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Full text of "Lectures upon the whole Epistle of St. Paul to the Philippians"

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AIRAY ON THE EPISTLE TO THE PHILIPPICS 



AND 



CARTWPJGHT ON THE EPISTLE TO THE COLOSSIANS. 



1 



COUNCIL OF PUBLICATION. 



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

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

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

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

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

Presbyterian Church, Edinburgh. 
ANDREW THOMSON, D.D., Minister of Broughton Place United Presbyterian Church, Edinburgh. 

REV. THOxMAS SMITH, M.A., Edinburgh. 









f" 



LECTURES 



UPON THE WHOLE 



EPISTLE OF ST PAUL TO THE PHILIPPIANS, 



DELIVERED IN ST PETER'S CHURCH IN OXFORD. 



BY THE REVEREND AND FAITHFUL SERVANT OF CHRIST 

HENRY AIEAY, DOCTOE OF DIVINITY, 

AND LATE PROVOST OF QUEEN'S COLLEGE. 



EDINBURGH : JAMES NICHOL. 
LONDON : JAMES NISBET AND CO. DUBLIN : G. HERBERT. 



M.DCCC.LXIV. 



immm 



EDINBURGH : 

PRINTED BY JOHN GEEIG AND SON, 

OLD PHYSIC GARDENS. 




mm 



HENRY AIRAY, D.D. 



E 



VERY churchyard furnishes proofs how very lightly the work! regards the " Sacred *' 
Memorials which surviving love inscribes over its dead. Decay and neglect soon tell 
of the survivor's death also — the heart later stilled laid beside the earlier stilled — and at 
last, the tender falsehoods of the epitaph all erased, and the grave level, and the human 
dust gone to dust, it is hard to recover more than, perchance, an ill-spelled entry of burial 
by the Parish Clerk. This applies to names that once were famous. It has been found so, 
with emphasis, in our endeavours to shed a little light on the long-forgotten Worthy whose 
book, after fully two centuries, is for the first time reprinted. 

The old Greeks were wont to say, that he was the best shoemaker who, out of the leather 
given him, made the best possible pair of shoes. Now of 'leather,' from which to construct 
a ' Life ' of Henry Airay, there is not so much as had sufficed for slippers in the wonder- 
land of Fairy or of Lilliput. After an amount of search and research utterly dispropor- 
tioned to the result, there remains very little indeed to record. The man is still a potent 
force, for his book lives. It abides, and he in it holds living influence over nineteenth 
century minds, that still treasure his wise and holy words. But ' decay's effacing fingers ' 
have long swept away what must have been once pleasant memories of a very lovely, and 
meek, and Christianly intrepid soul. 

Anthony a-Wood informs us that our Worthy was born 'in Westmoreland;'* and here 
a biographer's difficulties begin. The county is somewhat wide and many-parished, and 
the ' Registers ' singularly fragmentary. We have come upon two or three families of 
the name in Westmoreland. First of all, paying a pilgrim visit to our Commentator's old 
Church of ' Charlton ' (formerly Charleton in Otmore), nine miles or thereby from Oxford, — 
about which more in the sequel, — we found a mural monument of a Westmoreland Airay 
on the north side of the altar. Here is the antique inscription, well worthy of being 
printed : 

* Athena: Oxonienses, edition by Bliss, Vol. ii. page 177. 



VI 



HENRY AIRAY, D.D. 



POSTERIS 

ET iETERNITATI 

SACRU 

D a Adamus Airay natvs in parochia de 

BARTON in agro Westmorlandiae 



Mart • XV  CLO  10  LXXXIIII 



Coll . Reg . Oxon. Socius electus Mart. 26. 1613. 

Aulas Edmundi principalis Mart. 9. 1631. 

S.S. Theol. Doctor Jul. 10. 1637. 

Rector hujus ecclesias Anno 1643. 

Tandem 

Animo naaturus et aevo, fatis cessit 

Dec. 15. 1658 et in Domino hie infra 

placide obdormiscit 

Patruo optimo posuit maestus nepos 

Christ. Airay. 

From this we learn that Adam Airay was a native of the ' Parish of Barton, Westmore- 
land, 1 and, from the Athena Oxonienses it is known that his nephew ' Christopher,' who placed 
the stone, was born at ' Wilford,' in the same county. A recent Eector of Charlton suggested 
to us that, as Adam Airay was certainly a near relative of Dr Henry, Barton might be 
assumed to have been his birth-place also.* But why Barton rather than "Wilford ? In 
neither of these Parishes is the Register sufficiently ancient to decide. Out of the wreck of 
that of the former, its present excellent incumbent (Rev. G. C. Hodgson) has culled for us 
these later entries of Airay names : — 

Thomas Airey of High Winder, buried Sept. 20th a.d. 1692. 
Barbary Airey of High Winder, buried Nov. 18th a.d. 1692. 
John Airey, son of Christopher Airey, baptized May 2d 1689. 

Then, on an older fragment, there are some verses bearing the signature of, probably, the 
above ' Barbary Airey.' Only a couplet is legible : — 

' What man can bear a loftie gaile 
When fortune frowns and friends doo faile.' 

The orthography of the name is changed by a vowel in these entries : but names in this 
respect were spelled very arbitrarily. We have found it written * Ayray,' 'Ayrey,' 'Ayry,' 
'Airey,' 'Airy,' and 'Ary'; and even Dr Bliss, in his edition of Anthony a-Wood, while 
spelling above Christopher Airay in the little Memoir, spells it 'Airy' in the Index : so also 
in his additional note concerning our Airayt — who, it may be remarked, adhered throughout 
to the spelling 'Airay,' such being his signature to a manuscript document relating to certain 
properties purchased by him from a Henry Horsley, three months before his death, which is 
in our collection. 

It seems impossible to trace precisely the connection of these earlier and later Barton 
Airays with one another, or with our Doc*tor. But a living representative of them informs 
us, that though they and the Commentator were certainty of the same stock, not Barton, but 



* Our correspondent was the late accomplished Rev. H. 
Qough, -who, in 1859, did all he could to obtain informa- 
tion for us ; and wo have to acknowledge like kindness on 
the part of his successor, the Rev. T. W. Falcon, who, be- 
sides other things, sends the following extract from his 



Parish Register : ' Adam Ary, doctor of divinitie, parson 
of Charleton was buried the 21 daye of desember 1658,' 
adding, ' This, one hopes, was written by the Parish Clerk/ 
Cf. ante. 

t Vol. iii. (Index), and Vol. ii. p. 178. 



HENRY AIRAY, D.D. 



vn 



Kentmere, near Windermere, was Us birth-place ; * and there, indeed, the name is found sur- 
viving under various modifications about Selside, and Keswick, and Kendal. One little fact 
seems to confirm the family tradition, and to guide us to his father, and probably an elder 
brother, in this region of Westmoreland. From various sources we learn that Bernard 
Gilpin, the apostle of the north, and himself a native of Westmoreland, was the patron and 
friend of Dr Henry Airay, as will fall to be noticed immediately. Is the origin, then, of his 
interest in him to be primarily explained by the circumstance that his father was the ' favourite 
servant ' in the Eectory of Houghton ? In the well-known « Life ' of Bernard Gilpin, it is 
recorded that when this venerable man was making preparations for martyrdom, — a vengeful 
message having reached him from Bishop Bonner, — he ' received the account with great 
composure ; and immediately after called up William Airay, a favourite domestic, who had 
long served him as his almoner and steward. 't From the great kindness shewn to our Airay 
by Gilpin, and from the vicinity of Kentmere to the ' Eectory,' it does not appear to be 
hazarding much to assume this 'William Airay' to have been his father, and that 
tradition is right in assigning Kentmere, near Windermere, as his birth-place — the 
latter, or rather both, most fortunate for him, bringing him as they did under the vigi- 
lant eye and benignant care of one who, more than most, wears meetly the august name of 
' Apostle.' 

It needeth not that here should be narrated the many self-denying labours of Bernard 
Gilpin ; but having thus more definitely localised the birth-place and parentage of Dr Airay. 
it is to be observed that his humble origin made him a fit object of the good man's peculiar 
bounty. Among the chief of his philanthropic deeds, was the erection and endowment of a 
School in his Parish ; and his biographer observes, ' The effects of his endowment were 
very quickly seen. His school was no sooner opened than it began to flourish, and to afford 
the agreeable prospect of a succeeding generation rising above the ignorance and errors of 
their forefathers ;' and adds, ' That such might be its effects, no care on his part was want- 
ing. He not only placed able masters in his school, whom he procured from Oxford, but he 
likewise constantly inspected it himself. And that encouragement might quicken the appli- 
cation of his boys, he always took particular notice of the most forward ; he would call them 
his own scholars, and would send for them often into his study, and there instruct them 
himself;' and, still further, ' One method used by him to fill his school was a little singular. 
Whenever he met a poor boy upon the road, he would make trial of his capacity by a few 
questions, and if he found it such as pleased him, he would provide for his education. Nor 
did his care end here. From his school he sent several to the Universities, where he main- 
tained them wholly at his own expense. To others who were in circumstances to do some- 
thing for themselves, he would give the farther assistance they needed ; by which means he 
induced many parents to allow their children a liberal education, who otherwise would not 
have done it.' % 

In accord with all this, two of the ' poor boys,' who were ' scholars ' of this man, — so far 
ahead of his age in well nigh every educational and religious movement, — and also of those 
whom he ' sent to the Universities,' were our Henry, and a Ewan or Evan Airay, in all 
probability a brother. They were ' educated in grammatical learning ' at the School, and 
were in attendance at Oxford when Gilpin lay a-dying. His ' will ' shews that he carefully 



* Rev. William Airey, Bramley Vicarage, Basingstoke, 
Hampshire. 

t The Life of Bernard Gilpin. By William Gilpin, M.A., 



Prehendary of Salisbury. With an Introductory Essay l>y 
Edward Irving. 1824. P. 123. 
% As before, p. 138. 



HENRY AIRAY, D.D. 



formerly Otmore), now enclosed, but in Airay's time a swamp of three thousand acres, that 
afforded pasture in summer, and a haunt for innumerable wild fowl in winter. The Church 
is worthy of a visit still, if there were no more than its almost unique rood-screen, of 
the fifteenth century, which has never been ' restored,' nor meddled with, but still shews 
the original gilding, and bright red and blue. 

It was a piece of unselfish heroism on the part of our ' Commentator' to accept the 
presentation to Charlton. He knew that he should thereby be involved in a costly litigation 
because of circumstances: nevertheless he threw himself into the struggle. The whole story 
is told by himself in his posthumous tractate ' touching his suit in law for the Rectory of 
Charlton,' 1621. It lacks general interest now, but, as we have said, exhibits his public spirit 
and affection for his College in a striking light. We chanced upon a copy of the old tract in 
the British Museum Library, — a copy having certain interesting manuscript notes, and a 
printed 'Appendix,' not always added, — and without entering into very minute details, a few 
facts may be indicated, more especially as the good man, as well as his editor, Potter, was 
holily jealous to set himself right, and 'to satisfy others' in regard to the 'tedious suit 
in law,' and in his own words, 'of my ministry, my degree, my service, my place of 
government.' 

The ' Suit ' had been carried from Court to Court, and the point of the case was, whether 
a certain lease were valid, said lease being for a very long term of years, and granting away 
the tithes and other endowments to a lay impropriator, to the injury of the incumbent, who 
was only allowed £20, and that not regularly paid. One clergyman was, in fact, starved, 
and another compelled to resign, when Airay flung himself into the breach, having been 
indeed appointed by Queen's College (to which the right of presentation still belongs, having 
been purchased from Henry VIII.) on purpose that he, by his weight of character and 
influence, might rend the prey from the spoiler. The lay-spoliator fought the battle with 
desperate tenacity; and his venerable opponent lamented throughout the necessity of his 
position, but he continued his attack and defence (as both parties were plaintiffs and 
defendants) until his death, in 1G16. The 'cause' was finally settled in favour of Airay ; 
and,; standing so high as he did in the opinion of the religious world, certain persons 
professed themselves scandalized that so great a saint should have so far dishonoured his 
profession as to plunge into litigation. It was the clamour of the detected and exposed, 
plunderer ; and it needed not Potter's testimony to accredit the assurance of Airay himself, 
that in all he did he was moved by no personal views, but, as he expresses himself, ' out of 
compassion for the state of the people where the benefice is,' and ' of regard' to his 'own duty 
to the College,' and ' after much deliberation with very many skilful in the law, and of 
conscience with sundry reverend and judicious divines.' From the manuscript notes in the 
British Museum copy of the tractate, it would appear that the ' suit ' caused a great stir and 
debates in many Courts. The practical result, as a recent Bector of Charlton wrote us, 
was, ' the Incumbent got his own ; and now his successors are much better off than most of 
their brethren — thanks to the worthy Dr Airay.'* Such ' leases' as that of Charlton, which 
so troubled our worthy friend, were rendered illegal by 13 Elizabeth, and one reads half in 
wonder and half in sorrow the strenuous ' Vindication' deemed necessary by Airay and his 
editor, Potter. This notice of the matter may be fitly closed by a few sentences indicative 
thereof, and which are interesting from the personal tribute they carry. Says Potter, in ex- 
plaining in a ' Preface' the design of the publication, ' Seeing by many his religious friends, I 

* The late Mr Gough, aa before. 



HENRY AIRAY, D.D. 



XI 



understand he cannot yet rest quietly in his grave, this cavil being often upon occasion and 
odiously renewed, cast like a dead fly to corrupt the sweet ointment of his blessed memory, 
and raised as a thick vapour to obscure the lustre of his good name, I cannot, without 
irreparable and palpable injury, forbear to put forth his own shield for protecting of his 
guiltless name, which lies bleeding under the merciless strokes of intemperate tongues, 
whereof some, I fear, aim through his sides at the disgrace of religion;' and again, 'I 
publish this tract in his own words without the least alteration ; the author for his integrity 
was generally and justly reverenced.'* 

This is really all that we have been able to bring together of interest concerning the author 
of this reprinted ' Commentary' on the 'Epistle to the Philippians.' His character as a 
man, as a preacher, as a divine, and as an important ' ruler ' in the university, will be found 
portrayed in the 'Epistle' to ' the Reader,' prefixed thereto by Potter. The same tone of 
respect, if it ought not to be called veneration, appears in Hinde's dedication of Rainolds's 
' Obadiah ' in his lifetime. t Altogether, he must have been a fine specimen of the more 
cultured Puritans : strong with the strength of a true manhood, but softened with the 
shyness of woman ; full of all tender charities, but bold for the truth ; of brain in matter all 
compact, and not unvisited by speculation, yet beautifully modest before ' The Word ;' gifted 
with ' large utterance ' in thick-coming words, that catch sometimes a vanishing glow, as of 
the light sifting through opal clouds from the vision behind of Him who is at once their grand 
burden and informing Spirit ; and throughout a robust common sense, that offers an ad- 
mirable contrast to the shewy nothings of some of his contemporaries. You will look in 
vain in his ' Commentary' for erudite criticism or subtle exegesis in the modern sense: but 
there seems to us to be an instinctively true following up of the apostolic thoughts, a quick 
insight into their bearings and relative force, ingenious application to present need, and an 
uncommon fulness of positive instruction. Potter, in his ' Epistle to the Reader,' promises 
* other of his labours,' if the ' Commentary' were ' favourably accepted.' It does not appear 
that anything more was given to the world, but ever since its publication his ' Philippians' 
has been an authority upon the Epistle, over-topping all other of the Puritans thereupon. 
For while Fergusson's pregnant ' Notes,' and the volumes of Nathaniel Tucker, and of 
Lancelot Ridley have their own peculiar merits, they do not admit of comparison with the 
massive quarto of our author. 

It remains to be stated that, having died on 6th October 1616, as Provost of Queen's 
College, he was interred within its chapel ; and the old building having been pulled down 
in 1714, his remains and monument were transferred to the new Chapel, where a some- 
what peculiar portrait-effigies, representing him kneeling upon a cushion, and a globe at 
his left side, together with another brass plate bearing a laudatory inscription, may still be 
seen. Anthony a-Wood furnishes the following description of the whole, the Robinson 
commemorated along with him in the second, being his kindred-minded predecessor at 
Queen's, so favourably known to posterity :| — 



* It may be noted here that in the B. M. copy, the MS. 
notes are by a Francis Hargreave, who gives some infor- 
mation about himself; and there is another autograph, 
'Jos. Smith," 1756, who mentions that he had bought the 
tract at sale of the library of Dr Richard Rawlinson. 
There are various references about the ' suit,' and- names 
occurring. To the former may be added the following : — 
In the Second Report of the Deputy-Keeper of Records, 



App. ii., 256, is a note to this effect, ' Charlton super Otmore 
Hen. Ayray obtains a partial verdict against John Alcock, 
4 Ja. I. Mrch. iii. 48 d. 5 Ja. I. Trin. m. 32 to 33 d,'— m 
being an abridgment for skin, and d for back of skin in 
the roll of the Exohequer of Pleas. 

t 4to, 1613. 

% ' History and Antiquities of the College and Halls in 
the University of Oxford.' Ed. by Gutch. Pp. 116, 162. 



Xll 



HENRY AIRAY, D.D. 



Ou a brass plate, fixed to a black marble stone, laying in the middle of the chapel, is this : — 

' D. 0. M. S. 

Quod mortalc habuit hie deposuit 
l>onec Christo iterum ad\enieute 
Resurgat 

HENRICUS AIRAY 

S. T. D. Collegii hujus per annos 

sexdecem Propositus. 

Yivere desiit semper victurus, 

A.MDCXY1, VI Id. Oct. 

Reliquias viri 

Reverendi ac optime de so 

Meriti, hoc marmore 

texit 

Collegium.' 

Arms on the aforesaid monument of Or Airay, that is on the wall, arc only Queen's College Arms. 

On another brass plate against the same wall [the south], is the picture of a man kneeling, with this in a 
scroll coming out of his mouth : ' Te seqi'ar.' Over his head are clouds, and Elijah ascending, &c, under which 
are these two verses : — 

' Ignis et efflaxtes purgaruxt aera vexti ; 
TRAXsrrrs in coeixm fromptior inde patet.' 

Under which is this inscription : — 

' MEMORI.E VIRI SAXCTITATE ET PRUDEXTIA CLARISSIMI UEXRICT AIRAY, S. THEOL. D. HTJl'S COLLEGII PR.EFOSITI 
VIGILATIS. REVEREDI ROBIXSOXI (lT ELI.E ELISHa) SUCCESSORIS ET iEMULI, chariss. PATRUELIS : CIIRISTOPU. POTTER, HUJUS 
COLL. SOCl-HOC AMORIS, ET OBSERVATI.E TeSTIMOXIC L. M. Q. POSUIT. 

Non satis ELisn.E est ELiiE palla relicta, 
Dum (licet in Ccelum raptus) Amicus abest. 
Tristis agit, quaaritque amissum turturis instar 
Consortem, ac moriens, Te sequar, orbus, ait. 
Splendeat ut mundo pietas imitabilis Airve, 
In laudem Christi, hoc sere perennis erit. 

Math, y: 1G. 

Mortalitatem exuit anno 1G1G, Q° Id' Octo : nat" an. 57, ct hie sepul. alteru Messia) advetu exspectat.' 

We have no information as to whether Airay ever married. The second inscription 
quoted ahove, intimates that Eobinson was a cousin or near kinsman of Airay ; hut we have 
not been able to trace the connection. Neither, with all searching, have we been able to 
recover contemporary notices or allusions, anecdotes or letters.* His 'Commentary' is 
his one abiding monument. May it in this reprint inspire not a few of its readers with 
the same loyalty to Jesus Christ and His Word that marked its Author, who, ' being dead, 
yet speaketh.' 

ALEXANDER B. GEOSART. 

Kinross. 



* Circumstances have at present prevented access to the 
Archives at Oxford, but I hope by and by to trace and copy 
Or Airay*s ' Will,' when it or any new data may be given 



in annotating the Dedication of Rainolds on 'Obadiah r 
which it is proposed to include in these reprints. 



LECTURES 



ON THE WHOLE 



EPISTLE OF ST PAUL TO THE PHILIPPIANS. 



TO THE MOST REVEREND FATHER IN GOD, 

GEORGE, LORD ARCHBISHOP OE CANTERBURY, 

HIS GRACE, PRIMATE OF ALL ENGLAND AND METROPOLITAN, AND ONE OF HIS MAJESTY'S MOST HONOURABLE 

PRIVY COUNCIL. 



Most Reverend Father, 

I COULD not presume to shroud this unpolished 
work under so high a patronage, if I did not hope 
that, as David loved lame Mephibosheth for his good 
father Jonathan, so your gracious favour to this 
author (now with God) would excuse and pardon, yea 
accept, this unperfected issue of his pains. These 
papers were never intended for the common view, 
being fitted in a plain and familiar style to a popular 
assembly, and therefore, I confess, not worthy of your 
acceptation. Yet I thought it injustice either to 
deprive the church of God of the benefit of his labours, 
or not to consecrate them to your Grace's hands, to 
whom the author was so much obliged. Your gra- 
cious countenance and love unto him, upon experience 
of his integrity, whereof you were long a witness and 
sometime a judge, did much comfort him amidst 
other occasions of grief and dejection. His only re- 
quital were holy prayers for your happiness, which he 
forgot not in the extremity of his last sickness, even 
then devoutly entreating the Lord for his blessing upon 
your person and government. Besides, your Grace is 
pleased to make your favours, as it were, hereditary, 
extending them in great measure to his successor, our 
present governor, and to our college ; in which 
respect the best of all our labours are justly devoted 



to your Grace, as a small discharge of our duty, if 
not rather as an acknowledgment of our obligation. 
These lectures, which now I present, arc an exposi- 
tion of Saint Paul's divine letter to the Philippians ; 
an exposition, indeed, not suitable to the niceness and 
curiosity of our times, not elegant in words, and with- 
out all affectation, unless of plainness. But yet, lest 
I too much disparage the author and his work, if I be 
not mistaken, the naked and natural sense of this holy 
text is here so faithfully opened, and withal so power- 
fully and thoroughly applied, that, I doubt not, G 
church and people may hence reap much benefit, 
which was the author's only aim in the exercise of 
his ministry, and shall be my chief comfort. What- 
soever it is, I humbly commend it to the blessing of 
God and to the use of his church, desiring to honour 
it with your Grace's name, whose patronage shall pro- 
cure it respect from others. The Lord Jesus long 
preserve your Grace (after the joy of our hearts and 
the breath of our nostrils his most excellent Majesty), 
a great and sure friend of religion, and a worthy in- 
strument of the welfare and peace of this holy and 
happy Church of England ! 

Your Grace's humble Orator, 

CHRISTOPHER POTTER, 



TO THE CHRISTIAN READER, 



IT was a just taxation of our times by grave and 
reverend Beza, Bum tempora superiora cum nos- 
tris comparo, dicere consuevi plus illos conscientics, 
scientui minus habuisse ; nos contra sciential plus, con- 
scientia minus habere: the brains of men were never 
more stuffed, then - tongues never more stirring, and 
yet their hearts never more empty, their hands never 
more idle. The disease of our forefathers was igno- 
rance, ours is impiety; they were ill in the head, we 
are sick at the heart ; they were blind, but (after 
their manner) devout, we are skilful and profane. No 



age was 



ever blessed with such a light of knowledge, 
and yet none more fruitful of the works of dark 
The main reason undoubtedly why wisdom and holi- 
ness, learning and sanctity, are so usually now-a-days 
divorced, is because, as that heathen of old could 
complain, disputare malumus qudtn vivere. If men 
can argue and discourse of religion, it suffices ; not one 
of a thousand thoroughly digests his knowledge,^ or 
turns the holy precepts of divinity into practice. 
Hence the world abounds with polemical books, which 
do not so much compose as breed contentions (though 



TO THE CHRISTIAN READER. 



I confess the fault is not ours, but our adversaries', 
•whose perverseness will not be convicted even when 
they are convicted). But for practical divinity and 
lively devotion, it is an argument not more necessary 
than rare, handled but by few, and not by many 
regarded. Yet in this iniquity of times, wherein 
the affections of men had more need to be ordered 
than their judgments informed, in my opinion those 
treatises are of best service and use which reduce 
Christianity into action, and warm the heart and con- 
science with devotion. In this rank I account this 
commentary, which was a principal motive unto me, 
as wc all owe ourselves unto the common good, not to 
smother a work so serviceable for this age, nor to bereave 
God's church of such a furtherance, especially being 
herein encouraged by sundry reverend and judicious. 

A commentary perhaps not to the taste of many 
men in this age, whose nice palate doth loathe the 
dry manna, and can best relish the unsavoury sauces 
of Egypt. Others, who cannot fancy divinity unless 
she be wantonly trimmed up in the light colours 
of human art and eloquence, will here require ele- 
gancy of words, and quarrel at his careless style. I 
answer, mores non verba composuit, et animis dixit 
non auribus, the scope of his labours was his auditors' 
instruction, not his own applause, nor did he care to 
please so much as to profit. To come with.tlie ' enticing 
words of man's wisdom.' and to preach only them- 
selves, is the note of false teachers. The charge of 
Christ's minister is, ' in demonstration of the Spirit 
and of power,' to ' divide the word of truth aright' 
unto his people ; and this was our author's aim. 
God's oracles are to be faithfully expounded, not 
curiously minced, not loosely dallied with. And surely 
the plain song of Scripture is the best music, without 
these quavering descants of man's wit. How licen- 
tiously and profanely popish friars have abused God's 
holy word by their trifling postils, it is too manifest. 
Yea (be it spoken with due modesty and reverence 
to those worthies to whose industry and wit the Chris- 
tian church is so much beholding), some of the ancient 
doctors were too far in love with quaint interpretations, 
e ipecially Origen, whose excessive allegorising (by the 
confession of Eusebius," who yet was his great favourite 
and partial in his praises, caused the apostate Porphy- 
rins to blaspheme and to scoff at the Scriptures ; which 
consideration, no doubt, moved Calvin, Melancthon, 
Martyr, and the rest of our late and learned expositors, 
to stick so close to the letter of the text, and in all 
simplicity to deliver the meaning of the Holy Gbost. 
Their judgment our author approved, and followed 
their example, opening, in these lectures, the simple 
and most naturally-intended sense of the holy apostle, 
and thence urging and applying the observations so 
effectually, that many, not only of his ordinary hearers, 
but even of the university, by whom he was much 
frequented, blessed God for the direction and comfort 
* Lib. vi. c. xviii. 



they received from his mouth. The life of delivery in 
him was very powerful, and made great impression on 
his hearers. This book wants that advantage, which 
yet is here supplied, because those things which then 
were only delivered in the ears of few, are here sub- 
mitted to the eyes of all. 

Touching the author himself, I need not say much. 
Although, after a sort, he condemned himself to 
obscurity, and affected a private and retired life, yet 
he could not hide himself from the eyes of the world, 
being generally noted and esteemed for his holiness, 
his integrity, his learning and gravity, his indefatigable 
pains in the discharge of his ministerial function, his 
singular wisdom and dexterity in the government of 
our college, which, by God's blessing upon his care, 
hath sent forth many learned ministers into the church, 
many worthy gentlemen into the commonwealth. 
Briefly, in his whole conversation he was so sincere 
and unrebukable, that by some, partly by occasion of 
these lectures, he was defamed for preciseness. In- 
deed, as the times are now, the only means almost to 
avoid that reproach is to be notoriously wicked. But, 
in few words to wipe off that imputation, how much 
he condemned the injurious zeal of the separatists, 
how far he misliked all busy disturbers of the church's 
peace and quiet, still gravely exhorting to calmness 
and moderation, how heartily he reverenced his holy 
mother the church of England, and how willingly he 
conformed himself to her seemly ceremonies and in- 
junctions, besides his practice, he hath so many reve- 
rend and grave witnesses, as he had familiar acquaint- 
ance. To say truth, he was not of the Laodicean 
temper, nor yet ' pure in his own eyes ; ' zealous and 
fervent, not turbulent and contentious ; a faithful ser- 
vant of God, an humble and obedient son of the church, 
an enemy to faction no less than to superstition. 
Lastly, when the few and evil days of his pilgrimage 
were ended, as a comfortable death ever follows a 
conscionable life, he patiently and meekly endured 
God's gentle visitation, earnestly longed after his dis- 
solution and to be with Christ, which he knew was 
best of all ; and at length, when the time of his chang- 
ing was come, devoutly commending his soul to the 
mercy of his Redeemer, he closed up his eyes in peace, 
and was carried to his grave with honour. He now 
rests from his labours, and his works follow him ; ho 
hath left behind him a blessed memory, and a name 
sweeter than any ointment. This holy monument of 
his industry I commend to thy use and serious medi- 
tation, good Christian reader, which, favourably 
accepted, may encourage me to publish other of his 
labours. The Lord Jesus bless ail our endeavours to 
the building up of his church, and our own everlasting 
salvation. Amen. 

Thine in the Lord Jesus. 

CHRISTOPHER POTTER. 

Quern's College, Nov. 28. 1617. 



LECTURES 



ON THE WHOLE 



EPISTLE OE ST PAUL TO THE PHILIPPIANS. 



LECTURE I. 

Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in, Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with 
the bishops and deacons : grace be with you, and ])eace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 
—Philip. I. 1, 2. 



WHEN first it pleased the Lord to call me to this 
set work in this place, by reason of my short 
time to deliberate, I chose for the time that text of 
Scripture which was appointed to be read for the epistle 
the next Sabbath, beginning at the 5th verse of the 2d 
chapter of this epistle, purposing afterward to make 
choice of some other scripture which happily might 
better fit this place. But so. it pleased the Lord to 
dispose that I should go forward even throughout the 
epistle unto the end, and the last day conclude my 
observations thereupon in your hearing. Now I have 
thought good again to begin with that whereof I have 
made an end, that so, if the Lord will, the meaning 
of this whole epistle, and the doctrines thereof, may 
in good time be delivered in your hearing. 

Paul and Timotheus. I shall not need to speak 
much touching the occasion whereupon 'the apostle 
wrote this epistle, because I have already spoken 
almost of all the things that occasioned it. The Philip- 
pians having heard of the apostle's imprisonment at 
Home, sent their minister Epaphroditus unto him, 
with relief from them to supply his necessities. 
Whereupon Epaphroditus, coming to Borne, told the 
apostle the state of the church at Philippi, how that 
there were false apostles crept in amongst them, which 
urged circumcision and the works of the law, and that 
the Philippians constantly withstood them. The 
apostle therefore, to commend their constancy, for 
their further encouragement thereunto, to arm them 
against the false teachers, for their clear satisfaction 



in the points which they urged, and to give them 
thanks for their great liberality towards him, wherein 
they shewed their care for him, wrote this epistle 
unto them. 

Wherein, as in all other his epistles, is set down, 
1, the inscription; 2, the salutation; 3, the body of 
the epistle itself. In the inscription we have, 1, the 
persons saluting ; 2, the persons saluted. The per- 
sons saluting are described, 1, by their proper names, 
and then by a title of dignity common to them both. 
The names of the persons saluting are Paul and Timo- 
theus : Paul, called also sometimes Saul, the writer 
of this epistle, and Timotheus, the approver of it ; or 
Paul, the inditer of it, and Timotheus, the writer of 
it. The title of dignity common to them both, whereby 
they are described, is this, ' the servants of Jesus 
Christ;' servants both, and therefore to attend upon 
their ministry and service ; and both servants of Jesus 
Christ, and therefore to attend upon the ministration 
of the gospel which he had committed unto them ; but 
yet the servants of Jesus, the Saviour of the world, 
even of Jesus Christ, anointed a king to defend us, 
a prophet to teach us, and a priest to offer up a sacri- 
fice for our sins. The persons saluted are generally 
the whole church of Philippi, and more particularly 
the bishops and deacons there. The whole church at 
Philippi generally is saluted under the name of ' all 
the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi,' for by 
all the saints in Christ Jesus he meaneth all them 
which in baptism had given their names unto Christ 



AIP.AY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap I. 



Jesus, thenceforth to die unto siu, and to live unto 
God in righteousness and true holiness, which was all 
the church at Philippi. Now this Philippi was a chief 
city in the parts of Macedonia, Acts xvi. 12, whose 
inhabitants came from Rome to dwell there, the first 
city in the passage out of Thracia, beyond the river Stry- 
mon. At the first it is generally thought to have been 
called Crenida, because of many fountains about the 
the hill whereon it was built, K^r\ being as much as 
fons ; and afterward to have been called Philippi, be- 
cause of the fortification and enlargement thereof by 
Philip king of Macedon ; and now to be called Grico- 
polis, as if ye would call it Chrysopolis, a city of gold, 
because of the great abundance of gold that is there, — 
so great that Philip is said to have received thence yearly 
about one thousand talents of gold, which is as much 
as six hundred thousand French crowns. This city 
is notably known, as for the great overthrow of Brutus 
and Cassius there by Octavius and Antony, so espe- 
cially for the preaching of the gospel there by Paul 
and Silas and Timotheus, for the embracing of the 
trath there by their ministry, and for inany other 
accidents there during the apostle his abode there ; 
for Paul being warned by the Spirit to go into Mace- 
don, he went thither, and first came to Philippi, and 
there preached, and by his preaching converted Lydia, 
so that she and her household were baptized. After- 
wards he cast out of a maid a spirit of divination. 
WheretrpoD he was brought before the niagistv.. 
sore beaten with rods, cast into the inner prison, and 
his feet thrust into the stocks. Being there in prison, 
the foundation of the prison was shaken by an earth- 
quake, the doors were opened, the prisoner's bands 
were loosed, the jailor was converted, he and his house 
baptized, and the apostle delivered. For these things 
this city is well known, and it was the church gene- 
rally in this city that the apostle saluted. 

The persons more particularly saluted are the bishops 
and deacons there ; where by bishops he meaneth the 
pastors and teachers which laboured in the word and 
doctrine. For both the word so siguifieth throughout 
the whole New Testament, and here it must needs so 
signify, because he speaketh of many in one church. 
By deacons also he meaneth those that by their office 
were to receive and distribute the common liberality 
of the church, according to the necessities of all the 
poor members thereof, such as we read to have been 
ordained in the church, Acts vi. 5, and such as are 
described by our apostle, 1 Tim. iii. 8, &c. Unto 
whom, together with the bishops, the apostle is thought 
here to write, as to magnify their ollice, so because 
theirs had been the care chiefly, in respect of their 
office, to send the church's liberality to him by their 
minister Epaphrodjtus. 

The salutation followeth, wherein he wishcth them 
all good, from him which is the author of all goodness. 
Where is set down— 1. The thing which he wisheth 
unto them, which is 'grace and peace,' understanding 



by grace the free favour of God, wherewith he loveth 
his children, and whence, as from the fountain, all 
other goodness doth flow; and by "peace every blessing, 
corporal and spiritual, for this life and that that is to 
come, flowing from that fountain of grace ; 2. is set 
down unto whom he wisheth this grace and peace, 
namely, unto ' all the saints at Philippi, together with 
the bishops,' &c. ; 3. is set down the author from 
wiiom and by whom he wisheth this grace and peace 
unto them, which is from ' God our Father,' as the 
fountain and first original from whom cometh every 
good and perfect gift, and ' from the Lord Jesus 
Christ,' as the means by whom every grace of the 
Spirit is conveyed and derived unto us. Thus much 
for the purpose of the apostle in these words, and the 
meaning of them. Now let us see what notes we may 
gather hence for our farther use and instruction. 

Paul and Timotheus. First, then, for the very 
name of Paul, it should not pass us reading or hearing 
of it, but therein we should observe the great mercy 
of our gracious God towards sinful creatures. For 
what was Paul, that now wrote unto the churches 
here and there to stablish them in the faith ? Surely 
he was sometimes a bloody Saul, a cruel persecutor of 
God's church, Acts xxvi. 10, 11, one that, having re- 
ceived authority of the high priests, shut up many of 
the saints in prison, and when they were put to death 
gave his sentence and punished them throughout all 
the synagogues, and compelled them to blaspheme, 
and being more mad upon them, persecuted them even 
unto strange cities ; one that was a blasphemer, 
1 Tim i. 13, an oppressor, that spared neither men nor 
women, Acts xxii. 4, but beat them, and bound them, 
and delivered them unto death ; one that persecuted 
the church of God extremely, and wasted it, Gal. i. 13. 
All which things himself testifieth of himself. Could 
there well have been a more forlorn man, a more 
desperate and godless creature ? Yet this man was 
received unto mercy, yea, unto such mercy that the 
Lord called him to be an apostle, and chose him to 
bear his name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the 
children of Israel. And that this was a work of the 
Lord his own mercy, our apostle himself witnesseth, 
vs here he thus saith, ' I was a blasphemer, and a per- 
secutor, and an oppressor, but I w r as received to mercy,' 
1 Tim. i. 13. And why was he received to mercy ? 
Himself tells us, saying, ' For this cause was I re- 
ceived to mercy, that Jesus Christ should first shew 
on me all long-suffering, to the ensample of them that 
shall in time to come believe in him unto eternal life.' 
ver. 16. It was then the Lord his great mercy towards 
him, that of a cruel persecutor he became an holy apostle 
of Christ Jesus, and this mercy was shewed on him, 
that in him might be an example of God's mercy to- 
wards miserable sinners. I might instance in the like 
mercy of the Lord towards Matthew, first a publican, 
afterwards an evangelist ; towards Zaccheus, first a 
sinful man, afterwards a notable convert ; towards the 






Ver. 1, 2.] 



LECTURE I. 



thief on the cross, ercwhile on the cross, after a while 
in paradise, &c. But I will not trouble you with 
multitudes of examples, wherein might appear the 
riches of God's great mercies towards great and 
grievous sinners. 

Neither let this be any encouragement unto any 
man, to let loose the reins unto sin, because ' where 
sin aboundeth, there mercy aboundeth much more ; ' 
for if any man, upon such examples of his mercies, 
shall presume and make bold to sin, let him also 
know that, as the Lord is merciful, so is he also just, 
and that towards him, and such as he is, justice shall 
triumph over mercy. Bather let this so loving mercy 
of the Lord teach us neither to despair in ourselves 
nor of others, though great sinners ; for what though 
we have omitted such things as we ought to have 
done, not only so, but committed such things as w r e 
ought not to have done ! What if we have committed 
incest with Lot, or murder and adtdtery with David ! 
Nay, what if we have been blasphemers or persecutors 
with Paul, unjust with Zaccheus, or thieves with him 
on the cross ! The Lord hath mercy enough for us 
in store, and others as great sinners as we, and over- 
taken with the like sins, have been received unto 
mercy. Only let us acknowledge our sins with David, 
Weep for our sins with the woman in the Gospel, 
Luke vii. 38, obey when the Lord calleth upon us 
with Paul, receive him joyfully when he cometh unto 
us With Zaccheus, and pray fervently unto him with the 
thief upon the cross, and then assure we ourselves we 
shall be received unto mercy. And who knoweth of 
any but the Lord may give grace unto repentance, and 
then surely followeth mercy '? The Lord his mercies 
are in his own dispensing ; he may when he will, and 
he doth when he seeth it good, renew the heart, and 
grant mercy. Though therefore the prodigal child 
run a lewd course for a long time, yet let us hope 
that the Lord will at length give grace unto repent- 
ance, and receive him unto mercy. 

Paid and Timotheus. The second thing which I 
note is, that the apostle joineth unto himself Timothy ; 
aged Paul, young Timothy ; an excellent apostle, an 
inferior minister ; the author of the epistle, him that 
only approved it, or at the most wrote it from his 
mouth ; and all this to grace and credit Timothy with 
the Philippians, unto whom he meant shortly to send 
him, as it appeareth by the next chapter, verse 19. 
Whence (1.) I observe a notable example of rare hu- 
milit} r , for a rare and seldom thing it is to be seen, 
superiors to receive their inferiors into the honour of 
their labours, and to be willing that what honour or 
favour may accrue unto them by their labours, maybe 
communicated likewise to their inferiors, who had 
little or no hand in them. Nay, commonly, superiors 
in authority, or learning, or otherwise, count it a great 
debasing unto themselves to be thought to have had 
their inferiors to have joined with them in their la- 
bours, to have used their help, or to equal them with 



themselves. Yet such was Paul's humility, that he 
gladly received Timothy, a faithful minister of the 
gospel, but far inferior unto him, into the honour of 
his labours, and equalled him auto himself, as if his 
hand had been as far in the writing of this epistle as 
was his own, that as they should accept of him for it, 
so the}' might accept of Timothy also. He had 
learned that lesson well which our blessed Saviour 
gave both him and us to learn from himself, saying, 
' Learn of me that I am meek and lowly in heart,' 
Mat. xi. 29. And himself herein gave the Philip- 
pians a good pattern of that whercunto afterwards he 
exhorteth them, Philip, ii. 3, that 'in meekness of mind 
every man should esteem others better than himself.' 
His estimation of Timothy, and his lowliness of heart, 
are sufficiently witnessed by this his associating of 
him unto himself. But such a self- liking hath now 
possessed men, that such humility is hardly to be 
found. Every man likes his own laboui'S so well, and 
stands so much upon his reputation, that he cannot 
endure the disgrace that any man should say or think 
that he hath had this or that help, this or that advice, 
that he never did this or that of himself. To have 
the credit or commendation of any thing well done of 
ourselves, we like it well; but if any be joined in with 
us, especially our inferiors, we make little reckoning, 
and oftentimes had as lief want it as have it so ; so 
far are we from the apostle's humility. Whereunto if 
we will attain, we must not ' think of ourselves above 
that is meet,' we must think of others according to 
their worth ; we must not think much to receive others 
into the honours of our labours, and we must make 
ourselves equal to them of lower sort than ourselves. 
And this if we do, w r c shall be good followers of the 
apostle's humility. 

(2). In this joining of Timothy unto himself, I 
observe a good pattern of that care which ought to be 
had of the ministers' credit with his people. For 
wherefore did the apostle join Timothy unto himself? 
He meant to send Timothy shortly unto the Philip- 
pians, to instruct them in the ways of God more per- 
fectly, as appeareth by the next chapter ; and there- 
fore, for the better credit of him in his ministry with 
them when he should come unto them, in writing 
unto them he receiveth him into the honour of his 
labours, and joineth him unto himself. So should 
they do that are called unto greater place in the 
church than others of their calling. They should by 
all means seek the grace, and credit, and countenance 
of the minister with his people ; yea, whatsoever 
might be for the furtherance of him in his ministry, 
they should with all holy care regard it ; for the grace, 
we see, of the minister is the grace of his ministry, 
and the more he is countenanced by his superiors, the 
more he prevaileth in his ministry with his people. 
As, therefore, they would give testimony of their care 
of the church, and of the building up thereof by the 
ministry of the gospel, so they should have care of the 



8 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPriANS. 



[Chap. I. 



minister's credit with his people. And I wish they 
would do so. But I pass over to that which followeth. 
The third thing which here I note is the title of 
dignity, common to them both, whereby both Paul 
and Timothy are described. In the latter to the 
Corinths, and in the epistle to the Colossians, the 
apostle, in the inscription of his epistles, joins Timothy 
to himself, as here he doth ; but there in title he sever- 
eth himself from Timothj', saying, ' Paul, an apostle 
of Jesus Christ, and our brother Timotheus ;' and 
likewise in the epistle to Philemon, saying, ' Paul, a 
prisoner of Jesus Christ, and our brother Timotheus.' 
But here he makes no difference betwixt himself and 
Timothy, assuming only that title which was common 
to them both, ' the servants of Christ Jesus ;' which 
title, in itself, albeit it be common to them with all 
that have given their names unto Christ Jesus, foras- 
much as this is the title of all that are baptized into 
Christ Jesus, yet both in other places doth our 
apostle entitle himself, and in this place entitle both 
himself and Timothy, and consequently all the minis- 
ters of the gospel, hereunto in a special respect of 
their service in the ministry of the gospel of Christ 
Jesus, and of the great dignity and honour vouchsafed 
them thereby. Hence, then, (1.) I observe a duty for 
the ministers of the gospel, whereof their very names 
is to put them in mind. They are called the servants 
of Christ Jesus ; they must therefore remember that 
they are so, and cany themselves as servants of 
Christ Jesus, and not lords over God's heritage. A 
servant is to do that, and that only, which his master 
commands him ; he is to be faithful in his service ; 
he is not to seek his own, but the things of his master ; 
his life is not to be dear unto him in the service of his 
master. The ministers, then, of the gospel, being the 
servants of Christ Jesus, as he doth bid them to pluck 
up, or to root out, or to destroy, or to build, or to plant, 
so they are to do. If he give them a roll to eat, they 
must eat it up ; if he give them a commission, they 
must look into it, and not go without the bounds of 
it ; if he send them to kings and princes, or whomso- 
ever, they must keep nothing back, but deliver unto 
them ' all the counsel of God ;' if he require them to 
lay down then* lives for his sake, they must not ' love 
their lives unto the death.' ' Go,' saith our blessed 
Saviour, Mat. xxviii 19, 20, • and teach all nations, 
baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the 
Son, and the Holy Ghost : teaching them to observe 
all things whatsoever I have commanded you.' These 
be the words of our commission : ' Teach.' But 
what ? ' What I have commanded you.' For other 
we must say as Balaam unto Balak, Num. xxiv. 13, 
• If Balak would give me his house full of silver and 
gold, I cannot pass the commandment of the Lord, to 
do either good or bad of mine own mind ; what the 
Lord shall command that will I speak.' We are ser- 
vants of Christ Jesus, and therefore we must do as he 
hath commanded us, and not otherwise. 



What shall we say, then, unto them that coin us 
out new articles of the faith ; that add, and detract, 
and change at their pleasure the rites and ceremonies 
in the sacraments ; that thrust upon us traditions, 
and unwritten verities ; that press us with a number 
of things, as observation of days, and months, and 
times, and years, vows of poverty, chastity, and blind 
obedience, pilgrimages, invocation of saints, adoration 
of images, and the like, things never commanded by 
God, nor having any warrant in the word ? Are these 
the servants of Christ Jesus ? They will needs be 
the vicars and vicegerents of Christ Jesus upon earth. 
But is not this to carry themselves as lords over God's 
heritage, thus to rule over them in things not com- 
manded by the Lord ? K they be the servants of 
Jesus Christ, they may not rule over the consciences 
of men in things not commanded by the Lord ; or if 
they so rule over them, they are not the servants of 
Christ. 

Again, what shall we say unto them that hide their 
talent in the earth ; that suffer the graces of God's 
Spirit to wax idle and to decay in them ; that do not 
use the gifts bestowed upon them, to the gaining of 
men unto the faith, and to the increase of Christ's 
kingdom ; that ' sew pillows under all arm-holes ;' 
that heal the hurt of the daughter of the Lord's people 
with sweet words, saying, ' Peace, peace, when there 
is no peace ;' that give not the people warning when 
they are commanded ; that keep back part of their 
message, and do not deliver the whole counsel of God 
as they are appointed ? Are these the servants of 
Jesus Christ ? Of every servant, and of every disposer, 
it is required that he be faithful, 1 Cor. iv. 2. Now, 
is this to be faithful in the Lord his service, either to 
leave it undone, or to do it otherwise than it should 
be done, or to do it but in part, and by halves. If 
so, then let these be servants of Jesus Christ ; if not, 
then either they are no servants, or unfaithful servants 
of Christ Jesus. And to be none, or to be but bad 
ones, is no great difference. 

Again, what shall we say unto them that, with 
Demas, forsake Paul, and ' embrace this present 
world ;' that, with Diotrephes, love to have the pre- 
eminence amongst men than to labour in the works 
of their calling ; that follow their ease, or their plea- 
sure, or their profit, and look not to the charges com- 
mitted unto them ; that ' seek then- own, and not that 
which is Jesus Christ's,' Phil. ii. 21, like unto those 
of whom our apostle complaineth. Are these the 
servants of Christ Jesus ? A good servant's care is 
about his master's matter, not his own. So that if 
they be servants, yet surely no good servants, because 
they care for their own and not their master's, or 
more than their master's. 

Lastly, what shall we say unto them that, when 
persecutions and troubles arise, start aside like a 
broken bow ; that love their lives better than that for 
their ministry they will hazard them unto the death ; 



Ver. 1, 2.J 



LECTURE I. 



that either will not speak unto Herod, or else will 
handle the matter hetter than that, for aught they will 
speak, they will lose their head with John Baptist, or 
be cast into prison, and there have their feet clapped 
fast in the stocks with Jeremiah the prophet ? Are 
these the servants of Christ Jesus ? Our apostle, 
when he was going into certain bands, Acts xx. 24, 
' I pass not at all,' saith he, ' neither is my life dear 
unto myself, so that I may fulfil my course with joy, 
and the ministration which I have received of the 
Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.' 
Here was a good servant of Jesus Christ, and such 
should all his servants be ; and they that are not such 
are either none, or no good servants of Jesus Christ. 
If, then, we will be rightly entitled with Paul and 
Timothy unto the servants of Jesus Christ, let his 
word be our warrant for whatsoever we teach men to 
observe and do, and let us not dare to pass the limits 
of our commission, to do otherwise than we have 
received commandment of our Lord and master Christ 
Jesus ; let us faithfully use the gifts and graces of 
God's Spirit bestowed upon us, for the gaining of men 
unto the faith and knowledge of Christ Jesus, and let 
us not dare either to smother them, or otherwise to 
lay them out than to our master's advantage ; let us 
always in all things seek the honour and glory of 
Christ Jesus, and let us not dare to seek our own ease, 
or pleasure, or profit, or honour more than the things 
of Christ Jesus ; let our ministration which we have 
received of our master Christ Jesus be most precious 
in our eyes, and let not our lives be dear unto us to 
spend them in his service. Thus, indeed, shall we 
be rightly entitled unto the servants of Christ Jesus 
in respect of our ministry ; and thus shall we well 
discharge that duty, whereof this title may sufficiently 
remember us. 

The second thing which I observe from this title 
whereunto Paul and Timothy arc entitled, is the great 
honour and dignity vouchsafed unto the ministers of 
the gospel of Christ Jesus. For what greater honour 
and dignity than this, to be the servants of Christ 
Jesus, the Saviour of the world, the mighty God, the 
king of glory, the prince of peace, the great bishop of 
our souls, the everlasting high priest of our profession ! 
And that in that service, to bear his name before the 
kings, and princes, and great men of the earth ; to be 
his ambassadors, to declare his will unto his people ; 
to be his stewards, to give every man their portion of 
meat in due season ! ' Let a man,' saith the apostle, 
1 Cor. iv. 1, ' so think of us as of the ministers of 
Christ, and disposers of the secrets of God.' And how 
can a man be better esteemed than if he be so thought 
of? Again : < We,' saith the apostle, 2 Cor. v. 20, 
' are ambassadors for Christ.' What, for Christ ? 
What honour is this ! To be ambassadors for a 
mortal prince, is such an honour as not many great 
men are vouchsafed unto. What honour then is it to 
be ambassadors for Christ, the King of kings and Lord 



of lords, which all the ministers of the gospel are ! 
And when the Lord told Ananias, Acts ix. 15, that 
Paul was ' a chosen vessel unto him, to bear his name 
before the Gentiles, and kings, and children of Israel,' 
in effect he told him that he had called him unto the 
greatest honour among the sons of men. And yet this 
is the honour of all them that serve him in the minis- 
try of the gospel. 

Which honour, if he knew, that will needs be the 
vicar of Christ on earth, then why doth he not rest 
satisfied with this honour, to be the servant of Jesus 
Christ in the ministry of the gospel of Jesus Christ, 
but he must be the supreme head over all persons 
upon earth, so that kings and princes must lay down 
their crowns at his feet, and be deposed and disposed 
of at his pleasure ? Howsoever he know it or know 
it not, if it be known amongst us, why is it that we 
are made as the filth of the world and the offseouring 
of all things ? The calling of a minister, what more 
base and contemptible among men, and yet what 
calling indeed more high and honourable ! Whose 
person more maligned and disgraced, than the person 
of the minister, and yet whose more to be reverenced 
and countenanced ? Well, howsoever commonly we 
be thought of, we are the servants of Jesus Christ in 
the ministry of the gospel for your sakes ; and ' as 
though God did beseech }-ou through us, we pray you, 
in Christ's stead, that ye be reconciled unto God.' 
And howsoever ye think of us, yet think as ye ought 
of the word of your salvation which we bring unto you, 
and receive it from us, ' not as the word of man, but, 
as it is indeed, the word of God, which is able to make 
3 r ou wise unto salvation.' 

The fourth thing which I note, is in the persons of 
them whom he saluteth, and unto whom he writeth. 
The persons generally are ' all the saints in Christ 
Jesus which are at Philippi,' even the whole church of 
Philippi, so many as were baptized into Christ Jesus, 
Whence I observe what ought to be the study even of 
the whole church militant, which is, to be saints in 
Christ Jesus, that such as they are in outward profes- 
sion, such they may be in truth and in deed, through 
the power of the Spirit of sanctincation in the inner 
man. Now we are, so many as are baptized into the 
name of Christ Jesus, by an outward profession, saints 
and holy, our baptism so witnessing our holy profes- 
sion, as circumcision did the Jews'. It is then another 
holiness whereunto we are to give all diligence, thi n 
this sacramental holiness, even an inherent holii 
that being ' sanctified throughout, both in our bouIs 
and in our bodies, we may be blameless unto the 
coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.' We must study to 
be ' holy in all manner of conversation, even as he 
which hath called us is holy, denying ungodliness and 
worldly lusts, and living soberly, and righteously, and 
godly in this present world.' And hereunto we do 
bind ourselves, as it were, by solemn vow and obliga- 
tion in the presence of the church, when we are sacra- 



10 



A HI AY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. I. 



mentally sanctified by baptism, promising there to 
' forsake the devil and all his works, constantly to 
believe God's holy word, and obediently to keep bis 
commandments.' So that henceforth, as the apostle 
often exhorteth, we should ' walk not after the flesh, 
but after the spirit, ; ' we should ' crucify the flesh 
with the affections and the lusts,' and ' walk in the 
spirit, in newness of life ; ' we should ' cast off the old 
man, which is corrupt through the deceivable lusts, 
and put on the new man, which after God is created 
in righteousness and true holiness;' in a word, we 
should ' die unto sin, and live unto God.' Otherwise 
how is our baptism the washing of the new birth unto 
us, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost ? Sacra*- 
mentally it is, but effectually it is not, unless by the 
power of the Spirit of sanctification the body of sin be 
destroyed in us, that it may not reign in us, and the 
life of God be renewed in us, that we may live unto 
God in Jesus Christ our Lord. Neither doth it indeed 
at all profit us to be sealed outwardly with the seal of 
an holy profession, unless by the power of the Spirit 
we be sanctified in the inner man, to lead our lives in 
all godliness and holiness ; for unto these only ' Christ 
Jesus is made of God wisdom and righteousness, and 
sanctification and redemption,' and these only are made 
partakers of that imputed holiness which properly is 
in Christ Jesus, and is imputed unto them which are 
in Christ Jesus. And this is it whaeh indeed makes 
us holy, and saints in Christ Jesus. Our inherent 
holiness is utterly imperfect, full of unholiness, and all 
shall be perfect in the heavens ; yet is it so accepted 
with God, through Jesus Christ our Lord, that having 
it, his is imputed unto us, whereby we are made saints 
in Christ Jesus ; so that if, as we are called, and as by 
outward profession, through baptism, we are saints in 
Christ Jesus, so we will truly be saints in Christ Jesus. 
We must follow after holiness, and be filled with the 
fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ unto 



the glory and praise of God ; this inherent holiness 
only being the pledge and seal of that imputed holiness,, 
whereby we are most truly saints in Christ Jesus. 

A good lesson for all them to meditate upon that 
are baptized into the name of Christ Jesus, but whereon 
it may well seem that a great many of us never think. 
For if we did, could it be that we should so wallow in 
sin, and drink iniquity like water, as we do ? that we- 
should so defile ourselves with adultery, fornication,, 
uncleanness, wantonness, hatred, debate, emulations, 
wrath, contentions, envy, theft, murder, drunkenness, 
gluttony, pride, lying, swearing, and the like, as we do ? 
that we should so profane the Lord's Sabbaths, so 
decline from the works of the spirit, and so delight 
ourselves in the works of the flesh, as we do ? ' Know 
ye not,' saith the apostle, Rom. vi. 3, 4, ' that all we 
which have been baptized into Jesus Christ have been 
baptized into his death, that like as Christ was raised 
up from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we 
also should walk in newness of life.' Surely either we 
know it not, or remember it not ; and whether soever 
it be, it argueth that we are not the men that we should 
be. Beloved, sin and saints sort not together. If ye 
suffer sin to reign in your mortal bodies, well may the 
filth of the flesh be put away through the outward 
washing ; but ye are not indeed of the communion of 
saints, because not washed by the Spirit in the spirit 
of your minds. Let no man therefore deceive himself. 
Either ye must be saints in Christ Jesus, or else ye 
belong not to his kingdom. And if ye be saints, then 
may ye not suffer ' sin to reign in your mortal bodies.' 
Flee, therefore, from sin as from a serpent, and ' follow 
after peace with all men, and holiness, without which 
no man shall see the Lord.' So shall ye not onlv be 
of the number of them that are called saints through 
the body of their outward profession, but ye shall be 
indeed saints in Christ Jesus. 



LECTURE II. 

II ith the bishops and deacons ; grace be with you, and peace from God our Father, and from our Lord Jesus 

Christ. — PmLir. I. 1, 2. 



IT rcmainetb now that we come unto the persons 
saluted more particularly, which are the bishops 
and deacons at Philippi ; where by bishops he 
meancth the ministers and teachers there which 
laboured in the word and doctrine. For that the 
word must needs so signify in this place appeareth, 
use he speaketh of many bishops in one church 
and city.. And so frequently it sigirineth in the New 
'I '-lament, as easily may be seen by looking into 
places where this word is used. Afterward the 
name of bishop came to be a distinct title, of men more 
eminent in the ministry, as now it is. By deacons, 
also, the apostle, I take it, meancth those that by 



their office were to receive and to distribute the common 
liberality of the church, according to the necessities of 
all the poor members thereof, such as we read to have 
been ordained in the church, Acts vi. 5, and such as 
are described by our apostle, 1 Tim. hi. 8, &c. ; for 
albeit the word here used have likewise other signifi- 
cations in the New Testament, yet here the distinc- 
tion of bishops and deacons sheweth, that by deacons 
are meant such as attend on distribution, not on 
teaching or exhortation. Now, unto these, together 
with the bishops, the apostle is thought here to write, 
as to magnify their office, so because theirs had been 
the care chiefly, in respect of their office, to send the 



Veil 1, 2.] 



LECTURE II. 



11 



church's liberality unto him by their minister Epa- 
phroditus. 

Here, then, 1, in that the apostle writeth, as to 
the whole church of Philippi, so particularly unto the 
bishops and deacons there, I observe that, as admoni- 
tions, exhortations, instructions, consolations, and the 
like, are continually needful for the church, for the 
further building thereof in perfect beauty, so are they 
likewise needful fur the ministers of the church, and 
all others any way interested therein, for their farther 
confirmation in the things that belong unto their 
peace. Whereupon it was that our apostle, going 
bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, called the elders 
of the church of Ephesus together, and exhorted them, 
saying, ' Take heed unto yourselves, and to all the 
flock whereof the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, 
to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased 
with his own blood,' Acts xx. 28. And hereupon it was 
that, in his epistles unto Timothy and Titus, he gave 
them so many instructions, admonitions, and exhor- 
tations, as he that readeth may there easily see. They 
were ministers of the gospel, set over their flocks, and 
well instructed in the Scriptures, yet still the apostle 
thought it needful to warn them, and to arm them, 
and to ' instruct them in the way of God more per- 
fectly.' For he knew that Judas the apostle had 
' fallen from the fellowship which he had obtained in 
the ministration of the gospel, and had purchased a 
field with the reward of iniquity, Acts i. 17, 18 ; as 
also tbat many that laboured with him in the gospel 
• sought their own, and not that which was Jesus 
Christ's ; ' and that many t fainted and shrunk through 
the opposition of false teachers. 

Here, then, 1, is a good lesson for them that are 
greatest and most eminent in the church, I mean for 
the reverend fathers and bishops of our church, that 
be it b} r writing or speaking, instruction or exhorta- 
tion, or else howsoever, they seek the good, as of all 
the saints in Christ Jesus that depend upon them, so 
withal of the bishops and deacons, I mean of them 
that are appointed for the work of the ministry, or for 
any function about the church. A better precedent 
than the apostle's they cannot have to follow, and as 
needful too it is now to write and speak unto and labour 
with the pastors and teachers of the people as then it 
was. For many now we have that with Dernas ' em- 
brace this present world,' but very few that with 
Demas return again unto their former love. Kay, 
which is worse, many now we have that never had 
former love that was good whereunto they should re- 
turn, men that first and last sought their ease, or then- 
pleasure, or their profit, or their honour, but never 
reckoned to feed the flock of God, whom as it were 
needful to reform, so is it also needful to confirm 
others, to admonish others, to encourage others. 
And who so fit for this as they that, as Paul, are of 
greatest place in the church ? 

2. Hence learn you patiently to suffer yourselves to 



be instructed, admonished, and exhorted. For if 
these things be needful for your pastors and teac! 
how much more needful are they for you ! E v. 
much more as ye are less taught in the word than they 
are. Whether, then, we write or speak unto you, 
' suffer ye the words of exhortation ' and instruction 
from us gladly. 

My second observation hence is from this, that 
there were now bishops and deacons there unto whom 
he might write. For hence I observe the great bless- 
ing of the Lord upon the preaching of the word. A 
little while before, at the first preaching thereof unto 
the Philippians, it was so unsavoury unto them, thai 
they could not brook Paul and Silas, but cast I 
into prison; but now such a 1 the Lord hath 

given unto the word preached by them, that the num- 
ber of converts and believers was very great, insomuch 
that now they had ministers to attend on teac! 
and deacons to attend on distribution, and an absolute 
ecclesiastical government, as it may seem, amongst 
them. This was the Lord his doing ; for ' Paul 
plants, and Apollos waters, but God gives the in- 
crease,' 1 Cor. iii. G. And this increase he giveth as 
it pleaseth him, sometimes sooner, sometimes later. 
Upon one sermon of Peter ' there were added unto the 
church about three thousand souls,' Acts ii. 41. But 
at other times and in other places the seed of the word, 
which both he and other of the apostles did sow. lay 
oftentimes a good while in the ground before it 
brought forth fruit unto the Lord. So in this city of 
Philippi, Lydia at the first received the word gladly, 
Acts xvi. 14, but in others it took root downward, and 
sprung up afterward, howsoever sooner or later, as in 
the primitive church, through the apostle*s doctrine, 
' the Lord added to the church from day to day such 
as should be saved; ' so doth he always make a bless 
to follow upon the word, though unto us it Beem 
oftentimes to perish. So he promised long since that 
he would, saying, Isa. lv. 10, 11, ' Surely as the 
rain cometh down and the snow from heaven, and 
returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and 
maketh it to bring forth and bud. that it may give 
seed to the sower, and bread to him that eateth ; so 
shall my word be that goeth out of my mouth, it 
shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish 
that which I will, and it shall prosper in the thing 
whereunto I sent it.' 

Here, then, is a great comfort over our labours in 
our ministry with you that hear us. Though the 
word which Ave bring unto you be rejected and 
despised, and we reviled and persecuted, yet we faint 
not, but are full of comfort, because we know that the 
Lord will give a blessingunto his word. Which, how- 
soever it do not always appear unto us, yet shall it, 
and doth at one time or other, break forth into the 
fruits of holiness and a saving knowledge in as many 
as are ordained unto hie. And still we kr.ow this, 
that his word always doth his will, and prospereth in 



12 



AI:! AY OX THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. I. 



that whereunto it is sent ; so that this blessing always 
follows upon it, that God's name is thereby glorified, 
whether it be in them that be saved or in them that 
perish. For as the apostle saith, 2 Cor. ii. 15, 16, 
' We are unto God the sweet savour of Christ, in them 
that are saved, and in them that perish. To the one 
we are the savour of death unto death, and to the 
other we are the savour of life unto life.' 
And let this suffice for the inscription. 
Now followeth the salutation, wherein the apostle 
wisheth the Philippians all good, from him which is 
the author of all goodness. And (1.) is set down the 
thing which he wisheth unto them, ' grace and peace ;' 
understanding by grace, the free favour of God where- 
with he loveth his children, and by peace every bless- 
ing, corporal and spiritual, flowing from that fountain 
of grace. (2.) Is set down unto whom he wisheth 
this grace and peace — viz. : ' To all the saints at 
Philippi, with the bishops,' &c. (3.) Is set down the 
author from whom and by whom he wisheth this grace 
and peace unto them, which is ' from God our Father,' 
as the fountain and first original, from whom cometh 
every good and perfect gift; and ' from the Lord 
Jesus Christ,' as the means whereby every grace of 
the Spirit is conveyed and derived unto us. 

1 . The first thing which here I note is, that the apostle 
wisheth grace and peace unto the Philippians. The 
received manner of salutation among the Jews was 
this, ' Peace be unto you.' So Amasai unto David, 
1 Chron. xii. 18, ^ Peace, peace be unto thee, and 
peace be unto thine helpers.' So the Lord unto 
Gideon, Judges vi. 23, ' Peace be unto thee.' So 
Christ unto his disciples, Luke xxiv. 36, ' Peace be 
unto you ;' so he taught his disciples to say, Luke x. 
5, ' Peace be to this house,' wherein they wished all 
prosperity and good to them whom they so saluted. 
But, after the full and clear manifestation of grace in 
the whole mystery of our redemption, still we see the 
apostles' salutations to be, ' grace and peace be with 
you ;' wherein they do not only comprehend all bless- 
ings absolutely that are to be prayed for, whether for 
this life or-that that is to come, but plainly demonstrate 
the fountain whence all other blessings flow, and 
which principally is to be prayed for, be it in prayer' 
for ourselves or for others. 

Hence, then, I observe, what the things are 
which we must wish and pray for to our brethren, if 
we will wish them all good ; and they are grace and 
peace, only two blessings of goodness in show of words, 
but indeed all the blessings of the God of Isaac unto 
Jacob and his seed for ever. For what is grace ? 
It is the love of the ever living God, wherewith he 
freely loveth and accepteth us in Christ Jesus. And 
what is peace ? It is principally a tranquillity and 
quietness in conscience, through the forgiveness of 
our sins by the grace and love of God toward us ; but 
generally, whatsoever goodness floweth from grace. 
Now we see the rich treasures of blessings stored up 



in these blessings of grace and peace. In the blessing 
of grace, there is given that which is the cause both 
of peace and all good blessings whatsoever. For 
whence are our election unto salvation, our vocation 
unto the knowledge of the truth, our adoption into the 
sons of God, our justification unto righteousness, our 
sanctification unto holiness, our reconciliation with 
God, our hope of glorification in the heavens ? 
Whence is it that we believe in the holy Trinity, that 
we are strong in hope, that we love God and our 
brethren, that we have peace with God and our own 
consciences, that we rejoice in the Holy Ghost, that 
in our thoughts we think, in our desires we will, in 
our actions we do anything that is good ? Are not 
all these things from the blessing of grace ? Is not 
the free favour and love of God in Christ Jesus the 
cause of all these things ? Yes, surely ; because God 
loveth us in his well beloved, therefore doth he thus 
enrich us with spiritual graces in heavenly things ; 
and further, giveth us the true possession of all tem- 
poral blessings, of health, wealth, strength, liberty, 
and the like, so far as he seeth it to be good and need- 
ful for us. So that in the blessing of grace all these 
things are given us in the cause. Now, in the bless- 
ing of peace are given all the good things themselves 
which proceed from that cause, whether they be 
spiritual graces or temporal blessings. For so I 
understand and conceive hereof, that in the blessing 
of peace are given all things whatsoever are either 
certain tokens or probable signs of peace with God ; 
so that the spiritual graces of God, being certain 
tokens of our peace with God, and the temporal bless- 
ings of God being probable signs thereof, as adversity 
and trouble are probable signs unto man of God's 
displeasure, even all these are given in the blessing 
of peace. What blessing, then, of God can we wish 
or pray for to our brethren which is not treasured up 
in the blessings of grace and peace, the one being the 
fountain of all good things, and the other being the 
good things themselves ; the one releasing us irom 
sin, the other freeing us from all evil conscience, the 
only two fiends that trouble and torment us ? 

Will ye, then, learn, in a brief and short sum, to 
comprehend whatsoever blessing is needful to be 
prayed for for your brethren ? I think ye will be 
willing, for long prayers either for them or for your- 
selves is very wearisome unto you ; pray, then, for 
grace and peace unto them : first for grace, then for 
peace, for unto whom grace is given peace shall be 
granted ; but if grace be not first, peace shall not 
follow, no more than the stream runs where the foun- 
tain is dried up. 

2. In this apostolical salutation I observe a most 
evident testimony of the apostle's love towards the 
Philippians, and consequently of their love toward 
their brethren that use it. For, beloved, how can I 
give a better testimony of my love towards you than 
if with the apostle I say unto you, ' Grace be with 



Ver. 1, 2.] 



LECTUltE II. 



13 



you, and peace from God our Father'? &c. Can I 
pray better for you than when I pray that the grace 
of God may abound towards you, that the love of 
God in Christ Jesus may be manifest in you ? Can 
I wish you better than when I wish that you may 
have peace with God, peace within yourselves, and 
peace one with another ? Can I desire better things 
at the hands of God for you than that the grace of 
God may continually prevent and follow you, and that 
thence all spiritual graces and temporal blessings may 
be ministered unto you, both for this life and that 
that is to come ? Or can mine affection of love be 
more inflamed towards you than when thus I pour 
out my soul for you, that so by grace ye may be 
released from sin, and the punishment thereof, and 
by peace from the pitiful throbs of a tormenting con- 
science ? Did not Moses, and Joshua, and Samuel, 
and David, and Daniel, and the rest of the prophets, 
thus manifest their love unto the people of God, by 
praying for them, and wishing all good things unto 
them ? Did not our blessed Saviour thus shew his 
love towards his apostles, and all them that should 
believe through their preaching, when he made that 
long prayer for them ? John xvii. And thus should 
we testify our love unto our brethren, even by Chris- 
tian salutations, holy prayers, and hearty wishes for 
grace and peace unto them from God, &c. 

But such testimonies are not now common. Nay, 

he that shall now give such a testimony of his love 

unto any of his brethren by such a form of salutation, 

he shall be sure to be noted for his pains, and odiously 

to be traduced. Whereof as I see no reason, so neither 

do I think it meet that this be the form of salutation-, 

whatsoever be the subject and matter of our writing. 

But, to let that pass, is it not so, that there are strifes, 

debates, envyings, hatreds, contentions, and divisions 

amongst us ? Is it not so that we wound and kill 

one another, if not with swords, yet with tongues whet 

like swords, fastening lies, and slanders, and suspicions 

one upon another ? Is it not so that we rather eat 

and devour one another than wish one another's good? 

Yes, surely ; the godly man may now sorrow with 

David, and say, ' Woe is me, that I am constrained 

to dwell with Mesech, and to have mine habitation 

among the tents of Kedar ! My soul hath long dwelt 

among them that be enemies unto peace. I labour for 

peace ; but when I speak unto them thereof, they 

make them read}' to battle,' Ps. cxx. 5-7. And is it 

so with us, and can w r e say that we are so afl'ectioned 

one to another as that we wish grace and peace from 

God one unto another ? Nay, well may we flatter 

ourselves, but in truth we cannot say so. For as 

they only love God that love their brethren, so they 

only wish peace from God unto their brethren that 

love to live in peace with their brethren. Beloved, 

we are brethren ; why should we then strive one with 

another ? Why, then, should there be heart-burnings 

in one against another ? Rather we should be at 



peace one with another, and wish grace and peace 
from God one unto another. Thus did the apostle, 
and herein left an example for us to follow, that as he 
walked in love towards all the saints in Christ Jesus, 
so we also should walk in love one towards another. 
Let therefore the same mind be in us that was in our 
apostle, and let us from our very souls wish grace and 
peace from God one unto another. Let our greetings 
be with holy prayers, for abundance of all the Lord's 
mercies unto our brethren, and so let us testify our 
loving affection towards them. «=«*» 

3. In this apostolical salutation I observe a brief 
sum of Christian religion, in the using whereof we 
shew forth a most notable testimony of our faith. 
I can only note the points of Christianity briefly which 
it containeth, and must leave the serious consideration 
and meditation of them unto yourselves. The first 
point is, that all blessings, whether spiritual graces 
or temporal blessings bestowed upon us, are from 
God the Father, by Jesus Christ his Son. So also 
saith the apostle James, saying, i. 17, ' Every good 
giving and every perfect gift is from above, and 
cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is 
no variableness, neither shadowing by turning.' And 
so we confess when we pray for ' grace and peace,' 
whereby all blessings are signified unto our brethren, 
' from God our Father,' &c. His name therefore, 
for every blessing we have, is to be blessed and praised 
for ever, and that song of David, Ps. ciii., is of all 
God's children to be taken up, ' Praise thou the Lord, 
my soul ; and all that is within me, praise his holy 
name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all 
his benefits,' &c. 

The second point is, that only God is to be prayed 
unto for all blessings b} r Jesus Christ. So our blessed 
Saviour hath taught us, where he teacheth us thus to 
pray, Mat. vi. 9, ' Our Father which art in heaven,' &e. 
And so we confess when we pray for grace and peace 
unto our brethren, ' from God our Father,' &c. And 
as Peter said unto Christ, John vi. 68, ' To whom 
shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life;' so I 
say, to whom should we pray for any blessing ? ' Every 
good giving and every perfect gift is from above,' &c, 
as even now we heard out of James. Frivolous, there- 
fore, and impious is the invocation of saints, whereby 
that honour is taken from God which is chiefly due 
and properly belongeth unto him, I mean pra; 
For ' how shall any man call on him in whom he doth 
not believe ?' Rom. x. 14. Or in whom shall any man 
believe but in God only ? So then, if only we I 
believe in God, then are we only to pray unto God, 
and therefore not unto saints. 

The third point is, that the grace and free favour oi 
God in Christ Jesus is the very fountain of all (Sol's 
blessings bestowed upon us. So the Holy Ghost wit- 
nesseth throughout the whole Scripture, saying, Rom. 
iii. 24, that ' we are justified freely by grace,' that we 
are ' saved by grace,' Eph. ii. 8, and that ' by the 



14 



ATRAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. I. 



.grace of God we are that we are,' 1 Cor. xv. 10, what- 
soever we be, and whatsoever blessing we have. And 
so we confess in effect, when we pray first for grace 
and then for peace ; that from grace, as the fountain, 
may flow peace and all the rivers of God's blessings. 
Man's merits therefore must stand aside, we may not 
hold any blessing of them, but only of grace. For as 
the apostle dispute th of election, Rom. xi. 6, so may 
it be said of any blessing of God, ' If it be of grace, it 
is not of works, else were grace no more grace ; and 
if it be of works, then not of grace, or else were works 
no more works.' One of these excludeth the other, 
so that whatsoever is by the one is not by the other. 

The fourth point is, that we are to believe in God 
the Father, and in Christ Jesus his Son. So our 
id Saviour teacheth us where he saith, John xiv. 1, 
' Ye believe in God, believe also in me;' as if he should 
have said, Ye believe in God, and so }'e are to do ; be- 
lieve also in me, for so ye are to do. And so in effect 
we confess, when we pray unto God the Father, and 
Christ Jesus his Son, for grace and peace unto our 
brethren. For as even now we heard, unto whom we 
pray, in him we are to believe ; as also again, in whom 
we believe, unto him we are to pray. Accursed, 
therefore, be their infidelity, that either deny there is, 
or doubt whether there be a God or no, and make a 
mock at the Son of God. In whom now they believe 
not, at his presence they shall tremble, and ' cry unto 
the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from 
the presence of him that sitteth on the throne, and 
from the wrath of the Lamb,' Rev. vi. 16. 

The fifth point is, that we are sure that God hath 
reconciled [us] unto himself by Jesus Christ, and 
adopted us through him into his sons. So the apostle 
telleth us, 2 Cor. v. 18, where he saith that ' all things 
arc of God, which hath reconciled us unto himself by 
Jesus Christ ;' and, Ephes. i. 5, that ' he hath predes- 
tinated us to be adopted through Jesus Christ unto 
himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.' 
And so we confess when we wish ' grace and peace 
from God our Father ;' for if he [is] our Father, then we 
[are] his sons, and a reconciliation made between him 
and us. And therefore, having finished all things, our 
blessed Saviour saith, John xx. 17, 'I ascend unto 
my Father and your Father, to my God and your 
God ;' where give me leave by the way to put you 
in mind of one point, wherein of late it may be I 
snnewhat erred. When last I spake of this point, in 
handling of those words, ' unto God, even our Father,' 
&c, I told you that it was observed that not any saith 
with Christ, my Father, as many say with Thomas, 
my Lord, my God. And so, indeed, it is observed by 
Zanchius on those words. But since I perceive by as 
faithful and diligent an observer of the Scriptures,* that 

* Dr Rain. 



Elihu, speaking unto God, saith, Job xxxiv. 36, ' My 
Father, let Job be tried,' &c, not, indeed, in our 
English translations, following the judgment of some 
of the rabbins, but } r et in the best approved transla- 
tions. So that it may not be a rule that none may 
say with Christ, my Father, but as we say, my God, 
and our God, so may we say, my Father, and our 
Father. And herein is the sweet comfort of all God's 
children, that we may cry unto God Abba, which is 
' Father,' that we may pray and say, ' Our Father,' 
that we may wish ' grace and peace from God our 
Father ; ' for if he be our Father, and we his sons, 
then are we also ' heirs of God, and heirs annexed 
with Christ.' And let all the comforts in the world 
stoop unto this one comfort, the very soul's joy of all 
them that have received the Spirit of adoption. 

The sixth point is, that Christ Jesus our Lord is 
our only Mediator, try whom only we have access in 
our prayers unto God, and by whom we receive what- 
soever we have of God. So the apostle witnesseth, 
1 Tim. ii. 5, saying, ' There is one God, and one 
Mediator between God and man, which is the man 
Christ Jesus ;' by whom, Heb. iv. 16, ' we go boldly 
unto God, that we may receive mercy, and find grace 
to help in time of need.' And so we confess in effect, 
when we 'pray for ' grace and peace from God our 
Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ,' as the 
means by whom w^e are partakers of grace and peace ; 
for so they are from the Lord Jesus Christ, as he is 
the means by whom they are conveyed and derived 
unto us from God, even our Father. The saints, 
therefore, are no mediators of intercession for us, 
either to bring us unto God, or to bring his blessings 
unto us. Our high priest is ' able perfectly to save 
them that come to God by him, seeing he ever liveth 
to make intercession for them,' Heb. vii. 25 ; and as 
to save them, so to give them all graces good and 
needful for them. 

The most of the rest of the points I will conclude 
in one, which is this, that Jesus Christ is God, which 
we confess when we pray for grace and peace from 
him; that he is the Saviour of the world, which we 
confess when we call him Jesus ; that he is that coun- 
sellor and great prophet, that King and Prince of 
Peace, that Lamb of God, slain from the beginning of 
the world to take away the sin of the world, which we 
confess when we call him Christ; and that unto him 
is given all power in heaven and in earth, which we 
confess when w T e call him Lord. If he, therefore, be 
with us, we need not to fear who be against us. For 
he is our God, our Saviour, our Lord, our Master, 
our King, our everlasting High Priest. I cannot pro- 
secute either these or the rest of the points. By these 
you will conjecture the rest, and easily see the epitome 
of Christianity concluded in this short salutation. 



Veu. 3-5.] 



LECTUEE III. 



IS 



LECTURE III. 

J thank my God, having you in perfect memory, &c. — Puilip. I. 3-5. 



NOW give me leave, before I come to that which 
followeth, to note one thing farther from the 
words already handled, and that is, the apostle's often 
using of the name of Jesus Christ in so few words. 
Out of the abundance of his heart his mouth spake, 
and still his mouth was idled with Jesus Christ, Jesus 
Christ, insomuch that three several times still he 
ingeminates Jesus ( 'hrist : ' Paul and Timothy, the 
servants of Jesus ( 'hrist, to all the saints in Jesus Christ : 
grace be with you, and peace, from God our Father, 
and from the Lord Jesus Christ.' 1 Which argueth that 
his comfort was in him, that his love was set on him, 
and that he was unto him, as the spouse spcaketh in 
the Canticles, chap. v. 10, ' the chiefest of ten thou- 
sand.' Hence then I observe a rule whereby commonly 
to discern what a man is : his speech commonly be- 
wraveth what he is. The worldling his tongue is still 
talking of the world, the covetous man of his money, 
the voluptuous man of his pleasure, the proud man of 
his rich attire, the delicate man of his dainty fare, the 
pot-companion of his cups, and the like, commonly 
talk most of the things they like best, and by their 
talk commonly thej' may be discerned what the}' are. 
And in this respect, as it is with them that set their 
affections on things which are on earth, so is it with 
them that set their affections on the things which arc 
above. They are still talking of the word of their 
salvation, of the commandments of the Lord, of the 
mercies of the Lord, and of the thing* that belong unto 
their peace ; as David professeth of himself, saying, 
Ps. ci. 1, ' My song shall be of mercy and judgment ; ' 
cxix. 13, 15, ' With my lips do I speak of all the judg- 
ments of thy mouth : ' ' I talk of thy commandments, 
and have respect unto thy wa} r s ; ' cxlv. 5, ' I will talk 
of thy worship, Lord, thy gloiy, thy praise, and 
wondrous works ; ' xxxv. 28, ' My tongue shall be talk- 
ing of thy righteousness all the day long, and I will 
tell of thy salvation from day to day.' But of all other 
things their delight is, in their hearts to muse, and 
with their tongues to talk, of Jesus Christ. Here 
their hearts dance for joy, and the talking hereof is 
more sweet than honey and the honey- comb unto their 
mouths. Hereon they love, as it were, to dwell, and 
their tongues can never be satisfied with talking on 
him. And why ? Here is their comfort, here is their 
hope, here is their love, here is their ' crown of rejoic- 
ing.' Here is their protector in all dangers, their 
reconciler unto God, their mediator between God and 
thorn, their Saviour from their sins, and he that is 
' made of God unto them wisdom, and righteousness, 
and sanctification and redemption.' Here is he ' in 
whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and know- 
ledge,' of mercy and love, in whom alone the Father 



is well pleased. And therefore here, as men ravished 
with joy, they cry and cry again, ' Holy Jesus, sweet 
Jesus, blessed Jesus,' even as we see the spouse in the 
Canticles, not to leave her bridegroom, Christ Jesus, 
after once she catch hold of him, but still cries. Cant, 
iv. 15, ' fountain of the gardens, well of living 
waters, and of the springs of Lebanon!' v. 10, 11, 
' My well-beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest 
among ten thousand : his head is as tine gold, bis locks 
curled, and black as a raven,' &C. Thus the children 
of God love to talk of him whom their soul loveth, and 
thus commonly a man may discern who are saints in 
Christ Jesus. Commonly, 1 say, not evermore cer- 
tainly ; for if good speech, and holy talk, and ci\ 
' Lord, Lord,' and often using of the name of J 
Christ, were a perpetual and certain rule of a good 
Christian, the dissembling hypocrite would be as good 
a Christian as the best. And a hard matter it is not 
to be deceived sometimes by the hypocrite. But com- 
monly, I say, a man's speech bewrayeth what h< 
holy or profane, the ground of. which note is that saving 
of our Saviour, Mat. xii. 3-1, that ' of the abundance 
of the heart the mouth speaketh ; ' and otherwise we 
cannot judge whereon the heart thinketh, but by that 
whereon the toiume runneth. 

Hence then learn you, beloved, to make trial unto 
yourselves, and to give trial unto others, what ye are. 
Your tongue and talk may tell yourselves, and do tell 
others, what ye are. What is it whereon your tongues 
love most to talk, and wherein ye take most pleasure 
when ye talk ? Is it on the things which are on earth ? 
It may be a token unto yourselves and others that ye 
are earthly-minded. Is it on the things which are 
above ? It may be a token unto yourselves and others 
that your conversation is in heaven. If ye love Christ 
Jesus, if ye take comfort in Christ Jesus, your tongues 
will be talking of Jesus Christ, and your hearts will 
rejoice when your tongues arc talking of him. As, 
therefore, the apostle exhorteth the Colossians, iv. 6, 
so do I you : ' Let your speech be gracious alv. 
and powdered with salt.' Let the mercies which ye 
have in Christ Jesus be so sweet and comfortable unto 
you, that your hearts may delight always to muse, and 
your tongues always to talk, of Christ Jesus. I ., ; him 
he hid in vour heart, let him break out in vour tongue, 
and let him rejoice both the heart and the tongue, that 
so ye may have testimony within yourselves, and give 
testimony unto others, that ye are saints in Christ 
Jesus. Now proceed we to that which followeth. 

/ thank my God. After the inscription and saluta- 
tion, now followeth the body of the epistle itself, 
wherein the principal scope and drift of the apostle is, 
to confirm the Philippians in the truth wherein they 



16 



AIRAT ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. I. 



stood, that they might not only not decrease, but in- 
crease in all knowledge and in all judgment. In this 
exordium, or beginning of his epistle, which is from 
ver. 3 to 12, to testify his love toward the Philippians, 
that so they might the rather hearken unto him, 1, 
he signifieth his rejoicing, on then- behalf, for the grace 
of God already bestowed on them ; 2, he signifieth 
his assured hope of God's farther mercy towards them, 
in performing the good work which he had begun in 
them ; 3, he prayeth for their perseverance, and in- 
crease in all knowledge and in all godliness. His 
rejoicing on then- behalf he signifieth, 1, in his giving 
of thanks unto God on their behalf; 2, in remember- 
ing them in his prayers unto God ; 3, in praying for 
them with gladness. The grace of God already be- 
stowed on them, for which he rejoiced in their behalf, 
is said to be, 1, then fellowship with other churches 
in the gospel ; 2, then* perseverance therein from the 
first day they had received the gospel, till now that he 
wrote unto them. This is the general resolution of 
these words. 

Now for the more particular opening of the meaning 
of them. In that, in the beginning of his epistle, he 
thanketh God on the Philippians' behalf, he observeth 
his usual manner, for so he beginneth almost all his 
epistles, as anon we shall hear. In that he saith that 
he thanketh his God, he signifieth his bold and near 
approach unto God in giving thanks, and in praying 
unto him. Again, in that he saith, that ' he hath them 
in perfect memory always in all his prayers for them 
all,' he meaneth that, as always he thanketh God for 
them all, so always, in all his prayers unto God, he 
remembereth them. And he addeth that his prayers 
are always poured out unto God for them ' with great 
joy and gladness of heart.' Why '? 'Because,' as he 
addeth the reason, ' of the fellowship which they had 
received in the gospel.' 1. Because they, as other 
churches, had received the gospel, and thereby had 
fellowship with the Father and with his son Jesus 
Christ, and because they had continued in the truth 
from the first day of their conversion unto Christ by 
his ministry, until now that he wrote unto them. This 
was the cause of his thanksgiving ; and his continual 
pravers, wherein he alwav^s remembered them, were 
that they might continue in that grace, even in that 
fellowship which they had received in the gospel. It 
is then briefly as if the apostle had thus said : ' I thank 
my God always on your behalf, for that fellowship 
which you have with the Father and the Son, with us, 
and with other churches, by embracing the gospel, and 
for your perseverance therein, from the first da}- that 
I, and Silas, and Timotheus preached it unto you, 
unto now ; and always, in all my prayers unto God, I 
remember you, praying for you with gladness for the 
grace already granted you, that ye may continue and 
increase in that grace. This I take to be the meaning 
of these words. 

The first thing, then, which here I note is, the 



apostle's beginning of his epistle with thanksgiving 
unto God on the Philippians' behalf. And so be be- 
ginneth all his epistles with thanksgiving unto God on 
their behalf to whom he wrote, only his epistles to the 
Galatians, and to Titus, and the former to Timothy 
excepted. And so Peter beginneth his former epistle. 
Whence I observe, that thanksgiving unto God is a 
service principally requisite in a Christian. ' I ex- 
hort,' saith the apostle, 1 Tim. ii. 1, ' that first of all,' 
or above all things, ' supplications, prayers, interces- 
sions and giving of thanks be made for all men.' 
And in the former to Thessalonians, v. 18, he willeth 
' in all things to give thanks ; for that this is the will 
of God in Christ Jesus.' And not any sacrifice is 
more exactly commanded or described in Leviticus than 
the sacrifice of thankso-ivin^, Lev. vii. 12. Where- 
upon, if we look into the practice of the saints of 
God, we shall find that they were never slack in this 
service. Melchiseclec, after Abraham's victory, 
slacked not this service, but gave thanks unto the 
most high God, which had delivered his enemies into 
his hand. Moses also, and the Israelites after their 
deliverance from the Egyptians, and out of the Bed 
Sea, Exod. xv. 1, slacked not this service, but sung 
praises unto the Lord. So did Deborah, and Barak, 
and Jehoshaphat, and many others, after their victories 
over their enemies. And how often do we read that, 
as others of his servants, so our blessed Saviour him- 
self, gave thanks unto his Father ? All which shew 
clearly how requisite this service of thanksgiving 
unto God is, if either we will hearken to the precepts 
and exhortations of the Holy Ghost, or do as we have 
the saints of God, and our blessed Saviour, for 
example. 

What then ? Doth the Lord need the praises of 
man, or is he delighted with his giving of thanks ? 
No : the Lord needeth them not, neither is he delighted 
therewith so much for his own sake. Yet doth he re- 
quire them of us, and is delighted therewith for our 
sakes ; for (1.) in giving of thanks unto God, we ac- 
knowledge that to be from him for which we give him 
thanks ; (2.) in giving him thanks wc shew ourselves 
well pleased and content with that spiritual grace or 
temporal blessing wherefore we give him thanks ; (3.) 
in giving him thanks, we return what we can unto the 
Lord, with humble confession that we can no more, 
nor that but by grace ; lastly, in giving of thanks 
unto God, we provoke him to bestow farther mercies 
upon us : all which things he requireth of us, and liketh 
well in us. And for these very reasons, besides the for- 
mer, is thanksgiving unto God so requisite a service 
in a Christian. 

Yet as requisite a service as it is, we fail as much 
in it as in any service. It may be. that being in 
peril, or persecution, or sorrow, or need, or sickness, 
or other like adversity, we will make our requests 
known unto God in prayer and supplication, as the 
occasions are, publicly or privately. But when the 



Ver. 3-5.] 



LECTURE III. 



17 



Lord hath heard our prayers, and granted our requests, 
when he hath done more for us than we could desire 
or think, what giving of thanks is there unto God, 
either publicly or privately '? For instance, now of 
late when the Lord opened the clouds of heaven, and 
threatened by rain to deprive us of that blessing of the 
fruits of the earth which he had shewed unto us in 
great plenty and abundance, then we poured out both 
public and private prayers, in our churches and in our 
houses, that it would please the Lord to send us such 
weather whereby we might receive the fruits of the 
earth in due season. But now that the Lord hath 
sent us seasonable weather, and given us good hope of 
reaping the fruits of the earth in due season, in what 
congregations publicly, in what houses privately, is 
the voice of praise and thanksgiving heard ? I in- 
stance only in this, but as it is in this, so is it in 
other things. Not one of ten that sings the song of 
praise and thanksgiving after benefits received ; it is 
too harsh a note, we cannot tune it ; all, or the most 
part of us, being liker unto those nine lepers that never 
returned back to give God praise, than unto the 
stranger that returned, Luke xvii. 18. Beloved, by 
unthankfulness we provoke God's wrath against us as 
much as by any sin, and therefore Paul reckons it up 
amongst the most heinous sins, 2 Tim. hi. 2 ; but the 
sacrifice of thanksgiving is as pleasant and acceptable 
unto God as is any sacrifice ; and therefore by David 
the Lord saith, Ps. 1. 23, ' Whoso offereth me thanks 
and praise, he honoureth me,' even with most excellent 
honour. Let us therefore cleanse ourselves from this 
sin of unthankfulness, and ' let,' as the apostle ex- 
horteth, Philip, iv. 6, ' our requests be shewed unto God 
in pi\Tyer and supplication, with giving of thanks.' 
The fouler that the sin of unthankfulness is, let us the 
more detest it, and the more requisite that thanks- 
giving to God is, let us the more abound therein. Let 
us follow the counsel of the apostle, Col. ii. 6, 7, and 
' walk in Christ Jesus, rooted and built in him, and 
stablished in the faith, as we have been taught, 
abounding therein with thanksgiving.' 

The second thing which here I note is, the cause of 
the apostle's thanksgiving unto God, which is, because 
of the fellowship which they had in the gospel from 
the first day until then; (1.) because they, as other 
churches, had received the gospel, whereby they had 
fellowship with the Father and the Son, and because 
they had continued in the truth from the first day of 
their conversion unto Christ by the work of his minis- 
try, unto now that he wrote unto them. Whence I 
observe a principal matter of our thanksgiving unto 
God, a principal cause wiry we should, upon the bless- 
ing bestowed upon us, give thanks unto God for it. 
In all things, indeed, is matter of our thanksgiving 
unto God, for ' every good giving and every perfect 
gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father 
of lights,' &c, Jas. i. 17. He created us, formed us, 
and made us, and that in his own image : ' In him we 



4 



live, move, and have our being;' he giveth health, 
wealth, peace, liberty, food, raiment ; he ' sendeth 
rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons,' delivereth in 
all dangers, comforteth in all troubles, helpeth in all 
needs, blesseth the work of our hands, and filleth us 
with plenteousness of all good things. And for all 
these we should, and have great cause, from day to 
day, to tell out his praise with gladness, and to offer 
unto him the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. 
But yet is a more principal matter behind, which is 
the fellowship which we have with other reformed 
churches in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the con- 
tinuance thereof so long time amongst us, the preach- 
ing of the word of our salvation amongst us, and the 
blessed increase thereof under a most gracious govern- 
ment. Hei - e is, indeed, principal cause of rejoicing 
and thanksgiving, for by our fellowship which we have 
with other churches in the gospel, we have fellowship 
with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ, as 
John witnesseth, saying, 1 John i. 3, ' That which we 
have seen and heard,' to wit, the gospel, ' declare we 
unto you, that ye may also have fellowship with us, 
and that our fellowship also may be with the Father, 
and with his Son Jesus Christ.' By our fellowship in 
the gospel we are ' called out of darkness into his mar- 
vellous light,' and we ' which in time past were not a 
people, are now the people of God, and we which in 
time past were not under mercy, have now obtained 
mercy,' as Peter witnesseth, 1 Peter ii. 9, 10. By 
our fellowship in the gospel, we are 'born again, not 
of mortal seed, but of immortal,' and are ' begotten 
unto a lively hope in Christ Jesus,' as the same Peter 
witnesseth, 1 Peter i. 3, 23. And by our fellowship 
in the gospel we are ' made wise unto salvation, 
through the faith which we have in Christ Jesus,' as 
witnesseth our apostle, 2 Tim. hi. 15. Oh blessed 
fellowship in the gospel, whereby we are made wise 
unto salvation, whereby we are regenerate, and be- 
gotten unto a lively hope in Christ Jesus, whereby wo 
are called out of darkness into light, and of no people 
made the people of God, and whereby we have fellow- 
ship with Christ Jesus, which is the great end of the 
ministry of the gospel, that we may have fellowship 
with him, and walk in the light as he is in the light. 
Again, the continuance of our fellowship in the gospel 
from the first day of her majesty's most gracious govern- 
ment over us unto now, our perseverance in the truth, 
without being removed away unto another gospel, which 
is not another gospel, save that there be some which 
trouble you, and intrude, to pervert the gospel of Christ, 
what a principal blessing is this of our good God unto 
us ! Surely these are such blessings as may well make 
us break out into exclamation with David, Ps. exvi. 
12, 13, 17, and say, ' What shall I render unto the 
Lord for these his great mercies towards me ? I will 
receive the cup of salvation, and call upon the name 
of the Lord. I will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving, 
and will call upon the name of the Lord.' This was 

B 



18 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. L 



David's resolution upon deliverance from dangers by 
Saul, and niuch more upon such blessings as these 
have we just cause of such resolution, God being 
principally in this soft and still voice of the gospel. 

Have we, then, such principal cause of thanksgiving 
unto our God for the fellowship which we have with 
other churches in the gospel, and for the continuance 
of this fellowship from the first day unto now, even 
these forty years ? This, then, 1, should teach us, 
willingly and gladly to embrace the gospel of Jesus 
Christ when it is brought unto us ; for, if there be 
such cause of thanksgiving unto God for it being had, 
then surely is there great cause of gladly embracing 
it when it may be had. And 3'et what dulness, and 
slackness, and coldness herein ! In this congregation 
how is it embraced ? I bear you record, some of you, 
that ye do embrace it willingly and gladly, and I 
assure myself that from your hearts you thank your 
God for it. But others there are that seldom or never 
come unto the hearing of it ; others that, when they 
should hear it, turn their backs, and depart away from 
the hearing of it ; others that hear it sleepingly, or 
coldly, so that either it enters not in, or quickly after 
is choked by the cares of this world. Do these thank 
God for the fellowship which they have with others in 
the gospel '? Nay, they have none, and some of them 
will have no fellowship with others therein ; and there- 
fore, unless at length they take hold of the grace that 
is offered them, they shall have no fellowship with the 
Father, or with Jesus Christ his Son. As for you, 
beloved, that gladly embrace the gospel of your salva- 
tion, hold on your good course, thirst after it as the hart 
doth after the water brooks, frequent the places where 
ye may hear it, lay it up in your hearts, that ye may 
not sin against the Lord, and lot your mouths be ever 
filled with praises and thanksgiving to God for it. 

Secondly, This should teach us to labour by all holy 
means to continue in the grace and in the truth wherein 
we stand unto the end. For if it should so princi- 
pally cause in us thanksgiving unto God, then should 
it also work in us all holy desire and labour to be 
daily more and more stablished and strengthened in 
the truth of Christ Jesus, and in our fellowship with 
other churches in the gospel. And }*et how wavering 
are we, many of us, and how quickly ' carried about 
with every wind of doctrine, by the deceit of men, and 
with craftiness whereby they lay in wait to deceive !' 
If a runagate seminary, that compasseth sea and land 
to make one of his profession, and, when he is made, 
makes him twofold more the child of hell than he him- 
self is, a sworn vassal to that man of sin, a disloyal 
traitor to his prince, an unnatural enemy to his coun- 
try, — if such a one, I say, shall, with feigned words, creep 
into secret corners amongst us, and glozingly slander 
the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and set abroach 
his own damnable heresies, how quickly do we listen 
unto them, a; id are led captive by them ! Howsoever 
it be with us, it is thus in too too many places. But, 



beloved, let us know that ' whosever transgresseth,. 
and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not 
God. He that continueth in the doctrine of Christ, 
he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come 
any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him 
not to house, neither bid him God speed,' 2 John 9, 
10. I know they will tell you they bring the doctrine 
of Christ unto } t ou ; but do ye as the men of Berea 
did, Acts xvii. 11, which are much commended for so- 
doing, examine it by the Scriptures, and ' search 
whether it be so,' and ye shall find it to be the doc- 
trine of devils, as the apostle speaketh, 1 Tim. iv. 1, 
and as even by that place it will appear to be. 
Wherefore, beloved brethren, as now ye have fellow- 
ship with other churches in the gospel of Jesus Christ, 
so continue therein ; let nothing be able to remove 
you from the truth wherein you stand, but ' hold fast 
your good profession unto the end.' 

The third thing which here I note is, the apostle's 
bold, and near, and jo} T ful approach unto God in his 
thanksgiving unto God, in that he saith, ' I thank my 
God.' Whence I observe the manner of our thanks- 
giving unto God, how we should offer our sacrifice of 
thanksgiving unto him ; and that is, (1.) with such 
assurance of God's love in his mercies towards us, 
as that in our thanksgiving for them we dare boldly, 
as sons, say, I thank my God, for so shall our sacra - 
fice of thanksgiving be acceptable unto God, if upon 
assurance of his love we boldly pour out our souls in 
praise unto him. And therefore the apostle to the 
Hebrews exhorteth, saying, chap. iv. 16, ' Let us go • 
boldly unto the throne of grace,' be it in prayer or in 
thanksgiving ; ' Let us go boldly unto the throne of 
grace, praying and giving thanks unto God through 
Jesus Christ our Lord.' (2.) Our thanksgiving should 
be offered with such willingness and cheerfulness from 
our hearts unto God, that we might sa t y, I thank my 
God. So our apostle, in another place, 1 Cor. xiv. 
18, ' I thank my God, I spake languages more than 
ye all.' How cheerfully he openeth his mouth in 
praise of his God. And so shall our thanksgiving be 
pleasing unto God, if we offer it from the heart cheer- 
fully ; for he ' loveth a cheerful giver,' as of alms unto 
the poor saints, so of thanks unto his name. And 
how can I go unto him with greater cheerfulness and 
thank him, than when I go unto him as to my God, 
and say, I thank my God ! (3.) Our thanksgiving 
unto God should be offered up with such soul-melting 
passion and affection, that, as if we had greater feeling 
experience in our souls of his goodness than others, 
and would be nearer him than others, we should say, 
I thank my God ; for such the Lord loveth best as 
press nearest unto him, and then the sacrifice of 
praise pleaseth most where the soul is tied the closest 
unto his God. These are the things in which the 
manner how we should offer up our sacrifice of thanks- 
giving consisteth, namely, in faith and full assurance 
of God's love towards us, with all willingness and 



Veil 3-5.] 



LECTURE IV. 



19 



cheerfulness from our hearts, and with a soul-ravished 
affection, as of a more than ordinary feeling experience 
of God's goodness towards us. And this manner, I 
take it, may be observed from this, that the apostle 
saith, I thank my God. 

Here, then, that cold and cursory form of thanks- 
giving which commonly is used is utterly condemned; 
for, what do we when the Lord hath remembered us 
in mercy, and done great things for us ? I doubt not 
but there are who in their hearts cheerfully, and with 
their mouths joyfully, say with the prophet, Ps. cxviii. 
28, ' Thou art my God, and I will thank thee : thou 
art my God, and I will praise thee.' But a great 
many of us, ' like unto horses and mules, which have 
no understanding,' either remember not, or regard not 
to give God thanks. A man may see it daily in many 
of us, that we come from our beds, and from our 



meals, as dogs from their kennels, and oxen from their 
stalls. Others of us have certain words of course, as 
to say, ' God be blessed,' ' God be thanked,' ' I praise 
God,' ' I thank God, 'which, being good words in them- 
selves, yet arc so coldly and cursorily uttered by us, as 
that a man may well see they have their beginning in 
the lips, and their ending in the air, but never pierce 
the heavens. But, beloved, if we will have our voice of 
thanksgiving to break through the clouds, and to come 
unto the highest, we must use Mary's magnificat, 
Luke i. 46, and say, ' My soul doth magnify the Lord, 
and my spirit rejoiceth in God my Saviour.' As, 
therefore, it becometh us to be thankful, so let us 
remember, in faith and full assurance of God's love 
towards us, to pour out our souls in thanksgiving unto 
him, that so our sacrifice may be acceptable unto him. 



LECTUEE IV. 

'Having you in perfect memory, always, in all my prayers for all you, praying with gladness, because of the 
fellowship which ye have in the gospel, from the first day unto now. — Philip. I. 3—5. 



NOW, farther, the apostle signifieth his rejoicing 
on the Philippians' behalf, and his love towards 
them, by remembering them in all his prayers unto 
God, and by praying for them with gladness, when he 
saith, that he ' hath them in perfect memory, always 
in all his prayers,' &c. It is usual with the apostle in 
his epistles, as to signify his thanksgiving unto God 
on their behalf unto whom he writeth, so to signify his 
remembrance of them always in his prayers. But yet 
here the apostle signifieth this his remembrance of them 
in his prayers, in more than an usual manner. In the 
epistle to the Romans, to the Colossians, the former 
to the Thessalonians, and to Philemon, he telleth them 
to whom he writeth, that he ' maketh mention of them 
always in his prayers.' But here he tells the Philip- 
pians that ' always in his prayers he hath them all in 
memory,' that always in his prayers he hath them all 
in ' perfect memory,' that always he hath them all ' in 
perfect memory in all his prayers,' that in all his prayers 
he ' remembereth them with gladness,' each circum- 
stance, more than other, importing his most careful 
remembrance of them in his prayers unto God, that 
they might continue in that grace wherein they stood, 
in that fellowship which they had with other churches 
in the gospel. For therefore thanked he God, and 
was glad on the Philippians' behalf, because of the 
fellowship which they had in the gospel from the first 
day until then ; and therefore he prayed for them, that 
they might continue in that grace, and in that fellow- 
ship with other churches in the gospel. 

The first thing then which here I note is, that on 
whose behalf the apostle gives such thanks unto God 
and is so glad, for them also he prayeth. "Whence I 
observe, that whatsoever graces be bestowed on us, 



still prayer is needful for us, both that we pray for 
ourselves, and that others pray for us ; for neither is 
any grace so perfect in any, neither are all graces so 
complete and full in any, but that both he hath need 
of perseverance and increase in that grace wherein he 
standeth, and to have other graces supplied which he 
wanteth. Abraham, full of blessings, yet wanteth a 
child, and he must pray that he may not go childless, 
Gen. xv. 2 ; Isaac full of blessings, yet his wife is 
barren, and he must pray unto the Lord for his wife, 
to make her womb fruitful, xxv. 21 ; Jacob full of 
blessings, yet he is in danger of Esau his brother, and 
he must pray unto the Lord, ' I pray thee deliver me 
out of the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau,' 
xxxii. 11. Neither is any so enriched with all graces, 
but that his requests are to be shewed unto God, in 
prayer and supplication for the supply of some ; .and 
as not any are enriched with all graces, so not in am- 
is any grace so perfect, but that he hath need to bend 
the knees of his soul unto God in humble prayer, for 
perseverance and increase in that grace wherein he 
standeth. David's delight in the law of the Lord, in 
his statutes, and in his testimonies, was as great 
man's could be, as himself sheweth, Ps. cxix. 07. .say- 
ing, ' Lord, what love have I unto thy law ! all the day 
long is my study in it ; ' ver. 54, ' Thy statutes have 
been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage ; ' ver. 
Ill, ' Thy testimonies have I claimed as mine heri- 
tage for ever ;' and why '? ' They are the very joy of 
my heart ; ' and yet his prayer is, ' Oh teach me thy 
statutes, oh cause thou me to make much of thy law, 
incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not unto 
covetousness ; ' and as he hath done, he hath left us 
an example so to do, be we never so zealous of the law 



20 



AIR AY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. I. 



of God. The apostles likewise, it is like, were as strong 
in tlie faith as an} 7 man is, and yet they prayed unto 
the Lord, ' Lord, increase our faith,' Luke xvii. 5, and 
therein left an example for all the children of God to 
follow until the day of Jesus Christ, be they never so 
stablished in the faith. Never any so zealous of God's 
glory and holy worship, but he had need, even in 
respect of himself, to pray, ' Hallowed be thy name.' 
Never any had his conversation so much in heaven, 
but that he had still need to pra} T , ' Thy kingdom 
come.' Never any man's will so conformed unto God's 
will, but that he had still need to pray, ' Thy will be 
done in earth as it is in heaven.' Never any man so 
filled with plenteousness, but that he had still need to 
pray, ' Give us this day our daily bread.' Never any 
man's sins so wholly pardoned, but that in regard of 
his continual slidings he had still need to pray, ' For- 
give us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass 
against us.' Never any man so freed from temptation 
and from the devil, but that he had still need to pray, 
' Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.' 
And therefore our blessed Saviour hath appointed this 
form to be used by all the faithful, unto what degree 
of perfection soever they be come, even to the end ; so 
that whatsoever graces be bestowed on us, yet still is 
prayer needful for us. Neither only that we pray for 
ourselves, but that others also pray for us. We are 
not many of us better than was Timothy, that faithful 
servant of Jesus Christ ; yet for him Paul poured out 
prayers night and day, and no doubt it was needful for 
him, 2 Tim. i. 3. We are not the best of us like unto 
Paul, that elect vessel of Jesus Christ, yet he requested 
the prayers of the faithful for him, Eph. vi. 19, 20, 
' that utterance might be given unto him, that he might 
open his mouth boldly to publish the secret of the 
gospel, and that therein he might speak boldly as he 
ought to speak.' He was one that feared not the face 
of man, that kept nothing back, but delivered his 
message always faithfully and boldly ; yet for this 
grace he thought the prayers of the faithful needful for 
him, and therefore craveth them not only of the Ephe- 
sians, but likewise of the Colossians in his epistle to 
them, chap. iv. 3. 

Far, therefore, be it from us, beloved, to say, as the 
manner of some is, unto any of God's children, Bestow 
your prayers where you list, I need not your prayers, 
I care not for your prayers ; pray for yourself : all 
your prayers will be little enough for yourself ; I will 
pray for myself. These be the words, not of them that 
abound with grace, but of them that are not taught in 
the word, nor know how much the prayer of a righteous 
man availeth, if it be fervent. Far-likewise be it from 
us, once to dream of any such perfection in ourselves, 
but that we have still need to pra} T , to abound more 
and more in all grace, and in all things daily more and 
more to grow up into him which is the head, that is, 
Christ. For be it our predestination, our election, our 
adoption, our reconciliation, our justification, which 



are as sure unto all the sons of God as that God is 
true, yet even in respect of these have we need always 
to pray, that the assurance of them may be daily more 
and more sealed unto our spirits by the pledge of God's 
Spirit. Again, be it our faith, our hope, our love, our 
knowledge, our judgment, or the like, which are the 
work of God's own finger in all his children, yet in 
respect of these have we need always to pray for con- 
tinual increase, and all godly growth in them. Yea, 
be it whatsoever grace wherein we are so stablished 
that we are sure we cannot finally fall from it, yet are 
we still to pray for perseverance therein, because he 
will have all them so exercised whom he will confirm 
unto the end. Whatsoever graces, therefore, the Lord 
hath bestowed upon us, yet still let us pray unto him, 
either for our farther assurance and confirmation, or 
for perseverance and increase in them. Let us pray 
for ourselves unto the Lord for every grace needful for 
us, and let us request to be commended by the faithful 
in their prayers unto God. This is our wrestling with 
the God of Jacob, and thus wrestling, we shall surely 
prevail ; for so he hath promised, Mat. vii. 7, and 
faitbful is he that hath promised. 

The second thing which I note is, that the apostle, 
in his prayers for the Philippians, prayed for them all, 
for so he saith, that he • had them in perfect memory 
always in all his prayers,' &c. Whence I observe how, 
in our prayers for the church, we ought to be affected 
towards it, namely, that so in our prayers we commend 
the whole church unto God. For what though in the 
church all be not knit together in one mind and in one 
judgment ? What though all be not alike forward in 
acknowledging and embracing the truth '? What though 
many things be done in the church through contention 
or vain glory ? The apostle knew well that it was thus 
in the church at Philippi, as may evidently appear by 
sundry places in this his epistle ; yet in his prayers 
unto God for them, he took no such notice of these 
things, as that he did seclude any of them out of his 
prayers unto God, but jointly he commendeth them all 
in his prayers unto God. Right so we ; in our prayers 
for the church, we should not easily take notice of every 
contention, of every defect, of everything that may 
offend in the church, so to seclude any out of our 
prayers unto God, but in a Christian affection towards 
all, and in an holy desire for all, we should commend 
the whole church in our prayers unto God. It was 
such an ordinary practice with our apostle, both to give 
thanks unto God for all them to whom he wrote, and 
likewise to pray for them all, notwithstanding that 
many things were amiss amongst them, that we are 
not to doubt but that we are so to do, as we have the 
apostle for an ensample. Look into his epistles, and 
by the beginning almost of all of them, ye shall see 
that this was his ordinary practice, leaving us therein 
an ensample that as he did, so we should do. And 
the reason is plain ; for doth not the apostle, in writing 
his epistles unto the churches, still write as unto the 



Yer. 3-5.] 



