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r 



THE 

MISCELLANEOUS WORKS 



OFTHI 



REV. MATTHEW HENRY, V. D. M. 



CONTAININO 



IN ADDITION TO THOSE HERETOFORE PUBLISHED, 

NUMEROUS SERMONS, 

NOW FIRST PRINT£D FROM THE ORIGINAL MSS. 

AN APPENDIX, 

ox WHAT CHRIST IS MADE TO BELIEVERS, IN FORTY REAL BENEFITS, 

BY THE REV. PHILIP HENRY, 

NEVER BSFORE PUBLISHED. 



ALSO 



A PREFACE AND LIFE OF THE REV. P. HENRY, A.M. 

CORRBCTBD AND £NLAUG£D 

BY J. B. WILLIAMS, LL.D. F.S.A. 



WITU 



FUNERAL SERMONS FOR MR. AND MRS. HENRY, 

BY THE REV. MATTHEW HENRY, V.D.M. 

AHD 

FUNERAL SERMONS ON MR. MATTHEW HENRY, 

BT W. TONO, JOHN REYNOLDS, AND DR. WILLIAMS. 

IN TWO VOLUMES. 
VOL II. 

LONDON : 

JOSEPH OGLE ROBINSON, 42, POULTRY. 

MDCCCXXXIII. 



•Mi's. 



* • 



* 1 



/\ 






% 



GREAT BRITAIN'S PRESENT JOYS AND HOPES ; 



DISPLAYED 



IN TWO SERMONS, 



PREACHED IN CHESTER. 



THE FORMER ON THE NATIONAL THANKSGIVING DAY, DECEMBER 31. 1706. THE LATTER THE 

DAY FOLLOWING, BEING NEW- YEAR'S DAY. 



Psalm Ixt. 11. 
TAov erownest the year with thy yoodness. 

Among other feasts of the Lord, wbich the Jewish 
efaorch was appointed to observe, (and many annual 
feasts they had for one fast,) one is called, The feast 
iff in-yatherinff at the end cf the yeam^ according to 
the civil computation of tiieir year. The feast we 
are, this day, solemnising with joy, in commanion 
with ail the religions assemblies of onr land, being 
appointed by aotbority on the last day of the year, 
according to the vulgar reckoning, may be looked 
Qpon as our feast of in-gathering : in it we appear 
before the Ijord, in whom all onr joys most terminate, 
aod to whom all our trophies must be consecrated. 
Remember therefore the law of those feasts, that 
none must appear before the Lord empty : if onr 
hearts be here empty, what will it avail os that our 
congregation is full? It is the soul that appears 
before God : if that be empty of holy joy in God, 
and holy concern for the welfare of the public, which 
OQgbt to fill us on such occasions, it is but the 
carcass and shell, without the life and kernel, of a 
Tbanksgiving-day. 

Let this feast at the end of the year be kept to 
the honoar of that God who is the Alpha and Omeya, 
the First and the Last ; both the spring, and the 
centre, of all onr glories. As we must begin every 
day and year with him, so with him we must end 
both. Par of Aim, and through Aim, and to him are 
•H things. 

Praise is waiting for God this day in our English 
^n, and to him must the vow be performed;^ 
^he TOW of thanksgiving to God for his mercies to 



the land of onr nativity ; in the peace whereof we 
have our share ; and in the praises whereof we are 
unworthy of the name of Englishmen, if we do not 
cheerfully bear our part And how can we sum up 
our acknowledgments of God's favours to our nation, 
in more proper words than those of my text, Thou 
eroymest the year with thy goodness. Common pro- 
vidence crowns every year with the goodness of God ; 
but special providences crown some years more than 
others with it 

I. Every year is crowned with God's goodness. 
We of this land have as much reason to say so as 
any other people ; for, like Canaan, it is a land which 
the eyes of the Lord our God are always upon, from 
the beginning of the year even unto the end of the 
year.*^ He who appoints the bounds of men's habi- 
tations, has appointed very well for us: The lines are 
fallen to us in such pleasant places, as forbid us to 
envy the situation of any of our neighbours, or of 
any nation under heaven. 

As we have daily meroies to give thanks for, in 
the close of every day ; so we have yearly mercies 
to give thanks for, in the close of every year, even 
the blessings of <* Heaven above," and the '' Earth 
beneath ;" for both which we are indebted to him 
who made heaven and earth, and continues the ordi- 
nances of both for the benefit and comfort of that 
mean, unworthy creature, — ^man. 

1. The annual revolutions of the heavenly bodies, 
and the benefit we receive by their light and influ- 
ences, in the several seasons of the year. Summer 
and winter crown the year ; God made both, and 
both for the service of men, — as well as night and 
day.' The shadows of the evening are not more 
acceptable to the weary labourer,* than the winter 



• Eiod.xxiiLl& 



bPi.ixv. I. 



c Deut. XL 13. 



d Pi. Uziv. 10. 



• Job vii. 8. 



736 



£NGLAND*S JOYS. 



quarters of refreshment are to fatigued armies ; and 
then the spring, that time when kings go forth to 
war/ is as welcome to the bold and faithful soldier, 
as the morning is to the honest and industrious 
husbandman, who then goes forth to his work and 
to his labour.' 

And he who made summer and winter, has made 
both very easy and comfortable to our land. So yery 
temperate is our climate, and so well secured from 
both extremes, that the inconveniences neither of 
the heat in summer, nor of the cold in winter, are 
intolerable, nor such obstructions to business and 
intercourse as they are in some other countries, 
no .farther north than Russia, nor south than Spain. 
So that if our land produce not such furs as the north 
does, and such silks as the south, we ought not to 
complain: nature did not provide them, because 
it had better provided that we should not need 
them. We can bid both summer and winter wel- 
come ; each are beautiful in their season, and neither 
are a terror to us. May the happy temper of our 
climate be infused into our minds, and our modera- 
tion be known unto all men ! 

6od*s covenant with Noah and his sons, by which 
the seasons of the year were re-settled after the in- 
terruption of the deluge, is the crown and glory of 
every year : and the constant and regular succession 
of summer and winter, seed-time and harvest,** in 
performance of that promise, is an encouragement to 
our faith in the covenant of grace, which is establish- 
ed firmly as those ordinances of heaven !* 

2. The annual fruits and products of the earth, 
grass for the cattle, and herbs for the service of men,*^ 
with these the earth is every year enriched for use ; 
as well as beautified and adorned for show. The 
harvest is the crown of every year, and the great 
influence of God's goodness to an evil and unthank- 
ful world. And so kind and bountiful is the hand of 
providence herein, that we are supplied not only 
with necessary food, for the support of nature, and 
the holding of our souls in life ; but with a great 
variety of pleasant things for ornament and delight. 
Our soul is as happy as our climate, and like that 
of Asher, yields royal dainties.' 

Though all years are not alike plentiful, yet — 
through the wise disposal of Providence, that great 
house-keeper of the universe — one year serves to 
help out another, and so to bring in another ; so that 
when we gather much, it proves there is not much 
over, and when little, there is no great lack. Or, 
one country supplies another ; so that the extremi- 
ties of famine have never sent us from our Canaan 
to sojourn in any Egypt for bread, but either we 
have had it among us, or have been able to fetch it. 

It is from the goodness of God that we have our 
yearly corn, and out of that our daily bread, which 



1 3 Sam. xi. 1. 
i Jer. xx&l. 3ft. 



V Ps. civ. 83. 
k Zech. ix. 17. 



h Gen. viii. 23. 
1 Gen. xlix. 20. 



even after a plentiful harvest we might come short 
of, if when we hring it home God did blow upon itJ^ 
In these things God does good to all, and g^ves them 
witnesses of his being and providence, his power 
and bounty, sending rain from heaven and fruitful 
seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness." 
And these witnesses to us, will be witnesses against 
us, if we serve not the Lord our God with joyfulness 
and gladness of heart, in the abundance of the good 
things he gives us ; but make those things the food 
and fuel of our lusts, which were given us to be oil 
to the wheels of our obedience. 

Let us thank God for all the blessings of this kind* 
with which every year of our lives has been crown- 
ed ; and let not the commonness of them lower their 
value with us, nor lessen our grateful sense of God's 
goodness to us in them ; nor because they have been 
hitherto constant, let us therefore imagine that tbey 
come of course, or that to-morrow must needs be as 
this day, and much more abundant: but let the 
praise of all those blessings which we enjoy by the 
constant course of nature, be given to the God of 
nature ; to him let us own our obligations for what 
is past, and on him let us own our dependence for 
the future, lest we provoke him to take away our com 
in the season thereof 

II. Some years are, in a special manner, crowned 
vrith the goodness of God more than other years ; 
Thou wilt bless the crown of the year with thy goodness, 
so the Seventy read it. This year, in which by ex- 
traordinary instances, not to be paralleled in the 
events of former years, thou hast made known thy 
goodness ; things which the former years expected 
not. and which the following years cannot forget, 
and will reap the benefit of. This year, which thou 
hast made — ^to excel other years, and to out-shine 
them in the historian's annals as much as crowned 
heads transcend common persons — by reviving the 
work in the midst of the years^^ when we were ready 
to ask. Where are all the wonders which our fathers 
told usof?^ And to speak of the years of the right hand 
of the Most High^i as what we have heard and read 
of, and what our fathers have told us of, but which 
we expected not to see in our time. 

Every year was crowned with God's goodness, but 
not so as the sixth year was, when God made the 
earth to bring forth fruit three years,' which were to 
live upon the products of that. Every year was 
not a year of release, much less a year of jubilee. 
The great God never docs any thing mean or little ; 
even the common works of nature, and the common 
course of providence, give proofs of the infinite 
power and goodness of the Creator and Director of 
the universe: but sometimes the arm of Omnipo- 
tence is in a special manner made bare, and the 
treasures of divine bounty opened, in which, though 



m Hag. i. 9. 
p Jiirig vi. ia 



n ActSJciv. 17. 
q Lev. xxr. 31. 



o HRb. ill. S. 
t Ps. Ixxvii. 10. 



ENGLAND'S JOYS. 



737 



God never out-does himself, (as men are sometimes 
said to do apon extraordinary occasions,) he oat- 
does what he used to do, that he may awaken a stu- 
pid and unthinking world, to see the goings of oar 
God, oar King, in his sanctuary,* and may proclaim 
himself glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, work- 
ing wonders.^ 

Some expositors apply the year, here said to he 
crowned with God's goodness, to the year of gospel 
grace, in which redemption was purchased for, and 
published to, a poor captive world, which is called, 
Tke accepUbU year of the Lord.^ That was indeed 
the year of God's goodness, when the kindness and 
lore of God our Sayiour toward men appeared so 
clear, so hright ; that was indeed a crowned year, 
not to mention the crowns of common years, the 
frnitfal fields and flowery meads. Even the glory of 
that year in which Israel was brought out of Egypt, 
and received the law from God's mouth, all the 
glory which crowned the top of Sinai's mount, was 
not to be compared with the glory of the everlasting 
gospel, that glory which excelleth, that crown of 
glory, wkiekfadeth not away, 

Bnt the occasion of the day leads me to apply the 
text to those fruits and gifts of the divine goodness, 
with which our land has been crowned this year past, 
vhich the house of peers in their address have call- 
ed/* A Wonderful Year ;" and therefore we may 
take leave to call it so, who must form our ideas of 
public affairs very much by the sentiments of those, 
who are better acquainted than we can be with the 
particular motions of them, and have a clearer in- 
sight into their secret springs and tendencies than it 
is fit for us to pretend to. I know present things 
ve apt to affect as most, and will allow for that ; re- 
Dembering many a thing, which we called a great 
and migbty thing when it was in the doing, but it 
afterwards dwindled, and looked very little : but not 
nnderraloing what God has wrought for us formerly, 
as if there had never been the like before, nor pre- 
jadging what may yet be in the womb of a kind pro- 
ndence, as if we were never to expect the like 
again, but only giving it its due weight, and what 
«e think it will hold to, it cannot be denied, but 
that God has of late done great things for us ;▼ so 
tkey iey enumg the heathen^ and shall not we say it 
among ourselves ? 

Blessed be God for the many testimonies borne 
this day, by better hearts and better tongues than 
mine, to the glory of God's goodness*; but into the 
^eat treasury of the nation's offering, into which 
the great men cast in of their abundance, we are 
here out of our poverty to cast in our mite : and the 
righteous acts of the Lord must be rehearsed at the 
pUca of drawing water j'' which were the rendezvous 
of the meaner sort of people, as well as in the palaces 



• Ps. xxvi. 2. a 



t Exod. XT. II. 
w Judg. V. II. 



■ Luke \y.\9. 
« Ps. zlvii. 9. 



of Jacob, where the princes of our people are gather- 
ed together, even the people of the God of Abraham.* 
And we trust it shall pleaSe the Lord better than 
hecatombs of drink-offerings and sacrifices. 

In this plain and short acknowledgment, let us 
therefore all join with thankful hearts, Lord, thou 
crownett the year — this year with thy goodness. Ob- 
serve, 

1. God and his providence must be owned in all 
the blessings of the year. Whatever has been or is 
our honour, our joy, our hope, comes from God's 
hand, and he must have the praise of it. We are 
very unthinking and unwise if we know not, and 
very unjust and ungrateful if we own not, that God 
gives us our com, our loine, our oils,^ our victories, 
our wealth, our peace, our all : Who hnoweth not iu 
all these that the hand of the Lord hath wrought this ?' 
whatever it is we glory in : Let him that glories, there- 
fore, glory in the Lord> 

It is fit instruments should have their due praise ; 
and the sense the nation has expressed of its obliga- 
tions to those whom God has honoured in the public 
service, is a very good indication. It was a sign 
that Israel remembered not the Lord their God, when 
they showed not kindness to the house of Gideon ;^ 
but we must lift up our eyes above the hills, as high 
as heaven, for from thence cometh our help,^ and 
our salvation. It is not from our own sword or bow, 
but from God's right hand and his arm, that our 
kingdom is great, our power victorious, and our glory 
bright ; and therefore to him must the kingdom, the 
power, and the glory, be ascribed. Praise ye the 
Lord for the avenging of Israel ; for without him it 
never had been done, how willingly soever the people 
offered themselves.*^ 

We believe there is a Providence that governs the 
world, and rules in all the affairs of it ; and good 
men have the comfort of it every day. Even a hea- 
then could say, Ovc C7t (ijv tv na KOOfiut ccvcm Bttav Kai 
ccvw wpovotac — There were no living in this world with- 
out God and his providence. If Providence be our 
support in the day of our distress, let Providence 
have our praise in the day of our triumph. It 
watches us particularly, let us watch it filially ; and 
since every creature is that to us that God makes it 
to be, let our thanks pass through the instruments 
to the great Author of all our salvation. 

2. The goodness of God must in a particular man- 
ner be acknowledged, as that in which all our 
springs are, and from which all our streams flow. 
We must take notice, not only of his wisdom and 
power in effecting things great and admirable in 
themselves, but his goodness and mercy in doing 
that which is happy and advantageous for us ; and 
make that the burthen of all our songs, For he is 
good, and his mercy endurethfor ever ; a short song, 



7 Ho9. ii. 8. 
b Judg viii. 34, 35. 



« Job xil. 9. 

e Ps. CXXl. I. 



a 1 Cor. i. 31. 
d Judg. V. 3, 



738 



ENGLAND'S JOYS. 



but highly honoured, when it was upon the singing 
of these words, that the glory of the Lord took pos- 
session of Solomon's temple.* 

When we consider what an unworthy people we 
are, how ungrateful we have been for God's former 
favours, and what unsuitable returns we have made, 
we have reason to admire God's goodness, above all 
his attributes, in the repetition and progress of his 
blessings ; for he is good to the evil and unthankful. 
If England's God and Saviour had not been a God 
of infinite mercy, God and not man, in pardoning 
sin, we had been ruined long since : but his good- 
ness is his glory, and it is ours ; in it, the power of 
the Lord is great, according as he hath spoken/ 

Acts of justice to the church's enemies are acts of 
goodness to her friends. When he that is mighty 
doth g^'eat things, and scatters the proud in the imagi- 
nation of their hearts, it is in remembrance of his 
mercy y — and his mercy therein is on them that fear 
him from generation^ to generation. O that men 
would therefore praise the Lord for his goodness ! 
Lord, thou art good, and dost good, and thou, there- 
fore, dost good, because thou art good, not for any 
merit of ours, but for the honour of thy own mercy. 

3. These blessings which flow from the goodness 
of God have crowned this year; he in them has 
crowned it That word shall lead us into the detail 
of those favours, which we are thiis day to take 
notice of, with thankfulness, to the glory of God. A 
crown signifies three things, and each will be of use 
tons. (1.) It dignifies and adorns. (2.) It surrounds 
and encloses. And, (3.) It finishes and completes. 
And accordingly this year has been dignified, sur- 
rounded, and finished with the blessings of God's 
goodness. 

(1.) God hath dignified this year with his good- 
ness. A crown denotes honour. Heaven itself, 
which is perfect holiness in everlasting honour, is 
often represented by a crown ; a crown of glory 
which fadeth not away : and a year of honour this 
has been to our land ; the children that shall be born 
will call it so. 

Surely the English nation never looked greater, 
nor made a better figure, among the nations than it 
does at this day. Never did it appear more for- 
midable to its enemies, nor more acceptable to its 
friends ; never were the eyes of Europe more upon 
its counsels; never was its alliance more courted 
and valued, nor its influences upon all its confede- 
rates more powerful and benign ; never was English 
conduct and English courage more admired, nor 
our English Jerusalem more a praise in the earth. 
Would to God our goodness grew in proportion to our 
greatness ; (and that would be both the advancement 
and security of our greatness ;) and that when God, 
as he promised Israel, mahes us high in praise, and 

• 2 Chron. v. 13. f Numb. xit. |7. . r Luke 1. 49, 50. 



in name, and in honour, this might be the fruit of it, 
that (as it follows there) we might be a holy people to 
the Lord our Godf^ that while our forces, and those 
of our allies, are triumphing over the common enemy 
of Europe abroad, giving us occasion for one thanks- 
giving-day after another, virtue and serious godliness 
might triumph — over vice and profaneness, impiety 
and immorality, those common enemies of mankind 
— at home ; that the pious proclamation of our gra- 
cious queen, and her other endeavours for the sup- 
pression of vice, and the support of religion, may 
not be frustrated ; that all our other glories may be 
made substantial, and may be established — to us, 
and those that shall come after us, by that righteous- 
ness which exalteth a nation; and may not be 
withered by sin, which is a reproach to any people, 
especially to ours. 

Two crowns are at this day the honour of our 
English nation, and for both we are highly indebted 
to the divine goodness: The imperial crown of 
government at home ; and the triumphal crown of 
victory abroad. 

[1.] The imperial crown of government at home is 
our honour and joy, and that by which we have a 
great deal of reason to value ourselves, and for 
which we have no less reason to be thankful to God, 
who because he loved our land,* and his thoughts 
concerning us were thoughts of good, and not of 
evil, to give us an expected end,^ set such a govern- 
ment over us. 

Which of all the crowns of Europe can pretend 
to outshine the English diadem at this day, which is 
as the sun when it goes forth in its strength ? The 
flowers of our crown are not — ^like his on the other 
side of the water, who would be called the king of 
glory — gathered out of the spoils of ruined rights 
and liberties of the subjects, nor stained, like his, 
with righteous blood. The jewels of our crown are 
not got by fraud and rapine from injured neigh- 
bours ; not, like his, seized by an unrighteous war, 
and a deceitful peace, in a bold and impudent 
defiance of all that is honourable, just, and sacred : 
no, the flowers and jewels of our crown are its oun 
against all the world ; none of all our neighbours 
has any demand upon us. Mercy and truth are the 
splendour of our crown, and justice and righteous- 
ness the never-failing supporters of our throne. The 
globe and sceptre, that is, the wealth and power, of 
the English sovereign, are both equitable beyond 
dispute, — whd, therefore, may justly assume that 
motto, and abide by it, Je mien tiendrai — / wiU hold 
my own. 

How happy, how very happy, is the constitution of 
our government! sueh as effectually secures both 
the just prerogatives of the prince, and the just pro- 
perties of the subject; so that no good prince can 



\\ Deut. xzvi. 19. 



i 9 Chron. ix. 1. 



k Jer. uux. 11. 



ENGLAND'S JOYS. 



739 



dedre to be greater, nor any good subject desire to 
be easier, than the constitution of onr govemroent 
proTides ; for which, we may jastly be the envy of 
all our neighbours ; and in wfaidh, we ourselves 
OQgfat to take the greatest satisfaction, sitting down 
with delight under the shadow of it. If there be 
any who are ^en io change^ I am sure we have no 
reason to nuddU with them, O my soul, come not 
tkou into their secret. The ancient landmarks, 
which our fathers have set, and which the patriots 
of our own age have confirmed, are so well placed, 
that in kindness to posterity, as well as in honour 
to antiquity, we have reason to pray they may 
never be remoTed. 

Thus bright does the crown of England shine :— 
yet this is not all the honour of our day. We have 
farther to add, that the head that wears this crown, 
reflects more honour to it, than it borrows from it. A 
tnie Deborah, a mother in Israel, a prudent, care- 
ful, tender mother to the Israel of God ; one who 
entirely seehs the welfare of our people, speaking peace 
to all their seed ; who is herself a great pattern of 
virtue and piety, and a pattern of it in her realms ; 
whose conduct is as pure and unexceptionable, as 
her title is clear and incontestable. It is with very 
good reason that we do so often in our religious 
assemblies bless God ** for her, and for her wise 
and good government, and the tranquillity we enjoy 
under the protection and influences of it.'' 

Far be it from me to give Jlattering titles unto man 
any where, especially in this place ; in so doing my 
Maker would soon take me away ; ^ but from a deep 
conviction of God's goodness to us, and to our land, 
in the present government, I think it is my duty, as 
a minister, to stir up myself and you, thankfully to 
acknowledge it to the glory of our Lord Jesus, the 
eternal wisdom of the Father, by whom kings and 
queens reigm, and princes decree justice ; and as the 
performance of that promise which is made to the 
gospel church. Kings shall be her nursing^fathers, 
end queens her nursing^mothers. Faithful is he who 
has promised. 

I find it related concerning that holy, good man, 
Mr. Richard Greenham, who lived and died in the 
glorious reign of Queen Elizabeth, that *' He much 
rejoiced and praised God for the happy government 
of that princess, and for the blessed calm and peace 
of God's church and people under it; and spake 
often of it both publicly and privately, as he was 
occasioned, and stirred up the hearts of all men 
what he conid, to pray, and to praise God with him 
for it continually ; yea, this matter so afiected him, 
that the day before he died his thoughts were much 
troubled, for that men were so unthankful for her 
happy deliverance from the conspiracies of the 
typists against her." And I am sure we have no 



k Job zzxll. 29. 
3 b2 



less reason to be thankful for the good government 
we are under, but much more ; so far does the copy 
go beyond the original. 

The happiness of the nation in the present minis- 
try, the prudence of our counsellors, the confessed 
fidelity of those in public trusts, the harmony and 
good understanding between the queen and the two 
Houses, and their mutual confidence in each other, 
and that between the Houses, with the triumphs of 
catholic charity over bigotry on all sides, ought to 
be taken notice of by us with all thankfulness, to the 
glory of that God who has thus crowned us with thf) 
blessings of goodness. 

And, lastly, the project set on foot for the uniting 
of the two imperial crowns in one, that England and 
Scotland, like Judah and Ephraim,* may become 
one stick in the hand of the Lord, which our wise 
men think will add greatly to the strength, wealth, 
and honour of this land, is one of the blessings with 
which this year has been crowned ; though the per- 
fecting of it is reserved to be the crown of another 
year, as we hope the good efiiects of it will crown the 
years of many generations, and posterity will for it 
call this reign blessed. 

[2.] The triumpbal crown of victory abroad is 
likewise the honour and joy of our land at this day. 
What a series of successes has this year been 
crowned with ! and how glorious will the history of 
it appear in the book of the wars of the Lord, what 
he did in ■> Flanders, what in Spain, what in Italy ! 
However it shall please God for the future to deal 
with us, here we must set up our Ebenezer, and sayi 
Hitherto the Lord luith helped us. 

It was a clear and glorious victory which opened 
the campaign in Flanders, when we scarce knew 
that the armies had taken the field, and which, 
through the good hand of our God upon us, was well 
improved. It was a happy turn that was given to 
our affairs at Barcelona, which if it might have been 
better improved afterwards, ought not to make us 
unthankful to God for the good footing then and 
there gotten. In these and other instances, the 
righteous God has pleaded our righteous cause, and 
given judgment for us. 

And a righteous cause it is ; it is requisite that we 
be clear in this, that we may make our prayers, in- 
tercessions, and giving of thanks, fpr its prosperity 
and success, in faith. Something it may not be im- 
proper for me to say to make it out, for the help of 
those of you who are not capable of getting better 
information. 

Judge therefore within yourselves ; 

(i.) Is not that a righteous war, which is under- 
taken for the asserting the rights of injured nations, 
and the securing of the common interests of Europe? 
It is in the necessary defence of these that we 



1 Exek. xxxvli. 19. 



Numb. xxi. 14. 



(740 



ENGLAND'S JOYS. 



appear, and act at this day, in conjunction with oar 
allies, against the exorbitant power and boundless 
ambition of France, which must be reduced, which 
must be repressed, or we and our neighbours, we 
and our posterity, cannot be safe. 

When proud and haughty men will aim at an uni- 
versal monarchy, will oblige every sheaf to bow to 
theirs, will command the territories and treasures of 
all their neighbours; that they may be placed alone 
in the midst of the earth ;" it is necessary to the pub- 
lic safety, and is for the honour of God, as King of 
nations, that a check be given to their rage. Here 
shall thy proud waves he stayed, which by aiming at 
universal monarchy, threaten an universal deluge. 
He who, like Isbmael, has his hand against every 
man, must have every man's hand against him, and 
can expect no other. 

War among the nations, is like the administration 
of justice in a particular community, it is a revenger 
to execute wrath upon him who does wrong f it is 
a terror to evil-doers, and a protection of right 
There are no courts of justice in which an unright- 
eous king and kingdom may be impleaded, and by 
whose sentence restitution may be awarded, the in- 
jured righted, and wrong-doers punished: the court 
of Heaven therefore must be appealed to by the 
drawing of the sword of war, when gentler methods 
have been tried in vain : for it must be the ratio 
ultima reguiHf — the dernier resort of injured nations. 
In this supreme court Jephtha thus lodges his appeal, 
Tlie Lord^ the Judge, be Judge this day between the 
children of Israel and the children of Atnmc/n,^ And 
the final determination of these appeals, no doubt, 
will be according to equity ; for he who sits in the 
throne judgeth right : though the righteous cause 
\% not always crowtied with victory at first, witness 
the war between Israel and the Benjamite8,<i yet 
great is the truth, and will prevail at last See Job 
XX. 15. 

The expense of blood and treasure must not be 
grudged, when it is necessary for the settling the 
balance of power, the securing of the just rights of 
nations, and the cutting off of those horns with which 
they have been wounded and scattered.' 

And the case. is very much strengthened, when 
acts of violence and injustice are maintained by 
treachery, and a perfidious violation of oaths and 
leagues ; when the public faith of princes and states 
is pawned in vain, and the most sacred cords by 
which conscience should be held, are snapt in sun- 
der like Samson's bonds, only because a man thinks 
himself a Samson for strength : and this not once 
or twice, but often, then it is time to draw the sword 
to avenge the quarrel of the covenant. If a man 
despise an oath, and break through that, when lo, 
he hath given his hand. As 1 live, says the Lord, he 

!<■ . I 

a Isa. V. 8. • Rom. xiii. 4. p Judg. x1. 27. 



shall not escape, but it shall surely be f'ecompensed 
upon that faithless head.* War is an appeal to 
God's providence, as the Lord of hosts, against 
those who would not abide by an appeal to his ordi- 
nance, as the God of truth. 

(ii.) Is not that a righteous war, which is under- 
taken in defence of the particular interests of our 
nation ? If we had not helped our neighbours to 
quench the fire in their borders, we know not how 
soon it might have been kindled in our own bowels, 
and it might have been out of the power of our hands 
to extinguish it, and to prevent the ruin of all that 
is dear to us. It is for our people, and the cities of 
our God, that we engage in this war ; self-preserva- 
tion requires it. 

How can we be safe, how can we sit still uncon- 
cerned, while so formidable a neighbour as France 
has been, not only harbours, but espouses, the caase, 
and aims at the establishment, of one who pretends 
to our crown, sets up a title, and makes an interest 
against the best of governments, and manifestly de- 
signs the ruin of our religion, rights, and liberties* 
and all we have that is valuable ? How can we do 
otherwise, who must write after a French copy, and 
be governed by French counsels ? 

Did the wisdom of the nation find it requisite lo 
oblige us, by an oath, not only to be faithful to the 
present government, but to maintain the succession 
as it is established in the protestant line ; (which 
we pray God late to bring in, but long to continue, 
that it may prove a successful expedient, for the 
extinguishing of the hopes of our popish adversaries, 
and all their aiders and abettors ;) and is it not the 
duty, as well as interest, of the nation, in pursuance 
to that engagement, to take all possible precaution 
for the fortifying our bulwarks against every attempt 
upon that establishment? There is no man that has 
sincerely abjured the Pretender, but he must in good 
earnest pray against his supporters. 

Well ! this is the cause, the just and honourable 
cause, in which our banner is displayed ; for the 
prosperity of which we have often prayed ; and in 
the good success of which we are this day rejoicing, 
as that which is very much the honour of this year. 
If in any places which we are concerned for, there 
have been some losses, and disappointment8,'-or 
advances not so quick as we were apt to promise 
ourselves,— those need not surprise or perplex us : 
in genera], the progress of our arms has been very 
considerable, beyond what we could reasonably 
have expected, and likely to turn greatly to our ad- 
vantage. 

2. God has surrounded this year with his goodness, 
compassed and enclosed it on every side. So we trans- 
late the same word, (Ps. v. 12.) With favour wtlt 
thou compass (or crown) him as with a shield. He has 



q Judg. XX. 



r Zech. i. 31. 



t Ezek. xvii. 18, 19- 



ENGLAND'S JOYS. 



741 



given as instances of his goodness in every thing 
that concerns ns ; so that turn which way we will, 
we meet with the tokens of his favour ; every part of 
the year has been enriched with the blessings of 
heaven, and no g^p has been left open for any deso- 
lating judgment to enter by. A hedge of protection 
and peculiar enclosure has been made about us on 
eveiy side, and has been to us as the crown to the 
head ; so entirely have we been begirt by it, and 
amforttd on everif side,t 

Let us observe some instances of that goodness 
^hich has gone through the year. 

(1.) It has been a year of peace and tranquillity at 
home, even while we have been engaged in war 
abroad ; as, thanks be to God, the years past have 
been. The God of peace makes peace in our borders ;° 
securing us from foreign invasions upon our borders, 
and domestic insurrections within our borders ; and 
blessing the care of those, who under him are the 
oonservatois of our peace. We ought to be so much 
the more sensible of this mercy, and thankful for it, 
because so many other countries in Europe are at 
this time the seat of war. When we read in the 
public intelligences of the ruin of cities by long 
sieges, the patting of all to the sword, and the de- 
vastations made in those countries where armies are 
encamped, let as take occasion to bless God that 
it is not so in oar land. We hear, indeed, of wars, 
aod nimoars of wars, in other countries ; but at so 
great a distance, that they create no horror or incon- 
lenience to us. What a consternation was the pro- 
phet Jeremiah himself put into by the noise of war ? 
MyboweUy my bowels ^ 1 am pained at my very hearty 
httauM0 thou hast heard^ O my soul, the sound of the 
trumpet, the alarm of war,^ Thanks be to God, we 
are not acquainted with those frights, we see not 
those desolations of fire and sword, we hear not the 
thundering noise of the instruments of war, that 
breathe threatenings and slaughter.* How pleasant 
is the noise of yonder great guns, now they are pro- 
claiming our Yictories, and celebrating our triumphs, 
and as it were discharging war out of our kingdom ! 
Bat how dreadful would it be, how would it make 
our ears to tingle, and our hearts to tremble, if the 
noise came from the batteries of an enemy, and every 
shot carried with it a messenger of death flying 
swiftly ! 

The peace we enjoy is the comfort of our lives, the 
security of oar estates, and the protection both of the 
cifil and sacred adminstrations. War is an inter- 
ruption to the course of justice, and a disturbance 
to its courts, an obstruction to the progress of the 
ivord of God, and a terror to religious assemblies : 
but, blessed be God, both are held among us with- 
out fear : on all our glory this is a defence ;* and 

' ' _— ^— ^— ^^-. ,11-. I 

t Pii Uxi. 21. o Ps. cxWii. 14. T Jer. iv. 19. 

* Jost as these word* were q>oken, it happened that the can- 
non of ibe castle began to be discharged ;n honour of the day, 



this makes our English Jerusalem a quiet habitation, 
and the cities of our solemnities doubly pleasant to 
us.' To this we owe it, that the highways are not 
unoccupied, that the plains are not deserted, and 
that our cities remain in their strength. We are 
delivered from the noise of archers, at the places of 
drawing water : here, therefore, let us rehearse the 
righteous acts of the Lord, even his righteous acts to- 
wards the inhabitants of his villages in Israel J 

Thanks be to God, it is with us at this day, as it 
was with Judah and Israel in Solomon's time, when 
they dwelt safely, every man under his own vine, 
and under his own fig-tree,' and the property of 
them not questioned or invaded ; what we have we 
can call our own ; and the enjoyment of them not dis- 
turbed or imbittered to us. God grant, that security 
and sensuality may not be the ill effects of so good a 
cause, as our long peace and tranquillity ! 

(2.) It has been a year of plenty, and abundance 
of the increase of the earth. Though we of this 
country were threatened, and somewhat incommoded, 
by unseasonable and excessive rains in the time of 
harvest, (and it has been observed, that our land, 
unlike to Canaan, is in danger of suffering by too 
much rain more than by too little,) yet in wrath 
God remembered mercy, and our corn was not tahen 
away, as it might have been, tn the season thereof; but 
our markets are full, and a kind Providence does 
abundantly bless our provisions, and satisfies our 
poor with bread,* if any thing will satisfy them. It 
is a pity this should be complained of as a grievance 
by the seller, which is so great a blessing to the 
buyer; and that some expedient or other is not 
found oat, in imitation of Joseph's prudence, to 
keep the balance somewhat even between them ; that 
he who sells his corn, may neither have cause to 
complain of plenty, nor he who buys the bread, of 
scarcity. 

Whatever complaints bad hearts may make of 
bad times, the scarcity of money, and the burthen of 
taxes, and the like ; those who know the world better 
than I do, observe, ** that whatever there are in 
France, in England there are no visible marks of 
poverty ; nor any sign to be seen, either in building 
or furniture^ either in food or clothing, no, nor in 
the alehouse or the tavern, (where, one would think, 
money, if scarce, should first be spared,) of the decay 
of our trade, and the expense of the war being in- 
supportable.'' 

(3.) It should seem to have been a year too of 
more trade than one would have expected, consider- 
ing the war. Numerous fleets of merchantmen are 
come in,, and our surrounding ocean is not only as 
a strong wail to us, but as a rich mine ; so that, with 
Zebulun, we such of the abundance of t lie seas, and of 

ivithin hearing of our aasembly, which occasioned the rollowing 
remark. w laa. iv. 5. * Isa. xxxiii. 20. 

7 Judg V. II. * I Kings iy. 25. • Ps cxxxii. I\ 



742 



ENGLAND'S JOYS. 



treasures hid in the sand.^ If it be complained of 
that we lose more ships of trade to the enemy than 
they to us, it must be considered, that suppose the 
matter of fact be so, the reason is because we have 
more to lose, abundantly more, and more valuable. 

May our merchandise, and our hire, be holiness to 
the Lord,* that a blessing may rest upon it, as it will 
if we consecrate our gain unto the Lord, and our 
substance to the Lord of the whole earth.' 

(4.) It has been a year of constant opportunities 
for our souls, and plenty of the means of grace. 
This, this is that which crowns the year with God's 
goodness more than any thing. The greatest honour 
of our land is, that God's tabernacle is among us, 
the Lord is known, his name is great. This makes 
it beautiful for situation, and the joy of the whole 
. earth, and to us whose lot is cast in it, a pleasant 
land indeed: that we are a Christian nation, a 
protestant nation ; That we have plenty of Bibles 
in a language we understand, and not only that we 
may read them without danger of the inquisition, 
but that we have them read to us, have stewards of 
God's house among us, to break to us this bread of 
life. Our eyes see our teachers, and they are not 
removed into comers ; and the word of the Lord is 
not, in respect of scarcity, precious in our days ; but 
we have open vision. God makes known his statutes 
and judgments to us, and has not dealt so with other 
nations. Our fleece is wet with the dew of heaven, 
while theirs is dry. It is our religion that is our 
glory ; it is the fear of the Lord that is our treasure ; 
it is God himself that is our crown and diadem of 
beauty." 

The sabbaths of the year are the crown of it. The 
Jews called the sabbath their Queen : and the crown 
of our sabbaths is our solemn assemblies, which wc 
have had the comfort of throughout the year, through- 
out the land, without interruption, in the stated times 
appointed for them ; it is that we have Moses and 
the prophets, Christ and the apostles, read in our 
synagogues every sabbath day.' It is a comfort to 
us, when we come together to worship God, that we 
do it not only in the fear of God, and in the faith 
of Christ, but in a spiritual communion, with all 
that in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ 
our Lord, both theirs and ours ; that we worship the 
same God, in the same name, by the same rule of 
the written word, under the conduct of the same 
spirit, and in expectation of the same blessed hope. 
But our communion with the religious assemblies of 
our own land, both those by the legal establishment, 
and those by the legal toleration, is, in a particular 
manner, comfortable to us. Our brethren's services 
to God and his church who move in a higher and 
larger sphere, we rejoice in, and heartily wish well 
to ; and think we have a g^eat deal of reason to be 



b Deal, xzxiii. 19. 



c laa. xxiii. 16. 



d Mic. iv. 13. 



thankful also, both to God and the govemmenty for 
the continuance of our own liberties and opportu- 
nities, which we desire always to be found quiet 
and peaceable, humble and charitable, in the use of, 
and diligent and faithful in the improvement of, for 
the glorifying of God, and the working out of oar 
own salvation. 

Thus has the year been surrounded with the fruits 
of God's goodness, and we have been compassed 
with songs of deliverance. In consideration whereof, 
let us be constant and universal in our obedience 
to God, steady and uniform in our returns of duty 
to him, whose compassions to us are so, and never 
fail. 

3. God has crowned, that is, he hath finished, this 
year with his goodness. The happy issue of an 
affair we call the crown of it ; and the close of this 
year's actions may well be looked upon as the beauty 
of the whole year, the crown of the whole work ; of 
which his favour has both laid the foundation, and 
brought forth the top-stone wi0i shouting. 

In the beginning of the year, God did remarkably 
precede us with the blessing of his goodness ;' met 
us with a victory early in the morning of the cam- 
paign, before we were well awake, which left room 
for the doing of a good day's work in prosecution of 
it. Yet we rendered not according to the benefit 
done unto us ; for which he might justly have turned 
his hand against us, and have made the latter end 
of the year, by some fatal disgrace or disappoint- 
ment, to have undone what had been done so glo- 
riously in the beginning of the year, so that we 
might have been obliged to conclude the year with 
a fast : but he has not dealt with us according to our 
sins; the same powerful and gracious hand that 
went before us then, crowns us now with honour 
and joy ; the end of the year is of a piece with the 
beginning; and, in answer to our prayers on the 
last thanksgiving day, he has favoured us with an- 
other feast and a good day, in which we have light, 
and gladness, and joy, and honour. Thus is God 
known by his name Jehovah, a finishing God, a 
Rock whose work is perfect; and thus are we 
admonished, when we have begun in the spirit, not 
to end in the flesh. 

Two things crown this year, and make the con- 
clusion of it great ; and both must be attributed to 
the goodness of God : 

(I.) The successes of our allies abroad ; the won- 
derful relief of Turin, and the ref^toration of that 
excluded prince to his capital, when his affairs were 
reduced to the last extremity, and the enemy was 
confident of carrying the day. And that this should 
be but one day's work, but two or three hours' action. 
This is such a loss and mortification to our adver- 
saries, and the consequences of it, in Italy, of such 



« ba. xxviii. & 



f Acu xiii. 37. 



ir Ps. xxl. X 



ENGLAND'S JOYS. 



743 



vast advantage to our allies, and likely to be more 
so ; that the year mast be acknowledged to end as 
honourably and happily as it began. This is the 
Lor^s doing / 

That which magnified the mercy in the beginning 
of the year, was, that our expectations were in it 
anticipated ; that which magnifies this in the end of 
the year, is, that our expectations in it were far out- 
done. In that, God was better to us than our hopes ; 
in this, than our fears ; in both, than our deserts. 

(2.) The unanimity of our counsels at home. The 
presence of God is as much to be observed and own- 
ed in the congregation of the mighty, and judging 
among the gods^ as in the high places of the field, 
determining the issues of war, and turning the ho- 
vering scale of victory. It is he who gives a spirit 
of judgment to them who sit in council, as well as 
strength to them that turn the battle to the gate :* and 
in this matter, he who has all hearts in his hands, 
who made man's mouth, the hearing ear and the 
seeing eye, has done well for us, and crowned the 
year. 

All who undertake to give the sense of the nation, 
or of any part of it, the lords, the commons, the 
convocation, all agree to admire the present happy 
postare of our afiairs, and the flourishing state of the 
kingdom under this government, and in this con- 
juncture. Never did the English nation appear to 
be so universally easy, so pleased, so entirely satis- 
fied in the public management and administration. 
Happy art thou, O England, who is lihe unto thee, O 
people f Never was such a hearty zeal discovered for 
the common cause of our religion and liberties, 
against the threatening power of France ; nor were 
ever the necessary supports of that cause given so 
speedily, so cheerfully, and with such expressions of 
a willingness to continue them, till it be in our power 
to oblige that perfidious foe to such a just and ho- 
nourable peace, as it shall not be in his power to vio- 
late. In a word, the temper and good affection of 
the nation at this day, seems not unlike that of the 
people of Israel, when Solomon dismissed them from 
the feast of dedication. They blessed the king, and 
vent unto their tents, joyful and glad of heart, for all 
the goodness that the Lord had done for David his ser- 
wint, and for Israel his people, 1 Kings viii. 66. Long 
— and ever — may it be so ! 

Ministers (I know) are the unfittest persons, and 
the pulpit the unfittest place, in the world, to talk of 
state affairs in. Yon know it is not my practice ; 
and I am sure I am most in my element when I am 
preaching Jesus Christ and him crucified. But I 
would endeavour to do the work of every day in its 
day, according as the duty of the day requires ; and 
on such occasions as these, one had as good say 
nothing, as nothing to the purpose ; and therefore, 

k Pb. izxxu. 1. < lia. xzYilt. & k Rev. iv. 10. i Ps. xxiii. 3. 



though I am not so well versed in the public afiairs 
as to be particular in my remarks, nor such a master 
of language as to be fine in them ; yet the hints I 
have given you of God's favours to our land at this 
day, and the great goodness with which the year we 
are now concluding has been crowned, will serve to 
answer in some measure my intention, (and it is no 
other than what becomes a minister of the gospel,) 
which is, to excite your thankfulness to so good a 
God, and to confirm your affections to, and satisfac- 
tion in, so good a government : and therefore, I hope, 
you will neither think them impertinent, nor find 
them altogether unprofitable. 

III. Application. 

That which remains, is to make some improve- 
ment of our observations concerning that goodness 
with which God has crowned this year, that we may 
go away (as we should aim to do from every sermon) 
some way wiser and better. 

1. Has God thus crowned the year? Let us cast 
all the crowns of it at his feet, by our humble, grate- 
ful acknowledgments of his infinite wisdom, power, 
and mercy. What we have the joy of, let God have 
the praise of The blessed spirits above cast their 
crowns before the throne,'' and that is the fittest place 
for all our crowns. Let praise continue to wait on 
him, who, though he be attended with the praises 
of angels, yet is pleased to inhabit the praises of 
Israel.^ Let our closets and families witness to our 
constant pious adorations of the divine greatness, 
and devout acknowledgments of the divine goodness 
to us, and to our land ; that evety day may be with 
us a thanksgiving day, and we may live a life of 
praise, that work of heaven. David did so. Every 
day will I bless thee ;» nay, almost every hour in the 
day. Seven times a day will I praise thee.^ 

God must have the glory, particularly of all our 
victories ; and every monument of them must be 
sacred to the Eternal Lord, rather than to the eter- 
nal memory of any man : nor ought the most merito- 
rious and distinguished actions of the greatest heroes 
to be registered, without some acknowledgment to 
that supreme Numen — Deity, whose universal and 
overruling providence, guided their eyes, strength- 
ened their arms, and covered their heads. All peo- 
ple will thus walh in the name of their God,^ and shall 
not we ? If Amaiek be subdued, the memorial of it 
is an altar, not a triumphal arch ; and is inscribed 
to the honour not of Moses or Joshua, but of God 
himself, Jehovah nissi — The Lord my banner. 

In this, both our illustrious sovereign, and her 
great general, are examples to the nation ; (and, as 
much as in other things, do real honour to it by doing 
honour to the religion of it ;) That from him in the 



la P&CXIV. 3. 



> Ps. cxix. i^ 



o Mic. iv. 5. 



744 



ENGLAND'S JOYS. 



camp, immediately upon the obtaining of a victory, 
and from her in the church, in due time after, and 
from both, in the most solemn manner, the incense 
of praise ascends to the glory of God, as the God of 
our salvation. Theses who thus honour God, no 
doubt, he will yet further honour ; and make those 
crowns, those coronets, to shine yet more bright, 
which are thus laid at his feet, with Not unto im, O 
Lord, not unto us, bvt to thy name give glory. 

If we be remiss to ascribe the praise of our achieve- 
ments to God, we provoke him to turn his hand 
against us, and by some judgment or other to dis- 
train for the rent which is not duly paid. When 
Samson had with the jaw-bone of an ass laid a 
thousand Philistines dead upon the spot, he seems 
to take the praise of the performance too much to 
himself, and to overlook the arm that strengthened 
him, when he called the place Ramath-lehi — the lift- 
ing up of the jaw-bone ;p and, therefore — ^by a very 
afflictive thirst which seized him immediately after, 
and drove him to his prayers — God reduced his 
pride, and made him know his own weakness, and 
dependence upon God, and obliged him to give a 
new name to the place, Enhakkore — the well of him 
that criedy^ not of him that conquered. The more 
thankful we are for former mercies, the better pre- 
pared we are for further mercies. 

2. Has God thus crowned the year ? Let not us 
then profane our crown, nor lay our honour in the 
dust, by our unworthy walking. Let the goodness 
of God lead us to repentance, and engage us all to 
reform our lives and families, to be more watchful 
against sin, and to abound more in the service of 
God, and in every thing that is virtuous and praise- 
worthy. Then, and then only, we offer praise, so as 
indeed to glorify God, when we order our conversa- 
tion aright ; and then shall we be sure to see his 
great salvation, and be for ever praising him. 

It does indeed give both a damp to our joy, and a 
shock to our hopes, at this day, that notwithstanding 
the great things God has done for us there is yet 
so much wickedness to be found among us ; so much 
impiety, so much immorality ; and both arising from 
practical atheism and infidelity, and accompanied 
with a contempt of religion and sacred things. 
What shall we say to these things ? It is some en- 
couragement to us to hear, as we do by some, that 
through the pious care of the general, there is a ma- 
nifest reformation of manners in the army ; vice dis- 
countenanced, and virtue in reputation ; God grant 
it may be more and more so I it would be the happi- 
est omen of any other. It is likewise to be rejoiced 
in, that there are national testimonies borne against 
vice and profaneness, and national endeavours used 
for the suppressing of it ; which we heartily pray 
God both to give success to, and graciously to accept 



of, that the wickedness which is not prevented^ yet 
may not be laid to the charge of the land, nor bring 
judgments upon the community. 

But it is our duty to lament the wickedness of the 
wicked; to sigh and cry for the abominations that 
are found among us ; to witness against them in our 
places ; and, so, to keep ourselves pure from them, 
and to do our utmost by our prayers and endeavours 
to bring the wickedness of the vricked to an end. 
And thus we may prevent the mischief of it to the 
nation, and empty the measure which others are 
filling, that there may be a lengthening out of our 
tranquillity. 

Now we are reviewing with thankfulness the mer^ 
cies of the year past, let us at the same time re- 
flect with sorrow and shame upon the sins of the 
year past ; our own sins, I mean, for it is enough 
for us to judge ourselves. The year has been full 
of goodness on God's part, but very empty on oars. 
He has not been as a barren wilderness to us, or as 
waters that fail ; but we have been so to him, very 
careless and defective in our duty, and in many in- 
stances we have come short. 

Our time has been mispent, our opportunities 
not improved ; God has come this year seeking fruit 
among us, but how little has he found ! God brings 
our years to an end, as a History that is written, 
so substantial and valuable are the gifts of his fa- 
vour to us ; but we bring our years to an end as a 
tale that is told,*" so idle, and trifling, and insignifi- 
cant are we in our carriage toward him. 

4. Let God's goodness to us engage, and increase, 
our g^dness to one another: it is justly expected, 
that they who obtain mercy should show mercy, and 
so reflect the rays of the divine goodness upon all 
about them ; being herein followers of God as dear 
children ;* followers of him that is goody^ in his good- 
ness. 

Let God's goodness to us constrain us, as we have 
opportunity, to do good to all men ; to do good with 
what we have in the world, as faithful stewards of 
the manifold grace of God ; (charity must crown a 
thanksgiving day ;) to do good with all the abilities 
God gives us, remembering that the manifestation 
of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 

Let it particularly incline us to do good to those 
from whose sentiments ours differ in the less weighty 
matters of the law. This I would take all occasions 
to press upon myself and others, pursuant to the 
great royal law of charity. There is an infinite dis- 
tance between God and us, and a just controversy 
he has with us, and yet he is kind to us, and does us 
good ; and cannot we then be kind to one another, 
and do all good ofiices one to another, notwithstand- 
ing the matters in variance between us? How ill 
does it become us to bear a grudge to any of the 



P Judg. XV. 17. 



q Judg. XV. 19. 



r Pb. xc. 0. • Eph. V. 1. t 1 Pet iii. 13. 



ENGLAND'S HOPES. 



745 



cbildreo of oar people, or wish ill to any, who are 
every day and every year crowned with the good- 
ness of God, and are, and hope to be, forgiven of 
bim ! Let not oar eye be evil one toward another, 
II hen God's eye is so good toward as all, and he does 
thin^rs for as, which we all come in for a share of 
the benefit of, and are all this day giving thanks for. 
Let our common saccess against our enemies abroad, 
help to stay all enmities at home ; and let all our 
coDSciences be able to witness for us, that we walk in 
2or(, and keep ike unitff of tke ipirit. 

4. et uU, Let this year's experience help to sap- 
port and encoarage next year's expectations. Has 
God crowned as with his goodness this year? let as 
thence infer, that if we approve ourselves faithful to 
God, surely goodness and mercy shall still follow us. 
And our hopes ought to be the matter of our praises 
as well as our joys. Unto tkee do we give tkankt, 
(sajs the Psalmist,) unto tkee do we give thanks ; for 
that thy name is nemr, thy wondrous works declare,^ 
The wondroos works we are this day giving thanks 
for. are upon this account the more valuable, that 
they give as ground to hope, that God's name is near^ 
—the advancement of his kingdom, — and, in that, 
the accomplishment of his promise. That compre- 
hensive prayer, Fat her ^ glorify tky name^ has already 
obtained an answer from heaven, — which true be- 
lievers may apply to themselves, — / have both glori- 
fied I'r, and I will glorify it again," Amen, so be it 
Hallehijah. 



ENGLAND'S HOPES; 

A SERMON. 



PREACHED 



JANUARY THE FIRST, 17067. 

Isaiah Ixiii. 4. 
The year of my redeemed is come, 

A NEW year is now come. The common compliment 
of the morning is, ** I wish you a good new year ; " 
^ it is well ; hearty well-wishers we ought to be 
to iht welfare one of another. God by his grace 
make us all wiser and better, and give us to live 
better every year ; better this year than we did the 
btst,— and then it will be indeed a good new year, 
('ood hearts will make good times and good years. 
Have any of yoa had any good purposes and re- 
solutions in yoor minds, the prosecution whereof 
Us hitherto been delayed ? put it off no longer. Is 



B Fl Ixxv. 1. 
• Exod. x\. 2. 



▼ John xii. 38. 
^ 2 Chron. xxlx. 17. 



the house of Ood yet to be set np in your hearts, the 
work to be begun? begin it to-day; as Moses did, 
who, on the first day of the first month, set up the 
tabernacle.* Are there things amiss with you to be 
amended, corruptions to be purged out, and things 
wanting to be set in order? begin this day to re- 
fbrm ; as Hezekiah did, who, on the first day of the 
first month, began to sanctify the house of the Lord:** 
so will yon make this day in the best manner re- 
markable, and this year comfortable. 

But that which at present I aim at, is to direct yoa 
— ^in wbhing a good year — ^to .the church of God, 
and the kingdom of Christ in the world ; and, par- 
ticularly, to the land of our nativity ; to the pros- 
perity of which, in all its interests, I hope every one 
of us bears a very hearty good-will, that in the peace 
thereof we may have peace. For we are tnembers one 
of another. 

My text wonld easily lead me to foretell a good 
year : but I am no prophet, nor prophet's son, nor 
dare I ever pretend to prediction ; nor indeed, can 
I give heed to any other but the most sure word of 
prophecy in the written word, which is a light shin- 
ing in a dark place.« Christ's parting words to his 
disciples at his ascension, is sufficient to silence all 
bold inquiries, and much more all presumptuous 
determinations, concerning future events ; it is not 
for you to know the times and the seasons, whick the 
Father hath put in his own powers Astrological pre- 
dictions I utterly condemn ; I hope you know better 
things than to have any regard to them. The prophet 
Isaiah speaks of the astrologers, the star-gazers, and 
the monthly prognosticators, in his time, as great 
cheats, that imposed upon the world. The heavens 
declare the glory of God ;* and magnify the ro yvtirov 
T8 Om, — that which is, and may be, known of God; 
but were never intended to declare the will of God,' 
or any of those secret things which belong not to lu.r 
Scripture prophecies I have a profound veneration 
for, and of admirable use they are to give us a gene- 
ral idea of the methods of Providence concerning 
the church, and to furnish us with a key to many of 
the difficulties of it, and thereby to assist our faith 
and hope in the worst of times. But the particular 
intention and application of them, till the event un- 
folds them, though I greatly value the labours of 
those who searched into them, yet to me it seems 
higher than heaven, what can we do ? deeper than hell, 
what can we know ? It is what we cannot by searching 
find out to perfection, or to satisfaction. 

My design therefore, in the choice of this text to- 
day, is not to gratify your curiosity with prognosti- 
cations of what shall be ; but to direct your prayers 
for the church of God, and to offer something for 
the assistance of your faith in those prayers. For 
we do all things, dearly beloved, for your edifying, I 



c s^Pet i. 19. 
f Rom. i. 19 



d AcU i. 7. • Ps. six. I. 

ff Deut. szix. 38l 



746 



ENGLAND'S HOPES. 



remember the rule long since given me, with refer- 
ence to the prospects of public affairs, and shall 
still abide by it, ** Pray, pray; and do not prophesy." 
We may be sure of an answer to the prayers of faith, 
but not of the accomplishment of the predictions of 
fancy. 

Our Lord Jesus has taught us to pray : Our Father 
who art in heaven ! thy hingdam come. And it is fit 
we should take our instructions in prayer from him, 
on whose intercession we depend for the success of 
our prayers. Now when we pray, Father, let thy 
kingdom come, this is one thing included in it, and 
intended by it, Father^ let the year of the redeemed 
come. Let this therefore be our heart's desire, and 
our prayer to our heavenly Father, every day. 

My text is part of that account which the victo- 
rious Redeemer gives of his glorious appearances 
against his and his church's enemies, represented by 
the Edomites, whom he treads down in hit anger, and 
tramples upon in his fury ;^ and, therein, appears 
more glorious and excellent than the mountains of 
prey> Come, and with an eye of faith see the 
Lord Jesus, by his grace, triumphing— over sin and 
corruption, and all the powers of Satan — in the 
souls of believers, under whose feet he will shortly 
tread that great enemy ,^ and make him their foot- 
stool,! as he has made them his own. Come, and 
see him, by his providence, triumphing over all 
anticbristian powers and factions in the world ; 
and all the maintainers and upholders of the devil's 
kingdom; Pagan formerly, and Mahometan and 
papal now : putting down all oppressing rule, prin- 
cipality, and power, till he has completed his whole 
undertaking. And upon the sight of this, let every 
tongue confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the 
glory of God the Father. And if you ask, why 
Michael and his angels push on this war so vigorously, 
and at such a vast expense of blood and treasure ? 
Michael himself shall answer you in the text. The 
year of my redeemed is come ; even the day appointed 
of the Father for this great performance ; that day 
at which, as Mr. Norris expresses it in his paraphrase 
on this passage, " Fate folded down the iron leaf." 
Now the day prefixed is come, the work designed 
must be done, whatever it costs: The Lord shall 
arise and have mercy upon Sion;for the time to favour 
her, yea, the set time, is eome,^ 

Let us observe here, 

1. That the church and people of God are Christ's 
redeemed, — the ransomed of the Lord; so they are 
called in the promise, Isa. xxxv. 10. — the redeemed 
of the Lord; so they are called upon to praise him, 
Ps. cvii. 2. They are his own ; he is entitled to them, 
as his own ; and as his own, they are very dear to 
him. He formed them for himself. He bought them 
for himself, and paid dear for them ; shed bis blood. 



h Deut. xxix. 3 
k Rom. xvi. 9. 



t Ps. Ixxvi. 4. 
I Ps. ex. 1. 



his precious blood, to purchase them, and purify 
them to himself; gave his life, an invaluable price, 
a ransom for them. They were sold by the guilt of 
sin, to the justice of God; had sold themselves, by 
their affection to it, unto the dominion of Satan ; 
but out of both these bonds Christ h as effectually pro- 
vided for their discharge and deliverance. 

He calls them, here, his redeemed — ^though as jet 
their redemption was not wrought out, and obtained, 
by the bringing in of the everlasting righteousness — 
because he had undertaken to redeem them, and the 
work would as surely be effected, in the fulness of 
time, as if it were done already. Thus, when the 
gospel was first preached in Corinth, and but few 
of that place were effectually called, yet Christ said, 
/ have much people in this cityJ^ They are mine 
already ; for the Lord hnoweth them that are his, and 
will lose none of them. 

It is the honour of good people that they belong 
to Christ :• they are his, and shall be owned as his 
in that day when he makes up his jewels ; but they 
have no reason to be proud of this honour, for, by 
this, boasting is for ever excluded ; That they bad 
not been his, if he had not bought them : they must 
be redeemed ere they could be preferred. Where 
is boasting then ? We are bought, and therefore still 
bound ; bought with a price, and therefore must not 
be our own, but his who bought us ; to him we must 
live, and not to ourselves. 

2. That there is a time fixed, concerning them, 
which is the year of the redeemed ; when their 
Redeemer will do great things for them. A year 
which shall introduce a bright and glorious scene ; 
which shall be crowned with their salvation. A 
year of jubilee to them, (to which it seems to allude,) 
when. they shall be discharged from their servitude, 
and restored to the glorious liberty and inheritance 
of the children of God; which will be indeed to them 
the acceptable year of the Lord. 

This is fixed, in the council and decree of God ; 
which he has purposed in himself; and in which he 
has determined all the times before appointed ; par- 
ticularly the times concerning his church, which is 
his garden enclosed, his Segullah, his peculiar trea- 
sure in the world, about which his providence* 
through all the revolutions of time, is in a special 
manner conversant ; and therefore his purposes from 
eternity were so. The affairs of the church were 
not left to the disposal of blind chance. The wheels 
on which it moves are animated by the spirit of the 
living creature ;' and there are eyes in the wheels, a 
wise providence that directs all for the best, accord- 
ing to the divine will, and the settled counsels of 
that will. The Eternal Mind never make! a tran- 
sition to new measures, never takes up new resolves ; 
hnowfi vnto God are all his works, and all ours too. 



Ps cii. la 

• Mait ix. 41. 



B AcU xTiii. 10. 
V Ezek. I 2a 



ENGLAND'S HOPES. 



747 



the erents themselves, and the times of them, from 
tie beifinnin^ of the world. Which yields an un- 
speakable satisfaction to all those who have but so 
much reasan and religion as to believe, that God 
knows what is fit to be done, and when, better than 
we do, and that his time is, without doubt, the best 
time. 

The providences of God concerning Israel of old, 
as well as their ordinances, were typical ; and things 
happened to them for ensmmples or patterns of the 
great salvation to be wrought in and for the gospel- 
cfaarch. Many a time was Israel afflicted, from 
their youth up ; many a time in the house of bond- 
age ; but still there was a year fixed for their re- 
demption, vrhen their warfare or appointed time 
should be accomplished,*! and deliverance should be 
wrought for them. The year was fixed for their 
redemption out of Egypt ; and God kept time to a 
day ; A t the end of the four hundred and thirty yeo.rs, 
ffCH the Meif-same day^ they went out triumphantly/ 
The year was likewise fixed for their return out of 
tiicir captivity in Babylon ; when seventy years 
«ere accomplished in the desolations of Jerusalem." 
And the distresses of the New-Testament church 
are in like manner limited to a iime^ times, and half 
a time ; which, if we know not how to compute with 
any certainty or exactness, yet, we may with the 
neatest assurance infer from it,that Infinite Wisdom 
ha^ fixed the time, though it is not for us to know 
it. Times ore not hidden from the Almighty y though 
(key thai hnow Aim do not as yet see Ids day,^ nor fore- 
sec it, 

3. That the year of the redeemed will come ; though 
it may be long first, long wished for, long waited 
for. yet it will come at last. Concerning the thing 
itself, we may be clear, we may be confident, 
though concerning the time we may be in doubt, 
and in the dark. Though many years intervene 
between this, and the year of the redeemed, and 
those, perhaps, dark, and cloudy, and melancholy 
Tears, years in which we see evil," yet the days of 
afiliction and captivity will be numbered and finish- 
ed, and the years of servitude will come to an end ; 
hitherto it shall come, but no further; so long it 
shall last, but no longer. God will have mercy on 
Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, though he has had 
indignation against them threescore and ten years ;'' 
and he will make them glad with the joys of his sal- 
TTition, in some proportion to the days wherein he has 
tjfiieted them. 

Observe with what an air of triumph and exalt- 
atioQ the Redeemer himself here speaks of this great 
day ; as one who longed to engage the enemy, and 
rescue the beloved of his soul, and who almost grew 

impatient of the delay. He cannot anticipate the 

* 

^ laa. xL 2. r Exod. xU. 41. • Dan. ix. 3. 

t Job xxir. 1. a Ps. xc. 15. 

* Zeeh. i. IS. w Zech. vi. i. 



time. The divine counsels are as mountains of 
brass,* which can neither move nor moulder ; but 
when the wheels of his chariot, which have been so 
long in coming, arrive at last, how welcome are they ! 
Now the year of my redeemed is come ; it is come. 
And, Loyleome, With this shout does the Lord himself 
descend from heaven, ride upon the wings of the wind,* 
and make the mountains flow at his presence.' With 
this does the Lord awake himself as one out of sleep, 
and like a mighty man that shouteth by reason of 
wine ;« The year of my redeemer is come. Now, XpwoQ 
oiK t^ai in-— Time, that is, delay, shall he no longer.* 
Now will I arise ; now shall the everlasting arm be 
made bare. Now shalt thou see what I will do to 
Pharaoh. 

Now for the more distinct improvement of this, 
let me apply it, both to the universal church of the 
redeemed, the whole family, in every age ; and to 
particular churches, and the interests of the king- 
dom of Christ, in some special time and place. 

(1.) Let me briefly apply it to the whole mystical 
body of Christ, the universal church of the redeemed ; 
in which we have cast our lot ; and hope to have a 
place and a name in the general assembly of all 
who belong to it And understanding it of this, 
there are two which above all the rest may be called 
the years of the redeemed ; one long since past, the 
other yet to come. 

[1.] The year of Christ's dying was the great year 
of the redeemed, and that on which all the rest de- 
pend ; from the salvation then wrought, the found- 
ation was laid on which all the other more particular 
salvations of the church are built Therefore, in the 
Apocalypse, the Lamb that was to make war with the 
beast, and to overcome him, appeared as a Lamb tliat 
had been slain.^ And it is by the blood of the Lamb 
that the victory is said to be obtained.' And many 
understand the text of that year of the redeemed, 
when Christ by death destroyed him who had the 
power of death ; trod the winepress of his Father's 
wrath alone, and stained all his raiment, both with 
his own blood, and with the blood of his enemies. 

Then was the price paid down ; upon the under- 
taking of which, the great Redeemer was trusted 
with the salvation of all the Old-Testament saints ; 
and for which all who in every age believe in him 
should be justified and accepted. Then the chosen 
remnant was purchased, and eternal life purchased 
for them ; then principalities and powers were 
spoiled, and a show made of them openly;' the 
strong man armed disarmed, stript, and triumphed 
over. To that victory all the victories of faith are 
owing; for we are more than conquerors through 
him that loved us. 

The time was fixed for this great and glorious 



z Ps, xriii. 0, 10. 

a Rev. X. 6. 
c Rev. xii. II* 



r laa. Ixiv. 3. « Ps. Ixxvili. 65. 

b Rev. V. 6. 
d Col. ii. lA. 



748 



ENGLAND'S HOPES. 



achievement; fixed in that detenninate counsel and 
fore-knowledge of God, by which that sacrifice was 
delivered up; fixed in the Old-Testament predic- 
tions, from that of the " Seed of the woman, which 
should break the serpent's head,* " to that of* Messiah 
the Prince, who at the period of the seventy weeks 
should finish transgression, and make an end of sin, 
by making reconciliation for iniquity, and bringing in 
an everlasting righteousness.''* It was fixed to a day, 
it was fixed to an hour : how often did Christ speak 
of it with that exactness : Mine hour is not yet come, 
and when it was come. This is your hour. 

Long was it looked for by them who waited for 
the redemption; 9 and more earnestly by him that 
was to work out the redemption, who, having this 
baptism to be baptized with, was even straitened till 
it was accomplished.*^ It came at last : Blessed is he 
that Cometh. And of all the years that God has 
crowned with his goodness, that was, without doubt, 
the greatest of all that every day and night measured 
since the clock of time was set in motion. And 
though they who were to have the benefit of the re- 
demption slumbered and slept, and were not duly 
sensible of the vast importance of what was then 
doing till afterwards, when the Spirit was poured 
out upon them, yet he that was to be at the ex- 
pense of it, and foresaw how the great affair of 
man's redemption — and, perhaps, the angel's confir- 
mation — was to turn upon that mighty hinge, tri- 
umphed and was transported, when he said in the 
beginning of the battle. Now is my soul troubled, but 
now is the judgment of this world; now is the prince 
of this world cast out ;' and in the close of the battle, 
when he knew what an irreparable blow be had 
given to the devil's kingdom. It is finished.^ This 
was that year of the redeemed which we frequently 
celebrate the memorial of with joy, at the table of 
the Lord. 

[2.] The year of Christ's second coming to judge 
the world, is that great year of the redeemed which is 
yet to come ; that true Platonic year, which will 
be, though not the repetition, yet the review and re- 
tribution, of all that is past. And as in our ob- 
servance of the great institution of the Eucharist, 
that proprium — appropriate rite, of our holy religion, 
and peculiar badge of our Christianity, we look as 
far back as that year of the redeemed which is past, 
showing forth the Lord's death ; so we look as far 
forward as that year of the redeemed which we are 
yet in expectation of, showing it forth till he come. 

This year of the redeemed, which will be crowned 
with the greatness of God, as other years have been 
with his goodness, is fixed in the divine counsels ; 
unalterably fixed, fixed to a day ; for he hath ap- 
pointed a day, in which he will judge the world in 



• Gen. iii. 15. fDan. ix.34. tLukeii. 3& hLukexii. 50. 
1 John xii. 27. k John xli. 31. i Acta xvii. 31. 



righteousness ; ' and a great and terrible day it will 
be. God, by his grace, make us all ready for it, that 
he who shall then appear may appear to our joy. It 
is fixed, but it is not revealed ; it is not fit it should, 
nor agreeable to that state of probation and expect- 
ation we are now in. It is fixed, and it will come, 
it will certainly come, to the unspeakable confusion 
of all those who slight the warnings of it, and the 
everlasting consolation of all those who embrace the 
promise of it. As sure as this year is come, that 
year wiU come, and you and I shall see it ; tjt our 
flesh resumed we shall see it; shall see the tenors, 
shall see the triumphs, of that day, and, according as 
we are found then, shall certainly and eternally 
share either in the one or in the other. 

That, that will be the year of the redeemed ; in 
which all our hopes and prospects, which in our 
present state are still kept moving forward, one event 
serving only to raise our expectation of the next, 
will come to a full period. Then we shall see the 
final end of all those things, which here we are so 
solicitous and inquisitive about." And a blessed 
end it will certainly be to all the redeemed of the 
Lord; who will in that day lift up their heads and 
hearts with joy, never to despond or be dejected 
again, knowing that their redemption in its open 
declaration, and full perfection, draweth nigh." 

All the redeemed who are now scattered and dis- 
persed over the face of the whole earth, will then be 
gathered together into one body ; and a great and glo- 
rious body it will be ; to be presented to the Father 
without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing ; and to 
grace their Redeemer's triumphs, as the trophies of 
his victory over the powers of darkness, that had 
held them captive, that he may be glorified in his 
saints, and admired in all them that believe.'' A gene- 
ral rendezvous it will be of all that ever approved 
themselves good soldiers of Jesus Christ, when the 
Captain of our salvation p shall produce all who were 
given him ; they shall every one answer to their 
names, and not one be missing. 

All the enemies of the redeemed will then be con- 
quered and brought down, and death itself, that 
last enemy, shall be destroyed, and swallowed up 
in victory. The devil, with all those whom he has 
decoyed into his interest, will then, by the almighty 
power of that God, whose the deceived and the de^ 
ceiver are,^ be cast into the lake of fire^ and the re- 
deemed will be set for ever out of the reach of all 
their enemies. Then shall the redemption of the 
soul be perfected, in the redemption of the body 
from the power of the grave, and that captivity led 
captive.* 

But that which, above all, will denominate it the 
year of the redeemed, is, that then the ransomed of 



Dan. xii. 8. n Luke xxi. 28. o 2 Thcas. 1. 10. p Heb. il. lo. 
q Job xii. le. r Rev. xx. 10. « Rom. viii. 33. 



ENGLAND'S HOPES. 



749 



the Lard shall return^ and eame to Stan with iongt of 
praise; everlasting joy shall fill their hearts, and 
crovn their heads ; and sorrow and sighing, those 
cloads which in this world are still returning after 
the rain, shall be finally dismissed, and flee away 
for ever.* The redeemed of the Lord, by virtue of 
their union with the Redeemer, will then sit down 
TJth him upon his throne, as he overcame, and is 
set down with his Father upon his throne, and reign 
with him for ever. 

This is the year of the redeemed ; for it is the year 
which their hearts are upon, which, according to the 
promise, they look for, and have an eye to, in all 
their present services, sufferings, and struggles. It 
will be the crown and satisfaction of their faith and 
hope, and the perpetual perfection of all their joys 
and honours. 

Think, my brethren, think seriously, what that 
year of the redeemed will be to you. How will the 
archangeFs trumpet sound in your ears ? will it be a 
joyful or a dreadful sound ? To them that obey the 
gospel, and live up to it, it will proclaim liberty and 
bonoar ; but against them who are unbelieving and 
disobedient, it will denounce war and ruin. That 
great day will be coronation day to the former, but 
execution day to the latter. We none of us know 
hot this year of which we now see the beginning may 
be the year of our death ; if it should be so, will it 
be the year of our redemption ? And can we, as such, 
bid it welcome, and heartily say farewell to this 
worid? Workout your salvation with fear and trem^ 
hUng^ and then you may look for death and judg- 
ment with joy and rejoicing. Spend your time 
well, and then no doubt but you shall spend your 
eternity well ; and the year of the redeemed will 
be the year of your eternal redemption. 

(2.) Let me more largely apply it to the militant 
cborch ; and the particular parts and branches of 
Christ's kingdom in the world, and their states and 
bterests, those especially with which we are best 
acquainted, and in which we are most nearly con- 
cerned. 

1 was yesterday endeavouring, as well as I could, 
to excite your holy joys and thankful praises for the 
great things God has of late done for us, and our 
allies, whom he crowned, the last year, with his 
goodness : I would to-day say something for the en- 
couragement of your faith and hope in God, con- 
cerning the events of the year ensuing, and of your 
earnest prayers to God that it may prove one of the 
years of the redeemed. 

It is no new thing for the church of Christ upon 
earth to be in distress and bondage, and to stand in 
need of redemption, notwithstanding the great re- 
demption from sin and hell, which the Lord Jesus 
has wrought out It is always militant, it is often 

t Isa. XMXT. 10. 



afflicted, tossed with tempests, and not comforted ; 
and Sion constrained to dwell with the daughters of 
Babylon." Israel had many enemies, was often in 
the hands, often under the feet, of their enemies ; and 
the redemption of Israel was often prayed for, and 
often promised ; much more reason has the gospel 
church (that never had so many promises made to 
it, relating to the life that now is, as the Old-Testa- 
ment church had) to expect trouble in this world ; 
to be fought against, and to suffer persecution ; in 
conformity to the example of its head. 

The book of the Revelations gives us intimation 
enough of troublesome times that were to pass over 
the Church ; and though it should be allowed doubt- 
ful who the enemy is that is there described, yet it 
is past dispute, that there should arise an enemy, a 
powerful and dangerous one, who should make war 
with those that keep the commandments of God, and 
the testimony of Jesus Christ i^ so that we are not 
to think it strange, no, not concerning the fiery trial, 
if the best of God's saints and servants be called out 
to it, as though some strange thing happened. Be- 
hold, Christ has told us before, that when it comes 
it may be no surprise or offence to us. 

But there will come a year of redemption for those 
who suffer in the cause of Christ; God willnoU and 
men shall not, contend for ever ; nor shall the rod of 
the wicked rest always upon the lot of the righteous, 
though it may rest long there. It is the state of some 
of the reformed churches abroad, especially those 
of France, that I have upon my heart, and had in 
my eye in the choice of this text. The year of their 
deliverance, whenever it comes, I must call the year 
of the redeemed. 

The excellent Archbishop Tillotson, in a sermon, 
on Rev. xiv. 13. plainly intimates his suspicion^ 
that the French king is that second beast described 
(Rev. xiii. 11.) with two horns, France and Navarre^ 
speaking like a dragon, which (says he) may point 
at a particular sort of armed soldiers called dragons, 
or dragoons : and the number six hundred sixty-six 
in the name LUDoVICUs : and that the persecu- 
tion of the French protestants, in that last and great 
persecution, is there foretold. And in another ser- 
mon before King William and Queen Mary in the 
year 1692, makes him the present great supporter of 
the mystical Babylon. And if so, a deliverance from 
under his tyranny may well be prayed and hoped 
for, in the year of the redeemed. 

[Since the preaching of this, I have with much 
pleasure received encouragement to my hopes, and 
been confirmed in my choice of this subject, for an 
appendix to the thanksgiving, by that excellent 
discourse of the worthy Bishop of Sarum, before 
the Queen and both Houses of parliament, on the 
Thanksgiving- day, in which he lays so much stress 



n Zecb. ii. 7. 



' Rev x\i. 17. 



760 



ENGLAND'S HOPES. 



upon the French king^s barbarous usage of bis pro- 
testant subjects, in his description of him as an 
oppressor, whom it wili be the glory of a good prince 
to help to break in pieces : and he tells that august 
assembly, '' That till the exiles are recalled, till the 
prisoners are set at liberty, till the edicts that were 
their inheritance are revived, and compensation is 
made for the precious blood that has been shed 
among them ; till the oppressor is so bounded, that 
his own people are secured from oppression, and 
his neighbours from invasion ; till this is done, it 
is reasonable to hope, that man will say as God has 
said. There it no peace to the wicked." God keep 
that word always in the imagination of the thoughts 
of their hearts, to whom it was spoken, and establish 
their way before him.] 

Four tilings it will be proper for us to inquire into, 
concerning the year of the redeemed which we are 
hoping, and praying, and waiting for. I. What the 
year of the redeemed will be, and what we expect 
to be included in it. II. What ground we have to 
believe that it will come, some time. III. What 
encouragement we have to hope that it will come 
quickly. IV . What is our duty in reference hereto. 

I. What we may expect the year of the redeemed 
will be, which according to his promise we may 
look for. You shalt see it in three things: 

1. The year of recompence for the controversy of 
Sion, will be the year of the redeemed. Such a year 
we read of, (Isa. xxxiv. 8.) and it is parallel to this 
here, for it explains the day of vengeance, which is 
here said to be in the heart of the victorious Re- 
deemer. Therefore the sword that is bathed in Aenven, 
shall come down upon Idumea, the people of God's 
eursCf because it is the year of recompence for the 
controversy of Sion. 

God espouses Sion's cause, does and will plead 
it with jealousy :^ his church is dear to him as the 
apple of his eye,' and, therefore, he has a contro- 
versy with those who are injurious to his people ; 
and sooner or later he will reckon with them, and 
vidll avenge his own elect, who cry day and night to 
him, though he bear long.^^ He has a righteous 
quarrel with them, and he will avenge that quarrel. 
Barbarous and unrighteous wars fill the measure of 
a nation's sins ; and are that fourth transgression^ 
for which, when it is added to other three, God will 
not turn away the punishmefit of a people, as is inti- 
mated, (Amos i. 6, 9, 11, 13.) where for three trans- 
gressions, and then this as the fourth, God will 
reckon with Gaaea, Tyre, Edom, Ammon, and Moab, 
because they had delivered up the whole captivity, 
had pursued with the sword, and cast off all pity, 
particularly had ript up the women with child: would 
not God visit for these things, should not his soul be 
avenged on such a nation as this ? But barbarous 



Zecb. i. 14. 

7 Luke xvili. 7. 



sZech. ii.8. 
• Joel iii. U. 



persecutions for righteousness' sake, are yet mor« 
provoking : all innocent blood is precious to God« 
and inquisition will be made for it ; but the blood 
of the saints, and the blood of the martyrs of Jesus, 
is in a special manner precious to him, and not a 
drop of it shall be shed but it shall be reckoned for. 

The great day of recompence for Sion's contro- 
versy will be at the end of time, in the valley of 
decision* when the long depending controversy, after 
many struggles, will at length be determined ; when 
everlasting tribulation shall be recompensed by the 
Lord Jesus, to them that troubled his church, and 
to them who were troubled, everlasting rest.^ The 
Lord hasten that glorious day, and make as ready 
for it ! 

But we may expect that it will be done, in part, 
in this world. When God shall have performed his 
whole work upon mount Sion, and upon Jerusalem, 
his humbling, reforming work upon them, he will 
then perform his saving work for them, and will 
punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of 
Assyria, and the glory of his high looks :** the zeal 
of the Lord of hosts shall do this. All the wTongs 
done to Sion will be returned to those who did them, 
and the cup of trembling will be taken out of the 
hand of the oppressed, and put into the hand of the 
oppressor.^ The arm of the Lord will awake as in 
the days of old, and will put on strength ; that 
mighty arm that humbled Pharaoh, Sennacherib, 
Nebuchadnezzar, Herod, Julian, and other the 
proud enemies of his church, will be made bare, in 
our day, against the successors of these sons of 
pride and violence. The papal kingdom in general, 
that has for many ages been so barbarously oppress- 
ive to the faithful worshippers of God, and the 
French tyranny in particular, that has been remark- 
ably so in our days, are the enemies, with whom, I 
think, God has a controversy on Sion's behalf, and 
the day will come that he will plead it 

His controversy is, 

(1.) For the sons of Sion, whom they [the perse- 
cutors] have abused; the precious sons of Sion, 
comparable to fine gold ; who have not only been 
despised and thrown by as vessels in which tiiere is 
no pleasure, but trodden down and broken to pieces 
as earthen pitchers, the work of the hands of the 
potter.<* How many excellent ministers and Chris- 
tians have been sacrificed to the pride and malice 
of the church of Rome, and with a rage reaching up 
to heaven, numbered to the sword as sheep for the 
slaughter! and the survivors either miserably en- 
slaved in the galleys, and there dying daily, or buried 
alive in dungeons, or forced to beg their bread in 
strange countries: and shall not this be recom- 
pensed ? 

(2.) For the songs of Sion, which they have pro> 



» 2 Thess. i. 6, 7. 
elsa. H.12, sa 



b Isa. X. IS. 
<i Lam. iv. 2. 



ENGLAND'S HOPES. 



761 



faned. This head is suggested by that instance of 
the Babylonians' insolence, and contempt of the 
Jews and their religion, when they upbraided them 
ID their captivity with the songs of Sion : and, for 
this, it follows. Daughter of Babylon, thou art to be 
destroyed,* The contempt cast upon the pure wor- 
ship of God as heretical, and the jest made of sacred 
thiogSfis what God will reckon for. 

(3.) For the powers of Sion's king, which they 
have usurped. All the anointed offices of our Lord 
Jesus aie boldly invaded by the papacy. His pro- 
phetical office, by setting up an infallibility in pope 
or councils; his kingly office, by setting up the 
supremacy of the bishop of Rome over all churches, 
and giving him the power of Christ's vicar, or his 
rival rather, upon earth ; and his priestly office, by 
making the mass a propitiatory sacrifice for sin, and 
saints and angels mediators between God and man. 
And shall not the crown of the exalted Redeemer 
be supported against these usurpations ? 

(4.) For the pleasant things of Sion's palaces 
whif h they have laid waste. God will reckon for 
the many churches they have demolished, the solemn 
assemblies they have scattered, the administration of 
ordinances they have restrained, and the fountains 
of living water they have stopped up. God keeps 
an account of all the mischief of this kind done at 
anj time by the papal power and its adherents, and 
will bring it all into the reckoning when the year of 
rtoompences comes. 

2. The year of release for God's captives, will be 
the year of the redeemed ; and this is the year we are 
wailing for. While we enjoy our liberties and op- 
portanities, in peace and without check, we ought 
to remember them who are in bonds, and to pray for 
the turning again of their captivity ae the streams in 
the south. 

(1.) Oppressed consciences, we long to hear of 
the release of. Of the many that through the force 
of persecution have been brought to put forth their 
hands unto iniquity, we hope there are some who 
have not put forth their hearts to it ; but if the force 
were taken off, would return to the true religion, 
which they have in word renounced. The triumphs 
of tyranny over those pretended converts cannot be 
thought of by any good Christian, without the utmost 
indignation ; for the worst of tyranny is theirs, who 
take a pride in saying to men's souls, Bow down, that 
ve may go aver ; ' insulting over conscience, and pre- 
tending to command that : and though the utmost 
point they can gain by all their violence, is that, as 
it follows there, men lay their body as the ground, and 
u the streets to them that go over, by external com- 
pliances, while the soul remains unbended ; yet this 
being a most grievous affliction, (as it is there spoken 

of,) the freeing of the oppressed from this force will 



t Pa. cxxxvH. 3. 8. 



f Isa. 1i. S3. 



be a most glorious deliverance. We long to hear of 
the breaking off the yoke from off their necks, that 
they may no longer be compelled to give that honour 
to the creature that is the Creator's due, against 
the conviction of their consciences; but may be 
brought up out of that Egypt, to sacrifice unto the 
Lord vrith freedom, though it were in a wilderness. 
For, Is Israel a servant ? Is conscience a home-bom 
slave, that it is thus spoiled,* thus imposed upon ? 
No; it is God's Son, it is his first-born, and he 
will maintain its privileges. Lord, bring their souls 
out ofprisoti, that they tfusy praise thy name.^ 

(2.) Oppressed confessors, we also long to hear of 
the release of. Humanity obliges us much, and 
Christianity much more, to pity the distressed state 
of those who are in bonds and banishment, in dun- 
geons and in galleys, for the word of God, and for 
the testimony of Jesus Christ. When will the time 
come that the house of the prisoners shall be opened, 
and every man's chains fall from his hands, that 
a spirit of life from God shall enter into the dry 
bones, that they may live ? The account we had some 
years ago of the brave and daring struggles of the 
Sevennois, was such a noise and a shaking, as we 
thought portended the return of bone to his bone, and 
a glorious resurrection of God's witnesses ; but that 
affair, for aught we hear, is now asleep : God him- 
self revive that work in the midst of the years, and 
so hasten the year of the redeemed ! 

3. The year of the revival of primitive Christianity 
in the power of it, will be the year of the redeemed. 
This we wish, we hope, we long to see, both at home 
and abroad ; not the establishment and advancement 
of any party, but the extinguishing and swallowing 
up of all parties in the prevalence of pure religion^ 
and undefiled, and the dominion of serious godliness 
in the hearts and lives of all who are called by the 
Christian name. 

When the bounds of the church will be enlarged by 
the conversion of Pagan and Mahometan nations to 
the faith of Christ, and the spreading of the gospel 
in foreign parts ; when the enlargement of trade and 
commerce shall be made serviceable to the interests 
of Christianity, as it is to our secular interests, and 
the kingdoms of this world shall become the king- 
doms of the Lord and of his Christ, and the Re- 
deemer's throne shall be set up where Satan's seat is, 
then will the year of the redeemed come. 

When what is amiss in the churches of Christ 
shall be amended, mistakes rectified, corruptions 
purged out, and every plant that is not of our 
heavenly Father's planting, shall be rooted up, and 
the plants that are, shall be fruitful and flourishing ; 
when the Lord of the temple shall sit as a refiner, 
and shall purify the sons of Levi, and all the seed 
of Israel, then shall the year of the redeemed come.* 



% Jer. W. 14. 



ii Ps. cxlii. 7. 



i Mai. lii. 3. 



762 



ENGLAND'S HOPES. 



When the word of the Lord shall have a free 
coarse; when vice and profaneness shall be sup- 
pressed, and all iniquity shall stop her mouth ;^ 
when virtue and piety shall be not only generally 
praised, but g^enerally practised ; when in every 
place the spiritual incense shall be offered, and a 
pure offering with pure hands, and the principles 
of our holy religion shall be copied out into men's 
hearts and lives, then shall the year of the redeemed 
come. 

When the divisions of the church shall be healed, 
and the unity of the Spirit kept entirely in the 
bond of peace, so that Epbraim shall no longer envy 
Judah, nor Judah vex Ephraim; when all shall 
agree to love one another, though they cannot agree 
in every thing to think with one another ; when the 
Lord shall be one, and his name one, and all who 
profess his name one in Christ, the great centre of 
unity, then shall the year of the redeemed come. 

In a word, when the Spirit shall be poured out 
upon us from on high,> so that knowledge shall 
triumph over ignorance, truth over error, devotion 
over profaneness, virtue over all immoralities, justice 
and truth over treachery and all unrighteousness, 
and Christian love and charity over schism, bigotry, 
and all uncharitableness ; then shall the year of the 
redeemed come. But alas ! Who thall live when God 
doeth thitf The Lord hasten it in its season. 

II. What ground we have to believe that the year 
of the redeemed, even the year of recompences for 
the controversy of Sion, will come some time, 
whether we live to see it or no. 

That which I build upon is, 

1. The justice and righteousness of that God who 
governs the world, and whose kingdom ruleth over 
all. If men are unrighteous, they shall find to their 
cost that God is not. If men make nothing of their 
word, God makes something of his ; and the un- 
belief of men shall not make it void and of none 
effect. Though clouds and darkness are round about 
him,"" so that we know not the way that he takes, 
verily he is a God who hideth himself; yet judg- 
ment and justice are the habitation of his throne; 
and so will it appear when the mystery of God shall 
be finished, and the heavens shall declare his right- 
eousness, and neither earth nor hell shall have any 
thing to object against it Sooner or later the Lord 
will be known by the judgment which he executes. 

Look up, (my brethren,) look up with an eye of faith 
to heaven above, and see the Lord God Omnipotent 
upon a throne, high and lifted up ;® the throne of 
glory, the throne of government, which he has pre- 
pared in the heavens,? and established there, though 
the heathen rage, and the floods lift up their waves :<i 
and hence let us take encouragement to hope, that 
in due time we shall see an effectual check given to 



k Ps. cvi. 42. 
a P». 1. 6. 



I laa. zxxii. 15. 
o Im. vi. I. 



m Pi. xcvii. 2. 
P Pi. ciil. 19. 



the '* boundless ambition of France," as the procla- 
mations often call it The universal Monarch will 
not suffer himself to be rivalled and insulted bj a 
bold pretender to an universal monarchy ; nor will 
he, who alone is absolute, have the flowers of his 
crown plucked by a pretender to absolute sove- 
reignty. The humbling and abasing of such proud 
men, treading them down, and hiding them in the 
dust together, by which the great Jehovah proves 
himself to be God ; and in which he glories, above 
any thing, in his discourse with Job, out of the 
whirlwind : Do thou do to (says he) and then will 1 
alio confess unto thee,' And will he not do it io oar 
day? 

Look abroad, (my brethren,) look abroad with 
pleasure upon this earth, and see it, as wild as it is, 
and as bad as it is, under the government of a right- 
eous God, whose eyes run to and fro through it, and 
who does according to his will, not only in the armies 
of heaven, who are not too high to be above his con- 
trol ; but among the inhabitants of the earth, who 
are not too mean to be below his cognizance. Thej 
are mistaken who think God has forsaken the earth,* 
and that he cannot judge through the dark cloud ; * 
who say in their hearts, God hath forgotten, and, T^ou 
wilt not require it. The day is coming when it shall 
be so evident, that every man will own it : verily 
there is a reward for the righteous ; verily there is a 
God that judgeth in the earth,"* 

Suppose we could not read the doom of the pa- 
pacy, and the French tyranny, out of the depths of 
the Apocalypse, we may read it out of the Proverbs 
of Solomon, the plainest book in all the Bible ; for 
there we are told, men's pride will bring them low ; 
wealth gotten by vanity will he diminished ; he that 
seeheth mischief it shall come upon him ; and whoso 
doth violence to innocent blood, shall flee to the pit, and 
no man shall stay him. And no word of God shall 
fall to the ground. 

The tender concern God has for his church and 
people. His redeemed are very dear to him, and 
he is jealous for them, as his portion, and peculiar 
treasure ; he takes pleasure in their prosperity, and 
in all their afilictions he is afflicted ; and he takes 
what is done against them as done against himself: 
and shall not he avenge his own elect, because they 
are his own ? He who purchased the soul of his turtle 
dove with the blood of his Son, will not deliver it 
into the hand of the multitude of its adversaries J* 

Especially, considering how much his own honour 
is interested in the concerns of his church and peo- 
ple. If they be abandoned and cast out of his care 
what will the Egyptians say ; it will for ever dis- 
grace the throne of his glory, and be the reproach of 
his government ; so that how mean soever they are, 
and unworthy he should do any thing for them ; yet, 

q Ps. xcili. 2, a. r Job xl. 12-14. ■ Ezek. ix. 9. 

t Job xxil. 13. u p& Iviii. II. ▼ Pa. Uxiv. 19. 



ENGLAND'S HOPES. 



753 



DO doabty he will work for his own name, his own 
great name, that that may not be polluted among 
tbe heathen. 

The many exceeding great and precious promises 
which he has made in his word concerning his 
cborcb, and on which he has caused us to hope : on 
these our faith mast build, and we shall find them a 
firm and never failing foundation. God has spoken 
in his holiness,^ and we will rejoice in what he has 
promised, it is all our own. He has promised, that 
he Kill jud^e far kit people, and repent himself concern" 
ing hit servants^ when he Meet that their strength is 
gone.' That far the oppression of the poor, and the 
sighing of the needy, he will arise and set them in safety,^ 
That the Redeemer shall come to Sion, and turn away 
wigodliness from Jacob.* That there shall be no 
more any priching brier or grieving thorn, nor any to 
hurt or destroy in all the holy mountain.* 

It was shown in vision to the prophet Daniel what 
^reat havoc would be made, by persecuting powers 
of the church in the latter times of it ; but at the 
same time, the deliverance of the church and the 
destruction of its enemies is foretold. Antiochus 
shall be mighty, and shall wonderfully destroy the peo- 
pUof the Holy One : and through his policy he shall 
cauts craft to prosper in his hand, and he shaU magnify 
himself in his heart ; and by peace (more than by war) 
he shall destroy many, (who can avoid thinking of 
the French king at the reading of this ?) but he shall 
U broken without hand ;** or, as it is in a parallel 
place, he shall eonu to his end, and none shall help 
him,^ And of another great enemy, arising out of 
the fourth kingdom, which seems to be the papacy, 
it b said, that he shall wear out tfte saints of the Most 
High, and think to change times and laws by an un- 
limited power ; and they shall be given into his hand, 
hj the divine permission, for wise and holy ends, 
«a/i7 a time, times, and the dividing of time.^ But 
what will come of him at last ? Shall he reign thus 
for ever, because he clotheth himself with cedar ?* 
No, the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away 
his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. 
The God of troth has said it, and shall stand firm. 
Be that leadeth into captivity, shall go into captivity ; 
and he that hiUeth with the sword, shall he hilled by 
the sword, when his day shall come to fall : and in the 
mean time, here is the patience and the faith of the 
saints/ 

2. The performance of these promises to the church 
in all ages: God has often delivered, always de* 
livered at last, and, therefore, we trust he does and 
viil deliver. After Israel's long affliction in Egypt, 
^at house of note bondage, at length God came 
down to deliver them, and gave an emblem of their 
condition in a bash that burned, and yet was not 
consumed. In the times of the judges, first one 



I Rom. si. 26. 



« Deut. sxxii. 90, y pa. xii. &. 

• Is:i x1 ft b Dan. viii. 94. S&. 

3c 



enemy, and then another, mightily oppressed them, 
for so many years ; but in due time God raised them 
up a deliverer, and sent from heaven to save them. 
The captivity in Babylon came to an end at the set 
time. The treading under foot of the sanctuary, by 
Antiochus, was limited to a certain number of days, 
and then the sanctuary was cleaned.* Thus the 
Jewish nation, as long as it continued the church of 
God, though often distressed, was still delivered, till 
by rejecting Christ and his Gospel, they threw them- 
selves out of the church ; and now they wait in vain 
for redemption from their present dispersion, and 
cannot expect it till they shall look unto him whom 
they pierced. 

The Christian church has been often afflicted from 
its youth up, groaned long under tbe yoke of the 
pagan powers ; but in Constantine's time the year 
of the redeemed came, when the great red dragon 
was cast out, and his angels who adored him were 
cast out with htm ; when idolatry was abolished, 
and persecution came to an end, and that voice was 
heard in heaven. Now is come salvation, and strength, 
the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ.^ 
— ^Many have been the troubles of the followers of 
Christ ; but the Lord has delivered them out of them 
all. Now, God is the same yesterday, to-day, and 
for ever ; he is God, and changes not ; his arm is not 
shortened, his ear is not heavy, his love is not spent, 
nor are his counsels changed : and, therefore, we 
are sure, the year of the redeemed will come in due 
time, and though it tarry we will wait for it ; for the 
vision is for an appointed time, and at the end it shall 
speahf and shall not lie. 

III. What encouragement we have to hope that 
the year of the redeemed will come shortly ; that the 
rescue of the oppressed and the ruin of the oppress- 
or is not far off ; that the progress and advancement 
of the protestant religion in Europe, with the reviving 
and flourishing of serious piety in all the churches 
of Christ, are blessings at the door. 

As to this, let me premise, that we ought to be 
very sober and modest in our conjectures concern- 
ing the time of the accomplishment of Scripture pro<> 
phecies. Buxtorf, I remember, somewhere quotes 
a saying of the Jewish rabbins, Rumpatur spiritus 
eorum qui supputant temporar^Calculating the times 
breaks the spirit. They have so long and so often 
looked for the coming of the Messiah, and been dis- 
appointed, that they curse him who fixes the time of 
his coming. We despair not of the things them- 
selves that God has promised ; but we presume not 
to limit tbe Holy One of Israel, or to set him his 
time ; we wrong the promise by doing so, and are 
tempted to think, when Providence breaks our mea- 
sures, it is the breaking of God's word, — and nothing 
tends more to the breaking of our spirits : whereas 



e Dan. xi. 49. 
f Rev. xili. 10. 



d Dan. vli. 25. 16. 
ff Dan. viii. 14. 



e Jer. xzii. Mi 
h Rev. xtl 9. 10. 



764 



ENGLAND'S HOPES. 



he that helieveth doth not mahe haste. Many who 
have been peremptory in foretelling the time when 
the year of the redeemed would come, have had the 
mortification of living to see themselves mistaken. 

If we look into ourselves, we shall find a great 
deal to discourage us, and make us fear that this 
glorious year is yet a great way off; so conscious are 
we to ourselves of a frame and disposition of soul 
that renders us utterly unmeet to share in the joys 
of such a day. Our faith is weak ; our spirits are 
narrow ; our prayers are cold and customary ; our 
conversation loose and careless; and the things 
which remain among us are ready to die. Iniquity 
abounds, and the love of many is waxen cold. Our 
own private interests, it is to be feared, lie nearer 
our hearts than the great and general interests of 
the kingdom of God among men. Our divisions are 
very threatening, especially the mismanagement of 
them: these are ill omens, and occasion many a 
melancholy thought to those who seek the good of 
the gospel Jerusalem. We now think ourselves 
within sight of Canaan: but how justly might God 
for our unbelief and murmuring hurry us back into 
the wilderness again, and swear in his wrath that 
we should never enter into his rest ? We should have 
the more reason to fear these fatal consequences of 
our present distempers, but that it is intimated to us, 
that the Son of man will come at a time when he 
shall find little faith on the earth,* that the divine 
fidelity be the more magnified. 

But for all this, we are not altogether without 
hope, that the year of the redeemed may come 
shortly : who knows but that this year, which we are 
now brought to the beginning of, may in some 
instances go far toward it? Though if it should set 
us back, and prove a year of disappointment, we 
must own that God is righteous ; yet if it should set 
us forward, and make large advances towards it, we 
shall have this to add to the comfort of it, tliat it 
will be the answer of our prayers, and the crown of 
our hopes in God at the beginning of the year. 

I dare not build much upon the opinion of Mr. 
Joseph Mede, and other learned men, (though I have 
a great value for their judgment,) who compute the 
period of 12G0 days, that is, years, so often spoken 
of in the Revelation, which should end in the resur- 
rection of the witnesses, and the downfall of Baby- 
lon, to fall not many years hence. However that be, 

1. It is plain that the measure of the iniquity of 
the church's enemies fills apace : the powers we ar6 
contesting with, after all the mortifications they 
have been under, as if they had bid defiance to 
repentance, seem to g^w more and more false and 
treacherous, cruel and barbarous ; which cannot but 
ripen their vintage apace for the great wine-press of 
the wrath of God.^ That which hastened the descent 

i Luke Tcviii. 8. k Rev. xlv. 19. i Isa. xW. 17. 

■u Dan. iv. V7. » tsa. xzxiii. I. 



of the king of Babylon down to the sides of the 
pit, was, not only that he had made the earth to 
tremble, and shaken kingdoms ; that he had made 
the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities 
thereof; but, which was worst of all, he opened not 
the house of his prisoners,* that is, God's Israel, 
whom he detained in captivity, those poor to whom 
Daniel counselled him to show mercy, that it might 
have been a lengthening of his tranquillity." 

Well, when he who spoileth though he was noi 
spoiled, and dealt treacherously with those who d^alt 
fairly with him, shall cease to spoil, and shall fnake 
an end to deal treacherously ;* not in a way of re- 
formation, that we have more reason to pray for 
than hope for, but so as that his measure shall he 
full ; then expect that he shall be spoiled, and men 
shall deal treacherously vrith him, that is, shall show 
him that he has wretchedly deceived himself. Bahy- 
lon's doom is, Reward her as she rewarded you.* 

2. The present posture of affairs gives us a very 
hopeful prospect The pride of the French king 
has been much humbled of late, and his power 
broken ; and (which is very encouraging) the great 
things done against him, have been done chiefly by 
protestant armies, which, we hope, will animate 
protestant princes and states to unite for the support 
of the reformation, that it may recover the ground 
which in many places it has lost, and may (^in 
more ; for many, we hope, will join themselves to 
us, when they see that God favours our righteous 
cause, and that he is with us of a truth. 

For our future safety, Manoah's wife shall be my 
prophetess : If the Lord had been pleased f kill us, 
he would not thus have accepted and answered our 
prayers, nor would he, as at this time, ha»e showed ns 
such things as these.^ 

And for our further success and victory, even 
Haman's wife shall be my prophetess : If Mordecai 
he of the seed of the Jews, before whom thou hast 
begun to fall, there is no remedy ; the seed of the 
Jews will without fail be victorious, whenever the 
scale turns in their favour; thou shalt noi prevail 
against him, but shalt surely fall before Aim.^ As for 
God, his work is perfect ; when he begins he will 
make an end. What we have received from God 
imboldens us to expect more ; when God brake the 
heads of Leviathan' in pieces, he gave him to he tneat 
to the faith and hope of his people inhabiting ike 
wilderness, and so encouraged them to expect, that 
they should inhabit Canaan shortly. God is plainly 
selling Sisera into the hand of a woman. 

IV. Nothing remains now, but to tell you in a 
word or two, what is our duty in reference here- 
unto. Have we all this reason to think that the 
year of the redeemed will come, that surely it will 
come quickly ? 



e Rev. xTiii. 6. 
1 Esth. v1. 13. 



P Judg. xlli. S3. 

r Ps. Ixxiv. 14. 



ENGLAND'S HOPES. 



756 



I. Then let os be very earnest with God in prayer, 
to hasten this glorious year. When Daniel under- 
stood by books that the seventy years of Jenisalem's 
desolations were just expirinj^, then he set his face 
vilh more than ordinary ferroar and fixedness to 
seek the Lord God by prayer and supplication, with 
fasting.* When we see mercies coming toward as, 
let as go forth to meet them, with so much the more 
cheerfolness, by oar prayers. Men ought always to 
^ay, and not to faint ;^ but, especially, at such a 
time, that when God's beloved is delivered^ and- he 
saves witk his right hand, we each of us may have the 
pleasure of saying, with the Psalmist, God has there- 
in answered me,^ 

Let our closets and families witness for us, that 
we pray, that we pray daily, that we pray earnestly, 
for the peace of Jerusalem, as those who prefer it 
before our chief joy. Pray for the uniting of pro- 
testants at home, and for protestant princes and 
states abroad ; pray for the prosperity of our armies 
and navies, and those of our allies ; pray for the 
pouring out of the Spirit upon us from on high, and 
then the year of the redeemed would soon come. 

2. Let us prepare ourselves for the comfort of 
those great things, which we hope God will do for 
his church in our days, by bringing every thought 
within us into obedience to those two royal laws of 
holiness and lore. When we expect God to do 
wonders amonf^ us, it concerns us to sanctify our- 
selves.* I«et las carry on the holy war in our own 
bosoms against sin and Satan, the world and the 
flesh, with vigour, and pursuant to our baptismal 
TOW, fight mamfaily under the banner of the Lord 
Jesas ; then naay we hope that our prayers for the 
prosperity of the war our nation is engaged in, will 
be acceptable, and prevalent in heaven. But what 
joy can we hawe of our triumphs over the French, if 
we suffer our own lusts to triumph over us ? If in- 
deed we desire the progress of the reformation in 
the churches of Christ, let us show it by carrying on 



• DaiLULS. 



t LukexviU. l. 



• Ps. eviii. 6. 



the reformation of our own hearts and lives and 
families. Remember that law of Moses, When the host 
goeth forth against the enemy, then heep thyself from 
every wiched thing, lest you undo by your sins what 
they do by their swords. 

3. Let us with patience wait for the year of the re* 
deemed. If the days of our brethren's affliction 
should yet be prolonged, and their deliverance be 
deferred, yet let us not be weary, nor faint in our 
minds. Though the year of the redeemed come not 
in our time, the time we looked for it, yet believe, it 
will come in the best time, the time that infinite wis- 
dom has appointed ; and when it does come, it will 
abundantly reoompense us for all our waiting. The 
longest voyages make the richest returns ; and the 
church's triumphs are the most welcome, when they 
are the crown of great and long expectations : So, 
this is our God, we have waited for himJ* Let us not 
upon every disappointment, arraign either the provi- 
dence of God, or the conduct of those in public trusts. 
Leave it to God to govern the world, and to the queen 
and her councils under him, to govern the realm ; 
and let us in our obscurity be easy and satisfied, and 
believe that all will end well at last 

But if the year of the redeemed should not come 
in our days ; if the carcasses of this generation should 
fall in this wilderness, as justly they may for our 
unbelief and murmuring, and we should not go over 
Jordan to see that goodly mountain, and Lebanon : 
yet let it suffice us, that those who shall come after 
us shall enter into that rest. Joseph dies in Egypt, 
but lays his bones in confidence that God will surel}' 
visit Israel. Let us give all diligence to make sure 
our eternal redemption, and then we shall be happy, 
though we live not to see the glories of the year of the 
redeemed on earth; and may depart in the pro* 
phet Daniel's dismission. Go thou thy way till the 
end be, for tliou shalt rest ; and, whatever thy lot be 
on earth, thou shalt stand in thy lot, (and it shall 
be a blessed lot,) in the end of the days." 






V Josh. iii. 4. 



w lia. zxT. 9. 



s Dan. xii. IQi 



Zc2 



A SERMON 



CONCERNING THK 



WORK AND SUCCESS OF THE MINISTRY ; 



Preached at the Tuealay Lecture, at Salters* Hall, June 25, 1710. 



Lure x. 6, 6. 

And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be 
to this house. And if the Son of peace be there, your 
peace shall rest upon it ; if not, it shall return to you 
again. 

Prospect of success, as it is the spring of action, 
so it is the spur to industry and resolution. Issa- 
char, that tribe of husbandmen, would never bow 
his shoulder to bear, and couch, as he does, between 
two burthens, much less could he rejoice in his 
tents of labour, but that he sees the land is pleasant,^ 
and from it he hopes to reap the precious fruits of 
the earth : nor would Zebulun, that tribe of mer- 
chants,be a haven of ships, and rejoice in his hazard- 
ous going out, but that he expects to suck of the 
abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid in the 
sand.^ Whatever business a man has, he cannot 
long oblige himself to abide by it, unless he can 
promise himself to get by it. 

N.ow it is worth while to inquire, what is the gain, 
and what the success, which we, who are ministers, 
have in prospect, and which we bear up ourselves in 
our work with the prospect of. What is it which we 
may feed ourselves with the hopes of? 

1. Worldly advantages we must not promise to 
ourselves, in common with the children of this 
world : for the soldiers of Jesus Christ, though they 
walk in the flesh, do not war after the flesh ;^ they 
negociate the affairs of a kingdom that is not of this 
world. 

They who deal in secular business, think they 
succeed well and gain their point, if they raise an 
estate, and advance their families, and make to 
themselves a name among the great ones of the earth ; 
they rejoice because their wealth is great, and their 



• Gen. xlix. H, 15. 
« 2 Cor. X. 3. 



b Deat. xxxiii. 19. 
d 1 Cor. ix. H. 



hand has gotten much, and say, Soul, take thine ease. 
But the ministry, though it is the best calling, is the 
worst trade, in the world ; that is, it will prove so to 
those who make a mere trade of it, looking no 
further than to get money by it, and to enrich 
themselves. 

We cannot propose to ourselves advantages of this 
kind, for the same Lord who ordained, that they tcho 
preach the gospel should live of the gospel^^ and live 
comfortably, has also told them. In the world ye 
must have tribulation.^ Nay, we may not make 
these things our end in undertaking or prosecuting 
this work : we debase our calling and contradict 
our profession if we do. Shall we, who preach the 
great things of another world to others, so far forget 
ourselves as to seek great things to ourselves in this 
world, when God in saying to Baruch has said to 
all his servants the prophets. Seek them not ?^ 

2. Spiritual and eternal advantages in the other 
world, if we be faithful, we may hope for, and en- 
courage ourselves with the prospect of, in common 
with all good Christians. If we be sincere, and dili- 
gent in our work, and our hearts upright with God, 
we shall have the favour of God, and the testimony 
of our consciences for us, and eternal life in its 
earnests and first-fruits abiding in us ; and it is 
much our own fault, if we excel not in graces and 
comforts, by our constant converse with divine 
things. And if through grace we endure to the end 
good and faithful servants, our Master's ** Well 
done," the joy of our Lord into which we shall enter, 
and the crown of life ^ which we shall receive when 
the chief Shepherd shall appear,** will be an abun- 
dant recompence for all our services and sufferings : 
and we shall then say, we have had good success in 
our work. 

Let us therefore fear, lest such a rest, such a glory. 



e John xvi. 33. 
cr Matt. xxy. 21. 



f Jcr. xlv. 5. 
I Pet. V. 4. 



A SERMON, &c. 



767 



being set before as, any of us should seem to come 
short of it,* and lest while we preach to others, and 
show them the way to heaven, we ourselves should 
be shut outf and become cast away at last ;^ and, 
being moved with this fear, let us walk very circum- 
spectly, and take heed to ourselves, that we may not 
ODly save those who hear us, but ourselves in the 
first place. Bat, 

3. There is a particular good success besides this, 
which faithful ministers have in prospect, which they 
aim at, and animate themselves with, in their work, 
and that is, doing good to the souls of men ; and, as 
instruments in the hand of God, serving the interests 
of Christ's kingdom in the world. We are shep- 
herds, we are vine-dressers, and we reckon we have 
l^ood success, if the flock increase, and the vineyard 
flourish, and be fruitful, to the honour of him who is 
the great Owner of both. We are Christ's soldiers, 
and if we be instrumental to curb and restrain the 
enemies of his kingdom, and to reduce and protect 
the subjects of it ; if by the blessing of God on our 
ministry the ignorant be instructed, the simple made 
wise for their souls and eternity, and the wise made 
to increase in learning ; if the bad be made good, 
and the good made better ; then do we prosper, and 
then have we good success. This is that we should 
faaTc in our eye, and which we should lay near our 
hearts, with seriousness and concern to the last de- 
l^ree. That is that, for the compassing of which we 
should study and use the most apt and proper means, 
and should willingly spend and be spent ; it is that 
fmit of the travail of our soul, which, if we see it, 
will be abundantly to our satisfaction,* and the pain 
will be forgotten for joy of it ; but if we see it not, 
the case is more sad than that of a miscarrying womb 
and dry breasts," and because of it we go on in hea- 
viness, nay, in bitterness of spirit." 

But though so much of ^our comfort is bound up 
in the success of our labour, yet we lie under this 
disadvantage, above those of other professions, that 
we are at g^eat ancertainty concerning it, and for 
the most part very much in the dark. The physician 
knows whether he cures his patietat or no, and the 
lawyer whether be carries his client's cause or no : 
but we preach, from day to day, to work upon the 
hearts of men ; and though sometimes the eflect is 
visible either one way or the other, some men's sins 
<re open beforehaud^ and the good works of some are 
likewise manifest be/orehand,^ some are much our 
joy and crown, others much our grief and shame ; — 
yet more often it is not so ; we cannot tell who are 
savingly wrought upon, and who are not: but this 
makes the foundation of God to stand sure. The Lord 
hmps tkem that are hisj^ whether we do or no. And 
in this matter, which cannot but be very much upon 
our hearts, this text will give us both direction and 



H«t». \y. 1. 

■ Hos. ix. 14. 



k 1 Cor. ix. 37. I Isa. lili. II. 

n Ezck. lit. 14. 



satisfaction : for it shows us how we must do our 
duty, and then leave the success with the grace of 
God, — as in the affairs of this life, we are to leave 
it with the providence of God. 

The text is part of the instructions which our Lord 
Jesus g^ve to the seventy disciples, when he gave 
them their commission ; for those two will go toge- 
ther : Christ sends none on his errand, whom he does 
not give in some measure to understand their mes- 
sage. These instructions here are much the same 
with those he gave to the twelve apostles ; and what 
he said to them both in exhortation and encourage- 
ment, he says in effect to all his ministers, excepting 
some few things that were peculiar to the state and 
work of those first preachers of the gospel. 

My text will give us not only a fair occasion, but 
good help too, to consider two things : 

I. The work and office of ministers ; wherever 
they come, they are to say. Peace he here, 

II. Their success in the discharge of this office ; 
which is according as they da or do not meet with 
the sons of peace. And the opening of these two 
things, I trust, by the blessing of God, may be of 
some use both to ministers and people. 

I. We may observe here, what the charge and 
work of gospel ministers is, and what they are war- 
ranted and instructed to do ; they are appointed by 
the Prince of peace to be the messengers of peace, 
and wherever they come, they are to say. Peace he 
here. If a minister be asked, as Samuel was, Comes t 
thou peaceahly, he may answer in the name of him 
who sent him. Yes, peaceahly i^ and such their tem- 
per and behaviour ought to be, as to be able to an- 
swer so for themselves. They are heralds indeed 
to proclaim war against sin ; but to the children of 
men they are sent as ambassadors preaching peace 
by Jesus Christ ;' who himself first came (as one 
pleased he had such an errand to perform) and 
preached peace to them that were afar off, and to 
them that were nigh ;* and has appointed his minis* 
ters as residents to negociate this great affair, while 
time lasts, for so long the treaty will continue. 

1. The ministers whom Christ here sends forth are 
supposed to enter into private houses ; and that un- 
der the character of Christ's ambassadors, and in 
the execution of their office, — ^the business of which 
they must be carrying on, not tfniy inte whatsoever 
synagogue, but into whatsoever house, thc]^ enter. 
We shall find them \n private houses, either because 
thither their public preaching will be driven, or be- 
cause thither they themselves will carry it. 

(1.) Sometimes they were forced into such comers^ 
Though the message they brought had every thing 
in it to recommend them to an universal accept- 
ance, yet it is probable, in many places they were 
not permitted to preach in the synagogues ; the rulers 

o 1 IMm. V. 24, S5. p 9 Tim. 11. 19. 4 I Sam. xvi. a. 

r Acts X. 38. ■ Eph. ii. 17. 



r68 



A SGRMON CONCERNING THfi 



there who had a Jealous eye upon them would take 
care to keep them thence ; and they then retired 
Into private bouses, and preached to as many as 
would come to hear them there. Those who cannot 
do what they would for Ood and the souls of men, 
must do what they can, and God will accept of 
them. 

