Skip to main content

Full text of "A treatise concerning religious affections : In three parts. Part I. Concerning the nature of the affections, and their importance in religion. Part II. Shewing what are no certain signs that religious affections are gracious, or that they are not. Part III. Shewing what are distinguishing signs of truly gracious and holy affections."

See other formats

Frances & Gleb Popoff, Their 'Book 







BA'lO, MA '21 



' * 


: ^ N v % 


.- ' 




T Pv E A T I S E 




PART I. Concerning the Nature of the AFFECTIONS, and 

their Importance in RELIGION. 
PART II. Shewing what are NO CERTAIN SIGNS that RE* 


are .NOT. 

of truly gracious and HOLY AFFECTIONS. 


And Paftor of the firft Church at Northampton* 

Lev. ix. utt. and x. I, 2. And there came a fire out front be for? iht 
Lord,* upon the altar; <which wh^n all the people fi >;. thcyfboiaed, 
and fell on their faces. And Nadab and Abibu offered jirangc fire 
before the Lord, 'which he commanded them not : and there went outfit* 
from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. 

Cant. ii. 12, 13. *The flo^wers appear on the earth, the time oftbffotgin? 
of birds is COM?, and the <voice of the turtle is heard in our land. T&if 
jig-tree putteth forth her green 'figs , and the <vinet with the tender graft* 
give a good fmzlL Verf. I $ Take us the foxes, the little fixes which 
fpsil the~<v:ues : for our <vine$ have tender grapes. 

E L I Z A B E T II - T O W N : 

No. 237, 'Queen-Street, NEW-YORK, 



R E F A C E. 

THERE is no queftion whatfoevcr, that is of greater im 
portance ta. mankind, and that it more concerns every 
individual perfon to be well refolved in, than this, What are. 
the diftingui/king qualifications oj thufe that are in favour with 
God, and intitled to his eternal rewards? Or, which comes to 
the fame thing, What is the nature of true religion ? and wherein 
do lie the di/linguiflnng notes of that virtue and holinefs, that is 
acceptable in the fight of God ? But though it be of inch im 
portance, and though we have clear and abundant light in the 
word of God to dire&.us in this matter, yet there is no one 
point, wherein profefling Chriftians do more differ one from 
another. It would be endlefs to reckon up the vaiiety of opini 
ons in this point, that divide the Chriftian world ; making ma- 
nifeft the truth of that of our Saviour, Strait is the gate, and 
narrow is the way, that leads to life, ana 1 few there be thatjtndit. 

The confideration of thefe things has long engaged me to 
attend to this matter, with the utniofl diligence and care, and 
exaclnefs of fearch and inquiry, that I have been capable of : 
it is a fubject on which my 'mind has been peculiarly intent, 
ever fince I fir/I entered on the ftudy of divinity. But as to 
the fuccefs of my inquiries, it mud be left to the judgment of 
the reader of the following treatife. 

I am fenfible it is much more difficult to judge impartiallydf 
that which is the fubjeci of this difcourfe, in the mid ft of ti.-s 
duft and fmoke of fuch a fta'e of controverfy, as this lai 
now in, about things of this lur HC- : as ii is more tliflicmt to 
write impartially, fo it is more difficult to KV<! impartially*. 
Many will probably be hurt in their fpiriis, to find fo much that 
appertains to religious affelion, here con : and perhaps 

indignation and contempt will be excited in others, by finding 
fo much here juftifieu and approved. And it may be, fcn;o 
will be ready to charge me with ill-confidence with myfelf, ia 
fo much approving lome things,, and fo much condemning 
others ; as I have found, thi.-- has aKvjys been objected to me 
by (brne, ever iince the beginning of oar late ccatroveriiesahout 
religion. It is a Iiani thing to be a hearty zealous friend of 
what has been good a;:d glorious, in the late extraordinary 


iv The PREFACE. 

appearances, and to rejoice much in it ; and at the fame time, 
to fee the evil arid pernicious tendency of what has been had, 
and earneftly to oppofe that. But yet,' I am humbly, but fully 
perfuaded, we (hall never be in the way of truth, nor go on 
in a way acceptable to God, and tending to the advancement 
of Chriil's kingdom, till we do fb. Theie is indeed fomething 
very myflerious in it, that fo much good, and fo much had, 
fhould be mixed together in the church of God : as it is a my 
flerious thing, and what has puzzled and amazed many a good 
Chriftian, that there mould be that which is (o divine a;id pre 
cious, as the faving grace of God, and the new and divine na 
ture, dwelling in the fame heart, wiih fo much corruption, 
hypocrify, and iniquity, in a particular faint. Yet neither of 
thefe, is more myfterious than real. And neither of them is 
a new or rare thing. It is no new thin^, that much falfe reli 
gion mould prevail, at a time of great reviving of true religion ; 
and that at fuch a time, multitudes of hypocrites fhould ipring 
up among true faints. It was fo in that great reformation, and 
revival of religion, that was in Jofiah's time ; as appears by 
Jer. iii. 10. and iv. 3, 4. and alfo by the great apoflafy that there 
was in the land, fo loon after his reign. So it was in that great 
out-pouring of the Spirit upon the Jews, that was in the days 
of John the Baptifl ; as appears by the great apoftafy of that peo 
ple, fo foon after fo general an awakening, and the temporary 
religious comforts and joys of many ; John v. 3,5. " Ye were 
" willing for a feafon to rejoice in his light." So it was in thofe 
great commotions that were among the multitude, occafioned 
by the preaching of Jefus Chrift : Oj the. many that were then 
called, but few rtwe. chofin ; of the multitude that were routed 
and affe&ed by his preaching, and at one time or other appear 
ed mightily engaged, full oi admiration of Chrift, and eleva 
ted with joy, but few weie true difciples, that flood tue {hock 
of the great trials that came afterwards, and endured to the end : 
many were like the ftonv ground, or thorny ground ; and but 
few, comparatively, like the good ground. Of the whole heap 
that was gathered, great part was chaff, that the wind after 
wards drove away ; and the heap of wheat that was left, was 
comparatively fmali ; as appears abundantly, by the hiflory of 
the New Te'ftament. So it was in that great out-pouring of 
the Spirit that was in tfie apofiles days ; as appears by Mar.h, 
xxiv. 10 13. Gal. iii. i. and iv. 11, 1,5. Phil. ii. 21. and iii. 
.to, 19. and the two epiflles to jhe Corinthians, and man-y 



other parts of the New Teftament. And fo it was in the great 
reformation from Popery. It appears plainly to have been in 
the viiible church of God, in times of great reviving of religion, 
from time 10 time, as it is with the fruit-trees in the Turing ; 
there are a multitude of blofloms ; all which appear fair and 
beautiful, and there is a prcrniiing appearance of young fruits : 
but many of them are but of ihort continuance, they loon fall 
oil, and never come to maturity. 

Not that it is to be fuppofed that it will always be fo : for 
though there never will, in this world, be an entire purity ; 
either in particular faints, in a per-ect freedom horn mixtures 
of corruption ; or in the church of God, without any mixture 
of hypocrites with faints, 2nd counterfeit religion, aud falfe 
appearances of grace, with true religion and real holineis: yet, 
it is evident, that there will come a time of much greater purity 
in the church of God, than ! been in ages ; it is plain 
by thefe texts of Icripture, II. lii. i. Ezek. xhv. 6, 7, 9. Joel in. 
37. Zech. xiv. 21. Pfal. Ixix. 32, 35,36. If. xxxv. 8, 10. chap, 
iv. 3, 4. Ezek. xx. 38. i'fal. xxxvii. 9, 10, 1 1, 29. And one 
great reafon of it will be, that at that time, God will give much 
greater light to his people, to diilinguifh hew. /^u true religion 
and its counterfeits, Mai. iii. t q. " And he {hall fit as a refiner 
'* and purifier of filver : and he (hall purify the fons of Levi, 
" and purge them as gold and filver, that they may offer to the 
** Lord an offering in righteoufnefs." With verf. 18. which 
is a continuation of the prophecy of the fame happy times, 
*' Then (hall ye return, and difcern between the righteous and 
' the wicked ; between him that ferveth God, and him that 
" ferveth him riot." 

It is by the mixture of counterfeit religion with true, not 
difcerned and diftinguifhed, that the devil has had his greateil 
advantage againft the caufe and kingdom of Chrift, all along, 
hitherto. It is plainly by this means, principally, that he baa 
prevailed againft all revivings of religion, that ever have been, 
iince the firft founding of the Chriilian church. By this, he 
hurt the caufe of Chriilianity, in, and after the apoilolic age, 
much more than by all the perfecntionsof both Jae-ws and Hea 
thens : the apoftles, in all their epiilles, ihew themfelves much 
more concerned at the former rnifchief, than the latter. By 
this, Satan prevailed againft the reformation, begun by Luther, 
Zuinglius, &c. to put a flo;> to its progrefs, and brine; it into 
difgrace ; ten timei niore, than by all uiafc bloody, cruel, and 


vi The P R E F A C E. 

before unheard-of pcrfecutions of the church of Rome. By 
this principally, has he prevailed again ft revivals of religion, 
that have been in our nation fince the reformation. By this he 
prevailed againft New-England, to quench the love, and fpoil 
the joy of her efpoufals, about an hundred years ago. And I 
think, I have had opportunity enough to fee plainly, that by 
this, the devil has prevailed againft the late, great revival of 
religion in New-England, fo happy and promifing in its begin 
ning : here moft evidently has been the main advantage Satan 
has had againft us ; by this he has foiled us ; it is by this means 
that the daughter of Zion in this land, now lies on the ground, 
in fuch piteous circurnftances, as we now behold her ; \vithher 
garments rent, her face disfigured, her nakednefs expofed, her 
.limbs broken, and weltering in the blood of her own wounds, 
and in no wife able to arife ; and this, fo quickly after her late 
great joys and hopes : Lam. i. 17. " Zlon fpreadeth forth her 
*' hands, and there is none to comfort her : the Lord hath 
" commanded concerning Jacob, that his adverfanes mall be 
' round about him : Jerufalem is as a menftruous woman 
** among them." I have feen the devil prevail the fame way, 
againft two great revivings of religion in this country. Satan 
goes on with mankind, as he began with them. He prevailed 
againft our firft parents, and caft them out of paradife, arid fud- 
clenly brought all their happinefs and glory to an end, by ap 
pearing to be a friend to their happy paradifaic ftate, and pre 
tending to advance it to higher degrees. So the fame cunning 
ferpent, that beguiled Eve through his fubtilty, by perverting 
us from the fimplicity that is in Chrift, hath fuddenly prevail 
ed to deprive us of that fair profpe}, we had a little while ago, 
of a kind of paradifaic ftate of the church of God in New- 

After religion has revived in the church of God, and ene 
mies appear, people that are engaged to defend its caufe, are 
commonly moft expofed, where they are leaft fenfible of danger. 
While they are wholly intent upon the oppofition that appears 
openly before them, to make head againft that, and do negleft 
cave hilly to look all round them, the devil comes behind them, 
and gives a fatal Itab unfeen ; and has opportunity to give a 
more home ftroke, and wound the deeper, becaufe he ftrikcs 
at his leifure, and according to his pleafure, being obftrutled 
by no guard or refiftance. 

And fo it is likely ever to be in the church, whenever reli 

The PREFACE. vit 

gion revives remarkably, till we have learned well to diflinguifa 
between true and falfe religion, between faving affections and 
experiences, and thofe manifold fair mews, and glittering ap 
pearances, by which they are counterfeited ; the confequences 
of which, when they are not diiHnguiilied, are often iricxpref- 
fibly dreadful. By this means, the devil gratifies himfelf, by 
bringing it to pafs, that that mould be offered to God, by mul 
titudes/ under a notion of a pleafing acceptable fervice to him 
that is 'indeed above ail thirgs abominable to him. By tins 
means, he deceives great multitudes aboutthe itate of their fouls; 
making them think they are fomething, when they are no 
thing; and fo eternally undoes them: and not only fo, but efta- 
blifhes many in a ftrong confidence of their eminent holinefs, 
who are in God's fight, fome of the vileft of hypocrites. By 
this means, he many ways damps and wounds religion in the 
hearts of the faints, obfcures and deforms it by corrupt mix 
tures, caufes their religious affections wofully to degenerate, 
and fometimes for a confiderable time, to be like the manna, 
that bred worms and ifank; and dreadfully cnfnares and con 
founds the minds of others of the faints, and brings them into 
great difficulties and temptation, and entangles them in a wil- 
dernefs, out of which they can by no means extricate therr- 
felves. By this means, Satan mightily encourages the hearts 
of open enemies of religion, and ftrengthens their hands, and 
fills them with weapons, and makes Srong their fortreffes; 
when at the fame time, religion and the church of God lie ex- 
pofed to them, as a city without walls. By this means, he 
brings it to pafs, that men work wickednefs under a notion of 
doing God fervice, and to fin without reftrainf, yea with ear- 
neft forwardnefs and zeal, and with all their might. By this 
means, he brings in even the friends of religion, infenfibly to 
themfelves, to do the work of enemies, by deftroying religion 
in a far more effectual manner than open enemies can do, un 
der a notion of advancing it. By this means, the devil fcatters 
the flock of Chrift, and lets them one againft another, and that 
with great heat of fpirit, under a notion of zeal for God ; and 
religion by degrees, degenerates into vain jangling; and during 
the ftrife, Satan leads both parties far out of the right way, dri 
ving each to great extremes, one on the right hand, and the 
other on the left, according as he finds they are mod inclined, 
or moft eafily moved and fwayed, till the right path in the 
middle is almoft wholly neglected. And in the midft of this 

confufion , 



confufion, the devil has great opportunity to advance his owtl 
intereft, and make it ilrong in ways innumerable, and get the 
government of ail into his own hands, and work his own will. 
And by what is feen of the terrible confequences of this coun 
terfeit religion, when not cliiHnguiihed from true religion, 
God's people in general have their minds unhinged and un fet 
tled, in things of religion, and know not where to let their 
foot, or what to think or do ; and many are brought into 
doubts, whether there be any thing at all in religion; and here- 
iy, and infidelity, andatheifm greatly prevail. 

Therefore, it greatly concerns us to ufe our utmoft endea 
vours, clearly to difcern, and have it well fettled and eftablifh- 
ed, wherein true religion does confift. Till this be done, it 
may be expecled that great revivings of religion will be but of 
lliort continuance: till this be done, there is but little good to 
be expecled of all our warm debates, in converfation and front 
the prefs, not knowing clearly and dilimctly what we ought to 
contend for. 

My defign is to contribute my mite, and ufe my bed (how 
ever feeble) endeavours to this end, in the enfuing Treatife: 
wherein it muft be noted, that my defign is fornewhat diverfe 
from the defign of what I have formerly publifhed, which was 
to (hew tki dijiinguijhing. marks of a work of the Spirit of God* 
including both his common and faving operations; but what I 
aim at now, is to fhew the nature and figris of the gracious ope 
rations of G6d's Spirit, by which they are to be diftinguifhed 
from all things whatfoever that the minds of men are the fub- 
jecls of, which are not of a faving nature. If I have fucceeded 
in this my aim, in any tolerable meafure, I hope it will tend to 
promote the intereft of religion. And whether I have fuc 
ceeded to bring any light to this fubjecl, or no, and however 
my attempt may be reproached, in thefe captious, cenforious 
times, I hope in the mercy of a gracious and righteous God, 
for the acceptance of the fincerity of my endeavours; and hope 
alfo for the candour and prayers of the true followers of the 
meek and charitable Lamb of God, 


-V^-*^ .1$? 





EVEREND Burgefs Allifon, A. M. Bordentown, New* 
XV Jerfey, 
Mr. Abijah Abbot, New-York, 

Tbotnas Allen, bookfeller, New-York, 4 books, 

Robert Armftrong, Orange county, 

Thomas Allen, jun. fiudeiit of Harvard College, Cam* 

Nathaniel Andrufs, cooper, Newark, 

Shelly Arnett, printer, New-Brunfwick, 

Reuben Ayers, Poundridge, 

Silas Ayers, Morris county, 

Ebenezer Ady, Columbia county, 

Samuel Adams, fchoolmafter, Amwell. 


Rev. Benoni Bradnof, Blooming-Grove, 
Rev. Ifaac Blauvelt, Dutchefs county, 
Dr. Arthur Brew, Philadelphia, 
Mr. John Batten, (Indent of divinity, New-York^ 

Walter Bicker, hatter, do. 

Henry Brewfter, Blooming-Grove, 

Nathan Brewfter, John's Town, 

Samuel Beach, Charlefton, South-Carolina, 12 

Ambrofe Barnaby, fchoolmafler, Suffolk county, 

David Baldwin, jun. WardfcfTon, 

Leonard Bleecker, merchant, New- York, 

Ifaac Beers, New-Haven, 7 books, 

David Baldwin, Wardfeiibn, 

Zophar Baldwin, do. 

Ichabod Baldwin, do. 

Silas Baldwin, do. 

Jofeph Baldwin, CQ< 

Jeffe Baldwin, do. 

John Banks, officer of the cufioms, New-Vofkj 
BaiTit, of the academy, Scheneftady, 

John Burchan, Philadelphia, 

Benjamin Bcnnet, Bucks county, Pennfyivarj.7,. 

Daniel Baker, Effex county, 


Mr. John Beers, Morris county, 

Jacob R. Bergen, Princeton, 

John Brittin, Bafkenridge, 

Kbcnezcr Benjamin, Columbia county, 

Comfort Bailey, do. 

John Burr, do. 

David Beebe, do. 

* Daniel Benjamin, do. 

Thomas Bourn, do. 

Phil. Bebee, do. 

Wiliiam A. Bahcock, do. 

William Boftwick, do. 

Lewis Beebe, Pawlett, 

John Burnett, Morris-Town, 

John Bryan, Somerfet county, 

Jofeph Bevers, Hunterdon county, 

David Bifhop, Ringwood, Hunterdon county,, 


Rev. Jedidiah Chapman, Orange-Dale, 
Rev. John Camp, Columbia county, 
Rev. Henry Channing, New-London, 
Dr. James Cogfwell, New-York, 
Mrs. Mercy Crane, Crane-Town, 

Sarah Crane, Newark, 
Mr. Matthias Crane, hatter, New-York, 

Matthias Cazier, A. B. Orange-Dale, 

Jofeph Campbell, Horfeneck, 

Mofes Newel Combs, Newark, 

Peter Cole, tanner, New- York, 

John D. Coe, Orange county, 

Albert Cooper, do. 

John Cox, do. 

Daniel Coc, do. 

Arthur Conolly do. 

David Crofby, jun. Frederickfburgh, 

Henry Cronk, Weft Point, - 

Jomes Crommeline, Brunfwick, 

James Carpenter, merchant, Gofhen, 

John Collins, Wardfeffon, 

John Chadler, Blooming-Grove, 

Daniel Cornogg, Chefler county, Pennfylvania, 

James Camp, Newark, 

William Coffin, Effcx county. 


John Conger, Efq. Woodbridge, 

Daniel Cook, Efq. Mendliam, 

jSilas Condict, Efq. Morris-Town, 

Jglhua Coit, Efq. New-London, 

Mr. David Crane, (fon of Stephen) Elizabeth -Town, 

John Chandler, do. 

Jofeph Cree, printer, 

Elifha Collins, Columbia county, 

John Cooper, Morris county, 

John Cooper, Woodbridge, 

Jofhua Corihon, high fheriffof Hunterdon county. 


Rev. John Duryee, Rarifan, 

Rev. Eliphaz Dazey, Kent county, ftate of Delaware, 
Mr. Thomas Dobfon, bookfeller, Philadelphia, 

Elijah Dod, Horfencck, 

George T. Duryee, Long-Ifland, 

John Decker, Ulfter county, 

John Dod, jun. WardfeiTon, 
Ifaac Dodd, Efq. do. 

Mr. Cornelius Davis, New- York, 

Thomas Davis, Newark, 

Silvarms Davis, do. 

Johannes Decker, Biooming-Grove, 

Timothy Dunning, merchant, Goihen, 

William Durell, "New-York, 

Matthias Day, printer, 

Peter Dumont, Efq. New-Brunfwick, 12 books, 
Mr. John Darbe, M. D. Morris county, 

John Davis, Columbia county, 

Nicholas Dudley, 

William Donnington, EHzabeth-Town ? 

Nicholas Dubois, Somerfet county. 


Rev. Jonathan Elmer, New-Providence, 
Mifs Mary Ellis, South-Carolina, 
Mr. Benjamin Egbert, merchant, New- York, 

James R. Englifh, merchant. New-Jerfey 3 

Abraham Eights, Albany, 

Abel Eaton, Columbia county. 


Rev. Mr. Fordham, Black River, 
Mifs Mary Farrill, Englilh Town,. 


Mr. John Fulfom, Albany. 

Samuel Froft, Mouis county, 

Jofhua Finch, Columbia county, 

Jabez Fox, 

David Frothingham, printer, 

John Frazee, Morris county. 

Mr. Hugh Gaine, bookfeller and printer, New-York, 7 books, 

Thomas C. Green, bookfeller, New-London, 7 books, 

Jofeph Gould, fen. Horfeneck, 
ofeph Gould, jun. do. 
William Gould, do. 

John Gould, do. 

Stephen Gurnee, fen. Orange county, 
Stephen Gurnee, jun. do. 

Mofes Gale, do. 

George George, Montgomery county, Pennfylvania, 
Matthew Green, printer, 
Peter Gary, Amwell, New-Jerfey, 
Daniel Graham, Efq. Uifler county. 


Reuben Hopkens, Efq. attorney at law, Gofhcn, 12 books^ 
MefTrs. Hudfon and Goodwin, printers, Hartford, 12 books, 
Jofeph Hanifon, Efq. Hor fence k, 
Mrs. Jane Haviland, Elizabeth-Town, 
Mr. Thomas Holme, Penneypeck, Pennfylvania, 
Daniel Hitchcock, houfe-carpen:er, New- York, 
Nathaniel W. Howell, Blooming-Grove, 
Jofeph Hunt, Orange county, 
Benjamin HalRead, do. 
Chriftian Hurtin, Gofnen, 
Timothy Hntron, New-York, 
Silas Hough, Bucks county, Pennfylvania, 
Major John Holme, Penneypeck, Pennfylvania, 
Mr. Ichabod B. Halfey, iludent of phyfic, Scotch Plains, 
John Hendricks, Eiizabeth-Town, 
Daniel Halfey, do. 

Thomas Hurlbutt, Columbia county, 
Pat. Hamilton, do. 

Eiima Holiiften, do. 

Gabriel HofF, Baptift Town, New-Jcrfey, 
]ofeph Hart, Kingwood townfhip, Hunterdon county, 
sekiel Holmes, Greanwich, New-Jerfey. 





Rev. Samuel Jones, D. D. Pallor of the Baptift church, Pen- 

DC/peck, Pennfyivania, 
Mr. John Johnfon, King's county, 

Elijah Jones, merchant, Albany county, 

Abraham Joralemon, Crane-Town, 

John Jenkins, Dorchefter, Malfachufetts, 

Thomas Jackfon, Columbia county, 

Jonathan Jacobs, do. 

Levy Jones, do. 

c>hn ingraham, do. 

>hn Johnfon, Newark. 


Rev. Na'.hanKer, A. M. Golhen, 
Rev. WaKcr King, 
Mr. Shepard Kolbck, printer, Elizabeth- Town, 50 books, 

Paul Khul, K-'-iriterdon county, 

Eheiiezer C. Kilborn, New-York, 

Danipl Kiichel, Morris -To w j, 

Nicholas Kortwright, jun. 

Ebenezer Kingibui \ . 


Rev. William Linn, New-York, 
Rev. John Lindiley, Orange county, 
J)r. Jofliua Lathrop, of Norwich, Conne&icut, 
Mrs. Katherine Linkleter, 
Mifs J-'tne Loxley, Philariel])bia, 
Gilbert Livlngfton, Efq. Poughkeepfie, 
Mr. Samuel London, bookfeller, New- York, 7 books, 

Jafper Griffing, jun. Guilford, Conne6Hcut, 

Gabriel Ludlum, Goflien, 

Aaron Lane, filverfmim, Elizabeth-Town, 

Jacob Lewis, Bafkenridge, 

Mel. Lathrop, Columbia county, 

Aniaia Learned, New-London, 

Ebenezer Leller, do. 

Wiiliain Lowry, Alexandria, New-Jerfey, 


Rev. Dr. John Mafon, New-York, 
Rev. John ArDonnald, V. D. M. Albany, 
Jacob Martin, Efq. Micldidcx, New-Jerfey, 
Elihu Mirvir.'j', Ef-j. Judge .of Orange county, 
Mr. William Mscclure, Datches county, 


Col, Seth Marvirie, Orange county, 

Capt. Samuel Morgan, 

Mr. James M'Coy, ftudent of divinity, Orange-dale, 
Johannes Miller, Ulfter county, 
Anthony Marvine, fludent of law, Gofhen, 
William Mitchell, Chefter county, Pennfylvania, 
James Muir, bookbinder, Philadelphia, 
Ephraim M'Call, Columbia county, 
Stephen M'Crea, New-York, 
Edward M'Gennifs. 


Mr. David Nichols, Newark, 

Samuel Nott. 


Rev. Uzal Ogden, Newark, , 

Capt. Abraham Onderdonk, Orange county, 
Mr. Jofeph Owen, of Bedford, 

Wilmot Oakley, Huntington, Long-lfland, 

Michael Ofbourne, Eiizabeih-Town, 



Rev. James Proudfit, New-Perth, 
Mr. John Parfoneit, Horfeneck, 

Daniel Phcenix, merchant, New- York, 

John P. Pearfs, do. 

William Pilchard, bookfeller, Philadelphia, 7 books, 

Nathaniel Patten, bookfeller, Hartford, 6 books, 

Samuel Phillips, Chefter county, Pennfylvania, 

John Phillips, do. do. 

Thomas Prentice, Elizabeth-Town, 

John Pien r on, do. 

Francis Price, Efq. SufTex county, 
Mr. Stephen Palmer, Columbia county, 

David Phillips, do. 

William Pittinger, Hunterdon county. 


Rev. William Rogers, A. M. Philadelphia, 
Rev. Dirck Romeyn,V. D.M. Schenelady, 
Hon. David Ramfey, Efq. South-Carolina, 
Mr. Henry Rome, merchant, New-York. 

John Roflell, Orange county, 

Peter Read, do. 

Richard Roberifon, tanner, New-York, 


Mr. Abraham Raymond, Columbia county, 
Gamaliel Ripley. 


Rev. John Shepard, Eflex county, New-Jerfey, 
Rev. John Stevens, Columbia county, 
Dr. Ifaac Sherwood, Orange county, 
Ifaac Snowden, Efq. Philadelphia, 

William Smith, Efq. St. George's Manor, Suffolk county, 
MefTrs. Smith and Phelps, bookfellers, in Hartford, 12 books-, 
Mr. Peter Studdiford, ftudent in divinity, New- York, 
James Saur, Orange county, 
John Saur, jun. do. 
Benjamin Saur, do. 
Ifaac Serjeant, WardfefTon, 12 books, 
Richard Sill, A. M. Albany, 
John Sawyer, A. B. Orford, New-Hampfhire, 
Nathan Sheppard, Cumberland county, New-Jerfey, 
George Shaw, cabinet-maker, Philadelphia, 
Archibald Stewart, Suflex county, 2 books, 
Edward Savage Salem, Washington county, 
James Seely, Poundridge, 
Edward Scofield, Stanford, 
Auften Smith, jun. do. 

Peter Smith, Concord, SufTex county, New-Jerfey, 
Henry Squier, Eflex county, 
Edward Sherman, Columbia county, 
Daniel Smith, do. 
Ephraim Smith, do. 
John Skinner, do. 
Jonas Saffbrd, Poultney. 


Henry Townfend, Efq. iron mafter, Orange county, 
Mr. John Tobias, merchant, Albany county, 

William Tbompfon, Efq. attorney at law, Orange county, 
Lathrop Thomfon, A. B. Windfor, Vermont, 
Deacon Hezekiah Thomfon, do. do. 

Mr. Benjamin Thaw, Philadelphia, 
Jofeph Tatem, do. 
Rulif Traphagen, Elizabeth-Town, 
Nehemiah Teunis, do. 

Aaron Thompfon, fchoolmafter, Eflex county, 
Philip Temple, Columbia county, 
Malachi Thomas, do. 


Mr. Jacob Tallman, Clark's-Town, 

Thomas Talmage, New-Brunfwick. 

Zeb. Tracy. 

U. &V. 

Rev. Thomas Uftlck, A. M. Philadelphia, 
Rev. William Van Home, A. M. Scotch-Plains 
Lucas Van Beverhoudt, Efq. Morris county, 
Mr. Peter Vandervoort, jun. 

Beckman Van Beuren, merchant, New-York, 

Samuel Van Steinberg, do. 

Samuel Vail, Somerfet county^ 


Hev. . Wefterlow, V. D. M. Albany, 
Rev. Mofes C. Welch, 
Mr. Alexander Phosnix Waldron, New-York, 

John D. Witt, jun. Dutches county, 

Benjamin Wallace, of the city of Albany, merchant, 

J. W. Wilkin, A. B. Goflien, 
Major Jacob Wright, do. 

Ifaac Wheaton, Efq. Cumberland county, New-Jerfey t 
Mr. Elbert Willet, Albany, 

William \Vatts, Bucks county, Pennfylvania, 

Thomas Woodruff, ^d. 

Stephen Wheeler, Elizabeth-Town, 

Jefle Woodruff, do. 

Seth Woodruff, do. 

John Wright, Mendham, Morris-county, 

Jofiah Warner, Columbia-county, 

Luther Wafhburn, do. 

Stephen Webb, 

Maurice Wurts, Hunterdon county, 

John Wurts, Flanders, Morris county, 


Mr. William Young, bookfeller, Philadelphia, 
James Yorke. 

Mr. Cbriftian Zabrifkie, Bergen county. 


T H E 


Of the Reverend 



Containing the Hi/lory of his Life, from his BiRTM to hit 
SETTLEMENT in the work of the. MINISTRY. 

MR. JONATHAN EDWARDS was born Oftober 5, 
1703, at Wiridfor, a town in Connecticut. His lather 
was the Rev. Mr. Timothy Edwards, minifter of the gofpel 
on the eaft fide of Connecticut river in Windfor. He began 
to refide and preach at Wmdfor in November 1694, but was 
not ordained until July, 1698. He died January 27, 17,58* 
in the 89th year of his age, not two months before this his fon. 
He was in the work of the miniflrv above fifty-nine years t 
And from his firft beginning to refide and preach there, to his 
death, are above fixty-three years ; arid was able to attend on 
the work of the miniitry and preach conilantiy until within a 
few years before his death. He was very univerfally eftecmed 
and beloved as an upright, pious, exemplary man, and faithful 
nnnifter of the gofpel ; and was greatly ufeful. He was born 
at Hartford in Connecticut, May 14, 1669, received the hon 
ours of the college at Cambridge in New-England, by having 
the degrees of Batchelor and Mailer of Arts given him the 
fame day, July 4, 1694, one in the forenoon, and the other 
in the afternoon. 

On the 6th day of November 1694, he was married to Mis, 
Either Stoddard, in the 2<}d y^ar of her age, the daughter of: 
the late famous Mr. Solomon Stcddard of Northampton ; whole 
great parts anri zeal for experimental religion are well knowri 
in all the churches in America ; and will probably be tiani- 
mi tied to pofterity yet unborn, bv his valuable writings. The/ 

P livtd ' 

a6 The LIFE of the Reverend 

lived together in the married flate above fixty-three years* 
Mrs. Edwards was born June 2, 1672. 

They had eleven Children : All which lived to adult years, 
viz. ten daughters, and this their only fon and fifth child.* 


* As the following more large and particular account, of Mr. Ed 
wards's anceilors may gratify feme readers, it isinferted here in the 

Mr. Edwards's grandfather" was Mr. Richard Edwards. His 
firft wife was Mrs. Elizabeth Tiittle, daughter of Mr. William 
Tuttle of New-Haven in Connecticut, and Mrs. Elis Tuttle his 
wife, who came out of Northamtonfhire in England* His fecond 
wife was Mrs. Talcot, lifter to governor Talcot : By his firil wife 
he had feven children, the oldeft of which was the Rev. Mr. Timo 
thy Edwards of Windfor, his father, before mentioned. By his 
fecond wife Mrs. Talcot, he had fix children. 

The father of Mr. Richard Edwards was Mr. William Edwards, 
who came from England young and unmarried. His wife, Mrs,, 
Agnes Edxvards, who alfo came out of England, had two brothers 
in England, one of them Mayor of Exeter, and the other of Barn- 
ftable. Mr. W T illiarn Edwards's father was the Rev. Mr. Rich. 
Edwards, minifto of the gofpel in London. He lived in Queen 
Elifabeth's day, and his wife Mrs. Anne Edwards aflifted in making 
a ruff for the queen. After the death of Mr. Edwards me married 
to one Mr. James Cole. She with her fecond hufband, and her 
fon William Edwards came into America, and all died at Hartford 
in Connecticut. 

Mr. Edwards's grandfather, (Mr, Solomon Stoddard, and his 
predecefTor at Northampton) married Mrs. Mather, the relidt of .the 
Rev. Mr. Mather his predeceffor, and the firft minifter at Northamp 
ton. Her maiden name was Efiher Warham, daughter and youngeft 
child of the Rev. Mr. John Warham, minifter at Windfor in Con 
necticut, who came out of England, before which he was minifter 
in Exeter in England : He had four children, all daughters : and 
Mrs. Warham furvived him, and had two daughters by Mr, New- 
.bury, her fecond hufband. 

Mrs. Efther Warham had three children by Mr. Mather, viz. 
Eunice, Warham and Eliakim. And me had twelve children by 
Mr. Stoddard, fix fons and fix. .daughters : Three of the fons died 
in infancy. The three that lived to adult years were Anthony, 
John and Ifrael. Ifrael died in prifon in France. Anthony was the 
Rev. Mr. Anthony Stcddard, late minifter of the Gofpel at Wood- 

Mr. J O N A T H A N E D W A R D S. 27 

Mr. Edwards entered Yale College in the year 1716, 
and received the degree of Batchelor of Arts in September, 
1720, a little before he was feventeen years old. He had the 
charafter of a fober youth, arid a good fcholar while he was a 
member of the college. In his fecond year at college, and 
thirteenth of his age, he read Locke on the human underftand r 
ing, with great delight and profit. His uncommon genius, by 
which he was, as it were by nature, formed for clofenefs of 
thought and deep penetration, now began to exercife and dif- 
cover itfelf, Taking that book into his hand, upon fome oc- 
cafion, not long before his death, he faid to fome of his feleft 
friends, who were then with him, That he was beyond ex- 
preflion entertained and pleafed with it, when he read it in his 
youth at college ; that he was as much engaged, and had more 
fatisfaclion and pleafure in ftudying it, than the moil greedy 
mifer in gathering up handfuls of filver and gold from fome 
new difcovered treafure. 

.Though he made good proficiency in all the arts and 
fcierices, and had an uncommon taile for natural philofophy, 
which he cultivated to the end of his life, with that juftnefs 
and accuracy of thought which was almoft peculiar to him ; 
yet moral philofophy or divinity was his favorite ftudy. In 
this he early made great progrefs. He 

bury in Connecticut, who lived to a great age, and was in the 
work of the miniftry fixty years: He died September 6, 1760, in 
the eighty-fecond year of his age, John was the honourable John 
Stoddard, Efq. who lived at Northampton, and who often, efpecially 
in his younger years, ferved the town as their reprefentative at the 
great and general court in Bofton ; and was long head of the county 
of Hampfhire as their chief Colonel, and chief judge of the court of 
common pleas : And he long ferved his majeily, and the province 
of the Maffachufetts-Bay, as one of his Majefty's council. He was 
remarkable as a politician, and for his fpirit of government ; a wife 
counfellor, an upright and fkilful judge, a fteady and great friend 
to the intereft of* religion. He was a great friend and admirer of 
Mr. Edwards, and greatly ftrengtbened his hands in the work cf the 
miniftry while he lived, A more particular account of the life and 
character of this truly great man may be feen in the fermon which 
Mr. Edwards preached and publiihed on the occafion of his death. 

Mr. Stoddard's father was Anthony Stoddard, Efq, of Bofton, 'a 
zealous congregational man. He had" five wives, the firft of which, 
Mr. Stoddard's mother, was Mrs. Mary Downing, filler to Sir 
George Downing, whofe other fifter married Governor 
Mr. Solomon Stoddard was their oldeft child. 

2$ The LIFE of the Reverend 

He lived at college near two years after he took bis fir ft de 
gree, defigning and preparing for the work of the rniniftry. -After 
which, having paffed the pre-recjuifite trials, he was , licenced 
to preach the gofpel as a candidate. And being pitched upon, 
and applied to by a number of minifters in New-England, who 
were intruded to aft in behalf of the Engliih preibyterians at 
New-York, as a perfon to be fent to them, he complied with 
their requeft, and went to New-York the beginning of Auguft, 
3722; and preached there -to very good acceptance about 
eight months. But by reafon of the fmallnefs of that fociety, 
and fome fpecial difficulties that attended 'it, he did not think 
they were in a capacity to fettle a rninifier, with a rational 
profpeft of anfwering the good ends propofed. He therefore 
left them, the next fpring, and retired to his father's houfe ; 
where he fpent the fummer in clofe ftudy. He was indeed 
earneftly folicited by the people he had been among at New- 
York to return to them again; but for the reafon juft men 
tioned, he could not think himfelf in the way of his duty to 
gratify them. 

In September, 1723, he received his degree of Matter of 
Arts ; about which time he had invitations from feveral coru 
gregations to come among them in order to his feltlement in 
the work of the miniftry ; but being chofen tutor of Yale- 
College the next fpring in the year 1724, being in the twenty 
firft year of his age, he retired to the college, and attended 
the bufmefs of tutor there above two years. 

While he was in this place, he was applied to by the peo 
ple at Northampton, with an invitation to come and fettle in 
the work of the miniftry there, with his grandfather Stoddard, 
who by reafon of his great age, flood in need of alii fiance, 
He therefore refigned his tutorfhip, in September, 1726, and 
accepted of their invitation ; and was ordained in the work of 
the miniftry at Northampton, colleague with his grandfather 
Stoddard, February 15, 1727, in the twenty fourth year of 
his age, where he continued in the work of the miniftry until 
June 22, 1750, twenty three years and four months. 

Between the time of his going to New-York and his fettle- 
mept a,t JvJqrthamptpn, he formed a number of refolutions, 
and committed them to writing : the particular time, and 
fpecial occafion of his making many of them, he has noted in 
his diary which he then kept ; as well as many other obferva, 
lions arid rules, which related to his pwn exercifcs and con, 


Mr. J O N A T H A N E D W A R D 3. 9 

3uK And as tbefe refolutions, together with 'the 
noted in his diary, may juftly be confidered, as the foundation 
and plan of his whole life, it may be proper here to give the: 
reader a tafte and idea of them : Which will therefore be 
done in the following extracts, 


Containing Ex TRACTS from his PRIVATE WRITINGS, 


BEING fenfible that I am unable to do any thing with 
out God's help, I do humbly intreat him by his grace to 
enable me to keep thefe refolutions, fo far as they are agreeable 
to his will, for thrift's fake. 

Remember to read over tkefe RESOLUTIONS once, a Week. 

1. Refolved, That I will do whatfoever I think to be moft 
to God's glory, and my own good, profit and pleafure, in the 
whole of my duration, without any confederation of the time, 
whether now, or never fo many myriads of ages hence. Refol 
ved to do whatever I think to be my duty, and moft for the 
good and advantage of mankind in general. Refolved to do 
this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many and how 
great foever. 

2. Refolved, to be continually endeavouring to find out 
fome new invention and contrivance to promote the fore-men 
tioned things. 

4. Refolved, never to do any manner of thing, whether in 
foul or body, lefs or more, but what tends to the glory of God ; 
nor be, nor fuffer it, if I can avoid it. 

5. Refolved, never to loofe one moment of time ; but im 
prove it the moft profitable way I poflibly can. 

6. Refolved, to live with all my might, while I do live. 

7. Refolved, never to do any thing, which I (hould be 
afraid to do, if it were the laft hour of my life. 

9. Refolved, to think much on all occafions of my own 
dying, and of the common circumflances which attend death, 

11, Re. 

30 The LIFE of the Reverend 

1 1 . Refolved, when I think of any theorem in divinity to 
be folved, immediately to do "what 1 can towards folving it, if 
circumftances do not hinder. 

13. Refolved, to be endeavouring to find out fit objects of 
charit^ and liberality. 

14. Refolved, never to do any thing out of revenge. 

15. Refolved, never to fuffer the lead motions of anger to 
irrational beings. 

17. Refolved, that I will live fo as I mall wifh I had done 
when I come to die. 

18. Refolved, to live fo at all times, as I think is beft in 
my devout frames, and when I have clearelt notions of things 
of the gofpel, and another world. 

20. Refolved, to maintain the ftricleft temperance in eating 
and drinking. 

21. Refolved, never to do any thing, which if I mould fee 
in another, I mould count a juft occafion to defpife him for, 
or to think any way the more meanly of him. 

24. Refolved, whenever I do any confpicuoufly evil aclion, 
to trace it back, till I come to the original caufe ; and then 
both carefully endeavour to do fo no more, and to fight and 
pray with all my might agairift the original of it. 

28. Refolved, to fludy the fcriptures fo fteadily, conftantly 
and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive myfelf 
to grow in the knowlege of the fame. 

30. Refolved, to itrive to my ntmoft every week to be 
brought higher in religion, and to a higher exercife of grace, 
than I was the week before, 

32. Refolved, to be ftriclly and firmly faithful to my truft, 
that that in Prov. xx. 6. " A faithful man who can find ?" 
may not be partly fulfilled in me. 

33. Refolved, always to do what I can towards making, 
maintaining and eftablifhmg peace, when it can be without 
over-balancing detriment in other refpecls. 

34. Refolved, in narrations never to fpeak any thing but the 
pure and fimple verity. 

36. Refolved, never to fpeak evil of any, except I have 
fome particular good call for it. 

37. Refolved, to enquire every night, as I am going to bed, 
wherein I have been negligent, what fin I have committed, 
and wherein I have denied myfelf : Alfo, at the end of every 
week, month and year. 

38. Re- 

Mr* J O N A T H A N D W A R D S< 3t 

38. Refolved, never to fpeak any thing that is ridiculous* 
or matter of laughter on the Lord's Day. 

39. Refolved, never to do any thing that I fomuch queftion 
the lawfulnefs of, as that I intend^ at the fame time, to con- 
fider and examine afterwards whether it be lawful or no : ex 
cept I as much queftion the lawfulnefs of the omiffion. 

41. Refolved, to afk myfelf at the end of every day, week, 
month and year, wherein I could poflibly in any refpeft have 
done better. 

42. Refolved frequently to renew the dedication of myfelf 
to God, which was made at my baptifm ; which I folemnly 
renewed, when I was received into the communion of the 
church ; and which I have folemnly re-made this twelfth day 
of January, 1722 3. 

43. Refolved, never henceforward, till I die, to acl as if 
I were any way my own, but entirely and altogether God's, 
agreeable to what is to be found in Saturday, January 12. 

46. Refolved, never to allow the leaft meafure of any fret 
ting uneafinefs at my father or mother. Refolved to fufFer no 
effecls of it, fo much as in the leaft alteration of fpeech, or 
motion of my eye : and to be efpecially careful of it, with ref- 
peft to any of our family. 

47. Refolved, to endeavor to my utmoft to deny whatever is 
not moft agreeable to a good, and univerfally fweet and bene 
volent, quiet, peaceable, contented, eafy, compaffionate, ge 
nerous, humble, meek, modeft, fubmiffiye, obliging, diligent, 
and induftrious, charitable, even, patient, moderate, forgiv 
ing, fmcere temper ; and to do at all times what fuch a temper 
would lead me to. Examine ftriftly every week, whether I 
have done fo. 

48. Refolved, conftantly, with the utmoft nicenefs and di 
ligence, and the ftrifteft fcrutiny, to be looking into the ftate 
of my foul, that I may know whether I have truly an intereft 
in Chrift or no ; that when I come to die, I may not have 
any negligence refpefting this to repent of. 

50. Refolved, I will aft fo as I think I fhall judge would 
have been beft, and moft prudent, when I come into the future 

52. I frequently hear perfons in old age fay how they would 
live, if they were to live their lives over again : Refolved, thai-. 
I will live juft fo as I can think I fhall wijn I had done, fuppo- 
fmg I live to old age. 

q,t. Wheiv 

2 a The LIFE t)f the P^verend 

54. Whenever I hear any thing fpoken in converfation of 
any perfon, if I think it would be praife-worthy in me, Refol 
ved to endeavor to imitate it. 

55. Refolved, to endeavor to my utmoft to aft as I cari 
think I mould do, if I had already feen the happinefs of Hea* 
vcn, and Hell torments. 

56. Refolved, never to give over, nor in the leaft to fiac- 
ken my fight with my corruptions, however unluccefsiul I 
may b.e. 

57. Refolved, when I fear misfortunes -and adverfities, to 
examine whether I have done my duty, and refolve to do it ; 
and let it be juft as providence orders it, I will, as far as 1 can, 
be concerned about nothing but my duty arid niy fin. 

62. Refolved, never to do any thing but duty ; and then 
according to Eph. vi. 6, 7, 8. do it willingly and cheerfully 
as unto the Lord, and not to man ; knowing that whatever 
good thing any man doth, the fame mall he receive of the 

6,5. Refolved, very much to exercife myfelf in this all my 
live long, viz. with the greateft opennefs I am capable of, to 
declare rny ways to God, and lay open my foul to him : till 
my fins, temptations, difficulties, forrows, fears, hopes, de- 
fires, and every thing, and every circumftance ; according to 
Dr. Manton's 27th fermon on the cxix Pfalm. 

67. Refolved, after afflictions, to inquire, what I am the 
better for them, what good I have got by them, and what I 
might have got by them. * 

* The Refolutions are feventy in number. But part of them are 
here tranfcribed, as a fpecimen of the whole. The number here af 
fixed to them, is that by which they are numbered in the original 
manufeript ; and retained here for the fake of the references made to 
fome of them in the diary, as the reader will prefently fee. 


Extratts from his PRIVATE D I A H Y. 

SATURDAY, December 22, 1722. This day revived by 
God's fpirit. AfFecled with the fenfe of the excellency of 
liolinefs. Pelt mere exercife of love to Chrift than ufual. 


Mr* J o tt A t n A .N E D w A R D s* 33 

Have alfo felt fenfibie repentance of fin, becaufe it was com 
mitted againft fo merciful and good a God. This night made 
the 37 ih Refolution. 

Saobatkday night > Dec. 23* Made the 381!! Refolution. 

Monday, Dec* 24. Higher thoughts than ufual of the excel* 
lency of Jefus Chriil and his kingdom. 

WedntJ'day t January 2, 1722 -3. Dull. I find by expe 
rience, that let me make refoiutions, and do what I will; with 
never fo many inventions, it is all nothing, and io no purpofe 
at all, without the motions of the Spirit of God : for if the 
Spirit of God fliould be as much withdrawn from me always, 
as for the week pall, notwithftanding all I do, I mould not 
grow ; but fhould languish, and miferably fade away. There 
is no dependence upon myfelf. It is to no purpofe to refolve, 
except we depend on the grace of God ; for if it were not for 
his men* grace, one might be a very good man one day, and a 
very wicked one ^he next* 

Sabbathday, January 6, at night. Much concerned about 
the improvement of precious time. Intend to live in continual 
mortification, without ceafmg, as long as in this world. 

Tuefday, January 8, in the morning. Higher thoughts than 
ufual, of the excellency of Chrilt, arid felt an unufual repent 
ance of (in therefrom. 

Wcdnefday, January 9, at night. Decayed, I am fornetimes 
apt to think, I have a great deal more of holinefs than I have. 
I find now and then, that abominable corruption which is di 
rectly contrary to what I read of eminent Chriftians. How 

deceitful is my heart ! I take up a ftrong refutation, but hov/ 
foon docs it weaken ! 

Thurfday, January 10, about noon. Reviving. 'Tis a 
great diflionor to Chriil, in whom I hope I have an intereir, 
to be uneafy at my worldly flate and condition. When I fee 
the profperity of others, and that all things goeafy with them ; 
the world is fmooth to them, and they are happy in many re(- 
pecls, and very profpcrous, or are advanced to much honor, 
Sec. to grudge and envy them, or be the leaf! unealy at it ; to 
with or long for the fame profperity, and that it would ever ba 
fo with me. Wherefore concluded always to rejoice in every 
one's profperity, and to expeft for myfelf no happinefs of that 
nature as long as I live ; but deprnd upon afflictions^ and betake 
myfelf entirely to another happinefs, 

J thirv; 

34 TksLli * of the Ret 

I think I find myfelf much more fprightly and healthy, bctfi 
in body and mind, for my felf denial in eating, drinking, and 

I think it would be advantageous every morning to confider 
my bufmefs and temptations ; and what fins I fhail be expofecJ 
to that day ; and to make a refolution how to improve the day, 
and to avoid thofe fins. And fo at the beginning of every 
week, month and year. 

I never knew before what was meant oy not fettifig our 
hearts upon thefe things. 'Tis not to care about them, to depend 
upon them, to afflicl: ourfeives much with fears of lofing them, 
nor pleafe ourfeives with expectation of obtaining them, or 
hope of the continuance of them. At night made the 4 ill 

Saturday, January 12, in the morning. I have this day 
folemnly renewed my baptifmal covenant and felf-dcdication, 
which I renewed when I was received into the communion of 
the church. I have been before God ; and have given myfelf, 
all that I am and have to God, fo that I am not in any refpeft 
my own : I can challenge no right in myfelf, I can challenge 
no right in this under/landing, this will, thefe affections that 
are in me ; neither have I any right to this body, or any of its 
members : No right to this tongue, thefe hands, nor feet : no 
right to thefe fenfes, thefe eyes, thefe ears, this frnell or tafie. 
I have given myfelf clear away, and have not retained any 
thing as my own. I have been to GOD this morning, and 
told him that I gave myfelf wholly to him. I have given every 
power to him ; fo that for the future I will challenge no right 
in myfelf, in any refpecl. I have exprefly promifed him, and 
do noxv promife Almighty God, that by his grace I will not. 
I have this morning told him, that I did take him for my 
\vhole portion and felicity, looking on nothing elfe asaiiy part 
of my happinefs, nor afting as if it were ; and his law for the 
conftant rule of my obedience : and would fight with all my 
might againft the world, the fiefli, and the devil, to the end of 
my life. And did believe in Jefus Chrift, and receive him as 
a Prince and a Saviour ; and would adhere to the faith and obe 
dience of the gofpel, how hazardous and difficult foever the 
profeffion and pra&ice of it may be. That I did receive the 
blefled Spirit as my teacher, fanclifier and only comforter; and 
cherifh all his motions to enlighten, purify, confirm, comfort 
and affiil me. This I have done. And I pray God, for the 



fake of Chriil, to look upon it as a felf-dedication ; and to re 
ceive me now as entirely his own, and deal with me in all re- 
Jpects as fuch ; whether he ailli6ts me orprofpers me, or what 
ever he pleafes to do with me, who am his. Now, hence 
forth I am not to aft in any refpeft as my own. I (hall aft 
as my own, if lever make ufe of any or my powers to any 
thing that is not to the glory of God, and don't make the glo 
rifying him my whole and entire bufmefs ; if I murmur in the 
leaft at affliftions; if I grieve at the profperity of others; if I 
am any way uncharitable ; if I am angry becaufc of injuries ; 
if I revenge : If I do any thing, purely to pleafe myfelf, or if 
I avoid any thing for the fake of my eafe : If I omit any thing 
becaufe it is great felf-denial : If I truft to myfelf ; If I take any 
of the praife of any good that I do, or rather GOD does by 
me ; or if I arn any way proud. This day made the ^2d and 
43d Refolutions. 

Monday, January 14. -The dedication I made of myfelf to 
my God, on Saturday laft, has been exceeding ufeful to me. 
I thought I had a more fpiritual infight into the fcripture, rea 
ding the 8th chapter to the Romans, than ever in my life 

Great inflances of mortification are deep wounds given to 
the body of fin, hard blows that make him ftagger and reel : 
we thereby get great ground arid footing againft him. While 
\ve live without great inftances of mortification arid felf-denial, 
the old man keeps whereabouts he was ; for he is ilurdy and 
obftinate, and will not ftir for final 1 blows. After the great- 
efl mortifications, I always find the greateft comfort. 

Supposing there was never but one compleat ChrifHan, in 
all refpecls of a right ftamp, having chrifHanity mining in its 
true luftre, at a time in the world; Refolved to aft juft as I 
would do, if I ftrove with all my might to be that one, that 
fiiould be in my time. 

TiiefJay, January 15. It feemed yeflerday, the day before 
and Saturday, that I mould always retain the fame refolutions 
to the fame height, but alas, how foon do I decay ! O, how 
weak, how infirm, how unable to do any thing am I ! What 
a poor, inconfiftent, what a miferable wretch, without the af 
fiance of God's fpirit ! While I (land, I am ready to think 
J (land in my own ftrength, and upon my own legs ; and I 
am ready to triumph over my enemies, as if it were I myfelt 
that cauled them to flee ; When alas ! I arn but a poor infant, 


36' The. LIFE of the Reverend 

upheld by Jefus Cbriil ; who holds me up, and gives me liber 
ty to fmile to fee my enemies flee, when he drives them before 
ine ; and fo I laugh, as though 1 myfelf did it, when it is only 
Jefus Chriit leads me along, and fights hirnfelf againft my 
enemies. And now the Lord has a little left me, and how 
weak do I find myfelf ! O, let it teach me to depend lefs on 
myfelf, to be more humble, and to give more of the praife of 
my ability to Jefus. Chrifi. The heart of man is deceitful 
above all things, and delperately wicked, who can know it ? 

Saturday, February 16. I do certainly know that I love 
liolincfs, Inch as the gofpel requites. 

At night. I have been negligent for the nfbnth paft in 
thefe three things ; I have not been watchful enough over my 
appetite in eating and drinking ; in rifing too late a mornings; 
and in not applying myfelf \viih applications enough to the 
duty of fecret prayer. 

S ab bath day ) February 17, near funfet. Renewedly pro- 
mi fed, that I will accept of God, for my whole portion ; and 
that I will be contented, whatever elfe I am denied. I will not 
murmur, nor be grieved, whatever profperity > upon any ac 
count, I fee others enjoy, and I am denied. 

Saturday, March 2. O, how much pleafamer is humility 
than pride ! O, that God would fill me with exceeding 
great humility, and that he would evermore keep me from 
all pride ! * The pleafures of humility are really the moft 
refined, inward and exquifite delights in the world. How hate 
ful is a proud man ! How hateful is a worm that lifts up itfelf 
with pride ! What a foolifh, filly, miferable, blind, deceived,, 
poor worm am I, when pride works ! 

Wtdnejday^ March 6, near fun-fet. Felt the doclrines r,f 
fleclion, free grace, and of our not being able to do any thing 
without the grace of God ; and that holinefs is entirely, 
throughout, the work of God's fpirit, with more pleafure than 

Monday morning. April i. I think it heft not to allow my 
felf to laugh at the faults, follies and infirmities of others. 

Saturday night \ April 7. Tbis week I found myfelf fo far 
gone, that it feenied to me, that I (hould never recover more.. 
Let God of his mercy return unto me, and no more leave me 
thus to fink and decay ! 1 know, O Lord, that without thy 
help, I mall fall innumerable times, notwithflanding all m,y 
refoliuioris, how often foever repeated. 


Mr. JON A T H AN EDWARD s. 37 

Saturday night, April 14. I could pray more heartily this 
night, for the ibrgivenefs of my enemies, than ever before. 

I'Vcdncfday, Mav i, forenoon. Lafl night I came home, 
after my melancholy parting from New-York. 

I have always, in every different ftate of life, I have hither- 
to heen in, thought the troubles and difficulties of that ftate, 
to be greater than thofe of any other, that I propofed to be 
in ; and when I have altered with atfiirance of mending myfelf, 
I have Mill thought the fame ; yea, that the difficulties of that 
flate, are greater than thofe of that I left lafl. Lord, grant 
that from hence I may learn to withdraw my thoughts, affec 
tions, defires and expectations, intirely from the world, and 
may fix them upon the heavenly ftate ; where there is fulneis 
of joy; where reigns heavenly, fwect, calm and delightful 
love without alloy ; where there are continually the deareft 
expreflions of this love : Where there is the enjoyment of the 
perfons loved, without ever parting : Where thofe perfons, 
\vho appear fo lovely in this world, will really be inexprefiibly 
more lovely, and full of love to us. Flow fweetly will the 
mutual lovers join together to fing the praifes of God and the 
Lamb ! How full will it fill us with joy to think, this enjoy 
ment, thefe fweet exercifes, will never ceafe or come to an 
end, but will laft to all eternity. 

Remember, after journeys, removes, overturning? and altera 
tions in the ftate of my life, to reflect and confider, whether 
therein I have managed the beft way poflible, refpecting my 
foul ? And before fuch alterations, if forefeen, to refblve how- 
to aft. 

Tkurfday, May 2. I think it a very good way to examine 
dreams every morning when I awake, what are the nature, 
circumftances, principles and ends of my imaginary actions 
and padions in them, to difcern what are my chief inclina 
tions, &c. 

Saturday night, May 4. Although I have in fome meafure 
fubdued a difpolitiori to chide and fret, yet I find a certain in 
clination, which is not agreeable to chrifUan fweetnefs of 
temper and convcrfation : either by too much dogmaticalnefs, 
too much of the egorifm ; a difpofition to be telling of my 
own diflike and (corn ; and freedom from thofe that are in 
nocent, yea common infirmities of men ; and many other fuch 
like things. O that God would help me to difcern all the 
Caws and defects of my temper and coavcrfaiion, and help 


3 The L i F E of the Reverend 

me in the difficult work of amending them : And that he would 
fill me fo full of chrillianity, that the foundation of all thefc 
difagreeable irregularities may be deftroyed, and the contrary 
iweetnefies and beauties may of themfelves naturally follow. 

Sabbathday, May 3, in the morning. This day made the 
47th refolution. 

Sabbathday, May 12. I think I find in my heart to be glad 
from the hopes I have that my* eternity is to be fpent in fpiritual 
and holy joys, arifing from the manifeftation of God's love, 
and the exercife of holinefs and a burning love to him. 

Saturday night, May 18. I now plainly perceive what great 
obligations I am under to love and honour my parents. I have 
great reafon to believe, that their counfel and 'education have 
been my making : notwithstanding, in the time of it, it feem- 
cd to do me fo little good. I have good reafon to hope that 
their prayers for me, have been in many things very powerful 
and prevalent ; that God has in many things, taken me under 
his care and guidance, provifion and direction, in anfwer to 
their prayers for me. I was never made fo fenfible of it as 

Wednesday, May 22, in the morning. Memorandum. To take 
fpecial care of thefe following things ; evi) ireakirg, iicuing, 
eating, drinking and Seeping, fpeaking fimple verity, join 
ing in prayer, flightinefs in fecret prayer, liftlefnefs and negli 
gence, and thoughts that cherim fin. 

Saturday, May 25, in the morning. As I was this morning 
reading the feventeenth refolution, it was fuggefied to me, 
that if I was now to die, I fhould wifh that I had prayed more 
that God would make me know my ftate, whether it be good 
or bad ; and that I had taken more pains to fee and narrowly 
fearch into this matter. Wherefore, Mem. For the future 
moft nicely and diligently to look into our old divines opinions 
concerning converfion. Made the forty-eighth refolution. 

Friday, June i, afternoon. I have abundant caufe, O my 
merciful father, to love tbee ardently, and greatly to blefs 
and praife thee, that thou haft heard me in my eartieft requeft, 
and haft fo anfwered my prayer for mercy to keep from decay 
and finking. O, gracioudy, of thy mere goodnefs, ftill con 
tinue to pity my mifery, by reafon of my finfulnefs. O my 
dear Redeemer, I commit myfelf, together with my prayer 
febd thankfgiving into thine hand. 


Mr. J O N A T H A N E D W A R B S* 39 

Monday, July I, Again confirmed by experience of the 
liappy efTefts of (tricl temperance, with refped both to body 
and mind. Refolved for the future to obferve rather more of 
rneeknefs, moderation and temper in difputes. 

Tkurfday, July 18, near fun-fet. Refolved to endeavor ta 
make fure of that fign the apollle James gives of a perfect 
man, Jam. iii. 2. " If any man offend not in word, the fame 
" is a perfect man, and able alfo to bridle the whole body." 

Monday, July 22, I fee there is danger of my being drawn 
into tranfgreffion by the power of fuch temptations as a fear 
of Teeming uncivil, and of offending friends. Watch againft if, 

TusJ'day, July 23. When I find thofe groanings which 
cannot be uttered, the Apoftle fpeaks of j and thofe foul-break 
ings, for the longing it hath, the Pfalmifl fpeaks of, (Pfal. cxix. 
20.) to humour and promote them to the utmoft of my power, 
and be not weary of earneftly endeavouring to vent my de- 

To count it all joy when I have occaiion of great felf-demal, 
becaufe then I have a glorious opportunity of giving deadly 
wounds to the body of fin, and greatly confirming and eftab- 
lifiiing the new nature : To feek to mortify fin, and increafe 
in holinefs : thefe are the beft opportunities, according to 
January 14. 

To improve afflictions of all kinds as bleffed opportunities 
of forcibly bearing on in my chriftian courfe, notwithftanding 
that which is fo very apt to difcourage me, and to damp the 
vigour of my mind, and to make me lifelefs : Alfo as oppor 
tunities of truiling and confiding in God, and getting a habit 
of that, according to the 5/th refolution. And as an oppor 
tunity of rending my heart off from the world, and fetting k 
upon Heaven alone. To improve them as opportunities to 
repent of, and bewail my fin, and abhor myfelf. And as a 
bleffed opportunity to exercife patience ; to truft in God, and 
divert my mind from the affliction, by fixing myfelf in religi 
ous exercifes. Alfo, let me comfort myfelf, that it is the very 
nature of afflictions to make the heart better ; and if I am 
made better by them, what need I be concerned, however 
grievous they ieem for the prefent ? 

Friday afternoon, July 26. To be particularly careful to 
keep up inviolable a truft and reliance, cafe and entire reft irt 
God in all conditions, according to ^/th refolution ; for this 
I have found to be wonderfully advantageous to me. 

40 27i. LIFE of the Reverend 

Monday, July 29. When I am concerned how I (hall 
perform any thing to public acceptance, to be very careful 
that I have it very clear to me, that I do what is duty and 
prudence in the matter. 

Wednesday, July 31. Never in the lead to feek to hearfar- 
caftical relations of others faults. Never to give credit to any 
thing faidagainft others, except there is very plain reaion for 
it; nor to behave in any refpecl the otherwife for it. 

Wednesday, shigiijl j. To efleem as fome advantage that 
the duties of religion are difficult* and that many difficulties 
are fome times to be gone through in the way of duty. Re 
ligion is the jfweeter, arid what is gained by labour, is abun 
dantly more precious : As a woman loves her child the bettef 
for having brought it fourth with travail. And even to Chrift 
Jefus himfelf, his mediatorial glory, his victory and triumph, 
his kingdom which he hath obtained ; how much more glori 
ous is it, how much more excellent and precious, for his 
having wrought it out by fuch agonies ! 

Friday, Augujl 9. One thing that may be a good help to 
wards thinking profitably in time of vacation is, when I light 
on a profitable thought, that I can fix my mind on, to follow 
it as far as poflibly I can to advantage. 

Sabbathday, after meeting, Augujl 11. Refolved always to 
do that which I (hall wifli I had done, when I fee others doit. 
As for inftance, fometimes I argue with myfelf, that fuch an 
acl: of good nature, kindnefs, forbearance, or forgivenefs, &c. 
is not my duty, becaufe it will have fuch and fuch confe- 
quences: yet, when I fee others doit, then it appears amiable 
to me, arid I wifli I had done it ; and I fee that none of thofe 
feared inconveniences follow. 

Tuefday, Augufl 13. I find it would be very much to ad 
vantage, to be thoroughly acquainted with the fcriptures. 
When I am reading doftririal books, or books of controverfy, 
I can proceed with abundantly more confidence ; can fee up 
on what footing and foundation I ftand. 

Thurfday^ Auguft iq. The objection my corruptions make 
againlt doing whatever my hands find to do with my might is, 
that it is aconflant mortification. Let this objection by no 
means ever prevail. 

Monday^ September 2. There is much folly, when I am quite 
fure I am in the right, and others are pofitive in contradicting 
me, to enter into a vehement or long debate upon it. 



Monday, September 23. I obfcrve that old men feldom have 
any advantage of new discoveries ; becaufe they are beltde a 
way of thinking, they have been To long nfed to. Refolved, 
if ever I live to years, that I will be impartial to hear the rea- 
fons of all pretended difcoveries, and receive them if rational, 
how long fo ever I have been ufcd to another way of thinking. 

Thurfday, Oftober 18. To follow the example of Mr. B 
who, though he meets with great difficulties, yet undertakes 
them with a fmiling countenance, as though he thought them 
but little ; and fpeaks of them as if they were very fmall. 

Thurfday, November 26. It is a mod evil and pernicious 
practice in meditations on afflictions, to fit ruminating on the 
aggravations of the affliction, and reckoning up the evil, dark 
circumftances thereof, and dwelling long on the dark fide ; it 
doubles and trebles the affli&ion. And fo when fpeaking of 
them to others, to make them as bad as we can, and ule our 
eloquence to fet forth our own troubles, and are all the while 
making new trouble, and feeding and pampering the old ; 
whereas the contrary practice would ftarve our afflictions. If 
we dwelt on the light fide of things in our thoughts, and ex 
tenuated them all that poffibly we could, when fpeaking of them, 
we fhould think little of them ourfelvcs ; and the affliction would 
really, in a great meafure, vanifh away. 

Thurfday night, December 12. If at any time I am forced 
to tell others of that wherein I think they are fomething to 
blame ; for the avoiding the important evil, that would other- 
wife enfue, not to tell it to them, fo that there fhall be a 
probability of their taking it as the effect of little, fretting, 
angry emotions of mind. 

December 31, at night. Concluded never to fairer nor ex- 
prefs any angry emotions of mind more or lefs, except the 
honor of God calls for it, in zeai for him, or to preferve myfeli 
from being trampled on. 

Wednefday, January i, 1723 4* 

NOT to fpend too much' time in thinking even of impo 
tant and ncceifary worldly bulinefs. To allow every 
thing it's proportion of vhonght, accordm-:; to it's urgency and 

J'' Friday.* 

4 2 The LIFE of the Reverend 

Friday, January 10. (After having wrote confiderable in 
a fhort hand, which he ufed when he would have what he 
wrote effectually concealed from every body but himfelf, he 
notes the following words in round hand) Remember to a6l 
according to Prov. xii. 23. " A prudent man concealeth know- 
" lege." 

Monday, February 3. Let every thing have the value now, 
that it will have on a fick bed : and frequently in my purfuits 
of whatever kind, let this come into my mind i " How much 

mail I value this on my death bed ?" 

Wednesday, February 5. Have not in time part in my prayers, 
enough infilled upon the glorifying God in the world, and the 
advancement of the kingdom of Chrilt, the profperity of the 
church, and the good of men. Determined that this objection 
is without weight, viz. That it is not likely that God will make 

freat alterations in the whole world, and overturnings in king- 
oms and nations, only for the prayers of one obfcure perfon, 
feeing fuch things ufed to be done in anlwer to the united, ear 
ned prayers of the whole church : and if my prayers fhould 
have fome influence, it would be but imperceptible and fmall. 

Thurfday, February 6. More convinced than ever of the 
ufefulnefs of a free religious converfation. I find by converf- 
ing on natural philofophy, I gain knowlege abundance fafter, 
and fee the reafons of things much clearer, than in private 
ftudy. Wherefore earneitly to feek at all times for religious 
converfation ; for thofe that I can with profit and delight and 
freedom fo converfe with. 

Sabbathday, February 23. If I ac"l according to my refo- 
lution, I mall defire riches no otherwife than as they are help- 
nil to religion. But this I determine, as what is really evident 
from many parts of fcripture, that to fallen man they have a 
greater tendency to hurt religion. 

Saturday, May 23. How it comes about I know not; but 

1 have remarked it hitherto, that at thofe times when I have 
read the fcripture mod, I have evermore been moil lively, and 
in the bed frames. 

Saturday n?gh, June 6. This week has been a remarka 
ble week with me with refpecl to defpondencies, fears, per 
plexities, multitudes of cares and diffraction of mind ; being 
the week I came hither to New-Haven, in order to entrance 
upon the office of tutor of the college. I have now abundant 
reafon to be convinced of the troublefomenefs and vexation of 
the world, and that it never will be another kind of world. 

Mr. J O N A T H A N E D \V A R D S. 43 

Tueflay, July 7. When I am giving the Relation of a 
thing, to abitain from altering either in the matter or manner 
oi" fpeaking, fo much, as that if every one afterward fiiould 
altar as much, it would at lalt come to be properly falfe. 

Tuefday, September 2. By a fparingnefs in diet, and eating, 
as much as may be, what is light and eafy of digeftion, I ihail 
doubtlefs be able to think clearer, and ihall gain time. lit. 
By lengthening out my life. 2dly. mall need lefs time for di- 
geltion after meals. 3dly. fhall be able to itudy clofer without 
wrong to my health. 4thly. mail need lefs time to ileep. 
5thly. fhail feldorner be troubled with the head-ach. 

Sabbath clay, November 22. Confiding that by-danders 
always efpy fome faults which we do no.t fee ourfelves, or at 
leaft are not fo fully fenfible of : there are many fecret workings 
of corruption which efcape our fight, and others only are fen 
fible of: Refolved therefore, that I will, if I can by any con 
venient means, learn what faults others find in me, or what 
things they fee in me, that appear any way blame-worthy, un 
lovely or unbecoming. 

REFLECTION^ the foregoing EXTRACTS. 

THE foregoing extracls were wrote by Mr. Edwards in 
the 2oth and 21 ft years of his age, as appears by the dates. 
This being kept in mind, the judicious reader will make pro 
per allowance for feme things, which may appear a little juven 
ile, or like a young chriftian, as to the matter, or manner of 
expreffion ; which would not have been found, had it not 
have been done in early life. Which, indeed are no blemiihes, 
the whole being taken together : as by this, It appears more 
natural, and the firength of his refolution, and fervor of rninci 
and fits Holland difcerning in divine things, fo feldom found 
even in old age, are the more Striking. And in this view, we 
iliall be led to admire his confcientious ftrianefs, his zeal and 
.pamfulnefs, his experience and judgment in true religion, at fo 
early an age. For here are not only tire moll convincing evi- 
leiices of fmcerity and thorough religion, of his engaging in a 
re devoted to GOD in good earneft, fo as to make religion 


44 T&e LIFE of the. Reverend 

his only bufinefs ; but through his great attention tothismatter, 
he appears to have the judgment and experience of grey hairs. 

This is the beginning of a life;fo eminently holy and ufeful 
as Mr. Edwards's was. He who became one of the grcatelt 
divines in this age ; has had the applaule and admiration of 
America, Britain, Holland, and Germany, for his piety, and 
great judgment and ikill in divinity ; and has been honored 
above moil others in the chriftian world, in this century ; in 
his being made the inftrument of doing fo much good : He be 
gan his life thus : He entered on a public life with fuch views, 
Inch exercifes, fuch refolutions. 

This may lerve ; a direction and excitement to thofe who 
are young, to devote themfelves to GOD in good earnert, and 
enter on the bufinefs of Uriel and thorough religion without 
delay : especially thofe who are looking towards the work of 
the miniftry, as they would take the inpft direct, the only 
way to anfwer the good ends which theyprofefs to feck. 

It is to be lamented, that there is fo much reafon to think, 
there are fo few inftances of fuch early piety in oi;r day. If 
the proteftant world abounded with young per/cms of this ffamp ; 
with young men, who are preparing for the work of the mini- 
itry, with f ich a temper, fuch exercifes, and fuch refolutions, 
what a delightful profpccl: would this afford, of the near ap 
proach of happier days,$han the church .of GOD has ever yet 
ieen ! What pleafmg hopes that the great, the merciful head 
of the church, was about to fend forth labourers, faithful, fuc- 
cefsful labourers into his harvcit ; and blefs his people with 
*' Paftc r s which fhall feed them with knowlege and under- 
" (landing !" 

But ii our youth neglect all proper improvement of the 
mind ; are fhy of ferioufnefs and Uriel piety ; choofe to live 
llrangers to it, and keep at a diftance from all appearance of 
it ; are wanton, and given to carnal pleafures ; what a gloomy 
profpecl does this afford ! If they who enter into the work of 
the miniftry ; from a gay, carelefs, and what mayjuflly becalltd 
a vicious life, betake themfelves to a little fuperficial fludy of 
divinity, and foon bgin to preach ; while all the external feri- 
oufnefs and zeal they put on, is only from worldly motives ; 
they being without any inward, experimental acquaintance with 
ipiritual, divine things, and even fo much as any tafte for true 
divinity ; no wonder if the churches " fuck clry breads ;" 
and there are many ignorant watchmen. 

But, as the bell comment on the foregoing refolutions and 
diary ; and that the reader may have a more particular, full 


Mr. J O N A T H A N E D \V A R D S. 45? 

and inftru&ive view of Mr. Edwards's entrance on a religious 
life, and progrefs in it, as confuting in the views and exercifcs 
or his mind; a brief account thereof is here infcrted, which' 
was found among his papers, in his own hand-writing : and 
which, it feems, was wrote near twenty years after, tor his 
own private advantage. 


LIGIOUS EXERCICES, given by himjdf. 

I Had a variety of concerns and exercifes about my foul from 
my childhood ; but had two more remarkable feafons of 
awakening, before I met with that change, by which I was 
brought tonhofe new difpofitions, and that new fenfe of things, 
that I have fince had. The firft time was when I was a boy, 
fomc years before I went to college, at a time of remarkable 
awakening in my father's congregaiion. I was then very much 
affecled for many months, and concerned about the things of 
religion, and my foul's falvation ; and wa* abundant in duties. 
I ufed to pray five times a day in fecret, and to fpend much 
time in religious talk with other boys ; and ufed to meet with 
them to pray together. I experienced I know not what kind 
of delight in religion. My mind was much engaged in it, and 
had much felf-righteous pleafure ; and it was my delight to 
abound in religious duties. I, with fome of my fchool-mates, 
joined together and built a booth in a fwamp, in a very fecret 
and retired place, for a place of prayer. And befides, I had 
particular fecret places of my own in the woods, where I ufed 
to retire by myfelf ; and ufed to be from time to time much af- 
fefted. My afFeclions feemed to be lively and eafily moved, 
and I feemed to be in my element, when engaged in religious 
duties. And I am ready to think, many are deceived with 
fuch affeftions, and fuch a kind of delight, as I ihen had in re 
ligion, and miftake it for grace. 

But in procefs of time, my ccmviclions and affeclions wore 
off; and I entirely loft all thofe affe&ions and delights, and left 
off fecret prayer, at leaft as to any conftant performance of it ; 
and returned like a dog to his vomit, and went on in ways of 
Jin. Indeed* 

4.5 The LIFE of the Reverend 

Indeed, I was at fome times very uneafy,efpecially towards 
tlie latter part of the time of my being at college. 'Till it pleafed 
Cod, in my laft year at college, at a time when I was in the 
in id ft of many uneafy thoughts about the flate of my foul, to 
feize me with a plurify ; in which he brought me nigh to the 
grave, and (hook me over the pit of hell. 

But yet, it was not long after my recovery, before ! fell 
again into my old ways of fin. But God would not fuffer me 
to go on with any qui-etnefs ; but I had great arid violent in 
ward druggies : 'Till after many conflicts with wicked inclina 
tions, and repeated refolutions, and bonds that I laid myfelf 
under by a kind of vows to God, I was brought wholly to 
break off all former wicked ways, and all ways of. known out 
ward fin ; and to apply myfelf to feek my falvation, and prac- 
tife the duties of religion : But without tha-jkkind of affetiion 
and delight, that I had formerly experienced. My concern 
now wrought more by inward flruggles and conflicts, and felf- 
refleiiions. I made feeking my falvation the main J^ufinefs of 
my life. But yet it feems to me, I fought after a miferable 
manner : Which has made me fome rimes fince to queftion, 
whether ever it ifliied in that which was faving ; being ready 
to doubt, whether fuch miferable feeking was ever fucceeded. 
But yet I was brought to feek falvaiion, in a manner that I ne 
ver was before I felt a fpirit to part wirh ail things in the 
world, for an intereft in Chrift. My concern continued and 
prevailed, with manv exercifing thoughts and inward ftruggles; 
but yet it never feemecl to be proper to exprefs my concern 
thar I had, by the name of terror. 

From my childhood up, my mind had been wont to be full 
of objections againil the doclrine of God's fovereignty, in choo- 
fmg whom he would to eternal life, and rejecting whom he 
pleafed; leaving them eternally to perifh, and be everlaflingly 
tormented in hell. It ufed to appear like a horrible doclrine 
to me. But I remember the time very well, when I feerned 
to be convinced, and fully fatisfied, as to this fovereignty of 
God, and his jufiice in thus eternally difpofing of men, accor 
ding to his fovercign pleafuie. But never could give an ac 
count, how, or by what means, I was thus convinced ; not in 
the lead imaginiwg, in the fimeofit, nor a long time alter, 
that there was any extraordinary influence of God's fpirit in 
it : but only that now I faw further, and my rcafon appre 
hended the juilice and reafonablenefs of it. However, my 


Mr. J O N A T H A N E D W A R D S. 47 

mind refted in it ; and it put an end to all thofe cavils and ob- 
jeftions, that had until then abode with me, all the preceding 
part of my life. And there has been a wonderful alteration in 
my mind, with refpecl to the doctrine of God's fovereignty, 
from that day to this ; fo that I fcarce ever have found fo much 
as the rifingof an obje6tion againft God's fovereignty, in the 
moft abfolute fenfe, in (hewing mercy to whom he will fhew 
inercy, and hardening and eternally damning whom he will. 
God's abfolute fovereignty, and juftice, with refpefl to falva- 
tion and damnation, is what my mind feems to reft allured of, 
as much as of any thing that I fee with my eyes ; at leaft it is 
fo at times. But I have often times fince that firft conviclion, 
had quite another kind of fenfe of God's fovereignty, than I 
had then. I have often fince, not only had a conviction, but 
a delightful conviion. The doclrine of God's fovereignty 
has very often appeared, an exceeding pleafant, bright and 
fweet doclrine to me : and abfolute fovereignty is what I love 
to afcribe to God. But my firft conviction was not with 

The firft that I remember that ever I found any thing of 
that fort of inward, fweet delight in God and divine thing?, 
that I have lived much in fince, was on reading thofe words, 
i Tim. i. 17. " Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invifi- 
44 ble, the only wife God, be honor and glory for ever and 
" ever, Amen." As I read the words, there came into rnv 
foul, and was as it were diffufed through it, a fenfe of the glory 
of the Divine Being ; a new fenfe, quite different from any 
thing I ever experienced before. Never any words of fcrip- 
ture leemed to me as thefe words did. I thought with myfelf, 
how excellent a Being that was ; and how happy I fhouid be, 
if I might enjoy that God, and be wrapt up to God in Heaven, 
and be as it were f wall owed up in Him. I kept faying, and as 
it were fmging over thefe words of feripture to myieif ; and 
went to prayer, to pray to God that I might enjoy him ; end 
prayed in a manner quite different from what I ufed to do; 
with a new fort of affeclion. But it never carne into rny 
thought, that there was any thing fpiritual, or of a faving na 
ture in this. 

From about that time, I began to have a new kind of ap 

prehenfions and ideas of Chrirf, and the work of redemption, 

and the glorious way of falvation by him. I had an inward, 

. fweet fenfe of thefe things, that at times came into my heart ; 


48 The LIFE of the. Reverend 

and my foul was led away in pleafant views and contemplations 
of them. And rny mind was greatly engaged, to fpend my 
time in reading and meditating on Chrift ; and the beauty and 
excellency of his perfon, and the lovely way of falvation, by 
free grace in him. I found no books fo delightful to me, as 
thofe that treated of thefe fubjecls. Thofe words, Cant. ii. i. 
ufed to be abundantly with me : " I am the rofe of Sharon, 
*' the liliy of the valleys." The words feemed to me, fweetly 
to reprefent, the lovehnefs and beauty of Jefus Chrift. And 
the whole book of Canticles ufed to be pleafant to me ; and I 
ufed to be much in reading it, about that time. And found, 
from time to time, an inward fweemefs, that ufed, as it were, 
to carry me away in my contemplations ; in what I know not 
how to exprefs otherwife, than by a calm, fweet abftraftion of 
foul from all the concerns of this world ; and a kind of vifion, 
or fixed ideas and imaginations, or being alone in the moun 
tains, or fome folitary wildernefs, far from all mankind, fweet- 
ly converfing with Chrift, and wrapt andfwallowed up in Qod. 
The fenfe I had of divine things, would often of a fudden as- 
it were, kindle up a fweet burning in my heart ; an ardor of 
my foul, that I know not how to exprefs. 

Not long after I firft began to experience thefe things, I gave 
an account to my father, of fome things that had palled in my 
mind. I was pretty much aflfefted by the difcourfe we had to 
gether. And when the difcourfe was ended, I walked abroad 
alone, in a folitary place in my father's pafture, for contempla 
tion. And as I was walking there, and looked up on the fky 
and clouds ; there came into my mind, a fweet fenfe of the glo 
rious majefty and grace of God, that I know not how to ex 
prefs. I feemed to fee them both in a fweet conjunction : ma 
jefty and meeknefs joined together : it was a fweet and gentle, 
and holy Majefty ; arid alfo a majeftic meeknefs ; an awful 
fweetnefs ; a high, and great* and holy gentlenefs. 

After this my fenfe of divine things gradually increafed, and 
became more and more lively, and had more of that inward 
f weetneis. The appearance of every thing was altered : there 
teemed to be, as it were, a calm, fweet calt, or appearance of 
divine glory, in almoft every thing. God's excellency, his 
willloin, his purity and love, feemed to appear in every thing ; 
in the fun, moon and ftars ; in the clouds, and blue fky ; in the 
grafs, flowers, trees ; in the water, and all nature ; which ufed 
greatly to fix my mind. I often ufed to fit and view the moon, 


Mr. J o x A T ii A x E r> w A n D s> 39 

for a long time ; and fo in the. day time, fpent much time in 
viewing the clouds and iky, to behold the fweet glory of God in 
thefe things: in the mean time, finging forth with a low voice, 
my contemplations of the creator and redeemer. And fcarce 
any thing, among all the works of nature, was fo fweet to me 
as thunder and lightning. Formerly, nothing had been fo terri 
ble to me. I ufed to be a perlbn uncommonly terrified with 
thunder : and it ufed to ilrike me with terror, when I law athun- 
der-ftorm rifing. But now, on the contrary, it rejoiced me. 
I felt God at the firft appearance of a thunder-ftorm. And 
ufed to take the opportunity at fuch times, to fix myfelf to 
view the clouds, and fee the lightnings play, and hear the ma- 
jeftic and awful voice of God's thunder : which often times 
was exceeding entertaining, leading me to fweet contemplations 
of ray great and glorious God. And while I viewed, ufed 
to fpend my time, as it always feemed natural to me, to fing 
or chant forth my meditations ; to fpeak my thoughts in foli- 
loquies, and fpeak with a finging voice. 

I felt then a great fatisfa6iion as to my good eftate. But 
that did not content me. 1 had vehement longings of foul 

O O 

after God arid Chrift, and after more holinefs ; wherewith 
my heart feemed to be full, and ready to break : which often 
brought to my mind, the words of the Pfalmift, Pfal. cxix. 
28. " My foul breaketh for the longing it h:uh." I often felt 
a mourning arid lamenting in my heart, that 1 had not turned 
to God fooner, that I might have had more time to grow in. 
grace. My mind was greatly fixed on divine things ; I was 
almofl perpetually in the contemplation of '.them. Spent 
moft of my time in thinking of divine things, year after year. 
And ufed to fpend abundance of my time, in walking alone 
in the woods, and folitary places, for meditation, foliloquy 
and prayer, and converfe with God. And it was always my 
manner, at fuch times, to fing forth my contemplations. And 
was almo{t conilantly in ejaculatory prayer, wherever I was. 
Prayer feemed to be natural to me ; as the breath, by which 
the inward burnings of my heart had vent. 

The delights which I now felt in things of, religion, wer 
of an exceeding different kind, from those forementioned, 
that I had when I was a boy. They were totally of another 
kind ; and what I then had no more notion or idea of, than 
one born blind has of pleafant and beautiful colours. They 
\vcreof a more inward.<\. fou!-unima:i:'ir .ami refrr filing 

O LIT. ure. 

$O -The L l r </ Afc Reverend 

nature. Thofe former delights, never reached ihc heart ; 
and did not arife from any fight of the divine ''excellency of 
.the things of God ; or any taiie of the foul-fatisfying, and 
life-giving good, there is in them. 

My fenfe of divine things feemed gradually to increafe, 
until I went to preach at New-York ; which was about a year 
and a half after they began. While 1 was there, I felt them, 
very fenfibly, in a much higher degree, than I had done be 
fore. My longings after God and holinefs, were much in- 
creafed. Pure arid humble, holy and heavenly chnftianky, 
appeared exceeding amiable to me. I felt in me a burning 
dcfire to be in every thing a complcat chriftian ; and conform 
ed to the bleiTed image of Clirill : and that 1 might live in all 
things, according to the pure, fweet and bleiTed rules of the 
gofpel. I had an eager thiriiing after progrefs in thefe things. 
My longings after it, put me upon purfuing and preiTmg after 
them. It was my continual f I rife day and night, and conftant 
inquiry, how I mould be more holy, and live more holily, and 
more becoming a child of God, and difciple of Chrift. I 
fought an encreafe of grace and holinefs, and that I might 
Jive an holy life, with vaflly more earneihiefs, than ever I 
fought grace, before I had it. I ufed to be continually examin 
ing myfelf, and iludying and contriving for likely ways and 
means, how I ihould live holily, with far greater diligence 
and earneftnefs, than ever I purfued any. thing in my life : 
But with too great a dependence on my own ftrength ; which 
afterwards proved a great damage to me. My experience had 
not then taught me, as it has done fince, my extreme feeble- 
nefs and impotence, every manner of way ; and the innumera 
ble and bottomlefs depths of fecret corruption and deceit, that 
there was in my heart. However, I went on with my eager 
purfuit after more holinefs ; and fweet conformity to Chrift. 

The Heaven I defiied was a Heaven of holinefs ;*to be with 
God, and to fpend my eternity in divine love, arid holy com 
munion with Chrift. My mind was very much taken up with 
contemplations on Heaven, and the enjoyments of thofe there ; 
and living there in perfeft holinefs, humility and love. And 
it ufed at that time to appear a great part of the happinefs of 
Heaven, that there the faints could exprefs their love to Chrift. 
It appeared to me a great clog and hindrance and burden to 
me, that what I felt within, I could not exprefs to God, and 
give vent to, as I defired. The inward ardor of my foul, 



feemed to be hindered and pent up, arid could not freely flame 
out as it would. 1 ufed often to think, hoW in Heaven, this 
fweet principle (hould freely and fully vent and etfprefs itfelf. 
Heaven appeared tome exceeding delightful as 1 a world of -love. 
It appeared to me, that all happinds con li lied in living in 
pure, humble, heavenly, divine love. 

I remember the thoughts 1 ufed' then to have of holinefs. 
I remember 1 then laid foitie'.imes to ni) felf, I do' certainly 
know that I love holinefis, fuch as the gofpel prefcribes. It 
appeared tb me, there was nothing in it but what was ravifrr- 
ingiy lovely. It appeared tome, to be the higheft beauty and 
amiableiiefs, above all other beauties : that it Was a divine 
beauty ; far purer than any thing here upon earth ; and that 
eve-y thing elfe, was like mire, filth and defilement, in corn- 
pa rifon of it. 

Holinefs, as I then wrote down fome of my Contemplations 
on it, appeared to me to be of a fweet, pleafant, charming, 
ferene, cairn nature. It feemed to me, it brought aii inexprefii- 
ble purity, brightness, pcacefulnefs and ravifhment to the 
foul : and that it made the foul like a field or garden of God, 
with all manner of pleafant flowers ; that is alf pleafant, de 
lightful and undilturbed ; enjoying a fwedt c^lm, and the 
gently vivifying beams of the fun. The foul of a' true chrif- 
tian, as I then wrote my meditations, appeared like fuch a 
little white flower, as we fee in the fpring of the year ; low 
and humble on the ground, opening it's hofoni, to receive th 
pleafant beams of the fun's glory ; rejoicing as it were, in a 
calm rapture ; difTufing around a fweet fra'grancy ; {landing 
peacefully and- lovingly, in the midft of other flowers round 
about; all in like manner opening their bofoms, to drink iii 
the light of the fun. 

There was no part of creature-holinefs, that I then, and at 
other times, had fo great a fenfe of the lovelinefs of, a's humili 
ty, brok^nnefs of heart and poverty of fpirit : and there was 
nothing that I- had fuch .a fpirit to long for. My heart as it 
were panted after this, to lie low .before God, and in the dufl ; 
that I might be nothing, arid that' God might be all ; that I 
might become as a little child. 

While I -was there at New- York, I fomefimes was much 
afFefted with reflexions on my paft life, conficle'ring how late 
it was, before I began to be truly religious ; and how wicked 
ly I had live'd till then : and once fo as to weep abundantly, 
and for a considerable time together. On 

5^ .: The L-rr E of the -.Reverend 

Qn January 12, 1722 3. I made a folemn dedication of 
myfelf to God, and wrote it down ; giving up myjeif, and 
all that I had to God .; to be for the futuie in no refpecl my 
own; to ai as one thai had no right to himfelf, in any refpeci:. 
Arid folemnly vowed to take God for my whole portion and 
felicity ; looking on nothing eife as any part of my happinefs, 
Jior acting as if it were : and his law ior the conftant rule of 
iny obedience : engaging to fight with all my might, againft 
the world, the fie in and the devil, to the end of my life. 
But have rea fun to be infinitely humbled, when I confider, 
how much I 'have failed of anfwcririg my obligation. 

I had, then abundance of fweet religious converfation in the 
family where I lived, with Mr. John Smith, and his pious 
mother. My heart was knit in affection to thofe, in whom 
were appearances of true piety ; and I could bear .the; thoughts 
of no other companions, but fuch as were holy, and the dif- 
ciples of the bleifed Jtfus. 

I had great longings for the advancement of C brill's 
kingdom in ihe world. Mv. fecret prayer u fed to be in great 
part taken up in praying for it: If I heard the leaft; hint 
of any thing that happened in any part of the world, that ap 
peared, to me, in fonic refpeci Brother, to have a favorable 
afpeft on the intereft of Cin ill's, kingdom, my foul -eagerly ; and it would much animate and refreih me. I 
Hied to be earneft to read public news-letters, mainly for that 
end ; to fee if I could not find fome news favorable to the 
intereft of religion in. the, world. 

I very frequently ufed to retire into a folitary place, on the 
banks of Hudfon's river, at fome diftance from the city, for 
contemplation, on divine' thing.s, and fecret converfe with 
God ; and had many fweet hours there. Sometimes Mr, 
Smith and. I walked there together, to converfe. of the things 
ofGoci ; and our conyerfution ui^d much to ti'^n-on the ad-r 
vancement of. C'nri ft '.s' kingdom in the world, .and the glori 
ous things that God would accompliPri for his church in the 
latter d.ays. 

I had then, and at other times, the greateft delight in the 
holy fcriptures, of any book whcUi'bever. Oftentimes in 
reading it, every word fecmc-d to touch my heart. I felt an 
harmony between fomcthing in my heart, and thofe fweet and 
powerful words. I feemed often to fee fo much light, exhibit- 
<^cl by cvt>.ry fcntence, and fuch a rtfrcfhing ravifhing food 

' communicated, 

Mr. J Q X A T II A N E D W A R D S. ;j 

communicated,, that I-could riot; get along in reading. Ufed 
oftentimes to dwell long on one ientcncc, to fee the wonders 
contained in it ; and yet alnaofi every ientence feemed to be 
full of wonders. 

L came away from New-York in. the month of April, 1723, 
and had a 'moil, bitter parting with Madam Smith and her fon. 
My heart teemed -to fink within me, at leaving the family and 
city, where I. had. enjoyed fo many fweei and pleafant days. I 
wcnt from New-York to Weathersueld by water. As I failed 
away, I kept fight of the city as long as 1 could ; and when I 
was O L U of fight, of it, it would affect me much to look that 
way, with a kind of melancholy mixed with fweetnefs. How 
ever, tlrat night alter this lorrowful parting, I ( was greatly com- 
for-red in God at Welicheiter, where, we went afhore to lodge - 
end- had a pieafant time of it all the voyage to Saybrook. It 
was fweet to me to think of meeting dear chriftians in Heaven, 
where we fliould never, part more. At Saybrook we went 
amore to lodge on Saturday, , and there kept Sabbath ; where I 
had a fweet and refrefhing feafon, walking alone in the fields. 

After I came home to Windfor, remained much in alike 
frame, of my mind, as I- had been in at New- York ; but only 
iome times felt my heart re:idy- to fink, with the thoughts or. 
my friends at. New r York. And my refuge and fupport was in 
contemplations on the heavenly Hate ; as I find in my diary of 
May i, 1723. It was my comfort to think of that Hate, where 
there is fulnefs of joy ; where reigns heavenly, fweet, calm 
and delightful love, without alloy; where there are continu 
ally the dearell expreflions of this love; where is the enjoy -' 
rnent of the perfons loved, without ever parting ; where thefe 
perfons that appear fo lovely in this world, will really be inex-' 
preflibly more lovely, and full of love to us. And how fweetly 
will the mutual lovers join together to fing the praifes of God 
and the Lamb ! How full will it fill us with joy, to think, that 
this enjoyment, thefe fweet excrcifes will never ceafe or come 
to an end ; but will lafi to all eternity ! 

Continued much in the fame frame in the general, that I 
had been in at New-York, till I went to New-Haven, to live 
there as tutor of the college ; having one fpecial feafon of un 
common fweetnefs : particularly once at Bolton, in a journey 
from Bolton, walking out alone in the fields. After I went to 


54 The L i F of the Reverend 

^Jew- Haven, I funk in religion ; my mind being diverted from 
my eager and violent piwfuhs after hohnefs, by fome affairs 
fhat greatly perplexed and diilracied my mind. 

In September, 1725, was taken ill at New-Haven ; and en- 
favoring to go home to Windior, was fo ill at the North 
Village, that 1 could go no further : where I lay fick-tor about 
a quarter of a year. And in this fickncls, God was plealed to 
vifit me again with the fvveet influences of his fpirit. My mind 
was greatly engaged there on divine, pleafant contemplations, 
and longings of foul. I obferved that thole who watched with 
me, would often be looking out for the morning, and fecmed 
fo-\viHi for it. Which brought to my mind thofe words of 
the' Pfalmiit, which my foul with fweetnefs made its' own lan 
guage. " My foul waiteth for the Lord, more than they that 
tt ' watch for the morning 1 , I fay, more than they that watch 
^ for the morning." And when the light of die morning came, 
and the beams of the fun came iri at the- windows, it reirefhed 
rtiy foul from one morning to another. It feemed to me to be 
fome image of the fweet light of God's glory. 

I remember, about thai time, I ufe$ gre'a-'tly to" long for the 
converfion of fome that I was concerned- with* It 1'ec tried to 
me, I could gladly honor thern, and with delight be a fervant to 
them, and lie at their feet, if they were but truly holy. 

But fome time after this, I was again greatly diverted in m^ 
mind, with. fome temporal concerns, that exceedingly took up 
my thoughts, greatly to the wounding of my foul ; and \\ent 
on through various exercifes, thai it would be tedious: to' relate^ 
that gave me much more experience of rny own heart, than 
ever I had before. 

Since I came to this town, [Northampton] I have often had 
fweet complacency in God, in views of his- glorious pedetri-. 
OTIS, and the excellency. of Jefus Chriir. God has appeared to 
me. a glorious and lovely Being, chiefly on the accc.unt of his 
hoiiftlls. The holinefs of Godhas always appeared to me the iroft 
lovely. t>f all his attributes. The doftrines of God's abfolute 
fovcreignty, and free grace, in (hewing mercy to whom he would 
mew mercy; and man's abfolute dependance on the operations 
of God's holy fp'irit, have very often appeared to me as fvveet 
and glorious doFfrines. Thefe doclrines hax r e been much my 
delight, God's fovereignty has ever appeared to me, as great 


Mr. J O N A T H A N E D W A R D S. $ 

part of bis glory. It has often been fweet to me to go to God, 
and adore him as a fovereign God, and aik fovereign mercy of 

I have loved the doctrines of the gofpel : They have been 
to my foul like green paftures. The gofpel has feemed tome 
to be -the richeft treafure ; the treafure that I have moil d-efhed 
and longed that it might dwell richly in me. The way of fai- 
vation by Chnft, has appeared in a general way, glorious and 
excellent, and moft pleatant and beautiful. It has often feem 
ed to me, that it would in a great meafure fpoil Heaven, to re 
ceive it in any other way. That text has often been affecting 
and delightful to me, Ifai. xxxii. 2. " A man (hall be an hiding 
" place from the wind, and a covert from the temped," &c. 

It has ofieu appeared fweet to me, to be united to Chnft ; to 
have Him for my head, and to be a member of his body: and 
alfo to have Chrift for my teacher and prophet. I very often 
think with fweetnefs and longings and pantings of foul, of be 
ing a little child, taking hold of Chrift, to be led by Him thro* 
the wildernefs of this world. That text, Matt, xviii. at the 
beginning, has often been fweet to me, "Except ye be cori- 
** verted, and become as little children, &c." I love to think 
of coming to Chrift, to receive falvation of him, poor in fpirit, 
and quite empty of felf ; humbly exalting Him.alorie; cut en 
tirely off from my own root, and to grow into, and out of Chrilt, 
to have God in Chrift to be all in all ; and to live by faith on 
the Son of God, a life of humble, unfeigned confidence iii 
Him. That fcripture has often been fweet to me, Pfal. cxv. 
i. "Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name 
" give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth's fake." And 
thofe words of Chrift, Luke x. 21. " In that hour Jefus rejoi- 
44 ced in fpirit, and faid, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of Hea- 
'* ven and earth, that thou haft hid thefe things from the wife 
" and prudent, and haft revealed them unto babes : even f<> 
" Father, for fo it feemed good in thy fight." That Sovereign 
ty of God that Chrift rejoiced in, feerned to me to be worthy 
to be rejoiced in ; and that rejoicing of Chrift, feemedto ine to 
fliew the excellency of Chrift, and the fpirit that he was of. 

Sometimes only mentioning a fingle word, caufes my h^.uri 
to burn within me: or only feeing th* name of Chrift, or tho 
name of fome attribute of God. And God has appeared glo 
rious to me, on account of the timity. It has made me havq 
exalting thoughts of God, that he Sptbfilts in thrse perfoii-5 ; 
lather, Son, and HoJv Ghcft, T 'he 

^56 . The- LIFE of the Reverend \ 

The fweeteft joys and delights I have : experienced, have not 
been thofe that have arifen from a hope of my own good efb.e ; 
but in a direct view of the glorious things of the gofpci. 
When I enjoy this iwcetnefs, it feems ,to cany me above the 
thoughts of my own fafe elhue.. IL fecms at fuch tin:es.a lofs 
,that I cannot bear, to take off my eye from the glorious, '.plea- 
fan t obje8 I behold without me, to turn my eve in upon myicif 
and my own good ellate. 

V. . My heart has been much on the advancement of Chrift's 
.kingdom in the world. The hiftories of the paft advancement 
of Chriil's kingdom, have been fweet to me. When I ha\e 
read hiftories of pall ages, the pleafanteft thing in all my read 
ing has been, to read of the kingdom of Chriit being promoted. 
And when 1 have expe&ed in my reading, to come to any fuch 
.thing, I have lotted upon it all the way as I read. And my 
mind has been much entertained and delighted, with the 
fcripture promifes and prophecies, of the future glorious ad- 
'vancemcnt of Chrifl's kingdom on earth. 

I have fometimes had a fenfe of the excellent fulnefs of 
Chriil, and his meetnefs and fuitablenefs as a Saviour; where 
by he has appeared to me, far above all, the chief of ten thou- 
fands. And his blood and atonement has appeared fweet, and 
.his righteoufnefs fweet ; which is always accompanied with 
an ardency of fpirit, and inward ftrugglings and breathings and 
groanings, that cannot be uttered, to be emptied of myfelf, and 
fwallowed up in Chrift. 

Once, as I rid out into the woods for my health, Anno 1737 ; 
and having lit from my horfe in a retired place, as my manner 
commonly has been, to walk for divine contemplation and 
prayer ; I had a view, that for me was extraordinary, of the 
glory of the Son of God ; as mediator between God and man ; 
and his wonderful, great, full, pure and fweet grace and love, 
and meek and gentle condefcenfion. This grace, that appeared 
to me fo calm and fweer, appeared great above the Heavens. 
The perfon of Chriir. appeared ineffably excellent, with. an ex- 
, cellency great enough to fwallow up all thought and concepti 
on. Which continued, as near as I can judge, about an hour ; 
v.'hich kept rne, the greater part of the time, in a flood of tears, 
and weeping aloud. I felt withal, an ardency of foul to. be, 
what I know not otherwife ho'w to exprefs, than to Le emp 
tied and annihilated ; to lie in the dull, and to be full ol Chrift 
ylone ; to love him wi'l? a holy and pure love ; to trufl in him,; 



live upon him ; to ferve and follow him, and to be totally wrapt 
up in the fulnefs of Chriit ; and to be perfectly fanftified and 
made pure, with a divine and heavenly purity. I have feve- 
ral other times, had views very much of the fame nature, and 
that have had the fame effecis. 

I have many times had a fenfe of the glory of the third per- 
fon in the Trinity, in his office of fanttifier ; in his holy ope 
rations communicating divine light and life to the foul. God 
in the communications of his holy Spirit, has appeared as an 
infinite fountain of divine glory and fweemefs ; being full and 
fufficient to fill and fatisfy the foul : pouring forth itfelf in 
Tweet communications, like the fun in its glory, fweetly and 
pleafantly diffufing light and life* 

I have fometimes had an affecling fenfe of the excellency of 
the word of God, as a word of life ; as the light of life ; a 
fweet, excellent, life-giving word : accompanied with a thirft- 
ing after that word, that it might dwell richly in my heart. 

I have often fmce I lived in this town, had Very afFecling 
views of my own fmfulnefs and vilenefs ; very frequently fo as 
to hold me in a kind of loud weeping, fometimes for a confi- 
derable time together : fo that I have often been forced to fhut 
myfelf up. I have had a vailly greater fenfe of my own wick- 
ednefs, and the badnefs of my heart, fince my converfion, than, 
ever I had before. It has often appeared to me, that if God 
fhould mark iniquity againfl me, I mould appear the very worft 
of all mankind ; of all that have been fince the beginning of the 
world to this time : and that I fhould have by far the loweit 
place in hell. When others that have come to talk with me 
about their foul concerns, have expreffed the fenfe they have 
had of their own wickednefs, by faying that it feerned to them 
that they were as bad asfthe Devil himfelf ; I thought their 
expreffions feemed exceeding faint and feeble, to reprcfent my 
wickednefs. I thought I fhould wonder, that they fbould con 
tent themfelves with fuch expreffions as thefe, if I had any rea- 
fon to imagine, that their fin bore any proportion to mine. It 
feemed to me, I fhould wonder at my felf, if I ihould exprefs 
my wickednefs in fuch feeble terms as they did. 

My wickednefs, as I am in myfelf, has long appeared to me 
perfectly ineffable, and infinitely fwallowing up all thought and 
imagination ; like an infinite deluge, or infinite mountains over 
my head. I know not how to exprefs better, what my fin* 
appear to rnc to be, than by heaping infinite upon infinite, and 

H multiplying 

^8 the LIFE of ike Reverend 

multiplying infinite by infinite. I go about very often, for this 
many years, with thefe expreilions in my mind, and in my 
mouth, " infinite upon infinite infinite upon infinite !" When 
I look into my heart, and take a view of my wickednefs, it 
looks like an abyis infinitely deeper than hell. And it appears 
to me, that were it not for free grace, exalted and raifed up to 
the infinite height of all the fulnefs and glory of the great JE 
HOVAH, and the arm of his power and grace ftretched forth, 
in all the majefty of his power, and in all the glory of his fo- 
vereignty ; I 'fhouid appear funk down in my fins infinitely 
below hell itfelf, far beyond fight of every thing, but the pier 
cing eye of God's grace, that can pierce even down to fuch a 
depth, and to the bottom of fuch an abyfs. 

And yet, I am not in the lead inclined to think, that I have 
a greater conviction of fin than ordinary. It feems to me, my 
conviction of fin is exceeding fmall, and faint. It appears to 
me enough to amaze me, that I have no more fenfe ot my fin. 
I know certainly, that I have very little fenfe of my finfulnefs. 
That my fins appear to me fo great, do not fecm to me to be, 
becaufe I have fo much more conviction of fin than other chri- 
ftians, but becaufe I am fo much worfe, and have fo much more 
wickednefs to be convinced of. When I have had thefe turns 
of weeping and crying for my fins, I thought I knew in the 
time of it, that my repentance was nothing to my fin. 

I have greatly longed of late, for a broken heart, and to lie 
low before God. And when I aik for humility of God, I can 
not bear the thoughts of being no more humble, than other 
chriftians. It feems to me, that though their degrees of humi 
lity may be fuitable for them ; yet it would be a vile felf-exal- 
tation in me, not to be the lowed in humility of all mankind. 
Others fpeaking of their longing ^o be humbled to the dufr. 
Though that may be a proper expreilion for them, I always 
think for myfelf, that I ought to be humbled down below hell. 
It is an exprefTion that it has long been natural for me to ufc 
in prayer to God. I ought to lie infinitely low before God. 

It is affecting to me to think, how ignorant I was, when 
I was a young chriftian, of the bottomlefs, infinite depths oi 
wickednefs, pride, hypocrify and deceit left in my heart. 

I have vaftly a greater fenfe of my univerfal, exceeding de 
pendence on God's grace and ftrength, and meer good pleafure, 
of late, than I ufed formerly to have ; and have experienced 
more of an abhorrence of my own righteoufnefs. The thought 
of any comfort or joy, arifing in me, on any coniideration, or 



refk'&ion on my own amiablenefs, or any of my performances 
or experiences, or any goodnefs of heart or life, isnaufeous and 
deteuable to me. And yet I am greatly airlifted with a proud 
and felf-righteous fpirit ; much more fenfibly, than I ufed to 
be formerly. I fee that ferpent rifmg and putting forth it's 
head, continually, every where, all around me. 

Though it feems to me, that in fome refpe&s I was a far 
better chriftian, for two or three years after my firft ccnverfion, 
than I am now ; and lived in a more conftant delight and plea- 
fure : yet of late years, I have had a more full and conftant fenfe 
of the abfolute fovereignty of God, and a delight in that fove- 
reignty ; and have had more of a fenfe of the glory of Chrift,. 
as a mediator, as revealed in the gofpel. On one Saturday 
night in particular, had a particular diicovery of the excellency 
of the gofpel of Chrift, above all other doctrines ; fo that I could 
not but fay to my felf ; " This is my chofen light, my chofen 
41 doclrine:" and of Chrift, " This is my chofen prophet/' It 
appeared to me to be fweet beyond all expreiiion, to follow Chrift, 
and to be taught and enlightened and inftrucled by him ; to 
learn of him, and live to him. 

Another Saturday night, January 1738 9, had fuch a fenfe, 
how fweet and bleifed a thing it was, to w r alk in the way of du 
ty, to do that which was right and meet to be done, and agreea 
ble to the holy mind of God ; that it caufed me to break forth 
into a kind of a loud weeping, which held me fome time ; fo 
that I was forced to (hut myfelf up, and faften the doors. I 
could not but as it were cry out, " How happy are they which 
" do that which is right in the fight of GOD ! They are blef- 
" fed indeed, they are the happy ones ! I had at ths lame time, 
a very afFecling fenfe, how meet and fuitable it was that God 
mould govern the world, and order all things according to his 
own pleafure ; and I rejoiced in it, that God reigned, and that 
his will was-done. 


The L i F E of the Reverend 


Containing a Hiftory of his Life from his ENTERING on the 
Work of the Miniltry, unto his DEATH. 


MR. EDWARDS made a fecret of his private devotion, and 
therefore it cannot be particularly known : though there is 
much evidence, that he was punctual, conftant and frequent in 
fecret prayer, and often kept days of failing and prayer in fecret ; 
and fct apart time for ferious, devout meditations on fpiritual 
and eternal things, as part of his religious exercife in fecret. It 
appears by his diary that in his youth he determined to attend 
fecret prayqr more than twice a day, when circumftances would 
allow. He was, fo far as it can be known, much on his knees 
in fecret, and in devout reading God's word, and meditation, 
upon it. And his conftant, folemn converfe with God in thefe 
exercifes of fecret religion made his face, as it were, to mine be 
fore others. His appearance, his countenance, words and whole 
demeanor, (though without any thing of aiieded grimace and 
four aufterity) was attended with a ferioufnefs, gravity and fo- 
Jemnity, which was the natural genuine indication and expref- 
dfion of a deep, abiding fenfe of divine things on his mind, and 
of his living conftantly in the fear of God. 

Agreeable fro his refolutions, he was very careful and abfte- 
mious in eating and drinking ; as dcubtlefs it was neceffary fb 
great a fludent, and a perfon of fo delicate and tender a bodily 
make as he was, fhould be, in order to be comfortable ?.nd ufe- 
ful. When he had, by careful obfervation, found '"'.at kind, 
and what quantity of diet, beft fuited his conftitution, and ren 
dered hirn moft fit to purllie his work, he was very ftrift and 
exaft in complying with it; and in this refpecl: lived by rult\. 
and herein coiiftantly pratlifed great felf-denial : Which he 
alfo did in his conftant early rifing, in order to redeem time 
for his itudy. He ufed himfelf to rife by four or between fou? 
ftiid five in the mornin. 

Air. JONATHAN E D w A R D s. 61 

Though he was of a tender and delicate confti union, yet few 
{Indents are capable of clofe application more hours in a day 
than he. He commonly fpent thirteen hours every day in his 
fludy. His moil ufual diverfion in the fummer was riding on 
horleback and walking. He would commonly, unlefs diverted 
by company, ride two or three miles after dinner to iome lone 
ly grove, where he would di /'mount and walk a while. At 
which times he generally carried his pen and ink with him, to 
note any thought that mould be fuggefted, which he chofe to 
retain and purfiie, as what promifed fome light on any impor 
tant fubjecl. In the winter he was wont almoft daily to take 
an ax and chop wood moderately for the fpace of half an hour 
or more. 

He had an uncommon thirft for knowlege, in the purfuit of 
which, he fpared no coft nor pains. He read all the books, 
efpecially books of divinity, that he could come at, from w r hich 
he could hope to get any help in his purfuit of knowlege. And 
in this, he confined not himfelf to authors of any particular 
feel or 'denomination ; yea took much pains to come at the 
books of themoft noted writers, who advance a fcheme of divi 
nity moft contrary to his own principles. But he iludied the 
BIBLE more than all other books, and more than moil other 
divines do. His uncommon acquaintance with the Bible ap 
pears in his fermons, and in moft of his publications : and his 
great pains in ftudying it are rnanifeft in his manufcript notes 
upon it ; of which a more particular account may be given 
hereafter. He took his religious principles from the Bible, 
and not from any human fyilem or body of divinity. Though 
his principles were Calvinijlic, yet he called no man, father. 
He thought and judged for himfelf, and was truly very much 
of an original. This is evident. by what he publifhed in his 
life-time, and is yet more fo by his MSS. Many volumes of 
which he has left ; and the reader may expecl a more particu 
lar account of them in the fequel. For reading was not the 
only method he took to improve his mind ; but he did this 
much by writing; without which, it is probable no Undent 
can make improvements to the bell advantage. Agreeable to 
refolution nth, he applied himfelf with all his might to 
find out the truth; He fearched for undcrftanding and know 
lege, as for filver, and digged for it, as forbid treafures. Eve 
ry thought on any fubjecl, which appeared to him worth pur- 
fuing and preferring, he purfued, as far as he then could, with 


2 The L I F^.0/* the Reverend 

his pen in his hand. Thus he was all his days, like the bufy 
bee, collecting from every opening flower, andftoring up a flock 
of knowlege, which was indeed fweet to him, as the honey 
and the honey-comb. And as he advanced in years and in 
knowlege, his pen was more and more employed, and his rna- 
nufcripts grew much falter on his hands. 

He was thought by fome, who had but a flight acquaintance 
with him to be fliff and unfociable; but this was owing to 
want of better acquaintance. He was not a man of many 
words indeed, and wasfome-what referved among Grangers, and 
thofe on whofe candor and friendfhip he did know he could re 
ly. And this was probably owing to two things. Firft, the 
ilricl guard he fet over his tongue from his youth, which ap 
pears by his refolutions, taking great care never to ufe it in any 
way that might prove mifchievous to any; never to fin with 
Us tongue.; or to improve it in idle, trivial and impertinent 
talk, which generally makes up a great part of the converfa- 
tion of thofe who are full of words in all companies. He was 
fenfible that in the multitude of words there wanteth not Sin : 
and therefore refrained his lips, and habituated himfelf to think 
before \\zjpoke, and to propofe fome good end even in all his 
words ; which led him to be above many others, agreeable to 
St. James's advice, flow to /peak. Secondly, this was in part 
the effeft of his bodily confiiuuion. He poiTefled but a com 
parative fmall flock of animal life : his animal fpirits were low 
and he had not ftrength of lungs to fpare, that would be ne- 
celfary in order to make him what would be called, an affable, 
facecious gentleman, in all companies. They who have a great 
flow of animal fpirits, and fo can fpeak with more eafe and lefs 
expcnce, may doubtlefs lawfully practice free converfation in 
all companies for a lower end, (e. g. to pleafe and render them- 
felves acceptable) than he, who has not fuch a flock to expend 
upon. It becomes him to referve what he has, for higher and 
more, important fervice. Bcfides, the want of animal fpirits 
lays a man under a natural inability to that freedom of con 
verfation, at all tirpes, and in whatever company he is ; which 
thofe of more life naturally go into ; and the greatefl degree of 
a fociable difpofuioa, humility and benevolence, will not re* 
move this obfiacle, 

He was not forward to enter into any difpute among flran- 
gers, and in companies where were perfons of different fenti- 
merits; as he was fenfible thai fuch difpuies are generally un 

Mr. JONATHAN E D \v A R D s. 63 

profitable, and often finful and of bad confequence ; and he 
thought he could difpute to the Left advantage with his pen in 
his hand : Yet he was always free to give his fentirnents on 
any fubjecl propofed to him ; and remove any difficulties or 
objections offered by way of enquiry, as lying in the way of 
what he looked upon to be the truth. But how groundlefs the 
imputation of Jlijf and unfodablt was, his known and tried 
friends bed knew. They alwas found him eafy of accefs, kind 
and condefcending ; and though not talkative, yet affable 
and free. Among fuch whofe candor and friendship he had 
experienced, he threw off the referve, and was moft open and 
free; quite patient of contradiction, while the utmoft oppofi- 
tion was made to his fentirnents, that could be by any plaufible 
arguments or objections. And indeed, he was on ail occafions 
quite fociable and free withal, who had any fpecial bufinefs 
with him. 

