, when the waters of sancti- 
fication are troubled and muddy, let us run to the witness of blood. God 
seems to walk sometimes contrary to himself ; he seems to discourage, when 
secretly he doth encourage, as the ' woman of Canaan,' Matt. xv. 21-23 ; 
but faith can find out these ways of God, and untie these knots, by looking 
to the free promise and merciful nature of God. Let our sottish and rebel 
lious flesh murmur as much as it will, Who art thou ? and what is thy worth ? 
yet a Christian ' knows whom he believes,' 2 Tim. i. 12. Faith hath 
learned to set God against all. 

Again, we must go on to add grace to grace. A growing and fruitful 
Christian is always a comfortable Christian ; the oil of grace brings forth 
the oil of gladness. Christ is first a king of righteousness, and then a king 
of peace, Heb. vii. 2 ; the righteousness that he works by his Spirit brings 
a peace of sanctification, whereby though we are not freed from sin, yet we 
are enabled to combat with it, and to get the victory over it. Some degree 
of comfort follows every good action, as heat accompanies fire, and as beams 
and influences issue from the sun ; which is so true, that very heathens, 
upon the discharge of a good conscience, have found comfort and peace 
answerable ; this is a reward before our reward, premium ante premium. 



TO THE CHRISTIAN READER. 125 

Another thing that hinders the comfort of Christians is, that they forget 
what a gracious and merciful covenant they live under, wherein the perfec 
tion that is required is to be found in Christ. Perfection in us is sincerity ; 
what is the end of faith but to bring us to Christ ? Now imperfect faith, if 
sincere, knits us* to Christ, in whom our perfection lies. 

God's design in the covenant of grace is to exalt the riches of his mercy 
above all sin and unworthiness of man ; and we yield him more glory of his 
mercy by believing, than it would be to his justice to destroy us. If we 
were perfect in ourselves, we should not honour him so much, as when we 
labour to be found in Christ, having his righteousness upon us, Philip, iii. 9. 

There is no one portion of Scripture oftener used to fetch up drooping 
spirits than this : * Why art tJiou cast down, my soul ? ' It is figurative, 
and full of rhetoric, and all little enough to persuade the perplexed soul 
quietly to trust in God; which, without this retiring into ourselves and 
checking our hearts, will never be brought to pass. Chrysostom brings in 
a man loaden with troubles, coming into the church, where, when he heard 
this passage read, he presently recovered himself, and becomes another inan, 
(Homil. in Genes, xxix.). As David, therefore, did acquaint himself with 
this form of dealing with his soul, so let us, demanding a reason of our 
selves, Why we are cast down ; which will at least check and put a stop to 
the distress, and make us fit to consider more solid grounds of true comfort. 

Of necessity the soul must be something calmed and stayed before it can 
be comforted. Whilst the humours of the body rage in a great distemper, 

jre is no giving of physic ; so when the soul gives way to passion, it is 
to entertain any counsel, therefore it must be stilled by degrees, that 

may hear reason ; and sometimes it is fitter to be moved with ordinary 
)n (as being more familiar unto it), than with higher reasons fetched 
our supernatural condition in Christ, as from the condition of 
I's nature subject to changes, from the uncomeliness of yielding to pas- 

m for that which it is not in our power to mend, &c. ; these and such 
like reasons have some use to stay the fit for a while, but they leave the 
untouched, which is sin, the trouble of all troubles. Yet when such 
jiderations are made spiritual by faith on higher grounds, they have 

le operation upon the soul, as the influence of the moon having the 

mger influence of the sun mingled with it becomes more effectual upon 
these inferior bodies. A candle light being ready at hand is sometimes as 

3ful as the sun itself. 

But our main care should be to have evangelical grounds of comfort near 

us, as reconciliation with God, whereby all things else are reconciled to 
adoption and communion with Christ, &c., which is never sweeter than 

ler the cross. Philip Lansgrave of Hesse, being a long time prisoner 

ler Charles the Fifth, was demanded what upheld him all that time ? 
answered that * he felt the divine comfort of the martyrs.' RapondU 

inas consolationes martyrum se sensisse. There be divine comforts which 
felt under the cross, and not at other times. 

Besides personal troubles, there are many much dejected with the pre- 

it state of the church, seeing the blood of so many saints to be shed, and 
the enemies oft to prevail; but God hath stratagems, as Joshua at Ai, Josh, 
vii. He seems sometimes to retire, that he may come upon his enemies 
with the greater advantage. The end of all these troubles will no doubt 
be the ruin of the antichristian faction; and we shall see the church in her 
more perfect beauty when the enemies shall be in that place which is fittest 
* ' Ua,' omitted iu C. 



126 TO THE CHRISTIANS 7 READER. 

for them, the lowest, that is, the footstool of Christ, Ps. ex. 1. The church, 
as it is highest in the favour of God, so it shall be the highest in itself. 
' The mountain of the Lord shall be exalted above all mountains,' Isa. ii. 2. 
In the worst condition, the church hath two faces, one towards heaven and ] 
Christ, which is always constant and glorious ; another towards the world, 
which is in appearance contemptible and changeable. But God will in the 
end give her beauty for ashes, and glory double to her shame, Isa. Ixi. 3, 
and she shall in the end prevail ; in the mean time, the power of the ene 
mies is in God's hand, robur hostium apud Deum. The church of God con 
quers when it is conquered, even as our head Christ did, who overcame by 
patience as well as by power. Christ's victory was upon the cross. The 
spirit of a Christian conquers when his person is conquered. 

The way is, instead of discouragement, to search all the promises made 
to the church in these latter times, and to turn them into prayers, and press 
God earnestly for the performance of them. Then we shall soon find God 
both cursing his enemies and blessing his people out of Zion, by the faith 
ful prayers that ascend up from thence. 

In all the promises we should have special recourse to God in them. In all 
storms there is sea room enough in the infinite goodness of God for faith to 
be carried with full sail. 

And it must be remembered that in all places where God is mentioned, 
we are to understand God in the promised Messiah, typified out so many 
ways unto us. And to put the more vigour into such places in the reading 
of them, we in this latter age of the church must think of God shining upon 
us in the face of Christ, and our Father in him. If they had so much con 
fidence in so little light, it is a shame for us not to be confident in good 
things, when so strong a light shines round about us, when we profess we j 
believe ' a crown of righteousness is laid up for all those that love his ap- I 
pearing,' 2 Tim. iv. 8. Presenting these things to the soul by faith, setteth 
the soul in such a pitch of resolution, that no discouragements are able to 
seize upon it. < We faint not,' saith St Paul. Wherefore doth he not 
faint ? Because * these light and short afflictions procure an exceeding 
weight of glory,' 2 Cor. iv. 17. 

Luther, when he saw Melancthon, a godly and learned man, too much 
dejected for the state of the church in those times, falls a chiding of him, 
as David doth here his own soul : I strongly hate those miserable cares,' 
saith he, ' whereby thou writest thou art even spent. It is not the great 
ness of the cause, but the greatness of our incredulity. If the cause be 
false, let us revoke it. If true, why do we make God in his rich promises 
a liar ? Strive against thyself, the greatest enemy. Why do we fear the 
conquered world, that have the conqueror himself on our side ? ' ' Ego 
miserrimas curas, quibus te consumi scribis, vehemeiiter odi. Quod sic regnant 
in corde tuo, non est magnitude causa, sed magnitude incredulitatis nostra. 
Si cama falsa est revocemus. Si vera, curfacimus ilium tantis promissis men- 
dacem; luctare contra teipsum maximum hosfanJ* 

Now, to speak something concerning the publishing of this treatise. I 
began to preach on the text about twelve years since in the city, and after 
wards finished the same at Gray's Inn. After which, some having gotten 
imperfect notes, endeavoured to publish them without my privity. There 
fore, to do myself right, I thought fit to reduce them to this form. There 

* These remarkable words of a remarkable man are found in letters addressed to 
Jthon during the Diet of Augsburg, A.D. 1530. They are effectively quoted by 
D AubignS, Hist, of Reformation, b. xiv., x. c 6 G 



TO THE CHRISTIAN READER. 



127 



is a pious and studious gentleman of Gray's Inn, that hath of late published 
observations upon the whole psalm,- and another upon this very versef very 
well ; and many others, by treatises of faith, $ and such like, have furthered 
the spiritual peace of Christians much. It were to be wished that we would 
all join to do that which the apostles gloried in, ' to be helpers of the joy of 
God's people,' 2 Cor. i. 24. By reason of my absence while the work was 
in printing, some sentences were mistaken. Some will be ready to deprave 
the labours of other men ; but, so good may be done, let such ill-disposed 
persons be what they are, and what they will be, unless God turn their 
hearts. And so I commend thee and this poor treatise to God's blessing. 



E. SIBBES. 



GRAY'S INN, July 1. 1635. 



* 'Whole psalm.' This probably refers to William Bloy's 'Meditations on tho 
42d Psalm.' 1632. 

f ' Very verse.' Query, Dr John Reading's ' David's Soliloquy ; being the Sub 
stance of Several Sermons on Psalm xlii. 11. 1630?' 

J ' Faith.' Sibbes had himself prefaced Ball, and Preston, and Culverwell on 
'Faith.' 

%* Sir Egerton Brydges, in his Restituta, iii. p. 500, has this note : ' One of 

*<"> (on 'Faith '), was written by the Rev. John Rogers, minister of Dedham in 
: ; but I cannot point out the two writers previously alluded to.' G. 



IN OPUS POSTHUMUM ADMODUM BEVERENDI, 

MIHIQUE MULTIS NOMINIBUS COLENDI, 

KICHARDI SIBBES, S. T. PROFESSORIS, AUL.E 

SANCTJE. CATH. PE^FECTI DIGNISSIMI. 

VADE, liber, pie dux animse, pie mentis Achates 

Te relegens, fructu ne pereunte legat ; 
Quam fcelix prodis ! Free sacro codice sordent, 

Bartole, sive tui ; sive, Galene, tui. 

Fidu prseco Dei, ccelestis cultor agelli, 

Assidui pretium grande laboris habet : 
Quo mihi uec vita melior, nee promptior ore, 

Gratior aut vultu, nee fuit arte prior. 

Nil opus ut nardum caro combibat uncta Sabseum, 

Altave marmoreus sydera tangat apex : 
Non eget hie urna. non marmore ; nempe volumen 

Stat sacrum, vivax marmor, et urna, pio. 

Qui Cliristo vivens incessit tramite cceli, ^ 

.ZEthereumque obiit munus, obire nequit : 
Ducit hie angelicis sequalia ssecula lustris, 

Qui verbo studium contulit omne suum. 

Perlegat hunc legum cultrix veneranda senectus, 

Et quos plena Deo mens super astra vehit : 
Venduntur (quanti!) circum palatia fuini ! 

Hie sacer altaris carbo minoris erit ? 

Heu ! pietas ubi prisca ? profana 6 tempera ! mundi 
Fsex ! vesper ! prope nox ! 6 mora ! Christe veni. 

Si valuere preces unquam, et custodia Christi, 
Nunc opus est precibus, nunc ope, Christe, tua. 

Certat in human is vitiorum infamia rebus, 

Hei mihi ! nulla novis sufficit herba malis ? 
Probra referre pudet ; nee enim decet : exprobret ilia 

Qui volet ; est nostrum flere, silendo queri. 

Flere ? Tonabo tuas, pietas neglecta, querelas : 
Quid non schisma, tepor, fastus, et astus agunt ? 

Addo Sed historicus Tacitus fuit optimus. Imrno 
Addam sphaerarum at musica muta placet. 

EDV. BENLOSIO.* 

TEMPLAKIORUM, 
Prid. Cal. Febr. MDCxxxv.f 

* Edward Benlowes, Esq. He was of Brenthall. Essex. Consult Brydges's Resti- 
tuta, iii. 41, 42; and Wood's Fasti Oxon. (ed. by Bliss), ii. 358. His principal book 
is his ' Theophila.' Samuel Butler, Pope, and Bishop Warburton. have satirized his 
poetry. It is to be feared his tribute to Sibbes will not neutralize the general con 
demnation. He was a good man, and the friend of good men, to his own impover 
ishment. 

f Sibbes died July 5. 1635, and yet this poem, dated February 1635,' is in memo- 
riam. The explanation is that prior to 1752, the year in England was reckoned not 
from 1st January, but from 25th March. All those days, therefore, intervening 
between the 31st of December and the 25th of March, which we should now date as 
belonging to a particular year, were then dated as belonging to the year preceding 
that. Hence while Benlowes wrote according to our reckoning in 1636, he still 
dates 16oo. G. 



ON THE WORK OF MY LEARNED FRIEND 
DOCTOR SIBBES. 

FOOL that 1 was ! to think my easy pen 

Had strength enough to glorify the fame 

Of this known author, this rare man of men, 

Or give the least advantage to his name. 

Who think by praise to make his name more bright, 
Shew the sun's glory by dull candle-light.* 

Blest saint ! thy hallow'd pages do require 
No slight preferment from our slender lays ; 
We stand amazed at what we most admire : 
Ah, what are saints the better for our praise ! 
He that commends this volume does no more 
Than warm the fire or gild the massy ore.* 

Let me stand silent, then. O may that Spirit 
Which led thine hand direct mine eye, my breast, 
That I may read and do, and so inherit 
(What thou enjoy'st and taught'st) eternal rest ! 
Fool that I was ! to think my lines could give 
Life to that work, by which they hope to live. 

FRA[NCIS} QuA[nLEs].f 



Sir Egerton Brydges, in his Restituta, annotates here. ' This is much in unison 
with Shakespeare's thought : 

" To gild refined gold, to paint the lily, 
To seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish, 
Is wasteful and ridiculous excess." ' 
Aristotle might haply here have been introduced by the Commentators, e.g., ' They 
who demonstrate plain things, light a candle to see the sun,' iii. p. 499. 

t Francis Quarles. There is no doubt that this was the quaint poet of the Em 
blems,' and many other volumes not so well known as they deserve to be. It was 
common to contract names thus, formerly. The ' Garden of Spiritual Flowers,' 
(1622) is worded on title-page, ' A Garden of Spirituall Flowers, planted by Ri. Ro., 
Will. Per., Ri. Gree., M. M., and Geo. Web.,' designating severally, Richard Rogera, 
William Perkins, Richard Greene, &c v &c., and so in many other instances. G 



VOL. I. 



THE SOUL'S CONFLICT WITH ITSELF. 



Why art thou cast down, my soul? and why art ihou disquieted mihm\ 
me ? hope thou in God ; for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of \ 
my countenance, and my God. PSALM XLII. 11. 

THE Psalms are, as it were, the anatomy of a holy man, which lay the ; 
inside of a truly devout man outward to the view of others. If the Scrip- 1 
tures be compared to a body, the Psalms may well be the heart, they are 
so full of sweet affections and passions. For in other portions of Scripture 
God speaks to us ; but in the Psalms holy men speak to God and their 
own hearts, as 

In this Psalm we have the passionate passages of a broken and troubled \ 
spirit. 

At this time David was a banished man, banished from his own house, j 
from his friends, and, which troubled him most, from the house of God, | 
upon occasion of Saul's persecution, who hunted him as a partridge upon 
the mountains. See how this works upon him. 

1. He lays open his desire springing from his love; love being the prime j 
and leading affection of the soul, from whence grief springs, from being j 
crossed in that we love. For the setting out of which his affection to the ' 
full, he borroweth an expression from the hart. No hart, being chased by 
the hunters, panteth more after the waters than my heart doth after thee, 
God, ver. 1. Though he found God present with him in exile, yet there 
is a sweeter presence of him in his ordinances, which now he wanted and 
took to heart. Places and conditions are happy or miserable as God vouch 
safed his gracious presence more or less ; and, therefore, ' When, when 
shall it be that I appear before God?' ver. 2. 

2. Then, after his strong desire, he lays out his grief, which he could not 
contain, but must needs give a vent to it in tears ; and he had such a ! 
spring of grief in him as fed his tears day and night, ver. 3. All the ease j 
he found was to dissolve this cloud of grief into the shower of tears. 

Quest. But why gives he this way to his grief? 

Ans. Because, together with his exiling from God's house, he was up 
braided by his enemies with his religion, Where is now thy God ?' ver. 3. 
Grievances come not alone, but, as Job's messengers, Job i., follow one , 
another. These bitter taunts, together with the remembrance of his former I 
happiness in communion with God in his house, made deep impressions ifl ! 



THE SOUL'S CONFLICT. 181 

his soul, when he ' remembered how he went with the multitude into the 
house of God,' ver. 4, and led a goodly train with him, being willing, as a 
.good magistrate and master of a family, not to go to the house of God alone, 
nor to heaven alone, but to carry as many as he could with him. Oh ! the 
remembrance of this made him pour forth, not his words or his tears only, 
but his very soul. Former favours and happiness make the soul more 
sensible of all impressions to the contrary. Hereupon, finding his soul 
over sensible, he expostulates with himself, * Why art thou cast down, 
;0 my soul ? and why art thou disquieted within me ? ' &c. 

But though the remembrance of the former sweetness of God's presence 
,did somewhat stay him, yet his grief would not so be stilled, and therefore 
jit gathers upon him. again. One grief called upon another, ver. 7, as 
lone deep wave follows another, without intermission, until his soul was 
, almost overwhelmed under these waters ; yet he recovers himself a little 
'with looking up to God, who he expected would with speed and authority 
isend forth his lovingkindness, with command to raise him up and comfort 
ihim, and give him matter of ' songs in the night,' ver. 8. For all this, his 
! unruly grief will not be calmed, but renews assaults upon the return of the 
! reproach of ms enemies. Their words were as swords, ver. 10, unto him, 
! and his heart being made very tender and sensible of grief, these sharp 
| words enter too deep; and thereupon he hath recourse to his former 
j remedy, as being the most tried, to chide his soul, and charge it to trust 
! in God. 

CHAPTER 1. General Observations upon the Text. 