The g^ospel of Christ is never the less honourable 
in itself, nor should be ever the less acceptable to us, 
for any disadvantageous circumstances of this kind, 
which the preaching of it may be at any time re- 
duced to. It is not the place but the heart that 
God looks at.' It was in the house of Cornelius 
that the Holy Ghost first descended, in the dew of 
Peter's preaching upon the Gentiles. The master 
of the feast sent his servants into the highways and 
the hedges, to invite guests to the wedding supper. 

And those who, in such a cloudy and dark day, 
open their doors to God's ministers and people, out 
of a sincere love to Christ and his gospel, whatever 
inconvenience they may sustain, shall be no losers by 
it in the end ; sure a church of Christ brought into 
a house (and we often in the New Testament meet 
with a " church in the house *') cannot but bring as 
valuable a blessing along with it, though perhaps 
not so sensible a one, as the ark of God brought into 
the house of Obed-edom." Simon Peter was soon 
repaid with a great draught of fishes, for lending 
Christ his boat to preach a sermon out of,* and 
(which was a better reward) was made a fisher of 
men. 

We have reason to be thankful to God that we 
arc not reduced to Such straits as our suffering 
brethren in France are at this day reduced to ; but 
it is our wisdom to prepare for changes, and to re- 
solve, that whithersoever the ark removes, we will 
remove and go after it.* 

(2.) They always embraced such opportunities of 
spreading the gospel, and doing good to the souls 
of men, as visiting people at their houses gate them. 
Our Lord Jesus preached wherever he visited. Mary 
heard his word, and Martha should have heard it, 
in their own house.^ St. Paul, at £phesus, taught 
not only publicly in the synagogue, and the school 
of Tyrannus, but from house to bouse ;7 and the 
apostles, at Jenisaletn, not only in the temple, but 
ffi every house continued to teach and preach Jesus 
Christ* 

Private and personal application Would make our 
public work the more successful; and some, per- 
haps, will ^ve a more earnest heed to that which is 
spoken to them, by themselves, about their souls and 
their salvation, than to that which they only hear 
in common with others. Peter must not only cast a 
net, but sometimes cast a hook, into the sea, with 
'^hich the fish may be caught that had escaped the 

« AcUi. 24. u 3 Sam. vi. 12. ▼ Luke v. 3, 4. w Jnsh iii. 3. 
A Luke X. 39. 7 Acts XX. ». * Acts v> 42/ 



net" And if the words of the wise be as iiiit7#, this 
will help to fasten them, as naiU in a sure placed 
Hereby we may come to know what people have to 
say against being religious, and what their excuses 
are with which they support themselves in a sinful 
way ; and by giving suitable answers to both, may 
help them over the particular difliculty that lies id 
their way. 

Thus, we may express more condescension and 
compassion (two excellent principles in a minister) 
than We can in our public administrationfl. Thus, 
we may give more particular reproofs and admo- 
nitions, counsels and comforts, suited to the case of 
each person and family ; may, with that which is 
indeed the tongue of the learned, speak a word in 
season f and may learn the better how to direct the 
arrow in public, that it may not alwilys come from a 
bow druum at a venture. 

But if the priesfs lips should keep knowledge^ and 
have it ready to impart upon all occasions, the 
people should seek the law at his mouth,^ and desire 
instruction. Ministers would gladly give you the 
best advice they can about your spiritual concerns, 
if you would atk it, or give tkem an oppartunitg Jtfr 
it ; and, when they come to your houses, or you are 
in company with them, would ask, (as of old they 
used to do of the prophet,) Wkat hatk the Lord an- 
iwered thee? and, What hdth the Lord spoken?* 
Watchman, what of the night ? They who would have 
the benefit of an oracle must consult it. 

2. They are instructed to say. Peace he to this 
house; that is, to the inhabitants of it ; to all uniler 
this roof; to the master of the family, for be he ever 
so great he needs this blessing ; and to all the mem-* 
hers of the family, for be they ever so mean they are 
not excluded from this blessing. In Christ Jesus 
there is neither bond nor free. Ig^atius's bishop 
was to take cognisance even of the servants of the 
families that belonged to his charge* 

Peace be to you, was a common form of salutation 
among the Jews ; but no doubt it is here intended 
for more than a compliment, or a piece of civility 
and good manners: it does indeed well become 
Christ's ministers to be very respectful and obliging 
to all. The just and undissembled expressions of 
honour and tenderness to those with whom they con-* 
verse, will not only be an ornament to their profes- 
sion, but may help to gain them an interest in the 
affections of people, improvable to the best purposes ; 
as on the contrary, their ministry may be prejudiced 
more than they are aware of, by a rude and morose 
behaviour. But these words here< are to be used by 
them in the same sense, and with the same solem- 
nity that Christ used them to his disciples, after his 
resurrection, when he stood in the midst, and said 
unto them, once and again, Peace be unto gou ;' by 

• Matt. xvii. 27. bEccl.xii.il. o Isa. 1. 4. 

d Mftl. ii. 7. 4 Jer. zxiii. 37« r Johft %%, l»/3l. 



WORK AND SUCCESS OF THE MINISTRY 



759 



which he lodged this peace with Diem, as a sacred 
deposit, to be commonicated by them, as his agents, 
to the cbarch : Peace be to you, and, in you, to all 
belieren. Reoeiye the olive-branch of peace, and 
carry it with yon to all nations ; receive from him 
vho has authority to g:ive it, and who can conunand 
peace to be the fruit of the lips, the fruit of your 
lips.' They were to go into all the world, with these 
words in their mouths. Peace he unto you. They 
were for peace ; but when they spake, the world was 
forward — with them, with Christ himself. 

Nov the gospel they preach was an everlasting 
gospel,' and Jesus Christ is, in it, the same to-^y 
that he was yettertUy ; ^ and, therefore, what ikey 
were to say, in the same name, we are to say, we do 
say : Peace he unte you, I say, (the unworthiest of 
all who are employed on this great errand,) Peace 
he to tkii congregation ; Peace to everyone who hears 
me this day. For my brethren and companions* eake^ I 
viU now say, Peaea be unto you.^ That is, 

(1.) We are to preach peace to all ; to publish 
and proclaim the gospel of peace ; to notify to the 
children of men the covenant of peace ; to invite 
them to come and take the benefit of it, and for 
their greater satisfaction to administer the seals of 
it When the first-begotten was brought into the 
world, the angels of heaven, in token of their com- 
manion with the church militant, sang. Glory to 
God in the highest , on earth peace ;"* and when he was 
brought into Jerusalem, the disciples on earth, in 
token of their communion with the church trium- 
phant, sang. Peace in heaven, and glory in the high- 
fil,'— 40 that both ^the upper and lower world 
share in, and give thanks for, this peace. The mi- 
nisten of the gospel bring good tidings, for they 
publish peace.* Wo are warranted to make a gene- 
ral offer of peace to all, upon easy and reasonable 
terms: Peace, that is, 

[1.] Reconciliation, — and no war. The case is 
plain that sin has been the parent of disagreement 
between God and man. As soon as ever man had 
eaten the forbidden fruit, his God, who made him, 
became his enemy and fought against him ;p in token 
of which, a cherubim was set, with a flaming sword 
that turned every way, threatening death, while he 
l^ept the way of the tree of life.^ The quarrel is 
hereditary; we are by nature children of wrath, be- 
caase children of disobedience ; the broken law lays 
OS under the curse, and sets the terrors of God in 
array against as. And if God proceed in his con- 
troTersy with as, it will certainly terminate in our 
endless ruin ; for who knows the power of his anger ? 
Bat is the breach wide as the sea, that it cannot 
be healed? Is the case desperate? Blessed be 
Cod, it is not ; the gospel we preach shows us that 

f la. ItU. 19. h Pt. cxx. 7. 1 Rev. xlv. 6. k Heb. xtlL 8. 

I Ps cxxil. ft Gal. ri. 16. m Luke ii. 14. 

> Lake six. 3p. o isa. UL 7. p Ua. ]xiU. 10. 



God'.s thoughts toward us are thoughts of peace ;'' 
that Christ undertakes to be our peace ; * and thus 
the counsels of peace were between tJiem both.*^ It 
discovers to us how satisfaction was made for the 
violation of the first covenant, and a foundation laid 
for a treaty of peace ; how the enmity was slain by 
the cross of Christ, and a happy expedient found to 
bring God and man together again in a new cove- 
nant. Behold, we bring you glad tidings of great joy, 
the best news that ever came from heaven to earth, 
that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto 
himself^ There is not only a cessation of arms, and 
a truce for a time, but methods proposed for a lasting, 
an everlasting, accommodation; Infinite Wisdom 
having found a ransom. 

Now when we say. Peace be unto you, we thereby 
proclaim to the rebellious children. That whoever 
will may come and take the benefit of this act of in- 
demnity ; conditions of peace are offered them, which 
they cannot with any colour of reason except against ; 
God is willing to be reconciled to yon upon gospel 
terms ; and, therefore, we as ambassadors for Christ 
beseech you in his stead to be reconciled to him.^ 
You deceive yourselves into your own ruin, if you 
say you shall have peace though you go on still in 
your sins ;* but we court you to your own happiness, 
when we tell you you shall have peace, if you re- 
turn, and repent, and yield yourselves to the Lord. 
The great God, by his prophet, has as.snred us, thnt 
he is not implacable, for fury is not in him ; * (right- 
eous he is, but not furious ;) yet witlial that he is 
irresistible, and we are unable to stand before him, 
for who would set the briars and thom» against him in 
battle f which will be so far from giving check to a 
consuming fire, that they will bring fuel to it ; be 
will yo through them, yea, he will bum them together. 
What must a man do then who sees himself ready to 
be swallowed up by the divine wrath? The God of 
heaven tells him what he must do : Let him take hold 
on my strength^ (take hold by a lively faith on Christ 
crucified, who is the power of God, and his arm re- 
vealed,) that he mahe peace with me ; let him submit, 
and return to his allegiance, accommodate himself 
to his God, and to his duty, and he shall mahe 
peace with me ; he shall have the comfort of it, and 
all shall be well. 

[2.] Riches, — and no want. It is not only the ex- 
tinction of an unhappy controversy, but the settling 
of a happy correspondence ; Peace be to you, is as 
much as All good be to you. When the Psalmist 
prayed for peace within Zion*s walls, he explained 
himself in the next words, prosperity be within thy 
palaces ;' and meant no less, when, for his brethren 
and companions' sake, he said. Peace be within thee. 
So when we say. Peace be to this assembly, we make 

q Gen. iii. 34. r Jer. xxix. 11. « Eph. ii. 14. t Zech. vi. 13. 

u s Cor. V. 10. V 2 Cor. v. 30. w Deut xxix. 10. 

x IflL xxvii. 4» & y P>. czxii. 7, % 



760 



A siRMON CONCERNING THE 



you in God's name a fair offer of life and all happiness ; 
of all that which is agreeable to the nature of your 
souls, as you are rational and immortal creatures, — 
and to their necessity, as you are guilty and sinful ; 
of tlie benefit of all those exceeding great and pre- 
cious promises, which will make a portion for you, 
9, portion for ever, for the life that now is, and that 
which is to come. 

Peace he to you, that is, prosperity, soul prospe- 
rity, all the welfare of both worlds, the unsearchable 
riches of Christ,^ and all that substance which they 
who love wisdom are made to inherit ;^ not only food 
that you may live, but gold tried in the fire that you 
knay be rich.<= AH the treasures that are hid in the 
new covenant, in that abridgment of it, God will 
be to you a God ; they are all your own, if you please 
to make them so by a lively faith. This spiritual 
wealth and riches shall be in thathouse on which this 
peace rests, even righteousness that endures forever.*^ 

Peace be to you, that is, comfort and joy, and a 
holy serenity and satisfaction of soul, such as the 
smiles of the world cannot give, nor its frowns take 
away ; that peace which is the effect of righteous- 
ness, even quietness and assurance for ever ;« ever- 
lasting consolation, and good hope through grace. 
This is that wine and milk, that nourishment and 
refreshment for the soul, which are to be bought 
without money and without price '/ that water of life, 
of which we may take freely, abundantly, and free 
of cost.> This day is salvation come to this house,^ 
so our Saviour himself explains this comprehensive 
word : Peace be to this house, all the things that 

ACCOMPANY salvation. 

We arc in God's name to make a general offer of 
this peace to all, not knowing to whom it belongs, 
or who will accept of it : as Cyrus proclaimed liberty 
to all the children of the captivity, though none 
shook off their chains, but those whose spirits God 
raised to go up. The offer is made to you this day, 
and we beseech you that you receive not the grace of God 
herein in vain. You are not sure that ever you shall 
have another offer made you, and therefore, for the 
Lord's sake, do not reject this. 

(2.) We are to pray for peace to all ; not only to 
make a tender of it, but to seek unto God for it. 
Peace be unto you is the benediction, which with 
grace, necessarily prefixed, the apostle Paul gives 
to all his friends to whom he directs his epistles, 
Grace be unto you^ and peace. And all the ministers 
of Christ must give themselves to prayer as well as 
to the ministry of the word,*' must speak to God for 
yon, as well as /rom God to you. The priests under 
the law were not only to teach the people the good 
knowledge of God, but to bless them in the name of 
the Lord, to bless them with this blessing in the text, 

• Eph. iii. 8. b Prov. viii. 21. e Rev. iii. 18. d pg. cxii. 3. 
e in. xxxii. 17. f laa. Iv. I. v Rev. xxii. 17. 

h Luke XIX. 9. 1 Ezra i. 3, 5. k Acts vi. 4. 



The Lord lift up the light of his countenance upon thee^ 
and give thee peace.^ 

Our prayers should be mixed vrith our preaching, 
as St. Paul's are with his writing, in all his epistles. 
A devout and pious ejaculation in the midst of a 
discourse, may help to raise the hearts of those we 
speak to, as well as our own. However, our preach- 
ing must be both prefaced and attended with oar 
prayers, else we do but half our work, nay, we do 
none at all to any purpose. The watchmen on Jeru- 
salem's walls must give God no rest, but continue 
instant in prayer :*" and certainly we shall do so if 
we be in good earnest in our work, and desire to see 
the fruit of it ; for it depends entirely on the divine 
blessing. We labour in vain, if. God say of us as he 
did of some of the prophets of old, they shall not profit 
this people at all:'^ nor will our pains in dressing the 
vineyard turn to any account, if God command the 
clouds that they rain no rain upon it.^ And the dews 
of this blessing must be fetched down by prayer. 
God will for it be inquired of, and it is fit he should. 

It is certain that God's grace can bring people to 
heaven without our preaching : but our preaching 
can never bring people to heaven without God's 
grace; and, therefore, we should be as much in 
care, as much in eame.st, to pray for the operations of 
grace, as to p^^opose the offers of grace ; and may 
better expect in that way to succeed. If we cannot 
preach people to Christ, let us endeavour to pray them 
to Christ ; for in vain do we merely prophesy upon 
the dry bones, saying, Oye dry bones, hear the word of 
the Lord, for though the effect of it may be a noise 
and a shaking, yet still there is no breath in them ; 
we must therefore look up, by prayer, to the Spirit, 
as the prophet did. Come, O breath, and breathe 
upon these slain ;^ and if a spirit of life from God 
enter into them, then, and not till then, we gain our 
point. God can persuade Japhet to dwell in the tents 
of Shem,<i when we cannot. 

Let us therefore pray for the peace of the church 
— ^the house — ^the heart — ^into which we enter with 
the gospel : that is, 

[1.] We must earnestly desire the welfare and sal- 
vation of precious souls ; and not be cold and indiffer- 
ent about it We know not God's secret vrill, and 
therefore must concur with his revealed will ; by 
which it appears, not only that he does not desire 
the death of sinners, but that he most pathetically 
wishes their life and happiness ; O that thou hadst 
hearhened to my commandment ." says he ; O that 
Israel had walhed in my ways /* And when they pro- 
mised fair, O that there were such a heart in them /* 
And thus should we stand affected : — '* Here are 
precious souls, capable of eternal bliss, but in dan- 
ger of eternal ruin ; O that we could prevail with 



1 Numb. vi. 26. m Issu Ixii. C, 

o laa. V. 6. p Ezek. xxxvii. 7—10. 



r Isa. xlviii. 18. 



• Ps. Ixxxi. 13. 



B Jer. xxiil. 39. 
q Gen. ix. 27. 
t Deal. V. 39. 



WORK AND SUCCESS OF THE MINISTRY. 



761 



them to flee from the wrath to come, and to lay hold 
on everlastiDg life ! O that we might be instrumental 
to snatch them as brands out of the burning, and to 
present them as living sacrifices to God !" 

We should earnestly desire the salvation of all, 
and the iuectss of the gospel in the hands of others ; 
St. Paul was the apostle of the Gentiles ; and yet 
bis heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, 
That they may be saved," and that the apostles of 
the circumcision might see of the fruit of their 
labours. But we should, in a special manner, be 
wlicitons for the spiritual welfare of those to whom 
tct are sent, and with whom we deal; the flourishing 
of the vineyards which we are made the keepers of. 
These were to the apostle as his children, his little 
chiidreo, whom he had a particular tenderness for, 
and of whom he even travailed in birth again to see 
Christ formed in them ;* he was even pained to see 
the accomplishment of his desires and hopes con- 
cerning them. How greatly did he long after them 
ti// m the bowels of Christ Jesus,'' The Lord fill all 
his ministers with such a love as this to precious 
souls ; that, as Titus did, we may walk in the same 
spirit, in the same steps, with blessed Paul ; being 
Hilling and glad, as he was, to spend and to be 
spent for their good.' 

[2.] These desires of the salvation of souls must 
le offered up to God in prayer. We must look up 
to God, and beg of him to pity and help those whom 
we pity, but cannot help without his grace, that are 
vet in the gall of bitterness and bond of iniquity, 
<ind to deliver them from going down to the pit. 
^\'e bring them the means of grace ; but we must 
look up to him for a blessing upon those means, and 
for grace to go along with them, to make them elTec- 
taal. When as friends of the bridegroom, we court 
the affections of souls for him, that they may be 
(^spoused to him, we must do as Abraham's servant 
did, look up to heaven for success : O Lord God of 
my master Abraham^ T pray thee send me good speed 
this day ;y let the message of peace be entertained, 
and that faithful saying, which is so well worthy of 
ail acceptation, be believed and accepted. 

When we say. Peace be unto yon, we mean, The 
Lord of peace himself give you peace, true peace, 
all peace, always, by all means ;* that peace of God 
vhich will rule in your hearts,* and make them holy, 
and which will keep your hearts and minds,!* and 
make them calm and easy. We can but speah the 
^ords of peace, it is God only who can speak peace, 
that can create peace, and in his hands therefore we 
leave the work. We do but go, as Gehazi, with 
Elisha's stafl^ which will not awake the dead child : 
Day, Elisha can but stretch himself upon the child ; 
he must look up to the God of life for the spirit of 
life to e nter into him.^ We cannot by any power of 

■ Rom. X. 1. » Gal. iv. 19. w Phil. i. 1. » 2 Cor. xii. 15, 18 
7 Gen. xxiv. 13. « 2The9s. iii. 1& a Col. iii. ly 



our own make dead sinners alive, or drooping saints 
lively ; we must therefore have our eyes up to the 
Lord, to say unto them " Live,'*^-^^ijo say, as one hav- 
ing authority, (for we can only show our good will,) 
Peace be unto you, 

[3.] It is good to let those we preach to know that 
we pray for them. We must not only say to God, 
Peace be to this house, but we must say it in the hear- 
ing of those that dwell in it. St. Paul, in his epis- 
tles, often tells his friends what those things were for 
which he prayed for thein, that they might be en- 
couraged to hope they should obtain those blessings 
in answer to his prayers, and might with the more 
boldness ask them of God for themselves. The 
blessings which Christ's ministers pronounce on the 
congregations of his people, is not to be thought 
lightly of, but to be reverently waited for, and gladly 
received, because God, in it, puts his name upon 
them.* And if we in faith say Ameu to it, we may 
hope that God will, and then we are blessed indeed. 

We should take all opportunities to make those 
we preach to sensible, how truly and earnestly de- 
sirous we are of their eternal peace and welfare ; 
that, if possible, we may awaken them to a due 
concern about it, and convince them that we love 
them, which will very much facilitate the entertain- 
ment of our message. We should make it appear, 
even to those who turn a deaf ear to our calls, that 
nevertheless we dare not sin against the Lord in ceas- 
ing to pray for them. Our Lord Jesus by his tears 
and good wishes testified his good will to Jerusalem, 
even when the things which belong to her peace were 
hid from her eyes.' 

We now see our work, and something of the 
meaning of the words here put into our mouths ; 
Peace be to this house. Peace be to this congregation. 
The Lord help us to carry them through all our 
preaching, and praying, with a sincere love to Christ 
and souls. 

IL What the success of ministers is, and is likely 
to be, in their preaching and praying ; what is the 
fruit of their labour, and what the effect of their 
going thus from place to place, speaking peace 
wherever they come, peace and truth. 

As to themselves : — If they be faithful in the trust 
reposed in them, and their hearts upright with God 
in the discharge of it, whatever acceptance they and 
their message meet with among men, they are sore 
to be accepted of the LoVd,< and that they are am- 
bitious of, and labour for. We are a sweet savour 
unto God in those that perish, as well as in those that 
aresaved,^ if we be sincere in doing our part. Though 
we should not gain our point, yet we shall in no 
wise lose our reward ; though it be not well succeed- 
ed, if it be said, ^* Well done thou good and faithful 
servant,*' we shall enter into the joy of our Lord,^ 

b PliH. iv. 7. e 3 Kinffs iv. 31 . 34. d Ezelc. xvi. 6. « Numb. vi. 37. 
f Luke ux. 41. g 8 Cor. v. 0. h 2 Cor. it 15. 1 lAatt. xzv. 81 



702 



A SERMON CONCERNING THE 



Our Master himself, thoug^fa as to tbe chosen rem- 
nant, he was sure to see of the travail of his soal* to 
his satisfaction ; yet, as to others, he had recourse 
to this for his comfort. Though Israel be not gathered, 
yet shall I be glorious.^ As we mast deliver our mes- 
sage to those with whom we deal, whether they will 
hear or whether they will forhear,' so when we come 
to return an answer,, if we have delivered it faithfully, 
we shall g^ve up an account of ourselves with joy, 
though of many we give up our account with grief. 
Though Wisdom herself calls, and yet is refused, she 
will he justified of all her children,"* and glorified of 
God ; and so shall Wisdom's maidens. But, 

As to those to whom we minister : — ^the success is 
varied ; not the same with all. On some, the peace 
comes which we preach and pray for ; on others, it 
does not. Some are the better for our preaching and 
praying : to them the word is a savour of life unto 
life," of life spiritual unto life eternal ; they are onr 
comfort, and will be our crown. But others get no 
good at all by the instructions given them, and the 
pains we take with them ; even the word of life is to 
them a savour of death unto death ; instead of mak- 
ing them better it makes them worse, hardens their 
hearts, and aggravates their corruption, and so they 
are twice dead. ^ Those of the same family, the same 
fraternity, who have had the same education, have 
Bitten under the same ministry, and have given to 
each other the right hand of fellowship, may yet 
experience the effects of the word thas vastly dif- 
ferent. Two in a bed together f^—one tahen for life, 
the other left to perish. p 

We are ready to think the case is so plain on re- 
ligion's side, that with all to whom it is fairly stated 
it should of itself carry immediate conviction ; that 
Christ and holiness have such beauty in them, with- 
out comparison, and without controversy, that all we 
preach to should presently be brought to be in love 
with them. But, alas, it is not so ; after all, many do 
not believe our report ;** nay, few in comparison do. 
As it was among Pharaoh's servants, some took the 
warning given of the impending plague of hail, and 
housed their cattle ; '' others did not, but left them 
in the field ; so when St Paul preached, some be- 
lieved the things that were spoken," but others be- 
lieved not, though they were spoken with such con- 
vincing evidence. Thus it has been constantly from 
the d|iys of the prophets unto this day ; and thus it 
will he : the good seed of the word falls on some 
ground where it is lost and thrown away ; on other, 
where it takes root and brings forth fruit. The 
preaching of Christ and the apostles, was acceptable 
and profitable to some, while others contradicted 
and blasphemed it. And if we see the like still, we 
are not to marvel at the matter. 



i Isa. liii. n. 
1 Ezek. ii. 6. 
« Jude 13. 



k In. xlix. 6. 
m Prov. 1. 84. a 3 Cor. Ii. 16. 

F Luke xvii. 34. n Isa. liii. I. 



2. It is unknown to us what the success of oM 
ministry will be, and perhaps what it is. When tbs 
disciples were to say. Peace be to this homttj they 
could not tell whether the Son of peace were there 
or no ; nay, it may be when they became better ao| 
quainted with the house, yet they could not with 
certainty discover whether their peace did rest opoi 
it, or no : The Lord hnoweth them that are his,^ bat 
we do not. God did indeed assure Paul, for hill 
encouragement to preach the gospel at Corinth, that 
he had much people in that city." But, ordiDari]y,| 
we cast the net into the sea, not knowing whetherj 
any thing will be enclosed ; nay, oftentimes we toil 
all night, and catch nothing, when we promised our- 
selves a full draught* And, on the other hand, 
after many disappointments, at Christ's word we let I 
down the net, and enclose a great multitude. 

Sometimes we meet not with the success we hoped 
for. Those who seemed very willing to hear us, vet 
we cannot persuade to heed us, nor to mix faith with 
what they hear. We are to them as a lovely son^/ 
but that is all. Paul was called, by vision, to 
Macedonia; and yet, at his first coming, there 
appeared but a slender harvest to be gathered io. 
Nay, those with whom we thought we had gained 
our point, sometimes disappoint us, and prove not 
as we expected ; the hopeful buds and blosaoms are 
blasted, and no fruit is brought forth to perfection. 
Those who seemed enclosed in the gospel net, slip 
through again and are gone ; and after they had 
escaped the corruption that is in the world, are agaio 
entangled therein, and overcome ;' and forfeit the 
peace we hoped should have rested upon them. It 
was Christ's prerogative to know what was in men, 
and what they would prove. 

Sometimes ministers have better success than they 
looked for. Nineveh repents at the preaching of 
Jonah ; and the publicans and harlots were wrought 
on by John the Baptist's ministry, notwithstanding 
the great austerity of his conversation. The chorch 
has sometimes been herself surprised with the motti- 
tude of her converts, and has asked. Who hath be- 
gotten those ff Who are these that Jig as a chud^ 
The beginning perhaps was small, and as a grain of 
mustard seed ; but the latter end greatly increases. 
The seed that seemed lost under the clods, springs 
up a great while after. One labours, and another 
enters into his labours ;* one hand lays a foanda- 
tion, and another builds upon it. John the Baptist 
was sent to prepare the way of the Lord, and mach 
of the good effect of his ministry appeared when he 
was gone. Many a minister does more good than 
he thinks he does, more than he can know, and 
more than perhaps it is fit he should know. It will 
be all in good time to know what fish are enclosed 

r Exod. ix. 90. • Acts xxviit. 94. t 2 Tim. ii. 19. 

n AcU xviii. 10. ▼ Luke y. 6. w Esek. xxxiii. 31 

« 9 Pet. i4. 20. y Isa. xUv. 91. t Isn. Ix 8. • Jolin iv. .•«. 



WORK AND SUCCESS Ot» THE MINISTRY. 



763 



in the net when it is brought to shore. There is a 
day in which the Kecrets of all hearts will be mani- 
fested ; and let as jadge nothing before that time. 

3. The success of our ministry will be according as 
people «re. So much is intimated in the text ; ac- 
cording as the inhabitants are sons of peace, or not, 
accordingly our peace will, or will not* rest upon the 
house. The physic operates according to the con- 
ititotion of the body ; the same sun softens wax, and 
hardens clay ; reeifntur ad modum recipienti» — the 
effect depends «/Nm the temper with which it is re- 
re»«c(. The same parables which made divine truths 
mote plain and familiar to those who were humble 
aod willing to be taught,^ made them more obscure 
to those who were proud and prejudiced, and will- 
ioglj ignorant* Christ himself is a precious stone 
to tbem who believe ; but to them who be disobedi- 
ent be is a stone of stumbling. There are scomers, 
nbo, when we have naid all we can, will delight in 
scorning, and fools who will hate knowledge ;^ but 
there are Bereans, who are more noble and better 
(lisposed,* wise just men» who will receive instruc- 
tioD, and will be yet wiser, and increase in learning.^ 
)f oar gospel be hid, it is hid from those whose 
minds Satan has blinded.t If it be revealed, it is 
to those who have the spirit of wisdom and under- 
standiog though they be but babes.^ 

4. The success of our ministry will be as God 
fieuft ; according as he gives, or withholds, bis 
grace. The word of God, like the rain, shall accom- 
plish that for which he sends it,* and causes it to 
come, whether (as Elihu says of the rain) it be for 
nrrtetionn vr for his landj or for mercy f- but what- 
ever errand it is sent upon, it shall not return to him 
>oid. If Lydia attend to the things that are spoken 
bj Paul, it is not' because he b an eloquent preacher, 
or because she is a considerate hearer, but because the 
Lord opens her heart.' Paul may plant j and Apollos 
Mjr rafer, but it is God only that yiveth the increase.^ 

We have but the dispensing of the means of grace ; 
and we must be careful and faithful in doing it ; 
but we have not the dispensing of the grace which 
is necessary to make those means effectual ; God 
reserves that in bis own hand, and dispenses it ac- 
cording to his own pleasure, as it is fit he should, 
for it is his own* In this, our blessed Saviour him- 
ielf acquiesced ; and thereby has taught us to do 
^; Even so, Father , for so it seemed good in thy 
n^Ar." Hath not the potter power over the clay ? 

As to our success : 

(1-) The text gives us encouragement to hope, that 
^oc shall be the better for our praying and preach- 
ing ; we shall meet with those who are sons of peace, 
^ho are disposed to submit to the commands, and 

k Matt. xlii. 13, 16. e 1 Pet. il. 7, 8. d Pror. I. 22. 

• Acts xTii. II. f Prov. \x. 9. r 2 Cor. iv. 3. 4. 

*> UatL Ki. 25. i Ua. W. 10, 11. k Job xx.t7ij. 13. 

< Acts xTi. 14. m I Cor. iii. 6^7. • Luke x. 2h 



qualified to partake of the privileges, of the gospel 
peace. As Wisdom is said to be justified by her 
children, so peace, to be welcomed by her sons ; and 
on the houses where these sons of peace are, our 
Master does us the honour to tell us, that our peace 
shall rest. It is his peace ; but he is pleased to call 
it ours, because we are concerned, in the first place, 
to make sure an interest in it ourselves ; and because 
we are intrusted to make a tender of it to others. 
It is our peace, in the same sense that St. Paul calls 
the gospel my gospel,^ because he was a minister and 
messenger of it. If the master of the family be a 
son of peace, your peace shall rest upon the whole 
house ; they will all fare the better for his accept- 
ance of your ministry ; Believe in the Lord Jesus 
Christ, and thou shaU he saved, and thy house,^ And 
the more diffusive your benign influences are, the 
more satisfaction it will be to you. We may com- 
fort ourselves with this, as St» Paul does, that we so 
run, not as uncertainly, we so fight, not as those 
that beat the air ;*> though some reject our message, 
to others it will be acceptable ; so that whatever our 
melancholy fears sometimes may be, we shall not 
labour in vain, nor spend our strengtii for nought 
and in vain. But, 

Who are the sons of peace, on whose heads, and 
hearts, and houses, the blessings of peace shall 
come ? I answer, 

[1.] Those who are so by the designation of the 
divine counsel; the chosen of God, whom he hath 
set apart for himself to be vessels of mercy.'^ We 
read of those whom God has as his people, and whom 
Christ has as his sheep,* who are yet to be effectu* 
ally called, and brought home. As a son of death 
is one destined to death, so a son of peace is one 
predestined to peace. The elect are sons of peace i 
for they are heirs of it, and were from eternity, in 
the covenant of redemption, given to Christ who is 
our peace, and the Prince of peace, to be his chil- 
dren, to bear his image, partake of his nature, and 
be under his tuition, and as such to be presented 
to the Father ; Behold t and the children which 
God has given me} My peace I leave with you. The 
covenant of peace between God and man, is grounded 
upon the counsel of peace which was between the 
leather and the Son " from eternity, concerning the 
salvation of the chosen remnant. 

Now it is certain, that all who were given to 
Christ, shall come unto him, and none of them 
perish ;^ for he will be able to give a good account 
of them all in the great day, and none of them shall 
be missing. Therefore it is, that as many as were 
ordained to eternal life shall infallibly believe,* for 
the election shall obtain, though the rest be blinded,' 

9 Rom. il. IS. p Acts x«i. 31. q 1 Cor. ix. 26. 

r Acts xviii. 10. • John x. 16. t Heb. ii. 13. 

u Zech. xvii. la ▼ John vl. 39, 4a. 

w Acts xiii. 48. X Rom. xl. t. 



764 



A SERMON CONCERNING THE 



because the foundation of God stands sure, and none 
of his purposes are abortive. Those whom God has 
ordained to glory shall be brought to it by the ordi- 
nary means of grace and peace ; and ministers are 
sent in pursuance of that design, that the purpose of 
God according to election may stand J 

[2.] Those who are so by the operations of the 
divine grace. They are the sons of peace, in whom 
God has wrought a gracious readiness to admit the 
word of the gospel in the light and love of it ; whose 
hearts are made soft to receive the impressions of it, 
so that they are turned as clay to the seal. Those 
come to Christ, and so come under the dominion of 
this peace, whom the Father draws* by preparing 
grace, and whom, though unwilling, he makes will- 
ing in the day of his power,* by opening their un-* 
derstandings, and making their hearts to burn within 
them ; of which two great works of divine g^ace, 
one on the intellectual, the other on the active, 
powers of the soul, our Lord Jesus gave remarkable 
specimens while he was here upon earth, after his 
resurrection, Luke xxiv. 32, 45. 

They are the sons of peace ; that is, qualified to 
receive the comforts of the everlasting gospel ; in 
whom there is a good work of grace wrought, that 
whereas they were by nature vain, and carnal, and 
worldly, are become serious, and holy, and heavenly ; 
who are born again, bom from above, and partake of 
a new nature. To those who are sanctified, and to 
those only, we are commissioned to speak peace. 
Therefore the apostolical benediction puts grace be- 
fore peace ; Grace be unto you, and, then, peace. 
Those only who have received the spirit of holiness, 
are entitled to the consolations of God. 

(2.) Wherein shall those who are thus the sons of 
peace be the better for our ministry ? We are here 
told, that our peace shall rest upon them, that is, 

[1.] Our prayers for them shall be heard. And 
even with an eye to our prayers, and in answer to 
them, as well as to his own promises, and in per- 
formance of them, God will bestow upon them all 
that good which is necessary, and will be suflicient, 
to make them happy for ever and easy now. When 
we bespeak peace /or them, God will speak peace 
to them, he will bless his people with peace ;*> will 
pay out the legacy which Christ has left, by his 
last will and testament, to all who are his disciples 
indeed, upon our suing it out for them, — even his 
peace.' This is an encouragement to us to pray 
particularly for good Christians who are troubled in 
mind, and are of a sorrowful spirit ; and to be hum- 
bly earnest with God in prayer for them, when it 
may be they cannot with any confidence pray for 
themselves — that it is here promised that peace shall 
be given, to all those to whom it belongs, in answer 



f Rom. ix. 11. 
bPB. xxix. n. 
• Ps. Ixxxv. 8. 



s John vl. 44. 
« John xiv. 27. 



• Ps. ex. a 
d James t. ig. 
f Ps. xcvii. n. 



to our prayers ; so that the effectually fervent prayej 
of a righteous man may avail mu^hr* and wha< 
a joy may it be to us, if we thus become helpers ol 
the joy of the Lord's people ! And though the an^ 
swer of peace does not come quickly, we must con* 
tinue to pray and wait, and hearken what God tb« 
Lord will speak ; for, sooner or later, he will speak 
peace to his people and to his saints.* Light is 
sown for them,' and in due time it will come up id 
a harvest of joy, though it may be it was sown id 
tears. 

When we pronounce the blessing of peace upod 
a mixed congregation, — as to them who are indeed! 
the sons of peace, God will say Amen to the blessing, 
will put his Jiat — let it be done, to it, " They are 
blessed and they shall be blessed." We pray for 
all, — God will hear us for those who are the children 
of the covenant, and the promise ; as Abraham pnirs 
for Ishmael,' and God hears him for Isaac. As the 
hand of his wrath shall find out all his enemies ;^ so 
the hand of his grace and blessing shall find oat all 
his friends, wherever they are, none of them shall be 
lost in the crowd. 

[2.] Our preaching to them shall answer the end, 
and be effectual. If they be the sons of peace, the 
glad tidings of peace we bring shall instruct themJ 
and increase their knowledge ; shall invite tbeoi to 
Christ, and strengthen their faith in him ; shall work 
upon their affections, and inflame their love to him ; 
shall govern them, and influence their whole con- 
versation ; shall comfort them, and enlarge their 
hearts to run the way of God's commandments. Oar 
peace shall come upon them as a light shining from 
heaven to guide their feet into the paths of peace, 
and in those paths ; nay, it shall come upon them as 
power from on high, botli to rule their hearts,' and 
give law to them ; and to keep their hearts,^ and 
give comfort to them. It shall come upon them, as 
the rain comes copiously upon the earth to water it: 
and they shall drink in this rain, and bring forth 
herbs meet for them by whom they are dressed.^ 

But O what a comfort is it, to be instrumental 
in furthering the holiness, and joy, of the sons of 
peace; in carrying the heirs of heaven forward 
toward their inheritance ! Herein, we have the ho- 
nour of being workers together with God ; and as 
under shepherds, serving the gracious purposes of 
the chief Shepherd, who gathers the lambs in his 
arms, and carries them in his bosom." 

[3.] The fruit of both shall remain ;" your peace 
shall not only come, but rest, upon the sons of p^a<^^< 
it shall continue with them, and they shall never 
lose the power and benefit of it ; it is a good par^ 
which shall never be taken away" from those who 
have it ; this peace shall take such deep rooting m 



ff Gen. xvii. 18, 19. 
k Phil. iv. 7. 
B John XV. IS. 



h Ps. xxL 8. 
I Heb. vi. 7. 



i Col iil. 15 
nlsaxl. H 

9 Luke X. *«■ 



WORK AND SUCCESS OF THE MINISTRY. 



765 



the sodI that it sball never be extirpated ; it shall 
be a well of living water which shall still springy up 
to life eternal.* Oar Saviour encouraged his disci- 
ples with this, when he sent them forth into his har- 
vest,— That they were gathering fruit unto life eter- 
nal ;f in which both he who sows and they who 
feap shall for ever rejoice together. 

(3.) The text also shows us that we ought not to 
be overmuch discouraged in our work, though there 
be many who are never the better for our praying 
and preaching. If the sons of peace be not among 
those to whom we bring the glad tidings of peace ; 
if those to whom we minister be wilful and obstinate, 
and tarn a deaf ear to the calls of the word, and will 
not hearken to the voice of the charmer ; if we can- 
not fasten any thing upon them, to convince them 
of their folly in a sensual indulgence of the body, 
and a senseless neglect of their souls ; — ^they who 
wtre filthy, are filthy still ; and all the day long do 
we stretch out our hands in vain to a rebellious gain- 
sajiog people. 

Id this case, onr own hearts suggest to us many 
sad thoughts : It is a temptation to us to question 
tbe credibility and acceptableness of the truths we 
preach, when there are so many who cannot be 
biOQght to entertain them, and submit to them ; to 
^aestioD whether it be any advantage to have the 
oracles of God and the means of grace, and whether 
it were not as good be without them, since to so many 
vbo have them they are in vain. But we have ready 
an answer to this temptation, What if tome did not 
Mine ? (Nay, what if many did not ?) Shall their 
viMff invalidate the covenant of grace and peace, 
and meke the truth of God of none effect ? God forbid .'<) 
We are told, previously, that so it would be ; and, 
therefore, it ought not to be a stumbling-block to 
Q& And the reason why they do not believe, and 
are not sons of peace, is not because there wants 
vsy thing to recommend this peace to them, but be- 
cause their minds are blinded by the love of the world 
ud the lusts of the flesh, and they will not come to 
Christ for eye-salve, will not come to him that they 
nisfat have life.' 

It is likewise a temptation to us to question, Whe- 
tber we have the presence of God with us in our 
ninistiy, or no ? We are ready to say, as Gideon did, 
If the Lord be with v#, where are all the wonders that 
nrfatkert told us of?* the wonders that were wrought 
^y the powers of the word, in casting down imagina- 
^s, and bringing high thoughts into obedience to 
Christ:* we now see not such signs; there are no 
iMre any converts ; or, very few like the grape- 
gieanings of the vintage. 

As to this, the text intimates that which may en- 
^^n^t as, and g^ve us satisfaction. If we meet 
vith those who are not the sons of peace, 

• Jolm IT. 14. p John iv. 38. « Rom. lit. 3. r John v. 40. 
> Jod. vi. 11 t 2 Cor. x. 5. « I JohD v. IS. « laa. xlyiii. 20-n 



[1.] It is true that our peace shall not come, or 
rest, upon them, as it does upon them who are the 
sons of peace ; our prayers are not heard for them. 
We know not who have sinned unto death, while 
there is life there is hope, and therefore we arc to 
pray for the worst ; but if we did know, concerning 
any, as certainly as Samuel did concerning Saul, 
that God had rejected them, we should have very 
little reason to pray for them. There is a sin, a sin- 
ner, unto death; I do not say that he shall pray for 
it.^ Our preaching speaks no comfort to them ; for 
we are to separate between the precious and the vile. 
And at the same time we say, God has redeemed his 
servant Jacob, and they thirsted not when he led them 
through the deserts, we must add, yet there is no peace, 
saith the Lord, unto the wicked/ When this bless- 
ing is pronounced upon the congregation, those in 
it who are not the sons of peace have no part or lot 
in the matter,^ it is not designed for them. Behold, 
my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry.'^ It is 
true, that grace and peace shall be with them all 
who love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity ;f but it 
is as true, that if any man love not the Lord Jesus 
Christ, he is, and shall be, anathema : maran-atha,^ 
accursed : the Lord comes/ The blessing that rests 
upon the sons of peace shall never come upon the 
sons of Belial. 

In God's name I therefore testify, to all who 
hear me this day, If you do not submit your souls 
to the sanctifying, commanding power of the gospel 
truths, they speak, they bring, no peace to you. 
You have no right to the blessings of the covenant, 
nor can lay any claim to its comforts, unless you 
come up to the terms of the covenant, and come 
under the bonds of it. Those and those only shall 
find rest for their souls* iu Christ, who are willing 
to take his yoke upon them. You have many excel- 
lent ministers, and a great deal of lively, serious, 
powerful preaching ; you have precept upon precept, 
and line upon line : but all this will bring no peace 
to you, if you continue under the power of a vain 
and carnal mind, — nay, it will but aggravate your 
condemnation another day. 

We dare not speak peace to those to whom the 
God of heaven does not speak peace ; nor tell those 
who go on still in their trespasses, they shall have 
peace notwithstanding ; we should be false to God 
and your souls if we did. However you may flatter 
yourselves, we dare not flatter you, in a sinful way ; 
we have not seen visions of peace for you, and 
therefore must not speak words of peace to you. To 
what purpose would it be to daub a wall with «fi- 
tempered mortar,^ which would soon fall and bury 
you, and us too, in the ruins of it? We must say to 
every impenitent sinner, as Jehu did to Joram's mes- 
senger, iv/iat hast thou to do with peace .^ True peace 

w ActA vili. 91. s laa. xW. 13. 7 Eph. vl. 24. ■ I Cor. xvi. n, 
a Matt. xi. ao. <> Ezek. xlii. 10, 16. e 3 Kings ix. is. 



766 



A SERMON CONCERNING THB 



thou canst not hare withoat holiness. Be willing 
therefore, and obedient ; and now at length, in this 
thy day, understand the tkings which belong to thy 
peace ; for, (blessed be God !) yet, they are not hid 
from thine eyes. 

[2.] The peace that does not find sons of peace to 
rest upon shall turn to us again. And this ought to 
satisfy us ; as it quieted David, when he prayed for 
his persecutors, that though his Idndness did not 
work upon them, nor were his prayers heard for them 
perhaps, yet they returned into his own bosom.*' 

Our peace shall turn to us ; that is, 

(1.) We shall haye the comfort of having done 
our duty to God, in discharge of our trust ; and of 
having done our part toward their salvation, in love 
to their souls. This will be peace to us, though it be 
not peace to them. Abundance of peace we may have 
in our own bosoms, if we have the testimony of our 
consciences for us, that we have dealt plainly with 
them, have given them fair warning of their misery 
and danger by reason of sin, have said again and 
again, O wiched man, thou shalt surely die f have 
endeavoured to open to them the remedial law of 
repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord 
Jesus Christ ; and have not wilfully kept back any 
thing that was profitable to them ;' though we have 
piped to them and they have not danced, have 
mourned unto them, and they have not lamented.' 
We have done what we could, to frighten them from 
sin with the terrors of the law, and to allure them 
to Christ with the comforts of the gospel ; but all in 
vain, they have not been wrought upon either by 
the one or by the other : yet their infidelity and ob- 
stinacy shall be no bar to our acceptance with God, 
who will have an eye to our sincerity, not to our 
success. 

. This peace will be our peace still, if we have 
some good hope, through grace, that though we can- 
not prevail with others to come to Christ, yet we 
have ourselves an interest in him ; i)^nit we shall 
save ourselves, though we save not all who hear us ;'■ 
that whatever becomes of them, we shall not be cast 
away at last. If othere be not the better for our 
labours, the peace may return to ourselves, if we be 
the better; for we preach to ourselves, and must 
edify ourselves ; and the less good we think we do 
to others' souls, the more good let us endeavour to 
get to our own souls, and then take the comfort of 
it When those disciples returned, to whom Christ 
gave these instructions in the text, though they had 
had wonderful success, even beyond their own ex- 
pectation, yet Christ directs them to rejoice more in 
the assurances they themselves had of their own 
bliss, than in their triumphs over Satan in others : 
In this rejoice not, that the devils are subject to you, 
but rather rejoice that your names are written in 

A Psalm xzxv. 13. • Ezek. xxxili. S. f Acts zx. 20, 21. 
ff Matt xf . IT. h t Tim. iv. 16. i Luke x. ao. 



heaven.^ And this cause for joy every faithful min- 
ister has, though he has not the success he wishes for. 

(2.) We shall have commission to go on in our 
work notwithstanding. Our peace shall turn to us 
again ; not only to be enjoyed by ourselves, but to be 
bestowed upon others, and communicated to them, 
to the next we meet with who are sons of peace. If 
one will not be wrought upon, it is to be hoped an- 
other will. Though many disbelieve our report, yet 
all do not ; there are some who will bid it welcome. 
Though the body of the Jewish nation rejected the 
gospel of Christ, yet at this present time/ (sajs the 
apostle,) when the ferment is at the highest, and the 
opposition given to the gospel is most violent, yet 
there is a remnant according to the election of graee^ 
a remnant even of that nation, who are sons of peace. 
And when the Jews thrust the kingdom of Grod away 
from them by their unbelief, the Gentiles embraced 
it with both arms. The peace which the apostles 
made a tender of to them, but they refused, was still 
in their hands, to carry to the Gentiles : Xo, we turn 
to them.^ 

It is indeed a temptation to us, when oar message 
is slighted, to say. We will go no more on this er- 
rand ; as Jeremiah was ready to say, when his min- 
istry was ridiculed, / will not mahe mention of the 
Lord, nor speah any more in his name r"* but we must 
never yield to any temptation of this kind, for woe 
unto us, if we preach not the gospel, as we have op- 
portunity, whatever the issue be. If men will not 
hear us, our God will ; and will crown humble, ho- 
nest labours in his service with comfort and glory, 
though they should not be crowned with any re- 
markable success. 

(3.) We shall be witnesses against those who re- 
fuse so fair an offer. Our peace shall return to us 
again, as the summons is returned to the ofllcer, if 
the party summoned is not to be found, that It may 
be produced in evidence, that he was legally sum- 
moned. The gospel is a testimony to us ;* but if we 
receive it not, it will be a testimony against us.* 
And the ministers of that gospel, who now follow 
you with importunity from day to day, beseeching 
you in Christ's stead to be reconciled to God, but 
all in vain, will give up a sad account concerning 
yon ; and yon will be upbraided with all the pains 
they have taken among you ; it will all be brought 
into the account, with a '* Son remember ;" that will 
enhance the reckoning, and inflame the torment. 
The servant who was sent to invite the guests to the 
wedding supper, when he met with a repulse, came 
and showed his lord all these things.** Ministers 
bring in an account of the fruit of their labours. 
While the sons of peace will be their joy and crown 
of rejoicing, those who continue in a state of en- 
mity will be for ever struck speechless by their testi- 



k Rom. xi. 3. 
n Matt. xxir. 14. 



I AcU xili. 4S. 
o Matt. X, 18, 



m Jer. X. 9. 
P Luke xlv. 21. 



WORK AND SUCCESS OF THE MINISTRY. 



767 



mony against them 2 " Lord, we called, bat they re- 
fiued ; we warned them, day and night, with tears, 
bnt they stiffened their necks and hardened their 
hearts, and sent ns away grieyed." Many a time 
tbey complained of it at the throne of grace, and it 
made their work go on heavily npon their hands, 
their ^oals wept in secret for it ; but when they shall 
testify it before the throne of judgment, they will 
awfally applaud and acquiesce in the sentence past 
npoD them, and be content to see them perish. 

Let us now make some application of all briefly. 

1. Let this awaken us who are ministers to be 
faithful, and serious, and diligent in delivering our 
message ; as those who are in some measure sensi- 
ble of the vast importance of the work we are em- 
ployed in, and the dispensation that is committed to 
OL O that I coald stir up my own heart, and yours, 
daly to consider the inestimable value of that trea- 
sare which is lodged in us, though we are but earthen 
Tessela ;** that peace which we are to bring in God's 
name to mankind ; those talents with which we are 
to trade till our Lord comes. Let us think who we 
are in trust for: for Christ and his honour, and 
the interests of bis kingdom among men ; for pre- 
cioQs souls, and their everlasting welfare. We 
deal in matters of life and death ; O let our care 
and zeal be proportionable; and let us make a 
business of our ministry, let us wait upon it,' and 
give ourselves wholly to it,' as those who must give 
accoant, — ^that our Lord when he comes may find us 
doing, to doing. 

If we be unskilful, and know not how to divide 
the word of troth and peace aright ;' if we be un- 
faithful, and soothe men up in their sins, or any way 
handle the word of God deceitfully, seeking our own 
things more than the things of Christ ; if we be 
slothful, and unwilling to take pains, not affected 
osrseWes with the great things of God with which it 
is oar business to affect others ; if we be lifeless and 
careless in praying and preaching, and defeat the 
end of the matter of both by the slight manner of the 
perfonnance ; — ^we shall have a great deal to answer 
for another day. If the watchmen do not give wam- 
ingr or not so that it is likely to be heard or heeded, 
the sinners will perish ; but their blood will be re- 
quired at the watchmen's hands." 

And let us remember that we are to bring peace 
vith us in all onr ministrations, that peace of God 
vhich passeth all conception and expression ; and 
therefore we ought to apply ourselves to that busi- 
ness, and not meddle with things that belong not to 
OS. We are ambassadors of peace ; let us not then 
Mw discord, nor foment divisions ; for if we do, we 
contradict our character, and forfeit the honour of 
it Let us be at peace among ourselves, and covet 
the blessedness of those who are peace-makers. 

2. Let us, when we have done what we can, look 



«2Cor. iv. 10. 



r Horn. x)i. 7. 



• 1 Tim. IT. 15. 



up to God for the success. We ought earnestly to 
desire that our labour may not be in vain, and to be 
in care that nothing may be wanting on our part, in 
order to the good effect of it ; we should do more 
good if we were but more solicitous to do good, and 
set ourselves to devise things proper for that end, 
to choose out words wherevrith to reason with people 
about their souls. But still we must depend upon 
the blessing of heaven for their success ; and must 
be earnest in prayer for that blessing. We can but 
speak to. the ear, it is God only that can teach the 
heart, and seal the instruction there. 

When we go to study, let us pray to God to put a 
word into our mouth that shall suit the case, and 
reach the consciences, of those to whom we are to 
speak ; to direct us both in the choice and manage- 
ment of our subjects, to fill our hands, (as the He- 
brew phrase for consecration,) that we may fill the 
people's hearts, when we go to preach. Still we 
need help from heaven to deliver onr message as be- 
comes the oracles of God ; with purity, gravity, and 
sincerity ; with an air of tenderness and humility, 
as those who know the worth of souls, and our own 
unworthiness ; and yet with an air of assurance, as 
those who are confident of the truth of what we say, 
and who know whom we have trusted. When we 
have preached, we have but sown the seed ; still we 
must look up to God to water it, and to give to every 
seed its own body. When we proceed to pray, we 
must fetch in the influences of the blessed Spirit, to 
help us against onr praying infirmities. Nay, we 
must look up to God for a blessing upon every word 
of advice, reproof, and comfort that we give, that it 
may answer the end. 

And as we are to pray for the success of our own 
endeavours, so likewise we must be earnest with 
God in grayer for the ooncnrrence of his grace with 
the labours of others. Thus we muMt help one an* 
other ; and thus we may, though we are at a great 
distance from each other, and cannot otherwise be 
helpful. When the apostle forbids wishing <« good 
speed '' to those who bring any other doctrine,^ it is 
intimated, that it was usual with the primitive Chris- 
tians and ministers to bid those " God speed " who 
brought the true doctrine of Christ Those who la- 
bour in Christ's harvest should be prayed for, as 
of old the reapers were, by them who passed by ; 77m 
blessing of the Lord he upon you ; we hUss you in the 
nmme of the Lord,'' God speed the gospel-plough ! 

3. Let us be very careful that we do not, by any 
irregularity in our conversation, hinder the success 
of our praying and preaching, and defeat the ends 
of them. If we be proud and vain, and loose in our 
walking ; if we be intemperate, and indulgent of 
the flesh ; if we be covetous, selfish, and worldly; if 
we be contentious, peevish, and passionate ; or if 
any corrupt communication proceed out of onr 

t 2 11m. it. 1&. u Eiek. xxxiU. 6. v 3 John 10. v Pi. cxxix 8. 



768 



A SERMON, &c. 



month ; — ^we pall down with one hand what we boild 
ap with the other ; and not only tempt people, bat 
even force them, to think, that we ourselves do not 
believe what we would persuade them to believe ; 
and when we appear most serious in our pablic per- 
formances, do but act a part, and talk thus only be- 
cause it is oor trade : we do also provoke God to 
withdraw his presence from us, and to say, as he does 
of those prophets who walk not in his counsels, 
Tketf shall noi profit this people at alL* 

Let our conversation be not only blameless and 
harmless, but exemplary for every thing that is vir- 
tuous and praise- worthy ; thus let our light shine, 
that others may be taught, and guided and quick- 
ened, by it. Then may we hope it shall be with us 
as it was with Levi of old, who, while he walked with 
God in peace and equity, tamed many away from 
iniquity^ 

4. What success of our labours we have the com- 
fort of, let God have all the glory of. Do we meet 
with any of those to whom we minister in holy things, 
who are awakened to a concern about their souls 
and eternity, and are asking the way to Zion with 
their faces thitherward?" Are there any of the 
children we have catechized who hold fast the form 
of sound words in faith and love, knd have we the 
satisfaction of seeing them walk in the trath ? When 
we look into the vineyards we are made the keepers 
of, do we find that the vines do in any measure 
flourish, and the tender grapes appear;* that the 
souls we watch over prosper and are in health ? We 
cannot but rejoice' herein, rejoice greatly; yet let us 
rejoice with humility ; for I am sure we have nothing 
to be proud of, nothing to boast of, but a great deal 
to be ashamed of, and great reason to admire God's 
gracious condescension, that he is pleased thus far 
to own us, to honour us, though most unworthy. Let 
us rejoice with thankfulness, with many thanks- 
givings to God, whose strength is perfected in weak- 
ness, and his praise ordained out of the mouth of 
babes and sucklings. St Paul, in his epistles, gives 
thanks to God for those churches that he had com- 
fort in, and hopes of. 

But let us rejoice with trembling, lest those whom 
we think espoused as chaste virgins to Christ should 
yet be beguiled, as Eve was, by the subtilty of the 
tempter ; and let us always be jealous over them, as 
Paul was over his friends, with a godly jealousy,^ 
lest it should prove at last we have bestowed upon 
them labour in vain.' 

6. What disappointments we meet with, let as bear 
them patiently. Let us inquire whether we have not 
been wanting in our duty, and be humbled for our 
defects, and acknowledge that the Lord is righteous. 
St. Paul owns, that by the miscarriages of those 
among whom he had laboured, his God humbled him 



s Jer. xxili. 32. 
• Cant vii. 12. 



7 Mai. ii. C 
b 3 Cor. xi. 2, 3. 



■ Jer. I. ft. 
• lTbeiB.iil. ft. 



among them ; ^ and the same good use we should 
make of the same trial, let it help to hide pride from 
us, and oblige us to depend upon the sufficiency of 
divine grace, and not upon any thing in ourselves, 
for without Christ we can do nothing. 

When we suspect we do little good, yet let it be 
a comfort to us that we are going on in the vtay of 
our duty ; that we are presiding in solemn religious 
assemblieSf/rom one new moon to another^ and from 
one sabbath to another, and so are serving Christ and | 
his glory in the world. Good may be in operation, 
and we not aware of it; the gospel works like leaven, 
silently and insensibly ;« and like the seed cast into 
the ground, which grows up (we know not how) | 
while we sleep, first the blade, then the ear, after 
that the full com in the ear.' Nor let it be any un- 
easiness to us, that we are kept in doubt and in the 
dark concerning the success of our labours. When 
the net is drawn to shore we shall see what is en- 
closed ; what good fish, and what bad : ' and let us 
judge nothing before the time ; the great day will 
clear all, and we must wait till then. 

Bat if there be those whose sins go before unto 
judgment, who manifestly hate to be reformed, and 
will go on frowardly in the way of their heart; 
though we cannot but look upon them many a time 
with a sad heart, yet in this we mast be satisfied, 
that Ood will be glorified: if God be not honoured 
by them, he will get him honour upon them, as he 
did on Pharaoh. They to whom our labour is in vain 
arc not sons of peace ; and, therefore, it should not 
be expected that our peace should rest upon them ; 
Christ will see his seed, and we must not think to .^ee 
any other for ours. If divine mercy be not glorified 
in their salvation, divine justice will be glorified in 
their destruction ; and they will have nothing to say 
for themselves^ nor will their ministers have any 
thing to say for them : the dresser of the vineyard 
who had interceded for the barren fig-tree, will be 
pleased, if at length it bear frait, but if not, he gives 
it up, Then after that thou shali cut it down,^ 

To conclude : Let this be an awakening word to 
all of you. You are, in this world, probationers for 
etemity ; accordingly as you are, now, sons of peace 
or not, it is likely to be with you for ever. Are yoar 
ministers desirous to have their peace rest upon you, 
and are not yoa desirous of it ? Are they in care 
about your souls, and will not you be in care about 
them? Ton have life and death, good and evil, set 
before you : choose life, that you may live, may live 
for ever. But if you will not come up to the terms of 
peace, but will perish in your rebellion, you cannot 
say but yon have had fair waming given you of the 
consequences of it, so that your watchmen have de- 
livered their souls, and left your blood to lie upon 
your own heads. 



4 2 Cor. xii. 21. o Malt. ziii. 33. 
r Matt. ziil. 48. 



f BSark iv. 26~9S. 
b Luke ziii. 19. 



A SERMON 



ON 



THE PROMISES OF GOD. 



PREACHED MAY THE 7th, 1710. 



2 GoR. Tii. 1. 

Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let 
Iff deanse otareelves from all JiJlthiness of the flesh 
end spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 

It is the unspeakable privilege of all believers to 
bafe, as a certain possession, the precious promises 
of God. But under what notion have we the pro- 
mises of God ? 

1. We have them as manifest tokens of God's 
favour towards us ; and every one of them are yea, 
amen, in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

2. We have them as fruits of Chrisf s purchase. 
The Lord haying purchased us with his own blood, 
ve have these promises prodaced by that inestima- 
ble grace. 

3. They are plain and ample declarations of the 
l^ood-will of God towards men, and therefore as 
God's part of the covenant of grace. 

4. They are a foundation of our faith, and we have 
tbem as such ; and also of our hope, on these wc 
are to build all oor expectations from God ; and in 
all temptationB and trials we have them to rest our 
soqIs upon. 

5. We have them as the directions and encou- 
xagements of oor desires in prayer. Seek and you 
^1 find, knock and it shall be opened unto yoa. 
Wherefore they are the guide of our desires, and 
the ground of oar hope in prayer. 

6. We haYC them as the means by which the 
$race of God works for our holiness and comfort, 
for by these we are made partakers of a divine 
nature, and faithy applying these promises, is said 
to work by love. 

7. We have the promises as the earnest and 
assurance of fatare blessedness. By these eternal 
life and glory is secured to all true believers. 

And now, having observed these things, let as 
reriew the blessed promises of God ; and 

3 D 



The first is, — He hath promised that we shall be 
his people. 

The Scripture, — Now therefore, if ye will obey 
my voice indeed, and heep my covenant, then ye shall 
be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people ; for 
all the earth is mine, Exod. xix. 5. 

The second promise, — ^That all our sins shall be 
pardoned. 

/, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions 
for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins, 
Isa. xliii. 25. 

The third, — ^That our corruptions shall be subdued. 

For sin shall not hare dominion over you ; for ye 
are not under the law, but under grace, Rom. vi. 14. 

The fourth,— That the Spirit of grace shall be 
given us, to enable us for our duty in every thing. 

/ will put my Spirit within you, and cause you 
to walh in my statutes, and ye shall heep my judgments, 
and do them, Ezek. xxxvi. 27. 

The fifth,— That God will put it particularly into 
our hearts, or circumcise our hearts to love him. 

The Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and 
the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with 
all thine heart and with all thy soul, that thou mayest 
live, Deut. xxx. 6. 

The sixth, — ^That he will give us the knowledge 
of his truth, and the comfort and the benefit of it. 

Ye shall hnow the truth, and the truth shall make 
you free, John viii. 32. 

The seventh, — ^That Ke will unite our hearts to 
himself and to each other. 

/ will give them one heart and one way, that they 
may fear me for ever, for the good of them and of 
their children after them, Jer. xxxii. 30. 

The eighth,— That he will be tender of those that 
are weak. 

He shall feed his floeh like a Shepherd: he shall 
gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his 
bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young, 
Isa. xl. 11. 



770 



A SERMON ON THE PROMISES. 



The ninth,— That he will direct us in the way of 
our duty. 

Good and upright is the Lord: therefore will he 
teach sinners in the way. The meek will he guide in 
judgment, and the meek will he teach his way, Ps. 
XXV. 8, 9. 

The tenth,— That he will protect us from every 
thing that is really evil. 

The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall 
preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going 
out and thy coming in, from this time forth and even 
for evermore, Psa. cxxi. 7, 8. 

The eleventh,— That he will supply us with all 
good. 

l^he young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but 
they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing, 
Ps. xxxiv. 10. 

The twelfth, — That he will answer our prayers. 

Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, 
that the Father may be glorified in the Son, John 
xiv. 13. 

The thirteenth, — ^That he will silence our fears. 

/ the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying 
unto thee, Fear not, I will help thee, Isa. xli. 13. 

The fourteenth, — ^That he will bear us up under 
our burthens. 

Hie eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are 
the everlasting arms, Deut. xxxiii. 27. 

The fifteenth, — ^That he will give us a sure and 
lasting peace. 

The work of righteousness shall be peace ; and the 
effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance for 
ever, Isa. xxxii. 17. 

The sixteenth, — That he will admit us into fellow- 
ship and communion with himself. 

Blessed is the man whom thou ehoosest, and eausest 
to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: 
we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy fiouse, 
even of thy holy temple^ Ps. Ixv. 4. 

The seventeenth, — ^That he will give us the com- 
fortable enjoyment of ourselves. 

Ilis soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall 
inherit the earth, Ps. xxv. 13. 

The eighteenth, — ^That he will deliver us in and 
under our troubles. 

Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will 

1 deliver him: I will set him on high, because he 
hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I 
will answer hi$n: I will be with him in trouble; I 
will deliver him and honour him, Ps. xci. 14, 15. 

The nineteenth, — ^That he will affect us in measure 
and in mercy, when we have need of it. 

I will be his Father, and he shall be my son. If 
he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of 
men, and with the stripes of the children of men : 
but my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I 
took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee, 

2 Sam. vii. 14, 15. 



The twentieth, — That he will spare us with the 
tenderness of a fatherly compassion. 

They shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that 
day when I make up my jewels ; and I will spare 
them as a man spareth his own son that serveth him, 
Malachi iii. 17. 

The twenty-first, — ^That he will not persist in his 
controversy with us. 

1 will not contend for ever, neither will I be alwayt 
wroth : for the spirit should fail before me, and the 
souls which I have made, Isa. Ivii. 16. 

The twenty-second, — ^That he will speak comfort 
to us when we are in sorrow. 

/ will hear what God the Lord will speak : for he 
will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints : 
but let them not turn again to folly, Ps. Ixxxv. 8. 

The twenty-third, — ^That he will proportion our 
trials to our strength. 

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is 
common to man : hut God is faithful, who will not 
suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able ; hut 
will with the temptation also make a way to escape, 
that ye may be able to bear it, 1 Cor. x. 13. 

The twenty-fourth, — ^That he will put true honour 
upon us. 

Them that honour me 1 will honour, 1 Sam. ii. 30. 

The twenty-fifth,— That he will feed us with food 
convenient for us. 

Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou 
dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed, ^s. 
xxxvii. 3. 

The twenty-sixth, — That he will clear up our in- 
jured reputation. 

He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, 
and thy judgment as the noon^day, Ps. xxxvii. 6. 

The twenty-seventh,— That he will comfort and 
relieve us in sickness. 

The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed €ff lan- 
guishing : thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness, 
Ps. xli. 3. 

The twenty-eighth,— That he will prevent our 
apostasy from htm. 

/ will make an everlasting covenant with them, and 
I wUl not turn away from them, to do them good ; 
but I will put my fear m their hearts, thai they shall 
not depart from me, Jer. xxxii. 40. 

The twenty-ninth,— That he will make all events 
conduce to our real welfare. 

We know that all things work together for good to 
them that love God, to them who are the called accord- 
ing to his purpose, Rom. yiii. 28. 

The thirtieth,— That he will perfect the work of 
grace in us. 

Being confident of this very thing, that he which 
hath begun a good work in you will perform it until 
the day of Jesus Christ, Phil. i. 6. 

The thirty-fir.Ht, — ^Tbat he will be with us when 
we are old, to bear us up under all our infirmities. 



A SERMON ON THE PROMISES. 



771 



Eveu io yowr old age I am he ; and even to hoary 
hairt in// / carry you : I have made, and I will bear ; 
tven I wiil carry, and will deliver you, Isa. xlvi. 4. 

The thirty-second, — ^That he will never desert us 
in any exigence whatsoever. 

For he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor/orsahe 
thee, Heb. xiii. 5. 

The thirty-third, — ^That he will give ns victory 
oTer oar spiritaal enemies. 

The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your 
feet shortly, Rom. xvi. 20. 

The thirty-foarth, — ^That he will recompense our 
charity to the poor. 

He that hath pity upon the poor, lendeth vnto the 
Lord; and that which he hath given will he pay him 
a^aiji, Prov. xix. 17. 

The thirty-fifth, — That he will make up all our 
losses for his name's sake. 

Every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, 
or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, 
or lands for my natne's sake, shall receive an hundred- 
fold^ and shall inherit everlasting life, Matt. xix. 29. 

The thirty-sixth,— That he will let us live long 
enoQ^h in this world, and give us a comfortable 
prospect of a better. 

With long life wiU I satisfy him, and show him my 
sdt€tion, Ps. xci. 16. 

The thirty-seventh, — ^Thathe will be with us when 
ve come to die. 

Yea, though I weslk through the valley of the shadow 
tf death; I will fear no evU: for thou art with me; 
tky rod and thy staff they comfort me, Ps. xxiii. 4. 

The thirty-ei^^hth, — That he wiil receive our souls 
ioto the arms of bis love. 

But God will reeleem my soul from the power of the 
$rine: for he shall receive me. Selah ! Ps. xlix. 15. 

The thirty-ninth, — ^That he will take care of our 
posterity when we are gone. 

The children of thy servants shall continue, and tlteir 
tttd shall he established before thee, Ps. cii. 28. 

The fortieth, — ^That he will raise our bodies to life 

This is the will of him that sent me. That every 
<me which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may 
line trerlasting life ' and I will raise him up at the 
•W day, John vi. 40. 

The forty-first, — That he will own us in the judg- 
ment of the great day. 

Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, 
ffim will I comfese also before my Father which is in 
^ten. Matt. x. 32. 

The forty-second, — That he will put us into pos- 
session of everlasting bliss. 

And this is the promise that he hath promised us, 
fren eternal life, 1 John ii. 25. 



3 D 2 



Repetition Text. 

Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us 
cleanse ourselves from allfilthiness of the flesh and 
spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God, 

And now what shall we say to these things ? 

I.— 1. Let us be thankful to God for all these 
great and precious promises, that God should not 
only do us good, but engage himself by promises 
to do so. 

2. Let us be ashamed of ourselves that we have 
not lived more upon these promises. 

3. Let us encourage ourselves with these promises 
to go on cheerfully and resolutely in the way of our 
duty. 

4. Let us acknowledge the truth of God, and his 
faithfulness to his promises. There hath not failed 
one word of all his good promise. Sec. 1 Kings viii. 56. 

5. We are concerned to treasure up these promises, 
that we may have them ready to use when we have 
occasion for them, to silence our fears, and to 
strengthen our faith. 

6. Behold, what need we have to live by faith, 
through which, and by which, we make use of these 
promises. God gives by promise that we may take 
by faith ; therefore set about that work, and be much 
in the exercise of it. 

II. Here is our duty inferred from this privilege. 
Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of flesh 
and spirit : by which is understood, 

1. We must abhor that which is evil, and abandon 
all sin with an holy detestation. 

2. We must cleave to that which is good ; we 
must perfect holiness in the fear of God. Observe, 
The consideration of God's promises to us should 
strongly engage us against all sin, and to all duty. 
To show you what strength there is in this argument 
taken from the promises, to abhor that which is evfl, 
observe, (1.) We are bound in gratitude to please him 
who has given us so many, so great and precious, 
promises, Ps. cxvi. 12. What shall I render? Oh, 
how great is his goodness which he hath laid up for 
them that fear him ! God hath spoken in his holi- 
ness, I will rejoice, Ps. cviii. 7. Observe, (2.) We 
forfeit the benefit of God's promises if we do not 
make conscience of, and endeavour to keep, his 
commands. Let us therefore fear, lest a promise 
being left us of entering into his rest, any of you 
should seem to come short of it, Heb. iv. I. 

III. We are taught the blessed fruits of these 
promises. 

1. These promises furnish us with strength and 
grace sufficient against sin, and for duty. Turn 
you at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my Spirit 
upon you, I will make known my words unto you. 

2. These promises speak the language of Caleb 
and Joshua, who said, We are well able to overcome 



772 



A SERMON ON THE PROMISES. 



the people, when they are about to enter into 
Canaan; while the other spies discouraged the* 
tribes. Thus we may say, through the strength of 
divine grace, we shall be well enabled to overcome 
all our spiritual enemies, namely, the world, flesh, 
and devil, Ezek. xxxvi. 26. Observe it 

3. God is faithful to these promises which he has 
made to us. Therefore we must not be false to those 
promises which we have made to him, Heb. x. 23. 
Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without 
wavering, for he is faithful that promised. 

4. In having these promises we have great honour 
put upon us, and we ought to carry it as becomes 
us. God has promised to be to us a faithful God, a 
loving, a tender Father. Let us not wander out of 
the way of duty. If we have received the promise, 
as Abraham did, we ought to do some great act, in 
our obedience to his commands, as he did. 

5. The promises secure to us an abundant reward 
for our obedience ; therefore let us be stedfast and 
immovable, always abounding in the work of the 
Lord, knowing that our labour shall not be in vain 
in the Lord, 1 Cor. xv. 58. 

And now having observed these things concerning 
the promises, let us explain fully the duty which is 
inferred. It contains two parts, 

I. To be cleansed from all filthiness of flesh and 
spirit. 

II. To perfect holiness in the fear of God. 
I. We must be cleansed, &c. 

1. Therefore let us look upon sin as filthiness; 
let the grace of God, and the purity, not only of his 
nature, but also of his word and promises, make 
sin more odious and terrible than in the threatenings 
it appears dangerous. In the promises, sin appears 
loathsome, and filthiness itself. For, observe, (1.) It 
is odious to God, contrary to that purity of nature 
which appears in his promises, which should deter 
us from sin, Jer. xliv. 4. Oh ! do not this abomin- 
able thing that I hate. Gen. xxxix. 9, How can I 
do this great wickedness and sin against God! 
Observe, (2.) Look upon sin as that which unfits us 
for communion with God; therefore, upon this 
account, let sin become odious to us. Observe, (3.) 
Sin in Scripture is called and compared to a wound, 
to a plague, to leprosy, &c. and all to make us fear 
and loathe it. 

2. Let us cleanse ourselves from this filthiness, by 
receiving the Lord Jesus Christ ; for it is he that 
is made to us both righteousness and sanctification. 
It is our duty to cleanse ourselves, but we cannot do 
this without God's grace, and he will not do it with- 
out our endeavours. This implies, (1 .) That we truly 
repent of the sins which we have committed, and 
loathe ourselves for them. Whenever we go to wor- 
ship God, we must lie down in our shame, and abhor 
ourselves, repenting in dust and ashes. (2.) That by 
faith we apply the blood of Christ to our consciences, 



and sprinkle them with it, and that we wash in that 
fountain opened for sin and uncleanness. We read 
that the Ammonites made themselves odious in the 
nostrils of David, and so they hardened themselves, 
that is, strengthened themselves, against him. Let 
us not act so against God, but let us lie low before 
the Lord, and make the Lord Jesus Christ our friend 
to reconcile us to God. 

3. Let us mortify the habits of sin, and parge oat 
the old leaven, both in the head and in the heart 
Get clear of our bad principles, that we may not 
make so light of sin as we have done ; cleanse oar- 
selves from corrupt fancy, cleanse ourselves from all 
filthiness that is in the imagination. Great pains 
must be taken with the heart, to get it clear of all 
corrupt inclinations. Wash ye, make ye clean, 
indulge no evil thoughts in your hearts. 

4. Let us watch against all occasions of sin, that 
is, all those things by which you have contracted 
pollutions. Have no fellowship with the unfraitfal 
works of darkness, but rather reprove them. Keep 
at a distance from every thing which has the appear- 
ance of evil. 

5. Let us resolve for the future to have no more to 
do with sin. Refrain from all acts of sin. Let 
him that has stole steal no more, Eph. iv. 28. Let 
him that has been drunk or unclean, be so no more, 
Isa. iv. 4. When the Lord shall have washed away 
the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have 
purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof, 
by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit«of bam- 
ing, that is, by a saving knowledge of, and a sin- 
cere love to, God and his commandments, sabmit to 
the Spirit's influences, or you will never get the 
mastery over your sins and corruptions. Therefore 
you must put on a holy resolution, and take the 
kingdom of heaven by violence, for the violent take 
it by force. 

6. Our care herein must be universal. 'We must 
cleanse ourselves, (1.) from all filthiness of the flesh, 
from sloth fulness and the love of ease, from sensuality 
and the love of pleasure, from gratifying the desires 
of the body with forbidden fruit, or indulging them 
too much, to the damage of the soul ; for even lawful 
pleasures may turn into sin without due care and 
watchfulness over ourselves, such as gluttony, 
drunkenness, or seventh-commandment sins. (2.) 
We must cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the 
spirit ; from pride, covetousness, and the love of the 
world, from fraud, deceit, and injustice, Job xxxi. 7. 
from all sinful anger, malice, hatred, and desire of 
revenge ; for these are spiritual filthinesses, from all 
which we must be cleansed. 

II. We must perfect holiness in the fear of God. 

1. We must be holy. 

That is taken for granted ; for we cannot perfect 
holiness unless we begin it. We must be holy. 
What is that? (1.) We must be devoted to God, as 



A SERMON ON THE PROMISES. 



773 



all holy persons and things ander the law were. 
We mast be holinejis to the Lord. (2.) We must be 
conformed to God's likeness, and to bis will. God's 
holiness is his a{[jeement with himself; our holiness 
is oar agreeableness to him. We must act in every 
thing as becomes our relation to God, Col. i. 10. 
That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all 
pleasing, &c. and the image of God must be renewed 
apon us ; be ye holy, saith the Lord, for I am holy. 
;3.) We must be employed in the services and wor- 
ship of God ; we must engage our hearts in all our 
approaches to him ; we must employ our minds, and 
all the powers of our souls, in all the inward acts of 
inward worship, and in all outward worship also we 
most not only bow the knee, but also the heart, before 
the Lord; for heartless worship is vain worship, 
God will not accept it, and we ourselves shall be no 
gainers by it, so it most be in vain. (4.) We must 
beengagedin tfae interests of God's kingdom amongst 
men. To be holy, is to be on the Lord's side, and 
to espouse his cause, to be his witnesses, to be cou- 
rageous and valiant for the truth, to contend earn- 
estly for it, for grreat is the truth and it shall prevail ; 
God will own and honour those that do own and 
bonoor him. 

2. We must be sincere in our holiness, or per- 
fecting holiness. For sincerity is our gospel perfec- 
tion, as a good man said. I know no religion but 
sincerity, this is uprightness. Walk before me and 
be thou upright. By this is understood, (1.) We 
mast be sanctified throughout The whole man must 
be sanctified. The understanding must be enlight- 
ened, the will bowed and brought into obedience to 
the will of God, both to the will of his precepts to 
do them, and to the will of his providences to sub- 
mit to them ; and thus we stand complete in the 
wbole will of God, that we may be sanctified in 
body, soul, and spirit, and so be perfecting holiness 
in the fear of God. (2.) The whole law of God 
mast be regarded, and a respect had to it. Then 
shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all 
tbj commandments, Ps. cxix. 6. Let my heart be 
soond in thy statutes that I be not ashamed, v. 80. 
I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be 
right ; and I hate every false way, v. 128. O let us 
laboar to be sincere to the day of Christ, like good 
^d faithful servants waiting for the coming of the 
Lord. 

3. We must be growing and making progress in 
boliness ; though we cannot perfect it in this world, 



yet we must be perfecting it, that is, adding a 
greater degree to a lesser, pressing forwards towards 
perfection. (1.) The habits of grace must grow 
more confirmed and rooted, our resolutions against 
sin more settled, ^nd our resolution for God and 
duty more steady. This is to perfect what is lacking 
in our faith, 1 Thess. iii. 10. (2.) The actings of 
grace must grow more and more vigorous and lively. 
We must be more ready for every good work. We 
must have more spiritual success in a lively exercise 
to resist sin, and all temptations that would insnare 
us. (3.) We must be more and more watchful, and 
upon our guard. Let him that thinketh he standeth 
take heed lest he fall. Therefore be not high minded, 
but fear, Rom. xi. 20. We must never think our- 
selves good enough, and safe enough, but must be 
still growing wiser and better. (4.) We must be 
actuated and animated therein by the fear of God. 
That is, [I.] We must keep up a constant worship 
of God in our families, and in our closets ; we must 
be frequent in holy adorings and admirings of God. 
This will be a good means of perfecting holiness, to 
be in the fear of the Lord every day, and all the day 
long. [2.] We must maintain a reverent regard to 
his majesty and authority, and this will keep us from 
sin ; when others make bold with sin, we must stand 
in awe of God, as Nehemiah did, ch, v. 15. But 
so did not I, because of the fear of God. 3. We 
must have a continual dread of his wrath and vin- 
dictive justice. A fear of God's wrath and dis- 
pleasure will be a means of keeping ourselves in 
the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord 
Jesus Christ unto eternal life. 

To conclude. The apostle directs his exhortation 
to his dearly beloved, so do I to you, my dearly 
beloved. 

1. Apply the promises to yourselves, live upon 
them, take them to be your heritage for ever. Both 
you that are young, and you that are old, treasure 
up the promises. 2. Apply the precepts to yourselves, 
and live up to them, and be holy in all manner of 
conversation. Keep a conscience always void of 
ofience both towards God and towards man. 

And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and 
to the word of his grace, which is able to baild you 
up, and to give you an inheritance among all them 
which are sanctified, Acts xx. 32. And may you 
be always looking unto Jesus, the Author and 
Finisher of faith, till you come to be for ever with 
him. Amen. 



DISPUTES REVIEWED: 



IN 



A SERMON, 



PREACHED AT THE EVENING LECTURE, AT SALTERS HALL, 

ON LORD'S DAY, JULY 23rd, 1710. 



Mark ix. 33. 

What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by 

the way? 

Our Lord Jesas is here calling his disciples to an 
account about a warm debate they happened to 
have among themselves, as they travelled along, 
upon a question often started, but not yet deter- 
mined. Which of them should be the greatest? They 
thought no other but that their Master should shortly 
enter upon the possession of a temporal kingdom, 
and all the pomp and grandeur of it, and they should 
be preferred with him; but they could not agree 
who should be prime-minister of state, and have the 
first post of honour. It is a sad instance of the re- 
mainders of corruption in the hearts even of good 
people ; and shows that pride, ambition, and affect- 
ation of worldly honour, are sins that do most easily 
beset even Christ's own disciples ; which, therefore, 
we should all carefully watch and strive against. 

Probably our Lord Jesus overheard some words 
that passed in this dispute ; for those who are hot 
upon an argument are apt to speak louder than be- 
comes them ; and when the temper is not kept within 
due bounds, commonly the voice is not. But whether 
he overheard them or no, he knew very well what 
they had been talking of, and every word that had 
been said, and, which was more than any man could 
know, from what principle it was said, and what 
more they would have said ; for as there is not a 
word in our tongue, so there is not a thought in our 
heart, though newly risen and started there, though 
industriously suppressed and stifled there, but he 
knows it altogether.* He is that essential, eternal 
Word of God, who is a discemer of the thoughts 
and intents of the heart, and before whom all things 
are naked and open.** Let all the churches take 



• Ps. cxxxlz. 4. 



b Heb. iv. 12, 13. 



notice of this. That our Lord Jesus not only knows 
our work, but is he who searches the reins and 
hearts.*^ 

And yet, though Christ knew what his disciples 
had been talking of, he asked them what it was, 
because he would know it from them, and would 
have them to confess their fault and folly in it ; that 
from thence he might take occasion to rectify their 
mistakes, and to instruct and reason them into a 
better temper. 

Think not that my design from this text is to 
arraign, examine, or inquire into any disputes or 
contests that may be among you, of any kind ; for 
as (blessed be God) I know of no particular occasion 
fbr it, nor have any thing else in my eye, in the 
choice of this subject, but what is common to ali ; so 
if there were, I should think myself the unfittest 
man in the world to be a judge or a divider. And 
besides, if I should thus go about to take my Mas- 
ter's work out of his hands, I should contradict that 
which is my design — ^in putting this question to you. 
What was it that you disputed among yourseltfes by the 
way ? — and that is, to show you that our blessed Liord 
Jesus does and will inquire into these matters, and 
bind you over to his judgment. 

Four things this text teaches us, who are all in 
profession disciples of Christ, as we are baptized 
Christians. 

I. That we must all expect to be called to an ac> 
count by our Lord Jesus. 

II. That we must, in a particular manner, be called 
to an account about our discourses among ourselves. 

III. That, among our discourses, we shall especi- 
ally be called to an account about our disputes. 

IV. That, of all our disputes, we shall be most 
strictly reckoned with for our disputes about pre- 
cedency and superiority. 

I. We must all expect to be called to an account 

e Rev. ii. 19, 23. 



DISPUTES REVIEWED. 



776 



shortly, by oar Lord Jesas, concerning the temper 
of oar minds, and the coarse and tenor of oar lives, 
now we are in ike way. 

1. We are all now in the way, following Christ, 
35 his disciples here, in contort. We are viator et 
^tracellers^ under the conduct of our great Master, 
towards the better country. And here we are upon 
trial ; it is the state of our probation ; and according 
as oar steps are, while we are in the way, our rest 
will be when we are at our journey's end. It con- 
cerns us therefore, what we have to do, to do it 
while we are yet in the way ;^ and whatever we do 
while we are in the way, to do it jrith an eye to our 
end. 

2. There will be a review of what passes in tfie 
mi/f it will all be called over again ; every work 
and every word will be brought into judgment, will 
be weighed in a just and unerring balance, will be 
produced in eyidence for us or against us. There 
nill not need any repetition, every thing is now re- 
corded in the book of God's omniscience ; and it is 
enough that, in that day, the books will be opened, 
and all will be judged out of those things which were 
found written in the hooks, according to their works,' 
It concerns as therefore, whatever we do in the wag, 
to do it as those who must give account, and to con- 
nder bow it will pass in the account ; how it will 
look in the review ; that we may dread doing that 
which will make against us then, and may abound 
in that which will he fruit abounding to our account,' 
and which we shall meet again with comfort, on the 
other side death and the grave. 

3. The account in the great day must be given ap 
to oar Lord Jesus, for we call him Master and Lord^ 
as these disciples did ; and to him therefore we are 
accountable, an scholars and servants, how we spend 
our time. He is our Judge, for he is our Law-giver ;>> 
and to him the Father has committed all judgment,' 
particularly that in which he will judge the world 
in righteousness by that man whom ho has ordain- 
ed.^ Christ shall have the honour of it, and let all 
^ood Christians take the comfort of it, that he who is 
an advocate for all believers will be their judge : bat 
withal, let it oblige us to the utmost care and cir- 
cnmspection in our walking: we must therefore 
labour to be accepted of the Lord, and approve our- 
selves to him in our integrity, because we shall all 
appear before the judgment-seat of Christ,' to give 
account of every thing done in the body. God made 
the world, by his Son ; and by him, as the fittest 
person, he will judge the world. 

Now this is a good reason, 

(1.) Why we should judge ourselves, and prove 
OQr own work, and see that our matters be right and 
good against that day. Let us examine ourselves 
concern ing our spiritual state, that we may make 

* Mail. ▼.25. • Eccl. xii. H. f Rev. xx. 12. % Phil. iv. 17. 
blaa-zixiji. 22. i John v. 23. k Acts xvii. 31. 



sure work for our own souls ; and often call our- 
selves to an account concerning the way we are in, 
and the steps we take in that way, that we may re- 
new our repentance for whatever we find to have 
been amiss, and make our peace with God in Christ 
And if we would thus judge ourselves, we should not 
be judged *" of the Lord. When we come to our jour- 
ney's end, it will be asked, how we carried ourselves 
in the wag. Let us tlierefore carry ourselves accord- 
it>8>'y> ^^^ ponder tlie path of our feet. 

(2.) It is a good reason why we should not judge 
one another, or be severe in our censures one of 
another : we thereby invade Christ's throne, for it is 
his prerogative to call his disciples to an account ; 
and though he designed them to be one another's 
helpers, he never intended they should be one an- 
other's judges. We must all stand before the jtidg- 
ment-seat of Christ, and therefore must not judge 
one another. We must be judged ourselves ; and 
may expect to be judged with severity, if we be 
severe in judging our brethren, for the measure wc 
mete will be measured to us.° Our brethren like- 
wise must be judged by the Lord Jesus, and, there- 
fore, if we pretend to judge them, they are coram 
non jvdice^before a judge without authority. Who 
are we that we should judge another man's servant? 
to his own master he stands or falls, ° and to his judg- 
ment it is fit we should leave him. 

IL Among other things that pass in the wag, we 
must expect to be called to account for what we 
have talked among ourselves. We are apt to make 
a light matter of this ; and when we have talked at 
random, what comes uppermost, without regard to 
God or man, we think to turn it off with an excuse 
that it was but talk, and words are but mnd: but we 
wretchedly mistake, and put a cheat upon ourselves, 
if that be true which our Saviour has told us, and 
undoubtedly true it is, that not only for every pro- 
fane and wicked word, for every false and spiteful 
word, butybr every idle word that men speak, they 
must give account in the day of judgment ; nay, and 
so shall their doom be, for by thy words thou shalt 
be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be con- 
demned.p' Christ takes notice of what we say, now; 
and we should think we hear him say to us when 
we are in conversation, as he did to the two disci- 
ples going to Emmaus, What manner of communica- 
tions are these t/iat ye have one to another, as ye walk 
and are sad,^ or, as ye sit and are merry ? Are they 
such as become Christians? Are you not saying that 
which must be unsaid again by repentance, or you 
will be undone? And as Christ takes notice of it 
now, so he will call it over again in the day of ac- 
count. 

What we talk among ourselves with the usual 
freedom of conversation we do not expect to bear 



1 2 Cor. V. 9, la 
o Rom. xiv. 4. 



m I Cor. xi. 31. 
P Matt. xii. 36, 37. 



n Matt. vii. 1, 2. 
q Luke xxiv. 17. 



776 



DISPUTES REVIEWED. 



of again; it is inter not — between ourselves, and 
therefore we think we may allow oarselves a li- 
berty. What is said under the seal of conversa- 
tion, we think almost as safe in point of honour, 
as what is said under the seal of confession ; none 
but a tale-bearer, that great mischief-maker, will 
reveal such secrets ;' but though it be talked among 
ourselves, it cannot escape either the cognizance 
or the judgment of our Lord Jesus. 

1. If we talk any thing which is good among our- 
selves, and which is to the use of edifying ;' which 
manifests grace in the speaker, and ministers grace 
to the hearers ; Christ takes notice of that, and we 
shall hear of it again to our comfort, in that day 
when those who thus confess Christ before men' 
shall be owned by him before his Father, and 
the holy angels. When they who feared the Lord 
spake often one to another, for their mutual encou- 
ragement to hold fast their integrity in a time of ge- 
neral apostasy. The Lord hearkened and heard it, as 
one greatly well pleased with it, and a book of remem- 
brance was written before him, in which were entered 
all those pious conferences of them that feared the 
Lord, and thought upon his name ;" and the day will 
come when this book, among the rest, shall be opened. 

There is not a good word coming from a good 
heart, and directed to a good end, but it is heard in 
secret, and shall be rewarded openly, though, per- 
haps, there are those now who ridicule and banter 
such language. What is spoken for the edification 
of others, will turn to a good account to ourselves : 
and it will add to our joy in heaven, to have been 
any way instrumental to help others thither. Nay, 
if it should not reach their heart<i for whom it is de- 
signed, yet the comfort of it will return into our own 
bosoms ; and what was well intended for the honour of 
Christ, shall not be overlooked in the day of account. 

This should engage and encourage us to keep up 
religious discourse, that it will be remembered to 
our advantage in the accounts shortly, though we 
may forget it ; as the righteous could- not say that 
ever they saw Christ hungry, and fed him, or thirsty, 
and gave him drink ;'' yet Christ will not forget it, 
but will place it to account, as an acceptable service 
done to him. 

2. If we talk any thing that is ill among our- 
selves ; if any corrupt communication proceeds out 
of our mouths, dictated by the corruption of our 
minds, and which has a tendency to corrupt the 
minds and manners of others ; Christ observes that 
too, is displeased with it, — and we shall hear of it 
again, either by the checks of our own consciences, 
in order to our repentance, or in the day of the reve- 
lation of the righteous judgment of God, when, ac- 
cording to Enoch's prophecy, the Lord shall come* to 
reckon with sinners, not only for all their ungodly 

r Prov. xi. 13. ■ Eph iv. 29. t Matt. x. 32. n Mai. ill. 16. 
* Matt. XXV. 37. w Jude 15. > Pi. 1. 20. j Exod. xiii. 28. 



deeds, but for all their hard speeches, spoken against 
him. It will be asked sooner or later. What was it 
that you said such a time, proudly, vainly, filthily, 
that foolish talking and jesting which is not becom- 
ing ? What was it that you said in such and such 
company by way of reproach to your neigbboar, 
when you sat deliberately, sat magisterially, and 
spoke against your brother, and slandered those.* 
whose good names yon ought to have protected ? or, 
which aggravates it, by way of reflection on your 
superiors ; reviling the gods, and speaking evil of 
the rulers of your people,^ little thinking that a bird 
of the air may carry the voice ? * Let this consider- 
ation oblige us all to take heed to our ways, that 
we offend not with our tongue, and to keep our mouth 
as it were vrith a bridle,* that we may say nothing 
but what we can bear to be told of again. And we 
have need to beg of God, that by his grace he would 
set a watch before the door of our lips,^ a double 
watch upon the door of our hearts, out of the abun- 
dance of which the mouth speaks, that nothing may 
proceed from them to his dishonour. 

III. As our other discourses among ourselves by the 
way, so especially our disputes, will all be called 
over again, and we shall be called to an account 
about them. What was it thai ye disputed amonp 
yourselves ? What was the subject of the dispute ? 
and how was it managed? Disputing supposes 
some variance and strife, and a mutual contradic- 
tion and opposition arising from it. Disputing by 
the way is falling out by the way, a thing directly 
contrary to the charge which Joseph, as a tjrpe of 
Christ, gave to his brethren, See that ye fall not out 
by the way ;' and therefore we may expect to be re- 
proved for it. 

There are disputes that are of use among the disci- 
ples of Christ, and which in the review we may re- 
flect upon with comfort Did we dispute — For the 
conviction of atheists and deists, and other the ene- 
mies of our holy religion ; or for the confirmation of 
those who were in danger of being drawn away by 
their delusions ? Did we contend earnestly for the 
faith once delivered to the saints,*^ and with meek- 
ness and fear both instract others that oppose them- 
selves,* and give a reason of our own hope that is in 
usV Did we, fairly and calmly, discuss lesser mat- 
ters in difference between us and our brethren, that 
we might find out the truth, and have our mistakes 
rectified ; or, if we cannot, hereby, come to be of the 
same mind, yet we may see that even those we differ 
from have so much colour of reason on their side, as 
that they may still differ from us, and yet not forfeit 
their reputation either for wisdom or honesty ? I>id 
we, with prudence and mildness, debate our cause 
with our neighbour himself, and not go forth hastily 
to strive ;' did we tell him his fault between us and 

« EccL X. ao. ».?>. xxxix. 1. b Pb. cxii. 3. c Gen. xlv. 34. 
d Jude 3. • 2 Tim. M.9S. fl Pet. iii. \5. g Prov. xxv. 8. 9. 



DISPUTES REVIEWED. 



777 



bim alone,** before we told it to the world or the 
chordi, in order to a friendly accommodation? 
Thes< are disputes which will pass well in the ac- 
coant when Uiey come to he called over again. 

Bat oar disputes are too often such, that when we 
come 'x> be asked about them, as the disciples were 
IifTe, ire shall, like them, hold our peace, as being 
asbamcd to have them spoken of again, and haying 
nothing to say in our own vindication : and (as the 
town-clerk of Ephesus apprehended) when we are 
called in question for the uproar, can show no justi- 
fiable caase, whereby we may give an account of it* 

Three things may occasion disputes among Chris- 
tians, among ministers, neighbours, friends, rela- 
tions, which, perhaps, when they come to be reflected 
upon, as here, will be found to have a great deal in 
them that was culpable : different opinions, separate 
interests, and clashing humours. 

1. Disputes commonly arise from difference of 
9pinion, either in religion and divine things ; (about 
which oftentimes the disputes and contests arc most 
tiolent;) or in philosophy, politics, or other parts of 
learning ; or in the conduct of human life. While 
men differ so much in capacity, temper, genius, and 
edacation, and different sentiments are received by 
tradition from our fathers, it cannot be expected 
that men should all agree in the same notions. The 
same thing seen with different eyes, and by different 
lights, may appear to one true and very good, and to 
toother false and very bad, though both employ 
their faculties about it with equaJ diligence and 
sincerity. This cannot but give rise to disputes, for 
ve are naturally forward (and sometimes over-for- 
Tard) to clear ourselves, and convince others ; and 
have such a conceit of our own judgment, as to 
think that every body ought to be of one mind, and 
that if they will be ruled by reason, they will be so: 
for Tain man would be wise, would be thought to be 
so, though he be born as the wild ass's colt.^ 

Bot these disputes are often such as we may 
jutJy be ashamed of, when we come to look back 
Qpoo them. 

(1.) Upon account of the matter of them. What 
vas it that we disputed among ourselves ? What was 
it we were so bot and eager about? 

Perhaps it was something above us, about the 
mtare and attributes, the counsels and decrees, of 
Ood ; and the operations of his providence and 
pace ; and the person of the Mediator : those secret 
things which belong not to us : * things which we 
^ not understand, nor could : things which it was 
presumption for us to dispute about ; for the angels 
vith an awful reverence humbly desire to look into 
them,*B as not pretending to be masters of them. And 
the p-eat apostle, who had been in the third heavens, 
Dot only owned that the words he heard there were 



ii Matt, xfiii. 15. 
1 Detil. xxix. 29. 



I Acts xix. 40. 
B 1 Pet i. 19. 



k Jobzi. IS. 
n 2 Cor. xli. 4. 



unspeakable,*^ but was so much at a loss to express 
himself concerning the work of redemption, though 
it is in some measure revealed, that despairing to 
find the bottom, he sits down at the brink, and adores 
the depth of that mystery : O the depth of the wisdom 
and knowledge of God 1^0 what reason have we with 
Job to abhor ourselves, and to repent in dust and 
ashes, because, like him, in our disputes with our 
friendSjP concerning the reasons and methods of 
God's proceedings, we have darkened counsel by 
words without knowledge; and have uttered that 
which we understood not, things too wonderful 
for us. 

Perhaps it was something below %u, not worth dis- 
puting about, especially, with so much warmth and 
violence : it was a trifle, a mere strife of words,<i a 
dispute de lana eaprina — about a thing of no value ; 
as if the matter were started only for want of some- 
thing to wrangle about ; so inconsiderable a thing, 
that which way soever it goes, the costs are much 
more than the damage. In the reflection, we may 
justly blush to think that we should make so much 
ado, so great a noise, about nothing. 

Perhaps it was something foreign to us, that we 
were no way concerned in ; some matter of politics 
it may be, which belongs not to those of our rank and 
station, but must be left to wiser heads, whose busi- 
ness it is to deal in things of that nature. Our Lord 
Jesus after his resurrection twice checked his dis- 
ciples for a vain curiosity :— once in inquiring con- 
cerning one another's affairs; when* Peter asked 
concerning John, What shall this man do ? Christ an- 
swered him, What is that to thee? Follow thou me ?' 
— and another time in inquiring concerning God's 
counsels. It is not for you to know the times or the 
seasons,* 

Perhaps it was something indifferent; like the 
controversy among the primitive Christians concern- 
ing the observing of days, and making a distinction 
of meats,' which the apostle himself does not think 
fit to determine, but leaves each side to practise ac- 
cording as their judgment was, without imposing 
upon either, since they might be of either mind, and 
yet be accepted of God ; only he forbids them to fall 
out about it, or to despise or judge one another. 

(2.) Upon account of our management of them. 
When our disputes among ourselves by the way 
come to be reviewed, it will be found that the mis- 
chief was done not by the things themselves, con- 
cerning which we differed, but by our misma]#ge- 
ment of the controversy. 

Our Master will be displeased with us if it be 
found that we have been hot and fierce in our dis- 
putes, and have mingled our passions and peevish 
resentments with them ; if a point of honour has 
governed us more than a point of conscience, and 

o Rom. xi. 33. p Job xlii. 3, 6. q 1 Tim. vi. 4. 

r John xxi. 22. • Acta i. 7. t Rom. xiv. 2, kc 



778 



DISPUTES REVIEWED. 



we have contended more for victory and repatation, 
than for tmth and daty ; if we have contended about 
things of small moment for, or against, them, and 
have neglected the weightier matters of the law and 
gospel ; if we have spent more of oar zeal on matters 
in difference than they deserve ; and have lost the 
vitals of religion, in our heat abont circamstantials, 
and have disputed away oar seriousness and devo> 
tion, What then shall we do when God riseth up ? and 
when he visiteth, what shail we answer him ?** 

If in our disputes for the truth, we lie against the 
truth, and speah deceitfully for God, the good inten- 
tion will be so far from justifying the lie, that the 
lie will condemn the good intention, and convict it 
of hypocrisy ; for if the intention were really good, 
such a practice would be abhorred. If we have the 
itch of disputing, and a spirit of contradiction, that 
is certainly one of those foolish hurtful lusts, from 
whence come wars and fightings. If we receive our 
brethren who are weak to doubtful disputations;* and 
love to perplex and puzzle them, and run them 
aground with objections against what they and we 
believe ; it shows a great contempt both of the truth 
and of their souls, and is a jesting with both. If we 
judge, and censure, and condemn our brethren who 
are not in every thing of our mind, and though we 
call ourselves disciples, set up for masters, many 
masters;'' if we give reproachful language, and call 
foul names, which commonly betrays the weakness 
of the caose, and is ingloriously pressed into the ser- 
vice to mak^ up the deficiency of argument ; we 
shall have a gpreat deal to answer for, when all our 
disputes shall be called over again by our Master. 

2. Many disputes arise from separate and intei'- 
fering interests in this world. Neighbours and rela- 
tions quarrel about their rights and properties, their 
estates and trades, their honours and powers and 
pleasures ; Meum and Tuum — My rent and Thy 
bond, are the great subjects of dispute, and engage 
people in endless strifes. The first dispute we 
read of in the primitive church was about a money- 
matter ; the Grecians quarrelled with the Hebrews 
because they thought their widows were neglected in 
the daily ministration^ Many disputes of this kind 
happen, which will be inquired into as well as those 
about differences in opinion ; and therefore it con- 
cerns us to reflect upon them, that whatever we find 
to have been amiss in them may be repented of. 

We may, in godly sorrow, quarrel with ourselves, 
an^gustly, for our unjust, unbecoming quarrels with 
our brethren : 

Ask then,— What was it that you disputed about 
with such a neighbour, or such a friend, at such a 
time 1 Perhaps you disputed that which yon ought 
to have yielded withdut dispute, a just debt or a 
rightful possession, which you thou^t to have car- 



B Job xzu. 14. 



Y Rom. xiv. 1. 



w James iii. 1. 



ried, by dint of opposition, against equity. Perhaps 
you disputed about something very trivial, and of 
small value, which was not worth controvertiiig, but 
which if the right were indeed of your side, you might 
have receded from it for peace* sake, without any 
detriment to yourselves or families. Perhaps the dis* 
pute might have been prevented, or when it was be* 
gan, might quickly and easily have been accommo- 
dated, with a little wisdom and love ; as the strife 
between Abraham and Lot was soon ended, and the 
matter compromised by Abraham's prudent conde- 
scension.y A little yielding would pacify great 
offences, and put an effectual stop to that threaten- 
ing mischief which sometimes a little fire kindles. 

Review your law-suits. And it may be you will 
find, that how stiff soever you were in the heat of the 
prosecution of them, your cooler thoughts tell jou 
they were not managed as become Christians ; you 
did not try to end things, as you ought to have done, 
in an amicable way. Perhaps they were be|^u 
rashly, and in passion ; and then no wonder if tbcy 
be carried on unfairly, and that which was a hasty, 
sudden passion in the beginning of the quarrel, is in 
danger of ripening into a rooted malice before the 
end of it, and they who at first pretended that they 
designed only to right themselves, at length, as their 
resentments have grown more and more keen, are not 
ashamed to own that they are resolved to avenge 
themselves. 

These disputes, as they are most common, so they 
are most scandalous, among relations, and those 
who are under particular obligations to love one 
another. And whatever keeps brethren from dwell- 
ing together in unity, is very provoking to Christ, 
who has made brotherly love the livery of his family : 
and it is very hardly removed : for a brother offended 
is harder to be won than a strong city, and their con^ 
tentions are as the door of a castle >** witness Jacob 
and Esau. 

3. Some disputes, and hot ones too, arise merely 
from passion and clashing humours,wheTe really there 
is nothing of judgment or interest in the case. 
Some indulge themselves in a crossness of temper, 
that makes them continually uneasy to their rela- 
tions, the nearest, the dearest, and to all about 
them. They love to thwart and disagree, and to dis- 
pute every thing, though ever so plain, or ever so 
trifling. Many make their lives, and the relations 
wherein they stand, uncomfortable by this ; especi- 
ally when both sides are of such a spirit : one will 
have their humour, their saying, and the other will 
have theirs, and so they are ever and anon disput- 
ing which shall be greatest, and instead of aiming 
to please, are contriving to displease and contradict 
one another. 

But do such consider, that they must give an ac- 



s AcU vi. 1. 



J Gen. xfi). 8. 9. 



» Pror. xviii. 19. 



DISPUTES REVIEWED. 



779 



couDt to Christ for all these disputes among them- 
itket by ike way ; that they will all be called over 
again? How ill does it become the disciples and 
followers of the hamble Jesos to carry things with a 
bigh hand, imperiously and with rigour, toward 
tbeir inferior relations ; not suffering them to speak 
for themselves, nor willing to hear reason from them. 
How ill does it become the worshippers of the God 
of love to be envious, and spiteful, and ill-natured, 
and quarrelsome with all they have any dealings 
with ! The father of the prodigal, when his elder 
son was out of humour, angry, and would not come 
in, did not dispute with him, chide him, and threaten 
bim, though he very well deserved it ; but he went 
out and entreated him,* spoke to him smoothly, and 
50 brought him into good temper again : which is 
written for our learning^ that we may go and do 
likewise, but writhal for our $hame that we have not 
done so. By the account which the Scripture gives 
of some peevish passionate disputes, it appears that 
notice is taken of the height to which the ferment of 
the spirit rises at such a time. When the men of 
Epbraim quarrelled with Gideon upon a point of 
honour, it is left upon record, that they did chide 
rithkim ikarply^h though by his exemplary mildness, 
as well as by his eminent services, lie deserved better 
at tbeir hands. When, in a like case, Judah and 
Israel fell out, it is observed, that the wards of the 
Mm of Judah werejlercer than the words of the men 
f*f Israeli And if it be so indeed, that an account 
u kept of the sharpness of our chiding, and the 
fierceness of oar words, we are concerned by true 
repentance to judge ourselves for it, that we may 
not be judged of the Lord. 

And whatever we find has been amiss in our dis- 
putes of any kind, let it be amended for the future. 

(1.) As far as we are able to make a judgment, 
let us see to it that we have truth and right on our 
side, in all our disputes, and not be confident any 
farther than we see j ust cause to be so. We must not 
only never contend for that which we know to be false 
and wrong, but also never for that which is doubtful, 
or which we do not know to be true and right. Let 
OS not wrong our consciences in any of our contests ; 
Qor say we believe that to be true, and therefore 
dispute for it, which really we do not believe to be 
$0; nor demand that as our own, which we know or 
baTe reason to suspect we have no g^od title to ; nor 
deny that to another which we cannot but think is 
justly bis. 

And if, in the progress of any dispute or contro- 
Tersy, it be made to appear to us, at length, that we 
were mistaken, and in the wrong, we must be ready 
to acknowledge it, thankful to those who have dis- 
covered it to us, and not ashamed to let fall the con- 
troversy. And we have a false notion of honour, if 



» Luke XV. 38. 



b Judg. viii. 9. e 3 Sam. xix. 43. 



we think this will be any reai disparagement to us ; 
for certainly St Paul showed more true courage, 
and merited more true praise, when he said, / can 
do nothing against the truth,^ than Goliah did, when 
he defied all the armies of Israel. 

(2.) In matters of doubtful disputation : while we 
are contending for that which we take to be right, 
let us at the same time think it possible that we may 
be in the wrong. When we contend for the great 
principles of religion, in which all good Christians 
are agreed, we need not fear our being in a mistake ; 
they are of undoubted certainty. We know and are 
sure that Jesus is the Christ, But there are many 
things that are not so clearly revealed, because not 
of so much moment, in which the truth indeed lies 
but on one side, and yet wise and good men are not 
agreed on which side it lies. Here, though we both 
argue and act according to the light that God has 
given us, yet we must not be over-confident of our 
own judgment, as if wisdom must die vri th us. 
Others have understanding as well as we, and are 
not inferior to us ;* nay, perhaps, they every way 
excel us, and, therefore, who can tell but they may 
be in the right ? However, they argue and act ac- 
cording to the light they have, which we ought to 
pay a deference to, so as not to condemn all those 
for weak men, or bad men, who are not in every 
thing of our mind, and will not say as we say. Job 
in dispute is not unwilling to put the case. Be it 
thai I kave erred J 

In matters of fact on which right depends, it is 
possible we may be mistaken ; Humanum est errare 
— to err is kuman. Words may be misunderstood 
and misapprehended ; and the wisest, and most 
cautious and observing, may be guilty of an over- 
sight, and may forget something that would very 
much alter the case ; and, therefore, it will be no 
credit to our wisdom and goodness to be too positive, 
too peremptory, as long as there is a possibility of 
our being deceived. Never let our assertions go be- 
yond our assurances, nor let us give that as certain 
and great, which was given us doubtful and little ; 
but be very wary in what we maintain, not only for 
our reputation's sake, lest our neighbour search us 
and put us to shame, but for conscience' sake, toward 
God, who hates a proud look, and a lying tongue ;v 
two very bad things, that commonly go together, to 
support one another. 

(3.) Let us keep the full possession and govern- 
ment of our own spirits, in all our disputes. Let us 
carefully suppress all inward tumults, whatever pro- 
vocation may be (pven us; and let our minds be 
calm and sedate, whatever argument we are engaged 
in. Let no contradiction put us into a heat or dis- 
order ; for when passion is up, we are not so capable 
as we ought to be, either to hear reason or to speak 

d 2 Cor. xili. & e Job xil. a. # Job xix. 4. % Prov. vi. 17. 



780 



DISPUTES REVIEWED. 



it, nor is it likely we shoald either convince or be 
convinced of truth and right. Meekness and mild- 
ness of spirit do as mach befriend a cause, as they 
are the beauty and ornament of its advocates. 

If we contend for that which is wrong, the jnore 
passionate we are, the greater is the sin of the con- 
tention, and the more there is of the image of the 
devil upon it, who is not only the father of lies 
and falsehoods, but a red dragon, and a roaring lion. 
But if we have truth and right on our side, that 
needs no intemperate heats and passions for the sup- 
port of it, nor can have any real service done it by 
them. The cause of heaven can never be pleaded 
with any credit or success by a tongue set on fire of 
hell. The wrath of man tDorks not the righteousness 
of God.^ Parties may be served by fury and vio- 
lence, but the common interests of pure Christianity 
will certainly be prejudiced by it. Christ was there- 
fore fit to teach us, and we are invited to come and 
learn of him, it is not said, because in him were 
hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, though 
that is certainly true, but because he is meek and lowly 
in heart,^ and can have compassion on the ignorant ; 
and herein all who undertake to instruct others 
must study to imitate him. And this is the likeliest 
way to gain our point, if indeed we be in the right ; 
for the words of the wise are heard in quiet, more than 
the cry of him that rules among fools}" 

(4.) Let us never lose the charity we ought to have 
for our brethren in our disputes of any kind, nor vio- 
late the sacred laws of it. Our Lord Jesus foresaw, 
and foretold, that the preaching of his gospel would 
occasion much division, that it would set men at 
variance,^ and be the subject of much dispute ; and 
therefore he thought it very requisite to bind the 
command of mutual love so much the more strongly 
upon his followers, because there was danger lest it 
should be lost in these disputes : he makes it one 
of the fundamental laws of his kingdom, the new 
commandment. That we love one another; and the 
livery of his family, by which all men might know 
who are his disciples. See how these Christians love 
one another. 

Let us, therefore, in all our disputes keep ourselves 
under the commanding power and influence of holy 
love ; for that victory is dearly purchased, that is 
obtained at the expense of Christian charity. Let us 
honour all men, and not trample upon any, nor set 
those among the dogs of our flock, whom, for ought 
we know, Christ has set with the lambs of his. Let 
us never bring a railing accusation against any :*" 
Michael the archangel, though he was sure in the 
dispute he had right on hi^ side, and the glory of 
God was nearly concerned, and it was with the devil 
that he contended, yet he would not thus attack his 
adversary. The scourge of the tongue has driven 



h James i. 90. 
1 Luke zii. 51. 



1 Matt. xi. 29. 
m Jude 9. 



k Bccl. iz. 17. 
n I Cor. i. 90. 



more out of the temple than ever it drove into it. 
Let us always put the best construction on men's 
words and actions that they will bear, not digging 
up mischief, as evil men do, nor rejoicing in iniquity, 
but rejoicing in the truth, hoping the best as far as 
we can. Let us not aggravate matters in variance, 
nor by strained inuendos and misrepresentations 
make either side worse than it is ; for that is a me- 
thod which may harden one side, but can never 
convince the other, nor can be used with any other 
design but to make the contending parties hate one 
another ; and whose kingdom that serves the inter- 
ests of it, it is easy to say, — not Christ's, I am sure. 
Let us not judge of men's spiritual and eternal state, 
and send men to hell presently as reprobates, be- 
cause they are not in every thing of our mind, or 
cannot fall in with our measures. They who do &o 
usurp a divine prerogative, take the keys of hell and 
death out of the hands of Christ, and show them- 
selves to be as destitute of the fear of God, as they 
are of love to their neighbour. 

(5.) Let us often think of the account we must 
shortly give to our great Master of all our disputes 
with our fellow-servants by the way. Let us con- 
sider how our disputes will look in that day, and 
what our own reflections will be then upon them. 
When the apostle asks. Where is the disputer of this 
world ?^ '' Perhaps (says the excellent Archbishop 
Tillotson) he intends to insinuate, that the wrangling 
work of disputation hath place only in this world, 
and upon this earth, where only there is a dust to be 
raised ; but will have no place in the other, where 
all things will be clear, and past dispute : and a 
good man would be loth to be taken out of the world 
reeking hot from a sharp contention with a perverse 
adversary, and not a little out of countenance to find 
himself in this temper translated into the calm and 
peaceable regions of the blessed, where nothing but 
perfect charity and good-will reign for ever.'' 