LECTURE IV 



21 



beloved of God, and unto saints in Christ Jesus, still 
entitling the whole church unto which he wrote unto 
these titles, without exception of any ? Or doth the 
apostle so, and are not we to do so ? Or are we to 
do so, and not to commend the whole church in our 
prayers unto God ? The reason, I take it, inferreth 
the point, and commendeth unto us that general care 
of commending the whole church in our prayers unto 
God. 

A good lesson, and well worthy the learning of many 
in these our days, for as it fareth more privately and 
particularly amongst men, so doth it fare more publicly 
and generally in the church. Amongst men ordinarily, 
every trifling matter is enough to cut off all love and 
friendship amongst us, nay, to breed great hatreds and 
enmities amongst us, nay, to set us at such odds, that 
rather we will bau and curse one another, than pray 
one for another. And if we differ in judgment one 
from another about some matters of the church, then 
nothing on one part but carnal gospellers ! and time- 
servers ! nothing on another part but sacrilegious 
persons ! schismatical persons ! troublers of the state ! 
and hypocritical dissemblers ! nothing but slandering, 
and forging things never writ or spoke ; nothing but 
such uncharitableness, as that it may be feared that, 
on some part, there is little praying for the other, 
unless it be to confound them. Neither is it otherwise 
more publicly and generally in the church, if we may 
judge by outward appearances. Some parts of the 
church, unto some, seem to have so many defects and 
blemishes, so many superstitious rites and ceremonies, 
that they cannot brook them, they cannot abide in 
them, they cannot pray with them : I know not whether 
they do pray for them ; and of others, other parts of 
the church, because of their form of government, are 
so misliked, that they cannot with patience hear of 
them, and therefore, it is like do not in all their prayers 
remember them. But these and all such might hence 
be better lessoned, and such uncharitableness, if any 
such be in them, reformed. Let us, beloved, be other- 
wisj-minded. Howsoever there be things amiss in the 
church, let us not seclude any out of our prayers unto 
God, but let us commend in our prayers the whole 
church unto God. In our prayers unto God, let us 
abandon all cogitation either of private quarrels one 
with another, or of public contentions in the church, 
and let us pray each for other, and all of us for the 
whole church, unto the Lord fervently. Let the same 
mind be in us that was in our apostle, and let us always, 
in all our prayers, have ' all the saints in Christ Jesus 
in perfect memory.' 

The third thing which here I note is, the thing for 
which the apostle prayed in all his prayers for them, 
and that was the same in substance with that wherefore 
he gave thanks unto God ; for as his thanksgiving unto 
God on their behalf was ' because of the fellowship 
which they had in the gospel from the first day until 
then,' so his prayers unto God for them were, ' that 



they might continue in that fellowship which they had 
in the gospel unto the end.' Whence I observe a very 
material point to be remembered in our prayers unto 
God, both for the whole church and for ourselves, 
which is continuance in the fellowship of the gospel, 
that our church may continue in that fellowship which 
it hath with other reformed churches in the gospel, 
and that we may continue grounded and stablished in 
the truth wherein we stand. Here is indeed principal 
cause of prostrating ourselves before the throne of grace, 
and pouring out our souls in prayer unto our God, 
whether we look unto the curse in the wanting, or unto 
the blessing in the enjoying, of the glorious gospel of 
Jesus Christ. For what greater curse or plague of 
God could fall upon us, than that our candlestick 
should be removed from us, that a famine of the word 
should be sent amongst us, that the gospel of our sal- 
vation should be translated from us to another people ? 
The Lord, threatening to bring a fearful judgment on 
the church of Ephesus, if they should not repent and 
return to then - former love, saith, Rev. ii. 5, ' Remem- 
ber from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do 
the first works ; or else I will come against thee shortly, 
and will remove thy candlestick out of his place . ' What 
is that ? That is, he will remove his church from 
thence, by taking his gospel from them. Even as our 
blessed Saviour also threatened the Jews, saying, Mat. 
xxi. 43, ' The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, 
and given to a nation which shall bring forth the fruits 
thereof.' So the prophet, threatening a heavy judg- 
ment upon the rulers of Israel, Amos viii. 11, 'Be- 
hold,' saith he, ' the days come that I will send a famine 
in the land, not a famine of bread nor a thirst for water, 
but of hearing the word of the Lord ; ' which how 
grievous a famine and how heavy a judgment it is, 
appeareth by that of Solomon, where he saith, Prov. 
xxix. 18, that ' where there is no vision,' i. e. no sin- 
cere preaching of the word, no sound fellowship in the 
gospel, ' there the people perisheth,' even perisheth 
both in soul and body. 

And as the curse and judgment is great and grievous 
of wanting, so is the blessing and benefit of hi 
this fellowship in the gospel exceeding great and 
happy ; for it is indeed our very life and soul, where- 
by we are begotten, born, and nourished into ever- 
lasting life, as Peter witnesseth, 1 Peter i. 3, 23; ii. 2. 
It is ' the lantern unto our feet, and the light unto our 
steps,' to bring us to ' the city of the living God, the 
celestial Jerusalem, and to the company of innumer- 
able angels, and to the congregation of the first-born, 
which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of 
all, and to the spirits of just and perfect men, and to 
Jesus the mediator of the New Testament, and to the 
blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than 
that of Abel,' Heb. xii. 22-21. By it we are called 
out of darkness into light, instructed in the way of 
God perfectly, grounded and stablished in the faith, 
and made wise unto salvation ; for it is ' the power of God 



22 



AIR AY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. I. 



unto salvation unto every one that belie veth, ' Kom . i . 1 6 . 
See, then, whether here it be not principal cause for 
us to pray for our church, tbat in it the gospel of our 
salvation may for ever be freely and sincerely preached ; 
and for ourselves, that we may continue in that grace 
wherein we stand by the gospel of our salvation. Yes, 
surely if either fear of as great a plague of God's wrath 
as can fall upon us may force us to pray, or desire of 
as great a blessing of God as can befall us may per- 
suade us to pray, we have great cause even to pour 
out our souls in prayer and supplication unto our God 
for the blessed continuance of that fellowship which 
we have with other churches in the gospel, that as 
now, so ever, this grace may be continued upon us. 
Yea, beloved, if ye shall but cast your eyes abroad 
into the land, ye shall find that there is great cause 
thus to pray; for how doth atheism and abominable 
irreligion spread itself, and overspread the whole face 
of the land ! Hath it not nestled itself on high, and 
said within itself, Who shall bring me down to the 
ground ? How doth papism and outworn Pelagianism 
now shoot out the head, and break out in many places, 
as if now the day approached wherein they may say, 
' So, so, thus would we have it' ! How hath cunning 
policy broken the neck of Christianity, and now so 
swayeth that it carrieth all almost with it ! What 
neglect and contempt of the word is there in all places ; 
and what else are these but forerunners of a fearful 
judgment to follow ? What else do these threaten 
but the removing of the candlestick from us ? Be- 
loved, shall we see and know these things, and shall 
we not pray ? Let us pray at evening, and at morn- 
ing, and at midday ; let us pray, and that instantly, 
that this judgment may never fall upon us ; that this 
light of the gospel may never be put out, but that it 
may shine amongst us from generation to generation 
until the day of Christ Jesus. The more that the 
danger is, let us pray the more fervently, and let us 
not give ourselves any rest, but still pray unto the 
Lord for our continuance which we have with other 
reformed churches in the gospel. 

The fourth thing which here I note is, that the 
apostle thus prayed for tha Philippians ' always in all 
his prayers.' Whence I observe with what constant 
assiduity and carefulness we ought to pray for our 
church and for ourselves, that we may continue in the 
fellowship which we have in the gospel. We should 
never pray but always in our prayers, this prayer for 
our church and for ourselves should continually be re- 
membered, that the fellowship which we now have 
with other churches in the gospel may for ever be 
continued unto us. To pray always, and not to faint 
or give over, is a thing much commended by the Holy 
Ghost. Rom. xii. 12, ' Continue in prayer,' saith 
our apostle, ; and again in another place, 1 Thes. 
y. 17, ' Pray continually ;' and to the same purpose 
is that parable of the importunate widow in the gospel, 
Luke xviii. 1, all which places shew us the necessity of 



prayer, that whensoever we stand in need we have re- 
course unto God by prayer ; so the constant perse- 
verance that is to be used in prayer, that howsoever 
for some time we seem to pray and be not heard, yet 
we faint not, nor give over, but still pray, and that 
instantly. Now, as we are to pray, and io pray 
always, so always in all our prayers this is to be re- 
membered, that we pray that the Lord his way may be 
known upon earth, and his saving health among all 
nations ; that the preaching of the gospel may be 
fruitful unto us, and unto the whole church ; that the 
word of the Lord may have free passage, and be glorified ; 
that we may continue grounded and stablished in the 
faith, as we have been taught in Jesus Christ ; that 
we and our whole church may continue in the fellow- 
ship which we have with other churches in the gospel. 
This the example of our apostle teacheth us to do, 
who, in that he did for others, left us an example what 
to do for ourselves and for others. 

Yea, but is not the Lord always more ready to hear 
than we are to pray ? And hath he not said, that 
' whosoever asketh receiveth ; that he that seeketh 
findeth ; and that to him that knocketk, it shall be 
opened'? Or if it be so, what needeth it always in 
all our prayers thus to pray as hath been said ? True 
it is, that whosoever asketh receiveth ; and that the 
Lord is more ready to hear and to grant our requests 
than we are to pray and call upon his name, for com- 
monly he preventeth us with his blessings ; and what- 
soever it is that we have by prayer, he it is that 
teacheth us to pray for it as we ought. But some 
things ' we ask often and receive not, because we 
ask amiss,' James iv. 3 ; and some things he hath 
appointed so to be granted, if they be continually 
asked ; and of this sort is this thing whereof we now 
speak. He will, as it shall be for his glory, continue 
us in the fellowship which we have in the gospel, if 
we continue to ask it in faith, and faint not. 

This, then, may teach us of what weight and 
moment our continuance in the fellowship of the 
gospel is. It is not a thing which happeneth by 
fortune, or which human policy effecteth, but only it 
is of God, and therefore always in all our prayers we 
are to pray unto him for it. Let us therefore pray 
unto the Lord without ceasing for his grace ; let us 
never forget to commence this suit in our prayers unto 
God ; let us always pray for it, and not faint. 

The fifth thing which here I note is, that the apostle 
prayed for the Philippians ' with gladness,' because of 
their growth ha godliness, and in the knowledge of 
Jesus Christ, by the work of his ministry. Whence 
I observe a necessary care which ought to be in the 
whole church, — I mean in all them that are taught in 
the word, — and that is, that they so profit and increase 
in all knowledge and judgment, in all godliness and 
holy conversation, that their pastors and teachers may 
pray for them with gladness. Such a care, it may 
seem, that the Romans had, unto whom the apostle 



Ver. G.] 



LECTURE V. 



23 



giveth this testimony, Bom. i. 9, that their 'faith 
which was published, and then obedience which was 
come abroad, much gladdened him.' Such a care it 
may seem that the Colossians had, unto whom the 
apostle giveth this testimony, that though he was 
* absent in the flesh, yet was he present with them in 
the spirit, rejoicing and beholding their order, and 
their stedfast faith in Christ.' And such a care 
ought all the people of God to have, that they which 
watch for their souls, as they that must give account 
unto God for them, may now pray for them with glad- 
ness, and afterwards give their accounts for them with 
joy and not with grief. 

But this care is not common among the people, for 
where the pastor in an holy care for his people prayeth 
for them, he prayeth for them in many places with 
great heaviness ; with heaviness, I say, for their 
neglect and contempt of the word ; with heaviness for 
their ignorance in the things that belong unto their 
peace, and unwillingness to be instructed therein ; 
with heaviness for then ungodly conversation, and un- 
christian walking ; with heaviness for spending his 
strength in vain, and for nothing amongst them. He 
prayeth, but his soul mourneth because he cannot 
gain them unto Christ Jesus ; he prayeth, but his soul 
mourneth because they run, and needs will run, head- 
long to the devil ; so little care commonly there is of 
profiting by the ministry of the word amongst them 
that are taught in the word. 

Beloved, let it never be said so of you ; but let your 



care be that they which labour in the word amongst 
you may pray for you with gladness. James i. 21, 
' Lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of malicious- 
ness, and receive with meekness the word that is 
graffed in you, which is able to save your souls.' 
Eph. iv. 15, ' Follow the truth in love, and in all 
things grow up unto him, which is the head, that is 
Christ.' ' Let your conversation be such as becometh 
the gospel of Christ,' and strive to increase in all good 
things with all godly increasing, for so, and so only, 
shall we have cause to pray for you with gladness. 

Lastly, In that the apostle, having taught the 
Philippians the way of truth, giveth thank- for them, 
prayeth for them, and that with gladness, because oi 
the fellowship, &c«, hence I observe a duty of the 
pastors of the church, which, if time had given leave, 
and the place had been so convenient, should princi- 
pally have been stood upon ; and that is, that the pastors 
are not only to teach their people with the wholesome 
word which cannot be reproved, but they are also to 
pray for them that the word may have a blessing 
among them, that they may grow and increase thereby 
in all knowledge and holiness to the Lord. They are 
to be glad in their souls for then* profiting in the word 
of grace, and they are to give thanks unto God on 
their behalf when they see their order, then stedfast 
faith in Christ, then growth in godliness, and right- 
eousness, and holy conversation. This should be, 
and might be, and I wish it were : and if it be not, it 
is their peril in whom it faileth to be. 



LECTUEE V. 

And I can persuaded <>f this same thing, that lie that hath begun this good work in y<>u, uill perform it until the 

day of Jesus Christ. — Philip. I. G. 



NOW give me leave briefly to note one thing further 
from those words, and that is, that both our 
thanksgiving and our praying are always to be unto 
God. Our thanksgiving, because all deliverance in 
dangers, all comfort in troubles, all help in time of 
need, all spiritual graces in heavenly things, and all 
corporal blessings whatsoever, are from him, the Father 
of all mercies and giver of all goodness, ' for every good 
giving and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh 
down from the Father of lights," James i. 17. ' He up- 
holdeth all such as fall, and lifteth up all those that be 
down : the eyes of all wait upon him, and he giveth 
them their meat in due season ; he openeth his hand, 
and filleth all things living with plenteousness,' Ps. 
cxlv. 14-16. He killeth and maketh alive, bring- 
eth down to the grave and raiseth up, maketh 
poor and maketh rich, bringeth low and exalteth, 
1 Sam. ii. G. ' He is our rock and fortress, our 
strength and shield, and he that delivereth us in 
all time of danger,' 2 Sam. xxii. 1. 'He is the Father 
of mercies, and the God of all comfort, which comfort- 



eth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to 
comfort them which are in any affliction by the com- 
fort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of him,' 
2 Cor. i. 3, 4. 'He succoureth us when we are tempted, 
and suffereth us not to be tempted above that we be 
able, but giveth the issue with the temptation, that 
we may be able to bear it," 1 Cor. x. 13. ' He created 
us, formed us, and made us for his own glory,' tsa. xliii. 
7. ' In him we live, move, and have our being,' Acts 
xvii. 28. ' He blesseth us with all spiritual blessings in 
heavenly things in Christ,' Eph. i.. having chosen us in 
him, predestinate us to be adopted through him, re- 
deemed us through his blood, justified us and sanctified 
us, washed and cleansed us from our sius in him, and be- 
gotten us by faith unto a lively hope in him. In one word, 
he is all in all things unto us, Col. hi. 11. Unto whom, 
then, should we sacrifice the calv< s of our lips, and offer 
the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, but unto him 
of whom, through whom, and for whom, are all things, 
and by whom we have all blessings in good things, and 
deliverance from all evil, even God blessed for ever ! 



24 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. I. 



And as for these reasons we are always in all things 
to give thanks unto the Lord, so for the same reasons 
we are always to pour out prayers and supplications 
unto him, as we have need either of blessings in good 
things, or deliverance from evil. And therefore we 
read that ever the faithful, when they had need either 
of blessings in good things or deliverance from evil, 
they had their recourse unto God by praj'er ; and as 
they were occasioned by blessings in good things and 
deliverance from evil, so they poured out their souls 
in thanksgiving unto the Lord. Moses and the chil- 
dren of Israel, when Pharaoh and the Egyptians pur- 
sued them, cried unto the Lord with strong cries, in- 
somuch that the Lord said unto Moses, ' "Wherefore 
criest thou unto me ? ' Exod. xiv. 15. And when they 
had seen the mighty power which the Lord shewed 
upon the Egyptians, they sung unto him the songs of 
praise and thanksgiving, Exod. xv. So Jehoshaphat, 
and Judah, and Jerusalem, when the Moabites and 
Ammonites came against them|to battle, prayed in the 
courts of the Lord's house, and said, ' Lord God of 
our fathers, art not thou God in heaven and reignest 
thou not on all the kingdoms of the heathen? ' &c, 
2 Chron. xx. G. And when the Lord had given them 
a marvellous victory over their enemies, they assem- 
bled themselves in the valley of Berachah, or blessing, 
and there they blessed the Lord, ver. 26. So Hezekiah, 
when he was sick, turned his face to the wall, and 
prayed to the Lord, and said, ' I beseech thee, Lord, 
remember now how I have walked before thee in truth, 
and with a perfect heart,' &c, Isa. xxxviii. 2, 3. And 
when the Lord had restored him unto health, he sang 
the song of thanksgiving unto him, and said, ' The 
Lord was ready to save me, therefore Mill we sing my 
song all the days of our life in the house of the Lord ! ' 
ver. 19, 20. So Hannah, being barren, prayed for a 
child unto the Lord, and wept sore, 1 Sam. i. 10 ; and 
when the Lord had granted her request, she thanked 
God and said, ' Mine heart rejoiceth in the Lord ; 
my horn is exalted in the Lord ; my mouth is enlarged 
over mine enemies,' &c, chap. ii. 1. And what 
should I more say ? The time would be too short 
for me to tell you of David, Daniel, Samuel, and the 
rest, which as they stood in need either of blessings 
in good things, or ol deliverance from evil, made their 
prayers and supplications ever unto the Lord ; and 
again, as they were occasioned either by blessings or 
deliverances, offered their sacrifice of praise ever unto 
tha Lord. Thus they were taught, and thus by the 
word and by their example we are taught, for all 
things to pray unto the Lord, and in all things to give 
thanks unto the Lord. 

Beware, then, beloved, of them that with feigned 
words teach you to give thanks, or to pray unto saints 
severally or jointly, as to God and our lady, to God 
and St George, or the like ; for wherefore should we 
either pray or give thanks unto them ? Do they hear 
us, or know what we say or think? Isaiah saith, 



chap, lxiii. 16, that ' Abraham knoweth us not, and 
that Israel is ignorant of us ; ' where the ordinary 
gloss citeth Augustine, saying, that the dead, even 
saints, know not what the living do. And Solomon 
saith, 2 Chron. vi. 30, that the Lord only knoweth the 
hearts of the children of men. Do they help us, or 
give anything unto us ? The psalmist saith, Ps. 
lxxxiv. 11, that ' the Lord giveth both grace and 
glory ; ' neither dare it be avouched that the saints 
give grace or glory, or are the authors of any blessing. 
Or doth any commandment or example in the holy 
Scripture warrant us to pray, or to give thanks unto 
them ? Themselves grant that there is no warrant in 
the Scripture, from commandment or example, to pray 
or give thanks unto them, as unto the authors of any 
grace or glory, but only as unto intercessors before 
God for us. And yet in their practice it is most plain 
that they do not only pray unto them to pray for 
them, but to preserve them, to have mercy upon them, 
to bring them to the kingdom of heaven, &c, but 
admit that they pray unto them only as unto medi- 
ators and intercessors between God and thorn. Saith 
not the apostle that ' there is one mediator between 
God and man, which is the man Christ Jesus' ? 1 Tim. 
5. How, then, do they make more mediators? 



ii 



Christ Jesus, say they, is our only immediate medi- 
ator before God, but the saints are mediators unto 
Christ, and therefore we conclude our prajers always 
saying, ' By Jesus Christ our Lord.' Wherein, also, 
they deceive the world, for by their own portice * it 
appeareth that they have many prayers both unto 
Mary and to other saints, in the conclusion whereof they 
use not to say by Christ our Lord. But to let that 
go, are the saints our mediators unto Christ, to convey 
our prayers unto him ? and Christ our mediator unto 
God, to convey our prayers from the saints unto God ? 
By this shift, then, it cometh about that Christ is not 
the mediator between God and us, as the apostle affirm- 
eth,but between God and the saints, and the saints me- 
diators betwixt Christ and us. And this is the hand 
that they make by praying unto saints as unto medi- 
ators of intercession ; they thrust Christ Jesus out 
from being mediator betwixt God and us, and they do in 
truth pray unto the saints as unto the authors of grace. 
But admitting that they pray only unto them as 
unto intercessors betwixt Christ and us, I demand 
what commandment or example there is in Scripture 
to warrant us to pray at all, or to give thanks 
at all unto them. Jacob, say they, prayed unto an 
angel, Gen. xlviii. 16. If he had prayed unto a 
created angel, this had not proved aught for invocation 
of saints. But it w 7 as unto that uncreated angel of the 
covenant, even Christ Jesus, with whom he had 
WTestled and prevailed, that he prayed unto, as both 
the circumstances of that place and conference of it 
with other places prove. Well, say they, Moses pray- 
ing, Exod. xxxii. 13, and saying thus, ' Remember 
* Qu. ' practice ' '? — Ed. 



\ Ver. 6.] 



LECTURE V. 



25 



Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, thy servants,' hoped to 
have his prayers heard by the merits of those holy 
men. But it is most plain by that place that Moses 
pleadeth not the merits of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, 
but only presseth the covenant and promise made with 
them, as the words immediately following shew, where 
it is said, ' to whom thou swarest by thine own self, 
and saidst,' &c. Yea, but, say they, the place in the 
Apocalypse proveth most plainly that the saints in 
heaven do offer up the prayers of the saints on earth, 
where it is said, Rev. v. 8, that ' the twenty-four 
elders fell down before the Lamb, having golden phials 
full of odours, which are the prayers of the saints.' 
But this place maketh no more to this purpose than 
the rest, for, 1, it is a vision, and nothing so doue as 
here is set down, and therefore no clear argument will 
hence be drawn. Again, here is nothing spoken of 
the saints in heaven, for it is generally agreed upon 
that the twenty-four elders represent the church mili- 
tant here on earth, whose conversation is in heaven, 
whose golden phials full of sweet odours were their 
own prayers, poured out of faithful hearts unto the 
Lord. Lastly, they say that praying one unto another 
here on earth, to be assisted in their prayers, is lawful, 
therefore prayer unto saints in heaven is lawful. But 
to this we answer, 1, that to desire one another's 
prayers is warranted by the word, which the} r grant ; 
but to request the prayers of the saints departed hath 
no warrant in the word, howsoever they contend the 
contrary. 2. There is no such reason of desiring the 
prayers of the saints in heaven, as of desiring one 
another's prayers, for we know one another's necessi- 
ties, but they know not our necessities, as hath been 
proved. 3. Our praying one for another to be holpen 
by their prayers, is a godly request to our brethren, 
but no religious invocation of them, as by then' merits 
or worthiness to be brought into God's favour, such 
as is prayer unto saints. And as we are in a Chris- 
tian sort to give thanks one unto another for benefits 
received, so are we in a Christian sort to request one 
another's prayers. But that religious thanksgiving 
and that religious invocation whereof we now speak 
are in no sort due to any but to God. So that the 
saints departed, not knowing what we say or think, 
nor giving either grace or glory to us, nor any way 
warranted by the Scriptures to have such honour 
given unto them, we conclude that we are not to pray 
or to give thanks to them. 

Nay, absolutely, we say that it is utterly unlawful 
to pray or give thanks to them. For, 1, prayer and 
thanksgiving are honours only due unto the Lord, 
and therefore he saith, Ps. 1. 15, ' Call upon me in 
the day of trouble ; and I will deliver thee, and thou 
shalt glorify me ; ' praise me, give thanks unto me. 
Where, albeit the word only be not expressed, but it 
be said, ' Call upon me,' &c. ; as neither it is ex- 
pressed in Deuteronomy, but said, ' Thou shalt fear 
the Lord thy God ; and thou shalt serve him,' chap. 



x. 20 ; yet as our Saviour Christ sheweth, that it is 
there to be understood bv his adding of it, and savin". 
' Hnn only shalt thou serve,' Mat. iv. 10, so is it 
plain that in this place, where the prophet spcaketh of 
the same thing, it is understood as if he had said, 
' Call upon me only, and I will deliver thee ; and thou 
shalt glorify me only.' Therefore it is utterly unlaw- 
ful either to pray or to give thanks unto the saints, 
unless we will communicate that to others which 
belongeth unto him, and so make ' other gods beside 
him,' and with him, contrary to the commandment, 
Exod. xx. 8, 23. 2. It is unlawful to believe in them, 
which they will grant ; therefore unlawful to pray or to 
give thanks unto them. For so it is written, Rom. 
x. II, 'How shall they call on him in whom they 
have not believed ? ' 3. To pray unto saints is in- 
jurious unto Christ, who is ordained the only mediator 
between God and us, 1 Tim. ii. 5, who ' sitteth at 
the right hand of God, and maketh continual request 
for us,' Rom. viii. 31 ; unto whom we may ' go boldly,' 
Heb. iv. 1G, and for whose sake, 'whatsoever we ask the 
Father in hisname,hegiveth it us,' Johnxvi. 23. Many 
other arguments of like weight might here be brought 
to the same purpose. But these for this time may suffice. 
Neither let any man think that because we thus 
teach, we make not that reckoning of the saints de- 
parted which we ought. Yes, beloved, of the blessed 
Virgin Mary we say, that she was blessed above other 
women, that she was dearly beloved of God, that she 
was adorned with excellent gifts and graces of God's 
Holy Spirit, and that her memory is to be reverenced 
for ever. And of all the saints departed, we say that 
their memory is blessed, and that they are to be com- 
mended unto the church, that by their doctrine and 
examples others may be strengthened in true faith, 
and inflamed to follow true godliness; yea. and that in 
a general desire both for us and for themselves, and for 
all the elect of God; they pray that the day of our 
refreshing were come, and that all the people of God 
were joined in one, and that their enemies were van- 
quished and destroyed. And, farther, that it may be 
that God sometimes may reveal some things in par- 
ticular unto them at his pleasure, and as it seemeth 
good unto him. Onlv as the Holv Ghost hath taught 
us, so we teach you, that in the word is nothing 
written whereby to prove that they know our affairs 
in particular, that they pray for us in particular, or 
that they do anything for us in particular ; and there- 
fore that we are not to pray unto them, or to give 
thanks unto them, but only to the Lord, to whom 
alone that honour is due. 'Give thanks therefore, 
Israel, unto God the Lord, in the congregations, 
from the ground of thine heart,' Ps. Ixviii. 26. Pray 
unto the Lord, as David did, Ps. Iv. 17, ' evening 
and morning, and at mid-day,' and that instantly. 
As your occasions are for blessings in good things, or 
deliverance from evil, so let your requests be shewn 
unto God in prayer and supplication, with giving of 



26 



All? AY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. I. 



thanks. Yea, in the midst of troubles give thanks 
unto the Lord, that ye are not overcome of them, and 
pray unto the Lord that he will give you patience in 
them. And amongst all things, give thanks unto the 
Lord for that fellowship which ye have with other 
churches in the gospel ; and pray unto the Lord that 
ye may continue in that grace wherein ye stand, through 
the gospel of your salvation unto your lives' end. 

And I am pei'snaded. As hefore the apostle testi- 
fied his love toward the Philippians, hy his rejoicing 
on their hehalf for the grace of God already bestowed 
on them, so now likewise he testifieth his love towards 
them, by signification of his assured hope of God's 
farther mercy towards them, in the perseverance in 
the same grace unto the end. Where, 1, he signifieth 
his assured hope of their perseverance, ver. G. 2. He 
setteth down the reason which caused him so as- 
suredly to hope thereof; namely, their piety and his 
love of them, ver. 7. 3. He maketh earnest protes- 
tation of his love towards them, ver. 8. For the 
first, the apostle sheweth his great confidence and 
assured hope of their perseverance, when he saith, ' I 
am persuaded of this same thing,' &c. And closely 
he implies a reason of his confidence, drawn from the 
constant immutability of God in his doings, when he 
saith, that 'he which hath begun,' &c, for it is as if 
he had thus reasoned. God is constant in his doings, 
so that look what he beginneth, that he finisheth, 
therefore I am persuaded that he which hath begun 
this good work, &c. Now it is to be noted that the 
apostle saith not, I am persuaded that God, which 
hath, &c, but that 'he which hath begun; whereby 
he implies that the beginning of that, as also indeed 
of every good work, was alone from God, for if it had 
been from any other, then the} 7 should not have under- 
stood him to have spoken of God, when he said, that 
he. Again, it is to be noted, that the apostle saith 
not, I am persuaded that you which have begun well, 
shall also end well, but ' that he which hath begun,' 
&c, grounding his persuasion not on their virtue and 
constancy, but on the constant immutability of God, 
which hath begun a good work in them. Now the 
good work which he had begun in them was their 
embracing of the gospel, whereby they had fellowship 
in the gospel with other churches, which was indeed 
a special good work, and such as they that persecute 
them in whom God hath begun this good work, make 
but vain brags of their good works. I am then, saith 
the apostle, persuaded that he that hath begun this 
good work in you, of embracing the gospel, will per- 
form it, i. e. will confirm and stablish you in it, or will 
finish and perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ, when 
he shall come and change your vile bodies, that the} T 
may be fashioned like unto his glorious body. For 
albeit by the day of Christ might be meant the day 
wherein the faithful die in Christ, yet by the day of 
Christ I rather understand here the day of Christ his 
second coming in the flesh iu the last day, as also it 



is understood in the next chapter, ver. 10, because 
the apostle speaketh not only of them that then were 
at Philippi, but of the church also which afterward 
should be there until the second coming of Christ. 
Thus much of the sense of the words. 

The first thing, then, which here I note, is the 
ground of the apostle's confidence of the Philippians' 
perseverance. His ground is, not the Philippians' 
virtue and constancy, as if now they were so well 
grounded and stablished in the faith that they could 
not but hold out and keep fast their good profession 
unto the end ; but his ground is the constant immuta- 
bility of God, who, where he beginneth to work a good 
work, there he maketh an end of it. Whence I observe 
a notable ground of the perseverance of all God's 
faithful children in that grace wherein they stand. 
And that is this, he that hath begun a good work in 
them will perform it, and confirm them unto the end. 
To which purpose also there are many other places in 
the holy Scripture ; as where it is said of Christ Jesus, 
John xiii. 1, that 'forasmuch as he loved his own 
which were in the world, unto the end he loved them.' 
Whence we take that commonly received saying, that 
whom God loveth once, he loveth unto the end. And 
again, where Christ himself saith, John iv. 14, ' Who- 
soever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall 
never be more athirst ; but the water that I shall give 
him shall be in him a well of water springing up into 
everlasting life.' Here is but once drink, and never 
thirst, once sanctified by the Spirit, and never utterly 
forsaken of the Spirit. And again, where John saith, 
1 John iii. 9, ' Whosoever is born of God sinneth not,' 
namely unto death. And why ? ' Because the seed 
of God remaineth in him ; ' the Spirit of God having 
once seized upon him, always abideth in him. And 
again, where our Saviour saith, John vi. 37, ' Him 
that cometh to me I cast not away ; ' once come by 
by faith, no fear of forsaking afterward. And the 
reason is plain. For ' the gifts and calling of God 
are without repentance,' Rom. xi. 29. He calleth us 
by his gospel, and giveth us gifts and graces of his 
Holy Spirit, not for our own sakes, or for anything 
that he seeth or foreseeth in us, — for then we might 
well fear a fall and a change, — but his gifts are given 
freely by grace according to his good pleasure. So 
that he never repenteth of any grace which he be- 
stoweth upon us, nor suffereth his mercies to fail 
from us for ever, but holdeth our souls in life, and 
keepeth us from the pit of destruction. AVhere- 
upon, we read that as David, having had experience 
of God's help, in his deliverance out of the paw of the 
lion, and out of the paw of the bear, afterwards 
feared not to encounter Goliah, but assured himself 
that ' the Lord that had delivered him out of the paw 
of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, would also 
deliver him out of the hand of that Philistine,' l^Sam. 
xvii. 37. So the children of God having once felt the 
love of God in Christ Jesus in their souls, and the 



Yer. 6.] 



LECTURE V. 



27 



testimony of the Spirit ' witnessing unto their spirits 
that they were the sons of God'; afterwards feared not 
the encounters of sin or Satan, but assured themselves 
that nothing should be able to separate them from the 
love of God in Christ Jesus. So we see that our 
apostle breaketh out and saith, Rom. viii. 35-39, 
' Who shall separate us from the love of Christ '? shall 
tribulation, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or 
nakedness, or peril, or sword ? Nay, I am persuaded, 
that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor princi- 
palities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to 
come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, 
shall be able to separate us from the love of God, 
which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.' And again, 
% Tim. i. 1^, ' I know whom I have believed, and I am 
persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have 
.committed unto him,' which is myself, 'against that 
.day.' And thus, many others of God's children, as 
;upon other grounds, so in assurance of God's un- 
changeable resolution in his doings, have builded a 
full and assured persuasion of their perseverance. 

Now we must understand that, in perseverance, there 
be two things, which you may call the parts of it. 
The one is a holy will and desire to persevere in that 
.•grace wherein we stand, the other is a real continu- 
ance and continual persisting in the grace wherein we 
stand. This real continuance and continual persist- 
ing in the grace wherein we stand, is often in the best 
of God's children so abated and diminished, that it 
seemeth utterly to be extinguished; but that holy 
will and desire to persevere, the Lord doth never suf- 
fer utterly to fail from his children. Take, for ex- 
ample, the holy prophet David, and the blessed 
apostle Paul. Did not David, in the bitterness of 
his soul, cry, Ps. lxxvii. 7-9, ' Will the Lord ab- 
sent himself for ever, and will he be no more entreated '? 
Is his mercy clean gone for ever, and is his promise 
■come utterly to an end for evermore ? Hath God 
forgotten to be gracious, and will he shut up his lov- 
ing-kindness in displeasure ?' And again, Ps. lxxxviii. 
14-10, ' Lord, why abhorrest thou my soul, and 
hides t thy face from me ? Lord, where are thy old 
loving-kindnesses ? Thy terrors do I suffer with a 
troubled mind, thy wrathful displeasure goeth over 
me, and the fear of thee hath undone me.' His real 
continuance, ye see, seemeth to be cut off, and him- 
self to be separated from the Lord ; but by his groan- 
ings and cries it appeareth that his holy desire still 
remained. Paul's care, likewise, was interrupted, 
.and his real continuance remitted, when he was so 
exalted through ' the abundance of revelation,' 2 Cor. 
xii. 7, that ' there was given unto him a prick in the 
flesh, even the messenger of Satan to buffet him;' yet, 
ver. 8, in that he then ' besought the Lord thrice that 
that messenger of Satan might depart from him,' it 
appeareth that this his holy desire still remained. And 
this holy desire of persevering is it which the Lord 
.accepteth, and then is he said to give us this grace of 



perseverance, when he givcth us a perpetual will and 
desire of persevering in that grace wherein we stand, 
howsoever the very act of y [rig, by sin, tempta- 

tion, or other trouble, seem to be cut off and quite 
failed sometimes even in the dearest of God's children. 
Here, then, is a notable comfort for the broken and 
contrite heart, for the humbled and afflicted soul. For 
tell me, thou distressed soul, hath the Spirit some- 
times witnessed unto thy spirit that thou wast the child 
of God ? Hath the love of God sometimes been so shed 
abroad in thine heart, that thou hast verily pi r-uaded 
thyself of the love of God towards-thee ? Hast thou 
sometimes been delighted in the law of thy God, and 
felt the sweet comforts of God in Christ Jesus in thy 
soul ? Why, then, is now thy soul so heavy '? and 
why is it so disquieted within thee ? Why do thoughts 
arise in thy heart, and why doth the sleep depart from 
thine eyes ? Oh wait upon the Lord, and put thy trust 
in him, for he that hath begun a good work hi thee 
will perform it until the day of Christ Jesus. He 
hath said it by his holy apostle, and shall he not do 
it ? ' The strength of Israel will not lie nor repent ; 
for he is not a man that he should repent,' 1 Sam. 
xv. 29. He hath begun a good work in thee, even of 
his love and his mercy towards thee, and as himself, 
so his love is unchangeable, so that whom he loveth 
once, he loveth unto the end. Oh, but therefore thou 
art troubled, because he doth not seem to continue 
his loving-kindness towards thee. Thou feelest not 
that joy in the Holy Ghost, that comfort in God's 
love, which thou wast wont to find ; thou art even dead 
unto the life of God. Well, did not David cry out, 
1 Lord, where are thy old loving-kindnesses, where are 
thy former mercies?' Did he not pray, ' Restore me 
to the joy of thy salvation, and renew a right spirit 
within me' ? And again, ' Oh quicken me according to 
thy word, quicken me according to thy loving-kindi 
So that thou seest ' there hath no temptation taken tine, 
but such as appertaincth to man.' even such as have 
overtaken men after God's own heart. But tell me, 
doth it not grieve thee that thou doest not feel tha 
surauce, that comfort, that joy that thou wast wont to 
find in thy God through Jesus Christ ? Doest thou 
not desire and long to feel that assurance, and com- 
fort, and joy that thou wast wont to find in thy soul ? 
Oh yes ; it is thy doublings that trouble thee, and com- 
fort which thou longest for. Well, then, good enough. 
It is a broken and contrite heart, that grieveth at his 
sins, that grieveth at his wants, that the Lord loveth, 
Ps. li. 17 ; and a troubled spirit, troubled at the c 
tation of his slips and imperfections, is a sacrifice 
acceptable unto him. And again, this holy desire of 
any grace is the grace itself. A desire of comfort 
is a great part of comfort, and a desire of persevering 
is a chief part of perseverance ; and he that desireth 
any grace of God tending to salvation shall surely 
have "it. For so Christ hath promise 1. 
xxi. 6, ' I will give to him that is athirst of the well 



28 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. I: 



of the water of life freely,' which is the same with that 
in the prophet, where it is said, Isa. lv. 1, ' Ho, every 
one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters ; and ye 
that have no silver, come, buy, and eat ; come, I say, 
buy wine and milk, without silver and without money.' 
Comfort, then, yourselves, be of good comfort in 
the Lord, all ye that thirst after and desire the things 
that belong unto your peace. Let not your sins, or 
your wants and imperfections, too much cast you down 
or dismay you. What if he will have you to sail by 
hell to heaven ? He that continueth this holy desire 



in you will not suffer his mercies utterly to fail from: 
you for ever. Heaviness may endure for a night, for 
a short season, but joy cometh in the morning ; after 
a while heaviness is turned into joy, and sackcloth 
into the garment of gladness. Where he hath begun 
he will make an end, and scattering this cloud, he 
will shew unto thee the light of his holy countenance. 
In the mean time, let that holy desire which is in thee 
be a pledge of his love unto thee, and assure thyself 
he shall fulfil all thy heart's desire, and restore thee 
to thy wonted joys again. 



LECTUBE VI. 

As it becometh me so to judge of you all, because I have you in remembrance, that both in my bands, and- in my 
defence and confirmation of the gospel, you all were partakers of my grace. — Philip. I. 7. 



THE second thing which here I note is, that God, 
and God only, had begun that good work of em- 
bracing the gospel in them, and would (as the apostle 
was persuaded) perform it unto the end. For once 
it is plain that the apostle meaneth that God had be- 
gun this work in them, and would perform it unto the 
end ; and in that he saith not, I am persuaded that 
God, but that he which hath begun, &c, he plainly 
implieth that God only begun that good work in them, 
and would perform it unto the end. For if any other 
but he only had intermeddled therein, how should the 
Philippians have plainly understood the apostle to 
speak of God, when he said that he, &c. He, if 
anv other had bad any hand herein, might as well be 
understood of that other as of God. Hence, then, I 
observe that both the beginning and the perfecting of 
our obedience to the gospel, and indeed of every good 
work in us, is only from God. And to this the writ- 
ings of the Holy Ghost everywhere agree. The 
apostle, speaking in general, saith, 1 Cor. iv. 7, ' What 
hast thou that thou hast not received ? ' No gift, no 
grace, no good at all, but we receive it from God. 
Be it the beginning, or the perfecting, or what it may 
be, if it be good, we receive it from God. Our blessed 
Saviour, speaking more particularly of faith in Christ 
Jesus, and an holy confession of his name, saith, Mat. 
svi. 17, ' Flesh and blood hath not revealed this unto 
thee, but my Father which is in heaven.' Faith in 
Christ Jesus, and an holy confession of his name, are 
not the fruits of man's wisdom, but they are the spe- 
cial gifts of God our heavenly Father. And speaking 
of obedience to the gospel, he saith, John vi. 44, ' No 
man can come to me except the Father which hath 
sent me draw him.' No coming unto Christ, no obe- 
dience unto his will, unless we be drawn and haled 
against our wills, and of unwilling be made willing. 
And therefore the spouse in the Canticles calls upon 
her bridegroom, Christ Jesus, and saith unto him, 
'Draw me, and we will run after thee,' chap. i. 4. 
Till he draw us, we run not after him in whole or in 



part, but indeed we run from him ; but when he 
draws us by his cords, even by the preaching of his 
gospel, and of unwilling makes us willing, then we 
run after him. Have we, then, no good thing but 
which we receive from God ? Doth not flesh and 
blood reveal any mystery of our salvation unto us? 
Can we not come unto Christ unless the Father of our 
Lord Jesus Christ draw us ? If, then, we come unto 
Christ, and obey his gospel, it is wholly from God. 
If we believe or understand anything in the way of 
godliness, it is wholly from the illumination of God's 
Spirit. If in us there be anything that is good, it is 
wholly the gift of God bestowed on us. He only 
hath the interest, both in the beginning and in the 
increase of it in us ; which also yet further appeareth 
by this, in that we give thanks unto God for our call- 
ing into the fellowship which we have in the gospel, 
and for all other his works of mercy on us ; and in 
that we pray unto God for increase in all knowledge 
and judgment, and for every grace of his Spirit which 
he knoweth to be needful for us. For whatsoever it 
is wherefor we give thanks unto the Lord, thereby 
we acknowledge that we have received it from the 
Lord, and whatsoever it is wherefor we pray unto the 
Lord, thereby we acknowledge that it is to be received 
from the Lord, as every man knoweth by the nature 
of thanksgiving and of praise. Do we, then, well in 
giving thanks unto God for our calling into the fel- 
lowship of the gospel, and for other good things begun 
in us ? Do we well to pray unto God that he will 
increase our obedience to the gospel, and whatsoever 
good grace he hath begun in us ? Do we well to give 
thanks unto God for the beginning, and to pray unto 
God for the perfecting, of every good work in us ? If 
we do not well herein, then our apostle did not well 
in this place thus to do on the Philippians' behalf, 
and his example hath deceived us. But if we do well 
herein, then is both the beginning and increase and 
perfecting of our obedience to the gospel, and of every 
good work in us, only from the Lord, who is all. in all 



V 



EK. 7] 



LECTURE VI. 



29 



things, ' Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the 
ending,' as in regard of his majesty, so in regard of 
all creatures ; from whom, as all creatures have their 
beginning, continuance, and support, so have all good 
.graces their beginning, increase, and perfection from 
him. 

Howbeit here you must understand that when we 
thus teach, that both the beginning and increase, and 
perfecting of our obedience to the gospel, and of every 
good work in us, is only from God, we do not either 
make the ministration of the gospel to be of none 
effect, or transform ourselves into blocks and stones ; 
for albeit he only begin, increase, and perfect in us 
our obedience to the gospel, and of every good grace 
that is wrought in us, yet doth he not this imme- 
diately by himself, but he doth it by means. He doth 
it, but he useth the ministry of his servants in the 
preaching of the gospel to effect it. He giveth in- 
crease, but by the planting of Paul, and watering of 
Apollos, as it is written, 1 Cor. hi. 6, ' I have 
planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase ;' 
he reconcileth his children unto himself, but by the 
word of reconciliation which he hath committed to us 
his children, as it is written, 2 Cor. v. 18, ' All things 
are of God, which hath reconciled us unto himself by 
Jesus Christ, and hath given unto us the ministry of 
reconciliation ; ' he revealeth his truth unto his chil- 
dren, but by his ministers, unto whom he revealeth his 
truth, that they may preach it unto us, as it is written, 
Gal. i. 6, ' When it pleased God to reveal his Son in 
me, that I should preach him among the Gentiles,' &c. 
And, therefore, as it is said, Eph. ii. 8, that faith is 
the gift of God, so is it also said, Rom. x. 17, that 
faith is by hearing, even hearing of the word preached, 
so that his gift is given - by the ministry of the word 
preached. And as it is said, Rom. vi. 23, that 
' eternal life is the gift of God through Jesus Christ 
our Lord,' so is it also said, Rom. i. 16, that 'the 
gospel is the power of God,' or the powerful instru- 
ment of God, ' unto salvation unto every one that 
believeth,' so that the preaching of the gospel is the 
ordinary instrument of God whereby he giveth salva- 
tion and eternal life to every one that believeth. 
We do not therefore make the ministration of the 
gospel to be of none effect, when we say that God only 
beginneth this, and every good work in us, and also 
increaseth and perfecteth it in us ; but rather we 
magnify the ministration of the gospel, inasmuch as 
we say that he only doth this but by the ministration 
of the gospel, as the ordinary instrument of his Spirit. 

Neither when we thus teach do we transform men 
into blocks and stones, as though they had no power 
or faculty in themselves at all to work, for we know 
that the natural man hath understanding and will, 
whereby he differeth not only from stocks and stones, 
but from brute beasts. But what is his understanding, 
and what is his will, till he be renewed by the Spirit 
of God ? His understanding is full of darkness and 



ignorance, and his will full of wickedness and vanity. 
He understandeth, but not the things of the Spirit of 
God, as it is written, 1 Cor. ii. 14, ' The natural man 
perceiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they 
are foolishness unto him ; neither can he know them, 
because they are spiritually discerned ;' nay, his un- 
derstanding and wisdom is ' enmity against God : for 
it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can 
be,' Rom. viii. 7. Likewise he willeth, but not any- 
thing that is good, as it is written, Gen. vi. 5, ' All 
the imaginations of the thoughts of man's heart are 
only evil continually,' and, Rom. hi. 18, ' there is no 
fear of God before his eyes.' This then is it which 
we say, that man, before he be renewed by the Spirit 
of grace, hath no power or faculty at all ; I say not 
to work or do aught at all, fortius were indeed to 
transform him into a stock or stone, but to do any- 
thing that is good, for ' it is God,' and God only, ' that 
worketh in him both the good will and the good deed, 
even of his good pleasure,' Phil ii. 13. He enlightens 
the eyes of our understanding, and corrects our fro- 
ward wills, and then being renewed by the Spirit, we 
understand the things of the Spirit of God, and we 
will the things that are good, and we run the way of 
God's commandments, but ever with this necessary 
limitation, only by God. He maketh us understand, 
and will, and run as we ought, and we understand, 
and will, and run as we ought. 

Here then, first, learn to beware of such as either 
tell you that man is able of himself to keep the law, 
and to merit everlasting life, a gross and now outworn 
error, I hope ; or that man is able of himself to begin 
that is good, howsoever he be not able to perfect it 
but by the help of the Lord ; or that man, being pre- 
vented by grace, is then able, by the help of grace 
aiding his weak nature, to work out his own salvation, 
for all these errors, as Dagon, must needs fall to the 
ground before this testimony of the Spirit, and doc- 
trine of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost, by the 
mouth of the apostle, saith that it is God which hath 
begun a good work in us, and that he which hath 
begun it will go forward with it, and perform it unto 
the end. What, then, if a man shall tell you that 
it is in man both to begin and perfect that which is 
good ? or that it is in man to begin that is good, 
though not to perfect it ? or that it is in man, by the 
help only of God, to do that is good ? ' Let God bo 
true, and every man a liar, that he may be justified in 
his words, and overcome when he is judged,' Rom. 
iii. 4. Neither beginning, nor ending, nor increase of 
anything that is good, is of ourselves as of ours t ■'. 
but he beginneth, and he which beginneth performeth 
and perfecteth, and none but he, even God only. It 
is the mere and only grace and mercy of God, not 
which aideth our nature being weakened, but which 
changeth it altogether in quality, bringing us out of 
darkness into light, out of the power of Satan unto 
God, and translating us from the death of sin unto the 



30 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. I. 



life of righteousness in Christ Jesus. It is the mere 
and only grace of God, not which rnaketh an end of 
our salvation alone, but wherein our salvation wholly 
doth consist. Let no man, therefore, through vain 
and flattering words, deceive you, as if you yourselves 
were somewhat, when indeed }-ou are nothing ; but 
learn, and know, and ever hold this for a sure 
ground, that God only beginneth, increaseth, and per- 
fecteth our obedience to the gospel, and every good 
work in us. 

2. Let the minister and preacher of the word hence 
learn what he may assume unto himself in the fruits 
of his labours by the work of his ministry. Are his 
people reconciled unto God, brought unto the obe- 
dience of the gospel, begotten in the faith of Christ 
Jesus, grounded and stablished in the truth, in- 
structed in the way of God perfectly ? &c. He is not 
to take tbis honour unto himself, as if he had done 
these things : for this hath God only done, and it is 
his work, as it is written, Isa. liv. 13; John vi. 45, 
' and they shall be all taught of God.' If we be 
taught in the word, he hath taught us by his Spirit ; 
if we believe in Christ, it is his gift by his Spirit ; if 
we be reconciled unto God, he hath reconciled us unto 
himself by Jesus Christ, &c. He, I say, doth all 
things, only not immediately by himself, but by the 
ministry of his servants. And albeit he, because he 
worketh not by his Spirit but by the ministry of his 
servants, sometimes vouchsafe them this honour, that 
they beget men through the gospel, and that they 
save them that hear them, yet is this only his work, 
and only vouchsafed by him unto them, because in 
this work he useth the work of their ministry. Let 
not the minister, then, dare to assume unto himself that 
honour which only belongeth unto the Lord. This is 
his honour, that in the great work of man's salvation 
he useth his ministry, and by him as his instrument 
worketh what he will. Let this, therefore, be his 
glory and rejoicing, that the Lord by his means will 
save his people, and bring them to that inheritance 
which ksteth for ever in the heavens ; and let him so 
speak as his minister out of his word, that so he may 
be indeed a means to turn many to righteousness. 

3. Hence you may learn in what account and regard 
ye arc to have the ministers of Christ Jesus. True, and 
most true it is, as already ye have heard, that God only 
beginneth every good work in us, and likewise confirmeth 
and strengtheneth us, and rnaketh us to abound therein 
more and more. But he doth it, as also ye have heard, 
by their ministry whom he hath separated for the 
gathering together of the saints, and for the edification 
of the body of Christ. Ye arc therefore so to think of 
us, as of the ministers of Christ, and disposers of the 
secrets of God, by whom he hath appointed to open 
your eyes, that ye mav* 'turn from darkness to light, 
and from the power of Satan unto God, that ye may 
receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among 
them which arc sanctified by faith in Christ Jesus,' 



by whom he hath appointed to reveal his will unto 
you, and to fill you with the graces of his Holy Spirit, 
and by whom he hath appointed to bring to pass all 
the good pleasure of his will in you. And if any man 
think not thus of us, it is because he knoweth us not, 
neither him that hath sent us, nor what great works the 
Lord worketh, what great mercies the Lord sheweth 
unto his children by us. But let this for this time 
serve to stir up and to warn your pure minds, that ye 
so think of us as ye ought, and as it becometh them 
that are taught in the word, to have them which 
labour among you, and admonish you, in singular love 
and reverence for their work's sake. 

The third thing which here I note is, that the 
apostle saith, that he was persuaded that he that had 
begun this good work of embracing the gospel in them, 
would perform it until the day of Jesus Christ ; or, 
as he speaketh to the Corinthians, 1 Cor. i. 8, would 
1 confirm them in it unto the end, that they might be 
blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.' 
Whence two doubts may be moved not unworthy the 
answering. The one is, how one man may be per- 
suaded of another man's perseverance or salvation, 
what a kind of persuasion it is which is of another's 
perseverance or salvation. The other is, whether the 
Lord performed this work of the Philippians' continu- 
ance in the fellowship which they had in the gospel, 
until the day of Jesus Christ, as the apostle was per- 
suaded he would. To speak first unto this latter, 
most lamentable it is, but most true it is, that in those 
places where sometimes the name of the Lord was 
called upon, and the gospel of Christ Jesus freely and 
sincerely preached, not only at Philippi, but in many 
other churches which the apostles had planted in 
Macedonia, and elsewhere, there now, through the 
secret but just judgment of God, barbarous Turkisui 
and abominable paganism hath taken possession, and 
holdeth it at his will. But as we understand this 
place of the apostle, so we are to make answer to the 
doubt ; for if we understand the apostle's persuasion 
to be touching the church that then presently was at 
Philippi, that the Lord would continue them in the 
fellowship of the gospel until the day of Jesus Christ, 
i. e. until their death, when they should be translated 
into his kingdom of glory, I take it that it may very 
well 1 e presumed, and safely averred, that the Lord 
performed this work of the Philippians' continuance 
in the fellowship which they had in the gospel until 
the day of Christ Jesus, as the apostle was persuaded 
he would ; for such was their love and liberality 
towards the apostle, and such their constant abiding 
in the truth from the first day until then, that as the 
apostle thereupon was persuaded that the Lord would 
confirm them in that grace wherein they stood unto 
their end, so we thereupon may persuade ourselves 
that the Lord did confirm them therein unto the end. 
But if we understand the apostle's persuasion to be 
touching the church successively at Philippi, that the 



Yer. 7.] 



LECTURE VI. 



3! 



Lord would continue that church in all ages in the 
fellowship of the gospel until the day of Jesus Christ, 
i. e. until his second coming to judgment, then may it 
seem that the apostle failed in his persuasion, because 
of their subjection, now a long time, unto the Turk. 
But even here also, it may be said that, as when the 
apostle wrote, the Philippians shined as lights in the 
midst of a naughty and crooked nation ; so now, also, 
in that hellish thraldom unto the Turk, the Lord hath 
a church there, though not so eminent as sometimes 
it was, yet a church. For, as at the first, the apostles 
were sent as sheep in the midst of wolves, and as it 
may be hoped that Christ hath his church even in the 
midst of Romish Egypt, so may it also be hoped 
that he hath his church in that heathenish tyranny of 
the Turk, and even in the city of Philippi. But I 
now rather approve the former answer, as better 
agreeing with the circumstances of this Scripture, 
whereby it seemeth that the apostle speaketh of them 
that then were at Philippi. 

Now, for answer unto the second doubt, which is, 
how one man may be persuaded of another man's 
perseverance or salvation, we must understand that 
there is a threefold persuasion. One grounded upon 
the testimony of the Spirit unto our spirit, whereby 
we do most certainly persuade ourselves of whatsoever 
grace is sealed unto us by the earnest of the Spirit. 
And this persuasion is most certain ; but this persua- 
sion we cannot have of any other, but only of ourselves, 
forasmuch as this ariseth of the testimony of the Spirit 
unto our spirit. Another persuasion there is, grounded 
upon the constant immutability of God in his doings, 
whereby we certainly persuade ourselves, that what- 
soever good work God hath begun in us, he will con- 
firm it unto the end. And a third persuasion there 
is, grounded upon charity, whereby we persuade our- 
selves of grace, where we see obedience to the gospel, 
constant abiding in the truth, patience in troubles, 
love of the brethren, and the like. Now one man 
cannot be persuaded of another man's perseverance or 
salvation, by the first kind of persuasion, grounded 
upon the testimony of the Spirit, because no man 
knoweth what the Spirit witnesseth unto another's 
spirit, but only to his own. But both by the second 
kind of persuasion, grounded upon the constancy of 
the Lord, and likewise by the third, grounded upon 
charity, one man may be persuaded of another man's 
perseverance or salvation. By the first kind of per- 
suasion, the apostle was persuaded of his own salva- 
tion, when he said, Horn. viii. 88, 'I am persuaded 
that neither death, nor life, nor angels,' &c. ; and so 
every one of us, upon the like ground, may persuade 
ourselves of our own perseverance and salvation. By 
the second and third kinds of persuasion, the apostle 
was persuaded of the Philippians' perseverance and 
salvation, as in this place we see ; and so every one 
of us, upon the like grounds, may lie persuaded one 
of another's perseverance and salvation. The first 



never faileth, because the testimony of God's Spirit, 
whereon it is grounded, is ever true. The second 
likewise never faileth, because God's purposes are 
ever unchangeable, and with him is no variableness, 
neither shadowing by turning. The third hath a won- 
derful great probability, but may fail, because it 
leaneth on the outward fruits of the Spirit in man, 
whose heart none knoweth, but he that searcheth it. 
The first is not here mentioned ; the second is men- 
tioned, ver. ; and the third hath his ground, ver. 7. 
For a full answer, then, unto the second doubt, we say 
that one man may be persuaded of another man's 
perseverance and salvation, both by the second and 
third kinds of persuasion ; and farther, that of v h 
perseverance and salvation we are persuaded by the 
third kind of persuasion, of his perseverance and sal- 
vation also we are to be persuaded by the second kind 
of persuasion, i. e. of whose perseverance and salva- 
tion we may conceive a good persuasion by the fruits 
of the Spirit in them, of them we are certainly to be 
persuaded that God will never leave them, or forsake 
them, but confirm them unto the end. And thus I 
resolve upon the reason which the apostle setteth down 
of his persuasion, grounded on the constant immuta- 
bility of God in his doings ; for what saith the apostle? 
' As it becometh me,' saith he, &c. It becometh me, 
saith the apostle, so to judge of you, even to be per- 
suaded that he that hath begun this work in you, &c. 
And why did it become him so to judge, so to be per- 
suaded ? ' Because,' saith he, ' I have you in remem- 
brance,' because I gladly remember this of you, ' that 
both in my bands,' &c, i. c. that whether I were 
bound for the gospel, or defended the gospel at Nero 
his bar, or confirmed the gospel by my sufferings, you 
all were partakers of my grace, and were in a sort with 
me in my bands, and in my defence, and confirmation 
of the gospel. I know there are great diversities of 
interpretations of this text of Scripture ; but, judging 
this to be most simple, I will not trouble you with any 
other. The reason, then, of that his persuasion of 
them was this, because such was the Philippians' zeal 
for the gospel, and love of him, that howsoever it 
were with him, whether he were bound for the gospel, 
or defended the gospel, or confirmed the gospel, they 
stuck close unto him, and took part with him both in 
his bands, and in his defence, and confirmation of the 
gospel. 

The first thing, then, which here I note is, that the 
apostle saith, that it became him so to judge of the 
Philippians, so to be persuaded of them as he said 
verse 0, because of their zeal l'<>v the gospel and love 
of him. Whence I observe, that it becometh us 
certainly to he persuaded of their perseverance 
salvation, and that they are fcb i children of God, in 
whom we see obedience to tt pel, zeal for the 

truth, love of the brethren, true signs of godlin 
evident fruits of the Spirit. That in charity we are 
every man to hope the best one of another, the apostl • 



32 



AIR AY ON THE PIIILIPPIANS. 



[<Jhap. I. 



plainly sheweth, when he saith, 1 Cor. xiii. 7, that 
' charity believeth all things, charity hopeth all things.' 
Charity believeth all things, therefore in charity we 
are not to suspect the worst, but to believe the best 
one of another. Charity hopeth all things, therefore 
in charity we are not to mistrust the worst, but to hope 
the best one of another. Neither only so, when there 
are such outward tokens of grace and godliness, as 
ought easily to cause us to believe and hope the best 
one of another ; but so also when there are not so 
plain tokens of grace, so manifest fruits of the Spirit. 
Nay, when there are manifest tokens of want of grace, 
fearful tokens of being given up into a reprobate mind, 
yet are we not to despair of such a one, but to leave 
him unto the Lord, unto whom he standeth or falleth. 
Witness the apostle, where he saith, Kom. xiv. 4, 
' Who art thou that condemnest another man's servant? 
he standeth or falleth to his own master.' There 
hope the best we cannot, and j-et condemn him or 
despair of him we may not. Now, as in charity we 
may not despair of an} 7 , but hope well where all is not 
well, and persuade ourselves the best where we see 
the outward tokens of the Spirit, so where we have just 
cause of this persuasion by the true fruits of righteous- 
ness, we are certainly to be persuaded that they are 
the children of God ; which, as it appeareth by this 
place of our apostle, so also by that where he saith 
of the Thessalonians, 1 Thes. i. 4, that he knew that 
they were the elect of God, drawing one argument 
from the effectual preaching of the gospel amongst them, 
ver. 5, and another from their obedience to the gospel, 
ver. 6, so that where we see these and the like tokens 
of grace and godliness, there we are after the apostle's 
example to be certainly persuaded, and to know that 
they are the elect children of God. Degrees I know 
there are in certainty of persuasion and knowledge ; 



for no man can be so certainly persuaded, so certainly 
know another man's salvation, another man's adoption 
into the sons of God as his own, because besides all 
other grounds which he hath or can have touching 
others, he hath the testimony of the Spirit witnessing 
unto his spirit that he is the child of God, and that 
his salvation is sure. Yet may he, and he is certainly 
to be persuaded, where he seeth a good work begun, 
' that he that hath begun,' &c. 

A good lesson for many of us to learn ; for so 
crooked and ill affected are we commonly one towards 
another, as that we will easily persuade ourselves the 
worst one of another, but seldom persuade ourselves 
the best one of another. Though we see many great 
tokens of God's graces in our brethren, if we see any 
infirmity or offence in them, we grate upon that, and 
we could be well persuaded of them but for that, which, 
if it might have stopped the apostle's persuasion of 
the Philippians, he should never have been so well 
persuaded of them as he was ; for among them there 
were murmurings and reasonings, and many things 
done through contention and vain glory ; yet, looking 
upon their obedience to the gospel, their constant 
abiding in the truth, their Christian love of him, he 
persuadeth hiruself the best of them, even ' that he 
that hath begun,' &c. So, beloved, howsoever we see 
slips and infirmities in our brethren, yea, though some- 
times we see them fall flat to the ground, yet if we see 
the manifest tokens of God's graces in them, let us per- 
suade ourselves the best of them, } T ea, let us persuade 
ourselves of them as of ourselves, that they are the chil- 
dren of God, and that their salvation is surely sealed in 
the heavens ; for so it becometh us to judge of them after 
the example of our apostle, because of the fruits of the 
Spirit in them. 



LECTUEE VII. 

Because I have you in remembrance, that both in my bands, and in my defence and confirmation of the gospel, you 
all were partakers of my grace. For God is my record, howl long after you all from the very heart root 
in Jesus Christ. — Philip. I. 7, 8. 



THE second thing which here I note is the testimony 
which the apostle gives unto the Philippians of 
their zeal for the gospel, of their love of him, and of 
their growth in godliness, through the effectual preach- 
ing of the gospel amongst them, in that he saith, that 
' both in his bands, and in his defence and confirma- 
tion of the gospel, they all were partakers of his grace.' 
This was a sure token that they had well profited in 
the school of Christ, in that whether the apostle were 
bound for the gospel, or defended the gospel, or con- 
firmed the gospel, still they stuck close to him, and 
took part with him, and were, though they were absent 
from him, yet in zeal and in an holy affection, in some 
sort in bands with him, and in defence and confirma- 



tion of the gospel with him. Hence, then, I observe 
a notable argument how we may have proof unto our- 
selves, and give also proof unto others, of our zeal for 
the gospel, of our love of the ministers of the gospel, by 
whom we have been taught in the word, of the power of 
the word in our hearts and souls, and of our growth in 
i godliness through the preaching of the word. Is there 
any persecution of the gospel of Jesus Christ by any 
cruel tyrants, Pope, Turk, or Spaniard, or any other ? 
Are your ministers and teachers attached, and brought 
before any bloody inquisition for the gospel's sake of 
Christ Jesus ? Are they brought unto the bar there, 
1 as felons or traitors, to defend that truth which in all 
I simplicity and sincerity they have taught amongst you ? 



Ver. 7, 8.] 



LECTURE VII. 



33 



Are they beaten, and scourged, and cast into prison, 
and bound with bands, and their feet made fast in the 
stocks, for the defence of the gospel ? Are they 
brought to the fire and faggot, to the rope and hatchet, 
to lions and wild beasts, by their blood to confirm the 
gospel of Christ Jesus ? Such times and tyrannies, 
beloved, our forefathers have seen, and it may be that 
some of you have seen them ; but, Lord, let never 
our eyes see such times and tyrannies again, neither 
let our seed see them, nor our seed's seed from hence- 
forth for ever ! But put case it were thus as hath been 
said : do ye think ye should stand close to the truth 
in such time of trouble, and not start aside like a 
broken bow ? Could ve find in vour hearts to undergo, 
with your ministers and teachers, the merciless cruelty 
of any bloody inquisition ; to stand with them at the 
bar in defence of that truth which they have taught 
you ? To be tried with them by mockings and scourg- 
ings, by bonds and imprisonment ; to go to fire and 
faggot with them, and with your blood to seal that 
truth which they have taught you ? Here were zeal 
for the gospel indeed ; here were love of your ministers ; 
here were a proof of the power of the word in you ; 
here were an argument of the effectual preaching of 
the gospel unto you. And such proofs and arguments 
many in the primitive church both had unto them- 
selves and gave unto others, as the apostle witnesseth 
to the Hebrews, where he saith, Heb. xi. 3G-38, that 
' some were racked and would not be delivered, that 
they might receive a better resurrection ; others were 
tried by mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover by 
bands and imprisonment; others were stoned,' &c. 
So powerfully had the word wrought upon them, that 
nothing could daunt them ; but through persecution, 
and anguish, and tribulation, and famine, and naked- 
ness, and peril, and sword, and all they went. 

Yea, but you will say there was no such matter 
with the Philippians, whose example I urge ; they 
gave no such proof of their zeal, or love, or growth in 
godliness through the preaching of the gospel, as now 
we speak of. Well, then, could ye willingly be par- 
takers, with your ministers and teachers, in their bands, 
and in their defence and confirmation of the gospel, 
in such sort as the Philippians were with Paul ? 
Would ye not be ashamed of their chains *? Would 
ye communicate to their affliction, and supply that 
which the3 r lacked '? Would ye be careful that some 
might minister unto them such things as they wanted '? 
Would tbeir bands so affect you as if ye were bound 
with them ? Would ye count their sufferings for 
the defence and confirmation of the gospel, as com- 
mon to you with them ? Would ye in heart and 
soul be joined unto them, both in their bands and in 
their defence and confirmation of the gospel '? This 
also should be a notable proof, both unto yourselves 
and others, of your holy zeal for the truth, of 3-our 
godly increase in all spiritual understanding through 
the word, and of the effectual power of the Spirit in 



you through the ministry of the word. Such a proof 
Onesiphorus had unto himself, and gave unto others, 
as appeareth by that testimony which the apostle 
giveth to him, when he saith, that he often refreshed 
him, and was not ashamed of his chains ; that at 
Rome he sought him very diligently, and found him ; 
and that in many things he ministered unto him at 
Ephesus, 2 Tim. i. 1G-18. Not once, but often, 
he refreshed him ; he shunned him not, nor was 
ashamed of him because of his bands ; but, coming 
to Rome, and understanding that Nero had cast him 
into prison, he sought him very diligently, and would 
not rest till he had found him ; and before, at Ephesus, 
he had in bountiful sort cared for him. Here the 
word had taken root downward, and brought forth 
fruit upward, and powerfully wrought on him ; and 
so the blessing that followed hereupon. The apostle 
prayed for him, saying, ' The Lord grant unto him that 
he may find mercy with the Lord at that day,' ver. 18 ; 
nor for him only, but for his whole house, saying, 
' The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus,' 
ver. ] 6 ; and in that the apostle prayed for him and 
for his house, it was in effect a promise of blessing 
and mercy unto him and to his house. The like tes- 
timony the apostle giveth unto the Thessalonians, 1 
Thes. i. G, where he saith that ' they received the 
word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost.' 
When there was much affliction, when tbere was great 
tribulation and persecution because of the word, yet 
they received the word willingly and joyfully, which 
the apostle bringeth as a plain proof unto them of 
their spiritual conjunction with Christ, and election 
unto life. So that when the word hath wrought thus 
upon us, that in much affliction we can delight in it ; 
that we gladly cherish and refresh them that suffer 
trouble even unto bands for the gospel's sake, that 
we are so affected therewith, as if we also were in 
bands with them, that we count their sufferings for 
the defence and confirmation of the gospel our suffer- 
ings, it is a notable argument that the word hath had 
great power in us, and that we have well profited in 
the school of Christ. 

But if many in these our days should examine 
themselves by this rule, of what power the word is in 
them, and unto what growth in godliness they are 
come, it is to be feared that their trial would not be 
much to their comfori. Our blessed Saviour, ex- 
pounding the parable of the sower, saith, that ' he 
that received seed in the stony ground, is he which 
heareth the word, and incontinently with joy receiveth 
it : yet hath he no root in himself, and endureth but 
a season ; for as soon as tribulation or persecution 
cometh because of the word, by and by he is offended,' 
Mat. xiii. 21. And our apostle complained that, at 
his first answering, no man assisted him, but all for- 
sook him, 2 Tim. iv. 16. Not to speak of those 
which refuse to hearken to instruction, and to present 
themselves in our assemblies, is not much seed now 

C 



34 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. I, 



sown in stony ground ? If tribulation and persecu- 
tion should come because of the word, would ' not 
many of us be offended, and rather turn, as they say, 
than burn ? If our Pauls and preachers should be 
brought to their auswer in the defence of the gospel, 
would they be much assisted, or would they not be 
utterly forsaken ? Yes, beloved, a great many of us 
that now give them reasonable good countenance, 
would be ashamed of their chains ; a great many of 
us that now hear them patiently, would fear or disdain 
to look on them in their trouble. We think ourselves 
now reasonable good favourers of the word, and of 
the ministers thereof, if we be not enemies unto them. 
But if we come unto them and countenance them, 
then we think ourselves very forward indeed, and that 
the word hath much prevailed with us. And it were 
to be wished that the number of such were far greater 
than it is. But if a tempest should arise, so that our 
ship should be covered with waves, would not a great 
man}' of us wish ourselves out of that ship wherein 
we sailed, and in another that sailed in a more calm 
sea ? If our ministers and teachers should be carried 
unto the Guildhall, there to answer in the defence of 
the gospel, would we not, as Christ's disciples did, 
forsake them and flee ; and as Peter did, forswear 
them ? Here would be indeed a trial of the power of 
the word in us. And how we would stand in this trial, 
may in part be conjectured by some present experi- 
ence. For where the word and the ministers thereof 
are favoured, if the painful minister be poor and bare, 
because of his small portion and maintenance, how 
many of us will yield up our impropriations unto him, 
which properly belong unto him ? Or if we have no 
such, how many of us will yield up unto him our 
covenant with him for our tithes ? Or if we have no 
such, how many of us will take care that, by our 
defrauding him of any due, he be not poor or bare ? 
Or, if we be not guilty herein, how many of us will 
join our heads and our purses together to increase his 
maintenance, for his encouragement and bettering of 
his estate ? Likewise, if some popishly or naughtily 
affected bring him unjustly into trouble, how many 
of us will assist him, how many of us will go to the 
High Commission with him, how many of us will do 
our whole endeavour for him, how many of us will 
communicate unto his charges in such trouble ? Do 
we fail in these less things, and would we hold in 
greater things ? Will we not part with some of our 
living to him, and would we hazard our life with him ? 
Will we not now assist him, and communicate to his 
charges in trouble, and would we then cleave close 
unto him, and communicate to his affliction ? I leave 
it unto every man to think of it. For conclusion of 
this note, we see how we may have proof unto our- 
selves, and give proof unto others, of our zeal for the 
gospel, of our love of the ministers of the gospel, of 
the power of the word in us, and of our growth in 
godliness through the preaching of the word. Let 



us therefore willingly and gladly take part, if need be, 
with our ministers and teachers in their bands, and 
in their defence and confirmation of the gospel ; and 
in the mean time, let us give them what countenance 
and encouragement, what help and assistance we can, 
that so the power of the word in us, and our profiting 
thereby, may be testified both unto ourselves and to 
others. 

The third thing which here I note is, that the 
apostle saith that all the Philippians were partakers of 
his grace, both in his bands, &c. They only relieved 
him, and refreshed him, and were careful for him, being 
in bands ; and were, in their souls and affections, 
knit unto him, both in his bands and in his defence 
and confirniation of the gospel ; and for this cause he 
saith, they were 'partakers of his grace in his bands,' 
&c. Whence I observe a good note of such as are 
joined in the communion of saints, and that is this ; 
howsoever they abound in the measure of grace above 
others, yet in the grace they prefer not themselves 
before others. So we see the apostle Peter writeth 
to them that had obtained like precious faith with him, 
saying, ' Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of 
Jesus Christ, to you which have obtained like precious 
faith with us,' &c, 2 Peter i. 1. In the measure of faith, 
no doubt, he excelled all them to whom he wrote, yet in 
the grace itself of faith, ye see he equalled them unto 
himself. So we see the apostle to the Hebrews saith 
unto them, ' Holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly 
calling,' &c, Heb. iii. 1. In measure of gifts by the 
heavenly calling, no doubt he was far before them to 
whom he wrote ; yet touching the grace itself, he 
counteth them partakers with him of the heavenly 
vocation. And so our apostle, in the measure of 
sufferings, excelled not the Philippians only, but all 
others, yet in the grace itself, he saith, that they were 
'partakers of his grace, both in his bands,' &c. And 
this is the blessing of the holy communion of saints, 
that thpy which are joined in this holy fellowship, 
willingly equal themselves unto them that are of 
meaner gifts, and do not stand upon their prerogatives, 
either in blessings or in sufferings, but as they that 
have one God, and one Lord, and one baptism, and 
one hope of their calling, so they esteem of others' 
graces as of their own. 

Which maj 7 serve for a bridle unto such overweening 
spirits, as too hastily and sharply censure them that 
come short of themselves in the measure either of 
other blessings or of sufferings. For, to speak only 
of the latter sort, are not there some that so brag of 
their sufferings, that if others of their brethren come 
somewhat short of them, they condemn them for 
white-livered soldiers and faint-hearted brethren '? And 
tell them that you were affected with their suffer- 
ings as if ye had suffered with them ; that ye were not 
unmindful of them, but communicated unto their 
afflictions ; will they count you partakers of their grace 
in their bands, or rather would they not tell you that 



Ver. 7, 8.] 



LECTURE VII. 



35 



this is but cold charity in regard of that zealous cour- 
age which should be in you, and that this is nothing 
in comparison of their sufferings ? So vain a thing is 
man, as to esteem best of other his own graces, so 
most of his own sufferings, and so to stand upon his 
own measure of grace, that he makes little reckoning 
of the same grace in meaner measure in others of his 
brethren. But we see the practice, both of our 
apostle and of others of the apostles, which may serve 
for our instruction in this point. Let us therefore, 
after their example, howsoever we abound in the 
measure of any grace, make reckoning of them in 
whom that grace is, as partakers of the same grace 
with us ; for it is the same Spirit that giveth the same 
grace both unto us and others ; and the same Spirit distri- 
buted to every man severalty the measure of grace as 
he will. Let us not, therefore, for our measure of 
grace, whatsoever it be, — be it in wisdom, learning, 
patience, suffering, or any other, — exalt ourselves 
above our brethren, but let us make much of the grace 
of the Spirit in them, and let us rejoice over them as 
having obtained the like precious grace with us. 

The last thing which here I note is, that the apostle 
calleth his bands for the defence and confirmation of 
the gospel a grace, for so we understand that they 
were partakers of his grace, in that they were partakers 
of his bands for the defence and confirmation, &c. 
Whence I observe, that to suffer bands, imprisonment, 
persecution, and the like, for the gospel's sake, is a 
special grace and gift of God. So the apostle again, 
in the latter end of this chapter, affirmeth, saying, 
Philip, i. 29, ' Unto you it is given for Christ, that not 
only ye should believe in him, but also suffer for his 
sake.' Whence it is plain^ that, as faith in Christ 
Jesus, so to suffer for his sake, is a special gift of God. 
And hereupon the apostles rejoiced when they were 
beaten, that they were ' counted worthy to suffer re- 
buke for Christ his name,' Acts v. 41. And our 
apostle rejoiceth as much in his sufferings as in any- 
thing, 2 Cor. xi. And wiry, but because they counted 
their sufferings as special gifts and graces upon them ? 

Where yet, first, we must note, that simply to suffer 
bands and imprisonment, persecution and trouble, is 
no grace or gift of God ; but to suffer these things for 
Christ his sake, for the gospel's sake, for righteous- 
ness sake. And therefore Peter saith, 1 Peter iv. 15, 
' Let no man suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as 
an evil-doer, or as a busy-body in other men's matters ; 
but if any man suffer as a Christian,' i.e. for Christ 
his sake and the gospel's, ' let him not be ashamed, 
but let him glorify God on this behalf,' ver. 1G. 
Secondly, that to suffer bands and persecution for 
Christ his sake and the gospel's, is no grace or gift of 
God in itself and in the nature of the thing, but only 
by way of consequent ; for if to suffer bands or 
affliction for the gospel's sake were in itself, and in the 
nature of the thing, a grace and gift of God, then were 
we to pray for affliction and trouble for the gospel's 



sake, as we do for other graces of the Spirit. But now 
no man doth pray to be tried and troubled, to be per- 
secuted and imprisoned, for the gospel's sake, neither 
is any man so to pray, because this were indeed to 
tempt God. But our prayer is for strength, and 
patience, and help in trouble, whensoever it shall 
please the Lord, by troubles for the gospel's sake, to 
try us, as the prayers of the godly at all times do shew. 
To suffer bands, then, and trouble for the gospel's 
sake, is no grace of God in itself, but only in event and 
by consequent. For what is the event, fruit, and 
consequent of suffering for the gospel's sake ? First, 
in respect of ourselves, it bringeth forth the fruits of 
patience, experience, and hope, as it is written, ' We 
rejoice in tribulation, knowing that tribulation bringeth 
forth patience, and patience experience, and experi- 
ence hope, and hope maketh not ashamed,' Bom. v. 3. 
It is the means to make us like unto the Son of God, 
as it is written, Bom. viii. 29, ' Whom God knew be- 
fore, he predestinate to be made like to the image of 
his Son ; ' where, by the order of our election, he 
sheweth that afflictions in general are the means to 
make us like unto the Son of God. And it causeth 
unto us eternal glory in the heavens, as it is written, 
Matt. v. 10-12, ' Blessed are they which suffer per- 
secution for righteousness' sake, and theirs is the 
kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when men revile 
and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against 
you, for my sake, falsely ; rejoice and be glad, for 
great is your reward in heaven.' Again, in respect of 
God, by suffering trouble, bands, and death for the 
gospel's sake, God is glorified; as it is written, John 
xxi. 19, ' This spake Jesus unto Peter, signifying by 
what death he should glorify God.' And thereby also 
the power of Christ dwelleth in us, as it is written, 
2 Cor. xii. 15, ' Very gladly will I rejoice in mine in- 
firmities, that the power of Christ may dwell in me ; ' 
because the power of Christ is most seen in helping 
our infirmities, in loosing our bands, and delivering us 
out of troubles. And again, in respect of the church, 
by the sufferings of the saints for the gospel, many 
children are strengthened and many begotten unto the 
church, as it is written in this chapter afterward, Philip, 
i. 14, ' Many of the brethren in the Lord are boldened 
through my bands, and dare more frankly speak the 
word.' To which purpose, also it is said, that the 
blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church. Be- 
cause, then, of the grace which followeth our bands 
and troubles for the gospel's sake, both in respect of 
God and of his church, and of ourselves, therefore it 
is that they are called a grace and gift of God. So that 
to suffer bands and troubles for Christ his sake and 
the gospel's, is a grace and gift of God, not in the 
nature of the thing, but because of the grace given us 
constantly and patiently to endure those troubles, and 
because of the grace which issueth thence for the 
good of ourselves, for the glory of God, and for the 
benefit of his church. 



36 



AIPAY ON THE PHILIPPTANS. 



[Chap. I. 



Yea, but if to suffer bauds, aud affliction, and 
trouble for Christ his sake and the gospel's, were a 
grace and gift of God any way, why should the chil- 
dren of God be often so much perplexed thereat as 
they are ? Why should they not always be more 
welcome unto them than they are ? For answer 
whereunto, we must understand that, in the children 
of God, there is the flesh and the spirit, an outward 
man and an inward man. Are then the children of 
God often perplexed at their hands and sufferings, for 
Christ his sake and the gospel's ? It may be in their 
flesh and outward man, but in their spirit and inward 
man they are always welcome unto them ; as our 
apostle saith, 2 Cor. iv. 1G, ' Though our outward 
man perish,' and even sink under the burden of our 
afflictions, ' yet the inward man is renewed daily,' 
and made stronger and stronger through afflictions, 
And so we must understand all the places of Scripture 
where the saints seem to faint under their afflictions. 
David, in his Psalms, often complaineth of his troubles, 
no doubt because they were heavy unto his outward 
man ; but unto his inward man they were so welcome, 
that he saith, Ps. cxix. 71, 'It is good for me that I 
have been afflicted, that I may learn thy statutes ;' 
and again, ver. 67, ' Before I was afflicted I went 
astray ; but now I keep thy word.' So our apostle 
saith, 2 Cor. i. 8, that he was ' pressed out of measure, 
passing strength through affliction,' so that his out- 
ward man, no doubt, was not able to sustain them ; yet 
in his inward man he rejoiced in them, and boasted of 
them, and fainted not under them. So our blessed 
S.iviour himself saith, Mat. xxvi. 38, ' My soul is very 
heavy, even unto the death ; ' so that by his own will 
he would have had that cup to pass from him ; but 
knowing his Father's will, immediately he addeth, 
'Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou w r ilt.' So 
that howsoever by our own wills we would avoid bands 
and troubles for the gospel's sake, as heavy and 
grievous unto our outward man ; yet as our wills are 
sanctified by God's Spirit, and conformed unto God's 
will, so they are welcome unto us, and acknowledged 
by us to be a grace of God, given unto his children 
for then* good and his glory. 

Here then is a notable comfort for all such of God's 
children as suffer bands and affliction for Christ his 
sake and the gospel's. For what are their bands '? 
They are the grace of God ; and in suffering bands 
for the defence and confirmation of the gospel, they 
are partakers w T ith the saints of their grace. And as 
here they are called ' the grace of God ; ' so elsewhere 
they are called ' the marks of the Lord Jesus,' Gal. 
vi. 17. Now, may it not be a great comfort unto us, 
to bear in our bodies the marks of the Lord Jesus ? 
Yet, generally, we avoid bands and afflictions ; nay, 
we murmur at them, nay, we mock at them, and hold 
them for simple men that will not rather turn than 



burn ; that will not rather renounce the truth, than 
endure such suffering for the truth. But tell me, 
should not he be judged foolish and ignorant that 
should avoid the gift of any grace ? Should he not 
be thought ridiculous that should murmur or scorn to 
be marked with the marks of the Lord Jesus ? And 
how then shall we think of him that refuseth or 
murmureth at bands and afflictions for Christ his sake, 
or that maketh a mock at them which do suffer 
afflictions for Christ his sake, which are the grace of 
God and the marks of the Lord Jesus ? Beloved, 
we know not what bands and afflictions bide us for the 
gospel's sake. Surely for our sins we have deserved 
to be delivered up into the will of our enemies, that 
they that hate us even with a perfect hatred should rule 
over us. And if it shall please the Lord herein to deal 
with us according to our deservings, yet let this be 
our comfort, that in our bands for the defence and 
confirmation of the gospel, we are partakers with 
many of the saints of their grace, and that the life of 
Jesus is made manifest as by most plain tokens in 
our bodies, when we ' bear about in our bodies the 
dying of the Lord Jesus,' 2 Cor. iv. 10. And in the 
mean time, let us give all diligence that the word of 
Christ may dwell in us plenteously, that the effectual 
power thereof may be manifested in us through our 
patient and constant suffering for Christ his sake and 
the gospel's, if the will of the Lord be such. 

Now followeth the apostle's earnest protestation of 
his love towards the Philippians, which was the third 
thing w T hich I noted in this second branch of the 
apostle's exordium, in these words, ' For God is my 
record,' &c, that so they might the rather both assure 
themselves that such was his persuasion of them, as 
hath been said, and likewise the more willingly 
hearken unto the things that he wrote unto them. 
In the words I note a vehement protestation, and the 
things whereof he maketh such protestation. His 
protestation is a calling of God to witness that he lieth 
not in this that he now speaketh, in these words, ' For 
God is my record.' The thing whereof he maketh 
such protestation is, of his hearty love of them, saying, 
'God is my record, how I long after you all,' i.e. 
with what a longing desire to see you, I love you all 
from the very heart root, iv 6K'hayyjois, for so the word 
here used is very significantly translated, not after the 
flesh, but in Jesus Christ, of whom ye are loved, and 
from w y hom this my love proceedeth. Where, first, I 
note the apostle's vehement protestation, not of a vain 
and idle toy, but of his love towards the Philippians ; 
not for any light or foolish matter, but for their great 
good, that the} 7 might hearken to the word of their 
salvation more gladly. Whence I observe, that a 
protestation, or an oath to witness a truth, when the 
glory of God or the good of our neighbour doth re- 
quire it, may lawfully be made. 



Ver. 8, 9.] 



LECTURE VIII. 



37 



LECTUEE VIII. 

For God is my record, how I long after you all from the very heart-root in Jesus Christ. And this I pray, thai 
your lore may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all Judy meat. — Philip. I. 8, 9. 



NOW then, the first thing which here I note is, the 
apostle's vehement protestation, not concerning 
any trivial and ordinary matter, but touching his 
sincere and fervent love of the Philippians, nor to 
small or no purpose, but to win their attention unto 
the word of their salvation more gladly. For he pro- 
testeth and sweareth an oath, being nothing else but 
a calling of God to witness of that we speak, for their 
assurance to whom we swear, which whole definition 
is in this protestation ; he protesteth, sayeth, and 
sweareth unto the Philippians, that he longeth after 
them all, and greatly loveth them all from the very 
heart-root in Jesus Christ, that so, being persuaded of 
his love, they might give the better heed unto the things 
he wrote. Whence I observe, that a protestation or 
an oath by God, when the glory of God or the good 
of our neighbour doth require it, may very lawfully 
be made. And this is proved, first, from the nature 
and definition of an oath. For what is an oath '? It 
is, as even now we heard, an holy and religious calling 
of God to witness of the truth of that we speak, for 
their assurance unto whom we speak, as here the 
apostle, for the Philippians' assurance of his sincere 
love of them, calleth God to witness how he longeth 
after them all, how greatly he loveth them all from 
the very heart- root in Jesus Christ. And what herein 
is unbeseeming a Christian, or which may not law- 
fully be done ? Secondly, it is proved from the 
express commandment of God, for thus hath God 
commanded, saying, ' Thou shalt fear the Lord thy 
God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name,' 
Dcut. vi. 13. In which words, as to fear the Lord 
God, and to serve him, so to swear by his name is 
commanded. Thirdly, it is proved from the end of 
an oath, for the end of an oath is to decide debates, 
and to make an end of strifes; as the apostle sheweth, 
saying, Heb. vi. 1G, that ' an oath for confirmation is, 
among men, an end of all strife.' And as Moses in a 
plain case sheweth, saying, Exod. xxii. 10, 11, ' If a 
man deliver to his neighbour to keep ass, or ox, or 
sheep, or any beast ; and it die, or be hurt, or taken 
away by enemies, and no man see it : an oath of the 
Lord shall be between them twain, that he hath not 
put his hand unto his neighbour's good ; and the 
owner thereof shall take the oath, and he shall not 
make it good.' And this being the end of an oath, 
why may it not lawfully be made ? Fourthly, it is 
proved from the practice of holy men of God ; for 
Abraham, as we read, swore unto Abimelech by God, 
Gen. xxi. 23, that he would not hurt him, nor his 
children, nor his children's children. And Isaac and 
Abimelech afterwards sware one to another to the like 



purpose, chap. xxvi. 31. And so Jacob and Laban 
sware one to another to the like purpose, chap. xxxi. 
53. Likewise, our apostle oftentimes in his epistles 
protesteth and calleth God to witness of that he 
saith, Rom. i. 9, 2 Cor. i. 23, and xii. 19. And God 
himself, because he had no greater to swear by, sware 
by himself, as it is said in the prophet, Isa. xlv. 23, 
and as the apostle witnesseth, Heb. vi. 13. Lastly, 
it is proved from a necessary consequent ; for if an 
oath be a part of God's worship, will it not then 
necessarily follow, that an oath may lawfully be 
made ? Now that an oath is a part of God's worship, 
appeareth by many place of holy Scripture ; as, where 
it is said in the prophet, Isa. xix. 18, ' In that day 
shall five cities in the land of Egypt speak the lan- 
guage of Canaan, and shall swear by the Lord of hosts,' 
that is, shall renounce their superstitions, and serve 
God as he hath appointed. And again, where it is 
said, Jer. iv. 2, ' Thou shalt swear, the Lord liveth, 
in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness.' And 
therefore the Lord, by that prophet, in the next 
chapter, v. 7, complaineth of Judah and Jerusalem 
that they had forsaken him. And how did that 
appear ? Because they swore by them that were no 
gods. ' Thy children,' saith he, ' have forsaken me, 
and sworn by them that are no gods.' So that to 
swear by them that are no gods, is to forsake God. 
And why ? Because it is to give his worship to another, 
even to them that are no gods. Which whoso doth, 
he forsaketh God. 

Oh, but will the godly soul say, This needed not, in 
such a swearing age, to prove the lawfulness of swear- 
ing ; and will the cursed swearer say, This is well in- 
deed, that I have so good allowance for my swearing 
from the preacher. Hearken, therefore, yet a while, 
and know how we may protest and swear lawfully. 
First, therefore, if we will swear lawfully, we must 
swear by the name of God. For both the command- 
ment and practice are so, as already we have heard, 
and the reason thereof is very plain ; for who can wit- 
ness that he that sweareth lieth not, but God only, 
that beholdeth the heart and knoweth what is in man ? 
Or who is omnipotent, and able to maintain and defend 
him that speaketh truth, or to punish and take \ en- 
geance on him that sweareth a lie, but God only, 
which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell ? 
Secondly, if we will swear lawfully we must swear in 
truth, in judgment, and in righteousness, Jer. iv. 2. 
In truth, for the confirmation of the truth, because 
we may not call God to witness a lie, lest he give us 
our portion with bars and swearers in the lake that 
ever burnetii. In judgment, upon causes weighty, 



38 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. I. 



certain, and necessary, when the glory of God or the 
good of our neighbour require it, because we may not 
call God lightly or rashly to witness upon trial or un- 
certainty,* or unnecessaiy causes, lest our judgment 
be as theirs that take his name in vain. In rir/hteoits- 
ness, for the confirmation of things godby, just, and 
lawful, because we may not call God to witness things 
ungodly, unjust, or unlawful, lest we be not holden 
guiltless for taking his name in vain ; for thus much 
those three points imply. Thirdly, if we will swear 
lawfully, it must be when we have no other way of 
proof of our words, or confirmation of our promise ; 
for if otherwise the thing for which we are to swear 
can be debated, decided, and ended, then by an oath 
we are not to swear, as by the end of an oath it doth 
appear, which is to ' end a strife,' so that where the 
strife may otherwise be ended, there an oath is not to 
be used. Swear, then, we may lawfully, but not other- 
wise than by the name of God, and that in truth, and 
in judgment, and in righteousness, and that when 
things cannot otherwise be cleared and ended than by 
an oath. 

Which serveth first for the confutation of that error 
of the Anabaptists, who deny it to be lawful for a 
Christian to swear at all, the plain contrary whereof 
we have heard evidently proved out of the Scriptures. 
The places of Scripture whereon they ground their 
error are two, the one the saying of our blessed Sa- 
viour to Matthew, Mat. v. 34-37, the other the words 
of James in his epistle, James v. 12. The saying of 
our Saviour in Matthew is, ' Swear not at all, neither 
by heaven, for it is the throne of God,' &c. The 
words of James are, ' before all things swear not, 
neither by heaven nor by earth, nor by any other 
oath,' &c. ; from both which places they conclude 
that a Christian may not swear at all. For answer 
whereunto, we must understand, 1, that not all kinds 
of oaths are forbidden in these places ; 2, what kind 
of oaths are there condemned. For the first, that not 
all kinds of oaths are forbidden in Matthew, appeareth 
by the very scope and drift of our Saviour in that 
place. For what was his scope and drift there? It 
appeareth by his exposition there of sundry laws, that 
his meaning was not to destroy the law, for so he 
saith, ver. 17, ' I come not to destroy the law and the 
prophets ; ' but his meaning was to purge the law 
from the corrupt glosses of the Pharisees, and to open 
the true meaning of it, as he doth, first, in the law 
touching murder, and then in the law touching adul- 
tery, and next in the law touching swearing. The 
law, then, not having simply forbidden swearing, nei- 
ther cloth our Saviour simply condemn swearing. 
Again, if all kinds of oaths be simply here forbidden, 
and only yea and nay commanded, what shall we say 
for our apostle, that contenteth not himself only with 
yea and nay ? What shall we say for our Saviour 
himself, that, not therewith content, saith,  Verily, 
* Qu. ' trivial or uncertain'? — Ed. 



verily, I say unto you ' ? And again, oaths being a 
part of God's worship, as before we heard, if all kinds 
of oaths be here forbidden a Christian, then is a part 
of God's worship forbidden and condemned. Seeing, 
then, thus it may appear that not all kinds of oaths 
are here forbidden, let us now see what kinds of oaths 
are here forbidden and condemned ; and this will 
appear by a short view of the corrupt glosses which 
the Pharisees added to the law touching swearing. 
The law was, ' Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but 
shalt perform thine oaths to the Lord.' Their gloss 
was, that if any swear by the name of God, or by the 
things that were immediately belonging to the service 
of God, as by the gold of the temple, or the offering 
on the altar, vainly or perfidiously, not performing 
his oath, he offendeth ; but if he swear by any other 
creature, as by heaven, or earth, or Jerusalem, or his 
head, or the temple, or the altar, or any that is not 
God, he offendeth not, nor is bound to perform his 
oath. Our Saviour his exposition of the law against 
their gloss is, that not only to swear in our common 
talk by the name of God, but also to swear by any 
other creature, is an offence against the law. So 
that here are not forbidden oaths made in truth, in 
judgment, and in righteousness, but all oaths in com- 
mon talk, either by God or by any creature whatso- 
ever, or by anything that is not God. Yea, but it is 
said, ' Swear not at all.' True, in common talk 
swear not at all, not by the name of God, for that the 
law forbids, nor by any creature, although the Phari- 
sees allow you, but ' let your communication be, Yea, 
yea ; Nay, nay.' Nay, I add, in great and weighty 
matters swear not at all, if any way you can avoid it, 
and when your yea and nay may be trusted ; for what- 
soever is more than yea and nay always ' cometh of 
evil,' even of the devil in thee, if thou swear of a 
wicked custom ; and of evil in him to whom thou 
sw r earest, if, having no cause to distrust thy yea and 
nay, he do not trust thee, but cause thee to swear. 
The like answer is to be made to that of James, who 
useth the very words of our Saviour. Yea, but James 
addeth, ' Swear not by heaven, nor earth, nor by any 
other oath.' True, not vainly or perfidiously. So 
that no oath by God or any creature, in common 
talk, is lawful for any Christian ; nor in weighty and 
necessary matters, if we can avoid it ; but if w T e cannot 
avoid it, an oath by the name of God in truth, in 
judgment, and in righteousness is lawful, the Ana- 
baptists' grounds, as ye see, proving nothing to the 
contrary. 

The second use of our observation is, to restrain 
the wicked oaths of the profane swearers of our time. 
For, first, are we, when we swear, only to swear by 
the name of God, and not at all by any creature, or 
anything that is not God ? How, then, darest thou, 
whosoever thou art, swear by the mass, by thy faith, 
by thy troth, by our lady, by St George, or the like ? 
Are these thy gods, whom thou hast made to serve 



Ver. 8, 9.] 



LFXTURE VII L 



39 



them ? or darest tliou give the worship due unto 
God unto any but unto him ? Did the Lord threaten 
ruin upon Israel, because they swore by their idols in 
Dun and Beersheba, saying, Amos viii. 14, ' They that 
swear by the sin of Samaria, and say, Thy God, 
Dan, liveth, and the manner of Beersheba liveth, even 
they shall fall, and never rise up again' '? And darest 
thou swear by that idol of the mass, which was the 
sin of England, and is the sin of Rome ? Did the 
Lord tell Judah that her children had forsaken the 
Lord, because they swore by them that were no gocls, 
saying, Jer. v. 7, ' Thy children have forsaken me, 
and have sworn by them that are no gods ' ? And 
darest thou swear by our lady, by St George, by St 
John, or St Thomas, or the like, which are no gods ? 
Doest thou not see that, thus swearing, thou forsakest 
God, and bringest ruin upon thyself ? Did our blessed 
Saviour tell the scribes and Pharisees, saying, Mat. 
xxiii. 20-22, ' Whosoever sweareth by the altar, 
sweareth by it and by all things thereon ; and who- 
soever sweareth by the temple, sweareth by it and him 
that dwelleth therein ; and whosoever sweareth by 
heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him 
that sitteth thereon' '? And doest thou think that, when 
thou swearest by thy faith, thou swearest not by him 
in whom thou believest ? or when thou swearest by 
thy troth, that thou swearest not by him in whom 
thou trustest ? &c. In one word, thou that commonly 
swearest by anything that is not God, tell me what 
thinkest thou, doest thou therein swear by God, or 
no ? If so, then thou takest his name in vain, and 
he will not hold thee guiltless. If no, then thou for- 
sakest God, in that thou swearest by that which is no 
god. And look, then, what comes upon thy swearing 
by any creature or any thing that is not God. 

Again, are we, when we swear, not to swear by any 
•creature or any thing that is not God, but only by 
the name of God, and not thereby, but only in truth, 
in judgment, and in righteousness, and when things 
otherwise cannot be cleared and ended ? How, then, 
darest thou, wretched man, in thine ordinary talk, 
upon every fond and light occasion, no necessity of 
God's glory or thy neighbour's good urging, swear b} r 
the holy name of God and of Jesus Christ ? How 
doth not thy flesh and thy spirit tremble within thee ? 
How doth it not pierce thy very heart and soul to 
swear by the life, by the body, by the sides, by the 
wounds, by the blood of Christ Jesus ? Doest thou, 
cursed wretch, hope to live by his life that swearest 
by his life ? hope to be benefited by his body, that 
swearest by his body ? hope to be healed by his 
wounds, that swearest by his wounds ? hope to be 
washed from thy sins by his blood, that swearest by 
Ms blood ? Nay, thou that dost these things, dost 
crucify again unto thyself the son of God. Thou art 
one of them that spittest upon him, and buffetest him, 
that nailest him unto the cross, that thrustest thy 
spear into his side, that art accessory to the death of 



that just one, and his blood shall surely be upon thee, 
unless he grant thee grace unto repentance. A piti- 
ful case that a man can almost come into no place, 
into no company, but he shall hear such ordinary 
swearing by the name of God, that every third word 
almost shall be such an oath. A pitiful case that a 
man cannot pass the streets, but he shall hear little 
ones, that have little more than learned to speak, yet 
swear wickedly by the name of God. And yet so it 
is, as if our young ones had never learned to speak 
till they had learned to swear, and as if the elder sort 
had never spoken well till they had sworn lustily. A 
great many think themselves nobody unless they can 
swear it with the best, and that it is their credit to 
swear stoutly. But wretched credit with men that is 
got with the loss of God's favour, and better nobody 
than such a swearing body. Hear the word of the 
Lord by his prophet Zechariah, chap. v. 3, 4, ' This,' 
saith he, ' is the curse that goeth forth over the whole 
earth ; for every one that stealeth shall be cut off, as 
well on this side as on that, and every one that swear- 
eth,' &c. Enough, a man would think, to make the 
swearer's countenance change, and his knees to smite 
one against another. 

Let this be enough, beloved, to warn 3'ou of this 
soul-sin of swearing, and to restrain you from it. 
Swear not at all in your common talk, either by God, 
for then he will not hold you guiltless ; or by anything 
that is not God, for then ye forsake God ; but ' let 
3 r our communication be, Yea, 3-ea, and Nay, nay.' Let 
not your children, or your servants, or your scholars 
swear by anything that is not God, lest, instead of 
performing their promise in their baptism to forsake 
the devil, they forsake God. Neither let them swear 
by the name of God, lest by using it without reverence 
and fear, they provoke him to plague them. You 
must all of you know and remember that his name is 
glorious and fearful, that he is a jealous God and a con- 
suming fire, and therefore ye may not think or speak of 
him but with reverence and humbleness, with fear and 
trembling. To conclude this point, 'He that useth 
much swearing,' saith the son of Sirach, Ecclus. xxiii. 
11, 'shall be filled with wickedness, and the plague 
shall never go from his house ; and if he swear in 
vain, he shall not be innocent, but his house shall be 
full of plagues. Accustom not therefore thy mouth to 
swearing, nor take up for a custom the naming of the 
holy One ; for as a servant which is often punished 
cannot be without some scar, so he that sweareth and 
nameth God continually, shall not be unpunished for 
such things.' Have your faith and your troth with 
God, but let 3-0111- communication be. Yea, yea, and Nay, 
nay, ' for whatsoever is more than this cometh of evil.' 
Pardon my dwelling on this point, being so needful to 
be spoken of, and having occasion but seldom to speak 
of it. 

The second thing which here I note is, the thing 
whereof the apostle maketh such vehement protesta? 



40 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. I. 



tion, which is, his sincere love of the Philippians. He 
protesteth, and taketh God to witness, that he longeth 
after them all, or greatly loveth thern all from the 
very heart root in Jesus Christ. AVhence I observe 
how the pastor ought to be affected towards his people, 
and generally one Christian towards another, and that 
is thus ; the pastor ought to love his people, and one 
Christian ought to love another, even with sincere 
love. ' Owe nothing,' saith the apostle, Rom. xiii. 8, 
'to any man, but to love one another,' which rule is 
general for all Christians, and containing in it two 
good instructions : the one, to fly debt, that we should 
not owe anything one to another ; the other, to follow 
after love, that we should love one another. And, 
writing unto Timothy more particularly, he noteth the 
pastor's love of his people, where he saith, 1 Tim. iv. 
12, ' Be an ensample unto them that believe, in word, 
in conversation, in love ;' in love, I say, that as they 
see your love to be towards them, so their love may 
be one towards another, even as the apostle prayeth 
for the Thessalonians, 1 Thes. iii. 12, saying, ' The 
Lord increase you, and make you to abound in love 
one towards another, and towards all men, even as we 
do towards you,' wherein his love towards them is 
signified, the love which should be in the pastor 
towards his flock, that as his is towards them, so theirs 
might be one towards another. 

But since there are so many slights in love, how 
can Christians shew that they love one another, and 
pastors that they love their people, even with sincere 
love ? that is, our love must be a great love, so great 
that if we be absent from them whom we love, we long 
after them with a longing desire to see them ; that, if 
we be their pastors, we may bestow some spiritual 
comfort among them, and otherwise, that we may per- 
form some duties of love unto them. Such was our 
apostle's love to the Romans, as he witnesseth, Rom. 
i. 11, where he saith, that he ' longed to see them, 
that he might bestow upon them some spiritual gift to 
strengthen them.' Such, also, was Epaphroditus' love 
towards these Philippians, as our apostle witnesseth 
in the next chapter, ver. 26 ; and such' was his own 
towards them, as this place sheweth. And such, after 
their example, must be the love of all pastors towards 
their people, and of all Christians one towards another, 
if their love be sincere. Yea, but such and so great 
may be their love one towards another, as that they 
greatly long and desire to see one another, and yet 
their love be not hearty, but full of dissimulation. 
True ; and therefore a second quality is requisite in 
sincere love, namely, that it be 'without dissimulation,' 
even ' from the very heart-root.' Such love our 
apostle requireth in all Christians one towards another, 
saying, Rom. xii. 9, ' Let love be without dissimula- 
tion ;' and so the apostle Peter, saying, 1 Peter i. 22, 
- Love one another with a pure heart fervently.' Such 
was our apostle's love towards the Philippians, loving 
and longing after them ' from the very heart-root ;' 



and such must be the love of all pastors towards their 
people, and of all Christians one towards another, if 
their love be sincere. Yea, but yet such and so great 
may be their love one towards another, as that they 
long one after another, even from the very heart-root, 
and yet their love be not sincere, but after the flesh, 
as the manner of many carnal men and worldlings is 
to love ; as we see that Shechem's heart clave unto 
Dinah, Gen. xxxiii. 3. True ; and therefore yet a third 
quality is requisite in sincere love, namely, that it be ' in 
the Lord,' even in Christ Jesus, a spiritual, holy, and 
sanctified love in Christ, and for him. Such was our 
apostle's love towards the Thessalonians, as himself 
witnesseth, saying, 1 Thes. ii. 7, 8, ' We were gentle 
among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children. 
Thus being affectioned towards you, our goodwill was 
to have dealt unto you, not the gospel of God only, 
but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.' 
And a little after he saith, ver 11, ' We exhorted you, 
and comforted and besought every one of you, as a 
father his children.' And such, he taketh God to 
witness, his love was towards the Philippians. And 
still the precepts run, to love one another in the Lord ; 
and such must be the love of pastors towards their 
people, and of Christians one towards another, if their 
love be sincere ; they must long after them in then- 
absence from them, and that from, the very heart-root, 
and that in Jesus Christ. 

If pastors should examine their love towards their 
people, and Christians then* love one towards another, 
by this rule, how much sincere love, think ye, would 
there be found, either in Christians generally, or in 
pastors particularly ? For such is men's love gene- 
rally, that they do not greatly long after one another 
to see them, if they be absent from them, at least not 
from the very heart-root, or surely not in Christ Jesus. 
Nay, be we absent from them, or they from us, we 
care not whether we see them again or no, but to long 
after them, or to love them from the very heart-root, 
that we think needs not ; or if we do, it is in some 
carnal or worldly respect, not for Christ Jesus his sake, 
or in Christ Jesus. Nay, commonly we can satisfy 
ourselves well enough with our love of one another, 
as Christian enough, sincere enough, and holy enough, 
though in our love there be never a one of these quali- 
ties, though neither we long after them from the very 
heart-root in Christ Jesus, nor long after them from 
the very heart-root, nor long after them at all. And 
as it is with men generally, so is it with the pastors 
particularly. Too many that can be long absent from 
their flocks, and yet not long after them to see them, 
to bestow some spiritual gift upon them ; too many 
that love not their flocks from the very heart-roots ; 
too many that love their flocks only for their fleece, 
but not in Christ Jesus ; but very few, like unto Aaron, 
bear the names of their people before the Lord upon 
their two shoulders for a remembrance, Exod. xxviii. 
12 ; very few that bear, as Aaron, the names of their 



Ver. 9.] 



LECTURE IX. 



41 



people in a breastplate upon their heart, ver. 29, that 
is, very few that have their people in their hearts, to 
deal unto them not the gospel onlv, but also their own 
souls, because they are clear unto them ; whereas it 
should be so with all pastors. Well, ye see what love 



should be, both in a pastor towards his people, and 
generally in all Christians one towards another. 
Think on these things, and blessed shall ye be if ye 
think on them, and do them. 



LECTUKE IX. 

And this I pray , that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment, that ye may 

discern things that differ, Sc. — Philip. I. 9. 



NOW, after the signification of the apostle's thanks- 
giving unto God on the Philippians' behalf, for 
their fellowship in the gospel, and of his persuasion 
of then- perseverance therein unto the end, followeth, 
for a full complement of testifying his love unto them, 
and winning their attention unto him, a signification 
of his praying unto God for them in these words, 
'And this,' &c. Before, he had said, ver. 4, that 
always in all his prayers he had them in remembrance; 
and now he sheweth what his prayer for them was, 
and that was, ' That their love might abound,' &c. 
Which prayer, as it doth abundantly testify his love 
towards the Philippians, so doth it also imply a com- 
mendation of them, and an exhortation unto them ; 
for, in praying that their love may abound yet more 
and more in knowledge and in all judgment, he giveth 
them testimony of their love, and of their knowledge 
and judgment, and that they did abound in these 
things, and his prayer is, that they may abound yet 
more and more in these things. And again, in thus 
praying for them, he lets them, in his own example, 
see what they are to pray for, and in effect, exhorteth 
them to give all diligence hereunto, that ' their love 
may abound yet more and more in knowledge,' &c. 
And, indeed, this is the very main proposition and 
principal exhortation of this epistle, that their love 
may abound, &c. But let us a little more particularly 
sift the meaning of the words in this his prayer. His 
prayer, ye see, is that their love may abound, i. e. that 
as a fountain which keepeth not his waters in itself, 
but sends them out unto others, so their love niay not 
be shut within their own bowels, but issue out unto 
the good of others. And he prayeth that their love 
may abound yet more and more, whereby he implieth 
that their love was manifest, and that their love 
abounded ; for the streams thereof had flowed unto 
him, being in prison at Rome, and he prayeth that it 
may ' abound yet more and more.' But how ? ' In 
knowledge and in all judgment,' that their love being 
founded and grounded in sound knowledge and in 
sound judgment, ' they may discern things that 
differed,' &c. Now, by knowledge he meaneth the 
general knowledge of God's will out of his word ; and 
by judgment he meaneth such an experience and sense 
in themselves of spiritual things, as through which 
men, expert in the word of righteousness, have their 



wits or spiritual senses exercised to discern both s 
and evil, as by comparing this place with that to the 
Hebrews it may appear, Heb. v. 14 ; for that which 
the apostle there hath, ' Strong meat belongeth to them 
that are of age, which through custom have their wits 
exercised to discern both good and evil,' is as if we 
should read, after the phrase of our apostle here, thus, 
' Strong meat belongeth to them that are of age, which 
through judgment can discern both good and evil.' 
So that the apostle pra} T eth that they may abound, as 
in love, so in knowledge of God's will out of his word, 
and in all judgment, i. e. in sound judgment, through 
a feeling experience in themselves of such spiritual 
things as they know by the word, whereon their love 
may be grounded. And why doth he pray for their 
growth and increase in these things '? Even for these 
ends : 1, that they may discern things that differ one 
from another, good from bad, and uncorrupt from cor- 
rupt doctrine ; 2, that they may be pure from stain 
or corruption in doctrine, faith, or manners ; 3, that 
they may be without offence, neither slipping back 
nor standing at a stay, but holding on a constant 
course until the day of Christ ; 4, that the}- may be 
filled with the fruits of righteousness, abounding in 
every good work, which are by Jesus Christ, from 
whom they have their beginning, unto the glory and 
praise of God, which is their end. These were the 
ends for which he prayed, that their love might abound 
yet more and more in knowledge and in, &c. 

So that the things principally to be noted in these 
words are three. First, the apostle's action of pray- 
ing — This I pray. Secondly, the things for which he 
prayed, which were three: 1, then increase in love; 
2, their increase in knowledge ; 3, their increase in 
judgment. Thirdly, the ends wherefore he prayed 
for these things unto them, which were four, as even 
now we heard. Now r , let us see what notes we may 
gather hence, for our further use and instruction. 