In his conduct in his family he praclifed that confcientious 
exa&nefs which was perfpicuous in all his ways. He main 
tained a great efleem and regard for his amiable and excellent 
confort. Much of the tender and kind was exprefiTed in his 
converfation with her and condu6l towards her. He was wont 
frequently to admit her into his itudy, and converfe freely with 
her on matters of religion. And he ufed commonly to pray 
with her in his fludy, at leaft once a day, unlefs fomething 
extraordinary prevented. The time in which this ufcd to be 
commonly attended, was juft before going to bed, after prayers 
in the family. As he rofe very early himfelf, he was wont 
to have his family up in feafon in the morning ; after which, 
before the family entered on the bufmcfs of the day, he attend 
ed on family prayers. When a chapter in ti[ie Bible was read, 
commonly by candle-light in the winter ; upon which he a iked 
his children queftions according to their age and capacity; and 
took occafion to explain fome paiTages in it, or enforce^ any 
duty recommended, &c. as he thought mod proper. 

He was careful and thorough in the government of his 
children ; and, as a confequence of this, they reverenced, 
eiteemed and loved him. He took fpecial care to begin his 
government of them in feafon. When they fir ft difcovered 
any confiderable degree of will and ftubbornnefs, he would at 
tend to them till he had thoroughly fubdued them and brought 
them to fubmit. And fuch prudent thoiough discipline, ex- 
rcifed with tlje greateft calmncfc, sn<] commonly without 

ft ri king 

64 The LIFE of the Reverend 

Unking a blow, being repeated once or twice, was generally 
fufficient for that child; and effectually eftablifhed his parental 
authority, and produced a chearful obedience ever after. 

He kept a watchful eye over his children, that he might ad- 
roonifh them of the firjl wrong ilep, and direct them in the 
right way. He took opportunities to treat with them in his 
ftudy, fingly and particularly about their own foul's concerns ; 
and to give them warning, exhortation and direction, as he 
law occafion. He took much pains to in fir u ft them in the 
principles of religion ; in which he made ufe of the Afftmbly's 
Shorter Catechijm : not meerly by taking care ihat they learned 
it by heart; but by leading them into an underftanding of the 
<lo6trine? therein taught, by afking them queftions on each an- 
fwer, and explaining it to them. His ufual time to attend 
this was on the evening before the fabbath. And as he believ 
ed that the Sabbath or holy time began at fun-fet the evening 
before the day, he ordered his family to finifh all their fecular 
bufmefs by that time or before; when they were all called to 
gether, and a pfalm was fung and prayer attended, as an intro- 
duclion to the fanctifying the Sabbath. This care and exacl:- 
nefs effectually prevented that intruding on holy time, by at 
tending on fecular bufmefs, too common in families where the 
evening before the Sabbath is pretended to be obferved. 

He was a great enemy to young people's imfeafonable com 
pany-keeping and frolicking, as he looked upon it a great means 
of corrupting and ruining youth. And he thought the excufe 
many parents make for tolerating their children in it, (viz. that 
it is the cuftom, and others children pra&ife it, which renders 
it difficult, and even impoilible to reftrain theirs) was infuffici- 
ent and frivolous : and manifefted a great degree of ftupidity, on 
fuppofition the practice was hurtful and pernicious to their louls. 
And when fome of his children grew up he found no difficulty 
in retraining them from this pernicious pradtice ; but they cheer 
fully complied with the will of their parents herein. He allow 
ed not his children to be from home after nine o'clock at night, 
when they went abroad to ifee their friends and companions. 
Neither were they allowed to fit up much after that time, in his 
own houfe, when any came to make them u vifit. It any gen 
tleman delired acquaintance with his daughters ; after handfome- 
}y introducing himfelf, by properly confulting the parents, he 
was allowed all proper opportunity for it ; a room and fire if 
needed : but muit not intrude on the proper hours of reft and 
lleep, or the religion and order of the family. 


Mr, J O N A T H A to 13 \V A R D S^ 6$ 

He had a ftrit and inviolable regard to juftice in all his deal-, 
ings with his neighbours, and was very careful to provide for 
things honed in the light of all men ; fo that fcarcely a man 
had any dealings with him, that was not confcious of hisup- 
rightneis* He appeared to have a facred regard to truth in his 
words, both in promifes and narrations, agreeable to his refolu- 
tiotis. This doubtlefs was one reafon why he was not fo full 
of words as many are. No man feared to rely on his veracity. 

He was cautious in chufing his intimate friends, and there 
fore had not many that might properly be called fuch. But to 
them he fhewed himfelf friendly in a peculiar manner. He was 
indeed a faithful friend, and able above moil Others to keep a 
fecret. To them he difcovered himfelf more than to Others, led 
them into his views and ends in his conduit in particular inftan- 
ces : by which they had abundant evidence that he well uader- 
itooJ human nature ; and that his general rcfervednefs, and ma 
ny particular inftances of his conduit, which a ftranger might 
impute to ignorance of men, were really owing to his uncom 
mon knowlege of mankind* 

His converfation with his friends was always favoty and pro 
fitable : In this he was remarkable, and almoft imgular. He 
was not wont to fpend his time with them, in fcandal, evil- 
fpeaklno; and back-biting, or in foolidi jefting, idle chat, and 
telling itorics : But his mouth was that of the juit, which bring- 
eth forth wifdom, and his lips difperfed knowlege. His tongue 
was as the pen oi a ready writer, while he converfed about im 
portant, heavenly, divine things, which his heart was fo full of, 
in fuch a natural and free manner, as to be moft entertain 
ing and inftmtive : fo that none of his friends could enjoy 
his company without inftrution and profit, unlefs k was by 
their own fault. 

His great benevolence to mankind difcovered itfelf, among 
other ways, by the uncommon regard he mewed to liberality, 
and charity to the poor and diftrefied. He was much in recom 
mending this, both in his public difcourfes and private conver 
fation. He often declared it to be his opinion, that profefled 
chriftians, in thefe days are greatly deficient in this duty , an4- 

much more fo, than in moil other parts of external chriitianity, 
He oftc-n obferved how much this is fpokeri of, recommended 
and encouraged in the hoty fcripture, efpecially in the New- 
Teftameni. And it was his opinion, that every particuJar 
church ought by frequent and liberal contributions, to maintain 
vk, that might be ready for rife poor and necefiitous 

66 . The Lilt of the- Reverend 

members of that church : and that the principal bufmcfs of dea 
cons is to take care of the poor in the faithful and judicious 
diftribution ,and improvement of the church's temporals, lodged 
in their hands. And hedid not content himfelfwith only re 
commending charity to others, but pradifed it much himfelf: 
Though, according to his mailer's advice, he took great care 
to conceal his deeds of charity ; by which means doubtlefsmoft 
of his alms-deeds will be unknown till the refurrection, which 
if known, would prove him to be as great an inltance of charity 
as any that can be produced in this age. This is not mere 
conjecture, but is 'evident many ways. He was forward to 
give on all public occafions of charity, though when it could 
properly be done, he always concealed the mm given. And 
fpme inftances of his giving more privately have accidentally 
come to the knowlege of others, in which his liberality appear 
ed in a very extraordinary degree. One of the inftances was 
this. Upon hearing that a poor obfcure man, whom he never 
faw, or any of his kindred, was by an extraordinary bodily 
diforder, brought to great ftraits; he, unafked, gave a confi- 
derable film to a friend to be delivered to the dHlrefled perfon ; 
having firft required a-promife of him, that he would let nei 
ther the perfon, who was the objel of his charity, nor any 
one elfe know by whom it was given. This may ferve both as 
an inftance of his extraordinary chanty, and of his great care 
to conceal it. * 

Mr. Edwards had the mofl univerfal character of a good 
preacher of almoftany minillerin this age. There were but few 
that heard him, who did not call him a good preacher, howe 
ver they might difiike his religious principles, and be much of 
fended at the fame truths when delivered by others : And moft 
admired him above all that ever they heard. His eminency 
as a preacher feems to be owing to the following things. 

Firft, The great pains he took in competing his iermons, 
efpeciafly in the firft part of his life. As by his early rifing, 
and conftant attention to his ftudy, he had more time than 
/moft others; fo he fpent more time in making his fermons. 
He wrote moft of his fermons all out, for near twenty years 
after he firft began to preach ; though he did not wholly con 
fine himfelf to his notes in his delivering them. 


* As both the giver, and the object of his chanty are dead, and 
all the ends of the propofed fecrecy are anfwered ; it is thought not 
inconliftent with the above mentioned promife, to make known the 
faft, as it is here related. 

Mr. J O N A T H A N E D W A R D S. 6/ 

Secondly, His great acq uaintance with divinity, his ftudy 
and knowlege of the bible. His extenfive and imiverfal 
knowlege,and great clearnefs of thought, enabled him to handle 
every fubjecl: with great judgment and propriety, and to bring 
out of his treafury things new and old. Every fubjeft he 
handled was indruclive, plain, entertaining and profitable ; 
which was much owing to his being matter of the fubjeft, and 
his great fkill to treat it in a moft natural, eafy, and profitable 
manner. None of his compofures were dry fpeculations, or 
unmeaning harangues, or words without ideas. When he 
dwelt on thofe truths which are much controverted and op- 
pofed by many, which was often the cafe, he would fet them 
in fuch a natural and eafy light, and every fentiment from 
fiep to ftep, would drop from his lips, attended with fueh clear 
and {hiking evidence, both from fcripture and reafori, as even 
to force the affent f every attentive hearer. 

Thirdly, His excellency as a preacher was very much the 
efFecl; of his great acquaintance with his own heart, his in 
ward fenfe and high relifh of divine truths, and the high ex- 
ercife of true, experimental religion. This gave him a great 
infight into human nature : He knew what was in man, both 
the faint and the finner. This helped him to fkill, to lay truth 
before the mind, fo as not only to convince the judgment, but 
touch the heart and conference ; and enabled him to fpeak 
out of the abundance of his heart, what he knew, and teftify 
what he had feen and felt. This gave him a tafte and difcern- 
ing, without which he could not have been able to fill his 
fermons, as he did, with fuch ftriking, affefting fentiments, 
all failed to folemnize, move, and reclify the heart of the 
hearer. His fermons were well connected, not ufually long, 
and commonly a large part taken up in the improvement ; 
which was clofely connected with the fubjeft, and confifted 
in fentiments naturally flowing from it. 

But no defcription of his fermons will give the reader the 
idea of them which they have who fat under his preaching, or 
have even read fome of his difcourfes which are in print. 
There is a great number now in manufcript, which are pro 
bably as worthy the view of the public, and at leaft tend as 
much to inftruft and quicken chriftians, as moft that have 
been publimed, in this century. 

His appearance in the defk was with a good grace, and his 
delivery eafy, natural and very folemn. He had not a ftrong, 


68 The L i F E of the Reverend 

Joud voice ; but appeared with fuch gravity and folemnity, 
and fpake with fuch diftinclnefs, ciearnefs and precifion ; his 
\vords were fo 'full of ideas, fet in fuch a plain and finking 
light, that few fpeakers have been fo able to demand the au 
tendon of an audience as he. His words often discovered a 
great degree of inward fervor, without much noife or exter 
nal emotion, and fell with great weight on the minds of his 
Jiearers, He made but little motion of his head or hands in 
the defk, but fpake fo as to difcover the motion of his own 
heart, which tended in the moll natural and effectual manner 
to move and affecl others. 

As he wrote his fermons out at large for many years, and 
always wrote 3 confiderable part of moil of his public difcour- 
ies ; fo he carried his notes into the defk with him, and read 
the moil that he had wrote ; yet he was not fo confined to his 
potes, when he had wrote at large, but that, if fome thoughts 
\vere fuggefied while he was fpeaking, which did not occur 
\vhen writing, and appeared to him pertinent and finking, he 
would deliver them ; and that with as great propriety and 
fluency, and oftner with greater pathos, and attended with a 
inore fenfible good efTecl: on his hearers, than all he had wrote, 

Though, as has been obferved, he was wont to pead fo con 
fiderable a part of what he delivered ; yet he was far from 
thinking this the bed way of preaching in general ; and look-, 
cd upon his ufmg his notes fo much as he did, a deficiency and 
infirmity. And in the latter part of his life was inclined to 
think it had been better, if he had never accujfiorned himfelf 
to ufe his notes at all, It appeared to him that preaching 
vvholly without notes, agreeable to the cuftom in moft protef* 
tarit countries, and what feems evidently to have been the man 
ner of the apoftles and primitive miniflers of the gofpel, was 
by far the rnofl natural way ; and had the greateft tendency on 
the whole, to anfwer the end of preaching : and fuppofed that 
pone who had talents equal to the work of the minifuy, was 
incapable of fpeaking memoriter, if he took fuitable pains for 
this attainment from his youth. He would have the young 
preacher write all his fermons, or at leaft moft of them, out 
at large ; and jnftead of reading them to his hearers, take pains 
to commit them to mernorv. Which, though it would require 
p great deal of labour at firft, yet would foon become eafier 
by ui'e, and help him to fpeak more correctly and freely, and 
JL-C of great fervice to him all his clays. 


Mr. J O N A T K A N E D W A R D S. 69 

His prayers were indeed extempore.. He was the farthefl 
from any appearance of a form, as to his words and manner 
of exprefiion of almoft any man. He was quite fmgular and 
inimitable in this, by any who have not a i'pirit of real and 
undiflembled devotion. Yet he always expreiJed himfelf with 
decency and propriety. He appeared to have much of the 
grace and fpirit of prayer ; to pray with the fpirit and with 
the under/landing : and he performed this part of duty much 
to the acceptance and edification of thofe who joined with him. 
He was not wont, in ordinary cafes to be long in his prayers : 
an error which he obferved was often hurtful to public and 
focial prayer, as it tends rather to damp than promote true 

He kept himfelf quite free from worldly cares. He gave 
himfelf wholly to the work of the miriiflry, and entangled not 
himfelf with the affairs of this life. He left the particular 
Dver-fight and direction of the temporal concerns of his family, 
almoft entirely to Mrs. Edwards ; who was better able than 
moft of her fex to take the whole care of them, on her hands. 
He was lefs acquainted with moil of his temporal affairs than 
many of his neighbours ; and feldom knew when and by whom 
his forage for winter was gathered in, or how many milk 
kine he had ; whence his table was furnifhed, &c. 

He did not make it his cuftom to vifit his people in their 
own houfes, unlefs he was fent for by the fick ; or he heard that 
they were under fome fpecial affliction. Inftead of vifiting 
from houfe to houfe, he ufed to preach frequently at private 
meetings in particular neighbourhoods ; and often call the 
young people and children to his own houfe : when he ufed 
to pray with them and treat with them in a manner fuited to 
their years and circumftances. And he catechifed the chil 
dren in public every Sabbath in the fummer. And he ufed 
fometimes to propofe queftions to particular young perfons in 
writing, for them to anfwer afte*- a proper time given them 
to prepare. In putting out thefe queftions, he endeavoured to 
fuit them to the age, genius and abilities of thofe to whom 
they were given. His queftions were generally fuch as re 
quired but a fhort anfwer ; and yet could not be anfwered 
without a particular knowlege of fome hiftorical part of the 
fcnpttire; and therefore led, and even obliged perfons to fludy 
&c bible, 


70 The LIFE of the Reverend 

He did negleft vifiting his people from houfe to houfe, 
becaufe he did not look upon it, in ordinary cafes, to be one 
part of the work of the gofpel minifter. But he fuppofed that 
mmifters (hould, with refpe6t to this, corifult their own talents 
and circumftances, and vifit more or lefs, according to the 
degree in which they could hope hereby to promote the great 
ends of the gofpel miniftry. He. obferved that fome minifters 
had a talent at entertaining and profiting by occaGonal vifits 
among their people. They have words at will, and a knack 
at introducing profitable, religious difcourfe in a free, natural, 
and, as it were undefigned way. He fuppofed fuch had a call 
to fpend a great deal of their time in vifning their people. 
Sut he looked on his talents to be quite otherwife. He was 
riot able to enter into a free converfation with every perfon he 
met with, and in an eafy manner turn it to what topick he 
pleafed, without the help of others, and, as it may, be, again ft 
their inclination. He therefore found that his vifits of this 
kind mitft be in a great degree unprofitable. And as he was 
fettled in a. great town, it would take up a great part of his 
time to' vifit from houfe to houfe ; which he thought he could 
fpend in his ftudy to much more valuable purpofes, and fo as 
much better to promote the great ends of his miniftry. For 
it appeared to him, that he could do the greateft good to fouls, 
and moft promote the intereft of Chrift by preaching and writ 
ing, and converfing with perfons under religious impreflions 
in his ftudy ; where he encouraged all fuch to repair ; where, 
they might be fure, in ordinary cafes, to find him : and to 
be allowed eafy accefs to him, and where they were treated 
with all defirable tendernefs, kindnefs and familiarity. In 
times therefore of the out-pouring of God's fpirit, and the 
revival of religion among his people, his ftudy was thronged 
with perfons to lay open their fpiritual concerns to him, and 
feek his advice and direction : whom he received and converf- 
ed with, with great freedom and pleafure, and had the beft 
opportunity to deal in the moft particular manner with each 

HE was a.fkilful guide to fouls under fpiritual difficulties, 
was therefore fought unto not only by his own people, 
but by many .who lived fcores of miles off. He became fueh 
an able guide, partly by his own experimental acquaintance 
with divine things, and unwearied ftudy of God's word; and 
partly by his having fo much concern with fouls under fpiri 

Mr. J O N A T H A ' N E D W A R D S. 71 

tual troubles. For he had not been fettled in the work of the 
miniftry many years before the fpirit of God was wonderful 
ly poured out on his people, by which a great concern about 
their fouls became almoft univerfal ; and a great number were 
hopefully the fubjefts of faving converfion. This >vas prin 
cipally in the year 1734. A particular account of which has 
been wrote by him, entitled, A faithful narrative of Iks fur- 
prizing work of God in the converjion of many hundred fonts in 
Northampton. Which has been printed in England, Germany 
and America ; to which the reader muft be refered. 

And there was another remarkable time of the outpouring 
of God's fpirit in the years 1740, and 1741, in which North 
ampton partook largely ; though not exclufive of mofl other 
parts of the land. Mr. Edwards in this time had to deal not 
Only with his own people, but with multitudes of others. The 
hearing that the fame things were at Northampton feme years 
before, and the fame Mr. Edwards had for knowlege, piety, 
And a great acquaintance with experimental religion, naturally 
led both minifters and people, in almoft all parts of New-Eng 
land, to look to him fordireclion and affiftance, in this ex 
traordinary time. Being in this time earneftly folicitedby the 
minifters and people of many places to come and preach 
among them, he went to many ; though he was not able to 
gratify all who defired him. And his preaching was attended 
with great fuccefs. 

And as many of the minifters and people in New-England, 
had been unacquainted with fuch things as then appeared, they 
were greatly expofed to run wild, as it were, and actually did. 
by the fubtle temptations of the devil, taking advantage of the 
ignorance and wickednefs of men's hearts, go into great ex 
tremes both as oppofers and friends to the work of God. Mr. 
Edwards was greatly helpful by his direction and afliftance 
againft the two oppofite extremes, both in converfion, preach 
ing and writing. His publications on this occafion were efpe- 
cially of great and extenfive fervice. Of which it maybe 
proper to give fome account here. 

The firll is a fermon preached at New-Haven, Sept. 10, 
1741, On the. diftinguifhing marks of the fpirit of God, &c. 

In the year 1742, he published a book of five parts, intitleJ, 
Some thoughts concerning the prefent revival of religion in AV&- 
England, and the way in which it ought to be ackiwzylrged and 
promoted^ c. 


72 The LIFE of 'tin Reberend . 

In the- year 1746, he publimed a Trecttift on Religious Af+ 
fe&ions, All whieh might be juftly confidered by the church 
of chriftas a voice behind them faying, " This is the way, walk 
** therein/' F/pecialfy the laft-memioned book, which has 
beau eiteemed by many the bell that has been wrote on that 
fubjeft; fetting the diftin&ion between true and falfe religion 
in the moft clear and ftriking light. 

To the fame purpofe, is The life of the Rev. Mr. DAVID 
BRAINERD, with reflexions and obftrvations thereon ; pub- 
limed by Mr. EDWARDS in the year 1749. 

Mr. Edwards was what by iome is called a rigid Calvinift* 
Thofe doclrines of Calvinifm, which have been moft objected 
againft, and given the greateft offedce, appeared to him as 
tural, reafonable and important as any; and he thought that to 
give them up, was in effeft to give up all. And therefore he 
looked upon thofe who called themfelves CalviniJ}s t that were 
for palliating the matter, by, as it were, triming off the knots of 
Calvinifm, that they might conform it more to the tafte of 
thofe who are moil difpofed to object againft it, were really 
giving up and betraying the caufe they pretend to efpoufe ; 
and were paving the way not only to Arminianifm, but to 
Deifm. For if thefe doftrines, in the whole length and breadth 
of them were relinquifhed, he did not fee, where a man could 
fet his foot down with confiftency and fafety, fhort of Deifm> 
or even Atheifm itfelf ; or rather univerfal Scepticifm. 

He judged that nothing was wanting, but to have thefe doc 
trines properly ftated and judicioufly and well defended, in order 
to their appearing mod agreeable to reafon and common fenfe, 
as well as the doctrines of revelation ; and that this there 
fore was the only effectual method to convince, or filence and 
Ihame the oppofers of them. All will be able to fatisfy them 
felves of the truth of this, by reading his treatife on Jujhfica- 
lion, and his two lafl books on the Freedom of the Will, and 
Original Sin. 

. In this view of things, he thought it of importance that mi- 
nifters mould be very critical in examining candidates for tlx? 
rniniftry, with refpeclto their principles \ as well as their religi 
ous difpofition and morals. And on this account he met with 
confiderable difficulty and oppofition in fome inftances. His 
opinion was, that an erroneous or unfaithful mimfter was likely 



to do more hurt than good to the church of Chrift ; and there 
fore he could not have any hand in introducing a man into the 
miniflry, unlefs he appeared found in the faith, and manifefted 
to a judgment of charity, a difpojition to bcjaithjuL 


His DiSMtssiOM from Northampton, with the accajion and 
circwnftances of it* 

MR. EDWARDS was very happy in the efteern and love 
of his people for many years, and there was the greatell 
profpeft of his living and dying fo. He was the lail niinifter 
almoit in New-England that would have been pitched upon tea 
be oppofed and renounced by his people. But by what has 
come to pafs with refpe6t to this, we have an inftruclive lefTon 
on the inilability of all human affairs, and the unreafonablcnefa 
of trufling in man. 

In the year 17-|4 Mr. Edwards was informed that fome 
of the young perfons in town, who were members of the church, 
had books in keeping, which they improved to promote lafcivU 
ous and obfcenc difcourfe among the young people. And up 
on enquiring, a number of perfons were found to teftify, that 
they had heard one and another from time to time talkobfccne- 
ly ; as what they were led to by reading a book or books* 
which they had among ther.i. Upon which Mr. Edwards 
thought the brethren of the church ought to look into the 
matter. And in order to introduce it, he preached a fermort 
from Heb. xii. 1,5, 16. " Looking diligently, left any man fail 
" of the grace of God, led any root of bitternefs fpringingup 
" trouble you, and thereby many be defiled : left there be any 
" fornicator, or profane perfon as Efau, &c/' After fermoa 
he de fired the brethren of the church to ftay, and told them 
what information he had got ; and propofed whether they 
thought proper to take any nieafures to examine into the mat 
ter. They with one confent and much zeal, manifciled ii toi 
be their opinion, that it ought to be enquired into. And pro-\ 
ceeded to choofe a number of men, to affiit their paftor in exa* 
xuining into the afl^ir. Upon which Mr. Edwards appointed 

74' The LIFE of the Reverend 

the time for their meeting at his houfe : and then read a cata 
logue of the names of young perfons, whom he defired to come 
to his houfe at the fame time. Some were the accufed, and 
force witneffes ; but it was not then declared of which number 
any particular pcrfon was. 

When the names were publifhed, it appeared, that there 
were but few of the confiderable families in town, to which 
none of the perfons named did belong, or were nearly related. 
Whether this was the occafion of the alteration or not, before 
the day appointed came, a great number of heads of families 
altered their minds (yea many condemned what they had done, 
before they got home to their own houfcs) and declared, they 
did not think proper to proceed as they had done; that their 
children mould not be called to an account in fuch a way for 
fuch things, &c. &c. And the town was fuddenly all on a 
blaze. This ftrengthened the hands of the accufed, and fome 
refufed to appear, and others that did appear, behaved unman 
nerly, and with a great degree ofinfolence, and contempt of 
the authority of the church. And little or nothing could be 
done further in the affair. 

This was the occafion of weakening Mr. Edwards's hands in 
the work of the miniftry, elpecially among the young people : 
with whom by this means he greatly loft his influence! This 
feemed in a great meafure to put an end to Mr. Edwards's ufe- 
fulnefs at Northampton, and doubtlefs laid a foundation, and will 
help to account for the furprizing events which will by and by be 
related. To be fure he had no great vifible fuccefs after this ; 
but the influences of God's fpirit were greatly withheld, and 
fecurity and carnality much incrcafed among them. That great 
and fingular degree of vifible religion and good order which 
had been found among them, foon began gradually to decay; 
and the youth have fince been more wanton and dilTohite. 

Mr. Stoddard, Mr. EdwarJs's grand-father and predeceflor 
in the work of the miniftry, was of the opinion, that uncon 
verted perfons had a right in the fight of God, or confidered 
as fuch, to the facrament of the Lord's fupper ; that therefore 
it was their duty to come to that ordinance, though they knew 
they had no true goodnefs, or gofpel holinefs. He maintained, 
; that vifiblq, chrifHanity does not confift in a profeflion or ap 
pearance of that wherein true holinefs or real chrifHanity con- 
fifts. That therefore the profefiicn which perfons make in or 
der to be received as vifible membejs of Chrifl's church, ought 



not to be fach as to exprefs or imply a real compliance with, or 
confent to the terms of the covenant of grace, or a hearty em 
bracing the gofpel. So that they who really rejeft Jefus Chrift, 
and diflike the gofpel way of falvation in their hearts, and 
know that this is true of themfelves, may make the profefiion 
without lying and hypocrify. Accordingly, he endeavoured to 
form a fhort profeflion for perfons to make in order to be ad 
mitted into the church and come to the facrament, anfwerable 
to this principle. And it took place and was praclifed upon in 
Northampton ; and perfons were admitted into the church, 
and to the facrarnent, not under the notion of their being true 
faints, or that they had any real goodncfs. 

Mr. Stoddard's appearing to maintain this principle made a 
great noife in the country ; and he was oppofed as introducing 
fomething contrary to the principles and pra6Hce of alrnoft all 
the churches in New-England. And the matter was publicly 
controverted between him and Dr. Increafe Mather, of Bofton. 
However, through Mr. Stoddard's great influence and afcen- 
dance over the people at Northampton, it was introduced there 
though not without oppofition. And his principles by degrees 
fpread very much among minifters and people in that country, 
and in other parts of New-England ; though no church except 
Northampton publicly and profefledly afted upon this principle 
by altering the profeilion that thofe made, who were admitted 
to the facrament, to fuit it to fuch a notion : but required of all 
who joined to the church a profefTion of that wherein true chriiti- 
anity or real godlinefs confilis. And of late years his opinion that 
perfons who have no real goodnefs, but are in a chrifllefs (late, 
and know themfelves to be fo, may make a chriftian profeifioti 
and come to the facrament, without lying and hypocrify ; and 
that they have a right, and it is their duty fo to do, has greatly 
fpread in the country. 

Mr. Edwards had fome hefitation about this matter when be 
firft fettled at Northampton, and afterwards ; but did not re 
ceive fuch a degree of conviclion, that the admitting perfons 
into the church, who made no pretence to real godlinefs was 
wrong, as to prevent his praclifing upon it with a good confci- 
ence, for fome years. But at length his doubts about the mat 
ter greatly increafed, which put him upon examining it more 
thoroughly than he had ever before done, by fearching the 
fcripture, and reading and examining fuch books, as were xvrit- 
teri to defend the admiffion of perfons to facraments, without R 


f 6 The L I F E of the Reverend 

profeflion of faving faith. And the refult was a full convifti- 
on that it was wrong, and (hat he could not practice upon it 
with a good conscience. He was fully convinced that to be a 
vifible chriitian was to put on the vifibility or appearance of a 
real chriftian ; that the profeflion of chriltianity was a profef- 
fion of that, wherein real chriftianity corififts ; was therefore a 
profeflion of true refpe6l of Chriit, and a hearty embracing the 
go (pel, &c. That therefore no perfon who rejected Chrift in 
his heart, could make fuch a profeflion confident with truth. 
.And therefore, as the ordinance of the Lord's fupper was infti- 
tuted for none but vifible profefling chriftians, none but thofe 
\vho are real chriftians have a real right in the fight of God to 
come to that ordinance : and that none ought to be admitted 
thereto, who do not make a profeflion of real chriftianity, and 
fo cannot be received in a judgment of charity as true friends 
to Jefus Chrift, or real faints, * 

When Mr. Edwavds's fentiments were known, in the fpring 
of the year 1744, it gave great offence, and the town was put 
into a great ferment : and before he was heard in his own de 
fence, or it was known by many what his principles were, the 
general cry was to have him difmifled, as what alone would 
fatisfy them. This was evident from the whole tenor of their 
conduct, as they neglecled and oppofed the moft proper means 
of calmly confidering, and fo underftanding the matter in dif- 
pute, and perfifted in a refufal to attend to what Mr. Edwards 
bad to fay in defence of his principles. And from beginning 
to end oppofed the meafures which had the beft tendency to 
compromife and heal the difficulty ; and with much zeal pur- 
fued thofe, which were calculated to make a feparation certain 
and fpeedy, 

Mr, Edwards thought of preaching on the fubjecl, that they 
might know what were his fentiments, and what were the 
grounds of them, (of both which he was fenfible the moft of 
them were quite ignorant) before they took any flep for afepa^ 
ration between him and hjs people. But that he might do 


* They who have a defire more fully to underftand this controverfy 
and know if it is juftly rcprefented here, may do it by reading what 
Mr. Edwards \vrotconthisoccafion, in order to explain and vindicate 
jhis principles ; together with the Rev, Mr. Williams 's anfwer, and 
Mr. Edwards 's reply to him. And if they pleafe, they may confuk 
, Mather, and Mr, Stoddard before wrote on this fubjeft. 

Mr. JONATHAN ED \v A R D s. 77 

nothing to increafe the tumult, but on the contrary take all 
thofe ileps, which he could with a good confcience, that tended 
to peace, he firft propofed the thing to the church's Handing 
committee ; fuppofing that if he entered on the fubjeft pub 
licly with their con lent, it would prevent the ill coniequences 
which otherwife he feared would follow. But the luoft of 
them would by no means confent to it, but flrenuoully oppofed 
it. Upon which he gave it over for the prcferit, as what in. 
fuch circumftances would rather raife a tumult, and blow the 
fire up to a greater height, than arifwer the good ends propofed. 

Mr. Edwards being fcnfible that his principles were not un- 
derftood, and much mifrep relented through the country ; and 
finding that his people were in too much of a heat calmly to 
attend to the matter in controverfy then; and were in a difpo- 
fition even to refufe to hear him preach upon it, propofed to 
print what he had to fay on the point ; as this fecmed to be the 
only way left him to have a fair hearing. Accordingly his peo 
ple confented to put off the calling a council, till what he 
ftiould write was publifhed. But they manifefled great unea- 
finefs in waiting, before it came out of the prefs. And when 
it was publifhed, it was read but by very few of them. Mr. 
Edwards being fenfible of this, renewed his propofal to preach 
upon it, and at a meeting of the brethren of the church afked 
their confent in the following terms : " I defire that the bre- 
" thren would manifeft their confent, that I mould declare the 
'* reafons of my opinion relating to full communion in the 
" church, in leflures appointed for that end : Not as an aft 
" of authority, or as putting the power of declaring the whole 
" counfel of God out of my hands ; but for peace fake, and 
" to prevent occafion of ftrife." But it pailed in the nega 

Mr. Edwards then propofed that it mould be left to a few 
of the neighbouring minifters, whether it was not, all things 
confidered, reaforiable that he {hould be heard in this matter 
from the pulpit, before the affair fhould be brought to an iffue. 
But this alfo paffed in the negative. 

However, he having had the advice of the minifiers and 
meffengers of the neighbouring churches, who met at North 
ampton to advife them under their difficulties, proceeded to 
appoint a lefture, in order to preach on the fubjecl, propofnig 
to do fo weekly until he had finiihed what he had to fay. On 
Monday there was a precincl or fociety meeting, in. which a 


78 The L i F E of the Reverend 

vpte was pafTcd to choofe a committee to go to Mr. Edwards, 
and defire him not to preach lectures on the fubject in contro- 
verfy, according to his declaration and appointment. And 
accordingly, proceeded to choofe a committee of three men 
for this purpofe, who waited on him, and did their errand. 
However, Mr. Edwards thought proper to proceed according 
to his propofal, and accordingly preached a number of fermons 
until he had fmifhed what he had to fay on the fubjecl. Thefe 
lectures were very thinly attended by his own people : but great 
numbers of Grangers from the neighbouring towns attended 
them, fo many as to make above half the congregation. This 
was in February and March 17,50. 

The calling a decifive council to determine the matter of 
difference between paflor and people, or rather to difmifs the 
paflor from his church and people, (for the delay of which a 
great deal of impatience had been publicly manifeiied) was now 
more particularly attended to by Mr. Edwards and the church. 

Mr. Edwards had before this infilled upon it |rom time to 
time, that they were by no means ripe for fuch a procedure ; 
(as they had not yet given him a fair hearing in defence of his 
caufe: which if they would do, perhaps the need of fuch a 
council would be fuperfeded. And befides, he thought there 
was abundant public evidence, that they were not yet in a tem 
per fuited to attend on, and be aclive in fuch a tranfaclion, as 
he diffolving the relation between them and their pallor ; 
vvhich would, as things then Hood, probably be the event. 
He obferved, " That it was exceeding unbecoming churches 
" of the L^mb of God to manage their religious affairs of the 
" greater! importance in a ferment and tumult, which ought 
" to be managed with great folemnity, deep humiliation, and 
*' fubmiffion to the awful frowns of heaven, humble depen- 
" dence on God, and with fervent prayer and fupplication to 
*' him. That therefore for them to go about fuch an affair, 
" in fuch a manner as they did, would be moft unbecoming 
" the gofpel, greatly to the difhonor of God and religion, and 
" a way in which a people cannot expect a bleffing. That 
" fuch a great affair as this mould be gone about with calm 
" consideration ; but that fuch a temper as the people were 
" then in, was wholly inconfiltent with this/' 

But having ufed all means which he could think of within 
his power to bring them to a more calm and charitable temper, 
and to hear and weigh what he had to fay in his own defence, 



with attention and candor ; and finding that nothing prevailed ; 
but rather the tumult and uproar was increafed ; he confent- 
ed that a decifive council fhould be called without any further 

But a difficulty attended the choice of a council, which was 
for fome time infuperable. It was agreed that the council 
fhould be mutually chofen, one halt by the patter, and the 
other half by the church : but the people infiAed upon it that 
he fhould be confined to the county in his choice. Mr. Ed 
wards thought this an unreafonable reilraint on him, as it was 
known that the minifters and churches in that county were al- 
moft univerfally againft him in the comroverfy that divided 
him and his people, and made the two parties. He indeed did 
not fuppofethat the bufinefs of the propofed council would be 
to determine whether his opinion which was the occafion of 
the difficulty between him and his people was right or no; or 
that what they were to judge of, depended upon this. But their 
bufinefs would be to fee and determine whether any pofiible 
way could be devifed for an accommodation between paftor 
and people, and to ufe their wifdom and endeavour in order 
to this. And if they found this impracticable, they muft deter 
mine, whether things were now ripe for a feparation ; whe 
ther what ought in jufiice to be previous to a feparation had al 
ready actually been done, fo that there was nothing further in 
juftice to be demanded by either of the parties concerned, be 
fore a feparation mould take place. And if he was ciifmifTed 
by them, it would be their bufinefs to fet forth to the world in 
what manner and for what caufe he was difmifled : how far he 
was innocent, and whether he might yet be employed in the 
work of the mini ftry, &c. All which were matters of great 
importance to him, and required upright and impartial judges. 
And confidering the great influence a difference in religious 
opinions has to prejudice men one againft another; and the 
clofe connexion of the point, in which moll of the minifters 
and churches in the county differed from him, with tho matter 
to be judged of, he did not think they could be reafonably 
looked upon fo impartial judges, as that the matter ought to be 
wholly left to them. Befides, he thought the cafe being fo new 
and extraordinary, required the ableit judges in the land. For 
thefe, and fome other reafons, which he offered, he infiflecl 
upon liberty to go out of the county for thofe members of the 
propofed council, la which lie waa to ba*re a choice. In this, 


8o The LIFE of the Reverend 

as. was juft now faid, the people ftrenuoufly and oWlindety 
oppofed him. They at length agreed to leave the matter to a 
council confiding of the miniilers and meffengers of the fiv# 
neighbouring churches : who, after they had met twice upon 
it, and had the cafe largely debated before them, were equally 
divided, and therefore left the matter undetermined. 

However, they were all agreed, that Mr. Edwards ought to 
have liberty to go out of the county for foine of the council. 
And at the next church meeting, which was on the 26th of 
March, Mr. Edwards offered to join with them in calling a 
council, if they would confent that he mould chufe two of the 
churches out of the county, in cafe the council confifted of ^but 
ten churches. The church however refufed to comply with 
this at one meeting after another repeatedly ; and proceeded 
to warn a church meeting and choofe a moderator, in order 
to adl without their paftor. 

But to pafs by many particulars, at length at a meeting of 
the church, warned by their paftor, May 3d. they voted their 
confent to his propofal of going out of the county for two of 
the churches, that fhould be applied to. And then they pro 
ceeded to make choice of the ten minifters and churches, of 
which the council mould confift. Accordingly, the churches 
were fent to, and the council convened on the 191!! of June. 
Who, after they had made fome fruitlefs attempts for a com- 
ppfition between the paftor and church, paffed a refolve, by the 
majority of one voice * only, to the following purpofe : " That 
" it is expedient that the paftpral relation between Mr. Ed- 
" wards and his church be immediately didblved if the peo- 
" pie dill perfift in defiring it." And it being publicly put to 
the people, whether they Itill infilled on Mr. Edwards's dif- 
mifiion from the paftoral office over them ? A great majority 
(above two hundred againft twenty) zealoufly voted for his dif- 
million. And he was accordingly difmiiled June 22, 1750. 

The dillenting part of the council, entered their proteft againft 
this proceeding, judging that it was too much in a hurry, a$ 
they were by "no means ripe for a reparation, confidering the 


* One of the churches which Mr. Edwards chofe did not fee fit 
to join the council. However, the minifter of that church being 
at Northampton at the fitting of the council, was defired by Mr. 
Edwards and the church to lit in council and aft, which he did. But 
there being no meflenger from the church, the council was not full, 
and there was a difparity ; by which means doubtlefs, there was one 
Tote more for an immediate difaiiffion, than againft it. 

Mr. JONATHAN E D w A R D s. 8k 

paH: conduct, and preient temper of the people. And fome of 
that part of the council ; that were active, expreiTed themfelves 
furpnzed at the uncommon zeal and engagedneis o; (pint, pub 
licly manifested by the people in their voting for a difmiilion ; 
which evidenced to them, and all obferving fpe6tators, that 
they were far from a temper of mind becoming iiich a iolemn 
and awful tranfaion, coniidered in all its circumttances. 

Being thus difmiifed, he preached his farewel fermon on the 
-firft of July, from 2 Con i. 14* Thedolrine he obferved from 
the words was this, " Minifters and the people that have been 
" under their care, muit meet one another before Chrift's tri- 
" bunal, at the day of judgment." It was a remarkably folemn 
And affecting- difcourle, and was publilhed at the defire of foine 
of the hearers. 

After Mr. Edwards was difmilTed from Northampton, he 
preached there foine times occafionally when they had no other 
preacher to fupply the pulpit : till at length a great uneafmefs 
was mani felled by many of the people, at his preaching there 
at all. Upon which, the committee for fupplying the pulpit, 
called the town together, to know their minds with refpecl: to 
that matter : when they voted that it was not agreeable to their 
minds, that he mould preach among them. Accordingly, 
when Mr. Edwards was in town, and they had no other minif- 
ter to preach tp them, they carried on public worfhip among 
themfelves, and without any preaching, rather than to invite 
Mr. Edwards ! 

Every one mud be fenfible that this was a great trial to Mr. 
Edwards. He had been near twenty-four years among that 
people ; and his labours had been, to all appearance, from 
time to time greatly blefled among them : and a great number 
looked on him as their fpi ritual father, who had been the 
happy inflniment of turning them from darknefs to light, and 
plucking them as brands out of the burning. And they had 
from time to time profefled that they looked upon it as one of 
their grcatell privileges to have (uch a mbiirer, and mamielled 
their great love and cfteem of him, to fuch a decree, thai, 
(as S . Paul fays of the Gilatians) if it had been pofllble, they 
would have plucked out their own eyes, and ?iven them to him. 
And they had a great intereil in his heart : lie had borne them 
on his heart and carried them in his bofom for many years ; ev- 
ercifing a tender concern and love for them : for their grod he 
nting, contriving, labouring: ..rThc had 

L pourr! 

Sa The L I F of the Reverend 

poured out ten thoufand fervent prayers ; in their good he had 
rejoiced as one that findeth great fpoil ; and they were dear to 
hjm above any other people under heaven. 

Now to have this people turn againfl him, and thnift 
him out from among them, in a great tumult and heat, with 
hafle, and a great degree of violence ; like the Jews of old flop 
ping their ears and riming upon him with furious zeal, not allow 
ing him to defend himfelf by giving him a fair hearing ; and 
. even refilling fo much as to hear him preach; many of them 
furmifmg arid publicly fpeaking many ill things as to his ends 
and defigns ! To have the tables turned (o fuddcnly and the 
voice fo general and loud againft him. This furely mull come 
very near to him, and try his fpirit. The words of the pial- 
millfeems applicable to this cafe, " It was not an enemy that 
" reproached me, then I could have borne it ; neither was it 
" he that hated me, that did magnify himfelf againit me, then 
" I would have hid myfelf from him. But it was THOU 
" my guide and mine acquaintance. We took fweet counfel 
" together, and walked unto the houfe of God in company." 

Let us therefore now behold the man ! 

The calm and ledatenefs of his mind ; his meeknefs and 
humility in sjreat and violent oppofition, and injurious treat 
ment j his refolution and fteady conduct through all this dark 
and terrible ftorm, were truly wonderful, and cannot be fet in 
fo beautiful and affecting a light by any defcription, as they ap 
peared in to his friends, who were eye-witnelles. 

Mr. Edwards had a numerous and chargeable family, and 
little or no income, exclufive of his falary : and confidering 
how far he was advanced in years ; the general difpofition of 
people who want a minifter to prefer a young man w r ho has 
never been fettled, to one who has been difmifled from his peo 
ple ; and what mifreprefentations were made of his principles 
through the country, it looked to him not at all probable that 
he mould ever have opportunity to be fettled again in the work 
of the miniftry, if he was difmiffed from Northampton : And 
he was not inclined or able to take any other courfe, or go in 
to any other bufmefs to get a living. So that beggery as well 
asdifgrace ftared him full in the face, if he perliited in his prin 
ciples. To be fure, he viewed himfelf as taking the moft direct 
way to thefe, according to the natural courfe of things, by dif- 
co\ering and adhering to his principles, in the fituation he then 
was. For he forefaw all this, before it came upon him ; and 
therefore had the opportunity and the temptation to efcape it, by 
concealing his principles. When he was fixed in his princi 


pics, and before they were publicly known, he told fome of his 
1 riemls, that if he discovered and perfilled in them, it would molt 
likely irluc in his difmiftion and difgrace ; and the ruin of him-- 
fclf and family, as to their temporal intercfts. He therefore 
firit fat clown and counted the c:oft, and deliberately took up 
the crofs, when it was fet before him in its full weight and mag 
nitude and in direct oppofition to all worldly views and mo 
tives. And therefore his condud in thefe circumilances, was 
a remarkable exercife and difcovery of his confcientioufnefs ; and 
his readinefs to deny himfelf, and ibrfake all that he had, to 
follow Chrift. 

A man muft have a confiderable degree of the fpirit of a mar 
tyr, not to flinch in fuch a cafe as this ; but go on with the fled- 
faftnefs and refolution with which he did. He, as it were, 
put his life in his hand, and ventured on where truth and duty 
appeared to lead him, unmoved at the threatning dangers on 
every fide. 

However, God did not farfake him. As he gave him thofe 
inward fiipports by which he was able in patience to poffefs 
his foul, arid calmly and courageoufly row on in the ftorm,as 
it were, in the face of boiftrous winds, beating hard upon him, 
and in the midft of gaping waves threatning to fwallow him 
up : fo he foon appeared for him, in his providence, even 
beyond all his expectations. His correfpondents and other 
friends in Scotland, hearing of his difmiftion, and fearing it 
might be the means of bringing him into worldly flraits, gener- 
oufly contributed a handfome fum, and fent it over to him. 

And God did not leave him without tender, valuable friends 
at Northampton. For a fmall number of his people who op- 
pofed his difmiflion from the beginning, and fome who ac~lc i <: 
on neither fide, who joined with him after his difmiffion, aruj 
adhered to him, under the influence of their great efteem and 
love of Mr. Edwards, were willing and thought themfelves 
able to maintain him : and infixed upon it that it 'was his duly 
to ftay among them, as a dillinft and feparate congregation 
from the body of the town, who had rejected him. 

Mr. Edwards could not fee it to be his duty to flay among 
them, as circumftances were; as this would probably be a 
means of perpetuating an unhappy divifion in the town ; ani 
there was to him no profpecl of doing the good there, which 
would counterbalance the evil. However, that lie might do 
all he could to fatisfy his tender and afflicted friends ; and 1 e- 
caufe in the multitude of counfellors there is fafetv, he con- 

fen ted 

84 The. LIFE of the Reverend 

fented to afk the advice of an ecclefiaftical council. Accord 
ingly, a council was called, and convened at Northampton on 
the i^th of May 1751. 

The town on this occafion was put into a great tumult and 
fire. They who were aftive in Mr. Edwards's difiniilion 
fuppofed, though without any ground, and contrary to uuth, 
that he was contriving and attempting wirh his friends, again 
to in 1 reduce himfelf at Northampton. They drew up a re- 
monltrance againil their proceedings, and laid it before the 
council (though they would not acknowlege them to be an 
ecclefiaftical council) containing many heavy, though ground- 
iefs, infinuations and charges againft Mr. Edwards, and bitter 
accufations of the party who had adhered to him : But refufed 
to appear and fupport any of their charges, or fo much as 
to give the gentlemen of the council any opportunity to confer 
with them, about the affair depending ; though it was dili 
gently fought. 

The council having heard what Mr. Edwards, and they who 
adhered, to him, and any others who defjredto be heard, had to 
fay, advifed, agreeable to Mr. Eclvvards's, judgment and expec 
tation, that he mould leave Northampton, and accept of the 
million to which he was invited at Stockbridge ; of which a 
more particular account will be given prefently. 

Many other fafts relative to this for rowful, ftrange, furpriz- 
ing affair (the moft fo doubtlefs of any of the kind, that ever 
happened in New-England ; and perhaps, in any part of the 
chriftian wor.ld) might be related ; but as this more general 
Inlforyofit, may be fufficient to anfwer the ends propofed, 
viz. to rectify fome gfofs mifreprefentations that have been 
made of the matter, and difcover the great trial Mr. Edwards 
had hercm, it is thought belt to fupprefs. other particulars. 
As a proper clofe to this melancholy ilory ; and to confirm, 
end further illuftrate what has been related,, the following letter 
from Jofeph Haw'ley, Efq. (a gentleman who was well ac 
quainted with, and very aclive -in the tranfa&ions qf this whole 
affair, and; very much a head and leader in it) to the Rev. Mr. 
Hall of Sutton, publimed in a weekly news-paper in Bo(ion> 
!My jo, 1760, is here inferted, 


Mr. JONATHAN ED w A R D s. 85 

To the lltu. Mr, HALL of S u T T o N. 

Northampton, May 9, 1760. 
Rev. Sir, 

IH A V E often wifhecl that every member of the two eccle- 
fiafiical councils (that formerly fat in Northampton upon 
the unhappy differences between our former moft worthy and 
reverend paftor Mr. Jonathan Edwards and the church here) 
whereof you was a member ; I fay fir, I have often wifhed 
cvei y of them truly knew my real fenfe of my own conduct in 
the affairs that the one and the other of laid councils are privy 
to; and as I have long apprehended it to be my duty not only 
to humble myfelf before God for what was unchriflian and 
Cuful, in my conduct before faid councils, butalfo to confefs 
iny faults to them, and take fhame to myfelf therefor before 
them. I have often fludied with myfelf in what manner it 
was pra6iicable for me to do it ; and when I underilood that 
you fir, and Mr. Eaton, were to be at Cold Spring at the time 
of their late council, I refolved to improve the opportunity 
fully to open my mind there io you and him thereon ; and 
thought that probably fome method might be then thought of 
in which my reflections, on myfelf touching the matters above 
hinted at, might be communicated to moft if not all die gentle 
men aforefaid, who did not refide in this county : But you 
know, fir, how difficult it was for us to converfe together by 
ourfelves when at Cold Spring, without giving umbrage to 
t-hat people ; I therefore propofed writing to you upon the 
matters which I had then opportunity only moft fummarily to 
fugged ; which you. fir, fignified would be agreeable to you : 
1 therefore now undertake what I then propofed, in which I 
humbly afk the divine aid ; and that I may be made rnofl 
freely willing fully to confefs my fin and guilt to you and the 
world in thofe inflances which I have reafon to fuppofe fell 
under your notice, as they were public and notorious trarif- 
ations, and on account whereof, therefore, you fir, and all 
others who had knowlege thereof, had juft caufe to be offend 
ed at me. 

And in the firil place, Sir. I apprehend that with the clnifch 
and people of Northampton, I filmed isnd erred exceedingly 

86 The L I F E of the Reverend 

in conferring and labouring that there fhould be fo early a 
difmiffion of Mr. Edwards from his paftoral relation to us, 
even upon the fuppofition that he was really in a miflake in 
the difputed point : not only becaufe the difpute was upon 
matters fo very difputable in themielves and at the greateft re 
move from fundamental, but becaufe Mr. Edwards fo long 
had approved himfelt a moft faithful and painful paftor to faid 
church ; and alfo changed his fentiments in that point wholly 
from a tender regard to what appeared to him to be truth ; 
and had made known his fentiments with great moderation 
and upon great deliberation againft all worldly motives, and 
from mere fidelity to his great mailer, and a tender regard to 
the fouls of his flock, as we had the higheft reafon to judge : 
which confiderations now feem to me fufficient ; and would 
(if we had been of a right fpirit) have greatly endeared him 
to his people, and made us to the lafl degree, reluttant to part 
ing with, and difpofed us to the exercife of the greateft can 
dour, gentlenefs and moderation : how much of the reverfe 
whereof appeared in us, I need not tell you, Sir, who was an 
eye-witnefs of our temper and conduct. 

And although it does not become me to pronounce decifive- 
ly on a point fo difputable as what was then in difpute ; yet I 
beg leave to fay, that I really apprehend that it is of the high- 
eft moment to the body of this church, and to me in particu 
lar moft folicitoufly to enquire, whether like the Pharifees and 
lawyers in John Baptift's tome, we did not rejecl the counfel 
of God againft ourfelves, in rejecting Mr. Edwards and his 
doftrine : which was the ground of his difmiflion. And I 
humbly conceive that it highly imports us all of this church, 
inoft ferioLifly and impartially to examine what that moft wor 
thy and able divine about that time publifhed in fupport of the 
fame, whereby he being dead yet fpeaketh. 

But there were three things, Sir, efpecially in my own parti 
cular conduct before the firft council, which have been juftly 
matter of great grief and much trouble to mealmoft ever fince, 
to wit. 

In the fit fi place I confefs, Sir, that I acled very immodeftly 
and abufively to you, as well as injurioufly to the church and 
myfelf, when with much zeal and unbecoming a durance, I 
moved the council that they would interpofe to filence and 
flop you in an adtlrefs you was making one morning to the 
people, wherein you was, if I do riot mifrernember, briefly 


Mr. J O N A T II A N E D W A R D S. 87 

exhorting them to a tender remembrance of the former affec 
tion and harmony that had long fubfifled between them and 
their reverend pallor, and the great comfort and profit which 
they had apprehended that they had received from his niinif- 
try ; for which, Sir, I heartily afk your forgivenefs ; arid I 
think, that we ought inftead of oppofing an exhortation of 
that nature, to have received it with all thankfulnefs. 

Another particular of my condu6i before that council, 
which I now apprehend was criminal, arid was owing to the 
want of that tender affeclion and reverend refpecl; and efteem 
for Mr. Edwards which he had highly merited of me, was my 
ilrenuoufly oppofing the adjournment of the matters fubmitted 
to that council, for about two months ; for which I declare 
myfelf unfeignedly forry ; and I with lhame remember, that 
I did it in a peremptory, decifive, vehement and veryimmodeft 

But, Sir, the mofl criminal part of my conducl at that time, 
ihat I am confcious of, was my exhibiting to that council a 
fet of arguments in writing, the drift whereof was to prove 
the reafonablenefs and neceffity of Mr. Edwards's difmiflioii 
in cafe no accommodation was then effefted with mutual con- 
fent ; which traftby clear implication contained fome fevere, 
uncharitable, and if I do not mifremember, groundlefs and 
llanderous imputations on Mr. Edwards, and exprefTed in 
bitter language ; and although the original draft thereof was 
not done by me, yet I foolifhly and finfully confented to 
copy it ; and as agent for the church, to read it and deliver 
it to the council, which I could never have done, if I had not 
had a wicked relilh for perverfe things : which conducl; of 
mine, I confefs was very finful : am perfuaded was highly 
provoking to God, and for which I am afhamed, confounded, 
and have nothing to anfwer. 

As to the church's remonflrance (as it was called) which their 
committee preferred to thelaft of faid councils, to all which I 
was confeming, and in the compofing whereof I was very 
aclive, as alfo in bringing the church to their vote upon it ; 
I would in the firft place only obferve, that I do not remem 
ber any thing in that fmall part of it which was plainly dif- 
curfive of the expediency of Mr. Edwards'? re-fettlement here 
as pallor to a part of the church, which was very exceptiona 
ble ; but as to all the refidue, which was much the greatelt 
part thereof (and I am pot certain that any part was wholly 

free 1 ! 

88 The LIFE of the Reverend 

free) it was every where larded with unchriflian bitteiTi'cfs,- 
farcaflical and unmannerly infmuations, contained divers direct 
grievous and criminal charges and allegations againit Mr. Ed 
wards ; which I have fmce good reaion to fuppofe were ail 
founded on jealous and uncharitable miftakes, and fo were 
realty grofe flanders, alfo many heavy and reproachful charges 
upon divers of Mr. Edwards's adherents, and fome fevereceri- 
fures of them all indifcriminaLeiy ; all of which (if not wholly 
falfe and groundlefs) yet were altogether unneceffary, and 
therefore highly criminal. Indeed I am fully convinced, 
that the whole of that compofure, excepting the fmail part 
thereof abovementioned, was totally unchriftian, a fcandalous, 
ahufive, injurious libel, againft: Mr. Edwards and his particular 
friends ; efpecially the former, and highly provoking and de- 
teftable in the fight of God ; for which I am heartily fony 
and afhamed ; and pray I may remember it with deep abafe- 
ment and penitence all my days. Nor do I now think that 
the church's conduct in refufmg to appear and attend before 
that council to fupport the charges and allegations in laid re- 
monftrance againfl Mr. Edwards and- (aid brethren, which they 
demanded, was ever vindicated by all the fubtle anfvvers that 
were given to faid demand; nor do I think that our conduct 
in that iniiance was capable of a defence, for it appears to me, 
that by making charges of fcandalous matters againft them be 
fore faid council, we neceilarily fo far gave that council jurif- 
diclion ; arid I own with forrow and regret, that 1 zealoufly 
endeavoured, that the church fhould perfeveringly refufe to 
appear before faid council for the purpofe abovefaid j which I 
humbly pray God to forgive. 

. Another part of my conduct, Sir, of which I have long re 
pented, and for which I hereby declare my hearty forrow, was 
my obftinate oppofition to the hft council's having any confer 
ence with the church ; which faid council earneftly and re 
peatedly moved for, and which the church finally denied (as 
you know.) I think it difcovered a great deal of pride and vain 
iuflieiency in the church, and (lie wed them to be very opinia- 
tive, efpecially the chief iticklers, one of whom I own I was, 
and think it was running a moil prefumptuous rifk, and atitfg 
the part of proud fcorners, for us to refufe hearing and candidly 
and ferioufly confideriiigwhat that council could fay or propofe 
to us ; among whom there were divers juftly in great reputa 
tion for grace and wifclom. 



In thefe inflances, Sir, of my condu8, and others (to which 
you was not privy) in the courfe of that moft melancholy con 
tention with Mr. Edwards, wherein I now fee that I was very 
much influenced by vaft pride, felf-fufficiency, ambition and 
vanity. I appear to myfelf vile, and doubtlefs much more fo 
to others who are more impartial ; and do in the review there 
of, abhor myfelf, and repent forely : and if my own heart con-^ 
demns me it behoves me folemnly to remember, that God is 
greater, and knoweth all things : and I hereby own, Sir, that 
inch treatment of Mr. Edwards, as is herein before mentioned, 
wherein I was fo deeply concerned and aclive, was particularly 
and very aggravatedly fmful and un grateful in me, becaufe I 
\vas not only under the common obligations of each individual 
of the fociety to him, as to a moft able, diligent and faithful 
paftor ; but I had alfo received many inftances of his tender- 
nefs, goodnefs, and generofity to me, as a young kinfman, 
whom he was difpofed to treat in a moft friendly manner. 

Indeed, Sir, I mnft own, that by my conduct in confulting 
and acling againft Mr. Edwards within the time of our moifc 
unhappy difputes with him, and efpecially in and about that 
abominable remonftrance I have fo far fymbolized with Bala 
am, Ahitophel and Judas, that I am confounded and filled 
with terror oftentimes when I attend to the moft painful firni- 

And I freely confefs, that on account of my conduct above- 
mentioned, I have the greateft reafon to tremble at thofe moft 
folemn and awful words of our Saviour, Matt, xviii. 6. and 
thofe in Luke x. at the i6th : and I am moft forely fenfible 
that nothing but that infinite grace and mercy which faved fome 
of the betrayers and murderers of our bleficd Lord, and the 
perfccutors of the martyrs, Can pardon me ; in which alone 
I hope for pardon, for the fake of Chrift, whofe blood (bleffeci 
be God) clearifeth from all fin. On the whole, Sir, I am con 
vinced, that 1 have the greateft reafon to fay as David, " Have 
" mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kiiuinefs, 
" according to the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out 
" my trangreiTions, warn me thoroughly from mine iniquity. 
" and cleanfe me from my fin ; for I acknowlege my tranfgrel- 
* fions, and my fin is ever before me : hide thy face from my 
fins, and blot out all mine iniquities : create in rne a c'ean 
heart, O God, and renew a right fpirit within me; caft rae 
M ** not- 


The L i F E .of the Reverend 

" not away from t|iy prefence, and take not thy holy fpirit 
'* from me. Keftore unto me the joy of thy falvation, and 
" uphold me with thy free fpirit." 

And I humbly apprehend that it greatly concerns the church 
of Northampton molt ierioufly to examine whether, the many 
hard fpeeches, fpoken by many particular members againlt 
their former parlor, fome of which the church really counte 
nanced, and efpecially rhofe fpoken by the church as a body, in 
that moft vile remoriftrance are not fo odious and ungodly, as 
to be utterly uncapable of defence ; and whether faid church 
.were not guilty of great fin in being fo willing and difpofed for 
fo flight a caufe, to part with fo faithful and godly a minifter 
as Mr. Edwards was. And whether ever God will hold us 
guiltlefs until we cry to him for Chrift's fake to pardon and 
fave us from that judgment which fuch ungodly deeds deferve, 
and publicly humble and take ihame to ourfelves therefor. And 
I moft heartily wiih and pray that the town and church of 
Northampton would ferioufly and carefully examine whether 
they have not abundant caufe to judge that they are now lying 
under great guilt in the fight of God : arid whether thofe of us 
who were .concerned in that moft awful contention with Mr. 
Edwards, can ever more reafonably expecl God's favor and 
blefTmg, until our eyes are opened, and we become thoroughly 
convinced that we have greatly provoked the moft High, and 
been injurious to one of the beft of men ; and until we IhaH 
be thoroughly convinced that we have dreadfully perfecuted 
Chrift by perfecutirig and vexing that juft man and fervant of 
Chrift ; until we {hail be humble as in the duft therefor, and 
until we openly in full terms, and without baulking the matter, 
confefs the fame before the world, and moft humbly and earn- 
eftly feek forgivenefs of God, and do what we can to honor 
the memory of Mr. Edwards, and clear it of all the afperfions 
which we unjuftly caft upon him ; fince God has been plealed 
to put it beyond our power to afk his forgivenefs. Such terms 
I am perfuaded the great and righteous God will hold us to, 
and that it will be in vain for us to hope to efcape with impu 
nity in any other way. This I am convinced of with regard 
to myfelf, and this way I moft folemnly propofe to take my- 
felf (if God in his mercy fhall give me opportunity) that fo by 
making free confeflion to God and man of my fin and guilt, 
and publicly taking fhame to myfelf therefor, I may give glory 



to the God of Ifrael, and do what in me lies, to clear the "me 
mory of that venerable man from the wrongs and injuries I was 
fo active in bringing on his reputation and character ; and I 
thank God that he has been plea fed to fpare my life and op 
portunity therefor to this time, and am forry that I have delay 
ed the affair fo long. 

"Although I made the fubflance of almoft all the foregoing 
reflexions in writing, but not exaftly in the fame manner to 
Mr. Edwards and the brethren who adhered to him, in Mr. 
Edwards's 1-ife, and before he removed from Stockbrit'ge, and 
I have reafon to believe that he, from his great candor and 
charity, heartily forgave me and prayed for me : yet becaufe 
that was not generally known, -1 look on myfelf obliged to take 
further fieps ; for while I kept filence, my bones waxed old,. 

For all thefe my great fins therefor, in the firft place, I 
humbly and rnoil earneftly alk forgivenefs of God ; "nextly, of 
the relatives and near friends of Mr. Edwards. I alfo afk the 
forgiveness of all thpfe who w ; ere called Mr. Edwards's adhe 
rents ; and of all the members of the ecclefiafHcal councils 
above mentioned.; and lad-ly, of all chriftiaix people, ; who have 
had any knowlege of the matters abovefaid, or any of them. 

I have no deiire, Sir, that you fhould make any fecret of 
this- letter; but defire you would communicate the fame to, 
whom you mall judge proper, and I purpofe (if God (hall give 
me opportunity) to procure it to be publifhed in foine one of 
the public news papers ; for I can not devife any other way of 
making known rny fentiments of the foregoing matters to all 
who ought to be acquainted therewith, and therefore I think I 
ought to do it, whatever remarks I may foiefee will be made 

Probably when it comes out, fome of my acquaintance will 
pronounce me quite over run with vapours ; others will be 
furnifhed with matter for mirth and pleafantry ; others will 
curforily pafs it over as relating to matters quite ftale ; but 
fome I am perfuaded will rejoice to fee me brought to a fenfe 
of my fin arid duty ; and 1 myfelf ihall be confcious that I have 
done fomething of what the nature of the cafe admits, towards 
undoing what is, and long has been, to my greateft remorfe 
and trouble that it was ever done. 

Sir, I defire that none would entertain a thought from my 
having fpoken refpeclfully of Mr. Edwards, that I am difaffecl- 


gs The L I F E of the Reverend 

ed to our prefent paftor ; for the very reverfe is true ; and I 
have a reverend efteern, real value, and hearty affection for him, 
and blefs God, that he has notwithftanding all our unworthU. 
nefs, .given us one to fucceed Mr, Edwards, who (as I have 
reafon to hope) is truly faithful. 

I conclude this long letter, by heartily defirjng your prayers, 
that my repentance of my fins above mentioned may be un 
feigned and genuine, and fuch as God in infinite mercy for 
Chrift's fake will accept : And I beg leave to fubfcribe myfelf, 

5jr, ypur real, though very unworthy fiiend, 
and obedient fervant, 



BRIDGE, ?<;, 

r lP H E Indian Million at Stockbridge (a town in the weftern 
JL part of the province of the Malfachufetts-Bay, fixty miles 
from Northampton) being vacant by the death of the late Reve 
rend Mr. Sergeant, the honored and reverend commiflioners for 
Indian affairs, in Bofton, who have the care and direction of it, 
applied to him, as the tnoft fuitable perfon they could think of 
tobetruft with that million. And he was at the fame time in^ 
vited by the inhabitants of Stockbridge ; and being advifed by 
the council, above mentioned, to accept of the invitation, he 
repaired to Stockbridge ; and was introduced and fixed as milTi,- 
onary to the Indians there by an ecclefiaftical council called for 
that purpofe, Auguft 8, 1751. 

When Mr. Edwards firft engaged in the miflion, there was 
a hopeful profpect of its being extenfively ferviceable, under his 
care and influence ; not only to that tribe of Indians which was 
fettled at Stockbridge, but among the Six Nations : fome of 
whom were coming to Stockbridge to fettle, and bring their 
own, and as many of their neighbours children as they could get ; 
fo be educated arid inftrudted there t For this end, a houfe fo 

a bpard- 


3 .boarding fchool, which was projected by Mr. Sergeant, was 
i're&ed on a tnu c .t ofland appropriated to that ufc by the Indi 
ans at Stockbridge : where the Indian children, male and fe 
male were to be educated, by being cloathed and fed, and inftruc- 
ted by proper perfbns in ufeful learning. And the boys to be 
learned husbandry or mechanic trades, and the girls all forts of 
woman's work. For the encouragement of which, fome gene 
rous fu'ofcriptions were made 1 both in England and America. 
And the great and general court of the province of the Mafia- 
chufetts-Bay, did much to promote the attain, and provided lands 
for the Mohocks to lettle on, who ihould incline to come. And 
the generous Mr. Hollis, to encourage the thing, ordered twen 
ty-four Indian children to be educated on the fame footing, whol 
ly at his coii. Alfo the fociety in London, for propagating the 
gofpel among the Indians in and about N^w-England, directed 
their cornmiilioners in Bofton to do confiderable towards this 

But partly by reafon of fome unhappy differences that took 
place among thofe who had the chief management of this affair 
at Stockbridge, of which a particular account would not ba 
proper in this place ; and partly by the war breaking out be 
tween England and France, which is generally very fatal to 
fuch affairs among Indians, this hopeful profpecl: came to 

Mr. Edwards's labours were attended with no remarkable 
vifible fuccels while at Stockbridge : though he performed the 
bufmefs of his million to the good acceptance of the inhabitants 
in general, both Englifh and Indians, and of the comimiffion- 
ers, who fupported him honorably, and confided very much in 
his judgment and wifdom in all matters relating to the million^ 

Stockbridge proved to Mr. Edwards a more quiet, and, on 
many accounts, a much more comfortable fituation than he 
was in before. It being fo much in one corner of the coun 
try, his time was not fo much taken up with company, as it 
was at Northampton, though many of his friends, from almoft 
all parts of the land, often made him pleafant and profitable 
vifits, And he had not fo much concern and trouble with 
other churches as he was obliged to have when at Northamp 
ton, by being frequently fought to for advice, and called to 
allifl in ecclcfiaftical councils. Here therefore he followed his 
' 'loved ftudy more clofely, and to better purpofe than ever. 
In thefe fix years he doubtlefs made fwifter advances in know- 
lege than ever before, and added :aore to his manufcripts than 
in apy fix years of his life. And 

<jl The LIFE of the Reverend 

And this was probably as ufeful a part of his life as any. 
For in this time he wrote the two la ft books that have been 
publiihed by him (of which a more particular account will be 
given hereafter) by which he, has doubtlefs greatly ferved the 
church of Chrift, and will be a bleffing to many thoufands yet 

Thus, after his uprightnefs and faithfulnefs had been fuffici- 
ently tried at Northampton, his kind rnafter provided for him 
a quiet retreat, which was rendered the more fweet by the pre 
ceding, ftorm ; and where he had a better opportunity to pur- 
file and finim the work God had for him to do. 


His being made PRESIDENT of NE .w-jE RSE Y 

ON the 24th of September, 1757, the Rev. Mr. Aaron 
. Burr, Prefident of New- Jerfey College, died. And at 
the next meeting of the Truflecs, Mr. Edwards was chofen 
his fucceiTor. The news of which was quite unexpected, and 
not a little furprizrng to him. He looked on himfelf in many 
refpecls fb unqualified for that bufmefs, that he wondered that 
gentlemen of fo good judgment, and fo well acquainted with 
him., as he knew fome of the Truftees were, mould think of 
hiJii -for that place. He had many objections in his own mind 
againft undertaking the bufinefs, both from his unfitnefs, arid 
his particular circumflances ; yet could not certainly determine 
that it was not his duty to accept. The following extraft of a 
letter which he wrote to the Truftees, will give the reader a 
view of his fentiments and exercifes on this occaiion, as well 
as of the great defigns he was deeply engaged in, and zealoufly 


Stockbriclge, \yth Ottober IJ^J' 
Reverend and Honored Gentlemen, 

I Was not a little furprized, on receiving the unexpected no 
tice of your having -made choice of me to fucked the late 

Prefidpnt Burr, as the head of NaiFau Hall.- 1 am much in 

doubt whether I am called to undertake the bufmefs, which 
you have done me the unmerited honor to choofe me for 
If fome regard may be had to my outward comfort, I might 
mention the many inconveniencies and great detriment, which 
muft be fuflained, by my removing with my numerous family, 
ib for from all the eilate I have in the world (without any prof- 
peel: of difpofing of it, under prefent circumttances, without 
lofing it, in great part) now when we have fcarcely got over 
the trouble and damage fuftairied by our removal from North 
ampton, and have but juft began to have our affairs in a com 
fortable fi (.nation for a fubfi Hence in this place ; and the ex- 
pence I muft immediately be at to put myfelf into circum- 
ftance tolerably comporting with the needful fupport of the 
honor of the office I am invited to ; which will not well con- 
fift with my ahility. But this is not my main objection : The 
chief difficulty in my mind, in the way of accepting this im 
portant and arduous office, are thefe two : Firft my own de 
fects, unfitting me. for fuch an undertaking, many of which are 
generally known ; befules other, which my own heart is con- 
Iciou? to. I have a confHtution in many refpecls peculiarly 
unhappy, attended with flaccid folids, vapid, fizy and fcarce 
fluids, and a low tide of fpirits ; often occafioning a kind of 
childifli weaknefs and contemptiblenefs of fpeech, prefence'aad 
demeanor ; with a difagreable dulnefs and fliffnefs, much un- 
fiting me for conversation, but more especially for the govern 
ment of a college. This poornefs of conflitution makes me 
fhrink at the thoughts of taking upon me, in the decline of 
life, fuch a new and great bufmefs, attended with fuch a mul 
tiplicity of cares, and requiring fuch a degree of afclivity, alert- 
nefs and fpirit of government ; cfpecially as fucceeding one, 
fo remarkably well qualified in thefe refpecls, giving occafiort 
to every one to remark the wide difference. I am alfo defi 
cient in fome parts of learning, particularly in Algebra, and 
the higher parts of Mathematics, and in the Greek daffies ; 
my Greek learning having been chiefly in the new teilamenr. 


96 J7ie LIFE of ths Reverend 

The other thing is this ; that my engaging in this buiintfs* 
will not well conlift, with thofe views, and that courfe of em 
ploy in my ftudy, which have long engaged, and fwallowed 
up my mind, and been the chief entertainment and delight of 
my life. 

And here, honored firs, (emboldened by the teftimony I have 
now received of your unmerited efleem, to rely on your can 
dor) I will with freedom open myfelf to you. 

My method of ftudy, from my firfl beginning the work of 
the miniilry, has been very much by writing; applying myfcif 
in this way, to improve every important hint ; purluing the 
clew to my utmoft, when any thing in reading, meditation or 
conversation, has been fuggefted to my mind, that feemed to 
promife light in any weighty point Thus penning what ap 
peared to me my heft thoughts, on innumerable fubjefts for 

juy own benefit. The longer I profecuted my itudies in 

this method, the more habitual it became, and the more plea- 
fant and profitable I found it. The further I travelled in this 
way, the more and wider the field opened, which has occafion- 
ed my laying out many things, in my mind, to do in this 
manner, if God mould fpare my life, which my heart hath 
been much upon : particularly many things againlt moft oi 
the prevailing errors of the prefent day, which I cannot with 
any patience fee maintained (to the utter fubverting of thegof- 
pel of Chrift) with fo high a hand, and fo long continued a 
triumph, with fo little controul, when it appears fo evident to 
me, that there is truly no foundation for any of this glorying 
and inCult. I have already publifhed fomething on one of the 
main points in difpute between the Arminians and Calvinifts : 
and have it in view, God willing. (as I have already fignified 
to the public) in like manner to confidcr all the other contro 
verted points, and have done much towards a preparation for 

it But befides thefe, I have had on my mind and heart 

(which I long ago began, not with any view to publication) a 
great work, which I call a Hi/lory of the Work of Redemption, 
a body of divinity in an entire new method, being thrown in 
to the form of an hiftory, confidering the affair of chriflian 
Theology, as the whole of it, in each part, {lands in reference- 
to the great work of redemption by Jefus Chrift ; which I fup- 
pofe is to be the grand defigti of all God's defigns, and the 
fummum and ultimum of all the divine operations and decrees ; 
particularly confidering all parts of the grand fcheme in there 


Mr. J O N A T H A N E D W A R D S. 97 

Iiiftorical order. The order of their e.xiftencc, or their being 
brought forth to view, in the courfe of divine difpenfations, 
or the wonderful leries of fucceflive a6ls arid events ; begin-' 
ning from eternity and descending from thence to the great 
work and fucceiTi've difpenfations of the infinitely wife God 
in time, confidering the ciiief events coming to pafs in the 
church of God, and revolutions in the world of mankind, af- 
fefting the irate of the church and the affair of redemption, 
which we have account of in hiftory or prophecy ; until at lad 
we come to the general refurreclion, laft judgment, and con- 
fummation of all things ; when it ihall be faid, It is done. I 
am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the. End. Concluding 
my work, with the confideration of that perfeft ftate of things, 

which mall be finally fettled, to lafl for eternity. This 

hiflory will be carried on with regard to all three worlds, Hea 
ven, Earth and Hell : confidering the connected, fucceffiva 
evems and alterations, in each fo far as the Scriptures give any 
light ; introducing all parts of diviiiity in that order which is 
inoft fcriptural and mod natural : which is a method which 
appears to me the molt beautiful and entertaining, wherein 
every divine doclrine, will appear to greateil advantage in the 
bri ritcit light, in the rnoft itriking manner, (hewing the ad 
mirable contexture and harmony of die whole. 

I have alfo for my own profit and entertainment, done much 
towards another great work, which I call the Harmony of the 
Old and Ne.w Teftament in three parts The firfi confidering 
the prophecies of the Meiiiah, his redemption and kingdom ; 
the evidences of their references to the Meffiah, &c. comparing 
them all one with another, demonftrating their agreement and 
true (cope and fenfe : alfo confidering all the various particulars 
wherein thefe prophecies have their exadl tuifilment ^ flawing 
the univerfal, precife, and admirable correlporidence bc-t,vcea 
predictions and events. The fecond part : Confidering tli 
types of the Old Telia .iiei if, (licwing the evidence of their beiftg 
intended as reprefentations of the great things of the goipcl ot 
Chrilt : and the agreement of the type with the antitype. Tlia 
third and great part 'cotifidering the harmony of the Old and 
New Teftament, as to dottrine and precept. In the courfe of 
this work, I find there will be occafion for an explanation of a 
very great part of the holy fcripture \ which may, in fuch a 
view bo explained in a method, which to in- the moit 


9$ Tlie LIFE of the Reverend 

entertaining and profitable, beft tending to lead the 'mind to 
a view of the true ipirit, defign, life and foul of the fcriptures, as 
well as to their proper ufe and improvement. 

I have alfo many other things in hand, in fome of which I 
have made great progrefs, which I will not trouble you with 
an account of. Someofthefe things, if divine providence fa 
vour, I mould be willing to attempt a publication of So 

far as I myfelf am able to judge of what talents I have, for 
bene&ting my fellow creatures by word, I think I can write 
better than I can fpeak. 

My heart is fo much in thefe (Indies, that I cannot find it 
in my heart to be willing to put myfelf into an incapacity to pur- 
iue them any more, in the future part of my life, to fuch a de 
gree as I muft, if I undertake to go through the fame courfe 
of employ, in the office of a prefident, that Mr. Burr did, in- 
fbru&ing in all the languages, and taking the whole care of the 
inftru&ion of one of the clafles in all parts of learning, befides 
his other labors. If I mould fee light to determine me to ac 
cept the place offered me, I fhould be willing to take upon me 
the work of a Prefident, fo far as it con fi its in the general in- 
fpeftion of the whole fociety and fubfervient to the'fchool, as 
to their order and methods of ftudy and inftruclion, aflifting 
myfelf in immediate inflruftion in the arts and fciences (as dif- 
cretion mould clire6l andfcoccafion ferve, and the flate of things 
require) efpecially the fenior clafs : and added to all mould be 
willing to do the whole work of a profeffor of divinity, in 
public and private leclures, propofmg queftions to be anfwered, 
and fome to be difcuffed in writing and free converfation, in 
meetings of graduates and others, appointed in proper ieafons 
foi thefe ends.-^r-It would be now out of my way, to fpend 
time,^n a conftant teaching of the languages ; unlefs it be the 
Hebrew tongue, which 1 fhould be willing to improve myfelf 
in, by inftrufting others. 

On the whole, I am much at a lofs, with refpeft to the 
way of my duty in this important affair : I am in doubt, 
whether if I (hould engage in it, I mould not do what both 
you and I fhould be forry for afterwards. Nevcrthelefs, I 
think the greatnefs of the affair, and the regard due to fo 
worthy and venerable a bocfy, as that of the Truftees of Naf- 
fau-Hafl, requires my taking the matter into ferious confidera- 
tion : And unlefs you fhould appear to be difcotiraged, by the 
things whichl have now reprefented,as to any further expectation 


Mr. J O N A T H A N E D W A R D S. 99 

from me, (hall proceed to afk advice, of fuch as I efleem moft 
wife, friendly and faithful ; if after the mind of the Commil- 
fioners in Boflon is known, it appears that they confent to 
leave me at liberty, with refpeft to the bufmefs they have im- 
ployed me in here." 

In this fufpence he determined to afk the advice of a num 
ber of gentlemen in the miniftry, on whofe judgment and 
friendship he could rely, and to al accordingly. Who upon 
his, and his people's deiire, met at Stockbridge, January 4, 
1758. And having heard Mr. Edwards's reprefentation of 
the matter, and what his people ha(- to fay by way of objection 
againit his removal, determined it was his duty to accept of 
the invitation to the prefidency of the college. 
i When they publtfhed their judgment and advice to Mr. 
Edwards and his people, he appeared uncommonly moved and 
affecled with it, and fell into tears on the occafiori ; which was 
very unufual for him, in the prefence of others : and foon af 
ter faid to the gentlemen, who had given their advice, that it 
was matter of -wonder to him, that they could fo eafily,asthey 
appeared to do, get over the objections he had made againft 
his removal, to be the head of a college ; which appeared great 
and weighty to him. But as he thought it his duty to be di- 
recled by their advice, he mould now endeavor cheerfully to 
undertake it, believing he was in the way of his duty. 

Accordingly, having had, by the application of the truflees 
of the college, the confent of the commifTioners to refign their 
miflion ; he girded up his loins, and fet .off from Stockbridge 
for Princeton in January. He left his family at Stockbridge, 
not to be removed until fpririg. He had two daughters at 
Princeton, Mrs. Burr, the widow of the late Prefident Burr, 
arid his oldeft daughter that was unmarried. 

His arrival at Princeton was to the great fatisfaftion and joy 
of the college. And indeed all the greateft friends to the col 
lege, and to the intereft of religion, were highly fatisfied and 
pleafed with the appointment of Mr. Edwards to the prefidency 
of that college, and had their hopes and expectations greatly 
raifed hereby. And his conefpondents and friends, and well- 
wifhers to the college in Scotland, greatly approved of it. 

The corporation met as foon as could be with convcnienc\\ 
after his arrival at the college, when he was by them fixed ia 
the president's chair. 


loo The LIFE of the Reverend 

While at Princeton, before his ficknefs, he preached in the 
college-hall from Sabbath to Sabbath, .to the great acceptance 
of the hearers : but did nothing as prefident, unlcfs it was to 
give out foine queftions in divinity to the fenior clafs, to be an- 
fwered before him ; each one having opportunity to ftudy and 
write what he thought proper upon them. When they 'came 
together to anfwer them, they found fo much entertainment 
and profit by it, efpecially by the light and inflation Mr. Ed 
wards communicated in what hefaid upon the queftions, when 
they had delivered what they had to fay, that they fpoke of it 
with the greateft i a tis faction and wonder. t 

During this time, Mr. Edwards fcemed to enjoy an uncom- 
itnon degree of the prefence of God. He told his daughters, 
he had had great exercife, concern and fear, relative to his eo'x 
gaging in that bufmefs ; but fmce it now Appeared, fo far as he 
could fee, that he was called of God to that place and work, 
lie did cheerfully devote himfelf to it, leaving hi in (elf and the 
event with God, to order what feemed to Him good. 

The Small-pox had now become very common in the coun 
try, and was then at Princeton, and likely, to fpread. And as 
Mr. Edwards had never had it, and inoculation was then pr&c- 
tifed with great fuccefs in thofe parts, he propofed to be inocu- 
Jated, if the phyfician ihould advife to it, and the corporation 
would give their confent. 

Accordingly, by the advice of the phyfician, and confent of 
the corporation, he was inoculated February 13. He had it 
favorably, and it was thought all clanger was over : But a fe- 
condary fever fet in ; and by reafon of a number of puftles in 
his throat, the obftru&ion was fuch, that the medicines necef- 
fary to ftanch the fever, could not be adminiflered. It there 
fore raged until it put an end to his life on the 22d of March 
37,58, in the ,5,5th year of his age. 

After he was fenfible that he fhouldnot fupvive that ficknefs, 
a little before his death, he called his daughter to him, who 
attended him in his ficknefs, and addreHed her in a few words, 
which were immediately taken down in writing, as near as 
could be recollected, and are as follows : 


" It feems to me 'to be the will of God that I muft fhortly 
" leave you ; therefore give rnv kindeft love to my dear wife, 
44 and tell her, that tile uncommon union, which has fo long 

" fubfiiled 

Mr. J O N A T H A X E D...W A R D S. O1 

** fubfifted between us, has been of fuch a. nature, as I truff is 
" fpiritual, and therefore -will continue forever : And 1 hope 
" Ihe fliall be fupported under fo great a trial, and fubmit cheer- 
" fully to the will of God. And as. to my children, You arc 
" now like to be left fatherlefs, which I hope will be an in- 
" you all to feek a Father, who will never fail you. 
" And as to my funeral, I.wouid have it to he like Mr. Burr's ; 
** and any additional Turn of money that might be expe61ed;tO' 
" be laid out that way, I difpofed of to charita- 
" bleufes." * 

He faid but very little in his ficknefs ; but was an admirable 
inftance of patience and refignation to the laft. Juft at the 
clofe of his life, as fome perfons, who flood by, arid expecled 
he would breathe his. lafl La a few minutes, were lamenting his 
death not only as a great frown on the college, but as having 
a dark afpecl on the intereft of religion in general ; to their 
furprize, not imagining that he heard, or would ever {peak 
another word, he laid, " TRUST IN GOD, AND YE 
NEE'b'NOT FEAR." Theie were his laft words. And 
what could have been more fuitable to the occahon ! And 
what need of more ! In thefe is as much matter of inftructi- 
on and fupport, as if he had wrote a volume. This is the only 
confolation to his bereaved friends, who are fenfible of the 
k)fs they, arid the church of Chrift havefuftained in his death ; 
God is allfiiffidcnt , andjnll has the care, cf ins church. 

He appeared to have the uninterrupted ufeof Iris reafon to 
the laft, and died with as much calmnefs and compofure, to 
all appearance, as that with which one goes to fleep. 


* Prefident Burr ordered en his death bed,' that- his funeral fhould 
not be attended with that pomp aad coil, by procuring and giving 
away a. great number of coilly rnourninefcarfs, &c. and theccnfump- 
tion of great quantities of fpirituous liquors; which is an extrava 
gance that is become toocuftomary in thofe parts, efpecially at the fu 
nerals of the great and the. rich : and that nothing fhould be expended 
hut what was agreeable to the dictates of chriitian decency. And 
that' the fum which mud be expended at a modijh funeral, over arid, 
above the neceifary coft of a decent one, fiiould be given to the poor, 
cut of his ellate. 

it is to be wifhed and hoped, that the laudable example cf thefe 
tv/o worthy Prefi dents, in which they bear their civ ing teftimony 
againft a praclicc fo unchriftiar, and of fuch bad tendency fo many 
wavs, will have {bme good eUcct. 

iu2 The LIFE of the Reverend 

The phyfician who .inoculated and conftantly attended him 
in his ficknefs, has the following words in his letter to Mrs. 
Edwards on this occafion : " Never did any mortal man more 
" fully arid clearly evidence the fincerity of all his profeflions, 
" by one continued, univerfal, calm,, cheerful refignation and 
" patient fubmiilioa to the divine will, through every ftage of 
*.* his diieafe, than he. Not fo much as one difcontented ex- 
" preffion, nor the leaft appearance of murmuring through the 
" .whole. And never did an)J pcrfon expire with more per- 
" feel freedom from pain '. not fo much as one diftorted hair; 
" but in the moil proper fenfe of the words, he really fell 
" afleep." 


_ , ; .: 

' I 


Containing an Account of his MANUSCRIPTS, and 
the BOOKS l publifaed by him. 

His MAN U S C R I P T S. 

MR. Edwards has left a great many volumes in manufcript, 
which he wrote in a miscellaneous way on almoftall fub- 
jects in divinity ; which he did, not with any defign they mould 
ever be publiihed in the form in which they are ; but for the fatis- 
faclion and improvement of his own mind, and thathemightre- 
tain thethoughts which appeared to him worth preferving. Some 
idea of theprogrefs he had made, and the materials he had col- 
letted in this way, he gives in the foregoing letter to the Truf- 
tees of NafTau-Hall. He has wrote much on the prophecies of 
the Mefliah, JuHification, the Divinity of Chrift, and the 
Eternity of Mell Torments. He wrote a great deal on the 
BiMe, in the fame way, by opening his thoughts on particular 
paflagcs of it, as they occurred to him in reading or meditati 
on ; by which he has caft much light, on many parts of the Bi 
ble, which has efcaped other interpreters. And by which his 
great and painful attention to the Bible, and making it the only 
rule of his faith, are rnanifeft. H 

Mr. J O N A T II A N E D W A R D 9. 103 

If the public was willing to be at the coft, and publiflung 
books of divinity met with as much encouragement now, as it 
has fometimes, there might be a number of volumes publimed 
from his manufcripts, which would afford a great deal of new 
light and entertainment to the church of Chrift : though they 
would be more imperfect, than if he himfelf had prepared them 
for public view. 

As the method he took to have his mifcellaneous writings in 
fuch order, as to be able with eafe to turn to any thing he had 
wrote upon a particular fubject, when he had occafiori, is per 
haps as good as any, if not the bell that has been propofed to 
the public ; fome account of it will here be given, as what 
may be of advantage to young ftudents, who have not yet gone 
into any method, and are difpofed to improve their minds by 

He numbered & his mifcellaneous writings. Thefirft thing 
he wrote is No. I, the fecond No. 2, and fo on. And when 
he had cccafion to write on any particular fubjecT:, he firft fet 
down the number, and then wrote the fubje& in capitals or large 
character, that it might not efcape his eye, when he mould have 
occafion to turn to it. As for inllance, if he was going to write 
on the happinefs of Angels, and his laft No. was 148, he would 
begin thus 149. ANGELS, their HAPPINESS. And when 
he had wrote what he defigned at that time on that fubject, he 
would turn to an alphabetical table which he kept, and under 
the letter A, he would write, Angels, their happinefs, if this 
was not already in his alphabet ; and then fet down the number, 
149, clofe at the right hand of it. And if he had occafion to 
write any new thoughts on this fame fubjecl ; if the number 
of his mifcellanies was increafed, fo that his laft number was 
261, he would fet down the number 262, and then the fubjecl, 
as before. And when he had done writing for that time, he 
turned to his table, to the word Angels ; and at the right hand 
of the number 149, fet down 162. By this means he had no 
occafion to leave any chafms : but began his next fubjecl where 
he left off his lath The number of "his mifcellaneous writings 
ranged in this manner, amounts to above 1400. And yet by a 
table contained on a fheet or two of paper, any thing he wrote. 
can be turned to, at pleafure. 


104 . The L I F E rf the Rcvertnil 



"V yJ"R. EDWARDS was greatly efteemed and famed as an 
iVJL AUTHOR, both in Europe and America. His pub 
lications naturally raifed in the reader of taile and judgment, 
an opinion of his greatnefs and piety. His books met with a 
good reception in Scotland efpecially, and procured him great 
efteern and applaufe there. A gentleman of note there for his 
Superior genius and talents, has the following words concern 
ing Mr. Edwards, in a letter to one of his correfpondents in 
America. *' I looked xm him as incomparably the gicateft 
divine and philofopher in Britain or her Colonies ; and re 
joiced that one fo eminently qualified for teaching divinity 
was choferi Prefident of New-Jerfey College," And in ano- 
ier letter the fame gentleman fays, " Ever fmce I was ac 
quainted with Mr. Edwards's writings, I have looked upon 
him as the greateft divine this age has produced. And a 
Rev. gentleman lately from Holland, fays, That Mr. Ed 
wards's writings, efpecially on the Freedom of the Will^ 
were hadingreatefteem there : that theprofelfors of the cele 
brated academy, prefented their compliments to Prefident 
Edwards. Several members of the claflis of Amfterdam 
gave their thanks, by him, to pious Mr. Edwards, for his 
jiiil obfervations on Mr. Brainerd's life ; which book was 
translated in Holland, and was highly approved of by the 
Univerfity of Utrea ." 
A brief account of what he publifhed is therefore here fub- 

A Sermon preached at Bofton, on i Cor. i. 29, 30, 31. 
with a preface by one of the miniilers of Bofion. 

A Sermon preached at Northampton, in the year 1734, 
from Math. xvi. 17, intitled, A divine and fupernatural Light 
immediately imparted to the foul by the Spirit of God. 

The Narrative which has been mentioned, wrote Nov. 6, 
1736, which was firft printed in*London, and recommended 
by'Dr. Watts, and Dr. Guyfe ; and had two editions there. 
And then it had another edition in Bofton, in the year 1738* 
recommended by four of the fenior Miniilers in Bofton. To 
which were prefixed five difcourfes on the following fubjecls. 

I. Juftifi- 

Mr. JONATHAN E D w A k s. 105 

I. Juftification by faith alone. II. Prefling into the king*. 
tloin of God. III. Ruth's refolution. IV. The juilice of 
God in the damnation of Sinners. V. The excellency ot 
Jefus Chrift. 

Delivered at Northampton, chiefly at the time of the won 
derful pouring out of the Spirit of God there. 

The difcourfe on Juftification by faith alone, may be re^- 
commended as one of the heft things that has been wrote oil 
lhat fubjeft ; fettirig this truth in a moft plain, fcripturalj and 
convincing light ; and as well worthy the careful perufal of all 
chriftians ; efpecially candidates for the miniftry. The other 
difcourfes are excellent, having much divinity in them, and 
lending above mod that are publimed, to awaken the confcience 
of the (inner, and indruct and quicken the chriftian. 

A Sermon preached at Enfield, July 8 1741, intitled, Sin 
ners in the hands of an angry God. Preached at a time o 
great awakenings there ; and attended with remarkable imprei- 
fions on many of the hearers. 

A Sermon on the dillinguifhing marks of a work of the 
Spirit of God, preached at New-Haven, Sept. 10, 1741, from 
i John iv. i. publifhed' with great enlargements. This was 
reprinted in Scotland. 

Some thoughts concerning the prefent revival of religion in 
New-England, and the way in which it ought to be acknow 
ledged and promoted, humbly offered to the public, in a trea* 
life on that fubjecl, in five parts. Published in the year 174*2. 
This had a fecond edition in Scotland. 

A treatife concerning religious arTeclions. Publifhed in 
the year 1746. Thefe three lafl have been mentioned before, 
with the particular occafion arid delign of their publication. 

A treatife intitlcd, An humble attempt to promote explicit 
agreement, and vifible union of God's people in extraordinary 
prayer, for the revival of religion, &c. Recommended by five 
of the principal minillcrs in Bofton. Publifhed in 1747. In 
which he (hews his great acquaintance with fcripturc, and his 
Attention to, and good undemanding of the prophetic part of 

An account of the life of the Rev. Mr. David Brainern, mini- 
fter of the gofpel an 1 miffionary to the Indians. &c. wfib re- 
flecUon^and obfe: vasions thereon. Publifhed in tlic year 1749. 

An cnquirv the qualifications for full communion ill 
ihe vifible cljLVich. Publiihed in the year 1^40, intendetl as 

O im 

io6 T/ie LIFE of ike Reverend 

an explanation and vindication of his principles in die matter, 
\vhich occafioned his difmiffionfrom Northampton. 

A reply to the Rev. Mr. William's anfwer to the foremen- 
tioned inquiry. Publifhed in the year 1752. 

A Sermon preached at Newark, before the Synod, Sept, 
28, 17,52, from Jam. ii. 19. irititled, True grace diftinguith- 
ed from the experience of Devils. 

A careful and ftricl: inquiry into the modern prevailing no 
tion of that freedom of will, which is fuppofed to be eifential 
to moral agency, &c. Publifhed in the year 1754. 
. This is juilly thought by good judges to be one of the grea- 
teft efforts of the human mind, that has appeared, at lealt in 
this century. In which the author mews that force and 
ilrength of mind, that judgment, penetration and accuracy of 
thought, that juftly.intitles him to the character of one of the 
greateft genius's of this age. This treatife doubtlefs goes fur 
ther towards fettling the main points in controverfy between 
Calviniils and Arminians, than any thing that has been wrote : 
he having herein abundantly demonflrated the chief principles 
on which Arminians build their whole fcheme, to be falfe and 
jnoft abfurd. Whenever therefore this book comes to be 
generally attended to, it will doubtlefs prove fatal to Armi- 
nian and Pelagian principles. This was reprinted in London, 
Anno 1762 : and has been introduced by the Rev. T. Clap, 
Prefident of Yale College, to be recited there by the Students. 

The great chriltian do&rine of Original Sin defended ; evi 
dences of its truth produced, and arguments to the contrary 
anfwered. Containing, in particular, a reply to the obje6lions 
and arguings of Dr. John Taylor, &c. Publifhed in the year 
17,58. This was in the prefs when he died. 

Befides thefe, he publifhed feveral Ordination Sermons, 
arjd fojie others, preached upon particular occasions. 


r - 

N D I X. 107 


Containing a brief ACCOUNT of Mrs. ESTHER 
BURR, and fame ExtraBs ^LETTERS wrote by her. 

MRS. BURR and her children were inoculated at the fame 
time her father was, and were recovered when he died. 
But alter Ihe was perfectly recovered to ail appearance, me was 
fuddenly ieized with a violent diforder, which carried her but of 
the world in a few clays : and which the phyfician (aid he could 
call by no name but that of a MtJJe.nger ftnt,fudd&nly to call 
her out oj the world. She died April 7, 1758, iixteen days af 
ter her father, in the 27th year of her age. She was married 
to Mr. Burr, June 29, 1752 ; by him me had two children, a 
fon and a daughter. 

Mrs. Burr exceeded mod of her fex in the beauty of her per- 
fon ; and in a decent and eaiy gefture, behaviour and conver- 
fation : not ftiir and (larch on the one hand, nor mean and in 
decent on the other, in her unaffected, natural freedom with 
perfons of all ranks, with whom me converfed. Her genius was 
much more than common. She had a lively, fprightly imagi 
nation, a quick and penetrating thought, and a good judgment. 
She had a peculiar imartnefs in her make and temper, which 
yet was confident with pleafantnefs and good nature : and ihe 
knew how to be pleafant and facetious without trefpailmg on 
the bounds of gravity, or ftri6t and ferious religion. In Ihort, 
file feemed to be formed to pleafe, and efpecialiy to pleafe one 
of Mr. Burr's tafle and talents, in whom he was exceeding hap 
py. But what crowned all .her excellencies, and was her chief 
glory, was her Religion. She was hopefully converted when 
Ihe was (even or eight years old ; and ihe made a public pro- 
feiiion of religion when (lie was about fifteen years of age ; and 
her converfation and conduct to her death, was exemplar) and as 
becometh godlinefs. Bi't as her religious feritiments and*cxer- 
cifes, will bell be underitood by thofe who were ftrangers to her^ 
by her own words ; the following extracts are made from letters 
which ihe wrote not long before her death. 


A P P E N D- I X. 

The following is an extract from a letter (he wrote to her 
mother, not long after Mr. Burr's death, dated at Princeton 
October 7, 1757. After giving Come account of Mr. Burr's 
death, and representing the fenfe (he had of the greatnefs of the 
lofs Ihe and her children had fuitained, me writes in the follow 
ing words : 

" TVJ O doubt, dear Madam, it will be fome comfort to you, 

.X^l to hear that God has not- utterly forfuken, although he 
has call down, I would fpeak it to the glory of God's name, 
that I think he has in an uncommon degree ditcovered hiinfjf 
to be an allfufficient God, a full fountain of all good. Al 
though all itreams were cut off', yet the fountain is left full. 

" I think I have been enabled to call my care upon him, and 
have found great peace and calm in my mind, iuch as this world 
cannot give, nor take. 

" I have had uncommon freedom, and nearnefs to the throne 
of grace. God has ieemed fenfibly near in fuch a fupporting and 
comforting manner, that I think I have never experienced the 

" God has helped me to review my pad and prefent mercies, 
with fome heart-affecting degree of thankfulncis. 

u I think God has given me fuch a fenfe of the vanity of the 
world, and uncertainty of all fublunary enjoyments, as I never 
had before. The world vaniihes out of my light. Heavenly 
and eternal things appear much more real and important than 
ever before, I feel myfelf to be under much greater obligati 
ons to be the I/ord's, than before this lore affliction- 

" The way of falvation by faith in Jefus Chrift has appeared 
more clear and excellent ; and I have been conf trained to ven 
ture my All upon Him ; and have found great peace of foul, in 
what I hope has been a&ings of faith. Some parts of the 
Pfalms have been very comforting and refrefhing to my foul. 

" I hope God has helped me to eye his hand in this awful 
difpenfation ; and to fee the infinite right he has to his own, 
and to difpofe of them as he pleafes. 

" Thus, dear Madam, I have given you fome broken hints 
of the exercifes and fupports of my mind, fince the death of 
HIM, v/hofe memory and example, will ever be precious to me 
as my own life. 

" O, dear Madam ! I doubt not but I have your, and my 
Jnonored father's prayers daily for me ; but give me leave to rn- 
treat you boi-i to requeil earneftly of the Lord, that I may never 
his ckaftenins, nor faint under this his fevcrc ttroke \ 


which I am fenfible there ig great danger of, if Gcd iheukl only 
dei.y me the flip-ports that he has hitherto gnidoully granted. 

* O, I am afraid I (liall conduct fo as to bring ditnonor on 
m\ God, and the religion which I profefs ! No, rather jet me 
die this moment, than be left to bring difhonor en God's holy 
)me 1 mutt conclude with once more 

1 am overcome 
begging, that as my dear parents remember themfelves, they 
would not forget their greatly afflicted daughter, (now a lonely 
widow) nor her fatherkfs children. 

" My duty to my ever dear and honored parents, love to 
rny brothers and fillers. From, 

Dear Madam, 
your dutiful and affectionate daughter, 


u To my ever honored Father. 

Princeton, November 2, 1757. 

" "\7OUR moft affectionate, comforting letter by my brother, 
JL was exceedingly refreihing to me, although I was fome- 
thing damped by hearing that I fliould not fee you until fpring. * 
But it is my comfort in this difappointment, as well as under 
all my affli6tions, that God knows what is belt for me, and for 
his own glory. Perhaps I lotted too much on the company 
and converfation of fucli a near and dear and affectionate father 
and guide. I can not doubt but all is for the beft, and I am 
fatisiied that God ihould order the affair of your removal as (hall 
be for his glory, whatever comes of me. 

" Since I wrote my mother's letter, God has carried me 
through new trials, and given me new fupports. My little fon 
has been lick with the flow fever, ever fince my brother left us, 
and has been brought to the brink of the grave. But I hope 
in mercy God is bringing him up again. I was enabled to re- 
iign the child (after a Icvere ftruggle with nature) with the greateft 


* When Mr. Edwards wrote the letter fhe refers to, he did not 
think of going to Princeton till fpring ; but he afterwards determined 
, aad went in January, as is before related. 

no A P P E N D I X. 

iireeciom. God fhewed me that the child was not my own, 
but his ; and that he had a right to recall what he had lent, 
whenever he thought fit ; and"l had no reafon to complain, 
or fay God was hard with me. This filenced me. 

" But O, how good is God ! He not only kept me from 
complaining, but comforted me by enabling me to offer up the 
child by faith, I think, if ever I acled faith. J faw the fulnefs 
there was in Chriftfor little infants, and his willingnefs to ac 
cept of iuch as were offered to him. " Suffer little children 
" to come unto me, and forbid them not ;" were comforting 

" God alfo (hewed me in fuch a lively manner, the fullnefs 
there was in himfelf of all fpiritual bleflings, that I faid, Al 
though all ftrflams were cut off, yet fo long as my God lives, 
I have enough. He enabled me to fay, " Although then flay 
*' me, yet will I truft in tbee." 

"* In this time of trial, 1 was led to enter into a renewed 
and explicit covenant with God, in a more folemn manner 
than ever before ; and with the greateft freedom and delight. 
After much felf-examination and prayer, I did give up myfelf 
and children to God, with my whole heart. Never until now, 
had I a fenfe of the privilege we are allowed in covenanting 
with God { This ai of foul left rny mind in a quiet and fteady 
trail in God. 

*' A few days after this, one evening, in talking of the glo 
rious ftate my dear departed hufband niufi be in, my foul was 
carried oat in fuch longing defires after this glorious flate, that 
I was forced to retire from the family to conceal my joy. 
When alone, I was fo tranfported, and my foul carried out in 
fach eager defires after perfection, arid the full enjoyment of 
God,' and to ferve him uninterruptedly, that I think my nature 
would not have borne much more. I think, dear Sir, I had 
that night a foretafte of heaven. This frame continued in forne 
good degree the whole night. I flept but little, and when I 
did, my dreams were all of heavenly and divine things. Fre 
quently fmce, I have felt the fame in kind, though not in de 
gree. Thus a kind and gracious God has been with me in fix 
troubles, and in {'even. 

" But O Sir, what caufeofdeep humiliation and abafe" 
merit of foul have I, on account of remaining corruption ; 
ivhich I fee working continually, efpecially pride ! O, how 
inany Oiapes doth pride cloke itfelf in ! 


A P P E N D I nt 

<: Satan is alfo bufy mooting his darts ; but, bleflc 
God, thofe temptations of his, that ufed to overthrow me, as 
yet, have not touched me. O, to he delivered from the power 
of fatan, as well as fin ! I can not help hoping the time is near. 
God is certainly fitting me for himfelf ; and when I thu.k it 
will be foon that I ihali be called hence, the thought is traa- 


Containing a Jhort Jlietck of Mrs. EDWARDS^ LIFE and 

MRS. Sarah Edwards, the amiable confort of Prefitknt 
Edwards, did not long furvive him. In September ihe 
fet out in good health on a journey to Philadelphia, to take 
care of her two orphan grandchildren, which were now in that 
city; and had been, fince the death of Mrs. Burr. As they 
had no relations in thofe parts, Mrs. Edwards propofed to take 
them into her own family. She arrived there by the way of 
Princeton, Sept. 21, in good health, having had a comfortable 
journey. But in a few days (he was fuddenly feized with a 
violent dyfentery, which put an end to her life on the fifth 
day, October 2, 1758, in the 49th year of her age. She 
faid not much in her ficknefs ; being exercifed moil of the time 
with violent pain. On the morning of the day ihe died, (he 
apprehended her death was near : when (he exprened her en 
tire refignation to God, and defire that God might be glorifi 
ed in all things ; and that (lie might be enabled to glorify him 
to the laft : and continued in fuch a temper, calm and refign- 
ed, till (he died. 

Her remains were carried to Princeton, which is about 40 
miles from Philadelphia, and depofited with Mr. EdwarrVs, 
Thus they who were in their lives remarkably lovely and plca- 
fant, in their death were not much divided. Here lie the fa 
ther and mother, the fon and daughter, who are laid together 
in the grave, within the fpace of a little more than a year, 
though a few months before their dwelling was more than ijo 
miles apart. Two prcfidcnts of the fame college, and their 


**3 A P P & N D I X. 

conforts, than whom it will doubtlefs be hard to find fouf 
perfons more valuable and ufeful ; in a few months are cat 
off from the earth forever ; and by a remarkable providence! 
are put, as it were, into one grave ! And we the furvivorsare 
left under the gloomy apprehenfion that thefe righteous are 
taken away from the evil to come ! 

Surely America is greatly emptied by thefe deaths ! How 
much knowledge, wifdomarld holinefs is gone from the earth 

forever ! And where are they who mall* make good their 

j i ' & 

ground . 

v Mrs. Edwards was born in New-Haven, in Connecticut, 
Jan. 9, 1709 10. Her father was the Rev. Mr. James 
Pierpoint, who was long an eminently godly and ufeful mirii- 
iier of the gofpel at New-Haven.* She was married to Mr. 
Edwards, July 20, 1727, in the i8th year of her age. 

Though Mrs. Edwards's full character will not be attempt 
ed here, yet it is thought proper to mention a few things, in 
which me excelled, and fet an example worthy the imitation 
of all. 

She remembered her creator in the days of her youth, and 
became truly and remarkably religious at about five years old. 
Was a more than ordinary beautiful perfon ; of a pleafant, 
agreeable countenance ; of an amiable, courteous converfaiion 
and behaviour : the law of kindnefs was in her tongue. 

She was eminent for her piety and experimental religion. 
Religious converfation was much her delight ; and this {he 
promoted in all companies as far as was proper and decent for 
her : and her difcourfe mewed her underilanding in divine 
things, and the great impreiTion they "had on her mind. The 
friends of true religion, and they who were ready to engage 
in religious converfation, and delighted in that which was rnoft 
eJTential and practical in true religion, were her peculiar 
friends and intimates. To whom me would open her mind 
freely, and tell them the exercifes of her own heart ; and 
what God had done for her foul, for their encouragement, 


* He was tlie cldeft fen of Mr. John Pierpoint of Roxrniry, 
came out o-f England. Her mother was Mrs. Mary Pierpoint, eldefc 
daughter of the Rev. Mr. Samuel Hooker, minitfer cf the gofpel 
at Farrnington, in Connecticut, and fon of the Rev. Mr. Thomas 
Hooker, once minifter of the gofpel y.t Hartford, and famous a A 
divine, through all the churches in New- England. 

A P 3? E & D i X, 113 

nd excitement in the ways of God. Her mind appeared, to 
them who were moft converfant with her, conRantly to attend 
to divine things, even on all occafions, aid in all bufinefs o 

The religious duties of the clofet, (he was a great friend to> 
and took much delight in them. She highly prized focial wor- 
fhip. Was wont to attend the private meetings for religious 
worlhip, which were kept up at Northampton, while Mr. Ed 
wards lived there. And'promoted and attended meetings o 
perfons of her own fex only, in order for prayer and religious 
tonverfation. She was a conilant attender on public worlhip ; 
land behaved with great gravity and ferioufnefs in, the houfe ct* 

She paid proper deference to Mr. Edwards, and treated 
him with decency and refpecl at all times. As he was of a 
weakly% infirm conftitution, and was peculiar and exact in his 
diet, (he was a. tender nurfe to hirh ; chearfully ai tending upon 
him at all times, and miniftenng to his comfort : and (pared 
no pains to conform to his inclinations, and make things agreea 
ble arid comfortable to him. 

She accounted it her greateft glory, aiid that where! m ih.j 
could bed ferve God ami her, generation, in being a means of 
promoting Mr. Edwards's comfort and ufcfulneis in this way. 
And no perfon of difcerning could be converfant in the family 
without obferving and admiring thc^reat harmony and mutual 
k>ve and elteern that fubfifted bctv/cc ? them. 

When (he herfelf laboured under bodily diforders and pains, 
Xvhich was often the cafe, (he was nor vvont to be i'ull if iiei' 
complaints, and put on a dejected or four coiuiiei \ance, bein;.; 
out of humour with every body and every thing, as in! e Was 
disregarded and negl<?6led : but. ilis wo::iii Dhre r.p under them 
with patience, and a kind of 6hterfuJne& and ^'^<\ hr.nic-.r;. 

She vvas a good o*c"onamift j managing her houiholcl ^ilaiif. 
with difcretion ; in which the was labosious and .'^i gent. S l ic 
was very careful that nothing iliould be wafted aiiJ ioir. And 
often, when (he did ar.y "! in^ to five a imaii lir^'c-:. <i r &itf&t- 
ed her children to do it in any io fiance, or faw ibe-i; *Va{t<! an) 
ihin r L>; : ihc would mention the words of oar Savio:ir : WhidH, 
ihe (aid, (he often thought of, as cout-iiiiinc; a myxitrj vvo1 r 
remembering : when, as the region why his difoipJefc ihcWfUl 
gatlier up the fragments, he favs, TkA, nothing bl /"//'. Si^e 
took ulmoii the whole care ot' the rc--.v,, a ili^u> -..^ \'. 


without doors and within : and in this {he \vas peculiarly fuit- 
ed to Mr. Ed wards 's difpofition, who chofe to have no care of 
any worldly bufmefs.. 

She had an excellent way of governing her children : fhe 
knCw how tomake them regard and obey her cheerfully without 
loud, angry words, or heavy blows. She feldom flruck her 
children a blow ; and in fpeaking to them ufed mild, gentle 
and pleafant words. If any correction was needful, it was not 
her manner to give it in a paflion. And when fhe had ccca- 
fion to reprove and rebuke, fhe would do it in few words, 
without heat and noife, with all calmnefs and gentlenefs of 
mind. And in her directions or reproofs, in any matters cf 
importance, fhe would addrcfs herfelf to the reafon of her 
children, that they might not only know her inclination and 
will, but at the fame time, be convinced of the reafonablenefs 
of it. She need fpeak but once ; fhe was cheerfully obeyed ; 
murmuring and anfwering again was not known among them. 
And the kind and gentle treatment they had from their mother, 
while (lie ftriclly and punftualy maintained her parental autho 
rity, feemed naturally to beget and promote a filial regard and 
refpeft ; and lead them to a mild, tender treatment of each 
other ; for qnarelling and contention, as it frequently takes 
place among children, was not known among them. She care 
fully obferved the fir ft appearances of refentment arid ill-will 
towards any, in her young children ; and did not connive at 
it and promote it, as many who have the care of children do, 
but was careful to (hew her difpleafure at it, at id fupprefs it to 
her utmofi : not by angry, wrathful words and blows, which 
often provoke children to wrath, and flir up and confirm their 
irafcible paflions, rather than abate and fupprefs them. 

As me was fenfible that in many refpecls, the chief care of 
forming children by government and inftruclion, naturally 
lies on mothers ; as they are molt with their children in their 
mofl pliable age, when they commonly receive impreffions by 
which they are very much formed for life : fo fhe was very 
careful to do her part in this important bufmefs. And when 
fiie met with any fpccial difficulty in this matter, or fore fa w 
any, fhe was wont to apply to Mr. Edwards for advice and 
afiifiance : and on fuch occafions they would both attend to it, 
as a matter of great importance. 

But this was not all, in which me cxprelTed her care for her 
children. She thought that parents had great and important 


A P P E N D.I- X. 115 

duty to do towards their children hefore they werecapable of 
government and in(lru6Hon. For them ihe conflarnly and 
earncltly prayed, arid bore them on her heart before God, in 
all her ibcretand moft Iblemn addrefles to him ; and that evert 
before they were born. . The evidence of her pregnancy, arid 
confederation, that it was with a rational, immortal creature, which 
came into exiilence in an undone, and infinitely dreadful ftaie, 
was fufiicient to lead her to bow before God daily for his blef- 
fiiig on it ; even redemption, and eternal life by Jefus Chrift. 
So that through all the pain, labour and forrow, which attend' 
ed her being mother of children, me was in travel for them, 
that they might be born of God by having Chriil formed in 

As the law of kindnefs was in her tongue, fo her hand* 
were not withheld from beneficence and charity. She was al 
ways a friend and patronefs of the poor and helplefs ; and 
much in acts of chanty, as well as recommending it to others 
on all proper occafions. 