Let our moderation therefore be known unto allmen^^ 
moderation in all disputes, because our Lord is 
at hand ; nor let us grudge one against another, be- 
cause the Judge standeth before the door:^ and we 
may tremble to think what our doom will be, if we 
be found smiting our feUow-servants *^ and how we 
shall answer it, if it be proved upon us, who have 
had so much forgiven us by our Master, that, for a 
small matter, we have taken them by the throat J But 
seeing we look for a day of account, in which there 
will be a review of disputes, let us give diligence, 
that we may be found of Christ in peace." When 
Job and his friends had maintained a long dispute, 
in which many hasty peevish words were exchanged, 
God at length interposed as moderator, and gave 
judgment upon the debate, That they were all to be 
blamed, and had taken a great deal of pains (as most 



o Phil. iv. & p James v. 9. 
r Matt. ZTiii. 28. 



q Matt KMT. 49. 

• 3 Pet iii. 14. 



DISPUTES REVIEWED. 



781 



dispntants do) to make work for repentance ; and, 
therefore, the cM>Dtending parties must ask pardon 
of God and one another, mast forgave and forget, 
and live in Ioto for the future. And this is the hest 
end of controTersies ; happy were it if they were all 
brought to this issue now : to this issue all the con- 
troTersies that are among good men will he brought 
at last, when they shall meet in the world of everlast^ 
ingr light and love. 

IV. Of all disputes, Christ will he sure to reckon 
with his disciples for their disputes about precedency 
and superiority. That was the dispute here. Who 
thoM he greateii ; and Christ does not determine 
the matter, as it might justly be expected he should 
ha?e done, if he had intended that Peter, or any other 
of them, should have a primacy and supremacy 
above the rest ; no, he is displeased with them for 
startiDg such a question, and disputing about it, be- 
cause it was an indication that they all aimed at 
being great in the world, and were ambitions of it ; 
and wheneTer preferments were to be had, they 
would quarrel among themselves, which should get 
tbe best; notwithstanding the meanness of their 
first education, when they were bred fishermen, 
which might have done nmething to curb aspiring 
thoughts ; and the goodness of their late education, 
when they were trained up to be apostles, which 
might hare done tnMch more. 

Now there are live reasons why this disposition of 
theirs was very displeasing to our Lord Jesus. 

1. Because it came from a mistaken notion of hit 
kiuydom^ which they had learned at the feet of their 
scribes, and had not yet unlearned, though they had 
tat so long at Cb rist's feet, so hard is it to conquer 
the power of prej udice. The Jews, misunderstand- 
ing many of the prophecies of the Old Testament, 
which spake of the Messiah and his kingdom ; ex- 
pected him to appear in external pomp and splen- 
dour, and to exercise a temporal jurisdiction, to 
break the Roman yoke from off their necks, and give 
tbem dominion over the neighbouring nations. The 
disciples had imbibed this notion from infancy, and 
imagined (as should seem by many instances) that 
oar Lord Jesus, though he appeared meanly at first, 
would soon by it thus reign ; and that this was the 
kingdom of heaven, which they were to preach as at 
band : and this they had an eye to, when they strove 
who should be the greatest 

Now this was a great mistake, and the constant 
teoor and tendency of Christ's life and doctrine 
might have con winced them that it was so, that Christ's 
kingdom was not to he of this world,' but was in- 
tended to be all spiritual ; the laws and powers of 
it, the rewards and punishments of it, all spiritual ; 
:tbe weapons of our warfare are not carnal ;) that the 
Messiah was to rale by his Spirit in the spirits of 



t John xviii. 36. 



« Uatt zfi. S4. 



T Luke uli. S7. 



men. The design of it was to refine men from the 
dross and dregs of worldliness and sensuality ; and 
to raise them up to a holy, heavenly, spiritual, divine 
life ; and to teach them to look down upon all earthly 
things with a gracious and generous contempt. Such 
as this was the constitution and complexion of Christ's 
kingdom, and therefore, it could not but be displeas- 
ing to him, for them to dote on earthly greatness. 

2. Because it was directly contrary to the two 
great lessons of his school, and laws of his kingdom, 
humility, and love. It is against the law of humility 
to covet to be g^eat in this world, and against the 
law of love to strive who shall be greatest. Had not 
Christ taught them both these lessons, both by pre- 
cept and by example ? Had he not made it the first 
condition of discipleship, that whosoever would 
come after him must deny themselves ? Does not the 
gn^eat law of love oblige us in honour to prefer one 
another,' and to give place to our brethren ? What 
unapt scholars then were they, who had not learned 
such plain and needful lessons as these ! How well 
is it for us that we have a kind Master, who does not 
expel out of his school dull scholars, but gives them 
his Spirit to open their understandings, and bring 
things to their remembrance. 

When we are eager in our pursuits of the world, 
and seek and aim at g^at things in it ; when we are 
quarrelsome with our brethren, and carried out into 
indecencies by our contests and passions; let us 
think how unbecoming Christians this is, how con- 
trary we walk to the laws of that holy religion we 
make profession of. And can we glory in the ho- 
nour of it? Can we, wltH any confidence, plead the 
promises of it, or please ourselves with the privi- 
leges of it, or feed ourselves with the hopes of it, 
when we have so little regard to the precepts of 
it? Will those be willing to lose their lives for 
their religion, who cannot deny themselves the gra- 
tification of a foolish lust or passion for it ? 

3. Because it was utterly repugnant to the exam- 
ple which Jesus Christ himself had set them, and 
the copy he had given them to write after. The word 
of command which he gave them when he called 
them to be his disciples, was. Follow me ; do as you 
see me do. But when they were disputing who 
should be greatest, and each setting up a title to 
worldly pomp and power, they were far from re- 
sembling him, who was among them as one that 
served,* and came not to be ministered unto, but to 
minister.^ The same mind should have been in 
them, that was in him ; who was so great an exam- 
ple of humility and love, condescension and affec- 
tion ; who emptied himself, and made himself of no 
reputation ;' who, not only in the general scheme of 
his undertaking, but in the particular passages of 
his life, gave such instances of self-denial, as justly 



w Matt XX. 98. 



PhiLii. 7. 



782 



DISPUTES REVIEWED. 



are the wonder of angels ; who, to teach them this 
lesson, and oblige them to learn it with this yery 
argument, not long after this washed their feet, and 
bid them do as be had done/ Coald the followers 
of such a Master contend for precedency, and not 
blush at the reflection upon their own folly and un- 
wortfainess? 

Let us shame ourselves out of our pride, and 
passion, and affectation of worldly honour, and in- 
ordinate pursuit of worldly wealth, with this consi- 
deration : Shall I set my heart upon that which my 
Master was dead to, and denied himself in, and foi 
my sake too ? Am I not a Christian, a follower of 
Christ? I must then either change my name, or 
recover a better temper. Ought I not to walk in the 
same spirit, in the same steps ? 

4. Because it would render them very unfit for the 
services which he had appointed them to. It was 
very absurd for them to strive who should be greatest, 
who should live most at ease, and most in state, who 
should have the most power and the largest com- 
mand, when they were all to labour and suffer re- 
proach," to live in meanness and poverty, to be 
loaded with disgrace and ignominy, and counted as the 
off-scGuring of all things ; nay, to be hilled all the day 
long, and devoted to death, as sheep to the slaughter, 
and ruled with rigour. Such dispositions and ex- 
pectations as these would be but a bad preparative 
for sufferings. They who would approve themselves 
good soldiers of Jesus Christ must endure hardness,* 
and not affect greatness. 

And, therefore, though this infirmity, and the mis- 
take it was grounded upon, seems by many instances 
after this, to have continued as long as they had 
Christ's bodily presence with them ; yet, before they 
launched out into the deep of their service, they were 
perfectly cured of it, by the pouring out of the Spirit 
upon tliem ; after which, we have them no more 
dreaming of a temporal kingdom, nor striving who 
should be greatest; for those whom God designs to 
employ in any service for him, he will either find 
them fit or make them so : and as the day, so shall the 
strength, so shall the spirit, be. And if we would be 
ready for all the will of God, and stand complete in 
it, so as not to be driven from our work by the diffi- 
culties we may meet in it, we must be dead to world • 
ly wealth and grandeur, and live above them, at 
those who look beyond them. 

5. Because it was a corrupt temper that would be, 
more than any thing, the bane of the church in after- 
times ; would be the reproach of its ministry, an ob- 
struction to its enlargement, the disturbance of its 
peace, and the original of all the breaches that would 
be made upon its order and unity. Our Saviour 
foresaw this, and, therefore, took all occasions to 
check and repress it in his disciples, for a warning to 



J John xijl 4—15. 



■ 1 Tim. iv. 10. 



• 2 Tim. ii. 3. 



all others ; that all who are called by his name, and 
profess relation to him, may be jealous over them- 
selves with a godly jealousy, and may look diligently, 
lest this root of bitterness spring up and trouble both 
themselves and others, and thereby many be defiled^ 
and disturbed. 

When we see how early in the primitive times the 
mystery of iniquity began to work in strifes amon^ 
ministers, who should be the greatest; in Diotrephes, 
who loved to have the pre-eminence ;^ and in the 
man of sin, who, by deg^es, under the influence of 
this principle, came to usurp an universal aathority » 
and to exalt himself above all that is called God, or 
that is worshipped ;<> let us acknowledge with what 
good reason Christ so often cautioned his disciples 
against this, and lament the mischief that is done by 
it to the church. It must needs be that such offences 
would come ; and we are told of them before, that 
we may not be stumbled at them ; but woe to those 
by whom they do come. The pre valency of such a 
temper as this, as far as it appears, is very threaten- 
ing. But when the Spirit shall be poured ont upon 
us from on high, there shall be no more such dis- 
putes as these ; and then the wilderness shall becoine 
a fruitful field.* 

Upon the whole matter, therefore, let our strife be. 
Who shall be best, not who shall be greatest. 

1. Let us never strive who shall be greatest in this 
world; who shall have the best preferment; who 
shall be master of the best estate, or make the best 
figure ; but acquiesce in the lot Providence carves 
out to us, not aiming at great things, or striving for 
them. 

Consider what worldly greatness is : 

(1.) What a despicable thing it is to those who 
have their eye upon another world* All who by faith 
have seen the glory of God in the face of Jesus 
Christ, who are acquainted with the grandeur of the 
upper and better world, and are conversant with that 
world, have laid up their treasure in it, and set their 
hearts upon it, and hope shortly to share in the en- 
joyments of it ; what a poor thing are the pomps and 
pleasures of this world to them ! how easily can they 
write Vanity upon them ! for they know better things. 
What are purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and 
faring sumptuously every day, to one who is clothed 
with the robes of righteousness and garments of sal- 
vation, and has a continual feast upon the promises 
of tlie new covenant ? What are titles of honour, or 
splendid attendance, to one who is called a friend 
of God, and about whom the holy angels encanap ! 
What are the fading, withering glories of time, in 
comparison vrith the far mofe exceeding and eternal 
weight of glory that is to be revealed ? Let as be 
ashamed then to strive, or seem to strive, for that 
which, if we act as becomes our character, we 

I b Heb. xii.'l5. c 3 John 9. a 2 Theas. ii. 4. • In. znii. is. 



DISPUTES REVIEWED. 



783 



cannot bat look upon with a holy contempt and in- 
difference. 

(2.) What a dangerous thing this worldly great- 
ness is to those who have tiot their eyes upon another 
fcorld; how apt it is to keep their hearts at a dis- 
tance from God, and from the consideration and 
pursait of a future blessedness ; and to fix them to 
this world, and make them willing to take up with 
a portion in it : and, especially, what a strong temp- 
tation it is to break through all the sacred fences of 
the divine law to compass it. The devil would not 
have tempted Christ to worship him, with a promise 
of all the king^domfl of the world, and the glory of 
them, but that he had caught many a one with that 
hait. As they who will be rich, so they who will be 
i;reat, and cannot think themselves happy unless 
they be, fall into temptation, and a snare, and into 
many foolish and hurtful lusts -/ let us, therefore, 
never court oar own trouble ; nor coyet to enter into 
temptation, as they do, who, when they are as great 
as God saw fit to make them, are still aiming to be 
greater, and striving to be greatest. 

2. Let all our strife be who shall be hest^ not ois- 
patjng who has been best, that is a vain-glorious 
strife, but humbly contending who shall be so ; who 
shall be mosthamble, and stoop lowest, for the good 
of others ; and who shall labour most for the com- 
mon welfare. This is a gracious strife ; a strife that 
will pass well in oar account, when all our disputes 
will be reviewed. If we will covet, let us covet 
earnestly the best gift5,f covet to be rich in faith, and 



f 1 Tim. rf . 9. 
b s Cor. V. 9. 



ff 1 Cor. zii. 31. 
I Heb. X. 34. 



rich in good works. If we will be ambitions, let it 
be the top of our ambition to do good, and therein to 
be accepted of the Lord.** If we will aim to excel, 
let it be in that which is virtuous and praise-worthy, 
and in a holy zeal for the honour of God, and 
the advancement of the true interests of Christ's 
kingdom. Herein let us strive to excel others, and 
to do more good than they do ; not that we may 
have the praise of it, but that God may have the 
gloiy of it, and that we may provoke others to love 
and to good works;* not that we may be many 
masters, but that we may make ourselves servants 
of all. Let us go before — in zeal, and yet be will- 
ing to come behind — in humility and self-denial ; 
do better than others, and yet, in love and lowliness 
of mind, esteem others better than ourselves.*^ 

But especially let us strive to excel ourselves, and 
to do more good than we have done. Let it be a 
constant dispute with our own souls. Why we do not 
lay out ourselves more for God. And when we re- 
member the kindness of our youth, and the love of 
our espousals, instead of leaving that first love, 
and cooling in it, let our advanced years contend 
earnestly to excel our early ones, that our last days 
may be our best days, and our last works our best 
works. Forgetting the things that are behind, let us 
still press forward toward perfection ; press forward 
toward the marh,for the prize of the high calling,^ that 
at length we may have not only an entrance, but an 
abundant entrance, ministered to us into the everlast- 
ing kingdom of our Lord and Savioitr Jesus Christ,"* 



kPhiLU.3. 



1 Phil, ill 13, 14. 
mSPeti. 11 



FAITH IN CHRIST INFERRED FROM FAITH IN GOD 



IN 



A SERMON 



PREACHED AT THE TUESDAY LECTURE, AT SALTERS HALL, 

MAY 29th, 1711. 



John xW. 1. latter part. 
Ye believe in God, believe also in me. 

A DOMINION over yoar faith* is what yoar ministers 
are far from pretending to; bat the direction of 
yonr faith is what they are intrusted with, that thus 
they may be helpers of your joy, for by faith you 
stand. What is Pan! himself, or what is Apollos,^ 
those great men ? not masters in whom ye believed, 
but ministers only, by whom ye believed ; not oracles, 
but stewards of the oracles of God. Now how can 
we better direct your faith, nay, how dare we other- 
wise direct it, than as we have received direction 
from the Lord Jesus, who is the Author and Finisher 
of our faith, the Foundation and Fountain of it? 
And in the text we have his law concerning it, the 
rule of faith he prescribes to us. What he said here 
to those who were his immediate followers, he says 
to all, Ye believe in God, believe also in me. 

This is here recommended in particular to the 
disciples of Christ ; as a sovereign antidote against 
trouble of mind, proper to fortify the soul against 
the invasions of grief and fear, when they are most 
violent and threatening, and all other supports and 
succours fail. Christ was now leaving those who 
had left all to follow him, and he told them that 
whither he went they could not follow him yet;* 
which seemed to bear hard upon them, that they 
who had followed him in his sorrows, might not fal- 
low him to his joys ; nay, must be left behind as 
sheep in the midst of wolves. Because of this, sor- 
row JUled their heart. And though in Christ's de- 
parture from them there seems to be enough to justify 
their sorrow, yet there really is enough to pacify ; 
and therefore, with good reason, as well as with 
good authority, he commands down those boisterous 
winds and waves, saying. Peace, be still. Let the 



sinners in Zion be afraid, and let fearfulness sar- 
prise the hypocrites, but let not your hearts be 
troubled. Though trouble surround you on every 
side, yet be wise, be watchful, and keep trooble 
from your hearts : and that you may do so, believe 
in God, aud in his providence ; believe also in me, 
and in my grace. And you will be kept from faint- 
ing by believing ;^ but if you will not believe, surely 
you shall not be established.* 

But that which is here intended as a cordial in 
time of trouble, will not be so, unless it be our 
practice, for it is certainly our duty at all times, 
the duty of all those who hear the joy£ul sound of 
the everlasting gospel, not only to bei^ve in God, 
but to believe also in Jesus Christ. And therefore 
I shall take it more generally, not only as an anti- 
dote against trouble of mind, but a caveat against 
practical deism. 

1. Our Lord Jesus does here take it for granted 
concerning his disciples, that they did believe in 
God, and that in the belief of him they paid him the 
adorations due to his name, and the submissions due 
to his government, and that that faith was so firmly 
fixed in them, that it would not be shocked by any 
event of Providence, though ever so grieving, ever 
so frowning. You believe in God, that is, you re- 
ceive and embrace natural religion, you admit the 
light of it, you submit to the laws of it. You believe 
the perfections of God, that he is infinitely and eter- 
nally wise and holy, just and good ; you believe his 
relations to his creatures, as their Protector and 
Benefactor, their Owner and Ruler; hb relations to 
his own people, as their Father and Felicity ; you 
believe his providence, that it extends itself to all 
the creatures, and all their actions, to you, and all 
your afi*airs, with a certain cognizance, and a faith- 
ful steady conduct Nay, you go further, you not 
only believe in the Lord your God, but you believe 



• 3 Cor. i. 24. 



b 1 Cor. ill. 4. 



c John xiii. 36. 






4 Pb. zxvii. 16. 



« In. vii. 9. 



FAITH IN QHRIST INFERRED FROM FAITH IN GOD. 



786 



bis prophets / you receive the Scriptares of the Old 
Testament, and subscribe to them : andyoa do well. 
Observe here, 

(1.) That our Lord Jesus knows who believe in 
God, and who do not ; for all hearts are open to his 
view, and he knows what is in man. When with 
the moath confession is made unto salvation,' it is 
to give honour to him, not to inform him what the 
heart believes ; for he knows it before we tell him, 
and better than we can tell him. That which is the 
prerogative of the Eternal Mind, is one of the flowers 
of the Redeemer's crown : I am he which searcheth 
the reiju and hearts,^ He knows the sincerity of 
some, whom men suspect and reproach « and the in- 
sincerity of otliers, whom men confide in and ap- 
plaud. We read of some who professed to believe 
in JesQS Christ, when they saw the miracles which 
he did ; but Je^us did not camnnt himself to tluim^ did 
not Mieve them, so the word is, because he hnew all 
men, and needed not that any should testify of man.* 
He knew that his disciples here did believe in God, 
and witnessed for them that they did so. And be- 
caase he does thus infallibly know every man's true 
character, he is therefore fit to be the Judge of all at 
the great day, and to pass the definitive sentence 
apoD every man's everlasting state ; for we are sure 
that his judgment is according to truth, and cannot 
mistake. 

(2.) That our Lord Jesus is highly well pleased 
with those who believe in God, and will take notice 
of it to their comfort and honour. He came into the 
world to reveal and reconcile God to us, and to re- 
dace and restore us to God, not to draw ua from him, 
but to draw us to him ; and nothing is more accept- 
able to him than our believing in God, nor shall any 
thing be more comfortable to us. Christ fortifies us 
with this faith against all assaults : Let not your 
i^rts he troubUdj for ye believe in God. And Uiose 
who believe in God need not be cast down and dis- 
quieted ; as those have reason to be who are strangers 
to him, who have no dependence on him, or com- 
munion with him. They who believe in God, ac- 
cording to his word, have reason to rejoice in him 
with joy unspeakable ; for their confidence in him 
shall not mahe them ashamed. They hnowwhom. they 
^t believed. 

2. He calls upon them who believe in God, to be- 
lieve in him too. But did not the disciples believe 
also in Christ ? No doubt they did ; else they had 
not so easily left all to follow him, and continued 
with him in his temptations. When St. Peter, in 
the name of the rest, gave this for the reason why 
they would never quit their Master, We believe and 
«re sure that thou art the Christ f the Son of the living 
(iod} they all subscribed to it as the confession of 
their faith, except Judas, whom Christ at that very 



f 2 Cbron. ». 90. 
> John ii. S3-SS. 



% Rom. X. 10. 
k John vl. ep. 
3 B 



h Rev. li. S3. 
1 1 John V. 13. 



time particularly excepted. And yet, Christ saith 
to them, Believe also in me: use the faith you have, 
set it on work, exert it, employ it, that by it you may 
keep your minds composed and quiet at this time. 
Believe in me, that is, live by faith in me. Even 
those who believe, as they have need to be prayed 
for, that God would help their unbelief, and increase 
their faith, so they have need to be preached to, and 
called upon to exercise their faith : These things are 
written to you who believe in Christ, that you may be- 
lieve in him ;^ may be confirmed in your faith, and 
have the comfort of it. 

Believing in God is a very great duty, afad there 
are few but what profess at least to do it They who 
have little else to say for themselves, will say this, 
*' We trust in God :'* and O that there were such a 
heart in all them that say so ! But from those who 
believe in God, there are two things further required : 
One is a dictate of the light and law of nature ; 
we have it given in charge by St Paul to Titus, 
This is a faithful saying, (and these things I will that 
thou affirm constantly f^ let it be frequently incul- 
cated, and earnestly pressed upon all Christians,) 
That they who have believed in God must be careful to 
maintain good worhs : for faith without works is dead ;» 
it doth no good to others,'* and therefore will do mi no 
good. — ^The other is a dictate of revealed religion, 
and we have it here in the text, '' Ye believe in God, 
believe also in me." 

DocT. It may justly be expected, and re- 
quired, from those who believe in God, that 
if they are within the sound of the gospel, 
they should believe also in Jesus Christ 
I speak to those who are favoured with the gospel, 
who see that joyful light, who hear that joy fjul sound, 
and who are therefore concerned in this doctrine. 
As for those who enjoy it not, we cannot say it is 
required of them to believe in Christ ; for how shall 
they believe in him, of whom they have not heard ?^ Yet 
we cannot say, it is impossible for any of them, 
though they live up ever so closely to the light they 
have, to be saved by Christ they never heard of. It 
is out of our Utu to judge concerning them, for it is 
not tfi our Bibles ; but let us judge this rather, that 
we who enjoy the gospel shall find it more intolerable 
for us in the day of judgment, than they will, if we 
obey not the gospel. As for them, it becomes us 
rather to leave them to God's uncovenanted mercy, 
than to his unpacified justice. For our own part, 
whatever favour they may find who are destitute of 
the light of Christianity, I see not how they can ex- 
pect it, who rebel against that light, and reject the 
counsel of God against themselves.*! The case is 
plain, — It is good to believe in God ; but that is not 
enough, we must believe also in Jesus Christ. It is 
not sufficient to our acceptance with God that we 



> Tit. til. 8. 
P Rom. z. 14. 



B James ii 17. 



e Jamea4i. 14. 
q Luke vii. 30. 



786 



FAITH IN CHRIST INFERRED 



embrace natural religion, though it is indispensably 
necessary that we do so ; but we must go further, we 
must admit the light, and submit to the laws, of the 
Christian religion likewise, which is consonant to, 
and perfective of, natural religion, and helps us out 
where that leaves us at a loss. And this is that 
which I am here to-day to press upon you, with all 
seriousness, that you sink not into a practical deism, 
as many do into a practical atheism ; but, in every 
thing wherein you have to do with God, you may 
have a believing regard to Jesus Christ You believe 
in God, believe also in Jesus Christ. 
I shall here endeavour to explain, 

I. The objects of this faith, and what that is which 
those who believe in God are to believe also con- 
cerning Christ 

II. The acts of this faith, and what that regard 
is which we must give to God, and must give also 
to Jesus Christ. 

III. The connexion between these two, and how 
necessarily it follows, that those who truly believe 
in God will readily believe in Jesus Christ, when he 
is made known to them. And then make application. 

1. Let us inquire, what man is to believe concern- 
ing God ; and compare with that, what he is also to 
believe concerning Jesus Christ ; and see, what re- 
lation they have to each other. 

1 . Do we believe in God, as the Father Ahnighty ? 
Wc must believe in Christ, as his only-beffotten Son ; 
for Father and Son correlates. By the prescribed 
form of baptism, that great foundation on which the 
doctrine of the Trinity is built, we are directed to 
devote ourselves to the Father and Son; which 
plainly speaks a divine relation, not to us, (for 
though God may be said to be a Father to us, and a 
Holy Spirit to us, yet he can in no sense be said to 
be a Son to us,) but a relation to one another ; and 
therefore they must be distinct persons ; and so, as 
that the Son is the express image of the Father's 
Person. We cannot believe in God as the Father,' 
but we must believe in him who is. the Son of the 
Fatlier,^ who is the only-begotten of the Father,*^ 
and therefore of the same nature with him. If any 
deny the Son, though they say they believe in God, 
as the Creator of heaven and earth, yet really they 
have not the Father, they have not the knowledge of 
him, nor an interest in him, as the Father ; for they 
only who by faith continue in the Son, so continue 
in the Father.'' Shall we think that God has the 
title of the Father ascribed to him so frequently, so 
solemnly, only as he is the Fountain of being to the 
creatures which are infinitely below him ? (So the 
heathen called him the Father, so he is Father of the 
rtdn, and hath begotten the drops of the dew,"*) No, 
he himself plainly intimated why he is called the 



Father, when he said to the Redeemer, Thou art my 
Son, this day have I begotten thee ;* which mast be 
understood in a far higher sense than that of crea- 
tion ; for when the apostle would prove that Christ 
has obtained a more excellent name than the highest 
rank of created beings, he thus argues : To which of 
the angels said he at any time^ Thou art my San, this 
day have I begotten thee ?' They were sons of God 
who shouted for joy, when thefoundation* of the earth 
were fastened ; he was the Image of the invisible God, 
that existed before all things.^ It is not, as some 
would have it, that he viksfiesh, and was made God. 
only as Moses was made a god to Pharaoh ; for the 
Scripture says quite the contrary, that Bcoc lyy — ' 
he WAS God,* and oofti tytvtro — was made flesh.* 
This mystery we firmly believe the truth of, but aw- 
fully adore the depth of. 

2. Do we believe in God as the Eternal Mind ? 
We must also believe in Christ as tA« Eternal Word 
and Wisdom. God is an Infinite Spirit, and as such 
is to be adored by every one of us ; and he has told 
us that the Redeemer we. are to believe io is the 
Logos, that in the beginning, was with God; and 
was God,*' in the constitution of all things. And (to 
show that he is the Omega as well as the Alpfta) 
we find that in the consununation of all things, when 
he obtains a final victory over all the enemies of his 
kingdom, he appears and acts under the same title ; 
his name is called, the Word of God,^ It signifies 
both Ratio and Oratio, a word conceived, and a word 
uttered. Christ is both ; as the thought is one with 
the mind that thinks it, and yet may be considered 
as distinct from it, so Christ was and is one with the 
Father, and yet distinct from the Father. 

In all the divine counsels, Christ is the Eternal 
Wisdom, that when God prepared the heavens, and 
/at J the foundations of the earth, and made man who 
is the highest part of the dust of the world, was hy him 
as one brought up with him :^ he is the Wonderful Cokii- 
sellor, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom 
and knowledge. Between the Father and the Son 
there is a perfect mutual consciousness, and parti- 
cularly in the affair of man's redemption. No man 
knows the Son but the Father, neither knows the Father, 
save the Son.* The counsel of peace is between them 
both.f 

In all divine revelations, Christ is the Word of the 
Father; that Word of God which is quick and 
powerful, and is a discemer of the thoughts and in- 
tents of the heart' He only having lain in his 
bosom from eternity, none but he could declare him ;*" 
and though it is in these last days, that he has in a 
more especial manner spoken to us by his Son, yet 
the Spirit, in the Old-Testament prophets, was the 
Spirit of Christ^ And as he was the Maker and 



r Heb. i. 3. 


• 2 John 3. 


t John i. 14. 


• John i. 14. 


b Johnl. 1. 


c Rev. xi«. 13. 


u 1 John ii. 23, 24. 


V Job xxxviii. as. 


w Ps. ii. 7. 


d Prov. viH. 28, 30. 


« Bfatt. zi. 27. 


fZech. vi. 12. 


KHeb i.5. 


7 Col. i. 15, Ifl. 


t John i. 1. 


gHeb.iv. IZ 


h John i. 1& 


il Pet. I II. 



FROM FAITH IN GOD. 



787 



Mediator, so he was the Messenger of the Covenant, 
the Amen, the Jaithfui and true Witness, 

3. Do we believe that God nuide the world, and 
gctems it ? We most believe also that he made it, 
and goTerns it, by his Son, who is not only the 
KudoM of God, and his eternal word, bat the power 
of God, and his almighty right hand. The Father 
Korketh hitherto ^ we believe he does, that he is the 
Foontain of all being, and the Spring of all life, 
power, motion y and perfection : bat the Son has told 
08 withal, that he worketh, and that what things soever 
the Father doihj these also doth the Son lihewise. 

Nothing appears more evident, by the light of 
natore, than that God made the world, and all 
things therein, that by his power, and for his plea- 
sare and praise, they are and were created : nor does 
anj thing appear more evident, by the light of the 
Gospel, than that €rod ntade the worlds by his Son,i 
that he created all things bg Jesus Christ,'^ that all 
things were treated hg him and for him, and that he 
it htfore all things, and hg him all things consist,*^ nay, 
tUt without him was not ang thing made that was 
madeJ" So that if we receive the gospel, we mast 
discern even in the things diat are seen, not only 
the eternal power and godhead of the Father, bat 
the aniversal agency and inflaence of the Son, and 
particalarly with reference to the children of men, 
with whom his delights were; for in him, in a 
special manner, was that life which is the Hght of 
Jwii.p Therefore be is called the ^Jtpxfi — The prin* 
tvpU (so it might better be read than The beginning) 
of the creation of God.^ And hence arises his 
sovereignty over all the creatures, and. his property 
in them. He is the first-bom of everg creature f 
ftat is, as the apostle himself explains it, he is the 
luirtf all things f and has not only by porchase, 
hot hg inheritance, obtained the more excellent name. 

We are satisfied that God governs the world, and 
an abondant satisfaction it is to ns that he does so, 
that his kingdom rnleA over all ; but we mast also 
he assured, and it will add greatly to oar satisfaction, 
that the administration of the kingdom of providence 
nput into the bands of oar Lord Jesas, and is anited 
to the mediatorial kingdom ; that he has an incon- 
testable title to all, All things are delivered to him bg 
ihe Father,* and for this reason, because he loves 
Aim ,-* that he has an nncontrollable dominion over 
all. Things are not only given into his hand, bat 
put under his feet ;* not only great pdwer, but all 
power, is given onto him, both in heaven and in 
earth ; and he is not only head of the church, but 
^enf over all things to the church. Ail the angels in 
heaven are his active servants, all the devils in hell 
are bis conquered captives: the kingdoms of the 
e^rth are his, and he is the Governor among the 



k John v. 17, 19. 
• John I. 3w 
' Col. i. I5w 



1 Heb. i. 9. m Eph. ili. 9. n Col. i. 16, 17. 
9 John i. 4. q Rev. iii. 14. 

I Heb. i. 3, 4. t Matt xi. 37. 

3 B 2 



nations ;^ Bg him hings reign, for to him the Father 
has committed not only the future judgment, but all 
judgment.^ 

4. Do we believe that God is our owner by right 
of creation? We most believe also, that Christ is 
our owner by right of redemption ; and yet we have 
not two masters to serve ; Christ and the Father are 
one, as to us. Nor do these properties stand in 
competition with each other: no, Christ owns his 
property to be derived. Thine they were, and thou 
gavest them me,^ and yet withal it is acquired. 

As to God we owe our being, because he made us, 
and not we oorselves, therefore we are not our own 
but his; so to Christ we owe our well being, our 
recovery from that deplorable state, unto which by 
sin we were fallen, and our restoration to the favour 
of God, and an eternal happiness in him. Thus, 
besides the original right he has to ns as our Maker, 
he has an additional right by purchase ; a right to 
command ns, a right to dispose of as; we are his 
servants, for he has loosed our bonds ; not only bom 
in his house, but bought — ^not with his money indeed, 
but with that which is infinitely more valuable, his 
own most precious blood : and therefore we are de- 
livered out of the' hands of oar enemies, that we 
might be devoted to him, to serve him without fear." 
We are not our own but his, for we are bought with a 
price ; more was paid for us a gpreat deal than we 
were worth ; and it was paid to him into whose hand 
our all was forfeited, so Uiat no dispute can be made 
of his interest in us, and the authority he has to de- 
mand our best affections and services. As one is our 
Father, even God, so one is our Master, even Christ: * 
he is our Lord, and we are bound to worship 
him. 

6. Bo we believe that God is our Judge, to whom 
we must evcTy one of us give an account of ourselves ? 
We must believe also, that Christ is our Advocate 
with him, and that he is the propitiation for our sins. 
We are all conscious to ourselves that we are sin- 
ners, that we are guilty before God, have incurred 
his wrath, and laid ourselves open to his curse ; and 
from him our judgment must proceed, a judgment 
against which there will lie no exception, and from 
which there will lie no appeal ; a judgment which 
in its inquiries ydiW look back as faras our beginning, 
for God shall bring everg worh into judgment, with 
everg secret thing :^ and which in its decisions 'wiW 
look forward as far as our everlasting state, which 
must by it be irreversibly determined. 

Now, whenever we think of giving an account to 
Grod, we must have an eye to the Lord Jesus, as the 
one only Mediator between us and God, that blessed 
Dags-man who has laid his hand upon us both ; who is 
our peace, who arbitrates matters in variance be- 



a John iii. 35. 
X John ▼. 23. 
• llatt xzili. 8, 9. 



r Matt, xxviii. is. 
T John zvii. s. 
bPs. xlv. 11. 



w Ps. \x1i. 98. 
1 Luke i. 74,75. 
c Eccl. xii. 4. 



790 



FAITH IN CHRIST INFERRED 



in him ; let us also depend upon Jesus Christ, and 
put a confidence in him. We believe in God, that 
is, wo trust in him, we rely upon his wisdom to di- 
rect us, his power to support and strengthen us, his 
goodness to pity us, and his all-sufficiency to give 
all that to tw, and work all that in «#, and for us, 
which the necessity of our case calls for. And we 
therefore refer ourselves to him, and encourage our- 
selves in him ; now let us thus believe also in Jesus 
Christ, and make him our hope. As we confide in 
the providence of God for all things that relate to 
the natural life ; and cheerfully submit ourselves to 
the conduct of that providence, hoping by it to be 
carried comfortably through this world ; so we con- 
fide in the grace of the Lord Jesus for all things re- 
lating to the spiritual life, and cheerfully submit 
ourselves to the operations of that grace, hoping by 
it to be carried safely to a better world ; desiring not 
more to secure our present and future welfare, than 
to have the grace of the Lord Jetui Christ with our 
Spirits* Our dependence must be upon Christ both 
for righteousness and strength,p the two great things 
we stand in need of; from a full conviction of our 
own guilt and weakness, and of his ability and will- 
ingness to save us from sin and wrath, we must ven- 
ture all our spiritual concerns with him. In every 
thing wherein we have to do with God, we must make 
mention of his righteousness, and make use of his 
grace, — and, of both, as all-sufficient for us ; must 
depend upon him to bring us safe through this wil- 
derness to the heavenly Canaan ; and having done 
this, as those who know whom we have trusted, we 
must bo willing to venture all our temporal concerns 
for him, to leave, and lose, and lay out all for his 
sake, being well assured, that though we may be 
losers for him, we shall not, we cannot, be losers by 
him in the end. 

III. I come in the next place to show the neces- 
sary connexion that there is between these two great 
duties, of believing in God, and believing also in 
Jesus Christ; and how the latter will follow of 
course, if the former be sincere, in all those to whom 
the glad tidings of the gospel-salvation are brought 
They must needs embrace the Christian religion, who 
cordially entertain natural religion ; and they who 
do not believe in Christ, whatever they pretend, do 
not indeed believe in God : for, 

1. If we believe in God, we must believe in him 
who is One with him, the Brightness of his glory, 
and the express Image of his Person,*^ Christ in his 
gospel has expressly told us, / and my Father are 
one J And when he says. My Father is greater than 
I,* the comparison is not between the person of the 
Father and of the Son, but between the Son's state 
of exaltation with the Father and his present 
stite of humiliation ; as plainly appears, because 

p Gal. VI. 18. p Isa. xlv. 24. q Heb. i. 3. r John x. 30. 
• John xiv. 28. t John xvii. 21. n John xlv. 9. 



it comes in as a reason why the disciples should 
not mourn, but rejoice rather, in his departure from 
them, because he had told them he was to go to the 
Father, where his state would be not only more glo- 
rious to himself, but of greater capacity to serre 
them, than his present state was. When he was 
entering upon his sufferings, he comforted himself 
with this, thBiheandhis Father were one, Thou^ Father 
art in me and I in thee,^ and therefore he has reason 
to expect, that the world will believe, that they who 
believe in God, will believe also in him. So much 
are the Father and the Son one, that Christ says. He 
that has seen me, has seen the Father »^ We come to 
the knowledge of God, by the knowledge of Jesus 
Christ, for the glory of God shines in the face of 
Jesus Christ ; and, therefore, he who believes in the 
Father, as far as the Son is revealed to him to be 
one with the Father, will believe also in him : and 
by that faith we come to be one with the Father and 
the Son, and one in them.^ And thus, by keeping 
Christ's commandments we abide in his love, even as 
he kept his Father's commandments, and abode in 
his love.^ Such a close and inseparable union the 
gospel all along shows us between the Father and 
the Son, as that we cannot divide them in our belief. 
The heathen worshipped their idols as rivals with 
God, we worship Christ as one with God : Believe 
me, says Christ, that / am in the Father, and the 
Father in me. So let us believe in him. 

2. If we believe m God, we must believe also in 
him who is sent by him, has a commission from him^ 
and to whom he has given testimony. We do not 
believe in God, unless we believe what he has said 
concerning his Son, and rest upon it ; what he said 
by the prophets of the Old Testament, who all bare 
witness to him. And those predictions of theirs were 
all exactly and completely acoomplished, which had 
reference to his estate of humiliation, and the afflic- 
tions of it ; not one iota or tittle of them fell to the 
ground. Christ himself observed this when he said. 
It is finished: which ratifies those predictions that 
had reference to his estate of exaltation, the honours 
of it, and the graces that flow to us from it ; for the 
Spirit of Christy in them, testified beforehand both of 
the sufferings of Christ, and of the glory that should 
follow.* We must also believe, what he said by a 
voice from heaven concerning him, once and again. 
This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, 
hear ye him ;' and must concur with him by a sin- 
cere declaration. This is my beloved Saviour, in wham 
I am well pleased, and whom I will hear.^ Thus we 
set to our seal that he is true,* and subscribe to the 
record we have received in the everlasting gospel, 
which we are willing to venture our souls and our 
salvation upon, that God has given to us eternal life, 
and this life is in his Son ; which if we receive not 



▼ John xvii. 21. 
7 Mat iii. 17. 



w John xv. 10. 
I Bfatt. xvli. 5. 



X iPeti. II. 
• John iii. 30. 



FROM FAITH IN GOD. 



791 



«-e make God' a liar,^ we not only declare that we 
do not believe in him ourselves, but that he is not fit 
to be believed by any one else. Justly therefore 
has Christ said. He that dewpiseth me, despisetk him 
tkei tent me ; as an affront done to an ambassador, 
is justly construed an affront to him who gave him 
his character and credentials. 

We must also, if we believe in God, g:ive credit 
1o the many confirmations which we have of his 
testimony to his Son; the many miracles which 
were wrought to pTO?e his divine mission, miracles 
of mercy, healing mercy, which served likewise to 
explain and illustrate it ; especially the resurrection 
of Jesus Christ from the dead, by which he was 
declared to be the Son of God with power,<^ and in 
wbich God gave him glory, that our faith and hope 
might be in God ;' that believing in him whom he 
raised from the dead, our faith and hope in him 
might be both evidenced and encouraged. The 
pouring out of the Spirit likewise, both in his gUts 
and in his graces, is a further attestation gii|pn to 
Christ's mission, for in them God bare him witness ;* 
nay, the Holy Ghost whom God gave to them who 
belieyed in Christ, and obeyed him,' is said to be 
bis witness ; so that if we believe in the Spirit of 
God, we most believe also in Christ, and, therefore, 
the imputingof Christ's miracles, which were wrought 
by the Spirit of God, to Beelzebub the prince of 
the devils, is jastly reckoned an unpardonable blai- 
pAemy againtt the Holy Ghott, 

3. If we believe in God, we must j^ire honour to him, 
by htlietin^ also in Je$u$ Christ; for thereby he 
reckons himself honoured. If we confess that Jesus 
Christ is Lord, it is to the glory of God the Father J 
It is certain, there is nothing in which the glory of 
God, and of all his attributes, shines more bright, 
or more strong, than in the great work of our re- 
demption wrought out by Jesus Christ ; and there- 
fore, when the First-begotten was brought into the 
world, the angels who were charged to worship him 
sang, Glory to God in the highest, because, in Christ, 
there was on earth peace, and good-will towards 
nen^ so that, nnless by faith in Christ wc receive 
that peace and good-will, and the record given con- 
cerning it, we do not as we ought give unto God 
the glory dne to him, from that greatest of all the 
works of wonder by which he has made himself 
known. Do we believe in God ? We ought then to 
riTc him the glory of all that infinite wisdom which 
contrived oar redemption in such a way, that divine 
justice might be satisfied, and yet sinners saved ; 
this is the wisdom of God in a mystery, hidden wisdom, 
f^nifold wisdom, ordained hrfore the world for our 
plory.i We onght also to give him the glory of that 
Undness and love of God which designed this 
salvation, those tender mereies, whereby the Day- 

^ 1 John ▼. 10, 1 1, e Rom. i. 4. d i Pet i. 31. e Heb. 11. 4. 
f AcU V. 32. r PhiL 11. II. h Luke li. 14. 



spring from on high visited us ; love without pre- 
cedent, love without parallel, whereby God so loved 
the world, as to give his only-begotten Son for us. 
But how can we say we believe in him, which is 
giving glory to him, if we rob him of so great a part 
of his glory, by not believing in Jesus Christ, in 
whom his glory shines in a special manner ? 

4. If we believe God speaking by Moses and the pro- 
phets, we must believe also in Jesus Christ ; for to 
him bare all the prophets witness, and in all the 
ceremonies of the Mosaic institution, he was typi- . 
fied : if we believe the Old Testament, we must also 
believe the New ; for such an exact correspondence 
and agreement is there between them, as between 
two tallies. The same grace which the Old Testa- 
ment represents in shadows, promises, and predic- 
tions, the New Testament produces in the substance 
and accomplishment, 90 that they mutually confirm 
and illustrate one another. This our Lord Jesus 
insisted upon, as one of the strongest proofs of his 
divine mission, that the Scriptures of the Old Testa- 
ment testified of him ; and therefore he tells the 
Jews, who set up Moses in opposition to him, that 
Moses, instead of condemning him, condemned 
them for not believing in him ; for, says he, Had ye 
believed Moses, ye would have believed me, for he wrote 
of me.^ In the volume of the booh^ <v ct^oXi^c — in the 
head of it, (so the word is,) in the very beginning of 
the book of Moses, it was written of Christ, that as 
the seed of the woman, he should break the serpent's 
head. It is plain, therefore, ye believe not his writings, 
because ye believe not my words. Christ blamed the 
two disciples, and afterwards all the rest, for their 
slowness to believe what was written concerning him 
in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the 
Psalms, all which was to a tittle fulfilled in him." 
They who believed in the God of Israel, and received 
the oracles which by him were committed to them, 
knew very well that there was a salvation to be 
revealed in the last times ; that a Messiah should 
come, to be a prophet like Moses, a priest like Aaron, 
a king like David, — and, like the sacrifices, to make 
reconciliation for iniquity ; and that he should be 
cot off*, not for himself, but for the sins of his people." 
And do we not see all this abundantly made good 
in the Lord Jesus? Has he not done, has he not 
sufiered, all that which it was foretold he should do 
and sufler ? If, therefore, we believe that a Messiah 
was to come, we must believe that this was he that 
should come, and we are not to look for any other. 
The apostles therefore all along appealed to the 
Scriptures of the Old Testament, saying no other 
things than those which Moses and the prophets said 
should come,** and putting the unbelief of the 
Jews to their ignorance of the voice of the prophets, 
though they were read among them every sabbath 



1 1 Cor. ii. 7. k John v. 45—47. 

Luke xxlv. 25, S7, 44. a D&n. ix. 28. 



1 Heb. T. 7. 
e Acts xxvl. 23. 



790 



FAITH IN CHRIST INFERRED 



in him ; let us also depend upon Jesus Christ, and 
put a conGdence in him. We believe in 6€>d, that 
is, wo trust in him, we rely upon his wisdom to di- 
rect us, his power to support and strengthen us, his 
goodness to pity us, and his all-sufiiciency to give 
all that to usj and work all that in us, and for us, 
which the necessity of our case calls for. And we 
therefore refer ourselves to him, and encourage our- 
selves in him ; now let us thus believe also in Jesus 
Christ, and make him our hope. As we confide in 
the providence of God for all things that relate to 
the natural life ; and cheerfully submit ourselves to 
the conduct of that providence, hoping by it to be 
carried comfortably through this world ; so we con- 
fide in the gp^ce of the Lord Jesus for all things re- 
lating to the spiritual life, and cheerfully submit 
ourselves to the operations of that grace, hoping by 
it to be carried safely to a better world ; desiring not 
more to secure our present and future welfare, than 
to have the grace of the Lord Jesut Christ with our 
Spirit/* Our dependence must be upon Christ both 
for righteousness and strength ,p the two great things 
we stand in need of; from a full conviction of our 
own guilt and weakness, and of his ability and will- 
ingness to save us from sin and wrath, we must ven- 
ture all our spiritual concerns with him. In every 
thing wherein we have to do with God, we must make 
mention of his righteousness, and make use of his 
grace, — and, of both, as all-sufficient for us ; must 
depend upon him to bring us safe through this wil- 
derness to the heavenly Canaan ; and having done 
this, as those who know whom we have trusted, we 
must be willing to venture all our temporal concerns 
for him, to leave, and lose, and lay out all for his 
sake, being well assured, that though we may be 
losers for him, we shall not, we cannot, be losers by 
him in the end. 

III. I come in the next place to show the neces- 
sary connexion that there is between these two great 
duties, of believing in God, and believing also in 
Jesus Christ; and how the latter will follow of 
course, if the former be sincere, in all those to whom 
the glad tidings of the gospel-salvation are brought. 
They must needs embrace the Christian religion, who 
cordially entertain natural religion ; and they who 
do not believe in Christ, whatever they pretend, do 
not indeed believe in God : for, 

1. If we believe in God, we must believe in him 
who is One with him, the Brightness of his glory, 
and the express Image of his Person.^ Christ in his 
gospel has expressly told us, / and my Father are 
one J And when he says. My Father is greater than 
/,• the comparison is not between the person of the 
Father and of the Son, but between the Son's state 
of exaltation with the Father and his present 
^tite of humiliation ; as plainly appears, because 

p Oal. VI. 18. p Isa. xlv. 24. q Heb. i. 3. r John x. 30. 
• John xiv. 28. t John xvii. 21. n John xiv. 9. 



it comes in as a reason why the disciples should 
not mourn, but rejoice rather, in his departure from 
them, because he had told them he was to go to the 
Father, where his state would be not only more glo- 
rious to himself, but of greater capacity to serve 
them, than his present state was. When he was 
entering npon his sufferings, he comforted himself 
with this, thstheandhis Father were one, 7%ou, Father 
art in me and I in thee,^ and therefore he has reason 
to expect, that the world will believe, that they who 
believe in God, will believe also in him. So much 
are the Father and the Son one, that Christ says. He 
that has seen me, has seen the Father,^ We come to 
the knowledge of God, by the knowledge of Jesus 
Christ, for the glory of God shines in the face of 
Jesus Christ ; and, therefore, he who believes in the 
Father, as far as the Son is revealed to him to be 
one with the Father, will believe also in him : and 
by that faith we come to be one with the Father and 
the Son, and one tit them.* And thus, by keeping 
Christ's commandments we abide in his love, even as 
he kept his Father's commandments, and abode in 
his love,^ Such a close and inseparable union the 
gospel all along shows us between the Father and 
the Son, as that we cannot divide them in our belief. 
The heathen worshipped their idols as rivals with 
God, we worship Christ as one with God : Believe 
me, says Christ, that I am in the Father, and the 
Father in me. So let us believe in him. 

2. If we believe in God, we must believe also in 
him who is sent by him, has a commission from him, 
and to whom he has given testimony. We do not 
believe in God, unless we believe what he has said 
concerning his Son, and rest upon it ; what he said 
by the prophets of the Old Testament, who all bare 
witness to him. And those predictions of theirs were 
all exactly and completely acoomplished, which had 
reference to his estate of humiliation, and the afllic- 
tions of it ; not one iota or tittle of them fell to the 
ground. Christ himself observed this when he said. 
It is finished: which ratifies those predictions that 
had reference to his estate of exaltation, the honours 
of it, and the graces that flow to us from it ; for the 
Spirit of Christ, in them, testified beforehand both of 
the sufferings of Christ, and of the glory that should 
follow,^ We must also believe, what he said by a 
voice fVom heaven concerning him, once and again. 
This is my beloved Son, tn whom I am well pleased, 
hear ye him ;' and must concur vrith him by a sin- 
cere declaration. This is my beloved Saviour, tn whom 
I am well pleased, and whom I will hear,* Thus we 
set to our seal that he is true,* and subscribe to the 
record we have received in the everlasting gospel, 
which we are willing to venture our souls and our 
salvation upon, that God has given to us eternal life, 
and this life is in his Son ; which if we receive not 



▼ John xvii. 21. 
y Mat iii. 17. 



w John XV. 10. 
s Blatt xvii. 5. 



X iPeti. 11. 
• John iii. 33. 



FROM FAITH IN GOD. 



791 



we make God* a liar,^ we not only declare that we 
do not believe in him ourselves, but that he is not fit 
to be believed by any one else. Justly therefore 
has Christ said. He that despiteth me, despiseth kim 
that sent me ; as an affront done to an ambassador, 
is justly construed an affront to him who j^ave him 
his character and credentials. 

We mnst also, if we believe in God, give credit 
fo the many confirmations which we have of his 
testimony to his Son; the many miracles which 
were wrought to prove his divine mission, miracles 
of mercy, healing mercy, which served likewise to 
explain and illustrate it ; especially the resurrection 
of Jesus Christ from the dead, by which he was 
declared to be the Son of God with power ,« and in 
which God gave him glory, that our faith and hope 
might be in God f that believing in him whom he 
raised from the dead, our faith and hope in him 
mi^ht be both evidenced and encouraged. The 
pouring out of the Spirit likewise, both in his glhs 
and in his graces, is a further attestation gi^n to 
Christ's mission, for in them God bare him witness ;* 
nay, the Holy Ghost whom God gave to them who 
believed in Christ, and obeyed him,' is said to be 
his witness ; so that if we believe in the Spirit of 
God, we mast believe also in Christ, and, therefore, 
the impntingof Christ's miracles, which were wrought 
by the Spirit of God, to Beelzebub the prince of 
the devils, is jostly reckoned an unpardonable bias- 
phemif against the Holy Ghott, 

3. If we believe in God, we must^tre honour to him, 
by hdievin^ also in Jeiui Christ; for thereby be 
reckons himself honoured. If we confess that Jesus 
Christ is Lordj it is to the glory of God the Father J 
It is certain, there is nothing in which the glory of 
God, and of all his attributes, shines more bright, 
or more strong, than in the great work of our re- 
demption wrought out by Jesus Christ ; and there- 
fore, when the First-begotten was brought into the 
world, the angels who were charged to worship him 
saog, Glory to God in the highest^ because, in Christ, 
there was on earth peace, and good-will towards 
mm ^ so that, an less by faith in Christ we receive 
that peace and good-will, and the record given con- 
cerning it, we do not as we ought give unto God 
the glory doe to him, from that greatest of all the 
works of wonder by which he has made himself 
known. Do we believe in God ? We ought then to 
fdve him the glory of all that infinite wisdom which 
contrived our redemption in such a way, that divine 
jastice might be satisfied, and yet sinners saved ; 
this is the wisdom of God in a mystery , hidden wisdom, 
f»enifold wisdoms, ordained before the world for our 
9lonf,i We ought also to give him the glory of that 
kindness and love of God which designed this 
salvation, those tender mercies, whereby the Day- 

^ I John V. 10, 11. e Rom. i. 4. d I Pet. i. 21. • Heb. ii. 4. 
f AcU V. 33. f PhlL ii. II. h Luke il. 14. ' 



spring from on high visited us ; love without pre- 
cedent, love without parallel, whereby God so loved 
the world, as to give his only-begotten Son for us. 
But how can we say we believe in him, which is 
giving glory to him, if we rob him of so great a part 
of his glory, by not believing in Jesus Christ, in 
whom his glory shines in a special manner ? 

4. If we believe God speaking by Moses and the pro- 
phets, we must believe also in Jesus Christ ; for to 
him bare all the prophets witness, and in all the 
ceremonies of the Mosaic institution, he was typi- . 
fied : if we believe the Old Testament, we must also 
believe the New ; for such an exact correspondence 
and agreement is there between them, as between 
two tallies. The same grace which the Old Testa- 
ment represents in shadows, promises, and predic- 
tions, the New Testament produces in the substance 
and accomplishment, 90 that they mutually confirm 
and illustrate one another. This our Lord Jesus 
insisted upon, as one of the strongest proofs of his 
divine mission, that the Scriptures of the Old Testa- 
ment testified of him ; and therefore he tells the 
Jews, who set up Moses in opposition to him, that 
Moses, instead of condemning him, condemned 
them for not believing in him ; for, says he. Had ye 
believed Moses, ye would have believed me, for he wrote 
of me}' In the volume of the booh^ iv ce^oXi^i — in the 
head of it, (so the word is,) in the very beginning of 
the book of Moses, it was written of Christ, that as 
the seed of the woman, he should break the serpent's 
head. It is plain, therefore, ye believe not his writings ^ 
because ye believe not my words* Christ blamed the 
two disciples, and afterwards all the rest, for their 
slowness to believe what was written concerning him 
in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the 
Psalms, all which was to a tittle fulfilled in him." 
They who believed in the God of Israel, and received 
the oracles which by him were committed to them» 
knew very well that there was a salvation to be 
revealed in the last times ; that a Messiah should 
come, to be a prophet like Moses, a priest like Aaron, 
a king like David, — and, like the sacrifices, to mako 
reconciliation for iniquity ; and that he should be 
cot off*, not for himself, but for tlie sins of his people.** 
And do we not see all this abundantly made good 
in the Lord Jesus? Has he not done, has he not 
suffered, all that which it was foretold he should do 
and suffer ? If, therefore, we believe that a Messiah 
was to come, we must believe that this was he that 
should come, and we are not to look for any other. 
The apostles therefore all along appealed to the 
Scriptures of the Old Testament, saying no other 
things than those which Moses and the prophets said 
should come,^ and putting the unbelief of the 
Jews to their ignorance of the voice of the prophets, 
though they were read among them every sabbath 



i I Cor. ii. 7. k Jolin v. 45—47. 

m Luke xxiv. 25, S7, 44. B Dan. ix. 98. 



1 Heb. X. 7. 
e Acts xxvi. 2S. 



792 



FAITH IN CHRIST INFERRED 



day.p So that, in short, if we believe that there is 
such a thing as a divine revelation, that God has 
made a discovery of himself, and of his will and grace, 
to the children of men, we must believe the gospel, 
and the testimony it bears, God has sent his son into 
the worldy not to condemn the world, but that the world 
through him might have righteousness and life. 

5. If we rightly apprehend how matters stand be- 
tween God and man since the fall, as those must do 
who believe in God, who believe his holiness and 
justice, and his relations to man, we shall readily 
receive the notice which the gospel g^ves us of a 
Mediator between God and man ; not only because 
we shall soon perceive how desirable it is that there 
should be such a Mediator, (and we are easily 
brought to believe what is for our honour and ad- 
vantage, quod volumus facile credimus—^ohat we wish 
we easily believe,) but because we shall perceive, 
likewise, how probable it is that a God of infinite 
grace and mercy should appoint such a Mediator, 
and make him known to us. It is a great confirm- 
ation of the truth of the Christian religion, that it 
not only agrees with, and is a ratification of, the 
principles and laws of natural religion, and is an 
improvement and advancement of them, but that it 
supplies the deficiencies of it ; it takes us up and 
helps us out, where that fails us and leaves us at a 
loss. So that if we make just reflections upon our- 
selves, and our own case as it appears to us by the 
light of nature, there cannot but be a disposition in^ 
us to receive and embrace the gospel, and to enter- 
tain it not only as a faithful saying, but as well 
worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came 
into the world to save sinners. If we rightly believe 
in God, and withal rightly understand ourselves, 
we cannot but perceive our case to be such as calls 
for the interposition of a Mediator between us and 
God ; and we are undone if there be no such a one ; 
and we will therefore cheerfully receive him. 

(I.) We cannot but perceive that man has in a 
great measure lost the knowledge of God, and there- 
fore should gladly believe in him who has revealed 
him to us. It is certainly the greatest satisfaction 
and best entertainment to our intellectual powers, 
to know God the author and felicity of our being^. 
The understanding of man cannot rest short of this 
knowledge ; but we find that by the entrance of sin, 
our understandings are darkened,<i and the children 
of men are generally alienated from the divine light 
and life, through the ignorance that is in them, be- 
cause of the blindness of their heart : The world by 
wisdom knew not God* and the things of God vne fool- 
ishness to the natural man,* Are we sensible of this 
as our misery, that we cannot by any researches of 
our own come to such a knowledge of God, as is 
necessary to our communion with him ? If we are 



p Acts ziii. 37. 
• 1 Cor. ii. 94. 



q Eph. i. 18. 
t 1 John L 18. 



r 1 Cor. 1. 31. 
u John i. 0. 



SO, we shall readily embrace Christ as a prophet* 
who having lain in the bosom of the Father from 
eternity, has declared him * to the children of men, 
and has brought into this dark world the light of 
the knowledge of this glory, with such convincing 
evidences of a divine truth, and such endearing in- 
stances of a divine grace and love in this light, as 
are abundantly sufiicient both to captivate the un- 
derstanding and engage the affections. This is the 
true light, which is sufficient to lighten every man that 
Cometh into this world,"* and to direct him throogb it 
to a better world. And shall we not open our eyes 
to such a light? Can we be such strangers, such 
enemies, to ourselves, and our own interests, as to 
love darkness rather than this light ?^ 

(2.) We cannot but perceive, that there is an in- 
finite distance between God and man, and therefore 
should gladly believe in one, in whose person the 
divine and human natures are wonderfully united. 
Tib light of nature shows us the glory of a God 
abov^ us ; as heaven is high above the earth, so are 
his thoughts and ways above ours : whence we are 
tempted to infer, that there is no having any com- 
munion with him, that he is not conversable with 
us, and that we cannot expect that he should take 
any cognizance of us. Shall we not therefore wel- 
come the tidings of a Mediator between God and 
man, even the Man Christ Jesus ? Shall we not be 
glad to hoar, that this God above us is, in Christ, 
Immanuel, God with t»,* God in our nature, God 
manifested in the flesh ; the Eternal Word incarnate, 
which will facilitate our communion with God, and 
represent it to us as a thing possible ? When we look 
upon God as the almighty Creator and Sovereign of 
the world, a being of infinite perfection and blessed- 
ness, we are tempted to say, Witt this God in very 
deed dwell with men, with mean and sinful worms, 
on the earth f But when we look upon the Son of 
God clothed with a body, and visiting in great hu- 
mility this remote comer of the universe, which God 
has let out to the children of men, as a vineyard to 
unthankful husbandmen, we are encouraged to 
say with triumph. Behold the tabernacle of God is 
with men, and his sanctuary in the midst of them for 
evermore.* We are quite lost in our thoughts, when 
we come to meditate seriously on the divine perfec- 
tions, for they are an unfathomable depth, which we 
cannot find out, concerning which we cannot order 
our speech by reason of darkness ; If a man speak, 
surely he shall be swallowed up :^ but when we come 
with an eye of faith to see the Father in Christ, who 
is both God and man, and are brought by faith to 
Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and through 
him to God the Judge of all,' this makes his glory 
the more intelligible, (he that hath seen me, says 
Christ, hath seen the Father,) his example the more 

T John iu. 19. » Malt i. 33. > Ezek. zuvii. 96, 27. 
J Job xxxvii. 90. B Heb. ili. 33, %i. 



FROM FAITH IN GOD. 



793 



jraitable, his favour the more attainahle, and man's 
communion with him the more practicable. 

(3.) We cannot but perceive the matter to be yet 
worse; — ^that there is a quarrel between God and man 
bj reason of sin ; that the God who made us is not 
only a God above «#, but a God agaimt us ; and there- 
fore we should gladly believe in him by whom that 
quarrel is taken up, in whom God was reconciling 
the world to hintiself, * and who is our peace. You 
believe in God, your great Lord and Lawgiver ; and 
do you not believe, that he requires of you an exact 
conformity to the law of your creation ; that since he 
made you for himself, to show forth his praise, you 
should accordingly live to his honour ; that he who 
eodaed you with the powers of reason, designed that 
Tour appetites and passions should always act un- 
der the direction and dominion of those powers? 
Does not even the light of nature tell you, that God, 
who is the best of beings, is to be loved and delight- 
ed in above all ; that all the gifts of his bounty are 
to be received by us with thankfulness, and all the 
rebukes of his justice submitted to with patience ? 
These are the rules which 3*00 know you should 
ha\e been ruled by : but you know you have come 
short of these rules ; that those affections of your 
son Is have been set upon the world and the flesh, 
which should have been set upon God only; that 
th(^ appetites of a mortal body, by which you are 
allied to the earth, have been indulged, to the un- 
speakable disgrace and detriment of an immortal 
spirit, by which you are allied to the upper world. 
It is not only the Scripture, but even natural con- 
science, that has concluded us all under sin. Those 
who had not the law, yet showed the accusing, 
convineing work of the law written in their hearts.*" 
And will not your own hearts tell you likewise, that 
TOQ having offended God, he is displeased with you, 
and yon lie under his wrath ? If God be infinitely 
perfect, as certainly he is, he is infinitely just and 
holy; and as the Governor of the world, is engaged 
in honour to punish sin, that his law may not be 
trampled on, and his dominion made contemptible. 
I)oyou believe this concerning God, and this con- 
eemiog yourselves? and will you not welcome the 
tidings of a reconciliation between you and God, and 
cladly believe in him who was made sin and a curse 
for Hit, that we through him might have righteous- 
ness and life ? Was Christ slain as a sacrifice to 
slay this enmity between us and God, and shall not 
v<^ by faith lay our hands on the head of this sa- 
crifice, and apply for an interest in it ? Shall not 
the Prince of peace be our peace ? Shall not we 
receire the atonement,' consent to it, confide in it, 
and take the comfort of it, when it is an atonement 
^hich God himself has appointed and accepted ? 
\^ hen we see that God contends with us, and that 

• S Cor. ▼. 19. i» Rom. ii. 14. 15. « Rom. v. 11. 

4 Lflkc xiT. 31. • I Cor. i. 39. f Jcr. Hi. 19. 



it is in vain for us to think of contending with him ; 
with ten thousand we dare not meet him that comes 
against us with twenty thousand;'^ it is like setting 
briers and thorns before a consuming fire, which are 
fuel to it, instead of being a fence against it ; sure 
we shall see it is our interest to take hold on his 
strength, that we may make peace with him ; es- 
pecially when this method of reconciliation is not an 
uncertain thing, for he has told ns we shall make 
peace with him. 

(4.) Yet this is not the worst of it : we cannot but 
perceive that we are corrupt and sinful, that our na- 
ture is depraved and vitiated, and wretchedly dege- 
nerated from what it was, as it came out of God's 
hand ; and, therefore, we should gladly believe in 
him who is made of God to us not only righteousness 
but sanctification,* and who came into the world, not 
only to restore us to the favour of God, but to renew 
his image upon us. Do we not sensibly find by 
daily experience, that our minds are alienated from 
God, and there is in them a strong bias toward the 
world and the flesh ; that we are not of ourselves 
either inclinable to, or sufficient for, any thing that 
is good, but continually prone to that which is evil ? 
And being thus sick, from the crown of the head to 
the sole of the foot distempered, shall we not re- 
joice to hear of balm in Gilead, and a Physician there? 
And shall we not apply that balm, and put ourselves 
under the care of that Physician ? If you believe in 
God, you believe that as he is holy so you should 
be holy : but you find you are not so, nothing of his 
resemblance appears upon you, and therefore you 
cannot expect he should put you among his children, 
or give you the pleasant land.^ Will you not then 
believe also in him, who has undertaken not only to 
show us the glory of the Lord, but by his Spirit to 
change us into the same image from glory to glory ;S 
and is able to make good his undertaking? For 
therefore it pleased the Father ^ that in him all fulness 
should dwell, ihsit from his fulness all we might receive^ 
and grace for grace ;^ that being gifted into that 
good olive, we might partake of his root and fatness; 
and though severed from him we can do nothing, yet 
we may be able to do all things through Christ 
strengthening us.* If it be indeed, as it ought to be, 
our shame and sorrow, that we are by nature so much 
under the dominion of a vain and carnal mind, — no 
saying will appear to us so well worthy of all ac- 
ceptation, as this, that Christ Jesus came to save his 
people from their sins,^ and to purify them a peculiar 
people to himself zealous of good works, ^ 

(5.) If we believe that God is the Father of our 
spirits, we cannot but perceive that they are immor- 
tal, that they must shortly return to God who gave 
them, and that we are made for another world, — and 
therefore will gladly believe in one who will be our 



r 3 Cor. iii. la 
k Matt. 1. 21. 



h John i. 16. 



1 Phil. iv. 13. 
1 Tit. ii. 14. 



794 



FAITH IN CHRIST INFERRED 



guide to that world, who will stand our friend in the 
jadgment, and secure our welfare in the future state. 
Do we not find our souls strongly impressed with a 
belief of their own existence in a state of separation 
from the body ? The thinking part^ even of the hea- 
then world, did so. Natural conscience, which is 
either a heaven or a hell in men's own bosoms, plainly 
intimates to them, that there is a state of rewards and 
punishments on the other side death, and a righteous 
doom of every man to the one or to the other : but 
when we come to inquire, ** How shall we make the 
Judge our friend ? What plea will bring us off in the 
judgment ? What is the happiness that is set before 
us in another world ? And what course shall we 
take to make it sure to ourselves?" When we ask 
*< What shall wc do to get above the fear of death ? " 
(we see its stroke inevitable ;) " what have we where- 
with to arm ourselves against its terror? From what 
advances here can we take a comfortable prospect of 
our state hereafter ? We must shortly be stript of all 
our enjoyments in this world ; what is there'that will 
befriend us in our removal to another world ? " Here 
the light of nature leaves us quite at a loss. Neither 
ibe philosophers with their wisest considerations, 
nor the infidels with their boldest contradictions, 
could ever reconcile men to death, or enable them 
upon any good grounds cheerfally to quit this world. 
Animula vagula, hlandnla, (said one of the wisest of 
the heathen upon his death-bed,) qu4B nunc abibis in 
locaf^'Whither art thou now going, O my poor soul? 
Death, with a noted atheist, was ^great leap in the darh. 
It is certain, nothing but Christ and his gospel can 
furnish us with such comforts, as will carry us with- 
out the fear of evil through the valley of the shadow 
of death. Shall we not then readily believe in Christ, 
and bid his gospel welcome into our hearts, that light 
by which such clear and full discoveries are made of 
life and immortality ? Shall we not depend upon him 
with an entire satisfaction, and give up ourselves to 
his conduct, who has enabled us to triumph over death 
and the grave, and to say, O death, where is thy sting j 
where is thy terror? Have we not reason to entertain 
that institution as of a divine original, which is so 
wisely, so kindly, suited to our case in the last and 
greatest exigence of it ; which shows us the wny, 
through this wilderness, to an everlasting rest for 
souls ; which divides Jordan before us, and makes a 
path through it for the ransomed of the Lord to pass 
over? Do we believe that our souls must go to God ? 
and shall we not believe in him who will introduce us, 
who will receive our spirits, and present them to the 
Father, and lodge them in the mansions which be 
himself has prepared in his Father's house ? How 
forward should dying creatures be to embrace a 
living Saviour, who is and will be life in death to 
all who by faith are united to him, and who has said. 
Because I live ye shall live also.^ 

m John xiv. 19. 



Now lay all this together, and then tell me, ^whe- 
ther those who believe In God have not a great deal 
of reason to believe also in Jesus Christ ; not only 
to desire such a Saviour, but to depend apon tbe 
Lord Jesus, as every way fitted to be the Savioar, 
and able to save to the uttermost. 

And now will you hear the conclusion of the tv^bole 
matter ? 

1. Let us be more and more confirmed in oar be- 
lief of the principles of natural religion, which Chris- 
tianity supposes, and is founded upon. Let the die- 
fates of the light and law of nature be always sacred 
with us, and have a commanding sway and empire 
in our souls. So agreeable is revealed reli^on to 
right reason, and the established rules of good and 
evil, that what contradicts and violates them, how 
plausible soever its pretensions may be, oug^ht to be 
rejected, as no part of Christianity. 

Therefore they who, under colour of seal for 
Christianity, hate and persecute their brethren, kill 
them, and say they do God good service, or under 
that pretence despise dominion, resist the powers 
that are ordained of God, break the public order, and 
disturb the public peace, who think no faith is to be 
kept with those they call heretics, and that it is law- 
ful to lie for the truth ; these put a high affront upon 
the Christian religion, and do it the greatest wrong 
and injury imaginable. To such we may say, Yoa 
profess to believe in Christ, but do you believe in 
God? Is Christ the minister of sin? If he came not 
to destroy the law and the prophets, but to falfil them, 
can we think he came to set up a religion that should 
be served and advanced by a flat contradiction to 
those principles and rational instincts, (if I may so 
call them,) which were prior and superior even to the 
law of Moses and the prophetical inspirations? 
Christ came to renew the tables which sin had 
broken ; not to blot out any thing that was eng^raven 
in the heart of man by nature, but to write apon the 
tables according to the first writing, and to add thereto 
many like words. If it became Christ, no doubt it be- 
comes Christians, to fulfil all righteousnes* ;^ for we 
may say of the principles of natural relif^ion, as 
St. Paul does of the law of Moses, Do we make them 
void by the faith of the gospel ? God forbid ; nay, wc 
establish them.*^ 

2. Yet let us not rest in a mere natural religion, 
and a compliance with it, but let us, with the fullest 
conviction and highest satisfaction, embrace and 
firmly adhere to the principles of revealed religion, 
and submit to the commanding, constraining^ power 
and influence of them. Let pure Christianity govern 
us in every thing, and both give law to us and give 
peace to us. Let faith be our guide with relation 
to another world, as sense and reason are with rela- 
tion to this world ; and then wc shall be led into the 
paths, and brought under the dominion, of Christ's 



n Matt. ili. 15. 



e Rom. iii. 31. 



FROM FAITH IN GOD. 



796 



boir religion. If there be any divine revelation in 
the world, it is in the Holy Seriptare, on which 
Christianity is built ; and there certainly it is, for 
ire cannot think that God has pat fallen mankind 
npon a new trial, (which he has not done for fallen 
ingels,) and ^iven him no new rule of daty and ex- 
|)ectation, accommodated to that state of trial. The 
Scripture, therefore, is that which we are to believe, 
0(0 which we must search, and on which we must 
mild, for that is it that testifies of Christ Christ 
herefore is he to whose conduct we must entirely 
leTote ourselves, and on the all-sufficiency of whose 
nediation we must rely ; else we are unworthy to 
tear the name of Christians, and wear the livery of 
lis family. 

As there is a practical atheism, which they are 
;hargeable with who profess to know God, but in 
rorks deny him ; so there is a practical deism, which 
bey are chargeable with, who profess to believe in 
'hrist, and yet have no regard to his mediation be- 
veen God and man : and both the one and the other 
n no less dangerous than the speculative, and so 
Duch the worse, that they carry in them a self-con- 
radiction. 

Let OS who are ministers make it our business to 
idrance the honour of Christ, and to bring all to 
lim ; as faithful friends of the Bridegroom, who re- 
w^tgrentlif to hear tke Brideffroom's voice ^^ and to 
erre his interests ; else we do not answer the cha- 
>cter we are dignified vrith, as ku ministers. 
Messed Paul, though he was a great scholar, deter- 
oined to know nothing but Christ and him cruci- 
ed«^ counting all but loss for the excellency of that 
Bowledge •/ and be did as he determined, for *' in 
II his writings" (as one of the ancients observes) 
* he breathes nothing but Christ." ** Preach Christ, 
fotber," (said the famous Mr. Perkins, to a young 
unister who asked his advice,) '* preach Christ, 
mother." It is the language of all faithful minis- 
^^T We preach not ounelvet, but Christ Jenu the 
^^ end ourselves your servants for his sake,* It is 
^ eharacter of Christians, that they have learned 
•hrist :< but how shall they learn him, if their teach- 
n do not preach him ? The whole gospel centres 
9 Christ ; in him therefore let all our preaching cen- 
^e. Let us preach down sin as an enemy to Christ, 
Qd that which he died to separate us, and so to save 
^ from : let us press duty with an eye to Christ, in 
^pliance with him, and gratitude to him. Let us 
'«3cribe comforts fetched from Christ, and founded 
pon his mediation. Do we aim at the conversion 
dinners? Let us call them to Christ, persuade 
lem to come and take his yoke upon them, and re- 
■trnmend them to him as the best Master. Do we 
'in at the edification of saints ? Let us lead them 
'^ a further acquaintance with Christ, that they 



fJohniiL« qICor.il. 2. r Phil. Hi. 8. . 9 Cor. iv. 



!>. 



may grow up into him" in all things, as their Head 
and Root Are we God's mouth to his people ? Let 
us do as God did when he spake from heaven, give 
honour to Christ, and direct all to hear him.^ Are 
we their mouth to God ? Let us offer up all the spi- 
ritual sacrifices upon this altar, that sanctifies every 
gift Let this golden thread run through the whole 
web of our praying and preaching ; and in every 
thing let precious Jesus ever have the pre-eminence. 

Let us all, both ministers and Christians, make 
Jesus Christ all in all to us ; to us to live must be 
Christ : and as we have received him by our profession 
of his name, we must so walk in him ; and whatever 
we do in word or deed, do all in his name, with an 
eye to his will as our rule, and his glory as our end, 
depending upon him both for strength and righte- 
ousness, and continually rejoicing and glorying in 
him. 

It is to be feared, Acre are some eyen within the 
pale of the church, who seem to have some little re- 
ligion, but they forget Christ, and leave him out of 
it If we come to talk with them about their souls, 
and their eternal salvation, we find they have a re- 
verence for God, and a sense of their duty to him, 
which they speak of with some clearness and con- 
cern ; they have right notions of justice and charity, 
fidelity, patience, and temperance, yea, and of devo- 
tion to God, and invocation of him ; and are under 
convictions of the necessity of these, for they believe 
in God : but when we speak to them also of believ- 
ing in Jesus Christ, of their coming to God as a Fa- 
ther by him as Mediator, of the need they have of 
him in every thing wherein they have to do with 
God, and the constant dependence they ought to 
have upon him, they are ready to say, as the people 
did of Ezekiel, Doth not he speak parables ?* This is 
a lamentation, and shall be for a lamentation, that 
among those who are called Christians, there should 
be those found who are strangers to Christ, and are 
content to be so ; to whom the Light of the world is as 
a lamp despised^ and the Fountain of life as a 
broken cistern ; and who are ready to say to Christ, 
Depart from «#, and. What can the Redeemer do for 
iM, which we cannot do for ourselves? We pitif those 
who never heard of Christ, whom this Day-spring 
from on high never visited ; for, How shall they be- 
lieve in him of whom they have not heard? But we are 
justly anyry at those to whom the great things of the 
gospel are preached, and yet they are accounted by 
them as strange and foreign things, and things that 
they are no way concerned in. It is an amazing 
infatuation, and what we may stand and wonder at. 
Be astonished, O heavens, at this ! 

(1.) It is strange, that any who are baptized, and 
are called Christians, can forget Christ, and leave 
him out of their religion; surely they must have 



t Eph. iv. 90. II Eph. iv 1&. v Matt xvii. 5. w Ezek. xx. 4o. 



toe 



FAITH IN CHRIST INFERRED 



forgot their Christian name, for they have wretchedly 
forgot themselyes. What ? a Christian, and yet a 
stranger to Christ! Aui nomeHf aut mares mnta — 
Either change thy name, or change thy ipirit. Is not 
the whole family, hoth in heaven and earth,< deno- 
minated from him, as having a necessary and con- 
stant dependence upon him ? and yet he shall be out 
of mind^ because for the present he is out of sight. 
Shall he be made a cipher of, who is to us the only 
figure, and who in the upper world makes so great 
a figure? Were not we baptized into his name; 
and by our baptism entered into his school, hired 
into his family, and enlisted under his banner ; and 
yet shall we set him aside, as if we had no occasion 
for him? If circumcision was to the breakers of 
the law made uncircumcision,^ shall not baptism be 
nullified, and made no baptism, to the contemners 
of the gospel ? 

(2.) It is strange, that any who are convinced of 
sin, and see themselves, as all the world is, guilty 
before God, can forget Christ ; and leave him out of 
their religion, as if they could do well enough with- 
out him. What ? a sinner, and yet make light of 
the Saviour ! A dying perishing sinner, and yet 
not believe in him, whose errand into the world was 
to redeem us from all iniquity ! Is the avenger of 
blood in pursuit of us, and just at our back, and 
shall not the city of refuge be ever in our eye ? Can 
we see our misery and danger by reason of sin, (and 
we are shamefully blind and partial to ourselves, if we 
do not,) and not be continually looking unto Jesus, 
the great propitiation ? Can we read the curse of the 
law in force against us ? can we see the fire of God's 
wrath ready to kindle upon us ? and not be glad to 
accept of Christ upon his own terms, Christ upon 
any terms ? 

(3.) It is strange that any who desire to have com- 
munion with God, to hear from him, and speak to 
him, and in both to obtain his favour, should forget 
Christ, and leave him out of their religion. I hope 
none I speak to are of thosb who say to the Almighty, 
Depart from iw, we desire not the hnowledge of thy 
ways ; but that you will each of you say, with David, 
It is good for me to draw near to God,* Do you in- 
deed think it so ? Is that your choice ? Is that your 
delight ? Is this the thing you labour after, and are 
ambitious of, that whether present or absent you may 
be accepted of the Lord 7* You know not yourselves, 
you know not your God, if it be not : and if it be, 
how can you expect to be accepted, but in the Be- 
loved ;^ and that the holy God should be well pleas- 
ed with you who are unholy creatures, but in and 
through a Mediator ? It is by his Son that God does 
in these last days ^ speak to us, and it is by him that 
we are to speak to God ; so that we cannot with any 
confidence approach to God, nor have any comfort- 



s Eph. iii. 15. r Rom. il. 35. i Ps. Izziil. 28. a 2 Cor. v. 9. 



able communion with him, out of Christ. If we 
neglect him, we come without our errand, and shall 
be sent away without an answer. 

(4.) It is strange, that any who are in care about 
their souls and another world, should forget Christ, 
and leave him out of their religion. Brethren, you 
see yourselves dying daily, death is working in you ; 
and you know that after death is a judgment, which 
will fix you in an unchangeable state of happiness 
or misery in perfection ; yon are standing upon the 
brink of an awful eternity, and are just ready to step 
in ; now how can you hope to escape everlasting 
misery, much less to obtain everlasting happiness, 
unless you secure your interest in, and keep up your 
correspondence with, him, to whom all judgment is 
committed, who has the keys of hell and death in 
his hand, and is himself the resurrection and the 
life ? Are we not concerned still to make mention 
of him, to whom the Father has given power over all 
flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as 
were given him,<i and who opens the kingdom of 
heaven to all believers. How dare we venture into 
another world, withoutbeing fixed on this foundation ? 
Were our eyes opened, and our consciences duly 
awakened, the very thoughts of dying and going to 
judgment, would make such a terror to ourselves, as 
nothing could relieve us against, but a believing 
sight of Christ sitting at the right hand of God, ready 
to receive the souls that are in sincerity committed 
to him, to redeem them from the power of the grave, 
and to present them to his Father. 

3. Let us all make it to appear in all our devo- 
tions, and in our whole conversation, that we not 
only believe in God, but that we believe also in Jesus 
Christ. Let our spirits be purely Christian ; leaven- 
ed with the gospel of Christ, and partaking of its 
relish and savour ; delivered into it as into a mould, 
receiving its shape and impression, and in every 
thing conforming ourselves to it The poor are said 
to receive the gospel f they are itMi77«X4^ovrfli — evan- 
gelized, so the word is. What will it avail us in the 
gospel, to behold as in a glass the glory of the Lord, 
unless we be changed into the same image, and re- 
flect that light which shines upon us, so that all who 
converse with us, may take knowledge of us, that we 
have been with Jesus,^ and that he dwells in our' 
hearts by faith. 

Let Christ be our plea for the pardon of sin, the 
plea we always put in, and firmly rely upon ; let us 
never expect redemption but through his blood, even 
the forgiveness of our sins ; therefore we hope it is 
God who does and will justify, because it is Christ 
that died, yea rather that is risen again ; and there- 
fore we hope he will be our advocate with the Fa- 
ther, and a righteous, gracious advocate for us, 
because he is the propitiation for out sins. Let us 

b Eph i. 6. c Heb. i. i. d John xvii. 3. « Matt. xi. 5. f Acteiv. 13. 



PROM FAITH IN GOD. 



7»7 



make him oar plea, and he will himself be our 
pleader. 

Let Christ be our peace, and onr peace-maker. 
When oar consciences are offended and quarrel with 
us, when our hearts reproach us, and are ready to 
coDdemn us ; let the blood of Christ, by which we 
are reconciled to God, be effectual to reconcile us 
to ourselves, and let nothing else avail, or be ad- 
mitted to do it What satisfied God, let that, and 
that only, satisfy us ; and let that pacify our con- 
sciences which will also purify them. Let him also 
be oar peace among ourselves. Let all good Chris- 
tians, however differing in other things, be one in 
kim, as he has prayed they may be : and let him who 
is the centre of their unity, be the powerful cement 
of their affections. 

Let Christ be our prophet, and by him let us ask 
coansel of the Lord, Lord, what wilt thou have me to 
do J* Let him be our oracle, and by him let us be 
determined ; let the mind of Christ be our mind in 
every thing, and in order to it let his word dwell 
richly in us.** 

Let Christ be our priest, and into his hand let us 
pat all our services, all our spiritual sacrifices, to be 
offered up to God, because through him only they 
are acceptable.* By this name let us ever know him, 
let as ever own him. The Lord our right coutness.^ 

Let Christ be our pattern ; let our spirits be re- 
newed in conformity to his death and resurrection, 
and let as be so planted together in the likeness* of 
both, that it may be truly said, Christ is formed in 
us," Christ lives in us,° and we are the epistles of 
Christ.* Let onr whole conversation be governed 
in conformity to his example, which he has left us 
on porpose tiiat we might follow his steps.p Let us 
so bear about with us continually the dying of the 
Ix>rd Jesus, as that the life also of Jesus may be 
manifested in our mortal hody,^ 

Let Christ be the beloved of our soul, and let us 
make it appear that he is so, by our delight in his 



f Acts ix. e. 

k Jcr. xziii. 6. 
■ Gal. iL sa 



b Col. iil. 16. 
1 Rom. vi. 5. 
» 2 Cor. iii. 3. 



i 1 Pet U. 5. 
m Gal. iv. 19. 
P 1 Pet 11. 21. 



presence, onr grief for his withdrawings, our con- 
stant care to please him, and fear to offend him, and 
our diligence to approve ourselves to him, as one we 
esteem and love. Let us have such a constant 
regard to him, to his will as our rule, and to his 
glory as our end, that we may truly say. To us to 
live is Christ,' and to us living and dying he is gain. 

Let Christ be our hope, let him be our joy ; and 
let us make it to appear he is so, by such a holy 
cheerfulness of spirit, as will be a continual feast 
to us. Let us see, let us find, enough in Christ to 
silence all onr fears, and to balance all our griefs, 
and so to keep us always calm and easy. Do we 
believe in God ? Do we believe also in Jesus Christ? 
Then let not our hearts be troubled, whatever hap- 
pens to us, but let us be kept in perfect peace.' 

Let Christ be our crown of glory,' and our diadem 
of beauty ; let us value ourselves by our interest in 
him, and relation to him. At his feet let all our 
crowns be cast ; let boasting in ourselves be for ever 
excluded, and let him that glories glory in the Lord, 
in the Lord Jesus. 

Let Christ be our heaven ; let us reckon it one of 
the chief joys of glorified saints in the other world, 
that they are gathered to Christ" there, they see his 
glory ,^ and share in it, they sit with him at his table, 
sit with him on his throne. And let us therefore not 
only be willing to die when God calls us, but be 
desirous to depart and to be with Christ,^ to be to- 
gether for ever vrith him, which will be best of all. 

To conclude. Let that be the language of our 
settled judgments, which a learned and religious 
gentleman of the last age took for his motto, wrote 
in his books, contrived to have continually before 
him, and ordered to be engraven in the rings given 
at his funeral ; '* Christ is a Christian's all."* 
And let that be the language of our pious affection, 
with which one of the martyrs triumphed in the 
flames; *' None but Christ, none but Christ.'' 



4 2 Cor. iv. 10. 
c laa. izvllL 5. 
w Phil. 1. 23. 



r Phil. 1. 21. I ba. xxvi. 3. 

n 2The8B. 11. I. T John xvii. 24. 
• Judge Warbuiton. 



A SERMON, 



CONCERNING THE 



FORGIVENESS OF SIN AS A DEBT, 



PREACHED IN LONDON, JUNE Ist, 1711, 



Matt. vi. 12. And forgive tu our debti, 

COMPARED VITB 

Luke XI. 4. And forgive vs our sins. 

From this petition in the Lord's prayer, thas dif- 
ferently expressed by the two evangelists, we may 
easily observe, (for prayer may preach, this prayer 
preaches,) 

I. That sin is a debt to God Almighty ; nay, it 
becomes us to express it with application, (for, so 
such truths as these look best,XO«r sins are our debts. 

II. That the pardon of sin is the forgiveness of 
this debt, and the discharge of the debtor from it : 
and as the former must be thought of with a peni- 
tent application, confessing and bewailing our sins, 
as our debts, so this with a believing application. 
This is a pririlege offered to us in the gospel : O that 
we might partaiie of it ! 

Repentance and remission of sins, are the two 
great things which ministers are appointed to preach, 
in Christ's name, to all nations ; and which Christ 
is himself exalted to the right band of the Father to 
give,* else our preaching them would be in vain. I 
am here this day to preach them, depending upon 
divine grace to give them ; as an ambassador for 
Christ, to beseech you, by repentance for sin, to be 
reconciled to God,^ th^ by the remission of sin he 
may be reconciled to you. Brethren, these are 
matters of life and death, matters of everlasting con- 
cern ; and therefore challenge your serious atten- 
tion. 

Many of you have a prospect of drawing nigh to 
the Lord, and having communion with him at his 
table : and what better service can I do you, than 
to assist your repentance in your preparations for 
that ordinance, and to assure you of pardon, upon 



repentance, in your attendance upon it? To show 
you sin, that in reflection upon it you may sow in 
tears ; and to show you Christ, that in dependence 
on him you may reap in joy,^ and by him may have 
your tears wiped away. 

This similitude, which represents sin as a debt, 
and the pardon of sin as the forgiving of that debt, 
our Saviour often used : and it is a proper one, and 
very significant, and I hope by the blessing of God 
may be of use both to let us into the understanding 
of this great concern, and to affect us with it 

I. The sins we are to repent of are our debts to 
God. 

There is a debt to God, which arises from the 
command of the law, and we do not pray to be dis- 
charged from that: a debt of duty, which we always 
owe, and must be always paying in the strength of 
his grace ; a yoke so easy, that we cannot desire to 
be eased of it ; a service so reasonable, as that, if we 
understand ourselves aright, we cannot but be rea- 
soned into it. 

We are debtors^ not to the fiesh^ says the apostle ; 
we are under no obligation to serve it and please it, 
and make provision for it ; which intimates that we 
are debtors to God : that which is said to be our 
duty to do,* is o w^cXo/icv woifioatf that which we owe 
the doing of. We owe adoration to God, as a Being 
infinitely bright, and blessed, and glorious. We owe 
allegiance to him as our Sovereign Lord and Ruler. 
We are bound in honour and duty, in gratitude and 
interest, to observe his statutes, and to keep his laws ; 
are bound by all the relations we stand in to him as 
our Creator, Owner, and Benefactor, to love and 
fear him, and under the influence of those two com- 
manding principles, to serve and obey him : and we 
must reckon it our happiness, that we arc thas 
obliged, and labour to be more and more sensible of 
the obligations. The loosing of our other bonds 



a Luke xxiv. 47. Acts ▼. 31. 



b S Cor. V. 90. 



c Ps. cxxvl. 5, 6. 



d Rom. viii. 13. 



• Lxike xvii. 10. 



A SERMON ON FORGIVENESS OF SIN. 



•78^ 



strengthens these ; so the Psalmist thoaght, when 
in consideration thereof he said, O Lord, truly lam 
tiff servanif I am thy servtmif for thoa hast loosed my 

There is likewise a debt we owe to one another, 
vhich we must not pray to be discharged from, but 
alirajs liept under the bonds of, and that is, bro- 
therly love. When we are commanded to render to 
all their dae, so as to owe no man any thing ; yet 
¥e are told we most still owe this, to love one an- 
others which when we do we pay a just debt, and 
jet must still abound more and more.^ 

There isadebt to God, which arises from the curse 
and condemnation of the law, which we are fallen 
vnder, by our breach of the command of the law ; 
aod this is that which we here pray to be discharged 
from: the debt of punishment, that death which we 
are told is the wages of tin,^ It is a penal bond, by 
vhich we are obliged to our dnty ; so that for non- 
performance of the duty we become liable to the 
penalty: and thus our sins are our debts ; and being 
all sinners, we are all debtors. Know then that the 
Lord has a controversy ^ with you, an action against 
ym, an action of debt, wherein — ^in his name— I 
here arrest yon all, pursuant to the great intention 
of the Spirit, which is to convince the world of sin,^ 
to charge men with a debt to God, and to prove it 
opon them. 

In prosecution of this, I shall endeavour to show, 

1. How we come to be in debt to God, how this 
debt is contracted, and what is the g^ond of the 
action. That I may keep to the comparison, not 
forcing it, but fairly following it, you shall see that 
ve ran in debt to God, as the children of men run 
in debt to one another. 

(I.) We are in debt to God, as a servant u indebt-- 
td to kis master, when he has neglected his business, 
ud wasted or embezzled his goods. Our Saviour 
represents our case like that of a servant to a king, 
vho when he came to be reckoned with, (probably 
tbe revenues of the crown passing through his hands,) 
vas foand in debt to the king his master ten tkou^ 
<W telents ;■ and that of a steward who was accused 
hkis lord thai he had wasted his goods,* either through 
^oth and negligence, not taking the care and pains 
^^t them, that by the duty of his place he ought to 
bve done ; or through dishonesty, converting them 
to other uses than they were intended for, and serv- 
iD*: himself with them. 

We are servants to God, and have work to do for 
^ advancing of the interest of his glory and king- 
dtimin the world, and incur own hearts. This work 
is Qodone ; we have stood all the day idle, and have 
done nothing, or next to nothing, of the great work 
ve were sent into the world about ; nothing to answer 



f P». cxTt la. 

I Bom. Ti. 13. 
a MaU. xTlii. M. 



ff RoiD.xUI.8. 

k Mic. vf. % 

a Luke %fi, 1. 



h 1 TheBB. iv. I. 

1 John xvl. 1. 

• Matt. sxT. 26, 30. 



the ends of our creation and redemption, and in pur- 
suance of the intentions of our birth and baptism ; 
and so we become to be in debt, and deserve, not 
only to have our wages stopt, but to lie under the 
doom of the unprofitable servant, who is therefore 
called wiched, because slothful.* 

We have been intrusted with talents,? which were 
put into our hands with this charge, trade till I come; 
make use of them in your Master's senrice, and for 
his honour: but we have not improved these talents 
for the end for which we have been intrusted with 
them, we have hid our Lord's money, have buried 
our talent, and so we come to be indebted. Time is 
a talent, it ought to have been filled up with doty ; 
but we have mispent it, and trified it away, and have 
not done the work of each day in its day, according 
as the duty of the day required : we are therefore so 
much in debt for lost time, time that can never be 
recalled. Opportunity is a talent, time fitted for 
the doing of that which will not be done at all, or 
not so well done another time. The time of youth, 
sabbath-time, the seasons of grace-— the minutes of 
these are in a particular manner precious ; but we 
have not improved these; we have received the 
grace of God in them in vain, have had many a 
price put into our hands to get wisdom,^ which for want 
of a heart, a heart at the right hand, for want of skill, 
and will, and courage, we have not made the right 
use of. Our reason is a talent, with all its powers 
and faculties, which should have been employed in 
honouring God, but has been so wretchedly misem- 
ployed, that the world hy wisdom (reason doing its 
best, as it thought) hnew not God, Our limbs and 
senses, our bodily health and strength, are talents ; 
for it is designed we should glorify God with our 
bodies i' but the members of our bodies have been 
instruments of unrighteousness * to his dishonour ; 
and for this abuse of them we are indebted. What 
estate we have in the world, what interest we have 
in others, or influence upon them, is a talent, puts 
us in a capacity of serving God, and doing good. 
But have we done so ? No, we have all come short, 
far short of the glory of God, have come short of 
glorifying him, and therefore deserve to come short 
of being glorified with him.* 

We are stewards of the manifold grace of God :" 
a good stewardship it is, an honourable place, and 
very profitable. But have we been good stewards? 
It is required of stewards that they he faithful f but 
when instead of living to God, and doing all to his 
glory, we live to ourselves,^ eat and drink to our- 
selves, when self in every thing must be gratified, 
and self glorified, and our own things sought more 
than the things of Christ,' then, like unfaithful stew- 
ards, we convert that to our own use which should 



P Luke six. 13. 
• Rom. Ti. 10. 
» I Cor. iv. a. 



q ProT, xvii. 16. 
t Rom. lii. 23. 
V Zech. vii. 6. 



r 1 Cor. vi. SO. 
n 1 Pet. iv. 10. 
« Phil. ii. ai. 



702 



FAITH IN CHRIST INFERRED 



dtty,p So that, in short, if we believe that there is 
such a thing as a divine revelation, that God has 
made a discovery of himself, and of his will and grace, 
to the children of men, we must believe the gospel, 
and the testimony it bears, God has sent his son into 
the world f not to condemn the worlds but that the world 
through him might have righteoasness and life. 

5. If we rightly apprehend how matters stand be- 
tween God and man since the fall, as those must do 
who believe in God, who believe his holiness and 
justice, and his relations to man, we shall readily 
receive the notice which the gospel gives us of a 
Mediator between God and man ; not only because 
we shall soon perceive how desirable it is that there 
should be such a Mediator, (and we are easily 
brought to believe what is for our honour and ad- 
vantage, quod volumus facile credimus—^what we wish 
we easily believe^) but because we shall perceive, 
likewise, how probable it is that a God of infinite 
grace and mercy should appoint such a Mediator, 
and make him known to us. It is a great confirm- 
ation of the truth of the Christian religion, that it 
not only agrees with, and is a ratification of, the 
principles and laws of natural religion, and is an 
improvement and advancement of them, but that it 
supplies the deficiencies of it ; it takes us up and 
helps us out, where that fails us and leaves us at a 
loss. So that if we make just reflections upon our- 
selves, and our own case as it appears to us by the 
light of nature, there cannot but be a disposition in^ 
us to receive and embrace the gospel, and to enter- 
tain it not only as a faithful saying, but as well 
worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came 
into the world to save sinners. If wc rightly believe 
in God, and withal rightly understand ourselves, 
we cannot but perceive our case to be such as calls 
for the interposition of a Mediator between us and 
God ; and we are undone if there be no such a one; 
and we will therefore cheerfully receive him. 

(I.) We cannot but perceive that man has in a 
great measure lost the knowledge of God, and there- 
fore should gladly believe in him who has revealed 
him to us. It is certainly the greatest satisfaction 
and best entertainment to our intellectual powers, 
to know God the author and felicity of our beings. 
The understanding of man cannot rest short of this 
knowledge ; but we find that by the entrance of sin, 
our understandings are darkened,*! and the children 
of men are generally alienated from the divine light 
and life, through the ignorance that is in them, be- 
cause of the blindness of their heart : The world by 
wisdom hnew not God/ and the things of God SLte fool- 
ishness to the natural man.* Are we sensible of this 
as our misery, that we cannot by any researches of 
our own come to such a knowledge of God, as is 
necessary to our communion with him ? If we are 



P Acts ziif. 37. 
■ 1 Cot. ii. 94. 



q Eph. i. 1& 
t I John i. la. 



T 1 Cor. i. 31. 
a John i. 0. 



so, we shall readily embrace Christ as a prophet, 
who having lain in the bosom of the Father from 
eternity, has declared him < to the children of men, 
and has brought into this dark world the light of 
the knowledge of this glory, with such convincing 
evidences of a divine truth, and such endearing in- 
stances of a divine grace and love in this light, as 
are abundantly suflRcient both to captivate the un- 
derstanding and engage the afiections. This is the 
true light, which is sufficient to (t^Af^n every man thai 
Cometh into this world^^ and to direct him through it 
to a better world. And shall we not open our eyes 
to such a light? Can we be such strangers, such 
enemies, to ourselves, and our own interests, as to 
love darkness rather than this light ? " 

(2.) We cannot but perceive, that there is an in- 
finite distance between God and man, and therefore 
should gladly believe in one, in whose person the 
divine and human natures are wonderfully united. 
Tib light of nature shows us the glory of a God 
abov^ us ; as heaven is high above the earthy so are 
his thoughts and ways above ours: whence we are 
tempted to infer, that there is no having any com- 
munion with him, that he is not conversable with 
us, and that we cannot expect that he should take 
any cognizance of us. Shall we not therefore wel- 
come the tidings of a Mediator between Qod and 
man, even the Man Christ Jesus ? Shall we not be 
glad to hoar, that this God above us is, in Christ, 
Immanuel, God with u«,* God in our nature, God 
manifested in t/ie flesh ; the Eternal Word incarnate, 
which will facilitate our communion with God, and 
represent it to us as a thing possible ? When we look 
upon God as the almighty Creator and Sovereign of 
the world, a being of infinite perfection and blessed- 
ness, we are tempted to say. Will this God in very 
deed dwell with men, with mean and sinful worms, 
on the earth ? But when we look upon the Son of 
God clothed with a body, and visiting in g^eat hu- 
mility this remote comer of the universe, which God 
has let out to the children of men, as a vineyard to 
unthankful husbandmen, we are encouraged to 
say with triumph. Behold the tabernacle of God is 
with men, and his sanctuary in the midst of them for 
evermore,^ We are quite lost in our thoughts, when 
we come to meditate seriously on the divine perfec- 
tions, for they are an unfathomable depth, which we 
cannot find out, concerning which we cannot order 
our speech by reason of darkness ; If a man speah, 
surely he shall be swallowed up :' but when we come 
with an eye of faith to see the Father in Christ, who 
is both God and man, and are brought by faith to 
Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and through 
him to God the Judge of all,' this makes his glory 
the more intelligible, (he that hath seen me, says 
Christ, hath seen the Father,) his example the more 

T John ill. 19. w Blatt. i. 3a > Ezek. xxxvii. 38, -27. 
T Job xxzvil. 30. « Heb. z.ii. 33, m. 



FORGIVENESS OF SIN. 



601 



life, and come to ask, What honour and what dignity 
kctk been done ^ to oar great Benefactor for all this ; 
we find oar returns of doty and thankfulness no way 
answerable to oar receivings of mercy, and so we 
become to be in debt 

This debt is still the greater, in that we have 
made not only poor returns, bot ill returns, to the 
God of our mercies : he has nourished and brought 
ns up as children, and yet we have rebelled against 
bim ; > he has loaded us with benefits, and yet we 
bave loaded him with our iniquities : thus have we 
requited the Lord, like foolish people and unwise."* 
Mach of our debt is contracted by the most base in- 
i;Tatitade imaginable to the best of friends, the best 
of fathers ; and if you call a man ungrateful, you 
can call him no worse. 

(4.) Oar debt to God is, a$ the debt of a trespasser 
to him upon whom he has trespassed. Our sins, which 
are here in the Lord's prayer called, ovr debts, in the 
verses following are called wapairrwfuira— our tres- 
passes," and thence we commonly use that word, in 
repeating the Lord's prayer. An action of damage 
dilTersi not much from an action of debt, and this ac- 
tion lies against us as sinners. 

We have broken through the fences and bounds 
which God by his commands has set us, and by 
vhich our appetites and passions should have been 
restrained and kept within compass ; and so we are 
trespassers in debt to God, for trampling his law 
under foot, and his authority, as if we were resolved 
to be like our forefathers at Babel, from whom 
nothing would be restrained that they imagined to do.^ 

Nay, we have broken in upon God's rights, have 
invaded bis prerogatives, by taking that praise to 
ourselves which is due to him only. We have gone 
upon forbidden ground, and like our first parents 
have eaten the fruit of the forbidden tree, by enrich- 
ing ourselves with unlawful gains, and indulging 
ourselves in unlawful pleasures, meddling with that 
of which the Lord our God has said. Ye shall not 
ent of it, 9 neither shall ye touch it. By presuming on 
comforts which we were not entitled to, we become 
trespassers ; as he was that intruded into the wed- 
ding'feast, not having on a wedding-garment: 
Friend, how earnest thou hither .^ 

By those trespasses upon the divine authority, we 
have injured God, have injured him in his honour. 
(And the creature cannot otherwise be injurious to 
the Creator but in his honour ; If thou sinnest, what 
dost tkoM against kirn?)' By this, we are indebted 
to bim ; satisfaction is demanded for the injury : 
for Shall a man rob God,* and never be called to an 
ac<^fMintfor it? trespass upon him, impeach his ho- 
nour, and invade his property, and never hear of it? 

(6.) Oar debt to God is as the debt of a covenant 



k Est. vi. 3. I IHL 1. 3. 

« Matt Ti. 15. 
r Gen. ii. 7. 

3 F 



m Deat zxxii. 0. 
o Gen. zi. 6. 
q Matt, xxii 12. 



breaker, who entered into articles, and gave bond for 
performance, but has not made good his agreement, 
and so has forfeited the penalty of the bond, which 
is recoverable as far as the damage goes, by the 
non-performance of the articles. An oath is called 
a " Bond upon the soul," because it was commonly 
made with an imprecation of evil, if the promise 
was not performed ; so that he who broke his pro- 
mise so ratified, could not but feel himself under 
the burthen of his own curse. 

This is our case ; we are bound out from all sin, 
and bound up to all duty, not only by the bond of 
a command, but by the bond of a covenant, to which 
we have ourselves subscribed with the hand; we 
have by solemn promise engaged ourselves to be the 
Lord's, to walk in his ways, and to keep his statutes ;* 
our baptism was an early and lasting obligation 
upon us to be religious : but we have broken our 
covenant with God, have violated our engagements, 
and thereby have not only forfeited the blessings of 
the covenant, but made ourselves obnoxious to the 
curses of it ; and so we are in debt to God, as they 
were who transgressed the covenant which they made 
before God when they cut the calf in twain ," wish- 
ing that they might so be cut asunder, if they did 
not deal faithfully. This is assigned as the ground 
of God's controversy with the world of mankind, 
and for which they are all laid under the arrest of 
his curse ; they have changed the ordinance, and bro- 
hen the everlasting covenant, therefore hath the curse 
devoured the earth,'' 

(6.) Our debt to God is as the debt of a malefactor, 
to the law and to the government, when he is found 
guilty of treason or felony, and consequently the law 
is to have its course against him. And this is the 
most proper notion of the debt of sin ; for though 
our Saviour in his parables alludes to money-debts, 
yet the case between God and man is not as that 
between debtor and creditor in commerce : for God 
is our Sovereign, and we are his subjects ; he is our 
Law-giver, and we are bound by his laws. The pri- 
mary obligation is the command of the law, *to obey 
that; which if we fail in, we fail under a secondary 
obligation to the curse of the law ; and therefore as 
many as being sinners are under the law, are under 
the curse, for so it is written, Cursed is every one, that 
continues not in every thing that is written in the booh 
of the law to do it.^ But God knows, and our own 
hearts know, that we have not continued, no not in 
any thing ; we are all guilty before God,' subject to 
his judgment. The Scripture hath concluded us all 
under sin ; shuts us up as debtors and criminals are 
shut up in prison, that the law may have its course. 

Wc have all broken the commands of the law, 
and so are become liable to the sentence of it. The 



T Job xxxT. e. • Mai. 
« Jcr. xxxiv. 18. 
w Gal. iii. lo. 



iit. 8. t Deut. xxvl. 17. 
V Isa. xxlv. % A. 
X Rom. Iii. 19. 



802 



A SERMON ON 



soul that tins shall die;* shall die, as a soul can die; 
shall be made completely miserable. Our blessed- 
ness is forfeited, as the life, honour, and estate of a 
traitor is to the public justice, to which he is thus 
to make the uttermost satisfaction he is capable of 
making: the case is ours, and a deplorable case it 
is. As the corruption of our nature makes us odious 
to God's holiness, so our many actual transgressions 
make us obnoxious to his justice ; and thus we are 
debtors to him. 

(7.) To make the matter yet worse, there is a debt 
we owe to God, which is as a debt of an heir^t-law 
upon his ancestor's account^ of a son who is liable 
to his father's debts, as far as what he has by descent 
will go, and as far as he has any assets in his hand. 
By Adam's disobedience we were all made sinners,* 
were all made debtors ; and laid under this charge* 
That we are a seed of evil doers. 

The human nature comes to us by descent from 
our first parents, and it comes to us not only dis- 
tempered but attainted by law ; as the blood of a 
traitor is corrupted by his attainder. When those 
are under the dominion of death who yet never 
sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression,^ 
and God visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the 
children, we must own ourselves indebted on the 
score of those who are gone before us. 

(8.) There are debts of ours, likewise, which are 
as the debt of a surety upon account of the principal, 
I mean the guilt we have contracted by our partak- 
ing of other men's sins,' and making ourselves 
accessary to them, as if we had not had guilt enough 
of our own to answer for. 

We have, by the influence of our example, by 
advice or encouragement, by contributing to their 
temptations, or exciting their corruptions, or by a 
consent' and approbation ex post facto— ^fter the 
deed has been done, made ourselves partners with 
others in sin, and have had fellowship with the un- 
fruitful worhs of darhnesSf which we should rather 
have reproved; and so must answer not only for our 
doings,' but for the fruit of our doings. 

Having opened to you the several ways how we 
come into this debt to God, let us next inquire, what 
kind of debt sin is. 

(1.) It is an old debt, it is an early, nay, it is an 
hereditary, encumbrance upon our nature. The foun- 
dation of this debt was laid in Adam's sin, we are 
in debt for the forbidden fruit he ate, so high does 
the account begin, and so far back does it look. 
We were bom in debt, were called, and not mis- 
called, Transgressors from the womb,^ debtors from 
the womb ; we began betimes to go astray from God, 
and so to run further and further into debt : it has 
been long in the contracting, and continual additions 
have been made to it, by renewed acts of rebellion 

s Ezra xvili. 4. & Rom. v. 19. b Rom. ?. 14. c i Tim. v. 32. 
d Isa. xWiil. s. * Job xiii. 26. f Jer. xxxi. IB. 



against God. Job when he is old is made to possess 
the iniquities of his youth, and Ephraim heart the 
reproach of his youth, ^ And how earnestly does 
David pray, O remember not the sins of my youth J 

(2.) It is B.just debt, and the demand of it highly 
equitable. We cannot say that we are charged with 
more than is meet ;^ no, how high soever the penalty 
is with which we are loaded, certainly it is less than 
our iniquities have deserved.* It is divine justice, 
the eternal rule and fountain of justice, tliat charges 
us with this debt, and brings this action against us ; 
and we are sure that the judgment of God is accord- 
ing to truth ; nor is he unrighteous who takes ven- 
geance.^ 

(3.) It is a great debt, more than we imagine. It 
is represented by our Saviour as a debt of ten thou- 
sand talents.* In the computation of money, a 
talent is the highest denomination, it amounts to 
above 187 pounds of our money ; multiply that by 
ten thousand, and what an immense sum does it 
come to. This is designed to show us what a great 
deal of malignity there is in every sin, how heinous 
it is in its own nature, it runs us a talent in debt ; 
and withal how numerous our sins are, how many, 
how very many, our actual transgressions, they are 
ten thousands, more than the hairs on our heads. 
Well might the master say to that servant, when be 
upbraided him with his pardon, / forgave thee thai 
great debt, 

(4.) It \B a growing debt; a debt we are still adding 
to, as a tenant who is behind of his rent, every rent* 
stage makes the debt more : till we return by repent- 
ance, wn are still running further upjn the s<K>re ; 
still taking up upon trust, and treasuring up unto 
ourselves guilt and wrath against the day of wiatb.™ 

3. Having seen what kind of debt sin is, let us 
next see what kind of debtors sinners commonly 
are ; and we shall find them like other unfortunate 
debtors, that are going down in the world, and bave 
no way to help themselves. 

(1.) Bad debtors are oftentimes very careless and 
unconcerned about their debts ; when they are so 
embarrassed and plunged that they cannot hear the 
thought of it, they contrive how to banish the thought 
of it, and live merry and secure ; to laugh away, and 
drink away, and revel away the care and sorrow of 
it. Thus sinners deal with their convictions, tbey 
divert them with the^ business of the world, or drown 
them in the pleasures of sense. Cain endeavonred 
to shake off the terrors of conscience, by building a 
city." It was once said of one who died over head 
and ears in debt, " Surely his pillow had some ex- 
traordinary virtue in it to dispose a man to rest, else 
one in that condition could not repose himself upon 
it." One would wonder what pillows sinners lay 
their heads on, who have been so long in debt, who 



r Ps. XXV. 7. h Job xxxiv. 83. i Job xi. 6. k Rom. ii. 2, a, s^ 
1 Matt, xviii. 94. m Rom. ii. 5. » Gen. iv. 17. 



FORGIVENESS OF SIN. 



803 



are so deep in debt to the jastice of God, and never 
Jaj it to heart, nor inquire into the things which be- 
long to their peace. O what mnltitudcs of precious 
soals are lost, and perish for ever, through mere care- 
lessness ! 

(2.) Bad debtors are commonly very wasteful^ and 
when they find they are in debt more than they can 
pay, care not bow much further they run into debt. 
How extravagant are sinners in spending upon their 
lasts! What waste do they make of their time and 
opportunity, and of the noble powers and faculties 
with which they are endued ! like the prodigal son, 
irho, when he was run away from his father's house 
into a far country, there wasted his substance with 
riotoQS living. So true is that of Solomon, One ein- 
ntr destroys much good^** with which he might honour 
God, and do service to his generation; and runs 
tfaroDgb » great deal of valuable treasure. 

(3.) Bad debtors are commonly very shy of their 
creditors, and very loth to come to an account Thus 
sinners care not how little they come into the pre- 
sence of God, but rather say to the Almighty, Depart 
from Ks ; they take no pleasure in hearing from him, 
in speaking to him, or in having any thing to do 
with him ; they desire not the knowledge of his good 
ways, lest thereby they should come to the sight of 
their own evil ways. They are shy of communion with 
their own hearts, and looking into their consciences, 
becaase they are not willing to know the worst 
by themselves. God hearkens and hears, but they 
speak not aright ;' they do not take the first step 
toward repentance and conversion, for they make 
no serious reflections upon themselves, they never 
ask. What have I done ? But the case of those trades- 
men is justly suspected, who are strangers to their 
hooks, and are afraid of knowing what posture their 
affairs are in. 

(4.) Bad debtors are sometimes timorous ; and 
tboogh they strive to cast off all care about their 
debts, yet, when they are threatened, their hearts 
fail them, they are subject to frights, and are ready 
to think every one they meet is a bailiff. Thus sin- 
ners carry about with them a misgiving conscience, 
vhich often reproaches them, and fills them with 
secret terrors, and a bitterness which their own heart 
only knows. When Cain was under an arrest for 
that threat debt he contracted by the murder of his 
brother, what a terror was he to himself, crying out, 
My punishment i» greater than lean bear,'^ though it 
was much less than he deserved. When Herod 
heard of Christ's miracles, he presently cried out, 
his John the Baptist whom I beheaded, he is certainly 
risen from the dead. The wicked are sometimes 
made to flee where no fear is, much more where there 
is fear. 
(d.) Bad debtors are apt to be dilatory and deceit- 



o EccL Ijl 18. 
rHag.i. a. 



p Jer. viii. & 

• Matt zvill. 29. 

3 p2 



q Oen. ir. 13. 
t Ps. 1. 31. 



/«/, to promise payment this time and the other, but 
still to break their word, and beg a further delay. 
It is so with sinners ; they do not say they will never 
repent, and return to God, but not yet: The time is 
not come, the time that the Lord's house should be built,' 
but they will assure you, that some time or other it 
shall be built They are called to come to an ac- 
count with their own consciences, to search and try 
their ways ; and they are forward to promise that 
they will do it ; nay, they will set the time when 
they will do it The servant that owed ten thousand 
talents thought he needed not be beholden to his 
master for a pardon of the debt, only he begged for- 
bearance : Have patience with me and I will pay thee 
all,* They shake off their convictions, and elude 
them, by shifting off the prosecution of them, like 
Felix, to a more convenient season, which season 
never comes ; and so they are cozened of all their 
time, by being cozened of the present time. 

4. To affect you the more with the misery of an 
impenitent, unpardoned state, having showed you 
what your debt is, I shall next lay before you the 
danger we are in by reason of this debt Many who 
owe a great deal of money, yet are furnished with 
considerations sufficient to make them easy, but they 
are such as our case will not admit. 