1. Hence in general we may observe that grief gathered to a head 
will not be quieted at the first. We see here passions intermingled with 
comforts, and comforts with passions ; and what bustling there is before 
David can get the victory over his own heart. You have some short- 
| spirited Christians that, if they be not comforted at the first, they think all 
i labour with their hearts is in vain, and thereupon give way to their grief. 
; But we see in David, as distemper ariseth upon distemper, so he gives 
| check upon check and charge upon charge to his soul, until at length he 
brought it to a quiet temper. In physic, if one purge will not carry away 
the vicious humour, then we add a second ; if that will not do it, we take 
a third. So should we deal with our souls. Perhaps one check, one 
charge will not do it, then fall upon the soul again ; send it to God again, 
" never give over until our souls be possessed of our souls again, 
gain, in general observe in Darid's spirit that a gracious and living soul 
sensible of the leant of spiritual means. 

i. The reason is because spiritual life hath answerable taste, and 
ger and thirst after spiritual helps. 

We see in nature that those things press hardest upon it that touch upon 
the necessities of nature, rather than those that touch upon delights ; for 
these further only our comfortable being, but necessities uphold our being 
itself, acrius urgent qua necessitatis sunt, quam qua spectant ad voluptatein. 
We see how famine wrought upon the patriarchs to go into Egypt : where 
we may see what to judge of those who x willingly excommunicate them 
selves from the assemblies of God's people, where the Father, Son, and 
Holy Ghost are present, where the prayers of holy men meet together in 
one, and, as it were, bind God, and pull down God's blessing. No private 
devotion hath that report of acceptance from 





132 THE SOUL'S CONFLICT. 

Obs. 3. A third general point is, that a godly soul, by reason of the life ! 
of grace ) knows when it is well with it and when it is ill, when it is a good day 
with it and when a bad. "When God shines in the use of means, then the 
soul is, as it were, in heaven ; when God withdraws himself, then it is in 
darkness for a time. Where there is but only a principle of nature, without 
sanctifying grace, there men go plodding on and keep their rounds, and are 
at the end, where they were at the beginning ; not troubled with changes, 
because there is nothing within to be troubled; and, therefore, dead means, 
quick means, or no means, all is one with them, an argument of a dead 
soul. And so we come particularly and directly to the words, * Why art 
thou cast down, my soul ? and why art thou disquieted within me ? ' &c. 

The words imply, 1, David's state wherein he was ; and 2, express his j 
carriage in that state. 

His estate was such that in regard of outward condition, he was in j 
variety of troubles ; and that in regard of inward disposition of spirit, he was '. 
first cast down, and then disquieted. 

Now for his carriage of himself in this condition, and disposition, he I 
dealeth roundly with himself. David reasoneth the case with David, and : 
first checketh himself for being too much cast down, and then for being too 
much disquieted. 

And then layeth a charge upon himself to trust in God ; wherein we have 
the duty he chargeth upon himself, which is to trust in God, and the grounds 
of the duty : 

First, from confidence of better times to come, which would yield him 
matter of praising God. 

And then by a representation of God unto him, as a saving God in all 
troubles, nay, as salvation itself, an open glorious Saviour in the view of 
all, The salvation of my countenance. And all this enforced from David's 
interest in God, He is my God. 

Obs. 1. Whence observe first, from the state he was now in, that since 
guilt and corruption hath been derived by the fall, into the nature of man, it 
hath been subjected to misery and sorrow, and that in all conditions, from the 
king that sitteth on the throne to him that grindeth on the mill. None ever 
have* been so good or so great, as could raise themselves so high as to be 
above the reach of troubles. 

1. And that choice part of mankind, the first-fruits and excellency of the 
rest, which we call the church, more than others ; which appears by con 
sideration both of the head, the body, and members of the church. For 
the head Christ, he took our flesh as it was subject to misery after the fall, 
and was, in regard of that which he endured, both in life and death, a man 
of sorrows. 

2. For the body, the church, it may say from the first to the last, as it is, 
Ps. cxxix. 1, From my youth up they have afflicted me.' The church be 
gan in blood, hath grown up by blood, and shall end in blood, as it was 
redeemed by blood. 

3. For the members, they are all predestinated to a conformity to Christ 
their head, as in grace and glory, so in abasement, Bom. viii. 29. Neither 
is it a wonder for those that are born soldiers to meet with conflicts, for 
travellers to meet with hard usage, for seamen to meet with storms, for 
strangers in a strange country, especially amongst their enemies, to meet 
with strange entertainment. 

A Christian is a man of another world, and here from home, which he 

* ' Hath,' in C. 



THE SOUL'S CONFLICT. 133 

Id forget, if he were not exercised here, and would take his passage for 
i his country. But though all Christians agree and meet in this, that ' through 
many afflictions we must enter into heaven,' Acts xiv. 22, yet according to 
the diversity of place, parts, and grace, there is a different cup measured to 
every one. 

Use. And therefore it is but a plea of the flesh, to except against the 
cross, ' never was poor creature distressed as I am.' This is but self-love, 
; for was it not the case both of head, body, and members, as we see here 
jin David a principal member? when he was brought* to this case, thus to 
ireason the matter with himself, Why art thou cast down, my soul? and 
why art thou disquieted within me ?' 

Obs. 2. From the frame of David's spirit under these troubles, we may 
'observe, that as the case is thus with all God's people, to be exercised with 
,troubles, they are sensible of them oftentimes, even to casting down and dis 
couraging. And the reason is (1), they are flesh and blood, subject to the same 
jpassions, and made of the same mould, subject to the same impressions 
;from without as other men. And (2) their nature is upheld with the same 
I supports and refreshings as others, the withdrawing and want of which 
jaflecteth them. And (3) besides those troubles they suffer in common with 
iother men, by reason* of their new advancement and their new disposition 
jthey have in and from Christ their head, they are more sensible in a pecu 
liar manner of those troubles that any way touch upon that blessed con- 
idition, from a new life they have in and from Christ ; which will better appear 
jif we come more particularly to a discovery of the more special causes of 
'this distemper, some of which are, 1. Without us. 2. Some within us. 



CHAPTER II. Of Discouragements from without. 
i 

Outward causes of discouragement. 

God himself: who sometimes withdraws the beams of his countenance 
his children, whereupon the soul even of the strongest Christian is 
jdisquieted ; when together with the cross, God himself seems to be an enemy 
;unto them. The child of God, when he seeth that his troubles are mixed 
with God's displeasure, and perhaps his conscience tells him that God hath 
a just quarrel against him, because he hath not renewed his peace with his 
God, then this anger of God puts a sting into all other troubles, and adds to 
the disquiet. There were some ingredients of this divine temptation, as we 
;call it, in holy David at this time ; though most properly a divine tempta- 
'tion be, when God appears unto us as an enemy, without any special guilt 
jof any particular sin, as in Job's case. 

And no marvel if Christians be from hence disquieted, whenas the Son 
of God himself, having always enjoyed the sweet communion with his Father, 
pad now feeling an estrangement, that he might be a curse for us, com 
plained in all his torments of nothing else, but ' My God, my God, why 
luist thou forsaken me ? Matt, xxvii. 46. It is with the godly in this case 
liis with vapours drawn up by the sun, which, when the extracting force of 
the sun leaves them, fall down again to the earth from whence they are 
S-lrawn. So when the soul, raised up and upheld by the beams of his 
j-ountenance, is left of God, it presently begins to sink. We see when the 
f'ody of the sun is partly hid from us, for totally it cannot, in an eclipse by 
he body of the moon, that there is a drooping in the whole frame of nature; 
* ' By reason,' added in B- 




134 THE SOUL'S CONFLICT. 

so it is in the soul, when there is anything that comes between God's 
gracious countenance and it. 

2. Besides, if we look down to inferior causes, the soul is oft cast down by 
Satan, who is all for casting down, and for disquieting. For being a 
cursed spirit, cast and tumbled down himself from heaven, where he is 
never to come again, [he] is hereupon full of disquiet, carrying a hell about 
himself; whereupon all that he labours for is to cast down and disquiet others, 
that they may be, as much as he can procure, in the same cursed condition with 
himself. He was not ashamed to set upon Christ himself with this tempta 
tion of casting down, and thinks Christ's members never low enough, till 
he can bring them as low as himself. 

By his envy and subtilty we were driven out of paradise at the first, and 
now he envies us the paradise of a good conscience ; for that is our paradise 
until we come to heaven, into which no serpent shall ever creep to tempt 
us. When Satan seeth a man strongly and comfortably walk with God, 
he cannot endure that a creature of meaner rank by creation than himself 
should enjoy such happiness. Herein, like some peevish men which are 
his instruments, men too contentious and bred up therein, as the salaman 
der in the fire, who when they know the cause to be naught, and their ad 
versaries to have the better title, yet, out of malice, they will follow them with 
suits and vexations, though they be not able to disable their opposites' title. 
If their malice have not a vent in hurting some way, they will burst for anger. 

It is just so with the devil ; when he seeth men will to heaven, and that 
they have good title to it, then he follows them with all dejecting and un 
comfortable temptations that he can. It is his continual trade and course 
to seek his rest in our disquiet, he is by beaten practice and profession a 
tempter in this kind. 

3. Again, what Satan cannot do himself by immediate suggestions, that he 
labours to work by his instruments, who are all for casting down of those who 
stand in their light, as those in the psalm, who cry, ' Down with him, down 
with him, even to the ground,' Ps. cxxxvii. 7 ; a character and stamp of 
which men's dispositions we have in the verse before this text ; * Mine 
enemies,' saith David, reproach me.' As sweet and as compassionate a 
man as he was, to pray and put on sackcloth for them, Ps. xxxv. 13, yet 
he had enemies, and such enemies, as did not suffer their malice only to 
boil and concoct in their own breasts, but out of the abundance of their 
hearts, they reproached him in words. There is nothing the nature of 
man is more impatient of than of reproaches ; for there is no man so mean 
but thinks himself worthy of some regard, and a reproachful scorn shews 
an utter disrespect, which issues from the very superfluity of malice. 

Neither went they behind his back, but were so impudent to say it to his 
face. A malicious heart and a slandering tongue go together, and though 
shame might have suppressed the uttering of such words, yet their insolent 
carriage spake as much in David's heart, Ps. xxxix. 1. We may see by the 
language of men's carriage what their heart saith, and what their tongue 
would vent if they dared. 

And this their malice was unwearied, for they said daily unto him, as if' 
it had been fed with a continual spring. Malice is an unsatiable monster, 
it will minister words, as rage ministers weapons. But what was that they I 
said so reproachfully, and said daily ? Where is now thy God ? ver. 3. ! 
They upbraid him with his singularity, they say not now, Where is God, 
but Where is thy God, that thou dost boast so much on, as if thou hadst 1 
some special interest in him ? where we see that the scope of the devil and 



THE SOUL'S CONFLICT. 135 

wicked men is to shake the godly's faith and confidence in their God. As 
Satan laboured to divide betwixt Christ and his Father, ' If thou beest the 
Son of God, command that these stones be made bread,' Matt. iv. 3, so he 
labours to divide betwixt Father and Son and us. They labour to bring God 
in jealousy with David, as if God had neglected him bearing himself so 
much upon God. They had some colour of this, for God at this time had 
vailed himself from David, as he does oft from his best children, for the 
better discovery of, the malice of wicked men ; and doth not Satan tip the 
tongues of the enemies of religion now, to insult over the church now lying 
a bleeding !* What's becomef of their reformation, of their gospel ? Nay, 
rather what's become of your eyes, we may say unto them ? For God is 
nearest to his children when he seems farthest off 1 . ' In the mount of the 
Lord it shall be seen,' Gen. xxii. 14 ; God is with them, and in them, though 
the wicked be not aware of it ; it is all one, as if one should say betwixt 
the space of the new and old moon, Where is now the moon? whenas it is 
never nearer the sun than at that time. 

Quest. Where is now thy God ? 

Ans. In heaven, in earth, in me, everywhere but in the heart of such as 
ask such questions, and yet there they shall find him too in his time, filling 
their consciences with his wrath ; and then, where is their God ? where are 
their great friends, their riches, their honours, which they set up as a god? 
what can they avail them now ? 

But how was David affected with these reproaches ? Their words were 
as swords, ' as with a sword in my bones,' &c., ver. 10, they spake daggers 
to him, they cut him to the quick when they touched him in his God, as if 
he had neglected his servants, whenas the devil himself regards those who 
servo his turn. Touch a true godly man in his religion, and you touch his 
life and his best freehold ; he lives more in his God than in himself ; so 
that we may see here, there is a murder of the tongue, a wounding tongue 
as well as a healing tongue. Men think themselves freed from murder if 
they kill none, or if they shed no blood, whereas they cut others to the 
heart with bitter words. It is good to extend the commandment to awake 
the conscience the more, and breed humility, when men see there is a mur 
dering of the tongue. We see David, therefore, upon this reproach, to bo 
presently so moved, as to fall out with himself for it, ' Why art thou so 
cast down and disquieted, my soul ?' This bitter taunt ran so much in 
his mind, that he expresseth it twice in this psalm ; he was sensible that 
they struck at God through his sides ; what they spake in scorn and lightly, 
he took heavily. And indeed, when religion suffers, if there be any heavenly 
fire in the heart, it will rather break out, than not discover itself at all. We 
see by daily experience, that there is a special force in words uttered from 
a subtle head, a false heart and a smooth tongue, to weaken the hearts of 
professors, by bringing an evil report upon the strict profession of religion ; 
as the cunning and false spies did upon the good land, Num. xiii. 27, as if it 
were not only in vain, but dangerous to appear for Christ in evil times. If 
the example of such as have faint spirits will discourage in an army, as we 
see in Gideon's history, Judges vii., then what will speech enforced both by 
example and with some show of reason do ? 

4. To let others pass, we need not go further than ourselves, for to find 
causes of discouragement; there is a seminary of them within us. Our 
flesh, an enemy so much the worse, by how much the nearer, will be ready 

* This \vas preached in the beginning of the troubles of the church. [1623. G.] 
t ' What becomes,' in C. 



136 THE SOUL'S CONFLICT. 

to upbraid us within us, Where is now thy God ?' why shouldst thou stand 
out in a profession that finds no better entertainment ? 

CHAPTER III. Of Discouragements from within. 

But to come to some particular causes within us. There is cause oft 
in the body of those in whom a melancholy temper prevaileth. Darkness 
makes men fearful. Melancholy persons are in a perpetual darkness, all 
things seem black and dark unto them, their spirits, as it were, dyed black. 
Now to him that is in darkness, all things seem black and dark ; the sweetest 
comforts are not lightsome enough unto those that are deep in melancholy. 
It is, without great watchfulness, Satan's bath ; which he abuseth as his own 
weapon to hurt the soul, which, by reason of its sympathy with the body, 
is subject to be misled. As we see where there is a suffusion of the eye by 
reason of distemper of humours, or where things are presented through a 
glass to the eye, things seem to be of the same colour ; so whatsoever is 
presented to a melancholy person, comes in a dark way to the soul. From 
whence it is that their fancy being corrupted, they judge amiss, even of out 
ward things, as that they are sick of such and such a disease, or subject to 
such and such a danger, when it is nothing so ; how fit are they then to 
judge of things removed from sense, as of their spiritual estate in Christ ? 

II. Causes privative, of discouragement in ourselves. 

1. To come to causes more near the soul itself, as when there is want of 
that which should be in it, as of knowledge in the understanding, &c. Ignor 
ance, being darkness, is full of false fears. In the night time men think 
every bush a thief. Our forefathers in time of ignorance were frighted with 
everything ; therefore it is the policy of popish tyrants, taught them from 
the prince of darkness, to keep the people in darkness, that so they might 
make them fearful, and then abuse that fearfulness to superstition ; that 
they might the better rule in tljeir consciences for their own ends ; and 
that so having entangled them with false fears, they might heal them again 
with false* cures. 

2 . Again, though the soul be not ignorant, yet if it be forgetful and mindless, 
if, as the apostle saith, ' you have forgot the consolation that speaks unto 
you,' &c., Heb. xii. 5. We have no more present actual comfort than we 
have remembrance ; help a godly man's memory, and help his comfort ; like 
unto charcoal, which, having once been kindled, is the more easy to take 
fire. He that hath formerly known things, takes ready acquaintance of 
them again, as old friends ; things are not strange to him. 

8. And further, want of setting due price upon comforts ; as the Israelites 
were taxed for setting nothing by the pleasant land. It is a great fault ! 
when, as they said to Job, ' the consolation of the Almighty seem light and j 
small unto us/ Job xv. 11, unless we have some outward comfort which we ; 
linger after. 

4. Add unto this, a childish kind of peevishness ; when they have not what i 
they would have, like children, they throw away all ; which, though it be ! 
very offensive to God's Spirit, yet it geizeth often upon men otherwise 
gracious. Abraham himself, wanting children, Gen. xv. 2, undervalued all i 
other blessings. Jonah, because he was crossed of his gourd, was weary of ! 
his life. The like may be said of Elias, flying from Jezebel. This peevish- : 
ness is increased by a too much flattering of their grief, so far as to justify ' 

* ' False * is misprinted ' safe ' in A and B ' False/ the correction, is from C. 




THE SOUL'S CONFLICT. 137 

it ; like Jonas, ' I do well to be angry even unto death,' Jonah iv. 9 ; he 
would stand to it. Some, with Rachel, are so peremptory, that they ' will 
not be comforted,' Jer. xxxi. 15, as if they were in love with their griev 
ances. Wilful men are most vexed in their crosses. It is not for those to 
be wilful that have not a great measure of wisdom to guide their wills ; for 
God delights to have his will of those that are wedded to their own wills, 
as in Pharaoh. No men more subject to discontentments than those who 
would have all things after their own way. 

5. Again, one main ground IB, false reasoning, and error in our discourse, as 
that we have no grace when we feel none. Feeling is not always a fit rule 
to judge our states by, that God hath rejected us, because we are crossed in 
outward things, whenas this issues from God's wisdom and love. How 

y imagine their failings to be fallings, and their fallings to be fallings 
y ; infirmities to be presumptions ; every sin against conscience, to be 
sin against the Holy Ghost ; unto which misapprehensions, weak and 
k spirits are subject. And Satan, as a cunning rhetorician, here en- 
th the fancy, to apprehend things bigger than they are. Satan abuseth 
fident spirits another contrary way ; to apprehend great sins as little, 
d little as none. Some also think that they have no grace, because they 
have not so much as grown Christians ; whereas there be several ages in 
ist. Some, again, are so desirous and enlarged after what they have 
that they mind not what they have. Men may be rich, though they 
no millions, and be not emperors. 