She was remarkable for her kindnefs to her friends and vifi- 
tants, who reforted to Mr. Edwards's. She would ipare no 
pains to make them welcome, and provide for their conveni 
ence and comfort. And ihe was peculiarly kind to Grangers, 
who came to her houfe. She would take fuch kind and fpe- 
cial notice of fuch, and fo foon get acquainted with them, as 
it were, and (hew fuch regard and concern for their comfort,, 
and fo kindly offer what me thought they needed, as to difco-* 
ver me knew the heart of a flranger, and well underftood how 
to do it good ; and fo as to oblige them to feel in fame mea- 
fure as if they were at home. 

She made it her rule to fpeak well of all, fo far as me could 
with truth, and jurtice to herfelf and others. She was not 
wont to dwell with x delight on the imperfections and failings 
of any ; and when fhe heard perfons fpeaking ill of others, Ihe 
would fay what fhe thought fhe could with truth and juftice- 
in their excufe ; or divert the obloquy by mentioning thole 
things that were commendable in them. Thus fhe was tender 
of every one's character, even of theirs who injured and fpoke 
evil of her and carefully guarded againfl the too common 
vice of evil fpeaking and backbiting. She- could bear injuries 
and reproach with great calmnefs and patience, without any 8 
difpofition to render evil for evil ; but on the contrary, was, 
ready to pity and forgive thofe whq appeared to. be her enemies* 

ji6 A P P E N D I X, 

She had lorsg told her intimate friends that fhe had, after 
long ftruggles and exercifes, obtained, by God's grace, an ha-, 
bitual wiliingnefs to die herfelf, or part with any of her mod 
near relatives. That (he was willing to bring forth children 
for death j and refign up him whom fhe efteerned fo gieat a 
blefling to her and her family, her neareft partner, to the flroke 
<>f death, whenever God mould fee fit to take him. And when, 
fhe had the greaieft trial in the death of Mr. Edwards, fhe 
found the help and comfort <# fuch a difpofition. Her con-, 
verfation and conduel: on this occafion was even to the admira 
tion of her friends. It was fuch as discovered that me was fen-t 
fible of the great lofs, fhe and her children had fuftained in his 
death ; and at the fame time fhewed,, that {lie was quiet an4 
refigned, and had thofe invifible fupports and comfprts by 
which fhe could truft in God with quietnefs, hope and hunif 
ble joy. 

They lived together in the married ftate above thirty years. 
In which time they had eleven children ; all which are now 
living, except the fecpnd daughter, who died February, 14, 
1748, (of whom the public have fome accbunt in the life QI 
Mr. Brainerd, P. 2,51.) and their third daughter, Mrs. Burr, 
before mentioned ; and their youngeft daughter, named Eliza 
beth, who died fmce her parents, file furyiving children are 
three fons, and five daughters.$--SMt-fr.t--fr *-*- + 

f-j^i'f^S Y^Tf^^f ^^^ *^ * ^ 


T R E A T I S E 





Concerning the NATURE of the AFFEC 

i PETER i. 8. 

Whom having not [ten, ye. love ; in whom though now ye -fee 
him not, yet bditving, ye. rejoice with joy un/peakable., and 
full of glory. 

IN thefe words the apoftle reprefents the ftate of the mind 
of the Chriftians he wrote to, under the perfections they 
were then the fubjecls of. Thefe perfecutions are what 
he has refpeft to, in the two preceding verfes, when he 
fpeaks of the trial of their faith, and of their being in hea- 
vint/s through manifold temptations . 

Such trials are of threefold benefit to true religion. Here 
by the truth of it is manifcfted, and it appears to be indeed true 
religion: they, above all other things, have a tendency to di- 
ftinguifh between true religion and falfe, and to caufe the dif 
ference between them evidently to appear. Hence they are 
called by the name of trials, in the verfe next ly preceding the 
text, and in innumerable other places : they try the faith and 
religion of profeffors> of what fort it is, as apparent gold is 



tried in the fire, and manifefted, whether it be true gold or no. 
And the faith of true Chriftians being thus tried and proved to 
be true, is found to praife, and honour, and glory, as in that 
preceding verfe* 

And then, thefe trials are of further benefit to true religion ; 
they not only maniieft the truth of it, but they make its eenul 
ine beauty and amiablerufs remarkably to appear. True virtue 
never appears fo loVely, as when it is molt oppreffed : and tlid 
divine excellency of real Chrillianity, is never exhibited with 
fuch advantage, as when under the greateft trials.: then it is 
that true faith appears much more precious than gold ; and upon 
this account, is found to praife, and honour, and glory. 

And again, another benefit that fuch trials are of to true re 
ligion, is, that they purify and increafe it, They not only 
manifeft it to be true, but alfo tend to refine it, and deliver it 
from thofe mixtures of that which is falfe, which incumber and 
impede it ; that nothing may be left but that which is true. 
They tend to caufe the amiablenefs of true religion to appear to 
the beft advantage, as was before obferved ; and not only fo, but 
they tend to increafe its beauty, by eftablifhing and confirming 
it, and making it more lively and vigorous, and purifying it 
from thofe things that obfcured its luftre and glory. As gold 
that is tried in the fire, is purged from its alloy', and all" re 
mainders ot drofs, and comes forth more folid and beautiful j 
fo true faith being tried as gold is tried in the fire, becomes 
more precious ; and thus alfo is found unto praife, and honour, 
and glory. The upoftle feems to have refpe^Uo each of thefe 
benefits, that perfecutions are of to true religion, in the verfe 1 
preceding the text. 

And in the^texf, the apoflle obferves how true religion ope 
rated in the Chriilians he wrote to, under their per/editions, 
\vhercby thefe benefits of pedecution appeared in them ; or what 
manner of operation of true religion, in them, it was, whereby 
their religion, under pcrfecution, was maniielted to be trui 
religion, and eminently appeared in the genuine beauty and 
<r*2#me/j of true religion,, and alfo appeared to be intreafid 
and punj'icd, and fo was like to be found unto praife,, and ho* 
nour, and glory, at the appearing of Jcfus Chrift. ' And there 
were two kinds of operation, or exercife of true religion, in 
tfee& Usdtr their fullerings, that theapofile takes : iiotice of iu 
J-ht: text, v.-hcrein thcfe benefits appealed* 

1. Love 


!. L0V2 to C'k fifl\ Whom having net fan, yz love: The world 
Was ready to woj}cl$'r what Irraiigc principle it was, that influ 
enced them 10 expoie themfelves to io great fiiflerings-, to for- 
iake the tilings tha ! were ieen, ami renounce all that was dear 
and pleainnt, which \v;i.s the object of fenfe. They feemed to 
the men of the world about (hem, as though they were befrde 
themfelves, and to act as though they hated themfelves ; there 
\\ r as nothing in their view, that conld induce them thus to fuf"- 
fer, and fupport them under, and carry them through fuch 
trials. But although there was nothing that was feen, nothing 
that the world faw, or that the Chriflians themfelves ever faw 
with their bodily eyes, that thus influenced and fupported them, 
yet they had a fupoi natural principle of love to fomething 
*i.nfan~\ they loved Jefus Chrifr, for they faw him fpiritually, 
whom the world faw not, and whom they themfelves had 
never feen with bodily eyes. 

. Joy in Chri/l. Though their outward fufTerings xvere 
very grievous, yet their inward fpiritua! joys were greater than 
their fuflferings ; and thefe fupported them, and enabled them 
to fufFer with cheerfuhiefs. 

There are two things which the apoftle takes notice of in the 
text concerning this joy. i. The manner in \vhich it rifes, the 
way in which Ghrif), though tinfeen, is the foundation of it, 
viz. by faith ; winch is the evidence of tilings riot ieen ; //?. 
zuhom, though IWD ye fee him not, yt beJievJBff, yt re,joiqt.'~~* 
2. The s nature of this joy; unA^kahle^ a-ucljtii-of^iary. i'-;- 
fj:e<ikab!e in the kind of it ; very different ii-'^n worldly jovs, 
and carnal delights ; of a vaftly more pure, fubame. and heaven' v 
nature, 4^eing lomcthing Inpernatural, and iru'y divine, and io 
incflvihly excellent ; the iublimity and c-xquifne fweetnefs 01 
which, there were no words to fee forth. Urifpeakabie aifo 
in degree; it pleafmg God to give them this holy :oy, wit.l.: a 
liberal hand, and in large meafure, in their 11 ate of pei lo 

Their joy was fullofgloi ' ^h the jcy wasunrpe?';- 

able, and no words were mfiiciv:;;: to neici ibe it ; yet io'.ncth'iig 
might be faid of it, and no words more ;: ro reprefcnt it* 
excellency than theic, that it was/?/// of glory ; ^r, r,s it is in 
the original, glorified joy. In rejoicing with this jov, iheii 
minds uVre filled, as it werCj with a glorious brightncfs. and 
their natures exalted and perfected. It was a rn^ft wov. 


noble rejoicing, that did not corrupt and dehafe the mind, as 
many carnal joys do ; but did greatly beautify and dignify it ; 
it was a prelibatioa of the joy of heaven, that raifed their minds 
to a degree of heavenly bleffednefs ; it filled their minds with 
the light of God's glory, and made them themieives to Ihine 
with fome communication of that glory. 

Hence the propofition or doclrine, that I would raife from 
thefe words is this, 

DOCT. True, religion, in great part, conjijls in holy affec 

We fee that the apoftle, in obferving and remarking the 
operations and exercifes of religion, in the ChtifHans he wrote 
to, wherein their religion appeared to be true and of the rigflt 
kind, when it had its greater! trial of what fort it was, being- 
tried by perfecution as gold is tried in the tire, and when their 
religion not only proved true, but was moft pure, and cleanfed 
from its drofs and mixtures of that which was not true, and 
when religion appeared in them moft in its genuine excellency 
and native beauty, and was found to praife, and honour, and 
glory; he fmgles out the religions affeclions of love and joy, 
that were then in exercife in them : thefe are the exercifes of 
religion he takes notice of, wherein their religion did thus 
appear true and pure, and in its proper glory. 

Here I would, 

I. Shew what is intended by the afftBions. 

II. Obferve fome things which make it evident, that a great 
part of true religion lies in the affeclions. 

- 9 * 

I. It may be inquired, what the affeclioris of the mind are ? 

I anfwer, The affeftions are no other, than the more vigo 
rous and fenfible exercifes of the inclination and will of the 

God has endued the foul with two faculties : One is that by 
which it is capable of perception and fpeculation, or by which 
it difcerns, and views, and judges of things ; which is called 
the underflandiqg. The other faculty is that by which the foul 
does not merely perceive and view things, but is fome way 
inclined with refpecl to the things it views or confiders ; either 
is inclined to them, or is difinclined, and wettefrom them: or 
is the faculty by which the foul does not behold things, as an 



indifferent unaffected fpeclator, but either as liking or difliking, 
pleafed or difpleafecl, approving or rejecting. This faculty is 
called by various names : it is fometiraes called the inclination : 
and, as it has refpeft to the actions that are determined ai;d 
governed by it, is called the will: and the mind, with regard 
to the exercifes of this faculty, is often called the heart. 

The exercifes of this faculty are of two forts ; either thofe 
bv which the foul is carried out towards the things that are in 
view, in approving of them, being pleafed with them, and in 
clined to them ; or thofe in which the foul oppofcs the things 
that are in view, in disapproving them, arid in being difpleafed 
wuh them, averfe from them, and rejecting them. 

And as the exercifes of the inclination and will of the foul 
are various in their kinds t fo they are much more various in 
their degrees. There are fome exercifes of pleafednefs or dif- 
pleafednefs, inclination or di inclination, wherein the foul is 
carried but a little beyond a ftate of perfect indifference. And 
there are other degrees above this, wherein the approbation or 
diflike, pleafednefs or averfion, are ftrongcr ; \vhereinwe may 
rife higher and higher, till the foul comes to act vigoroufly and 
fenfibly, and the actings of the foul are with that ftrength, that 
(through the laws of the union which the Creator has fixed 
between foul and body) the motion of the blood and animal 
fpirits begins to be fenfibly altered ; whence oftentimes arifes fome 
bodily fenfation, efpeciaily about the heart and vitals, that arc 
the fountain of the fluids of the body : from whence it comes 
to pafs, that the mind, with regard to the exercifes of this faculty, 
perhaps in all nations and ages, is called the heart. And it is 
to be noted, that they are thcfe more vigorous and fenfibly 
exercifes of this faculty, that are called the affections. 

The will, and the ajfttlions of the foul, are not two faculties ; 
the affections are not effentially dirlin6l from the will, nor do 
they differ from the mere actings of the will and inclination of 
the foul, but only in the liveiinefs and fenfiblenefs of exercife. 
It muft he conleiled, that language is here fomewhat imper 
fect, and the meaning of words in a confiderable meafure loofe 
and unfixed, and not precifely limited by cuftom, which governs 
the ufe of language. In fome fenfe, the affection of the foul 
differs nothing at all from the will and inclination, and the 
will never is in any exercife any further than it is ajfi&ed ; it 
is not moved out of a .ftate of perfecl indifference, any other- 
wife than as it is afft&td one way or other, and acls nothing 
any further. But yet there are many actings of the will and 


T H E N A T U Px E OF Part I, 

inclination, that are not fo commonly called a tf'efiwxs : in every 
thing we do, wherein we act voluntarily, uiere is an excTcifb 
of the will and inclination, it is our inthn-iiion that governs us 
in our aftions : but all the aftings of the inclination and will, 
in all our common aHons of life, are not ordinarily called at'-. 
feclions. Yet, what are commonly called affections are not 
eflentially different from them, but only in the degree and 
manner of exerci'e. In every act of the will whatsoever, the 
ibul either likes or diflikes, is either inclined or difindinsd to 
what is in view : the(e are noi eilentially different from thoie 
affeclions of love and haired : that liking or inclination of the 
foul to a thing, if it be in a high degree, and be vigorous and 
lively, is the very fame thing with the affection of love ; and 
lhatdifliking and difmciining, if in a great degree, is the very 
iame with hatred. In every aft of the will jor 3 or towards 
iomethmg not prefent, the foul is in fame degree inclined to 
that thing ; and that inclination, if in a confideiabie degree, 
is the very fame with the affection of And in every 
decree of the acl of the will, wherein the foul approves of 
fomething prefent, there is a degree of pleafcciaefs ; and that 
pleafecinefs, if it be in a confiderable degree, is the very farce 
\vith the affection of joy or delight. And if the vvill difap- 
provesof what is prefent, the foul is in fonie degree difpleafed, 
and if that difpleafednefs be great, it is the very fame with the 
fiffetuon of grief QT Jorrozc. 

Such feems to be our nature, and fcch the laws of the union 
of foul and body, that there never is in any cafe wbatfoever, 
any lively and vigorous exerci-fe of the will or inclination of the 
foul, wiihput fome effecl upon the body, in fome alteration of 
the motion of iis fluids, and efpecially af the animal ipiriis. 
And on tiie other hand, from the fan: lav/s of the union ^f 
foul and body, (he coniiituiion of the body, ai:d the motion of 
its fluids, ruay promote the cxercife of the affections. But yet, 
it is not the bpdv, but the mind otdy, that is the proper feat of 
ihe affeSjons. The body of is no more capable of being 
really the fuhjeci <>f lovg or hatred, joy or forrcw, fear or hope, 
ihan tb.e bo^y of a tree, or than the fame body of man is capable 
Ki" thinking aijd undedlanding. As it is the foul only that 
lias ideas, fo it is the foul only tK : -.-: is p'eafed or difpleaicd 
^vi'Ii its ideas. As it is the foul only t!i:;t thinks, fo it is 
only ih-it l-jves or bates, rejoices or isgvu:vcd LJ: v!i;it 
Nor a;.c tbele liiotipws of the animal fiiiius, 


and fluids of the boJv, any thing properly belonging to the 
nature of the affections ; though they always accompany them, 
in the prei'ent Itate ; bat are only eflecis oc concomir-inis or 
ihe affections, that are entirely diilin6i from the affections 
jhemfeives, and no way eiiential to them ; fo that an unbodied 
fpirit may be as capable of love and haired, joy or for row, 
hope or fear, or other affections, as one that is united to a body. 

The affettims and paffiotu are frequently fpokcn of as the 
fame ; and yet, in the mure common ufe of ipeech, there'is in 
fome refpect a d .{Terence ; and affefhen is a word, that in iis 
ordinary ligmiicution, ieems to be fomething more extenfive 
than pxjjion, being ufed for all vigorous lively actings of the will 
or inclination ; but pai'ion for thofe that are more ludden, and 
whofe effects on the animal fpirits are more violent, and the 
mind more overpowered, and lefs in its own command. 

As all the exercifes of the inclination and will, are cither in 
approving and liking, or difapproving and rejecting; fo the 
affections are of two forts ; they are thofe by which the foul 
is carried out to what is in view, cleaving to it, or foei&ng it ; 
or thofe by which it is aveife fro.n it, and oppojes it. 

Of the former fort are love, dejirs, hope, joy, gratitude, com 
placence. Of the latter kind, are hatred, fear, anger, grief, 
and fuch like ; which it is needlefs now to Hand particularly 
to define. 

And there are fome affections wherein there is a composition 
of each of the aforementioned kinds of actings of the will ; as 
in the effcction of pity, there is fomething of the former kind, 
towards the perfon fluTering, and foniething of the latter, to 
wards what he faffers. And fo in zeal, there is in it high 
approbation of fome perfon or thing, together with vigorous 
opi)o/ition to what is conceived to be contrary to it. 

There are other mixed affections that might be alfo men 
tioned, but I hailen to 

II. The fecond thing propofed, which was, to obferve fome 
things that render it evident, that true religion, in great parr, 
confills in the affections. And here, 

i. What has been laid of the nature of the aflFeclions, makes 
this evident, and may be fufiicient, without adding any thing 
further, 10 put this matter out of doubt : for who will deny that 
true religion confifis in a great meafurc, in vigorous a:ic! lively 
actings of the indiiialic-ii and rrz// of the foul, or the iervcat 
fix^rcifes oi ' \x\^htaii ? 1'lidt 


That religion which God requires, and will accept, does not 
confift in weak, dull, and lifelefs wouldings, raifmg us but a 
little above a ftate of indifference : God, in his word, greatly 
infifts upon it, that we be in good earnerl, fervent in /bint, 
and our hearts vigorouily, engaged in religion ; Rom. xii. n. 
.' Be ye fervent in fpirit, ferving the Lord." Deut. x. 12. 
" And now Ifrael, what doth the Lord thy God require of 
' thce, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways,, 
' and to love him, and to ferve the Lord thy God with ail 
" thy heart, and with all thy foul ?" And chap. vi. 4, 5. 
" Hear, O Ifrael, the Lord our God is one Lord : and thou 
u frmlt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all 
** thy foul, and with all thy might." It is fuch a fervent, vigor 
ous en gaged nefs of the heart in religion, that is the fruit of a 
real circumcifion of the heart, or true regeneration, and that 
has the promifes of life ; Deut. xxx. 6. " And the Lord thy 
" God will circumcife thine heart, and the heart of thy feed, 
" to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all 
** thy foul, that thou mayft live." 

If we be not in good earned in religion, and our wills and 
inclinations be not ftrongly exercifed, we are nothing. The 
things of: religion are fo great, that there can be no fuitable- 
nefs in the exercifes of our hearts, to their nature and impor 
tance, unlefs they be lively and powerful. In nothing is vigour 
in the aftings of our inclinations fo requifite, as in religion ; 
anl in nothing is lukewarmnefs fo odious. True religion is 
evermore a powerful thing ; and the power of it appears, in the 
fir ft place, in the inward exercifes of it in the heart, where is 
the principal and original feat of it. Hence true religion is 
called the power ofgodli.nefs, in diftinclion from the external 
appearances of it, that are the form of it, 2 Tim. iii. 5. " Hav- 
" ing a form of godlinefs, but denying, the power of it." The 
Spirit of God, in thofe that have found and folid religion, is a 
fpirit of powerful holy affection ; and therefore, God is faid to 
have given them the. Spirit of power, and of love, and of a found 
mind, 2 Tim. i. 7, And fuch, when they receive the Spirit of 
God, in his fanciifving and faving influences, are faid to be 
baptized with the. Holv Gknft, and with fire ; by reafon of the 
power and fervour of thofe exercifes the Spirit of God excites 
in their near s, whereby their hearts, when grace is in exercife,. 
may be faid to burn within them ; as is faid of the difi?ipl-es fc 
.Luke xxiv. 32. 



The bufmefs of religion is, from time to time, compared to 
thofe exercifes, wherein men are wont to have their hearts 
and Itrength greatly exercifed and engaged ; fuch as running, 
xvreflling, or agonizing for a great prize or crown, and fight 
ing with ftrong enemies that leek our lives, and warring as 
thofe that by violence take a city or kingdom. 

And though true grace has various degrees, and there are 
fome that are but babes in Chrift, in whom the exercife of the 
inclination and will towards divine and heavenly things, is 
comparatively weak ; yet every one that has the power ofgod- 
linefs in his heart, has his inclinations and heart exercifed to 
wards God a*nd divine things, with fuch flrength and vigour, 
that thefe holy exercifes do prevail in him above all carnal or 
natural affections, and are effectual to overcome them : for 
every true difciple of Chrilt, loves him above father or mother, 
wife and children, brethren and fifters, houjes and lands ; yea, 
than-his own life.. From hence it follows, that where-ever true 
religion is, there are vigorous exercifes of the inclination and 
will towards divine objefts : but by what was faid before, the 
vigorous, lively, and fenfible exercifes of the will, are no other 
than the affections of the foul. 

2. The Author of the human nature has not only given af- 
feftions to men, but has made them very much the fpring of 
mens attions. As the affections do not only neceffarily belong 
to the human nature, but are a very great part of it ; fo (inaf- 
much as by regeneration, perfons are renewed in the whole 
man, and fanftified throughout) holy affections do not only ne- 
ceffarily belong to true religion, but are a very great part of 
that. And as true religion is of a practical nature, and God 
hath fo conftituted the human nature, that the affections arc 
very much the fpring of mens actions, this alfo fhews, that true 
religion muft confift very much in the affections. 

Such is man's nature, that he is very unaclive, any otherwife 
than he is influenced by fome affection, either love or hatred, 
drfire, hope, fear, or fome other. Thefe affections we fee to 
he the fprings that fet men a-going, in all the affairs of life, and 
engage them in all their purfuits : thefe are the things that put. 
men forward, and carry them along, in all their worldly bufmefs ; 
and efpecially are men excited and animated by thefe, in all 
affairs, wherein they are earneflly engaged, and which they purfue 
with vigor. We fee the world of mankind to be exceeding 



Part L 

.b-rfyandaaive; and the afieaions of men are t!,e fpring, of 
all to and Hatred, al! *#><: andSr 

ke away a 

, d aomte,^, and the world -.vould 
g KS meafm-e, piotionlofs and dead; there wor.M be 
ro'fuch thing as aaivity amongft mankind, or any earr.cft 
n -rfuit whatfoever. It is affection that engages tnc covetous 
r'a" a" d h'rn that is greedy of worldly grphts, in his purluits ; 
r-f!' is by the aflWVions, that the ambitious man is put ior- 
w"-d ft his of worldly glory; and it is the etfeAions 
SS that aauate the voluptuous man, in his purfuit of pieafura 
and fsnfaal delights: the world continues, from ace ; to age, m 
coannnal commotion and agitation, m a purfuit of tr.efc 
hings" but take away all aiRflion, and the pnng of all h| 
rnotion would be gone, and the motion irfeli would ccsk-. 
A-d as in worldly things, worldly aflea^ons are very much me 
-S of mens niotion and aftioa ;. fo ip. religious^tters the 
fprin? of their aflions are very much religious arr f a,on. 
that has doarinal knowledge and fpeculaf.on only, without 
aiFeaion, never is engaged in the budnefs ot reugioa. 

, Nothine is more manifcft in fail, than that the things of 
rthVion take'hoW of mens, no further than they a^a 
em There are multitudes that often hear the word of G. 'A, 
thewn hear of thofe things that are infinitely great and ,m- 
t and that moil nearly concern them, and all that :s r.card 
' ftobe wholly incffcaual upon them, and to make no 
ation in their difpofition or behaviour ; and the re^on is, 
ae not afF t aed with what they hear There arc many 
V ten hear of the glorious perfeftions of God, Ins a.mighty 
and boundlcfs wifdom, his infinite majdty, and that no- 
ofGod, by which he. is of purer eves than tobchoid w.l, 
cannS uJ on iniquity, and the heavens are not pure m 

= cann , 

i, fiaht, aad oi God's infinite goodnefs and mercy, ano htar 
of t? Veat works of God's wifdom, power and goodnefs, 
Whemin there appear the admirable mamfeftations of thefe 

^V commands of God, and his graces co-ngs and 
i- 'and tlv- tweet invitations ot tne gofpel ; 1 ^y-they 
fear thrf, limigs. and yet amain as they e brlA 

J N HOLY A F F E C t I O tf S. 12cj[ 

I no fenfible alterations on them, either in heart or practice, 
.ufc they are not affected with what they hear ; and ever 
will be fo till they are affected. I am bold to aflert, that there 
never was any conliderable change wfroifght in the mind or con- 
veriation of any one pcrfon, by any thing of a religions nature, 
that ever he read, heard or Ihw, that trad not his aife&ion.s 
moved* Never was a nature I man engaged earneitly to leek: 
his falvation ; never were any fuch brought to cry after wiidorn, 
and lift up their voice for underilanding, and to wrellle with 
God in prayer for mercy ; and never was one humbled, and 
brought: to the foot of God, from any tiling that ever he heard 
c>r imagined of his own unwortliinefs and defervings of God's 1 ' 
diiplealure ; nor was ever one induced to fly for refuge unto 
Chriil, while his heart remained unuiiected. Nor was there; 
ever a faint awakened out of a cold, lifekfs frame, or recovered 
from a declining irate in religion, and brought back from a la 
mentable departure from God, without having his heart. affec 
ted. And, in a word, there never wns any thing; confiderable 
fejuugnt to pafs in the heart or lire of any man living, by 
tilings cf religion, iUat had not his heart deeply aifectccl by thbfe 

4.. I ne r.oi-/ icriptiires do every where place rciigiuii ,,.. v , 
much in the affections ; fuc.h as fear, hope, love, hatred, dc-Irj, 
jov, foirow, gratitude, compaifion, aad zeal. 

The fcriptures place much of religion in godly fear ; info- 
much that it is often fpoken of as the character of thoie 
are truly religious pcrffonn, that they trcinbU at God*s zootcl, 
that they fear be. fore, idm, that their J!&fk ircmlLs for fear of 
him, and lhat ikty art afraid of his jitagm;'i;ts> that his excel* 
i-racy wakes them aj raid, a>id Ins dread fcdls ujj-jn them ; and 
the like: and a conip-Hution commonly given the faint- i ' 
{capture, is, fearers of(tod t or ,'/Jv f hat fear the Lo>d. And 
becaufe the fturofGod is a great part of true gocllinef?, hence' 
true gocilinds in general, is very commonly called by the mine* 
of the f tar of God \ as every one knovrs, that knows any thing 
of the Bible. 

So hope in God and in (lie prornifes of his word, is often.. 

l^oken of in fhe fcripture, a a i^iy confiderable part of true 

rdr.rioi:. It is mentioned as one of the three great things < f 

whicii religion coniiils, i Cor, xiii. 13. Hope in the Lord is 

nil') itly mentioned 'as the chancier of the faints : PfaL 

[iapp] - heithat feaihtht : <^ 'b for h 

R * 

*3a R E L. I G I O N CONSISTS M U 'C H Part L 

'' whofe hope, is in the Lord his God." Jer. xvii. 7. " Blejffefl is 
" the man that trufteth in the Lojd,and whofe hope the Lord is." 
Pfal. xxx i. 24. " Be of good.courage, and he fball ttrengthen your 
" heart, all ye that hope in the Lord." And the like in many 
other places. Religious fear and hope are, once and again, joined 
together, as jointly confiitutmg the character of the true faints; 
lYiil. xxxiii. 1 8. " Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them 
" that -fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy/' Pfal. 
cxlvii. ii. " The Lord taketh pleafure in them ih-dtjear him,. 
" in thole that hope in his mercy." Hope is fo great a part of 
true religion, that the apoftle fays " we are laved by hope." Rom. 
viii. 24. And this is ipoken of as the helmet of the Chriftian* 
foidier, i Their, v. 8. " And for an helmet, the hope of falva-. 
tion ," and the fare and ftedfaft anchor of the foul, which pre- 
ferves it from being caft away by the florins of this evil \vorld, 
Heb. vi. 19. "Which hope we have as an anchor of the foul, 
" both lure and fleclfaft, and which cntereth into that within the 
" vail." It is fpoken of *o * greut. fruit ond benefit which 
true faints receive by ChrhTs returreclion, I Pet. i. 3. l * Bk.Tocl 
*V be the God and Father of our Lord Jefus Chrift, which 
*' accordini; to his abundant mercy, hath begotten us again unto 
" a lively hope, bv the-^fujW-non of jefus Chrifl from the 


Tlie fcriptut-cs place religion \-cry much in the afTcclion of 
lova, in love to God, and the Lord Jefus Chriir, and love to 
the people of God, and to mankind. The texts in which this 
is .-manii^ft, both in the Old Teilament and New, are innume 
rable. I3ut of this more afterwards. 

-...The contrary.n.icction of hatred alfo, as having fin for its 
object, is fpoki.-n oi in fciipture, as no inconlidcrable part of 
true religion. It is fpoken of as that by which true religion 
may be known and diiiinguimed, Prov. viii. i?,. " The fear 
" of the Lord is to hate evil." And accordingly the faints are 
called upon to give evidence of their fincerity by this, Pfal. xcvii. 
jo. " Ye that love the Lord, hate evil." And the pfalmiit 
often mentions it as an evidence of his fincerity ; Pfal. ci. 2, 3. 
" I will walk within my houfe with a perfect heart. I will 
" fet no wicked thing before mine eyes : I hate the work of 
" them that turn aiide." Pfal. cxix. 104. " I hate every falfe 
" way." So verf. 128. Again Pfal. cxxxix. 21. " Do I not 
' hate them, O Lord, that hate thee ? 

So holy defire, exercifed in longings, hungerings, and thirft- 
ings after God and hoiinefs, is often mentioned in fcripture as 



an important part of true religion; If. xxvi. 8. "The dcfire 
" of our foul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee." 
Pfai. xxvii. 4. " One thing have I defned of the Lord, and 
" and that will I feek after, that I may dwell in the houfe of 
" the Lord ail the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the 
" Lord, and to inquire in his temple." Pial. xlii. i, 2. " As 
" the hart panteth after the water-brooks, fo panteth my foul 
" after thee, O God, my foul thirtieth for God, for the living 
" God : when (hall I come and appear before God?" Pfal. 
Ixiii. i, 2. "My foul thirfleth for thee, my flefh longeth for 
" thee in a dry and thirfty land, where no water is : to fee thy 
" power and thy glory, fo as I have feen thee in the fanftua- 
*' ry." Pfal. Ixxxiv. 1,2. " How amiable are thy tabernacles, 
'* O Lord, of hofts ! Mv foul longeth, yea, even fainteth for 
" the courts of the Lord : my heart and my fielh crieth out 
" for the living God." Pfal. cxix. 20. " My foul breaketh 
" for the longing that it hath un'o thy judgments at all times." 
So Pfal. Ixxiii. 25. and cxliii. 6, 7. and cxxx. 6. Cant. iii. i, 
2. and vi. 8. Such a holy delire and thirit of foul is mention 
ed, as one of thofe great tilings which renders or denotes a man 
truly bSelied, in the' beginning of Chrift's fermonon the mount, 
Matt. v. 6. " Bleffed are they that do hunger and thirft after 
*' right eoufnefs : for tiiey (hail be filled/' And this holy thirft 
is fpoken of, as a great thing in the condition of a participa 
tion of the blefTings c" eternal life, Revv xx. 6. "I will give 
" unto him that is at :rjl, of the fountain of the water of life 
" freely." 

The fcripturcF fpcak of holy joy, as a great part of true reli 
gion. So it is reprefented in the text. Aud as an important 
part of religion, it is often exhorted to, and prefTed, with great 
earneftnefs; Pfal. xxxvii. 4. "Delight thyfelf in the Lord ; 
" and he (hall give thee thedefircsof thinebeart." Pfal.xcviL 
12. " Pvcjoice in the Lord, ye righteous." So Pfal. xxxiii. i. 
" Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous." Matt. v. 12. " Re- 
" joice and be exceeding glad." Phil. i.i. i. " Finally, bre- 
*' thren, rejoice in the Lord." And chap. iv. 4. " Rejoice in 
" the Lord alway : and again I f.-iy, Rejoice." i TheiT. v; 16. 
" Rejoice evermore." Pfal. cxlix. 2. wi Let Ifrael rejoice in 
' him that made him : let the children of Zion be joyful in 
** their King." This is mentioned among the principal fruits 
of the fyirii of grace, Gal, v. 22. " Tue fruit of ihe Spirit i& 

" love 


M love, joy, ckc. The pfalmift mentions his holy joy, as an 
evidence of his fincerity, Pfal. cxix. 14. "1 have rejoiced in 
" the way of thy teftimonies, as much as in ail riches." 

Rehgious farrow, mourning, and brokennefs of heart, arc 
alfo frequently fpoken of as a gieat part of true religion. Thefe 
things are often mentioned as dill inguiihing qualities of the 
true faints, and a great part of their character ; Matth. v. 4, 
*' Bleffed are they that mourn ; ior they fhaSl he comforted.'* 
Pfal. xxxiv. 18. ** The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a 
44 hroken heart : and faveth fuch as be of a contrite fpirit." 
.If. Ixi. i, 2. "The Lord hath anointed me+-?o hind up ihe 
** broken-hearted, to comfort all that mourn." This godly 
forrow and brokennefs of heart is often fpoken of, not only as 
a great thing in the diftinguilhirig character of the faints, but 
that in them, which is pcculiatly acceptable and pleating to 
God ; Pfal. li. 17. " The facrifices of God area broken fpirit : 
41 a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not defpife.'* 
If. Ivii. i^. " Thus faith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth 
*' eternity, whofe name is holy, I dwell in the high and holy 
*' place ; with him alfo that is of a contrite and humble fpirit, 
4 ' to revive the fpirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of 
the contrite ones." Chap. Ixvi. 2. " To this man will I look, 
44 even to him that is poor and of a contrite fpirit. 

Another affccl ion often mentioned, as that in the exercifeof 
which much o\ true religion appears, is gratitude ; efpecially as 
exercifed in thfcnkfulnefs and praife to God. This being fa 
much fpoken oi in the book of Pfalms, and other parts of the 
holy fcriptures, I need not mention particular, texts. 

Again, the hdjy fcnptures do frequent ly fpeak of co-mpaffion 
or mercy i as a very great and eilential thing in true religion ; 
infomuch that gbod m^n are in fcriprure denominated from 
henee ; and a merciful man, and a good man, are equivalent 
terms in fcripture^ If. Ivii. i. " The lighteous perifiieth and 
41 no man layeth frto heart : and merciful men are taken away.'* 
And the fcripture th<)ofes out this quality, as that by which, 
hi a peculiar majiij^r, a ri^.'a/js man is de-cyphered ; Pfal. 
xxxvii. -21. 'J The ngjjtequs ; ::.u-:U nuvrv, and giveth ;" and 
verf. 26. " He is eaqr merciful, and lermeih." And Prov. xiv. 
01. *' Me that honobreth the Lord, hath mercy on the poor.'* 
And Col, iii, 12. "\Put ye on, as the elctl of Qod, holy and 
** beloved, bowels da njercics, &c.'* This is one of thofe 
things, by whi^i th'.xfe who are cri'ly bkiTed are defcribed 


IN H O F, Y A F F F C T 1 O K S. 133 

by our Saviour, Matth. v. 7. " bleffed are the merciful, for 
" they (hall obtain mercy." And this Chriil aiib fpeaks of, 
as one of the weightier matters of the law, Matth. xxiii. 23. 
" Wo unto you, Scribes and Phariiees, hypocrites ; for ye 
*' pay tithe of minf, and anifc, and cummin, and have omitted 
" the weightier matters of the law, judgrriefit, mercy, and faith." 
To the like purnofe is that, Mic. vi. : J. <k He hath Ihewed thee, 
" O man, what is t>;ood : and what doth the Lord require- of 
'* thee, but to do j nil ice, and love mercy, and walk humbly with 
" thy God ?" And alfo that, Hof. vi. 6." For Idefired mercy, 
" and not facnhce." Which feems to have been a text much 
delighted in by our Saviour, -by his manner of citing it once 
and again, Matth. ix. 13. and xii. 7. 

Zeal is alfo fpoken of, as a very eiferitial part of the religion 
of true faints. It is fpoken of as a great thing Chrift had in 
view, in giving himfelf for our redemption, Tit. ii. 14. "Who 
*' gave himfelf for us, that he might redeem us from all ini- 
" quity, and purify unto himfelf a peculiar people, zealous of 
" good works." And this is fpoken of,, as the great thing 
wanting in the lukewarm Laodiceans, Rev. iii. 15, 16, 19. 

I have mentioned but a few texts, out of an innumerable 
multitude, all over the fcripture, which place religion very 
much in the affe6tions. But what has been obferved, may be 
fufiicient to mew that they who would deny that much of true 
religion lies in the affeftions, and maintain the contrary, mull; 
throw away what we have been wont to own for our Bible, 
and get fome other rule, by which to judge of the nature <> 

5. The fcriptures do-reprefent true religion, as being fum- 
manly comprehended in love, the chief of the affections, and 
fountain of all other affections. 

So our blefled Saviour reprefents the matter, in anfwer to 
the lawver, who afked him, which was the great command 
ment of the law, Mauh. xxii. 37 40. " Jefus faid unto him, 
" Thou malt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and 
" with all thy foul, and with all thy mind. This is the, firil 
" and great commandment. And the fccond is like unto it, 
; Thou ihalt lore thy neighbour as thyfelf. On thefe two 
; ' commandments hang all the law and the prophets." Which 
laft words fignify as much, as that thcfc two commandments 
'iipreliend all the duty prefcabe:!. and the religion taught in 


134 H E L I G I O N "C O N S I S--T S MUCH Part I. 

the law and the prophets. And the apoftle Paul does from 
time to time make the fame repiefentation of the matter ; as 
in Rom. xiii. 8. ". He that loveth another, hath fulfilled the 
" law." And verf. 10. " JUove is the fulfilling of the law." 
And Gal. v. 14. " For all the law is fulfilled in one word, 
" even irithis, Thou (halt love thy neighbour as thy/elf." So 
likewife in i Tim. i. ,5. " Now the end of the commandment 
" is charity, out of a pure heart, Sec." So the fame apofl'le 
fpeaks of love, as the greaieft thing in religion, and as the vi 
tals, cflence and foul of it ; without which, the greateft know 
ledge and gifts, and the mot! glaring profeffion, and every thing 
elfe which appertains to religion, are vain and worthless ; and 
reprefents it as the fountain from whence proceeds all that is 
good, in i Cor. xiii. throughout; for that which is there 
rendered charity, .in the original, the proper Englifh is love. 

Now, although it be true, that the love thus fpoken of, in 
cludes the whole of a fincerefy benevolent propenfity of the 
foul, towards God and man ; yet it may be confidered, that it 
is evident from ^what has been before obferved, that this pro 
penfity or inclination of the foul, when in fenfible and vigorous 
exercife, becomes offtkHon* and is no other than affectionate 
love. And furely it is fuch vigorous and fervent love which 
Chrift fpeaks of, as the fum of all religion, when he fpeaks 
of loving God with all our hearts, with all all our fouls, and 
with ail our minds, and our neighbour as ourfelves, as the fum 
of ail that was taught and prefcribed in the law and the pro 

Indeed it cannot be fuppofed, when this afTeclion of love is 
here, and in other fcriptures, fpoken of as the fum "of all reli 
gion, that hereby is meant the aft, exclufive of the habit, or 
that the exercife of the underftanding is excluded, which is 
implied in all reafonable affection. But it is doubtlefs true, 
and evident from thefe fcriptures, that the effence of all true 
religion lies in holy love ; and that in this divine affeclion, and 
an habitual difpofition to it, and that light which is the foun 
dation of it, and tfoofe things which are the fruits of it; con- 
fifts the ichole of religion. 

From hence it clearly and certainly appears, that great part 
of true religion confifts in the affections. For love is not only 
one of the affections, but it is the fir ft and chief of the affec 
tions, and the fountain of all the affections. From love arifes 

hatred Q$ thofe things which are contrary to what we love, or 

W *'? 1*1 


1 N H O L Y A F F E C T I O N S. 1 35 

which oppofe and thwart us in thofe things that we delight in : 
and from the various exercifes of love and hatred, according 
to the ci re-urn fiances of the objecls of thefeafTc&ions, as prefent 
or abfent, certain or uncertain, probable or improbable, arife 
all thofe other affeclions of dejire., hope, ftar t jcy t grief, grati- 
tilde, anger, &c. From a vigorous, affeclionate, and fervent 
lovt to God, will neceifarily arife other religious affections ; 
hence will arife an intenfe hatred and abhorrence of {m % Jear 
of fm, and a dread of God's difpleafure, gratitude to God for 
his goodriefs, complacence and joy in God when God is gra- 
cioufly and ferifibly prefent, and gri*fve\\en he is abfent, and a 
joyful hope, when a future enjoyment of God is expected, and 
fervent zeal for the glory of God. And in like manner, from 
a fervent love to men, will arife all other virtuous affections to 
wards men. 

6. The religion of the moft eminent faints we have an ac 
count, of in the fcripture, confifted much in holy affections. 

I mall take particular notice of three eminent faints, which 
have exprefled the frame and fenti merits of their own hearts, 
and fo ciefcribed their own religion, and the manner of their 
iiitercourfe with God, in the writings which they have left us, 
that are a part of the facred canon. 

jThefirjl inftance I {hall take notice of, is David, that man 
Vf r0e f'.' i .*"*". heart ; who has given us a lively portraiture 
of his religion m UK. K ook of p rakns , Thofe ho] fonffs of h]s 

J has there left us, are nu*^ dfe but the e xprefiio'ns and 
breathings of .devout and holy a jf^ ons . fuch as . an hljmble 
and fervent love to God, admiration of ^ glorious perfeBions 
and wonderful works, earned dejires, thiriiings, and-paiulng, of 
foul after God, delight and joy in God, a fvvcet and melting 
gtatltudl to God for his great goodnefs, an holy exultation and 
triumph of foul in the favour, fufiiciency, and faithfulnefs of 
God, his love to, and delight in the faints the excellent of the 
earth, his great delight in the word and ordinances of God, his 
grief for his own and others fins, and his fervent zeal for God, 
and againi! the enemies of God and his church. Arid thefc 
expreffions of holy affections, which the pfalms of David are 
every where full of, are the more to our prefent purpofe, he- 
caufe thofe pfalms are not only the expreffions of the religion 
or fo eminent a faint, that God fpeaks of as fo agreeable to his 
mind ; but were alto* by the direction cf the Holy Ghofr, 



penned for the ufeof the church of God in its public woifhip, 
Hot only in- that age, but in after ages ; as being fitted to ex- 
prefs the religion of all faints, in all ages, as weil as the reli 
gion of the pialmift. And it is moreover to be obferved, that 
David, in the book of Pfalms, fpeaks not as a private perfon, 
but as the pjalnn/l of Ifrad, as the fubordinate head of the 
church of God, and leader in -their worfhip and praifes ; and in 
many of the pfalms, fpeaks in the name of Chrift, as peribriat- 
iog him in thefe breathings forth of holy affection ; and in 
many other pfalms, he fpeaks in the name of the church. 

Another inftance 1 fhall obferve, is the apoflle Paul; who 
was, in many refpecls, the chief of all the minifters of the New 
Teiiament; being above all others, a chofen veflel unto Chrift, 
to bear his name before the Gentiles, and made the chief in- 
ftrument of propagating and eftabiifhing the chriflian church in 
the world, and of diftinclly revealing the glorious fnyfteries of 
the go.fpel, for the inftruction of the church in all ages; and 
(as has not been improbably thought .by fome) the moil eminent 
fervant of Chrift, 'that ever lived, received to the higheft n 
wards in the heavenly kingdom of his Mailer. By what is f?j 
of him in the fcripture, he appears to have been a peHbn that 
was full of affection. Arid* it is very manifeft, that the reli 
gion he expreffes in his epiflles, confiikd veiy much in holy 
Affections. It appears by all his expreiliors of himfelf, that h< 
was, in the courfe of his life, inflamed, acluated - 1 entnely 
f wallowed up, by a moft ardent loveio his.^"' 1OLls Lord eltecm - 
rio- all things as lofs, for the ex-- fencv of the knowlege ot 
Inrn, and efteeming. them ^t dung that he might win him. 
He reprefents himfcJ<2s overpowered by this holy Election, 
"smJ =a ii. were^compelled by it to go forward in his fervice* 
through all difficulties and fufTerings, 2 Cor.,v. 14, 1-5. And 
his epiflles are full of expreffions of an overflowing aticfcrion to 
wards the people of Chrift: he fpeaks of his dear love, to them, 
2 Cor. xii. 19. Phil. iv. i. 2 Tim. i. 2 ; of his abundant Icve^ 
2 Cor. ii. 4 ; and of his affectionate and tender love, as of a 
nurfe towards her children, i Thcff. ii. 7, 8. "But we were 
" gentle among you, even as a nurfe chrrifheth her children : 
" fo, being afletlionately defirous of you, we were willing to- 
" have imparted unto you, not the gofpel of God only, but alfa. 
6; our own fouls, becaufe you were dear unto us." So alfohoj 
fpeaks of his bowk of love, Phil. i. 8. Philem. ,5, 12, and 20. 
So lie fpeaks of his earn^ care for others, 2 Cor. viii. 16, snaj 



fcf his bowels ffpity or mtrcy towards them, PhiL ii. i ; and of 
liis concern tui others, even to anguijh of heart, 2 Cor* iu 4* 
" For out of much a{ili6i:ion and anguiih of heart, I wrote un- 
" to you with many tears ; not that you fhould be grieved, but 
** that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly 
" unto you/' lie fpeaks of ihc great conflid of his foul for 
them, Col. ii. i. He fpeaks of great and continual grief \\\&t 
lie had in his heart from compaffion to the Jews, Rom. ix. 2. 
He fpeaks of his mouth's being opened, and his heart enlarged to 
wards Chriftians, 2 Cor. vi. 1 1, " O ye Corinthians, our mouth 
*' is open unto you, our heart is enlarged." He often fpeaks of 
his affectionate and longing dejnes, i Their, ii. 8. Rom* i. 1 1 
Phil. i. 8. and Chap. iv. i. 2 Tim. i. 4. The fame apoftle is 
very often, in his epiftles, exprefTing theaffeclion of joy, 2 Cor. 
i. 12. arid Chap. vii. 7. and verf> 9. 16. Phil. i. 4. and Chap. 
ii. i, 2. and Chap. iii. 3. Col. i. 24, i TheiL iii. 9. He 
fpeaks of his rejoicing with great joy ', Phil. iv. io Philem. i. 
7. of his joying and rejoicing, Phil. ii. i. 7. and of his rejoicing 
exceedingly, 2 Cor. vii. 13. and of his being filled ivith com- 
jfort, and being exceeding joyful, 2 Cor. vii. 4. He fpeaks of 
himfelf as always rejoicing, 2 Cor. vi. io. So he fpeaks 
of the triumphs of his foul, Cor. ii. 44. and of his glorying 
in tribulation, 2 1'heff. i. 4. and Rom. v. 3. He alfo exprel- 
fes the afTeftion cf hope; in Phil. i. 20. he fpeaks of his ear- 
neft expectation^ and his hope. He likewife cxprefTes an af~ 
fe61ion of godly jealoufy, 2 Cor. xi. 2, 3. And it appears by 
his whole hiftory, after his converfion,. in the Ats, and alfo by 
ail his epiftles, and the accounts he gives of himfelf there, that 
the affection of zeal, as having the c^ufegf his Matter, and the 
intereft and profperity of his church, iur its object, was mighty 
in him, continually inflaming his heart, ftrongly engaging to 
thofe great and coriflant labours he went through, in inflruct- 
ing, exhorting, warning, and reproving others, travaiiiiig in 
birth with them', conflicting with thofe powerful and innume 
rable enemies who continually oppofed him, wreftling wiih prin 
cipalities and powers, not lighting as one, who beats. the ai r , 
vanning the race fat before him, continual.!}' prefiing forwards 
through all manner of difficulties and fufierings; fo that others 
thought hi?n quite be fide himfelf. And how full he was of 
afieclion, docs further appear by his being fo full of tears ; in 
2 Cor. ii. 4. he fpeaks of his many tears ; .and {Q Acts xx. 19. 
and of his tears that he fhed continually, night and da\, veil, 

at. s "NOW 

138 RELIGION CONSISTS M u-c il Fart L 

Now if any one can confider thefe accounts given in the 
fcripture of this great apoftle, and which he gives of himfelf, 
and yet not fee that his religion confifted much in affection, 
muft have a ftrange faculty of managing his eyes, to {hut out 
the light which mines inoft full in his face. 

The other inftance I (hall mention, is of the apoftle John, 
that beloved difciple, who was the neareft and dearefl to his 
Mafter of any of the twelve, and was by him admitted to the 
greateft privileges of any of them ; being not only one of the 
three who were admitted to be prefent with him in the mount 
at his transfiguration, and at the raifing of Jairus's daughter, 
and whom he took wkh him when he was in his agony, and 
one of the three fpoken of by the apoftle Paul, as the three 
main pillars of the Chriilian church; but was favored abote 
all, in being admitted to lean on his Mafter's bofom, at Ivn 
laft fupper, and in being chofen by Chrift, as the difciple to 
whom he would reveal his wonderful difpenfations towards his 
church, to the end of time ; as we have an account in the 
book of Revelation ; and to fliut up the canon of the New 
Teftament, and of the whole fcripture ; being preferved much 
longer than all the reft of the apoftles, to fet all things in order 
in the Chriftian church, after their death. 

It is evident by all his writings, (as is generally obfcrved by 
divines) that he was a perfon remarkably full of affection : his 
addreffes to thofe whom he wrote to, being inexprcilibly tender 
and pathetical, breathing nothing but the moil fervent love ; 
as though he were all made up of fweet and holy affeflion. 
The proofs of which cannot be given without difadvantage, 
unlefs we fhould tranfcribe his whole writings. 

7. He whom God fent into the world, to be the light of the 
world, and head of the whole church, and the perfeft example 
of true religion and virtue, for the imitation of all, the Shep 
herd whom the whole flock fhould follow whcre-ever he goes, 
even the Lord Jefus Chrift, was a perfon who was remarkably 
of a tender and affeclionate heart ; and his virtue was expreffed 
very much in the exercife of holy affections. He was rhe 
greateft inftance of ardency, vigour arid ftrength of love, to both 
God and man, that ever was. It was thefe aHeclions which 
got the viftory, in that mighty ftruggle and conflict of his 
affeclions, in his agonies, when he frayed more earncjlly, and 
offered Jlrong crying and tears, and wreilled in tears and in 
blood. Such was the power of the exercifcs of his holy love, 



that they were ftronger than death, and in that great druggie, 
overcame thofe flrong exercifes of the natural affections of fear 
and grief, when he was fore amazed, and his foul was exceed 
ing forrowful, even unto death. And he alfo appeared to be full 
of affeclion, in the courfe of his life. We read of his great zeal, 
^fulfilling that in the 6o,th Pfalm, " The zeal of thine houfe 
" hath eaten me up," Johnii. 17. We read ol his grief for the 
fins of men, Mark iii. 5. " He looked round about on them 
" with anger, being grieved for the hardnefs of their hearts ;'* 
and his breaking forth in tears and exclamations, from the con 
federation of the fin and mifery of ungodly men, and on the fight 
of the city of Jerufalem, which was full of fuch inhabitants, 
Luke xix. 41, 42. " And when he was come near, he beheld 
" the city, and wept over it, faying, If thou hadft known, even 
" thou, at lead in this thy day, the things which belong unto 
" thy peace ! but now they are hid from thine eyes." With 
Chap. xiii. 34. " O Jerufalem, Jerufalem, which killed the 
" prophets, and ftoneit them that are fent unto thee : how 
" often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen 
" doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not?" 
We read of Chrift's earncli defire, Luke xxii. 15. " With de- 
" lire have I defired to eat this paifover with you before I 
" fuffer." We often read of the affection of pity or companion 
in Chriit, Ma-tth. xv. 32. and xviii. 34. Luke vii. 13. and of 
his being moved with companion, Matth. ix. 36. and xiv. 14. 
and Mark vi. 34. And how tender did his heart appear to 
be, on occalion of Mary's and Martha's mourning for their bro 
ther, and coming to him with their complaints and tears ? their 
tears foon drew tears from his eyes ; he was affecled with their 
grief, and-wept with them ; though he knew their forrow ihould 
To foon be turned into joy, by their brother's being raifed from 
the dead } fee John xi. And how ineffably affectionate was 
that laiVand dying difcourfe, which Jefus had with his eleven 
difciples the evening before he was crucified ; when he told 
them he was going away, and foretold them the great difficul 
ties and fufferings they ihould meet with in the world, when 
he was gone ; and comforted and coiinfelled them, as his dear 
little children ; and bequeathed " to them his Holy Spirit, and 
therein his peace, and his comfort and joy, as it were in his 
lad will and teftament, in the I3th, I4th, 1 5th, arid i6th 
chapters of John ; and concluded the whole with that affecli- 
vonate interceHbry prayer for them, and his whole church, hv 
chapter xvii. Of all the difrourfes ever penned, or uttered by 
the mouth of any man, this fcems to be the molt affect ionat^ 
and Ceding. 8. The 


8. The religion of heaven confiits very much in affection. 

There is doubtlefs true religion in heaven, and true religioa 
in its. utmoft purity and perfection. But according to the fcrip- 
ture reprefcntation of the heavenly ffote, the religion of heaven 
coniifts chiefly in holy and mighty love and joy, and the exprel- 
iion of theie in .molt fervent and exalted praifes, So that the 
religion of the faints in heaven, connits in the fame things with, 
that religion of the faints on earth, which is fpoken of in our 
text, viz. love,, yn&joy unfpeakable, and full of glory. Now, it 
would be very fool ,im to pretend, that becaufe the faints in hea 
ven be not united to fleih and blood, and have no animal fluids 
to be moved (through the laws of union of foul and body) with 
thofe great emotions of their fouls, that therefore their exceed 
ing love and joy are no affections We are not fpezkiflg of the 
alteclions of the body, but of the affections of the loul, the 
chief of which are love and joy. When thefe are in the foul, 
whether that be in the body or out of it, the foul is afftded 
and moved. And when they are in the foul, in that itrength 
in which they are in the faints in heaven, the foul is mightily 
affected and. moved, or, which is the fame thing, has great affec 
tions.. It is true, we do not experimentally know what love 
and joy are in a foul out of a body, or in a glorified body ; i. e.. 
\ve have not had experience of love and joy in a foul in thefe 
circumffonces ; but the faints on earth do know \s hat divine 
love and joy in the foul are, and they know what love and joy 
jire of the fame kind with the love and joy which are in heaven, 
in feparate fouls there. The love and joy of the faints on, 
earth, is the beginning and dawning of the light, lite, and blef-. 
fednefs of heaven, and is like their love and joy there ; or ra 
ther, the fame in nature, though not the fame with it, or like? 
to it, in degree and circumflances. This is evident by many 
fcriptures, as Prov. iv. 18. John iv, 14, and chap, vi, 40, 47, 
50, 51, 54, 58. i John iii, 15. I Cor. xiii, 812, It is un-t 
reafonable therefore to fuppofe, that the love and joy of the 
faints in heaven, not only differ in degree and circumftances, 
from the holy love and joy of the faints on earth, but is fo en^ 
tirely different in nature, that they are no affections ; and mere-* 
ly becaufe they have no blood and animal fpirits to be fet in 
motion by them, which motion of the blood and. animal fpi~ 
rits is not of the eiieoce of thefe affections, in men on the 
earth, hut the effeft of them: although by tjieir reaction they 
may make fome circumftantial difference in the. fenfation of 
*hv ;n:nd. The.rc is a. fe.nfot.ipn .of the mind which loves and 

-tic ices, . 


rejoices,, that is antecedent to any efTec"ls on the fluids of the 
body ; and this fenfation of the mind, therefore, does not de 
pend on thefe motions in the body, and fo may be in the foul 
without the body. And where-ever there are the exercifes of 
|ove and joy, there is that fenfation of the mind, whether it be 
in the body, or out ; and that inward fenfation, or kind of fpiri- 
tual fenfc, or feeling, and motion of the foul, is what is called 
aiicclion ; the foul when it thus feels, (if I may fo fay) and is 
thus moved, is faid to be affected, and cfpecially when this in 
ward fenfation and motion are to a very high degree, as they 
are in the faints in heaven. If we can learn any thing of the 
ftate of heaven from the fcripture, the love and joy that the 
faints have there, is exceeding great and vigorous ; impreffing 
the heart with the ftiongeft and moil lively fenfation of inex- 
preflible fweetnefs, mightily moving, animating, and engaging 
them, making them like to a flame of fire. And if fuch love 
and joy be not affeclions, then the word ajfthon is of no ufe 
in language. Will any fay, that the faints in heaven, in be 
holding the face of their Father, and the glory of their Re- 
deemer, and contemplating his wonderful works, and particu 
larly his laying down his life for them, have their hearts no 
thing moved and affected by ail which they behold or con- 
fider ? 

Hence, therefore, the religion of heaven, confifting chiefly 
in holy love and joy, confifts very much in affeclion : and there 
fore, undoubtedly, true religion confifls very much in affeclion. 
The way to learn the true nature of any thing, is "to go where 
that thing is to be found in its purity and perfection. If we 
would know the nature of true gold, we muft view it, not in 
the oar, but when it is refined. If we would learn what true 
religion is, we muit go where there is true religion, and no 
thing but true religion, and in its higheft perfection, without 
any defect or mixture. All who are truly religious are not of 
this world, they are Grangers here, and belong to heaven ; they 
are born from above, heaven is their native country, and the 
nature which they receive by this heavenly birth, is an hea 
venly nature, they receive an anointing from above ; that prin 
ciple of true religion which is in them, is a communication of 
the religion of heaven ; their grace is the dawn of glory ; and 
God fits the-m for that world by conforming them to it. 

9. This appears from the nature anddcfign of th ordinances 
and duties, which God hath appointed, as means cind exprcf- 
jions of true religion. To 


To inftance in the duty of prayer : It is manifeft, we are 
not appointed, in this duty, to declare God s perfections, his 
majeity, holinefs, goodnefs, and allfufficiency, and our own 
meannefs, emptineis, dependence, and unworthinefs, and our 
wants and defires, to inform God of tbefe things, or to incline 
bis heart, and prevail with him to be willing to ihew us mer 
cy ; but fuitably to affe6i our own hearts with the things w 
exprefs, and fo to prepare us to receive the bleflings we afk. 
And fiich geftures, and manner of external behaviour in the 
\vorfhip of God, which cuftom has made to be fignifications 
of humility and reverence, can be of no further ufe, than as 
they have fome tendency to affecl our own hearts, or the hearts 
of others. 

And the duty of Tinging praifes to God, feems to be appoint 
ed wholly to excite and exprefs religious affections. No other 
reafon can be afligned, why we fhould exprefs ourfelves to God 
in verfe, rather than in profe, and do it with mufic, but only, 
that fuch is ;our nature and frame, that thefe things have a 
tendency to move our affections. 

The fame thing appears in the nature and defign of the 
facraments, which God hath appointed. God confidering our 
frame, hath not only appointed that we fhould be told of the 
great things .of the gofpel, and of the redemption of Chrifl, and 
inflructed in them by his word ; but alfo that they fhould be, 
as it were, exhibited to our view, in fenfible reprefentadons, in, 
the facraments, the more to arTecl us with them. 

And the impre fling divine things on the hearts and affec 
tions of men, is evidently one great and main end for which 
God has ordained, that his word delivered in the holy fcrip- 
tures, mould be opened, applied, and fet home upon men, in 
preaching. And therefore it does not anfwer the aim which 
God had in this inftitution, merely for men to have good com 
mentaries and expofitions on the fcripture, and other good 
hooks of divinity ; becaufe, although thefe may tend, as well as 
preaching, to give men a good doclrinal or fpeculative under- 
(landing of the things of the word of God, yet they have not 
an equal tendency to imprefs them on mens hearts and affec 
tions,. God hath appointed a particular, and lively application 
of his word to men, in the preaching of it, as a fit means to 
affeft fmnens with the importance of the things of religion, 
and their own mifery, and neceflity of a remedy, and the glory 
and fufiiciericy of a remedy provided ; and to llir up the pure 



minds of the faints, and quicken their affeftions, by often 
bringing the great things of religion to their remembrance, 
and letting them before them in their proper colours, though 
they know them, and have been fully mftrutfed in them already, 
2 Pet. i. 12, 13. And particularly, to promote thofe two af- 
feftions in them, which are fpoken of in the text, love and joy : 
*' Chrift gave fome, apoftles ; and feme, prophets ; and fbrne, 
* evangelifls ; and fome, paftors arid teachers ; that the body 
" of Chrift might be edified in love," Eph. iv. n, 12, 16. The 
apoille, in inftrucYmg and counfelling Timothy, concerning the 
work of the miniftry, informs him, that the great end of that 
word which a mmifter is to preach, is love or charity , i Tim. 
i. 3, 4, . And another affeclion which God has appointed 
preaching as a means to promote in the faints, is joy ; and 
therefore miniflers are called helpers of their joy, ^ Cor. i. 24* 

10. It is an evidence that true religion, or holinefs of heart, 
lies very much in the affeftion of the "heart, that the fcriptures 
place the fin of the heart very much in hardnefs of heart, 
Thus the fcriptures do every where. It was hardnefs of heart, 
which excited grief and difpleafure in Chrift towards the Jews, 
.Mark iii. 5. " He looked round about on them with anger, 
" being grieved for the hardnefs of their hearts." It is from 
mens having fuch a heart as this, that they treafure up wrath 
for themfelves ; Rom, ii. 5. " After thy hardnefs and imperil- 
' tent heart, treafureft up unto thyfelf wrath againft the dav 
; of wrath, and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.'' 7 
The reafon given why the houfe of Ifrael would not obey God, 
was, that they were hard-hearted ; Ezek. iii. 7. " But the 
' houfe of Ifrael will not hearken unto thee ; for they will not 
" hearken unto me : for all the houfe of Ifrael are impudent 
" and hard-hearted." The wickednefs of that perverfc rebelli 
ous generation in the wildernefs, is afcribed to the hardnefs of 
their hearts ; Pfal. xcv. 7 10. "To-day if ye will hear my 
" voice, harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as 
" in the day of temptation in the wildernefs ; when yonr fa- 
11 thers tempted me, proved me, and law my work : forty 
" years long was I grieved with this generation, and faid, It 
" is a people that do err in their heart, &c." This is fpoken 
of as what prevented Zedekiah's turning to the Lord, 2 Chron. 
xxxvi. 13. " He fliffened his ivck, and hardened his heart 
J l from turning to the Lord God of Ifrael." This principle is 


i44 & L, i G i o N CONSISTS MUCH Part!. 

fpoken of, as that from whence men are without the fear of 
God, and depart from God's ways : If. Ixiii. 17. " O Lord, 
" why hall thou mads us to err from thy ways ? and harden* 
" ed our heart from thy fear ?" And meris rejecting Chrift, 
andoppofing Chriftianity, is laid to this principle; A6ls xix. 
9. " But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but 
*' fpake evil of that way before the multitude." God's leav 
ing men to the power of the fin and corruption of the heart, 
is often exprelled by God's hardening their hearts ; Rom. ix. 
18. " Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercv, 
" and whom he will, hehardeneth." John xii. 40. " He hath 
*' blinded their minds, and hardened their hearts." And the 
apoftle feems to fpeak of an evil heart, that departs from the 
living God, and a hard heart, as the fame thing, Heb. iii. 8. 
* { Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, &c." verf. 12, 
13, " Take heed, brethren, left there be in any of you an evil 
*' heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God : but ex- 
" hort one another daily while it is called, To-day ; left any 
<{ of you be hardened through the deceitfulnefs of fin." And 
that great work of God in converfion, which confifts in deli 
vering a perfon from the power of fin, and mortifying corrup 
tion, is expreiled, once arid again, by God's " taking away 
" the heart of ftone, and giving an heart of fleih/'Ezek. xi. 19. 
and chap, xxxvi. 26. 

Now, by a hard heart, is plainly meant an unafTecled heart, 
or a heart not eafy to be moved with virtuous affections, like a 
ftone, infenfible, ftupid, unmoved, and hard to be imprefied* 
Hence the hard heart is called a Jlony heart, and is oppofed to 
zv\ heart of flefli, that has feeling, and is fenfibly touched and 
moved. We read in fcripture of a hard heart, and a tender 
heart : and rloubtlefs we are to undeiftand thefe, as contrary 
the one to the other. But what is a tender heart, but a heart 
which is eafily impreiTed with what ought to affect it ? God 
commends Jofiah, becaufe his heart was tender : 2nd it is evi 
dent by thofe things which are mentioned as expreilions and 
evidences of this tendernefs of heart, that by his heart being; 
tender is meant, his heart being eafily moved with religious 
and pious affeftion ; 2 Kings xxii. 19. " Becaufe thine heart 
" was tender, and thou haft humbled thyfelf before the Lord, 
** when thou heardft what I fpake againft this place, and 
" againft the inhabitants thereof, that they fhould become a 
" defolation and a curfe, and hall rent thy clothes, and wept 

" before 


** before me, I alfo have heard thee, faith the Lord." And this 
is one .thing, wherein it is neceffary we mould become as little 
children, in ordtr to our entering into the. kingdom of God, even 
that we mould have our hearts tender, and ean'ly affected and 
moved in fpi ritual and divine things, as little children have in 
other things. 

It is very plain in fome places, in the texts themfelves, that 
by hardnefs of heart is meant a heart void of affeclion. So, to 
fjgnify the oftrich's being without natural afrecHon to her 
young, it is faid, Job xxxix. 16. " She hardeneth her heart 
" againit her young ones, as though they were not hers." So 
a perfon having a heart unaffected in time of danger, is expref- 
fed by his hardening his heart, Prov. xxviii. 14. " Happy is 
*' the man that fearcth alway : but he that hardeneth his heart,, 
" (hall fall into mifchief." 

Now therefore fmceit is fo plain, that by a hard heart, in 
fcripture, is meant a heart dciluute of pious affefcHons, and 
fmce alfo the fcriptures do fo frequently place the fin and cor 
ruption of the heart in hardnefs of heart ; it is evident, that 
the grace and holinefs of the heart, on the contrary, muft, in a 
great meafure, confift in its having pious affettions, and being 
eafily fufceptive of fuch affe&ion. Divines are generally 
agreed, that fin radically and fundamentally confifh in what is 
negative,. -or privative, having its root and foundation in a 
privation dr want of holinefs. And therefore undoubtedly, it 
it be fo that fin does very much confilt in hardnefs of hear?, 
and fo in the want of pious affections of heart, holinefs does 
confift very much in thvfe. pioas ajfcchons* 

I am far from fuppofmg that all affeclions do fhew a tcrr.jr- 
heart : hatred, anger, va : in glory, and other felfifh and felf- 
exalting affeftions, may greatly prevail in the hardeft heart.- 
But yet it is evident, that hardnefs of heart, and tender nefs of 
heart , are exprefiions that relate to the a(Fe6Hons .of the heart, 
and denote the heart's being Tufceptible of, or fhut up agsinft, 
certain affections ; of which I thai; have bccaiion to fpeak more 

Upon the whole, I think it clearly and abundantly evident 
that true religion lies very much in 1 the arTeclions. Not that I 
think thefe arguments prove, that religion in the hearts of the 
truly godly, is ever in exaft proportion to the degree of affec 
tion, and prefent emotion of the mind : for undoubtedly, there 
is much affection in the true faints which is not ibiritual ; their 

T religious 


religious affeclions are often mixed ; all is not from grace, but 
much from nature. And though the afTeclions have not their 
feat in the body, yet the conftitution of the body may very 
much contribute to the prefent emotion of the mind. And ; 
the degree of religion is rather to be judged of. by the fixednefs 
and ftrength of the habit that is exercifed in affection, where 
by holy affeciion is habitual, than by the degree of the prefent 
exercife : and the ftrength of that habit is not always in propor 
tion to outward effects and manifeftations, or inward effe6h, 
in the hurry and vehemence, and fudden changes of the courfe 
of the thoughts of the mind. But yet it is evident, that religion 
confifts fo much in afieftion, as that without holy affection 
there is no true religion : and no light in the underftanding is 
good, which does not produce holy affeclion in the heart ; no 
habit or principle in the heart is good, which has no fuch ex 
ercife ; and no external fruit is good, which docs not proceed 
from fuch exercifes. 

Having thus confidered the evidence of the propofition laid 
down, I proceed to fome inferences. 

i. We may hence learn how great their error is, who arc' 
for discarding all religious affections, as having nothing folid' 
or fubftantial in them. 

There feems to be too much of a difpofition this way, pre 
vailing, in this land at this time. Becaufe many wbcf, 1 * in the 
late extraordinary feafon, appeared to have great religious af- 
feftions, did not manifeft a right temper of mind, and run into 
many errors, in'the time of their affection, and the heat of their 
zeal ; and becaufe the high affections of many feem to be 
fo foon come to nothing, and fome who feemed to be mightily 
raifed arid fwallowed with joy and zeal, for a while, feem to 
have returned like the dog to his vomit: hence religious af- 
feftions in general are grown out of credit with great num 
bers, as though true religion did not at all confift in them.- 
Thus we eafily and naturally run from one extreme to another. 
A little while ago we were in the other extreme ; there was a 
prevalent difpofition to look upon all high religious affeclions 
as eminent exercifes of true grace, without much inquiiing in 
to the nature and fource of thofe affections, and the manner in 
which they arofe : if perfons did but appear to be indeed very 
much moved and raifed, fo as to be full of religious talk, and 
exprcfs themfelves with great warmth and earneftnefs, and to 


I N H O L Y A F F E C T I O N S. 147 

be filled, or to be v.ry full, as the phrafes were ; it was too 
much the manner, without further examination, to conclude 
fuch perfons were full of the Spirit of God, and had eminerit 
experience of his gracious influences. This was the extreme 
which was prevailing three or four years ago. But oflare, in- 
i*ead of ejlee.ming and admiring all religious affc&ioys, without 
dijlm&ion, it is a thing much more prevalent, to rtjeft and dif- 
card all without diflirMion. Herein appears the fubtility of Sa 
tan. While he faw thztaffiffions were much in vogue, know 
ing the greater part of the land were not verfed in fuch things, 
and had not had much experience of great religious affcthons, 
to enable them to judge well of them, and diitinguiih between 
true and falfe ; then he knew he could beft play his game, by 
fowing tares amongft the wheat, and mingling falfe ajf'sthons 
with the works of God's Spirit: he knew 'this to be a likely 
way to delude and eternally ruin many fouls, and greatly to 
wound religion in the faints, and entangle them in a dreadful 
wildemefs, and by and by, to bring all religion into difrepute. 
But now, when the ill confequences of thefe fcdfe affttlions 
appear, arid it is become very apparent, that fome of thofe emo 
tions which made a glaring (hew, and were by many greatly- 
admired, were in reality nothing ; the devil fees it to be for his 
intereft to go another way to work, and to endeavor to his ut- 
iru>ft to propagate and eftablim a perfuafion, that all affections 
and fenfible emotions of the mind, in things of religion, are 
nothing at all to be regarded, but are rather to be avoided, and 
carefully guarded againft, as things of a pernicious tendency. 
This he knows is the way to bring all religion to a merelifelefs 
formality, and effectually {hut out the power of godlincfs, and 
every thing which is fpiritual, and to have all true Cbriftianity 
turned out of doors. For although to true religion, there rnuft 
indeed be fomething elfe befides affection ; yet true religion 
confilts fo much in the afTeclions, that there can be no true re 
ligion without them. He who has no religious affeclion, is ia 
a ftate of fpiritual death, and is wholly deihtute of ihe power 
ful, quickening, faving influences of the Spirit of God upon Iris 
heart. As there is no true religion where there is nothing 
elfe but affection, fo there is no true religion where' there is no 
religious affttlion. As on the one hand, there muft be light in 
the underitanding, as well as an afecled fervent heart ; where 
there is heat without light, there can be nothing divine or hea 
venly in that heart-: fo on the other hand, where there 'is a kiad 



of light without heat,^Jiead ftored with notions and fpecula- 
tions, with a cold and nnaffe6ted heart, there can be nothing 
divine in that light, that knowlege is no true fpiritual know- 
lege of divine things. If. the great things of religion are 
rightly underftood, they will affect the heart. The reafonwhy 
men are not affe&ed by fuch infinitely great, important, glo 
rious, and wonderful things, as they often hear and read of, in 
the word of God, is undoubtedly becanfe they are blind ; if 
they were not fo, it would be impoffible, and utterly inconfif- 
tent with human nature, that their hearts iliould be otherwife, 
than ftrongly impreiled, and greatly moved by fuch things. 

This manner of flighting all religious affe&ions, is the way 
exceedingly to harden the hearts of men, and to encourage 
them in their ftupidity and fenfeleflhefs, and to keep them in 
a (late of fpiritual death as long as they live, .and bring them 
at hit to death eternal. The prevailing prejudice -againft re 
ligious ajfedions at this day, in the land, is apparently of aw 
ful effect, to harden the hearts of fmners, and damp the graces 
of many of the faints, and itund the life and power of religion, 
and preclude the effect of ordinances, and hold us down in a 
flate of dulncfs and apathy, and undoubtedly caufes many per- 
fons greatly to offend God, in entertaining mean and low 
thoughts of the extraordinary work he has lately wrought in 
this land. 

And for perfons to defpife and cry down all religious offcfti- 
ens, is the way to (hut all religion out of their own hearts, and 
to make thorough work in ruining their fouls. 

They who condemn high affections in others, are certainly 
not likely to have high affections themfelvcs. And let it be 
confidered, that they who have but little religious affection, have 
certainly but little religion. And they who condemn others 
for their religious afft&ions, and have none themfelves, have 
no religion. 

There are falfe afafitGns, and there are true. A man's hav 
ing much ajftdwn, does not prove th^t he has any true religion : 
but if he has no affe.ftion, it proves that he has no true religion. 
The right way, is not to reject all affections, nor to approve all ; 
but to diftinguiih between affections, approving fome, and re 
jecting others ; feparating between the wheat and the chaff, the 
gold and the drofs, the precious and the vile. 

2. If it be fo, that true religion lies much in the ajje 
hence we may infer, that fuch means are to be defired, .as have 



much of a tendency to move the affeclions. Such books, and 
fuch a way of preaching the word, and adminiftration of ordi 
nances, and fuch a way of worfeipping God in prayer, and 
finging praifes, is much to be defired, as has a tendency deep 
ly to affeti the' hearts ot thofe who attend thefe means. 

Such a kind of means would formerly have been highly ap 
proved of, and applauded by the generality of the people of the 
land, as the moil excellent and profitable, and having the great- 
eil tendency to promote the ends of the means of grace. But 
the prevailing talle feems of late ftrangely to be altered : that 
pathetical manner of praying and preaching, which would for 
merly have been admired and extolled, and that for this reafon 
becaufe it had fuch a tendency to move the affeclions, now, in 
great multitudes, immediately excites difguft, and moves no 
other affe6tions, than thofe of difpleafure and contempt. 

Perhaps, formerly the generality (at leaft of the common 
people) were in the extreme, of looking too much to an affec 
tionate addrefs, in public performances : but now, a very 
great part of the people feem to have gone far into a contrary 
extreme. Indeed there may be fuch means, as may have a 
great tendency to ftir up the paffions of weak and ignorant 
peribns, and yet have no great tendency to benefit their fouls : 
for though they may have a tendency to excite affeclions, they 
may have little or none to excite gracious affections, or any 
affections tending to grace. But undoubtedly, jf the things of 
religion, in the means ufed, are treated according to their na 
ture, and exhibited truly, fo as tends to convey jufl apprehen- 
fions, and a right judgment -of them ; the more they have a 
tendency to move the affe61ions, the better. 

3. If true religion lies much in the affeclions, hence we 
may learn, what great caufe we have to be aihamed and con 
founded before God, that we are no more affecled with the 
great things of religion. It appears from what has been faid, 
that this arifes from our having fo little true religion. 

God has given to mankind jffeftions, for the fame purpofe 
which he has given all the faculties and principles of the human 
foul for, viz. that they might be fubfervient to man's chief 
end, and the great bufmcfs for which God has created him, 
that is, the bufmefs of religion. And yet how common is it 
among mankind, that their alfe&ions are much more exercifed 
and engaged in other matters, than in religion ! In things 


RELIGION c o N s i s T s M u c n Part I. 

which concern mcns worldly int-erefl, their outward delights, 
their honour and reputation, and their natural relations, they 
have their defires eager, their appetites vehement, their love 
>varrn and affectionate, their zeal ardent ; in thefe things their 
hearts are tender and fenfible, eafily moved, deeply impreffed, 
much concerned, very (enfibly affected, and greatly engaged ; 
much depreffed with grief at worldly lofles, and highly railed 
with joy at worldly fucceffes and profpeiity. But how inferi- 
fible and unmoved are moil men, about the great things of an 
other world ! how dull are their affenons ! how heavy and hard 
their hearts in thefe matters ! here their love is cold, their de- 
fires languid, their zeal low, .and their gratitude fmall. How 
they can fit and hear. of the infinite height, and .depth, and length, 
?nd breadth of the love of God in Chrift Jefus, of his giving 
his infinitely dear Son, to be offered up a facrifice for the fins 
of men, and o the upparallelled love of the innocent, holy and 
tender Lamb of God, maniferled in his dying agonies, his bloo 
dy fweat, his IOA^ and bitter cries, and bleeding heart, arid all 
this for enemies, to redeem them from deferved, eternal bur 
nings, and to bring to unfpeakable and everlalting joy and glory ; 
arid yet be cold, and heavy, infenfible, and regardlefs 1 Where 
are the exercifes of our affections proper, if not here ? what is 
it that does more require them? and what can be a fit occafion 
of tlieir lively and vigorous exercife, if riot fuchanone as this ? 
can any thing he fet in our view, greater and more important ? 
any thing more wonderful and furprifmg ? or more nearly 
concerning our ipteneft ? Can we fuppofe the wife Creator 
implanted fuch principles in the human nature as the affections, 
to be of'ufe to us, and to be exercifed on certain proper occa- 
fions, but to lie ilill on fuch an occaiion as this ? can any 
Chrii|ian, who believes the truth of thefe things, entertain fuch 
thoughts ? 

df we ought ever t to exercife our affeclions at all, and, if the 
Creator has not .unwifely eonftituted the human nature, in 
making thefe principles a part of it, when they are vain angl 
u(elefs ; then they ought to be exercifed about thofe objects 
which are moil worthy of them. But is there; any thing, which 
Cnriftians can find in heaven or earth, fo worthy to be the ob 
jects oftljei^ admiration and love, their earned and longing ce- 
fnes, their jippe, and their rejoicing, and their fervent zeal, as 
thofe things that are held fonh to us in the gofpel of Jefus 
Chnil ? in which, not only are things declared rnofl worthy to 



affect us, but ttiey are exhibited in the moft affetling manner. 
The glory and beauty of the bleffed JEHOVAH, which is molt 
worthy in itfelf, to be the object of our admiration and love, 
is there exhibited in the moft affeciing manner that can be con 
ceived of, as it appears finning in all ks luftre, in the face of 
an incarnate, infinitely loving, meek, compaffionate, dying Re 
deemer. All the virtues of the Lamb of God, his humility, 
patience, meekncfs, fubmiffion, obedience, love and compaf- 
fion, are exhibited to our view, in a manner the moft tending 
to move our affedlions, of any that can be imagined ; as they 
all had their greateft trial, and their higheft exercife, and fo 
their brighteft manifeftation, when he was in the moft affeci 
ing circumftances ; even when he was 1 tinker his laft fufferings, 
thofe unutterable and unparallelled fufferings, he endured, from 
his tender love and pity to us. There alfo, the hateful nature 
of our fins is rnanifeft'ed in the moft affecting manner poffible; 
as we fee the dreadful effects of them, in what our Redeemer, 
who undertook to anfwer for us, fuffered for them. And there* 
we have the moft affeciing rrianifeftaiions'O'f God's hatred of fin, 
and his wrath and juftice in punching it; as we fee his juftice 
in the ftricinefs and iriflexiblenefs of it, and his wrath in its' 
terriblenefs, in fo dreadfully punifliing our* fins, in one wht> 
was infinitely dear to him, and loving to us. So has God dif- 
pofed things, in the' affair of our redemption, and in his glo 
rious difpenfations, revealed to us in the gofpel, as though 
every thing were purpofely contrived in fuch a manner, as to 
have the greateft poflible tendency to reach our hearts in' the 
moft tender part, and move our affections moft fenfibly and 
ftrongty. How great caufe have we therefore to be 
to the duft, that we arc no more affected ! 


r 52 WHAT A R E N- o S i G N s Part 1 1, 


Shewing what are no certain Signs that religi 
ous Affeffions are truly gracious, or that 
they are not. 

IF any one, on the reading of what has been juft now faid, 
is ready to acquit himfelf, and fay, " lam not one of thofe 
** who have no religfbus affeclions ; I am often greatly moved 
with the confideration of the great things of religion;" let 
him not content himfelf with this, that he has religious affec 
tions : for, as was obferved before, as we ought not to reject 
and condemn all affeclions, as though true religion did not at 
all confift in affeftion ; fo, on the other hand, we ought riot to 
approve of all, as though every one that w r as religiouOy affecled 
had true grace, and was therein the fubjecl: of the faying in 
fluences of the Spirit of God : and that therefore the right way 
is to diftinguifh among religious affeclions, between one fort 
and another. Therefore let us now endeavour to do this : and 
in order to it, I would do two things. 

I. I would mention fome things, which are no figns one 
ivav or the other, either that affections are fuch as true reli 
gion confifts in, or that they are otherwife ; that we may be 
guarded againlt judging of affeclions by falfe figns. 

II. I would obferve fome things, wherein thofe affeclions 
which are fpiritual and gracious, differ from thofe which arc 
not fo, and may be diitinguifhed and known. 

FIRST, I would take notice of fome things, which are no 
figns that affections are gracious, or that they are not. 

I. It is no fign one way or the other, that religious affeclions 
are very great, or raifcd .very high. 

Some are ready to condemn all high affeclions : if perfons 
appear to have their religious affeclions raifed to an extraordi 


ttary pitcbj they are prejudiced againft them, and determine 
that they are delufions, without further inquiry. But if it be 
as has been proved, that true religion lies very much in religi 
ous affections, then it follows, that if there be a great deal of 
true religion, there will be great religious affeclioris ; if true 
religion in tire hearts of men be raifed to a great height, divine 
and holy affections will be raifed to a great height. 

Love is an affection ; but will any Chriftian fay, men ought 
not to love God and Jefus Chrift in a Jiigh degree ? and will 
any fay, we ought not to have a very great hatred of fin, and a 
very deep forrow for it ? or that we ought not to exercife a 
high degree of gratitude to God, for the mercies we receive of 
him, and the great things he has done for the falvation of fallen 
men ? or that we mould not have very great and ftrong defireS 
after God and holinefs ? Is there any who will profefs, that his 
affetlions in religion are great enough ; and will fay, " I have 
" no caufe to be humbled, that I am no more affected with the 
" things of religion than I am ; I have no reafon to be afhamed, 
" that I have no greater exercifes of love to God, and forrow 
" for fin, andgratitude for the mercies which 1 have received?" 
Who is there that will go and blefs God, that he is affeBed 
enough with what he has read and heard of the wonderful love 
of God to worms and rebels, in giving his only begotten Son 
to die for them, and of the dying love of Chrift ; and will pray 
that he may not be affefted with them in any higher degree^ 
becaufe high affe6t.ions are improper, and very unlovely in 
Chriftians, being enthufiaflical, and ruinous to true religion ? 
Our text plainly fpeaks of great and high affections, when it 
fpeaks of rejoicing -with joy unjpeakable, and full of glory : here 
the mod Superlative exprefhons are ufed, \vnich language will 
afford. And thefctiptures often require us to exercife very high 
affeftions : thus in the firft and grea? comiianolment of the law, 
there is an accumulation of expreffions, as though words were 
wanting to exprefs the degree in which we ought to love God ; 
Thoujtialt love, the Lord thy God with all thy kcurt, with, ail 
thy foal, with all thy mind, ai:d with all thy jlrtngtk. So the 
faints are called upon to exercife high degrees ot' joy : " Rejoice 
(fays Chrift to his difciples,} and be exceeding glad,'- Matth. v 
12. So it is fa id, Pfal. Ixviii. 3. " Let the righteous be glan 
" let them rejoice before God : yea, let them exceedingh 
*' rejoice/' So in the fame book of Ffylrns, the faints are of 
ten called upon tojkoutfotjty ; and in Luke vi, 23. to " leap 

U " for 


" for joy." So they are abundantly called upon to exercife 
hi^h degrees of gratitude for mercies, to praife God with all 
their hearts, with heaits lifted up in the ways of the Lord, and 
ther fouls magnifying the Lord, finging his praifes, talking of 
his wond^rous works, declaring his doings, &c. 

And we find the moft eminent faints in fcripture often pro- 
feffing high affections. Thus the pfalmift Jpeaks of his love, 
as if it were unfpeakable ; Pfal. cxix. 97. " O how love I thy 
" law !" fo he exprefTes a great degree of hatred of fin ; Pfal. 
cxxxix. 21,22. " Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate 
" thee ? and am not I grieved with them that rife up againft 
" thee ? I hate them with perfect hatred." He alfo exprefles 
a high degree of forrow for fin : he fpeaks of his fins going 
ever his head, as an heavy burden, that was too heavy jot him ; 
and of his roaring all the day, and his mot/lure's being turned 
into the drought oj fummer, and his bones being as it were bro 
ken with forrow. So he often expreffes great degrees of fpiritual 
defires, in a multitude of the firongeft expreflions which can 
be conceived of ; fuch a? his longing, his /ours thirfting as- a 
dry and thirfty land where no water is, his panting, his fejh 
and heart crying out, his foul's breaking for the longing it hath^ 
Sec. He expreffes the exercifes of great and extreme grief 
for. the fins of others, Pfal. cxix. 136. '* Rivers of water run 
* down mine eyes, becaufe they keep not thy law." And verf. 
53. " Horror hath taken hold upon me, becaufe of the wicked 
' that forfake thy law." He expreffes high exercifes of joy, 
Pfal. xxi. I. " The king mall joy in thy ftrength, and in thy 
* falvation how greatly {hall he rejoice !" Pfal.lxxi. 23. " My 
** lips fhall greatly rejoice, when I (ing unto thee." Pfal. Ixiii. 
3, 4, ,5, 6, 7. " Becaufe thy lovino; kindnefs is better than life : 
" my lips fhall praife thee. Thus will I blefsthee, while I live : 
" I will lift up my hands in thy name. My foul fhall be fatis- 
" fied as with marrow and fatnefs ; and my mouth fhall praife 
" thee with joyful lips : when I remember thee upon my bed, 
" and meditate on thee in the nisht-watcbes. Becaufe thou 


' haft been my help ; therefore' in the fhadow of thy wings 
" will I rejoice." 

The apoftle Paul exprefles high exercifes of affeclion. Thus 

he exprefles the exercifes of pity and concern for others 

ood, even to anguifli oj heart; a great, fervent and abundant 

.1 ve, and tarneft and longing defires, and exceeding joy; and 

fpeaks of the exultation and triumphs of his foul, and his earueft 



on and hope, and his abundant tears, and the travails 
of hi$ foul, in pity, grief, earner} defires, godly jealoufy, and 
fervent zeal, in many places that have been cited already, and 
which therefore I need not repeat. John the Baptifl exprefled 
" great joy," John iii. 39. Thofe bleffed women that anointed 
the body of Jefus, are reprefented as in a very high exercife 
of religious affecYion, on occafion of Chrift's refurre&ion ; 
Matth. xxviii. 8. " And they departed from the ft^pulchre, with 
" fear and great joy." 

It is often foretold of the church of God, in her future happy 
feafons here on earth, that they lhall exceedingly rejoice ; Pfal. 
Ixxxix. i, 16. " They mall walk, O Lord, in the light of 
" thy countenance. In thy name (hall they rejoice all the day ; 
" and in thy righteoufnefs mall they be exalted.'* Zech. ix. 9. 
" Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion ; fhout, O daughter 
" of Jerufalem :' behold, thy King cometh, &c." The fame 
is reprefented in innumerable other places. And becaufe high 
degrees of joy are the proper and genuine fruits of the gofpel 
of Chrift, therefore the angel calls this gofa] t .g(H>d itdings of 
great joy, thatjliould be to all people. 

The faints and angels in heaven, that have religion in its 
higheft perfection, are exceedingly affecled with what they 
behold and contemplate of God's perfections and works. They 
are all as a pure heavenly flame of fire, in their love, and in 
the greatriefs and ftrength of their joy and gratitude : their 
praifes are reprefented, as the voice of many waters, and as the 
voice of a great thunder. Now the only reafon why their af- 
feftions are fo much higher than the holy affelions of faints 
on earth, is, they fee the things they are affecled by, more ac 
cording to their truth, and have their aMeclions more conform 
ed to the nature of things. And therefore, if religious affec 
tions in men here below, are but of the fame nature and kind 
with theirs, the higher they are, and the nearer they are to 
theirs in degree, the better ; becaufe therein they will be fo 
much the more conformed to truth, as theirs are. 

From thefe things it certainly appears, that religious affec 
tions being in a very high degree, is no evidence that they are 
not fuch as have the nature of true religion. Therefore they 
do greatly err, who condemn perfons as eruhufiafts, merely be 
caufe their affeclions are very high. 

And on the other hand, it is no evidence that religious affec 
tions are of a fpiiitual and gracious, naturc^becaufethey are greas. 



Jt is very manifeft by the holy fcripturc, our fure and infalli 
ble rule to judge of things of this nature, that there are religi 
ous affe6Horis which are very high, tliat are not f pi ritual and 
favmg. The apoille Paul fv/eaks of affections in the Gala- 
tians, which had been exceedingly elevated, and which yet he 
manifeilly fpeaks of, as fearing that they were vain, and had 
come to nothing, Gal. iv. 15. " Where is the bleffednefs you 
** fpake of? for I bear you record, that if it had been poffi- 
' ble, you would have plucked out your own eyes, and have 
given them to me." And in the nthverfe he tells them, 
*' he was afraid of them, left he had bellowed upon them la- 
" hour in vain," So the children of Ifrael were greatly affec 
ted with God's mercy to them, when they had feen how won 
derfully he wrought for them at the Red fea, where (hey Jang 
God's praife; though they foon forgat his works. So they 
were greatly affected again, at mount Sinai, when they law 
the marvellous manifeiiations God made of himfelf there ; and 
feemed mightily engaged in their minds, and with great for- 
wardnefs made anfwer, when God propofed his holy covenant 
to them, faying, All that the Lord hatli fpoken wilt we do, and 
l)e obedient. But how foon was there an endtoal! this mighty 
forwardnefs and engagednefs of affection ? how quickly were 
they turned afide after other Gods, rejoicing and fhoming 
around their golden calf ? So great multitudes who were af 
fected with the miracle of railing Lazarus from the dead, were 
elevated to a high degree, and made a mighty ado, when Jefus 
prefently after entered into Jerufalem, exceedingly magnify 
ing Chrift, as though the ground were not good enough for 
the afs he rode to tread upon ; and therefore cut down branches 
pf palm-trees, and {Irawed them in the way ; yea, pulled off 
their garments, and fpread them in the way ; and cried with 
loud voices, Hofanna to the Jon of David, biffed is he that com* 
eihm the namsof the Laid, ho/dnnah in the highejt ; fo as to. 
make the whole city rin^ again, and put all into an uproar. 
We learn by the evangeliil John, that the reafon why the peo 
ple made this ado, was becaufe they were affected with th$. 
miracle ofraifing Lazarus, John xii. 18. Here was a vaftmuk' 
titude crying Hd/annaon this occafion, fo that it gave occafion 
to thePharifees to fay, " Behold, the world is gone afser hiu," 
John xii. 19 ; but Chrift had at that time but few true difci- 
ples. And how quickly was this ado at an end ? all of this 
nature is quelled a:d vlcati, when this Jeius Hands bound, witi> 



a mock robe and a crown of (horns, to be derided, fpit upon, 
fcourged, condemned, and executed. Indeed there was a great 
and loud outcry concerning him, among the multitude then, 
as well as before ; but of a very different kind : it is not then, 
Ho/iinna, hojanha t but Crucify^ crucify. 

And it is the concurring voice of ail orthodox divines, that 
there may be religious affections, which are railed to a very 
high degiee, and yet there be nothing of true religion.* 

II. It is no fign that affections have the nature of true reli 
gion, or that they have not^ that they have great effects on the 
* body. 

All affections whatsoever, have in fome refpect or degree, 
an effect on the body. As was obferved before, fuch is our 
nature, and fuch are the laws of union of foul and body, that 
the mind can have no lively or vigorous exercife, without fome 
effect upon the body. So {object is the body to the mind, and 
fo much do its fluids, efpecially the animal fpirits, attend the 
motions and exercifes of the mind, that there cannot be fo 
much as an intenfe thought, without an effect upon them. 
Yea it is queftionable, whether an Unbodied foul ever fo much 
as thinks one thought, or lias any exercife at all, but that there 
is fome corresponding motion or alteration of motion, in fome 
degree, of the fluids, in fome part of the body. But univer- 
fal experience {hews, that the exercife of the affections have 
in a fpecial manner a tendency to fome fenfible effect upon 
the body. .And if this be fo, that all affections have fome ef 
fect on the body, we may then well fuppofe, the greater thofe af 
fections be, and the more vigorous their exercife, (other cir- 
cumftances being equal) the greater will be the effect on the 
body. Hence it is not to be wondered at, that veiy great and 
ftrong exercifes of the affections mould have great effects on the 
body. Ancl therefore, ieeing there are very great affections, 
both common and fpiritual ; hence it is not to be wondered 
at, that great effects on the body mould arife from both thefe 
kinds of affections. And confequently thefe effects are no 
figns that the affections they arife from, are of one kind or 
the other. 

Great effects on the body certainly are no fure evidences that 
affections are fpiritual ; for we fee that fuch effects oftentimes 
arife from great affections about temporal things, and when re 
ligion is. no way concerned in them. And if great affections 


?: " Mr. Stoddard obferves, " That common affections are forne* 
f f times ftronger thin fa viug." CM tie ;o Cb rjl, P. 21, 


about fecular things, that are purely natural, may have thefe 
effects, I know not by what rule we mould determine, that 
high affeclions about religious things, which arife in like manner 
from nature, cannot have the like effect. 

Nor on the other hand, do I know of any rule any have to 
determine, that gracious and holy affections, when railed as 
high as any natural affections, and have equally ftrong and vi 
gorous exercifes, cannot have a ;reat effe6t on the body. No 
fuch rule can be drawn from reafon : I know of no reafon, why 
a being affecled with a view of God's glory fhould not caufe 
the body to faint, as well as being affected with a view of So 
lomon's glory- And no fuch rule has as yet been produced 
from the fcripture : none has ever been found in all the late 
controversies which have been about things of this nature. 
There is a great power in fpiritual affeclions : we read of the 
power which worketh in Chriftians,* and of the Spirit of God 
being in them, as the Spirit of power, t. and of the effectual 
working x)f his power in them,! yea, of the working of God's 
mighty power in them.|| But man's nature is weak : flefh 
and blood are reprefented in fcripturc as exceeding weak ; and 
particularly with refpe6t to its unfitnefs for great fpiritual and 
heavenly operations and exercifes, Matthew xxvi. 41. i Cor. 
xv. 43. and 50. The text we are upon fpeaks of joy unjpeak- 
able, and fall of glory. And who that considers wliat man's na 
ture is, and what the nature of the affeclions are, can reafon- 
ably doubt but that inch unutterable arid glorious joys, may be 
too great and mighty for weak dud and allies, fo as to be con- 
fidera'oly overbearing to it ? It is evident by the fcripture, that 
true divine difcoveries, or ideas of God's glory, when given in 
a great degree, have a tendency, by affecling the mind, to 
overbear the body ; becaufe the fcripture teaches us often, that 
if thefe ideas or views ihould be given to fuch a degree, as they 
are given in heaven, the weak frame of the body could not 
fubfiit under it, and that no man can, in that manner, fee God 
and live. The knowlege which the faints have of God's beau 
ty and glory in this world, and thofe holy affections that 
arife from it, are of the fame nature and kind with what the 
faints are the fubjccls of in heaven, differing only in degree 
and circumftances : what God gives them here, is a foretafte 
of heavenly happinefs, and an earned of their future inheritance. 
And who (hall limit God in his giving this earned, or fay he 
jfhall give fo much of the inheritance, iuch a part of the future 


* Eph, iii. 7. f 2 TinuL 7. { Eph. iii. 7. 20. || Eph.i. 19* 


reward, as an earned of the whole, and no more ? And 
feeing God has taught us in his word, that the whole reward 
is fuch, that it would at once deftroy the body, is it not too 
bold a thing for us, fo to fet bounds to the fovereign God, as 
to fay, that in giving the earned of this reward in this world, 
he (hall never give fo much of it, as in the leaft to diminim. 
the ftrength of the body, when God has no where thus limited 
hiinfelf ? 

The pfalmift fpeaking of vehement religious affections he 
had, fpeaks of an effect in his flefh or body, beiides what was 
in his foul, expreily diftingtiiming one from the other, onc& 
and again, Pfal. Ixxxiv. 2. " My foul longcth, yea, even fainteth. 
" for the courts of the Lord: my heart and myjjle/h crieth out 
" for the living God." Here is a plain diitin6lion between the 
heart and the flefh, as being each affected. So Pfal. Ixiii. I. 
" My foul thirfteth for thee, my rlefh longeth for thee in a dry 
" and thirfty land, where no water is." Here alfois an evident 
deiigned diltinction between the foul and the fleih. 

The prophet Habakkuk fpeaks of his body's being overborn, 
by a fenfe of the majefty of God, Hab. iii. 16. " When I 
** heard, my belly trembled : my lips quivered at the voice : 
44 rottennefs entered into my bones, and I trembled in myfelf." 
So the pfalmift fpeaks exprefly of his fleih trembling, Pfal. cxix, 
120. " My fleih trembleth for fear of thee." 

That fuch ideas of God's glory, as are fometimes given in 
I this world, have a tendency to overbear the body, is evident, 
becaufe the fcripture gives us an account, that this has fome 
times actually been the effecl of thofe external manifeftations 
God has made of himfelf, to fome of the faints, which were made 
to that end, viz. to give them an idea of God's majefty and 
glory. Such inftances we have in the prophet Daniel, and the 
apoftle John. Daniel giving an account of an external repre- 
fentation of the glory of Chriii:, fays, Dan. x. 8. " And there 
" remained no ftrength in me; for my comelinefs was turned 
" into corruption, and I retained no ftrength.*! And the apoille 
John giving an account of a like manifeftation made to him, 
fays, Rev. i. 17. " And when I faw him, I fell at his feet as 
" dead." It is in vain to fay here, thefe were only external 
manifeftations or fymbols of the glory of Chrift, which thefe 
faints beheld : for though it be true, that they were outward 
representations of Chriit's glory, which they beheld with their 
bodily eyes ; yet the end and ufe of tlicfe external fymbols or 
reprefentations, was to give to thefe prophets an idea of the 


i6o WHAT ARE NO SIG&S Part If, 

thing reprefented, and that was the true divine glory and ma- 
jelly of Chrift, which is his fpiritual glory ; they were made 
ufe of only as fignifications of this fpiritual glory, and thus un 
doubtedly they received them, and improved tnem, and were 
affe6t,ed by them. According to the end for which God intend 
ed thefe outward %ns, they received by them a great and lively 
apprehenfionof the real glory and inajefly of God's nature, which . 
they were figns of; and thus were greatly affecled, their fouls 
fwallowed up, and their bodies overborn. And I think, they ; 
are very bold and daring, who will fay God cannot, or {hall 
not give the like clear and affefting ideas and apprehenfions 
of the fame real glory and rnajefiy of his nature, to none of 
his faints, without the intervention of any fuch external ma- 
dows of it. 

Before I leave this head, I would farther ohferve, that it is] 
plain the fcripture often makes ufe of bodily efTecls, to exprefs 
the flrength of holy and fpiritual affeclions ; fuch as titm^ 
blingi* groaning, t being fick^ || crying out, i panting, k and 
fainting. ** Npw if it be fuppofed, that thefe are only figu 
rative exprefiions, to reprefent the degree of affeclion ; yet I 
hopeall will allow, that they are fit and fui table figures to repre- ; 
fent the high degree of thofe fpiritual afleclions, which the; 
Spirit of G6d makes ufe of them to reprefent : which I do 
BOt fee how they would be, if thofe fpiritual affeclions, let them 
be in never fo high a degree, have no tendency to any fuch 
things ; but that on the contrary, they are the proper effefts, 
and fad tokens of falfe affections, and the delufion of the devil, 
I cannot think, God would commonly make ufe of things 
which are very alien from fpiritual affcftions, and are ftirewd 
marks of the hand of Sa*an, and fmell frrong of the bottornlefs 
pit, as beautiful figures, reprefent the high degree of holy and 
heavenly affections. 

III. It is no fign that afTeftions are truly gracious afTeclions.- 
or that they are not, that they caufe thofe who have them, to 
be fluent, fervent and abundant, in talking of the things of 



* Pfal. cxix. 120. Ezra ix. 4. If. Ixvi. 2, . Hab. h'L r 
i Rom. viii. 26. |j Cant. ii. 5. and v. 8. t PfaL Ixxxiv. 2, PiaL 
xxxviii. 10. and xlii, i. and cxix, 131. '** Pfal. Ixxxiv, 2. and 
cxjx. 8 i. 


There are manv perfons, who if they fee this in others, are 
greatly prejudiced agaiitii them, Their being fo full of talk, is 
with them, a fufficienl ground to condemn them, as Phanfees, . 
and oilentatious hypoerites. On the other hand, there a*e 
many, who if they fee this effect in any, are very ignoramly 
and imprudently forward, at once to determine that they are 
the true children of God, and are under the fa v ing influences 
cf his Spirit, and fpeakof it as a great evidence of a new crea 
ture : they fay, fnch an one s month is now opened : he ufi.d to 
be flow to /peak ; but now he. is full and free : he is free now to 
open his heart, and tell his experiences, and declare the praifcs 
of God \ it comes from him, as free as water from a fountain ; 
and the like. And efpecially are they captivated into a confi 
dent and nndouhting perfuafion that they are favingly wrought 
upon, if they aie not only free and abundant, but very ailec- 
tioii'iiie and earned in their talk. 

But this is the fruit of but little judgment, a fcanty and 
fhort experience ; as events do abundantly {hew: and is a mif- 
take per Tons often run into, through their trailing to their 
own wiidomand difcernmg, and making their own notions their 
rule, inilead of the holy feripture. Though the fcripturc be 
full of rules, both how we mould judge of our own Mate, and 
alfo how we mould be conduced in our opinion of others ; yet 
we have no wliere any rule, by which to judge ourfelves or 
ot l:ers to be in a good eftate, from any fuch effect : lor this is 
but the religion of the mouth and of the tongue, and what is 
in the feripture reprefented by the leaves of a tree, which 
though the tree ought not to be without them, yet are no where 
given as an evidence of the goodnefs of the tree. 

That perfons are difpofed to be abundant in talking of things 
of religion, may be from a good caufe, and it may be from a 
bad one. It may he becaufc their hearts are very full of holy 
affections ; for out of the abundance of 'he /ia>'t, the man. 
elk : and it may be became perfons licaits are very full of reli 
gious affection which is not holy ; for ilil! out of the abundant 
of the -he^rt the nioiuh fpeaketh. It is vciy m;ich the naturr 
of the affections, of whatever kind they be, and whatever ob 
jects they are exercifed about, if they are ilrong, to difpofe per 
fons to be very much in (peaking of that which tliojiare a fleer 
ed wi.'h : and not orilv to f-eak much, but to fpcak verv earn- 

X citly 


eftly. and fervently. And therefore pcrfons talking abundantly 
and very fervently about the things of religion, can be an 
evidence of no more than this, that they are very much affec 
ted with the things of religion ; but this may be, (as has been 
already mown,) and there be no grace. That which men are 
greatly affected with, while the high affection lafts, they will be 
earneilly engaged about, and will be likely to fhew that earn- 
eitnefs in their talk and behaviour ; as the greater part of the 
Jews, in all Judah and Galilee, did for a while, about John 
the BaptifVs preaching and bdptifrn, when they were willing 
for a feafon to rejoice in his light : a mighty ado was made, 
all over the land, and among all forts of perfons, about this 
great prophet and his miniflry. And fo the multitude in like 
manner, often manifeiled a great earnellnels, a mighty enga 
ged nefs of fpirit, in every thing that was external, about Chriil 
and his preaching and miracles, being qfionijlied at his doctrine , 
anon with joy receiving the word, following him, fometimes 
night and day, leaving meat, drink, and deep to hear him ; once 
following him into the wildernefs, failing three days going, 
to hear him ; fometimes crying him up to the clouds, faying, 
Never man fpake like this man ! being fervent and earneft in 
\vhat they faid. But what did tiiefe things come to, in the 
greater part of them ? 

A perfon may be over-full of talk of his own experiences ; 
commonly falling upon it, every where, and in all companies ; 
and when it is fo, it is rather a dark fign than a good one. As 
a tree that is over-full of leaves, feldcm bears much fruit : and 
ss a cloud, though to appearance very pregnant and full of 
water, if it brings with it over-much wind, feldom affords much 
rain to the dry and thirfty earth : which very thing the Holy 
Spirit is pleafed feveral times to make ufe of, to reprefent a 
great fliew of religion with the mouth, without anfwerable fruit 
in the life, Piov. xxv. 14. " Whofo boafleih himfeif of a falfe 
*' gift, is like clouds and wind without rain." And the apofde 
Jude, fpeaking of fome in the primitive times, that crept in una- 
vv gs among the faints, and having a great fliew of religion, 
.re for a while not fufpecled, Theje are clouds (fays he) with- 
cutwater, earned about of winds, Jude verf. 4. and 12. Ar.d 
the apoftle Peter, fpeakin^of the fame, fays, c Pet. ii. 17. 
'! Thcfe are clouds without water, carried with a terapeft/' 

/ Falfe 


Falk" affeelions, if they are equally ftrong, are much more 
forward to declare tbemfelves, than true : becaufe it is the 
nature of falfe religion, to affect Ihew and obfervation ; as it 
was with the Pharifees. t 

IV. It is no ficrn that affections are gracious, or that they 
are other wife, that perfons did not make them themielves, or 
excite them of their own contrivance, and by their own 

There are many in thefe days, that cbndemn all affections 
which are excited in a way that the fubjecis of them can give 
no account of, as not deeming to be the fruit of any of their 
own endeavours, or the natural confequence of the faculties and 
principles of human nature, in fuch circumftanccs, and under 
fuch means ; hut to be from the influence of fome extrinfic 
and fupernaturaj power upon their minds. How greatly has 
the doftrine of the inward experience or fenfible perceiving ot" 
the immediate power and operation of the Spirit of God, been 
reproached and ridiculed by many of late ? They fay, the man 
ner of the Spirit of God, is to co-operate in a filent, fecret and 
undiicernible way win. the uie of means, and our own endea 
vours ; 

i That famous experimental divine Mr. Shepard, fays, " A Pha- 
(( rifee's trumpet (hull be heard to the town's end ; when [irn-irvi 1 ",- 
'-' walks through tne town unfeen. Hence a man will foinetimes co- 
fc vertly commend himfelf, (and >v;v/\//'ever comes in,) and tells you 
** a long ftory of converfion : and an hundred to one if fome lie or 
(( other flip not out with-it. Why, the fecret meaning is, / 'pray 
" admire me. Henee complain of wants and weakneffes ; pray think 
t( what a kroken-hearlcd Chriftian lam. " Parab. of the ten virgins, 
Part I. page 179, 180. 

And holy Mr. Flavd fays thus, <( O reader, if thy heart were 
" right with God, and thou didfl not cheat thyfelf with a vain pro- 
tf feliion, thou wouldiL have frequent bufinefs with God, which thou 
** wouldit be loth thy deareft friend, or the wife of thy bofom fhou'd 
" be privy to. Nou eft rcligic, uhi omnia patent. Religion doth net 
" lie open to all, to the eyes of men. Obferved duties maintain our 
t( credit ; but fecret duties maintain our life. It was the faying of an 
(C heathen, about his fecret correfpondency with his friend, What need 
<( the world be acquainted with it ? c fhoa ahd I are they're enough to 
" each othr. There are inclofed pleafures in religion, v/hich r.nnc- 
'' but renewed fpiritual fouls do feelingly uidcrltaad." F/xva's 
Chap, II, fcft. ~. 

264 -WHAT ARE NO SIGNS Part II. ; 10 that there is no diftifiguifhing by fenfe, between the 
influences of the Spirit of God, and the natural operations of 
the faculties of our own minds. 

And it is true, that for any to expect to receive the feving 
influences of the Spirit of God, while they neglect a diligent 
improvement of the appointed means of ;_r?.ce, is unreasonable 
preemption. And to expect that the Spirit of God will fa- 
vingly operate upon their nvnds, v, ilhout the Spirit's making; ufe 
of means, as fubfervient to the effect, is enthufiaftica!. It is 
alfo luxlqubtedly true, that the fpirit of God is very various in 
the manner and ciraimifances of his operations, and that fomc- 
times he operates in a way more fecrtt and gradual, and from 
fmaller beginnings, tKanat others. 

But if there be indeed a power, entirely different from and 
beyond our power, or the power of all means and infiruments, 
and above the power of nature, which is rcquiiite in order to 
the production of faving grace in the heart, according to the 
general profeflion of the country ; then certainly, it is in no 
wife unrcafonable to fuppofe, that this effect mould very fre 
quently be produced after fuch a manner, as to make it very 
roanifeft, apparent, and fenfible that it is fo. If grace be in 
deed owing to the powerful and efiicatious operation of an ex- 
trinfic agent, cr divine efficient cut of cuiftlves, why is it 
unreaionxble to fuppo'c, it mould fee m to be fo, to them who 
are the fubjcct- of it ? Is it a ft range thing that it fhould ieem 
it is? When grace in, the heart indeed is not produced 

by cur ftrength, nor is the effect of the natural power of our 
own faculties, or any means cr inilr'umentr, hut is properly the 
workman/hip and production of the Spirit of the Almighty, is 
it a ftrange and unaccountable thing, that it fhouid fecin to 
them \vho are fubjects of it, agreeable to truth, and not right 
contrary to tmth ; fo that if peilons.tell of effects that they are 
confcious to in their own- minds, that.feem to 

them not to be 
but from, 

irom the natural power 'or operation of their mil 
the I u per natural power of fomc other agent, it fhould at ci;ce 
be looked upon as a fare evidence of their being under a dclufion, 
hecaufe things feem to them to be as they are r for this is the 
objection which is made : it is looked upon as a clear evidence, 
that che appichcraion.s and "affections that many performs have, 
.-re nr-t re-ally from fuch a raufe, hecsufe they r-em to them to 
be from that can fc : they declare that \\hat they are ron:'i:5ous 
<>l\ il-t rtis to them evidently not to be from thcmftlves but from 
the inighty ppwer of the fpirit of God; and criers from lurce 


condemn thorn, md determine what they exprncnce is not 
from the fpirit of God, but from thernfelvcG, or irorn the devil, 
unreafoniibly are multitudes treated at this dry, by their 

If it be indeed fo, as the fcrlp'nir? abundantly teache?, that 
grace in th,' ib'i], is io the crrlcb of God's power, that it is fitly 
compared to thofc excels, which are fartneil from being ow 
ing; to any ftrcngth in the fubjcct, fuch as a. generation, or a 
being begolte.n,3nd refiirreklion or a being rcijtd from the dead, 
and creation, or a bang brought out of nothing into being, and 
that it is an eilixt wherein the mighty power of Goci is greatly 
glorified, and the exceeding greatnefs oi his power is inanifeft- 
ed :* then what account can be given of it, that the Almighty, 
in fo great a work of his power, fnould fo carefully hide his 
p.nvc r, that the fubjecls of it fliould be able to difccrn nothing 
of it ? or what reafon or revelation have any to determine that 
he does for If we may judge by the fcripture, this is not a- 
greeable to God's manner, in his operations and difpenfations ; 
but on the contrary, it is God's manner, in the great works of 
his power and mercy which he works for his people, to order 
things fo, as to make his hand vifible, r.nd his power cor;fpjcii- 
ous, and mens dependence on him mod evident, that no rielri 
Ihould glory in his prefence,! that God alone might be exalt 
ed,}: and that the excellency of the power might be of God ar.d 
not of man,|! and that Chrift's power might be mahifefted in 
our weaknefs, and none might fay, mine own hand hath favcd 
me.** So it was in moil of thofe temporal falvations which 
God wrought for Ifrael of old, which were types of the ialva- 
tion of God's people from their fpiritual enemies. So it was in 
the redemption or Ifrael from their Egyptian bondage ; he re 
deemed them with a ftrong hand, and an outilretched arm ; 
r.nd that his power might be tlje more confpiCUOUS, he fuffefea 
Ifrael iirft to be brought, into the mod helplefs and forlorn cir- 
ncc?. So it was in the great redemption of Gideon ; 
God would have his army diminifhed to a handful, and they 
wivhout any other arms, than trumpet?, and lamps, and earth 
en pitchers. So it v/as in the deliverance of Ifrael from Go- 

1'--f 01' ! ,1 1iT /-^. 

in at 



:f Eph. i. i- 20. f i Cor. i. 77. iS, 29. { 
2 Cor. iv. 7. 2 Ccr. :di, 9. ** judg. vii. 2. 


wifdom knew not God, and all the endeavours of philofophers 
had proved in vain, for many ages, to reform the world, and 
k was by every thing become abundantly evident, that the 
world was utterly helplefs, by any thing elfe but the mighty 
power of God. And fo it was in molt of the conversions 
of particular penbns, we have an account of in the hiilory of 
the New-Teltament : they were not wrought on in that filent, 
fecret, gradual, and infenfible manner, which is now infilled 
on ; but with thofe manifeft evidences of a fupernatural pow 
er, wonderfully and fuddenly caiifmg a great change, which in 
thefe days are looked upon as certain figns of delufion and 

The apoftle in Eph. i. 18, 19. fpeaks of God's enlighten* 
ing the minds of Chriftians, and fo bringing them to believe 
in Chrift, to the end that they might know the exceeding great- 
nefs of his power to them who believe. The words are, The 
eyes of your under /landing being enlightened \ that ye may know 
what is the, hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory 
of his inheritance in the faints, and what is the exceeding great- 
nefs of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the work-, 
ing of his mighty power, &c. Now when the apoftle fpeaks of 
their being thus the fubjecls of his power, in their enlightening 
and effectual calling, to the end that they might know what his 
mightv power was to them who believe, he can mean nothing 
elfe, than that they might know by experience. But if the faints 
know this power by experience, than they feel it, and difcern 
it, and are confcious of it ; as fenfibly diftinguifhable from the 
natural operations of their own minds, which is not agreeable 
to a notion of God's operating fo fecretly, and undifcernibly, 
that it cannot be known that they are the fubjefts of the in 
fluence of any extrinfic power at all, any otherwife than as 
.they may argue it from fcripture affertions ; which is a different 
thing from knowing it by experience. 