(1.) Anexact account is kept of all our debts. Some 
who are in debt please themselves with hopes that 
their debts cannot be proved upon them, and so they 
shall escape harm by them : but this will do us no 
service ; all our sins will be proved upon us. These 
things thou hast done ;* it is in vi^in to deny it, or to 
avoid the action by pleading Non estfactutn — It is 
not thy deed. If the debtor keep not an account of 
his debts, yet the creditor does ; they are all booked, 
all kept on record, laid up in store with God, and 
sealed among his treasures.** Job speaks of his 
transgressions as sewed up in a bag,* as the indict- 
ments are upon which the prisoners are to be arraign- 
ed ; or, as bonds and notes are carefully tied up 
together to be produced when there is occasion. It 
will be to no purpose to contest the account, when 
the omniscience of God will attest it. Went not my 
heart with thee ?^ says the prophet to his servant. 
Was not God's eye upon us, when our backs were 
upon him, and we were running from him into by- 
paths ? Were not all our ways, our sinful ways, ever 
before him ? They were, without doubt they were ; 
but therefore sinners are secure, and see not their 
danger, because (says God) they consider not in 
their heart that I retnember all their wickedness,^ But 
consider this, ye who forget God,r and his goodness, 
that God does not forget you and your wickedness. 
Our sins are never cast behind his backy till we have 
set them before our faces, 

(3.) We are utterly insolvent, and have not where- 



a Dent xxadi. 34. 
s Hoft vii. 8. 



Job It. 17. 



V 2 Kings ▼. 2& 
7 Pa. 1. 22. 



804 



A SERMON ON 



withal to pay our debts. If a man be mach in debt, 
yet if he knows be has wherewithal to answer all his 
creditors, he needs not mach perplex himself, especi- 
ally, if he can discount with his creditors themselyes : 
and there are those who flatter themseWes with a 
conceit, that this will help them in their dealing 
with God. For being ignorant of his righteoasness, 
of the strictness of the demands of his justice, they 
go about to establish a righteousness ■ of their own, 
and are willing to hope that their good qualities, 
and their good deeds, will atone for their bad ones, 
and be a competent satisfaction to the demands of 
divine justice. Thus it is common for foolish debtors 
to talk big, as if they had wherewithal to give every 
body their own, and nobody should lose by them, 
when, perhaps, their all is nothing, or next to no- 
thing. Laodicea thought herself rich and increased 
in goods, when she was wretchedly and miserably 
poor and naked,* but withal blind, and would not 
see. 

But what good will it do us thus to deceive our- 
selves ? Can the all-seeing God be deceived ? It is 
certain we owe more than we are worth ; whether 
our debt be more or less, five hundred pence, or 
fifty, we are not able to pay it.'* We cannot plead 
that we have, by any 3ervices to God, or sufferings 
for him, made satisfaction for any part of our debts ; 
nor can we promise that we will ; for whatever good 
there is in us, it is God's own gift, it is his own 
work, for which we are yet more indebted to him. 
Whatever good is done by us, it is what we are 
already bound to. And though a tenant should pay 
his rent for the future, yet that will not discharge 
his old scores. We are become bankrupts, must own 
ourselves so, and for ever undone, if the debt we 
owe be exacted ; for if God enter into judgment 
with us, and deal with us in strict justice according 
to our deserts, we are not able to answer him for one 
of a thousand ,^ In thy sight. Lord, shall no flesh living 
be justified. We have no oil to sell, as the prophet's 
widow had, wherewith to pay our debt ; no equiva- 
lent to offer, nor any thing wherewith to make a 
composition. We are debtors to God, but he is no 
debtor to us, nor is he ever behind-hand with those 
who do any service for him : none has first given to 
him, that it should be recompensed to him again, 
Rom. xi. 36. There were those indeed who thought 
they had made God their debtor by their devotions. 
Wherefore have we fasted, say Mey , and thou seest not V^ 
But when the matter comes to be looked into, it ap- 
pears that they are debtors to God, by reason of the 
wickedness of their conversations : Ye fast for strife 
and debate. 

(3.) We have no friend on earth who can or will 
pass his word for us, or be our bail. Many poor 
debtors encourage themselves with this, that they 

I Rom. s. a • Rev. Hi. 17. b Luke vii. 41,49. • Jobiz. 3. 
d Isa. Iviit 3, 4. F 1 Pet i. 18. r AcU yiii. to. 



have some kind relations, who will stand by ihem^ 
and appear for them, and help them in a time of 
need : but poor sinful men can have no such pros- 
pect, since all their kindred are in the same helpless 
condition with themselves, a^deep in debt as they 
are. The wealthiest worldlings, who have most 
money, cannot with it undertake to pay our debts 
to God: no, we are not redeemed with corruptible 
things, as silver and gold.* Pardons are those gifts 
of God, which are not to be purchased with money 
in the court of heaYen ; ^ those, therefore, that are so 
purchased in the court of Rome, are but sham par- 
dons ; even those who boast themselves in the multi- 
tude of their riches, yet none of them can by any 
means redeem his brother.' The wisest virgins, who 
have most grace, have most oil, yet have none to 
spare, there is not enough for us and them. If God 
contend with us, no man on earth, or angels in 
heaven, can undertake to arbitrate the matter, or as 
a Days-man, lay his hand upon us both ; can under- 
take to open the book by which we stand charged, or 
to loose the seals ; none can do it but the Lion of the 
tribe of Judah.^ 

(4.) We are often put in mind of our debts by the 
providence of God, and by our own consciences. 
Some who are in debt hope to have benefit by the 
statute of limitations, and that the debt will be dropt 
for want of being demanded ; but the debts we owe 
to God are ever and anon demanded, and the right 
is kept up by a continual claim, God makes it to 
appear that he takes notice of them, for he frequently 
gives us notice of them. Conscience is a standing 
monitor in our own bosoms, to put us in mind of 
our sins, and of the danger we are in by reason of 
them, and to stir us up to think of agreeing with oar 
adversary in time. For this reason, they wbo re- 
solve to go on in sin, and to have peace (such as it is) 
though they go on, do all they can to stifle the sug- 
gestions of their own consciences, and turn a deaf 
ear to them ; as those who are in debt avoid them 
by whom they are dunned, and keep out of tbeir 
way. But sooner or later conscience will be heard, 
and will force sinners to say, as Jawph*s brethren 
did long after they had contracted the debt. We are 
verily guilty concerning our brother.^ 

Aflltctions are messengers sent to us on this er- 
rand, to remind us of our debts, by awaking our con- 
sciences, and setting our sins in order before as : 
when bitter things were written against us, it is with 
this design, to make us possess our iniquities.' 
When God distrains upon our comforts, and removes 
them from us, it is to remind us of the arrears of our; 
rent. Art thou come to call my sin to my remembrance^^ 
(said the widow of Sarepta,) and to slay my son * 
These sharp methods, which God takes to pat as in 
mind of our sins, are intimations how severe the 



r Pa. zlix. S, 7. 
k Gen. xti. 31. 



k Job ix. 33. 
1 Job ziU< S& 



i Rev. ▼. &. 
1 Kings xvii la. 



FORGIVENESS OF SIN. 



805 



nekoniDs^ will be, if we never take care to get them 
pardoned. 

(5.) Death will shortly arrest us for these debts, to 
bring as to an account. It is a sergeant, whose 
office is to require the soal, to strip it of the body, 
and to bring it to him who gave it, and to whom it is 
accoantable. The authority of this officer is not to 
be disputed, nor his power resisted. When we are 
sammoned by death to come to an account, we shall 
find there is no discharge in that war," no remedy, 
bat we must yield. The wages of sin is death,^ and 
its constant attendant ever since it first entered.^ 
Death in our discharge from other debts; in the 
^ve the prisoners rest together, and hear not the 
voice of the oppressor,** but it lays us more open than 
ever to these debts, for " Afier death the judgment.*' 
It is a maxim in oar law. Actio moritur cum personSt 
--The action dies with the person ; but it will be of 
DO ose to us in this case, for God, the creditor, never 
dies, and sinners, the debtors, are by death fetched 
in to appear before him. 

(6.) A dag ofrechoning will come, and the day is 
fixed. As sure as we see this day, we shall see that 
day, when every man must give an account of him- 
self unto God,' ttnd etery worh shall be brought into 
jvdgmenty with every secret thing,* The young man 
who indulges himself in carnal mirth and sensual 
pleasures, is told that for all these things God shaU 
hing him into judgment.^ Though it is after a long 
time, yet it is in the set time, that the Lord of the 
servants, to whom the talents were committed, comes 
and reckons with them." The God to whom we 
gtand indebted, is one with whom we now have to 
do ;* for we live upon him, and subsist by him, and 
have continual business with him, which should 
make it the more uneasy to us to think of lying 
under his displeasure. But that is not all, he is one 
irpoc ov i7fuv o Xoyoc (as some read those words) — to 
vkom for us there is a reehoning ; we now have an 
account with him, and must shortly give up our ac- 
coant to him. How careful should we be so to 
jodge ourselves, that we may not be judged of the 
Lord ;* so to state our accounts, and halance them 
with the blood of Christ, that when the day of 
reckoning comes, we may give up our account with 
joy, and not with grief !' 

(7.) Hell is the prison into which those debtors 
will at length be cast, who took no care to make their 
peace, and there are the tormentors to which they 
will be delivered.^ This our Saviour gives as a 
reason why we should agree vrith onr adversary 
qoickly, while we are in the way, because, if the 
matter be left to run on, we shall be delivered to the 
jadge, to the ofilcer,* to him who has the power of 
death ; and so be cast into prison, into chains of 
ierknees, a prison, the miseries of which are endless 

> EocL viii. & • Rom. vi. S3, p Rom. v. 13. q Job iii. 1& 
r Som. xiv. 19. • £ccL zil. 14. t Eccl. zi. 9. 



and easeless. It b a pit in which there is no water, 
not the least mixture or allay of comfort, not a drop 
of water, so much as to cool the tongue.* Some 
prisoners for debt live so merrily, that one would 
think their prisons were designed for their protec- 
tion rather than their punishment ; but hell is no 
such prison ; there is nothing there but weeping, and 
wailing, and gnashing of teeth, and the more for the 
many fair warnings given those prisoners not to 
come into that place of torment It is a pit out of 
which there is no redemption ; the debtor shall not de- 
part thence till he has paid the last mite ; which vrill 
never be, no, not during the endless ages of eternity. 

And now, sirs, what say you to these things ? You 
are many of you great dealers in the world ; what a 
consternation would you be in, if upon casting up 
your books, you should discover yourselves to be in 
debt a great deal more than yon are worth ? You see 
yon are so to God, and does it make no impression 
upon you? are you in no care, no concern about it ? 
Is all I have said to you for your conviction of sin, 
and of your misery and danger because of sin, but 
as a tale that is told ? If so, all I have to say con- 
cerning the pardon of sin, will be but as a lovely song 
of one that can play well on an instrument. But I 
trust you have laid, and will lay, these things to heart, 
that the debt of sin is really a burthen to you, under 
which you labour, and are heavy laden ; and if so, 
the doctrine of the remission of sins will be to you 
glad tidings of great joy, and as life from the dead. 
Nor would I have taken this pains to show you your 
sins, if your case had been desperate, and I could 
not at the same time have showed yon the great sal- 
vation from sin, which the Redeemer has wrought 
out by bringing in an everlasting righteousness. 

II. The sins we are to repent of, being our debts to 
God, the mercy we are to pray for is the forgiveness of 
these debts. It is to God we are indebted, and there- 
fore to him we must address ourselves for a dis- 
charge from the debt ; for none can forgive sins, but 
God only, and therefore to him only must we go for 
that forgiveness. Having opened the wound, and 
showed you how dangerous it is, you vrill be ready 
to ask, It there no halm in Gilead? Is there no phy- 
sician there? Yes, blessed be God, there is. The 
same messengers that God sends to put you in mind 
of your debts, are appointed to put you in the way of 
obtaining the remission of them : and this is that 
which, in Christ's name, is preached to all nations ; 
— it is now preached to you. 

1. Let us inquire, what is included in this mercy of 
the forgiveness of sin as a debt, and what steps 
God graciously takes therein toward us, when we 
repent, and return, and believe the gospel. He acts 
as a merciful and compassionate creditor toward a 
poor debtor who lies at his mercy. 

« Matt. xxY. 19. r Heb. 1 v. 31 . w i Cor. xi. 31 . * Heb. xitL 17. 
r Matt zviii. 34. i Matt. v. 95. • Luke xvl. 34. 



806 



A SERMON ON 



(1.) He stays process, and saffera not tbe law to 
have its coarse. Judgement is ^ven against us; 
bnt execution is not taken oat upon the judgment. 
The sinner is arrested by his own conscience as a 
debtor, and cried out against himself, / have tinned, 
and deserve to die. But pardoning mercy unties 
the knot between sin and death, and says, as Nathan 
to David, The Lord has taken away thy sin, thou f halt 
not die ;^ thou shalt not come into condemnation, 
thine iniquity is become thy grief and shame, and 
therefore fear not, it shall not be thy ruin. Thou 
shalt not have all thou hast seized on, thou shalt not 
go to prison, as thou deservest The debt shall not 
be laid to thy charge. 

The sinner is arrested by affliction, it may be, as 
Elihu's penitent is, and is alarmed by it to expect 
a much sorer punishment; He is chastened with pain 
upon his bed, and the multitude of his bones with strong 
pain f and then, under the sense of guilt and dread 
of wrath, counts upon nothing else but that his life 
shall go to the destroyers.*' But he has a friend with 
At'jN, an interpreter, one among a thousand,^ who 
shows him God's uprightness ; his hatred of sin ; 
and yet his readiness to pardon sinners. This be 
begins to give heed to, and take hold of, and thinks 
of returning to God, as the prodigal to his father's 
house; and then he is gracious to him;' meets 
him in his jeturn, and says. Deliver him from 
going down to the pit ; let him be discharged from 
these pains, from these terrors, for / have found 
a ransom, a ransom for the soul. The sinner has 
said unto God, Do not condemn me;t and God has 
said, There is no condemnation to them that are in 
Christ Jesiu.^ They in their repentings condemn 
themselves ; men in their reproaches condemn them ; 
and it cannot be denied, but that there is that in them 
which deserves condemnation. But it is God that 
iustijies, and then who is he that shall condemn? 
Christ died, and therefore the believer shall not : he 
is afflicted and chastened of the Lord, but he shall 
not be condemned with the world,' that lies under 
the curse. 

Well, this is a good step toward the forgiving of 
the debt ; now there begins to be hope in Israel con- 
cerning this thing ; herein appears the divine pity 
and compassion, God's slowness to anger, and 
readiness to show mercy ; and this long-suffering of 
the Lord is salvation.'^ But the proceedings may per- 
haps be stopt for the present, and yet may be revived 
another time; a judgment that has long lain dor- 
mant may come against a man when he least thinks 
of it, and therefore God in forgiving these debts 
goes farther ; for, 

(2.) He cancels the ^luf, vacates the judgment, 
and disannuls the hand-writing that was against us, 

b2Sam. xli.13. sJobxxxiii. 19. dJobxxxiii.22. • Job zxziil. 23. 

f Job xxxiil. 34. fr Job x.2. h Rom. viii. I. 1 1 Cor. xi. 32. 

k 9 Pet iii. IS. 1 Col. ii. U. m Heb. viil. 13. 



that was contrary to us, and takes it out of the 
way.' He pardons sin thoroughly and fully, so as to 
remember it no more " ag^nst the sinner. He casts 
it behind his back," as that which he is determined 
never more to inquire after ; casts it into tbe depths 
of the sea,** as that which shall never more appear or 
come to light, as it might at low water, if it were 
cast near the shore side. The iniquity of Jacob 
shall be sought for and not be found :p therefore 
God is said to blot out^ tbe iniquities of poor peni- 
tents, as the memorandum of a debt is blotted oat 
when it is paid or pardoned ; he not only crosses the 
book, which leaves it legible, but blots it out, not to 
be read ; for so is the promise to a true penitent. All 
his transgressions that he hath committed shall not be 
mentioned unto him,^ he shall not be so much as up- 
braided with them. It is blotted out as a cloud, as a 
thick cloud, by the heat of the sun ; it is vanishetf, 
and there appears not the least remainder of it; 
The transgression is removed from the transgressors 
as far as the east is from the west* These and many 
the like expressions, give us abundant assurance 
that the sin once pardoned shall not rise up in judg- 
ment against the sinner another day ; and give us 
abundant occasion to say, Who is a God like unto thee, 
pardoning iniquity ? 

Well, this secures the life, and happiness, and 
eternal welfare of the penitent believer: but still be 
may want present comfort. The bond may be can- 
celled, and he not know it ; the sentence of absola- 
tion passed, and yet he not hear the voice of joy and 
gladness ;* so that the broken bones are still com- 
plaining: therefore God is pleased many times to 
carry this act of grace on yet further. 

(3.) He {pves an acquittance, and delivers it by his 
Spirit into the believer's hand, speaking peace to 
him, filling him with comfort, arising from a sense 
of his justification, and the blessed tokens and 
pledges of it When he says. Son, daughter, be of 
good cheer, thy sins are forgiven thee ;■ (as be spake 
comfortably unto Zion, saying. Thy warfare is ac- 
complished, thine iniquity is pardoned ;^) then be 
gives up the bond cancelled, to the unspeakable 
satisfaction of the penitent We read of a woman 
who had been a sinner, a notorious sinner, who, upon 
her repentance, had much forgiven her, and showed 
it by her loving much ;* yet afterwards Christ not 
only said of her, Her sins whick are many are for- 
given, but turned and said to her. Thy sins are for- 
given thee, and. Thy faith hath saved thee, to set forth 
this further act of divine favour, in causing as to 
hear God's loving-kindness, and to taste that he is i 
gracious. 

Well, blessed, thrice blessed are they whose 
iniquities are thus forgiven, and to whom they are 

n In. xxxvili. 17. • Mic. vii. 10. p Jer. f.3a , 

qlaa-xliii. 36. r Euk. xviil. 23. • P9.ciii..l2. tPs.1i. a 
u Matt. ix. 3l r Isa. xl. 3. w Luke v)i. 47, 4& 



FORGIVENESS OF SIN. 



807 



not imputed ; who by their own experience of the 
breaking of the power of sin in them, are made to 
know that the guilt of sin is removed ; and to whom 
it appears, by their being reconciled to God, and to 
bis whole will, that God is in Christ reconciled to 
them. But may it be hoped that these criminals 
shall not only be pardoned, but preferred* and made 
faTOurites again ? Yes, to complete the mercy, he 
not only forgives the debts we have contracted, but, 

(4.) He condescends to deal with us again, audio 
admit us into covenant and communion with him- 
self. Tboqgh we have g^ne behind-hand in our 
rent, he remits the arrears, and continues us his 
tenants; though we have buried and wasted our 
talents, yet he continues us in his service, and in- 
trusts us with more. Those we have been great 
losen by, though we may forgive them, yet we do 
not forget them, nor care for trusting them again. 
But in this, as in other things, the God with whom we 
have to do, is Gikl and not man ; heforgivei and/br- 
geu, and yet will be no loser in his glory by forgiving. 
Lord ! what is man, that he should be thus regard- 
ed? that he should not only be delivered from going 
down to the pit, bgt that his life should see the 
light,' the eternal light, and the paths that lead to it. 
When we pray that God would forgive us our debts, 
we pray not only that we may not be rejected, but 
that we may be accepted in the Beloved, according 
to the riches of that grace wherein he has abounded 
toward us ;7 that with the remission of sins, we may 
receive the gift of the Holy Ghost,' the earnest of 
the Spirit, and tkat, at length, which it is the earnest 
of, even an inheritance among all them who are 
sanctified ; for whom he justified them he glorified. 

2. Having seen how much is included in God's 
forgiving us our debts, because it is so great a favour, 
that we may be tempted to think it too much for 
sacb worthless unworthy creatures as we are to 
expect, let us next inquire, what ground we have to 
hope for it: how is it that a God infinitely just and 
holy, should be thus readily reconciled to a g^iilty 
and polluted sinner upon bis repenting ? If we owe 
a great sum of money to a man like ourselves, we 
could not have the face to go to him, and desire 
him to remit it, when we have not wherewithal to 
make any composition with him. Why should not 
a just debt be paid ? and if nothing is to be had, 
why should not the debtor be sold,* currat lex — 
ond the law take its eourte ? What reason have we to 
expect that the lawful captive should be delivered 1^ 
Blessed be God we may expect it, we may be sure 
of it, if we tepent and believe the gospel. 

(1.) We may ground our expectations upon the 
goodness of his nature. This is so much his glory, 
that by it he has proclaimed his name not only gra- 
rious and merciful in general, but in this particular 



s Job xxxiii. SS. 
« IflL xlix. 34. 



7 Epb. i. 6, 7. t AcU ii. 36. • Matt xviii. 35. 
e Ezek. xxziT. 6^7. d Matt, xviii. 37. I 



instance, so that he forgives iniquity, transgression, 
and sin f and therefore pardons the sin, because he 
desires not nor delights in the ruin of the sinner. 
How vast were the compassions of that prince in 
the parable, which moved him to forgive so great a 
debt, as that of ten thousand talents \^ And yet, as 
heaven is high above the earth, so do the divine 
compassions exceed those : Israel of old found them 
so, when their transgressions were so very numerous, 
so very heinous ; yet he being full of compassion, 
forgave their iniquity. Merciful men will some- 
times lend, hoping for nothing again; and where 
nothing is to be had, will not be rigorous nor extreme 
in demanding their right : and shall not the Father 
of mercies take pity on the miserable ? He who is 
good, and therefore ready to forgive ; merciful and 
gracious,* and therefore removes our transgressions 
from us as far as the east is from the west.^ He is 
a God with whom that plea is of force, What ftrojlt 
is there in my blood? And whose soul was g^eved 
for the misery of Israel, s though they brought it upon 
themselves by' their own sin and folly. 

Well, it is true that God is infinitely good, and 
we have abundant reason to hope in his mercy, and 
abundant encouragement to plead it with him ; but 
it is as true that he is just and righteous, that he is 
the great Governor of the world, and the honour of 
his government must be maintained ; his injured 
justice calls for satisfaction, and one attribute of his 
shall not be glorified by the damage and reproach 
of another. It is true, he is merciful, and yet there 
is a world of angels who lie, and are like to lie for 
ever, under the pouring out of the full vials of his 
wrath ; and therefore, though his goodness and mercy, 
as it is revealed to us in the Scripture, is our great 
encouragement, yet, 

(2.) We are to ground our expectations upon the 
mediation of our Lord Jesus. Therefore God forgives 
our debt, because Jesus Christ, by the blood of his 
cross, has made satisfaction for it, and given his life 
a ransom for ours : which is so far from lessening 
the freeness of that grace which forgives us, that it 
greatly magnifies it, for it was he himself who found 
the ransom,** it was he himself who gave his Son to 
be a propitiation for our sins.* And herein more than 
in any thing he commended his love,'' that he would 
not only forgive our debt, but put himself to such 
vast expense of blood and treasure, that he might 
do it so as to secure, nay to declare, his righteous- 
ness ; to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness ; 
(such an emphasis does the apostle lay upon this ;) that 
he might be not only merciful but just, and the justi- 
fier of them who believe in Jesus.^ If sinners are 
debtors, it is Christ who is their surety, upon the 
account of whose satisfaction their debt is forgiven : 
Christ is called the surety of the covenant ;^ not that 

e Ps. Ixxxvi. A. f Ps. ciii. 8, 12. rJudg.x. 16. h Job xxxiii. 34. 
i 1 John iv. 10. k Rom. v. 8. 1 Rom. iii. 25, 80. » Heb. vii. 23. 



808 



A SERMON ON 



he was originally bound in the bond with us, as if 
it were implied in the penalty annexed to the coTe- 
nant of innocency, which was, Thou thaU surely die, 
that is, ihou or thy surety. No, Christ's undertak- 
ing supposes us already debtors, and under arrest 
for the debt ; so that Christ comes in rather as bail 
to the action, than as a secondary undertaker from 
the beginning. His office as mediator takes it for 
granted, that God and man are at variance, for a 
mediator is not of one ;■» we are looked upon as under 
the law, that is, under the curse, when Christ to 
redeem us makes himself sin and a curse for us.» 
Let us see how this is done. 

[1.] Our Lord Jesus Tolnntarily undertook to be 
a surety for us : pitying our deplorable case, and 
concerned for his Father's injured honour, that divine 
justice might be satisfied, and yet sinners saved, 
he offered to make his own soul a sacrifice for sin, 
and himself a propitiation, answering the demands 
of the law, as the propitiatory, or mercy-seat, exact- 
ly answered the dimensions of the ark. The Father 
intrusted him with this great piece of service, and 
he voluntarily and cheerfully consented to it: he 
said, Lo, 1 come, and not only did this vrill of God, 
but delighted to do it ;p drawn to it, and held to it, 
with no other cords but those of his own love, and 
the agreeableness of his undertaking to his Father's 
commandment 

Christ had no debt of his own to pay, for he al- 
ways did those things that pleased his Father. Such 
was the dignity of his person, and such the value of 
the price he paid, that he had wherewithal to make 
full satisfaction, and to pay this debt, even to the 
last mite. He said. Upon me he the curse, my Fa- 
ther. Thus he became bound for us, as Paul for 
Onesimus to Philemon his master : If he have 
wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, I Paul have writ- 
ten it with my own hand, the blessed Jesus has writ- 
ten it with his own blood, / will repay it.^ And 
this undertaking of Christ's shall redound more to 
the glory of God, eyen to the glory of his justice, 
than the damnation of these sinners would have 
done ; for if they had perished, the righteousness of 
God would have been, to eternity, but in the satirfy- 
ing ; but now, by the merit of Christ's death, it is 
once for all satisfied, and reconciliation made for ini- 
quity. Thus he restored that which he tooh not away.' 

Let us pause a little, and think with wonder and 
thankfulness of this glorious undertaking. How 
great was that kindness and love of God our Savi- 
our towards man, which set this work going I How 
admirable the wisdom that contrived it ! The wis- 
dom of God in a mystery.* Let every crown be 
thfown at the Redeemer's feet, and every song sung 
to his praise. Who is this that engageth his heart to 

n Gal. iii.20. e QfU. ill 10, la p Pb. xl. 7. q Phil. 18. 19. 

r Ps. Ixix. 4. • I Cor. ii. 7- t Jer. zxx. ai. 

« IML liii. 1. T In. lilt. 12. » Isa. zl 2. 



approach unio God,* as a surety for us ? It is he who 
speaks in righteousness, and will never unsay what 
he has said, for he is mighty to save," be is al- 
mighty. 

[2.] Having made himself a surety for us, he made 
full satisfaction to divine justice for our debt, by the 
blood of his cross. He poured out his soul unto 
death,' not only for our good, but in our stead ; and 
paid, though not the idem — the same, that we should 
have paid, yet the tantundem — the equivalent, that 
which was more than equivalent ; so that in him God 
might be said to have received double for all our 
sins,* so much was the Father glorified in him. 

God charged the debt upon him, according to his 
undertaking. Those he undertook for being insolv- 
ent, the action was brought against him ; and God 
laid upon him the iniquity of us all ;' made it all to 
meet upon him, (so the word is,) as the sins of all 
Israel were made to meet upon the head of the goat, 
that on the day of atonement was to be sent into a 
land of forgetfulness.y Solomon says. He that is 
surety for a stranger shall smart for it, shall be 
broken by it : our Lord Jesus being surety for us 
who were strangers and forcipiers, he smarted for 
it ;* for it pleased the Lord to bruise him, and put 
him to grief 

He voluntarily and freely paid the debt ; his life 
was not forced from him, but he laid it down of 
himself.^ The satisfaction was to be made to God 
in his HONOUR ; for in that he had been injured, 
and to that he had an eye, when he said. Father, 
glorify thy name,^ take the satisfaction that is de- 
manded. And it was to be made by his death, for 
without shedding of blood, that blood which is the 
life, there was no remission ; and, therefore, he laid 
down his life with these words. Father, into thy 
hands I commit my spirit i^ that life, that soul, which 
is to be given as a ransom for many, I here give to 
thee ; I put it into thy hands, as the surety pays the 
debt into the hands of the creditor, the proper per- 
son to receive it. 

[3.] The satisfaction which Christ made for oor 
sins was graciously accepted, and God was so well 
pleased in him,* as to be well pleased with us in 
him. This was a further act of divine grace ; for in 
strict justice it might have been insisted on, that the 
law should have had its course against the sinners 
themselves. Christ intimated, that pursuant to the 
counsels of peace,' which were between the Father 
and him, concerning man's redemption, his arrest 
should be our discbarge, when he said to those who 
seized him in the garden. If ye seek me, let these go 
their way.% He delivered up himself to suffer and 
die, that we might be delivered from wrath and ruin, 
and divine justice agreed to it 

s ISL liii. 6. y Lev. xvi.si. « Prov. xi. 15. • In. liil. 10. 

b John X. 18. e John xli. 98. d Luke xxiii. 4S. 

• Matt xTii. 5. f Zech. vi. I3l r John xviii. & 



FORGIVENESS OF SIN. 



809 



In token of the acceptance of his satisfaction, God 
raised him from the dead, sent an angel to roll away 
the stone from the door of the sepulchre, and so to 
release the prisoner; which he did, and then sat 
upon it^ in triumph, signifying that then death had 
no more dominion over him, but was perfectly con- 
quered and abolished. But are we certain that he 
had a fair discharge? Yes, for he was often seen 
alive, seen at liberty, and the Father having raised 
him from the dead, set him at his own right hand, 
which would have been no place for him, if he had 
not fully made good his undertaking. Christ's death 
beio^ the payment of our debt, for he was delivered 
for oar offences, his resurrection was the taking out 
of oar acquittance, for he rose again for our justifi- 
cation.i Therefore the apostle lays the stress of our 
faith, hope, and comfort upon this. Who is he that 
shall condemn? Who can take out an execution 
against us ? It is Christ that died, yea^ rather, that is 
risen again :^ by which it appears that his dying for 
as was accepted, especially since he now is even at 
the right hand of God making intercession in the 
virtue of his satisfaction ; and it is an effectual in- 
tercession, for the Father hears him always. 

[4.] The satisfaction being accepted, a release of 
debts is published and proclaimed in the everlasting 
gospel to all penitent and obedient believers. Full 
assurance is given them that their sins shall be par- 
doned, and they shall be made accepted in the Be- 
loved. The preaching of the gospel is called the 
proclaiming of the acceptable year of the Lord,^ in 
allasion to the year of release, which was every 
seventh ; and, especially, to the year of jubilee, 
which was every fiftieth ;* when all debts were dis- 
charged, mortgaged possessions restored, and all en- 
cumbrances on men's estates taken off. And this 
was proclaimed by sound of trumpet in the evening 
of the day of atonement, to signify, that upon the 
account of the atonement which Christ was to make, 
poor sinners should be delivered from that wrath and 
corse to which they were bound over, and brought 
into the glorious liberty of God's children, and re- 
stored to all the glorious privileges and inheritances 
of free-born Israelites. Blessed is the people that hear 
this joyful sound,* the trumpet of the everlasting gos- 
pel publishing this release, this act of indemnity, 
liberty to the captives j and the opening of the prison 
to them that were bound. 

These glad tidings of great joy are to be brought 
to all people ; whoever will come and take the benefit 
of this general release, and sue out a particular dis- 
charge upon it, on very easy and unexceptionable 
terms ; for the gospel excludes none, who do not by 
their own wilful impenitence and unbelief exclude 
themselves. Nay, we have not only this discharge 
offered us, but we are courted, and earnestly invited, 

h Matt, nviii. 3. i Rom. !▼. SS. k Rom. tUI. 34. t Luke iv. 19. 
m Lev. », 9, 10. a Pb. luxix. lAb o 3 Cor. V. 19, 30. 



to come in and accept of it. God having in Christ 
laid a foundation for the reconciling the world unto 
himself, has sent his ambassadors, not only to pro- 
pose the matter to us, but to beseech us, nay, God 
does by them beseech us to be reconciled to God,* 
though it had better become us to beseech him first 
to be reconciled to us. 

[5.] It is upon the account of Christ's satisfaction, 
that our sins are actually pardoned upon our repent- 
ing and believing ; and that is it which we are to 
plead with God, and to rely upon as a valid plea in 
our prayers to God for the forgiveness of our debts. 
In his righteousness we must appear before God ; 
making mention of that, even of that only, and not 
thinking to justify ourselves.P It is through his blood 
that we have redemption, even the remission of sins,4 
for that is it which, having been shed for us without 
the city, speaks for us vdthin the veil, and speaks 
better things than that of Abel ;'' and he still appears 
in the midst of the throne, a Lamb as it had been slain,* 
newly slain, and bleeding afresh, to intimate the 
constant perpetual virtue of his satisfaction, and the 
continual advantage which believers have and may 
have by it. 

In praying for the forgiveness of our sins, we must 
have an eye to Christ as our Redeemer; the Re- 
deemer of our persons that were in bondage, and of 
our inheritance which was in mortgage. He is our 
Goel; Job calls him so, and the prophets often : it 
is the title of the next hinsman ; who by the law was 
to redeem the possession which his brother sold.^ 
Christ having taken our nature upon him, is become 
our kinsman, and he is the next kinsman who is 
able to redeem, so that to him the right of redemption 
does belong : and he has graciously condescended 
to do the kinsman's part ; so that we return to our 
inheritance again, from which we had other¥rise 
been for ever banished ; and have the earnest of it 
until the complete redemption of the purchased pos- 
session." We must also in a particular manner have 
an eye to his death as our ransom : for the sake of 
which we are delivered from going down to the pit.^ 
Very fitly therefore is that sacrament which is the 
memorial of his death, made the seal of our par- 
don. 

3. Having showed you how sad your case is 
upon the account of sin, and what a dangerous debt 
it is ; and yet that your case is not desperate, but 
there is hope for you through grace, I promise my- 
self, you will now be willing and glad to hear, what is 
expected and required from you, that you may obtain 
this favour, and that your debts may be forgiven. 
Christ, as a surety for us, has made satisfaction ; but 
what must we do that we may have an interest in 
that satisfaction ? It is true that atonement is made 
for sin, and is accepted as sufficient to gpround a 

P Ps. IxxL 16. q Eph. i. 7. r Heb. xil. 34. ■ Rev. ▼. & 
t Lev. xzT. 35. « Eph. 1. 14. ▼ Job zzxlil. 94. 



810 



A SERMON ON 



treaty of peace upon ; and yet it is as true, that 
multitudes perish eternally under the load of this 
debt, and continue in their captivity, notwithstand- 
ing the proclamation of liberty. It therefore con- 
cerns us all to see to it, that we be duly qualified, 
according to the tenor of the new covenant, for the 
comforts of a sealed pardon and a settled peace ; 
and that we may be so, 

(I.) We must eonftis the debt, with a humble, 
lowly, penitent, and obedient heart. We must own 
ourselves guilty before God, and concluded under 
sin. Let not those expect to prosper, or recover 
themselves from under this load, who cover their 
sins, for they, and they only, who confess and forsake 
them, shall find mercy." We arc charged as debtors, 
and must not go about to deny the debt, no, nor to 
excuse or extenuate it ; but be ready to acknowledge 
that we have sinned, and have perverted that which 
was right, and it profited us not ;» that we have been 
both unjust to God and injurious to ourselves, as 

debtors are. 

In confessing the debt we must be particular; 
must not only own that we are sinners, but, in this 
and the other instance, we have sinned ; not for in- 
formation to God, he knows our sins better than we 
ourselves know them, but for humiliation and warn- 
ing to ourselves. / have tinned, (says David,) and 
have done this evil J I have sinned, (says Achan,) and 
thus and thus have I done.* And the more particu- 
lar we are in the acknowledgment of sin, the more 
comfort we may expect to have in the sense of the 
pardon. If I can say, '' This sin I confessed ; I 
trust, through grace, this sin is pardoned, and shall 
not be laid to my charge. But then this confession 
of sin must be accompanied with true remorse and 
godly sorrow for it ; we must bewail it, and bemoan 
ourselves because of it ; must give glory to God, and 
take shame to ourselves in making this confession : 
And as the prodigal when we own we have sinned 
against God, we must own, that we are no more 
worthy to be called his children ; nay, that it were 
a righteous thing with him to deliver us to the tor- 
mentors. And if we thus judge ourselves, we shall 
not be judged. 

(2.) We must achnowledge a judgment of all we 
have to our Lord Jesus, who has been thus kind to 
satisfy for our debt. This is one proper act of faith. 
To resign, surrender, and give up ourselves, our 
whole selves, body, soul, and spirit; all we are, 
have, and can do ; to be under the direction and 
government of his word and Spirit, to be devoted to 
his honour, employed in his service, and disposed of 
at his will. Our own selves we must give unto the 
Lord,* and to us to live must be Christ : our all 
must be put into his hands, must be laid at his feet. 
It is indeed a very poor counter-security, but such 

w Prov. xxviii. 13. *. Job xzxiii. 37. j Ps. li. 4. s Josh. vii. 30. 
• 2 Cor. viii. 5. b Luke i. 74, 7S. e Titus ii. 14 



as it is he requires it, and is pleased to accept of it, 
provided we be sincere and faithful in the sur^ 
render. 

There is good reason why we should do this ; for 
therefore he delivered us out of the hands of our 
enemies, that we might serve him ;^ therefore re- 
deemed us, that we might be to him a peculiar 
people, purijied from sinful works, and zealous oj 
good works. ^ Nor can we do better for ourselves, 
than to give up ourselves entirely to Christ ; we are 
never more our own, than when we are wholly his. 
If we resign ourselves to him, it is in trust for the 
securing of ourselves, and our own true welfare, 
that we may not again be our own ruin. Thus will he 
complete his kindness to us, if it be not our own 
fault : he who was our surety to save us from pe- 
rishing under the load of guilt we had contracted, 
will be our trustee, to save us from faliini^ a$cain 
under the like load ; for he has said, Sin shall not 
have dominion over you.^ Thus will he perfect all 
that which concerns us ;* and if we commit our- 
selves and our all to him, we shall find he is able to 
keep what we have committed unto him against that 
day, and he will be found a faithful trustee. 

(3.) We must give to Christ the honour of our par- 
don, by relying entirely on his righteousness as our 
plea for it ; acknowledging that other foundation of 
hope can no man lay,' and other fountain of joy can 
no man open. We must for ever disclaim all de- 
pendence upon our own sufficiency, and with the 
highest satisfaction rest upon Christ only as a com- 
plete and all-sufficient Saviour. The great concerns 
of our immortal souls, our reconciliation to God, 
and our felicity in him, we must lodge in his hands, 
by a submission not only to his government, as the 
Lord our Ruler, but to his grace, as the Lord our 
Righteousness, made of God to us righteousness, ^ that 
we might be made the righteousness of God in him.^ 
For, thus, boasting is for ever excluded, and he that 
glories must glory in the Lord. 

(4.) We must study what we shall render to him 
who has loved us, who has so loved us. Let us mention 
it to his praise, take all occasions to speak of that 
great love wherewith he loved us, in purchasing for 
us the remission of that great debt. We cannot 
expect an interest in Christ and his righteousness, 
unless we be willing to own our obligations to him, 
as those who are sensible the bonds he has loosed 
us from * bind us closely and constantly to him, 

(6.) We must engage ourselves for the future^ that 
we will render to God the things that are his, and 
be careful not to run in debt again. If we would 
find mercy, we must not only confess our sins, but 
forsake them, and keep close to the way of onr doty. 
Ceasing to do evil, and learning to do well, are the 
commanded fruits of repentance, and without those 



4 Ps. cxxxviii. a 
g 1 Cor. i. 30. 



• 9 Tim. i. 13. 
h 8 Cor. ▼. 31. 



f I Cor. iii. 1 1. 
* Ps. CXTi. 16. 



FORGIVENESS OF SIN. 



811 



we cannot expect the promised fruits of it Has 
God graciously remitted us our arrears, let us pay 
oor rent more panctually for time to come. Every 
day is a rent day with us, and we most be careful, 
by filling up time with duty, and doing the work of 
every day in its day, to pay our rent duly; and 
wherein we come short, balance our accounts with 
the blood of Christ, which cleanses from all sin,*' by 
a renewed application of the virtue of that to our 
souls; and thus keep touch with him who is, and 
ever will be, faithful to us. Have we wasted our 
talents,! and so contracted debt, and yet are we still 
intrttsted with them? Let us henceforth be more 
diligent in the improvement of them, that by the 
blessing and grace .of oor Master, our five talents 
may be made other five, and we may have our Mas- 
ter's approbation, and enter at length into his joy. 
And let us always remember, that God speaks peace 
to his people, and to his saints, on this condition, 
that they do not return ag^n to folly.*" 

(6.) Our forgiving others is made the indispensable 
coodition of our being forgiven of God. Nothing 
can be more express than this, If we forgive not men 
their tregpatses^ neither will our Father who is in hea- 
ven forgive us ours.^ For God will have his children 
to be like him, merciful as he is merciful, and good 
as he is, even to the evil and unthankful. That ser- 
vant in the parable, who was rigorous in exacting a 
small debt from his fellow-servant, by that instance 
of the hardness of his heart made it to appear, that 
he was never truly humbled for his own debt to his 
Lord, that great debt, nor ever truly sensible of his 
Lord's kindness to him in forgiving it ,* and there- 
fore, his repentance being counterfeit, his pardon 
was never ratified, but he was delivered to the tor- 
mentors, as a wicked servant® 

Let this consideration prevail to pacify the most 
provoked, and mollify the most severe ; let it not only 
suppress every root of bitterness in us, but extirpate 
it and pluck it up : let us not harbour the least 
tboa^bts of malice and revenge against those wbo 
have been any way injurious tons, nor render to any 
evil for evil, nor be extreme to mark what is done 
amiss against as ; for what then shall we do, when 
Gtf^ riseth up, and when he visiteth, what shall we 
anncer him .'r 

And now,(bretbrcn,) having very briefly and plainly 
opened to you this great concern that lies between 
>oa and God, I must leave it to you to make the 
application of what has been said, each of you to 
yourselves ; nay, I hope you have been applying it 
as we have gone along ; for these are things of which 
none of us can say. They belong not to us. Leave 
it to you, did I say ? — I leave it with God by his Spi- 
rit to apply it to all your consciences, that you may 
be delivered into the mould of these great truths. I 



V 1 Jdm 1. 7. 1 Matt. xxv. SO. m Pt. Ixxxv. S n Matt vi. 14, lA 
• Matt xviii. 39, 34. p Job xxxi. 14. q Hag. i. 5. 



shall therefore close only with a few words of ex* 
hortation upon the whole matter. 

1. Do not delay to come to an account with your 
own consciences, but search diligently and impar- 
tially, that you may see how matters stand between 
you and God. Consider your ways,'* search and try 
themJ Commune with your own hearts, saying, What 
have I done ? What have I done amiss ? Take an 
account of your debts to God, as all prudent trades- 
men do of their debts to those with whom they deal. 
Think how many the particulars are, how great the 
sum total is, and what circumstances have enhanced 
the debt, and run it op to a great height ; how ex^* 
needing sinful your sins have been, how exceeding 
hateful to God, and hurtful to yourselves. Put that 
question to yourselves which the unjust steward put 
to his lord's debtors. How much owest thou unto my 
Lord? and tell the truth as they did, for themselves ; 
and do not think to impose upon God, by making 
the matter better than it is, as the steward did for 
them, writing fifty for a hundred.* 

2. Be thoroughly convinced of your misery and 
danger by reason of sin ; see process ready to be 
taken out against yon, and consider what is to be 
done : it is no time to trifle, when all you have is 
ready to be seized, and if the present season be 
slipped, you know not how soon the things that be- 
long to your peace may be for ever hid from your 
eyes, and you will rue your carelessness when it is 
too late to retrieve what you have lost by it. 

3. Agree with your adversary quickly, while you 
are in the way with him ;* make your peace with 
God, and do it with all speed. You need not send 
to desire conditions of peace,* they are ofiered to you, 
if you will but accept of them ; and they are not 
only easy but very advantageous. Take the advice 
which Solomon gives to his son who is insnared in 
suretyship. Do this, my son, that thou mayest deliver 
thyself, go humble thyself, and thereby thou wilt not 
only pacify an adversary, but make sure a friend : 
and give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine 
eyelids, till thou hast done this.^ 

4. In order to the making of your peace with God, 
make sure your interest in Jesus Christ, and make 
use of him daily for that purpose : retain him of 
counsel for you in this great cause on which your 
all depends, and let him be not only your plea but 
your pleader, for that is his office ; If any man sin, 
and so run into debt, we have an advocate with the 
Father,^ who is ready to appear for us, and attends 
continually to this very thing. Be advised by him, 
as the client is by his counsel, and tiien refer your- 
selves to him, put your case into his hand and say. 
Thou shah answer, Lord, for me, when I have no- 
thing to say for myself. 

5. Renew your repentance every day for your sins 



r Lani. lit 40. 
Q Luke xiv. 33. 



■ Luke xvt 5, 6. 
y Ptov. vi. 3, 4. 



t Matt V. 25. 
w I John it I- 



812 



A SERMON ON THE FORGIVENESS OF SIN. 



of dail J infirmity, and be earnest witb God in prayer 
for the pardon of them. Hereby we give to God 
the glory of his never- failing mercy, which abun- 
dantly pardons ; and to Christ the glory of his inex- 
haastible merit and grace ; and keep ourselves con- 
tinually easy by leaving no guilt to lie upon the 
conscience nnrepented of. '* Even reckonings (we 
say) make long friends.'' And the more we are 
humbled for our daily sins, and the more we see of 
our obligation to Christ, and his merit, for the par- 
don of them, the more watchful we shall be against 
them, and the more careful to abstain from all ap- 
pearances of evil, and approaches towards it. 

Lastly, Let those to whom much is forgiven, love 
much.* We have all of us much forgiven us, it is a 

X Luke vii 48, 43. 



yery great debt from which we have been discharged; 
now it may be expected, that we should have our 
hearts accordingly enlarged in gratitude to him who 
Jhst loved us, who mo loved us, and gave himself for 
us, loved us and washed us from our sins in his own 
blood. How shall we express our love to him ? What 
box of precious ointment shall we pour upon his 
head ? What song of love shall we sing to his praise! 
O that the love of Christ may constrain us? to love 
him, and live to him, who loved us and died for ns; 
to be faithful and constant in our love to him, who 
having loved his own which were in the world, loveth 
them unto the end,* and will love them all at length 
into the world of everlasting love. 



7 2 Cor. V. 14 



« John xULl. 



HOPE AND FEAR BALANCED : 



IN 



A SERMON, 



PREACHED AT THE TUESDAY LECTURE, AT SALTERS HALL, 

JULY, 24th, 1711. 



Psalm cxlvii. 11. 

The Lord tmkeik pleasure in them that fear him, in 
those that hope in hie mercy. 

The dignity and privilege of the righteous, who are 
God's favourites, here appear bright and blessed, 
very blessed, very bright; and to an eye of faith, 
the lustre of them far exceeds even that of crowns 
aod coronets ; though their honour like their life is 
hidden,* and, therefore, the world knows them not.^ 
What can prove them more great, what more happy, 
thaa this, that the God of heaven tahee pleasure in 
them? 

That God should be at peace with any of the chil- 
dreo of men, (that degenerate, guilty, and obnoxious 
race,) is more than we could have expected, con- 
sidering his justice and holiness ; but that he should 
takt pleasure in them, should set them apart for 
himself,^ gather them in his arms, carry them in 
his bosom,*' value them as his peculiar treasure, and 
make them up as his jewels;* this is that which 
eternity itself will he little enough, and short enough, 
to be spent in the thankful admiration of. Lord, 
vket is man thai thou shouldst thus magnify him, and 
ut thine heart upon him f 

God takes pleasure in his saints, that is, in his 
own image upon them : he rejoiceth in the worh of 
kis own hands/ Not that God is capable of receiv- 
ing any addition to the infinite complacency he takes 
io himself, and in his own perfections, from any 
creature; but thus he is pleased to express the 
favour he bears to his chosen.^ He delights not in 
tkt strength of a horse, (so it is said in the foregoing 
verse,) he taheth not pleasure in the legs of a man,^ 
Princes and great men take delight in these, both 
for their entertainment, they divert themselves with 
horse races and foot races, and for their service, they 



• Col. iii. 3. 

* laa. xLll. 



b 1 John fit. t. 



e P«. iv. 3. 
• Mat iii. 17. 



make use of horse guards and foot guards, bring into 
the field squadrons of horse and battalions of foot, and 
review their troops with a great deal of satisfaction. 
But does God do so ? No, he tahes pleasure in them that 
fear him : he delights to behold the righteous ^^ delights 
to converse with them, invites them into fellowship 
with himself, and with them his secret is. He de- 
lights to employ them, and makes them the instru- 
ments of his glory : and herein he magnifies himself, 
that he has pleasure in the prosperity of his servants,^ 

But the CHARACTER here given of God's favourites 
is THAT for the sake of which I chose this text, and 
which I shall speak more largely to. They are such 
as both fear God, and hope in his mercy. The fear 
of God I know is often put for all religion ; but it 
being here distinguished from a hope in his mercy, 
I choose rather to understand it in a more limited 
sense, as signifying a dread of his majesty. 

Fear and hope are passions of the mind so con- 
trary the one to the other, that, with regard to the 
same object, it is strange they should meet in the 
same laudable character : yet here we see they do 
so, and it is the praise of the same persons, that they 
both fear God, and hope in him. 

Whence we may gaUier this doctrine : 
That in every concern that lies upon our hearts, 
we should still endeavour to keep the balance 
even between hope and fear. 

We know how much the health of the body de- 
l»ends upon a due temperament of the humours, such 
as preserves any one from being predominant above 
the rest ; and how much the safety and peace of the 
nations result from a due balance of trade and power, 
that no one grow too great for its neighbours : and, 
so necessary is it to the health and welfare of our 
souls, that there be a due proportion maintained be- 
tween their powers and passions, and that the one 
may always be a check upon the other, to keep it 

f Pb. civ. 31. ff Pb. cvl. 4, 5. b Ps cxlvii. 10. 

1 Pi. zi. 7. k Ps. xxxT. 27. 



814 



HOPE AND FEAR BALANCED. 



from ranning into extremes ; as in these affections 
mentioned in the text. A holy fear of God must be 
a check upon our hope, to keep that from swelling 
into presumption ; and a pious hope in God must be 
a check upon our fear, to keep that from sinking 
into despondency. 

This balance must, I say, by a wise and steady 
hand, be kept even in every concern that lies upon 
our hearts, and that we have thoughts about I shall 
enumerate those that are of greatest importance. 

We must keep up both hope and fear, 

I. As to the concerns of our souls, and our spi- 
ritual and eternal state. 

II. As to our outward concerns, relating to the 
body, and the life that now is. 

III. As to the public concerns of the church of 
God, and our own land and nation. 

In reference to each of these, we must always 
study and strive to support that affection, whether 
it be hope or fear, which the present temper of our 
minds and circumstances of our case make necessary 
to preserve us from an extreme. 

I. Nothing certainly does so much concern us, and 
ought to lie so near our hearts, as the prosperity of 
our souls, and their happiness in the favour of 
God, and their fitness to serve him here, and enjoy 
him for ever. This certainly ought to be the chief 
and continual care of every man in this life, to ap- 
prove himself to an eternal God above him, and to 
prepare himself for an everlasting state before him. 
This is the concern of the better part, and is of all 
other the most weighty concern. Now, for the due 
managing of this concern, it is requisite that we 
take our work before us, and give each part of it its 
place and due proportion, so as that one devout 
affection may not intrench upon and exclude ano- 
ther. As the beauty of God's being consists in the 
harmony of his attributes, so the beauty of his 
image on our souls consists in the harmony of our 
graces, and the concurrence of them all to the main- 
taining of our due subjection to God, and due 
government of ourselves. 

In eternity there is neither hope nor fear. In 
heaven they are both lost in an endless fruition : 
glorified saints, as they are for ever quiet from the 
^ear of evil, and out of the reach of it, so they have 
nothing more or better to hope for, than what they 
are already entered into the enjoyment of; and 
what a man sees, why doth he yet hope for ?^ In hell 
they are both lost in an endless despair : they have 
nothing to fear there, where they know the worst, 
and must feel to eternity what they would not fear ; 
nor have they any thing to hope for, when the door 
of mercy is shut against them, and a great gulf 
fixed between them and all blessedness, never to be 
removed. But in our present state, there is and 

1 Rom. viii. 94. m Ps. ci. 1. n Pa. Ixviii. 4, 5. 
o laa. Ivil. 1^. p laa. Izvi. 1,2. q Ezod. xzxiv. 6, 7. 



must be a mixture both of hope and fear ; and we 
must keep up our communion with God, and do oor 
duty to him by the seasonable exercises of bolb : 
and thus we must sing both of mercy and judgment^ 
and sing unto God of both.i^ 

1. We must keep up both a holy dread of God^ 
and a humble delight in him; both a reverence of fa is 
majesty, with a fear of incurring his displeasure, 
and at the same time a joy in his love and grace, 
and an entire complacency in his beauty and boanty, 
and that benignity of his which is better than life. 

Our affections toward God must correspond with 
the discoveries he has made of himself to us. As be 
has proclaimed his name for our instruction, so we 
must proclaim it to his praise. Now in God there is 
both every thing that is awful, and every thing tbat 
is amiable ; and in his manifestations of himself he 
seems to have taken a delight in putting these to- 
gether, and setting the one over against the other. 
When he makes him.self known in his greatness, as 
riding on the heavens, by his name J AH, he adds, in 
the next words, this instance of his goodness, that he 
is a Father of the fatherless, and a Judge for the 
widows.'* Is he the high and lofty One that inhabits 
eternity, and dwells in the holy place ?• Yet we 
must know that with this man he will dwell, to this 
man he will look, that is of a contrite and humble 
spiritP And on the other hand, when he tells as how 
gracious he is in forgiving iniquity, transgression, 
and sin,^ he tells us presently how just he is also, 
that he will by no means clear the impenitently 
guilty. 

Thus, therefore, must we have an eye to him, both 
as he is infinitely great, and greatly to be feared, 
and as he is infinitely good, and greatly to be loved. 
And as no love one degree short of perfect must c^ast 
out all fear;' so no fear, in those who have received 
the Spirit of adoption, must damp the delight which, 
as children, we must have in our Father.^ We must 
both fear God's name, and love it; both fear the 
commandment, and love it. We must delight our- 
selves always in the Lord ; and yet we mast make 
him our fear and our dread,' and be in the fear of 
him every day, and all the day long. In the duties 
of religious worship, we must know our disparity ; 
and in consideration of that we must serve him with 
reverence and godly fear," because God, even our 
God, though he be a rejoicing light to those w^ho 
serve him faithfully, yet he is a consuming fire to 
those who trifle with him: but we must also knovr our 
privilege, and draw near to him in full assurance of 
faith, and must serve the Lord with gladness.^ 

2. We must keep up both a trembling for sin, an>l 
a triumphing in Christ, as the propitiation ybf sin. 
We must be afraid of the curse, and the terrors of 
it, and yet must rejoice in the covenant, and the 

r 1 John 1v. 18. • Ps. xxxvii. 4. tlsa. viii. 13. 

u Ueb. xii. 28. ▼ Hebu x. 22. 



HOPE AND FEAR BALANCED. 



815 



ncbes and graces of it. With one eye we mast look 
at the fiery serpents, and see what danger we are in 
by our hairing been stung by them ; but with the 
other eye we most look up to the brazen serpent ■ 
lifted ap on the pole, and see what a fair way we 
are in of being helped and healed by looking to it 
Look unio me (saith Christ) and be ye Mated. 

We mast not so look apon the comforts of the 
pspel, as to forget the condemnation of the law, 
and that we are guilty before God, and liable to that 
condeoination : which we must be ever mindful of, 
that we may daily reflect with regret upon sin, and 
may be quickened to flee from the wrath to come, 
and to flee for refuge to the hope set before us ; and 
tiiat knowing the terrors of the Lord, we may be 
persuaded to stand in awe and not sin. And yet 
we must not so look upon the condemnation of the 
law, as to forget that we are under grace, and not 
under the law ;* and that we have a Redeemer to 
rejoice in, and with an entire confidence to rely 
upon, who died to save his people from their sins. 
We mast look upon sin, and be humbled, and be 
afraid of God's wrath ; but at the same time we must 
look upon Christ, and be satisfied, and hope in his 
mercy. 

3. We must keep up both ajealouty of ourselve», 
and of our own sincerity ; and a gratrfnl thankful 
sense of GotiTi grace in «#, and the workings of that 
grace. It is true, the heart of man is deceitful 
above all things,' and in nothing more so than in its 
jadgment of itself. We are all apt to be partial in 
our own favours ; to say we are rich and increased 
vitk goods, when we do not know, or will not own, 
that we are wretched and miserable.^ We have 
therefore reason to fear lest we should be mistaken, 
lest our graces should prove counterfeit, and we 
should be rejected as hypocrites at last And O 
that those who live a carnal, worldly, sensual life, 
under the disguise of a religious profession, were 
awakened to see their mistake before the flames of 
hell awaken them ! O that fearful ness would sur- 
prise those who, indeed, are hypocrites ; and that 
the sinners in Zion were afraid ; and that their Tain 
hopes, which are built upon the sand, might be taken 
down before they are thrown down ! 

But let not those who fear the Lord, and obey the 
voice of his servant, walk in darkness, but trust in 
the name of the Lord, and stay themselves upon 
their God.' Let not those who, through grace, are 
brought to prefer the favour of God before the smiles 
of the world, and are more in care about the things 
that relate to the soul and eternity, than about those 
that have reference only to the body and time ; let 
not their godly jealousy over themselves run into an 
extreme. Let them not be upon all occasions ar- 
raigning their evidences, and questioning. Is the 



m Jobo ill. 14. 
n Rev. fii. 17. 



• Rom. vi. 14. 
r ba. 1. to. 



p Jer. xTii. 0. 
• laa. 11. 13. 



Lord among ifi, or is he not ? Hearken to this, you 
that tremble at God's word, and are fearing contin- 
ually every day.* How can you say you do not 
love God, when yon cannot but say that you would 
not for all the world wilfully ofiend him, and that 
there is nothing you desire so much as to be in his 
favour, and in communion with him ? And there- 
fore, though you have no reason to trust in your own 
merit, yet you have a great deal of reason to hope 
in that mercy of God, which accepts the willingness 
of the spirit, and overlooks the weakness of the 
flesh.' Why should you wrong yourselves by bear- 
ing false witness against yourselves; as they do 
who make themselves poor, and yet have great 
riches ?" And why should you wrong God, by rob- 
bing him of the honour of what he has wrought for 
you ? It is true, we must not be proud of our graces, 
but we must be thankful for them ; we must not 
pretend to justify ourselves to the covenant of inno- 
cency, for we are not innocent ; yet we must not 
therefore reject the advantages of the covenant of 
grace, nor put from us the comforts that thence flow. 

4. We must keep up both a constant caution over 
our goingSf and a constant confidence in the grace of 
God. When we consider how weak we are ; how 
apt to stumble in the way, and wander out of it, apt 
to tire, and apt to turn aside ; we shall see cause 
enough to walk humbly with God. And yet, when 
we consider how the promises of divine aids are 
adapted to our case in all the exigences of it, how 
rich, how sure they are, and how certainly made 
good to all those who depend upon them, and by 
faith derive strength and wisdom from them, we 
shall see cause enough to walk boldly with God. 
He wh<^ walks uprightly,y walks with a good assur- 
ance, and may travel in the greatness of the strength 
of him who is mighty to save. 

We have need to stand always upon our guard ; 
as knowing that our way lies through an enemy's 
country, where we have reason to expect that am- 
bushes will be laid for us, and all the stratagems of 
war made use of to do us mischief. We have need 
to look well to our goings, and never so much as to 
feed ourselves without fear,'' lest our table should be- 
come a snare;* nor walk abroad without trembling, 
lest under the green grass there should be a snake ; 
lest for want of watchfulness we should be surprised 
by a sudden temptation, for want of resolution we 
should be overpowered by a violent temptation. 
Happy is the man who thus f caret h always,' as seeing 
himself never out of the reach, no, nor ever out of the 
way of Satan's temptations, till he comes to heaven. 

But still in the midst of this fear we must hope in 
God's mercy, that he will take our part against our 
spiritual enemies, will watch over us for good, will 
preserve our souls from sin, from every evil work, 

( Mat. zxTl. 41. V Prov. xiii. 7. v Prov. x. 9. 

» Jade 19. X PsaL Ixix. 22. j Prov. xxviil. 14. 



816 



HOPE AND FEAR BALANCED. 



the only thing that can do them any real damage. 
What Christ said to St. Paul, when he was buffeted 
by a messenger of Satan, he has said to all who, 
like him, fly to the mercy of God, and continue in- 
stant in prayer : My grace is sufficient for thety* 
though thou hast no strength of thy own that is so. 
Infinite Wisdom knows what grace thy case calls 
for ; and thou sbalt have enough to secure the life 
and happiness of thy soul, from every thing that 
aims at its death and ruin. Be strong therefore in 
the Lord, and in the power of his might ; go forth, 
and go on, in his name ; as David against Goliah ; 
and be assured that the God of peace, the God of 
your peace, will, in order to that, be the God of 
your victory ; he will tread Satan under your feet, 
will do it shortly, will do it effectually, that he may 
be to eternity the God otyour triumphs. 

6. We must keep up both a holy fear lest we come 
short, and a yood hope that through grace we shall 
persevere. If we rightly understand ourselves, we 
cannot but be often looking forward, and consider- 
ing what will be our last end, what will be our future 
state. And what will it be ? Will our end be peace? 
Will our endless condition be a happy one ? 

Truly when we look upon the brightness of the 
crown set before us, and our own meanness and un- 
worthiness ; when we look upon the many difficul- 
ties that lie in our way, and our own weakness, and 
utter inability to break through them ; we may justly 
be afraid, lest some time or other we be guilty of a 
fatal miscarriage, and perish at last. And such a 
fear as this is recommended to us as a means to 
keep us from apostasy, that we may not really come 
short, as the unbelieving Israelites did of Canaan : 
Let us fear lest, a promise being left us of entering into 
his rest, any of us should seem to come short,* should 
do any thing that looks like, or tends towards, a 
drawing back to Egypt again. We have no reason 
to be secure ; many who thought they stood, stood 
as high, stood as firm as we, yet have fallen, have 
fallen fatally and irrecoverably. Let us, therefore, 
who think we stand, take heed lest we fall,** and 
with a holy fear and trembling ^ let us be continually 
working out our salvation. Vigilaniibus non dormi- 
entibus succurrit lex — The vigilant, not the negligent, 
are favoured by the law. 

Yet let not this fear degenerate into amazement, 
nor take off our chariot wheels, or make us drive 
heavily. While we fear lest God should leave us 
to ourselves, and put us into the hand of our own 
counsels, as justly he might, and then we are un- 
done, let us hope in his mercy, that having begun 
a good work in us he will perform it. If it be the 
work of his own hands he will not forsake it, nay, he 
will perfect it, if it be indeed that which truly con- 
cerns us.^ The same apostle who bids us fear lest 



I 9 Cor. xii. 9. 
c Phil. ii. 13. 



> Heb. iv. I. 
4 Ps. cxxxviii. 8. 



b 1 Cor. X. 12. 
• Heb. ▼!. 11. 



we come short, bids us give diligence to a full assur- 
ance of hope unto the end ;* for faithful is he that 
has called us, faithful is he that has promised, who 
will perform his promise, and perfect his call. To 
him, therefore, let us commit the keeping of our 
souls in well doing, the greatest trust to the best 
trustee ; and then let it be our comfort that we Anote? 
whom we have trusted, even one who is ahU to heep 
what we have committed to him against that day,^ when 
it shall be called for. 

Thus you see how in the g^at concerns of our 
souls there is occasion both for hope and fear, and 
each have their work to do, so that the two ex- 
tremes of presumption and despair, those dangerous 
rocks, may be avoided. This is the levelling work 
by which the way of the Lord is to be prepared : by 
a good hope, every valley shall be exalted, and by a 
holy fear, every mountain and hill shall be brought 
low.v And thus the glory of the Lord being revealed, 
all flesh shall see it together. 

II. The balance must likewise be kept even be- 
tween hope and fear, as to our temporal concerns, 
about which we cannot be wholly unconcerned. 
Many cares we have upon our hearts about our life, 
health, ease, and safety; about our callings and 
estates, and the prosperity of them ; our reputation 
and interest among men ; our relations and families, 
and our comfort in them : all these we hold between 
hope and fear, and must take heed, that when things 
look ever so hopeful we be not rocked asleep in 
security ; and when they look ever so frightful, we 
do not faint away in despondency. 

I. When the world smiles upon us, and our affairs 
in it prosper, yet then we must keep up a holy fear, 
and not be too confident in our pleasing prospects ; 
not flatter ourselves with hopes of the great ad- 
vancement and long continuance of our peace and 
prosperity ; but balance the hopes which sense sug- 
gests, with the fears which reason and religion will 
suggest. When our bodies are in health, and we 
are in our full strength, the breasts full of milk, and 
the bones moistened with marrow ;*> when our rela- 
tions are all agreeable, and such as we could wish ; 
when our affairs are in a good posture, the trade 
growing, the credit firm, and every thing running in 
our favour ; yet even then we must fear God, and 
the turns of his providence against us, remembering 
that in such as fear him he takes pleasure. 

Let us not say at such a time, as David said in 
his prosperity,* / shall never be moved^ my mountain 
stands so strong, that nothing can stir it, nothing 
shake a state of health so confirmed, a reputation so 
established ; or as Job said in his prosperity, / »haU 
die in my nest, and multiply my days as the sand ;^ or 
as Babylon in the height of her grandeur, / shall be 
a lady for ever} I sit as a queen, and shall see no sor^ 



f STinLl. 13. 
i Pi. zxx. S. 



f! In. si. a 4. 
k Job xxlx. la 



h Job xxi. M. 
1 ba. xlvii. 7. 



HOPE AND FEAR BALANCED. 



817 



row.'^ Let us never promise ourselves, that because 
this day smiles upon us, to-morrow must needs be 
as this day, and much more abundant ;° since we 
know not what shall be on the morrow, nor what 
one day may bring forth. Let us not put the evil 
day far from us, which for ought we know may be 
Tcry near, and at the door. But, to prevent the 
security we are in danger of falling into at such a 
time, 

(I.) Let us keep up an awful regard to the sove- 
reignty of the Divine Providence, and its disposals 
of us and ours. We are in its hands, as clay is in 
the band of the potter,e to be formed, unformed, 
new formed, as be pleases. That which seemed 
designed for a vessel of honour, is either marred, or 
with one turn of the wheel made a despised vessel, 
in which there is no pleasure : and shall we say, 
dare we say. Why hast thou made me thus ? May not 
God do what he will with his own creature ? and 
shall he not fulfil his own counsel, whether we refuse^ 
or whether we choose ?^ for we are sure he is debtor 
to no man. 

Whatever we have, it was God who gave it us ; 
and we said when we had it. Blessed be the name of 
tke Lordy^ who in a way of sovereignty gave that to 
Ds, which he denied to others more deserving : and 
whatever we lose, it is God who takes it away ; and 
when it is gone, we must say. Blessed he the name of 
the Lord, who in a way of sovereignty takes from us 
that which he had given us, and does us no wrong ; 
for we are but tenants at will of all our enjoyments, 
eren of life itself, and may be turned out at less than 
an hour's warning, for our times are in God's hands, 
not in our own. 

It is true, that godliness has the promise of the 
hit that now is ; but we must take heed of misunder- 
standing those promises which relate to temporal 
irood things, which are all made with this implicit 
proviso. As far as is for God's glory and our good ; 
and further than those, if we love cither God or our- 
selTes, we shall not desire them. It is promised, 
that it shall be well with them tliat fear God ; but it 
ii not promised that they shall be always rich and 
i:reat in the world, always in health, and at ease. 
It is promised, that no evil shall befall them, nothing 
that shall do them any real hurt ; but it is not pro- 
mised that no affliction shall befall them, for there 
may be need, that for a season they should be in hea- 
viness, and it shall be for their advantage. 

(2.) Let us keep up a full conviction of the vanity 
of this world, and the uncertainty of all our enjoy- 
ments In it We are very unapt scholars, if we have 
not learned, even by our own experience and obser- 
TatioD, that there are no pleasures here below that 
are lasting, but they are all dying things ; and that 
often proves least safe that is most dear. They are 



« Rev. xviii. 7. a \i 



Ivi. 12. o Jer. xviii. 4, 8. p Jobxxxiv. 33. 
3 G 



as flowers which will soon fade, and the sooner for 
being much smelled to ; as snow which will soon 
melt, and the sooner for being taken up in our hands, 
and laid in our bosoms. The things we dote so 
much upon make themselves wingS' (though we 
should not by our own improvidence and prodigality 
make them wings) and flee away as an eagle towards 
heaven. And shall we then set our eyes and hearts 
upon things that are not, the fashion of which pass- 
eth away, and we with it? 

The things we are so fond of, we call good things, 
though if we have not grace to use them well, and 
to do good VFith them, they are to us good for nothing. 
But the Scripture calls them deceitful riches, and the 
mammon of unrighteousness, because they put a cheat 
upon those who depend upon them, and trust in 
them ; they are not what they seem, perform not what 
they promise, nor last so long as one would think 
they should. What God has graciously promised 
us in them, they do perform, but not what we fool- 
ishly promise ourselves from them : so that if we are 
deceived, we may thank ourselves ; it is our own 
fault for trusting to them. They perish in the using,* 
much more in the abusing. Let those, therefore, 
who are rich in this world, receive the apostle's 
charge, not to trust in uncertain riches, because they 
are uncertain ; nor to lay up their treasure in them, 
because our estates as well as our bodies are subject, 
both to diseases, for moth and rust corrupt them, 
and to disasters, for thieves breah through and steal 
them. What assurance can we have of, what con- 
fidence can we put in, those goods, which may be 
lost in an instant by the firing of a house, or the 
foundering of a ship at sea, by the unsuspected fraud 
of those we deal with, or the overpowering force of 
those we contend with ? How can we call that our 
own, which is so much in others' hands, or think to 
hold that fast ; when even that which is in our hand 
slips through our fingers like dust, especially if wc 
grasp it hard. 

(3.) Let us keep up an humble sense of our own 
undeservings and ill-deservings. We shall see a . 
great deal of reason not to be confident of the con- 
tinuance of our creature-comforts, when we consider 
that we are not worthy of the leasts of them, no, not 
of the crumbs that fall from the table of common 
providence ; and if we were not worthy to have 
them, much less are we worthy to have them long, 
and to have them secured to us. Nay, we have for- 
feited them all a thousand times by our abuse of 
them; and God might justly take the forfeiture. 
He who is in debt is continually in fear, lest all he 
has be suddenly seized on : it is our case ; we are 
in debt to the justice of God, and what can we ex- 
pect, but to be stript of all ? 

We had been so long ago, if God had dealt with 



q Job i. 21. r Prov. xxili. ft. ■ Col. ii.22. t Qen. xxxii. 10. 



818 



HOPE AND FEAR BALANCED. 



us according to our sins ; so that we have lived all 
oar days upon forfeited favours, which therefore we 
can have no assurance of the continuance of. 

Though we have the testimony of our consciences 
for us, that what we have we have got honestly, 
and not by fraud and oppression ; and that we have 
used it charitably, and in some measure honoured 
God with it, which is the likeliest way both to secure 
it and to increase it ; yet even then we must not be 
secure, for God has seen that amiss in us, which we 
have not seen in ourselves ; and there is none who 
can say, / have mada my heart clean^ lam pure from 
«tn. We have all contracted guilt enough, to justify 
God in depriving us of all our comforts in this world ; 
and, therefore, have no reason to be confident of the 
continuance of them, but a great deal of reason, 
whatever we lose, to say, The Lord is righteous, 

(4.) Let us keep up a lively expectation of troubles 
and changes in this changeable, troublesome world. 
It is what we are bid to count upon, and can look 
for no other in a wilderness. Time and chance hap- 
pen to all ; why then should they not happen to us ? 
The race is not sure to the swift, nor the battle to the 
strong y no, nor so much as bread to the wiscj much less 
riches to men of understanding, or favour to men of 
shilL^ Why then should we think them sure to us ? 
Can you and I imagine that the world should be 
more kind and more constant to us, than it has been 
to those who went before us ? You have read the 
story of Job, whom the rising sun saw the richest 
of all the men of the East, but the setting sun left 
poor, to a proverb. You have in your own time 
seen those who were once worth thousands, so re- 
duced that they and theirs have wanted necessary 
food : and what exemption can we pretend to from 
the common calamities of human life ? We are not 
better than our fathers, nor better than our prede- 
cessors. Shall we think our prosperity more firm 
than that of others has been ? We might as well 
think that the earth should be forsaken for us, and 
the rock removed out of its place. 

Nay, troubles and changes are good for us, they 
are necessary for us ; the temper, or rather the dis- 
temper, of our minds make them so, lest we grow 
proud and secure, and in love with this world. We 
read of those who have no changes, and therefore 
they fear not God ; who are not in trouble as other 
men,^ and therefore pride compasses them about as 
a chain.^ Moab has been at ease from his youth,*" 
and has not by changes and troubles been emptied 
from vessel to vessel ; and therefore he is settled on 
his lees, is grown secure and sensual, he is nnhum- 
bled and unreformed, his taste remains in him^ and 
his scent is not changed. We have therefore reason 
to expect that God will in love to us exercise us 
with crosses and afflictions, that he may remind us 



a Eccl. ix. II. 
Ps. Ixxiii. 5, 6. 



» Ps. Iv. 19. 
K Jer. xlviii. ii. 



what we are, and what we have done amiss, may 
wean us from this world, and draw out our thoughts 
and affections toward that world, the comforts of 
which know no changes. 

(5.) Let us keep up serious thoughts of death ap- 
proaching, and of our speedy removal to another 
world. Though the comforts we enjoy should not 
be taken from us, though we were ever so sore they 
should not, yet we know not how soon we may be 
taken from them, and then, how long soever they may 
last, they are ours no longer. Do we not perceive 
how frail our nature is ? Are we not in deaths often, 
in deaths always, in death even in the midst of life ? 
Do we not see ourselves, wherever we are, standing 
upon the brink of eternity, and our souls continaally 
in our hands ? And what good have we then to look 
for in this world, who are hastening apace ont of it, 
and can carry nothing away with us ? What is our 
strength that we should hopef^ If we wait for a 
larger and finer house than what we now live in 
upon earth, before it falls to us perhaps the g^rave 
may be our house, and we may make our bed in the 
darkness. And when our days are past, with them 
our purposes are broken off, even the thoughts of oar 
heart; we and our hope go down together to the bars 
of the pit, when our rest is in the dust.* 

Death will put a period to all our hopes in this 
world, and to all our enjoyments: how loose there- 
fore should we sit to them, when life itself han^s so 
loose ! He who said, Soui, take thine ease, thou hast 
goods laid up for many years, eat, drinh, and he fmerry, 
was by this proved a fool, that that very night his 
soul was by death required of him ;* and then u^hose 
shall all these things be which he has provided^ and 
promised himself so much from ? None of his we 
may be sure. Let us therefore be so wise as to (in- 
sider our latter end, and be daily mindful of it, and 
then we shall not be such fools as to rely upon any 
thing in this world for a portion and happiness : we 
see we have here no continuing city, let us therefore 
seek and look for one that is to come.** 

Let me now press this caution upon those whose 
hopes are most apt to rise high from this world, that 
in order to the keeping of the balance even, they 
may maintain a holy fear, and not grow secnre : 

[1.] You who are young, and setting out in the 
world, must be reminded not to expect great things 
in it. You hope you shall do as well as the best ; 
but it may prove otherwise, that you may fare in it 
as ill as the worst. You are apt to look at the things 
of the world through that end of the perspective glass 
that magnifies them, and to count upon having every 
thing to your mind, as if there were nothing bnt prizes 
in the world's lottery ; and so lay a foundation for 
the greater grief in the disappointment, when what- 
ever prizes others may have, you, perhaps, may have 



J Job vi. II. 
a Luke xii. 19, ao. 



sJobxvii. II, 13»16. 

b Heb. xiii. 



14. 



HOPE AND FEAR BALANCED. 



619 



nothing bat blanks to your share : and then it will 
be fotty " to curse yoar stars," (as some profanely 
speak,) hviX justice to reproach yourselves for baild- 
ing so high on a sandy foundation, and promising 
yoursehes satisfaction of spirit, in that which yon 
were many a time told had nothing in it bat vanity 
and vexation of spirit Think not too well of your- 
selves, for then you are apt to prognosticate nothing 
but good to yourselves ; bat lay yourselves low, and 
then you will lay your expectations low. 

[2.] You who are rich, and have abundance of 
Ibe world, do not make that abundance your strong 
eity, and a high wallf for it is not so really, but 
only in your own conceit, and you may soon find it 
as a bowing waliy and a tottering fence ; a broken 
reed, which will not only fail under you, bat will ran 
into your hand and pierce it. Keep up such a fear 
of God and his providence, as may forbid you ever 
to say unto the gold. Thou art my Itope ^ and to the 
fine gold. Thou art my confidence; for if the Lord 
do not help you^ much more if he turn to be your 
enemy, and ligbt against you, whence can the world 
help you, out of the ham-fioory or out of the wine- 
press,'^ oat of the farms, or out of the merchandise ? 

[3.] You who are cheerful and gay, and cast away 
care, who walk in the way of your heart, and in the 
sight of your eyes, and withhold' not yourselves 
from any joy, let the fear of God be a check to your 
mirth, and restrain it from growing into an excess. 
You may perhaps take care that in laughter your 
hearts shall not be sad/ but the end of this mirth 
may be heaviness before you are aware. When you 
rejoice in hope of the glory of God, that hope will 
not make you ashamed ; but when you rejoice in 
hope of the wealth, and pomp, and pleasures of this 
world, you have turar reason to be ashamed that you 
place your happiness in such things, and will at 
kngth be ashamed that you looked for so much from 
them. You are but girding on the harness, and 
therefore boast not, as though you had put it ojf^ 
^ not high-minded, but fear ; and look for that, 
every day, which may come any day. 

2. When the world frowns upon us, and we are 
crossed, and disappointed, and perplexed in our 
affairs, then we must keep up a good hope, and not 
be inordinately cast down, no, not in our melancholy 
prospects, about our health, our safety, our name, 
oar relations, and our effects in the world. We 
most not at any time burthen ourselves with dis- 
tracting care, vrhat we shall eat, and what wc shall 
drink, and wherewithal we shall be clothed ;** but 
cajt this care upon God, and depend upon him to 
care for us.* We must not in the worst of times 
torment ourselves with amazing fear, as if every 
thing that threatens us must needs ruin us, and 
every fresh g^e would be a storm presently ; and as 



eProT. Tviil. II. 
f Prov. adv. 13. 



4 Job xzxi. S4. 
f 1 Kings XX. II. 
do 2 



• 2 Kings vi. 27. 
h Matt. vi. 26. 



if every mole-hill of difficulty in our way were an 
insuperable mountain. How black soever things 
look, and how low soever we are brought, we must 
not allow ourselves in fearing more than there is 
cause, nor more than is meet ; we must not frighten 
ourselves with the creatures of our own imagina- 
tion, nor suffer our fears to disquiet our minds, and 
deprive us of the government and enjoyment of our- 
selves, to damp our joy in God, to disturb our com- 
munion with him, and discourage our dependence 
on him. 

But when fear weighs down the balance on that 
side, let us endeavour to keep it even, to keep it 
from sinking into despair, by maintaining a holy 
confidence in God, even as to our outward affairs : 
and when we are warned to get ready for the worsts 
we must still hope the best ; hope that things are not 
so bad as they seem to be, that they will not be so 
bad as they are feared to be ; and that in due time 
they will be better than they are. And let this hope 
keep our head above water, when we are ready to 
sink into despair ; let it enable us to check ourselves 
for being cast down and disquieted ;^ for as bad as 
things are, if we hope in God, we shall yet praise him, 

(1.) Hope in God's power : be fully assured of this, 
that how imminent soever the danger is, he can 
prevent it ; how great soever the straits are, he can 
extricate us out of them, can find out a way for us in 
an untracked wilderness, and open springs of water 
to us in a dry and barren land : for with him nothing 
is impossible, nor is his arm ever shortened, nor his 
wisdom nonplused. Let us honour God, by a firm 
belief of his omnipotence ; Lord, if thou wilt thou 
canst mahe me whole, thou canst mahe me clean, thou 
canst raise me up from a low estate, and raise up 
friends for me when I am most forlorn ; by trusting 
in him as a God all-sufficient when creatures fail, 
and whom we may rejoice in as the God of our sal- 
vation, though the fig-tree do not blossom, and there 
be no fruit in the vine. The murmuring Israelites 
did not in any thing affront God so much as in say- 
ing. Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?^ Can 
he give bread also f As if any thing was too hard for 
the Lord. 

(2.) Hope in his providence ; and believe not only 
that he can do any thing, but that he does do every 
thing ; and whatever the event is, God does therein 
pel form the thing that is appointed for vs,"* and takes 
cognizance of us and our affairs, how mean and 
despicable soever we are. The great God has all 
hearts in his hand, their hearts particularly that you 
have dealings with and dependence on. The ships 
on board of which your effects are, though they are 
afar off upon the sea, are under God's eye ; and he 
is the confidence of all the ends of the earth,^ the 
remotest plantations where your concerns lie. And 



1 1 Pet. V. 7. k Ps. xliL 5. 

m Job XXV. 14. 



1 Ps. Ixxviii. 19. 
n Ps. Ixv. 5 



820 



HOPE AND FEAR BALANCED. 



shall not that God who governs the world, be in- 
trusted with the disposal of your concerns ? 

Hope in the usual method of Providence, which 
sets prosperity and adversity one over againtt the 
other ; and when the ebb is at the lowest makes the 
tide to turn, and the day to dawn when the night is 
at the darkest. It is the glory of Providence to help 
the helpless, to raise the poor out of the dust, and 
bring back even from the gates of death ; to breathe 
upon dry bones, and say unto them. Live. Let this 
encourage us to hope, that when things are at the 
worst they will mend ; and therefore, as in the heights 
of prosperity we must rejoice as though we rejoiced 
not, so in the depths of adversity we must weep as 
though we wept not ; non si male, nunc et olim, sic 
erit — not as though, because circumstances have been 
and are adverse, they are ever to remain so. God 
generally comforts his people, according to the time 
that be has afflicted them.® 

(3.) Hope in his pity and tender compassions; 
which in the day of your grief and fear, you are to 
look upon yourselves as the proper objects of. The 
text directs us particularly to hope in his mercy ; we 
must depend upon the goodness of his nature for 
that which we have not an express promise for. 
Let this silence our fear, that the God in whose hand 
our times are, is gracious and merciful, does not 
afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men, much 
less his own children, but when there is cause, and 
when there is need, and therefore will not always 
chide, will not contend for ever; but though he 
cause grief, be will have coropassion.P We may 
with a good assurance/a// into the hands of the Lord, 
(and whose hands soever we fall into, they are his 
hands,) for we know that his mercies are great, and 
those who hope in them shall find them so. 

(4.) Hope in his promise ; that word of his upon 
which he hath caused us to hope, and which we 
have all the reason in the world to build npon,<i for 
not one iota or tittle of it shall fall to the ground. 
Though he has not promised to deliver us from that 
particular evil we have a dread of, or to give us that 
particular comfort and success we are desirous of, 
yet he has promised that nothing shall harm them 
who are followers of him : nay, that all things shall 
work together for good to them;' and (which is 
enough to silence all our fears) that though our ca- 
lamities may separate us from the dearest comfort 
and comforters we have in this world, yet they shall 
never be able to separate us from the love of God, 
which is in Christ Jesus our Lord,' from divine com- 
forts, and the divine Comforter. 

And now, who is there here that stands in need of 
this caution against despondency of spirit under dis- 
couraging events, and to whom it is seasonable to 
recommend a believing hope for the balancing and 

• P8.XC. 1& p Lam. iii. 31, 32. s Ps. cxix. 49. 

r 1 Pet iii. 13. • Rom. viii. 39. 



silencing of their distnistful fears ? Let them apply 
this to themselves, and make use of the hope recom- 
mended to them as an anchor of the soul,^ to keep 
them steady in a storm. 

[1.] You who are beginning the world with fear 
and trembling, who are humble, and honest, and 
diligent, but have little to begpn with, have many 
difficulties to break through, and arc very diffident of 
your own understanding ; be not discouraged, but 
hope in God's mercy. Your friends are few, unable 
to help you, or unkind and regardless of you ; father 
and mother have perhaps forsaken you." Know 
then that you are the particular care of Providence, 
which gathers the outcasts, and provides even for 
young ravens, when they are deserted. Trust in the 
Lord, therefore, and do good, so shalt thou dwell in 
the land; and though thou be not feasted, yet verily 
thou shalt be fed." Though the beginning be small, 
the latter end may by the blessing of God greatly in- 
crease,* and a little one may become a thousand. 

[2.] You who have concerns that lie at hazard, in 
danger at sea, or of being a prey to the enemy ; who 
have debts in bad hands, or dear relations that you 
have dependence upon, or delight in, in peril ; give 
not way to amazing fear, that fear which has tor- 
ment, but hope in God's mercy. Give not up any 
thing for gone, till it is gone : and when it is gone, 
yet give not up all for gone, as long as you have the 
good providence of God to trust to. Say not, as 
David in his haste, I am cast out of thy sight, or, / 
shall one day perish by the hand of Saul ; but wait on 
the Lord, and be of good courage, resolved to wel- 
come his holy will, whatever it be. We are some- 
times told that the merchants are in pain for such a 
ship, such a fleet ; you think at such a time, it is 
only the news of their safe arrival that will pat you 
out of your pain. And what if that news never 
come ? then you condemn yourselves to a lasting un- 
easiness. But let me recommend that to you, which 
will make you easy, whatever the event be ; commit 
your way to God, by a believing prayer, and submit 
your will to God by a penitent resignation ; and then 
let your thoughts be established. 

[3.] You who, by the providence of God, are from 
fulness reduced to straits, have met with losses which 
you think can never be repaired, and conclude yoa 
shall never see a good day again, but are undone to 
all intents and purposes ; do not give way to these 
desponding thoughts, but hope in the mercy of God, 
that mercy which brings low, and raises up. As 
Job's troubles arc a warning to those in prosperity not 
to be secure, so his return to his former splendour, 
is a warning to those in adversity not to despair. 
You know not what better times you may yet be re- 
served for, as Job was, whose latter end God blessed 
more than his beginnings* 

t Heb. v\. 19. It Pa. zxvii. fo. ▼ Ps. xxsii. a 

« Job Tiii. 7. X Job xlti. IS. 



HOPE AND FEAR BALANCED. 



821 



III. I come now briefly to show how the balance 
must be kept even between hope and fear as to 
public coDcems, both those of the church abroad, 
and of our own nation. Are not the concerns of the 
charch abroad our concerns ? They ought to be so. 
I hope we all lay them near our hearts, as members 
of the great body, and hearty well-wishers to its 
interests, and to the honour and kingdom of its great 
Head. Are we not in care that the Christian religion 
may get ground among men, and not lose the ground 
it has ; that it may prevail and rule in its power and 
parity ; that the bounds of the church may be en- 
larged by the accession both of Jews and Gentiles 
to it ; that the breaches of It may be healed, by the 
pouring out of a spirit of love and charity upon all 
who belong to it ; that the ordinances of Christ, ad- 
ministered according to the institution of (hem, may 
ever be its glory, and upon that glory there may ever 
be a defence ; a cloud created by day, and the shin- 
ing of a flaming fire by night, both upon every dwell- 
ing place of Mount Zion, and upon her assemblies P 

The land of our nativity ought in a particular 
manner to be dear to us, for in the peace or trouble 
of that, we have peace' or trouble. Is it not our 
concern, that our liberty and property be secured ; 
that the government flourish ; that the public peace 
and tranquillity be continued; that justice be duly 
administered ; that the power and influence of the 
nation abroad be advanced ; that the trade be pro- 
tected and increased ; but, above all, that the pro- 
testant religion be transmitted pure to those who shall 
come after us ; that the bulwarks erected against 
popery may be strengthened ; that atheism, infi- 
delity, and all iniquity, may be made to stop their 
mouth ; that the form of godliness may ever be the 
beauty of the nation, and the power of it may ever 
mle in men's hearts and lives ? Is it not our concern, 
that our eyes should still see our teachers, and that 
they should not again be removed into comers, nor 
our religions assemblies broken up and scattered ? 
If it be, we cannot but look forward with concern, 
and while we enjoy peace and liberty at present, be 
in care about the continuance of them ; and in our 
prospects there cannot but be a mixture of hope and 
fear, and we must endeavour so to fear the worst, as 
not to grow secure, and so to hope the best, as not to 
despond, or be dispirited. 

The truth is, we are very apt at some times, when 
second clauses smile a little, to be very sanguine, 
above what there is reason for, and to conclude, that 
we shall without fail be in Canaan presently ; at 
other times, when things go not just to our mind, we 
are apt to be very chagrined, more than there is 
cause, and to conclude that we shall without remedy 
be hurried back into Egypt again. This hour we 
soar, and if the wind turn, next hour we sink ; as if 



J laa. iv. A. 



■ Jer. xxix. 7. 



when the sun shines we should think it would never 
rain, and when it rains we shouldthinkthe sun would 
never shine out again. And have we not lived long 
enough in this world to be ashamed both of those hopes 
and those fears ? having often seen ourselves dis- 
appointed both in the one and the other ; and in the 
issue things have proved neither so well as we hoped, 
nor so ill as we feared ; so that we have surely at 
leng^ learned by experience, that it is our wisdom 
and interest, as well as our duty, to keep the bal- 
ance even between hope and fear. 

1. We have always reason to keep up a holy fear 
as to public affairs, and to be apprehensive of trou- 
ble before us, even when things look most promising. 
We have no reason, even when we dwell peaceably, 
as the men of Israel in Solomon's time, to dwell 
carelessly, as the men of Laish.* It is true, and we 
have a great deal of reason to be thankful for it, that 
we are a happy people ; we have long been blessed 
with peace and plenty at home, and with victory and 
success abroad ; we live under a very good govern- 
ment, which seeks the welfare of our people, speak- 
ing peace to all their seed; we have long sitten 
every one under his own vine, and under his own 
fig-tree ; we have long enjoyed the free exercise of 
our religion, and great plenty of the means of grace, 
and there has been none to make us afraid. Our 
fleece has been wet with the dews of heaven, when 
that of other nations has been dry : while theirs also 
has been wet with showers of blood, ours has been 
dry. 

Shall England then say, / sit as a queen ^ and shall 
see no sorrow? By no means. Happy is the man 
that still fcareth, as David, whose flesh trembled for 
fear of God ;'* and notwithstanding the many mer- 
cies he had received from him, was afraid of his 
judgments. And we have reason to be so ; for, 

(1.) We are a provoking people. Atheism and 
profanencss abound among us, notwithstanding the 
testimonies borne against them, and the endeavours 
used to suppress them. Vice is become fashionable 
and epidemical ; all flesh have corrupted their way ; 
the whole head sich, the whole heart faint. How is 
God's name dishonoured, his day profaned, his good 
creatures abused to luxury and excess; and how 
does the unclean spirit range through the land! 
Liberty to sin has been pleaded for as Christian 
liberty, and the societies for reformation branded as 
illegal inquisitionif and their pious endeavours op- 
posed, insulted, and ridiculed. And shall not God 
visit for these things ? Shall not his soul be avenged 
on such a nation as this ?^ How can a people who 
hate to be reformed, hope to be saved ? 

The great decay of serious godliness among those 
who run not with others to an excess of riot, is 
likewise a very threatening symptom. If those 



• Judges xTiii. 7. i Ps. cxix. 120. 



e Jer. ix. 9. 



622 



HOPE AND FEAR BALANCED. 



g^row more insolent who are filling the measure of 
the nation's guilt by their wickedness, and at the 
same time those grow more cold and remiss, who 
should empty it by their prayers and tears, things 
look very ill indeed. How wofully do the profes- 
sors of this age degenerate from the zeal and strict- 
ness of their predecessors ! And such is the cor- 
ruption of the rising generation in many families, 
that there is reason to fear a further degeneracy. 
And, if thus we grow worse and worse, what will 
become of us at last? If thus, as Ezra speaks, the 
holy seed mingle themselves with, and conform them- 
selves to, the people of these abominations, what 
may we expect, but that God should be angry with 
us till he hath consumed us?' For our religion 
sensibly consumes, and a consumption may be as 
fatal as a stab. Those may be of any religion, who 
are of no religion. 

(2.) We are a divided people, and our divisions 
give just cause to fear the worst ; for what can be 
expected, but that a kingdom divided against itself 
should be brought to desolation ? It is our enemies' 
policy to divide us, and our sin and folly to serve 
their design by our misunderstandings one of an- 
other, and disafi*ection one to another, when we 
might countermine and defeat it by our mutual love 
and charity. For the divisions of our Reuben, there 
cannot but be great thoughts and searchings of heart 
among all who are concerned for the public welfare. 
We are in danger of being burnt up by the heats 
in our own bosoms, and broken to pieces by the 
blows we give one another ; and who can we think 
will be our deliverers, if we be thus oar own de- 
stroyers ? 

It is not so much the difference of sentiment that 
is threatening, nor the difference of practice accord- 
ing to that sentiment ; I never expect to see all wise 
men of a mind, and good men will not act against 
their judgment; but that which does us the mischief, 
is the mismanagement of our differences, our un- 
charitable censures one of another, and reflections 
one upon another, our heats and animosities, and 
party-making, to the destruction, not only of Chris- 
tian charity, but of common friendship and good 
neighbourhood. The breach seems wide as the sea, 
which cannot be healed ; and what will be in the end 
hereof? If we thus bite and devour one another, 
what can be expected, but that we should be con- 
sumed one of another ?* While our enemies triumph 
in our divisions, it becomes us to tremble because of 
them. 

(3.) God has told us, that in the world we shall 
have tribulation; all the disciples of Christ must 
count upon it, and not flatter themselves with hopes 
of an uninterrupted tranquillity any where on this 
side heaven. The church is here militant, its state 



i Ezra ix. 2, 14. 

ff AcU vii. 38. 



e Gal. V. 15. f Judges iii. 30. 

h Exod. XV. 37. 



in this world is a warfare : if it retire sometimes into 
quarters of refreshment, yet it must expect to be 
drawn out into the field again next campaign : if it 
have its intervals of peace, those are intended as 
breatliing times, that it may recruit and gather 
strength for an encounter with another trouble. 
Once we read that the land of Israel had rest four- 
score years ;' but we never read afterwards that it 
had so long a respite. We are in a wilderness, and 
we must expect to fare no better than the church 
in the wilderness did,' which though sometimes it 
pitched where there were twelve wells of water,*' yet 
presently was where there was no water* to drink ; 
and when it removed from the wilderness of Sin, 
the cloud that was their guide led them to the wil- 
derness of Paran ;^ but still they were in a desert 
land, where God, though he led them about, yet 
instructed them. Let the people of God never expect, 
till they come to heaven, to be out of the reach of 
evil, and therefore never expect to be perfectly quiet 
from the fear of it. 

Far be it from me to suggest any thing that may 
create disquieting jealousies ; all that I aim at in 
mentioning these grounds of fear, is, that hereby 
we may all be awakened to our duty. 

[1.] Let us, in consideration hereof, stir up our- 
selves to pray, and to wrestle with God in prayer, 
for the turning away of the judgments, which our 
own sins, and the malice of those who are the ene- 
mies of our public peace, threaten us with. Jacob 
feared Esau his brother, and then prayed, Deiiver 
me, / pray thee, from him.' Jehoshaphat feared, 
and then set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaim 
a fast™ Whatever are the grounds of our fear, we 
know God can remove them ; he can turn away un- 
godliness from Jacob," and then he comes as a 
Redeemer to Zion. 

Let not our prayers for the church of God, and 
for our own nation, degenerate into a formality ; 
nor let us grow customary in them, as if it were only 
for fashion' sake, that we prayed for the queen and 
the government, the preservation of the protestant 
succession, and the prosperity of the nation and its 
allies, and (as some vainly drink healths to these) 
only for a compliment. I fear lest some who join 
with us in prayer, however in other parts of the ser- 
vice they think themselves somewhat concerned, 
when we come to that, grow remiss and indifferent, 
as if that were nothing to them ; whereas our Lord 
Jesus has taught us, before we pray for our daily 
bread and the pardon of our sins, to pray for the 
prosperity of his church, that his name may be 
sanctified, his kingdom may come, and his will be 
done. Let us therefore not only join heartily with 
our ministers in prayer for the church of God, and 
for the nation, but let each of us in our families and 



i Exod. XTll. 3. 

w s Chron. 



k Numb. X. IS. 
3. 



I Qen. xxxii 
■ Rom. xl. S6. 



II. 



HOPE AND FEAlR BALANCED. 



823 



closets be intercessors with God for pablic mercies ; 
let as j$tand in the gap to tarn away bis wratb, and 
give bim no rest till he establish, till he maice Jeru- 
salem a praise in the earth .» 

[2.] Let us, in consideration hereof, do what we 
can to prevent the judgments that threaten ns, by a 
personal reformation of heart and life, and by con- 
tributing what we can in our places to the reforma- 
tion of others. When God speaks concerning a 
aation, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to de- 
stroy ,p its taming from sin is the only way to save it 
from ruin, and that is a sore way. It is the island 
of the innocent that is delivered by the purenesi of 
their hands J^ Let this charity to the public begin at 
home. Let every Israelite, as once every Ninevite, 
turn from his evil way ; and then who can tell but 
God will yet return and repent/ and leave a blessing 
behind him ? But let not this charity end there ; let 
us appear on the Lord's side ; let us act in defence 
of injured virtue and despised g^odlincss, and do our 
utmost in bamility and sincerity to put vice and 
profaneness ont of countenance. And if we thus 
return to God in a way of duty, no doubt he will 
return to us in a way of mercy, and be better to us 
than our fears. 

[3.] Being warned of a deluge coming, let us pro- 
Tide accordingly : let not the warning make us 
despond and despair. Noah did not ; he knew the 
deluge should not be a final destruction of mankind, 
bat that there would be another world after that 
which was to be drowned ; he knew also that it 
should go well with him, and his family. With this 
hope he encouraged himself ; but being warned of 
God concerning it, he was moved with fear, and 
made provision for it; he walked with God, and 
thcj who do so are sure to be hid in the day of the 
Lord's anger,* to be hid either in heaven or under 
heaven. He prepared an ark, and then was himself 
saved in it. Christ is our ark, God has prepared in 
him a refuge for all those who flee to him, and take 
shelter in him when a deluge comes. Preserve the 
evidences of yoar interest in Christ clear and un- 
clouded, and your hopes of eternal life firm and 
unshaken ; lay up a treasure of comforts and expe- 
riences ; make the name of the Lord your strong 
tower ; his attributes, his promises, your sanctuary, 
into which you may run and be safe, in which you 
may rest and be easy, and, then, welcome the will of 
God, nothing can come amiss. 

2. Whatever cause we may see to fear, yet still 
we most keep up a good hope, as to public affairs. 
We bear of the threatening powers and policies of 
onr enemies, the heads and horns of the dragon,* 
that makes war with the Lamb. We see the church 
in many places afflicted, tossed with tempests, and 
not comforted ; her adversaries many and mighty, 

• lat Ixii. e, 7. F Jcr xTili. 7, 8. q Job xxii. 30. r Jonah iii. 10. 
• Zeph. ii. 3. t Rer. xll. 3. « Zecb. xlv. 7. 



her helpers few and feeble ; yet let not our faith and 
hope fail ; it is day, though it be cloudy and dark, 
and at evening time it shall be light." Let Israel 
hope in God, and wait for him, as those who wait 
for the morning ; and when the night is long and 
gloomy, do as Paul's mariners did, cast anchor, and 
wish for the day.* Let us learn to make the best of 
that which is, and hope the best concerning that 
which shall be. 

Let our hopes always be such a check upon our 
fears, that they may not prevail to disturb our com- 
munion with God, to stop the mouth of prayer, and 
weaken the hands of honest endeavour. Hearken 
not to the foolish surmises of danger, nor be put into 
a fright by evil tidings : Say notf A confederacy, to 
whom this people shall May 9 A confederacy; neither fear 
ye their fear^ nor be afraid, but mahe God your fear 
and your dread.' The more we are governed by the 
fear of God, the less we shall be disturbed by the 
fear of man. Nehemiah encouraged the builders of 
the wall with this, when they were surrounded with 
enemies, who designed to come in the midst among 
them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease. 
Be not afraid of them, remember the Lord which is 
yreat and terrible f"" greater and more terrible to them 
than they can be to us, and who will show himself 
above them in that thing wherein they deal proudly. 
When you fear continually every day, as if the 
oppressor in his fury ' were ready to destroy, you 
forget the Lord your Maker, and his dominion over 
all, and the dependence of every creature upon him ; 
which, if you had a due regard to, you would look 
with contempt upon Sennacherib himself, and would 
say, Where is the fury of the oppressor ? 

Let me prevail with you at this day to encourage 
yourselves in the Lord your God as to public affairs. 
While we fear our own sins, let us hope in God's 
mercy ; for though our iniquities prevail against us, 
and threaten to stop the current of God's favours, 
yet as for our transgressions he shall purge them 
away,* and that great obstacle being removed, his 
favours shall have a free course again. Though the 
designs of our enemies be laid ever so deep, and 
their hopes ever so high, yet God can make even 
their wrath to praise him, and restrain the remainder 
of it ;• and therefore take heed and be quiet, fear 
not, neither be faint-hearted,^ but hope that things 
will end well at last. 

There are three things which may encourage our 
hope, and keep the balance even against all our 
fears, as to the concerns both of the protestant 
churches abroad, and our own nation. 

(1.) The word which God has spoken to us ; which 
(whatever other props our hopes may be supported 
with) is the great foundation on which they must be 
built, and then they are fixed. If our hopes be 

T Acts xxvU. 80. w Isa. viil. 11. IS. * Neb. iv. II. 14. 
r Isa. li. 13. < Ps. Ixv. 3. • Pb. Ixxvi. 10. b Im. vii. 4. 



824 



HOPE AND FEAR BALANCED. 



groanded on the promise, and our expectations 
guided by it, they are as the house built on the rock ; 
and the heart that is supported by them is established 
and cannot be moved .« Sifractut illabatur arbis, 
impavidum ferient ruince — Though the earth be re- 
moved, yet will we notfearA But if our hopes be 
founded on the ability and agency of creatures, they 
rise or fall as second causes smile or frown ; as the 
ship upon the water, which is higher or lower, as the 
tide ebbs or flows. The stocks are as the news is, 
and then every turn of the wheel otherwise than we 
would have it, shakes our hopes, and robs us of the 
comfort of them. Be persuaded therefore to hope 
for what God had promised, according to the true 
intent and full extent of the promise, and because 
he has promised it, and that hope shall be an anchor 
of the soul sure and stedfast. 

Is not this the word which God has spoken, and 
on which he hath caused us to hope? That the 
kingdoms of the world shall become his kingdoms: 
That Christ shall have the heathen given him for his 
inheritance, and the ends of the earth shall see his sal- 
vation. Has he not said that the man of sin shall be 
consumed, the mystery of iniquity unravelled, and 
that the New-Testament Babylon shall sink like a 
millstone into the mighty waters ? Has he not said, 
that the day will come when swords shall be beaten 
into ploughshares, and spears intopruning-hooks, when 
the wolf and the lamb shall lie down together, and 
there shall be none to hurt or destroy in all the holy 
mountain ? Has he not said, that for the oppression 
of the poor, and the sighing of the needy, he will arise, 
and set them in safety from those that puff at them? 
That the rod of the wicked shall not always rest on the 
lot of the righteous, but the year of the redeemed will 
come, and the year of recompencesfor the controversy 
of Zion ? Has he not said, that a seed shall serve 
Christ, which shall be accounted to him for a genera- 
tion : that /A« name of Christ shall endure for ever; 
and that the church is built upon a rock, and tke gates 
of hell shall never prevail against it ? 

This, and a g^eat deal more to this purpose, he 
has said ; and he is not a man that he should lie, nor 
the son of man that he should repent Has he made 
the promise, and shall he not make it good? In this 
therefore let us trust, in this let us triumph, — God 
has spoken in his holiness ; he has given me his 
word for it, and then I will rejoice ; I will divide 
Sechem, Gilead is mine, Manasseh mine :« it is all 
my own as far as the promise goes, which we must 
not so much as stagger at. 

(2.) The work which God has begun among us. 
We have reason to hope in God's mercy ; for the 
interest that lies so much upon our hearts, even the 
interest of religion among us, is the interest of God's 
own kingdom, which he has set up among us, and 



c Ps. cxii. 7, 8. 
f P8. cii. 35. 



d Ps. xlvi. S. 



e Pb. Ix. 6, 7. 
V Ezra x. 2. 



will therefore keep up : it is the work of his own 
hands,^ which he will never forsake. 

Things are not so bad, but, blessed be God, there 
are some hopeful, favourable symptoms in our case ; 
and none more so, than the national testimonies that 
are borne against atheism and infidelity, and the 
threatening growth of deism, Socinianism, and scep- 
ticism among us ; the complaints that are justly made 
of the profanation of the Lord's day, and the con- 
tempt cast upon the Scripture and divine institu- 
tions ; of the wretched corruption of manners, and 
the influence which the profaneness of the stage has 
upon it When these things are represented as the 
real grievances of the nation, and lamented accord- 
ingly, surely now there is hope in Israel, concerning 
this thing,8 and we may rejoice in that hope. 

I trust God has among us a remnant of praying 
people, a remnant that hold fast their integrity ; and 
with an eye to them God will continue to save us, 
and will perfect what he has wrought. We may 
safely argue, as Haman's wife does, for the perfecting 
of the ruin of our enemies ; If Mordecai be of the 
seed of the Jews, if the cause be God's, as certainly 
it is, before whom, before which, thou hast begun to 
fall, thou shalt not, thou canst not, prevail, though 
thou struggle ever so hard, but shalt surely, shalt 
irrecoverably, fall before him^* and it And we may 
also argue, as Manoah's wife does, for the preventing 
of our own ruin ; //* the Lord had been pleased to kill 
us, ke would not as at tkis time have showed us such 
things as these.* As for God, his work is perfect ; if 
he bring to the birth, he will cause to bring forth.^ 

(3.) The wonders which he has wrought for us. 
When we are encouraging ourselves with hopes that 
God will ordain peace for us, because be has wrought 
our work in us ;i yet this is discouraging, that there 
are such difficulties in the way, which we think can 
never be got over. But let us then consider the 
former times, remember the works of the Lord, and 
his wonders of old ;"* not only those which our fathers 
have told us of, but which we have seen in our own 
days, whereby God's work has been begun, carried 
on in a surprising way, and by events which we 
looked not for. 

When God had begun to deliver Israel out of 
Egypt, and conduct them to Canaan by miracles, he 
expected that in their straits they should depend 
upon him still to work miracles for their relief, and 
was displeased at their unbelief if they did not. God 
has begun to save us, though not by miracles, yet by 
marvels ; and thereby has encouraged us to depend 
upon him that he will still do wonders for us, rather 
than the work he has done should be undone again. 
If a mean and worthless people may be saved by a 
divine prerogative, why may not a weak and help- 
less people be saved by a divine omnipotence ? 

b Esth. vi. 13. 1 Judges xiU. 33. k Lsa. lx?i. sT" 

1 lsa. xxTi. 12. n Ps. Izzvii. 11. 



HOPE AND FEAR BALANCED. 



825 



Be of good coarage therefore, and hope in God, 
that we shall yet praise him ; stay yourselves npon 
him, strengthen yonrseWes in him, look upwards 
with cheerfalness, and then look forward with satis- 
faction. Let yoor hopes qaicken yoar prayers, let 
them keep yoa in the way of daty, and enlarge yoar 
hearts to run in that way ; let them quicken your 
endeavoars in yoor places, to senre the interests of 
God's kingdom among us to the utmost of your power ; 
and then let them silence your fears, and make you 



always easy to yourselves and those about you. 
Comfort yourselves and one another with this, that 
the same almighty hand that has laid the foundations 
of his church among us, will build upon those 
foundations, will in his own way and time, in his own 
method, and according to the plan of bin own eternal 
counsels, carry on the building, till at length the top- 
stone be brought forth with shouting, and we shall 
cry, Grace f grace to it,^ 



n Zech. iv. 7. 



A SERMON 



CONCERNING 



THE CATECHISING OF YOUTH 



PREACHED TO MR. HARRIS'S CATECHUMENS, APRIL 7, 1713. 



2 Timothy i. 13. 

Holdfast the form of sound wordt which thou hast heard 
of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus, 

Blessed Paul in this, as in the former epistle, giv- 
ing wholesome advice and instruction to Timothy ; 
for the enforcing of it, among other things, pats him 
in mind of his education, and the advantages of it ; 
the good principles which by it had been instilled 
into him, and the good practices he had been trained 
up in : and upon trial, now he came to years of 
understanding, he could not but see that they were 
good. Let him therefore adhere to them, and abide 
by them, and now build upon the foundation then 
laid. 

He particularly mentions the two great advantages 
which be was blessed with, in his childhood and 
youth ; that he was bred up, both under the tuition 
of godly parents, and under the direction and in- 
struction of an able faithful ministry : and both these 
are requisite to complete the blessings of a religious 
education. 

I. He had been well taught by his godly parents, 
his grandmother Lois, and his mother Eunice,* whose 
unfeigned faith the apostle would have him fre- 
quently to think of, and thereby be minded to stir 
up the gift of God that was in him.** His father was 
a Greek, one who had little religion in him, but left 
it to his mother to bring him up as she thought fit ; 
and she and his grandmother were not wanting to 
season the vessel betimes with a good savour ; so 
that from a child he knew the Holy Scriptures, and 
was made wise to salvation by them.' It is a great 
opportunity, which mothers have, and which pru- 
dent, pious mothers will improve, to fill the minds 
of their children, when they are young, with good 



• 2 Tim V. 6. 



b Acts xvi. I. 



knowledge, and to form them to a good disposition. 
If the tree must be bent, it must be done when it is 
young and tender, and with a very gentle, easy hand, 
for the spirit is not to be broken but bowed. 

2. He had been well taught by St Paul too. His 
mother and grandmother had taught him the Scrip- 
tures, and made him ready in them, as a child of 
God ; then Paul expounded the Scriptures more 
fully to him, and by the grace of God made him 
mighty in them, so that he became a man of God, 
thoroughly furnished to all good works. The text 
speaks of the form of sound words, which he had 
heard of Paul, either in private lectures read to bim 
as his pupil, or in his public teaching and catechis- 
ing, on which Timothy was constantly and dili- 
gently attending. 

Now those two methods of instruction, both by pa- 
rents in their families, and by ministers in more 
public assemblies, are necessary, and do mutually 
assist each other, and neither will excuse the want 
of the other. Let not parents think to leave it wholly 
to ministers ; as if because their children are well 
taught in public, they need not take any pains with 
them at home ; no, there the foundation must be laid, 
and there the improvement by public catechising 
must be examined, and there a more particular ap- 
plication must be made according to the children's 
capacities and dispositions, than it is possible for 
ministers to make in public. The people of Israel 
had the Levites dispersed among them, whose office 
it was to teach them the good knowledge of the Lord ; 
and yet it is required of parents that they not only 
receive God's words into their own hearts, but that 
they teach them diligently to their children, and talk 
of them in their families, and tell those under their 
charge the meaning of the testimonies and judg- 
ments which he had commanded thera.*^ If father, or 



»> 3 Tim. iii. 1&. 



a Deut vL 6. 7. 90. 



A SERMON, &c. 



827 



mother, or both, do not teach their children first, and 
teach them last too, they will not be fit for, nor 
mnch the better by, public catechising. 

And on the other hand, let not ministers think to 
leave it wholly to parents, as if because the children 
were well taught at home, they needed not to con- 
tribute any help of theirs to their instruction. The 
great Shepherd of the sheep has charged them to 
feed his lambs* with food proper for them. Besides 
the natural authority and affection of parents, it is 
fit that the spiritual authority and affection of minis- 
ters likewise, should be improved for the advantage 
of the rising generation. And it may be presumed, 
that according to the gift given to them, they have 
pieater abilities for instruction than the parents have. 
In teaching your children other arts and sciences, 
though you may have some insight into them your- 
seWes, yet you make use of those who particularly 
profess those arts and sciences, and make it their 
business to teach them ; and will you not do so in 
that which is the one thing needful for them to learn 
well. You are to feed your kids, but you must do it 
beside the shepherds' tents,' under the conduct of a 
gospel ministry. 

Now Timothy having had this doubll advantage, 
Paul urges him still to proceed in that good way 
wherein he had so well set out ; to hold fast that 
fonn of sound words, which he had received. 

(1.) This implies that he had a form of sound 
words delivered to him by Paul ; a brief summary 
of the Christian doctrine, and of all those things 
which are most surely believed > among Christians, 
aj St Luke expresses it ; vxarvirutmv — a delineation, 
a scheme, or rough draught of the gospel institutes. 
It is a metaphor taken from painters ; in drawing a 
face, they first draw the shape and lines of it, and 
then fill it up with proper colours. Such a model 
or plan of the truths and law of Christ Timothy 
had, as he might afterwards, in his meditation and 
preaching, enlarge upon. Whether this form of 
sound words was a creed, or confession of faith, I 
cannot say ; I rather think it was in the way of a 
catechism, because that method of instruction was 
Qsed in the early ages of the church : for we find it 
alluded to in St. Peter's tirtpttTfifta — the answer of a 
good conscience^ or rather the interrogation ; so that 
I thiok if we apply it, especially to our catechisms, 
to the forms of sound words so formed, we shall offer 
DO violence at all in the text 

(2.) Here is a charge to him to hold it fast, txi — 
Hne it. Have it by thee, have it with thee, have it 
in thee, have it always ready for use ; do not part 
with it, nor in any instance depart from it. Have it, 
^at is, make it to appear that thou hast it ; as to 
have grace is to have it in action and exercise, and 
to him who so has, has and uses what he has, shall 



• John xxt 15. 
h I Pet iii 21. 



f Cant i. a 
tPB.zii 3. 



f Luk«i. I. 
k Matt. ▼. 18. 



be given. Or, as we read it, Hold it fast ; it was 
delivered to us, to have and to hold ; and we have it 
in vain, if we do not hold it 
Accordingly we may hence learn two doctrines. 

I. That good catechisms, containing the grounds 
and principles of the Christian religion, are 
useful forms of sound words ; and it is a great 
mercy to have heard and learned those forms. 