6. Likewise, some are much troubled, because they proceed by a false 
method and order in judging of their estates. They will begin with election, 
which is the highest step of the ladder ; whereas they should begin from a 
work of grace wrought within their hearts, from God's calling them by his 
Spirit, and their answer to his call, and so raise themselves upwards to 
know their election by their answer to God's calling. ' Give all diligence,' 
saith Peter, ' to make your calling and election sure,' 2 Pet. i. 10, your 
election by your calling. God descends down unto us from election to 
calling, and so to sanctification ; we must ascend to him, beginning where 
he ends. Otherwise it is as great folly as in removing of a pile of wood, to 
begin at the lowest first, and so, besides the needless trouble, to be in dan 
ger to have the rest to fall upon our heads. Which, besides ignorance, 
argues pride, appearing in this, that they would bring God to their conceits, 
and be at an end of their work before they begin. 

This great secret of God's eternal love to us in Christ is hidden in his 
breast, and doth not appear to us, until in the use of means God by his 
Spirit discovereth the same unto us ; the Spirit letteth into the soul so 
much life and sense of God's love in particular to us, as draweth the soul 
to Christ, from whom it draweth so much virtue as changeth the frame of 
it, and quickeneth it to duty, which duties are not grounds of *ur state in 
grace, but issues, springing from a good state before ; and thus far they 
help us in judging of our condition, that though they be not to be rested 
in, yet as streams they lead us to the spring-head of grace from whence 
they arise. 

And of signs, some be more apt to deceive us, as being not so certain, 
as < delight and joy in hearing the word,' Mat. xiii. 20, as appeareth in the 
third ground ; some are more constant and certain, as love to those that 
are truly good, and to all such, and because they are such, &c. These as 
they are wrought by the Spirit, so the same Spirit giveth evidence to the 
soul of the truth of them, and leadeth us to faith from whence they come, 



138 THE SOUL'S CONFLICT. 

and faith leads us to the discovery of God's love made known to us in hear 
ing the word opened. The same Spirit openeth the truth to us, and our 
understandings to conceive of it, and our hearts to close with it by faith, 
not only as a truth, but as a truth belonging to us. 

Now this faith is manifested, either by itself reflecting upon itself the 
light of faith, discovering both itself and other things, or by the cause of it, 
or by the effect, or by all. Faith is oft more known to us in the fruit of 
it, than in itself, as in plants, the fruits are more apparent than the sap 
and root. But the most settled knowledge is from the cause, as when I 
know I believe, because in hearing God's gracious promises opened and 
offered unto me, the Spirit of God carrieth my soul to cleave to them as 
mine own portion, Eph. i. 13. Yet the most familiar way of knowledge of 
our estates is from the effects to gather the cause, the cause being oftentimes 
more remote and spiritual, the effects more obvious and visible. All the 
vigour and beauty in nature which we see, comes from a secret influence 
from the heavens which we see not ; in a clear morning we may see the 
beams of the sun shining upon the top of hills and houses before we can 
see the sun itself. 

Things in the working of them, do issue from the cause, by whose force 
they had their being ; but our knowing of things ariseth from the effect, 
where the cause endeth. We know God must love us before we can love him, 
and yet we oft first know that we love him, 1 John iv. 19 ; the love of 
God is the cause why we love our brother, and yet we know we love 
our brother whom we see more clearly, than God whom we do not see, 
ver. 20. 

It is a spiritual peevishness that keeps men in a perplexed condition, 
that they neglect these helps to judge of their estates by, whereas God takes 
liberty to help us sometime to a discovery of our estate by the effects, some 
times by the cause, &c. And it is a sin to set light by any work of the 
Spirit, and the comfort we might have by it, and therefore we may well 
add this as one cause of disquietness in many, that they grieve the Spirit, 
by quarrelling against themselves and the work of the Spirit in them. 

7. Another cause of disquiet is, that men by a natural kind of popery seek 
for their comfort too much sanctification, neglecting justification, relying 
too much upon their own performances. St Paul was of another mind, 
accounting all but dung and dross, compared to the righteousness of Christ, 
Philip, iii. 8, 9. This is that garment, wherewith being decked, we please 
our husband, and wherein we get the blessing. This giveth satisfaction to 
the conscience, as satisfying God himself, being performed by God the Son, 
and approved therefore by God the Father. Hereupon the soul is quieted, 
and faith holdeth out this as a shield against the displeasure of God and 
temptations of Satan. Why did the apostles in their prefaces join grace and 
peace together,* but that we should seek for our peace in the free grace and 
favour of God in Christ ? 

No wonder why papists maintain doubting, who hold salvation by works, 
because Satan joining together with our consciences will always find some 
flaw even in our best performances ; hereupon the doubting and misgiving 
soul comes to make this absurd demand, as, Who shall ascend to heaven ? 
Ps. xxiv. 3, which is all one as to fetch Christ from heaven, and so bring 
him down to suffer on the cross again. Whereas if we believe in Christ 
we are as sure to come to heaven as Christ is there. Christ ascending and 

* Grace and peace. See 1 Cor. i. 3 ; 2 Cor. i. 2 ; Gal. i. 3 ; Eph. i. 2 ; 1 rotor 
- 2 ; Rev. i. 4, & c ., &c. G. 



THE SOUL'S CONFLICT. 130 

descending, with all that he hath done, is ours. So that neither height nor 
depth can separate us from Ofod's love in Christ, Rom. viii. 39. 

But we must remember, though the main pillar of our comfort be in the 
free forgiveness of our sins, yet if there be a neglect in growing in holiness, 
the soul will never be soundly quiet, because it will be prone to question 
the truth of justification, and it is as proper for sin to raise doubts and fears 
in the conscience, as for rotten flesh and wood to breed worms. 

8. And therefore we may well join this as a cause of disquietness, the 
neglect of keeping a dear conscience. Sin, like Achan, or Jonah in the ship, is 
that which causeth storms within and without. Where there is not a pure con 
science, there is not a pacified conscience ; and therefore though some, thinking 
to save themselves whole in justification, neglect the cleansing of their natures 
and ordering of their lives, yet in time of temptation they will find it more 
troublesome than they think. For a. conscience guilty of many neglects, 

of allowing itself in any sin, to lay claim to God's mercy, is to do as 
see mountebanks sometimes do, who wound their flesh to try conclusions 
m their own bodies, how sovereign the salve is ; yet oftentimes they 
>me to feel the smart of their presumption, by long and desperate wounds. 
God will let us see what it is to make wounds to try the preciousness of 
is balm ; such may go mourning to their graves. And though, perhaps, 
rith much wrestling with God they may get assurance of the pardon of 
leir sins, yet their conscience will be still trembling, like-as David's, 
>ugh Nathan had pronounced unto him the forgiveness of his sin, Ps. li., 
11 God at length speaks further peace, even as the water of the sea after a 
storm is not presently still, but moves and trembles a good while after the 
storm is over. A Christian is a new creature and walketh by rule, and so 
far as he walketh according to his rule, peace is upon him, Gal. vi. 16. 
Loose walkers that regard not their way, must think to meet with sorrows 
instead of peace. "Watchfulness is the preserver of peace. It is a deep 
spiritual judgment to find peace hi an ill way. 

9. Some again reap the fruit of their ignorance of Christian liberty, by un 
necessary scruples and doubts. It is both unthankfulness to God and 
wrong to ourselves, to be ignorant of the extent of Christian liberty. It 
makes melody to Satan to see Christians troubled with that they neither 
should or need. Yet there is danger in stretching Christian liberty be 
yond the bounds. For a man may condemn himself in that he approves, 
as in not walking circumspectly in regard of circumstances, and so breed 
his own disquiet, and give scandal to others. 

10. Sometimes also, God suffers men to be disquieted for ivant of employ 
ment, who, in shunning labour, procure trouble to themselves ; and by not 
doing that which is needful, they are troubled with that which is unnecessary. 
An unemployed life is a burden to itself. God is a pure act, always working, 
always doing ; and the nearer our soul comes to God, the more it is in 
action and the freer from disquiet. Men experimentally feel that comfort, 
in doing that which belongs unto them, which before they longed for and 
went without ; a heart not exercised in some honest labour works trouble 
out of itself. 

11. Again, omission of duties and offices of love often troubles the peace of 
good people ; for even in time of death, when they look for peace and desire 
it most, then looking back upon their former failings, and seeing opportunity 
of doing good wanting to their desire (the parties perhaps being deceased to 
whom they owed more respect), are hereupon much disquieted, and so much 
the more because they see now hope of the like advantages cut off. 



140 THE SOUL'S CONFLICT. 

A Christian life is full of duties, and the peace of it is ^not maintained 
without much fruitfulness and looking about us. Debt is a disquieting 
thing to an honest mind, and duty is debt. Hereup9n the apostle layeth 
the charge, ' that we should owe nothing to any man but love,' Kom. xiii. 8. 

12. Again, one special cause of too much disquiet is, want of firm resolution 
in good tilings. The soul cannot but be disquieted when it knows not what to 
cleave unto, like a ship tossed with contrary winds. Halting is a deformed 
and troublesome gesture ; so halting in religion is not only troublesome to 
others and odious, but also disquiets ourselves. ' If God be God, cleave to 
him,' 1 Kings xviii. 21. If the duties of religion be such as will bring peace 
of conscience at the length, be religious to purpose, practise them in the 
particular passages of life. We should labour to have a clear judgment, 
and from thence a resolved purpose; a wavering-minded man is incon 
sistent in all his ways, James i. 6. God will not speak peace to a stagger 
ing spirit that hath always its religion and its way to choose. Uncertain 
men are always unquiet men : and giving too much way to passion maketh 
men in particular consultations unsettled. This is the reason why, in par 
ticular cases, when the matter concerns ourselves, we cannot judge so 
clearly as in general truths, because Satan raiseth a mist between us and 
the matter in "question. 

III. Positive causes. 

Maybe, 1. When men lay up their comfort too much on outward things, 
which, being subject to much inconstancy and change, breed disquiet. 
Vexation always follows vanity, when vanity is not apprehended to be where 
it is. In that measure we are cast down in the disappointing of our hopes, 
as we were too much lifted up in expectation of good from them. Whence 
proceed these complaints : Such a friend hath failed me ; I never thought 
to have fallen into this condition ; I had settled my joy in this child, in 
this friend, &c. But this is to build our comfort upon things that have no 
firm foundation, to build castles in the air, as we use to say. Therefore 
it is a good desire of the wise man Agur to desire God * to remove from us 
vanity and lies,' Prov. xxx. 8 ; that is, a vain and false apprehension pitch 
ing upon things that are vain and lying, promising that* contentment to 
ourselves from the creature which it cannot yield. Confidence in vain 
things makes a vain heart, the heart becoming of the nature of the thing it 
relies on. We may say of all earthly things as the prophet speaketh, * here 
is not our rest,' Mic. ii. 10. 

It is no wonder, therefore, that worldly men are oft cast down and dis 
quieted, when they walk in a vain shadow, Ps. xxxix. 6, as likewise that 
men given much to recreations should be subject to passionate distempers, 
because here, things fall out otherwise than they looked for ; recreations 
being about matters that are variable, which especially falls out in games of 
hazard, wherein they oft spare not divine providence itself, but break out 
into blasphemy. 

Likewise men that grasp more businesses than they can discharge, must 
needs bear both the blame and the grief of losing or marring many busi 
nesses, it being almost impossible to do many things so well as to give 
content to conscience ; hence it is that covetous and busy men trouble both 
their hearts and their houses. Though some men, from a largeness of parts 
and a special dexterity in affairs, may turn over much, yet the most capa 
cious heart hath its measure, and when the cup is full, a little drop may 

* ' a.' in C. 



THE SOUL'S CONFLICT. 141 

cause the rest to spill. There is a spiritual surfeit, when the soul is over 
charged with business ; it is fit the soul should have its meet burden and 
no more. 

2. As likewise, those that depend too much upon the opinions of other men. 
A very little matter will refresh, and then again discourage, a mind that 
rests too much upon the liking of others Sic leve sic parvum est animum 
quod laudis avarum submit aut reficit. Men that seek themselves too much 
abroad, find themselves disquieted at home. Even good men many times 
are too much troubled with the unjust censures of other men, specially in 
the day of their trouble. It was Job's case ; and it is a heavy thing to 
have affliction added to affliction. It was Hannah's case, who, being 
troubled in spirit, was censured by Eli for distemper in brain, 1 Sam. i. 14 ; 
but for vain men who live more to reputation than to conscience, it cannot 
be that they should long enjoy settled quiet, because those in whose good 

ion they desire to dwell, are ready often to take up contrary conceits 
n slender grounds. 

3. It is also a ground of overmuch trouble, when we look too much and 
long upon the ill in ourselves and abroad. We may fix our eyes too long 
n upon sin itself, considering that we have not only a remedy against 

hurt by sin, but a commandment to rejoice always in the Lord, Philip. 

4. Much more may we err in poring too much upon our afflictions ; 
in we may find always in ourselves upon search, a cause to justify 

d, and always something left to comfort us ; though we naturally mind 

>re one cross than a hundred favours, dwelling over long upon the sore. 

So likewise, our minds may be too 7nuch taken up in consideration of the 
iseries of the times at home and abroad, as if Christ did not rule in the 
midst of his enemies, and would not help all in due time ; or as if the con 
dition of the church in this world were not for the most part in an afflicted 
and conflicted condition. Indeed there is a perfect rest both for the souls 
and bodies of God's people, but that i> ot in this world, but is kept for 
hereafter ; here we are in a sea, where what can we look for but storms ? 

To insist upon no more, one cause is, that we do usurp upon God, and 
take his office upon us, by troubling ourselves in forecasting the event of 
things, whereas our work is only to do our work and be quiet, as children 
when they please their parents take no further thought ; our trouble is the 
fruit of our folly in this kind. 

Use 1. That which we should observe from all that hath been said is, that 
we be not over hasty in censuring others, when we see their spirits out of 
temper, for we see how many things there are that work strongly upon the 
weak nature of man. We may sin more by harsh censure than they by 
overmuch distemper ; as, in Job's case, it was a matter rather of just grief 
and pity, than great wonder or heavy censure. 

Use 2. And, for ourselves, if our estate be calm for the present, yet we 
should labour to prepare our hearts, not only for an alteration of estate, but 
of spirit, unless we be marvellous careful beforehand, that our spirits fall 
not down with our condition. And if it befalls us to find it otherwise with 
our souls than at other times, we should so far labour to bear it, as that we 
do not judge it our own case alone, when we see here David thus to com 
plain of himself, * Why art thou cast down, my soul ? ' &c. 




142 THE SOUL'S CONFLICT. 



CHAPTER IV. Of casting down ourselves, and specially by sorrow evils 

thereof. 

To return again to the words, ' Why art thou cast down, my soul ?' &c., 
or, Why dost thou cast down thyself?* or, Art cast down by thyself? 

Obs. 1. Whence we may further observe, that we are prone to cast down 
ourselves, we are accessory to our own trouble, and weave the web of our 
own sorrow, and hamper ourselves in the cords of our own twining. God 
neither loves nor wills that we should be too much cast down. We see our 
Saviour Christ, how careful he was that his disciples should not be troubled, 
and therefore he labours to prevent that trouble which might arise by his 
suffering and departure from them, by a heavenly sermon ; ' Let not your 
hearts be troubled,' &c., John xiv. 1. He was troubled himself that we 
should not be troubled. The ground, therefore, of our disquiet is chiefly 
from ourselves, though Satan will have a hand in it. We see many, like 
sullen birds in a cage, beat themselves to death. This casting down of our 
selves is not from humility, but from pride ; we must have our will, or God 
shall not have a good look from us, but as pettish and peevish children, we 
hang our heads in our bosom, because our wills are crossed. 

Use. Therefore, in all our troubles we should look first home to our own 
hearts, and stop the storm there ; for we may thank our own selves, not 
only for our troubles, but likewise for overmuch troubling ourselves in 
trouble. It was not the troubled condition that so disquieted David's soul, 
for if he had had a quiet mind, it would not have troubled him. But David 
yielded to the discouragements of the flesh, and the flesh, so far as it is un 
subdued, is like the sea that is always casting mire and dirt of doubts, dis 
couragements, and murmurings in the soul ; let us, therefore, lay the blame 
where it is to be laid. 

Obs. 2. Again, we see, it is the nature of sorrow to cast down, as of joy 
to lift up. Grief is like lead to the soul, heavy and cold ; it sinks down 
wards, and carries the soul with it. The poor publican, to shew that his 
soul was cast down under the sight of his sins, hung down his head, Luke 
xviii. 13 ; the position of his body was suitable to the disposition of his 
mind, his heart and head were cast down alike. And it is Satan's practice 
to go over the hedge where it is lowest ; he adds more weights to the soul 
by his temptations and vexations. His sin cast him out of heaven, and by 
his temptations he cast us out of our paradise, and ever since, he labours 
to cast us deeper into sin, wherein his scope is, to cast us either into too 
much trouble for sin, or presumption in sin, which is but a lifting up, to 
cast us down into deep despair at length, and so at last, if God's mercy 
stop not his malice, he will cast us as low as himself, even into hell itself. 

Reason. The ground hereof is because, as the joy of the Lord doth strengthen, 
so doth sorrow weaken the soul. How doth it weaken ? 

1 . By weakening the execution of the functions thereof, because it drinketh 
up the spirits, which are the instruments of the soul. 

2. Because it contracteth, and draweth the soul into itself from com 
munion of that comfort it might have with God or man. And then the 
soul being left alone, if it falleth, hath none to raise it up, Eccl. iv. 10. 

Use. Therefore, if we will prevent casting down, let us prevent grief the 
cause of it, and sin the cause of that. Experience proves that true which the 
wise man says, ' Heaviness in the heart of a n>an makes it stoop, but a good 
word makes it better,' Prov. xii. 25. It bows down the soul, and therefore 



THE SOUL'S CONFLICT. 143 

our blessed Saviour inviteth such unto him, < Come unto me, ye who are 
heavy laden with the burden of your sins,' Matt. xi. 28. The body bends 
under a heavy burden, so likewise the soul hath its burden, ' Why art thou 
cast down, my soul ? why so disquieted ?' &c. 