The first thing which here I note is, that the apostle 
prayed for the Philippians, ' that their love might 
abound yet more and more,' &C. The Philippians 
abounded in love, in knowledge, and in judgment, 
yet still the apostle prayed that they might abound yet 
more and more in these things. Whence, 1, I 
observe the continual use and necessity of prayer ; 
Whatsoever graces the Lord hath bestowed on us, yet 



42 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. I. 



still we have need to pray, even that we may yet 
more and more abound in those very graces ; and 
therefore the apostle's exhortation is, 1 Thes. v. 17, 
'Pray continually,' whether ye be in adversity or in 
prosperity, whether ye want or ye have, yet pray 
continually. If ye want, that he may supply your 
wants, and give unto you, ' which giveth unto all men 
liberally, and reproacheth no man ; ' for so James 
exhorteth, James i. 5, saying, ' If any man lack wis- 
dom ' — which is there meant of wisdom to endure 
patiently afflictions, but it is true in all graces gene- 
rally, if any man lack any grace — ' let him ask of 
God, wbich giveth to all men liberally, and reproacheth 
no man, and it shall be given him.' So, likewise, if 
ye have, yet pray continually that ye may increase 
and abound ; and if ye abound, yet pray continually, 
that you may abound yet more and more in tbose 
graces wherein ye abound. So we see the apostle 
prayed for the Thessalonians, saying, 1 Thes. iii. 12, 
' The Lord increase you, and make you abound in 
love one towards another, and towards all men.' In 
the first chapter he had commended their diligent 
love ; so that it was not for the having of that wbich 
they lacked that the apostle prayed, but for their 
increasing and abounding in that grace which they had. 
And so here our apostle prayed for the Philrppians, 
that they might abound } T et more and more,' &c. 
"What ! was it for the having of that which they lacked 
that he prayed ? No. "Was it that they might abound 
in that which they had ? Nor only so, but that they 
might more and more abound in those graces wherein 
already they abounded. And the apostle thus pray- 
ing for the Thessalonians, that they might increase 
and abound in that grace which already they had, 
and for the Philippians, that they might increase and 
abound more and more in those graces wherein already 
the}- abounded, therein taught them, and in them us, 
that we are to make our requests unto God in prayer 
and supplication, as for the having of such graces as 
we want, so that we may increase and abound in 
those graces which we have, and that we may abound 
still inore and more in those graces wherein already 
we do abound. So that whatsoever graces we have, 
still we are to pray that we may continually more and 
more abound therein. And the reason why we are 
continually so to pray is very plain; for, 1, such is 
our weakness, through the sin that hangeth so fast on 
us, that unto whatsoever measure of grace we be 
grown, yet stand therein we cannot, unless he do 
continually stay us and uphold us with his hand. 
Let Peter witness, whose faith faileth, and he sinketh 
if the Lord sustain him not and save him, Mat. xiv. 
31. Paul also may witness the same, whose courage 
in his bands may fail him, if, by the power of the 
Spirit through the prayer of the saints, he be not 
assisted, that therein he may speak boldly as he 
ought, Eph. vi. 20. In regard, therefore, of our 
nnableness to stand or grow without his continual 



need 
of 



grace 



to pray 
we be 



support and suppty, still we had 
unto the Lord, whatsoever measure 
grown unto. 2. In whatsoever grace we abound, yet 
therein we come so far short of that perfection wherein 
we should endeavour, that continually we had need to 
pray that we may abound yet more and more therein. 
And therefore David, that was well taught in the 
Lord his statutes, yet still, Ps. cxix., prayed unto 
the Lord to teach him his statutes ; and having more 
understanding than all his teachers, yet still prayed 
unto the Lord to give him understanding ; and taking 
as great delight in the way of his testimonies, as in all 
manner of riches, yet still prayeth unto the Lord that 
he will incline his heart unto his testimonies. And 
what was this, but his prayer that he might abound 
yet more in the knowledge, and in the understanding, 
and in the delight of the law of the Lord ; because, 
howsoever he abounded therein, yet he came far 
short of that he should ? And for the same reason it 
behoveth us so to do, as we have him for an ensample. 
This, then, may serve to condemn our great negli- 
gence and slackness, our great coldness and faintness 
generally, both in public and private prayer unto the 
Lord our God. For is there so continual use and 
necessity of prayer, whether we want any grace, that 
we may have it, or have any grace, that we may in- 
crease and abound in it, or abound in any grace, that 
we may abound yet more and more in it ? How then 
is it that we are so negligent and slack, so cold and 
faint in prayer generally ? Unto public prayer, 
wherein we pray for what we want, and for increase 
in that we have, and that we may more and more 
abound in that wherein we abound, how negligent and 
slack are we, and how cold and faint are we therein ! 
Some of us come so seldom thereunto, as that there 
is very little difference between us and plain recusants ; 
others of us come so slowly thereunto, as that we 
come, as they say it is good to come to a fray, to the 
end of it ; others of us, in time of public prayer, are 
occupied either in private prayers, or in reading upon 
some book or other, or in talking one unto another ; 
others of us either fall asleep, or are troubled with 
wandering and by-thoughts, and have our minds at 
home or in the fields, upon our commodities or upon 
our pleasures, and rather upon everything than upon 
that we should. Generally so defective and wanting 
unto our duties we are herein, as if either we knew 
not, or cared not, how to carry ourselves in public 
prayer. And as we fail of that we ought in public, 
so do we also in private prayer. For how seldom do 
we, as our blessed Saviour willeth us, Mat. vi. 6, 
' enter into our chambers, and shut our doors upon 
us, and pray unto our Father which is in secret' ? 
Can our wants press us to pray privately unto the 
Lord that he will supply our wants ? Nay, seldom 
we humble ourselves in private before the Lord, even 
for the supply of our wants ; or if we do, our prayers 
are so cold, and so faint, and so troubled with wan- 



Ver. 9.] 



LECTURE IX. 



43 



dering and by-thoughls, that we pray and have not, 
because we pray not as we ought. Can the graces 
which we have, and wherein we abound, press us to 
pray privately unto the Lord that we may increase in 
those graces we have, and abound yet more and more 
in those wherein we abound ? Nay, here commonly 
we forget ourselves, and, as if we were well and 
needed no more, we pray not unto the Lord for in- 
crease, but carrying ourselves like unto the Pharisee, 
we think we are not as other men, and we say, De- 
part from me, for I am more holy, more learned, 
more wise, more sober, more modest, more patient 
than thou ; and forget God, by whom we are so. 
Surely not the best of us all, but we are guilty of very 
man}- defects touching prayer. Let us, therefore, 
hereafter use more carefulness herein than heretofore 
we have done. Let us reform our negligence and 
slackness in coming to public prayer. It hath the 
promise (Mat. xviii. 20), that ' where two or three be 
gathered together in God's name, there will he be in 
the midst of them ;' and oftentimes he blesseth us 
because of them that pray with us. Let us pray in 
faith and waver not, and ' whatsoever we ask in prayer, 
if we believe, we shall surely receive it.' Let us not 
cease, but, in public and in private, pour out our 
prayers unto the Lord, both for such graces as we 
want, and for increase in such as we have, and that 
we may abound more and more in every good grace. 
Continual need we have : let us therefore, as the 
apostle exhorteth, ' Pray continually ; ' even what- 
soever graces we have, let us pray that we may 
abound more and more therein. 

The second thing which hence I observe is, that 
Christians are not to stand at a stay, or to content 
themselves with reasonable good beginnings ; but 
whatsoever grace it is wherein they stand, they are 
continually to labour that they may abound more and 
more therein. Which, as this place sheweth, so farther 
that of the apostle to the Hebrews, where he saith, 
Heb. vi. 1, ' Therefore, leaving the doctrine of the 
beginning of Christ, let us be led forward unto perfec- 
tion,' where the apostle shews that we are not always 
to be a-learning the principles and beginnings of reli- 
gion, but as children, which at tbe first are fed with 
milk, do afterwards take and digest strong meat, so 
from principles in religion, we should go forward unto 
perfection in religion, growing up daily more and more 
in the unity of faith, and of the knowledge of the Son 
of God, into a perfect man. Add hei'eunto the example 
of our apostle, Philip, iii. 12, he having attained unto 
a great measure of perfection, yet counted not himself 
that he had attained unto it, but he followed hard after 
it that he might comprehend it, and still endeavoured 
himself unto that which was before ; in whose example, 
as in a glass, we may see that we are not to rest in 
any perfection that we can grow unto in this life, but 
still we are to go forward from perfection to perfection, 
and still to labour to increase and abound more and 



'more in every grace wherewith we arc blessed. And 
how should any man think otherwise, considering what 
enemies we have which hinder our perfection '? For 
can we have the devil ever seeking, like a roaring lion, 
to devour us, the world laying a thousand baits to 
deceive us, our own flesh, as a strong armed man, 
evermore assaulting us, so that our whole lives be a 
continual sharp warfare unto us, and yet hope for such 
perfection in this life, that we need not strive farther'? 
Nay, these continually bid us such battle, that if either 
we stand or give back, we may quickly take the foil. 
Still, therefore, we must hold on ; and as long as the 
Lord continues our life, so long we must give all dili- 
gence to abound more and more in every grace wherein 
we stand. 

This then scrveth to condemn the miserable corrup- 
tions of our times ; for so it is with us, that a great 
many of us rather go backward, and grow worse and 
worse, than better and better. Many which seemed 
to have begun in the spirit, make an end in the flesh; 
which seemed for a time to have run well with the 
Galatians, are with them drawn away with divers lusts, 
which drown them in perdition. Others of us pause 
at the matter, and, as if there were danger in every 
step farther, we stand at a stay, and move not our foot 
forward. But what do I say ? that we stand at a stay ? 
Nay, indeed and in truth, we plainly go backward ; for 
not to go forward in the way of Christianity, is to go 
backward, and not to increase in the graces of God's 
Spirit, is to decrease in them ; and therefore the judg- 
ment of the Laodiceans, because they were not hot, 
was as if they had been cold, even to be spewed out of 
the Lord his mouth, Rev. iii. 16. Others of us can 
be content to make a show of going forward, and in- 
creasing in religion and piety, but it is for our advan- 
tage and gain, that, under a colour of zeal and forward- 
ness, we may the better compass our commodities and 
bring our purpose to pass ; for we like better of the 
account that gain should be godliness, than that godli- 
ness should be gain, and a gain we will make of a shew 
of godliness. The least number by far, is of them that 
having begun well, do in their souls labour after ru r- 
fection, that they may abound more and more in the 
grace wherein the} 7 stand. But let our care, beloved, 
be to be of this number. Let us so strive after per- 
fection, that we may daily grow from perfection to 
perfection, till we become perfect men in Christ Jesus. 
Let us continually pray with the apostles, ' Lord, in- 
crease our faith,' and let us labour, by all holy in< 
of hearing the word preached, and reverent use of the 
blessed sacrament, to grow more and more in faith. 
Let us pray with the prophet, ' Stablish the thing. 
God, that thou hast wrought in us,' Ps. lxviii. 28 ; 
and let us labour to be daily more and more grounded 
and stablished in every grace that the Lord hath 
wrought in us. And if already we do thus, let us 
comfort ourselves in this, that we do as we ought, and 
let us hold on our good course unto the end. 



44 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. T. 



The third thing which here I note is, that the apostle 
prayeth that their ' love might abound more and more,' 
their love towards God, their love one towards another, 
their love towards the poor saints and afflicted mem- 
bers of Christ Jesus. Whence I observe, that in all 
Christians this must be a continual care, that they 
may abound always more and more in love towards 
God, in love one towards another, and in love towards 
the poor saints and afflicted members of Christ Jesus. 
For, first, touching the love of God, how can we love 
him enough who so loved us, even when we were 
enemies unto him, that he sent his only- begotten Son 
into the world to suffer death for us, that we might 
live through him ? This was love passing the love of 
women, and how should we love him that thus loved 
us first ? Sure our care can never be enough, that 
still we may more and more abound in love towards 
him. Again, touching the love one of another, we see 
how the apostle prayeth for the Thessalonians, saying, 
1 Thes. iii. 12, ' The Lord increase you, and make 
you to abound in love one towards another, and 
towards all men.' Which his prayer for them was a 
plain signification of that care which was behoveful to 
be in them, namely, that they might increase and 
abound daily more and more in mutual love one 
towards another ; and not in them only, but in us also, 
unto whose edification and instruction those things 
were plainly written. Also, touching our love towards 
the poor saints and afflicted members of Christ Jesus, 
we see how the apostle presseth and urgeth the 
Corinthians, 2 Cor. viii., and in them us, thereunto, 
commending their good beginning, and exhorting them, 
by the example of the Macedonians and of our blessed 
Saviour, to continue, and to abound more and more 
therein. But what should farther proof of this point 
need than this, that love and charity towards the poor 
saints is so often commanded and commended in the 
holy Scriptures, and so greatly rewarded ? for the 
oftener that it is commanded and commended in the 
holy Scriptures, and the more that it is rewarded, the 
more careful it behoveth us to be, that we abound 
therein. Deut. xv. 7, 11, ' Thou shalt not harden 
thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother ; 
but thou shalt open thine hand unto thy brother, to 
thy needy and to thy poor in the land, saith the Lord. 
Thou shalt not harden thine heart, but open thy 
bowels of compassion, and be merciful, and loving, 
and tender-hearted towards thy poor brother.' The 
like commandment is often given in the holy Scripture. 
And what a commendation was it generally unto the 
churches of Macedonia, that out of their most extreme 
poverty, they were so richly liberal unto the poor 
afflicted saints, and particularly unto these Philippians, 
that the} r communicated to our apostle in his bands ! 
Or what greater reward can be given unto any, than is 
promised unto them that give the saints meat when 
they are hungry, that give them drink when they are 
thirsty, that clothe them when they are naked, that 



visit them when they are sick, that relieve them when 
they are in prison, &c, even a kingdom of glory ? In 
a point so clear, many proofs are not needful. For 
more care is not needful that we may increase and 
abound more and more in faith, hope, or other grace 
of the Spirit, than that we may abound more and more 
in love, even in love both towards God and towards 
one another, and towards the poor saints in their 
affliction and misery. 

Which serveth to condemn the more than key- cold 
love of Christians in our days. To censure any of 
you so sharply, beloved, as if ye loved not God, or at 
least but with a cold love, would seem, it may be, hard. 
For all of you love God, and he that thinketh other- 
wise is much deceived. But tell me, do all of you 
love one another ? It may be that some of you will 
here yield a little. And I tell you, or rather the Holy 
Ghost telleth you, that ' he that loveth not his brother, 
whom he-hath seen, loveth not God, whom he hath 
not seen,' 1 John iv. 20. The apostle's exhortation is, 
Rom. xii. 10, ' Be affectioned to love one another with 
brotherly love ; ' and again, Heb. xiii. 1, 'Let bro- 
therly love continue ; ' and again, 1 Pet. iv. 8, ' Above 
all things have fervent love amongst you.' But our 
often brawlings, and divisions, and quarrels, and con- 



tentions, and 



swellings, and discords, 



shew that we 



have not hearkened nor obeyed then* counsel, so far 
have we been from abounding more and more in love 
one towards another. And if we do not love one 
another as we should, judge ye, by the former place, 
whether we love God as we should. ' Behold,' saith 
the prophet, Ps. cxxxiii. 1, ' how good and joyful a 
thing it is brethren to dwell together in unity.' Surely, 
in anything we cannot be liker unto God, than if we 
love one another ; for God is love, and we by love are 
made God's house, wherein he liketh to dwell : ' For 
he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God in 
him,' 1 John iv. 16. We have been too cold in love 
one towards another, and therefore too cold in love 
towards our God. Above all things, let us have fer- 
vent love amongst ourselves, and so shall we be sure 
that we love God indeed. 

And as we have been too cold in love one towards 
another, and consequently in love towards God, so 
can I not much commend our love towards the poor 
saints and afflicted members of Christ Jesus. I can- 
not reprove you for not abounding more and more in 
this love, because, as yet, you do not abound in this 
love. Through a good and godly statute lately made,, 
the poor saints come not now unto your doors ; but 
through want of relief they faint in their houses ; inso- 
much, that as the children of Israel, when then burden 
was heavier, and their task greater, cried out upon 
Moses and Aaron, saying, ' The Lord look upon you 
and judge, for ye have made our savour to stink before 
Pharaoh and his servants, in that ye have put a sword 
in their hand to slay us.' So they cry out upon them 
that were the means of this statute, saying, The 



Ver. 9.] 



LECTURE X. 



4o 



Lord look upon them that have done thus unto us, 
for they have made our savour to stink before our 
brethren, and have put a sword in their hands to slay 
us. And where is the cause of this cry ? Not in 
the statute, for it is as good a statute as could be 
devised, both for you and them ; but the cause is in 
you. Ye are well content that they come not to your 
doors as they were wont ; but there wanteth in you 
a willing and ready mind to contribute to their neces- 
sities, as the statute requireth. When some task or 
burden should be levied upon you for their mainten- 
ance, in respect of that relief which they were wont 
to find at your doors, here ye draw back the shoulder, 
and every man would give so little, that the statute 
cannot have its intendment. And thus it is that you 
have a sword to kill the poor withal ; for, by the sta- 
tute, they may not come to your doors, and yet you 
will not contribute to their maintenance according 
unto the statute. Beloved, open the bowels of your 



compassion, let your love towards the poor saints 
appear, communicate to their affliction, misery, and 
poverty; and as God hath given to every man, so let 
him give, not grudgingly or of necessity, but willingly 
and cheerfully. They are God's saints, they are 
members of Christ's body, they are your brethren, 
and many of them, it may be, as rich in God's favour 
as the most of you, and that which ye willingly and 
cheerfully now give unto them shall further * your 
reckoning in the day of Christ Jesus. Be therefore 
ready to give and glad to distribute, laying up in store 
for yourselves a good foundation against the time to 
come. Let your, love towards God, towards one 
another, towards the poor saints of Christ Jesus, be 
manifest unto all men, that they which see vour love 
may glorify God on your behalf. So shall ye be loved 
of Love itself, and live for ever where your love shall 
have none end. 



LECTUEE X. 
In knowledge and in all judgment. — Philip. I. 9. 



THE next thing which here I note is, that the 
apostle prayeth that the Philippians may 
abound more and more ' in knowledge,' namely, in 
knowledge of God's will out of his word. Whence I 
observe another continual care necessary for all Chris- 
tians, and that is, that they raay abound more and 
more in the knowledge of God's will out of his holy 
word. ' My brethren,' saith the apostle, 1 Cor. 
xiv. 20, ' be not children in understanding, but as 
concerning maliciousness be children, but in under- 
standing be of a ripe age.' The apostle had before 
signified his own mind of praying and speaking in 
strange tongues without understanding, and in a 
known tongue with understanding, therein taxing 
their too great admiring of strange tongues, and too 
little regard of knowledge and understanding. Now, 
in effect he tells them, that therein they are like unto 
little children, which, if they see fair, and great, and 
coloured letters in a book, are in great love with the 
letters, but care not for the sense and understanding 
of the words. But he exhorteth them, ' be not chil- 
dren in understanding,' as if he should have said, 
Children indeed care not for understanding, but it 
may not be so with you ; ye were children sometimes, 
and cared not for understanding, and ye were children 
sometimes, and but young in understanding and know- 
ledge, but ye may not be so still, but ye must grow to 
be of a ripe age in understanding ; ye must increase in 
knowledge as in years ye do increase. And lest they 
should say that Christ would have them to be ' like 
unto little children,' Mat. xviii. 3, he preventeth that, 
and tells them that he would have them to be like 
unto little children ' concerning maliciousness,' but 



concerning knowledge and understanding he would 
have them to be no children, but of a ripe age. So 
that hence we see that our care is to be that we be 
not children, but men of a ripe age touching under- 
standing, i. e. that we may increase and grow forward 
more and more in knowledge, even froni knowledge to 
knowledge. To the like purpose is that of the apostle, 
where he saith, Heb. vi. 1, ' Leaving the doctrine of 
the beginnings of Christ, let us be led forward unto 
perfection.' He had, in the end of the former chap- 
ter, somewhat sharply told the Hebrews, that ' when 
as concerning the time they ought to be teachers, yet 
they had need to be taught the very principles of the 
word of God.' Now, therefore, he doth exhort them 
that they would not be still a-leaming the principles 
and beginnings of religion, but that they would go 
forward from perfection to perfection, and abound 
more and more in knowledge. We may not then be 
as idle loiterers, which spend their time and profit 
not ; but as our time spent in the school of Christ doth 
require of us, so must our profiting be in the know- 
ledge of his will out of his word. Yea, look into our 
own practice, and we shall find our own judgment to 
be such. If we have children, and set them to their 
books, we look that according to their time spent 
thereat their profiting should be, and that they should 
increase in knowledge and learning, as they grow in 
years and in time spent at their book ; and if they do 
not so profit, we take them from the school and set 
them to some other thing. So that by our own judg- 
ment, so many of us as are taught in the school of 
Chi'ist, we should increase in the knowledge of Christ. 
and as we spend more and more time in the school of 



46 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. I. 



Christ, so should we abound more and more in the 
knowledge of Christ, and if we do not so, by our own 
judgments we are to be excluded as non-proficients out 
of the school of Christ. And what then becomes of 
us '? Nothing then to set us unto, but as it was said 
to the unprofitable servant, Mat. xxv. 30, ' Cast that 
unprofitable servant into utter darkness, there shall be 
weeping and gnashing of teeth,' so shall it be said to 
such non-proficients, Cast that non-proficient scholar 
into utter darkness, there shall be weeping and gnash- 
ing of teeth. 

This, then, first, may teach us to beware of that 
leaven of theirs that would have us nusled up in 
ignorance, and bear the world in hand that ' ignorance 
is the mother of devotion.' For such a brood of Satan 
there is, as will tell you that the Scriptures are dark 
and hard to be understood, and perilous to be read ; 
that will highly commend your modesty, if ye presume 
not to read the Scriptures ; that will tell you it is 
enough for you to believe as the church belie veth, 
though ye know not how to give account of your faith ; 
that will allow well of learning nothing, and after 
many years to be never the wiser ; in* a word, that 
will the sooner suspect you of heresy, the more know- 
ledge ye have in the Scriptures. Such are they that 
would have praying, singing, reading, and all other 
rites of the church done in a strange language ; that 
would have us barred from the reading of the Scrip- 
tures in a known tongue ; that would have none but 
great clerks and divines seen in the Scriptures. But 
what saith the Holy Ghost ? ' Search the Scrip- 
tures,' saith our blessed Saviour, John v. 39, 'for 
in them ye think to have eternal life : and they are 
they which testify of me.' ' Grow,' saith Peter unto 
the church, ' in grace, and in the knowledge of our 
Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,' 2 Peter iii. 18. And 
our apostle, Col. iii. 16, ' Let the word of Christ dwell 
in you plenteously in all wisdom ; ' and in this place 
his prayer is for the church of Philippi, that they may 
' abound more and more in knowledge.' Now, what 
can be more contrary and repugnant unto other, than 
this doctrine of the Holy Ghost unto that doctrine of 
theirs ? Our blessed Saviour sets us unto the Scrip- 
tures to search them ; and they would not have us to 
presume to read the Scriptures. The apostle Peter 
would have us to ' grow in the knowledge of our Lord 
and Saviour Jesus Christ ; ' and they would not have 
us look into the Scriptures, lest we fall into heresies. 
Our apostle would have ' the word of Christ to dwell 
in us plenteously;' and they would have us only to 
believe as the church believeth, and care not though 
we know not how to give account of our faith. Our 
apostle would have us to ' abound more and more in 
knowledge ; ' and they tell us that ignorance is the 
mother of devotion. See, then, whether there be not 
cause to beware of them, and to bid fie upon the 
beast that speaketh so presumptuously against the 
ward of God. As the apostle saith unto the Galatians, 



touching the false apostles, Gal. vi. 13, ' They desire 
to have you circumcised, that they might rejoice in 
your flesh ; ' so I say unto you, touching these false 
apostles, they desire to have you close shut up in 
ignorance, that they may lead you blindfold at their 
pleasures into all their devilish errors, and that they 
may rejoice in their advantage by your ignorance. 
Beware, therefore, of them, and hearken not unto 
them, lest if ye err in your hearts, because ye know 
not his ways through your ignorance in the Scriptures, 
he swear, as sometimes he did unto the Israelites in 
his wrath, that ye shall never enter into his rest, even 
to the heavenly Canaan, whereof that earthly Canaan 
was a type. 

2. This may teach us to give all diligence unto the 
reading, and hearing, and meditating of the holy 
Scriptures, that so we may abound more and more in 
all knowledge and understanding. Very lamentable 
it is, beloved, to see and consider how many hundreds, 
nay thousands, in this clear light of the gospel, when 
the Scriptures are or may be read and known of us 
all, yet are as ignorant in the Scriptures and of the 
things that belong to their salvation, as when they sat 
in the darkness of Egypt, when they could see no light 
of the Scriptures, by reason of the strange language. 
We have had many Ezras that have ' read in the 
book of the law of God distinctly, and given the sense ' 
thereof, that the rest might understand ; many ministers 
of Christ Jesus, that have read the law and the gospel 
unto us every Sabbath day in our churches ; many 
preachers of the gospel that have plainly opened the 
Scriptures unto us, whereby we might be made wise 
unto salvation, even forty years long. And have not 
the Scriptures been read unto the greatest number of 
us in vain ? Notwithstanding so much preaching and 
teaching of the holy word of life, are we not still 
ignorant, and have still need to be taught the very 
beginnings of Christ, the very principles of religion ? 
Have we not many masters of Israel that think them- 
selves great men, like unto Nicodemus, that know not 
those things, which the very babes in Christ's school 
ought to know ? Have we not many leaders of the 
people and masters of families, unto whose shame it 
may be spoken, that they have not the knowledge of 
God ? Have we not many that, if they be asked, are 
not able to give an account of their faith, nor know 
truth from error, religion from superstition ? The 
thing is too true, and too lamentable. Beloved, hath 
not the Lord our God said unto us all, Deut. vi. 6, 
' These words, which I command thee this day, shall 
be in thy heart : and thou shalt rehearse them con- 
tinually unto thy children, and shalt talk of them,' &c; 
and shall we not hearken to his voice, to do according 
to all he hath commanded us ? Hath not our blessed 
Saviour told us, that * this is eternal life, to know God 
to be the only very God, and him whom he hath sent, 
Jesus Christ,' John xvii. 3; and shall not we labour to 
grow in the knowledge of God, and of our Lord Jesus 



Ver. 9.] 



LI-XT URE X. 



47 



Clirist ? Hath not the hoi}' prophet said, Ps. i. 2, that 
1 hlessed is the man whose delight is in the law of the 
Lord ; and which meditateth therein day and night'? 
and shall we not give all diligence to the reading, and 
hearing, and meditating of the holy Scriptures ? Nay, 
let me, I beseech you, exhort you, as that godly 
father* did his people, Provide you Bibles which are 
the medicine of your souls ; if you will nothing else, at 
least get the New Testament. In the Bible, there ye 
have the whole will of your heavenly Father, there ye 
shall see what legacies he hath bequeathed unto you, 
and what duties he requireth of you. If the father of 
our bodies had bequeathed us a great legacy by his 
will, it would not be much needful to wish us get our 
Father's will, and to look diligently into it, to see, if 
not what he requireth of us, yet what he bequeatheth 
to us ; neither would we stick at the cost for the search 
of it, if we knew where to have it. And shall the 
Father of our souls leave us his will, and by his will 
bequeath us everlasting life, and shall we not labour 
to get his will ? Shall a matter of ten shillings stay 
us from the having of his will ? Shall we not search 
it, and look diligently into it ? Let us, beloved, get 
the book of God's law into our hand, ' and let it not 
depart out of our mouths ; but let us meditate therein 
day and night, that we may observe and do according 
to all that is written therein,' as the Lord exhorted 
Joshua, Josh. i. 8. Let us, likewise, flock as doves 
unto the windows, unto the places where the word is 
preached; and when we have heard, let us meditate 
and confer of that we have heard. If the children of 
our bodies had gone to the school, and in the space 
of seven years had profited nothing, what would we 
say unto them, or think of them ? Hardly enough, 
no doubt. And what shall we then think of ourselves, 
that in the space of forty years, are scarce yet past 
our A, B, C, and have not yet attained unto any 
reasonable knowledge ? Let us hereafter recompense 
our former negligence with greater diligence, and let 
us slack no holy means, whereby we may grow into all 
holy knowledge. Let us labour to be rich in all 
knowledge, and leaving the doctrine of the beginning of 
Christ, let us be led forward unto perfection. Let 
us henceforth be no more children, wavering and 
carried about with every wind of doctrine ; but let us 
grow up unto a perfect man, and unto the measure of 
the age of the fulness of Christ, that we may be ' able 
to comprehend with all saints, what is the breadth, 
and length, and depth, and height, and to know the 
love of Christ, which passeth all knowledge, that we 
may be filled with all fulness of God.' By reading, 
by hearing, by meditating, by praying, let your care 
be to ' abound more and more in knowledge.' 

The next thing which here I note is, that the apostle 

prayeth for the Philippians that they may ' abound 

more and more in all judgment ;' in all judgment, that 

is, in sound judgment, that having their wits exercised 

* Chrysostom. 



through long custom, they may discern both good and 
evil. So that, as he would have them to abound more 
and more in knowledge, so farther, he would have t 
also to abound more and more in a sound and feeling 
experience of spiritual things in themselves, that they 
might spiritually feel in their hearts and souls that 
which they knew out of the word. Whence I observe 
a further continual care necessary for all Christians, 
and that is, that they may abound daily more and 
more, not in knowledge only of God's will out of his 
word, but in sound judgment also, through a feeling 
experience in themselves of such spiritual things as 
they know out of the word, that what they know out 
of the word they may feel the truth of it by experience 
in themselves. This care our apostle sheweth that he 
had, where he saith that the thing which he esteemed 
was, to ' know Christ and the virtue of his resurrec- 
tion,' Philip, hi. 10. He knew the doctrine of Christ 
his resurrection, and he knew this to be the virtue of 
Christ his resurrection, that by it the saints of God 
rise from the death of sin unto the life of righteous- 
ness. But his desire farther was, that he might feel 
in himself, and know by his own experience, the virtue 
of Christ his resurrection, by the death of sin and the 
life of righteousness in himself, that as he knew by the 
word Christ his resurrection to have such a virtue, so 
by experience in himself he might know Chr.'st his 
resurrection to have such a virtue. And this care the 
prophet exhorteth all men unto, where he saith. Ps. 
xxxiv. 8, ' Taste and see how gracious the Lord is.' 
Where ye may not think that the prophet Bpeaketh, 
as if the gracious goodness of the Lord could be t; 
on with the mouth, or seen with the eye ; but his 
meaning is, that such is the gracious goodness of the 
Lord unto his children, that they may have as sound 
experimental knowledge thereof, as if they should t 
it with their mouths or see it with their eyes. It is, 
then, as if the prophet had thus said, Know ye do the 
gracious goodness of the Lord, by his manifold mer- 
cies ; and more, then, so ye may know it by your own 
experience. Acknowledge, therefore, him to be gra- 
cious, whom by your own experimental knowledge ye 
do, as it were, taste and see to be gracious. As, then, 
the prophet doth exhort us, and as our apostle, both 
by example and exhortation, moveth us, our care should 
be that, besides our knowledge out of the word, 
might have a feeling knowledge of that we know out 
of the word, by experience in ourselves. 

This, then, should teach us to observe the men 
and judgments of the Lord, to observe the proof and 
experience in our daily life, of such things as we know 
by the word, that so we may have not a contemplative 
only, but an experimental knowledge of things in our- 
selves. As, for example, the Scripture telleth us, tl at 
' the poor crieth and the Lord heareth him, and savt th 
him out of all his troubles,' Ps. xxxiv. 6. This we 
know to be true, because we find it so in the word. 
But our care should be farther to know it by a f< .ling 



48 



A1EAY ON THE PHILIPPIAXS. 



[Chap. I. 



experience in our own selves. We must then observe 
the mercies of the Lord in hearing us when we call 
upon him, and delivering us in every needful time of 
trouble ; and so shall we know, not only by the word, 
but by experience in our own selves, that the Lord 
heareth the poor when they cry unto him, and saveth 
them out of all their troubles,' ver. 7. So David, 
besides this knowledge out of the word, that ' The 
angel of the Lord pitcheth round about them that fear 
him, and delivereth them,' had observed the truth of 
it by his own experience in his deliverance out of the 
paw of the lion and out of the paw of the bear, 1 Sam. 
xvii. 37 ; and thereupon was bold to encounter that 
great Goliah, that uncircumcised Philistine. Again, 
we know tbat the gates of hell shall not prevail against 
Christ his church, because the Scripture saith so, 
Mat. xvi. 18. But will we so know it to be so, as if 
our own senses should tell us that it were so ? Then 
we must observe the storms and tempests, the perse- 
cutions and troubles, the batteries and assaults, that 
Satan, in his members, makes against the church, and 
how the Lord bringeth all their counsels to nought, 
and inaketk their devices to be nothing else but the 
imagination of a vain thing. And thus in all things 
we must observe, that by long experience our spiritual 
senses maybe exercised to know the truth of everything 
that we know out of the word. But so careless com- 
monly we are, that we pass over the mercies and the 
judgments of the Lord without observation at all, 
whereby we might grow in all judgment and sound 
experience. It may be that some of us sometimes 
will desire to know somewhat out of the Scriptures 
touching the sacraments, touching the resurrection, 
touching faith, touching good works, &c. But what 
is it ? It is only to know it there ; it is not to have 
a feeling of it in our own souls. If we have the text 
of Scripture for proof, we think we have knowledge 
enough ; but for proof out of our own experience in 
our own souls, we look not after it. But, beloved, ye 
see we should have a care, as to abound in knowledge 
out of the Scriptures, so in sound judgment, out of a 
feeling experience in ourselves of the truth of that we 
know. Let us not, therefore, lightly pass over the 
things that we know out of the word, but let us labour 
to increase in a feeling knowledge of them in our own 
souls. Let us observe, in our daily experience, that 
as it is written, so it is indeed ; that when we hear 
or read such and such things out of the word, our own 
souls within us may give witness unto the same, and 
say, It is so indeed ; in mine own experience I find it 
to be most true. Thus the apostle exhorteth, and 
thus it behoveth us to do. 

The next thing which here I note is, that the apostle 
prayeth for the Philippians, that their ' love may 
abound more and more in knowledge and in all judg- 
ment,' which is, that their love might be founded and 
grounded in sound knowledge and in sound judgment, 
that each having help of other, and each being fur- 



nished by other, they might the better ' discern things 
that differ,' &c. Whence I observe yet a farther con- 
tinual care necessary for all Christians, and that is, 
that their love may abound in knowledge and in all 
judgment. 'Though,' saith the apostle, 'I had all 
knowledge, and had not love, I were nothing,' 1 Cor. 
xiii. 2. So, on the other side, though we say we have 
all love, and have not knowledge, it is nothing ; for 
what is all our love, if it be not grounded in knowledge 
and in judgment ? Then these are good when they 
grow up together, and each hath help of other ; and 
which of these soever grows up without other, like 
Jonah's gourd, it will quickly wither. Our care, then, 
must be that our love may abound in knowledge and 
in all judgment. In knowledge, that we may know on 
whom our love ought principally to be set ; and in all 
judgment, that, knowing whom we ought to love, we 
may love them whom we ought and as we ought. 
' Let us do good,' saith the apostle, Gal. vi. 10, ' unto 
all men, but especially unto them which are of the 
household of faith.' Here we are taught whom we 
ought principally to love. We are to love all men, 
' but especially them that are of the household of faith,' 
them that are joined unto us in the band of Chris- 
tianity. And knowing that they are those whom we 
ought principally to love, we are to love them in deed 
and in truth ; and the more nearly that they are linked 
unto us in the bands of Christianity, the more dearly 
we are to love them. Otherwise, our love, if it be not 
in knowledge and in all judgment, may do more harm 
than good, even as we see that zeal doth without know- 
ledge ; for it was in zeal, but without knowledge, that 
Paul persecuted the church of God extremely and 
wasted it, Gal. i. 11. And it w T as in a zeal of the law 
that the Jews submitted not themselves unto the 
righteousness of God ; but their zeal was not ' accord- 
ing to knowledge,' as the apostle sheweth, where he 
saith, Rom. x. 2, ' I bear them record that they have 
the zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.' So 
in our love we may do good unto those, and shew 
kindness unto those to whom we ought not, if our love 
be not grounded on knowledge and in all judgment. 
And this was it which the apostle taxed in the Gala- 
tians, chap. iv. 18, where he said, ' It is a good thing 
always to love earnestly in a good thing.' That they 
loved, and loved earnestly, he misliked it not ; nay, 
' It is a good thing,' saith he, ' to love earnestly.' 
But that their love was not in knowledge and judgment, 
that he misliked. They increased in love towards 
them that seduced them, and abated their love towards 
him that had taught them the truth. This he mis- 
liked, and therefore told them that ' it was a good 
thing to love earnestly always in a ;/ood thing.' We 
must love, but we must know that the thing we love 
is good, that the person whom we love is good. And 
therefore our love must abound in knowledge and in 
judgment. 

This, then, serveth to condemn our great careless- 



Ver. 10.] 



LECTURE XI. 



49 



ness in making choice on whom wo set our love, and 
unto whom we do good and perform duties of love. 
Our love should abound in knowledge out of God's 
word whom to love, and in judgment to perform the 
duties of love to whom we ought. But commonly we 
care not where we cast our love, but as he fits our 
humour, so commonly we cast our love upon him. If 
he will boose and drink with us, if he will game and 
play with us, if he will curse and swear with us, if he 
will play the good fellow and run to the devil with us, 
then we will love him, and what we can we will do for 
him. Neither can it be that they should bestow their 
loves better, who themselves are no better. Nay, 
where better graces are, yet is there no better choice 
of our love. We commonly look rather how he suits 
our affections and likings whom we would love and 
fancy, than how he is beautified with the graces of 



God's Spirit, how well he is grounded and stablished 
in the faith. And howsoever he be scarce sound in 
the faith, yet if he suit our affections and likings, we 
grow to more entire love with him, than with others 
more to be loved. If this, beloved, have been a fault 
in any of us, let us learn hereafter to reform it, and 
let our love abound more and more in knowledge and 
in judgment. Let us know out of the word whom we 
ought to love, and unto whom we ought to do good ; 
and let us love them and do good unto them. Let 
neither our knowledge be without love, nor our judg- 
ment without love ; neither let our love be without 
knowledge or judgment. Let us abound more and 
more in love, and in knowledge and in judgment ; and 
let our love abound more and more in knowledge and 
in all judgment. 



LECTUKE XL 

That ye may discern things that differ one from another ; that ye may be! pure and without offence, until the day of 

Christ. — Philip. I. 10. 



NOW, having spoken of the apostle's praying for 
the Philippians, and of the things for which his 
prayer unto God for them was, namely, for then- in- 
crease in love, in knowledge, and in judgment, that 
their love might abound more and more in knowledge 
and in judgment, it remaineth now that we speak of 
the ends wherefore the apostle prayed for the Philip- 
pians' increase in these graces, set down in these words, 
1 That ye may discern,' &c. 

That ye may discern, &c. The first end wherefore 
the apostle prayed for the Philippians, that they might 
abound more and more in knowledge and in all judg- 
ment, was, that they might discern things that differ 
one from another ; that is, by their knowledge out of 
the word, and by their judgment out of their own ex- 
perience, they might discern between good and evil, 
virtue and vice, false and true apostles, corrupt and 
uncorrupt doctrine, and so might follow the good and 
fly the bad. The same phrase of speech that is here 
used, is also used in the epistle to the Romans, though 
not so translated in our English Bibles there as here. 
' Behold,' saith the apostle there, Rom. ii. 18, ' thou 
art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and gloriest 
in God, and knowest his will, and allowest the things 
that are excellent.' Thus it is there translated and 
read, as also some translate the phrase here in this 
place, reading thus, ' That ye may allow the things 
that are excellent.' But in that place to the Romans, 
the reading in the margin is better than the reading 
in the text, and is all one with the reading here used 
in this place of our apostle. Howbeit, the matter is 
not great whether reading we admit, both coming much 
to one ; for whether we read thus, ' that ye may dis- 
cern things that differ, ' the meaning is, that upon trial 



they might allow the things that are excellent ; or thus, 
' that ye may allow the things that are excellent,' the 
meaning is, that upon the discerning of things that 
differ, they may allow the things that are excellent. 
But I follow the reading as in this place we have it. 

The first thing, then, which here I note is, the end 
wherefore the apostle prayed for the Philippians, that 
they might abound in knowledge and in all judgment, 
and it was, that thev might trv and discern things that 
differed, right from wrong, ti'uth from error, religion 
from superstition, &c, that, being able to put a differ- 
ence between them, they might allow and follow that 
which were good, that which they ought. Whence I 
observe the end wherefore all Christians ought to 
labour for increase in knowledge and in all judgment, 
and that is, that they may discern things that differ, 
good from evil, right from wrong, truth from error, 
religion from superstition, Sec, that so they may be 
pure, and without offence, until the day of Christ, Arc. 
For, therefore are we to follow after knowledge, that 
we may know what is good and what is evil, what is 
truth and what is error, and may be able to try the 
spirits, and to put a difference between things that differ 
one from another. And therefore are we to labour 
after a sound judgment, through a feeling experience 
in our own souls, of the truth of those things which 
we are taught out of the word ; that having our wits 
exei*cised to discern both good and evil, we may be 
pure, and without offence, &c. This place of our 
apostle is proof pregnant enough to this purpose ; 
where ye see that the apostle, in his love toward the 
Philippians, prayed for them, ' that they might abound 
in knowledge and in all judgment,' to this end ' that 
they might discern,' &c. And wherefore is it that 



50 



AlRAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. I. 



now we, the ministers of Christ, and disposers of God's 
secrets, do preach unto you the gospel of your salva- 
tion, and labour amongst you that ye may be rich in 
all knowledge, and in all judgment ? Is it not to this 
end, that ye may be taught in the ways of God, that 
ye may be able to try the spirits, which is the spirit 
of truth, and which is the spirit of error, that ye may 
be able to put a difference between good and evil, that 
ye may be pure in doctrine, in life, and in manners, 
that ye may be without offence until the day of Christ ? 
Yes, beloved, therefore we labour amongst you and 
admonish you ; therefore we shew you the whole 
counsel of God ; therefore, as much as we can, we help 
forward your knowledge ; therefore we call upon you 
to observe, in your own experience, the truth of those 
things which ye know out of the word ; yea, therefore, 
as the apostle, we pray that your love may abound in 
knowledge and in all judgment, that in this dotage of 
the world, wherein there are so many spirits of error, 
so many that walk not as they ought, because they 
err in their hearts, ye may be able to try the spirits, 
whether they be of God, that ye be not deceived by 
them ; that ye may be able to put a difference between 
things that differ one from another ; that ye may fly 
the corruptions which are in the world, and be pure ; 
that ye may hold a right course, and be without 
offence ; that ye may deny ungodliness and worldly 
lusts, and be filled with the fruits of righteousness, 
&c. And if for these ends we thus do, then for these 
ends also ye ought, even all of you, all that hear us, 
to labour for increase in knowledge and in all judg- 
ment. Reading, hearing, meditating, praying, every 
holy course ye ought to use, that ye may increase and 
abound in knowledge, and in all judgment, to this end, 
that in such ignorance ye may be able to discern 
things that differ ; that in such corruption ye may be 
pure ; that in such declination ye may be without 
offence until the day of Christ; and that in such 
wallowing in unrighteousness, ye may be filled with 
the fruits, &c. 

Very justly, then, are they hence to be reproved, that, 
in seeking after knowledge, even out of the Scriptures, 
propose rather any other end which they should not, 
than these which they should. For of those which do 
vouchsafe to search the Scriptures, many there are 
whose end is to pervert the Scriptures ; thence to 
build the fancies of their own brain, and to beguile 
unstable souls. Such are they that, seeing the chaste 
spouse of Christ to lean upon the Scriptures, do, by their 
corruptions of the text, their corrupt glosses upon the 
text, their false conclusions from the text, labour to over- 
throw the truth, and to build their own errors. Others 
there are, whose end in seeking knoAvledge out of the 
Scriptures is only a vain ostentation, that men may 
think and speak of them as great rabbins, good ex- 
pounders of the law, and very skilful in the Scriptures. 
Such are they of whose knowledge the apostle speaketh, 
when he saith, that ' knowledge puffeth up,' 1 Cor. 



viii. 1 ; for as they regarded nothing in seeking after 
knowledge but a vain ostentation, so, having attained 
unto knowledge, they swell and look so big as if all 
knowledge were shut up in their breasts. Others 
there are, whose end is, to inform their own under- 
standing, that they may not be ignorant in the law of 
their God, but may know the story of the Bible, the 
course and meaning of the Scriptures. Such are 
they that delight themselves only with the knowledge 
of the mysteries of God, but shew not any fruits of 
their knowledge in a sober, honest, and godly life. 
Indeed, men generally, in seeking knowledge out of 
the Scriptures, aim rather at every other end, than 
at that whereat they should. But we, beloved, may 
not be like unto them. Here ye see wherefore we 
should labour to abound more and more in knowledge 
and in all judgment. Whatsoever others do, let this 
be our direction Avhat we are to do. And though the 
smallest number by far make the bent of their in- 
crease in knowledge the informing of their under- 
standings, and the reforming of their lives, yet let us 
set in with this little number, and let this end stir 
up our desires to increase in knowledge. Let us 
labour, and let us pray that we may abound more and 
more in knowledge and in all judgment, even there- 
fore, ' that we may discern,' &c. Let us know that 
our increase in knowledge is nothing, if it be not for 
these ends, and let the desire of these ends increase 
our thirsting after knowledge. 

My next note is from the things themselves, where- 
fore the apostle prayed, ' that they might abound more 
and more in knowledge, and in all judgment ; ' whereof 
the first was, ' that they might discern things that 
differed ' one from another, that being able to see the 
difference of things concerning either doctrine, life, or 
manners, they might in each fly that which were evil, 
and follow that which were good. Whence I observe 
an employment necessary and behoveful for all 
Christians, namely, that, ' having their wdts exercised 
through long custom, they may discern good and evil ;' 
that, seeing the difference between things, in all kind 
of things they may choose the good, and refuse the 
bad. • Try all things,' saith the apostle, 1 Thes. v. 
21, doxipafyrs, ' and keep that which is good.' The 
word there used is the same with this in this place of 
our apostle, and it signifieth to try, to sift, to examine ; 
and that which is here spoken unto the Thessalonians, 
is spoken in them unto all the faithful children of 
God. What is, then, the meaning of the apostle in 
these words ? This ye must know, that then there 
were, as still there are, pestilent and deceiving spirits 
which trouble the church, and corrupt or discredit 
the doctrine of the gospel ; and this also ye must 
know, that then there were, as still there are, some ; 
which, because of such men, wilfully reject the doctrine 
of the gospel, and others which foolishly believe every 
spirit that speaketh in the name of Christ. The 
apostle therefore willeth them, and in them us, neither 



Ver. 10.] 



LECTURE XI. 



51 



wilfully to reject everything, because of some wicked 
men, nor yet foolishly to admit everything that is 
spoken in the name of Christ, but to try, and sift, 
and examine all things by the rule of the word. And 
what then ? When by trial we see and discern things 
that differ one from another, he willeth us to ' keep 
that which is good,' for that is the end wherefore we 
are to try things. So that hence we see that it is an 
employment very behoveful for us all, that we may 
be able to discern things that differ one from another, 
that, seeing the difference of things, we may embrace 
that which is good, and avoid the contrary. The 
same, also, we may see by the Holy Ghost's com- 
mendation of the men of Berea, Acts xvii. 11, for 
' searching the Scriptures, to see whether the things 
that were spoken were so.' It was Paul that preached 
unto them ; and when he preached unto them, they 
turned their books, and looked diligently into the 
Scriptures, to see whether in anything he differed 
from the doctrine of the Holy Ghost. And this is 
registered both for their commendation and our in- 
struction, to admonish us, that we are to care that 
w r e may discern things that differ, either in doctrine 
from corrupt * doctrine, or in faith from sound, or in 
manners from a Christian and holy conversation. 
And why ? The reason is very plain ; even that we 
1 be not like to the beasts that perish,' as the prophet 
speaketh of a man that is ' in honour, and hath no 
understanding,' Ps. xlix. 20. For what will ye think 
of such a man, that cannot discern between chaff and 
wheat, dross and gold, • sour and sweet ? Will }-e 
not say that he is like to the beast that perisheth ? 
What, then, must ye needs say and think of that 
Christian that cannot discern between truth and error, 
religion and superstition, virtue and vice, good and 
evil '? Any better ? Nay surely ; for these are as 
wheat and chaff, gold and dross, and not to discern 
between them, is not to discern between wheat and 
chaff, gold and dross. If, then, we will not be like 
unto the beasts that perish, our care must be, that, 
out of our knowledge of the Scriptures, we may be 
able to discern things that differ. 

But do we thus employ our care '? Naj r , thus far, 
I have only said what we should do ; but what we do, 
our uuableness to discern between things that differ 
one from another, too, too plainly discover. For 
what is the cause why so quickly we hearken unto 
those deceivers, that compass sea and land to make 
one of their profession, and when he is made, they 
make him twofold more the child of hell than they 
themselves are ? Why we are so easily seduced to 
believe the spirits of error, and to fall from our own 
stedfastness ? Is it not even hence, because we 
cannot discern things that differ one from another ? 
They bring unto us the fancies of their own brain, the 
traditions of their own church, lies out of their own 
legends, and we receive them, because we cannot dis- 
* Qu ' uncorrupt ' '? — Ed. 



cem them from the truth of Christ Jesus. They 
come unto us in the name of Christ Jesus, but bring 
with them the doctrine of devils, ' forbidding to marry, 
and commanding to abstain from meats, which God 
hath created to be received with thanksgiving;' and 
we believe them, because we cannot try the spirits 
whether they be of God, to see which is the spirit of 
truth, and which is the spirit of error. For God 
forbid that I should think that, if we could discern 
between truth and error, religion and superstition, 
any of us would follow their damnable heresies, by 
whom the way of truth is evil spoken of. Again, 
what is the cause why we are often deceived with the 
shadows of good things ; with the semblance of things 
honest, and just, and pure ; with the dim shews of 
virtue, and praise, and holiness of life ? Is it not 
even hence, because we cannot discern things that 
differ one from another? Oftentimes we think we 
run well, when we run quite a wrong course ; often- 
times we count that our praise, which is indeed our 
dispraise ; and a great many of us think that ' we 
have Abraham to our father,' when indeed we are ' of 
our father the devil.' And all hence, as I think, 
because we cannot discern things that differ. 

And yet, tell a great many of us that we know not 
good from evil, that we cannot discern between truth 
and error, right and wrong, &c, we cannot brook it, 
but we disdain to be counted so simple and ignorant 
that w r e cannot discern things so different. But let me 
but ask these questions : How is it that so commonly 
we fly that which is good, and follow that which is 
evil ? How is it that so easily we are drawn often- 
times from the way of truth into error '? How is it 
that vice, under the colour of virtue, so often doth 
deceive us ? Is it not because we cannot discern 
good from evil, truth from error, virtue from vice ? 
Either it is so, or worse ; for either ignorantly we err, 
as not able to discern between things that differ, or 
wilfully we run a wrong course, as discerning well 
enough things that differ, but wilfully running our- 
selves on the rocks. Beloved, let us think of these 
things, and let us be ashamed of it, that we cannot 
discern between thing's that differ one from other. It 

O 

is enough for us that we have spent the time past 
ignorantly and foolishly. Let us henceforth redeem 
the time, and learn to discern things that differ. If 
we consider the time that we have spent in the school 
of Christ, we may well think that now we should have 
so much knowledge as to discern things that differ one 
from another. And if truth and error, good and evil, 
&c, be unto us, as yet, as colours unto blind men, 
that we cannot discern between them, we may well 
think that we are blind. Let us therefore go unto 
Christ Jesus in his word, that we may receive sight, 
and see clearly. Let us read, and hear, and meditate 
in the holy word of God, that thence we may know 
' what is good and acceptable unto God.' Let us 
pray, and labour by all holy means, that we may 



52 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. L 



1 abound in knowledge, and in all judgment,' that we 
may discern things that differ one from another. 

The second thing wherefore the apostle prayed that 
the Philippians ' might abound more and more in 
knowledge and in all judgment,' was, that they might 
be 'pure,' u\r/.mi7g, namely, from any leaven of cor- 
ruption in doctrine, life, or in manners. For so the 
word here used signifieth, such as are clear and free 
from all mixture of corruption, as white wool never 
dyed, fine flour never leavened. And this was so an 
end of the apostle's prayer, for their increase in 
knowledge and in all judgment, that it seemeth to be 
subordinate to the former end ; for he would have 
them able to discern tbings that differ, corrupt from 
uncorrupt doctrine, &c, that they might be pure from 
all corruption in doctrine, life, and manners; and for 
both these causes he prayed that they might abound 
more and more in knowledge. Hence, then, I observe 
another employment behoveful for all Christians, 
namely, tbat they may be pure and free from all cor- 
ruption in doctrine, life, or manners. For it is not 
enough that we be able to discern things that differ 
one from another, and to know what in doctrine is 
corrupt and uncorrupt, what in life is good and evil, 
and what in manners is holy and what profane ; but 
farther also it is behoveful that we be pure from what- 
soever is corrupt in doctrine, from whatsoever is evil 
in life, from whatsoever is unholy in manners. 
' Know ye not,' saith the apostle, 1 Cor. v. 6, 7, ' that 
a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump ? Purge out 
therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, 
as ye are unleavened. For Christ our passover is 
sacrificed for us.' The apostle speaketh there of the 
incestuous person, and having sharply reproved the 
Corinthians' negligence in not punishing him, and 
willed them to excommunicate him, he whetteth them 
thereunto, saying, ' Know ye not that a little leaven,' 
&c, as if he should have said, Ye know very well that 
a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump or batch, and 
know ye not that one naughty man infecteth and 
poisoneth the whole congregation ? What is then to 
be done ? ' Purge out therefore the old leaven, that 
ye may be a new lump ; ' cut off that naughty man 
from your body, that ye may be an holy congregation 
unto the Lord, as ye are unleavened, as ye are called 
to be holy ; ' for Christ our passover is sacrificed for 
us ; ' which his exhortation, as it served for that 
purpose, so did it lesson them, and in them us, that 
forasmuch as a little leaven, a little corruption, marreth 
and poisoneth the whole man, therefore we should 
purge out, we should be pure from all leaven of mali- 
ciousness and wickedness, even from all corruption 
whatsoever, that we may be a new lump, holy vessels 
for the habitation of the Holy Spirit, as we are un- 
leavened, and holy, and pure, by our calling in Christ 
Jesus. And why ? ' For Christ our passover is sacri- 
ficed for us.' Whereby the apostle implieth thus 
much, that as the Jews, in the celebration of the feast 



of the passover, were to put away for all that time all 
leaven out of their houses, and only to eat unleavened 
bread, so we, now that Christ our passover is sacri- 
ficed for us, are to purge ourselves, and to cleanse the 
houses of our bodies from all leaven, and filthiness, 
and corruption, and to keep the feast with the un- 
leavened bread of sincerity and truth, holiness and 
godliness, so that for the whole time of the feast, the 
whole term of our life, there be no leaven, no corrup- 
tion, at all found in the houses of our bodies. Can 
anything be more plain for that purity which ought to 
be in us ? Much to the like purpose is that of our 
blessed Saviour to his disciples, where he warneth 
them, saying, Mat; xvi. 12, ' Take heed, and beware 
of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees ; ' in 
which words he warneth them, and in them us, to 
look unto it, that we be pure from all corruption in 
doctrine. And in that he doubleth the caveat, saj'ing, 
' Take heed, and beware,' he sheweth how very 
behoveful it is to look unto it. And in that he calleth 
corruption in doctrine leaven, he sheweth both the 
poison of it, that it mars the whole man, as a little 
leaven that leaveneth the whole lump, and likewise 
the riddance that should be of it out of the houses of 
our bodies, as of leaven out of the houses in the feast 
of the passover. So that ye see how behoveful an 
employment for us it is that we be pure from all cor- 
ruption in doctrine, life, and manners. And the 
reason is plain ; for what fellowship hath truth with 
error ? or what communion hath good with evil ? 
We cannot serve both God and Mammon. We must 
fly that which is evil, and follow that which is good. 
Halting between God and Baal will not serve ; we 
must 'worship the Lord our God, and him only must 
we serve.' If we be circumcised, Christ shall profit 
us nothing. If there be any mixture of corruption in 
us, our religion is in vain. It is but one of two, 
either pure or impure. If we will not be impure, our 
care must be to be pure. 

Here, then, are met withal such tolerations and 
indulgences, as either in policy, or upon any carnal 
reason, we are wont to take and allow unto ourselves. 
Whereas the apostle would have us purged of all cor- 
ruption, we will allow some mixture of corruption, and 
all things shall be well notwithstanding. Again, we 
like not of those hot-headed fellows that precisely urge 
a conformity in all things, according unto the word ; 
we cannot away with those pure men that would have 
us so pure, that we should not speak a word amiss, or 
do anything that is evil. We are men, and we must 
play the good fellows now and then, we must swear now 
and then, we must run at riot now and then, we must 
drink, and dance, and play now and then, more than 
we should ; we must pass the bounds of modesty, 
honest}', and Christian duty now T and then. And if 
some of us happily will not break out into such terms, 
yet we will think that sometimes we may adventure a 
little upon some breach of the law ; that we may, with- 






Ver. 11.] 



LECTURE XTT. 



53 



out gi'eat offence, commit such and such little sins ; that 
a little corruption, a little yielding unto the fashions of 
the world, cannot do so much harm ; that too much 
strictness and preciseness is naught ; and that to stand 
so much upon purity and sincerity, is but to make our- 
selves the talk, and mock, and by-word of the people. 
Thus we will be moderators over the Holy Ghost, and 
when he seems unto us to overreach, we will bring 
him to the measure of our own scantling. 

But, beloved, let us not deceive ourselves ; God is 
not mocked, but what he require th of us it standeth 
upon us to take care of the performance of it. The 
end of our calling is, that we be holy in all manner of 
conversation, as he which hath called us is holy. And 
therefore hath God chosen us in Christ Jesus, before 
the foundation of the world, that we should be holy, 
and without blame before him in love. And Christ, 
our passover, is once and for ever sacrificed for us, 
that henceforth we should keep the feast of the pass- 
over unto the Lord for ever, so that now no leaven of 
corruption at all may be found in all our houses. 
Let us, therefore, take heed how we make tolerations 
and indulgences unto ourselves. Let us take heed 
how we suffer any leaven of corruption in the houses 
of our bodies, and let us rather purge out the old 
leaven, that we maybe a new lump. Let us strive as 
much as possibly we can after this purity that is 
required of us, and let us assure ourselves that, when 
we have striven all that ever we can after this purity, 
we shall be impure enough, and too much. We see 
what it is that is required of us, as therefore the 
apostle willeth Timothy, 1 Tim. v. 22. Let us ' keep 
ourselves pure,' pure from corruption in doctrine, and 
pure from corruption in life and manners, that, as our 
apostle afterwards exhorteth, we may be ' blameless 
and pure, and the sons of God without rebuke, in the 
midst of a naughty and crooked nation.' Let our 
care be, first to discern things that differ, that we 
may skill what is pure, what not, either in doctrine, 
life, or manners ; and then, knowing that, let us care 
and study to be pure and sincere, and without all leaven 
of corruption, either in doctrine, life, or manners. 

The third thing wherefore the apostle prayed that 
the Philippians might abound more and more in know- 
ledge and in all judgment was, that they might be 
without offence, i. e. that they might not stumble at 
any thing, but hold on in a constant course without 



stumbling, or slipping back, or standing at a stay, 
until the day of Christ, when their constant persever- 
ance should be rewarded. For the apostle's desire 
was, 1, that they might be ' able to discern things that 
differed,' what were corrupt and bad, and what were 
pure and good ; 2, that being able to discern and 
try all things, they might keep that which were good, 
and might be ' pure ' from all leaven of corruption ; 
3, that being pure from all leaven of corruption, they 
might keep a constant course in their purity, ' without 
stumbling,' or shrinking back, or standing at a stay ; 
and for these causes he prayed that they might abound 
more and more in knowledge, &c. Whence I observe 
a third employment very behoveful for all Christians, 
namely, that, being in a good course, they hold on 
without stumbling, or standing, or shrinking ; being 
pure and clean from all leaven of corruption, they 
keep themselves so until the day of Christ. ' Are ye 
so foolish,' saith the apostle to the Galatians, chap, 
iii. 3, ' that after ye have begun in the spirit, ye would 
now be made perfect by the flesh ? ' The Galatians 
had embraced the gospel and obeyed the truth ; but 
now, through certain false apostles, they had fallen 
from the pure doctrine of Christ, and admitted some 
corruptions of that doctrine. And therefore the 
apostle reproves them sharply, and tells them that it 
is no course for a Christian to begin in the Spirit and 
to end in the flesh, but having begun in the Spirit by 
embracing the pure doctrine of Jesus Christ, they 
should end in the Spirit, and hold fast that pure doc- 
trine which they had embraced, even until the day of 
Christ ; so that, having obeyed the truth, we are not 
to yield to any corruptions of the truth, or to let our 
hold slip, but to hold fast the same unto the end. It 
is for the dog to return to his own vomit, and for the sow 
that was washed to return to her wallowing in the 
mire ; but the man that, having ' put his hand to tho 
plough, looketh back, he is not apt to the kingdom of 
God,' Luke ix. 62. Being in a good way, we must, 
with our apostle, still ' endeavour to that which is 
before, and follow hard toward the mark for the price 
of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.' But I 
have lately spoken to this purpose, and therefore now, 
the time being past, I will not farther trouble you ; 
only, with the apostle, I pray ' that your love may 
abound more and more in knowledge, and in all 
judgment,' &c. 



LECTUEE XII. 

Filled with the fruits of righteousness, which arc by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. — Philip, i. 11. 



IT remaineth now that we come unto the fourth and 
last end here mentioned, wherefore the apostle 
prayed that the Philippians might abound more and 
more in knowledge, and in all judgment ; and that 
was, that they might be fruitful in all good works, set 



down in these words, ' filled with the fruits,' &c. In 
which words I note, 1, the measure of good works 
which the apostle wisheth to be in the Philippians, 
which is, pressed down and shaken together, even 
that they may be * fitted with the fruits of righteous- 



:>t 



All? AY ON THE PHILIPP1ANS. 



[Chap. I. 



ness.' 2. The definition of good works, in that 
they are culled ' the fruits of righteousness.' 3. The 
fountain whence, or author from whom, good works, 
if, indeed, they be good works, are, and that is, 
1 Jesus Christ.' -1. The end whereunto good works, 
if indeed they be good works, do tend, and that is, 
• unto the glory and praise of God.' So that, besides 
the main point, which is the apostle's desire that the 
Philippians might be full of good works, here hence 
we may know all the causes of good works. The 
material cause, or matter and substance, of good works 
is hereby known, that they are called • the fruits of 
righteousness : ' for this sheweth that the verv matter 
and substance of good works is those good actions, 
which, as good fruit, grow and spring out of the 
righteousness of God in us. The formal cause or 
reason which causeth our works to be good works 
is hereby likewise known, that they are called ' the 
fruits of righteousness ; ' for this sheweth that the 
reason why our works are good works, is because of 
their conformity unto the law of God, because they 
are done in righteousness, according to the righteous 
law of God. The efficient cause or author from 
whom good works are, is hereby known, that it is said 
that they are ' by Jesus Christ ; ' for this sheweth 
that Jesus Christ worketh in us whatsoever works are 
good and agreeable to the righteous law of God. The 
final cause, or end of good works, whereunto they are 
to be referred, wherefore they are to be done, is 
hereby known, that it is said that they are ' by Jesus 
Christ, unto the glory and praise of God ; ' for this 
sheweth that the end wherefore we are to abound in 
every good work is the glory and praise of God, that 
his work thereby may be glorified. These are the 
things which these words seem unto me to contain. 
Now, let us see what observations we may gather 
hence for our farther use and instruction. 

The first thing, then, which, here I note, is, the rich 
grace wherewith our apostle would have the Philip- 
pians to abound in good works ; for he prayed that 
they might abound more and more in knowledge, and 
in all judgment, as for other ends before spoken of, so 
for this, that they might be ' filled with the fruits of 
righteousness," that they might abound in every good 
work. My observation hence is, that we are not only 
to do the things that are good, and to work the works 
of righteousness, but we are to abound in every good 
work, to be tilled with the fruits of righteousness. ' 
To do good, and to have our fruit in holiness and 
righteousness, is a thing much urged, and c>ften com- 
manded, by the Holy Ghost in the Scriptures ; and it 
is so clear a ease, that it cannot be denied or shifted, 
but that we are to do the things that are good, and to 
work the works of righteousness. Yet so cunning are 
we to deceive ourselves, that if at some times we have 
done some things well, we think we have obeyed the 
voice of the Lord herein, though we come far short of 
being filled with the fruits of righteousness. The 



Holy Ghost, therefore, to meet with our foolish wis- 
dom, and to clear the point, plainly sheweth in many 
places of the Scripture, that, as we are to shew forth 
good works, so we are to be rich in good works ; as 
we are to live righteously in this present world, so we 
are to be tilled with the fruits of righteousness, that in 
our whole spirit, soul, and body, throughout our 
whole life, the fruits thereof may appear. ' We cease 
not to pray for you,' saith the apostle to the Colos- 
sians, chap. i. 9, 10, ' and to desire that ye might be 
filled with knowledge of his will, in all wisdom and 
spiritual understanding, that ye might walk worthy of 
the Lord, and please him in all things, being fruitful 
in all good works.' The words are much like to these 
of our apostle ; wherein ye see, he saith he prayed 
for them unto the Lord, that thev might be filled with 
the knowledge of his will, in all wisdom and spiritual 
understanding, to the end that they might walk 
worthy of him, and please him in all things, and be 
fruitful in all good works ; giving them, and in them 
us, thereby to understand that we are to walk worthy 
of the Lord, and therefore to please him in all things ; 
that we are to please him in all things, and therefore 
to be fruitful in all good works, like good trees, bring- 
ing forth much fruit ' unto the glory and praise of 
God.' Again, ' he that abideth in me,' saith om* 
Saviour, John xv. 5, ' and I in him, the same bringeth 
forth much fruit;' 'and herein,' saith he, ver. 8, 
' is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit.' In 
which place our Saviour likeneth himself unto the 
vine, and his disciples and children unto the branches 
of the vine. Now, how shall we know that we are 
branches of the vine Christ Jesus ? If we bear much 
fruit in him, if we will glorify the Father, if we will 
know that we abide in Christ Jesus, and that he 
abideth in us, if we will kuow that we are branches of 
the true vine Christ Jesus, we must not be like unto 
the fig-tree, that bare no fruit, but only leaves ; but 
we must bear fruit, and much fruit, and much fruit in 
Christ Jesus. It is not here a grape and there a 
grape, here a cluster and there a cluster, that will 
serve the turn, but we must bear much fruit ; neither 
is it wild grapes and fruit in the flesh that we must 
bear, but we must bear much fruit in Christ Jesus, 
we must be rich in the fruits of the Spirit, rich in 
good works. And this was it that was commended in 
that virtuous woman Tabitha, Acts is. 86, that ' she 
was full of good works, and alms which she did/ 
whose example we may not pass over with a bare 
reading or hearing of it, without making a farther use 
of it than to know that it was so ; but we must kuow 
that it was written for our learning, to admonish us, 
that as she was, so we should be, full of good works 
and alms-deeds, — of good works in general, and of 
alms-deeds in particular. 

But what is the reason that we should be filled with 
the fruits of righteousness ? We have already heard 
many reasons, as that we may ' please the Lord iu all 



Ver. 11.] 



LECTURE XII. 



55 



things,' for so we do please him in all things if we be 
'fruitful in all good works,' Col. i. 10. Again, that 
we may glorify God the Father, for ' herein is the Father 
glorified if we bear much fruit,' John xv. 8. Again, 
that we may know that we abide in Christ, and Christ 
in us, for ' he that abideth in Christ, and Christ in 
him, the same bringeth forth much fruit,' ver. 5. 
Again, that there may be none unrighteousness in us, 
for so shall we be free from unrighteousness, if we be 
filled with the fruits of righteousness. Again, because 
wc ourselves should be as good trees, ' the planting of 
the Lord, trees of righteousness,' as the prophet 
speaketh, Isa. lxi. 3 ; for so shall we be known to be 
good trees, if we bring forth good fruit; and the more 
good fruit that we bear, the better trees we shall be. 
That, therefore, we may be trees of righteousness, we 
should be filled with the fruits of righteousness; that 
we may be the planting of the Lord, we should bring 
forth much fruit in the Lord ; that we may be as trees 
planted by the water side, we should always bring 
forth fruit in due season. All times of the year our 
boughs, even the boughs of our spirit, soul, and bod}-, 
should be full of the fruits of the Spirit, of the fruits 
of repentance, of the fruits of holiness, of the fruits of 
righteousness. The trees of the garden have their 
seasons to bear their fruit, and in their seasons they 
do not always take ; but all times are due seasons for 
our bearing of fruit, and at all times our trees should 
be so well taken that their tender boughs should be 
laden with fruit. 

Here then, first, beloved, take a caveat, to beware 
of them that tell you that we make no reckoning of 
good works, that all our preaching is of an idle and 
dead faith, that we are afraid in our sermons to 
make any mention of good works, and that when we 
mention them, either we condemn them, or speak so 
coldly of them as if there were no worth at all in 
them. Let your own ears witness what we preach 
unto you, and whether they do not most untruly slander 
us that thus speak of us. "What more do we beat 
upon and urge than that ye may be pure, that ye may 
be without offence until the day of Christ, that ye may 
be filled with the fruits of righteousness, and abound 
in every good work ? Answer them, therefore, out 
of 3*our own knowledge, and tell them that they are 
\ of their father the devil, who is a liar, and the father 
thereof.' Ye yourselves know it, and therefore may 
boldly speak it. 

Secondly, Let this be as a spur to prick us forward, 
and to stir us up to every good work. For should 
we be filled with the fruits of righteousness, and 
abound in every good work ? How is it, then, that 
we are so barren in good works, like unto the heath 
in the wilderness, that bringeth forth no fruit that is 
good. Abound in works we do, but it is in the sin- 
ful works of the flesh, not in good works of the Spirit ; 
and full of fruits we are, but it is of the fruits of un- 
righteousness, maliciousness, cruelty, oppression, and 



the like, not full of the fruits of righteousness. If 
there be here and there a cluster of grapes, as in the 
gathering after the vintage ; if we do some things 
well, though they be nothing in comparison of the 
evil that we do ; if, after we have run at riot a long 
time, at length wc have some fruit in holiness ; if, in 
the moderation and government of our affections and 
actions, we do more savour of the Spirit than in the 
common course of the world men do : then we think 
well of our good works, and count ourselves such as 
have well profited in the school of Christ. But to 
urge us to be filled with the fruits of righteousness, 
to be fruitful in all good works, to have our whole 
conversation holy, to shew forth the fruits of the 
Spirit in our whole spirit, soul, and body throughout 
our whole life, this we cannot brook, and this is a 
thing wherein the preacher may well strive with us, 
but wherein he shall not prevail with us. For here 
it is with us as with the young man in the gospel, 
Mat. xix., who soothed up himself as if lie had been 
as good a man as lived, till it was said unto him, ' If 
thou wilt be perfect, go sell that thou hast, and give 
it to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven,' 
but then he hung down the head, and went away sor- 
rowful. So we, many of us, while it is said, Do that 
which is good, let your conversation be honest, have 
yovn- fruit in holiness, we comfort ourselves as having 
observed these things ; but when it is said, Abound in 
every good work, be ye filled throughout your whole 
man and throughout your whole life with the fruits of 
righteousness, then we hang down the head, and all 
the exhortations in the world will not prevail thus 
far with us. That the Lord shall open his hand and 
fill us with plenteousness in all good things, we can 
brook it very well ; but where is he that is filled with 
the fruits of righteousness, to the glory and praise of 
his name ? Some one Tabitha, it may be, may be 
full of good works ; but with the rest it is well if they 
be not as bad as the worst. Let us, beloved, now 
that we know what we should be, strive unto that 
which should be. Let us, as we should be, be trees 
of righteousness, filled with the fruits of righteous- 
ness. As we are purged by Christ Jesus to be a 
peculiar people unto him, zealous of good works, so 
let us abound in every good work. Let us not only 
fly that is evil, and do that is good ; but as men 
sanctified throughout in spirit, sold, and body, let 
our whole life and conversation be such as becometh 
the gospel of Christ Jesus. The more fruit we bear, 
the better trees wo are ; the more by our fruits we 
glorify God the Father, the more sure we are that we 
are branches of the true vine Christ Jesus. Let 
us, therefore, give all diligence, use all holy means, 
and pray that we may abound more and more in the 
knowledge of God's will, that we may discern things 
that differ, that we may be pure, and without offence 
until the day of Christ, filled with the fruits of right- 
eousness, and being fruitful in all good works. 



56 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. I. 



The next thing which here I note is, that the 
apostle calleth good works ' the fruits of righteous- 
ness.' For it is as if he had said, filled with good 
works which are the fruits of righteousness ; there- 
fore called the fruits of righteousness, because they 
spring from righteousness, as the fruit from the tree. 
The observation, then, hence is, that good works are 
the fruits of righteousness. Righteousness, that is 
the tree ; and good works, they are the fruit of the 
tree. So that as first must be the tree and then the 
fruit, so first we must be righteous, even by the right- 
eousness of God in us, before we can do the works 
that are good. Now, what is our righteousness before 
God ? Our apostle telleth us, in the third chapter of 
this epistle, ver. 9, even that ' righteousness which is 
through the faith of Christ ; ' for as ' Abraham be- 
lieved God, and it was imputed to him for righteous- 
ness,' so our faith in Christ Jesus, ' who is made of 
God unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sancti- 
fication, and redemption,' is accounted unto us for 
righteousness before God. First, then, we must be- 
lieve in Christ Jesus, ' whom God hath set forth to 
be a reconciliation through faith in his blood,' before 
we can do any works acceptable unto God ; and being 
justified by faith in Christ, then are our works good 
and acceptable unto God. And to this our apostle 
giveth testimony where he saith, Tit. i. 15, ' Unto 
the pure all things are pure, but unto them that are 
defiled and unbelieving, is nothing pure, but even 
their minds and consciences are defiled.' In which 
words, by 2 mre ne nieaneth them whose hearts are 
purified by faith in Christ Jesus, as the antithesis in 
the next clause sheweth, where he expresseth whom 
he meaneth by impure men, even unbelieving men. 
Hence, then, it is plain that when once our hearts 
are purified by faith in Christ Jesus, not only the 
things which by the law are counted unclean are 
clean and pure unto us, but our works also are good 
and holy ; but till our hearts be purified by faith in 
Christ Jesus, neither any of the things which by the 
law are counted pure are pure unto us, neither is any 
work of ours good, but how good soever it be in show, 
yet it is indeed abominable before God. To the like 
purpose is that of the apostle, where he saith, Heb. 
xi. 6, that ' without faith it is impossible to please 
God ; ' where the apostle, shewing the dignity and 
excellency of faith, amongst other things commendeth 
it for this, that by it, as Enoch did, we please God ; 
but without faith, saith he, it is unpossible that any 
work of ours whatsoever should please God. So that 
our works, if they be good, they are the fruits of 
righteousness, even of the righteousness which is of 
God through the faith of Jesus Christ ; otherwise, if 
they spring not from that root, they are not good. 

Here then, Jirst, learn to beware of them that tell 
you that our good works are that righteousness 
whereby we are justified before God. Ye see the 
apostle telleth you that they are the fruits of right- 



eousness. As well, therefore, may they tell you that 
the fruit of a tree is the tree, as that our good works 
are our righteousness before God. ' Let God be true, 
and every man a liar.' If he have said that they are 
the fruits of righteousness, then assure we ourselves 
that they are spirits of error that tell us that they 
are our righteousness. 

Secondly, Hence learn to beware of them that tell 
you, that men not begotten in the faith of Christ 
Jesus are able to do the things that are good and 
pleasing unto God ; for either you must not believe 
the holy apostle, or rather the Holy Ghost speaking 
by the mouth of the apostle, or else you must know 
that they only do the things that are good and pleas- 
ing unto God that are justified by faith in Christ 
Jesus ; for this the holy apostle hath said, that good 
works are the fruits of rghteousness. Either, then, 
our good works must spring and proceed from the 
righteousness of God by faith in Christ Jesus in us, 
or else they are not good ; so that they only that are 
justified by faith in Christ Jesus do the things that 
are good. And therefore they that tell you other- 
wise, they are led by the same spirit of error that 
they are who tell you that by our works we are justi- 
fied before God. 

Thirdly, Let this teach us how to examine our 
works, whether they be good or no. Are they the 
fruits of righteousness ? Do they proceed from a 
true and lively faith in Christ Jesus ? Is the foun- 
tain pure whence they spring, and their end good 
whereunto they tend ? Then be bold they are good 
works. Otherwise, if there be no such warrant for 
them, seem they never so good, yet they are not good. 
Examine but our works according to this rule, and 
surely we will not all of us be found full of good 
works. 

The third thing which here I note is, that the 
apostle saith, that these fruits of righteousness where- 
with he would have the Philippians filled, are by Jesus 
Christ. Whence I observe the author of every good 
work in us, and that is Christ Jesus, by the grace of 
his Holy Spirit ; for, as the apostle saith, 2 Cor. iii. 5, 
' we are not sufficient of ourselves, to think anything 
as of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God.' Now, 
if of ourselves we be not sufficient to think a good 
thought, but that must only be suggested by God's 
Spirit, then how shall we be sufficient of ourselves to 
do anything that is good ? Nay, our apostle tells us, 
in the next chapter, Philip, ii. 13, that ' it is God 
which works in us both the will and the deed, even of 
his good pleasure.' Neither thought of the heart, nor 
affection of the will, nor work of the hand, but if it be 
good, it is by the operation of the Holy Spirit in us. 
Nay, take an argument even from hence ; good works 
they are the fruits of righteousness. Now, doth the 
fruit of a tree bud or grow by the labour or skill of 
man ? Nay, he planteth and watereth, but God only 
gives the fruit in due season. Right so it is not in 



Ver. 12-14.] 



LECTURE XIII. 



57 



man to do that is good ; but if he do that is good, it 
is of God. Work of himself he may, and to work that 
which is evil he is too prone of himself ; but if he 
work anything that is acceptable unto God, it is wholly 
by the Spirit of God. And why ? That God may be 
all in all, and that he may have the glory of all. 

Let this sufficiently warn us to beware of them, and 
arm us against them, that would persuade us that we 
are able of ourselves to do that is good, at least if we 
be holpen by grace. If we think, or will, or do any- 
thing tbat is good, whatsoever fruit of righteousness 
it is that is in us, it is by Jesus Christ, not of our- 
selves (for then we had wherein to rejoice in ourselves) ; 
but only of his good pleasure, that by his good Spirit 
worketh it in us. This our apostle telleth us, and 
this we learn from him ; and if any man preach unto 
us, or teach us otherwise than this that we have 
received, let him be accursed. 

Secondly, Let this teach us unto whom all praise is 
due for whatsoever good is in us. Whatsoever good 
is in us, it is by Jesus Christ. So that our song is 
always to be as the song of the angels in the Apoca- 
lypse, Rev. v. 13, ' Praise, and honour, and glory, 
and power be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, 
and to the Lamb for evermore.' His name is to be 
blessed, and the power of his Spirit is to be acknow- 
ledged, in whatsoever good work is wrought in us. 

The last thing which here I note is, touching the 
end of good works, which as they are by Jesus Christ, 
as the author and worker of them in us, so they are 
to be done to the glory and praise of his name. 
Whence I observe, unto what end our works must be 
done if they be good, and that is unto the glory and 
praise of God. Ye know that of the apostle, 1 Cor. 
x. 31, where he saith, ' Whether ye eat, or drink, or 
whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.' As 



also that of our Saviour, Mat. v. 10, where he saith, 
' Let your light so shine before men, that they may 
see your good works, and glorify your Father which 
is in heaven.' And that of Peter, 1 Pet. ii. 12, where 
he saith, ' Have your conversation honest among the 
Gentiles, that they which speak evil of you, as of evil 
doers, may by your good works which they shall see, 
glorify God in the day of the visitation.' By which, 
and many other places which might be alleged to this 
purpose, it appeareth, that the end where unto our works 
(if they be good) must be referred, must be the glory 
and praise of God, that thereby he may be glorified, 
both by us, and by others which see our good works. 

Here then, first, we learn not to credit any that 
shall tell us that any action of any unregenerate man 
can be good. For what is the end of such men in 
their actions ? Is it the praise and glory of God ? 
Nay, it is their own praise, and the praise of men 
which they seek after in all the most glorious things 
that they do. But hence we learn that so our works 
are good works, if they be by Jesus Christ, unto the 
glory and praise of God. 

Secondly, Hence we learn that the end of our good 
works is not to be, that thereby we may merit heaven, 
but that thereby God may be glorified. Nay, if our 
works be thereby to merit heaven, they cannot be to 
the glory and praise of God. For how much soever 
is given to merit, so much is taken from the glory of 
God. Either, therefore, we must renounce all merit, 
or else whatsoever we say, our works are not to the 
glory of God. 

Thirdly, This teacheth us, whatsoever we do, to do 
it to the honour and praise of God. Let this, there- 
fore, be our end in all that ever we do, that thereby 
God may be glorified ; and let us know that, so only, 
that which we do is good, if we do it to this end. 



LECTUKE XIII. 

/ would ye understand, brethren, that the things which have come unto me, are turned rather to the further- 
ing of the gospel ; so tJiat my bands in Christ are famous throughout all the judgment-hall, and in all other 
places ; insomuch, that many of the brethren in the Lord are boldened through my band, mid dare more frankly 
speak the word. — Philip. I. 12-14. 



WE have spoken of the apostle's exordium, or en- 
trance to his epistle, and therein of such things 
as whereby he testified his love towards the Philippians, 
thereby to win their attention unto him ; and likewise 
of such observations as that Scripture offered, together 
with such uses and instructions thence as seemed 
most behoveful for us. Now, in the rest of this chap- 
ter, is set down the apostle's narration. Wherein, 
first, he tells them of his present state, how at this 
present when he wrote unto them matters stood with 
him ; and this he doth from ver. 12 to 19. Secondly, 
he tells them from hereafter what his hope is, namely, 
that all shall turn to his own salvation, to the further- 



ing of the gospel, and to their joy and comfort ; and 
this he doth from ver. 19 to the end of the chapter. 
The end and drift of the whole narration was to com- 
fort the Philippians, that they should not be swal- 
lowed up of overmuch heaviness for his bonds, nor 
therefore shrink from their good profession. 

Now, touching the former part of the apostle's nar- 
ration, wherein he tells them in what state his matters 
now presently were, what effect the bands which he 
sustained for Christ his sake, and the gospel's, at that 
present had, 1, therein we have the proposition of 
the narration, or the main point whereof he speaks ; 
2, the confirmation or proof thereof, by two notable 



58 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. I. 



effects of his bands ; 3, an amplification of the latter 
effect, together with an answer to an exception which 
might be taken. The proposition, or main point of 
the former part of the narration, is this, that his per- 
secution and imprisonment rather furthered than hin- 
dered the gospel, set down ver. 12. Now this is 
confirmed and proved by two notable fruits and effects 
of his persecution and imprisonment ; the former 
whereof was this, that by occasion of his bands, Christ 
and his gospel were known in Nero his court in Rome, 
and in other places ; and many brought unto the faith 
of Christ Jesus, both in Nero his court and in other 
places, set down ver. 18. The latter fruit and effect 
of his persecution and imprisonment was this : that 
through his bands and constancy therein, many of the 
brethren were emboldened, more freely and frankly, to 
profess and preach the gospel of Christ Jesus than 
before, set down ver. 14, so that by his bands the 
gospel was both farther dispersed into many places, 
and likewise more fruitfully embraced in the heai'ts of 
many brethren. The amplification of this latter fruit 
and effect of his bands is by way of distribution. For 
of those brethren, that through his bands were em- 
boldened to preach Christ more frankly than before, 
all of them were not of one mind in preaching Christ, 
but some preached Christ through envy and strife, not 
purely and of a good mind, but to add affliction unto 
his bands ; others preached Christ of a good mind 
towards the gospel of Jesus Christ, and of love unto 
the apostle, set down ver. 15-17. And because it 
might be said that he had no cause to rejoice in that 
any preached Christ not of a sincere and good mind, 
he answereth that, and saith, that he rejoiceth, and 
thinketh he hath good cause so to do, that Christ is 
preached, be it sincerely or not sincerely, let them 
look to that, but he is glad that Christ is preached, 
set down ver. 18. Thus much for the general order 
and meaning of these words in this former part of our 
apostle's narration. Now, let us a little more parti- 
cularly examine the meaning of these words, wherein 
are set down the proposition, or main point, and the 
proof thereof. 

/ ivould ye understood, brethren, that the things which 
have come unto me. What were those? Even all 
those things which befell him in his sailing towards 
Rome, at his first going thither from Jerusalem, but 
especially his bands in his first imprisonment at Rome. 
For this ye must understand, that Paul was twice 
prisoner at Rome : once in the beginning of Nero his 
reign, about the second year of his reign; and again 
in the latter end of his reign, about the thirteenth 
year of his reign. For when, being at Jerusalem, he 
was put from Claudius Lysias unto Felix, and again 
from Felix unto Festus, and still the Jews hunted 
after his blood, at length he was constrained to appeal 
unto Caesar, unto the emperor of Rome, then Nero ; 
whereupon he was sent thither, and after many perils 
and dangers escaped by the sea, he came to Rome, 



where he was prisoner two years at the least, Luke 
testifying so much : at which time he wrote divers 
epistles unto the churches which he had planted in the 
east, as unto the Galatians, unto the Ephesians, 
unto the Colossians, unto the Thessalonians, as some 
think, and this unto the Philippians. But as the 
apostle hoped that the Lord would, as we read in the 
next chapter, so, at this time, he did deliver him from 
the mouth of that lion Nero, both he being less cruel 
now than afterwards he grew to be, and the Lord 
having ordained that by him many of the Gentiles 
should hear the gospel, unto whom it had not as yet 
been preached. This, as I said, was about the be- 
ginning of Nero his reign. Again, about the latter 
end of his reign, he was cast into prison at Rome ; 
and then he was indeed devoured by that lion, slain 
by that cruel tyrant and persecutor, Nero.* Whatso- 
ever, then, in this epistle is spoken of the apostle's 
bands, ye must understand it meant of his first im- 
prisonment at Rome. By the things, then, which 
came unto him in this place, we must understand his 
bands in his first imprisonment in Rome. Now, what 
of these ? These, saith the apostle, are ' turned rather 
to the furthering of the gospel,' than to the hindering 
of it, contrary to the hope of the adversaries of the 
gospel, which did cast him into prison ; for they 
hoped that his bands would prevail much to hinder 
the course of the gospel ; but he tells the Philippians 
that the Lord had turned them rather to the further- 
ing than to the hindering of the gospel. But how 
could that be ? Very well ; for so his bands in Christ, 
i. e. which he sustained for Christ his sake, and the 
gospel's, were famous throughout all the judgment- hall, 
i. e. throughout all the emperor's court, and in all 
other places, both of the city and of other countries. 
But how were his bands famous in all these places ? 
Namely, because by that occasion the gospel came to 
be known, and to be believed by many in all these 
places. This was the first fruit of his bands ; by them 
the gospel was far dispersed. Again, through his 
bands, and constancy therein, many of the brethren 
in the Lord, many pastors and teachers of the church, 
were emboldened more frankly and freely to speak the 
word, i. e. to profess and preach the gospel, than be- 
fore they durst. And this was the second fruit and 
effect of his bands : by them the teachers of the word 
took courage to speak the word more boldly than 
before they had done. Plain therefore it was, that, 
contrary to the hope of the adversaries of the gospel, 
his bands were turned rather to the furthering than 
to the hindering of the gospel, inasmuch as by occa- 
sion of his bands both the gospel was farther spread 
and dispersed than before, and likewise the preachers 
of the gospel more encouraged and emboldened to 
preach the gospel than before. Thus much of tho 
sense of the words. Now to the observations. 

Here might be noted the apostle's carefulness to 
* Euseb., lib. ii. cap. xxv. 



Ver. 12-14.] 



LECTURE XIII. 



59 



take away the scandal and offence of his bands, where- 
with the Philippians might haply be troubled, and 
thereat take offence. And thence might be observed 
the care which pastors ought to have of taking away 
whatsoever may breed any doubt, or occasion any 
offence amongst the people ; the neglect of which 
care doth often so much harm, that their silence in 
the church were as tolerable as their carelessness to 
remove all scruples and occasions of offence from the 
people. But I rather come unto the main point here 
to be noted, which is the apostle's asseveration that 
his bands and imprisonment turned rather to the 
furthering than to the hindering of the gospel, far 
contrary to the expectation and hope of those adver- 
saries of the gospel that cast him into prison. 

Whence I observe, that the persecutions and afflic- 
tions of the saints of Christ Jesus do rather further 
than hinder the gospel, rather increase than diminish 
the church. Ye know the burdens and afflictions of 
the children of Israel in Egypt, the house of their 
bondage under Pharaoh and the Egyptians, Exod. i. 
Come, saith Pharaoh, ' let us work wisely with the 
people of the children of Israel, lest they multiply, 
and it come to pass that if there be war, they join 
themselves unto our enemies, and fight against us,' 
&c, ver. 10. Whereupon, ' by cruelty they caused 
the children of Israel to serve,' ver. 13, and made 
them ' weary of their lives by sore labour in clay, and 
in brick, and in all work in the field, with all manner 
of bondage, which they laid upon them most cruelly,' 
ver. 14. Yea, and a commandment came from the 
king, unto the midwives, that so many sons as were 
born to the women of the Hebrews, they should kill 
them, ver 15. Notable practices indeed that they 
should not multiply. But what saith the Holy Ghost ? 
' The more they vexed them, the more they multi- 
plied and grew,' ver. 12. The Egyptians they vexed 
the Israelites lest they should multiply, but the more 
they vexed them, the more they multiplied ; the 
Egyptians they laid upon them all cruel burdens to 
hinder the growth of the church there, but the Lord 
turned that which they did rather to the increasing 
than to the diminishing of the church there. Ye know 
also the great danger of the three children, Shadrach, 
Meshach, and Abednego, in the land of their captivity, 
Dan. hi. 8, how grievously the Chaldeans accused 
them unto Nebuchadnezzar for not worshipping the 
golden image which he had set up, and how the king, 
in a great fury and rage, commanded them therefore 
to be cast into the midst of a hot fieiy furnace, ver. 
20, which also was done, as the king commanded, 
ver 21. So that now it was like that idolatry should 
increase, and that the worship of the true God of 
Israel should decrease, because of this cruel execution 
upon these three children, for the maintenance of his 
holy worship, and refusal to worship the image. But 
lo, how the Lord turned this to the spreading and 
propagation of his holy worship throughout all the 



dominions of Nebuchadnezzar. For the Lord having 
wrought a mighty deliverance for the three children, 
in saving them from the power of the fire, so that 
neither an hair of their head was burnt, nor their coats 
changed, nor any smell of fire' was upon them, ver. 
27, both all the nobles and great princes which came 
to worship the golden image were spectators of this 
great wonder which the true God of Israel wrought, 
and Nebuchadnezzar himself ' blessed the God of 
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego,' ver. 28, for deliver- 
ing his servants, that yielded their bodies rather than 
they would serve or worship any God save their own 
God ; and likewise made a decree, that none of all 
his people should dare to speak any blasphemy against 
the God of Israel, ver. 29. Thus the Lord turned 
their practices and devices against his holy worship 
unto the propagation of his holy worship, so that when 
it seemed almost to have perished it was farther dis- 
persed. And as this may be seen in Moses and the 
prophets, so also it is clearly overruled in the new 
testament. You know the rage of Satan, and his in- 
struments against our blessed Saviour ; from his 
cradle to his cross, how did they persecute him, and all 
to destroy and to abolish his kingdom for ever ! How 
was he persecuted, and forced to fly from place to 
place, even in his infancy ! How often was he tempted 
by the devil in the wilderness ! How despitefully was 
he entreated by the high priests, the scribes, and 
pharisees, and the rest of the Jews ! How was he 
mocked, buffeted, spit upon, crowned with a crown of 
thorns, accused, condemned, and crucified between 
two thieves ! And when they had taken him and 
crucified him, then they thought they had made sure 
work for the rooting out of his name, and of his doc- 
trine, for ever. But so the Lord provided, that by 
his cross his kingdom was established, and by his 
death the life of his church was preserved, so that his 
sufferings and his wrongs were turned to the best ; 
and that which they presumed would have hindered 
the gospel, turned to the furthering of the gospel. Not 
to trouble you with more proofs to this purpose, ye 
know the persecutions and afflictions, the bands and 
imprisonment, of our apostle. And when his adver- 
saries had now gotten him cast into prison, they 
thought that now he should be safe from preaching 
any more in Christ his name ; that the rest, when 
they should hear of him, should be daunted, and not 
dare to preach the gospel ; and indeed that thus the 
whole course of the gospel should most certainly 
be hindered. But such was the Lord his providence, 
that he turned their devices into the imagination of a 
vain thing; and that which they thought should have 
been to the hindering, he turned rather to the further- 
ing of the gospel. For, as himself here witnesseth, 
by occasion of his bands, both the gospel was farther 
propagated, even unto the emperor's court, into all 
places of the city of Rome, and into many other 
countries, in all which places many thereby were 



60 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. I. 



brought unto the obedience of the faitb, and of the 
gospel of Christ Jesus ; and likewise thereby the 
gospel took better settling, and deeper rooting in the 
hearts of many of the pastors of the church, insomuch 
that many of them were so far from being daunted by 
his bands, that thereby they were a great deal bolder 
than before, and durst more frankly and freely profess 
and preach the gospel than before. So that whether 
we look into Moses or the prophets, unto Christ or 
his apostles, still we shall find that the persecution, 
afflictions, and bands of God's saints rather further 
than hinder the gospel, rather make for than against 
the increase of Christ his kingdom upon earth, rather 
help than hurt the church. 

But how comes this to pass ? The adversaries of 
God's saints intend no such thing. No indeed ; their 
whole desire and endeavour in troubling and perse- 
cuting the saints of God, is to make havoc of the 
church, and to hinder or aholish the gospel of Jesus 
Christ. How then ? Is it by the merits of the 
saints, by the virtue of their sufferings, by the force 
of their blood which they shed for the gospel ? No, 
nor so ; for all their merits are not of that worth, all 
their sufferings and deaths have not that virtue, that 
thereby the gospel should be furthered, or the church 
increased. How, then, comes it to pass that the 
persecutions and sufferings of the saints do further the 
gospel? 1. By the power of Christ. 2. By the 
example of the saints' constancy in their sufferings. 
3. By the freedom of the gospel then when the saints 
are bound for the gospel. For such is the power of 
Christ, that howsoever their enemies do band them- 
selves against his saints, so to work the subversion 
of the gospel, and of the truth of Christ Jesus, yet he 
can, at his pleasure, and doth, make their devices to 
be of none effect ; nor only so, but turneth them to a 
clean other end than they had imagined. And there- 
fore the psalmist saith, Ps. ii. 1, ' Why do the heathen 
rage, and the people murmur in vain ? The kings of 
the earth band themselves,' &c. As if he should have 
said : The enemies of Christ plot and practise all that 
ever they can against him, and against his truth and 
gospel ; but all in vain, for the God of heaven sees 
them, and laughs them to scorn ; he either frustrateth 
their wicked plots and practices, or turns them to his 
own glory. Again, when r men see the saints' con- 
stancy in their sufferings, how little they are daunted 
with the fury of their adversaries, how patiently they 
suffer their bands and persecutions, how, by the 
mighty power of God assisting them and strengthening 
them, they do, even in their death, triumph over 
death ; this very example of their constancy brings 
many unto the church, and much furthereth the gospel. 
And hereupon is that known saying, that the blood of 
the martyrs is the seed of the 'church. Again, the 
word of God is not bound, though the saints do suffer 
even unto bands, as the apostle saith, 2 Tim. ii. 9, 
' I suffer trouble as an evil doer, even unto bands, 



but the word of God is not bound.' And therefore in 
their bands for the gospel's sake, they may preach and 
publish the gospel so much, that their bands may be 
to the furthering rather than to the hindering of the 
gospel ; as we read that our apostle in this his im- 
prisonment at Rome, for two years' space, ' preached 
the kingdom of God, and taught those things which 
concerned the Lord Jesus Christ, without let,' Acts 
xxviii. 31 ; and that he wrote almost as many epistles 
there unto the churches as he wrote else at all. And 
thus ye see both that the persecutions of God's saints 
rather further than hinder the gospel, and likewise 
how it cometh to pass that they do so. 

Now, the use which we are to make hereof is, hence 
to be comforted in all our persecutions and troubles, 
which the wicked raise up against us. For what 
though they seek all occasions against us, because of 
the truth which we profess ? What though they 
bring us before kings and rulers, judges and great 
officers, and there unjustly accuse us, or arraign us 
as evil doers for the gospel's sake of Christ Jesus ? 
What though they prevail to get us cast into prison, 
or thrown out of our livings, or delivered unto death 
for the hope of our profession ? It may be that they 
may have their will upon us, and bring their wicked 
purposes against us to pass ; but what of all this ? 
Is thus the gospel furthered ? Doth the Lord turn 
these things to the enlargement of his church ? A 
chip, then, for all these, or all that man can do against 
us ! Nay, herein we joy, and will joy, that by our suf- 
ferings or deaths the gospel is furthered, and the 
church enlarged. If, together with our bands, the 
gospel also were bound ; if, together with the torment 
or fall of our bodies, they could ruin and pluck down 
the walls of our church : then might we well shrink at 
our sufferings and wrongs, then might we well be 
vexed in our souls for the malicious practices of the 
wicked against us. But, seeing the Lord turns all 
that they do unto us to the glory of his name, to the 
furtherance of his gospel, and to the propagation of 
his church, howsoever they intended the clean contrary, 
we may well rejoice and be glad when they say or do 
all manner of evil against us for Christ his sake and 
the gospel's. And thus in all our persecutions and 
sufferings we may resolve, that therein the Lord will 
do that which shall be to the glory of his name, the 
good of his church, and the furtherance of his gospel. 
If our deliverance from our enemies or our sufferings 
will make most hereunto, then will he deliver us, as he 
did Daniel from the lions, the three children from the 
hot fiery furnace, and our apostle from this his im- 
prisonment. But if our sufferings or deaths will make 
most thereunto, then they that hate us shall have 
their will over us as they had over Stephen, our 
apostle in his latter imprisonment, and over many 
blessed martj'rs which are dead in the Lord. Be we 
then delivered, or not delivered, from the will of our 
enemies, still this is our comfort, that in his gracious 



Ver. 12-14.] 



LECTURE XIII. 



Gl 



providence the Lord turneth all to the furthering of 
the gospel. Only let us be constant in all our troubles, 
let us cleave stedfastly unto the Lord, and let us not 
love our lives unto the death, that men, seeing our 
holy constancy in our sufferings for Christ his sake, 
and the gospel's, may acknowledge the mighty power 
of God in strengthening us to endure such sufferings 
for the truth's sake, and so may be won to embrace 
the same truth with us. And howsoever we be bound, 
yet let us give proof, as much as we can, that the 
gospel is not bound. By teaching, and writing, and 
how else we can, let us ever in our bands labour to 
turn many unto righteousness, and to enlarge the 
kingdom of Christ Jesus. So shall our sufferings be but 
as the pounding of spice, to make our smell the sweeter, 
or as the pressing of the palm-tree, to spread the gospel 
farther. Our enemies' main purposes shall be disap- 
pointed, and the name of our great God shall be glorified. 
Again, this serveth to condemn the faintness and 
backsliding of many in their persecutions and troubles. 
Much seed sown in stony ground ; many, that when 
storms and persecutions arise because of the word, by 
and by are offended. A calm sea they can, but a 
storm they cannot, brook. They can well endure to 
have Christ crucified preached unto them, but if 
Christ come unto them with his cross, they cannot 
away with him. Nay, then many faint, and many 
fall away. What then ? Such fainting at the things 
whereby the gospel may be furthered ! Such falling 
away, for fear of the things whereby the bounds of 
the church may be enlarged ! Can your lives or 
livelihoods be more dear unto you than the propaga- 
tion of the church, the furtherance of the gospel ? 
' If any man come unto me,' saith our Saviour Christ, 
Luke xiv. 26, 27, ' and hate not father, and mother, 
and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, 
and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And 
whosoever beareth not his cross, and cometh after me, 
cannot be my disciple.' Where our blessed Saviour 
tcacheth us, that if anything in the world, even our 
lives, be more dear unto us than his glory and the 
increase of his kingdom, then we cannot be his dis- 
ciples. If we do not bear our cross, whatsoever it be 
that is laid upon us, we cannot be his disciples. And 
withal I add, that howsoever they seemed to admire 
the word, and to kiss the gospel, yet if, when the wind 
bloweth and the storm ariseth, they start aside like a 
broken bow, surely they were never born anew by the 
immortal seed of the word of God; for that endureth 
for ever, as true in itself, so grounded in him that is 
begotten thereby, in such sort that it is dearer unto 
him than his life. Let them then look unto it, that 
when storms arise fall away from the hope of their 
profession. If they faint or shrink, it is more than 
they should do, because the Lord may turn their 
sufferings to the furtherance of the gospel. But if 
they fall away, it is as if they refused to take up their 
cross, and to follow Christ. And whereas their lives 



should not be dear unto them unto the death for the 
furthering of the gospel, their lives and livelihoods are 
so dear unto them, that to save them they hinder the 
gospel. Let this be our rule ; the Lord turneth the 
persecutions of his saints to the furthering of the 
gospel, therefore in persecutions and troubles we may 
not faint or slide back. 

Again, beloved, this may teach you not to doubt of 
the truth, or to dislike of the professors of the truth, 
because they are disgraced, persecuted, and cruelly 
entreated. Ye shall not want enough that will insult 
over them in their troubles, that will tell you they are 
odious men, and men unto whom such sufferings and 
troubles most justly do befall, and so cunningly will 
labour to discredit the truth which they profess. But 
be not deceived ; whatsoever of this kind can be said, 
no doubt was spoken upon Paul's bands and troubles, 
so to discredit the gospel which he preached. And it 
cannot be but that the world should hate, and perse- 
cute, and revile the children of the light, because they 
love darkness better than light ; but howsoever the 
world hate them, and whatsoever it practiseth against 
them, the Lord shall turn all their Bufferings and their 
wrongs to the furthering of the gospel. Let not there- 
fore the persecutions and troubles of God's saints be 
any argument against the truth, but rather for the 
truth, and rather let them cause us to like than to dis- 
like them. It is Satan's art to turn their troubles to 
the slander of them, and of the truth; but the Lord 
turneth them to the furtherance of the gospel, and of 
their reckoning in the day of Christ. And let this be 
spoken touching this, which is the main point princi- 
pally to be noted in these words. 

The next thing which I note is, that the apostle, in 
his proof that his bands were turned rather to the 
furthering of the gospel than the hindering faith, 
that his bands in Christ, i. e. which he sustained for 
Christ his sake, were famous throughout'all the judg- 
ment-hall, and in all other places ; whereby he meaneth 
that, by occasion of his bands, Christ and his gospel 
came to be known, and to be believed, both in the 
empei-or's court and in the city of Rome, and in many 
other countries ; which, as it sheweth a notable fruit 
and effect of the persecution of God's saints, namely, 
the propagation of the gospel, which falleth in with 
the former observation, so, further, hence I do observe 
the power of God to raise up a church unto himself 
where he will, andjby what means he will : in kings' 
courts, in great cities and countries where the gospel 
is scant heard of, or little regarded, there he can, if 
he will, even by the bands of his saints, raise up a 
church unto himself; no place so profane, so far with- 
out God in the world, but if he will have his name 
there called upon, there it shall be called upon. Rome 
at that time (it is likely) was as heathenish as now it 
is superstitious. Nero his court (it is like) was then 
as profane, and as far without God in the world as 
might be ; and the countries thereabout, it is like, 



G2 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. I. 



had not so much as heard of Jesus, nor knew what 
the gospel meant. Yet here the Lord would have 
his church, and therefore he saith unto Paul, Acts 
xxiii. 11, ' Be of good courage Paul, for as thou hast 
testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear wit- 
ness also at Rome.' Here the purpose of God was 
revealed, and, according to this purpose, he brought 
Paul to Rome ; and even by his bands begat there chil- 
dren unto himself in Nero's court, in the city of Rome, 
and in the countries thereabout. Elisha may send his 
servant with his staff, and the Shunamite's son not 
be raised ; but if the Lord send his servant whither he 
will, a church shall be raised to the honour of his name, 
by what means he will, for he can do what he will, 
and by what means he listeth he useth to do his will. 

Let no man, then, measure the Lord by himself. If 
he send thee whom he hath called to the work of his 
ministry, to the prince's court, or to the great city, go 
when he sendeth thee, and fear not thy weakness, but 
remember his strength that sendeth thee. If thou go 
thither bound with a chain for the gospel's sake, even 
by thy chain thou shalt so preach unto their hearts, 
that thou shalt gain children in the faith. As it is 
all one with him to save with manv or with few, so it 
is all one with him to gather his church by this or 
that means which pleassth him best. AVhatsoever 
be thy weakness, he will perfect his strength in thy 
weakness ; only be of good courage, and thou shalt 
see the power of the Lord. 

Again, let no man think anj 7 place so profane, but 
that the Lord may have his church there. Kings' 
courts are commonly not the best ; pride, pleasure, 
ease, and abundance of all things, commonly chokes 
the word therein, so that it is unfruitful. Na} 7 , saith 
Amaziah to Amos, Amos vii. 13, ' Prophesy no more 
at Bethel, for it is the king's chapel, and it is the 
king's court.' In great cities, likewise, sins most com- 
monly rage and reign. No lewdness or wickedness 
so grievous and abominable, but there it is so rife that 
it overfloweth all ; yet in these places the Lord hath 
his church, even those that know him, and believe in 
his holy name. Even in Jezebel's court he hath an 
Obadiah to hide and feed his prophets ; and in sinful 
Sodom he hath a righteous Lot, whose soul is daily 
vexed with their unlawful deeds. Far be it, there- 
fore, from us to condemn where the Lord hath not 
condemned. Who are his he only knoweth, but that 
in all places he hath those that are his, we are not to 



despair, yea, even at this day in Caesar's court, and 
in sinful Rome itself. 

The third thing which I note is, that the apostle 
saith, that many of the brethren in the Lord were 
emboldened through his bands, and durst more frankly 
speak the word ; whereby he meaneth, that through 
his constancy in his bands and sufferings, many pas- 
tors and teachers were emboldened to profess and 
preach the gospel more freely than before. Whence 
I observe another notable fruit of the persecution of 
God's saints, namely, the emboldening of others to 
the profession of the gospel more freely ; which, as it 
serveth very notably for the proof of the main point, 
that the persecution of God's saints rather furthereth 
than hindereth the gospel, so may it be a strong con- 
solation for the children of God against the time of 
persecution. It may be that some of us, in the time 
of the peace of the gospel, may doubt how we shall 
stand in the time of persecution, and fear, that when 
the trial shall come, we shall not quit ourselves like 
men ; but let us pluck up our hearts, and be of good 
comfort. When we shall see the constancy of other 
of God's saints in their sufferings, then shall we also 
be emboldened freely to profess the truth of Christ 
Jesus ; the Lord shall turn the constancy of them in 
their sufferings, for the hope of their profession, unto 
our encouraging and emboldening to make a good pro- 
fession. Thus we find it to be in Joseph of Arima- 
thea, of whom it is said, that he had been the disciple 
of Jesus before his passion ; but he shewed it not till 
then, and then he went even to Pilate himself, and 
professed himself his disciple, and begged his body, 
and entombed it, Mat. xxvii. 57. The like we find 
to be in Nicodemus, of whom it is said, that till the 
death and passion of Christ Jesus, he only came unto 
him by night, for fear of the Jews ; but then he pro- 
fessed himself, and joined with Joseph of Arimathea 
to bury him most honourably, John xix. 39. By 
whose examples, as also by the example of these here 
mentioned in our apostle, ye see how the Lord, by the 
sufferings of his saints, gives that boldness and courage 
unto others of his children, which neither themselves 
felt, nor ever any saw in them before. Let us not, 
therefore, fear how we shall stand when persecution 
cometh, but let us depend on the Lord, who alone 
giveth strength and perseverance, and he will strengthen 
us to stand. 



LECTUEE XIV. 

Some preach Christ even through envy and strife ; and some also of (food will. The one part preacheth Christ of 
contention, and not purely, supposing to add afflictions to my bands ; but the other of love, knowing that I 
am set for the defence of the gospel. What then ? yet Christ is preached all manner of ways, whether it be 
under a pretence or sincerely ; I therein joy, yea, and will joy. — Philip, i. 15-18. 



"VTOW followeth the amplification of the latter effect 
_L^| and fruit of the apostle's bands, which was the 



third thing noted in the former part of the apostle's 
narration, set down in these words, ' Some preach 



Ver. 15-18.] 



LECTURE XIV. 



63 



-Christ,' (fa*. ; in which words the apostle sheweth that 
of those brethren in the Lord which, through con- 
stancy in his bands, were emboldened to preach Christ 
more frankly than before, all of them did not preach 
Christ with the same mind, nor upon the same motive, 
nor for the samo end ; but some with a corrupt mind, 
moved through envy and strife, and to the end to add 
more afflictions to the apostle's bands ; and others of 
a good mind, moved through love, and to the end 
that with the apostle they might defend the gospel. 
So that here is set down a distribution of such as 
preached Christ, according to the diversity of the 
minds wherewith, of the motives whereupon, and of 
the ends wherefor they preached Christ. The dis- 
tribution is this, that some preached Christ sincerely, 
and others not sincerely, set down ver. 15. The 
mind wherewith, the motives whereupon, the end 
wherefor the worse sort preached Christ, is set down 
ver. 15, 16. Likewise the mind wherewith, the 
motives whereupon, and the end wherefor the better 
sort preached Christ, is set down ver. 15, 17. Touch- 
ing their minds, tb.3 better sort preached Christ of 
good will, and a good mind toward the apostle, and 
toward the gospel ; but the worse sort preached Christ 
not purely, but of a corrupt and bad mind toward 
the apostle. Touching their motives, the better sort 
preached Christ even upon love towards the apostle, 
and towards the gospel ; but the worse sort preached 
Christ upon envy towards the apostle, and to stir 
strife and contention in the church among the brethren. 
Touching their ends, the better sort preached Christ 
to help the aposue in the defence of the gospel, know- 
ing that he was appointed of God for the defence of 
the gospel ; but the worse sort preached Christ to 
add more affliction to his bands, thinking by the con- 
tentions which they raised in the church, both to 
grieve him, and to exasperate Nero against him. 
Thus I resolve the order and meaning of these words. 
The thing which hence I observe is, the great dif- 
ference of such as preach Christ in the church of God. 
For not to speak of such as set abroach false doctrine 
in the church, whereby the foundation of our faith is 
either plucked down or shaken, or the church is bur- 
dened with vain traditions and commandments of men, 
which are not after God : as the apostle in his day, 
so we in our day, may see that of those that preach 
Christ truly and soundly for doctrine, some preach 
Christ as they should, and others otherwise than they 
should ; some may be called good, and others bad 
preachers of Christ. Which difference of preachers, 
as then it did, so now it doth come to pass, through 
the diversity partly of the minds wherewith they 
preach, partly of the motives which cause them to 
preach, and partly of the ends wherefor they do preach. 
For in some, it is very clear that they preach the 
glad tidings of your salvation unto you of a good mind 
towards God, towards you, and towards the gospel of 
Christ Jesus, only desiring, and that from the ground 



of their hearts, the glory of God, the salvation of 
your souls, and the growth of the gospel of Christ 
Jesus. But in others, it is greatly to be feared that 
they preach Christ of a naughty and bad mind, affect- 
ing rather their own glory than the glory of God, 
seeking rather their own things than the things which 
are Jesus Christ's, hunting after yours rather than 
you, minding anything else rather than the growth of 
the gospel of Christ Jesus. Again, in some, it is very 
clear that the motives drawing them to preach Christ 
is a sincere and holy love, both towards you — that 
they may present you holy and unblameable before 
God in that day, and in the mean time may rejoice 
over your faith, love, and holy obedience — and like- 
wise towards the truth, that the truth by them may 
be known in all places. Bat in others, it is ge tly 
to be feared that their coming to preach Christ is 
upon spiteful envy towards the faithful servants of 
Christ Jesus, maligning the gifts and graces of God's 
Holy Spirit in them, upon a contentious humour cast- 
ing up and down the firebrands of schisms, strifes, 
and debates, to set the church on fire, or upon every 
other inordinate affection rather than upon love. 
Again, in some, it is very clear that the end. of their 
coming to preach Christ is to glorify the Lord, to 
beget children in the faith, to comfort the humbled 
and afflicted soul, to build up the ruined walls of 
Sion, and to turn them that belong unto the Lord 
unto righteousness, that ' they may receive forgive- 
ness of sins, and inheritance among them which are 
sanctified by faith in Christ Jesus.' But in others, it 
is greatly to be feared that the end of their coming to 
preach Christ is to grieve the soul which the Lord 
would not have grieved, to cast dung in the faces of 
their brethren, to add affliction unto them that already 
are afflicted, and, under the name of the church, to 
wound the church even with a deadly wound. I wish 
indeed, even from my very heart-root, that all that 
preach Christ in our church at this day were of the 
better sort, and that our day might have this excep- 
tion from the apostle's day. And I do assure myself 
that there were never more in our church, than at 
this day there are, which preach Christ of a pure and 
good mind, upon a sincere and holy love towards the 
church and towards the truth, to gain men unto the 
church, and to ground men in the truth. Neither do 
I, or dare I, pronounce of any but that he so preach- 
eth Christ. But as I said, it may greatly be feared, 
that in this our day there are such as do not so preach 
Christ. For as the apostle reasoneth, 1 Cor. hi. 3, 
' Whereas there are among you envying, and strife, 
and divisions ; are ye not carnal, and walk as men ? ' 
So do I reason touching this point : whereas there are 
amongst us such as are ever obscuring the lights of 
our church, ever girding at them whose graces have 
been and are most eminent in the church, ever cross- 
ing and thwarting the things most behoveful for the 
church, ever snarling and catching at every advantage 



64 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. I. 



they can take, ever casting firebrands of schisms and 
contentions in the church, are there not that preach 
Christ upon envy and strife, and not purely, but 'of 
purpose to grieve '? As I wish there were no such 
diversity among them that preach Christ, so this di- 
versity for me might have been buried in silence, if 
this scripture had not forced me so much as I have 
spoke. 

