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•^ 6 o 7 
' /3 2,y 













tMm for ^e j&snMc5( of t^ ttnito^Ua VM^t 



TBRirr ooixaai, oambbidcw, tioax ov holkeak, kouolk. 






• % 






Hebrews xin. 17. 
Obey thun that have the ruU over you .... 1 — 79 


* (collated.) 
of self-love ik general. 

2 Timothy ni. 2, 
For men shall he lovers of themeelvee .... 80 — 113 





2 Timothy in. 2. 
For men ehall he lovers of ihemselvess i(c, \ • • . 114 — 141 



Romans xn. 17. 
Provide {hinps holiest in (he sight of all men • • . • 142 — 169 

vi Contents. 





Prowde ihingB homtt in the tight of M mm . • • 170 — 193 



2 Corinthians vm. 21. 

Providing /or honest things^ not only in ihe tight of the Lordf 

but also in the tight of men 194 — 216 




Providing for honett thingt, not only in the tight of the Lord, 

but cdto in the tight of men • • . • • 216 — 241 


no respect of persons with god. 

Romans il 11. 
For there it no rttpecf ofpertont with Ood • . • 242 — ^272 


the doctrine of universal redemption asserted and 


1 Timothy iv. 10. 

The living God; who it the Saviour of aU men, tpeeially of 

ihote ikoU believe 278 — 301 

Contents. vii 





1 Timothy iv. 10. 

Ths Imng Gods who tf the Saviour of aU merh fpedaUy of 

Mof0 (Aa( 6e2i0v« 302—349 





1 Timothy iv. 10. 

Tkb Umng God; who U the Satfiour of aU men, tpecially of 

tho§6 that belimfe 350 — ^370 



LxTKE n. 10. 

And the angd aaid unto them. Fear not :for, behoU I bring you 

good tidingi of great joy, which shall betoaU people . 871^-401 



the bufferings of christ foretold in the old testament. 

Acts ul 18. 

But those things^ which God hrfore had shewed by the mouth of 
all his prophets, that Christ should sufir, hs hath so fuU 
filed 402 — 429 



Acts n. 38. 
And ye $kaU reeeiee the gifi of the Holy Ghost . • . 430—460 

viii Contents. 






Set your afietiotu on things abovef not on things on the earth • 461—491 


Set your affectwm on things above . • • • • 492 — ^523 




Heb, XIII. 17. 
Obey them that have the rule over you. 

OBEDIENCE unto spirittial guides and gover- sebm. 
nors is a duty of great importance ; the which '- — 

to declare and press is very seasonable for these 
times, "wherein so little regard is had thereto : I 
have therefore pitched on this text, being an apo- 
stolical precept briefly and clearly enjoining that 
duty ; and in it we shall consider and explain these 
two particulars : I. The persons to whom obedience 
is to be paid. II. What that obedience doth im- 
port, or wherein it consisteth : and together with 
explication of the duty, we shall apply it, and urge 
its practice. 

I. As to the persons, unto whom obedience is 
to be performed, they are, generally speaking, all 
spiritual guides, or governors of the church, (those 
who speak to us the word of Grod, and who watch Heb. xiii. 
for our souls, as they are described in the context,) ^' ^^' 
expressed here by a term very significant and 
apposite, as implying fiiUy the nature of their 
charge, the qualification of their persons, their 
rank, and privileges in the Church, together, con- 

B. S. VOL. IV. 1 

2 Of Obedience to our spiritual 

SEKM. sequently, with the grounds of obligation to the cor- 

respondent duties toward them. Here are in Holy 

Scripture divers names and phrases appropriate 
to them, each of them denoting some eminent part 
of their office, or some appurtenance thereto ; but 
this seemeth of all most comprehensive ; so that 
unto it all the rest are well reducible : the term is 
nyoviL€voi^ that is, Leaders^ or GfuideSy or Captains ; 
which properly may denote the subsequent particu- 
lars in way of duty, or privilege, appertaining to 

1 It may denote eminence of dignity, or supe- 
riority to others : that they are, as it is said of 

Actmnr.2a. Judas and Silas in the Acts, ''Av^pes nyov/uievoi ev 
Toit a^\(poi9, Principal men among the brethren: 
for to lead implieth precedence, which is a note 
of superiority and pre-eminence. Hence are they 
I Tim. T. styled wpoearwre^, Presidents or Prelates ; oi Trp&roi, 
Horn. xii. thef/rst or prime men ; ol fj^ei^ou^ the greater, majors, 
iThess. T. or grandees among us : He, saith our Lord, that 
Matt. XX. *^ ^^ thef/rst among you, let him be your servant ; 
Ltikexxii. ^^^> ^^ ^^ ^ greater among you, let him be as 
*^' the younger: and he that is chief, as he that doth 

serve ; where 6 fieil^wv and o ^yovfxevo^ (the greater 
and the leader) are terms equivalent, or interpreta- 
tive the one of the other ; and our Lord in those 
places, aa he prescribeth humUity of mind and de- 
Phu. ii. 99. meanour, so he implieth difference of rank among 
;3^- - hiB disciples : whence to render especial respect 
I Tim. T. Qjj^i honour to them, as to our betters, is a duty 
often enjoined. 

2 It doth imply power and authority : their 
superiority is not barely grounded on personal worth 
or fortune ; it serveth not merely for order and 

Guides and Goveimors. 3 

pomp ; but it standeth upon the nature of their s^^m. 

office, and tendeth to use : they are by God's ap- 

pointment enabled to exercise acts of power ; to 
command, to judge, to check, control, and chastise 
in a spiritual way, in order to spiritual ends, (the 
regulation of God's worship and service, the pre- 
servation of order and peace, the promoting of 
edification in divine knowledge and holiness of 
life;) so are they iryoutxevoi, as that word in common 
use (as the word ^ycfiwy, of kin to it) doth signify, 
Captmns and Princes, importing authority to com- 
mand and rule; (whence the Hebrew word N^fe^), a 
Prince, is usually rendered by it ; and o riyoifievo^ Matt. u. 6. 
is the title attributed to our Lord, to express his 
kingly function, being the same with ipx^iyh the Ad* v. 31. 
Prince or Captain'^ hence are they otherwise styled 
Kufiepviitreii (Govemore), eviaKoiroi (Overseers or Sv^ l^^- ^"• 
perintendents, as St Hierome rendereth it), Pastors, ^^T:*|- 
(a word often signifying rule, and attributed to pb. kxviii! 
civil governors,) irpecfivTepot (Elders or Senators ; the i pet. t. i, 
word denoteth not merely age, but office and au- I'sam.v.a; 
thority), ol eirifieXovvre^, such as take care for, the ^^ .» 
Curators or Supervisors of the Church : hence also 5- ., 
they are signally and specially in relation unto God 24. 
styled Joi/Xoi (the Servants), SiaKovot (the Ministers), 16. 
vir^perai (theOJicers)^ XeiToupyoi (the public Agents)y Jp^'-^^'' 
ofjTovoMoi (the Stewards), awepyol (the Coadjviors or JJJ^^/g 
Assistants), irpitr^i^ (iiieLegates),ayy€\oi(theAngds l^^- ^•4- 
or Messengers), of God; which titles imply, that Oai. iv. 14. 

A.DOC« i 20» 

God by them, as his substitutes and instruments, 
doth administer the afisdrs of his spiritual kingdom : 
that as by secular magistrates (his vicegerents and 
officers) he manageth his universal temporal king- 
dom, or govemeth all men in order to their worldly 


4 Of Obedience to our spiritual 

®^^' peace and prosperity ; so by these spiritual magis- 

trates he ruleth his Church toward its spiritual 

welfare and felicity. 

3 The word also doth imply direction or in- 
struction ; that is, guidance of people in the way of 
truth and duty, reclaiming them from error and 
sin : this, as it is a means hugely conducing to the 
design of their office, so it is a principal member 
Eph.iv.ii. thereof: whenceSiSaaKoXoi, Doctors, or masters in doc- 
28. ' ' trine, is a common name of them; and to be ^^aKTi/coi, 

iTim.iii.a! -^^Ic and apt to teach, (iirai/oi SiSa^ai, and irpoOvfioi,) is 

iTun. u. ^ chief qualification of their persons ; and to attend 
"■K* ^^ teaching, to be instant in preaching, to labour in 
13, 16 ; the word and doctrine, are their most commendable 
I'Tiii. iv. performances : hence also they are called Shepherds, 
Col. i. a8. because they feed the souls of God's people with 
the food of wholesome instruction ; Waichmen, be- 
cause they observe men's ways, and warn them when 
they decline from right, or run into danger ; the 
Messengers of God, because they declare God's 
mind and will unto them for the regulation of their 
1 Pet. V. 3. 4 The word ftirther may denote exemplary 
12. ' ^' practice ; for to lead implieth so to go before, that 
m' ^'7. ^® ^^'^ ^ conducted may follow ; as a captain 
a 'DieaB.iii. marchoth before his troop ; as a shepherd walketh 
Heb. ill. 7. before his flock ; as a guide goeth before the traveller 
6. whom he directeth ; hence they are said to be, and 

I Oor zi I * 

iv. 16. " ' enjoined to behave themselves as patterns of the 
flock ; and the people are charged to imitate and 
follow them. 

Such in general doth the word here used imply 
the persons to be, unto whom obedience is pre- 
scribed : but there is frurther some distinction to be 

Guides and Chvemors. 5 

made among them; there are degrees and subordi- serm. 
nations in these firuidances: some are in recrard to ^' 
different persons both empowered to guide, aad 
obliged to follow, or obey. 