So that it is very unreafonable and unfcriptural, to determine 
that affections are not from the gracious operations of God's 
Spirit, becaufe they a-re fenfibly not from the perfons themfelves, 
that arc the lubje^is of them. 

On the other hand, it is no evidence that affections are gra 
cious, that they are not purpofely produced by thofe who are 
the fubjefts of them, or that they arife in their minds in a man 
ner they cannot account for. 


TO D 1 S T I N G U I S H A F F E C T I O N S. 1 67 

There are fome who make this an argument in their own 
favour, when fpeaking ot what they have experienced, they fay, 
4i I am fure I did not make it myfeli : it was a fruit of nocon- 
" trivance or endeavour of mine ; it came when I thought no- 
" thing of it ; if I might have the world for it, I cannot make 
" it again when I pleaie." And hence they determine, that 
what they have experienced, muft be from the mighty influence 
of the Spirit of God, and is of a faying nature ; but very igno- 
rantly, and without grounds. What they have been the fub- 
jefts of, may indeed not be from themfelves directly, but may 
be from the operation of an invifible agent, fome fpirit befides 
their own : but it does not thence follow, ihat it was. from the 
Spirit of God. There are other fpirits who have influence on 
the minds of men, befides the Holy GhoIK We are di reeled 
not to believe every fpirit, but to try the fpirits whether they 
be of God. There are many falfe fpirits, exceeding bufy with 
men, who often transform themfelves into angels of light, and 
do in many wonderful ways, with great fubtility and power, 
mimic the operations of the Spirit of God. And there are 
many of Satan's operations, which are very diftinguiihable 
from the voluntary exercifes of mens own minds. They are 
fo, in thofe dreadful and horrid fuggeflions, and blafphempus 
injections with which he follows many perfons ; and in vain 
and fruitless frights and terrors, which he is the author of. 
And the power of Satan may be as immediate, and as evident 
in falfe comforts and joys, as in terrors and horrid fuggefHons ; 
and oftentimes is fo in facl. It is not in mens power to put 
themfelves into fuch raptures, as the Anabaptifts in Germany, 
and many other raving Enthufiaits like them,- have been the 
fubjects of. 

And befides, it is to be conddered, that perfons may have 
thofe impreffions on their minds, which may not be of their 
own producing, nor from an evil fpirit, but from the Spirit of 
God, and yet not be from any fcving, but a common influence 
of the Spirit of God : and the fubjc&sof fuch imprcffions, may 
be of the number of thofe we read of, Heb. vi. 4, 5. " that 
" are once enlightened, and taRe of the heavenly gift, ami are 
4 made partakers of the Holy Ghoff, and taPe the good word 
" of God, and the power of the world to come ;" and vet 
may be wholly unacquainted with thofe bdt'.r things that 'ac- 
company jalvation, Ipoken of veif. 9. 


\V II AT .ARE NO S I G N. Si 1'urt II. 

:r a good nor evil fpirit have any immedi 
ate hand, perfons, eipecialiy fuch as are of a weak and vapoury 
habit of body, and the brain weak, and eaiily fufceptive of i;n- 
preiTions, may have llrange apprehenfions and imaginations, 
and fh-ong alic6tb:is attending them, unaccountably arifing, 
which- are not voluntarily produced by themfelves. We fee 
that inch perfons are liable to fuch impreflions, about temporal 
things ; and there is equal reafon;why they mould about ipiri- 
tiidi things. As a perfun who is aflcep, has dreams, that he is 
ii'jt the voluntary author of ; fb may fuch perfons, in like man 
ner, be the fubjefrs of involuntary impreflions, when they aie 

V. I" is no fign that religious aiTccHons are truly holy and 
fpiritual, or that they are not, that they come with ICXLS of 
fvripture, remarkably brought to the mind. 

It is no i:g:i tl:at affections arc not gracious, that they are 
occafionccl by -fcriptures lo corning to mind ; provided it be the 
fcripture ufelf, or the truth which the fcripture fo brought 
contains and teaches, that is the foundation of the afleU< M, 
znd not merely cY mainly, the fudden and unufual manner of 
its coming to the mind. 

But on the odier hand, neither is it any fign that affections 
are gracious, that, they aiife on occafion of fcriptiues brought 
fuddenly and wonderfully to the mind ; whether thofe afTefiions 
be fear or liope, joy or fbrrow, or any other. Some feem to 
look upon this, as a good evidence that their affeftions are fav- 
ing, efpecially if the affections excited are hope or joy, or any 
o.her which are pleating and delighiful. They \\iil mention 
it -as an evidence that all is right, that their experience cume 
with the. zvord, and will fay, "There were fuch and fuch f \vc-jt 
'* promiL-s brought to my mind : they came fuddenly, as if 
* they were fpoke to me : I had no hand in bringing fuch a 
'* text to my own mind ; I was not thinking of any thing laiJ- 
'* ing to it; it came all at once, fo that I was furprifed. I 
" had not thouglft of it a lo> .^ nine before ; I did not know at 
" fi.rft th'Jt it was fcripture ; I did not remember that ever I 
** had read it." And it may be, they will, add, " One fcrip- 
4i ture came flowing in after another, and fo texts all over the 
" Bible, the mod fvveet and pleafant, and the molt apt and 
* fai table, which could be devifed ; and filled me full as I could 
*' hold : I could not but Rand and admire : the tears flowed ; 
" I was full of ioy, and could nut djubt any longer." And 


t o b i s f i N G u i s H AFFECTIONS. 16*9 

thus they think they have undoubted evidence, that their affec 
tions mull he from God, and of the right kind, and their itate 
good: but without any manner of grounds. How come they 
by any fjich rule, as that if any affections or experiences a rife 
with promifes, and comfortable texts of fcripture, unaccounta 
bly brought to mind, without their recollection, or if a great 
number of fweet texts follow one another in a chain, that this 
is a certain evidence their experiences are faving ? where is any 
fuch rule to he found in the Bible, the great and only fure di- 
reciory in things of this nature ? 

What deceives many of the lefs underftanding and confide- 
rate fort of people, in this matter, feems to be this ; that the 
fcripture is the word of God, and has nothing in it which is 
wrong, but is pure and perfect : and therefore, thofe experi 
ences which come from the fcripture muft he right. But then 
it would be confidered, affections may arife on cccafioit of the 
fcripture, and not properly come ft om the fcripture, as the 
genuine fruit of the fcripture* and by a right life of it ; but 
from an abufe of it. All that can be argued from the purity 
and perfeclion of the word of God, with refpeftto experiences, 
is this, that thofe experiences which are agreeable to the word 
of God, are right, and cannot be otherwife : and not that thofe 
affeftions mult be right, which arife on occa/ton of the word of 
God coming to the mind. 

What evidence is there that the devil cannot bring texts of 
fcripture to the mind, and mifapply them, to deceive perfons ? 
There feems to be nothing in this which exceeds the power of 
Satan. It is no work of fuch mighty power, to bring founds 
or letters to perfons minds, that we have any reafon to fup- 
pofe, nothing ihort of omnipotence can be fufficient for it. If 
Satan has power to bring any words or founds at all to perfons 
minds, he may 4iave power to bring words contained in the 
Bible. There is no higher fort of power required in men, to 
make the founds which exprefs the words of a text of fcripture, 
than to make founds which exprefs the words of an idle 
ftory or fong. And fo the fame power in Safari, which is 
fufficient to- renew one of thofe kinds of founds in the mind, 
is fuflicieru to renew the other : the different fignification, 
which depends wholly on ciulotn, alters not the cafe, as to abili 
ty to make or revive the founds or letters. Or will any fup- 
pofe, that texts of fcripture are fuch facred things, that the devil 
J.urft not abufe them, nor touch them ? In this alfo they are 

Y miflaken. 


miitaken. He who was bold enough to lay hold on Chrift 
himfelf, and carry him hither and thither, into the wildernefs, 
and into an high mountain, and to a pinnacle of the temple, 
is not afraid to touch the (capture, and abufe that for his own. 
purpofes : as he fhewed at the fame time that he was fo bold 
with Chrift, he then brought one fcripture and another, to de 
ceive and tempt him. And if Satan did prcfume, and was 
permitted, to put Chrift himfelf in mind of texts of fcripture 
to tempt him, what reafon have we to determine, that he dare 
not, or will not be permitted, to put wicked men in mind of 
texts of fcripture, to tempt and deceive them ? -And if Satan 
may thus abufe one text of fcripture, fo he may another. Its 
being a very excellent place of fcripture, a comfortable and 
precious promife, alters not the cafe, as to his courage or 
ability. And if he can bring one comfortable text to the mind, 
Ib he may a thoufarit} ; and may choofe out fuch fcriptures as 
tend moll to fei ve his purpofe ; and may heap up fcripture-prO" 
mifes, tending, according to the perverfc application he makes 
of them, wonderfully to remove the rifmg doubts, and to con- 
iirm the falfejoy and confidence of a poor deluded finner. 

We know the devil's inflruments, corrupt and heretical 
teachers, can and do pervert the fcripture, to their own and 
others damnation, 2 Pet. iii. 16. We fee they have the free 
vile of fcripture, in every part of it ; there is no text fo preci 
ous and facred, but they are permitted to abufe it, to the eter 
nal ruin of multitudes of fouls ; and there are no weapons they 
make ufe of with which they do more execution. And there 
is no manner of reafon to determine, that the devil is not per 
mitted thus to life the fcripture, as well as his inflruments. 
For when the latter do it, they do it as his inilruments and 
fervants, and through his infhgation and influence : and doubt- 
lefs he does the fame he inftigates others to do ; the devil's fer 
vants do but follow their mailer, and do the fame work that he 
does himfelf, 

And as the devil can abufe the fcripture, to deceive and de- 
ftroy men, fo may mens own folly and corruptions as well. 
The fin which is in men, afts like its father. Mens own 
hearts are deceitful like. the devil, and ufe the fame means to 

So that it is evident, that perfons may have high afTeclions 
of hope and joy, arifing onoccafion of texts of fcripture, yea 
precious promifes of fcripture coming fuddenly and remarkably 


to their minds, as though they were {poke to them, yea a 
gscat multitude of fuch texts, following one another in a won 
derful manner, and yet all this be no argument that thefe af 
fections are divine, or thai they are any other than the effects 
of Satan's deiufions. 

And I would further obferve, thai perfons may have raifed 
and joyful affeclions, which may come with the word of God, 
and not only fo, but from the word, and thofe iffeclions not 
be from Satan, nor yet properly from the corruptions of their 
own hearts, but from fome influence of the Spirit of God with 
the word, and yet have nothing of the nature oltrue and laving 
religion in them. Thus the flony-ground hearers had great 
joy from the word ; yea, which is reprefented as arifing from 
the w.ord, as growth from a feed ; and their affections had, 
in their appearance, a very great and exaci refemblance with 
thofe reprefented by the growth on the good ground, the differ 
ence not appearing, until it was difcovered by the confequen- 
ces in a time of trial : ancl yet there was no faying religion in 
thefe affe6tions. || 

VI. It is no evidence that religious affeclions are faving, or 
that they are otherwife, that there is an appearance of love in 

There are no profeffmg Chriftians who pretend, that this is 
an argument againit the truth and faving nature of religious 
affcPrions. But on the other hand, there are fome who fup- 
pofe, it is a good evidence that affeclions are from the fanclify- 
ing and faving influences of the Holy Ghofl. Their argu- 
. merit is, that Satan cannot love ; this affection being directly 
contrary to the devil, whofe very nature is enmity and malice. 
And it is true, that nothing is more excellent, heavenly and 
divine, than a fpirit of true Chriftian love to God and men : 
it is more excellent than knowlege, or prophecy^ or miracles t 
Qt fpeaking with the. tongue of men and angels. It is the chief 
of the graces of God's Spirit, and the life, effence and fum of 
ail true religion ; and that by which we are mod conformed ta 


|| Mr. Stoddard, in his Guide fo Crrfi, fpeaks of it as 
rting* for perfons while in a natural condition, and before they have 
ever truly tqcepted of Chrift > to have fcHpture-/*ttwj/ come to them,. 
with a great deal of refrcjbing ; which they take as tokens of God's !o-i'e, 
aud Lope that God has accepted them ; aad fo are confident of their goad 
eilate. Page 8, 9. ImprelH 


heaven, and moft contrary to hell and the devil. But yet it is 
ill arguing from hence, that there aie no counterfeits of it. It 
may be obferved, that the more excellent any thing is, the 
more will be the counterfeits of it. Thus there are many iiitae 
counterfeits of filver and gold, than of iron and copper : there 
?ire many falfe diamonds and rubies, but who goes about to 
counterfeit common iiones ? Though the more excellent ihiogs 
are, the more difficult it is to make any tLirig that lhail he like 
them, in their effential nature and internal virtue ; yet the 
more manifold will the counterfeits be, and the more will art 
and fubtilty be e.xercifed and difplayed, in an exact imitation 
of the outward appearance. Thus theie is the greateii danger 
of being cheated in buying of medicines that are moil exceU 
lent and fove-reign, though it be moil difficult to imitate them, 
with any thing of the like value and virtue, and their counter 
feits a/e good for nothing when we have them. So it is -with 
Christian virtues and graces ; the fubtilty of Satan, and rnens 
deceitful hearts, are wont chiefly to beexercifed in counterfeit 
ing thofe that are in higheft repute. So there are perhaps no. 
graces that have more counterfeits than love and humility ; 
thefe being virtues wherein the beauty of a true Chriftiandces 
especially appear. 

But with refpecl: to love ; it is plain by the fcripture, that 
perfons may have a kind of religious love, and yet have no fa-, 
ving grace, Chrift fpeaks of many profeffing Chriftians ihat 
liave fuch, love, whole love will not continue, and fo (hall fail 
offalvation, Matth. xxiv. 12, 13. " And becaufe iniquity (hall 
*' abound, the love of many fhall wax cold. But he that (hall 
*' endure unto the end, the fame fhall be faved." Which lat 
ter words plainly fhew, that thofe fpoken of before, whofe love 
fhall not endure to the eftd, but wax cold, fhould not be faved. 
Perfons may fee-rn to have hvve to God and Chrilf, yea to 
liave very Rrong and violent affections of this nature, and yet 
have no. grace. For this was evidently the cafe with many 
gracel&fs Jews, fiich as cried Jcfus up (o high, following him 
day and night, without meat, drink, or deep; fuch a:> faid t 
Lord, I will follow the: wkilhdrjQU'tr thai ^o^/l y and cried, 
]oja?Lna ta the. Ion of I) avid, t 


f Agreeable t-> this Mr. Stoddard obfcrves, in his Gwde to Clrifl^ 
that forrre fin ners have pangs of affeftkon, and give an account that- 

nd a fpirh of love to Gc-..i,_ x\<\ of their ai.ning at the glory 



The apofde feems to intimate, that there were many in his 
davs, who had a counterfeit love to Chrill, in Eph. vi. 24. 
Grace be with all them that love our Lord je fits Chri/l in fince- 
lity. The la ft word, in the original, fignifles inincorruption^ 
which (hews, that the apoftle was fenfiblethat there were many 
who had a kind of love to Chrift, whofe love was not pure and 

So alfo Chriftian love to the people of God maybe counter 
feited. It is evident by the (cripture, that there mav be firorig 
affections of this kind, without faving grace; as there were 
in the Galatians towards the apoille Paul, when they were 
ready to pluck out their eyes and give them to him ; although 
the apoftle expreffes his fear that their affections were come to 
nothing, and that he had befknved upon them labour in vain, 
Gal. iv. 11, 15. 

VII. Perfons having religious affeftions of many kinds, ac 
companying one another, is not fufficient to determine whe 
ther they have any gracious affections or no. 

Though falfe religion is wont to be maimed and monftrons, 
and not to have that entirencfs and fymmetry of parts, which 
is to be feen in true religion ; yet there may be a great variety 
of falfe affections together, that may referable gracious affec 

It is evident that there are counterfeits of all kinds of gra 
cious affections ; as of love to God, and love to the brethren, as 
has beenjuft now obferved; fo of godly J'orrcw Jorjin, as in 
Pharaoh, Saul, and Ahab, and the children of Ifrael in the 
wildernefs, Exod. ix. 27. i Sam. xxiv. 16, 17. and xxvi. 21. 
i Kings xxi. 27. Numb. xiv. 39, 40. and of mejeaf of God, 
as in the Samaritans, who feared the Lord, and ferved their 
own gods at the fame time, 2 Kings xvii. 32, 33. and thofe 
enemies of God we read of, Pfal. Ixvi. 3. who through the great- 
nefs of God's power, fubmit themfdvts to him, or, as it is in 
tt>e Hebrew, lie unto him, i. e. yield a counterfeit reverence 


of God, having that whirh has a great rcfemhlance of faving grace; 
and that fometimes their common affeftions are flronger than faving. 
And fuppofes, that fometimes natural men rrriv have fiich violent 
pangs of falfe affection to God, that they may think themfelVss wil- 
|iHg to be damne4. Page 2 r , and 6f. 

1/4 W HAT ARE NO S I G N S Part II. 

and fubraiiTion : fo of a gracious gratitude, as in the children 
ofllrad, who fang God's praife at the Red fea, Pfal. cvi. 12. 
and Naaman the Syrian, after his miraculous cure, of his lepro- 
iy, 2 Kings v. ij, & c . 

So olfpihtualjoy, as in the (tony-ground hearers, Matth. 
xiii. 20. and particularly many of John the BapufVs hearers, 
John v. 35. So of zeal, as in Jehu, 2 Kings x. 16. and in 
Paul before his converfkm, Gal. i. M . Phil. iii. 6. and the 
unbelieving Jews, A6U xx.i. 3. Rom. x. 2. So gracelefs per- 
fons may have earnejt religious dtprcs, which may be like 
Balaam s defires, which he expreffes under an extraordinary 
view that he had of the happy ftate of God's people, as diilin- 
guilhed from all the reft of the world, Numb, xxiii. 9, 10. 
They may alfo have a firorig hope of eternal life, as the Phari- 
fees had. 

And as men, while in a ftate of nature, are capable of a re- 
femblance of all kinds of religious affeaions, fo nothing hin 
ders but that they may have many of them together. And 
what appears in f a a, does abundantly evince that it is very of 
ten fo indeed. It teems commonly to be fo, that when 'falfe 
affeaions are raifed high, there are many falfe affeaions attend 
each other. The multitude that attended Chrift into Jerufa- 
lem, after that great miracle of raifing Lazarus, feem to be 
moved with many religion? affeaions at" once, and all in a high 
degree. They feem to be filled with admiration, and there 
was a fnew of an high affbaion of love, and alfo of a great de 
gree of trjsrence, in their laying their garments on the ground 
ibrChrifl to tread upon ; and alfo of great gratitude to him, 
for ^the great and good works he had wrought, p raifing him 
with loud voices for his falvation ; and earned: de/ires of the 
coming of God's kingdom, which they fuppofed Jefus was now 
about to fet ur> ---' /{ ' - ' - -^"i 

-iw,^, u. v mciKc me w:iuie ciiy ring Vvitn tiie none or the 
and appeared great in their zeal and forwardnefs to attend ]< , -., 
and affrft him without further delay, now in the time of the 
great ! feafl : of the pufj'ovtr, to fet up his kinadom. And it is 
eafy, from nature, and the nature of the affections, to give an 
account why, when one affeftion is raifed very hiirh,that it 
ftouid excite others ; efpecially if the affeaion which is railed 
be that of counterfeit love, as it was in the multitude 



who cried Hofanna. This will naturally draw many other af- 
feclions after it. For, as was oWerved before, love is the 
chief of the affections, and as it were the fountain of them. 
Let r.s fuppofe a pcrfon who has been for fume time in great 
exercife and terror through fear of hell, and his heart weaken 
ed with diftrefs and dreadful apprehenfions,and upon the brink 
ofdefpair, and is all at once delivered, by being firmly made 
to believe, through forne delufion of Satan, that God has par 
doned him, and accepts him as the cbjefcl of his dear love, and 
promifes him eternal life ; as fuppofe through fome vifion, or 
ftrong idea or imagination, fuddenly excited in him, of a per- 
fon with a beautiful countenance, fmiling on him, and with 
arms open, and with blood dropping down, which the perfon 
conceives to be Chrift, without any other enlightening of the 
underfrdnding, to give a view of the fpiritual divine excellency 
of Chrift and his fulnefs, and of the way of falvation revealed 
in the gofpel ; or perhaps by fome voice or words coming as 
if they were {poke to him, fuch as thefe, Sort, be. of good c/tcer, 
thy fins be for given, thee ; or, Fear not, it is the father's good 
meafure to give you the kingdom, which he takes to be immedi 
ately fpoken by God to him, though there was no preceding 
acceptance of Chrift, or clofing of the heart with him : I fay, 
if we Oiould fuppofe fuch a cafe, what various paflions would 
naturally croud at once, or one after another, into fuch a per- 
fon's mind ? It is eafy to be accounted for, from mere princi 
ples of nature, that a perfon's heart, on fuch an occafion, fliould 
be raifed up to the fkies with tranfpoits of joy, and be filled 
with fervent affection, to that imaginary God or Redeemer, 
\vho he fuppofes has thus refcued him from the jaws of fuch 
dreadful deftruclion, that his foul was fo amazed with the feais 
of, and has received him with fuch endearment, as a peculiar 
favourite ; and that now he (hould be filled with admiration 
and gratitude, and his mouth mould be opened, arid he full 
of talk about what he has experienced ; and that, for a while, 
he mould think and fpcak of fcarce any thing eife, and fhculd 
fcem to magnify that God who has clone Ib much for him, 
and call upon others to rejoice with him, and appear with a 
chearful countenance, and talk with a loud voice : and how 
ever, before his deliverance, he was full of quarreliing.s againfl 
thejuilice of God, that now it fliould be ealy for him to fu[>- 
rmt to God, and own his uir.vorthinefs, and cry out againfl 
himfelf, and appear to be verv bumble before God. and lie at 


1-6 \V H AT ARE NO S I G N S Part tit 

his feet as tame as a lamb ; and that he fhould now confefs hi* 
tinworthinefs, and cry out, Why me. ? why me ? (Like Saul* 
who when Samuel told him that God had appointed him to 
be king, nukes anfwer, AM not / a Btnjamite, of the J'nialleji 
oftlie tribes of l/'rael, and my family the. teajl of all the families 
cf the tribe of Benjamin ? wherefore thin J'peakejl thou Jo to me? 
Much in the language oif David, the true faint, a Sam. vii. 18, 
'-' Who arn I, and what is ray father's houfe, that thou halt 
** brought me hitherto ?") Nor is it to be wondered at, that 
now he fhould delight to be with them who acknowlege and 
applaud his happy circumftaaces, and ihould love all fuch as 
elteem and admire him and what he has experienced, and have 
violent zeal againR ail fuch as would make nothing of fuch 
things, and be difpofed openly to feparate, and as it were to 
proclaim war with all who be not of his party, and mould 
now glory in his fuflerings, and be very much for condemning 
and cenfuring all whofeem to doubt, or make any difficulty of 
thefe things ; arid while the warmth of his affections laft, mould 
be mighty forward to take pains, and deny himfelf, to promote 
the intereft of the party who he imagines favour fuch things, 
and feem earneftly defirous to increafe the number of them, as 
the Pharifees compared fea and land to make one profdyte:\ 
And fo I might goon, and mention many other things, which 
will naturally arife in fuch eircurnfrances. He muft have but 
(lightly confulered human nature, who thinks fuch things as 
thefe cannot arife in this manner, without any Lfernatural 
interpofition of divine power. 

As from true divine love flow all Chriilian aSe&ions, fo; 
from a counterfeit love in like manner naturally flow other iaifs: 
affcftions. In both cafes, love is .the fountain, and the other? 
affections are the ft reams. The various faculties, principle^ 
and afieSions of the human nature, are as it were many chan-l 
ne's from one fountain : if there be fweet water in the foun*. 
fain, fweet water will from thence flow out in:o thofe various 
rlsuir.iels ; but if the water in the fountain be poifonous, tbea<; 
poiionous ftreams will alibflow out into all thole channels. So| 


J ff AiTociating with godly men does not prove that a man haj| 
" .gnu^ : Ahirhophel was David's companion. Sorrows for the af> 
c< Hictions of the church, and delires for the converiion of fouls, dtf^ 
et not prove it. Theie things may he found in carnal men, aid fd 
** can be no evidences of grace." ' Stoddard's Nature offering con* 


that the channels and flreams will be alike,, correfponding one 
with another ; but the great difference will lie in the nature of 
the water. Or, man's nature may be compared to a tree, with 
many branches, coming from one root : if the lap in die root 
be good, there will alfo be good lap distributed throughout the 
branches, and the fruit that is brought forth will be good and 
wholefome ; but if the lap in the root and flock be poifonous, 
fo it will be in many branches, (as in the other cafe,) and the 
fruit will be deadly. The tree in both cafes may be alike ; 
there may be an exact refemblance in fhape ; but the differ 
ence is found only in eating the fruit. It is thus (in fome 
meafure at leaft) oftentimes, between faints and hypocrites. 
There is fometirnes a very great fitnilitude between true and 
faife experiences, in their appearance, and in what is exprel- 
fed and related by the fubjects of them : and the difference be 
tween them is much like the 'difference between the dreams or 
Pharaoh's chief butler and baker ; they feemed to be much 
alike, infomuch that when Jofeph interpreted the chief butler's 
dream, that he mould be delivered from his imprifonment, and 
reitored to the king's favour, and his honourable office in the 
palace, the chief baker had raifed hopes and expectations, and 
told his dream alfo ; but he was wofully difappointecl ; and 
though his dream was fo much. like the happy and well-boclin r 
dream of his companion, yet it was quite contrary in its iflue. 

VIII. Nothing can certainly he determined concerning the 
nature of the affections by this, that comforts and joys feem to 
follow awakenings and convictions of confcieace, in a certain 

Many perfons feem to be prejudiced againfl anfections and 
experiences that come in fuch a method, as has been much 
iniifted on by many divines ; firlf, fuch awakenings, fears and 
awful apnrehenfions followed with fuch legal humblings, in 
a fenfe of total finfulnefs and helpleflhefs, and then, fuch and 
fuch light and comfort : they look upon all fuch fchemes, lay 
ing down fuch methods and (teps, to be of mens deviling: and 
particularly ii high affections of joy follow great diftrefs ar.d 
terror, it is made by many an argument againft thole al 
tion?. But fuch prejudices and objections are without reafoa 
or fcripture. Surely it cannot be unreafbnable to fuppofc, that 
before G xi delivers perfons from a ftatc of fm and CKpoll / 
to deftr notion, he ihould give them fome c< 

fc>... evil lie delivers irom : th 


fenfibly, and underftand their own falvation, ami know fomc-. 
thing of v/hr.t Goi does for them. At men th;;t art fa 
are in two exceeding different (tares, fo ' in 

flation, and then in a ilate of juftiricatbn and lefs ; and 

as God in the work of the fulvation of mankind, ck-als with them 
fuitably to their intelligent raticr.-il nrture : fo it feems realbn- 
able, and agreeable to God's wi . : men \\i;o arc fcv'i.d. 
fjiould be in thefe two ibtc- firft, that tney fliouldj 

fenfibly to themfelves, be in a itate of condemnation, and fo 
in a Hate of \voful calamity and dreadful mifcry, and fo after 
wards fenfibly in a flute of deliverance and happinefs , and that 
they be firft fenf.ble of their abfolnte extreme iK-cefiity, 
and afterwards of Chrift's fuffieiency and God's mercy through 

And that it is God's manner of dealing with men, to lead 
them into a wzlderncfs, before h& fpsafis coJnfortabt] , and 

fo to order it, that they mall be brought inu> difttefs, and made 
to fee their own helpleil: -:fs, and abfolute dependence on his 
power and grace, before^^Epears to work ary deliverance 
for them, is abundantly fflpnifcit by the fcriptir/e. Then is 
God wont to repent himffijjor nis ptvf effing pfopte, when their 
Jireugth is gone ^ and there isnontjhut up or trjt, and when 
they are brought to fee that their falfe gods cannot help them, 
and. that the rock in whom they triulal is vain, Dent, xxxii. 
36, 37, Before God delivered the children of Ifbel out of 
Jigypt, they were prepared for it, by being made to Jet-that they 
ztjdrc in an evil cafe, and to cry unto God, becc.ufc of their haid 
bondagt, Exod. ii. 23. and v. 19. And before God wrought 
that great deliverance for them at the Red Tea, they were brought 
into great diirreis, tht icildcynej} had Jliut them w, they could 
not turn to the right hand nor the Kir. and the Red fea was be 
fore them, and the great Ein-ptian l-.of: behind, pr.d they were 
brought to Ice that they could do nothing to help themielves, nud 
that if God did not help them, they iliouid be Irtimediately 
{wallowed up ; and then God appeared, ainl turned thtir cries 
into fbngs. So before they wejre brougjit to then uit, ai.d to 
c-:joy the milk and l:o-:.y of, God /W//:,/\ through a 
great and terrible, witdernefs,, that lit n.i^ht humble iher,^ and 
tc..u/i ike 1.1 ichai was in their 

'erend, Deut. .yiiit 2, 16 
of Mood twelve years, w<^ n< :mtil fhe had 

/ all '< i In ing an ru/'i/u'y /- 

*j any, aivi fo Wasleft \ Ipld ha ing no UiOJ '' to 

fpend ; 


fpend ; and thea f"he came to the great Phyfician, without any 
or price, a 'id was healed by him, Luke viii. 43, 44. 
Chriit woidd anfwer the reci (j , of Cana 

an, he fir! I feemed utterly to deny I ! huinMed her, and 

brought her to own hferfelf worthy to be call. , and thea 

,ved her mercy, and received her as a 

xv. 22. &c. The apoftle Paul, before a rerrr. ;iverance, 

was preffffd out ofmenjtire, above Jtrcuvui, ir,-/bmuch that he 
-id e.vtn of lift ; but had the fentcticc of d& 

ght not trv.ii in himfdf, but in God I hat raifed the. 
. ; . 8,9, 10. There was firft a great tempslt, anrl 
the ihip was covered with the waves, and jnft ready to fink, and 
the difciples were brought to cry to Jefus, Lord, five us, we pc- 
riJJi \ and then the wir.ds and. leas were rebuked^ and there was 
t calm, Matth. viii, 24, 25, 26. The leper, before he is 
-.!, mult have his mourh itopped, by a covering on his 
Tip, and was to acknov/Iege his great mifery an ' 
.efs, by rending his cloaths, and' crying:, " Urr. 
"- clean," Lev. xiii. 45. And b:* 

heals them, are brought t- i \!,and 

kavi not obeyed the voice of the. Lord, and t-j lee that they lie 
down in their jhame, and that confujion covers them, and that 
in vain is jalvatwn hoped for from the. hills, and from the mul 
titude of mountains, and that God only can fuve them. Jer. iii* 
-^ , .'4, 25. Jofcph, who was (bid by his brethren, and therein 
was a type of Chriit, brings his brethren into e"cat perplexity 
and diftfefs, and brings them to rellecT: on their fir,, and to fay, 
we are verily guilty i and at lait to rrf;g!i up the;. .-.tirely 

into his hands for bondmen ; and then reveals himfelf to them, 
as their brother and their faviouf. 

And if we confidiT thole extraordinary manifcfiations which 
G.->d made of himfelf to faints of old, we ihall find that lie com 
monly fir i! rnaniieded himfelf in away which was terrible, ami 
then by thofe things that were conifortahle. So it was with 
Abraham ; fird, a honor of %r?at diirkn>-fs fell ujfon him* and 
then Gocl revealed rmrdeH' to him in fweet piornifes, Gen.xv. 
12, 13. So it was with Mofes at mount Sinai ; fir!r, God 
appeared to him in all the terrors of his dreadful majdlv, io 
that Motes fiid, 7,'\ w;,' and quake., and then lie made 

' : (joodnefs to pals before !,;m, arid proclaimed his narnf, 
The Lord God gracious and mrfrif at, &c. So it was with Elijah ; 
fiiTr, there is a ftnnnv u-ind, Slid [ua :e, and devouring 

iii'i 1 , oiiJ, then j iUil, fn . inrrs jcix. So it 


i f do WHAT A R N-O SIGNS Part II. 

was with Daniel ; he fiift f'aw ChriiTs countenance as light 
ning, that terrified him, and caufed him to faint away ; and 
then he is ftrengthened and refreihed with fuch comfortable 
words as thefe, Daniel, a man greatly beloved* Dan. x. So it 
was with the apoftle John, Rev. i. And there is an analogy 
obfervable in God's difpenfations and deliverances which he 
works for his people, and the rnanileftation which he makes of 
himfelf to them, both ordinary and extraordinary. 

But there are many things in fcripture which do more di 
re ft I y {hew, that this is God's ordinary manner in working fal- 
vation for the fouls of men, and in the manifellations God 
makes of himfelf and of his mercy in Chrift, in the ordinary 
works of his grace on the hearts of fmners. The fervant that 
owed his prince ten thoufand talents, is firft held to his debt, 
and the king pronounces fentence of condemnation upon him, 
and commands him to be fold, and his wife and children, and 
payment to be made ; and thus he humbles him, and brings" 
him to own the whole debt to be juft, and then forgives him all. 
The prodigal fon fpends all he has, and is brought to fee him- 
felf in extreme circumftances, and to humble himfelf, and own 
his unworthinefs, before he is relieved and feafted by his father, 
Luke xv. Old inveterate wounds muft be fearched to the bot 
tom, in order to healing : and the fcripture compares fin, the 
wound of the foul, to this, and fpeaks of healing this wound 
without thus fearchingof it, as vain and deceitful, Jer. viii. 11. 
Chrift, in the work of his grace on the hearts of men, is com 
pared to rain on the mown grafs, grafs that is cut down with 
a fcythe, Pfal. Ixxii. 6. representing his refrefhing, comforting 
influences on the wounded fpirit. Our firft parents, after they 
had finned, were firft terrified with God's majefty and juftice, 
and had their fin, with its aggravations, fet before them by their 
Judge, before they were relieved by the promife of thee feed of 
the woman. Ghriftians arefpoken of as thofe " that have fled 
*' for refuge, to lay hold on the hope fet before them," Heb. 
vi. 18. which representation implies great fear, and fenfe ot 
danger preceding. To the like purpofe, Chrift is called " a hid- 
" ing-place from the wind, and a covert from the tempeft, and 
" as rivers of water in a dry place, and as the fhadow of a 
" great rock in a weary land," If. xxxii. at the beginning. 
And it feems to be the natural import of the word go /pel, glad 
tidings, that it is news of deliverance and falvation, after great 
fear and diilrsfs. Theieis all reafon to fuppofc, that God deals 

TO D I S T I N G U I S II A F F C T I O N S. l8l 

with particular believers, as be dealt with his church, which he 
firft made to hear his voice in the law, with terrible thunders 
arid lightnings, and kept her under that fchoolmafter, to prepare 
her for Ghrift ; and then comforted her with the joyful found 
or the gofpel from mount Sion. So lihevvife John the Bapiiic 
came to prepare the way for Chrift, and prepare mens hearts 
for his reception, by (hewing them, tberr fins, and by bringing 
the felf- righteous Jews off from their cwri righfeoufhefs, tell 
ing them that they were a generation of vipers, and (hewing 
them their danger of the wrath to come, telling them that the ax 
was laid at the, root of the trees, Sec. 

And if it be indeed God's mariner, (as I think the forego 
ing coniiderations (hew that it undoubtedly is,) before he gives 
men the comfort of a deliverance from their fin and mifery, 
to give them a confiderable fenfe of the greatnefs and dread- 
fulnefs of thofe evils, and their extreme wretchednefs by rea- 
fon of them ; furely it is not unreafonable to fuppofe, that 
perfons, at leaft oftentimes, while under thefe views, mould 
have great diftrelTes arid terrible apprehenfions of mind : ef- 
pccially if it be confidered what thefe evils are, that they have 
a view of; which are no other than great and manifold fins, 
againft the infinite majefty of the great JEHOVAH, and the 
fuffering of the fiercenefs of his wrath to all eternity. And the 
more fo Hill, when we have many plain inflances in fcripture, 
of perfons that have aftually been brought into extreme diftrefs, 
by fuch convictions, before they have received faving confola- 
tions : as the multitude at Jerufalem, who \f eft pricked in their 
heart, and faid unto Peter, and the reft of the apcjlles, Men and 
brethren, what fliall we do ? and the apoitle Paul, who trembled 
and was ajlonijlied, before he was comforted : and the jailor, 
when he called for a ii^ht, and fprang in, and came trembling, 
and fell down before Paid and Si/as, and f aid > Sirs, what mujt 
I do to befaved? 

From thefe things it appears to be very unreafonable in pro- 
fe fling Chriftians, to make this an obje$ion againft the truth 
and fpiritual nature of the comfortable and joyful affeftions 
which any have, that they follow fuch awful apprehenfions 
and diftrefles, as have been mentioned. 

And on the other hand, it is no evidence that comforts and 
jqys axe right, becaufe they fuccecd great terrors, and amaz 

3 Sa WHAT ARE NO Sic N s Part II. 

ing fears of hell.* This feems to be whit fome perfons lay 
g.e^t weight upon ; efteerning great terrors an evidence of a 
great work, of the law wrought on the heart, well preparing 
the way for foiicl comfort : not configuring that terror, and a 
conviction of confciencc, arc different things. For though 
conviclions of confcience do often caufe terror ; yet they do 
not confiit in it ; and terrors do often arife from other caufes. 
Convictions of confcience, through the influences of God's 
Spitir, confift in conviction of' finfulnefs of heart and practice, 
and of the dreadfulnefs of fin, as committed againit a God of 
temble majefiy, infinite holinefs and hatred of fin, and ftfifc 
juftice in punilhing of it. But there are fome perfons that 
have frightful apprehenfions of hell, a dreadful pit ready to 
fwal'ow them up, and flames juft ready to lay hold of them, 
and devils around them, ready to feize them ; who at the fame 
time feem to have very little proper enlightenings of confci 
ence, really convincing them of their finfulnefs of heart and 
life. The devil, if permitted, can terrify men as well as the 
Spirit of God, it is a work natural to him, and he has many 
\vaysofdoingit, in a manner tending to no good. He may 
exceedingly affright perfons, by imprefling on them many ex 
ternal images and ideas, of a countenance frowning, a fword 
drawn, black clouds of vengeance, words of an awful doom 
pronounced, t hell gaping, devils coming, and the like, not to 
convince perfons of things that are true, and revealed in the 
word of God, but to lead them to vain and groundlefs deter 
mination : 

* Mr. Shepard fpeaks of cs mens being cafe down as low as hell- 
" by forrow and lying under chains, quaking in appreherition ot 
*' terror to come, and then raifed up to heaven in joy, not a hi? t.) 
*' live ; and yet not rent from lull : and fuch are objects of pitv now, 
** and are like to be the objects of terror at the great day." Parable 
tfike ten Virgins, P. L p. 125. 

T " The way of the Spirit's working, when it does convince men, 
" is by enlightening natural confcience. The Spirit does not work. 
** ty r S? v ^ n S a teftimonjr, but by affixing natural confcience to do its 
" work. Nature;! confcience is the mftitnnent in the hand of God, 
* to accufe, condemn, terrify, and to urge to duty. The Spirit 
" of God leaovs men into the ccnfideration of their danger, and make? 
** them to be affected therewith, Prov. xx. 27. 'The J'pirit cf man ,> 
* ; the candle of the Lord, /tanking all the ifevoard farts of ice &//V." 
Scji.iard's Guide to Cbrijr, pag* 1 44. 


initiations ; as that their day is pad, that they are reprobated, 
that God is implacable, that he lias come to a refutation im 
mediately to cut them off, &c. 

And the terrors which fume perfons have, are very much 
owinj; to the Danicukir conftitution and temper they are of. 
ig is more iiianifeft, than that fome perfons are of fucli 
a temper and frame, that their imaginations are more lirongly. 
imprcifed with everything they areaffele4 with, than others ; 
and the impreflion on the imagination re-afts on the affection, 
and raifes that ftill higher; and fo affection and imagination 
aft reciprotally, one on another, till their affection is r::u j d to 
a vail height, and the perfon is fwallovved up, and loics all poi- 
feflion of himfelf.* \ 

And fome fpeak of a great fight they have of their wic&pd- 
nefs, who really, when the matter comes to be well exami 
ned into and throughly weighed, are found to have little or 
no convictions of confcience. They tell of a dreadful hp.rd 
heart, and how their heart lies like a Hone ; vJien truly they 
have none of thofe things in their mind* or thoughts, wherein 
the hardnefs of mens heart does really confift. They tell of a 
dreadful load and fink of fin, a heap of black and loatUome 
iilthinefs within them ; when, if the mazier be carefully in 
quired into, they have not in view any thing wherein the cor 
ruption of nature does truly confift, nor have they any thought 
of any particular thing wherein their hearts are finfuiiy dcfec- 
tue, or fall ihort of what ought to be in them, or any exer- 
cifes at all of corruption in them. And many think alfo they 
have great convi6iions of their aclual fins, who truly have none. 
They tell how their fins are fet in order before them, they fee 
them ftand encompailing them round in a row, with a dreadi;.:! 
frightful appearance; when really they have not fo much as 
one of the fins they have been guilty of in the courfe oi their 
lives, coming into view, that they are affected with the aggra 
vations of. 

Arid if perfons have had great terrors which really have been 
from the awakening and convincing influences of the Spirit of 


* The famous Mr. Perkins diflingiiifries between " tbofe for rows 
" thac conic through convidions of c'-.n^r:.-nce, and melancholic 
" paifioiis adfing only from mejre imj , ftrongly conceived 

" in the brain "; which he fays, ufuaiiy come on a fu-vkicu, like 
" lightening into a hoafe," vol. i. of his worlis, page 385. 


God, it doth not thence follow that their terrors muft needs 
iilue in true comfort. The unmonified corruption of the heart 
may quench the Spirit of God, (after he has been ftriving,) 
by leading men to prefumptuous, and felf-exalting hopes and 
joys, as well as otherwife. It is not every woman who is real 
ly in travail, that brings forth a real child ; but it may be a 
inonftrous production, without any thing of the form or pro 
perties of human nature belonging to it. Pharaoh's chief 
baker, after be had lain in the dungeon with jofeph, had a 
vifion that raifed his hopes, and he was lifted up out of the dun 
geon, as well as the chief butler ; but it was to be hanged. 

But if comforts and joys do not only come after great terrors 
and awakenings, but there be an appearance of Jack prepatory 
conviclions and humiliations, and brought about very diilincily, 
by fuck fteps, and in fuck a method, as has frequently been 
obfervable in true converts ; this is no certain fign tl;at the 
ligrht and comforts which follow arc true and faving. And for 
tliefe following reafons, 

Fir ft y As the devil can counterfeit all the faving operations 
and graces of the Spirit of Gocl, fo he can counterfeit thofe 
operations that are preparatory to grace. If Satan can coun 
terfeit thofe eflecls of God's Spirit which are fpecial, divine 
and fancYifying ; fo that there ihall be a very great refemblance, 
in all that can be obfervecl by others ; much more eafily may 
lie imitate thofe works of God's Spirit \vbich are common, 
und which men, while they are yet his own children, are the 
fubjecls of. Thefe works are in no wife fo much above him 
as the other. There are no works of God ihat are fo high and 
divine, and above the powers of nature, and out of the reach 
of the power of ail creatures, as thofe works of his Spirit, 
whereby he forms the creature in his own image, and makes it 
fo be a partaker of the divine nature. But if the devil can be 
the .author of ftieh refemblances of thefe as have been fpoken 
of, without doubt. he may of thofe that ;>re of an infinitely in 
ferior kind. And it is abundantly evident in fact, that there 
are falfe humiliations, and f.iife ftibmiiiions, as well as faifc 
comforts.* How far was Saul brought, though a very wick 
ed man, and of a haughty fpirit, when he (though a great king) 


* T^erertefable Stoddard obferves, " A man m?y fay, that now 
" he can jiulify God however he deals with him, an I notbebro 
" oif from his owii nV'iteoafheis ; and that feme men clo j.ufdiy 



was brought, in conviclion of his (in, as it were to fall dowri 
all in tears> weeping aloud, before David his own fiibjeclj 
(and one that he had for a long time mortally hated, and open 
ly treated as an enemy,) and condemn himfelf before him, cry* 
ing out, " Thou art m.ore righteous than I : for thou haft re- 
'* warded me good, whereas I have rewarded thee evil ?" And 
at another time, " I have finned, I have played the fool, I have 
erred exceedingly," i Sam. xxiv. 16, 17* and chap, xxvi* 
21. And yet Saul feems then to have had very little of the in 
fluences of the Spirit of God, it being after God's Spirit had 
departed from him, and given him up, and an evil fpirit from 
the Lord troubled him. And if this proud monarch, in a pang 
of affeclion, was brought to humble himfelf fo low, before a 
fubjecl that he hated, and ftill continued an enemy to ; there 
doubtlefs may be appearances of great conviclion and humilia 
tion in men, before God, while they yet remain enemies to 
him, and though they finally continue fb. There is oftentimes 
in men, who' are terrified through fears of hell, a great ap 
pearance of their being brought off from their own righteouf* 
nefs, when they are not brought off from it in all ways, although 
they are in many ways that are more plain and vifible. They 
have only exchanged fome ways of trufting in their own righ- 
teoufnefs, for others that are more fecret and tub til. Oftentimes 
a great degree of difcouragement, as to many things they ufed to 
depend upon, is taken for humiliation: and that is called a fub-. 
million to God, which is no ahfjlute fubmmion, but has fome 
fecret bargain in it, that it is hard to difcover. 

Secondly, If the operations and eftecls of the Spirit of God 4 
in the convictions and comforts of true converts, may befophif* 
ticated, then the order of them may be imitated. If Satan can 
imitate the things themfelves, he may eafily put them one af 
ter another, in fuch a certain order. If the devil can make A, 
B, and C, it is as eafy for him to put A firft, and B next, and 
C next, as to range them in a contrary order. The nature of 

A a divine 

God, from a partial conviftion of the righteoufnefs of* their coil-< 
demnation ; Confdence takes notice of their fmfulnefs, and tells 
them that they may be righteouily damned ; as Pharaoh, who- 
juftiiied God, Exod. ix. 27. And they give fome kind of confentl 
to it, but. many times it does not continue, they have only a pang 
upon them, that dually dies away after a little time." Guide tv 
Irifti page 71. 


divine things is harder for the devil to imitate, than their or- 
der. He can exactly imitate divine operations in their nature,; 
though-his coun:erfeits many be very much like them in exter 
nal appearance ; but he can exaclly imitate their order. When 
counterfeits are made, there is no divine power needful in or 
der to the placing one of them firfl, and another laft. 'And 
therefore no order or method of operations and experiences, is 
any certain fign of their divinity. That only is to be trufted 
to, as a certain evidence of grace, which Satan cannot do, and : 
which it is impoffible mould be brought to pals by any power 5 
fhoi t of divine. 

Thirdly, We have no certain rule to determine how far God'a 
own Spirit may go in thofe operations and convictions which in 
themfelves are not fpiritual and faving, and yet the perfon that 
is the fubjecl of them, never be converted, but fall ihortof fal-| 
vation at lad. There is no necelfary conne6tion in the nature \ 
of things, between any thing that a natural man may experience 1 
while in a fiate of nature, and the faving grace of God's Spirit. 
And if there be no connection in the nature of things, then there 
can be no known and certain co'nne6Hon at all, unlefs it be by 
divine revelation. But there is no revealed certain connection 
between a ftate of falvation, and any thing that a natural man 
can be the fubjecl: of, before he believes in Chrift. God has 
revealed no certain connection between falvation, and any qua 
lifications in men, but only grace and its fruits. And there-*-; 
fore we do not find any legal convittions, or comforts following 
thefe legal convictions, in any certain method or order, ever 
once mentioned in the fcripture, as certain figns of grace, or 
things peculiar to the faints ; although we do find gracious 
operations and effecls themfelves, fo mentioned, thouiands of 
times. Which mould be enough with Chriflians, who are wil 
ling to have the word of God, rather than their own philofo- 
phy and experiences, and conjectures, as their fufiicient and 
fare guide in things of this nature. 

Fourthly, Experience does greatly confirm, thatperfons feem- 
ing to have convictions and comforts following one another in; 
iuch a method and order, as is, frequently obfervable in true, 
converts, is no certain fign of grace. * I appeal to all thofe 


* Mr. Stoddard, who had much experience of things of this nature,; 
long ago obierved, that converted and unconverted men cannot be; 
certainly diilinguiftied icy the account they give of their experience : 



minifters in this land, who have had much occafion of dealing 
with fouls, in the late extraordinary feafon, whether there has 
not been many who do not prove well, that have given a fair 
account of their experiences, and have fcemed to be converted 
according to rule, i. e. with convictions and afte6tions, fuc- 
ceeding dillimHiy and exactly, in that order and method, which 
has been ordinarily infilled on, as the order of the operations 
of the Spirit of God in convei fion. 

And as a feeming to have this diflinclnefs as to flaps and 
method, is no certain fign that a perfon is converted ; fo a 
being without it, is no evidence that a perfon is= not converted. 
Tor though it might be made evident to a demonftration, on 
fcripture-principles, that a (inner cannot be brought heartily to 
receive Chrill as his Saviour, who is not convinced of his. fin 
and mifery, and of his own einptinefs and helpleilhefs, and his 
juft defert of eternal condemnation; and that therefore fuch 
convictions muft he fome way implied in what is wrought in 
his foul ; yet nothing proves it to be neceifary, that all thofe 
things which are implied or prefuppofed in. an aft of faith in 
Chriit, tnuft be plainly and diitinttly wrought in the foul, info 
many fucceflive and feparate works of the Spirit, that mall be 
each one plain and manifeft, in all who are truly converted, 
On the contrary, (as Mr. Shepard obferves) fomefimes the 
change made in a faint, at firft work, is like a confufed chaos; 
fo that the faints know not what to make of it. The manner 
of the Spirit's proceeding in them that are horn of the Spirit,. is 
very often exceeding myflerious an4 unfearchable : we, as it 
were, hear the found of it, the effect of it is difcernible; but 
no man can tell whence it came, or whither it went. And it 
is oftentimes as.difficult to know the way of the Spirit in the 
new birth, as in the full birth: Eccl. xi. 5. "Thou knoweftnot 
" what is the way of the Spirit, or how the bones do grow in 
" the worab of her that is with child : even fo thbu knoweil 
" not the works of God, that worketh all." The ingcnerating . 
of a principle of grace in the foul, feems in fcripture to be ;" 
compared to the conceiving of ChrilHn the womb, GaJ.iv. 19. ( 
And therefore the church is called Chrift's mother, Cant. 
11. And fo is every particular believer, Matth. xii. 49, 
And the conception of Chrift in the womb of theblefied virgin,, 


the fame relation of experiences being common to both. And that 
many perfons have given a fair account of a work ofconverfipn, that: 
have carried well in the eve of the world for fcveral years, but have- 
not proved well at kit, j^jgeal to the learned) p. 75,76, 


by the power of the Holy Ghoft, feems to be a defigned refera- 
blance of" the conception of Chnft in the foul of a believer, by 
the power of the fame Holy Ghoft. And we know not what 
is the way of the Spirit, nor how the bones do grow, either in 
the womb, or heart that conceives this holy Child. The new 
creature may ufe that language in Pfal. cxxxix. 14, 15. " I am 
* fearfully and wonderfully made ; marvellous are thy works, 
*' and that my foul knoweth right well. My fubftance was not 
* hid from thee, when I was made in fecret," Concerning 
the generation of Chrift, both in his perfon, and alfo in the 
hearts of his people, it may be faid, as in If. liii. 8. " Who 
' can declare his generation ?" We know not the works of 
God, that worketh all. It is the glory of God to conceal a thing, 
(Prov. xxv. 2.) and to have kis path as it were m the mighty 
waters, that his footjleps may not be known : and efpecially in 
the works of his Spirit on the hearts of men, which are the 
higheft and chief of his works. And therefore it is faid, If. xL 
13, " Who hath dire61ed the Spirit of the Lord, or being his 
" counfellor hath taught him ?" It is to be feared that fome 
have gone too far towards directing the Spirit of the Lord, and 
marking out his footfteps for him, and limiting him to certain 
ileps and methods. Experience plainly (hews, that God's Spi 
rit is unfearchable and untraceable, in fome of the bell of ChrU 
ilians, in the method of his operations, in their converfion. 
Nor does the Spirit of God proceed difcernibly in the fleps of 
a particular eftablifhed fcheme, one half fo often as is imagin 
ed. A fcheme of what is necefTary, and according to a rule 
already received arid eftahlifhed by common opinion, has a vaft 
(though to many a very infenfible) influence in forming perfons 
notions of the fteps and method of their own experiences. I 
know very well what their way is ; for I have had much op 
portunity to obferve it. Very often, at fir ft; their experiences 
appear like a confufed chaos, as Mr. Shepard exprefles it : but 
then thofe pafTages of their experience are picked out, that have 
rnoft of the appearance of fuch particular fteps that are infifted 
on ; and thefe are dwelt upon in the thoughts, and thefe are 
told of from time to time,.in the relation they give : thefe parts 
grow brighter and brighter in their view; and others, being 
neglected, grow more and more abfcure : and what they have 
experienced is infenfibly ftrained to bring all to an exaft con 
formity to the fcheme that is eftablifhed. And it becomes na^ 
fqr minijlers, who. have to deal with them, and dire& 



diem that infift upon diftinftnefs and clearnefs of method, to do 
fo too. But yet there has been fo much to be feen of the ope 
rations of the Spirit of God, of late, that they who have had 
much to do with fouls, and are not blinded with a feven-fold 
vail of prejudice, mult know that the Spirit is fo exceeding 
various in the manner of his operating, that in many cafes it is 
impoffible to trace him, or find out his way. 

What we have principally to do with, in our inquiries into 
our own ftate, or directions we give to others, is the nature of 
the effect that God has brought to pafs in the foul. As to the 
fteps which the Spirit of God took to bring that effect to pafs, 
we may leave them to him. We are often in fcriprure exprefs- 
ly directed to try ourfelves by the nature of the fruits of the 
Spirit ; but no where by the Spirit's method of producing them.* 
Many do greatly err in their notions of a clear work of conver- 
fion ; calling that a clear work, where the fucceflive fleps of 
influence, and method of experience is clear: whereas thai 
indeed is the cleareft work, (not where the order of doing is 
cleared, but) where the fpiritual and divine nature of the work 
done, and effect wrought, is moft clear. 

IX. It is no certain fign that the religious affections which 
perfons have are fuch as have in them the nature of true reli 
gion, or that they have not, that they difpofe perfons to fpend 
much time in religion, and to be zealoufly engaged in the ex 
ternal duties of worfhip. 


* Mr. Shepard, fpeaking of the foul's clofing with Chrift, fays. 
*' As a child cannot tell how his foul comes into it, nor it may be when ; 
" but afterwards it fees and feels that life ; fo that he were as bad 
" as a beaft, that ihould deny an immortal foul ; fo here." Para 
ble of the ten Virgins, Part II. p. 171. 

" If the man do not know the time of his converfion, or firft clo- 
" fing with Chrift ; the minifter may not draw any peremptory con- 
** clufion from thence, that he is not godly." Stoddard's Guide to 
Chrift, p. 83, 

" Do not think there is no compunclion, or fenfe of fin, wrought 
" in the foul, becaufe you cannot fo clearly difcern and feel it ; nor 
" the time of the working, andfirft beginning of it. I have known 
*' many that have come with their complaints, that they lucre never 
" huxibled, they never fell it fo; yet there it hath been, and many 
" times they have feen it, by the other fpeclacles, and blefTed God 
*< for it." Skcpard's Sound Belic-vcr, page 58. The late impreffion 
jn Bctfon. 

190 W H A T A R E NO S I G N S Part IL 

. This has, very unreasonably, of late been looked upon as an 
argument againit the religious affections which fome have had* 
that they fpsnd fo much time in reading, praying, linging, 
hearing fernjons, and the like. It is plain from the icnpture, 
that it is the tendency of true grace to caufe perfons very much 
to delight in fuch religious exercifcs. 1 rue grace had this ef- 
fecl: <p Anna the prophetefs ; Luke ii. 37. " She departed not 
" from the temple, hut ferved God with failings and prayers 
" night and day." And grace had this eflecl npon the primi- 
live Chriftians in Jenifdem ; Atls ii..4.6, 47. " And they con- 
" tinuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking 
" bread from houfe to houfe, did eat their meat with gladnefs 
" and finglenefs of heart, praifmg God." Grace made Daniel 
delight in the duty of prayer, and folemnly to attend it three times 
a day : as it alfo did David, 17. " Evening, morning, 
" and at noon will I pray/' Grace makes the faints delight in 
Tinging praifes to God : Pfal. cxxxv. 3. " Sing praifes unto his 
"name, for it is pleafant." And'Cxlvii. I. " Praife ye the 
" Lord : for it is 'good to fing praifes unto our God ; 'for it is 
" pleafant, and praiilt is comely." It alfo caufes them to de 
light to hear the word of God preached : it makes the gofpel a 
joyful found to them, Pfal. Ixxxix. 15. and makes the feet of 
tbofe who publifh thefe good tidings, to be beautiful; If. lii. 7. 
" How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that 
" bringeth good tidings !" &c. It makes them love God's 
public worm ip ; Pfal. xxvi. 8. "Lord I have loved the babi- 
*' tation of thy houfe, and the place where thine honor dwcl- 
" letli." And xxvii. 4. "One thing have I defired of the 
" Lord, that will I fcek after, that I may dwell in the houfe of 
fi the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the 
" Lord, and to inquire in his temple." Pfal. lxx r xiv. j, 2, &c. 
" Plow amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of b'ofts ! rny foul 
<s longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord. 
" Yea, the fparrov/ hath -found an- houfe, and the fwallow a neft 
" for herfeif, where fiie may<lay her young, even thine altars, 
" O Lord of hods,. my King, and rny God. Bleffed are they 
" that dwell in thy boufe : they will be flill praifmg thee. 
*' Bleffed is the man in whofe heart are the ways of them, 
*' who paffing through the^ Valley of Baca, go from ftren^th 
*' to ftrength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before 
ec God." verf. 10. " A ciav in thy courts is better than a thou- 



This is the nature of true grace. But yet, on theother hand, 
perfons being difpofed to abound and to be zealoufly engaged 
in the external exercifesof religion, and to fpend much time in 
them, is no Cure evidence of grace ; becairfe fuch a difpofition 
is found in many that have no grace. So it was with the K- 
raelites of old, whofe fervices were abominable to God ; they 
attended the " new moons, and fabbaths, and calling of afiem- 
" biies, and fpread forth their hands, and made many prayers," 
Ii r . i. 12 i^. So it was with the Pharifees ; they made long 
players and fa/led twice a zietk. Falfe religion may caufe per- 
ions to be loud and earnell in prayer : If. Iviii. 4. " Ye mall not 
" fa ft as ye do this day, to caufe your voice to be heard on 
11 high." That religion which is not fpiritual and laving, 
may caufe men to delight in religious duties and ordinances : 
If. Iviii. 2. " Yet they feek me daily, and delight to know my 
" ways, as a nation that did righteoufnefs, and forfook not the 
" ordinance of their God: they afk of me the ordinances of 
" juftice : they take delight in approaching to God." It may 
caufe them to take delight in hearing the word of God preach 
ed ; as it was with Ezekiel's hearers, Ezek. xxxiii. 31, 32. 
" And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they 
" fit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but 
" they will not do them : for with their mouth they {hew 
" much love, but their heart goeth after their covetoufnefs. 
" And lo, thoii art unto them as a very lovely fong of one that 
" hath a pleafant voice, and can play well on an inilfument : 
" for they hear thy words, but they do them not." So it was 
with Herod; he heard John the Baptift^/W/y, Mark vi. 20. 
So it was with others of his hearers, " for a feafon they rejoic- 
" ed in his light," John v. 35. So the itony-ground hearers 
heard the word with joy. 

Experience {hew?, that perfons, from falfe religion, may be 
inclined to be exceeding i&undant in the external exercifes of 
religion ; yea, to give themfelves up to them, and devote al- 
moft their whole time to them. Formerly a ioit of people 
were very numerous in theRomifh church, called .reclufes, who 
forfook the world, and utterly abandoned the fociety of mankind, 
and ihut themfelves up clofe, in a narrow cell, with a vow- 
never to ftir out of it, nor to fee the face cfany of mankind any 
more ; (unlefs that they might be vifit :d in cafe of fickncfs ;) 
to fpend all their days in the exercifes of devotion and converfe 
with God. There were alfo in old time, great multitudes call 

W H A T A R X N O S I C N S ' Part. II, 

ed Hermites and Anchorites, that left the world to foend all 
their days in lonefome defarts, to give themfelves up to religious 
contemplations and exercifes of devotion ; fome forts of them 
having no dwellings, but the caves and vaults of the mountains, 

and no food, but the fpontaneous productions of the earth. L 

once lived, for many months, next door to a Jew, (the houfes 
adjoining one to another,) and had much opportunity daily to 
obfeirve him ; who appeared to me the devouteft perfon that ever 
I faw in my life ; great part of his time being fpent in acls of 
devotion, at his eaftern window, which opened next to mine, 
feeming to be moll earneftly engaged, not only in the day-time,, 
but fometimes whole nights. 

X. Nothing can be certainly known of the nature of religious 
affe&ions by this, that they much difpofe perfons with their 
mouths to praife and glorify God. This indeed is implied in 
what has been juft now obferved, of abounding and fpending much 
time in the external exercifes of religion, and was alfo hinted 
before : but becaufe many feem to look upon it as a bright evi 
dence of gracious affeftion, when perfons appear greatly difpo- 
fedto praife and magnify God, to have their mouths full of his 
praifes, and affectionately to be calling on others to praife and 
extol him, I thought it deferved a more particular confidera- 

No Chriftian will make it an argument againft a perfon, that 
he feems to have fuch a difpofition. Nor can it reafonably be 
looked upon as an evidence for a perfon, if thofe things that 
have been already obferved and proved, be duly confidered, viz. 
that perfons, without grace, may have high affections towards 
God and Chrift, and that their affections being ihrong, may fill 
their mouths, and incline them to fpeak much, and very earneft 
ly, about the things they are affected with, and that there may 
fre counterfeits of all kinds of gracious affection. But it will 
appear more evidently and directly, that this is no certain fign of 
grace, if we confider what inltances the fcripture gives us of it 
in thofe that were gracelefs. We often have an account of this, 
in the multitude that were prefent when Chrift preached and 
wrought miracles ; Mark ii. 12. " And immediately he arofe, 
M took up his bed, and went forth before them all, infomuch 
" that they were all amazed, and glorified God, faying, We 
" never faw it on this fafhion." So Matth. ix. 8* and Luke 
v, 26, Alfo Matth. xv. 31. " Infomuch that the multitude 
" wondered when they faw the dumb to fpeak, the maimed to 
w be whole, the iarne to walk, and the blind to fee : and. they 

" .glorified 

TO D t S T i N G ij I S H A F F E C T t O N S, 193 

** glorified the God of Ifrael." So we are told, that on occa- 
fion of (Thrift's raiting the fon oi the widow of Nain, Luke 
vii. 1 6. " There came a fear on ail: and they glorified God, 
*' faying, That a great prophet is rifen up among us ; and, 
" That God hath viiited his people." So \ve read of their 
glorifying Chnit, or fpeaking exceeding highly of him, .Luke 
iv. 15. " And he taught in their fynagogues, being gloiilled of 
'* all*' 1 And ho.v did they praife him with loud voices, crying, 
Ho/anna to tkc fon fif David, hofanna in the highejt ; blejfed is 
he that cometh in the name, of the Lord> a little before he was 
crucified ! And after Chriit's afcenlion, when the apoilles had 
healed the impotent man,, we are told, that " all men glorified 
" God lor that which was done," A&s iv. 21* When the 
Gjntiles in Antiojh of Pifidia, heard from Paul and Barnabas, 
that God would reject the Jews, and take the Gentiles to be 
his people in their room, they were affected with this goodnefs 
of God to the Gentiles, and glorified the word of the, Lord : 
but all that did fo were not true believers ; but only a certain 
cleft number of them ; as is intimated in the account we have 
of it, Aels xiii. 48. " And when the Gentiles heard this, they 
" were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord : and a? many 
" as were, ordained to eternal life, believed." So of old the 
children ofllrael at the Red fea, J^ng God's praife ; bat foon 
for gat his works. And the Jews in EzekiePs time, with 
their mouths f/iezoed much love, while their hearts went after their 
covetoufne/s. And it is foretold of falfe profeilbrs, and real 
enemies of religion, that they mould (hew a forwardnefs to glo 
rify God ; If. Ixvi. 5. " Hear the word of the. Lord, ye that 
' tremble at his word, Your brethren that hated you, that catt 
** you out for my name's fake, laid Let the Lord be glorified/* 

It is no certain figVi that a perfon is graciouily affected, if in 
the midit of his hopes and comforts, he is greatly affected with. 
God's unmerited mercy to him that is fo unworthy, and feems 
greatly to extol and magnify free (;race. Thofe that yet re 
main with unmortiSed pride and enmity againM Cod, may, 
when they imagine that they have received extraordinary kind- 
ttefs from God, cry out of th'cir tinwoithiriefs, and magnify 
God's u&deTerved goodnefs to them, from no other conviction 
of their ill-clcfervings, and from no higher principle, than 
Saul had, who while he yet remained with unfubdued pride 
and enmity agai nil David, was brought, though a king, to ac- 
knowlege his unworthinefs, and cry oiit, I have pLtytd the foot, 

B b > 1 hM 


I have erred exceedingly, and with great affeftion and -admira 
tion, to magnify and extol David's unmerited and unexamp 
led kindnefs to him, i Sam. xxv. 16 19. and xxvi. 21. and 
from no higher principle, than that from whence Nebuchad 
nezzar was affe&ed with God's difpenfations, that he faw and 
was the fubjecl: of, and praifes, extols and honours the 
King of heaven ; and both he t and Darius, in their high af- 
feftions, call upon all nations to praife God, Dan. iii. 28, 
29, 30. and iv. i, 2, 3, 34, 35, 37. and vi. 25, 26, 27. 

XI. It is no fign that affetions are right, or that they are 
wrong, that they make perfons that have them, exceeding con 
fident that what they experience is divine, and that they are 
in a good ellate. 

It is an argument with forne, agairift perfons, that they are 
deluded if they pretend to be allured of their good eftate, and 
to be carried beyond all doubting of the favor of God ; fup- 
pofing that there is no fuch thing to be expe6kd in the church 
of God, as a full and abfolute afTurance of hope ; unlefs it be 
i:> fome very extraordinary circumftances ; as in the cafe of 
martyrdom : contrary to the doclrine of Proteftarits,.which has 
been maintained by their moft celebrated writers againft the 
Papifts ; and contrary to the plaineft fcripture-evidence. It is 
manifeft, that it was a common thing for the faints that we 
have a hiftqry or particular account of in fcripture, to be af- 
fured. 'God in the plaineft and mofl pofitive manner, reveal 
ed and teftified his fpecial favor to Noah, Abraham, Ifeac, Ja 
cob, Mofes, Daniel, and others. Job often fpeaks of his fin- 
cerity and uprightnefs with the greateft imaginable confidence 
and affurance, often calling God to witnefs to it ; and fays 
plainly, " I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that I mall 
' fee him for myfelf, and not another," Job xix. 25,&c. David, 
throughout the book of Pfalms, almoft every where fpeaks 
without any hefitancy, and in the mofl pofitive manner, of 
God as his God ; glorying in him as his portion and heritage, 
his rock and confidence, his fhield, falvation, and high tower, 
and the like. Hezekiah appeals to God, as one that knew 
that he had walked bafore him in truth, and with a perfect 
heart, 2 Kings xx. 3. Jefus Chrift, in his dying difcourfe 
with his eleven difciples, in the i^th, i^th, and i6th chap 
ters of John, (which was as it were Chrift's laft will and tefta- 
ment to his difciples, and to his whole church) often declares his 



fpecial and everlafting love to them, in the plaineft and moft 
pbfitive terms ; and promifes them a future participation with 
him in his glory, in the moil abfolute manner ; and tells them 
at the fame time, that he does fo, to the end, that their joy 
might be full ; John xv. 1 1. " Thefe things have I fpoken un- 
" to you, that my joy might remain in yon, and that your joy 
41 might be full." See alfo at the conclufion of his whole dii- 
courfe, Chap. xvi. 33. ** Thefe things have I fpoken unto you, 
41 that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye (hall have 
*' tribulation : but be of good cheer, I have overcome the 
t{ world." Chrift was not : afraid of fpeaking too plainly and 
pofitively to them ; he did not defire to hold them in the leaf! 
fufpence. And he concluded that lall difcourfe of his, with a 
prayer in their prefence, wherein he fpeaks pofitively to his 
Father of thofe eleven difciples, as having all of them favingly 
known him, and believed in him, and received and kept his 
word ; and that they were not of the world ; and that for their 
fakes he fanclified himfelf; and that his will was, thatthey mould 
be with him in his glory : arid tells his Father, that he fpake thefe 
things in his prayer, to the end, that, his joy might be fulfilled 
in them, verf. 13. By thefe things it is evident, that it is 
agreeable to- Chrift's defigns, and the contrived ordering and 
difpofition Chrift makes of things in his church, that there 
ihould be fufficient and abundant provision made, that his faints 
might have full aflurance of their future glory. 

The apoftle Paul, through all his epiftles, fpeaks in an allu 
red ftrain ; ever fpeaking pofitively of his fpecial relation to 
Chrift, his Lord and Mafter and Redeemer, and his intereil 
in, and expectation of the future reward. It would be endlefs 
to take notice of all places that might be enumerated ; I (hall 
mention but three or four : Gal. ii. 20. " Chrift liveth in me : 
41 and the life which I now live in the flefh, Llive by the faith 
' of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himfelf for me." 
Phil. i. 21. " For me to live is Chrift, and to die is gain." 
2 Tim. i. 12. " I know whom I have believed, and I am per- 
" fuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed 
4i unto him againft that day.'"' 2 Tim. iv. 7,8."! have fought 
41 .a good fight, I have finifhed my courfe, I have kept the faith. 
" Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteouf- 
" nefs, which the Lord the righteous jud^e will give me at 
that day." 


10,6 W HAT ARE N Q S I G U S Part II, 

And the nature of the covenant of grace, and God's declared 1 
ends in the appointment and conllituiibn of things in that co 
venant, do plainly ihew it to be God's defign to make ample 
provifion for the faints, having an affured hppe of eternal life, 
while living here upon earth. For fo are all things ordered 
and contrived in that covenant, that every thing might be 
made fure on God's part. The covenant is ordered in all things 
and Jure: the promifes are moft full, and very often repeated, 
#nd various ways exhibited ; and there are many witnefies, and 
many feals ; and God has confirmed his promifes with an oath. 
And God's declared defign in all this is, that the heirs of the 
promifes might have an undoubting hope, and full joy, in an 
allurance of their future glory, Heh. vi. 17, 18. " Wherein 
^ God willing more abundantly to fhew unto the heirs of pro- 
*' mile the immutability of his counfel, confirmed it by an oa-^h : 
" that by two immutable things, in which it was impoflvble for 
' God to lie, we might have a ftrong confola?ion, wno have 
'* fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope fet before us." But 
all this would be in vain, to any fuch purpofe, as the. faints 
flrong confolation, and hope of their obtaining future glois^ if 
their intereft in thofe fure promifes in ordinary cafes, was not- 
attainable. For God's promifes and oaths, let them be as fure 
as they will, cannot give fr.rong hope and comfort to any parti 
cular perfon, any further than he can know that thofe promifes 
3re made to him. And in vain is provifion made in Jefu's Chrift, 
that believers might be perfect as pertaining to the confer 
ence, as is fignified Hcb. ix. 9, if aflurance oiiWdpm from the 
guilt of fin is not attainable. 

It further appears that affurance is not only attainable in fome 
very extraordinary cafes, that all Chriflians'are directed to give 
all diligence to inake their calling and election fure, and are told 
how they may do it, 2 Pet. i. 5 8. And it is fpoken of as a 
thing very unbecoming of Chriftians, and an argument of fome- 
thing. very bhmable in them, not to know whether Chriit be in 
them or no, 2 Cor, xiii. 5. " Know ye not your own felves, 

' how that Jefus Chrift is in you, except ye be reprobates r" 
And it is implied that it is an argument of a very blameable neg 
ligence in Chriftians, if they practice Chriftiaoity after fuch a 
manner as to remain uncertain of the reward, in that I Cor, 
ix. 26. " I therefore fo run, as not uncertainly/' And to add 
po more, it is manifcft, that Chrifiians knowing their interctU 
in the laving benefits of Chriftianity is a thing ordinarily attaiiia- 

fel?| becaufe the cpoiUes tell us by what means Chriflians (and 



jK)t only apflflles and martyrs] were wont to know this ; i Cor. 
ji, 12. " Now we have received, not the fpirit of the v/orld, but 
" the Spirit which is of God ; that v^e might know the things 
" that are freely given to us of God. And i John ii. 3. "Arid 
" hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his com- 
" mandments. And verf, 5. " Hereby know we that we are 
" in him." Chap, iii. 14. "We know that we have paifed 
" from death unto life, becaufe we love the brethren." vtrf. 19. 
ft Hereby we know that we are of the truth, and fhall afiure 
** our hearts before him." verf. 24, " Hereby we know that he 
" abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us." So Chap, 
iy. i?, and Chap. v. 2. and verf. 19, 

Therefore it muft needs be very unreafonable to determine, 
that perfons are hypocrites, and their affections wrong, becaufe 
they feem to be out of doubt of their own falvation, and 
the affefiions they are the fubjecls of feem to banilh all fears of 

On the other hand, it is no fufficient reafon to determine 
that men are faints, and their affections gracious, becaufe the 
affedions they have are attended with an exceeding confidence 
that their {late is good, and their affections divine.t Nothing 
can be certainly argued from their confidence, how great and 
ftrongfoever it feems to be. If we fee a man that boldly calls 
God his Father, arid commpnly fpeaks in the moil bold, fami 

+ <( O profeffor, look carefully to your foundation : Be not high 
fe minded, but fear. You have, it may be, done and fufFered many 
** things in and for religion ; you have excellent gifts and fweet 
" comforts; a warm zeal for God, and high confidence of your in 
tegrity : all this maybe right, for ought that I, or (it mavbej ycu 
know : but yet it is poffible it may be falfe alfo. You have 
fcmetimes judged yourfelves, and pronounced yourfelves upright ; 
but remember your final fentence is not yet pronounced by your 
Judge. And what if God weigh you over again, in his more equal 
balance, and fliould fay, Mtne, ^Tekel, Thou an weighed in the ba 
lance, and art found wanting? What a confounded man wilt thou 
be, under fuch a fentence ! Qu<& fphndent in confpedu kctn ?>//>, fvr- 
dcnt in con/peffu Juditis ; Things that are highly efteemed of men, 
are an abomination in the light of God : he feeth not as men 
feeth, Thy heart may be falfe, and thou not know it : yea, it 
may be falfe, and thou ftrongly confident of its integrity." Fla- 
f ve/'s Touch/tone of Sincerity, Chap. ii. feel. 5. 
" Some hypocrites are a great deal more confident than many 
%f faints." Stoddard's dij'.ourje on the v,'^ iQ kno^v jinceriy and fyf$+ 
P- i? 8, 


liar, and appropriating language in prayer, My Father, my dear 
Redeemer, my Jwett Saviour , my beloved, and the like; and 
it is a common thing for him to ufe the moil confident expref- 
fions before men, about the goodnefs of his ftate ; fuch as, / 
know certainly that God is my Father ; I know Jo furdy as there 
is a God in heaven, that he is my God ; I know Ijliall go to hea 
ven, as well as ij I were there ; 1 know that God is now mani- 
Jefting himfelf to my /bul, and is nowjmiling upon me ; and feems 
to have done for ever with any inquiry or examination into his 
ftate, as a thing fufficiently known, and out of doubt, and to 
contemn all that fo much as intimate or fuggeft that there is 
fome reafon to doubt or fear whether all i* right ; fuch things 
are no figns at all that it is indeed fo as he is confident it is.* 
Such an over-bearing, high-handed and violent fort of confi 
dence as this, fo affecling to declare itfelf with a moft glaring 
{how in the fight of men, which is to be feen in many, has 
not the countenance of a true Chriilian affurance : it favours 
more of the fpirit of the Pharifees, who never doubted but that 
they were faints, and the moft eminent of faints, and were bold 
to go to God, and come up near to him, and lift tip their eyes, 
and thank him for the great diflinclion he had made between 
them and other men : and when Chrift intimated that they 
were blind and gracelefs, defpifed the iuggeftion , John ix. 40. 
" And fome of the Pharifees which'were with him, heard thefe 
" words, and fuid unto him, Are we blind alfor" If they had 
more of the fpirit of the Publican, with their confidence, who 
in a fenfe of his exceeding un worthiness, ftood afar off, and 
durft not fo much as lift up his eyes to heaven, but fmote on 
his breaft, and cried out of himfelf as a fmner, their confidence 
would have more of the afpecl of the confidence of one that 
humbly trufls- and hopes in Chrift, and has no confidence in 


* " Doth the work of faith in fome believers, bear upon its top. 
" branches, the full ripe fruits of a bleffed aflurance ? Lo, what 
'" ftrong confidence, and high built perfuaficns of an intcireft in God, 
'* have fometimes been found in unfanftified ones ! Yea, fo ftrong 
" may this falfe affurance be, that they dare boldly venture to go to 
(< the judgment- feat of God, and there defend it. Doth the Spirit 
" of God fill the heart of the allured believer with joy unfpeakable, 
" and full of glorv, giving them, through faith, a prelibation or 
*' foretafts of heaven itfelf, in thofe firft- fruits of it? how near to 
*' this comes what the apoftle fuppofes may be found in apoftates I 1 * 
Iluflandry f^irituali^cdy Chap, xii. 


If we do but confuler what the hearts of natural men are, 
what principles they are under the dominion of^ what blmdnefs 
snd deceit, what felf- flattery, fell-exultation, and felf-confi- 
dence reigns there, we need not at all wonder that their high 
opinion of themfelves, and confidence of their happy circum- 
ilances, be as high and flrong as mountains, and as violent as 
a temped, when once conference is blinded, and conviclions 
killed, with falfe, high affeclions, and thofe forementioned 
principles let loofe, fed up and prompted by falfe joys and 
comforts, excited by fome pleafmg imaginations imprefled by 
Satan, transforming himfelf into an angel of light. 

When once a hypocrite is thus eflablifhed in a falfe hope, 
he has not thofe things to caufe him to call his hope in quef- 
tion, that oftentimes are the occafion of the doubting of true 
faints ; as, Jirft t he has not that cautious fpirit, that great fen fe 
of the vail importance of a fure foundation, and that dread of 
being deceived. The comforts of the true faints increafe 
awakening and caution, and a lively fenfe how great a thing it 
is to appear before an infinitely holy, juft,. and omnifcient 
Judge. But falfe comforts put an end to thefe things, and 
dreadfully flupify the mind. Secondly, The hypocrite has not 
the knowlege of his 'own blindnefs, and the deceitfulnefs of his 
own heart, and that mean opinion of his own understanding, 
that the true faint has. Thofe that are deluded with falfe dif- 
coveries and affections, are evermore highly conceited of their 
light and underflandin^. Thirdly, The devil does not aflault 
the hope of the hypocrite, as he does the hope of a true faint. 
The devil is a great enemy to a true Chriftian hope, not only 
becaufe it tends greatly to the comfort of him that hath it, but 
alfo becaufe it is a thing of a holy, heavenly nature, greatly 
tending to promote and cheriih grace in the heart, and a great 
incentive to ftri6lnefs and diligence in the Chriftian life. But 
he is no enemy to the hope of a hypocrite, which above ail 
things eflablifhes his intereft in him that has it. A hypocrite 
may retain his hope without oppofition, as long as he lives, 
the devil never diflurbing it, not attempting to difturb it. But 
there is perhaps no true Chriftian but what has his hopeaffault- 
ed by him. Satan alTaulted Chrift himfelf, upon this, whether 
he were the Son of God or no : and the fervant is not above 
his Mailer, nor the difciple above his Lord ; it is enough for 
the difciple, that is moft privileged in this world, to be as his 
Mafter, Fourthly^ He who has a falfe hope, has not that fight 


fcotf W HAT A s N o S i G N i Part 1L 

of his own corruptions, which the faint has. A true Chrif- 
tian has ten times fo much to do with his heart, and its corrupt 
tions, as an hypocrite : and the fins of his heart and pra6tice # 
appear to him in their blacknefs ; they look dreadful ; and it 
often appears a very myfterious thing, that any grace can be 4 
confiftent with fuch corruption, or mould be in fueh a hearts 
But a falfe hope hides corruption, covers it all over, and thd 
hypocrite looks clean and bright in his own eyes. 

There are two forts of hypocrites : one that are deceived with 
their outward morality and external religion j many of which 
are profeiied Arminians, in the doclrine of juilifkation : and 
the other are thofe that are deceived with falfe difcoveries and 
elevations ; which often cry down works, and raens cnvn righ- 
teoufnefs, and talk much of free grace j but at the fame time 
make a righteoufnefs of their difcoveries, and of their humilia 
tion, and exalt themfelves to heaven with them. Thefe two 
-Kinds of hypocrites Mr. Shepard, in his expofition of the Pa 
rable of the ten virgins, diftinguifhes by the names of legal ami 
evangelical hypocrites ; and often fpeaks of the latter as the 
woril. And it is evident that the latter are commonly by far 
the moft confident in their hope, and with the moft difficulty 
brought off from it : I have fcarcely known the inftance of fuch 
an one, in my life, that has been undecerved. The chief 
grounds of the confidence of many of them, are the very fame 
kind of impulfes and fuppofed revelations, (fometimes with 
texts of fcripture, and fometimes without,) that fo many of late 
have had concerning future events ; calling thefe impulfes 
about their good eftate, the witnefs of the Spirit ; entirely mif- 
underilanding the nature of the witnefs of the Spirit, as I {hall 
fhew hereafter. Thofe that have had vifions and impulfes 
about other things, it has generally been to reveal fuch things 
as they are defirous and fond of: and no wonder that perfons 
who give heed to fuch things, have the fame fort of vifions or 
impreflions about their own eternal falvation, to reveal to them 
that their fins are forgiven them, that their names are written 
in the book of life, that they are in high favour with God, &c* 
and efpecially when they earneftly feek, expeft and wait 
for evidence of their elecHon and falvation this way, as the 
fureft and moft glorious evidence of it. Neither is it any 
wonder, that when they have fuch a fuppofed revelation of 
their good eflate, it raifes in them the higheft degree of con 
fidence of it. It is found by abundant experience, that thofe 



who arc led away by impulfes and imagined revelations, are 
extremely confident : they fuppofe that the great JEHOVAH 
has declared thefe and thofe things to them ; and having his 
immediate teftimony, a 41 rong confidence is the higheft virtue. 
Hence they are bold to fay, I know this or that ; / know cer 
tainly ; / am as fure as that I have a being, and the like : 
and they defpife all argument and inquiry in the cafe. And 
above all things elfe, it is eafy to be accounted for, that im- 
preilions and impulfes about thai which is fo pleafing, fo fuiting 
their felf love and pride, as their being the dear children o 
God, diftingui (heel from moft in the world in his favor, mould 
make them ftrongly confident : efpccially when with their im 
pulfes and revelations they have high affeclions, which they 
take to be the moil eminent excrcifes of grace. I have known 
of feveral perfons, that have had a fond defire of fomething of 
a temporal nature, through a violent paflion that has pofTeired 
them, and they have been earneftly piirfuing the thing they 
have defired mould come to pafs, and have met with great dif 
ficulty and many discouragements in it, but at laft have had 
an impreflion or fuppofecl revelation that they fhould obtain 
what they fought ; and they have looked upon it as afure'pro- 
1 niife from the Moft High, which has made them moft' ridicu- 
Koufly confident, againft all manner of reafon to convince them 
to the contrary, and all events working againft them. And 
there is nothing hinders, hut that perfons who are feeking their 
falvation, may be deceived by the like del-drive impreflions, and 
be made confident of that, the fame way. 

The confidence of many of: this fort of hypocrites, that Mr, 
Shepard calls evangelical hypocrites, is like the confidence or 
fome mad men, who thin!; they are kino-s : they will maintain 
it againft all manner of reafon and evidence. And in cms 
fenfe, it is much more immovable than a truly gracious aflur- 
ance ; a true aflurance is not upheld, but by the fouls being 
kept in a holy frame, and grace maintained in lively exercifc. 
If the actings of grace do much decay in the Chriftian, and Ue 
falls into a lifelefs frame, he lofes his alfurance : hut this kind 
of confidence of hypocrites will not be fhaken by fin ; they (ae 
leaft fome of them) will maintain their boldnefs in their hope, 
in the moft corrupt frames and wicked ways j which is a fine 
evidence of their delufion.* 

C c And 

' Mr. Shepard ("peaks of it, as a '' preiiinvMuous pence, tb*t is 
** not interrupted aiu broke by c/il works." AaJ Tiy.,". That " the 

** fpirit 


And here I cannot but obferve, that there are certain doc 
trines often preached to the people, which need to be delivered 
with more caution and explanation than they frequently are ; 
for as they are by many underftood, they tend greatly to efta- 
bliih this delufion and falfe confidence of hypocrites. The doc 
trines I fpeak of are thofe of Chnjhans living by faith, not by 
fight ; their giving glory to God, by trujling him in the dark ; 
living upon Chrijl, and not upon experiences ; not making their 
good frames the foundation of their faith ; which are excellent 
and important doctrines indeed, rightly underftood, but cor 
rupt and deftru&ive, as many underftand them. The fcripture 
fpeaks of living or walking by faith, and not by fight, in no 
other way than thefe, viz. a being governed by a refpeft: to 
eternal things, that are the objects of faith, and are not feeri, 
and not by a refpecl to temporal things, which are feen ; and 
believing things revealed, that we never faw with bodily eyes; 
and alfo living by faith in the promife of future things, with 
out yet feeing or enjoying the things promifed, or knowing 
the way how they can be fulfilled. This will be eafily evident 
"to any one that looks over the fcriptures, which fpeak of faith 
in oppofition to fight ; as 2 Cor. iv. 18. and v. 7. Heb. xi. i, 
8, 13, 17, 29. Rom. viii. 24-. John xx. 29. But this doctrine,' 
as it is underftood by many, is, that Chriftians ought firmly to 
believe arid truft in Chrift, without fpi ritual fight or light, and 
although they are in a dark dead frame, and, for the prefent, 
have no fpiritual experiences or difcoveries. And it is truly 
the duty of thofe who are thus in darknefs, to come out 
of darknefs into light, and believe. But that they mould con 
fidently believe and truft, while they yet remain without fpi 
ritual light or fight, is an antilcriptural and abfurd doctrine. 
The fcripture is ignorant of any fuch faith in Chrift of the 


" fpirit will figh, and not fmg in that bofom, whence corrupt dif- 
pofitions and paffions break out." And that " though men in 
fuch frames may feem to maintain the confolation of the Spirit, 
and not fufpect their hypoerify, under pretence of trufting the 
Lord's mercy ; yet they cannot avoid the condemnation of the 
world." Parable of the ten virgins. Parti. P. 139. 
Dr. Ames fpeaks of it as a thing, by which the peace of a wicked 
man may be diftinguimed from the peace of a godly man, " that the 
" peace of a wicked man continues., .whether he performs the duties 
" of piety and righteoufnefs, or uo ; provided thofe crimes are avoid- 
" ed that appear horrid to nature itielf." Cajesof con/tiencc, lib. III. 
Chap, vii, 


operation of God, that is not founded in a fpi ritual fight of 
Chrift. That believing on Chrift, which accompanies a title 
to everlafting life, is a " feeing the Son, and believing on 
" him." John vi. 40. True faith in Chrili is never exercifed, 
any further than peifons " behold as in a glafs the glory 
*' of the Lord, and have the knowlege of the glory of God 
" in the face of Jefus Chrift," 2 Cor. iii. 18. and iv. 6. They 
into whofe minds " the light of the glorious gofpel of Chriir, 
*' who is the image of God, does not ihirie, they believe not," 
fi Cor. iv. 4. That faith, which is without fpiritual light, is 
not the faith of the children of the light, anii of the day ; but 
the prefumption of the children of darknefs. And therefore 
to prefs and urge them to believe, without any fpiritual light 
or fight, tends greatly to help forward the deltifions of the 
prince of darknefs. Men not only cannot exercife, faith with 
out fome fpiritual light, but they can exercife faith only juft 
in fuch proportion as they have fpiritual light. Men will truft: 
in God no further than they know him : and they cannot be in 
the exercife of faith in him one ace further than they have a 
fight of his fulnefs and faithfulnefs in exercife. Nor can they 
have the exercife of truft in God, any further than they are in 
a gracious frame. They that are in a dead carnal frame, 
doubtlefs ought to truft God ; becaufe that would be the fame 
thing as coming out of their bad frame, and turning to God : 
but to exhort men confidently to truft in God, and fo hold up 
their hope and peace, though they are not in a gracious frame, 
and continue ftill to be fo, is the fame thing in effe6l, as to ex 
hort them confidently to truft in God, but not with a gracious 
truft : and what is that but a wicked prefumption ? It is juft 
fo impoflible for men to have a ftrong or lively truft in God, 
Vhen they have no lively exercifes of grace, or fenfible Chrif- 
tian experiences, as it is for them to be in the lively exerciles 
of grace, without the exercifes of grace. 

It is true, that it is the duty of God's people to truft in him 
vhen in, darknefs, and though they remain ftill in darknefs, in 
that fenfe, that they ought to truft in God when the afpecls of 
his providence are dark, and look as though God had forfaken 
:them, and did not hear their prayers, and many clouds ga 
ther, and many enemies furround them, with' a formidable 
afpeft, threatning to fwallow them up, and all events of pro 
vidence feem to be againft them, all circumftances feem to 
lender the promifes of God difficult to be fulfilled, and God 

WHAT ARE NO SIGNS Part II. trufted out of fight, i. e. when we cannot fee which 
\vay it is poflible for him to fulfil his word, every thing but 
God's mere word makes it look unlikely, fo that if perfons be 
lieve, they muft hope againil hope. Thus the ancient Patri 
archs, and Job, and the Pfalmift, and Jeremiah, Daniel, Sha- 
drach, Meihech and Abednego, and the apoftle Paul gave glory 
to God by trufting in God in darknefs. And we have many 
inftances of fuch a glorious victorious faith in the eleventh ofc 
the Hebrews. But how different a thing is this, from trufting j 
in God, without fpiritual fight, and being at the fame time in 
a dead and carnal frame ! 

There is alfo fuch a thing as fpiritual light's being let into 
the foal in one way, when it is not in another ; and fo there is 
fuch a thing as the faints trufting in Gocl, and alfo knowing 
their good eftate, when they are deftitute of foine kinds of 
experience. As for iaftance, they may have clear views ox 
God's fufficiency and faithfulnefs, and fo confidently truft in 
him, and know that they are his children ; and at the fame 
time, not have thofe clear and fweet ideas of his love, as at 
other times : for it was thus with Chrlft himfelf in his laft paf- 
fion. And they may have views of much of God's Sovereignty, 
holinefs, and allfufficiency, enabling them quietly to fubmit to 
him, and exercife a fweet and moil encouraging hope in God's 
fulnefs, when they are not fatisfied of their own good eflate. 
But how different things are thefe, from confidently trufting 
in God, without fpiritual light or experience ! 

Thofe that thus infift on perfons living by faith, when they 
have no experience, and are in very bad frames, are alfo very 
abfurdin their notions of faith. What they mean by faith is, 
believing that they are in a good eihte. Hence they count it 
a dreadful fin for them to doubt of their ftate, whatever frames 
they are in, and whatever wicked things they do, becaufeit is 
the great and heinous fin of unbelief ; and he is the beft man, 
and puts moft honor upon God, that maintains his hope of 
his good eftate the moft confidently and immoveably, when he 
has the leaft light or experience; that is to fay, when he is 
in the worft and wickedeft frame and way ; becaufe, forfooth, 
that is a fign that he is ftrong in faith, giving glory to God, 
and againft hope believes in hope. But what Bible do they 
learn this notion of faith out of, that it is a man's confidently 

believing - 


believing that he is in a good eftate ? * If this be faith, the 
Pharifees had faith in an eminent degree; feme of which, 
Chrift teaches, committed the unpardonable fin againil the 
Holy Ghoft. The fcripture reprefents faith, as that by which 
men are brought into a good eftate ; and therefore ircaimot be 
the fame thing, as believing that they art already in a good 
eftate. To fuppofe that faith confifts in peifons believing that 
they are in a good eftate, is in effect the fame thins:, a s to hip 
po fe that faith confifts in a perfon's believing that he has faith, 
or in believing that he believes. 

Indeed perfons doubting of their good eftate, may in feveral 
refpels arijtfrom unbelief. It may be from unbelief or be 
caufe they have fo little faith," that they have fo little evidence 
of their good eftate : If they had more experience of the actings 
of faith, and fo more experience of the exercife of grace, they 
would have clearer evidence that their ftate was good ; and fo 
their doubts would be removed. And then their doubting of 
their ftate may be from unbelief thus, when though there be 
many things that are good evidences of a work of grace in 
them, yet they doubt very much whether they are really in a 
{tate of favour with God, becaufe it is they, thofe that are fa 
unworthy, arid have done fo much to provoke God to anger 
againft them. Their doubts in fuch a cafe arife from unbelief, 
as they arife from want of a fufncient fenfe of, and reliance on 
the infinite riches of God's grace, and the fufficiency of Chrift 
for the chief of linners. They may alfo be from unbelief, 
when they doubt of their ftale, becaufe of the my fiery of God's 
dealings with (hem : they are not able to reconcile fuch dif- 
penfations with God's favour to them : or when they doubt 
whether they have any intereft in the r;romifes, becaufe the 


* " Men do not know that they are godly, by believing that they 
" are godly. We know many things by faith, Heb. xi. 3. By faith 
<( 'we underftand that the -ii-orlds were made by the <wsr-2 of God. Faith 
" is the evidence of tbi;;gs Kotfeen, Heb. xi. i. Thus men know the 
" Trinity of perfons of the Godhead; that Jefus Chrift is the Son 
" of God ; that he that believes in him will have eternal life ; the 
" refurreclion of the dead. And if God mould tell a faint that he 
*' hath grace, he might know it by believing the word of God. 
" But it is not this way, that godly men do know that they have grace. 
" It is not revealed in the word, and the Spirit of God doth net tef- 
" tify it to particular perfons." Sloddard's nature of ja 
P. 83, 84- 


promifes from the afpeft of providence appear fo unlikely to 
be fulfilled; the difficulties that are in the way, are fo many 
and great. Such doubting arifes from want of dependence 
upon God's almighty power, and his knowlege and wifdom, 
as infinitely above theirs. But yet, in fuch perfons, their un 
belief, and their doubting of their ftate, are not the fame 
thing ; though one arifes from the other. 

Perfons may be greatly to blame for doubting of their ftate, 
on fuch grounds as thefe laft mentioned ; and they may be to 
blame, that they have no more grace, and no more of the pre- 
fent exercifes and experiences of it, to be an evidence to them 
of the goodnefs of their flate : men are doubtlefs to blame for 
being in a dead carnal frame ; but when they are in fuch a 
frame, and have no fenfible experience of the exercifes of grace, 
but on the contrary, are very much under the prevalence of 
their lufts, and an unchriflian fpirit, they are not to blame for 
doubting of their flate. It is as impoflible, in the nature of 
things, that a holy and Chriilian hope, fhould be kept alive, in 
its clearnefs and llrength, in fuch circumftances, as it is to keep 
the light in the room, when the candle is put out; or to main 
tain the bright fun-fhinein the air, when the fun is gone down. 
Diftant experiences, when darkened byprefent prevailing luft 
and corruption, will never keep alive a gracious confidence and 
affurance ; but that fickens and decays upon it, as neceflarily 
as a little child by repeated blows on the head with a hammer. 
Nor is it at all to be lamented, that perfons doubt of their flate 
in fuch circumftances; but on the contrary, it is defirable and 
every way bed that they ihould. It is agreeable to that wife 
and merciful conftitution of things, which God hath eftablifh- 
ed, that it ihould be fo. For fo hath God contrived and con- 
ilituted things, in his difpenfations towards his own people, 
that when their love decays, arid the exercifes of it fail, or be 
come weak, fear mould arife ; for then they need it to reftrain 
them from fin, and to excite them to care for the good of their 
fouls, and fo to ftir them up to watchfulnefs and diligence in 
religion : but God hath fo ordered that when love rifes, and 
is in vigorous exercife, then fear mould vanifh, and be driven 
away; for then they need it not, having a higher and more 
excellent principle in exercife, to reilrain them from fin, and 
ftir them up to their duty. There are no other principles, which 
human nature is under the influence of, thai will ever make 



wen confcientious, but one of thefe two, fear or love : and there 
fore, if one of thefe ihould not prevail as the other decayed, 
God's people when fallen into dead and carnal frames, when 
love is afleep, would be lameniably expofed indeed. And 
therefore God has wifely ordained, that thefe two oppofite 
principles of love and fear, ihould rife and fall, like the two 
oppofite fcales of a balance ; when one rifes, the other finks. 
As light and darknefs neceffarily and unavoidably fucceed 
each other ; if light prevails, fo much does darknefs ceafe, and 
no more ; and if light decays, fo much does darknefs prevail : 
fo it is in the heart of a child of God ; if divine love decays 
and falls afleep, and luft prevails, the light and joy of hope goes- 
out, and dark fear and doubting arifes ; and if on the contrary, 
divine love prevails, and comes into lively exercife, this brings 
in the brightnefs of hope, and drives away black luft, and fear 
\vith it. Love is \hzjpirit of adoption, or the childlike princi 
ple ; if that {lumbers, men fall under fear, which is the fpirit 
cj bondage, or the fervile principle : and fo on the contrary. 
And if it be fo, that love, or the fpirit of adoption, be carried 
to a great height, it quite drives away all fear, and gives full 
affurance ; agreeable to that of the apoftle, i John iv. 18. "Theie 
*' is no fear in love, but perfect love cafts out fear" Thefe two 
oppofite principles of lull; and holy love, bring hope and fear 
into the hearts of God's children, in proportion as they pre 
vail ; that is, when left to their own natural influence, with 
out fomethirig adventitious, or accidental intervening ; as the 
diflemper of melancholy, doclrinal ignorance, prejudices of 
education, wrong inflruclion, falfe principles, peculiar temp 
tations, &c. 

Fear is cail out by the Spirit of God, no other way than by 
the prevailing of love : nor is it ever maintained by his Spirit, 
but when love is afleep. At inch a time, in vain is all the 
faint's felf-examinations, and poring on pail experience, in 
order to ei'iablifh his peace, and get aifurance. For it is con 
trary to the nature of things, as God hath conilituu:d them, 
that he ihould have affurance at fuch a time. 

They therefore do dire6tiy thwart God's wife and gracious 
constitution of things, who exhort others to be confident in 
their hope, when in dead frames ; under a notion of living by 
faith, and not by fight, and Irufting God in the dark, and liv 
ing upon Chrifl , and not upon experiences ; and warn them not 
to doubt of their good cllate, leil they (liould be guilty of the 



dreadful fin of unbelief. And it has a direct tendency to efta- 
bliih the moft prefumptuous hypocrites, and to prevent their 
ever calling their ftate in queilion, how much foever wicked- 
nefs rages, and reigns in their hearts, and prevails in their 
lives ; under a notion of honouring God, by hoping agamjl 
hope, arid confidently trufting in God, when things look very 
dark. And doubtlefs vail has been the mifchief that has been 
done this way. 

Perfons cannot be faid to forfake Chrift, and live on their 
experiences of the exercifes of grace, merely becaufe they take 
them and ufe them as evidences of grace ; for there are no 
other evidences that they can or ought to take. But then may 
perfons be faid to live upon their experiences, when they make 
a righteoufnefs of them ; and inllead of keeping their eye on 
God's glory, and Chrift's excellency, they turn their eyes off 
thefe objects without them, on to themfelves, to entertain 
their minds, by viewing their own attainments, and high ex 
periences, and the great things they have met with, and arc 
bright and beautiful in their own eyes, and are rich and in- 
creafed with goods in their own apprehenfions, and think that 
God has as admiring an efteem of them, on the fame account, 
as they have of themfelves : this is living on experiences, and 
not on Chrift ; and is more abominable in the fight of God, 
than the grofs immoralities of thofe who make no pretences to 
religion. But this is a far different thing from a mere impro 
ving experiences as evidences of an interelt in a glorious Re 

But to return from this digreflion, I would mention one 
thing more under the general head that I am upon. 

XII. Nothing can be certainly concluded concerning the 
nature of religious affections, that any are the fubjects of, from 
this, that the outward rnanifeftations of them, and the relation 
perfons give of them, are very affecting arid pleafmg to the 
truly godly, and fach as greatly gain their charity, and win 
their hearts. 

The true faints have not fuch a fp'irit of difcerning, that they 
can certainly determine who are godly, and who are not. For 
though they know r experimentally what true religion is, in the 
internal exercifes of it; yet thefe are what they can .neither 



feel, nor fee, in the heart of another.* There is nothing iri 
others, that comes within their view, but outward manifestations 
and appearances ; but the fcripture plainly in' 
way of judging what is in men by outward appe 
uncertain, and liable to deceit ; I Sam. xvi. 

** feeth not as man feeth ; for man looketh on 

mates, that this 
irances, is at beft 
7. "The Lord 
the outward a-^ 

" pearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart." If. xi. 3. 
-" He mall not judge after the fight of his eyes, neither reprove 
* after the hearing of his ears."t They corimonly are but 
-poor judges, and dangerous counfellors in foul cafes, who are 

.'1 t '- s* n 

quick and peremptory in determining perfons 
themfelves in their extraordinary faculty of di, 

dates, vaunting 


and dif- 

tinguiihing, in thefe great affairs : as though iill was open and 
<tlear to them. They betray one of thefe thre things'; either 

that they have had but little experience ; or 
weak judgment ; or that they have a great de< 
felf-confidence, and fo ignorance of themfelve 

are perfons of a 
ree of pride and 
. Wife and ex* 

perienced men will proceed with great caution in fuch an 

When there are many probable appearances of piety in others, 
it is the duty of the faints to receive them cordially into their 
charity, and to love them and rejoice in thern^ as their brethren 
in Chrift Jefus. But yet the bed of meri may be deceived, 
when the appearances feem to them exceeding fair and bright, 
even fo as entirely to gain their charity, and cinquer their hearts. 

Dd It 

* '* Men may have the knowlege of* their own coiiverfion: the 
' knowlege^that other men have of it is uncertain'; becaufe no man 
c can look into the heart of another, and fee the workings of grace 
" there.'* Standard's nature of facing cofr-verjipn, chap* xv. at the 

t Mr. Stoddard obferves, That tf all vifible figns arc common to 
" converted and unconverted men : and a relation of experiences* 
" among the reft." Appeal to the learned, p. -.7. 

c< O how hard is It for the eye of man to di'fcern betwixt cliafFand 
f< wheat !^ and how many upright hearts are now cenfared, whom 

God. will clear ! how many falfe hearts are now approved, whom 

God will condemn : Men ordinarily have no conviftive proofs, 
s but only probable fymptoms ; which at inoft beget but a conjee* 
" tural knowlege of another's ftate. And they that iliall percmpto- 
" rily judge either way, may poillbiy wrong the generation of the 
" upright, or on the other fide, abiblve and jaftify the wicked. And 
t( truly confidering what hath been faid, it 'is no wonder that dange- 
" rous mifrakes are fo frequently made' in ihis nutter/' Ft'jyJ's 
mflandy f^mtnali^d t chap, xii/ 


It has been a common thing in the church of God, 
bright profeffors, that are received as eminent faints, an 

for fuch 
among the 

faints, to fall away and come to nothing.* And this we need 
not wonder at, if we confider the things that have been already 
obferved : what things it has been fhown, may appear in men 
who are altogether gracelefs. Nothing hinders but that all thefe 
things may meet together in men, and yet they be without a 
fpark of grace in their hearts. They may have religious affec 
tions of many kinds together ; they may have a fort of affection 
towards God, that bears a great refemblance ofdear love to him $ 
and fo a kind of love to the brethren, and great appearances of 
admiration of God's perfections and works, and iorrow for fmj| 
and reverence, fubmiflion, felf-abafement, gratitude, joy, religi- ' 
ous longings, and zeal tor the intereft of religion and the good of 
fouls. And thefe affections may come after great awakening* 
and convictions of confcience ; and there may be great appear*! 
ances of a work of humiliation ; and counterfeit love and joy, 
and other affections may feerri to follow thefe, and one another, 
juft in the fame order, that is commonly obfervable in the holy 
affections of true converts. And thefe religious affections may 
be carried to a great height, and may caufe abundance of tears, 
yea, may overcome the nature of thofe who are the fubjects of 
them, and may make them affectionate, and fervent, and fluent 
in fpeaking of the things of God, and difpofe them to be abund<j| 
ant in it ; and may be attended with many fweet texts of fcriplj 
ture, and precious promifes, brought with great impreflion om 


* " Be not offended, if you fee great cedars fall, ftars fall fronf 
<f heaven* great profeflbrs die and decay : do not think they be all 
** iuch : do not think that the cleft ihall fall. Truly, fome are fuch 
" that when they fall, one would think a man truly fandified might 
" fall away, as the Arminians think: i John ii. 19. " They were 
" not of us." I fpeak this, becaufe the Lord is fhaking ; and I 
t( look for great apoftafies : for God is trying all his friends, through 
" all the Chriilian world. In Germany what profeffion was there ! 
f( who would have thought it ? 1 he Lord who delights to manifeft 
tf that openly, which "'-as hid fecretly, fends a fword and they fall." 
Shepard's Parab. Part I. p. 1 1 8, 1 19. 

" The faints may approve thee, and God condemn thee ; Rev. 
" iii. i " Thou haft a name that thou liveft, and art dead/' Men 
" may fay, There is a true Nathanael ; and God may fay, There is a 
" felf-cozening Pharifce. Reader, Thou haft heard of Judas and 
* e Demas, of Ananias and Sapphira, of Hymeneus and Philetus, once 
" renowned and famous profefibrs, and thou haft heard how they 
* proved at laft," Flavd'sToucliftone of Sincerity, chap. ii. feft. $ i 

TO D I S T I N G U I 3 H A F F E C T I O N S. 211 

their minds ; and may difpofe them with their mouths to praise 
and glorify God, in a very ardent manner, and fervently to call 
upon others to praifc him, crying out of their unwortlfinefs, and 
extolling free grace. And may, moreover, difpoifef them to 
abound in the external duties of religion, fuch as prayer, hearing 
the word preached, finging, and religious conference ; and thefe 
things attended with a great refemblance of a Chriftianaifurance, 
in its greateft height, when the faints mount on eagles wings, 
above all darknefs and doubting. I think it has been made plain, 
that there may be all thefe things, and yet there be nothing 
more than the common influences of the Spirit of God, joined 
with the delufions of Satan, and the wicked and deceitful heart. 
To which I may add, that all thefe things may be attended with 
a fweet natural temper, and a good doctrinal knowlege of re 
ligion, and a long acquaintance with the faints way of talking 
2nd of expreiling their affc^iions and experiences, and a natural 
ability and fubtilty in accommodating their expreffions and man 
ner of fpeakingto the difpofitions and notions of the hearers, and 
a taking decency of expreffion and behaviour, formed^y a ^n^L 
education. How great therefore may the rcfer^biai-fce bt, s to 
all outward expreifions and appearances, between an hypocrite; 
and a true faint ! Doubtlefs it is the glorious prerogative of the 
omnifcient God, as the great fearcher ofjrarts, to be able well to 
feparate between iheep and goats.' AnCjjwhat an indecent, felf- 
exaltation, and arrogance is it^-ii^ poor ,/JIible dark mortals, to 
pretend that they can determine and kn<Jv, who are really fiucere 
and upright before God, ai'ii who are not! 

Many feem to lay great weight on that, and to fuppofe it. 
to be what may determine ihem with refpeS to others real piety, 
when they not only tell a Splaufible flory, but when, in giving 
an account of their experiences^ they make fuch a reprelenta- 
tion, and fpeak after fucli a manner, that thzyjeel their talk ; 
that is to fay, when their talk feems to harmonize with their 
own experience, and their hearts are touched and arfefted and 
delighted, by what they hear them fay, and drawn out by it, in 
dear love to them. But there is not that certainty in fuch 
things, and that full dependence to be had upon them, which 
many imagine. A true faint greatly delights in holinefs ; it is 
a mod beautiful thing in his eyes ; and God's work, in fav- 
ingly renewing and making holy and happy, a poor, and before 
perifhing foul, appears to him a moil glorious work : no won 
der therefore, that his heart is touched, and greatly afFefted, 
when he hears another give a probable account of this work* 



wrought on his own heart, and when he fees in him probable 
appeTran&es of holinefs ; whether thofe pleafmg appearances 
have any thing real to anfwer them, or no. And if he ufes 
the fame w\>rds, which are commonly made ufe of, to exprefs 
the afTeclion^ of true faints, and tells of many things follow* 
ing one another in an order, agreeable to the method of the 
experience of him that hears him, and alfo fpeaks freely and 
boldly, and with an air of affurance ; no wonder that the other 
thinks his experiences harmonize with his own. And if be. 
iides all this, in giving his relation, he fpeaks with much afc 
feftion ; and above all, if in fpeaking, he feems to mew much 
^fFeclion to him to whom he fpeaks, fuch an affeclion as the 
Oalatians did to the apoftle Paul ; thefe things will naturally 
have a powerful influence, to affecT; and draw his hearer's heart, 
3nd open wide the doors of his chanty towards him. David 
fpeaks as one who had felt AhithophePs talk, and had once a 
Iweet favour and relifh of it. And therefore exceeding great 
was his furprife and difappointment, when he fell ; it was al* 
Bioftttv j mfcK&r him. Pfai. Iv. 12, 13, 14. "It was not an 
4< enemy then I\ould have borne it ; but it was thou, a man, 
**' mine equal, myWuide, and mine acquaintance : we took. 
<* fweet counfel toglf^er, ? 4 Qcl walked unto the houfe of : God 
<{ in company," |o 

It is with profefTors^uf rel/giwn, efpecially fuch as become 
fo in a time of outpoujr/ig of the^pirit of God, as it is with 
the bloflbms in the ipring ;* there^are vaft numbers of them 
upon the trees, which all look fair a*id pomifing ; but yet very 
many of them neverlcome to any thfng. And many of thofe, 
that in a little time wither up, and <|rop off, and rot under the 
trees; yet for a while, look as beautiful and gay as others; 
and not only fo, but fmell fweet, and fend forth a pleafarU 
odour ; fo that we cainnot, by any of our fenfes, certainly diftin- 
guifh thofe blofToms which have in them that fecret virtue, which 
will afterwards appear in the fruit, and that inward folidity 
2nd ftrength which mall enable them to bear, and caufe them 
to be perfected by the hot fummer fun, that will dry up the 
Others. It is the mature fruit which comes afterwards, and 


* A time of outpouring of the Spirit of God, reviving religion, 

and producing the pleafant appearances of it, in new converts, is i! 

fcripture compared to this very thing, viz. the fpring fcafon, who 

the. benign influences of the heavens cayfe the bloffoms to put forth 

Cant. ii. 'ii, jz. 


not the beautiful colours and fmell of the bioiTom, that we mud 
judge by. So new converts, (profelledly fo,) in their talk 
about things of religion, may appear fair, and be very favoury, 
and the faints may think they talk feelingly. They may reliih 
their talk, and imagine they perceive a divine iavour in it ; 
and yet all may come to nothing. 

It is firange how hardly men are brought to be contented 
with the rules and directions Chrift has given them, but they 
mull needs go by other rules of their own inventing, that feem 
to them wifer and better. I know of no directions or counfels 
which Chrift ever delivered more plainly, than the rules he 
has given us, to guide us in our judging of others fincerity ; 
viz. that we mould judge of the tree chiefly by the fruit : but 
yet this will not do ; but other ways are found out, which are 
imagined to be more diftinguifhing and certain. And woful 
have been the mifchievous confequences, of this arrogant fet- 
ting up mens wifdom above the wifdom of Chrift. I believe 
many faints have gone much out of the way of Chrift's word, 
in this refpeft : and fome of, them have been chaftifed with 
whips, and (I had almoft faid) fcorpions, to bring them back 
again. But many things which have lately appeared, and do 
now appear, may convince, that ordinarily, thofe who have 
gone fartheft this way, that have been moft highly conceited 
of their faculty of difcerning, and have appeared moft forward, 
peremptorily and fuddenly to determine the ftateof mens fouls, 
have been hypocrites, who have known nothing of true reli 

In the parable of the wheat and tares, it is faid, Matth. xiii. 
26. " When the blade was fprung up, and brought forth fruit, 
" then appeared the tares alfo." As though the tares were 
not difcerned, nor diftinguilhable from the wheat, until then, 
as Mr. Flavel obferves ;t who mentions it as an obfeivation 
of Jerome's, that wheat and tares are fo much alike, ^until the 
blade, of the wheat comes to bring forth the ear, that it is next 
to i?npojjible to diftinguifli them. And then, Mr. Flavel adds, 
'* How difficult fo ever it be to difcern the difference between 
*' wheat and tares ; yet doubtlefs the eye of fenfe can much 
" eafier difcriminate them, than the moft quick and piercing 
*' eye of man, can difcern the difference between fpecial and 
" common grace. For all faving graces in the faints, have 

' their 

f Hufbandry fpiritualized, Chap. xii. 