The use which I make hereof is, for the minister 
and preacher of the gospel, who hence may take 
good notes whereby he may know whether he be a good 
minister and preacher of the gospel. The first note 
whereby he may know this is, if he speak the word ; 
for it is not the wisdom of man, or the traditions of 
the church, or the sophistry of the schools, but it is 
the word of the ever-living God that he must speak, 
if he be a good minister and preacher of the gospel ; 
as it is written, 1 Pet. iv. 11, 'If any man speak, let 
him speak as the word of God ;' whereby is implied, 
that if he speak not so, he speaketh not as he ought. 

The second note whereby he may know this is, if 
he speak the word frankly and boldly, for it is not 
for the Lord his ambassador to be babish or bleat- 
ish, or for fear to keep back any part of the Lord 
his counsel ; but, as John unto Herod, so he must 
speak boldly unto the faces of the greatest, and fear 
not the face of any man, as it is written, Isa. lviii. 1, 
' Cry aloud, and spare not ; lift up thy voice like a 
trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and 
to the house of Jacob their sin ;' whereby he implieth 
that this is most requisite in the Lord his prophet and 
minister, that he boldly do the will of him that hath 
sent him, whether he be to pluck up, or to root out, 
or to destroy and throw down, or what else soever. 

The third note whereby he may know this is, if he 
speak the word boldly, and of a good mind ; for it is 
not enough that he speak the word, and speak it 
boldly ; but if he will approve himself for a good 
minister and preacher of the gospel, he must also 
speak out of a good mind towards God to glorify him, 
towards them that hear him to save them, and towards 
the truth of Christ Jesus, to make it known in all 
places, as it is written, 1 Tim. iii. 9, that they should 
' have the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience,' 
or in a sincere and good mind. 

The fourth note whereby he may know this is, if 
he speak the word upon a sincere and holy love ; for 
this also is requisite, that he preach the word not upon 
strife and contention, to move brawls and stirs in the 
church, but upon love towards him, who hath com- 
manded to feed his sheep and his lambs ; upon love 
towards the sheep of Christ, that they wander not as 
sheep without a shepherd ; and upon love towards the 
word, that it be not hid as under a bushel, if he be a 
good minister and preacher of the word. 

The last note whereby he may know this is, if he 
speak the word to the end that God may be glorified, 
his church builded, and his gospel defended. If, I say, 



he find these notes in himself, hereby he shall know 
that he is a good minister and preacher of the word ; 
otherwise if he speak not the word, but the devices of 
his own brain, or speak the word coldly and fearfully, 
fearing men's persons, or speak the word of a corrupt 
and naughty mind, or upon an envious and contentious 
humour, or to grieve the godly and hinder good things, 
let him know that he is not a good minister and preacher 
of the word. Let every man, therefore, that is set 
apart unto this work, examine himself of these things, 
and so let him judge of himself, and where he finds a 
fault in himself, let him mend that which is amiss. 

Now if any man shall here except and say, How 
then ? If the case thus stand among the preachers 
of the word, that some of them preach Christ even 
through envy and strife, not of a pure and good mind, 
but rather to vex the soul of the righteous than to 
build the church of God, how shall we brook to hear 
such, how shall we love or like such, how shall we take 
joy or comfort in such ? Whereunto, 1, I answer out 
of the rule of charity, that because we know not who 
do so preach Christ, therefore we are to presume the 
best of them whom we hear. The Lord only knoweth 
the hearts of men, and the purposes and intents of 
their hearts. ' Who art thou, then, that judgest ? he 
standeth or falleth to his own master.' 2. I answer 
out of the apostle in this place, that if Christ Jesus 
be truly and soundly preached, we are to take great 
joy and comfort therein, and willingly and gladly to 
hear them that deliver the truth soundly, with what 
mind soever, and to what end soever it is, that they 
do speak the word. That is for them to look unto, it 
is for us to joy in the other. Hence, then, I observe 
that that minister and preacher of the word is gladly 
and joyfully to be heard, that preacheth Christ and the 
doctrine of the gospel soundly and truly, with what 
mind soever, upon what motive soever, or to what end 
soever he preach Christ and his gospel. To which 
purpose also is that of our Saviour, Mat. xxiii. 3, 
where he willeth to hearken unto the scribes and 
pharisees, sitting in Moses' seat, whereby he meaneth 
that the doctrine which the scribes and pharisees de- 
livered .'faithfully out of Moses, was gladly to be re- 
ceived, howsoever in their actions and lives they were 
justly to be noted ; and the reason is, because the 
word is the Lord's which they bring, with what minds 
soever they bring it, or how vicious or bad soever they 
be that bring it. And tell, I pray you, which of you 
would much look at the mind or affection of the mes- 
senger towards you, or other qualities in him, which 
would bring you a bill signed from the prince, for 
some pension or living for you ; if he should faithfully 
deliver the bill from the prince, would ye not joyfully 
receive it ? How much more gladly, then, and joy- 
fully ought ye to receive the word of the Lord, where- 
in is your life, when it is faithfully delivered from the 
prince of heaven and earth, with whatsoever mind and 
affection the minister thereof deliver it ! If Christ 



Ver. 19,20.] 



LECTURE XV, 



G5 



crucified be preached, if the holy word of life be truly 
and soundly delivered, this should so warm our hearts 
and glad our souls, that other things whatsoever should 
not greatly trouble us. 

This then, first, serveth for the confutation of their 
error that cut themselves from us, so that they neither 
will hear the word of us, nor communicate in the 
sacrament with us, because of some defects in our 
church, because of some blemishes in us. For, I de- 
mand, is the word of truth truly taught with us, are 
the sacraments rightly administered with us, do we 
labour amongst our people with uncorrupt doctrine ? 
Then, surely, if there were the same mind in them that 
was in the apostle, they would so rejoice in this, that 
they would brook all things the better for this. If we 
be defiled in our minds or in our lives, everything that 
we touch is likewise defiled. What ! to you '? Nay, 
but to us. The word that we preach shall save you, 
and the sacraments which we administer shall profit 
you, how fruitful or unfruitful soever they be unto us. 

Secondly, This serveth for the reproof of them that, 
not cutting themselves from us yet, cannot brook to 
hear the word of such of us as they think have galled 
them, and spoken the word with an hard mind towards 
them. For thus commonly it is said, He is a good 
preacher, he delivers good and sound doctrine, he 



teacheth the word faithfully ; but in his sermons I see 
he saith many things upon a stomach against me, with 
a mind to gird me, and of purpose to note and brand 
me before all the people, and therefore I cannot brook 
to hear him, I take no comfort in the hearing of him. 
But Paul was of another mind ; for though there were 
that preached Christ of a bad mind towards him, 
through envy and strife touching him, and of purpose 
to add affliction to his bands, yet that Christ was 
preached, that gladded him, that rejoiced his heart. 
And so would it each of us, if we were so singly and 
sincerely affected towards the gospel as he was ; what- 
soever mind the preacher carried towards us, yet would 
we most gladly and joyfully hear the word at his 
mouth. It were indeed best of all, if they that speak 
the word were, as in doctrine so in life, uncorrupt, and 
that they spake of a good mind always, and upon love. 
But if they preach Christ soundly and truly, we are 
not so much to be troubled what their affection or 
what their life be. If persecution should come, then 
we would be glad if we might hear the word preached, 
and not curiously look with what mind it were delivered. 
Seeing the word, and the worth and price thereof, is 
the same, now let us, with the apostle, rejoice and be 
glad if Christ be preached, whether it be under a pre- 
tence or sincerely. 



LECTUEE XV. 

For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and by the help of the Spirit of Jesus < Itrist, 

as I fervently look for and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but tJmt uitli all confidence, as always, 
so now, Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. — Philip. I. 19, 20. 



NOW followeth the latter part of the apostle's 
narration, wherein he tells the Philippians what 
success he hoped his bands, and the practices of those 
brethren which imagined mischief against him, should 
have. And the sum of it is, that he certainly hoped 
and knew that his bands, and all the practices of the 
wicked against him, should turn to his salvation, and 
to their good and comfort, by his coming again unto 
them. First, then, the apostle setteth down the pro- 
position, or main point for his hope hereafter, in these 
words, ' For I know,' &c. Secondly, he setteth down 
the means whereby this shall come to pass, namely, 
through the prayer of the Philippians, by the help of 
the Spirit of Jesus Christ, and according to his own 
faith and hope, in these words, ' through your prayer,' 
&c. And thirdly, he explicateth what salvation he 
hopeth for, and assureth himself of by these means, 
as, first, the salvation of his soul, in that by these 
means he hopeth that in nothing he shall be ashamed, 
but that, with all confidence, Christ shall be magnified 
in his body, whether it be by life or by death, in these 
words, ' that in nothing,' &c. ; and secondly, the sal- 
vation or deliverance of his body out of prison, to their 
good and comfort, in ver. 25, 26. For the meaning 



in general, then, of these words, it is as if the apostle 
had thus said, They by preaching Christ suppose to 
add affliction to my bands, that when Nero shall hear 
that so many preach Christ, and that so much strife 
is among them, I, as the chief man and maintaiuer of 
that way, may either be forced to desist from preaching 
of Christ, and so bring a shame on myself, or else 
may be put to death ; but I know that this which they 
practise against me shall, through your prayer and by 
the help of God's Spirit, and according to my certain 
expectation and hope, turn to my salvation, even to 
the salvation of my soul, because of my confident con- 
stancy in the defence of the gospel, whether it be by 
life or by death, and to the salvation and deliverance 
of my body out of prison ; so that neither shall I be 
put to shame for leaving the defence of the gospel, 
nor put to death for standing in the defence of the 
gospel. This I take to be the order and meaning ( f 
these words in general. Now it will be needful that 
yet a little more particularly we sift and examine the 
meaning of them : ' For I know,' &c. 

These words, ye see, contain in them a reason of 
something that went before. Before, the apostle had 
said, ' If Christ be preached, whether it be under a 

E 



66 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. I. 



pretence or sincerely, I therein joy, yea, and will joy.' 
Will joy ; why ? "« For I know that this,' &c. I 
know ; how ? Even hy the revelation of the Spirit, 
and by warrant out of the word. What did he know ? 
' 1 know,' saith he, ' that this,' — This ! What ? Even 
that this chain wherewith I am bound, and this practice 
of some brethren in the Lord, to bring me to shame by 
leaving the defence of the gospel, or to bring me to 
death if I stand in the defence of the gospel, — ' I know,' 
saith he, ' that this shall turn to my salvation.' Now, 
what is meant by salvation, all do not agree. Some 
think he meaneth thereby his bodily deliverance out 
of pi'ison, as the word is often used for a bodily deliver- 
ance, as where it is said of Moses, Acts vii. 25, that 
' he supposed that his brethren would have understood 
that God, by his hand, would have given them deliver- 
ance,' (Surr^iav, as here it is said, and often elsewhere. 
Others think he meaneth the salvation of his soul in 
the day of Christ, as the word is most of all used. 
But I think the apostle may be understood to speak of 
both, whether we consider the opposition between SX/-\j//s 
and durifgiav, or the matter of the Philippians' prayer. 
For what was the affliction which they supposed to 
add unto his bands ? Even this, that he as the chief, 
by the threats of Nero, should be forced to leave the 
defence of the gospel, to his shame and the hazard of 
his soul ; or if he should stand in the defence of the 
gospel, should be delivered unto death. Now, in 
opposition to this, he saith that whatsoever they sup- 
posed, he knoweth that this, even this their practice 
against his constancy or his life, should turn to his 
salvation, even the salvation of his soul, through his 
constancy in the defence of the gospel, so that in 
nothing he should be ashamed, &c. ; and likewise, to 
the salvation and deliverance of his body out of prison, 
quite otherwise than they had intended. And again, 
the Philippians' prayer, no doubt, was for both these, 
even that he might abide constant, so that in nothing 
he might be ashamed, and that he might be delivered 
from the mouth of the lion. And for these causes I 
understand salvation, in this place, both of soul and 
body, in such sort as hath been said. ' I know that 
this shall turn to my salvation.' How ? By what 
means ? First, through their prayer, praying for 
his constancy and deliverance ; secondly, by the help 
of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, which should be given 
unto his servant to help him every way against all 
practices ; and thirdly, according to his fervent desire, 
for so the word is translated, Rom. viii. 19, or accord- 
ing to his earnest expectation and hope, whereof he 
should surely not be deceived. ' I know,' saith he, 
that by these means, ' this shall turn to my salvation.' 
How to his salvation by these means ? That is, in 
that thus it should come to pass, that in nothing per- 
taining to the defence of the gospel he should be 
ashamed, but that with all confidence and liberty to 
speak in the defence thereof, as always, so now, where 
he strengthcneth his hope by his experience, Christ 



should be magnified and honoured in his body, whether 
he should live by preaching the gospel, or should die 
by sealing it with his blood. Whereupon he signifieth 
his own indifferency to either life or death, and the 
conveniency of his life in respect of them ; and then 
he tells them how this shall turn to his salvation in 
the deliverance of his body out of prison. And thus 
much for the opening of the meaning of these words 
in particular, which, as ye see, is somewhat intricate 
and obscure. Now let us see what notes we may 
gather hence for our farther use and instruction. 

The first thing which I note is in the main propo- 
sition, in that the apostle saith that he knoweth that 
this casting of him into prison, and this practising 
against him being in prison, shall turn to his salva- 
tion, not only of his body, by deliverance out of 
prison, but of his soul, because of his constancy in 
the defence of the gospel. Whence I observe, what 
fruit the godly may assure themselves shall follow 
upon their sufferings and wrongs, even their salvation 
in the day of Christ Jesus. For though the apostle 
might know this some other w T ay than now the godly 
can, even by the revelation of the Spirit, as, no doubt, 
he did know of his deliverance out of prison, yet may 
the godly thus far go with the apostle, and say, I 
know that my sufferings and wrongs shall turn to my 
salvation in the day of Christ Jesus. But how shall 
they know this, or assure themselves of this ? Even 
because the Holy Ghost hath said, Rom. iii. 28, that 
' all things work together for the best unto them that 
love God.' In which place, amongst many other 
arguments for the comfort of the godly against afflic- 
tions and troubles, he useth this, drawn from the pro- 
vidence of God, who so wisely ordereth and disposeth 
all things, that even the crosses and afflictions of his 
children work for the good of his children, even their 
best good, their salvation. Be it then tribulation, 
persecution, famine, nakedness, sword, imprisonment, 
or what cross soever that do press us, w T e know that 
all things, even all crosses and calamities, work to- 
gether for the best unto them that love God ; so that, 
if we love God, we need not shrink at all these, or any 
such like, but certainly know that they shall turn to 
our salvation. More plain, it may be, to this purpose 
will be thought that of the apostle, where he saith, 
Rom. viii. 17, ' that if we suffer with Christ, we shall 
also be glorified with Christ ; ' and again, 2 Tim. 
ii. 12, ' if we suffer with Christ, we shall also reign 
with Christ ; ' where it is to be noted that the apostle 
saith, This is a sure word, this is a true saying, that if 
we suffer with him, we shall also reign with him. 
This, then, is a promise of the Lord unto his children 
that love him, that if they suffer with him for his 
sake and his gospel's, they shall also reign with him 
and be glorified with him. So that either the godly 
must doubt of the Lord his promises, all which are 
yea and amen, most certain and sure, or else the 
godly may assure themselves that their sufferings and 



, 



Ver. L9, 20.] 



LECTURE XV 



67 



their wrongs shall turn to their salvation in the clay of 
Christ Jesns. For what hotter assurance than that 
which is grounded on the Lord's promise ? Or what 
plainer promises can there he than these of the apostle 
in these places, or rather of the Holy Ghost by the 
apostle '? And therefore the apostle saith in another 
place, 2 Thess. i. G, 7, 10, that ' it is a righteous 
thing with God to recompense tribulation to them 
which trouble others ; and to them that are troubled, 
rest, when the Lord Jesus shall shew himself from 
heaven with his mighty angels, and shall come to be 
glorified in his saints.' It is a righteous thing with 
God ; righteous, indeed, for his justice' sake, to re- 
compense tribulation to them that trouble others, and 
righteous, for his promise' sake, to recompense rest to 
them that are troubled. Because, then, God is 
righteous, and keepe-th promise for ever, therefore the 
godly may assure themselves that their sufferings and 
wrongs shall turn to their salvation in the day of 
Christ Jesus. 

Here, then, is a notable consolation for all the 
godly in Christ Jesus, against all crosses, persecutions, 
and troubles whatsoever. As Christ was to suffer 
many things, and so to enter into his kingdom, so 
the godly in Christ Jesus are, through many tribula- 
tions, to enter into the kingdom of God. But the 
comfort is, that they shall all turn unto their salvation 
in the day of Christ Jesus, when they shall be ' for 
ever in the presence of the throne of God, and serve 
him day and night in his temple ; when they shall 
hunger no more, nor thirst any more, nor the sun 
shall light on them, nor airy heat, when he that sitteth 
on the throne shall dwell among them ; and the Lamb 
which is in the midst of the throne shall govern them, 
and wipe all tears from their eyes,' Rev. vii. 15-17, 
as the Lamb himself witnesseth, ver. 14, touching 
them that have ' suffered tribulation, and washed their 
long robes in the blood of the Lamb.' The flesh, I 
know, will suggest and say, In the meanwhile our case 
is hard, no man with us, every man's hand against 
us ; we hunger and thirst, we are reviled and perse- 
cuted, we are cast into prison, and made the talk and 
wonder of the world ; we are driven to many hard 
shifts, and put to shrewd plunges ; but what of all 
this, when we know that these shall turn to our sal- 
'vation ? Be they what they will, how great the}- will, 
how lasting they will, yet they are but light, and but 
for a moment, in respect of that far most excellent 
and eternal weight of glory which they cause unto us, 
as our apostle witnesseth, where he saith, 2 Cor. 
iv. 17, that ' our light affliction, which is but for a 
moment, causeth unto us a far most excellent and an 
eternal weight of glory.' Here is the fruit and con- 
sequent of our affliction, glory ; our affliction causeth 
unto us glory ; and here is both the smallness and the 
shortness of our affliction, in comparison of that glory 
which shall be revealed : be it never so great and heavy, 
it is but small and light in comparison of that far 



most excellent glory ; be it never so long and lasting, 
it is but for a moment, in comparison of that eternal 
weight of glory laid up for us in the heavens. How- 
soever, therefore, when we suffer any cross, persecu- 
tion, or trouble, these things, for the time, be grievous 
and unpleasant unto us, as Heb. xii. 11, 'no chas- 
tising for the present seemeth to be joyous, but griev- 
ous,' yet, seeing 'they bring the quiet fruit of 
righteousness unto them that are thereby exercised,' 
seeing they cause unto us ' a far most excellent and 
an eternal weight of glory,' seeing they shall ' turn 
to our salvation,' let us be of good comfort, wh 
in this kind doth befall us. And let us, as the apostle 
willeth, ' run with patience the race that is set before 
us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our 
faith, who, for the jo}- that was set before him, endured 
the cross and despised the shame, and is set at the 
right hand of the throne of God.' And whatsoever 
our sufferings be, let it be with us as it was with the 
apostle, that with him we may say, 2 Cor. i. 5, ' As 
the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consola- 
tion aboundcth through Christ." 

Again, here is a good ground and warrant for us 
against that uncomfortable doctrine of doubting of our 
salvation. For, if we may assure ourselves that our 
sufferings and our wrongs shall turn to our salvation, 
then may we assure ourselves of our salvation. Yea, 
but it will be said, "What an argument and reason is 
this ! Paul might, therefore we mav ! I say it is a 
good one, because, upon the same ground that he 
might, we may. Yea, but he might know this by the 
revelation of the Spirit, which now we are not to look 
for. True ; but he might also know this out of the 
holy Scripture, where the Lord hath passed his pro- 
mise for this, and so we ruay ; and on the same pro- 
mise whereon he might build his knowledge and 
assurance, on the same may we and all the faithful 
children of God build our knowledge and assurance, 
the promise being made unto all that love God and 
are in Christ Jesus. Many doubts, indeed, we have, 
and full of distrustfulness we are oftentimes, even the 
best of us ; but yet ye see that upon good ground of 
God's promise, by the example of our apostle, we may 
assure ourselves of our salvation, if, as the apostle 
did, so wc do, belong unto Christ Jesus — at least if 
we suffer persecution and trouble for his sake ; for so 
far this place will go, that if we suffer persecution and 
trouble for Christ his sake, then we maj- assure our- 
selves of our salvation, because we may assure our- 
selves that our sufferings and troubles shall turn to 
our salvation. Suffer not yourselves, therefore, to be 
deceived by those uncomfortable teachers of doubting, 
which teach that not any man, to whom it is not re- 
vealed by the Spirit in particular, can be sure of his 
salvation, but only in an uncertain hope. As this 
place doth shew, that such of the godly as suffer per- 
secution and trouble may assure themselves that 
their troubles shall turn to their salvation, and so con- 



6S 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. L 



sequently may assure themselves of their salvation, 
so many other places do evidently convince that so 
many as are in Christ Jesus may and ought to assure 
themselves of their salvation. But I have divers times 
heretofore spoken of this point more at large. Let us 
now, therefore, proceed. 

If any man, therefore, here ask, how and by what 
means it could come to pass, that this the apostle's 
imprisonment, and this practising against him in his 
imprisonment, could turn to his salvation, himself in 
the next words shews the means to be, the Philippians' 
prayer, the help of God's Spirit, and his own hearty 
and earnest expectation and hope : ' I know, &c, 
through your prayer,' &c. Of which three, two, 
namely, their prayer and his hearty expectation and 
hope, were indeed means ; but the third, namely, the 
Spirit of Jesus Christ, was the author, which by and 
according to these means turned his sufferings and 
wrongs to his salvation. Howbeit, in a general signi- 
fication of means, we may say, that he knew that by 
and according to these means this that he suffered, 
and that they practised against him, should turn to his 
salvation. Whence I observe, how, according to the 
promise, the sufferings and wrongs of God's children 
turn to their salvation, namely, by the help of God's 
Spirit, through the prayer of the church, according to 
their faith and hope that are troubled and afflicted. 
For through the prayer of the church, the Spirit of 
Jesus Christ, which dwelt in him in all fulness, is given 
unto the godly to help them in their troubles ; and he, 
according to their faith and hope in him, if they put 
their trust in him, helpeth them, and turneth their 
sufferings and their wrongs unto the best, as it is 
written, Ps. cxlv. 18, 'The Lord is near to all that 
call upon him, to all that call upon him faithfully ;' 
the Lord is near in the day of trouble to help, and 
to turn all to the best. But unto whom is he thus 
near ? Even unto them that call upon him. What ! 
to all that call upon him ? Nay, to all that call upon 
him in faith and in truth, believing in him, and putting 
their trust in him. And that unto such he is near to 
such purpose, even through the prayer of the saints 
and of the church, may appear by the story of Peter's 
imprisonment, Acts xii. 5, who being in prison, and 
earnest prayer being made of the church unto God for 
him, was delivered by an angel out of prison. Thus 
the Lord by his Spirit worketh for his children through 
the prayer of the saints, and according to their faith 
and hope in him. So that thus we are to resolve, all 
afflictions and troubles work for the best, and turn 
unto salvation. But unto whom ? and how ? Unto 
such as Paul, unto the elect of God, the redeemed of 
Christ, the sanctified by God's Spirit, the members of 
Christ his church, by the help of the Spirit, through 
the ministry and prayers of the church, and according 
to their faith and hope in Christ Jesus. 

First, then, here can be no hope, nor shall be any 
iielp unto such as either are out of the church, or are 



in the church, but not of the church. For albeit such 
may have sufferings and wrongs, yet shall they not 
turn to their salvation. Neither can they turn unto 
salvation, because they are not for Christ his sake or 
the gospel's, to which kind only the promise is made. 
Nay, unto such aliens from the covenant of promise, 
their troubles in this life are but the beginnings of that 
fearful judgment which in flaming fire is reserved for 
them against that great day. 

Secondly, Hence we learn that even unto the godly 
in Christ Jesus, their sufferings and wrongs turn to 
their salvation, not for any their merits, or through 
the virtue of their sufferings, but through the prayers 
of the saints, &c. If we think upon merit, we may 
well think that our apostle might as well have stood 
upon merit, as the best that live could ; nay, in suffer- 
ings and wrongs he was more abundant than the best 
that lives is, as that place to the Corinthians sheweth, 
2 Cor. xi. Yet he stands not upon them, but that 
his troubles turn to his salvation, he imputes it to the 
prayer of the church, and to the help of God's Spirit, 
according to the faith and hope which God had wrought 
in him by his Spirit, and by his example teacheth us so 
to do. Nay, he utterly disclaimeth all merit of salva- 
tion by affliction, and by his example teacheth us so 
to do, where he saith, Rom. viii. 18, ' I count that 
the afflictions of this present time are not worthy of 
the glory which shall be shewed unto us.' Whence 
it is plain, that because there is no proportion between 
the sufferings of this life, and the reward of eternal 
glory, therefore the sufferings of this life do not merit 
the reward of eternal glory. Whatsoever therefore 
any merit-monger shall tell you, touching the merits 
of our sufferings, trust it not ; for it is not for our 
merits by them that they turn to our salvation, but 
' through your prayer, and by the help of the Spirit 
of Jesus Christ.' 

Now, to speak somewhat more in particular of the 
means. First, I note, that the apostle saith, that he 
knoweth that this shall turn to his salvation, through 
the Philippians' prayer. AVhence I observe the power 
and efficacy of the prayers of the church, poured out 
for the afflicted members of Christ Jesus, which is, 
that through the prayers of the church their troubles 
turn to their salvation. ' The prayer of a righteous 
man' saith James, chap. v. 16, ' availeth much, if it be" 
fervent.' Here is a condition requisite in prayer, if it 
be powerful with God, that it be fervent, and proceed 
from an holy zeal ; and being such, it availeth much, 
and hath great power with the Lord, as to save the 
sick, to stay, or to bring rain, &c, as it is in that 
place, John xv. 7. Now, if the prayer of one righteous 
man be of such power with the Lord, how much more 
the prayer of the church ! Again, chap. xvi. 23, ' If 
ye abide in me,' saith our Saviour, ' and my words 
abide in you, ask what ye will, and it shall be done 
unto you.' And again, Mat. xxi. 22, ' Whatsoever ye 
thall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.' 



Ver. 19, 20.] 



LECTURE XVI. 



69 



And again, ' Whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, if ye 
believe, ye shall receive it.' From all which places I 
note, that the prayers which shall have power with God, 
first, thej r must he the prayers of the righteous, of 
them that are engrafted into Christ, of them in whom 
the word J of Christ dwelleth ; and, secondly, they 
must be fervent, they must be made in Christ his 
name, the}' must be made in faith ; and then, we being 
such, and our prayers being such, whatsoever we shall 
ask, be it for ourselves or be it for others, we shall 
receive it. And if the prayers of every such shall have 
such power with God, much more shall the prayers of 
the church have such power with God. And, there- 
fore, ye see how often the apostle requesteth the 
prayers of the church for him, as Eph. vi. 18, Col. 
iv. 3, 2 Thess. iii. 1. And in his Epistle to Phile- 
mon, there he professeth, as here he doth, that he 
trusteth through their prayers to be given unto them 
by deliverance out of his bands, therein commending 
himself to their prayers. 

A good lesson for us, to stir us up unto public and 
private prayer, both for ourselves and for others, see- 
ing they are so powerful with God, as to bring his 
blessings and graces both upon ourselves and upon 
others. And this lesson is as needful as it is good, 
especially in this our day, wherein there is such neglect 



both of public and private prayer unto the Lord : 
private prayer so rare, that if it be used by any, it 
is noted by many, and they straightway censured, as 
thinking themselves more holy than other men ; and 
public prayer so little regarded by some, that very 
seldom they are present with the congregation in 
public prayer. I cannot stand of it; only I say, he 
that neglecteth the means unto grace, he shall never 
find grace. 

Secondly, Hence I observe a duty of the church in 
public prayer, which is, to pray for the afflicted 
members of Christ Jesus ; for the apostle, in saying 
that he knew that this should turn to his salvation 
through their prayers, therein stirreth them to pray 
for him. And see the points wherein the church is to 
commend them in their prayers unto God : as, first, 
that the Lord may turn their affliction and trouble to 
their salvation ; secondly, that he will help them by 
his Holy Spirit in every needful time of trouble ; 
thirdly, that they may so stand in the defence of the 
truth of Christ Jesus, that in nothing thev mav be 
ashamed ; fourthly, that the Lord will strengthen them 
with strong faith and hope in him ; fifthly, that Christ 
may be glorified in their body, whether it be by life or 
death. Thus the church should pray, and thus the 
afflicted should desire the church to pray. 



LECTURE XVI. 

And by the help of the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ, as I fervently too); for and hope, tltat in nothing I shall be 
ashamed, but that with all confidence, as always, so now, < 'hrist .shall be magnified in my body, whether it be 
by life or by death. — Philip. I. 19, 20. 



ONE thing hence I observe, which is, that not for 
our prayers, or for the prayers of the church for 
us, but through our prayers, and through the prayers 
of the church for us, the Lord giveth his grace unto 
us. And therefore the apostle saith, ' I know that 
this shall turn to my salvation, through your prayers,' 
not for your prayer. And to Philemon, ver. 22, ' I 
trust through your prayers I shall be given unto you.' 
Neither do we ever read that for our prayers, as for 
the merit and worth of them, any grace is given unto 
any. Neither do I build this note upon this ground, 
as if because it is said through, therefore it cannot be 
for our prayers. For I know that we are saved 
through Jesus Christ, and yet for Jesus Christ, even 
for his merit's sake, so that the phrase barely consi- 
dered cannot infer the note ; but hereon it is buildcd, 
that it is so said through, that neither ever it is, nor 
can be said, that for our prayers any grace is given 
unto us. For not for our prayers' sake, not for the 
merit and worth of our prayers, doth the Lord hear 
us and grant us our requests, but for the promise' 
sake, which of his own free grace he hath made unto 
our prayers. He hath passed his promise, Mat. 
xxi. 22, that ' whatsoever we shall ask in prayer in 



his name, if we believe, we shall receive it,' and he 
hath bidden us ' ask and we shall receive, seek and 
we shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto us,' 
Mat. vii. 7. Because, then, he hath promised grace 
unto our prayers, he is entreated for grace through 
our prayers. Ask and have ; first ask, and then have ; 
and the better beggars the greater getters. For it is 
not with the Lord as with us ; we say a great beggar 
would have a good nay-sayer, and unto whom but 
even now we have given, we love not that they should 
by and by come again and beg of us. But I say it is 
not so with the Lord, but of the greatest beggar he is 
most entreated, and the oftener we come a-begging to 
him, the more welcome we are unto him ; for he loves 
to be entreated, and being entreated he promiseth to 
give, and so through our prayers he gives, even for 
his promise' sake, but not for our prayers' sake, for 
they, when they are best, are so full of imperfections, 
that they merit nothing but to be rejected. Seldom 
but we are troubled with wandering by-thoughts ; 
often we pray for things, and against things, without 
submitting of our wills unto the Lord's will ; often 
we pray not in faith towards God ; often not in love 
towards our brethren, often coldly, often hypocritically ; 



ro 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. L 



and when not so but that our prayers might justly be 
turned into sin unto us ? Causes, therefore, they 
are not for which the Lord bestoweth any graces upon 
us, but means only through which we receive graces 
needful for us, for the promise' sake made in Christ 
Jesus. 

Far be it, therefore, from us to stand upon the 
merit of our prayers, as if for our prayers' sake we 
deserved any grace to be bestowed upon us. Let us, 
as W3 ought, pour out fervent prayers unto the Lord 
in faith, and in Christ his name, and assure we our- 
selves we shall be heard. But withal let us know 
that it is for his promise' sake made unto our prayers, 
and for his Christ his sake which offereth up our 
prayers. Whatsoever be our state and place, let us 
not slack this service, neither let us presume upon 
any merit by this service. If we lift up pure hands 
unto the Lord in his temple, in our houses, or in our 
chambers, he will hear us, and though not for our 
prayers, yet through our prayers, he will be entreated 
of us. Let it be enough for us that he will hear us, 
and let this most of all glad us, that for his Christ his 
sake, and for his promise' sake, he will hear us. And 
let this suffice to be spoken, touching the first means 
in particular, that through our prayers and the prayers 
of the church for us, all things work together for the 
best unto so many of us as love God, and are in 
Christ Jesus. 

The next means whereof the apostle speaketh is 
the help of the Spirit of Christ Jesus, whereby, he 
saith, he knew that this should turn unto his salva- 
tion : ' I know,' &c. Where the Spirit is called 'the 
Spirit of Jesus Christ,' as because of his proceeding 
from the Son, so because of his dwelling in him in all 
fulness, as also because Christ sendeth him into our 
hearts, and by him worketh his will in us. And thus, 
also, and for these causes, I take it, he is called in 
the Epistle to the Romans, chap. viii. 9, and ' the 
Spirit of the Son ' in the Epistle to the Galatians, 
chap. iv. 5. But, to omit rnairy things which might 
here be noted upon this occasion, that the Spirit is 
called the Spirit of Christ Jesus, because they are not 
things specially here intended by the Spirit, the prin- 
cipal thing to be noted is, that the apostle saith that 
he knew that this which he suffered by his bands, and 
by the practices of the wicked, should turn to his 
salvation by the help of God's Spirit, by whom the 
Father and the Son work in us and for us. Whence 
I observe the true cause, indeed, whereby the suffer- 
ings and the wrongs of God's children turn to their 
salvation, and that is, by the help of the Spirit of 
Jesus Christ. The Lord, by his Spirit, helpeth them, 
and turneth their heaviness into joy, and their suffer- 
ings into the quiet fruit of righteousness in the 
heavenly places. ' Thou, Lord,' saith the prophet, 
Ps. xxx. 3, 11, ' hast brought my soul out of the 
grave : thou hast kept my life from them that go down 
to the pit. Thou hast turned my heaviness into joy : 



and thou hast loosed my sackcloth, and girded me 
with gladness.' Where the prophet sheweth that it is 
the Lord that helpeth us, and delivereth us when 
troubles compass us about ; that it is the Lord that 
lifts us up from the gates of death, and putteth an end 
unto all our troubles ; that it is the Lord that wipeth 
all tears front our eyes, and turneth our heaviness 
into joy. And so Peter, Acts xii. 17, being delivered 
out of prison through the prayers of the church, pro- 
fessed that the Lord had brought him out of prison. 
Through their prayers he was delivered, but it was the 
Lord that delivered him ; their prayers were the means, 
but the Lord was the author of his deliverance. Again, 
'Behold,' saith our blessed Saviour, Rev. ii. 10, 'it 
shall come to pass, that the devil shall cast some of 
you into prison, that ye may be tried, and ye shall have 
tribulation ten days ; be thou faithful unto the death, 
and I will give thee the crown of life.' Which words 
were spoken immediately to the church of Smyrna, 
but so that they serve also for our use. Wherein the 
godly are both warned of persecution and affliction 
which they are to look for in this life, and persuaded 
likewise by sundry motives not to fear them. 'Be- 
hold it shall come to pass, that some of you shall be 
cast into prison ; ' here is the advertisement of such 
afflictions as they are to suffer. But the exhortation is, 
' Fear none of those things which ye shall suffer.' 
And the motives to persuade us not to fear them 
follow : as, first, who is the contriver of all the per- 
secutions and troubles which we suffer ? Even the 
devil : ' The devil shall cast you into prison.' He 
always kindles the fires of persecution against the 
church ; as also it is said in another place, Rev. 
xii. 15, that he ' casts out of his mouth water after 
the woman, like unto a flood.' He blows the bellows 
unto all the practices of the wicked. Secondly, "What 
is the end wherefore we suffer affliction and trouble ? 
Not for any harm unto us, but that we may be tried : 
' That the trial of our faith, being more precious than 
gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, may 
be found to our praise, and honour, and glory, at the 
appearing of Jesus Christ,' as the apostle Peter speak- 
eth, 1 Pet. i. 7. Thirdly, What is the durance of 
our afflictions ? We shall have tribulation ' ten days,' 
a while, a short while; an evening doth heaviness 
last, and then joy cometh in the morning. As also 
the apostle saith, 2 Cor. iv, 17, that our afflictions 
are but light, and but ' for a moment ' in comparison 
of that far more excellent and eternal weight of glory 
which shall be shewed unto us. Lastly, What is the 
reward of our afflictions ? The reward which our 
blessed Saviour in mercy promiseth is this, that he 
will ' give unto us the crown of life.' As also James 
saith, chap. i. 12, ' Blessed is the man that endureth 
temptation ; for when he is tried he shall receive the 
crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to all 
that love him.' Whatsoever, then, our afflictions be, 
they turn, ye see, to our salvation, by the help of the 



Ver. 19, 20.] 



LECTURE XVI. 



71 



Lord. Sometimes in the day of trouble lie breaketh 
the cords of the wicked, and delivereth us ; and some- 
times he suffereth them that hate us to have their 
wills over us, but suffereth us not to be tempted above 
that we [are J able, but giveth the issue with tempta- 
tion, that we may be able to bear it. And always so 
he provideth, that in the end he turneth our troubles 
to our salvation. He doth it, even he alone doth it, 
and none but he can do it. 

A point wherein w r e will all of us seem very loath 
but to be thoroughly persuaded. For, who is he 
that will not seem to give full assent unto that truth 
which hath been delivered, that it is the Lord that 
helpeth us in our troubles, and that he tumeth them 
to our best ? But tell me, I pray you, whence is it 
that in the day of trouble we faint and droop, and 
hang down the head ? Whence is it that when we are 
persecuted, reviled, slandered, oppressed, imprisoned, 
and hated of men, we sink under the burden, and are 
ready to fall away from the hope of our good profes- 
sion '? "Whence is it, that in the days of poverty, 
sickness, or other adversity, we are oppressed with 
heaviness, and hardly will be comforted ? Is it not 
for that we have not yet learned this lesson, that all 
this shall turn to our salvation by the help of God ? 
Yes, surely, the taking out of this lesson would rid us 
of all such passions when any troubles do assault us. 
For how could the things cast us down which we 
know should tarn to our salvation by the help of God ? 
Let us now learn it, and let it teach us to fear none 
of those things which we do or shall suffer ; but see- 
ing, by his help, all shall turn to our salvation, let us 
abide faithful unto the death. 

Again, let this teach us, in the day of our trouble, 
to lift up our eyes unto the Lord. Let others say, 
as it is in the prophet, Ps. exxi. 1, « I will lift up mine 
eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.' 
That is, let others look for help from the arm of flesh, 
but let us say with the prophet, ' Our help standeth 
in the name of the Lord, which hath made both hea- 
ven and earth.' Let others fly unto other means, and 
never look unto the Lord when troubles do assault 
them, but let us so use other means, that principally 
we look unto the Lord, and put our whole trust in 
him. For, by his help, whatsoever is said or done 
against us shall turn to our salvation. And let this 
be spoken touching the second means in particular, 
that by the help of God the sufferings of the godly 
shall turn to their salvation. 

The next means whereof the apostle speaketh, is 
the means according to which the apostle saith, this, 
by the help of God, and through the Philippians' 
[prayers], should turn to his salvation, and that is 
according to his sure hope, ' As I heartily look for,' 
&c. Where, to signify the strongncss and sure- 
ness of his hope, he useth two w T ords, uiroxagaBoxia 
[and !X*7g], both expressing thus much, that his hope 
was such that he expected the thing he hoped for, as 



they that, earnestly looking for a thing, stretch out 
the head to look for it. Whence I might observe 
what a hope the hope of the faithful is, namely, not, a 
doubtful and uncertain hope, but a strong and sure 
hope, whereby they do as certainly assure themselves 
of the thing they hope for, as they that, with stretched 
necks, look for the thing that is by and by to follow. 
But the observation hence principally to be gather* d, 
Avhereinto that will follow, is this, that according to 
our hope and faith in him, so doth the Lord (through 
the prayers of the saints) turn our sufferings and our 
wrongs to our salvation ; so that, by the help of God, 
and through the prayers of the saints, our sufferings 
turn to our salvation, but so that we certainly hope 
that, by the help of God, through the prayers of the 
saints, our sufferings shall turn to our salvation. In 
us, therefore, it is required that we certainly hope 
and believe in the promises of the Lord, if the pro- 
mises of the Lord be made good unto us. When two 
blind men came unto our blessed Saviour, and prayed 
him that they might receive their sight, Mat. ix. 28, 29, 
he said unto them, ' Believe ye that I am able to do 
this ? And they said, Yea, Lord. Then touched he 
their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto 
you.' As here faith was required, in these bbnd men, 
that they might receive their sight, so in us ail hope 
is also required, that we be partakers of the Lord his 
promises. Hath the Lord promised that all crosses 
and calamities shall work together for the best unto 
those that love him ? And do we hope that the Lord 
will make good this his promise unto us ? Ac- 
cording to our hope so shall it be unto us. If we 
doubt not of the Lord his promises, but hope cer- 
tainly in him that hath promised, then may every one 
of us, in all our troubles, say with the apostle, ' I 
know that this shall turn to my salvation, according 
to my certain hope.' But if we doubt and distrust 
the Lord, and say in our hearts, How can it be ? I 
cannot conceive it, doubtless the Lord shall not help 
us, the prayers of the saints shall not prevail for us, 
nor shall our sufferings turn to our salvation. And 
therefore we read that the faithful had always theu- 
hope so strong, that they builded even their prayers 
thereon, as David, wiiere he saith, Ps. xxv. 21, ' Let 
mine uprightness and equity preserve me, for my hope 
is in thee.' As if he should have said, According to 
my hope that thou wilt preserve the just and upright 
man, so, Lord, preserve me. And so, very often 
in the Psalms, the prophet desireth performance of the 
Lord his mercies, according to his hope in him ; and 
therein plainly sheweth that our hope must be surely 
fixed in the Lord, if we will be partakers of his promises. 
Here, then, again we are armed against that uncom- 
fortable doctrine of doubting of our salvation. For 
we are certainly to hope that, according to the pro- 
mise of the Holy Ghost, our Bufferings and wrongs 
shall turn to our salvation, by the help of God, through 
the prayers of the saints. And are we to know that, 



'2 



AIRAY ON THE PHIL1PPIANS. 



[Chap. I. 



according to our hope, the promise of the Lord touch- 
ing this thing shall be made good unto us ? So here 
we are taught. How, then, are we to doubt of our sal- 
vation, and not otherwise to know it than uncertainly ? 
Hope, say they, we may to be saved, but certainly 
assure ourselves of our salvation we cannot. Is, then, 
hope any prejudice unto certainty ? Doth not the 
apostle say, Heb. vi. 19, that ' hope is as an anchor of 
the soul, both sure and stedfast,' whereby we may 
lay so sure hold on the promises of God in Christ 
Jesus, that we may certainly assure ourselves of our 
salvation ? Again, doth not the apostle say, Rom. 
v. 4, that ' hope maketh not ashamed' ? i. e. deceiveth 
not him that hopeth, because, as the child of God 
hopeth, so he findeth. And doth not our apostle 
here in some sort describe hope to be even a certain 
and earnest expectation of that we hope for, according 
whereunto it is certainly done unto us ? And, not- 
withstanding all this, may we hope, but not be sure, 
to be saved ? Indeed, if our hope were only un- 
certain as theirs is, then were we to doubt as the}' do. 
But our hope is certain, being grounded on God's 
promises, and therefore we so hope that we are sure 
to be saved. Thus, then, I reason from this point of 
hope, we may certainly hope to be saved, therefore 
we may assure ourselves of our salvation. 

Again, this may teach us not to be secure upon the 
Lord his promises. He promiseth, and he perform - 
eth. What then ? May we sit us down and say, 
As he hath promised so shall it be done, howsoever 
matters stand with us ? Nay, beloved, let us not 
deceive ourselves. In ourselves there must be such 
graces as are required of us, or else the promises do 
not belong unto us, nor shall ever do us any good ; 
yea, and either he must give those graces which are 
required of us, or else we can never have them ; as 
in this place the promise is that our affliction, if we 
belong unto Christ, shall turn to our salvation. But 
how ? According to our faith and hope. Either 
these graces must be in us, or else that promise be- 
longeth not to us. And how shall we have these 
graces, unless he which requireth them give them ? 
So, therefore, in all things let us build upon the Lord 
his promises, that we look unto the things required of 
us to be partakers of the promises. And look what 
means he hath ordained for the working of those 
things in us by his Holy Spirit ; let us in all fear and 
reverence use those means, and pray unto the Lord 
to sanctify them. 

Now, to go forward, what was it that the apostle 
so heartily looked for and hoped ? That is set down, 
1, negatively; 2, affirmatively. 1. That in nothing 
he should be ashamed. 2. That with all confidence, 
&c. In which points standeth one part of the salva- 
tion whereunto he knew his sufferings should turn by 
and according to those means already mentioned. 
For how should his sufferings turn to his salvation 
by those means ? Thus : he hoped that thus it 



should come to pass, that in nothing pertaining to 
the defence of the gospel he should be ashamed, but 
that ' with all confidence,' &c. 

The first thing which here I note is, that the 
apostle saith, that he hopeth that in nothing he shall 
be ashamed, i. e. that shame shall never befall him 
for leaving the defence of the gospel. Whence I 
observe, both that it is a shame to leave the defence 
of the gospel, and that a godly care in this behalf is 
needful in every Christian, that this shame may never 
befall him ; which care, and regard of which shame, 
how little it is reckoned of in these our da} T s, doth 
too much appear by the number of shameless apos- 
tates and backsliders, which, hearkening unto the 
serpent, eat of the forbidden fruit, which, opening 
their ears to that enchanting whore, drink themselves 
drunk with the cup of her fornications, and forsake 
the truth of Christ Jesus. But let us hearken to the 
apostle, and ' let us hold fast the profession of our 
hope,' Heb. x. 23. Do we hope in Jesus Christ? 
Do we hope that in nothing touching the profession 
of the truth of Christ Jesus we shall be ashamed ? 
Let us hold fast this hope, and let us pray, that this 
hope may continually be confirmed in us, and that 
according to this hope we may stand fast until the 
day of Christ Jesus. 

The second thing which I note is, that the apostle 
saith that he hopeth that, with all confidence and 
liberty to speak in the defence of the gospel, Christ 
shall be magnified and honoured in his bodv, whether 
it be by life, that he live and preach the gospel, or by 
death, that he be put to death, and seal the gospel 
with his blood. Whence I observe another godly 
care needful in every Christian, which is that God 
may be glorified in him whether he live or die. 
' Glorify God, 'saith the apostle, 1 Cor. vi. 20, 'in your 
body, and in your spirit, for they are God's.' Where 
the apostle, by waj T of exhortation, commendeth this 
duty unto every one of us, that we glorify God both 
in our bodies and in our spirits, by conforming our 
whole man in all obedience unto his will. And why ? 
for both our bodies and our spirits they are God's, 
and they are bought for a price by him that hath died 
for both, that we should not henceforth in either live 
unto ourselves, but in both unto his glory, which died 
for us, and rose again. 

And let this be enough to warn us to beware of 
dishonouring God in our bodies, or in our souls, either 
by shrinking from a good profession, or by giving our 
members weapons of unrighteousness, unto any kind 
of sin, to serve it in the lusts thereof. Neither let us 
be so besotted as to think that we are not as well to 
be sanctified in our bodies as in our souls ; or that 
God is not as well to be glorified in our bodies as in 
our souls ; but let us know that we are to be sancti- 
fied throughout, in our spirit, and soul, and body, and 
that God is to be glorified in our whole spirit, and 
soul and body. Let this, therefore, be our care, that 



Ver. 21.] 



LECTURE XVII. 



73 



God at all be not dishonoured by us, but that in our 
whole man he may be honoured. 

The last thing which here I note is, how the 
apostle was confirmed and strengthened in these his 
hopes, and that was by his own experience, for he 
hoped that 'as always, so now.' Whence I observe 
how the hope of a Christian is nourished and in- 
creased. It is begun and grounded upon God's pro- 
mises made in Christ Jesus, but it is strengthened 
and increased by observation of the Lord his goodness 
towards us in our own experience. So our apostle 
also witnesseth, Rom. v. 4. where he saith, that ' tri- 



bulation bringeth furth patience, and patience experi- 
ence, and experience hope,' i.e. experience of the Lord 
his help in troubles, confirmeth and strengthened our 
hope in the Lord. Ye know the saying of David, 
1 Sam. xvii. 37, ' The Lord,' said he, ' that delivered 
me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of 
the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this 
Philistine.' This should teach us to observe the 
mercies of the Lord towards us, and not to suffer 
them to slip out of our mind, and thus to reason with 
ourselves, as always the Lord hath been good to us, so 
now he will. 



LECTUKE XVII. 

For Christ is to me both in life and in death advantage. — Philip. I. 21, 



NOW, then, that the apostle hath signified his hope 
that Christ should be magnified in his body, and 
had added, ' -whether it were by life or by death,' im- 
plying that it was all one to him, so that Christ were 
magnified in his body, whether it were by life or by 
death, he yieldeth a reason thereof, saying, ' For 
Christ is to me,' &c, as if he should have said, I 
heartily look for and hope that Christ shall be magni- 
fied in my body, whether it be by life or by death ; 
and so that Christ be magnified in my body, whether 
it be by life, or by death, all is one to me, ' for Christ 
is to me,' &c. i. e. whether I live or die, Christ is to 
me advantage. If I live, and Christ be magnified in 
my body by preaching the gospel, and walking in his 
ways, herein I count I have great gam and advantage ; 
and if I die now in my bands, and Christ be magnified 
in my body by my constancy in the defence of the 
gospel, and in suffering for the gospel's sake, herein 
also I count I have great gain and advantage ; so that 
if Christ be magnified in my body, it is all one to me 
whether it be by life or by death, because whichso- 
ever fall, Christ and his glory is the thing which I 
count my vantage and gain. His glory by me is my 
glory ; the increase of his kingdom by me is the crown 
of my rejoicing; the honour of his name by me, 
whether it be by my life or by my death, is to me in 
mine account a great gain. Thus, then, I resolve the 
apostle's reason ; Christ and his glory is to me of that 
reckoning and regard, that whether he be glorified in 
my life or in my death, I count it a great gain unto 
me ; therefore it is all one to me whether he be glori- 
fied in my body by my life or by my death. This 
sense and meaning of these words I follow, both be- 
cause, being a reason of the former words, it thus best 
concludeth them in my judgment, as also because the 
words themselves in the original may very well carry 
this meaning, if we understand an ellipsis of the word 
xarcc, which is not unusual. 

Neither is this meaning of these words unsorting 
with the words that follow. For having said that 



Christ and his glory was unto him, and in his account, 
as well in death as in life, even both in death and in 
life, an advantage and gain, upon that occasion, by 
a little digression, he first inoveth the doubt whether 
were better for him to choose life or death, if he 
should choose the one, ver. 22; and secondly answereth 
that he knoweth not what to choose, but in this choice 
is in a strait betwixt two ; and thirdly, setteth down 
the reasons why the choice is so hard, as 1, in respect 
of himself it were better for him to choose death, ver. 
23, and 2, in respect of them it were better that he 
choose life, ver. 24. Here is then the strait, whether 
for his own greater good he were now to choose death, 
or for their greater good he were to choose longer 
life. This I take to be the order and meaning of 
these words generally thus far. Now let us see what 
observations we may gather hence for our farther use 
and instruction. 

The first thing, then, which here I note is, the reason 
wherefore the apostle was so indifferent either unto 
life or death, whichsoever God might be glorified by ; 
and it was because whether he lived or died, if by 
either death or life he might gain glory unto Christ, 
unto him did accrue vantage enough. Whence I ob- 
serve, how a Christian becometh indifferent unto 
either life or death, and that is thus : if Christ be unto 
him both in life and in death advantage, if he seek no 
other gain but this, that Christ may be glorified in his 
body, then he is indifferent unto whatsoever it is 
whereby Christ may be glorified, be it life or death. 
This was it that made those three children mentioned 
in Daniel so indifferent either unto life or death. Dan. 
iii. 16-18. For when Nebuchadnezzar had called 
them, and had thundered out cruel threatenings 
against them, if they should not worship the golden 
image that he had" set up, they said unto him, ' 
Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in 
this matter. Behold, our God whom we serve is able 
to deliver us from the hot fiery furnace,' _ &c. In 
which then- answer they plainly shew that it was not 



7-i 



AT RAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. I. 



life or death that they stood upon, hut it was the 
glory of their God. If God should deliver them from 
death to his farther glory by their life, they were 
willing to live ; and again, if he should deliver them 
up unto death to his further glory by their death, 
they were also willing to die. Life and death was in- 
different to them, by whethersoever God would be 
glorified in them, because the glory of God was all 
that they sought in life or in death. The same is to 
be said of all those godly martyrs that are dead in the 
Lord for the testimony of a good conscience, and for 
the defence of the truth of Christ Jesus to the 
shedding of their blood. They were willing, no doubt, 
to have lived, and they were willing also to die, even 
very indifferent unto either life or death. And how 
so that they were indifferent unto either '? Because, 
if God were glorified in them, whether it were by life 
or by death, that was comfort enough, joy enough, 
and gain enough unto them. If they might gain glory 
unto God thereby, come death or come life, either was 
welcome unto them. And in so many of God's chil- 
dren, as there is this indifferencv unto either life or 
death, thus it cometh to pass because of the advan- 
tage which they reckon upon by God's glory, because, 
as either life or death makes for God's glory, so they 
embrace either ; life, if thereby God may be more glori- 
fied ; and death, if thereby God may be more glorified. 
Let this, then, teach us, even so many of us as feel 
not in ourselves this indifferencv unto either life or 
death, to look into the cause why it is that we are 
not indifferent unto either. And surely, if we be not 
too partially affected towards ourselves, we shall find 
that it is, because this is the least reckoning with us, 
that Christ be glorified in our bodies. The pleasures 
and sorrows of life, and the terrors of death, these be 
the things that so affect us, that we are not indifferent 
unto either, but so heart- set on the one, that we can- 
not brook to hear of the other. ' If,' as Job speaketh, 
chap. xxi. 8-10, ' our seed be stablished in our sight 
with us, and our generation before our eyes ; if our 
houses be peaceable without fear, and the rod of God 
be not upon us ; if our bullocks gender and fail not, 
and our cow calve, and cast not her calf ; ' if we spend 
our days in wealth, and have all things at our desire, 
then do we so doat upon these things, that we say 
with the fool in the gospel, Luke xii. 19, ' Soul, thou 
hast much goods laid up in store for many years ; 
live at ease, eat, drink, and take thy pastime.' And 
such a reckoning we make upon the honours, and 
pleasures, and commodities of this life, that we could 
be content to live with them ever, but cannot abide to 
depart from them. Again, if the rod of the Lord be 
upon us, and his countenance seem to be turned away 
from us ; if we be troubled on every side with fightings 
without, and terrors within ; if we be crossed in our 
substance and goods, in our wife and children, or in 
our own bodies ; if we be in trouble, sorrow, need, 
sickness, or other adversity ; if we be tried by mock- 



ings and scornings, by bonds and imprisonment : 
then, on the other side, we are so daunted with those 
things, that we are weary of our lives, and with Job, 
in his extremity, chap. iii. 11, 12, vi. 9, vii. 15, we 
cry out and say, ' Why died I not in the birth ? or 
why died I not when I came out of the womb ? why 
did the knees prevent me ? and why did I suck the 
breast ? Oh that God would destroy me ; that he 
would let his hand go and cut me off ! My soul 
chooseth rather to be strangled, and to die, than to 
be in my bones.' Yea, and many times like unto 
Ahithophel and Judas, we become our own butchers. 
One sort can hear of nothing but life, and another 
sort wish nothing but death ; very few of us that are 
indifferently affected to either life or death, and all 
because we mind earthly things. The preferments, 
and pleasures, and commodities of this life, they are 
our advantage and gain. If our desires be filled with 
them, then we are nothing indifferent unto death, but 
all our delight is set on life. But if we lack them, 
and instead thereof have our drink mingled with 
weeping, then are we nothing indifferent unto life, but 
all our desire is of death, and would God we were 
dead ! would God we were dead ! As for the glory 
of God, it never comes into our thoughts, neither do 
we ever make account of life, or of death, as they do 
make for the glory of the Lord ; for if we did, then 
would we be indifferent unto either, as either should 
make for the glory of the Lord, and not run upon the 
one as carnal respects, or terrors of death should 
move us. 

Well, now that we know these things, let us think 
of these things. Let us not set our hearts on life for 
the love of any earthly thing whatsoever, neither let 
us wish death for anything of this life which we want, 
or for any cross of this life which we sutler ; but let 
us be indifferent unto either, as either may make for 
the glory of Christ Jesus. Let the glory of Christ 
Jesus be all the vantage and gain that we make reckon- 
ing upon either in life or in death, and let it be such 
a vantage and gain unto us if he be glorified in us, 
that we make no reckoning of it, whether it be by our 
life or by our death, so that he be glorified in us. 
Let his glory be our glory, his kingdom our kingdom, 
and so let life or death be welcome unto us, as thereby 
glory is gained unto Christ Jesus. Let us set this 
down with ourselves, to glorify Christ Jesus in our 
mortal bodies, and let us not care whether it be by 
life or by death, and that upon this reckoning, that 
' Christ is unto us, in life and death, advantage.' 

Now, to descend unto the particulars, the second 
thing which here I note is, that the apostle saitb, that 
' Christ is unto him in life advantage.' Whereby he 
meaneth, that if he live, and through life glorify God 
in his body by preaching the gospel of Christ .1 rsns, 
and walking in his ways, even this glorifying of Christ 
in his body by his life is unto him advantage, even 
such an advantage as that this only he counteth his 



Ver. 21.] 



LECTURE XVI I. 



(> 



life, if he glorify God in this life. Whence I observe, 
what unto a Christian should be the greatest gain 
of his life, which he should seek, and whereunto he 
should bend himself in his whole life, and that is the 
glory of Christ Jesus by a faithful walking in the ways 
of his calling ; and by providing for things honest 
before the Lord, and before all men. The glorifying 
of Christ in his body by living to his glory, should 
seem such a gain unto him, as that all other things in 
his life should seem but loss unto him. Whereupon 
it is that the prophets so often remember us that we 
were created, formed, and made for the Lord his glory, 
Isa. xliii. 7 ; that our blessed Saviour exhorteth us, 
saying, Mat. v. 1G, ' Let your light so shine before 
men, that they may see your good works, and glorify 
your Father which is in heaven,' &c. ; that our holy 
apostle likewise exhorteth us, saying, 1 Cor. x. 31, 
' Whether ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do 
all to the glory of God.' Which places shew plainly 
thus much, that the thing which we are to seek, and 
whereunto we are to bend ourselves in our whole life, 
is the glory of God, even that he ma} r be glorified in 
our mortal bodies. And the reasons are clear : for, 
first, the end wherefore we were created and made 
was, as even now we heard out of the prophet, the 
glory of God, that he might shew his glory in us, and 
that we again might glorify him in the land of the 
living ; secondly, we are not our own, but we are 
bought for a price, and, therefore, as the apostle 
maketh the argument, 1 Cor. vi. 20, we must glorify 
God, even him whose we are, in our bodies and in our 
spirits ; henceforth we must not live unto ourselves, 
but unto him and his gloiw, ' that died for our sins, 
and rose again for our justification.' God's glory, that 
must be the bent of our whole life, and the vantage 
that we must seek while we are at home in the body. 
Now, if ye ask how we are to glorify God in our 
life, I answer, by walking faithfully in the ways of our 
calling, whatsoever our calling be ; by keeping our 
vessels holy unto the Lord, and pure from all filthi- 
ness of corruption ; by conforming our wills in all 
obedience unto his will, and by living soberly, and 
righteously, and godly in this present world. All 
which our apostle comprehendeth in a ' conversation 
which becometh the gospel of Christ ; ' and Peter, 
1 Pet. ii. 12, in an honest conversation, where he 
saith, ' Have your conversation honest among the Gen- 
tiles, that they which speak evil of you, as of evil- 
doers, may by your good works (which they shall see) 
glorify God in the day of visitation.' That God may 
be glorified by us, this is a point which we must look 
unto. And how may this be ? By having our conver- 
sation honest ; that is, by so walking and living, as 
before was mentioned. 

This, then, should teach us so to look unto our 
ways in our whole life, that in nothing the Lord be 
dishonoured by us. For, if the glory of God should 
be unto us the greatest gain of our life, while we live 



here in the body, then should we in all things seek 
it, and by no means do anything which may be to the 
impairing of it. But do we, in our whole life, seek 
the glory of our God as our greatest gain ? Do we 
in nothing dishonour our God throughout our whole 
life ? If every man should but look how faithfully he 
walketh in the ways of his calling, the minister, the 
lawyer, the physician, the soldier, the tradi Bman, the 
merchant, the countryman, how careful each of them 
in their calling are, that God may be glorifii d by 
them ; if every man shall but look how watchful he is 
over his own body, that it be not defiled with the cor- 
ruptions which are in the world through lust, what a 
conscience he maketh of all his ways, that they be 
framed in all obedience unto God"s will, and how 
desirous he is to lead a sober, a righteous, and a go lly 
life in this present world ; if, I say, every man shall 
but look into himself, and search, and see how the 
case standeth with him touching each of these things, 
each man shall find in himself so many things where- 
by God is dishonoured, as that I need not to press 
them, to the shame of all that hear them. Beloved, 
the thing is too lamentable, and too true, if we will 
confess a truth, that whom in our whole life by all 
means we should glorify, against him our whole life is 
a continual rebellion. For what sin is it whereof, if 
we duly examine ourselves, we may not find ourselves 
guilty ? Look unto the first table. Do we not trust 
unto uncertain riches, and give much honour to others 
which is due unto God alone, and so make other 
unto ourselves besides him ? Do not many in the 
worship of God use superstitious rites, and will-wor- 
ships, which God never commanded, and so sin against 
the second commandment ? Do we not often abase 
the name of God in perjuries, in blasphemous oaths, 
in speaking of him lightly and unreverently, and so 
take his name in vain '? Do we not profane the holy 
Sabbath, many of us, with bodily labour on that day, 
many with riotous banqueting on that day, many with 
unlawful gaming on that day, and most of us with 
neglect of such holy duties as on that day were to be 
performed ? Look also unto the second table. Do 
we not neglect, nay, contemn, our superiors, and 
sometimes even make rebellion against them ? Do 
we not often mmder the innocent without a cause, if 
not in his life, yet in his credit and name, and in a 
cruel spite against him ? Do we not often steal froni 
our brethren, by false weights and measures, by sell- 
ing naughty wares, by bribes and extortion, by simony 
and usury, by deceitful and wrongful dealing*? Do 
we not often lie one unto another, and so smother the 
truth that it can never come to light ? Do we not 
abound with sinful lusts, inordinate affections, ungodly 
desires, and unruly motions ? True it is which the 
prophet saith, Hos\ iv. 2, that ' by lying, and swear- 
ing, and killing, and stealing, and whoring, we break 
out, and blood toucheth blood.' Shall I say all in a 
word ? Christ is not to us in life advantage, but 



AUIAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. I. 



rather Christ is unto us in life a loss. His glory we 
count not our glory, but rather we count all the time 
lost that is not spent in the things which tend nothing 
to his glory. I wish my words might justly be re- 
proved. Beloved, it is enough that we have spent 
the time past of our life in ungodliness and unright- 
eousness, it is enough that hitherto we have not glorified 
God in our mortal bodies as we ought. Let us here- 
after make straight steps unto the Lord, and let us 
live unto his glory, in whose glory is our life. Let 
us so make account that we live, if we live to his 
glory ; and, whatsoever others count their gain, let 
us count his glory our greatest gain. 

The third thing which here I notice is, that the 
apostle saith, that Christ is unto him in death advan- 
tage ; whereb} T he meaneth, that if he die, and by his 
constancy in his death bring glory unto Christ, this 
glorifying of Christ by his death is unto him in his 
death an advantage. Whence I observe, what unto a 
Christian should be the thing whereof he should make 
reckoning in his death, and that is, that God be glori- 
fied by his death ; and then if he die, so that in his 
death God have his glory, welcome death whensoever 
and whatsoever, violent or natural. What saith our 
blessed Saviour ? Luke xii. 50, 'I must,' saith he, 'be 
baptized with a baptism, and how am I grieved till it 
be ended !' In which words he shewed his great 
and earnest desire to die for us, that the gospel might 
the sooner be preached throughout the world. For, 
having before signified that his coming was to preach 
the gospel, which should kindle a fire throughout the 
world, and this fire was already kindled by the preach- 
ing of the gospel, he signified likewise that before his 
passion the gospel should not be published through- 
out the world. And therefore, that he desired to die 
was, that the gospel might the sooner be preached 
throughout the world. Here, then, ye see what it 
was that the Son of God reckoned upon his death, 
namely, the glory of God by the publishing of the 
gospel throughout the world. And, because he longed 
after this, he longed after death. What also saith 
our holy apostle ? Philip, ii. 17, ' Though,' saith he, 
' I be offered up upon the sacrifice and service of your 
faith, I am glad, and rejoice with you all.' Where ye 
see the apostle saith, that he would rejoice in death 
as a vantage unto him, if by his death God might 
have his glory, that their faith thereby might be con- 
firmed. The thing, then, that he made reckoning of 
in his death was, that God might be glorified thereby, 
and so he would rejoice in death. Semblably, we in 
death should principally look at this, that our death 
be to the glory of the Lord, that our death be as the 
death of his saints, that our death be in the Lord, 
and then we may rejoice and be glad in it. For as 
the prophet saith, Ps. cxvi. 13, ' Right dear and 
precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of the 
saints.' And, as our Saviour saith, Rev. xiv. 13, 
' Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord.' 



Hence, then, we may learn, wiry it is that we are many 
of us so unwilling to die. If persecution arise because 
of the word, and fire and faggot be the portion for us 
to drink, it is no need to bid us to fly, but we run, 
and we turn, and turn, and turn again, rather than 
we will burn. If any sickness seize upon us, by and 
by we so shrink, and are so afraid of death, that what- 
soever physic by the physician, whatsoever comfort 
by the minister be ministered unto us, yet still nothing 
but death, death with us. Every summon of death is 
so fearful unto us, that if any way we could we would 
shift it off. And why is all this, but because we 
count of no vantage in death, because Christ is not 
unto us advantage in death ? We never bethink our- 
selves, Shall God be glorified by nry death ? Shall the 
saints' hearts be strengthened by my constancy, and 
my patience in my death ? Shall the Christian and 
quiet repose of my soul in the Lord at my death, cause 
them that behold me to glorify the Lord ? But what 
do we think and say ? I shall die, I shall die, I shall 
go down to the grave, and be no more seen ; the 
terrors of death are upon me, and who shall deliver 
me ? And thus death triumpheth over us, whereas 
upon the other cogitations, we should triumph over 
death. Ye know the story of Nabal, of whom it is 
said, that when his wife told him David's words, his 
heart died within him, and he was like a stone, 
1 Sam. xxv. 37. So is it with many of us ; when any 
summons of death come forth for us, our hearts fail 
and die within us, and we are even as stones. And 
no marvel that fear of death should so work upon us, 
when in our death there is nothing to comfort us. If 
our hearts were so set on the glory of the Lord, that 
we counted that gain enough unto us, if any way we 
might gain glory unto the Lord by life, or by death, then 
would we willingly die, whensoever our death might 
be to God's glory. But setting apart all care of God's 
glory by life or by death, we mind only the pleasures 
and profits of this life, which have an end in death, 
and therefore are unwilling to die. In the terrors of 
death, then will we not fear death ? Let me die the 
death of the righteous, and I will not fear what death 
can do unto me. Let Christ Jesus be glorified by my 
death, and then let death come in fire, in sword, in 
famine, in pestilence, in what terrible sort it can come, 
and I will triumph over death. Let this mind be in 
every one of us, and so, that by our death God be 
glorified in us, at what time soever, and in what sort 
soever it come, let it be welcome to us. And let this 
suffice to be observed from these words ; whence ye 
see, first, how we become indifferent unto either death 
or life, namely, if Christ be unto us both in life and 
in death advantage ; secondly, that the vantage 
whereof we are to make reckoning in our life is, that 
Christ Jesus may be glorified by our life ; and thirdly, 
that the vantage whereof we are to make reckoning in 
our death is, that Christ Jesus may be glorified by 
our death. 



Ver. 22.] 



LECTURE XVII. 



77 



Now, upon this occasion that he had said that he 
was very indifferent unto either life or death, because 
Christ was unto him both in life and in death advan- 
tage, the apostle maketh a little digression, and 
disputeth the point whether were better for him to 
choose life or death. And first, in this verse he 
moveth the doubt, and answereth it in these words, 
'And whether,' &c. Which words, I know, are 
diversely read ; but the words bearing well this read- 
ing, I follow it, as both best opening the apostle's 
meaning, and best sorting with that which followeth. 
Now, when he saith, ' Whether to live in the flesh,' 
ye must understand that to live in the flesh, and to 
live after the flesh are much different. For to live 
after the flesh, is to follow the filthy lusts of the flesh, 
and to live in the flesh, is only to live in this frail 
body. The doubt then is, whether to live in the bod} r 
were profitable for him, and what to choose, life or 
death, were best for him. And the answer is, that 
he knoweth not what to choose, life or death. Being, 
in his case, in prison, a man would have thought this 
choice would not have been hard ; yet, he being in 
prison, saw such comfort in death, and such joy in 
life, that he knew not which rather to choose. And 
such love did he bear towards the Philippians, that 
weighing the great comfort which he should have by 
his death, with the great profit which they should 
have by his life, he knew not what to choose. 

Whence I observe, first, the great love which ought 
to be in the pastor towards his people, and the great 
desire which he ought to have of their profit and com- 
fort. Even in case of his greatest comfort, joined 
with their loss and heaviness, it should much perplex 
him what to choose, his or their present comfort. 
Ye know that of Moses, Exod. xxxii. 32, where he 
prayeth the Lord either to pardon his people their 
sins, or to raze him out of the book of life. And 
that of Paul, Rom. ix. 3, where he wished himself to 
be separated from Christ for his brethren, which were 
his kinsmen according to the flesh. They both knew, 
the one, that he could not be razed out of the book of 
life, and the other, that he could not be separated 
from Christ, only therein they shewed how greatly 
God's glory [is] in the people's good. And true is 
that of the apostle, 1 Cor. xiii. 5, that love ' seeks not 
her own things, but the things of others.' Whence 
yet I do not infer, that the pastor, for love of his 
people, should, in case of his salvation, wish his own 



utter reotion,* rather than that his people should not 
be gained unto Christ. But this, I say, that even in 
case of his and their salvation, for the love of his 
people, he is to be perplexed how soon to wish his 
salvation by his dissolution, because however his 
present comfort should be gained by lis present dis- 
solution, yet their salvation should be furthered by his 
longer continuance in the body. 

A point which doth not much perplex many pastors. 
For too many such there are, as neither caring for then- 
own salvation, nor their people's, look only to fleece 
them, but never care what become of them. A point 
which might be much enlarged, but not so fitly in this 
place. If the urging of it might concern any here, I 
beseech them, in the fear of God, to think further of 
it with themselves. 

The second thing which here I observe is this, that 
if we be at peace with God, and keep faith, and a good 
conscience, whatsoever our outward state be, we have 
such comfort and joy on every hand, that neither we 
desire to die in respect of the griefs of this life, nor to 
live in respect of any fear of death. The example of 
our apostle is proof enough to this purpose. He lay 
in prison, and of the brethren none assisted him, but 
all forsook him ; and many practised much against his 
constancy, and against his life, so that his outward 
state was very hard, and such that, in respect of the 
griefs of his life, he might have desired death ; and 
again, in respect of the fear of death, he might have 
desired life. Yet even then such joy and comfort he 
found on every side, which way soever he looked, to 
life or death, that he knew not whether of them to 
choose. And where was the reason ? Though his 
case was hard, yet he was at peace with God, and had 
faith, and a good conscience. 

Far otherwise it is with many in our day, who see 
nothing but matter of discontentment and discomfort, 
both in life and in death. If either promotion fall not 
upon them according to their desire, or if crosses fall 
upon them otherwise than they desire, then they grow 
malcontented, they care not to live, and yet they joy 
not in death. Such are they that mind earthly things, 
but mind not the things of God. 

Let us seek to be at peace with God; let us trust 
perfectly in Christ Jesus; let us keep a good con- 
science in all things, and this shall make both life and 
death comfortable unto us. 

* Qu. ' rejection ' ? — Ed. 



LECTUEE XVIIL* 

And whether to lire in the flesh were 'profitable for me, and what to choose, I know not. — Philip. I. 22. 



N 



OW upon this occasion that he had said, that he 
was very indifferent unto either life or death, 



because Christ was unto him both in life and in death 
advantage, the apostle maketh a little digression, and 



* It will be noticed that several paragraphs at the beginning of this lecture are a simple repetition of those at the close 
of the preceding. — Ed. 



78 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. I. 



disputeth the point whether were better for hirn to 
choose, life or death. And first, in this verse he 
moveth the doubt, and also answereth it in these 
words, ' And whether,' &c. And secondly, he bringeth 
reasons for either part, first, that in respect of himself 
it were better for him to choose death, -verse 23 ; 
secondly, that in respect of the Philippians, it were 
better that he choose life, verse 24. So that the 
strait was hard, whether for his own greater good he 
were now to choose death, or for their greater good he 
were to choose longer life. The words where the 
donbt is moved are diversely read, but they bearing 
well this reading, I follow it, as both best opening the 
apostle's meaning, and best sorting with that which 
followeth. The doubt is, whether to live in the flesh 
or in the body were profitable for him ; and what to 
choose, life or death, but was in a wonderful strait 
between the two. Being in his case, in prison, a 
man would have thought this choice would not have 
been hard. Yet he, being in prison, saw such com- 
fort in death, and such joy in life, that he knew not 
which rather to choose. And again, such a love he 
did bear towards the Philippians, that, weighing the 
great comfort which he should have by his death with 
the great profit which they should have by his life, he 
knew not what to choose — that which should be to 
his greater comfort, or that which should be to their 
greater profit. 

Whence, first, I observe the great love which ought 
to be in the pastor towards his people, and the great 
desire which he ought to have of their profit and com- 
fort. Even in case of his greatest comfort joined 
with their loss and heaviness, it should much perplex 
him what to choose, his or their present comfort and 
good. Ye know that of Moses, Exod. xxxii. 32, 
where he prayed the Lord either to pardon the people 
that had sinned, or to raze him out of the book of 
life ; and that of Paul, Rom, ix. 3, where he wished 
himself to be separated from Christ, for his brethren, 
which were his kinsmen according to the flesh. 
They both knew, the one that he could not be razed 
out of the book of life, and the other that he could 
not be separated from Christ ; but therein they shewed 
abundantly how greatly they loved their people, and 
desired their salvation. Neither yet do I here teach 
that the pastor, for love of his people, should, in case , 
of his salvation, wish his own utter rejection rather 
than that his people should not be gained unto Christ. 
But this I say, that even in case of his salvation and 
theirs, for the love of his people, he should oftentimes 
be perplexed how soon to wish his salvation by his 
dissolution ; because, howsoever his present comfort 
might be gained by his present dissolution, yet their 
salvation may be furthered by his longer continuance 
in the body. 

A point which doth not overmuch perplex many 
pastors in our day; for too many such there are as, 
neither caring for their own salvation nor for their 



people's, look only to fleece them, but never care else 
what become of them. Which point might be much 
enlarged, if the place were convenient. If the press- 
ing of it might concern any here, I beseech them, in 
the fear of the Lord, to think farther of it with them- 
selves. 

The second thing which hence I observe is this, that 
if we be at peace with God, and keep faith and a good 
conscience, whatsoever our outward state be, we have 
such comfort and joy on every side, that neither we 
desire to die in respect of the griefs of this life, nor 
yet to live in respect of any fear of death. The 
example of our apostle is proof enough to this purpose : 
he lay in prison for the defence of the gospel, wherein 
none of the brethren assisted him, but all forsook him, 
and many practised much against his conscience and 
against his life ; so that his untoward state was very 
hard, and such that in respect of the griefs of his 
life he might have desired death ; and again, in respect 
of the fear of death, he might have desired life. Yet 
even then, which way soever he looked, to life or death, 
such joy and comfort he saw in both, as that neither 
the griefs of life made him to wish death, nor the fear 
of death made him to wish life. And where was the 
reason ? Though his case many ways were hard, yet 
was he at peace with God through Jesus Christ his 
Lord ; he was strong in the faith of Christ Jesus, 
whom God set forth to be a reconciliation through 
faith in his blood, and he had the testimony of a good 
conscience, that in all simplicity and godly pureness, 
he had his conversation in the world. And therefore 
neither for the grief of life, nor for the fear of death, 
wished he the one or the other, but as either might 
make more for God's glory he was indifferent unto 
either. 

Far otherwise it is with many in our day, who see 
nothing but matter of discontentment and discomfort 
both in life and in death ; for so it is with many of 
us, that if either promotion fall not upon us accord- 
ing to our desire, or if crosses fall upon us otherwise 
than we desire, then we grow malcontented, we take 
no joy in our life, and sometimes w T e hasten our own 
death. And again, many of us, if any way we be 
summoned unto death, by sickness, by the sword, by 
the pestilence, or any other way, so we shrug and 
shrink for fear of death, that like unto Nabal, if we 
surmise any danger of death, by and by our hearts 
faint and ' die within us, and we become like stones,' 
1 Sam. xxv. 37. No comfort or contentment a great 
many of us find either in death or in life, but what 
through grief of the one and fear of the other, we 
are often out of love with the one and with the other. 
And the reason is plain, for it is because we are not at 
peace with God, nor have the mystery of faith in a 
good conscience. We feel no comfort in our God 
through our reconciliation by Jesus Christ, we want 
a sound and a lively faith, whereby we should take 
hold of the promises of God made in Christ Jesus, 



Ver. 22.] 



LECTURE XVIII. 



70 



and a bad conscience so troubles us, tbat all is dis- 
quieted witbin us. And therefore we find no comfort 
■or contentment in life or in deatb, but discomfort and 
discontentment in both. 

Will we then find comfort and contentment in both, 
whatsoever our state outwardly be ? Let us labour to 
be at peace with God ; let us trust perfectly in Christ 
Jesus, and let us keep a good conscience in all things, 
and this shall make both life and death comfortable 
unto us ; whatsoever our outward estate be, both life 
and death shall be comfortable unto us, if we have 
peace with God, and faith, and a good conscience. 
And let this suffice to be observed from the doubt 
whicb tbe apostle moveth, where he professeth that he 
knows not wbat to choose, life or deatb. 

And wby knew he not what to choose, life or death ? 
The reason hereof in the words following is said to be, 
because on both sides there were such reasons, on tbe 
one side to choose life, and on the other side to choose 
death, that he was in a wonderful strait on both sides. 
For, saith he, I am greatly in doubt, or I am in a 
wonderful strait on both sides : on the one side desir- 
ing to be loosed from the prison of this body, or to 
depart out of the earthly house of this tabernacle, for 
so the word avalZaai may be taken actively or passively, 
and ' to be with Christ, where he sitteth at the right 
hand of God, which (saith he) is best of all,' viz., ' for 
me ;' nevertheless, on the other side, knowing that for 
me to abide in the flesh, and to live longer in the body, 
is more needful for you, that ye may enjoy the fruit of 
my ministry. The former reason concerneth himself, 
and his own good ; the latter concerneth the Philip- 
pians, and their good. In the former is signified his 
great desire to remove out of the body, and to dwell 
with the Lord ; in the latter is signified his great 
desire to abide in the body for their furtherance, and 
joy of their faith. Unto the former his love toward 
Christ constrained him, unto the latter his love toward 
them constrained him. For the former it was best 
for him, for the latter it was most needful for them. 
And thus between the former and the latter he was so 
perplexed, that he knew not what to choose, life or 
death ; death for his own present good, or life for 
their further good. 

Now the thing which in the former reason I note 
is, that the apostle desired even with a great desire to 
be loosed from the prison of his body, or to depart out 
of the body, and to be with Christ, where he sitteth at 
the right hand of the throne of God, and that he 
counted this better for him in respect of himself, than 
to live in the body. Whence I observe, that a Chris- 
tian, in respect of himself, is rather to desire to die 
than to live, to depart out of the body, than to abide 
in the body. Unto the proof of this point out of this 
place, add also that other of our apostle, 2 Cor. v. 8, 
where to the same purpose, and in the same words 
almost, he saith thus, ' We love rather to remove out 
of the body, and to dwell with the Lord.' And that 



good old Simeon ye know, when once he had seen the 
Messias which was promised, then he desired with all 
his heart to die, saying, Luke ii. 29, ' Lord, now 
lei test thou thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes 
have seen thy salvation ;' as if he should have said, 
Now that I have seen the promised Messias, the 
sweet Saviour of the world, now indeed I desire rather 
to die than to live. Yea, but was it not a great fault 
in Job that he desired rather to die than to live, when 
in the bitterness of his soul he cried and said, Job 
iii. 11, vi. 9, vii. 15, ' Why died I not in my birth ? 
or why died I not when I came out of the womb ? Oh 
that God would destroy me ; that he would let his 
hand go and cut me off. My soul chooseth rather to 
be strangled and to die, than to be in my bones.' Yes, 
indeed, this was a great fault in Job thus impatiently 
to break out, and to search for death more than for 
treasures. Neither is any man, be his crosses or 
troubles never so great, never so many, through 
impatience, and because he is weary of his life, to 
wish rather to die than to live ; much less is he, with 
cursed Ahithophel or traitorous Judas, to become his 
own butcher, and to cut oft' his own days ; for this 
were to repine against the Highest, and to take our 
own matters out of God's into our own hands. A 
Christian, therefore, in respect of himself, is to desire 
rather to die than to live, but in no sort through 
impatiency, or because he is weary of his life. Yea, 
but is not death terrible even unto the godly, and do 
they not oftentimes so shrink thereat that they are 
afraid of it ? Yes, surely, death in itself, and in its own 
nature, is so terrible, that David being in great heavi- 
ness and distress by reason of Saul's cruelty, expr 
it thus sa}ung, Ps. lv. 5, ' The terrors of death are 
fallen upon me ;' whereby he meaneth that he was 
so afraid of his enemies, as if death had been ready to 
seize upon him. And surely, but for Christ Jesus, 
that he hath seasoned it, and that through him it is 
but a passage unto a better life, we might all of us, 
even the best of us, well fear death, as the fruit of sin, 
and as the reward or wages of sin. 

How then do we say, that a Christian in respect of 
himself, is to desire rather to die than to live '? We 
must understand that a Christian is to deshv rather to 
die than to live. But how '? Not simply rather to die 
than to five, but so as Paul did, rather to die and to 
be with Christ than to live. He doth not say to die, 
and to be rid out of the miseries of this life ; for so 
many desire, whose desire is not good, and for whom 
it were better rather to live in the body than to die ; 
but he saith, ' to die, and to be with Christ.' Are we 
not then, while we live here in the body, with Christ, 
and Christ with us ? If we will speak as the Scrip- 
ture usually doth, we are not. While we live here in 
the body, we are in Christ by his Spirit, and Christ in 
us by faith, as appeareth by many places of holy 
Scripture ; but, in the usual phrase of the Scripture, 
then principally we are said to be with Christ, when, 



80 



AIEAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. I. 



after the separation of the soul from the bod}', we do 
in soul enjoy the continual presence of Christ in hea- 
ven, where he sitteth at the right hand of the throne 
of God ; even as the apostle witnesseth, where he 
saith, 2 Cor. v. G, ' Whiles we are at home in the 
body, we are absent from the Lord,' not from being 
in the Lord, but from dwelling with the Lord in the 
heavenly places. So that, first, our earthly house of 
this tabernacle must be destroyed before we can be 
with Christ, where he is as he is man. When, then, 
we say that a Christian, in respect of himself, is to 
desire rather to die than to live, the meaning is, that 
he is rather to desire the separation of his soul from 
his body, and in soul to be with Christ, where he is 
as man, till he may, both in soul and body, be there 
with him for ever, than to live in the body. 

And the reasons are plain and clear : as, first, be- 
cause Christ is the husband, and we the spouse, if we 
belong unto Christ, Eph. v. 32. As, then, it is better 
for the spouse to live with her husband than to live 
apart from her husband, so is it better for us to be 
loosed and to be with Christ, than to live in the body. 
Secondly, because heaven is our home, and here we 
are but pilgrims and strangers, Heb. xi. 13. As, then, 
it is better to be at home than where we are but pil- 
grims and strangers, so is it better for us to be loosed 
and to be with Christ, than to live in the body. 
Thirdly, because it is better for the soul to be joined 
unto Christ than unto a sinful body ; for, as David 
saith of Meshech, and of the tents of Kedar, Ps. cxx. 5, 
1 Woe is me that I am constrained to dwell in Meshech, 
and to have mine habitation among the tents of Ke- 
dar,' so may the soul say of the body, Woe is me 
that I am constrained to dwell in this sinful body ; 
better it were for me to be joined unto Christ. Fourthly, 
because the body is as a prison of the soul, wherein it 
wanteth free liberty to do what it would and should. 
As, then, it is better to be out of prison, and to live at 
liberty, so is it better to die, and to be with Christ, 
than to live in the body. Ffthly, because in the body 
we only know in part, believe in part, love in part, 
live in part, joy in part, and are blessed in part, with 
all such graces of the Spirit ; but when we remove out 
of the body, then that which is in part shall be abo- 
lished. As, then, it is better to know, to love, to live, 
to joy, &c, perfectly, than only but in part, so is it 
better to be loosed, and to be with Christ, where all 
these shall be perfected, than to live in the body, 
where they are never but in part. Lastly, to pass over 
the rest in silence, because it is better to be with God 
than with men, in heaven than in earth, in a state 
freed from sorrow, sin, and temptation, than in a state 
subject to them all ; for 'man that is born of a woman 
is but of short continuance, and full of trouble,' as 
Job speaketh, Job xiv. 1 ; yea, his life is as a warfare, 
as the same Job speaketh, vii. 1, and as our Saviour 
speaketh, Mat. vi. 34, every day of his life bringeth 
grief enough with it, neither hath his grief an end till 



his life have an end. But ' blessed are the dead that 
die in the Lord : even so, saith the Spirit, for they 
rest from their labours, and their works follow them,' 
Rev. xiv. 13. They rest from their labours, inasmuch 
as all tears are wiped from their eyes ; no more death, 
nor sorrow, nor crying, nor pain, doth take hold of 
them ; and their works follow them, inasmuch as they 
are had in remembrance before God, when all other 
things of our life leave us and forsake us. I spare to 
enlarge this point further at this time. Ye may easily 
conceive what might be added. 

Let this serve for a just reproof of them that are 
unwilling to die. For come now, and let us reason 
the case together. What man is there among you, 
that, if he were clothed only with ragged, and torn, 
and patched, and worn, and bad clothes, would not 
be willing to be unclothed of them, and to be clothed 
Avith better ? And what else is this mortal and cor- 
ruptible body, but as ragged and rotten clothes where- 
with we are clothed ? Why should we not, then, be 
willing to be shifted of those clothes, of this mortal 
and corruptible body, and to be clothed with our 
house which is from heaven, even with incorruption 
and immortality ? Again, what man is there among 
you, that, if he were in prison, would not be willing to 
be set at liberty ? or being in a place where he is but 
a stranger, would not be willing to be at home ? And 
what else is this sinful body, but as a prison of the 
soul, wherein it is so shut, that it hath no liberty till 
it return unto him that gave it '? Or what else is this 
world, but as a place wherein we wander as pilgrims, 
and have no abiding city ? Why should we not then 
be willing to remove out of this prison of the body, 
and to be received into the glorious liberty of the sons 
of God '? or to loose anchor from this land, wherein 
we are but strangers, and by death to sail towards 
heaven, where is our home and our abiding city ? 
Where should the members joy to be but with their 
head ? where should the spouse desire to be but with 
her husband ? where should man, whose breath is in 
his nostrils, delight to be, but with him that is his 
life, to see him as he is, and to live in his continual 
presence ? Surely, whosoever thou art that art unwill- 
ing to die, thou dost not yet conceive nor believe the 
blessed estate of them that die in the Lord ; thou hast 
not yet thoroughly learned this lesson, that Christ is 
the husband of the church, that Christ is the life of 
his body, that in the presence of Christ there is ful- 
ness of joy and life for evermore ; for then wouldst 
thou willingly desire with the apostle to be loosed, 
and to be with Christ, which is far the best. If the 
condition of the children of men, and the condition of 
beasts, were even as one condition unto them, so that 
in their death there were indeed no difference, or if 
after death there remained nothing but fearful expecta- 
tion of judgment, then indeed thou hadst some reason 
to be unwilling to die. But now that Christ by death 
hath triumphed over death, and made death unto thee 



Ver. 23.] 



LECTURE XIX. 



81 



{if thou belong unto him) a passage unto life without 
death, unto joy without sorrow, unto all blessedness 
without any misery, why shouldst thou be unwilling 
to die ? Nay, now a chip for death ! nay, now most 
welcome death ! And so, beloved, let it be to every 
one of us ; if we belong unto Christ, there is no cause 



why we should fear death, and great cause there is 
why we should embrace death. Let us therefore 
never fear death, nor be unwilling to die, but whenso- 
ever the Lord his will is, let us be willing to be loosed, 
and to be with Christ, which is best of all. 



LECTURE XIX. 
Desiring to be loosed, and to be with Christ, which is best of all. — Philip. I. 23. 



NOW to proceed. Against this which hath been 
said, it may be objected, that as no man is to 
put asunder the things which God hath coupled to- 
gether, as the soul and the body, so no man is to 
desire that the things which God hath coupled be 
sundered, and therefore no Christian is to desire to 
die. Whereunto I answer, that it is true that no 
Christian is to desire simply to die, nor to die to this 
end only that he may be rid of the miseries of this 
life, nor to die otherwise than when the Lord his will 
is ; but yet he may desire to die and to be with 
Christ, to die to this end, that he may be with Christ, 
to die when the Lord his will is, and when his death 
maj' be for his glory. So it is to be understood of 
Elias, 1 Kings xix. 4, that he desired to die when he 
prayed and said, ' It is enough : O Lord, take my 
soul ; for I am no better than my fathers.' And so 
we say that a Christian may desire to die when the 
Lord his will is, not for that death in itself is to be 
desired, but because he desircth to be with Christ. 
So that the thing which a Christian desireth simply 
and in itself is to be with Christ, neither doth he 
otherwise desire to be loosed but that he may be with 
Christ ; and so we say he may desire to be loosed 
when the Lord his will is. And thus much for this, 
which is the chief point in these words ; whence ye 
see that a Christian in respect of himself may desire 
rather to die than to live. 

Other things there are which may not unfruitfully 
be noted in these words, which I will only briefly 
touch, because they are things not principally in- 
tended. The apostle desireth to be loosed and to be 
with Christ. To be loosed ; why ? That he might be with 
Christ. Whence I observe, that the death of God's 
saints is nothing else but a departure of the soul out 
of the body unto heaven, where Christ sitteth at the 
right hand of the throne of God. He which at the 
first coupled soul and body together, in death parteth 
them asunder, and taketh the soul unto himself, to be 
where he is, till in the resurrection he couple them 
again together, never after to be parted asunder. 
Whereof all the godly in Christ Jesus at all times 
have been so thoroughly persuaded, that always in 
death they have done and do (after the example of 
Christ Jesus) commend their souls into the hands of 
him that gave them, saying as he did, Luke xxiii. 46, 



' Father, into thine hands I commend my spirit.' So 
we read that that holy martyr Stephen, when he was 
stoned, called on God and said, ' Lord Jesus, receive 
my spirit,' Acts vii. 59. And in death it is the very 
ordinary prayer of all God's saints ; wherein they 
plainly shew their thorough persuasion that in death 
their souls are received by the Father of spirits into 
the heavenly habitations, there to be joined unto 
Christ Jesus. Contrariwise, the death of the wicked 
and ungodly of the earth is nothing else but a depar- 
ture of the soul out of the body unto hell, there to be 
with the devil and his angels. Examples of both we 
have in the beggar and the rich man, Luke xvi. 22, 
whose deaths, unto the one was the departure of his 
soul out of his body into heaven, but unto the other 
the departure of his soul out of his body into hell. 
Or if the persons of these prove not strongly enough, 
take, for example, the death of the two thieves which 
were hanged with our blessed Saviour on the cross, 
unto the one of which Jesus said, that that day he 
should be with him in paradise, but unto the other 
that railed on him, his death doubtless was a down- 
fall into hell, Luke xxiii. 43. 

Is, then, the dissolution of God's saints a passage of 
the soul out of the body unto heaven, there to be with 
Christ ? Far be it, then, from us to think that the 
condition of the children of men and the condition of 
beasts is even as one condition unto them ; that when 
man dieth he retumeth wholly unto the dust, and 
hath no more fruit of all the travails that he hath 
taken under the sun. Thus, indeed, sensual man, 
following only the judgment of his weak sense, and of 
his own blind reason, thinketh and saith, As the one 
dieth, so dieth the other ; man and beast have all one 
breath, and in death there is no excellency of man 
above the beast ; all go to one place, all to the earth, 
as all came from the earth. But the Spirit of God 
hath otherwise taught us in his holy word, for doth 
not the Lord say, Mat. xxii. 32, that he is ' the God 
of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob ' '? And doth he 
not say that ' he is not the God of the dead, but of 
the living' ? Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, then, are not 
dead, but living. Living ? How ? In their souls 
with God. Dead they are in respect of the separa- 
tion of their souls from tneir bodies. But forasmuch 
as the earthly house of their tabernacle being destroved, 

F 



82 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. I. 



they have a building given of God, that is, a house 
not made with hands, but eternal in the heavens, as 
the apostle witnesseth even of all the saints of God, 
2 Cor. v. 1 ; therefore they are still living in their 
souls with God, in their heavenly habitations. How- 
soever, then, the bodies of men be mortal, and in 
death go down unto the dust whence first they came, 
yet their souls are immortal, and in death return unto 
the Father of spirits, whence they came. But what 
needs more to this purpose than that which here our 
apostle saith '? In death, the sons of men are loosed ; 
that is, their souls are separated from their bodies. 
Now, if the soul were mortal as the body, what needed 
any loosing of the one from the other ? Surely both 
should fall together, and not the one be loosed, from 
the other, if the condition of both were one. Even 
this, then, that the souls in death are loosed from the 
bodies of men sheweth that the souls are immortal. 
Again, in death the saints of God are loosed that they 
may be with Christ ; after death, then, they are with 
with Christ, not in the body, for that descendeth unto 
the grave, there to rest until the resurrection. In 
soul then. In death, then, the souls of God's saints 
pass out of the body unto heaven, there to be with 
Christ. And, therefore, far be it from us to think that 
in death, as of beast, so of man there is utterly an end, 
and an entire return unto the dust. 

And yet so we live, a great many of us, as if we 
made no other reckoning ; for do we not, a great many 
of us, pass our dwelling here without fear, in chamber- 
ing and wantonness, in gluttony and drunkenness, in 
strife and envy ? Do we not even glut ourselves with 
sporting and pleasure, and sundry delights of the 
flesh, and say, Let us be meny, and take our fills of 
pleasure while we are here ? for when we are gone, 
then all the world is gone with us. Surely, if a man 
may conjecture by our dissoluteness of life, a great 
many of us either think that in death there is utterly an 
end of us, or too little think what remaineth after death. 
Beloved, we are ' bought with a price ; let us therefore 
glorify God, both in our bodies and in our spirits.' 
We may not live unto ourselves, nor give our mem- 
bers weapons of unrighteousness unto sin, but we must 
live unto him that died for us and rose again, and give 
our members servants unto righteousness in holiness. 
Let us so live that in our lives we think of death, and 
let us know that if we die the death of the saints, we 
shall die to five for ever with Christ ; but if otherwise, 
our part shall be in that lake that ever burneth. 

Again, this may serve for the confutation of that 
foolish dream of purgatory. The souls of God's 
saints they are loosed in death from the body, and 
being loosed are with Christ ; the souls of the wicked, 
they likewise in death are loosed from the body, and 
being loosed, do, as it is said of Judas, Acts i. 25, go 
to their ' own place,' even the place of the damned. 
Where, then, is purgatory? They that trouble the 
church with this fancy, tell us that, of them that die, 



some are perfect and just men, and they go straight 
unto heaven ; others are desperately wicked, and they 
go straight down into hell ; and others are neither 
perfectly good nor thoroughly bad, and for these are 
purgatory. But I demand them, touching this third 
sort of men, have they faith or no ? They grant they 
have but a weak faith, not a perfect faith. If they 
have faith, if it be a true and lively faith, though it be 
but a weak faith, by it they are saved, and in death 
received unto glory. ' He that believeth ' (saith our 
Saviour Christ) ' hath eternal life,' John hi. 15. He 
that believeth ; what ? He that hath such a measure 
of faith, he that hath such a degree of perfection of 
faith ? No ; but he that believeth truly, though 
weakly and imperfectly, he hath eternal life ; even 
living in the bod}-, he hath eternal life in hope, and 
when he removeth out of the body, shall have it in 
possession ; hath it now in the beginning, and then 
shall have it in a greater fruition. Again, I demand, 
touching this third sort of men, where doth the apostle 
ever exempt himself from the number of imperfect 
men ? where doth he ever count himself perfect ? 
Nay, in this epistle he plainly denieth it, Phil. hi. 12 ; 
and both there, and often elsewhere, signifieth his 
endeavouring and contending after perfection. And 
yet, being loosed, he speaketk not of going into pur- 
gatory, but of being with Christ. Thus, then, we 
teach, that all that die, die either in the faith of 
Christ, and so be with Christ, or else die not in the 
faith of Christ, and so they go to their place with 
Judas. As for any third place, it is a devised dream, 
and clearly confuted by the Scriptures. The sum of 
all this is, the souls of God's saints, being loosed from 
the body, are with Christ ; therefore we are neither to 
think that, when man dieth, he wholly returneth to the 
dust, nor yet that he goeth unto purgatory. 

Another thing yet farther here I note, which is, that 
the apostle desired to be with Christ. Where I 
observe that, till man be loosed from the earthly 
house of this tabernacle, and be in heaven, he is not 
with Christ. To which purpose, also, is that of our 
apostle, Avhere he saiih, 2 Cor. v. 6, that ' whiles we 
are at home in the body, we are absent from the 
Lord.' While we live, then, here in the body, we are 
absent from the Lord. First, then, we must remove 
out of the body before we can be with the Lord ; with 
the Lord, I say, in corporal presence. For otherwise, 
touching his spiritual presence, we know that he bath 
said unto us, Mat. xxviii. 20, ' I am with you always 
until the end of the world.' But touching his corporal 
presence, he hath said, John xii. 8, ' The poor always 
ye have with you, but me ye shall not have always.' 

This, then, serveth for the confutation of the cor- 
poral presence of Christ in the sacrament of the Lord 
his supper. A certain truth it is, that Christ is truly 
and really present in the sacrament of the Lord his 
supper, and that so many as come unto that holy 
supper, having on their wedding garment, and having 



Veil 23.] 



LECTURE XIX. 



83 



duly examined themselves touching their faith towards 
God, their repentance for their sins, and their love of 
God and of their brethren, do there truly and really 
eat the body and drink the blood of Christ Jesus. For 
there spiritually we eat the body and drink the blood 
of Christ Jesus, there spiritually Christ is given unto 
us, and taken of us to be one with us and we with 
him ; spiritually, I say, and therefore truly and really. 
And therefore, when we come unto that holy table, to 
be made partakers of those great and high mysteries 
of Christ, his blessed death and passion, we must 
know that the ground is holy whereon we stand, we 
must know that we are present before the Lord, so 
that accordingly we must prepare ourselves to the 
reverend receiving of those holy mysteries ; which, in 
this place at this time, I add, because it is likely that 
many here present purpose to-morrow to communicate 
at that holy table. But for Christ his corporal 
presence in that supper, we utterly deny it. And for 
this time, let this one place be enough to prove it. 
For why should the apostle desire to be loosed and to 
be with Christ, if before he were loosed he were with 
Christ ? If he desired to be with him by faith and by 
the Spirit, so he was with him before he was loosed. 
It was otherwise, then, that he desired to be with 
Christ, even to enjoy his corporal presence. If, then, 
that he might enjoy his corporal presence, first he 
must be loosed, then it is clear that while we live here 
in the body Christ is not corporally present with us ; 
he is not, therefore, corporally present in the sacra- 
ment. I have stayed longer upon these points than I 
purposed. Let us now proceed unto that which 
followeth. 

Nevertheless. Hitherto we have spoken of the 
apostle's desire in respect of himself, which was to be 
loosed and to be with Christ, which was best of all for 
him. Now followeth his desire in respect of them, 
which was to abide in the body, which was more 
needful for them, that by the work of his ministry 
they might be farther builded up in the faith and 
truth of Christ Jesus. Nevertheless, saith he, though 
it be best of all for me in respect of myself to be 
loosed, and to be with Christ, yet it is more needful 
for you that I abide in the body, and live longer, and 
therefore in respect of you I desire to live longer. 
And thus I am in a strait on both sides, whether to 
choose that which is best for me, or that which is 
more needful for you, in my desires greatly affecting 
both. 

1. Then, in that the apostle desired to live longer 
in the body for their sakes, although for himself it 
had been far the best to have been loosed, hence I 
observe that our desires are not only to look unto 
that which is best for ourselves, but unto that which 
is most for God's glory and our brethren's good. Had 
it not been the best for Abraham that Isaac his son 
should have lived, in whom it was promised that all 
the nations of the earth should be blessed ? Gen. 



xxii. 10. No doubt he desired it, even from his soul. 
But when the Lord rerpxhed him to be offered for a 
burnt offering, Abraham obeyed, and stretched out his 
hand to have killed his son. He looked not so much 
unto his own desires in respect of himself, as unto the 
glory of the Lord, and therefore addressed himself 
unto his commandment. So, no doubt, it was far the 
best for Moses to have his name still to remain in the 
book of life. Yet, seeing the Lord his fierce wrath 
hotly kindled against his people, he looked not so 
much what was best for himself, as what was good for 
his brethren the children of Israel, and therefore 
prayed the Lord, either to pardon the people that had 
sinned, or to raze him out of the book that he had 
written, Exod. xxxii. 32. So tendered he his brethren's 
good and God's glory, that he preferred that before 
himself and his own good. So our apostle, in his 
brethren's case, which were his kinsmen according to 
the flesh, wished himself to be separated from Christ 
for their sakes. He saw and knew what was best for 
himself, even that he should abide in the vine where- 
into he was ingrafted. Yet, as a man, forgetting, or 
not regarding that which was best for himself, he 
looked so much unto the good of his brethren that he 
brake out and said, Rom. ix. 3, ' I would wish myself 
separated from Christ for my brethren, that are my 
kinsmen according to the flesh.' And so should it be 
even with all of us ; we should not always look what 
is best for ourselves, but also what is most meet and 
needful for God's glory. And though, as we heard 
before, it were far better for us to be loosed, and to be 
with Christ in respect of ourselves, than live in the 
body, yet are we also to look what is more needful for 
God's glory ; and if to live in the body be more requi- 
site and needful for God's glory, then are we to desire 
to be in the body. 

Good for the church, and good for the common- 
weal it would be, if men could thus frame their desires, 
not always to run upon that which is best for them- 
selves, but that which is most for God's glory, and 
for the good of our brethren. For why is it that, in 
church and in commonweal, things are so far amiss 
as they are ? We complain much, and oh, things were 
never so bad, never so much amiss in church or in 
commonweal. And whore is the cause ? Even 
within ourselves. Few such parents as was Abraham : 
few such magistrates as was Moses ; few such ministers 
as was Paul, that so bridle their desh*es, that they 
prefer God's glory and the public good before their 
own good. The minister now can see and say, This 
were more needful for the church, but this is better 
for me, more easy for me, more commodious for me, 
more pleasant unto me, and blame me not if I most 
respect that which is best for myself; indeed, the 
worst for himself, but the best in his corrupt account. 
The magistrate likewise now can say, This and this 
indeed were best of all for the common good, never- 
theless this is better for me, and near is my coat, but 



34 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. I. 



nearer is my shirt, and I count him a very fool that 
is not chiefly wise for himself. Parents likewise now 
can say, To bestow some of my goods and substance 
thus and thus were most indeed for God's glory, and 
for the good of many of God's children, nevertheless 
is more needful for my children ; and no man may 
blame me if they be the dearest unto me, if what I 
have I keep for them. And thus our desires are 
carried clean otherwise than were our apostle's. He 
much desired his own private good, but more the 
glory of God, and the good of others. We much 
desire the glory of God, and the good of others, shall 
I say so ? I wish it might be truly said of many 
more that it is ; but be it so, we much desire the 
glory of God, and the good of others, but more our 
own private good, more that which we count best for 
us. If, then, we will have such things as are amiss in 
church and commonweal amended, minister,' and 
magistrate, and all of us must reform our desires. 



Howsoever this or that were best for the minister in 
respect of himself, yet must he look unto that which 
is more needful for God's glory and the good of his 
church, and set his desire upon that. Howsoever 
this or that were best for the magistrate in respect 
of himself, yet must he look unto that which is more 
needful for God's glory, and the good of the com- 
monweal, and set his desires upon that. Howsoever 
this or that might be best of all for us in respect 
of ourselves, yet, if another thing be more needful for 
God's glory, and the good of others, we must look 
unto that, and set our desires on that : ' Look not 
every man,' saith our apostle, Philip, ii. 4, ' on his 
own things, but every man also on the things of other 
men.' Let us, beloved, both minister and magistrate, 
and all of us thus do ; and whatsoever is most for 
God's glory, and for the good of his church, let us 
most set our desires on that. 



LECTUEE XX. 

Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. And this I am sure of, that I shall abide, and with you 
all continue, for the furtherance and joy of your faith ; that you may more abundantly rejoice in Jesus Christ 
for me, by my coming to you again. — Philip. I. 24—26. 



ANOTHER thing yet there is, which here is to be 
noted ; and that is, that the apostle saith, that it is 
more needful for the Philippians that he live longer, than 
that he be loosed. "Whence I observe, that the long life 
of the faithful pastor is very needful for the church, and 
the blessing of God on it. A plain proof whereof we 
have in the example of Jehoiada, touching whom it is 
said, 2 Chron. xxiv. 2, 17, that ' Joash did uprightly in 
the sight of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest. 
But after the death of Jehoiada came the princes of 
Judah, and did reverence to the king ; and the king 
hearkened unto them, and they left the house of the 
God of their fathers, and served groves and idols.' 
What a blessing of the Lord was here upon Joash the 
king of Judah, and upon all Judah, by the life of 
Jehoiada the priest ! So long as he lived, Joash did 
that which was good in the sight of the Lord, and 
Judah walked in the ways of the Lord ; but when he 
was dead, then Joash the king, and Judah with him, 
revolted from the true service of the Lord, and fell 
into idolatry. And therefore the Lord, purposing to 
visit the iniquities of Judah and Jerusalem upon them, 
threateneth, Isa. iii. 2, to take away from them the 
judge and the prophet, that is, the magistrate and the 
minister, as if he should have said that he would root 
out all civil government, and all ecclesiastical dis- 
cipline, from amongst them, and bring an utter con- 
fusion and desolation upon them. Is it, then, a plague 
of God upon a land to take away their prophets and their 
teachers ? And is it a visitation of the people's sins 
upon them ? By this, then, } T e see that the continu- 



ance of the pastor's life among the people is the 
blessing of the Lord upon the people ; I mean the 
continuance of the good and faithful pastor's life. 
For otherwise, if the pastor be an idle shepherd, one 
that despiseth his flock, one that cannot, or will not, 
feed the tender lambs of Christ Jesus, and lead them 
forth unto green pastures, and unto the soft running 
waters, then surely it is a great blessing of the Lord 
to deliver the sheep from such a shepherd, and to cut 
him off from feeding his people. And therefore the 
Lord, promising in mercy to visit his dispersed flock, 
speaketh thus unto them by his prophet, Ezek. xxxiv. 
10, ' Behold, I come against the shepherds ; and will 
require my sheep at their hands, and cause them to 
cease from feeding the sheep ; neither shall the shep- 
herds feed themselves any more : for I will deliver 
my sheep from their mouths, and they shall no more 
devour them.' As, then, this is a great mercy of the 
Lord unto the flock of his pasture, when the pastor 
is an ill one, to deliver them from him, and to cause 
him to cease from feeding them, whether by death or 
how else soever, so is it a great blessing of the Lord 
upon them, when they have a good and faithful pastor 
and teacher, to continue his life amongst them, for 
their further growth and increase in the faith and 
truth of Christ Jesus. 

This, then, beloved, should teach you how, when 
the Lord blesseth j'ou with a faithful pastor, you 
should be affected towards him ; and that is thus, you 
should even pray unto the Lord for him to continue 
his life long amongst you, by whose life ye have such a 






Ver. 24-26.] 



LECTURE XX. 



85 



blessing. Other duties many towards them on your 
behalf, are commanded, as obedience, where it is said, 
Heb. xiii. 17, ' Obey them that have the oversight of 
you, and submit yourselves ;' and love, as where it 
is said, 1 Thes. v. 12, 13, ' Know them that labour 
among you, and are over you in the Lord, and ad- 
monish you, and have them in singular love, for then- 
work's sake ;' and maintenance, as where it is said, 
Gal. vi. 6, ' Let him that is taught in the word make 
him that hath taught him partaker of all his goods.' 
Whereunto ye are also to add this duty towards them, 
even to pray for the continuance of their life long 
amongst }-ou. And surely, if either ye consider the 
blessing which ye have by the enjoying of them, or 
the loss which ye have when such are taken from you, 
ye will see that ye have great cause to pray for their 
abiding in the flesh amongst you. For what if, after 
such a faithful pastor, should succeed an idle shepherd, 
a greedy wolf, an ignorant hireling, a slow-belly, a 
perverter of the truth, a scandalous man for life, one 
whose God is his belly, and whose glory is to his 
shame, as too, too often after such light followeth 
darkness '? How great cause, then, should ye have to 
wail and lament, and, with Jeremiah, to say, ' How 
is the gold become so dim ? ' While, then, ye have 
them, how ought ye to pray for them, that long 
ye may have them, and enjoy the benefits of their 
labours. 