The church is odes ordincUay a well marshalled 
army ; wherein, mider the Captain-general of om* > !*«*•.▼• 4. 
faith and salvation, (the Head of the body, the OoL l 18. ' 
sovereign Prince and Priest, the Arch-pastor, the 
chief Apostle of our profession, and Bishop of our 
«ott&,) there are divers captains serving in fit 
degrees of subordination; bishops conmianding 
laiger regiments, presbyters ordering less numerous 
companies; all which, by the bands of common 
&ith, of mutual charity, of holy communion and 
peace, being combined together, do in their re- 
spective stations govern and guide, are governed 
and guided: the bishops, each in his precincts, 
guiding more immediately the priests subject to 
Aem^he priests, each gJding L people c^mmii. 
ted to his charge: aU bishops and priests being 
guided by synods established, or congregated, upon 
emergent occasion; many of them ordinarily by 
those principal bishops, who are regularly settled in 
a presidency over them; according to the dis- 
tinctions constituted by God and his Apostles, or 
introduced by human prudence, as the preserva- 
tion of order and peace (in various times and 
circumstances of things) hath seemed to require : to 
which subordmation the two great Apostles may 
seem to have regard, when they bid us vwordcraeaOai i pet. v.5. 
aXkiiXoti, to be subject to one another^; their injunction p^ »* "; 

* *YiroTaaa'€a'6«i cWaorof rf vXtfciov ovrov, kqB^s icai mOrf iv rf 
xapUrfioTi avrov, — Clem, ad Cor. Ep. i. cap. zxxYin. [Cotel. Pat. 
ApoBt. Tom. I. p. 167.] 

6 Of Obedience to our spiritiud 

SEBM. at least may, according to their general intent, 
— 1 — (which aimeth at the preservation of order and 
peace,) be well extended so far. 

Of this distinction there was never in ancient 
times made any question*", nor did it seem disput- 
able in the Church, except to one malecontent, 
(Aerius,) who did indeed get a name in story, but 
never made much noise, or obtained any vogue in 
the world; very few followers he found in his 
heterodoxy; no great body even of heretics could 
find cause to dissent from the Church in this point; 
but all Arians, Macedonians, Novatians, Donatists, 
&c. maintained the distinction of ecclesiastical orders 
among themselves, and acknowledged the duty of 
the inferior clergy to their bishops: and no wonder, 
seeing it standeth upon so very firm and clear 
ground^; upon the reason of the case, upon the 
testimony of Holy Scripture, upon general tradition 
and unquestionable monuments of antiquity, upon 
tt, coZon judgment «.d practice of 1 ^L 
saints, persons most renowned for wisdom and 
piety in the Church. 

E«a8on plainly doth require such subordinations; 
for that without them it is scarce possible to 
preserve any durable concord or charity in Chris- 
tian societies, to establish any decent harmony in 
t^e worship and service of God, to check odious 
scandals, to prevent or repress baneful factions, to 
guard our Religion fi:om being overspread with 
pernicious heresies, to keep the Church from being 
shattered into numberless sects, and thence fi:om 
being crumbled into nothing; in fine, for any good 
time to uphold the profession and practice of 

*• * Cypr. Ep. X. xn. xzvn. lxv. 

Gfuides and Governors. 7 

Cfaristianilrp itself: for how, if there be not settled serm. 

corporations of Christian people, having bulk and '- — 

strength sufficient by joint endeavour to main- 
tain the truth, honour, and interest of their Religion ; 
if the Church should only consist of independent 
and incoherent particles, (like dust or sand,) easily 
scattered by any wind of opposition from without, 
or by any commotion within; if Christendom 
should be merely a Babel of confrised opinions and 
practices; how, I say then could Christianity sub- 
sist? how could the simple, among so discordant 
apprehensions, be able to discern the truth of 
it? how would the wise be tempted to dislike 
it, being so mangled and disfigured? what an 
object of contempt and scorn would it be to the 
profaner world in such a case ! It needeth therefore 
considerable societies to uphold it; but no society 
(especially of any large extent) can abide in 
order and peace, under the management of equal 
and co-ordinate powers, without a single undivided 
authority, enabled to moderate affairs and reduce 
them to a point, to arbitrate emergent cases of 
difference, to put good orders in execution, to curb 
the adversaries of order and peace: these things 
cannot be weU performed where there is a parity 
of many concurrents, apt to dissent, and able to 
check each other •; no democracy can be supported 
without borro^ somewhat from monar^y; no 
body can live without a head ; an army cannot be 

^ EcclesisB salos in Bummi Saoerdotis dignitate pendet; cui ql 
non exors qusedam, et ab omnibus eminens detur potestas, tot m 
ecclesiis efficientar scbismata, quot sacerdotee. — ^Hier. adr. Lncif. 
[0pp. Toifi. IV. p. ii. col. 295.] 

Nee presbyterorum coetus rite oonstitutuB did potest, in quo 
nnlltts taifiycviuyot, — ^Bez. de Min. Eyang. Grad. cap. zxn. 

8 Of Obedience to our spiritual 

SEBM. without a general, a senate without a president, a 

' corporation without a supreme magistrate^ : this all 

experience attesteth ; this even the chief impugners 
of episcopal presidency do by their practice confess ; 
who for prevention of disorder have been fain of 
their own heads to devise ecclesiastical subordi- 
nations of classes, provinces, istnd nations; and to 
appoint moderators (or temporary bishops) in their 
assemblies ; so that reason hath forced the dissent- 
ers from the Church to imitate it. 

If there be not inspectors over the doctrine and 
manners of the common clergy, there will be many 
who will say and do any thing; they will in 
teaching please their own humour, or soothe the 
people, or serve their own interests; they will 
indulge themselves in a licentious manner of life ; 
they will clash in their doctrines, and scatter the 
people, and draw them into factions. 

It is also very necessary for preserving the 
unity and conmiimion of the parts of the Catholic 
Church ; seeing single persons are much fitter to correspondence, than headless bodies. 

The very credit of Religion doth require, that 
there should be persons raised above the common 
level, and endued with eminent authority, to whose 
care the promoting it should be committed; for 
such as the persons are, who manage any profession, 
such will be the respect yielded thereto: if the 
ministers of Religion be men of honour and author- 
ity. Religion itself will be venerable ; if those be 
mean, that will become contemptible. 

fissentiale fuit, quod ex Dei ordinadone perpetua necesse 
fuit, esty et erit, ut presbyterio quispiam et loco et dignitate 
primuB actioDi gubernandse prsosit cum eo, quod ipsi dirinitus 
attribtttnm est jure. — ^Bez. do Min. Eyang. Grad. cap. xxm. p. 163. 

Guides and Governors. 9 

The Holy Scripture also doth plainly enough serm. 
countenance this distinction; for therein we have ' 

represented one angel presiding over principal ^^- ^- 3' 
churches, which contained several presbyters; 
therein we find episcopal ordination and jurisdiction 
exercised; we have one bishop constituting pres- 
byters in divers cities of his diocese; ordering aU^^*- i- 5- 
things therein concerning ecclesiastical discipline; i, 17, ^pi 
judging presbyters, rebuking, /ulctcJ irao-^ff eiriraytiSi Tit. u.' 15. 
V)ith all authority y (or imperiousness, as it were;) 
and reconciling offenders, secluding heretics and 
scandalous persons. 

In the Jewish Church there were an high-priest, 
chief-priesi^ a saiJiedrim, or senate, or synod. 

The government of congregations among God's 
ancient people (which it is probable was the 
pattern that the Apostles, no affecters of needless 
innovation, did foUow in establishing ecclesiastical 
discipline among Christians) doth hereto agree; 
for in their synagogues, answering to our Christian 
churches, they had, as their elders and doctors, so 
over them an apx*<^*'»'«7«^7w^ ^^ head of the elder- 
ship, and president of the synagogue. 

The primitive general use of Christians most 
effectually doth back the Scripture, and interpret 
it in fiivour of this distinction; scarce less than 
demonstrating it constituted by the Apostles ; for 
how otherwise is it imaginable, that all the 
churches founded by the Apostles, in several most 
distant and disjoined places, (at Jerusalem, at 
Antioch, at Alexandria, at Ephesus, at Corinth, at 
Bpome,) should presently conspire in acknowledg- 
ment and use of it? how could it without apparent 

10 Of Obedience to our spiritital 

SERM. confederacy be formed, how could it creep in without 
— - — notable clatter, how could it be admitted without 
considerable opposition, if it were not in the found- 
ation of those churches laid by the Apostles ? How 
is it likely, that in those times of grievous persecu- 
tion, falling chiefly upon the bishops, (when to be 
eminent among Christians yielded slender reward, 
and exposed to extreme hazard ; when to seek pre- 
eminence was in effect to court danger and trouble, 
torture and ruin,) an ambition of irregularly ad- 
vancing themselves above their brethren should 
so generally prevail among the ablest and best 
Christians? How could those &mous martyrs for 
the Christian truth be some of them so unconscion- 
able as to affect, others so irresolute as to yield to 
such injurious encroachments? and how could all 
the holy Fathers (persons of so renowned, so 
approved wisdom and integrity) be so blind as not 
to discern such a corruption, or so bad as to abet 
it ? How indeed could all God's. Church be so weak 
as to consent in judgment, so base as to comply in 
practice with it ? In fine, how can we conceive, that 
aU the best monuments of antiquity down from the 
begbning (tte act^ th« epiaui the histories U.. 
commentaries, the writings of all sorts coming from 
the blessed martyrs, and most holy confessors of 
our &ith) should conspire to abuse us ; the which 
do speak nothing but bishops ; long catalogues and 
rows of bishops succeeding in this and that city ; 
bishops contesting for the £stith against pagan idol- 
aters, and heretical corrupters of Christian doctrine : 
bishops here teaching and planting our ReUgion 
by their labours, there suffering and watering it 
with their blood ? 