II. Those who have heard- and learned the good 
forms of sound words, must hold them fast in 
faith and love. 

I. It is a very great advantage to young people, to 
hear and learn the Christian forms of sound words 
in the days of their youth ; to have been well taught 
some good catechism, or confession of faith. Ob- 
serve here, 

1. The words of the gospel are vyiaivovrmv^^iound 
words, or as some render it, healthful, wholesome^ 
healing words. Put both together, and it inti- 
mates, 

(1.) That there is valve and validity in the words 
of the gospel ; as there is in that which is sound and 
firm, and in good condition. They are what they 
seem, and there is no cheat in them. Try them ; 
and you will find you may trust them, as yon may 
that which is sound, and will never be made ashamed 
of your confidence in them. Men speak with flatter- 
ing lips and with a double heart ; but the words of 
the Lord are pure words,* and have no mixture of 
falsehood in them. The law was written in stone, 
to intimate its stability and perpetuity; and the 
gospel is no less firm ; every iota and tittle of both 
shall survive heaven and earth.^ 

Assure yourselves, brethren, the words of the gos- 
pel which we preach to you, and which you are 
trained up in the knowledge of, are unchangeable 
and inviolable. Holy Job's creed concerning his 
Redeemer, was g^ven with an iron pen and lead in 
the rock for ever ;' much more is ours so ; it is what 
you may venture your souls and your everlasting 
welfare upon. That is a sound word. That Jesus 
Christ came into the world to save sinners ; even the 
chief, '^ And that is a sound word. That God has 
given to %u eternal life^ and this life is in his Son,^ 
It is sound speech that cannot be condemned ; for 
it has been more than a thousand times tried, and it 
stands firm as the everlasting mountains. These are 
the true sayings of God i^ and if we compare the tra- 
ditions of the elders, or the speculations of the phi- 
losophers, with them, we shall say, with the prophet. 
What is the chaff to the wheat ?^ 

(2.) That there is virtue to be drawn from them 
for healing and health to us. They are not only clear 
from every thing that is hurtful and unwholesome, 
but there is that, in them, which is medicinal and 
restorative, not only of health and strength, but of 



iJobzix94,aaL 
e Rev. xix. 9. 



m 1 Tim. i. 16. nlPetf. 11. 
p Jer. xxiil. S8. 



828 



A SERMON CONCERNING THE 



]ife itself. These waters of the sanctuary,*^ these 
leaves of the tree of life, are healing to the nations.' 
These words, if daly applied and mixed with faith, 
restore the sonl, and put it in frame, heal its mala- 
dies, and reduce to a just temper its distempered 
and disordered powers. It was said of old concern- 
ing those who werp sick, that God sent his word and 
healed them.* And when Christ was here upon 
earth, it was hy the power of his word that he healed 
all who had need of healing, and in a sense of their 
need applied themselves to him for it And this was 
a figure of the efficacy of the word of the gospel for 
the healing of diseased souls, a divine power going 
along with it ; and in it the Sun of Righteousness 
arises in the soul, as it did in the world, with heal- 
ing under his wings.' 

Let this therefore recommend to you the words we 
teach you, that they are not only of inestimable value 
in themselves, but will be of unspeakable advantage 
to you. They are healing words indeed ; for they 
are regenerating and recreating words, whereby yon 
may be saved." Mix faith with them, and you will 
experience the power of them, setting you to rights, 
and giving you a new life and vigour. They are 
therefore not only faithful sayings, but well worthy 
of all acceptation, of your acceptation. Accept them 
therefore, and receive the benefit of them, that you 
receive not God*s grace in vain : and if they b^ in 
vain, and you be not healed by them, the fault is in 
yourselves. 

2. It is good to have forms of these sound words 
drawn up for the use of those who are to learn the 
first principles of the oracles of God ; " not to be im- 
posed as of equal authority with the Scriptures, but 
to be proposed in order to the further study of the 
Scriptures. 

Bear us witness, we set up no other rule of faith 
and practice, no other oracle, no other touchstone 
or test of orthodoxy, but the Holy Scriptures of the 
Old and New Testament : these only are the foun- 
tains whence we fetch our knowledge ; these only 
the foundations on which we build our faith and 
hope ; these the dernier resort of all our inquiries 
and appeals in the things of God, for they only are 
given by divine inspiration. This is the principle 
we abide by. To the law and to the teitimony ;* that 
is the reffula regulan* — the paramount rule, and far 
be it from as that we should set up any form of 
words in competition with it, much less in contra- 
diction to it ; or admit any rival with it in the con- 
duct and guardianship of our souls, as some do the 
traditions of the church, and others, I know not 
what light within. Every other help we have for our 
souls we make use of as regula regulata — a rule con- 
trolled, in subordination and subserviency to the 
Scripture ; and among the rest our catechisms and 
confessions of faith. 

q Euk. xlvii. 8, 9. r Rev. xsil. 3. • Pi. cvii. SO. t Mai. iv. a. 



Give me leave to illustrate tliis by an appeal to 
the gentlemen of the long robe. They know very 
well that the common law of England lies in the 
Year Book, and hooke of reports, in the records of 
immemorial customs, and in cases occasionally ad- 
judged : which are not an artificial system drawn up 
by the rules of method, but rather historical collec- 
tions of what was solemnly discussed, and judici- 
ously delivered, in several reigns, pro ne nat«i — as 
occasions have arisen, and always taken for law ; and 
according to which the practice has always been ; 
(with which, if I may be allowed to compare that 
which, infinitely more sacred and inviolable, cannot 
be altered or amended by any wisdom or power on 
earth ;) such'are the books of the Scripture, histories 
of the several ages of the church, (as those of the 
several reigns of the kings,) and of the discoveries 
of God's mind and will in every age, as there was 
occasion; and these, too, built upon ancient princi- 
ples, received and submitted to before these divine 
annals began to be written. 

But though those are the fountains and founda 
tionS of the law, those gentlemen know that institutes 
and abridgments, collections of and references to, the 
cases adjudgid in the hooks, are of great use to them, 
to prepare them for the study of the originals, and 
to assist them in the application of them, but are 
. not thought to derogate from the authority and ho- 
nour of them. Such we reckon our forms of sound 
words to be ; if in any thing they mistake the sense 
of the text, or misapply it, they must be corrected 
by it ; but as far as they agree with it, they are of 
great use to make it more easy and ready to us. 

That which is intended in these forms of sound 
words, is, not like the council of Trent, to make a 
new creed, and add it to what we have in the Scrip- 
ture ; but to collect and arrange the truths and laws 
of God, and to make them familiar. 

(1.) By these forms of sound words, the main 
principles of Christianity, which lie scattered in the 
Scripture, are collected and brought together. We 
know that all Scripture is given by inspiration of 
God, and is profitable, and that there is no idle word 
in God's book, nothing that is unnecessary; but 
we know that all is not alike profitable, or alike 
necessary. Every line in a well drawn picture is 
of use, and answers some end ; but every line is not 
alike serviceable to the main design of the picture, 
which is to represent the face of the person whose 
picture it is, yet we must not say therefore, that it 
might as well have been spared. The Scripture gives 
us the things of God in their native purity and plain- 
ness, yet not without their proper illustrations. It 
is naked truth, that is, without disguise, and the 
ambiguity which Apollo's oracles were noted for, 
but not NAKED truth, without dress and ornament. 
Now our catechisms and confessions of faith pick 

u Acts xi. 14. r Heb. v. la. Heb. vi l. » isa. viil, 20. 



CATECHISING OF YOUTH. 



629 



op from the several parts of holy writ, those pas- 
sages, which though, perhaps, occasionally deliver- 
ed, contain the essentials of religion, the foundations 
and main pillars upon which Christianity is huilt ; 
which we are concerned rightly to understand, and 
finnly to believe, in the first place, and, then, to go 
OD to perfection. We cannot contain all the Scrip- 
ture ; hut there are some more weighty and compre- 
hensive sayings, which (like those which the Jews 
wrote in their phylacteries) we should bind, for a sign, 
upon our hand, and which should be as frontlets 
between our eyes.'' And our forms of sound words 
furnish us with these. 

(2.) By these, the truths of God are arranged and 
pot in order. The several books of Scripture are 
written in an excellent method, according as the 
particular nature and intention of them is, and they 
are put together in an admirable good order : bat 
when out of them the main principles of religion are 
to be gathered, it is necessary that they be put into 
some method proper to serve the design of repre- 
senting them at one view, that we may understand 
them the more distinctly, by observing their mutual 
references to each other, their connexion with, and 
dependence upon, each other ; and thereby they 
appear in their truer light, and fuller lustre. 

These forms of sound words show us the order 
that is in God's words, as well as in his works ; the 
harmony of divine troths, how one thing tends to 
another, and all centre in Christ, and the gtory of 
God in Christ : and thus, like the stones in an arch, 
they mutually support, and strengthen, and fix one 
another. They are as a map of the land of promise, 
by the help of which we may travel it over with our 
eye in a little time, and know the true situation of 
every tribe, though we cannot give a particular de- 
scnption of every part of its inheritance. 

(3.) By these, the truths of God are brought down 
to the capacity of young ones, and those who are as 
yet but weak in understanding. Not that God has 
tpokein secret, in a dark place of the earth ;f no, the 
V9rds of wisdom's nufuth are all plain to him that un- 
derstandeth.* But to those who are yet babes they 
seed to be explained; to them we must give tlie 
iense, and cause them to understand the reading ;* and 
this is in part done by those forms of sound words, 
which lead us by the hand as it were into the know- 
ledge of the truth as it is in Jesus. Not that we 
need to seek other words than those which the Holy 
Ghost teaches ; they are the most proper vehicle of 
the things which are given us of God to know^^ and 
it is unsafe to depart from them. Many, under pre- 
tence of refining upon the Scripture, and expressing 
the things contained in it more philosophically, have 
but darkened counsel by words without knowledge *S 
the faithful servant will deliver his message as near 

> Dent. vi. a 7 Isa ziv. 19. « Prov. viii. 9. 

• Neb. viii. 8. b i Cor. ii. 13. 



as he can in his master's own words ; Go (says God 
to Ezekiel) get thee to the house of Israel ; and do not 
only speak my words, hut speak idth my words to them,^ 

But spiritual things must be compared with spi- 
ritual, and by the plainer parts of Scripture, those 
must be explained that are more dark and hard to 
be understood ; and this is done by our forms of 
sound words, which make the principles of religion 
to be as milk for babes, who as yet cannot bear 
strong meat.' The ten commandments are a divine 
form of sound words to direct our practice^ but they 
are short and exceeding comprehensive ; it is there- 
fore necessary that we be taught from other Scrip- 
tures, what each commandment requires and for- 
bids. The Lord's prayer is another divine form of 
sound words to direct our petitions ; but that also is 
short and comprehensive, and it is requisite we 
should be taught from other Scriptures, what we 
pray for in each petition. The form of baptism is 
another divine form of sound words, peculiar to the 
Christian dispensation ; but that also needs to be 
explained by other Scriptures, as it is excellently 
well in the ancient creeds ; which we receive and 
embrace, and greatly rejoice in, as standing, lasting 
testimonies to the faith once delivered to the saints,' 
which, by the grace of God, we will not only adhere 
to, but earnestly contend for, and live and die by. 
And all these divine forms of sound words you have 
fully and fai thfully set before you, and opened to you , 
in the Assembly's Larger and Shorter Catechism ; 
as, blessed be God, they are in many other, both in 
our own and other reformed churches. 

3. Those are happy who are well taught, and have 
well learned, those forms of sound words when they 
are young. It is a great privilege, and % very im- 
proving one, to be betimes instructed in the prin- 
ciples of religion, and to have the truths of Christ 
instilled into us in the days of our youth, and to be 
trained up in an acquaintance and converse with 
them from the first ; by the care of godly parents 
especially, who have many advantages in dealing 
with children which ministers cannot have, to be put 
betimes upon reading the Scriptures, and getting 
portions of it by heart ; remembering and repeating 
sermons ; to be taught the catechism, and examined 
in it, and not only made to say it, but made, as we 
are capable, to understand it, and taught to prove it 
by Scripture, and give a reason for it ; to be directed 
to pray, and obliged to do it; and to a strict observa- 
tion of the Lord's day, in order to all this. And if 
to all this be added ministerial catechising, the more 
copious and accurate explication of the mysteries of 
God by the appointed stewards of those mysteries, 
it consummates the happiness of a religious educa- 
tion, from which abundant advantages may be 
reaped, if it be wisely and faithfully improved. 



e Job xxi?iil. S. 
• Heb. V. 12. 



d Ezek. iii. 4. 
f Jude a 



630 



A SERMON CONCERNING THE 



I know I speak to those wbo enjoy this privilege, 
on whom the doctrine of Christ not only comes 
down in showert, in the preaching of the word, but 
on whom it distils more slowly and softly, as tfie dew^ 
and as the small rain upon the tender herb^^ in cate- 
chising. And I commend your pious zeal in covet- 
ing and seeking instruction this way. Go on, and 
prosper, the Lord is with you while you be with him: 
and I hope it is a token fur good, and will prove so, 
that God has mercy in store for the next genera- 
tion, — that there are so many young people among 
us who are asking tlieir way to Zion, and desire to be 
told it, le^t^A their faces thitherward. Who hath be- 
gotten us these ? 

I know also there are many, and many there have 
been, who were blest with a religious education 
when they were young, and were then trained up in 
the way in which they should go, who have after- 
wards turned aside trom the holy commandment ; 
who though they were not born of fornication^ but 
were the seed of the faithful, yet have proved an un- 
faithful seed, and have themselves gone a whoring 
from their God, This should not discourage parents 
and ministers from doing their duty, in catechising 
youth, but should direct them to look up to God 
for his grace, without which all our care and pains 
is fruitless, and we do but beat the air ; and should 
engage gou who are catechised to be jealous over 
yourselves, with a godly jealousy, that you may not 
be conceited of yourselves, or confident in yourselves, 
may not be high-minded, but may always /ear lest 
you seem to come short of that which is expected from 
you, or seem to fall off to any evil work or way, and 
though now you think you stand, may always take 
heed lest you fall. 

But I know that your being thus catechised, if 
you improve it aright, and be not wanting to your- 
selves, will be of unspeakable advantage to you ; and 
I hope to be of use, both to direct you and to encou- 
rage you, if I tell you how and which way it may 
be made so. 

(1.) Hereby gou are, for some time, well employed 
now you are young. Childhood and youth, upon this 
account, (among others,) are vanity,^ that so much 
of the time is then spent to so little purpose, and yet 
better than, as it is afterwards spent by many, to 
evil purposes. But your being catechised obliges 
you to spend at least some part of your time well, 
and so as you may afterwards reflect upon it with 
comfort and satisfaction above many other, perhaps 
above any other, of your precious moments. If the 
time which children and young people would, other- 
wise, spend in sport and recreation, (they call it 
PA8[s]-TiME, when we have more need of sta Y-times 
than pastimes, for It passes away fast enough of 
itself,) is thus happily retrieved, and is spent in 



ff Deut. zxxii. 2. 



h Jer. 1. 5. 



i Eccl. xi. 10. 



good exercises ; in conversing with the word of God ; 
(which we should be meditating in day and night,) 
in reviewing and repeating to ourselves the things 
of God ; we cannot but say that it is a kindness to 
us, and much greater than it would be, to keep a 
man from spending an estate wastefully, and put 
him into a way of getting an estate easily and ho- 
nourably. Whatever goes with the rest of yoor time, 
here is a portion of it spent so as to turn to a good 
account, and so as you may meet it again with com- 
fort on the other side death and the grave. 

Those who are catechised either by their parents 
or ministers on the evening of the Lord's day, haTe 
a particular advantage therein : that those precious 
minutes, (and one minute of sabbath time is worth 
three of any other day,) which so many young people 
idle away in foreign, foolish talk, either in the fields, 
or at the doors of their houses, (which corrupts the 
mind and manners, and dispels what they had g^n- 
ed, if they had gained any thing, in and by the 
duties of the day,) they spend in that which serves 
such good purposes, and will help to clench the nail 
that has been driven, that it may be a nail in a rure 
place. I know not how young people can be trained 
up to a better piece of good husbandry, than to a 
good husbandry of time, especially sabbath time. 

(2.) Hereby you will become better abU to under- 
stand the word preached, and more capable of profiting 
by it, and so it will be a great advantage to you. I 
am sure it is the duty of ministers to preach the 
word, and therein to be constant, to be instant in 
season and out of season, they have [2 Tim. ir. 1, 
2.] received a solemn charge to do so ; and if so, 
either you must hear, or they must preach to the 
walls. And I am sure you are concerned to hear, 
so that your souls may live ; and therefore to take 
heed how you hear, and, in order to your profiting, 
to hear witli understanding. The highway ground 
in our Saviour's parable, represents those who hear 
the words of the kingdom, and understand it not ;^ 
for it is not ploughed up and prepared to receive it ; 
they are not instructed in the things that are spoken 
of, and therefore such as speak to them of those things 
are barbarians. They who are not catechised, not 
taught the forms of sound words, apprehend not 
what we mean when we speak of their misery by 
nature, the sinfulness of sin, the mediation of Christ, 
the operations of the Spirit, and the great things of 
the other world ; we had as good talk Greek to them : 
they are ready to say of us, as the people did of Eze« 
kiel's preaching, Doth he not speak parables?'- 

But you who are catechised understand our dia- 
lect, are acquainted with Scripture language ; for 
you are accustomed to it, and can say, " This good 
word is the confirmation, and that the illustration, 
and the other the application, of what we have many 



k Matt. xifi. 19. 



1 Czek. XX 49. 



CATECHISING OF YOUTH. 



831 



a time heard, and knew before, but thus are made 
to Loow better. And therefore though those who 
ha?e not been catechized do most need instruction, 
by the preaching of the word ; (and for their sakes 
we must many a time stay to explain things which 
are most plain, wherein they who are strong ought to 
bear with us, in compassion to the infirmities of the 
weak ;) yet those who have been well catechised do 
most desire it, and delight in it, and edify by it, be- 
cause they understand it Catechising does to the 
preaching of the word the same good ofiice that John 
Baptist did to oar Saviour ; it prepares its way, and 
makes its paths straight, and yet like him does but 
say the same things : " Repent with an eye to the kiny- 
dom of heaven." 

(3.) Hereby you vUl have a foundation laid for 
a good work of grace in your souls. It is true, that 
God in his favours to us, and his operations on us, 
acts as a God, with an incontestable sovereignty, 
and an irresistible power ; but it is as true that he 
deals with men as men, as reasonable creatures, in a 
way suited to their nature, he draws with the cords of a 
man ;" he gains possession of the will and affections 
by opening the understanding, informing the judg- 
ment, and rectifying its mistakes. And this is enter- 
ing into the soul, as the good Shepherd, whose own 
the sheep are, enters into the sheepfold by the door;" 
whereas Satan debauches the aifections, and so per- 
verts the will, and bribes and blinds the understand- 
ing, which is climbing up another way, for he is a 
thief and a robber. Christ opens the understand- 
ing, and so makes the heart to bum ; opens men's 
eyes, and canaes the scales to fall from them ; and 
so tarns men from Satan to God. 

Now though Christ can give an understanding 
immediately, as to Paul ; yet ordinarily he enlight- 
ens it, in the use of means, and gives a knowledge 
of divine things, by the instructions of parents and 
ministers; and afterwards by his Spirit and grace 
brings them home to the mind and conscience, de- 
lirers the soal into the mould of them, and by them 
works a saving change in it. It was the prerogative 
of an apostle to come to the knowledge of the gospel, 
not by man, nor to be taught ft, but by the revela- 
tion of Jesus Christ ;° we must come to the know- 
ledge of it, in the way of instituted ordinances ; and 
none more likely to prepare for the particular appli- 
cations of divine grace, than this particular appli- 
cation of good instruction by catechizing. 

(4.) Hereby you will be a}'med against the assaults 
nd insinuaiioHs of seducers, ^d such as lie in wait 
t3 deceive, and draw you aside into the paths of 
error. Satan is a roaring lion, who seeks in this 
way to devour souls ; and none are such an easy 
prey to him as those who are ignorant and unskil- 
ful in the word of righteousness. But those who 

« Hos. xi. 4. ■ John z. 1, & o Gftl. i. 18. p 2 Pet. iii. 17. 



are well instructed in the forms of sound words, and 
understand the evidence of divine truths, are aware 
of the fallacies with which others are beguiled, and 
know how to detect and escape them, for surely in 
vain is the net spread m the sight of any bird. They 
who grow in the knowledge of Christ, will not be 
visibly led away bj' the error of the wicked, so as to 
fall from their own stedfastness ;p those who are 
thus established when they are children, will not be 
always children^ tossed about with every wind of doe- 
trine,*^ 

Those who are well catechised, are well fortified 
against temptations to atheism and infidelity, which, 
under pretence of FREE-thinking, invite men to 
FALSE and FOOLiSH-thinking ; and by debauching 
their principles, corrupt their morals: and which, 
under pretence of a free conversation, allure to vice 
and IMMORALITY, enslave the soul to the most bru- 
tish lusts, and by corrupting the morals, debauch 
the principles. It will likewise be an excellent an- 
tidote against the poison of popery ; a national zeal 
against which is, then, likely to be an effectual de- 
fence of the protestant religion, when it is a zeal 
according to knowledge. A right understanding of 
the offices and ordinances of Christ, the former of 
which are daringly usurped, and the latter wickedly 
corrupted and profaned, in the church of Rome, will, 
by the blessing of God, preserve us from going in 
with those strong delusions, though the temptation 
should be ever so strong, and prepare us to suffer, 
rather than to sin, if we should be called out to it. 

(5.) Hereby you will be furnished for doing good 
to others, in the places where God has set you. 
Your being well instructed in the forms of sound 
words, will qualify you to be useful in your gene- 
ration, for the glory of God, and the edification of 
many ; which will be your honour and comfort now, 
and will add to your crown hereafter. Out of a 
good treasure of Christian knowledge well laid up 
when you are young, you will be able, like the good 
householder, to bring forth things new and old,^ as 
there is occasion, for the entertainment and benefit 
of others. Out of the abtmdance of the heart the 
mouth will speak. Hereby you will be able to resist 
and oppose that evil communication which corrupts 
good manners, and to put to silence the ignorance 
of foolish men ; and not only so, but to advance and 
keep up that communication which is good, and to 
the use of edifying/ which may manifest grace in 
your hearts, and minister grace to the hearers. 
These forms of sound words will teach you that 
sound spirit which cannot be condemned.' And 
thus your lips will feed many. 

It will be likewise of great use to you in prayer ; 
both in secret, and with your families, when God 
calls you to the charge of families. With what 

I __ , — -' - 

4 Eph. It. 14. r Matt. ziii. 59. • Eph. It. S9. t Tit. ii. a 



MSI 



A SERMON CONCERNING THE 



solid judgment, exact method, aptness, and gpreat va- 
riety of expression, have I heard private Christians, 
who have been well instructed in the things of God, 
and conversant with the Scripture, offer up their 
prayers and supplications to God, without the help 
of any other forms, but those forms of sound words ; 
and this with such undissembled indications of pious 
affection, as has been very proper to kindle and 
excite, to raise and carry on, the devotions of those 
who joined with them. I believe some who are 
pleased to be severe, in their reflections upon all 
extemporary prayer, as we call it, would not be so, 
if they knew thu so well as I have done. 

(6.) Hereby, those who have a good worh of grace 
begun in them, will be greatly assisted in the progress 
of it. Timothy, by the help of these forms of sound 
words, is nourished up in faith and good doctrine, 
whereunto he has attained." They who have pure 
hearts and clean hands, hereby shall become stronger 
and stronger^ in judgment, in affection, and in 
resolution. The more firmly the foundation is laid, 
the broader and the higher the building may be 
carried. And the better we understand tlie road 
we are to travel, the better we shall get forward in 
our journey. Affectionate Christians who are weak 
in knowledge, have but the wings of a dove that 
flies low ; but knowing Christians are carried on as 
upon eagles' wings, with which they mount up for 
the prize of the high calling, — ^they run and are not 
weary. 

And those who have themselves some good mea- 
sures of knowledge and grace, may be greatly im- 
proved in both, by attending upon public catechising; 
and if young, by bearing a part in it. Apollos was 
an eloquent man, and mighty in the Scriptures; 
and he was instructed in the way of the Lord,* 
KaTfixvfuvoc — he was catechised, so the word is : and 
he was fervent in spirit, yet he was still willing to 
learn, and found advantage by it ; for there were 
those who took him, and expounded to him the way 
of God more perfectly. Those who think they un- 
derstand the way of God pretty well, yet should still 
be increasing with the increase of God, should not 
think they have already attained, or are already 
perfect, but should be pressing forward, and covet 
to understand the way of God more perfectly. 

(7.) Hereby you will have your memories well stored 
for your own use, and will have always good matter 
ready at hand for pious thoughts and meditations. 
It is certainly as much the benefit, as it is the duty, 
of Christians, to converse much in their hearts with 
the things of God. It is the character of the blessed 
man, and an evidence of his delighting in the law 
of God after the inner man, that in that law he medi- 
tates day and night,^ O how do I love it ! says David, 
it is my meditation all the day ;' it is the subject. 



n 1 Tim. Iv. «. 



r Job xvii. 9. 



Acts xTiii. 34-26. 



not only of my frequent, but of my fixed, thoughts : 
not now and then, upon an occasion, but constantly. 
And if David could find such employment and en- 
tertainment for his thoughts from morning till night 
in the law of God, much more may we find satisfac- 
tion in it, and the gospel of Christ too, which so far 
excels it. 

Now one reason why this duty of meditation is so 
much neglected, is, because people want matter for 
their thoughts to enlarge and expatiate upon ; and 
the reason of that is, because they were never 
enriched, as they should have been, in all know- 
ledge;' their stock is soon exhausted, and they 
know not what to think of next But if yon get an 
abundance of good knowledge, you will never have 
to seek for something proper and useful to entertain 
yourselves with. You soon forget the sermons you 
hear; but if your catechism was well learned, and 
the proofs of it, you can never forget them ; so that 
you may at any time take an answer of your cate- 
chism, and dwell upon that in your thoughts, till 
your hearts burn within you. 

(8.) Hereby you will be enabled to transmit, pure 
and entire, to those who come after you, that good 
thing which is committed to you. The truths and 
ordinances of Christ are a sacred deposit, a trust 
handed down to us by our believing predecessors, 
and lodged in our hands, to be carefully kept in our 
day, and faithfully transferred to the generations to 
come : but how can we do that, if we be not our- 
selves both rightly and fully apprized of it We 
are false to this trust, not only if we betray it, by 
the admission of heresy and idolatry ; but if we lose 
it, and let it drop, by ignorance and carelessness, 
and unacquaintedness with, and indifference to, the 
interests of Christianity. 

We of this age cannot otherwise repay what we 
received from those who went before us, than by 
consigning the value received to those who come 
after us ; nor make any other requital to our parents, 
for giving us a good education, but by giving the like 
to our children ; which, therefore, with the utmost 
care and pains we should qualify ourselves to do, 
and then make conscience of doing. A.nd those who 
have not children of their own, ought to do it for 
the children of their relations, and the children of 
the poor, and to promote public catechisings and 
charity schools ; and thus contribute what they can 
to the raising up of a seed to serve Christ, which 
shall be accounted to him for a generatioo, that 
thus the name of Ch^st may endure for ever, and 
his throne as the days of heaven. What has been 
told to us of the wondrous works of God, we mnst 
tell to our children, that they may tell them to their 
children, that those who shall be created may praise 
the Lord.* 

X Ps. i. 2. 7 Ps- cxix. 17. « I Cor. i. 5. a PSw IxxTlii. 5 a 



CATECHISING OF YOUTH. 



833 



II. Those who have the primlege to hear and learn 
the forms of soand words, with it have a charge, — 
To hold them fast in faith and love, which is in 
Christ Jesus. 

This implies that yoa are in dangler of losing 
them, and beings robbed of them, through your own 
negligence of having them snatched oat of your 
hands by your spiritual enemies, or drop through 
jour fingers if you do not hold them fast. Satan is 
that wicked one who steals the word of God out of 
the hearts of the careless hearers and learners ; as the 
fowls' of the air do the seed from the highway 
gTound,i> that it could not have any root in. Many 
have had the form of sound words, and with it a 
foim of godliness, and a name to live ; but have let 
them go, and lost them ; have made shipwreck of 
the faith, and of their own souls. Let their falls be 
warnings to as, and let us therefore fear lesi we also 
eeme shorty or so much as seem to come short. 

I know I speak to those who have the form of 
sonnd words, who have hold of it. In God's name 
therefore I charge you to hold it fast, to keep your 
bold of it, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 

1. You must hold it fast, that is, you must retain 
the remembrance of it ; keep it in mind and me- 
mory ; yoa have it, see that you always have it, that 
jOQ have it ready for your use upon all occasions. 
Great stress is laid upon this : the gospel is that by 
which we are saved, if we keep in memory what has 
been preached onto us.^ Not as if the bare remem- 
bering and being able to recite these sound words, 
and the forms of them, were sufficient to save us ; 
they do not heal as charms and spells pretend to do, 
merely by the repeating or writing of them ; a man 
may be able to say all the Bible over by heart, and 
jet come short of grace and glory ; but the remem- 
bering of these things is necessary to our due im- 
provement of them, and to the other duties required 
of Ds : if we so remember the covenant as to be ever 
ffliodful of it ; if we remember his commandments 
to do them,^ we remember them aright 

(1.) It will be of good use to 3*ou, to retain the 
words yoa now learn and hear ; and in order to that, 
frequently to review them, to catechise yourselves, 
aod repeat them over to yourselves. What you said 
to your parents perhaps by rote, when you were 
children, and not yet capable of knowing the intent 
and extent of, you should now say to yourselves, 
with understanding, and judgment, and affection. 
Let not the wisest and best be ashamed to repeat the 
words of their catechism, as they have occasion to 
qaote them ; but let them rather be ashamed who 
cannot do it ; who can remember, all their days, the 
idle foolish stories and songs they learned when 
they were yoang, but forget the forms of those words 
whereby they must be saved, and must be judged. 



kUatt. xlii. ta 



c 1 Cor. XV. 1. 2. 4 1 Cbron. xvi. 16. t Heb. ii. I. 
3 H 



(2.) It is of absolute necessity that you retain the 
remembrance of the things, so as to have them ready 
for nse, though it be in your own words. It is neces- 
sary that you should be well acquainted with the 
mystery of the gospel ; with your need of a Saviour; 
with the method in which the salvation was wrought 
out by the Son of God, and is applied by the Spirit 
of God ; with the breadth of the commandment, and 
with the strictness and spiritual nature of it ; with 
the tenor of the new covenant, and the precious 
privileges of it ; and with the great truths concern- 
ing the upper and future world : in these things you 
have been instructed ; and are concerned to give 
the more earnest heed to the things you have heard, 
lest at any time you let them slip." Consider, 

[1.] They are things worth remembering ; of in- 
estimable value in themselves, and of vast import- 
ance and concern to us ; in comparison with which, 
abundance of other things which we fill our memories 
with, are but toys and trash. How many things do 
we retain the remembrance of, which tend to defile 
our minds, or to disquiet them, which we would 
willingly forget if we could ; and how many more 
are we industrious to heep in memory, which serve 
only to the carrying on of our business in the world : 
whilst THAT is seldom or never seriously thought of, 
and so comes by degrees to be in a manner forgotten, 
WHICH BELONGS TO OUR PEACE, our cvcrlasting 
peace; and justly may that be hid from our eyes/ 
which we thus hide our eyes from. The reason Moses 
gives to Israel, why they should set their hearts to 
all the words he testified to them, will hold more 
strongly, why we should treasure up Chrisfs word 
in* our heart, and let it dwell in us richly, that It is 
not a vain thing for us, but it is our life,^ and the 
lives of our souls depend upon it. 

[2.] The remembrance of them will be of very 
great and good use to us daily ; both to fortify us 
against every evil word and worh, by suggesting to 
us the most powerful arguments against sin, and 
the most pertinent answers to the temptations of 
Satan ; and to furnish us for every good word and 
work, by suggesting to us the wisest directions, and 
the sweetest encouragements, in doing oar duty. If 
we hold fast these forms of sound words as w.e. ought, 
our mouth, like that of the righteous, shall speak wis- 
dom, and our tongue shall be able to talk of judgment. 
And if thus the law of our God be in our heart, none 
of our steps shall slide. Solomon for this reason 
writes to us excellent things in counsel and know- 
ledge, that we may answer the words of truth to those 
that send to us f^ or, as the margin reads it, to those 
that send us, to God, who sent us into the world to 
do all the good we can in it. 

[3.] It was for this end that we have heard and 
learned them, that we might lay them up in our hearts, 

i Luke xiz. 4L g Deut. xxxli. 46^ 47. h Prov. xxii. 20, 2i. 



834 



A SERMON CONCERNING THE 



in order to their being of use to us hereafter ; so that 
we receive the grace of God therein in vain, if we 
do not retain them. They are not intended merely 
for your present exercise and entertainment, as a 
task upon you to keep you employed, much less as 
an amusement to keep up in you a reverence for 
your parents and teachers ; but they were intended 
to fit you for the service of God in this world, and 
the vision and fruition of him in a better world. You 
learn your catechism, not as you who were designed 
for tradesmen learned Latin and Greek, when you 
went to school, it may be, with design to forget 
it, because you had a notion you should never have 
occasion for it in your business ; but as you learned 
to write and cast accounts^ with design to retain it, 
because you were told yon would have use for it 
daily in carrying on your trade. You are taught 
now, that you may, as long as yon live, live accord- 
ing to what you are taught 

[4.] You will be called to an account shortly for 
these, as well as other your advantages ; and there- 
fore are concerned to improve them, so that you 
may give up your account with joy, such joy as shall 
be an earnest of that joy of our Lord, into which 
ffood and faithful servants, who have diligently and 
faithfully improved their talents, shall enter, and in 
which they shall be for ever happy. For your having 
heard and learned these things, will but aggravate 
your condemnation if you do not hold them fast. 
You know what was Chorazin's doom, 'and Beth- 
saida's, and Capernaum's ; tremble lest it should be 
yours. It is an awful thought which I have some- 
where met with, " That the professors of this a{;e, 
in which there is such plenty of the means of know- 
ledge and grace, whether they go to heaven, or hell, 
will be the greatest debtors in either of these places: 
if to heaven, the greatest debtors to divine mercy 
and grace for those improved means that helped to 
bring them thither ; if to hell, the greatest debtors to 
divine justice for those abused means that would 
have helped to keep them thence.'' 

Let not what I have said of the necessity of re- 
membering the sound words we hear, be a discou- 
ragement to any serious, conscientious Christians, 
who have honest and good hearts, but weak and 
treacherous jnemories ; nor make the righteous sad, 
who ought not to be made sad. You who tremble 
at God's word, do really get good by it, though you 
cannot recollect the method and language in which 
it is delivered you. If you live in the fear of God, 
and in a course of holy watchfulness against sin, 
and diligence in duty, you retain the impressions of 
the word, though yon cannot retain the expressions 
of it I have been told of a good, man, who was 
much affected with a sermon he heard concerning, 
as it would appear, the vanity of the world ; and 

i Pa. exix. n. 



commending it afterwards to a friend, was desired 
to give some account of the sermon : '* Truly," says 
he, ** I cannot remember any thing of it, but I am 
resolved, by the grace of God, I will never set my 
heart so much upon this world as I have done. '* 
'' Why then," (says his friend) " thou rememberest 
all." David will never forget God's precepts, for 
(says he) By them thou hast quiehened me.* If we 
find oar hearts quiehened by the word, we do not for- 
get it ; and it is to be hoped we wiU not, we shall not, 
forget it. Put a sieve that is dirty into the water, 
and though when you take it out it carries away lit- 
tle or nothing of. the water with it, yet it is washed 
and made clean. Though we cannot repeat the good 
sermons we have heard ; yet if, through grace, oar 
hearts and ways are purified by them, they are not 
lost. 

But let what I have said engage you who hear and 
learn the forms of sound words, to hold them fast, 
to imprint them in your minds and memories, that 
you may have them ready to you at all times, as 
occasion requires. In order to this, labour to un- 
derstand them; and let your knowledge be clear 
and distinct, and then you will be likely to retain it ; 
set every truth in its proper place, and then you 
will know where to find it; set it in its true light, 
and then you will know what use to make of it. Get 
your hearts duly affected with divine things, and 
abide and act under the power and influence of 
them ; and then you will remember them. Be often 
repeating them to yourselves : the Virgin Mary 
kept the sayings of Christ, by p<mdering them m ker 
heart.^ 

2. You must hold it fast in faith. It is not enough 
to remember the good truths that are taught you ; 
but you must mix them with faith,^ or they will not 
profit you. You let them go, though you remember 
them ever so well, if you let go the belief of them, 
and the profession of your faith concerning them : it 
is by a hand of faith that you tahe hold of them, and 
heep hold. 

You must hold them fast in faith, that is, 

(L) You must give a firm assent to them as faith- 
ful sayings ; must set to your seal that God is tnie. 
And every word of his is so, even that which you 
cannot comprehend the mystery ef, as the eternity of 
God, the immensity of all his perfections, the Trinity, 
the incarnation of the Son of God, the operations of 
the Spirit upon the soul of man, and the like ; yet 
because they are things which God has revealed, you 
must subscribe to the truth of: if you do not you 
make God a liar ; and do in effect make yourselves 
wiser than God, when you say. Haw can this be * 
Whereas you should say, Lord, I believe, help thou 
mine unbelief. 

(2.) Yon must grow up to a full assurance of the 



k Luke it. 19. 



t Heb. iv. 2. 



CATECHISING OF YOUTH. 



835 



andeniable tnith, and incontestable evidence, of 
these wand words. Pass on toward perfection ; 
acqaaint yonrseWes with the Confirming Cateehum ; 
know not only what it is we believe, bat why wc be- 
lieve it ; and be ready always to give a reason of the 
hope that is in yoa." Solomon had this view in in- 
9trocting his son ; 'not I miffht make thee know the 
certamiy of the words of truth ;" that thou mayst be 
convinced that they are words of truth, and receive 
them accordingly. And Lake the evangelist had 
the same design in writing his gospel, and inscribing 
it to his friend Tbeophilas, who, probably, had been 
his popil ; Tlkat thou mightest know the certainty of 
those thinys wherein thou hast been instructed;^ this 
is holding it fast in faith. 

(3.) You must make a faithful application of these 
soand and healing words to yourselves ; else they 
will not answer the end, or be healing to you, any 
more than food not eaten, physic not taken, or a 
plaster not applied. Of the word of Christ you 
most say, not only, " This is true," but, " This is 
true concerning me :" He loved me, and gave himself 
for me ; to save mc, not in my sins, hut from them ; 
and to purify me to himself, and make me zealous of 
^ood works. Hear it, and know it, for thy good,? 
says Eliphaz to Job, /or thyself, so it is in the mar- 
gin. Then only we know it for our good, when wc 
know it for ourselves, 

3. You must hold it fast in love ; that is the other 
arm with which these forms of sound words must be 
embraced, and held, that we may not let them go. 

(1.) You most take delight in them, and in the 
knowledge of them : that which we love we will 
hold fast, and not easily part with. It is not enough 
for as to know the truth, but we must love it ; not 
enoogh that we receive it as a faithful saying, but 
also as well worthy of all acceptation ; we must not 
only give it credit as true news, but bid it welcome 
as good news* and rejoice in it ; and when Christ 
says, Surely f I come quickly, we must not only say, 
**Ee€n so, so IT IS, he will come/' but Amen^ so BE 
IT ; COME, Lord Jesus."* This wisdom, this know- 
ledge, must so enter into thy heart, as to become 
pleasant to thy soul.' They say it was a ceremony 
used of old by the Jews, when they sent their children 
to school, they gave them a piece of a honeycomb 
to eat, repeating those words of Solomon, My son, 
fit tkou honey because it is good, and the honeycomb, 
rkieh is sweet to thy taste ; so shall the knowledge of 
risdom be unto thy soul, when thou hast found it* 
And that which is not thus delighted in, will not be 
long held fast. 

(2.) Yon mast be affected with them, and lay them 
to heart, as things that concern you to the last de- 
gree. Love is the leading affection, and rules the 
rest ; as that goes, all the rest move. Be affected 



I Pet iiL I&. 

y Job V. S7. 



B Prov. xxii. SI. o Luke i. 4. 

q Rev. xxii. 20. 
3 B 2 



with love to the good word of God ; and then you 
will conceive a high value and veneration for Christ, 
and a rooted antipathy to sin ; a holy contempt of 
the world, a deep concern for your own souls, and a 
care about your everlasting state; and all other 
good affections, that will be the principles of a steady 
and regular motion of the soul heaven-wards. And 
then you will hold fast this form of sound words, 
when it makes such impressions as those upon you^ 
and (as Christ's sayings ought to do) sinks down 
into your hearts,' and impresses a weight and stamp 
upon them. 

3. You must be influenced by them, and act 
under the commanding power of them. That love in 
which the sound words must be held fast, is here 
put for all that evangelical obedience which holy love 
is the principle of; for, as faith works by love, so 
love works by keeping the commandments of God ;" 
for TAu t> the love of God, that we keep his command- 
ments, and his commandments are not grievous. We 
then hold fast the sayings of Christ, when we hold 
to them, in the constant temper of our minds, and 
tenor of our lives, and govern ourselves by them in 
all we say or do, that we may thus adorn the doc- 
trine of God our Saviour. 

4. There is one word more in the text to be touched 
upon, and it is the centre and crown of all : This 
faith and love must be in Christ Jpsus. Blessed 
Paul, full of blessed Jesus, breathes nothing so 
much as Christ ; he is his Alpha and Omega, and 
must be ours ; it is the token in every epistle. We 
must hold fast the sound words of the gospel, in that 
faith and love which has Christ for its author, its ob- 
ject, and its end. 

(1.) Which has Christ for its author; that faith 
and love which is wrought in us, not by the strength 
of any natural reasonings or resolutions of our own, 
but by the Spirit and grace of Christ, darting rays 
of divine light into the understanding, and striking 
sparks of divine lire into the affections, for these are 
not of ourselves, they are the gift of God. Thou there- 
fore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ 
Jesus ;* for on him is our help laid, and in him only 
is our help found. Depend not upon any ability of 
your own, lean not to your own understanding, 
but go forth and go on, take hold and keep hold, in 
Christ's strength. 

(2.) Which has Christ for its object ; that faith 
and love in which the truths of the gospel must be 
held fast, as it must flow from Christ, so it must 
fasten on him. It is Christ in the gospel that we 
must embrace, and hold fast ; who is the true treasure 
hid in that field, which we must think it worth 
while to part with all we have for the purchase of. 
It is by faith in Christ, and love to Christ, that we 
must hold fast what we have received. For this 



r Prov. ii. 10. 
tt 1 John ▼. a 



• Prov. xxiv. 13, 14. 



t Luke ix. 44. 
▼ 2Tim. ij. 1. 



836 



A SERMON CONCERNING THE 



reason wc must embrace these sound words, be- 
cause we find so much of Christ in them. He is 
tliat golden thread that runs through the web of the 
whole gospel. St. Austin somewhere says of him- 
self, that before his conversion he took great delight 
in reading the writings of Tully, the Roman orator, 
but now (says he) I cannot relish them at all, as 
I used to do, because I find nothing of Christ in 

them. 

(3. ) Which has Christ for its end It mu.st be that 
faith and love which has an eye to Christ ; which has 
.this always in view, to glorify Christ, and to be glo- 
rifiedwith Christ: that/at'M which presses toward its 
own perfection, in the immediate sight of Christ ; 
and that love which presses toward its own perfec- 
tion, in the everlasting enjoyment of him. 

Application. 

Let me now close with a few words of exhorta- 
tion, in reference to the form of sound words. 

1. Let us bless God, tliat our lot is cast in a land 
of light ; that he who determines the times before 
appointed, and the bounds of men's habitations, has 
determined ours so well, and so much to our advan- 
tage ; that those statutes and judgments, which the 
heathen have not known, are revealed to us. We 
can never be f nough thankful to God for this dis- 
tinguishing favour, his manifesting himself to us, 
so as not unto the world. Blessed are our eyes, for 
they see the joyful light, and our ears, for they hear 
the joyful sound, which many prophets and kings 
desired to see, desired to hear, and might not.* 
We can never be enough thankful to God for it, 
that living in a Christian nation we have Bibles ; in 
a protestaut nation, we have them in a language we 
understand ; that to us are committed the oracles of 
God,' the lively oracles, yiih more advantage than to 
the Jews of old ; that with us are the priests, the 
Lord's ministers, sounding with his trumpets.' So 
many and so great are our privileges, above most 
other nations, that it may justly be expected, I wish 
it could be as justly said, Surely this great nation is 
a wise and understanding people* 

2. Let us particularly be thankful to God, for the 
forms of sound words, both ancient and modem, 
which we have among us ; for our catechisms and 
confessions of faith ; that we have plenty of them, 
and variety of them, not clashing and contradicting 
each other, but rather confirming and illustrating 
each other ; for to Christ they all with one consent 
bear witness, and to the law and to the testimony 
they all appeal : though the methods be different, 
they meet in the same centre ; and tend to direct 
those of diiferent tastes and capacities to it likewise. 

3. Let parents and governors of families make 



conscience of instructing their children, and ser- 
vants, in the forms of sound words. Here this work 
must begin, for it must begin betimes ; Whom shall 
he teach knowledge ? Whom shall ^e make to under- 
stand doctrine ? The prophet there answers. Them that 
are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts:^ 
when they are very young, under the immediate care 
of their mothers or grandmotliers, as Timothy was : 
they arc the teachers of babes.** When Solomoa 
was tender, and only-beloved in the sight of his 
mother,^ she taught him.^ The history of the Scrip- 
ture is most proper to acquaint your children with 
in the first place ; we see how soon they apprehend, 
and are affected, with other stories, and why may 
not impressions be made upon them as soon by the 
Scripture stories. Pleasant and profitable instruc- 
tions may also be g^ven to children by the psalms 
for singing, and by divine poems and verses suited 
to their capacity. 

It will be of great use likewise to your children, 
to be told betimes, what it is supposed natural for 
them to^ask, What we mean by this and the other re- 
ligious sei'vice,* Tell them why you read the Bible 
with so much veneration : because it is the book of 
God, and holy men wrote the several parts of it, as 
they were moved by the Holy Ghost. Tell them 
why you make conscience of praying to God so 
solemnly every day : because you have a necessary 
and constant dependence upon God, and npon his 
providence and grace, that you are daily receiving 
mercy from him, and daily need his favour. Tell 
them why you observe the Lord's day, and make 
such a difference between that and other days ; that 
it is in remembrance of the creation of the world, 
the resurrection of Christ, and the pouring out cf 
the Spirit. Especially tell them of their baptism ; 
take all opportunities to let them see children bap- 
tized, (in order to which it is very gpod to have it 
done publicly,) and tell them, thus they were bap- 
tized in their infancy, and by that solemnity dedi- 
cated and devoted to God the Father, Son, and Holy 
Ghost ; and what was done for them then, they mast 
now do for themselves. Tell them of the corruption 
of their nature, which needed cleansing ; and of the 
grace of God in Christ, in which there is a cleans- 
ing virtue. 

Set them to learn their catechism ; let them com- 
mit some portions of Scripture to memory, as you 
find they are able to do it ; and examine them, what 
they can remember of the sermons they hear. You 
will meet with some difficulty herein from the cor- 
ruption of their nature, which you must endeavour 
to get over as much as may be by a gentle hand ; 
give them instruction with all possible freedom and 
familiarity, with compassion and condescension to 
their capacity. Those teach these things most dlli- 



Matt. xiii. le. 17. 
I Deut. iv. 0. 



i Rom. iii. 3. 7 2 Chron. xUi. 18. 
• Isa. xxviii. 9. 



b Rom. li. 90. 
d Prov. xxxX. 1. 



e Prov. W. 3. 
• Ezod. xli. &S. 



CATECHISING OF YOUTH. 



837 



gently to their children, not who are the most dicta- 
toiial in doing it, and make the fpvatest noise, hot 
who talk of them/refif«fi//jf ; when they sit in the 
boose, and walk by the way, when they lie down, 
and when they rise op,' frequently dropping good 
instrnctions among their children : and if bat one 
in ten insensibly slip into their minds, and fasten 
there, what good proficients may we hope they will 
be in time. Contrive how to make this work, as 
much as may be, a pleasare and delight to yonr 
children and servants, and not a task, or a terror, or 
a drudgery. Teach them as Christ teaches, who is 
meek and lowly in heart 

4. Let the ministers of Christ look upon them- 
selves as under a charge to feed the lambs of Christ's 
flock. All the reformed churches make this a part 
of their work ; to be done either pnbliclyor private- 
ly ; either in their solemn religious assemblies, or in 
meetings on purpose for this work ; or in visiting 
their families, either by themselves, or, as in some 
churches abroad , by some other proper persons qua- 
lified for, and deputed to, this service particularly. 
Private catechising has the advantage of a more 
particular application to the persons catechised: 
public catechising has the advantage of a more 
general edification ; and therefore both should be 
used in their season, or |hat which, all circum- 
stances considered, may turn to the best account 

that we who are ministers, were filled with a 
zeal for the spiritual welfare and eternal salvation 
of young people, and a concern for the rising gene- 
ration ; and were to do our utmost as our ability and 
opportunity is, to fill the minds of young ones, in 
their early days, with the knowledge of Christ, and 
to fix them for Christ, that the next generation may 
be better than this. And O that those who are 
employed in public catechising, may see of the tra- 
Tail of their souls to their satisfaction, and not labour 
in vain ! 

& Let us look with pity upon the great numbers 
of children, even in our own land, who are not taught 
these forms of sound words, but are bred up In ig- 
norance and profaneness ; strangers and enemies to 
Christ and true Christianity. They are poor, they are 
fooUth, they know not the way of the Lord, nor the 
judyment of their God,t They sit in darkness in a 
land of light, and walk on in darkness, and if in- 
finite mercy do not interpose to prevent, they are 
hastening into utter darkness. If you can do any 
thing, sirs, have compassion upon them and help 
them ; pick up some of those neglected, abandoned 
young ones, you who have ability, and rescue them 
from ruin, by putting them into a way of receiving 
instructioB. We have charity schools set up in the 
city and country ; which, if managed by the rules 
of catholic Christianity, have a direct tendency to 

f Dent vL 7. r Jer. v. C k i Gor. IIL IS. i Horn. ziv. 17. 



the bettering of the world, and the reforming of the 
next age, if the reforming of this should be despaired 
of. What is given to the support and encourage- 
ment of them, is charity, both to soul and body, and 
will be fruit abounding to your account. 

6. Let those who have heard and learned the forms 
of sound words long ago, retain them still, and im- 
prove more and more. I have reason to think I 
speak to many who were blessed with a good educa- 
tion, were trained up in the way wherein they should 
go: I beseech* yon examine yourselves, not only 
whether you have not departed from it, I hope you 
have not quite deserted it, but what progress have 
you made in it ? What have you built upon that 
foundation ? Has it been wood, hay, and stubble ;'' 
airy notions, nice speculations, perverse disputings, 
and strifes of words ? or has it been gold, silver, and 
precious stones ; advances in serious godliness, in 
holiness, and heavenly mindedness, and the power 
of that kingdom of God, which is not meat or drink, 
but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy 
Ghost .^ Go on and prosper, for the Lord is with you. 
But if you have in any degree let go that good thing 
which was committed to your trust, I beseech you 
bethink jrourselves whence you have fallen, and re- 
member again what you have received and heard, 
and hold fast, and repent. Be watchful, and strengthen 
the things which remain, that are ready to die»^ 

7. I must not part without a word to you, whose 
request brought me to this service here to-day, you * 
who are catechised in the principles of religion, 
that you may grow yet more and more in the know- 
ledge of Christ and Christianity. 

(1.) Carefully attend to the instructions that are 
given you; and treasure them up, vrith sincerity, 
and all the marks of reverence and seriousness. 
Give attendance on, and attention to, what is taught 
you, and set your heart to it. You must take pains, 
else you cannot expect to reap advantage ; for it is 
in labour that there is profit Be careful to mark 
what is said, not critical to make remarks upon it ; 
and give account of it with afiection, but without 
affectation ; and attend here not for ostentation, be- 
cause you think yourselves better than others, but 
for your edification, because you would be better 
than you are. 

(2.) Pray over what is taught you, and beg of God 
to bless it to you. Man can but teach the outward 
ear, it is God only that can bring it to the heart, and 
in that respect none teach like him. It is he who 
teaches with a strong hand,^ and then the teaching 
is eflfectual ; who seals the instruction,"* and then it 
is abiding ; who gives the understanding, and opens 
the heart. Look up to him therefore by faithful and 
fervent prayer, for that grace of his which is neces- 
sary to your profiting by the means of grace. You 



k Rev. la 3, a 



I IfluvULII. 



Job xxxiii. le. 



838 



A S£RMON, &c. 



crave his blessing upon the food for yoar body, that 
it may be noarishing to yoa ; and can yon expect 
your spiritual food should nourish yon without that 
blessing, or that you should have that blessing, if 
you do not pray for it? That good thing which is by 
the word committed to you to keep for God, do you 
by prayer commit to God to keep for you, and bring 
it to your minds when yon should use it 

(3.) Live as those who by attendance on such an 
exercise as this, make a profession of religion above 
many others. Hereby you seem to be more solicitous 
about your souls, and more inquisitive concerning 
the way to heaven, than your neighbours ; but what 
will it avail you that you seem to be so, unless yon 
be really so ? The tree will be known by its fruits. 
Evidence that you receive not so much instruction 
in vain, by the exemplary purity and piety, serious- 
ness and strictness, of your whole conversation. By 



your justioe and charity, and unshaken veracity 
and fidelity; your sobriety and temperance; your 
humility and meekness ; your conscientious obedi- 
ence to your parents and masters, and a steady 
course of godliness and honesty ; you ought to adorn 
the doctrine of God our Saviour. I remember 
Epictetus^pressing his pupil to show by his prac- 
tice of virtue, his profiting by the instructions given 
him— illustrates it by this similitude : ** The sheep,'' 
says he, ** do not come to their shepherd, and show 
him how much meat they have eaten, but they make 
it to appear by their growing fatter and fitter for 
use." Thus, therefore, do you make it appear, that 
you improve in Christian knowledge, fty the agree- 
iihlenese and evenness of yonr Christian practice^ and 
your perseverance in it to the end, that you and we 
may rejoice, in the day of the Lord, that we have 
not run in vain, nor laboured in vain. 



A MEMORIAL OF THE FIRE OF THE LORD : 



IN 



A SERMON, 



PREACHED SEPTEMBER 2nd, 1713, BEING THE DAY OF THE COMMEMORATION 

OF THE BURNING OF LONDON, IN 1666. 

AT MR. REYNOLDS'S MEETING-HOUSE, NEAR THE MONUMENT. 



Numbers xi. 3. 

And he called the name of the pUtee Taberah, becauee 
the fire of the Lord burnt among them. 

We haye here an account of the pnideot and pions 
care which Moses took, to preserve the memorial of a 
fire which happened in the camp of Israel, by giving 
a new name of suitable signification to the place 
where it happened ; which being left upon record 
here, in the book of God, is a monument of the fire, 
further visible and more durable than this pillar of 
stone, the monument hard by, and will outlast even 
the pillar of salt ; for wherever, in any age, the 
books of Moses are read, and they shall be read in 
every age to the end of time, there shall this be told 
for a memorial ; that the fire of the Lord burnt among 
the Israelites, and in remembrance of it, Moses 
called the pla<^ Taberah, 

And thus it suits the occasion of our meeting here 
to-day, in communion with many religious assem- 
blies in this city, to put ourselves and one another 
in mind of that fire of the Lord, which, in the me- 
mory of many of you, burnt among you to that de- 
gree, as to make of this city a heap, this flourishing 
city a ruin ; a judgment which it was then thought 
fit, by the annual observation of this day, to trans- 
mit the remembrance of to posterity. 

Now observe in the text, 

1. What the judgment of God upon the camp of 
Israel was. The fire of the Lord burnt among them. 
It is called the fire of the Lord, because it fell from 
heaven, it came immediately from the hand of God : 
as that fire did, which sometimes consumed the sa- 



• I Sam. ill. 14. 



b Lev. X. 1, 2. 



Job i. 16. 



orifices, in token of God's acceptance of them, when 
justly it might have consumed the sinners, and taken 
vengeance on them. Here it did consume the sin- 
ners, to signify, that their iniquity was such, as 
should not be purged with sacrifice or ofiering for 
ever ;» as another time it consumed the sacrificers, 
when they oflfered strange fires.b 

Lightning is the fire of the Lord, as thunder is the 
voice of the Lord. With that fire Job's sheep, and the 
servants that attended them, were burnt up.^ It is 
heaven's fire-arms, with which sometimes dreadful 
execution has been done. ** Fire and water, ''we 
say, " are good servants, but bad masters :" the old 
world was mastered and destroyed by water, and 
this is reserved unto fire.** God has treasures of both 
in his magazines, which he has laid up against the 
time of trouble, the dag of battle and war.* 

This fire of the Lord burnt among them, among 
that people whom God peculiarly favoured, when 
by sin they displeased him, and his anger was kin- 
dled against them.' Though the pillar of cloud and 
fire was over them to protect them, while they kept 
themselves in the love of God, that should be no 
security to them, when they rebelled against him. 
It burnt the bodies of many of them to death, they 
were killed with lightning ; or, perhaps, it burnt their 
tents and goods ; It consumed, (so the original is, 
r. I.) in the uttermost parts of the camp, not saying 
whether persons or dwellings. Our translation de- 
termines it to persons, them that dwell there ; but 
the quenching of the fire, (v. 2.) seems rather to in* 
timate that it was the tents that were burnt. It 
kindled in the utmost parts of the camp, where the 
inferior sort were, the mixt multitude, who were 



d 2 Pet. iii. 6, 7. • Job xxxvuL 33. 



f Numb. xi. 1. 



840 



COMMEMORATION OF THE 



generally the riDgleaders in every mntiny ; the jadg- 
ment began where the sin began. Or, it intimates 
that God came npon them by degrees, seizing those 
first who were of lower rank, that others might take 
warning. Or, this fire began in the utmost parts of 
the camp, as if it would take all before it 

Now this, among other things, happened to them 
for example,' and was intended to be a warning to 
us, that we sin not after the similitude of their trans- 
gression. The people complained ; that was it that 
provoked God to kindle this fire among them. Let 
those who are of a fretful, discontented spirit, who 
are always complaining of their lot, complaining of 
every event, quarrelling vrith God and his provi- 
dence, diminishing every mercy, and doubling every 
cross, see in this instance, what an exceeding sinful 
sin this is, and how provoking to God. Those who 
ate always complaining for trifles, must expect to 
have something given them to complain of. As on 
the one hand nothing is more acceptable to God, 
than our humble acceptance of all he says>ind does. 
CQuii Deo plaeuit ? Cui Deus plaeuerit — Who pleases 
God I The man whom God pleases, Aug.) so on the 
other hand, nothing is more displeasing to God, 
than our being displeased at his disposals. 

2. The memorial of this judgment, to transmit a 
traditional knowledge of it to posterity, Moses called 
that place, Taherah, Ineendium^ Combustio — a Bum" 
inffn The Seventy translate the Hebrew name E/i- 
nvpiofioQ, Moses knew too well how apt the people 
were, soon to forget the works of God, both his mer- 
cies and his judgments, and therefore was very in- 
dustrious to fix in their minds the remembrance of 
them; and contrived means to revive the remem- 
brance of them, when it should begin to dwindle and 
die. This fire of the Lord, though it burned but in 
the uttermost part of the camp, and was soon quench- 
ed, yet must not be forgotten ; he therefore calls the 
place Ta6eraA— Here the burning was. And if pos- 
terity ask. What burning? It will be answered, the 
burning of a part of the camp of the Israelites, with 
the fire of the Lord, for their discontent and mur- 
muring. And we find Moses himself, near forty 
years after, putting the next generation in mind of 
this very thing, purely by the mention of this name, 
as he did of other the like sins and judgments, 
by the names he had given to other places for the 
same purpose : And at Taherah, and at Massah, 
and at Kihroth-Hattaavahy ye provoked the Lord to 
wrath." 

But by recording those things in his sacred writ- 
ings, he has more effectually preserved the memorial 
of them, and transmitted it even to us, whose lot is 
cast in the ends of the earth, and upon whom the 
ends of the world are come.* And this is one of 
those passages of story, which the Psalmist would 



r 1 Cor. X. 6. 
k Pi. Izxvlii. 6, 21. 



h Deut. iz. 2S. 
1 Jer. vii. 12. 



i 1 Cor. X. 11. 
n Bccl. vii. 13. 



have the fathers to make known to their children, 
that they may tell them to theirs ; That God heard 
their murmuring^ and was wroth, so a fire was kin- 
dled against Jacob}- 

So that hence we may gather this lesson : 

That a lasting memorial ought to he kept of the fire 
of the Lord, when it has at any time burned among 
a people. 

As the mercies of God ought to have their memo- 
rials, and used to have in the church of God names 
of remembrance, stones of remembrance, songs of 
remembrance, days of remembrance, of which it 
were easy to give numerous instances in Scripture ; 
so the judgments of God too should be remembered, 
for they are improvable as well as his mercies, im- 
provable not only by the sufferers themselTes, and 
by their neighbours at the same time, but by their 
successors afterwards, as Shiloh's ruins were Jeru- 
salem's instructions,' many ages afterwards. Care 
must therefore be taken, not only to preserve the 
remembrance of them in our own bosoms, but to 
transmit it to the generations to come, for their 
benefit. 

For it is not enough to remember these works of 
God, but we must consider them,'" must wisely con- 
sider ° them, so as to understand them, and make a 
good use of our remembrance of them. As we must 
remember God's commandments to do them,** else 
we remember them to no purpose ; so we must re- 
member God's providences, not merely as matter of 
discourse among ourselves, or information to our 
children, but with suitable affections working in oar 
spirits, and suitable impressions made upon thera. 
Lo, this, we have searched it, (says Eliphas,) so it is, 
hear it, and know thou it for thy good,^ 

(1.) We must often call to mind the personal 
and private rebukes of Providence, which we our- 
selves and our families have been under. The his- 
tory of a man*s own life is as useful a piece of his- 
tory as any he can study ; and here a man must be 
his own historian, and his own reader ; and therefore 
under both characters it is to be hoped he will be 
careful, and faithful to himself. God's counsel to 
Israel is good counsel to every Israelite, Thou shah 
remember all the way in which the Lord thy God 
has led thee in this wilderness, how he humbled thee, 
and suffered thee to hunger, and chastened thecy as a 
man chasteneth his son.** 

We should remember what God has spoken to us, 
not only by his word, giving earnest heed, lest at 
any time we let it slip,^ but by his rod, for that also 
has a voice, an articulate, intelligible voice, and is 
sent to us on an errand, and waits for an answer ; 
and the voice of both we should now both hear for 
the time to come, and hear from the time past ; and 
the repeating of the lessons we have been taught by 



B Ps. Ixiv. 0. e pg. ciii. IS. 

q Deut vHi. 2, 3, 5. 



P Job V. & 
T Heb. ii. I. 



FIRE OF LONDON. 



841 



both, is confessedly necessary to our learning of 
tbem perfectiy. 

Apt enongh we are to complain of our former 
aiBictions, too apt to remember them, with peevish 
reflections upon the divine Providence, and the in- 
straments of it, and vain boasting of what hardships 
weha?e gone through. But we should remember 
tbem, to renew our repentance for the sins that pro- 
cared them, our thankfulness for the mercy that sup- 
ported us under them, oar patient submissions to 
tbe will of God in them, our improvements in know- 
ledge and grace by them, and the good resolutions 
of better obedience we made under them ; it is for 
tbis end that we are to preserve memorials of our 
troobles : as the lamenting church remembered the 
afBiction and the misery, the wormwood and the 
gall. My 8<nd (says she) huth them still in remem- 
kranee, and it humbled within $ne,* And as David 
penned many of his psalms, to keep in remembrance, 
and to bring to remembrance, the distresses he was 
io, that at the same time he might recollect, for his 
present bene6t, the frame of his spirit, and the work- 
ings of his heart under them. 

Ton have all found your days upon earth to be full 
of trooble, though not all alike so ; review the trou- 
bles of your life, that what was ill done by you in 
tbe day of your affliction, may be undone by repent- 
ance ; and what was well done, may be done again, 
may be better done, and kept always in the imagi- 
nation of the thought of your heart Let not your 
ncknesses and pains be forgotten ; Hezekiah took 
care that his should not, but should be kept in 
remembrance by his vmting, when he bad been sick 
and was recovered.* Let not your losses in your 
estate, your crosses and disappointments in your 
affairs, be forgotten; Let not the death of yonr dear 
relations, and tbe breaches thereby made upon your 
comforts, be forgotten. Naomi took care that her 
complicated griefs of both those kinds should not be, 
when she changed her own name, Call me not Naomi, 
etU me Mmra.^ David took care that his should not, 
when he penned the 39th Psalm (it should seem) 
Qpon occasion of the death of some friend who was 
dear to him, and left upon record his prayer under 
tbe affliction, Lord^ mahe me to know my end, and his 
promise, 1 wiH tmke heed to my wayi.^ 

By remembering your afflictions in this good man • 
ser, and for these good purposes, you may not only 
regain the benefit you formerly got by them, but may 
gain more ; as having now your thoughts more cool 
and sedate, and under command, than they were in 
tbe horry of the affliction. The chastening for the 
present is grievous, and perhaps we are under it, as 
Job was,/ic// ofean/usion ; but it is afterwards, when 
it eomes to be reflected upon and reviewed, that it 



• Lam. IH. 19, SO. > ba. xzzviii. 9. « Rath i. 90. 

▼ Ps. xxxiz. 4. • w Heb. xif. ll. 



yields ihe peaeeMe fndt of riyhteouenes*;' fruit that 
remains. 

By a due remembrance of former convictions, 
if we received them aright, like the tender and 
tractable child, we shall be kept from returning to 
folly, and so prevent another correction ; and, like 
the burnt child, dread the fire. 

(2.) We must often call to mind public judgments, 
judgments upon the communities we are members 
of ; upon the land and nation, God's controversies 
with them ; upon the city, his voice that has cried 
to it ; for as in the peace thereof we have peace, so 
in the trouble thereof we have trouble, and must feel 
it. Those are unworthy the honour of Zion's sons, 
who think not themselves concerned in Zion's sor- 
rows, her past as well as present sorrows. 

Though God by subsequent providences In favour 
of a returning people, may have superseded the fast 
of the fourth month, the fast oftheffihj the fast of 
the seventh, the fast of the tenth, so as to turn them 
into joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts ;* and by 
the abundance of our comforts, may make us to 
foryet our miseries, and to remember them as waters 
that pass away ;' to forget all our tail,* as Joseph 
did ; yet we must still remember to make a pious 
improvement of it ; must still be sowing, sowing in 
the spirit, though the tears in which we sowed be in 
some measure wiped away : and to assist you herein, 
as God enables me, is my desire and endeavour at 
this time, that our coming together may not be in 
vain. 

God has many ways contended with us of this 
nation, with you of this city ; as we have been, like 
Israel of old, favoured with many privileges and 
advantages above our neighbours, both for life and 
godliness, whence it might justly, and with good 
reason, have been inferred, as it was concerning 
them. Surely this great nation is a wise and under- 
standing people;^ so, being found like them, notwith- 
standing this, a foolish people and unwise, nay, a 
rebellious and gainsaying people, we have like them 
fallen under severe judgments : for the more rich a 
people's privileges are, the more provoking their 
sins are, and consequently the heavier are their 
punishments ; for even in this life, especially in 
dealing with communities, (which as soch can be 
dealt with in this life only,) God sometimes observes 
a proportion between the sins and the plagues. 

Some have observed, that God's judgments upon 
us in this last age, have been the sorest in their kind 
of any other ; like that concerning which the pro- 
phet appeals to the old men, and to all the inhabit- 
ants of the land, whether there had ever been the 
like in their days, or in the days of their fathers. *» 
Never was there such a plague in this nation, as that 



s Zecb. Till. 19. r Job zi. 10. 
• Deut. !▼. 6. 



• Qen. xlj. 61. 
b Joel i. 9. 



843 



COMMEMORATION OF THE 



in London in 1666. never such a fire as that the year 
after, never sach a dreadful storm as that about ten 
years ago, as if God were heating the furnace $even 
time* hatter; for he will bring greater judgments on 
those who are not wrought upon by lesser; and when 
he judgeth he will overcome. 

That which I am now to confine myself to, is the 
fire of the Lord which was kindled in this city, this 
day 47 years, which in four days' time laid in ashes 
the richest, the oldest, and the most considerable 
part of this city, I mean within the walls ; and I 
observe upon the calculation then made, that there 
was almost as much consumed without the walls, 
as was left standing within. For thus the survey 
stood ; " 373 acres burnt within the walls, and 75 
left standing ; but there were 63 acres burnt without 
the walls." You had 89 parish churches burnt, 
besides chapels; you had your Exchange, your 
Guildhall, and the halls of your companies, laid in 
ashes ; and aboye thirteen thousand dwellings lerel- 
led with the ground. 

Some of you can remember it, perhaps by a good 
token, a sad token, you were burnt out of your houses 
it may be, and forced to lodge in the fields. It may 
be some of you were great losers by it, when you 
were young, and setting out in the world, and it was 
a great while before you recovered it ; it broke the 
measures you had laid, ruffled your affairs, and put 
you upon new counsels ; or perhaps brought you so 
much to a loss, that you were at your wits' ends, and 
at that time knew not what to do ; but have since 
found to your comfort, that God knew what to do 
for you, and has graciously helped you. 

Or though you were not then so far grown up, or so 
far engaged in the world, as to be sufferers by it, yet 
you were eye-witnesses of it You saw it rage, you 
saw what desolations it made ; and now you are old, 
will say it was the most dreadful sight you ever saw. 
The piteous case of so many ruined families, and 
their doleful lamentations, could not but be yet more 
affecting, yet more afflicting ; and made you ready 
to cry with the prophet in a like case, my bowelsy my 
bowels, I am pained at my very heart, because thou 
hast heard, O my soul, the alarm of fire ! Fire ! no 
less terrible than the alarm of war; Destruction 
upon destruction is cried,*' The destruction of the 
fire, u pon that of the pestilence the year before. Many 
a melancholy story perhaps some of you have told, 
upon the occurrences of that time, and the impres- 
sions they made upon you. — Quaque ipse miserrima 
vidi — Disastrous things have I seen. 

But there is another thing which you must give 
me leave to inquire. What you remember of it? 
The faithful ministers of Christ at that time, no 
doubt, laid out themselves in their preaching, to im- 
prove that providence, in dealing with you about 

e Jer. iv. 19, 30. d Fa. xdv. 18. • Eva iii. 11. f Isa. xxviii. 23. 



your souls. Something came from the press upon 
that occasion, by Mr. Vincent, Mr. Doolittle, and 
others ; and much more we may well conclude by 
word of mouth. Now what do you remember of that ? 
What account can you give of the sermons yon 
heard upon that occasion, and of the good impres- 
sions they made upon you when you were young-, 
and your hearts tender ? Can you say, through grace, 
that your consciences were then conTinced and 
awakened, and that when you were chastened, you 
were taught out of the law, and the gospel.^ Happy 
the day, and happy you, if what you then lost by 
the rod of God, was made up, and more than made 
up to you, in what yon gained by the word of 
God. 

But the most of you were not then bom, or were 
so young as to remember nothing of it ; yet you 
have been told of it, perhaps you have read of it, 
and cannot be altogether ignorant of that event. 
Blessed be God, there is no occasion for such differ- 
ent sentiments and resentments between the old 
people and the young, as there were when the foun- 
dations of the second temple were laid, when the 
young people rejoiced to see a temple begun, but 
the aged wept, because it was so far inferior to the 
old one. No, if the young will join with you who 
are old, in bewailing the fall of the former city, you 
will join with them in celebrating the beauty of the 
latter;" and let both join in endeavouring to improve 
the remembrance of that fire of the Loid. 

Nine lessons I shall recommend to you, to be learn- 
ed from that fire which we are this day observing the 
memorial of. 

I. See how terrible God is in his judgments, and 
fear before him. It was the fire of the Lord that 
burnt among you ; whatever hand of man might be 
in it, it is certain this evil in the city was the Lord's 
doing; it was a consumption determined by the 
Lord of hosts,' and the breath of the Almighty that 
kindled the fire, and directed all the motions of it 
It was the Light of Israel, who is and will be a re- 
joicing Light to his people, that was then as a fire, 
a consuming fire ;> for so our God is and will be, to 
those who rebel against him ; and the Holy One of 
Israel, who was then as a flame, that devoured so 
many churches and houses, as if they had been 
briers and thorns, in one day. 

See how terrible God's majesty is ; when he came 
down upon an errand of mercy, to deliver Israel out 
of Egypt, he appeared in a flame of fire in the bush;^ 
and at Mount Sinai, the sight of the glory of the 
God of Israel, was like devouring fire in the eyes of 
the children of Israel '} but much more terrible is 
his justice to them that provoke- him. If the glory 
of his greatness be like fire, to a people who are 
entering into covenant with him, much more will the 



V ISB. X. 16, 17. 



h £zod. iii. 2. 



I Eiod. xzIy. 17, 



FIRE OF LONDON. 



843 



terror of his wrath be so, to a people who have bro- 
ken coTenant with him. 

Come, behold what desolations God has made, 
and say with Moses the man of God, upon the re^ew 
of the judgments of God inflicted on Israel in the 
wilderness, and this at Taherah, among the rest. 
Who kncms the power of thine anger ?^ Say as the 
men of Bethshemesh said, when there was sach a 
slaughter made among them who looked into the 
ark. Who ii able to stand before this holy Lord God?* 
Say as the sinners in Sion are forced at length to 
say, and the hypocrites when fearfulness surpriseth 
them. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring 
fiames^ (by which some understand God himself,) 
with the everlasting burning f Say as David, Mg 
^sh tremblethfor fear of thee, and I 4sm afraid of 
thy judgments :^ and conclude with the apostle. It 
ie a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living 
God." 

God has all creatures at his command, and all 
the powers they haye are deriyed from him, and by 
them he designs to keep the world in awe. The 
power which the firo has to consume and destroy 
is from him ; when he pleases he can countermand 
it, as in the case of the three children ; and when 
be pleases he can commission it, and enforoe its 
operations, and direct its motions. The voice of the 
Lord divides the /lames of fir e^ sends one flame one 
way, and another flame another way, and each on 
its respectiye errand. 

Let the thoughts of the flre of London fill us with 
a holy awe of God, and a filial fear of his wrath ; 
that fire of the Lord, which when it is kindled but a 
little, much more when it is kindled to such a degree, 
we shall see cause to say, Blessed are all they that 
jmt their trust in Atfii.<i Fear ye not me, saith the 
Lardy' that with a touch, with a frown, with a look, 
can make the iiuwsitatfu smohe ? that with one spark 
of fire can lay heaps upon heaps ? Let the earth trem- 
ble at his presence, much more at his absence, and 
his departure in anger. 

See what fools they are, who make this God their 
enemy by sin, and engage his power against them, 
and yet when they haye done so, bid defiance to his 
justice, challenge him to do his worst, saying, Let 
kim make speed, and hasten hie worh, that we may see 
it* Is this a God to be jested with ? Be not de- 
ceived, he isnotmoehed. Presumptuous sinners, who 
play with this fire, who stretch out their hands against 
God, and strengthen themsehes against the Almighty, 
who run upon Aim, even upon his neeh, upon the thich 
bosses of his huekUr} will find to their cost, that none 
ever hardened his heart against God and prospered. 
God has access with his flames to men^s hearts, as 
well as to their houses, can kindle a fire in their bones, 
a fire in their consciences, that shall secretly waste 

k Ptal. xc. 11. 11 Sam. y\. so. m Isa. xzxiii. U. 
• PbL cxlx. M», o Heb. x. 31. p PnL xxlx. 7. q Pnl. it. is. 



and exhaust their spirits, a ^r^ not blown, not seen, 
that shall consume them, a fire that shall bum to the 
lowest hell, and never be quenched. 

Give all diligence, therefore, to make your peace 
with this terrible God : it may be done, it shall be 
done, if it be not your own fault. Fury is not in 
him, and yet it is to no purpose to think of contend- 
ing with him ; to make opposition, is but like putting 
briers and thorns before a consuming fire, which, 
instead of stopping its progress, does but make it 
bum the more furiously. Let him therefore take 
hold on his strength, that he may make peace, atid 
he shall makepeace*^ 

And haying made your -peace with God, keep 
yourselves always in his love, and take heed of turn- 
ing yourselves out of it ; and while you do so, solace 
yourselves in his love, and believe that this God of 
power vriil be your protector, and a wall of fire round 
about you. 

II. See what a mischievous thing sin is, which 
provokes God thus to be our enemy, and to fight 
against us. If it was God's justice that burnt Lon- 
don, Jt was man's injustice that brought fuel to the 
fire ; for a fraitful land is never turned into barren- 
ness, nor a flourishing city into rains, but it is for 
the iniquity of them that dwell therein.* God never 
contends with a people, but it is sin, it is sin tliat is 
the cause of the controversy. National sins briug 
national judgments. The sins of a city bring misery 
upon it ; Jerusalem hath grievously sinned, therefore 
she is removed,^ When the men of Sodom were 
wicked, and sinners before the Lord exceedingly, 
it was not long ere he rained hell from heaven upon 
them ; and when all flesh had corrupted their way, 
presently they were cut down out of time, and their 
foundation overthrown with a flood. It was the 
wickedness of the city, that made it combustible 
matter for the Are of God's wrath to fasten upon, 
Iliacos intra muros peccatur et extra-— 'Sin reigned 
within and without the walls. When sin abounds 
both within the walls and without, no wonder if the 
fire prevails in both. 

London was then told by the watchmen upon her 
walls, what the sins were that provoked God to lay 
it waste ; they had then a loud call to show this 
Jerasalem her abominations, which might be read 
in her desolations. It was then justly observed, 
that for some time before the fire, the power of vice 
and profaneness was grown more exorbitant than 
ever, more daring, more threatening, that it insulted 
and triumphed over the restraints and checks which 
for some years before it had lain under, and now 
set. them at defiance. It was observed, remember, not 
long since, by a venerable body, '* That at that time, 
to avoid hypocrisy, men ran into open impiety :" and 
I have heard it complained of, by those who lived at 

r Jer. V. as. • laa. ▼. i9. % Job xv. ss»a6. 

n laa. xxvii. 4, 5. « PnO. cvi>. 34. w Lam. i. 8. 



844 



COMMEMORATION OF THE 



that time, ** that debaachery was made by many a 
test of loyalty ; and a man was saspected to be dis- 
affected to his prince, if he did not profane the name 
of his God/' Was this the character of the times 
immediately preceding that desolation ? And oonld 
any other be expected, but that God should visit for 
these things, and that his sonl should be avenged on 
such a city, such a nntion^ as this f^ 

Sabbath-breaking is a sin for which God has par- 
ticularly threatened to contend by fire : If ye will 
not hearken to me, to hallow the sabbath day, I will 
kindle afire in the gates ofJerusaUmJ How sabbaths 
had been profaned in those times of licentiousness, is 
easy to conjecture ; and if we may make remarks upon 
the circumstances of a judgment, in order to the im- 
proving of it, it must be taken notice of, that the 
fire began between one and two of the clock on a 
Lord's-day morning, as if God would thereby inti- 
mate, that it was kindled to avenge the quarrel of 
his sabbath. 

How should this increase our hatred of sin, that 
evil and bitter thing, by which we have procured 
such things as these to ourselves, which has been 
the destruction of souls, bodies, families, cities, 
churches, nations, worlds ; which is not only the re- 
proach, but the ruin, of any people. What a dread 
should we conceive of the fatal consequences of na- 
tional sins, which would fix us among those holy 
mourners, who sigh and cry for the abominations 
that are committed amongst us.' Methinks this 
should put life into the despised and almost deserted 
cause, of the refonnation of manners among us, that 
in the prosecution of it, we not only consult the glory 
of God, the honour of our holy religion, and the good 
of precious souls, but the peace, safety, and prosperity 
of the communities we are members of. -The surest 
way to prevent another fire, is, to discountenance 
and suppress that immorality and profaneness, for 
which the fire of the Lord has burnt among you. 

Not that this was the only g^round of God's contro- 
versy with the city. Even the professors of religion, 
who run not with others to an excess of riot, con- 
tributed to the guilt which kindled those flames, by 
their lukewarmness and indifference in religion, their 
pride, and vanity, and worldliness, and neglect of 
family worship, as they were often then told by their 
faithful reprovers. Under such public calamities, 
our business is not to judge and censure others, but 
each of us to take blame and shame to ourselves, 
and seriously to ask. What haee I done f 

And yet we must be very regardless of the work 
of the Lord, and the operation of his hand, if we do 
not observe, that London's plague and fire came but 
three or four years after the casting out and silenc- 
ing of a great number of able, faithful ministers of 
Christ there, and all the nation over, because they 

X Jer. V. 0. 7 Jet. zvii. 97. ■ £iek. Is. 4. • Jer. xxzvi. 16. 



would not sin against their consciences. Jerusalem 
was burnt the first time, for misusing the messengers 
of the Lord ;* and the second time, for laying hands 
on the disciples of Christ, and persecuting them ;^ 
for Christ resented what was done against them, as 
done against himself. 

At least we must be allowed to observe, that the 
fire happened not six months after the commcDcing 
of the Five-mile Act, by which they who, but a little 
before, were turned out of their churches, were bar- 
barously turned out of their houses, and not suffered 
to live within five miles of any corporation, or of the 
places where they had been ministers. It was the 
observation of a wise and good man at that time, 
*' that as it was in mercy to many of the ministers, 
that they were removed out of the city, before that 
desolating judgment came ; so it spoke aloud to the 
government. Let my people yo, that they may serve 
me ; and if ye will not, behold, thus and thus will I do 
unto you." This he thought was the Lord's voice, 
then crying in the city. 

III. See what an uncertain thing this world is, 
an4 all our possessions and employments in it. If 
men would but believe the preacher's text and doc- 
trine, which is delivered to us, not only as the word 
of the Eternal God, which therefore we may venture 
to believe, nay, are bound to believe, but, in compas- 
sion to our infirmity, is confirmed to us by the obser- 
vation and experience of the wisest of men, A U it 
vanity — vanity of vanities, and vexation of spirit, 
and would live up to their belief of it, it would save 
them a great deal of trouble \ for how many sore 
crosses and affiictions does the worldliness of our 
hearts need and call for, to give us a sensible de- 
monstration, that we may come under the needfol 
conviction of the vanity of this world, and its insufii- 
ciency to make us happy. 

How plainly may we read this, by the light of 
London's flames ! How many well-furnished houses 
and shops were then consumed in a little time ! It 
is part of the lamentation of the ruin of Babylon, 
that in one hour so great riches is come to nought,'*^ 
How many who were worth thousands over-night, 
were so impoverished by the fire, that they were 
worth nothing, or next to nothing, by the next 
morning ! Like Job, whom the rising sun saw the 
richest of all the men of the east, and the setting sun 
left poor to a proverb. Our Saviour speaks of the 
danger we are in, of losing our treasures upon earth, 
by the moth that corrupts, or thieves that break 
through and steal ;^ but this loss of it by fire, is 
worse than either. What the moth has been in, may 
yet be good for something, and what the thief has 
stolen, may perhaps be recovered; but what the 
fire has consumed, is quite lost, and past retrieve. 
How sudden and surprising was this desolation, 



bLukexsl. IS. 



c Rev. xviil. 17. 



dlfattvi. 10. 



FIRE OF LONDON. 



645 



bow little thought of and expected by the sufferers, 
who hoped tlicy had goods laid up for many years, 
and houses that should endure to many generations, 
when the fire comes with a warrant to seize them 
this night, and to strip them of all ; and thereby to 
teach you and me not to bo&st ourselves of to-mor- 
row, since we know not what a day, what a night, 
what an hour, may bring forth.* And in how little 
time was the desolation accomplished ! Three or four 
days reduced to ashes buildings that had been long 
in rearing, and treasures that had been long in ga- 
thering. 

This is a good reason why the rich man should 
not glory in his riches, for as the flower of the grass, 
which is scorched by the sun, they pass away ' and 
are gone, and their place knows them no more ; a 
good reason why we should not be secure in the 
enjoyment of our worldly possessions, nor flatter 
ourselves with the thought, that to-morrow must 
needs be as this day, and much more abundant ; 
that we shall die in our nest, and that our mountain 
stands so strong, that it cannot be moved, when we 
know not what agn^at change a very little time may 
prod ace. 

It is a good reason why we should not make these 
perishing things our portion, nor lay up our treasure 
in them ; and why we should sit loose to them, and 
take our aflfections off from them : for shall we set 
our eyes and hearts upon these things that are not, 
that make themselves wings and flee away ;v that 
are liable to a thousand destructive casualties, and 
are therefore unworthy of our esteem and regard, 
esspecially, when they stand in competition with the 
trae and everlasting riches ? It is therefore our wis- 
dom to be dead to these things, because if we be, 
we shall the better bear the disappointment, if they 
should be thas taken from us, and we shall easily 
say, it was what we looked for. Your houses, and 
shops, and goods are combustible things : call them 
so, and put a value upon them accordingly, as you 
do upon paper-buildings, and give all diligence to 
make that snre, which will be made sure. When 
Jerusalem's desolation was hastening on, the in- 
habitants had this needful admonition given them. 
Arise jfe, and depart ^ this is not your rest, for it is 
polUted,^ it is true of all things here below, they 
are pollated with sin, and are hastening towards 
their rain, and therefore cannot be the repose of our 
souls. What then should we do, but arise and de- 
part from them ? 

Neighbourhood, which is the pleasure of cities, 
where houses join so close, may prove of ill conse- 
qoence, and serve but to spread and propagate the 
flames : of that therefore, no more than of other pre- 
sent comforts, let us not be over-fond. 

rv. See how malicious the enemies of our peace 
and our holy religion are, and what need we have 



• ProT. jocvii. I. 



f James i. lo. 



ff Prov. sxili. A, 



to stand upon our guard against them. There is a 
day that will bring to light the hidden works of 
darkness, and bring into judgment every secret 
thing, and to that day must be referred the full dis- 
covery of the cause of the fire of London. There 
was as full a demonstration given as could be, by 
the master of the house where the fire began, that it 
could not possibly be by accident, which gave 
abundant cause to think that it was designedly set 
on fire by Romish incendiaries, for the weakening of 
the protestant interest, which they have all along 
been, and still are, aiming at the destruction of. 

The parliament met soon after tfie fire, and pre- 
sently, even that House of Commons appointed a 
committee to inquire into the causes of the late fire ; 
before whom abundance of informations were given 
in and proved, which were afterwards printed ; but 
the parliament was prorogued before any judgment 
was given upon them. But it seems very evident, 
upon the concurring testimonies then given in, to 
which I refer you, that it was the execution of a 
popish design. One Robert Hubert, a French pa- 
pist, being taken up upon suspicion, confessed that 
he was one of those who fired the baker's house, 
that was first set on fire, with a fire-ball ; and he 
was executed for it. Many others were taken throw- 
ing fire-balls, but by some means or other made their 
escape, as appears by the report of that committee. 

I would not be found insinuating any causeless, 
groundless jealousies, nor incensing men with en- 
mities against the persons of any; our religion 
teaches us to forgive our enemies, and to pray to 
God to forgive them ; we may not call for fire from 
heaven upon those who are set on fire of hell against 
us.* 

But if this be true, as we have reason to think it 
is, surely it cannot but confirm and increase our de- 
testation of popery, and fill us with a holy, heavenly 
zeal against that strong delusion. Can that be the 
religion of the meek and humble Jesus, which needs, 
and prescribes, and uses such methods for its own 
propagation, as not only Christianity abhors, but 
even humanity startles at, and is shocked by ? Our 
Lord Jesus would not force his way, no not to Jeru- 
salem, by destroying a poor village, and that of 
Samaritans too, that opposed him, and gave this 
reason for it, that the Son of man eame not to destroy 
men's lives and dwellings, but to save them T^ How 
far then are they from, nay, how contrary to, the 
spirit of Christ and his holy religion, who make no 
difficulty of destroying a great city, and that of 
Christians too, for the compassing of their design 
to reduce a people under the heavy yoke of their 
tyranny, that had happily escaped from under it. 
But no wonder they stumble not at heaps of ruins, 
when they startle not at seas of blood ; but to gain 
their point, can wade through them without horror. 



h HIc. il. 10. 



1 James ili. 6. 



k Luke ix. A& 



846 



COMMEMORATION OF THE 



How many treasons, marders, and massacres, have 
not only been justified but consecrated, wben they 
have been for the adyancement of the pretended 
catholic cause ! Instruments of cruelty are in their 
habitation, as in that of Simeon and Levi : O my 
souly come not thou into their secretJ 

And as it should increase our hatred of the Romish 
religion, so it should increase our dread of the Rom- 
ish designs against us, and all that is dear to us. 
The extirpating of that which they call the Northern 
Heresy, is what they have been aiming at ever since 
the reformation ; and we have no reason to think 
they have dropped the design, when not many years 
ago, it was carried so far, that it was next door to 
an accomplishment, and no less than a miracle of 
mercy saved our darling Isaac from being sacrificed 
to popish tyranny, when it lay bound upon the altar. 
Or, have we any reason to think that popery has 
altered its character ? I wish we had : but the me- 
thods lately taken to root out the protestant religion 
in France, besides the persecution we hear of in 
Poland, at this time, and other instances, are suffi- 
cient to convince us, that popery is the same bloody, 
barbarous, inhuman thing, that ever it was, and 
therefore its advances towards us are to be as much 
dreaded as ever ; that we may be quickened in our 
prayers to God, to fortify our bulwarks against that 
complication of sins and judgments, and to lift up a 
standard against that enemy, even when he comes in 
like a flood. Cry earnestly to God day and night, 
that he would turn all the counsels of popish Achi- 
tophels into foolishness ; and I trust he will, as he 
has done many a time. 

v. See how graciously God often remembers mercy 
m the midst of wrath, and in compassion takes up 
his controversy, when he might in justice proceed 
in it. You have a monument of the judgment, here 
where the fire began, but in every place where it 
stopt, the houses that escaped are so many monu- 
ments of sparing mercy. Yon can easily perceive, 
by the different materials and structure of the houses, 
just how far the fire proceeded : when you observe 
this, say, It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not 
consumed/^ that all was not consumed, that God did 
not make a full end, but that, when he overthrew 
some of you, as he overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, 
yet others of you were as brands plucked out of the 
burning." The quenching of the fire at Taberah* 
is here recorded with the kindling of it, that we 
might learn to sing of mercy and judgment, and sing 
unto God of both, for in both his hand is to be seen. 

When God had made London as a fiery oven in 
the day of his wrath, and the flames went on like a 
mighty army, conquering and to conquer, threaten- 
ing to leave neither root nor branch ; then God re- 
pented himself concerning his servants, his soul was 
grieved for the misery of London, and he said. How 



I Gen. zUx. 1, 8. 



m Lam iii S3- 



B Amosiv. 11. 



shall I give thee up T How shall I deliver thee ? How 
shall I make thee as Admah, and set thee as Ze][>oim? 
In every place whither the fire had spread, much 
about the same time a check was given to it, and 
God said to the raging fire, as he does to the raging 
sea. Hitherto shalt thou come and no further, here 
shall thy proud waves, thy proud flames, he staid. 

Let this be remembered with thankfulness to God^ 
and to the praise of that mercy of his, which rejoiceth 
against judgment, and prevents its making a full 
end ; and let us add to this, our own experience of 
the like seasonable interpositions of divine mercy 
for our relief. The earthly house of this tabernacle 
has perhaps been on fire with a fever, or some other 
wasting, consuming distemper, ready to reduce it to 
dust and ashes, yet God has staid the progress of 
it, has said unto us. Live, and the time was a time of 
love, not to be forgotten. 

It ought to be taken notice of as an answer of 
prayer ; we are told here, that when the fire of the 
Lord burnt in the camp of Israel, Moses, that great 
intercessor, and as such, a type of Christ, prayed 
unto the Lord, and then the fire was quenched. And 
no doubt when London was burning, there were a 
remnant of praying people standing in the gap, to 
turn away the wrath of God, who wept and made 
supplication, and in answer to their prayer, God 
spared a part of the city. The prophet Amos tells 
us that when, in his time, the Lord God called to 
contend by fire, he prayed, O Lord God, cease I be- 
seech thee, and the Lord repented for this. It shall 
not be, saith the Lord God,^ 

Let this engs^ge us to call upon God, and encou- 
rage us to trust in him in all our straits and difficul- 
ties, be they ever so g^eat and threatening: he is a 
present help in time of need, and the necessity, as it 
engages his mercy, so it magnifies his power. If we 
can by faith depend upon him to save us, then when 
we think we perish, it shall be made to appear that 
even the winds and the seas obey him. 

YI. See how wonderfully God can revive what 
seemed to be ruined. Now we are remembering the 
burning of this city, we must by no means overlook 
the rebuilding of it, and the raising up of another 
city, phoenix-like, out of the ashes of the old one. 
I am apt to think this seemed to them who lived then 
almost impracticable, and there were those who were 
ready to despair of it. How should they find money 
to rebuild their houses, and to contribute their share 
to the public buildings too, who had not only lost 
their goods in the fire, but lost in a manner their 
trades too, by which they and their families must 
subsist? and yet the Lord their God being with 
them, they built and prospered, and in two or thrpe 
years, there scarce remained any marks or footsteps 
of the fire. You may easily imagine how great the 
destruction was, and yet you will hardly imagine it. 



o Numb.xL;i. 



F Amos Vii. 4^<sl 



FIRE IN LONDON. 



847 



when you obserre how magnificent the repair of it 
is; for surely the glory of the Utter eity ufaryreat-- 
trthan the glory of the former: I wish it were so 
apoD the account that the glory of the latter temple 
80 far exceeded that of the former, which was the 
presence of Christ in it 

When God made of this city a heap, yet he did 
not make it to be no city, nor say concerning it, that 
it should never be built again ;^ it was desolate, bat 
not, as Babylon, desolate forever ; no, nor as Jem- 
niem, that had seyenty years accomplished in her 
desolation:' bnt in a little time God had mercy on 
foor dwelling-places, as the prophet speaks, and the 
n>3f wa» bmlt again on her oum heap,* and built again 
vith advantage, more strong, more beautiful, and 
more uniform than it had been before ; as if it had 
passed through a refining fire, rather than a consum- 
iag one, and had only been melted down to be cast 
in a better mould. This was the Lord^e doing, for 
txet^ he hnild the home, they labour in vain that build 
I'C and it may justly be marvelloui in our eye*. 
God has fulfilled to you what he said of Zion and 
Jerusalem, Though / waejealoue against them with 
freat fury, yet / am returned unto Zion, and will 
d€tU in the midst of Jeruealem ; and O that the 
following promise to Jerusalem might be made good 
to London, It shall be called a city of truth, and the 
ntuntainofthe Lordtf hosts, the holy mountain,* How 
well were it, if the hearts of the citizens were as 
much improved by the fire, as their houses were ! 

Let this resurrection of the city out of its ashes, 
i>e to ns an emblem of the state of Christ's church in 
the world; it is persecuted, but not forsahen, cast 
hvn, but not destroyed i' its desolations may some- 
imes be said to be universal, but they shall not be 
|>crpetiiaL The protestant interest in many places 
b broQght very low, and its ruins trampled on, by 
tbe same that triumphed in the ruins of this city of 
ovr solemnities, yet we have reason to hope it shall 
reTi?e, and flourish again, even where it seems razed 
to the very foundations. It is promised concerning 
tbe tabernacle of David, which is fallen down, that 
Sod will build again the ruins thereof,*' and will 
iet it Qp : when the time comes that Babylon must 
^^11 (and fall it must sooner or later,) that promise 
iball be fulfilled. Let this quicken our prayers to 
^od, for the re-establishing of the protestant reli- 
gion, where it is borne down and trampled on, and 
'«t OS continue instant in that prayer, and not faint, 
'hough we be sadly disappointed in the hands that 
*« thought should have gone forward in the effect- 
"i^of it; God will do his own work in his own way 
»nd lime, if not by might and power, yet by the Spirit , 
y^e Lard of Hosts ; for so Jerusalem was rebuilt, 
ind before that Spirit the mountains of diflicolty 
bat lay in the way became plain.* Our care must 

n la. xxr. 1 f Dan. \x. a. • Jer. xxx. IS. t P«l. cxxt li. 1. 
• Z€ch. ?lli. a, a » a Cor. ir. 9. w Acts xv. IS. 



be to retain a sincere affection for our holy religion, 
how low soever the profession of it is, or may be 
brought, and not think the worse of it for its being 
deserted, and losing ground. It is the character of 
the servants of God, that when Zion is in ruins, they 
take pleasure even in its broken scattered stones, 
and favour the very dust thereof, they love the 
ground she stood upon ; and let such assure them- 
selves, that the time to favour Zion, yea, the set time, 
will come. And when the Lord shall build up Zion, 
he shall appear in his glory, and in doing it will put 
this honour upon the wrestling seed of Jacob, that 
therein he will regard the prayer 'of the destitute, 
and not despise their prayer.^ Let Daniel's prayer 
therefore be ours, and his plea, that God would 
cause his face to shine upon the sanctuary that is 
desolate for the Lord's sake.' 

YII. See how dangerous our condition is, who 
have not been reformed by the various methods God 
has taken with us. You have long since seen your 
city rebuilt, and the effects of the fire no more re- 
maining, which may supersede the annual memo- 
rial of the judgment : but if the ends of it be not 
answered, there is still occasion to revive the remem- 
brance of it; may not God justly complain of us, 
as he did of Israel, You have sometimes been over- 
thrown by signal judgments, and at other times 
saved by signal mercies, yet have ye not returned 
unto me, saith the Lord,* And we may therefore 
justly fear, that for all this his anger is not turned 
away, but his hand is stretched out still.^ Is there 
any less sinning, or any more praying, in London 
than there was formerly ? I wish there were. But 
we have too much reason to fear, that we come under 
Jerusalem's sad character, when the founder melted 
in vain.^ Iniquity still abounds and goes barefaced, 
vice is as daring and threatening as ever ; and what 
will be in the end thereof? May we not. fear, lest 
God should send gpreater judgments among us, since 
lesser have not done their work, nor gained their point. 
There are fires of another nature, which we have 
reason to fear the fatal effects of, both to the city, 
and to the land, I mean our unhappy divisions and 
animosities, and violent heats one against another : 
the sin that is in our divisions may be justly punish- 
ed with the ruin that is commonly the effect of them, 
for a city or kingdom divided against itself is 
brought to desolation, and becomes an easy prey to 
the common enemy, who warm their hands at those 
flames, and doubt not to find their account in setting 
us at variance one against another. 

The removal of the gospel, and the taking away 
of our candlestick out of its place, would be a much 
sorer judgment than the burning of the city, and 
ought to be dreaded and deprecated accordingly. If 

papal tyranny should again take footing here, if our 

■■ < ■ ' 

s Zech. iv. 6, 7. 7 Paal- cii. 13, 14, 16, 17. ■ Dan. ix. 17 
• AmoB. It. II. b ba. ix. 17. e Jer. vi. 29. 



848 



COMMEMORATION OF THE 



Bibles should be taken from us, and our ministers be 
banished or put to death, if the idolatrons mass 
should be set up in our churches and the conse- 
crated host carried about our streets to be adored, 
London would look a more melancholy place than 
it did when it was in ashes. I hope that God, who 
has hitherto by miracles of mercy saved our holy 
religion, will still, and that that blessed light shall 
not die in our hands ; I hope it will never come to 
that ; yet I must say we have no reason to be secure, 
when we consider the desert of our sins, and the 
designs of our enemies, and especially when we 
consider the desolations of divers pnitestant churches 
abroad, that once thought themselves as safe and as 
likely to continue a& we do. Go tee what God did 
to Shiloh; what he did to the seven churches of 
Asia ; and let us not be high-minded but fear, for 
are we better than they ? 

The cause of truth and godliness shall be victori- 
ous at last, but may meet with many a hard struggle 
in the mean time. What trying times may be before 
us we cannot tell, but I am sure it is our wisdom to 
be prepared for the worst, by being more and more 
established in the truth as it is in Jesus, by sitting 
loose to the world, and treasuring up such comforts 
and experiences^ as will carry us with courage and 
cheerfulness through the most mournful time, to a 
most joyful eternity ; and then welcome the will of God. 

The gospel is not tied to places ; its privileges are 
movable thing^. The kingdom of God may be 
taken from us, and given to another nation ;*' and 
what will become of us, if our glory be departed, 
and all our pleasant things laid waste. The most 
effectual course we can take to prevent it, is to make 
a good use of our privileges, and live up to them ; 
as the most threatening step toward it is the corrupt- 
ing the nation with the vices of its neighbours, 
which will be as fatal to it as the idols and idolatries 
of the countries round about were to Israel of old. 

I would not amuse people with causeless jealousies, 
but awaken people to a holy fear and diligence in 
their duty by these suggestions. There is a startling 
passage in Mr. George Herbert's poem, called the 
Church Militant, written I believe about eighty years 
ago, which has been much taken notice of. After he 
had showed how the church took rise in the eastern 
parts of the world, and so moved more and more 
westerly, he goes on thus : 

Religion stands on tiptoe in our land. 
Ready to pass to the American strand. 
When height of malice and prodf^ious lusts. 
Impudent sinnings, witchcrafts, and distrusts 
(The marks of future bane) shall fill our cup 
Unto the brim, and make our measure up ; 
When Seine shall swallow Tyber, and the Thames, 
By letting in them both, pollute her streams ; 

d Matt xxl. 4a 



When Italy of us shall have her will, 

And all her calendar of sins fulfil. 

Whereby one may foretell what sins next year 

Shall both in France and England domineer ; 

Then shall religion to America flee. 

They have their times of gospel ev'n as we. 

I remember I heard Dr. Tillotson (afterwards 
Archbishop) quote these verses of Mr. Herbert's, in 
a sermon on John xii. 36. Yet a little while is the 
light with you ; (it is since printed in the second 
volume of the folio edition of his posthumous works ; ) 
and having explained the signs of the times to be 
this, " When the vices of Italy shall pass into 
France, and the vices of both shall overspread Eng- 
land, then the gospel will leave these parts of the 
world."— He makes this remark upon it, '* Whether 
this was only the prudent conjecture and foresight 
of a wise man, or whether there be not something 
more prophetical in it, I cannot tell. But we have 
too much cause to apprehend, that if we do not 
reform and grow better, God will find some way or 
other to deprive us of that light, which is so abused 
and affronted by our wicked lives; and he seems 
now to say to us, as Christ did to the Jews, yet a 
little while is the light with you/* 

VIII. See what a necessary and constant depend- 
ence we have upon God and bis providence for our 
safety. You have seen how great a matter a little 
fire kindles, and in a little time, and cannot but 
think how much all you have in the world lies at 
the mercy of that merciless element, if God should 
give it commission. Though you be ever so careful 
of fire in your own houses, how many careless peo- 
ple are there in the houses about you, which, if set 
on ^re, would soon set yours on fire ; so that we can 
be no night secure, but that we may be either burnt 
tn our beds, or burnt out of them. There have been 
frequent fires in and about the city since this great 
one, to put you in mind of what God has done, and 
what he could do; and many other accidents we and 
our families continually lie exposed to : the dreadful 
wind ten years ago, showed you that God has more 
arrows in his quiver, and can bring another judg- 
ment without bringing another fire. 

Now this should engage us all to have our eye 
toward the Lord, by faith to dwell in the secret 
place of the Most High, and abide under the shadow 
of the Almighty ;• and by prayer every morning and 
every evening, to put ourselves, our houses and fa- 
milies, under dt%'ine protection, and to beg that the 
city may be the care of God's providence in a par- 
ticular manner, and the charge of his angels, as Jeru- 
salem of old was. O that this argument migbt pre- 
vail with you, to set up and keep up the worship of 
God in your families, and to make a business of it, 
that though I cannot assure you that it will preserve 

• P>. zci. 1. 



FIRE OF LONDON. 



QAfk 



yoa from yoar share in common calamities of this kind, 
all tbin^ come alike to all, yet it is the best course 
>oa can take to be safe and easy ; with what a holy 
aecarity may yoa lie down at night, and go abroad in 
the momiogywhen yoa have first solemnly recommend- 
ed yoorselves and yoars to the mercy of God, and 
taken the way which he has appointed to engage him 
for yoa. Sach is the comfort of doing this, such the 
satisfaction of having done it, that we may well call 
it work that is its own wages. If yoa make yoar 
booses little charches for God, he will make them 
little sanctuaries to yoa, and create a defence upon 
all yoar glory/ 

Yoa have yoar engines, yoar watchmen, yoar in- 
sarances, hat after all. Except the Lord keep the city, 
the watchman waketh but m vatii.r It is therefore your 
great concern to make him your friend, and to keep 
yourselves in his love ; to secure the favour of the 
Roler of rulers, from whom every man's judgment 
proceeds.!^ He has put you into an easy way of 
doing this, not hy costly sacrifices and ofierings, but 
by faithful and fervent prayer, kept up in its life, 
and not sunk into a formality. 

Neither pray ye for yourselves alone, and for your 
hoases, bat for the city, and parts adjoining, that in 
the safety thereof you may be safe. Thus approve 
yourselves true friends to the city, and seek the wel- 
fare of it. Yoa are for conscience sake toward God, 
rendered incapable of serving the city in any civil 
offices, serve it so much the more with your prayers, 
serve it in sacred ofiices, as intercessors with God 
for it ; and thank God you cannot be hindered from 
serving it in this way. 

Nor is it enough to keep prayer up in your houses, 
but you must do what you can to keep sin out of 
}oar houses, lest that spoil the success of your 
prayers. If iniquity be in thine hand, any ill-got 
gain, or any ill way of getting, put it far away, and 
ht no wickedness dwell in thy tabernacles, and then 
thou shalt take thy rest in safety, thou shalt lie down, 
end none shall make thee afraid,^ And do what you 
can, in your places, to suppress wickedness in the 
city, and to promote the reformation of manners, that 
the city may be called a city of righteousness, a faith- 
ful city, which God may delight to dwell in. 

IX. See what a dreadful d^y the great day of the 
Lord will be, when the world shall be on fire, and the 
earth, and all the works that are therein, shall be 
burnt up. If the burning of London was so terrible, 
what then will the burning of the world be, the whole 
world ? When the heavens being on fire shall be dis- 
t9lved^ and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, 
and all these things shall be dissolved.^ The volcano s, 
or burning mountains, in Naples and Sicily, and 
many other places, which have been on fire as long 
as we have any history of those countries extant, are 



f I» iv. 5^ 6L r Ps. cxxvii. 1. 

I Job xi. 14, 18, 19. 

3 I 



h Prov. zxv. 36. 
k 3 Pet iii. 13. 



sometimes very terrible, and the eruptions of fire 
from them very threatening : surely Providence has 
wisely ordered those little conflagrations of the earth, 
to be earnests of the general conflagration, and 
standing, sensible confirmations of the Scripture 
tradition of it ; nay, some have thought, that they 
will be in part the means of the burning of this 
world ; so Dr. Tho. Burnet, in that part of his '* The- 
ory of the Earth," which treats De eonfiagraiione 
mundi — Of the conflagration of the world ; Extemus 
est et visibilis apparatus ad hoc ineendium, in montibus 
ignivomis — There is evidently a provision in the fiery 
mountains for this desolation. And he quotes a re- 
markable passage of Pliny, (1. ii. c. 106, 107.) when 
he had reckoned up several burning mountains, &c. 
he concludes, Excedit profecio omnia miracula, uUum 
diemfuisse, in quo non euncia confiagrarent — It is a mi- 
racle tliat the world is not on fire every day. Why should 
it seem incredible to us then, that it will be on ^re 
shortly? Believe it, sirs, as sure as you see this day, 
you shall see that day. And where will all the wealth 
and pride of this world be then ? What will become 
of us, if we have all our portion and happiness in it? 

Think of the fire in which the Lord Jesus will be 
revealed in that day, the flaming fire,' the fire that 
will devour before him ;■" he will come with an innu- 
merable company of angels, and every one of those 
spirits is aflame of fire.'' What flames then will the 
Judge be surrounded with ! Think how you will look 
him in the face in that great and terrible day, and 
and how your works will abide that fire. Those who 
lived and died in sin, will then call in vain to rocks 
and mountains to hide them from the face of him that 
sits on the throne, and the wrath of the Lamb ; but 
those who lived and died in Christ, will see no terror, 
no, not in that fire, but will then lift up their heads 
with joy, knowing that their redemption draws nigh. 

Nay, there is a fire yet more dreadful, which you 
are concerned to think of. The earth, and the works 
that are therein, will soon be burnt up ; but there is 
a lake of fire and brimstone, which burns eternally, 
and shall never be quenched, prepared indeed for 
the devil and his angels, bat into which all the 
wicked and ungodly shall be cast, by the irrevers- 
ible sentence of the righteous Judge, and in which 
they shall be tormented world without end. I am 
here in God's name to give you warning to flee from 
that wrath to come,** by fleeing from sin, by fleeing 
to Christ; and whether you will hear, or whether 
you will forbear, to testify unto you, that you come 
not to that place of torment ; and if you hear not, 
if you heed not, Moses and the prophets, Christ and 
his ministers, giving you this warning, neither 
would ye be persuaded, though one rose from the 
dead.p 



1 3 Then. i. ». 

e Matt. iii. 6. 



n Ps. 1. 3. 



o P». civ. 4. 
P Luke xvi. 38, 31. 



A BRIEF INQUIRY INTO 



THE TRUE NATURE OF SCHISM : 



OR 



A PERSUASIVE TO CHRISTIAN LOVE AND CHARITY. 



There is scarce any odc thing that has been dis- 
cussed in the Christian world with more heat and 
noise among the scYcral dividing parties, than the 
charge of schism. This has involved the disputing 
part of the church in the most violent engagements 
above twelve hundred years. Schism is so deform- 
ed a brat, that nobody has been willing to own it, a 
crime so very black, that each party has been studi- 
ously industrious to clear itself from the charge. To 
this indictment all have pleaded Not guilty ; and we 
find none that have justified it But here is the 
misery ; such notions of it have been entertained, 
that it has been almost impossible to deny, without re- 
criminating. And perhaps the most guilty have been 
most hot in charging others. Athaliah, the greatest 
traitor, is most loud in crying, Treatouj treaton. 

We are all agreed that schism is an arch-rebel in 
Christ's kingdom ; but in sending out the hue and 
cry after it, the difiiculty is, how to describe it. Se- 
veral attempts have been made ; would it be in vain 
to try one more ? Waving all inquiries into the se- 
veral definitions an^i descriptions which have been 
given of it, let us have recourse to the law and to 
the testimony ; for whoever speak in the things of 
God, (as they certainly do who speak of sin and 
duty,) if they speak not according to that rule, it is 
because there is no light in them. 

Therefore I only premise this one postulatum, that 
nothing is to be accounted sin, but that which is 
made so by the word of God : Tekel is to be written 
upon nothing but that which has been carefully 
weighed in the balances of the sanctuary. 

In our inquiry what b sin, let those books be 
opened which must be opened at the great day. If 
sinners must be judged by those books shortly, let sin 
be judged by them now, and let not any man or 
company of men in the world, assume a power to de- 



clare that to be sin, which the Sovereign Rector of 
the world has not declared to be so, lest in so doing 
they be found stepping into the throne of God, who 
is a jealous God, and will not give this branch uf 
his glory to another. 

Let us therefore see what the Scripture says con- 
cerning schism; not concerning the evil of it, we 
are convinced of that, but concerning the nature 
and/brma/i> ratio — due meaning of it 

The Old Testament will not help us so mach in 
this inquiry as the New ; for as to the bindini^ of 
Jews to worship only in one place, at Jerusalem, and 
to ofier only upon that altar, it was a precept purely 
ceremonial, and to us Christians is vacated by that 
gospel rule, which wills us to pray every where, and 
their synagogues then (not their temple) were the 
patterns of Christian assemblies. 

Only one scripture occurs in the Old Testament, 
which, perhaps, will help to rectify some mistakes 
about schism. It is the instance of Eldad and Mc- 
dad, who prophesied in the camp. The case in short 
is this, Eldad and Medad were persons upon lirhom 
Me Spirit rested, that is, who were by the extraordi- 
nary working of the Spirit endued with gifts equal 
to the rest of the seventy elders, and were wrrittem^ 
that is, had a call to the work, but they went not out 
unto the tabernacle as the rest did, though God himsel f 
had appointed that they should, Numb, xu 26. And 
they propheiied in the eampy that is, exercised their 
gifts in private among their neighbours in some com- 
mon tent. Upon what inducements they did this, 
does not appear, but it is evident that it was their 
weakness and infirmity thus to separate from the rest 
of their brethren. If any think they prophesied by a 
necessitating and irresistible impulse, they n»ay re- 
member that the spirit of the prophets is eub/eri to 
the prophets** 



• I Coc xiv 39l 



THE NATURE OF SCHISM. 



851 



Now if some of the schismaticating doctors that 
the charch had known, had but had the censuring; 
of Eldad and Medad, we should soon have had a 
judgment f^ven against them, much more severe 
than would have been awarded to him who gathered 
sticks on the sabbath-day. 

And it is confessed, all the circumstances con- 
sidered, it looks like a very great irregularity, espe- 
cially as an infringement of the authority of Moses, 
which they who prophesied in the tabernacle under 
his presidency manifestly owned, and submitted to. 
Well, an information was presently brought in 
against them, v. 27. Eidad and Medad prophesied 
IK the camp, that is, to speak in the invidious lan- 
guage of the times, there is a conventicle at such a 
place, and Eldad and Medad are holding forth at it. 
Joshua, in bis zeal for that which he fancied to 
be the church's unity, and out of concern for the 
authority of Moses, brings in a bill to silence them; 
for as hot as he was, he would not have them fined 
and laid in the gaol for this disorder, neither ; only, 
my lord Moses, forbid them ; not compel them to 
come to the tabernacle, if they be not satisfied to 
come, only, for the future, prohibit their schisma- 
tical preaching in the camp. This seems a veiy 
good notion. 

But hold, Joehua, tkou knowett not what manner 
of spirit thou art of, Discerqing Moses sees him 
actuated by a spirit of envy, and does not only 
deny, but severely reprove, the motion. Numb. xi. 29. 
Etniett thou for my eahe? Would to God that 
all the Lord's people were prophets, provided the 
Lord will bnt put his Spirit vpon them. He is so 
far from looking upon it as schism, that he does not 
only tolerate, but encourage it And O that all 
those who sit in Moses's chair, were bnt clothed 
with this spirit of Moses. 