But how far otherwise do we, a great many of us, 
in many places, for so it is with many of us in many 
places, that if our pastor be a faithful teacher, one 
that labours amongst us in the word and doctrine, one 
that keeps nothing back from us, but faithfully de- 
livers unto us the whole counsel of the Lord ; we are 
so far from praying for the continuance of his life, 
that by all means we labour to make him weary of 
his life. If we have such a pastor as neither can nor 
will teach us in the wholesome word of truth, one 
that will suffer us to go on in our sins, and never 
awake us out of our dead sleep of security, one that 
will sow pillows under our elbows, and cry, Peace, 
peace, when there is no peace, one that will sort him- 
self unto our manners, and apply himself unto our 
humours, he is a man fit for us. He is a mild, a soft 
man, and a good companion, and we wish that he 
might five for ever with us. But if our pastor, with 
the prophets of the Lord, threaten the judgments 
of the Lord against us for our sins ; if, with John 
Baptist, he reprove us boldly to our faces for such 
crying sins as reign amongst us ; if, with the blessed 
martyr Stephen, in the application of his doctrine, he 
shall come upon us, and say, ' Ye stiff-necked and of 
uncircumcised hearts and ears, ye have always resisted 
the Holy Ghost; as your fathers did, so do ye;' if, 
with the apostle, he shall rebuke us, and say, ' 
foolish people, who hath bewitched you, that ye 
should not obey the truth ? ' if he shall lance our 
sores unto the bottom, that so we may be thoroughly 



healed ; if he shall wound the hoary scalp of him that 
goeth on in his wickedness, and lay the axe to the 
root of our sins : him we can by no means endure, 
he is a contentious man, a seditious man, a schisma- 
tical fellow, a troubler of the world ; away with such 
a man ; he is not worthy to live upon the earth. Thus 
the pastor, from whom it were a mercy of the Lord 
to deliver us, we love and like ; and him, in the 
continuance of whose life were a blessing of the 
Lord upon us, we cannot away with. So greatly 
are we in love with our sins and ignorance, and so 
little do we love knowledge and the things that belong 
unto our peace. But, beloved, I persuade myself 
better things of a great many of you. As already 
you do, so continue to have them that labour amongst 
you in singular love, for their work's sake. Let the 
feet of them that bring you the gospel of Christ Jesus 
be beautiful unto you. Count the life of your faith- 
ful teacher a blessing of the Lord upon you, and pray 
ye unto the Lord, when ye have such a blessing, for the 
continuance thereof unto you. This blessing is need- 
ful for you as the greatest blessing of this life, and 
therefore rejoice in it, and pray for it as the greatest 
blessing of your life. And let this suffice to be ob- 
served from the reasons which made the apostle doubt 
what to choose, whether to live in the body or to 
remove out of the body. It followeth. 

And this am I sure of , &c. In the apostle's nar- 
ration, which began at the 12th verse, first the apostle 
told us what success his bands had already had. 
then what success he hoped they should have. Touch- 
ing the success which they should have, we have heard 
that the apostle certainly looked for, and hoped that 
they should turn to the salvation of his soul, through 
his constancy in his bands, whether it were in life 
or in death. But what should be the success of his 
bands touching the salvation and deliverance of his 
body ? The apostle now tells the Philippians that, 
namely, he knew certainly that he should be delivered 
out of prison, and be restored to them again. And 
withal he tells them wherefore God would now deliver 
him, and have him yet to live longer, which was for 
these two ends : 1, for their furtherance and joy of 
their faith, i. e. that by his ministry they might be 
confirmed in the faith, and thereby have their joy 
increased ; and, 2, that they might more abundantly 
rejoice, &c, i.e. that they, seeing the mighty power 
of Christ in delivering him from the mouth of the 
lion, might more abundantly rejoice in Christ, the 
author of his deliverance, for delivering him, and for 
bringing him again to them. The first thing which 
here I note is, that the apostle saith that he was sure 
of this, that he should abide in the flesh, and continue 
with all the Philippians yet for some time longer. 
Whence I observe that the apostle, in his first impri- 
sonment at Rome, was delivered, and restored unto 
the churches which before he had planted, which I 
do the rather gather hence, for that the two words 



86 



AIPAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. I. 



which the apostle useth (^i^oidojc oJda) shew that he 
knew so certainly that he should be delivered, as he 
could not otherwise but by the revelation of the Spi- 
rit. And in the Epistle to Timothy, 2 Tim. iv. 17, 
in plain words he professeth that he was delivered 
out of the mouth of the lion, meaning of Nero. And 
the ecclesiastical stories bear witness that after his 
first imprisonment, by the space of ten years or there- 
abouts, he preached the gospel, and then returning to 
Eome again, was slain by Nero, about the 14th year 
of his reign. 

Which may serve to encourage the faithful thus far 
in their troubles, that whatsoever be their troubles, if 
it be for his glory, the Lord will deliver them. As 
he did with Paul, so will he do with us. As our 
farther trial or present deliverance shall be for his 
glory, so will he try us or deliver us. Let us there- 
fore in troubles be of good courage, and let us assure 
ourselves of deliverance, if it be for his glory. Only 
let us, as himself exhorteth, Ps. 1. 15, ' call upon him 
in the day of our trouble,' and then his promise is, 
we need no revelation for it, that ' he will deliver us,' 
always this condition understood, if our deliverance 
he for his glory. And what else is it that we should 
desire, but that he may be glorified in our bodies, 
whether it be by life or death '? 

The second thing which here I note, is the end 
wherefore he saith he should abide, and with them all 
continue, which was for their furtherance and joy of 
their faith, that their faith by his ministry might be 
furthered, and so their joy in the Holy Ghost increased. 
Whence I observe wherefore the Christian's life in 
general, and the minister's life in particular, is pre- 
served and continued here on earth ; and that is, the 
Christian's life in general is preserved and continued 
for the glory of the Lord, and the minister's life in 
particular, for the good of God's church, and of that 
people over whom they are set. ' Be of courage, 
Paul,' said the Lord unto him, Acts xxiii. 11, ' for as 
thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou 
bear witness also at Rome ;' as if he should have said, 
Howsoever the Jews practise against thy life in Jeru- 
salem, yet fear not, I must yet have farther glory by 
thy life ; as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, and 
there brought glory unto my name, so shall thy life 
be preserved and continued, to the farther glory of my 
name, by thy testimony of me at Rome. And so is 
every Christian, when he is delivered from any peril 
of sickness, enemies, or the like, to resolve with him- 
self that his life is preserved and continued for the 
farther glory of his God ; and every minister in par- 
ticular, that his life is preserved and continued for the 
farther good of God's church, and for the profit of 
his people by the work of his ministry. The point is 
clear enough, and needeth not any large confirmation. 
This may serve, first, for the instruction of all 
Christians in general, and of the ministers in parti- 
cular. Of all Christians in general, to teach even all 



of us to live unto the Lord, and to the glory of his 
name, to live to do good. This is the end wherefore 
our life is preserved and continued here on earth ; and 
this being the end in our whole life, we are ever to be 
looking unto this end. Of ministers in particular, to 
teach them to spend willingly their whole strength 
and their life in the work of their ministry, for the 
edification of the church, and the furtherance of their 
faith over whom the Lord hath made them overseers. 
This is the end, also, wherefore they are preserved 
from all dangers, and their lives continued unto their 
people ; and this being the end, in their whole life 
they are ever to be looking to this end. 

What shall we say, then, unto such Christians in 
name as live unto themselves, and unto their plea- 
sures ? as would have everybody to serve their turn, 
and care not for others ? as desire to live rather to 
get goods than to do any good '? For such there are 
as so live, as if they were to live unto themselves, 
and not unto the glory of God ; as if the life of others 
were to be for their good, and their life not for the 
good of any others ; as if they were to scrape as much 
unto themselves as they could, and not to do any 
good unto any other. Nay, I add further, that such 
there are as so live, as if in their life they were to 
serve sin in the lusts thereof ; as if they were to live 
by the spoil, and hurt, and loss of others ; as if they 
were to fly that which is good, and to do that which 
is evil. And surely such are here justly reproved, as 
men never remembering that the continuance of their 
life should be for God's glory, or rather as men op- 
posing themselves unto everything that may make for 
God's glory. What shall we say, likewise, unto such 
in the ministry as feed themselves, but not the flock ; 
as seek their own, and not that which is Jesus Christ's ; 
as do more harm by their bad example of life, than 
they do good by their pains in teaching ; as either 
for idleness, or daintiness, or other like reason, will 
not put their hand unto the Lord his work to help 
forward the building of his house ; nay, as destroy 
the faith of some which were to be builded up in 
Christ Jesus ? Is this the end wherefore they live in 
the body, wherefore their life is prolonged among 
their people ? Nay, surely this also serveth for their 
just reproof, as men abusing that use which God 
giveth them of life. 

But, on the other side, it serveth for the great 
comfort of all them, be they Christians in general, or 
ministers in particular, whose life serves for the good 
of the church. For what greater comfort, if we be 
ministers, can we have of our life, than that by our 
life the saints' hearts be stablished in the faith, the 
joy of the faithful be fulfilled, the church of Christ 
Jesus be builded, the truth of Christ Jesus be main- 
tained, the mouth of all gainsayers be stopped, and 
our people kept a chaste spouse unto the Lord ? Or 
what greater comfort can we have of our life, what- 
soever we be, than that by our life the Lord be glori- 



— -^»— ' - ■*-■— 1^. 



Ver. 24-2G.] 



LECTURE XX. 



87 



fied, the good of our brethren procured, and the 
commonwealth bettered ? Surely so may the minis- 
ter, and every Christian, make account that he liveth, 
if he live unto God and to his brethren's good ; and 
so may he joy in the continuance of his life, if he 
look unto the end wherefore it is continued. What- 
soever therefore we be, let us remember that we are 
to live unto him that hath called us out of darkness 
into light ; and in whatsoever peril our life is preserved, 
let us remember that it is continued for the glory of 
God and the good of our brethren. And as we are 
by our calling ministers or others, so let us labour 
that our abode in the flesh, and continuance in life, 
may be to the furtherance, and joy, and comfort of 
our brethren in everything that is good. And let this 
be spoken, touching the end wherefore the life of 
Christians in general, and of ministers in particular, 
is preserved and continued, viz., for the glory of God 
and the good of his church ; which as it serveth for 
the instruction of all, to teach us ever to look unto 
the end wherefore our life is continued upon earth, 
so for the reproof of such as whose life doth no good, 
and for the comfort of such whose life serves for the 
good of the church. 

Now followeth the other end wherefore the apostle 
saith he should abide, and with them all continue, 
viz., that they, seeing the mighty power of Christ 
Jesus in delivering him frorn the mouth of the lion, 
from the cruelty of Xero, might more abundantly re- 
joice in him, in whom already they did rejoice, for 
savin" him from death, and bringing him again unto 
them. Whence first I do observe, the great rejoicing 
which ought to be in the people for their pastor's 
deliverance out of peril, and for the continuance of his 
life amongst them; their joy should even abound in 
Christ Jesus, as in his great blessing and mercy upon 
them. So we read, that when Peter was delivered 
out of prison by an angel, there was great joy among 
the Christians which wore assembled in the house of 
Mary, John Mark his mother, Acts xii. 12, insomuch 
that it is said of the maid that came to the door, 
when Peter knocked at the entry door, that ' she 
opened not the entry door for gladness,' ver. 14, as 
one so surprised with joy that she could not rest till 
she had told it ; and when the door was opened, and 
the rest saw, it is said of them that ' they were 
astonied,' ver. 1G, partly through wondering at, and 
partly through rejoicing for, his deliverance. And so 
should they that are taught in the word abundantly 
rejoice when their teacher is freed from trouble or 
danger, and his life or liberty is continued unto them ; 
for whether it be life or liberty that is granted unto 
him, it is for their sakes over whom the Lord hath 
made him overseer ; and therefore they are to honour 
him, and to rejoice for him, as preserved for them 
iind the furtherance of their faith. 



Such, then, as grieve at the life or liberty of their 
faithful pastors ; such as practise what possibly they 
can against the life and liberty of their godly teachers; 
such as wish and watch every advantage against them, 
to get their mouths stopped, or deprived of their 
ministry : such as rejoice in their trouble, imprison- 
ment, or banishment : let such, I say, and all such 
like, look unto it, whether they belong to the sheepfold 
ot Christ Jesus. ' He that heareth you heareth me,' 
saith our Saviour Christ, Luke x. 16, 'and he that de- 
spiseth you despiseth me.' To refuse, then, to hear 
the ministers of Jesus Christ is much, because it is to 
refuse to hear Jesus Christ ; likewise, to despise the 
ministers of Jesus Christ is very much, because it is 
to despise Jesus Christ ; but what then is it to prac- 
tise mischief against the ministers of Jesus Christ, to 
rejoice in the loss of their life or liberty, and to band 
men's selves against them ? Surely this is plainly 
to bewray themselves not to belong to Christ Jesus. 

As for us, if we will know that we belong unto 
Christ Jesus, let us rejoice in the life and liberty of 
our faithful teachers. The life and liberty of God's 
faithful ministers cause joy in the hearts of them that 
belong unto the Lord. Let us, therefore, by this 
token, discern what we are, good or bad gospellers. 

The second thin" which hence I observe, is the 
effect which the exanijiles of the power and goodness 
of Christ Jesus, in the deliverance of his saints out of 
their troubles, ought to work in us ; such examples 
should confirm us daily more and more in that re- 
joicing which we have in Christ Jesus. For when 
we plainly see, as in a spectacle before our eyes, by 
the deliverance of his saints out of their troubles, that 
our King and our Saviour beholdeth us from his holy 
heavens, looks upon our sufferings and our wrongs, 
takes our matters into his own hands, avengeth us of 
our enemies, and delivers us out of the will of them 
that hate us, this should add much unto that rejoicing 
which before we had, and cause us far more abun- 
dantly to rejoice in Christ Jesus, because thus we see 
that which before we believed, that our King liveth 
and reigneth, and hath all power given unto him both 
in heaven and in earth. 

But how little such examples work with us, doth 
appear by our little rejoicing in Christ Jesus. All 
our rejoicing is in the vanities, and pleasures, and 
fooleries of this life ; neither do we ever vouchsafe to 
consider the power and the rnercy which the Lord 
sheweth in his saints. And therefore we rejoice not 
as we should, but as we should not. Oh, let us con- 
sider the great things which our Jesus hath done, and 
still doth "for us. Let us not be so negligent as to 
pass over or to forget the things wherein he sheweth 
his power and his mercy towards his saints, but let 
us religiously regard and remember them, that so we 
may have our rejoicing in Christ Jesus. 



88 



AIRAY ON THE PHILirPIANS. 



[Chap. I. 



LECTUEE XXI. 

Only let your conversation be as it becomeih the gospel of Christ : that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, 
I may hear of your matters, that ye continue in one spirit, and in one mind, fighting together through the 

faith of the gospel. — Philip. I. 27. 



HITHERTO, we have heard the apostle his ex- 
ordium and his narration. Now that which 
followeth, both in this chapter and in the rest of this 
epistle, is for the most part matter of exhortation. A 
little in the third chapter he furnisheth them with 
matter of doctrine against certain false teachers, which 
were crept in amongst them. But because they were 
well-grounded in the truth by his ministry and apostle- 
ship, the special thing, wherein the rest of his epistle 
is spent, is exhortation unto a Christian life. In this 
remainder of this chapter, first, the apostle setteth down 
that general exhortation unto a Christian life, which is 
indeed the great and main exhortation, whereof all the 
rest are but branches ; and secondly, he insisteth parti- 
cularly in some of those things wherein the life where- 
unto he exhorteth consisteth. His general exhortation 
is generally unto such a life and conversation amongst 
men, as becometh the gospel of Christ, that is, con- 
formed unto the doctrine of the gospel of Christ, that 
profession and conversation may go hand in hand 
together, in these w r ords, ' Only let your conversation 
be,' &c. The particulars wherein such a life con- 
sisteth, and which here are mentioned, are three : 
the first, constancy in holding and defending the 
truth of Christ, by the power of the Spirit, signified 
in these words, 'that ye stand in one spirit,' that is, 
in one truth of the gospel by one spirit ; the second 
is, unanimity and agreement to stand and fight to- 
gether for the truth, through the faith of the gospel, 
signified in these words, ' and in one mind fighting 
together,' &c. ; and tbe third is, patience in suffer- 
ings, and wrongs by adversaries, signified by way of 
dehortation, in these words, ' and in nothing fear,' 
&c. Where these tbree are, there the life is in a good 
degree such as becometh the gospel of Cbrist. That 
which is inserted in these words, ' that whether I 
come,' &c, is to persuade them unto such a life, with- 
out all respect of his coming again unto them ; that 
whether he come and see them, or be absent and 
hear of them, their life be such as becometh the 
gospel of Christ. In that which followeth, are set 
down motives to persuade the exhortation, especially 
patience in sufferings and wrongs, whereof hereafter. 
Thus much for the general order and meaning of those 
words. 

Now for the further and more particular opening of 
the meaning of these words, this that the apostle in 
the beginning of his exhortation saith, ' Only let your 
conversation,' &c, it may either be referred unto 
that whereof the apostle spake immediately before, 
and so have this meaning, I say I shall abide and 



continue yet with you, for your furtherance and joy, 
and rejoicing for me ; yet, whatsoever become of me, 
only look ye to your conversation, that it be such as 
becometh the gospel of Christ. Or else it may be 
referred unto all that went before, and so have this 
meaning : Cod hath done great things for you, he 
hath caused his gospel to be preached unto you, and 
brought you unto the fellowship of the gospel. He 
hath begun a good work in you, and it is not to be 
doubted but that he will perform it until the day of 
Christ. He hath made you to abound in love, in 
knowledge, and in all judgment. He hath turned my 
bands to the furthering of the gospel for your comfort, 
and he hath appointed to deliver me out of bands, and 
to restore me again unto you, for the furtherance and 
joy of your faith, and that ye may the more abundantly 
rejoice in Jesus Christ for me. Only be not ye want- 
ing unto that which becometh you, but let your con- 
versation be such as becometh the gospel of Christ. 
Unto whethersoever it be referred, ye see what the 
meaning is. Now where it is said in the words follow- 
ing, ' Let your conversation be,' the word used in the 
original, moXirsusods, implieth that they w r ere citizens 
of a city which is above, and enforceth this construc- 
tion. Only ye, as citizens of heavenly Jerusalem, 
carry yourselves, how ? As it becometh the gospel of 
Christ, that is, so that your life be framed after the 
doctrine of the gospel, and be answerable to your pro- 
fession. But what ! would it serve to make a show 
of such a conversation for a time, because he was to 
come again unto them, that when he came unto them, 
all might be well, howsoever their hypocrisy after- 
wards brake out ? No, in no sort. And therefore 
the apostle saith, ' Let your conversation be as it 
becometh the gospel of Christ.' What ! because 
I am to come again unto you, that ye may deceive 
me only by an hypocritical show? Nay; but that 
whether I come and see you, or be absent and only 
hear of you, I may hear and see that in sincerity and 
truth which I desire. Yea, but how should they order 
their conversation so, that it might be such as became 
the gospel of Christ ? Namely, if they ordered it so, 
that if he came he might see, and if he were absent he 
might hear, 1, that they continued or stood fast, 
(ff-pjxsrs), for so the word signifieth, like unto good 
soldiers which yield no ground, but keep their stand- 
ing ; that, I say, they stood fast in one spirit, that is, 
that they abode constant in one truth of Christ, by 
one spirit whereinto they had all drunk ; 2, that 
with joint minds, and one accord amongst themselves, 
they fought together (avvuQ'kouvrs;) for the truth of 



Ver. 27.] 



LECTURE XXI. 



89 



Christ against the adversaries of the gospel, not with 
carnal weapons, but with the faith of the gospel, with 
the shield of faith, to quench all the fiery darts of the 
wicked, which here he calleth the faith of the gospel, 
because it cometh by the hearing of the gospel 
preached ; and, 3, that in nothing they feared their 
adversaries, but courageously encountered them, and 
patiently endured all wrongs offered by them. If the 
apostle might hear that thus they stood constant in 
the [truth, not cast down by their adversaries ; that 
thus with one accord they fought together, and threw 
down their adversaries ; that thus courageously they 
encountered their adversaries, in nothing fearing them, 
this might in part shew that their conversation were 
such as became the gospel of Christ. This I take to 
be the true meaning of these w T ords thus far. Now, 
let us see what observations we may gather hence for 
our farther use and instruction. 

The first thing which here I note, is the apostle's 
exhortation unto the Philippians in general, that they 
should lead such a life ; that their conversation should 
be such as became the gospel of Christ Jesus ; that as 
they professed the gospel of Christ, so they should 
lead a life agreeable to the gospel of Christ. Whence 
I observe, that so many as profess the gospel of Christ 
Jesus, ought to labour by all means to lead a life 
agreeable to the gospel of Christ Jesus. Which thing 
our apostle also sheweth in many other exhortations 
which he maketh to the like purpose, as when he ex- 
horteth the Thessalonians, 1 Thes. ii. 12, to ' walk 
worthy of God, who had called them unto his kingdom 
and glory ; ' where the apostle's meaning is, that as 
God had vouchsafed them this mercy, to call them unto 
his kingdom and glory, so they were to walk worthy 
of him, framing then- lives as near as they could unto 
his life, who was the engraven form of his person. So 
that, being called by God unto his kingdom and glory, 
by the preaching of the gospel, we are to labour to 
walk worthy of God in all godliness and righteousness. 
So likewise he exhorteth the Ephesians to ' walk 
worthy of the vocation whereunto they were called,' 
Eph. iv. 1 ; where again the apostle's meaning is, 
that as they were called to be saints in Christ Jesus, 
so thev should walk worthy of that calling, even as 
became saints in Christ Jesus. So that, being saints 
by calling, we are to labour to be saints in life and 
conversation. As, then, is our calling, as is our pro- 
fession, so are we to labour to lead a life agreeable to 
our calling, agreeable to our profession ; and, possess- 
ing the gospel of Christ Jesus, to lead a life agree- 
able to the gospel of Christ Jesus. And why '? The 
reasons are very clear. As, 1, that the gospel of 
Christ Jesus be not evil spoken of ; even as young 
women are taught, Tit. ii. 5, to be ' discreet, chaste, 
keeping at home, good, and subject to their husbands, 
that the word of God be not evil spoken off.' For 
what readier way to cause the profane and wicked to 
blaspheme the gospel of Jesus Christ, than when the 



professors of the gospel live not according to the 
gospel "? ' Thou that preachest a man should not 
steal, dost thou steal ? ' saith our apostle, Kom. ii. 
21-24. 'Thou that sayest a man should not com- 
mit adultery, dost thou commit adultery '? thou that 
abhorrest idols, committest thou sacrilege ? thou that 
gloriest in the law, through breaking the law dis- 
honourest thou God ? For the name of God is blas- 
phemed among the Gentiles through you.' And if it 
may be said unto us, thou that professest the gospel 
of Jesus Christ, doest thou lead a life which becometh 
not the gospel of Jesus Christ ? shall not the gospel of 
Jesus Christ be blasphemed and evil spoken of ami rog 
the profane atheists and miscreants of this sinful 
world through us? Yes, surely, they shall say unto 
us, as the Gentiles did to the children of Israel, which 
polluted God's name among them, Ezek. xxxvi. 20. 
' These are the people of the Lord,' these are the pro- 
fessors of the gospel, these be the fruits of their holy 
profession, and of the gospel amongst them. 2. They 
that profess the gospel of Christ, are to labour to live 
agreeably thereunto, that they may adorn the gospel 
of Christ Jesus in all things, Titus ii. 10, and win 
others by their holy conversation unto righteousness 
and holiness, even as servants are taught to shew all 
good faithfulness, that they may adorn the doctrine of 
God our Saviour in all things; and as Peter exhorteth, 
saying, 1 Peter ii. 2, ' Have your conversation honest 
among the Gentiles, that they which speak evil of you 
as of evil-doers, may, by your good works which they 
shall see, glorify God in the day of visitation.' For 
when they that fear not the Lord shall see our good 
works, then shall they be brought to glorify God our 
Father which is in heaven ; when they shall see that, 
as our profession is holy, so our life also is holy, then 
shall they begin to suspect then own ways, and to 
turn unto the Lord ; as that place of Peter maketh 
plain, 1 Peter iii. 1, where he exhorteth 'the wives to 
be subject to their husbands ;' and why ? ' That even 
they which obey not the word, may without the word 
be won by the conversation of the wives.' Whence 
it plainly appeareth that by the holy conversation of 
them that are religious and godly, be they men or 
women, they that have no good will unto the word 
are oftentimes won unto the obedience of the word. 
3. They that profess the gospel, are to labour to live 
as becometh the gospel, because of the commandment, 
Mat. v. 16, ' Let your light so shine before men, that 
they may see }-our good works, and glorify your Father 
which is in heaven;' because of the promise, Gal. vi. 
16, 'As many as walk according to this rule of the 
gospel, peace shall be upon them, and mercy, and 
upon the Israel of God;' because it becometh citizens 
of heaven to have their conversation in heaven, and 
them that are called to the knowledge of God to walk 
as the children of God ; and because it is the lesson 
which their profession should teach them, as the 
apostle witnesseth, saying, Titus ii. 11, 12, ' The 



90 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. I. 



grace of God, which bringeth salvation to all men, hath 
appeared, and teaching us that we should deny un- 
godliness arid worldly lusts, and that we should live 
soberly, and righteously, and godly, in this present 
world ; looking for the blessed hope,' &c. In one 
word, so only the gospel is the glad tidings of their 
salvation unto the professors of the gospel, if their 
conversation be as it beconieth the gospel of Christ ; 
and, therefore, they are to labour that their conversa- 
tion be such as beconieth their profession. 

This, then, may serve for a just reproof of many 
carnal gospellers in our day. For many gospellers 
there are by profession, but not many that lead such 
a life as becometh the gospel of Christ ; many there 
are that profess they know God, not many that shew 
forth the fruit thereof in a holy conversation, such as 
our apostle speaketh of where he saith, Titus i. 16, 
' They profess that they know God ; but by works 
they deny him, and are abominable and disobedient, 
and unto every good work reprobate.' So that it 
may be said of gospellers as one said of doctors, 
many doctors, few doctors, many in name, few in 
deed ; so, many gospellers, few gospellers, many in 
name and few in deed, many in profession, few in 
practice ; many in word, few in work ; many in tale, 
few in hfe and consideration. For is it not said of 
many that make a very great profession of the gospel 
and of religion, that they are hard men, unmerciful 
men, men that ' grind the faces of the poor, and sell 
the needy for shoes ' ? as the prophet speaketh. Are 
there not many such that are noted to be usurers, 
oppressors, extortioners, and the like ? Is it not said 
of many such, that they are as ready to portion and to 
covenant for their dues with their pastor as any men ; 
that they are as ready to turn their tenants a-grazing 
as any men ; that they are as ready to join house to 
house, to lay field to field, and to enclose all unto 
themselves as any men ? Is it not said that the com- 
plaint of the poor, and fatherless, and widow is taken 
up as much against them as against any men ? I 
would it were not said in Gath, and noised in the 
streets of Askelon ; I wish the profane atheist, the 
superstitious papist, and the covetous worldling, could 
not justly twit us with it. Alas ! beloved, do we not 
see and consider that thus we make our God to be 
blasphemed, our profession to be slandered, and the 
gospel of Christ Jesus to be evil spoken of for our 
sakes ? Do we not see and consider that atheist, and 
papist, and every earthly-minded man makes his van- 
tage of these things, and thinks his own ways well 
patronaged by our ways ? Do we not see and consider, 
that by such our life and conversation, the froward 
and obstinate are hardened, the weak are offended, 
and the edge and courage of many much cooled and 
abated ? If such spots and stains in our life did only 
touch ourselves, yet were we to look unto them, be- 
cause without holiness of hfe no man shall see the 
Lord, Heb. xii. 11. But when men, seeing that we 



make a good profession, and yet live nothing accord- 
ingly thereunto, thereupon take occasion to speak 
evil of our profession, of our religion, of the gospel of 
Christ Jesus, how careful ought we to be of our life 
and conversation. ' Woe to the world,' saith our 
blessed Saviour, Mat. xviii. 7, ' because of offences ! 
It must needs be that offences shall come ; but woe 
be to that man by whom the offence comcth.' And 
surely if by our life not answerable to our profession 
we shall bring a slander upon our religion, our profes- 
sion, upon the gospel, if by our life some shall be 
weakened, others hardened, the edge of others abated, 
and others turned out of the good way, then woe shall 
be unto us because of such offence in our life. 

I doubt not but such as observe these things in us, 
and fill their mouths with talking of them, both are 
guilty of as crying sins themselves, and most injuri- 
ously tax many of us of these things ; but the more 
ready they are to observe and to tax without a cause, 
the more careful we are to be that they have no just 
cause of taxing. Let us therefore, beloved, as we 
profess the gospel of Christ, so labour to live as be- 
cometh the gospel of Christ. As the gospel teacheth 
us to be holy, so let us be holy in all manner of con- 
versation ; as the gospel teacheth us to walk in the 
light, so let us walk in the light, and have nothing to 
do with the unfruitful works of darkness ; as the gos- 
pel teacheth us to love God, and one another, so let 
us love God above all things, and our neighbour as 
ourself ; as the gospel is the gospel of peace, so let 
us be at peace with all men ; as the gospel is true, so 
let us speak the truth every man unto his neighbour, 
and lie not one unto another, &c. Otherwise we walk 
not as becometh the gospel of Christ. In a word, let 
us not be hearers or professors of the word only, but 
doers also of the same, lest we deceive ourselves. 

Again, as this note may serve for the just reproof 
of such as profess well, but live not so well, so may 
it also serve for a just defence against the unjust 
slander of our adversaries, who bear the world in hand 
that holiness of life is a matter that we never urge, 
that we make no great reckoning of. Yourselves have 
heard, and can witness, how often, since this very 
exercise hath begun, you have been urged to run for- 
ward in the race of righteousness, and to make an 
end of your salvation with fear and trembling ; to 
labour to be blameless and pure, and the sons of God, 
in the midst of a naughty and crooked nation ; to have 
your conversation in heaven ; to communicate unto 
the necessities of the poor and distressed saints ; to 
abound in love, in knowledge, and in all judgment ; to 
be filled with the fruits of righteousness ; and to strive 
to be pure, and without offence until the day of Christ. 
And now ye hoar, that if ye have fellowship in the gospel, 
your conversation is to be as it becometh [the gospel] of 
Christ. Know them therefore to be of their father the 
devil, who was a liar from the beginning, and is the father 
thereof. And sufler not yourselves to be deceived by 



Vkr. 27.] 



LECTURE XX r. 



91 



them, who, when they cannot otherwise prevail against 
the truth, fall to slander the professors of the truth. 
And let this suffice to be noted from the apostle's 
general exhortation, whence }'e see that such as profess 
the gospel of Jesus Christ should labour by all means 
to lead such a life as becometh the gospel of Christ. 

But what, will it serve the turn, for a time, in the 
presence or company of such and such persons, to 
make a show of such a life and conversation, as hypo- 
crites do, which do all that they do to please men ? 
No ; and therefore the apostle saith, ' Let your con- 
versation be as becometh the gospel of Christ, that 
whether I come and see you, or else be absent, and 
only hear of you, I may hear and see that in sincerity 
and truth which I desire.' Whence I observe, that 
the life and conversation of such as profess the gospel 
of Jesus Christ is to be framed, not after the will of 
men, but after the will of God ; not to please men, but 
to please the Lord, that whether man be present or 
absent, their life be such as it ought to be : * If I should 
please men,' saith the apostle, Gal. i. 10, 'I were not 
the servant of Christ.' The apostle speaketh it of 
preaching the doctrine of the gospel, that if he should 
apply himself to the humours of men, and preach things 
pleasing unto them, he should not please God, ' which 
trieth the heart.' But it may also very well be ap- 
plied unto the life and conversation of men, that if we 
shall only frame our lives unto men's likings, and for 
the time only seek to please them, our life shall not 
be such as becometh the gospel of Christ. And there- 
fore the Lord himself sharply reproveth it in Ezekiel's 
hearers, where he saith, Ezek. xxxiii. 31, ' My people 
sit before me, and hear my words, but they will not 
do them ; for with their mouths they make jests, and 
their heart goeth after their covetousness ;' where 
ye see the Lord taxeth Ezekiel's hearers to be such 
as, when he preached unto them, sat as his people, and 
hearkened unto their prophet, and carried themselves 
well in his presence, but in their hearts ran after their 
covetousness, and out of his presence made but a 
mock of all that he spake unto them. And this was 
one of the sins wherefore the Lord threatened to lay 
the land desolate and waste. 

Let this, then, teach us to beware of hypocrisy. It 
is not for us to come unto this place, here to kneel 
us down on our knees, to knock our breasts, to lift up 
our eyes unto heaven, to sit and hearken unto the 
preacher, and when we go hence to make a mock at 
the things that were spoken, or to forget them, or, not- 
withstanding whatsoever show of godliness we made 
in the church, in our houses to return to our vomit. 
For what else is this but here to play the hypocrites, 
and here to make a show of godliness, the power 
whereof at home we deny ? And what is unto hypo- 
crites but a woe ? In the ordering therefore of our 
life, let us not depend upon man's presence or absence ; 
but in a religious fear of the Lord, let every one of 
us so walk as becometh us, knowing that whether man 



sees or sees us not, yet God seeth us, and considereth 
all our ways. It is the presence and pleasure of the 
Lord that we are to look unto. Let our life therefore, 
and our conversation, be as in his presence, and such 
as may please him, howsoever we please or displease 
men. And let this suffice to be noted touching the 
quality of such a conversation as becometh the gospel 
of Christ. Whence ye see that it is not to be hypo- 
critical, or framed after men's liking, for the time to 
please them, but to be led in the fear of the Lord to 
please him. 

But how may we so order our conversation, that it 
may be such as becometh the gospel of Christ '.' 
That the apostle now sheweth in the next place, as 
namely, ' if we continue in one spirit, if we tight to- 
gether in one mind through the faith of the gospel, 
and if we fear our adversaries in nothing.' 

If we continue in one spirit ; that is, if we stand fast, 
and abide constant in one truth of Christ, by one 
spirit, whereinto we are all baptized. Whence I 
observe one special part of a conversation agreeable 
to the gospel of Christ, and that is, constant abiding 
in the truth. If we stand fast, and abide constant in 
the truth, this is one note that our conversation is 
such as becometh the gospel of Christ Jesus. ' It' ye 
continue in my word,' saith our Saviour, John viii. 31, 
' ye are verily my disciples; ' as if he should have said, 
If ye stand fast against all assaults whatsoever, and 
quit yourselves like men, and abide constant in the 
truth which I have taught you, so ye shew yourselves 
to be my disciples, and to walk worthy of me. So that 
to continue and abide constant in the truth shews us 
to be Christ his disciples, and sheweth our conv. 
tion to be such as becometh the gospel ; whereupon 
it is that we are so often exhorted to continue in the 
grace of God, to continue in the faith, to abide con- 
stant in the truth, to stand fast and shrink not. 

Beware, then, beloved, of revolting from the truth, 
wherein }-e have been taught in Christ Jesus; of being 
carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the deceit 
of men, and with craftiness, whereby they lie in wait 
to deceive ; of yielding, and giving ground unto the 
adversaries of the truth. ' He that continueth unto 
the end, he shall be saved.' But if ye start aside like 
a broken bow, surely ye walk not as becometh the 
gospel of Christ. Look to it, then, that ye continue 
in the things which ye have learned, and that ye fall 
not away from the hope of j'our profession. 

Another thing also hence I observe, which is, that 
to continue and abide constant in the truth, is wholly 
the gift of the Holy Ghost. It is not by our own 
wisdom, power, and strength, but only by the power 
of the Holy Spirit, that we stand fast, without which 
we can no more stand in the truth, than can our 
bodies stand without our soul and spirit. 

Both, therefore, let us beware that we grieve not 
the Holy Spirit by our evil deeds, or by our evil 
words ; and let us always pour out fervent prayers 



92 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. I. 



unto him, that he will vouchsafe ever to abide with 
us, to strengthen us to abide in the truth. 

It followeth, ' And in one mind,' d'c. Whence I 
observe another special note of a conversation agree- 
able to the gospel of Christ, and that is, unity and 
concord, and love amongst ourselves. If we be knit 
together in one mind, so that as we are one body in 
Christ Jesus, so we be of one heart and one soul, 
dwelling together as brethren in unity, love, and good 
agreement, this is a good token that our conversation 
is such as becometh the gospel of Christ. ' By 
this shall all men know,' saith our Saviour, John 
xiii. 85, ' that ye are my disciples, if ye love one 
another.' A good note that we are Christ his dis- 
ciples, and that we walk as becometh the gospel of 
Christ, if we live in love and concord one with another, 
if we be of one mind together. 

Let us beware, then, how we nourish hatreds, 
malice, strife, and contention in ourselves one against 
another, for these things do so distract us [one] from 
another, as that being thus affected one towards 
another, we do not walk as becometh the gospel of 
Christ, or rather, we are injurious unto the gospel of 
Christ ; for thus it cometh to pass, that the gospel 
which we profess is evil spoken of. Let us therefore 
be knit together in one mind, and beware of every 
thing that may distract and dismember us. 

Another thing hence I observe, which is, that this 
Christian concord must be to fight together against 
such adversaries as fight against the truth, be they 
heretics and schismatics, that fight against it and us 
with lies, slanders, cavils, false doctrines, and the 
like ; or be they tyrants, that fight against it and us, 
with fire, sword, imprisonment, banishment, confis- 
cation of our goods, or the like. We are not only to 
stand stoutly and constantly for the truth against 
them, without being thrown down by them, but being 
knit together one with another, in one mind, we are 



jointly and with one accord to fight together for the 
truth against them, as good soldiers to throw them 
down, that when we have finished our course, we may 
say with our apostle, 2 Tim. iv. 7, that ' we have 
fought a good fight,' otherwise we walk not as be- 
cometh the gospel of Christ. 

Let them, then, look to this, that either for ease and 
idleness, or for fear of displeasure some way, or upon 
any other carnal reason whatsoever, will rather betray 
the truth than they will fight for it ; and seeing none 
is crowned but he that striveth lawfully, let us fight 
together here, that there we may be crowned. 

But how are we to fight for the truth against the devil 
and all his instruments, the adversaries thereof? 
Some by praying, some by preaching, some by writ- 
ing, some by patiently sustaining for the truth's sake, 
and all of us, as hence I observe, by the faith of the 
gospel. ' Kesist the devil,' saith the apostle, ' and he 
will fly from you.' Resist him, and fight against 
him. How ? By faith, 1 John v. 4, ' for this is the 
victory that overcometh the world,' and the prince 
thereof, ' even our faith ;' and therefore the apostle's 
exhortation is, Eph. vi. 16, ' Above all, take the 
shield of faith, wherewith you may quench all the 
fiery darts of the wicked.' This is the armour 
wherewith we must all of us fight. 

By an internal faith, then, wrought in us by the 
gospel, let us all of us fight against Satan for the 
truth, and by an external confession of the faith 
against all tyrants, heretics, and schismatics what- 
soever. Let us hold fast the mystery of faith in a 
good conscience against all the enemies of the truth, 
and let us boldly always make confession of our faith, 
both in word, by writing, teaching, disputing, pro- 
fessing ; and in deed, by joining ourselves to the pro- 
fessors of the truth, and constantly and patiently 
abiding for the truth. 



LECTUEE XXII. 

And in nothing fear your adversaries: which is to them a token of perdition, and to you of salvation, and that of 

God.— Philip. I. 28. 



ATHI11D thing also is here mentioned, namely, 
courage against the adversaries of the truth, set 
down here in our reading by way of dehortation, 
And in nothing fear, dc, but is thus to be understood 
in true coherence with that which went before, ' Let 
your conversation,' &c, ' that whether,' &c, I may 
hear and see that ye continue in one spirit, and in 
one mind, fighting, &c, and that in nothing ye fear 
your adversaries ; for so we are to understand the 
apostle, that having exhorted the Philippians to 
such a conversation as becometh the gospel of Christ, 
he doth particularly specify some things whereby 
they might give proof unto him of such a conversa- 



tion, as namely, if he might hear or see that they 
continued in one spirit, and in one mmd, fighting 
together, &c, and in nothing fearing the adversaries, 
or being in nothing afraid of the adversaries. Thus, 
then, I read these words, not by way of dehortation, 
but as depending on the former words, ' and in 
nothing fearing the adversaries,' or, ' and being in 
nothing afraid of the adversaries.' The Syriac inter- 
preter readeth, ' in nothing fear our adversaries' ; our 
reading is, ' in nothing fear your adversaries.' But 
in the original is neither read our nor your adver- 
saries, but as I said before, ' in nothing fearing the 
adversaries,' or, ' fearing them that oppose them- 



Ver. 28.] 



LECTURE XXII. 



93 



selves.' The meaning is, that if he might hear or see 
that hoth they stood fast by the power of the Spirit 
against the adversaries of the truth, and that they 
jointly fought together against the adversaries of the 
truth, as men knit together in one mind, and likewise 
that in nothing they feared them that opposed them- 
selves against the truth, and the professors thereof, 
this should be a good proof unto him that their con- 
versation was such as became the gospel of Christ. 

Hence, then, I observe a third special part and 
mark of such a conversation as becometh the gospel 
of Christ, which is Christian courage against the ad- 
versaries of the truth, and of the professors thereof. 
If in nothing we fear the adversaries of the church 
and of the truth, but take a good corn-age against the 
dragon and his angels, this is a good note of such a 
conversation as becometh the gospel of Christ. Where- 
unto the Holy Ghost seemeth to give so many testi- 
monies, as he doth often dissuade all fear of whatsoever 
and whomsoever exalt themselves against God. ' Fear 
ye not them,' saith our blessed Saviour, Matt x. 28, 
1 which kill the body, but are not able to kill the 
soul ; but rather fear him which is able to destroy 
both soul and body in hell.' In which place our 
blessed Saviour putteth the very extremity of that 
which any adversary can do against us. For what 
can any cruel tyrant or bloody persecutor do more 
than kill the body ? Nebuchadnezzar's rage and fuiy 
against those three servants of the Lord, Shadrach, 
Meshach, and Abednego, can no more but take hold 
of their bodies, and cast them into a hot fiery furnace. 
And the devil himself, when he would wreak his malice 
upon Job, what could he do more than touch him in 
his goods and in his body ? Job i. and ii. Assault 
the soul the devil may by many temptations, and 
poison the soul heretics may by their damnable 
heresies, but none of them all can kill the soul ; 
neither can any of them all prevail farther either 
against the soul, to infect or defile it by heresies or 
other pollutions, or against the body, to kill or afflict 
it, than they have power from God. The Jews in 
their rage may stone Stephen to death. Acts vii. 59, 
but though Nebuchadnezzar in his rage command the 
' furnace to be hot seven times hotter than it was wont, 
and cast Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into the 
midst of it, yet not one hair of their heads shall be 
burnt, nor their coats singed, nor any smell of fire 
come upon them,' Dan. iii. 19, 21, 27. And why, 
but because the Lord giveth power over the one, and 
not over the other '? The very extremity, then, which 
any adversary can do against us is to kill the body ; 
and that, if the Lord give leave, they may do ; yet, 
saith the Lord, fear them not ; seeing they can do no 
more, fear them not. 

Yea, but they are many, and we but few, how 
should we but fear them ? Nay, though they be 
man}* and we but few, how should we fear them, see- 
ing our great Captain, Christ Jesus, hath said unto us, 



Luke xii. 32, ' Fear not, little Hock ' ? Wherein he 
implieth that the adversaries are many, and we but 
few ; yet (saith he), ' little flock, fear not.' And 
shall he bid us not fear, and shall we fear ? Elisha, 
we read, feared not the king of Syria, nor all his 
horses and chariots, nor his mighty host, because he 
knew that ' they that were with him were more than 
they that were against him.' 2 Kings vi. 16. Be we 
never so few, we are to take unto us that weapon of 
faith whereof we spake before, and to believe that God 
is with us, and then we are not to fear, but with good 
courage aud comfort to say, ' If God be with us, who 
can be against us ? ' Rom. viii. 31 ; for surely if he 
be with us, none shall be able to prevail against us. 
Yea, but they are mighty, powerful, and strong. Yea, 
but God that dwelleth on high is mightier ; and be the 
adversaries that oppose themselves against us tyrants, 
or heretics, or ' spiritual wickednesses which are in the 
high places,' his power is enough to quell them, and 
to turn all that they can do against us to the further- 
ance of his gospel and to our salvation. And why are 
they mightier and stronger than we '? Is it because 
they are more than we ? One God and Saviour of 
us all, Christ Jesus, [is] enow for them all. If he 
go forth with our armies, nay, if he go forth with 
us alone, with thee or with me, hell gates shall not 
be able to prevail against us. 

What then ? Are we desperately to run upon their 
pikes, and to put ourselves in danger, or securely to 
walk, and only contemn them ? No ; these are extre- 
mities on the other side, and either to run om - selves 
into danger when we need not, or to wish assaults by 
Satan, grappling with heretics, persecution by tyrants ; 
or, on the other side, to sleep the matter, when such 
adversaries lay their batteries against us, what else is 
it but to tempt the Lord by wilfulness and security ? 
We are to fear them so that we avoid them, and run 
not ourselves into the danger of them when we need 
not, and we are so to fear them that we take heed 
that we be not circumvented by them. For our blessed 
Saviour himself so feared, that he run not himself into 
the danger either of any other adversary, or of the 
devil, when he was tempted, but ' was led aside by the 
Spirit into the wilderness, to be tempted of the devil,' 
Mat. iv. 1 ; and so he feared that he took heed of 
being circumvented, either by any other adversary, or 
by the devil, and therefore returned upon his false 
allegations of scriptum est, true allegations of scriptum 
est. And so we are willed to ' fly into this city, when 
when we are persecuted in that,' Mat. x. 28 : to 
' beware of dogs, and of evil workers,' Philip, iii. 2 ; and 
to ' watch, because oiu 1 adversary the devil, as a roar- 
ing lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour,' 
1 Peter v. 8. So that we are to fear them to avoid them, 
and to fear them to beware of them. But we are not 
to fear them as to be daunted or dismayed by them, 
or to forsake the truth for them. We are not to fear 
them, as for fear of them to join ourselves unto them, 



I LI .1 



9+ 



AIRAY OX THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. I. 



and to shrink from the hope of a good profession ; but 
herein we arc to take a good conrage to stand against 
them, without being thrown down by them, and with 
one mind to fight together against them to throw them 
down. And in this sense it is where such like ex- 
hortations are, as not to fear the adversaries, not to 
fear them as to join ourselves unto them, or to shrink 
from a good profession for them, but in Christ his 
cause, and in the defence of the truth, to take a good 
courage against them, even as our Saviour willeth, 
where he saith, John xvi. 33, ' In the world ye shall 
have affliction ; but be of good comfort, I have over- 
come the world.' Though the world afflict and per- 
secute you for the truth's sake, yet fear not, nor shrink 
from the truth, but be of good comfort, and stand and 
fight for the truth, for though haply they prevail 
against us, and have their wills over us, yet neither do 
they overcome, nor are we overcome ; but if we die 
for the truth, our soul marcheth valiantly, and we 
triumph gloriously. 

This, then, may serve for a just reproof of them 

that, for fear of the adversaries, shrink and fall away 

from the hope of a good profession. Fear them we 

shall, even in God's cause and the gospel's, the best 

of us, insomuch that it shall be needful to say unto 

Paul, ' Be of good courage, Paul,' Acts xxiii. 11, 

and unto all of us, ' Fear not, little flock,' Luke 

xii. 32, ' Be of good comfort,' John xvi. 33 ; for, 

while we live here in the body of this flesh, we have 

our weakness and infirmities, our wants which had 

need to be supplied, our falls which had need to be 

pardoned, and our faint hearts which had need to be 

encouraged. But whoso feareth them so, that for fear 

of them he fall away from a good profession, it had 

been better for him never to have known the way of 

truth, than, after he hath known it, to turn away from 

it for fear of any adversary. Such our fathers have 

heard of, and some of us have seen. But let us 

hearken unto our blessed Saviour's exhortation, thrice 

repeated, not to fear the adversaries, Mat. x. 2G-33. 

He hath there said, ' Whosoever shall confess me 

before man, him will I confess also before my Father 

which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me 

before men, him will I also deny before my Father 

which is in heaven.' And again, ver. 38, 39, ' He 

that taketh not up his cross and followeth after me is 

not worthy of me. He that will save his life shall 

lose it, and he that loseth his life for my sake shall 

save it.' That chapter is well worth the reading for 

this purpose, whei'ein our Saviour abundantly prepar- 

eth and armeth his children against persecution and 

fear of any adversaries. 

Yea, but what reason is there but to fear the adver- 
saries ? In the very next words immediately follow- 
ing, the apostle giveth three reasons to encourage the 
Philippians, and in them us. As, 1, that the adver- 
saries persecute the truth, and persecute them, it is 
to the adversaries a sure token of perdition ; and why 



should any fear to see his adversaries run unto de- 
struction ? 2. That they fight together against them, 
and fear them not, is to them a sure token of salva- 
tion ; and why should any man fear a mark of his 
salvation ? 3. That persecution causeth perdition to 
the adversaries, and salvation unto them ; it is of 
God, and why should any fear persecution by the 
adversaries, which God turneth to the destruction of 
the persecutors, and to the salvation of the persecuted ? 
This I take to be the argument and sense of these 
words. 

Which, is to them a token of perdition. This is the 
first motive and reason to persuade the Philippians 
in nothing to fear the adversaries which oppose them- 
selves against them and against the truth, even be- 
cause this same thing, that they are adversaries to 
them and to the truth, is an evident token of destruc- 
tion to their adversaries. Whence I observe, that 
the fury and rage of tyrants and persecutors against 
the truth, and professors thereof, is an infallible sign 
of their destruction. ' Malice,' saith the prophet, Ps. 
xxxiv. 21, ' shall slay the wicked, and they that hate 
the righteous shall perish.' Do the wicked, then, 
and ungodly of the earth, malign the children of God ? 
This surely is a token of their destruction, for • malice 
shall slay the wicked.' Do they hate and persecute 
the children of God ? This surely is a token unto 
them of perdition, for ' they that hate the righteous 
shall perish.' Very plain to this purpose is that of 
the apostle, 2 Thes. i. 6, 7, where he saith, ' It is a 
righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation 
to them that trouble you, when the Lord Jesus shall 
shew himself from heaven with his mighty angels,' 
&c. ; where the judgment of the Lord is very plain 
and peremptorily set down against them that trouble 
and persecute the saints of God, Do the children of 
darkness, then, trouble and persecute the children of 
light ? It is a plain forerunner and prognostication 
of that fearful and everlasting perdition wherewith 
they shall be punished, ' when the Lord Jesus shall 
shew himself from heaven with his mighty angels, in 
flaming fire, rendering vengeance unto them.' And 
the more they rage against God's children, the more 
manifestly they declare that they run to their own 
destruction ; as Cain, when he slew his brother Abel, 
and Jezebel, when she destroyed the Lord his pro- 
phets, then they ran amain to their destruction. Be- 
fore, when Cain was wroth with his brother, and 
Jezebel imagined mischief against the Lord his pro- 
phets, they were in the high way ; but when their 
rage burst out into cruel murder, then they marched 
furiously, and posted apace to their destruction. 

Howbeit, here ye must understand that persecution 
and rage against the saints of God is only an infallible 
sign of destruction unto them that obstinately persist 
therein ; for if God grant grace unto repentance, their 
sin shall no more be had in remembrance. Even as 
we see in our apostle, who persecuted the church of 



Ver. 29, 30.] 



LECTURE XXIII. 



95 



God extremely, and wasted it, as himself confesseth, 
Gal. i. 13 ; but he did it ignorantly through unbelief, 
and therefore afterwards was received unto mercy, and 
was made the great instrument of the Lord, to the 
salvation of many thousands. But unto them that 
go on with an high hand, and as they have begun so 
continue to persecute the church of God, this is an 
infallible token of their perdition, yea, it is a clear 
cause of their destruction ; as we see heavy plagues 
and judgments to have overtaken Hananiah, Shemaiah, 
Amaziah, and others, because they were malicious 
enemies against his prophets, Jeremiah, Amos, and 
others, Jer. xxviii. 16, Amos vii. 17. 

The use which our apostle here teacheth us to 
make hereof is this, not to fear the adversaries that 
oppose themselves against us ; for when they perse- 
cute us from one city to another, beat us, imprison 
us, and every way afflict us, whom hurt they ? Even 
themselves, they run themselves upon the rocks, and 
bring upon themselves swift damnation. They think 
they have great masteries over us, but, indeed, them- 
selves smart for it. Let them therefore look unto it, 
how they hold on to wreak their malice upon us, and 
let us not fear all that ever they do or can do against 
us. 

Yea, but though they hurt themselves, yet they 
hurt us also. How should we, then, but fear them ? 
Nay, that is the next reason wherefore we are not to 
fear them, because their persecution and rage against 
us is no harm unto us, but a token unto us of salva- 
tion. 

And to you of salvation ; that is, the fury and rage 
of the adversaries against you, if ye stand fast and 
fight together with one mind, through the faith of the 
gospel, is a plain token unto j r ou of your salvation. 
Whence I observe that persecution by the adversaries 
is unto God's children a token of their salvation. 
' We rejoice,' saith the apostle, 2 Thes. i. 4, 5, ' of 
you in the churches of God, because of your patience 
and faith,' &c. Again, Gal. vi. 17, ' I bear in my 
body,' saith the apostle, ' the marks of the Lord 
Jesus.' Whereby he signifieth that his afflictions 
were the very marks of his salvation through Christ 
Jesus, as whereby he was made like unto him. 
Again, 2 Tim. ii. 12, ' If we suffer with him, we shall 
also reign with him.' And again, 'Blessed are they 
that sutler persecution for righteousness' sake, for 
theirs is the kingdom of heaven,' Mat. v. 10. The 



Scriptures are very plentiful to this purpose, clearly 
shewing that persecution by the adversaries is unto 
God's children a token of their salvation. A token, 
I say, but not a cause ; for that of the apostle is ever 
true, Rom. viii. 15, that ' the afflictions of this pre- 
sent time are not worthy of the glory which shall be 
shewed unto us.' Unto the adversaries, indeed, their 
persecution and rage against us is so a token that it is 
also a cause of their destruction ; for sin being a just 
cause of death, according to that of the apostle, Rom. 
vi. 23, ' the wages of sin is death,' surely this great 
and grievous sin, of persecuting the truth and the pro- 
fessors thereof, must needs be a just cause of their 
endless destruction. But unto us their persecution 
and their rage against us is only a token, not a cause 
of our salvation ; for both to suffer for Christ is the 
gift of God, as it is in the next verse, and salvation 
also through sufferings is his gift by grace through 
faith. So that it is no cause, but it is unto us a 
token of salvation, as both this and many other places 
shew. 

Howbeit, here ye must also understand that so 
their persecution and rage against us is a token unto 
us of salvation, if we continue in one spirit, and in 
one mind, fighting together against them, through the 
faith of the gospel, and in nothing fearing the adver- 
saries. It is not standing for a while, and not con- 
tinuing, or fighting for a blow or two, and then giving 
the bucklers, or taking courage for a spurt, and after- 
wards, for fear, falling away, that betokens oar salva- 
tion. But ' he that continueth unto the end, he shall 
be saved,' Mat. x. 22 ; he that fighteth lawfully, and 
as he should, he shall be crowned, 2 Tim. ii. 5 ; and 
he that for fear flatly falleth away, purchaseth unto 
himself a fearful judgment, Hab. vi. 6. 

The use which our apostle teacheth us to make 
hereof is this, as of the former, not to fear the adver- 
saries which oppose themselves against us, for what it 
we be tried by mockings and scourgings, yea, more- 
over, by bonds and imprisonment ? What if we be 
stoned, hewn asunder, slain with the sword, afflicted 
and tormented many ways ? This is unto us a token 
of our salvation. They think that thus they hurt us, 
and have their wills over us, but, indeed, thus they 
further our reckoning in the day of Christ Jesus. Let 
us, therefore, not fear what they do or can do against 
us, but let us be of good courage, and hold fast the 
profession of our hope unto the end. 



LECTURE XXIII. 

For unto you it is given for Christ, that not only ye should believe in him, but also suffer for his sak:; having 
the same fght which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me. — Philip. I. 29, 30. 



"\7~EA, but how and whence is it that persecution 

X betokeneth perdition to the adversaries, and 

salvation unto us ? It is of God, as our apostle in the 



next words saith ; and this is the third motive or 
rearon which the apostle useth, to persuade the Philip- 
pkns not to fear the adversaries, because it is of God 



96 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPTANS. 



[Chap. I. 



that persecution is perdition to the adversaries, and 
salvation unto them. Whence I observe, that it is of 
God that tribulation is recompensed unto them that 
trouble us, and salvation unto us which are troubled. 
This also our apostle plainly witnesseth in another 
place, 2 Thes. i. G, 7, where he saith, 'It is a righteous 
thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that 
trouble you ; and to you which are troubled rest with 
us,' &c. ; where not only this is manifestly set down, 
that God recompenseth tribulation to troublers, and 
rest to the troubled, but withal, that it is a righteous 
thing with God so to do. A righteous thing indeed 
with God, in respect of his justice to the one, and a 
righteous thing in respect of his promise unto the 
other ; for in respect of his justice, it is a righteous 
thing with him to recompense tribulation to them that 
trouble his saints, because they deserve to have ven- 
geance rendered unto them in flaming fire, according 
to that of the apostle, Rom. vi. 23, ' The wages of 
sin,' that which is due in justice unto sin, ' is death,' 
and damnation ; and judgment merciless, due injustice 
unto him that sheweth no mercy, James ii. 13, and, 
therefore, doubtless unto him that without all mercy 
rageth and persecuteth. And in respect of his pro- 
mise, it is a righteous thing with him to recompense 
rest unto them that are troubled, because he hath 
promised the kingdom of heaven to them that suffer 
persecution for righteousness' sake, saying, Mat. v. 10, 
' Blessed are they which suffer persecution for right- 
eousness' sake : for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.' 
And again, 2 Tim. ii. 12, ' If we suffer, we shall also 
reign with Christ.' That persecution, then, causeth 
perdition to the adversaries, and salvation unto us, it 
is of God, who in justice rendereth unto them as they 
have deserved, and for his promise' sake rendereth unto 
us as he hath promised. 

For this ye must here note and understand, that 
persecutions, afflictions, sufferings, and wrongs by 
adversaries, are in themselves, and in their own nature, 
punishments of sin, as is also death ; and hereby God 
in justice might punish our sins and our iniquities ; for 
if he should bring upon us the bloody persecutions of 
such tyrants as were Nero, Domitian, and the rest of 
those cruel persecutors in the primitive church, he 
might thus plague us for our offences, and himself be 
just in all his ways, and holy in all his works. But 
unto us his beloved ones, and his redeemed, these 
things are not that which in themselves and in their 
own nature they are, and which in God's justice they 
might be unto us, even punishments of our sins ; but 
only fatherly corrections and loving chastisements, 
whereby in mercy God exerciseth us, represseth sin in 
us, and bolteth the bran of corruption out of us here in 
the bod} T ol this flesh. And as unto us in mercy, death 
is made of God, not that which in its own nature it is, 
a punishment of sin, but an entrance and passage unto 
life, so in mercy hath he promised, that afflictions, 
persecutions, and the like, shall bo unto us, not that 



which, in their own nature, are the beginnings of 
greater miseries, but forerunners of our salvation in the 
day of Christ Jesus. It is not then of the nature of 
suffering persecution, you see, but it is of God that 
persecution betokeneth unto us salvation, that salva- 
tion is recompensed unto us which are troubled. He 
in mercy hath promised that so it shall be, and there- 
fore so it shall be, and it is a righteous thing with him 
that it be so. 

The use which our apostle here teacheth us to make 
hereof, is, as of the former, not to fear persecution by 
the adversaries, which oppose themselves against the 
truth, and against us for the truth's sake ; for seeing 
God turneth their persecution and rage against us, to 
their perdition and to our salvation, why should we 
fear them ? Whatsoever therefore they practise against 
us, let us rest and repose ourselves in our God. He 
shall stretch out his hand upon the furiousness of our 
enemies, but his right hand shall save us ; he shall 
recompense the adversaries their wickedness, and 
destroy them in their own malice, but he shall wipe 
all tears from our eyes, and after we have drank of the 
brook in the way, lift up our head above all our 
adversaries. 

Again, is it of God that persecution causeth unto us 
salvation ? This, then, may farther teach us, that by 
suffering persecution we do not merit salvation. For 
if it be of merit that our sufferings bring salvation unto 
us, then it is not of God, but the cause is in ourselves ; 
and if it be of God, then is it not of merit, nor is the 
cause of our salvation in ourselves : ' Not according 
to the works which we do,' or sufferings which we 
suffer, ' but according to his mercy he saveth us ;' for 
neither have we wherein to rejoice by works, nor are 
any sufferings of this present time worthy of that glory 
which shall be shewed unto us, nor is there ' any 
other name under heaven whereby we may be saved, 
but only by the name of Christ Jesus.' He that 
rejoiceth, therefore, let him rejoice in the Lord, of 
whom it is that our persecutions and sufferings work 
unto our salvation. And let this be spoken of this 
third motive or reason, whereby you see that we are 
not to fear the adversaries, because God recompenseth 
their persecution unto them with perdition, and unto 
us with salvation. 

It followeth, ' For unto you it is givenj &c. These 
words are both a proof of that which went immediately 
before, and a fourth motive likewise to persuade the 
apostle's former intendment. Immediately before he 
had said, that God in persecution gave them a token 
of their salvation. The proof here is : ' Unto you it 
is given of God by grace to suffer for Christ his sake ;' 
therefore in suffering God giveth you a token of your 
salvation ; or thus, sufferings for Christ are testi- 
monies of grace unto you of God, therefore they are 
arguments and tokens of salvation unto 3 r ou of God. 
And as thus these words serve for proof of that, so are 
they a notable motive to persuade the Philippians not 



Ver. 29, 30.] 



LECTURE XXIII. 



97 



to fear the adversaries ; for thus out of the apostle's 
words I frame the motive. Who will be afraid of a 
singular gift of God ? But to suffer for Christ his sake 
is a singular gift of God to you, therefore ye are not 
to fear persecution by the adversaries. And that to 
suffer for Christ his sake is a gift of God, he sheweth 
a pari, from the like ; as to believe in Christ is the 
gift of God, so to suffer for Christ, both gifts of God ; 
and unto whom the one is given, the other may not 
seem strange. ' For unto you it is given,' to wit by 
grace, for so the word signifieth, e^apedti, for Christ, 
that is, in Christ his cause, ' not only that ye should 
believe in him,' as others profess they do, ' but also to 
suffer for his sake,' which many others shrink to do. 
Even both these, faith in Christ and persecution for 
Christ his sake, are the gift and grace of God towards 
you. 

Here then, first, I note, that the apostle saith, it 
was given by grace unto the Philippians to believe in 
Christ. Whence I observe, that faith in Christ is the 
gift of God by grace ; which also Christ himself teacheth 
us, where he saith, John vi. 65, ' No man can come unto 
me, except it be given him of my Father.' Whereby 
he meaneth, that no man can come unto him, that is, 
can believe in him and his gospel, except it be given 
him of his Father. For so by coming unto him divers 
times in that chapter, is meant believing in him, as 
when it is said, ver. 35, ' He that cometh unto me 
shall not hunger ; and he that believeth on me,' which 
expoundeth the former, ' shall never thirst.' And 
again, ver. 37, ' Him that cometh unto me, I cast not 
away,' which is all one with that, ' He that believeth 
in me shall not perish.' So that it is clear, that when 
our Saviour saith, that ' no man can come unto him 
except it be given him of the Father,' the meaning is, 
that no man can believe in Christ, except it be given 
him of God. And to the Hebrews, Christ Jesus is 
called ' the author and finisher of our faith,' Heb. xii. 2. 
And wherefore was it, that when Christ preached, 
and when his apostles and disciples preached, some 
believed, and others believed not, but because unto 
some he gave grace to believe, and not unto others '? 
For only they unto whom it is given of God to believe 
do believe. 

But how doth God give this gift unto us to believe 
in him ? Even by his Holy Spirit, therefore called 
' the Spirit of faith,' 2 Cor. iv. 13, because God, by 
the inspiration of his Holy Spirit worketh faith in us. 
But by what means doth he work faith in us '? Even 
by the hearing of the word preached, as it is written, 
Bom. x. 17, ' Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing 
by the word of God ; ' where the holy apostle 
sheweth, that hearing of the word, even of the word 
of God, is that ordinary means whereby the Lord 
worketh faith in the hearts of his children. He 
blesseth and sanctifieth the hearing of his holy word 
unto them, and reacheth it unto their hearts by the 
finger of his Holy Spirit, and lo they are begotten in 



the faith of Christ Jesus. Thus, Lydia was brought 
unto the faith, as Luke witnesseth, Acts xvi. 14, where 
he saith, that ' the Lord opened her heart, so that 
she attended unto the things which Paul spake, and 
believed.' She heard the word, the Lord opened her 
heart, and she believed. And thus, three thousand souls 
were brought unto the faith in one day, of whom it is 
said, Acts ii. 37, that ' when they heard the word, 
they were pricked in their hearts, and believing they 
said, Men and brethren, what shall we do?' They 
heard the word, they were pricked in their hearts by 
the Spirit, they believed and were baptized. So that 
faith in Christ, ye see, is the gift of God, given by his 
Spirit through the hearing of the word preached. 
Nun omnibus, iwn eaim omnium est fides, sed tantum 
electorum: unde dicitur fides electorum, et hie, volis 
donaturn est. Not to all men, for all men have not 
faith : whence it is called, the faith of the elect ; and 
in this place, to you it is given. 

Is, then, faith a gift of God by grace ? This may 
teach us that it is not in ourselves, or in our own 
power, to believe if we will, and when we will, neither 
that for any merit or worth of ours this gift is given 
unto us ; for if it be in ourselves to believe, how then 
is it the gift of God ? And if it be given us for our 
own merit, how then is it the gift of God by grace ? 
If it be given us, we have it but of him that giveth it, 
not of ourselves. If he give it of his own grace, it is 
ours ; but of his grace that giveth it, not of our merit 
to whom it is given. He must give it, or else we 
cannot have it, and therefore it is not of ourselv 
and by grace it must be had, or else can never be had, 
and, therefore, not by our own merit. • Every good 
giving is from above,' James i. 17, therefore faith is 
given of God ; therefore it is not in ourselves to 
believe if we will. And ' by the grace of God we are 
that w r e are,' 1 Cor. xv. 10; therefore faith, whereby 
we are the sons of God, is by grace, therefore not by 
any merit or worth of our own. 

Again, is faith the gift of God ? This, then, may 
teach us to pour out our requests unto God, in prayer 
and supplication, for faith in Christ Jesus, for increase 
and confirmation of our faith in Christ Jesus. For if 
he give it, then we are by prayer to ask it of him, and 
so we shall receive it ; and if he give it by means, we 
are to pray unto him thai he will so bless those means 
unto us, that thereby this gift may be given unto us. 
Let us, therefore, after the example of the father of 
the child in whom was the dumb spirit, go unto our 
God, and say unto him, ' Lord, I believe ; help my 
unbelief, ' Markix. 24, help the wants and wcakm 
faith. And after the example of the apostles, ' Lord, 
increase our faith.' He giveth where it wanteth, he in- 
creaseth where it is, and he confirmeth where it is weak. 
Let us, therefore, by prayer go unto him, to have the 
wants of our faith supplied, the weakness of our faith 
strengthened, the less than grain- small littleness of 
our faith increased." He hath said, ' Ask. and ve shall 

G 



9S 



AIRAT ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. I. 



receive,' and he giveth liberally, and reproacheth no 
man. Let us, therefore, ask in praiyer faith of him 
that giveth it, and assuredly he will give liberally, even 
that measure wherewith he will be pleased. 

Again, doth God give faith by the hearing of the 
word preached '? This, then, may teach us gladly to 
frequent those places where we may hear the word 
preached. His power, I know, is not limited to this 
means, but that he can (if he wiU) beget us in the 
faith Avithout these means. But by this means he 
hath appointed to give this grace, and ordinarily he 
giveth this grace by these means. And yet how care- 
less are we, too, too many of us, of using this means of 
hearing the word preached ; as if either this gift of 
faith in Christ Jesus were not given by these means, 
or we esteemed not this gift, and so neglected these 
means, or were strong enough in the faith, and so 
needed not these means. Why should we love rather 
to sit reading in our houses, or drinking in our houses, 
or idle in our houses, or to be playing in the streets, 
or walking in the fields, or any otherwise occupied, 
than to come unto the house of the Lord, and to hear 
the word preached ? 

Now, the means of begetting and confirming us in 
the faith, are offered unto us. We know not, but the 
time may come, wherein we may think that the 
sparrows and swallows are happy, that have their 
nests by the altars of the Lord. Ye that gladly come 
unto the house of the Lord, and rejoice in the word of 
of your salvation, comfort yourselves in that ye use 
the means whereby God hath appointed to beget you, 
and to confirm you in the faith of Christ Jesus, and 
assure yourselves of his blessing upon these means, 
As for the rest, that love darkness better than light, 
and under this or that pretence whatsoever will not 
come to hear the word preached, let them fear, for 
want of faith and a good conscience, in that day to 
hear the word, which will be too fearful for them to 
hear, ' Go, ye cursed,' &c. But I proceed to that 
which followeth. 

The second thing which here I note is, that the 
apostle saith, it was given by grace unto the Philip- 
pians to suffer for Christ his sake ; not simply to 
suffer, but to suffer for Christ his sake. Whence I 
observe, that persecution and suffering for Christ his 
sake is a gift of God by grace. And this our Saviour 
himself sheweth by those his words unto Peter, when 
he had cut off Malchus his ear, where he saith unto 
him, John xviii. 11, 'Put up thy sword: shall I not 
drink of the cup which my Father hath given me ? ' 
To suffer death was a cup which his Father had given 
him to drink, and should he refuse the gift of his 
Father ? And thus it appeareth that the apostles 
thought, when they rejoiced that they were counted 
worthy to suffer rebuke for Christ his name, Acts v. 41. 
This they thought was their glory, and a special gift 
of God by grace unto them, not communicated unto 
others, who could not endure any such sufferings for 



Christ, but by a special gift given of God unto them ; 
and therefore they rejoiced in their sufferings. 

Now, here ye must understand that all sufferings 
are not sufferings for Christ his sake, and that all that 
say they suffer for Christ his sake do not suffer for 
Christ his sake, for such there are as suffer as evil 
doers ; touching which sort of sufferers, the apostle 
exhorteth us, saying, 1 Peter iv. 15, ' Let none of you 
suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evil doer, 
or as a busybody in other men's matters.' And again, 
such there are as say they suffer for Christ his sake, 
and his truth's sake, when in truth they suffer for 
troubling the church with their heresies, as many 
heretics heretofore, and for treason against their 
prince and country, as some in our days. Know, 
therefore, that two things are required in him that 
suffereth for Christ his sake : the one is, that his 
adversaries persecute and trouble him, not as an evil 
doer, not for tumults in the church by schism or 
heresy, not for treason or any cause that is not good, 
but even because of his constant profession of Christ 
and of his truth. And, therefore, the sufferings of 
malefactors, of heretics, schismatics, traitors, or 
others that suffer for an evil cause, are no sufferings 
for Christ his sake. The other is, that with patience 
he suffer whatsoever he suffereth only for Christ and 
his truth's sake, without respect of shame, gain, glory, 
or any other like thing in the world. And therefore 
the sufferings of such as suffer, because they shame 
to be counted revolters and apostates, or because they 
desire to be honoured as martyrs, or in any like re- 
spects, are no sufferings for Christ his sake. To suffer, 
then, for Christ his sake, is with patience to endure 
mockings, scourgings, bonds, imprisonments, and 
death itself, even for his own sake, and for his truth's 
sake, and rather than we will depart from him, or 
prejudice his glory. And thus to suffer for Christ his 
sake is a singular gift of God by grace, as hath 
already been shewed ; not the afflictions and per- 
secutions themselves in themselves, but thus to suffer 
them. 

Now the use which our apostle teacheth us to make 
hereof is this, not to fear the adversaries in any thing. 
For who would be afraid of a singular gift of God ? 
Now to suffer for Christ his sake by the adversaries, 
is a singular gift of God. Let us not therefore in any 
thing fear our adversaries, but take good courage 
against them. 

Again, this may serve to teach us what novices yet 
we are in the school of Christ ; for how many of us 
esteem it a singular gift of God to suffer persecution 
for Christ his sake ? Surely, if we had learned this 
lesson well, we had profited very well in the school of 
Christ. But when we are taught this lesson, what do 
many of us, — I hope not many here, — but in many 
places, what do many say within themselves '? Surely I 
fear to remember what the} T say. But do they not say, 
I bid no such gifts ; such gifts be far from me ; let him 



Chap. II. Ver. 1, 2.] 



LECTURE XXIV. 



99 



bestow such gifts on his dearest children, not on me ; 
and such other blasphemous speeches, which the godly 
may fear to hear or utter ? And indeed he giveth no 
such gifts to such. But let us know, that when wc 
have well profited in the school of Christ, when we 
have well learned this lesson, that to suffer for Christ's 
sake is a singular gift of God, especially when we have 
so learned it, that when it comes to the practice, we 
can so account it. 

Again, this may teach Us that it is not in our own 
power or strength to suffer persecution for Christ his 
sake, but this must be given us of God. To will, to 
do, to believe, to suffer, all must be given of God : 
he must begin, and he must make an end ; he must 
be all in all, that he may have the glory of all. If 
Peter be left unto himself, a damsel shall be enough 
to terrify him, and to make him deny his Lord and 
Master. And therefore he can tell us out of his own 
experience, that we are kept by the power of God 
through faith unto salvation, 1 Peter i. 5. Whether 
therefore we believe, or suffer for Christ his sake, let 
us know that it is given us of God, and let him have 
all the glory of it. 

Another thing yet I observe, in that the apostle 
saith, ' Unto you it is given not only to believe, but to 
suffer for Christ his sake ; ' and that is, that to suffer 
for Christ his sake is an argument of faith, and a note 
of God's church and chosen children. For unto none 
is it given to suffer for Chi-ist his sake, but unto whom 
it is first given to believe ; and it is for him that is 
born after the flesh, to persecute him that is born 
after the Spirit, as it is written, Gal. iv. 29, ' As then 
he that was born after the flesh (speaking of Ishmael), 
persecuted him that was born after the Spirit (mean- 
ing Isaac), even so is it now.' All of them indeed 
strive not unto death, but most of them at one time 
or other are put to it, to take up their cross, and only 
they suffer for Christ his sake. For unto them it is 
given, and only to them, to suffer for his sake. 

This, then, may teach us to brook the cross, when 
he layeth it upon us. For it is no strange thing that 
the cross be laid upon the children of the kingdom, 
and that their faith be tried by troubles. Nay, rather, 
it is strange if it be not so. And therefore the apostle 
saith, 1 Peter iv. 12, 'Dearly beloved, think it not 
strange concerning the fiery trial which is among you 
to prove you, as though some strange thing were come 



unto you,' &c. If, therefore, if it be the will of God 
that we suffer for Christ his sake, let us cheerfully 
take up our cross and follow him, knowing that afflic- 
tions and sufferings are the marks of the Lord Jesus 
in our body, and that he will not suffer us to be 
tempted above that we be able, &c. It followeth ; — 

Having the same fight\ This is the last motive or 
reason to persuade the Philippians in nothing to fear 
the adversaries, wherein he presseth them with his 
own example, that as they had seen him at Philippi, 
in nothing to fear the adversaries, and now heanl that 
at Eome he feared them not, so they should in nothing 
fear the adversaries. But how saith the apostle that 
he had fought, and now did fight ? He fought and 
overcame, as Augustine saith, non resistendo, sed 
patiendo ; he changed no blows with the adversaries, 
hut in his sufferings he was patient and constant, and 
neither for bonds, nor imprisonment, nor fear of death, 
shrunk from the profession of his hope. This was his 
fight, and thus he overcame. 

Hence then (1.) I observe, that it is no light matter 
to endure the cross for Christ his sake, but it is a 
fight with the adversary, even a round trying of the 
rnastery, who shall overcome. Now in this fight the 
field is won and the mastery got, if we patiently and 
constantly endure the cross. Let us therefore stand 
fast, that at the last we may say with the apostle, ' I 
have fought a good fight.' 

(2.) Hence I observe, that the example of God's 
saints that have suffered before us, should encourage 
us gladly to suffer for Christ his sake. And therefore 
our Saviour encourageth his disciples against persecu- 
tion thus, saying, ' So persecuted they the prophets 
which were before you ; ' and again, ' If the world hate 
you, ye know that it hated me before you ; ' and again, 
' Take the prophets,' saith James, ' for an example of 
suffering adversity, and of long patience.' As there- 
fore we have the holy men of God for an example, let 
us gladly suffer for Christ his sake, and in nothing 
fear the adversaries. 

(3.) Hence I observe, that the pastors ought to be 
unto their flocks examples, as of other good things, so 
of patience and constancy in suffering for Christ his sake. 

(4.) That great and long crosses may lie upon them 
whom God loves most, as here on Paul, on the Israelites 
four hundred years in Egypt, on Abraham in his bar- 
renness. 



LA US OMNIS SOLI DEO. 



LECTURE XXIV. 

If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of lore, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any com- 
passion and mercy, fulfil my joy, that ye be like- minded, having the same lore, being of one accord and of 
one judgment. — Philip. II. 1, 2. 



TEE apostle having in the former chapter exhorted 
the Philippians generally unto such a conversa- 



tion as becometh the gospel of Christ, and having 
particularly instanced in some of those points wherein 



100 



A1RAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. II. 



such a conversation consisteth, now in this chapter he 
instanceth in some other points wherein such a con- 
versation consisteth, as, namely, in concord, love, and 
humility, and most earnestly exhorteth the Philippians, 
and in them us, unto these most necessary virtues and 
graces of a Christian life and conversation. In the 
words I note, 1, the manner ; 2, the matter of the 
apostle's exhortation. The manner how the apostle 
exhorteth the Philippians is hy way of request, as we 
say, for all the loves under heaven, iu the first verse, 
in these words, ' If there be therefore,' &c, wherein 
the apostle coucheth four very pathelical arguments 
to persuade the things whereunto he exhorteth them 
are inferred, as we see, upon the words before. As if 
he should have said, Yourselves have seen what I suf- 
fered at Philippi for Christ his sake, what fighting I 
had there, and now ye hear what I suffer at Rome for 
Christ his sake, what fighting I have here, ' If there- 
fore,' &c. 

The first argument is, ' If there be any consolation 
in Christ,' that is, if by my ministry and apostleship 
ye have any comfort in Christ Jesus, then ' fulfil my 
joy, that ye be like-minded,' &c. As if he should have 
said, Now shew whether ye have received any con- 
solation in Christ Jesus by the work of my ministry. 
If ye have received any, let me have some back again 
from you, ' fulfil my joy,' &c. 

The second argument is, 'If there be any comfort 
of love,' that is, if 3-ou so love me that ye desire any 
comfort in these my bands for the defence of the 
gospel, then ' fulfil my joy,' &c. As if he should 
have said, I love you from the very heart-root in 
Jesus Christ, now shew whether ye so love me that 
indeed ye desire my comfort in my bands and im- 
prisonment. And if ye do so love me, then ' fulfil 



my joy. 



&c. 



The third argument is, ' If there be any fellowship 
of the Spirit,' that is, if ye be knit together in the 
bond of one spirit with me and amongst yourselves, 
then ' fulfil my joy,' &c. As if he should have said, 
Men that are knit together in the bond of one spirit 
are to give proof thereof by concord, love, and agree- 
ment among themselves ; now, then, shew whether ye 
be knit together in the bonds of one spirit with me, 
and amongst yourselves, and if ye be knit together, 
then ' fulfil my joy,' &c. 

The fourth argument is, ' if there be any compas- 
sion and mercy ;' that is, if ye have any bowels of 
compassion to shew any mercy to me, the Lord his 
prisoner for your sake, then ' fulfil my joy,' &c. As if 
he should have said, Now shew what bowels of com- 
passion there are in you, what mercy you have on me, 
the prisoner of Jesus Christ for your sake ; and if 
there be any bowels of compassion in you, any mercy 
towards me, then ' fulfil myjoy,'&c. What more patheti- 
cal to move, more forcible to persuade, than these argu- 
ments, so closely followed and so passionately urged ? 
All such, and in such sort, pressed that the maimer of 



the apostle's exhortation could not be devised more 
effectual, to persuade the things which now his heart's 
desire was to persuade. 

Now the matter of the apostle's exhortation is- 
partly touching graces which he wisheth them to 
follow after, and partly touching faults which he 
wisheth them to be free from. The graces whhh he 
wisheth them to follow after in this second verse are 
set down first in general, and then in special. In 
general, he exhorteth them that they 'be like minded,' 
or as it is translated elsewhere, that they ' be like 
affectioned,' Rom. xii. 1G, having their affections, 
likings, and desires set on the same things. Which 
his exhortation is not simply so that they be like 
minded, but with another prefixed motive, as I take 
it thereunto, ' fulfil my joy, that ye be like-minded ;* 
which is as if he should have said, I jo}' in the fellow- 
ship which ye have in the gospel from the first day 
unto now, I iov in vour constant abiding in the truth 
in such assaults by the adversaries of the truth, I joy 
in your liberality sent unto me, whereby ye communi- 
cated to mine afflictions, I joy in very many mercies 
and graces of God bestowed upon you in Christ Jesus ; 
but yet my joy is not full ; so long as I hoar of any con- 
tentions, emulations, and distractions among you, my 
joy is not full. ' If therefore there be any consolation 
in Christ, &c, fulfil my joy,' make full my joy ; and 
so shall ye make full my joy if ye be like-minded, like 
affectioned one towards another. So that ye see the 
exhortation is not simply proposed, but with this 
motive prefixed thereunto, my joy is not full except ye 
be like-minded ; fulfil nry joy, that ye be like-minded. 
This is the general virtue whereto he exhorteth them. 
The special virtues comprised under this general, 
whereunto he exhorteth them, are, — 1. That they have 
the same love, that is, that they love the same things 
in the Lord. 2. That they he of one accord, that is, 
that they agree in their wills and desires in the Lord. 
3. That they be of one judgment, that is, that they 
agree in the doctrine and truth of Christ Jesus. 
These be the things which he wisheth to be in them, 
that their conversation may be such as beeometh the 
gospel of Christ ; in general, to be like affectioned in 
the Lord ; in special, to love the same things in the 
Lord, to agree in their wills and desires in the Lord, 
to agree in the doctrine and truth of Christ Jesus. 
Now the faults which he wisheth them to be free 
from are contentions, vain-glory, and self-love, noted 
in the verses following, yet so that the counter-poison 
of humility is therein counter-balanced and persuaded, 
' that nothing be done through contention,' &c. This 
I take to be the order and meaning of these words 
thus far. Now let us see what observations we may 
gather hence for our own farther use and instruction. 
If there be therefore any consolation in Christ Jesus. 
In this manner of the apostle's exhortation, 1. In 
general, I note the apostle's vehement obtestation of 
the Philippians for the embracing of concord, love, 



Ver. 1, 2.] 



LECTURE XXIV. 



101 



and humilit}-, that they may never fail from amongst 
them. He might, as he said to Philemom, verse 8, 
' have commanded them in Christ that which were 
convenient.' Yet he rather beseeeheth them, but 
that he doth indeed thoroughly, even for all the loves' 
sakes under heaven, if there be any consolation in 
Christ in them, any comfort of love in them, &c. 
Whence I observe in what manner the pastors ought 
to labour to repress such enormities amongst their 
people, as hinder the course of a Christian conver- 
sation. They arc earnestly to beseech them, even as 
if they desired no other recompence of their labours 
and travels amongst them than this, that such and 
such contentions might be taken up, such and such 
disorders might be reformed, such and such Christian 
piety might be maintained. They are to remember 
that they are fathers to their flocks, as the apostle 
calleth himself, 1 Cor. iv. 15, and as John also im- 
plicth when he saith, 1 John ii. 1, ' my babes, little 
children,' &c, and therefore they are to deal with 
them as parents with their children. Now the father, 
if haply his children be at odds among themselves, 
what doth he ? He calleth them unto him, he re- 
membereth them what cave he hath had over them, 
what cost he hath been at with thorn, what his love 
hath been towards them, what his desire hath been 
of their good, what honour, duty, reverence, and 
obedience they owe unto him, and at length entreateth 
them that if they have any care of these things, if they 
desire his comfort, if they will not bring his life down 
unto the dust with grief, they will be reconciled, and 
live together as brethren in unity. Even so pastors, 
which are spiritual fathers, when their people, their 
children, fall to inconveniences which any way breed 
offence, they are to remember them with what care 
they labour amongst them, how they long after their 
good from the very heart-root in Jesus Christ, what 
continual mention they make of them in their prayers 
unto the Lord. What honour, again, duty, reverence, 
and obedience they owe unto them, as unto them that 
watch for their souls, and at length earnestly to beseech 
them, that if they have any care of these things, if they 
desire his continuance with comfort amongst them, 
if they wish that he may give up his accounts for 
them in that day with joy and not with grief, then 
they will reform such and such disorders, live in such 
and such sort as becometh the gospel of Christ Jesus. 
Our apostle, dealing thus with the Philippians in this 
place, hath therein left a pattern for all pastors, that 
they should so deal with their people as they have 
Jiiin for example. 

Here, it may be, you will say, that you could like 
this well, that in things convenient for you pastors 
would thus mildly deal with you, as parents with 
their children. But, forsooth, they will rather com- 
mand as masters over servants, and oftentimes threaten 
the law ; they will when things are amiss, and this 
je cannot brook. Will ve then have us to beseech 



you, and mildly to deal with you, as here the apostle 
dealt with the Philippians ? If ye do not, it is be- 
cause ye are not as were the Philippians. Be ye as 
were the Philippians generally, embrace the truth of 
Christ Jesus, be constant in the faith of Christ Jesus, 
be patient in afflictions for Christ Jesus his sake, 
communicate to the afflictions of the saints of Christ 
Jesus, love them that labour amongst you and are 
over you in the Lord, amongst many graces of the 
spirit let there be but some infirmities of the flesh, 
and see whether we will not beseech you, and deal 
with you as here the apostle dealt with these Philip- 
pians. But if ye be like unto the Galatians, unstable 
souls carried about with every wind of doctrine, cor- 
rupt in judgment, corrupt in manners, then ye may 
look for it, that as Paul sharply rebuked them, saying, 
Gal. iii. 1, ' foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched 
3'ou, that ye should not obey the truth '? ' so we will 
learn of him sharply to reprove you. This ye must 
know, that we may come unto you either with a rod 
or in love, and in the spirit of meekness, 1 Cor. iv. 21 , 
that in Christ we may command you that which is 
convenient for you, even when for love's sake we 
rather beseech you, Philem. 8. H w T e come then 
unto you with a rod, or if we command you, we do 
that we may do, but ye drive us unto it by your in- 
ordinate ways, and dissolute lives, which as cankered 
sores need sharp corrosives. For this is a thing, ye 
hear, which we urge and press, that pastors are to 
labour to repress such enormities as arise amongst 
their people in the mildest sort that may be, earnestly 
beseeching them to reform such things as are amiss. 
And again, if we come unto you for love's sake be- 
seeching vou, we remit of that we mav do, even be- 
cause in all loving-kindness and meekness of the spirit 
we would reconcile you unto God, and join you unto 
the things that belong unto your peace. For there- 
fore we beseech you, that by mildness we may prevail 
in that wherein of right we may command. 

But this withal ye must note, that our beseeching 
of vou is to be unto vou as if we commanded vou. 
For when the apostle saith, 2 Thes. ii. 1, '2, ' We be- 
seech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, and by our assembling unto him, that ye be 
not suddenly moved from your mind,' &c, what else 
is his beseeching of the Thessalonians, but an adjura- 
tion of them, by these things, that they be not troubled 
about the day of the Lord his coming ? And, not to 
stand upon many places, when our apostle here saith, 
' If there be any consolation in Christ," <fcc., what else 
is this but an adjuration of the Philippians, by these 
things, that they [be] like-minded, &c. Albeit, there- 
fore, we are to remit of that which we may do, and of 
that which sometimes ye constrain us to do, and not 
to threaten or command, but only to beseech you in 
Christ Jesus, yet are ye to take our beseeching of you 
as a commandment unto you, even as a deep charge 
touching the things whereof we beseech you, 



102 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. IL 



Let this, then, beloved, teach you how ye ought, 
for your parts, to carry yourselves towards your 
pastors and teachers. Aro we in all mildness and 
meekness of spirit to deal with 3-ou, as parents with 
their children ? Then are you in all obedience, as 
children, to hearken unto us as your fathers in Christ 
Jesus. Are we, for love's sake, to beseech you the 
things which in Christ we might command you ? 
Then are ye, when we beseech you, to take it as if we 
commanded, as if we charged you, and more to be 
moved therewith than if we commanded, than if we 
charged you. Of many of you I am so persuaded 
that the pastor shall not be more ready to deal with 
you as a father, than ye will be ready to carry your- 
selves towards him as children, and that his beseech- 
ing of you shall be as if he commanded, as if he 
charged you. But for some, to what purpose is 
it to beseech them to reform anything that is amiss 
in them ? Whether in Christ his stead we beseech 
them, or in his name we command them, or out of 
the law we threaten them, they will not come to 
hear us, they will none of our instructions. But I 
leave them unto him unto whom they stand or fall. 
And I beseech you, beloved, by the mercies of God, 
to continue in the grace wherein ye stand, rooted and 
built in Christ, and stablished in the faith, as ye have 
been taught in Christ Jesus. And let this suffice to 
be observed in general from the manner of the apostle's 
exhortation ; whereby ye see the manner how pastors 
ought to labour to keep their people in holy duties, 
and to repress disorders amongst them, and that is, 
by beseeching them in all meekness of spirit, for all 
love's sake, to do that which is convenient. 

Now, in particular, from so many arguments as are 
couched in the manner of the exhortation, may so 
many sundry observations be gathered. His first 
argument is, ' If there be any consolation in Christ ; ' 
i. e. if ye have received any consolation by my minis- 
try and apostleship, then fulfil my joy, that ye be 
like-minded, &c. The ground of which argument is, 
that if the Philippians had received comfort in Christ 
by him, then ought they likewise at his request thus 
to comfort him as to be like-minded, &c. Whence I 
observe, that unto whom consolation in Christ is minis- 
tered, of him he that ministered it may require and 
look for the like again. For the general, it is so com- 
monly held, that it is the saying of every man, that 
one good turn requires another, and a pleasure shewed 
requires the like again. And for the proof of this 
particular, that of the apostle is not impertinent, 
where he saith, 1 Cor. ix. 11, ' If we have sown unto 
you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we reap 
your carnal things ? ' out of the general meaning 
whereof, this particular may not unfitly be gathered, 
that where spiritual consolation in Christ Jesus hath 
been bestowed, there, as other things, so comfort 
again, as it is required, may justly be expected. 

Wretched, then, is that unthankfulness where hatred 



is returned, for good will, and where the comfort which 
was ministered was requited with cause of heaviness. 
And yet what more common than such untlmnkiul- 
ness ? The minister's labours for the consolation of 
his people in Christ Jesus, are in too, too many places 
requited with too, too great cause of heaviness. Let the 
faithful minister now say unto him that hath received 
great comfort in Christ Jesus by his labours, If there 
be any consolation in Christ, if you have received any 
comfort in Christ Jesus by my ministry, let me be- 
seech you that you set not your affections so much 
on things which are on the earth, that you will bridle 
your inordinate desires, which run too much after 
covetousness, that you will not lend your money 
upon usury, &c. And how seldom doth he receive 
this comfort from them again, thus to prevail with 
them ? Nay, to his great grief he findeth that his 
words are not esteemed. Let it not be so with you, 
beloved, but by whose labours ye have received com- 
fort in Christ Jesus, let them receive this comfort 
again from you, that their holy desires may prevail 
with you. 

His second argument is, ' If there be any comfort 
of love,' that is, if ye so love me, that ye desire my 
comfort in my bonds for the defence of the gospel, 
then fulfil my joy, &c. The ground of which argu- 
ment is, that if the Philippians loved;' him as he loved 
them, and in their love of him desired his comfort in 
his bonds, then they should fulfil his joy, &c. Whence 
I observe, that to yield unto the holy desires one of 
another, is an effectual token of Christian love in one 
towards another. ' If }*e love me,' saith Christ, 
John xiv. 15, ' keep my commandments ; ' which 
place sheweth, that so we make proof of our love of 
God, if we conform ourselves in obedience to his 
commandments. But more direct to our very pur- 
pose is that of our apostle, where he saith to Phile- 
mon, ' If thou count our things common, receive him. 
as myself,' Philem. 17. As if he should have said, 
Let this be a token of thy love towards me, and that 
thou countest all mine thine and thine mine, even to 
yield to my desire to receive Onesimus as myself. 

This, then, in part sheweth why it is that we yield 
not to the holy desires of such as would gladly have 
comfort of our good, even for want of love of them. 
If sinners shall entice us, and say, ' Come with us, we 
will lay wait for blood, and lie privily for the innocent, 
without a cause, we will swallow them up alive like a 
grave, even whole, as those that go down to the pit,' 
&c, Prov. i. 10-12; we are ready enough to yield 
ourselves unto their wills, and to run as fast as they 
for their lives unto mischief. But let the pastor say 
to his people, If ye so love me that ye desire my 
comfort, profane not the Lord his Sabbaths, break off 
your sins by righteousness, and your iniquities by 
mercy towards the poor ; or the father to the child, 
If thou so love me that thou desire my comfort, 
refrain thy feet from every evil path, and walk in the 



Ver. 1, 2.] 



LECTURE XXIV. 



103 



ways of the Lord ; or the friend unto his friend, If 
thou so love me that thou desire my comfort, bridle 
thine inordinate desires, fly from that which is evil, 
and do that is good ; what cares the people for the 
comfort of their pastor in this case, or the child for 
the comfort of his father, or the friend for the comfort 
of his friend ? Will any of them, for the love of 
them, that they may be comforted by them, yield unto 
their holy desire ? Nay, we love them not so ; but 
whatsoever become of their comfort, we will follow 
our own ways. If it be so with us, this is verily a 
fault amongst us, and let us hereafter love the godly, 
whatsoever be their place, that we make reckoning of 
their comfort, and, in token thereof, let us hearken to 
such holy advice as they give us. 

His third argument is, ' If there be any fellowship 
of the spirit ;' that is, if ye be knit together in the 
bond of one spirit, and have fellowship one with 
another, as members of one body, under one head, 
then fulfil my joy, &c. The ground of which argu- 
ment is, that men knit together in the bond of one 
spirit, are to give proof thereof by concord, love, and 
agreement amongst themselves. Whence I observe, 
that we are to give proof of being knit together in the 
bond of one spirit by the bond of peace, concord, and 
love amongst ourselves. Thus, where it is said in 
the Acts, of such as were brought to the faith through 
the apostles' preaching, that they believed and were 
baptized, as a token and proof that they were all 
baptized into one spirit, it is also said that they con- 
tinued together with one accord, that they were of one 
heart and of one soul. ' All that believed,' saith 
Luke, Acts ii. 46, ' were in one place, and had all 
things common. And they sold their possessions and 
goods, and parted them to all men, as every one had 
need. And they continued daily with one accord in the 
temple,' &c. All which things are set down as tokens 
and proofs that they were all baptized into one spirit. 
And again, ' The Avhole multitude of them that be- 
lieved were of one heart and of one soul ;' that is, of 
one mind, will, consent, and affection, whereby they 
shewed indeed that they were knit together in one 
spirit, and had fellowship one with another as mem- 
bers of one head, and therein left us an example how 
we should shew that we are so knit, that \se have such 
fellowship. 

What proof, then, we give that we are knit together 
in one spirit, and have fellowship one with another, 
as members of one body, let our contentions, discords, 
and divisions, witness unto the world. Indeed, they 
do too, too plainly witness unto our faces that herein 
we are carnal, and walk not as they that are knit 
together in the fellowship of the Spirit. But the 
words following will give us further occasion to speak 
of this point. 

His fourth argument is, ' If there be any compas- 
sion and mercy;' that is, if ye have any bowels of 
compassion to shew any mercy unto me, the Lord his 



prisoner for your sake, ' fulfil my joy,' &e. The 
ground of which argument is, that in mercy and com- 
passion towards him, the Lord his prisoner for their 
sake, they should at his request fulfil his joy, to be 
like, &c. Whence I observe, that the godly requests 
of God's saints afflicted for Christ his sake, should 
move in us such bowels of compassion as that we 
should gladly hearken and yield unto them. Here- 
upon our apostle, before divers exhortations and 
requests which he maketh in his epistles, prefixeth 
this, that he was prisoner in the Lord, prisoner of 
Jesus Christ : ' I therefore being prisoner in the 
Lord,' saith he, Eph. iv. 1, 'pray you that ye walk 
worthy of that vocation whereunto ye are called.' 
Where, in that he saith, ' I being prisoner in the 
Lord,' he thereby implieth, that they were the rather 
to hearken unto his exhortation, because it was the 
exhortation of him that was prisoner for the Lord his 
cause. And so he beginneth his epistle to Philemon 
thus, ' Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ,' implying 
that Philemon was the rather to hearken and to yield 
to his request for his servant Onesimus, because it 
was the request of him that was now prisoner for 
Jesus Christ. I omit other places. By these ye see 
how powerful and effectual the godly requests of God's 
afflicted members ought to be with us. 

And it were well that in all places they were so 
powerful and effectual as to stir up the very bowels of 
compassion towards them. But are not many in 
many places rather ready to add affliction unto their 
bonds ? Would it not now be enough to reject the 
requests, were they never so godly, if they should come 
in the name of the prisoner of the Lord : I the prisoner 
of the Lord, pray you that ye reform the wickedness 
of your ways ? Indeed, we may well wish in our days 
that, enjoying our liberty, we may beseech } T ou in 
Christ his stead ; for I fear that if out of our prisons 
and bonds we should thus write unto you, If there be 
any compassion and mercy in you towards me the 
Lord his prisoner, hearken unto me in this, that ye 
be like-minded, or the like ; I say, I fear me the 
mention of our bonds would not much prevail with 
you, or move any bowels of compassion in you. Well, 
howsoever it would, it should, and I hope it will in 
all that belong to Christ Jesus. And let this suffice 
to be observed from the several arguments couched in 
the manner of the apostle's exhortation. 

Now followeth the matter of the apostle's exhorta- 
tion, which is this in general, that they be like-minded. 
Which is not simply proposed, but with this motive 
prefixed thereunto, My joy, though for great cause it 
be great, yet is not full, unless ye be like-minded : 
' Fulfil my joy, that ye be like-minded.' Whence I 
observe, first, that the godly pastor's joy is to be in 
the weal of his people, whatsoever his own case be. 
If himself be, as Paul here was, close in prison, bound 
with chains, and look for nothing but sentence of 
death, yet if his people be well, if they stand fast in 



lot 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. II. 



the faith, he is to be glad, and rejoice even in his 
bonds. When our apostle wrote to Philemon, he was 
in prison, as even now we heard ; yet saith he to him, 
' we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because 
by thee the saints' hearts are comforted.' So, how 
hard soever the pastor's own case be, yet, if he be a 
good one, he hath great joy and consolation in his 
people's weal. 

But too, too many pastors we have in our day, 
which, if themselves be well, care not in what case 
their people be. If they have the fleece from them, 
their hearts are glad, whatsoever become of them. 
But such rejoicing is not good, and shall be bitterness 
in the end. 

2. Hence I observe, that the good pastor's joy is 
not to be full so long as anything is amiss amongst his 
people. We shall not now need other proof than this 
of our apostle in this place. The Philippians had 
embraced the faith of Jesus Christ ; they abounded in 
knowledge and in judgment ; they stood fast in the 
faith, notwithstanding their assaults by false apostles ; 
they were careful over him, and communicated to his 
afflictions ; they were excellent in many graces : so 



that our apostle had great cause to have great joy 
over them. But because of some contention and vain 
glory amongst them, his joy was not full ; a sufficient 
precedent for the pastor, that he count not his joy 
full so long as anything is amiss amongst his people. 

Which may serve to admonish the pastor, to labour 
that nothing may be amiss amongst his people, either 
touching life or doctrine, that so his joy may be full, 
and that his people may be the crown of his rejoicing 
in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his com- 
ing. But I come unto that which the apostle exhorteth 
in general. 

The thing which the apostle exhorteth the Philippians 
in general is, that they be like-minded ; that is, like 
affectioned, having their affections, likings, and desires 
set on the same things : an evident argument that 
they were not like minded, as also the rest which 
followeth is, that some things were amiss amongst 
them. And in that he dealeth so earnestly with them 
that these things might be amended in them, it sheweth 
that these are things which are carefully to be procured, 
regarded, and maintained. 



LECTUEE XXV. 

That ye be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, and of one judgment ; that nothing be done 

through contention, dtc. — Philip. II. 2. 



WE have heard the manner of the apostle's exhor- 
tation, and therein four very pathetical argu- 
ments couched, to persuade the things whereunto he 
exhorteth, all so closely followed, and so passionately 
urged, as that the manner of the exhortation could 
not be devised more effectual to persuade the things 
whereunto he exhorteth, ' If there be,' &c. It re- 
mained to speak of the matter of the apostle's exhor- 
tation. We spake only of that which I took to be 
only a motive prefixed before the matter of the exhor- 
tation, in these words, ' Fulfil my joy.' Now we are 
to proceed unto the main matter of the apostle's exhor- 
tation, which is, that ' they be like-minded, having the 
same love,' &c. By which matter of the exhortation 
this in general appeareth, that some things were amiss 
amongst them ; there was not that love and concord 
amongst them, nor that humility which should be in 
them. Many things were done amongst them through 
contention, through vain glory, through self-seeking of 
their own things, so that though many things were to 
be much commended in them, yet were some things 
likewise to be reformed in them, which hindered the 
course of that Christian conversation which becometh 
the gospel of Christ Jesus. 

Whence I observe in general, what the state even 
of the best reformed churches, and so of the most 
holy men, is. No church so reformed, no men so 
sanctified, but that many things are amiss amongst 



them ; though many things be much to be commended 
in them, yet some things likewise are still to be re- 
formed in them. Look into all those churches unto 
which our apostle wrote his epistles : ye shall not find 
any of them so commended for embracing the truth, 
and for standing fast in the truth, as this church of 
Philippi. He giveth, indeed, testimony unto the 
Galatians, that the3 r were sometimes such as (if it had 
been possible) would have plucked out their own eyes, 
and have given them unto him, so loved they him and 
the truth which he taught. But quickly were they 
removed to another gospel, as the apostle witnesseth, 
Gal. i. 6, whereas the Philippians still stood so fast 
that the apostle was persuaded that he that had be- 
gun that good work in them would perform it until 
the day of Jesus Christ. Yet here ye see that some 
things were amiss amongst them. Again, look into 
those seven churches, unto which John writeth in the 
Apocalypse, and there } T e shall see that some were 
fallen, others decayed, some were proud, others negli- 
gent. Of all the rest of those churches, the church 
of Smyrna and the church of Philadelphia are there 
most commended. Yet in both those churches, by 
the right understanding of those epistles that were 
written to them, it will appear that there were some 
amongst them who professed themselves to be good 
Christians, whereas indeed they were no better than 
a synagogue and sink of Satan. Again, look into the 



Ver. 2 ] 



LECTURE XXV. 



105 



reformed churches ever since that time unto this day, 
and at this day, and still ye shall see that, as in those 
seven churches of Asia, so in these, there were and are, 
as many things to be commended, so likewise many 
things to be reprehended. And so long as the church 
is militant upon earth, it cannot be but that she should 
be black ; black, I say, not only in respect of her afflic- 
tions, whereby her beloved doth sometimes prove her, 
and sometimes chastise her, but black also in respect 
of her blemishes, imperfections, and sins, which are 
the causes of her afflictions. For all men, while they 
carry about with them the earthly house of this taber- 
nacle, unto what degree of perfection in faith, know- 
ledge, or other graces of the Spirit soever they be 
grown, had still need to pray, ' Lord, increase our 
faith,' our knowledge, &c. ; and unto what perfection 
in innocence, obedience, or the like they be grown, 
yet still they are taught to pray, Lord, ' forgive us 
our debts and trespasses.' For here 'we know in 
part,' we believe in part, we love in part, we obey in 
part, and our greatest perfection is but great imper- 
fection, ' whiles we live here at home in the body,' as 
that of the apostle sheweth, 1 Cor. xiii. 9. And so 
long as we are clothed with corruption, ' if we say we 
have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and truth is not in 
us,' 1 John i. 8. That which is in part either in 
knowledge, or in love, or in obedience, or in the like 
graces of the Spirit, shall be abolished, our imperfec- 
tions shall be taken away, and we shall be made per- 
fect. But where and when ? Not here otherwise 
than by imputation, but then and there, when and 
where ' corruption shall put on incorruption, and 
mortality shall put on immortality,' as the former 
place to the Corinthians sheweth, ver. 10 ; and the 
church shall be presented unto Christ Jesus, her be- 
loved, ' not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such 
thing,' but pure, and holy, and without blame ; but 
then, when she shall be made glorious, when her ' vile 
body shall be changed, and be fashioned like unto his 
glorious bodv,' as that place to the Ephesians sheweth, 
Eph. v. 27. 

This, then, should teach us to long to be of that 
triumphant church, to long to enter into the holiest of 
holies, to long to be loosed, and to be with Christ. 
Here the father of the faithful, holy Abraham ; here 
the man after God's own heart, holy David; here that 
upright and just man, hoi}' Job ; here that chosen 
vessel to bear Christ his name before the Gentiles, 
our holy apostle, shall have their faults and their falls. 
Here Abraham and Lot will be sometimes at variance ; 
here Paul and Barnabas will sometimes not be of one 
accord ; here Paul and Peter will sometimes not be of 
one judgment ; here we shall have our falls, we shall 
have our imperfections, whatsoever we be. Only in 
the city which is above shall all tears be wiped 
from our eyes, all wants supplied, all impeifections 
perfected, all sin cease, and all enemies be utterby 
destroyed ; only there our knowledge, our judgment, 



our love, our peace, our joy shall be perfect. How 
should we not long, then, to remove out of the body, 
and to dwell with the Lord ? And yet so earthly- 
minded are we, many of us, that here we could be 
content to pitch our tabernacles, and never to remove 
hence, even as if we loved darkness better than light, 
and had rather dwell in the valley of tears than in 
the valley of blessing, where we are but strangers, than 
at home in our own city. Let us, beloved, remember 
that here the best of us have our blemishes, and that 
when it is at the best with us, we are but in the way 
unto that which is best of all for us ; that the best 
reformed church on earth is not thoroughly reformed, 
and that the most sanctified man on earth is but only 
in part sanctified. And let us make this benefit here- 
of, daily more and more to grow out of love with this 
life, and in love with that life in which there shall be 
no more death ; daily more and more to wean our- 
selves from the vanities of Jerusalem which is on 
earth, where many things will be done through con- 
tention and vain glory, and to have our conversation 
in heaven, where we shall all be like-minded, having 
the same mind, and being of one accord, and of one 
judgment. And let this suffice to be observed in 
general from the matter of the apostle's exhortation, 
whereby ye see the state even of the best reformed 
churches, and so of the most holy men, and what use 
is to be made of the imperfections which follow the 
most perfect in this life. Now let us come unto the 
several points whereunto the apostle exhorteth the 
Philippians, and in them us. 

The first thing whereunto he exhorteth them is, in 
general, that they be ' like-minded,' or ' like affec- 
tioned,' as the same phrase is translated elsewhere, 
Rom. xii. 16, having their affections, likings, and 
desires set on the same things ; for in this, as in the 
general, are comprised, as I take it, those particulars 
which follow in this verse. So that when he ezhoi 
them to ' be like-minded,' it is in general that their 
affections be set on the same things, loving the same 
things, according in desire of the same things, and 
according in judgment of the same things, but all in 
the Lord. Whence I observe, a necessary duty in all 
Christians called to the knowledge of God by the 
gospel of Christ Jesus, which is that they be ' like- 
minded in the Lord,' setting their affections, likings, 
and desires on the same things in the Lord ; a duty 
which our apostle prescribeth almost as oft as any 
other duty. In the beginning of his former to the 
Corinthians, chap. i. 10, he ' beseecheth them by the 
name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they all speak 
one thing, and that they be knit together in one mind, 
and in one judgment.' Where ye see he beseecheth 
them, and in them us, even ' by the name of our Lord 
Jesus Christ,' to be all of one mind ; and because dis- 
agreeing in words engendereth dissension of mind, 
therefore that we may the rather be all of one mind, 
he beseecheth us all to speak one thing. In the end, 



106 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. II. 



likewise, of his latter to the Corinthians, chap. xiii. 11, 
he cornniendeth this duty unto them, saying, ' Finally, 
brethren, fare ye well. Be perfect, be of good com- 
fort, be of one mind ; ' as thinking this duty so neces- 
sary, that both in the beginning, and in the end, and 
at all times, they were to be put in mind of it. In 
this place, likewise, ye see how roundly and deeply he 
adjureth and chargeth the Philippians, and in them 
us, to be like-minded, saying, ' If there be any con- 
solation in Christ,' &c, ' fulfil my joy, that ye be like- 
minded.' And in the last chapter save one to the 
Romans, he maketh a most earnest prayer unto God 
for them, that they might be like-minded one towards 
another, saying, Rom. xv. 5, ' Now the God of patience 
and consolation give you that ye be like-minded one 
towards another, according to Christ Jesus ; that ye 
may with one mind and with one mouth praise God, 
even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.' Where 
first the apostle implieth that, if they be like-minded, 
God must give them this to be like-minded, and 
therefore he prayeth unto God to give thtm this grace, 
that they be like-minded one towards another ; 
secondly, he noteth how he would have both them and 
us to be like-minded one towards another, viz., accord- 
ing to Christ Jesus, to consent in that truth which he 
hath taught, and in that love which he hath com- 
manded ; for otherwise, if we be like-minded, but not 
according to Christ Jesus, not in the Lord, what great 
thing do we do ? Are not the Jews like-minded 
among themselves, the Turks amongst themselves, 
the adversaries of the truth amongst themselves ? 
Were not the priests, scribes, and pharisees of one 
mind when they condemned the innocent blood, and 
the whole multitude of the Jews, when they cried all 
at once, saying, ' Crucify him, crucify him, away with 
him, and deliver unto us Barabbas' ? And are not 
they all of one mind that cast their heads together 
with one consent, and consult to work wickedness in 
what kind soever it be ? And to consent and be like- 
minded in these and the like things, is it not rather a 
conspiracy than an unity '? We are not then only to 
be like-minded, but to be ' like-minded in the Lord,' 
to be ' like minded according to Christ Jesus ;' and, 
lastly, the apostle sheweth to what end he would have 
us to be like-minded, namely, ' that with one mind 
and one mouth we may praise God, even the Father 
of oiir Lord Jesus Christ:' not only with one mind, 
but also with one mouth ; nor only with one mouth, 
but also with one mind. Thus, then, ye see it to be a 
duty so necessary in us and in all Christians that we 
be like-minded in the Lord, that the apostle still com- 
mendeth it unto us, beseeching us to be like-minded, 
charging and adjuring us to be hke-minded, and pray- 
ing unto God that we be like-minded. 