Guides and Governors. 11 

I could not but touch this point : but I cannot sbrm. 

insist thereon; the full discussion of it, and '- — 

vindication of the truth from the cavils advanced 
against the truth by modem dissenters from the 
Church, having employed voluminous treatises: I 
shall only further add, that if any man be so dully 
or so affectedly ignorant as not to see the reason 
of the case, and the dangerous consequences of 
rejecting this ancient form of discipline ; if any be ' ^'- ^• 
so overweeningly presumptuous, as to question the 
£uth of all history, or to disavow those monuments 
and that tradition, upon the testimony whereof • 
even the truth and certainty of our Religion, and all 
its sacred oracles do rely; if any be so perversely 
contentious, as to oppose the custom and current 
practice of the churches through aU ages down to 
the last age; so self-conceitedly arrogant, as to 
condemn or slight the judgment and practice of all 
the Fathers, (together also with the opinion of the 
later most grave divines, who have judged episco- 
pd presidency needM or expedient, where pra^ 
ticable ;) so peevishly refractory as to thwart the 
settled order of that Church in which he was bap- 
tized, together with the law of the country in which 
he was bom ; upon such a person we may look as 
one utterly invkcible and Liuctable: so weak a 
judgment/and so ste,ng a will, who can hope by 
reason to convert? I ^all say no more to that 

The nyovfieifoi then (the guides and governors) in 
our text are primarily the bishops, as the superior 
and chief guides, each in his place according to 
order peaceably established ; then, secondarily, the 
presbyters, in their station as guides inferior, 
together with the deacons as their assistants : such 

12 Of Obedience to our spiritual 

SBRM. the Church always hath had, and such, by God's 
'. blessing, our Church now hath, toward whom the 

duty of obedience is to be performed. 

To the consideration of that I should now pro- 
ceed: but, first, it seemeth expedient to remove a 
main obstruction to that performance; which is 
this : a misprision, or doubt concerning the persons 
of our guides and governors ; for in vain it would 
be to teach or persuade us to obey them, if we do 
not know who they are, or will not acknow- 
ledge them: for as in Religion, it is Primus 
• Deorum cuUus Deos credere, The jvrst worship of 

God to believe God, as Seneca saith'; so it is the 
first part of our obedience to our governors to avow 
them; it is at least absolutely prerequisite thereto. 
It was of old a precept of St Paul to the Thes- 
I ThesB. V. salonians ; We beseech yoUy brethren^ to know those 
who hhour among you, and preside over you: and 
I Cor. xvi. another to the Corinthians ; Submit yourselves^ saith 
' he, to suchy and to every one that helpeth with uSy 

and hhoureih : then he subjoineth, eTriyivwaKere tov^ 
ToioJroi/y, acknowledge such. There were, it seemeth, 
those in the apostolical times who would not know 
or acknowledge their guides ; there were even those 
3 John lo. who would uot admit the Apostles themselves, as 
aTim. iv. St John saith of Diotrephes, who resisted their 
'^* words, as St Paul saith of Alexander, to whom the 

Apostles were not Apostles, as St Paul intimateth 
iCor.ix.a. conccming some, in regard to himself; there were 
13. ^^' "' then pseud-apostles, who excluded the true Apostles, 
m. a. intruding themselves into that high oflBce : no 
wonder then, it may be, that now, in these dregs 
of time, there should be many who disavow and 
desert their true guides, transferring the observance 

' Sen. Ep. xcv. [49.] 

Guides and Governors. 13 

due to them upon bold pretenders; who are not s^^^. 

indeed guides, but seducers ; not governors, but 

usurpers, and sacrilegious invaders of this holy 
office: the duty we speak of cannot be secured 
without preventing or correcting this grand mistake; 
and this we hope to compass by representing a 
double character, or description, one of the true 
guides, another of the counterfeits ; by comparing 
which we may easily distinguish them, and conse- 
quently be induced dutifully to avow and follow the 
one sort, wisely to disclaim and decline the other. 

Those, I say, then, who constantly do profess 
and teach that sound and wholesome doctrine, 
which was delivered by our Lord and his Apostles 
in word and writing, was received by their disciples 
in the primitive churches, was transmitted and con- 
firmed by general tradition, was sealed by the 
blood of the blessed martyrs, and propagated by 
the labours of the holy Fathers ; the which also 
manifestly recommendeth and promoteth true reve- 
rence and piety toward God, justice and charity 
toward men, order and quiet in human societies, 
purity Und sobriety in each man's private con- 

Those who celebrate the true worship of God, 
and administer the holy mysteries of our Religion 
in a serious, grave, decent manner, purely and 
without any notorious corruption, either by hurtful 
error, or superstitious foppery, or irreverent rude- 
ness, to the advancement of God's honour, and 
edification of the participants in virtue and piety. 

Those who derive their authority by a con- 
tinued succession from the Apostles ; who are called 
unto, and constituted in their office in a regular 

14 Of Obedience to our spiritual 

SEBM. aj^j peaceable way, agreeable to the institution 

of God, and the constant practice of his Church ; 

according to rules approved in the best and purest 
ages : who are prepared to the exercise of their 
function by the best education that ordinarily can 
be provided, under sober discipline, in the schools 
of the prophets, who thence by competent endow- 
ments of mind, and useful furniture of good learn- 
ing, acquired by painful study, become qualified to 
guide and instruct the people : who, after previous 
examination of their abilities, and probable testi* 
monies concerning their manners, (with regard to 
the qualifications of incorrupt doctrine, and sober 
conversation prescribed by the Apostles,) are ad- 
judged fit for the oflBce ; who also in a pious, gprave, 
solemn manner, with invocation of God's blessing, 
I T^m. ui. by laying on the hands of the presbytery, are ad- 
14. ' " mitted thereunto. 

Those whose practice in guiding and governing 
the people of God is not managed by arbitrary, 
uncertain, fickle, private fancies or humours, but 
regulated by standing laws; framed (according to 
general directions extant in Holy Scripture) by 
pious and wise persons, with mature advice, in 
accommodation to the seasons and circumstances 
of things for common edification, order, and peace. 
Those who, by virtue of their good principles, 
in their disposition and demeanour appear sober, 
orderly, peaceable, yielding meek submission to 
government, tendering the Churches peace, uphold- 
ing the communion of the saints, abstaining from 
aU schismatical, turbulent, and factious practices. 

Those also, who are acknowledged by the laws 
of our country, an obligation to obey whom is part 

Guides and Governors. 15 

of that human constitution, unto which we are in serm. 
all things (not evidently repugnant to God's law) 

indispensably bound to submit; whom our sove- ®^"'3- 
reign, God's vicegerent and the nursing father of 
his church among us, (unto whom in aU things 
high respect, in all lawfiil things entire obedi- 
ence is due,) doth command and encourage us to 
obey. • 

Those, I say, to whom this character plainly 
doth agree, we may reasonably be assured, that 
they are our true guides and governors, whom we 
are obliged to follow and obey: for what better 
assurance can we in reason desire ? what more 
proper marks can be assigned to discern them byl 
what methods of constituting such needful officers 
can be settled more answerable to their design and 
use ? how can it be evil or unsafe to foUow guides 
authorized by such warrants, conformed to such 
patterns, endowed with such dispositions, acting 
by such principles and rules ? can we mistake or 
i^scarry by complying with the great body of 
God's Church through all ages, and particularly 
with those great Ughts of the primitive Church, 
who by the excellency of their knowledge, and 
the integrity of their virtue, have so illustrated 
our holy Religion? 

There are, on the other hand, sufficiently plain 
characters, by which we may descry seducers, and 
&ise pretenders to guide us. 

Those who do irepoSiSaaKoKeiVy teoch othermse, i Tim. vi. 
or discost from the good ancient wholesome doc- Gai*. l (>". 
trine, revealed in the Holy Scripture, attested by ^. ^, Vo.^' 
universal tradition, professed, taught, maintained *J^^ ^-^ 
to death by the primitive saints and martyrs; who Tit, ui. 9. 

16 Of Obedience to our spiritual 

SERM. affect novelties, uncouth notions, big words, and 
dark phrases; who dote on curious empty specu- 

a^Pet. u. Jq^^Jqj^q g^j^j \^Q questions, which engender strife, 
and yield no good fruit. 

Those* who ground their opinions and warrant 
their proceedings, not by clear testimonies of divine 
revelation, by the dictates of sound reason, by the 
'current authority of wise and good men, but by 
the suggestions of their own fancy, by the impulses 
of their passion and zeal, by pretences to special 
inspiration, by imaginary necessities, and such like 
fallacious rules. 

Those who, by counterfeit shows of mighty 
zeal and extraordinary affection, by affected forms 
of speech, by pleasing notions, by prophesying 

iBai. jcxx. smooth things, daubing and glozing, by various 

'®' artifices of flattery and fraud, attract and abuse 

weak and heedless people. 

Those who, without any apparent conmiission 
from God, or allowable caU from men, or extraordi- 
nary necessity of the case, in no legal or regular 
way, according to no custom received in God's 
Church'', do intrude themselves into the office, or 
are only assumed thereto by ignorant, unstable, 
giddy, factious people, such as those of whom St 

ai^m.iv.3. P^^ saith, that. According to their ovm lusts they 
heap up teachers to themsdveSy having itching ears. 
Those who are not in reasonable ways fitly pre- 
pared, not duly approved, not competently author- 

' Ordinationes eomm temerarise, leres, inconstantes. — Tert. 
de Praescrip. Hser. cap. xli. [0pp. p. 217 0.] 

^ Hi sunt qui se nltro apud temcraiioB conrenas sine dirina 
disposidoDe pneficiunt, qui se pnepoBitos sine ulla ordinationis 
lege constituuDt, qui nemine epiBcopatum dante, epiBCopi sibi 
nomen assumunt. — Cypr. de Tin. Eocl. [Opp. p. 197.] 

Gruides and Governors. 17 

ized, not orderly admitted to the office, according serm. 

to the prescriptions of God's word, and the practice '■ — 

of his Church ; not entering into the fold by the 
door, but breaking through, or clambering over 
the fences of sober discipline. 