Ols. 3. Whence we see, 1, that casting down breeds disquieting : because 
it springs from pride, which is a turbulent passion, whenas men cannot 
stoop to that condition which God would have them in ; this proceeds from 
discontentment, and that from pride. As we see a vapour enclosed in a 
cloud causeth a terrible noise of thunder, whilst it is pent up there, and 
seeketh a vent ; so all the noise within proceeds from a discontented swell 
ing vapour. It is air enclosed in the bowels of the earth which shakes it, 
which all the four winds cannot do. 

No creature under heaven so low cast down as Satan, none more lifted 
up in pride, none so full of discord. The impurest spirits are the most 
disquiet and stormy spirits, troublesome to themselves and others ; for when 
the soul leaves God once, and looks downwards, what is there to stay it 
from disquiet ? Remove the needle from the pole-star, and it is always 
stirring and trembling, never quiet till it be right again. So, displace the 
soul by taking it from God, and it will never be quiet. The devil cast out 
of heaven and out of the church, keeps ado ; so do unruly spirits led by 

m. 

Now I come to the remedies. 

1. By expostulation with himself, Why art, &c. 

2. By laying a charge upon himself, Trust in God. 

Trust in God. It is supposed here, that there is no reason, which the 
lorn from above allows to be a reason, why men should be discouraged ; 
although the wisdom from beneath, which takes part with our corruption, 
will seldom want a plea. Nay, there is not only no reason for it, but there 
are strong reasons against it, there being a world of evil in it. 

For, 1. It indisposes a man to all good duties, it makes him like an instru 
ment out of tune, and like a body out of joint, that moveth both uncomely 
and painfully. It unfits to duties to God, who loves a cheerful giver, and 
especially a thanksgiver. Whereupon the apostle joins them both together, 
4 In all things be thankful, and rejoice evermore;' 1 Thess. v. 17, 18. In 
our communion with God in the sacraments, joy is a chief ingredient. So 
in duties to men, if the spirit be dejected, they are unwelcome, and lose the 
greatest part of their life and grace ; a cheerful and a free spirit in duty is 
that which is most accepted in duty. We observe not so much what, as 
from what affection a thing is done. 

2. It is a great wrong to God himself, and it makes us conceive black 
thoughts of him, as if he were an enemy. What an injury is it to a gracious 
father that such whom he hath followed with many gracious evidences of 
his favour and love should be in so ill a frame as once to call it into question ! 

3. So it makes a man forgetful of all former blessings, and stops the in 
fluence of God's grace for the time present and for that to come. 

4. So, again, for receiving of good, it makes us unfit to receive mercies. 
A quiet soul is the seat of wisdom ; therefore, meekness is required for the 
receiving of that ' engrafted word which is able to save our souls,' James i. 
21. Till the Spirit of God meekens the soul, say what you will, it minds 
nothing ; the soul is not empty and quiet enough to receive the seed of the 
word. It is ill sowing hi a storm ; so a stormy spirit will not suffer the 
word to take place. Men are deceived when they think a dejected spirit 
to be an humble spirit. Indeed, it is so when we are cast down in tho 



144 THE SOUL'S CONFLICT. 

sense of our own unworthiness, and then as much raised up in the confi 
dence of God's mercy. But when we cast ourselves down sullenly, and 
neglect our comforts, or undervalue them, it proceeds from pride ; for it 
controls, as much as in us lies, the wisdom and justice of God, when we 
think with ourselves, "Why should it be so with us ? as if we were wiser to 
dispose of ourselves than God is. It disposeth us for entertaining any 
temptation. Satan hath never more advantage than upon discontent. 

5. Besides, it keeps off beginners from coming in, and entering into the 
ways of God, bringing an ill report upon religion, causing men to charge it 
falsely for an uncomfortable way, wheuas men never feel what true comfort 
meaneth till they give up themselves to God. And it damps, likewise, the 
spirits of those that walk the same way with us, whenas we should, as good 
travellers, cheer up one another both by word and example. In such a 
case the wheels of the soul are taken off, or else, as it were, want oil, 
whereby the soul passeth on very heavily, and no good action conies off 
from it as it should, which breeds not only uncomfortableness, but un- 
settledness in good courses. For a man will never go on comfortably and 
constantly in that which he heavily undertakes. That is the reason why 
uncheerful spirits seldom hold out as they should. St Peter knew this 
well, and therefore he willeth that there should be * quietness and peace 
betwixt husband and wife, that their prayers be not hindered,' 1 Pet. iii. 
7, insinuating that their prayers are hindered by family breaches ; for by 
that means those two that should be one flesh and spirit are divided, and 
so made two, and when they should mind duty their mind is taken up with 
wrongs done by the one to the other. 

There is nothing more required for the performing of holy duties than 
uniting of spirits, and therefore God would not have the sacrifice brought to 
the altar before reconciliation with our brother, Matt. v. 24. He esteems 
peace so highly, that he will have his own service stay for it. We see 
when Moses came to deliver the Israelites out of bondage, Exod. ix., their 
mind was so taken up with their grief that there was nobody within to give 
Moses an answer ; their souls went altogether after their ill usage. 

Use. Therefore, we should all endeavour and labour for a calmed spirit, 
that we may the better serve God in praying to him and praising of him ; 
and serve one another in love, that we may be fitted to do and receive good, 
that we may make our passage to heaven more easy and cheerful, without 
drooping and hanging the wing. So much as we are quiet and cheerful 
upon good grounds, so much we live, and are, as it were, in heaven. So 
much as we yield to discouragement, we lose so much of our life and hap 
piness, ^ cheerfulness being, as it were, that life of our lives and the spirit of 
our spirits by which they are more enlarged to receive happiness and to 
express it. 



CHAPTER V. Remedies of casting down - to cite the soul, and press it 
to give an account. 

Obs. 1. But to come to some helps : 

First, in that he expostulates with himself, we may observe that one way 
to raise a dejected soul is to cite it before itself, and, as it u'ere, to reason the 
case. God hath set up a court in man's heart, wherein the conscience hath 
the office both of informer, accuser, witness, and judge ; and if matters 
were well carried within ourselves, this prejudging would be a prevention 



THE SOUL'S CONFLICT. 145 

of future judging. It is a great mercy of God that the credit and comfort 
of man are so provided for that he may take up matters in himself, and so 
prevent public disgrace. But if there be not a fair dispatch and transac 
tion in this inferior court within us, there will be a review in a higher court. 
Therefore, by slubbering over our matters we put God and ourselves to 
more trouble than needs. For a judgment must pass, first or last, either 
within us or without us, upon all unwarrantable distempers. We must not 
only be ready to give an account of our faith, upon what grounds we be- 
i lieve ; but of all our actions, upon what grounds we do what we do ; and 
of our passions, upon what grounds we are passionate ; as in a well-governed 
state, uproar and sedition is never stirred, but account must be given. Now 
in a mutiny, the presence and speech of a venerable man composeth the 
i minds of the disordered multitude ; so likewise in a mutiny of the spirit, 
i the authority that God hath put into reason, as a beam of himself, com- 
mands silence, and puts all in order again. 

Reason. And there is good reason for it, for man is an understanding 
creature, and hath a rule given him to live by, and therefore is to be 
countable of every thought, word, action^ passion.* Therefore the first way 
to quiet the soul, is, to ask a reason of the tumult raised, and then many 
of our distempers for shame will not appear, because though they rage in 
silent darkness, yet they can say nothing for themselves, being summoned 
| before strength of judgment and reason. Which is the reason why pas 
sionate men are loth that any court should be kept within them ; but labour 
to stop judgment all they can. If men would but give themselves leave to 
consider better of it, they would never yield to such unreasonable motions 
of the soul ; if they could but gain so much of their unruly passions, as to 
reason the matter within themselves, to hear what their consciences can tell 
them in secret, there would not be such offensive breakings out. And there 
fore, if we be ashamed to hear others upbraiding us, let us for shame hear 
ourselves ; and if no reason can be given, what an unreasonable thing is it 
for a man endowed with reason to contrary his own principles ! and to be 
carried as a beast without reason ; or if there be any reason to be given, 
then this is the way to scan it, see whether it will hold water or not. We 
shall find some reasons, if they may be so called, to be so corrupt and foul, 
that if the judgment be not corrupted by them, they dare not be brought to 
light, but always appear under some colour and pretext ; for sin, like the 
devil, is afraid to appear in its own likeness, and men seek out fair glosses 
for foul intentions. The hidden, secret reason is one, the open is another ; 
the heart being corrupt sets the wit awork, to satisfy corrupt will ; such kind 
of men are afraid of their own consciences, as Ahab of Micaiah, 1 Kings 
xxii. 16, because they fear it would deal truly with them ; and therefore 
they take either present order for their consciences, or else, as Felix put off 
Paul, Acts xxiv. 25, they adjourn the court for another time. Such men 
are strangers at home, afraid of nothing more than themselves, and there- 
fere in a fearful condition, because they are reserved for the judgment of the 
great day, if God doth not before that set upon them in this world. If 
men, carried away with their own lusts, would give but a little check, and stop 
themselves in their posting to hell, and ask, What have I done ? What am 
I now about ? Whither will this course tend ? How will it end ? &c., un 
doubtedly men would begin to be wise. Would the blasphemer give away 
his soul for nothing (for there is no engagement of profit or pleasure in this 
as in other sins, but it issues merely out of irreverence, and a superfluity of 
profaneness), would he, I say, draw so heavy a guilt upon himself for no- 
VOL. i. K 



146 THE SOUL'S CONFLICT. 

thing, if he would but make use of his reason ? Would an old man, when he 
is very near his journey's end, make longer provision for a short way, if he 
would ask himself a reason ? But, indeed, covetousness is an unreason 
able vice. 

If those also of the younger sort would ask of themselves, why God I 
should not have the flower and marrow of their age ? and why they should 
give their strength to the devil ? it might a little take them off from the 
devil's service. But sin is a work of darkness, and therefore shuns not only 
the light of grace, but even the light of reason. Yet sin seldom wants a 
seeming reason. Men will not go to hell without a show of reason. But 
such be sophistical fallacies, not reasons ; and, therefore, sinners are said ; 
to play the sophisters with themselves. Satan could not deceive us, unless 
we deceived ourselves first, and are willingly deceived. Wilful sinners are 
blind, because they put out the light of reason, and so think God, like them 
selves, blind too, Ps. 1. 21, and, therefore, they are deservedly termed mad- ! 
men and fools ; for, did they but make use of that spark of reason, it would ! 
teach them to reason thus : I cannot give an account of my ways to myself; ; 
what account shall I, or can I, give then to the Judge of all flesh ere it be 
long. 

And as it is a ground of repentance in stopping our course to ask, What j 
have I done ? so likewise of faith and new obedience, to ask, What shall I 
do for the time to come ? and then upon settling, the soul in way of thanks 
will be ready to ask of itself, ' What shall I return to the Lord ? ' &c. So 
that the soul, by this dealing with itself, promoteth itself to all holy duties 
till it come to heaven. 

1. The reason why we are thus backward to the keeping of this court in 
ourselves is self-love. We love to flatter our own affections, but this self- 
love is but self- hatred in the end. As the wise man says, he that regards 
not this part of wisdom, hates his own soul, and shall eat the fruits of his 
own ways,' Prov. i. 31. 

2. As likewise it issues from an irksomeness of labour, which makes us 
rather willing to seem base and vile to ourselves and others, than to take 
pains with our own hearts to be better, as those that are weary of holding j 
the reins give them up unto the horse neck, and so are driven whither the \ 
rage of the horse carrieth them. Sparing a little trouble at first, doubles it ; 
in the end ; as he who will not take the pains to cast up his books, his ' 
books will cast up him in the end. It is a blessed trouble that brings 
sound and long peace. This labour saves God a labour, for therefore he 
judgeth us, because we would not take pains with ourselves before, 1 Cor. 
xi. 81. 

^ 8. And pride also, with a desire of liberty, makes men think it to be a 
diminishing of greatness and freedom either to be curbed, or to curb our 
selves. We love to be absolute and independent ; but this, as it brought | 
ruin upon our nature in Adam, so it will upon our persons. Men, as j 
Luther was wont to say, are born with a pope in their belly, they are loath 
to give an account, although it be to themselves, their wills are, instead of i 
a kingdom to them, mens mihi pro regno. 

Let us, therefore, when any lawless passions begin to stir, deal with our 
souls as God did with Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry ?' Jonah iv. 4, 
to fret thus. This will be a means to make us quiet ; for, alas ! what 
weak reasons have we often of strong motions. Such a man gave me no i 
respect, such another looked more kindly upon another man than upon me, 
&c. You have some of Haman's spirit, Esth. v. 18, that for a little neglect : 



THE SOUL'S CONFLICT. 1-17 

would ruin a whole nation. Passion presents men that are innocent as 
guilty to us,facit ira nocentes ; and because we will not seem to be mad 
iwithout reason, pride commands the wit to justify anger, and so one passion 
maintains and feeds another. 

Obs. 2. Neither is it sufficient to cite the soul before itself ; but it must 
i be pressed to give an account, as we see here David doubles and trebles the 
expostulation ; as oft as any distemper did arise, so oft did he labour to 
'keep it down. If passions grow too insolent, Eli's mildness will do no 
I good, 1 Sam. ii. 24. It would prevent much trouble in this kind to subdue 
: betimes, in ourselves and others, the first beginnings of any unruly passions 
I and affections ; which, if they be not well tutored and disciplined at the 
! first, prove as headstrong, unruly, and ill nurtured children, who, being not 
i chastened in time, take such a head, that it is oft above the power of 
! parents to bring them in order. A child set at liberty, saith Solomon, 
I 'breeds shame, at length, to his parents,' Prov. xxix. 15. Adonijah's 
i example shews this. The like may be said of the affections set at liberty ; 
! it is dangerous to redeem a little quiet by yielding to our affections, which 
i is never safely gotten but by mortification of them. 

Those that are in great place are most in danger, by yielding to them 
selves, to lose themselves ; for they are so taken up with the person for a 
time put upon them, that they, both in look and speech and carriage, often 
shew that they forget both their natural condition as men, and much more 
their supernatural as Christians ; and therefore are scarce counselable by 
others or themselves in those things that concern their severed condition, 
that concerneth another world. Whereas it were most wisdom so to think of 
their place they bear, whereby they are called gods, Ps. Ixxxii. 6, 7, as not 
to forget they must lay their person aside, and ' die like men,' 2 Sam. 
xxiv. 4. David himself that in his afflicted condition could advise with him 
self, and check himself, yet in his free and flourishing estate neglected the 
counsel of his friends. Agur was in jealousy of a full condition, and lest 
instead of saying, what have I done ? why am I thus cast down, &c., he 
should say, Who is the Lord ?' Prov. xxx. 9. 

Meaner men in their lesser sphere often shew what their spirits would 
be, if their compass were enlarged. 

It is a great fault in breeding youth, for fear of taking down of their 
spirits, not to take down their pride, and get victory of their affections : 
whereas a proud unbroken heart raiseth us more trouble often than all the 
world beside. Of all troubles, the trouble of a proud heart is the greatest. 
It was a great trouble toHaman to lead Mordecai's horse, Esth. vi. 1, which 
another man would not have thought so ; the moving of a straw is trouble 
some to proud flesh. And therefore it is good to ' bear the j r oke from our 
youth,' Lam. iii. 27 ; it is better to be taken down in youth, than to be 
broken in pieces by great crosses in age. First or last, self-denial and 
victory over ourselves is absolutely necessary ; otherwise faith, which is a 
grace that requireth self-denial, will never be brought into the soul, and 
bear rule there. 

Quest. But, what if pressing upon our souls will not help ? 

Ans. Then speak to God, to 'Jesus Christ by prayer, that as he rebuked 
the winds and the waves, and went upon the sea, so he would walk upon 
pur souls, and command a calm there. It is no less power to settle a peace 
in the soul, than to command the seas to be quiet. It is God's prerogative 
to rule in the heart, as likewise to give it up to itself, which, next to hell 
is the greatest judgment ; which should draw us to the greater reverence 



148 THE SOUL'S CONFLICT. 

and fear of displeasing God. It was no ill wish of him,v- that desired God 
to free him from an ill man, himself. Domine, libera me a malo homine, 
meipso. 



CHAPTER VI. Other observations of the same nature. 

Obs. 3. Moreover we see that a godly man can cast a restraint upon him 
self, as David here stays himself in falling. There is a principle of grace, 
that stops the heart, and pulls in the reins again when the affections are 
loose. A carnal man, when he begins to be cast down, sinks lower and 
lower, until he sinks into despair, as lead sinks into the bottom of the sea. 
* They sunk, they sunk, like lead in the mighty waters,' Exod. xv. 5. A 
carnal man sinks as a heavy body to the centre of the earth, and stays not 
if it be not stopped : there is nothing in him to stay him in falling, as we 
see in Ahithophel and Saul, 2 Sam. xvii. 23, who, wanting a support, found 
no other stay but the sword's point. And the greater their parts and places 
are, the more they entangle themselves ; and no wonder, for they are to 
encounter with God and his deputy, conscience, who is King of kings, and 
Lord of lords. When Cain was cast out of his father's house, his heart and 
countenance was always cast down, for he had nothing in him to lift it up 
wards. But a godly man, though he may give a little way to passion, yet, 
as David, he recovers himself. Therefore as we would have any good evi 
dence that we have a better spirit in us than our own, greater than the flesh 
or the world, let us, in all troubles we meet with, gather up ourselves, that 
the stream of our own affections carry us not away too far. 

There is an art or skill of bearing troubles, if we could learn it, without 
overmuch troubling of ourselves, as in bearing of a burden there is a way 
so to poise it that it weigheth not over heavy : if it hangs all on one side, 
it poises the body down. The greater part of our troubles we pull upon 
ourselves, by not parting our care so, as to take upon us only the care of duty, 
and leave the rest to God ; and by mingling our passions with our crosses, 
and like a foolish patient, chewing the pills which we should swallow down. 
We dwell too much upon the grief, when we should remove the soul higher. 
We are nearest neighbours unto ourselves. When we suffer grief, like a 
canker, to eat into the soul, and like a fire in the bones, to consume the marrow 
and drink up the spirits, we are accessory to the wrong done both to our 
bodies and souls : we waste our own candle, and put out our light. 