But why is it so necessary a duty that we be like- 
minded in the Lord ? Many reasons might be alleged, 
but I will only mention two. As, first, because ' we 
have one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and 



Father of us all ;' for meet it is that so many as are 
joined together in the unity of these, be also knit 
together in one mind, and in one judgment according 
to Christ Jesus, even as our apostle urgeth this same 
reason to this same purpose elsewhere, Eph. iv. 5. 
Secondly, because there is not a better remedy against 
dissensions and schisms than to be like-minded in the 
Lord, as without which it cannot be but that there be 
dissensions and schisms. • For what was the cause of 
the dissensions and contentions wherewith the church 
of Corinth was troubled ? Was it not because they 
were not like-minded in the Lord ? One held of Paul, 
another of Apollos, one of Cephas, another of Christ ; 
one would pray and prophesy bare-headed, another 
with his head covered, and when they came unto the 
Lord his supper, one was hungry, and another was 
drunken. And how can it be but that there should 
be dissensions and contentions, when one likes this 
and another that, one would have this and another 
that, one draws this way and another that way ? In 
a little house, ye know, if the husband be of one mind 
and the wife of another, the parents of one mind and 
the children of another, the master of one mind and 
the servants of another, and every of them will needs 
follow their own mind, and fancj^ their own way, how 
troubled must needs that house be ? And therefore 
our blessed Saviour, being now ready to be offered, in 
that holy prayer for all his children, prayed, John 
xvii. 21, that we ' might be all one, even as he and 
the Father were one;' that we might all be one in the 
Father and in him, even that we might be like-minded 
in the Lord. And in the next chapter, Philip, iii. 16, 
our apostle prescribeth it as a remedy against dissen- 
sions in the church, to proceed by one rule, and to 
mind one thing. If, then, we will walk as becometh 
the gospel of Christ, we are not only to be joined in 
one faith, and one hope, but in all things we are to be 
like-minded one towards another according to Christ 
Jesus, we are to love and like, affect and fancy, will 
and desire the same things as they are pleasing unto 
the Lord ; being at one with God, we are to be of one 
mind amongst ourselves. 

Here, then, our adversaries will ask of us, if this 
be so necessary a duty, how happens it that ye are 
not all like-minded ? What mean the terms of 
Zwinglians, Lutherans, Calvinists amongst you"?* 
How is it that amongst you some are Brownists, some 
Baroists, some Puritans, some Protestants ? How is 
it that, touching ceremonies, touching discipline, and 
the like, there is such difference amongst you ? Doth 
not these things plainly argue that ye are not like- 
minded amongst yourselves ? For answer whevounto, 
1, of them that ask us these questions I demand of 
them the like ; are they all like-minded ? What mean 
then the terms of Thomists, Scotists, Ockamists, 
Canonists, and Divines amongst them ?f How is it 
that amongst them some arc White, some Black, some 
* I3ez. epifit. j Vide Par. in Iren. cap. 26. 



Ver. 2.] 



LECTURE XXV. 



107 



Grey Friars, sonic Franciscans, some Dominicans, 
some Jesuits, some barely priests ? How is it that, 
not touching ceremonies, or discipline alone, but 
touching main and great points of doctrine, there is 
such difference amongst them ? Touching the Scrip- 
tures, doth not Alius Montanus say, that the books of 
the Old Testament not found in the Hebrew Canon 
are Apocryphal ; and doth not Bellarmine deny it ? 
Doth not Canus say, that the Hebrew text is wholly 
corrupt by the malice of the Jews ; and doth not Bel- 
larmine denj' it ? Doth not Bellarmine himself, for 
expounding of the Scriptures, sometimes refer us to 
the fathers of the church, sometimes to general coun- 
cils, sometimes to the pope and cardinals, sometimes 
to the pope himself ? It would be too long to run 
through the rest of many points of doctrine wherein 
they dissent among themselves. They need no other 
to note this unto the whole world than Bellarmine 
himself, who, in the beginning of the discussing of 
every controversy betwixt us and them, sheweth how 
not only we dissent therein from them, but how they 
dissent amongst themselves. First, therefore, let 
them pluck out the beam of their own eye, that so 
they may see clearly the mote which is in our eye ; let 
them clear the point that they are like-minded amongst 
themselves, and then let them tell us that we are not 
all of one mind. 

But how do they shew that we are not all of one 
mind ? If ye be, say they, then what mean the terms 
of Zwinglians, Lutherans, Calvinists amongst you ? 
But I say unto them, what do they mean to note us 
by such terms ? The memories of these men we 
honour and reverence, as also we do other notable 
lights which have been in the church, and are at this 
day. But if we be named after any other name than 
only the name of Christ Jesus, it is through their 
malice, not by our desire. Yea, but how is it, say 
they, that some amongst you are Brownists, some 
Baroists, some Puritans, some Protestants ; that, touch- 
ing ceremonies and outward discipline, there is such 
difference amongst you ? I answer that, if there be 
any Brownists or Baroists amongst us, we hold them 
not to be of us, and therefore their distraction from us 
ought not to be objected unto us. Now, for our dif- 
ference about ceremonies and outward discipline, I 
wish we were all like-minded in these things ; and it is 
a fault and blemish of some in our church, that we 
are not like-minded in these things. But for the sub- 
stance of doctrine and grounds of religion, wherein is 
it that we are not like-minded '? If they could, no 
doubt they would tax us in the substance as they do 
in the accident ; and as they cannot in the substance, 
so I wish they could not tax us in the accident. So 
should the joy of our Sion be full, if we were all 
like-minded, both for the substance and for the acci- 
dent, and so many as love the peace of Sion, and wish 
her prosperity, pray also that this her joy may be 
fulfilled. 



Again, this may serve to reprove a fault too, too 
common amongst us. For if we be joined together in 

one faith and in one hope, if we agree in the sub- 
stance of truth, we think it a small matter to dissent 
amongst ourselves about smaller matters. And, indeed, 
it is th<j less matter. But yet it is a thing which we 
ought to labour, even to be like-minded in the Lord 
in all things, which our apostle sufficiently sheweth, 
when, in his exhortations unto us to be like-minded, 
he doth not limit us unto these or these things, but, 
indefinitely, he would have us to be like-minded, 
according to Christ Jesus. In matters of faith and 
in matters of ceremony, in matters of doctrine and in 
matters of discipline, in matters of fife and in matters 
of learning, in matters of religion and in matters of 
civil conversation, he would have us to be like-minded, 
as in the Lord it may be warranted. Let us, there- 
fore, beware how we soothe up ourselves in dissenting 
about matters of less moment, when we agree in mat- 
ters of greater importance. The more like-minded we 
are in the Lord, the more is our conversation such as 
becometh the gospel of Christ. Let our care, there- 
fore be, that both in matters of less moment, and 
likewise in matters of greater importance, we may be 
like-minded in the Lord, as becometh the gospel of 
Christ. 

But how may we be like-minded in the Lord ? This 
our apostle sheweth in the next words, and that is, 1, 
if we have the same love, i. e. if we love the same 
things in the Lord ; 2, if we be of one accord, i. e. 
if we agree in our wills and desires in the Lord ; and, 
3, if we be of one judgment, i. e. if we agree in one 
truth of Christ Jesus. For these the particulars are, 
as I take it, comprised under, and meant in that 
general, so that, if we thus love and agree in the Lord, 
then are we like-minded in the Lord, and our conver- 
sation, in a great part, is such as becometh the gospel 
of Christ. Because I have stood long upon the 
general, I shall the less need to stand upon these par- 
ticulars, which, in effect, have been handled in the 
general. Briefly, therefore, of these, as time will give 
leave. 

The first thing, then, which in these particulars I 
note is, that the apostle would have them to have the 
same love, the same, I say, in respect of the object ; 
that they should love the same things, the same 
church, the same gospel, the same truth, even as we 
say that they have the same faith who believe in the 
same Christ. Hence, then, I observe, that it" we will 
be like-minded, and walk as becometh the gospel of 
Christ, then must we love the same things in the Lord, 
not one one thing and another another thing, but the 
same things as simply the same things. For we may 
love the same things, and yet be far from that love of 
the same things which becometh us, as, namely, if we 
love the same delights of the flesh, the same sins or 
corruptions whatsoever, but the same things in the 
Lord, and in the love whereof he is delighted and well 



10S 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPFIANS. 



[Chap. IT. 



pleased. Thus it is commanded us everywhere in the 
book of God, that we all love the same God, the same 
truth, the same means of our salvation in Christ, and 
general!} 7 , the same things, whatsoever they be, that 
belong unto our peace. And the reason of it is plain. 
For where one loves one thing, and another another 
thing, as, for example, one Christ and another anti- 
christ, when one hateth that which another loveth, 
where every man loves that which himself liketh, and 
scarce two love the same things, what love can there 
be, nay, what distractions must there not needs be, 
nay, what desolations are not likely to ensue ? In 
the church of Corinth, they loved not the same things, 
but one loved this man, another that man ; and what 
dissensions bred it in that church ! In our neighbour 
kingdom of France, they love not the same things, but 
one sort love the light of the word, another sort love 
darkness better than light ; and what blood hath it shed 
in that kingdom ! Amongst ourselves we love not the 
same things in the Lord, but one sort love their 
pleasures, another sort their profits, another sort their 
promotions, the fewest sort the things that they should 
love ; and what but a judgment likely to ensue! 

Nay, beloved, here is the misery, and like to be the 
ruin, of our land : in our land, we love not the same 
things in the Lord, but we love, too many of us, that 
man of sin, and the poisoned cups of the fornications 
of that whore, and too few of us the simplicity of the 
truth of Christ Jesus. To speak plainly, we love too 
many of us the pope and his merchandise, and too few 
of us Christ and his truth. We speak not the lan- 
guage of Canaan, but half in the speech of Ashdod, and 
half in the language of Canaan. Hereupon it is that 
the pope and his adherents conceive courage against 
us to subdue us and our land, and to make us a prey 
unto their teeth. 

Beloved, if we will not for the love of the Lord, and 
because the Holy Ghost hath commanded us, yet for 
the love of our own lives, and that we be not made a 
prey unto our enemies, let us love the same truth of 
Christ Jesus, and generally the same things in the 
Lord. Let us no longer halt between God and Baal, 
Christ and antichrist, religion and superstition, but 
with religious hearts let us love the same truth, the 
same God, the same things in the Lord, that some 
mav be like-minded according to Christ Jesus. 

The second thing which, in these particulars, I note 
is, that the apostle would have the Philippians to be 
of one accord, i. e. to agree in their wills and desires 
touching everything that is good, belong it unto reli- 
gion or unto civil life and conversation, Whence I 
observe another necessary duty for us, that we be like- 
minded, and walk as becometh the gospel of Christ ; 
and that is, that we agree in our wills and desires in the 
Lord, that unity and concord amongst us be preserved 
and maintained. To agree in mischief we are ready 



enough, neither need we any to move us thereunto ; 
for, as it is in the prophet, Ps. 1. 18, ' If we see a 
thief, we consent unto him, and we are partakers with 
the adulterers ; we run with the wicked to do evil, and 
we easily join hands with the wicked and ungodly.' 
But to be of one accord in the Lord, we are not so 
easily drawn ; albeit this be the agreement that the 
Holy Ghost requireth of us, and commendeth unto us : 
' Behold,' saith the prophet, Ps. exxxiii. 1, ' How good 
and joyful a thing it is, brethren, to dwell together in 
unity,' i.e. to live together in that concord and good 
agreement which is acceptable to the Lord. And the 
more to shew the precious worth of holy agreement 
amongst the sons of God, he likeneth it unto the 
ointment prescribed for Aaron, which was so sweet 
that when Aaron was anointed therewith, the smell 
of it was most pleasant unto all that were by, Exod. 
xxx. 23. And even so sweet and pleasant a thing it 
is to see brethren to be of one accord in the Lord. 
This is that which is commended in the faithful in 
the Acts, chap. iv. 32, that ' they were of one heart 
and of one soul,' agreeing in their minds, wills, desires, 
and affections. And where this agreement in the 
Lord is not, there the Lord is not. 

And yet in matters wherein we differ one from 
another, how hardly are we brought to be of one 
accord in the Lord ! If we differ in matters of reli- 
gion, either we will not vouchsafe one to talk with 
another in them, or, if we do, we will be sure to set 
that down with ourselves, that howsoever we be con- 
vinced, yet we will never yield to agree with them 
that would persuade us. We have too, too lament- 
able experience of it. For when we talk with them 
that are popishly affected, though they be convinced, 
yet will they not yield to agree with us. Likewise, if 
we differ in matters of civil life, how hardly are we 
brought one to yield unto another, and all to agree 
on that which is most evidently good ! Nay, if we 
have once taken a stitch against it, we will never 
agree to it, whatsoever come of it. But, beloved, 
this becometh not the gospel of Christ. If we will 
walk worthy of Christ, let us be like-minded, having 
the same love, being of one accord. 

The third thing which I note is, that the apostle 
would have them to be of one judgment, i. e. to agree 
in one truth of Christ Jesus. Whence I observe a 
threefold necessary duty for us, ' that we be like- 
minded, and walk as becometh the gospel of Christ,' 
and that is, that we agree in one truth of Christ 
Jesus, even in that truth which the prophets and 
apostles have taught us. All agreement without this 
is but disagreement. This alone knits the knot of 
good agreement. Let our adversaries look how they 
agree in this, in those manifold positions which they 
maintain besides, and repugnant unto this. 



Ver. 3 



,*.] 



LECTURE XXVI. 



109 



LECTUEE XXYI. 

That nothing be done through contention or vain-glory ; but that in meekness of mind every man esteem other beti 
than himself. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of other mvn.- 
Philip. II. 3, 4. 



er 



IT remaineth now that we speak of those unchristian 
vices which the apostle dissuadeth, as the very 
bane of that love, concord, and unanimity, which 
before he had persuaded, in these words, ' That 
nothing be done through contention, ' &c. 

That nothing be done, kc. In these words, then, 
the apostle amplifieth his exhortation, 1, by two 
evils which he dissuadeth, as the very bane of that 
love, concord, and unanimity, which before he had 
persuaded, namely, contention and vain-glory, ' That 
nothing,' &c. 2. By the contrary virtue unto them, 
which he persuadeth as the very foster-mother of that 
love, concord, and unanimity, which before he had 
persuaded, namely, humility, ' but in meekness of 
mind ;' amplified also by the definition thereof, which 
is, that it is a virtue whereby one man esteemeth 
another better than himself. So that here is both a 
dehortation and an exhortation : a dehortation from 
contention and vain-glory, ' That nothing be done,' 
&c. ; an exhortation unto humility and meekness of 
mind, ' but in meekness of mind,' &c. So also in the 
next verse is, first, an evil dissuaded ; secondly, the 
contrary virtue persuaded : a dehortation and an 
exhortation. A dehortation from self-seeking of our 
own things, which also is an enemy unto that love, 
concord, and unanimity, which before he had per- 
suaded, in these words, ' Look not,' &c. An exhorta- 
tion unto a regard of other men's things, a means of 
preserving that love, concord, and unanimity, which 
before he had persuaded, in these words, ' but every 
man also on,' &c. So that here are three breeders 
and causes of discord and dissension dissuaded, viz., 
contention, vain-glory, and self-seeking of our own 
things ; and two preservers of love and concord per- 
suaded, viz., humility and due regard of others : the 
one dissuaded and the other persuaded, that love, 
concord, and unanimity, may be maintained. This 
of the order and meaning of the words in general. 

Now for the more particular opening of the meaning 
of them ; the words, ye see, in themselves are imper- 
fect, and do thus depend upon the former : ' Fulfil rny 
joy, that ye be like-minded, having the same love, 
being of one accord, and of one judgment.' Why ? 
' That nothing be done through contention and vain- 
glory.' As if he should have said, If there be among 
you contention and vain-glory, it is not possible that 
you should be like-minded, ' having the same love, 
being of one accord,' &c. For these are the very fire- 
brands of discords and dissension, and the very bane 
of concord and love. So then shall ye be like- 
minded, to love the same things, to agree on the same 



things, to be of one judgment touching the truth, if 
ye mortify, if ye kill and crucify these earthly and 
vile affections of contention and vain-glory : ' That 
nothing be done amongst you through contention 
and vain-glory ; but that in meekness,' &c. Now, 
by contention, the apostle meaneth a delight to differ 
from other men in judgment and in every other 
thing, and by vain-glory he meaneth a tickling desire 
to get glory by following after singularity in things. 
So that when the apostle would have nothing done 
through contention, his meaning is, that he would 
have none of them to take a delight in dissenting from 
other men ; but when they think the truth, to be like 
minded unto them. And when he would have nothing 
clone through vain-glory, his meaning is, that he would 
have none of them to be tickled with such a desire of 
glory, as to single out himself in judgment from the 
rest, and to disdain to think as the rest do, think 
they never so well. The rest that followeth is more 
easy to be understood, and may further be opened as 
we come to the several points. Now let us see what 
observations we may gather hence for our further use 
and instruction. 

The first thing which here I note, is, that the 
apostle would have nothing done among the Philip- 
pians through contention ; he would have none of 
them to take delight in dissenting from other men in 
judgment, or in any other thing ; he would have none 
of them to be contentious persons, such as cannot 
abide to agree with others, though they be in the 
right, such as are never well but when they are in 
opposition, in contradiction. "Whence I observe, 
that amongst Christians called to the knowledge of 
God by the gospel of Christ, all contention should be 
abandoned, nothing should be done amongst them 
through contention, they should take no pleasure in 
dissenting from other men, either in judgment or in 
any other thing. This our apostle plainly sheweth, 
where he saith, first, that contentions are a work of 
the^flesh, and then, that ' they that are Christ's have 
crucified the flesh, with the affections and the lusts,' 
Gal. v. 20, 24. Lay, then, these together thus : 
' They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh, with 
the affections and the lusts,' so that they do not serve 
sin in the lusts thereof; but contentious are an affec- 
tion and lust of the flesh, reckoned up with adultery, 
fornication, idolatry, witchcraft, heresies, murders, 
drunkenness, gluttony, and such like. What, then, 
must needs follow, but that they that belong unto Christ 
must abandon all contentions, must do nothing upon 
a humour to thwart and to cross, upon a delight to 



110 



ATRAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. IT. 



dissent and to differ. And the reason hereof is very 
plain ; for when men once grow to that, that they take 
a delight and pleasure in crossing and thwarting other 
men, and in opposing themselves unto whatsoever 
they say, be the thing never so clear, never so true, 
how can they, as becometh Christians, be of one accord 
with others ? Nay, how can it be, but that such 
opposition and contradiction should breed great dis- 
cord and dissension ? It is one of Solomon's pro- 
verbs, chap. xxvi. 21, 'As the coal maketh burning 
coals, and wood a fire, so the contentious man is apt 
to kindle strife.' Whence it is clear, that contention 
is as fit to stir up strife as coal and wood to make a 
fire. Look into the church, the schisms and heresies, 
the broils and stirs wherewith the church at all times 
is troubled, whence are they ? Are they not com- 
monly from men of contentious humours, which take 
a pleasure in dissenting from the rest of the church, 
and in maintaining new and quaint opinions by the 
sharpness of their wits ? Arius, Nestorius, Mace- 
donius, and many other the like, by whose heresies 
the church hath heretofore been troubled, were they 
not such men ? And what are they that endanger the 
peace of the church in bur day ? Are they not such 
men ? Again, look into the commonwealth, the divi- 
sions and discords, the tumults and brabbles, Avbere- 
with all societies and bodies are troubled, whence are 
they ? Are they not commonly from contentious men, 
which love to say and do otherwise than the rest ? 
Experience hath so tried it, that it will not be denied ; 
so that ye see there is great reason of abandoning all 
contentions among Christians, that nothing be don 3 
through contention amongst them. 

What, then, may nothing be done through conten- 
tion ? If four hundred false prophets counsel Ahab 
to go to war, may not Micaiah set himself against 
them all, and tell Ahab, tbat if he go he shall fall 
there ? 2 Chron. xviii. May not Jeremiah contend 
and strive even with the whole earth, as himself wit- 
nesseth that he did ? Indeed, if Micaiah or Jere- 
miah do so, they shall be counted contentious men for 
their pains, insomuch that Jeremiah shall cry out and 
say, ' Woe is me, my mother, that thou hast born me 
a contentious man, and a man that striveth with the 
whole earth,' Jer. xv. 10, for so he was accounted. 
And so our whole church, for dissenting from the 
Romish Church, we are counted schismatical, heretical, 
contentious men. But ye must know that there is a 
great difference betwixt doxi/iaffia and isiihia, betwixt 
a due examination and a perverse opposition, betwixt 
dissenting from others and a delight to dissent from 
others, betwixt dissenting from others to maintain a 
truth, and a dissenting from others only to contradict, 
whether the thing be true or false. We may not (as 
our apostle here saith) do any thing through conten- 
tion, but we may and most duly examine things that 
are called into question. We may not take a delight 
in dissenting from others, but we may dissent from 



others ; wo may not dissent from others only to con- 
tradict, whether the thing be true or false, but we 
may and must dissent from others to stand for the 
truth. Let it be proved, then, that Micaiah dissented 
from the four hundred false prophets only upon a 
humour to contradict them, or that Jeremiah strove 
with the whole earth, upon a delight to set himself 
against all men, and then let it be said that they were 
contentious men indeed. And let it be proved, that 
we generally, in dissenting from the Romish Church, 
do it upon a delight and pleasure that we take to 
make a perverse opposition, and then let it be said 
that we are contentious men indeed. Otherwise, in 
vain is it said, that either those prophets did, or that 
we in the general, or in the particular, do any thing 
in these matters through contention. 

To know, then, whether anything be done through 
contention, these two rules are necessary : (1.) Is it 
done upon a humour and delight to contradict, whether 
it be true or false ? Then it is done through conten- 
tion. (2.) When the truth is manifested, is the 
opposition still maintained ? Then it is done through 
contention. Otherwise, if we dissent from others at 
the first, and afterwards, when the truth is manifested, 
yield unto the truth, as often it falleth out when there 
is dissenting through ignorance, or if we dissent 
from others in the things wherein they dissent from 
the clear truth, only for the truth's sake, wherein we 
desire that they would agree with us, that which we 
do can no way be said to be done through contention, 
for thus we may do many things, but nothing may be 
done through contention. 

Now I wish we were all of us as far from being 
contentious as we are every one of us loth to be 
called contentious, and that both church and com- 
monweal were as free from the thing as the name is 
odious in both ; every man more read} r than other 
to post the name off from himself, and none so ready 
to abjure that he takes any delight in dissenting from 
other men as he that is most contentious of all. None 
will be contentious, and yet both church and common- 
well groan under the burden of contentious men. In 
our church what cockatrice eggs be now a-hatching ? 
what outworn errors of Pelagianism be now a-broach- 
ing ? Liberty of will, universality of grace, salvation 
of all men, and other like damnable errors, must now 
be set on foot again, though the whole church be set 
on fire therewith. And by whom but contentious 
men, which cannot abide to agree with the church 
in the received truth, but in a conceit of themselves, 
and pride of their own wits, must run out from the 
rest, and have a conceit beyond the rest ? In the 
commonweal, likewise, what siding and factioning, 
what garboils and divisions in every company and 
society, in every incorporation and body ? And by 
whom but by contentious men, which, because they 
will be above all others, will not agree with any 
others ? The truth is, that whereas nothing should 



Veil 3, 4.] 



LECTL'RE XXVI. 



Ill 



be done through contention, nothing almost is done 
but through contention. And yet every man will wash 
his hands of contention, but it is as Pilate washed his 
hands of the innocent blood, whenas his fingers 
dropped with the blood of that just One ; and as well 
might Alius, Nestorius, Macedonius, and other like 
arch-heretics wash their hands, as many in our day can 
wash their hands of contention. Well, we see the 
apostle would have us to do nothing through con- 
tention. Let us hearken unto the apostle, and let us 
take heed of taking a delight in dissenting from others, 
and being always ad oppositum. 

Another fault, likewise, it seemeth, there was 
amongst the Philippians, which the apostle would 
have repressed, and that was vain-glory, a vain affec- 
tion of glory, which is when vain men, to get them- 
selves glory, single themselves in some vanity from the 
rest. Now the apostle would have nothing done 
amongst them through vain-glory ; he would have 
none of them so tickled with a vain desire of glory 
as to disdain to be like unto others, or to affect 
singularity in judgment, or any other thing, from the 
rest. Whence I observe, that, as contention, so vain- 
glory should be abandoned amongst Christians, 
nothing should be done amongst them through vain- 
glory ; they should not, in the vanity of their heai'ts, 
single themselves in anything frorn the rest, so to get 
glory amongst men above the rest, neglecting the 
glory that corneth of God alone. Hereunto also 
rnakcth that exhortation of the apostle, where he 
saith, Gal. v. 26, ' Let us not be desirous of vain- 
glory, provoking one another, envying one another.' 
In which place, first, we have a very plain prohibition 
of vain-glory, ' let us not be desirous of vain-glory.' 
It is a fault which haunteth even very good men ; 
but, saith the apostle, ' let us not be desirous of vain- 
glory ;' and then the rather to dissuade us from all 
desire of vain-glory, he setteth down two such fruits 
thereof as shews it to be a bitter grape : the one, 
' provoking of one another,' for that men desirous of 
vain-glory are wont to provoke others to emulations 
and strife, that by dissenting from them they may get 
some glory unto themselves ; and the other, ' envying 
of one another,' for that men desirous of vain-glory 
are wont to envy and spite others that seem any way 
to stand in their light, and to be as good as they them- 
selves are. 

So that hence also the reason why we are to do 
nothing through vain- glory is very plain ; for when 
men once grow to that to be desirous of vain-glory, it 
is not possible that they should, as becometh Chris- 
tians, be of one accord with others. For then, 
forsooth, we may not be as others either in judgment 
or in anything else ; nay, then we disdain others, 
nay, then our thoughts are running on such things as 
wherein we may be singular above others. Then if 
we be men of the church, as we are called, we must 
oither have new opinions by ourselves, or some new 



interpretation by ourselves, or some new kind of 
defence of something by ourselves. And if we be 
other men, yet some thing or other there must be 
singular in us ; whereupon some have called vain- 
glory the very mother of heresies and dissensions, 
whereby both church and commonweals have been 
ruined. So that ye see there is great reason of this 
caution among Christians, that ' nothing be dune 
through vain-glory.' 

Where briefly note this withal, that it is vain 
glory that we are not to affect, for this glory we may 
all affect, that men may speak well of us, and glorify 
God on our behalf, even as our apostle professeth 
that he did, where he saith, ' We give no occasion of 
offence in anything, that our ministry should not be 
reprehended ;' whereby he meaneth that to the utmost 
of his power he endeavoured that his ministry might 
be magnified ; and this glory also we may allect, so 
to do that which we do, as that we may have praise 
with God. But we are to do nothing through vain- 
glory, that by singling ourselves from others we may 
get praise amongst men. 

And j-et how many things are done through vain- 
glory by many of us ! Our first parents were not 
more ready, at Satan's suggestion, to eat of the for- 
bidden fruit, through a vain desire of glory to be like 
imto God, than we, their posterity and children after 
their own image, are ready through the like desire to 
do many things that we should not do. What is it 
that makes us go to Bellarmine, and setting a fresh 
varnish upon his reasons, to set abroad in the church 
new and strange opinions ? What is it that makes 
us plead the pope's cause more than we need, and 
more than is either for the quiet of the church, or 
hath sound warrant by the word '? What is it that 
makes us disdain to walk in the old and beaten way, 
and to seek out new wav'S to walk in ? If it be not 
through contention, is it not through vain-glory, that 
we may get us a name ? I point only at some things 
which I had rather you should conceive with your- 
selves than I speak of them. It is utterly a fault 
amongst us that many things are done through con- 
tention, many things through vain-glory, and good it 
were that the means how this might be remedied were 
diligently to be thought upon. 

Now, the means how this might be remedied are 
prescribed in the next words by our apostle : let every 
man put on meekness of mind, and ' in meekness of 
mind let every man esteem other better than himself,' 
and then nothing shall be done through contention or 
vain-glory, ' but that,' &c. Where, first, we see that 
humility and meekness of mind is opposed unto con- 
tention and vain-glory, as a preservative against them, 
and preserver of that unity and concord whereof they 
are the bane. Secondly, ye see how it is defined to 
be a virtue whereby every man, not only men of 
meaner place and state, but whereby every man, of 
what state or place soever he be, esteemeth other 



112 



AIHAY OX THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. II. 



better than himself. "Whence I observe a sovereign 
preservative against contentiousness and vain-glory, 
and so an only foster-mother of love, concord, and 
unanimit}', and that is humility and meekness of 
mind, to ' esteem every man better than ourselves.' 
If we ourselves would be free from these cankered 
affections of contentiousness and vain-glory, if we 
would have nothing to be done amongst us either in 
church or in commonweal through contention and vain- 
glory, if we would have unity, love, and concord 
maintained amongst us, then must we every man of 
us put on meekness of mind, and ' in meekness of 
mind every man of us must esteem other better than 
himself;' be our state and place higher or lower, 
better or meaner, we must every man be low in our 
own eyes, every man willingly yield unto another, and 
every man think meanlier of himself than of other. 
Hereupon our apostle, being to exhort the Ephesians 
to ' keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace,' 
begins his exhortation thus : Eph. iv. 2, ' I therefore, 
being prisoner in the Lord, pray you, that ye walk 
worthy of that vocation whereunto ye are called, with 
all humbleness of mind, and meekness,' &c, thereby 
implying that humbleness and meekness of mind is 
one of the best preservers of ' the unity of the spirit 
in the bond of peace,' and so, consequently, one of 
the best preservatives against contentiousness and 
vain-glory ; which yet will evidently appear, if a little 
we compare the contentious and the vain-glorious man 
with the meek and humble-minded man. The con- 
tentious man takes a delight in opposing himself 
against all, the humble man doth not willingly oppose 
himself unto any ; the contentious man will not yield, 
the humble man willing v viekleth ; the contentious 
man standeth stiffly in what he maintaineth, be it 
true or ftdse, the humble man easily relenteth from 
the false, and gladly submitteth himself unto the truth ; 
the contentious man is in his element when he is stir- 
ring up strife, the humble man grieveth much to strive. 
If, then, we were humble men, nothing would be done 
through contention amongst us. Again, vain-glorious 
men think better of themselves than of others, the 
humble man esteemeth other better than himself; the 
vain-glorious man is puffed up with a conceit of his 
own excellentness, and disdaineth others, the humble 
man is lowly in his own eyes, and reverenceth others ; 
the vain-glorions man must be singular for something 
above others, the humble man is gladly of one accord, 
and of one judgment with others ; the vain-glorious 
man thinketh every great place too mean for him, the 
humble man thinketh himself too mean for every place. 
If, then, we were humble men, nothing would be done 
through vain-glory amongst us. Again, the humble 
man gladly assenteth, willingly liketh, meekly sub- 
mitteth himself unto everything that is good ; if, then, 
we were humble men, we should easily be knit to- 
gether in one mind and in one judgment. Indeed, if 
we were humble men, it must needs be that we should 



be like-minded ; having the same love, being of one 
accord, and of one judgment, it could not be that an} 7 - 
thing should be done through contention or vain-glory 
amongst us. 

An excellent virtue then, an excellent grace of God, 
is this humility and meekness of mind, but as rare as 
it is excellent. For who is he that in meekness of 
mind esteemeth other better than himself? Very 
common it is with us, in the vanity of our mind, to 
esteem of ourselves better than of others ; to think of 
ourselves as the proud pharisee did in the Gospel of 
himself, and of others as he did of the publican ; to 
think our own penny the best silver, to value our own 
gifts at the greatest worth, to make ourselves equal 
unto the best, and in taking honour to prevent one 
another. But very rare it is to think of others better 
than of ourselves, to make ourselves equal to them of 
the lower sort, in giving honour one to go before another, 
in rating of gifts to set our own at the lowest rate. 
Nay, we can say that this is no world for humbleness 
and meekness of mind, we must now either think well 
of ourselves, or else none will think well of us ; we 
must now thrust out ourselves before others, or else 
we shall be left behind all others ; we must now either 
exalt ourselves in some conceit of ourselves, or else 
we shall be so humbled that we shall be nought set b}\ 
And it is so indeed. But the less that this virtue is 
practised, the more it is to be urged ; and the less 
favour it findeth amongst the sons of men, the more 
it savoureth of such grace as becomes the sons of God. 
Yea, but we can object against it and say, What if we 
know that we are better than others, more learned 
than others, more wise than others, &c., are we, then, 
in meekness of mind to esteem others better than our- 
selves ? Whereunto I answer, understanding this to 
be spoken as it is to the church, that if we know some 
things in ourselves whereby we are better than others 
of our bi'ethren, yet withal we must know that this 
grace is not given us to lift up ourselves above them ; 
but for ourselves in comparing ourselves with others, 
we are to look upon our own wants and imperfections, 
and thereby to be humbled in ourselves ; and for 
others, we are to cover their wants with charity, and 
to look upon the good things in them, and so to pre- 
fer them before ourselves. Or we may say, that in 
modesty we are to yield in many things of our own 
right, so that though David knew himself to be better 
than Saul, yet in modesty and in meekness of mind 
he ma} 7 esteem Saul better than himself. Whatsoever 
be objected against this rare grace of humility, yet thus 
we must cut off contention and vain-glory, or else unity 
and love shall never be preserved amongst us. 

Here, then, we see why it is that we are not like- 
minded one towards another, having the same love, being 
of one accord, and of one judgment ; why it is that many 
things are done amongst us through contention and 
vain-glory ; and it is because there is not in us that 
meekness of mind to esteem others better than our- 



Ver. 5-8.] 



LECTURE XXVTT. 



113 



selves. In the words, therefore, of the apostle, Col. 
iii. 12, ' I beseech you, as the elect of God, holy and 
beloved, put on tender mercy, kindness, humbleness 
of mind, meekness, long-suffering, &c. ; in giving 
honour go one before another ; be not high-minded, 
but make yourselves equal to them of the lower sort ; 
deck yourselves inwardly with lowliness of mind : for 
God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the 
humble ; and he that humbleth himself shall be 
exalted. Let nothing be done through contention or 
vain-glory, but in meekness of mind let every man 
esteem other,' &c. 

Look not, &c. Here is a dehortation from self- 
seeking of our own things, which is a third enemy unto 
that love, concord, and unanimity which before he 
persuaded ; as it is also to humility, and an exhorta- 
tion unto that virtue which is both a preservative 
against this evil, and a preserver of that love, concord, 
and unanimity which before he persuaded, and also 
of humility. Whence briefly I observe two means 
whereby to come to humility, and to preserve love, 
concord, and unanimity. The one is, not to look on 
our own things ; the other, to look on the things of 



other men ; for if we look every man on his own 
things, as for example, every man on his own graces, 
on his own wit, on his own learning, on his own 
judgment, or every man on his own commodity, &c, 
and neglect or contemn the things of other men, what 
else will follow of this self-lo.ve but vain-glory '? and 
what will follow of it but contention ? What was the 
cause of the pharisee's pride, and disdain of the poor 
publican ? Luke xviii. 11. He looked upon his own 
fastings, and Sabbath-keepings, and tithe-payings, 
and such like things ; he looked not on the publican's 
confession, contrition, and humble prayer. We may 
look on our own things, on our own graces, to glorify 
Gocl by them and for them, not to glory in them ; and 
on our own commodities, in a Christian sort to seek 
them and to use them ; but we may not only look on 
our own things, but also on the things of other men, 
not to be busy in their matters, but on their graces, 
to reverence them, and on their commodities, to 
regard them. Thus shall we be humbled in our 
own eyes, and thus love and concord shall be easily 
preserved. 



LECTUEE XXVII. 

Let the same mind be even in you that ivas in Christ Jesus: who being in the form, &c. — Philip. II. 5-8. 



THE apostle being now prisoner at Rome for Jesus 
Christ, in writing this epistle to the Philippians, 
and divers others which he wrote there in his bonds 
for the gospel's sake, giveth most manifest and evi- 
dent proof of the great care which he had over all 
those churches which he had planted in all places. 
In all which his epistles, as he laboureth to confirm 
them in the truth of that doctrine which by his 
preaching they had embraced, so most carefully every- 
where he admonisheth them not to be troubled at the 
bonds which he suftereth for the gospel's sake, assur- 
ing them that his imprisonment, afflictions, and all 
things that came to him, were to the furtherance of 
the gospel which he had preached. In which points, 
also, the apostle, having laboured earnestly in the 
former chapter of this epistle, now in this chapter, in 
the words before my text, he exhorteth them above all 
things to humility, meekness of mind, and brotherly 
love, that they should do nothing through contention, or 
vain-gloiy, or self-conceit, but that every man should 
esteem other better than himself, and should look on 
the things of other men, and not on his own things. 

In these words which I have now read unto you, the 
apostle gocth forward to excite and stir up the Philip- 
pians, and in them us, unto this same true humility, 
meekness of mind, and brotherly love. Wherein that 
he might the rather prevail with them, he presseth the 
example of Christ, saying, ' Let the same mind be in 
you,' &c. In the opening and declaring of wdiich 



example of Christ Jesus, he first setteth down his 
humility, and then the issue thereof, which was his 
exaltation into glory. His humility is here described 
to be twofold. First, in that he being in the form of 
God, i. e. being God, and without all injury to the 
Godhead, equal in might, power, and majesty unto 
the Father, yet made himself of no reputation, and 
took on him the form of a servant. 1. Was made 
man, even the most abject amongst men. 2. In that 
being made man, he humbled himself, willingly lay- 
ing aside, as it were, the power of his Godhead, and 
became obedient in all things which the law required 
of him unto the death, even the most shameful death 
of the cross. After this double description of Christ 
his humility, followeth and is set down the issue 
thereof, which was, that he was not left in this low 
estate, but was ' highly exalted, far above all princi- 
pality, and power, and might, and domination, and 
every name that is named, not in this world only, but 
in that also that is to come, so that at his name should 
bow every knee, both of things in heaven,' (fee. The 
argument, then, or reason which the apostle draweth 
to persuade them to true humility, and brotherly love 
one towards another, from Christ his example, in 
effect is this : — If Christ, who being God blessed for 
ever, and equal to the Father, yet so far humbled 
himself that he became man, and took on him the 
similitude of sinful flesh ; and again, if Christ, de- 
scending from heaven in the similitude of sinful flesh, 

H 



114 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. II. 



and being made man, did yet so far humble himself 
that he became obedient to the death, even the death 
of the cross ; lastly, if Christ being God, and hav- 
ing humbled himself to be man, and being man having 
humbled himself to the death of the cross, was there- 
fore highly exalted, and had a name given him above 
every name, &c, — how then ought we siuful men to 
put on us this humility and meekness of mind, no 
man through arrogancy treading down his weak 
brethren, but every man esteeming other better than 
himself. This I take to be the apostle's argument in 
this place. It is, then, as if he had thus said : — 

ye Philippians, my heart's desire for you is, that 
ye may be found perfect and entire, lacking nothing, 
in the da} 7 of Jesus Christ. Wherefore I beseech 
you that nothing be done among you through conten- 
tion, or through vain-glory, but that ye be like-minded 
one towards another, that ye love one another, and 
that in all humbleness and meekness of mind ye sub- 
mit yourselves one unto another, and every man 
esteem other better than himself. Learn, I beseech 
you, of Christ Jesus himself, whose disciples, whose 
servants, members of whose body ye are ; learn, I say, 
of him to be humble and meek. For he, being God, 
and (without all injury to the Godhead) equal in glory, 
and honour, and majesty, unto the Father, yet made 
himself of no reputation, and became man, and was 
hke unto man in desires, in infirmities, in sorrows, 
and in all things, sin only excepted ; yea, being man, 
he so far humbled himself, that he was obedient in all 
things even unto the death, and that the shameful 
death of the cross, where he hung between two thieves. 
Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus ; 
be ye humble and meek as he was, not in that degree, 
but in some measure frame yourselves unto that 
humility that was in him, and then assure yourselves 
that, as Christ was not thus left, but was highly exalted, 
&c, so you, if you humble yourselves, you shall be 
exalted. This I take to be the meaning of these 
words of the apostle. 

They branch themselves, as you may see, into 
three parts ; whereof the first is an exhortation unto 
humility and meekness cf mind : ' Let the same 
mind,' &c. 2. Is set down the humility of Christ, as 
a pattern for them to look upon, and to persuade them 
to humility : ' Who being in the form of God,' &c. 
3. Is set down Christ his exaltation into glory after 
his humiliation here on earth, as a motive also to 
persuade them unto love and humility : ' Wherefore 
God hath also,' &c. I can only point at those mani- 
fold notes, and most profitable instructions which 
hence might be gathered. 

First, therefore, in the exhortation, we are to note 
what it is whereunto the apostle exhorteth the Philip- 
pians, and in them us. The thing whereunto he 
exhorteth both them and us, and all that will live 
godly in Christ Jesus, is that we should be humble 
and lowly, kind and courteous, gentle and loving one 



unto another, in all humbleness submitting ourselves 
every man one unto another, and in all meekness of 
mind esteeming every other man better than himself. 
The like exhortation the same apostle maketh, where 
he saith, Rom. xh. 10, ' Be affectioned to love one 
another with brotherly love, and in giving honour go 
one before another.' In which place the apostle, 
together with his exhortation unto humility, the fruit 
whereof is the preferring of our brethren in honour 
before ourselves, joineth the ground thereof, which is 
love. For if we love our brethren, then we can will- 
ingly submit ourselves unto them, and prefer them 
before ourselves ; but where this love of our brethren 
is not, there is contempt of them, and lifting up of 
ourselves above them. The like exhortation also the 
apostle Peter hath, where he saith, 1 Pet. v. 5, ' Sub- 
mit yourselves every man one unto another, and deck 
yourselves inwardly in lowliness of mind ; ' in which 
place you see how the apostle speaketh of humility as 
of a special ornament wherewithal the child of God 
is decked and beautified, more than with all costly 
jewels and precious ointments whatsoever. But here 
it is to be observed, even from the apostle in this 
place of Peter, that there is a twofold humility and 
holiness : the one inward, the other outward ; the 
one of the mind, the other to the eye ; the one true 
and holy, the other ill and hypocritical. Of the out- 
ward and hypocritical humbleness the apostle speak- 
eth, where he thus writeth unto the Colossians, chap. 
ii. 18, ' Let no man at his pleasure bear rule over 
you, by humbleness of mind, and worshipping of 
angels,' &c. ; for the understanding of which place, it 
is to be understood that there were craftily crept in 
amongst the Colossians certain which taught them to 
worship angels, because, forsooth, it was a point of 
great arrogancy straightway to rush into the holy 
place, and to worship God ; greater humbleness be- 
seemed them, than forthwith to rush into God's pre- 
sence, and to fall down before him, and to worship 
him. Much like unto those who, at this day, teach 
men to use the intercession of the saints departed this 
mortality, and to make their prayers unto them ; not 
boldly and presumptuously themselves to enter into 
the King's palace before the throne of grace, but in all 
humbleness to prostrate themselves before the saints 
and their images, that so their prayers and supplica- 
tions, through their intercession, may be accepted with 
God. But against such as by such humbleness seek 
to abuse us, the apostle plainly warnetb us in this 
place ; for that this humbleness is a voluntary sub- 
mission, not taught by God, but chosen according to 
men's own phantas} 7 . The inward humility and low- 
liness of mind is that whereof Peter here speaketh, and 
whereunto our apostle in my text exhorteth. It is the 
heart, the mind, and the soul that God regardeth ; 
there must be the seat of humility, if it be true humi- 
lity. The glory of the true Christian is within ; and 
therefore it is said, Ps. xlv. 13, ' The King's daugjiie? 






Ver. 5-8.] 



LECTURE XXVII. 



115 



is all glorious within : ' the King's daughter, i. e. tho 
church ; and then, if thou be a lively member of the 
church, thy glory is within, and thy outwai-d humility 
is then good, when it proceedeth from within, even from 
the lowliness of the mind. 

And now that you see what it is, even what humi- 
lity it is that the apostle exhorteth unto, ' I beseech 
you' (with the apostle) 'that the same mind be in 
yon that was even in Christ Jesus, that in meekness 
of mind every man esteem other better than himself.' 
It is an exhortation, which, if we shall a little look 
into some of those properties which always follow this 
humbleness of mind whereunto the apostle exhorteth, 
I fear me we shall find that we have either never 
heard of, or never hearkened unto. The property of 
it is, ' in giving honour to prefer others,' as ye have 
already heard out of the apostle, Rom. xii. 10 ; and 
as is further proved by that parable of our Saviour 
Christ unto the guests, when he marked how ' they 
chose out the chief rooms at feasts,' Luke xiv. 7. 
Out of both which places it may appear that he that 
is truly humbled, in matters of honour, preferreth not 
himself before others, but preferreth others before 
himself. But how far we are from this humility, the 
great ambition of men in our days, and great seeking 
of every preferment, yea, of every petty office in every 
town incorporate, would speak if I should hold my 
peace. Nay, so far are we from preferring others 
before ourselves, that rather than we will not climb 
over the heads of those that are better than ourselves 
we will use all bribery and corruption ; yea, and out 
of our false hearts we will devise all manner of lies 
and slanders against them, and, rather than fail, we 
will libel against them. It is so, and where it is so, 
there wants this humbleness of mind here spoken of. 

Another property of it is, that he that is humble, 
and as our Saviour calleth him, ' poor in spirit,' 
esteemeth othera better than himself, as the apostle 
sheweth, ver. 3. He standeth not upon the conceit 
of his knowledge, of his honour, of his wealth, of his 
friends. If he have these things, he acknowledged 
them to be the blessings of the Lord, but no cause 
why he should swell with pride, or advance himself 
above his brethren. But doth not the wealthy, rich 
man tread under foot, and oppress with all wrong and 
violence his poor neighbours ? Is not the great 
scholar and wise man so puffed up with his knowledge, 
that he counts of others little better than fools ? Doth 
not the great man, whether it be that he be groat in 
office, or in birth and friends, doth he not disdain his 
inferiors, and oftentimes make a mock of them ? I 
wish it were not so ; but if it be so, there wants in 
them this humbleness of mind here spoken of. 

A third property of it is, as to humble us so before 
God, that we willingly acknowledge whatsoever good 
thing we have to be only from God, without any merit 
in ourselves, so without seh>respects to regard the 
good of others, and of God's church. For the truly 



humbled man doth not look on his own things, as it 
is in the former verse, as so loving them th.it he careth 
not for the things of other men, but he looketh on 
the things of other men; and whatsoever is good for 
God's church, that he doth. I wish there were no 
cause of fear that this humbleness of mind were want- 
ing. But who seeth not that the reformation of many 
abuses is hindered, that many godly and Christian 
exercises are stayed, that much good many times is 
left undone ? And why ? Forsooth, because such a 
one moved it, because such and such men call for it, 
such and such men like too well of it, and therefore 
rather than please their humours, let things stand as 
they are. A thing in practice too, too common, and 
what humbleness of mind where it is so ? By this 
which hath already been spoken, I think it may appear 
how little hitherto w T e have hearkened to this exhorta- 
tion of the apostle. Well, I beseech you, that what- 
soever is amiss in this behalf may be amended. • Deck 
yourselves inwardly with lowliness of mind : in giving 
honour, go one before another : esteem every man 
another better than himself;' let neither opinion of 
wisdom puff you up, or of wealth make you swell ; but 
' submit yourselves one unto another,' and ' let the 
same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.' And 
so I come to my second note out of this exhortation. 
2. In this exhortation I note the inducement which 
the apostle useth to move them unto this humbleness 
of mind, which is the example of Christ Jesus. ' Let 
the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.' 
"Will ye then have a reason why ye should be lowly in 
mind ? Christ Jesus, whose example is the rule of 
our life, and whose actions ought to be our instruc- 
tions, he so humbled himself, that, being God, he for 
our sakes became also man ; how then ought we to 
submit ourselves one unto another, in all humbleness 
and meekness of mind ! The like motive or reason 
is used by our Saviour Christ himself, where he saith 
unto the people that were with him, Mat. xi. 28, 
 Learn of me that I am meek and lowly in heart ; ' as 
also, where he washeth his disciples' feet to teach 
them humility, John xiii. 15, and then saith unto them, 
' I have given you an example that ye should do even 
as I have done to you.' "What should I go forward 
to quote scriptures to this purpose ? Nothing more 
usual in the Scriptures than, by the example of Christ, 
to stir up unto our several duties ; and what ought to 
be more effectual with us to persuade us ? "When the 
soldier sees his captain fight, there needs no further 
spur to set him into the battle. Christ is our Lord, 
and we his servants. If he, our Lord and Master, have 
given us such an example, and have said unto us, • Do 
as ye have me for an example,' should there need any 
further spur unto us for this duty ? If he have so 
humbled himself for us, that, being God, he became 
also man; if he have had such compassion on us that, 
when we were enemies unto him, he reconciled us 
unto God ; if he so loved us that he laid down his life 



116 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPP1ANS. 



[Chap. II. 



for us : how ought we to be humble and lowly-minded 
one towards another ! How ought we to have com- 
passion upon our poor brethren, especially in this 
heavy time ! How ought we to love one another with 
brotherly love ! Christ, my brethren, is our head. 
If we be members of his body, we must draw our 
life and our spiritual nourishment from him ; we must 
in all things grow up into him which is our head. 
Far be it, therefore, from us to disdain our brethren, 
to wrong them, to oppress them, to contemn them, 
to swell in pride against them, Nay, rather let us 
use one another with all kindness, with all gentleness, 
with all meekness. Let us submit ourselves one unto 
another, let us be like-minded one towards another in 
Christ Jesus. Himself exhorteth us hereunto, he hath 
given us an ensample, ' Let the same mind,' &c. 

Thirdly, I note the humility of Christ, whose ex- 
ample the apostle here exhorteth us to follow. His 
humility is here described by the apostle, first by his 
incarnation, in that, being God, he vouchsafed to take 
flesh of the blessed virgin, and to become man, like 
unto us in all things, sin only excepted. Secondly, 
by the work of our redemption, in that, being man, 
he yet again further ' humbled himself, and became 
obedient to the death, even the most shameful death 
of the cross.' In the description of Christ his incar- 
nation are very many things most worthy our observa- 
tion, touching both the natures in Christ, his Godhead 
and his manhood. I can only point at some of the 
heads of those observations which hence w y ere to be 
made and more fully handled. First, for the God- 
head of Christ, in that it is here said that he was ' in 
the form of God,' it is thereby proved that Christ was 
true God ; for in the selfsame manner and phrase of 
speech that here he is said to be in the form of God, 
in the same is it afterward said that ' he took on him 
the form of a servant ; ' where, by the form of a ser- 
vant the apostle expresseth his manhood, as here by 
the form of God is expressed his Godhead. Neither, 
indeed, can any be in the form of God who is not 
true God. And as in this place he is said to be in 
the form of God, whereby is meant that he is God, so 
in other places plainly and directly he is said to be 
God, as in the Epistle to the Romans, chap. ix. 5, 
1 Of whom are the fathers, and of whom concerning 
the flesh Christ came, who is God over all, blessed 
for ever;' and to the Colossians, chap. ii. 9, 'In Christ 
dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily ;' and 
in (he Acts, chap. xx. 28, ' Take heed, &c. to feed the 
church of God, which he hath purchased with his own 
blood.' The phrase of speech in this place is some- 
what different, but it is all one as if he had thus 
said, who being God. Secondly, I note, touching 
the Godhead of Christ, that he was equal in all things 
unto God the Father, as the apostle plainly sheweth, 
where it followeth, that he ' thought it no robbery to 
be equal with God ; ' for in that he saith ' he thought 
it no robbery,' he plainly sheweth that it was his right, 



and no injury at all unto the Godhead, for him that was 
God to be equal unto God. If, then, it be Christ his 
right, and no injury at all to the Godhead, that Christ 
be equal unto God the Father, then Christ, as touching 
his Godhead, is equal unto God the Father, howsoever, 
touching his manhood, he be inferior to the Father. 
And this be noted touching the divine nature of Christ. 
Now touching Christ his manhood : First, in that 
it is here said, that ' he made himself of no reputa- 
tion,' or as the word signifieth, that ' he emptied him- 
self,' and of all brought himself unto nothing, I note 
Christ his manhood, not forcibly to have been imposed 
upon him, but himself voluntarily to have taken on 
him the form of a servant. When therefore it is said, 
that ' God sent his Son in the similitude of sinful 
flesh,' and again, that ' God so loved the world, that 
he gave his only begotten Son,' &c, where God the 
Father is said to have sent, and to have given his Son, 
and the Son is said to be sent, and to be given, we 
are to understand the speeches thus, that God the 
Father sent his Son, and God the Son was sent of the 
Father; vet God the Father, and God the Son, being 
not two Gods, but one God distinguished into two 
persons, it is rightly said that God the Father sent the 
Son, and that the Son being one God with the Father, 
made himself of no reputation, voluntarily descending 
from his majesty, to be partaker of our misery. For 
if himself had not thus humbled himself, who could 
have imposed this base estate upon him, himself being 
God blessed for ever ? The angels which kept not 
then* first estate, they were thrown down lower than 
the earth, even to be reserved in everlasting chains 
under darkness, unto the judgment of the great day. 
But Christ w'hen he was equal unto God in fulness of 
power, glory, majesty, knowledge, abased himself, and 
of almighty, made himself full of infirmity ; of im- 
mortal, made himself mortal. Secondly, in that it is 
said, 'he took on him the form of a servant,' I note 
that Christ so became man, as that he ceased not to 
be God. For it is not said that the Godhead was 
changed into the manhood, but that Christ, being God, 
took on him the form of a servant ; so uniting the 
Godhead and manhood in the unity of person into one 
Christ, as the reasonable soul and flesh is united into 
one man. A distinction therefore of natures there is 
in Christ, but no confusion of substance ; one Christ, 
and he both God and man. Thirdly, in that it is said 
he was made like unto men, I note the truth of his 
manhood. For the apostle's meaning is, that in no 
sort he took on him the nature or qualities of angels, 
but took the seed of Abraham, and so made himself 
man ; that in nothing he differed from the common 
sort of men, tasting of all man's infirmities, and in all 
things was as man, sin only excepted. Lastly, in that 
it is said, ' he was found in shape as a man,' I note 
the same thing that before, namely, the truth of Christ 
his manhood ; for in these words the apostle his 
meaning is, that his very person and behaviour shewed 



Ver. 5-8.] 



LECTURE XXVII. 



117 



him to be a man, and a man (as the prophet speaketh) 
full of sorrows. Thus have I briefly pointed at some 
of tbose notes and observations which may easily 
be gathered touching the Godhead and manhood of 
Christ, out of this description of Christ, his humility 
in his incarnation. 

To knit up the whole in one general note and ob- 
servation, here we may most clearly observe the great 
humility of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Even 
this one description of his incarnation may both most 
lively present it before our eyes, and be a most clear 
pattern unto us, how we ought to be minded one 
towards another. He that was very God, of the sub- 
stance of the Father, glorious in majesty, wonderful 
in power, only wise, of right, and without any injury 
to the Godhead at all, every way equal unto God the 
Father, of himself vouchsafed to descend from his high 
and glorious majesty, and to take into the unity of his 
person the nature of a man, even the base condition 
of a servant, and in everything that concerns man's 
nature to be like unto all other men, sin only excepted. 
Here is love passing the love of women, and here is 
humility beyond all comparison. Who knoweth not 
this '? and yet who followeth this pattern of Christ 
Jesus set before him ? He, when we were enemies 
unto him, vouchsafed to come unto us ; which of us 
will vouchsafe to go unto our enemy, and be recon- 
ciled unto him, though the commandment be, that the 
sun should not go down upon our wrath ? Nay, how 
hardly are we drawn to come unto him that hath thus 
vouchsafed to come unto us ? Let the bell ring in the 
forenoon and in the afternoon to call us to come unto 
him, that we may hear his will out of his word, yet 
either we will not come at all, or at our best leisure, 
when our own business is despatched. He for us 
vouchsafed to descend from his high throne of majesty, 
and to become man. But which of us will stoop down 
a whit, or at all let down our sail for our poor 
brethren's sake ? Nay, if we be above them, rather 
than we will look so low, we will turn them out of 
house and home, out of lands and goods, yea, we will 
suffer them for want of food to perish in our streets. 
Oh, if Christ Jesus had been so unkind unto thee, how 
hadst thou ere this been plunged into the bottomless 
pit of hell, and so been prevented of this unkindness 
to thy brother ! He disdained not to take on him 
even the basest condition of a man, even of a servant, 
and for our sakes to become poor, that we through 
his poverty might be made rich. But how many of 
us with patience do bear our poverty ? Nay, do we 
not murmur and grudge against God, as an unequal 
disposer of these temporal blessings ? Do we not 
often break out into these intemperate speeches, 
rather than we will thus want, we will rob by the 
highway side or steal ; rather than we will starve, we 
will have it out of the rich man's belly ? &c. But 
know thou, that unless Christ had been poor for thy 
sake, thou hadst had thy portion with the devil and 



his angels. He took upon him our infirmities, that 
so he might take compassion on our infirmities. But 
how many of us are moved to take compassion on the 
miseries, distresses, and infirmities of our brethren ? 
Nay, how many of us do shut up all bowels of com- 
passion against those that are in misery and distress, 
not clothing the naked, not feeding the hungry, not 
visiting the sick, not relieving the distressed ? my 
brethren, let the same mind be in you that was in 
Christ Jesus. If he thus humbled himself for our 
sakes, let us follow him in the practice of humility. 
Let us equal ourselves unto them of the lowest degree. 
Let us pluck down our high sails, and be ready to 
distribute unto the necessity of the saints. ' Let us 
do good unto all, but especially unto those that are of 
the household of faith.' Let us not say with the 
angel of the church of Laodicea, ' I am rich, and in- 
creased with gold, and have need of nothing : ' but let 
us cast down ourselves for our sins, and let every man 
be humbled in his own soul, and so shall we submit 
ourselves one unto another. Let us always set before 
our eyes the humility of Christ Jesus in his incarna- 
tion, and thereby be provoked to all humbleness and 
lowliness of mind. Meditate on these things, all ye 
that fear God, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 
Meditate on these things, ye that now come, or here- 
after mean to come, to the Lord's table, to be made par- 
takers of the mysteries of Christ his blessed death and 
passion. Here Christ Jesus, who was made bone of 
our bone, and fiesh of our flesh, inviteth you unto his 
holy supper, that you may be made bone of his bone, 
and flesh of his flesh. Here, by a true and lively 
faith, through the operation of the Holy Spirit, ye 
are made bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh, 
members of his body, and vessels of his glory. But 
there must be in you the same mind that was in 
Christ Jesus : ye must put away all hatred and con- 
tention, all rancour and malice ; and as he came to us 
in love towards us, so we must come unto him in 
perfect love and charity towards all men. As he came 
unto us to kill sin in our flesh, so we must come unto 
him purged from the corruption which is in the world 
through lust, that so we may be ' partakers of the 
divine nature,' as Peter speaketh, 2 Peter i. 4. As 
he came unto us, giving us an ensample so to walk as 
he hath walked, so we must come to him with full 
resolution, and settled purpose, so to walk as we have 
him for an ensample, in all humbleness and lowliness of 
mind ; or else, in coming unto him to this holy table, we 
heap unto ourselves wrath against the day of wrath, 
and of the declaration of the just judgment of God. 

The Lord give us his grace, that we may walk as 
we have Christ Jesus for an example, that, submitting 
ourselves one unto another, we may be hke-minded 
one towards another in Christ Jesus ; that, every man 
esteeming other better than himself, we may all to- 
gether, in all things, grow up into him which is our 
head, that is, Christ. 



118 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. II. 



LECTURE XXVIII. 

He liumhled himself, and became obedient unto the death, even the death of the cross. — Philip. II. 8. 



TJTE humbled himself, &c. In which words the 
J-*- apostle first proposeth this second humiliation 
of Christ in general, saying, ' He humbled himself.' 
Secondly, the apostle describeth it more particularly 
by the obedience of Christ unto the death, saying, 
' and became obedient unto the death.' Where the 
apostle noteth a twofold obedience of Christ, the one 
before his death in his whole life, the other in and at 
his death ; the former consisting in Christ his fulfilling 
of the law, the latter in his whole sufferings of deatb, 
and all the pains and sorrows thereof ; for in that it 
is said that Christ became obedient unto the death, 
the apostle his meaning is, that Christ was obedient 
in all things that the law required of him, both doing 
the will of his Father in the whole course of his life, 
and further subjecting himself unto the death ; so that 
he was not only obedient to his Father, to fulfil the 
law for us, but he was obedient unto the death, to lay 
down his life for our sakes. Lastly, this circumstance 
of his death is amplified by the kind thereof, ' he be- 
came obedient unto the death, even the death of the 
cross,' -which was the most shameful and most accursed 
kind of death. So that the meaning of the apostle in 
this place is, that Christ, who so had already humbled 
himself, that of the Son of God, he was now become 
the Son of man, did yet further humble and abase 
himself, and became obedient unto his Father's will 
in all things that the law required of him, even unto 
the suffering of death for us miserable sinners, sub- 
mitting himself unto death for us, and that the most 
shameful death of the cross. This I take to be the 
meaning. 

In these words, then, we are to note four doctrines 
touching Christ. The first is touching his humilia- 
tion ; the second, touching his obedience in his life ; 
the third is touching his death ; the fourth is touching 
his kind of death. 

In his humiliation I note, first, the person that was 
humbled ; secondly, the manner of his humiliation ; 
both set down by the apostle when he saith, ' He 
humbled himself.' For the first, touching the person, 
hence it appeareth that he who, being God, and equal 
with the Father, was now become man, ' humbled 
himself, and became,' &c. The person, then, that 
was humbled was Christ, God and man, perfect God 
and perfect man, subsisting of a reasonable soul and 
human flesh. And necessary it was that he who was 
now to work the work of our redemption should be 
both God and man : man, that, as man had sinned, so 
sin might be punished in man, for so God's justice 
required ; God, that he might be able to sustain the 
grievousness of the punishment due to our sins, which 
should be temporal, but yet equivalent to eternal pains ; 



for our sins being infinite, and the punishment due to 
them being infinite, because thereby we had grieved 
an infinite God, the person must needs be infinite 
which should pay the price of our sins. Again, it 
was necessary that he should be man, that he might 
sutler death, because for sin man had deserved death ; 
and necessary likewise that he should be God, that he 
might be able to wrestle with the wrath of God, which 
none else could do but he that was God. Needs, 
therefore, must he be both God and man. And that 
he was so, as by this place it is plain, so by that like- 
wise in the Acts, chap. xx. 28, where the apostle 
exhorteth the elders of Ephesus to ' feed the church 
of God, which he,' saith the apostle, ' hath purchased 
with his own blood.' In which place, he who hath 
purchased a church unto himself, is both called God, 
and also witnessed to be true man, in that he purchased 
it with his own blood. 

Here, then, we may see the heinousness and 
grievousness of our sins, and the greatness of our 
misery by reason of them. God blessed for ever 
must become man, and God and man must be united 
into one Christ ; and being thus united, must be 
humbled unto the death, and must pay the price of 
our sins by shedding of his own blood, or else the 
everlasting curse of God's wrath abideth upon us, and 
our portion is with the devil and his angels, in the lake 
that burnetii with fire and brimstone for ever. And 
yet what account or reckoning at all is made of sin ? 
Surely so little, that it may be very well said unto us, 
which Hosea the prophet sometime said unto the 
children of Israel, Hos. iv. 1, ' Hear the word of the 
Lord, ye children of Israel : for the Lord hath a con- 
troversy with the inhabitants of the land, because 
there is no truth,' &c. And yet what remorse of these 
things, even now when the whole land mourneth for 
them, and groaneth under the burden of them ! It 
had not been possible to satisfy God's justice for the 
least of our sins otherwise than by everlasting death, 
unless God had become man, and so humbled himself 
to suffer whatsoever was due for man's sin ; and yet 
who is he that considereth in heart his sins, to reform 
the wickedness of his way ? ' Oh, consider this, ye 
that forget God,' and grieve his Holy Spirit by your 
continual committed sins, ' lest he pluck you away, 
and there be none to deliver you.' Fly from sin as 
from a serpent. Christ Jesus, both God and man, 
hath paid the price for our sins. Let us not, there- 
fore, henceforth serve sin in the lusts thereof, but let 
us glorify God both in our bodies and in our spirits. 

The second thing which I noted in Christ his humi- 
liation, was the manner of Christ his humiliation ; 
which I note, 1, was voluntary; 2, that both his 



Ver. 8.] 



LECTURE XXVIII. 



119 



manhood ami his Godhead was abased. That his 
humiliation was voluntary, appeareth by that it is 
said, that ' he humbled himself .' As, then, his first 
humiliation when, being God, he took on him man's 
nature, was voluntary, so his second humiliation, 
when, being both God and man, he subjected himself 
unto the law and unto death, was voluntary. How, 
then, is it said that he ' was made obedient ' ? for so 
it is read in the original. He was made obedient not 
of any other, but of himself; neither forcedly, but 
willingly he made himself obedient, even as willingly 
he humbled himself. Now for the other point, that 
Christ was abased and humbled both according to 
his Godhead and his manhood. (1.) For his man- 
hood it doth appear, in that it was made subject to 
the infirmities of man's nature, as also to the miseries 
and punishments which were due unto man for sin. 
(2.) For his Godhead, it was also abased, not as it is 
considered in itself, — for so it is immutable, — but in 
respect of the veil of the flesh, under which it was so 
covered that it lay hid from the first moment of Christ 
his incarnation to the time of his resurrection, with- 
out any great manifestation of his power and majesty 
therein. 

Did he, then, who was both God and man, thus 
voluntarily humble himself in his Godhead and in his 
manhood ? Did he so abase himself that he would 
be born in a cratch, converse with poor fishermen, 
eat and drink with publicans and sinners, be baptized 
of John, be tempted of the devil, wash his disciples' 
feet, and as a lamb before the shearer, so not open 
his mouth ? What should this teach us, my brethren ? 
Even willingly to submit ourselves one unto another, 
and ail of us to deck ourselves inwardly with lowliness 
of mind. If abundance of wisdom and knowledge, if 
greatness in honour and dignity, if sovereign power 
and authority, had been sufficient motives and in- 
ducements for our Saviour Christ to stay himself from 
thus humbling himself, ' his name was Wonderful, 
Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, 
the Prince of peace ; ' to him did belong all honour 
and glory, ' in him were hid all the treasures of wis- 
dom and knowledge,' and ' of his fulness have all we 
received, and grace for grace ; ' yet for all this he 
humbled himself willingly, as ye have heard. Let 
not, therefore, the conceit of wisdom and knowledge 
in ourselves, let not the conceit of our wealth and 
riches, of our preferments and honours, of our birth 
and friends, cause us to swell with pride of our own 
gifts, or to lift up ourselves above our brethren, or to 
disdain our inferiors ; let not these be any stays why 
there should not be in us the same minds that was in 
Christ Jesus. ' Let every man make himself equal 
unto them of the lowest degree,' and ' let every man 
esteem other better than himself,' for f God resisteth 
the proud, and giveth grace unto the humble.' And 
let this be noted touching Christ his humiliation. It 
folio weth, 



And he became obedient ; or, he nas made obedient. 
Whence I note the second point which I proposed to 
be spoken of, to wit, Christ his obedience in his life 
unto the law, to fulfil the law ; for if the question be 
asked, When, and how long was Christ obedient '? the 
apostle answercth, usque ad mortem, ' unto the death;' 
not as if his death were no part of his obedience, but 
the apostle plainly implieth thereby that, as in the 
rest of his life he was obedient unto his Father's will, 
to fulfil the law for us, so was he obedient in his death 
to redeem us from death, hell, and the devil. Touch- 
ing his obedience unto the law to fulfil the law, the 
apostle saith, Gal. iv. 4, that ' when the fulness of 
time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a 
woman, and made under the law,' that is, subject 
unto the law to fulfil the law. And of himself thus 
our Saviour himself speaketh, Mat. v. 17, ' Think 
not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets ; 
I am not come to destroy them, but to fulfil them.' 
Christ, then, was made subject to the law, and came 
into the w r orld to fulfil the law. And therefore he 
was circumcised the eighth day, he was presented to 
the Lord after the days of Man's purification, and, 
as the text saith, Luke ii. 39, ' All things were done 
for him according to the law of the Lord.' He gave 
sight to the blind, made the deaf to hear, the dumb 
to speak, the lame to go, &c, as it was so written of 
him, Isa. xxxv. 5, 6. He preached the gospel to the poor, 
bound up the broken-hearted, preached deliverance to 
the captives, set at liberty them that were bruised, 
preached the acceptable year of the Lord, &c, as it 
was so written of him, chap. lxi. 1, 2. He was 
counted with the transgressors, though he had done 
no wickedness, neither any deceit was in his mouth ; 
he bare the sins of many, and prayed for the tres- 
passers, as it was so written of him, chap. liii. 12. 
In a word, whatsoever was written of him in the law 
of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, all 
that he fulfilled. And therefore, when John would 
have put him back from his baptism, he said unto 
him, Mat. iii. 15, ' Let he now, for thus it becometh 
us to fulfil all righteousness ;' as if he had said, Stay 
not this act of my baptizing, for we must render per- 
fect obedience unto the Father, in all things which he 
hath ordained. Now r will ye know the reason why 
Christ thus fulfilled the law, as it is written of him ? 
The apostle giveth it, where he saith, Gal. iv. 5, 'For 
this cause he was made subject unto the law, that he 
might redeem them which were under the law;' or, 
as the same apostle saith, Horn. viii. 4, ' That the 
righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, which 
walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit,' i. e. that 
his fulfilling of the law in our flesh might be imputed 
for righteousness unto the children of his kingdom, 
as well as if they had fulfilled the law in their own 
persons. For when, as the same apostle there 
speaketh, by reason of our sinful flesh we were not 
able to fulfil the law, and therefore must needs perish 



120 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPIAXS. 



[Chap. II 



by the law, then God, sending his own Son in the simili- 
tude of sinful flesh, made him obedient unto the law, that 
his fulfilling of the law might be imputed for righteous- 
ness unto us which believe in Christ Jesus whom he hath 
sent, and walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 
Again, the work of our redemption consisteth not only 
in Christ his sufferings and death, but in his fulfilling 
of the law also. For the sufferings and death of 
Christ, considered apart from his legal obedience, only 
takes away the guilt and punishment, frees man from 
death, and makes him of a sinner to be no sinner ; 
but that he may be fully reconciled to God, and 
accepted as righteous to life everlasting, this legal 
obedience of Christ must be imputed unto us. Witness 
the apostle, where he saith, Rom. v. 19, 'As by the 
disobedience of one man many were made sinners, so 
by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous ;' 
where, speaking generally of obedience, he meaneth 
Christ his whole obedience, which in all his lifetime 
he performed. For, as in the disobedience of Adam 
there was transgressio leg is uncle fact i sumus peccatores, 
sic in obedientia Christifuit impletio legis, mule sumus 
ijusti, the transgression of the law, whereby we are 
made sinners, so in the obedience of Christ there was 
the fulfilling of the law, whereby we are made just. 
And therefore, that he might be made of God unto us 
perfect justification and redemption, besides that he 
suffered and died for us that he might free us from 
sin and death, he also fulfilled the law for us, that so 
we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 

Here, then, is an exceeding great comfort for every 
faithful Christian soul. Christ hath fulfilled the law 
for us, and his obedience unto the law is now made 
our righteousness, so that now there is no condemna- 
tion unto them that are in Christ Jesus. Whatsoever 
the law required of us, all that he hath fulfilled in his 
own person, that so the righteousness of the law, which 
was impossible for us to perform, might be imputed 
unto us, and we delivered from the bondage of the 
law. He made himself subject unto the law, tbat by 
fulfilling of the law for us he might free us from all fear 
of condemnation by the law. Doth, then, the law 
present before thine eyes a curse and condemnation, if 
thou dost not continue in all things that are written 
in the book of the law to do them ? and doth thine 
own conscience tell thee that in many things thou 
hast offended, and many ways thou hast transgressed 
the law of thy God ? Be not troubled, nor fear. Cast 
thy burden upon Christ Jesus. He hath fulfilled the 
law, not for himself, but for thee, that his obedience 
might be imputed for righteousness unto thee. Again, 
knowest thou that nothing that is unpure or unclean 
hath at any time entered into God's sight, and wouldst 
thou be presented pure and unblameable before him 
in that day ? Here is the garment of thy elder brother 
Christ Jesus : in this his obedience thou shalt appear 
righteous before thy God in that day. Thine own 
obedience, thine own works, thine own righteousness, 



seem it never so great and goodly, must vanish as a 
morning cloud in that day ; for even thy best right- 
eousness is but as the menstruous cloths of a woman, 
as the prophet speaketh. The cloak wherewithal thy 
nakedness must be covered is the righteousness of 
Christ Jesus, which righteousness is made thy own,, 
if thou by a true and lively faith lay hold on him where 
he sitteth at the right hand of the Father in the highest 
places. What greater comfort can there be unto thine 
afflicted soul than this, both to be delivered from the 
curse of the law for not keeping it, and to be presented 
pure before thy God at that day ? And all this com- 
fort thou mayest have by this obedience of Christ 
Jesus. 

And as this obedience of Christ Jesus unto his 
Father's will, to fulfil the law for us, may justly miuis- 
ter this comfort unto us, so may it further teach us 
to yield all obedience unto the will of our heavenly 
Father. For howsoever we be freed from the con- 
demnation of the law, because Christ hath fulfilled the 
law for us, yet are we not freed from the performance 
of our obedience unto the moral law of God ; but even 
by this example of our Saviour Christ we are more 
straitly tied thereunto ; for, 1 John ii. G, ' He that 
saith he remaineth in Christ ought even so to walk as 
he hath walked :' in all humility, and in all obedience 
to his heavenly Father's will ; ver. 4, ' He that saith 
he knoweth God, and keepeth not his commandments^ 
is a liar, and the truth is not in him ; but he that 
keepeth his word, in him is the love of God perfect 
indeed ;' ver. 5, ' And hereby we know that we are in 
him, and that we love him, if we keep his command- 
ments.' As, therefore, Christ walked in the law, and 
performed all obedience unto his Father's will, so re- 
member thou to walk with thy God, and to keep his 
commandments with thine whole heart. Beware that 
thou dissemble not ; beware that thou present not thy- 
self in the assembly of God's saints to hear his word, 
or to receive his holy sacrament, either for fashion's 
sake, or for fear of the law only to save thy purse, for 
so thou purchasest unto thyself a fearful judgment. 
Beware how thou dalliest with thy God ; for he seeth 
not as man seeth. Well thou mayest dissemble with 
man ; but he searcheth the heart and reins, and he 
knoweth all thy thoughts long before they be con- 
ceived by thee. Let thy heart be sound with thy God 
and his commandments, let them be in thy heart to 
do them. And so much of Christ his obedience. 

It followeth : And became obedient even unto the- 
death ; his death being likewise a part of his voluntary 
obedience unto his Father's will ; for both in fulfilling 
the law, and in suffering death for us, he shewed his 
obedience unto his Father, and wrought the works of 
our redemption. Here, then, is the third doctrine 
touching Christ which I proposed to be observed, 
which is touching his death, under which name I un- 
derstand, not only the separation of his soul from his 
body, but all the pains and agonies which he suffered 



Ver. 8.] 



LECTURE XXVIII. 



121 



both in soul and body. For as it was written of 
hirn, Isa. liii. 4, ' He bare our infirmities, and carried 
our sins, he was wounded for our transgressions, he 
was broken for our iniquities, he made his soul an 
offering for sin, the chastisement of our peace was 
upon him, and with his stripes we are healed ;' as 
thus, I say, it was written of him, so thus he suffered, 
and was obedient unto the death. Will you, then, see 
what manner of death Christ suffered '? He suffered 
not only a bodily death, and such pains as follow the 
dissolution of nature, but he suffered likewise in his 
soul the wrath of God for the sins of the world, lying 
so heavy upon him that it wounded his flesh and his 
spirit also, as the Scripture speaketh, ' even to death.' 
For if he had suffered no more but in body, then he 
overcame no more but a bodily death, and then were 
our state most miserable ; but our sins having de- 
served, not the bodily death only, but even death both 
of body and soul, by the death which he suffered he 
overcame death and the power of it, both in our bodies 
and in our souls. Whence was it that, when his death 
approached, he began to be in sorrow and heaviness ? 
Whence was it that he said unto his disciples, ' My 
soul is very heavy, even unto the death ' ? Whence 
was it that so often he fell on his face, and prayed 
that, ' if it were possible, that cup might pass from 
him ' ? Whence was it that an angel appeared from 
heaven unto him to comfort and strengthen him ? 
Whence was it that, as he prayed, ' his sweat was like 
drops of blood, trickling down to the ground ' ? Was 
not this, and all this, even from the pains which he 
felt in his soul, by reason of the wrath of God against 
sin ? Can we think that all this came to our Sa- 
viour Christ for fear of a bodily death ? Have his 
servants, that receive of his fulness, so despised this 
death of the body, that either they wished for it to be 
with Christ, or rejoiced in the midst of it before the 
persecutor ; and did our Saviour himself so fear and 
tremble at the remembrance of it ? Did the apostles 
sing in prison, and rejoice when they were whipped 
and scourged ? Did Paul glory in the tribulations 
which he suffered ; and did our Saviour, in such like 
pain, cry in the bitterness of his soul, ' My God, my 
God, why hast thou forsaken me ? ' Nay, my breth- 
ren, that which made Christ to be heavy would have 
crushed his apostles in pieces ; that which made him 
sweat blood in the garden, would have sunk them into 
hell ; that which made him cry, would have held both 
men and angels under everlasting woe and lamenta- 
tion. Besides his bodily death, therefore, and the 
pains that followed thereupon, he felt in his soul most 
grievous pains, through the wrath of God which was 
upon him for our sins. And thus ye see what death 
he suffered for our sakes, when he was made obedient 
to the death. 

The fruits and benefits which we receive by Christ 
his death are these: 1. By his death we are freed 
from that death which is both of body and soul, have 



the victory over that death which is the reward of sin, 
as witnesseth the apostle, Heb. ii. 14, Rom. viii. 1. 
For our Saviour, by his death, hath pulled out the 
sting of death, and on the cross hath triumphantly 
said, ' death, where is thy sting ? grave, where is 
thy victory ? ' And therefore, when we feel the pangs 
of death approach, we should not fear, but be full of 
hope, considering that our death is now changed by 
the virtue of Christ his death, and is the entrance 
into an everlasting life. 2. By Christ his death we 
have remission and forgiveness of our sins, as saith 
our Saviour himself, wherein the institution of his 
supper, Mat. xxvi. 28, ' This my blood, which is shed 
for many for the remission of sins.' For the remem- 
brance of which, his blessed death and fruits of his 
passion, he hath ordained this holy sacrament of his 
supper to be continued in his church for ever. In 
which holy supper the death and passion of our Sa- 
viour is so lively represented unto us, as if we had 
seen it with our eyes, the bread betokening the body, 
the wine the blood of our Saviour Christ ; the break- 
ing likewise of the bread signifying the breaking of 
his body with those unspeakable torments which he 
suffered, and the pouring out of the wine the shedding 
of his most precious blood, when his blessed side was 
gored with the spear of a soldier ; our eating of the 
bread and drinking of the wine assuring us of our in- 
corporation into Christ, to be made partakers of all 
the benefits of his passion. When ye come, there- 
fore, to this holy supper, remember that ye are called 
hither to continue the remembrance of his blessed 
death and passion until his blessed coming again. 
Repent you earnestly of your manifold sins, for the 
remission whereof Christ shed his own heart's blood. 
Love one another, even as he hath loved us, who laid 
down his life for us. And have faith in Christ Jesus, 
' whom God hath set forth to be a reconciliation 
through faith in his blood.' By faith in Christ Jesus 
we receive remission of our sins, and all other benefits 
of his death and passion. By love of our brethren 
we testify our love of God, who sent his Son to be a 
reconciliation for our sins. And with the contrition 
and sorrow of our hearts for our sins the Lord is bet- 
ter pleased than with all burnt-offerings and sacrifices. 
These are the things which the Lord requireth of us, 
even faith, repentance, and love ; and as at all time?, 
so at this time especially, when we come to the re- 
ceiving of these holy mysteries, let us think of these 
things. He that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eat- 
eth and drinketh his own damnation, crucifying again 
unto himself the Lord of glory and King of our peace. 
But he that examineth himself, and so eateth of this 
bread, and drinketh of this cup, is made one with 
Christ, and Christ with him, and Christ shall raise him 
up at the last day, so that he shall never see death, 
because he believeth in him who died for our sins, 
and rose again for our justification. It followeth: — 
Even the death of the cross. The most shameful 



122 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPIAN.S. 



[Chap. II. 



death that they could put him unto. Here, then, is 
the fourth and last point which I noted in these words, 
which is, the kind of his death, whereunto he sub- 
mitted himself. The kind of his death was, he was 
crucified between two thieves, where he was mocked 
of- all sorts of men, where, in feeling of the whole 
wrath of God upon him, he cried out, ' My God, my 
God, why hast thou forsaken me ? ' where, having 
performed all things that were written, he said, ' It is 
finished,' and so commended his spirit into the hands 
of his Father. 

Whence, 1, we rnay learn with bitterness to bewail 
our sins, for which Christ was thus cruelly nailed on 
the cross, and there suffered the whole wrath of God. 
2. To crucify our flesh, and the corruption of our 
nature, and the wickedness of our hearts. ' For they 
that are Christ's crucify the flesh with the affections 
and the lusts,' Gal. v. 24. 3. It may teach us that, 



when we suffer any judgment, cross, or calamity in 
body or in mind, we do not suffer them as any curse 
of God, but as the chastisements of a loving Father. 
For Christ Jesus, in his cross being accursed for us, 
hath delivered us from all curse. Beloved, let us 
think of these things, mourning for our sins, mortify- 
ing the deeds of the flesh, and comforting ourselves 
in the cross of Christ Jesus, who abased himself for 
us, fulfilled the whole law for us, died for our sins, 
and was nailed to the cross for our iniquities. 

Lord, teach us to humble ourselves both before 
thee and one unto another ; teach us to do thy will ; 
teach us to die unto sin, that we may live unto thee; 
and daily more and more crucify the old man in us, 
that, being renewed in the spirit of our minds, we 
may henceforth serve thee in holiness and righteous- 
ness all the days of our life ! 



LECTUEE XXIX. 

Wherefore God hath also highly exalted him, and given him a name above every name: that at the name of Jesas 

Jr.— Philip. II. 9, 10. 



IT remaineth now that we proceed from the descrip- 
tion of Christ his humility, unto the description 
of his exaltation into glory after his humiliation here 
on earth, set down in these words : — 

Wherefore God hath also, &c, in which words the 
apostle, 1, in general setteth down Christ his exaltation 
into glory as a consequent or effect following his 
humiliation, and obedience unto death, when he saith, 
' "Wherefore God hath also,' &c. Him, even Jesus, 
who was crucified, hath God raised unto life, set him 
at his right hand, and made him both Lord and 
Christ. 2. The apostle setteth down a more parti- 
cular specification and explication of Christ his 
exaltation into glory, (1.) when he saith, ' and given 
him a name,' &c. ; whereby is meant that God, having 
raised him from the dead, hath given him such majesty 
and glory in the heavenly places, that he hath ap- 
pointed him Lord over all things, and made him head 
unto the church, which is his body. (2.) When he 
saith, ' thai at the name,' &c, whereby is meant that 
God hath made all things subject under his feet, and 
that ;tll creatures ' shall confess that Jesus Christ is 
the Lord, unto the glory of God the Father.' It is, 
then, as if the apostle had thus said : Christ, when he 
was God, humbled himself to be man ; and being God 
and man, he humbled himself, and became obedient 
unto death for us; therefore God hath highly exalted 
him that thus humbled himself, and hath crowned 
him in the heavenly places with glory and honour, 
! far above all principality, and power, and might, and 
domination, and every name that is named ;' so that 
all creatures now do, and shall, cast down their 
crowns, and fall down before him, and say, ' Praise, 



and honour, and glory be unto him that sitteth upon 
the throne, and unto the Lamb for evermore.' And 
let this be spoken touching the order and the mean- 
ing of these words in general. Now let us look a little 
unto the general scope of them, and see what lessons 
we may learn from them. 

Wherefore God hath, &c. The general scope and 
drift of the apostle in these three verses is, by the 
consequent and good end which God giveth unto 
humility, further to persuade us unto humility and 
lowliness of mind, that so, if the example of Christ his 
humiliation cannot prevail with us, to move us unto 
humility, yet the excellency of that dignity whereunto 
he was exalted after, and for his great humility, may 
persuade us thereunto. Whence I gather these three 
observations for our instruction: — 

1. Hence I note the gracious goodness of our 
merciful God, who seeketh every way to win us unto 
that which he requireth of us. Sometimes he 
threateneth, that so for fear of his judgments we may 
walk in the law that he hath appointed for us. 
Sometimes he punisheth, for that in our affliction we 
seek him diligently, as the prophet Hosea speaketh, 
Hosea v. 15 ; and sometimes he prorniseth, that by 
his promises we may become partakers of the divine 
nature, as Peter speaks, 2 Peter i. 4 ; that so 
we may be drawn from the corruptions which are in 
the world through lust, as the same apostle there ex- 
poundeth himself. In this place, having pressed us 
with the example of Christ his humiliation unto 
humility, he setteth down the excellency of that 
dignity whereunto Christ was exalted after his humilia- 
tion, that so seeing the reward, or at least the con- 



Ver. 9, 10.J 



LECTURE XXIX. 



123 



ecquence which followeth humilitj-, we may embrace 
tliis holy virtue which he requireth of us. A man 
vould have thought that this should have been 
enough to persuade us to set before us the example 
of Christ Jesus. And when we have used any 
reason to such or such purpose, we think we have 
done well, and bid him whom we speak unto look 
to the afterclaps if he hearken not unto us. But 
such is the mercy of our good God, that he leaveth 
not with a little, but he heapeth reason upon reason, 
and addeth motive unto motive, and rather than he 
will not prevail with us, he will do with us as we do 
with little children, by most great and precious 
promises, he will persuade us unto that he requireth 
of us. Oh let us take heed how we hearken not unto 
the voice of so good and gracious a God. 

2. Hence I note the dulness of our minds unto 
every good motion of the Spirit, unless the Lord do, 
as it were, draw us with the cords of love, and even 
force us, by multiplying his mercies towards us. There 
must be precept unto precept, line unto line, reason 
unto reason, and after all this, promise or hope of 
reward ; or else, be the motion never so good, yet we 
will not hearken unto it. Unto pride and vain-glory, 
unto contention and oppressing one of another, we run 
apace, and need no spur to set us forward ; nay, not 
any reason here shall rule us, but run we will after 
our own unbridled affections. But to prevail with us 
to put on tender mercy, kindness, meekness, humble- 
ness of mind, to persuade us to be courteous one unto 
another, and to submit ourselves one unto another, 
there must be exhortation upon exhortation, the ex- 
ample of Christ Jesus must be proposed unto us, and 
besides all this, there must be certain hope of glory 
after humility ; and well if all this can persuade us 
unto humbleness and lowliness of mind ; such is our 
backwardness, and so slow are we to hearken unto the 
things that belong unto our peace. We should love 
cur God, even for himself, because he is good, and 
goodness itself; we should keep his commandments, 
because they are his, and good and righteous alto- 
gether; we should embrace humility, because we 
should be conformable to the image of Christ Jesus. 
But to stir up our slackness and dulness unto these 
and the like duties, he hath given us most great and 
precious promises, and assured us that the perform- 
ance of these duties shall not be in vain in the Lord. 
Let us not still harden our hearts, as in the day of 
slaughter ; let us not still stop our ears at the voice 
of the charmer, charm he never so wisely ; but if 
nothing else will prevail with us, yet let his promises 
persuade us unto our duties, and let the sure hope of 
glory stir us up unto humility. 

3. Hence I note, that the high way to be exalted 
into glory is to deck ourselves inwardly with lowliness 
of mind ; which is not only proved by this example 
of our Saviour, the consequent of whose humility was 
an eternal weight of glory, as here we see, but by 



many other places of Scripture more. Our Saviour 
Christ saith, ' Whosoever exalteth himself shall be 
brought low, and whosoever humbleth himself shall 
be exalted.' Solomon saith, Prov. xxii. 4, ' The re- 
ward of humility, and the fear of God, is riches, and 
glory, and life.' And in another place, chap. xv. 33, 
' The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom, 
and before honour goeth humility.' The reason is 
given by the same Solomon in another proverb, chap. 
iii. 34, where he thus saith, ' with the scornful the 
Lord scorneth, but he giveth grace unto the humble ; ' 
which the apostles Paul, Peter, and James, doth thus 
read, ' God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to 
the humble.' How humble and lowly-minded David 
and Solomon were, the Scriptures do witness ; as also 
how high the Lord exalted the throne of their glory. 
The like might be said of many others mentioned in 
holy Scriptures, which I willingly now pass over, be- 
cause I have heretofore pressed this point. Only, in 
a word, with Saint James, I exhort you to ' cast your- 
selves down before the Lord, and he shall lift you up.' 
' The pride of a man shall bring him low, but the 
humble in spirit shall enjoy glory,' Prov. xxix. 23. 
Swell not therefore with pride one against another, 
whatsoever blessings you have of wisdom, wealth, or 
honour, one above another. Let nothing be done 
among you through contention or vain-glory, but let 
every man, in meekness of mind, esteem others better 
than himself ; ' let the same mind be in you that was 
in Christ Jesus,' and this know for a surety, that as 
here in Christ, he was first humbled and then exalted, 
so before glory goeth lowliness and humility, Prov. 
xviii. 12. And let this suffice to be observed out of 
the original scope and drift of the apostle in these 
words. Now let us a little more nearly look into 
them, and see what further use we may make of them ; 
and first of these, where the apostle setteth down in 
general Christ his exaltation into glory, saying : 

Wherefore God hath, Sec. In which words I observe, 
1, The cause of his exaltation, or rather, the sequel of 
his cross ; 2, who exalted him; 3, in what sense he 
is said to have been exalted. Touching the first, the 
word wherefore, here used, may either signify a cause 
or a consequence, so that we may understand the 
apostle either thus, that because Christ thus humbled 
himself, and became obedient unto the death, even 
the death of the cross, therefore God highly exalted 
him ; or thus, that Christ first humbled himself, and 
tasted of the sorrows of death for us, and afterwards 
God highly exalted him. After this latter sort doth 
the apostle speak, where he saith, Heb. ii. 9, that 
Christ was ' made a little inferior to the angels, to the 
end that he might suffer death, and so was crowned 
with glory and honour.' After this latter sort doth 
Christ himself speak unto the two disciples which 
were going toward Emmaus, saying, Luke xxiv. 26, 
' Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and 
to enter into his glory ? ' In both which places the 



124 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. II. 



apostle, and our Saviour himself, speaketh of his 
crown of glory and honour as a consequence of his 
cross, not as caused by the cross ; as following his 
cross, but not as merited by his cross. And if we 
follow this sense, hence we ma} 7 gather this very pro- 
fitable lesson, tbat if we desire to reign with Christ in 
glory, then mast we be content to bear his cross in 
this life, and with him to suffer affliction in this vale 
of misery. He first 'drunk of the brook in tbe way,' 
as the prophet speaketh, Ps. ex. 7, and then he ' lift 
up his head ; ' first he had his cross, and then his 
crown ; first he did wear a crown of thorns, and then 
a crown of glory. So we, if we will be made like unto 
his image, we must suffer with him that we may be 
glorified with him ; we must, through our sufferings 
and crosses, be driven even to shed tears, if we will have 
all tears wiped from our eyes. The disciple is not 
above his master, nor the servant above his lord. As 
he hath chalked the way, so must we walk, even 
through afflictions and troubles, through sorrows and 
crosses, unto that inheritance immortal and undefiled, 
reserved in heaven for us. 

Let not, then, thy soul be troubled or cast down, 
at whatsoever trouble, sorrow, need, sickness, cross, 
or persecution. Let not loss of goods, loss of friends, 
the reproaches of the wicked, the contempt of the 
w r oiid, the misery of tby life, or all the manner of evil 
things which can be said or done against thee, for 
Christ his sake, trouble or dismay thee. Nay, in the 
midst of thy crosses and afflictions, comfort thyself 
with these things : first, afflictions and troubles are 
that strait and narrow way which leadeth unto life, for 
we ' must, through many afflictions, enter into the 
kingdom of God,' Acts xiv. 22. Secondly, by our 
sufferings and afflictions we are made like unto the 
image of Christ, who, being the Prince of our salva- 
tion, was consecrated through afflictions. Thirdly, by 
crosses and adversities, we are brought to acknowledge 
our sins unto the Lord, and to reform the wickedness 
of our ways. And therefore David said, Ps. cxix. 67, 
' It is good for me that I have been in trouble, that I 
might learn thy statutes;' and again, ver. 71, he 
saith, ' Before I was troubled, I went wrong, but now 
I keep thy word.' And the Lord, by Hosea, saith, 
' In their afflictions they will seek me diligently.' 
Fourthly, in all our afflictions Christ suffereth with 
us ; and therefore Paul calleth his afflictions which he 
suffered, by sea or land, of friends or enemies, in 
body or in spirit, the afflictions of Christ. In every 
cross he suffereth with us, and every cross sealeth his 
love unto us. Lastly, our afflictions are but for a 
little while, and after them is glory for ever : as it is 
■written, ' Heaviness may endure for a night, but joy 
cometh in the morning.' Why art thou, then, so sad, # 
thou distressed soul, and why do thoughts arise in 
thine heart '? Comfort thvself in this, that thine 
afflictions conform thee unto Christ his image, and set 
thee in the plain and right way to salvation and glory. 



Thou art chastised of the Lord, but because thou 
shouldest not be condemned with the world ; thou 
lamentest and weepest, but that Christ may wipe all 
tears from thine eyes ; thou diest with Christ, but it 
is that thou mayest live for ever ; thou here eatest the 
bread of tears, and drinkest the water of affliction, but 
the Lord hath reserved for thee life and joy for ever- 
more ; for it is a true saying, 2_Tim. ii. 11, 12, ' If we 
be dead with Christ, we shall also live with him, and 
if we suffer with Christ, we shall also reign with him.' 
And let this suffice to be noted from this sense. 

Now, if we follow the other sense, and understand 
the apostle thus, that because Christ humbled himself, 
and became obedient unto the death, even the death 
of the cross, therefore God hath highly exalted him, 
then we are further hence to note, that Christ his 
exaltation into glory for us, was not only a consequent 
of his death and passion, but his death and passion 
was a cause of his exaltation into glory for us ; so that 
by his death and passion he deserved exaltation into 
glory. I do not here dispute the question, which 
commonly hence is moved, whether Christ by his 
death and passion deserved this exaltation into glory 
for himself, or only for us, the whole tenor of the 
Scripture running thus, that Christ became man for 
us, fulfilled the law for us, was tempted for us, was 
clothed with infirmities for us, tasted of sorrows for 
us, made his soul an offering for us, died for us, rose 
again for us, and whatsoever he did, did all for us. I 
understand the apostle thus, that by his death and 
passion he merited and deserved exaltation into glory 
for us. My observation then hence is, that by the 
merits of Christ his death and passion is purchased 
salvation and glory to all them that obey him ; for 
' by his blood hath he obtained eternal redemption for 
us, and entered in once into the holy place,' that is, 
into heaven, for us, Heb. ix. 12. Yea, even by the 
merits of his death do we plead and sue for that inhe- 
ritance, immortal and undefiled, reserved in heaven 
for us, — a privilege only proper unto Christ, that by 
his sufferings he should merit at all, either for himself, 
or for others. For of all our afflictions and sufferings, 
that is to be said which Paul saith of his afflictions, 
Rom. viii. 18, ' I account,' saith he, ' that the afflic- 
tions of this present time are not worthy of the glory 
which shall be shewed unto us ; ' where the apostle 
plainly renounceth all merit of life and glory unto his- 
sufferings and afflictions. And our Saviour Christ 
likewise plainly telleth us, that when we have done 
all that we can, even all that is commanded us, we 
must say, we are unprofitable servants, we have done 
only that which was our duty to do, Luke xvii. 10. 
If, when we have done all that we can, we are unpro- 
fitable servants ; if, when we liave done all that is com- 
manded us, we have only done our duty : then what 
claim can we make by merit or desert ? Nay, if we 
look unto our merits, we shall find that ' eternal life 
is the gift of God through Jesus Christ,' and that we 



Ver. 9, 10 J 



LECTURE XXIX. 



12. ; 



have only deserved death and everlasting condemna- 
tion. For ' whosoever keepeth the whole law, and 
yet faileth in one point, he is guilty of all,' James 
ii. 10, and of the condemnation due to the breach of 
them all. Now, certain it is, that ' in many things 
we offend all,' and that our best righteousness is but 
as the menstruous cloths of a woman ; even the best 
thing that we do is stained with sin, and full of un- 
righteousness ; so that if we stand upon our own 
merits, we see we must needs perish all. We must 
then rlv from ourselves, and renouncing our own 
merits, rest ourselves wholly and only on the merits 
of Christ Jesus, by whose death and passion we have 
an entrance into glory. For his passion being the 
passion of the Son of God, was both a full satisfaction 
unto God's justice for us, and worthily deserved the 
glory which he hath purchased for us, and given unto 
us. And let this be spoken touching the sequel of 
Christ his passion, or the cause of his exaltation into 
glory. It followeth : — 

Wherefore God, &c. The second thing which hence 
I observed was, Who exalted him ? And that is here 
set down, when it is said, God hath highly exalted 
him. Christ then having humbled himself, and been 
' obedient even unto the death,' God, even the Father 
of our Lord Jesus Christ, raised him from the dead, 
and set him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 
Acts ii. 31. So David had said long before, saying, 
' Thou shalt not leave my soul in grave, neither shalt 
thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption ; ' which 
Peter avoucheth to be spoken of God raising up Jesus 
from the dead : ' To this likewise give all the Scrip- 
tures witness, that God raised up Jesus our Lord from 
the dead ;' the Father by the Son, and the Son by the 
eternal Spirit that was within him. Here then is our 
comfort, that he who hath loosed the sorrows of Christ 
his death, and raised him up by his power, will also 
give a good end unto all our troubles, and raise us up 
also by Jesus, and set us with him. Ps. xxxiv. 19, 
1 Many are the troubles of the righteous, but the Lord 
delivereth him out of all.' And if it be so, that thou 
see not the fruit of this promise in this life, but goest to 
thy grave in mourning under the cross, yet know this, 
that he which hath raised up the Lord Jesus, shall 
raise thee up also by Jesus, and set thee with him, 
and there wipe all tears from thine eyes, and cover 
thee with the garment of gladness. But withal let 
me give you this caveat : ' Let none of you suffer as 
a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evil-doer, or as a 
busy-body in other men's matters : but if any man 
suffer as a Christian,' poverty, sickness, persecution, 
imprisonment, or what cross else soever, ' let him not 
be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this behalf,' 
1 Pet. iv. 15, 16. For Christ hath also suffered 
once for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might 
bring us unto God, and God for our momentary and 
light afflictions, in that day will give us an eternal 
weight of glory. Wherefore, as the apostle doth, so 



I exhort you, ' Let him that sufft-reth,' what cross 
soever it he, ' according to the will of God, commit 
his soul to God in well-doing, as unto a faithful Crea- 
tor,' 1 Pet. iv. 19, and he that loosed the sorrows 
of death from Christ, shall give in his good time a 
good end to all his troubles. And thus much touch- 
ing the second point, to wit, who exalted him. It 
followeth : — 

Wherefore God hath also highly e .raited him. Where 
we are to see in what sense Christ is said to have been 
exalted, and not only so, but highly exalted, which 
was the third thing which I proposed hence to be 
observed. 1. Therefore Christ was exalted, when he 
was raised from the dead, when his body, which was 
sown in dishonour, was raised up in glory. 2. He was 
highly exalted, when, ascending into heaven, he was 
set in the heavenly places, ' far above all principality 
and power, and might, and domination ; and every 
name that is named, not in this world only, but also 
in that that is to come.' Thus God exalted, and 
highly exalted, Christ Jesus, whom the Jews had cru- 
cified. Here then, first, we have the testimony of the 
apostle for that point of our faith, the resurrection of 
Christ Jesus. ' He made his grave with the wicked,' 
as the prophet had prophesied, Isa. liii. 9. He was 
buried, and the pit had shut her mouth upon him, 
even the womb of the earth had enclosed him in; but 
God the third day exalted him, raising him from the 
dead, and not suffering his body to see corruption. If 
I thought it needful further to prove the resurrection 
of Christ Jesus unto you, his sundry appearances after 
he rose again from the dead, first unto Mary Magda- 
lene, then unto the two disciples that went toEmmaus, 
then to Peter, then to all the disciples together, save 
Thomas, then to all the disciples, then to more than 
five hundred brethren at once ; these, I say, his mani- 
fold appearances, and many other testimonies of holy 
Scripture, might at large prove the same unto you. 
But my desire rather now is to lesson you in such 
things, as Christ his resurrection may teach us. 

First, therefore, the resurrection of Christ Jesus 
may put us in mind of this duty, that as he was raised 
again from the grave, wherein he lay dead, unto life, so 
we ought to rise from the graves of sin, wherein we lie 
dead, unto newness and holiness of life. ' If ye be 
risen with Christ,' saith the apostle, Col. iii. 1, ' then 
seek those things which are above ;' as if he should 
have said, Christ is risen from the dead ; if you be 
risen with him, and lie rot still dead in your sins, 
then seek those things which are above. Where you 
see how the apostle putteth them in mind of Christ 
his resurrection, so to awaken them from the dead 
sleep of sin unto holiness of life. More plain to this 
purpose is that of the same apostle, where he thus 
saith, Rom. vi. 1, ' We are buried with Christ by 
baptism into his death ; that like as Christ was raised 
up from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we 
also should walk in newness of life.' In which words 



126 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. IL 



most plainly ye may see, how the apostle presseth 
the similitude of Christ his resurrection to prove that 
we ought to walk in newness of life. But in this 
place, most worthy our consideration it is, how the 
apostle maketh baptism a resemblance of Christ his 
death and resurrection, and so by an argument from 
our baptism proveth, that we ought to walk in new- 
ness of life : ' By baptism,' saith the apostle, ' we 
are buried with Christ into his death ; that as he died 
for sin, so we by the power of his death should die 
unto sin ;' again, in baptism we are baptized into 
Christ his resurrection, that as he was raised again 
from death unto life, so we should rise from sin, 
wherein we are dead, unto newness and holiness of 
life. Want you, then, motives to persuade you unto 
newness of life ? Behold Christ is risen again, behold 
we are baptized into Christ his death and resur- 
rection, therefore we ought to walk in newness of life. 
Art thou then a Christian, and yet wantest thou proof 
that thou ouohtest to walk in newness of life ? Look 
back into thy baptism ; wast thou not there visibly 
received into the church of Christ, and communion of 
God's saints ? Wast thou not there sacramentally 
adopted into the number of the sons of God ? Was 
not there thy name registered amongst the children of 
the Most High ? Didst thou not there receive press- 
money to fight under the banner of Christ Jesus ? 
Didst thou not there promise unto the Lord thy God 
in the congregation of his saints to forsake the world, 
the flesh, the devil ? Did not thy God there make a 
covenant with thee, that he would be thy God, and 
thou again with him, that thou wouldst be his child ? 
Wast thou not there sacramentally born again of 
water and of the Spirit, as at the first thou wast 
naturally born of flesh and of blood ? In a word, 
wast thou not baptized into Christ Jesus, even into 
Christ Jesus dead, and risen again from the dead '? 
Wast thou not baptized into Christ his death, that 
thou mightest die unto sin ? Wast thou not baptized 
into his resurrection, that thou mightest live unto God? 
Yes, men and brethren, if you look back into your 
baptism, ye shall find every of these things true in 
every one of you. And, therefore, we bring little 
children to be baptized, that here they may receive 
the seal of that great covenant whereby God is their 
God, and they his people, that here they may be 
visibly received into the church, adopted into the sons 
of God, registered amongst his children, and receive 
as it were press-money to fight under the banner of 
Christ Jesus against the world, the flesh, and the 
devil, that here the} 7 may be baptized into Christ 
Jesus, even into the death and resurrection of Christ 
Jesus. And want we yet a sufficient reason to per- 
suade us unto newness and holiness of life ? Surely 
we want no sufficient reason to persuade us ; but yet 
this reason is not sufficient to persuade us and pre- 
vail with us. The ministers of God may lift up their 
voices and cry daily, • Awake, thou that sleepcst, and 



stand up from the dead, and Christ shall give thee 
life,' Eph. v. 14. They may cry till their hearts bleed 
within their bodies ; nay, they may cry till the breath 
go out of their bodies, ' Know ye not that all ye that 
are baptized are baptized into Christ his death, and 
into Christ his resurrection, that ye might die unto 
sin and live unto God ?' But who doth hear ? Whose 
hearts are so pricked that they cry, ; Men and breth- 
ren, what shall we do ?' Sound a trumpet in a dead 
man's ears, he moves not, he hears not. And surely 
so dead are we in our sins, that how loud and often 
soever the trumpet of God's voice sound unto us a 
retreat from sin and wickedness unto newness and 
holiness of life, yet we hear it not, we are not at all 
moved therewith. my brethren, the very medita- 
tion of our baptism with ourselves, and the seeing of 
the same administered unto others, should sufficiently 
preach unto us mortification from dead works, and 
sanctification in holiness of life ; especially baptism, 
being so notable a resemblance of Christ his death 
and resurrection, as that it doth most lively represent 
unto us, 1, our remission of sins by the death of 
Christ, in that our souls are so cleansed by the Spirit 
from the filthiness of sin, even as the filth of the body 
is washed with water ; 2, our regeneration and new 
birth by the power of his resurrection, in that after 
the washing by the Spirit we rise again cleansed by 
the same Spirit. Let these things, men and brethren, 
sink deep into your souls. Let the meditation of 
your baptism call to your remembrance the death and 
resurrection of Christ, and let all these stir you up unto 
newness and holiness of life, that as he was exalted rising 1 
from death unto life, so ye may be exalted rising out 
of your sins to live in righteousness and true holiness. 
The second thing which Christ his resurrection may 
teach us is, that our bodies also, howsoever they be 
turned into dust, torn of beasts, or devoured of fishes, 
yet shall rise again at that day ; for his resurrection 
is a most certain and sure pledge of our resurrection, 
and therefore is he called, ' the first fruits of them that 
sleep,' 1 Cor. xv. 20, because, as in the first fruits, which 
were offered by the law, all the rest of the corn was 
sanctified, so in Christ his resurrection we have a most 
sure pledge of our resurrection. But yet this withal 
thou must note, that unless thou have part in the 
first resurrection, thou shalt never have part in the 
second, i. c. unless thou first in this life rise from sin 
in newness of life, thou shalt never rise again after 
this life into glory, but only unto everlasting condem- 
nation, which is called the second death. Unto you, 
therefore, I say, as Paul spake to the Romans, chap, 
viii. 11, 'If the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus 
from the dead dwell in you, then he that raised Christ 
from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies.' 
And by this ye know that the Spirit of Christ dwelleth 
in you, if ye mortify the deeds of the flesh by the 
Spirit, and walk after the Spirit in newness and holi- 
ness of life. Oh strive to have your second resurrec- 



Ver. 9, 10.] 



LECTURE XXX. 



127 



tion into glory assured unto you by your first resur- 
rection in newness of life. ' Blessed and holy is he 
that hath part in the first resurrection ; for on such 



the second death hath no power,' Rov. xx. C. Such 
enter not into condemnation, but have their part in 
the second resurrection. 



LECTURE XXX. 

And given him a name above every name : that at the name of Jesus should every knee how, dx\ — Philip. II. 9, 10. 



A SD given him a name, &c. Where we are not to 
-^*- understand that God gave unto Christ after his 
resurrection any new name which he had not before. 
For as before so after, and as after so before, he was 
and is called the wisdom of God, tbe power of God, 
the true light of the world, faithful and true, holy and 
just, the apostle and high priest of our profession, a 
priest after the order of Melchisedec, the Saviour of 
the world, the Prince of peace, the Mediator of the 
New Testament, the head of the church, the Lord of 
glory, Jesus Christ, the image of the Father, the Son 
of God, and God ; neither had he any name after his 
resurrection which he had not before. But by a name 
is to be understood in this place, glory, and honour, 
and majesty, and dominion over all things created, as 
the same word is elsewhere used, Eph. i. 21 ; so that, 
when it is said that ' God hath given him a name 
above every name,' the meaning is, that God, having 
raised up Christ Jesus from the dead, hath so highly 
exalted him in the heavenly places, that he hath given 
him all power both in heaven and earth, all dominion 
over all creatures whatsoever, and the same glory which 
he had with him from the beginning ; so that now he 
reigneth and ruleth with him, King over all, and blessed 
for ever. Now this power, dominion, and glory wbere- 
unto Christ Jesus after his resurrection was exalted, 
is further opened and expressed by the apostle, 1, by 
that subjection and worship which all things created 
now owe, and at length shall yield unto him, in these 
words, ' that at the name,' &c. ; 2, by that acknow- 
ledgment whereby all creatures now ought, and at 
length shall confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord, 
unto the glory of God the Father, in these words, 
' and that every tongue,' &c. The sum, then, in brief, 
of the apostle his meaning in these words is this, that 
God, having raised up Christ Jesus from the dead, 
hath crowned him with such honour and glory above 
all creatures in heaven, or in earth, or under the 
earth, that they all do, or shall bow unto him, be 
subject under his feet, and acknowledge that he who 
was cruelly, disdainfully, and despitefully handled and 
crucified, is King, and Lord, and God blessed for ever, 
unto the glory of God the Father. 