This instance is full enough to show, that all is 
not schism, which even vrise and good men are apt 
to think is so. 

But our special inquiry must be in the New Tes- 
tament ; and forasmuch as words are the significa- 
tion of things, let us see what the Scripture means 
by this word schism. 

The critics observe, that the Greek word l^x^oiita 
is used eight times in the New Testament. 

1. In a literal sense, for a rent in a garment, '^x^opa, 
the rent is made worse. In the same sense Sx'C** ^^ 
used. As also of the rending of the vail. The 
cleaving of the heavens.** But this makes little to 
oor purpose. 

2. It is used figuratively for a division ; and that 
twofold.* 

(I.) A division in apprehension; so Tx^f'^^ >" 
Qsed. In which places it signifies the different 
thoughts and apprehensions that the people or their 

^ Matt ix l& Mark li. 21. John six. 34. Luke v. 36. Matt. 
uTii. 31. Johnxxl. II. Mark 1. 10. 

3 1 2 



rulers had concerning Christ, some thinking well 
of him, others not. Some accusing him, others ex- 
cusing him. 

In this sense 'Sx'^^ ^^ used, for the different senti- 
ments the people had concerning Paul.' 

Now this diversity of opinion, judgment, or appre- 
hension, cannot be called or looked upon in itself 
as a thing criminal, inasmuch as there are many 
things which either because they are dark and ob- 
scure, and so not capable of demonstraition, or be- 
cause they are trivial and of light moment, and so 
not worth a demonstration, it is no matter what 
opinion men are of concerning them. 

Only where the matter is weighty, and touches 
the fundamentals of Christianity, there an error is 
criminal, and if stubbornly persisted in, is heresy. 

But the evil of it lies not in the diversity, but in 
the erroneousness and danger of the opinion. 

I cannot believe that the greatest worshippers of 
the Diana of their own opinions, will be so sottish 
as to brand those for schismatics, who in every 
punctilio of opinion are not exactly of the same 
standard vri th themselves. 

If there be any so strangely "rigid, let not my 
soul come into their secret, for I despair to see even 
all the saints of a mind, in every thing, till they 
come to heaven. 

It does therefore evidence too great a strangeness 
to the spirit of the gospel, to condemn all those 
who differ from us only in their apprehensions 
about little things. John's disciples were greatly 
displeased because Christ's disciples did not fast 
so often as they did, and quarrelled with Christ 
himself about it. And the answer of the meek and 
holy Jesus is worthy remark, that he gives a good 
reason why his disciples did not fast, viz. Be- 
cause the bridegroom was yet with them ; and yet 
does not condemn John's disciples that fasted often : 
which teaches us not to make our own opinions and 
practices (like Procrustes's bed) the standard by 
which to measure all others ; and that in such cases 
we are to think it sufficient only to acquit ourselves, 
first to our own consciences, and then if need be to 
the world, without condemning others, who think 
and practise otherwise in such little things, and 
perhaps have as much reason for their thoughts 
and practices as we have for ours. 

(2.) A division in affiection : and in this sense it 
IS used three times in the first epistle to the Cor- 
inthians, and no where else in all the New Testa- 
ment 

We must particularly examine each place, that 
thence we may be furnished with a true notion of 
schism : and in plain terms, the case is whether a 
diversity (or, if you call it so, a separation) of com- 
munion be the/ortfiff/M ratio — due meaning of schism. 

• John vif. 43. John ix. le. John x. 19. 
d Acts xxiii. 7. 



852 



THE NATURE OF SCHISM. 



I find the word, and with it, no doubt, the thing, 
I beseech you brethren — that there be no divisions 
(J^xifffiaTa) no schisms among you ; so reads the mar- 
gin of our Bibles. 

Now to find oat what this schism is, let as inqaire 
into the exegetical exhortations that accompany it. 

[I.] That ye all speah the same things, viz. in the 
fundamental doctrines of Christianity ; for in little 
things it can never be made a duty to be of the same 
opinion, since it is morally impossible, but (as Estius 
seems to understand it) not to break Christian cha- 
rity in your disputes about them. 

Observe, he does not oblige us to think the same 
thing, but though your thoughts be divers, yet speak 
the same thing, that is, in your preaching and con- 
versation, speak of those things only wherein you 
are agreed ; and for those things wherein yon differ, 
do not fall out and fight about them, but love one 
another notwithstanding. 

[2.] That ye be perfectly joined together in the 
same mind and in the same judgment. Which must 
be understood of a serious endeavour after it ; for 
otherwise a perfect conjunction must be reserved for 
a world of everlasting perfection. 

But the meaning of the exhortation seems to be, 
that all their little heats and animosities should be 
swallowed up in an unanimous zeal for the great 
gospel truths, wherein they were all agreed. 

We must inquire also into the Corinthians' mis- 
carriage, which occasioned this caution, which you 
have, 1 Cor. i. 11, 12. there were contentions among 
them, V. 11. tpiii^. So that schisms and contentions 
are one and the same thing, and it is worth noting, 
that Clemens Romanus, in that famous epistle of his 
to the Corinthians, still calls schisms ipc^cc — conten- 
tions' 

Now the contention was about their ministers ; 
I am of Paul, says one ; I am of Apollos, says an- 
other, &c. Now he who was of Apollos was as 
much a schismatic, as he who was of Paul, because 
they quarrelled and fell out about so small and in- 
different a matter. 

Observe, it was not so much being of Paul and 
being of Apollos that made the schism; for Paul, and 
Apollos, and Cephas were all theirs, (chap, iii. 22.) 
but saying, / am of Paul, that is, crying him up as the 
only man for them, so as to despise others. If one 
went to hear Paul, and another went to hear Apol- 
los, that did not make a schism, no, nor if one com- 
municate with Paul, and another with Apollos ; for 
why might not each go where he could be most edi- 
fied ? But the schism was, that they sacrificed Chris- 
tian love and charity to this difference of apprehen- 
sion. This is evident in that those who said, I am 
of Christ, so as to despise and censure, and quarrel 
with them that said I am of Paul, ^c. are reproved 
equally with the rest. 



Now the way of curing this schism was not to 
silence Apollos and Cephas, that whether they would 
or no they might all be of Paul ; nay, it is well worth 
the observing that in the same epistle we find Paul 
very earnest with Apollos to go to Corinth, (xvi. 12.) 
As touching Apollos, I greatly desired him to come to 
you. Which he never would have done, if he had 
not preferred the common interest of souls' salvation 
before his own credit. 

But the way to cure this was to convince them of 
the folly of the quarrels, how senseless and irrational 
they were ; and to persuade them to lay aside their 
enmities and heart-burnings, and to love one another, 
and to walk hand in hand in the same way though 
they traced different paths, which they might well 
do when the paths lay so very near together. 
^ By this instance it appears, that narrow-spirited- 
ness which confines religion and the church to our 
way and party, whatever it is, to the condemning of 
others who differ from us in little things, is the great 
schismatising principle, which has been so much the 
bane of the Christian church ; Hinc iUw iMcrymet — 
hence her sorrows* 

We find the word used, I hear there he Zxur/uira — 
divisions among you, 1 Cor. xi. 18. 

It is undeniably evident that it cannot be meant 
of any breach of communion, for it is said expressly 
{v. 20.) that they came together in one place, and that 
into the church too, that is, the place of meeting. 

But the schisms were quarrels and contentions 
about some little things relating to the circumstances 
of public worship ; and the quarrel seems to have 
been about the time of beginning their worship, 
especially when they were to join in the Lord's sup- 
per, or their love-feasts : it seems they did not come 
exactly at the time, therefore the apostle bids them 
tarry one for another, v. 33. Those who came early 
quarrelled with those who came late, for coming no 
sooner ; and those who came late quarrelled with the 
other, for beginning before they came. 

Some quarrels of this kind were the schisms here 
spoken of. 

The word is used, that there he no schism in the 
body.* The apostle is there carrying on a metaphor 
betwixt the natural body, and the church ; and this 
clause clearly relates to the natural body, for he does 
not come to the reddition of the comparison till r. 27. 

Now, what he means by the schism in the body, is 
plain from the antithesis in the following words — 
But that the members should have the same care one 
for another. So that when the members care not one 
for another, when the eye says to the band, I have 
no need of thee ; («. 21.) when there is not a sym- 
pathy and fellow-feeling among Christians, («. 26.) 
here is schism. 

That is schism which breaks or slackens the bond 
by which the members are knit together. 

• I Cor. xii. 95. 



THE NATURE OF SCHISM. 



853 



Now, that bond is not an act of aniformity in 
point of comma nion, in the same modes and cere- 
monies ; but tme loye and charity in point of affec- 
tion. It is charity that is the b<nui of peffectnesM :' 
it is the anity of the Spirit that is the band qfpeae€f* 
and schism is that which breaks this bond. 

Now from all this laid together, I draw out this 
description of schism, which, according to my present 
apprehensions, is the tnie scripture notion of it. 

" Schism is an ancharitable distance, diyision, or 
alienation of affection among those who are called 
Christians, and agree in the fundamentals of reli- 
gion, occasioned by their different apprehensions 
about little things." 

This is the schism which the Scripture makes to 
be a sin, and by Scripture rules it must be judged. 
Schism (as indeed the root of all other sin) we see 
lies in the heart and affections. The tree is known 
by its fruits. The bitter root bears gall and worm- 
wood. Let us therefore take a short view of those 
practices, which, according to this description, are 
schismatical practices. 

1. Judging, censuring, and condemning those 
who differ from as in little things, is a schismatical 
practice, as it evidences a great alienation, if not 
enmity, of the affections. Charity thinketh no evil^ 
w XaydUrm to mamtP — doe* not reason evil^ does not 
stody to make sins, but cover them ; and if they be 
made, yet not to make the worst of them, it puts 
the best construction upon words and actions. 

Now to pass a censorious judgment upon others, 
and to put the worst construction upon what they 
say and do, is certainly uncharitable, that is, schis- 
matical. It is a practice often condemned in Holy 
Writ ; Judge not, that ye he not judged ^ it is con- 
strned 9i judging of the law} 

It is especially coiidemned with reference to the 
present case, of different apprehensions about little 
things, in that famous scripture, (Rom. xiv. 4, 6.) a 
scripture, which, if well studied and lived up to, 
would heal us all. Judging the heart is, in my 
estimation, one of the most uncharitable species of 
judging. Censuring the principles and ends of an 
action, which are secret, charging those who differ 
from us with hypocrisy, is a heart sin. If the appear- 
aoee be good, and the outside be justifiable, when 
we conclude hypocrisy is in the heart, we step into 
the throne of God. 

2. Laying a greater stress upon small matters of 
difference than they will bear, and widening the 
breach about them. As on the one hand, to censure 
all prayers by a form, or by this form in particular, 
as superstition, will-worship, formality, and the like : 
OD the other band, to censure all extempore praying 
as babbling, canting, froth, and noise, as if God had 
not accepted his own people in the one as well as 



f CoL iii. 14. 



f Eph. tf. 3. 



the other. The fastening of a censure, and passing 
of a judgment upon a whole party and way, if it be 
not very clear and well-grounded indeed, will be 
likely to split us upon the rock of schism and un- 
charitableness. 

3. Concluding hardly as to the spiritual state and 
condition of those who differ from us, excluding 
them out of the church, and from salvation, because 
they are not just of our mind in every punctilio. 

Witness that notion which excludes out of the 
church, and consequently out of heaven, all those 
(how orthodox and serious soever they are other- 
wise) who are not in prelatical communion ; if no 
diocesan bishops, then no ministers, no sacraments, 
no church, no salvation ; which is certainly the most 
schismatical notion that ever was broached in the 
Christian world. 

4. Reproaching, reviling, and railing at those 
who differ from us in little things, is another schis- 
matical practice ; fastening such nick-names upon 
them, and loading them with such reproaches, as 
carry in them all the odium that malice can infuse 
into them ; dressing them up in bears' skins, and 
then baiting them, doing what we can by calumnies 
and misrepresentations, to alienate the affections of 
others from them. 

5. Making, consenting to, approving, or execut- 
ing of penal laws against those who differ from us 
in little things, to punish them for such difference 
in their persons, estates, or liberties, is another un- 
charitable or schismatical practice. 

This is contention with a witness ; which aims at 
no less than the ruin of a person contended with, 
in the dearest of his secular interests ; to beat out 
his brains, because his head is not exactly of our 
size. 

6. Separation from communion with those that we 
have joined ourselves to, without cause ; give me 
leave to call it separation for separation sake, with- 
out any regard had to any thing amiss in the church 
we separate from, or any thing better in that we 
join ourselves to. This is an evidence of an un- 
charitable alienation of affection, and is consequent- 
ly schismatical, wh^n we quite cast off communion 
with our brethren, out of ambition, animosity to 
their persons, affectation of novelty and singularity, 
or the like. 

This was manifestly the case of the Donatists, 
the infamous schismatics of the primitive church. 
Their principles were, that the church of Christ was 
to be found no where but in their sect, and all other 
churches were no churches ; that true baptism was 
not administered but among them ; and a great 
many barbaious outrages they committed in the heat 
of their separation. 

7. An affected strangeness, or distance in commu- 



h aiatt. vii. 1. 



1 James iv. il, 12. 



854 



THE NATURE OF SCHISM. 



nion or conversation, from those who thus differ 
from us, upon the account of such difference, avoid- 
ing conversation and familiarity with them, carrying 
it strangely towards them, only because they do not 
wear the dividing name of our party. 

This evidences an uncharitable alienation of affec- 
tion prevailing in the heart, and is consequently 
schismatical. 

Many such like practices might easily be men- 
tioned, if it were needful; but they are obvious 
enough, especially if we look into the laws of cha- 
rity : (1 Cor. xiii. 4 — ^7.) and remember that all trans- 
gression of those laws is uncharitableness, and when 
that is found in the things of religion, it is schism. 
The corollary from the whole is this, that whoever 
they be that allow themselves in these and the like 
practices and affections towards their brethren, who 
differ from them in little things, whether they be 
Episcopal, Presbyterian, Independent, or by what 
name or title soever they are self-dignified and dis- 
tinguished, they are so far schismatical, inasmuch as 
they break the great law of Christian charity. 

Let us now try what inference may be drawn from 
the Scripture notion of schism. 

1. If this be schism, then is it not within the line 
of any human power to make that separation to be 
schismatical, which was not so in itself. By the 
description given of schism, it does appear to be a 
thing, malum in Me — evil in ittelf, which was not so 
before ; an attempt of that kind would sink with its 
own weight. And therefore it is well worthy obser- 
vation, that when the parliament made a law against 
conventicles, (which are the great schismatical eye- 
sores,) they called it an act to prevent and suppress 
seditious conventicles, knowing it to be within their 
line to declare a thing to be sedition ; but not schis- 
matical conventicles, for that was a thing in which 
they could not concern themselves. 

2. If this be schism, then the guilt of it is to be 
looked for in particular persons, and is not to be 
charged by wholesale upon parties of any denomina- 
tion whatsoever ; as among us at this day in the pre- 
latical party there are some schismatical, and others 
not ; and the same is to be said of the separating 
party ; nay, who is there who can say, *' I have made 
my heart clean, I am pure from this sin ?" Have we 
not all need to pray. From envy, hatred, and malicey 
and all uncharitableness, (which are the ingredients 
of schism,) jTood Lord, deliver us, both from the guilty 
and from the power, of it ? It is not so much our 
differences themselves, as the mismanagement of our 
differences, that is the bane of the church, burning 
up Christian love with the fire of our contentions. 

Whence come these wars and fightings ? Come they 
not hence, even from our lusts ? ^ And those who say 
they are perfectiy free from these warfaring schis- 

k Jam. iv. I. 



matic lusts, must give me leave to say, I doubt they 
deceive themselves, and the truth is not in them. 

3. If this be schism, then there may be schism 
where there is no separation of communion ; that is 
plain from the instance of the Corinthians, who came 
together into one place, and yet are blamed for being 
schismatical. Bringing people to one place will 
never cure a schism, till they are brought to be of 
one accord. 

Yon may bind the leopard, and lay him down by 
the lamb, and yet the enmity remain as great as ever, 
except there be ai^ inward change. 

A quarrel about little things may likewise be 
schismatical -on one side, and not on the other. Je- 
remiah was a man of strife and contention,^ that is, a 
man striven and contended with, and yet no schis- 
matic ; though ordinarily (as it is commonly said of 
domestic differences) there are faults more or less 
on both sides. 

4. If this be schism, then there may be separation 
of communion where there is no schism. For thus 
we all agree, that there may be a difference of ap- 
prehension, and yet no schism ; provided it do not 
eat out Christian love, but be managed amicably, as 
between the Arminians and Calvinists, in the chureh 
of England, and divers the like. 

Now if this difference of apprehension relate to 
worship or communion, and the modes or tenns 
thereof, there cannot but be a strong inclination to 
separate in whole or in part, according as the differ- 
ence of apprehension is ; for do what we can, as long 
as we are rational creatures, the understanding will 
have the directing of the will. 

Now surely this separation, (if we must call it so,) 
or rather, this variety and diversity of worship and 
communion y may be managed without schism, pro- 
vided Christian love and charity be kept entire not- 
withstanding. 

For can any imagine that a difference of appre- 
hension, in regard of worship and discipline, should 
be more schismatical than difference of apprehension 
in doctrine ; since, of the two, doctrinal truths seem 
more essential to Christianity ? 

But to come a little closer. The meetings of the 
dissenters (though now, blessed be God, permitted 
and allowed of by the law of the land, yet) are 
commonly charged with being schismatical. The 
great outcry is, that we leave the chureh ; and the 
unthinking mobile, who are so well taught as to 
know no other churehes but the public places of 
worship, are easily induced to believe it ; as if it 
were schism to worship God any where else, let the 
worship there be what it will. 

Those who will allow themselves the liberty of an 
unprejudiced thought, cannot but see the difference 
so small, that as long as we believe the same Chris- 
■ 

I Jcr. XV. 10. 



THE NATURE OF SCHISM. 



855 



tian Taitb, and agree in the same protestant abhor- 
rence of papal delasiona, wo may easily be looked 
upon as one and the same church, as well as two 
several pariah churches may, especially being united 
under the care and protection of one protestant 
kiog, and members of the same protestant common- 
wealth. 

(1.) I do from the bottom of my soul detest and 
abhor all separation from the parish churches to 
atheism, irreligton, and sensuality, (who separate 
tkemselveSf sensual/*^) who forsake the church to go 
to the alehouse or tavern, or to their secular busi- 
ness, or to their slothful neas and laziness, to sepa- 
rete unto that shame.' And if this separation had 
been more animadverted upon than it has been of 
late, probably the cure of schism would have been 
sooner effected thereby, than by severities that have 
been used against conscientious separatists. 

(3.) I do likewise abhor all schismatical, that is, 
oneharitable, proud, censorious, rigid separation ; 
sQch separation as theirs who condemn the parish 
churches as no parts of the visible church, who rail 
at ministers as Babylonish and antichristian : this 
is a horrid breach of the law of Christian love, and 
that which every good heart cannot but rise at the 
thoughts of. 

And yet I cannot but say, and am satisfied in it, 
that there may be a lawful and justifiable separation, 
^though I would rather call it a diversity of commu- 
nion from the parish churches,) which I shall cndea- 
Tourto clear in three cases. 

[I.] If my own conscience be not satisfied in the 
lawfulness of any terms of communion imposed, as 
far as I fall under that imposition, I may justify a 
separation from them, and a joining with other 
churches, where I may be freed from that imposi- 
tion, provided that this be not done schismatically, 
that is, with heat and bitterness, and alienation of 
Christian affection. And I hope none that have the 
law of Christ written in their hearts will say, that it 
is impossible tmly to love those with whom I am 
not satisfied to join in all the ordinances, for the 
sake of some ceremonies, with which, after all my 
study, prayer, and conversation, I cannot be satis- 
fied. 

So, if I be a minister, and as such obliged to 
preach the gospel, yet kept out from the public ex- 
ercise of my ministry by such terms and conditions, 
oaths and sabscriptions, as I judge sinful ; in such 
a case surely it is lawful for me, with Eldad and 
Medad, to- prophesy in the camp, since in my judg- 
ment the door of the tabernacle is made narrower 
than my Master has appointed it to be made. What 
should hinder but that, as a minister of Christ, I may 
administer all the ordinances, according to Christ's 
institution,, to those who are willing to join with me, 

m Jude 10. 



and put themselves under my conduct (such as it is) 
in those administrations? If God has given though 
but one talent, it must be traded with, or else there 
will be an uncomfortable reckoning shortly, espe- 
cially when we look abroad, and consider how the 
apparent necessity of precious souls call for our 
utmost diligence in our Master's work ; and indeed 
there is work enough for us all, if God would give 
us hearts to be serious and unanimous in it. 

In this also it is always provided, that my agency 
in a ministerial station be not made schismatical by 
my heat, passion, and bitterness ; but that I live in 
true love and charity with those whom by roason of 
the impositions I cannot, salva conseientia — with a 
pure conscience, join with in communion. 

[2.] Though I be satisfied in the lawfulness of the 
terms of communion required, and so when purer 
administrations are not to be had, may, rather tlian 
live in a total want of the ordinances, comply with 
them, yet when I have an opportunity of enjoying 
those ordinances in a way which I judge more puro 
and scriptural, or which I think moro lively and 
edifying, and more likely to attain the great end of 
all ordinances, and that contribute more to my 
comfort and holiness, and communion with God ; in 
such a case I cannot see but that I may lawfully 
have recourse to such administrations, though there- 
by I may seem to separate from another church, 
wherein before I had joined, and for which I still 
retain a very charitable opinion and affection. If 
the magistrate should be so unreasonable as to im- 
pose upon me an unskilful physician, to be alone 
made use of in case of sickness, I might take him 
rather than none ; but if there be another, who, I 
am sure, has more skill and will to help me, I think 
I should be accessary to the ruin of my health and 
life, if I should not make use of him, notwithstand- 
ing such an inhibition. 

And is not the life, and health, and salvation of 
my immortal soul dearer to me than any other con- 
cern ? Is not communion with God the sweetest and 
most precious of all my delights ? Is it not the life 
of my soul, and the crown of all my joys ? And are 
not those administrations most desirable in which I 
find myself most edified ? Must I then be such an 
enemy to my own comfort and happiness, as to throw 
away all opportunities which I might have of that 
kind, only in a compliment? Amietu Socrates^ 
amicus Plato^ sed magis arnica Veritas — Socrates is 
my friend, Plato is my friend, but truth is my best 
ft*iend. The bishops are my friends, and the minis- 
ters my friends, and I have a true love for them, but 
charity begins at home, especially when my pre- 
cious soul, more worth than all the world, lies at 
stake. 

This case is somewhat the clearer in those parishes 

B Ho8.ix. 10. 



856 



THE NATURE OF SCHISM. 



where the pablic ministers are either ignorant, pro- 
fane, or malignant 

[3.] Nay, suppose I am so well satisfied in com- 
munion with the parish churches in all administra- 
tions, as not to desire better, or not to expect better, 
in the dissenters' meetings, yet I cannot see what 
schism, that is, what breach of Christian love and 
charity, there is in it, for me to be present sometimes 
in the congregations of the sober dissenters, and to 
join with them who worship the same God, in the 
name of the same Mediator, read and preach the 
same word, and live in hopes of the same inheritance, 
and differ from me only in some little things which 
I think not worth contending for, scarce worth the 
mentioning ; hereby to evidence my universal love 
and catholic charity, and that I am not of narrow, 
schismatical, dividing principles, nor one who will 
sacrifice Christian love to the petty trifling fancies 
and interests of a party. 

The sober dissenters are such as I have reason to 
hope have communion with God in what they do, 
and therefore why should not I now and then have 
communion with them? In every nation he that 
fears God, and warhs righteousness, is accepted of him ; 
and why should he not be accepted of me ? Why may 
not I have fellowship with them who have fellowship 
with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ^ To 
fancy schism, that is, uncharitable contention and 
a breach of Christian love, in this is very absurd. 

Obj. But hereby I encourage a schism, and coun- 
tenance them in their separation from that which in 
my estimation is lawful and good, and does not give 
just cause for such a separation. 

Answ. There must be grains of allowance for dif- 
ference of apprehension, different capacities, con- 
stitutions, and inclinations ; custom, and especially 
education, must be put into the scale ; and while I 
walk according to the light which God has given 
me, I must charitably believe that others do so to. 

Whether the dissenters' meetings be as to the 
constitution of them (looking upon them only as di- 
versities of communion) schismatical, has been con- 
sidered already, and found otherwise by Scripture 
light. 

The common outcry is, that it is the setting up of 
altar against altar : which is not so ; for at the most 
it is but altar by altar; and though I have often 
read of one body, and one Spirit, and one hope, 
and one Lord, and one faith, and one baptism, and' 
one God and Father,? yet I could never find a word 



• 1 John 1. 3. 



p Eph. iv. 4~«. 



in all the New Testament of one altar,*i except Jesus 
Christ, the altar that sanctifies every gift, in whom 
we all centre. And if there be any of the dissenters 
who are schismatical, that is, contentious, bitter, and 
uncharitable in their separation, let them bear their 
own burthen, but by my presence with them I encou- 
rage that in them, no more than I do too mach of a 
like spirit in too many of those who are called the 
church-of-England men, by my adherence to them. 

To conclude. By all this it is evident that anity of 
affection is the thing to be laboured after, more than 
uniformity in modes and ceremonies. We have 
been long enough trying to root schism out of the 
church, oi et armis — by impositions, fines, and penal- 
ties, choking our brethren, because their Uiroats 
have not been so wide as ours. And it has been 
found ineffectual, even in the judgment of oar ^reat 
Sanhedrim, who have declared that " giving ease to 
scrupulous consciences is the likeliest way to unite 
their Majesty's protestant subjects in interest and 
affection." What if we should now try another 
method, and turn the stream of our endeavours into 
another channel ? Hitherto we have been as it were 
striving which should hate one another moat ; what 
if we should now strive which should love one ano- 
ther best, and be most ready to do all offices of tme 
charity and kindness, and buty all our little fends 
and animosities in that blessed grave of Christian 
love and charity ? 

What if we should every one of us, of each party, 
(as we have been too often called,) set oorselves by 
our preaching to promote and propagate the gospel 
oi peace, and by our prayers to prevail with God for 
a more plentiful pouring out of the Spirit of peace, 
that the dividing names of Baalim may be taken out 
of our mouths, and that, however it goes with uni- 
formity of ceremony, we may keep the unity of the 
Spirit? And then I doubt not but that we should soon 
see our English Jerusalem established a praise in 
the midst of the earth. 

And yet I am afraid even saints will be men ; there 
will be remainders even of those corruptions which 
are the seed of schism, in the best, till we all (x>n[ie 
to the perfect man. 

And that is the comfort of my soul, that if we can 
but once get to heaven, we shall be for ever out of 
the noise and hurry of this quarrelsome, contentions, 
dividing world, and the church triumphant shall be 
no more militant, but that happy world of everlast- 
ing light will be a world of everlasting love. 



q Heb. xiii. 10. 



THE LAY-MAN'S REASONS 



FOR HIS 



JOINING IN STATED COMMUNION WITH 



A CONGREGATION OF MODERATE DISSENTERS. 



My case, in short, is this. I am horn in a Christian 
nation, and baptized into the Christian faith ; and I 
reckon it my unspeakable honour and happiness 
that I am so, and diat I live in the times of reform- 
ation. In this nation, wherever I am, I find public 
assemblies for religious worship, all agreeing to 
worship the same God, in the name of the same 
Mediator, under the conduct and influence of the 
same Spirit, according to the rule of the same 
Scriptures, holding communion with the universal 
charch in faith, hope, and love, under the presi- 
dency of gospel ministers, by the same ordinances 
of the word, sacraments, and prayer, looking for the 
same blessed hope. All these assemblies concur, in 
their testimony, not only against Jews, Pagans, and 
Mahometans abroad, but against atheists, infidels, 
and profane at home; and likewise in their pro- 
testation against the tyranny and idolatry of the 
church and coart of Rome. 

Bat I find there is some difference among these 
Christian assemblies. Though all good Christians 
are one in Christ by faith, and one with each other 
hj holy love, yet in outward and lesser things I ob- 
ierve they do not all agree. And it is no surprise 
to me that they do not ; for I know that the best are 
imperfect in this world. I find some of these as- 
semblies, and, indeed, far the greatest number, 
established and appointed by an act of parliament at 
the time of the happy restoration, 14 Car. 2. The 
ministers presiding in these assemblies, ordained by 
bishops, usually presented by lay-patrons, and to 
the great advantage of their ministry, dignified, and 
hoDourably provided for, by the civil government. 
The ordinances administered in these assemblies ac- 
cording to the book of Common Prayer, and the 
discipline managed by the chancellor of the diocese, 
and his court. 

I find some few of these assemblies permitted and 



allowed by another act of parliament, twenty-seven 
years after the former, at the time of the late glori- 
ous revolution, 1 William and Mary. The ministers 
presiding in them ordained by presb3^ers, chosen by 
the people, and though taken under the protection, 
yet destitute of the authority and support, of the 
civil powers. The ordinances administered in them 
not by a set, prescribed, constant form, but by the 
rule of the Scripture in general, and according to 
the measure of the gift given to him that ministers. 
The discipline managed by the minister himself, 
who presides in other ordinances, with the advice 
and concurrence* of the congregation. Providence 
has so cast my lot, and appointed the bounds of my 
habitation, that assemblies of both these kinds are 
within my reach. 

And, through the grace of God, I think I can 
truly say, this is my character. I am heartily con- 
cerned about my soul, and my everlasting condition : 
it is my care and desire to please God, and to work 
out my salvation. Ail other interests and concerns 
are nothing to me, in comparison with this. I se- 
riously profess I am afraid of sin, and am solicitous 
to be found in the way of my duty, and to get all 
the help I can to forward me toward heaven, and to fit 
me for it. Hereunto I can add this further protest- 
ation, that, through the grace of God, I have a ca- 
tholic charity for all good Christians. I cannot 
monopolize the church ; it is narrow enough, I dare 
not make it narrower : I love a good man, whatever 
party he belongs to, and him who follows Christ, 
though he does not follow with me. He that fears 
Godf and works righteousness y is accepted of God, and 
shall be accepted by me. My practice is this. I 
join myself sometimes with the assemblies of the 
public establishment, if any opportunity offers itself 
on a week day ; or if I happen on the Lord's day to 
be out of the reach of such assemblies as I choose 



858 



REASONS FOR JOINING WITH DISSENTERS. 



statedly to join with, I freely and cheerfally attend 
tlie divine service of the church, knowing nothing 
in the prayers but what I can heartily say Amen to, 
which I choose rather to do, than to answer aload 
after the minister. And this I do, that I may testify 
the catholic charity, and my communion with, and 
affection to, all good Christians, though I be not in 
every thing of their mind. Hereby, likewise, I 
endeavour to fulfil all righteousness, and, in my 
place, I bear my testimony to that which is of God 
in the public establishment, wherein I do rejoice, 
and will rejoice. 

But I constantly join in all the ordinances with a 
congregation of moderate and sober dissenters : with 
them I hold stated communion ; and with them, after 
many serious and impartial thoughts, have put my- 
self under the ministerial conduct and inspection 
of a preacher or teacher allowed, though not autho- 
rized by the law of the land ; but one who is mani- 
fested in my conscience to be a true and faithful 
minister of Jesus Christ. 

The reasons why I choose my settled communion 
with the dissenters, are these six, which abundantly 
satisfy my own conscience at present, not judging 
other men's consciences, nor knowing what further 
light God may hereafter give me in this matter. 

1. I think it is my duty to own and adhere to that 
ministry which seems to me to be wrongfully and 
injuriously excluded from the public establishment; 
and the exclusion of which was professedly intended 
and designed by the Act of Uniformity. By making 
such oaths, declarations, and subscriptions, the 
indispensable terms of their admission into the 
ministry, or continuance in it, as they coufd not 
comply with, without sinning against their con- 
sciences, they were and are effectually shut out from 
the public establishment. This I take to be a wrong 
both to them who are well worthy of the church's 
double honours, and to the church which stands in 
need of, and would be greatly benefited by, their 
useful labours. I therefore think that I ought, in 
my place, both to bear my testimony against the 
exclusion of them, (lest I should partake with other 
men's sins, and should be found to have laid a con- 
federacy with those who put so many burning shining 
lights under a bushel,) and also to aid, assist, and 
encourage those who are so excluded ; putting my 
soul into their soul's stead, and then doing as I would 
be done by. Were I a minister, I must be shut out 
as they are, and should expect to be countenanced 
in suffering for conscience sake ; and therefore can- 
not but countenance them. And this is that which 
I verily believe most men will do when it comes to be 
their own case, whatever they talk when they are 
uppermost. Those who, at any time, have thought 
themselves unjustly restrained from the public exer- 
cise of their ministry, have ever yet thought them- 
selves obliged to exercise it in private as they could, 



and their friends obliged to stand by them in it ; 
and so I believe they ever will. 

2. 1 think it is my duty to choose rather statedly to 
join in those administrations, which come nearest to 
the divine institution, than in those which have in 
them an unnecessary mixture of human invention. 
How far men may lawfully devise and use cere- 
monies of their own, under pretence of beautifying 
God's ordinances, and edifying themselves and 
others, I pretend not to be a competent judge : but 
to me it seems very plain, that the ordinances of 
Christ are purer, and look better, without them ; and 
that those who make the Scripture only their rale, 
and admit nothing into their worship but what is 
warranted by it, are to be preferred much before 
those who practise many things in their stated public 
worship, which they do not produce any ground or 
warrant for in the Holy Scripture. To me it seems 
much better in baptism, only to wash a child with 
water, in the name of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, 
in token that he shall not be ashamed to confess 
Christ crucified, which is Christ's institution, than, 
besides that, in token of the same thing, to sign him 
with the sign of the cross ; and in the Lord's supper, 
to use the gesture Christ's disciples used, rather 
than another devised by men. Having chosen the 
Scripture for the standing rule of my faith and 
practice, I choose to have communion with those 
who seem to me to keep most closely to it. 

3. 1 think it is my duty to choose rather statedly 
to join with those who assert and maintain the 
liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, than with 
those who willingly submit to the impositions of 
men in the things of God, and justify those impo- 
sitions. I am very well satisfied, that when my Re- 
deemer, in kindness to his church, broke the yoke 
of that ceremonial law, which was given by Moses, 
he did not leave it in the power of any man, or 
company of men, in the world, to make another like 
yoke, and lay that upon the necks of the disciples. 
I doubt not but there is a power in the Christian 
magistrates, or other governors of the church, to 
restrain and correct natural indecencies in any of 
the necessary circumstances of public worship ; as 
time, place, habit, or gesture : and that, in any of 
these, which unavoidably renders the administration 
of the ordinances either despicable, or inconvenient, 
or unprofitable, to tliose who attend upon them. Bat 
I see nothing in the gospel which warrants any 
governors, civil or sacred, to impose such habits 
and gestures as they please (because they think them 
decent) upon those who think them incongruous: 
and then, to make the use of them the indispensable 
condition of their communion. In the religious 
assemblies of the dissenters I observe, that generally 
every thing is done with the gravity and decorum 
that becomes the solemnity there performed : I see 
no uncouth habits, I hear no noisy responses, but all 



REASONS FOR JOINING WITH DISSENTERS. 



850 



tilings are managed decently, and in order, with 
rcTerence, and to edification : and yet no ceremonies 
are imposed, no terms of commonion made, which 
Christ has not made ; no days made holy, bat that 
which God has made so; no stress laid apon the 
lioiiness of places, which the New Testament gives 
not the least hint of since the destruction of the tem- 
ple ; and therefore I choose to join with them; for 
where the Spirit of the Lard is, there is liherty. Their 
ministers are not tied np to any one prescribed form 
of prayer, bat are at liberty to vary and enlarge ac- 
cording to the improvements of their knowledge, and 
warmth of their devotion, and the case of those 
wb<Me moath they are in prayer : And, as I think, 
every minister ought to have some competent mea- 
sure of the gift of prayer, as well as preaching ; and 
that otherwise he is not duly qualified ; so, I think, 
having that ability, he ought not to be abridged of 
his liberty to use it ; especially not in the adminis- 
tration of sacraments. AU things are iawfidfor me ; 
but 1 will not he hrought under the power of any ^ 

4. I think it is my duty to choose rather to join 
with those^ who refuse to admit into the communion 
with them such as are openly vicious and profane, 
than with those who, being under an unhappy obli- 
gation to administer the Lord's supper to all in office, 
and to transfer the trial of all suspensions to the 
bishop's court, cannot possibly use so strict a disci- 
pline. Not that I think I am ever the worse for bad 
people's joining with me in the Lord's supper, but 
perhaps they are the worse for my joining with them ; 
and I would not be accessary to the hardening of 
them in their impieties. I do not expect to meet 
with any society of Christians perfectly pure on this 
side heaven ; there are spots, I know, in our feasts 
of charity; but I must prefer those who appear to 
me either to be more pure from the mixture of cor- 
rupt members, or at least more solicitous and desir- 
ous to be so, and more capable of being so by their 
own constitution. I have seen, with much satisfac- 
tion, many of the church of England zealous against 
vice and profaneness, and active for the suppressing 
of it, and have a mighty value and veneration for 
them apon that account ; and wish their constitution 
would allow them to do more, by church-censures, 
in prosecution of that worthy design than I appre- 
hend it will. But for that pious zeal of theirs, I 
have so often heard them called presbyterians by 
those who are bigots for episcopacy and the cere- 
monies, that I confess it has made me love the pres- 
byterians the better, since zeal against profaneness 
enters so much into their character, even their ene- 
mies themselves being judges. 

5. I think it is my duty to choose rather to join 
with those churches, whose constitution leaves room 
for a catholic and comprehensive charity, than with 



• I Cor. vL 13. 



those whose avowed principles and sentiments force 
them to monopolize the church in England to them- 
selves, and forbid them to own the dissenting minis- 
ters as true ministers, and their churches as true 
churches. This, I confess, has a mighty influence 
on me. The sober dissenting ministers, as I am ac- 
quainted with them, are manifest in my conscience 
to be faithful ministers of Jesus Christ ; and in their 
administrations I cannot but see the institution of 
ordinances observed, and every thing well fitted to 
answer the end of them. I know many who con- 
stantly attend in their assemblies, and have observed 
them to be sound in their principles, sober in their 
lives, honeA in their dealings, constant in their de« 
votions, and in all instances to have given undeni* 
able proof of their being sincere good Christians. 
When, therefore, in the books and sermons that 
plead for the church of England, I find these minis- 
ters censured and condemned as usurpers, impostors, 
and lay-intruders ; all their administrations nulled, 
their assemblies denied to be parts of the catholic 
church, all who join with them sentenced as schis- 
matics to the pit of hell, and no hopes of salvation 
given them, but what God's general mercy allows to 
moral heathens ; and all the reformed churches, that 
have no bishops, falling so far under the same cen- 
sure, that their ministers cannot be admitted minis- 
ters of the church of England, unless they be re- 
ordained, while those who have been popish priests 
may; and all these harsh censures excused from 
uncharitableness with this, that they cannot help it, 
their principles lead them to it : then, think I, the 
Lord deliver me from such principles, and from that 
pretended unity, which is destructive of real charitfr. 
On the other side, I find the dissenters willingly 
owning the established churches as true chtlrches, 
their ministers as true ministers, their principles 
leading them to do so. I often hear them, in their 
public assemblies, pray for them, and for their suc- 
cess in their ministry, and profess their communion 
with them in faith, hope, and love ; and in their 
common conversation, I hear them speak of them 
with love and respect. My judgment and inclination 
lead me to the charitable side, as the best and safest ; 
and by all I have read and heard in this controversy, 
that appears to me to be the side of the dissenters. 

6. I think it is my duty to attend on those admi- 
nistrations which I find to be most for my edification 
in faith, holiness, and comfort, and best (with me) 
to answer the ends of holy ordinances. Herein I 
hope I may be allowed to judge for myself. I have 
often tried both ; and if I know my own heart, with- 
out prejudice or partiality, I must say, that I have 
found my heart more affected* and enlarged in those 
confessions, prayers, and thanksgivings, which have 
been offered up without a stated prescribed form, 



860 



REASONS FOR JOINING WITH DISSENTERS. 



than ever it was in those that have been invariably 
tied up to certain words. Far be it from me to make 
comparison of men's abilities and performances: 
I greatly honour and value the g^fts and labours of 
many who are in the public establishment ; but, to 
my capacity, the dissenters' praying and preaching 
is most adapted, and most profitable ; and those I 
am to reckon the best gifts, and to covet earnestly, 
which I find by experience best for me. Sabbath- 
time is precious ; and I would willingly improve it 
so as will be most for my advantage in keeping my 
communion with God, and preparing for heaven. If 
it be owing to my own weakness that these adminis- 
trations are most agreeable to me, yet Vhilc I sin- 
cerely design God's glory, and my own spiritual 
benefit therein, I trust, through Christ, that God 
will not only forgive me, but accept me, and that 
they also who are strong, will bear with my infirmi- 
ties. 

These are the principles I go upon, and from them 
I conclude, 

(1.) That if the present dictate of my conscience 
and practical judgment be, that it is my duty to 
choose my stated communion with the congregations 
of dissenters, then it is my sin if I do not do it ; for 
to him (hat knows to do good, and doth it not, to him 
it is sin, 

(2.) Then, by occasional communion with the 



church of England, whereby I design to testify roj 
charity and catholic communion, and my approba- 
tion of that in it which is good, I do not in the leasl 
condemn my stated communion with the dissenters ^ 
for though I am not convinced that it is a sin oi 
commission at any time to join with the established 
church, nor that any thing in itself unlawfal is re« 
quired as the condition of lay-communion, yet, upon 
the grounds aforesaid, I am fully convinced it i^Fould 
be a sin of omission not to join with the dissenters 
I will not condemn any thing that is good, vrhen i 
better is not in my reach ; but when it is, I tbink ] 
am obliged, in duty to God, and in concern for mj 
own soul, to prefer it. All things are laxfulfor n^e^ 
hut all things edifg not. 

(3.) Then, in all this, I am far from jad|png^ and 
censuring those who differ from me. I walk, ac- 
cording to my present light, preferring that which 1 
think and find to be best ; and I verily believe thosi 
good Christians who, I know, constantly join vrit^ 
the public establishment do so too, preferring^ thai 
which they think and find to be the best ; and botli 
they and I (I trust) are accepted of God. To thos< 
who condemn me herein, I shall only offer that rea^ 
sonable demand of St. Paul : If any man tmsi u 
himself that he is Christ's, let him of kimseif tAini 
this again^ thstt as he is Chrisfs, even so are v^ 
Chrisfs.*' 

b 8 Cor. X.7. 



A PLAIN 



CATECHISM FOR CHILDREN. 



Introduction. 

I SHOULD not have thought of drawing np, much 
less of pabliflhiDg, this little Catechism, with its 
Appendix, if I bad not been solicited to it by some 
of my friends, whose judgment and advice I have 
a great deal of reason to put a value upon. 

The children into whose hands it is designed to 
be put, are supposed to have learned the creed, the 
Lord's prayer, and the ten commandments, those 
first forms of sound words ; and then perhaps some 
time spent in this, may prepare them afterwards to 
improve by the falness and accuracy of the Astetn- 
hley*t Catechism, with which this does very little in- 
terfere, and which therefore, I hope, it will not be 
SQspected of a design to supersede. 

Whether such a catechism as this be so needful, 
u some have said they think it is, I know not. 
However, I hope it may be useful to some ; and 
therefore I am willing to let it go abroad ; and the 
blessing of heaven go along with it 

It is God's promise, that all shall hnow himyfrom 
tie least even to the greatest. That that promise 
may be fulfilled, and all pious endeavours, for the 
propagating of Christian knowledge, crowned with 
soccess, is my heart's desire and prayer. 



July 7th, 1703. 



Matth. Henry. 



PART I. 



Of God and the Scriptures, 

Q. 1. What must you do in the days of your youth ? 
A. I must remember my Creator. Q. 2. Who is 
Toor Creator ? A- The great God, who made the 
world. Q. 3. Who is your Preserver? A. The same 
Go<i, who made me, preserves and maintains me ; 
and in him I live, and move, and have my being. 



Q. 4. What are you made and maintained for? A. 
To glorify God. Q. 5. What do you believe con- 
cerning this God ? A. I believe that he is an infinite 
and eternal Spirit, most wise and powerful, holy, 
just, and good. Q. 6. How many gods are there? 
A. There is but one God. Q. 7. How many persons 
are there in the godhead ? A. Three : the Father, 
Son, and Holy Ghost ; and these three are one. 
Q. 8. What is your duty to this God as your Crea- 
tor? A. It is my duty to fear and honour him, to 
worship and obey him, and in all my ways to trust 
in him, and to please him. Q. 9. What is the rule of 
your faith and obedience ? A. The Holy Scriptures 
of the Old and New Testament, which we call the 
Bible. Q. 10. What is the excellency of that book ? 
A. It is the word of God. Q. 11. What use will it 
be of to you ? A. It is able to make me wise to 
salvation. 

PART II. 

Cf our Misery by Sin, and our Redemption hy Christ, 

Q. 12. Who were your first parents ? A. Adam and 
Eve, from whom we are all descended. Q. 13. 
What condition did God create them in ? A. Holy 
and happy. Q. 14. How did they lose their holi- 
ness and happiness? A. By their disobedience to 
the command of God, in eating the forbidden fruit. 
Q. 15. What condition are we all born in? A. Sin- 
ful and miserable. Q. 16. How do you perceive 
your condition to be by nature sinful ? A. Because 
I find I am naturally prone to that which is evil, 
and backward to that which is good ; and foolish- 
ness is bound up in my heart. Q. 17. How do you 
perceive your condition to be by nature miserable ? 
A. Because I find myself liable to many troubles in 
this life ; and the Scripture tells me, I am by nature 
a child of wrath. Q. 18. What would become of 
you then without a Saviour ? A. I should be Cer- 
tainly lost and undone for ever. Q. 19. Who is it 
that saves us out of this sad condition 7 A. Our Lord 



862 



A CATECHISM FOR CHILDREN. 



JesQS Christ, the only Mediator between God and 
man. Q. 20. Who was Jesas Christ? A. The 
eternal Son of God. Q. 21. What did he do to re- 
deem and save us ? A. He took our nature upon 
him, and became man. Q. 22. What life did he 
live in that nature ? A. A life of perfect holiness, 
leaving us an example. Q. 23. What doctrine did 
he preach ? A. A true and excellent doctrine, con- 
cerning God and himself, and another world. Q. 
24. What miracles did he work to confirm his doc- 
trine ? A. He healed the sick with a word ; raised 
the dead, cast out devils, and many other the like. 
Q. 25. What .death did he die ? A. The cursed 
death of the cross, to satisfy for our sins, and to re- 
concile us to God. Q. 26. What became of him 
after he was dead? A. He arose again from the 
dead on the third day, and ascended up into heaven. 
Q. 27. Where is he now ? A. He is at the right 
hand of God, where he ever lives, making interces- 
sion for us, and has all power both in heaven and 
earth. Q. 28. When will he come again ? A. He 
will come again in glory at the last day to judge the 
world. 

PART III. 

Concerning Baptism and the Covenant of Grace, 

Q. 29. What relation do you stand in to the Lord 
Jesus ? A. I am one of his disciples ; for I am a 
baptized Christian. Q. 30. Into whose name were 
you baptized ? A. Into the name of the Father, the 
Son, and the Holy Ghost. Q. 31. What was the 
meaning ofyour being so baptized? A. I was there- 
by given up in a covenant way, to Father, Son, and 
Holy Ghost. Q. 32. What was the covenant which 
was signified and sealed in your baptism ? A. The 
covenant of grace made with us in Jesus Christ 
Q. 33. What is the sum of that covenant? A. That 
God will be in Christ to us a God, and we must be 
to him a people. Q. 34. How then must yon take 
the Lord for your God ? A. I must take God the 
Father for my chief good, and highest end ; God the 
Son, for my Prince and Saviour ; and God the Holy 
Ghost, for my Sanctifier, Guide, and Comforter. Q. 
35. How must you give up yourself to him to be one 
of his people ? A. I must deny all ungodliness, and 
worldly, fleshly lusts, and roust resolve to live 
soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world, 
looking for the blessed hope. Q. 36. What are the 
three great blessings promised in this covenant ? A. 
The pardon of sin, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and 
eternal life. Q. 37. What are the two great con- 
ditions of this covenant ? A. Repentance towards 
God, and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ. 
Q. ^. What is it to repent of your sins ? A. It is 
to be sorry that I have offended God, in what I have 
done amiss, and to do so no more. Q. 39. What is 



it to believe in Jesus Christ ? A. It is to receive 
him, and to rely upon him as my Prophet, Priest, 
and King, and to give up myself to be ruled, and 
taught, and saved by him. 



PART IV. 

Concerning our Duty to God, Ourselves^ and ovr 

Neighbour, 

Q. 40. How must you evidence the sincerity of yonr 
faith and repentance ? A.' By a diligent and con- 
scientious obedience to all God's commandments. 
Q. 41. What is the first and g^eat commandment ? 
A. To love God with all my heart Q. 42. What is 
the second, which is like unto it? A. To love my 
neighbour as myself, and to show it, by doing as I 
would be done by. Q. 43. What is the honour you 
owe to God's name ? A. I must never take his name 
in vain ; but must always make mention of it with 
reverence and seriousness. Q. 44. What is the hon- 
our you owe to God's word ? A. I must read it and 
hear it with diligence and attention : I must medi- 
tate upon it, believe, and frame my life according to 
it. Q. 45. What is the honour yon owe to God in 
his providence ? A. I must receive all his mercies 
with thankfulness, and I must bear all afflictions 
with patience, and submission to his holy will. Q. 

46. What is the honour you owe to the Lord's day? 
A. I must keep the sabbath holy to God, by a dili- 
gent performance of the religions duties of the day, 
both public and private, not speaking my own 
words, nor doing my own works on that day. Q. 

47. How must you honour God in prayer ? A. I 
must every day, by solemn prayer, seek the favoar 
of God, and give unto him the glory due unto his 
name. Q. 48. In whose name must you pray ? A. 
In the name of Jesus Christ only. Q. 49. What must 
you pray for ? A. For mercy to pardon, and grace to 
help in time of need. Q. 50. What else must you 
do in your prayers ? A. I must confess my sins, and 
give God praise for his goodness to mc. Q. 51. 
What must be your daily care concerning yonr own 
soul ? A. I must take care that my heart be not 
lifted up with pride, nor disturbed with anger, or 
any sinful passion. Q. 52. What must be your care 
concerning your body ? A. I must take care that it 
be not defiled by intemperance, uncleanness, or any 
fleshly lusts. Q. 53. What must be your care con- 
cerning your words ? A. I must never tell a lie, nor 
mock at any body, nor call nick-names, nor speak 
any filthy words. Q. 54. What is your duty to your 
parents and governors ? A. I must reverence and 
obey them in the Lord ; I must thankfully receive 
their instructions, and submit to their rebukes, and 
labour in every thing to be a comfort to them. Q. 
65. What is your duty to the poor ? A. I must pity, 
help, and relieve them, according to my ability, 



A CATECHISM FOR CHILDREN. 



863 



Q. 56. What is year daty to all men ? 'A. I most 
render to all their daes ; I mast be honest and just 
in all my dealings; I most be respectful to my 
friends, and forgive my enemies, and speak evil of 
no man. Q. 67. How are yon able to perform this 
doty? A. Not in any strength of my own, but in 
the strength of the grace of Jesns Christ, which I 
must ask of God for his sake. Q. 58. What must 
you do when you find you come short of this duty ? 
A. I must renew my repentance, and pray to God 
for pardon in the blood of Christ, and be careful to 
do my duty better for the time to come. Q. 59. 
What eni^oaragement have yon thus to live in the 
fear of God ? A. If I do so, I shall certainly be 
happy both in this world, and in that to come. 

PART V. 
Concerning the Future State, 

Q. eo. What will become of yon shortly? A. I 
most shortly die, and leave this world. Q. 61. What 
becomes of the body at death ? A. It returns to the 
earth, to be raised to life again at the day of judg- 
ment. Q. 62. What becomes of the soul then ? 
A. It returns^ to God who gave it, to be determined 
to an anchangeable state, according to what was 
done in the body. Q. 63. What shall be the portion 
of the wicked and ungodly in the other world ? A. 
They shall all go to hell. Q. 64. What is hell ? A. 
It is a state of everlasting misery and torment, in 
the lake that boms with fire and brimstone. Q. 65. 
What shall be the portion of the godly in the other 
world ? A. They shall all go to heaven. Q. 66. 
What is heayen? A. It is a state of everlasting rest 
and joy with God and Jesus Christ. Q. 67. What 
life then will you resolve to live in this world ? A. 
God's grace enabling me, I will live a holy, godly 
life, and make it my great care and business to serve 
God, and sa^e my soul. 



A SHORT CATECHISM 

rc-K Tira IK8TRC7CTION OF TH08B WHO ARE TO BE ADMITTED 

TO THE LORD^ BUFFER. 

Q. 1. What is the Lord's supper ? A. It is a sacra- 
ment of the New Testament. Q. 2. Who ordained 
this sacrament? A. Our Lord Jesus, in the night 
vherein he was betrayed. Q. 3. What are the out- 
vard signs in this sacrament } A. Giving and re- 
mving bread and wine, and eating and drinking of 
tbem in a solemn and religious manner. Q. 4. 
What does the bread broken signify and represent 
u> ns? A. The broken body of our Lord Jesus, 
which was crucified for us. Q. 5. What does the 



wine signify? A. The precious blood of Christ, 
which was shed for us upon the cross. Q. 6. What 
does the minister's giving the bread and wine sig- 
nify ? A. The gracious offer that is made us in the 
gospel, of Christ and all his benefits, upon the terms 
of faith, and repentance, and new obedience. Q. 7. 
What does the receiving of the bread and wine sig- 
nify ? A. Our hearty acceptance of Christ as he is 
offered to us in the gospel, and our compliance with 
the terms of that offer. Q. 8. What docs the eating 
of the bread and drinking of the wine signify ? A. 
The satisfaction we take in Christ and his gospel, 
and the nourishment of our souls thereby through 
faith. Q. 9. Why did Christ ordain this sacrament ? 
A. To be a memorial of his death till he come ; for 
he said. Do thie in rememhranee of me, Q. 10. What 
more is there in this sacrament ? A. It is a seal of 
the covenant of grace, strongly assuring us, that God 
is willing in Christ to be to us a God, and strongly 
engaging us to be to him a people. Q. 11. Why 
would you be admitted to this solemn ordinance ? 
A. Because I desire to take the covenant of my bap- 
tism upon myself, and to make it my own act and 
deed, to join myself unto the Lord. Q. 12. What 
do you think of that covenant which is there sealed ? 
A. I think it is well ordered in all things, and sure ; 
and I do heartily consent to it, and venture my soul 
and my salvation upon it. Q. 13. What do yon 
think of Christ, who is there set before you ? A. I 
think he is a gracious and all-sufficient Saviour, 
and I accept of him as my Lord and my God. Q. 
14. What do you think of sin ? A. I think sin to be 
the worst of evils ; and I do heartily repent of my 
own sin, and turn from it to God. Q. 15. What do 
you think of this world ? A. I think it is vanity 
and vexation of spirit, and I will never set my heart 
upon it Q. 16. What do you think of the other 
world ? A. I think the things of another world are 
real, and great, and very near, and I would there- 
fore give all diligence to prepare for that world. 
Q. 17. What do you think of a religious life ? A. 
I think that a holy, heavenly life, spent in the ser- 
vice of God, and in communion with him, is the 
most pleasant and comfortable life a man can live 
in this world. Q. 18. Will you then live such a life? 
A. By the grace of God, I will, and with purpose of 
heart will cleave to the Lord. Q. 19. What com- 
munion do you desire to have with the church of 
Christ? A. By faith, hope, and love, I desire to 
maintain a spiritual communion with all that in 
every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our 
Lord. Q. 20. What must yon do in your preparation 
for the Lord's Supper ? A. I must examine myself. 
Q. 21. How must you examine yourself about your 
spiritual state ? A. I must seriously inquire whether 
I do in sincerity consent to the covenant of grace, 
and whether I be indeed bom again. Q. 22. What 
will be an evidence, that your spiritual state is bad ? 



864 



A CATECHISM FOR CHILDREN. 



A. If I live a vain and careless life, loving the world 
more than God, and minding the things of the flesh 
more than the things of the Spirit, and allowing 
myself in any known sin, I have reason to conclude, 
that whatever profession I make, my spiritual state 
is bad. Q. 23. What will be an evidence that yoar 
spiritual state is good ? A. If I be heartily con- 
cerned about my soul and eternity, and carefully 
seek the favour of God through Christ ; if I strive 
against sin, make conscience of my words and ways, 
and have respect to all God's commandments, I 
have reason to hope, that notwithstanding my daily 
infirmities, my spiritual state is good. Q. 24. How 
must you examine your conscience about your par- 
ticular actions ? A. I must solemnly reflect upon 
what I have done amiss in thought, word, and deed, 
and I must humbly confess it before God, and judge 
myself for it Q. 25. What else must you do in 
your preparation for the Lord's supper? A. I must 
earnestly pray to God for his Spirit and grace ; I 
must meditate much upon the love of Christ in dy- 
ing for me ; and I must be in charity with all men. 



Q. 26. After what manner must yon receive the 
sacrament? A. With humble reverence and seri- 
ousness ; with sorrow for sin, and hatred of it ; with 
faith in Christ, and the lively workings of pious and 
devout affection towards him. Q. 27. What must 
you do after you have received this sacranaent ? A. 
I must walk cheerfully vrith God in all holy con- 
versation, and never return again to folly. Q. 28. 
Who are they that receive this sacrament unwor- 
thily ? A. They who continue in love and league 
with sin while they pretend to covenant with God. 
Q. 29. What is the misery of those who do so ? A. 
They eat and drink judgment to themselves, not dis- 
cerning the Lord's body. Q. 30. Who shall be 
welcome to this ordinance ? A. They who by faith 
cordially consent to the covenant of grace, and do 
honour to their Redeemer, by showing* forth his 
death. Q. 31. What benefits do they receive by 
it that duly improve it ? A. Their faith is hereby 
strengthened, their resolutions are confirmed, their 
comforts are increased, and they have an earnest of 
the everlasting feast. 



SCRIPTURE CATECHISM, 



IN THE 



METHOD OF THE ASSEMBLY'S. 



Introduction. 

We arc very happy (I know) in catechisms, which, 
to the inhabitants of this valley of vitionf will be 
either the means of knowledge, or the shame of igno- 
rance. The variety of these forms of sound words, 
while they all speak for substance the same thing, 
and are all built upon the foundation of the apostles 
and prophets, derogates not at all from the honour 
of the Christian doctrine, but rather (like the setting 
up of several candies in the same rooni) help to dif- 
fuse the light, and make it stronger. Many very 
excellent expositions we have both of the Church 
Cateehism and of the Assembly's^ and an ancient and 



profitable one of Mr. Ball's; and yet some encou- 
rage me to hope, that this essay, which is in a way 
not hitherto used, that I know of, will be found not 
altogether useless. Two things I aim at in it : one 
is, to put the catechism into such a dress, as to make 
it (if possible) both easy and copious, so as that it 
may not be an insuperable task to the learner, and 
yet may furnish him with plenty of useful know- 
ledge. The bulk of it (which somewhat exceeds my 
first intentions) shows it to be copious ; and yet I 
think it is made very easy, by breaking of it into so 
many short questions, and those answered by Yes 
or No, which the learner may at first content himself 
with, the teacher, if he pleases, reading the proofs : 
and, by degrees, the learner, who is willing to take 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



866 



a little pains, and begins to be Yersed in tbe Scrip- 
tareSf will find it no great difiicalty to charge his 
memory with most of the proofs annexed, which the 
qaestion oftentimes easily introduces, and which, 
bj frequent ase, will in time become familiar. I 
remember to have seen an Explanation of the Attfm- 
kiy't Shorter Catechism, (and I think it was the first 
that ever was published,) by a great inan, the Rev. 
Dt. Wallis, of Oxford, which was done by breaking 
the propositions of the catecbism in short questions, 
answered (as this) with Yes or No. That perform- 
aDce, though very short, was an excellent precedent, 
directing to a method of catechising, which has been 
of good use to enrich the understanding of the 
learners, without overloading their memories. The 
itxt subjoined here will show that our Yea is yea, 
and oar Nay, nay. To make this the more easy, 
the several sections under each article may be 
allotted to several catechumens. 

Bat another thing I aim at, (and indeed the chief,) 
is to promote the knowledge of the Scriptures. Di- 
vine truths, methinks, sound best in divine lan- 
^age ; and the things which God has revealed to us 
ky his Sinrii, cannot be conveyed in a more safe and 
proper vehicle, than by t|ie words which the Holy 
Ghost teaches, (I Cor. ii. 10, 13.) which, though I 
would be far from superstitiously tying myself or 
others to, yet, I confess, I cannpt but think tbey 
should be prefprred, I have often observed how tbe 
evangelist rectifies a mistake which rQse upon a say- 
ing of Christ's, only by repeating the words spoken, 
iofan xxi. 23. He said no^. He shall not dif ; but, If 
J via that he tarry till / come, what is that to thee ? 
He said so, and no more ; add thou not to his words. 
We are directed not only to think, but to spei^h, ac- 
tertUnff to his word, Isa. viii. 2Q. 

It is especially profitable to acquaint children be- 
times with their Bibles, and to ^how them thpir reli- 
gion there. Timothy's catechism was the Scripture, 
which he knew awo fipi^HQ—from his very infancy, 
2 Tim. iiL 1& They who are ready and mighty in 
the Scriptures, will be thoroughly furnished for 
every good work, and thoroughly fortified against 
every evil work« What I have here endeavoured, 
inay (I hope) prove a good expedient for this pur- 
pose, obliging^ myself to produce a text of Scripture 
for every qaestion, it cannot be thought they should 
be alike apposite. Perhaps here and there one may 
be found that is diverted from its primary intention 
by an allusion only, (which I think is warranted by 
divers of the New-Testament quotations out of the 
Old,) yet I hope there are none perverted. Were we 
more conversant with the inspired writings, we 
sboQld (as one of the ancients speaks) *' adore the 
foloess of the Scriptures." I have quoted the texts 
as concisely as I (»uld, in hopes the diligent reader, 
who searches tbe Scripture daily, will be stirred up 
to look further into the places referred to, which be 

3k 



will often find very well worth his while. To that 
end, I have throughout added the book, chapter, and 
verse ; which yet it is needless for them who learn 
by heart to trouble themselves with. 

To the service of such ministers, governors of 
families, and other Christians, as shall see cause to 
make use of such a help, with an entire dependence 
upon the grace and blessing of God, for the accept- 
ableness and usefulness of it, this small oblation is 
humbly tendered, by one who is earnestly desirous 
to increase in Scripture knowledge, and ambitious 
of the honour of being any way instrumental to 
p paga 1 . Matth. Henry. 

Postscript to the Third Edition. 

I am willing to take this opportunity to advise one 
thing more concerning the use of this catechism, 
which I have found very beneficial, viz. That the 
learners be pnt in their answers to turn the question 
into a proposition, which they vrill easily do vrith a 
little direction. Example, — ^Is man a reasonable crea- 
ture ? Yes : man is a reasonable creature ; for tiiere 
is a spirit in man, &o. And this will lead them, when 
the question gives occasion for it, to make applica- 
tion to themselves. Again, Is your business in the 
world to serve the flesh ? No : it is not my business 
in the world to serve the fl^h ; for we are not debtors 
to the flesh. 



SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 

Q. 1. What is the chief end of man? 
A. Man's chief end is to glorify God, and enjoy 
him for ev^r. 

^ 

1. Is man a reasonable creature? Yes : for there 
is a spirit in man, and the inspiration of the Al- 
mighty giveth him understanding, Job xxxii. 8. 
Has he greater capacities than the brutes ? Yes : for 
God teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, 
and maketh us wiser than the fowls of heaven. Job 

XXXV. 11, 

2. Is man his own maker ? No : it is God that 
hath made us, and not we oursehres, Ps. c. 3. Is he 
then his own master ? No : there is a Lord over us, 
Ps. xii. 4. Is he his own carver? No : should it be 
according to thy mind. Job xxxiv. 33. Is he his own 
end ? No : for none of us lives to himself, or dies 
to himself, Rom, xiv. 7, 

3. Is it your business in the world to serve the 
flesh? No: for we are not debtors to the flesh, that 
we should live after the flesh, Rom. viii. 12. Is it 
to pursue the world ? No : for we are not of the 
world, John xvii. 16. 

4. I9 your happinesji bound up in the creature 7 



806 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



No : for all is vanity and vexation of spirit, Eccl. i. 
14. Will the riches of the world make yon happy ? 
No : for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance 
of the things which he possesseth, Lake xii. 15. 
Will the praise and applause of men make you 
happy ? No : for it is vain-glory. Gal. v. 26. Will 
sport and pleasure make yon happy ? No : for the 
wise man said of laughter, It is mad, and of mirth, 
What doth it ? Eccl. ii. 2. Can the gain of the world 
make you happy ? No : for what is a man profited, if 
he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul ? 
Matt. xvi. 26. 

5. Is God then your chief end ? Yes : for of him, 
and through him, and to him, are all things, Rom. xi. 
36. Were yon made for him? Yes: this people 
have I formed for myself, Isa. xliii. 21 . Were you re- 
deemed for him? Yes : ye are not your own, for ye 
are bought with a price, I Cor. vi. 19, 20. 

6. Is it your chief business to glorify God ? Yes : 
we must glorify God in our body and in our spirit, 
which are God's, 1 Cor. vi. 20. Must this be ulti- 
mately designed in ail our actions ? Yes : do all to 
the glory of God, 1 Cor. x. 31. Is God glorified by 
our praises? Yes: he that offers praise, glorifies 
me, Ps. 1. 23. And is he glorified by our works ? 
Yes: herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear 
much fruit, John xv. 8. 

7. Is God your chief good ? Yes : for happy is 
the people whose God is the Lord, Ps. cxliv. 16. 
Does all good come from him ? Yes : for with him 
is the fountain of life, Ps. xxxvi. 9. And is all good 
enjoyed in him ? Yes : the Lord is the portion of 
my inheritance, and of my cup, Ps. xvi. 5. 

8. Is it your chief happiness then to have God's 
favour? Yes : for in his favour is life, Ps. xxx. 5. 
Is that the most desirable good ? Yes : for his lov- 
ing-kindness is better than life, Ps. Ixiii. 3. Do you 
desire it above any good ? Yes : Lord, lift thou up 
the light of thy countenance upon us, Ps. iv. 6, 7. 
And should you g^ve all diligence to make it sure ? 
Yes : herein we labour, that whether present or ab- 
sent, we may be accepted of the Lord, 2 Cor. v. 9. 

9. Is communion with God in grace here the best 
pleasure ? Yes : it is good for me to draw near to 
God, Ps. Ixxiii. 28. Is the vision and fruition of 
God in glory hereafter the best portion ? Yes : for 
in his presence there is fulness of joy, Ps. xvi. 11. 
Will you therefore set your heart upon this chief 
good ? Yes : Lord, whom have I in heaven but thee? 
and there is none upon earth that I desire besides 
thee ; when my flesh and my heart fail, God is the 
strength of my heart, and my portion for ever, Ps. 
Ixxiii. 25,26. 

Q. 2. What rule ha» Gad given to direct ue how we 
may glorify and enjoy him ? 

A. The word of God (which is contained in the 
Scriptures of the Old and New Testament) is the 



only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy 
him. 



1 . Do we need a rule to direct us to our chief end ? 
Yes : for we all like sheep have gone astray, Isa. 
liii. 6. Could we not find it out of ourselves ? No : 
for man is bom like the wild ass's oolt. Job xi. 12. 

2. Is divine revelation necessary to religion 7 "Yes : 
for faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word 
of God, Rom. x. 17. Is not the light of natare suffi- 
cient without it? No: for the world by wisdom 
knew not God, 1 Cor. i. 21. Has God therefore 
given us a revelation ? Yes : he hath showed thee, 
O man, what is good, Mic. vi. 3. Was there reve- 
lation from the beginning ? Yes : at sundry times, 
and in divers manners, God spake unto the fathers, 
Heb. i. 1. 

3. Are the Scriptures of the Old and New Testa- 
ment the word of God, and a divine revelation? 
Yes: for all Scripture is given by inspiration of 
God, 2 Tim. ili. 16. Were they indited by the blessed 
Spirit ? Yes : for holy men of God spake as they 
were moved by the Holy Ghost, 2 Pet i. 21. Were 
they confirmed by miracles ? Yes : God also bear- 
ing them witness both with signs and wonders, 
Heb. ii. 4. Do they recommend themselves 7 Y'^es : 
for the word of God is quick and powerful, Heb. iv. 
12. Is not the Bible then a cheat put apon the 
world ? No : for these are not the words of him that 
hath a devil, John x. 21. 

4. Was the book of the Scripture written for our 
use? Yes: whatsoever things were written afore- 
time, were written for our learning, Rom. xv. 4. 
And is it of great use ? Yes : for it is profitable for 
doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instmction 
in righteousness, 2 Tim. iii. 16. 

6. Are the Scriptures the great support of our re- 
ligion ? Yes : for we are built upon the foundation 
of the apostles and prophets, Eph. ii. 20. Are they 
the standing rule of our faith and practice ? Yes ; 
we must have recourse to the law and to the testi* 
mony, Isa. viii. 20. Are they the only mle ? Yes; 
for other foundation can no man lay, 1 Cor. iii. ii 
Are they our guide ? Yes : for the commandme 
is a lamp, and the law is light, Prov. vi. 23. 1> 
they show us the way to heaven and happiness 
Yes : for in them we think we have eternal life, a 
they are they which testify of Christ, John v. 39. 

6. Are the Scriptures our oracle which we m 
consult ? Yes : What is written in the law, how rea 
est thou? Luke x. 26. Are they our toaohsto 
which we must try by ? Yes : if they speak not a 
cording to this word, it is because there is no lig 
in them, Isa. viii. 20. Are they the weapons of o 
spiritual warfare ? Yes : Get Uiee hence, Satan, f< 
it is written. Matt. iv. 10. Eph. vi. 17. 

7. Is. the written word a sufficient rule T Yes : fd 
the law of the Lord is perfect, Ps. xix. 7. Is tt plainl 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



867 



Yes : for the word is nigh thee, Rom. x. 8. Is the 
cbmch's authority tiie rule of our faith ? No : for 
oar faith shoald not stand in the wisdom of men, 
1 Cor. ii. 5. May we depend upon unwritten tradi- 
tions? No: for we must refuse profane and old 
wives' fables, 1 Tim. iy. 7. 

8. Will the written word be the rule of our judg- 
ment hereafter ? Yes: for we must be judged by 
the law of liberty. Jam. ii. 12. Ought we therefore 
to be ruled by it now ? Yes : as many as walk ac- 
cording to this rule, peace shall be on them. Gal. vi. 
16. And to be comforted by it ? Yes : for through 
patience and comfort of the Scriptures we have hope, 
Rom. XT. 4. 

9. Are the Scriptures to be translated into vulgar 
toDgues ? Yes : for we should hear them speak in 
oor tongues the wonderful works of God, Acts ii. 11. 
And must we study them? Yes : Search the Scrip- 
tures, John T. 39. And labour to understand them ? 
Yes: Understandest thou what thou readest? Acts 
Tiii. 30. And must we rest satisfied with this reve- 
lation of God's will? Yes: for if we believe not 
Moses and the prophets, neither would we be per- 
snaded though one rose from the dead, liuke xvi. 
31. Is it a great affront to God to neglect his word ? 
Yes : I have written unto them the great things of 
my law, but they were counted as a strange thing, 
Hos. viii. 12. 

10. Must little children get the knowledge of the 
Scripture ? Yes : Timothy is commended for this, 
that from a child he knew the Holy Scriptures, 
2 Tim. iii. 15. And must their parents instruct 
them therein ? Yes : they must teach them diligently 
onto their children, and talk of them, Deut. vi. 7. 

11. Must we all love the word of God? Yes: O 
how love I thy law ! And must we meditate therein ? 
Yes : It is my meditation all the day, Ps. cxix. 97. 
And will this be to our own advantage ? Yes : for it 
h able to make us wise to salvation, 2 Tim. iii 15. 

Q. 3. What do the Scriptures principally teach ? 

A. The Scriptures principally teach, what man 
» to believe concemiog God, and what duty God 
requires of man. 

1. Is it necessary that we have a faith concerning 
Ood? Yes : for he that comes to God must believe 
that he is, and that be is the rewarder of them that 
<iiligent]y seek him, Heb. xi. 6. Can we have that 
faith without being taught ? No: for how shall they 
believe in him of whom they have not heard ? Rom. 
x- 14. And have they not heard ? Yes : verily their 
iDond went into all the earth, an4 their words to the 
ends of the world, Rom. x. 18. . 

2. Is not the knowledge of God a great privilege ? 
Yes : for this is life eternal, to know thee the only 
tmc God, John xvii. 3. Is it not the best knowledge ? 
Yes : for the knowledge of the Holy is understand- 
ing, Prov. ix. lO. Does the Scripture teach us that 

3i 2 



knowledge ? Yes : for if we receive those words, and 
hide those commandments with us, then shall we 
understand the fear of the Lord, and find the know- 
ledge of God, Prov. ii. 1, 5. 

3. Do not the works of creation prove that there 
is a God ? Yes : for we understand by the things 
that are made his eternal power and godhead, Rom. 
i. 20. And do not the works of providence prove it? 
Yes : for verily there is a God that judgeUi in the 
earth, Ps. Iviii. 11. But do not the Scriptures 
tell us best what God is ? Yes : for no man hath 
seen God at any time, the only-begotten Son, which 
is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him, 
John i. 16. 

4. Are we all concerned to get the knowledge of 
God ? Yes : we should all know him, from tlie 
least even to the greatest, Heb. viii. 11. Must chil- 
dren get that knowledge ? Yes : I write unto yon 
little children because you have known the Father, 
1 John ii. 13. And must we all (pow in that know- 
ledge 1 Yes : we must follow on to know the Lord, 
Hos. vi. 3. 

5. Are we to believe what the Scripture reveals 
concerning God ? Yes : for these things are written 
that we may believe, John xx. 31. And must we 
believe all that the Scripture reveals ? Yes : Believ- 
ing all things which are written in the law and the 
prophets. Acts xxiv. 14. Must we believe that 
which is not revealed ? No : for the things of God 
knows no man, but the Spirit of God, 1 Cor. ii. 11. 

6. Does God require duty of man ? Yes : for unto 
man he said. Behold the fear of the Lord, that is 
wisdom ; and to depart from evil, that is understand- 
ing, Job xxviii. 28. Is it enough to believe the 
truth revealed, if we do not the duty that is required ? 
No: for faith without works is dead, James ii. 26. Is 
it enough to do the duty required^ though we do not 
believe the truth revealed ? No : for he that believ- 
eth not God, hath made him a liar, 1 John v. 10. 

7. Does the Scripture teach us what duty God re- 
quires ? Yes : He has showed thee what the Lord 
thy God requires of thee, Mic. vi. 8. And must we 
do the duty that the Scripture teaches ? Yes : we 
must observe to do according to all that is written 
therein, and not turn from it to the right hand, or 
to the left. Josh. i. 7. Must this obedience always 
accompany faith ? Yes : for they which have be- 
lieved in God must be careful to maintain good 
works, Tit iii. 8. 

Q.4. What ig God? 

A. God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchange- 
able in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, 
goodness, and truth. 

1. Is God a Spirit ? Yes : for Christ himself has 
said, God is a Spirit, John iv. 24. Is he a pure 
Spirit? Yes: for God is light, and with him is no 
darkness at all, 1 John i. 5. Has he a body as we 



866 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



have \ No : Hast thou eyes of flesh ? or seest thou 
as a man seeth ? Joh x. 4. Can he be seen with 
bodily eyes? No: for he is one whom no man 
hath seen, or can see, 1 Tim. yi. 16. Arb not the 
angels spirits ? Yes : he maketh his angels spirits, 
Ps. civ. 4. Are not the souls of men spirits ? Yes : 
for he formeth the spirit of man within him, Zech. 
xii. 1. But is God a Spirit like unto them ? No : 
for he is the Father of spirits, Heb. xii. 9. 

2. Is God infinite ? Yes : for we cannot by search- 
ing find out God, Job xi. 7. Is he contained in any 
place ? No : for the heaven of heavens cannot con- 
tain him, 1 Kings viii. 27. Is he every where pre- 
sent ? Yes : for whither can we go from his Spirit, 
or flee from his presence ? Ps. cxxxix. 7. Can any 
hide himself in secret places that God shall not see 
him ? No : for do not I fill heaven and earth, saith 
the Lord, Jer. xxiii. 24. 

3. Is God eternal ? Yes : from everlasting to ever- 
lasting, thou art God, Ps. xc. 2. Had he beginning 
of days ? No : for he is the Ancient of days, Dan. 
vii. 9. Shall there be any end of his life ? No : 
for he is the same, and his years have no end, Ps. 
cii. 27. Is there with him any succession of time ? 
No : for his days are not as the days of man. Job x. 
5. Can he die ? No : he is the only potentate, that 
hath immortality, 1 Tim. vi. 16. 

4. Is God unchangeable ? Yes : for he is the Fa- 
ther of lights, with whom is no variableness, nor 
shadow of turning. Jam. i. 17. Is there any decay 
of his perfections ? No : for he fainteth not, neither 
is weary, Isa. xl. 528. Is there any alteration in his 
counsels ? No : for he is not a man that he should 
repent, 1 Sam. xv. 29. Is it well for us that he is 
unchangeable ? Yes : I am the Lord, I change not, 
therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed, Mai. 
111. 6. 

5. Is God infinite in his being? Yes: for he has 
said, I AM THAT I AM, Exod. iii. 14. Is he self- 
existent? Yes : for the Father hath life in himself, 
John V. 26. Is he the best of beings ? Yes : for who 
is a God like unto him? Exod. xv. 11. Is he the 
first of causes ? Yes : for he is the Father, of whom 
are all things, and we in him, 1 Cor. viii. 6. Is he 
the highest of powers? Yes: for he is King of 
kings, and Lord of lords, 1 Tim. vi. 15. 

6. Is he a God of perfect knowledge ? Yes : for 
his understanding is infinite, Ps. cxlvii. 5. Can 
any thing be hid from him ? No : for all things are 
naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom 
we have to do, Heb. iv. 13. Does he know things 
to come ? Yes : for he declareth the end from the 
beginning, Isa. xlvi. 10. Does he know our hearts? 
Yes: for he understandeth our thoughts afar off*, 
Ps. cxxxix. 2. Does he know all our actions? 
Yes : for his eyes are upon the ways of man, Job 
xxxiv. 21. 

7. Is God infinitely wise ? Yes : for wisdom and 



might are his, Dan. ii. 20. Are all his works wisely 
done ? Yes : in wisdom he hath made them all, Ps. 
civ. 24. And particularly the work of redemptioD ? 
Yes: for it is the wisdom of God in a mystery » 
1 Cor. ii. 7. Can the wisdom of God's counsels be 
fathomed? No: O the depth of the riches of the 
wisdom and knowledge of God ! Rom. xi. 33. 

8. Is he a God of power? Yes : God hath spoken 
once, twice have I heard this, that power belongeth 
unto God, Ps. Ixii. 11. Is he Almighty? Tes: he 
is the Lord God Almighty, Rev. xv. 3. Is bis power 
irresistible ? Yes : for none can stay his hand, Dan. 
iv. 35. Is his sovereignty incontestable ? Yes : for 
he giveth not account of any of his matters. Job 
xxxiii. 13. Is any thing too hard for him ? No : 
for with God all things are possible, Matt. xix. 
26. 

9. Is he a God of perfect holiness ? Yes : for holy, 
holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts, Isa. vi. 3. Is there 
iniquity with God? No: he is of purer eyes than 
to behold iniquity, Heb. i. 13. Is this his glory? 
Yes: for he is glorious in holiness, Exod. xv. 11. 
And must we give him the glory of it ? Yes : give 
thanks at the remembrance of his holiness, Ps. xxx. 
4. And must we study herein to resemble him? 
Yes : Be ye holy, for I am holy, 1 Pet. i. 16. 

10. Is he a just and righteous Governor ? Yes : 
the Lord is righteous in all his ways, Ps. exlv. 17. 
Did he ever do wrong to any of his creatures ? No : 
there is no unrighteousness in him, Ps. xcii. 15. 
And does justice please him ? Yes : the righteous 
Lord loveth righteousness, Ps. xi. 7. 

11. Is he a merciful God? Yes: he is the Lord, 
the Lord God, merciful and gracious, Exod. xxxiv. 
6. And a good God? Yes: thou art good, and 
dost good, Ps. exix. 68. Is he universally good ? 
Yes : for he is good to all, and his tender mercies 
are over all his works, Ps. cxlv. 9. Is he in a 
special manner good to his own people ? Yes : for 
truly God is good to Israel, Ps. Ixxiii. 1, And 
should we acquaint ourselves with his goodness? 
Yes: O taste, and see that the Lord b good, Ps. 
xxxiv. 8. 

12. Is he a God of truth ? Yes : the truth of the 
Lord endures for ever, Ps. cxvii. 2. Will he per- 
form all his promises ? Yes : for he is faithful that 
hath promised, Heb. x. 23. Is there any danger of 
his deceiving us ? No : it is impossible for God to 
lie, Heb. vi. 18. 

13. Is this a complete description of God ? No : 
for, lo, these are but parts of his ways ; and how 
little a portion is heard of him! Job xxvi. 14. 
Must we therefore always speak of God with reve- 
rence ? Yes : for behold God is great, and we know 
him not. Job xxxvi. 26. And must we pray to him 
to teach us what we shall say ? Yes : for we can- 
not order our speech by reason of darkness. Job 
xxxvii. 19. 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



869 



Q. 5. Are there more gods than one. 

A. There is but one only, the living and true God. 

1. Are there many gods? No: for though there 
be that are called gods, yet there is but one God, 
1 Cor. Tiii. 6, 6. Can there be but one? No: for 
he has said, I am God, and there is none else ; I am 
God, and there is none like me, Isa. xlvi. 0. Are 
yon sure there is but one ? Yes : for the Lord our 
God is one Lord, and there is none other but he, 
Mark xii. 29, 32. 

2. Is the God whom we serve that one God? 
Tes : for Jehovah he is God, Jehovah he is God, 
1 Kings xviii. 39. Is he infinitely above all pre- 
tenders? Tes: for he is a great King above all 
gods, Ps. xcT. 3. Is he God alone ? Yes : O Lord 
of hosts, God of Israel, thou art the God, even thou 
alone, Isa. xxxvii. 16. Are all other gods false 
gods? Yes: for all the gods of the nations are 
idols, but the Lord made the heavens, Ps. xevi. 6. 

3. Is our God the true God ? Yes : the Lord he is 
the true God, Jer. x. 10. Is he the only true God ? 
Yes : this is life eternal, to know the only true God, 
John xvii. 3. Is he the living God? Yes: the 
hring God, and an everlasting King, Jcr. x. 10. Is 
kethe Sovereign Lord? Yes: for he is God over 
all, blessed for evermore, Rom. ix. 5. Is this one 
God enough? Yes: for he is God All-sufficient, 
Gen. xvii. 1. 

4. Is the Lord Jehovah the maker of all things ? 
Tes : he is the everlasting God, even the Lord, the 
Creator of the ends of the earth, Isa. xl. 28. Is he 
yoor Maker ? Yes : he is the Lord our Maker, Ps. 
xcv. 6. Is he the owner of all things ? Yes ; for 
ke is the most high God, possessor of heaven and 
earth. Gen. xiv. 19. Is he your rightful owner? 
Tes : we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep 
of his hand, Ps. xcv. 7. Is he the ruler of all things? 
Tes : for his kingdom ruleth over all, Ps. ciii. 19. 
Is he your ruler? Yes: O Lord, truly I am thy 
servant, I am thy servant, Ps. cxvi. 16. Is he the 
benefactor of all the creatures ? Yes : for he giveth 
to all life, and breath, and all things. Acts xvii. 25. 
Is be your benefactor? Yes: for he daily loadeth 
V with his benefits, Ps. Ixviii. 19. Shall he there- 
lore be yours by your own consent ? Yes : O God, 
thou art my God, Ps. Ixiii. 1. 

Q. 6. How many persons are there in the Godhead? 

A. There are tbree persons in the Godhead ; the 
Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost ; and these 
three are one God ; the same in substance, equal in 
power and glory. 

I. Are there three gods? No: for the Lord is 
one, and his name one, Zech. xiv. 9. Is there more 
than one person in the Godhead ? Yes : for God 
said. Let us make man, Gen. i. 26. Are there dis- 
tioct persons in tlie Godhead ? Yes : for h6 who 



is the brightness of his Father's glory, is the express 
image of his person, Heb. i. 3. Are there three 
persons in the Godhead ? Yes : for there arc three 
that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, 
and the Holy Ghost, 1 John v. 7. 

2. Is the Father God ? Yes : for there is one God 
and Father of all, Eph. iv. 6. Is Jesus Christ the 
Word ? Yes : his name is called the Word of God, 
Rev. xix. 13. Is the Word God ? Yes : for in the 
beginning was the Word, and the Word was with 
God, and the Word was God, John i. 1. Is the Holy 
Ghost a divine person ? Yes : for the Spirit search- 
eth all things, 1 Cor. ii. 10. 

3. Is it the personal property of the Father to be- 
get the Son ? Yes : Thou art my Son, this day have 
I begotten thee, Ps. ii. 7. Is it the personal pro- 
perty of the Son to be begotten of the Father ? Yes : 
for he is the only-begotten of the Father, John i. 14. 
Is it the personal property of the Holy Ghost to 
proceed from the Father and the Son ? Yes : for 
Christ says, I will send you the Comforter, even the 
Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, 
John XV. 26. 

4. Are these three one God ? Yes : for it is said 
expressly, these three are one, 1 John v. 7. Are 
they the same in substance, and equal in power and 
glory ? Yes : for Christ says, I and my Father are 
one, John x. 30. Can this doctrine be measured by 
reason ? No : for flesh and blood hath not revealed 
it to us, Matt xvi. 17. But ought we to believe it ? 
Yes : for we are baptized in the name of the Father, 
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Matt, 
xxviii. 19. and we are blessed with the grace of 
the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the 
communion of the Holy Ghost, 2 Cor. xiii. 14. And 
ought we to improve it? Yes : that we all may be 
one, as the Father is in Christ, and he in the Father, 
that we also may be one in them, John xvii. 21 . 

Q. 7. What are the decrees of God? 

A. The decrees of God are his eternal purposes, 
according to the counsel of his own will : whereby 
for his own glory he hath fore-ordained whatever 
comes to pass. 

' 1. Does God dispose of all things that come to 
pass ? Yes : My times are in thy hand, Ps. xxxi. 
15. Does he do it according to his own will : Yes : 
for he hath done whatsoever he pleased, Ps. cxv. 
2. Can any control his will? No: for he doth 
according to his will in the armies of heaven, and 
among the inhabitants of the earth, Dan. iv. 35. 
Has he determined before what he will do ? Yes : 
for known unto God are all his works, from the 
beginning of the worid. Acts xv. 18. 

2. Is there a counsel then in all the will of God ? 
Yes : for he worketh all things after the counsel of 
his own will, Eph. i. 11. Is it an eternal counsel ? 
Yes : for it was ordained before the world, I Cor. 



870 



A SCRIPTURE CATEC/IISM. 



ii. 7. Isitfree? Yes: Even so Father, for so it seemed 
good in thy sight. Matt. xi. 26. Is it unchangeable ? 
Yes : the counsel of the Lord standeth for ever, Ps. 
xxxiii. 11. Is it for his own glory ? Yes : that we 
should be to the praise of his glory, Eph. i. 12. 

Were all the events of time ordained from eter- 
nity? Yes: He performeth the thingthat is appointed 
for me. Job xxiii. 14. Does any thing come to 
pass by chance } No : for the lot is cast into the lap ; 
but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord, Prov. 
xvi. 33. Does every thing come to pass as God 
has ordained it ? Yes : for there are many devices 
in a man's heart ; nevertheless the counsel of the 
Lord, that shall stand, Prov. xix. 21. 

4. Can we search out God's counsels ? No : for 
his judgments are a great deep, Ps. xxxvi. 6. Ought 
we not therefore to acquiesce in them? Yes: Here 
am I, let him do to me as seemeth good unto him, 2 
Sam. XV. 26. May we question God's proceedings ? 
No: for his thoughts are above our thoughts, Isa. 
Iv. 9. 

Q. 8. How does God execute his decrees ? 
A. God executes his decrees in the works of 
creation and providence. 

1. Shall all God's decrees be executed? Yes: 
for the Lord of hosts hath sworn, surely as I have 
thought, so shall it come to pass, Isa. xiv. 24. Can 
any of them be defeated ? No: forthe Lord of hosts 
hath purposed, and who shall disannul it ? Isa. xiv. 
27. Did God execute his decree in the work of 
creation ? Yes : he hath created all things, and for 
his pleasure they are and were created, Rev. iv. 11. 
And does he execute his decrees in the works pf 
Providence? Yes: for out of the mouth of the Most 
High both evil and good proceed. Lam. iii. 36. 

2. Did God begin to work in the creation of the 
world ? Yes : Thou, Lord, in the beginning didst lay 
the foundations of the earth, Heb. i. 10. Is he still 
working ? Yes : for Christ says. My Father work- 
eth hitherto, and I work, John v. 17. Are all his 
worics copied out of his counsels ? Yes : for they 
are what his hand and his counsel determine be- 
fore to be done. Acts iv. 28. 

3. Are God's works many ? Yes : O Lord, how 
manifold are thy works! Ps. civ. 24. Are they 
great ? Yes : his work is honourable and glorious, 
Ps. cxi. 3. Are they perfect in their kiud ? Yes : 
God is the Rock, his work is perfect, Deut. xxxii. 4. 
Can they be amended ? No : whatsoever God doth, 
nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from 
it, Eccl. iii. 14. Ought they to be studied ? Yes : 
They are sought out of all them that have pleasure 
therein, Ps. cxi. 2. Is it a great sin to neglect them ? 
Yes : because they regard not the work of the Lord, 
neither consider the operation of his hands, he shall 
destroy them, and not build them up, Ps. xxviii. 5. 



No # for no man can find oat the work that Ood 
makes from the beginning to the end, EccL iii. 11. 
Can his designs in them be accounted for? No: 
for his way is in the sea, and his path in Che g^reat 
waters, Ps. Ixxvii. 19. But is he glorified in them ? 
Yes : all his works do praise him, Ps. cxiv. 10. 

. Q. 9. What is the worh of creation f 

A. The work of creation is God's making all 
things of nothing, by the word of his power, in the 
space of six days, and all very good. 

1. Did God create the world ? Yes: in the be- 
ginning God created the heavens and the earth. Gen. 
i. 1 . Did he create every thing in the world ? Yes : 
for without him was not any thing made that was 
made, John i. 3. John xii. 7—9. Did he create the 
world by his word ? Yes : for through faith we un- 
derstand that the worlds were framed by the ipvord 
of God, Heb. xi. 3. Did all things come into being 
by that word ? Yes : for by the word of God the 
heavens were of old, 2 Pet iii. 5. And are they 
thereby preserved in being? Yes: by the same 
word they are kept in store, v, 7. Did God find any 
difllculty in making the world ? No : for he spake 
and it was done ; he said. Let there be light, and 
there was light, Ps. xxxiii. 9. Gen. i. 3. Did he 
need assistance in it ? No : for he stretcheth forth 
the heavens alone, and spreadeth abroad the earth 
by himself, Isa. xliv. 24. 

2. Did he make all out of nothing ? Yes : for the 
things which are seen were not made of the things 
which do appear, Heb. xi. 13. Did he bring light 
out of darkness? Yes: for God commanded the 
light to shine out of darkness, 2 Cor. iv. 6. And 
order out of confusion? Yes: for the earth was 
without form and void, Gen. i. 2. Did he make all 
in six days? Yes: for in six days the Lord made 
heaven and earth, Exod. xx. 1 1 . Did God make all 
well ? Yes : God saw every thing that he had 
made, and behold it was very good. Gen. i. 31. 
Did he make all firm? Yes: he -hath made a de- 
cree which shall not pass, Ps. cxlviii. 6. And all 
for himself? Yes: the Lord has made all things 
for himself, Prov. xvi. 4. 

3. Did God make all things by Jesus Christ ? 
Yes : for by him also he made the worlds, Heb. i. 2. 
and created all things by Jesus Christ, Eph. iii. 9. 
Col. i. 16. John i. iii. Did God manifest his own 
perfections in the work of creation ? Yes : for the 
heavens declare the glory of God, Ps. xix. 1. Must 
we give him the glory of this work ? Yes : we must 
worship him that made the heaven and the earth. 
Rev. xiv. 7. Most we give him thanks for his crea- 
tures ? Yes : every creature of God is good, and to 
be received with thanksgiving, 1 Tim. iv. 4. May 
we be encouraged by the work of creation to trast in 
God? Yes: My help cometh from the Lord which 



4. Can all God's works be thoroughly discovered ? | made heaven and earth, Ps. cxxi. 2. 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



871 



4. Did God create the angels ? Yes : He maketh 
his aogrels spirits, Heb. i. 7. Are tbey attendaots 
upon him? Yes: thousand thousands minister 
onto him, and teo thousand times ten thousand 
stand before him, Dan. vii. 10. Are they employed 
for the good of the saints? -Yes: they are sent 
forth to minister for them which shall be heirs of 
salvation, Heb. i. 14. Have true believers commu- 
nion with them in faith, hope, and love ? Yes : for 
we are come to an innumerable company of angels, 
Heb. xii. 22. 

5. Did all tbe angels continue in their integrity ? 
No: There were angels that left their first state. 
Jade 6. Is it probable that they who fell, fell by 
pride ? Yes : for tbey that are lifted up with pride, 
fall into the condemnation of the devil, 1 Tim. iii. 
6. Were they panisbed for their sin ? Yes : God 
spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them 
down to hell, 2 Pet. ii. 4. 

Q. 10. How did God create man ? 

A. God created man male and female, after his 
ima^e, in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, 
with dominion over the creatures. 

1. Is man God's creature ? Yes : for we are also 
his offspring. Acts xvii. 28. Were our first parents 
the work of his hands? Yes: male and female 
created he them, and called their name Adam, Gen. 
V. 2. Was man made with a consultation ? Yes : 
for God said, LiCt us make man, Gen. i. 26. Do all 
tbe children of men descend from Adam and Eve ? 
Yes : for God bas made of one blood all nations of 
men. Acts xvii. 26. . .^ 

2. Was man's body at first made out of the earih ? 
Yes : God made man of the dust of the ground, Gen. 
ii. 7. And are our bodies of the earth earthy ? Yes : 
for I also am formed out of the clay, Job xxxiii. 6. 
Batare they not curiously wrought? Yes: for I am 
fearfully and wonderfully made, Ps. cxxxix. 14. 
Is God tbe former of our bodies? Yes: Thou hast 
clothed me with skin and flesh, and fenced me with 
bones and sinews. Job x. 11. Is he the author of 
our senses ? Yes : the hearing ear, and seeing eye, 
tbe Lord has made, even both of them, Prov. xx. 12. 

3. Is God the Father of our spirits ? Yes : for he 
breathed into man's nostrils the breath of life, Gen. 
ii. 7. Has God given each of us a soul ? Yes : The 
Lord liveth that made us this soul, Jer. xxxviii. 16. 
b it a rational soul ? Yes : for the spirit of a man 
is the candle of the Lord, Prov. xx. 27. Is it im- 
mortal ? Yes : for the spirit of a man goes upward, 
Ecci. iii. 21. Does it die with the body ? No: for 
when the dost returns to the earth as it was, the 
Spirit returns to God who gave it, Eccl. xii. 7. Is 
God then the Sovereign of the heart ? Yes : for he 
has said. Behold, all souls are mine, Ezek. xviii. 4. 
)f Qst we therefore commit our souls to him ? Yes : 
Into thine hand I commit my spirit, Ps. xxxi. 5. 



4. Was man made after God's image? Yes: 
God created man in his own image, Gen. i. 27. Did 
that image consist in knowledge ? Yes : for we are 
renewed in knowledge after the image of him that 
created us. Col. iii. 10. Did it consist in righteous- 
ness and true holiness ? Yes : for the new man after 
God is created in righteousness and true holiness, 
Eph. iv. 24. Was there in man at first a perfect 
purity and freedom from sin ? Yes: Thou wast per- 
fect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, 
Ezek. xxviii. 15. compare xvi. 13. Was there in 
him a perfect rectitude and disposition to good? 
Yes : for God made man upright, Eccl. vii. 29. Are 
there some remains of God's image still upon man ? 
Yes : for men are made after the similitude of God, 
Jam. iii. 9. Was man made with a dominion over 
the creatures ? Yes : for thou hast put all things 
under his feet^ Ps. viii. 6. Have we not reason to 
admire God's favour to man ? Yes : Lord, what is 
man, that thou art mindful of him 7 Ps. cxiiv. 3. 

Q. 11. What are God^sworJu of providence? 

A. God's works of providence are his most holy, 
wise, and powerful preserving and governing all bis 
creatures, and all their actions. 

1. When God had made the world, did he leave 
it to itself? No : for he upholdeth all things by the 
word of his power, Heb. i. 3. Does he see to the whole 
creation? Yes : for the eyes of the Lord are in every 
place, Prov. xv. 3. Does he condescend to take 
notice of his creatures? Yes: he humbleth him- 
self to behold the things that are in heaven and in 
the earth, Ps. oxiii. 6. Is any thing at a distance 
from him ? No : for he is not far from every one of 
us, Acts xvii. 27. Does he look on as one uncon- 
cerned ? No : for his eyes behold, and his eyelids 
try, the children of men, Ps. xi. 4. 

2. Does God look after the world of angels ? Yes : 
for he maketh peace in his high places. Job xxv. 2. 
Does he look after this lower world ? Yes : for the 
eyes of all wait upon him, Ps. oxlv. 15. Does he 
take care of the fowls? Yes : our heavenly Father 
feedeth them, Matt. vi. 26. What ! even the spar- 
rows? Yes : not one of them shall fall to the ground 
without our Father, Matt. x. 29. What! and the 
ravens? Yes: he feeds the young ravens which 
cry, Ps. cxlvii. 9. Is he the Protector and Bene- 
factor of all the creatures ? Yes : Thou preservest 
them all, Neh. ix. 6. Is he man's Protector and 
Benefactor? Yes: for in him we live, and move, 
and have our being. Acts xvii. 28. Do we depend 
upon God for tbe support of our life ? Yes : for he 
holdeth our soul in life, Ps. Ixvi. 9. And for the com- 
forts of life ? Yes : for he giveth us rain from 
heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with 
food and gladness, Acts xiv. 17. And do we depend 
upon him for the safety of our life ? Yes : he keep- 
eth all our bones, Ps. xxxiv. 20. And for the con- 



972 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



tinaance of life ? Yes : for be is tbjr lifd^, and the 
length of thy days, Deut xxx. 20. 

3. Does God govern all things ? Tes : his king- 
dom raleth over all, Ps. ciii. 19. Does he govern 
the holy angels ? Yes : fbr they do his command- 
ments, Ps. ciii. 20. Does he govern the heavenly 
bodies ? Yes : the stars in their courses fought 
against Sisera, Judg. v. 20. Does he govern the 
power of the air ? Y^s : stormy winds fulfil his word, 
Ps. cxlviii. 8. Does he order what weather it shall 
be ? Yes : for he saith to the snow, Be thou u|K>n 
the earth. Job xxxvii. 6. And does he gOvem the 
inferior creatures ^ Yes : he spake, and locusts came, 
Ps. cv. 34. Can he command them ? Yes : I have 
commanded the ravens to feed thee, 1 Kings xvii. 4. 
Can he control them? Yes: he shut the lions' 
mouths, Dan. vi. 22. Has he a sovereign dominion 
over the whole creation? Yes: fbr the Lord of 
hosts is his name, Isa. xlvii. 4. 

4. Does God govern the children of men ? Yes : 
the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, Dan. 
iv. 32. Does he govern kings ? Yes : ^or the king's 
heart is in the hand of the LordyProv. xxi. 1. And 
does he govern kingdoms ? Yes : for he is the Go- 
vernor among the nations, Ps. xxii. 28. And fami- 
lies too ? Yes : for except the Lord build the house, 
they labour in vain that build it, Ps. cxxvii. 1. 
Does he govern great men ? Yes : for God is the 
judge, he puts down one, and sets up another, Ps. 
Ixxv. 6, 7. And mean men too ? Yes : for every 
Inan's judgment proceedeth from the Lord, Prov. 
xxix. 26. Can man make his own fortune ? No : 
for the way of man is not in himself, neither is it in 
man that walketh, to direct his steps, Jer. x. 23. 
When man purposes, does God dispose ? Yes : a 
man's heart deviseth his way, but the Lord directeth 
his steps, Prov. xvi. 9. Do all comforts and crosses 
come from God's hand ? Yes : for he has said, I 
make peace, and create evil ; I the Lord do all these 
things, Issc. xlv. 7. Does God's providence extend 
itself to the smallest things ? Yes : The very hairs of 
your head are all numbered. Matt x. 30. 

5. Is God's government holy ? Yes : he is holy 
in all his works, Ps. cxlV. 17. Is it wise ? Yes : he 
is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working, 
Isa. xxviii. 29k Is it powerful ? Yes*, for when 
he giveth quietness, who then can make trouble. 
Job xxxiv. 29. Is it rightful ? Yes : God is greater 
than man. Job xxxiil. 12. Is it just } Yes : for 
shall not the Judge of all the earth do right ? Gen. 
xviii. 25. Does God sometimes reward and punish 
in this life ? Yes : the righteous shall be recom- 
pensed in the earth, much more the wicked and the 
sinner, Prov. xi. 31. But does he always? No: 
for all things come alike to all, Eccl. ix. 1, 2. 

6. Does God govern the world (br the good of his 
church ? Yes : for Jacob my servant's sake, and 
Israel mine elect, I have called thee by thy name. 



Isa. xlv. 4; Is the government of the world com - 
mitted to the Lord Jesus ? Yes : for he is he^d 
over ail things unto the church, Eph. i. 22. And is 
all ordered for God's glory ? Yes : for the Lord 
alone shall be exalted, Isa. ii. 11. Is it a comfort 
to good men that God governs the world ? Yes : 
The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice, Ps. xcvii. 1. 
Is it a terror to the wicked ? Yes : The Lord reigns, 
let the people tremble, Ps. xcix. 1. Ought we to 
give him the praise of it ? Yes : Hallelujah, the 
Lord God omnipotent reigns. Rev. xix. 6. 

Q. 12. What spetial act of providence did God 
exercise towards man in the estate wherein ke was 
created i 

A. When God had created man, he entered into 
a covenant of life with him, upon condition of per- 
fect obedience, forbidding him to eat of the tree of 
knowledge of good and evil, upon pain of death. 

1. Did God make man happy as well as holy > 
Yes : for he put him into the garden of Eden, Gen. 
ii. 15. Did he provide comfortably for him ? Yes : 
for he said, I will make him a help meet for him. 
Gen. ii. 18. Did he admit him into communion 
with himself ? Yes : fOr he then blessed the seventh 
day, and sanctified it. Gen. ii. 3. Was God well 
pleased In him ? Yes : for his delights were with 
the sons of men, Prov. viii. 31. 

2. Did God give him a laW ? Yes: the Lord God 
commanded the man. Gen. ii. 16. Did he give him 
a command of trial ? Yes : Of the tree of know- 
ledge of^good and evil thou shalt not eat of it. Gen. 
ii# 17. Did he assure him of happiness, if he obey- 
ed ? Yed : for of every tree in the garden (even the 
tree of life) thou mayest freely eat. Gen. ii. 16. Did 
he threaten death upon his disobedience ? Yes : 
for in the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely 
die, Gdn. ii. 17. 

3. Was this God's covenant with Adam ? Yes : 
for we read of those who, like Adam, transgressed 
the covenant, Hos. vi. 7. niarg. Was, Do this and 
live, one branch of that covenant ? Yes : for the 
man that doeth them, shall live in them, Gal. iii. 12. 
Was, Fail and die, the other branch of the covenant? 
Yes : the soul that sinneth, it shall die, Ezek. xviii. 
4. Was this the covenant of innocency ? Yes : for 
the law was not of faith. Gal. iii. 12. Was there a 
mediator of this covenant ? No : for it is the better 
covenant that is established in the hands of a Medi- 
ator, Heb. viii. 6. 

Q. 13. Did our first parents continue in the state 
wherein they were first created ? ^ 

A. Our first parents being left to the freedom of 
their own will, fell from the state wherein they were 
created, by sinning against God. 

1. Is man now in the state wherein he was cre- 
ated ? No : for God made man upright ; but they 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



873 



lave sought out many inventions, Eccl. vii. 29. Can 
Ke now say we are perfectly holy ? No : If I say I 
ata perfect, that shall prove me perverse^ Job ix. 20. 
Can we say we are perfectly happy ? No : for man 
is k>ra to trouble. Job v. 7. Are we as we were 
then ? No : man was planted a noble vine, bnt is 
tamed into the degenerate plant of a strange vine, 
Jer. ii. 21. Did man continue long in his state of 
ionocence ? No : For man being in honour abideth 
Dot, Ps. xiil. 12. 

2. Did God leave man to the freedom of his own 
will ? Yes : For if thou scornest, thou alone shall 
bear it, Prov. ix. 12. Did God draw A.dam to sin ? 
No : for Grod tempteth no man, James i. 13. Is he 
any way the Anthor of sin ? No : far be it from God 
tbat he should do wickedness. Job xxxiv. 10. Did 
be do what was fit to be done to prevent it? Yes : 
What could have been done more to my vineyard ? 
Isa. y. 4. Was he obliged to do more ? No : for 
maj be not do what he will with his own ? Matt 
XX. 15. Does all the blame of man's sin lie upon 
himself theli ? Yes : O Israel, thou hast destroyed 
thyself, Hos. xiii. 9. 

3. Did man fall by sinning against God T Yes : 
ThoQ hast fallen by thine iniquity, Hos. xiv. 1. 
Was that the beginning of sin in this world ? Yes : 
for by one man sin entered into the world, Rom. 

T. 12. 

Q. 14. What w sin ? 

A. Sin is any want of conformity nnto, or trans- 
gression of, the law of God. 

1. Is there a moral difference of good and evil ? 
Yes: for we must cease to do evil, and learn to do 
veil, Isa. i. 16, 17. Is it all alike then what we do ? 
No: for God shall bring every work into judgment, 
whether it be good, or whether it be evil, Eccl. xii. 
14. Is there such a thing as sin in thought ? Yes : 
for the thought of foolishness is sin, Prov. xxiv. 9. 
May sin be committed in Word too t Yes : for in 
the multitude of words there wattteth not sin, Prov. 
1.19. 

2. Does sin suppose a law? Yes : fbr where there 
is no law, theilB is no transgression, Rom. iv. 15. and 
^- 13. Is sin the breach of a law ? Yes : for sin is 
the transgression of the law, 1 John ill. 4. Is it 
^'s law only that can make a thing to be sin ? 
Yes : For aguinst thee, thee only, have I sinned, Ps. 
li. 4. Is every breach of God's law sin ? Yes : for 
all aorighteousbess is sin, 1 John V. 17. Are we to 
JQdge of sin by the law ? Tes : for by the law is the 
knowledge of sin, Rom. iii. 20. Could we discover 
MD without some law ? No : For I had not known 
sin bnt by the law, Rom. vii. 7. Is the transgression 
of the law of nature sin? Yes : for they that have 
^t the written law, show the work of the law written 
in their hearts, Rom. ii. 14, 15. But does the writ- 
^^ law discover the root of sin ? Yes : I h&d not 



known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not 
covet, Rom. vii. 7. 

3. Is ignorance of God sin ? Yes : He shall take 
vengeance on them that know not God, 2 Thess. i. 
8. Is disaffection to God's government sin ? Yes: 
My people would not hearken to my voice, and Israel 
would none of me, Ps. Ixxxi. 11. Is all disobedi- 
ence to God's law sin ? Yes : For the wrath of God 
comes upon the children of disobedience, Col. iii. 6. 
Is it a sin to omit the good which God has com- 
manded? Yes : for to him that knows to do good, 
and doth it not, to him it is sin, Jam. iv. 17. Is it a 
sin to do it negligently? Yes : for if thou doest not 
well, sin lies at the door. Gen. iv. 7. Is it a sin to 
do the evil which God has forbidden ? Yes : for he 
has said, O do not this abominable thing which I 
hate, Jer. xliv. 4. Is the inclination to evil sin ? 
Yes t for St. Paul speaks of the sin that dwells in 
ns> Rom. vii. 17. 

4k Is sin the worst of evils ? Yes : it is an evil 
thing, and a bitter, to forsake the Lord, Jer. ii. 19. 
Is the sinfulness of it the worst thing in it? Yes i 
for sin by the conmiandment becomes exceeding 
sinful, Rom. vii. 13» Is sin worse than affliction ? 
Yes : for Moses by faith chose rather to suffer affile^ 
tion than to enjoy the pleasures of sin, Heb. xi. 25* 
Is it displeasing to God ? Yes: God is angry with 
the wicked every day, Ps^ vii. 11 « Is it destructive 
to ourselves ? Yes : be sure your sin will find you 
out. Numb, xxxii. 23. 

5. Ought We not therefore to take heed of sin 7 
Yes : Stand in awe, and sin not, Ps. iv. 4. And of 
all appearances of it? Yes: abstain from all ap- 
pearances of evil, I Thess. Vk 22^ And all approaches 
towards it? Yes: Touch not the unclean things 
2 Cor. vi. 17. And most we hate it ? Yes : Ye that 
love the Lord, hate evil, Ps. xcvii. 10. Must little 
children take heed of sin ? Yes : My little children^ 
these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. 1 John 
ii. 1. Is it folly to make light of sin ? yA fools 
make a mock at sin, Prov. xiv. 9. Will our observ- 
ing the law of God be the best preservative against 
sin ? Yes : Thy word have I hid in my heart, that 
I might not sin against tliee, Ps. cxix. 11^ Will an 
eye to God be the best argument against sin ? Yes : 
How shall I do this great wickedness, and sin against 
God) Gen. xxxix. 9. 

Q. 15. What was the sin whereby our first parents 
fell from the state wherein they were created ? 

A. The sin whereby our first parents fell from the 
state wherein they were created, was their eating 
the forbidden fruit 

1. 0id our first parents eat the forbidden fruit? 
Yes : Thou hast eaten of the tree of which I com- 
manded thee, saying. Thou shalt not eat of it. Gen. 
iii. 17. Was their doing so disobedience? Yes: 
for it was by one man's disobedience that many were 



874 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



made sinners, Rom. t. 19. Did the woman eat for- 
bidden frait first ? Yes : the woman bein^^ deceived 
was in the transgression, 1 Tim. ii. 14. Did the ser- 
pent tempt her to it ? Yes : the serpent beguiled Eve 
through his subtilty, 2 Cor. xi. 3. Was that serpent 
the devil? Yes : The old serpent is the devil and 
Satan, Rev. xx. 2. Did he aim to make man as 
miserable as himself ? Yes : he wa3 a murderer from 
the beginning, John viii. 44. 

2. Did the tempter teach them to qaestion the 
command ? Yes : he said to the woman. Hath God 
said ye shall not eat? Gen. iii. 1. Did he promise 
them safety in sin? Yes: he said, Ye shall not 
sorely die. Gen. iii. 4. Did he promise them advan- 
tage by the sin ? Yes : In the day ye eat thereof 
your eyes shall be opened, v. 5. Did he feed them 
with high thoughts of themselves? Yes: Ye shall 
be as gods, v. 5. Did he suggest to them hard 
thoughts of God ? Yes : for he said, God doth know 
this, V. 5. Did Eve do well to parley with him? 
No: for we should cease to hear the instruction that 
causeth to err from the words of knowledge, Prov. 
xix. 27. 

3. Did the devil prevail in the temptation ? Yes : 
for she took of the fruit, and did eat, and gave also 
to her husband with her, and he did eat. Gen. iii. 6. 
Was there in this sin the lust of the flesh ? Yes : 
for she saw that the tree was good for food. Was 
there in it the lust of the eye ? Yes : for she saw 
that it was pleasant to the eyes. And the pride of 
life ? Yes : for she saw it was a tree to be desired 
to make one wise. Was unbelief of the word of God 
at the bottom of it? Yea: It is the evil heart of' 
unbelief that departs from the living God, Heb. iii. 
12. Was there in it an opposition to the divine law? 
Yes: for sin took occasion by the commandment, 
Rom. vii. 8. Was dbobedience in a small matter a 
great provocation ? Yes : for rebellion is as the sin 
of witchcraft, and stubbornness is iniquity and idol- 
atry, l4hm. XV. 23. If Adam fell thus, have we 
any reason to be secure ? No : Wherefore let him 
that thinks he stands, take heed lest he fall, 1 Cor. 
X. 12. 

Q. 16. Did all mankind fall in Adam* i first trans- 
grettion ? 

A. The covenant being made with Adam, not only 
for himself, but for his posterity, all mankind de- 
scending from him by ordinary generation, sinned 
in him, and fell with him in his first transgression. 

1. Are we concerned in our first parents' disobe- 
dience? Yes : for by the offence of one, judgment 
came upon ail men to condemnation, Rom. v. 18. 
Were we in their loins when they ate the forbidden 
fruit ? Yes : for Adam called his wife's name Eve, 
because she was the mother of all living, Gen. iii. 
20. Was Adam a common father ? Yes : for he 
was to be fruitful^ and multiply, and replenish the 



earth. Gen. i. 28. Was he a public person ? Yes : 
for he was the figure of him that was to come, Rora. 
V. 14. Was the covenant made with him, and bis 
posterity? Yes: for God always established his 
covenant with men, and with their seed after them. 
Gen. ix. 9. 