Those who in their mind, their principles, their 
designs, and all their practice, appear void of that 
charity, that meekness, that calmness, that gravity, 
that sincerity, that stability, which qualify worthy 
and true guides: who in the disposition of their 
mind are froward, fierce, and stubborn; in their 
principles loose and sUppery ; in their designs and 
behaviour turbulent, disorderly, violent, deceitfiil: 
who regard not order or peace, but wantonly raise 
scandals, create dissensions, abet and foment dis- 
turbances in the Church : who under religious ap- 
pearances indulge their passions, and serve their 
interests, using a guise* of devotion, and talk about 
holy things as instruments to vent wrath, envy, 
and spleen; to drive forward designs of ambition 
and avarice: who will not submit to any certain 
judgment or rule, will like nothing but what their 
fancy suggests, will acknowledge no law but their 
own will; who for no just cause, and upon any 
slender pretence, withdraw themselves, and seduce 
others from the Church in which they were brought 
up, deserting its commimion, impugning its laws, 
defaming its governors, endeavouring to subvert 
its establishment : who manage their discipline 
(such as it is of their own framing) unadvisedly 
and imsteadily, in no stable method, according to 
no settled rule, but as present conceit, or humour, 
or advantage prompteth; so that, not being fixed 
in any certain judgment or practice, they soon 

B. S. VOL. IV. 2 

18 Of Obedience to our spiritual 

SERM. clash with themselves, and divide from one another, 
incessantly roving from one sect to another; being 

Eph.w"i^ carried about with divers and strange doctrines ; 
like children, tossed to and fro with every wind of 

Those, the fruits of whose doctrine and mana- 
aTim.m.5; g^ry amouut at best only to empty form of god- 
liness, void of real virtue ; while in truth they fill 
the minds of men with ill passions, ill surmises, 
iU-will; they produce impious, unjust, and un- 
charitable dealing of all kinds, particularly discon- 
tentful murmurings, disobedience to magistrates, 
schisms and factions in the Church, combustions 
and seditions in the State. 

In fine, those who in their temper and their de- 
portment resemble those ancient seducers, branded 
iii. 13. in the Scripture, those evil men, who did seduce, 
and were seduced : 

Whose dispositions are represented in these 
Tit. i. 10. epithets : they were dwiroraKToij unruly y or persons 
indisposed and unwilling to submit to government ; ToXjurjTal avOdSei^, presumptuouSy and self'wiUedy or 
Jude 16. self-pleasing darers ; yoyyuaral, jULefxyj/lfioipot, mur- 
murerSy complainers, or, conjunctly, discontented 
Tit.ui. II. mutiners; avTOKaraKpirot, seif-condemnedy namely, 
by contradictious shuffling and shifting, or by ex- 
1 Tim. iu. communicating themselves from the Church ; yotjre^f 
^^* bewitchers, inveigling and deluding credulous people 

ver. 5. by dissimulation and specious appearances ; Having 
Matt. vii. ^ form of godUn^Sy but denying the power thereof; 
Acts XX l^^i^g Wolves in sheejys clothing y grievous wolves, not 
'9- . sparing the Jloch; Deceitful workers^ transforming 
I3..I5-. themselves into the apostles of Christ, and minis- 
«Pet.iii.i6', teTS of righteousucss; Lovers of themselves, covetous. 

lillWI iW — I 

Guides and Grovemors. 19 

boasters, proud, revUers, truce-breakers, false accvr serm. 
sers, traitors, heady, high-minded, vain talkers, ' 
deceivers, ignorant, unlearned, unstable : I ^* "^• 

Whose practices were; to cause divisions arid Rom. xn. 
offences contrary to received doctrine; by good^"^'^^' 
words and fair speeches to deceive the hearts of the 
simple ; — to swerve from charity — having turned i Tim. i. 
(mcfe to vain jangling, desiring to be teachers of ' 
the law, understanding neither what they say, nor 
whereof they affirm: to beguile unstable souls; to2Pet.ii.r4. 
lie in wait to deceive; to speak perverse things that a^m!** 
they may draw disciples after them ; to creep into ^^^ jj. ^ 
hottses, captivating silly wo^nen ; to dote about ques- ' Tim. vi. 
tions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, 
strife, railings, evU surmisings, perverse disputings; 
to speak swelling words of vanity ; to admire per- «Pet.ii.i8. 
sons because of advantage, (or out of private design, 
for self-interest;) to subvert whole houses, teaching Tit. \. n. 
things which they ought not for filthy lucres sake ; 
to speak lies in hypocrisy ; to preach Christ out o/'iTim.iv.a. 
enT/y and strife, not out of goodrwill, or pxire in- 16. ' *' 
tention, (ov^ d7i'iw,) not purely; to promise liberty 2Tet,n.i^. 
to their followers; to walk disorderly; (that is, ing^ 1^***"* 
repugnance to order settled in the Church;) to despise « 
dominion, and without fear to reproach dignities ; 
to speak evil (rashly) of those things which they 
know not, (which are beside their skill and cogni- 
sance;) to separate themselves from the Church. 

Such persons as these, arrogating to themselves 
the oflSce of guides, and pretending to lead us, we 
must not follow or regard ; but are in reason and nt, m. 10. 
conscience obliged to reject and shun them, as the ^Theea.m. 
ministers of Satan, the pests of Christendom, the ^™' ^^• 
enemies and murderers of souls. 


20 Of Obedience to our spiritiuil 

8ERM. It can, indeed, nowise be safe to follow any such 
'- — leaders, (whatever pretences to special illumination 

they hold forth, whatever specious guises of sanctity 
they bear,) who in their doctrine or practice deflect 
from the great beaten roads of Holy Scripture, 
primitive tradition, and catholic practice, roving 
in by-paths suggested to them by their private 
fancies and humours, their passions and lusts, their 
interests and advantages : there have in all ages 
such counterfeit guides started up, having de- 
bauched some few heedless persons, having erected 
some irapaavpayayya^y or petty combinations against 
the regularly settled corporations ; but never with 
any durable success or countenance of divine Provi- 
dence ; but like prodigious meteors, having caused 

Judei3. a little gazing, and some disturbance, their sects 
have soon been dissipated, and have quite vanished 
away; the authors and abettors of them being 
either buried in obUvion, or recorded with igno- 
miny ; like that Theudas in the speech of Gama- 

ActB V. 36. liel, who rose up. Boasting himself to he somebody ; 
to whom a number of men, about four hundred, 
joined themselves ; who was slain, and ally as mxmy 
as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought. 
But let thus much suffice to have been spoken 
concerning the persons to whom obedience must 
be performed. I proceed to the duty itself. 

IL The obe(Uence prescribed may (according 
to the extent in signification of the word weldedOat) 
be conceived to relate either to the government, or 
to the doctrine, or to the conversation of the per- 
sons specified ; implying, that we should obey their 
laws, that we should embrace their doctrine, that 
we should conform to their practice, according 

Guides and Governors. 21 

to proper limitations of such performance respeo- serm. 
tively. 1 — 

We begin with the first, as seeming chiefly 
intended by the words : 

Obedience to ecclesiastical government; what 
this doth import we may understand by consider- 
ing the terms whereby it is expressed, and those 
whereby its correlate (spiritual government,) is 
signified; by examples and practice relating to it, 
by the nature and reason of the matter itself. 

Beside the word TrelOearOat, (which is commonly 
used to signify all sorts of obedience, chiefly that 
which is due to governors,) here is added a word 
serving to explain that, the word uTreiKeiv^ which 
signifieth to yield, give way, or comply; relating 
(as it seemeth by its being put indefinitely) to 
all their proceedings in matters concerning their 
charge. In other places, parallel to our text, it^;^"^^|: 
is expressed by uTrordaaeaOai, the same term by i. 
which constantly the subjection due to secular 13. 
powers, in all the precepts enjoining it, is ex- 
pressed : 'O/iO'W, vedrepot, VTriyraytp-e Trpeafivrepoi^f In l^^' ^' .?* 

like Tnanner, (or correspondently), saith St Peter, «^. 
ye youngeVy submit yourselves to the elder ; (that is, 
as the context shews, ye inferiors in the church 
obey your superiors; 6 vedrepo^, both there and 
otherwhere, doth signify the state of inferiority, 
as 6 irpeafiuTepos importeth dignity and authority.) 
And, 'YiroTaadeade tois roioi/rots, Submit yourselves \^^' ^^' 
unto stick, and to every one that hdpeih with us, and 
laboureih, saith St Paul; and, 'YTroraaaoiuLevoi oXXiJ- 
Xoi9, Submitting yourselves to one another in ^^^^^tVi' 
fear of God, that is, yielding conscientiously that 
submission, which established order requireth from 

22 Of Obedience to our spiritual 

SERM. one to another: whence we may collect, that the 
_^ duty consistetii in yielding submission and com- 
pliance to all laws, rules, and orders enacted by 
spiritual governors for the due celebration of God's 
worship, the promoting edification, the conserving 
decency, the maintenance of peace; as also to the 
judgments and censures in order to the same pur- 
poses administered by them. 

This obedience to be due to them may likewise 
be inferred from the various names and titles attri- 
buted to them; such as those of prelates, superin- 
tendents, pastors, supervisors, governors, and 
leaders; which terms (more largely touched be- 
fore) do imply command and authority of all sorts, 
legislative, judicial, and executive. 

Such obedience also primitive practice doth 
assert to them: for what authority the holy 
Apostles did assume and exercise, the same we 
may reMonably suppose derived to them ; the same 
in kind, although not in peculiarity of manner, 
(by immediate commission from Christ, with sup- 
ply of extraordinary gifts and graces,) and in 
unlimitedness of extent: for they do succeed to 
the Apostles in charge and care over the Church, 
each in his precinct, the apostolical office being 
distributed among them all*. The same titles which 
the Apostles assumed to themselves they ascribe to 
their sympresbyters, requiring the same duties 
from them, and prescribing obedience to them in 
a Cor. X. 8; the Same terms; they claimed no more power than 
was needfrd to fiirther edification, and this is 

* Cujus in solidum Binguli participes sumus — Vid. Cypr. de 
Unit. Eccl. [EpiBcopatus unus est, cujus a singulis in solidum 
pars tenetur. — 0pp. p. 195.] 

XUl. xo. 