In these words, therefore, I observe four principal 
points: 1. The great honour and glory wherewithal 
Christ was crowned after his resurrection and ascen- 
sion, set down in these words, ' and given him a name,' 
&c. 2. The subjection and worship which all crea- 
tures owe, and at length shall yield unto him, set 



down as a branch and an end of his glorification in 
these words, ' that at the name,' &c. 3. The confes- 
sion and acknowledgment of all creatures, that Jesus 
Christ crucified is the Lord over all, and that all power 
belongeth to him, both in heaven and in earth, set 
down as another branch and end of his glorification 
in these words, ' and that every tongue,' &c. 4. The 
issue of the whole, which is, that the whole glorifica- 
tion of Christ redoundeth to the honour of God the 
Father, set down in these words, ' unto the glory,' &c. 
Touching the first point, viz., the great honour and 
glory wherewithal Christ was crowned after his resur- 
rection, which our apostle here signifieth by the name 
which God gave unto him above every name, the 
apostle to the Hebrews giveth most evident testimony 
thereunto, when he saith, Heb. ii. 9, ' But we see 
Jesus crowned with glory and honour, which was made 
a little inferior to the angels that he might suffer 
death;' as if the apostle should have said, that Jesus, 
which in no sort took on him the nature of angels, but 
the nature of man, even flesh and blood, and mortality, 
to the end that he might suffer death for our sins, he 
now being raised from the dead is crowned with hon- 
our and glory, even unto him is given the excellency 
of all dignity, far above all things created whatsoever. 
The same also is further confirmed by the testimony 
of our apostle to the Ephesians, where he saith, Eph. 
i. 20, 21, ' That God raised up Christ Jesus from the 
dead, and set him at his right hand in the heavenly 
places, far above all principality, and power, and 
might, and domination, and every name that is named, 
not in this world only, but also in that that is to come,' 
&c. ; where the apostle most plainly sheweth how 
highly Christ was exalted above all creatures whatso- 
ever, after that God had raised him from the dead. 
Now, if ye ask me what was that majesty and excel- 
lence of dignity whereunto Christ was exalted after 
his resurrection, I answer that it was that glory where- 
withal Christ, before his passion, prayed to be glorified, 
when he thus prayed, John xvii. 5, • Glorify me thou, 
Father, with thine own self, with the glory which I 
had with thee before the world was.' The glory, then, 
whereunto Christ was exalted after his resurrection 
was his own glory, that glory which he had before his 
incarnation, even before the world was, with his 
Father ; that glory which he had when, being in tbe 
form of God, he •thought it no robbery to be equal 
with Col. For we know that he was heard in all 
things for which he prayed of the Father; so thai, 



128 



AIRAT OX THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. IL 



having prayed for that glory which he had from the 
beginning with the Father, the glory wherennto he 
was exalted was his own glory which he had with the 
Father from the beginning. Now, if ye ask me again 
what glory this was which he had with the Father 
from the beginning, I answer that it was all power 
both in heaven and in earth. For so our Saviour 
himself after his resurrection from the dead said, say- 
ing, Mat. xxviii. 18, ' All power is given unto me in 
heaven and in earth ;' where, by all power is meant, 
all authority, all sovereignty over all things created, 
both in heaven and earth : so that both the angels are 
his ministering spirits, and with his word he com- 
mandeth the foul spirits, and they obey him, and of 
all men it is true, that unto one he saith Go, and he 
goeth, and to another Come, and he cometh. Thus, 
then, it appeareth that Christ, after his resurrection, 
both was highly exalted unto all honour and glory, 
and that his glory was and is that absolute lordship 
and sovereignty which he hath over all creatures in 
heaven and in earth ; yea, he was exalted unto that 
glory which he had with the Father before the world 
was. If now again it be demanded whether Christ 
were exalted unto his glory and dignity according to 
both his natures, both his Godhead and his manhood, 
I answer, according to both. According to his God- 
head, not as it is considered in itself, but inasmuch 
as his Godhead, which from his birth unto his death 
did little shew itself, after his resurrection was made 
manifest in his manhood ; for, as the apostle saith, 
Horn. i. 4, ' He was declared mightily to be the Son 
of God by the resurrection from the dead :' even by 
the resurrection, and after his resurrection from the 
dead, he, which was thought only to be man, was 
most plainly manifested likewise to be God. Now, 
as touching his manhood, he was therein exalted unto 
highest majesty in the heavenly places, not only shak- 
ing off all infirmities of man's nature, but also being 
beautified and adorned with all qualities of glory, both 
in his soul and in his body, yet so that he still retaineth 
the properties of a true body ; for even as he was man 
he was set at the right hand of the Father, to rule 
and reign over all, till all his enemies be destroyed and 
put under his feet. To knit up all in a word, Christ, 
God and man, after his resurrection, was cx*owned 
with glory and honour, even such as plainly shewed 
him to be God, and was set on the throne of God, 
there to rule and reign as sovereign Lord and King, 
till he come in the clouds to judge both quick and 
dead. 

Here, then, is both matter of comfort and con- 
solation unto the godly, and likewise of fear and 
astonishment unto the wicked and ungodly. For 
therefore is he ascended into heaven, even to prepare a 
place for us, that where he is there may we be also ; for 
so himself speaketh, John xiv. 2. And therefore is he 
exalted far above all men and angels, as in all fulness of 
gifts and graces, so in glory and majesty, that he may 



succour us in all our miseries, and help us in all dan- 
gers. Whatsoever infirmities we have, whatsoever 
persecutions we suffer, whatsoever crosses we endure, 
we need not be dismayed or troubled. For Christ 
Jesus, who bore our infirmities, whom the high priests, 
scribes, and pharisees, and all the Jews persecuted 
unto the death, who endured the cross and despised 
the shame, is exalted unto the highest glory for us, 
and both is able to succour us and will not suffer us 
to perish. If Christ had not overcome death, and 
sin, and the world, and the devil ; nay, if he had not, 
as a most triumphant king, led captivity captive, and 
so crushed them, that though they would yet they 
cinnot hurt us ; nay, if he did not now, as Lord and 
King, so bridle their rage that they cannot prevail 
against us : then might we well fear death, and sin, 
and the world, and the devil. But now that he hath 
overcome all these, and ruleth all things henceforth 
with his mighty power, so that one hair of our heads 
cannot fall away without his heavenly will, and nothing 
can touch us but as he giveth leave, what care of 
death, what danger of sin, what care of the world, 
what care of the devil ? Let death draw out his sharp 
arrows against us, let sin assault us and seek to tyran- 
nize over us, let the world hate us and band them- 
selves against us, let the devil rage and lay what 
battery he can against us, our King and our God 
which dwelleth in heaven he laugheth them to scorn, 
and our Lord hath them in derision. He saith unto 
them, ' Touch not my chosen, and do my children 
no harm.' He setteth them their bounds which they 
cannot pass, and he limiteth their power even as it 
best pleaseth him. And therefore death shall not 
deadly wound us, but only transport us unto a life" 
that lasteth ever ; sin shall not tempt us above that 
we be able, but together with the temptation we shall 
have the issue that we may be able to bear it ; the 
world and wicked instruments of Satan shall either 
not at all prevail against us, or no farther than shall 
be for God's glory and our good ; neither shall the 
devil, rage he never so horribly, be able to stir ever 
a whit farther than the links of his chain shall be 
loosed unto him. When Solomon was anointed king 
over Israel instead of David his father, it is said that 
' all the people came after him, that they piped with 
pipes, and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth 
rang with the sound of them,' 1 Kings i. 40. Shall 
the people of Israel thus rejoice at the crowning of 
Solomon, and shall not we much more rejoice whenas 
Christ Jesus is placed in heaven at the right hand of 
his Father, and hath the everlasting sceptre of his 
kingdom put into his hand ? Shall not our souls be 
filled with joy and gladness for the crown of his glory 
and honour, which is the Prince of our peace, and 
the strong Rock of our salvation ? Surely the apostle 
so rejoiced in this crown of his glory, that he bid 
defiance imto condemnation, and whatsoever accusa- 
tion could be laid against him : ' Who shall lay any- 



Ver. 9, 10.] 



LECTURE XXX. 



129 



thing,' saith he, Rom. viii. 33, 34, ' unto the charge 
of God's chosen? it is God that justifieth. "Who 
shall condemn ? it is Christ which is dead, yea, or 
rather which is risen again, who is also at the right 
hand of God, and maketh request for us,' &c. ; where 
ye see plainly how the apostle, upon the ground of 
Christ his death, or rather upon the ground of that 
crown of glory whereunto Christ was exalted after his 
resurrection from the dead, henceforth feareth neither 
accusation, nor condemnation, nor whatsoever can be 
laid unto his charge. And as the apostle doth, so all 
the children of Christ his kingdom may bid defiance 
unto accusation and condemnation, and whatsoever 
can be laid unto their charge, now that Christ sitteth 
at the right hand of God to make intercession for us. 
The Lord is King, the earth may be glad thereof ; he 
is great in Sion, and high above all people. ' Let 
the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad ; let the 
sea roar, and all that therein is. Thou that dwellest 
under the defence of the Most High, and abidest 
under the shadow of the Almighty, say unto the 
Lord,' &c, Ps. xci. 1—3, &c. 

Now, as this sovereignty of power, and excellency 
of dignity, whereunto Christ was exalted after his 
resurrection, may be matter of comfort and consola- 
tion unto the godly, so may it be a matter of fear and 
astonishment unto the wicked and ungodly. For ' he 
shall bruise his enemies with a rod of iron, and break 
them in pieces like a potter's vessel,' Ps. ii. 9. He 
shall even deal with them as Joshua dealt with the 
five kings that were hid in the cave, he shall tread 
them under feet, and make a slaughter not so much 
of their bodies as of their souls. For as his exalta- 
tion into that glory is for the good of his church and 
faithful people, so is it for the confusion and utter 
destruction of his enemies. For it is a righteous 
thing with him to recompense tribulation to them 
which trouble his children, and to give rest to his 
children which are troubled. Yea, but what doth 
this touch us ? These judgments we need not to fear ; 
we are no enemies to Christ, we are Christians, and we 
are baptized into his name. True it is we are Christians, 
and baptized into Christ his name, and therefore we 
should die unto sin, and live unto God. But yet 
see, for all this, whether many of us be not enemies 
unto Christ. ' Those mine enemies,' saith Christ him- 
self, Luke xix. 27, ' that would not that I should reign 
over them, bring them hither, and slay them before 
me ; ' where again ye hear the peremptory sentence 
of death and destruction unto those that are Christ 
his enemies. But who are enemies to Christ, let 
Christ himself tell us. ' Those mine enemies,' saith 
he, ' that would not that I should reign over them.' 
They, then, are enemies unto Christ which would not 
have Christ to reign over them. Yea, but we are all 
very willing that Christ should reign over us. Look 
then, I beseech you, whether all of us submit our- 
selves to the sceptre of his kingdom, even to the rule 



of his most sacred and holy word, to be ruled and 
guided thereby in our whole life. For if we do not 
submit ourselves thereunto, to be ruled thereby, we 
are, in deed and in truth, of those that would not have 
Christ to reign over them, whatsoever outward profes- 
sion we make otherwise. Do we, then, all of us submit 
ourselves to the sceptre of his kingdom, to be ruled 
by his holy word ? Are there not some who seldom, 
or not at all, present themselves in the great congrega- 
tion, to hear the wholesome word of truth, that they 
might receive instruction thereby ; who refuse to hear 
the Lord speaking unto them in his holy word, and 
loathe this heavenly manna which is the food of our 
souls ? I mean the recusant, who, refusing to come 
to these holy assemblies to hear the word preached, 
which God hath ordained to be the ordinary means 
of our salvation, submitting not himself to the sceptre 
of Christ his kingdom, but in effect saith of Chri-t, 
' We will not have this man to reign over us.' Again, 
are there not some who, though they come to hear 
the word preached, yet are so hardened in their sins, 
that they are not at all softened with the hammer of 
God's word, but rather are like unto the smith's anvil, 
which, the more it is beaten with the hammer, the 
harder it is ? I speak not now of such as only come 
for fashion's sake, or such as think the} 7 sit on thorns 
when they sit at a sermon, especially if it be any 
longer than they desire ; or such as whose thoughts 
are wandering up and down upon their profits, or 
their pleasures, or the like, and attend but little unto 
the word preached ; or such as hang down their heads 
and fall to sleep while the Lord is knocking at the 
door of their hearts and ears by the ministry of his 
servants ; such might, and should learn so to assemble 
themselves in the house of God, as Cornelius and his 
kinsmen, and friends, and family assembled themselves 
when Peter came to preach unto them : • We are all 
here present before God,' saith Cornelius, Acts x. 33, 
' to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.' 
So they might and should learn that here they are 
present before God, to hear and learn all things that are 
commanded them of God, and therefore that here they 
should be reverent, diligent, and careful to hear that 
which is preached and taught out of the holy word. 
But I say I speak not now of such ; but I speak of 
such as suffer sin to reign in their mortal bodies, and 
obey it in the lusts thereof, notwithstanding that they 
be rebuked of their sins out of the holy book of God. 
I demand, then, hath the covetous man left off to be 
covetous ; hath the drunkard left off to be drunk ; 
hath the thief left off to steal ; hath the whoremonger 
left off to delight in strange flesh ; hath the liar left 
off to lie ; hath the blasphemer and swearer left off to 
blaspheme and swear ; because it is written that 
neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor 
wantons, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, 
nor blasphemers, nor liars, shall inherit the kingdom 
of God ? What turning unto God is there from any 



130 



AIEAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. II. 



sin whereof we have been reproved by a true and an 
unfeigned repentance of the same sin ? Nay, doth 
not every man go forward in his sin without remorse, 
be the book of God never so wide opened against 
it ? And can we say that we submit ourselves to the 
sceptre of Christ his kingdom, while we yield ourselves 
servants unto sin, and suffer it to reign in our mortal 
bodies? Nay, certainly, men and brethren, if, when we 
hear our sins plainly rebuked out of the word, we not- 
withstanding walk on in our sins, and reform not tbe 
wickedness of our ways, we do in effect sa}' unto 
Christ, We will not have thee to reign over us, and so 
by our Saviour his own testimony we are enemies to 
him ; and what then remaincth but that he bruise 
them with a rod of iron, and break them in pieces 
like a potter's vessel ? Beware, therefore, men and 
brethren, how ye still barden your hearts, when the 
Lord hath so directed tbe tongue of the preacher, 
that your own conscience tells you he hath rightly- 
hit you, and noted your sin. It is a fearful thing 
to fall into the hands of the living God, for he is 
a consuming fire, and rendereth vengeance unto all 
them that know not him, and which obey not his 
gospel. And thus ye see w 7 ith what honour and glory 
Christ was crowned after his resurrection, as also 
what matter of comfort and consolation this may be 
unto the godly, and contrariwise what fear and 
astonishment unto the wicked and ungodly. It fol- 
loweth that in the next place we speak of that sub- 
jection and worship which all creatures owe, and at 
length shall yield unto Christ thus exalted, which is 
a branch of Christ his gloiy, and set clown here as an 
end of his glorification, in these words, ' That at the 
name of Jesus,' &c. 

Where by the name of Jesus, we are not to under- 
stand the bare name of Jesus, as though it had the 
virtue in it to drive away devils, or as though at the 
very sound of it all were to bow their knees ; for at 
the name of Saviour, which is the same with Jesus, 
none boweth, and the name of Christ, of Emmanuel, 
of the Son of God, of God, are names no less precious 
and glorious than is the name of Jesus. True it is, 
that bowing of the knee at the name of Jesus is a 
custom which hath been much used, and may with- 
out offence be retained, when the mind is free from 
superstition; but to bow and kneel at the very sound of 
the name, when we only hear the name of Jesus sound- 
ing in our ears, but know not what the name meaneth, 
savoureth of superstition. By bowing the knee, the 
apostle here meaneth that subjection and worship 
which all creatures ought continually to perform, and 
which all creatures shall perform to Christ in that day, 
some willingly and cheerfully, as holy men and angels, 
some unwillingly and to their confusion, as the devils, 
and wicked men his instruments, for so the Lord by 
his prophet useth the same phrase of speech, where 
he saith, Isa. xlv. 23, ' Every knee shall bow unto 
me,' that is, shall be subject to me, and worship me. 



Here, then, is a duty prescribed, necessarily to be 
performed of every Christian, which is to glorify him 
who is exalted into the height of glory, both in our 
bodies and in our spirits, to worship him with holy 
worship, to subject ourselves unto him in all obedi- 
ence unto his heavenly will ; for ' worthy is the Lamb 
that was killed, to receive all power, andvvisdom, and 
strength, and honour, and glory, and praise,' Kev. 
v. 12. The angels in heaven they glorify the name 
of Jesus, in that they are always ready to execute his 
will, and to do whatsoever he commandeth them, 
whereupon they are called ' ministering spirits, sent 
forth to minister for their sakes which shall be heirs 
of salvation,' Heb. i. 14. This also is that holy wor- 
ship wherewith we ought to worship him and to 
glorify his name, even to be hearers and doers of his 
word, to obey his will, to walk in his laws, and to 
keep his commandments. Not the bare and outward 
capping and kneeling at the name of Jesus, but prin- 
cipally obedience unto his will, that is named, is the 
honour which here he accepteth of us. For as ' not 
every one that saith unto him, Lord, Lord, shall 
enter into his kingdom,' so not everyone that boweth 
at the name of Jesus shall enter into his kingdom, 
but he that doth his will, and walketh in his ways. 
Saul, when he w T as sent to slay the Amalekites, thought 
to honour God greatly by sparing the best of the 
sheep and of the oxen to sacrifice unto him. But it 
was said unto him, 1 Sam. xv. 22, ' Hath the Lord 
as great pleasure in burnt-offerings and sacrifices as 
when his voice is obeyed ? Behold, to obey is better 
than sacrifice, and to hearken is better than the fat of 
rams.' So you haply may think you honour our 
blessed Saviour greatly when ye bow yourselves at 
every sound of his name ; but behold, to obey his 
will is better than capping and kneeling, or all out- 
ward ceremonies whatsoever. Yet mistake me not, 
I beseech you, as though I thought that the names 
of Jesus, of Christ, of the Lord, of God, of the Father, 
of the Son, or of the Holy Ghost, were names of ordi- 
nary account and reckonings, or to be passed over 
without reverence, as other names. Nay, whenso- 
ever we hear, or speak, or think of them, we are to 
reverence the majesty of God signified thereby ; and 
fearful it may be to them that think or speak of them 
profanely, or lightly, or upon each light and trifling 
occasion, or otherwise than without great reverence 
and fear, that the Lord will not hold him guiltless. 
But this I say, that neither the sound of these 
syllables of Jesus, nor the name of Jesus, should 
affect us more than any other names of Christ, as 
though there lay some virtue in the bare word ; but 
whensoever we hear, or think, or speak of him, we 
are to reverence his majesty, and in the reverent fear 
of his name, to subject ourselves unto his will. This 
is a part of that duty whereby we must glorify 
Christ Jesus. 

Men and brethren, let us at length look at it. He 



Ver. 10,11.] 



LECTURE XXXT. 



131 



that shall come, will come, and will not tarry, We 
pray daily, ' Thy will be clone in earth as it is in 
heaven,' but it is but lip-labour. The angels in 
heaven are always ready to execute his will ; but on 
earth we follow our own wills, and walk in the 
ways of our own hearts. We regard not to walk in 
the way of the Lord, or to hearken to the words of 
his mouth ; we will not obey ; we will not incline 
our ear, but we will go after the counsels and stub- 
bornness of our wicked hearts. Well, ' rebellion is 
as the sin of witchcraft,' 1 Sam. xv. 23, ' and trans- 



gression is wickedness and idolatry.' Take heed, and 
put not off from day to day. Come and learn to 
know the Lord his will, and be not forgetful hearers, 
but doers of the word. If we now serve him and do 
his will, we shall afterwards reign with him ; but he 
that now will not be subject unto his will, let him 
know that we shall all appear before the judgment- 
seat of Christ, and then every knee shall bow unto 
him. Blessed are they that hear the word of God, 
and live thereafter. 



LECTURE XXXI. 

That at the name of Jesus should every knee bow, both of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under, 

cCc— Philip. II. 10, 11. 



NOW before we proceed unto the next point in the 
words following, one or two doubts arising from 
these words are first to be resolved and answered. 
The apostle saith that God hath given unto Christ, 
being raised from the dead, ' a name above every 
name : that at the name of Jesus should every knee 
bow,' &c, that is, that all creatures should be subject 
unto him, and worship him. Here, then it may be 
doubted and demanded, how is it that all creatures 
are not subject unto Christ, that all creatures do not 
worship him '? For not only the devils in hell, but like- 
wise many wicked men, instruments of Satan here on 
earth, are so far from being subject unto him, that 
they are sworn enemies unto him, and to his kingdom, 
and swell and rage against him, some against him in 
his own person, and all against him in his members here 
on earth. True it is, indeed, that Christ hath many ene- 
mies, which are not subject unto him, nor worship him, 
' for he must reign,' as saith the apostle, 1 Cor. xv. 25, 
 till he have put all his enemies under his feet.' where 
the apostle plainly implieth that Christ hath and shall 
have enemies, which will not be subject unto him and 
worship him, even till such time as he shall deliver up 
his kingdom to his Father, that is, even till he shall 
come in the last and great day to judge both the quick 
and the dead in his second coming. Yea, and it is 
for the glory of his kingdom that still there be ene- 
mies unto his kingdom, that so he may be glorified 
both by the victory which he giveth unto his saints 
here on earth over these enemies, and likewise by the 
victory which himself shall have over them in that 
day, when their faces shall gather blackness and dark- 
ness before him, and when he shall adjudge them 
unto that ' Tophet prepared of old, the burning 
whereof is fire and much wood, and the breath of the 
Lord, like a river of brimstone, doth kindle it,' as the 
prophet speaketh, Isa. xxx. 33. But to answer unto 
the question, how it is that all creatures are not sub- 
ject unto Christ, and worship him, seeing God hath 
given him such a name, even such honour and glory 



above all creatures, that all creatures should bow at 
his name, and be subject unto him, I answer, first, 
that all creatures ought to bow at his name, and to 
be subject unto him, even all the powers of darkness, 
and all such then* slaves as have sold themselves to 
work wickedness in this life, ought to bow unto him, 
and to worship him. For that law which afterwards 
was given by Moses unto man to keep, ' Thou shalt 
fear the Lord thy God, and serve him,' Deut. vi. 13, 
was no doubt in the beginning a law both to men and 
angels, and still continues to be a law, whereby not 
men alone, but men, and angels, and infernal spirits, 
are bound to fear and serve him, to worship and obey 
him, even with holy worship ; and therefore is the 
judgment and condemnation of all them most just 
who do not obey him that they might be saved. 

Secondly, unto the question I answer, that all crea- 
tures now are subject unto him, so that unto whom 
he saith, Go, he goeth, and unto whom he saith, Come, 
he cometh, and otherwise they stir not, nor can- 
not. The devil himself toueheth not, nor can touch, 
either Job, his substance, or his children, or himself, 
till he give leave, and then no further than he giveth 
leave, Job i. 12, ii. G. Nay, he cannot enter into the 
herd of swine till he give leave, Mark v. 13. He 
hisseth for the fly that is at the uttermost parts of the 
floods of Egypt, and for the bee which is in the land 
of Ashur, as the prophet speaketh, Isa. vii. 18, 19, 
and then they come and light in all the desolate valleys, 
and in the holes of the rocks, and upon all thorny 
places, and upon all bushy places; that is, he bringeth 
the Egyptians and the Assyrians upon the land of 
Judah, and they come, and they lay the land waste 
without an inhabitant. And every enemy that in- 
vadeth any land, he is but the rod of the Lord his 
wrath, and the staff of his indignation, neither can 
this rod strike but where and as he will. The famine 
which drieth the bones, and fainteth the soul, the 
pestilence that walketh in the darkness, and destroyeth 
at the noon day, the sword that devoureth one as well 



152 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. II. 



as another, and all alike, these messengers of his 
wrath are sent by him for our sins, and they come ; 
when he saith unto then, Go, they go, and when he 
calleth them back, they return. The like may be said 
even of sin and of death. Sin reigneth not, nor can- 
not, but in the children of disobedience. Death 
woundeth not deadly, nor cannot, but only the vessels 
of wrath and eternal destruction. And of all things 
in general this is true, that all things are so subject 
unto Christ, that if he say, ' Hurt not the sea, nor the 
earth, nor the trees,' Rev. vii. 3, none can hurt the 
earth, or the sea, or the trees ; aud if he say to the 
seven angels, ' Go your ways, and pour out the seven 
vials of the wrath of God upon the earth,' chap, 
xvi. 1, 2, then they pour them out upon the earth; 
that is, if he say, Touch not my children, then nothing 
can harm them ; and if he say, Let the ungodly of the 
earth come to an end, then they are as dust which the 
wind scattereth from the face of the earth. As he 
saith, so is it done, and all things are thus subject 
unto him ; subject, I say, unto him, not by any 
voluntary subjection, whereby they worship and 
honour him, and submit themselves unto him, but 
subject unto him, so that though they would, yet 
they cannot but do his will, howsoever they do it not 
to do bib will, but only to work their own malice. 

Lastly, unto the question I answer, that in the last 
and great day, when Christ shall descend from heaven 
with a shout, and with the voice of the archangel, and 
with the trumpet of God, when ' the heavens shall 
pass away with a noise, and the elements shall melt 
with heat, and the earth, with the works that are 
therein, shall be burnt up,' then shall every knee bow 
unto him, then shall all creatures be subject unto him. 
' The sea shall give up her dead which were in her, 
and death and the grave shall deliver up the dead 
which were in them ; all nations shall be gathered 
together, and all shall appear before the judgment- 
seat of Christ, to receive according to that they have 
done, whether it be good or evil.' Then the kings of 
the earth, which made flesh their arm ; then the rich 
and covetous men of the world, which made the wedge 
of gold their god; then the whoremongers, murderers, 
idolaters, sorcerers, blasphemers, and liars ; then those 
churlish Nabals, and unmerciful men which have not 
fed, nor clothed, nor visited, nor lodged Christ in his 
poor members; then those that rebelliously have 
murmured against God for poverty, sickness, or what 
cross else soever, shall say to the hills, Cover us, and 
to the rocks, Fall upon us, and hide us from the pre- 
sence of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the 
wrath of the Lamb. But it shall be to no purpose, 
for all shall stand before him, and fall clown before 
him. The redeemed of the Lord shall fall down be- 
fore him and worship him, and willingly subject them- 
selves unto him, as unto their Lord and their God. 
The wicked, and Satan himself, shall iall down before 
him, and be forced to be subject under his feet, and 



to yield to that last sentence as most just, ' Depart 
from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, which is pre- 
pared for the devil and his angels.' And then, ' when 
all things are put down under his feet, he shall deliver 
up the kingdom to God, even the Father, that God 
may be all in all.' Unto the question, then, how it 
is that all creatures are not subject unto Christ, seeing 
God hath given him such a name, and crowned him 
with such honour and glory, that all creatures should 
bow unto him, and be subject unto him ? the answer 
is, 1, that all creatures, even all absolutely, ought to 
bow at his name, and to be subject unto him. 2. That 
even the wicked and ungodly of the earth, and all the 
powers of darkness are now so subject unto him, that 
though they would, yet they can do nothing but what 
his will is. 3. That in the last and great day, all 
creatures, even all absolutely, shall be subject unto 
him, holy men and angels willingly subjecting them- 
selves unto him, and worshipping him ; and all the 
rest, though unwillingly, subjecting themselves unto 
him, and to their final judgment, as just in itself unto 
them, and from a most just God. 

By the first answer we are instructed in a necessary 
duty, which is, that we ought to be subject unto 
Christ in obedience unto his heavenly will, and to 
worship him with all holy worship, walking in his 
ways, and keeping his commandments. By the 
second answer we may receive exceeding comfort in 
Christ Jesus, that though the world hate us, and 
Satan seek continually like a roaring lion to devour 
us, yet they can do nothing against us but what he 
will ; they are but his rods to chastise us, and they 
shall at length be cast into the fire and burnt, but 
we shall shine as stars in heaven for ever and ever. 
By the third answer we learn quietly to repose our- 
selves in the power of his might, who shall subdue 
all his enemies under him, and give unto us a crown 
of eternal glory, but in flaming fire render vengeance 
unto them that have not obeyed his gospel. And let 
this be spoken for the clearing of the first doubt. 

Another doubt is here to be answered, touching 
that superstitious and fond fancy of purgatory, which 
some would gladly ground on these words of the 
apostle. For thus hence they reason: — Saint Paul 
saith, that unto Christ was given such a name, that 
at the name of Jesus should every knee bow, both of 
things in heaven, and things in earth, and things 
under the earth ; but the devils and the damned in 
hell are so far from bowing unto Christ, that they 
blaspheme his holy name, and gnash their teeth 
against him ; they, then, which, being under the 
earth, do bow unto Christ, must needs be those which 
worship Christ in purgatory : therefore, there is pur- 
gatory. But see, I beseech you, the vanity and fool- 
ishness of their reason, which they make for the 
upholding of this dream. The devils, say they, and 
the damned in hell, are so far from bowing unto 
Christ, that they blaspheme him, and gnash their 



Ver. 10,11.] 



LECTURE XXX T. 



133 



teeth at him ; therefore, by the things under the 
earth which bow unto Christ, must needs be meant 
the souls in purgatory. I answer: 1. That the devils 
and damned in hell, howsoever they do blaspheme 
Christ, yet they ought to bow unto him, and to be 
subject unto him, as I shewed before by that law 
which was first given unto them, and still doth bind 
them, ' Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve 
him.' And so the apostle may very well be expounded, 
that God ' hath given unto Christ a name above every 
name, that at the name of Jesus should every knee 
bow,' of duty, ' both of things in heaven,' &c. And 
then, what a poor shroud hath purgatory in this place ? 
2. I answer, that the devils do now bow unto Christ, 
and are subject unto him. Add unto the former 
proofs of this assertion, that one testimony out of 
Luke, chap, viii., where the evangelist, storying the 
deliverance of one possessed with a devil, sheweth 
most plainly how the devil, nay, many devils, — for a 
legion possessed him, — fell thrice prostrate before 
Christ, and acknowledged his power over them. 
First, saith Saint Luke the evangelist, ver. 28, the 
devil cried out and said, ' What have I to do with 
thee, Jesus, the Son of God the most high ? I beseech 
thee, torment me not.' Again, when Jesus had asked 
the devil his name, the evangelist saith, ver. 30, 
1 they besought him that he would not command them 
to go out into the deep ; ' and again, the evangelist 
saith, ' they besought him that he would suffer them 
to enter into the herd of swine feeding thereby on an 
hill ; ' where ye see how not one, but a legion of 
devils, not once, but thrice in one miracle, prostrated 
themselves unto Christ, and acknowledged his power 
over them. And shall we not think that now much 
more they do so, when Christ sitteth at the right hand 
of God in the heavenly places ? Yes, Saint James 
tells us that 'they fear and tremble,' chap. ii. 19. 
A servile fear they are in, and unwillingly they are 
subject unto him, howsoever they do blaspheme him. 
False, therefore, is it when they say, that the devils 
bow not unto him. 3. I answer, that the devils shall 
be subject unto him in that great and last day ; and 
so the apostle may be understood, and then what help 
here for purgatory ? For thus I understand the 
apostle : — ' God hath given unto Christ a name above 
every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee 
should bow,' now of duty, and shall bow then in that 
day, some willingly and some unwillingly ; both 
which being truly affirmed even of the devils, inas- 
much as now they ought, and in that day they shall 
bow and be subject unto him, though unwillingly, 
what need is there to understand this place of the 
souls in purgatory ? Lastly, the Rhemists note no 
such thing upon this place, which yet they would 
have done if it had made aught for that purpose ; 
and Bellarmine quite disclaimeth it, understanding by 
things under the earth, the devils in hell, which, as I 
have said, now ought, and in that great day shall bow 



and be subject unto him. And, indeed, the whole 
tale of popish purgatory is a mere dream, having no 
ground at all, either in this or in any other place of 
Scripture, but is so contrary thereunto as nothing 
more. • It is the blood of Christ Jesus that purgeth 
and cleanseth us from all sin,' 1 John i. 7, it is not 
any purging fire which doth it or can do it after this 
life. Nay, after this life there is but heaven or hell : 
heaven for them that die in the Lord, for ' blessed are 
the dead that die in the Lord : even so, saith the Spirit, 
they rest from their labours ; and their works follow 
them,' Rev. xiv. 13; and hell for the wicked and 
such as forget God, for that is their portion, prepared 
for them of old with the devil and his angels. Thus 
having cleared these words of the apostle from these 
doubts, it remaineth that now we proceed in that 
which followeth in the apostle. It followeth therefore, 

And that every tongue should confess, &c. We have 
heard of the subjection of all creatures unto Christ 
Jesus, set down by the apostle as a branch of his 
glory, and an end of his glorification. Now, in these 
words the apostle setteth down another branch of 
Christ his glory, which is the confession and acknow- 
ledgment of all creatures that Jesus Christ is the 
Lord, and sole right commander in heaven and earth; 
for as every knee shall bow unto him, so every tongue 
shall confess him, God having given him a name 
above every name, that every knee should bow unto 
him, and that every tongue should confess him to be 
Lord and sovereign King. By every tongue, the 
apostle meaneth not only all nations and languages in 
the world whatsoever, but every tongue both of things 
in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the 
earth ; not that things in heaven or things under the 
earth have tongues, as neither they have knees, but 
as there in the former words, by every knee both of 
things in heaven, and things in earth, and things 
under the earth, is meant all creatures, so here imthese 
words, by ' every tongue of things in heaven, and 
things in earth, and things under the earth,' is meant 
all creatures. When it is added, ' that every tongue 
should confess,' the apostle thereby sheweth both 
what all creatures still ought to do, and also what all 
creatures shall do in that last and great day. For his 
meaning is, that all creatures ought still to confess, 
and at the last shall confess, that Jesus Christ is the 
Lord ; even that that Jesus which was crucified, and 
which made his grave with the wicked in his death, 
is Lord and God, and that all honour, power, and 
glory belongeth unto him. 

Here, then, we are put in mind of a duty necessarily 
to be performed of all Christians, which is, not only 
to be subject and to be obedient to Christ his will, but 
to confess likewise and acknowledge that Jesus Christ 
is the Lord. The angels and the saints in heaven, 
which stand before the throne and before the Lamb, 
clothed with long white robes and palms in their hands, 
they cry aloud, and they say, Rev. vii. 9, ' Salvation 



134 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. II. 



cometh of our Gocl that sitteth upon the throne, and 
of the Lamb ;' yea, they cease not day or night cry- 
ing and saying, ver. 12, ' Praise, and glory, and wis- 
dom, and thanks, and honour, and power, and might, 
be unto our God for evermore. Amen.' Yea, the 
powers of darkness themselves ought thus to confess 
Jesus Christ, that all power, and honour, and might 
belongeth unto him, inasmuch as they were created, 
formed, and made for his gloiy, not only to he shewed 
in then confusion, but that they might sound forth his 
praise and glory. The angels and saints in heaven, 
they do, the devils and damned in hell, they ought 
to, confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord ; and shall 
we doubt whether it be man's duty to confess that 
Jesus Christ is the Lord ? ' With the heart man be- 
lieve th unto righteousness, and with the mouth man 
confesseth to salvation,' saith the apostle, Rom. x. 
10 ; where the apostle plainly sheweth, that as faith in 
the heart, so confession in the mouth, is needful to 
salvation. The evangelist St John saith, that among 
the chief rulers of the Jews, ' many believed in Jesus 
Christ, but because of the Pharisees they did not con- 
fess him, lest they should be cast out of the syna- 
gogue,' John xii. 42. Did they believe in Christ 
Jesus, but not confess him ? In that they did not 
confess him, it is a plain argument that their faith was 
but a weak faith. Haply they begun to embrace the 
truth of Christ, and to be astonished at his miracles, 
but in that they durst not confess him, it is plain that 
they did not truly believe in him ; which is yet more 
plain by that St John farther addeth, ver. 43, ' they 
loved the praise of men more than the praise of God,' 
which preposterous love, wheresoever it is, there is 
neither the love of God indeed, nor faith in Jesus 
Christ. The apostle to Titus, chap. i. 1G, telleth us 
of some that ' profess that they know God, but by their 
works they deny him, and are abominable and dis- 
obedient, and unto every good work reprobate.' As 
before we had faith in Christ, but no confession of 
Christ, so here we have confession and profession of 
Christ, but no practice of the life of Christ ; and there- 
fore, as their faith was justly argued to be no sincere 
and sound faith, because they did not confess Christ, 
so the profession of those of whom the apostle speaketh, 
may justly be argued to be no sincere and sound pro- 
fession, because in their lives they practise not that 
whereof they make profession with their mouths. 
They seemed to have faith in Christ, but they did not 
confess Christ, and therefore they may be truly said, 
neither to have soundly believed in Christ, neither to 
have confessed Christ. These seem to profess to know 
God, but by their works they deny him ; and there- 
fore they may be truly said neither to have sincerely 
confessed Christ, neither to have practised his will. 
k Seeing, therefore, it is so, that both where Christ is 
not confessed, there Christ is not believed ; and again, 
where Christ is confessed, there many times his will 
is not practised ; very behoveful it will be for us, 



whose duty it is to confess and acknowledge before all 
men that Christ Jesus is the Lord, to see what a kind 
of confession it [is which our duty doth require of us. 
We must, then, here take heed that we do not deceive 
ourselves with a bare and naked confession of Christ 
Jesus, with a simple and outward profession of his 
name and religion, as if all were well, when by an 
outward show we had bleared the eyes of men ; or, as 
if we had then performed this duty, whereof I speak, 
as well as the best, when we have made confession of 
our faith, and said the Lord's prayer ; or, when we 
have been at the church and heard the service, and 
haply a sermon ; when we have made some fair 
weather without, howsoever all within be full of rapine, 
bribery, and excess. Nay, nay, brethren, Christ him- 
self hath told us that ' not every one that saith 
unto him, Lord, Lord, shall enter into his kingdom.' 
Nay, he hath pronounced a woe unto such hypocrites 
as ' make clean the utter side of the cup, and of the 
platter, when within they are full of bribery and ex- 
cess,' Mat. xxiii. 25 ; and he hath likened them unto 
' whited tombs, which appear beautiful outward, but 
are within full of dead men's bones, and of all filthi- 
ness,' ver. 37. It is not, then, the lip-labour of a 
bare and naked confession of Christ, it is not a simple 
and outward profession of religion, that will serve the 
turn, or is acceptable unto God ; it is not the discours- 
ing knowledge of Christ, nor the discoursing talk of 
his kingdom, winch pleaseth the Lord ; but the con- 
fession of a Christian ; and that which is here required, 
is, that out of a faith unfeigned, with our mouths we 
confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord ; and because he 
is the Lord, therefore we will not give his honour to 
another, but will ' serve him without fear, in holiness 
and in righteousness before him all the days of our 
life.' The root, then, whence our confession of Christ 
must spring, if by it we will please the Lord, is an 
unfeigned faith, for faith is it which maketh us not 
ashamed, but maketh us bold to confess our Christ in 
all places. ' I believe,' saith the prophet, ' and there- 
fore I spake ;' and most sure it is that then, and never 
but then, we do boldly and sincerely confess Christ, 
and profess his religion, when faith hath fully seized 
upon our souls, that we believe perfectly in Christ 
Jesus, for because we believe fully in him, therefore we 
boldly and freely confess him. Whosoever, therefore, 
thou art that wilt not, or darest not, confess thy Christ, 
and profess his religion, for fear of trouble or dis- 
pleasure, or alteration of the state, or any like respect; 
know this, that thy heart is not sound with thy God, and 
that this is for want of true faith in thee. Let them 
look unto this, who, for fear of a change, or for fear 
of displeasure, fear to be too forward in confessing 
Christ, and professing his name, and therefore draw 
back the shoulder, and shrink at every blast of wind. 
Now, the confession which must spring from this 
root is, that Jesus Christ is the Lord : the Lord, and 
therefore his honour not to be given to another ; the 



Ver. 10, 11.] 



LECTURE XXXI. 



135 



Lord, and therefore to be served in holiness and right- 
eousness all the days of our life. ' Thus saith God 
the Lord, even he that created the heavens, and 
spread them abroad,' &c, to wit, Christ Jesus, ' I am 
the Lord, this is my name, and my glory will I not 
give to another, neither my praise to graven images,' 
Isa. xlii. 5, 8 ; where we see how our Saviour, Christ, 
both challengeth that unto himself to be the Lord, and 
plainly avoucheth that he will not give his honour to 
another. He, then, that confesseth Jesus Christ to 
be the Lord, and yet giveth his honour unto another, 
doth only in words confess that, which in deed and in 
truth he doth deny. Let them look unto this, that 
make their prayers and supplications unto the saints 
in heaven, that worship images, crosses, or what re- 
lics soever: 1 John ii. 2, ' We have an advocate with the 
Father, Jesus Christ the just, and he is the reconcilia- 
tion for our sins.' He sitteth at the right hand of God, 
and liveth ever to make intercession for us. Whoso- 
ever, then, prayeth unto or useth the intercession of 
any other, be it saint or angel, he giveth Christ his 
glory to another ; as also he doth, who doth worship 
any other but God, and whom he hath sent, Jesus 
Christ, seeing it is said, ' Thou shalt worship the Lord 
thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.' 

He likewise that confesseth Jesus Christ to be the 
Lord, and yet serveth him not in holiness and in 
righteousness all the days of his life, his confession is 
in vain, because in deed and in truth he denieth that 
which in words he doth confess. ' A son honoureth his 
father, and a servant his master : if I, then,' saith the 
Lord by his prophet, Mai. i. 6, ' be a father, where is 
mine honour '? and if I be a master,' or a lord, ' where is 
my fears ?' Whence it is most plain, that fear and obe- 
dience to his will belongeth to the Lord. They cer- 
tainly, unto whom the Lord by his prophet thus spake, 
confessed the Lord, which they plainly afterwards 
shew, taking their reproof hardly, and saying, ' AVhere- 
in have we despised thy name '?' But because they 
feared not the Lord whom they confessed, because 
they walked not in his ways, nor kept his command- 
ments, therefore their confession was as no confession, 
the Lord regarded them not, but his wrath was kindled 
against them. This, men and brethren, is a thing 
needful for us to look unto. We would be loath so 
deeply to be charged, as not to confess Jesus Christ 
to be the Lord. But if he be the Lord, where is his 
fear ? When w T e confess Jesus Christ to be the Lord, 
we confess him to be the sole rightful commander of 
us, and ourselves to be his servants, him to have all 
power over us, and ourselves wholly to be his. What 
meaneth, then, such neglect of conforming ourselves 



according to his most holy will, and of yielding obedi- 
ence unto that daily we are taught, and which we 
know to be his will ? If we give our members as 
weapons of unrighteousness unto sin, which should 
be as weapons of righteousness unto God, whatsoever 
confession we make, we are the servants of sin, we are 
not the servants of Christ the Lord, and we are like 
to those of whom I spake before, that profess they know- 
God, but by their works do deny him. 

my brethren, if ye did indeed confess Jesus 
Christ to be the Lord, your souls would be filled with 
gladness when your mouths were filled with this con- 
fession, yea, your very hearts would be wami within 
you when your tongues were thus talking that Jesus 
Christ is the Lord ; your wills would be framed to 
his will, your feet would rejoice to come into the 
courts of his house, and to run the way of his com- 
mandments. Jesus Christ is the Lord, deny him not 
before men ; for he that shall deny him before men, 
shall be denied before the angels of God, Luke xii. 
9 ; and certainly he believeth not, that dares not con- 
fess him. Jesus Christ is the Lord ; confess him so 
to be, and give not his honour to any other, to men 
or angels, much less to stocks or stones ; confess him 
to be the Lord, and serve him in holiness and right- 
eousness all the days of your - life. This confession 
becometh the saints of God, and this is a good con- 
fession before God. And ever remember that, that 
they which will not now thus confess Jesus Christ to 
be the Lord, shall then, in that last and great day, be 
forced to confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord, when 
he shall judge his enemies on every side, and render 
to the wicked according to the wickedness of their 
ways. 

Unto the glory of God the Father. Here is the 
issue of all, even of our subjection unto Christ, and 
of our confession that Jesus Christ is the Lord. All 
this redoundeth to the glory of God the Father ; for 
' he that honoureth the Son, honoureth the Father ; 
and he that honoureth not the Son, honoureth not 
the Father,' John v. 23 ; for the Father is in the 
Son, and whatsoever is done unto the Son, is done 
also to the Father. Let us, then, so subject ourselves 
unto Jesus Christ, let us so confess him to be the 
Lord, as already we have been taught. God hath 
created us, formed us, and made us for his glory, Isa. 
xliii. 7. Seeing, then, our subjection unto Christ 
Jesus, and our confession of his glorious name in 
such sort as hath been taught, is unto the glory of 
God the Father, let us be subject unto him in all 
obedience to his will, and let us, out of an unfeigned 
faith, confess that he is the Lord, even our Lord. 



136 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. II. 



LECTUEE XXXII. 

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in mine absence, 

dc— Philip. II. 12. 



\TTHEBEFOBE, my beloved, &c. In these 
' ' words now following we have the conclusion 
of the apostle his exhortation unto the Philippians, 
set down by way of applying Christ his humility and 
obedience unto his Father unto their use and instruc- 
tion, and consequently unto ours. In this conclusion 
of the apostle his former exhortation, the apostle 
again exhorteth the Philippians, and in them us, first, 
unto humble obedience towards God, ver. 12, 13; 
secondly, unto humble and modest conversation to- 
wards our neighbour, ver. 14, 15, 16; and thirdly, 
he addeth, as a reason why he thus exhorteth them, 
the comfort and joy which they shall bring unto him 
in the day of Christ, if they so walk as he exhorteth 
them, ver. 16-18. In the first exhortation, which is 
unto humility and obedience, or humble obedience 
towards God, we have first to consider the exhortation 
itself, ver. 12 ; secondly, the reason thereof, ver. 13. 
The exhortation of the apostle unto the Philippians, 
and in them unto us, is, that we would run forward 
in the race of righteousness, which leadeth unto salva- 
tion, with all humbleness of mind, and in all obedience 
unto God ; for when the apostle saith, ' Make an end 
of your own salvation,' therein he exhorteth thus much 
in effect, that as we have begun in the Spirit, so we 
would go forward and make an end in the Spirit ; as 
we have entered the way of righteousness, which lead- 
eth unto life, so we would persevere and continue in 
the same way, and ' follow hard toward the mark for 
the price of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.' 
For by salvation the apostle here meaneth, not, as 
often elsewhere he doth, that glory and immortality 
which is laid up for us in heaven, and which is the 
end of our calling, but he meaneth the whole course 
of godliness which leadeth unto salvation, the whole 
path of a Christian life which God hath ordained us 
to walk in. So that when he saith, ' Make an end of 
your own salvation,' it is as if the apostle had said, 
Let it not seem enough unto you to have begun well, 
but continue to walk in those good works which God 
hath ordained you to walk in ; as ye have begun to 
walk in the way that leadeth unto salvation, so make 
an end therein, and run unto the end the race that is 
set before you. When the apostle addeth, ' Make an 
end of your own salvation with fear and trembling,' 
he sheweth the manner how we must run in the way of 
righteousness which is set before us, to wit, in all humble- 
ness of mind and reverence, as dutiful children, serving 
the Lord in fear, and rejoicing in him with trembling, 
as the prophet speaketh, Ps. ii. 11. Likewise, when 
he saith, ' So make an end,' &c, thereby he meaneth 
that we must run in this race of righteousness in all 



obedience unto God ; for so much is implied in the 
word so, as may appear by the coherence of this word 
with the former, whereon it doth depend. ' As ye 
have always obeyed,' saith the apostle. Whom ? To 
wit, God and his word. As ye have always obeyed 
God and his word, so, in the like obedience to God 
and his word, ' make an end of your own salvation with 
fear and trembling.' The substance, then, of the 
apostle his exhortation in this place is this, that we 
would run forward in the race of righteousness, which 
leadeth unto salvation, with all humbleness and rever- 
ence, and in all obedience unto God. 

Now, besides the substance of the exhortation, there 
are many circumstances whereby the exhortation is 
amplified and enlarged, and which are, together with 
the exhortation, to be opened and declared. To com- 
prise, then, the whole, in these words of the apostle 
I consider these points : First, the ground whereon 
the apostle doth build his exhortation, which is the 
humility and obedience of Christ, noted in the word 
wherefore ; for it is as much as if the apostle should 
have said, Seeing such was Christ his humility, and 
such his obedience, as ye have heard, therefore, my 
beloved, follow his example, and ' as ye have always 
obeyed,' &c. Secondly, the apostle his kind entreaty 
of the Philippians, so to win them to hearken to his 
exhortation, in that he calleth them his beloved, 
' Wherefore, my beloved.' 3. The apostle his com- 
mendation of then- former obedience unto God, and 
to his word, that so he might stir them up to continue 
their obedience, in these words, ' as ye have always 
obeyed,' to wit, God and his word. 4. The apostle 
his mild insinuation of a change in them, now in his 
absence from that which was before in his presence, 
in these words, ' not as in my presence only,' &c. 
5. The apostle his exhortation to run forward in the 
way of righteousness, which leadeth unto salvation, 
in these words, ' make an end,' &c. Lastly, the man- 
ner how they should run in this race, which is first in 
obedience unto God, signified in the word so, ' so 
make an end,' &c, and then with all humbleness and 
reverence, signified in these words, ' with fear and 
trembling.' These be generally the points to be ob- 
served out of these words of the apostle. Now let us 
a little more particularly look into each of them, and 
see what use we may make of them. 

Wherefore, my beloved. In this word wherefore is 
noted, as I told you, the ground whereon the apostle 
doth build the exhortation that followeth. For it is as 
much as if the apostle should thus have said, Seeing 
such was Christ his humility, and such his obedi- 
ence, as already ye have heard, therefore my beloved, 



Ver. 12.] 



LECTURE XXXII. 



137 



&c. The ground, then, of the apostle his exhortation 
unto a reverent and humble obedience towards God 
in leading a godly life, is the humility of Christ, and 
his obedience unto his Father. The observation 
hence is this, that the humility of Christ, and his 
obedience to his Father, ought to be a sufficient mo- 
tive and reason unto us, why we should run on the 
race of holiness and righteousness that is set before 
us, with all humbleness of mind, and in all obedience 
towards God. So the apostle thought when he made 
this the ground of this his exhortation ; and so our 
Saviour himself thought, as appeareth by that exhor- 
tation unto the people in the end of one of his ser- 
mons, Mat. xi. 29, ' Leam of me that I am meek and 
lowly in heart.' And great reason, men and brethren, 
why we should so think also. For wherefore was Christ 
humbled ? Was it for himself ? Nay, he might still 
have kept that glory which he had with the Father 
before the world was, and if he had not at all descended 
from the bosom of his Father, none could any way 
have impeached him for the same. For it was no 
robbery for him always to be equal with God, as our 
apostle speaketh. It was not, then, for himself that 
he was humbled, but he humbled himself for us, that 
he might save us which had lost ourselves, and that 
he might reconcile us unto God, breaking down the 
partition wall that was betwixt him and us by reason 
of our sins. So saith the apostle Paul, 1 Tim. i. 15, 
1 This is a true saying, and by all means worthy to 
be received, that Christ Jesus came into the world to 
save sinners.' And so saith St John : 1 John ii. 1, 2, 
* We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ 
the just, and he is the reconciliation of our sins.' 
Again, why was he obedient unto the Father to fulfil 
the law ? Was it for himself ? Nay, ' he never did 
any wickedness, neither was any guile found in his 
mouth,' Isa. liii. 9. It was not for himself, but for 
us, that he might redeem us which were under the 
law, and purchase righteousness for us. So saith the 
apostle, Gal. iv. 4, 5, ' God sent forth his Son, made 
of a woman, and made under the law, that he might 
redeem them which were under the law ;' and as the 
same apostle saith to the Romans, chap. viii. 4, 
' that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled 
in us.' Seeing, then, it was for us that Christ was 
humbled, and that he was obedient unto the law, and 
unto the death, great reason it is that his humilit}' 
and obedience should be a sufficient motive to per- 
suade us unto humility and obedience in the whole 
course of our life. Should it be, my brethren, a 
sufficient motive unto us ? And why is it not ? Why 
it is not I know not, but that it is not every man 
seeth it. Our high conceit of ourselves, whether it 
be of our wisdom, or of our riches, or of our honour, 
our contentions and vain glory, our delight in our own 
ways, and our neglect to walk in the ways of the Lord, 
these and the like testify unto our faces that Christ 
his humility and obedience little prevail with us to 



persuade us unto these holy duties. Oh, my brethren, 
let this be an healing of our error. So often as we 
hear or read that Christ thus humbled himself for us, 
that he became man for us, that he bare our infirmi- 
ties, that he was led as a sheep unto the slaughter for 
us, that he made his soul an offering for our sin, and 
that he made his grave with the wicked in his death for 
us, let these be so many remembrancers unto us to pluck 
down our proud peacock's feathers, to put away wrath, 
contention, pride, vain-glory, and in all meekness of 
mind to submit ourselves one unto another, and all of 
us unto our God. So often as we hear or read that 
Christ became obedient unto his Father in all things 
that the law required of him, that he fulfilled all right- 
eousness, and never gave over to do the will of his 
Father till he had tasted and drunk of death's cup, 
and all for us, let this suffice to stir us up to walk in 
all dutiful obedience unto our heavenly Father's will. 
Yea, let us thus hereupon resolve with ourselves, and 
say unto our own souls, Hath the Son of God, my 
Christ and my God, vouchsafed to descend from his 
high throne of glory, to be clothed with my flesh and 
my skin ; to suffer hunger, cold, poverty, and manifold 
temptations for me ; to be slandered, reviled, buffeted, 
spit upon, condemned, nailed on the cross, and to be 
buried for me; and shall I bear myself above my 
brethren ; shall I walk with a stiff neck, and ^disdain 
my inferiors ; or shall I not make myself equal to them 
of the lowest degree, and pass the time of my dwell- 
ing here in fear, and in all lowliness of mind '? Hath 
the Son of God, my Christ and my God, fulfilled all 
righteousness, done his Father's business, and yielded 
all obedience unto his Father for me, and shall I kick 
against him with the heels, shall I draw my neck 
from under his yoke, and refuse to walk in the ways 
of his laws, or rather, shall I not conform myself in 
all obedience to his holy will, and do that which is 
good and right in his eyes ? This use we should 
make of Christ his humility and obedience unto his 
Father, and to this end he maketh it the ground of his 
exhortation in this place. It followeth : — 

Wherefore, my beloved. The second thing which 

I observe in these words of the apostle was his kind 
and loving entreaty of the Philippians, signified in 
that he calleth them his beloved ; which kind entreaty 
of them he useth, the rather to win them to hearken 
unto his exhortation. Here, then, is a note for us 
whom God hath set apart unto the holy work of his 
ministry, to wit, that we should not only be careful 
to instruct them that hear us in the wholesome words 
of truth, but that likewise we should seek in all kind 
and loving sort to win them unto that wherein we do 
instruct them. Hereupon are those kind and love- 
some speeches so often used in the writings of the 
apostles, ' my brethren,' ' my beloved,' ' my babes," 
'my little children,' ' dearly beloved,' 'dear brethren,' 

I I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God,' and 
the like. Not to speak of other places, this one place 



138 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. II. 



of our apostle might suffice sufficiently to instruct us 
in this lesson ; where the apostle doth not only exhort 
the Philippians to walk in the way of godliness with 
humbleness of mind, and in obedience unto God, and 
strengthen his exhortation both by the example of their 
own former obedience, and by the example of Christ his 
humility and obedience, but in all kind and loving sort 
he proposeth his exhortation, calling them his beloved, 
that so he might the rather win them to hearken to 
his exhortation. For even so the dispensers of God 
his holy mysteries should not only labour in a godly 
care to teach them that hear them the words of truth 
in all evidence of the Spirit, and to confirm and 
strengthen the same out of the sacred worth of truth, 
but further, they should seek, with all kind speeches, 
and in all loving manner, to lead them forth unto the 
waters of comfort, and to bring them unto Christ Jesus. 
And here, haply, a man that should long beat upon 
this point, and enlarge it to the full, might have great 
applause in man}^ places, especially there where the 
exception against their teacher is, that he is too sharp, 
and that he presseth the judgment of God against sin 
too sore, and too vehemently. Hear, then, I beseech 
you, a lesson for you that are hearers out of this place. 
As we that are the ministers of the Lord for your 
comfort are hence taught to strive in all kind and loving 
sort to bring you unto Christ Jesus, so you that hear 
us are likewise hence to learn so to carry yourselves, 
as that we may speak unto you as unto our brethren, 
and unto our beloved. If the love of God be not in you 
indeed, how can we speak unto you as unto our be- 
loved? If you honour not God, nor keep his com- 
mandments, how can we speak unto you as unto little 
children ? If ye be not joined with us in one faith, 
and in one hope in Christ Jesus, how can we speak 
unto you as to our brethren ? Nay, I say more unto 
you, if ye know not us that labour amongst you, and 
are over you in the Lord, and admonish you ; if } t c 
have us not in singular love for our work's sake, how 
can we speak unto you as unto our beloved ? If, 
when we labour to beget you in the faith, and to pre- 
sent you before God blameless in that day, you either 
stop your ears at the voice of our charming, charm 
we never so wisely, or speak evil of us as of evil doers, 
can we speak unto } t ou as unto our babes and little 
children ? If you embrace not the truth which we 
preach unto you, but rather hate us for the message 
which we bring unto you, can we speak unto you as 
unto our dear brethren ? Nay, certainly ; if ye will 
have us to come unto you with kind speeches, and in 
all loving manner, with ' my beloved,' ' my little 
children,' 'my dear brethren,' then must ye study so 
to approve yourselves, both unto God and men, as 
that we may speak unto you as unto our beloved, unto 
our brethren, &c. Otherwise, as Christ came not unto 
all with this, ' fear not, little flock,' but unto some 
with this, ' generation of vipers, how can ye speak 
good things, when ye are evil ?' and as the apostle 



came not to all with this, ' I beseech you, brethren, 
by the mercies of God,' but unto some with this, ' O 
foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you that ye 
should not obey the truth ?' so ye must look that, as 
sometimes we come in love and in the spirit of meek- 
ness, so sometimes we should come unto you with a 
rod, and with a woe unto such as obey not the gospel 
of Christ Jesus that they may be saved. Men and 
brethren, our heart's desire is that } T e may be saved 
in the day of Christ, and we watch for your souls as 
they that must give accounts unto God for them ; 
have ye care that we may do it with joy, and not with 
grief. We are loath to come unto you with a rod ; we 
had rather come in love, and in the spirit of meekness ; 
have ye care that we may come unto you, and that 
we may speak unto you as unto our beloved. If we 
sometimes sharply reprove sin, it is for your sakes, 
that we may reclaim the sinner from wandering out 
of the right way ; and again, if sometimes we restore 
such as are fallen with the spirit of meekness, it is for 
your sakes, that we may bind up the broken-hearted, 
and minister a word of comfort unto the troubled and 
afflicted soul. Both, I mean sharpness and meekness, 
the rod and love, — both, I say, in their due places 
is needful ; and Aviso discretion in them both is most 
needful. And so I come to the third point. 

As ye have always obeyed. What ! the apostle ? in 
falling down unto him, and kissing his feet, as is now 
done unto that man of sin ? Nay, the apostle here 
commendeth their former obedience unto God, and 
unto his word, after such time as they had received the 
gospel of Christ Jesus. And this he doth to stir 
them up to continue their obedience, that as they had 
begun well, so they might now go forward as they had 
begun. Whence we are taught, that it is not enough 
to begin well, and for a time to embrace the truth, 
and to obey the gospel of Christ Jesus, and afterwards 
to quench the Spirit, and to suffer ourselves to be en- 
tangled in the tilthiness of the world ; but, having 
begun in the Spirit, we must go forward in the Spirit, 
and having begun to love and like the truth, we must 
not fall from our first love, but hold fast the same, 
and continue therein. Whereupon are those often 
exhortations in the apostles to continue in the faith, 
to continue in the grace of God, to continue in the 
things that we have learned, to hold fast the profes- 
sion of our hope without wavering, and with full 
purpose of heart to cleave unto the Lord. The rea- 
son hereof is, the school of Christ is not a school of 
idleness, or a school of non-proficiency, but the 
scholars of Christ his school they must follow the 
truth in love, and they must in all things grow up 
into him which is the head, that is, Christ, as the 
apostle sheweth, Eph. iv. 15. And therefore our 
Saviour Christ himself told the Jews that believed in 
him, saying, John viii. 31, 'If ye continue in my 
word, ye are verily my disciples, and shall know the 
truth.' They, no doubt, unto whom he spake, had 



Yer. 12.] 



LECTURE XXXir. 



139 



begun well, and had embraced the truth ; Lut he 
telleth them that if they will be his scholars they must 
continue as they have begun, and they must grow 
forward and increase in all knowledge and spiritual 
understanding : a lesson as needful to be taught in 
these our clays as any other ; for we see by our own 
experience that the word of the Lord is of such ma- 
jesty, and so powerful, that it draweth oftentimes the 
veriest miscreants that be unto a liking of it, and 
causeth them many times to do many things well. 
But, as it is in the parable of the seed in the gospel, 
Mat. xiii., some receive the word with joy, but when 
persecution comes they are offendedj; others hear the 
word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness 
of riches choke it, that it is made unfruitful ; in others, 
the evil one cometh and catcheth the word that was 
sown in their heart ; and in a great many the liking 
of the word, and the obedience thereunto, is but like 
unto a flash of lightning, come and gone again almost 
in a moment. For a day, or for a month, or haply 
for a year or two, they will hearken and obe} r , they 
will make a good show of loving and liking the word, 
and many things they will do well ; but after a while 
they will loathe this heavenly manna, and in their hearts 
return unto the flesh-pots of Egypt, or, as Peter 
speaketh, 2 Peter ii. 22, ' With the dog they will 
return unto his vomit, and with the sow unto her 
wallowing in the mire.' Men and brethren, we must 
not be like unto such men ; for, as Peter speaketh in 
the same place, ver. 21, 'it had been better for such 
men not to have known the way of righteousness, than, 
after they have known it, to turn from the holy com- 
mandment given unto them.' We must have tasted 
of the good' word of God, and-, having begun to for- 
sake the corruptions that are in the world through 
lust, continue in the grace of God, and grow forward 
from grace unto grace till we be perfect men, and 
come unto the measure of the age of the fulness of 
Christ. Having begun to have a liking of the word, 
and to desire the preaching thereof, we must take 
heed that we grow not weary of it ; but the more we 
have it, the more our souls must long after it ; and 
the more we hear it, the more w r e must grow in obedience 
unto it, to frame our lives according thereunto. We 
must not here stand at a stay, much less must we go back- 
ward ; we must go forward, and we must prick hard 
unto the mark of the high calling that is set before 
us : for in the way of godliness that is most true 
which is so common, not to go forward in that way is 
in truth to go backward. But I shall have occasion 
again to speak of this point in handling the exhorta- 
tion. 

To leave, therefore, this point ; here it may be de- 
manded how the apostle saith that the Philippians 
had always obeyed: ' As ye have always obeyed.' For 
in that the apostle cloth admonish them, every man to 
esteem other better than himself, as ver. 3, and to do 
all things without murmming and reasoning, as ver. 



14, he plainly significth that there were many faults 
amongst them, even contention, vain-glory, rnumiur- 
ing, reasoning, and the like. How then doth he give 
them this testimony, that they had always obeyed ? 
Lied the apostle unto them, or did he natter them ? 
God forbid ; ' let God be true, and every man a bar.' 
He lieth not unto them, neither cloth he natter them, 
and j'et then obedience unto God, and unto his word, 
was not perfect ; for no doubt such faults were amongst 
them, as already we have spoken of. In this sense, 
then, we are to understand the apostle, when he com- 
mendeth the Philippians as having always obeyed God 
and his word ; not as if there had nothing lacked in 
their obedience ; for ' in many things we sin all," 
James hi. 2 ; and ' if we say that we have no sin, we 
deceive ourselves, and the truth is hot in us,' 1 John 
i. 8; but, therefore, are they said always to have 
obeyed, because, howsoever their obedience in itself 
was imperfect, yet was it unto them reputed as per- 
fect, because through faith they were engrafted in 
Christ, and for his sake their very desire to live godly 
was accepted with God as a life most holy. For such 
is the fruit of our communion with Christ, that being 
engrafted into his body, and made bone of his bone, 
and flesh of his flesh, through him, and for him, our 
faith in him is accounted to us for righteousness, and 
our very desire to live godly in this present world, is 
accounted unto us for holiness of life. If there were 
no other proof for this point, but even this whereof I 
speak, that the apostle here maketh reckoning of the 
Philippians as having always obeyed, though there 
lacked much in their obedience, because they believed 
in Christ, and desired to live godly, it were enough ; 
but the Scriptures eveiywhere witness the same. 

Here, then, we have an exceeding great comfort in 
Christ Jesus, that howsoever our obedience be unper- 
fect, yet, if we believe perfectly in Christ Jesus, and 
study to live soberly, and righteously, and godly in 
this present world, it is accounted as if we had always 
obeyed. Our iniquities are forgiven, our sins are 
covered, our infirmities are passed over, our unright- 
eousness is not imputed unto us ; only that which we 
have well done is had in remembrance, and if we have 
given but a cup of cold water in his name, it loseth 
not the reward. This is that which doth and may 
uphold our weary and fainting souls, which otherwise 
would fall under their burdens ; and this is that which 
may and ought to persuade us to ' follow peace with 
all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see 
God,' Heb. xii. II. 

Not as in my presence only, but now much more in mine 
absence. In these words the apostle lightly toucheth 
a defect in their obedience, that it was not altogether 
such now in his absence from them, as it was when he 
was present with them ; but he cloth not touch it as 
with purpose much to note them for it, but his drift 
rather is in these words to instruct them in the qua- 
lity of then- obedience, that it ought not to be feigned, 



140 



ATPAY OX THE PHILIPPIAXS. 



[Chap. II. 



as service only to the eye, but it ought to he sincere, 
and from a pure heart, as unto the Lord, who seeth 
all and is present everywhere. 

Here one or two things may be noted, but only 
by the way, because the apostle doth only lightly 
touch them, and as it were, by the way, advise us of 
them. 1. In that the apostle implieth a change in 
them now in his absence from them, which was not in 
his presence with them, thence we may note how 
requisite the presence of the pastor with his people is. 
True it is, that the apostle was not their pastor, but 
sent to preach unto the Gentiles in all places, and 
Epaphroditus was their minister, who remained with 
them after Paul's departure from them. But if, in 
Paul's absence from them, when yet their minister was 
present with them, they began in a short space some- 
what to decline, how can we think but that they must 
needs decline where their pastor is never with them ? 
Where prophesying faileth, the people perish ; and 
when the pastor is not present, the wolf cometh, and 
the flock is scattered. 

2. In that the apostle only lightly toucheth a defect 
in their obedience, but not with purpose much to note 
it in them, we may note what care is to be taken, that 
we do not sharply censure every defect or fault which 
is in the godly. Some things in them must be lightly 
passed over, and they must be drawn on with all 
kindness and meekness to run on in the race that is 
set before them. The godly is admonished by a word, 
but the wicked goeth on in his folly, and careth not 
what is said. 

But chiefly, hence we are to note the quality of our 



obedience unto our God, that it ought not to be feigned, 
as service to the eye, but sincere, and from a pure 
heart, as unto him that seeth all, and is present every- 
where. Which of us is there that will commend that 
servant, which is only an eye-servant, which will work 
well in his master's sight, but not at all when he is 
absent ? Nay, we will all condemn such a servant. 
But let us take heed that therein we do not give judg- 
ment against ourselves. If only we make an outward 
show of holiness, and serve not the Lord with our 
whole hearts, making his law our delight, and a single 
obedience thereunto our chief desire, what are we but 
eye-servants; and our portion, what shall it be but the 
portion of hypocrites ? Beloved, our God whom we 
serve is not as man ; he seeth all things, he is present 
everywhere, he searcheth the hearts and the reins, 
and he understandeth all our thoughts long before 
they be conceived. It is no halting with him. What- 
soever we do in the darkness, it is unto him as if it 
were done in the light ; for the darkness and light to 
him are both alike. Gehazi may offend when Elisha 
sees not, and may hope to conceal it from him, be- 
cause he sees it not. But if Elisha can descry his 
fault, how much more can our God descry all our ways, 
how hidden soever they be ? Let us therefore walk 
before him with a single heart ; let us serve him in 
spirit and in truth ; let our obedience unto him, and 
unto his law, spring from a pure heart, from a good 
conscience, and from an unfeigned faith. Such obe- 
dience he requireth of us ; and such obedience is the 
way wherein we must walk to our heavenly Jerusalem. 



LECTURE XXXIII. 



So make an end of your own salvation with, fear and trembling 

Philip. II. 12, 13. 



for it is God that worketh in you, dc. — 



Jl/jTAKE an end of your own salvation. The 
-*-*■*• Rhemists read thus out of the vulgar transla- 
tion, ' work your salvation ;' out of which reading, 
that doctrine of salvation by works is by some in part 
maintained. Doth our apostle, then, is this place teach 
us that we are to work our salvation, so that by the 
merit of our works we may obtain salvation ? Surely 
in other places of his Epistles, he teaches us a quite 
contrary doctrine. ' By grace,' saith the apostle, 
Eph. ii. 8, 9, ' are ye saved through faith ; and that 
not of yourselves, it is the gift of God : not of works, 
lest any man should boast himself.' In which place 
see, I beseech you, how the apostle setteth down the 
grounds of our salvation. Grace there is the first 
ground of our salvation. ' It is God that justifieth 
us,' and saveth us ; salvation is his gift, as the apostle 
here saith. But why doth God 'save us ? Surely in 
respect of ourselves we are saved freely by his grace, 
and according to his mercy ; in respect of Christ in- 



deed we are saved by the merits of his death and 
passion. He hath bought us with a great price, even 
with the price of his own precious blood, which he 
shed for the remission of our sins. But we ourselves 
have no part in this payment. In respect of ourselves 
we are freely, through the exceeding riches of his 
favour and grace towards us, saved. Faith, that is 
the next occurrent in our salvation — ' by grace we are 
saved through faith' — for faith is that hand whereby 
we take hold on salvation reached unto us by grace. 
Here, then, ye see how salvation is both given and 
taken ; given by God, and taken by us. It is given 
by God by grace ; it is taken by us by faith. What, 
then ! have we no part in the purchase of our salva- 
tion ? No, surely ; faith, whereby we are saved, and 
salvation itself, they are the gift of God. What, have 
our works no interest in the meriting of our salvation ? 
No ; 'by grace we are saved, through faith,' not any 
way of ourselves, nor of our works. Why ? Lest 



Ver. 12, 13.] 



LKCTUKE XXXIlf. 



141 



any man should boast himself. For as the same 
apostle reasoneth, Rom. iv. 2, ' If Abraham were 
justified by works, he hath wherein to rejoice, but not 
with God.' Why not with God ? Because ' to him 
that worketh,' or meriteth by his works, ' the wages 
is not counted by favour, but by debt,' ver. 4. And 
therefore in another place, chap. xi. 6, thus he 
reasoneth, • if of grace, then not of works, else were 
grace no more grace ; but if of works, then no more 
of grace, or else were work no more work.' So that 
when the apostle here saith, that by grace we are 
saved, it is even thereby plain that we are not saved 
by our works ; yet he putteth down both, saying, 
that ' we are saved by grace, not of works.' Again, 
in his epistle to Titus, chap. iii. 5, ' God,' saith he, 
• our Saviour, hath saved us, not by the works of 
righteousness which we had done, but according to 
his mercy,' &c. Where again you see the author of 
our salvation is God our Saviour : the cause which 
moveth God to save us, his mercy, not our good 
works. I might here likewise produce the whole dis- 
putation of our apostle in his epistles to the Eomans, 
and to the Galatians, where at large he disputeth the 
question, and plainly resolveth that we are justified 
and saved freely by grace through faith in Christ his 
blood, and not by our works, wrought according to 
the law. But I purpose not any large discourse upon 
this point. By this which already hath been said, ye 
see how the apostle, in other of his epistles, teacheth 
clean another doctrine than salvation by works ; for 
he teacheth that we are saved freely, by grace, through 
faith ; not of ourselves, not of works ; without the 
works of the law. 

How then ? Is the apostle contrary to himself ? 
Doth he here bid us work our salvation, as if by our 
works we might merit our salvation, and elsewhere 
tell us that our salvation is not of works, but of grace? 
God forbid that we should so say or think. The 
Spirit, whereby the apostle spake both here and else- 
where, is always one and the same, and is not changed. 
He is the Spirit of truth, and directed the apostle his 
tongue and pen into all truth, so that he is not any- 
where contrary to himself, but here, as elsewhere, 
delivereth the same truth. Look we, then, a little 
into the words, and into the meaning of the words, in 
this place of the apostle. Here, then, we are to note, 
1. That it is not simply said, ' work your own salva- 
tion,' but ' work out,' or ' finish,' or ' make an end of 
your own salvation.' For the word here used doth 
properly signify not simply to work, but to work out, to 
finish, to make an end of a thing. So it is used by 
the apostle, where he saith, Eph. vi. 13, ' Take unto 
you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to 
resist in the evil day, and having finished all things, 
stand fast.' Again, when it is said, ' work out,' or 
' finish,' or ' make an end of your own salvation,' by 
salvation is not meant, as often elsewhere, that price 
of our high calling, that crown of immortality which at 



the end of our race is laid up for him that overcometh 
and continueth unto the end ; but by salvation is 
meant the whole course of a godby life which leadeth 
unto salvation. So that when he saith, ' make an 
end of your salvation,' he doth exhort us thus 
much in effect, that as we have entered the race of 
righteousness, which leadeth unto salvation, so we 
would run on in the same race unto the end, and 
fully finish our course in doing such good works, as 
God hath ordained that we should walk in them. 

The thing, then, which hence is to be noted from 
our apostle touching good works, is not the merit of 
our salvation by our works, but that good works are 
the way which God hath ordained us to walk in ; and 
in doing whereof he would have us to finish the whole 
course of our life. And this we do most gladly teach 
everywhere, and beat upon in all our semions, and in all 
our exhortations ; only we are careful to teach you 
the truth touching good works, namely, that they are 
not the causes of, but the way which leadeth unto, 
salvation. Salvation, it is the gift of God, given u> 
by Jesus Christ, through faith in his name. So our 
Saviour himself telleth us, saying, John x. 27, 28, 
' My sheep hear my voice, and I give unto them 
eternal life.' For, as it is in another place, chap, 
xvii. 2, ' God gave him power over all flesh, that he 
should give eternal life to all them that believe in hum" 
Salvation, then, is the gift of God, given by Christ, 
through;! faith in him ; it is not any way caused or 
merited by our works ; 3'et good works are the way 
which God hath ordained us to walk in unto salvation. 
And this it is plainly proved out of the places before 
alleged ; for the apostle in the place to theEphesians, 
chap. ii. 8-10, having set that down that we are 
' saved by grace through faith, not of works,' imme- 
diately after he telleth us that ' we are the Loi'd his 
workmanship, created unto good works, which God 
hath ordained that we should walk in them.' Like- 
wise in the place to Titus, chap. iii. 5, having set that 
down that God ' hath saved us, not by the works of 
righteousness which we had done, but according to 
his mercy,' immediately after he speaketh thus unto 
Titus, ver. 8, ' This I will that thou shouldst affirm, 
that they which have believed in God might be care- 
ful to shew forth good works.' By which places ii 
doth appear, that howsoever our good works are not 
the cause, or the means of our salvation, yet they are 
that way which leadeth unto salvation ; yea, and that 
way wherein if we do not walk we cannot be saved. 
So saith our Saviour himself, John xv. 2, ' Every 
branch that beareth not fruit in me, the Father taketh 
away, and it is cast into the fire, and burnt.' He 
doth not say, every plant that is not planted in me, 
albeit that likewise be most true, but every branch 
that beareth not fruit in me. What fruit? Even 
1 the fruit of the Spirit, which is in all goodness, and 
righteousness, and truth,' as the apostle speaketh, 
Eph. v. 9, ' Every branch that beareth not such fruit 



142 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. II. 



in me, lie is taken away and cast into the fire, and 
burnt.' To like purpose is that of the apostle, where 
he saith, Heh. xii. 14, ' Follow peace with all men, 
and holiness, without the which no man shall see the 
Lord.' And to the like purpose now many places 
might, and ordinarily are, by us produced in our ser- 



inons 



Here, then, first, I beseech you to beware of such 
as traduce us, and the doctrine which we preach, as 
if by preaching of faith we had banished good works, 
and as if we were so far from exhorting men to good 
works in our sermons, that either we mention them 
not, or condemn them ; for such there are, that are 
not ashamed to say, that now we are afraid to handle 
the doctrine of good works ; that we have preached 
salvation by faith so long, that we have banished good 
works out of the country ; that either we dare not 
speak of good works, or, if we do, yet so coldly, that 
as good never a whit, as so barely and coldly. But 
beware of such ; for, having their foolish hearts 
seduced to believe lies, they speak evil of the way of 
truth, which they know not, and of us, whom either 
they will not at all hear, or with such enchanted ears 
that they pervert whatsoever things are spoken unto 
their own destruction. Such, if they would, they 
might hear and know that these are false suggestions, 
wherewith they slander us and the truth which we 
teach. For we preach both faith and works, and in 
all places we exhort all men that they abound in every 
good work. But why is it that they thus traduce us 
and our doctrine '? Forsooth because we teach that 
our works are no causes of our salvation. And are 
we then thus to be traduced because we tell you the 
truth ? We tell you that which the Scriptures have 
taught us, and we bring with us the evidence thereof 
to confirm that which we teach. We dare not chal- 
lenge any part of our salvation as due unto our works, 
because all the honour thereof belongeth to the Lord, 
whose free gift it is according to his mercy. But the 
way wherein God hath ordained us to walk unto sal- 
vation, we say, is holiness of life, without which no 
man shall see the Lord. This the Scriptures teach 
us, this we teach you ; beware, therefore, of such 
deceivers as tell you otherwise. 

Again, if good works be the way which God hath 
ordained us to walk in, and if without holiness of life 
no man shall see the Lord, then walk with God, as 
Enoch did, in holiness and righteousness. You be- 
lieve in Christ Jesus, shew forth the fruits of your 
faith ; your works must testify your faith both unto 
yourselves and unto us ; for it is a vain and a dead 
faith where no fruits of holiness of life do follow. A 
tree is known by his fruit ; a good tree bringeth forth 
good fruit, and a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 
As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they walk 
after the Spirit, and they bring forth the fruits of the 
Spirit. Beloved, God hath sent a time wherein to 
try the faith and religion of such as he hath enabled 



to do some good unto his children. Now he looketh 
that we should shew forth the fruits of faith, and the 
tokens of religion, by shewing mercy and compassion 
upon our poor afflicted and distressed brethren : James 
i. 27, ' Pure religion, and undefiled, before God, even 
the Father, is this, That we visit the fatherless and 
widows in their adversity, and that we keep ourselves 
unspotted of the world.' If, therefore, there be any 
faith, if there be any religion, if there be any bowels 
of compassion in you, withdraw not your morsels from 
the poor, nor your relief from the needy. According 
to that wherewithal God hath blessed you, be it small 
or great, be ready to do good and to distribute, laying 
up for yourselves a good foundation in heaven. 
Blessed is he whom the loins of the poor in their ad- 
versity blesseth. Generally, this I exhort, that ye 
study to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this 
present world, and to glorify God by the holiness of 
your conversation ; for know this, that whom God 
hath justified, forgiving their sins and iniquities, them 
also hath he sanctified, that they serve him in holiness 
and in righteousness ; and whom he hath sanctified, 
them also, and them only, he glorifieth in the king- 
dom of his Son. As he then which hath called you 
is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation. 
Hereby ye shall know that ye are the sons of God, if 
ye walk as he hath walked, and keep his command- 
ments ; and this is a sure witness that ye belong not 
unto him, if ye delight in unrighteousness, and defile 
yourselves with the unclean conversation of the wicked 
and ungodby. Give, therefore, all diligence to make 
your calling and election sure ; sure, I say, unto your- 
selves and to your own souls, by walking in such 
holiness of life as God in Christ Jesus hath ordained 
you to walk in ; and thus much of that holy course 
and race of godliness wherein the apostle exhorteth us 
to run, when he saith, OonJMte salutem, &c. 

' Make an end,' &c. What it is whereunto]the apostle 
in these words doth exhort us, in part we have already 
heard by the way wherein he prescribeth us to walk. 
The way which leadeth unto salvation being holiness 
of life, the apostle exhorteth us to walk in this way, 
to run in this race. Now it is to be observed that the 
apostle doth not only prescribe the way which leadeth 
unto salvation, and exhort us to walk and run in that 
way, but he exhorteth us to run on in the same race 
unto the end, and fully to finish our course, in doing 
such good works as God hath ordained that we should 
walk in. Whence we are to learn this lesson, that 
we must not only begin in the Spirit, and grow for- 
ward likewise from grace unto grace, but we must 
persevere and continue unto the end, that as the 
beginning and progress were in the Spirit, so the end 
also may be in the Spirit, that after the race run we 
may have eternal life. It is a good thing to begin 
well ; but how little it profiteth us unless we continue, 
let the example of Lot's wife, whose temporal punish- 
ment, because she looked back unto Sodom, is regis- 



Ver. 12,13.] 



LECTURE XXXIII. 



143 



tered in the Old, and the example of Judas, the betrayer 
of Christ, whose fearful end, because he went astray from 
the ministration and apostleship which he had obtained 
with the rest of the apostles, is registered in the 
New Testament, bear witness. ' Know ye not,' saith 
the apostle, 1 Cor. ix. 21, ' that they which run in a 
race, run all, yet one receiveth the price ?' namely, 
he that runneth to the end. ' So run,' saith the 
apostle, ' that ye may obtain.' How is that ? that is, 
to the end. Run to the end, that ye may obtain the 
price ; for none are crowned but they that strive as 
they ought to do, 2 Tim. ii. 5. Now, who are they 
that strive as they ought to do, but they that without 
fainting and failing in the w r ay hold out unto the end ? 
In most miserable case then are they, that, like the 
church of Ephesus, forsake their first love, that is, 
that having once followed the truth in love, and em- 
braced pure religion, and walked in the paths of 
righteousness, do afterwards fall away, and run them- 
selves upon the rocks, either of errors in opinion, or 
of corruption in life. ' No man,' saith Christ, Luke 
ix. 02, ' that putteth his hand to the plough, and 
looketh back, is apt to the kingdom of God.' And 
the apostle saith further, 2 Pet. ii. 21, that 'it had 
been better for them not to have know r n the way of 
righteousness, than after they have known it, to turn 
from the holy commandment given unto them.' The 
reason is given by the apostle, Heb. x. 2G, 27, ' For if 
we sin willingly after that we have received the know- 
ledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for 
sins, but a fearful looking'for of judgment, and violent 
fire, which shall devour the adversaries.' ' Take heed 
therefore, brethren, lest at any time there be in any 
of you an evil heart, and unfaithful, to depart away 
from the living Lord : For we are made partakers of 
Christ, if we keep sure unto the end the beginning 
wherewith we are upholden,' chap. iii. 12, 14. Let us 
run with patience the race all out that is set before us. 
Our Saviour Christ did so before us, ' who, for the joy 
that was set before him, endured the cross, and de- 
spised the shame,' chap. xii. 2. And shall w y e be 
weary and faint in our minds ? We serve a most 
bountiful Lord, which giveth us all things liberally ; 
let us serve him with all that we have. We serve a 
most loving Lord, who will not change his favour for 
ever ; let us not serve him for a time, but for ever. 
And this let us know for a surety, that if at our last 
end, when death doth summon us to yield our bodies 
unto the grave, and our spirits into the hands of him 
that gave them, if then with Paul we can say, ' I have 
fought a good fight, I have finished m} r course, I have 
kept my faith,' we shall find more sound joy and sure 
comfort herein, than in all things else under the cope 
of heaven whatsoever; for he that endureth unto the 
end, he shall be saved,' saith our Saviour Christ, 
Mat. xxiv. 13. And again, Rev. ii. 26-28, ' He that 
overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to 
him will I give power over nations : and he shall rule 



them with a rod of iron, and as the vessels of a potter 
shall they be broken. Even as I received of my 
Father, so will I give him my morning star.' Make 
an end therefore of your own salvation. 

Now, before we proceed unto the manner how we 
are to run in this race, and to finish this course, a 
doubt arising from the apostle's exhortation is first to 
be resolved and answered. The apostle, as ye see, 
exhorteth us to make an end of our own salvation, to 
run on the race of righteousness which leadeth unto 
salvation, outright unto the end. Whereupon, some 
do gather that our free will isdiere called upon, that is, 
that we are not wholly and only assisted by grace hi 
the way of salvation, and in the works that lead there- 
unto, but that it is in us to consent unto the grace 
which is offered, and that we of ourselves, being holpen 
with grace, by the power of our free will, are able to 
work the things that are good and acceptable unto 
God. For why else, say the}-, doth the apostle exhort 
us to work out our own salvation, if in us there be no 
power at all to work ? And generally they do conclude, 
that all admonitions, exhortations, repr-oofs, precepts, 
promises, and threatenings in the Scriptures, are in 
vain, if free will in man be not granted, by the power 
whereof he may, together with grace, work that which 
is good. The doubt then is, whether this exhortation 
of our apostle do not imply that we, by the power of 
our free will, are able, partly of ourselves, to make an 
end of our own salvation, and to run the race of right- 
eousness which leadeth to salvation. The resolution 
and answer whereunto is, that it doth not at all imply 
any such thing, which yet more clearly will appear, 
if first we shew the frivolousness of their whole rea- 
son, drawn from admonitions, exhortations, &c, in 
general, which is this : if it be not, say they, in our 
own power to do the thing which is good, and where- 
unto we are exhorted and admonished, &c., then in 
vain are admonitions, exhortations, precepts, reproofs, 
and the like. But see the vanity of their reason ! 
Are not admonitions and the like needful, if it be so 
that it be wholly of grace, and no way of ourselves 
to do those good things whereunto we are exhorted ? 
It is as if they should say, If the increase of the earth 
be wholly the blessing of the Lord, then it is not 
needful for the husbandman to till his ground ; if 
faith be wholly the gift of God, it is not needful to 
come to hear the word preached, &e., for as he giveth 
corn, and wine, and oil, and all things needful for this 
life, but yet by such means as he hath ordained there- 
unto, and as faith is his gift, but yet given to us by the 
means of hearing the word preached, so God worketh 
in us both to will and to do those things whereunto 
he exhorteth and admonisheth us, but by the means 
of such admonitions, exhortations, and the like. 
Howsoever, then, it be not in our own power to do 
the good things whereunto we are exhorted in holy 
Scripture, yet admonitions and exhortations there 
used are therefore needful, because they are the means 



u± 



AIKAY ON THE PHIL1PPIANS. 



[Chap. II. 



whereby God worketh his graces. Again, if we look 
into the book of God, we shall easily see that all these 
things whereunto we are exhorted, they are wholly 
given of God by grace in Christ Jesus, and are no way 
of ourselves. To take a little view thereof, the Lord 
by Joel exhorteth or commandeth, saying, chap. ii. 
12, ' Turn you unto me, with all your heart, with fast- 
ing, weeping, and mourning ;' and yet Jeremiah 
sheweth plainly that conversion unto the Lord is 
wholly the gift of the Lord, when he thus prayeth, 
chap. xxxi. 18, ' Convert thou me, and I shall be con- 
verted, for thou art the Lord my God.' Likewise our 
Saviour Christ exhorteth, Mat. xi. 28, ' Come unto 
me, all ye that are weary and laden, and I will ease 
you ;' and yet he sheweth plainly, that to come unto 
him is wholly from the Father, when he thus saith, 
Jobn vi. 4-4, ' No man can come unto me, except the 
Father which hath sent me draw him.' In another 
place, Luke xii. 15, he exhorteth, saying, ' Take heed 
and beware of covetousness ;' yet, to do thus is wholly 
from the Lord, as tbe prophet sheweth by that his 
prayer unto the Lord, Ps. cxix. 36, ' Incline mine 
heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.' 
Generally the prophet exhorteth to fly from evil, and 
to do tbe thing that is good, Ps. xxxvii. 27 ; and James 
telleth us, that to do good is wholly from the Lord, 
saj-ing, chap. i. 17, ' Every good and perfect gift is 
from above, and cometh down from the Father of 
lights,' &c. The like is to be said of reproofs. Christ 
reproved the eleven of their unbelief and hardness of 
heart, Mark xvi. 14 ; and yet the prophet sheweth 
that it is the Lord that taketh away the stony heart 
out of our body, and giveth us an heart of flesh, Ezek. 
xxxvi. 26 ; and the apostle, that faith is the gift of the 
Lord. The like is to be said of all precepts, promises, 
threatenings, reproofs, admonitions, exhortations, and 
the like in holy Scripture. The Lord useth them all 
as means to work his own will in us, and giveth unto 
us whatsoever he requireth of us. He setteth down 
laws and statutes, not as if it were in our own power 
to keep them, but that we may know what to ask of 
him, and with the prophet to say, ' Oh be gracious unto 
thy servant, that I may live and keep thy word.' He 
promiseth good things to those that will obey him, 
not as if it lay in us to obey him if ourselves would, 
but that he may work such a will in us by his pro- 
mises. He admonisheth and exhorteth us, not as if 
we were able of ourselves to will or do the thing, but 
that so we may look into our own weakness, and turn 



unto him, and he may heal us. You see, then, how 
vain their whole reason, drawm from admonitions, ex- 
hortations, and the like, in general is ; for, that neither 
they argue any power in us of ourselves to do good, 
neither are they needless and vain, because they are 
the means whereby the Lord worketh in us, both to 
will and to do that which we are commanded and ex- 
horted. Now to the reason, drawn in particular from 
this exhortation, in brief I answer, that albeit the apostle 
exhorts us to work out our ow r n salvation, yet it doth 
not follow that it is at all in our power so to do. For 
as it followeth in our apostle, it is God which worketh 
in us, both to will and to do, even of his good pleasure. 
The apostle, therefore, exhorteth us to make an end 
of our own salvation, not for that we are able to do 
so, but to teach us to fly unto him who worketh in us, 
both the will and the deed, even of his good pleasure. 

Now let us make this use of that which hath been 
spoken for the resolving of this doubt. It is not in 
our^own power, we see, to fly the evil we are forbidden, 
to do the good we are commanded, or to embrace the 
virtuous and godly life whereunto we are exhorted, but 
wholly from grace, only from the Lord. So often, then, 
as we hear or read any precepts or laws in the book 
of God, let us therein acknowledge our duties, and 
seeing it is not in our power to keep them, let us fly 
unto our God, and pray to him, Lord, give me grace 
to do that thou commandest, and then command me 
what thou wilt ! So often as we hear or read any pro- 
mises or threatenings, let us therein acknowledge our 
own frowardness, and seeing it is not in us to bend at 
promises or threatenings, unless he touch us with his 
Holy Spirit, let us fly unto our God, and pray unto 
him, Lord, take from me my hard and stony heart, 
and give me for it a soft and fleshy heart, that thy pro- 
mises and thy threatenings may work in me obedience 
to thy will ! So often likewise as we hear or read of 
admonitions or exhortations, let us therein acknow- 
ledge our own infirmities ; and seeing we cannot of our- 
selves will or do the thing whereunto we are exhorted, 
let us fly unto our God, and pray unto him, Lord, 
frame my will according to thy blessed will, that I 
may do what thy will is ! And to conclude this point ; 
seeing we cannot run this race whereunto the apostle 
exhorteth us, but God must work in us both the will 
and the deed, let us fly unto God, and pray unto him, 
Lord, sanctify me with thy Holy Spirit, that, by thy 
grace guiding me, I may walk in those good works which 
thou hast ordained me to walk in unto my life's end ! 



LECTUEE XXXIV. 

With/ear and trembling: for it is God which worketh in you both the will and the deed, even of his good pleasure. 

—Philip. II. 12, 13. 



IM7~ITH fear and trembling . From these words 
'* some* there are that gather that uncomfort- 
* Rkem. in he. 



able doctrine of the uncertainty of our salvation, affimi- 
ing it to be pride and presumption to dare to be so 
bold as to be assured of our salvation, and clean 



Ver. 12,13.] 



LECTURE XXXIV. 



145 



contrary to the teaching of the apostle in this place. So 
that the meaning of the apostle, by their judgments, in 
this place is this, that we should so work our salvation 
that yet we should always doubt of our salvation. But 
how far this is wide of the apostle's meaning may easily 
appear by those manifold Scriptures, whereby the cer- 
tainty of our salvation is affirmed, and consequently 
this uncomfortable doctrine of the doubting of our sal- 
vation is utterly overthrown: 'I am sure,' said Job, 
chap. xix. 25-27, ' that my Redeemer liveth, and he 
shall stand the last upon earth : and though after my 
skin worms destroy this body, yet shall I see God in 
nay flesh : whom I myself shall see, and mine eyes 
shall behold, and none other for me.' Lord, how this 
hoi} 7 man so assureth himself of his salvation, that he 
beats upon it as if he could never satisfy himself with 
any words, but fills his mouth with rejoicing hereat 
amidst all his afflictions. 'I am sure,' saith he, 'my 
Redeemer liveth,' ' I shall see God in nry flesh,' ' I my- 
self shall see him,' ' mine eyes shall behold him,' 
' none other for me, but I myself shall behold him.' 
He doth as fully assure himself of his salvation as if 
he were already in full possession thereof. Of the like 
assurance of his salvation our apostle protesteth, say- 
ing, Rom. viii. 38, ' I am persuaded that neither death, 
nor life, nor angels,' &c. ; where the apostle doth not 
only speak of a probable persuasion, but of such a sure 
confidence, as whereby elsewhere he saith, 2 Tim. iv. 8, 
' from henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of 
righteousness,' &e. Neither groundeth he this per- 
suasion upon any special revelation, but upon that 
ground which is common to him with all the faithful, 
even the love of God in Christ Jesus. Now as Job 
and Paul, not to instance in any others, assured them- 
selves of their salvation, so we by the power of the 
same Spirit, and upon the same ground of the love of 
God in Christ Jesus, may and ought to assure ourselves 
of our salvation. True it is that if our salvation, and 
the certainty thereof, stood any way in ourselves, or 
depended upon our works, we might indeed justly 
doubt of our salvation, as knowing ourselves, by reason 
of our sins and iniquities, to have deserved death and 
damnation. But the ground and the foundation of the 
certainty of our hope is the sure promises of God in 
Christ Jesus, who hath promised in his word eternal 
life to all that believe. We look not upon ourselves, 
or our own works, or our own worthiness, for then 
must we needs doubt ; but we look upon him that hath 
promised, even as Abraham did, whose faith we are to 
follow, of whom it is said that he neither did ' consider 
his own body, which was now dead, being almost an 
huudrcd years old, neither the deadness of Sarah's 
womb ; neither did he ' doubt of the promise through 
unbelief (where note how doubting is termed unbe- 
lief) but was ' strengthened in the faith, and gave glory 
to God, being fully assured that he which had promised 
was also able to do it,' Rom. iv. 19-21. He then 
being faithful which hath promised salvation to them 



that believe in his name, we are sure to be saved. 
But what need we to look farther for this point than 
into the very nature of faith ; which the apostles have 
defined to be such a full assurance, that if ye take away 
assurance ye take away faith ? For what else doth that 
mean that the apostle sometimes calleth faith, ' the 
ground of things which are hoped for, and the evidence 
of things that are not seen,' Hob. xi. 1 ; sometimes 
' a stedfast faith,' Col. ii. 5 ; sometimes 'a full assur- 
ance,' Rom. iv. 21 ; sometimes ' an assurance with- 
out wavering,' James i. G; and sometimes 'the anchor 
of the sou!, both sure and stedfast,' Heb. vi. 19. ' Let 
us draw near,' saith the apostle, ' with a true heart, in 
assurance of faith, sprinkled in our hearts from an evil 
conscience, and washed in our bodies wath pure water. 
Let us keep the profession of our hope without waver- 
ing, for he is faithful that promised,' Heb. x. 22, 23. 
Doth the apostle exhort us unto an assurance of faith, 
unto an hope without wavering, resting upon his pro- 
mises tbat is faithful and true ? Surely if we ought 
thus to believe, if we ought thus to hope, and that 
upon this ground, that he is faithful that hath pro- 
mised, |then may w T e and ought we to assure ourselves of 
our salvation. Whether, then, we look upon the ex- 
amples of holy men in the Scriptures, or upon the sure 
promises of God in Christ Jesus made in the Scripture, 
or upon the nature of faith in the writings of the 
apostle, still w T e shall find that we ought not to doubt, 
but certainly to assure ourselves of our salvation 
through a sure and stedfast faith in Christ Jesus, who 
hath promised life and salvation to all them that be- 
lieve in his name. 

This, then, may serve for the confutation of that 
uncomfortable doctrine of the papists, where they 
teach, that without special revelation no man ought or 
can assure himself by faith of his salvation. The 
erroneousness of which doctrine, though it hath been 
fully manifested by that which already hath been said 
for confirmation of the plain opposite doctrine which 
we teach, yet for a further clearing of the truth in this 
point, I beseech you in a few words to consider how 
weak proofs they bring for what they teach. 

Why then, I demand, may no man without special 
revelation assure himself by faith of his salvation ? 
Because no man can say, ' My heart is clean, I am 
pure from sin,' Prov. xx. 9. Men may be clear from 
sin, saith Bellarmine,* but no man, saith he, can say 
so, because they that are clean cannot certainly know 
that they are clean, therefore no man without special 
revelation may assure himself by faith of his salva- 
tion. But see the weakness of his proof, which, 1, 
is grounded upon a corrupt reading, as the text in the 
original sheweth, whence the words are thus to be 
read, ' Who can say, I have made my heart clean ?' 
and are spoken to repress the insolency of such as 
think to be justified by their own strength ; and, 2, 
leaneth upon a point of man's purity from sin in this 
* Lib. iii. De Justif. c. iv. 

K 



146 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. 11. 



point, which plainly coutradicteth the Holy Ghost, 
both in that text and throughout the -whole Scripture, 
which hath concluded all under sin, Gal. hi. 22; 
and, 3, concludeth without premises, inasmuch as 
nothing thence can be concluded against assurance by 
faith of justification or salvation. For though no 
man can say that he hath made his heart clean, that 
he is pure from sin in himself, or by himself, yet, 
inasmuch as the Holy Ghost witnesseth, Acts xv. 9, 
' that by faith God purifieth our hearts,' and, 1 
John i. 7, that ( the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth 
us from all sin,' in him, and by him, through faith in 
his blood, we may assure ourselves of oiu- justification 
and salvation. 

Yea, but the preacher, Eccles. ix. 1 , saying that ' a 
man ' (speaking, saith Bellarmine, of the just and 
wise) ' knoweth not whether he be worthy of love or 
hatred, but all things are kept uncertain for the time 
to come,' sheweth thereby that not the just or wise, 
and so not the faithful, can assure themselves of their 
justification or salvation ; but see the weakness of 
this proof also, which, 1, as the former, is grounded 
upon a corrupt translation, as the original text 
sheweth, where the reading is much different from the 
vulgar, and so very obscure, both there and in the 
Greek, that it is an unfit place for the proof of such a 
point ; and, 2, faileth in understanding that of the 
just and wise only, which is spoken of all, both just 
and wicked, as the next verse where the preacher 
expoundeth himself sheweth ; and, 3, proveth only 
that no man, by outward things in this life, knoweth 
whether he be loved or hated of God. For so the 
words are to be read, that ' no man knoweth love or 
hatred,' i.e. whether he be loved or hated of God, by 
all that is before them, i.e. by the outward things 
which happen unto them, which appeareth to be most 
true, in that neither the just only prosper, nor the 
wicked only are afflicted, but the wicked many times 
flourish more than the just, and the hand of God 
many times lieth heavier upon the just than upon the 
wicked ; but maketh nothing against assurance of 
salvation by faith, which leaneth not upon any out- 
ward things, but only upon the promise of God in his 
word. Yea, but St Paul, say they, durst not assure 
himself that he was justified, as appeareth by that he 
saith, 1 Cor. iv. 4, 'I know nothing by myself, yet 
am I not thereby justified,' and therefore no man 
may assure himself of his salvation. But they might 
see, 1, that the apostle there speaketh not of any un- 
certainty of his justification, whereof, elsewhere he 
assureth himself, Rom. viii. 33, but by express nega- 
tive, plainly denieth that he was justified by the clean- 
ness of his conscience, that he knoweth nothing by 
himself; 2, that he speaketh there of his ministry and 
service therein, and acknowledgeth that though his 
conscience accuse him not of any crime therein, yet 
he is not thereby justified, which maketh against justi- 
fication by anything in a man's self, though done in 



as great perfection as mortal man can do it, but not 
at all against justification, or assurance of salvation by 
faith. Yea, but when he saith, Philip ii. 12, ' Work 
your salvation with fear and trembling,' he speaketh 
against the vain presumption of heretics, say the 
Rhemists on that place, that makes men secure of 
their predestination and salvation, and willeth the 
Philippians to work their salvation with fear and tremb- 
ling, according to that other scripture, Prov. xxviii. 14, 
' Blessed is the man that always is fearful.' Where- 
unto the answer is, 1, that both the apostle here, and 
Solomon in that other scripture, and the same apostle 
again when he saith, Rom. xi. 20, 'Be not high-minded, 
but fear ;' and Peter, when he saith, 1 Peter i. 17, 
' Pass the time of your dwelling here in fear ;' and the 
Spirit of God generally, when he speaketh to like 
purpose, speaketh either against vain presumption in 
our strength, without due acknowledgment of our own 
frailly, and due depending upon the Lord, or against 
careless security of our salvation, without due regard 
of God's threats and judgments, and without inward 
grace and fear of God issuing into a godly life and 
conversation ; but not against faithful boldness and 
confidence, not against assurance of our salvation by 
faith, grounded upon the promises of God in Christ 
Jesus. 

2. That there is a twofold fear : a servile fear, and a 
filial fear ; a fear opposite unto faith, and a fear at- 
tending upon faith ; a doubting and distrusting fear, 
and a careful and loving fear ; a fear of discouraging 
diffidence, and a fear of awful reverence ; a fear from 
the law to be punished, and a fear from grace to offend 
and deserve punishment ; a fear begotten by the spirit 
of bondage, and a fear begotten by the Sjririt of adop- 
tion ; a fear whereof St John saith, 1 John iv. 18, 
' There is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out 
fear ;' a fear whereof St Paul saith, 2 Cor. vii. 11, 
that ' godly sorrow causeth fear ;' and Solomon, Prov. 
xxviii. 14, that ' blessed is the man that feareth alwav.' 
Now from that fear the Holy Ghost everywhere de- 
horteth, saying, Isa. xli. 10, ' Fear not, for I am 
with thee ; be not dismayed, for I am thy God ;' and 
again, chap, xliii. 1, ' Fear not, for I have redeemed 
thee,' &c. ; and again, Mat. viii. 26, ' Why are ye 
fearful, ye of little faith ? ' But unto this fear he 
everywhere exhorteth, saying, Ps. ii. 11, ' Serve the 
Lord in fear, and rejoice unto him in trembling,' or, 
' with reverence ;' and again, Luke xii. 5, ' Fear him 
which, after he hath killed, hath power to cast into 
hell: yea, I say unto j T ou, him fear;' and again, 
1 Peter ii. 17, ' Fear God, honour the King ;' and 
again, Rev. xiv. 7, ' Fear God, and give glory to him;' 
and generally where he exhorteth unto fear, it is to 
this fear ; so that when the apostle exhorteth ' to work 
our salvation with fear and trembling,' he exhorteth 
unto this fear, even to fear the judgments and threat- 
enings of God, which the faithful always do, because 
faith believeth them ; and to fear to trust in ourselves, 



Ver. 12, 13.] 



LECTURE XXXIV 



147 



which every faithful man also doth, because faith it- 
self iruporteth trust in God, and as the apostle's reason 
also sheweth we should, because ' it is God which 
worketh in us both the will and the deed, even of his 
good pleasure ; and so to fear, as the prophet doth 
when he saith, ' Serve the Lord in fear, and rejoice to 
him with reverence ;' the words are as in the apostle, 
cum timore et tremore ; but neither here, nor anywhere, 
doth the Holy Ghost exhort unto that servile, and 
doubting, and distrusting fear, as to stand in fear of 
our salvation. 

Yea, but seeing the word of God doth nowhere 
speak namely and particularly to, or of any of us, 
therefore by faith, which is to be grounded upon the 
word of God, we cannot assure ourselves of our 
salvation. Whereunto first we answer, that though 
the word of God speak nowhere immediately by name, 
and personally to any of us, yet what it saith to 
believers generally, it saith to every believer ; and 
what to sinners generally, it saith to every sinner ; and 
every man is to conceive it as particularly spoken to 
himself, and to believe the same word preached by the 
minister of the gospel, as if Christ himself did person- 
ally speak unto him. So that, whenas the word 
saith, Luke xiii. 3, ' Except ye repent, ye shall 
perish,' he that believe th this word believeth also 
touching himself, that except he repent he shall perish ; 
so when the word saith, John hi. 15, that ' whosoever 
believeth in Christ shall not perish, but have ever- 
lasting life,' as dience Paul said to the gaoler, Acts 
xvi. 31, ' Believe thou in the Lord Jesus, and thou 
shalt be saved ;' so every minister of the gospel may 
say to Thomas such a one, John such a one, and 
James such a one, &c, Believe thou in the Lord Jesus, 
and thou shalt be saved ; and every believer which 
believeth this word may, by faith grounded on the 
word, particularly assure himself of his salvation, 
because he believeth ; inasmuch as otherwise the word 
were not true, ' whosoever believeth shall be saved.' 
Secondly, we ask them whence their priests, see- 
ing the word doth nowhere speak namely and par- 
ticularly to any of them, have authority to remit the 
sins of their penitentaries ? They will tell us, though 
untruly as they practise it, that they have all of them 
particularly authority from Christ his word, where he 
saith, John xx. 23, ' Whose soever sins ye remit, they 
are remitted unto them,' and their penitentiaries must 
believe it. Thus they will take leave to themselves, 
though they will not give us leave, from a general to 
infer a particular. But if their seduced ones must 
believe, that though their priests be not there named, 
yet thence they have all of them particularly authority 
to forgive sins, much more may every man that 
believeth, though he be not named, where Christ 
saith, ' "Whosoever believeth shall be saved,' yet thence 
assure himself particularly by faith of his salvation. 

Yet, but seeing it is no article of the creed to believe 
a man's own salvation, therefore no man is bound to 



believe it. Whereunto we answer, that in professing 
the articles of our creed, we profess the assured 
belief of our own salvation. For each man in his 
particular to profess and say, ' I believe in God the 
Father, I believe in Jesus Christ his Son,' cVc, is all 
one as to profess and say, I believe in God, that he is 
my God, and my Father, and my strong salvation ; I 
believe in Jesus Christ, that he was born unto me, and 
died for my sins, and rose again for my justification ; 
I believe in the Holy Ghost, that being sanctified by 
his work, I shall be glorified with my Saviour ; and I 
believe the holy catholic church, that I am a member 
of it, and that unto me belongeth the forgiveness of 
my sins, the resurrection of my body, and life ever- 
lasting, without which particular application to our- 
selves, the devil may believe the articles of the creed. 
And albeit we do not always so infallibly believe our 
own salvation as we do assent unto the articles of the 
creed ; but as our faith is in degree less or greater, so 
our apprehension of salvation is weaker or stronger ; 
yet in our weak apprehension of our salvation we truly 
believe it, and ought always strongly and stedfastly to 
believe it, and to pray with the apostles, Luke xvii. 5, 
that from weakness of faith, and slender assurance, we 
may grow unto strength of faith, and full assurance, as 
the apostles did. Yea, but the greatest certainty wo 
can have of our salvation is only the certainty of hope, 
not any certainty of faith ; we may hope well of salva- 
tion, doing our duties, but we may not without great 
presumption assure ourselves by faith of it. Where- 
unto we answer, 1, that howsoever hope, as vulgarly 
men talk of hope, and as the papists speak of it, be 
always joined with fear, and doubt, and so uncertain, 
yet the certainty of that Christian hope, whereof the 
Scripture speaketh, and which [is] nothing else but a 
constant and patient expectation of that which we be- 
lieve shall be, is as undoubted and sure as the certainty 
of faith, whereon it is grounded, and whereof it is the 
proper effect ; inasmuch as the Scripture saith of it, 
Rom. v. 5, that 'hope maketh not ashamed,' which, as 
Austin * noteth, it should do, if he that hopeth failed 
of his hope. And again, that ' hope makes us to re- 
joice,' ver. 2, which it should not if it made us not 
certain and sure of that we hope for. And again, Heb. 
vi. 19, he calleth hope ' an anchor of the soul, both 
sure and stedfast;' and giveth unto it, chap. hi. P, 
confidence, and rejoicing, and assurance. 2. That 
doing our duty can yield us neither faith nor hope, 
truly so called, because we come so short of doing our 
duty, that, as Jerome saith, if we consider our own 
merits, we must needs despair ; and so our hope is 
grounded, not upon doing our duty, but upon iaith, 
and it upon the promise of God in his word, whence 
both faith and hope are certain of that they believe 
and hope for. 3. That it were great and wicked pre- 
sumption to hope for salvation by virtue of our own 
doings, but no other presumption than godly to assure 
* In Ps. xxxvi. 



148 



AIRAi ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. II. 



ourselves of our salvation by faith, inasmuch as this 
is the presumption of true faith, which presumeth not 
upon our own works, but upon the grace of Christ, 
and upon the promise of God made in his word. Let 
us now look a little nearer into the words ; and the mean- 
ing of the words in this place of our apostle is evident. 
With fear and trembling. We are therefore to 
remember what I have already told you, that there is 
a double fear mentioned in holy Scriptures : the one 
a servile and slavish fear, such as is in the children 
of disobedience, who fear not to offend and displease 
the most high God, but so fear the horror of that 
punishment which is due unto their sins, that they 
carry with them even an hell 'within their own bosom. 
Such a fear in the end breedeth despair, and is always 
so repugnant unto love, that in love there is no such fear, 
but ' perfect love casteth out such fear.' 1 John iv. 18. 
There is another fear, which is a godly and a son-like 
fear, such as was in Job, of whom it is said, chap. i. 1, 
that he was ' one that feared God, and eschewed evil ; ' 
and such as was in Cornelius, of whom it is said, 
Acts. x. 2, that ' he feared God with all his house- 
hold, and that he gave much alms to the people, and 
that he prayed continually.' This is such a fear as 
wherewith the good child standeth in awe of his father, 
and feareth to displease him. For as the good and 
dutiful child feareth his father, albeit he doubteth not 
of his father's love towards him, nay, as he doth the 
more fear to displease his father, the more certainly 
that he is persuaded of bis father's love towards him, so 
the child of God in whom this godly fear doth dwell, 
the more certainly he is persuaded of the love of God 
towards him in Christ Jesus, the more he feareth him 
with this fear, the more he feareth to displease him, 
and therefore doth the more eschew that which is 
evil, and follow after that which is good and accept- 
able in his sight. And this is so far unlike unto 
that servile and slavish fear, that this fear is never 
severed from love, but the more we love, the more we 
f^-ar to displease him whom we love, and the more we 
fear to displease him whom we love, the more we love 
him. Now, it is not to be doubted but that the 
apostle in this place speaketh of this godly fear, the 
other being such a fear as the Holy Ghost throughout 
the whole Scriptures would have utterly abandoned in 
all the children of God. Yea, but it is added, ' with 
fear and trembling,' which sheweth that the apostle 
doth not speak of such a fear as hath with it joined 
assurance of love, but of such a fear as is full of 
doubt, for trembling must needs argue doubtfulness. 
See, then, I beseech you, that place of the prophet, 
Ps. ii. 11, where they are both joined, as here in the 
apostle : ' Serve the Lord with fear,' saith the prophet, 
1 and rejoice in trembling ; ' where by trembling can- 
not be meant any doubt or distrust (for what rejoicing 
can be in such trembling as ariseth of doubt or dis- 
trust '?), but by trembling is meant a reverence of his 
majesty, in whose love we are so to rejoice, as that 



withal we fear to displease him. And, as there the 
prophet, so here our apostle would have us to serve 
the Lord with fear, to exclude all carnal security, 
whereby we grow careless and negligent to do that 
which is good ; and with trembling to exclude arrogant 
presumption, whereby we grow pharisaically proud of 
that good which we do. The apostle, then, when he 
exhorteth us to make an end of our own salvation 
with fear and trembling, his meaning is this, that we 
should finish our course in doing such good works as 
God hath ordained us to walk in. But how ? With 
fear and trembling, i. e. with all humbleness and 
reverence towards God, not doubting of his love to- 
wards us, but because we know he loveth us, fearing 
to displease him, either by carnal security of doing 
any good at all, or by vain presumption of our own 
worthiness for that good wdiich we do. 

The lesson, then, which hence we are taught is, 
what ought to be the continual conversation of a Chris- 
tian, and how we ought to walk in the whole course 
of our life. We ought to ' pass the time,' even the 
whole time, ' of our dwelling here,' as the apostle 
speaks, ' in fear,' even in the reverent fear of his 
most holy name, in whose favour is life, and joy for 
evermore, 1 Pet. i. 17. Because we know he loveth 
us in his well-beloved Son, we ought to be most loath 
any way to displease him, and as dutiful children we 
ought to avoid and eschew everything that may offend 
his godly will. ' If I be a master,' saith the Lord by 
his prophet, Mai. i. 6, ' where is my fear ? ' whence 
it is plain that all that are his servants ought to fear 
to despise his name, as the priests there did, and to 
displease the Most High. Now, two motives there 
are which may persuade us unto this reverent and 
careful walking in the whole course of our life, and 
fear to displease him. The one is this : his eyes 
always behold us ; whatsoever we do is naked before 
him ; he know T eth the very thoughts of our hearts 
before we do conceive them, and there is nothing hid 
from him. This surely should make us watch, even 
over our thoughts ; it should make us careful in all our 
ways, that we do not anything whereby we may grieve 
his Holy Spirit. And if we kept this always in re- 
membrance, that whatsoever we do God sees us, it 
w 7 ould stay oftentimes even the best of us from many 
things which we do. For therefore it is that we fall 
into many noisome lusts, that we defile ourselves with 
much filthiness of the world, that by many sins we 
displease our God, because we think not of his pre- 
sence, and forget that he sees us. Which of us is 
there that in our prince's presence would not fear to 
displease him ? How much more ought we to fear 
to displease our God, in wdiose presence we are always, 
and who beholdeth whatsoever we do ? Even the 
regard of his majesty, before whom we stand, should 
cause us to w r alk before him with fear and trembling. 