" their counterfeits in liypocrites ; there are fimilar works in 
*' thofe, which a fpiiitual and veryjudicious eye may eafily mif- 
' take,for the favingand genuine effects of a fan6Hfying fpirit. 1 * 
, As it-is the ear or the fruit which diftinguiihes the wheat 
from the tares, fo this is the true Shibboleth, that he who 
iiands as judge at the paffages of Jordan, makes ufe of to dif- 
tinguifli thofe that fhall pafs over Jordan into the true Ca 
naan, from thofe that mould be flam at the paffages. For the 
Hebrew word Shibboleth, fignifies an ear of corn. And per 
haps the more full pronunciation of Jephthah's friends, Shib 
boleth, may reprefenta full ear with fruit in it, typifying the 
fruits of the friends of Chrift, the antitype of Jephthah ; and 
the more lean pronunciation of the Ephrai mites his enemies, 
may reprefent their empty ears, typifying the fhow of religion 
in hypocrites, without fubftance and fruit. This is agreeable 
to the doclrine we are abundantly taught in fcripture, viz. That 
he who is fet to judge thofe that pafs through death, whether 
they have a right to enter into the heavenly Canaan or no, or 
whether they fhould not be flain, will judge every man ac 
cording to his works, 

We feem to be taught the fame things, by the rules given 
for the prieft's difcerning the leprofy. In many cafes it was 
impoflible for the pried to determine whether a man had the 
leprofy, or whether he were clean, by the moft narrow infpec- 
tion of the appearances that were upon him, until he had wait 
ed to fee what the appearances would come to, and had fhut 
up theperfori who (hewed himfelf to him, one feven days after 
another ; and when he judged, he was to determine by the 
hair, which grew out of the fpot that was fhewed him, which 
was as it were the fruit that it brought forth. 

And here, before I finifh what I have to fay under this head,, 
I would fay fomething to a ftrange notion fome have of late 
been led away with, of certainly knowing the good eftate that 
others are in, as were immediately revealed to them 
from heaven, by their love flowing out to them in an extraor 
dinary manner. They argue thus, that their love being very 
fenfible and great, it may be certainly known by them who feel 
it, to be a true Cbiiflian love : and if it be a true Chriftian love, 
the Spirit of God muft be the author of it : and inafmuch as 
the Spirit of God, who knows certainly, whether others are 
the children of God or no, and is a fpirit of truth, is pleafed, 
by an uncommon influence upon them, to caufe their love to 



flow out, in an extraordinary manner, towards fuch a perfon, 
as a child of God ; it mull needs be that this infallible Spirit, 
who deceives none, knows that that perfon is a child of God. 
But fuch perfons might be convinced of the falfenefs of their 
reafonirig, if they would confider whether or no it be not their 
duty, and what God requires of them, to love thofe as the 
children of God, who they think are the children of God, and 
whom they have no reafon to think otherwife of, from all that 
they can fee in them, though God, who fearches the hearts, 
knows them not to be his children. If it be their duty, then 
it is good, and the want of it fin ; and therefore, furely, the 
Spirit of God may be the author of it : the Spirit of God, with 
out being a fpirit of falfehood, may in fuch a cafe affift a per- 
fon to do his duty, arid keep him from fin. But then they ar 
gue from the uncommon degree arid fpecial manner, in which 
their love flows out to the perfon ; which they think the Spirit 
of God never would caufe, if he did not know the object to be 
a child of God. But then I would afk them, whether or no it 
is not their duty to love all fuch as they are bound to think are 
the children of God, from all that they can fee in them, to a 
very great degree, though God, from other things which he 
fees, that are out of fight to them, knows them not to be fo, 
It is mens duty to'' 'love all whom they are bound in charity to 
look upon as t v children of God, with a vaflly dearer affec 
tion than they i ! 'rimonly do. As we ought to love Chrift to 
the utmoft cap-' \cy of our nature, fo it is our duty to love thofe 
who we think are'fb near and dear to him as his members, with 
an exceeding dear affeclion, as Chrift has loved us ; and there 
fore it is fin in us not to love them fo. We ought to pray td 
God that he would by his Spirit keep us from fin, and enable 
us to do our duty : and may not his Spirit anfwer our prayers, 
and enable us to do our duty, in a particular inflance, without 
lying ? If he cannot, then the Spirit of God is bound not to 
help his people to do their duty in fome inftances, becaufe 
he cannot do it without being a fpirit of falfehood. But fure 
ly God is fo fovereign as that comes to, that he may enable us 
to do our duty when he pleafes, and on what occafion he 
pleafes. When perfons think others are his children, God 
may have other ends in caufing their exceedingly endeared love 
to flow out to them, befides revealing to them whether their 
opinion of them be right or no : he may have that merciful 
f nd in it, to enable them fco do their duty, and to keep them 



from that dreadful infinite evil, fin. And will they fay GoJ 
{hall not fhow them that mercy in fuch a cafe ? If I am at a 
di fiance from home, and hear, that in my abfence, my houfe 
is burnt, but my family have, in fome extraordinary manner, 
all efcaped the flames ; and every thing in the circumflances of A 
the ftoiy, as I hear it, makes it appear very credible ; it would 
be fin in me, in fuch a cafe, not to feel a very great degree of 
gratitude to God, though the ftory indeed be not true. And 
is not God fo fovereign, that he may if he pleafes, mew me 
that mercy on that occafion, and enable me to do my duty in- 
a much further degree than I ufed to do it, and yet not incur 
the charge of deceitfulnefs, in confirming a falfehood ? 

It is exceeding manifelr, that error or miftake may be the 
occafion of a gracious exercife, and confequently a gracious in 
fluence of the Spirit of God, by Rom. xiv. 6. " ILe tjiat eateth 
*' to the Lord, he eateth, and giveth God thanks ;. r and he that 
" eateth not to the Lord, he eateth not, and giveth '(jod thanks." 
The apoftle is fpeaking of thofe, who through erroneous and 
needlefs fcruples, avoided eating legally unclean meats. By this 
it is very evident, that there may be true exercifes of grace, a 
true refpecl to the Lord, and particularly, ) a true thankfulnefs, 
which may be occafioned, both by an erroneous judgment and 
praftice. And confequently, an error may-be the occafion of 
thofe truly holy exercifes that are from tljgijjfellible Spirit of 
God. And if fo, it is certainly too much' ixjr us to determine, 
to how great a degree, the Spirit of Godjmay give this holy 
exercife, on fuch an occafion. 

This notion, of certainly difcerning another's flate, by love 
flowing out, is not only not founded on reafon or fcripture, 
but it is anti-fcriptural,it is.againft the rules of fcripture ; which 
fay not a word of any fuch way of judging the ftate of others 
as this, but direct us to judge chiefly by the fruits that are feen 
in them. And it is againft the doclrines of fcripture, which 
do plainly teach us, that the ftate of others fouls towards God, 
cannot be known by us, as in Rev. ii. 17. " To him thatover- 
" cometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and I will 
" give him a white ftone, and in the ftone a new name writ- 
" ten, which no man knoweth^Javing he that receiveth it" And 
Rom. ii. 29. " He i? a Jew, which is one inwardly; and cir- 
" cumcifion is that of the heart, in the fpirit, and not in the 
** letter, whofe praife is not of men, but of God." That by this 



laft expreffion, whofc. praiftis net of men, but of God, the apo- 
ftle has refpeci to the mfuidiciency of men to judge concerning 
him, whether he be inwardly a Jew or no, (as they could eafiiy 
fee by outward marks, whether men were outwardly Jews,) and 
would iignify, that it belongs to God alone to give a determin 
ing voice in this matter, is^confirmed by the lame apoille's ufe 
of the phrafe, in i Cor. iv. 5. " Therefore judge nothing be- 
1 fore the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to 
" light the hidden things of darknefs, and will make mariifeft 
" the counfels of the hearts :" and then mall every man have 
praife of God. The apoltle, in the two foregoing verfes, fays* 
14 But with me it is a very fmall thing that I ihould be judged 
" of you, or of man's judgment : yea, I judge not mine own 
" felf. For I know nothing by myfelf, yet am I not hereby 
" juftified : but he that judgeth me is the Lord." And agair^ 
it is further confirmed, becaufe the apoille in this fecond chap 
ter to the Romans, directs his fpeech efpecially to thofe who 
had a high conceit of their own holinefs, made their boaft of 
God, and were confident of their own difcerning, and that 
they knew God's will, and approved the things which were 
excellent, or tried the things that differ (as it is In the margin.) 
Verf. 19. " And were confident that they were guides of the 
" blind, and a light to them which are in darknefs, inilruc- 
" tors of the foolifli, teac$^pf babes ;" and fo took upon 
them to judge others. See veW. i. and 17, 18, 19, 20. 

And how arrogant rn^ft thejiotion be, that they have, who 
imagine they can certainly know others godlinels., when that 

treat apolile Peter Intends not to fay any more concerning 
ylvanus, than that he was " a faithful brother, as he (JuppoC- 
" ed ?" i Pet. v. 12. Though this Sylvanus appears to have 
been a very eminent minifter of Chrift, and ail evangelill, and 
"a famous light in God's church at that day, and an intimate 
companion of the apoll'es. See ?. Cor. i. 19. i Their, i. i. 
aud 2 Tiieff. i. i. 



Shewing what are diftinguiihing Signs of truly 
gracious and holy Affections. 

I Come now to the SECOND thing appertaining to the 
trial of religious affe61ions, which was propofed, viz. To 
take notice of fome things, wherein thofe affeciions that are 
ipirituai and gracious, do chilcr tioni (hofe that are not fo. 

But before I proceed tlirecliy to the diilinguilhing characters, 
I would previoully menticn feme things which I clefire may bs 
obferved, concerning the marks 1 fhali lay down-. 

i. That I am far from undertaking to give fuch %ns of gra 
cious affections, as mall be fuitkient to enable any certainly 
to diftiuguiih true afifetlion from ialfe in others ; or to deter 
mine pofmvely which of their n^j&hponrs are true profeiTois, 
arid which aie hypocrites. ImfMoing, I mould be guilty of 
that arrogance which I have been condemning. Though it be 
plain that Chiiit has given riA?s lo all Chriitians, to enable 
them to judge of profeilbi s of religion, whom they are concern 
ed wiih, lo ;ar as is nece/fary lor their cfwn iafeiy, and to pre 
vent their being led into a fnaie byfaife teachers, and falfe pre 
tenders to religien ; and though it be alfo beyond doubt, that 
the fcripturcs do abound with rules, whicfy may be very fei vice- 
able to minilleis, in counleihng and conducting fouls commit- 
ted to their care m things appertaining to their fpiritual and 
eternal ilate ; ye', it is alfo evident, that it was never God's 
defign to give us any rules, by which we may certainly know, 
who of our fellow-profellors are his, and to make a full and 
clear feparatidn between flieep and goats : but that on the con- 
tiary, it was God's defign to referve this to him fell', as his prer 
rogative. And therefore no fuch diilinguilhing figns as lhall 
enable Chriitians or miniflers to do this, are ever to be expect 
ed to the world's end : for no more is ever to be expected from 
any figns, that are to be found in the word of God, or gather 
ed from it, than Chrifl defigned them for. No 


ff. No fuch figns are to be expected, that (hall be fulhcient 
to enable thofe fainis certainly to diicern their own good eilate, 
who are very low in grace, or are fuch as have much departed 
from God. and are fallen into a dead, carnal and unch 1 
frame. It is not agreeable to God's defign, (as lias been alrea 
dy obferved,) that inch fhould know their gooc! : nor is 
it definable that they fhould ; but, on the contrary, every way 
bell, that they fhould not ; and we have reafon to blcfs God, 
that he has made no provifion that fuch fhould certainly know 
the i!.ate that they are in, any other way, than by iirll coming 
out of the ill frame arid way they are in. 

Indeed it is not properly through the defeft of the figns giv 
en in the word of God, that every faiin living, whether ilrong 
or weak, and thofe who are in a bad frame, as well as others, 
cannot certainly know their good eflate by them. For (he rules 
in themfeh r es are certain and infallible, and every faint has, or 
has had thofe things in himfelf, which are fure evidences of 
grace ; for every, even the Uaft act of grace is fo. But it is 
thr.yr.oh his defect to whom the figns are given. There is a 
twofold defect in that faint who is very low in grace, or in an 
il! frame, which makes it impoffible for him to know certain 
ly that he has true grace, by the heft figns and rules which 
can be given him. 

Fir/l, A de feel: in the oljeft, or the qualification to be view 
ed and examined. 1 do not mean an cliential defeat ; becaufe 
I fuppofe the perfoh'.to be a real faint; but a delect in degree : 
grace being very firall, cannot he clearly and certainly difcern- 
ed and diftinguifhed. Things that are very frnali, we cannot 
clearly difcern their form, or diitinguifh them one from ano 
ther; though, as they are in thernfelves, their form may be 
very different. There is doubtlefs a great difference between 
the body of man, and the bodies of other animals, in the fir ft 
conception in the womb : but yet if we fhould view the dif 
ferent embryos, it might not be poffihle for us to difcern the 
difference, by reafon of the impcrfccl flatc of the cbjecl: ; but 
as it comes to greater perfection, the difference becomes very 
plain. The difference between creatures of very contrary 
qualities, is not fo plainly to be feen while they are very young, 
even after they are actually brought forth, as in their more 
perfect flate. The difference between doves and ravens, or 
doves and vultures, when they firfl come out of the egg, is not 



fo evident ; but as they grow to their perfection, it is exceed 
ing great and manifeit. Another defeft attending the grace 
of thofe I am fpeaking, is its being mingled with fo much cor? 
ruption, which clouds and hides it, and makes it impofiible 
for it certainly to be known. Though different things that are 
before us, may have in themfelves many marks thoroughly 
diflinguiihing them one from another ; yet if we fee them only , 
in a thick fmoke, it may neverthelefs be impofiihle to diftin^ 
guifh them. A fixed ftar is eaftly uiilinguilhable from a comet, , 
in a clear iky ; but if we view them through a cloud, it may 
^be impoffible to fee the difference. When true Chriflians 
are in an ill frame, guilt lies on the confcience ; which 
will bring fear, and fo prevent the peace and joy of an allured 

Secondly, There is in fuch a cafe a defect in the eye. A$ 
the feeblenefs of grace and prevalence of corruption, obfcures 
the object ; fo it enfeebles the fight ; it darkens the fight as to 
all fpiritual objecls, . of which grace is one. Sin is like fome 
diftempers of the eyes, that make things to appear of different 
colours from thofe which properly belong to them, and like 
many other diftempers, that put the mouth out of tafle, fo as 
to difenable from diftingiiiftung good and wholefome food 
from bad, but every thing tafles bitter. Men in a corrupt and 
carnal frame, have their fpiritual fcnfes in but poor plight for 
judging and diflinguifhing fpiritual things. 

For thefe reafons, no figns that can be given, will actually 
fatisfy perfons in fuch a cafe : let the figns that are given, be 
never fo good and infallible, and clearly laid down, they will 
not ferve them. It is like giving a man rules, how to diftin- 
guifh vifible objecls in the dark : the things themfelves may 
be very different, and their difference may be very well and 
diftinclly defcribed to him ; yet all is inefficient to enable 
him to diftinguifli them, becaufe he is in the dark. And there 
fore many perfons in fuch a cafe fpend time in a fruitlefs la 
bour, in poring on paft experiences, and examining themfelves 
by figns they hear laid down from the pulpit, or that they read 
in books ; when there is other work for them to do, that is 
much more expefted of them ; which, while they negleft, all 
their felf-exatpi nations are like to be in vain, if they fliould 
fpend never fo much time in them. The accurfed thing is to 
be deftroyed from their camp, and Achan to be (lain ; and un 
til this be done, they will be in trouble. It is not Cod's defigr* 



that men flionld obtain aiTuranceun any other way, than by 
mortifying corruption, and increafing in grace, and obtaining 
the lively exercifes of it. And although felf-examination be a 
duty of great tife and importance, and by no means to be ne 
glected ; yet it is not the principal means, by which the faints 
do get fatisfaction of their good eilate. Aflurance is not to be 
obtained fo much by felf -examination^ as by aclion. The apof- 
tle Paul fought affa ranee chiefly this way, even by forgetting 
the things that behind, and reaching forth unto ihofe things 
that were before, preffing towards the mark for the prize of the 
high calling of God in Chrift Jefus ; if by any means he might 
attain unto the refarreclion of the dead. And it was by this 
means chiefly that he obtained aiiurance, i Cor. ix. 26. " I 
" therefore fo run, as not uncertainly." He obtained aflurance 
of winning the prize, more by running, than by confidtring. 
T\\QjwiftneJ's of his pace, did more towards his affurance of 
aconqueil, than the Jlri&nefs of his examination. Giving all 
diligence to grow in grace, by adding to faith, virtue, ?<:. is 
the direction that the apoftle Peter gives us, for making our call- 
in? and election furc, and having an entrance miuijlered to us 
abundantly, into Chrift' s evtrlajling kingdom ; iignifying to us, 
that without this, our eyes will be dim, and we {hall be as men 
in the dark, that cannot plainly fee things part cr to come, either 
the forgivenefs of our fins pad, or our heavenly inheritance that 
is future, arid jfor off, 2 Pet. i. 5 n.J- 

Therefore, though good rules to diftinguifh true grace from 
counterfeit, may tend to convince hypocrites, and be of great 
life to the faints, in many refpe&s ; and among other benefits 
may be very ufeful to them to remove many needlefs fcruples, 
and eftablifh their hope ; yet I am far from pretending to lay 
down any fuch rules, as fhall be fufficient of themfelves, with 
out other means, to enable all true faints to fee their good 
eftate, or as fuppoling they mould be the principal means of 
their fatisfaction. 

3. Nor 

J " The way to know your godlinefs, is to renew the vifible ex 
ercifes of grace." fc The more the vifible exercifes of grace are 
renewed, the more certain you will be. The more frequently 
thefe actings are renewed, the more abiding and confirmed your 
aflurance will be." " The more mens grace is multiplied, the 
more their peace is multiplied ; 2 Pet. i. 2. Grace and peace be mul 
tiplied unto you, through the knvwlege of God arid jfe/vs Ckrijl our 
Lord," StouJiird's U-\-y lo hivw Jlnceriy ci:;j t.'v .'ocri :j } p. 139. and 


3. Nor is there much encouragement, in the experience of 
prcfent or paft times, to lay down j ules or marks to diftinguifh 
between true and falfe affections, in hopes of convincing any 
confiderable number of that fort of hypocrites, who have been 
deceived with great falfe. difcoveries and aff eel ions, and are once 
fettled in a falfe confidence, and high conceit of their own fup- 
pofed great experiences and privileges. Such hypocrites are fo 
conceited of their own wifdom, and fo blinded and hardened 
with a very great fdf-righteoufnefs, (but very fubtil and fecret, 
tinder the difguife of great humility,) and fo' invincible a fond- 
iKiscf their pleafing conceit, of their great exaltation, that it 
iifually figniiies nothing at all, to lay before them the moft con 
vincing evidences cf their hypocrify. Their ftate is indeed de 
plorable, arid next to thofe that have committed the unpardon 
able 'fin. Some of this fort of peifons feem to be moft out of 
the reach of means of conviction and repentance. But yet the 
.lay ing down good rules may be a means of preventing fuch hy 
pocrites, and of convincing many of other kinds of hypocrites ; 
and God is able to convince even this kind, and his grace is not 
to be limited, nor means to be neglefted. And befides, fuch 
rules may be of ufe to the true faints, to detecl: falfe afreclions, 
which they may have mingled with true ; and be a means of 
their religion's becoming more pure, and like gold tried in the 

Having premifed thefe things, I now proceed directly to take 
notice of thofe things in which true religious afFe&ions are cli- 
ftinguilhed from falfe. 

I. AffecTions that are truly fpiritual and gracious, do arife 
from thofe influences and operations' on the heart, which are 
fp -.ritual, fupcr natural, and divine. 

I will explain what I mean by thefe term?, whence will ap- 
poar their ufe to diftinguifh between thofe afteclions which are 
fpiritual, and thofe which are not fo. 

We find that true faints, or thofe perfons who are fanctified 
by the Spirit of God, are in the New Feftament called Jjttriiuat 
perfons. And their being fpiritual is fpoken of as their pecu 
liar character, and that wherein they are diftinguiihed from 
thofe who are not fanclined. This is evident, becaufe thofe 
v.'ho are fpiritual are fet in oppofiticn to natural men, and carnal 
men. Thus the fpiritual 1 man and the natural man are fct in 
oppofition one to another, I Cor. ii. 14, I <>. " The natural man 
" receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God ; for they are fool- 
" iflinels unto him : neither can he know them, becaufe they 

" are 


" are fpiritually diicerned. But he that is fpiritunl, jud 
" things.'* The icripture explains itfelf to menu an u 
man, or one that has no grace, by a natural m.i;i -. tl: 
apoille Juib, fpeaktng of certain ungodly intn t that had crept 
in unawares among the faints, verf. 4. ot '!:: , fays, verf. 

19. Theft are ienfuai, hating not the Spirit. I his the apoftle 
gives as a reafori why they behaved thetnfcU'es in fach a wicked 
manner as he had dticiibed. Here the word tranllated/j/T/zW, 
in the original is natural ; which is the very fame, which in 
thofc veries in I Cor. chap. ii. is translated natural. In the 
like manner, in the continuation of the fav :fc, in the 

next verfe but one, fpiritual men are oppofcd to earned men ; 
which the connection plainly (hews mean the fame, as fpuituai 
men and natural men, in the foregoing verfes ; And I, brethren, 
could not faak unto you, as unto fpiritual, but as unto carnal ; 
i. e. as in a great mt-afure unfantlilied. That by carnal the 
apoftle means corrupt and unfan&ified, is abundantly evident, 
by Rom. vii. 25. and viii. 1,4,5,6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 17. Gal. v. 
16. to the end. Col. ii. 18. Now therefore, if by natural and 
carnal, in thefl- text.-, be intended tinfan&ifedi then doubtlefs 
by fpiritual, v/iucii is oppofc-d thereto, is meant /anttifitd and 

And as the faints are called fpiritual in fcnpture, fo we alfo 
find that there are certain properties, qualities, and principles, 
that have the fame epithet given them. So we read of a//>/n- 
tual mind, Rom. viii. 6, j. and tf fpiritual wifdom, Col. i. 9. 
and of fpiritual bltjjings, Eph. i. 3. 

Now it may be obierved, that the epithet fpiritual, in thefs 
and other parallel texts of the New Teftarnent, is not ufed to 

beeaufe they have their feat in the foul, and not in the body : 
for there are fome properties that the fcripture calls curiial or 
&Jkly> which have their fetit as much in the foul, as thoie pro 
perties that are called fpiritual. Thus it is with pride and ielt- 
righteouTn^fs, and a man's tnifling to his own wifdorn, \\hich 
theapofdecalls/^/y, Col. ii. 18. Nor arc things called fpiri 
tual, been ufe they are converfant about thofe things that are 
immaterial, and not corporeal. For fo w:;s tlie wifdorh of the 
wife men, and princes of -this world, con- k>ul fpirits--, 

and immaterial beings ; which yet the apofHe {oc-.. ; :s ci:' as na 
tural men, totally ignorant of thofe things that arc fniritna!, 

i Cor. 

25?4 THE FIRST SIGN Part itL 

a Cor. chap. ii. But it is with relation to the Holy Gko/l, or 
Spirit of God, that perfons or things are termed ipiritual, in 
the New Teftament. Spirit, as the word is ufed to fignify the 
third perfon in the Trinity, is the fubftantive, of which is 
formed the adje6tive fpintual, in the holy fcriptures. Thus 
Chriftians are called ipiritual perfons, becaufe they are born 
of the Spirit, and becaafe of the indwelling arid holy influences 
of the Spirit of God in them. And things are called fpintual 
as related to the Spirit of God ; i Cor. ii. 13, 14. " Which 
" things alfo we (peak, not in the words which man's wifdom 
*' teacheth, but which the Holy Ghofl teacheth ; comparing 
" fpintual things with fpiritual. But the natural man receiv- 
" tih not the things of the Spirit of God." Here the apoftle 1 
himfelf exprefsly iignifies, that by fpiritual things, he means 
the things of the Spirit of God, and things which the Holy Ghojl 
teacheth. The fame is yet more abundantly apparent by view- 
'ing the whole context. Again, Rom. viii. 6. " To be carnal- 
" ly minded, is death ; but to \>z fpiritually minded, is life and 
" peace." The apoftle explains what he means by being car 
nally and fpiritually minded, in what follows in the gth verfe, 
and (hews that by being fpiritually minded, he means a having 
the indwelling and holy influences of the Spirit of God in the 
heart. But ye are not in the fleih, but in the Spirit, if fo bt 
the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not 
the Spirit of Chrift, he is none of his. The fame is evident by 
all the context. But time would fail to produce all the evi 
dence there is of this, in the New TeftamenL 

And it mud be here obferved, that although it is with re 
lation to the Spirit of God and his influences, that perfons and 
things are called fpiritual ; yet not all thofe perfons who are 
fubjel to any kind of influence of the Spirit of God, are ordi 
narily called fpiritual in the New Teftament. They who have 
only the common influences of God's Spirit, are not fo called, 
in the places cited above, but only thofe, who have the fpecial, 
gracious and faving influences of God's Spirit ; as is evident, 
becaufe it has been already proved, that by fpiritual men is 
meant godly men, in oppofition to natural, carnal arid unfaric- 
tified men. And it is moft plain, that the apoftle by fpiritually 
minded, Rom. .viii. 6. means gracioufly minded. And though 
the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit, which natural men might 
have, are fometimes called fpintual, becaufe they are from the 
Spirit ; yet natural men, whatever gifts of the Spirit they had, 



were not, in the ufual language of the New Teftament, called 
ipiritual perfons. For it was not by mcns having the gifts of 
the Spirit, but by their having the virtues of the Spirit, that 
they were called fpiritual ; as is apparent, by Gal. vi. i. " Bre- 
*' thren, if any man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are fpiri- 
" tual, reflore fuch an one in the fpirit of meeknefs." Meek- 
nefs is one of thofe virtues which the apoftle had juft fpoken of, 
in the verfes next preceding, (hewing what are the fruits ojthz 
Spirit. Thofe qualifications are faid to be fpiritual in the 
language of the New Teitament, which are truly gracious and 
holy, and peculiar to the faints. 

Thus when we read of fpiritual wifdom and underftanding, 
(as in Col. i. 9. We. de/irc-thatyc, may be filled with ike know- 
lege of his will, in all wifdom and fpiritual underftanding;) 
hereby is intended that wifdom which is gracious, and from 
the fanctifying influences of the Spirit of God. For doubtlefs, 
by fpiritual wifdom, is meant that which is oppofite to what 
the fcripture calls natural wifdom ; as the fpiritual man is op- 
pofed to the natural man. And therefore fpiritual wifdom is 
doubtlefs the fame with that wifdom which is from above, 
that the apoftle James fpeaks of, Jam. iii. 17. " The 
" wifdom that is from above, is firft pure, then peaceable, 
" gentle, &c." for this the apoftle oppofcs to natural wifdom , 
verf. 15. " This wifdom defcendeth not from above, but is 
" earthly, fenfual" the laft word in the original is the fame 
that is tranflated natural, in i Cor. ii. 14. 

So that although natural men may be the fubjects of many 
influences of the Spirit of God, as is evident by many fcripturcs, 
as Numb. xxiv. 2. i Sam. x. 10. and xi. 6. and xvi. 14. i Cor, 
xiii. i, 2,3. Heb. vi. 4, , 6. and many others ; yet they arc 
not in the fenfeof the fcripture, fpiritual perfons ; neither are 
any of thofe effecls, common gifts, qualities or affeftions, that 
are from the influence of the Spirit of God upon them, 
called fpiritual things. * The great difference lies in thefe two 

i. The Spirit of God is given to the true faints to dwell in 
them, as his proper lafting abode ; and to influence their hearts, 
as a principle of new nature, or as a divine fupernatural fprinw; 
of life and action. The fcriptures rcprefcnt the Holy Spirit, 
not only as moving, and occafionally influencing the faints, but 
as dwelling in them as his temple, bis proper abode, arid ever- 
lafting dwelling-place, i Cor. iii. 16. a Cor. vi. 16. lohnslv. 

F f *<\ 


16, 17. And he is rcprefented as being there fo united to the 
faculties of the foul, that he becomes there a principle or fpring 
of new nature and life. 

So the faints are faid to live by Chrift living in them, Gal. 
ii. 20. Chrift by his Spirit not only is in them, but lives in 
them ; and fo that they live by his fife ; fo is his Spirit united 
to them, as a principle of life in them ; they do not only drink 
living water, but this living water becomes a well or fountain of 
water, in the foul ; fpringmg up into fpi ritual arid everlajling 
tiff* J onn lv - 14- and thus becomes a principle of life in them : 
this living water, this evangelift himfelf explains to iniend the 
Spirit of God, Chap. vii. 38, 39. The light of the Sun of 
righteoufnefs does not only mine upon them, but is fo com 
municated to them that they fhine alfo, and become little ima 
ges of that Sun which fhines upon them ; the fap cf the true 
vine is not only conveyed into them, as the fap of a tree may 
be conveyed into a veffel* but is conveyed as fop is from a tiee 
into one of its living branches, where it becomes a principle 
of life. The Spirit of God being thus communicated and uni 
ted to the faints, they are from thence properly denominated 
from it, and are called fpiritual. 

On the other hand, though the Spirit of God may many 
ways influence natural men ; yet becaufe it is not thus com 
municated to them, as an indwelling principle, they do not 
derive any denomination or character from it ; for there be 
ing no union it is not their own. The light may fhine upon 
a body that is very dark or black ; and though that body be 
the fubjeft of the light, yet, becaufe the light becomes no 
principle of light in it, fo as to caufe the body to mine, hence 
that body does not properly receive its denomination fronvit, 
fo as to be called a light fame body. So the Spirit of God act 
ing upon the foul only, without communicating itfelf to be an 
active principle in it, cannot denominate it fpiritual. A body 
that continues black, may be faid not to have, light, though the 
light fhines upon it : fo natural men are faid not to have the 
Spirit, Jude 19. fenfual or natural, (as the word is elfewhere 
rendered,) having not the. Spirit. 

2. Another reafon why the faints and their virtues are called 
fpiritual, (which is the principal thing,) is, that the Spirit of 
God, dwelling as a vital principle in their fouls, there produces 
thofe effe&s wherein he exerts and ccmmunica'.es himfeif in 



his own proper nalurt. Holinefs is the nature of the Spirit of 
God, therefore he is called in fcripture the Holy Gko/f. Holi 
nefs, which is as it were the beauty and fweetnefs of the divine 
nature, is as much the proper nature of the Holy Spirit, as 
heat is the nature of fire, or fweetreis was the nature of that 
holy anointing oil, which was the principal type of the Holy 
Ghoft in the Mofaic dispensation ; yea, 1 may rather lay, that 
holinefs is as much the proper nature of the Holy Ghoft, as 
fweetnefs was the nature of the fvveet odour of that ointment. 
The Spirit of God fo dwells in the hearts of the faints, that he 
there, as a feed or fpring of life, exerts and communicates 
himfelf, in this his fweet and divine nature, making the foul 
a partaker of God's beauty and Chrift's joy, fo that the faint 
Jhas truly fellowship with the Father, and with his Son jefus 
Chrift, in thus having the communion or participation of the 
Holy Ghoft. The grace which is in the hearts of the faints, 
is of the fame nature with the divine holinefs, as much as it is 
pofTible for that holinefs to be, which is infinitely lefs in degree ; 
as the brightness that is in a diamond which the fun ihines tjpon, 
is of the fame nature with the brightnefs of the fun, but only 
that it is as nothing to it in degree. Therefore Chrift fays, 
John iii. 6. " That which is born of the Spirit, is fpirit ;" z. t. 
the grace that is begotten in the hearts of the faints, is fome- 
thing of the fame nature with ihat Spirit, and fo is properly 
called a Jpiritual nature. ; after the fame manner as that which 
is born of the flefh is flem, or that which is born of corrupt 
nature is corrupt nature. 

But the Spirit of God never influences the minds of natural 
men after this manner. Though he may influence them many 
ways, yet he never, in any of his influences, communi 
cates himfelf to them in his own proper nature. Indeed he 
never a&s difagreeably to his nature, either on the minds 
of faints or finners : but the Spirit of God may aft upon 
men agreeably to his own nature, and not exert his pro 
per nature in the acts and exercifes of their minds : 
the, Spirit of God may a6t fo, that iiis actions may be agreeable 
to his nature, and yet may not at all communicate himfelf in 
his proper nature, in the effect of that action. Thus, for in- 
fiance, the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, 
and there was nothing difagreeable to his nature in that aclion ; 
but yet he did not at all communicate himfelf in that aclion, 
there was nothing of the proper nature of tbe Holy Spirit in 

22 8 T H F I R S T S I G N Part III. 

that motion of the waters. And fo be may aft upon the minds 
of men many ways, and not communicate himfelf any more 
than when he acts on inanimate things. 

Thus not only the manner of the relation of the Spirit, who 
is the operator, to the fubjeft of his operations, is different ; 
as the Spirit operates in the faints, as dwelling in them, as asi 
abiding principle of aclion, whereas he doth not fo operate 
upon finners ; but the influence and opzraticnitfdf'^ different, 
and the ejftEl wrought exceeding different. So that not only 
the perfons are called Jpintital, as having the Spirit of God 
dwelling in them ; but thofe qualifications, affeclions, and ex 
periences that are wrought in them by the Spirit, are alfoy^z- 
ritualy and therein differ vaftly in their nature and kind from 
all that a natural man is or can be. the fubjeft of, while he re 
mains in a natural ftate ; and alfo from all that men or devils 
can be the authors of. It is a fpiritual work in this highfenfe; 
and therefore above all other works is peculiar to the Spirit of 
God. There is no work fo high and excellent ; for there is no 
work wherein God doth fo much communicate himfelf, and 
wherein the mere creature hath, in fo high a fenfe, a partici 
pation of God ; fo that it is expreffed in fcripture by the faints 
" being made partakers of the divine nature," 2 Pet. i. 4. and 
" having God dwelling in them, and they in God,'" i John 
iv. 12, 15, 1 6. and chap. iii. 21. " and having Chrift in them," 
John xvii. 21. Rom. viii. 10. " being the temples of the living 
V God,'* 2,Cor. vi. 16. " living by thrift's life," Gal, ii. 2d. 
" being; made partakers of God's holinefs," Heb. xii. 10. " hav- 
" ing Chriit's love dwelling in them," John xvii. 26. " having 
" his joy fulfilled in them," John xvii. i?. " feeing light in 
" God's light, a W being; made to drink of the river of God ? s 
" pleafures," Pfal, xxxvi. 8, 9. " having fellowfhip with God, 
" or communicating and partaking with him," (us the word 
fignifies,) i John i. 3. Not that the faints are made partakers 
of the eifence of God, and fo are godded with God, and chrifled 
with Chrift, according to the abominable find blafphemous lan 
guage and notions of feme heretics ; but, to ufe the fcripture 
phrafe, they are made partakers of God's jutncfi t Eph. iii. 17, 
18, 19. John i. 16. that is, of God's fpiritual beauty and hap- 
pinefs, according to the meafure and capacity of a creature ; 
for fo it is evident the word julnffs fignifies in fcripture-lan- 
guage. Grace in the hearts of the faints, being therefore the 
molt glorious work of God, wherein he communicates of the 
goodnefs of his nature, it is doubtkfs his peculiar work, and 


OF GRACIOUS A F F E c T i o N ? s. 

in an eminent manner, above the power of all creatures. And 
the iniluences of the Spirit of God in this, being thus peculiar 
to God, and being thofe wherein God does, in fo high a man 
ner, communicate himielf, and make the creature partake of 
the divine nature, (the Spirit of God communicating itfelf in its 
own proper nature ;) this is what I mean by thofe influences 
that are divine, when I fay that truly gracious ajfe&ions do anfe 
J'rom thofe influences that are fpiritual and divine. 

The true faints only have that -which is fpiritual ; others 
have noihing which is divine, in the fenfe that has been fpokeu 
of. They not only have not thefe communications of the Spi 
rit of God in fo high a degree as the faints, but have nothing 
of that nature or kind. For the apoftle James tells us, that 
natural men have not the. Spirit ; and Chrift teaches the riecefii- 
ty of a new birth, or being born of the Spirit, from this, 
that he that is born ofthejlefk, has only Jlejh, and no Jpirit, 
John iii. 6. They have not the Spirit of God duelling in 
them in any degree ; for the apoflle teaches, that all who have 
the Spirit of God dwelling in them are fome of his, Rom. viii. 
9 11. And an having the Spirit of God is fpoken of as a 
certain fign that perfons fhs'l have the eternal inheritance; for 
it is fpoken of as the earneft of it, 2 Cor. i. 22. and v. j. Eph. 
i. 14. and an having any thing of the. Spirit is mentioned as a 
fure fign of being in Chriir, j John iv. 13. ** Hereby know 
*' we that we dwell in him, becaufe he hath given us ^/'his Spi- 
" rit." Ungodly men, not only have not fo much of the divine 
nature as the faints, but they ZTQ not partakers of it ; which im 
plies that they have nothing of it ; for a being partaker of the 
divine nature is fpoken of as the peculiar privilege of the true 
faints, 2 Pet. i. 4. Ungodly men are ftoi partakers oj God's ho- 
lincfs, Heb. xii. 10. A natural man has no experience of any 
of thofe things that are fpiritual : the apoflle teaches us that he 
is fo far from it, that he knows nothing about them, he is aper- 
fecl ftranger to them, the talk about fuch things is all foolifh- 
nefs and nonfenfe to him, be knows not what it means, i Cor. 
ii. 14. u The natural man receiveth not the things of the 
" Spirit of God ; for they are fooliilmefs to him : neither can 
*' he know them, becaufe they are fpiritually difcerned." And 
to the like purpofc Chrift teaches us that the world is wholly 
unacquainted with the Spirit of God, John xiv. 17. '* Even 
" the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, becaufe 
" it feeth him not, neither knoweth him." And it is further 
evident, that natural men have nothing in them of the fame 



nature with the true grace of the faints, becaufe the apoftlc 
teaches us, that thole of them who go fai theft in religion, have 
no charity, or true f hriftian love, i Cor. chap. xiii. So Chrift 
clfewheie reproves the Pharifees, thofe high pretenders to re 
ligion, that they had not the love of God in them, John v. 42. 
Hence natural men have no communion or fellowship with 
Chrift, or participation with him, (as thefe words flgnify,) for 
this is-fpoken of as the peculiar privilege of the faints, i John 
i. 3. together with veri. 6, 7. and i Cor. i. 8, 9. And the 
fcripture fpeaks of the aftua'l being of a gracious principle in 
the foul, though in its firft beginning, as a feed there planted, 
as inconfiilent with a man's being a imner, i John iii. 9* And 
natural men are reprefented in fcripture, as having no ipirituai 
light, no fpiritual life, and no fpiritual being ; and therefore 
converfion is often compared to opening the eyes of the blind, 
railing the dead, and a work of creation, (wherein creatures 
are made entirely new,) and becoming new-born children. 

From thefe things it is evident, that thole gracious influen 
ces which the faints are the fubjecls of, and the effecls of 
God's Spirit which they experience, are enti:ely above nature, 
altogether of a different kind from any thing that men find 
within themfelves by nature, or only in the excrcife of natural 
principles ; and are things which no improvement of thofe 
qualifications, or principles that are natural, no advancing or 
exalting them to higher degrees, and no kind of competition 
of them, will ever bring men to ; becaufe they not only differ 
from^whak is natural, and fram every thing that natural men 
experience, in degree and circumftances, but alfo in kind ; 
- arid are of a nature vaftly more excellent. And this is what I 
mean by fapcr natural, when I fay, that gracious affections are 
Jrom tkcjk influences that are fupcr natural. 

From hence it' follows, that in thofe gracious exercifes and 
affections which are wrought in the minds of the faints, through 
the faving influences of the Spirit of God, there is a new in 
ward perception orjenfation of their minds, entirely different in 
its nature and kind, from any thing that ever their minds were 
the fubje8s of before they were fanctified. For doubtlefs if 
God by his mighty power produces fomething that is new, not 
only in degree and circumilances, but in its whole nature, and 
that which could be produced by no exalting, varying, or com 
pounding of what was there before, or by adding any thing of 
the like kind; I fay, if God produces fornethirig thus new h< 



a mind, that is a perceiving, thinking, corifcious thing ; then 
.cloubtlefs fomething entirely new is felt, or perceived, or 
thought-; or, which is the fame thing, there is forne new len- 
fation or perception of the mind, which is entirely of a new 
fort, and which could be produced by no exalting, varying, or 
compounding of that kind of perceptions or fenfations which 
the mind had before ; or there is what fome nieiaphyiicians call 
a new fimple idea. If grace be, in the fenfe above defcribed, 
an entirely new kind of principje ; then the exercifes of it are 
alfo entirely a new kind of exercifes. And if there be in the 
foul a new fort of exercifes which it is confcious of, which the 
foul knew nothing of before, and which no improvement, com- 
petition, or management of what it was before confcious or fen~ 
fible of, could produce, or any thing like it ; then it follows, 
that the mind has an entirely new kind of perception or fen fa- 
tion : and here is, as it were, a new Jpiritual fenfe that "the 
mind has, or a principle of new kind of perception or fpiritual 
fenfation, which is in its whole nature different from any ior- 
mer kinds of fenfation of the mind, as tailing is diverfe from 
any of the other fenfes ; and fomething is perceived by a true 
faint, in the exercife of this new fenfe of mind, in fpiritual and 
divine things, as entirely diverfe from any thing that is perceiv 
ed in them, by natural men, as the fwcet taile of honey is di 
verfe from the ideas men get of honey by only looking on if, 
and feeling of it. So that the fpiritual perceptions which a 
fanftified and fpiritual perfon has, are not only diverfe from all 
that natural men have, after the manner that the ideas or per 
ceptions of the fame fenfe may differ one from another, but ra 
ther as the ideas arid fenfaticns of different fenfes do differ. 
Hence the work of the Spirit of God in regeneration is often in. 
fcripture compared to the giving a new fenfe, giving eyes to 
fee, and ears to hear, unftopping th ears of the deaf, and open 
ing the eyes of them that were born blind, and turning from 
darknefs unto light. And becaufe this fpiritual fenfe is irr> 
menfely the moil noble and excellent, and that without which 
all other principles of perception, and all our faculties are 
ufelefs and vain ; therefore the giving this new fenfe, with the 
bleffed fruits and effects of it in the foul, is compaied to a raif- 
ing the dead, and to a new creation. 

This new fpiritual fenfe, and the new difpofitions that at 
tend it, are no new faculties, but are new principles of nature. 
' 1 ufe the word principle s^ for want of a word of a more deter- 



minate fignification. By a principle of nature in this place, I 
mean that foundation which is laid in nature, either oid or 
new, for any particular mariner or kind of exercife of the fa 
culties of the foul ; or a natural habit, or foundation for action, 
giving a perfon ability nd*difpofmon to exert the faculties in 
exercifes of fuch a certain kind ; fo that to exert the faculties 
in that kind of exercifes, may be faid to be his nature. So 
this new fpiritual fenfe is not a new faculty of undemanding, 
but it is a new foundation laid in the nature of the foul, for a 
new kind of exercifes of the fame faculty of underftanding. So 
that new holy difpofition of heart that attends this new fenfe, 
is not a new faculty of will, but a foundation laid in the na 
ture of the foul, for a new kind of exercifes of the fame faculty 
of will. 

The Spirit of God, in all his operations upon the minds of. 
natural men, only moves, imprelles, affifts, improves, or fome 
way ats upon natural principles; but gives no new fpiritual 
principle. Thus when the Spirit of God gives a natural man 
vifions, as he did Balaam, he only imprefTes a natural principle, 
viz. the fenfe of feeing, immediately exciting ideas of that fenfe ; 
but he gives no new fenfe; neither is there any thing fuperna- 
tural, fpiritual or divine in it. So if the Spirit of God imprefles 
on a man's imagination, either in a dream, or when he is awake, 
any outward ideas of any of the fenfes, either voices, or ihapes 
and colours, it is only exciting ideas of the fame kind that he 
lias by natural principles and fenfes. So if God reveals to any 
natural man, any fecret fact ; as for infhnce, fomething that 
he fhall hereafter fee or hear ; this is not infufing or exercif- 
ing any new fpiritual principle, or giving the ideas of any new 
fpiritual fenfe ; it is only imprefiing, in an extraordinary man 
ner, the ideas that will hereafter be received by fight and hear 
ing. So in the more ordinary influences of the Spirit of God 
on the hearts of Tinners, he only afMs natural principles to do 
the fame work to a greater degree, which they do of them- 
felves by nature. Thus the Spirit of God by his common in 
fluences may aflift mens natural ingeniofity, as he aflifted Be- 
zaleel and AhoUab in the curious works of the tabernacle : fo 
he may aflift mens natural abilities in political affairs, and im 
prove their courage, and other natural qualifications ; as he is 
faid to have put his fpirit on the feventy elders, and on Saul, 
fo as to give him another heart : fo God may greatly aflift na 
tural mens reafon, in their rcafoning about fecular things, or 



about the doclrines of religion, and may greatly advance the; 
clearnefs of their apprehensions and notions of things of reli 
gion in many refpe&s, without giving any fpiritual ferife. So 
in thofe awakenings and convifclions that natural men may have, 
God only affids confcience, which is a natural principle, to do 
that work in a further degree, which h naturally does. Con* 
fcience naturally gives men an a'ppreheriuon of right and wiong, 
and fuggefts the relation there is hetween right and wrong, and 
a retribution : the Spirit of God affifts mens confciences to do 
this in a greater degree, helps confcience againft the ftupify- 
ing influence of worldly objects and their lufts. And fo there 
are many other ways might be mentioned wherein the Spirit 
afch upon, aflifts and moves natural principles ; but after all, 
it is no more than nature moved, acled, and improved ; here 
is nothing fupernatural and divine. But the Spirit of God in 
his fpiritual influences on the hearts of his faints, operates by 
infufmg or exercifing new, divine and fupernatural principles; 
principles which are indeed a new and fpiritual nature, and princi 
ples vailly more noble and excellentthan all that is in natural men. 

From what has been faid it follows, that all fpiritual and 
gracious affe6lions are attended with, and do arife from forne 
apprehenfion, idea, or fenfation of mind, which is in its whole 
nature different, yea exceeding different from all that is or can 
be in the mind of a natural man; and which the natural man 
difcerns nothing of, and has no manner of idea of, (agreeable 
to i Cor. ii. 14.) and conceives of no more than a man with 
out the fenfe of tatting can conceive of the fweet tafle of honey, 
or a man without the fenfe of hearing can conceive of the me 
lody of a nine, or a man born blind can have a notion of the 
beauty of the rainbow. 

But here two things mull be obferved, in order to the right 
underftandingof this. 

i. On the one hand it mull be obferved, that hot every t!i!n 
which in any refpecl appertains to fphitual afieciions, is new 
and entirely different from what natural men can conceive of, 
and do experience; fome thing;; are common to gracious affec 
tions with other affections ; manv circumftances, appendages, 
and effects are common. Thus a faint's love to God has 2 great 
many tilings appertaining to if, which are common with a 
man's natural love to a near relation : love to God makes a 
man have defiies of the honour of God, and a defire to pleafo 
hs m : *o -Vr?s a natural man's love to bis friend make him de- 

G fire 


fire his honbur, and defire to pleafe him : love to Godcaufes a 
man to delight in the thoughts of God, and to delight in the 
prefence of God, and to defire conformity to God, arid the en 
joyment of God ; and fo it is with a man's love to his friend : 
and many other things might be mentioned which are common 
to both. But yet that idea which the faint has of the lovelinefs 
of God, and that fenfation, and that kind of delight he has in 
that view, which is as it were the marrow and quinteffence of 
bis love, is peculiar, and entirely diverfe from any thing that 
a natural man has, or can have any notion of. And even in 
thofe things that feem to be common, there is fomcthing pecu 
liar : both fpirimal love and natural, caufe defires after the ob 
ject beloved ; but they be not the fame fort of defires; there is 
a fenfation of foul in the fpiritual defires of one that loves God, 
which is entirely different from all natural defires: both fpiri 
tual love and natural love are attended with delight in the ob 
ject beloved; but the fenfations of delight are not the fame, 
but entirely and exceedingly diverfe. Natural men may have 
conceptions of many things about fpiritual affections ; but there 
is fomcthing in them which is as it were the nucleus, or kernal 
of them, that they have no more conceptions of, than one 
born blind has of colours. 

It may be clearly illuftrated by this : we will fuppofe two 
men ; ene is born' without the fenfe of tailing, the other ha^ 
it ; the latter loves honey, and is greatly delighted in it, hecaufe 
he knows the fweet taite of it ; the other loves certain founds 
and colours ; the love of each has many things that appertain 
to it, which is common ; it caufes both to defire and delight 
in the object beloved, and caufes grief when it is abfent, &c. 
but yet that idea or fenfation which he who knows the tafte of 
honey, has of its excellency and fweetnefs, thzit is the foundation 
of his love, is entirely different from any thing the other has 
or can have ; and that delight which he has in honey, is whol 
ly diverfe from any thing that the other can conceive of ; though 
they both delight' in their beloved objects. So both thefe per- 
ibns may in fome refpects love the fame object : the one may 
love a delicious kind of fruit, which is beautiful to the eye, and 
of a delicious tafte ; not only becaufe he has feen its pleafant 
colours, hut knows its fweet tafte ; the other, perfectly ignorant 
of this, loves it only for its beautiful colours : there are many 
things feem, in fome refpect, to be common to both ; both love, 
both defire, and both delight ; but the love, and defire, and de 
li eht of the one, is altogether diverfe from that of the other* 



The difference between the love of a natural man and fpiritual 
man is like to this ; but only it mint be obferved, that in one 
refpect it is vaitly greater, viz. that the kinds of excellency 
which are perceived in fpiritual objects, by thefe different kinds 
of pcrfons, are in themfelves vaitly more diverfe than the dif 
ferent kinds of excellency perceived in delicious fruit, by a tqji- 
ing and a taftdefs man ; and in another rsfpcft it may not 
be fo great, viz. as the fpiritual man may have a Spiritual ienfe 
ortalte, to perceive that divine and moil peculiar excellency, but 
in fmall beginnings, and in a very imperiecl degree. 

2. On the other hand, it muft be obferved, that a natural 
man may have thofe religious apprehenfions and affections, which 
may be in many refpects very new and furprifmg to him, and 
what before he did not conceive of ; and yet what he experi 
ences be nothing like the exercifes of a principle of new nature, 
or the fen fat ions of a new fpiritual fenfe : his affections may 
be very new, by extraordinarily moving natural principles, in a 
very new degree, and with a great many new circumttances, 
and a new co-operation of natural affections, and a new com- 
pofition of ideas ; this may be from fome extraordinary power 
ful influence of Satan, and fome great delation ; but there is 
nothing but nature extraordinarily acted. As if a poor man, 
that had always dwelt in a cottage, and had never looked be 
yond the obfcure village where he was born, mould in a jell, 
be taken to a magnificent city and prince's court, and there 
arrayed in princely robes, and fet in the throne, with the 
crown royal on his head, peers and nobles bowing before him, 
and mould . be made to believe that he was now a glorious 
monarch ; the ideas lie would have, and the affections he 
would experience, would in many refpects be very new, and 
fuch as he had no imagination of before ; but all is no more, 
than only extraordinarily raifmg and exciting natural princi 
ples, and newly exalting, varying, and compounding fuch fort 
of ideas, as he has by nature ; here is nothing like, giving 
him a new fenfe. 

Upon the whole, I think it is clearly manifeft, that all truly- 
gracious affe&ions doarife from fpecial and peculiar influences 
of the Spirit, working that fenjible cffetl or Jtnjation in the 
fouls of the faints, which are entirely different from all that 
is poflible a natural man fhould experience, not only different 
in degree and circum fiances, but different in its whole nature : 
fo that a natural man not only cannot experience that which 
is individually the fame, but cannot experience any thing but 


236 T H E F I R S T S I G N Part III, 

\vhat is exceeding diverfe, and immenfely below it. in its kind ; 
and that which the power of men or devils is not fulHcient to 
produce ibe like of, or any thing of the fame nature. 

I ha ve,jri filled largely on this matter, becaufe it is of great 
importance^an-U ufe, evidently to difcover and demonitrate the 
deluuons.Q,f Sat-an, in many kinds of falfe religious affections, 
which multitudes are deluded by, and probably have been in 
all ages of .the Chriftian church ; and to fettle and determine 
many articles ol doctrine, concerning the opeiations of the 
Spirit ot God, ..and the nature of true grace. 

Now therefore, to apply thefe things to the purpofe of this 
difcourfe. v 

From hence it. appears, that impreflions which fome have 
made on their imagination, or the imaginary ideas which they 
have of God, or Chrift, or heaven, or any tiling appertaining 
to religion, have nothing in them that is fpiritual, or of the 
natuie of true^ grace. Though f'uch things may attend what 
is fpiritual, and be mixed with it, yet in themfelves they have 
nothing that is fpiritual, nor are they any part of gracious 

Here, f ^r the fake of the common people, I will explain 
what is intended by imprejjions on the imagination, and imagi-. 
nary ideas. The imagination is that power of the mind, where 
by it can have a conception, or idea of things of an external 
or outward n a lire, (^hat is, of fuel) fort of things as are iheob- 
jecls of the outward fenfes,) when thofe things are not prefent, 
and be not perceived by the fenfes. It is called imagination 
from the word image ; becaufe thereby a perfon can have an 
image of fome external thing in his mind, when that thing is 
not prefent in reality, nor any thing like it. All fuch kiiuj 
of things as we perceive by our five external fenfes, feeing, 
hearing, fmdling, tajiing, z.n& feeling, are external things ; and 
when a perfon has an idea, or image of any of thefe forts ot 
things in his mind, when they are not there, and when he doe? 
not really fee, hear, fmell, tafte, nor feel them ; that is to 
have an imagination of them, anJ thefe ideas are imaginary 
ideas : and when fuch kind of ideas are flrongly impreffed 
upon the mind, and the image of them in the -mind is very 
lively, almofi as if one faw them, or heard them, &V. that is 
called an imprcjjwn on the imagination. Thus colours, and 
fh'ipes, and a form of countenance, they are outward things ; 
feecaufe they are that fort of things which are the objects of tbs 


OF GRACIOUS A 1- 1' E C T I O K S. 7 

outward fcnie of feeing : and therefore when any peifon has 
in his mind a lively idea ot any fhape, or colour, or ionri of 
coruntetiance ; that is to have an imagination of thole things. 
So if he has an idea, of fuch foil of li^ht or darnels, as he 
peiceives by the fenfe of feeing ; that is to have anjdea of out- 
\vard ih-ht, siid io is an imagination. So if he has an idea of 
ary marks made on paper, i'uppofe letters and words written 
in a book ; thai is to have an external and imaginary idea of 
fuch kind of things as we iometimes perceive by our bodily 
eyes. And when we have the ideas of that kind of things 
which we perceive by any of the other icnies, as of any founds 
or voices, or words i'poken ; this is only to have ideas ot out 
ward things, viz. of inch kind of things as are perceived by 
the external i'cnfe of hearing, and fo that alfo is imagination : 
and when thefe ideas are hvelily impreiled, altnoil as if they 
weie really heard with the ears, this is to have an impreflion 
on the imagination. And fo I might go en,- and in fiance in 
the ideas of things appertaining to the other three fenfes cf 
-faulting* to/ting, an&Jeeting, 

Many who have had fuch thincs have very ignorantty fup- 

pofed them to be of the nature of fpiritual difcoveiies. The)r 

have had lively ideas of iome external (hape, and beautiful 

form of countenance ; and this they call fpiriti . liy feeing 

Chrift. Some have had imprefled upon them ideas of a great 

cutward light ; and this they call a fpiritual difcovery of God's 

or Chrift's glory. Some have had ideas of Chrift's hanging on 

the crofs, and his blood running from his wounds ; and this 

they call a fpiritual fight of Chrift crucified, and the way of 

falvation by his blood. Some have feen him with his arms 

open ready to embrace them ; and this they call a difcovery of 

the funiciency of Chrift's grace and love. Some have had 

lively ideas of heaven, and of Chrift on his throne there, and 

{hining ranks of faints and angels ; and this they call feeing 

heaven opened to them. Some from time to time have had a 

lively idea of a perfon of a beautiful countenance fmiling upon 

them ; and this they call a fpiritual difcovery of the love of 

Chriit to their fouls, and tailing the love of Chrift. And they 

look upon it a inOicient evidence that thefe ihings are fpiritual 

difcoveries, and that they fee then; fpiiitually, becaufe they fay 

they do not fee thefe ihings with their bodily eyes, but in their 

hearts ; for they can fee them when their eyes are {hut. Ar.:l 

h) like manner, the imaginations of fome have been iinnreiTcd 


1*38 " THE FIRST SIGN Part III. 

with ideas of the fenfe of hearing ; they have had ideas of 
words, as if they were fpoke to them, fornetimes they are the 
words of fcripture, and iometimes other words: they have had 
ideas of Chrift's fpeaking comfortable words to them. Thefe 
things they have called having the inward call of Chrift, hear 
ing the voice of Chrift fpiritually in their hearts, having the 
witnefs of the Spirit, and the inward teilimony of the love of 
Chrift, &c. 

The common, and lefs confiderate and underftandingfort of 
people, are the more eafily led into apprehenfions that thefe 
things are fpiritual things, becaufe fpiritual things being invi- 
fible, and not things that can be pointed forth with the finger, 
we are forced to ufe figurative expreflions in fpeaking of them, 
and to borrow names from external and fenfible objects to flg- 
nify.them by. Thus we call a clear apprehenfion of" things 
fpiritual by the name of light ; and an having fuch an appre 
henfion of fuch or fuch things, by the name oi feeing iuch 
things ; and the conviclion of the judgment, and the perfua- 
fion of the will, by the word of Chrift in the gofpel, we figni- 
fy \xyfpiritually hearing the call of Chrift : and the fcripture it- 
felf abounds with fuch like figurative expreflions. Ferfons 
hearing thefe often ufed, and having prefled upon them the 
necefiity ^f having their eyes opened, and having a difcovery 
of fpirituai things, and feeing Chrift in his glory, and having 
the inward call, and the like, they ignoramly look and wait 
for fome fuch external difcoveries, and imaginary views as have 
been fpoken of; and when they have them, are confident that 
now their eyes are opened, now Chrift has difcoveied himfelf 
to them, and they are his children ; and hence are exceedingly 
affecled and elevated with their deliverance and happincfs, and 
many kinds of affections are at once fet in a violent motion in 

But it is exceeding apparent that fuch ideas have nothing in 
them which is fpiritual and divine, in the fenfe wherein it has 
been demonftrated that all gracious experiences are fpiritual 
and divine. Thefe external ideas are in no wife of fuch a fort, 
that they are entirely, and in their whole nature diverfe from 
all that men have by nature, perfcfily different from, and vaft- 
)y above any fenfation which it is poflible a man (hould have 
.by any natural fenfe or principle, fo that in order to have them, 
a man mini have a new fpiritual and divine fenfe given him, 
in order to have any fenfadons of ihat fort : fo far from this, 



that they are ideas of the fame fort which we have by the ex 
ternal fenfes, that are fome of the inferior powers of the hu 
man nature ; they are merely ideas of external obje8s, or 
ideas of that nature, of the fame outward fenfitive kind ; the 
fame fort of fen fat ions of mind (differing not in degree, but 
only in circum fiances) that we have by thofe natural principles 
which are common to us with the beafls, viz. the five exter 
nal fenfes. This is a low, miferable notion of fpiritual fenfe, 
to fuppofe that it is only a conceiving or imagining that fort of 
ideas which we have by our animal fenfes, which fenfes the 
beafls have in as great perfection as we ; it is, as it were, a 
turning Chrift, or the divine nature in the foul, into a mere 
animal. There is nothing wanting in the foul, as it is by na 
ture, to render it capable of being the fubjecl; of all thefe ex 
ternal ideas, without any new principles. A natural man is 
capable of having an idea, and a lively idea of fhapes, and co 
lours, and founds when they are abfent, and as capable as a 
regenerate man is : fo there is nothing fupernatural in them. 
And it is known by abundant experience, that it is not the 
advancing or perfecting human nature, which makes perfons 
more capable of having fuch lively and ftrong imaginary ideas, 
but that on the contrary, the weaknefs of body and mind, and 
diftempers of body, makes perfons abundantly more fufceptive 
of fuch impreffions. * 

As to a truly fpiritual fenfation, not only is the manner of 
its coming into the mind extraordinary, but the fenfation it- 
felfis totally diverfe from all that men have, or can have, in a 
ftate of nature, as has been fhown. But as to thefe external 
ideas, though the way of their coming into the mind is feme- 
times unufual, yet the ideas in thernfelves are not the better 
for that; they are ftill of no different fort from what men have 
by their fenfes ; they are of no higher kind, nor a whit better. 


* " Conceits and .whimfies abound molt in men of weak reafbn : 
children, and fuch as are cracked in their underftanding, have 
moil of them ; ftrength of reafon bsinifhes them, as the fun iloes 
mifts and vapours. But now the more rational any gracious per- 
fon is, by fo much more is he fixed and fettled, and fatisfied in th 
grounds of religion : yea, there is the higheft and purer! r 
religion ; and when this change is wrought upon, ir i rrsr- 
ried on in-a rational way, If. i. 18, John xix. q,' f F!,.- -.7"j / : '/v 
fir Sufferings, Chap, vi, 

240 THE F t n s T SIGN Part III. 

For infl.ince, the external idea a man has now of Chrift hang 
ing on the crofs, and fhedcling his blood, is no better in itfelf, 
than the external idea that t:ie jews his enemies had, who 
ilood round his crofs,' and faw this with their bodily eyes. The 
imaginary idea which men have now, of an external brightnefs 
and glory of God, is no better than (he idea the wicked 
congregation in the wildernefs had of the external glory of the 
Lord at mount Sinai, when they faw it with bodily eyes ; or 
nay better than that idea which millions of curfed reprobates 
will have of the external glory of Chrift at the day of judg 
ment, who (hall fee, and have a very lively idea of ten thou- 
fand times greater external glory of Chrift, than ever yet was 
conceived in any man's imagination : t yea, the image of 
Chrift, which men conceive in their imaginations, is not in 
its own nature, of any fuperior kind to the idea the Papifis con 
ceive of Chriit, by the beautiful and affecting images of him 
which they fee in their churches ; (though the way of their 
receiving the idea may not be fo bad ;) nor are the affections 
they have, if built primarily on fuch imaginations, any better 
than the affections railed in the ignorant people, by the fight 
of thofe images, which oftentimes are very great; efpeciaily 
when thefe images, through the craft of the priefts, are made 
to move, and fpeak, and weep, and the like, t Merely the 


t " If any man fhouldfee, and behold Chrift really, imme<Hat"!y, 
** this is. not the fa ving knowledge of him. I know the faints do 
" know Chrift as if immediately prefent ; they are not Grangers by 
" their diftance : if others have fren him more immediately, I wjtl 
ft not difputeit. But if the/ havefeen the Lord jefus as immediately 
ts as if here on earth, yet Capernaum faw him fo ; nay feme of them 
' were difciples for a time, arid followed him, John vi. And yet 
' the Lord was hid from their eyes. , Nay, all the world dial! fee 
" him in bis glory, which mall ama: them; and yet this is fbr 
' lliort of having the fa ving knowledge of him, which the Lord 
" doth communics.te totheelecl:. So that though you :c the Lord 
" fo really, as that you become familiar with him, yet Luke xiii. 26. 
" Lord, ha-vff IMS not eat and drank, &c.-*-and fo pcrifn." Gfapard's 
" Parable of the tc'U <vir?ivs, P.I. p. 197, 1Q? 

t " Satan is transformed into an angel of light : and hence we 
** have hear:! thai fo.riC have h.--ard voices ; for-i-j; liave fl:^n tlie vrry 
*' blocd of Chrill dropping on them, and his wounds in his fide j 
* fomeftave feen a great ii^ht fhining in the chamber ; feme won- 
" dsrfiiilv aiJjcled \vith t!>cir drca.ns j ionie in great diurefs bave 



way of perfons receiving thefe imaginary ideas, do not alter 
the nature of the idjas themfelves that are received : let them 
be received in what way they will, they are {till but external 
ideas, or ideas of outward appearances, and fo are not fpiritual. 
Yea, if men ihould aclually receive fuch external ideas by the 
immediate power of the moil high God upon their mindsj they 
would not be fpiritual, they ihould be no more than a common 
work of the Spirit of God ; as is evident in facr,, in the inftance 
of Balaam, who had imprefTed on his mind, by God himfelf, 
a clear and lively outward reprefentation or idea of Jefus Chrift, 
as the Star rifing out of Jacob, whenfo hear dike, words of God, 
and knew the knowledge of the Moft Higk t and faw the vijion of 
the Almighty, failing into a trance, Numb. xxiv. 16, 17. but 
yet had no manner of fpiritual difcovery of Chrift ; that Day- 
ilar never fpiritually rofe in his heart, he being but a natural 

And as thefe external ideas have nothing divine or fpiritual 
in their nature, and nothing but what natural men, without 
any new principles, are capable of; fo there is nothing in their 
nature which requires that peculiar, inimitable and unparal 
leled exercife of the glorious power of God, in order to their 
production, which it has been fhown there is in the production 
of true grace. There appears to be nothing in their nature 
above the power of the devil. It is certainly not above ths 
power of Satan to fugged thoughts to men ; becaufe other- 
wife he could not tempt them to fin. And if he can fuggeft any 
thoughts or ideas at all, cloubtlefs imaginary ones, or ideas of 
things external are jipt above his pow^r; for the external 
ideas men have are'the lowcil fort of ideas. Thefe ideas may 
be raifed only by impreilions made on the body, by moving 

H h the 

had inward witnefsj TJ:y JIKS are forgiven ; and hence fuch liber 
ty and joy, that they are rer.dy to leap up and down the chamber. 
O adulterous generation ! this is natural and ufual with men, they 
would fain fee Jefus > and have him prefect to give them peace ; and 
hence Papifts have his linages. Wo to them has e no other 
manifefted Chrift, but fuch an one." Szfjsrd's Parable of the t*x 
wtf. P.I. p. 1 9 3. 

v Confider how difficult, yea and. impofiible it is to determine that 
fuch a voice, vifion, or rex-elation is of God, and that Satan cr.n to 
i> ;?<-n or roanterfeit it ; feeing he hathlcfc no certaia marks by which 
we may diilinguifh one f{>irit 1 ! 

.';/ erws, Caufe 1 4. 

fi4 2 Yrtfe FIRST SIGN Part III. 

the animal fpirits, and imprefling the brain. Abundant expe 
rience does certainly (how, that alterations in the body will 
excite imaginary or external ideas in the mind ; as often, in 
cafe of a high fever, melancholy, &c. Thefe external ideas 
areas much below the more intellectual exercifes of the foul, 
as the body is a lefs noble part of man than the foul. 

And there is not only nothing in the nature of thefe external 
ideas or imaginations of outward appearances, from whence 
we can infer that they are above the power of the devil ; but 
it'is certain alfo that the devil can excite, and often hath ex 
cited fuch ideas. They were external ideas which he excited 
in the dreams and vifions of the falfe prophets of old, who were 
under the influence of lying fpirits, that we often read of in 
fcripture, as t)eut. xiii. i. i Kings xxii. 22. If. xxviii. 7. 
Ezek. xiii. 7. Zech. xiii. 4. And they were external ideas 
that he often excited in the minds of the heathen priefls, ma 
gicians and forcerers in their vifions and ecftafies ; and they 
were external ideas that he excited in the mind of the man 
Chrift Jefus, when he {hewed him all the kingdoms of the 
world, with the glory of them, when thofe kingdoms were 
not really in fight. 

And if Satan, or any created being, has power to imprefs 
the mind with outward reprefentations, then no particular fort 
.of outward reprefentations can be any evidence of a divine 
power. Almighty power is no more requifite to reprefent the 
fhape of man to the imagination, than the fhape of any thing 
elfe : there is no higher kind of power neeefTary to form in 
the brain one bodily Giape or colour thaj^another : it needs a 
no more glorious power to reprefent thlriorm of the body of 
man, than the form of a chip or block ; though it be of a very 
beautiful human body, with a fwect fmile in his countenance, 
or arms open, or blood running from hands, feet, and fide : 
that fort of power which can reprefent black or darknefsto the 
imagination, can alfo reprefent white and mining brightnefs: 
the power and (kill which can well and exa6tly paint a ftraw, 
or a flick of wood, on a piece of paper or canvas ; the fame in 
kind, only perhaps further improved, will be fufiScient to paint 
the body of a man, with great beauty and in royal majefly, or 
a magnificent city, paved with gold, full of brightnefs, and a 
glorious throne, &c. So it is no more than the fame fort of 
power that is requifue to paint one as the other of thefe on the 
brain. The fame fort of power that can put ink upon paper, 



can put on leaf-gold. So that it is evident to a demon ftration, 
it we fuppoie it to be in -the devil's power to make any fort of 
external reprefentation at all on the fancy, (as without doubt it 
is, and never any one queflioned it who believed there was a 
devil, that had any agency with mankind;) I fay, ii'f'o, it is 
demonltrably evident, that a created power may extend to ail 
kinds of external appearances and ideas in the mind. 

From hence it again clearly appears, that no iuch things 
have any thing in them that is fpiritual, fupernatural, and di 
vine, in the lenfe in which it has been proved that all truly 
gracious experiences have. And though external ideas, through 
man's make and frame, do ordinarily in lome degree attend 
fpiritual experiences, yet thefe ideas are no part of their fpiritual 
experience, any more than the motion ot the blood, and beating 
of the pulfe, that attends experiences, are a part of fpiritual 
experience. And though undoubtedly, through mens infirmity 
in tHe preicnt ftate, and eipecially through the weak conltitu- 
tion of fome perfons, gracious affections which are very Itrong, 
do excite lively ideas in the imagination ; yet it is alfo undoubt 
ed, that when perfons affections are founded on imaginations, 
which is often the cafe, thofe affections are merely natural and 
common, becaufe they are built on a foundation that is not fpi 
ritual ; and fo are entirely different from gracious affections, 
which, as has been proved, do evermore arife from thofe opera 
tions that are fpiritual arid divine. 

Thefe imaginations do oftentimes raifa the carnal affections 
of men to an exceeding great height* : and no wonder, when 


* There is a remarkable paflage of Mr. John Smith, in his difcourfe 
on the mortnefs of a Pharifaic righteoufnefs, P. 370, 371. of his fe- 
lecT: difcourfes, dcfcribing that fort ot religion which is built on fuch 
a foundation as I am here fpeakiag of. I cannot forbear tranfcribin^ 
the whole of it. Speaking of a fort of Chriltians, whefe life is no 
thing but a flrong energy of fancy, lie fays, " Left their religion 
might too grofsly difcover itfelf to be nothing elfe but a piece of art, 
there may be fometimes fuch extraordinary motions Hi r red up with 
in them, which may prevent all their own thoughts, that they may 
feem to be a true operation of the divine life; when yet all this i's, 
nothing el'e but the energy of their own feif-love, touched with fome 
fleihly apprehensions of divine things, and excited by them. There. 
are fuch things in our Chriftian religion, when, a carnal, unhallowed 

tioas ot 



the fubjec~ls of them have an ignorant, but undoubting perfua- 
fion, that they are divine manifeftations, which the great JE 
HOVAH immediately makes to their fouls, therein giving them 
teftimonies, in an extraordinary manner, of his high and pecu 
liar favour. 

Again, it is evident from what has been obfervedand proved 
of the manner in which gracious operations and effects in 'he 
heart are fpiritual, fupernatural and divine, that the immediate 
fuggefting of the words of fcripture to the mind, has nothing in 
it which is fpiritual. 

I have had occafion to fay fomething of this already ; and 
what has been faid may be fufficient to evince it : but if the 
reader bears in mind what has been faid concerning the nature 
of ipiritual influences and effects, it will be more abundantly 
manifefl that this is no fpiritual effeft. For I fuppofe there is 
no perfon of common undemanding, who will fay or imagine, 

God and heirs of heaven, ever-flowing dreams of joy and pleafure 
that blefled fouls fhall fwim in to all eternity, a glorious paradife in 
the world to come, always fpringing up with well-fcented and fra 
grant beauties, a new Jerufalem paved with gold, and befpangled 
with ftars, comprehending in its vail circuit fuch numberlefs varie 
ties, that a bufy curiofity may fpend itfelf about to all eternity. I 
doubt not but that fometimes the moil fleihly and earthly men, that 
fly in their ambition to the pomp of this world, may be fo ravimed 
with the conceits of fuch things as thefe, that they may feem to be 
made partakers of the powers of the world to come. I doubt not but 
that they might be much exalted with them, as the fouls of crazed 
or diftrafted perfons feem to be fometimes, when their fancies play 
with thofe quick and nimble fpirits, which a diflempered frame cf 
body, and unnatural heat in their heads, beget within them. Thus 
may thefe blazing comets rife up above the moon, and climb higher 
than the fun ; which yet, becaufe they have no folid confidence of 
their own, and are of a bafe and earthly alloy, will foon vanifh and 
fall down again, being only borne up by an external force. They 
may feem to themfelves to have attained higher than thofe noble Chri- 
fUans, that are gently moved by the natural force of true goodnefs : 
they feem to be pleniores. Deo, (/. e. more full of God) than thofe that 
are really informed and actuated by the divine Spirit, and do move 
"Gn fteadijfy and conlantly in the way towards heaven. As^the feed 
that wa$ fown in {tony ground, grew up, and lengthened out its blade 
farter, than that which was fown in the good and fruitful foil. And 
as the motions of our fcnfe, and fancy, and paffions, while our fouls 
are in this mortal condition, funk down deeply into the body, are 
many times more vigorous, and make flronger imprefTions upon us* 
. than 


that the bringing words (let them be what words they will) to 
the mind, is an effeft of that nature which it is impcilihle the 
mind of a natural man, while he remains in a (late of nature, 
fliould be the fubjet of, or any thing like it ; or that it requires 
any new divine fenfe in the ioul ; or that the bringing founds 
or letters to the mind, is an efFecl of fo high, holy and excel 
lent a nature, that it is impoiiibk any created power mould be the 
caute of it. 

As the fuggefting words of fcripture to the mind, is only ths 
exciting in the mind ideas of certain founds or leUsrs; fo it is 
only one way of exciting ideas in the imagination ; for founds 
and letters are external things, that are the objects of the exter 
nal fenfes of feeing and hearing. Ideas of certain marks upon 
paper, fuch as any of the twenty-four letters, in whatever or 
der, or any founds of the voice, are as much external ideas, as 
of any other fhapes or founds whatsoever : and therefore, by 
what has been already faid concerning thcfe external ideas, it 


than thofe of the higher powers of the foul, which are more AibtiJ, 
and remote from thefe mixt animal perceptions : that devotion which 
is there feated, may feem to have more energy and life in it, than that 
which gently, and with a more delicate kind cf touch, fpreads itfclf 
upon the underftanding, and from thence mildly derives itielf through 
our wills and affections. But however the former may be more boif- 
terous for a time, yet this is of a more confident, fpermatical, and 
thriving nature. For that proceeding indeed from nothing but a fen- 
fual and flelhly apprehenfion of God and true happinefs, is but of a 
flitting and fading nature : and as the fenfible powers and faculties 
grow more languid, or the fun of divine light mines more brightly 
upon us, thefe earthly devotions, like our culinary fires, will abate 
their heat and fervour. But a true celeflial warmth will never be ex- 
tingmfhed, becaufe it is of an immortal nature ; and being once feat 
ed vitally in the fouls of men, it will' regulate and order all the moti 
ons of it in a due manner ; as the natural heat, radicated in the hearts 
of living creatures hath the dominion and ceconomy of the whole 
body under it. True religion is no piece of artifice : it is no boiling 
up of our imaginative powers, nor the glowing heats cf paffion ; 
though thefe are too often miftaken for it, when in 

meeknefs, felf-denial, univerfal love to God and all true goodnefs, 
without partiality, and without hypocriiy, whereby we are taught 
to know God, and knowing him to love him, and conform c 
as much as c;ay be to all that perfection which filings in him." 


is ev ident they are nothing fpiritual : and if at any time the 
Spiii: of God fuggetts thele letters or founds to the mind, this 
is a common, and not any Jpecial or gracious influence of that 
Spirit. And therefore it lollows from what has been already 
proved, that thole affe6tions which have this effect for their 
foundation, are no fpi ritual or gracious affections. But let it 
be obferved what it is that I fay, viz. when this effect, even 
the immediate and extraordinary manner oj words of fcriptures 
coming to the mind, is that which excites the affections, and is 
properly the foundation of them, then thefe aftedtions are not 
ipiritual. It may be fo, that perfons may have gracious affec 
tions going with Icriptures which come to their minds, and the 
Spirit of God may make ufe of thofe fcriptures to excite them ; 
when it is fome Ipiritual fcnfe, tafte or relim they have of the 
divine and excellent things contained in thofe fcriptures, that 
is the thing which excites their affections, and not the extraor 
dinary and fuclden manner of /ords being brought to their 
minds. They are affected with the initruction they receive from 
the words, and the view of the glorious things of God cr Chriii, 
and things appertaining to them, that they contain and teach ; 
and not becaufe the words came fuddenly, as though fome 
perfon had fpoke them to them, thence concluding that God 
did as it were immediately fpeak to them. Perfons oftentimes 
are exceedingly affected on this foundation ; the words of fome 
great and high promifes of fcripture come fuddenly to their minds, 
and they look upon the words as directed immediately by God 
to them, as though the words that "moment proceeded out of 
the mouth of God as fpoken to them : fo that they talce it as 
a voice from God, immediately revealing to them their happy 
circumftances, and promifing fuch and fuch great things to 
them : and this it is that afreets and elevates them. There is 
no new fpiritual understanding of the divine things contained 
in the. fcnpture, or new fpiritual fenfe of the glorious things 
taught in that part of the Bible, going before their affection, 
and being the foundation of it : all the new underftanding they 
have, or think they have, to be the foundation of their affection, 
is this, that the words are fpoken to them, becaufe they come fo 
fuddenly and extraordinarily. And fo this affection is built 
gpolly on the fand ; becaufe it is built on a conclufion forwhich 
they have no foundation. For, as has been fhown, the fudden 
coining of the words to their minds, is no evidence that th& 
bringing them to their minds in that manner, was from God. 
And if it was true that God brought the words to their minds, 



and they certainly knew it, that would not be fpiritual know- 
iege ; it may be without any fpiritual fenfe : Balaam might 
know that the words which God fuggefted to him, were indeed 
fuggefled to him by God, and yet have no fpiritual knowlege. 
So that thefe affections which are built on that notion, that texts 
of fcripture are fent immediately from God, are built on no fpi 
ritual foundation, and are vain and delufive. Perfons who have 
their a'Feclions thus railed, if they fhould be inquired of, whe 
ther they have any new fenfe of the excellency of things con 
tained in thofe fcriptures, would probably fay, Yes, without he- 
fitation : but it is true no otherwife than thus, that when they 
have taken up that notion, that the words are fpoken immedi 
ately to them, that makes them feem fweet to them, and they 
own the things which thefe fcriptures fay to them, for excellent 
things, and wonderful things. As for inftance, fuppoiing thefe 
were the words which were fuddenly brought to their minds, 

Fear not, it is your Father's good plea fare to give you thz 

kingdom ; they having confidently taken up a notion that the 
words were <ts it were immediately fpoken from heaven to them, 
as an immediate revelation, that God was their father, and had 
given the kingdom to them, they are greatly affetted by it, an J 
the words feem fweet to them ; and oh, they fay, they are. excel 
lent^ things that are contained in thofe words ! But the reafon why 
the proinife feems excellent to them, is only becaufe they think 
it is made to them immediately : all the fenfe they have of any 
glory in them, is only from felf-love, and from their own ima 
gined mtereft in the words : not that they had any view or fenfe 
of the holy and glorious nature of the kingdom of heaven, and 
the fpiritual glory of that God who gives it, and of his excellent 
grace to finful men, in offering and giving them this kingdom, 
of his own good pleafure, preceding their imagined intereft in 
thefe things, and their being affe6led by them, and being the 
foundation of their affe&ion, and hope of an intereil in them. 
On the contrary, they firll; imagine they are iriterefted, and 
then are highly affecled with that, and then can own thefe 
things to be excellent. So that the fudclen and extraordinary 
way of the fcripture's coming to their mind, is plainly the firic 
foundation of the whole; which is a clear evidence of the 
wretched delufion they are under. 

The firil: comfort of many perfons, and what they call their 
converfion, is after this manner: after awakening and terrors, 
fome comfortable fvvcet promife comes fuddenly and wonder 
fully to their minds ; and the manner of its coining makes 


f 48 THEFinsTSiGSf . Part TIL 

them conclude it comes from God to them: snd this is the 
very thing that is all the foundation of their faith and hope, 
and comfort : from hence they take their firft encouragement 
to truft in God and in Chrift, becaufe they think that God, by 
fome fcripture ib brought, has now already revealed to them 
that he loves them, and has already promifed them eternal life ; 
which is very abfurd ; for every one of common knowlege of 
the principles of religion, knoxvs that it is God's manner to 
reveal his love to men, and their intereft in the promifes, after 
they have believed, and not before ; becaufe they muft firft 
believe, before they have any intereft in the promifes to be re 
vealed. The Spirit of God is a Spirit of truth, and not of 
lies : he does not bring fcriptures to mens minds, to reveal to 
them that they have an intereft in God's favor and promifes, 
when they have none, having not yet believed : which would 
be the' cafe, if God's bringing texts of fcripture to meris minds, 
to reveal to them that their fins were forgiven, or that it was 
God's pleafure to give them the kingdom, or any thing of that 
nature, went before, and was the foundation of their firft faith* 
There is no promife of the covenant of grace belongs to any 
man, until he has firft believed in Chrift; for it is by faith 
alone that we become interefted in Chrift, and the promifes of 
the new covenant made in him : and therefore whatever fpirit 
applies the promifes of that covenant to a perfon who has not 
firft believed, as being already his, muft be a lying fpirit ; and 
that faith which is firft built on fuch an application of pro 
mifes, is built upon a lie. God's manner is not to bring 
comfortable texts of fcripture to give men affurancc of 
his love, and that they lhall be happy, before they have had a 
faith of dependence.-^ And if the fcripture which comes to a 


+ Mr. Stoddard, in his G.'iMe to Chrift, p. 8. fays, that fore 
times men after they have been in trouble a while, have fome pro 
mifes come to them, with a great deal of refrefhing ; and they hope 
God has accepted them :" And fays, that " In this cafe, the minif- 
ter may tell them, that God never gives a faith of affurance, be 
fore he gives a faith cf dependence.; for he never ^manifefts ^ his 
love, until men are in a ftate of favor and reconciliation, which is 
by faith of dependence. -When men have comfortable fcriptures 
come to 'mem, they are apt to take them as tokens of God's love ; 
but men muft be brought into Chrift, by accepting the Coffer of the 
gofpel, before they are fit for fuch manifeftations. God's method is, 
Srfcto make the fool accept of the ofttio of grace, and then to jwtii. 


p.erfon's mind, be not fo propeilya promife, as an invitation ; 
yet if he makes the Hidden or unufual manner ot the invita 
tion's coming to his mind, the ground on which he believes 
that he is invited, it is not true faith ; becaufe it is buiit on 
that which is not the true ground of faith. True faith is buiit 
on no precarious foundation : but a determination that the 
words of fuch a particular text, were, by the immediate power 
of God, fuggeited to the mind, at fuch a time, as though then 
fpokeu and directed by God to him, becaufe the words came 
after fuch a manner, is wholly an uncertain and precarious 
determination, as has been now ihown ; and therefore is a 
falfe and fandy foundation for faith ; and accordingly that faith 
which is built upon it is falfe. The only certain foundation 
which any peribn has to believe that he is invited to partake 
of the ble flings of the gofpel, is, that the word of God declares 

I i that 

fed his good eftate unto- him." And p. 70. {peaking of them " that 
feem to be brought to lie at God's foot, and give an account of 
their doling with Chrifr, and that God has revealed Chrift to them, 
and drawn their hearts to him, and that they do accept cf ChriiV" 
he fays, " In this cafe, it is bell to examine whether by that light 
that was given him, he favv Chrilt and falvation offered to him, or; 
whether he faw that God loved him. or pardoned him: for the of 
fer of grace and our acceptance goes before pardon, and therefore, 
much more, before the knowlege of it." 

Mr. Shepard, in his Parable of ike ten 'virgins. Fart. II. p. i . 
fays, that " Grace and the loveofChriit (the faireft colours under 
the fun) may he pretended ; but if you mall .receive, under this ap 
pearance, that God witneHeth his love, iiril by an abfolute promilv-, 
take heed there ; for under tills appearance you may as well bring i.i 
immediate revelations, and from thence come to forfake the ferip - 

And in Part I. p. 86. he fays " is Chrift yours? Yes, I fee i,\ 
How ? By any word or promife ! No : this is delalion." And p. 136. 
fpeaking of them that have no folk! ground of peace, he reckons, 
" Thofe that content themfelves with the revelation cf the Lora'-i 
love, without the light of any work, or not looking to it." An.l 
fays prefcntly after, " The teflimony of the Spirit does not make a 
man more a Chriftian, but only evidenceth it ; as I: is the nature 
ofawitnef", not to make a thing to he triu\ but to clear and evi 
dence it."' And p. 140. fpeaking of them that fay they have ths 
witnefs of the Spirit, that makes a difference between them and hypo. 
c rites, he fays, " The witnefs of the Spirit makes not the lirft dif 
ference : for rlrft a man is a believer, and in Chritf, and juiiincd, 
called, and fanclificcl, before the Spirit docs v, -itnefs it ; clfe the Spi 
rit fi;culd \\ itnefs to an untruth anvi lie,'' 


that perfons fo qualified as he is, are invited, and God who 
declares it, is true and cannot lie. If a firmer be once con 
vinced of the veracity of God, and that the [captures are his 
word, he will need no more to convince and fatisiy him that 
he is invited ; for the fcriptures are full of invitations to fm- 
ners, to the chief of finners, to come and partake of the bene 
fits of the gofpel : he will not want any new {peaking of God 
to him, what he hath fpoken already will be enough with him. 
As the firft comfort of many perfons, and their affections at 
the time of their fuppofed converfion, are built on fuch grounds 
as thefe which have been mentioned ; fo are their joys and 
hopes, and other affeclions, from time to time afterwards. 
They have often particular words of fcripture, fweet declara 
tions and promifes fuggelled to them, which by reafon of the 
manner of their coming, they think are immediately fent from 
God to them, at that time. ; which they look upon as their 
warrant to take them ; and which they actually make the main 
ground of their appropriating them to themfelves, and of the 
comfort they take in them, and the confidence they receive 
'from them. Thus they imagine a kind of converfation is car 
ried on between God and them ; arid that God, from time to 
time, does, as it were, immediately fpeak to them, and fatisty 
their doubts, and testifies his love to them, and promifes them 
fupports and fupplies, and his blefiing in fuch and fuch cafes, 
arid reveals to them clearly their interefls in eternal bleffirigs. 
And thus they are often elevated, and have a courfe of a fud- 
den and tumultuous kind of joys, mingled with a ftrong con 
fidence, and high opinion of themfelves ; when indeed the main 
ground of thefe joys, and this confidence, is not any thing 
contained in, or taught by thefe fcriptures, as they lie in the 
Bible, but the manner of their coming to them ; which is a cer 
tain evidence of their delufion. There is no particular pro- 
inife in the word of God that is the faint's, or is any otherwife 
made to him, or fpoken to him, than all the promifes of the 
covenant of grace are his, and are made to him, and fpoken to 
him :t though it be true that fome of thefe promifes may be 


f Mr, Shepard, in \\isSmvdBeliever, p. 159. of the late im prof- 
lion at Boiion, fays, <c Embrace in thy bofoin, not only fome few 
promifes, but all.'' And th^n he afks the queflic-n, <c When may a 
Chriftian make a promife without prefuraption, as fpoken to him ?" 
Jie anfwers, " The rule is vary fweet, but certain ; when he takes 



2,5 1 

more peculiarly adapted to his cafe than others ; and God by 
his Spirit may enable him better to underftand fome than others, 
and to have a greater fenfe of the precioufnefs, and glory, and 
foitablenefs of the bleflings contained in them. 

But here fome may be ready to fay, What, is there nofuch 
thing as any particular fpi ritual application of the promifes of 
fcripture by the Spirit of God ? I anfwer, there is doubtlefs 
fuch a thing as a fpi ritual and faving application of the invi 
tations and promifes of fcripture to the fouls of men : but it 
is alfo certain, that the nature of it is wholly mifunderftood by 
many perfons, to the great enfnaring of their own fouls, and 
the giving Satan a vaft advantage againfl them, and againft 
the intereft of religion, and the church of God. The fpiritual 
application of a fcripture promife does not confifl in its being 
immediately fuggefted to the thought^ by fome extrinfic agent, 
and being borne into the mind with this flrong apprehenfion, 
that it is particularly fpoken and dire6ted to them at that time : 
there is nothing of the evidence of the hand of God in thisef- 
fecl, as events have proved, in many notorious instances ; and 
it is a mean notion of a fpiritual application of fcripture ; there 
is nothing in the natureof it at all beyond the power of the devil, 
if he be not re (I rained by God ; for there is nothing in the 
nature of the effect that is fpiritual, implying any vital com 
munication of God. A truly fpiritual application of the word 
of God is of a vaftly higher nature ; as much above the devil's 
power, as it is, fo to apply the word of God to a dead corpfe, 
as to raife it to life ; or to a ftone, to turn it into an angel. A 
fpiritual application of the word of God con fids in applying it 
to the heart, in fpiritually enlightening, fanttifying influences. 
A fpiritual application of an invitation or offer of the gofpel 
confifts in giving the foul a fpiritual fenfe or relifh of the holy 
and divine bleffmgs offered, and alfo the fweet and wonderful 
grace of the offerer, in making fo gracious an offer, and of 
his holy excellency and faithfulnefs to fulfil what he offers, 


all the fcripture, and embraces it as fpoken unto him, he may then 
take any particular proiiife boldly. My meaning is, when a Chrif- 
tian takes hold , and wreftles with God for the accompli fhment of 
all the promifes of the New Teitament, when he fets all the com 
mands before him, ^s a compafs and guide to walk after, when he 
applies all the threatening^ to drive him nearer unto Chrift the end 
, of th^rn. This no hypocrite can do ; this the faints (hall do ; and by 
thij t'.icy may know when the Lord fpeaks in particular unto them." 


and his glorious fufficiency for it ; fo leading and drawing 
forth the heart to embrace the offer ; and thus giving the man 
evidence of his title. to the thing offered. And fo a fpiritual 
application of the promifes of fcripture, for the comfort of the 
iaints, confiRs in enlightening their minds to fee the holy ex 
cellency and fweetnefs of the bleflings promifed, and alfo the 
holy excellency of the promifer, and his faithfulnefs and fufli- 
ciency ; thus drawing forth their hearts to embrace the pro 
mifer, and tiling promifed ; and by this means, giving the fen- 
fible aclings of grace, enabling them to fee their grace, and fo 
their title to the promife. An application not confining in 
this divine fenfe and enlightening of the mind, but confiiling 
only in the word's being borne into the thoughts, as if imme 
diately then fpoken, fo making perfons believe, on no other 
foundation, that the promife is theirs; is a blind application; 
and belongs to the fpirit of darknefs, and not of light. 

When perfons have their affections raifed after this msnner, 
thofe affections are really not raifed by the word of God ; the 
fcripture is not the foundation of them ; it is not any thing 
contained in thofe fcriptures which come to their minds, that 
raife their affeclions ; but truly that effeO, viz. the ftrange 
manner of the word's being fuggcfted to their rrind?, and a 
proportion from thence taken up by them, which indeed is 
not contained in that fcripture, nor any other ; as that his fins 
are forgiven him, or that it is the Father's good pleafure to 
give him in particular the kingdom, or the like. There are 
propofitions to be found in the Bible, declaring that perfons 
of fuch and fuch qualifications are forgiven and beloved of God : 
but there are no propofitions to be found in the Bible declar 
ing that fuch and fuch particular perfons, independent on any 
previous knowlege of any qualifications, are forgiven and be 
loved of God : and therefore, when any perfon is comforted, 
and affected by any fuch propofition, it is by another word, 
a word newly coined, and not any word of God contained in 
the Bible.f And thus many perfons are vainly affeclcJ and 


f " Some Chriflians have retted with a work without Chn.ft, 
which is abominable : hut after a man is in Chrift, not to i'jd<p by 
the work, isiirftnotto jur'ge from a word. For though there is a 
word, which may gi^'e a man a dependence on Chriit, without feeling 
any work, nav \vhcn he feels none, as abfclute prornifh ; yet r.o 



Again, it plainly appears from what has been demonih'ated, 
tii at no revelation of 'ficfet faEls by immediattd fuggfjiiwi, is 
any thine fpi ritual and divine, in that fenfe wherein -'Tucic;^ 

J n I r 

enecls and operations are lo. 

By f'crtt fa&s> I mean things that have been done, or are 
come to pafs, or (hall hereafter come to pafs, which die fectct 
in that fenfe that they do not appear to the fenfcs, nor t ne 
known by any argumentation, or any evidence to reafon, nur 
any oilier way, but only by that revelation by immediate iW- 
j^eftion of the ideas of them to the .mind. Thus for iuiiduce, 
if it fhould be revealed to me, that the next year this land would 
be invaded by a fleet trom France, or that fuch and fuch perfpns 
would then be con verted, or that I rny felf fhould then be converted; 
not by enabling me to argueout thefeevents fromanythin'rwhich 
nowappears inprovidence; but immediately fuggeilin^ and bear- 
inginupon mymind,in an extraordinary manner, the apprehend- 
on or ideas of thefe facls, with aflrong fuggefiion or impreflicii 
on my mind, that I had no hand in my felf, that thefe things would 
come to pafs : or if it mould be revealed to me, that this day 
there is a battle fought between the armies of fuch and fuch 
powers in Europe ; or that fuch a prince in Europe wus this 
day converted, or is now in a converted Hate, having been 
converted formerly, or that one of my nc ghbours is convert 
ed, or that I my felf am converted ; not by having any oilier 
evidence of any of thefe facls, from whence I ar>rue them, but 
an immediate extraordinary fuggefiion or excitation of thefe 
ideas, and a ftrong impreflion of them upon my mind : this is 
a revelation offecret facls by immediate fuggeftjon, as much 
as if the facls were future ; for the facls being pail, prefent, or 
future, alters not the cafe, as long as they are fe;ret and hid 
den from my fenfes and reafon, and not fpo!;en of in fcrip- 
ture, nor known by me any other way than by immediate ftt?- 
gfftion. If I have it revealed to me, that fuch a revolution 
is come to pafs this day in the Ottoman empire, it is ihe very 


vvord giving ajfiirance, but that which is made to fome work, He 
*ba?$eluvrth,orisfooriii/pirit t &c. until that work is feen, has no 
a.Turance from that promife." Skrfiard's Parable of ihe ten <virvin< 
Part I. P . 86. 

" If God ihould tell a faint that he has grace, ht might know 

it by believing the word of God : but it is twt in thin-way ^Ovil-/ 

men do know thr-y have grace ; it is net rcvcii!-:d in the wc.rd, 

nl the Spirit of God doth net teftifv it to particular perfri, '* 

St^rj'sNaturtiiffamtGonv'frSm. r. HA. Re. 


fame fort of revelation, as if it were revealed to me that fuch 
a revolution would come to pafs there this day come twelve 
months; becaufe, though one is prefent and the other future, 
yet both are equally hidden from me, any other way than by 
immediate revelation. When Samuel told Saul that the afles 
which he went to feek were found, and that his father had left 
caring for the aifes and forrowed for him ; this was by the fame 
kind of revelation, as that by which he told Saul, that in the 
plain of Tabor, there mould meet him three men going up to 
God to Bethel, (i Sam. x. 2,3.) though one of thefe things was 
future, and the other was not. So when Elifha told the king 
of Ifrael the words that the king of Syria fpake in his bed 
chamber, it was by the fame kind of revelation with that by 
which he foretold many things to come. 

It is evident that this revelation of fecret facls by immediate 
fuggeftion, has nothing of the nature of a fpiritual and divine 
operation, in the fenfe fore-mentioned ; there is nothing at 
all in the nature of the perceptions or ideas themfelves, which 
are excited in the mind, that is divinely excellent, and fo, far 
above all the ideas of natural men ; though the mariner of ex 
citing the ideas be extraordinary. In thofe things which are 
fpiritual, as has been (hown, not only the manner of producing 
the effeB, but the effeEt wrought is divine, and fo vallly above 
all that can be in an unfanciified mind. Now fimply the hav 
ing an idea of facls, fetting afide the manner of producing thofe 
ideas, is nothing beyond what the minds of wicked men are 
fufceptible of, without any goodnefs in them ; and they all, 
either have or will have, the knowlege of the truth ol the 
greater! and moft important facls, that have been, are, or ihall 

And as to the extraordinary manner of producing the ideas 
or perception of facls, even by immediate {ugyeftion, there is 
nothing in it, but what the minds of natural men, while they 
are yet natural men, are capable of ; as is manifeft in Balaam, 
and others fpoken of in the fcripture. And therefore it ap 
pears that there is nothing appertaining to this immediate fug 
geftion of fecret facls that is fpiritual, in the fenfe in which it 
has been proved that gracious operations are fo. If there be 
nothing ;n the ideas themfelves, which is holy and divine, and 
fo nothing but what may be in a mind not fanctified, then God 
can put them into the mind by immediate power, without fanc- 
tifying it. As there is nothing in the idea of a rainbow itfelf, 



that is of a holy and divine nature ; fo that there is nothing 
hinders but that an unfanclified mind may receive that idea ; 
fo God if he pleafes, and when he pleaies, immediately, and 
in an extraordinary manner, may excite that idea in anuniancti- 
fied mind. So alfo, as the:e is nothing in the idea orhnowlege 
that fuch and fuch particular perfons are forgiven and accepted 
of God, and intitled to heaven, but what unfanctified minds 
may have and will have concerning many at the day of judg 
ment ; fo God can if he pleafes, extraordinarily and immedi 
ately fuggeft this to, and imprefs it upon an unfanctified mind 
now : there is no principle wanting in an unfanclified miml, 
to make it capable of fuch a fuggeftion or irnpreffion ; nor h 
there any thing in them to exclude, or necellarily to prevent 
fuch a fuggeftion. 

And if thefe fuggeftions of fecret facls be attended with 
texts of fcripture, immediately arid extraordinarily brought to 
mind, about fome other facls that feern in fome refpecls fimi- 
lar, that does not make the operation to be of a fpiritual and 
divine nature. For that fuggeftion of words of fcripture is no 
more divine, than the fuggeftion of the facls themfelves ; as 
has been juft now demonftrated: and two effefts together, 
which are neither of them fpiritual, cannot make up one com 
plex effecl, that is fpiritual. 

Hence it follows, from what has been already mown, and 
often repeated, that thofe affections which are properly found 
ed on fuch immediate fuggeftions, or fuppofcd fuggeftions, of 
fecret facls, are not gracious affections. Not but that it is pof- 
fible that fuch fuggeftions may be the occa/ion, or accidental cauft 
of gracious affections ; for fo may a rniftake and delufion ; but 
it is never properly \\iQfoundation of gracious affeclions : fox" 
gracious affeclions, as has been fhewn, are all the effeftsof an 
influence and operation which is fpiritual, fupernatural, and 
divine. But there are many affeftioris, and high affections, 
which fome have, that have fuch kind of fuggeftions or reve 
lations for their very foundation : they look upon thefe as 
fpiritual difcoveries ; which is a grofs delufion ; and this delu 
fion is truly the fpring whence their affeclions flow. 

Here it may be proper to obferve, that it is exceeding manifeil 
from what has been faid, that what many perfons call the wit- 
nefs of the Spirit, that they are the children of God, has no 
thing in it fpiritual and divine ; and confequently that the af 
feclions built upon it, are vain and delufive. That which ma 



ny call the witnefsof the Spirit, is no other than an immediate 
fuggeftion and irnprejfficn of that far, otheruife fecret, that 
they are converted, or made the chilchen of God, and fo that 
their fins are pardoned, and that God has given them a title to 
heaven. This kind of kriowlege, viz. knowing that a certain 
peribn is converted, and delivered from hell, and imitled to 
heaven, is no divine fort of knowlege in itfelf. This fort of 
fat:}, is not that which requires no higher or more divine kind 
of fuggeftion, in order to imprefs it on the mind, than any 
oilier facl which Balaam had impreiTcd on his mind. It re 
quires no higher fort of idea or fenfation, for a man to have 
theapprehenfion of his own conveifion imprelfed upon him, than 
t o have the app rehen (ion of his neighbor 'scon ver (ion, in like man 
ner, imprefied : br.t God, if he pleafed, might imprefstheknow- 
loge of-this facl:, that he had forgiven his neighbor's fins, and 
given him a title to heaven, as well as any other facl, without 
any communication of his holinefs : the excellency and im 
portance of the fa ft, does not at all hinder a natural man's 
mind being fufceptible of an immediate fuggeftion and imprei- 
fion of it. Balaam had as excellent, and important, arid glori 
ous facls as this, immediately impreffed on his mind, without 
any gracious influence; as particularly, the coming of Chriif, 
and his letting up his glorious kingdom, and the blefTednefs of 
the fpiritual Ifrael in his peculiar favor, and their happinefs 
living and dying. Yea, Abimeleck king of the Philiftines, had 
God's fpecial fovor to a particular perfon, even Abraham re 
vealed to him, Gen. xx. 6, 7. So it feems that he revealed to 
Laban his fpecial favor to Jacob, fee Gen. xxxi.s^.and 
1,5. And if a truly good man fhould have an immediate revt- 
laiio:i or fuggeflion from God, after the like manner, con 
cerning his favor to his neighbor, or hirnfelf ; it would 
be no higher kind of influence ; it would be no more than 
a common fort of influence of God's Spirit; as the gift of 
prophecy, and all revelation by immediate fuggeftion is ; fee 
i Cor. xiii. 2. And though it be true, that it is not pofli- 
bic that a natural man fhould have that individual fuggef 
tion from the Spirit of God, that he is converted, becaufe it is 
not true ; yet that does not arife from the nature ot the influ 
ence, or becaufe that kind of influence which fuggefts fuch CK- 
c^llent fails, is too high for him to be the fubjecl of; but pure 
ly from the uefeft of a faft to be revealed. The influence 
which immediately fugged s this far, when it is true, is of no 



different kind from that which immediately fuggefts other true 
facts : and fo the kind and nature of the influence, is not above 
what is common to natural men, with good men. 

But this is a mean ignoble notion of the witnefs of the Spi 
rit of God given to his dear children, to fuppofe that there is 
nothing in the kind and nature of that influence of theSpiritof 
God, in imparting this high and glorious benefit, but what is 
common to natural men, or which men are capable of, and be 
in the mean time altogether unfantified, and the children of 
hell ; and that therefore the benefit or gift itfelf has nothing of 
the holy nature of the Spirit of God in it, nothing of a vital 
communication of that Spirit. This notion greatly debafes that 
high and moft exalted kind of influence and operation of the 
Spirit, which there is in the true witnels of the Spiritt. That 
which is called the luitnefs of t fie Spirit, Rom. viii, is elfewhere 
in the New Teftament called the feat of the. Spirit, 2 Cor i. 22* 
Eph. i. 13. and iv. 13. alluding to the feal of princes, annexed 
Jo the inftrtiment, by which they advanced any of their fubj efts 
to fome high honor and dignity, or peculiar privilege in the 
kingdom, as a token of their fpecial favor. Which is an evi 
dence that the influence of the Spirit of the Prince of princes, 
in fealing his favorites, is far from being of a common kind; 

K k and 

f The late venerable Stoddard in his younger time, falling in with 
the opinion of fome others, received this notion of the witnefs of the 
Spirit, by way of immediate fuggeftion ; but in the latter part of his 
life, when he had more thoroughly weighed things, and had more 
Experience, he entirely rejected it ; as appears by his treatife of the 
.nature of faving convernon, P. 84. " The Spirit of God doth not 
teltify to particular perfons, that they are godly. Some think that 
the Spirit of God doth telHfy it to fome ; and they ground i ton Rom. 
viii. 1 6. "The Spirit itfelf bcareth witnefs with our fpirit, that we 
are the children of God/' They think the Spirit reveals it by giving 
;an inward tefdrnony to it ; and fome godly men think they have bad 
'experience of it ; but they may eafily mutake : \vhen the fpirit o'f God 
xloth eminently ftir up a fpirit of faith, and iheds abroad the love oi 
God in the heart, it is eafy to miftake it as a testimony. And that is 

'Spirit difcovers the ^race of God in ChriH, and thereby draws forth 
fpecial ?_<ftin?;s of faith and love* which are evidential; but it doth 
not work in way of teftimony. If God does but help us to receive 
'<he revelations in thc^or.I. we i'hal} have comfort enough without 
nev,- revelations." 


and that there is no effecl: of God's Spirit whatfoever, which is 
in its nature more divine; nothing more holy, peculiar, inimi 
table and diftinguiming of divinity: as nothing is more royal 
than the royal feal ; nothing more facred, that belongs to a 
prince, and more peculiarly denoting what belongs to him ; it 
being the very end and defign of it, to be the moft peculiar 
ilamp and confirmation of the royal authority, and great note 
of diftinfcHon, whereby that which proceeds from the king, or 
belongs to him, may be known from every thing elfe. And 
therefore undoubtedly the feal of the great King of heaven arid 
earth inftamped on the heart, is fome thing high and holy in its 
own nature, foine excellent communication from the infinite 
fountain of divine beauty and glory ; and not merely a making 
known a fecret facl: by revelation or fuggeftion ; which is a fort 
of influence of the Spirit of God, that the children of the devil 
have often been the fubjefts of. The feal of the Spirit is a kind 
of effecl of the Spirit of God on the heart, which natural men, 
\vhile fuch, are fo far from a capacity of being the fubjeBs of, 
that they can have no manner of notion or idea of it; agree 
able to Rev. ii. 17. "To him that overcometh will I give to 
" eat of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white ftone, 
" and in the ftone a new name written, which no man know- 
"- eth, faving he that receiveth it." There is all reafon to 
fuppofe that what is here fpoken of, is the fame mark', evidence, 
or bleiled token of fpecial favor, which is elfewhere called the 
Jial of the. Spirit. 

What has mi fled many in their notion of that influence of 
the Spirit of God we are fpeaking of, is the word WITNESS, 
its being called the witnefs of the Spirit. Hence they have ta 
ken it, not to be any effetl or work of the Spirit upon the heart, 
giving evidence, from whence men may argue that they are the 
children of God ; but an inward immediate fuggeftion, as though 
God inwardly fpoke to the man, and teftified to him, and told 
him that he was his child, by a kind of a fecret voice, or im- 
preflion : notobferving the manner in which the word witnefs, 
or tejlimony, is often ufed in the New Teftament ; where fuch 
terms often fignify, not only a mere declaring and aliening a 
thing to be true, but holding forth evidence from whence a thing 
may be argued and proved to be true. Thus, Heb. ii. 4. 
God is faid to " bear witnefs, with figns and wonders, and di- 
" vers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghoft." Now thefe mi 
racles, here fpoken of, are called God's witnefs, not becaufc 

. they 


they are of the nature of aflertions, but evidences and proofs. 
So Ac'is xiv. 3. " Long time therefore abode they fpeaking bold- 
" ly in the Lord, which gave teiiitnony unto the word of his 
'* grace, and granted figns and wonders to be done by their 
" hands." And John v. 36. " But I have greater witnefs than 
11 that of John: for the works which the Father hath given 
" me to finiih, the fame works that I do, bear witnefs of me, 
" that the Father hath fent me. Again, chap. x. 25. " The 
" works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witnefs of 
" me." So the water and the blood are faid to bear witnefs, 
i John v. 8. not that they fpake or afferted anything, but they 
were proofs and evidences. So God's works of providence, 
in the rain and fruitful feafons, are fpoken of as witneffes of 
God's being and goodnefs, i. e. they were evidences of thefe 
things. And when the fcriptures fpeaks of thejealof the Spi 
rit, it is an expreflion which properly denotes, not an immedi 
ate voice or fuggeftion, but fome work or efiecl of the Spirit, 
that is left as a divine mark upon the foul, to be an evidence, 
by which God's children might be known. The feals of prin 
ces were the diftinguifliing marks of princes : and thus God's 
feal is fpoken of as God's mark, Rev.^vii. 3. " Hurt not the 
" earth, neither the fea, nor the trees', till we have fealed the 
" fervants of our God in their foreheads ;" together with Ezek. 
ix. 4. " Set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that figh, 
" and that cry for all the abominations that are done in the 
" midft thereof." When God fets his feal on a man's heart 
by his Spirit, there is fome holy ftamp, fome image impreffed 
and left upon the heart by the Spirit, as by the feal upon the 
wax. And this holy ilamp, or impieffed image, exhibiting 
clear evidence to the confcience, that the fwbjeft of it is the 
child of God, is the very thing which in fcripture is called the 
ftal of the Spirit , and the witnefs, or evidence of the Spirit. 
And this image inftamped by the Spirit on God's childrens 
hearts, is his own image: that is the evidence by which they 
are known to be God's children, that they have the image of 
their Father damped upon their hearts by the Spirit of adoption. 
Seals anciently had engraven on them two things, viz. the 
image, and the name of the perfon whofe feal it was. There 
fore when Chrift fays to his fpoufe, Cant. viii. 6. " Set me as 
" a feal upon thine heart, as a feal upon thine arm ;" it is as 
much as to fay, let my name and image remain imprefled there. 
The feals of princes were wont to bear their image; fo that 


260 THE FIRST SIGN Part 111. 

what they fet their feal and royal mark upon, had their imago 
left on it. It was the manner of princes of old to have their 
image engraven on their jewels and precious ftones ; and the 
image of Auguftus engraven on a precious ftone, \vas ufed as 
the feal of the Roman emperors, in Chrift's and the apoflles 
times*. And the faints are the jewels of Jefiss Chrift, the 
great Potentate, who has the poneflion of the empire of the 
univerfe : and thefe jewels have his image inilampedupon their, 
by his royal fignet, which is the Holy Spirit. And this is un 
doubtedly what the fcripture means by the feal of the Spirit ; 
efpecially when it is inftamped in fo fair and clear a manner, 
as to be plain to the eye of confcience ; which is what the 
fcripture calls our. f pint. This is truly an affeft that is fpiri- 
tuat, fupernatural and divine. This is in itfelf of a holy na 
ture, being a communication of the divine nature and beauty. 
That kind of influence of the Spiiit which gives and leaves 
this ftamp upon the heart, is fuch that no natural man can, 
be the fubjecl of any thing of the like nature with it. This is 
the higher! fort of witnefs of the Spirit, which it is poflible the 
foul mould be the fubjeft of: if there were any fuch thing 
as a witnefs of the Spirit by immediate fuggeftion or revela 
tion, this would be vaflly more noble and excellent, and as; 
much above it as the heaven is above the earth. This the devil 
cannot imitate : as to an inward fuggeftion of the Spirit of 
Ood, by a kind of fecret voice fpeaking, and immediately af* 
ierting and revealing a fat, he can do that which is 3 thou- 
land times fb like to this, as he can to that holy and divine effec}, 
or work of the Spirit of God, which has been now fpokcn 


* See Chambers *s diftionary, under the word ENGRAVING. 

+ Mr. Shepard is abundant in militating againft the notion of mcns 
knowing their good eftate by an immediate witnefs of the Spirit, 
without judging by any efreftor work of the Spirit wrought on the 
heart, as an evidence and proof that perfcns are the children of God. 
Parab. P. I. p. 134. " KnvwingyaureleftwuofGod, How fo ? ^ Im 
mediately ? Some divines think 'angels fee it riot fo, and that it is pe 
culiar to God fo to do ; bat mediately ; for our word came in fewer, 
find in n.uch rjfuraxcc > to make you enlarged for God, to turn you 
from idols unto God, S3c ." Again in the fame page, " It is hea 
ven to cleave to him in every command ; it is death to depart from 
any command. Hereby I.KG-M we ikat >we are in kim. If it were pof- 
fible to afk of the angels, how they know they are not devils, they 

-"* would 


Another thing which is a full proof (hat the Tea] of tlie Spirit 
its no reveLmon of any fatby immediate fnirgt-1-on, but is grace 
iiie-f in the foul, is, that the /cat of tkt Spirit is cancel ihe far- 
ncj^ of the Spirit, in the fcripture. It is vci v plain, that the 
fe;il of the Spirit is the I'd me thing with the earneii of the Spirit, 
by 2 Cor. i. 22. " Who hath aifo k:ak:d i;s, and given the 
" earneii of the Spirit in our hearts." And Eph. i. 13, 14. 
" In whom, after thjt ye believed, ye were iealed wiih that 
" holy Spirit of promife, which is the eariiefl of our inherit- 

" ance, 

would anfwer the Lord's will is ours. So here, how do ycu know 
you have net the nature of devils, and fo in a ftate of devils, bound 
there until the judgment of the great day ? Becaufe God hath c >-;t! -.> - 
cd our vile natures, and made our wills like unto his glorious will.'* 
And p. 135. The major is the word, the minor experience,' and the 
rtnclufok the Lord's Spirit's work, quickening your fpirits to it. 
Now, fay fome, hew do you know this ? 1 hus ycu may be rnifrak- 
en : fur many have been deceived thus. Grr.nt that; and lhall a 
child not take bread r.'hen it is given him, though dogs fnatch at it t" 
And p. 13-7. Jf you look to a ipi:;t witl r-nt a work, v/huil: you do 
feek confolation, you cannot avcid the < word. 