Obs. 4. We see here again, that a godly man can make a good use of 
privacy. When he is forced to be alone he can talk with his God and him 
self ; one reason whereof is, that his heart is a treasury and storehouse of 
divine truths, whence he can speak to himself, by way of check, or encour 
agement of himself : he hath a Spirit over his own spirit, to teach him to 
make use of that store he hath laid up in his heart. The Spirit is never 
nearer him than when by way of witness to his spirit he is thus comforted ; 
wherein the child of God differs from another man, who cannot endure 
solitariness, because his heart is empty ; he was a stranger to God before, 
and God is a stranger to him now, so that he cannot go to God as a friend. 
And for his conscience, that is ready to speak to him that which he is loth 
to hear : and therefore he counts himself a torment to himself, especially in 
privacy. 

We read of great princes, who after some bloody designs were as terrible 
* Augustine. ED. 




THE SOUL'S CONFLICT. 149 

to themselves,* as they were formerly to others, and therefore could never 
endure to be awaked in the night, without music or some like diversion. 
! It may be, we may be cast into such a condition, where we have none in 
; the world to comfort us ; as in contagious sickness, when none may come 
near us, we may be in such an estate wherein no friend will own us. And 
1 therefore let us labour now to be acquainted with God and our own 
hearts, and acquaint our hearts with the comforts of the Holy Ghost ; then, 
though we have not so much as a book to look on, or a friend to talk with, 
; yet we may look with comfort into the book of our own heart, and read 
what God hath written there by the finger of his Spirit. All books are 
written to amend this one book of our heart and conscience. Ideo scribuntur 
omnes libri, ut emendetur unus. By this means we shall never want a divine to 
comfort us, a physician to cure us, a counsellor to direct us, a musician to 
! cheer us, a controller to check us, because, by help of the word and Spirit, 
we can be all these to ourselves. 

Obs. 5. Another thing we see here, that God hath made every man a 
governor over himself. The poor man, that hath none to govern, yet may he 
be a king in himself. It is the natural ambition of man's heart to desire 
government, as we see in the bramble, Judges ix. Well then, let us make 
use of this disposition to rule ourselves. Absalom had high thoughts. 0, if I 
were a king, I would do so and so ! so our hearts are ready to promise, if I were 
as such and such a man in such and such a place, I would do this and that. 

But how dost thou manage thine own affections ? How dost thou rule 
in thine house, in thyself? Do not passions get the upper hand, and 
keep reason under foot ? When we have learned to rule over our own 
spirits well, then we may be fit to rule over others. ' He that is faithful 
in a little, shall be set over more,' Matt. xxv. 21. ' He that can govern 
himself,' in the wise man's judgment, ' is better than he that can govern a 
city,' Prov. xvi. 32. He that cannot, is like a city without a wall, where 
those that are in may go out, and the enemies without may come in at their 
pleasure. So where there is not a government set up, there sin breaks 
out, and Satan breaks in without control. 

Obs. 6. See again, the excellency of the soul, that can reflect upon itself, and 
judge of whatsoever comes from it. A godly man's care and trouble is especially 
about his soul, as David here looks principally to that, because all outward 
troubles are for to help that. When God touches our bodies, our estates, 
or our friends, he aims at the soul in all. God will never remove his hand, 
till something be wrought upon the soul, as * David's moisture was as the 
drought in summer,' Ps. xxxii. 4, so that he roared, and carried himself 
unseemly for so great and holy a man, till his heart was subdued to deal 
without all guile with God in confessing his sin ; and then God forgave him 
the iniquity thereof, and healed his body too. In sickness, or in any other 
trouble, it is best the divine should be before the physician, and that men 
begin where God begins. In great fires, men look first to their jewels, and 
then to their lumber ; so our soul is our best jewel. A carnal, worldly man 
is called, and well called, a fleshly man, because his very soul is flesh, and 
there is nothing but the world in him. And therefore, when all is not well 
within, he cries out, My body is troubled, my state is broken, my friends 
I fail me, &c. ; but all this while, there is no care for the poor soul, to settle 
a peace in that. 

* As Charles IX. after the massacre in France. Tlmanus, lib. 57. Somnum post 
mum Sanbartholomseum nocturni horrores plerumque interrumpebaut et rursus 
adliibiti symphoiiiaci expergefacto conciliabant. 



150 THE SOUL'S CONFLICT. 

The possession of the soul is the richest possession, no jewel so precious. 
The account for our own souls, and the souls of others, is the greatest 
account, and therefore the care of souls should be the greatest care. What 
an indignity is it, that we should forget such souls to satisfy our lusts ! to 
have our wills ! to be vexed with any, who by their judgment, example, or 
authority, stop, as we suppose, our courses ! Is it not the greatest plot in 
the world, first, to have their lusts satisfied ; secondly, to remove, either 
by fraud or violence, whatsoever standeth in their way ; and, thirdly, to put 
colours and pretences upon this to delude the world and themselves, 
employing all their carnal wit and worldly strength for their carnal aims, 
and fighting for that which fights against their own souls ? For, what will 
be the issue of this but certain destruction ? 

Of this mind are not only the dregs of people, but many of the more 
refined sort, who desire to be eminent in the world ; and to have their own 
desires herein, give up the liberty of their own judgments and consciences 
to the desires and lusts of others. To be above others, they will be beneath 
themselves, having those men's persons in admiration for hope of advantage, 
whom otherwise they despise ; and so, substituting in their spirits man 
in the place of God, lose heaven for earth, and bury that divine spark, their 
souls, capable of the divine nature, and fitter to be a sanctuary and temple 
for God to dwell in, than by closing with baser things to become base itself. 
We need not wonder that others seem base to carnal men, who are base 
both in and to themselves. It is no wonder they should be cruel to the 
souls of others, who are cruel to their own souls ; that they should neglect 
and starve others, that give away their own souls in a manner for nothing. 
Alas ! upon what poor terms do they hazard that, the nature and worth 
whereof is beyond man's reach to comprehend ! Many are so careless in 
this kind, that if they were thoroughly persuaded that they had souls that 
should live for ever, either in bliss or torment, we might the more easily 
work upon them. But as they live by sense, as beasts, so they have no 
more thoughts of future times than beasts, except at such times as con 
science is awaked by some sudden judgment, whereby God's wrath is revealed 
from heaven against them. But happy were it for them, if they might die 
like beasts, whose misery dies with them. 

To such an estate hath sin brought the soul, that it willingly drowneth 
itself in the senses, and becomes, in some sort, incarnate with the flesh. 

We should therefore set ourselves to have most care of that, which God 
cares most for, which he breathed into us at first, set his own image upon, 
gave so great a price for, and values above all the world besides. Shall all 
our study be to satisfy the desires of the flesh, and neglect this ? 

Is it not a vanity to prefer the casket before the jewel, the shell before 
the pearl, the gilded potsherd before the treasure ? and is it not much 
more vanity to prefer the outward condition before the inward ? The soul is 
that which Satan and his hath most spite at, for in troubling our bodies or j 
estates, he aims at the vexation of our souls. As in Job (ch. i.) his aim 
was to abuse that power God had given him over his children, body, and i 
goods, to make him, out of a disquieted spirit, blaspheme God. It is an ill j 
method to begin our care in other things, and neglect the soul, as Ahithophel, 
who set his house in order, when he should have set his soul in order first, | 
2 Sam. xvii. 23. Wisdom begins at the right end. If aU be well at home, 
it comforts a man, though he meets with troubles abroad. Oh, saith he, I , 
shall have rest at home ; I have a loving wife and dutiful children : so 
whatsoever we meet withal abroad, if the soul be quiet, thither we can 



THE SOUL'S CONFLICT. 151 

retire with comfort. See that all be well within, and then all troubles from 
without cannot much annoy us. 

Grace will teach us to reason thus God hath given mine enemies power 
over my liberty and condition, but shall they have power and liberty over 
my spirit ? It is that which Satan and they most seek for ; but never 
yield, my soul ! and thus a godly man will become more than a con 
queror ; when in appearance he is conquered, the cause prevails, his spirit 
prevails, and is undaunted. A Christian is not subdued till his spirit is 
subdued. Thus Job prevailed over Satan and all his troubles, at length. 
This tormenteth proud persons, to see godly men enjoy a calm and resolute 
frame of mind in the midst of troubles ; when their enemies are more 
troubled in troubling them, than they are in being troubled by them. 

Obs. 7. We see likewise here, how to frame our complaints. David com 
plains not of God, nor of his troubles, nor of others, but of his own soul; he 
complains of himself to himself, as if he should say, Though all things else 
j be out of order, yet, my soul, thou shouldst not trouble me too, thou 
shouldst not betray thyself unto troubles, but rule over them. A godly 
i man complains to God, yet not of God, but of himself. A carnal man is 
j ready to justify himself and complain of God, he complains not to God, but 
of God, at the least, in secret murmuring, he complains of others that are 
but God's vials ; he complains of the grievance that lies upon him, but 
never regards what is amiss in himself within ; openly he cries out upon 
fortune, yet secretly he striketh at God, under that idol of fortune, by 
whose guidance all things come to pass ; whilst he quarrels with that which 
is nothing, he wounds him that is the cause of all things ; like a gouty man 
that complains of his shoe, and of his bed, or an aguish man of his drink, 
when the cause is from within. So men are disquieted with others, when 
they should rather be disquieted and angry with their own hearts. 

We condemn Jonah for contending with God, and justifying his unjust 
anger, but yet the same risings are in men naturally, if shame would suffer 
them to give vent to their secret discontent ; their heart speaks what 
Jonah his tongue spake. Oh ! but here we should lay our hand upon our 
mouth, and adore God, and command silence to our souls. 

No man is hurt but by himself first. We are drawn to evil, and allured 
from a true good to a false by our own lusts, ' God tempts no man,' James 
i. 13. Satan hath no power over us further than we willingly lie open to 
him. Satan works upon our affections, and then our affections work upon 
our will. He doth not work immediately upon the will. We may thank 
ourselves in willingly yielding to our own passions, for all that ill Satan or 
his instruments draws us unto. Saul was not vexed with an evil spirit, 
1 Sam. xvi., till he gave way to his own evil spirit of envy first. The devil 
entered not into Judas, Mat. xxvii. 3, until his covetous heart made way 
for him. The apostle strengtheneth his conceit against rash and lasting 
anger from hence, that by this we give way to the devil, Eph. iv. 27. It 
is a dangerous thing to pass from God's government, and come under 
Satan's. 

Satan mingleth himself with our own passions, therefore we should 
blame ourselves first, be ashamed of ourselves most, and judge ourselves 
most severely. But self-love teacheth us a contrary method, to translate 
all upon others ; it robs us of a right judgment of ourselves. Though we 
desire to know all diseases of the body by their proper names, yet we will 
conceive of sinful passions of the soul under milder terms ; as lust under 
love, rage under just anger, murmuring under just displeasure, &c. Thus 



152 THE SOUL'S CONFLICT. 

whilst we flatter our grief, what hope of cure ! Thus sin hath not only 
made all the creatures enemies to us, but ourselves the greatest enemies to 
ourselves ; and therefore we should begin our complaints against ourselves, 
and discuss ourselves thoroughly. How else shall we judge truly of other 
things without us, above us, or beneath us ? The sun when it rises, 
enlightens first the nearest places, and then the more remote ; so where 
true light is set up, it discovers what is amiss within first. 

Obs. 8. Hence also we see, that as in all discouragements a yodly man 
hath m,ost trouble with his own heart, so he knows how to carry himself therein, 
as David doth here. 

For the better clearing of this, we must know there be divers kinds and 
degrees of conflicts in the soul of man whilst it is united to the body. 

1. First, between one corrupt passion and another, as between covetous- 
ness and pride ; pride calls for expense, covetousness for restraint. Oft 
passions fight not only against God and reason, to which they owe a homage, 
but one against another ; sin fights against sin, and a lesser sin is oftentimes 
overcome by a greater. The soul in this case is like the sea tossed with 
contrary winds : and like a kingdom divided, wherein the subjects fight both 
against their prince, and one against another. 

2. Secondly, there is a natural conflict in the affections, whereby nature 
seeks to preserve itself, as betwixt anger and fear ; anger calls for revenge, 
fear of the law binds the soul to be quiet. We see in the creatures, fear 
makes them abstain from that which their appetites carry them unto. A 
wolf comes to the* flock with an eagerness to prey upon it, but seeing the 
shepherd standing in defence of his sheep, returns and doth no harm ; and 
yet for all this, as he came a wolf, so he returns a wolf. 

A natural man may oppose some sin from an obstinate resolution against 
it,f not from any love of God, or hatred of sin, as sin, but because he con 
ceives it a brave thing to have his will ; as one hard weapon may strike at 
another, as a stone wall may beat back an arrow. But this opposition is not 
from a contrariety of nature, as is betwixt fire and water. 

3. Thirdly, there is a conflict of a higher nature, as between some sins 
and the light of reason helped by a natural conscience. The heathen could 
reason from the dignity of the soul, to count it a base thing to prostitute 
themselves to beastly lusts, so as it were degrading and unmanning them 
selves. Major sum et ad majoranatus quam ut corporis mei sim mancipium. 
(Seneca, Ep. 65). Natural men, desirous to maintain a great opinion of them 
selves, and to awe the inferior sort by gravity of deportment in carriage, will 
abstain from that which otherwise their hearts carry them unto, lest yielding 
should render them despised, by laying themselves too much open ; as be 
cause passion discovers a fool as he is, and makes a wise man thought meaner 
than he is ; therefore a prudent man will conceal his passion. Eeason 
refined and raised by education, example, and custom, doth break in some 
degree the force of natural corruption, and brings into the soul, as it were, 
another nature, and yet no true change ; as we see in such as have been 
inured to good courses, they feel conscience checking them upon the first 
discontinuance and alteration of their former good ways, but this is usually 
from a former impression of their breeding, as the boat moves some little 
time upon the water by virtue of the former stroke ; yet at length we see 
corruption prevailing over education, as in Jehoash, wllo was awed by the 

* ' A,' in C. 

T 'A natural .... love. In A reads, ' a natural man may oppose an obstinate 
utiou to commit some sin not from love.' Corrected in B as above. G. 



THE SOUL'S CONFLICT. 153 

reverent respect he bare to his uncle Jehoiada, he was good all his uncle's 
days,' 2 Kings xii. 2. And in Nero, in whom the goodness of his educa 
tion prevailed over the fierceness of his nature, for the first five years (a). 

4. Fourthly, but in the church, where there shineth a light above nature, 
as there is a discovery of more sins, and some strength, with the light to 
perform more duty ; so there is a farther conflict than in a man that hath 
no better than nature in him. By a discovery of the excellent things of 
the gospel, there may be some kind of joy stirred up, and some degree of 

, obedience : whence there may be some degree of resistance against the sins 
; of the gospel, as obstinate unbelief, desperation, profaneness, &c. A man 

in the church may do more than another out of the .church, by reason of the 
| enlargement of his knowledge ; whereupon such cannot sin at so easy a rate 

as others that know less, and, therefore, meet with less opposition from 

conscience. 

5. Fifthly, There is yet a further degree of conflict betwixt the sanctified 
powers of the soul and the flesh, not only as it is seated in the baser parts, 
but even in the best faculties of the soul, and as it mingles itself with 
every gracious performance : as in David, there is not only a conflict be 
tween sin and conscience, enlightened by a common work of the Spirit ; 
but between the commanding powers of the soul sanctified, and itself un- 
sanctified, between reasons of the flesh and reasons of the Spirit, between 
faith and distrust, between the true light of knowledge and false light. 
For it is no question but the flesh would play its part in David, and muster 
up all the strength of reason it had. And usually flesh, as it is more 
ancient than the spirit, we being first natural, then spiritual, so it will put 
itself first forward in devising shifts, as Esau comes out of the womb first 
before Jacob, Gen. xxv. 25 ; yet hereby the spirit is stirred up to a present 
examination and resistance, and in resisting, as we see here, at length the 
godly gets the victory. As in the conflict between the higher parts of the 
soul with the lower, it clearly appears that the soul doth not rise out of the 
temper of the body, but is a more noble substance, commanding the body 
by reasons fetched from its own worth ; so in this spiritual conflict, it appears 
there is something better than the soul itself, that hath superiority over it. 

CHAPTER VII. Difference between good men and others in conflicts 
with sin. 

litest. But how doth it appear that this combat in David was a spiritual 
bat? 

Ans. 1. First, A natural conscience is troubled for sins against the light of 
nature only, but David for inward and secret corruptions, as discourage 
ment and disquietness arising from faint-trusting in God. 

David's conflict was not only with the sensual, lower part of his soul, 
which is carried to ease and quiet and love of present things, but he was 
troubled with a mutiny in his understanding between faith and distrust ; 
and therefore he was forced to rouse up his soul so oft to trust in God ; 
which shews that carnal reason did solicit him to discontent, and had many 
colourable reasons for it. 

2. Secondly, A man endued with common grace is rather a patient than 
an agent in conflicts; the light troubles him against his will, as discovering 
and reproving him, and hindering his sinful contentments ; his heart is 
more biassed another way if the light would let him ; but a godly man 
labours to help the light, and to work his heart to an opposition 



154 THE SOUL'S CONFLICT. 

sin ; he is an agent as well as a patient. As David here doth not suffer 
disquieting, but is disquieted with himself for being so. A godly man is 
an agent in opposing his corruption, and a patient in enduring of it, 
whereas a natural man is a secret agent in and for his corruptions, and a 
patient in regard of any help against them ; a good man suffers evil and 
doth good, a natural man suffers good and doth evil. 

3. Thirdly, A conscience guided by common light withstands distempers 
most by outward means; but David here fetcheth help from the Spirit of 
God in him, and from trust in God. Nature works from within, so doth 
the new nature. David is not only something disquieted, and something 
troubled for being disquieted, but sets himself thoroughly against his 
distempers ; he complains and expostulates, he censures and chargeth his 
soul. The other, if he doth anything at all, yet it is faintly ; he seeks out 
his corruption as a coward doth his enemy, loath to find him, and more 
loath to encounter him. 