Ouides and Governcyrs. 23 

requisite that present governors also should have; serm. 
their practice in government^ may also well be 

presumed exemplary to all future governors. As i Cor. xi. 
then we see them hiaratraeiv^ to order things, and Tit. i. 5 . 
firame ecclesiastical constitutions ; Siopdovv, to rectify fo^.^v.'i^a.* 
things^ or reform defects, to impose observances ^9.^^' ^- ^' 
necessary, or expedient to the time ; to judge ^ ^r- i^- 
causes and persons, being ready to avenge, or«Cor.xii. 
punish, every disobedience ; to use severity upon xm. i. 
occasions ; with the spiritual rod to chastise scan- ij^^' ^' 
dalous offenders, disorderly walkers, persons contu- ?^";i*®" 
madous and unconformable to their injunctions ; '^^' »^- 
to reject heretics, and banish notorious sinners 
from communion, warning the faithftd to forbear 
conversation with them: as they did challenge to 
themselves an authority from Christ to exercise 
these and the like acts of spiritual dominion and 
jurisdiction, exacting punctual obedience to them ; 
as we also see the like acts exercised by bishops', 
whom they did constitute to feed and rule the 
Church; so we may reasonably conceive the go- 
vernors of the Church (the heirs of their office) 
invested with like authority in order to the same 
purposes, and that correspondent obedience is due 
to them; so that what blame, what pimishment 
was due to those, who disobeyed the Apostles, doth 
in proportion belong to the transgressors of their 
duty toward the present governors of the Church ; 
especially considering, that our Lord promised his ^»tt. 
perpetual presence and assistance to the Apostles. 

^ To ordain elden. To coDfirm proselytes. To exercise 

' Episcopi successores apostoloram.— Oypr. Epp. xxvii. LXix., 
&c. Epp. XLii. lixxv. (Firmil.) 

xxvui. 70. 

24 Of Obedience to our spiritual 

SERM. \ye may further observe, that accordingly, in 

continual succession from the first ages, the good 

primitive bishops (the great patrons and propa- 
gators of our Religion) did generaUy assume such 
power, and the people readily did yield obedience ; 
wherein that one did wrongftdly usurp, the other 
did weakly comply, were neither probable nor just 
to suppose: whence general tradition doth also 
confirm our obligation to this duty. 

That this kind of obedience is required doth 
also further appear from considering the reason of 
things, the condition of the Church, the design of 
Christian Religion. 

1 Every Christian church is a society; no 
society can abide in any comely order, any steady 
quiet, any desirable prosperity, without govern- 
ment; no government can stand without corre- 
spondent obUgation to submit thereto. 

2 Again; The state of Religion under the 
Gospel is the kingdom of heaven ; Christ our Lord 
is King of the Church; it he visibly govemeth and 
ordereth by the spiritual governors, as his substi- 
tutes and lieutenants ; (whence they peculiarly are 
styled his ministers, his officers, his stewards, his 
legates, his co-workers). When he ascending up 
to God's right hand was invested with entire 
possession of that royal state, he settled them to 
administer affairs concerning that government in 

Eph. iv. 8, his place and name : Ascending up on high he gave 
gifts unto men. — He gave some apostles^ some pro- 
phetSy sows evangdistSy some pastors and teachers: 
he gave them, that is, he appointed them in their 
office, subordinate to himself, ^br the perfecting of 
the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the 

Guides and Governors. 25 

edifying of the body of Christ. As to him, therefore, serm. 
nding by them, by them enacting laws, dispensing ! — 

justice, maintaining order and peace, obedience 
is due. 

3 Again ; For the honour of God, the com- i Cor. xiv. 
mendation of Religion, and benefit of the people, iit. ii. 15. 
it is needful, that in all religious performances 
things should, according to St Paul's rule, be per- 
formed decently, and according to order, without i cor. xiv. 
unhandsome confusion and troublesome distraction: *®' 
this cannot be accomplished without a determination 
of persons, of modes, of circumstances appertaining 
to those performances; (for how ca^ any thing be 
performed decently, if every person hath not his 
rank and station, his office and work allotted to 
him; if to every thing to be done, its time, its place, 
its manner of performance be not assigned, so that 
each one may know what, when, where, and how 
he must do?) Such determination must be com- 
mitted to the discretion and care of some persons, 
empowered to frame standing laws or rules concern- 
ing it, and to see them didy executed ; (for aU persons • 
without delay, strife, concision, and disturbance, 
cannot meddle in it:) with these persons all the 
rest of the body must be obliged to comply ; other- 
wise all such determinations will be vain and inef- 
fectual. Such order reason doth recommend in 
every proceeding ; such order especially becometh 
the grandeur and importance of sacred things; such 
order God hath declared himself to approve, and 
love, especially in his own house, among his people, 
in matters relating to his service ; for. He is not, as xiv. 33. 
St Paul saith, arguing to this purpose, the God of 
confttsion, but of peace, in all churches of the saints. 

26 Of Obedience to our spiritucd 

SERM. ^ Again; It is requisite, that all Christian 

brethren should conspire in serving God with 

I Pet. iu.' mutual charity, hearty concord, harmonious consent; 
Eph. iv. 3. that, as the Apostles so often prescribed. They should 
L?7;m.U. ^^f^^deavour to keep unity of spirit in the bond of 
^^^i[^i6 P^^^* *^** They should be likeminded, having the 
aCor.xiu. some love, being of one accord, of one mind; Stand- 
ing fast in one spirit, with one mind; that They 
should walk by the same rule, and wind the same 
thing; that With one mind and one mouth they 
should glorify God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; that They should aU speak the same thing; 
and that there be no divisions among them, but that 
they be p&ifectly joined together in the same mind, 
and in the same judgment; (like those in the Acts, 
Act8iv.3«. of whom it is said, The multitude ofbdievers had 
25;3d.^8;^^^ heart and one soul;) that There should be no 
\ Cor"x'^' scAtww (divisions, or factions) in the body; that all 
Pha •• dissensions, all murmurings, all emulations should 
be discarded from the Church : the which precepts, 
secluding an obHgation to obedience, would be im- 
• possible and vain; for (without continual mira^jle, 
and transforming human nature, things not to be 
expected from God, who apparently designeth to 
manage Religion by oi:dinary ways of human pru- 
dence, his gracious aasistance concurring) no dura, 
ble concord in any society can ever effectually be 
maintained otherwise than by one pubUc reason, 
will, aad ^ntenca, which Jj reprint, e«m>eo^ 
and comprise aU; in defect of that every one will 
be of a several opinion about what is best, each wiU 
be earnest for the prevalence of his model and way ; 
there will be so many lawgivers as persons, so many 
differences as matters incident; nothing will pass 

Guides and Governors, 27 

smoothly and quietly, without bickering and jan- serm. 

gUng, and consequently without animosities and '- — 

feuds : whence no unanimity, no concord, scarce any 
charity or good-wiU can subsist. 

5 Further; In consequence of these things 
common edification requireth such obedience : it is 
the duty of governors to order all things to this 
end, that is, to the maintenance, encouragement, 
and improvement of piety ; for this purpose their « Cor. xUi. 
authority was given them, as St Paul saith, and '"^ ' ""' ^' 
therefore it must be deemed thereto conducible : it 
is, indeed, very necessary to edification, which with- 
out discipline guiding the simple and ignorant, re- 
claiming the e^neof s and presumpl^o^, cherish- 
ing ttie regular, and correctLg the refractory, can 
nowise be promoted. 

Excluding it, there can be no means of checking 
or redressing scandals, which to the reproach of '^"^:'- 
Religion, to the disgrace of the Church, to the cor- « Tim. ii. 
rupting the minds, and infecting the manners of ' ' * 
men, will spring up and spread. Neither can there 
be any way to prevent the rise and growth of per- 
nicious errors or heresies ; the which assuredly in a 
state of unrestrained hberty the wanton and wicked 
minds of men will breed, their licentious practice 
will foster and propagate, to the increase of all 2 Tim. u. 
impiety : their mouths must be stopped, otherwise, Tii. i. „. 
They will subvert whole houses^ teaching things 
which they ought not for filthy lucres sake; the 2 'Rm. u. 
word of naughty seducers will spread like a gan- '^* 
grene, if there be no corrosive or corrective remedy 
to stay its progress. 

Where things are not managed in a stable, 
quiet, orderly way, no good practice can flourish or 

28 Of Obedience to our spirituud 

SERM. thrive; dissension will choke all good affections, 
'- — confiision will obstruct all good proceedings ; from 

jamea iii. anarchj, emulation and strife will certainly grow, 
and from them all sorts of wickedness; for, Where, 
saith St James, there is emulation and strife, there 
is confusion and every evil thing. 

All those benefits, which arise from holy com- 
munion in offices of piety and charity (from com- 
mon prayers and praises to God, from participation 
in all sacred ordinances, from mutual advice, admo- 
nition, encouragement, consolation, good example,) 
will together vanish with discipline ; these depend 
upon the friendly union and correspondence of the 
members ; and no such union can abide without the 
ligament of discipline, no such correspondence can 
be upheld without unanimous compliance to public 
order. The cement of discipline wanting, the Church 
iPet.ii.5. will not be like a spiritual house, compacted of 
lively stones into one goodly pile; but like a com- 
pany of scatter^ pebbles, or a heap of rubbkh. 

So considering the reason of things, this obe- 
dience will appear needftd : to enforce the practice 
thereof we may adjoin several weighty considera- 

Consider obedience, what it is, whence it springs, 
what it produceth; each of those respects will 
engage us to it. 

It is in itself a thing very good and acceptable 
to God, very just and equal, very wise, very comely 
and pleasant. 