You fay the Spirit has fpoken peace tc you love Chrift ? 

I look not to that ; but to the Spirit. V.'r.y, the word faith, He Wat 
Ivvcs him not., let him be Anathema* So, is the league between your 
fins and your fouls broken ? Anf. I look not to that. Why, John 
faith, He that ccmmitteibjin is of the de<vil. Are you new creatures ? 
that. Why, the word faith, vtilefsjcu bebGrsiarain, you 

I look not to 

cannot enter into the kin-dom of God." Fags 176, 177. " A man 
faith,_I have Chriit ; and fo have not they. I afk, where is the Spi 
rit ? You have the deed : where is the foil? You have tl;e tcflatvor ; 
where is the executor? The Spirit in you ? Yes, I have it ; it has 
witnefied Chrift is mine. Anf. It has witnefie:- ; but what has it 
wrought ? where is the power of his death, killing thy lulls ? where 
i;> the life of thefpirit \n Jefus in you ? where is the oil in your vefTe! ? 
Truly I look for the Bridegroom ; but I regard not that : neither are 
others to regard it, in way of evidence. Then I fay, the chief evi 
dence is deftroyed in. t!-.e churches. I have known many that have had 
affurances ; yet never faw them prove right, until it witneiTed this was 
here. What mould be the caufes of this, and that men ihoul 5 . 
bluftcrs in the churches bscaufe of th*. 1 ?, as though it wris building on 
works? In feveral men they are feveral. i. An apfnef$ to out-run tin? 
truth, and to fall from one extreme to another. 2. The apoL 
eminent pro&flors, who have been deceived in their evidencing thus, 
3. Corrupt experience. 4. A heart that never f'eic tl'e bk; 
andbondageof fin, as thegreateft eviL" P"ge 215, 21.6. '* The 



" ance, until the redemption of the purchafed poffeffion, unto 
'* the praife of his glory." 4 Now the earneft i%part of the 
money agreed for, given in hand, as a token of the whole, to 
be paid in due time ; a part of the promifed inheritance, grant 
ed now, in token of full pofleflion of thewhole hereafter. But 
furely that kind of communication of the Spirit of God, which 
is of the nature of eternal glory, is the higbell and moft. excel 
lent kind of communication, fomething that is in its own na 
ture fpiritual, holy, arid divine, and far from any thing that is 

common ; 

peace, andjoy, and aflfurance ofthat glory, which eye never faw, in the 
i'uints, it is from the witnefs of the Spirit of glory ; not only becaufe 
that God is their God, but becaufe they are his people. It is I fay 
from the witnefs of God in his word ; not from themfelves, nor from 
man only, that they approve me; nor from dreams, and diabolical 
breathings ; but from the Spirit of God ; he brings tidings of it ; and 
from Arch a fpirit (that you may know it) that not only mews you 
God is your God, and fo you rejoice becaufe of this ; for thus it is 
\, ith many a carnal heart, and he hath peace, being in horror, from 
this, tbe Lord lo-ves me; but he makes you to rejoice, becaufe you 
are the Lord's people, becaufe he hath changed your hearts : now the 
peace is found, and joy is right : and here I would try the peace of 
any man.'* Part II. p. 168, 169. " All -the heirs of the promifes, 
as heirs that have legacies left them, they go to the will of the de- 
ceafed father; and that comforts, that they hold to, that is fure; 
fuch an one mall have it, if his name be there. But if one mall fay, 
fbch a one hath promifed me fuch lands : Is it in his will ? No ; but 
fmce he died, as I was taking a pipe, he came to rne : Oh be not 
deceived !" 

Again, in his Sound Believer, there is a long difcourfe of fancli- 
ficrition as the chief evidence of juftification, from p. 221, for 
many pages following ; I mall tranfcribe but a very fmall part of it. 
" Tell me, how you will know that you are juftified. You will fay, 
by the teftimony of the Spirit. And cannot the fame Spirit mine 
upon your graces, and witnefs that you are fanclified, as well ? 
i John iv. 13, 24. i Cor. ii. 12. Can the Spirit make the one clear 
to you, and not the other ? Oh beloved, it is a fid thing, to hear 
iuch queftions, and fuch cold anfwers alfo, that fanftilkationpofiibly 
may be an evidence. May be ! Is it not certain ? Afiuredly to deny 
it, is as bad as to affirm that God's own promifes of favor are not 
true evidences thereof, and confequently that they are lies and un 

Mr. Flavel alfo much oppofes this notion of the witnefs cf the Spi 
rit by immediate revelation. Sacramental 'meditations, med. 4. fpeaking 



common ; and therefore high above any thing of the nature ok 
inf')iration, or revelation or hidden fafts by fuggeftion of the 
Soirit of God, which many natural men have had. What is 
the earned and beginning of glory, but grace itfelf, efpecially 
in the more lively and clear exercifes of it ? It is not prophecy, 
nor tongues, nor knowledge, but that more excellent divine 
thing, charity that never failtth, which is a prelibation and 
beginning of the light, fweetnefs, and bleffednefs of heaven, 
that world of love or charity. It is grace that is the feed of 
glory, and dawning of glory in the hear*, and therefore it is 


of the fealing of the Spirit, he fays, " In fealing the believer, he 
doth not make ufe of an audible voice, nor the mimftry of angels, 
nor immediate and extraordinary revelations ; but he makes ufe of his 
own graces, implanted in our hearts, and his own promifes, written 
in the fcripture : and in this method, he ufually brings the doubting 
trembling heart of a believer to reft and comfort." Again, ibid. 
<f Aflurance is produced in our fouls by the reflexive ads of faith : 
the Spirit helps us to reflect upon what hath been done by him for 
merly upon our hearts ; hereby <we kno~jj that <~^e know him, i John 
ii. 3. To know that we know, is a reflex aft. Now it is imppMi- 
ble there fhould be a reflex, before there hath been a direft aft. No 
man can have the evidence of his faith, before the habit is infufed, 
and the vital aft performed. The objeft matter, to which the Spirit 
feals, is his own fapftifying operation." Afterwards, ibid, he fays, 
" Immediate ways of the Spirit's fealing are ceafed. No man may 
now expeft, by any new revelation, or fign from heaven, by any 
voice, or extraordinary infpiraticn, to have his falvation fealed ; but 
mult expeft that mercy in God's ordinary way and method, fearch- 
ing the fcriptures, examining our own hearts, and waiting on the 
Lord in prayer. The learned Gerfon gives an inftance of one that 
had been long upon the borders of defpair, and at laft fwectly affured 
and fettled : he anfwered, Non ex nova aliqua re -vitiations ; not by any 
new revelation, but by fubjefting my underftanding to, and compa 
ring my heart with the written \Vord. And Mr. Roberts, in hi siren- 
tife of the covenants , fpeaks of another, that fo vehemently rant d af 
ter the fealings and afiurance of the lore of God to his foul, tMt for 
a long time he earnefcly defired fome voice from heaven ; and fore 
times, walking in the folitary fields, earneftlv defired feme miracu 
lous voice, from the trees or ftones there. This was denied him ; 
but in time, a better was afforded, in a fcripturai way." Again, */</. 
" This method of fealing, is beyond all other methods in the world. 
For in miraculous voices andinfpirations, it is poffible there may fu- 
leffe falfuin, be found fome cheat, or impoftures of the devil : but the 
Spirit's witriefs in the heart, datable to the revelation i the fcrr Mr' 
canaot deceive us." 

204 T H E F I R S T S I G N Part III, 

grace that is the earned of the future inheritance. What is it 
that is the beginning or earneft of eternal life in the foul, but 
fpi ritual life ? and what is that but grace ? The inheritance that 
Chrift has purchafed for the cleft, is the Spirit of God ; nos 
in any extraordinary gifts, but in his vital indwelling in the 
heart, exerting and communicating himfelf there, in his own 
proper, holy or divine nature : and this is the fum total of the 
inheritance that Chrilt purchafed for the ele6L For fo are 
things conflituted in the : affair of our redemption, that the Fa 
ther provides the Saviotir, or purchafer, and the purchafe is 
made of him ; and the Son is the purchafer and the price ; and 
the Holy Spirit is the great bleiling or inheritance purchafed, 
as is intimated Gal. iii. 13, 14. and hence the Spirit is often 
fpoken of as the fum of the bleflings pro mi fed in the gofpel, 
Luke xxiv. 49. Acts i. 4. and chap ii. 38, 39. Gal. iii. 14. 
Eph. i. 13. This inheritance was the grand legacy which 
Chrift left his difciples and church, in his laft will and reila- 
merit, John, chap. xiv. xv. xvi. This is the fum of the bleih'ngs 
of eternal life, which (hall be given in heaven. (Compare 
John vii. 37, 38, 39. and John iv. 14. with Rev. xxi. 6. and 
xxii. i, 17.) It is through the vital communications and in 
dwelling oi the Spirit, that the faints have all their light, life, 
holinefs, beauty, and joy in heaven : and it is through the vi 
tal communications and indwelling of the fame Spirit, that the 
iairits have all light, life, holinefs, beauty and comfort on 
earth ; but only communicated in lefs meafure. And this vi 
tal indwelling of the Spirit in the faints, in this lefs meafure 
and final 1 beginning, is the earneft. of the. Spirit, the ear tie ft of 
the future inheritance, and the firjl.-jruits of the Spirit, as the 
apdftle calls it, Horn. viii. 22. where, by the frft-fimts of the 
Spirit, the apoftle undoubtedly means the fame vital gracious 
principle, that he (peaks of in all the preceding part of the 
chapter, which he calls Spirit, and fets in oppofnicn to flefh 
or corruption. Therefore this earneft of the Spirit, and firfl- 
fruits of the Spirit, which has been mown to be the fame with 
the feal of the Spirit, is the vital gracious lanclifying commu 
nication and influence of the Spirit, and not any immediate 
fuggeftion or revelation of facts, by the Spirit i. 


i " After a man is in Chrift, not to judge oy the work, is not to 
judge by the Spirit. For the apofilc makes the earneil of the Spirit 
IG be the feal/ Now earneft it part of the money bargained for ; the 



And indeed the apoftle, when in that Rom. viii. 16. he 
fpeaks of the Spirit's bearing witnefs with our fpirit, that we 
are the children of God, does fufficieatly explain himfelf, if his 
words were but attended to. What is here expreifed, is con 
nected with the two preceding vcrfes, as refulting from what 
the apoftle had faid there, as every reader may fee. The three 
verfes together are thus, For as many as are. led by the Spirit of 
God, they arc. thefonsofGod : for ye have not received the f pint 
of bondage again to fear \ but ye have received the Spirit of a~ 
doption, whereby we ciy t Abba, Father : the Spirit itf elf bear etk 
witnefs with our /pints, that we are the children of God. Here, 
'what the apoftle lays, if we take it together, plainly mews, that 
what he has reipecl to, when he fpeaks of the Spirit's giving us 
witnefs or evidence that we are God's children, is his dwelling 
in us, and leading us, as a fpirit of adoption, or fpirit of a child, 
difpofing us to behave towards God as to a Father. This is the 
witnefs or evidence the apoftle fpeaks of, that we are children* 
that we have the fpirit of children, or fpirit of adoption. And 
r what is that, but the fpirit of love ? There are two kinds of fpirits 
the apoftle fpeaks of, the fpirit of a Have, or the fpirit of bon 
dage, that is fear ; and the fpirit of a child, or J'pirit of adop 
tion, and that is love. The apoftle fays, we have not received 
the fpirit of bondage, or of (laves, which is a fpirit of fear ; but 
we have received the more ingenuous noble fpirit of children, 
a fpirit of love, which naturally difpofes us to go to God, as 
children to a father, and behave towards God as children. 
And this is the evidence or witnefs which the Spirit of God 
gives us that we are children. This is the plain fenfe of the 
apoftle, : and fo undoubtedly the apoftle here is fpeaking of 
the very fame way of calling out doubting, andy^r, and the 
fpirit of bondage, which the apoftle John fpeaks of, i John iv. 
18. viz. by the prevailing oflove t that is the fpirit of a child. 
The fpirit of bondage works by fear, the (lave fears the rod ; 
but love cries Abba, Father ; it difpofes us to go to God, and 
behave ourfelves towards God as children ; and it gives us clear 
evidence of our union to God as his children, and fo calls out 
fear. So that it appears that the witnefs of the Spirit the apoftle 

L 1 fpeaks 

beginning of heaven, of the light and life! of it. He that fees not that 
the Lord is his by that, fees no God his at all. Oh therefore, do 
not look for a fpirit, without a word to reveal, nor a word to reveal, 
v.without feeing and feeling of forae work firft. I thank the Lord, 
I do but pity thofe that think other wife. If a fheep of Ch rift, oh, 
wander not." Sfafard's Parab. P, I. p. 86, 


fpeaks of, is far from being ' any whifper, or immediate fuggef- 
tion or revelation ; but that gracious holy effeft of the Spirit of 
God in the hearts of the faints, the difpofition and temper of 
children, appearing in fweet child-like love to God, which 
cafts Out fear, or a fpirit of a (lave. 

And the fame thing is evident from all the context : it is 
plain the apoftle fpeaks of the Spirit, over and over again, as 
dwelling in the hearts of the faints, as a gracious principle, fet 
in opposition to the flefli or corruption : and fo he does in the 
words that immediately introduce this paffage we are upon, 
verf. 13. For if ye live after the Jlefli, ye Jhall die : but if ye 
through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of thejiejh.yefhall live. 

Indeed it is part doubt with me, that the apoftle has a more 
fpecial refpeft to the fpirit of grace, or the fpirit of love, or 
fpirit of a child, in its more lively aftings ; for it is perfeft' 
love or ftrong love only, which fo witnefles or evidences that we 
are children, as to cart out fear, and wholly deliver from the 
fpirit of bondage. The ftrong and lively exercifes of a fpirit of 
child-like, evangelical, humble love to God, give clear evi 
dence of the fouFs relation to God, as his child ; which does r; 
very greatly and dire&ly fatisfy the foul. And though it be 
far from being true, that the foul in this cafe, judges only by 
an immediate witnefs, without any iign or evidence ; for it 
judges and is aftured by the greateft fign and cleareft evidence ; 
yet in this cafe, the faint need of multiplied figns, ^ 
or any long reafoning upon them. And though the fight of 
his relative union with God, and his being in his favor, is notj 
without a medium, becaufe he fees it by that medium, viz* 
his love ; yet his fight of the union of his heart to God is im 
mediate : love, the bond of union, is feen intuitively : the faint \ 
fees and feels plainly the union between his foul and God ; it > 
is fo ftrong and lively, that he cannot doubt of it. And hence 
he is affured that he is a child. How can he doubt whether he 
flands in a child-like relation to God, when he plainly fees a 
child-like union between God and his foul, and hence does bold 
ly, and as it were naturally and neceffarily cry, Abba, Father ? 

And whereas the apoftle fays, the Spirit bears witnefs with \ 
cur Spirits : by our fpirit here, is meant our conference, which 
is called the fpirit of man ; Prov. xx. 27. " The fpirit of man is 
" the candle of the Lord, fearching all the inward parts of the | 
" belly." We elfewhere read of the witnefs of this fpirit of ours \ , 1 
2 Cor. i. 1 2. " For our rejoicing is this, the teftimony of our con- 
" fcience." And i John iii. 19, 20, 21. " And hereby do we know < 
" that we are of the truth, and fhall allure our hearts before him, 

" For I 


For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than cur heart, and 
knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then 
have we confidence towards God." When the apoftle Paul 
fpeaks of the Spirit of God bearing witnefs with our fpint, h 
riot to be underltood of two fpirits, that are two feparate, collate 
ral, independent witnefles ; but it is by one, that we receive t 
witnefles of the other : the Spirit of God gives the evidence by 
infufing and fhedding abroad the love of God, the {pint pt a 
child, in the heart ; and our fpirit, or our confcience, receives 
and declares this evidence for our rejoicing. 

Many have been the mifchiefs that have anien from that lalie 
and delufive notion of the witnefs of the Spirit, that it is a kind 
of inward voice, fuggeftion, or declaration from God to a man, 
that he is beloved of him, and pardoned, defied, or the like, 
fometimes with, and fometimes without a text ot Icnpture ; 
and many have been the felfe, and vain, (though very high) at- 
feftions that have arilen from hence. And it is to be feared 
that multitudes of fouls have been eternally undone by it. 
have therefore infifted the longer on this head. 

But I proceed now to a fecorid chara&eriitic of gracious af 

II, The firft objective ground of gracious affections, is the 
tranfcendently excellent and amiable nature of divine things, 
as they are in themfelves ; and not any conceived relation they 
bear to felf, or felf-intereft. 

I fay, that the fupremely excellent nature of divine things, is 
the firji, or pri mary and original objective foundation of the 
fpiritual affections of true faints ; for I do not fuppofe that all 
relation which divine things bear to themfelves, and their own 
particular intereft, are wholly excluded from all influence in 
their gracious affedions. For this may have, and indeed has, 
a fecondary and confequential influence in thofe affedions that 
are truly holy and fpiritual; as I mall mew how by and by. 

It was before obferved, that the affedion of love is as it were 
the fountain of all affection ; and particularly, that Chriftian 
love is the fountain of all gracious affections : now the divine 
excellency and glory of God, and Jefus Chrift, the word of 
God, the works of God, and the ways of God, &c. is the pri 
mary reafon, why a true iaint loves thefe things; and not any 
fuppofed intereft that he has in them, or any conceived benefit 
that he has received from them, or (hall receive from them, or 
any fuch imagined relation which they bear to his^ intereft, that 
felf-love can properly be (aid to be the firft foundation of his love 
to thefe things, Sorae 


Some fay that all love arifes from felf-love ; and that it is 
impoifible in the nature of things, for any man to have any love 
to God, or any other being, but that love to himfelf muft be 
the foundation of it. But I humbly fuppofe it is for want of 
confideration, that they fay fo. They argue, that whoever 
loves God, and fo defires his glory, or the enjoyment of him, 
he defires thefe things as his own happinefs ; the glory of God, 
and the beholding and enjoying his perfections, are confidered 
as things agreeable to him, tending to make him happy ; he 
places his happinefs in them, and defires them as things, which 
(if they were obtained) would be delightful to him, or would 
fill him with delight and joy, andfo make him happy. And 
fo, they fay, it is from felf-love, or a defire of his own happi- 
nefs, thit he defires God mould be glorified, and defires to be 
hold and enjoy his glorious perfections. But then they ought 
to confuler a little further, and inquire how the man came to 
place his happinefs in God's being glorified, and in contemp 
lating and enjoying God's perfections. There is no doubt, 
but that after God's glory, and the beholding his perfections, 
are become fo agreeable to him, that he places his highefl happi 
nefs in thefe things, then he will defire them, as he defires his 
own happinefs. But how came thefe things to be fo agreeable to 
him, thar he efteems it his highefl happinefs to glorify God, 
?c?isriot this the fruit of love? a man muft firft love God, 
or have his heart united to him, before he will efteem God's 
good his own, and before he will defire the glorifying and en 
joying of God, as his happinefs. It is not ftrong arguing, that 
becaufe after a man has his heart united to God in love, as a 
fruit of this, he defires his glory and enjoyment as his own hap 
pinefs, that therefore a defire of this happinefs of his own, muft 
needs be the caufe and foundation of his love : unlefs it be itrong 
arguing, that becaufe a father begat a fon, that therefore his 
fon certainly begat him. If after a man loves God, and has his 
heart fo united to him, as to look upon God as his chief good, 
and on God*s good as his own, it will be a confequence and 
fruit of this, that even felf-love, or love to his own happinefs, 
will caufe him to defire the glorifying and enjoying of God : 
it will not thence follow, that this very exercife of felf-love, 
went before his love to God, and that his love to God was a 
confequtnce and fruit of that. Something elfe, entirely diftinct 
from felf-lotfe, might be the caufe of this, viz. a change made 
in the views of his mind, and relifh of his heart; whereby he 
apprehends a beauty, glory, and fupreme good, in G}d's na~ 
as it is initfeif. This may be the thing that nrft draws 


his heart to his, and caufes his heart to be united to him 
prior to ail confiderations of his own iruereit or happintk, al 
though after this, and as a fruit of this, he neceflanl) fttks his 
intereft and happinefs in God. 

There is fuch a thing, as a kind of love or affection, that a 
man may have towards perfons or things, which dots properly 
drift from felf-love; a preconceived relation to him, or icme 
benefit already received or depended on, is truly the. firft foun 
dation of his love, and what his affeftion does v.iioli) arife 
from ; and is what precedes any rehfii of, or delight in the 
nature and qualities inherent in the being beloved, as beauti 
ful and' amiable. When the firft thing that draws a man's be 
nevolence, to another, is the beholding thofe qualifications and 
properties in him, which appear to him lovely in themfeivcs, 
and the fubjecl of them, on this account, worthy of eileem 
and good-will, love arifes in a very different manner, than 
when it firft arifes from fome gift bellowed by another, or de 
pended on from him, as a judge loves and favors a man that 
has bribed him; or from the relation he fuppoies another has to 
him, as a man who loves another, becanfe he looks upon him 
.is his child. When love to another arifes thus, it does truly 
and properly arife from felf-love. 

That kind of affeclion to God or Jefus Chrift, which does 
thus properly arife from felf-love, cannot be a truly gracious 
and fpiritual love; as appears from what has beenfaid already: 
for felf-love is a principle entirely natural, and as much in the 
hearts of devils as angels ; and therefore furely nothing that is 
the mere remit of it, can be fupernatural and divine, in the 
manner before defcribedt. Chrift plainly fpeaks of this kind 
of love, as what is nothing beyond the love of wicked men, 
Luke vi. 32. " If ye love him that love you, what thank have 
" ye? for fmners alfo love thofe that love them." And the 
devil himfelf knew that that kind of refpect to God which was 
fo mercenary, as to be only for benefits received or depended 
on, (which is all one) is woi thlefs in the fight of God : other- 
wife he never would have made ufe of fuch a fbnder before 
God, againft Job, as in Job i. 9, 10. ** Doth Job ferve God 
" for nought ? hail not thou made an hedge about him, and 

" about 

f " There is a natural love to Chrift, as to one that doth tKe 
good, and for thine own ends; and fpiritual, for hiraftlf. whereby 
the Lord only is exalted," Shefnrd* Par. of t!j? u-;t Fa^ws, P. 1, 


" about his houfe?"&c. Nor would God ever have implicit 
ly allowed the objeftion to have been good, in cafe the accu- 
iation had been true, by allowing that that matter mould be 
tried, and that Job mould be fo delt with, that it might appear 
in the event, whether Job's refpe6t to God was thus mercena- 
jy or no, and by putting the proof of the fmcerity and good- 
Kefs of hisrefpeft, upon that ifiTue. 

It is unreafonable to think otherwife, than that the firft 
foundation of a true love to God, is that whereby he is in him- 
felf lovely, or worthy to be loved, or the fupreme lovelinefs 
of his nature. This is certainly what makes him chiefly ami 
able. What chiefly makes a man, or any creature lovely, is 
bis excellency ; and fo what chiefly renders God lovely, and 
irwft undoubtedly be the chief ground of true love, is his ex 
cellency. God's nature, or the divinity, is infinitely excel 
lent ; yea it is infinite beauty, brightnefs, and glory itfelf. But 
how can that be true, love of this excellent and lovely nature, 
which is not built on the foundation of its true lovelinefs ? how 
can that be true love of beauty and brightnefs, which is not 
for beauty and brightnefs fake ? how can that be a true prizing 
of that which is in itfelf infinitely worthy and precious, which 
is not for the fake of its worthiness and precioufnefs ? this in 
finite excellency of the divine nature, as it is in itfelf, is the 
true ground of all -that is good in God in any refpecl; ; but how 
can a man truly and rightly love God, without loving him for 
that excellency in him, which is the foundation of all that is 
in any manner of refpecl good or defirable in him ? they whofe 
affeclion to God is founded firft on his profitablenefs to them, 
their affeclion begins at the wrong end ; they regard God only 
lor the utmoft limit of the ftream of divine good, where it 
touches them, and reaches their intereft ? and have no refpecl: 
to that infinite glory of God's nature, which is the original good 
and the true fountain of all good, the firft fountain of all love 
linefs of every kind, and fo the firft foundation of all true love. 

A natural principle of felf-love may be the foundation of 
great affeclions toward God and Chrift, without feeing any 
thing of the beauty and glory of the divine nature. There is a 
certain gratitude that is a mere natural thing. Gratitude is 
one of the natural affeclions of the foul of man, as well as an 
ger; and there is a gratitude that arifes from felf-love, very 
much in the fame manner that anger does. Anger in men is 
an affection excited cgavift another, or in opposition to another, 



for fomething in him that erodes felf-love : gratitude is an af- 
feclion one has towards another, for loving him, or gratifying 
him, or for fomething in him that fuits felf-love. And there 
may be a kind of gratitude, without any true or proper love ; 
as there may be anger without any proper hatred, as in parents 
towards their children, that they may be angry with, and yet 
at the fame time have a ftrong habitual love to them. This 
gratitude is the principle which is in exercife in wicked men, 
in that which Chrift declares concerning them, in the 6th of 
Luke, where he fays, Sinners loi-' tho/e that love them ; and 
which he declares concerning even the publicans, who were 
fome of the moft carnal and profligate fort of men, Matt. v. 
46. This is the very principle that is wrought upon by bribe 
ry, in unjuft judges; and it is a principle that even the brute 
beads do exercife ; a dog will love his mailer that is kind to 
him. And we fee in innumerable inilances, that mere nature 
is fufficient to excite gratitude in men, or to affecl their hearts; 
with thankfulnefs to others for kindneffes received : andfome- 
times towards them, whom at the fame time they have an ha- 
bitual enmity againft. Thus Saul was once and again greatly 
afFecled, and even diffolved with gratitude towards David, for 
fparing his life ; and yet remained an habitual enemy to him. 
And as men, from mere nature, may be thus affefted towards 
men; fo they may towards God. There is nothing hinders, 
but that the fame felf-love may work after the fame manner to 
wards God, as towards man/ And we have manifeft inflances 
of it in fcripture; as indeed the children of Ifrael, 
God's praifts at the red fea, but Jbonforgat God's a\ 
in Naaman the Syrian, who was greaily affeted with the mi 
raculous cure of his leprofy, fo as to have his heart engaged 
thenceforward to worfhip the God that had healed hirri, and 
him only, excepting when it would expofe him to be ruined in 
his temporal intereli. So was Nebuchadnezzar greaiiy affect 
ed with God's goodnefs to him, in refloring him to his reafors 
and kingdom, after his dwelling with the bcalts. 

Gratitude being thus a natural principle, it renders ingratitcdk 
fo much the more vile and heinous ; because it ihews .a nr- 
ful prevalence of wickednefs, when it even overb: 
preffes the better principles of human nature : as it is niOiitsua 
ed as an evidence of the high degree of the wickedfoffs ol 
of the heathen, that they were without natural /;, 
11.31. But that the want of -gratitude, or natural > 


are evidences of an high degree of vice, is no argument that 
all gratitude and natural affection, has the nature of virtue, or 
faving grace. 

Self-love; through the exercife of a mere natural gratitude, 
may be the foundation of a fort of love to God many ways. 
A kind of love may arife from a falfe notion of God, that men 
have been educated in, or have fome way imbibed ; as though 
he were only goodnefs and mercy, and no revenging juftice ; 
or as though the exerciies of his goodnefs were neceifary, and 
not free and fovereign ; or as though his goodnefs were depen 
dent on what is in them, and as it were conftrained by them* 
Men on fuch grounds as thefe, may love a God of their own 
forming in their imaginations, when they are far from loving 
fuch a God as reigns in heaven. 

Again, felf-love may be the foundation of an afTeclion in 
men towards God, through a great irifenfibility of their Hate 
with regard to God, and for want of conviftion of confcience 
to make them fenfible how dreadfully they have provoked God 
to anger ; they have no fenfe of the heinoufnefs of fin, as 
againft God, and of the infinite and terrible oppofition of the 
holy nature of God againft it : and fo having formed in their 
minds fuch a God as fuits them, and thinking God to be fuch 
an one as themfelves, who favours and agrees with them, they 
may like him very well, and feel a fort of love to him, when 
they are far from loving the true God. And mens affeclions 
may be much moved towards God, from felf-love, by fome 
remarkable outward benefits received from God ; as it was with 
Naaman, Nebuchadnezzar, and the children of Ifrael at the 
Red fea. ' 

Again, a very high aflfeclion towards God, may, and often 
does arife in men, from an opinion of the favour and love of 
God to them, as the firft foundation of their love to him. After 
awakenings and diftrefs through fears of hell, they may fud- 
denly get a notion, through fome impreflion on their imagina 
tion, or immediate fuggeftion with or without texts of fcripture, 
or by fome other means, that God loves them, and has for 
given their fms, and made them his children; and this is the 
firft thing that caufes their affections to flow towards God and 
Jefus Chrifl : and then after this, and upon this foundation, 
many things in God may appear lovely to them, and Chrift 
may feem excel lent. And if fuch perfons are afkcd, whether 
God appears lovely and amiable in himfelf ? they would per 


haps readily anfwer, Yes ; when indeed, if the matter be 
ftri6ily examined, this good opinion of God was pui chafed and 
paid for before ever they afForcled it, in the diftinguifhing and 
infinite benefits they imagined they received from God : and 
they allow God to be lovely in himfelf, no otherwife, than 
that he has forgiven them, and accepted them, and loves them 
above moft in the world, and has engaged to improve all his 
infinite power and wifdom in preferring, dignifying and exalt 
ing them, and will do for them juft as they would have him* 
When once they are firm in this apprehenfion, it is eafy to 
own God and Chrift to be lovely arid glorious, arid to admire 
and extol them. It is eafy for them to own Chrift to be a love 
ly perfon, and the beft in the world, when they are firft firm 
in it, that he, though Lord of the univerfe, is captivated with 
love to them, and has his heart fwallowed up in them, and 
prizes them far beyond moft of their neighbours, and loved 
them from eternity, and died for them, and will make them 
reign in eternal glory with him in heaven. When this is the 
cafe with carnal men, their very lufts will make him feem love 
ly : pride itfelf will prejudice them in favor of that which they 
call Chrift : felfifh proud man naturally calls that lovely that 
greatly contributes to his intereft, and gratifies his ambition. 

And as this fort of perfons begin, fo they go on. Their 
affections are raifed from time to time, primarily on this foun 
dation of felf-love and a conceit of God's love to them. Many 
have a falfe notion of communion with God, as though it were 
carried on by impulfes, and whifpers, and external reprefenta- 
tions, immediately made to their imagination. Thefe things 
they often have ; which they take to be manifestations of God's 
great love to them, and evidences of their high exaltation above 
others of mankind ; and fo their affections are often renewedly 
fet a-going. 

Whereas the exercifes of true and holy love in the faints 
arife in another way. They do not firft fee that God loves 
them, and then fee that he is lovely ; but they firft fee that God 
is lovely, and that Chrift is excellent and glorious, and their 
hearts are firft captivated with this view, and the exercifes 
of their love are wont from time to time to begin here, snd 
to arife primarily from thefe views ; and then, confequentially, 
they fee God's love, and great favour to them* t The faint's 

M m affc61ions 

v ec There is a feeing of Chrift after a mrm believes, which i<! 
Chrift in hi* love, ^V. But 1 fpcaiL of that iiri: fight cf him that pr;- 


affections begin with God ; and felf-love has a hand in thefe 
affe6tions corifequentially, and fecondarily only. On the con 
trary, thofe falfe affeftions begin with felf, and an acknow- 
legement of an excellency in God, and an affectednefs with it, 
is only confequential and dependent. In the love of the true 
faint God is the lowed foundation ; the love of the excellency 
of his nature is the foundation of all the affections which come 
afterwards, wherein felf -love is concerned as an handmaid : on 
the contrary, the hypocrite lays himfelf at the bottom of all, as 
the firft foundation, and lays on God as the fupei ilructure ; 
and even his acknowlegement of God's glory itfelf, depends 
on his regard to his private intereft. 

Self-love may not only influence men, fo as to caufe them 
to be affeckd with God's kindnefs to them feparaiely ; but al- 
fo with God's kindnefs to them, as parts of a community : as 
a natural principle of felf-love, without any other principle, 
may be fufficient to make a man concerned for the intereft of 
the nation to which he belongs : as for inftance, in the prefent 
war, felf-love may make natural men rejoice at the fuccefTes of 
our nation, and forry for their difadvantagcs, they being con 
cerned as members of the body. So the fame natural princi 
ples may extend further, and even 10 the world of mankind, 
and might be affected with the benefits the inhabitants of the 
earth have, beyond thofe of the inhabitants of other planets ; 
if we knew that fuch there were, and knew how it was with 
them. So this principle may caufe men to be affected with 
the benefits that mankind have received beyond the fallen angels. 
And hence men, from this principle, may be much affected 
with the wonderful goodnefs of God to mankind, his great 
goodnefs in giving his Son to die for fallen man, and the mar 
vellous love of Chriftiri fuffering fuch great things for us, and 
with the great glory they hear God has provided in heaven for 
us ; looking on themfelves as perfons concerned and iriterefted, 
as being fome of this fpecies of creatures, fo highly favoured : 
the fame principle of natural gratitude may influence men here, 
as in the cafe of perfonal benefits. 

But thefe things that I have faid do by no means imply that 
all gratitude to God is a mere natural thing, and that there is 


cedes the fecond aft of faith ; and it is an intuitive, or real fight of 
him, as he is in his glory." Shefard's Parable of the ten Virgins, 
Part I. p. 74. 


no fuch thing as a fpiritual gratitude, which is a holy and divine 
afFeclion : they imply no more, than that there is a gratitude 
which is merely natural, and that when perfons have affections 
towards God only or primarily for benefits received, their affec 
tion is only the exercife of a natural gratitude. There is doubt- 
lefs fuch a thing as a gracious gratitude, which does greatly 
differ from all that gratitude which natural men experience. 
It differs in the following refpecls : 

1. True gratitude or thankfulnefs to God for his kindnefs 
to us, arifes from a foundation laid before, of love to God for 
what he is in himfelf ; whereas a natural gratitude has no fuch 
antecedent foundation. The gracious flirrings of grateful af 
fection to God, for kindnefs received, always are from a flock 
of love already in the heart, eftablifhed in the firft place on 
other grounds, viz. God's own excellency ; and hence the af- 
feclions are difpofed to flow out, on occafions of God's kind 
nefs. The faint having feen the glory of God, and his heart 
overcome by it, and captivated into a fupreme Jove to him on 
that account, his heart hereby becomes tender, and eafily af- 
fefted with kindnefTes received. If a man has no love to ano 
ther, yet gratitude may be moved by fome extraordinary kind 
nefs ; as in Saul towards David : but this is not the fame kind 
of thing, as a man's gratitude to a dear friend, that his heart 
was before poffeded with a high efteem of, and love to ; whofe 
heart by this means became tender towards him, and more ea- 
fily affefted with gratitude, and affefted in another manner. 
Self-love is not excluded from a gracious gratitude ; the faints 
love God for his kindnefs to them, Pfal. cxvi. i. " I love the 

* Lord, becaufe he hath heard the voice of my fupplication." 
But fomething elfe is included ; and another love prepares the 
way and lays the foundation for thefe grateful affeclions. 

2. In a gracious gratitude, men are afFefted with the attri 
bute of God's goodncfs and free grace, not only as they are 
concerned in it, or as it aflfecls their intereft, but as a part of 
the glory and beauty of God's nature. That wonderful and 
unparallelled grace of God, which is manifefted in the work of 
redemption, and fhines forth in the face of Jefus Chrift, is in 
finitely glorious in itfelf, and appears fo to the angels ; it is a 
great part of the moral perfection and beauty of God's nature. 
This would be glorious, whether it were exercifed towards us 



or no ; and the faint who exercifes a gracious thankfulnefs for 
it, fees it to be fo, and delights in it as fuch ; though his con 
cern in it ferves the more to engage his mind, and raife the 
attention and affeclion ; and felf-love here affifts as an handmaid, 
being fubfervient to. higher principles, to lead forth the mind 
to the view and contemplation, and engage and fix the. atten 
tion, and heighten the joy and love. God's kindnefs to them 
is a glafs that God fets before them, wherein to behold the 
beauty of the attribute of God's goodnefs : the exercifes and 
ciifplays of this attribute, by this means, are brought near to 
them, and fet right before them. " So that in a holy thankful 
nefs to God, the concern our intereft has in God's goodnefs, is 
not the firft foundation of our being affecled with it ; that was 
laid in the heart before, in that flock of love which was to God, 
for his excellency in himfelf, that makes the heart tender, and 
fufceptive of fuch impreflions from his goodnefs to us. Nor is 
our own intereft, or the benefits we have received, the only, or 
the chief objective ground of the prefent exercifes of the af 
feclion, but God's goodnefs, as part of the beauty of his nature ; 
although the manifeftations of that lovely attribute, fet imme 
diately before our eyes, in the exercifes of it for us, be the fpe- 
cial occafion of the mind's attention ,to that beauty, at that time 
and ferves to fix the attention, and heighten the affecYion, 

Some may perhaps be ready to objeft againft the whole that 
has been faid, that text, i John iv. 19. *' We love him becaufe 
'* he firft loved us," as though this implied that God's love to 
the true faints were \h^ Jtrfl foundation of their love to him. 

In anfwer to this I would obferve, that the apoflle's drift in 
thefe words, is to magnify the love of God to us from hence, 
that he loved us, while we had no love to him ; as will be ma- 
nifeft to any one who compares this verfe and the two follow 
ing, with the 9th, loth, and nthverfes. And that God lov 
ed us, when we had no love to him, the apoftle proves by this 
argument, that God's love to the elecl, is the ground of their 
love to him. And that it is three ways. i. The faints love to 
God is the fruit of God's love to them, as it is the gift of that 
love. God gave them a fpirit of love to him, becaufe he loved 
them from eternity. And in this refpecl God's love to hiseieft 
is the firft foundation of their love to him, as it is the founda 
tion Oi f their regeneration, and the whole of their redemption, 
ft. The exercifes and difcoveries that God has made of his won 
derful love to finful men, by Jefus Chi i ft, in the work of re 


uemption, is one of the chief manifeftations, which OoJ has 
made of the glory of his moral perfection, to both angels and 
men ; and fo is one main objective ground of the love of both 
to God ; in a good confidence with what was faid before. 
3. God's love to a particular elefl per fon, discovered by his 
converfion, is a great maorfeftation of God's moral perfection 
and glory to him, and a proper occafion of the excitation of 
the love of holy gratitude, agreeable to what was before faid. 
And that the faints do in thefe refpecls love God, becaufe he 
firft loved them, fully anfwers the defign of the apoftle's argu 
ment in that place. So that no good argument can be drawn 
from hence, again ft a fpiritual and gracious love in the faints, 
arifing primarily from the excellency of divine things, as they 
are in themfelves, and not from any conceived relation they 
bear to their intereft. 

And as it is with the love of the faints, fo it is with thei -joy, 
and fpiritual delight and pleafure : the fir ft foundation of : t is 
not any confideration or conception of their intereft in div ne 
things ; but it primarily confifis in the fweet entertainment 
their minds have in the view or contemplation of the divine and 
holy beauty of thefe things, as they are in themfelves. Arid 
this is indeed the very main difference between the joy of the 
hypocrite, and the joy of the true faint. The former rejoices 
. in himfelf ; felf is the firft foundation of his joy : the latter re 
joices in God. The hypocrite has his mind pleafed and de- 
Jighted, in the firft place, with his own privilege, and the hap- 
piaefs which he fuppofes he has attained to, or (hall attain to. 
True faints have their minds, in the firft place, inexprefiibly 
pleafed and delighted with the fweet ideas of the glorious and 
amiable nature of the tilings of God. And this is the fpring 
of all their delights, and the cream of all their pleafures ; it is 
the joy of their joy. This f\veet and ravifhing en'ertain- 
ment, they have in the view of the beautiful and delightful na 
ture of divine things, is the foundation of the joy that they have 
afterwards, in the confirleration of their being theirs. But the 
dependence of the affettions of hypocrites is in a contrary or 
der ; they firft rejoice and are elevated with it, that they are 
made fo much of by God ; and then on that ground, he fcems 
in a fort, lovely to them. 

The firft foundation of the delight a true faint has in God, is 
his own perfection ; and the firft foundation of the delight he 
1m in Chriil,, is his own beauty ; he appears in himfelf the chief 


ten thoufand, and altogether lovely. The way of fal- 
vation by Chrift is a delightful way to him, for the fweet and 
admirable manifeftationsof the divine perfections in it : the holy 
doftrines of the gofpel, by which God is exalted and man aba- 
icd, holinefs honoured and promoted, and fm greatly difgraced 
and difcouraged, and free and fovereign love manitefted, are 
glorious doctrines in his eyes, and fweet to his tafte, prior to 
any conception of his intereft in thefe things. Indeed the faints 
rejoice in their intereft in God, and that Chrift is theirs ; and 
fo they have great reafon : but this is not the firft fpring of their 
joy. They firft rejoice in God as glorious and excellent in 
himfelf, and then fecondarily rejoice in it, that fo glorious a 
God is theirs. They firft have their hearts filled with fweet- 
nefs, from the view of Chrift's excellency, and the excellency 
of his grace, and the beauty of the way of falvation by him, 
and then they have a fecondary joy, in that fo excellent a Sa 
viour, and fuch excellent grace is theirs.* But that which is 
the true faint's fuperftrufture is the hypocrite's foundation. 
When they hear of the wonderful things of the gofpel. of God's 
great love in fending his Son, of Chrift's dying love to finners, 
and the great things Chrift has purchafed, and promifed to the 
faints, and hear thefe things livelily and eloquently fet forth ; 
they may hear with a great deal of pleafure, and be lifted up 


* Dr. Owen on the Spirit, p. 199. fpeaking of a common work 
of the Spirit, fays, "The erYefts of this work on the mind, which 
is the iirft fubjecl affected with it, proceeds not fo far, as to give 
It delight, complacency, and fatisfadion, in the lovely fpiritual nature 
and excellencies of the things revealed unto it. The true nature of 
faving illumination confiils in this, that it gives the mind fuch a 
direct intuitive infight and profpecl into fpiritual things, as that in 
their own fpiritual nature they fuit, pleafe, and fatisfy it ; fo that it 
j!s transformed into them, caft into the mould of them, and refts in them ; 
Rom. vi. 1 7. chap. xii. 2. i Cor. ii. 1 3, 14. 2 Cor. iii. 1 8. chap. iv. 6. 
This,the work we have infilled on, reacheth not unto. For notwithftand- 
iii% any difcovery that is made therein of fpiritual things unto the mind, 
it finds not an immediate, direct, fpiritual excellency in them ; but 
only with refpect unto fome benefit or advantage, which is to be at 
tained by means thereof. It will not give fuch a fpiritual infight in 
to the myftery of God's grace by Jefus Chrift, called his glory finn 
ing in the face of Chrift, 2 Cor. iv. 6. as that the foul, in its firft di- 
red view of it, fhould, for what it is in itfelf, admire it, delight in 
it, approve it, and find fpiritual folace,- with refrefhrnent, in it. But 
fuch a light, fuch a knowlege, it communicates, as that a man may 
like it well in its' eftefts, as a way of mercy and falvation." 


with what they hear; but if their joy be examined, it will be 
found to have no other foundation than this, that they look up 
on thefe things as theirs, ail this exalts them, they love to hear 
of the crreat love of Chrift fo vaftiy diilinguifhing fome from 
others ; for felf-love, and even pride itfelf, makes them affect 
great diftin&ion from others. No wonder, in^ this confident 
opinion of their own good eftate, that they feel well under iucK 
doftrine, and are pleafed in the higheft degree, in hearing how 
much God and Chrift makes of them. So that their joy is really 
a joy in thernfelves, and not in God. 

And becaufe the joy of hypocrites is in themfelves, hence it 
comes to pafs, that in their rejoicings and elevations, they are 
wont to keep their eye upon themfelves ; having received what 
they call fpiritual difcoveries or experiences, their minds are 
taken up about them, admiring their own experiences : and 
what they are principally taken and elevated with, is not the 
glory of God, or beauty of Chrift, but the beauty of their ex 
periences. They keep thinking with themfelves, what a good 
experience is this! what a great difcovery is this! what won 
derful things have I met with ! and fo they put their experiences 
in the place Chrift, and his beauty and fulnefs ; and iriftead 
of rejoicing in Chrift Jefus, they rejoice in their admirable ex 
periences ; inftead of feeding and feafting their fouls in the view 
of what is without them, viz. the innate, fweet, refrefhing 
amiablenefs of the things exhibited in the gofpel, their eyes are 
off from thefe things, or at leaft they view them only as it were 
fide-ways ; but the objecl that fixes their contemplation, is their 
experience ; and they are feeding their fouls, and feafting a 
felftfh principle with a view of their difcoveries : they takenaore 
comfort in their difcoveries than in Chrift difcovered, which is 
the true notion of living upon experiences and frames ; an:l 
not a ufmg experiences as the figns, on which they rely for 
evidence of their good eftate, which forne call living on ex 
periences ; though it be very obfervable, that fome of them who 
do fo, are moft notorious for living upon experiences, accord 
ing to the true notion of it. 

The affections of hypocrites are very often after this rriannf r ; 
they are firft much affeftcd with fome impreflion on their ima 
gination; or fome irripulfc, which they take to be an imme 
diate fuggeftion, or teflimony from God, of his love and their 
happinefs, and high privilege in fome refpecl, either with or 
without a text of fcripturc ; they are mightily taken with this, 



a a great difcovery: and hence arife high affections. And 
when their affcclions are raifed, then they view thofe high af- 
feSions, and call them great and wonderful experiences ; and 
they have a notion that God is greatly pleafed with thofe affec 
tions ; and this affects them more ; and fo they are affecled 
with their affections. And thus their affeciions rife higher 
and higher, until they fometimes are perfecl'y fwallowed up : 
and felf-conceit, and a fierce zeal rifes withal ; and all is built 
like a caitle in the air, on no other foundation but imagination, 
fell-love, and pride. 

And as the thoughts of this fort of perfons are, fo is their 
talk ; for out of the abundance of their heart, their mouth fpeak- 
eth. As in their high affections, they keep their eye upon the, 
beauty of their experiences, and greatnefs of their attainments ; 
fo they are great talkers about tbemfeives. The true faint, 
when under great Ipirimal affeclions, from the fulnefs of his 
heart, is ready to be fpeaking much of God, and his glorious 
perfections arid works, and of the beauty and amiablenefs of 
Chriir, and the glorious things of the gofpel ; but hypocrites, 
in their high affections, talk more of the difcovery, than they 
do of the thing difcovered ; they are full of talk about the great 
things they have met with, the wonderful difcoveries they have 
had, how fure they are of the love of God to them, how fafe 
their condition is, and how they know they mall go to hea 
ven, See. 

A true faint, when in the enjoyment of true difcoveries of 
the fweet glory of God and Chrift, has his mind too much cap 
tivated and engaged by what he views without himfelf, to ftand 
at that time to view himfelf, and his own attainments : it would 
be a diverfion arid lofs which he could not bear, to take his eye 
off from the ravifhing objecl of his contemplation, to furvey 
his own experience, and to fpend time in thinking with himfelf, 
what an high attainment this is, and what a good flory I now 
have to tell others. Nor does the pleafure and fweetnefs of 
his mind at that time, chiefly arife from the confideration of 
ihe fafety of his ftate, or any thing he has in view of his own 
qualifications, experiences, or circumftances : but from the 
divine and fupreme beauty of what is the obje6l of his direct 
view, without himfelf; which fweetly entertains, and ilrongly 
holds his mind. 

As the love and joy of hypocrites, are all from the fource of 
felt-love ; fo it is with their other affections, their ibrrow for 


fin, their humiliation and fubmiflion, their religious defires an.-l 
zeal : every thing is as it were paid for before-hand, in God's 
highly gratifying their felfUove, and their lulls, by making fo 
much of them, and exalting them fo highly, as things are in 
their imagination. It is eafy for nature, as corrupt as it is, 
under a notion of being already fome of the higheft favourites 
of heaven, and having a God who does fo proteft them and fa 
vour them in their fins, to love this imaginary God that fuits 
them fo well, and to extol him, and fubmit to him, and to be 
fierce and zealous for him. The high afleclions of many are 
all built on the fuppofition of their being eminent faints. If 
that opinion which they have of themfelves were taken awav, 
if they thought they were fome of the lower form of faint'?' 
(though they mould yet fuppofe themfelves to be real faints) 
their high affections would fall to the ground. If they only faw 
a little of the finfulnefs and vilenefs of their own hearts, and 
their deformity, in the midft of their beft duties and their bell 
affe&ions, it would knock their afFeclions on the head ; becaufc 
their affeaions are built upon felf, therefore felf-knowlege 
would deflroy them. But as to truly gracious affeaions, they 
are built elfewhere; they have their 'foundation out of felf, in 
God and Jefus Chrit't ; and therefore a difcovery of themfelves, 
of their Own deformity, and the meannefs of their experiences,' 
though it will purify their affeaions, yet it will not dcilroy 
them, but in fome refpeb fweetenand heighten them. 

III. Thofe affeaions that are truly holy, arc primarily found 
ed on the lovelmefs of the moral excellency of divine things. 
Or, (to exprefs it otherwife) a love to divine things for the 
beauty and fweetnefs of their moral excellencv, is the firft be 
ginning and fpring of all holy affe&ioris. 

Here, for the fake of the'more illiterate reader, I will ex 
plain what I mean by the moral excellency of divine things. 

And it may be obferved, that the word nerd is not "to be 
underftood here, according to the common and vulgar accepta 
tion of the word, when men (peak of morality, end 'a ^^/be 
haviour ; meaning an outward conformity to the duties of the 
moral law, and efpccially the duties of the fecond table ; or 
intending no more at fartheft, than fuch feeminnr virtues, a? 
proceed from natural principles, in opposition to thofe virtues 
that are more inward, fpiritual, and divine ; as the bonefty, 
ce, gcnerofity, good-nature, and public (pint of many of 
N n the 

T H E T H I R D S I G N Part III. 

the heathen, are called moral virtues, in diftinftion from the 
holy faith, love, humility, and heavenly-mindednefs of true 
Chriftians : I fay, the word moral is not to be underftood thus 
in this place. 

But in order to a right under/landing what is meant, itmuft 
be obferved, that divines commonly make a diftin6tion be 
tween moral good and evil, and natural good and evil. By 
moral evil, they mean the evil of fin, or that evil which is 
againft duty, and contrary to what is right and ought to be. 
By natural evil, they do not mean that evil which is properly 
oppofed to duty ; but that which is contrary to mere nature, 
without any refpecl: to a rule of duty. So the evil of fuffering 
is called natural evil, fuch as pain and torment, difgrace, and 
the like : thefe things are contrary to mere nature, contrary to 
the nature of both bad and good, hateful to wicked men and 
devils, as well as good men and angels. So likewife natural 
defeclsare called natural evils, as if a child be monftrous, or a 
natural fool : thefe are natural evils, but are not moral evils, 
becaufe they have not properly the nature of the evil of fin. 
On the other hand, as by moral evil, divines mean the evil of 
fin, or that which is contrary to what is right ; fo by moral 
good, they mean that which is contrary to fin, or that good in 
beings who have will and choice, whereby, as voluntary agents, 
they are, and acl, as it becomes them to be and to aft, or fo 
as is mod fit, and fimable, and lovely. By natural good, 
they mean that good that is entirely of a different kind from 
holinefs or virtue, viz. that which perfects or fuits nature, 
confidering nature abftra6Uy from any holy or unholy qualifi 
cations, and without any relation to any rule or meafure of 
right and wrong. 

Thus pleafure is a natural good ; fo is honor ; fo is ftrength ; 
fo is fpeculative knowledge, human learning, and policy. 
Thus there is a diftinftion to be made between the natural 
good that men are pofTefled of, and their moral good ; and al- 
fo between the natural and moral good of the angels in heaven : 
the great capacity of their underftandings, and their great 
ftrength, and the honorable circumftances they are in as the 
great minifrers of God's kingdom, whence they are called 
thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers, is the natural 
good which they are poflefTed of; but their perfect and glorious 
holinefs and goodnefs, their pure and flaming love to God, 
and to the faints, and one another, is their moral good. So 



Divines make a diftinftion between the natural and moral per- 
f eftions of God : by the moral perfections of God, they mean 
thofe attributes which God exercifes as a moral agent, or 
wherebv the heart and will of God are good, right, and infi 
nitely becoming, and lovely ; fuch as his nghteoufnefs, truth, 
faithfulnefs, and goodnefs ; or, in one word, his holmels. 
By God's natural attributes or perfections they mean thole at 
tributes, wherein, according to our way of conceiving or God, 
confiiis not the holinefs or moral goodnefs of God, but his 
greamefs ; fuch as his power, his knowlege whereby he knows 
all things, and his being eternal, from everlaftmg toeverlatt- 
inz his omnipotence, and his awful and terrible majefty. < 
'The moral excellency of an intelligent voluntary being, is 
more immediately feated in the heart or will of moral agents. 
That intelligent being whofe will is truly right and lovely, he 
is morally good or excellent. . . 

This moral excellency of an intelligent being, when it is 
true and real, and not only external, or merely leeming and 
counterfeit, is holinefs. Therefore holinefs comprehends all 
the true moral excellency of intelligent beings : there is no 
other true virtue, but real holinefs. Holinefs comprehends all 
the true virtue of a good man, his love to God his gracious 
love to men, his juitice, his charity, and bowels of mercies, 
his gracious meekrWfs and gentlenefs, and all otner true Chn- 
ftian virtues that he has, belong to his holinefs. So the holi 
nefs of God in the more extenfive fenfe of .the word arid the 
fenfe in which the word is commonly, if not umverfally uied 
concerning God in the fame with the moral excel 
lency of the divine nature, or his purity and beauty as a moral 
agent comprehending all his moral perfections, his nghteouf 
nefs, faithfulnefs, and goodnefs. As in holy men, their cha 
nty Chriftian kindnefs and mercy, belongs to their holinefs ; 
fo'thekindnefs and mercy of God, belongs to his holinefs. 
Holinefs in man, is but the image of God's holinefs : there are net 
more virtues belonging to the image, than are in the original: 
derived holinefs has not more in it, than is in that undenvec 
holinefs, which is its fountain : there is no more than grace 
for grace, or grace in the image, arifwerable to grace in the 

F f sphere are two kinds of attributes in God, according to 
our way of conceiving of him, his moral attributes, which are 
fummed up in his holinefs, and his natural attributes of ftrength. 

*84 T H E T H I R D S I G N Part III. 

knowlege, &c. that conftitute the greatnefs of God ; fo there 
is a twofold image of God in man, his moral or /^z'nVwfl/ image, 
which is his holinefs, that is the image of God's moral excel- 
lency ; (which image was loft by the fall ;) and God's natural 
image, confifling in man's reafon and undemanding, his na 
tural ability, and dominion over I he creatures, which is the 
image of God's natural attributes. 

From what has been faid, it may eafily he underftood what 
I intend, when I fay that a love to divine things for the beauty 
of their moral excellency, is the beginning and fpring of all 
holy affections. It has been already mown, under the former 
head, that the firft objective ground of all holy affections is the 
fuprerne excellency of divine things as they are in themfelves. 
or in their own nature ; I now proceed further, and fay more 
particularly, that that kind of excellency of the nature of di 
vine things, which is the fuft objective ground of all holy af 
fections, is their moral excellency, or their holinefs. Holy 
ferfonsy in the exercife of holy afftBions, do love divine things 
primarily for their holinefs : they love God, in the firft place, 
for the beauty of his holinefs or moral perfection, as being 
fupremely amiable in itfelf. Not that the faints, in the exer 
cife of gracious affections, do love God only for his holinefs; 
all his attributes are amiable and glorious in their eyes ; they 
delight in every divine perfection ; the contemplation of the 
infinite greatnefs, power, arid knowlege, and terrible majefty 
of God, is pleafant to them. But their love to God for hi's 
holinefs is what is moft fundamental and eiferitial in their love. 
Here it is that true love to God begins; all other holy love to 
divine things flows from hence : this is the moft eilemial and 
diftinguifliing thing that belongs to a holy love to God, with 
regard to the foundation of it. A love to God for the beauty 
of his moral attributes, leads to, and necelfarily caufes a de 
light in God for all his attributes; for his moral attributes can 
not be without his natural attributes: for infinite holinefs fup- 
pofes infinite wifdom, and an infinite capacity and greatnefs ; 
and all the attributes of God do as it were imply one another. 
The true beamy and lovelinefs of all intelligent beings does 
primarily and rnoft eiTentially confifl in their moral excellency 
or holinefs. Herein confifts the lovelinefs of the angels, 
without which, with all their natural pei fecHons, their ftrength, 
and their knowlege, they would have; no more lovelinefs than 
devils. It 1S moral excellency alonf:, that is in itfelf, and ou 



its own account, the excellency of intelligent beings : it is 
this that gives beauty to, or rasher is me beauty of their natu 
ral perfe&ions and qualifications. Moral excellency is the 
excellency of natural excellencies. Natural qualifications are 
either excellent or oiherwife, according as they are joined with 
moral excellency or 'not. Strength and knowlege does not 
render any being lovely, without holinefs, but more hateful ; 
though they render them more lovely, when joined with holinefs. 
Thus the elect angel;; are the more glorious for their ftrength 
and knowlege, becaufe thefe natural perfections of theirs are 
fan&ified by their moral perfection. But though the devils are 
very Hi ong, and of great natural understanding, they be not 
the more lovely : they are more terrible indeed, but not the 
more amiable ; but on the contrary, the more hateful. The 
holinefs of an intelligent creature, is the beauty of all his natural 
perfections. And fo it is in God, according to our way or con 
ceiving or the divine Being : holinefs is in a peculiar manner 
the beauty of the divine nature. Hence we often read of the 
beauty of holmejs, Pfal. xxix. 2. Pfal.xcvi. 9. arid ex. 3. This 
renders all his other attributes glorious and lovely. It is the 
glory of God's wifdom, that it is a holy wifdorn, and not a 
wicked fubtilty and craftinefs. This makes his majefty lovely, 
and not merely dreadful and horrible, that it is a holy majefty. 
It is the glory of God's immutability, that it is a holy immu 
tability, and not an inflexible obftinacy in wickednefs. 

And therefore it rrmft needs be, that a light of God's love 
linefs mud begin here. A true love to God muft begin with 
a delight in his holinefs, avid not with a delight in any other 
attribute ; ior no other attribute is truly lovely without this, and 
r.o otherwile than as (according to our way of conceiving of 
God) it derives its lovelinefs from this ; and therefore it is 
impofTibie that other attributes mould appear lovely, in their 
true lovelinefs, until this is feen ; and it is irnpoifible that any 
perfedlion of the divine nature Ihould be loved with true love 
until this is loved. If the true lovelinefs of all God's perfections, 
arifes from the lovelinefs of his holinefs ; then the true love of 
all his perfections, ariics from the love of his holincfs. T'htv 
that do ^not fee the glory of God's holinefs, cannot fee any 
thing of the true glory of his mercy and grace: they fee no 
thing of the glory of thofe attributes, as any excellency of 
God's nature, as it is in itfelf ; though they may be airecled 
with them, and love them, as they concern their intereft : for 
thefe attributes are no part of the excellency of God's nature, 



as that is excellent in itfelf, any otherwife than as they are in 
cluded in his holinefs, more largely taken ; or as they are a 
part of his moral perfection. 

As the beauty oi the divine nature does primarily confift in 
God's holinefs, lo does the beauty of all divine things. Here 
in confiits the beauty of the faints, that they are faints, or holy 
ones : it is the moral image of God in them, which is their 
beauty ; and that is their holinefs. Herein confifts the beau 
ty and brightnefs of the angels of heaven, that they are holy 
angels, and fo not devils ; )an. iv. 13, 17, 23. Matth. xxv. 31. 
Mark viii. 38. Actsx. 22. Rev. xiv. 10. Herein confiits the 
beauty of the Chriftian religion, above all other religions, that 
it is fo holy a religion. Plerein confifts the excellency of the 
word of God, that it is fo holy ; Pfal. cxix. 140. "Thy word 
" is very pure, therefore thy fervant loveth it." verf. 128. "I 
" eftecm all thy precepts concerning all things to be right ; 
" and I hate every falfe way." verf. 138. " Thy teftimonies 
lf that thou haft commanded, are righteous, and very faithful.*' 
And 172. "My tongue ihall fpeak of thy word ; for all thy 
" commandments are righteoufnefs." And Pfal. xix. 7. 10. 
" The law of the Lord is perfeft, converting the foul : the tef- 
" timony of the Lord is fure, making wife the fimple. The 
" ftatutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart : the com- 
" mandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The 
' fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever : the judgments 
" of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether : more to be 
" defired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; fweeter 
" alfo than honey, and the honey-comb." Herein does pri 
marily confift the amiablenefs and beauty of the Lord Jefus, 
whereby he is the chief among ten thoufands, and altogether 
lovely ; even in that he is the holy One of God, Acts iii. 14. 
and God's holy child, Acts iv. 27. and he that is holy, and he 
that is true, Rev. iii. 7. All the fpiritual beauty of his human 
nature, confifting in his meeknefs, lowlinefs, patience, heaven- 
lefs, love to God, love to men, condefcenfion to the mean and 
vile, and companion to the miferable, &c. all is fummed up 
in his holinefs. And the beauty of his divine nature, of which 
the beauty of his human nature is the image and reflection, does 
alfo primarily confift in his holinefs. Herein primarily confifts 
the glory of the gofpel, that it is a holy gofpel, and fo bright an 
emanation of the holy beauty of God and Jefus Chriit : herein 
confifts the fpiritual beauty of its doctrines, that they are holy 
doctrines, or doctrines according to godlinefs. And herein 
does conillt the fpiritual beauty of the way of falvation by Jefus 



Chrift, that it is fo holy a way. And herein chiefly confifts the 
glory of heaven, that it is the koly city, the holy Jerufalcm, the 
habitation of God's holinefs, and fo of his glory, II. Ixni. 15. 
All the beauties of the new Jcrufalero, as it. is defcribed in the 
two laft chapters of Revelation, arc but various reprefentatioLS 
of this : fee chap. xxi. 2, 10, n, 18, 21, 27. chap. xxii. 
I, 3. 

And therefore it is primarily on account of this kind of ex 
cellency, that the faints do love all thefe things. Thus they 
love the word of God, becavje it is very pure. It is on this 
account they love the faints ; and on this account chiefly it is, 
that heaven is lovely to them, and thofe holy tabernacles of 
God amiable in their eyes : it is on this account that they love 
God ; and on this account primarily it is, that they lovs 
Chrift, and that their hearts delight in the do&rines of the gofpel, 
and fweetly acquiefce in the way of falvation therein revealed.* 

Under the head of the firft diftinguifhing chara&eriftie of 
gracious affeclion, I obferved, that there is given to thofe that 
are regenerated, a new fupernatural fenfe, that is as it were a 
certain divine fpiritual tafte, which is in its whole nature di 
verfe from any former kinds of fenfation of the mind, as talc 
ing is diverfe from any of the other five fenfes, and that fomt- 
thing is perceived by a true faint in trfe exercife of this new 
fenfe of mind, in fpiritual and divine things, as entirely differ 
ent from any thing that is perceived in them by natural men, 
as the fweet tafte of honey is diverfe from the ideas men get of 
honey by looking on it or feeling of it : now this that I have 
been fpeaking, viz. the beauty of holinefs, is that thing in 
fpiritual and divine things, which is perceived by this fpiritual 
fenfe, that is fo diverfe from ail that natural men perceive in 

them ; 

* " To the right clofing with Chrift 's perfon, this is alib requir 
ed, to tafte the bitternefs of fin, as the greateft evil : elfe a man will 
never clofe with Chrift, for his holinefs in him, arid from him, ;>s 
the greateft good. For we told you, that that is the right clofing 
with Chrift for himfelf, when it is for his holinefs. For aik, a who- 
rifh heart, what beauty he fees in the perfon of Chrift ; he will, after 
he has looked over his kingdom, his righteoufnefs, all his works, fee 
a beauty in them, becaufe they do ferve his turn, to comfort him on 
ly. Afk a virgin, he will fee his happinefs in all ; but that which 
makes the Lord amiable is his holinefs, which is in him to make him 
holy too. As in marriage, it is the perfonal beauty draws the heart. 
And hence I have thought it reafon, that he that loves the brethren 
for a little grace, will love Chrift much more/' Sbepar,- 
Fart L p. 84. 


them ; this kind of beauty is the quality that is the immediate 
object of this fpirituai fenfe ; this is the fwoetnefs that is the 
proper obje&ot this fpirituai tafte. The icripture often repre- 
fents the beauty and i weetnefo of holincfs as the grand object of 
a fpirituai tafte and Ipiritual appetite. This was the f-veet 
food of the holy foul of Jeius Chrill, John iv. 32, 34. " I have 
" meat to eat, that ye know not of. My meat is to do the will 
" of him that fent me, and to finifti his work." I know of no 
part of the holy icriptures, where the nature and evidences of 
true and fmcere godlinefs, are fo much of fet purpofe, and fo 

fully and largely infilled on and delineated, as the 1191!! Pfalm ; 
the pfalmift declares his deiign in the h'rft verfes of the pfalm, 
and he keeps his eye on this defign all along, and purfues it to 
the end : but in this pfalm the excellency yf holinefs is repre- 
fented ?.s the immediate objecl of a fpirituai tafte, relifh, appetite 
and delight, God's law, that grand exprellion and emanation of 
the holinefs of God's nature, and prescription of holinefs to the 
creature, is all along reprefented as the food and entertainment, 
and as the great objecl of the love, the appetite, the compla 
cence and rejoicing of the gracious nature, which prizes God's 
commandments above gold, yea, the fine ft gold, and to which 
they atejtuteicr than th? honzy, and honey-comb :, and that upon 
account of their holinefs, as I obferved before. The fame 
pfalmift declare?, that this is the fwcetnefs that a fpirituai tafte 
reliihssin God's law, Pfal. xix. 7, 8, 9, 10. " The law of the 
" Lord is perfect : the commandment of the Lord is pure ; 
" the fear of the Lord is clean ; the ftattites of the Lord are 
'* right, rejoicing the heart : the judgments of the Lord are 
" true, and righteous altogether : more to be defired are they 
" than gold, yea, than much fine gold ; fweeter alfo than honey 
" and the honey-comb." 

A holy love has a holy objecl : the hclinefs of love ccnfifts 
efpecially in this, that it is the love of that which is holy, as ho 
ly, or for its holinefs ; fo that it is the holinefs of the objecl, 
which is the quality whereon it fixes and terminates. An holy 


nefs muft be above all other things agreeable to holinefs ; for 
nothing can be more agreeable to any nature than itfelf ; holy 
nature muft be above all things agreeable to holy nature : 
2nd fo the holy nature of God and Chriit, and the word of' 
God. and other divine things, rnuft be above all other things 
agreeable to the holy nature that is in the faints. 



And again, an holy nature doubtltfs loves holy things, ef- 
pecially on the account of that for which fmful nature has en 
mity againft them : but that for which chiefly fmful nature is 
at enmity againft holy things, is their holinefs ; it is for this, 
that the carnal mind is enmity againft God, and againft the 
law of God, and the people of God. Now it is juft arguing 
from contraries ; from contrary caufes, to contrary effects ; 
from oppofite natures, to oppofite tendencies. We know that 
holinefs is of a direclly contrary nature to wickeclnefs : as there 
fore it is the nature of wickednefs chiefly to oppofe and hate 
hoiiriefs ; fo it muft be the nature of holinefs chiefly to tend to, 
and delight in holinefs. 

The holy nature in the faints and angels in heaven (where 
the true tendency of it bell appears) is principally engaged by 
the holinefs of divine things. This is the divine beauty which 
chiefly engages the attention, ' admiration and praife of the 
bright arid burning Seraphim ; If. vi. 3. " One cried untoano- 
" ther, and faid, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of holts, the whole 
" earth is full of his glory." And Rev. iv. 8. " They reft not 
" day and night, faying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, 
which was, and is, and is to come/' So the glorified faints, chap. 
xv. 4. " Who {hall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name ? 
" for thou only art holy.'* 

And the fcriptures reprefent the faints on earth as adoring 
God primarily on this account, and admiring and extolling aU 
God's attributes, either as deriving lovelinefs from his holinefs, 
or as being a part of it'. Thus when they praife God for hii 
power, his holinefs is the beauty that engages them ; Pial. xcviii. 
J . " O fing unto the Lord a new fong, for he hath clone marvel- 
*' lous things : his right hand, and his HOLY arm hath gotten 
" him the victory." So when they praife him for his juflice 
and terrible majefty ; Pfaf. xcix. 2, 3. "The Lord is great in 
" Z/ion, and he is high above all people. Let them pvaife thy 
*' great and terrible name : for it is HOLY." veri". 5. " Exalt ye 
" the Lord our God, and worfhip at his footilool : for he is- 
f< HOLY." verf. 8, 9. "Thou wait a God that, forgaveft them, 
'* though thou tookeft vengeance of their inventions. Exalt 
" ye the Lord our God, and worfhip at his holy hill : for 
< the Lord our God is HOLY." So when they praife God 
for his mercy and faithful nefs ; Pfal. xcvii. 1 1, 12. " Lij;lit 
" is fown for the righteous, an-J gladnefs for the upright in 
f ' heart. Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous : and give thanks 
*' at the remembrance of his HOLIVKSS/' i Sam.iL 2.-"Tlicre 

O o "is 


" is none HOLY as the Lord : for there is none befide thee : 
** neither is there any rock like our God." 

By this therefore all may try their affeftions, and particu 
larly their love and joy. Various kinds of creatures ihew the 
difference of their natures, very much, in the different things 
they relifh as their proper good, one delighting in that which 
another abhors. Such a difference is there between true faints, 
and natural men : natural men have no fenfe of the goodnefs 
arid excellency of holy things, at leaft for their holinefs ; they 
have no tafte of that kind of good ; and fo may be faid not to 
know that divine good, or not to fee it ; it is wholly hid from 
them : but the faints, by the mighty power of God, have it 
difcovered to them ; they have that iupernatural, moft noble 
and divine fenfe given them, by which they perceive it ; and 
it is this that captivates their hearts, and delights them above 
all things ; it is the moft amiable and fweet thing to the heart 
of a true faint, that is to be found in heaven or earth ; that 
which above all others attracts and engages his foul ; and that 
wherein, above all things, he places his happinefs, and which 
he lots upon for folace and entertainment to his mind, in this 
world, and full fatisfaftion and bleffednefs in another. By this 
you may examine your love to God, and to Jefus Chrift, and 
to the word of* God, and your joy in them, and alfo your love 
to the people of God, and your defires after heaven ; whether 
they be from a fupreme delight in this fort of beauty, without 
being primarily moved from your imagined intereft in them, 
or expectations from them. There are many high affeclions, 
great feeming love and rapturous joys, which have nothing of 
this holy relim belonging to them. 

Particularly, by what has been faid you may try your difco- 
veries of the glory of God's grace and love, and your affections 
arifing from them. The grace of God may appear lovely two 
ways ; either as bonum utile, a profitable good to me, that 
which greatly ferves my intereft, and fo fuits my felf-love ; or 
as bonumformofum, a beautiful good in itfelf, and part of the 
moral and fpiritual excellency of the divine nature. In this 
latter refpeft it is that the true faints have their hearts affecled, 
and -love captivated by the free grace of God in the firft place. 

From the things that have been faid, it appears, that if per- 
fons have a great fenfe of the natural perfections of God, and 
are greatly affecled with them, or have any other fight or fenfe 
of God than that which confifts in, or implies a fenfe of the 



beauty of his moral perfections, it is no certain fign of grace : 
as particularly, mens having a great fenfe of the awful great- 
nejs, and terrible majejt.y of God ; for this is only God's natural 
perfe6iion, and what men may fee, and yet be entirely blind to 
the beauty of his moral perfection, and have nothing of that 
fpiritual tafte which relifhes this divine fweetnefs. 

It has been mown already, in what was faid upon the firfl 
diftinguiOiing mark of gracious affeclions, that that which is 
fpiritual, is entirely different in its nature, from all that it is 
poffible any gracelefs perfon mould be the fubjecl: of, while 
he continues gracelefs. But it is poffible that thofe who are 
wholly without grace, fhould have a clear fight, and very great 
and aflecling fenfe of God's greatnefs, his mighty power, and 
awful majefty ; for this is what the devils have, though they 
have loft the fpiritual knowlege of God, confifting in a fenfe 
of the arniablenefs of his moral perfections ; they are perfectly 
deftitute of any fenfe or relifh of that kind of beauty, yet they 
have a very great knowlege of the natural glory of God, (if I 
may fo fpeakj or his awful greatnefs arid majefty ; this they 
behold, and are affe6ied with the apprehenfions of, and there 
fore tremble before him. This glory of God all mall behold 
at the day of judgment ; God will make all rational beings to 
behold it to a great degree indeed, angels and devils, faints and 
finners : Chrift will manifeft his infinite greatnefs, and awful 
majefty to every one, in a moil open, clear and convincing 
manner, and in a light that none can refift, when he fhall come 
in the glory of his Father, and every eye Jliall fee. him ; when 
they fhall cry to the mountains to fall upon them, to hide them 
from the face of him that fits upon the throne, they are repre- 
fented as feeing the glory of God's majefty, If. ii. 10, 19, 21. 
God will make all his enemies to behold this, and to live in a 
moft clear and affecling view of it, in hell, to all eternity. God 
hath often declared his immutable purpofe to make ail his ene 
mies to know him in this refpeft, in fo often annexing thefe 
words to the threatenings he denounces againft them, And they 
Jliall know that I am the Lord', yea, he hath fworn that all men 
fhall fee his glory in this refpeft, Numb. xiv. 21. "As truly as 
" I live, all the earth fhall be filled with the glory of the Lord." 
And this kind of manifeftation of God is very often fpoken of 
in fcripture, as made, or to be made, in the fight of God's ene 
mies in this world ; Exod. ix. 16. and chap. xiv. 18. and xv. 
16. Pfal. Ixvi. 3. and xlvi. 10. and other places innumerable. 



This was a manifeflation which God made of himfelf in the 
light of that wicked congregation at mount Sinai ; deeply af 
fecting them with it ; fo that all the people in the camp trem 
bled. Wicked men and devils will fee, and have a great fenfe 
of every thing that appertains to the glory of God, but only 
the beauty of his moral perfection. They will fee his infinite 
greatnefs and majefty, his infinite power, and will be fully con 
vinced of his omnifcience, and his eternity and immutability; 
and they will fee and know every thing appertaining to his 
moral attributes themfelves, but only the beauty and amiable- 
nefs of them : they will fee and know that he is perfectly juft 
and righteous, and true ; and that he is a holy God, of purer 
. eyes than to behold evil, who cannot look on iniquity ; and 
they will fee the wonderful manifefiations of his infinite good- 
nefs and free grace to the faints ; and there is nothing wiil be 
hid from their eyes, but only the beauty of thefe moral attri 
butes, and that beauty of the other attributes, which arifesfrom 
it. And fo natural men in this world are capable of having a 
very affecting fenfe of every thing elfe that appertains to God, 
but this only. Nebuchadnezzar had a great and very affecting 
fenfe of the infinite greatnefs and awful majefly of God, of his 
fupreme and abfolute dominion, and mighty and irrefiftible 
power, and of his fovereignty, and that he, and all the inhabi 
tants of the earth, were nothing before him ; and alfo had a 
great conviction in his confcienceof his juflice, and an affecting 
fenfe of his great goodnefs, Dan. iv. i, 2, 3, 34, 35, 37. And 
the fenfe that Darius had of God's perfections, feems to be very 
much like his, Dan. vi. 25, &c. But the faints and angels do 
behold the glory of God confiding in the beauty of his holimfs : 
and it is this fight only, that will melt and humble the hearts 
of men, arid wean them from the world, and draw them to 
God, and effectually change them. A fight of the awful 
greatnefs of God, may overpower mens flrength, and be more 
than they can endure ; but if the moral beauty of God be hid, 
the enmity of the heart will remain in its full ftrcngth, no love 
will be inkindled, all will not be effectual to gain the will, but 
that will remain inflexible ; whereas the full glimpfe of the 
moral and fpiritual glory of God mining into the heart, pro 
duces all thefe effects as it were with omnipotent power, which 
nothing can withfland. 

The fenfe that natural men may have of the awful greatnefs 
of God may affect then various ways ; it may not only terrify. 



tlsem, but it may elevate them, and raife their joy and praife, 
tie their circumftances may be. This will be the natural effect 
of it, under the real or fuppofed receipt of foine extraordinary- 
mercy from God, by the influence of mere principles of nature. 
It has been Ihown already, that the receipt of kintinefs may, 
bv the influence of natural principles, affecl the heart with grati 
tude and praife to God ; but if a perfon, at the fame time that 
he receives remarkable kindnefs from God, has a fenfe of his 
infinite greatnefs, and that he is but nothing in cornpaiifon of 
him, furely this will naturally raife his gratitude and praife the 
higher, for kindnefs to one fo much inferior. A fenie of 
God's greatnefs had this effect upon Nebuchadnezzar, under 
the receipt of that extraordinary favor of his reflorarion, afier 
he had been driven from men, and had his dwelling with the 
bealls : a fenfe of God's exceeding greatnefs raiies his grati 
tude very high ; fo that lie does, in the moil lofty terms, extol 
and magnify God, and calls upon all the world to do it with him : 
and much more, if a natural man, at the fame time that he is 
greatly affected with God's infinite greatnefs and majefly, en 
tertains a ftrong conceit that this great God has made him his 
child and fpecial favourite, and promifed him eternal glory in 
his highefl love, will this have a tendency according to the 
courfe of nature, to raife his joy and praife to a great height. 

Therefore, it is beyond doubt, that too much weight has 
been laid, by many perfons of late, on difcoveries of God's 
greatnefs, awful majefly, and natural perfection, operating af 
ter this manner, without any real view of the holy, lovely ma- 
jefty of God. And experience does abundantly witnefs to w r hat 
reafon and fcripture declare as to this matter; there having 
been very many perfons, who have feemed to be overpowered 
with the greatnefs and awful majefty of God, and confequen- 
tially elevated in the manner that has been fpoken of, who have 
been very far from having appearances of a Chriilian fpirit and 
temper, in any manner of proportion, or fruits in practice in 
any wife agreeable ; but their difcoveries have worked in away 
contrary to the operation of truly fpiritual difcoveries. 

Not that a fenfe of God's greatnefs and natural attributes is 
not exceeding ufeful and neceilary. For, as I obferved before, 
this is implied in a manifeflatioa of the beauty of God's holi- 
nefs. Though that be fomething beyond it, it fuppofes it, as 
the greater fuppofes the lefs. And though natural men may 
have a fenfe of the natural perfections of God ; yet undoubted- 


Iy this is more frequent and common with the faints, than with 
natural men ; and giace tends to enable men to fee theie things 
in a better manner, than natural men do; and not only en 
ables them to fee God's natural attributes, but that beauty of 
thofe attributes, which (according to our way of conceiving of 
God] is derived from his holirieis. 

IV. Gracious affe&ions do arife from the mind's being en 
lightened, rightly and fpiritually to underlland or apprehend 
divine things. 

Holy affections are not heat without light ; but evermore 
anfe from fome information of the underftanding, fome fpiri- 
txzzl inftruSion that the mind receives, fome light or aftual 
knowlege. The child of God is graeioufly affe6kd, becaufe 
be fees and underftands fomething more of divine things than 
lie did before, more of God or Chrift, and of the glorious things 
exhibited in the gofpel ; he has fome clearer and better view 
than he had before, when he was not affected : either he re 
ceives fome underftanding of divine things that is new to him ; 
or has his former knowlege renewed after the view was de 
cayed ; i John iv. 7. " Every one that loveth, knoweth God." 
PhtL r. 9. " I pray that your love may abound more and more 
" in knowlege, and in all judgment." Rom.x. 2. "They have 
" a zeal of God, but not according to knowlege." Col. Hi. 10. 
*" The new man, which is renewed in knowlege." Pfal. xliii. 
3, 4. " O fend out thy light and thy truth ; let them lead nit; 
ee let them bring me unto thy holy hill." John vi. 45. " It 
K is written in the prophets, And they (hall be all taught of 
" God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and learned of 
'* fhe Father, cometh unto me." Knowlege is the key that 
fifft opens the hard heart and enlarges the affection.', and fo 
opens* the way for men into the kingdom of heaven : Lukexi. 
2. " Ye have taken away the key of knowlege." 

Now there are many affections which do not arife from any 
light in the underftanding. And when it is thus, it is a fure 
evidence that thefe affections are not fpi ritual, let them be ever 
fo high. * Indeed they have fome new appreherifions which 


* " Many that have had mighty ftrong afFedions at firft converfi- 
on, afterwards become dry, and wither, and confume, and pine, and 
die away : and now their hypocrifv is manifeft ; if not to all the world 



they had not before. Such is the nature of man, that it is 
impofiible his mind mould be affected, unlefs it be by fbme- 
thing that he apprehends, or that his mind conceives of. But 
in many perfons thofe apprehenfions or conceptions that they 
have, wherewith they are affecled, have nothing of the nature 
of knowlege or inftruclion in them. As forinftance; when 
a pei fon is affected with a lively idea, fuddenly excited in his 
mind, of fome fhape, or very beautiful pleafant form of coun 
tenance, or fome mining light, or other glorious outward 
appearance : here is fomething apprehended or conceived by 
the mind ; but there is nothing of the nature of inftruouon in 
it ; perfons become never the wifer by inch things, or more 
knowing about God, or a Mediator between God and man, 
or the way of falvation by Chrilt, or any thing contained in 
any of the doclrines of the gofpel. Perfons by thefe external 
ideas have no further acquaintance with God, as to any of the 
attributes or perfections of his nature; nor have they any fur 
ther underftanding of his word, or any of his ways or works. 
Truly fpiritual and gracious affeclions are not raifed after th : s 
manner ; thefe arife from the enlightening of the underftand 
ing to underftand the things that are taught of God and Chritt, 

by open profanenefs, yet to the difcerning eye of living Chnftians, 
by a formal, barren, unfavoury, unfruitful heart and courfe ; {e 
they never had light to conviction enough as yet. It is ilrange to 
fee fome people carried with mighty affection againftfin and hell, and 
after Chrift. And what is the hell you fear ? A dreadful place. 
What is Chrift ? They fcarce know fo much as devils do : but that 
is all. Oh truft them not ! Many have, and thefe 'will fall away td 
fome luft, or opinion, or pride, or world ; and the reafon is, they 
never had light enough, John v. 3$. " John was a burning and fhi- 
*' ning light, and they did joy in him for a feafon ;" yet glorious 
as it was, they faw not Chrift by it, efpecialiy not with divine light, 
It is rare to fee Chriftians full both of light and afFecftion. And there 
fore confider of this ; many a man has been well brought up, and i* 
of a fweet loving nature, mild and gentle, and harmlefs, likes and 
loves the beft tilings, and his meaning, and mind, and heart is good* 
and has more in heart than in (hew ; and fo hopes all fhall go well 
with him. I fay, there may lie greateft hypocrify under greateft af- 
fedUons ; efpecialiy if they want light. You mall be hardened la 
your hypocrify by them. I never liked violent afredHons and : 
but v only fuch as were dropped in by light ; becaufe thofe come from 
an external principle, and laft not, but thefe do. Men are not af 
frighted by the light of the fun, though clearer than the Hghtn:r>.^." 
Parable, Part I. p. 146. 


in a new manner, the coming to a new underftanding of the 
excellent nature of God, and his wonderful perfections, fome 
new view of Chriit in his fpiritual excellencies and fulnefs, or 
things opened to him in a new manner, that appertain to the 
way of Jalvation by Chrift, whereby he now fees how it is, 
and underftands thofe divine and fpiritual doctrines which once 
were foolifhnefs to him. Such enlightenings of the under- 
ftanding as thefe, are things entirely different in their nature, 
from ftrong ideas of fhapes and colours, and outward brightnefs 
andgiory, or founds and voices. That all gracious affeclions 
do arife from fome inftruction or enlightening of the under- 
ftanuing, is therefore a further proof, that affections which 
arife from fuch impreffion on the imagination, are not gracious 
affections, befides the things obferved before, which make this 

Hence alfo it appears, that afFeclions arifmg from texts of 
fcripture coming to the mind are vain, when no inftru&ion 
received in the underftanding from thofe texts, or any thing 
taught in thofe texts, is the ground of the affection, but the 
manner of their coming to the mind. When Chrift makes the 
fcripture a means of the heart's burning with gracious affec 
tion, it is by opening the fcriptures to their under/landings ; 
Luke xxiv. 32. " Did not our heart burn within us, while he 
' talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the fcrip- 
* tures ?" It appears alfo that the affection which is occafioned 
by the coming of a text of fcripture muft be vain, when the 
affection is founded on fomething that is fuppofed to be taught 
by it, which really is not contained in it, nor in any other 
fcripture ; becaufe fuch fuppofed inftrucliion is not real inftruc- 
tion, but a miftake, and mifapprehenfion of the mind. As 
for inftance, when perfons fuppofe that they are exprefly taught 
by fome fcripture coming to their minds, that they in particu 
lar are beloved of God, or that their fins are forgiven, that 
God is their father, and the like ; this is a miftake or rnifap- 
prehenfion ; for the fcripture no where reveals the individual 
perfons who are beloved, exprefly ; but only by confequence, 
by revealing the qualifications of perfons that are beloved of 
God : and therefore this matter is not to be learned from fcrip 
ture any other way than by confequence, and from thefe qua 
lifications; for things are not to be learned from the fcripture 
any other way than they are taught in the fcripture. 



Affections really arife from ignorance, rather than inflruc- 
tion, in thefc inflances which have been mentioned ; as like- 
wife in Fome others that might be mentioned. As fome, when 
they find themfelves free of fpeech in prayer, they call it God's 
being with them; and this affecls them more ; and fo their 
affections are fet a-going and increafed ; when they look not 
into the caufe of this freedom of fpeech, which may arife ma 
ny other ways befldes God's fpiritual prefence. So fome are 
much afiecled with fome apt thoughts that come into their 
minds about the fcripture, and call it the Spirit of God teach 
ing them. So they afcribe many of the workings of their own 
minds, which they have a high opinion of, and are pleafed and 
taken with, to the fpecial immediate influences of God's Spirit ; 
and fo are mightily affecled with their privilege. And there 
are fome inftances ofperfons, in whom it feems manifeft, that 
the firft ground of their affection is fome bodily fenfation. 
The animal fpirits, by fome caufe, (and probably fometimes by 
the devil) arefuddenly and unaccountably put into a very agree 
able motion, canfmg perfons to feel pleafantly in their bodies; 
the animal fpirits are put into fiich a motion as is wont to be 
connected with the exhilaration of the mind; and the foul, by 
the laws of the union of foul and body, hence feels plea- 
fare. The motion of the animal fpirits dees not fir ft arife from 
any affe&ion or apprehenfion of the mind whatsoever j but the 
very firil thing that is felt, is an exhilaration of the animal fpU 
rits, and a pleafant external fenfation, it may be in their breafts. 
Hence through ignorance, the perfon being furprized, begins to 
think, furely this is the Holy Ghoft coming into him. And 
then the mind begins to be afTe6}ed and raifed ; there is firft 
great joy ; and then many other affeclions, in a very tumultuous 
manner, putting all nature, both body and mind, into a migh 
ty ruffle. For though, as I obferved before, it is the foul only 
that is the- feat of the affethons ; yet this hinders not but that 
bodily fenfations may, in this manner, be an occa/ion of affec 
tions in the mind. 

And if mens religions affe&ions do truly arife from fome in- 
flruclion or light in the underftanding^ yet the afFeftion is not 
gracious, unleis the light which rs the ground of it be fpiritual. 
AfTeclions may be excited by that underftanding of things, 
which they obtain merely by human teaching, with the com 
mon improvement of the faculties of the mind. Men may be 
inuch affecled by knowlege of things of religion that they ob- 

P p tain 


tain this way ; as fome philofophers have been mightily affecl- 
ed, and ahnofl carried beyond themielves, by the difcoveries 
they have made in mathematicks and natural philofophy. 
So men may be much affecled from common illuminations of 
the Spirit of God, in which God affifts mens faculties to a 
greater degree of that kind of underiianding of religious mat 
ters, which they have in fome degree, by only the ordinary 
exercife and improvement of their own faculties. Such illu 
minations may much affeft the mind ; as in many whom we 
read of in fcripture, that were once enlightened : but thefe af- 
fe6lions are not fpiritual. 

There is fuch a thing, if the fcriptures are of any ufe to 
teach us any thing, as a fpiritual, fupernatural understanding 
of divine things, that is peculiar to the faints, and which thofe 
who are not faints have nothing of. It is certainly a kind of 
nnderftanding, apprehending or difcerning of divine things, 
that natural men have nothing of, which the apoflle fpeaks of, 
i Cor. ii. 14. " But the natural men receiveth not the things of 
" the Spirit of God ; for they are foolifhnefs unto him ; nei- 
" ther can he know them, becaufe they are fpiritually difcern- 
" ed." It is certainly a kind of feeing or difcerning fpiritual 
things peculiar to the faints, which is fpoken of, i John iii. 6. 
" Whofoever ftnneth, hath not feen him, neither known him.'* 

SJohn 11. " He that doth evil, hath not feen God." And 
ohn vi. 40. " This is the will of him that fent me, that eve- 
*' ry one that feeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have 
; everlafting life." Chap. xiv. 19. " The world feeth me no 
" more; but ye fee me." Chap. xvii. 3. "This is eternal life, 
' that they might know thee the only true God, and Jefus 
" Chrift whom thou haft fent." Matth. xi. 27. " No man 
" knoweth the Son, but the Father : neither knoweth any man i 
'* the Father, but the Son, and he to whomfoever the Son will 
*' reveal him." John xii. 45. " He that feeth me, feeth him 
" that fent me." Pfal. ix. 10. " They that know thy name, 
" will put their truft in thee." Phil. iii. 8. "I count all things 
" but lofs, for the excellency of the knowlege of Chrift Jefus 
' my Lord :" verf. 10. "That I may know him." And in 
numerable other places there are, all over the Bible, which 
(hew the fame. And that there is fuch a thing as an under- 
ftanding of divine things, which in its nature and kind is 
wholly different from all knowlege that natural men have, is 
evident from this, that there is an underftanding of divine 



tilings, which the fcripture calls fpiritual underflanding : Col. 
1.9. " We do not ceafe to pray for you, and to defire that you 
" may be filled with the knowlege of his will, in ail \vif- 
" dom and fpiritual underftanding." It has been already mown 
that that which is fpiritual, in the ordinary ufe of the word 
in the New Teftament, is entirely different in nature and 
kind, from all which natural men are, or can be the fubjecls 

Fram hence it may be furely inferred, wherein fpiritual un- 
derftanding confifts. For if there be in the faints a kind of 
apprehenfion or pe.ception, which is in irs nature perfectly 
diverfe from all that natural men have, or that it is poffible 
they mould have, until they have a new nature ; it muft con- 
fiit in their having a certain kind of ideas orfenfations of mind, 
which are fimply diverfe from all that is or can be in the minds 
of natural men. And that is the fame thing as to fay, that 
it confifts in the fenfations of a new fpiritual fen fe, which the 
fouls of natural men have not ; as is evident by what has been 
before, once and again obferved. But I have already mown 
what that new fpiritual fenfe is, which the faints have given 
them in regeneration, and what is the object of it. I have 
mown that the immediate object of it is the fupreme beauty 
and excellency of the nature of divine things, as they are in 
themfelves. And this is agreeable to the fcripture : the apoftle 
very plainly teaches, that the great thing difcovered by fpiritual 
light, and underifood by fpiritual knowlege, is the glory of divine 
things, 2 Cor. iv 3, 4. " But if our gofpel be hid, it is hid to 
" them that are /oft : in whom the god of this world hath blind- 
" ed the mindsof them that believe not, leaft the light of the 
" glorious goftel of Chrifl, who is the image of God, fhould 
'* Ihineunto pn :" together with verf. 6. " For God, who 
" commande/ the light to fhine out of darknefs, hath mined in- 
" to our iWts, to give the light of the knowlege of the glory 
" of God, i/the face of Jefus Chrift." And chap, iii, 18. pre 
ceding, " Jut we all with open face, beholding as in a glafs 
' the glon'of the Lord, are changed into the fame image, from 
glory tc'glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." And it 
mult need be fo, for as has been before obferved, the fcripture 
often teases, that all true religion fummarily confifts in the love 
of divine things. And therefore that kind of underftanding or 
knowle/e, which is the proper foundation of true religion, muft 
be the -nowlege of the lovdine/s of divine things. For doubt- 
!.cfs, t'at knowlege which is the proper foundation of low* is 



the knowlege of lovelinefs. What that beauty or lovelinefs of 
divine things is, which is the proper and immediate objtft of 
afpiritual fenfe of mind, was {hewed under the lail head infilled 
on, viz. That it is the beauty of their moral perfeftion. There 
fore it is in the view or fenfe of this, that fpiritual underitaucl- 
ing does more immediately and primarily coniiii. And indeed 
it is plain it can be nothing elfe ; for (as has been ftio\vn) then: 
is nothing pertaining to divine things, befides the beauty ot their 
moral excellency, and thofe properties and qualities of divine 
things which this beauty is the foundation of, but what natural 
men and devils can fee and know, and will know fully and clearly 
to all eternity. 

From what has been faid, therefore, we come necerTarily to 
this conclufun, concerning that wherein fpiritual understanding 
confifts ; viz. That it coniifts in a fenfe of the heart, of tilt 
fitpreme beauty and fwe.etnefs of the holinefs or moral pe.rftB.ion 
of divine things, together with all that difcermng and knowltgc 
of things of religion, that depends upon y and Jlowsjrom fuck n 

Spiritual underftanding confifts primarily in a Jin ft of heart 
of that fpiritual beauty. I fay, a ft'nfe of heart ; for it is not 
{peculation merely that is concerned in this kind of underfland- 
ing ; nor can there be a clear diitin&ion made between the 
two faculties of undemanding and will, as acting diftinclly 
and feparately, in this matter. When the wind is fenfible of 
the fweet beauty and amiablenefs of a thing, that implies a 
ienfiblenefs of fweetnefs and delight in the pretence of the idea 
of it : and this fenfiblenefs of the amiablenefs or delightful- 
nefs of beauty, carries in the very nature of it, the fenfe of the 
heart ; or an efFe<l and imprellion the foul is th: fubjecfc of, as 
a fubftance poffefTed of tafte, inclination and will 

There is a diftin&ion to be made between a mere notional 
under/landing, wherein the mind only beholds hings in the 
exercife of a fpeculative faculty ; and the Jen/e / the heart, 
wherein the mind does not vi\\y f peculate and behold. \>\\\. relifhes 
and feels. That fort of knowlege, by which a -nan has a 
fenfible perception of amiablenefs and loathfomer.ifs, or of 
fwtetnefs and naufeoufnels, is not juft the fame fort of know 
lege with that, by which he knows what a triangs is, and 
what a fquare is. The one is mere fpeculative kno\\>g e the 
other fenfible knowlege, in'which more than the mere/ntdleft 
is concerned ; the heart is the proper fiibject of it, or th foul as 
a being that not only beholds, but has inclination, and ispleaf- 
ed or difpleafed. And yet there is the nature of inftrfiion 



in it ; as he that has perceived the fwcet tafteof honey, b 
much more about it, than he who has only looked upon ; nd 
felt of it. 

The apoille feems to make a diftinction between .ntere fpr- 
culative knowlege of the things of religion, and i, 
ledge, in calling that the, form cf knowlege t and of ihe. tr; 
Rom. ii. 20. " Which halt the fonn of knowlr-c, and of the 
lf truth in the law." The latter is often reprelented bv reiiih- 
ing, fmelliiig, or tailing; 2 Cor. ii. 14. " iMow lluuiks be to 
*' God, which always car.feth us to triumph in Chrifl J 
" and maketh manifeit the favor of his knov.lege in every place/* 
Matth. xvi. 23. " Thou favoureftnot tlie things that be of God, 
" but thofe things that be of men." i Pet. ii. 2, 3. " As new 
< born babes deiire the fmcere milk of the word, that ye may 
t( grow thereby ; if fo be ye have tafted that the Lord is praci- 
'* ous." Cant. i. 3. " Becaufe of the favour of thy good oint- 
t( ments, thy name is as ointmsnt poured forth, therefore do the 
" virgins love thee :" compared with i John ii. 20. " But ye 
" have an un&ion from the holy One, and ye know all things." 
Spiritual underf Landing primarily con (if Is in \.hisfen/e,or tajle. 
of the moral beauty of divine things ; fo that no knowlege can 
be called fpintual,any further than it arifes from this, and has 
this in it. But fccondarily, it includes all that di/cerning and 
knowlege of things of religion, which depends upon, andjlows 
fromjuch afenje. 

When the true beauty and amiablenefs of the holinefs or true 
moral good that is in divine things, is difcovered to the foul, it 
as it were opens a new world to its view. This fhews the 
glory of all the perfections of God, and of every thing; apper 
taining to the divine Being. For as was obfervecl before, the 
beauty of all arifes from God's moral perfection. This fhews 
the glory of all God's works, both of creation and providence. 
For it is the fpecial glory of them, that God's holinefs, ri^h- 
tecufnefs, faithfulnefs, and good nefs are fo manifefted in them; 
and without thefe. moral perfections, the] be no glory 

in that power and fkill with which the 
glorifying of God's moral perfections, is 
the works of God's hands. By this fcnfe of th 
of divine things, is uriderftood the fufficiency of Cnriifc as a Me 
diator : for it is only by the difcovery of the beauty of the moral 
perfection of Chrift, that the believer is let into the knowlege 
of the excellency of his perfon, fo as to know any thing more of 
it than the devils do : and it is only by the knowlege of the ex - 
ccliency of Quid's perfon, that any know his fi y as a 

THE F o r J R T ii SIGN Part III. 

Mediator ; for the latter depends upon, and arifes from the for 
mer. It is by feeing the excellency of Chriit's perfon, that the 
faints are made fenfible of the precioufnefs of his blood, and its 
farriciency to atone for fin : for therein coniifts the precioiifnefs 
of ChrifVs blood, that it is the blood of fo excellent and amiable 
a perfon. And on this depends the meritorioufnefs of his obe 
dience, and fufficiency and prevalence of his intercellion. By 
this flight of the moral beauty of divine things, is feen the beauty 
of the way of falvation by Chrill ; for that conlills in the beau 
ty of the moral perfections of God, which wonderfully mines 
forth in every ftep of this method of falvation, irom beginning 
to end. By this is feen the fitnefs and iuitablenefs of this way ; 
for this wholly confifts in its tendency to deliver us from fin and 
heli, and to bring us to the happinefs which confiits in the pof- 
feifion and enjoyment of moral good, in a way fweetly agreeing 
with God's moral perfections. And in the way's being con 
trived fo as to attain thefe ends, confifts the excellent wifdom of 
that way. By this is feen the excellency of the word of God. 
Take away all the moral beauty and fwectnefs in the word, and 
the Bible is left wholly a dead letter, a dry, lifelefs, taftelefs 
thing. By this is feen the true foundation of our duty, the 
worfhinefs of God to be fo eiteemed, honoured, loved, fubmit- 
ted to, and ferved, as he requires of us, and the amiablenefs of 
the duties thcmfelves that are required of us. And by this is 
feen the true evil of fin : for he who fees the beauty of holinefs, 
muft neceflarily fee the hatefulnefs of fin, its contrary. By this 
men imderfhnd the true glory of heaven, which confifts in the 
beauty and happinefs that is in holinefs. By this is feen the 
amiablenefs and happinefs of both faints and angels. He that 
fees the beauty of holinefs, or true moral good, lees thegreatefl 
and mod important thing in the world, which is the iulnefs of 
all things, without which all the world is empty, no better than 
nothing, yea, worfe than nothing. Unlefs this is feen, nothing 
is feen that is worth the feeing ; for there is no other true excel 
lency or beauty. Unlefs this be underibocl, nothing is under- 
ilood that is worthy of the exercife of the noble faculty of under- 
ihnding. This is the beauty of the Godhead, and the divinity 
of divinity, (if I may fo fpeak,) the good of the infinite foun 
tain of good ; without which God himfelf (if that were pollible 
to be) would be an infinite evil ; without which, we ourfclves 
had better never have been ; and without which there had bet 
ter have been no being. He therefore in effect knows nothing, 
that knows not this ; his knowlege is but the fhadow of know- 
le-e, or the form of knowl-ge, as the apoftle calls it. Well 



therefore may the fcripture reprefent thofe who are defiitule of 
that fpi ritual fenfe, by which is perceived the beauty of holi- 
nefs, as totally blind, deaf, and fenfelefs, yea, dead. And well 
may regeneration, in which this divine fenfe is given to the 
foul by its Creator, be reprefenled as opening the blind eyes, 
and raifing the dead, and bringing a perfon into a new world. 
For if what has been faid be confidered, it will be manifeii, 
that when a perfon has this fenfe and knowlege given him, h-j 
will view nothing as he did before; though before he knewa&\ 
things after the flefli, yet henceforth he, will know them jo r;j 
more ; and he is become, a i?ezu creature, old things are 
away, behold, all things are become new ; agreeable to c Cor. 
v. 16, 17. 

And befides the things that have been already mentioned, 
there arifes from this fenfe of fpiritual beauty, all true experi 
mental knowlege of religion, which is of kfelf as it were a 
new world of knowlege. He that fees not the beauty of ho'li- 
nefs, knows not what one of the graces of God's Spirit is, be 
is deftitute of any idea or conception of all gracious exercifes of 
foul, and all holy comforts and delights, and all effecis of the 
faving influences of the Spirit of God on the heart ; and fo is 
ignorant of the greateit works of God, the moft important and 
glorious eflfecls of his power upon the creature; and alfo is 
wholly ignorant of the faints as faints, he knows not what 
they are ; and in eflecl is ignorant of the whole fpiritual 

Things being thus, it plainly appears, that God's implant 
ing that fpiritua! fupernatural fenfe which has been fpoken of, 
makes a great change in a man. And were it not for the very 
imperfect degree, in which this fenfe is commonly given at 
firft, or the (mail degree of this glorious light that firft dawns 
upon the foul ; the change made by this fpiritual opening of the 
eyes in converfion, would be much greater, and more remark 
able every way, than if a man, who had been born blind, and 
with only the other four fenfes, mould continue fo a long time, 
and then at once fliould have the fenfe of feeing imparted to 
him in the midft of the clear light of the fun, mfcovering a 
world of vifible objects. For though fight be more noble than 
any of the other external fenfes, yet this fpiritual fenfe which 
has been fpoken of, is infinitely more noble than that, or any 
other principle of difcerning that a man naturally has, and the 
pbjefi of this fenfe infinitely greater and more important. 


304 T H E F o u R T H S I G N Part 1IL 

This fort of underflanding or knowlege, is that knowlcge 
of divine things from whence all truly gracious arlecrions do 
proceed; by which therefore all affections are to be tried. 
Thofe afFedlions that arife wholly from any other kind of know 
lcge, or do re full from any other kind of appreheniions of 
mind, are vain, t 

From what has been faid, may be learned wherein the moft 
rilVntial diiTerence lies between that light or underflanding 
v/hich is given by the common influences of the Spirit of God, 
on the hearts of natural men, and thatfaving inftruclion which 
is given to the faints. The latter primarily and molt effen- 
tially lies in beholding the holy beauty that is in divine things ; 
which is the only true moral good, and which the foul of fallen 
man is by nature totally blind to. The former eonfifts only in 
a further understanding, through the a ill fiance of natural prin 
ciples, of thofe tilings which men may know, in fome mcafure, 
I'V the alone ordinary exercife of their faculties. And thi* 
knowlege conliils only in the knowlege of thofe things per- 

. f " Take heed of contenting yourfelves with every kind of know- 
leg?. Do not worfhip every image of your own heads; efpecially 
you that fall fhort of truth, or the knowlege of it. For when you 
have fome, there may be yet that wanting, which may make you 
iincere. There are many men of great knowlege, able to teach them- 
felves, and others too ; and yet their hearts are unfound. How comes 
tills to pafs ? Is it becaufc they have fo much light ? No ; but be- 
cnule they want much. And therefore content not yourfelves with 
every knowlege. There is fome knowlege which men have by the 
light of nature, (which leaves them without excufe) from the book 
of creation ; fome by power of education ; fome by the light of the 
law, v/k-^eby men know their fin and evils; fome by the letter of 
the gofpel ; and fo men may know much, and fpeak well ; and fo in 
feeing, fee not : fome by the Spirit, and may fee much, fo as to 
prophecy in Chriil's name, and yet bid depart, Matth. vii. New 
there is a //>&/ efgh>y, whereby the cleft fee things in another man 
ner : to tell you how, they cannot : it is the beginning of light in 
heaven : and the fame Spirit that fills Chrift, filling their rninds, that 
they knov/, by this anointing, all things ; which if ever you have, 
you nrafl become babes and fools in your own eyes. , God will never 
write his law in your minds, until all the fcribblings of it are blotted 
oat. Account all your knowiege lofs for the gaining of this. It is 
fad to fee many a man pleafing himfclf in his own dreaming delufi- 
ons ; yet the poor creature in feeing, fees not ; which is God's hca- 
ry curfe upon men under grcateft means, and which lays ail wafe 
a:id defolate." Skfcrd's Paral'ie, Part. I. p. 147* 


taining to religion, which are natural. Thus for infiance, ia 
thofe awakenings and convictions of confcience, that natural 
men are often fubjecl to, the Spirit of God gives no knowlege 
of the true moral beauty which is in divine things ; but only 
affifts the mind to a clearer idea of the guilt of fin, or its re 
lation to a punimmerit, and connection with the evil offufftr- 
ing, (without any fight of its true moral evil, or odioulnefs as 
fin,) and a clearer idea of the jwtana/perfeclions of God, where 
in confifts, not his holy beauty and glory, but his awful and 
terrible greatnefs. It is a clear fight of this, that will fully a- 
waken the confciences of wicked men at the day of judgment, 
without any fpiritual light. And it is a leflcr degree of the 
fame, that awakens the confciences of natural men, without 
fpiritual light, in this world. The fame difcoveries are in fome 
meafure given in the confcience of an awakened {inner in this 
world, which will be given more fully in the confciences of 
fmners at the day of judgment. The fame kind of fight or 
apprehenfion of God, in a leffer degree makes awakened fin- 
ners in this world fenfible of the dreadful guilt of fin, againih 
fo great and terrible a God, and fenfible of its amazing pu- 
nifhment, and fills them with fearful apprehenfions of divine 
wrath ; that will thoroughly convince all wicked men, of the 
infinitely dreadful nature and guilt of fin, and aftoniih them 
with apprehenfions of wrath, when Chrift fhall come in the 
glory of his pbwer and majefty, and 'every eye (hall fee him, 
and all the kindreds of the earth fhall wail becaufe of him. 
And in thofe common illuminations, which are fomctimes 
given to natural men, exciting in them fome kind of religious 
defire, love and joy, the mind is only affifled to a clearer appre 
henfion of the natural good that is in divine things. Thus 
fometimes, under common illuminations, men are raifed with 
the ideas of the natural good that is in heaven ; as its outward 
glory, its eafe, its honor and advancement, a being there the 
objects of the high favour of God, and the great refpeclofmen 
and angels, ?c. So there are many things exhibited in the 
gofpel, concerning God and Chrift, and the way of falvation, 
that have a natural good in them, which fnifs the natural prin 
ciple of felf-love. Thus in that great goodnefs of God to fm 
ners, and the wonderful dying love of Chrift, there is a natu 
ral good, which all men love, as they love themfelves ; as well 
as a fpiritual and holy beauty, which is taen only by the regene 
rate. Therefore there are many things eppcrraining to the word 

Q q of 


of God's grace delivered in the gofpel, which may caufe natu 
ral men, when they hear it, anon with joy to receive it. All 
that love which natural men have to God, and Chrift, and 
Chriftian virtues, and good men, is not from any fight of the 
amiablenefs of the holinefs, or true moral excellency of thefe 
things ; but only for the lake of the natural good there is in them. 
All natural mens hatred of fin, is as much from principles of 
nature, as mens hatred of a tyger for his rapacioufnefs, or their 
averfion to a ferpent for hispoifon and hurtfulnefs : and all their 
love of Chriftian virtue, is from no higher principle than their 
love of a man's good nature, which appears amiable to natural 
men ; but no otherwife than filver and gold appears amiable in 
the eyes of a merchant, or than the blacknefs of the foil is beau- 
tiful in the eyes of the farmer. 

From what has been faid of the nature of fpiritual under- 
Handing, it appears, that fpiritual uriderftanding does not con- 
fift in any new doctrinal knowlege, or in having fuggefted to 
the mind any new propofuion, not before read or heard of : for 
it is plain, that this fuggefting of new propofitions, is a thing 
entirely diverfe from giving the mind a new tafte or relifh of 
beauty and fweetnefs. * It is alfo evident, that fpiritual know 
lege does not confift in any new doctrinal explanation of any 
part of the fcripture ; for ftill, this is but doctrinal knowlege, 
or the knowlege of propofitions ; the doctrinal explaining of 
any part of fcripture, is only giving us to underftand, what 
are the propofitions contained or taught in that part of fcrip 

Hence it appears, that the fpiritual under/landing of the fcrip 
ture, does not confift in opening to the mind the myftical mean 
ing of the fcripture, in its parables, types and allegories ; for 
this is only a doctrinal explication of the fcripture. He that 


* Calvin, in his Institutions, Book I. Chap. ix. i. fays,-" It is 
not the office of the Spirit that is promifed us, to make new and be 
fore unheard-of revelations, or to coin fome new kind of doctrine, 
which tends to draw us away from the received doctrine of the gof 
pel ; but to feal^and confirm to us that very doctrine which is by the 
gofpd." And in the fame place he fpeaks of fome, that in thofe'days 
maintained the contrary notion, pretending to be immediately led by the 
Spirit, as perfons that were governed ly a moft haughty felf conceit ^ and 
vot Jo properly to be looked upon GS only labouring under a miftake,as drivett 
by a fort ofrainr J ~ - f - 


explains what is meant by the ftony ground, and the feed's fpring- 
ing up fuddenly, arid quickly withering away, only explains 
what propofitions or doclrines are taught in it. So he that ex 
plains what is typified by Jacob's ladder, and the angels of God 
afcending and defcending on it, or what was typified by Jo- 
fhua's leading Ifrael through Jordan, only {hews what propo 
fitions are hid in thefe paflages. And many men can explain 
thefe types, who have no fpiritual knowlege. It is poflible 
that a man might know how to interpret all the types, parables, 
enigmas, and allegories in the Bible, and not have one beam 
of fpiritual light in his mind ; becaufe he may not have the 
lead degree of that fpiritual fenfe of the holy beauty of divine 
things which has been fpoken of, and may fee nothing of this 
kind of glory in any thing contained in any of thefe myfteries, 
or any other part of the fcripture. It is plain, by what the 
apoftle fays, that a man might underftand all fuch myfteries, 
and have no faving grace ; i Cor. xiii. 2. " And though I 
" have the gift of prophecy, and underftand all myfteries, and 
" all knowlege, and have not charity, it profiteth rne nothing." 
They therefore are very fooiifh, who are exalted in an opinion 
of their own fpiritual attainments, from notions that come into 
their minds, of the myftical meaning of thefe and thofe paffages 
of fcripture, as though it was a fpiritual underftanding of thefe 
paffages, immediately given them by the Spirit of God, and 
hence have their affeclions highly raifed : and what has been 
{aid, mews the vanity of fuch affections. 

From what has been faid. it is alfo evident, that it is not 
fpiritual knowlege, for perfons to be informed of their duty, 
by having it immediately fuggefted to their minds, that fuch 
arid fuch outward aclions or deeds are the will of God. If we 
fuppofe that it is truly God's manner thus to fignify his will 
to his people, by immediate inward fuggeftions, fuch fugge- 
ftions have nothing of the nature of fpiritual light. Such kind 
of knowlege would only be one kind of doctrinal knowlege : 
a proportion concerning the will of God, is as properly a doc 
trine of religion, as a propofitiori concerning the nature of God^ 
or a work of God : and an having either of thefe kinds of pro 
pofitions, or any other propofition, declared to a man, either 
by fpeech or inward fuggeftion, differs vaftly from an having 
the holy beauty of divine things manifefted to the foul, werein 
fpiritual knowlege does moft efTentially confift. Thus there 
was no fpiritual light in Balaam ; though he had the will of 



God immediately fuggefted to him by the Spirit of God from 
lime to time, concerning the way that he mould go, and what 
he mould do and fay. 

It is manifeft therefore, that a heing led and directed in 
this manner, is not that holy and fpi ritual leading of the Spirit 
of God, which is peculiar to the faints, and a diitinguilhing 
mark of the fons of God, fpoken of Rom. viii. 14. " For as 
" many as are led by the Spirit of God, are the fons of God." 
Gal. v. 18. "But if ye be led by the Spiiit, ye are not under 
" the law." 