4. Fourthly, David withstands sin constantly, and gets ground. We see 
here he gives not over at the first, but presseth again and again. Nature 
works constantly, so doth the new nature. The conflict in the other is 
something forced, as taking part with the worser side in himself; good 
things have a weak, or rather no party in him, bad things a strong ; and 
therefore he soon gives over in this holy quarrel. 

5. Fifthly, David is not discouraged by his foils* but sets himself afresh 
against his corruptions, with confidence to bring them under. Whereas he 
that hath but a common work of the Spirit, after some foils, lets his enemy 
prevail more and more, and so despairs of victory, and thinks it better to 
sit still than to rise and take a new fall ; by which means his latter end 
is worse than his beginning ; for beginning in the spirit, he ends in the 
flesh. A godly man, although upon some foil, he may for a time be dis 
couraged, yet by holy indignation against sin he renews his force, and sets 
afresh upon his corruptions, and gathers more strength by his falls, and 
groweth into more acquaintance with his own heart and Satan's malice, 
and God's strange ways in bringing light out of darkness. 

6. Sixthly, An ordinary Christian may be disquieted for being disquieted, 
as David was, but then it is only as disquiet hath vexation in it ; but David 
here striveth against the unquietness of his spirit, not only as it brought 
vexation with it, but as it hindered communion with his God. 

In sin there is not only a guilt binding over the soul to God's judgment, 
and thereupon filling the soul with inward fears and terrors ; but in sin 
likewise there is 1, A contrariety to God's holy nature ; and, 2, A con 
trariety to the divine nature and image stamped upon ourselves ; 3, A 
weakening and disabling of the soul from good ; and, 4, A hindering of 
our former communion with God, sin being in its nature a leaving of God, 
the fountain of all strength and comfort, and cleaving to the creature. 
Hereupon the soul, having tasted the sweetness of God before, is now 
grieved, and this grief is not only for the guilt and trouble that sin draws 
after it, but from an inward antipathy and contrariety betwixt the sanctified 
soul and sin. It hates sin as sin, as the only bane and poison of renewed 
nature, and the only thing that breeds strangeness betwixt God and the 
soul. And this hatred is not so much from discourse and strength of 
reason, as from nature itself rising presently against its enemy ; the lamb 
presently shuns the wolf from a contrariety : antipathies wait not for any 
strong reason, but are exercised upon the first presence of a contrary object. 
* That is, ' defeats.' ED. 






THE SOUL'S CONFLICT. 155 



7. Seventhly, Hereupon ariseth the last difference, that because the soul 

: hateth sin as sin, therefore it opposeth it universally and eternally, in all the 

, powers of the soul; and in all actions, inward and outward, issuing from those 

: powers. David regarded no iniquity in his heart, but hated every evil way, 

Ps. Ixvi. 18 ; the desires of his soul were, that it might be so directed that 

i he might keep God's law, Ps. cxix. 5. And if there had been no binding 

1 law, yet there was such a sweet sympathy and agreement betwixt his soul 

and God's truth, that he delighted in it above all natural sweetness ; hence 

i it is that St John saith, ' He that is born of God cannot sin,' 1 John iii. 

9 ; that is, so far forth as he is born of God, his new nature will not suffer 

him ; he cannot lie, he cannot deceive, he cannot be earthly-minded, he 

cannot but love and delight in the persons and things that are good. 

There is not only a light in the understanding, but a new life in the will, 

and all other faculties of a godly man; what good his knowledge dis- 

covereth, that his will makes choice of, and his heart loveth ; what ill his 

understanding discovers, that his will hateth and abstains from. But in a 

man not thoroughly converted, the will and affections are bent otherwise ; 

he loves not the good he doth, nor hates the evil he doth not. 

Use. Therefore let us make a narrow search into our souls upon what 
grounds we oppose sin, and fight God's battles. A common Christian is 
not cast down because he is disquieted in God's service, or for his inward 
failings that he cannot serve God with that liberty and freedom he desires, 
&c. But a godly man is troubled for his distempers, because they hinder 
the comfortable intercourse betwixt God and his soul, and that spiritual 
composedness and sabbath of spirit, which he enjoyed before, and desires 
to enjoy again. He is troubled that the waters of his soul are troubled so 
that the image of Christ shines not in him as it did before. It grieves him 
to find an abatement in affection, in love to God, a distraction or coldness 
in performing duties, any doubting of God's favour, any discouragement 
from duty, &c. A godly man's comforts and grievances are hid from the 
world ; natural men are strangers to them. Let this be a rule of discern 
ing our estates, how we stand affected to the distempers of our hearts ; if 
we find them troublesome, it is a ground of comfort unto us that our spirits 
are ruled by a higher Spirit ; and that there is a principle of that life in 
us, which cannot brook the most secret corruption, but rather casts it out 
by a holy complaint, as strength of nature doth poison, which seeks its 
destruction. And let us be in love with that work of grace in us, which 
makes us out of love with the least stirrings that hinder our best condition. 
Obs. 9. See again, We may be sinfully disquieted for that which is not a 
sin to be disquieted for. David had sinned if he had not been somewhat 
troubled for the banishment from God's house, and the blasphemy of the 
enemies of the church ; but yet, we see, he stops himself, and sharply 
takes up his soul for being disquieted. He did well in being disquieted, 
and in checking himself for the same ; there were good grounds for both. 
He had wanted spiritual life if he had not been disquieted, [but] he abated 
the vigour and liveliness of his life by being overmuch disquieted. 



CHAPTER VIH. Of unfitting dejection, and when it is excessive. And what 
is the right temper of the soul herein. 

Quest. I. Then, how shall we know when a man is cast down and disqmeted t 
otherwise than is befitting ? 



156 THE SOUL'S CONFLICT. 

Ans. There is a threefold miscarriage of inward trouble. 

1. When the soul is troubled for that it should not be vexed for, as Ahab, 
when he was crossed in his will for Naboth's vineyard, 1 Kings xxi. 1, 2, 

Seq. 

2. In the ground, as when we grieve for that which is good, and for that 
which we should grieve for ; but it is with too much reflecting upon our own 
particular. 

As in the troubles of the state or church, we ought to be affected ; but 
not because these troubles hinder any liberties of the flesh, and restrain 
pride of life, but from higher respects ; as that, by these troubles God is 
dishonoured, the public exercises of religion hindered, and the gathering of 
souls thereby stopped, as the states and commonwealths, which should be 
harbours of the church, are disturbed, as lawless courses and persons pre 
vail, as religion and justice are triumphed over and trodden under. Men 
usually are grieved for public miseries from a spirit of self-love only, be 
cause their own private is embarked in the public. There is a depth of 
deceit of the heart in this matter. 

3. So for the measure, when we trouble ourselves, though not without 
cause, yet without bounds. 

The spirit of man is like unto moist elements, as air and water, which 
have no bounds of their own to contain them in, but those of the vessel 
that keeps them. Water is spilt and lost without something to hold it, so 
it is with the spirit of man, unless it be bounded with the Spirit of God. 
Put the case, a man be disquieted for sin, for which not to be disquieted 
is a sin, yet we may look too much, and too long upon it ; for the soul 
hath a double eye, one to look to sin, another to look up to God's mercy hi 
Christ. Having two objects to look on, we may sin in looking too much 
on the one, with neglect of the other. 

Quest. II. Seeing then, disquieting and dejection for sin is necessary, how 
shall we know when it exceeds measure ? 

Ans. 1. First, when it hinders us from holy duties, or in the performance of 
them, by distraction or otherwise ; whereas they are given to carry us to that 
which is pleasing to God, and good to ourselves. 

Grief is ill when it taketh off the soul from minding that it should, and 
so indisposeth us to the duties of our callings. Christ upon the cross was 
grieved to the utmost, yet it did not take away his care for his mother, 
John xix. 26, 27 : so the good thief, Luke xxiii. 42, in the midst of his 
pangs laboured to gain his fellow, and to save his own soul, and to glorify 
Christ. If this be so in grief of body, which taketh away the free use of 
reason and exercise of grace more than any other grief, then much more in 
grief from more remote causes ; for in extremity of body the sickness may 
be such as all that we can perform to God is a quiet submission and a desire 
to be carried unto Christ by the prayers of others ; we should so mind our 
grief as not to forget God's mercy, or our own duty. 

2. Secondly, when we forget the grounds of comfort, and suffer our mind 
to run only upon the present grievance. It is a sin to dwell on sin and 
turmoil our thoughts about it, when we are called to thankfulness. A 
physician in good discretion forbids a dish at some times to prevent the 
nourishment of some disease, which another time he gives way unto. So 
we may and ought to abstain from too much feeding our thoughts upon our 
corruptions in case of discouragement, which at other times is very neces 
sary. It should be our wisdom in such cases to change the object, and 



THE SOUL'S CONFLICT. 157 

labour to take off our minds, and give them to that which calls more for 
them. Grief oft passeth unseasonably upon us, when there is cause of 
joy, and when we are called to joy ; as Joab justly found fault with David 
for grieving too much, when God had given him the victory, and rid him 
and the state of a traitorous son, 2 Sam. xix. 5, seq. God hath made some 
days for joy, and joy is the proper work of those days. * This is the day 
which the Lord hath made,' Ps. cxviii. 24. Some in a sick distemper 
desire that which increaseth their sickness ; so some that are deeply cast 
down, desire a weakening* ministry, and whatever may cast them down 
more, whereas they should meditate upon comforts, and get some sweet 
assurance of God's love. Joy is the constant temper which the soul should 
be in. ' Rejoice evermore,' 1 Thes. v. 16, saith the apostle. If a sink be 
stirred, we stir it not more, but go into a sweeter room. So we should 
think of that which is comfortable, and of such truths as may raise up the 

., and sweeten the spirit. 
3. Thirdly, Grief is too much, when it inclines the soul to any inconvenient 

f ses : for if it be not looked to, it is an ill counsellor, when either it hurts 
the health of our bodies, or draws the soul, for to ease itself, to some unlaw 
ful liberty. When grief keeps such a noise in the soul, that it will not 
hear what the messengers of God, or the still voice of the Spirit saith. As 
in combustions, loud cries are scarce heard, so in such cases the soul will 
neither hear itself nor others. The fruit of this overmuch trouble of spirit 

icrease of trouble. 

Quest. III. Another question may be, What that sweet and holy temper is 

soul should be in, that it may neither be faulty in the defect, nor too much 

mnd in grief and sorrow ? 

ins. 1. The soul must be raised to a right grief. 

2. The grief that is raised, though it be right, yet it must be bounded. 

fore we speak of raising grief in the godly, we must know there are some 
who are altogether strangers to any kind of spiritual grief or trouble at all ; 
such must consider, that the way to prevent everlasting trouble, is to desire 
to be troubled with a preventing trouble. Let those that are not in the way 
of grace think with themselves what cause they have not to take a minute's 
rest while they are in that estate. For a man to be in debt both body and 
soul, subject every minute to be arrested and carried prisoner to hell, and 
not to be moved ; for a man to have the wrath of God ready to be poured 
out upon him, and hell gape for him, nay, to carry a hell about him in con 
science, if it were awake, and to have all his comfort here hanging upon a 
weak thread of this life, ready to be cut and broken off every moment, and 
to be cursed in all those blessings that he enjoys ; and yet not to be dis 
quieted, but continually treasuring up wrath against the day of wrath, by 
running deeper into God's books : for a man to be thus, and not to be dis 
quieted, is but the devil's peace, whilst the strong man holds possession. 
A burning ague is more hopeful than a lethargy. The best service that 
can be done to such men, is to startle and rouse them, and so with violence 
to pull them out of the fire, as Jude speaks, ver. 23, or else they will 
another day curse that cruel mercy that lets them alone now. In all their 
jollity in this world, they are but as a book fairly bound, which when it is 
opened is full of nothing but tragedies. So when the book of their con 
sciences shall be once opened, there is nothing to be read but lamentations 
and woes. Such men were in a way of hope, if they had but so much 
* ' Weakening.' In A and B ' wakening,' but corrected in C as above. 



158 THE SOUL'S CONFLICT. 

apprehension of their estates, as to ask themselves, What have I done ?' 
If this be true that there are such fearful things prepared for sinners, why 
am I not cast down ? why am I no more troubled and discouraged for my 
wicked courses ? Despair to such is the beginning of comfort ; and trouble 
the beginning of peace. A storm is the way to a calm, and hell the way to 
heaven. 

(1.) But for raising of a right grief in the soul of a holy man, look what is 
tJw state of the soul in itself, in what tenns it is with God : whether there be 
any sin hanging on the file (b) unrepented of. If all be not well within us, 
then here is place for inward trouble, whereby the soul may afflict itself. 

God saw this grief so needful for his people, that he appointed certain 
days for afflicting them, Lev. xvi. 29 ; because it is fit that sin contracted 
by joy should be dissolved by grief; and sin is so deeply invested into the 
soul, that a separation betwixt the soul and it cannot be wrought without 
much grief. When the soul hath smarted for sin, it sets then the right 
price upon reconciliation with God in Christ, and it feeleth what a bitter 
thing sin is, and therefore it will be afraid to be too bold with it afterward; 
it likewise aweth the heart so, that it will not be so loose towards God as it 
was before ; and certainly that soul that hath felt the sweetness of keeping 
peace with God, cannot but take deeply to heart, that there should be any 
thing in us that should divide betwixt us and the fountain of our comfort, 
that should stop the passage of our prayers and the current of God's favours 
both towards ourselves and ethers ; it is such an ill as is the cause of all 
other ill, and damps all our comforts. 

(2.) We should look out of ourselves also, considering whether for troubles 
at home and abroad, God calls not to mourning or troubling of ourselves ; 
grief of compassion is as well required as grief of contrition. 

It is a dead member that is not sensible of the state of the body. Jeremiah, I 
for fear he should not weep enough for the distressed state of the church, 
desired of God, * that his eyes might be made a fountain of tears,' Jer. ix. 1. 
A Christian, as he must not be proud flesh, so neither must he be dead 
flesh ; none more truly sensible either of sin or of misery, so far as misery 
carries with it any sign of God's displeasure, than a true Christian ; *whicii 
issues from the life of grace, which, where it is in any measure, is lively, 
and therefore sensible ; for God gives motion and senses for the preserva 
tion of life. As God's bowels are tender towards us, so God's people have 
tender bowels towards him, his cause, his people, and his church. The 
fruit of this sensibleness, is earnest prayer to God. As Melancthon said 
well, If I cared for nothing, I would pray for nothing, Si nil curarem nil 
nrarem.* 

Grief being thus raised, must, as we said before, be bounded and guided. 

(1.) God hath framed the soul, and planted such affections in it, as may 
answer all his dealing towards his children ; that when he enlargeth himself 
towards them, then the soul should enlarge itself to him again ; when he 
opens his hand, we ought to open our hearts ; when he shews any token of 
displeasure, we should grieve ; when he troubles us, we should trouble and 
grieve ourselves. As God any way discovereth himself, so the soul should ; 
be in a suitable pliableness. Then the soul is as it should be, when it is 
ready to meet God at every turn, to joy when he calls for it, to mourn when 
he calls for that, to labour to know God's meaning in every thing. 



eum 
Lis 




THE SOUL'S CONFLICT. 159 

(2.) Again, God hath made the soul for a communion with himself, which 
: communion is especially placed in the affections, which are the springs of all 
; spiritual worship. Then the affections are well ordered, when we are fit to 
I have communion with God, to love, joy, trust, to delight in him above all 
i things. The affections are the inward movings of the soul, which then move 
i best when they move us to God, not from him. They are the feet of the 
soul, whereby we walk with, and before God. When we have our affections 
i at such command, that we can take them off from any thing in the world, 
! at such times as we are to have more near communion with God in hearing 
! or prayer, &c., as Abraham when he was to sacrifice left whatsoever might 
j hinder him at the 'bottom of the mount,' Gen. xxii. 5. When we let our 
I affections so far into the things of the world, as we cannot taken them off 
j when we are to deal with God, it is a sign of spiritual intemperancy. It is 
I said of the Israelites that they brought Egypt with them into the wilder 
ness ; so many bring the world into their hearts with them when they come 
before God. 

(3.) But because our affections are never well-ordered without judgment, 
as being to follow, not to lead, it is an evidence that the soul is in a fit 
temper, when there is such a harmony in it, as that we judge of things as 
they are, and affect as we judge, and execute as we affect. This harmony 
within breeds uniformity and constancy in our resolutions, so that there is, 
as it were, an even thread drawn through the whole course and tenor of our 
lives, when we are not off and on, up and down. It argues an ill state of 
body when it is very hot, or very cold, or hot in one part, and cold in an 
other ; so unevenness of spirit argues a distemper. A wise man's life is of 
one colour, like itself. The soul bred from heaven, so far as it is heavenly- 
minded, desires to be, like heaven, above all storms, uniform, constant ; 
not as things under the sun, which are always in changes, constant only in 
inconstancy. Affections are as it were the wind of the soul, and then the 
soul is carried as it should be, when it is neither so becalmed that it moves 
not when it should, nor yet tossed with tempests to move disorderly ; when 
it is so well balanced that it is neither lift up nor cast down too much, but 
keepeth a steady course. Our affections must not rise to become unruly 
passions, for then as a river that overnoweth the banks, they carry much 
slime and soil with them. Though affections be the wind of the soul, yet 
unruly passions are the storms of the soul, and will overturn all, if they be 
not suppressed. The best, as we see in David here, if they do not steer 
their hearts aright, are in danger of sudden gusts. A Christian must neither 
be a dead sea, nor a raging sea. 

(4.) Our affections are then in best temper, when they become so many 
graces of the Spirit, as when love is turned to a love of God, joy, to a de 
light in the best things, fear, to a fear of offending him more than any 
creature, sorrow, to a sorrow for sin, &c. 

(5.) They are likewise in good temper, when they move us to all duties 
of love and mercy towards others ; when they are not shut where they 
should be open, nor open where they should be shut. 