It cannot but be grateftd unto God, who is the 
God of love, of order, of peace, and therefore can- 
not but like the means furthering them pursued ; 
he cannot but be pleased to see men do their 

Guides and Governors. 29 

duty, especially that which regardeth his own mi- serm. 

nisters; in the respect performed to whom he is ! 

himself, indeed, avowed, and honoured, and obeyed"*. 
It is a just and equal thing, that every member 
of society should submit to the laws and orders of 
it; for every man is supposed upon those terms to 
enter into, and to abide in it ; every man is deemed 
to owe such obedience, in answer to his enjoyment 
of privileges and partaking of advantages thereby ; 
so therefore whoever pretendeth a title to those ex- 
cellent immunities, benefits, and comforts, which 
communion with the Church affordeth, it is most 
equal, that he should contribute to its support and 
welfeore, its honour, its peace ; that consequently he 
should yield obedience to the orders appointed for 
those ends. Peculiarly equal it is in regard to our 
spiritual governors, who are obliged to be very soli- 
citous and laborious in furthering our best good; 
who stand deeply engaged, and are responsible for 
the welfiire of our souls : they must be contented to 
spend, and be spent; to undergo any pains, any«Cor. xu. 
hardships, any dangers and crosses occurring in pur- • 
suance of those designs : and is it not then plainly 
equal (is it not, indeed, more than equal, doth not 
all ingenuity and gratitude require?) that we 
should encourage and comfort them in bearing those 
burdens, and in discharging those incimibencies, by 
a fair and cheerful compliance ? It is the Apostle's 
enforcement of the duty in our text: Obey them, 
saith he, a7id submit yourselves; for they watch /or 
your souls, as those who are to render an account, 

^ TempuB est, — ut de BubmisBione proTOcent in se Dei cle- 
mentiam, et de honore debito in Dei Bacerdotem eliciant in se 
divinam miserioordiam. — Oypr. Ep. xxx. [0pp. p. 41.] 

30 Of Obedience to our. spiritual 

SERM. that they may do it with joy^ and not with grief 
'- — (or groaning.) 

Is it not, indeed, extreme iniquity and ingrati- 
tude, when they with anxious care and earnest toil 
are endeavouring our happiness, that we should 
vex and trouble them by our perverse and cross 
behaviour ? 

Nay, is it not palpable folly to do thus, seeing 
thereby we do indispose and impede them from 
effectually discharging their duty to our advantage ? 
Heb. xiii. 'AXi/criTeXcs 7a/t> vtxiv tovto. For this, addeth the Apo- 
stle, ftirther pressing the duty, is unprofitable to you, 
or it tendeth to your disadvantage and damage ; not 
only as involving guilt, but as inferring loss ; the 
loss of all those spiritual benefits, which ministers 
being encouraged, and thence performing their 
ofl&ce with alacrity and sprightftd dihgence, would 
procure to you: it is therefore our wisdom to be 
obedient, because obedience is advantageous and 
profitable to us. 

The same is also a comely and amiable thing, 
yielding much grace, procuring great honour to the 
Church, highly adorning and crediting Religion : it 
is a goodly sight to behold things proceeding or- 
derly; to see every person quietly resting in his 
post, or moving evenly in his rank; to observe 
superiors calmly leading, inferiors gladly following, 
and equals lovingly accompanying each other : this 
Pa. cxxxiii. is the Psalmist's Ecce qua/m honum! Behold, how 
(admirably) good, and how pleasant it is for 
brethren to dwell together in unity! such a state 
of things argueth the good temper and wisdom of 
persons so demeaning themselves, the excellency 
of the principles which do guide and act them, the 


Ghiides and Governors. 31 

goodness of the constitution which they observe; serm. 
so it crediteth the Church, and graceth Religion ; a 

thing which, as St Paul teacheth, in all things we th. u. io. 
should endeavour. 

It is also a very pleasant and comfortable thing 
to live in obedience; by it we enjoy tranquillity of 
mind and satisfaction of conscience, we taste all 
the sweets of amity and peace, we are freed from 
the stings of inward remorse, we escape the griev- 
ances of discord and strife. 

The causes also and principles from which obe- 
dience springeth do much commend it : it ariseth 
from the dispositions of soul which are most Chris- 
tian and most humane; from charity, humiUty, 
meekness, sobriety of mind, and cahnness of pas^ 
sion; the which Idways di^o^ xnen to »ubl^ 
complaisant, peaceable demeanour toward all men, 
especially toward those whose relation to them 
claimeth such demeanour: these a genuine, free, 
cordial, and constant obedience do signify to Uve 
in the soul; together with a general honesty of 
intention, and exemption from base designs. 

In fine, innumerable and inestimable are the 
benefits and good fruits accruing from this practice ; 
beside the support it manifestly yieldeth to the 
Church, the gracefulness of oi;der, the conveniences 
and pleasures of peace, it hath also a notable in- 
fluence upon the common manners of men, which 
hardly can ever prove very bad, where the gover- 
nors of the Church do retain their due respect and 
authority ; nothingmore powerfully doth instigate to 
virtue, than the countenance of authority; nothing 
more effectually can restrain from exorbitancy of 
vice, than the bridle of discipline: this obvious 

32 Of Obedience to our spiritual 

SERM. experience demonstrateth, and we shall plainly see, if 

'—^ we reflect upon those times when piety and virtue 

have most flourished : "Whence was it, that in those 
good old times Christians did so abound in good 
works, that they burned with holy zeal, that they 
gladly would do, would sufier any thing for their 
Religion ? whence but from a mighty respect to their 
superiors, from a strict regard to their direction 
and discipline? Did tKe bishops then prescribe 
long fasts, or impose rigid penances? willingly did 
the people imdergo them : Did the pastor conduct 
into danger, did he lead them into the very jaws of 
death and martyrdom? the flock with a resolute 
alacrity did follow: Did a prelate interdict any 
practice scandalous or prejudicial to the Church, 
under pain of incurring censure ? every man trem- 
bled at the consequences of transgressing": no 
terror of worldly power, no severity of justice, no 
dread of corporal punishment had such efficacy to 
deter men from ill-doing, as the reproof and censure 
* of a bishop ; his frown could avail more than the 
menaces of an emperor, than the rage of a perse- 
cutor, than the rods and axes of an executioner: 
no rod, indeed, did smart like the spiritual rod, no 
sword did cut so deep as that of the Spirit ; no loss 
was then so valuable as being deprived of spiritual 
advantages; no banishment was so grievous as 
being separated from holy communion ; no sentence 
of death was so terrible as that which cut men off 
from the Church; no thunder could astonish or 

° Neque hoc ideo ita dixerim, ut negligatur ecclesiastica dls- 
ciplina, et permittatur quisque facere quod velit, sine uUa cor- 
reptione, et quadam medicinal! vindicta, et terribili lenitate, et 
carltatis seyeritate. — Aug. c. Lit. PetU. iii. 4. [0pp. Tom. ix. 
col. 300 D.] 

Guides and Oovemors. 33 

affiight men like the crack of a spiritual anathema : sebm. 

this was that which kept virtue in request^ and '- — 

vice in detestation ; hence it was that men were so 
good, that Eeligion did so thrive, that so frequent 
and so illustrious examples of piety did appear ; 
hence, indeed, we may well reckon, that Christianity 
did (under so many disadvantages and oppositio4 
subdst and gn>w ip; obedienTto governors was 
its guard; that kept the Church firmly united in a 
body sufficiently strong to maintain itself against 
all assaults of &ction within, of opposition from 
abroad ; that preserved that concord, which disposed 
and enabled Christians to defend their Beligion 
against all fraud and violence; that cherished the 
true virtue, and the beautiful order, which begot 
veneration to Beligion : to it therefore we owe the 
life and growth of Christianity; so that through 
many sharp persecutions it hath held up its head, 
through so many perilous diseases it hath kept its 
life until this day. There were not then of old any 
such cavils and clamours against every thing pre- 
scribed by governors; there were no such uncon- 
scionable scruples, no such hardhearted pretences to 
tender conscience devised to baffle the authority of 
superiors : had there been such, had men then com- 
monly been so firowa^ and fe^ous as now, the 
Church had been soon shivered into pieces, our 
Beligion had been swallowed up in confusion and 

If again we, on the other hand, fix our considera- 
tion upon disobedience, (the nature, the sources, the 
consequences thereof,) it will, I suppose, much con- 
duce to the same effect, of persuading us to the 
practice of this duty. 

B. S. VOL. IV. 3 

34 Of Obedience to our spirUwd 

8ERM. It is in itself a heinous sin, being the trans- 
' gression of a command in nature and consequence 

very important, upon which Gkul layeth great stress, 
which is frequently inculcated in Scripture, which 
is fenced by divers other precepts, which is pressed 
by strong arguments, and backed by severe threat- 
enings of punishment upon the transgressors. 

It is in its nature a kind of apostasy from Chris- 
tianity, and rebellion against our Lord ; for, as he 
that re&seth to obey the king's magistrates in ad- 
ministration of their office is interpreted to disclaim 
his authority, and to design rebellion against him ; 
so they, who obstinately disobey the ministers of our 
Lord's spiritual kingdom, do thereby appear to dis- 
avow him, to shake off his yoke, to impeach his 
reign over them ; so doth he himself interpret and 
Luke X. 16. take it: jE?6, saith our Lord, ihxU heareth you 
xii. 17^^' heareth me, and he that (o dOerwv, that baffleth) de- 
xviii. 17. spiseth you despiseth me; and. If any man neglect 
to hear the churchy (or shall disobey it, eav vapa- 
Kouari,) let him be to thee as a heathen, and a pub- 
lican; that is, such a refractory person doth by his 
contumacy put himself into the state of one re- 
Eph. ilia. moved from the Com/monwealth of Israel, he for- 
feiteth the special protection of God, he becometh 
as a.n alien or an outlaw from the kingdom of our 
Deutxyii. Under the Mosaical dispensation, Those who 
would do presumptuously y and would not hearken 
unto the priest that stood to minister before the Lord^ 
did incur capital punishment ; those who factiously 

^ Nee patent sibi yitse aut salutis constare rationem, bi episcopis 
et sacerdotibuB obtemperare noluerint; cum in Deuteronomio 
Dominus Deus dicat^ &c. — Cypr. Ep. Lxn. [0pp. p. 103.] 