And if perfons have thewill of God concerning their attions, 
fuggefted to them by fome text of fcripture, fuddenly and ex 
traordinarily brought to their minds, which text, as the words 
lay in the Bible before they came to their minds, related to the 
aftion and behaviour of fome other perfon, but they fuppofe, 
as God fent the words to them, he intended fomethmg further 
by them, and meant fuch a particular a&ion of theirs ; I fay, 
if perfons fhould have the will of God thus fuggefted to them 
with texts of fcripture, it alters not the cafe. The fuggeflion 
being accompanied with an apt text of fcripture, does not make 
the fuggeftion to be the nature of fpiritual inftruclion. As 
for inftance, if a perfon in New-England, on fome occafion, 
xvere at a lofs whether it was his duty to go into fome popifh or 
heathenifh land, where he was like to be expofed to many dif 
ficulties and dangers, and mould pray to God that he would 
fhew him the way of his duty; and after earned prayer, fhould 
have thofe words which God fpake to Jacob, Gen. xlvi. fud 
denly and extraordinarily brought to his mind, as if they were 
fpoken to him ; " Fear not to go down into Egypt ; and I will 
*' go with thee; and I will alfo furely bring thee up again." 
In which words, though as they lay in the Bible before they 
came to his mind, they related only to Jacob, and his behavior; 
yet he fuppofes that God has a further meaning, as they were 
brought and applied to him ; that thus they are to be under- 
flood in a new fenfe, that by Egypt is to be underfiood this par 
ticular country he has in his mind, and that the aftiori intended 
is his going thither, and that the meaning of thepromifeis, that 
God would bring him back into New-England again. There 
is nothing of the nature of a fpiritual or gracious leading of the 
Spirit in this; for there is nothing of the nature of fpiritual 
under/landing in it. Thus to underftand texts of fcripture, is 
KOI t have a fpiritual underftand ing of them. Spiritually to 



underftand the fcripture, is rightly to underftand what it in the 
fcripture, and what was in it before it was unuerfloocl; it is to 
underftand rightly, what ufed to be contained in the meaning of 
it, and not the making a new meaning. When the mind is 
enlightened fpiiitttaily and rightiy to understand the fcripture, 
it is enabled to fee that in the fcripture, which before was nut 
feen, by nafon of blindnefs. But if it was by reafon of blind- 
nefs, that is an evidence that the fame meaning was in it be 
fore, otherwife it would have blindnefs ilot to fee it ; 
it is no blindnefs not to fee a meaning which is not there. 
Spiritually enlightening the eyes to underftand the fcripture. is 
to open the eyes, PfaL cxix. 18. " Open thou mine eyes, that I 
** may behold wondrous things out of thy law ;'' which argues 
that the reafon why tjie fame was not feen in the fcripture be 
fore, was, that the eyes vfcrcjkut ; which would not be the 
cafe, if the meaning that is now underftood was not there be 
fore, but is now newly added to the fpriptufe, by the manner 
of the fcripture 's coming to my mind. This making a new 
meaning to the fcripture, is the fame thing as making a new 
fcripture; it is properly adding to the word, which is threaten* 
ed with fo dreadful acurfe. Spiritually to underfund the fcrip 
ture, is to have the eyes of the mind opened, to behold the won 
derful fpiritual excellency of the glorious things contained in 
the true meaning of it, and that always were contained in it, 
ever fince it was written : to behold the amiable and bright 
rnanifeftations of the divine perfections, and of the excellency 
and fufficiency of Chrift, and the excellency and fuitablenefs of 
the way of falvation by Chrift, and the fpiritual glory of the 
precepts and promifes of the fcripture, &c. which things are 
and always were in the Bible, and would have been feen before, 
if it had not been for blindnefs, without having any new fenfe 
added, by the words being fent by God to a particular perfou, 
andfpoken anew to him, with a new meaning. 

And as to a gracious leading of the Spirit^ it confifts in two 
things ; partly in injlruciing a perfori in his duty by the Spirit, 
and partly in powerfully inducing him to comply with that in- 
{Irucliori. But fo far as the gracious leading of the Spirit lies 
in inftruftion, it confifts in a perfon's being guided by a fpiri 
tual and diftinguifhing taile of that which has in it true mon-l 
beauty. I have fhewn that fpiritual knowlege primarily con- 
fids in a tafte or relilh of the amiablenefs and beauty of that 
-which is truly good and holy: this holy rclifh is a thing ihu 



difcerns and diflingui flies between good and evil, between holy 
and unholy, without being at the trouble of a train of reafon- 
ing* As he who has a true reliih of external beauty, knows 
\vhat is beautiful by looking upon it ; he ftands in no need of 
a train of reaioning about the proportion of the features, in or 
der to determine whether that which he fees be a beautiful 
countenance or no ; he needs nothing but only the glance of 
his eye. He who has a rectified muficai ear, knows whether 
the found he hears be true harmony; he does not need firft to 
be at the trouble of the reafonings of a mathematician, about 
the proportion of the notes. He that has a rectified palate, 
knows what is good food, as foon as he taftes it, without the 
rc a afon"mg of a phyfician about it. There is a holy beauty and 
fweetnefs in words and aftions, as well as a natural beauty in 
countenances and founds, and fweetnefs in food; Job. xii. 11. 
" Doth riot the ear try words, and the mouth tafte his meet?" 
When a holy and amiable a&ion is fuggefted to the thoughts 
of a holy foul; that foul, if in the lively exercife of its fpiruual 
tafte, at once fees a beauty in it, and fo inclines to it, and clo- 
fes with it. On the contrary, if an unworthy unholy action 
be fuggefted to it, its fanftined eye fees no beauty in it, and is 
not pleafed with it; its fanclified tafte relifhes no fweetnefs in 
it, but on the contrary, it is naufeous to it. Yea its holy tafte 
and appetite leads it to think of that which is truly lovely, and 
naturally fuggefts it ; as a healthy tafte and appetite naturally 
{"tiggefts the idea of its proper object. Thus a holy perfon is 
led by the Spirit, as he is inftru6ted and led by his holy tafte, 
and difpofition of heart ; whereby, in the lively exercife of 
grace, he eafily diftinguifhes good arid evil, and knows at once 
what is a fuitable amiable behaviour towards God, and towards 
man, in this cafe and the other; and judges what is right, as 
it were fpontaaeoufly, and of himfelf, without a particular 
deduction, by any other arguments than the beauty that is feen, 
and goodnefs that is tafted. Thus Chrift blames the Pharifees, 
that they did not, even of their ownfdves, judge what was right, 
without needing miracles to prove it, Luke xii. 57. The apof- 
t!e feems plainly to have refpecl 10 this way of judging of fpi- 
ritual beauty, in Rom. xii. 2. " Be ye transformed by the 
" renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, 
** and perfe6r, and acceptable will of God." 

There is fuch a thing zsgood tafte of natural beauty, (which 
learned men often freak of,) that is excrcifed about temporal 



things, in judging of them ; as about the juftnefs of a fpeech, 
the goodnefs of ftyle, the beauty of a poem, the gracefulnefs of 
deportment, &c. A lale great philofopher of our nation, 
writes thus upon it*; "To have a tafte, is to give things 
" their real value, to be touched with the good, to be (hocked 
*' with the ill ; not to be dazzled with falfe luilres, but in 
" fpight of all colours, and every thing that might deceive 
*' or arnufe, to judge foundly. Taftt and judgment then 
11 fhould be the fame thing; and yet it is eafy to difcern a 
" difference. The judgment forms its opinions from reflec- 
*' tion : the reafon on this occafion fetches a kind of circuit, 
" to arrive at its end ; it fuppofes principles, it draws confe- 
" quences, and it judges; but not without a thorough know - 
" lege of the cafe ; fo that after it has pronounced, it is rea- 
" dy to render a reafon of its decrees. Good tajh obferves 
" none of thefe formalities ; ere it has time to confult, it has 
" taken its fide ; as foon as ever the object is prefented it, 
" the impreflion is made, the fentiment formed, a(k no more 
" of it. As the ear is wounded with a harm found, as the. 
" fmell is focthed with an agreeable odour, before ever the 
" reafon have meddled with thofe obje6ts to judge of them, 
" fo the tajh opens itfelf at once, and prevents all reflection. 
" They may come afterwards to confirm it, and difcover the 
" fecret reafons of its conduft; but it was not in its power to 
" wait for them. Frequently it happens not to know them at 
" all, and what pains foever it ufes, cannot difcover what it was 
" determined it to think as it did. This conduct is very dif- 
" ferent from that the judgment obferves in its decifi <.:: 
*' unlefs we chufe to fay, that good tafte is as it were a firft. 
" motion, or a kind of iriftincT; of right reafon, which hurries 
" on with rapidity, and conduces more fecurely than all the 
" reafonings fhe could make ; it is a firft glance of the eve, 
" which difcov: rs to us the nature and relations of things in a 
" moment." 

Now as there is fuch a kind of taflc of the mind as tfeis, 
which philofophers fpeak of, whereby perfons are guided 111 
their judgment, of the natural beauty, gracefulnefs, propriety, 
noblenefs and fublimity of fpeeches and actions, whereby they 
judge as it were by the glance of the eye, or by inward fen ra 
tion, and the firft impreffion of the objed ; fo there is likewifo 


* Chambers's Didionary, under the vrord TASTE. 


fuch a thing as a divine tajle, given and maintained by the 
Spirit of God, in the hearts of the faints, whereby they are in 
like manner led and guided in difcerning and diftinguifhing 
the true fpiritual and holy beauty of actions ; and that moie 
eafily, readily, and accurately, as they have more or lefs of the 
Spirit of God dwelling in them. And thus the fon s of God art 
led by the Spirit oj God, in their behaviour in the world. 

A holy difpofction and fpiritual tafle, where grace is flrong 
and hvely, will enable a foul to determine what aciions are 
right and becoming Chriflians, not only more fpeedily, but 
far more exactly, than the greateft abilities without it. This 
may be illuftrated by the manner in which fome habits of mind, 
and difpofitions'of heart, of a nature inferior to true grace, 
will teach and guide a man in his aftions. As for inftance, if 
a man be a very good natured man, his good nature will teach 
him better how to acl: benevolently amongft mankind, and 
will direct him, on every occafion, to thofe fpecches and ac 
tions, which are agreeable to rules of goodnefs, than the ftrongeft 
reafon \viii a man of a rriorofe temper. So if a man's heart 
be under the influence of an entire friendfhip, and moil endear 
ed affeclion to another ; though he be a man of an indifferent 
capacity, yet this habit of his mind will direcl him, far more 
readily and exaclly, to a fpeech and deportment, or manner of 
behaviour, which {hall in all refpe&s be fweet and kind, and 
agreeable to a benevolent difpofition of heart, than the greateft 
capacity without it. He has as it were a fpirit within him, 
that guides him ; the habit of his mind is attended with a tafte, 
by which he immediately relifhes that air and mien which is 
benevolent, and dif relifhes the contrary, and caufes him to 
diftinguiOi between one and the other in a moment, more pre- 
cifely, than the molt accurate reafonings can find out in many 
hours. As the nature and inward tendency of a ftone, or other 
heavy body, that is let fall from a loft, fliev/s the way to the 
centre of the earth, more exafily in an inftant, than the abiefl 
mathematician, without it, could determine, by his moft accu 
rate observations, in a whole day. Thus it is that a fpiritual 
difpofition and fade teaches and guides a man in his behaviour in 
the world. So an eminently humble, or meek, or charitable dif 
pofition, will direl a perfon of mean capacity to fuch a be 
haviour, as is agreeable to Chriftian rules of humility, mcek- 
nefs and charity, far more readily and precifely, than the moft 
diligent ftudy, and elaborate reafonings, of a man of the ftrongeft 



faculties, who has not a Chriftian fpirit within him. So alfo 
will a fpirit of love to God, and holy fear and reverence to 
wards God, and filial confidence in God, and an heavenly 
difpofition, teach and guide a man in his hehaviour. 

It is an exceeding difficult thing for a wicked man, deflitute 
of Chriftian principles in his heart, to guide him, to know 
how to demean hirnfelf like a Chrifliari, with the life, and 
beauty, and heavenly fweetnefs of a truly holy humble, Chrift* 
like behaviour. He knows not how to put on thefe garments, 
neither do they fit him ; Eccl. x. 2, 3. " A wife man's heart 
" is at his right hand ; but a fool's heart is at his left. Yea 
" alfo, when he that is a fool walkcth by the way, his wifdom 
" faileth him, and he faith to every one that he is a fool :" with 
verf. 15. " The labor of the foolifli wearieth every one of 
" them, becaule he knowcth not how to go to the city." Prov. 
x. 32. " The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable." 
Chap. xv. 2. " The tongue of the wife ufeth kriowlege aright : 
11 but the mouth of fools poureth out foo-lifhnefs." And chap, 
xvi. 23. ** The heart of the righteous teacheth his mouth* end 
" addeth learning to his lips." 

The faints in^ thus judging of actions by a fpintual tafte, 
have not a particular recourfe to the expre/s rules of God's 
word, with refpe-hl to every word and aftion that is before 
them, the good or evil of which they thus judge of: but yet 
their tafte itfelf in general, is lubject to the rule of God's word, 
and rnull be tried by that, and a right reafoning upon it. As a 
man of a rectified palate judges of particular morfels by his 
tafte ; but yet his palate itfelf muft be judged of, whether it be 
right or no, by certain rules and reafons. But a fpiritual ta, 
of foul, mightily helps the foul, in its reafonings on the word 
of God, and in judging of the true meaning of its rules ; as it 
removes the prejudices of a depraved appetite, and naturally 
leads the thoughts in the right channel, cafls a light on the 
word of God, and caufes the true meaning mod naturally to 
come to mind, through the harmony there is between the dif- 
pofition and reiifh of a faritified foui, and the true meai 
of the rules of God's word. Yea, this harmony tends to briruj 
the texts themfelves to mind, on proper occafions ; as the par 
ticular flate of the ftomach and palate, tends to bring fuch par 
ticular meats and drinks to mind, as are agreeable to that flate. 
Thus the children of God are led by the Spirit of God in judging 
of afclions tihemfclves, and in their iwr-ditatiyns upon, and juclg- 

R r ing 

314 T ii F o u R T H S i c N Part III* 

ing of, and applying the rules of God's holy word : and fo God 
teaches them hisjiatutes, and cau/es them to underjland the. way 
of his precepts ; which the pfalmift fo often prays for. 

But this leading of the Spirit is a thing exceeding diverfe 
from that which fome call fo ; which confifts not in teaching 
them God's flatutes and precepts, that he has already given ; 
but in giving them new precepts, by immediate inward fpeech 
or fuggeflion ; and has in it no tailing the true excellency of 
things, or judging or difcerning the nature of things at all. 
They do not determine what is the will of God by any tafle 
or relim, or any manner of judgment of the nature of things, 
but by an immediate diclate concerning the thing to be done ; 
there is no fuch thing as any judgment or wifdom in the cafe. 
Whereas in that leading of the Spirit which is peculiar to God's 
children, is imparted that true wifdom, and holy difcretion, 
fo often fpoken of in the word of God ; which is high above 
the other way. as the ftars are higher than a glow-worm ; and 
that which Balaam and Saul (who fometimes were led by the 
Spirit in that other way) never had^ and no natural man caa 
have, without a change of nature. 

What has been faid of the nature of fpiritual underfland- 
ing, as confifting mod efientially in a divine fupernatural fenfe 
and relim of the heart, not only mews that there is nothing of 
it in this falfejy fuppofed leading of the Spirit, which has been 
now fpoken of; but alfo mows the difference between fpiritual 
underilanding, and all kinds and forms of enthufiafm, all im 
aginary fights of God and Chrift arid heaven, all fuppofed wit- 
nellmg of the Spirit, and teilimonies of the love of God by 
immediate inward fuggefiion ; and all impreilions of future 
events, and immediate revelations of any fecret fai3s \vhatfo- 
ever ; all enthufiaftical impreflions and applications of words of 
fcripture, as though they were words now immediately fpoken by 
God to a particular perfon, in a new meaning, and carrying 
fomething more in them, than the words contain as they lie in 
the Bible ; and all interpretations of the myftical meaning of 
the fcripture, by fuppofed immediate revelation. None of 
thefe things confift in a divine fenfe and relifh of the heart, of 
the holy beauty and excellency of divine things ; nor have they 
any thing to do with fucb a fenfe ; but all confift in impreflions 
in the head ; all are to be referred to the head of imprejjwnson 
the imagination, and confift in the exciting external ideas in the 
mind, either in ideas, of outward fhapes and colours, or words 



fpoken, or letters written, or ideas of things external and fenfi- 
ble, belonging to aclions done, or events accomplished or to 
be accompiiihed. An enthufiaftical fuppofed manifeftaticn of 
the love of God, is made by the exciting an idea of a fmiling 
countenance, or fome other pleafant outward appearance, or 
by the idea of pleafant words fpoken, or written, excited in the 
imagination, or fome pleafant bodily fenfation. So when per- 
fons have an imaginary revelation of fome fecret facl, it is 
by exciting external ideas ; either of fome words, implying a 
declaration of that facl:, or fome vifible or fenfible circum- 
ftances of fuch a facl. So the fuppofed leading of the Spirit, 
to do the will of God, in outward behaviour, is either by ex 
citing the idea of words (which are outward things) in their 
minds, either the words of J'cripture or other words, which they 
k)okuponas an immediate command of God ; or elfe by excit 
ing and impreding ftrongly the ideas of the outward adlioris 
t'hemfelves. So when an interpretation of a fcripture type or 
allegory, is immediately, in an extraordinary way, ftrongly fug- 
gefted, it is by fuggeft ing words, 1 as though one fecretly whifpefed 
and told the meaning; or by exciting other ideas in the imagination. 
Such fort of experiences and difcoveries as thefe commonly 
raife the affeclions of fuch as are deluded by them, to a great 
height, and make a mighty uproar in both foul and body. 
And a very great part of the falfe religion that has been in the 
world, from one age to another, confifts in fuch difcoveries as 
thefe, and in the affections that flow from them. In fuch 
things confifted the experiences of the' ancient Pythagoreans 
among the Heathen, and many others among them, who had 
ftrange ecftafies and raptures, and pretended to a divine afflatus, 
and immediate revelations from heaven. In fuch things as 
thefe feem to have confifted the experiences of the EiTenes, an 
ancient feel: among the Jews, at, and after the times of the a- 
poftles. In fuch things a thefe confifted the experiences of 
many of the ancient Gnoftics, and the Montanifts, and many 
other feels of ancient heretics, in the primitive ages of the 
Chriftian church. And in fuch things as thefe confifted the 
pretended immediate converfe, with God and Chrift, and faints 
and angels of heaven, of the Monks, Anchorites, and Reclufes, 
that formerly abounded in the church of Rome. In fuch things 
confifted the pretended high experiences, and great fpirituality 
of many feels of enthufiafts, that fwarmed in the world after 
the reformation ; fuch as the Anabaptifts, Antinomians, and 

Familifts t 


Familifls, the followers of N. Stork, Tb, Muncer, Jo. Becold, 
Henry Pfeifer, David George, Cafper Swenckfield, Henry 
Nicolas, Johannes Agncola Eillebius ; and the many wild 
enthufiafls that were in England in the days of Oliver Crom 
well ; and the followers of Mrs. Hutchifon, in New-England ; 
as appears hy the particular and large occounts given of all thefe 
fects, by that eminently holy man, Mr. Samuel Rutherford, in 
his Difplay of the fpiritual Anlicftrift. And in fuch things as 
thefe confided the experiences of the late French prophets, and 
their followers. And in thefe things feems to lie the religion of 
the many kinds of enthufiafls of the prefent day. It is by fuch 
fort of religion as this chiefly that Satan transforms himfelf in 
to an angel of light : and it is that which he has ever mo ft fuc- 
cefsfully made ufe of to confound hopeful and happy revival,'} 
of religion, from the beginning of the Chriflian church to this 
day. When the Spirit of God is poured out, to begin a glo 
rious work, then the old ferpent, as faft as poffible, and by all 
means introduces this baftard religion, and mingles it with the 
true ; which has from time to time foon brought all things into 
confufion. The pernicious confequence of it is not eafily ima 
gined or conceived of, until we fee and are amazed with the 
$wful effects of it, and the difrnal defolation it has made. If 
the revival of true religion be very great in its beginning, yet 
if this baftard comes in, there is danger of its doing as Gideon's 
baftard Ahimelech did, who never left until he had flain all his 
threescore and ten true born fons, excepting one, that was for 
ced to flee. Great and flricl: therefore fliould be the watch and 
guard that minifters maintain againfl fuch things, efpeciaily at 
a time of great awakening: for men, efpeciaily the common 
people, are eafily bewitched with fuch things; they having 
iuch a glaring and gliflering fhew of high religion ; and the de 
vil hiding his own fnape, and appearing as an angel of light, 
that men may not be afraid of him, but may adore him. 

The imagination or phantafy feems to be that wherein are 
formed all thofe delufions of Satan, which thofe are carried 
away with, who are under the influence of falfe religion, and 
counterfeit graces and affe&ions. Here is the devil's grand 
lurking-place, the very nefl of foul and delufive fpirils. It is 
very much to be doubted, whether the devil can come at the- 
foul of man, at all to affect it, or to excite any thought or mo 
tion, or produce any effect whatfoever in it, any other way, 
than by the phantafy'; which is that power of the foul, by which 



it receives, and is the fubjecl of the fpecies, or ideas of out 
ward and fenfible things. As to the laws and means which 
the Creator has eftabiifhed, for the intercoorfe and communi 
cation of unbodied fpirits, we know nothing about them ; we 
do not know by what medium they manifeft their thoughts to 
each other, or excite thoughts in each oilier. But as to fpirits 
that are united to bodies, thofe bodies God has united them to 
are their medium of communication. They have no other me 
dium of afting on other creatures, or being acled on by them, 
than the body. Therefore it is not to be luppofed that Satan 
can excite any thought, or produce any effect in the foul of 
man, any otherwife, than by foroc motion of the animal fpiriis, 
or by caufing fome motion or alteration in fomething which 
appertains to the body. There is this reafon to think that the 
devil cannot produce thoughts in the foul immediately, or any 
other way than by the medium of the bodyv, viz. that he can- 
not immediately fee or know the thoughts of the foul : it is 
abundantly declared in the fcripture, to be peculiar to the om- 
nifcient God to do that. But it is not likely that the devil can 
immediately produce an efre6r, which is out of the reach of his 
immediate view. It feems unreafonable to fuppofe, that his im 
mediate agency fhould be out of his own fight, or that it fhould 
be irnpoflible for him to fee what he himfelf immediately does. 
Is it not unreafonable to fuppofe, that any fpirit or intelligent 
agent, fhould by the act of his will, produce effects, accord 
ing to his understanding, or agreeable to his own thoughts, and 
that immediately, and yet the effects produced, be beyond the 
reach of his underftanclmg, or where he can have no immediate 
perception or difcerning at all ? But if this be fo, that the de 
vil cannot produce thoughts in the foul immediately, or any 
other way than by the animal fpirits, or by the body, then it 
follows, that he never brings to pafs any thing in the foul, but 
by the imagination or phantafy, or by exciting external ideas. 
For we know that alterations in the body, do immediately ex 
cite no other fort of ideas in the mind, but external ideas, or 
ideas of the outward fenfcs, or ideas which are of the fame out 
ward nature. As to reflection, abftrat?iion, reafon ing. &c. and 
thofe thoughts and inward motions which are the fruits of thefe 
acls of the mind, they are not the next effects of impreflionson 
the body. So that it inuil be only by the imagination, that Sa 
tan has accefs to the foul, to tempt and delude it, or fugeft 



any thing to it. * And this feems to be the reafon why per- 
ibns that are under the difeafe of melancholy, are commonly f'o 
vifibly ar.d remarkably Tubjeft to the fuggeftions and tempta 
tions of Satan; that being a difeafe which peculiarly affecls the 
animal fpirits, and is attended with weaknefs of that part of the 
body which is the fountain of the animal fpirits, even the brain, 
v. 7 hich is, as it were, the feat of the phantafy. It is by impref- 
fionsrnade on the brain, that, any ideas are excited in the mind, 
v by the motion ef the animal {pints, or any changes made in 
the body. The brain being thus weakened and difeafed, it is 
Icfs under the command of the higher faculties of the foul, and 
yields the more eafily to extrinfic impreflions, and is over-pow 
ered by the difordered motions of the animal fpirits ; and fo the 


* t( The imagination is that room of the foul, wherein the devil 
doth often appear. Indeed (to fpeak exactly,) the devil hath no ef 
ficient power over the rational part of a man : he cannot change the 
will, fce cannot alter the heart of a raan. So that the utmoft he can 
do, in tempting a man to fin, is by fuafionand fuggeition only. But 
then how doth the devil do this r Even by working upon the imagi 
nation. He ohferveth the temper, and bodily conftitution of a man ; 
and thereupon fuggefis to his fancy, and injecls his fiery darts there 
into, by which the mind a^id will come to be wrought upon. The 
devil then, though he hath no imperious efficacy over thy will, yet 
becaofe he can thus ftirand move thy imagination, and thpu being 
lisrarally deftitute of grace, canft not withftand thefe fuggeftions ; 
hence it is that any lin in thy imagination, though but in the outward 
works of the foul, yet doth quickly lay hold on all. And indeed, by 
this means do arife thofe horrible deliiiions, that are in many errone 
ous ways of religion : all is becaufe their imaginations are corrupted. 
\ea, how often are thefe diabolical delufions of the imagination, 
taken far the gracious operations of God's Spirit ? It is from hence 
that many have pretended to enthufiafms ; they leave the fcriptures, 
and wholly attend to what they perceive and feel within t(iem." Eur- 
gf/f OK Original Sin, p. 360. 

The great Turretine, fpeaking on that queftion, What is tie power 
tfA-fgfU ? fays, " As to bodies, there is no doubt, but that they 
can do a great deal upon all forts of elementary andfublunary bodies, 
to move them locally, and varioufly to agitate them. It is alfo cer 
tain, that they can ad upon the external and internal fenfes, to ex 
cite them, or to bind them. Eut as to the rational foul itfelf, they 
can do nothing immediately upon that ; for to God alone, who knows 
and fearches the hearts, and who has them in his hands, does it alio 
appertain to bow and move them whitherfoever he will. But angels 
can a-fl upon the rational foul, .only mediately, by imaginations." 
I y'hcolog. Elencb. Loc. ViL %/?. 7. 


devil has greater advantage to affect the mind, by working on 
the imagination. And thus Satan, when he 'calls in thofe hoi- 
rid fuggeilions into the minds of many melancholy perfons, 
in which they have no hand themfelves, he does it by exciting 
imaginary ideas, either of fome dreadful words or femences, or 
other horrid f outward ideas. And when he tempts other per 
fons who are not melancholy, he does it by preferring to the 
imagination, in a lively and alluring manner, the objefts ef 
their lufts, or by exciting ideas of words, and fo by them ex 
citing thoughts ; or by promoting an imagination of outward 
actions, events, circumftances, &c. Innumerable are the ways 
by which the mind might be led on to all kind of evil thoughts, 
by exciting external ideas in the imagination. 

If perfons keep no guard at thefe avenues of Satan, by which 
he has accefs to the foul, to tempt and delude it, they 'will fee 
likely to have enough of him. And efpecially, if in (lead of 
guarding againlt him, they lay themfelves open to him, and 
feek and invite him, becaufe he appears as an angel of light, 
and counterfeits the illuminations and graces of the Spirit of 
God, by inward whifpers, and immediate fuggefiions of fairs 
and events, pleafant voices, beautiful images, and other ira- 
preffionson the imagination. There are many who are deiii- 
ded by fuch things, and are lifted up with them, and feek after 
them, that have a continued courfe of them, and can have theai 
almoft when they will ; and efpecially when their pride and 
vain-glory has moft occafion for them, to make a Chew of them 
before company. It is with them, fome thing as it is with thole 
who are profeftors of the artoi telling where loft things are to 
be found, by impreffions made on their imaginations ; thev 
laying themfelves open to the devil, he is always at hand to 
give them the defired impreiTion. 

Before I finifti what I would fay on this head of imaginations, 
counterfeiting fpiritual light, and affections arifing from them. 
I would renewedly (to prevent mftiinderftanding of what has 
been faid) ddire it may be obferved, that I am far from deter 
mining, that no affeftions are fpiritual which are attended with 
imaginary ideas. Such is the nature of man, that he can Icarce- 
ly think of any thing intenfely, without fome kind of o;u 
ideas. They arife and interpoie themfelves unavoidably, in the 
courfe of a man's thoughts ; though oftentimes they are very 
confuted, and are not what the mind regards. When the mind 
is much engaged, and the thoughts iiueufc, oftentimes the ima 


gination is more Itrong, and the outward idea more lively, 
cfpecially in perfons ot Tome conftitutions of body. But there 
is a great difference between thefe two things, viz. lively ima 
ginations ari/itig fromjirong affections , zndjirong affections ari- 
Jitigfrom lively imaginations. The former may be, and doubt- 
Ids often is, in cafe of truly gracious affedions. The affec 
tions do not arife from the imagination, nor have any depen 
dence upon it ; but on the contrary, the imagination is only 
.the accidental effect, or confequent of the affection, through 
the iii'irmiry of human nature. But when the latter is the cafe, 
as it often is, that the affeclion arifes from the imagination, an4 
is built upon it, as its foundation, inftead of a fpiritual illumi 
nation or difcovery, then is the affection, however elevated, 
worthlefs and vain. And this is the drift of what has been now 
faid, of imprellions on the imagination. Having obferved this, 
I proceed to another mark of gracious affections. 

V. Truly gracious affections are attended with a reafonable 
and fpiritual conviction of the judgment, of the reality and 
certainty of divine things. 

This feems to be implied in the text that was laid as the 
foundation of this difcourfe, Whom having not fan, ye love ; in 
whom though now ye fee. him not, yet BELIEVING,^ rejoice with 
joy unjpcakable, and full of glory. 

All thofc who are truly gracious perfons have a folid, full, 
thorough and effectual conviction of the truth of the great 
things of the gofpel ; I mean, that they no longer halt between 
two opinions ; t he great dodrines of the gofpel ceafe to be any 
longer doubtful things, or matters of opinion, which, though 
probable, are yet difputable ; but with them, they are points 
fettled .and determined, as undoubted and indifputable ; fo that 
they are not afraid to venture there all upon their truth. Their 
coriviclion is aneffi-ffual convi6lion : fo that the great, fpiritual, 
rbyfterious, and invilible things of the gofpel, have the .influ 
ence of real and certain things upon them ; they have the weight 
and power of real things in their hearts ; and accordingly rule 
in their affedlions, and govern them through the courfe of their 
live*. With refjpeft to Chrilt's being the Son of God, and 
Saviour of the world, and the great things he has revealed 
concerning himfelf, and his Father, and another world, they 
have not only a predominating opinion that thefe things are 
true, and fo yield their affent, as they do in many other mat- 
ivrri of doubtful fpeculation \ but they fee, that it is really fo : 



their eyes are opened, fo that they fee that really Jems is the 
Chrift, the Son of the living God. And as to the things which 
Chrift has revealed, of God's eternal purpofes and defigfls, 
concerning fallen man, and the glorious and everlaiting things 
prepared for the faints in another world, they fee that they are 
lo indeed: and therefore thefe things are of great weight with 
them, and have a mighty power upon their hearts, and influence 
over their pra&ice, in fame meafure aniwerabte to their infinite 

That all true Chriftians have fuch a kind of conviction of the 
truth of the things of the gofpel, is abundantly manifeft from 
the holy fcriptures. I will mention a few places of many ; 
Matth. xvi. 15, 1 6, 17. " But whom fay ye that I am ? Simon 
' Peter anfwered and laid, Thou art Chrift, the Son of the liv- 
" ing God. And Jefus anfwered and faid unto him, Bleffed art 
[< thou Simon Barjona : my Father which is in heaven hath 
'* revealed it unto thee." John vi. 68, 69. " Thou haft the 
' words of eternal life. And we believe, and are furethat thou 
" art that Chrift, the Son of the living God." John xvii. 6, 7, 
8. " I have manifefted thy name unto the men which thou gaveit 
" me out of the world. Now they have known that ail things 

I whatfoever thou haft given me, are of thee. For I have given 
" unto them the words which thou gaveit me ; and they have 
" received them, and have known furely that I came out from 
; * thee, and they have believed that thou didft fend me." Awb 
viii. 37. If thou believed with all thy heart, thou mayft." 2 
Cor. iv. n, 12, 13, 14. "We which live, are always delivered 
" unto death for Jefus fake. De%h worketh in us. We hav- 

* ing the fpirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, 
" and therefore have I fpoken : we alfo believe, and therefore 
" fpeak ; knowing, that he which raifed up the Lord Jefus, mall 
" raife up us alfo by Jefus, and mail prc-fent us with you." To 
gether with verf. 16. " For which caufe we faint not." And 
verf. 18. "While we look eot at the things which are feen," 
&c. And chap. v. i. " For we know, that" if our earthly houfc 
" of this tabernacle were diffolved, we have a building of Gocf. 
" And verf. 6, 7, 8. "Therefore we are always confident, 

' knowing that whilft we are at home in the body, we are abfent 

II from the Lord : for we walk by faiih, not by light. We are 
" confident, I fry, and willing rather vo be abfejit frorn the bo- 
" dy, and prc r ent with the Lord." 2 Tim. i. i?,. " For the 
:l which caufe I alfo fuffer thefe things ; neverthelefs I am not 
" afhamed : for I know whom I have believed, and I ara per- 

S f fuaded 



" fuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed 
" unto him againit that day/' Heb. iii. 6. " Whofe hcuie are 
" we, if w r e hold faft the confidence, and the rejoicing of the hope 
" firm unto the end." Heb. xi. I . " Now faiih is the fubilunce 
" of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not ften :" 10- 
44 gether with that whole chapter, i John iv. 13, 14, 15, 16. 
" Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, becaufo 
44 he hath given us of his Spirit. And we have feen and Jo tell. - 
4 ' fy,that the Father Tent the Son to be the Saviour of the work!. 
" \Vhofoever (hall confefs that Jefus is the Son of God, God 
44 dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and 
44 believed the love that God hath to us." Chap. v. 4, 5. " For 
4< whatfoever is born of God, overcometh the world: and this 
44 is the viclory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 
4< Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that bdieveth 
*' that Jefus is the Son of God r" 

Therefore truly gracious affeclions are attended with fuch a 
kind of conviclion and perfuafion of the truth of the things of 
the gofpel, and fight of their evidence and reality, as thcfe and 
other fcriptures fpeak of. 

There are many religious affeclions, which are not attended 
with fuch a conviclion of the judgment. There are many ap- 
prehenfions and ideas which foine have, that they call divine 
difjoveries, which are affeclirg, but riot convincing. Though 
for a little while, they may feem to be more perfuaded of the 
truth of the things of religion, than they ufed to be, and may 
yield a forward ailent, like many of Chriit's hearers, who be 
lieved for a while ; yet they have no thorough and effectual 
conviclion ; nor is there any great abiding change in them, in 
this refpecl, , that whereas formerly they did not realize the 
great things of the gofpel, now thefe things, with regard to re 
ality and certainty, appear new to them, and they behold them 
quite in another view than they ufed to do. There are many 
perfons who have been exceedingly railed with religious affec 
tions, and think they have been converted, they do not go about 
the world any more convinced of the truth of the gofpel, than 
they ufed to be ; or at leaft, there is no remarkable alteration : 
they are not men who live under the influence and power of 
a realizing conviclion of the infinite and eternd things which 
the gofpel reveals ; if they were it would be impcllible for 
them to live as they do. Becaufe their affections are not attend 
ed with a thorough conviclion of the mind, they are not at all 
to be depended on ; however great a fhow and noife they make, 


his like the blaze of tow, or crackling of thorns, orlike the for 
ward flomilhing blade on ftony ground, that has no root, nor 
deepnefs of earth to maintain its life. 

Some perfons, under high affections, and a confident perfuafion 
of their good eitate, have that, which they very igtiorantly call 
a feeing the truth of the word of God, and which is very far 
from it, after this manner ; they have fome text of fcripture com 
ing to- their minds, in a fudden and extraordinary manner, imme 
diately declaring unto them (as they fuppofe) that their fins are 
forgiven, or that God loves them, and will fave them ; and it 
may be have a chain of fcriptures coming one after another, to 
the fame purpofe ; and they are convinced that it is truth ;. i. e. 
they are confident that it is certainly fo, that their fins are for 
given, and God does love them, c. they lay they know it is 
fo ; and when the words of fcripture are fuggeiled to them, and 
as they fuppofa immediately fpoken to them by God, in this 
meaning, they are ready to cry out, Truth, truth ! it is certainly 
Jo ! the. word of God is trut ! And this they call a feeing the 
truth of the word of God. Whereas the whole of their faith 
amounts to no more, than only a ftrong confidence of their own 
good eftate, and fo a confidence that thole words are true, which 
they fuppofe tell them they are in a good eitate : when indeed 
(as was mown before) there is no fcripture which declares that 
any perfon is in a good eftate direclly, or any other way than by 
confequence. So that this, inftead of being a real fight of the 
truth of the word of God, is a fight of nothing but a phantom, 
and is all over a delufion. Truly to fee the truth of the word of 
God, is to fee the truth of the gofpel ; which is the glorious 
doftrine the word of God contains, concerning God, and Jefus 
Chrifr, and the way of falvation of by him, and the world of glo 
ry that he is entered into, and purchafed for all them who be 
lieve ; and not a revelation that iuch and fuchparticular perfons 
are true Chriftians, and (hall go to heaven. Therefore thofe ai- 

feclions which arile from no other perfuafion of the truth of the 
[: word of God than this, arife from delufion, and not true convic- 

tion ; and confequently are themfelves delufive and vain. 

But if the religious affections that perfons have, do indeed 
arife from aflrong perfuafion of the truth of the Chriftian reli 
gion ; their affections are not the better, unlefs their perfuafion 
| be a rea/'onabU perfuafion orconyiftion. By a reafonable con- 
\ viclion, I mean a conviclion founded on real evidence, or upon 
\ 'that which is a good reafon, or jufl ground of conviclion. Men 
; may have a ftrong perfuafion that the Chriilian religion is true, 



when their perfuafion is not at all built on evidence, but altoge 
ther on education, and the opinion of others ; as many Mahome 
tans are ftrongly-perfuaded of the truth of the Mahometan religi 
on, becaufe their fathers, and neighbors, and nation believe it. 
That belief of the truth of the Chriitian religion, which is built 
on the very fame grounds with Mahometans belief of the Maho 
metan religion* is the fame fort of belief. And though the thing- 
believed happens to be better ; yet that does not make the belief 
itfelf to be of a better fort: for though the thing believed hap 
pens to be true, yet the belief of it is not owing to this truth, but 
to education. So that as the conviction is no better than the Ma 
hometans conviclion ; fo the affeclions that flow from it, are no 
better, in themfelves, than the reliious aifeclions of 


But if that belief of ChriiUan doclrines, which per fens af- 
feclions arife from, be not merely from education, but indeed 
from reafons and arguments which are offered, it will not from 
thence neceffarily follow, that their affections are truly graci 
ous : for in order to that, it is requifite, not only that the be 
lief which their affeclions arife from, mould be a reafonablc, 
but alfo ajpiritual belief or conviclion. I fuppofe none will 
doubt but that fome natural men do yield a kind of affent of 
their judgments to the truth of the Chrifiian religion, from 
the rational proofs or arguments that are offered to evince it. 
Judas, without doubt, thought Jefus to be the Mefliah, from 
the things which he faw and heard ; but yet all along was a 
devil. So in John ii. 23, 24, 25. we read of many that 
believed in Chriji's name, when they faw the miracles that he 
did ; whom yet Chrift knew had not that within them, which 
was to be depended on. So Simon the forcerer believed, when 
he beheld the miracles and figns which were done ; but yet re 
mained " in the gall of bitternefs, and bond of iniquity," Acls 
viii. 13, 23. And if there is fuch a belief or a (Tent of the judg 
ment in fome natural men, none can doubt but that religious 
affections may arife from that affent or belief; as we read of 
fome who believed for a while, that were greatly affecled, and 
anon with joy received the word. 

It is evident that there is fuch a thing as. ^.Jfiritval belief or 
conviclion of the truih of the things of the gofpel, or a belief 
that is peculiar to thofe who are fpiritual, or who are regene 
rated, and have the Spirit of God, in his holy communications, 
and dwelling in them as a vital principle. So that the convic 
tion they have, does not only differ from that which natural 


OF G R A C I U S A F F E C T I O N S. 3^5 

men have, in its concomitants, in that it is accompanied wi<h 
good works ; but the belief itfeif is diverie, the affent and cvn- 
vitlion of the judgment is of a kind peculiar to thofe who are 
fpiritual, and that which natural men are wholly deilitute of. 
This is evident by the fcripture, if any thing at all is fo ; John 
xvii. 8. " They have believed that ihon didit fend me." Tit. 
i. i. " According to the faith of God's clecr, and the acknow- 
" ledging of the truth which is after godlinefs." John xvi. 27. 
" The Father himfelf loveth you, becaufe ye have loved me, 
'* and have believed that I came out from God." i John iv. 1,5. 
*' Whofoever {hall confefs that Jefus is the Son of God, God 
" dwelleth in him, and he in God." Chap. v. i. " Whofoever 
" helieveth that Jefus is the,Chrift, is born of God." verf. 10. 
" He that believeth on the Son of God, hath the witnefs in 
" himfelf." 

What a ffiiitual convi&ion of the judgment is, we are na 
turally led to determine from what has been faid already, un 
der the former head of a fpiritual under flanding. The convic 
tion of the judgment arifes from the illumination of the under- 
ftandmg : the pa fling of a right judgment on thinos, depends 
on an having a right apprehenfion or idea of things. And 
therefore it jfollows, that a fpiritual conviction of the truth of 
the great things of the gofpel, is fuch a conviclion, as arifes 
from having a fpiritual view or apprehension of thofe things 
in the mind. And this is alfo evident from the fcripture, 
which often reprefents, that a faving belief of the reality 
and divinity of the things propofed and exhibited to us in the 
gofpel, is from the Spirit of God's elightening the mind, to 
have right apprehenfions of the nature of thofe things, and fo 
as it were unvailing things, or revealing them, arid enabling 
the mind to view them and fee them as they are. Luke x. 21, 
22. " I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that 
" thou haft HID thefe things from the wife and prudent, and 
'* haft REVEALED them unto babes : even fo, Father, for fo 
" it feemed good in thy fight. All things are delivered unto 
" me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but 
<c the Father ; and who the Father is, but the Son, end he to 
*' whom the Son will REVEAL him." John vi. 40. " And 
*' this is the will of him that fent me, that every one which 
" SKSTH the Son, and BELIEVETH on him, may have ever- 
" Lifting life." Where it is plain, that true faith arifes from 
a fpiritual fight of Chrift. And John xvii. 6, 7, 8. " I have 



" MANIFESTED thy name unto the men which thou gaveft 
" me out of the world. Now they have known that all things 
" whatfoever thou haft given me, are of thee. For I ha\e 
*' given unto them the words which thou gaveft me ; and they 
" have received them, and have known iurely that I came out 
" from thee, and they have believed that thou didft lend me." 
Where Chriit's manifefiing God's name to the difciples, or 
giving them a true apprehenfion and view of divine things, was 
that whereby they knew that Chrill's doftrine was of God, and 
that Chrift himfelf was of him, and was fent by him. Matth. 
xvi. 16, 17. " Simon Peter faid, Thou art Chrift, the Son of 
' the Jiving God. And Jefus anfwered and faid unto him, 
" BleOed art thou Simon Barjona : for ilelh and blood hath 
'* not REVEALED it unto thee, but my Father which is in 
" heaven." i John v. 10. " He that believeth on the Son of 
" God, hath the witnefs in himfelf." Gal. i. 14, 15, 16. 
** Being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my 
" fathers. But when it pleafed God, who feparated me from 
" my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, to REVEAL 
" his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen ; 
" immediately 1 conferred not with flefh and blood." 

If it be fo, that that is a fpiritual conviclion of the divinity 
and reality of the things exhibited in the gofpel, which arifes 
from a fpiritual unperilanding of thofe things ; I have mown 
already what that is, viz. a fenfe and tafte of the divine, fu- 
preme, and holy excellency and beauty of thofe things. So 
that then is the mind fpiritually convinced of the divinity and 
truth of the great things of the gofpel, when that conviclion 
arifes, either direclly or remotely, from fuch a fenfe or view of 
their divine excellency and glory as is there exhibited. This 
clearly follows from things that have been already faid ; and 
for this the fcripture is very plain and exprefs : 2 Cor. iv. 3, 
to 6. " But if our gofpel be hid, it is hid to them that are 
" loft : in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds 
*' of the?n that BELIEVE not, left the light of the GLORIOUS 
' GOSPEL of Chrift, who is the image of God, fhould mine 
" unto them. For we preach not ourfelves, but Chrift Jefus 
*' the Lord ; and ourfelves your fervants for Jefus' fake. For 
*' God who commanded the light to fhine out of darknefs, 
" hath finned in our hearts, to give the LIGHT OF THE 

" KNOWLEGE OF THE GLORY OF GOD, in the face of 

A* Jefqs Chrift." Together with the laft verfe of the foregoing 



chapter, which introduces this, " But we all with open face, 
*' behoiding as in a giafs the GLORY OF THE LOKD, aie 
" changed into the Tame image, from glory to glory, even a* 
*' hy the Spirit of the Lord." Nothing can he more evident, 
than that a laving belief of the gofpel is here fpoken oi, by the 
apou'le, as arifmg from the mind's being enlightened 10 behold 
the divine glory of the things it exhibits. 

Tins view or feme of the divine glory, and unparallelled 
beauty of the things exhibited to us in the gofpel, has a tenden 
cy to convince the mind of their divinity, two ways; diretily, 
and more indircElly, and remotdy. i. A view of this divine 
glory dirtft'y, convinces the mind of the divinity of theie 
things, as this glory is in itieif a direct, clear, and ail-conquer 
ing evidence of it ; efpecially when clearly difcoveied, or when 
this fupernatural ferife is given in a good degree. 

He that has his judgment thus diredly convinced and allur 
ed of the divinity of the things of the gofpel, by a clear view 
of their divine glory, has a rcafonqbU conviclion ; his belief 
and aifurarice is altogether agreeable to reafon ; becaufe the di 
vine glory and beauty of divine things is in itfelf, real evidence 
of their divinity, and the moil direct and fhong evidence. 
He that truly fees the divine, tranfcendent, fupreme glory of 
thofe things which are divine, does as it were know their di 
vinity intuitively ; he not only argues that they are divine, 
but he fees that they are divine ; he fees that in them wherein 
divinity chiefly con fifts ; for in this glory, which is fo vailly 
andiiiexpreflibly diflmguiuied from the glory of artificial tilings, 
and all other glory, docs mainly confiii: the true notion of di 
vinity. God is God, and didmguimed from all oilier beings, 
and exalted above them, chiefly by his divine beauty, whicli 
is infinitely diverie from all other beamy. They therefore that 
fee the (lamp of this glory in divine things, they fee divinity in 
them, they fee God in them, and fo fee iliein to be divine ; 
becaufe they fee that in them wherein the irueft idea of divini 
ty does confiii. Thus a foul may have a kind of intuitive 
knowlege of the divinity of the things exhibited in the goipel ; 
not that he judges the doctrines of the goipel to be from GOG. 
without any argument or deduction at all ; but it is without 
any long chain of arguments ; the argument is but one, ana 
the evidence direl ; the mind afcends to the tiuth of lue gof 
pel but by one Hep, and that is its divine glory. 

It would he very ftran^c, if any proieiTing Cliriilian fhotilj 

328 T H E F I F T PI S i G N Part III. 

deny it to be poffible, that there fliould be an excellency in di 
vine things, which is fo tranfcendent, . and exceedingly differ 
ent from what is in other things, that if it were feen, would 
evidently diilinguifh them. We cannot rationally doubt, but 
that things that arc divine, that appertain to the fupi erne Be 
ing, are vaftly different from things that are human : that there 
is a God-like, high, and glorious excellency in them, that does 
fo diftinguifh them from the things which are of men, that the 
difference is ineffable ; and therefore fuch, as, if feeri, will 
have a moll convincing, fatisfying influence upon any one, that 
they are wha't they are, viz. divine. Doubtlefs there is that 
glory and excellency in the divine Being, by which he is fo in 
finitely diftingui fhecl from all other beings, thit if it were feen, 
he might be known by it, Jt would therefore be very tinrea- 
fonable to deny, that it is pofiible for God to give manifeHa- 
tions of this diftinguifning excellency, in things by which he 
is pleafed to make himfeli known ; and that this diftinguiming 
excellency may be clearly feen in them. There are natural ex 
cellencies that are very evidently diftinguifhing of the fob j efts 
or authors, to any one who beholds them. How vaftly is the 
fpeech of an underftanding man different from that of a little 
child ! And how greatly diftinguifhed is the fpeech of fome 
men of great genius, as Homer, Cicero, Milton, Locke, Ad- 
difon, and others, from that of many other undemanding men ! 
There are no limits to be fet to the degrees of manifeftation of 
mental excellency, that there may be in fpeech. But the ap 
pearances of the natural perfections of God, in the manifefta- 
tions he makes of himfelf, may doubtlefs be unfpeakably more 
evidently diftinguifhing, than the appearances of thofe excel 
lencies of worms of the duft, in which they differ one from 
another. He that is well acquainted with mankind, and their 
works, by viewing the fun, may know it is no human work. 
And it is reafonable to fuppofe, that when Chrift comes at the 
end of the world, in the glory of his Father, it will 'be with 
fuch ineffable appearances of divinity, as will leave no doubt 
to' the inhabitants of the world, even the mod obftinate infidels, 
that he who appears is a divine perfon. But above all, do the 
manifeftalions of the moral andjpiritual glory of the divine Be 
ing, (which is the proper beauty of the divinity,) bring their 
own evidence, and (end to aifure the heart. Thus the difciples 
were affured that Jefus was the Son of God, for " they beheld 
" his glory, as the glory of the only begotten of the Father, 

" full 


" full of grace and truth." John i. 14. When Chrift appeared 
in the glory of his transfiguration to his clifciples, with that 
outward glory to their bodily eyes, which was a fweet and ad- 
mirable fymbol and femblance of his fpiritual glory, together 
with his fpiritual glory itfelf, manifefted to their minds ; the 
rnanifeilation of glory was fuch, as did perfe&ly, and with good 
reafon, a flu re them of his divinity ; as appears by what one 
of them, viz, the apoftle Peter, fays concerning it, 2 Pet. i. 
16, 17, 18. " For we have not followed cunningly devifed fa- 
*' bles, when we made known unto you the power and coming 
" of our Lord Jefus Chrift, but were eye-witneifes of his ma- 
" jefty : for he received from God the Father, honour and 
" glory, when there came fuch a voice to him frora he excel- 
" lent glory, This is rny beloved Son, in whom I am well 
" jMr t fed. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, 
" when we were with him in the holy mount." The apoftle 
calls that mount, the holy mount, becaufe the manifeftations of 
Chrift which were there made to their minds, and which their 
minds were efpecially imprefled and raviOied with, was the 
glory of his koline/s, or the beauty of his moral excellency ; or, 
as another of thefe difciples, who fa w it, expredes it, His glo 
ry ', as full of grace and truth. 

Now this diftinguifhmg glory of the divine Being has its 
brighteft app nr?nce and manifeftafion, in the things propofed 
and exhib:: '-I to us in the gofpel, the do&rines there taught, 
the word there fpoken, and the divine counfels, acls and works 
there revealed. Thefe things have the cleared, moft admirable, 
and diftingui filing reprefentations and exhibitions of the glory 
of God's moral perfections, that ever were made to the world. 
And if there be fuch a diftinguiming, evidential maniieftation 
of divine glory in the gofpel, it is reafonable to fuppofe that 
there may be fuch a thing as feeing it : what mould hinder but 
that it may befeen ? It is no argument that it cannot be feen, 
that fome do not fee it ; though they mav be difcerning men 
in temporal matters. If there be fuch ineffable, diilinguiming, 
evidential excellencies in the gofpel, it is reafonable to fuppofe, 
that they are fuch as are not to be difcerned, but by the fpec;al 
influence and enlightenings of the Spirit of God. There is need 
of uncommon force of mind to difcern the diflinguifhing excel 
lencies of the works of authors of great genius : thofe things in 
Milton, which to mean judges appear taflelefs and imperfec 
tions, are his inimitable excellencies in the eyes of thofe who 

T t are 


are of greater difcerning, and better tafte. And if there be a 
book, which God is the author of, it is moll reafonable to fup- 
pofe, that the diftinguifhing glories of his word are cf fuch a 
kind, as that the fin and corruption of mens hearts, which 
above all things alienates men from the Deity, and makes the 
heart dull and itupid to any fenfe ortaileof ihofe things where 
in the moral glory of the divine perfections confifls ; I fay, it 
is but reafonable to fuppofe, that this would blind men from dif 
cerning the beauties of fuch a book ; and that therefore they 
will not fee them, but as God is pleafed to enlighten them, and 
reflore an holy tafte, to difcern and relim divine beauties. 

This fenfe of the fpiritual excellency and beauty of divine 
things, does alfo tend diredly to convince the mind of the truth 
of the gofpel, as there are very many of the moil important 
things declared in the gofpel, that are hid from the eyes of na 
tural men, the truth of which does in effect confn't in this ex 
cellency, or does fo immediately depend upon it and refult 
from it, that in this excellency's being feen, the truth of thofc 
things is feen. As foon as ever the eyes are opened to behold 
the holy* beauty and amiablenefs that is in divine things, a mul 
titude of molt important do6trines of the gofpel, that depend 
upon it, (which ail appear ilrange and dark to natural men,) 
are at once feen to be true. As for inftance, hereby appears 
the truth of what the word of God declares concerning the ex 
ceeding evil of fin ; for the fame eye that difcerns the tran- 
fcend nt beauty of holinefs, neceflarily therein fees the exceed 
ing odioufnefs of fin : the fame tafte which relifnes the fweet- 
nefs of true moral good, tafles the bitternefs of moral evil. 
And by this means a man fees his own fmfulnefs and loath- 
fomenefs ; for he has now a fenfe to difcern objecls of this na 
ture; and fo fees the truth of what the word , of God declaics 
concerning the exceeding fmfulnefs of mankind, which before 
he did not fee. He now fees the dreadful pollution of his 
heart, and the defperate depravity of his nature, in a new 
manner; for his foul has now a fenfe given it to feel the pain 
of fuch a difeafe : and this mows him the truth of what the 
fcripture reveals concerning the corruption of man's nature, 
his original fin, and the ruinous undone condition man is in, 
and his need of a Saviour, his need of the mighty power of 
God to renew his heart, and change his nature. Men by feeing 
the true excellency of holinefs, do fee the glory of all thofc 



things, which both reafon and fcripture fhew to be in the divine 
Being ; for it has been Ihovvn, that the glory of them depend 
on this : and hereby they fee the truth of all that the fcripture 
declares concerning God's glorious excellency and majefly, his 
being the fountain of all good, the only happinefs of the crea 
ture, &c. And this again thews the mind the truth of what 
the fcripture teaches concerning the evil of fin againft fo glori 
ous a God ; and alfo the truth of what it teaches concerning 
fin's jufl defert of that dreadful punifliment which it reveals ; 
and alfo concerning the impoiTibility of our offering any fatis- 
fatHon, or fuiTicient atonement for that which is fo infinitely 
evil and heinous. And this again {hews the truth of what the 
fcripture reveals concerning the neceffity of a Saviour, to offer 
an atonement of infinite value for fin. And this fenfe of fpi- 
ritual beauty that has been fpoken of, enables the foul to fee 
the glory of thofe things which the gofpel reveals concerning 
the perfon of Chritt ; and fo enables to fee the exceeding beauty 
and dignity of his perfon, appearing in what the gofpel exhibits 
of his word, works, acls, and life : and this apprehenfion of the 
fuperlative dignify of his perfon, fhews the truth of what 
the gofpel declares concerning the value of his blood and righ- 
teoufnefs, and fo the infinite excellency of that offering he has 
made to God for us, and fo its fufficiency to atone for our fins, 
and recommend us to God. And thus the fpirit of God dif- 
covers the way of falvation by Chrift ; thus the foul fees the 
fitnefs and fuitablenefs of this way of falvation, the admirable 
wifdom of the contrivance, and the perfeft anfwerablenefs of 
the provifion that the gofpel exhibits, (as made for us,) to our 
necefiities. A ferife of true divine beauty being given to the 
foul, the foul difcern? the beauty of every part of the gofpei- 
fcheme. This a!fo fhews the foul the truth of what the word of 
God declares concerning man's chief happinefs, as confiflins; in 
holy exercifes and enjoyments. This fhews the truth of what 
the gofpel declares concerning the unfpeakable glory of the hea 
venly iiate. And what the prophecies of the Old Teftament, 
and the writings of theapoftles declare concerning the glory of 
the MefTiah's kingdom, is now all plain ; and alfo what the 
fcripture teaches concerning the reafons and grounds of our 
duty. The truth of all thefe things revealed in the fcripture, and 
many more that might be mentioned, appear to the foul, only 
by imparting that fpi ritual tafle of divine beauty, which has 
been fpoken of ; they being hidden things to the foul before. 



And befides all this, the truth of all thofe things which the 
fcripture fays about experimental religion, is hereby known ; 
for they are now experienced. And this convinces the foul, 
that one who knew the heart of man, better than we know our 
own hearts, and perfectly knew the nature of virtue and holi- 
nefs, was the author of the fcriptures. And the opening to 
view, with fuch clearnefs, fuch a world of wonderful and glo 
rious truth in the gofpel, that before was unknown, being quite 
above the view of a natural eye, but now appearing fo clear 
and bright, has a powerful and invincible influence on the 
foul, to perfuade of the divinity of the gofpel. 

Unlefs men may come to a reasonable folid perfuafion and 
convi61ion of the truth of fhe gofpel, by the internal evidences 
of it, in the way that has been fpoken, viz. by a fight of its 
glory; it is impoflible that thofe who are illiterate, and unac 
quainted with hiflory, mould have any thorough and effectual 
conviclion of it at all. They may without this, fee a great 
deal of probability of it ; it may be reafonable for them to give 
much credit to what learned men, and hiftorians tell them ; 
and they may tell them fo much, that it may look very probable 
and rational to them, that the Chriftian religion is true; and 
fo much that they would be very un reafonable not to entertain 
this opinion. But to have a conviclion, fo clear, and evident, 
and alluring, as to be fuflicient to induce them, withboldnefs 
to fell all, confidently and fearlefsly to run the venture of the 
lofs of all things, and of enduring the moft exquifiie and long 
continued torments, and to trample the world under foot, and 
count all things but dung for Chrifl ; the evidence they can 
have from hifiory, cannot be fufHcient. It is irnpoflible that 
men, who have not fomethingof a general view of the hiftori- 
cal world, or the feries of hiflory from age to age, mould come 
at the force of arguments for the truth of Chriftianity, drawn 
from hiftory, to that degree, as effectually to induce them to 
venture their all upon it. After all that learned men have 
faid to then), there will remain innumerable doubts on their 
minds; they will be ready, when pinched with fome great 
trial of thfeir faith, to fay, " How do I knew this, or that ? 
*' How do I know when thefe hiflories were written ? Learri- 
" ed men tell me thefe hiflories were fo and fo attefled in the 
" day of them ; but how do I know that there were fuch attef- 
" tations then ? They tell me there is equal reafori to believe 
" thefe fa< c ts s as any whatfoever that are related at fuch a dif- 

" tance ; 



** tance ; but how do I know that other fafts which are reiaf- 
" ed of thofe ages, ever were ?" Tho f e who have net feme- 
thing of a general view of the feries of faiiloVical events, and 
of the ftate of mankind from age to age, cannot fee the clear 
evidence from hi (lory, of the truth of fats, in diitant ages; 
but there will endlefs doubts and fcruples remain. 

But the gofpel was not given only for learned men. There 
are at Jeaft nineteen in twenty, if not ninety-nine in an hun 
dred, of thofe for whom the icriptures were written, that are 
not capable of any certain or effectual conviclion of the divine 
authority of the fcriptures, by fuch arguments as learned men 
make ufe of. If men who have been brought up in Heathen- 
ifm, mufl wait for a clear and certain conviction of the truth 
of Chriftianity, until they have learning and acquaintance with 
the hiftories of politer nations, enough to fee clearly the force 
of fuch kind of arguments ; it will make the evidence of the 
gofpel, to them, immenfely curnberfome, and will render the 
propagation of the gofpel among them, infinitely difficult. 
Miferable is the condition of the HouiTatunnuck Indians, and 
others, who have lately man i felled a defire to be inftrufted in 
Chriftianity, if they can come at no evidence of the truth of 
Chriftianity, fufficient to induce them to fell all for Chrift, in 
any other way but this. 

It is unreasonable to fuppofe, that God has provided for his 
people, no more than probable evidences of the truth of the 
gofpel. He has with great care, abundantly provided, and 
given them, the moft convincing, alluring, fatisfying and ma 
nifold evidence of his faithfulnefs in the covenant of grace; and 
as David fays, made a covenant, ordered in ail things and Jure. 
Therefore it is rational to fuppofe, that at the fame time, he 
would not fail of ordering the matter fo, that there mould not 
be wanting, as great, and clear evidence, that this is /us ccrc- 
nant, and that thefe promifes are hispromifes; or which is the 
fame thing, that the Chriftian religion is true, and that the 
gofpel is his word. Otherwife in vain are thofe great afTurances 
he has given of his faithfulnefs in his covenant, by confirming 
it with his oath, and fo varioufiy eftabliihing it by feals and 
pledges. For the evidence that it is his covenant, is properly 
the foundation on which all the force and effect of thofe other 
aflurances do {land. We may therefore undoubtedly fuppofe 
and conclude, that there is fome fort of evidence which God 
has given, that this covenant, and thefe promifes are his, be* 



yond all mere probability ; that there are fome grounds of af- 
iurance of it held forth, which, if we are not blind to them, 
tend io give an higher perfuafion, than any arguing from hif- 
tory, human tradition, &c. which the illiterate and unac 
quainted with hidoty, are capable of: yea, that which is good 
ground of the higheft and moil perfect allurance, that mankind 
have in any cafe wha:foever ; agreeable tothofe high expreliions 
which theapoftle ufes, Heb. x. 22. " Let us draw near in FULL 
'" ASSURANCE OF FAITH." And Col. ii. 2. " That their 
*' hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and 


*' DERSTANDING, to the acknowledgment of the myftery 
" of God, and of the Father, and of Chrift." It is reafon- 
able to fuppofe, that God would give the greatefl evidence 
of thofe things which are greateft, and the truth of which 
is of greateft importance to us: and that we therefore, if we are 
wife, and a6t rationally, fhall have thegreateft defire of having 
full, undoubting, and perfect aflurance of. But it is certain, 
that fuch an aflurance is not to be attained, by the greater part 
of them who live under the gofpel. by arguments fetched from 
ancient traditions, hiftories, and monuments. 

And if we come to fart and experience, there is not the leaft 
reafon to fuppofe, that one in an hundred of thofe who have 
been fmcere ChriRians, and have had a heart to fell all for 
Chrift, have come by their conviction of the truth of the gof 
pel, this way. If we read over ihe hiftories of the many thou- 
fands that died martyrs for Chritt, fince the beginning of the 
reformation, and have chearfully undergone extreme tortures, 
in a confidence of the truth of the gofpel, and confidered their 
circumftances and advantages ; how few of them were there, 
that we can reafonably fuppofe, ever came by their allured per- 
fuafion, this way; or indeed for whom it was poffible, reafon 
ably to receive fo full and ftrong an affurance, from fuch argu 
ments ! Many of them were weak women and children, and 
the greater part of them illiterate peHbns, many of whom had 
been brought up in popifh ignorance and darknefs, and were 
but newly come out of it, and lived and died in times, where 
in thofe arguments for the truth of Chriflianity from antiquity 
and hiftory, had been but very imperfeclly handled. And in 
deed, it is but very lately that thefe argumen's have been fet 
in a clear and convincing light, even by learned men them- 
felves : and fince it has been done, there never were fewer 



thorough believers, among thofe who have been educated in 
the true religion; infidelity never prevailed fo much, in any 
age, as in this, wherein thefe arguments are handled to the 
greatefl advantage. 

The true martyrs of Jefus Chrift, are not thofe who have 
only been ftrong in opinion that the gofpei of Chrift is true, 
but thofe that have, fan the truth of it : as the very name of 
martyrs or witneffes (by which they are called in fcripture) im 
plies. Thofe are very improperly called witneffes of the truth 
of any thing, who only declare they are very much of opinion 
that fuch a thing is true. Thofe only are proper witneffe*, 
who can, and do teflify that they have feen the truth of the 
thing they affert ; John iii. 1 1. " We fpeak that v.-e do know, 
and tejlify that we have feen." John i. 34. " And I faw 3 
and bare record^ that this is the Son of God. i John iv. 14. 
And we have fan, and do tcfify, that the Father lent the Son 
to be the Saviour of the world." Acts xxii. 14, 15. " The 
God of our fathers hath chofen thee, that thou (houSdil know 
his will, aridy^ that juft One, and fhouldlt hear the voice of 
his mouth : for thou (halt be his witne.fs unto all men, of 
what thou hall; feen and heard." But the true martyrs of 
Jefus Chrift are called his witnefTes : and all the faints, who 
by their holy praclice under great trials, declare that faith, 
which is the SUBSTANCE of things hoped for, and the EVI 
DENCE of things not feen^ are called witneffes, Heb. xi. i. and 
xii. i. becaufe by their profeffion arid pralice, they declare 
their afTurance of the truth and divinity of the gofpei having 
had the eyes of their minds enlightened to fee divinity in the gof 
pei, or to behold that unparallelled, ineffable, excellent, and 
truly divine glory mining in it, which is altogether dillinguifh- 
ing, evidential, and convincing : fo that they may truly be 
faid to have feen God in it, and to- have feen that it is indeed 
divine ; and fo can fpeak in the ftyle of witneffes : and not on 
ly fay, that they think the gofpei is divine, but fay, that it is 
divine, giving it in as their teftimony, becaufe they have feen 
it to be fo. Doubtlefs Peter, James, and John, after they had 
feen that excellent glory of Chiift in the mount, would have 
been ready, when they came down, to fpeak in the language 
of witneffes, and to fay pofitively that Jefus is the Son of God: 
as Peter fays, they were eye-wit riffles, 2 Pet. i. 16. And fo 
all nations will be ready pofitively to fay this, when they fhall 
behold his glory at the day of judgment; though what will 



7>e university feen, will be only his natural glory, and not his 
moral and fpiritual glory, which is much more dif.ingui filing. 
But yet, it mull be noted, that among thofe who have a fpiri- 
tual fight of the divine glory o.f the gofpe!, there is a great va 
riety of degrees of ftrength of faith, as there is a vaft variety of 
the degrees of clearnefs of views of this glory : but there is no 
true and faving faith; or fpiritual conviction of the judgment, 
cf the truth of the- gofpel, that has nothing in it, of this mani- 
feliation of its internal evidence, in fome degree. The gofpel 
of the bJefTed God does not go abroad a-begging for its evidence, 
>much as fome think ; it has its higheft and rnoft proper evi 
dence- in itfelf. Though great ufe may be made of external 
arguments, they are not to be ncglecled, but highly prized and 
valued ; for they may be greatly ferviceable to awaken unbe 
lievers, and bring them to ferious confidera'ion, and to con 
firm the faith of true faints : yea, they may be in fome refpecls 
fubfervient to the begetting of a faving faith in men. Though 
what was faid before remains true, that there is no fpiritual con- 
viclion of the judgment, but what arifes from an apprehcnflon 
of the fpiritual beauty and glory of divine things: for, as has 
been obferved, this apprehenfiori or view has a tendency to con 
vince the mind of the truth of the gofpel, two ways ; either 
directly or indirectly. Having therefore already obferved how 
it does this direclly, I proceed now, 

2. To obfervehow a view of this divine glory does convince 
the mind of the truth of Chriilianity, more indireclly. 

t It doth fo, as the prejudices of the heart againft the 
truth of divine things are hereby removed, fo that the mind 
thereby lies open to the force of the reafons which are offered. 
The mind of man is naturally full of enmity againft the doc 
trines of the gofpel ; which is a difadvantage to thofe argu 
ments that prove their truth, and caufes them to lofe their 
force upon the mind : but when a perfon has difcovered to him 
the divine excellency of Chriftian doclrines, this deftroys that 
enmity, and removes the prejudices, and fanclifies the reafon, 
and caufes it to be open and free. Hence is a vaft difference, 
as to the force that arguments have to convince the mind. 
Hence was the very different effecT:, which Chrift's miracles 
had to convince the difciples, from what they had to convince 
the Scribes and Pharifees : not that they had a ftronger reafon, 




or had their reafon more improved ; but their reafon was fanfcli- 
fied, and thofc blinding prejudices, which the Scribes and 
Pharifees were under, were removed, by the fenfe they had of 
the excellency of Chrift and his dottrine. 

Secondly ', It not only removes the hindrances of reafon, but 
pofitively helps reafon. It makes even the fpeculative notions 
more lively. It affifts and engages the attention of the mind to 
that kind of objefts ; which caufes it to have a clearer view of 
them, and more clearly to fee their mutual relations. The 
ideas themfelves, which otherwife are dim and obfcure, by this 
means have a light caft upon them, and are impreiled with 
greater flrength, fo that the mind can better judge of them ; 
as he that beholds the objects on the face of the earth, when 
the light of the fun is caft upon them, is under greater advan 
tage to difcern them, in their true forms, and mutual relations, 
and to fee the evidences of divine wifdom and (kill in their con 
trivance, than he that fees them in a dimftar-light, or twilight. 

What has been faid, may ferve in fome meafure to (hew the 
nature of a fpiritual conviction of the judgment of the truth 
and reality of divine things ; and fo to diftinguim truly graci 
ous affections from others ; for gracious affe&ions are ever 
more attended with fuch a conviction of the judgment. 

But before I difmifs this head, it will be needful to obferve 
the ways whereby fome are deceived, with refpeft to this mat 
ter ; and take notice of feveral things, that are fometimes taken 
for a fpiritual and faving belief of the truth of the things of re 
ligion, which are indeed very diverfe from it. 

i. There is a degree of convi61ion of the truth of the great 
things of religion, that arifes from the common enlightenings 
of the Spirit of God. That more lively and fenfible apprehen- 
fion of the things of religion, with refpecl: to what is natural 
in them, fuch as natural men have who are under awakenings 
and common illuminations, will give fome degree of convic 
tion of the truth of divine things, beyond what they had be 
fore they were thus enlightened. For hereby they fee the tnani- 
feftations there are, in the revelation madein the holy fcriptures, 
and things exhibited in that revelation, of the natural perfec 
tions of God ; fuch as his greatnefs, power, and awful majefly; 
which tends to convince the mind, that this is the word of a 
great and terrible God. From the tokens there are of God's 

U u grcainef* 


greatnefs and majefty in his word and works, which they 
have a great fenfe of, from the common influence of the 
Spirit of God, they may have a much greater conviction that 
thefe are indeed the 'word and works of a very great invifible 
Being. And the lively apprehenfion of the greatnefs of God, 
which natural men may have, tends to make them fenfible of 
the great guilt, which fin againft fuch a God brings, and the 
dreadfulnefs of his wrath for fin. And this tends to caufe them 
more eafily and fully to believe the revelation the fcripture 
makes of another world, and of the extreme mifery it thteatens, 
there to be inflided on fmriers. And fo from that fenfe of the 
great natural good there is in the things of religion, which is 
fometimes given in common illuminations, men may be the 
more induced to believe the truth of religion. Thefe things 
perfons may have, and yet have no fenfe of the beauty and 
amiabienefs of the moral and holy excellency that is in the 
things of religion ; and therefore no fpiritual convi&ion of 
their truth. But yet fuch convictions are fcunetiines miflaken 
for faving convilions, and the affeclicns flowing from them, 
for faving affeclions. 

2. The extraordinary impreffions which are made on the 
imaginations of fome peifons, in the vifions, and immediate 
Irrong impulfes and fuggeftions that they have, as though they 
faw fights, and had words fpoken to them, may, and often do 
beget a ftrongperfuafiori of the truth of invifible things. Though 
the general tendency of fuch things, in their final iffue, is to 
draw men off from the word of God, and to caufe them to re 
ject the gofpel, and to eflablifli unbelief and Atheifm ; yet for 
the prefent, they may, and often do beget a confident perfua- 
fion of the truth of fome things that are revealed in the fcrip- 
tures ; however their confidence is founded in deluiion, and fo 
v nothing worth. As for inftance, if a perfon has by fome in 
vifible agent, immediately and ftrongly impreffed on his ima 
gination, the appearance of a bright light, -and glorious form of 
a perfon feated on a throne, with great external majefty and 
beauty, uttering fome remarkable words, with great force and 
energy ; the perfon who is the fubjecl: of fuch an operation, 
may be from hence confident, that there are invifible agents, 
fpiritual beings, from what he has experienced, knowing that he 
bad no hand himfelf in this extraordinary effecl:, which he has 
experienced : and he may alfo be confident, that this is Chrifl 



whom he faw and heard fpeaking : and this may make him 
confident that there is a Chrifr, and that Chrili: reigns on a 
throne in heaven, a he faw him ; and may be confident that 
the words which h,e heard him fpeak are true, ><:. in the 
fame manner, as the lying miracles of the Papifts, may for the 
prelfent, beget in the minds of the ignorant deluded people, a 
urong perfuaikjh of the truth of many things declared in the 
New Teftament. Thus when the images oi Chrift, in Popifh 
churches, are on' fome extraordinary occafions, made by prieft- 
craft to appear to the people as if they wept, and ihed frcih blood, 
and moved, and uttered fnch and fuch words ; the people may 
be verily perfuaded that it is a miracle wrought by Ohrift him- 
felf ; and from thence may be confident there is a 'Chrilt,' and 
that what they are told of his death and fufferings, 'and refurre.c- 
tion, and afcenfiori, and prefer.t government of the world is true ; 
for they may look upon this miracle, as a certain evidence of all 
thefc things, and a kind of occular demonftration ot them. This 
may be the influence of thefe lying wonders for the prefent ; 
though the general tendency of them is not to convince that 
Jefus Chrift is come in the iieih, but finally to promote Atheifm, 
Even the intercourfe which Satan has w^ith witches, and their 
often experiencing his immediate power, has a tendency to con 
vince them of the truth of fome of the doctrines of religion ; as 
particularly the reality of an invifible world or world of fpirits, 
contrary to the doctrine of the Sadduces. The general tendency 
of Satan's influences is delufion : butyethemay mix fome truth 
with his lies, that his lies may not be fo eafily difcovered. 

There are multitudes that are deluded with a counterfeit faith, 
from imprefTions on their imagination, in the manner which 
has been now fpokcn of. They fay they know that there is a 
God, for they have fcen him ; they know that Chrift is the Son 
of God, for they have feen him in his glory ; they know that 
Chrift died for finner?, for they have fcen him hanging on the 
crofs, and his blood running from his wounds ; they know there 
is a heaven and a hell, for they have feen the mifery of the dam 
ned fouls in hell, and the glory of faints and angels in heaven, 
(meaning fome external representations, ftrongly impreficd on 
their imagination :) they know that the fcriptures are the word 
of Gocl, and that fuch and fuch promifes in particular are his 
Word, for they have heard him fpeak them to them, they came 
to their minds faddenly and immediately from God, without 
their having any hand in it. 

3. Perfons may feem to have their belief of the truth of the 
things of religion greatly incrcafed, when the foundation of it 




is only a perfuafion they have received, of their intereft in them. 
They firit, by fome means or other, take up a confidence, that 
if there be a Chriftin heaven, they are theirs ; and this pre 
judices them more in favor of the truth of them. When they 
hear of the great and glorious things of religion, it is with this 
notion, that all thefe things belong to them ; and hence eaiily 
become confident that they are true ; they look upon it to be 
greatly for their intereft that they mould be true. It is very 
obvious what a ftrong influence mens intereil: and inclinations 
have on their judgments. While a natural man" thinks, that 
if there be a heaven and hell ; the latter, and not the former, 
belongs to him ; then he will be hardly perfuaded that there is 
a heaven or hell : but when he comes to be perfuaded, that 
hell belongs only toother folks, and not to him ; then he can 
eaiily allow the reality of hell, arid cry out of others fenfelelT- 
nefs and fottiihnefs in neglecting means of efcape from it : and 
being confident that he is a child of God, and that God haspro- 
mifed heaven to him, he may feem ftrong in the faith of its 
reality, and may have a great zeal againft that infidelity which 
denies it. 

But I proceed to another diilinguifhing fign of gracious 

VI. Gracious affe&ions are attended with, evangelical hu 

Evangelical humiliation is a fenfe that a Chriftian has of his 
own utter infufficiency, defpicablenefs, and odioufne^s, with an, 
anfwerable frame of heart. 

There is a diflinftion to be made between a legal and evan-, 
gelical humiliation. The former is what men may be thefub- 
jecls of, while they are yet in a ftate of nature, and have no 
gracious affection ; the latter is peculiar to true faints : the for 
mer is from the common influence of the Spirit of God, afliit- 
ing natural principles, and efpecially natural conference ; the 
latter is from the fpecial influences of the Spirit of God, im 
planting and exercifing fupernatural and divine principles : the 
former is from the mind's being affifted to a greater fenfe of the 
things of religion, as to their natural properties and qualities, and 
particularly of the natural perfections of God, fuch as his 
greatnefs, terrible majefty, &c. which were manifefted to the 
congregation of Ifrael, in giving the law at mount Sinai ; the 
latter is from a fenfe of the tranfcendent beauty of divine things 
in their moral qualities : in the former, a fenfe of the awful 



greatnefs, and natural perfections of God, and of the ftriclnefs 
of his law, convinces men that they are exceeding fmful, and 
guilty, and expofed to the wrath of God, as it will wicked 
men and devils at the day of judgment ; but they do not fee 
their own odioufnffs on the account of fin ; they do not fee the 
hateful nature of fin ; a fenfe of this is given in evangelical hu 
miliation, by a difcovery of the beauty of God's holinefs and 
moral perfection. In a legal humiliation, men are made fenfible 
that they are little and nothing before the great and terrible 
God, and that they are undone, and wholly infufficient to help 
themfelves ; as wicked men will be at the day of judgment : 
but they have not an anjweiable frame erf heart, confifting in 
a difpofition to abafe themfelves, and exalt God alone ; this 
difpofition is given only in evangelical humiliation, by overcom 
ing the heart, and changing its inclination, by a difcovery 
of God's holy beauty : in a legal humiliation, the conscience 
is convinced ; as the confciences of all will be moil perfectly 
at the day of judgment ; but becaufe there is no fpiritual under- 
ftanding, the will is not bowed, nor the inclination altered ; 
this is done only in evangelical humiliation. In legal humi 
liation, men arc brought to defpair of helping themfelves ; in 
evangelical, they are brought voluntarily to deny and renounce 
themfelves : in the former, they are fubdued and forced to the 
ground ; in the latter, they are brought fweetly to yield, and 
freely and with delight to proftraf e themfelves at the feet of God. 
Legal humiliation has in it no fpiritual good, nothing of the 
nature of true virtue ; whereas evangelical humiliation is that 
wherein the excellent beauty of Chriftian grace does very much 
confift. Legal humiliation is ufeful, as a means in order to 
evangelical ; as a common knowlege of the things of religion 
is a means requifite in order to fpiritual knowlege. Men may 
be legally humbled and have no humility ; as the \\ icked at 
the day of judgment will be thoroughly convinced that they 
have no righteoufnefs, but are altogether fmful, and exceeding 
guilty, and juftly expofed to eiernal damnation, and be fully 
fenfible of their own helpleiTnefs, without the leaii mortifica 
tion of the pride of their hearts : but the eflencp of evangelical 
humiliation confifts in fuch humility, as becomes a creature, in 
itfelf exceeding fmful, under a difpenfation of grace ; confifting 
in a mean efteem of himfelf, as in himfelf nothing, and alto 
gether contemptible and odious; attended with a mortification 
of a difpofition to exalt himfelf, and a free renunciation of his 
ewn glory. This 

Jiff T H E S I X T H S I G N Part III. 

This is a great and moft effential thing in true religion. 
The whole frame of the gofpel, and every thing appertaining 
to the new covenant, and all God's difpenfations towards fal 
len man, are calculated to hring to pafs this effect in the hearts 
of men. They that are deilitute of this, have no true religion, 
whatever profeiTion they may make, and how high foever their 
religious affections may be ; Hah. ii. 4. " Behold, his foul which 
*' is lifted up, is not upright in him; but the juft fhall live by 
*' his faith ;" i. c. he mall live by his faith on God's righteoui- 
nefs and grace, and not his own goodnefs and excellency. God 
has abundantly manifcfted in his word, that this is what he has 
a peculiar refpecl: to in his faints, and that nothing is accept 
able to him without it ; Pfal. xxxiv. 18. " The Lord is nigh 
44 unto them that are of a broken heart, and faveth fuch as be 
" of a contrite fpirit." Pfal. li. 17. " The facrifices of God 
** are a broken fpirit : a broken and a contrite heart, O God, 
" thou wilt not defpife." Pfal. cxxxviii. 6. " Though the Lord 
41 be high, yet hath he refpecl unto the lowly." Prov. iii. 34. 
" He giveth grace unto the lowly." If, Ivii. 15. " Thus faith 
" the high and lofty One who inhabiteth erernity, whofename 
" is Holy, I dwell in the high and holy place ; with him alfo 
" that is of a contrite and humble fpirit, to revive the fpirit of 
" the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." 
If. Ixvi. i, 2. " Thus faith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, 
" and the earth is my fooiftool : but to this man will I look, 
" even to him that is poor and of a contrite fpirit, and tremb- 
" leth at my word." Micah vi. 8. " He hath (hewed thee, O 
" man, what is good; and what doth the Lord thy God re- 
44 quire of thee, but to do juftly, and to love mercy, and to 
" walk humbly with thy God ?" Matth. v. 3. " BlefTed are 
*' the poor in fpint : for theirs is the kingdom of God." Matth. 
xviii. 3, 4. " Verily I fay unto you, Except ye be converted, 
44 and become as little children, ye fhall not' enter into the 
" kingdom of heaven. Whoibever therefore (hall humble 
'* himl'elf as this little child, the fame is greateft in the king- 
" dom of heaven." Mark x. 15. " Verily I fay unto you, 
*' W'nofoever fhall nor. receive the kingdom of God as a little 
* s child, he mall not enter therein." The centurion, that we 
have an account of, Lnke vii. acknowledged that he was not 
worthy that Chnjl jlwidd enter under his roof, and that he was 
not worthy to come to him. See the manner of the woman's 
coming to Chriftj that was a fmner, Luke vii. 37, &c. " And 

45 behold, 


4i behold, a woman in the city, which was a Tinner, when 
* (he knew that Jefus fat at meat in the Pharifee's houfe, 
44 brought an alabafier-box of ointment, and flood at his 
" f^et behind him weeping, and began to wafh his feet 
44 with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head." 
She did not think the hair of her head, which is the natural 
crown and glory of a woman, (i Cor. xi. 1,5.) too good to wipe 
the feet of Chriit withal. Jefus moil gracioufly accepted her, 
and fays to her, Thy faith hathfaved thee, go in peace. The 
woman of Canaan fubmitted to Chrift, in his faying, It is not 
meet to take the children's bread, and to caji it to dogs, and did 
as it were own that (lie was worthy to be called a dog; where 
upon Chrift fays unto her, " O woman, great is thy faith ; be 
4 ' it unto thee, even as thou wilt," Matt.xv. 26, 27, 28. The 
prodigal fon faid, " I will arife and go to my father, and I will 
" fay unto him, Father, I have finned againft heaven, and be- 
44 fore thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy fon ; make 
" me as one of thy hired fervants," Luke xv. 18, &c. See al- 
fo Luke xviii. 9, &c. " And he fpake this parable unto certain 
" which trufted in themfelves that they were righteous, and 
" defpifed others, &:c. The publican {landing afar off, would 
" not fo much as lift up his eyes to heaven, but fmote upon 
14 his bread, faying, God be merciful to me a finner. I tell 
4{ you, this man went down to his houfe juilified rather than the 
" other: for every one that exalteth himfelf, fhall be abafed; 
44 arid he that humbleth himfelf, (hall be exalted." Matt, xxviii. 
9. "And they came and held him by the feet, and worfhipped 
" him." Col. iii. 12. " Put ye on, as the cleft of God hum- 
" blenefs of mind." Ezek. xx. 41, 43. "I will accept you 
11 with your fweet favour, when I bring you out from the 
" people, &c. And there fhall ye remember your ways, and 
44 all your doings, wherein ye have been defiled, and ye (hall 
" lothe yourfelves in your own fight, for all your evils that ye 
* 4 have committed." Chap, xxxvi. 26, 27, 31. "Anew heart 
" alfo will I give unto you and I will put my Spirit within 
" you, and caufe you to walk in my flatutes, &c. Then frail 
*' ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were 
14 not good, and (hall lothe yourfelves in your own fight, for 
'* your iniquities, and for your abominations." Chap. xvi. 
63. 4 That thou mayft remember and be confounded, and no 
44 ver open thy mouth any more becaufe of thy fhame, whe-* 
* 4 I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hail done, fail}* 

344 T H E F I F X H S i G N Part III. 

" the Lord." Job xlii. 6. " I abhor myfelf, and repent in dull 
*' and ames." 

As we would therefore make the holy fcriptures, our rule, in 
judging of the nature of true religion, and judging of our own 
religious qualifications and flate ; it concerns us greatly to 
look at this humiliation, as one of the moft eifential things 
pertaining to true Chriftianity.* This is the principal part 
of the great Chriftian duty Q$ Jeff-denial. That duty confifts in 
two things, viz. firjl, In a man's denying his worldly inclina 
tions, and in for faking and renouncing all worldly cbjecls and 
enjoyments ; and, Jecondly, In denying his natural felf-exalta- 
tion, and renouncing his own dignity and glory, and in being 
emptied of himfelf ; fo that he does freely, and from his very 
heart, as Jt were renounce himfelf, and annihilate himfelf. 
Thus the Chriftian doth, in evangelical humiliation. And this 
latter isthegreateftand moft difficult part of felf-denial: although 
they always go together, and one never truly is, where the 
other is not ; yet natural men can come much nearer to the 
former than the latter. Many Anchorites and Reclufes have 
abandoned (though without any true mortification,) the wealth, 
and pleafures, and common enjoyments of the world, who were 
far from renouncing their own dignity and righteoufnefs ; they 
never denied themfelves for Chrift, but only fold one luft to 
feed another, fold a beaftly luft to pamper a devilifh one ; and 
fo were never the better, but their latter end was worfe than 
their beginning ; they turned out one black devil, to let in fc- 
ven white ones, that were worfe than the firft, though of a fair 
er countenance. It is inexpi effible, and alrnoft inconceivable, 
how ftrong a felf-righteous, felf- exalting difpofition is naturally 
in man ; and what he will not do and fuffer, to feed and grati 
fy it ; and what lengths have been gone in a feeming felf-denial 
in other refpecls, by EfTenes and Pharifees amang the Jews, 
and by Papilts, many fedls of heretics, and erithufiafts, among 


* Calvin, in his inftitutions, Book II. chap. 2. 1 1. fays, " I was 
always exceedingly pleafed with that faying of Chryfoftom, ' The 
foundation of our philosophy is humility ;' and yet more pleafed with 
that of Auguftine, ' As, fays he, the rhetorician being aiked, what 
was the firft thing in the rules of eloquence, he anfwered, Pronunci 
ation ; what was the fecoud, pronunciation ; what was the third, (till 
he anfwered, pronunciation. So if you ihould afk me concernining 
the precepts of the Chriftian religion, I would anfwer, nrftly, fecondly, 
irdly, and for ever, Humility." 


Uing Chriftians ; and by many Mahometans ; and by Py 
thagorean philofophers, and others, among the Heathen : and 
all to do facrifice to this Moloch of fpiritual pride or felf-righ- 
feoufnefs ; arid that they may have fomething wherein to exalt 
themfelves before God, arid above their fellow-creatures. 
That humiliation which has been fpoken of, is what all the 

j.lorioLis hypocrites, who make the moft fpkndid fliew of 
mortiricatJori to the world, and high religious afil-ction, do 
grofsly fail in. Were it not that this is fo much infifted on in 
fcripture, as a molt eflential thing in true grace ; one would be 
tempted to think that many of the heathen philofophers were 
truly gracious, in whom was fo bright an appearance of many 
virtues, and alfo great illuminations, and inward fervors and 
elevations of mind, as though they were truly the fubjecls of 
divine illapfes and heavenly communications^ It is true, that 
many hypocrites make great pretences to humility, as well as 

X x other 

f " Albeit the Pythagoreans were thus famous for Judaic myfteri" 
ous wifdom, and many moral, as well as natural accoiiipiif.nnents 
yet were they not exempted from beading and pride ; which wa^ 
indeed a vice mod epidemic, and as it were congenial, among 
philofophers ; but in a mere particular mariner, among the Pytha 
goreans. So Hornius Hilt. Philofoph. L. 3. chap. n. "77? 
of the Pythagoreans were not free from boa/ling* c They we; 
H EPIAUTO A O FOI, Av as abounded in the f-nft a ' 

;-;>: c\\-c''L'j;cii-:, &r:d l^.i^lr^ e^;:v c:l;-:-:.<jl to .' '' im* 

: -infills ad Horat, kcs r. 

td. Thus indeed doss proud nature delight to walk in the fparks of 
its own fire. And although many of thefe old philofbphers could, 
by the ftrength of their own lights and heats, ( 
common elevations and raifu res of fpirit, { more 

than ordinary, though rut fpeclal and favinj :>irit,) 

abandon many groIL'r \iccs ; yet they we; .' i i 

that mifcrsble curfed abvfs of {piritua! pride : i ; > f;ur vii their natural, 
and moral and philofophic attainments, did ( : c 

and render moft inveterate, thb> hell bred pelt oi >;tr. Yea 

thofc of them thatfeeraed melt mcdeft, as the A who pro- 

f:,Ted they knew nothing, and the Cynics, W!K. : , both 

in words and habits, the pride of others, yet even they aboi 
iu the mail notorious and viiible pride. So connatural and morally 
eflential to corrupt naturr, in this envenomed roct, fountain, and 
plague of fpiritual pride ; efpecially where there is any natural, 
moral, or philcfopbic excellence to feed the fame. Whence Aufun 
right! v judged all tht\ . Me virtues, to be but fpler.did fins. : 
Ft Court ;/ the Gwtilet, Fart II. B. i 17, 


other graces; and very often there is nothing whatfoever what 
they make a higher proieihon of. They endeavour to make u 
great fhew ot humility hi fpeech and behaviour ; but they com 
monly make bungling work of it, though glorious work in 
thtir own eyes. They cannot find out what a humble fpeech 
and behaviour is, or how to fptak and a6l fo that there may 
indeed be a favour of Chriiiian humility in what they fay and 
dp : that fvveet humble air and mien is beyond their art, being 
not led by the Spirit, or naturally guided to a behaviour becom 
ing holy humility, by the vigor of a lowly fpirit within them. 
And therefore th. y have no other way, many of them, but only 
to be much in declaring that they be humble, and telling how 
they were humbled to the cluit at fuch and fuch times, and 
abounding in very bad expreffions which they ufe about them- 
felves ; fuch as, lam the. leaft of all faints, I am a poor vile, 
creature, I am not worthy oj the lea ft me icy, or that God jlwuld 
look upon me I Oh, I have a dreadful wicked heart ! my heart is 
uorje than the devil I Oh, this cur fed heart of mine, &c. Such 
expreifions are very often uied, not with a heart that is broken, 
not with fpiritual mourning, not with the tears of her that 
wafhed Jefus's feet with her tears, not as remembering and 
being confounded, and never opening their mouth more becaufc 
cf their jha inc., when God is pacified, as the expreflion is, Ezek. 
xvi. 63. but with a light air, with finiles in the countenance, 
or with apharifaical alteration : and we mult believe that they 
are thus humble, and fee thcmfclvt-s fo vile, upon the credit of 
their fay /b ; for there is nothing appears in them of any favour 
of humility, in the manner of their deportment and deeds that 
they do. There are many that are lull of expreifions of their 
own vilenefs, who yet expecl to be looked upon as eminent 
and bi ight faints by others, as their due ; and it is dangerous 
for any, fo much as to hint the contrary, or to carry it tovvards 
them any otherwife, than as if we looked upon them fome of 
the chief of Chriftians. There are many that are much in cry 
ing out of their wicked hearts, and their great fhort-comings, 
and unprofitablenefs, and fpeaking as though they looked on 
thcmfelves as the meaneft of the faints ; who yet, if a minifter 
mould feriouily tell them the fame things in private, and 
mould fignify, that he feared they were very low and weak 
Chriftians, and thought they had reafon folemnly to confider of 
their great barrenncfs and unprofitablenefs, and falling fo 
much fhort of many others ; it would be more than they could 
digeft ; they would think themfelvcs highly injured ; and there 



would be danger of a rooted prejudice in them agaiiiu fuch a 


There are fame that are abundant in talking asninft legal 
doBnnes, legal preaching, and a le^a 1 - fbirit^ who do but lirtlj 
imdefltand the ihmg the y talk acaiini. A legal fpirit is a more 
fubtil tiling than they imagine, it is too fnbul for them. It 
lurks, and operates, and prevails in their hearts, and they arc 
moit notoriouily guilty of it, at the fame time, when they arc 
inveighing againu it. So far as a man is not emptied of him- 
felf, and of his own righteoufnefs and goodnefs, in whatever 
form or fhape, fo far he is of a legal fpirit.^ A fpirit of pridi 
of a man's own righteoufnefs, morality, hoSinefs, aifedlion, ex 
perience, faith, humiliation, or any goo 1; --is whatfoever, is a 
legal fpirit. It was no pride in Adam before the fall, to be 
of a legal fpirit ; becaufe of his circumstances, he might feck 
acceptance by his own righteoufnefs. But a legal fpirit in a 
fallen iinful creature, can be nothing alfo but fpiritual pride*; 
and reciprocally, a fpiritually proud fpirit is a le.^al fpirit. 
There is no man living mat is Sifted up with a conceit of his 
own experiences and difcoveries, and upon the account of them 
gliders in his own eyes, but what trulls in his experiences, 
and makes a righteoufnefs of them ; however he may ufe hum 
ble terms, arid fpeak. of his experiences as of the great things 
God has done for hi,n, and it may be calls upon others 'O glori 
fy God for them; yet he th-H is proud of his experiences, ar- 
ro^ates fomethin to himfelf, as thou-h his experiences were 

O * 

foine dignity of his. And if he looks on them as his own 
dignity, he neceiTarily thinks that God looks on th:m fo too ; 
for he neceffdrily thinks his own opinion of them to be true ; 
and confequently judges that God looks on them as he does ; 
and fo unavoidably imagines that God looks on his experiences 
as a dignity in him, as he looks on them himfelf ; and that ho 
gliilers as much in God's eyes, as he does in his own. And 
thus he trulls in what is inherent in him, to make him fliine 
in God's fight, and recommend him to God : and with this 
encouragement he goes before God in prayer ; and this makes 
him expect much from God ; and this makes hitn think that 
Chriil loves him, and thit he is willing to clothe him with 
his righteoufnefs ; becaufe he fuppofes that he is taken with 
his experiences and graces. And this is a high degree of living 
on his own righteoufnefs ; and fuch perfons are in the high road 
to hell. Poor deluded wretches, who think they look fo glitter 
ing in God's eyes, when they are a fmoke in hi? nofe, and are 



many of them more odious to him, than the mod impure hc.ifl 
in Sodom, that makes no pretence to religion ! To do as thcie 
do, is to live upon experiences, according to the true notion of 
it ; and not to do as thofe, who only make ufe of Tpi ritual ex 
periences, as evidences of a ftate of grace, and in that way re 
ceive hope and comfort from them. 

There is a fort of men, who indeed abundantly cry down 
works, and cry up faith in oppofition to works, and fet up them- 
felves very much as evangelical perfons, in oppofition to thofe 
that are of a legal fpirit, and make a fair (hew of advancing 
Chrifl and the gofpel, and the way of fiee grace ; who are in 
deed fome oi the s;reateft enemies to the goipel-way of free 
grace, and the moil dangerous oppofers of pure humble 

There is a pretended great humiliation, arid being dead to. 
the law. and emptied of felf, which is one of the bigged and 
moft elated things in the world. Some there are, who have 
made great profeffion of experience of a thorough work of the 
law on their own hearts, and of being brought fully off from 
works ; whofe converfation has favoured moil of a felf-righie- 
ous fpirit, of any that ever I had opportunity to obferve. And 
fome who think thernfclves quite emptied of themfelves, and 


t <f Take not every opinion and doctrine from men or nngcls, 
that bears a fair (View of advancing Chrift ; for they may be but 
the fruits of evangelical hypocrify and deceit ; that being deceived 
themfelves, may deceive others too ; Matth. vii. 15. "Beware of 
" them, that come in flieep's cloathing ;" in the innocency, prity, 
and meeknefs of Chrift and his people ; " but inwardly ai 
proud, cruel, cenforious, /peaking evil of iulat ll?y foww r,i f . fy 
their fruits you ft all karnu them* Do not think, beloved, that S^L'-i 
will not feek to fend delufions among us. And do you think thefe 
delufions will come out of the Popifn pack, whefe inventions fmell 
above ground here ? No, he inuft come, and will come with more 
evangelical, fine-fpun devices. It is a rule obferved arnongft jefaits, at 
this day, if they would conquer religion bv fabtiln-, never cppoie re 
ligion with acrofs religion \ but fet it againft itfeh j 
by the gofpel. And look, as churches pleading for v, e .v in 
vented devi fed works ; fo when faith is preached, men will liav*e their 
new inventions of faith. I fper.k not this againil tl.e doct-' 
where it is preached ; but am glad of it : not that 1 would ha. - e men 
content themielvcs with every form of faith ; for I bc!ic\c tiiat ir,r.ft 
mens faith needs coanrming or trying. But I icetkt' 
n that hand." Sh-pard's Fara!:U' t Fait I. ;, i?>. 

OF G R A C I O U S A F F E C T I O N S. s$ 

a'~c confiJent that they are abaicd in the daft, are full as they 
can hold with the glorv of their own humility, and lifted up 
to heaven with an high opinion oi their abafeznent. Their 
humility is a fwelling, felt-conceited, confident, fhowy, noiiy, 
.alluinino; humility. It feems to be the nature of fpiritual pride 
to make men conceited and oflcntatious of their humility. This 
ears in that firfl-born or pride, among the children of men, 
that would be called kis holincfs, even the man of fin, that ex 
alts himfelf above all that is called Gud or is worfhipped ; he 
ilyles himfelfySrz-'iZ/;^ of fervants \ and to make a ihevv of hu 
mility, wafhes the feet of a number of poor men at his inaugu 

For perfons to be truly emptied of themfelves, and to be 
poor in fpirit, and broken in heart, is quite another thing, and 
has other efrecls, than many imagine. It is aflonifhing how 
greatly many are deceived about themfelves as to this matter, 
imagining themfelves mofl humble, when they are moft proud, 
and their behaviour is really the moft haughty. The cleceit- 
fulnefs of the heart of man appears in no one thing fo much, 
as this of fpiiitual pride and (eif-righteoufnefs. Thefubtilty of 
Satan appears in its height, in his managing of perfons with re- 
fpect to this fin. And perhaps one reafon may be, that here lie 
lias moil experience : he knows the way of its coming in; he 
is acquainted with the fecret fprings of it ; it was his own fin. 
Experience gives vaft advantage in leading fouls, either in t 
good or evil. 

But though fpiritual pride be fo fubtil and fecret an iniquity, 
and commonly appears under a pretext of great humility ; yet 
there are two things by which it may (perhaps universally and 
forely) be difcovered and diftinguifhed. 

Thefrft thing is this ; he that is under the prevalence of 
this diitemper, is apt to think highly of his attainments in reli 
gion, as comparing himfeif with others. It is natural for him 
to fall into that thought of himfelf, that he is an eminent faint, 
that he is very high amongft the faints, and has diftinguifhingly 
good and great experiences. That is the fecret language of 
his heart, Luke xviii. 11. " God, I th?.nk thee, that I am not 
<; as other men." And If. Ixv. r } . " I am holier than thou." 
Hence fuch are apt to put themfelves forward among God's peo 
ple, and as it were to take a high feat among them, as if there, 
was no doubt or it but it belonged to them. Thev, as it were, 
naturally do that which Chriff condemns, Luke xiv. 7. ?f, 


take the highejl room. This they do, by being forward to take 
upon them the place and bufmefs of the chief; to guide, teach, 
direcTfc and manage; " They are confident that they are guides 
' to the blind, alight of them which areiri darknefs, inllruc- 
* ; tors of the foolilh, teachers of babes," Rom. ii. 19, 20. It 
is natural for them to take it for granted, thar it belongs to them 
to 3o the part of dictators and matters in matters of religion ; 
and fo they implicitly affect to be called of men Rabbi, which 
is by interpretation Matter, as the Pharifces did, Matih, xxiii. 
6. 7. z. <?. they are apt to expeft that others mould regard them, 
and yield to them, as mailers, in matters of religion.* 

But he whofe heart is under the power of Chriflian humility, 
is of a contrary difpofition. If the fcriptures are at all to be 
r.elied on, fuch an one is apt to think his attainments in religion 
to be comparatively mean, and to ei*eern himielf low among 
the faints, and one of the leail of faints. Humility, or true low- 
linefs of mind, difpofes perfons to think others better than 
themfeives; Phil. ii. 3. " In lowlinefs of mind, let eacheileem 
" others better than themfeives." Hence the> are apt to think 
the loweft room belongs to them ; and (heir Inward difpofition 
naturally leads them to obey that precept oi our Saviour, Luke 
xiv. 10. It is not natural to them to take it upon them to do 
the part of teachers ; but on the contrary, they are difpofed to 
think that they are not the perfons, that others are fi:ter for it 
than they; as it was with Mofesand Jeremiah, (Exod. iii. 11. 
Jer. i. 6.) though they were fuch eminent faints, and of great 
knowlege. It is not natural to them to think that it belongs to 
them to teach, but to be taught : they are much more ea^er to 
hear, and to receive inttruclion from others, than to dictate to 
others; Jam. i. 19. " Be ye fwift to hear, flow to fpeak." And 
when they do fpeak, it is not natural to them to fpeak with a bo;d, 
mafterlyair; but humility difpofes them rather to fpeak, trem 
bling. Hof. xiii. i. " When Ephraim fpake, trembling, he 
" exalted himfelf in Ifrael ; but when he offended in Baal, he 
" died." They are not apt to affume authority, and to take 
upon them to be chief managers and matters ; but rather to be 


* " There be two tilings wherein it appears that a man has only 

common gifts, and no inward principle ; j. Thefe gifts ever pufFup, 

and make a man fomething in his own eves, as the Corinthian knov, - 

hge did ; and many a pri; ate man thinks himfelf fit to be a minifter."' 

WsiqarfsfarM, Parti, p. i8i,iCz. 


fubjecl to others; Jam. iii. 1,2. " Be not many mailers." i Fet. 
.v. 5. " All of you be fubject one to ano her, and be clothed with 
*' humility." Eph. v. 21. ! ' Submitting } ourielves one toano- 
" ther in the fear of God." 

There are fome per-ons experiences that naturally work that 
way, to make them think highly oi their experiences ; and 
they do often themielves fpeak of their experiences as very great 
and extraordinary ; they freely fpeak of the great things they 
have met with. This may be fpoken and meant in a good fenfe- 
In one fenfe, every degree of laving mercy is a great thing : 
it is indeed a thing great, yea, infinitely great, for God to be- 
flow the lead crumb of chiidrens bread on hich dogs as we 
are in ourfelves ; and the more humb e a perfon is that hopes 
that God has befto\ved fuch mercy on him, the more apt will 
he be ro call it a great thing that he has met with, in this fenfe. 
But if by great things which they have experienced, they mean 
comparatively great fpiritual experiences, or great compared 
with others experiences, or beyond what is ordinary, which is 
evidently oftentimes the cafe; then fb' a perfon to fay, / hav-s 
met with great things, is the very lame thing as to fay, I am an 
eminent Joint t and have more grace than ordinary : for to have 
great experiences, if the experiences be true and worth the tell 
ing of, is the fame thing as to have great grace: there is no 
true experience, but the exercifc of grace ; and exactly accord 
ing to the degree of true experience, is the degree of grace and 
holinefs. The perfons that talk thus about their experience?, 
when they give an account of them, expecl that others mould 
admire them. Indeed they do not call it boating to talk after 
this manner about their experiences, nor do they look upon it 
as any fign of pride : becaufe they fay, they know that it was- 
not lhe.y that did it, it was free grace, they are the great things 
that God has done for them, they would acknowledge tkz 
great mercy God hasjhown them, and not make light oj it. But 
fo it was with the Pharifee that Chrift tells us of, Luke xviii. 
He in words gave God the glory of making him to differ from 
other men ; God, I thank the?, fays he, that I am not as ether 
men.* Their verbally afcribing it to the grace of God, that 


* Calvin, in his Inftitutions, B, III. chap. xii. $ 7. (peaking of 
this Pharifee, obierves, " That in his outward confeffion, he acknow 
ledges that the righteoufnefs that he has is the gift of God : but {%r 
he) becaufe he trulls that he is righteous., he goes away ovt of the r~: 
fence of God, unacceptable and odious." 


they are holier than other faints, does not hinder their forward- 
nei's to think fo highly of their holinefs, being a fure evidence 
of the pride and vanity of their minds. If they were under the 
influence of an humble fpirir, their attainments in religion 
would not be fo apt to fhine in their own eyes, nor would they 
be fo much in admiring their own beauty. The Chriflians 
that are really the moft eminent faints, and therefore have the 
mbft excellent experiences, " and are greateft in the kingdom 
" of heaven, humble themfelves as a little child," Matt, xviii. 
4. becaufe they look on themfelves as but little children in 
grace, and their attainments to be but the attainments of babes 
in Chriit, and are aftonifhed at, and aihamed of the low decrees 
of their love, and their thankfulnefs, and their little know- 
lege of God. Mofes when he had been converfing with God 
in the mount, and his face (hone fo bright in -the eyes of others 
as to dazzle their eyes, wift not that his face Jhonf* There are 
fome perfons that go by the name of high profeffors, and fome 
will own themfelves to be high profeffors, but eminently hum 
ble faints, that will fhine brighter!: in heaven, are not at all apt 
to profefs high. I do not believe there is an eminent faint 
in the world that is a high profeflbr. Such will be much more 
likely to profefs themfelves to be the leaft of all faints, and to 
think that every faint's attainments and experiences are higher 
than his.f 


f Luther, as bis words are cited by Rutherfoord, in his Difylay of 
il:e fpiritital Antickrrft, p. 143, 144. fays thus, "So is the life of a 
Chriftian, that he that has begun, feems to himfeir to have nothing ; 
but ftrives and prelTes forward, that he may apprehend. Whence 
Paul fays, I count not tryftlf to ba<ve apprehended. For indeed nothing 
is more pernicious to a believer, than that prefumpticn, that be has 
already apprehended, and has no further need of feeking. Hence alfo 
many fall back, and pine away in fpiritual fccurity and flothfuJnefs. 
So Bernard fays, To ficmd Jiiil in God's *w-y, is to go lack. Where 
fore this remains to him that has begun to be a Chrifdan, to think 
that he is not yet a Chriftian, but to feck that he may be a ChriiHnn, 

Chriftian, and is not fenfible how he falls fnort. We reach after hea 
ven, but are not in heaven. Wo to him that is wholly renewed, 
is, that thinks himfeif to be fo. That man, without doubt, hs.r, ne 
ver fo much as begun to be renewed, nor did he ever ta^c v/Lat it is to 
be a Chriftian." 



Such is the nature of grace, and of true fpiritual light that 
they naturally difpofe the faints in the prefent (late, to look 
upon their grace and goodnefs little, and their deformity great. 
And they that have the moil grace and fpiritual light, of any 
in this world, have moft of this difpofition. As will apper.r 
moft clear and evident to any one that foberly and thoroughly 
weighs the nature and reafon of things, arid confiders the things 

That grace and holinefs is worthy to be called little, that is, 
little in comparifon of what it ought to be. And fo it feems 
to one that is truly gracious : for fuch an one has his eye upon the 
rule of his duty ; a conformity to that is what he aims at it is 
what his foul ftruggles and reaches after; and it is by that 
that he eftimates and judges of what he does, and what he has. 
To a gracious foul, and efpecially to one eminently gracious, 
that holinefs appears little, which is little of what it fnould he ; 
little of what he fees infinite reafon for, and obligation to. 
If his holinefs appears to him to he at a vaft di (lance from this^ 
it naturally appears defpicable in his eyes, and not worthy to 
be mentioned as any beauty or amiablenefs in him. For the 
like reafon as a hungry man naturally accounts that which is 
fet before him, but a little food, a fmall matter, not worth 
mentioning, that is nothing in comparifon of his appetite. Or 
as the child of a great prince, that is jealous for the honor of 
his father, and beholds the refpecl which men flicw him, na 
turally looks on that honor and refpecl: very little, and not 
worthy to be regarded, which is nothing in comparifon of that 
which the dignity of his father requires. 

But that is the nature cf true grace and fpiritual lighf, 
that it opens to a pcrfon's view the infinite reafon there is thai- 
he fhould be holy in a high degree. And the more grace hr 
has, the more this is opened to view, the greater fenfe he has 
of the infinite excellency and glory of the divine Being, anclol 
the infinite dignity of the perlon of Chrift, and the hound- 
lefs length and breadth, and depth and height, of the love o? r 
Chrift to finners. And as grace increafcs, the field op?ns 
more and more to a diftant view, until the foul is f wallowed 
up with the vailnefsof the object, and the per f on is ailoniihe.l 
to think how much it becomes him tc love this God, and this 
glorious Redeemer, tint has fo loved man, and how lictle he 
does love: And fo the more he apprehends, the more the 
imallnefs of his grace and love ap^rars ftsarjge and wondeifn! : 
Y v and 


and therefore is more ready to think that others are beyond 
him. For wondering at the littlenefs of his own grace, be can 
Icarcely believe that ib flrange a thing happens to other faints : 
it is amazing to him, that one that is really a child of God, 
-fend that has alually received the favirig benefits of that un- 
fpeskable love of Chrifi, fhould love no more : and he is apt 
to look upon it as a thing peculiar to himfelf, a ftrange and 
exempt inihnce ; for he fees only the outfide of other Chrif- 
tians, but he fees his own infide. 

Here the reader may poflibly objecl, that love to Gcd is really 
increafed in proportion as the knowleie of God is increafed; 
and therefore how fhould an increafe of knowlepe in a faint, 


make his love appear lefs, in comparifon of what is known ? 
To which I anfwer, that although grace and the love of God 
in the faints, beanfwerable to the degree of knovvlege or fight 
of God ; yet it is not in proportion to the object feen and 
known. The foul of a faint, by having fomething of God 
opened tofight, is convinced of much more than is feen. 
There is fomething that is feen, that is wonderful ; and that 
fight brings with ii a iirorig conviction of fomething vafily be 
yond, that is not immediately feen. So that the foul, at the 
fame time, is aliomfhed at its ignorance, and that it knows fo 
little, as well as that it loves fo little. And as the foul, in a 
fpiritual view, is convinced of infinitely more in the object, yet 
beyond fight ; fo it is convinced of the capacity of the foul, of 
kn&wingvaftly more, if clouds and darknefs were but removed. 
Which caufes the foul, in the enjoyment of a fpiritual view, 
to complain greatly of fpiritual ignorance, and want of love, 
and long and reach after more knowlege, and more love. 

Grace and the love of God in the moft eminent faints in 
this work!, is truly very little in comparifon of what it ought 
to be. Becaufe the higheil love, that ever any attain to in this 
life, is poor, cold, exceeding low, and not worthy to be named 
in comparifon of what our obligations appear to be, from the 
joint confideration of thefe two things ; viz. i. The reafon 
God has given us to love him, in the manifeftations he has 
made of his infinite glory, in his word, and in his works ; and 
particularly in the gofpel of his Son, and what he has done for 
fniful man by him. And, 2. The capacity there is in the foul 
of man, by thofe! faculties which God has given it, 
of feeing arid underffanding thefe reafons, which God has 
given us to love him. How final! indeed is the love of the 



eminent faint on earth, in companion of what thefe things 
jointly considered do require ! And this grace tends to con 
vince men of; and efpecially eminent grace : for grace is of 
the naiure of light, and brings truth to view. And therefore 
he that has much grace, apprehends much more than others, 
that great height to which his love ought to afcend ; and he 
fens better than others, how little a way he has rifen towards 
that height. And therefore, eftimating his love by the whole 
height of his ddty, hence it appears aftoniftiingly little and low 
in his eyes. 

And the eminent faint, having fuch a conviction of the high 
degree in which he ought to love God, this (hews him, not 
only the littlenefs of his grace, but the greatnefs of his remain 
ing corruption. In order to judge how much corruption or 
fin we have remaining in us, we muft take our rneafure from 
that height to which the rule of our duty extends : the whole 
of the diiiance we are at from that height, is fin : for failing of 
duty is fin ; otherwife our duty is not our duty ; and by how 
much the more we fall mort of our duty, fo much the more fin 
have we. Sin is no oiher than difagreeablenefs, in a moral 
agent, to the law, or rule of his duty. And therefore the de 
gree of fin is to be judged of by the rule : fo much difagreea- 
hlenefs to the rule, fo much fin, whether it be in defect or excefs. 
Therefore if men, in their love to God, do not come up half 
way to that height which duty requires, then they have more 
corruption in their hearts than grace ; becaufe there is r:-;re 
goodnefs wanting, than is there ; and all that is wanting is firi: 
it is an abominable defect ; and appears fo to the faints, efpe 
cially thofe that are eminent ; it appears exceeding abominable 
to them, that Chrifl mould be loved fo little, and thanked fo 
little for his dying love ; it is in their eyes hateful ingratitude. 