Yet there is one case where exceeding affection is not over-exceeding, as 
in an ecstasy of zeal upon a sudden apprehension of God's dishonour, and 
his cause trodden under foot. It is better in this case, rather scarce to be 
our own men, than to be calm or quiet. It is said of Christ and David, that 
their hearts were eaten up with a holy zeal for God's house, Ps. Ixix. 9, cxix. 139, 
Isa. lix. 19. In such a case, Moses, unparalleled for meekness, was turned 
into a holy rage, Exod. xxxii. 19. The greatness of the provocation, the 



160 THE SOUL'S CONFLICT. 

excellency of the object, and the weight of the occasion, bears out the soul, 
not only without blame, but with great praise, in such seeming distempers. 
It is the glory of a Christian to be carried with full sail, and as it were with 
a spring-tide of affection. So long as the stream of affection runneth in the 
due channel, and if there be great occasions for great motions, then it is fit 
the affections should rise higher, as to burn with zeal, to be * sick of love,' 
Cant. ii. 5., to be more vile for the Lord, as David, 2 Sam. vi. 22, to be 
counted out of our wits, 2 Car. v. 13, with St Paul, to further the cause of 
Christ and the good of souls. 

Thus we may see the life of a poor Christian in this world. 1. He is in 
great danger, if he be not troubled at all. 2. When he is troubled, he is 
in danger to be over-troubled. 3. When he hath brought his soul in tune 
again, he is subject to new troubles. Betwixt this ebbing and flowing there 
is very little quiet. Now because this cannot be done without a great 
measure of God's Spirit, our help is to make use of that promise of giving 
'the Holy Ghost .to them that ask it,' John. xi. 13. To teach us when, 
how long, and how much to grieve ; and when, and how long, and how 
much to rejoice, the Spirit must teach the heart this, who as he moved 
upon the waters before the creation, so he must move upon the waters of 
our souls, for we have not the command of our own hearts. Every natural 
man is carried away with his flesh and humours, upon which the devil 
rides, and carries him whither he list ; he hath no better counsellors than 
flesh and blood, and Satan counselling with them. But a godly man is not 
a slave to his carnal affections, but as David here, labours to bring into 
captivity the first motions of sin in his heart. 



CHAPTER IX. Of the soul's disquiets, God's dealings, and power to 
contain ourselves in order. 

Obs. 1 . Moreover we see, that the soul hath disquiets proper to itself, be 
sides those griefs of sympathy that arise from the body ; for here the soul 
complains of the soul itself, as when it is out of the body it hath torments 
and joys of its own. And if those troubles of the soul be not well cured, 
then by way of fellowship and redundance they will affect the outward man, 
and so the whole man shall be enwrapt in misery. 

Obs. 2. From whence we further see, that God, when he mil humble a 
man, need not fetch forces from without. If he let but our own hearts loose, 
we shall have trouble and work enough, though we were as holy as David ; 
God did not only exercise him with a rebellious son out of his own loins, 
but with rebellious risings out of his own heart. If there were no enemy 
in the world, nor devil in hell, we carry that, within us, that, if it be let 
loose, will trouble us more than all the world besides. Oh that the proud 
creature should exalt himself against God, and run into a voluntary course 
of provoking him, who can not only raise the humours of our bodies against 
us, but the passions of our minds also to torment us ! Therefore it is the 
best wisdom not to provoke the great God, for are we stronger than he,' 
1 Cor. x. 22, that can raise ourselves against ourselves ? and work wonders 
not only in the great world, but also in the little world, our souls and bodies, 
when he pleases ? 

06s. 3. We see likewise hence a necessity of having something in the soul above 
itself. It must be partaker of a diviner nature than itself; otherwise, when 
the most refined part of our souls, the very spirit of our minds, is out of 



THE SOUL'S CONFLICT. 101 

frame, what shall bring it in again ? Therefore we must conceive in a 
godly man, a double self, one which must be denied, the other which must 
deny ; one that breeds all the disquiet, and another that stilleth what the 
other hath raised. The way to still the soul, as it is under our corrupt 
self, is not to parley with it, and divide government for peace sake, as if 
we should gratify the flesh in something, to redeem liberty to the spirit in 
other things ; for we shall find the flesh will be too encroaching. We must 
strive against it, not with subtlety and discourse, so much as with peremp 
tory violence silence it and vex it. An enemy that parleys will yield at 
length. Grace is nothing else but that blessed power, whereby as spiritual 
we gain upon ourselves as carnal. Holy love is that which we gain of self* 
love ; and so joy, and delight, &c. Grace labours to win ground of the old 
man, until at length it be all in all ; indeed we are never ourselves perfectly, 
till we have wholly put off ourselves ; nothing should be at a greater dis 
tance to us than ourselves. This is the reason why carnal men, that have no 
thing above themselves but their corrupt self, sink in great troubles, having 
nothing within to uphold them, whereas a good man is wiser than himself, 
holier than himself, stronger than himself ; there is something in him more 
than a man. There be evils that the spirit of man alone, out of the good 
ness of nature, cannot bear ; but the spirit of man, assisted with an higher 
Spirit, will support and carry him through. It is a good trial of a man's 
condition to know what he esteems to be himself. A godly man counts 
the inner man, the sanctified part, to be himself, whereby he stands in re 
lation to Christ and a better life. Another man esteems his contentment 
in the world, the satisfaction of his carnal desires, the respect he finds from 
men by reason of his parts, or something without him, that he is master of; 
this he counts himself, and by this he values himself, and to this he makes 
his best thoughts and endeavours serviceable : and of crosses in these things 
he is most sensible, and so sensible, that he thinks himself undone if he 
seeth not a present issue out of them. 

That which most troubles a good man in all troubles is himself, so far as 
lie is unsubdued ; he is more disquieted with himself than with all troubles 
out of himself ; when he hath gotten the better once of himself, whatsoever 
falls from without is light. Where the spirit is enlarged, it cares not much 
for outward bondage ; where the spirit is lightsome, it cares not much for 
outward darkness ; where the spirit is settled, it cares not much for out 
ward changes ; where the spirit is one with itself, it cannot* bear outward 
breaches ; where the spirit is sound, it can bear outward sickness. Nothing 
can be very ill with us, when all is well within. This is the comfort of a 
holy man, that though he be troubled with himself, yet by reason of the 
spirit in him, which is his better self, he works out by degrees whatever is 
contrary, as spring- water, being clear of itself, works itself clean, though it 
be troubled by something cast in, as the sea will endure no poisonful thing, 
but casts it oipon the shore. But a carnal man is like a spring corrupted, 
that cannot work itself clear, because it is wholly tainted ; his eye and light 
is darkness, and therefore no wonder if he seeth nothing. Sin lieth upon 
his understanding, and hinders the knowledge of itself; it lies close upon 
the will, and hinders the striving against itself. 

True self that is worth the owning, is when a man is taken into a higher 
condition, and made one with Christ, and esteems neither of himself nor 
others, as happy for anything according to the flesh. 1. Ke is under the 
law and government of the Spirit, and so far as he is himself, works accord- 

* Qu. ' can ? ' ED. 

VOL. i. L 



162 THE SOUL'S CONFLICT. 

ing to that principle. 2. He labours more and more to be transformed into 
the likeness of Christ, in whom he esteemeth that he hath his best being. 
3. He esteems of all things that befall him, to be good or ill, as they fur 
ther or hinder his best condition. If all be well for that, he counts himself ; 
well, whatsoever else befalls him. 

Another man, when he doth anything that is good, acts not his own part; 
but a godly man, when he doth good, is in his proper element; whatj 
another man doth for by-ends and reasons, that he doth from a new nature, i 
which, if there were no law to compel, yet would move him to that which j 
is pleasing to Christ. If he be drawn aside by passion or temptation, that j 
he judgeth not to be himself, but taketh a holy revenge on himself for it, j 
as being redeemed and taken out from himself ; he thinks himself no | 
debtor, nor to owe any service to his corrupt self. That which he plots and i 
projects and works for is, that Christ may rule everywhere, and especially j 
in himself, for he is not his own but Christ's, and therefore desires to be j 
more and more emptied of himself, that Christ might be all in all in him. I 

Thus we see what great use there is of dealing with ourselves, for the j 
better composing and settling of our souls. Which, though it be a course j 
without glory and ostentation in the world, as causing a man to retire in- j 
wardly into his own breast, having no other witness but God and himself; 
and though it be likewise irksome to the flesh, as calling the soul home to 
itself, being desirous naturally to wander abroad and be a stranger at home ; 
yet it is a course both good in itself, and makes the soul good. 

For by this means the judgment is exercised and rectified, the will and 
affections ordered, the whole man put into an holy frame fit for every good 
action. By this the tree is made good, and the fruit cannot but be answer 
able ; by this the soul itself is set in tune, whence there is a pleasant j 
harmony in our whole conversation. Without this, we may do that which | 
is outwardly good to others, but we can never be good ourselves. The 
first justice begins within, when there is a due subjection of all the powers 
of the soul to the spirit, as sanctified and guided by God's Spirit ; when 
justice and order is first established in the soul, it will appear from thence 
in all our dealings. He that is at peace in himself, will be peaceable to 
others, peaceable in his family, peaceable in the church, peaceable in the 
state. The soul of a wicked man is in perpetual sedition ; being always 
troubled in itself, it is no wonder if it be troublesome to others. Unity in 
ourselves is before union with others. 

To conclude this first part, concerning intercourse with ourselves. As 
we desire to enjoy ourselves, and to live the life of men and of Christians, 
which is, to understand our ways ; as we desire to live comfortably, and 
not to be accessory of yielding to that sorrow which causeth death ; as we 
desire to answer God and ourselves, when we are to give an account of the 
inward tumults of our souls ; as we desire to be vessels prepared for every i 
good work, and to have strength to undergo any cross ; as we desire to j 
have healthy souls, and to keep a sabbath within ourselves ; as we desire 
not only to do good, but to be good in ourselves : so let us labour to quiet i 
our souls, and often ask a reason of ourselves, why we should not be quiet ? i 



CHAPTEB X. Means not to be overcharged with sorrow. 

To help us further herein, besides that which hath been formerly spoken, 
1. We must take heed of building an ungrounded confidence of happiness 



THE SOUL'S CONFLICT. 163 

for time to come, which makes us when changes come, 1, Unacquainted with 
them; 2, Takes away expectation of them; 3, And preparation for them. 
: When any thing is strange and sudden, and lights upon us unfurnished and 
, unfenced, it must needs put our spirits out of frame. It is good therefore 
to make all kind of troubles familiar to us, in our thoughts at least, and 
this will break the force of them. It is good to fence our souls beforehand 
against all assaults, as men use to keep out the sea, by raising banks ; 
and if a breach be made, to repair it presently. 

We had need to maintain a strong garrison of holy reasons against the 

assaults of strong passions ; we may hope for the best, but fear the worst, 

and prepare to bear whatsoever. We say that a set diet is dangerous, 

| because variety of occasions will force us upon breaking of it ; so in this 

1 world of changes we cannot resolve upon any certain condition of life, for 

I upon alteration the mind is out of frame. We cannot say this or that 

trouble shall not befall ; yet we may, by help of the Spirit, say, nothing that 

doth befall shall make me do that which is unworthy of a Christian* 

That which others make easy by suffering, that a wise man maketh easy 
by thinking of beforehand. Qua alii diupatiendo levia faciunt) sapiens levia 
facit diu cogitando. If we expect the worst, when it comes, it is no more 
than we thought of; if better befalls us, then it is the sweeter to us, the 
less we expected it. Our Saviour foretells the worst, ' In the world you 
shall have tribulation,' John xvi. 33 ; therefore look for it ; but then He will 
not leave us. Satan deludes with fair promises ; but when the contrary 
falls out, he leaves his followers in their distresses. We desire peace and 
rest, but we seek it not in its own place ; ' there is a rest for God's people/ 
Heb. iv. 9, but that is not here, nor yet ; but it remains for them ; ' they 
rest from their labours,' Rev. xiv. 13, but that is after they are dead in 
the Lord.' There is no sound rest till then. Yet this caution must 
be remembered, that we shape not in our fancies such troubles as are never 
likely to fall out. It com.es either from weakness or guiltiness, to fear 
shadows. We shall not need to make crosses ; they will, as we say of foul 
weather, come before they be sent for. How many evils do people fear, 
from which they have no further hurt than what is bred only by their cause 
less fears ! Nor yet, if they be probable, must we think of them so as to 
be altogether so affected, as if undoubtedly they would come, for so we give 
certain strength to an uncertain cross, and usurp upon God, by anticipat 
ing that which may never come to pass. It was rashness in David to say, 
'I shall one day perish by the hand of Saul,' 1 Sam. xxvii. 1. 

If they be such troubles as will certainly come to pass, as parting with 
friends and contentments, at least, by death ; then, 1. Think of them so as 
not to be much dismayed, but furnish thy heart with strength beforehand, 
that they may fall the lighter. 2. Think of them so as not to give up the 
bucklers to passion, and lie open as a fair mark for any uncomfortable acci 
dent to strike to the heart ; nor yet so think of them as to despise them, 
but to consider of God's meaning in them, and how to take good by them. 
8. Think of the things we enjoy, so as to moderate our enjoying of them, 
by considering there must be a parting, and therefore how we shall be able 
to bear it when it comes. 

2. If we desire not to be overcharged with sorrow when that which we 
fear is fallen upon us, we must then beforehand look that our love to any 
thing in this world shoot not so far as that, when the time of severing cometh, 
we part with so much of our hearts by that rent. Those that love too much will 
always grieve too much. It is the greatness of our affections which caueetli 



164 THE SOUL'S CONFLICT. 

the sharpness of our afflictions. He that cannot abound without pride and 
high-mindedness, will not want without too much dejectedness. Love is 
planted for such things as can return love, and make us better by loving 
them ; wherein we shall satisfy our love to the full. It is pity so sweet an 
affection should be lost. So sorrow is for sin, and for other things, as they 
make sin the more bitter to us. The life of a Christian should be a medi 
tation how to unloose his affections from inferior things. He will easily 
die that is dead before in affection. But this will never be, unless the soul 
seeth something better than all things in the world, upon which it may 
bestow itself. In that measure our affections die in their excessive motion 
to things below, as they are taken up with the love and admiration of the 
best things. He that is much in heaven in his thoughts is free from being 
tossed with tempests here below. The top of those mountains that are 
above the middle region are so quiet as that the lightest things, as ashes, 
lie still, and are not moved. The way to mortify earthly members, that 
bestir themselves in us, is to mind things above, Col. iii. 1,5. The more 
the ways of wisdom lead us on high, the more we avoid the snares below. 

In the uncertainty of all events here, labour to frame that contentment 
in and from our own selves which the things themselves will not yield ; 
frame peace by freeing our hearts from too much fear, and riches by free 
ing our hearts from covetous desires. Frame a sufficiency out of content- 
edness. If the soul itself be out of tune, outward things will do no more 
good than a fair shoe to a gouty foot. 

And seek not ourselves abroad out of ourselves in the conceits of other 
men. A man shall never live quietly that hath not learned to be set light- 
by of others. He that is little in his own eyes will not be troubled to be 
little in the eyes of others. Men that set too high a price upon themselves, 
when others will not come to their price, are discontent. Those whose 
condition is above their worth, and their pride above their condition, shall 
never want sorrow ; yet we must maintain our authority, and the image of 
God in our places, for that is God's and not ours ; and we ought so to 
carry ourselves as we approve ourselves to their consciences, though we 
have not their good words. ' Let none despise thy youth,' saith St Paul 
to Timothy, 1 Tim. iv. 12 that is, walk so before them as they shall have 
no cause. It is not in our own power what other men think or speak, but 
it is in our power, by God's grace, to live so that none can think ill of us, 
but by slandering, and none believe ill but by too much credulity. 

8. When anything seizeth upon- us, we must take heed we mingle not 
our oivn passions with it ; we must neither bring sin to, nor mingle sin with, 
the suffering ; for that will trouble the spirit more than the trouble itself. 
We are more to deal with our own hearts than with the trouble itself. We 
are not hurt till our souls be hurt. God will not have it in the power of 
any creature to hurt our souls, but by our own treason against ourselves. 

Therefore we should have our hearts in continual jealousy, for they are 
ready to deceive the best. In sudden encounters some sin doth many 
times discover itself, the seed whereof lieth hid in our natures, which we 
think ourselves very free from. Who would have thought the seeds of 
murmuring had lurked in the meek nature of Moses ? that the seeds of 
murder had lurked in the pitiful heart of David ? 2 Sam. xii. 9, that the 
seeds of denial of Christ, Matt. xxvi. 72, had lien hid in the zealous affec 
tion of Peter towards Christ ? If passions break out from us, which we 

e not naturally inclined unto, and over which by grace we have got a 
great conquest* how watchful need we be over ourselves in those things, 



THE SOUL'S CONFLICT. 165 

which, by temper, custom, and company we are carried unto ! and what cause 
: have we to fear continually that we are worse than we take ourselves to be ! 
There are many unruly passions lie hid in us, until they be drawn out by 
something {hat meeteth with them ; either 

(1.) By way of opposition, as when the truth of God spiritually un- 

| folded meets with some beloved corruption, it swelleth bigger. The force 

of gunpowder is not known until some spark light on it ; and oftentimes 

the stillest natures, if crossed, discover the deepest corruptions. Some- 

1 times it is drawn out by dealing with the opposite spirits of other men. 

' Oftentimes retired men know not what lies hid in themselves. 

(2.) Sometimes by crosses, as many people, whilst the freshness and 
vigour of their spirits lasteth, and while the flower of age, and a full supply 
of all things continueth, seem to be of a pleasing and calm disposition ; but 
; afterwards, when changes come, like Job's wife, they are discovered, Job 
ii. 9. Then that which in nature is unsubdued, openly appears. 
[f : - (3.) Temptations likewise have a searching power to bring that to light in us 
which was hidden before. Satan hath been a winnower and a sifter of old, 
Luke xxii. 3. He thought if Job had been but touched in his body, he 
would have cursed God to his face, Job i. 

Some men, out of policy, conceal their passion until they see some ad 
vantage to let it out, as Esau smothered his hatred until his father's death. 
Aperta perdunt odia vindictce locum. When the restraint is taken away, 
men, as we say, shew themselves in their pure naturals. Unloose a tiger 
or a lion, and you know what he is. Solve leonem et senties. 