2. Was Adam's sin our ruin then? Yes: for 
through the offence of one many are dead, Rom. v. 
16. Was the honour of human nature thereby stain- 
ed? Yes: for Adam begat a son in his own like- 
ness, Gen. V. 3. Was the power of the human nature 
thereby weakened? Yes : for when we were with- 
out strength, Christ died for us, Rom. v, 6. Was 
the purity of it thereby corrupted ? Yes : for in as, 
that is, in oar flesh, there dwells no good thing, 
Rom. vii. 18. Was Adam himself degenerated ? 
Yes : for God said to him. Dust thou art. Gen. iii. 
19. And are we in like manner degenerated ? Yes : 
for we have all borne the image of the earthy, 1 Cor. 
XV. 49. 

3. Is this degeneracy universal? Yes: for all 
flesh hath corrupted his way. Gen. vi. 12. Did our 
Lord Jesus descend from Adam by ordinary genera- 
tion? No : for he is the Lord from heaven, I Cor. 
XV. 47. Did he then sin in Adam ? No : for he is 
undefiled, separate from sinners, Heb. vii. 26. Did 
all the rest of mankind sin in Adam ? Yes : for how 
can he be clean that is born of a woman ? Job xx v. 
4. Are the ways of the Lord herein equal ? Yes : 
but our ways are unequal, Ezek. xviii. 29. 

Q. 17. Into what state did the fall bring mankind ? 
A. The fall brought mankind into a state of sin 
and misery. 

1. Is mankind in a state of sin? Yes: for both 
Jews and Gentiles are ail under sin, Rom. iii. 9. Is 
a state of sin a sad state ? Yes : for they that are 
in the flesh cannot please God, Rom. viii. 8. Did 
the fall bring us into a state of sin ? Yes : for by it 
many were made sinners, Rom. v. 19. Does the 
world continue in that state ? Yes : for the whole 
world lies in wickedness, 1 John y. 19. And are 
you by nature in that state ? Yes : if I justify my- 
self, my own mouth shall condemn me. Job ix. 20. 

2. Is mankind in a state of misery ? Yes : the 
misery of man is great upon him, Eccl. viii. 6. Is sin 
the cause of all that misery ? Yes : for death entered 
by sin, and so death passed upon all men, Rom. 
V. 12. Is misery the consequence of sin ? Yes : for 
evil pursues sinners, Prov. xiii. 21. Do all the crea- 
tures share in the sad effects of sin ? Yes : cursed 
is the ground for thy sake. Gen. iii. 17. And could 
all this mischief come from that one sin ? Yes : for 
how great a matter does a little fire kindle, James 
iii. 5, 6. 

3. Did the fall bring mankind into a state of apos- 
tasy from God ? Yes : for they arc all gone aside, 
Ps. xiv. 3. Is that a sinful state ? Yes : for it is 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



875 



freat wboredom to depart from the Lord, Hos. i. 2. 
ADd is it a miserable state ? Yes : Woe onto them, 
for they have fled from me, Hos. irii. 13. 

4. Did the fall bring mankind into a state of sla- 
vey to Satan ? Tes : for they are taken captive by 
him at his will, 2 Tim. ii. 26. Is that a sinful state? 
Yes : for the prince of the power of the air works 
in the children of disobedience, Eph. ii. 2. Is it a 
miserable state ? Yes : for the God of this world 
hath blinded their minds, 2 Cor. iv. 4. Is it like 
the condition of the prodigal son ? Yes : for he went 
into a far country, wasted his sabstance, began to 
be in want, and was sent into the fields to feed swine, 
Lake xt. 13 — 16. 

Q. 18. Wkerein eonsiiU the iinfiUnesi of that state 
viereinto man fell ? 

A. The sinfulness of that state whereinto man fell 
consists in the guilt of Adam's first sin, the want of 
original righteonsness, and the corruption of his 
whole nature, (which is commonly called original 
sin,) together with all actual transgressions which 
proceed from it 

1. Are we all bom under guilt? Yes : for all the 
world is guilty before God, Rom. iii. 19. Does the 
vbole race of mankind stand attainted at God's bar? 
Yes: for the Scripture hath concluded all under 
sin. Gal. iii. 22. Is this according to God's rule of 
jod^ent ? Yes : for he Tisiteth the iniquity of the 
faUiers upon the children, Exod. xx. 5. Is not God 
unrighteous who thus takes yengeance ? No : God 
forbid, for then how shall God judge the world, 
Rom. iii. 6. 

2. Are we all bom in sin ? Yes : Behold, I was 
shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother con- 
ceive me. Pa. Ii. 5. Are we of a sinful brood ? Yes : 
for we are a seed of eviMoers, Isa. i. 4. May we 
be truly called sinners by nature? Yes: Thou 
wast called a transgressor from the womb, Isa. 
xlviii. 8. 

3. Is there in erery one of us by nature the want 
of original righteousness ? Yes : there is none right- 
eous, no, not one, Rom. iii. 10. Is there in us an 
tvenion to that which is good ? Yes : for the carnal 
nind is enmity against God, Rom. viii. 7. Is there 
to OS a moral impotency to that which is good ? 
Tes: for the carnal mind is not in subjection to the 
law of God, neither indeed can be, Rom. viii. 7. 
Can we of ourselves do any thing that is good ? 
No: for we are not sufllcient of ourselves to think 
aoy thing as of ourselves, 2 Cor. iii. 6. 

4. Is there in us a proneness to that which is evil ? 
Tfs : My people are bent to backsliding from me. 
Hoi. xi, 7. Are there the snares of sin in our bodies ? 
Yes: for there is a law in the members warring 
afainat the law of the mind, Rom. vii. 23. And are 
tbere the seeds of sin in our souls? Yes: For when 
I would do goody evil is present with me, Rom. vii. 



21. And is the stain of sin upon both? Yes: for 
all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God, 
Rom. iii. 23. 

5. Did we all bring sin into the world with us? 
Yes : for man is born like the wild ass's colt, Job 
xi. 12. Is it in little children ? Yes : for foolishness 
is in the heart of a child, Prov. xxii. 16. As reason 
improves, does sin grow up with it? Yes: for when 
the blade is sprang up, then appear the tares also^ 
Matt. xiii. 26. Is it not a wonder of mercy then 
that we are any of us alive ? Yes : it is of the Lord's 
mercies that we are not consumed, Lam. iii. 22. 

6. Is the whole nature of man corrapted by the 
fall ? Yes : The whole head is sick, and the whole 
heart is faint, Isa. i. 5. Is the understanding cor- 
rapted ? Yes : the understanding is darkened, be- 
ing alienated from the life of God, Eph. iv. 18. Is 
that unapt to admit the rays of divine light ? Yes : 
for they are spiritually discerned, 1 Cor. ii. 14. Is 
the vrill corrupted? Yes: The neck is an iron 
sinew, Isa. xlviii. 4. And is that unapt to submit 
to the rale of the divine law ? Yes : For what is 
the Almighty (say they) that we should serve him ? 
Job xxi. 15. Are the thoughts corrapted ? Yes : 
for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his 
youth. Gen. viii. 21. Is the fancy full of vanity ? 
Yes: vain thoughts lodge within us, Jer. iv. 16. 
Are the affections corrapted ? Yes : It is a carnal 
mind, Rom. viii. 7. Is conscience itself corrapted ? 
Yes : even the mind and conscience is defiled. Tit. 
i. 16. Is the whole soul corrapted? Yes: the 
heart is deceitful above all things, Jer. xvii. 9. 

7. Is this corraption of the mind sin ? Yes : for 
it is enmity agianst God, Rom. viii. 7. Have we it 
from our original ? Yes : for that which is bom of 
the flesh is flesh, John iii. 6. Do we derive it through 
our parents? Yes : for who can bring a clean thing 
out of an unclean ? Job xiv. 4. Does it render us 
odious to God's holiness? Yes: for the foolish 
shall not stand in his sight, Ps. v. 6. Does it render 
us obnoxious to his justice ? Yes : for death reigns 
over them that have not sinned after the similitude 
of Adam's transgressions, Rodil v. 14. 

8. Does this original corraption produce actual 
transgression ? Yes : for a corrapt tree cannot 
bring forth good fruit. Matt. vii. 18. Does it pro- 
duce it betimes? Yes : for the wicked are estranged 
from the womb, they go astray as soon as they are 
bom, speaking lies, Ps. Iviii. 3. Does it produce it 
naturally ? Yes : as a fountain casteth out her waters, 
Jer. vi. 7. Does all sin begin in the heart? Yes : 
for when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin, 
James i. 16. Is it not necessary therefore we should 
have a new nature ? Yes : Marvel not that I said 
unto you, Ye must be bom again, John iii. 7. Can 
we get to heaven without it ? No : for flesh and 
blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, 1 Cor 
XV. 60. 



876 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



Q. 19. What t# the mitery of that estate whereinto 
man fell f 

A. All mankind by their fall lost communion with 
God, are under bis wrath and curse, and so made 
liable to all the miseries of this life, to death itself, 
and to the pains of bell for ever. 

1. When our first parents had eaten the forbidden 
fruit, did they become as gods? No: they were 
like the beasts that perish, Ps. xlix. 12. Did the 
devil make his words good then ? No : for he is a 
liar, and the father of it, John viii. 44. Did not he 
put a cheat upon them ? Yes : the woman said, the 
serpent beguiled me, Gen. iii. 13. Did shame come 
in with sin ? Yes : for they knew that they were 
naked. Gen. iii. 7. Did fear come in with sin ? 
Yes : for they hid themselves from the presence of 
the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Gen. 
iii. 8. Was not that their misery ? Yes : for fear 
hath torment, 1 John iv. 18. 

2. Did they lose communion with God? Yes: 
for he drove out the man. Gen. iii. 524. Is fallen 
man unworthy of communion with God ? Yes : for 
what communion has light with darkness ? 2 Cor. 
ii. 14. Is be unfit for communion with God ? Yes : 
for can two walk together except they be agreed ? 
Amos iii. 3. Could fallen man ever get to heaven 
by virtue of the covenant of innocency ? No : for 
tsherubims and a flaming sword were set to keep 
that way to the tree of life. Gen. iii. 24. 

3. Is fallen man under God's wrath ? Yes : for 
the wrath of God is revealed from heaven, against 
M ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, Rom. 
i. 18. Are we all so by nature ? Yes : we are by 
nature children of wrath, even as others, Eph. ii. 2. 
Are we so by reason of sin ? Yes : for because of 
these things cometh the wrath of God upon the chil- 
dren of disobedience, Eph. v. 6. Is there a distance 
between Gt)d and man by reason of sin ? Yes: your 
iniquities have separated 'between you and your 
God, Isa. lix. 2. Is there a quarrel between God 
^nd man by reason of sin ? Yes : My soul loathed 
them, and their soul also it abhorred me, Zech. xi. 8. 
Is it not sad to lie under God's wratb ? Yes : for 
who knows the power of his anger ? Ps. xc. 11. 

4. Is fallen man under God's curse ? Yes : for 
cursed is every one that continues not in all things 
which are written in the book of the law to do them, 
Gai. iii. 10. Is this curse in force against all wick- 
ed people ? Yes : the curse of the Lord is in the 
house of the wicked, Prov. iii. 33. Has sin brought 
a curse upon the world ? Yes : Cursed is the ground 
for thy sake, Gen. iii. 17. 

6. Is mankind by the fall become liable to the 
miseries of this life ? Yes : In sorrow shalt thou 
eat of it all the days of thy life. Gen. iii. 17. Are 
we all by nature liable to these miseries ? Yes : 
for man is born to trouble. Job v. 7. Is all the 



hurtfulness of the creatures the effect of sin ? Yes: 
Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth. Gen. liL lb. 
Is the toil of business the effect of sin ? Yes : In 
the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, v. 19. Is 
pain and sickness the effect of sin t Yes : There is 
not any rest in my bones, because of my sin, Ps. 
xxxviii. 3. Are all our crosses the effect of sin ? 
Yes : our sins have withholden good things from 
us, Jer. V. 25. Should we not therefore bear them 
patiently? Yes: Wherefore doth a living man 
complain, a man for the punishment of his sin ? 
Lam. iii. 39. 

6. Is all mankind by the fall become liable to 
death itself? Yes: for so death passed upon all 
men, for that all have sinned, Rom. v. 12. Was a 
sentence of death immediately passed upon fallen 
man ? Yes : Dust thou art, and to dust shalt thou 
return, Gen. iii. 19. Do we all deserve death ? Yes : 
the wages of sin is death, Rom. vi. 23. Is it the 
natural consequence of sin? Yes: for sin, when 
it is finished, brings forth death. Jam. i. 15. Can 
any avoid it? No : What man is he that livetb and 
shall not see death? Ps. Ixxxix. 48. Is it deter- 
mined ? Yes : it is appointed to men once to die, 
Heb. ix. 27. Do you expect it? Yes : I know that 
thou wilt bring me to death, Job xxx. 23. Is sin 
the sting of death ? Yes : the sting of death is sin, 
1 Cor. XV. 56. Is the amazing fear of death the 
effect of sin ? Yes : there are those who through 
fear of death are all their life-time subject to bond- 
age, Heb. ii. 15. Is the body's rotting in the grave 
the effect of sin ? Yes : as drought and heat con- 
sume the snow-waters, so doth the grave those which 
have sinned. Job xxiv. 19. 

7. Is mankind by the fall become liable to the 
pains of hell for ever? Yes: for he that wanders 
out of the way of understanding shall remain in the 
congregation of the dead, Prov. xxi. 16. Ps. ix. 17. 
Can God make a soul for ever miserable? Yes: 
for after he hath killed he hath power to cast into 
hell, Luke xii. 5. Is there a state of punishment in 
the other life ? Yes : for we are warned to flee from 
the wrath to come. Matt iii. 7. Is it the desert of 
sin ? Yes : for when God renders to every man ac- 
cording to his works, he will render indignation and 
wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of 
man that doeth evil, Rom. ii. 8, 9. Will it be the 
portion of impenitent sinners? Yes: Ye generation 
of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of 
hell. Matt, xxiii. 33. 

8. Is hell the wrath of an everlasting God ? Yes: 
for the breath of the Lord, like a stream of brim- 
stone, doth kindle it, Isa. xxx. 33. Is it tiie an- 
guish of an immortal soul ? Yes : for their worm 
dieth not, Mark ix. 44. Is any way of relief open 
to them ? No : Betwixt us and you there is a gulf 
fixed, Luke xvi. 26. Is their punishment thereforei 
everlasting? Yes : These shall go away into evei^' 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



877 



lasting panishment. Matt. xxv. 46. Should we not 
every one of as dread it ? Yes : for it is a fearful 
thing to fall into the hands of the living God, Heb. 
X. 31. Isa. xxxiii. 14. 

Q. 20. Did God leave all mankind to perish in the 
state of ain and misery ? 

A. God having out of his mere good pleasure from 
all eternity elected some to eternal life, did enter into 
a covenant of grace, to deliver them out of a state 
of sin and misery, and to bring them into a state of 
salvation by a Redeemer. 

1. Migfat not God justly hftve left all mankind to 
perish in their fallen state ? Yes : for in bis sight 
shall no man living be justified, Ps. cxliii. 2. Would 
God have been a loser by it, if they had been left to 
perish ? No : for, can a man be profitable to God ? 
Job xxii. 2. But did he leave them to perish } No : 
for the kindness and love of God our Saviour towards 
man appears. Tit. iii. 4. Was the case of fallen 
angels helpless and desperate ? Yes : for God spared 
not them, 2 Pet. ii. 4. But is the case of fallen man 
so > No : for he is long-suffering to us- ward, not 
willing that any should perish, 2 Pet. iii. 9. Is God's 
patience a token for good ? Yes : the long-suffering 
of our Lord is salvation, 2 Pet. iii. 15. Does it ap- 
pear that God has a good will to man's salvation ? 
Yes : As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no plea- 
sure in the death of the wicked, but tiiat he turn and 
live, Ezek. xxxiiv 11- Is this an encouragement to 
as all to hope in his mercy ? Yes : for if the Lord 
had been pleased to kill us, he would nothave showed 
US such things as these, Jndg. xiii. 23. 

2. Conld man help himself out of his state of sin 
and misery ? No : for when we were without streng^ 
Christ died for the ungodly, Rom. v. 6. Could any 
ereatare help us } No : for none of them can by any 
means redeem his brother, Ps. xlix. 7. Could God 
himself only help us ? Yes : O Israel ! thou hast 
destroyed thyself, but in me is thy help, Hos. xiii. 9. 
Did God contrive a way for man's recovery ? Yes : 
be hath devised means that his banished may not be 
expelled from him, 2 Sam. xiv. 14. Was it the con- 
trivance of infinite wisdom } Yes : it is the wisdom 
of God in a mystery, ordained before the world for 
oar glory, 1 Cor. ii. 7. Has he provided a way for 
oar recovery ? Yes : I have found a ransom, Job 
xxxiii. 24. 

3. Did God particularly design the salvation of a 
remnant of mankind } Yes : there is a remnant ac- 
cording to the election of grace, Rom. xi. 5. Are 
there some whom God has chosen ? Yes : God hath 
from the beginning chosen you to salvation, through 
sancti6cation of the spirit, 2 Thes. ii. 13. Is there 
a certain number of such ? Yes : for their names 
are in the book of life, Phil. iv. 3. Rev. xiii. 8. Were 
they chosen from eternity ? Yes : he hath chosen 
as in him before the foundation of the world, Eph. 



I. 4, Were they chosen for the sake of any thing in 
themselves ? No : Ye have not chosen me, but I have 
chosen you, John xv. 16. But of his mere good 
pleasure ? Yes : he hath predestinated us according 
to the good pleasure of his will, Eph. i. 5. Were 
they chosen to salvation as the end } Yes : God had 
appointed us to obtain salvation, 1 Thess. v. 9. And 
to sanctification as the means ? Yes : he has chosen 
us that we should be holy, Eph. i. 4. Was it for 
the glory of God ? Yes : that he might make known 
the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, Rom. 
ix. 23. 

4. Shall the election obtain ? Yes : the purpose 
of God according to election shall stand, Rom. ix. 

II. Does our salvation begin there ? Yes : we love 
him, because he first loved us, 1 John iv. 19. Are 
others passed by? Yes: when the election hath 
obtained, the rest are blinded, Rom. xi. 7. Does 
God know certainly whom he has chosen ? Yes : 
the Lord knows them that are his, 2 Tim. ii. 19. Do 
we know it ? No : for secret things belong not to 
us, Deut xxix. 29. Can we know our own election 
otherwise than by our being sanctified ? No : we 
must make our calling, and so make our election, 
sure, 2 Pet i. 10. 

6. Were the elect given to Christ ? Yes : Thine 
they were, and thou gavest them me, John xvii. 6. 
Did be undertake their salvation ? Yes : For this is 
the Father's will, that of all which he hath given me 
I should lose nothing, John vi. 39. Was it promised 
him that he should effect it ? Yes : He shall see his 
seed, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in 
his hand, Isa. liii. 10. And was he himself assured 
of it? Yes: All that the Father giveth me, shall 
come to me, John vi. 37. And does it always prove 
so ? Yes : As many as were ordained to eternal life 
believed, Acts xiii. 48. And shall any of them mis- 
carry ? No : for it is said of seducers, they shall 
deceive, if it were possible, the very elect, Matt, 
xxiv. 24. 

6. Has God entered into a new covenant, pursuant 
hereto ? Yes : for we are not under the law, but 
under grace, Rom. vi. 14. Does he insist upon the 
terms of the first covenant ? No : he hath not dealt 
with us after our sins, Ps. ciii. 10. Is he willing to 
deal with us upon new terms ? Yes : I will make 
a new covenant with them, Jer. xxxi. 31. Is he will- 
ing to be ours in covenant ? Yes : I will be to them 
a God, Heb. viii. 10. Will he accept us as his ? 
Yes : they shall be to me a people. And will he be 
at peace with us ? Yes : God was in Christ, recon- 
ciling the world unto himself, 2 Cor. v. 19. 

7. Is this wrought out by a Redeemer ? Yes : for 
there is not salvation in any other. Acts iv. 12. Was 
that Redeemer of God's own providing ? Yes : God 
so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten 
Son, John iii. 16. Is the new covenant made with 
us in Christ ? Yes : for he is the Mediator of the 



876 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



better coTeoant, Heb. Yili. 6. Is it a covenant much 
for our advantage ? Yes : for it is well ordered in 
all things and sore, 2 Sam. xxiii. 5. Is perfect obe- 
dience the condition of it ? No : for if by grace, 
then it is no more of works, Rom. xi. 6. Is faith 
the condition of it? Yes: for by grace ye are 
saved through faith, Eph. ii. 8. Is sincerity ac- 
cepted as our gospel perfection ? Yes : Walk before 
me, and be thou perfect, Gen. xvii. 1. Is that 
which is required in the covenant promised in the 
covenant? Yes: I will cause you to walk in my 
statutes, Ezek. xxxvi. 27. Does every transgression 
in the covenant cast us out of the covenant ? No : 
I will visit their transgression with a rod, but my 
loving-kindness will I not utterly take away, Ps. 
Ixxxix. 32, 33. 

8. Will this covenant deliver us out of a state of 
sin and misery ? Yes : Whosoever believes in Christ 
shall not perish, John iii. 16. Will it bring us into 
a state of salvation ? Yes : He that believeth on the 
Son hath everlasting life, John iii. 36. And can 
we desire any more ? No : It is all my salvation, 
and all my desire, 2 Sam. xxiii. 5. 

9. Was there intimation given to Adam of this 
way of salvation by a Redeemer ? Yes : for it was 
said to him, That the seed of the woman should 
break the serpent's head. Gen. iii. 15. Was it made 
known to the Old-Testament saints ? Yes : for of 
this salvation have the prophets inquired, and 
searched diligently, 1 Pet. i. 10. But is it brought 
to a clearer light in the New Testament? ' Yes : Go 
preach the gospel to every creature ; he that believes 
shall be saved, and he that belieyes not shall be 
damned, Mark xvi. 15, 16. Is this good news to 
fallen man ? Yos : Glory be to God in the highest, 
on earth peace, good-will towards men, Luke ii. 14. 
Does this covenant exclude any that do not exclude 
themselves? No: Whosoever will, let him come, 
and take of the water of life freely, Rev. xxii. 17. 

Q. 21. Who u the Redeemer of God's elect ? 

A. The only Redeemer of God's elect is the 
Lord Jesus Christ, who, being the eternal Son of 
God, became man ; and so was, and continues to 
be, God and Man, in two distinct natures, and one 
person, for ever. 

1. Did mankind need a Redeemer? Yes: for 
by our iniquities we had sold ourselves, Isa. 1. 1. 
Did the elect themselves need a Redeemer ? Yes : 
for we ourselves also were sometimes disobedient. 
Tit. iii. 3. Would there have been a Redeemer if 
Adam had not sinned ? No : for they that be whole 
need not a physician. Matt ix. 12. Could an angel 
have been our Redeemer ? No : for his angels he 
charged with folly. Job iy. 18. 

2. Is Jesus Christ the Redeemer? Yes: there is 
one mediator between God and man, the man Christ 
Jesus, 1 Tim. ii. 5, Is he the only Redeemer ? Yes : 



for there is no other name under heaven given 
among men whereby we must be saved, Acts iv. 12. 
Is he a universal Redeemer? Yes : he gave himself 
a ransom for all, 1 Tim. ii. 6. Did he die to pur- 
chase a general oifer ? Yes : the Son of man was 
lifted up, that whosoever believes in him should not 
perish, John iii. 14, 15. Is all the world the better 
for Christ's mediation ? Yes : for by him all things 
consist. Col. i. 17. Is it long of Christ then that so 
many perish ? No : I would have gathered yon, 
and you would not. Matt xxiii. 37. 

3. Is Christ in a special manner the Redeemer ot 
God's elect? Yes: I lay down my life for the sheep,; 
John X. 15. Was their salvation particularly de- 
signed in Christ's undertaking ? Yes : Thou hast 
given him power over all flesh, that he should give 
eternal life to as many as thou hast given him, John 
xvii. 2. Was their sanctification particularly de^ 
signed ? Yes : For their sakes I sanctify myself« 
that they also might be sanctified, John xvii. 19. 
Is all mankind redeemed from among devils ? Yes : 
for none must say as they did. What have we to do 
with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God, Matt. viii. 29. 
But are the elect redeemed from among men ? Yes : 
these were redeemed from among men. Rev. xiv. 4, 

4. Is the Redeemer LORD ? Yes : every tongue 
shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, Phil. ii. 11^ 
Is he Jesus a Saviour ? Yes : Thou shalt call his 
name Jesus, for he shall save his people from theii 
sins. Matt. i. 21. Is he Christ anointed ? Yes ; 
for God, even thy God, hath anointed thee, Heb. i. 9^ 
Is he Emmanuel ? Yes : They shall call his name 
Emmanuel, which being interpreted, is, God with 
us. Matt. 1. 23. 

6. Is he the Son of God ? Yes : Thou art Christ, 
the Son of the living God, Matt. xvi. 16. Is he th< 
Eternal Son of God ? Yes : for he is before all 
things. Col. i. 17. Is he God ? Yes : unto the Son 
he says. Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever, 
Heb. i. 8. Is he true God ? Yes : His Son Jesui 
Christ is the true God, and eternal life, 1 John v. 20i 
Is he the most high God ? Yes : for Christ is ovei 
all, God, blessed for ever, Rom. ix. 5. Is he ^ual 
with tha Father ? Yes : for he thought it not rob^ 
bery to be equal with God, Phil. ii. 6. Is he on< 
with the Father ? Yes : I and my Father are onei 
John X. 30. Is he to be worshipped as God ? Y'es 
for all men should honour the Son even as they ha 
nour the Father, John v. 23. Is he worshipp^ bj 
the angels ? Yes : Let all the angels of God wor 
ship him, Heb. i. 6. And is there good reason foi 
it ? Yes : for he is the brightness of his Father'j 
glory, Heb. i. 3. Was he begotten of his Fatfaei 
before all worlds ? Yes : Thou art my Son, this da^ 
have I begotten thee, Ps. ii. 7. Is he the only-be 
gotten Son of God? Yes: We beheld his g^lory 
the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father, Johi 
i. 14. 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



879 



6. Did the Son of God become man ? Yes : the 
Word was made flesh, ttad dwelt among^ us, John i. 
xIy. Did he come into this world ? Yes : he came 
forth from the Father, and came into the world, John 
XTi. 28. Did he come in the fittest time? Yes: 
when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth 
his Son, Gal. iy. 4. Did he come with a full com- 
mission ? Yes : for the Father sanctified him, and 
sent him into the world, John x. 96. Did he come 
to save us ? Yes : The son of man is come to seek 
and to save that which was lost, Luke xix. 10. Did 
he come to conquer Satan ? Yes : for this purpose 
was the Son of God manifested, that he mi^ht de- 
stroy the works of the devil, 1 John iii. 8. 

7. Did the Redeemer take our nature upon him ? 
Yes : be was found in fashion as a man, Phil. ii. 8- 
Had he a being before his incarnation } Yes : Be- 
fore Abraham was, I am, John viii. 58. Had he a 
being before the world ? Yes : for the same was in 
the beginning with God, John i. 2. Is not his in- 
carnation a great mystery ? Yes : without contro- 
versy great is the mystery of godliness, God mani- 
fest in the flesh, 1 Tim. iii. 16. Is it necessary that 
we believe it ? Yes : for he that confesseth not that 
Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is not of God, 
I John IT. 3. Was Jesus Christ God even when he 
was upon earth ? Yes : I am in the Father, and the 
Father in me, John xiv. 11. Is he man now he is in 
heaTen ? Yes : for he that descended is the same 
also that ascended, Eph. iv. 10. 

8. Is the Redeemer both God and man ? Yes : 
for to us a child is born, to us a son is g^ven, and 
he shall be called the mighty God, the everlasting 
Father, Isa. ix. 6. Is he both the Son of God, and 
the Son of man ? Yes : he was the Son of Adam, 
he was the Son of God, Luke iii. 38. Does he con- 
tinue to be so ? Yes : for Jesus Christ is the same 
vesterday, to-day, and for ever, Heb. xiii. 8. Was 
be man that he might suffer ? Yes : for without 
shedding of blood is no remission, Heb. ix. 23. 
Was he God that he might satisfy ? Yes : for God 
has purchased the church with his own blood, Acts 
XX. 28. Is he God and man in two distinct natures } 
Yes : for be is both the root and offispring of David, 
ReT. xxii. 16. compare Matt xxii. 45. Is he so in 
one person } Yes : for to us there is but one Lord 
Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by 
him, 1 Cor. Tiii. 6. Is he so for ever > Yes : he is 
Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, the 
first and the last. Rev. xxii. 13. 

9. Is this Jesus the true Messiah promised to the 
fathers? Yes: we know that this is indeed the 
Christ, the Sariour of the world, John iv. 42. Were 
the Scriptures fulfllled in him ? Yes : to him give 
all the prophets witness. Acts x. 43. Did his mira- 
cles prove his doctrine ? Yes : The works that I do 
bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me, 
John V. 36. Did the Father himself bear vritness 



of him ? Yes : by a voice from heaven, saying. This 
is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, hear 
ye him. Matt xvii. 5. May we venture our souls 
upon this foundation ? Yes : for this is the record, 
that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life 
is in his Son, 1 John v. 11. 

Q. 22. How did Christ, being the Son of God, be- 
come man? 

A. Christ the Son of God became man, by taking 
to himself a true body, and a reasonable soul ; being 
conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost in the 
womb of the Virgin Mary, and born of her, yet with- 
out sin. 

1. Did Christ the Son of God become man ? Yes: 
forasmuch as the children are partakers of flesh and 
blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same, 
Heb. ii. 14. Was it requisite he should become 
man ? Yes : for in all things it behoved him to be 
made like unto his brethren, Heb. ii. 17. Has the 
Son of man the fulness of the Godhead ? Yes : for 
in him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 
Col. ii. 9. Has the Son of God the tenderness of a 
man ? Yes : for he was touched with the feeling of 
our infirmities, Heb. iv. 16. 

2. Did Christ take unto himself a true body? 
Yes: A body hast thou prepared me, Heb. x. 5. 
Was it a body like unto ours ? Yes : for he was in 
the likeness of sinful flesh, Rom. viii. 3. Did he 
take to himself a human soul ? Yes : for he said. 
My soul is exceeding sorrowful. Matt. xxvi. 38. 

3. Was he conceived by ordinary generation } 
No: for he said. Ye are beneath, I am from above, 
John viii. 23. Was he conceived by the power of 
the Holy Ghost ? Yes : The Holy Ghost shall come 
upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall over- 
shadow thee, Luke i. 35. Was he bom of tlie Vir- 
gin Mary ? Yes : the Scripture was fulfilled. Behold, 
a virgin shall be with child, and bring forth a son. 
Matt. i. 23. Was his conception and birth super- 
natural? Yes: that which was conceived in the 
Virgin Mary was of the Holy Ghost, Matt. i. 20. 
Yet was he really and truly man } Yes : for he Is 
not ashamed to call us brethren, Heb. ii. 11. 

4. Was Christ the seed of the woman ? Yes : for 
he was made of a woman, Gal. iv. 4. Was the Scrip- 
ture therein fulfilled? Yes: for the seed of the 
woman must break the serpent's head. Gen. iii. 16. 
Was he the Sou of Abraham ? Yes : for he took on 
him the seed of Abraham, Heb. ii. 16. Was the 
Scripture therein fulfilled ? Yes : for it was said to 
Abraham, In thy seed shall all the nations of the 
earth be blessed. Gen. xii. 2. Was he the Son of 
David ? Yes : Hosanna to the Son of David, Matt, 
xxi. 9. Was the Scripture therein fulfilled ? Yes: 
He hath raised up a horn of salvation for us in the 
house of his servant David, as he spake by the mouth 
of all his holy prophets, Luke i. 09, 70. 



880 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



5. Was Christ born in Bethlehem ? Yes : To you 
is born this day, in the city of DaTid, a Savioor, 
Luke ii. 11. Was he bom among the Jews? Yes: 
of them as concerning the flesh, Christ came, Rom. 
ix. 5. And was it the honour of that nation ? Yes : 
he was the glory of his people Israel, Luke ii. 33. 
Did he come when the Messiah was expected? 
Yes : they then looked for redemption in Jerusalem, 
Luke ii. 38. Did he come when the sceptre was 
departed from Judah? Yes : for there then went out a 
decree that all the world should be taxed, Luke ii. 1. 
Did the angels attend him at his birth ? Yes : there 
was a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, 
Luke ii. 13. 

6. Was the Redeemer bom in sin as we are? 
No : he was without sin, Heb. iv. 15. Was he per- 
fectly pure and holy ? Yes : That holy thing which 
shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God, 
Luke i. 35. Was he pure and holy in his whole 
life ? Yes : he did no sin, neither was guile found 
in his mouth, 1 Pet ii. 22. Was it requisite he 
should be so ? Yes : such a High Priest became 
us, that was holy, harmless, and undefiled, Heb. vii. 
26. Could he haye satisfied for our sin, if he had 
had any sin of his own ? No : for he must through 
the eternal Spirit offer himself without spot, Heb. 
ix. 14. 

7. Was he subject to the sinless infirmities of our 
natures ? Yest he was in all points tempted like as 
we are, Heb. iv. 15. Was he hungry ? Yes : when 
he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was 
afterwards an hungred, Matt iv. 2. Was he weary? 
Yes : Being weary with his journey, he sat on the 
well, John iv. 6. Did he sleep ? Yes : when the 
ship was covered with waves he was asleep. Matt, 
viii. 24. Did he pass through the ages of human 
life ? Yes : for Jesus increased in wisdom and sta- 
ture, Luke ii. 52. 

8. Was the Redeemer willing to be incarnate for 
us ? Yes : for when he cometh into the world, he 
saith, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God, Heb. x. 5, 
7. Is it well for us that he was so ?, Yes : for by 
this will we are sanctified, Heb. x. 10. Was Christ's 
incarnation great condescension in him ? Yes : for 
hereby he was made a little lower than the angels, 
Heb. ii. 9. Was it a great honour to our nature ? 
Yes : What is man that thou art thus mindful of 
him? Heb. ii. 6 — 8. Is it good news to mankind? 
Yes : This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all 
acceptation, that Christ Jesus oame into the world 
to save sinners, 1 Tim. i. 15. 

Q. 23. What offices does Christ execute at tmr Rc' 
deetner? 

A. Christ as our Redeemer executes the offices of 
a Prophet, of a Priest, and of a King, both in his 
State of humiliation and exaltation. 

1. Is Christ a complete Redeemer ? Yes : for it 



pleased the Father that in him should all fulness 
dwell. Col. i. 19. Is he completely qualified for the 
undertaking ? Yes : for God giveth not the Spirit 
by measure unto him, John iii. 34. Is he author- 
ized for it? Yes : for all things are delivered to him 
of the Father, Matt, xi* 27. Has he a full cooiiuis- 
sion? Yes: for the Father judgeth no man. but 
has coounitted all judgment to the Son, John t. 22. 
And has he an ability equal to his authority ? Yes : 
for as the Father hath life in himself, so hath he 
given to the Son to have life in himself, v. 26. 

2. Is there all that in Christ which fallen man 
stands in need of? Yes : for Christ is all, and in 
all. Col. iii. 11. Is he light? Yes: I am the light 
of the- world, John viii. 12. Is he life ? Yes : in 
him was life, and the life was the light of men, 
John i. 4. Is he our peace? Yes : he is oar peace, 
Eph. ii. 14. Is he our head ? Yes : he is the head 
of the body, the church. Col. i. 18. Is he the door? 
Yes : I am the door of the sheep, John x. 7. Is he 
the way ? Yes : I am the way, the truth, and the 
life, John xiv. 6. Can we come to God as a Father, 
otherwise than by Jesus Christ as Mediator ? No : 
for no man cometh to the Father but by me, John 
xiv. 6. Is he our food ? Yes : I am that bread of 
life, John vi. 48. Is he our friend? Yes: This is 
my beloved, and this is my friend. Cant. v. 16. 

3. Is Jesus Christ a Redeemer in office ? Yes : 
for God hath exalted him with his own right hand 
to be a Prince &nd a Saviour, Acti v. 31 . Is he 
duly put in office? Yes: for him hath God the 
Father sealed, John vi. 27. Does he duly execute 
his office ? Yes : for he was faithful to him that 
appointed him, Heb. iii, 2. Is he a Prophet ? Yes : 
This is of a truth that Prophet that should come 
into the world, John vi. 14. Is he a Priest ? Yea: 
he is the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, 
Heb. iii. 1. Is he a King? Yes: he is King of 
kings, and Lord of lords. Rev. xix. 16. 

4. Did Christ execute these offices in his state of 
humiliation ? Yes : I have glorified thee on the 
earth, John xvii. 4. Does he execute them in his 
state of exaltation ? Yes i for in heaven itself he 
now appears in the presence of God for us, Heb. ix. 
24. Is he then an all-suffioient Saviour ? Yes : he 
is able to save to the uttermost all those that come 
to God by him, Heb. vii. 26. And is he as willing 
to save as he is able? Yes: Whosoever comes 
unto me I will in no wise cast out, John vi. 37. 

Q. 24, Jfow does Christ execute the office of a I^ro^ 
phet^ 

A Christ executes the office of a Prophet, in re. 
vealing to us by his Word and Spirit the will of 
God for our salvation. 

1. Does Christ execute the office of a Prophet ? 
Yes : We know that thou art a Teacher come from 
God, John iii, 2. Does God speak to us by liim ? 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM, 



881 



Yes : he hath in these last days spoken to us by his 
Sod, Heb. i. 2. Were there prophets under the Old 
Testament } Yes : God sent his servants the pro- 
phets, Jer. XXV. 4. But was Christ above them all ? 
Yes : for he is the Lord God of the holy prophets, 
Rer. xxil. 6. compare Col. i. 11. And were they 
his agents > Yes : it was the Spirit of Christ in them 
that testified, 1 Pet. i. 11. 

2. Was Moses the great type of Christ as a pro- 
phet } Yes : A prophet shall the Lord your God 
raise up unto you of your brethren like unto me. 
Acts iii. 22. But was Christ greater than Moses ? 
Yes : for Moses was faithful as a servant, but Christ 
as a Son, Heb. iii. 5, 6. And is the doctrine of 
Christ better than that of Moses } Yes : for the law 
was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by 
Jesas Christ, John i. 17. Was Christ completely 
qaaiified to be a Prophet ? Yes : for in him are hid 
all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Col. ii. 
3. Was ever any other so well qaaiified ? No : for 
no man knows the Father, but the Son, Matt. xi. 27. 

3. Has Christ, as a Prophet, revealed God's will 
to us > Yes : for be said. My doctrine is not mine, 
but his that sent me, John vii. 16. and xii. 49, 50. 
Has he revealed God's will concerning our duty ? 
Yes : for he did not come to destroy the law, but to 
falfil, Matt. T. 17. And concerning our happiness } 
Yes : for he was anointed to preach the acceptable 
year of the Lord, Luke iv. 18. 

4. Did Christ execute this oflScc when he was on 
earth? Yes : for he taught them as one having au- 
thority. Matt vii. 29. Did he introduce his doctrine 
vith Thus saith the Lord, like the Old-Testament 
prophets ? No : but Verily, Verily, I say unto you, 
John iii. 3. Did he confirm his doctrine by mira^ 
cles ? Yes : believe me (said he) for the very works' 
sake, John xiv. 1 1 . Were his miracles many ? Yes : 
inaoy signs did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, 
ioho XX. 90. Were they profitable i . Yes : he went 
about doing good. Acts x. 38. Did Christ teach by 
tile example of his life } Yes : that we might follow 
Ills steps, 1 Pet. ii. 21. 

5. Does he still execute this office } Yes : for he 
said, I have declared thy name unto them, and will 
declare it, John xvii. 26. Does he reveal God's will 
to us by his word } Yes : for these things are writ- 
ten that we may believe, John xx. 31 . And by his 
Spirit? Yes: The Comforter, which is the Holy 
(^host, he shall teach you all things, John xiv. 26. 
lK)es Jesus Christ teach his people ? Yes : All thy 
children shall be taught of the Lord» Isa. 11 v. 13. 
And does he teach effectually ? Yes : for the Son 
of mau is come, and hath given us an understand- 
ioj^, 1 John V. 20. And does he teach compassion- 
iitely ? Yes : for he can have compassion on the 
i^oorant, Heb. v. 2. 

6. Must we learn of this Teacher ? Yes : Learn of 
me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, Matt. xi. 20. 

3 L 



Are we to receive his doctrine i Yes : Let the word 
of Christ dwell in you richly. Col. iii. 16. And 
must we abide in it ? Yes : If ye continue in my 
word, then are ye my disciples indeed, John viii. 31. 

Q. 25. How does Christ execute the office of a 
Priest ? 

A. Christ executes the office of a Ptiest, in his 
once offering up of himself a sacrifice to satisfy 
divine justice, and reconcile us to God, and in mak- 
ing continual intercession for us. 

1. Did fallen man need a Priest ? Yes: for every 
high priest is ordained for man in things pertaining 
to God, Heb. v. 1. Did Christ execute the office of 
a Priest } Yes : We have a great High Priest, Jesus 
the Son of God, Heb. iv. 14. Was he appointed to 
this office ? Yes : for Christ glorified not himself to 
be made a High Priest, Heb. v. 6. Was he confirmed 
in this office ? Yes : for the Lord sware, and will 
not repent, thou art a Priest for ever, Heb. vii. 21. 

2. Did Christ, as a Priest, make atonement for 
sin } Yes : he is a merciful and faithful High 
Priest, to make reconciliation for the sins of the 
people, Heb. ii. 17. Did he do this by the sacrifice 
of himself ? Yes : he appeared to put away sin by 
the sacrifice of himself, Heb. ix. 26. Was he him- 
self the Priest ? Yes : for through the eternal Spirit 
he offered himself, Heb. ix. 14. Was he himself the 
sacrifice ? Yes : he made his soul an offering for 
sin, Isa. liii. 10. Was he himself the altar? Yes : 
for we have an altar, Heb. xiii. 10. Would not the 
legal sacrifices serve ? No : for it was not possible 
that the blood of bulls and goats should take away 
sin, Heb. x. 4. Did God declare them insufficient ? 
Yes : Sacrifice and offering thou wouldst not, v. 5. 
Was this sacrifice necessary then ? Yes : what the 
law could not do, in that it was weak, that Christ 
did, Rom. viii. 3. 

3. Did Christ, as a sacrifice, bear our sins > Yes: 
his own self bare our sins in his own body on the 
tree, 1 Pet. ii. 24. Did he bear them by the Father's 
appointment ? Yes : the Lord laid on him the ini- 
quities of us lill, Isa. liii. 6. Did he suffer for them? 
Yes: he was wounded for our transgressions, and 
bruised for our iniquities, v. 6. And not for any 
sin of his own ? No : Messiah shall be cut off, but 
not for hitnself, Dan. ix. 26. Did he suffer to satisfy 
for sin } Yes : he was once offered to bear the sins 
of many, Heb. ix. 28. And was the satisfaction ac- 
cepted ? Yes : he gave himself for us, a sacrifice to 
God of a sweet smelling savour, £ph. v. 2. 

4. Did Christ offer himself voluntarily ? Yes : 
No man taketh my life from me, but I lay it down of 
myself, John x. 18. Was it his own act and deed 
to make his soul an offering ? Yes : for he said. 
Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit, Luke 
xxiii. 46. Did this sacrifice need to be repeated ? 
No: for by one offering he perfected for ever them 



882 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



that are sanctified, Heb. x. 14. Did Christ do this 
for the purchase of our pardon ? Yes : for when he 
did it, he said, Father, forgive them, Luke xxiii. 34. 
Was it designed to save as from ruin? Yes: he 
gave his life a ransom for many, Matt xx. 28. And 
to reconcile us to God ? Yes : for he made peace 
through the blood of his cross. Col. i. 20. Is this 
our plea for peace and pardon ? Yes : Who is he 
that condemns ? It is Christ that died, Rom. viii. 
34. Is Christ then the great propitiation? Yes: 
he is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours 
only, but for the sins of the whole world, I John ii. 
2. And have we hereby access to God ? Yes : he 
suffered the just for the unjust, that he might bring 
us to God, 1 Pet. iii. 18. And had the Old-Testa- 
ment saints the benefit of this sacrifice T Yes : for 
he was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the 
world. Rev. xili. 8. 

5. Does Christ, as a Priest, make intercession? 
Yes : for he bare the sin of many, and made inter- 
cession for the transgressors, Isa. liii. 12. Is he 
always doing this ? Yes : he ever lives, making in- 
tercession, Heb. vii.*25. Does be do this as an 
Advocate ? Yes : If any man sin, we have an Advo- 
cate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous, 
1 John ii. 1. And as a High Priest? Yes: Aaron 
shall bear their names before the Lord, Exod. xxviii. 
12. Does he make intercession in the virtue of his 
satisfaction ? Yes : for by his own blood he entered 
into the holy place, Heb. ix. 12. 

6. Is Christ a Priest after the order of Aaron ? 
No : but after the order of Melchisedec, Ps, ex. 4. 
Is he a royal Priest? Yes : for he is a Priest upon 
his throne, and the counsel of peace shall be between 
them both. Zee. vi. 13. Is he a priest that needs a 
successor? No: for this man, because he continueth 
for ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood, Heb. vii. 
24. Is he a Priest that needs a sacrifice for himself? 
No : for the law makes men high priests which have 
infirmity ; but the word of the oath makes the Son, 
who is consecrated for evermore, Heb. vii. 28. Have 
all believers an interest in Christ's priesthood ? Yes: 
for we have a High Priest over the house of God, 
Heb. X. 21. Is this an encouragement in our ap- 
proaches to God ? Yes : let us therefore come boldly 
to the throne of g^ce, Heb. iv. 16. And is this it 
we must depend upon for our acceptance with God? 
Yes : for spiritual sacrifices are acceptable to God 
only through Jesus Christ, 1 Pet. ii. 6. 

Q. 26. Haw does Christ execute the office of a King ? 

A. Christ executes the office of a King, in sub- 
duing us to himself, in ruling and defending us, and 
in restraining and conquering all his and our ene- 
mies. 

1. Is Christ put into the ofiice of a King? Yes : 
I have set my King upon my holy hill of Sion, Ps. 
ii. 6. Does he execute that oflice ? Yes : he shall 



reign over the house of Jacob for ever, Luke i. 33. 
Is he King as Mediator? Yes: he hath authority 
to execute judgment, because he is the Son of man, 
John V. 27. Is his kingdom a spiritual kingdom ? 
Yes : my kingdom is not of this world, John xviii. 
36. 

2. Is Christ universal monarch? Yes: for all 
power is g^ven to him both in heaven and on earth, 
Matt xxviii. 18. Has he a right to rule all 7 Yes : 
he is Lord of all. Acts x. 36. Does he rule all * 
Yes: he is the Governor among the nations, Ps. 
xxii. 228. Does he rule all for the good of his church ! 
Yes : he is head over all things to the church, Eph. 
i. 22. Is he in a special manner the church's Kin|r> 
Yes : O daughter of Sion, thy King comes, Zech. 
ix.9. 

3. Does Christ, as a King, subdue his people to 
himself? Yes : Thy people shall be willing in the 
day of thy power, Ps. ex. 3. Does be do it by the 
word of his grace ? Yes : he draws with the cords 
of a man, and with the bands of love, Hos. xi. 4. 
Does he do it effectually ? Yes : he makes ready 
a people prepared for the Lord, Luke i. 17. Does 
he conquer the opposition of the carnal mind ? Yes: 
for the weapons of our warfare are mighty through 
God, to the pulling down of strong holds, 2 Cor. x. 
4. Does he set up his throne in the soul ? Yes : 
bringing into captivity every thought to the obedi- 
ence of Christ, 2 Cor. x. 6. And does he rule there? 
Yes : for he writes his law in their hearts, Heb. viii. 
10. 

4. Does Christ, as a King, reign in his church? 
Yes : The Lord is our Judge, the Lord is our Law- 
giver, the Lord is our King, Isa. xxxiii. 22. Does 
he enact laws ? Yes : he gave commandments to 
his apostles. Acts i. 2. Does he commission officers? 
Yes : By me kings reign, Prov. viii. 16. Does he 
give judgment? Yes : we must all appear before 
the judgment-seat of Christ, 2 Cor. v. 10. Is homage 
and allegiance due to him ? Yes : for at the namei 
of Jesus every knee shall bow, Phil. ii. 10. Does 
he rule in righteousness ? Yes : the sceptre of his 
kingdom is a right sceptre, Ps. xlv. 6. 

6. Does Christ, as a King, protect his subjects ? 
Yes : for he shall be as a hiding-place from the wind, 
Isa. xxxii. 2. And does he secure the peace of his 
kingdom? Yes: for this man shall be the peace, 
Mic. V. 6. Has he authority to pardon sin ? Yes : 
the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sin. 
Matt ix. 6. Has he authority to reward services ? 
Yes : I will give thee a crown of life, Rev. ii. 10. 

6. Does Christ, as King, restrain his enemies? 
Yes : on this Rock will I build my church, and the 
gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matt. xvi. 
18. Will he conquer them at last ? Yes : for he 
must reign till he hath put all enemies under his 
feet, 1 Cor. xv. 26. Will he conquer death itself? 
Yes : the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death, 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



883 



1 Cor. X¥. 2& Does he ooant those his enemies 
that will not hare him to reig^ over them ? Yes : 
Those mine enemies which would not that I should 
rei|^ over them bring hither, and slaj them before 
me. Lake xix. 27. 

7. Is Christ a merciful King ? Yes : he is meek, 
and having salvation, Zech. ix. 9. Is he the poor 
man's king ? Yes : he shall deliver the needy when 
be cries, Ps. Ixxii. 12. Has he a large kingdom ? 
Yes : he shall have dominion from sea to sea, Ps. 
Ixxii. 8. Haye we reason to hope it shall be larger 
than now it is ? Yes : for the kingdoms of the world 
are become the kingdoms of the Lord and of his 
Christ, Rev. xi. 15. Shall it be a lasting kingdom? 
Yes: his throne shall be as the days of heaven, 
Ps. Ixxxix. 29. And when the mystery of God 
shall be finished, shall the kingdom of the Redeemer 
be resigned to the Creator ? Yes : then cometh the 
end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom 
to God, even the Father, 1 Cor. xv. 24. 

& Ouj^t we to rejoice in Christ's dominion? 
Yes : Let the children of Sion be joyful in their 
King, Ps. cxlix. 2. Must we accept him for our 
King? Yes: Take my yoke upon you, Matt. xi. 29. 
Most we pay tribute to him? Yes: Send ye the 
Lamb to the raler of the land, Isa. xvi. 1. Must we 
obey him? Yes: for he is the Author of eternal 
salvation to all them that obey him, Heb. v. 9. 

Q. 27. Wherein did comist ChriMfs humiliation ? 

\. Christ's humiliation consisted in his being 
bom, and that in a low condition, made under the 
law, undergoing the miseries of this life, the wrath 
of God, and the cursed death of the cross ; in being 
boned, and continuing under the power of death for 
a time. 

1. Did Jesus Christ humble himself? Yes: for 
being in the form of God, he made himself of no 
reputation, Phil. ii. 0, 7. Was it a deep humilia- 
tion ? Yes : for he said, I am a worm, and no man, 
Ps. xxii. 6. Was it requisite he should humble 
bimself? Yes: for thus it is written, and thus it 
behoved Christ to suiTer, Luke xxiv. 46. And was 
that a proper expedient to atone for our sin ? Yes : 
for the sinner had said, I vrill be like the Most High, 
Isa. xiv. 14. 

Z Did Christ humble himself in his birth ? Yes : 

for he who thought it not robbery to be equal with 

God, was made in the likeness of men, Phil. ii. 6, 7. 

Was he bom of that which was then a poor family ? 

Tes : he was a root of dry ground, Isa. liii. 2. Was 

he bom of a poor woman ? Yes : for she offered 

for her cleansing only a pair of turtle doves, or two 

yoong pigeons, Luke ii. 24. compare Lev. xii. 8. 

Was his supposed father a poor man ? Yes : they 

said. Is not this the carpenter's son, Matt. xiii. 66. 

Was he bom in a poor place ? Yes : Bethlehem 

vas little among the thousands of Judah, Mic. v. 2. 

3 L 2 



Was he bom in poor circumstances ? Yes : in the 
stable of an inn, and laid in a manger, Luke ii. 7. 
Had he the respect paid him that was due to an 
incarnate Deity ? No: for he was in the world, and 
the world knew him not, John i. 10. Was he re- 
spected by his countrymen ? No : he came to bis 
own, and his own received him not, «. 11. Was he 
bom honourably ? No : for he took upon him the 
form of a servant, Phil. ii. 7. Was he bom wealthy ? 
No : though he was rich, yet for our sakes he be- 
came poor, 2 Cor. viii. 9. 

3. Was Christ made under the law ? Yes : God 
sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under 
the law, Gal. iv. 4. Was he circumcised ? Yes : 
when eight days were accomplished, Luke ii. 21. 
Was he presented in the temple? Yes: they 
brought him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, 
V. 22. Did he keep the passover? Yes : when he 
was twelve years old, he went up to Jerusalem, after 
the custom of the feast, v. 4Sl, Was he obedient to 
his parents ? Yes : he went down with them to Na» 
zareth, and was subject to them, v. 61. Did he pay 
tribute? Yes: That give for me and thee. Matt, 
xvii. 24, 27. Did he fulfil all righteousness ? Yes : 
Thus it beoometh us to fulfil all righteousness, Matt, 
iii. 16. Did he submit to the law of the mediator- 
ship ? Yes : Thy law is within my heart, Ps. xl. 8. 

4. Was his education mean ? Yes : for they said. 
Is not this the carpenter? Mark vi. 3. Was the 
place of his abode despicable ? Yes: Can any good 
thing come out of Nazareth ? John i. 46. Did he 
live in honour ? No : for he was despised and re- 
jected of men, Isa.' liii. 3. Was he attended by 
great folks ? No : Have any of the rulers, or of the 
Pharisees, believed on him ? John vii. 48. Were his 
followers mean ? Yes : for they were fishers. Matt, 
iv. 18. Did he live in mirth and pleasure ? No : 
he was a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief, 
Isa. liii. 3. Was the sin of sinners a grief to him ? 
Yes : he was grieved for the hardness of their hearts, 
Mark iii. 6. Were the sorrows of his friends a grief 
to him ? Yes : Jesus wept, John xi. 36. Had he a 
house of his own ? No : The foxes have holes, and 
the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man 
hath not where to lay his head, Luke xi. 68. Was 
he fed with the finest of the wheat ? No : he had 
barley-loaves, John vi. 9. Did he live upon alms ? 
Yes : for certain women ministered to him of their 
substance, Luke viii. 3. Had he a stately place 
to preach in ? No : he taught the people out of the 
ship, Luke v. 3. 

6. Was he tempted of Satan ? Yes : he was in 
the wildemess forty days tempted of Satan, Mark 
i. 13. Was that a part of his sufferings ? Yes : 
for he suffered, being tempted, Heb. ii. 18. Was 
he persecuted betimes? Yes: Herod sought the 
young child to destroy him. Matt. ii. 13. Was he 
slandered and reproached ? Yes : they said of him, 



884 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



Behold a gluttonous man, and a wine-bibber, a friend 
of publicans and sinners, Luke vii. 34. Was be re- 
presented as a madman ? Yes : they said. He hath 
a devil, and is mad, John x. 90. And as one that 
is in league with the devil? Yes: they said, He 
casteth out devils by Beelzebub the prince of the 
devils, Matt, xii, 24. Did they cavil at his preach- 
ing ? Yes : he endured the contradiction of sinners 
against himself, Heb. xii. 3. Did he bear all this 
patiently? Yes : when he was reviled, he reviled 
not again, 1 Pet li. 23. 

6. But notwithstanding this, had he honour done 
him in his humiliation? Yes: for it was said of 
him. He shall be great, Luke i. 32. Did God put 
honour upon him ? Yes : he received from God the 
Father honour and glory, 2 Pet. i. 17. Did angels 
do him honour? Yes: behold, angels came and 
ministered to him, Matt iv. 11. Did foreigners do 
him honour ? Yes : Wise men of the east came to 
worship him, Matt ii. 2. Did the common report 
of the people do him honour ? Yes : for some said 
he was Elias, others Jeremiah, or one of the pro- 
phets. Matt. xvi. 14. Did those that saw his mira- 
cles do him honour ? Yes : for they said. It was 
never so seen in Israel, Matt ix. 33. Did inferior 
creatures do him honour? Yes: even the winds 
and the seas obeyed him. Matt viii. 27. Were 
devils themselves compelled to acknowledge him ? 
Yes : for they said, We know thee who thoa art, 
the Holy One of God, Mark i. 24. 

7. Did he humble himself unto death ? Yes : he 
humbled himself, and became obedient to death, 
Phil. ii. 8. Did he die for us ? Yes : he was de- 
livered for our offences, Rom. iv. 25. Was this ac- 
cording to the counsels of God ? Yes : he was de- 
livered by the determinate counsel and foreknow- 
ledge of God, Acts ii. 23. Did he suffer in his soul ? 
Yes ; for he said. Now is my soul troubled, John 
xii. 27. Did he suffer from his Father ? Yes : he 
was stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted, Isa. liii. 
4. Did ho suffer in soul from his Father ? Yes : 
for he put him to grief, v. 10. Did this put him into 
an agony? Yes: He began to be sorrowful, and 
very heavy. Matt. xxvi. 37. Did he suffer this for 
us ? Yes : for he made him sin for us who knew no 
sin, 2 Cor. v. 21. And yet did the Father love him 
even when he braised him ? Yes : Therefore doth 
my Father love me, because I lay down my life, 
John X. 17. 

8. Did he suffer from Satan ? Yes : Thou shalt 
bruise his heel. Gen. iii. 15. Did Satan set upon 
him ? Yes : The prince of this world cometh, John 
xiv. 30. But did Satan conquer him? No: He 
hath nothing in me, John xiv. 30. Did he suffer 
from the Jews? Yes: for they cried. Crucify him, 
crucify him, Luke xxiii. 21. Did he suffer from the 
chief of the Jews ? Yes : he was the stone which the 
builders refused, Ps. cxviii. 22. Did he suffer from 



the Romans ? Yes : the prinoes of this world cm- 
cified the Lord of glory, I Cor. ii. 8. Was he be- 
trayed by Judas ? Yes : they put it into the heart 
of Judas Iscariot to betray him, John xiii. 2. Was 
he sold for thirty pieces of silver? Yes : A goodly 
price that I was prized at, Zech. xi. 13. Was he 
forsaken by his own disciples ? Yes : all his dis- 
ciples forsook him, and fled. Matt. xxvi. 56. 

9. Was he falsely accused? Yes: they sought 
false witness against him to put him to death. Matt, 
xxvi. 50. Was he basely abased ? Yes : he hid not 
his face from shame and spitting, Isa. 1. 6. Was he 
condemned as a blasphemer? Yes : they said. He 
hath spoken blasphemy. Matt xxvi. 65. Was he 
condemned as a traitor? Yes: for they said be 
perverted the nation, forbidding to give tribute to 
Caesar, Luke xxiii. 2. Was he scourged? Yes: 
for by his stripes we are healed, Isa. liii. 5. Was 
he exposed to contempt ? Yes : he was a reproach 
of men, and despised of the people, Ps. xxii. 6. Did 
they scoff at him as a Prophet ? Yes : they said. 
Prophesy who smote thee. Matt xxvi. 68. Did they 
scoff at him as a King ? Yes : they said. Hail, King 
of the Jews, Matt, xxvii. 29. Did they scoff at him 
as a Priest and Saviour? Yes : they said, He saved 
others, himself he cannot save. Matt, xxvii. 42. 

10. Was he sentenced to the cross ? Yes : Pilate 
delivered him to be crucified. Matt, xxvii. 26. Was 
he crucified between two thieves; Yes: he was 
numbered with the transgressors, Isa. liii. 12. Did 
he die a bloody death ? Yes : for the life of the flesh 
is in the blood, and it is the blood that makes atone- 
ment for the soul. Lev. xvii. 11. Did he die a pain- 
ful death ? Yes : they pierced his hands and feet, 
Ps. xxii. 16. And a shameful death? Yes: he 
endured the cross, despising the shame, Heb. xii. 2. 
And a cursed death ? Yes : for he that is hanged is 
accursed of God, Deut. xxi. 23. Gal. iii. 13. Did 
God seem to withdraw from him. in his sufferings ? 
Yes : he cried with a loud voice, My God, my God, 
why hast thou forsaken me ? Matt, xxvii. 46. 

1 1 . Did Christ die to glorify God ? Yes : For thb 
cause came I to this hour. Father, glorify thy name, 
John xii. 27, 28. Did he die to satisfy for our sins ? 
Yes : it was to finish transgression, and to make an 
end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, and 
bring in everlasting righteousness, Dan. ix. 24. Did 
he die to conquer Satan ? Yes : he spoiled princi- 
palities and powers, triumphing over them in his 
cross. Col. ii. 15. Did he die to save us from sin ? 
Yes : be gave himself for us, that he might redeem 
us from all iniquity. Tit ii. 14. Did he die to pur- 
chase heaven for us ? Yes : for it is the purchased 
possession, Eph. i. 14. Heb. ix. 15. Was he in his 
death made a curse for us ? Yes : for Christ hath 
redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made 
a curse for us, Gal. iii. 13. Did Christ sweat for 
us ? Yes : his sweat was, as it were, great drops of 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



886 



blood, Lake xxii. 44. And thorns being also a fruit 
of the curse, did Christ wear them for os ? Yes : 
they platted a crown of thorns and pat it npon his 
head, Matt. xxYii. 29. 

12. Did Christ do all that was to be done in his 
safferings for ns? Yes: he said, It is finished, 
John xix. 90. Did the events answer the predic- 
tions? Yes: for the Scriptures must be fulfilled, 
Mark xir. 49. Are we sare that Christ was truly 
dead ? Yes : for one of the soldiers with a spear 
pierced his side, and forthwith came thereout blood 
aod water, and he that saw it bare record, John xix. 
34, 35. Did Christ die as a martyr ? Yes : for be- 
fore Pontius Pilate he witnessed a good confession, 
1 Tim. vi. 13. Did he die as a testator ? Yes : for 
where a testament is, there must needs be the death 
of the testator, Heb. ix. 16. Did he die as a sacri- 
fice? Yes : Christ our passover is sacrificed for us, 
1 Cor. ▼. 7. 

13. Was there honour done to Christ even in his 
sofferings ? Yes : the earth did quake, and the 
rocks rent, and the graves were opened, Matt xxvii. 
51. And were some thereby convinced ? Yes : they 
feared greatly, saying. Truly this was the Son of 
God, Matt, xxvii. 54. Is the cross of Christ then a 
reproach to us ? No: God forbid that I should 
^lory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
Gal. ?L 14. Is it what we should all be acquainted 
with ? Yes : I determined to know nothing but 
Jesus Christy and him crucified, 1 Cor. ii. 2. And 
OQght we to celebrate the praises of our crucified Sa- 
Tiour? Yes: Worthy is the Lamb that was slain 
to receive honour, and glory, and blessing. Rev. 
y. 12. 

14. When Christ was dead, was he buried ? Yes : 
they took him down from the tree, and laid him in 
a sepulchre. Acts xiii. 29. Was he buried accord- 
ing to the custom ? Yes : as the manner of the 
iews is to bury, John xix. 40. Did he continue 
Quder the power of death for a time ? Yes : for as 
Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's 
belly, so shall the Son of man be three days and 
three nights in the heart of the earth. Matt xii. 40. 
Was this his descent into hell ? Yes : he descended 
into the lower parts of the earth, Eph. iv. 9. Did 
his separate soul go to paradise ? Yes : This day 
shalt thou be with me in paradise, Luke xxiii. 43. 
Did his body see corruption ? No : Thou wilt not 
leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine 
Holy One to see corruption. Acts ii. 27. 

Q. 28. Wherein consists Christ's exaltation f 
A. Christ's exaltation consists in his rising again 
from the dead on the third day, in ascending up 
into heaven, in sitting at the right hand of God the 
Father, and in coming to judge the world at the 
last day. 

1. Is Jesos Christ exalted ? Yes : because he 



humbled himself, therefore God also hath highly 
exalted him, Phil. ii. 9. Was his humiliation the 
way to exaltation ? Yes : he sufiered these things, 
and so entered into his glory, Luke xxiv. 26. Was 
his exaltation the reward of his humiliation ? Yes : 
I have glorified thee on the earth, and now, O Fa- 
ther, glorify thou me, John xvii. 5. Had he it in 
his eye in his sufferings? Yes: for the joy that 
was set before him, he endured the cross, Heb. 
xii. 2. 

2. Was his resurrection the first step of his exalt- 
ation? Yes: he was buried, and rose again the 
third day according to the Scriptures, 1 Cor. xv. 4. 
Did he continue always in the bands of death ? No : 
for it was impossible he should be holden of them. 
Acts ii. 24. Did he rise to life ? Yes : he both rose 
and revived, Rom. xiv. 9. Did the same body rise? 
Yes : Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I my- 
self, Luke xxiv. 39. Is he the same Jesus still ? 
Yes : I am he that liveth, and was dead. Rev. i. 18. 
Did he lie in the grave all the Jewish sabbath? 
Yes : for he rose in the end of the sabbath. Matt, 
xxviii. 1. Did he rise the same day of the week? 
Yes : as it began to dawn towards the first day of the 
week, Matt, xxviii. 1. Have we sufficient proof of 
his resurrection ? Yes : he showed himself alive, by 
many infallible proofs. Acts i. 3. Did he rise to 
die no more ? Yes : Death hath no more dominion 
over him, Rom. vi. 9. 

3. Did Christ rise by his own power? Yes: 
Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise 
it up, John ii. 19. and x. 18. Was that a divine 
power ? Yes : for he was crucified through weak- 
ness, but he lived by the power of God, 2 Cor. 
xiii. 4. Was it the great proof of his being the Son 
of God ? Yes : he was declared to be the Son of 
God with power by the resurrection from the dead, 
Rom. i. 4. Was it the will of the Father he should 
rise? Yes: for the angel of the Lord descended 
from heaven, and came, and rolled back the stone, 
Matt, xxviii. 2. Did the Father raise him ? Yes : 
God raised him from the dead. Acts xiii. 30. Was 
this an evidence of the acceptance of his satisfac- 
tion ? Yes : for he was raised again for our justifi- 
cation, Rom. iv. 25. And we may plead it? Yes: 
It is Christ that died, yea, rather, that is risen again, 
Rom. viii. .34. 

4. Did Christ rise as a public person ? Yes : for 
since by man came death, by man came also the 
resurrection of the dead, 1 Cor. xv. 21. Are true 
believers raised with him to a spiritual life ? Yes : 
he hath quickened us together with Christ, Eph. 
ii. 5. And shall they be shortly raised to eternal life ? 
Yes : Christ the first-fruits, afterward they that are 
Christ's at his coming, 1 Cor. xv. 23. Is tlie resur- 
rection of Christ one of the great foundations of 
Christianity ? Yes : if Christ be not risen, our faith 
is vain, v, 14. 



886 



A SCMPTURE CATECHISM. 



5. Did Christ stay on earth forty days after his 
resurrection ? Yes : he was seen of them forty days, 
Acts i. 3. Did he then ascend up into heaven? 
Yes: while he blessed them he was parted from 
them, and carried up into heaven, Luke xxiv. 51. 
Did he ascend in a cloud ? Yes : a cloud received 
him out of their sight, Acts i. 9. Was he welcome 
in heaven ? Yes : when the Son of man came with 
the clouds of heaven, he came to the Ancient of days, 
and they brought him near before him, Dan. vii. 13. 

6. Was it for our advantage that he ascended up 
into heaven ? Yes : It is expedient for you that I 
go away, John xvi. 7. Did he ascend as a con- 
queror? Yes: when he ascended on high, he led 
captivity captive, Eph. iv. 8. Did he ascend as our 
forerunner? Yes: as the forerunner he is for us 
entered, Heb. vi. 20. Is he gone to prepare a place 
for us } Yes : I go to prepare a place for you, John 
xiv. 2. Did he enter as our High Priest within the 
veil ? Yes : by his own blood he entered in once 
into the holy place, Heb. ix. 12. 

7. Did he sit at the right hand of God ? Yes : be 
is seated on the right hand of the throne of the 
Majesty in the heavens, Heb. viii. 1. Has he autho- 
rity to sit there ? Yes : The Lord said unto my Lord, 
Sit thou on my right hand, Ps. ex. 1* Is he there 
now ? Yes : he is even at the right hand of God, 
Rom. viii. 34. Has he been seen there ? Yes : Ste- 
phen said, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of 
man standing on the right hand of God, Acts vii. 
56. Will he continue there? Yes: the heavens 
must receive him till the restitution of all things. 
Acts iii. 21. Has he the highest honour there? 
Yes : God hath given him a name above every name, 
Phil. ii. 9. Has he the sovereign power there ? Yes : 
for angels, authorities, and powers are made subject 
to him, 1 Pet. iii. 22. Is he Lord of all there? 
Yes : Thou crownest him with glory and honour, and 
didst set him over the works of thy hands, Heb. ii. 7. 
Ought we therefore to have our hearts in heaven ? 
Yes : Seek those things which are above, where 
Christ sits on the right hand of God, Col. iii. 1. 

8. Will Christ come again ? Yes : If I go to pre- 
pare a place for you, I will come again, John xiv. 
3. Are you sure he will come again ? Yes : for he 
said. Surely I come quickly. Rev. xxii. 20. Will 
he come in glory ? Yes : he shall come in the clouds 
of heaven with power and great glory. Matt xxiv. 
30. Will his angels attend him? Yes: he shall 
come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him. 
Matt. XXV. 31. Will he come publicly? Yes: Be- 
hold he comes in the clouds, and every eye shall see 
him. Rev. i. 7. 

9. Will Christ come to judge the world? Yes: 
God hath appointed a day in which he will judge 
the world in righteousness by that Man whom he 
hath ordained, Acts xvii. 31. Will he come to the 
terror of all his enemies? Yes: they also which 



pierced him shall wail because of him, Rev. i. 7. 
Will he come to the comfort of all his faithful fol- 
lowers ? Yes : to them that look for him, he will 
appear the second time unto salvation, Heb. ix. 28. 
Will this be at the last day ? Yes : I will raise him 
up at the last day, John vi. 39. Ought we to wait 
for that day ? Yes : looking for the blessed hope, 
and the glorious appearance of the great God and 
our Saviour Jesus Christ, Tit ii. 13. 

Q. 29. Howmre we made partaken of the redempUon 
purckaeed hy Christ f 

A. We are made partakers of the redemption pnr^ 
chased by Christ, by the effectaal application of it 
to us by his Holy Spirit 

1. Is redemption purchased by Christ ? Yes : he 
obtained eternal redemption for us, Heb. ix. 12. Is 
he then the Author of it? Yes: be became the 
Author of salvation, Heb. v. 9. Is it redemption by 
price ? Yes : Ye are bought with a price, 1 Cor. vi. 
20. Is it a redemption by power ? Yes : for he 
hath led captivity captive, Ps. Ixviii. 18. Is this 
redemption offered to all ? Yes : he hath proclaimed 
liberty to the captives, Isa. Ixi. 1. May all that will 
take the benefit of it ? Yes : Ho, every one that 
thirsteth, come ye to the waters, Isa. Iv. 1. Have 
all the world therefore some benefit by it ? Yes : Go 
into all the world, and preach the gospel to every 
creature, Mark xvi. 15. But have all the world a 
like benefit by it ? No : Thou wilt manifest thyself 
to us, and not unto the world, John xiv. 22. 

2. Is it enough for us that there is a redemption 
purchased ? No : for there are those who deny the 
Lord who bought them, 2 Pet. ii. 1. Is it enough 
to hear of it ? No : for to some it is a savour of 
death unto death, 2 Cor. ii. 16. Is it enough to have 
a name among the redeemed ? No : Thou hast a 
name that thou livest, and art dead. Rev. iii. 1. Is 
it necessary therefore that we be partakers of the 
redemption ? Yes : that we may say. Who loved me, 
and gave himself for me. Gal. ii. 20. Do all partake 
of it ? No : Thou hast neither part nor lot in this 
matter. Acts viii. 21. Do all believers partake of 
it ? Yes : We are made partakers of Christ, Heb. 
ii. 14. Do they receive the Redeemer? Yes: We 
have received Christ Jesus the Lord, Cot ii. 6. Do 
any receive this of themselves? No: A man can 
receive nothing except it be given him from above, 
John iii. 27. 

3. Must the redemption be applied to us ? Tes : 
It is Christ in you the hope of glory, Col. i. 27. Is 
it the Spirit's work to apply it ? Yes : for it is the 
Spirit that quickens, John vi. 63. Is he sent for 
that purpose ? Yes : He shall take of mine, and 
shall show it unto you, John xvi. 15. Is he sent in 
Christ's name ? Yes : He is the Comforter, which 
is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in 
my name, John xiv» 26» Have we as much need of 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



887 



the Spirit to apply tbe redemption to as, as of the 
Son to purchase it for na ? Yes : for when Christ 
had purchased it, it was expedient for as he should 
go airay, that he might send the Comforter, John 
ivi. 7. 

4. Is the Spirit given to the chnrch in general ? 
Yes : Another Comforter shall ahide with yon for 
ever, John xiv. 16. Is he promised to particular 
persons? Yes : Turn ye at my reproof; hehold, I 
will pour out my Spirit unto yon, ProY. i. 23. Are 
we to pray for the Spirit then ? Yes : our heavenly 
Father will give the Holy Spirit to them that ask 
hira. Lake xi. 13. Do all believers receive of the 
Spirit ? Yes : God hath sent forth the Spirit of his 
Son into your hearts, Gal. iv. 6. Is he their teacher? 
Yes : he shall teach them all things. Is he their 
remembrancer ? Yes : he shall bring all things to 
their remembrance, John xiv. 26. Is he the earnest? 
Yes : he hath given the earnest of the Spirit in our 
hearts, 2 Cor. i. 22. Does he begin the good work 
of grace in the heart ? Yes : for when he is come, 
he shall convince, John xvi. 8. And does he per- 
fect it? Yes : for he hath wrought us for the self- 
same thing, 2 Cor. v. 6. 

Q. 30, H&w doe9 the Spirit apply to us the redemp- 
tion purchased by Christ ? 

A. The Spirit applies to us the redemption pur- 
chased by Christ, by working faith in us, and 
thereby uniting us to Christ in our effectual call- 
ing? 

1. Does the Spirit act freely in applying the re- 
demption ? Yes : The wind bloweth where it list- 
tth, so is every one that is bom of the Spirit, John 
iii. 8. Does he act mysteriously ? Yes : Thou know- 
est not what is the way of the Spirit, Eccl. xi. 15. 
Does he act effectually ? Yes : All that the Father 
giveth me shall come to me, John vi. 37. 

2. Is faith necessary to our interest in the redemp- 
tion? Yes: for without faith it is impossible to 
please God, Heb. xi. 6. Is it the great thing neces- 
sary? Yes: only believe, all things are possible to 
him that can believe, Mark v. 36. and ix. 23. Can 
we have a saving interest in tlie redemption without 
faith? No: he that believeth not, is condemned 
already, John iii. 18. Is it that which is required 
on our part ? Yes : by grace ye are saved through 
faith. And is it of ourselves? No: not of our- 
selves, it is the gift of God, Eph. ii. 8. Is it given 
for Christ's sake ? Yes : Unto you it is given on 
tbe behalf of Christ to believe on him, Phil. i. 29. 

3. Does the Spirit work faith in us ? Yes : it is 
the faith of the operation of God, Col 11. 12. Is it a 
divine work then ? Yes : this is the work of God, 
that ye believe, John vi. 29. Is it a work of divine 
power ? Yes : we believe according to tbe work- 
in;^ of his mighty power, which he wrought in 
Christ, Eph. i. 19, 20. Is it wrought in all the 



saints ? Yes : for they have all obtained a like pre- 
cious faith, 2 Pet. i. 1. Shall it be wrought in all 
the chosen ? Yes : for it is the faith of God's elect. 
Tit i. 1. 

4. Are all true believers united to Christ? Yes: 
He that is joined to the Lord is one Spirit, 1 Cor. 
vi. 17. Are they interested in his death ? Yes : 
We are crucified with Christ, Gal. ii. 20. And in his 
burial ? Yes : We are buried with him in baptism, 
Rom. vi. 4, And in his resurrection ? Yes : He 
has quickened us together with Christ, Eph. ii. 5. 
And in his ascension ? Yes : He has made us sit 
together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, Eph. 
ii.6. 

5. Is there a real union between Christ and be- 
lievers ? Yes : for both he that sanctifieth, and they 
who are sanctified, are all of one, Heb. ii. It. Is 
he the Head ? Yes : he is the Head of the body, 
the church. Col. i. 18. Are they his members ? Yes : 
Who are members of his body, of his flesh, and of 
his bones, Eph. v. 30. Is he the Root ? Yes : for of 
his fulness have all we received, John i. 16. Are 
they the branches? Yes : I am the vine, ye are the 
branches, John xv. 5. Is he the Foundation ? Yes : 
Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a 
tried stone, Isa. xxviii. 16. Are they built upon 
him ? Yes : Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a 
spiritual house, 1 Pet. ii. 5. 

6. Is there a relative union between Christ and 
believers ? Yes : I ascend to my Father and your 
Father, John xx. 17. Are they his children ? Yes: 
Here am I, and the children which thou hast given 
me, Heb. ii. 13. Are they his brethren ? Yes : he 
is not ashamed to call them brethren, Heb. ii. 11, 12 
Are they his spouse ? Yes : I have espoused you 
to one husband, 2 Cor. xi. 2. Are they his subjects ? 
Yes : they arc translated into the kingdom of his 
dear Son, Col. i. 13. Are they his soldiers ? Yes: 
good soldiers of Jesus Christ, 2 Tim. ii. 3. Are 
they his servants ? Yes : Ye call me Master and 
Lord, John xiii. 13. Are they his scholars ? Yes : 
they sit at Jesus' feet and hear his word, Luke x. 
39. Are they his sheep ? Yes : for he is the great 
Shepherd of the sheep, Heb. xiii. 20. 

7. Is it by faith that we are united to Christ? 
Yes : for Christ dwells in the heart by faith, Eph. 
iii. 17. Is that owing to the Spirit ? Yes : we arc 
a habitation of God through the Spirit, Eph. ii. 22. 
Does communion result from this union ? Yes : for 
truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his 
Son Jesus Christ, 1 John i. 3. And is that owing 
to the Spirit ? Yes : we have an access by one 
Spirit unto the Father, Eph. ii. 18. Can we be 
united to Christ without the indwelling of the Spirit? 
No : for if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he 
is none of his, Rom. viii. 9. Have all that are unit- 
ed to Christ an interest in the benefits of redemp- 
tion ? Yes : for of him are we in Christ Jesus, who 



888 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



of God is made unto ns wisdom, rigbteoasness, sane- 
tification, and redemption, 1 Cor. i. 90. 

8. Are we united to Christ in oar effectaal calling } 
Yes : for we are called into the fellowship of his 
Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, 1 Cor. i. 9. Will the 
common call unite us to Christ? No : for many are 
called, but few are chosen, Matt xxii. 14. Is it the 
effectaal call then that does it ? Yes : for whom he 
called, them he justified, Rom. yiii. 30. 

9. Does the gospel call as from sin to God > Yes : 
it turns from the power of Satan unto God, Acts 
xxtL 18. Does it call us from self to Christ ? Yes: 
If any man will be my disciple, let him deny himself 
and follow me, Matt. XTi. 24. Does it call us from 
darkness to light ? Yes : He hath called us out of 
darkness into his marvellous light, 1 Pet. ii. 9. And 
from uncleanness to holiness ? Yes : God hath not 
called us to uncleanness, but to holiness, 1 Thess. 
iv. 7. And from this world to the other ? Yes : If 
ye be risen with Christ, seek those things that are 
above, Col. iii. 1. Is this call effectual when we 
come at the call ? Yes : Follow me, and he arose 
and followed him, Matt. ix. 9. Is it our great con- 
cern to make this sure ? Yes : Make your calling 
and your election sure, 2 Pet. i. 10. 

Q. 31. What is effectual calling ? 

A. Effectual calling is the work of God^s Spirit, 
whereby convincing us of ou r sin and misery, enlight- 
ening our minds in the knowledge of Christ, and re- 
newing our wills, he does persuade and enable us 
to embrace Jesus Christ, freely offered to us in the 
gospel. 

1. Is the common call given to the world ? Yes : 
he sent forth his servants to call them that were bid- 
den. Matt. xxii. 3. Can ministers make that call 
effectual f No : for who hath believed our report, 
Isa. liii. I. Is it the work of God to make it effec- 
tual ? Yes : for it is God that giveth the increase, 
1 Cor. iii. 7. Does he do it in a way suitable to our 
nature ? Yes : I drew them with cords of a man, 
Hos. xi. 4. Is it necessary to our salvation, that 
the call should be effectual } Yes : Who hath saved 
us, and called us with a holy calling, 2 Tim. i. 9. 

2. Are all who are effectually called convinced of 
sin ? Yes : I was alive without the law once, but 
when the commandment came, sin revived, Rom. 
vii. 9. Is it the Spirit's work to convince ? Yes : 
when he is come he will convince the world of sin, 
John xvi. 8. Is the word the ordinary means of con- 
viction ? Yes : for by the law is the knowledge of 
sin, Rom. iii. 20. Is it necessary we should be con- 
vinced of sin ? Yes : for they that are whole, need 
not a physician. Matt. ix. 12. Must we be convinced 
of the fact of sin ? Yes : These things thou hast done, 
Ps. 1. 21. And of the fault of sin ? Yes : Know 
therefore, and see, that it is an evil thing, Jer. ii. 19. 
And of the folly of sin ? Yes : Herein thou hast | 



done foolishly, 2 Chron. xvi. 9. And of the filth of 
sin } Yes : For how canst thou say, I am not pol- 
luted } Jer. ii. 23. And of the fruit of sin ? Yes : 
Your sins have separated between you and your God, 
Isa. lix. 1, 2. And of the fountain of sin ? Yes : 
They shall know every man the plagae of his own 
heart, 1 Kings viii. 38. 

3. Must we also be convinced of oar misery? 
Yes : Thou art wretched and miserable. Rev. iii. 17. 
And of our danger? Yes: Flee from the wrath to 
come. Matt. iii. 7. Must we be convinced of our 
helplessness in ourselves ? Yes : when sin revived 
I died, Rom. vii. 9. And of the possibility of our 
being helped by the grace of God ? Yes : How many 
hired servants of my father have bread enough, and 
to spare 1 Luke xv. 17. Will these convictions put 
us in pain } Yes : When they heard this, they were 
pricked to the heart, Acts ii. 37. And bring as to be 
at a loss within ourselves ? Yes : Men and brethren, 
what shall we do } Acts ii. 37. And put os apon 
inquiry > Yes : They shall ask the way to Sion with 
their faces thitherward, Jer. 1. 6. Are these convic- 
tions necessary to prepare us for an invitation to 
Christ? Yes: Come unto me all ye that labour, 
and are heavy laden. Matt. xi. 28. 

4. Does the Spirit, when he has convinced us of 
sin and misery, leave us so ? No : for he has torn, 
and he will heal us, Hos. vi. 1. When he has showed 
us our wound, does he show us our remedy ? Yes : 
O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself, but in me is 
thy help, Hos. xiii. 9. Does he enlighten our minds ? 
Yes : the Spirit of wisdom and revelation is given, 
that the eyes of our understanding may be enligbt* 
ened, Eph. i. 17, 18. Does he enlighten them with 
the knowledge of Christ? Yes: he gives the light 
of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of 
Jesus Christ, 2 Cor. iv. 6. Does he discover to the 
soul Christ's ability to save ? Yes : I have laid help 
upon one that is mighty, Ps. Ixxxix. 19. And his 
willingness to save? Yes: I will, be thou clean. 
Matt. viii. 3. Should we be most ambitious of the 
knowledge of Christ ? Yes : counting all things 
but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ 
Jesus our Lord, Phil. iii. 8. Does the Spirit direct 
convinced sinners to Christ ? Yes : Turn ye to the 
strong hold, ye prisoners of hope, Zech. ix. 12. 

5. Is it enough to have the mind enlightened? 
No : for we are called into a professed subjection to 
the gospel of Christ, 2 Cor. ix. 13. Must the will 
therefore be renewed ? Yes : for it is God tliat work- 
eth in us both to will and to do of his own good 
pleasure, Phil. ii. 13. Is it the work of the Spirit 
to incline the will to do that which is good ? Yes : 
Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, Ps. cxix. 36. 
And is that the renewing of th^ will ? Yes : A new 
heart will I give you, and a new spirit will I pat 
within you, Ezek. xxxvi. 26. Does that make the 
will pliable ? Yes : I will take the stony heart out 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



889 



of their fleshy and will give them an heart of flesh, 
Ezek. xi. 19. Does it bring it into subjection to the 
vill of Grod ? Yes : Lord, what wilt thou have me 
to do } Acta ix. 6* And is that a cheerfol subjec- 
tion ? Yes : because the love of God is shed abroad 
in oar hearts bjr the Holy Ghost, Rom. ▼. 6. 

6. Is Christ offered to us in the gospel ? Yes : 
Behold, I stand at the door and knock, Rev. iii. 20. 
h he freely offered } Yes : Come buy, without money, 
and without price, Isa. Iv. 1. Are we concerned to 
embrace that offer ? Yes : Come eat of my bread, 
and driok of the wine that I have mingled, Prov. 
jx. 5. Are we by nature averse to it ? Yes : Ye will 
not come to me, that ye might have life, John v. 40. 
Do sinners perish then through their own wilfulness? 
Yes : I have called, and ye have refused, Prov. i. 
24. Does the Spirit in effectual calling overcome 
this aversion } Yes : With loving kindness have I 
drawn thee, Jer. xxxi. 3. Does he persuade us to 
embrace this offer ) Yes : For every man that hath 
heard, and learned of the Father, cometh unto me, 
John vi. 45. Does he enable us } Yes : For you 
hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and 
sins, Epb. ii. 1. 

7. Can we tarn to God by any power of our own } 
No : for we are not sufficient of ourselves, 2 Cor. iii. 
5, Is it the g^ce of God that turns us to him ? Yes: 
Turn thou me, and I shall be turned, Jer. xxxi. 18. 
Is it free grace ? Yes : He went on frowardly in 
the way of his heart, I have seen his ways, and will 
heal him, Isa. Ivii. 17, 18. Does it turn us by a 
vork upon the will ? Yes : The Lord opened the 
heart of Lydia, Acts xvi. 14. Is it special grace ? 
Yes : It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that 
ranoeth, but of God that sboweth mercy, Rom. ix. 
16. Shall this grace be given to all the elect ? Yes : 
All that the Father hath given me shall come unto 
ne, John vi. d7« Shall it be effectual ? . Yes : His 
^ce which was bestowed upon me was not in vain, 
1 Cor. XV. 10. May we in faith pray for this grace ? 
Yes : I will for this be inquired of by the house of 
Israel, Ezek. xxxvi. 37. Can any torn to God with- 
out this special grace ? No : For no man can come 
to me, except the Father, which hath sent me, draw 
him, John vi. 44. Must that grace therefore have 
all the glory ? Yes : we must show forth the praises 
of him that hath called us, 1 Pet ii. 9. 

Q. 32. What benefits do they that are effectual^ 
tailed partake of in this life ? 

A. They that are effectually called do in this life 
partake of justification, adoption, and sanctification, 
and the several benefits which in this life do either 
accompany or flow from them. 

1. Are all those happy which are effectually call- 
ed? Yes: for God hath called us to his kingdom 
and glory, 1 Thess. ii. 12. Are they partakers of the 
blessings of the new covenant? Yes : for the pro- 



mise is sure to all the seed, Rom. iv. 16. Are they 
happy even in this life ? Yes : For after that ye be- 
lieved, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of pro- 
mise, Eph. i. 13. 

2. Are they dignified and preferred ? Yes : Ye are 
a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, 1 Pet ii. 9. 
Are they brought near ? Yes : Ye who sometimes 
were afar off, are made nigh, Eph. ii. 13. Are they 
enriched ? Yes : God hath called the poor in this 
world rich in faith. Jam. ii. 5. Are they taken into 
the communion of saints ? Yes : for we are come to 
the church of the first-bom which are written in 
heaven, Heb. xii. 23. And into communion with 
the holy angels ? Yes : for we are come to an in- 
numerable company of angels, Heb. xii. 22. Are 
they entitled to the best possessions } Yes : All 
things are yours, whether Paul, or Apollos, or Ce- 
phas, or the world, or life, or death, or things pre- 
sent, or things to come, all are yours, 1 Cor. iii. 22. 
Are they happy in the best blessings ? Yes : The 
God and Father of our Lord Jesus hath blessed us 
with spiritual blessings in heavenly things, Eph. i. 
3. Are they happy both for soul and body ? Yes : 
He hath given us all things that pertain to life and 
godliness, 2 Pet. i. 3. 

3. Are they justified ? Yes : whom he called, them 
he justified, Rom. viii. 30. Is that an unspeakable 
benefit ? Yes : blessed is the man whose iniquity is 
forgiven, Ps. xxxii. 1. Are they adopted? Yes: 
for he hath predestinated us to the adoption of chil- 
dren, Eph. i. 5. And is that an unspeakable bene- 
fit } Yes : for if children, then heirs, Rom. viii. 17. 
Are they sanctified? Yes: they are sanctified in 
Christ Jesus, 1 Cor. i. 2. And is that an unspeak- 
able benefit ? Yes : for we are partakers of his holi- 
ness, Heb. xii. 10. 

4. Do they partake of other benefits ? Yes : The 
Lord will give grace and glory, and no good thing 
will be withhold from them that walk uprightly, Ps. 
Ixxxiv. 11. Are all these benefits given to them that 
are effectually called ? Yes : for the promise of the 
remission of sins, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, is 
to as many as the Lord our God shall call. Acts ii. 
39. And shall every thing turn to their advantage? 
Yes : all things work together for good to them -that 
are the called, Rom. viii. 26. Will you therefore 
make it sure that you are effectually called, by com- 
ing at the call ? Yes : behold, we come unto thee, 
for thou art the Lord our God, Jer. iii. 22. 

Q. 33. What isjustifcation 2 

A. Justification is an act of God's free grace, 
wherein he pardons all our sins, and accepts ns as 
righteous in his sight, only for the righteousness of 
Christ imputed to us, and received by faith alone. 

1. Have we all need to be justified ? Yes : for 
we are all guilty before God, Rom. iii. 19. Is it 
enough if we justify ourselves? No: If I justify 



890 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



myself my own mouth shall condemn me, Job ix. 20. 
Is it enough if our neighbours justify us ? No : for 
that which is highly esteemed among men is abom- 
ination in the sight of God, Luke xvi. 15. Must it 
be God's act then ? Yes : It is God that justifieth, 
Bom. viii. 33. And his only ? Yes : for none can 
forgive sins but God only, Mark ii. 7. And is it 
an act of free grace ? Yes : we are justified freely 
by his grace, Rom. iii. 24. 

2. Are all that are justified discharged from the 
sentence of the law ? Yes : for there is no con- 
demnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, Rom. 
viii. 1. Have they their sins pardoned ? Yes ; we 
have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness 
of sins, Eph. i. 7. Does God forgive them ? Yes : 
I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions, 
Isa. xliii. 25. 

3. When God forgives sin does he forgive all ? 
Yes : Having forgiven all your trespasses. Col. ii. 
13. Does he forgive even great sins ? Yes : Though 
your sins have been as scarlet, they shall be white 
as snow, Isa. i. 18. Does he forgive many sins? 
Yes : He will abundantly pardon, Isa. Iv. 7. Does 
he forgive freely ? Yes : I will be merciful to their 
unrighteousness. Does he forgive fully ? Yes : 
Their sins and their iniquities I will remember no 
more, Heb. viii. 12. Is he forward to forgive? 
Yes : I said I will confess, and thou forgavest, Ps. 
xxxii. 5. Does he forgive and forget ? Yes : Thou 
wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea, 
Mic. vii. 19. 

4. Is forgiveness of sins offered to all upon gospel 
terms ? Yes : for repentance and remission of sins 
b preached to all nations, Luke xxiv. 47. Is it se- 
cured to all the chosen remnant? Yes : for Christ 
is exalted to be a Prince, and a Saviour, to give re- 
pentance and remission of sins. Acts v. 31. Have 
all believers their sins pardoned? Yes: through 
him all that believe are justified. Acts xiii. 39. 
Are they accepted in God's sight ? Yes : he hath 
made us accepted in the Beloved, Eph. i. 6. Are 
they accepted as righteous? Yes : for we are made 
the righteousness of God in him, 2 Cor. v. 21. May 
those that have been ungodly be thus justified? 
Yes : he justifies the ungodly, Rom. iv. 5. 

5. Can we be justified by the covenant of inno- 
cency? No: for who can say, I have made my 
heart clean? Prov. xx. 9. Can we be justified by 
any thing in ourselves ? No : How can men be jus- 
tified with God ? Job xxv. 4. If we know no ill by 
ourselves will that justify us ? No : though I know 
nothing by myself, yet am I not thereby justified, 
1 Cor. iv. 4. Will the law of Moses justify us ? 
No: we are justified from all those things from 
which we could not be justified by the law of Mose*9, 
Acts xiii. 39. Will our own works justify us ? No : 
by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified, 
Rom. iii. 20. Would the ceremonial sacrifices jus- 



tify men? No: they could not make the comers 
thereunto perfect, Heb. x. 1. Are we justified for 
the righteousness of Christ? Yes: By the obedi- 
ence of one shall many be made righteous, Rom. v. 
19. And for that only ? Yes : Not having my own 
righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is 
through the faith of Christ, Phil. iii. 9. 

6. Is the righteousness of Christ imputed to as for 
our justification? Yes : for he is made of God unto 
us righteousness, 1 Cor. i. 30. Did Christ die that it 
might be imputed ? Yes : He shall j ustify many, for 
he shall bear their iniquities, Isa. liii. 11. Do we 
owe our justification then to the death of Christ? 
Yes : the blood of Christ his Son cleanseth us from 
all sin, 1 John i. 7. And does that lay the foundation 
of our salvation ? Yes: being justified by his blood, 
we shall be saved from wrath, Rom. ▼. 9. Were 
we justified from eternity? No: for in due time 
Christ died for the ungodly, Rom. v. 9. If Christ 
had died, and not risen again, could he have justi- 
fied us ? No : for he was delivered for our offences, 
and raised again for our justification, Rom. iv. 25. 
Is that then our plea for peace and pardon ? Yes : 
for who then is he that shall condemn ? Rom. viiL 
34. May we then depend upon Christ for righte- 
ousness 7 Yes : In the Lord I have righteousness 
and strength, Isa. xlv. 24. Is it become an act of 
justice in God to pardon sin upon the account of 
Christ's righteousness ? Yes : for he is just, and the 
justifier of him that believeth in Jesus, Rom. iii. 
26. 1 John i. 9. 

7. Are we to receive the righteousness of Christ? 
Yes : We have now received the atonement, Rom. 
V. 11. Do we receive it by faith? Yes: through 
his name ; whosoever believeth in him shall receive 
remission of sins. Acts x. 43. And by faith only ? 
Yes : for being justified by faith we have peace with 
God, Rom. V. 1. Did Christ's death satisfy the law? 
Yes : for Christ hath redeemed us from the corse of 
the law. Gal. iii. 13. Is that then our only righte- 
ousness in the law court ? Yes : for we are recon- 
ciled to God by the death of his Son, Rom. v. 10. 
Do we by true faith come up to the terms of the gos- 
pel? Yes: Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and 
thou shalt be saved, Acts xvi. 31. Is that then our 
righteousness in the gospel court ? Yes : for to him 
that believeth, his faith is counted for righteousness, 
Rom. iv. 5. Is it therefore our life ? Yes : for tlic 
just shall live by his faith, Hab. ii. 4. Is it so as it 
applies Christ's righteousness? Yes: This is the 
name whereby he shall be called, the Lord our 
righteousness, Jer. xxiii. 6. 

8. Is justifying faith a working faith? Yes: for 
by works is faith made perfect. Jam. ii. 22. And 
will that faith justify us which does not produce 
good works? No: for by works a man is justified, 
and not by faith only. Jam. ii. 24. Is faith then 
I dead without good works? Yes: for as the body 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



891 



without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is 
dead also. Jam. ii. 26. And are g^ood works dead 
without faith ? Yes : for without faith it is impos- 
sible to please God, Heh. zi. 6. Must they both act 
together then ? Yes : for that which avails is faith, 
which works by love. Gal. y. 6. Do we then make 
Toid the law through faith 7 No : God forbid, yea, 
we establish the law, Rom. iii. 31. Is our faith our 
own ? No : it is not of ourselves, it is the gift of 
God, £ph. ii. 8. Are our g^ood works our own ? No : 
for thou also hast wrought all our works in us, Isa. 
XX n. 13. Is any room left for boasting then ? No : 
it is excluded by the law of faith, Rom. iii. 27. 
Must God therefore have all the glory ? Yes : for 
by the grace of God 1 am what I am, 1 Cor. xv. 10. 

Q. 34. Wkai is adopiion ? 

A. Adoption is an act of God's free grace, whereby 
we are received into the number, and have a right 
to all the privileges, of the sons of God. 

1. Are all believers God's children? Yes: Ye 
are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus, 
Gal. ill. 26. Are they so by nature ? No : We are 
bj nature children of wrath, Eph. ii. 3. A.re they 
so by adoption ? Yes : We receive the adoption of 
sons. Gal. iv. 5. Do they deserve to be made God's 
children? No: How shall I put thee among the 
children, and give thee a pleasant land ? Jer. iii. 19. 
Are they altogether unworthy of such a favour? 
Yes : I am no more worthy to be called thy son, Luke 
XT. 19. Is it bestowed upon them notwithstanding 
their unworthiness ? Yes : I will be a Father to you, 
and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the 
Lord Almighty, 2 Cor. vi. 18. 

2. Is adoption an act of God's free grace ? Yes : 
Behold whatmanner of love the Father hath bestowed 
apon us, that we should be called the sons of God, 
I John iii. I. Are we by it received into the num- 
ber of God's children ? Yes : There shall they be 
called the children of the living God, Rom. ix. 26. 
Are we received into that number upon our believ- 
ing? Yes : As many as received him, to them gave 
he power to become the sons of God, even to them 
that believe on his name, John i. 12. 

3. Have we leave to call God, Father? Yes : Ye 
have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we 
cry, Abba, Father, Rom. viii. 15. Does be encou- 
rai^e us to do so ? Yes : Thou shalt call me. My 
Father, and shalt not turn away from me, Jer. iii. 
19. May we call him so, though we have been pro- 
digals ? Yes : I will go to my father, and will say 
Qotohim, Father, Luke xv. 18. May we look upon 
all good Christians as our brethren ? Yes : For all 
ye are brethren. Matt xxiii. 8. And do they all 
make one family ? Yes : Of whom the whole family 
both in heaven and earth is named, Eph. iii. 16. 

4. Does God give the nature of his children to all 
whom he receives into the number ? Yes : Because 



ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son 
into your hearts, Gal. iv. 6. Do they partake of a 
divine nature ? Yes : they are made partakers of a 
divine nature, 2 Pet. i. 4. Are all God's children 
born again then? Yes: they are bom not of the 
will of man, but of God, John i. 13. Is our adop* 
tion then to be known by our disposition ? Yes : for 
in this the children of God are manifest, and the 
children of the devil, whosoever doth not righteous- 
ness is not of God, 1 John iii. 10. 

6. Have all God's adopted children a right to the 
privileges of children ? Yes : they are brought into 
the glorious liberty of the children of God, Rom. 
viii. 21. Does their Father pity them ? Yes: liko 
as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth 
them that fear him, Ps. ciii. 13. Does he spare 
them? Yes: as a man spares his own son that 
serves him, Mai. iii. 17. Does he take care of them? 
Yes : Children, have ye any meat 7 John xxi. 16. 
Does he provide for them ? Yes : for they that seek 
the Lord shall want no good thing, Ps. xxxiv. 10. 
Does he correct them in love ? Yes : For what son 
is he whom the Father chasteneth not ? Heb. xii. 7. 
Does he hear their prayers ? Yes : Your Father in 
heaven will give good things to them that ask him^ 
Matt vii. 11. Will he give them the inheritance of 
sons? Yes: It is your Father's good pleasure to 
give you the kingdom, Luke xii. 32. Will he bring 
them all safe to it ? Yes : He will gather together 
the children of God that were scattered abroad, John 
xi. 52. Will Christ present them all to the Father? 
Yes : Behold, I and the children which thou hast 
given me, Heb. ii. 13. 

6. Must all God's children reverence him? Yes: 
If I be a Father, where is my honour? Mai. i. 6. 
Must they obey him ? Yes : as obedient children, 
1 Pet i. 14. Must they imitate him ? Yes : Be ye 
followers of God, as dear children, Eph. v. 1. Must 
they submit to him 7 Yes : Father, thy will be done, 
Matt xxvi. 42. 

Q. 35. What U sanctification? 

A. Sanctification is the work of God's free grace, 
whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the 
image of God, and are enabled more and more to die 
unto sin, and live unto righteousness. 

1. Are all that are justified sanctified? Yes : for 
Jesus Christ is made both righteousness and sancti- 
fication, 1 Cor. i. 30. Is it necessary they should 
be so? Yes: for without holiness no man shall 
see the Lord, Heb. xii. 14. Did Christ die that they 
might be sanctified ? Yes : For their sakes I sanc- 
tify myself, that they also might be sanctified, John 
xvii. 19. And was this the intention of their elec- 
tion ? Yes : He hath chosen you to salvation through 
sanctification, 2 Thess. ii. 13. 

2. Is sanctification the work of God ? Yes : We 
are sanctified by God the Father, Jude 1. Is it the 



8d2 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



work of the Spirit of God ? Yea : it is sanctification 
of the Spirit, 1 Pet. i. 2. Is it a work of free grace? 
Yes : according to his mercy he saved us, by the 
washing of regeneration, Tit. iii. 5. Is it a work 
wrought in us ? Yes : for we are his workmanship, 
created unto good works, Eph. ii. 10. 

3. Is sanctification something more than being 
civilized ?' Yes : for he is not a Jew, that is one 
outwardly, Rom. ii. 28. Is it more than being bap- 
tized ? Yes : it is not the putting away the filth of 
the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience, 1 
Pet. iii. 21. Is it an inward change of the heart? 
Yes : we must be renewed in the spirit of our mind, 
Eph. iv. 23. Is it the renovation of the whole man ? 
Yes : if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, 
2 Cor. V. 17. Will it suffice to have a new name ? 
No : For thou hast a name that thou livest, and art 
dead, Rev. iii. 1. Will it suffice to have a new face ? 
No : for there are those that have the form of godli- 
ness, but deny the power of it, 2 Tim. iii. 5. Must 
there be a new heart? Yes : A new heart will I give 
you, and a new spirit will I put within you, Ezek. 
xxxvi. 26. And a new nature ? Yes : Put on the 
new man, Eph. iv. 24. And a new birth ? Yes : 
Except a man be born again he cannot see the king- 
dom of God, John iii. 3. 

4. Most we be cleansed from sin ? Yes : From all 
your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse 
you, Ezek. xxxvi. 25. Must we be consecrated to 
God ? Yes : for we are the temple of God, 1 Cor. 
iii. 16. Must the law be written in the heart ? Yes : 
I will put my law in their heart, Heb. viii. 10. Must 
the understanding be enlightened? Yes: Anoint 
thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayst see. Rev. 
iii. 18. Must the heart be softened ? Yes : I will 
take away the stony heart, and give a heart of flesh, 
Ezek. xi. 19. Most the will be bowed ? Yes : Lord, 
what wilt thou have me to do ? Acts ix. 6. Must 
the affections be made spiritual? Yes: Set your 
affections on things above. Col. iii. 2. Must the 
body also be an instrument of holiness ? Yes : Pre- 
sent your bodies a living sacrifice, Rom. xii. 1. 

5. Most we be renewed after the image of God ? 
Yes : Put on the new man, which is renewed after 
the image of him that created him. Col. iii. 10. And 
after the pattern of Christ ? Yes : for Christ must 
be formed in us, Gal. iv. 19. Is sin mortified in all 
that are sanctified? Yes: they that are Christ's 
have crucified the flesh. Gal. v. 24. Is grace planted 
in them ? Yes : there is a well of water springing 
up to eternal life, John iv. 14. Is this work perfect 
at first ? No : it is first the blade, then the ear, after 
that the full com in the ear, Mark iv. 28. 

6. Do all that are sanctified die unto sin ? Yes : 
Reckon ye yourselves dead unto sin, Rom. vi. 11. 
Do they live unto righteousness ? Yes : being dead 
to sin, we live unto righteousness, 1 Pet. ii. 24. Are 
they enabled to do so ? Yes : for it is through the 



Spirit that we mortify the deeds of the body, Rom. 
viii. 13. And is the course of their conversation ac* 
cordingly ? Yes : they walk not after the flesh, bat 
after the Spirit, Rom. viii. 1 . Is it our doty to sab-> 
mit to the Spirit as a sanctifier ? Yes : Walk in the 
Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the works of the flesh. 
Gal. V. 16. And is the grace of God promised us 
for this purpose ? Yes : Sin shall not have dominion 
over you, Rom. vi. 14. 

Q. 36. What are the heneJU$ which in this life do 
either accompany or flow from justificationy adoption, 
and sanetijication ? 

A. The benefits which in this life do either accom- 
pany or flow from justification, adoption, and sane* 
tification, are, assurance of God*s love, peace of 
conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost, increase of grace, 
and perseverance therein to the end. 

1. Are they that are justified happy in this life? 
Yes: for being justified by faith, we have peace 
with God, Rom. v. 1. And are they so that are 
adopted ? Yes : Beloved, now are we the sons of 
God, 1 John iii. 2. And are they so that are sanc- 
tified ? Yes : for to the pure all things are pure. Tit. 
i. 16. 

2. May they have an assurance of God's love ? 
Yes : Ye know that ye have eternal life, 1 John t. 
13. Is the Spirit the author of that assurance ? 
Yes : the Spirit itself bears witness with our spirits, 
that we are the children of God, Rom. viii. 16. Is 
it wrought by evidences ? Yes : hereby we know 
that we know him, if we keep his commandments, 
1 John ii. 3. Do all believers attain this assurance ? 
No : some walk in darkness, and have no light, 
Isa. 1. 10. But should they labour after it? Yes : 
Show the same diligence unto the full assurance of 
hope unto the end, Heb. vi. 11. And is it an un- 
speakable comfort? Yes: for the love of God is 
shed abroad in our hearts through the Holy Ghost, 
Rom. V. 5. And is it just cause for triumph ? Yes : 
I know whom I have believed, 2 Tim. i. 12. 

3. Is peace of conscience a precious privilege ? 
Yes : for if our hearts condemn us not, then have 
we confidence towards God, 1 John iii. 21. Is it the 
fruit of grace ? Yes : for the work of righteousness 
shall be peace, and the effect of righteousness quiet- 
ness and assurance for ever, Isa. xxxii. 17. Has 
Christ left it as a legacy to his disciples? Yes: 
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, 
John xiv. 27. Can those who are unjustified have 
this peace ? No : There is no peace, saith my God, 
to the wicked, Isa. Ivii. 21. Should those that arc 
justified labour after it? Yes : Return to thy rest, 
O my soul, Ps. cxvi. 7. Should this peace govern 
us ? Yes : Let the peace of God rule in your hearts. 
Col. iii. 15. And will it preserve us ? Yes : The 
peace of God shall keep your hearts and minds, 
Phil. iv. 7. And will it be our comfort in the day 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



893 



of evii ? Yes : oar rejoicing is this, the testimoDy 
of oar conscience, 2 Cor. i. 12. Is it therefore our 
interest to secure it ? Yes : Herein do I exercise 
myself, to have always a conscience void of offence, 
Acts xxiv. 16. 

4. May those who are justified have joy in the 
Holy Ghost? Yes: for helieving we rejoice with 
joj uDspeakahle, and full of glory, 1 Pet. i. 8. 
Ha?e they cause for joy? Yes: for gladness is 
jown for the upright in heart, Ps. xcvii. 11. Is it 
their duty to rejoice ? Yes : Rejoice in the Lord 
always, and again I say, rejoice, Phil. iv. 4. Is it 
their interest to rejoice ? Yes : for the joy of the 
Lord is their strength, Neh. viii. 10. May they re- 
joice in all conditions : Yes : for we glory in tri- 
bulations also, Rom. v. 3. And is this a superlative 
joy? Yes: it is gladness in the heart more than 
in the time that their com and wine increased, 
Ps. iv. 7. 

5. Is grace g^wing ? Yes : He that hath clean 
hands shall be stronger and stronger. Job xvii. 9. 
Is it so in its nature ? Yes : for it is as the shining 
light, which shines more and more unto the perfect 
day, Prov. iv. 18. Is it our duty to grow in grace ? 
Yes : Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our 
Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, 2 Pet. iii. 18. And 
may we rest in what we have attained ? No : but 
press forward towards the mark, Phil. iii. 14. Is it 
promised to all believers that they shall grow ? Yes : 
for to him that hath shall be given, Matt. xxv. 29. 
'H'ill the g^ce of God make them grow ? Yes : I 
vill be as the dew unto Israel, he shall grow as the 
lily, Hos. xiv. 6. 

6. Shall true believers persevere to the end t Yes : 
for be that hath begun a good work will perform it, 
Phil. i. 6L Will hypocrites persevere ? No : these 
have no root, which for a while believe, and in time 
of temptation fall away, Luke viii. 13. Does it ap- 
pear by their apostasy that they never were sincere? 
Yes: They went out from us because they were 
iK)t of us ; for if they had been of us, they would 
i» doubt have continued with us, 1 John ii. 19. 
Bat shall any that are justified finally fall away ? 
^0 : for whom he justified, them he glorified, Rom. 
viii. 30. Is every fall a falling away ? No : for 
thoQgb he falls he shall not be utterly cast down, Ps. 
nxvii. 24. May the appearances of grace be lost? 
Yes: From bim shall be taken away even that 
vhich he seemed to ha?e, Luke viii. 18. But can 
tme grace be finally lost t No : it is that good part 
which shall never be taken away, Luke x. 42. Will 
God recal his gifts ? No : the gifts and callings of 
God are without repentance, Rom. xi. 29. Will he 
secure them ? Yes : we are kept by the power of 
God through faith unto salvation, 1 Pet. i. 5. and 
V. 7. Is the perseverance of the saints secured by 
tbe divine power ? Yes : No man is able to pluck 
them out of my Father's hands, John x. 29. And 



by the divine providence ? Yes : for he will not 
suflTer you to be tempted above that ye are able, 
1 Cor. X. 13. And by the divine grace ? Yes : I 
will put my fear in their "hearts, that they shall 
not depart from me, Jer. xxxii. 40. And by the 
intercession of Christ? Yes: I have prayed for 
thee, that thy faith fail not, Luke xxii. 32. And by 
the indwelling of the Spirit ? Yes : The anointing 
which you have received, abideth in you, 1 John ii. 
27. And by the stability of the promise ? Yes : 
My covenant will I not break, Ps. Ixxxix. 34. May 
they be secure then? No: Be not high-minded, 
but fear, Rom. xL 20. But may they be encou- 
raged ? Yes : He will preserve me to his heavenly 
kingdom, 2 Tim. iv. 18. 

Q. 37. WJiat benefits do believers receive from 
Christ at death ? 

A. The souls of believers are at their death made 
perfect in holiness, and do immediately pass into 
glory ; and their bodies being still united to Christ, 
do rest in their g^ves till the resurrection. 

1. Is the happiness of believers confined to this 
present life ? No : if in this life omly we have hope 
in Christ, we are of all men most miserable, 1 Cor. 
XV. 19. Is the best of their happiness in this life? 
No: for in the world ye shall have tribulation, 
John xvi. 33. Must they die as well as others? 
Yes: it is appointed unto men once to die, Heb. 
ix. 27. Must the best and most useful die ? Yes : 
the righteous perisheth, and merciful men are taken 
away, Isa. Ivii. 1. Ought they then to wait for it? 
Yes : All the days of my appointed time will I wait, 
till my change come. Job xiv. 14. And to prepare 
for it? Yes: Therefore be ye also ready, Matt 
xxiv. 44. 

2. Is death loss to a good Christian? No : for to - 
me to live is Christ, and to die is gain, Phil. i. 21. 
Should it therefore be a terror ? No : for the right- 
eous hath hope in his death, Prov. xiv. 32. Does 
God take special care of the death of his people ? 
Yes : for precious in the sight of the Lord is the 
death of his saints, Ps. cxvi. 15. Is death in the 
covenant? Yes: All is yours, whether life or death, 
1 Cor. iii. 22. Can it separate them from the love 
of God ? No : neither death nor life can do that, 
Rom. viii. 38. 

3. Are believers perfect in holiness in this life ? 
No : I have not yet attained, neither am already per- 
fect, Phil. iii. 12. Are their souls made perfect at 
death ? Yes : the spirits of just men are made 
perfect, Heb. xii. 23. Are they delivered from sin? 
Yes : he that is dead is freed from sin, Rom. vi. 7. 
Are they made perfect in knowledge ? Yes : Then 
shall I know, even as also I am known, 1 Cor. xiii. 
12. And perfect in holiness? Yes; for they are 
come to the perfect man, to the measure of the sta- 
ture of the fulness of Christ, £ph, iv. 13. Might 



894 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



they pass into glory without being made perfect in 
holiness ? No : for corruption cannot inherit incor- 
mption, 1 Cor. xv. 60. Being made perfect in holi- 
ness, are they confirmed in it? Yes: He that is 
holy, let him be holy still. Rev. xxii. 11. 

4. Do the soals of believers at death sleep with 
their bodies? No: for when we are absent from 
the body, we are present with the Lord, 2 Cor. v. 8. 
Do they go to Christ ? Yes : Having a desire to de- 
part and to be with Christ, Phil. i. 23. And will 
he receive them ? Yes : Lord Jesns, receive my spi- 
rit, Acts vii. 59. Shall they be where he is ? Yes: 
That where I am there ye may be also, John xiv. 3. 
Will they be with him in heaven ? Yes : We have 
a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, 
2 Cor. V. 1. Do they pass into this glory at death ? 
Yes : That when ye fail ye may be received into ever- 
lasting habitations, Luke xvi. 9. Do they immedi- 
ately pass into it? Yes: This day shalt thou be 
with me in paradise, Luke xxiii. 43. Are they 
guarded by angels thither ? Yes : He was carried 
by angels into Abraham's bosom, Luke xvi. 22. Are 
they happy then in their death? Yes : Blessed are 
the dead which die in the Lord, Rev. xiv. 13. Hap- 
pier than in life ? Yes : The day of their death is 
better than the day of their birth, Eccl. vii. 1. And 
is their end peace ? Yes : Mark the perfect man, 
and behold the upright, for the end of that man is 
peace, Ps. xxxvii. 37. 