Guides and Governors. 36 

murmured against Aaron are said to make an serm. 
insurrection against God, and answerably were ' 
pimished in a miraculous way^, {The Lord made a Num.xvL 
new thing, the earth opened, and swaUowed them t^; "' ^' 
they luent down alive into the pit.) It was in the 
prophetical times an expression signifying height 
of impiety, My people is as those who strive with Hob. iv. 4. 
the priest Seeing then God hath no less regard 
to his pecidiar servants now, than he had then; 
seeing they no less represent him, and act by his 
authority now, than any did then; seeing their 
service is as precious to him, and as much tendeth 
to his honour now, as the Levitical service then 
did ; seeing he no less lo veth order and peace in 
the Church, than he did in the synagogue ; we may 
well suppose it a no less heinous sin, and odious 
to God, to despise the ministers of Christ's gospel, 
than it was before to despise the ministers of 
Moses's law. 

It is a sin, indeed, pregnant with divers sins, and 
involving the breach of many great commands, 
which aro frequently proposed and pressed in the 
New Testament, with design in great part to guard 
and secure it : that of Doing all things in charity; » ^^' »^^- 
of Doinq all things without murmurinqs and dis- 'Phjua. 14. 
sensions; oi Fursmng 'peace so far as hem in us; xs. 
of maintaining unity, concord, unanimity in devo- \T^ "' 
tion; of avoiding schisms, and dissensions, and the f;"- ^- 
like : which are all notoriously violated by this dis- 
obedience; it includeth the most high breach of 
charity, the most formal infringing peace, the most 

^ Quo exemplo ostenditur et probatur obnozios omnes et culpe 
et p<BDae futuros, qui se schismaticis contra pnepositos et sacor. 
dotes irreligioBa temeritate miscuerint — ^Id. Ep. lxxyi. [p. 155.] 


36 Of Obedience to our spiritvxd 

SERM. scandalous kind of discord that can be, to cross our 
' superiors^. 

It is also a practice issuing from the worst dis- 
positions of soul, such as are most opposite to the 
spirit of our Religion, and indeed very repugnant 
to common reason and humanity; from a proud 
haughtiness or vain wantonness of mind ; from the 
irregularity of unmortified and unbridled passion ; 
from exorbitant selfishness, (selfishness of every 
bad kind, self-conceit, self-will, self-interest,) from 
turbulent animosity, froward crossness of humour, 
rancorous spite, perverse obstinacy; from envy, 
ambition, avarice, and the like iU sources, the worst 
fruits of the flesh and corrupt nature : to such dis- 
positions the rejecting God's Prophets of old, and 
the non-compliance with the Apostles, are ascribed 
in Scripture ; and from the same the like neglect 
of God's messengers now do proceed; as whoever 
wiU observe may easily discern; do but mind the 
discourses of &ctious people, you shall perceive 
them all to breathe generally nothing but ill-nature. 

The fruits also which it produceth are extremely 
bad ; manifold great inconveniences and mischiefe, 
hugely prejudicing the interest of Religion and the 
welfere of the Church. 

It is immediately and formally a violation of 
order and peace ; whence all the wofiil consequences 
of disorder and faction do adhere thereto'. 

It breedeth great disgrace to the Church and 
scandal to Religion ; for what can appear more ugly, 

^ An 6886 sibi cum Christo Tidetur, qui adrersos Bacerdotes 
Christi £Acit? &c. — ^Id. de Unit. Eccl. [p. 200.] 

' Vid. Ep. iiV. [p. 82.] [Nequ6 enim aliunde hsareses obortae 
8unty aut nata sunt BchiBuiata, quam ind6 quod sacerdoti Dei non 

Guides and Governors. 87 

tlian to see among tlie professors of Beligion children sebm. 
opposing their fathe^ scholars coXsting with ^1-. 
their mastei^ inferiors slighting and crossing their 
superiors? What can more expose the Church and 
Keligion to the contempt, to the derision of atheists 
and infidels, of profane and lewd persons, of wild 
heretics and schismatics, of aU enemies unto truth 
and piety, than such foul irregularity'? 

It corrupteth the minds and manners of men : 
for when that discipline is relaxed which was or* 
dained to guard truth and promote holiness ; when 
men are grown so licentious and stubborn as to con- 
temn their superiors, to disregard their wholesome 
laws and sober advice, there can be no curb to re- 
strain them, but down precipitantly they run into 
all kind of vicious irregularities and excesses*; 
when those mounds are taken away, whither will 
men ramble ? when those banks are broken down, 
what can we expect but deluges of impious doctrine 
and wicked practice, to overflow the ignorant and 
inconsiderate people ? 

Doth not, indeed^ this practice evidently tend 
to the dissolution of the Church and destruction 
of Christianity ? for when the shepherds are (as to Mattxxvi. 
conduct and efficacy) taken away, will not the sheep ^^' 
be scattered, or wander astray, like sheep without 
a shepherd, being bewildered in various erroxs, and 

' Inde gchiBmatA, et heereses obortee sunt et oriuntur, dum 
epiBcopns, qui unus est, et ecclesieB prssest, Buperba quorundam 
prsMumptione contemnitur. — Id. £p. lux. [p. 122.] 

H»c sunt initia hsereticorum, et ortas atque conatus BchiBma- 
ticonim male cogitantiam, ut sibi placeant, ut praepoBitum Buperbo 
tumore contemnant. Sic de Ecclesia receditur, sic altare profanum 
foriB collocatur, bic contra pacem Ghristi et ordinationem atque 
unitatem Dei rebellatur. — Id. Ep. lxy. [p. 113.] 

* Ecclesise gloria propositi gloria est.— Id. Ep. vi. [p. 11.] 

38 Of Obedience to our spiritual 

SEEM, exposed as a prey to any wild beasts ; to the grievous 

' wolves, to the ravenous Uons, to the wily foxes? 

Here a fanatical enthusiast will snap them, there a 

profane libertine will worry them, there again a 

desperate atheist will tear and devour them". 

Consult we but obvious experience, and we 
shall see what spoils and ruins of &ith, of good 
conscience, of common honesty and sobriety, this 
practice hath in a few years caused; how have 
atheism and infideUty, how have profaneness and 
dissoluteness of manners, how have all kinds of 
dishonesty and baseness grown up, since men began 
U, dteegL ae .uthori^ofthl spiritual guid^, 
what dismal tragedies have we in our age beheld 
acted upon this stage of our own country ! what 
bloody wars and murders, (murders of princes, of 
nobles, of bishops and priests!) what miserable op- 
pressions, extortions, and rapines! what execrable 
seditions and rebellions ! what barbarous animosities 
and feuds! what abominable treasons, sacrileges, 
perjuries, blasphemies ! what horrible violations of 
all justice and honesty! And what, I pray, was 
the source of these things? where did they begin? 
where, but at murmuring against, at rejecting, at 
persecuting the spiritual governors, at casting down 
and trampling on their authority, at slighting and 
spuming their advice ? Surely would men have ob- 
served the laws, or have hearkened to the counsels 
of those grave and sober persons, whom God had 
appointed to direct them, they never would have 
run into the commission of such enormities. 

It is not to be omitted, that, in the present state 

" OhrysoBtom complaiDed in hiB timeB : Tovro ircarr»9 rwy kokSv 
alriop, Sti to. r£v dp^ovroiv i}<l)avi(r6rii ovb€fua al^Sf ovdcW <f>6pos, 
&c. — Chryg. in 2 Tim. Or. ii. [0pp. Tom. iv. p. 336.] 

Guides and Chvemors. 89 

of things^ the guilt of disobedience to spiritual go- serm. 
vemors is increa^ and aggravated by the superve- "^ 

nient guilt of another disobedience to the laws of 
our prince and country. Before the secular powers 
(unto whom God hath committed the dispensation 
of justice^ with the maintenance of peace and order^ 
in reference to worldly affairs) did submit to our 
Lord; and became nursing parents of the Churchy isai. xBx. 
the power of managing ecclesiastical matters did ^^' 
whoUy reside in spiritual guides ; unto whom Chris- 
tianS; as the peculiar subjects of God, were obliged i Petu. 9. 
willingly to yield obedience ; and, refusing it, were 
guilty before God of spiritual disorder, faction, or 
schism : but now, after that political authority (out 
of pious zeal for God's service, out of a wise care to 
prevent the influences of disorder in spiritual mat- 
ters upon the temporal peace, out of gratefid return 
for the advantages the Commonwealth enjoyeth 
from Keligion and the Church) hath pleased to back 
and fortify the laws of spiritual governors by civil 
sanctions, the knot of our obligation is tied &ster, 
its force is redoubled, we by disobedience incur a 
double guilt, and offend Grod two ways, both as 
supreme Governor of the world, and as King of the 
Church ; to our schism against the Church we add 
rebellion against our prince, and so become no less 
bad dtizeim than bad Christians. Some may per- 
haps unagine their disobedience hence more ex- 
cusable, taking themselves now only thereby to, 
transgress a political sanction: but (beside that 
even that were a great offence, the command of 
our temporal governors being sufficient, out of 
conscience to God's express will, to oblige us in all 
things not evidently repugnant to God's law) it is 

40 Of Obedience to our spiritual 

SERM. a great mistake to think the civil law doth anywise 

*' — derogate from the ecclesiastical; that doth not 

swallow this up, but succoureth and corroborateth 
it; their concurrence yieldeth an accession of weight 
and strength to each ; they do not by conspiring 
to prescribe the same thing either of them cease 
to be governors, as to right; but in efficacy the 
authority of both should thence be augmented, 
seeing the obligation to obedience is multiplied 
upon their subjects; and to disobey them is now 
two crimes, which otherwise should be but one. 

Such is the nature of this duty, and such are 
the reasons enforcing the practice thereof : T shall 
only further remove two impediments of that pmo- 
tice, and so leave this point. 