(4.) Further, let us see more every day into the state of our own souls. 
What a shame is it that so nimble and swift a spirit as the soul is, that 
i can mount up to heaven, and from thence come down into the earth in an 
I instant, should, whilst it looks over all other things, overlook itself ! that it 
! should be skilful in the story almost of all times and places, and yet igno- 
rant of the story of itself ! that we should know what is done in the court 
and country, and beyond the seas, and be ignorant of what is done at home 
in our own hearts ! that we should live known to others, and yet die un 
known to ourselves ! that we should be able to give account of anything 
better than of ourselves to ourselves ! This is the cause why we stand in 
our own light, why we think better of ourselves than others, and better 
than is cause ; this is that which hindereth all reformation, for how can we 
reform that which we are not willing to see, and so we lose one of the surest 
evidences of our sincerity, which is, a willingness to search into our hearts, 
and to be searched by others. A sincere heart will offer itself to trial. 

And therefore let us sift our actions, and our passions, and see what is 
flesh in them, and what is spirit, and so separate the precious from the 
vile. It is good likewise to consider what sin we were guilty of before, 
which moved God to give us up to excess in any passion, and wherein we 
have grieved his Spirit. Passion will be more moderate when thus it knows 
it must come to the trial and censure. This course will either make us 
weary of passion, or else passion will make us weary of this strict course. 
We shall find it the safest way to give our hearts no rest till we have 
wrought on them to purpose, and gotten the mastery over them. 

When the soul is inured to this dealing with itself, it will learn the skill 
to command, and passions will be soon commanded, as being inured to be 
examined' and checked ; as we see dogs, and such like domestical creatures, 
that will not regard a stranger, yet will be quieted in brawls presently by 
the voice of their master, to which they are accustomed. This fits us for 






166 THE SOUL'S CONFLICT. 

service. Unbroken spirits are like unbroken horses, unfit for any use until 
they be thoroughly subdued. 

(5.) And it were best to prevent, as much as in us lieth, the very first 
risings, before the soul be overcast. Passions are but little motions at the 
first, but grow as rivers do, greater and greater, the farther they are carried 
from their spring. The first risings are the more to be looked unto, be 
cause there is most danger in them, and we have least care over them. 
Sin, like rust, or a canker, will by little and little eat out all the graces of 
the soul. There is no staying when we are once down the hill, till we come 
to the bottom. No sin but is easier kept out than driven out. If we can 
not prevent wicked thoughts, yet we may deny them lodging in our hearts. 
It is our giving willing entertainment to sinful motions that increaseth guilt, 
and hindereth our peace. It is that which moveth God to give us up to a 
further degree of evil affections. Therefore what we are afraid to do before 
men, we should be afraid to think before God. It would much further our 
peace to keep our judgments clear, as being the eye of the soul, whereby 
we may discern in every action and passion what is good and what is evil ; 
as likewise to preserve tenderness of heart, that may check us at the first, and 
not brook the least evil being discovered. When the heart begins once to 
be kindled, it is easy to smother the smoke of passion, which otherwise will 
fume up into the head, and gather into so thick a cloud as we shall lose the 
sight of ourselves, and what is best to be done. And therefore David here 
labours to take up his heart at the first ; his care was to crush the very first 
Insurrections of his soul, before they came to break forth into open rebel 
lion. Storms we know rise out of little gusts. Little risings neglected 
cover the soul before we are aware. If we would check these risings, and 
stifle them in their birth, they would not break out afterwards to the re 
proach of religion, to the scandal of the weak, to the offence of the strong, 
to the grief of God's Spirit in us, to the disturbance of our own spirits in 
doing good, and to the disheartening of us in troubling of our inward peace, 
and thereby weakening our assurance. Therefore let us stop beginnings as 
much as may be ; and so soon as they begin to rise, let us begin to exa 
mine what raised them, and whither they are about to carry us, Ps. iv. 4. 
The way to be still is to examine ourselves first, and then censure what 
stands not with reason. As David doth, when he had given way to unbe 
fitting thoughts of God's providence, ' So foolish,' saith he, ? was I, and as 
a beast before thee,' Ps. Ixxiii. 22. 

Especially then, look to these sinful stirrings when thou art to deal with 
God. I am to have communion with a God of peace,' what then do turbulent 
thoughts and affections in my heart ? I am to deal with a patient God, why 
should I cherish revengeful thoughts ? Abraham drove away the birds from 
the sacrifice, Gen. xv. 11. Troublesome thoughts, like birds, will come 
before they be sent for, but they should find entertainment accordingly. 

(6.) In all our grievance let us look to something that may comfort us, 
as well as discourage ; look to that we enjoy, as well as that we want. As 
in prosperity God mingles some crosses to diet us, so in all crosses there 
is something to comfort us. As there is a vanity lies hid in the best 
worldly "good, so there is a blessing lies hid in the worst worldly evil. 
God usually maketh up that with some advantage in another kind, wherein ! 
we are inferior to others. Others are in greater place, so they are in 
greater danger. Others be richer, so their cares and snares be greater : j 
the poor in the world may be richer in faith than they, James ii. 5. The 
soul can better digest and master a low estate than a prosperous, and 



THE SOUL'S CONFLICT. 167 

under some abasement, it is in a less distance from God. Others are not 
so afflicted as we, then they have less experience of God's gracious power 
than we. Others may have more healthy bodies, but souls less weaned 
from the world. We would not change conditions with them, so as to 
have their spirits with their condition. For one half of our lives, the 
meanest are as happy and free from cares, as the greatest monarch, that 
is, while both sleep ; and usually the sleep of the one is sweeter than the 
sleep of the other. What is all that the earth can afford us, if God deny 
health ? and this a man in the meanest condition may enjoy. That wherein 
one man differs from another, is but title, and but for a little time ; death 
leveUeth all. 

There is scarce any man, but the good he receives . from God is more 
than the ill he feels, if our unthankful hearts would suffer us to think so. 
Is not our health more than our sickness ? do we not enjoy more than we 
want, I mean, of the things that are necessary ? are not our good days more 
than our evil ? but we would go to heaven upon roses, and usually one 
cross is more taken to heart, than a hundred blessings. So unkindly we 
deal with God. Is God indebted to us ? doth he owe us any thing ? those 
that deserve nothing, should be content with any thing. 

We should look to others as good as ourselves, as well as to ourselves, and 
then we shall see it is not our own case only. Who are we that we should 

)k for an exempted condition from those troubles which God's dearest 

Idren are addicted unto ? 

Thus when we are surprised contrary to our looking for and liking, we 
should study rather how to exercise some grace, than give way to any 
passion. Think, now is a time to exercise our patience, our wisdom, and 
other graces. By this means we shall turn that to our greatest advantage, 
which Satan intendeth greatest hurt to us by. Thus we shall not only 
master every condition, but make it serviceable to our good. If nature 
teach bees, not only to gather honey out of sweet flowers, but out of bitter, 
shall not grace teach us to draw even out of the bitterest condition some 
thing to better our souls ? we learn to tame all creatures, even the wildest, 
that we may bring them to our use : and why should we give way to our 
own unruly passions ? 

(7.) It were good to have in our eye the beauty of a well-ordered soul, and 
we should think that nothing in this world is of sufficient worth to put us 
out of frame. The sanctified soul should be like the sun in this, which 
though it worketh upon all these inferior bodies, and cherisheth them by light 
and influence, yet is not moved nor wrought upon by them again, but 
keepeth its own lustre and distance ; so our spirits, being of a heavenly 
breed, should rule other things beneath them, and not be ruled by them. 
It is a holy state of soul to be under the power of nothing beneath itself. 
Are we stirred ? then consider, is this matter worth the loss of my quiet ? 
What we esteem, that we love ; what we love, we labour for ; and there 
fore let us esteem highly of a clear, calm temper, whereby we both enjoy 
our God and ourselves, and know how to rank all things else. It is against 
nature for inferior things to rule that which the wise Disposer of all things 
hath set above them. We owe the flesh neither suit nor service ; we are no 
debtors to it. 

The more we set before the soul that quiet estate in heaven which the 
souls of perfect men now enjoy, and itself ere long shall enjoy there, the 
more it will be in love with it, and endeavour to attain unto it. And 
because the soul never worketh better, than when it is raised up by some 



168 THE SOUL'S CONFLICT. 

strong and sweet affection anima nunquam melius agit, quam ex imperio 
alicujus insignis affectus let us look upon our nature, as it is in Christ, in 
whom it is pure, sweet, calm, meek, every way lovely. This sight is a 
changing sight ; love is an affection of imitation ; we affect a likeness to him 
we love. Let us * learn of Christ to be humble and meek,' and then we 
' shall find rest to our souls,' Mat. xi. 29. The setting of an excellent 
idea and platform before us, will raise and draw up our souls higher, and 
make us sensible of the least moving of spirit, that shall be contrary to that, 
the attainment whereof we have in our desires. He will hardly attain to 
mean things, that sets not before him higher perfection. Naturally we 
love to see symmetry and proportion, even in a dead picture, and are much 
taken with some curious piece. But why should we not rather labour to 
keep the affections of the soul in due proportion ? seeing a meek and well 
ordered soul is not only lovely in the sight of men and angels, but is much 
set by, by the great God himself. But now the greatest care of those that 
set highest price upon themselves is, how to compose their outward carriage 
in some graceful manner, never studying how to compose their spirits ; and 
rather how to cover the deformity of their passions than to cure them. 
"Whence it is that the foulest inward vices are covered with the fairest 
vizards, and to make this the worse, all this is counted the best breeding. 

The Hebrews placed all their happiness in peace, and when they would 
comprise much in one word, they would wish peace. This was that the 
angels brought news of from heaven, at the birth of Christ, Luke ii. 14. 
Now peace riseth out of quietness and order, and God that is ' the God of 
peace, is the God of order' first, 1 Cor. xiv. 33. What is health, but 
when all the members are in their due positure,* and all the humours 
in a settled quiet ? Whence ariseth the beauty of the world, but from that 
comely order wherein every creature is placed ; the more glorious and 
excellent creatures above, and the less below ? So it is in the soul ; the 
best constitution of it is when by the Spirit of God it is so ordered, as that 
all be in subjection to the law of the mind. What a sight were it for the 
feet to be where the head is, and the earth to be where the heaven is, to 
see all turned upside down ? And to a spiritual eye it seems as great a 
deformity, to see the soul to be under the rule of sinful passions. 

Comeliness riseth out of the fit proportion of divers members to make up 
one body, when every member hath a beauty in itself, and is likewise well 
suited to other parts. A fair face and a crooked body, comely upper parts, 
and the lower parts uncomely, suit not well ; because comeliness stands in 
oneness, in a fit agreement of many parts to one. When there is the head 
of a man, and the body of a beast, it is a monster in nature ; and is it not 
as monstrous for to have an understanding head, and a fierce untamed heart ? 
It cannot but raise up a holy indignation in us against these risings, when 
we consider how unbeseeming they are. What do these base passions 
in a heart dedicated to God, and given up to the government of his Spirit ? 
what an indignity is it for princes to go afoot, and servants on horseback ? 
for those to rule, whose place is to be ruled ? as being good attendants, but 
bad guides. It was Ham's curse to be a servant of servants,' Gen. ix. 25. 

(8.) This must be strengthened with a strong self-denial, without which 
there can be no good done in religion. 

_ There be two things that most trouble us in the way to heaven, corrup 
tion within us, and the cross without us : that which is within us must be 
denied, that that which is without us may be endured. Otherwise we 
* That is, 'position.' ED. 



THE SOUL'S CONFLICT. 169 

cannot follow him by whom we look to be saved. The gate, the entrance 
of religion, is narrow ; we must strip ourselves of ourselves before we can 
enter ; if we bring any ruling lust to religion, it will prove a bitter root of 
some gross sin, or of apostasy and final desperation. 

Those that sought the praise of men more than the praise of God, John 
xii. 43, could not believe, because that lust of ambition would, when it 
should be crossed, draw them away. The young man thought it better for 
Christ to lose a disciple than that he should lose his possession, and there 
fore went away as he came, Mat. xix. 22. The 'third ground,' Mat. xiii. 25, 
came to nothing ; because the plough had not gone deep enough to break 
up the roots, whereby their hearts were fastened to earthly contentments. 
This self-denial we must carry with us through all the parts of religion, 
both in our active and passive obedience ; for in obedience there must be 
a subjection to a superior ; but corrupt self neither is subject, nor can be, 
Bom. viii. 7. It will have an oar in everything, and maketh everything, 
yea, religion, serviceable to itself. It is the idol of the world, or rather 
the god that is set highest of all in the soul ; and so God himself is made 
but an idol. It is hard to deny a friend who is another self, harder to 
deny a wife that lieth in the bosom, but most hard to deny ourselves. 
Nothing so near us as ourselves to ourselves, and yet nothing so far off. 
Nothing so dear, and yet nothing so malicious and troublesome. Hypo 
crites would part with the fruit of their body, Mic. vi. 7, sooner than the 
sin of their souls. 

CHA 

Quest. But liow shall we know whether we have by grace got the victory over 
ourselves or not ? 

Ans. I answer, 1. If in good actions we stand not so much upon the credit 
of the action as upon the good that is done. What we do as unto God, we 
look for acceptance from God. It was Jonah his fault to stand more upon 
his own reputation than the glory of God's mercy. It is a prevailing sign 
when, though there be no outward encouragements, nay, though there be 
discouragements, yet we can rest in the comfort of a good intention. For 
usually inward comfort is a note of inward sincerity. Jehu must be seen, 
or else all is lost, 2 Kings x. 16. 

2. It is a good evidence of some prevailing when, upon religious grounds, 
we can cross ourselves in those things unto which our hearts stand most affected. 
This sheweth we reserve God his own place in our hearts. 

8. When, being privy to our own inclination and temper, we have gotten 
such a supply of Spirit as that the grace which is contrary to our temper 
appears in us. As oft we see none more patient than those that are 
naturally inclined to intemperancy of passion, because natural proneness 
makes them jealous over themselves. Some, out of fear of being over 
much moved, are not moved so much as they should be. This jealousy 
stirreth us up to a careful use of all helps. Where grace is helped by 
nature, there a little grace will go far ; but where there is much untoward- 
ness of nature, there much grace is not so well discerned. Sour wines 
need much sweetening. And that is most spiritual which hath least help 
from nature, and is won by prayer and pains. 

4. When we are not partial when the things concern ourselves. David 
could allow himself another man's wife, and yet judgeth another man 



CHAPTER XI. Signs of victory over ourselves, and of a subdued spirit. 



170 THE SOUL'S CONFLICT. 

worthy of death for taking away a poor man's lamb, 2 Sam. xii. 4. Men 
usually favour themselves too much when they are chancellors in their own 
cause, and measure all things by their private interest. He hath taken a 
good degree in Christ's school that hath learned to forget himself here. 

5. It is a good sign when, upon discovery of self-seeking, we can gain 
upon our corruption; and are willing to search and to be searched, what 
our inclination is, and where it faileth. That which we favour we are 
tender of, it must not be touched. A good heart, when any corruption is 
discovered by a searching ministry, is affected as if it had found out a 
deadly enemy. Touchiness and passion argues guilt. 

6. This is a sign of a man's victory over himself, when he loves health 
and peace of body and mind, with a supply of all needful things, chiefly 
for this end, that lie may with more freedom of spirit serve God in doing good 
to others. So soon as grace entereth into the heart, it frameth the heart 
to be in some measure public ; and thinks it hath not its end in the bare 
enjoying of anything, until it can improve what it hath for a further end. 
Thus to seek ourselves is to deny ourselves, and thus to deny ourselves is 
truly to seek ourselves. It is no self-seeking when we care for no more 
than that, without which we cannot comfortably serve God. When the 
soul can say unto God, Lord, as thou wouldst have me serve thee in my 
place, so grant me such a measure of health and strength, wherein I may 
serve thee. 

Object. But what if God thinks it good that I shall serve him in weakness, 
and in want and suffering ? 

Ans. Then it is a comfortable sign of gaining over our own wills, when 
we can yield ourselves to be disposed of by God, as knowing best what 
is good for us. There is no condition but therein we may exercise some 
grace, and honour God in some measure. Yet because some enlargement 
of condition is ordinarily that estate wherein we are best able to do good 
in, we may in the use of means desire it, and upon that resign up our 
selves wholly unto God, and make his will our will, without exception or 
reservation, and care for nothing more than we can have with his leave 
and love. This Job had exercised his heart unto ; whereupon in that great 
change of condition he sinned not, Job ii. 10 ; that is, fell not into the sins 
incident to that dejected and miserable state ; into sins of rebellion and dis 
content.^ He carried his crosses comely, with that staidness and resigned- 
ness which became a holy man. 

7. It is further a clear evidence of a spirit subdued, when we will discover 
the truth of our affection towards God and his people, though with censure of 
others. David was content to endure the censure of neglecting the state 
and majesty of a king, out of joy for settling the ark, 2 Sam. vi. 22. 
Nehemiah could not dissemble his grief for the ruins of the church, though 
in the king's presence, Neh. ii. 3. It is a comfortable sign of the wasting 
of self-love, when we can be at a point what becomes of ourselves, so it go 
well with the cause of God and the church. 

Now the way to prevail still more over ourselves, as when we are to do 
or suffer anything, or withstand any person in a good cause, &c., is, not 
to think that we are to deal with men, yea, or with devils, so much as 
with ourselves. The saints resisted their enemies to death, by resisting 
their own corruptions first. If we once get the victory over ourselves, all 
ather things are conquered to our ease. All the hurt Satan and the world 
do us, is by correspondency with ourselves. All things are so far under 
us, as we are above ourselves. Te vince, et mundus tibi victus est, &c. 



THE SOUL'S CONFLICT. 171 

For the further subduing of ourselves, it is good to follow sin to the first 
hold and castle, which is corrupt nature; the streams will lead us to the 
I spring head. Indeed, the most apparent discovery of sin is in the outward 
carriage ; we see it in the fruit before -in the root, as we see grace in the 
expression before in the affection. But yet we shall never hate sin 
thoroughly until we consider it in the poisoned root from whence it ariseth. 

That which least troubles a natural man doth most of all trouble a true 
Christian. A natural man is sometimes troubled with the fruit of his cor 
ruption, and the consequents of guilt and punishment that attend it ; but a 
true-hearted Christian w