The other motive to persuade us into a reverent 
and careful walking, as fearing to displease our God, 



Vee. 12, 13.] 



LECTURE XXXIV. 



149 



is this : the quick and eagle-sighted eyes of the wicked 
are ever prying and looking into all our ways, that 
they may have some advantage against us, whereby 
they may take occasion to dishonour our God, and to 
speak ill both of us and of the gospel which we pro- 
fess. This also should make us watchful over all our 
ways, that thereby we do not offend and displease our 
God. ' Have your conversation honest,' saith the 
apostle, 1 Pet. ii. 12, ' among the Gentiles, that they 
which speak evil of you, as of evil-doers, may by your 
good works which they shall see glorify God in the 
day of the visitation.' The apostle saw that the 
Gentiles, among whom thej- lived, were ready to pick 
a quarrel at every little thing wherein they offended, 
thereby to dishonour God and to discredit the gospel. 
And therefore he exhorted them to look unto their 
conversation, that thereby God might be glorified 
amongst the Gentiles. And surely the Gentiles then 
were not more prying into the ways of Christians than 
the wicked and ungodly of the earth now are into the 
ways of God's children. For if they tread awry, if 
they, through the malice of Satan, or the infirmity of 
the flesh, or the deceitfulness of sin, slip out of the 
right way wherein they should walk, by and by the 
wicked have it, and with open mouth they cry, These 
be our pure and holy men, these be our great pro- 
fessors of the gospel, these be the men that would be 
counted the only religious men ! How careful, then, 
ought we to be of our conversation, even in regard of 
the watchful eye of the wicked, that we do or say 
nothing whereby they may take advantage against us, 
or occasion to dishonour God, or to speak ill of the 
gospel. Whether, therefore, we regard the majesty 
of our God, whose eyes always behold us, or the quick 
eyes of the wicked, which narrowly espy into our 
ways, we see that we ought to * pass the time of our 
dwelling here in fear,' and to ' make an end of our 
salvation with fear and trembling.' 

Ought we, then, thus to walk before the Lord with 
fear and trembling ? Here, then, are two extremities, 
which are, as two cankers of the soul, to be looked 
unto ; the one carnal security, the other vain pre- 
sumption. For such is Satan's subtilty, that first he 
laboureth to make us careless of doing that is good ; 
and then, if he cannot so deceive us, he taketh another 
course, and laboureth to make us proud of that good 
which we do. But we ought to walk before the Lord 
with fear and trembling ; therefore, first, we ought 
not to be careless of doing that is good, but still we 
ought to fear lest our Lord and Master come in an 
hour when we shall be found doing no good. It was 
the fault of those dispersed Jews unto whom James 
wrote, that they boasted too much of their religion, 
and were too brag of their faith, but were altogether 
careless of doing those good works wherein God had 
ordained them to walk. And I wish it were not a 
fault in our days, that men did now but too much 
content themselves with the names only of faith and 



religion, and were too careless of doing that which is 
good. But, beloved, let us know that if we believe in 
God, we must walk before him in holiness of life, with 
fear and trembling. We must not be careless to do 
good, but we must be careful to shew forth good 
works, as the apostle telleth us, Tit. iii. 8. This 
fear wherein we must walk must expel all carelessness 
in walking. And as this fear wherein we must walk 
must expel all carelessness in our walking, so must it 
likewise expel all vain presumption and pride in our 
walking. It was the Pharisee, you know, that stepped 
forth, and said, Luke xviii. 11, 12, ' God, I thank 
thee that I am not as other men, extortioners, unjust, 
adulterers, or even as this publican : I fast twice in 
the week, I give tithe of all that ever I possess.' 
And others there are as pharisaical as this proud 
pharisee was, who presume so much of the worth of 
their works, that they dare by the merits of them 
challenge heaven unto themselves. But if the person 
of the poor -publican better beseemeth us, of whom it 
is said, ver. 13, that ' he did not so much as lift up 
his eyes unto heaven, but smote his breast, saying, 
God, be merciful to me a sinner ! ' we must not 
be puffed up with the vain opinion of the worth of our 
works, how good soever they seem to be, but we must 
run on the race that is set before us with fear and 
trembling. As holiness, so humbleness and reverence 
becometh the house of God, which we are, if we be- 
lieve aright in the Son of God, and so live as he hath 
commanded. ' A wise man feareth, and departeth 
from evil; but a fool rageth, and is careless,' saith 
Solomon, Prov. xiv. 16 ; whereby he toacheth us 
that a reverent fear of God's majesty is a notable 
means to make a good man to avoid sin. Pass the 
time, therefore, I beseech }*ou, of your dwelling here, 
in fear, and walk in those good works which God hath 
ordained you to walk in, with fear and trembling ; 
with fear, I say, and trembling, both in regard of the 
majesty of God, whose eyes always behold us, lest 
you displease him ; and in regard of the wicked, 
whose eyes are prying into whatsoever we do, that 
they may have no advantage against you. Grieve not 
the Holy Spirit, either by carnal security and care- 
lessness to do that good which ye should, or by vain 
and proud presumption of the worth of that good 
which ye do, but walk before the Lord as becometh 
the saints of God, with fear and trembling ; fearing 
not to do good, and trembling at the good which ye 
do, lest either not doing that good which ye ought, or 
presuming of that good which ye do, ye displease him 
who loveth you, and in whose love is life and joy for 
evermore. And let this be spoken touching the 
manner how we ought to walk and to finish our course. 
Now followeth the reason why we ought thus to walk. 
For it is God which uorketh, &c. This is the 
reason why we ought not simply to make an end of 
our own salvation, but to make an end of our own 
salvation with fear and trembling. ' With fear and 



150 



AIEAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[CHAP; II: 



trembling ;,' why ? ' For it is God which worketh,' &c. 
Neither the will nor the deed in anything well done is 
from ourselves, tkat we -should bo puffed up with any 
pride thereof, but from the Lord ; and therefore, when 
he guides us, we should not be secure to follow. ' It 
is God,' saith the apostle, 'that worketh in you both 
the will ' — the will ; how ? Not by helping the 
weakness of our will, as if, being a little holpen by 
grace, it were in us to will that is good ; but by sancti- 
fying our corrupt will, that whereas before it was 
wholly and only inclined unto evil, now it loveth, and 
liketk, and followeth after that which is good — ' and 
the deed.' How? By giving grace to do that good, 
to the desire whereof he hath sanctified our will. It 
is, then, as if the apostle should thus have said : Walk 
in well-doing before the Lord, but with fear and 
trembling. Why ? For it is not in you either to 
will or to do that is good, but it is God that first 
sanctifieth your wills to desire the things that belong 
unto your peace, to hunger and thirst after righteous- 
ness, to acknowledge and lament your sins, and the 
like, and afterwards giveth grace to believe and to live 
according to God in Christ Jesus. Whence are many 
lessons for us. 

Here, then, first, that doctrine of free will is utterly 
overthrown. If we will or do anything that is good, 
' it is God that worketh in us both the will and the 
deed.' Whosoever, therefore, shall tell you that we 
have power in ourselves to will and to do that which 
is good, and that we need only to be holpen, but not 
wholly assisted by grace, believe him not. For I ask, 
what is it that is left unto us, when both the will to 
do good, and the deed itself, are given us of God ? If 
it be God that worketh in us both the will and desire 
to do good, and likewise the grace of doing that which 
is good, then what is it that we can challenge unto 
ourselves ? If it had been said that God is the Alpha 
and Omega, the beginning and the end of every good 
thing that we do, then haply some starting-hole 
might have been found ; but when it is said that it is 
God that worketh in us both to will and to do that 
which is good, out of doubt all power is taken from 
us of doing anything that is good. True it is that 
Adam, before his fall, had free will to choose the 
good, and to refuse the evil ; but by his fall he lost 
that which in his creation he had, even all free will 
unto all the things of the Spirit, so that till such time 
as he be regenerate by the Spirit of God, he cannot at 
all by his own power understand, think, will, or do 
anything that is good, but is wholly and only carried 
to that which is evil, and can do nothing else but sin, 
lying bound in the chains of sin, not as a man fettered, 
which hath a desire to be loose, but of himself natu- 
rally willing and desirous so to lie. ' The natural 
man,' saith the apostle, 1 Cor. ii. 14, ' perceiveth not 
the things of the Spirit of God : for they are foolishness 
unto him : neither can he know them, because they 
are spiritually discerned ; ' where the apostle, under- 



standing by the natural man the unregenerate man, 
whose knowledge and understanding the Lord hath 
not yet cleared and lightened by his Holy Spirit, 
plainly sheweth that the unregenerate man hath none 
understanding at all in the ways of God, and the 
things that belong unto his peace, neither can have 
till the Lord sanctify him by his Holy Spirit, changing 
his corrupt will, and working in him both the will and 
the deed. Many scriptures might be brought for the 
enlarging and further proof of this point ; but by that 
which hath been spoken, ye see what the truth is in 
the point, namely, that it is not in our own power at 
all to will or do that which is good, but that it is 
God which worketh in us both the will and the deed, 
so that the thing which we do is no further good than- 
it is wholly guided and directed by the Spirit of God. 
Take heed, therefore, and beware of such as tell you 
otherwise than as ye have now heard and learned, that 
ye be not deceived by them. 

Secondly, Hence we are taught whence all our suffi- 
ciency and all our strength to walk in the ways of God 
is, even from God, who is the alone author of all good- 
ness, and the giver of all blessings. ' What hast thou,' 
saith the apostle, ' that thou hast not received?' To 
prepare our hearts unto that which is good, this is from 
the Lord, for 'he prepareth the heart,' Ps. x. 17. To 
think a good thought, this is from the Lord, for ' we 
are not sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of 
ourselves, but all our sufficiency is of God,' 2 Cor. 
iii. 5. To will and desire that which is good, and to 
do that which is good, is likewise from the Lord, ' for 
it is God that worketh in us both the will and the 
deed.' So true is that of our Saviour, John xv. 5, 
' Without me ye can do nothing ; ' where the meaning 
is, not only that we are so weak that we are not able 
of ourselves to do anything that is good, unless we be 
assisted by grace, but that we are no more able than 
the branch that is plucked from the tree is able to 
bring forth fruit. The sum of this point is, that the 
fruits of the Spirit in us are altogether from the Spirit, 
even as the fruits of the flesh are altogether from the 
flesh. Doest thou then at any time feel any good 
motions of the Spirit within thee, any desire to flee 
that which is evil, and to do the thing that is good ? 
Is thine heart enlarged to run the way of God's com- 
mandments, and to glorify thy Father which is in 
heaven ? Are the bowels of thy compassion opened 
towards thy poor brethren, to relieve the necessities 
of God's saints ? It is God that worketh in thee all 
these, and whatsoever is like unto these ; and they 
are so many testimonies unto thee of God's Holy 
Spirit dwelling within thee. Acknowledge, therefore, 
God's mercy towards thee, who, ' when thou wast in 
thy blood, said unto thee, Thou shalt live,' Ezek. xvi. 6 ; 
that is, who, when thou wast dead in sins and tres- 
passes, and hadst no will to be raised from the dead 
sleep of sin whereinto thou wast fallen, hath quickened 
thee by his Spirit, and of unwilling made thee willing 



Ver. 14, 15.] 



LECTURE XXXV. 



151 



to do those things that are good and acceptable in God's 
sight. Glory not in any good thing that thou hast, as 
though thou hadst not received it ; for when thou 
wast as unable to will or to do anything that is good, 
as the dead man is unable to exercise any function of 
life, then did he circumcise the foreskin of thine heart, 
and did not only work in thee a power to will and to 
do the thing that is good, but gave thee also grace both 
to will and to do the thing that is good. Gloiw, 
therefore, in thy God, let thy soul rejoice in him, and 
let his praises bo ever in thy mouth. He it is that 
filleth thy heart with good desires, and he it is that 
directeth thy steps in the way wherein thou shouldst 
walk, and which leadetn unto life. And why doth 
he shew such mercy on us ? ' Even of his good 
pleasure.' 

Even of his good pleasure. We have heard that it 
is God that worketh in us both to will and to do that 
which is good. And why doth he so ? That God 
may be all in all, and all the glory of our salvation 
may be wholly his. The apostle telleth us that this 
he doth even of good pleasure ; it so pleaseth him, 
and howsoever the cause of this his pleasure be hidden 
from us, yet it is good and just ; he doeth it even of 
his good pleasure. Here, then, we have the first 
and furthest cause even of the whole mystery of our 
salvation. He hath predestinated and chosen us unto 
eternal life through Jesus Christ, before the foundation 
of the world. And why ? The apostle telleth us he 
did it 'according to the good pleasure of his will,' 
Eph. i. 4. ' He hath opened unto us the mystery 
of his will,' Eph. i. 9. And why? This, also, 
he did ' according to his good pleasure.' ' He hath 
made us accepted in his beloved, by whom we 
have redemption through his blood,' ver. 6. And 
why ? This, also, is ' according to his rich grace,' 
ver. 7. He hath wrought in us both to will and to do 
the things that belong unto our peace. And why ? 
' Even of his good pleasure.' "Wilt thou, then, know 
why God hath chosen thee, and refused him ; why he 
hath made thee a vessel of honour, and him a vessel 
of dishonour ; why he hath taken away the hardness 



of thy heart, and suffereth him still to walk in the 
hardness of his own heart ; why he hath sanctified thy 
will, and left him in the frowardness of his own will ? 
He hath not done these things for any good thing 
which he saw in thee, or for any goodness which he 
foresaw would be in thee, not for thy birth, wealth, sex, 
or condition, but even of his good pleasure ; for look 
into the whole book of God, still thou shalt find that 
the last and great cause of all our good is his grace, 
his mercy, his love, his purpose, his will, the purpose 
of his will, his good pleasure, the good pleasure of his 
will. And when thou comest hither, here thou must 
stay thyself, and cry with the apostle, Rom. xi. 31, 
' Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and 
knowledge of God,' &c. If it be the potter's pleasure 
to make of the same lump of clay one vessel to honour, 
and another to dishonour, who shall question further 
with him when this answer is once given ; — It was his 
pleasure, even the good pleasure of his will ? 

Is there, then, nothing in us to move him ; but is 
it even of his good pleasure that he saveth us, and 
that he doth so great things for us ? Oh what great 
thankfulness, what dutifulness, what obedience ought 
this to stir us up unto ! The greater that the gift is, 
and the freer that it is, the more it ought to stir us 
up unto these duties. Now, what greater gift than 
our salvation, and all the means thereunto ? And how 
could this gift be more free than to have it given us 
even of his good pleasure, without respect of any- 
thing that was or might be in us ? Let us, then, 
with all thankfulness yield all obedience unto this so 
merciful a God, who hath done so great things for us, 
even because his good pleasure was such. He hath 
given us all : let him have the glory of all. Neither 
can we attribute too much unto him, neither can we 
detract too much from ourselves. Whatsoever good 
thought, whatsoever good desire, whatsoever good 
deed is in us, he of his good pleasure hath wrought it 
in us, and he is to be glorified in it, and for it. Other 
fountain of our good there is none, and therefore all 
the praise, and honour, and glory thereof is due unto 
him alone. 



LECTUEE XXXV. 

Do all things without murmuring and reasonings; that ye may be blameless, andpure, and the sovs of God, without 

rebuke, dtc. — Philip. II. 14, 15. 



HITHERTO, then, we have spoken of that humble 
obedience, which we, following the example of 
Christ his humility and obedience, ought to yield unto 
our God in all holiness of conversation. Now followeth 
another branch of the apostle his exhortation, upon 
the same ground of Christ his humility and obedience, 
and this is unto an humble and modest conversation 
towards our neighbour, towards our brethren, in these 
words, ' Do all things without murmuring,' &c. For 



as the example of Christ his humility and obedience 
should stir us up unto all humble obedience unto our 
God, to walk before him with fear and with trem- 
bling, so ought it likewise to persuade us unto all 
humble and modest conversation toward our brethren, 
laying aside all secret murmuring, and all contentious 
reasonings, and with meekness every one yielding one 
unto another, and every one forbearing one another. 
Bo all things without murmuring, cvc. These words, 



152 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. II. 



you see, are a dehortation and dissuasion from things 
to be eschewed, and by consequent they are an ex- 
hortation unto things to be embraced. Two things 
there are, you see, which the apostle dissuadeth, the 
one murmuring, the other reasonings. By murmur- 
ing, the apostle (I take it) in this place doth not so 
much mean murmuring against God, as secret 
grudgings in ourselves against our brethren, and privy 
whisperings, such as closely run from hand to hand, 
to defame or to disgrace those whom we like not. By 
reasonings are meant such open discords and conten- 
tions as those secret grudgings and privy whisperings 
do for the most part break out into. Both these faults 
the apostle would have avoided and eschewed amongst 
men one towards another, that neither there should be 
secret grudgings and privy whisperings one against 
another, neither there should be open quarrelling or 
contending one with another. Now, it is further to 
be understood that, in this dehortation from these 
faults, the apostle implieth an exhortation to those 
good virtues whereby these bad faults maybe redressed, 
namely, unto a modest conversation with our brethren, 
and a peaceable agreement with all men. When the 
apostle therefore saith, ' Do all things without mur- 
muring,' it is as if he had thus said : Let there be no 
secret grudgings amongst you one against another, 
nor any privy whisperings running closely from hand 
to hand, to defame or to disgrace one another ; but 
let every one amongst you approve himself unto an- 
other, in all modesty of conversation, modestly yielding 
unto his superior, and equal, and willingly making 
himself equal unto them of the lowest degree. Again, 
when he saith, ' Do all things without reasonings,' it 
is as if he had thus said : Let there be no open dis- 
cords or contentions amongst you, either through 
bearing out yourselves one above another, or upon any 
occasion what else soever ; but follow peace and love 
with all men, and do all things with patience and 
mildness. This I take to be the meaning of these 
words. Now, before we proceed unto the opening of 
the rest that follow, let us see what use we may make 
of this exhortation. 

Do all things without murmuring. The first thing 
which the apostle here dissuadeth is murmuring. 
Now, we read of two sorts of murmurers in the holy 
Scriptures : the one of such as murmur against the 
most high God, Lord of heaven and earth. So we 
read that the Israelites often murmured, Num. xi. 5, 
xxi. 5, sometimes for want of water, sometimes for 
want of bread, sometimes for want of the cucumbers, 
and the pepons, and the leeks, and the onions, and 
the garlic, and the flesh-pots of Egypt ; and for want of 
such things as caused their often murmurings, it is 
said that they returned in their hearts into Egypt. 
And such murmurers against God at this day are they 
who, in this our time of want of bread, either break 
out into such impatient speeches as these : What 
means the Lord to kill us with famine ? What greater 



sinners are we than such and such, that have the 
world at will, and all things at their desire ? Would 
God he would either mend these things, or make an 
end of us ; who can endure such a hard time '? Better 
to die any way than to die of famine, &c. They, I 
say, that either break out into such impatient speeches, 
or through malcontentedness seek to raise up sedi- 
tions, and uproars, and rebellions in the common- 
wealth, so to procure a remedy by a worse mischief, 
are found to be murinurers against God, grudging at 
that which he doth, and seeking a way without him to 
redress it. But what was the end of those murmurers- 
amongst the children of Israel ? Some of them were 
consumed by fire from heaven, others were smitten 
with an exceeding great plague, others died, being 
bitten and stung with fiery serpents ; and of all of 
them this was true, that none of them came into the 
promised land. A fearful end upon murmurers against 
God : some die one way, and others are slain another 
way; every one hath a fearful end, and never a one 
comes into the promised land, never a one enters into 
that heavenly rest, where only is rest and joy for 
evermore. As, therefore, the apostle exhorted the 
Corinthians, saying, 1 Cor. x. 10, ' Murmur not as 
some of the children of Israel murmured, and were 
destroyed of the destroyer ;' so I say unto you, Take 
heed that none of you be found murmurers against 
God either for this his judgment, whereby he now doth 
most justly visit our sins and our iniquities upon us, 
or for anything else, lest his wrath be kindled against 
you, and there be none to deliver you. For all these 
things whereof we have spoke, came unto the children 
of Israel for ensamples, and were written to admonish 
us, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 

Another sort of murmurers there are, which mur- 
mur against their brethren, grudging either at their 
wealth, or at the love and favour, or at the credit and 
preferment wherein the} r go before them, and closely 
seeking their discredit, whispering amongst then* 
neighbours whatsoever evil they can devise against 
them. So the evangelists everywhere testify that the 
scribes and pharisees murmured against Jesus, and 
against his disciples, because they saw that the people 
fell everywhere unto them, and followed th2in. So we 
read, Acts vi. 1, that the Grecians murmured against 
the disciples of Christ, pretending that their widows 
were neglected in the daily ministering. And this 
principally is that niurrnuring which our apostle in 
this place would have abandoned, that we should not 
malign one another, that we should not have any 
grudgings or heart-burnings within ourselves one against 
another, that we should not secretly and closely seek 
the discredit or disgrace one of another. A fault 
whether more bad, or more common, it is hard to say, 
and that even amongst neighbours, amongst brethren. 
For what more ordinary than one neighbour, for some 
cause or other, to murmur against another ? If he be 
our superior in wealth, or in honour, or in credit, we 



Ver. 14, 15.] 



LECTURE XXXV. 



153 



murmur against him as too great to dwell so near us ; 
and be he never so kind unto us, yet still we do 
imagine that he bears himself too much upon his 
wealth, or upon his birth, or upon his place, &c, and 
overlooks us. If he be our equal, we grudge that he 
should come forward as well as ourselves, that he 
should be as much honoured, that he should be as 
much loved, that he should be as well customed as 
ourselves. If he be our inferior, we disdain him, and 
that livelihood which he hath we wish unto ourselves, 
and would be content that he should shift as he could. 
Thus, amongst all sorts there is murmuring, and 
grudging, and repining ; so that whereas all things 
should be done without niurrnuring, nothing is done 
without murmuring. Yea, and which is the vile 
malice of this disease, if haply sometimes there be 
some just cause, we speak not of it, we do not friendly 
and neighbourly expostulate things one with another, 
but we make fair weather outwardly, when as yet both 
we foster within ourselves ill conceits and opinions one 
of another, and likewise whisper, one with another, 
such things as tend to the disgrace one of another. 
Now, sea the root whence this murmuring springs ; 
surely it springs even from an evil and a cankered 
mind within ourselves, which makes us that we cannot 
brook any of any sort, but whatsoever their place be, 
superior, equal, or inferior to us, we mutter and we 
are impatient towards them, and whatsoever almost is 
done or said we take occasion to be offended thereat. 
And such as is the root whence it springs, such is the 
fruit which it brings forth, both bad, and exceeding 
bad. For howsoever we do smother and suppress it 
for a time, and carry it so closely that he whom we 
grudge at suspects nothing by us, yet will it most 
commonly in the end burst out, like a flame, into 
brawls, and heats, and open contentions, and discords, 
and the more closely the fire hath been covered, the 
more vehemently it will break out. It behoveth us, 
therefore, carefully to look unto it that we be not 
tainted with this fault, and, if there be any such root 
of bitterness in any of us, to weed it out. Let every 
man look into his own heart, and examine himself how 
this may concern him ; and this, with the apostle, I 
exhort, that ye do all things without murmuring. Be 
not ready to take offence at every small fault one with 
another; foster not within yourselves any ill opinions 
or conceits one of another ; whisper not anything 
amongst yourselves which may tend to the discredit or 
disgrace one of another ; grudge not to perform any 
duty every man in his place one unto another. But, 
contrariwise, let every man approve himself in all 
modesty of conversation one unto another ; let every 
man think well one of another ; let every man yield 
one unto another ; let every man bear one with an- 
other ; and let all things be done with cheerfulness and 
modesty. For this ye must know, that he that dis- 
suadeth murmuring amongst neighbours and brethren, 
doth withal desire that all cheerfulness and loving-kind- 



ness be maintained amongst them. Have your conver- 
sation then, one with another, with all cheerfulness and 
brotherly kindness, and do all things that any way 
concern your duties one unto another without mur- 
muring, and likewise without reasoning ; for so it 
followeth in the next place. 

And reasonings. This is the second thing which 
the apostle dissuadeth, that we should fall to reason- 
ings about anything that we do. 1. That we should 
fall unto open brawling, or quarrelling, or contentions 
one with another. We read that when there was 
fallen a debate between the herdmen of Abraham's 
cattle and the herdmen of Lot's cattle, Gen. xhi. 7, 8, 
Abraham said unto Lot, ' Let there be no strife, no 
brawling or falling out between me and thee, neither 
between mine herdmen and thine herdmen ; for we be 
brethren.' See how careful Abraham was to stay all 
contention and brawls. He was Lot's elder, and 
uncle, and so his better in that respect ; but he stand- 
eth not upon that, neither doth he hearten his servants 
and set them on, as the manner of some is, but he 
goes unto Lot, and talks with him of the matter, and 
that not hotly, but kindly and friendly, with great 
meekness of love, and requests him that there be no 
brawling or contention between their servants, or 
betwixt themselves ; and to that purpose he both 
useth reasons to persuade thereunto, and yieldeth of 
his right rather than there should be any such betwixt 
them. "Whereby you see this holy patriarch's judg- 
ment of them ; rather than he would have any brawls 
and contentions with his brother, he would resign that 
right unto him which he might rightly have challenged 
unto himself. Now what account the apostle makes 
of brawling and contention, and discords of men one 
with another, ye may clearly see by those notable 
fruits of the flesh wherewith he sorteth this fault 
whereof we now speak, Gal. v. 20, as namely, with 
' adultery, fornication, idolatry, witchcraft, heresy, 
murder, drunkenness, gluttony, and such like.' Ye see, 
then, what vice it is from whence the apostle here dis- 
suadeth us, when he dissuadeth us from reasonings, and 
brawls, and contentions one with another ; even from 
that which Abraham by his example hath taught us to 
redeem with the loss of our own right, and from that 
which the apostle sorteth amongst the most ugly 
monsters which reign amongst men. And these 
brawlings, and contentions, and discords are the fruits 
which follow T those murmurings, and privy grudgings 
whereof we spake before. For as wood and fuel is 
unto the fire, so are those close murmurings unto these 
open brawls and contentions, even the very ground 
and matter whereout they do spring : and, as the fire 
long covered and smothered is not always kept under, 
but at length bursteth out into a flame, so those con- 
cealed hatreds, howsoever for a time they he boiling 
within the breast of him that fostereth them, yet do 
they at length shew themselves in their colours, even 
breaking out into open strifes and contentions. It 



154 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. II. 



standeth us upon to strangle both the mother and the 
daughter, to avoid both the one and the other, lest, 
yielding possession in our hearts unto the one, we 
ourselves be overtaken and strangled with the other. 
And to this end, as the apostle before exhorteth us to 
do all things without murmuring, so now to do all 
things without reasonings and contentions one with 
another. The apostle thus writeth to the Corinthians, 
2 Cor. xii. 20, ' I fear lest, when I come among you, I 
shall not find you such as I would, and lest there be 
among yon strife, envying, wrath, contentions, back- 
bitings, whisperings, swellings, and discord.' I do not, 
neither can I, charge you with any of these things ; only 
with the apostle I exhort you that there be no debate, 
or quarrelling, or jarring, or contention, or strife 
amongst you. Let not every foolish and flying word, 
every toying and trifling matter, breed brawls, or kindle 
the coals of dissension amongst you. It is the coun- 
sel of wise Solomon, Prov. xxv. 8, ' Go not forth 
hastily to strife, lest thou know not what to do in the 
end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to 
shame ; but debate thy matter with thy neighbour :' 
in which words he teacheth us quickly to cut off all 
occasions of strife and contention, and to use chari- 
table conference one with another, for the taking up 
of all such things as may breed strife and contention. 
Again, in another place, Prov. xvii. 14, saith the same 
Solomon, ' The beginning of strife is as one that 
openeth the waters ; therefore, ere the contention be 
meddled with, leave off ;' where he likeneth him that 
moveth and beginneth strife unto a man that, by pluck- 
in j up a sluice, lets in the waters which before were 
shut up, and so drowns whatsoever is in the way. 
But the thing which therein he teacheth us is this, 
that we should withstand the beginnings, as of all 
evils in general, so in particular, of strife and conten- 
tion. Beware therefore, I beseech you, that ye suffer 
not this canker to spread amongst you. Brawling and 
debate, strife and contention, becomes not them that 
have given their names to Christ Jesus. Peace and 
love, kindness and gentleness one towards another, 
best beseemeth you. Follow, therefore, after love, 
seek peace, and ensue it. Be kind and courteous one 
unto another, be gentle and loving one unto another, 
and have peace amongst yourselves, and so the God of 
peace shall be with you and bless you. 

That ye may he hlamelessi ami pur&, kc. Now fol- 
loweth the reason, as I take it, of both the branches 
of the apostle his exhortation ; namely, why we should 
both walk in holiness of life before the Lord with fear 
and trembling, and why our conversation with our neigh- 
bours and brethren should be without murmuring and 
reasonings. The reason is twofold : the one in respect 
of the Philippians, ' that they might be blameless and 
pure,' &c. ; the other in respect of the apostle himself, 
' that he might rejoice in the day of Christ,' &c. The 
sum of the first reason, in respect of the Philippians, 
and consequently in respect of us, is this : that we 



ought to lead a life as the sons of God in the midst 
of a froward people, therefore we ought to pass the 
time of our dwelling here with fear and trembling, and 
to do all things without murmuring and reasoning. 
The reason seemeth to be drawn from the end why 
we should so walk, why we should so do. Why should 
w T e so walk ; why should we so do ? To what end ? 
' That we may be blameless,' &c. ; that is, in brief, that 
we may be as the sons of God in the midst of a froward 
people. But the particulars whereby this is enlarged 
have their several uses, and are very well worthy our 
serious consideration. 

That ye may be blameless. We must walk thus, and 
do thus, that we may be blameless ; that is, that we 
may not give unto any, any just cause of complaining 
of us, or blaming us. And this is set down for us as 
a mark to shoot at, whereat in our life we must level 
as near as possible we can, even to live without blame 
and reproof amongst men. Yea, but is this possible ? 
Could our Saviour Christ himself, or could his apostles 
and disciples, escape the reproof and hatred of the 
Jews ? No, they could not ; neither can we. For 
our Saviour himself hath told us, that the world, i. e. 
the wicked men of the world, shall hate us, and speak 
all manner of evil against us for his sake falsely. Yet 
therefore were they blameless, because the Jews hated 
them without a cause, as our Saviour saith of himself, 
John xv. 25, because there was no just cause of their 
reproof. And so it is said of Zacharias and Elizabeth 
his wife, Luke i. 6, that ' they walked in all the com- 
mandments and ordinances of the Lord without re- 
proofs.' Without reproof ; how r ? In respect of God ? 
No ; but in respect of men they were without reproof, 
inasmuch as they gave no just cause of exception 
against them unto any man. And this is it whereunto 
we must bend ourselves, and our studies, even so to 
live as that we give no just occasion of offence or com- 
plaint of us unto any man either by word or by deedr 
Yea, but this also is impossible, so to live as not to 
give many times just occasions of offences, just occa- 
sions of reproofs. True it is ; for who is he that lives 
so well, that gives not just occasions of reproofs ? 
But what then ? Must we not therefore study so to 
live as not to give any just occasion of reproof ? Our 
Saviour Christ telleth us that we must be perfect, even 
as our Father which is in heaven is perfect : a thing 
altogether impossible for us to be perfect in this life ; 
yet must we even in this life strive thereunto, that 
though we cannot come as far as we should, yet we 
may endeavour to come as far as we can, even as our 
apostle witnesseth of himself, where he saith, Philip, 
hi. 12, 13, ' I forget that which is behind, and endea- 
vour to that which is before, and follow hard toward 
the mark,' &e. ; where he plainly sheweth, that though 
he could not come unto perfection, yet he laboured 
thereunto. Right so, although we cannot be blame- 
less, nor haply without just occasion of blame and 
reproof, yet must we study and endeavour so to live 



Ver. L4, 15.J 



LECTURE XXXV. 



155 



amongst men, as that, neither by word nor by deed, we 
give them just occasion to complain of us or to blame us. 
But how far a great many in these last and worst days 
are from this study and endeavour, he seeth little that 
seeth not. When the apostle saith, ' do all things 
without murmuring and reasonings, that ye may be 
blameless,' he sheweth plainly that those that are 
tainted with those faults of murmuring, and brawling, 
and contention, are not blameless, but are justly to 
be reproved, giving just occasion thereof by their 
wranglings, and malcontented contentions. 

To go one step farther ; the profane swearer, is he 
such a student as now we speak of; doth he study to 
be without just reproof? Nay, reprove him for his 
cursed swearing, a tbing most worthy reproof, yet re- 
prove him, and great odds but he will heap oath upon 
oath to let you know how little he esteems just reproof. 
I speak that I know, having sometimes myself, to my 
great grief, heard it. And if we should go farther, 
how few such students should w r e find as study to be 
blameless ? Ye yourselves do see it, and find it in 
the ordinaiy course of life and common experience. 
Well, let us know that not only scholars ought to be 
such students as we now speak of, but all generally, of 
what sort or state soever they be, ought to study so 
to lead their lives, as that they may want just reproof 
amongst their brethren. And if we ought, then let 
us be such students, and let every of us set such a 
watch before our lips, that we may not offend with our 
tongue, and so order our steps that we give no just 
occasion of exception against us, that so we may come 
as near unto this of our apostle as we can, to be 
blameless. 

The next clause is, that ice may be pure. We must 
walk before God with fear and trembling, and we must 
do all things with our neighbour without murmuring 
and grudging, that we may be pure ; that is, that in 
our spirits there may be found no guile, but that in 
singleness of heart we may speak and do whatsoever 
we speak oi\do. And this is set down as another 
mark for us to shoot at, whereat likewise we must level 
so near as we can in the whole course of our life, even 
to be pure and clean from all fraud and guile, both in 
our words and deeds. And if we hit this mark, we 
shall not miss of the other; if we be pure, we shall be 
blameless ; if whatsoever we speak or do proceed from 
the singleness of a sincere heart, we shall avoid all 
just reproof for whatsoever we say or do. That, there- 
fore, we may be blameless, we ought to study to be pure 
from all contagion of sin. Yea, but the stars are un- 
clean in his sight, how much more man, a worm, even 



the son of man, which is but a worm ; and he hath 
laid folly upon his angels, how much more upon us 
tbat dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in 
the dust, which shall be destrojed before the moth ! 
True it is, none can say, I have made mine heart 
clean, I am clean from my sin ; but if God should dis- 
pute with us, we could not answer him one thing of a 
thousand. Yet ought we to endeavour to be pure even 
from all contagion of sin, and to keep ourselves un- 
spotted of the world. And if so, then ought we to be 
simple, and sincere, and plain dealing in all our words 
and works, which the apostle especially here intendeth: 
' Be ye wise,' saith our Saviour, Mat. x. 1G, ' as ser- 
pents, and innocent as doves ;' where the same word 
is used that here is used. And albeit that be spoken 
in particular there unto the apostles, yet the use is 
general, that all should be innocent as doves, all should 
lead a life pure from all fraud and guile. So of that 
which, in particular, the apostle speakethunto servants : 
Eph. vi. 5, ' Servants, be obedient unto them that arc 
your masters, according to the flesh, with fear and trem- 
bling, in singleness of your hearts as unto Christ.' Of 
this, I say, we ought to make this general use, that we 
ought to speak and do all things in singleness of our 
hearts as unto Cbrist ; for as James saith, chap. i. 8, 
' the double-minded man is inconstant in all his ways.' 
He that bath a heart and a heart, he that can dissem- 
ble with his lips and flatter with his tongue, there is 
no trust to be given unto him. Our speech ought to 
be simple, yea and nay ; and we ourselves ought to be 
simple and pure in heart, that both in word and in work 
we may be found sincere and entire, a point not unworthy 
your meditation, but most needful to be practised. 
For this ye must know, that the more fraud and guile 
ye use, be it in word, or be it in work, the farther ye 
are from God, and the nearer ye are unto the prince of 
this world. Be not afraid of being too pure, and too, 
too precise. When ye have studied this point as much 
as ye can, yet ye shall still be impure enough, and too 
far short of that purity, which should be in you. 
Study to be, as in word, so in deed, and pure in both. 
Let there be no deceitfulness in any of you, either 
in the works of your hands, or in the words of yotff 
lips. Ye are purified, and purged, and washed by tbe 
blood of that immaculate Lamb Cbrist Jesus, which he 
shed for the remission of your sins. Defile not your- 
selves again with the filthincss of the world. Be ye 
pure, that ye may be blameless ; be ye blameless and 
pure, that ye may be as ' the sons of God without re- 
buke, in the midst of a naughty and crooked nation,' 
which are the words next following to be handled. 



156 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. IL 



LECTURE XXXVI. 

And the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a naughty and crooked nation, among whom ye shine as 

lights, dc. — Philip. II. 15. 



A ND the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst, 
-^-*- dr. This is the third clause in the apostle his 
reason why \ve should hearken unto both the former 
exhortations, why we should walk before the Lord in 
holiness of life, with fear and trembling, and why we 
should do all things with our neighbour without mur- 
muring and reasonings, ' that we may be the sons of 
God,' &c. ; that is, that being the sons of God by 
adoption and grace, we may be known to be so, by 
our care to walk without rebuke in the midst of a 
naughty and crooked nation, keeping ourselves unde- 
filed by their wicked conversation. By a naughty and 
crooked nation, the apostle understandeth all such 
wicked and ungodly men, as, walking in the darkness 
of their own understanding, are enemies unto the 
truth of Christ, and hate the light because their works 
are evil. And such, it seemeth, were the greatest part 
of them of Macedonia, in the midst of whom that small 
number of the faithful which were at Philippi, and 
which, by Paul's preaching, had embraced the gospel 
of Christ Jesus, lived. The apostle, therefore, apply- 
ing the example of Christ his humility and obedience 
unto them, exhorteth them so to walk both before God 
and with their brethren, that they may be blameless 
and pure, and the sons of God ; that is, both known 
to be the sons of God, by leading an holy and uncor- 
rupt life amongst the enemies of Christ and his truth, 
and continue so to be, notwithstanding the corrupt con- 
versation of the wicked among whom they live. 

Here, then, is a third mark set down for us to shoot 
at, a third thing whereunto we must bend ourselves 
and our whole studies, even that it may be known that 
we are the sons of God. Known unto whom ? Both 
unto ourselves and unto others. Our labour and en- 
deavour must be, that we may know ourselves to be 
the sons of God, and that others may also know that 
we are the sons of God. ' Give all diligence,' saith 
Peter, 2 Peter i. 10, ' to make your calling and elec- 
tion sure ;' in which words of the apostle ye see how 
carefully the apostle would have us to be employed in 
this study: he would have us to give all diligence 
hereunto, that we may be sure that we are the sons of 
God, elect and chosen in Christ Jesus before the 
foundation of the world. Our election, it is according 
to the good purpose of his will, who hath predestinated 
us unto eternal salvation. Our adoption likewise into 
the sons of God through Jesus Christ, it is according 
to the riches of his grace and favour towards us. And 
these things, even our election and adoption into the 
sons of God, are most sure in themselves, neither can 
they, by us, any way be procured either to be if they 
be not, or being, to be more su e than ihev be. For 



whom he hath chosen and adopted into sons, them he 
hath chosen and adopted before the foundation of the 
world, and his decree is, beyond all degrees of com- 
parison, more unalterable and unchangeable than are 
the laws of the Medes and Persians. Yet such are 
the mercies of our God towards us, that howsoever 
we can help nothing unto our election, or unto our 
adoption into the sons of God, yet may we know 
whether we be elected, whether we be the sons of 
God, and besides, we may give proof thereof unto 
others. And hereunto it is that we ought to give all 
diligence, and to bend ourselves and our whole studies, 
that it may appear, both unto ourselves and unto 
others, that we are the sons of God. A study where- 
unto the comfort which thence may arise may be a 
sufficient inducement unto any. For wherein should 
we rather labour, than in that wherein we may take 
the greatest comfort ? Or wherein can we take so 
great comfort as in this, that we know that we are, 
and that it doth appear unto others that we are, the 
sons of God ? Herein alone is found joy and comfort, 
and without this what can there be else but restless- 
ness of thoughts, and disquietness of mind ? 

Yea, but you will ask me how this may appear, 
either unto ourselves or others, that we are the sons 
of God ? I answer out of the apostle, even by walk- 
ing without rebuke in the midst of a naughty and 
crooked nation, by the fruits of the Spirit shewing 
themselves in the holiness of our conversation. ' For 
as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the 
sons of God,' Kom. viii. 14. Now who are they that 
are led by the Spirit of God ? Even they that by the 
power of the Spirit of sanctification mortify the deeds 
of the body, as there the apostle sheweth, and bring 
forth the fruits of the Spirit. So, then, they which 
walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit, flying 
from sin as from a serpent, and being zealous of good 
works, they have an infallible testimony that they are 
the sons of God, and heirs of eternal life. Hereby 
then we ourselves know that we are the sons of God, 
even by the fruits of the Spirit, which he hath given 
us. And therefore Peter, in the place before alleged, 
' Give diligence to make your calling and election 
sure,' immediately addeth, ' For if ye do these things,' 
that is, if ye bring forth those fruits of the Spirit 
mentioned before, ' ye shall never full ;' where the 
apostle plainly sheweth, that the way to confirm our 
election unto ourselves is by the fruits of the Spirit, 
which he hath given unto us. Hereby, likewise, we 
make it apparent unto others that we arc the sons of 
God, if we walk in those go d works which Cod hath 
ordained us to walk in. And therefore our Saviour 



Ver. 15.] 



LECTURE XXXVI. 



157 



Christ exhort eth us, paying. Mat. v. 16, ' Let your 
light so shine before men, that they may see your 
good works, and glorify your Father which is in 
heaven ;' even him Avhose sons they shall know you to 
be, by those good works which they shall see you do. 
So that, as the end wherefore we were predestinate to 
be adopted into the sons of God through Jesus Christ, 
was that we should be holy, and without blame before 
God in love, so the means whereby we are declared, 
both to ourselves and others, to be the sons of God, 
is our holy conversation, and walking without rebuke 
in the midst of a naughty and crooked nation. When 
therefore I say that we ought to give all diligence, that 
we may appear to be the sons of God, the meaning is, 
that we ought to be holy in conversation, and without 
blame in the midst of a naughty and crooked nation, 
that so it may appear that we are the sons of God. 

Yea, but here again it will be said, where is he that 
is holy in all manner of conversation ? And who is 
he that walketh, without rebuke, amongst the sons of 
men ? And, therefore, how can it appear by the note 
of our sanctification that we are the sons of God ? I 
answer, that howsoever our sanctification here in this 
life be so imperfect, that we cannot be holy in all 
manner of conversation, or walk without rebuke 
amongst the sons of men, yet if we strive and labour, 
if we study and endeavour to be holy without blame, 
and to walk as the sons of God amongst the sons of 
men, hereby it doth and may appear that we are the 
sons of God. If we hate the sins of unfaithfulness, 
and let no such cleave unto us ; if we suffer not sin to 
reign in our mortal bodies, but strive to subdue the 
flesh unto the spirit ; if we fly the corruptions which 
are in the world through lusts, and study to live 
soberly, and righteously, and godly, in this present 
world ; if we long and thirst after those things that 
belong unto our peace, and can, in the needful time 
of trouble, come unto our God, and ciy, Abba, 
Father : hereby it doth and may appear that we are 
the sons of God. The godly strife against sin, and 
careful desire of walking in the ways of God, without 
rebuke, they are the sure and undoubted stamps of 
the Spirit, of our adoption into the sons of God, and 
the certain fruits of that Spirit whereby we are sealed 
until the redemption of the possession purchased unto 
the praise of his glory. If thou desire further proof of 
these things, look into the holy Scriptures, and they 
shall instruct thee sufficiently herein. ' Blessed,' 
saith our Saviour Christ, Mat. v. G, ' are they that 
hunger and thirst after righteousness ;' where our 
Saviour sheweth, that not they alone which are right- 
eous, but they also which hunger and thirst after 
righteousness, are blessed, and consequently the sons 
of God. So we read that Abraham's willingness to 
offer up his only begotten son Isaac, for a burnt- offer- 
ing unto the Lord, was accepted with God for as sure 
a proof of his faith and obedience as if he had offered 
him up indeed, Gen. xii. 12 ; insomuch that, in 



regard of his willingness thereunto, the apostles plainly 
say that he did offer up Isaac when he was tried, Heb. 
xii. 17, James ii. 21 ; so little difference the Holy 
Ghost putteth between the will and the deed, when the 
will is inclined unto that which is good. The like 
may be said of David's willingness and desire to build 
a temple unto the Lord, 1 Chron. xxviii. 2. He 
builded it not, yet his purpose and desire to have 
builded it was accepted with God. And generally 
this is true, that the will and desire is accepted with 
God as the deed, so that the will, and desire, and en- 
deavour, to walk in the ways of God, without rebuke, 
do plainly shew us to be the sons of God, and are 
accepted with God as if we walked holy and without 
blame. The like is to be said of striving against sin, 
that even the very striving against sin doth plainly 
shew us to be the sons of God. For proof whereof 
what need any other than that example of the blessed 
apostle Paul, who hath registered such a dangerous 
fight in himself between the flesh and the spirit, that it 
made him cry out, Rom. vii. 24, ' wretched man that 
I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death ? ' 
And yet, because in his inner man, and in his spirit, 
he delighted in the law T of God, he addeth immediately 
in the next words following, ver. 25, ' I thank my 
God, through Jesus Christ our Lord,' to shew that 
in the strife the flesh took the foil, and he, by the 
power of his Lord and Christ, did stand. The 
assaults of the flesh made him to cry, ' wretched 
man,' &c. ; and the conquest of the Spirit made him 
to add, ' I thank God,' Sec. Such a strife and light 
the blessed apostle had in himself, and such a strife 
and fight all the children of God have within them- 
selves ; and this striving in them is a witness unto 
them that they are the sons of God. For to turn a 
little aside unto the sons of Belial, and children of dis- 
obedience, what strife or fight at all is there in them 
betwixt the flesh and the spirit ? what denying of un- 
godliness and worldly lusts ? what care to subdue the 
flesh unto the spirit ? what flying of the corruptions 
which are in the world through lusts ? what love of 
God or good men ? what desire to live soberly, right- 
eously, and godly, in this present world, is in them at 
all ? Nay, contrariwise, they delight in unrighteous- 
ness, and sell themselves to work wickedness ; they 
commit sin even with greediness, and gladly give their 
members servants to uncleanness, and to iniquity to 
commit iniquity ; they hate to be reformed, and cast 
the word behind their backs ; they refuse to hearken 
to instruction, and stop their ears at the voice of the 
charmer, charm he never so wisely. And therefore 
the apostle callcth them a naughty and crooked na- 
tion, because they quite pervert the straight ways of 
the Lord, giving their members as weapons of unright- 
eousness unto sin, which should be given as weapons 
of righteousness unto God : so far arc they from 
striving against sin, and from a desire to walk holy 
and without blame. Only they that are the sons of 



158 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. II. 



God feel this strife and this desire within themselves ; 
and this very strife against sin, and desire to walk 
after the Spirit without blame in love, shews plainly 
that we are the sons of God. Thus, then, ye see what 
should be our study in the whole course of our life, 
to wit, as that we may be blameless, and that we may 
be pure, so that we may be known to be the sons of 
God, even unto those amongst whom we live. Ye see 
likewise how this may be known, not unto others 
only, but unto ourselves, both unto ourselves and 
others, even by the Spirit of sanctification, which both 
' witnesseth unto our spirits that we are the sons of 
God,' Rom. viii. 16, and which, by the fruits and 
effects which it worketh in us, sheweth as much unto 
others. And howsoever our sanctification here in this 
life be imperfect, yet ye see that our very striving 
against sin, and our desire to be holy and without 
rebuke, plainly doth and may shew, both unto our- 
selves and unto others, that we are the sons of God. 
Comfort, then, thyself, thou afflicted soul, whoso- 
ever thou art, that so groanest under the burden of thy 
sins, that thou wantest this sweet comfort of thy soul. 
For, tell me, doest thou feel in thyself a striving 
against sin ; art thou touched with remorse and com- 
punction of heart for thy sins ; doest thou desire to 
lead a life according to God's will ; and hast thou a 
longing after this comfort that thou art the child of 
God ? "Whatsoever be thine infirmities, how crimson- 
dj-ed soever thy sins be, whatsoever doubts else thou 
castest, yet doubt not thou art the son of God, and 
unto thee belongeth the inheritance of the sons of 
God. For it is the Spirit, even the Spirit of sanctifi- 
cation, that filleth thy heart with good desires, with 
desire to fly that which is evil, and with desire to do 
that which is good ; and ' he that hath begun this good 
work in thee will perform it until the day of Jesus 
Christ,' Philip, i. 6, when thou shalt be crowned with 
glory and immortality in the highest heavens. As for 
the wicked and ungodly of the earth, which wallow in 
their wickedness, and make a mock of piety and religion, 
which have not God in all their thoughts, nor make 
mention of his name with their lips, unless it be to 
blaspheme and dishonour his holy name, the^y have no 
part in this comfort, this rejoicing in the Spirit be- 
longeth not unto them. But for us, beloved, let us 
labour and strive to have this comfort sealed unto our 
souls, that we are the sons of God, by our striving 
against sin, and our careful endeavour to walk with- 
out rebuke. Yea, let us so look unto our steps, and 
take heed unto our ways, let us so decline the plea- 
sures of sin, and delight ourselves in the law of the 
Lord, that men, seeing the mortification of our earthly 
members, and the integrity of our conversation, may 
have nothing concerning us to speak evil of, but may 
say that God is in you indeed, and so may glorify 
him in the day of visitation. 

Yea, but ye will say again unto me, How can we 
thus live ? Is it not a naughty and crooked nation, 



a froward and wicked people with whom we live ? 
Can a man touch pitch, and not be defiled therewith ? 
or walk amongst thorns, and not be pricked there- 
with ? True ; we live amongst wicked men, whose 
hearts are set on mischief, even as the apostle here 
saith, that the Philippians lived in the midst of a 
naughty and crooked nation. Yet the apostle, ye see, 
writeth unto them to walk so, both before God and 
with their neighbour, that they might be blameless 
and pure, and the sons of God without rebuke in the 
midst of a naughty and crooked nation ; which 
teacheth us thus much, that howsoever ' the whole 
world lieth in wickedness.' as the apostle speaketh, 
1 John v. 19, yet may we live in the world, and 
amongst the enemies of the light, as children of the 
light, and as the sons of God, shewing ourselves to 
be so even unto them, by walking with all care to be 
without rebuke amongst them. Otherwise no doubt 
the apostle would have bid them to get out from 
amongst that naughty and crooked people, that so, 
being separated from them, they might not be defiled 
with their unclean conversation ; whereas now he 
warneth them so to order their steps that they may 
be known to be the sons of God, by walking with all 
carefulness to be without rebuke in the midst of a 
naughty and crooked nation. There is great danger, 
indeed, that we shall be defiled with pitch if we touch 
it, and that we shall be pricked with thorns if we walk 
in the midst of thorns. Proofs hereof there are too, 
too many in all places. Joseph being taught in the 
ways of God, feared God no doubt, yet, after that he 
had lived a while at Pharaoh's court, he learned too 
readily to swear ' by the life of Pharaoh,' Gen. xlii. 15. 
So it is said that whiles Israel abode in Shittim, the 
people began to commit whoredom with the daughters 
of Moab, Num. xxv. 1. And common experience 
teacheth us that there is nothing more pernicious 
and dangerous tban is conversing with the wicked. 
For such commonly we are as they are with w r hom we 
converse ; and this ye shall always find to be most 
true, that sooner and oftener is he that is good made- 
worse by him that is bad, than he that is bad is bet- 
tered by him that is good. Whereupon it is that so 
many caveats are everywhere given to beware of the 
company and enticements of the wicked. As where 
it is said in the Proverbs, chap. i. 10-14, ' My son, 
if sinners do entice thee, consent thou not. If they 
say, Come with us,' &c. And again, ' Enter not into 
the way of the wicked, and walk not in the way of 
evil men. Avoid it, and go not by it ; turn from it, 
and pass by,' chap. iv. 14, 15. In both which places 
Solomon would have us to take heed of the company 
and fellowship of the wicked, as a thing very danger- 
ous. And certainly so it is, and therefore great heed 
to be taken, lest, by conversing with the wicked, we 
be defiled with their unclean conversation. Our care, 
therefore, must be that we may, with the prophet 
David, protest and say, ' I haunt not with vain persons, 



Ver. 15.] 



LECTURE XXXVI. 



159 



neither keep company with the dissemblers. I hate 
the assembly of the evil, and have no company with 
the wicked,' Ps. xxvi. 4, 5 ; for ' Blessed is the man 
that doth not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor 
stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in the seat of the 
scornful,' Ps. i. 1. What then '? Because the case 
so standeth, that the whole world lieth in wickedness, 
must we needs sever ourselves from the company of 
men, and either shut up ourselves in some cloister, or 
get us into the wilderness, there to lead a solitary 
life ? So some have thought, and so some have done, 
pretending that cause that they might not be defiled 
with the corruptions of the world. But this is a thing 
altogether needless, as the example of just Lot shcweth, 
the integrity of whose holy conversation amongst the 
wicked Sodomites is registered both in the Old and 
New Testament, Gen. xix. 1, 2 Pet. ii. 8. If it be so, 
therefore, that either through the general iniquity of 
the time, or upon what reason else soever, we do con- 
verse and live in the midst of a naughty and crooked 
nation, we see we may live amongst them without just 
rebuke as the sons of God. Neither, being thus seated 
amongst the wicked and ungodly, are we by and by to 
think of a cloister or a wilderness to dwell in, but 
rather we are to think of these precepts following. 

First, That we ' fashion not ourselves like unto the 
world,' Rom. xii. 2; that is, that we grow not like unto 
the wicked of the world in life and manners, and so be 
defiled by their unclean conversation. ' For whatso- 
ever is in the world, as the lust of the flesh, the lust 
of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, 
but is of the world,' 1 John ii. 1G. We must not 
therefore suffer ourselves to be entangled with these 
things, we must not walk in the paths of the wicked. 
Secondly, We must, by the example of just Lot, be even 
vexed in our souls when we see and hear the unlawful 
and ungodly deeds of the wicked, 2 Pet. ii. 8. As also 
we read of David, where he saith, Ps. cxix. 158, ' I saw 
the transgressors, and was grieved, because they kept 
not tlry word ;' and again, ver. 136, ' Mine eyes gush 
out with rivers of water, because they keep not thy 
law ;' and again, ver. 53, ' Fear is come upon me for 
the wicked that forsake thy law ;' and again, ver. 139, 
' My zeal hath even consumed me, because mine 
enemies have forgotten thy word.' All which shews 
how we should be affected at the contempt and at the 
ungodly conversation of the wicked, it should even be 
a pain and grief unto us. Thirdly, We must, after 
the example of Noah, that preacher of righteousness, 
admonish the wicked of their ways, and warn them of 
the judgments of God against all unrighteousness and 
ungodliness. For albeit they scom admonition, and 
make a mock of instruction, yet must we, as conveniently 
we may, put them in mind of such things as belong 
unto their peace, and accompany salvation. Fourthly, 
We must, in holiness of life and integrity of conversa- 
tion amongst them, shew ourselves to be the sons of 
God, that if it be possible, our conversation may win 



them to walk in the ways of Christ. So our Saviour 
willcth, saying, Mat. v. 1G, ' Let your light so shine 
before men, that they may see your good works, and 
glorify your Father which is in heaven.' These, I say, 
are the precepts which, if we follow, we need not to 
think of cloister, or of desert, or of going out of the 
world, but we may live with a pure conscience, and as 
the sons of God, be the sons of men never so wicked 
amongst whom we live. This I say we may do. How- 
beit I do not hereby encourage any either to thrust him- 
self into the company of the wicked when he need not, 
or longer to stay amongst them than he should. But 
this I exhort, especially that ye fashion not yourselves 
like unto the wicked of the world, and next, that ye 
avoid the company of the wicked and ungodly. At no 
hand suffer yourselves to be defiled by their unclean 
conversation, and if ye may, keep yourselvLS from their 
assemblies. In a word, study to be the sons of God 
without rebuke in the midst of a naughty and crooked 
nation ; and the more wicked that they are with whom 
ye live, be ye the more careful of yom 1 conversation, 
that it be such as becometh the sons of God, that 
thereby they may be drawn, if it be possible, to glorify 
God in the day of visitation, or at least they may have 
nothing concerning you to speak evil of, always re- 
membering that by grace and adoption we are severed 
from them to be the sons of God. 

Lastly, Hence I note what we are by nature before 
we be regenerate and born again by the Spirit : we 
are even ' a naughty and crooked nation,' as the apostle 
here speaketh ; ' an evil and adulterous generation,' 
as our Saviour speaketh, Mat. xii. 39 ; 'a froward and 
crooked generation,' as Moses speaketh, Deut. xxxii. 5 ; 
' a faithless and stubborn generation,' as David speak- 
eth ; ' a sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a 
seed of the wicked, corrupt children,' as Isaiah speak- 
eth, Isa. i. 4 ; ' children of wrath, and children of dis- 
obedience,' as the apostle speaketh, Eph. ii. 2, 3; 
' our thoughts wicked, our will depraved, our under- 
standing darkened, our throats open sepulchres, our 
tongues full of deceit,' &c, Rom. iii. 13, &c. : so im- 
pure, that even our minds and consciences are defiled ; 
so untoward, that we clean pervert the straight ways of 
the Lord, and instead of giving our members weapons 
of righteousness unto God, making them weapons of 
unrighteousness unto sin, and instead of serving God, 
altogether yielding ourselves servants unto sin. Most 
miserable and wretched is our state, darkness without 
light, ignorance without understanding, foolishness 
without wisdom, before such time as all mists of dark- 
ness, ignorance, and foolishness be expelled by the 
bright beams of God's Holy Spirit, and we brought 
unto the glorious liberty of the sons of God. Yea, 
and such thou standest, as by nature thou art, who- 
soever thou art that sleepest* in sin and delightest in 
unrighteousness, making no conscience of thy ways, 
but treasuring unto thyself wrath against the day of 
* Qu. 'steepest'? — Ed. 



160 



A1HAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. II. 



wrath, and of the declaration of the just judgment of 
God. But thou that fearest God, and walkest in his 
wavs, consider from what bondage and into what free- 
dom the Lord hath brought thee ; how, of a child of 
wrath, of death, and of hell, he hath brought thee into 
the glorious liberty of the sons of God, and made thee 
an heir of everlasting glory ; how he hath sanctified 
thy corrupt will, and heart, and understanding ; how 
he hath new moulded thee, and framed thee, and re- 
newed thee ; how he hath begotten thee again, not by 
flesh and blood, but by the immortal seed of his holy 
word : consider these things, I say, and let them be 
as goads and spurs unto thee, to stir thee up, as unto 
thankfulness to thy God, so unto obedience to his will. 



Hath he made thy darkness to be light ? Walk not in 
the unfruitful works of darkness. Hath he freed thee 
from the bondage of sin ? Fly from sin as from a ser- 
pent, and have nothing to do with the stool of wicked- 
ness. Hath he sanctified thy will, and all the powers 
and faculties of thy soul ? Glorify thou thy God with 
all the powers and faculties of thy soul. Hath he 
washed and cleansed thee both in thy body and in thy 
spirit ? Glorify thy God both in thy body and in thy 
spirit. So shall the King have pleasure in thy beauty ; 
so shalt thou make true and right use of thy natural 
corruption, and of thy regeneration by God his Spirit ; 
and so shalt thou shew thyself to be the son of God with- 
out rebuke in the midst of a naughty and crooked nation. 



LECTUEE XXXVII. 

Among whom ye shine, as lights in the world: holding forth the word of life. — Philip. II. 15. 



A MONG whom ye shine, &c. In this last clause of 
^*- the apostle's former reason, we have a notable 
commendation of the Philippians, which the apostle 
so truly giveth unto them, that withal, in the wisdom 
of God given unto him, he doth imply a duty, or an 
exhortation that they shew themselves to be such as 
he commendeth them to be, insomuch that some read 
these words thus, 'Among whom do ye shine, as lights,' 
Sec. Their commendation, ye see, is that they shine 
amongst that naughty and crooked people with whom 
they live, even as lights which shine in darkness, and 
which hold forth the word of life, to give light to them 
that sit in darkness ; they are called lights, shining 
lights, lights shining in the midst of a naughty and 
crooked nation, lights holding forth the word of life 
unto others. The whole form of speech seemeth to 
be drawn from those high places by the sea coast, 
whence continually lights and fires are set out for the 
direction of seamen into the haven and safest entrance. 
For even such the apostle commendeth the Philippians 
to be, lights which shined in holiness of life unto them 
that sat in darkness round about them, by the direc- 
tion of which their light they might come into the 
haven of everlasting rest, where they might find rest 
for their souls. Now let us see what we may observe 
hence for our use. 

1. In that the apostle calleth the Philippians light, 
I note the singular prerogative and honour of all the 
faithful members of Christ Jesus. For that which 
the apostle here giveth to the Philippians, belongeth 
to all the faithful. All the faithful children of Christ 
are called lights, shining lights, lights shining in the 
world. Now for our better instruction how they are 
called lights, we are to understand that there are four 
special lights mentioned in the holy Scriptures. The 
first is that light Christ Jesus, the light of the world, 
and the brightness of his Father. This light, by a prin- 
cipal prerogative, is called ' that light,' that ' true light 



which lighteth every man that cometh into the world,' 
that Sun of righteousness, that star of Jacob, that 
day-spring from on high, that brightness of his Father's 
person. 2. The word of God in many places of the 
Scriptures is termed a light, as where it is said, Ps. 
cxix. 105, ' Thy word, Lord, is a lantern unto my 
feet, and a light unto my paths ; ' as also where the 
godly are commended by the apostle Peter, 2 Pet. i. 19, 
for that they attend unto the ' sure word of the pro- 
phets, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place.' 
By this light the Holy Ghost illuminateth the blind- 
ness and darkness of our gross understandings, and 
directeth us in the ways of God, which lead unto 
salvation. 3. The apostles and ministers of Christ 
Jesus are called lights, as where our Saviour saith 
unto them, Mat. v. 14, ' Ye are the light of the 
world ; ' which glorious title is given unto them, both 
because of that testimony which they give unto that 
true light, the everlasting Son of Gocl, Christ Jesus, and 
because of the gospel of Christ Jesus which they preach 
unto us. 4. All the faithful members of Christ Jesus, 
all Christians, are called lights ; as where the apostle 
telleth the Ephesians that they were ' once darkness, 
but are now light in the Lord,' and therefore exhorteth 
them to ' walk as children of the light,' Eph. v. 8 ; 
and in this place of our apostle, where they are called 
' lights in the world, shining among the sons of dark- 
ness, and holding forth the word of life.' 

Now, the faithful are called lights in these respects : 
— (1.) In respect of Christ Jesus, that true light 
which lighteneth every man that cometh into the 
world, inasmuch as he hath vouchsafed to communi- 
cate his light unto us, and by the bright beams of his 
Holy Spirit shining into our hearts, to expel thence 
the thick mists of blindness, darkness, and ignorance. 
For whatsoever light the faithful have, they have it 
from him who hath light in himself, and of himself, 
and in whom is no darkness. They borrow their 



Veh. 15.J 



LECTURE XXXVII. 



161 



light from him, even as the moon and the stars do 
horrow their light from the sun in the firmament. 
For he is the Sun of righteousness which, springing from 
on high, hath through the tender mercy of our God 
visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness 
and in the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into 
the way of peace ; and so far as this light shineth 
unto them their darkness is turned into light, and 
they are termed lights of that light which they have 
from this Sun of righteousness. So that when the 
Holy Ghost calleth the faithful lights, he noteth 
therein the fellowship which they have with Christ 
Jesus, from whose most clear light they horrow their 
light. (2.) The faithful are called lights in respect 
of the word, inasmuch as they helieve, and embrace, 
and profess the holy word of God, which he hath 
ordained to be a lantern unto our feet, and a light 
unto our steps. For albeit it be the Sun of right- 
eousness alone by the bright shining beams of whose 
Holy Spirit our darkness is turned into light, and we 
made lights in the world, yet because we receive this 
light by the ministry of the word, therefore both the 
word itself is called light, and they likewise that re- 
ceive the word with gladness, and walk in the light 
thereof, are called lights. Forasmuch, then, as the 
faithful profess the holy word of God, ordained to be 
the rule of our life and our direction in matters of 
religion, in respect of this profession they are called 
lights. (3.) They are called lights in respect of their 
life and conversation, inasmuch as by the holiness of 
their life, and integrity of their conversation, they 
shew themselves to be exempted and delivered from 
the power of darkness. Both their works, in respect 
of the unfruitful works of darkness, are called lights, 
and themselves glorifying God by these works are 
called lights. Now see what instruction these things 
may minister unto us. 

1. In that the faithful are called lights, not from 
any light in themselves as of themselves, but from 
that light which they have and boi-row from Christ 
Jesus, that Sun of righteousness, this may teach us 
what we are without Christ Jesus, even darkness 
without light, men sitting in darkness and in the 
shadow of death. For look into the best things that 
we have. Our reason, what is it but gross darkness ? 
our wisdom, what is it but mere foolishness ? our 
understanding, what is it but blind ignorance ? For 
'the natural man,' i.e. he on whom this Sun of 
righteousness hath not yet shined, ' perceiveth not,' 
nay, he cannot perceive by all the reason, wisdom, 
and understanding that he hath, ' the things of the 
Spirit of God,' 1 Cor. ii. 14. And therefore the 
apostle, writing to the Ephesians, telleth them thus, 
chap. v. 8, ' Ye were once darkness,' to wit, before 
the Sun of righteousness had shined upon them, ' but 
are now light in the world ; ' * now that the Sun of 
righteousness had shined upon them, their darkness 
* Qu. ' Lord ' ?— Ed. 



was turned into light ; where he most plainly sheweth 
what is the state of all men, both before and after the 
Sun of righteousness have shined upon them. Before, 
they are darkness ; after, they are light. Oh, what 
a good and gracious God, then, have we, who, when 
we sat in darkness, and in the shadow of death, gave 
us this light, and so translated us out of darkness into 
light ! Not unto us, Lord, not unto us, but unto 
thy name give the praise, for that thou hast called us 
out of darkness into thy marvellous light ! When we 
walked in darkness, thou madest us to see a great 
light, and when we dwelled in the land of the shadow 
of death, thou didst cause the light to shine upon us. 
We were once darkness, but now we are light. 
Blessed be thy name, Lord, which hast changed our 
darkness into light ! 

2. In that the faithful are called lights, in respect 
of the word which they pi'ofess, and in the light whereof 
they walk, this may teach us how precious the holy 
word of God ought to be unto us. If, walking after 
the direction of the word, we only walk in the light, 
then judge ye how we walk without the word. Surely 
without it we walk in darkness, and know not whither 
we go, no more than the blind or blindfolded man, 
who, not discerning his way, quickly wandereth out of 
his right path, and walketh into every by-path, and 
runneth himself upon every danger. For by the word 
alone we descry every by-path, we see every danger 
that is to be avoided, and understand the glory that is 
prepared for us at the end of our journey. And yet, 
as if either we loved darkness better than light, or else 
know not that, by the ministry of the word of darkness, 
we are made light in the Lord, we care not for the 
word, we regard it not, we let it pass as a tale that is 
told. A hard saying truly, but yet as true as hard. 
For if we shall consider our great slackness in coming, 
or our great negligence in hearing, or our great care- 
lessness to lay up in our hearts the things that we 
have heard, all these will witness what account we 
make of the word, even no more than of a tale that is 
told. Otherwise how should it be, which hath been 
observed, that since this exercise begun, not half of 
that congregation which should be here present, have 
been assembled in this house of the Lord at any one 
sermon ? Again, a great slackness in coming of those 
that do come ; howsoever they may be observed which 
either come too late, or depart too quickly from this 
holy exercise ; yet who knoweth how many depart 
hence as little edified and instructed as when they 
came hither ? A great negligence in hearing. Again, 
who is he that, having heard the word, doth afterward 
think or meditate with himself of the things that he 
hath heard, and layeth them up in his heart, to make 
them the rule and direction of his life ? A great care- 
lessness, to make that use we should of that we have 
heard. And what else do all these argue, but that we 
make no more account of the word than of a tale that 
is told '? Well, whatsoever account we make of it, 



1G2 



AIPAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. II. 



either we must walk in the light of this word, or else 
we cannot be such lights as here the faithful members 
of Christ Jesus are said to be ; either this word must 
be a light unto our paths, or else we can be no light 
in the Lord ; either the Lord must go before us in this 
word, as in a pillar of fire, or else we shall be made a 
prey unto our enemies, the world, the flesh, and. the 
devil, who seeketh continually, like a roaring Hon, 
whom he may devour. 

3. Thirdly, in that the faithful are called lights in 
respect of their holy life and conversation, this may 
teach us what manner of conversation will best become 
us if we will be lights in the world. The light of our 
holiness of life and integrity of conversation must so 
shine before men, that they may see our good works, 
and glorify our Father which is in heaven. ' Ye were 
once darkness,' saith the apostle to the Ephesians, 
chap. v. 8, ' but are now light in the Lord ; walk as 
children of the light.' In which words the apostle 
plainly sheweth that, being made lights, we ought to 
walk as children of the light, approving that which is 
pleasing unto the Lord, having no fellowship with the 
unfruitful works of darkness, but reproving them, if 
not by word, for that we cannot all at all times do, 
yet at least by the example of our holy and unblame- 
able life. But of this we shall have more occasion 
anon to speak. Let this suffice to be spoken generally, 
why the faithful children of God are called lights, and 
of the instructions which the reasons thereof may 
minister unto us. 

Secondly, Here I note two qualities attributed to 
these lights mentioned by the apostle. The first, they 
shine in the midst of darkness, in the midst of a 
naughty and crooked nation ; secondly, they hold out 
unto others the light that is in them, even the word 
of life, shewing itself in the integrity of their conver- 
sation. "Whence I note two properties necessarily 
requisite in all the faithful children of God : the one 
is, that they have light in themselves"; the other is, that 
they communicate it to others. Touching the first ; 
light, ye know, is not called light, unless it have light 
in itself, in whatsoever darkness it shine. The faith- 
ful children of God then, if they will be, as here they 
are called, lights, they must still so look unto them- 
selves and their own ways, that howsoever they walk 
amongst the children of darkness, yet they suffer not 
that light which is in them to be darkened, but that 
they shine as lights in the world, amongst them whose 
hearts are set on mischief. The sun, when it setteth 
forth as a giant to run his course, casteth forth his 
beams, and they are dispersed throughout all places 
of the earth. And albeit, oftentimes, it light and 
shine upon most loathsome and filthy places, yet still 
doth it remain in his own purity, not at all defiled 
therewith. Herein these lights (I mean the faithful 
children of God) must resemble this light of the sun. 
It cannot be that they should not at all converse with 
wicked and ungodly men, for then they must go out 



of the world, as the apostle saith, 1 Cor. v. 10; but 
herein they must be as lights ; though they live amongst 
wicked and ungodly men, yet must they keep them- 
selves unstained of the corruptions -which are in the 
world through lusts ; though they have to do with 
profane and impure men, yet must they retain still 
within themselves the purity of the sons of God. And 
therefore the apostle, in the place before alleged, thus 
exhorteth, ' Have no fellowship with the unfruitful 
works of darkness.' He doth not simply forbid all 
fellowship with the children of darkness, but with the 
unfruitful works of darkness, such as are gluttony and 
drunkenness, chambering and wantonness, strife and 
envying, and the like ; with the filthiness of these, and 
the like fruits of sin, he would have us not to defile 
ourselves. ' For what fellowship,' as saith the apostle, 
'hath light with darkness?' Surely no more than 
hath righteousness with unrighteousness, the believer 
with the infidel, or Christ with Belial. If, then, we be 
such lights as here the faithful children of God are 
termed, no question we hate all fellowship with the 
unfruitful works of darkness ; and, if we have fellow- 
ship with the unfruitful works of darkness, then we 
are no such lights. A rule whereby ye may quickly 
try and examine whether ye have that light in your- 
selves which ye hear the faithful children of God 
should have in themselves. Light, where it is, ex- 
pelleth all darkness. If, then, ye have the light of 
the sons of God within yourselves, ye have no delight 
in the works of darkness. Now, what the works of 
darkness are, ye know out of the apostle, even ' glut- 
tony and drunkenness, chambering and wantonness, 
strife and envying,' and generally all the works of the 
flesh, even whatsoever things are such as the doing 
whereof may not well abide the light. Examine your- 
selves of these things, and condemn yourselves, that 
ye be not condemned of the Lord. If any of you be 
tainted with any of these things, purge out this old 
leaven, that ye may be a new lump ; cleanse your 
vessels from these filthy dregs, I mean yourselves 
from these pollutions of sin, that ye may be an holy 
temple unto the Lord. True it is, God alone is hght 
without any darkness, and there is no child of God 
whose hght is not dimmed with some darkness. But 
this is no ground for thee, that therefore thou mayest 
wallow in wickedness, and mayest delight thyself in 
the works of darkness. Thou, if thou wilt be the 
child of God, thou must come as near unto God as 
thou canst ; as he is light without darkness, so thou 
must strive thereunto. And, therefore, thou must 
strive to abandon all sin and wickedness, thou must 
be careful to walk honestly as in the day, thou must 
approve in thine heart, and in thy word, and in thy 
works, that which is pleasing to the Lord. And this, 
if thou doest, whatsoever is wanting shall be imputed* 
unto thee, and the light that is in Christ Jesus shall 
be thine, and expel whatsoever darkness is in thee. 
* Qu. ' imparted '?— Ed. 



Ver. 15.] 



LECTURE XXXV IT. 



1G3 



Suffer, therefore, the same words of exhortation that 
the apostle useth to the Ephesians, chap. iv. 17, 
< Walk not henceforth as others do, in vanity of their 
mind,' &c. And again, with the same apostle, Horn, 
xiii. 12, I say unto you, ' The night is past, the day 
is at hand, let us therefore cast away the works of 
darkness,' &c. Have light in yourselves, and com- 
municate the light that is in you unto others ; which 
is the second quality mentioned here Iry the apostle. 

The second quality which I noted here in these 
lights, in the Philippians, is that they held forth the 
word of life unto others. How '? Not so much in 
word and talk, as that hy the example of their life they 
gave plain proof that the word of" life dwelt in them 
plenteouslv. Whence I noted another quality neces- 
sarily requisite in all the children of God, which is, 
that they have not only light in themselves, hut they 
also communicate the same unto others. The children 
of God must not think it enough to keep themselves 
unspotted of the world, but they must, by word, and 
deed, and example of life, help to pull others out of 
the fire. The prophet describing the wicked man by 
certain fruits of the flesh, amongst other things, saith 
he, Ps. 1. 18, ' When thou sawest a thief, thou rannest 
with him, and hast been partaker with the adulterers.' 
But the faithful servant of God must not only be no 
such man as will run with others unto mischief, but 
he must reprove the sins of unfaithfulness, either by 
word, or at least by example of life, that either by 
word, or by example of life he may reclaim the wicked 
from the wickedness of his ways. The sun (ye know) 
keepeth not his light unto itself, but communicateth 
it to the benefit of all creatures under heaven. The 
moon and the stars likewise, which have their light 
from the sun, do the like. The like also must the 
sons of God do. That light which they have by their 
fellowship with Christ Jesus, the Sun of righteousness, 
whether it be the light of the knowledge of God's will 
revealed in his word, or the light of the Spirit of sanc- 
tification, all the light that is in them they must com- 
municate to the benefit of their brethren, doing good 
unto all, and turning many unto righteousness. And 
albeit the ministers of Christ, and dispensers of God's 
holy mysteries, ought especially to be such lights as 
now we speak of, holding out the word of life unto 
others, and turning many unto righteousness, both by 
word and by example of life, yet we see that also all 
the faithful children of God ought to be such lights, 
as having the word of life in them, shew plainly that 
they have it ; in that the fruit thereof breaketh forth 
in them, sometimes in word, and always in example 
of life, unto the benefit of their brethren. The word 
of life must be hid even in the hearts of all the sons 
of God, and it they must hold out in holiness of life, 
and good example unto their brethren. Yea, what ! 
so general ? No exception of countiymen, of arti- 
ficers, of simple women, of poor labourers ? Must all 
be lights holding forth the word of life '? This surely 



is rather for scholars, and ministers, and learned men, 
whose employment is in that study, and who make 
that their profession ! Belike, then, the apostle was 
deceived ; for by the apostle it doth plainly appear, 
that all the sons of God should be lights, holding forth 
the word of life ; so that from the word of life hid in 
their hearts, as from the root, should spring all the 
fruits of that light which they should communicate 
unto the benefit of others. True it is, that as one 
star diftereth from another in glory, so amongst the 
sons of God, some are more clear and bright shining 
lights than others, some better instructed and taught 
in the word of life^than others ; for some are ordained 
to teach, some to be taught ; some by hearing only, 
some both by hearing and reading, grow up in the 
knowledge of the word of life. Yet still this is true, 
that in all the sons of God there should be some 
measure of the knowledge of the word of life, whereof 
they should make show, at least in holiness of their 
life, and integrity of their conversation, whereby they 
might draw others unto God. And as it should be, 
so it were to be wished it were. But so far are we 
from holding out the word of life in holiness of life 
unto others, that by our profaneness and wickedness 
a great many of us shew plainly that the word of life 
is not in us. How ready we are, every one of us, to 
run with another unto mischief, to spend the time, 
one with another, in excess, and riot, and unthrifti- 
ness, to deceive, oppress, wrong, revile, and shame 
one another if we can, he seeth little that seeth not. 
Again, how slow we are to provoke one another to 
godliness and good works, to draw one another out of 
the snares of the devil, that we be not taken and 
holden therewith, to stir up one another unto peace, 
and love, and meekness, and temperance, and patience, 
and alms-deeds, and brotherly kindness, and other 
such like fruits of the Spirit, who seeth not that seeth 
aught ? And if these things be so, how can we think 
that the word of life is in us ? Certainly where it is, 
it maketh the man of God so to abound in every good 
work, and so to hate every work of the flesh, so to 
shine in himself, and likewise to give light unto others, 
that it doth easily appear that God is in him indeed. 
Take heed, therefore, lest the light which seemeth to 
be in you be indeed darkness. Have light in your- 
selves, and communicate the light that is in you, one 
with another. Hate the sins of unfaithfulness, and 
the works of darkness, both in yourselves and in 
others. Provoke one another to godliness and to 
good works, and hold forth the word of life, in all 
holiness of life, one unto another. Remember that ye 
are lights ; walk therefore as children of the light. It 
is a title wherein the ministers of Christ Jesus do 
worthily glory, that they are the lights of the world. 
Ye see that not they alone, but ye also, are lights of 
the world, if ye be the faithful children of God. Strive 
herein to be as near unto thy God as thou canst, that 
so thy light may shine, that there be no darkness at 



JG+ 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPIA^S. 



[Chap. II. 



all in thee ; and make it a great part of thy study and 
delight, by the light that is in thee to bring others out 
of darkness into light. And let this suffice to be 
spoken touching this honour given to the saints of 
God, that they are called lights, and touching the 
qualities required in these lights, namely, that they 
have light in themselves, and that they communicate 
it unto others. 

The last thing which I note in these words is, the 
glorious title given unto the word of God. The word 
of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ, ye see, is here 
called the word of life. So likewise Peter calleth it 
when he saith unto Christ, ' Master, to whom shall we 
go ? thou hast the words of eternal life,' John vi. 68. 
So likewise the angel calleth it, where, having brought 
the apostles out of prison, he saith unto them, Acts 
v. 20, ' Go your way, and stand in the temple, and 
speak to the people all the words of this life.' Now 
the reasons why the word of God and the gospel of 
Christ Jesus is called the word of life are inany. As, 
first, it is called the word of life, because by it we are 
begotten and born again unto a new life, even a spiritual 
life in Christ Jesus, as the apostle Peter witnesseth, 
saying, 1 Peter i. 23, ' Love one another with a pure 
heart fervently, being born anew, not of mortal seed, 
but of immortal, by the word of God.' Secondly, it 
is called the word of life, because ' it is the power of 
God unto salvation unto all them that believe,' Rom. 
i. 16, and ' the savour of life unto life in them that 
are saved,' as witnesseth the apostle, 2 Cor. ii. 16. 
Thirdly, it is so called, because therein Christ, which 
is our life, and who is properly called the Word of 
life, is preached and offered unto us, together with all 
the benefits of his blessed death and passion. Lastly, 
it is so called, because it is the lantern unto our feet, 
and the light unto our steps, to direct us in the right 
way, that leadeth to eternal life and salvation. Here 
must all other writings in the world whatsoever stand 
back. No word of life but this ; nay, indeed, no word 
but this, for no man's writing whatsoever was ever 
called the word. Only the word of God, that is the 
word, and that is the word of life. I meddle not now 
with those other glorious titles given to the word in holy 
Scriptures, as that it is called the word of God, the 
wholesome word of truth, the gospel of salvation, &c. 

Even this, that it is calkd the word of life, may 
teach us how precious the ministry and preaching 
thereof ought to be unto us, even more precious than 
thousands of gold and silver, than all the fine gold of 
Ophir. Even as we love our souls, and as we desire 
to be saved in the day of Christ, so should we thirst 
after these most sweet waters of life. But what thirst- 
ing is there after them ? They arc brought unto us 



in conduits, even unto our doors, and yet we will scarce 
step out of our doors to drink of them ; nay, we will 
sit in our doors and in our houses, talking and sleep- 
ing, rather than we will come into the house of God, 
and drink of these waters. Every light excuse, and 
every small business, will serve to stay us from coming 
to hear the word read and preached. I told you even 
now of our slackness in coming, of our negligence in 
hearing, of our carelessness to meditate after we have 
heard, of the holy word of life. If I should add unto 
that complaint another, of profaning the Lord's day, 
which should be wholly spent in hearing, and reading, 
and meditating of the holy word of life, of profaning 
it, I say, with dancing, and drinking, and playing at 
this or that game, or keeping this or that unprofitable 
and unnecessary observation and custom, should I 
justly be reproved '? Yea, but this ye do in the 
morning or in the evening, not in service-time of day ; 
yea, but this ye do on the Lord's day, which the Lord 
hath commanded to be kept holy, not only in service- 
time of day, but ' remember,' saith he, ' that thou 
keep holy the Sabbath-day.' He doth not limit it to 
this or that part of the day, but keep the day holy, by 
hearing, and reading, and meditating in the holy word 
of life. Yea, but this is too precise and strait, and 
savours too much of puritanism. Well, be it as it 
will, thou must either be a puritan in observation of 
the commandment, or else thou bringest upon tlryself 
judgment. Oh consider this, men and brethren, what 
it is that we call you unto. It is the word of life, by 
which you must be begotten unto eternal life, or else 
you cannot be saved ; by the direction and guidance 
whereof you must enter into rest, or else you shall 
never find rest unto your souls. David, when he could 
not be present in the assembly of God's people, to 
praise his God and hear his word, because of his per- 
secutors, he thought the sparrows and the swallows 
happy that might nestle themselves in the house of 
God, insomuch that he brake out, as Ps. xlii. 1, 2, 
lxxxiv. 1-10. Our case is not as David's was ; we 
may come. We should say, therefore, with David in 
another place, Ps. exxii. 1, ' I was glad,' &c. Yea, 
we should call one unto another, and say, as it is in 
Isaiah, chap. ii. 3, ' Come, and let us go up,' &c. 
Scrutamini Scripturas, &c, John v. 39. ' Let the 
word of Christ dwell in j^ou plenteously,' &c, Col. 
iii. 16. In a famine of bread, ye need no exhortation 
to seek for bread to refresh and sustain your bodies. 
Your souls [are] far more precious than your bodies ; 
and your souls hunger- starved, and yet what care for 
your souls '? The sickness is most dangerous when it 
is least felt. 



Ver. 16-18.] 



LECTURE XXXVIII. 



1 65 



LECTURE XXXVIII. 
That 1 may regoice in the day of Christ, that I hare not run in rain, nor laboured in vain, dc. — Pinup. II. 1G-18. 



rilHUS far of the former reason, and of the uses 
X thence to be made by us heretofore. Now fol- 
loweth the latter reason, drawn from the apostle him- 
self, in these words, ' that I may rejoice in the day 
of Christ,' &c. 

That I may rejoice, &c. This is the apostle his 
latter reason, whereby he would enforce his former 
exhortations ; and it is as if he had said, My beloved, 
I exhort you that you make an end of your own sal- 
vation with fear and trembling, and that ye do all 
things with your neighbours and brethren without 
murmuring and reasonings ; and these things I would 
have you to do, as for your own sakes, ' that ye may 
be blameless and pure,' &e. ; so for my sake also, 
' that I may rejoice,' &e. Yea, and if ye mark it, 
even in these words he would have them to do as he 
hath exhorted them, both for his sake and for their 
sakes also. For he would have them to walk before 
God in all obedience, with fear and trembling, and 
with their neighbour in all love, without murmuring, 
&c. Why..? That he may rejoice ; that is for his 
own sake. But wherein doth he desire to rejoice ? 
Even in their salvation, that he hath not run in vain, 
nor laboured in vain amongst them, but that by his 
ministry and apostleship tbey are gained unto Christ : 
1 That I may rejoice in the day of Christ,' &c. By 
the day of Christ, the apostle meaneth that day when 
God shall judge the secrets of all men by Jesus 
Christ, that day of Christ his second coming unto 
judgment, when it shall be rendered unto every man 
according to that he hath done in his flesh, be it good 
or evil ; as also in many other places of the New Tes- 
tament. This day is called sometimes ' the day of 
God's wrath,' sometimes ' the day of his appearing,' 
sometimes ' the day of judgment,' sometimes ' the 
great day,' sometimes ' that day,' sometimes ' the day 
of the Lord,' sometimes ' the day of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, sometimes ' the day of Christ.' Now that day 
of Christ his second coming unto judg.nent is there- 
fore called the day of Christ, because in that day God 
shall give all judgment unto him, and he shall descend 
from heaven with a shout, and with the voice of the 
archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and all shall 
appear before his judgment-seat, and he shall separate 
the sheep from the goats, and set the sheep on his 
right hand and the goats on the left, and shall say to 
the one, ' Come, ye blessed of my Father,' and to the 
other, ' Depart from me, ye cursed.' Now the apostle 
would have the Philippians so to walk, both before 
God and men, that in this day of Christ, when he 
shall give to every man according as his work shall 
be, he may rejoice ; wherein ? That he hath not run 
in vain, &c, i.e. that by his labours he hath gained 



them unto Christ. The manner of speech which the 
apostle usethseemeth to be borrowed from them that run 
in a race, wherein, though many run, and labour hard 
toward the mark, yet one alone receiveth the price, 
and the rest run in vain and labour in vain, because 
they obtain not the price or the thing which they run 
for. So the apostle maketh his accouut that, in respect 
of them, he should be like unto those that run in 
vain and labour in vain, if, having laboured to gain 
them unto Christ, they should not walk worthy of 
Christ. This, therefore, in this place, is the sum of 
the apostle his desire, that the Philippians would so 
walk worthy of Christ, both before God and with their 
brethren, that, in the day of Christ, when his labours 
in the Lord should not be in vain, he might rejoice 
that he had not spent his strength amongst them in 
vain, but, by his preaching of Christ Jesus unto them, 
had gained them unto Christ, who should then give, 
both unto him and them, the crown of salvation for 
their glory. This is the sum and the sense likewise 
of that which the apostle speaketh in this place. Now 
let us see what use we may make hereof for ourselves. 
Here, then, 1, I note that the salvation of God's 
people is the joy and crown of the faithful minister of 
Christ in the day of Christ. This shall be his glory 
in that day with his Christ, whose minister he is, that 
he hath gained many unto Christ. And therefore this 
our apostle, in another place, calleth the Philippians, 
chap. iv. 1, ' his joy and his crown,' whereby he sig- 
nifieth both the present joy and comfort which he 
taketh in them, and the sure hope which he hath that 
they shall be his joy and his crown in the day of the 
Lord. To the like purpose he writeth to the Thes- 
salonians, saying, 1 Thess. ii. 19, 20, ' what is our 
hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even you 
in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his com- 
ing ? Yes, ye are our glory and joy.' When ? Not 
only now present, but in the presence of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, at his coming. As plain to this pui-pose 
is that in the last of Daniel, where he saith, chap, 
xii. 3, that ' they that turn many unto righteousness 
shall shine as the stars for ever and ever,' which, no 
doubt, is principally meant of the ministers of Christ 
Jesus. And if it shall be said, in that day, unto every 
good and faithful servant, ' It is well done, good ser- 
vant and faithful, enter into thy Master's joy,' Mat. 
xxv. 21,' how much more shall it be said so unto the 
faithful minister of Christ Jesus. What greater 
encouragements can there be unto the ministers of 
Christ Jesus to make them faithful and painful in 
their places, to make them labour with all alacrity 
and cheerfulness to gain many unto Christ, to turn 
many unto righteousness ? Oh, but there are many 



, 



1G6 



A1RAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. II. 



discouragements, for who more contemned, who more 
disdained, who more hated, who more disgraced than 
the ministers of Christ Jesus ? True it is, and it 
is the shame of our times, that they are counted of 
man}' as the very offscourings of the world, and the 
more faithful that they are, the more they are hated, 
and oftentimes the more persecuted. If we sew 
cushions under all arm-holes ; if we speak smoothing 
and fawning words ; if we cry Peace, peace, all. is 
well ; if we meddle not with the sins of the people, 
but only teach a truth in a generality, haply we shall 
please, or not displease, but live in rest and quiet. 
But if we lift up our voices like trumpets, and tell the 
house of Jacob their sins, and the house of Israel 
their transgressions ; if we search, and cut up, and 
lance the sores of our people ; if we sharply reprove 
such and such sins, whereof their own consciences 
condemn them to be guilty : then they begin to hate 
us, to disgrace us, to persecute us, to traduce us as 
cursed Hams, as seditious fellows, and troublers of 
the state, and to speak all manner of evil sayings 
against us. Herod, ye know, ' when he heard John, 
did many things, and heard him gladly,' Mark vi. 20 ; 
but after that John had reproved him for his incest, 
he quickly lost his head, Mat. xiv. 10. The Jews, 
likewise, heard Stephen a great while answering for 
himself, but when he began to come somewhat near 
unto them, and to touch them to the quick, when he 
came upon them with, ' Ye stiff-necked, and of uncir- 
cumcised hearts and ears, ye have always resisted the 
Holy Ghost,' &c, then it is said ' that their hearts 
burst for anger, and that they gnashed at him with 
their teeth, and quickly after stoned him to death,' 
Acts vii. 51, 54, 55. I say not that it fareth so at 
this day, for sin, God be thanked, may be boldly re- 
buked without fear of such danger. But this we find 
true by experience, that whose sore we touch, his 
hatred most commonly we purchase ; and if we be 
but suspected, in our reproofs of sin, to note such and 
such men, we shall not want whatsoever they can say 
or do against us. Thus render they unto us hatred 
for our good will ; and when we strike at the root of 
any sin, and wound only that we may heal, they tell 
us we only utter our choler or malice, and that we 
might well enough find ourselves other matter than 
to note them in our sermons. But this, as I said, is 
the shame of our times, that the more faithful and 
painful they are, the worse commonly they are 
entreated. But herein we comfort ourselves, that our 
conscience beareth us witness in what singleness of 
heart, as before the Lord, we do the work of our 
ministry, and that howsoever now, through their dis- 
graces, and reproaches, and contempts, and hatreds, 
and persecutions, our rejoicing be diminished, yet our 
rejoicing in the day of Christ shall no man take from 
us ; but then they that have believed, and they that 
have been converted from going astray out of the right 
way by our ministry, shall be unto us the crown of 



our rejoicing. Then, for that we have laid out our 
talent to the best advantage we could, we shall hear 
that voice, ' It is well done, good servant and faithful,' 
and then those that hated us without cause, and dis- 
graced us without our desert, shall not dare to hold 
up their heads against us, but shall be confounded in 
that day. In the mean time, if, when we have sown 
the seed of God's word, many sharp showers do fol- 
low, and many black tempests overtake one another, 
yet must we, with the husbandman, patiently expect 
the time of harvest ; we must in patience possess 
our souls until the day of Christ, and then we shall 
rejoice in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at 
his coming, when we, and they whom we have gained 
unto Christ, shall meet him in the clouds, that we 
may be ever with the Lord. For they whom we have 
gained unto Christ shall be the crown of our rejoicing 
in that day. 

Yea, but what if, when we have laboured, either we 
see no fruits of our labours in them that hear us, or 
that fruit which seemed to shoot forth in the blade do 
afterwards fall away and wither, as the apostle com- 
plaineth that they of Asia were turned from him, 
2 Tim. i. 15, doth the glory of the minister in that 
day depend upon the salvation of them that hear him '? 
Doth he run in vain, and labour in vain, if he gain 
not them unto Christ ? Certainly of this I am per- 
suaded, that the more souls they gain unto Christ, the 
more glorious shall be their crown of rejoicing. And 
therefore the apostle's glory no doubt shall be exceed- 
ing glorious, by whose labours so many churches were 
planted, so many souls were brought unto the faith. Yet 
his glory in that day doth not wholly depend upon the 
salvation of them that hear him. The using of his 
talent faithfully shall be accounted unto him as gain- 
ing with it. Neither is his running and his labouring 
in vain in respect of himself, but only in respect of 
them whose hearts the Lord doth not open that they 
should hear, and believe, and be saved ; as it is plain 
out of Isaiah, where Christ in his members thus com- 
plaineth, Isa. xlix. 4, 5, ' I have laboured in vain, I have 
spent my strength in vain, and for nothing; but my 
judgment is with the Lord, and my work with my 
God. Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be 
glorious in the ej'es of the Lord, and my God shall be 
my strength.' By which words it is out of all doubt 
cleared, that howsoever the minister's labour be often 
in vain, howsoever his strength be often spent in vain 
in respect of them that hear him, because thereby 
their hearts are not mollified and they brought unto 
the obedience of the faith, yet for themselves their 
judgment is with the Lord, and their work with their 
God. Though they that hear them be of such uncir- 
cumcised hearts and ears that they cannot be gained 
unto Christ, yet shall they be glorious in the eyes of 
the Lord, and their God shall be their strength. To 
the like purpose is that in Ezekiel, where the Lord, 
instructing the minister and watchman of the house 



Tee. 16-18.] 



LECTURE XXXVI I E 



107 



of Israel in his duty, he saith, Ezek. iii. 17, 19, 21, 
1 Son of man, I have made thee a watchman,' &c. 'If 
thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wicked- 
ness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his 
iniquity ; but thou hast delivered thy soul,' &c. 
What is then the minister's duty ? To warn the 
wicked; and his duty is to turn from the wickedness 
of his ways.] If the minister warn, his labour is not 
in vain in the Lord, he delivereth his own soul ; but 
if the wicked, being warned, turn not from the wicked- 
ness of his ways, he dieth in his iniquity ; so that his 
minister in respect of him hath run in vain, and laboured 
in vain, because he hath not reclaimed him from the 
wickedness of his ways. 

Here, then, is a notable advertisement for them that 
are hearers of the word, to take heed that their watch- 
man which is set over them spend not his strength in 
vain and for nothing amongst them. The minister, 
ye hear, he runs, he labours, he sweats, he is still play- 
ing his prizes, still trying his masteries, still ploughing 
up the fallow ground of your hearts in every season, 
yea, in season and out of season ; sowing the immortal 
seed of the word, always on his watch-tower in cold 
and in heat, giving warning of every enemy which he 
doth descry. Haply ye have another conceit of the 
minister's labour, at least many have, that it is no such 
continual labour, that there is no such care or pains 
therein as is pretended ; well, whatsoever account 
ye make of the labour, therein he spends his strength, 
and oftentimes his blood. It is for you to look unto 
it that he spend not his strength in vain. If he teach 
you the ways of the Lord, and ye receive not instruc- 
tion ; if he reprove such sins as break out amongst 
you, and ye hate to be reformed; if he call to fasting, 
weeping, and mourning, and ye fall to eating, drink- 
ing, and dancing ; if he exhort you to study to be 
blameless, and pure, and the sons of God in the midst 
of a naughty and crooked nation, and to shine amongst 
them as lights, holding forth the word of life, and ye 
give your members servants to uncleanness, and to 
iniquity to commit iniquity; in a word, if he out of 
the word either teach, or improve,* or correct, or 
instruct in righteousness, and ye refuse to hearken to 
the voice of the charmer, charm he never so wisely, 
what else doth he in respect of you but run in vain, 
and labour in vain ? And if he spend his strength in 
vain amongst you, his work is with his God; but your 
blood is upon your own head, ye die in your sins, but 
bis soul is delivered. The minister his desire is to 
rejoice in the day of Christ, but wherein ? In your 
salvation. If in that day he shall not rejoice in your 
salvation, what do ye think will be your portion ? His 
desire is not to run in vain, nor to labour in vain; but 
it is, in respect of you, that he may gain you unto 
Christ, for he knoweth that his labour is not in vain 
in the Lord. Hearken therefore and obey, and harden 
not your hearts as in the provocation, and as in the 
* That is, ' reprove ' '? — Ed. 



day of temptation in the wilderness. If thou hearken, 
thou shalt be the crown of his rejoicing, and the crown 
of his rejoicing is in thy salvation. And in any case 
take heed that thou judge not amiss of him that is set 
over thee in the Lord, to admonish thee in thy ways; 
for whatsoever it is wherein he either teacheth, or im- 
provcth, or correcteth, or iustructeth thee, it is that 
he may rejoice in the day of Christ, that he hath not 
run in vain nor laboured in vain. And this much of 
this latter reason to enforce the former exhortations. 

Yea, and llwuyh I be offered, dc. The apostle, as 
ye have heard, urged the Philippians that they would 
walk in all obedience with God, and in all meekness 
with their brethren, even the rather for his sake, that 
he might rejoice over them in the day of Christ. 
Now, the better to enforce this reason drawn from him- 
self, in these words he assureth them that such is his 
longing after their salvation, that if by his death they 
might be confirmed and strengthened in the faith, he 
would most willingly and joyfully give his life for 
them; and if he shall do so, he would not have them 
to be sorry, but to be glad and rejoice thereat. The 
manner of speech here used is drawn from the sacri- 
fices of the old law, wherein the priests were com- 
manded, after their coming into the land of Canaan, 
always to pour out a drink-offering upon the sacrifice 
that was offered, Num. xv. 7. The apostle therefore 
alluding hereunto saith, that if his soul should now 
be poured out as a drink-offering upon that spiritual 
sacrifice of their faith, which by his ministry and 
apostleship they had embraced, for their farther con- 
firmation and strengthening therein, he would be glad 
and rejoice with them, for that their faith by his death 
were strengthened. 

Here, then, w T e may observe how zealous the pastor 
ought to be of the salvation of his flock. He ought 
with St Paul in this place to be willing to give up his 
life for them. ' The good shepherd,' saith our 
Saviour, John x. 11, ' giveth his life for his sheep.' 
Christ himself was indeed this good shepherd here 
spoken of, who, when we were yet sinners, died for 
us. But herein likewise he set before us a pattern 
how we should approve ourselves to be good shep- 
herds. Nothing should be so dear unto us as the 
good of them over whom the Lord made us overseers; 
persecution and banishment, stripes and imprison- 
ments, yea, the loss of life itself, must rather be en- 
dured, than their salvation be neglected. "What then ? 
Are we simply to give up our lives for our flocks ? 
What if they be such as will be glad thereat, and 
rather than fail, will themselves persecute us, yea, 
and take our lives from us ? Such sheep indeed 
there are as persecute their shepherd, and desire, if 
they can, to make him weary of his life. But this is 
that which now from our apostle we teach, that if our 
death may be for the enlarging of Christ his kingdom, 
and for the confirmation and increase of their faith 
unto whom we have preached the gospel, then we are 



168 



AIRAY ON THE PHILJPPIANS. 



[Chap. II. 



not to love our lives unto the death. What then ? 
Because our death ma} 7 be for the confirmation of 
their faith, are we to offer ourselves unto death ? 
Nay ; we may not seek death, nor willingly run our- 
selves into danger. But if the will of the Lord be 
such, that by our blood we seal that testimony which 
we have given to Christ Jesus, and so confirm our 
brethren in the things that they have heard and 
learned by our ministry, we are not to shrink at it, 
but willingly to embrace it. Yea, but the cup of 
death is bitter ; how then can we be glad and rejoice 
in it ? True, haply we should not greatly rejoice in 
that violent and untimely death, being considered in 
itself; but knowing that our blood is the seed of the 
church, and that by our death and persecution, many 
are made more bold to profess the gospel of Christ 
Jesus, we should be glad, and rejoice in the fruit that 
we know comes to the church by our death and per- 
secution. And thus our Saviour by precept hath 
taught us to do, saying, Mat. v. 11, 12, ' Blessed are ye 
when men revile you, and persecute you, &c. Rejoice, 
and be glad; for great is your reward in heaven.' 
Thus the apostles likewise have taught us by example, 
who, when they had been cast in prison, and after- 
wards beaten, departed, 'rejoicing that they were 
counted worthy to suffer rebuke for Christ his name,' 
Acts v. 41. As they by precept and example have 
taught us, so ought we to rejoice in tribulations and 
persecutions, and to be glad though w r e be offered up 
upon the sacrifice of their faith, who by our ministry 
have believed. 

Should, then, the salvation of your souls, and the 
confirmation of your faith, be so dear unto us, even 
dearer than our own lives ? How ought ye then to 
be affected towards us and our ministry ? It was a 
notable testimony that the apostle gave unto the 
Galatians, chap. iv. 15, wherein he bore them record, 
that, ' if it had been possible, they would have plucked 
out their own eyes, and have given them to him.' 
Nothing more dear than their eyes, and yet so near 
had their souls been knit unto him in reverence and 
love for the gospel's sake, that they would have given 
him their very eyes to have done him good. Shall I 
say that ye ought to be thus affected towards us ? I 
say not so ; but I say that ye ought ' so to think of 
us as of the ministers of Christ, and disposers of the 
secrets of God.' Ye ought to think of us as of the 
ambassadors for Christ, and that we ' pray you in 
Christ's stead, as though God did beseech you through 
us.' In a word, if we ought to lay down our lives for 
our sheep, our sheep ought to hear our voice. And 
certainly, if we were so lively and Christianly touched 
with a feeling of the sweetness of the word of life as 
we should be, if the powerfulness thereof had so sea- 
soned and seized upon our souls as it ought, then 
would we hear his voice, and obey him, and follow 
him, we would reverence and regard him for the 
truth's sake which he preached. It is said of Lydia, 



that when she had heard Paul preach, and the Lord 
had so 'opened her heart, that she believed the things 
that Paul spake,' she was so desirous that Paul, and 
those that were with him, should come into her house 
and abide a while with her, that she never left them 
till she had constrained them. 'If ye have judged me 
to be faithful to the Lord,' saith she, 'come into mine 
house, and abide there. And she constrained us,' 
saith Luke, Acts xvi. 15. It seems, besides other 
purposes which she had, that she thought her house 
would be the better if she might get them into it. 
Not many Lydias. I wish we might have such 
hearers as Peter had, Acts ii. 37, that, when they 
had heard us, would be 'pricked in their hearts,' and 
say unto us, ' Men and brethren, what shall we do ? ' 
such as would be so careful to hear what we speak, 
that they Mould lay the same up in their hearts, and 
digest it in their souls. Our desire is, as I said ere- 
while, that our labour in the word may not be unto 
you in vain, but that by our ministry we may offer 
you up as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable unto 
God. If we ought not to spare our lives unto the 
death for you, ye ought so to hear the word of us, 
that ye grow up in faith, and love, and every good 
work. If we ought to pour out our blood for an 
offering for you, for the confirming of jouy faith, ye 
ought first by faith through our ministry to be made 
a spiritual sacrifice unto God, that so our souls rnay 
be poured out as a drink-offering upon the sacrifice of 
your faith. For both these are implied here in our 
apostle. We hear what pastor and people should do, 
and we see in daily experience what they do, even 
both so little answerably unto that they should do, 
that it may be as truly now said as it was in the 
prophet's time, Like 2wstor, like ]cople. But I will not 
now stand farther to open and cut up these sores. 
Consider only in a word with me, I beseech you, a 
reason wdrich methinks may be gathered from these 
words for the stirring up of both pastor and people 
unto that they should do. 

If ye mark it, both the obedience of their faith 
which are gained unto Christ by the ministry of the 
word, and likewise the martyrdom and death of those 
that give their lives for their sheep, are, by a borrowed 
speech, called sacrifices and offerings. ' Though I be 
offered,' — there the apostle's death is called an offer- 
ing, — ' upon the sacrifice and service of your faith ' — 
their faith, whereunto by his service and ministry they 
had obeyed, is called a sacrifice. Now, what sacri- 
fices be these ? These be the sacrifices of the New 
Testament ; these be lively sacrifices, and holy and 
acceptable unto God ; and these, together with the 
sacrifice of praise, and of the works of love, are the 
only sacrifices which now Christians are to offer unto 
their God. An end of all other sacrifices was then 
when Christ cried upon the cross, ' It is finished.' 
These only remain, and these are our reasonable serv- 
ing of God. How should not this stir up both pasto r 



Ver. 19, 20.] 



LECTURE XXXIX. 



1G9 



and people to do that they should ! In the pastor, 
his burning zeal to give his life for his people ; in the 
people, their obedience of faith by the ministry of 
their pastors, are their holy and Christian sacrifices, 
and their reasonable serving of God. And these 
sacrifices are now no less to be offered by us in the 
New Testament, than were those sacrifices of beasts 
a-nd other like things to be offered in the Old Testa- 
ment, and surely are far more acceptable unto God 
than were they. But I promised only to speak of 
this in a word. Now a word likewise of that that 
followeth. 

For the same cause, d-c. In these words the apostle 
armeth them against sorrow, if he should be offered up 
upon the sacrifice of their faith. As he would be glad 
and rejoice with them if their faith should be confirmed 
by his death, so he would have them likewise to be 
glad and rejoice with him if he by his blood should 
seal the testimony of their faith. What then ? Must 
we be glad and rejoice when our best pastors and 
teachers are taken from us'? Did not the church well, 
when Stephen was stoned to deatb, to make great 
lamentation for him ? Acts viii. 2. Yes ; no doubt 
they did well ; and whensoever the church is deprived 
of any worthy member, especially of any worthy 
pastor and teacher, there is just cause of great sor- 
row. And the apostle alloweth a moderation in 
lamenting for the dead, so that we ' sorrow not as 
they that have no hope,' 1 Thes. iv. 13. And it was a 
part of Jehoiakim's plague, that he should be buried 
like an ass, and none to make lamentation for him. 
The meaning then is, not that we should rejoice and 
be glad, and not mourn simply at the death of our 
best pastors and teachers, but that we should be glad, 



and rejoice at the fruit which comes to the church by 
their death, if they suffer martyrdom for the confir- 
mation of the brethren's faith. For seeing their con- 
stancy and their cheerfulness to seal that truth with 
their blood, which they taught and preached, this 
should both make us rejoice that God giveth such 
strength unto his saints, and likewise confirm us 
in the faith of Jesus Christ, and further animate 
us patiently to endure whatsoever tribulations iox 
Christ his sake. The apostle himself would not, no 
doubt, rejoice simply in his suffering and death, 
but in that only thereby God should be glorified, 
and God's children strengthened. So we are to 
rejoice not simply that our pastors and teachers 
are taken by the hands of tyrants, and racked 
and martyred, but in that God vouchsafeth thus to 
conform them to the image of his Son, and to make 
their blood the seed of the church, so that thereby 
both the faith of them that are already in the church 
is confirmed, and others likewise are brought unto the 
faith. Here only we are to look to this cave/it, that 
we do not judge of a martyr only by his suffering, but 
further by the cause of his suffering ; for not the 
suffering, but the cause of his suffering, makes him a 
martyr. If he suffer death for the testimony of Christ 
Jesus, his death is well called a martyrdom; and in 
his death we are so to rejoice, as already ye have 
heard. Thus far of the reasons enforcing obedience 
to those exhortations which the apostle inferreth upon 
the example of Christ his humility and obedience, 
which the apostle laid as a most strong and sure 
ground of his exhortation unto humbleness and lowli- 
ness of mind. 



LECTUEE XXXIX. 

And I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may he of good comfort when I know 

your state, &c. — Philip. II. 19, 20. 



4 ND I hope in the Lord Jesus. In this latter part 
-^*- of this chapter, the apostle his desire is to 
comfort the Philippians, and indeed to confirm them 
that they should not be troubled though they lived in 
the midst of a naughty and crooked nation, as it ap- 
peareth they did ex verse 15, but that they should 
grow forward from grace unto grace, that when he 
should hear of them, he might hear of them to his j 
comfort. To comfort them therefore he, 1, promiseth j 
to send Timothy unto them, a man whom themselves 
knew to be a faithful minister of Christ Jesus, and to 
love them sincerely ; 2, he putteth them in hope of 
his own coming shortly after unto them ; 3, he telleth 
them that now he sendeth their faithful minister Epa- 
phroditus unto them, and the causes why. By all 
which things as the Philippians were justly to be 
comforted, so were they so many caveats to warn them 



that neither Timothy, nor he, nor Epaphroditus, might 
find any cause of grief or discomfort amongst them 
when they should come unto them. In his promise 
to send Timothy unto them, I note, 1, his promise to 
send him ; 2, the reason why he sent him rather than 
any other. In his promise, (1) I note the holy limi- 
tation thereof ; (2) the promise ; (3) the end of send- 
ing him. 

(1.) Touching the first ; Paul doth not absolutely 
promise to send Timothy unto them, but, saith he, 
• I hope in the Lord Jesus,' &c. It is to be understood 
that at this time when the apostle wrote these things, 
he was in prison at Rome, where Timothy ministered 
unto him, and served him in such things as he needed. 
Now it seems he was in hope shortly to be delivered 
out of prison, and then his certain resolution was first 
to send Timothy unto them, and then shortly after 



170 



AIRAY ON THE PHILIPPIANS. 



[Chap. IT. 



himself to come unto them. But how the Lord would 
dispose of these things he knew not. Only he knew 
that the heart of Nero, who had cast him in prison, 
was in the hand of the Lord Jesus, to dispose of as 
seemed best to his godly wisdom, and so he loved them 
that he hoped the Lord Jesus would deliver him out 
of prison, and bring him unto them. Because, there- 
fore, he knew not certainly how it would please the 
Lord to dispose of these things, he doth not absolutely 
promise to send Timothy unto them, but inasmuch as 
his love to them made him to hope the best, he saith, 
' I hope in the Lord Jesus,' &c. 

The lesson which hence we have to learn is this, in 
all things whatsoever we purpose to do, still to de- 
pend upon the will and pleasure of the Lord Jesus ; 
not resolutely to set down, This or that will I do, but 
with these or the like conditions and limitations, I hope 
in tlie Lord Jesus to do it, If God will, I will do it, &c. 
For as in God alone we live, and move, and have our 
being, so he alone directeth all our ways, and ordereth 
all our counsels as seemeth best unto his godly wisdom. 
We may purpose, and we may intend such and such 
things as come into our heads, or our occasions lead 
us unto, but neither lies it in us to bring the things 
to pass, neither do we know what shall be the event 
of such things as we purpose. It is God that by his 
special providence doth direct the event of whatsoever 
we purpose, even as it best pleaseth him.