6. Is death gain to the wicked man? No: for 
when a wicked man dies, his expectation shall 
perish, Prov. xi. 7. Is it therefore a terror to the 
wicked ? Yes : This night thy soul shall be required 
of thee, Luke xii. 20. Do the souls of the wicked 
at death go into torment ? Yes : The rich man died, 
and was buried, and in hell he lift up his eyes, being 
in torment, Luke xvi. 22, 23. Do they go away 
under the guilt of their sins ? Yes : If ye believe 
not that I am he, ye ^all die in your sins, John viii. 
24. Is it a fearful thing to fall into the hands of 
the living God ? Yes : for our God is a consuming 
fire, Heb. xii. 29. Are the souls of believers distin- 
guished from them ? Yes : But God will redeem 
my soul from the power of the grave, Ps. xlix. 15. 

6. Are the bodies of believers well provided for 
at death ? Yes : for the Lord is for the body, 1 Cor. 
vi. 13. May they be cheerfully committed to the 
grave? Yes: li^y flesh also shall rest in hope, Ps. 
xvi. 9. Do they still remain united to Christ? Yes : 
for they sleep in Jesns, 1 Thess. iv. 14. Do they 
rest in their graves ? Yes : for there the weary be 
at rest. Job iii. 17. Is the grave a good Christian's 
bed ? Yes : He shall enter into peace, they shall 
rest in thoir beds, Isa. Ivii. 2. May the saints tri- 
umph over the grave then ? Yes : O grave, where 
is thy victory ? 1 Cor. xv. 56. And need they to fear 
no evil in it ? No : for the sucking child shall play 
upon the hole of the asp, Isa. xi. 8. Are all who 



are regenerate delivered from the second death! 
Yes : Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the 
first resurrection, on such the second death shall 
have no power. Rev. xx. 6. 

7. Shall the dead be raised again? Yes : there 
shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just 
and of the unjust. Acts xxiv. 15. Shall the saim 
body be raised again ?• Yes : Though after my skin 
worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I sec 
God, Job xix. 26. Shall it be done by the powei 
of Christ ? Yes : for as in Adam all die, so in 
Christ shall all be made alive, I Cor. xv. 22. Shall 
there be a vast difference between the godly and the 
wicked at the resurrection ? Yes : for soaie shall 
awake to everlasting life, and some to shame and 
everlasting contempt* Dan. xii. 2. Has Christ him- 
self assured us of this? Yes: the hour is coining 
when all that are in the g^ves shall hear his voice, 
and shall come forth ; they that have done good onto 
the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil 
to the resurrection of condemnation, John ▼. 28, 29< 
Is it certain when this shall be ? Yes : for he hath 
appointed a day. Acts xvii. 31. But is it known to 
us? No: for of that day and hour knoweth no 
man, Mark xiii. 32. 

Q. 38. What benefits do believers receive from Chrisi 
at the resurrection ? 

A. At the resurrection, believers being raised up 
in glory, shall be openly acknowledged and acquit- 
ted in the day of judgment, and made perfectly 
blessed in the full enjoyment of God to all eternity. 

1. Shall the dead bodies of believers be raised I 
Yes : For the dead shall be raised, 1 Cor. xv. 62. 
Is it possible that the same body should return to 
life again ? Yes : Why should it seem a things in- 
credible with you that God should raise the dead 1 
Acts xxvi. 8. Is it certain that they shall be raised 1 
Yes : for if there be no resurrection of the dead, then 
is Christ not risen, 1 Cor. xv. 13. Has Christ un^ 
dertaken for the resurrection of believers? Yes : I 
am the resurrection and the life, John xL 26. Are 
they in error who deny it ? Yes : Ye do err, not 
knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God, Matt, 
xxii. 29. 

2. Shall the believer's body be raised up in glory 1 
Yes : it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory, 
1 Cor. XV. 43. Shall it be the glory of Christ's ^o- 
rified body ? Yes : he shall change our vile bodies, 
that they may be fashioned like unto his glorioos 
body, Phil. iii. 21. Shall they be raised by virtue 
of their union with Christ? Yes : Together vrith my 
dead body shall they arise, Isa. xxvi. 19. Shall 
they be raised to such a life as we now live ? No : 
for in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are 
given in marriage. Matt xxii. 30. Shall they be 
raised to an immortal life ? Yes : for this mortal 
must put on immortality, 1 Cor. xv. 53. Shall they 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



«95 



Uiat are foand ali^e be changed ? Yea : Behold, I 
show yon a mystery, we shall not all sleep, bat we 
shall all be chang^, 1 Cor. xt. 51. 

3. Shall all the saints at that day be bronght to 
Jesas Christ? Yes: at the coming of our Lord 
Jesas Christ there shall be a gathering together anto 
him, 2 Thess. ii. 1. Shall they be separated from 
the wicked? Yes: as the Shepherd divideth the 
sheep from the goats. Matt xxy. 32. Shall all the 
saints be then together ? Yes : for he shall gather 
his elect from the fonr winds. Matt. xxiv. 31. And 
none bat saints ? Yes : for he shall gather out of 
his kingdom all things that offend. Matt xiii. 41. 
And saints made perfect ? Yes : for then that which 
is perfect is come, 1 Cor. xiii. 10. Shall they attend 
apon Christ at his coming? Yes : Behold the Lord 
Cometh with ten thousands of his saints. Jade 14. 
Shall they be assessors with him in his judgment ? 
Yes: for the saints shall judge the world, 1 Cor. 
tL2. 

4. Shall they be openly acknowledged in the day 
of judgment? Yes: Him will I confess before my 
Father which is in heaven, Matt x. 32. Will God 
own them as his own ? Yes : They shall be mine, 
saith the Lord, in that day when I make up my 
jewels, Mai. iii. 17. And will that be their honour? 
Tes: If any man serve me, him will my Father 
honour, John xii. 26. Shall they be openly acquit- 
ted ? Yes : for their sins shall be blotted out when 
the times of refreshing come, Acts iii. 19. 

5. Shall the wicked be condemned then ? Yes : 
be shall say to them on his left hand. Depart from 
me. Shall they be sent away with a blessing ? No : 
Depart ye cursed. Shall they go into a place of 
ease ? No : into fire. Into ordinary fire ? No : into 
fire prepared. Shall it be for a short time ? No : 
bat into everlasting fire. Shall they have good com- 
pany? No: but the devil and his angels. Matt. 
XXV. 41. Will the salvation of the saints aggravate 
their condemnation ? Yes : for they shall see Abra- 
ham, and Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of hea- 
Ten, Luke xiii. 28. 

6. Shall the saints at the day of judgment be put 
in possession of eternal life ? Yes : the righteous 
iDto life eternal. Matt. xxv. 46. Shall they be blest ? 
Yes : Come, ye blessed of my Father, Matt xxv. 34. 
Sbaii they be perfectly blessed ? Yes : for in thy 
presence is fulness of joy, Ps. xvi. 11. Shall there 
be any sin in heaven? No: for they are as the 
angels of God in heaven. Matt xxii. 30. Shall there 
be any sorrow there ? No : for God shall wipe away 
all tears from their eyes. Rev. xxi. 4. Shall there 
be any dying there ? No : there shall be no more 
death. Rev. xxi. 4. 

7. Is heaven a place of rest ? Yes : there remain- 
etb a rest for the people of God, Heb. iv. 9. Is it 
Kght ? Yes : it is the inheritance of the saints in 
light. Col. i. 12. Is it honour ? Yes : it is a crown 



of glory that fades not away, 1 Pet v. 4. Is it 
wealth ? Yes : it is an inheritance incorruptihle, 1 
Pet i. 4. Is it joy ? Yes : Enter thou into the joy 
of thy Lord, Matt xxv. 21. 

8. Shall we in heaven see God ? Yes : when he 
shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see 
him as he is, 1 John iii. 2^ Shall we see him clearly ? 
Yes : now we see through a glass darkly, but then 
face to face, 1 Cor. xiii. 12. Shall we enjoy him ? 
Yes : God himself shall be with them, and be their 
God, Rev. xxi. 3. Shall we be satisfied in the vision 
and fruition of God ? Yes : I shall be satisfied when 
I awake with thy likeness, Ps. xvii. 15. Shall this 
be everlasting ? Yes : So shall we ever be with the 
Lord, 1 Thess. iv. 17. 

9. Is this happiness purchased ? Yes : it is the 
purchased possession, Eph. i. 14. Is it promised ? 
Yes : it is eternal life which God, that cannot lie, 
promised. Tit i. 2. Is it sure to all good Christians? 
Yes : even the poor in the world, if rich in faith, are 
heirs of the kingdom, Jam. ii. 6. Should we not be 
solicitous that it may he sure with us ? Yes : What 
shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? Luke 
xviii. 18. Should we not then have it much in our 
eye ? Yes : for we look not at the things that are 
seen, but the things that are not seen, 2 Cor. iv. 18. 
And should we not be comforted and encouraged 
with the prospect of it ? Yes : for the sufiierings of 
this present time are not worthy to be compared with 
the glory which shall be revealed. Rota. viii. 18. 

Q. 39. What is the duty which God requires of 
man? 

A. The duty which God requires of man is obe- 
dience to his revealed will. 

1. Does God require duty of men ? Yes : Now, 
O Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, 
Deut. X. 12. Of every man ? Yes : He that hath 
ears to hear, let him hear. Matt xiii. 9. Has he 
authority to require duty } Yes : If I be a master, 
where is my fear ? Mai. i. 6. Is it fit he should rule 
us ? Yes : for we are his people, and the sheep of 
his pasture, Ps. c. 3. Is it fit we should obey him I 
Yes: for the borrower is servant to the lender, 
and the fool is servant to the wise in heart, Prov. 
xxii. 7. xi. 29. Ought we therefore to inquire what 
our duty is ? Yes : Teach me, O Lord, the way of 
thy statutes, Ps. cxix. 33. 

2. Has God made known his will concerning our 
duty ? Yes : He showeth his word unto Jacob, his 
statutes and his judgments unto Israel, Ps. cxlvii. 
19. Are we to obey it ? Yes : Thou shalt obey the 
voice of the Lord thy God, and do his command- 
ments, Deut. xxvii. 10. Is that obedience the con- 
dition of our acceptance ? Yes : Obey my voice, 
and I will be your- God, Jer. vii. 23. Is obedience 
to God reasonable ? Yes : it is our reasonable ser- 
vice, Rom. xii. 1. Is it easy? Yes: for his com- 



696 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



mandmeiits are not grievoas, 1 John y. 3. And will 
it be acceptable? Yes: for to obey is better than 
sacrifice, 1 Sam. xv. 22. 

3. Must our obedience to God be sincere? Yes : 
Fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity, and in 
truth, Josh xxiy. 14. Must it be universal ? Yes : 
Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect 
unto all thy commandments, Ps. cxix. 6. Must it 
be with delight ? Yes : I delight in the law of God 
after the inward man, Rom. vii. 22. Must it be 
constant? Yes : Be thou in the fear of the Lord all 
the day long, Prov. xxiii. 17. Must God's commands 
take place of men's ? Yes : We ought to obey God 
rather than man, Acts y. 29. and iv. 19. 

4. Should we therefore labour to know the will of 
God ? Yes : Understand what the will of the Lord 
is, Eph. y. 17. Are we to study his secret will ? 
No : for secret things belong not to us. But his re- 
vealed will ? Yes : for things revealed belong to 
OS, and to our children, that we may do all the words 
of this law, Deut xxix. 29. Is obedience to God's 
revealed will the whole duty of man ? Yes : let us 
hear the conclusion of the whole matter : Fear God, 
and keep his commandments, for this is the whole 
duty of man, Eccl. xii. 13. 

Q. 40. What did God at first reveal to man for the 
rule of his obedience. 

A. The rule which God at first revealed to man 
for his obedience, was the moral law. 

1. Was the moral law revealed to man in inno- 
cency? Yes: for God created man in his own 
imagpe, Gen. i. 27. Is it written in the heart of man ? 
Yes : They show the work of the law written in their 
heart, Rom. ii. 15. Is there then a law of nature ? 
Yes : Doth not even nature itself teach you ? 1 Cor. 
xi. 14. Is that a law of God ? Yes : for he openeth 
the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction. Job 
xxxiii. 16. Does natural conscience enforce that 
law? Yes: for the Gentiles which have not the 
law, do by nature the things contained in the law, 
Rom. ii. 14. Did the Gentiles sin by the breach of 
that law ? Yes : what they know naturally, in these 
things they corrupt themselves, Jude 10. And will 
they be punished for the breach of it ? Yes : they 
that have sinned without law, shall perish without 
law, Rom. ii. 12. 

2. Has God given us the moral law more fully? 
Yes : I have written unto them the great things of 
my law, Hos. viii. 12. Are we under that law as a 
covenant? No: for a man is not justified by the 
works of the law. Gal. ii. 16. Are we under it as a 
rule ? Yes : we are under the law to Christ, 1 Cor. 
ix. 21. 

3. Is the law of God very extensive ? Yes : Thy 
commandment is exceeding broad, Ps. cxix. 96. 
And very excellent ? Yes : the law is holy, and the 
commandment is holy, and just, and good, Rom. vii. 



12. Is it admirable? Yes: Thy testimonies are 
wonderful, Ps. cxix. 129» Is any thingnnjast in it ? 
No: I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things 
to be right, Ps. cxix. 128. Is it beyond any other 
law ? Yes : what nation is there so great, that bath 
statutes and judgments so righteous, Deut. iv. 8. 

4. Does the law of God bind the inward man ? 
Yes : for the law is spiritual, Rom. vii. 14. Does it 
forbid heart sins ? Yes : Wash thy heart from wic- 
kedness, Jer. iv. 14. Does it require heart service ? 
Yes : My son, give me thy heart, Prov. xxiii. 26. 
Does the law show us our way ? Yes : it is a light 
to our feet, Ps. cxix. 106. Does it discover sin to 
us ? Yes : by the law is the knowledge of sin, Rom. 
iii. 20. Does it warn us concerning sin and duty ? 
Yes : by them is thy servant warned, Ps. xix. II. 
Does it show us the need of Christ ? Yes : the law 
was our school-master, to bring us to Christ, Gal. 
iii. 24. And does Christ do that for us which the 
law could not ? Yes : Christ is the end of the law 
for righteousness, Rom. x. 4. 

5. Ought we to love the law of God ? Yes : I love 
thy commandments above gold, Ps. cxix. 127. And 
to consult it upon all occasions ? Yes : Thy testi- 
monies are my delight, and my counsellors, v. 24. 
And to confirm it ? Yes : We must walk in the law 
of the Lord, v. 1. 

Q. 41. Where is the moral law summarily compre- 
hended? 

A. The moral law is summarily comprehended in 
the ten commandments. 

1. Was the moral law in force before the ten com- 
mandments were given ? Yes : for Abraham com- 
manded his children to keep the way of the Lord, 
Gen. xviii. 19. Was it at last sununed up in these 
commandments ? Yes : for the law was given by 
Moses, John i. 17. Was the law of the ten com- 
mandments given first to Israel ? Yes : He made 
known his ways unto Moses, his acts to the children 
of Israel, Ps. ciii. 7. But are they binding to us 
now ? Yes : for Christ came not to destroy the law 
but to fulfil, Matt. y. 17. 

2. Did God himself give these commandments ? 
Yes : from his right hand went a fieiy law for them, 
Deut xxxiii. 2. Did God himself speak to them ? 
Yes: Thou camest down upon Mount Sinai, and 
spakest with them from heaven, Neh. ix. 13. Did 
he use the ministry of angels therein ? Yes : they 
received the law by the disposition of angels. Acts 
vii. 63. Did God himself write them? Yes: he 
gave unto Moses two tables of testimony, tables of 
stone, written with the finger of God, Exod. xxxi. 
18. 

3. Was the law given with mnch terror ? Yes : 
for it was given upon a mount that burned with fire, 
and with blackness, and darkness, and tempest, Heb. 
xii. 18. Was the sight terrible to Moses himself? 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



807 



Tes: for he said, I exceedingly fear and qaake, 
Heb. xii. 21. Did it strike an awe upon the people? 
Yes : for they said, All that the Lord hath said will 
we do, and be obedient, Exod. xxiv. 7. And should 
Bot we be awed by the consideration of it 1 Yes : 
knowing the terror of the Lord, we persuade men, 
2 Cor. V. 11. Did the ten commandments include 
the whole moral law ? Yes : If thou wilt enter into 
life, keep these conmiandments, Matt xix. 17. 

Q. 42. What is the turn of the ten commandments ? 

A. The sum of the ten commandments is, to love 
the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our 
soul, with all our strength, and with all our mind, 
and our neighbour as ourselves. 

1. Is all the law summed up in a word? Yes: 
all the law is fulfilled in one word. Gal. v. 14. Is 
that a short and sweet word ? Yes : for it is love ; 
love is the fulfilling of the law, Rom. xiii. 10. 

2. Is it our duty to love God ? Yes : Take good 
heed to yourselves that ye love the Lord your God, 
Josh, xxiii. 11. Must we love him with a sincere 
loTe ? Yes : Grace be with them that love him in 
^iDcerity, Eph. vi. 24. And with a strong love? 
Yes : My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God. 
Ps. xlii. 2. And with a superlative love ? Yes : 
There is none upon earth that I desire besides thee, 
Ps. Ixxiii. 25. And is all this included in the first 
and ^reat commandment ? Yes : Thou shalt love 
the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all 
thy soul, and with all thy mind ; this is the first and 
great commandment. Matt. xxii. 37, 38. And is 
this the sum of our duty to God ? Yes : for if any 
man love God, tb^ same is known of him, 1 Cor. 
viii. 3. Must those who love God be careful to please 
him? Yes: for this is the love of God, that we 
keep his commandments, 1 John v. 3. And must 
they be afraid to offiend him ? Yes : Ye that love 
the Lord, hate evil, Ps. xcvii. 10. 

3. Is there good reason why we should thus love 
God ? Yes : Therefore thou shalt love the Lord thy 
God, Deut. xi. 1. For is he most lovely in himself? 
Yes : God is love, 1 John iv. 8. And most loving to 
Ds ? Yes : we love him because he first loved us, 
1 John iv. 19. Will he return our love ? Yes : I 
loTe those that love me, Prov. viii. 17. Will he re- 
vard it in this world ? Yes : all things shall work 
together for good to them that love God, Rom. viii. 
28. And in the other world ? Yes : for eye hath 
not seen what God hath prepared for them that love 
him, 1 Cor. ii. 9. Will you then love God above 
all I Yes : I will love thee, O Lord, my strength, 
Ps. xviii. 1. And pray to God to give you grace to 
lo?e him ? Yes : the Lord direct our hearts into his 
loTe, 2 Thess. iii. 5. 

4. Is it our duty to love our neighbour too ? Yes : 
He that loveth God, must love his brother also, 1 
Joho iv. 21. Can we pretend to love God, if we do 

3 M 



not love our neighbour? No: he that loveth not 
his brother, whom he hath seen, how can he love 
God, whom he hath not seen, 1 John iv. 20. Is this 
the fulfilling of the law ? Yes : all is comprehend- 
ed in this saying. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as 
thyself, Rom. xiii. 9. James ii. 8. Gal. v. 14. Is it 
the second great commandment ? Yes : the second 
is like unto it. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as 
thyself, Matt xxii. 39. Is it an old commandment? 
Yes : Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, I 
am the Lord, Lev. xix. 18. Is it a new command- 
ment ? Yes : A new commandment I give unto you, 
that ye love one another, John xiii. 34. 

5b Must we have a respect for all men ? Yes : 
Honour all men, 1 Pet ii. 17. Especially for all 
good men? Yes: we must honour them that fear 
the Lord, Ps. xv. 4. Must we esteem one another? 
Yes : Let each esteem other better than themselves, 
PhlL ii. 3. Must we sympathize with one another? 
Yes : Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep 
with them that weep, Rom. xii. 15. Must we please 
one another? Yes: for even Christ pleased not 
himself, Rom. xv. 2, 3. Must we help one another? 
Yes : Bear ye one another's burthens. Gal. vi. 2. 
Must we do good to one another ? Yes : as we have 
opportunity we must do good to all men, Gal. vi. 
10. Must we pray for one another? Yes: Pray 
one for another, that ye may be healed, James v. 16. 
Must we love even our enemies ? Yes : Love your 
enemies, bless them that curse you. Matt. v. 44. 

6. Must you hurt nobody in word or deed ? No : 
A citizen of Sion doth not evil to his neighbour, nor 
taketh up a reproach against his neighbour, Ps. xv. 
3. Must you be true and just in all your dealings? 
Yes : That Which is altogether just shalt thou follow, 
Deut. xvi. 20. Must yon bear no malice or hatred 
in your heart? No : for whosoever hateth his bro- 
ther is a murderer, 1 John iii. 15. 

7. Are we to love our neighbour as ourselves? 
Yes : for we are members one of another, Eph. iv. 
25. As truly as we love ourselves ? Yes : Let love 
be without dissimulation, Rom. xii. 9. And as fruit- 
fully ? Yes : Not seeking my own profit, but the 
profit of many, 1 Cor. x. 33. And as constantly as 
we love ourselves ? Yes : Let brotherly love continue, 
Heb. xiii. 1. Ought we therefore to do as we would 
be done by ? Yes : Whatsoever ye would that men 
should do to you, do ye even so to them. Matt vii. 
12. Should we in our places promote Christian 
love? Yes: for every one that loveth is bom of 
God, 1 John iv. 7. And will this be our comfort? 
Yes : Live in peace, and the God of love and peace 
shall be with yon, 2 Cor. xiii. 11. 

Q. 43. What is the preface to the ten command- 
ments? 

A. The preface to the ten commandments is in 
these words, I am the Lord thy God, which brought 



808 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



thee out of the land of Egypt, oat of the house of 
bondage. 

1 Did God himself speak the ten commandmeDts? 
Yes : God spake all these words, saying, Exod. xx. 

I. Was it fit they should be introduced with « 
solemn preface ? Yes : Hear, O heavens, and give 
ear, O earth, for the Lord hath spoken, Isa. i. 2.- 
Did he therein assert his own authority ? Yes : I 
am- the Lord thy God. Did he remind them of the 
great things he had lately done for them? Yes: I 
am the Lord thy God, from the land of Egypt, Hos. 
XII. 9. 

2. Was the condition of Israel in Egypt very miser- 
able ? Yes : for the Egyptians made them to serve 
with rigour, Exod. i. 13. Did God bring them out 
of Egypt? Yes: He brought Israel from among 
them, for his mercy endureth for ever, Ps. cxxxvi. 

II. Did he do it miraculously? Yes: With a 
strong hand, and a stretched-out arm, for his mercy 
endureth for ever, v. 12. Did this oblige them to 
keep his commandments ? Yes : When I brought 
them out of the land of Egypt, I said, Obey my voice, 
Jer. vii.22, 23. But does this concern us? Yes: 
for unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto 
them, Heb. iv. 2. For is God the God of the Jews 
only? Is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes: of the 
Gentiles also, Rom. iii. 29. 

Q. 44. What does the preface to tJie ten command- 
ments teach us ? 

A. The preface to the ten commandments teaches 
us, that because God is the Lord, and our God, and 
Redeemer, therefore we are bound to keep all God*s 
commandments. 

1. Is God the Lord Jehovah? Yes: I am the 
Lord, that is my name, Isa. xlii. 8. Is that a reason 
why we should keep his commandment ? Yes : Ye 
shall observe all my statutes, and do them, I am the 
Lord, Lev. xix. 37. Is he our God ? Yes : He is 
thy praise, and he is thy God, Deut. x. 21. Is that 
a reason why we should keep his commandments ? 
Yes : for all people will walk every one in the name 
of their God, Mic. iv? 6. Ps. xcv. 7. 

2. Is he our Redeemer ? Yes : Thou, O Lord, art 
our Father, our Redeemer, Isa. Ixiii. 16. Has he 
redeemed us from outward troubles ? Yes : Behold, 
the Lord hath kept mc alive. Josh. xiv. 10. And are 
we therefore bound to keep his commandments? 
Yes : Truly, I am thy servant, thou hast loosed my 
bonds, Ps. cxvi. 16. And are we very ungrateful if 
we do not ? Yes : Now thou hast given us such de- 
liverance as this, should we again break tliy com- 
mandments ? Ezra ix. 13, 14. 

3. Has God brought us out of a spiritual Egypt ? 
Yes: for Christ proclaims liberty to the captives, 
Isa. Ixi. 1. Are we delivered from the bonds of 
sin ? Yes : He shall redeem Israel from all their in- 



iquities, Ps. «xxx. 8. And is our deliirerance by 
Christ greater than theirs out of Egypt? Yes : for 
if the Son make you free, then you shall be free in- 
deed, John viii. 36. And are we therefore bound to 
keep all his commandments ? Yes : for we are de- 
livered out of the hands of our enemies, that we 
might serve him, Luke i. 74, 75. And was this the 
design of our redemption ? Yes : He gave himself 
for us, that he might redeem us from ail iniquity, Tit. 
ii. 14. Is there then all the reason in the world vbj 
we should be religious ? Yes : Come now, and let 
us reason together, saith the I^ord, Isa. i. 18. 

Q. 45. What is the first commandment ? 
A. The first commandment is. Thou shaft have no 
other gods before me. 

1. Is it an essential duty of religion to worship 
God ? Yes : for those have no hope that are with- 
out God in the world, Eph. ii. 12. Are we concern- 
ed to be right in the object of our worship ? Yes : 
We must know what we worship, John iv. 22. Does 
the first commandment direct us in this? Yes: 
for the first of all the commandments is this. Hear, 

Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord, Mark xii. 29. 

2. Does God lay a stress upon our having him for 
our God? Yes: Hear, O my people, and I will 
speak ; I am God, even thy God, Ps. 1. 7. And upon 
our having him only ? Yes: Hear, O my people, and 

1 will testify unto thee ; there shall no strange god 
be in thee, neither shalt thou worship any strange 
god, Ps. Ixxxi. 8, 9. Did Israel need this com- 
mandment? Yes: for their fathers served other 
gods. Josh. xxiv. 2. And were they tempted to 
serve other gods ? Yes : the gods of the people that 
were round about them, Deut. xiii. 7. 

Q. 36. What is required in the first commandment? 

A. The first commandment requires us to know 
and acknowledge God to be the only true God, and 
our God, and to worship and glorify him accord- 
ingly. 

1. Does that which forbids us to have any other 
gods, require us to have the true God? Yes: 
Put away the strange gods, and serve the Lord only, 
I Sam. vii. 3. 4. Is it our duty to acknowledge 
God ? Yes : The Lord he is God, the Lord be is 
God, 1 King^ xviii. 39. And must we acknowledge 
him to be the only true God ? Yes : Thou art the 
God, even thou alone, 2 Kings xix. 15. 

2. Is it our duty to acquaint ourselves with him ? 
Yes : Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at 
peace. Job xxii. 21. Must we grow in that ac- 
quaintance? Yes : increasing in the knowledge of 
God, Col. i. 10. And may we attain to it ? Yes : 
then shall we know, if we follow on to know the 
Lord, Hos. vi. 3. 

3. Must we accept of God for our God? Yes: 
Thou hast avouched the Lord this day to be thy God, 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



s»d 



BcotxxTi. 17, 18. And most we join onrseWes to 
bim? Yes: Come., and let us join onrselves to the 
Lord in an eTerlasting covenant, Jer. 1. 6. And 
consent to be his? Yes: O Lord, trnly I am thy 
Mrrant, I am thy servant, Ps. cxvi. 16. Must we 
take God the Father to be oar chief good and high- 
est end ? Yes : O God, thoa art my God, Ps. Ixiii. 
1. And God the 9on to be omr Prince and Savionr ? 
Yes: My Lord and ray God, John xx. 28. And 
God the Holy Ghost to be oar sancti6er, teacher, 
guide, and comforter ? Yes : for they that are led 
by the Spirit of God, arc the sons of God, Rom. viii. 

14. Mast we renoance all others ? Yes : For by 
thee only will we make mention of thy name, Isa. 
xxvi. 13. Mast we do this deliberately? Yes: 
Choose ye this day whom ye will serve. Josh. xxiv. 

15. Mast we do it solemnly ? Yes : One shall say, 
I am the Lord's, and another shall sabscribe with 
bis band onto the Lord, Isa. xliv. 5. Mast we do 
it resolotely? Yes: Nay, bat we will serve the 
Lord, Josh. xxiv. 21. May we be at liberty to change 
oar Master? No: bat with parpose of heart must 
cleave to the Lord, Acts xi. 23. 

4. When we have avoached the Lord for our God, 
most we apply onrselves to him ? Yes : If the Lord 
be God, then follow him, 1 Kings xviii. 21. Mast 
we glorify him accordingly ? Yes : Give anto the 
Lord the glory dae onto his name, Ps. xxix. 2. Mast 
we worship him? Yes: Thou shalt worship the 
Lord thy God, and him only shalt thoa serve. Matt 
IT. 10. Mast we worship him with inward worship ? 
Yes : we mast serve him with oar spirits, Rom. i. 9. 
Is that the worship be requires ? Yes : for such the 
Father seeks to worship him, John iv. 23. 

5. Mast we remember God? Yes: Remember 
now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, Eccl. xii. 1. 
And think of him with delight? Yes : My medita- 
tioo of him shall be sweet, Ps. civ, 34. Must we 
adore and admire him ? Yes : Who is like unto 
tbee, Lord, among the gods? Exod. xv. 11. Must 
we fear him above all ? Yes : Let him be your fear, 
and let him be yoor dread, Isa. viii. 13. And rever- 
ence him ? Yes : he is to be had in reverence of 
all them that are about him, Ps. Ixxxix. 7. Most 
we sahmit to his word ? Yes : Speak, Lord, for thy 
serrant hears, 1 Sam. iii. 9. And submit to his will? 
Yes : It is the Lord, let him do what seemeth him 
good, V, 18. 

6. Mast we love God above all? Yes: O love 
the Lord all ye his saints, Ps. xxxi. 23. Must our 
desire be towards him ? Yes : So panteth my soul 
alter thee, O God, Ps. xlii. 1. Must our delight be 
in him ? Yes : Delight thyself always in the Lord, 
Ps. xxxvii. 4. Must our dependence be upon him ? 
Yes: In thee, O Lord, do I put my trost, Ps. 
xxxi. 1. 

7. Mast we live a life of communion with God? 

Yes : Mine eyes are ever towards the Lord, Ps. xxv. 

3 H 2 



15. And a life of complacency in him ? Yes : Re- 
joice in the Lord always, Phil. iv. 4. And a life of 
conformity to him? Yes : Be ye holy, for I am holy, 

1 Pet i. 16. And a life of confidence in him? Yes: 
Commit thy way anto the Lord, Ps. xxxvii. 5. And 
a life of regard to him ? Yes : In all thy ways ac- 
knowledge him, Prov. iii. 6. Mast our hearts go 
out towards him ? Yes : Unto thee, O Lord, do I 
lift ap my soal, Ps. xxv. 1. And must we have him 
always in our eye? Yes : I have set the Lord always 
before me, Ps. xvi. 8. And must we walk with him 
in the whole coarse of our conversation ? Yes : as 
Enoch walked with God, Gen. v. 24. And is this 
inward worship the life of religion? Yes: it is 
better than all bnmt-offerings and sacrifices, Mark 
xii. 33. 

Q. 47. What u forbidden in the first comnumdment ? 

A. The first commandment forbiddeth the deny- 
ing, or not worshipping and glorifying, the true 
God, as God, and our God; and the giving of that 
worship and glory to any other which is due to him 
alone. 

1. Is it a great sin to deny the being of God? 
Yes : The fool hath said in his heart. There is no God, 
Ps. xiv. 1. Or to deny his omniscience ? Yes : They 
say. The Lord shall not see, Ps. xciv. 7. Or to deny 
his justice? Yes: He hath said in his heart. Thou 
wilt not require it, Ps. x. 13. Or his holiness ? Yes : 
Thoa thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as 
thyself, Ps. 1. 21. Or his goodness ? Yes : I knew 
thee to be a hard man. Matt. xxv. 24. Or his faith- 
fulness ? Yes : Where is the promise of his coming? 

2 Pet. iii. 4. Is it a sin to question God's provi- 
dence? Yes : Is the Lord among as ? or is he not? 
Exod. xvii. 7. Or to question his power? Yes: 
Can God furnish a table in the vnlderness, Ps. 
Ix xviii. 19. And is there such a thing as practical 
atheism ? Yes : They profess that they know God, 
but in works they deny him. Tit. i. 16. 

2. Is it a great sin to be ignorant of God ? Yes : 
Some have not the knowledge of God ; I speak it to 
your shame, 1 Cor. xv. 34. Is it a damning sin ? 
Yes : He shall take vengeance on them that know 
not God, 2 Thess. i. 8. Is it the cause of all other 
sins ? Yes : There is neither truth, nor mercy, nor 
knowledge of God, in the land, Hos. iv. 1. Is it a 
g^eat sin to forget God ? Yes : Thoa hast forgotten 
the God that formed thee, Deut. xxxii. 18. And to 
cast off the fear of him ? Yes : There is no fear of 
God before his eyes, Ps. xxxvi. 1. And to live 
withoat prayer ? Yes : Thoa hast not called upon 
me, O Jacob, Isa. xliii. 22. And not to glorify him ? 
Yes : The God in whose hand thy breatii is, hast 
thou not glorified, Dan. v. 23. 

3. Is all distrust of God a sin ? Yes : the evil 
heart of unbelief departs from the living God, Heb. 
iii. 12. And tempting God ? Yes : Thou shalt not 



900 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



tempt the Lord tby God, Matt. iv. 7. And all the 
coldness of our love to him ? Yes : But their heart 
is far from me, Matt xv. 8. Does this command- 
ment forbid all ungodliness ? Yes : for the wrath 
of God is revealed against all ungodliness, Rom. i. 
18. And all idolatry ? Yes : Little children, keep 
yourselves from idols, 1 John v. 21. 

3. Had the Gentiles other gods besides the true 
God ? Yes : they had gods many, and lords many, 
1 Cor. ?iii. 5. And were those gods devils ? Yes: 
they sacrificed to devils, and not to God, 1 Cor. x. 
20. May we have communion with them ? No : 
I would not that ye should have fellowship with 
devils, I Cor. x. 20. Have those fellowship with 
them who consult with witches ? Yes: Is it because 
there is not a God in Israel, that thou goest to in- 
quire of Beelzebub, the god of Ekron, 2 Kings i. 3. 
Did the Gentiles multiply their gods ? Yes : Accord- 
ing to the number of thy cities are thy gods, Jer. 
ii. 28. Were they gods of their own making ? Yes : 
And they that make them are like unto them, Ps. 
cxv. 8. Was not that a g^at affront to the living 
God ? Yes : They changed the truth of God into 
a lie, Rom. i. 25. 

5. Is there not such a thing as spiritual idolatry ? 
Yes: These men have set up their idols in their 
hearts, Ezek. xiv. 4. Is it idolatry to make a god of 
our appetites? Yes: Whose god is their belly, 
Phil. iii. 19. Or a god of our money ? Yes : for 
covetousness is idolatry, Col. iii. 5. May we give 
that respect to any creature which is due to God 
alone ? No : for his glory he will not give to an- 
other, Isa. xlii. 8. Is it therefore a sin to love them 
more than God? Yes: He that loveth father or 
mother more than me, is not worthy of me. Matt x. 
37. And to trust in them ? Yes: Cursed is the man 
that trusteth in man, Jer. xvii. 5. Is this spiritual 
adultery ? Yes : She went after her lovers, and for- 
gat me, saith the Lord, Hos. ii. 13. 

Q. 48. What are toe espedally taught by these 
wards, [before m«,] in the first eommandment ? 

A. These words, [before me,] in the first com- 
mandment, teach us, that God, who seeth all things, 
takes notice of, and is much displeased with, the 
sin of having any other God. 

1. Are we always in God's sight? Yes: Thou 
knowest my down-sitting, and my up-rising, Ps. 
cxxxix. 2. Are all our actions in his sight? Yes : 
All my ways are before thee, Ps. cxix. 108. Does 
he take notice of them ? Yes : he pondereth all our 
goings, Prov. v. 21. 

2. Are all our good works before him? Yes: I 
know thy work, and thy labour, and thy patience, 
Rev. ii. 2. Does he know all our inward worship 
of him ? Yes : The Lord hearkened, and heard 
those that thought on his name, Mai. iii. 16. And 
should that encourage us to have him for our God ? 



Yes : for your Father sees in secret, and will reward 
openly. Matt vi. 4. 

3. Are all our evil works before him? Yes: He 
sets our iniquities before him, Ps. xc. 8. Is the 
having of other gods oftentimes a secret sin ? Yes: 
They do it in the dark, and say. The Lord sees 
us not, Exod. viii. 12. But does God see? Yes: 
He that formed the eye, shall he not see it? Ps. 
xciv. 9. Does he take notice of all our neglects of 
him ? Yes : if we have forgotten the name of our 
God he knows it And does he take notice of all 
our inclinations to other gods ? Yes : if we have 
stretched out our hands to a strange god, shall not 
God search this out? Ps. xliv. 20, 21. And is be 
much displeased with secret idolatry ? Yes : Sccst 
thou the g^at abominations that they commit? 
Ezek. viii. 6. And should this oblige us to be faith- 
ful to him ? Yes : for the Lord searchetfa all hearts, 
1 Chron. xxviii. 9. 

Q. 49. What is the second commandment ? 

A. The second commandment is, Thou shaft not 
make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of 
any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the 
earth beneath ; or that is in the water under the earth ; 
thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve 
them : for I the Lord thy God am a jealous €rod, 
visitingtbeiniquity of the fathers upon the children, 
unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate 
me, and showing mercy unto thousands of them that 
love me, and keep my commandments. 

1. Does the second commandment concern the or- 
dinances of God's worship, as the first object of it ? 
Yes : Therefore ye shall keep mine ordinances. Lev. 
xviii. 10. Was it requisite there should be a law 
concerning them ? Yes : Lest ye say. How did these 
nations serve their gods ? so will I do likewise, 
Deut xii. 30. Is this binding to us now ? Yes : 
Dearly beloved, flee from idolatry, 1 Cor. x. 14. Are 
we Christians forbidden to worship images ? Yes : 
That they should not worship idols of gold, and sil- 
ver, and brass, and stone. Rev. ix. 20. 

2. Does this commandment forbid the making of 
images for a religious use ? Yes : Cursed be the man 
that maketh any graven image, Deut xxvii. 15. 
Does it forbid the making an image of what is in 
heaven above? Yes: Lest thou lift up thine eyes 
unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the 
moon, and the stars, shouldst be driven to worship 
them, Deut. iv. 19. Or on earth beneath? Yes: 
As they changed their glory into the similitude of an 
ox, Ps. cvi. 20. Or in the waters under the earth ? 
Yes : As they made the likeness of creeping things, 
Rom. i. 23. 

3. Does it forbid us to bow down to them ? Yes : 
Shall I bow down to the stock of a tree ? Isa. xliv. 
19. Or to worship them ? Yes : Thou shalt worship 
no other God, Exod. xxxiv. 14. Or to show any re- 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



901 



Kspect to them ? Yes : I will take away the names 
of Baalim oat of their moath, Hos. ii. 17. Was it re- 
quisite this commandment should be thus enlarged ? 
Yes : Precept most be upon precept, and line npon 
line, Isa. xxviii. 10. And that it should be backed 
with many reasons ? Yes : for they are mad upon 
their idols, Jer. I. 38. 

Q. 50. What iff required in the sfccnd camnumd- 
mentf 

A. The second commandment requires the receiv- 
ing, observing, and keeping pure and entire all such 
rcligioas worship and ordinances as God has ap- 
pointed in his word. 

1. Isit our duty solemnly to worship God? Yes: 
Thou Shalt worship the Lord thy God, Matt. iv. 10. 
Do we thereby honour him? Yes: we give unto 
him the glory due unto his name, Ps. xxix.tS. Does 
the light of nature teach us to worship God ? Yes : 
they cried every man unto his god, Jonah i. 5. But 
does it teach us sufficiently how to worship him? 
No: Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship. Acts 
XTiL 23. Has God in his word appointed us in 
irhat way to worship him ? Yes: for this was or- 
dained in Joseph for a testimony, Ps. Ixxxi. 5. 
And must we worship him in the appointed way ? 
Yes: See thou make all things according to the 
pattern showed thee, Heb. viii. 5. 

2. Are we to receive such ordinances as God has 
appointed ? Yes : The Lord our God will we serve, 
and his voice will we obey. Josh. xxiv. 24. Should 
we labour to understand them ? Yes : What mean 
je by this service ? Exod. xii. 26. And are we to 
observe them ? Yes : Observe all things whatsoever 
I have commanded you. Matt, xxviii. 20. And to 
observe them duly? Yes : as the duty of every day 
requires, Ezra iii. 4. 

3. Are we to keep God's ordinances? Yes : That 
f^ood thing which was committed to thee, keep, 2 
Tim. i. 14. Are we to keep them carefully ? Yes : 
Keep them as the apple of thine eye, Prov. vii. 2. 
Must we keep them pure without corruption ? Yes : 
Add thou not to his words, Prov. xxx. 6. And 
entire, without diminution ? Yes: We must walk in 
all the ordinances of the Lord, Luke i. 6. May we 
neither add nor diminish ? No : Thou shalt neither 
^d thereto, nor diminish from it, Deut. xii. 32. 

4. Mast we worship God in the spirit ? Yes : We 
are the circumcision that worship God in the spirit, 
Phil. iii. 3. Must we be inward with God in every 
service ? Yes : for bodily exercise profiteth little, 
1 Tim. iv. 8. Is ignorance the mother of devotion ? 
No : for if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not 
nil? Mai. i. 8. Is it the mother of destruction? 
Yes: My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge, 
Hos. iv. 6. 

5. Ought wc to have an eye to the word of God in 
our religious worship ? Yes : for whatsoever is not 



of faith is sin, Rom. xiv. 23. And to glorify God 
in it ? Yes : I will be sanctified in them that come 
nigh unto me. Lev. x. 3. And ought we to shun 
all idolatrous worships? Yes: For I would not 
that ye should have fellowship with devils, 1 Cor. 
X. 20. 

Q. 61. What is forbidden in the second eomnumd- 
ment? 

A. The second commandment forbids the wor- 
shipping of God by images, or any other way not 
appointed in his word ? 

1. Is it a sin to worship the true God by images ? 
Yes : for it changes the truth of God into a lie, Rom. 
i. 25. Are not images laymen's books? No: for 
an image is a teacher of lies, Hah. ii. 18. Is it pos- 
sible to make an image of God ? No : we ought 
not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or 
silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. 
Acts xvii. 29. Do we know what to represent God 
by ? No : To whom then will ye liken God 7 Isa. 
xl. 18. Do they that pretend to it put a great af- 
front npon him ? Yes : for they change the glory of 
the incorruptible God into an image made like to 
corruptible man, Rom. i. 23. 

2. May we worship Christ by an image ? No : 
For though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet 
now henceforth know we him no more, 2 Cor. v. 16. 
Is it idolatry to worship the consecrated host ? Yes : 
for it is bread which we break, 1 Cor. x. 16. Is it 
idolatry to pray to saints and angels ? Yes : See 
thou do it not, but worship God, Rev. xix. 10. and 
xxii. 0. 

3. Must we be careful to avoid all appearances of 
idolatry ? Yes : Take ye therefore good heed to 
yourselves, lest ye corrupt yourselves, Deut. iv. 15. 
Should we choose to die rather than worship images ? 
Yes : But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, we 
will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden 
image which thou hast set up, Dan. iii. 18. 

4. Is it a sin to worship God in any way not ap- 
pointed in his word T Yes : In vain do they wor- 
ship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments 
of men. Matt. xv. 9. May we ourselves invent or- 
dinances of worship? No: They went a whoring 
with their own inventions, Ps. cvi. 39. Is it not 
enough if what we invent is not forbidden ? No : 
They offered a strange fire before the Lord, which he 
commanded them not. Lev. x. 1. Is it a sin to de- 
spise any of God's ordinances ? Yes : Ye said also. 
Behold what a weariness is it! Mai. i. 13. Or to 
be careless in our attendance upon them? Yes: 
Cursed be the deceiver that hath in his flock a male, 
and vows and sacrifices to the Lord a corrupt thing, 
Mai. i. 14. Are they spiritual idolaters who make 
images of God in their fancy ? Yes : they are vain 
in their imaginations, and their foolish heart is 
darkened, Rom. i. 21. 



902 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



Q. &2. What are the rea$oni annexed to the second 
eommandment f 

A. The reasoDs annexed to the second command- 
ment, are God's sovereignty over us, his property in 
Qs, and the seal be has to his own worship. 

1. Is there good reason why we shonid take heed 
of idolatry? Yes: Turn ye not to idols, neither 
make to yourselves molten gods, I am the Lord your 
God, Lev. xix. 4. Has God a sovereigpoty over us ? 
Yes : for he is a g^eat God, and a great King above 
all gods, Ps. xcv. 3. Ought we therefore to worship 
him, as he has appointed us ? Yes : O come let us 
worship, and bow down, and kneel before the Lord 
our Maker, Ps. xcv. 0. And not to worship idols? 
Yes : for they can do neither good nor evil, Isa. xH. 
23. 

2. Has God a property in us? Yes: for we are 
the people of his pasture, Ps. xcv. 7. Ought we 
therefore to worship him? Yes: He is thy Lord, 
and worship thou him, Ps. xlv. 11. And not to 
worship other gods ? Yes : for hath a nation changed 
their gods? Jer. ii. 11. 

3. Is God jealous in the matters of his worship ? 
Yes : The Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous 
God, Exod. xxxiv. 14. Is he much displeased with 
those who corrupt it? Yes: They provoked the 
Lord God of Israel to anger with their vanities, 1 
Kings xvi. 13. Do those who do so hate him ? Yes : 
Idolaters are haters of God, Rom. i. 25, 30. Will 
he visit their iniquity ? Yes : In the day when I 
visit, I will visit their sin upon them, Exod. xxxii. 
34. Will he visit it upon the children ? Yes : Our 
fathers sinned, and are not, and we have borne their 
iniquities, Lam. v. 7. And is it just with him to do 
so ? Yes : for they are the children of whoredoms, 
Hos. ii. 4. But will he visit it for ever ? No : but 
to the third and fourth generation, Exod. xxxiv. 7. 

4. Will those who love God keep his command- 
ments? Yes: If ye keep my commandments, ye 
shall abide in my love, John xv. 10. Will he show 
mercy to such ? Yes : for he hath said, I love them 
that love me, Prov. viii. 17. Will he show mercy 
to thousands of such ? Yes : for the mercy of the 
Lord is from everlasting to everlasting, Ps. ciii. 17. 

Q. 53. What is the third commandment ? 

A. The third commandment isj Thou shalt not take 
the name of the Lord thy God in vain ; for the Lord 
will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in 
vain. 

1. Does the third commandment concern the man- 
ner of our worshipping God ? Yes : That we serve 
the Lord with fear, Ps. ii. 1 1. Is it enough that we 
seek God in a due ordinance ? No : but wo must 
seek him after the due order, 1 Chron. xv. 13. 

2. Is God's name all that whereby he makes him- 
self known ? Yes : He proclaimed the name of the 



Lord, Exod. xxxiv. 5. Ought we to make use of 
his name ? Yes : By thee only will we make men- 
tion of thy name, Isa. xxvi. 13. And to take heed 
of abusing it ? Yes : Neither shalt thou profane the 
name of thy God, I am the Lord, Lev. xviii. 21. 

Q. 54. What is required in the third eammandmeni? 

A. The third commandment requires a holy and 
reverent use of God's names, titles, attributes, ordi- 
nances, word, and works. 

1. Does this commandment require us to glorify 
the name of God ? Yes : They shall worship before 
thee, O Lord, and shall glorify thy name, Ps. Ixxxvi. 
9. Are we to think of God's name with seriousness? 
Yes : They feared the Lord, and thought upon his 
name, Mai. iii. 16. Are we to speak of it with re- 
verence? Yes: For God is in heaven, and thou 
upon earth, therefore let thy words be few, Eccl. v. 
2. Are we to call upon his name with a holy awe ? 
Yes : for we that are but dust and ashes speak to 
the Lord of glory. Gen. xviii. 27. Are we to worship 
God reverently in every religious duty ? Yes : We 
must serve him acceptably, with reverence and godly 
fear, Heb. xii. 28. And is there good reason for it ? 
Yes : for our God is a consuming fire, Heb. xii. 29. 
Ought we to behave ourselves very reverently in pub- 
lic worship ? Yes : for God is greatly to be feared 
in the assembly of his saints, and to be had in re- 
verence of all them that are about him, Ps. 
Ixxxix. 7. 

2. Must we be holy in worshipping God ? Yes : 
Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness, Ps. xcvi. 
9. Must we be holy in prayer and praise? Yes: 
lifting up holy hands, 1 Tim. ii. 8. Must our thoughts 
be fixed ? Yes : O God, my heart is fixed, Ps. cviii. 
1. Must pious and devout afiections be working in 
us ? Yes : we must be fervent in spirit, serving the 
Lord, Rom. xii. 11. Must we be very humble in 
our approaches to God ? Yes : as the publican that 
stood afar off, and would not so much as lift up his 
eyes to heaven, Luke xviii. 13. 

3. Must we give glory to God in his word ? Yes : 
for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name« 
Ps. cxxxviii. 2. Must we hear it with reverence ? 
Yes : We are all here present before God, to hear 
all things that are commanded thee of God, Acts x. 
33. Must we give glory to God in swearing when 
we are called to it ? Yes : Thou shalt fear the Lord 
thy God, and shalt swear by his name, Deut. vi. 13. 
Must we be cautious in swearing ? Yes : we must 
fear an oath, Eccl. ix. 2. Must we be conscientious 
in swearing ? Yes : Thou shalt swear in truth, in 
judgment, and in righteousness, Jer. iv. 2. Must 
we give glory to God in vowing ? Yes : Vow and pay 
unto the Lord your God, Ps. Ixxvi. 11. 

4. Must we glorify God in his great works ? Yes : 
we must magnify his works which men behold. Job 
xxxvi, 24. And must we glorify him by our good 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



903 



vorks > Yes : Let every one that names the name 
of Christ depart from iniquity, 2 Tim. ii. 19. 

Q. 55. What is forbidden in the third command- 

ment ? 

A. The third comroaodmeDt forbids all profaning 
or abosiog of any thing whereby God makes himself 
known. 

1. Do all hypocrites take God's name in vain? 
Yes : for they make mention of the God of Israel, 
bot not in truth and righteousness, Isa. xlviii. 1. Do 
ihej therefore profane that name ? Yes : for the 
Dame of God is blasphemed through them, Rom. ii. 
24. Do hypocritical worshippers take God's name in 
vain ? Yes : for with their mouth they show much 
loTe, bot their heart goeth after their covetousness, 
Ezek. xxxiii. 31. And is their seeming religion a 
vain religion ? Yes : That man's religion is vain, 
James i. 26. Can it be pleasing to God ? No : 
Bring no more Tain oblations, Isa. i. 11, 13. Can it 
be profitable to themselves ? No : for they receive 
the grace of God in vain, 2 Cor. vi. 1 . Do covenant- 
breakers take God's name in vain ? Yes : for they 
lie nnto him with their tongues, Ps. Ixxviii. 36. 

2. Is it a sin against this commandment to use the 
name of God lightly and carelessly ? Yes: For thou 
shall fear this glorious and fearful name, the Lord 
thy God, Deut. xxviii. 58. Will God's friends thus 
affront him? No: Thine enemies take thy name 
in vain, Ps. cxxxix. 20. Is it the character of the 
wicked > Yes : Thou art near in their mouth, and 
far from their reins, Jer. xii. 2. 

.1 Is it a sin against this commandment to swear 
rashly? Yes : Above all things, my brethren, swear 
not, Jam. V. 12. Is it a sin to swear by creatures? Yes: 
whether by heaven, or by the earth, or by the head. 
Matt V. 34 — 36. Must our communication be yea, 
yea,andnay,nay? Yes: for whatsoever is more than 
these Cometh of evil, Matt. v. 37. Is it a sin to 
swear falsely ? Yes : Thou shalt not forswear thyself. 
Matt V. 33. Is prophane swearing a great sin ? 
Yes : for it blasphemes that worthy name by which 
we are called. Jam. ii. 7. Is it an inexcusable sin ? 
Yes : for they transgress without cause, Ps. xxv. 3. 
Does it bring judgments upon families ? Yes : for 
the curse shall enter into the house of him that 
swears falsely, and shall consume it, Zech. v. 4. 
Aod upon nations ? Yes : because of swearing the 
land mourns, Jer. xxiii. 10. 

4. Is it a sin against this commandment to jest 
with the word of God ? Yes : Be ye not mockers, 
lest your bands be made strong, Isa. xxviii. 22. Or 
to use it as a charm ? Yes : as those exorcists 
which said, We adjure you by Jesus, whom Paul 
preacheth. Acts xix. 13. Is it a sin to put a slight 
apon sacred things ? Yes : Ye have profaned mjr 
name, in that ye say, The table of the Lord is con- 
temptible, Mai. i. 12. 



Q. 66. What is the reason annexed to the third com- 
mandment ? 

A. The reason annexed to the third command- 
ment is, that however the breakers of this command- 
ment may escape punishment from men, yet the 
Lord our God will not suffer them to escape his 
righteous judgment. 

1. Do the breakers of the third commandment 
commonly escape punishment from men ? Yes : 
for men hear the voice of swearing, and utter it not. 
Lev. V. 1. And do they fancy they shall escape 
God's judgments? Yes: the wicked contemn God, 
and yet say in their heart, he will not require it, Ps. 
X. 13. But shall they escape God*s judgments? 
No : Be not deceived, God is not mocked. Gal. vi. 7. 

2. Shall those who profane God's holy name 
escape his righteous judgments? No: The Lord 
will make their plagues wonderful, Deut. xxviii. 59. 
Shall hypocrites escape them ? No : Woe unto yon 
scribes and pharisees, hypocrites. Matt, xxiii. 13. 
Shall scoffers escape them ? No : for they shall 
be broken, and snared, and taken, Isa. xxviii. 13. 
Shall covenant breakers escape them ? No : Seeing 
he despised the oath, by breaking the covenant, he 
shall not escape, Ezek. xvii. 18. 

3. Shall swearers go unpunished ? No : for he 
that sweareth shall be cut off, Zech. v. 3. Shall 
they who use God's name vainly go unpunished ? 
No : for every idle word that men speak they must 
give account, Matt. xii. 36. And shall their words 
be witnesses against them ? Yes : God shall cause 
their own tongues to fall upon them, Ps. Ixiv. 8. 

Q. 67. What is the fourth commandment ? 

A. The fourth commandment is. Remember the 
sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou 
labour, and do all thy work : but the seventh day is 
the sabbath of the Lord thy God : in it thou shalt 
not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, 
thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, 
nor thy stranger that is within thy gates : for in six 
days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and 
all that in them is, and rested the seventh day ; 
wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and 
hallowed it. 

1. Does the fourth commandment concern the 
time of worship ? Yes : for there is a time to every 
purpose, Eccl. iii. 1. Must our worship be confined 
to that time ? No : for we must pray always, Eph. 
vi. 18. But is that appointed for the certain time ? 
Yes: Blow up the trumpet in the time appointed, 
Ps. Ixxxi. 3. Is it the will of God we should take 
special notice of this command ? Yes : for he has said , 
Remember it. Are we apt to forget it ? Yes : they 
have hid their eyes from my sabbaths* Ezek. xxii. 26. 

2. Must we keep holy the sabbath day ? Yes : 
Keep tlie sabbath day to sanctify it, Deut. v. 12. Is 



90t 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



a sabbath a day of rest ? Yes : It shall be a sabbath 
of rest unto you, Lev. xvi. 31. Mast we labour the 
six days, and do all oar work ? Yes : For in the sweat 
of thy face shalt thoa eat bread, Gen. iii. 19. But 
is not work for God part of our work ? Yes : for we 
must work the works of God. John vi. 28. Must we 
not then do that on the six days ? Yes : Every day 
will I bless thee, Ps. cxlv. 2. But must we especi- 
ally do it on sabbath days ? Yes : for it is the Holy 
of the Lord, Isa. Iviii. 13. Must we therefore rest 
from other work on that day ? Yes : that we may 
attend upon the Lord without distraction, 1 Cor. vii. 
35. 

3. Must children keep holy the sabbath day? 
Yes : Thou, and thy son, and thy daughter. And 
servants ? Yes : That thy man servant and maid- 
servant may rest as well as thou, Deut. v. 14. And 
is there good reason for the sanctification of the sab- 
bath ? Yes : Ye shall keep my sabbaths, I am the 
Lord your God, Lev. xix. 3. 

Q. 58. What U required in the fourth eommand" 
ment? 

A. The fourth commandment requires the keeping 
holy to God such set times as he has appointed in his 
word ; expressly one whole day in seven, to be a 
holy sabbath unto himself. 

1. Must holy time be kept holy ? Yes: for every 
thing is beautiful in its season, Eccl. iii. 11. Can 
man make time holy ? No : For I am the Lord which 
sanctify you. Lev. xx. 8. 

2. Has God appointed a sabbath ? Yes : It is as 
the Lord thy God hath commanded thee, Deut y. 12. 
Had he authority to do so ? Yes : For the day is 
thine, the night also is thine, Ps. Ixxiv. 16. Did he 
appoint it for us ? Yes : for the sabbath was made 
for man, Mark ii. 27. Did he appoint one day in 
seven ? Yes : For a seventh day is the sabbath of 
tlie Lord thy God. One whole day ? Yes : for the 
evening and the morning were the first day, Gen. i. 5. 

3. Must we keep it ? Yes : Verily my sabbaths 
ye shall keep, Exod. xxxi. 13. Must we keep it as 
a treasure ? Yes : we must call the sabbath honour- 
able, Isa. Iviii. 13. And keep it as a talent ? Yes : 
For thou madest known unto them thy holy sabbaths, 
Neh. ix. 14. Must we keep it with care i Yes : we 
must lay hold on it, to keep the sabbath from pol- 
luting it, Isa. Ivi. 2. Must we keep it holy to God? 
Yes : For he that regardeth the day, regardeth it to 
the Lord, Rom. xiv. 6. 

Q. 59. Which day of the seven has God appointed to 
he the weehly sabbath ? 

A. From the beginning of the world to the resur- 
rection of Christ, God appointed the seventh day of 
the week to be the weekly sabbath, and the first day 
of the week ever since, to continue to the end of the 
world, which is the Christian sabbath. 



1. Was the sabbath appointed from the b^vming 
of the world ? Yes : God blessed the seventh day, 
and sanctified it, when the heavens and the c^artb 
were finished. Gen. ii. 1—3. Was it in remem- 
brance of the work of creation ? Yes : because that 
in it he rested from all his work. Gen. ii. 3. Was it 
observed before the giving of the law upon mount 
Sinai ? Yes : for before that it was said, To-morrow 
is the rest of the holy sabbath to the Lord, Exod. 
xvi. 23. Was that appointed to be kept on the 
seventh day of the week ? Yes : For he spake of the 
seventh day on this wise, Heb. iv. 4. 

2. Was the law of the sabbath given more par- 
ticularly to Israel > Yes : I gave them my sabbath 
to be a sign between me and them, Ezek. xx. 12. 
Was it religiously observed among them ? Yes: for 
their enemies did mock at their sabbaths. Lam. i. 7. 
Did they sanctify the sabbath in solemn assemblies ? 
Yes : Moses of old time is read in the synagogues 
every sabbath day. Acts xv. 21. Was the blessing 
confined to the seventh day? No: For the Lord 
blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it, Exod. xx. 
11. 

3. Was the sabbath to continue in gospel times ? 
Yes : For there remaineth the keeping of a sabbath 
to the people of God, Heb. iv. 9. marg. Did Christ 
intend it should continue ? Yes : for he said. Pray 
that your flight be not on the sabbath day. Matt, 
xxiv. 20. Did he in order to that expound the fourth 
commandment ? Yes : for he showed that it is law- 
ful to do well upon the sabbath day. Matt xii. IZ 
Is there the same need of sabbaths now that erer 
there was ? Yes : for I gave them my sabbaths that 
they might know that I am the Lord, Ezek. xx. 12. 

4. Is the sabbath changed now to the first day of 
the week ? Yes : for on the first day of the week the 
disciples came together to break bread. Acts xx. 7. 
Was it because on that day of the week our Lord 
Jesus rose from the dead ? Yes : for he rose as it 
began to dawn towards the first day of the week. 
Matt xxviii. 1. And because on that day the Spirit 
was poured out ? Yes : for that was when the day 
of Pentecost was fully come. Acts ii. 1. Was it 
fit there should be an alteration ? Yes : For it shall 
no more be said. The Lord liveth that brought up the 
children of Israel out of the land of Egypt ; but the 
Lord liveth that brought them up fibm the land of 
the north, Jer. xvi. 14, 15. 

5. Did the apostles observe the first day of the 
week ? Yes : On the first day of the week let every 
one lay by, 1 Cor. xvi. 2. Did the primitive church 
call it the Lord's day ? Yes : I was in the Spirit on 
the Lord's day. Rev. i. 10. In a thing of this nature 
ought we to acquiesce ? Yes : For if any man will 
be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the 
churches of God, 1 Cor. xi. 16* 

Q. 60. How is the sabbath to be sanctified f 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



905 



A. The sabbath is td be sanctified by a boly rest- 
ing all that day, even from such worldly employ- 
ments and recreations as are lawful in other days ; 
and spending tbe whole time in the public and pri- 
vate exercises of God's worship, except so much as 
is to be taken up in the works of necessity and 
mercy. 

1. Most we rest on the sabbath day ? Tes : six 
days may work be done, bat in the scTcnth is the 
sabbath of rest, £xod. xxxi. 15. Must we rest from 
worldly employments? Yes: ye shall hallow the 
sabbath day, to do no work therein, Jer. xvii. 24. 
And from recreations ? Yes : not finding thine own 
pleasure, Isa. Iviii. 13. Is this to signify our being 
dead to this world ? Yes : for he that is entered into 
his rest has ceased from his own works, Heb. iv. 10. 
And to awaken us to think of leaving it ? Yes : for 
bere we have no continuing city, Heb. xiii. 14. Must 
this rest be dedicated to God ? Yes : it is a holy 
day, a sabbath of rest to the Lord, Exod. xxxv. 2. 

2. Must we spend time on that day in the public 
exercises of God's worship ? Yes : for it is a holy 
coDTocation, Lev. xxiii. 3. Must we do so every 
sabbath, as we have opportunity ? Yes : From one 
sabbath to another shall all flesh come to worship 
before me, saith the Lord, Isa. Ixvi. 23. And must 
we not absent ourselves from public worship ? No : 
Not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together, 
Heb. X. 25. Most we spend time on that day in the 
private exercises of religion ? Yes : It is the sab- 
bath of the Lord in all your dwellings, Lev. xxiii. 3. 
Did the disciples of Christ thus spend the first Lord's 
day ? Yes : for on the first day of the week the dis- 
ciples were assembled, John xx. 19. 

3. Must we prepare for the sabbath day beforo- 
baod ? Yes ; It was the preparation, and the sab- 
bath drew on, Luke xxiii. 54. Must the sabbath 
be a day of holy joy ? Yes : We will rejoice and be 
glad in it, Ps. cxviii. 24. Must it be a day of praise? 
Yes : the psalm for the sabbath day begins. It is a 
good thing to give thanks to the Lord, Ps. xcii. 1. 
Must we be spiritual in the duties of the day? Yes : 
1 was in the Spirit on the Lord's day ? Rev. i. 10. 
And must we take pleasure in them ? Yes : Call the 
Sabbath a delight, Isa. Iviii. 13. 

4. Are works of mercy and charity proper for a 
sabbath day ? Yes : Ought not this woman to be 
loosed from this bond on the sabbath day, Luke xiii. 
16. And may works of necessity be done on that 
daj? Yes: Do not you on the sabbath lead your 
ox, or your ass, to watering? Luke xiii. 15. 

Q. 61. What is forbidden in the fourth command- 
mnd? 

A. The fourth commandment forbids the omission, 
or careless performance, of the duties required, pro- 
faning the day by idleness, or doing that which is 



in itself sinful, or by unnecessary thoughts, words, 
or works, about worldly employments or recreations. 

1. Do we profane the sabbath if we neglect the 
sabbath work ? Yes : I came seeking fruit, but find 
none, Luke xiii. 7. Or if we perform carelessly ? 
Yes : Ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, 
and the sick, Mai. i. 13. Or if we be weary of it ? 
Yes : They say. When will the sabbath be gone ? 
Amos viii. 5. Or if we idle away sabbath time ? 
Yes : Why stand ye here all the day idle? Matt. Xx. 
6. And much more if we do that which is in itself 
sinful ? Yes : They have defiled my sanctuary in the 
same day, and have profaned my sabbaths, Ezek. 
xxiii. 38. 

2. Do we profane the sabbath by violating the sab- 
bath rest? Yes: What evil thing is this that ye do, 
and profane the sabbath day ? Neh. xiii. 17. May 
we not buy and sell on that day ? No : Make not 
my Father's house a house of merchandise, John ii. 
16. May we not work harvest-work on that day ? 
No : In earing-time, and in harvest, thou shalt rest, 
Exod. xxxiv. 21. May we not however think and 
speak at our pleasure on that day ? No : Not doing 
thine own ways, nor speaking thine own words, Isa. 
Iviii. 13. 

3. Was he punished that gathered sticks on the 
sabbath ? Yes : they stoned him with stones that 
he died. Numb. xv. 36. Are nations sometimes 
punished for sabbath profanation ? Yes : If ye will 
not hallow the sabbath day, I will kindle a fire in 
the gates of Jerusalem, Jer. xvii. 27. Is the con- 
tempt of the sabbath a contempt of God ? Yes : 
This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the 
sabbath day, John ix. 16. 

Q. 62. What are the reason* annexed to the fourth 
commandment ? 

A. The reasons annexed to the fourth command- 
ment are, God's allowing us six days of the week for 
our own employments, his claiming a special pro- 
perty in the seventh, his own example, and his bless- 
ing the sabbath day. 

1. Has God allowed us six days of the week? 
Yes : Six days shalt thou labour and do all thy work. 
Has he reserved but one day in seven for himself ? 
Yes : for he hath not made us to serve with an ofier- 
ing, nor wearied us with incense, Isa. xliii. 23. Does 
he claim a special property in the seventh day? 
Yes : it is the sabbath of the Lord thy God. Has 
our Lord Jesus a property in it ? Yes : for the Son 
of man is Lord also of the sabbath, Mark ii. 28. 
Ought we not therefore to devote it to his service ? 
Yes : For will a man rob God ? Mai. iii. 8. 

2. Did God the Creator set us an example of sab- 
bath rest ? Yes : for the seventh day he rested and 
was refreshed, Exod. xxxi. 17. Did God the Re- 
deemer set us an example of sabbath work ? Yes : 



906 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



for as his dutom was, he went into the synagogne 
jon the sabbath day, hakp iv. 16. And has he given 
as encouragement in the work of the Christian sab- 
bath ? Yes : for when they were assembled on the 
first day of the week, Jesiis stood in the midst, John 
XX. 19. 

3. Has God blessed the sabbath day, and so pat 
an honoar upon it? Yes: The Lord blessed the 
sabbath day and hallowed it Is it not an ill thing 
then for us to pat a slight upon it ? Yes : As they 
do that despise the holy things, and profane the 
sabbath, Ezek. xxii. 8. Has God appointed it to 
be a day of blessings to us ? Yes : There will I come 
to thee, and will bless thee, Exod. xx. 24. Are not 
they enemies to themselves then that neglect it? 
Yes : they forsake their own mercies, John ii. 8. 

Q. 63. Wkai is the fifth commandment t 
A. The fifth commandment is, Honoar thy father 
and thy mother, that thy days may be long in the 
land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. 

1. Do the six last commandments concern oor 
doty to our neighbour ? Yes : for this is his com- 
mandment. That we love one another, 1 John iii. 23. 
And must we mind that as well as oar duty to God? 
Yes : providing for honest things, not only in the 
sight of the Lord, but in the sight of men, 2 Cor. 
viii. 21. And are we concerned to be very careful 
in second-table duties? Yes: that the name of 
God, and his doctrine, be not blasphemed, 1 Tim. 
vi. 1. Will our devotions be acceptable without 
this ? No : When ye make many prayers I will not 
hear, for your hands are full of blood, Isa. i. 15. 

2. Is religion toward God a branch of universal 
righteousness ? Yes : Render to God the things that 
are God's, Matt. xxii. 21. And his righteousness 
toward men a branch of true religion ? Yes : for 
pure religion and undefiled before God and the 
Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in 
their affliction, Jam. i. 27. Does the law of God re- 
qaire both ? Yes : To do justly, and to love mercy, 
and to walk humbly with thy God, Mic. vi. 8. And 
does the grace of the gospel teach both ? Yes : To 
live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present 
world. Tit. ii. 12. Mast every godly man then be 
an honest man ? Yes : for we must live in all god- 
liness and honesty, 1 Tim. ii. 2. And must he be a 
charitable man ? Yes : He is gracious, and full of 
compassion, and righteous, Ps. cxii. 4. And will 
the trial be by this at the great day ? Yes : for I 
was hungry, and ye gave me meat, Matt. xxv. 35. 

3. Does the fifth commandment concern our duty 
to our relations? Yes: For all ye are brethren. 
Matt, xxiii. 8. And must we be careful to do this 
doty ? Yes : that they who will not be won by the 
word, may be won by the conversation, 1 Pet iii. 1. 

Q. 64. What is required in the fifth annmandment? 



A. The fifth commandment reqaires the preserving 
the honoar, and performing the duty, which belongs 
to every one in their several places and relations, 
as superiors, inferiors, or equals. 

1. Is it the duty of children to reverence their 
parents ? Yes : Ye shall fear every man his mother, 
and his father, Lev. xix. 3. And must they give 
honour to them ? Yes : If I be a father, where is 
my honour ? Mai. i. 6. And may they upon no ac- 
count despise them ? No : Despise not thy mother 
when she is old, Prov. xxiii. 22. Ought they to 
carry themselves respectfully towards them ? Yes : 
King Solomon rose up to meet his mother, and bowed 
himself to her, 1 Kings ii. 19. And to speak honour- 
ably of them ? Yes : Her children rose up, and call- 
ed her blessed, Prov. xxxi. 28. 

2. Is it the duty of children to obey their parents? 
Yes : Children, obey your parents in the Lord, Eph. 
vi. 1 • And to receive their instructions ? Yes : Hear 
the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the 
law of thy mother, Prov. i. 8. And to submit to 
their correction ? Yes : The fathers of oar flesh cor- 
rected us, and we g^ve them reverence, Heb. xii. 9. 
Should children labour to rejoice the hearts of their 
parents ? Yes : My son, if thy heart be wise, my 
heart shall rejoice, Prov. xxiii. 15. And to requite 
them ? Yes : let them show piety at home, and requite 
their parents, 1 Tim. v. 4. And to have their con- 
sent in disposing of themselves ? Yes : Jacob obeyed 
his father, and his mother, and went to Padan-aram, 
for a wife, Gen. xxviii. 7. Is Christ an example of 
this subjection ? Yes : for he went with his parents 
to Nazareth, and was subject to them, Luke ii. 51. 

3. Is it the duty of children to be respectful to the 
aged ? Yes : Thou shalt rise up before the hoary 
head, and honour the face of the old man. Lev. xix. 
32. And must they be observant of their teachers ? 
Yes : for they will mourn at the last, who obey not 
the voice of their teachers, and incline not their ear 
to them that instruct them, Prov. t. 11, 13. And 
must they order themselves lowly and reverently to 
all their betters? Yes: ye younger, submit your- 
selves to the elder, 1 Pet v. 6. 

4. Is it the duty of parents to be tender of their 
children ? Yes : for can a woman forget her sack- 
ing child? Isa. xlix. 15. And mild toward them? 
Yes : for a father pities his children, Ps. ciii. 13. 
And to bear with them ? Yes : as a man spares his 
son that serves him, Mai. iii. 17. And yet must they 
correct them when it is necessary? Yes: for he 
that spares his rod, hates his son ; but he tliat loves 
him, chastens him betimes, Prov. xiii. 24. 

5. Is it the duty of parents to pray for their chil- 
dren? Yes: Job offered for his sons bamt-offer- 
ings, according to the number of them all. Job i. 5. 
And to bless God for them ? Yes : They are the 
children which God hath g^cioasly given thy ser 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



907 



vant. Gen. xxxiii. 5. Are they to bless them in 
the name of the Lord ? Yes : By faith Isaac blessed 
Jacob and Esao, Heb. xi. 20. Aod are they to pro- 
Tide for them what is convenieDt ? Yes : If any 
provide not for his own, especially for those of his 
omi house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse 
than an infidel, 1 Tim. t. 8. 

6. Is it the duty of parents to bring ap their chil- 
dren in the fear of God ? Yes : Bring them up in 
the nurture and admonition of the Lord, Eph. yi. 4. 
And to teach them the things of God ? Yes : Thou 
shalt teach them diligently unto thy children. Dent. 
Ti. 7. And to oblige them to their doty ? Yes : I 
know Abraham, that he will command his children 
to keep the way of the Lord, Gen. xviii. 19. And 
oaght they to set them a good example ? Yes : I 
will walk within my house with a perfect heart, Ps. 
ci. 2. And must they patiently part with their chil- 
dren when God calls for them ? Yes: Thou hast not 
withheld thy son, thine only son, Gen. xxii. 16. 

7. Is it the duty of servants to honour their mas- 
ters and mistresses ? Yes : Let as many servants as 
are under the yoke, count their own masters worthy 
of all honour, 1 Tim. vi. 1. Is it their duty to obey 
them } Yes : Servants be obedient to them that are 
yoor masters, Eph. vi. 6. And to be just and true 
to them > Yea : not purloining, but showing all good 
fidelity, Titus ii. 10. Ought they to be diligent in 
the duty of their place } Yes: not with eye-service, 
as men-pleasers, but in singleness of heart. Col. iii. 
22. And to do it cheerfully } Yes : Whatsoever 
ye do, do it heartily, and vrith good- will, doing ser- 
vice, Col. ill. 23. Eph. vi. 7. Ought they to be pa- 
tient under rebukes? Yes: not answering again. 
Tit. ii. 9. What, though they suffer unjustly ? 
Tes : Servants be subject not only to the good and 
gentle, but also to the froward, 1 Pet. ii. la And 
mast they have an eye to God in all ? Yes : As to 
the Lord, and not to men. Col. iii. 23. 

8. Is it the duty of masters to be just to their ser- 
vants? Yes: Masters give to your servants that 
which is just and equal. Col. iv. 1. And to be gen- 
tle towards them ? Yes : forbearing threatening, 
Eph. vi. 9. Should all masters of families worship 
God with their families ? Yes: As for me and my 
house, we will serve the Lord, Josh. xxiv. 15. And 
ihoold they restrain sin in their families? Yes: 
Thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy taber- 
nacle, Job xxii. 23. 

9. Is it the duty of wiyea to be respectful to their 
Imsbaads? Yes : Let the wife see that she reverence 
her hosband, Eph. y. 33. And to love them ? Yes : 
^«y must love their husbands, and love their chil- 
"'cn, Tit ii. 4. Must they be submissive to their hus- 
"*n<i«? Yes: Wives submit yourselves to your own 
hosbands, as it is fit in the Lord, Col. iii. 18. Must 
^7 be faithful and obedient to them ? Yes : they 
mvst be chaste, keepers at home, obedient to their 



own husbands. Tit. ii. 5. Must they receive instruc- 
tion from them ? Yes : If they will learn any thing, 
let them ask their husbands at home, 1 Cor. xiv. 35. 
Must they be helpers to them in religion ? Yes : 
that they may be won by the conversation of the 
wives, 1 Pet. iii. 1. 

10. Is it the duty of husbands to love their wives? 
Yes : Husbands love your wives, and be not bitter 
against them, Col. iii. 19. Must they love them 
dearly ? Yes : Let every one love his wife even as 
himself, Eph. v. 33. And delight in them ? Yes : 
rejoice with the wife of thy youth, Prov. v. 18, 19. 
And be tender of them ? Yes : G iving honour to the 
wife, as unto the weaker vessel, 1 Pet. iii. 7. 

11. Is it the duty of husbands and vrives to be 
pleasing one to another? Yes : He that is married 
careth how to please his wife, and she that is married 
how to please her husband, 1 Cor. vii. 33, 34. Is it 
their duty to live in the fear of God, and to pray to- 
gether? Yes: as heirs together of the grace of 
life, that your prayers be not hindered, 1 Pet. iii. 
7. Should they promote the eternal salvation one 
of another ? Yes : What knowest thou, O wife, 
whether thou shalt save thy husband? Or how 
knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy 
wife ? 1 Cor. vii. 16. 

12. Is it the duty of subjects to reverence their 
magistrates ? Yes : Fear God, honour the king, 1 
Pet. ii. 17. And to obey them in the Lord ? Yes : 
we must be subject to principalities and powers, and 
obey magistrates. Tit iii. 1. And to be loyal to 
them ? Yes : for the powers that be are ordained of 
God, Rom. xiii. 1. Is it our duty to pray for magis- 
trates ? Yes : for kings, and for all that are in au- 
thority, 1 Tim. ii. 2. And to pay them tribute? 
Yes: tribute to whom tribute is due, custom to 
whom custom, Rom. xiii. 7. Must we be peace- 
able under their government? Yes: that we under 
them may lead a quiet and peaceable life, 1 Tim. 
ii. 2. And all this conscientiously? Yes: Ye 
must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but 
also for conscience sake, Rom. xiii. 5. Ought ma- 
gistrates to be as parents to their subjects ? Yes: 
Kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and queens thy 
nursing mothers, Isa. xlix. 23. 

13. Is it the duty of people to love and respect 
their ministers? Yes: Know them which labour 
among you, and esteem them very highly in love, for 
their work's sake, 1 Thess. v. 12, 13. Ought they to 
submit to their instructions? Yes: Obey your 
guides, and submit yourselves, for they watch for 
your souls, Heb. xiii. 7. And to provide for their 
comfortable subsistence? Yes: Let him that is 
taught in the word communicate to him that teach- 
eth, Gal. vi. 6. And ought ministers to be as spi- 
ritual fathers to their people ? Yes : We exhorted, 
and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a 
father doth his children, 1 Thess. ii. 11. 



008 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



14. Is it the daty of equals to be kind one to an- 
other? Yes : Be kindly affectioned one to another, 
with brotherly love, Rom. xii. 10. And to be respect- 
ful one to another ? Yes : in honour preferring one 
another, Rom. xii. 10. And to be submissive one 
to another ? Yes : Yea, all of ye, be subject one to 
another, 1 Pet v. 6. 

Q. 65. What is forbidden in thejifth commandment? 

A. The fifth commandment forbids the neglecting 
of, or doing any thing against, the honour and duty 
which belongs to every one in their several places 
and relations. 

1. Is it a sin for children to despise their parents? 
Yes : Cursed be he that sets light by his father or 
mother, Deut xxvii. 16. Or to disobey them ? Yes: 
the eye that mocks at his father, and despiseth to 
obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick 
it out, and the young eagles shall eat it, Prov. xxx. 
17. Is it a sin for children prodigally to spend their 
parents' substance ? Yes: He that wasteth his father, 
and chaseth away his mother, is a son that causeth 
shame, Prov. xxix. 16. Or to g^eve their parents ? 
Yes : A foolish son is the heaviness of his mother, 
Prov. X. I. 

2. Is it a sin for inferiors to be rude and undutiful 
to their superiors ? Yes : For a child to behave him- 
self proudly against the ancient, and the base against 
the honourable, Isa. iii. 5. Is it a sin for superiors 
to be harsh and unkind to their inferiors ? Yes : 
Fathers, provoke not your children to wrath, lest they 
be discouraged. Col. iii. 21. 

3. Is it a sin to be vexatious to our relations? 
Yes : Her adversary provoked her to make her to 
fret, 1 Sam. i. 6. And to be quarrelsome with our 
relations ? Yes : Let there be no strife, I pray thee, 
between me and thee, and between my herdmen and 
thy herdmen, for we be brethren. Gen. xiii. 8. And 
to be suspicious of our relations ? Yes : for charity 
thinketh no evil, 1 Cor. xiii. 4, 6. 

Q. 66. What is the reason annexed to thejifth com- 
mandment t 

A. The reason annexed to the fifth commandment, 
is a promise of long life and prosperity (as far as it 
shall serve for God's glory and their own good) to 
all such as keep this commandment. 

1. Is there a gracious promise made to those that 
honour their parents ? Yes : it is the first command- 
ment with promise, Eph. vi. 2. Is long life pro- 
mised ? Yes : That thy days may be long in the land. 
Is outward prosperity promised ? Yes : That it may 
be well with thee, Eph. vi. 3. Are temporal blessings 
promised to good people ? Yes : Godliness hath the 
promise of the life that now is, 1 Tim. iv. 8. And 
are they promised particularly to pious and dutiful 
children ? Yes : My son, forget not my law, but let 
thine heart keep my commandments; for length of 



days, and long life, and peace shall they add to tfaec^ 
Prov. iii. 1, 2. 

2. Do all good children prosper in this worldl 
No : for all things come alike to all, Eccl. ix. X 
But are they most likely to prosper ? Yes : for 
humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, bonoui 
and life, Prov. xxii. 4. Shall they prosper as fi 
as is for God^s glory ? Yes : I will deliver thee, 
thou shalt glorify me, Ps. 1. 15. And as far as i 
for their own good ? Yes : for we read of th 
whom God sent into captivity for their g^ood, Jer< 
xxiv. 5. But shall good children live however in 
the heavenly Canaan ? Yes : there their inheritanca 
shall be for ever, Ps. xxxvii. 18. And are disobe- 
dient children often punished in this life ? Yes: 
as Absalom that was hanged in an oak, 2 Sam. 
xviii. 9. I 

Q. 67. What is the sixth commandment ? 
A. The sixth commandment is. Thou shalt not 
kill. 

1. Does the sixth commandment concern our own 
and our neighbour's life ? Yes : for the life is more 
than meat. Matt vi. 25. Has God a tender regard 
to the life of men ? Yes : for he giveth to all life 
and breath. Acts xvii. 25. Has he by this law made 
a hedge about life ? Yes : that men might not be 
like the fishes of the sea, Hab. i. 14. 

2. Did there need this law? Yes: for men live 
in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another, 
Tit iii. 3. Is it a part of the law of nature! Yes : 
for the barbarous people said of a murderer, that 
vengeance suffers him not to live. Acts xxviii. 4. 

Q. 68. What is required in the sixth commmndntent ? 

A. The sixth commandment requires all lawfal 
endeavours to preserve our own life, and the life of 
others. 

1. Are we to take care of our own lives ? Yes : 
No man ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourisheth 
and cherisheth it, Eph. v. 29. Must we endeavour 
the preservation of them ? Yes : Skin for skin, and 
all that a man hath will he give for his life, Job ii. 
4. Are we to be careful of our diet? Yes : Hast 
thou found honey, eat so much as is sufficient for 
thee, Prov. xxv. 16. Are we to use physic when wc 
need it ? Yes : Take a lump of figs and lay it upon 
the boil, Isa. xxxviii. 21. And are we to be cheer- 
ful ? Yes : for a merry heart doeth good like a me- 
dicine, Prov. xvii. 22. 

2. But may we deny Christ to save our lives? No: 
he that so saveth his life shall lose it. Matt xvi. 25. 
May we commit any wilful sin to save our lives ? 
No : we must do no evil that good may come, Rom. 
iii. 8. But what we do for the preservation of our 
own lives, must it be with an eye to God's glory ? 
Yes : That I may live, and keep thy word, Ps. cxix. 
17. Live and praise thee, v. 175. 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



909 



3b Are we to be compassionate even to the brute 
creatores? Yes: A rigbteons man regardeth the 
life of bis beast, Prov. xii. 10. Are we to be carefal 
of the lives of others as well as of oar own ? Yes : 
It was Cain that said. Am I my brother's keeper ? 
Greo. iv. 9. Are we to do what we can in oar places 
for the relief of those who are exposed to Tiolence ? 
Yes : We mast deliver them that are ready to be 
slain, Prov. xxiv. 11, 12. Mast we saccoar the 
distressed, like the good Samaritan? Yes: Go thon 
and do likewise. Lake x. 37. 

4. Are we to sapport the lives of those who are in 
itraits ? Yes : The blessing of him that was ready 
tu perish came upon me. Job xxix. 13. Are we to 
be meek towards those that provoke as ? Yes : 
showing all meekness toward all men, Titas ill. 2. 
And are we to be merciful toward those who need as ? 
Yes : Pat on, as the elect of God, bowels of mercy, 
Col. iu. 12. 

Q. 69. What it forbidden in the eixth commandment? 

4. The sixth commandment forbids the taking 
away of oor own life, or the life of our neighboar 
Qojastly, and whatsoever tends thereunto. 

1. May we dispose of our own lives at oar plea- 
sore ? No : For sorely your blood of your lives will 

1 require. Gen. ix. 5. Is it a sin in any case to kill 
oarselves ? Yes : Do thyself no harm, Acts xvi. 28. 
Is it an exceeding sinful sin ? Yes : it was the sin 
of Saul and Judas, 1 Sam. xxxi. 4. Matt, xxvii. 6. 
Is it a sin needlessly to expose our own lives ? Yes : 
Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God, Matt iv. 7. 
Bat must we not expose our lives to keep a good 
conscience? Yes: Neither count I my life dear 
onto me, so that I might finish my course with joy, 
Acts XX. 24. 

2. Is drankenness a sin against oar own lives? 
Yes: Take heed lest your hearts be overcharged 
with surfeiting and drankenness, and so that day 
come upon yoa unawares, Luke xxi. 34. Is an- 
cleanness so? Yes: He that commits fornication, 
Kios against his own body, 1 Cor. vi. 18. Is immo- 
derate care and grief a sin against our own lives ? 
Tes: for the sorrow of the world worketh death, 

2 Cor. vii. 10. 

3. Is it lawful for the magistrate to take away the 
life of a malefactor ? Yes : for he bears not the 
sword in vain, Rom. xiii. 4. May soldiers kill in a 
lawfa! war? Yes : Cursed is he that keepeth back 
his sword from blood, Jer. xlviii. 10. But is wilful 
marder a great sin ? Yes: The voice of my brother's 
biood cries. Gen. iv. 10. Is it an iniquity to be 
pnnished by the judge ? Yes : Whoso sheds man's 
htood, by man shall his blood be shed. Gen. ix. 6. 
And ought Uie murderer to be put to death ? Yes : 
A man that doeth violence to the blood of any per- 
son shall flee to the pit ; let no man stay him, Prov. 
xxvin. 17. 



4. Is murder a great affront to God ? Yes : for in 
the image of God made he man. Gen. ix. 6. Does 
it make men like the devil? Yes: for he was a 
murderer from the beginning, John viii. 44. Is it 
of dangerous consequence to the murderer ? Yes : 
for no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him, 1 
John iii. 15. Ought we therefore to pray that God 
would keep us from it? Yes: Deliver me from 
blood guiltiness, O God of my salvation, Ps. li. 14. 

6. Is malice heart-murder? Yes: he that hateth 
his brother is a murderer, 1 John iii. 15. Is rash 
anger a breach of this commandment ? Yes : But I 
say unto you. Whosoever is angry with his brother 
without cause, shall be in danger of the judgment. 
Matt. V. 22. Is giving foul language a breach of 
this commandment? Yes : Whosoever shall say to 
his brother, Raca, or Thou fool, shall be in danger of 
hell fire. Matt. v. 22. Is revenge a breach of this 
commandment ? Yes : Dearly beloved, avenge not 
yourselves, Rom. xii. 19. 

Q. 70. What is the seventh commandment ? 
A. The seventh commandment Is, Thou shalt not 
commit adultery. 

Does this commandment concern our own and our 
neighbour's chastity ? Yes : for this is the will of 
God, even our sanctification, 1 Thess. iv. 3. Is it 
needful there should be such a commandment? 
Yes : for since all are gone aside, they are all be- 
come filthy, Ps. xiv. 3. Is it agreeable to the light 
of nature ? Yes : for Abimelech called adultery a 
great sin, Gen. xx. 9. And is this command for the 
public good of mankind ? Yes : for whoredom and 
wine take away the heart, Hos iv. 11. 

Q. 71. What is required in the ieveiUh command^ 
ment? 

A. The seventh commandment requires the pre- 
servation of our own and our neighbour's chastity, 
in heart, speech, and behaviour. 

1. Is it our duty to keep our bodies pure from all 
fleshly lusts ? Yes : we must possess our vessel in 
sanctification and honour, and not in the lust of con- 
cupiscence, 1 Thess. iv. 4. Are we to present our 
bodies to God ? Yes : Present your bodies unto God 
a living sacrifice, Rom. xii. 1. Are we to glorify 
him with them? Yes: Glorify God with your 
bodies, 1 Cor. vi. 20. Are we to use them for him ? 
Yes: For your body is the temple of the Holy 
Ghost, which is in you, I Cor. vi. 19. And to employ 
them in his service ? Yes : Yield your members as 
instruments of righteousness unto God, Rom. vi. 13. 
May they then be used in the service of our lusts? 
No : for if any man defile the temple of God, him 
shall God destroy, 1 Cor. iii. 17. 

2. Ought we to preserve our chastity in heart? 
Yes : that we may be holy both in body and spirit, 
1 Cor. vii. 34. And must we keep out all unclean 



910 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



thoughts and desires ? Yes : we must flee youthful 
lustSy 2 Tim. ii. 22. And is that the way to prevent 
the acts of uncleanness ? Yes : for when lust hath 
conceived, it brings forth sin, James i. 15. 

3. Ought we to preserve our chastity in speech ? 
Yes : Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned 
with salt, Col. iv. 6. Is it the character of good 
people to be modest ? Yes : I will turn to the peo- 
ple a pure language, Zeph. iii. 9. 

4. Ought we to preserve our chastity in behavi- 
our ? Yes : we must have a chaste conversation 
coupled with fear, 1 Pet. iii. 2. And in our clothing? 
Yes : Women must adorn themselves in modest ap- 
parel, with shamefacedness and sobriety, 1 Tim. ii. 
9. Must we abstain from all appearances of un- 
cleanness ? Yes : hating even the garment spotted 
with the flesh, Jude 23. And from all approaches 
to it? Yes : Come not nigh the door of her house, 
Prov. v. 8. 

5. Must we resolve against wanton looks ? Yes : 
I made a covenant with mine eyes ; why then should 
I think upon a maid } Job xxxi. 1. Must we always 
keep our bodies in soberness and chastity ? Yes : 
we must cleanse ourselves from all filthiness both of 
flesh and spirit, 2 Cor. vii. 1. And must we crucify 
all the lusts of the flesh 7 Yes : They that are Chrisf s 
have crucified the flesh, Gal. v. 24. Must the body 
be subdued? Yes: I keep under my body, and 
bring it into subjection, 1 Cor. ix. 27. And must 
its sinful desires be denied ? Yes : If thy right eye 
offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee, Matt. 
V. 29. 

Q. 72. What isforliddtn in the seventh c&mmtmdment? 
A. The seventh commandment forbids all unchaste 
thoughts, words, and actions. 

1. Is adultery a very great sin ? Yes : How can I 
do this great wickedness, and sin against God ? Gen. 
xxix. 9. Is it an iniquity to be punished by the 
judge ? Yes : The adulterer and the adulteress shall 
surely be put to death, Lev. xx. 10. Is fornication 
a very great sin? Yes : Fornication, and all unclean- 
ness, let it not be once named among you, Eph. v. 
3. Will these sins certainly shut men out of heaven, 
if they be not repented of, and forsaken ? Yes : for 
fornicators and adulterers shall not inherit the king- 
dom of God, 1 Cor. vi. 10. 

2. Are unclean thoughts sins ? Yes : for whoso- 
ever looketh on a woman, to lust after her, hath com- 
mitted adultery with her already in his heart. Matt. 
V. 28. Are unclean reflections sins ? Yes : for some 
multiply their whoredoms by calling to remembrance 
the days of their youth, Ezek. xxiii. 19. Are un- 
clean desires sins ? Yes : inordinate affection, and 
evil concupiscence, are to be mortified in us. Col. 
iii. 5. And must all fleshly lusts be shunned ? Yes : 
Dearly beloved, I beseech you, as strangers, and pil- 
grims, abstain from fleshly lusts, 1 Pet. ii. 11. 



3. Are unclean words sin ? Yes : for there ntnst; 
be neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor Jesting^ 
Eph. V. 4. Must we therefore take heed of speaking 
any filthy words ? Yes : Let no corrupt commani* 
cation proceed out of your month, Eph. iv. 29. May 
we take delight in hearing filthy talk? No: for 
evil communications corrupt good manners, i Cor. 
XV. 33. 

4. Are all unchaste actions forbidden in this com- 
mandment ? Yes : not only adultery and fornica- 
tion, but uncleanness and lascivionsnesa, (Gal. t. 
19.) chambering and wantonness, Rom. xliL 13. 
Are the occasions of uncleanness here forbidden ? 
Yes : Have no fellowship with the unfmitfal 'works 
of darkness, Eph. v. 11. 

5. Is all uncleanness provoking to €rod ? Yes : 
For I the Lord am holy. Lev. xx. 26. Is it against 
our bodies ? Yes : for the body is not for fornica- 
tion, but for the Lord, 1 Cor. vi. 13. Is it a wrong- 
to our souls ? Yes : for fleshly lusts war af^nst the 
soul, 1 Pet. ii. 11. Is it wounding to conscience ? 
Yes : I find more bitter than death the woman ^w^hose 
heart is snares and nets, Eccl. vii. 26. 

6. Are idleness and gluttony occasions of nnc lean- 
ness, and forbidden in this commandment ? Yes : 
for this was the iniquity of Sodom, pride, fnlness of 
bread, and abundance of idleness, Ezek. XTi. 49. 
And is drunkenness also a sin of dangerous conse- 
quence ? Yes : for drunkards shall not inherit the 
kingdom of God, 1 Cor. vi. 10. 

Q. 73. What is the eighth comnuindment ? 
A. The eighth commandment is, Thou shalt not 
steal. 

1. Does the eighth commandment concern our own 
and our neighbour's wealth and outward estate? 
Yes : for the earth God has given to the children 
of men, Ps. cxv. 16. Is it necessary there shoald 
be such a command ? Yes: for every brother will 
utterly supplant, Jer. ix. 4^ 

2. Is robbing God the worst theft ? Yes : Will a 
man rob God ? Yet ye have robbed me, Mai. iii. 8, 
9. And is justice to God the highest justice ? Yes : 
Render to God the things that are God's, Matt. 
xxii. 21. 

Q. 74. What is required in the eighth conunand- 
ment? 

A. The eighth commandment requires all lavrfol 
procuring and furthering our own and oar neigh- 
bour's wealth and outwud estate. 

1. Is religion a friend to outward prosperity? 
Yes : for in wisdom's left hand are riches and hon- 
our, Prov. iii. 16. Does it teach us to be diligent in 
our callings? Yes : Be thou diligent to knowr the 
state of thy flocks, Prov. xxvii. 23. And to keep 
close to them ? Yes : Study to be quiet, and to do 
your own business, 1 Thess. iv. 11. And is that the 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



911 



vaj to thrive ? Yes : for the hand of the diligent 
naketh rich, ProY. x. 4. I>oes reiigioD teach os to 
be prndent in oar affairs? Tea: the good man 
vill guide his affairs i4lh discretion, Ps. cxii. 5. 
And is that the way to thrive ? Yes : for through 
visdom is a house buildcd, Prov. xxiv. 3. 

2. Must we serve God with our worldly estate? 
Yes : Honour the Lord with thy substance, Prov. iii. 
9, And is that the way to thrive ? Yes : So shall 
thy harn be filled with plenty, v. 10. Must we cheer- 
fully ase our estates ? Yes : For I know no good 
in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in 
bu life, Ecci. iii. 12. And must we cheerfully serve 
God with them ? Yes : we must serve the Lord 
oar God with joyful ness and gladness of heart in the 
abondance of all things. Dent, xxviii. 47. 

3. Most we be just to all we deal with? Yes: 
Render therefore to all their due, Rom xiii. 7. 
And must we give every body their own ? Yes : 
Owe no man any thing, but to love one another, 
Kom. xiii. 8. Must we be true to every trust re- 
posed in us? Yes; as the workmen who dealt 
faithfully, 2 Kings xii. 15. And is honesty the best 
policy ? Yes : for a little that a righteous man 
bath, is better than the riches of many wicked, Ps. 
xxxvii. 16. And shall we have the comfort of it in 
this world ? Yes : He that walketh righteously, and 
speaketh uprightly, that despiseth the gain of op- 
pression, and ahaketh his hands from holding of 
bribes, he shall dwell on high, his place of defence 
shall be in the munitions of rocks, bread shall be 
pten him, and his waters shall be sure, Isa. xxxiii. 
15, 16. If therefore we have done any wrong, must 
ve make restitution? Yes: Zaccheus stood and 
said, Iff have wronged any man, I restore him four- 
fold, Luke xix. 8. 

4. Most we concern ourselves for the welfare of 
others? Yes: Look not every one on his own things, 
bot every one also on the things of others, Phil. ii. 
4. And must we do all we can to promote the 
welfare of others? Yes: If thy brother's ox or 
w go astray, thou shalt bring them back, Deut. 
xxii. 1. 

5. Mast we relieve the poor according to our abi- 
Hty? Yes: Ifthy brother be waxen poor, and fallen 
into decay with thee, then thou shalt relieve him, 
I^T. xzv. 35. Must we be forward to relieve the 
poor? Yes : We must be ready to distribute, wil- 
ling to communicate, 1 Tim. vi. 18. Is that the way 
to thrive in this world? Yes: for he that hath 
pity on the poor, lendeth to the Lord, and that which 
be hath given will he pay him again, Prov. xix. 17. 
And shall it be repayed in the other world ? Yes : 
Thon shalt be recompensed in the resurrection of 
the just, Luke xiv. 14. And must we make this use 
of what we have in the world ? Yes : we must la- 
bour that we may have to give to him that needeth, 
Epb. iv. 28. 



Q. 75. What is forbidden in ike eighth command' 
ment f 

A. The eighth commandment forbids whatsoever 
does or may unjustly hinder our own or our neigh- 
bour's wealth, and outward estate. 

1. May we do what we will with our own estates ? 
No : for we are but stewards of the manifold grace 
of God, 1 Pet. iv. 10. Is it a sin then to waste our 
estates in prodigality ? Yes : for the drunkard and 
glutton shall come to poverty, Prov. xxiii. 31. Is 
luxury the way to beggary ? Yes : he that loveth 
pleasure shall be a poor man, Prov. xxi. 17. Is 
slotbfulness a robbing of ourselves? Yes: for he 
that is slothful in his work, is brother to him that is 
a great waster, Prov. xviii. 9. And is that the way 
to poverty ? Yes : for drowsiness shall clothe a man 
with rags, Prov. xxiii. 21. 

2. Is keeping idle company the way to poverty ? 
Yes : for he that followeth after vain persons shall 
have poverty enough, Prov. xxviii. 19. Is fraud 
and injustice the way to poverty ? Yes : for wealth 
gotten by vanity shall be diminished, Prov. xiii. 11. 
Can any expect to prosper in a way of unjust g^n ? 
No : for he that getteth riches, and not by right, 
shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his 
end shall be a fool, Jer. xvii. 1 1. Do men rob them- 
selves and their families by foolishness in their 
affairs ? Yes : for every wise woman buildeth her 
house, but the foolish plucketh it down with her 
hands. Prov. xiv. 1. And by rash suretyship? Yes: 
for he that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it, 
Prov. xi. 15. 

3. Is it a sin to rob ourselves of the comfort of that 
which God has given us ? Yes : if a man hath not 
power to eat of it, it is vanity, and an evil disease, 
Eccl. ri. 2. And is it a sin to deny it to our rela- 
tions ? Yes : if any provide not for his own, espe- 
cially for those of his own house, he hath denied the 
faith, and is worse than an infidel, 1 Tim. v. 8. 

4. Is it a great sin to steal from any body ? Yes : 
for every one that stealeth shall be cut off, Zech. r. 
3. Is it a great sin for children to steal from their 
parents? Yes: Whoso robbeth his father or his 
mother, and saith it is no transgression, the same is 
the companion of a destroyer, Prov. xxviiL 24. And 
for the rich to oppress.the poor ? Yes : Rob not the 
poor, because he is poor, Prov. xxii. 22. Will you 
therefore keep your hands from picking and steal- 
ing ? Yes : because of the fear of God, Neb. v. 15. 
Most those who have used themselves to it break it 
off? Yes: Let him that stole steal no more, Eph. 
iv. 28. Must poor people especially watch and pray 
against this temptation ? Yes : Lest I be poor, and 
steal, Prov. xxx. 9. 

5. Is it a sin to cheat any body in a bargain? Yes: 
Let no man go beyond or defraud his brother in any 
matter, 1 Thess. iv. 6. Is it a sin to use false weights 



912 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



and measures ? Yes : A false balance is abomina- 
tion to the Lord, ProY. xi. 1. Is it a sin to g^ve 
assistance or coantenance to any frand? Yes: 
Wboso is partner with a thief hateth his own sonl, 
ProY. xxix. 24. 

6. Is it a sin to deny relief to the poor ? Yes : 
Wboso hath this world's goods, and seeth bis brother 
have need, and sbntteth np the bowels of his com- 
passion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in 
that man ? 1 John iii. 17. Is it a sin to deny the 
payment of a jast debt ? Yes : for the wicked bor- 
rowetb, and payeth not again. Ps. xxxvii. 21. Or 
withhold wages that is dne } Yes : the hire of the 
labonrers kept back by frand crieth, James ▼. 4. 
And is the love of money the cause of all these sins ? 
Yes : the love of money is the root of all evil, 1 Tim. 
vi. 10. 

Q. 76. What u the ninth eomnumdment f 
A. The ninth commandment is. Thou shalt not 
bear false witness against thy neighbour^ 

1. Does this commandment concern our own and 
our neighbour's good name } Yes : for a good name 
is better than precious ointment, Eccl. vii. 1. Is 
there need of this commandment ? Yes : for every 
neighbour will walk with slanders, Jer. ix. 4. 

Q. 77. What is required in the ninth commandment ? 

A. The ninth commandment requires the maintain- 
ing and promoting of truth between man and man, 
and of our own and our neighbour's good name, 
especially in witness-bearing. 

1. Is it our duty to govern our tongues ? Yes : I 
said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with 
my tongue, Ps. xxxix. 1. Is he a good Christian 
that does not ? No : for if any man among you seem 
to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, that 
man's religion is vain, James i. 26. Must we there- 
fore pray to God to keep us from tong^ie-sins ? Yes: 
Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth, Ps. cxli. 3. 

2. Is it our duty to speak truth ? Yes : Speak ye 
every man the truth to his neighbour, Zech. viii. 16. 
Is there good reason for it ? Yes : for we are mem- 
bers one of another, Eph. iv. 25. And is this the 
character of a good man ? Yes : that be speaketh 
the truth in his heart, Ps. xv. 2. Are all truths to 
be spoken at all times } No : for there is a time to 
keep silence, and a time to speak, Eccl. iii. 7. But 
may an untruth be spoken at any time ? No : for 
God's people are children that will not lie, Isa. 
Ixiii. 8. 

3. Is it our duty, especially in witness-bearing, 
to speak truth? Yes: for a faithful witness will 
not lie, Prov. xiv. 6. And the whole truth ? Yes : 
Samuel told Eli every whit, and hid nothing from 
him, 1 Sam. iii. 18. And nothing but the truth ? 
Yc5 : for a lying tongue is but for a moment, Prov. 
xii. 19. 



4. Is it our duty to strive to have a good name 
with God ? Yes : for not he that commendeth him- 
self is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth, 
2 Cor. X. 16. And shoul<Dwe endeavour to have a 
good name with good people } Yes : Let those that 
fear thee turn unto me, Ps. cxix. 79. And if possi- 
ble a good name with all people ? Yes : Demetrius 
hath a good report of all men, 3 John 12. Must we 
abound in those things that are of good report ? 
Yes : if there be any virtue, if tiiere be any praise, 
think on those things, Phil. iv. 8. 

5. In order to our getting a good name, must we 
live by faith ? Yes : for by it the elders obtained a 
good report, Heb. xi. 2. Must we walk wisely^ 
Yes : for a man's wisdom makes his face to shioc, 
Eccl. viii. 1. Must we do justly ? Yes : Having 
your conversation honest among the Gentiles, 1 Pet 
ii. 12. And be humble ? Yes : for before honour 
is humility, Prov. xviii. 12. And must we abound 
in good works ? Yes : Let your light so shine before 
men. Matt. v. 16. But can good people expect to 
have every one's good word } No : Woe anto you 
when all men speak well of you, Luke vi. 26. May 
we hazard a g^ood conscience to preserve our reputa- 
tion ? No : for our praise is not of men, but of God, 
Rom. ii. 29. 

6. Ought we to be very tender of the good names 
^ of others? Yes: we must honour all men, 1 Pet.ii. 

17. Must we give them the praise of that in them 
which is good ? Yes : We also bear record, 3 John 
12. But may we flatter them? No : he that speak- 
eth flattery to his friends, even the eyes of his chil- 
dren shall fail. Job xvii. 6. Must we charitably 
conceal their faults? Yes: for charity covers a 
multitude of sins, 1 Pet. iv. 8. Must we discourage 
slandering and censoriousness ? Yes : We must 
with an angry countenance drive away a backbiting 
tongue, Prov. xxv. 23. 

Q. 78. What i* forbidden in the ninth eammand- 
ment? 

A. The ninth commandment forbids whatsoever 
is prejudicial to truth, or injurious to our own or 
our neighbour's good name. 

1. Is lying a great sin ? Yes : Lie not one to an- 
other, seeing ye have put off the old man. Col. iii. 9. 
Is it a sin that God hates ? Yes : lying lips are 
abomination to the Lord, Prov. xii. 22. And is it a 
sin that all good men hate ? Yes : I hate and abhor 
lying, Ps. cxix. 163. Does it make men like the 
devil ? Yes : for he is a liar, and the father of it, 
John viii. 44. And will it bring them to hell ? Yes : 
for all liars shall have their part in the lake that 
bums witli fire and brimstone. Rev. xxi. 8. 

2. Is it lawful to tell a lie to make sport ? No : 
for as a madman who casteth firebrands, arrows, 
and death, so is he that deceiveth his neighbour, and 
saitb, Am not I in sport? Prov. xxvi. 18, 19. Is it 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



913 



lawful to tell a lie to excuse a fault ? No : for 6e- 
hazi for doing so bad a leprosy entailed on bim and 
his seed for ever, 2 Kings v. 27. May we tell a lie 
with intention to do good ? No : We must not do 
evil, that good may come, Rom. iii. 8. Will what is 
^ot by lying do us any good ? No : The getting of 
treasures by a lying tongue is vanity, tossed to and 
fro of them that seek death, Prov. xxi. 6. Should we 
therefore pray against this sin ? Yes : Remove from 
me the way of lying, Ps. cxix. 29. 

a. Is it a sin to belie ourselves ? Yes : As there 
is that maketh himself poor, yet hath (p-eat riches, 
Prov. xiii. 7. May we be careless of our own good 
name? No: If I should say I know him not, I 
should be a liar like unto you, John viii. 65. 

4. Is it a sin to belie our neighbour ? Yes : They 
laid to my charge things that I know not, Ps. xxxv. 
U. Is it folly? Yes: He that uttereth slander is 
a fool, Prov. x. 18. Is it a sin to speak evil of any ? 
Yes : Pot them in mind to speak evil of no man, 
Tit. iii. 1 , 2. And to be censorious of our brethren ? 
Yes : Judge not, that ye be not judged, Matt. vii. 1. 
Is it a great offence to God to do this ? Yes : He 
that speaks evil of his brother, and judgeth his bro- 
ther, speaks evil of the law, and judgeth the law, 
James iv. 1 1 . I>oe8 it make us like the devil ? Yes : 
for he is the accuser of the brethren, Rev. xii. 10. 

5. Is it a sin to raise a false report ? Yes : Thou 
shalt not raise a false report, Exod. xxiii. 1. And 
a sin to spread it ? Yes : Thou shalt not go up and 
down as a tale-bearer. Lev. xix. 16. May we pro- 
claim our brethren's faults ? No: for charity rejoic- 
eth not in iniquity, 1 Cor. xiii. 6. Is it a sin to speak 
ill of magistrates ? Yes : Thou shalt not speak evil 
of the ruler of thy people. Acts xxiii. 5. Is it a sin 
to be abusive to the poor ? Yes : for he that mock- 
eth the poor, reproacheth his Maker, Prov. xvii. 
5. May we speak ill of those who speak ill of us ? 
No : We most not render railing for railing, 1 Pet. 
iii. 9. 

Q. 79. What is the tenth commandment ? 

A. The tenth commandment is. Thou shalt not 
covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy 
neighbour's wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid- 
servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is 
thy neighbour's. 

1. Does this commandment lay a restraint upon 
the heart ? Yes : for the law is spiritual, Rom. vii. 
14. Does the heart need this restraint ? Yes : for 
the inward part is very wickedness, Ps. v. 9. Does 
the light of nature discover this ? No : I had not 
known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not 
covet, Rom. vii. 7. 

2. Are we forbidden to covet another man*s house ? 
Yes : As they that covet houses and take them away, 
Mic. ii. 2. Or another man's wife ? Yes : for her 
faasband is to her a covering of the eyes, Gen. xx. 

3 N 



IG. Or another man's goods?* Yes: I have coveted 
no man's silver, or gold, or apparel. Acts xx. 33. 

Q. 80. What is reqvired in the tenth commandment? 

A. The tenth commandment requires a full con- 
tentment with our own condition, with a right and 
charitable frame of spirit towards our neighbour, and 
all that is his. 

1. Has God the disposal of our outward condition ? 
Yes: My times are in thy hand, Ps. xxxi. 16. And 
does he order all events concerning us ? Yes : he 
performeth the thing that is appointed for us, Job 
xxiii. 14. Ought we therefore to be content with our 
condition ? Yes : Be content with such things as 
you have, Heb. xiii. v. Ought we to be content in 
every condition? Yes: I have learned in what- 
soever state I am, therewith to be content, Phil. iv. 

11. Most we be content with a little ? Yes: Hav- 
ing food and raiment, let us be therewith content, 
1 Tim. vi. 8. 

2. Can we expect that our condition should be in 
every thing brought to our mind ? No : for all is 
vanity, Eccl. i. 14. Is it therefore our wisdom to 
bring our mind to our condition ? Yes : I know bow 
to be abased, and I know how to abound, Phil. iv. 

12. Is any thing got by this? Yes: Godliness with 
contentment is great gain, 1 Tim. vi. 6. And is this 
the way to be easy ? Yes : In your patience possess 
ye your souls, Luke xxi. 19. 

3. Is that best which is ? Yes : It is the Lord, let 
him do what seemeth him good, 1 Sam. iii. 18. 
Must we therefore make the best of it ? Yes : for 
wherefore sthoold a living man complain ? Lam. iii. 
39. And must we acknowledge it is better than we 
deserve ? Yes : I am not worthy of the least of all 
thy mercies. Gen. xxxii. 10. 

4. Ought we to desire the welfare of our neigh- 
bours ? Yes : Let no man seek his own, but every 
man another's wealth, 1 Cor. x. 24. And to pray 
for it? Yes: Supplications and prayers must be 
made for all men, 1 Tim. ii. 1. And to be well- 
pleased with it ? Yes : Rejoice with them that do 
rejoice, Rom. xii. 15. And to lay to heart our 
neighbour's troubles? Yes: Remember them that 
are in bonds, as bound with them, Heb. xiii. 3. 
And is this a charitable frame of spirit? Yes : for 
charity suffers long, and is kind, 1 Cor. xiii. 4. 

Q. 81. What is forbidden in the tenth common fl- 
ment y 

A. The tenth commandment forbids all discon- 
tentment with our own estate, envying or grieving at 
the good of our neighbour, and all inordinate de- 
sires and affections to any thing that is his. 

1. Is it a sin to fret at the disposals of God's pro- 
vidence ? Yes : for shall we receive good of the 
hand of the Lord, and shall we not receive evil also? 
Job ii. 10. Is it a sin to quarrel with them ? Yes : 



914 



A SCRIPTURE CATECHISM. 



for they that mnrmanBd were destroyed of the de- 
stroyer, 1 Cor. X. 10. Is it an evil thing to under- 
value the mercies we have ? Yes : as the Israelites 
that said. There is nothing besides this fiuiNfifl,Numh. 
xi. 6. And to aggravate the afl9ictions we are under ? 
Yes : as they that said, We die, we perish, we all 
perish. Numb. xvii. 12. May we in any thing be 
discontented ? No : for we must in every thing give 
thanks. 1 Thess. v. 18. 

2. Is it a sin against this commandment to envy 
our neighbour's welfare ? Yes : for chanty envieth 
not, 1 Cor. xiii. 4. Is envy an offence to God? 
Yes : for is our eye evil because his is good ? Matt. 
XX. 16. Is it hurtful to ourselves ? Yes : for envy 
is the rottenness of the bones, Prov. xiv. 30. Is it 
the cause of much mischief? Yes : for where envy 
IS, there is confusion, and every evil work, James 
iii. 16. Is it a sin to be pleased with our neigh- 
bour's hurt or loss ? Yes : he that is glad at calami- 
ties shall not be unpunished, Prov. xvii. 5. 

3. Is it a sin to desire to sin ? Yes : Lust not after 
evil things, as they also lusted, I Cor. x. 6. Does 
all sin begin in the lustings of the heart ? Yes : for 
lust, when it hath conceived, bringeth forth sin, 
James i. 15. Is it a sin to desire any temporal good 
inordinately ? Yes : as Rachel, that said, Give me 
children, or else I die. Gen. xxx. 1. And is it a sin 
to lust after the delights of sense ? Yes : as the Is- 
raelites who wept again, saying, Who will give us flesh 
to eat ? Numb. xi. 4. Must we therefore suppress all 
sinful desires ^ Yes : and make no provision for the 
flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof, Rom. xiii. 14.