And then the increafe of grace has a tendency another way, 
to caufe the faints to think their deformity vaitly more than 
their goodnefs : it not only tends to convince them that their 
corruption is much greater than their goodnefs, which is in 
deed the cafe ; but it alfo tends to caufe the deformity that 
there is in the leail fin, or the leaft decree of corruption, to ap 
pear fo great, as vaftly to outweigh all the beauty there is in 
their greareft holinefs ; for this ailo is indeed the caie. For the 
leaft fin agairift an infinite God, has an infinite hatefulnefs or 
deformity in it ; but the higheft degree of holinefs in a crea 
ture, has not an infinite luveliriefs in it : and therefore ths 



lovelm.efs of it is as nothing, in comparifon of the deformity 
of the leail fin. That every fin has infinite deformity and hate- 
fi-lnefs in it, is moil demorifirably evident ; becauie what the 
evil, or iniquity, or hatefulnefs of fin confifls in, is the violat 
ing of an obligation, or the being or doing contrary to what we 
fhould be or do, or are obliged to. And therefore by how 
much the greater the obligation is that is violated, fo much the 
greater is the iniquity and hatefulnefs of the violation. But 
certainly our obligation to love and honor any being, is in 
fome proportion to his lovelmefsand honourablenefs, or to his 
worthinefs to be loved and honored by us ; which is the fame 
thing. We are furely under greater obligation to love a more 
lovely being, than a lefs lovely : and if a Being be infinitely 
lovely or worthy to be loved by us, then our obligations to love 
him, are infinitely great : and therefore, whatever is contrary 
to this love, has in it infinite iniquity, deformity, and unwor- 
thinefs. But on the other hand 3 with refpeft to our holinefs 
or love to God, there is not an infinite worthinefs in that. The 
fmof the creature againft God, is ill-deferving and hateful in 
proportion to the diftance there is between God and the crea 
ture : the greatnefs of the objecl, and the meannefs and inferir 
ority of the fubjecr, aggravates it. But it is the reverfe with 
regard to the worthinefs of the refpeft of the creature to God ; 
it is worthlefs, and not worthy, in proportion to the meannefs 
of the fubjecl. So much the greater the diftance between God 
and the creature, fo much the lefs is the creature's refpecl wor 
thy of God's notice or regard. The great degree of fuperiority 
increafes the- obligation on the inferior to regard the fuperior ; 
and fo makes the want of regard mere hateful : but the great 
degree of inferiority diminishes the worth of the regard of the 
inferior ; bccaufe the more he is inferior, the lefs is he worthy 
of notice, the lefs he is, the lefs is what he can offer worth ; 
for he can offer no more than hirnfelf, in offering his beft re- 
fpecl: ; and therefore as he is little, and little worth,, fo is his 
lefpecl little worth. And the more a perfon has of true grace 
and fpiritual light, the more will it appear thus to him ; the 
more will he appear to himfelf infinitely deformed by reafon 
of fin, and the lefs will the goodnefs that is in his grace, or 
good experience, appear in proportion to it. For indeed it 
is nothing to it ; it is lefs than a drop to the ocean ; for finite 
bears no proportion at all to that which is infinite. But the 
?nc:e a perfon has of fpiritual light, tbt- more do things appear 



to him, in this refpeft, as they are indeed. Hence it mo ft dc- 
rnonlirably appears, that true grace is of that nature, that tho 
more a perfoa has of it, vviih remaining corruption, the lefs 
does his goodnefs and holinefs appear, in proportion to his de 
formity ; and net only to his pad deformity, but to his prefent 
deformity, in the fin that now appears in his heart, and in 
the abominable defeats of his higbeft and beii affect-ions, and 
brighteil experiences. 

The nature of many high religious afTeclions, and great dif- 
ccveries (as they are called) in many perfons that I have been 
acquainted with, is to hide and cover over the corruption of 
their hearts, and to make it feem to them as if all their fins was 
gone, and to leave them without complaints of any hateful- evil 
left in them ; (though it may be they cry out much of their 
pail unworthinefs ;) a fure and certain evidence that their dif- 
ccveries (as they call them) are darknefs and not light. It is 
darknefs that hides mens pollution and deformity; but light 
let into the heart difcovers it, fearches it out in its fecret cor- 
ners, and makes it plainly to appear ; efpecially that penetrat 
ing, all-fearching light of God's holinefs and glory. It is true, 
that faving difcoveries may for the prefent hide corruption in 
one fenfe ; they reihain the pqfitive cxercifes of it, fuch as 
malice, envy, covetoufnefs, lacivioufnefs, murmuring, &c, 
but they brino; corruption to light, in ^hat which is privative, 
viz. that there is no more love, no more humility, no more 
thankfulnefs. Which defetls appear moll hateful, in the eyes 
of thofe who have the moil eminent exercifes of grace ; and 
are very burdenfome, and caufe the faints to cry out of their 
leannefs, and odious pride and ingratitude. And whatever 
pofitive exercifes of corruption, at any time arife, and mingle 
themfelve$ with eminent actings of grace, grace will exceed 
ingly magnify the view of them, and render their appearance 
far more henious and horrible. 

The more eminent fainrs are, and the more they have of the 
light of htaven in their fouls, the more do they appear to them- 
felves, as the moil eminent faints in this world do, to the 
faints and angels in heaven. How can we rationally fuppofe 
the moil eminent faints on earth appear to them, if beheld any 
otherwife, than covered over with the righteoufnefs of Chriif, 
and their deformities fwal lowed up and hid in the corufcation 
of the beams of his abundant glory and love ? how can we fup 
pofe our mpft ardent love and praifes appear to them, that do 


T H E s i x T ii S i G N Part III. 

behold the beauty and glory of God without a vail ? how does 
our higheft thankfulneis lor the dying love of Chrift appear to 
them, who fee Chrift as he is, who know as they are known, 
and fee the glory of the perfon of him that died, and the won 
ders of his dying love, without any cloud or darkncfs ? and how 
do they look on the deepeft reverence and humility, with which 
worms of' the duft on earth approach that infinite Majefty, 
which they behold ? do they appear great to them, or fo much 
as worthy of the name of reverence and humility, in thofe that 
they fee to be at fuch an infinite diftance from that great and 
holy God, in whofe glorious prefence they are ? The reafon 
why the higheft attainments of the faints on earth appear fo 
mean to them, isbecaufe they dwell in the light of God's glory, 
and fee God as he is. And it is in this refpeci with the faints 
on earth, as it is with the faints in heaven, in proportion as 
they are more eminent in grace. 

I would not be underftood, that the faints on earth have, in 
all refpecls, the worft opinion of themfelves, when they have 
moft of the exercife of grace. In many refpe&s it is otherwife. 
With refpeci to the pofitive exercifes of corruption, they may 
appear to themfelves freeft and beft when grace is moft in ex 
ercife, and worft when the aftings of grace are loweft. And 
when'they compare themfelves with themfelves, at different 
times, they may know$ when grace is in lively exercife, that 
it is better with them than it was before, (though before, in 
the time of it, they did not fee fo much badnefs as they fee 
now ;) and when afterwards they fink again in the frame of 
their minds, they may know that they fmk, and have a new 
'argument of their great remaining corruption, and a rational 
conviclion of a greater vilenefs than they faw before ; and may 
have more of a fenie of guilt, and a kind of legal fenfe of their 
(infulnefs, by far, than when in the lively exercife of grace. 
But yet it is true, and demon ftrable from the forementioned 
eonfiderations, that the children of God never have fo much 
of a fenjible. and fpii iiual conviclion of their deformity, and fo 
great, and quick, and abating a fenfe of their prefent vilenefs and 
odioufnefs, as when trrey are higheft in the exercife of true and 
pure grace ; and never are they fo much difpofed to fet them 
felves low among Ciirifliaris as then. And thus he that is 
greateft in the kingdom, or moft eminent in the church of Chrift, 
is the fame that humbles himfelf, as the lea ft infant among them ; 
Agreeable to that great faying of Chrift, Matth. xviii. 4. 




A true faint may know that he has fonie true grace : and 
the more grace there is, the more eafily is it known ; as was 
obferved and proved before. But yet it does not follow, that 
aji eminent faint is eafily fenfible that he is an eminent faint, 
when compared with others. I will not deny that it is pof- 
fible, that he that has much grace, and is an eminent faint, 
may know it. But he will not be apt to know it ; it will not 
be a thing obvious to him : that he is better than others, and 
has higher experiences arid attainments, is not a foremoft 
thought; nor is it that which, from time to time, readily of 
fers itfelf ; it is a thing that is not in his way, hut lies far out 
of fight; he muft take pains to convince himfelf of it; there 
will be need of a great command of reafon, and a high degree 
of ftriclnefs and care in arguing, to convince himfelf. And if 
he be rationally convinced, by a very ftrict confideration of his 
own experiences, compared with the great appearances of low 
degrees of grace in fome other faints, it will hardly feem real 
to him, that he has more grace than they ; and he will be apt 
to lofe the conviclion, that he has by pains obtained ; nor will 
it feem at all natural to him to acl: upon that fuppofiuon. And 
this may be laid down as an infallible thing. That the per fon 
who is apt to think that he, as compared with others, is a very 
eminent faint, much dijhnguijlied in Chriftian experience^ in 
whom this is a firfl thought, that rifts of itfelf, and naturally 
offers itfelf \ he is certainly mijlaken ; he is no eminent Jaint ; 
but under the great prevailings of a proud andje If -righteous fpirit. 
And if this be habitual with the man, and is flatedJy the pre 
vailing temper of his mind, he is no faint at all ; he has not 
the leafl degree of any true Chriftian experience ; fo fiirely as 
the word of God is true. 

And that fort of experiences that appears to be of that ten 
dency, and is found from time to time to have that effect, to ele 
vate the fubje& of them with a great conceit of thofe experien 
ces, is certainly vain and delufive. Thofe ftippofed difcoveries 
that naturally blow up the perfon with an admiration of the 
eminency of his difcoveries, and fill him with conceit, that 
now he has feen, and knows more than mod other Chriftian?, 
have nothing of the nature of true fpiritual light in them. All 
true fpiritual knowlege is of that nature, that the more a per 
fon has of it, the more is he fenfible of his own ignorance ; as 
' is evident by I Cor. viii. 2. " He that thinketh he knowethany 
" thing, heknoweth nothing yet as he ought to know." Agur, 



when he had a great difcovery of God, and fenfe of the wonder 
ful height of his glory, and of his marvellous works, and cries out 
of his greatnefs and incomprehenfiblenefs ; at the fame time, 
had the deepeft fenfe of his brutilh ignorance, and looked upon 
himfelf the mod ignorant of all the faints; Prov. xxx. 2,3, 4. 
" Surely I am more brutifh than any man, and have not the un- 
' derftanding of a man. I neither learned wifdom, nor have the 
" knowlege of the holy. Who hath afcended up into heaven, or 
<4 defcended ? w ho hath gathered the wind in his fifts ? who hath 
" bound the waters in a garment ? who hath eftablifhed all the 
" ends of the earth ? what is his name, and what is his fon's 
" name, if thou canft tdl? 

For a man to be highly conceited of his fpiritual and divine 
knowlege, is for him to be wife in his own eyes, if any thing 
is. And therefore if comes under thofe prohibitions, Prov. iii. 7. 
" Be not wife in thine own eyes ;" Rom. xii. 16. ** Be not wife 
* in your own conceits :" and brings men under that wo, If. v. 
2i. " Wo unto them that are wife in their own eyes, and pru- 
" dent in their own fight." Thofe that are thus wife in their 
own eyes, are fome of the lead likely to get good of any in the 
world. Experience mews the truth of that, Prov. xxvi. 12. 
Seeft thou a man wife in his own conceit ? there is more 
" hope of a fool than of him." 

To this fome may object, that the pfalmift, when we mull 
fuppofe that he was in a holy frame, fpeaks of his knowlege 
as eminently great, and far greater than that of other faints 
Pfal. cxix. 99, i oo. " I have more understanding than all my 
" teachers: for thy teftimonies are my meditation. I understand 
" more than the ancients : becaufe I keep thy precepts.' 1 

To this I anfwer two things : 

(i.) There is no reftraint to be laid upon the Spirit of God, 
as to what he (hall reveal to a prophet, for the benefit of his 
church, who is fpeaking or writing under immediate infpiratwn. 
The Spirit of God may reveal to iuch an one, and diftate to 
him, to declare to others, fecret things, that otherwife would 
be hard, yea impoffible for him to find out. As he may re 
veal to him myfteries, that otherwife would be above the reach 
cf his reafon ; or things in a diftant place, that he cannot fee ; 
or future events, that it would be impoffible for him to know 
and declare, if they were not extraordinarily revealed to him : 
fo the Spirit of God might reveal to David this diftinguiihing 
benefit he had received, by converfing much with God's tefti 
monies ; and ufe him as his inftrumeat to record it for the 



bc:iVit he had received, by converting much with God's tefti- 
monies ; and ufb him as his initrument to record it for the 
benefit of others, to excite them to the like duty, and to ufe-the 
fame means to gain inowiege* Nothing can b ;.. d con 
cerning the natural tendency of the ordinary rr> ; ences 
of the Spirit oi God, from thst, that David declares ofhisdif- 
tinguifhing knowlege under the extraordinary influences of 
God's Spirit, immediately diclaa'ng to him the divine mind by 
infpi ration, and uiing David as his infrruraent to write what 
he pleated for the benefit of his church ; any more than we 
can reafonably argue, that it is the natural tendency of grace 
to incline men to curfj others, and wifli the mofl: dreadful rni- 
feiy to them that can be thought of, becaufe David, under 
infpi ration, often curies others, and prays that f-icii mifery may 
come upon them. 

(2.) It is not certain that the knowlege Dnvid here fpeaks 
of, is ipiritual knovvlege, wherein holinefs does fundamen 
tally confii't. But it may be that greater revelation which God 
made to him of the Meiliah, and the things of his future king 
dom, and the far more clear and extenfive knovvlege that he 
had of the myfteries and doctrines of the gofpel, than others ; 
as a reward for his keeping God's teftimonk s. In this, it is 
apparent by .the book of Pfalms, that David far exceeded all 
that had gone before him. 

Secondly, Another thing that is an infallible fign of fpiritual 
pride, is perfons being apt to think highly of their humility. 
Falfe experiences are commonly attended with a counterfeit- 
humility. And it is the very nature of a Counterfeit humility, 
to be highly conceited of iticlf. Falfe religion:, a-t's-.itiens have 
generally that tendency, efpecialiy when raifed to a great h, 
to make perfons think that their humility is great, and accord 
ingly to take much notice of their great Attainments in this re- 
ipe6t, and admire them. But eminently gracious afFedions 
(I fcruple not to fay it) are evernibi-c or a contrary tendency, 
::nd have univerfally a contr;v. them. 

They indeed make then- ::i tiicre is that 

they mould be deeply humbled, and cauf- -.rr.edly to 

third and long after it \ but they make thcr: humility, 

or that which they have already attained to, to appear fmall ; 
and their remaining pride great, and exceedingly abominable. 

The reafon why a proud perlon (hould be apt to think his 
humility great, and why a very humble pcrlbn fho'ild think his 

Z z ' humility 


humility final], may be eafily feen, if it be confidered, that it 
is natural for pe'ions, in judging of the degree of their own 
humiliation, to take their meafure from that which they efleem 
their proper height, or the dignity wherein they properly Hand. 
That may be great humiliation in one, that is no humiliation 
at all in another; becaufe the degree of honorablenefs or con- 
{iclerablenefs, wherein each does properly {land, is very differ 
ent. For fome gieat man, to Hoop to loofe the latchet of the 
{hoes of another great man, his equal, or to wafli his feet, 
would betaken notice of as an acl of abafement in him ; and 
he being fenfible of his own dignity, would look upon it fo 
himfelf. But if a poor {lave is ken {looping to unlocfe the 
{hoes of a great prince, no body will take any notice of this, as 
any acl of humiliation in him, or token of any great degree of 
humility: nor would the fhwe himfelf, unlefs he be horribly 
proud, and ridiculouily conceited of himfelf: and if after he 
had done it, he Ihould, in his talk and behaviour, fhew that 
he thought his abafement great in it, and had his mind much 
upon it, as an evidence of his being very humble: would not 
every body cry out upon him, " Who do you think yourfeli 
" to be, that you fbould think this that you have done, fuch a 
" deep humiliation ?" This \vculu make it plain to a demori- 
{Iration, that this ilave was fwbllen with a high degree of pride 
and vanity of mind, as much as if he declared in plain terms, 
/ think inyfclj to be, fome great one. And the matter is no lefs 
plain and certain, when worthlcfs, vile and loathfome worms of 
the dufl, are apt to put fuch a conflruclion on their acts of a- 
bafement before God ; and to think it a token of great humili 
ty in (hem, that they, under their affeclions, can find them 
felves fo willing to acknowlege themfelves to be fo arid fo 
mean and unworthy, and to behave themfelves as thofe that are 
fo inferior. The very reafon why fuch outward acls, and fuch 
inward exercifes, look like great abafement in fuch an one, is 
becaufe he has a high conceit of himfelf. Whereas if he thought 
of himfelf more jufily, thefe things would appear nothing to 
him, and his humility in them worthy of no regard; but 
would rather be aflonithed at his pride, that one fo infinitely 
defpicable and vile, is brought no lower before God. W'heti 
he fays in his heart, "This is a great act of humiliation ; it is 
" certainly a fign of great humility in me, that I fhould feel 
*' thus, and do fo;" his meaning is, "This is great humility 
*' for me, for fuch a one as I, that am fo confiderable and 

" worthy." 


** worthy." He confiders how low he is now brought, and 
compares this with the height of dignity, on which he in his heuit 
thinks he properly ftands, and the diftance appears very great, 
arid he calls it all mere humility, and as fuch admires if. 
Whereas, in him that is truly humble, and really fees his own 
vileneis and loathfomenefs before God, the distance appears the 
other way. When he is brought loweft of all, it does not ap 
pear to him, that he is brought below his proper ilation, but 
that he is not come to it ; he appears to himfelf, yet vaftly 
above it : he longs to get lower, that he may come to it ; but 
appears at a great diftance from it. And this diftance he calls 
pride. And therefore his pride appears great to him, and not 
his humility. For although he is brought much lower than he 
ufed to be ; yet it does not appear to him worthy of the nan*. ~ 
of humiliation, for him that is fo infinitely mean and deteftab'e 
to comedown to a place, which though it be lower than what 
he ufed to aflame, is yet vaftly higher than what is proper for 
him. As men would hardly count it worthy of the name of 
humility, in a contemptible flave, that formerly aflecled to be 
a prince, to have his fpirit fo far brought down, as to take the 
place of a nobleman ; when this is ftill fo far above his proper 
ft eh ion. 

All men in the world, in judging of the de-rcc of their own 
and others humility, as appearing in any act of theirs, confi- 
der two things ; viz. the real degree of dignity they ft anil in ; 
and the degree of abafement, and the relation it bears to that 
real dignity. Thus the complying with the fame low place, 
or low acl, may be an evidence of great humility in one, that 
evidences but little or no humility in another. But truly hum 
ble Chriftians have fo mean an opinion of their own real d; 
ty, that all their felf-abafement, when considered with rehiion 
to that, and compared with that, appears very fmall to them. 
It does not feem to them to beany great humility, or any abafe 
ment to be made much of, for fuch poor, vile, abject creatures 
as they, to lie at the foot of God. 

The degree of humility is to he judged of by the degree of 
thafimenti and the degree of the caufe for abafimrnt : but ho 
that is truly and eminently humble, never thinks his : 
great, considering the caufe. The caufe why he fh 
a ha fed appears fo great, and the abafement r ne <! his 

heart fo greatly ihort of it, that he takes much H;-J;L* notice o; 
l.ui pride than his humility. 



Every one that has been converfant with fouls under convic 
tions of fin, knows that thole who are greatly convinced oi 1.11, 
are not apt to think tbernfelves greatly convinced. And the 
reafon is this : men judge oi the degree of their own convic 
tions of fin by two things jointly confidered ; viz. the degree of 
fenfe which they have of guilt and pollution, and the decree of 
caufe they have for fucha fenfe, in the degree of their real fin- 
fulnefs. It is really no argument of any great conviction of 
fin, for fome men to think themftlves to be very fir.iul, beyond 
rnoft others in the world ; becaufe thev are io indeed, very 
plainly and notoriously. And therefore a far lefs conviction of 
fin may incline Inch an one to think fo than another ; he muft 
be very blind indeed riot to be .fenfible of it. But he that is 
truly under great convictions of fin, naturally thinks this to be 
his cafe. It appears to him, that the canfe he has to be fenfible 
of guilt and pollution, is greater than others iiave ; and there 
fore he afcribes his fenfiBlenefs of this, to the greatnefs of his 
fin, and not to the greatnefs of his fenfibility. It is natural 
for one under great eonviclions, to think himfelf one of the 
greatefl of linnets in reality, and alfo that it is fo very plainly 
and evidently ; for the greater his cor.viiions are, ihe more 
plain and evident it feerns to be to him. And therefore it ne-' 
ceiTarily feemsto him fo plain and fo eafy to him to fee it, that 
it may be feen without much conviction. That man is under 
great convi6lions, whofe conviclion is tireat in proportion to 
his fin. But no man that is truly under great convictions, 
thinks his conviction great in proportion to his fin. For if he 
does, it is a ceriain fi. s n that he inwardly thinks his fins fmall. 
And if that be the cafe, that is a certain evidence that his con 
viction is fmall. And this, by the way, is the main reafon, 
-that perfons, when under a work of humiliation, are not ienii- 
ule of it, in the time of it. 

And as it is with conviction of fin, jufl fo it is, by parity of 
region, with refpe6t to perlbns coin ic'iion or fenfibjenefs of their 
own frneannefs and vilenefs, their own blindnefs, their own 
impotence, and all that low fenfe that a Chrillian has of him 
felf, in the exercife of evangelical humiliation. So that in a 
high degree of this, the faints are never difpofed to think their 
fenfiblenefs of their own meamiefs, fihhinefs, impotence, &c. 
to be great ; becaufe it never a-)pt^rs great to them, confider- 
ing the caufe 



An eminent faint is not apt to think himfelf eminent in any 
thin^; all his graces and experiences are ready to appear to 
him to be comparatively final! ; but especially his humility. 
Tlu-re is nothing that appertains to Chriitian experience, and 
true piety, that is fo much out ot his light as his humility. 
He is a thouiund times more quick- fighted to difcern his pride, 
than his ittiiniiuy : that he eafiiy difcx-rnsi and is apt to taks 
much notice of, but hardly difcerns his humility. On the 
contrary, the deluded hypocrite, that is under the power of 
fpiritual pride, is fo blind to nothing as his pride ; and fo 
quick-fighted to nothing, as the (hews of humility that are in him. 

The humble Chriitian is more apt to find fault with his 
own pride than with other mens. He is apt to put the belt 
contraction on others words and behaviour, and to think that 
none arc fo proud as himfelf'. But the proud hypocrite is 
quick to difcern the mote in his brother's eye, in this refpecl; 
while he fees nothing of the beam in his own. Pie i? very of 
ten much in crying out of others pride, finding fault with others 
apparel, a,nd v way of living ; and is affected ten times as much 
with his neighbour's ring or ribbon, as with all the filthinefs 
of his own heart. 

From the difpofition there is in hypocrites to think high- 
ly of their humility, it conies to pafs that counterfeit humility 
is forward to put forth itfelf to view. Thofe that have it, are 
apt to be much in fpeaking of their humiliations, and to 
fet them forth in high terms, and to make a great outward 
{hew of humility, in affecled looks, geilures, or manner of 
fpeech, or meannefs of apparel, or forne affecled Cngularity. 
So it was of old with the falfe prophets, Zech. xiii. 4. fo it 
was with the hypocritical Jews, If. jyii. 5 and fo Chrifl te'ls 
us it was with the Phariiees, Matth. vi. 16. But it is con- 
trariwife with true humility ; they that have it, are not apt 
lo difplay their eloquence in fetting of it forth, cr to ipeak of 
the degree of their abaferneiu in iirong terms.* It does not 


* It is an obfenrntion of Mr. Jones, in his excellent treatifc of the 
canon of the Ne\, ; t, tijat the cvangelift Mark, who was the 

companion of St. Peter, and is f-.ppo&d to have written his gofprl 
un.L'r the direction of that apoftle, when hi mentions Peter's repc;> 
taace after his denying his Maitsr, he docs not ufe fuch ilrong terms 
it forth as the other evangeliils, 1' c only ufes thtfe v/ords, 
" Whe^ he thought thereon, he we rk xiv. 72.; ivhereas 

the other evangeliits lay thus, " , a::d \vcj-t biticrl/*" 

^'lat-h. xvi. 75, Lu . ('2, 


affect to (hew itfelf in any fingular outward meannefs of appa 
rel, or way of living ; agreeable to what is implied in Matth. 
vi. 17. " But tbou, when thou faiieft, anoint thme head, and 
" warn thy face." Col. ii. 23. " Which things have indeed 
" a (hew of wifdom in will-worfhip and humility, and neglect- 
" ing of the body." Nor is true humility a noify thing ; it is 
not loud and boifterous. The fcripture raprefents it as of a 
contrary nature. Ahab, when he had a vifible humility, a re- 
femblance of true humility, went Joftly, i Kings xxi. 27. A 
penitent, in the exercife of true humiliation, is reprefented as 
flill and filent, Lam. iii. 28. '* He fitteth alone and keepeth 
" filenee, becaufe he hath borne it upon him." And filerice is 
mentioned as what attends humility ; Prov. xxx. 32. " Jf thou 
" haft done foolifhly in liftingup thyfelf, or if thou haft thought 
" evil, lay thine hand upon thy mouth." 

Thus I have particularly and largely fhewn the nature of 
that true humility that attends holy affe6tions, as it appears in 
its tendency to caufe perfons to think meanly of their attain 
ments in religion, as compared with the attainments of others, 
and particularly, of their attainments in humility : and have 
(hewn the contrary tendency of fpi ritual pride, to difpofe per- 
fons to think their attainments in thefe refpefts to be great. 
I have infifted the longer on this matter, becaufe I look upon 
it a matter of great importance, as it affords a certain diftinclion 
between true and counterfeit humility ; and alfo as this difpo- 
fition of hypocrites to look on themfelves better than others, 
is what God has declared to be very hateful to him, " a fmoke 
'* in his nofe, and a fire that burneth all the day," If. Ixv. . 
It is mentioned as an inftance of the pride of the inhabitants 
of that holy city (as it was called) Jerufaiem, that they eileemed 
themfelves far better than the people of Sodom, and fo looked 
upon them worthy to be overlooked and difregarded by them ; 
Ezek. xvi. 56. " For thy fifter Sodom was not mentioned by 
** thy mouth in the day of thy pride." 

Let not the reader lightly pafs over thefe things in applica 
tion to himfelf. If you once have taken it in, that it is a bad 
fign for aperfon to be apt to think himfelf a better faint than 
others, there will arife a blinding prejudice in your own favor; 
and there will probably be, need of a great flriclnefs of felf-ex- 
amination, in order to determine whether it be fo with you. If 
on the propofal of the qneftion, you anfwer, No, it Jccms to 
me t none arefo bad as /. Do not let the matter pafs off lo ; 



but examine again, whether or no you do not think yourfeJf 
better than others on this very account, hecaufe you imagine 
you think io meanly of yourfelf. Have riot you an high opin 
ion of this humility ? and if you aniwer a^ain, No, I have not 
an high opinion of my humility ; it f terns to me I am as proud 
as the devil ; yet examine again, whether felf-conceit do not 
rife up under this cover ; whether on this very account, thai 
you think yourfelf as proud as the devil, you do not think 
yourfelf to be very humble. 

From this oppofition that there is between the nature of a 
true, and of a counterfeit humility, as to the elieem that the 
fubjecls of them have of themfelves, ariies a manifold cc-;'ra- 
riety of temper and behaviour. 

A truly humble perfon, having fuch a mean opinion of his 
righteoufriefs and holinefs, is poor in fpirit. For a perfon to 
be poor in fpirit, is to be in his own fenie and apprehenlion poor, 
as to what is in him, and to be of an anfwerable difpofition. 
Therefore a truly humble perfon, efpecially one eminently 
humble; naturally behaves himfelf in many refpecls as a poor 
man. The poor ufdh intreaties, but the ricfianfwerdh roughly. 
A poor man is not difpofed to quick and high refentmentwhen 
he is among the rich : he is apt to yield toothers, for he knows 
others are above him ; he is not ftiffand felf-willed ; he is pa 
tient with hard fare : he expecls no other than to be defpifed, 
and takes it patiently ; he does not take it heinoufiy that he is 
overlooked, and but little regarded ; he is prepared to be in low- 
place ; he readily honors his fuperiors ; he takes reproofs 
quietly; he readily honors others as above him; he eafily 
yields to be taught, and does not claim much to his underftand- 
ing and judgment ; he is not over nice or humourforne, and 
has his fpirit fubdued to hard things ; he is not affuraing, nor 
apt to take much upon him, but it is natural for him to be fub- 
jet to others. Thus it is with the humble ChrilHan. Hu 
mility is (as the great Maflricht exprefTes it) a kind of holy 

A man that is very poor is a beggar ; fo is he that is poor in 
fpirit. This is a great difference between thofe affecKcns that 
are gracious, and thofe that are falfe : under the former, the 
perfon continues ftill a poor beggar at God's gates, exceeding 
empty and needy ; but the latter make spnear to them- 


fetyes rich, and increafed with goods, and not very ncceffi- 
tous ; they have a great flock in their own imagination for their 

A poor man is modeft in bis fpeech and behaviour ; fo, and 
much more, and more certainly and univerfally is one that is 
poor in fpirit; he is humble and moded in his behaviour 
amongftmen. It is in vain for any to pretend that they are 
humble, and -,s little children before God, when they are haugh- 
t}*, afluming, and impudent in their behaviour armmgft men. 
The apoilie informs us, that the defign ofthegofpelis to cut off 
all glorying, not only before God, but aifo before men, Rom. 
iv. i, 2. Some pretend" to great humiliation, that are very 
ha.'*hty, audacious and afTuming in their external appearance 
and behaviour; but they ought to confider thofe fctlptures, 
Pfal. cxxxi. i. "Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes 
" lofty t neither ck> I exercife myfelf in great matters, or in 
" things too high for me." Prov. vi. 16, 17. " Thefe fix 
" things cloth the Lord hate ; yea, fevcn arc an abomination 
" unto him: a proud look," &c. Chap. xxi. 4. "An high 
" look, and a proud heart, are fin." Pfal. xviii. 27. " Thou 
" wilt bring down high looks." And Pfal. ci. . "Him 
" that hath an high look, arid a proud heart, I will not fuffer." 

i Cor. 

f ' This fpirit ever keeps a man poor and vile in his own eyes, 
and empty. When the roan hath got fome knowlege, and can dif- 
courfe pretty well, and hath fome taites of the heavenly gift, ferns 
fsveet illapfes of grace, and fo his confcience is pretty well quieted : 
sndifhe hath got fomeanfwer to his prayers, and hath fvveet affec 
tions, he grows full : and having eafe to his confcience, cafts off 
fcnfe, and daily groaning under fin. And hence the fpirit of prayer 
dks : he lofes his efteem of God's ordinances ; feels not fiich need 
of them ; or gets no good, feels no life or power by them. This is 
the wcful condition of forne ; but yet they know it not. But now 
he that is filled with the Spirit, the Lord empties him ; and the more, 
the longer he lives. So that though others think he needs not much 
grace ; yet he accounts himfelf the poorer!. " Shepard's Parable oj the 
ten virgins. Part. II. p. 132. 

fi After all. fillings, be ever empty, hungry, and feeling need, and 
praying for more.'* Ibid. p. ici. 

" Truly, brethren, when I fee the curfe of God upon many 
Chriilians, that are ROW grown full of their parts, gifts, peace, com 
forts, abilities, duties, I itand adoring the riches of the Lord's mercy, 
to a little handful of poor believers ; not only in making thememp- 
tv, but in keeping them {ball their days." Sbi'aru"s Sowd Believer* 
the late edition in Boilon, p. 158, 150. 


i Cor. xiii. 4. "Charity vaunteth not itfelf, doth not behave 
'" itfelf unfeemly." There is a ceitain amiable rnodefly and 
fear that belongs to a Chriltian behaviour among men, arifing 
from humility, that the fcripture often fpcaks of; i Pet. iii. 
15. " Be ready to give an aniwer to every man that afketh you, 
" with meeknefsand fear." Rom. xiii. 7. "Fear, to whom 
" fear." 2 Cor. vii. 15. " Whilft he remembereth the obe- 
" dience of you all, ho\v with fear and trembling you received 
" him." Eph. vi. . v ' Servants, be obedient to them that are 
" your mailers accoiding to the fldh, with fear and trembling." 
i Pet. ii. 18. "Servants, be (abject to your mailers with all 
" fear." i Pet. iii. 2. " While they behold your chafte con- 
" verfation coupled with fear." i Tim. ii. 9. '' That women 
'* adorn theiifelves in model! apparel, wi:h lhamefacednefs and 
" fbbriety." In this refpecl a Chriltian is like a little child ; 
a little child is model! before men, and his heart is apt to be 
pofleffed with fear and awe among ft them. 

The fame fpirit will difpofe a Chriitian to honor all men ; 
l Pet. ii. 17. " Honor all men." A liumble Chriilian is not 
only difpofed to honor the faints in his behaviour ; but others 
alfo, in all thofe ways that do not imply a vifible approbation 
of their fins. Thus Abraham, the great pattern of believers, 
honored the children of Heth ; Gen. xxiii. 11,12. " Abraham 
" flood up, arid bowed himfelf to the people of the land." This 
was arerrnrkabieinilance of a humble behaviour towards them 
that were out of Chriil, and that Abraham knew to be accur- 
fed: and therefore would by no means fuffer his fervant to 
take a wife to his fon, from among them ; and Efau's wives, 
being of thefe children of Heth, were a grief of mind to Ifaac 
arid Rebeckah. So Paul honored Fed us, Afcts xxvi. 2,5. "I 
" am not mad, mod noble Feflus." Not only will Chriftian 
humility difpofe perfons to honor thofe wicked men that are 
out of the vifible church, but alfo falfe brethren and perfecutors. 
As Jacob, when he was in an excellent frame, having iull been 
wreilling all ni^ht with God, and received the bleffing, honor 
ed Efau, his falfe and perfecutir.g brother ; Gen. xxxiii. 3. " Ja- 
" cob bowed himfelf to the ground feven times, until he came 
" near to his brother Efau." So he called him ford; and com 
manded all his family to honor him in f like manner. 

Thus I have endeavored to defcribe the heart and behaviour 
of one that is governed by a truly gracious humility,, as exaclly 
agreeable to the fcripturcs, as I am able, 

A a a Now,, 


Now, it is out of fuch a heart as tins, that all truly holy af 
fections do flow. ChriAian affections are like Mary's precious 
ointment, that (he poured on C brill's head, that filled the 
whole houfe with a fweet odour. That was poured out of an 
alabajltr-box ; fo gracious affections flow out to ChriA out of 
a pure heart. That was poured out of a broken box; until the 
box was broken, the ointment could not {low, nor diffufe its 
odour : fo gracious affeclious flow out of a broken heart. Gra 
cious affections are alfo likethofe of Mary Magdalene, (Luke vii. 
at the latter end) whoalfopourspreciousointmenton Chrift, out 
of an alabaiter broken box, anointing therewith the feet of Jefus, 
when fhe had wafhed them with her tears, and wiped them 
with the hair of her head. All gracious affections, that are 
a fweet odour to Chrifl, and that fill the foul qf a Chriltian 
with an heavenly fveetnefs and fragrancy, are broken-hearted 
affections, A truly ChriAian love, either to God or men, is 
a humble broken-hearted love. Thedefires of the faints, how 
ever earneft, are humble deli res : their hope is an humble hope ; 
and their joy, even when it is unfpeakabk, and full of glory r , 
is a humble, broken-hearted joy, and leaves the ChriAian more 
poor in fpirit, and more like a little child, and more difpofed 
to an univerfal lowlinefs of behaviour. 

VII. Another thing, wherein gracious affections are dif- 
tinguifhed from others, is, that they arc attended with a change 
cf nature. * 

All gracious affections do arife from a fpiritual underftand- 
ing, in which the foul has the excellency and glory of divine 
things difcovered to it, as was (hewn before. But all fpiritual 
difcoveries are transforming; and not only make an alteration 
of the prefent exercifc, fenfation and frame of the foul ; but fuch 
power and efficacy have they, that they make an alteration in 
the very nature of the foul ; 2 Cor. iii. 18. " But we all with 
" open facr, beholding as in a glafs the glory of the Lord, are 
" changed into the fame image, from glory to glory, even as by 
" the Spirit of the Lord." Such power as this is properly divinfe 
power, and is peculiar to tht Spirit of the Lord : other power 
may make a great alteration in mens prefent frames and feelings ; 
but it is the power of a Creator only that can change the nature, 
or give a new nature. And no difcoveries or illuminations, but 
thofe that are divine and fupernatural, will have this fupernatu- 
ral effect. But this effect all thofe difcoveries have, that are 
truly divine. The foul is deeply affected by thefs difcoveries, 
and fo affected as to be transformed. Thus 


Thus it is with thofe afFtclions that the foul is the fubjecl 4 
of in its converiion. The fcripture representations ofconvcr 
fion do ilrongjy imply and iigniiy a change of nature : f uch as 
being born again , becoming new creatures ; fifing from the 
dead ; being renewed in t lie f pi tit of the mind \ dying to fin, and 
living to nghteou/hefs ; putting off' the old man, and putting on 
the new man ; a being ingrafted into a ntiu Jl&ck*\ a having a 
divine feed implanted in the heart ; a being made partakers of 
t/ie divine nature^ &c. 

Therefore if there be no great and remarkable abiding change 
in perfons, that think they have experienced a work of conver- 
fion, vain are all their imaginations and pretences, however 
they have been a(Feled.* Converiion (if we may give any 
credit to the fcripture) is a great and univerfal change of the 
man, turning him from fm to God. A man may be reftrain- 
ed from fin, before he is converted ; but when he is converted, 
he is not only restrained from fin, his very heart and nature is 
turned from it unto holinefs : fo that thenceforward he be 
comes a holy perfon, and an enemy to fin. I (therefore, after 
a perfon's high affections, at his fuppofed firil converfion, it 
comes to that in a little time, that there is no very fenfible, or 
remarkable alteration in him, as to thofe bad qualities, and evil 
habits, which before were vifible in him, and he is ordinarily 
under the prevalence of the fame kind of difpofitions that he 
ufed to be, and the fame things feem to belong to his charac 
ter, he appears as felfifh, carnal, as ftupid, and pervcrfe, as 
unchriftian, and unfivoury as ever ; it is greater evidence agamft 
him, than the brighteft iiory of experiences that ever was told, 
is for him. For in Chrirt Jefus neither circumcifion, norun- 
circumcifion, neither high profeffio/i, nor low profeliion, nei 
ther a fair ftory, nor a broken one, avails any thing ; but a ne r ,Y 

If there be a very great alteration vifible in a perfon for a 
while; ifit be n*t abiding, but he afterwards returns, in afta- 
ted manner, to be much as he ufed to be ; it appears to be no 
change of nature ; for nature is an abiding thing. A fvvine 
that is of a filthy nature may be warned, but the fwiniih nature 

remains ; 

* *' I would notjudge of the whole foul's coming to Chrift, fo much 
by fudden pangs, as by an inward bent. For the whole foul, in af- 
feftionate expreiiions and adions, may be carried to Chrift ; but be 
ing without this b^it, and change of affections, is unfound." &*- 
pard't Parable t Part I. p. 203. 


remains ; and a dove that is c f a cleanly nature may be defiled, 
tut itsc'cauiy ir-iuic remains. t 

Indeed allowances miu: be made for the natural temper : 
fonverfioii does not entirely root out the natural temper : thofe 
fins vv hie- \ a man by his natural conltitution v*as molt 
to before his converfion, he may be molt apt to fall into (till. 
But yet converfion will make a great alteration even with rc- 
fpet to thtfe fins. '1 hough grace, while imperfect, docs not 
root out an evil natural temper, yet it is of great power and ef 
ficacy with rtfpccl: to it, to correcl it. The change ihat is 
wrought in converfion, is an univeiful change: grace changes 
a man with rcfpccl to whatever is imfi.'l in him ; the old man 
is put off, and the new man put on ; he is fanclified throughout ; 
and the man becomes a new creature, old things are palled 
away, and all things are become new ; all finis mortified, con- 
{fotution fins, as well as others. If a man before his converfion, 
was by his natural conlTitution, efpicially inclined to lafciviouf- 
nefs, or drunkennefs, or maiicioufncfs ; converting grace will 
make a great alteration in him, with refp.cTt to thtfe evil difpo- 
fitions ; fo that however he may be ftill moit in danger of thcfe 
fins, yet they (hall no logger have dominion ojf.r him ; nor 
v>Ll they any more be properly his character. Yea, true re 
pentance dots in fome ixfp,cis, especially tuin a man agairift 
his ow r n iniquity, that wherein he has been mod guilty, and 
has chiefly dilhonoiired God. He that foriakes other fins, but 
faves his leading fin, the iniquity he is chiefly inclined to, is 
like Saul, when fent againft God's enemies the Amalekites, 
with a Uriel: charge to fave none of them alive, but utterly to 
deiiroy them, fmall and ^reat ; who utterly deftroyed interior 
people, but faved the king, the chief of them all, alive. 

Some fooliihly make it an argument in favor of their difcove- 
ries and affeclions, that when they are gone, they arc left wholly 
without any life or fenfe, or any thing beyond what they had 
before. They think it an evidence that what they experienced 
was wholly of Gcd, and not of themfelves, becaufe (Jay they) 


f " It is with the foul, as with water ; all the cold may be gone, but 
the native principle of cold remains ftill. You may remove the bur 
ning ofluils, not the blacknefs of nature. V.Jicre the power of fia 
lies, change of confcience from fecuritv to terror, change of life from 
profancnefs to civility, and fafhions of the world, to efcape the pol 
lutions thereof, charge of Idfts, nay quenching them fora time : but 
the nature is never changed, in the bell hypocrite that ever wa*** 
Parable , Part I, p. 1 94. 


when God is departed, all is gone ; they can fee and feel noth 
ing, n:id are no better tnan they ufed to be. 

It is very true, that all grace and goodnefs in the hearts of 
the faints is entirely from God ; and ihey are univerfaiiy and 
immediately dependent on him ioi it. But yet thefe perfons 
are miftaken, as to die manner ot God's communicating him- 
felf and his Holy Spirit, in imparting laving grace to the foul, 
lie gives his Spirit to be uniied to the faculties of the foul, and 
to d'.ve 1 there after the manner of a principle of nature ; fo that 
the foul, in being endied with giace, is endued with a new 
nature : but nature is an abiding thing. All the eSercifes of 
grace are entirely from Chrift : but thole exerciles are not from 
Chrifl, as fomething that is alive, moves and fiirs fornething 
that is without life, and vet regains without life ; but as hav 
ing life communicated to it; fo as through Chriit's power, to 
have inherent in itfelf, a vital nature. In the foul where Chrift 
favingly is, there he lives. He does not only live without it, 
fo as violently to aftuate it, but he lives in it, fo that that alfo 
is alive. Grace in the foul is as much from Chnit, as the lig^it 
in a glafs, held out in the fun-beam^, is from the fun. But 
this reprefents the manner of the communication of grace to 
the foul, but in part ; becaufe the glafs remains as it was, the 
nature of it not being at all changed, it is as much without any 
lightfomenefs in its nature as ever. But the foul of a faint re 
ceives light from the Sun of righteoufnefs, in fuch a manner, 
that Us nature is changed, and it becomes properly a luminous 
thin? : not only does the fun ihine in the faints, but they alfo 
become little funs, partaking of the nature of the fountain of 
their light. In this refpel, the manner of their derivation of 
light, is like that of the lamps in the tabernacle, rather than 
that of a reflecting glafs; wWth though they were lit up by 
fire from heaven, yet thereby became tbemfelves burning (hi 
tting things. The faints do not only drink of the water of life, 
that flows from the original fountain; but this water becomes 
a fountain of wa f er in them, fpringing up there,, and flowing 
out of them, John iv. 14. aad chap vii. 38,39. Grace is com 
pared to a feed implanted, that riot only is in the ground, but 
has hold of it, has root there, and grows there, and is an abi 
ding principle of life and nature there. 

As it is with fpiritual difcOveries and affections given at firft 
converfion, ft) it is in all illuminations and affections of that- 
kind, that perfons are the fubjec}$ of afterwards ; they are ail 


transforming. There is a like divine power and energy in 
them, as in the firft difcoveries : and they ftill reach the bottom 
of the heart, and affect and alter the very nature of the foul, 
in proportion to the degree in which they are given. And a 
transformation of nature is continued and carried on hy them, 
to the end ot life, until it is brought to perfection in glory. 
Hence the progrefs of the work of grace in the hearts of the 
faints, is reprefcnted in fcripture, as a continued converfion 
and renovation of nature. So the apoflle exhorts thofe that 
were at Rome, beloved of God, called to bt faints, and that were 
the fubjecls of God's redeeming mercies, to be transformed by 
iht renewing of their mind, Rom. xii. i, 2. " I befeech you 
" therefore, by the mercies of God, that ye prefent your bo- 
" dies a living facrifice ; and be not conformed to this world : 
*' but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind." 
Compared with chap. i. 7. So the apoftle writing to {\\zfaints 
and faithful in Chriji Jefus, that were at Ephefus, (Eph. i. i.) 
and thofe who were once dead in trefpaffes and fins, but were 
ncAv quickened, and rai/ed up, and made to fit together in hea 
venly places in Chriji, and created in Chnjl Jefus unto good 
works, that were once far off, but were now made nigh by the 
blood ofChrift, and that were no more Jlr angers and foreigners, 
but fellow -citizens with the faints, and of the houfihold of God, 
and that were built together for an habitation of God through the. 
Spirit ; I fay, the apoftle writing to thefe, tells them, that he. 
ceafcd not to pray for them, that God would give them the Spirit 
cf wifdom and revelation, in the knowlege of Chrift ; the eyes of 
their underjianding being enlightened, that they might know, or 
experience, what was the exceeding greatnefs of God's power 
towards them that believe, according to the working of his migh 
ty power, which he wrought in Chrift, when he raiftd him from 
tli"- dead, and fd him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 
Eph. i. 16. to the end. In this the apoftle has refpecl to the 
glorious power and work of God in converting and renewing 
the foul ; as is moft plain by the fcquel. So the apoftle exhorts 
the fame perfons " to put off the old man, which is corrupt 
" according to the deceitful lufts ; and be renewed in the fpirit 
*' of their minds; and put on the new man, which after God 
" is created in righteoufnefs and true holinefs." Eph. iv. 22, 

*3 2 4- 

There is a fort of high affeclions that fome have from time 

to time, that leave them without any manner of appearance ot 



an abiding effect. They go off fuddenly ; fo that from the ve 
ry height of their emotion, and feeming rapture, they pafs at 
once to be quite dead, and void of all fenfe and activity. It 
furely is not wont to be thus with high gracious affe61ions ; t 
they leave a fwcet favour and relilh of divine things on the 
heart, and a ftronger bent of foul towards God and holinefs. 
As Mofes's face not only (hone while he was in the mount, ex 
traordinarily converfing with God, but it continued to fliinc 
after he came down from the mount. When men have been 
converfing with Chrift in an extraordinary manner, there is a 
fenfible effect of it remains upon them ; there is fomething re 
markable in their difpofition and frame, which if we take know, 
lege of, and trace to its caufc, we fliall find it is becaufe they 
have been with Jcfus, Acls iv. 13. 

VIII. Truly gracious affeclions differ from thofe affeclions 
that are falfe and delufive, in that they tend to, and are attend 
ed with the lamb-like, dove-like fpirit and temper of Jefus 
Chrift ; or in other words, they naturally beget and promote 
fuch a fpirit of love, meeknefs, quietnefs, forgivenefs and 
mercy, as appeared in Chrift. 

The evidence of this in the fcripture is very abundant. If 
we judge of the nature of Chriftianity, and the proper fpirit 
of the gofpcl, by the word of God, this fpirit is what may, by 
way of eminency, be called the Chnjlian fpirit ; and may be 
looked upon as the true, and diftinguiming difpofition of the 
hearts of Chriftians, as Chriflians. When fomeof the difciples 
of Chrift faid fomething, through inconfideration and infirmi 
ty, that was not agreeable to fuch a fpirit, Chrift told them 
-that " they knew not what manner of fpirit they were of," 
Luke ix. 5,5. implying, that this fpirit that lam fpeakingof, is 
the proper fpirit of his religion and kingdom. All that are truly 
godly, and real difciples of Chrift, have this fpirii in them ; 
and not only fo, but they are. of this fpirit; it is the fpirit by 
which they are fo poiTefJcd and governed, that it is their true and 
proper character. This is evident, by what the wife man fays, 
Prov. xvii. 27. (having refpeft plainly to fuch a fpirit as this,) 
" A man of underftanding is of an excellent fpirit ;" and by the 


f <e Do you think the Holy Ghofl comes on a man, as on Ba 
laam, by immediate afting, and then leaves him, and then kc has 
nothing ?" SbefareTs Parable, Part I, p. 126, 


particular defcription Chrifl gives of the qualities and temper 
of fuch as are truly bleffed, that fhall obtain mercy, and are 
God's children and heirs, Matth. v. " BleiTed are ihe meek : for 
44 they fhall inherit the earth. BleiTed are the merciful : for they 
44 fhall obtain mercy. Biefled are the peace-makers : for they 
4 ' fhall be called the children of God." And that this fpirit is 
the fpeciai chara6ter of the ele6l of God, is manifefl by Col. iii. 
12, 13. ** Put on therefore as the elect of God, holy and be- 
44 loved, bowels of mercies, kindncfs, humblenefs of mind, 
44 meeknefs, long- fuffei ing ; forbearing one another, and for- 
44 giving one another." And the apoftle fpeaking of that tem 
per and difpofition, which he fpeaks of as the mod excellent 
and erTential thing in Chrifliamty, and that without which 
none are true Chriilians, and the mofl glorious profeflion and 
gifts are nothing, (calling this fpirit by the name of charity,) 
he defcribes it thus ; (i Cor. xiii. 4, 5.) " Charity fuffereth 
44 long, and is kind; charity cnvieth not: charity vauriteth 
44 riot itfelf, is not puffed up, doth not behave itfelf unfeemly, 
4< feeketh not her own, is not eafily provoked, thinketh no 
*' evil." And the fame apoflle, Gal. v. defignedly declaring 
the diftinguifhing marks and fruits of true Chrifiian grace, 
chiefly infifts on the things that appertain to fuch a temper and 
fpirit as I am fpeaking of, verf. 22, 23. " The fruit of the 
44 Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-fuffering, gentlcnefs, good- 
41 nefs, faith, meeknefs, temperance." And fo does the apo 
ftle James, in defcribing true grace, or that wifdom that is from 
above, with that declared defign, that others who are of a con 
trary fpirit may not deceive themfelves, and lie againfl the truth, 
in profefling to be Chriltians, when they are not, James iii. 
14 17. " If ye have bitter envying and flrife in your hearts, 
44 glory not, and lie not againfl the truth. This wifdom de- 
" fcendeth not from above, but is earthly, fenfual, devilifh. 
** For where envying and ftrife is, there is confufion, and 
44 every evil work. But the wifdom that is from above, is firft 
" pure, then peaceable, gentle, and eafy to be intreated, full 
44 of mercy and good fruits." 

Every thing that appertains to holinefs of heart, does indeed 
belong to the nature of true Chnflianity, and the character of 
Chriflians; but a Ipirit of holinefs as appearing in fome parti 
cular graces, may more efpecially be called the Chrifiian fpirit 
or temper. There are fome amiable qualities and virtues, that 
do more efpecially agree with the nature of thegofpel conflitu- 




lion, and Chriftian profefEon ; bccaufe there is a fpecial agrce- 
ableuefs in them, with thole divine attributes which God has 
more remarkably manifested and glorified in the work of re 
demption by Jefus Chrift, that is the grand fubje6t of the Chrif 
tian revelation ; and alfo a Ipeciai agreeableneis with thofe vir 
tues that were fo wonderfully exercifed by Jefus Chrift towards 
us in that affair, and the blefled example he hath therein fer us; 
and likewise becaufe they are peculiarly agreeable to the fpecial 
drift and defign of the work of redemption, and the benefits 
we thereby receive, and the relation that it brings us into, to 
God and one another. And thefe virtues are fuch as humili 
ty, meeknefs, love, forgivenefs, and mercy. Thefe things 
therefore efpecially belong to the character of Chriflians, as 

Thefe things are fpoken of as what are efpecially the cha 
racter of Jefus Chrift. himfeif, the great head of the Chriifoan, 
church. They are fo fpoken of in the prophecies of the Old 
Teftament ; as in that cited Matth. xxi. ,5. ** Tell ye the daugh- 
" fer of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and 
<c fitting upon an afs, and a colt the fole of an afs." So Chrift 
himfeif fpeaks of them, Matth. xi. 29. "Learn of me, for I 
*' am meek and lowly in heart." The fame appears by the 
name by which Chi ill is fo often called in fcripture, viz, THK 
LAMB. And as thefe things are efpecially the character of 
Chrift ; fo they are alfo efpecially the character of Chriftians. 
Chriftians are Chriftlike : none uc'erve the name of Chrif 
tians, that are not-fo in their prevailing character. "The new 
'* man is renewed, after the image of him that creates him,'* 
Col. iii. 10. All true Chriilians " behold as in a glafs the glory 
" of the Loi'd, and are changed into the fame image, by his Spi 
rit," 2 Cor. iii. 18. The ele6l are all " predeftinaied to be con- 
** formed to the image of the Son of God that he might be 
* the firft-born among many brethren," Rom. viii. 29. "As 
" we have born:: the r.njge el" ih<; il.ii man, That is earthly, fo 
" we mull alfo bear the : . . rJy : for as is the 

" earthly, fuch are they alil> th . -ihly; and as is the 

11 heavenly, fuch are they alf -venly," i Cor. xv. 

47, 48, 49. Chrift is full of grace ; and Chriftians all receive-, 
of his fulnefs, and grace for grace ; i. e. there is grace in Chrif- 
tizr.s anfweringj to grace in Chrift, fuch an anfwerablenefs as 
there is between the wax and the feal ; there is character for 
charaQer: fuch kind of graces, fuch a fpirit and temper, the 

li b 'U fame 


fame things that belong to Chrift's character, belongs to theirs. 
That difpofition wherein ChriJi's character does in a fpccial 
manner confift, therein does his image in a fpecial mariner con 
fift. Chriftiahs that fhine bv reflecting the Halit of ihe Son of 

/ O t> 

ligbteoufnefs, do fhine with the fame fort or brightnefs; the 

fume mild,, fweet and r.leafant beams. Thcfe lamps of the fpi- 
ritual temple, that are enkindled by fire from heaven, burn with 
the fame fdrt of flame. The branch is of the fame nature with 
the flock and root, has the fame fap, and bears the fame fort 
of fruit. The members have the fame kind of life with the 
head. It would be ftrange if Chriftians mould not be of the 
lame temper and fpirit that Chrift is of ; when they are his 
flfjh and his bone, yea, are one fpirit, i Cor. vi. 17. and live fo, 
that it is not they that live, but Ckriji that lives in them. A 
Chriflian fpirit is Chrift's mark, that he fets upon the fouls of 
his people; his feal in their foreheads, beating his image and 
fuperfcription. Chriflians are the followers of Chrift : and 
they are fo, as they are obedient to that call of Chrift, Matth. 
xi. 28, 29. " Come to me, and learn of me, for I am meek and 
' lowly of heart." They follow him as the Lamb ; Rev. jtiv. 
4. " Thefe are they which follow the Lamb whitherfoever he 
*' goeth." True Chriftians are as it were clothed with the 
meek, quiet, and loving temper of Chrift ; for as many as are 
inChrifti have put on ChrijL And in this refpeft ihe. church, 
is clothed with the, fun , not only by being; clothed with his im 
puted righteoufnefs, but alfo by being adorned with his graces, 
Rom. xiii. 14. Chrift the great Shepherd, is himfelf a lamb, 
and believers are alfo lambs ; all the flock are lambs ; John 
xxi. 15, " Feed my lambs." Luke x. 3. " I fend you forth as 
44 lambs in the midft of wolves." The ledemption of the church 
by Chrift from the power of the devil, was typified of old, by 
David's delivering the lamb out of the mouth of the lion and 
the bear. 

That fuch manner of virtue as has been fpoken of, is the 
very nature of the Chriftian fpirit, or the fpirit that worketh in 
Chrift and in his members, and the diftinguiihing nature 
of it, is evident by this, that the dove is the very fymbol or em 
blem, chofen of God, 10 rcprefent it. Thofe things are fittelt 
emblems of other things, which do beft reprefent that which is 
moft diftingui ming in their nature. The Spirit that defcended 
on Chrift, when he was anointed of the Father, defcended on, 
him like a dove. The dove is a noted emblem of meeknefs, 




harmleflhefs, peace, and love. But the fame Spirit thatdefcend- 
cd on the head of the church, defcefids to the members. " God 
" hath fent forth the Spirit of his Son inro their hearts," Gal. 
iv. 6. And " if any man have nut the Spirit of Chrift, lie is 
" none of his," Rom. viii. 9. There is but one Spirit to the 
whole myftical body, head and members, i Cor. vi. 17. Eph. 
iv. 4. Chrift hreaihes disown Spirit on his difciples; John xx. 
2^. As Chrift was anointed with the Holy Choir, deicending 
on him like a dove, fo Chriilians alfo " have an anointing 
*' from the holy One," i John ii. 20, 27. And they are an 
ointed with the fame oil ; it is the fame precious ointment on 
the head, that goes down to tkejkirts of ths gar mints. And on 
both it is a fpirit of peace and love : Ffal. cxxxiii. 1,2. " Be- 
*' hold, how good and howpleafant it is, for brethren, todweli 
" together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the 
" he<*d, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard, 
" that went down to the ikirts of his garments." The oil on 
Aaron's garments, had the fame fvveet snd inimitable odour, 
v.'iih that oti his head ; the fmell of the fame fvveet fpices. 
Chriftian affections and a Chriftian behaviour, is but the flow 
ing out of the favour of Chrift's fweet ointments. Becar.fe 
the church has a dove-like temper and difpofmon, therefore it 
is faid of her that me has doves eyes, Cant. i. 15. '* Behold, 
'* thouart fair, my love ; behold, thor. art fair, thon haft doves 
" eyes." And chap. iv. i. " Behold, thou art fair, my love, 
" behold, thou art fair, thou halt doves eyes within thy locks." 
The fame that is faid of Chrift, chap. vi. 12. " His eves are as 
" the eyes of doves." And the church is frequently compared 
to a dove in fcripture, Cant. ii. 14. " O my dove, that art in 
" the clefts of the rock." Chap. v. 2. " Open to me, my 
*' love, my dove." And Chap. vi. 9. " My dove, my unde- 
" filed is but one." Pfal. Ixviii. 13. " Ye (hall be as the wings 
*' of a dove covered with filver, and her feathers with yellow 
" gold." And Ixxiv. 19. " O deliver not die foul of thy 
11 turtle-dove unto the multitude of the wicked." The dove 
that Noah fent out of the ark, that could find no reft for the 
fole of her foot, until (he returned, was a type of a true faint. 
Meeknefs is fomuch ilie character of the faints, tliat the. meek and 
the god'y, are ufed as fynonymoits terms in (capture: fo Pfa!. 
xxxvii. 10, 11. tlje wicked arid the meek areiet inoppofition one 
to another, as wicked and godly, " Yet a little while and the 
" v'icked {hall not be : but the race!: fhall inherit the earth." 


So Pfal. cxlvii. 6. " The Lord lifieth up the meek : he caft- 
" eth the wicked down to the ground." 

It is doubtlefs very much r.i this account, that Chrift re- 
prefents alt his difciples, all the heirs of heaven, as little chil 
dren, Matth, xix. 14. " Suffer little children 10 come unto me, 
** and forbid them not ; for of fuch is the kingdom of heaven." 
Matth. x. 42. " Whofoever fhall give to drink umo ene of 
" thefe little ones, a cup of cold water, in the name of a difci- 
" pie, verily I fay unto you, he mall in no wife iofe his re- 
" ward." Matth. xviii. 6. " Whofo fhall offend one of thefe 
" little ones, &c." verf. 10. " Take heed that ye defpife not 
'* one of thefe little ones." Verf. 14. " It is not the will of 
" your Father which is in heaven, that one of thefe iittle ones 
*' mould periih." John xiii, 33. * Little children, yet a little 
*' while I am with you." Little children are innocentand harm- 
lefs ; they do not do a great deal of mifchief in the world ; 
men need not be afraid of them; they are no dangerous fort 
of pcrfons ; their anger does not laft long, they do not lay up 
injuries in high refentment, entertaining deep and rooted ma 
lice. So Chriftians, in malice, are children, i Cor. xiv. 20. 
Little children are not guileful and deceitful, but plain arid 
fimple ; they are not verfed in the arts of fi&ion and deceit ; 
and are Prrangers to artful difguifes. They are yieldable and 
flexible, and not wilful and obftinate ; do not trull to their own 
imderftanding, but rely on the inftruclions of parents, and 
others of fuperior undemanding, Here is therefore a fit and 
lively emblem of the followers of the Lamb. Perfons being 
thus like little children, is not only a thing highly commenda 
ble, and what Chriflians approve of, and aim at, and which 
fome of extraordinary proficiency do attain to ; but it is their 
univerfal character, and abfolutely necefiary in order to enter 
ing into the kingdom of heaven ; unlefs Chriil was miftaken, 
Matth. xviii, 3. " Verily I fay unto you, Except ye be con- 
" verted, and become as little children, ye mall not enter into 
*' the kingdom of heaven." Mark x. 15. " Verily I fay unto 
" you, Whofoever (hall not receive the kingdom of God as a 
** little child, he fhall not enter therein." 

But here fome may be ready to fay, Is there no fuch thing as 
Chriftian fortitude, and boldnefs for Chrift, being good fol- 
diers in the Chriftian warfare, and coming out bold againft the 
i ;'r and his people ? 



To which I anfwer, there doubtlcfs is fuch a tb:; 
v.'hole Chriiiian life is compared to a . 
And the molt eminent Chrifbans are the belt ibi.: 
v/ith the preateft degrees of Chnitian fortitude. And ir is the 
duty of God's people to be ilcd::;.L, and vigorous in their op- 
pofition to thedefigns and ways ot fuch as are endeavoring to 
overthrow the kingdom of Chrift, and the intsreit of religion. 
But yet many penons feein to be quite miftaken concerning 
the nature of Chriftian fortitude. It is an exceeding diverfe 
thing from a brutal fiercencfs, or the boldhefs of beads of prey. 
True Chriftian fortitude confiits in ftrength of mind, through 
grace, exerted in two things ; in ruling and fuppreffing the 
evil, and unruly pailions and affections of the mind ; and in 
ftedfaftlyand freely exerting, and following gWafFedions and 
difpofitions, without being hindered by iinful fear, or the op- 
poiition of enemies. But the pailions that are retrained and 
kept under, in the exercife of this Chriftian ftrength and fortitude, 
are thofe very paflions that are vigoroufly and violently exerted 
in a falfe boldnefs for Chrift. And thofe affections that are 
vigoroufly exerted in true fortitude, are thole Chriftian holy 
affe&ions, that are direftly contrary to them. Tnough Chri 
ftian fortitude appears, in withstanding and counteracting the 
enemies that are without us; yet it much more appears, in 
refilling and fuppreffing the enemies that are within us ; be- 
caufe they are our worft and ftrongeft enemies, and have 
greateft advantage againft us. The ilrength of the good fol- 
dier of Jefus Chrift, appears in nothing more, than in ftedfaft* 
ly maintaining the holy calm, meeknefs, fweetnefs, and be 
nevolence of his mind, amidft all the ftorms, injuries, ftrangs 
behaviour, and furprifmg a&s and events of this evil and unrea- 
fonable world. The fcripture f2ems to intimate that true for 
titude confifts chiefly in this, Prov. xvi. 32. "He that is flow 
" to anger, is bitter than the mighty ; and he that ruleth his 
" fpirit, than he that takcth a city.'* 

The direcleft and fureft way in the world, to make a right 
judgment, what a holy fortitude is, in fighting with God's 
enemies, is te look to th? Captain of all God's hods, and our 
great le.ickr and example, a. id fee wherein his fortitude and 
valour appeared, in his chief conliift, and in the time of the 
greateft battle that ever was, or ever will be fought with thefe 
.lies, when lie iimglu with them all alone, and of the peo 
ple there was none vntii i.i'n, and exerriitd his fortitude in iii2 
. ;:c decree that ever he did, and got that glorious . 


that will be celebrated in the praifes and triumphs of all the 
hofts of heaven, throughout all eternity ; even to Jclus Chrift 
in the time of his laft fufferings, when his enemies in earth 
and hell made their mcft violent attack upon him, coinpalTing 
him round on every fide, like renting and roaring lions. 
Doubtlcfs here we (hall fee the fortitude of a holy warrior and 
champion in the caufe of God, in its higheft perfection and 
greateft luftrc, and an example fit for the foldiers to follow, 
that fight under this Captain. But how did he (how his holy 
boldnefs and valour at that time ? not in the exercife of any fiery 
pafiions ; not in fierce and violent fpeeches, and vehemently 
declaiming againft, and crying out of the intolerable wicked- 
nefs of oppofers, giving them their own in plain terms ; but 
in not opening his mouth when afflicted and oppreiTed, in go 
ing as a lamb to the {laughter, and as a fheep before his (hearers, 
is dumb, not opening his mouth ; praying that the Father 
would forgive his cruel enemies, becaufe they knew not what 
they did ; not fhedding others blood, but with all-conquering 
patience and love, medding his own. Indeed one of his difci- 
ples, that made a forward pretence to boldnefs for Chrijl, and 
confidently declared he would fooner die with Chrift than deny 
him, began to lay about him with a fword : but Chrifl meekly 
rebukes him, and heals the wound he gives. And never was 
the patience, meeknefs, love, and forgivenefs of Chrift, in fo 
glorious a manifeftation, as at that time. Never did he appear 
fo much a Lamb, and never did he mow fo much of the dove- 
like fpirit, as at that time. If therefore we fee any of the fol 
lowers of Chrift, in the midft of the moft violent, unreafonable 
and wicked oppofition of God's and his own enemies, main 
taining under all this temptation, the humility, quietnefs, and 
^entlenefs of a lamb, and the harmleflhefs and love, and 
fweetnefs of a dove, we may well judge that here is a good fol- 
dierof JefuB Chrift. 

When perfons are fierce and violent, and exert their {harp 
and bitter pudions, it {hows weaknefs, inftead of ftrength and 
fortitude. I Cor. iii. at the beginning, " And I, brethren, could 
' not fpeak unto you as unto Spiritual, but as unto carnal, 
?' even as unto babes in Chrift. For ye are yet carnal : for 
** whereas there is among you envying, and ftrife, and divifions, 
" are ye not carnal, and walk as men ?" 

There is a pretended boldnefs for Chrift that arifes from no 
better principle than pride. A man may be forward to expofc 



liimfelf to the diflike of the world, and even to provoke their 
difpleafure, out of pride. For it is the nafure of fpiritua! pride 
to caufe men to feek diftinciion and fingirfarity ; and fo often 
times to fct ihemfelves at war with thofe that they call carnal, 
that they may be mo.e highly exalted among their party. True 
boldnefs tor Chrift is univerfal, and overcomes all,i;nd carries 
men above the difpleafure of friends and foes ; fo that they will 
forfake all rather tnanChrilt; and will rather offend all parties, 
and be thought meanly of by all, than offend Chrift. And that 
duty which tries whether a man is willing to be defpifed by 
them that are of his own party, and thought the leaft worthy to 
be regarded by tiiem, is a much more proper trial of his bold- 
i neis for Chrift, than his being forward to expofe himfelf to the 
reproach of oppofeis. The apoftle fought not glory, not only 
of Heathens and J-ws, but. of Chriftians ; as he declares, 
i Theff. 11. 6.* He is bold for Chrift, that has Chriftian for 
titude enough, to confefs his fault openly, when he has com 
mitted one that requires it, and as it were to come down upon 
his knees before oppofers. Such things as thefe are a vaftiy 
greater evidence of holy boldnefs, than refoluiely and fiercely 
confronting oppofers. 

As fome are much miftaken concerning the nature of true 
boldnefs for Chrift, fo they are concerning Chriftian zeal. It 
is indeed a flame, but a fweet one; or rather it is the heat and 
fervour of a fweet flame. For the flame of which it is the heat, 
is no other than that of divine love, or Chriftian charity; which 
is the fweeteft and moft benevolent thing that is, or can be, in 
the heart of man or angel. Zeal is the fervour of this flarce, as 
it ardently and vigorouily goes out towards the good that is its 
objecl, in defires of it, and purfuit after it ; and fo confequen- 
tially, in oppofition to the evil that is contrary to it, and impedes 
it. There is indeed oppofition, and vigorous oppofition, that 
is a part of it, or rather is an attendant of iK; but it is againft 
things, andnotper/ons. Bitternefs againft the per fens of men 
is no part of it, but is very contrary to it ; infomuch that fo 
much the warmer true zeal is, and the higher it is raifed, fo 
much the further are perfons from fuch bitternefs, and fo much 


* Mr. Shepard, fpeaking of hypocrites afFefthg spplaofe, fays, 
** Hence men forfake their friends, and trample under foot the fcorns 
f the world they have credit elfewhere. To maintain their intereft 
in the love of godly men, they will fufFer much," ParaMeeft&g tti 
, P. I. p, i So. 


fuller of love, both to the evil and to the good. As appca rs 
from what has been jult now obferved, that it is no other, in 
its very nature and effence, than the fervour of a fpiritof Chri- 
ftian love. And as to what oppofition there is in it, to things, 
it is rirftly and chiefly againft the evil things in the perf'on 
himfelf, who has this zeal; againft the enemies of God and 
hoi iriefs, 'that are in his own heart; (as thefe are moft in his 
view, and what he is molt to do with;) and but fecondarily a- 
gainft the fins of others. And therefore there is nothing in 
a trueChriflian zeal, that is contrary to that fpirit ofmeeknefsj 
gentlenefs, and love, that fpirit of a Ihtle child, a lamb and dove, 
that has been fpoken of; but it is entirely agreeable to it, and 
tends to promote it. 

But to fay fomething particularly concerning this Chriftian 
fpirit I have been fpeakmg of, as exercifed in thefe three things, 
forgivcnejs, love, and mercy ; I would obferve that the fcripture 
is very clear and exprefs concerning the abiblute neceffity of 
each oi thefe, as belonging to the temper and character of every 

It is fo as to & forgiving Jpirit, or a difpofition to overlook 
and forgive injuries. Chriil gives it to us both as a negative 
and podtive evidence ; and is exprefs in teaching us, that if we 
are of fuch a fpirit, it is a fign we are in a ftate of forgivenefs 
and favor ourfelves; and that if we are not of fuch a fpirit, 
we are not forgiven of God ; and feems to take fpecial care that 
we mould take good notice of it, and always bear it on our 
minds. Matt. vi. 12, 14, 15. ** Forgive us our debts, as we 
*' forgive our debtors. For, if ye forgive men their trefpafTes, 
" your heavenly Father will alfo forgive you. But if ye forgive 
" not men their trefpaffes, neither will your Father forgive your 
" trefpaffes." Chrift expreffes the fame again at another time, 
Mark xi. 25, 26. and again in Matt, xviii. 22. to the end, in 
the'parable of the fcrvant that owed his lord ten thoufand ta 
lents, that would not forgive his fellow fervant an hundred 
pence ; and therefore was delivered to the tormentors. In the 
application of the parable Chrift fays, verf. 35. " So likewife 
" ihall my heavenly Father do, if ye from your hearts forgive 
" not every one his brother their trefpailes." 

And that all true faints are of a loving, benevolent and be 
neficent temper, the fcripture is very plain and abundant. 
Without it the apoftle tells us, though we mould fpeak with 
the tongues of men and angels, we are as a founding brafs, or 

a tinkling 

OF GRACIOUS. AfrfECtlOtiS* 38,5 

a tinkling cymbal : and that though we have the gift of pro 
phecy, and underfland all myfteries, and all kriowlege ; yet 
without this fpirit we are nothing. And there is no one vir 
tue or difpofition of the mind, that is fo often, and fo exprelf- 
Jy, infilled on, in the marks that are laid down in the New 
Teftament, whereby to know true Chriftians. It is often giv 
en as a fign that is peculiarly dirtinguifhing, by which all may 
know Chrift's difciples, and by which they may know them- 
felves ; and is often laid down, both as a negative and poiitive 
evidence. Chrift calls the law of love, by way of eminency, his 
commandment, John xiii. 34* " A new commandment I give 
" unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that 
'* ye alfo love one another/' And chap. xv. 12. " This is my 
rt commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved 
" you." And verf. 17. " Thefe things I command you, that 
[< ye love one another." And fays, chap. xiii. 35. " By this 
*' (hall all men know that ye are my difciples, ii ye have love 
" one to another." And chap. xiv. 21. (ftill with a fpecial 
reference to this which he calls his* commandment,) " He that 
" hatji my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that 
" loveth- me" The beloved difciple, who had fo much of this 
fweet temper himfelf, abundantly infifts on it, in his epiftles* 
There is none of the apofiles, is fo much in laying down exprefs 
figns of grace, for profeflbrs to try themfelves by, as he ; and 
in his figns, he infills fcarcely on any thing elfe, but a fpirit of 
Chnilian love, and an agreeable practice ; I John ii. 9, 10. 
" He that faith he is in the light, and hateth his brother^ is in 
*' darknefs even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth 
in the light, and there is none occafion of Humbling in him." 
Chap. ili. 14. " We know that we are parted from death unto 
" life, becaufe we love the brethren : he that loveth not his bro- 
" ther, abideth in death." verf. 18, 19. " My little children, 
*< let us not love in v/ord and in tongue, but in deed, and in 
" truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, a icl 
" fhall allure our hearts before him." verf* 23, 24. " This is 
" his commandment, that we Ihould love one another. And 
" he that keepeth his commandments, dwelleth in him, and he 
" in him : and hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the 
" Spirit which he hath given us." Chap. iv. 7, 8. " Beloved, 
" let us love one another : for love is of God ; ^artd every one 
" that loveth, is born of God, and knoweth God. He that 
" loveth not, knoweth not God ; for God is love." verf. 1 2, 1 3- 
" No man hath fcen God at any time. If we love one another, 

C c c " Gd 


" God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. Hereby 
" know we that we dwell in him, becaufe he hath given us of his 
44 Spirit." verf. 16. " God is love; and he that dwelleth in 
" love, dwelleth in God, and God in him." verf. 20. " If a 
" man fay, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar : for 
" he that loveth not his brother whom he hath feen, how can he 
44 love God whom he hath not feen ?" 

And the fcripture is as plain as it is poffible it fhould be, 
that none are true faints, but thofe whofe true character it is, 
that they are of a difpofition to pity and relieve their fellow- 
creatures, that are poor, indigent, and affliied ; Pfal. xxxvii. 
21. " The righteous (heweth mercy, and giveth." verf. 26. 
" He is ever merciful, and lendeth." Pfal. cxii. 5. " A good 
41 man fheweth favour, and lerideth." verf. 9. " He hath dif- 
" perfed abroad, and given to the poor." Prov. xiv. 31. ** He 
41 that honoureth God, hath mercy on the poor." Prov. xxi 
26. " The righteous giveth, and fpareth not." Jer. xxii. 16. 
4 * He judged the caufe of the poor and needy, then it was well 
" with him: wasnotthistoknow me? faith the Lord. "Jam. i. 27. 
41 Pure religion arid undefiled before God and the Father, is this, 
" To vifit the fatherlefs and widows in their afiliftion," &c. 
Hof. vi. 6. " For 1 defired mercy, and not facrifice; and the 
" knowlege of God, more than burnt-offerings." Matth. v. 7. 
" Bleiled are the merciful : for they mall obtain mercy." 
2 Cor viii. 8. " I fpeak not by commandment, but by occa- 
' fion of the forwardnefs of others, and to prove the fmcerity 
' of your love." Jam. ii. 13 16. " For he (hall have judg- 

44 ment without mercy, that hath mewed no mercy. What 

" doth it profit, my brethren, though a man fay he hath faith, 
4 * and have not works ? can faith fave him ? If a brother or 
" fjfter be naked, and deftitute of daily food ; and one of you 
41 fay unto them, Depart in peace, be you warmed and filled : 
*' notwithflanding ye give them not thofe things which are 
4 < needful to the body ; what doth it profit ?" i John iii. 17. 
" Whofo hath this world's good, and feeth his brother have 
44 need, and fhutteth up his bowels of companion from him, 
" how dwelleth the love of God in him ?" Chrift in that de- 
fcription he gives us of the day of judgment, Matth. xxv. 
(which is the moft particular that we have in all the Bible.) 
reprefents, that judgment will be pa fled at that day, according 
as men have been found to have been of a merciful fpirit and 
pra&ice, or otherwife. Chrift's defign in giving fuch a defcrip. 



tion of the procefs of that da} 7 , is plainly to poflefs all his fol 
lowers with that apprehenfion, that unlefs this was their fpirit 
and pra6iice, there was no hope of their heing accepted 
and owned by him, at that day. Therefore this is an appre 
henfion that we ought to be poiTefTed with. We find in fcrip- 
ture, that a righteous ?nan, and a merciful man are fynonymous 
cxpreflions ; If. Ivii. i. " The righteous perifheth, and no man 
" iayeih it to heart ; and merciful men are taken away, none 
" confidering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to 
" come." 

Thus we fee how full, clear, and abundant, the evidence 
from fcripture is, that thofe who are truly gracious, are under 
the government of that lamb-like, dove-like Spirit of Jefus 
Chrift, and that this is eflentially and eminently the nature of 
the faving grace of the gofpel, arid the proper fpirit of true 
Chriftianity. We may therefore undoubtedly determine, that 
all truly Chriflian affections are attended with fuch a fpirit ; 
and that this is the natural tendency of the fear and hope, the 
forrow and the joy, the confidence and the zeal of true Chri- 

None will underftand me, that true Chriflians have no re 
mains of a contrary fpirit, and can never, in any inflances', be 
guilty of a behaviour difagreeable to fuch a fpirit. But this I 
affirm, and (hall affirm, until I deny the Bible to be any thing 
worth, that every thing in Chriflians that belongs to true 
Chriftianity, is of this tendency, and works this way ; and that 
there is no true Chriflian upen earth, but is fo under the pre 
vailing power of fuch a fpirit, that he is properly denominated 
from it, and it is truly and jufUy his character : and that there 
fore miniflers, and others, have no warrant from Chrift to en 
courage perfons, that are of a contrary character and behavi 
our, to think they are converted, becaufe they tell a fair ftory 
of illuminations and difcoveries. In fo doinij, they would fet 
lip their own wifdom againft ChrifTs, and judge without, and 
againit that rule by which Chrift has declared all men fhoulcJ 
know his difciples. Some perfons place religion fo much in 
certain tranfient illuminations and impreflions, (efpecially if 
they are in fuch a particular method and order,) and fo little 
in the fpirit and temper perfons are of, that they greatly defornt 
religion, and form notions of Chriftianity quite different front 
what it is, as delineated in the fcriptures. The fcripturc know* 


of no fuch true Chriftians, as are of a fordid, felfifh, crofs and 
contentious fpirit. Nothing can be invented that is a greater 
abfurdity, than a morofe, hard, clofe, high-fpirited, fpiteful, 
true Chnilian. We rnuft learn the way of bringing men to 
rules, and not rules to men, and fo flrain and flretch the rules 
of God's word, to take in ourfelves, and forne of our neigh 
bours, until we make them wholly of none effecl. 

It is true, that allowances muil be made for mens natural 
temper, with regard to-thefe things, as well as others ; but not 
fuch allowances, as to allow men, that once were wolves and 
ferpents, to be now converted, without any remarkable change 
in the fpirit of their mind. The change made by true conver- 
fion, is wont to be moft remarkable and fenfible, with refpecl 
to that which before was the wickednefs the perfon was moil 
notorioufly guilty of. Grace has as great a tendency to reftrain 
and mortify fuch fins, as are contrary to the fpirit that has 
been fpoken of, as it has to mortify drunkennefs or lafciviouk 
nefs. Yea, the fcripture reprefrnts the change wrought by 
gofpel-grace, as efpecially appearing in an alteration of the foiv 
mer fort ; If. xi. 6 9. " The wolf (hall dwell with the lamh, 
*' and the leopard mall Ire down with the kid : and the calf, and 
" the young lion, and the falling together, and a little child 
" fliaU lead them. And the cow and the bear mail feed, their 
f ' young ones {hall lie down together : and the lion (hall ea.t 
'* ftraw like the ox. And the fucking child (hall play on th,e 
*' hole of the afp, and the weaned child mail put his hand on 
*' the cockatrice-den. They fliall not hurt nor deftroy in aU 
" my holy mountain : for the earth fhall be full of the know- 
'' lege of the Lord, as the waters cover the fea." And to the 
fame purpofe is If. Ixv. 25. Accordingly we find, that in the 
primitive times of the Chriflian church, converts were remark-, 
ably changed in this refpecl ; Tit. iii. 3, &c. " For we our- 
M felves alfo were fometimes foolifh, difobedient, deceivedj 
" ferving divers luftsand pleafures, living in malice and envy, 
" hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kind- 
** nefs and love of (3od our Saviour toward man appeared, 
" he faved us by the wa filing of regeneration, and renewing of 
" the Holy Qhoft." And Co.l. iii. 7, 8. " In the which ye 
* alfo walked forne time, when ye lived in them. But now 
" you alfo put off all thefe ; anger, wrath, malice, blafphem}\ 
** filthy communication out of your mouth." 

}X. Gracious 


IX. Gracious affections foftcn the heart, and arc attended 
2nd followed with a Chriilian tendcrnefs of fpirit. 

Falfe affeQions, however perfons may feem to be rnel:ed by 
them while they are new, yet have a tendency in the end 
tp harden the heart. A difpofition to fome kind of pafliohs 
may he eftabliflied ; fuch as imply felf-feeking, felf-exahation, 
and oppofuion to others. But lalfe affections with the delufion 
that attends them, finally tend to flupify the mind, and (hut it 
up againft thofe affettions wherein tendernefs of heart conlifts : 
and the effect of them at lafl is, that perfons in the fettled 
frame of their minds, become lefs affeled with their prefent 
and paft fins, and lefs conscientious with refpecl to future fins, 
lefs moved with the warnings and cautions of God's word, or 
God's chaftifements in his providence, more carelefs of the 
frame of their hearts, and the manner and tendency of their be 
haviour, left quick-lighted to difcern what is finful, lefs afraid 
of the appearance of evil, than they were while they were under 
legal awakenings and fears of hell. Now they have been the 
fubje&s of fuch and fuch impreffions and affeBions, and have 
a high opinion of themfelves, and look on their ftate to be iafe ; 
they can be much more eafy than before, in living in the neg- 
lecl: of duties that are troublefome and inconvenient ; and arc 
much more flow and partial in complying with difiicult com 
mands ; are in no meafure fo alarmed at the appearance of their 
own defefts and tranfgreflions ; are emboldened to favor them-r 
felves more, with refpecl: to the labour, and painful care and 
exactnefs in their walk, and more eafily yield to temptations, 
and the felicitations of ther lufls ; and have far lefs care of 
their behaviour, when they come into the holy prefence of Goo, 
in the time of public or private worfhip. Formerly it may be, 
under legal conviftions, they took much pains in religion, and 
denied themfelves in many things: but now they think them 
felves out of danger of hell, they very much put off the burden 
of the crofs, and fave themfelves the trouble of difficult duties, 
and allow themfelves more of the comfort of the enjoyment of 
their eafe and their lufts. 

Such perfons as thcfe, inilead of embracing Chrift as their 
Saviour from fin, they truft in him as the/aviour of their fins : 
inftead of flying to him as their refuge from their fpintual cnc- 
mifs, they make ufe of him as the defence of their fpiritu&l 
:*.cmies, jro.m God t and to flrcngthen them againfl him. They 



make Chrift the minifter of fin, and great officer and vicege 
rent of the devil, to flrengthen hisintereft, and make him above 
all things in the world ftrong againft JEHOVAH ; fo that they 
may fin againft him with good courage, and without any fear, 
being effectually fecuredfrom reftraintsbyhismoft folemn warn 
ings and moft awful threatenings. They truft in Chrift to pre- 
ferve to them the quiet enjoyment of their fins, and to be 
their fhield to defend them from God's difpleafure ; while they 
come clofe to him, even to his bofom, the place of his chil 
dren, to fight againft him, with their mortal weapons, hid 
under their fkirts.* However, fomc of thcfe, at the fame 


* * c Thefe are hypocrites that believe, but fail in regard of the 
nfeofthe g- fpel, and of the Lord Jefus. And thefe we read of, 
Jude 3. viz. of fome men that did turn grace int ivantwefs. For 
therein appears the exceeding evil of a man's heart, that not only the 
law, butalfo the glorious gofpel of the Lord Jefus, works in him all 
manner of unrighteoufnefs. And it is too common for men at the 
iirft work of convcrfion, Oh then to cry for grace and Chrift, and 
afterwards grow licentious, live and lie i the breach of the law, and 
take their warrant for their courfe from the gofpel," Shepard's Para 
ble, Part I. p. 126. 

Again, p. 232. Mr. Shepard fpeaks of fuch hypocrites as thofe, 
t( who, like ftrange eggs, being put into the fame neft, where honeft 
men have lived, they have been hatched up ; and when they are 
young, keep their neft, and live by crying and opening their mouths 
wide after the Lord, and the food of his word ; but when their wings 
are grown, and they have got fome affeclions, fome knowlege, fome 
hope of mercy, are hardened thereby to fly from God." And adds, 
*' Can that man be good, whom God's grace makes worfe ?" 

Again, Part II. p. 167. " When men fly to Chrift in times of peace, 
tr-atfo they may preferve their fins with greater peace of confcience ; 
fo that fin makes them fly to Chrift, as well as mifery ; not that they 
may deftroy and abolifh fin, but that they, may be preferved in their 
fins with peace ; then men may be faid to apprehend Chrift only by 
a feeming faith. Many an heart fecretly faith this, If I can have 
my fin, and peace, and confcience quiet for the prefent, and God 
merciful to pardon it afterward ; hence he doth rely (as he faith) 
only on the mercy of God in Chrift : and now this hardens and 
blinds him, and makes him fecure, and his faith is fermon proof, 
nothing ftirs him. And were it not for their faith they mould defpair, 
but this keeps them up. And now they think if they have any trou 
ble of mind, the devil troubles them ; and fo make Chrift and faith 
protectors of fin, not purifiers from fin ; which is moft dreadful ; 
turning grace to wantonasfs, as they did facriHce. So thefe would 


time, make a great profefiion of love to God, and aflurance 
of his favour, and great joy in tailing the fvveetnefs of his 

After this manner they trufled in Chrift, that the apoftle 
Jude fpeaks of, who crept in among the faints unknown ; but 
were really " ungodly men, turning the grace of God into la-* 
" fcivioufnefs," Jude 4. Thefe are they that truft in their be 
ing righteous ; and becaufe God has promifed that the righteous 
JJiallfurely live, or certainly be faved, are therefore embolden 
ed to commit iniquity, whom God threatens in Ezek. xxxiii. 13. 
" When I mall fay to the righteous, that he fliall furely live : 
" if he truft to his own righteoufnefs, and commit iniquity ; 
" all his righteoufnefs (hall not be remembered, but for his mi- 
" quity that he hath committed, he lhall die for it." 

Gracious afFeclions are of a quite contrary tendency ; they 
turn a heart of ftone more and more into a heart of flefh. 
An holy love and hope are principles that are vaftly more effi 
cacious upon the heart, to make it tender, and to fill it with 
a dread of fin, or whatever might difpleafe and offend God, 
and to engage it to watchfulnefs, and care, and ftriftnefs, than 
a ilavifh fear of hell. Gracious affeftions, as was obferved be 
fore, flow out of a contrite heart, or (as the word fignifies) a 
bruifed heart, bruifed and broken with godly forrow ; which 
makes the heart tender, as bruifed flefli is tender, and eafily 
hurt. Godly forrow has much greater influence to make the 
heart tender, than mere legal forrow from felfHh principles. 

The tendernefs of the heart of a true Chriftian, is elegantly 
fignified by our Saviour, in his comparing fuch a one toa little 
child. The flefh of a little child is very tender : fo is the heart 
of one that is new-born. This is reprefented in what we are 
told of Naaman's cure of his leprofy, by his warning in Jordan, 
by the direction of the prophet ; which was undoubtedly a type 


fin under the (hadow of Chrift, becaufe the fhadow is good and fweet, 
Mic. iii. 1 1. They had fubtile fly ends in good duties ; for therein 
may lie a man's fin : yet they lean upon the Lord. When money 
changers came into the temple. You have made it a den of thieves* 
Thieves when hunted fly to their den or cave, and there they are fe~ 
cure againft all feardhers, and hue-and-cries : fo here. But Chrift 
whipped them out. So when men are purfued with cries and fears 
of confcience, away to Chrift they go as to their den : not as fatnts. 
to pray and lament out the life of thdr fin there : but to prefervc 
their fin. This is vile ; will the Lord receive fuch r" 

292 T H N i N t H S I G N Part IIL 

of the renewing of the foul, by wafhing in the laver of rege 
neration. We are told, 2 Kings v. 14. that " he went down, 
" and clipped himfelf (even times in Jordan, according to the 
' faying of the man of God ; and his flcfli came again like 
" unto the flefh of a little child." Not only is the flefh of a 
little child tender, but his mind is tender. A little child has 
his heart eafily moved, wrought upon and bowed : fo is a 
Chnftian in fpiritual things. A little child is apt to be affecl> 
ci with fympathy, to weep with them that weep, and cannot 
well bear to fee others in diftrefs : fo it is with a Chnftian ; 
John xi. 35. Rom. xiL 15. i Cor. xii. 26. A little child is 
eafily won by kinclnefs : fo is a Chriftian. A little child is 
eafily affe6ted with grief at temporal evils, and has his heart 
melted, and falls a-weeping : thus tender is the heart of a Chrif 
tian, with regard to the evil of fin. A little child is eafily 
affrighted at the appearance of outward evils, or any thing 
that threatens its hurt : fo is a Chnftian apt to be alarmed at 
the appearance of moral evil, and any thing that threatens the 
hurt of the foul. A little child, when it meets enemies, or 
fierce hearts, is not apt to truft its own ftrena;th, but flies to its 
parents for refuge : fo a faint is not felf-confident in engaging 
fpiritual enemies, but flies to Chrift. A little child is apt to 
be fufpicious of evil in places of danger, afraid in the dark, 
afraid when left alone, or far from home : fo is a faint apt to 
be fenfible of his fpiritual dangers, jealous of himfelf, full of 
fear when he cannot fee his way plain before him, afraid to be 
left alone, and to beat a diftance from God ; Prov. xxviii. 14. 
" Happy is the man that feareth alway : but he that hardeneth 
*< his heart, mall fall into mifchief." A little child is apt to t 
be afraid of fuperiors, and to dread their anger, and tremble at 
their frowns and threatenings : fo is a true faint with refpetl 
to God ; Pfal. cxix. 120. " My flefh trembleth for fear of thee 
" and I am afraid of thy judgments." If. Ixvi. 2. " To this 
k man will I look, even to him that is poor, and trembleth at 
my word." verf. 5. " Hear ye the word of the Lord, yf 
" that tremble at his word." Ezra. ix. 4. " Then were affem- 
*' bled unto me every one that trembled at the words of the 
" God of Ifrael." chap. x. 3. " According to the counfei of 
" my lord, and of thofe that tremble at the commandment of 
*' our God." A little child approaches fuperiors with awe: fa 
do the faints approach God with holy awe and reverence ; Jo^ 
xiii. 11. " Shall not his excellency make you afraid ? and his 

* dread 


" dread fall upon you ;" Holy fear is fo much the nature of 
true godlinefs, that it is called in fcripture by no other name 
more frequently, than the fear of God. 

Hence gracious affections do not tend to make men bold, 
forward, noify and boifterous ; but rather to /peak, trembling \ 
Hof. xiii. i. " When Ephraim fp:tke, trembling, he exalted 
" himfelfin Ifrael \ but when be offended in Baal, he died ;" 
and to clothe with a kind of holy fear in all their behaviour to 
wards God and man ; agreeable to Phil. ii. II. I Pet. hi. 15. 
2 Cor. vii. 15. Eph. vi. j. i Pet. iii. 2. Rom. xi. 20. 

But here fome may object and fay, Is there no fuch thing as 
a holy boldnefs in prayer, and the duties of divine wori'hip ? 
I anfvver, there is doubtlefs fuch a thing ; and it is chiefly to 
be found in eminent faints, perfons of great degrees of iaith 
and love. But this holy boldnefs is not in the lead oppollte to 
reverence; though it bstodifunioii and fervility. It abolifhes 
or leilens that difpofition which arifes from moral dijlance. or 
alienation ; and alfo ^//#/2f<- of relation, as that of a ihve : but 
not at all, that which becomes the natural diftanct, whereby 
we are infinitely inferior. No boldnefs in poor fulfill worms 
of the duft, that have a right fight of God and themfelvcs, 
will prompt them to approach to God with lefs tear and reve 
rence, than fpotlefs and glorious angels in heaven, who cover 
their faces before his throne, If. vi. at the beginning. Re 
becca, (who in her marriage with Ifaac, in almolt all its cir- 
cumftances, was rnanifeftly a great type of the church, the 
fpoufe of Chriil,) when fhe meets Ifaac, lights off from her 
camel, and takes a vail, and covers herfelf; although fhe \vas 
brought to him as his bride, to be with him, in the neareft re 
lation, and mod intimate union, that mankind are ever united 
one to another in.* Elijah, that great prophet, who had fo 
much holy familiarity with God, at a time of fpecial nearnefs 
to God, even when lie converted with him in. the imunt, 
wrapped his face in his mantle. Which was not heCaufe he 
was terrified with any fervile fear, by the terrible mind, and 
earthquake, and fire; but after thefe were all over, and God 
fpake to him as a friend, in a ft ill f wall voice : ^ Kin^s xix. 12, 
13. " And after the fire, a dill fmall voice ; and it v. as fo, when 
" Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle.'' And 
'D d d Mofei, 

* Dr. Ames, in his Ca&s of conference, Book III. cliap. ir. 
fpeaks of an holy modefty in the worfliip of God, as one fign of 
true humility* 


Mofes, wiih whom God fpakc face to face, as a man (peaks 
xviih his friend, and was diilinguifhed from all the piopheis, in 
the familiarity with God ihat lie was admitted to ; at a time 
when he was brought neareil of all, when God (he.ved him his 
glory in that fame mount, where he afterwards {'pake to Elijah, 
" He made hade, and bowed his head towards the eanh, and. 
" worfhipped," Exod. xxxiv. 8. There is in forue perfc-ns, 
a moil unfuitable and unfufFerable boldnefs, in their iddreflcs 
to the great JEHOVAH, in an affection of an holy bolclnefs, 
and oftemaiion of eminent nearnefs and familiarity; ihe very 
thoughts of which would make them {brink into nothing, with 
horror and confufion, if they faw the diflance that is between 
God and them. They are like the Pharifee, that boldly came 
up near, in a confidence of his own erninency in bolinefs. 
Whereas if they faw their vilenefs, they would be more like the 
publican, \\\x flood afar cff\ and du r jl not fo much as lift up his 
eyas to heaven \ but j mote, upon his brtaft, faying, God bt merci 
ful to me a Jinner. It becomes fiich finful creature;-, as we, to 
approach a holy God (although with fanh, and without ten or, 
yet) with contrition, and penitent (ha me and confufion of race. 
It is foretold that this fhould be the difpofition of the church, 
in the time of her hi^hell privileges on earth, in her latter day 
of glory, when God mould remarkably comfort her, by icveal- 
ir.g his covenant- mercy to her; Ezek. xvi. 60. to the end. " I 
44 will eftablifh unto thee an eveilafling covenant. Then thoa 
" fhalt remember thy ways, and be afhamed. And I willeflablifli 
* my covenant with thee, and tliou (halt know that I am the 
*' Lord: that ihou may ft remember and be confounded, and 
" never open thy mouth any mprebecaufe of thy iliame, when 
" I am pacified toward thee for ail that thou hail done, faith 
" the Lord God." The woman that we read of in the viith 
chapter of Luke, that was an eminent faint, and had much of 
that true love which cafts out fear, by Chrift's own teftimony, 
verf. 47. (he approached Chrift in an amiable and acceptable 
xnanner, when me came with that humble modefly, reverence 
and fhame, when fhe flood at his feet, weeping behind him, as 
not being fit to appear before his face, and warned his feet with, 
her tears. 

One reafon why gracious affeclions are attended with this 
tendeinefs of fpirit which has been fpoken of, is, that true grace 
tends to promote convictions of confcience. Perfons aie wont 
to have convi&ions of confcience before they have any grace : 



and if afterwards they arc truly converted, and have true re 
pentance, and joy, and peace in believing; this has a 'ondency 
to put an end to terrors, but has no tendency to put an end to 
convidicns of /in, but to increafe tfiem. li does not Ih.piiy a 
man's corifciencc; but makes it more fenftble, more eafily and 
thoroughly dilcerning the finfumefs of that which is fin hi 1, and 
receiving a greater conviction of the heinous and dreadful na- 
ti'.re or hn, i'uiceptive of a quicker and deeper I'cnJe oi it, ajnd 
more convinced of his own finfulnefs, and wickednel's of his 
heart; and conlequently it has a tendency to make him n;cic 
jealous of his heait. Grace tends to give the foul a further 
and better convichon of the lame things concerning {in, thdt it 
was convinced of under a legal work of the ipnit oi God ; viz. 
its great contrariety in the will and law, and honour of God, 
the greainefs of God's hatred to it, arid difpleafiue agamft it, 
and the dreadful punifhment it expo'es to and deferve . And 
not only fo, but it convinces the foul of fomething fun her con 
cerning liri, that it law nothing of, while only under legal con- 
viti'.ons ; arid that is the infinitely hateful nature oi fin, and its 
dreadfulneis upon that account. And this makes ihe heart 
tender with refpeet to fin; like David's heart, that frno'e him, 
when he had cut off Saul's fkirt. The heart of a true penitent 
is liked burnt child, that dreads the fire. Whereas on ihe con 
trary, he that has had a counterfeit repen:ance, and falfe coin- 
forts and joys, is like iron that has been luddenly heu and 
quenched; ii becomes much harder than before. A falfe con- 
verfion puts an end to convidions of confcience ; and io either 
takes away, or much dimiuiihes that conicientioufnefs, which 
was manileile'.i under a work of the law. 

Ail gracious affections have a tendency to promote this Cbri- 
ilian tendernefs of heart, that has been fpoken ot : riot only a 
godly fjirow; but a I fo a gracious joy: Pfal. ii. 11. "Serve 
" the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling'.* As aifo a 
gracious ho.e; Piai. xxxiii. 18. "Behold, the eye oi tie 
* Lord is upon them that rear him; upon them that hope in 
" his mercy." And Pfa). cxlvii. 11. "The Lo d -a! c?ii nle.i- 
<l fere in liiem that fear him, in thofe that hope in his mercy/'' 
Yea, the m<;H confident and allured hope, that is truly . 
ous, has this tende. cy. The higlter an hoiv !v:.v>f"s ra?:ed, the 
moie there is of this Christian tenJerriefs. The bainifhing of 
a iVivile fear, by a ho!y aiT. ranee, is a; < rrierl vi h a prO};or- 
incieafe of a reverential iear. Ti*c diminilhiiigof tli< 


fear of the fruits of God's difpleafure in future .punimment, is 
attended with a proportionable increafe of fear of his difplea 
fure itfelf ; the diminilhing of the fe;>r of hell, with an increafe 
of the fear of fin. The vaniihing of jealoufics of the perfon's 
flate, is attended with a proportionable increafe of jcaloufy of 
his heart, in a diilruft of its ftrength, wifdom, liability, faith- 
fulnefs, &c. The lefs apt he is to be afraid of natural evil, 
having his heart fixed tr lifting in God, and fo not afraid of evil 
tidings ; the more apt is he to be alarmed with the appearance 
of moral evil, or the evil of fin. As he has more holy bold- 
nefs, fo he has lefs of felf- confidence, and a forward aiiuxning 
boldnefs, and more modefly. As he is more fure than others 
of deliverance from hell, fo he has more of a fenfe of the defert 
of it. He is lefs apt than others to be fhaken in faith; but 
more apt than others to be moved with folemn warnings, and 
\vith God's frowns, and with the calamities of others. He has 
the firmed comfort, but the fofteil heart : richer than others, 
but pooreft of all in Spirit : the tallefl and ilronged faint, but 
the leaft and tendereft child among them. 

X. Another thing wherein thofe affections that are truly 
gracious and holy, differ from thofe that are falfe, is beautiful 
fymmttry and proportion. 

Not that thefymmetry of their virtues, and gracious affections 
of the faints, in this life, is perfect : it oftentimes is in many 
things defective, through the imperfection of grace, for want 
of proper inflections, through errors in judgment, or fome 
particular unhappinefs of natural temper, or defects' in educa 
tion, and many other difadvantages that might be mentioned. 
But yet there is, in no wife, that monfhous difproportion in 
gracious affections, and the various parts of true religion in *he 
faints, that is very commonly to be obferved, in the falfe religi 
on, and counterfeit graces of hypocrites. 

In the truly holy affections of the faints is found that propor 
tion, which is the natural confequence of the univerfalky of 
their fanctification. They have the whole image of Chriil up 
on them : they have put off the old man, and have put on the 
ntw man entire in all his parts and members. It hath plea/ed 
the Father that in Chrijl all fulntfs Jliould dwell : there is in 
him every grace ; he is Jidi of grace and truth: and they that 
are Chrift's, do of his fulnefs receive, ana grace for grace ; 
f John i. 14, 16.) i. c. there is every grace in them, which is 




in Chrift : grace for gt ace ; that is, grace anf\verab!e to grace : 
there is no grace in Chrifi, but there is its image in believers 
to anfwer it : the image is a true image : and there is loaie- 
thing of the fame beautiful proportion in the image, which is 
in the original ; there is feature for feature, and member for 
member. There is fymmetry and beauty in God's workman- 
iliip. The natural body, which God hath made, confifts of 
many members ; and all are in a beautiful proportion : fo it is 
in the new man, confiding of various graces and affections. 
The body of one that was born a perfect child, may fail of 
exaft proportion through diilemper, and the wcaknefs and 
wounds of fome of its members; yet the difpropoition is in no 
meafure like that of thofe that are born monfters. 

It is with hypocrites, as it was with Ephraim of old, at a 
time when God greatly complains of their hypocrify ; Hof. 
vii. " Ephraira is a cake not turned," half roafled and half 
raw : there is commonly no manner of uniformity in their af 

There is in many of them a great partiality, with regard to 
the feveral kinds of religious affelions; great affeclions in 
fome things, and no manner of proportion in others. An ho 
ly hope and holy fear go togetherin the faints, as has been ob- 
ferved from Pfalm. xxxiii. 18. and cxlvii. 11. But in fome of 
thefe is the moft confident hope, while they are void of reve 
rence, felf-jealoufy and caution, and to a great degree caft off 
fear. In the faints, joy and holy fear go together, though the 
joy be never fo great: as it was with the difciples, in that joy 
ful morning of Chrift's refurreclion, Matt, xxviii. 8. "And 
" they departed quickly from the fepulchre, with fear and GREAT 
" joy.*" But many of thefe rejoice without trembling: their 
joy is of that fort, that is truly opposite to godly fear. 

But particularly, one great difference between faints and 
hypocrites is this, that the joy and comfort of the former is at 
tended with godly forrow and mourning for fin. They have 
not only forrow to prepare them for their firft comfort, but af 
ter they are comforted, and their joy eflablifr.ed. As it is fore 
told of the church of God, that they mould mourn and loath 


* " Renewed care and diligence follows the feelings of the Spirk. 
Now is the foul at the foot of Chiiil, as Mary was at the fepulchre, 
with fear and great joy. He that travels the road with a rich treafure 
about him, is afraid of a thief in every bufn." /lav*/'* Sacramento! 
Meditations, M 


themfelves for their fins, after they were returned from the cap 
tivity, and weie feitled in the land of Canaan, the land of reit, 
and ihe land that flows wiih milk and honey, Kzek. xx. 42, 43. 
* And ye (hall know that lam the Lord, when I (hall bring 
**. you into the land of L'Vdel, into the country for the which I 
lifted up mine hand to give it to your fathers. And theie 
" ihaii ye remember \our ways, and ail your doings, wherein 
*' ye hdve been denied, and \e ihaii loath \ ourfelves in your 
' o\vn ti^iit, for all jour evils that ye have committed ." As 
alio in Ezei;. xvi. 01, 62, 63. A true faint is like a liitie child 
in tii'ii* reflect; he never had any godly forrow hefoie he was 
born a^din ; bat fmce has it of.eri in exerciie : as a litile child, 
before tt is born, and while it remains in darkncl's, never cries; 
bat as foon as ever it fees the hght, it begins to cry ; and 
thenceforward is often crving; Although Chiift hath home 
our griefs, arid carried our furrows, fo that we aie ireed from 
the forrow of purnjlwicnt, and may now tweeily feed upon the 
comforts Ciirut n .th purchafed for us ; yet thai hinders not 
but thrit our feeding on thefc comfuits fhould be attended with 
the for row of repentance. As of old, the children of Ifrael 
"were commanded, ever more to feed upon ilic pafchal lamb, 
with bitter herbs.* True faints aie fpokeu of in icriptute, not 


* tc If repentance accompanies f^ith, it is no prefumption to believe. 
Many know the lin, and hence believe in Ch/ift, trufl in Clirift, and 
there is an end of their faith. But what coiifeil:on and forrow for fin ? 
what more love to Chrilt fo lows this faith : Truly none. Nay, 
their faith is the caufe why they have none. For they think, if 
if I trutt in Chriit to f.-rgive me, he will do it: and there is an 
end of the bafinefs. Verily this hedge-faith, this bramble- faith, 
that catches hold on Chriil, and pricks and fciatches Chrift, by more 
ampcnitency, more contempt of hiin, is mere prefumption; which 

3'0iir faith quiets you. But if fa ; th be accompanied with repentance, 
mourning for fin, more efteem of God's grace in Chriil ; fo that no 
thing breaks thy heart more than the thoughts of Chrift's unchar go- 
able love to or> f .; fo vile, and this love ma!;c"> thce love much, and 
love him ths more ; as thy fin increafeth, fo thoa defireft thy love's 
incrcafe; ?nd now the ftream of thy thoughts run, how thou mayft 
Jive to hi,n that died for thee : this was Mary 's faith , who fat at Chri ;'-. '& 
feet w^epin ( ;j, wafhing them with her tears, and loving much, bc-- 
fznit r/.-uch was forgiven." Sfcfard's Sound Believe r, p. 12^, 129. 


only as thofe trnt have mourned for fin, but as thofe do mourn 
whofe manner it is (till to mourn ; Matt. v. 4. " Bielied aio 
" they that mourn : for they lhail be comforted." 

Not only is there olten in hypociitcs, an eiieniial deficiency, 
as to the vaiious kinds of religious affections ; butalfo aftraiu-e 
partiality and difpropoition, in the fume affect ions, wiih regard 
to diffeient objects. 

Thus as to the affeciion of hue, fc:ne make high pretences, 
and a great Ihew of love to God and Chriif, and it may be 
have been gieatly affected wi.h what they hvc heard or thought 
concernin^. them ; but they have riot a fpiiii of love and bene 
volence towards men, but are difpofed to contention, envy, 
revenge, and evil-fpeakirig ; and will, it may be, fuller an old 
grudge to reft in their boioms towards a neighbour, for fevtii 
years together, if not twice feven years ; living in real ill-wiil 
and bitternefs of fpiri; towards him : and it may be in their 
dealings with their neighbours, are not very ilrictand confcien- 
tious in obferving the rule of doing to, as they would 
that they fhould do to them : i John iv. 20. " If a man lay, I 
" love God, and hateth his brother, lie is a liar : for he that 
" loveth not his brother whom he hath feen, how can he love 
* God whom he hath not feen ? ' And on the other hand, there 
are others, that appear as if they had a great deal of benevolence 
lo men, are very good-natured and generous in their way ; but 
have no love to God. And 

" You frail know godly for row (fays Dr. Prefton,in his dlfcourfe 
en Paul's conversion) by the continuance of it; it is conftant : but 
worldly forrow is but apaffion of the mind ; it changes, it hfis no^. 
Though for thsprefent it may be violent and ftroi?g, and work mi:ch 
outwardly ; yet it conies but by tits, and continues not : like a I;;nd- 
fiood, which violently, for the prefent, overflows the banks ; bat it 
will away again ; it is not always thus. But godly forrow is like a 
fpring, that ftill keeps his running both winter and fummer, wet and 
dry, in heat and cold, early and late. So this godly forrow is the 
fame in a regenerate man ilill ; take him when you will, he is full 
forro wing for fin. This godly forrow (lands like the centre cfthc 
earth, which removes not, but ftill remains." 

*' I am perfuaded, many a man's heart is kept from breaking and 
mourning, becaufcof this. He faith (it maybe) that he is a vilefm- 
ner ; but I traft in Chrift, &c. If they do go to Chriil to deftroy their 
iin, this makes them more fccure in their fin. For (fay they) I can 
not help it, and Chrift muft do all. \Vhcreas faith makes the foul 
mourn after the Lord the more/' Skepard's Parnb'etftJ--: f?tr 7?.- ' . , 
Part II. p. 1 68. 


And as to the love to men, there are fome that have flowing af- 
feftions to forne ; but their love is far from being of fo exten- 
five and universal a nature, as a truly Chriflian love is. They 
are full of dear affe&ions to fome, and full of bkternefs towards 
others. They are knit to their own party, them that approve of 
them, love them and admire them ; but are fierce againft thofe 
that oppofe and diilike them. Matth. v. 45, 46. " Be like 
" your Father which is in heaven ; for he maketh his fun 
" to rife on the evil and on the good. For if ye love them 
" which love you, what reward have ye ? do not even the 
" publicans the fame ?" Some fhew a great affeftion to their 
neighbours, and pretend to be ravifhed with the company of 
the children of God abroad ; and at the fame time are uncom 
fortable and churliih towards their wives and other near rela 
tions at home, and are very negligent of relative duties. And 
as to the great love to finners and oppofers of religion, and thegreat 
concern for their fouls, that there isanappearanceof in forae,even 
to extreme diftrefs and agony, fingling out a particular perfon, 
from among a multitude, for its object, there being at the fame 
time no general compaffion to Tinners, that are in equally mifera- 
blecircumflances, but what isinamonrlrous difproportion ; this 
fcsms not to be of the nature of a gracious afFcBion. Not that 
I fuppofe it to be at all ftrange, that pity to the perifhing fouls 
of finners Ihould be to a degree of agony, if other things are an- 
fv/erabie ; or that a truly gracious compailion to fouls fhould be 
cxercifed much more to fome perfons than others that are equal 
ly raiferable, efpecially on fo$ie particular occafions : there may 
many things happen to fix the mind, and affect the heart, with 
refpe&to a particular perfon, atfuch a juncture ; and without 
doubt fome faints have been in great diftrefs for the fouls cf 
particular perfons, fo as to be as it were in travail for them: 
but when perfons appear, at particular times, in wracking 
agonies for the foul of fome fingle perfon, far beyond what has 
been ufually heard or read of in eminent faints, but appear to 
be perfons that have a fpirit of meek and fervent love, charity, 
and compailion to mankind in general, in a far lefs degree than 
they ; I fay, fuch agonies are 'greatly to be fufpe&ed, for rea- 
fons already given ; viz. that the Spirit of God is wont to give 
graces and gracious affections in a beautiful fymmetry and pro 

And as there is a monftrous difproportion in the love of fome, 
in its exercifes towards different perfons, fo there is in their 
feeming exercifes of love towards the fame perfons. Some 




men fhew a love to others as to their outward man, they are li 
beral of their worldly fubftance, and often give to the poor ; 
but have no love to, or concern for the fouls of men. Others 
pretend a great love to mens fouls, that are not compaffionate 
and charitable towards their bodies. The making a great fhew 
of love, pity, and diftrefs for fouls, colts them nothing ; but 
in order to fhew mercy to rnens bodies, they muft part with 
money out of their pockets. But a true Chriftian love to our 
brethren, extends both to their fouls and bodies ; and herein 
is like the love and compailion of Jefus Chrift. He fhewed 
mercy to mens fouls, by labouring for them in preaching the 
gofpel to them ; and fhewed mercy to their bodies, in going 
abom doing good, healing all manner of ficknefs and difeafes 
among the people. We have a remarkable inftance of Chrift's 
having compailion at once both to mens fouls and bodies, and 
(hewing companion by feeding both, in Mark vi. 34, &c. " And 
" Jefus, when he came out, faw much people, and was moved 
" with companion toward them, becaufe they were as fheep not 
" having a fhepherd : and he began to teach them many things." 
Here was his companion to their fouls. And in the fequel, 
we have an account of his compailion to their bodies, becaufe 
they had been .a long while having nothing to eat : he fed five 
thoufand of them with five loaves and two fifties. And if th.3 
companion of profelling Chriftians towards others does not 
work in the fame ways, it is a fign that it is no true Chriftian 

And furthermore, it is a fign that affections are not of the 
right fort, if perfons feem to be much affected with the bad qua 
lities of their fellow-Chriftians, as the coldnefs and lifeleilhefs 
of other faints, but are in no proportion affected with their own 
defects and corruptions. A true Chriftian may be affected 
with the coldnefs and unfavourinefs of other faints, and may 
mourn much over it : but at the fame time, he is not fo apt to 
be affected with the badnefs of any body's heart, as his own ; 
this is mo ft in his view ; this he is moil quick-fighted to dif- 
cern ; this he fees moft of the aggravations of, and is molt 
ready to cry out of. And a Idler degree of virtue will bring 
him to pity himfelf, and be concerned at his own calamities, 
than rightly to be affected with others calamities. And if men 
have not attained to the Icfs, we may determine they never at 
tained to the greater. 

And here by the way, I would obferve, that it may be laid 
down as a general rule', That if perfons pretend that they come 

Kce to 


to high attainments in religion, but have never yet arrived to 
the letter attainments, it is a fign of a vain pretence. As if per- 
fons pretend, that they have got beyond mere morality t \o live 
a Spiritual and divine life ; but really have not come to be fo 
much as moral perfons : or pretend to be greatly affecled with 
the wickednefs of their hearts, and are not affected with the 
palpable violations ot God's commands in their practice, which 
is a lefTer attainment. : or if they pretend to be brought to be 
" even willing to be damned for the glory of God, but have no 
forwardnefs to fuffer a little in their ellates and names, and 
worldly convenience, for the fake of their duty : or pretend 
that they are not afraid to venture their fouls upon Chrift, and 
commit their all to God, trufting to his bare word, and the 
faithfulness of his promifes, for their eternal welfare ; but at 
the fame time, have not confidence enough in God, to dare to 
truil him with a little of their eftates, bcftowed to pions and 
charitable ufes : I fay, when it is thus with perfons, their pre 
tences are manifeftly vain. He that is in a journey, and ima 
gines he has got far beyond fuch a plr.ce in his road, and never 
yet came to it, rnuil be miflaken ; and he is not yet arrived to 
the top of the hill, that never yet got half-way thither. But 
this by the way. 

The fame that has been obferved of the afieclion of love, is 
alfo to be obferved of other religious affections. Thofe that- 
are true, extend in fome proportion, to the various things that 
are their due and' proper objects : but when they are falfe, they 
are commonly flrangely difproportionate. So it is with rel