I One hindrance of obedience is this, that 
Bpiritual power is not despotical or compulsory, 
but parental or pastoral ; that it hath no external 
force to abet it, or to avenge disobedience to its 

Matt zx. laws : they must not /tare^ot/ona^cii;, or KaTcucvpieiieiv^ 

L^e xxii. (be imperious, or domineer,) they are not allowed 

1 Pet. V. 3. ^ exercise violence, or to inflict bodily correction* ; 

but must rule in meek and gentle ways, directly 
influential upon the mind and conscience, (ways 
of rational persuasion, exhortation, admonition, 

2 Tim. ii ; Tcproof,) Ifi meekncss instructing those thcU oppose 
I Tim!m.3. ^hemsdves ; — convincing, rebuking y exhorting with 

aU longstiffering and patience; their word is their 
, only weapon, their force of argument all the con- 
straint they apply: hence men commonly do not 

' MaXurra yap airavrcnF "KpiOTiavotg ovk €<f>tiTai irpht fiiap hravopBovv 
ra rmy dfuipraw6^»p maitrfunxit &C. — Chrys. de Sacerd. II. [0pp. 
Tom. Yi. p. 9.] 

*EvTav6a ov fiiaC6fi(vo¥y oKka ndOovra bti nouiy dfifiv<o top toiovtop, 

— ftid. 

Guides and Governors. 41 

fitand in awe of them, nor are so sensible of their serm. 

obligation to obey them ; they cannot understand '. — 

why they should be frighted by words, or controlled 
by an unarmed authority. 

But this in truth (things being duly considered) 
is so &x from diminishing our obligation, or argu- 
ing the authority of our governors to be weak and 
precarious, that it rendereth our obligation much 
greater, and their authority more dreadful ; for the 
sweeter and gentler their way of governing is, the 
more disingenuous and unworthy a thing it is to 
disobey it; not to be persuaded by reason, not to 
be aJlured by kindness, not to a^t friendly ad- 
vice, not to comply with the cahnest methods of 
furthering our own good, is a brutish thing; he 
that only can be scared and scourged to duty, scarce 
deserveth the name of a man : it therefore doth the 
more oblige us. that in this way we ai« moved to 
action by love rather than fear. Yet if we would 
fear wisely and justly, (not like children, being 
frighted ^th foiiiidable shapes aiid appe^Ira^cei 
but like men, apprehending the real consequences 
of things,) we should the more fear these spiritual 
powers, because they are insensible: for that God 
hath commanded us to obey them, without assign- 
ing visible forces to constrain or chastise, is a mani- 
fest argument, that he hath reserved, the vindica- 
tion of their authority to his own hand, which 
therefore will be in&Jlibly certain, and terribly se- 
vere; so the nature of the case requireth, and so 
God hath declared it shall be : the sentence that Matt.zvui. 

• • • i8 

is upon earth pronounced by his ministers upon 
contumacious offenders, he hath declared himself 
ready to ratify in heaven, and therefore most s 

42 Of Obedience to our spiritual 

6EBM. aesuredly will execute it. As under the old law 
Gk>d appointed to the transgression of some laws, 

upon which he laid special stress, the punishment 
of being cut off from his people ; the execution of 
which punishment he reserved to himself; to be 
accomplished in his own way and time ; so doth 
he now in like manner take upon him to maintain 
the cause of his ministers, and to execute the 
judgments decreed by them; and if so, we may 

Heb.x.31. consider that, It is a dreadful thing to faU into the 
hands of the living God. Ecclesiastical authority 
therefore is not a shadow, void of substance or 
force, but hath the greatest power in the world to 
support and assert it ; it hath arms to maintain it 
most effectual and forcible, (those of which St Paul 

a Cor.x.4. saith ; The weapons of our warfare are not camaly 
hut mighty through God, — ) it inflicteth chastise- 
ments far more dreadfiil than any secular power 
can inflict; for these only touch the body, those 
pierce the soul; these concern only our temporal 
state, those reach eternity itself; these at most 
yield a transitory smart, or kill the body, those 
produce endless torment, and (utterly as to all 
Wort in being) destroy the soul. 

The punishment for extreme contumacy is caUed 

I Cor.y.5. deUyery to Satan; and is not this far worse than, 
to be put into the hands of any gaoler or hang- 
man"? what are any cords of hemp or fetters of iron 
in comparison to those bands, of which it is said, 

Mattrra. Whatever ye bind on earth shaU be bound in heaven; 
which engage the soul in a guilt not to be loosed, 
except by sore contrition and serious repentance? 

' Spiritali gladio superbi et contumaces necantur, dam de 
EcdeBia ojiciuntur. — Oypr. Ep. Lxn. [0pp. p. 103.] 

Guides and Oovemors. 43 

what are any scourges to St Paul's rod^ lashing the sebm. 
heart and conscience with stinging remorse? what ^' 



any axes or falchions to that Sword of the Spirit, Eph-vLir 
which cutteth off a member from the body of 
Christ ? what are any faggots and torches to that 
unquenchable fire and brimstone of the infernal Rev. 
lake? what, in fine, doth any condemnation here 
signify to that horrible curse, which devoteth an 
incorrigible soul to the bottomless pit ? 

It is therefore, indeed, a great advantage to this 
power that it is spiritual. 

2 Another grand obstruction to the practice 
of this duty is, pretence to scruple about the law- 
frdness, or dissatisfaction in the expedience of that 
which our governors prescribe ; that we are able 
to advance objections against their decrees; that 
we can espy inconveniences eusxiing upon their 
orders; that we imagine the constitution may be 
reformed*, so as to become more pure, more con- 
yenient and comely, more serviceable to edifica. 
tion ; that we camiot fancy that to be best, which 
they enjoin: for removing this obstruction let me 
only propound some questions. 

Were not aay govermnent appointed in vain, 
if such pretences ^ht exempt or excuse from 
conformity to its orders? can such ever be want- 
ing*"? Is there any thing devisable, which may 
not be impugned by some plausible reason, which 
may not disgust a squeamish humour? Is there 
^y matter so clearly innocent, the lawfulness 
whereof a weak mind will not question ; any thing 
so firm and soM, in which a small acuteness of wit 

■ Cypr. Epp. ii. Ln. 

^ *AXX<k <f>ikoipois, at Kfirfoiv 17 irapoifAloy ohos ov <Xe(ir€iy ovdc 
4>ikovtiK<f fiaxn* — Socrat. Hist. Eccl. vii. 31. [Tom. 11. p. 380.] 

44 Of Obedience to our spiritual 

9ERM. cannot pick a hole; any thing so indisputably cer- 

'. — tain, that whoever affecteth to cavil may not easily 

devise some objections against it? 

I, there 4 thing hL that hath no incon.. 
niences attending it? are not in all human things 
conveniences and inconveniences so mixed and com- 
plicated, that it is impossible to disentangle and 
sever them? can there be any constitution under 
heaven so absolutely pure and perfect, that no 
blemish or defect shall appear therein? can any 
providence of man foresee, any care prevent, any 
industiy remedy all inconveniences possible? Is 
a reformation satisfactory to all fancies anywise 
practicable; and are they not fitter to live in the 
Platonic idea of a commonwealth than in any real 
society, who press for such an one? To be fe^cile 
and complaisant in other ca^es, bearing with things 
which do not please us, is esteemed commendable, 
a courteous and humane practice: why should it 
not be much more reasonable to condescend to our 
superiors, and comport with their practice ? is it not 
very discourteous to deny them the respect which 
we allow to others, or to refiise that advantage to 
public transactions which we think fit to grant unto 
private conversation? 

To what purpose did God institute a govern- 
ment, if the resolutions thereof must be suspended 
till every man is satisfied with them*'; or if its state 
must be altered so often as any man can pick in it 
matter of offence or dislike ; or if the proceeding^ 
thereof must be shaped according to the number- 
less varieties of different and repugnant fancies ? 

^ Ov yap ii6vov t^v dpiarrfv (iroXtTctay) d«I Btmpt'iVf dXXd Ka\ t^v 
dvvaTTjp, — Arist. Pol. iv. 1. 

Si, ubi jubeantar, quserere singaliB liceat ; poreunte obseqaio, 
etiam imperium intcrcidit. — Tac. (Otho). [Hist. i. 83.] 

Guides and Governors. 45 

Are, I pray, the objections against obedience serm. 

so clear and cogent, as are the commands which '- — 

enjoin, and the reasons which enforce it? are the 
inconveniences adhering to it apparently so griev- 
ous, as are the mischiefs which spring from dis- 
obedience ? do they in a just balance counterpoise 
the disparagement of authority, the violation of 
order, the disturbance of peace, the obstraction of 
edification, which disobedience producelh ? 

Do the scruples (or reasons, if we will call them 
so) which we propound, amount to such a strength 
and evidence, as to outweigh the judgment of those 
whom God hath authorized by his commission, 
whom he doth enable by his grace, to instruct and 
guide us*? May not those, whose office it is to 
judge of such things, whose business it is to study 
for skill in order to that purpose, who have most 
experience in those affairs specially belonging to 
them, be reasonably deemed most able to judge, 
both for themselves and us, what is lawfiil and 
what expedient? have they not eyes to see what 
we do, and hearts to judge concerning it, as well 
as we? 

Is it not a design of their office to resolve our 
doubts and void our scruples in such cases, that 
we may act securely and quietly, being directed by 
better judgments than our own*? Are they not 

' Dixisti Bane scmpoliiin tibi esse tollendom de animo, in queoT 
incidisti. InddiBti, sed tua credalitate irreligio8a» &c. — Cypr. Ep. 
LXix. (ad Florent.) [p. 123] yid. optime et apposite de hac re 

* Id. Ep. Lzxm. [p. 186.] [Quapropter qui fidei et Teritati 
pneeumuB, eoB qni ad ftdem et Teritatem Teniunt, et agentee p<B- 
nitentiam remitti sibi peccata depoBcunt, decipere non debemus 
et fiftllere. Bed correctoe a nobiB ac reformatoB ad regnum ooelonim 
diflcipliniB ccelestibuB emdire.] 

46 Of Obedience to our spiritual 

BEB,id. strictly obliged in conscience, are they not deeply 
'- — engaged by interest, to govern us in the best man- 
ner? Is it therefore wisdom, is it modesty, is it 
justice for us to advance our private conceits against 
their most deliberate public resolutions? may we 
not in so doing mistake ? may we not be blind or 
. weak, (not to say fond, or proud, or perverse) and 
shall those defects or defaults of ours evacuate so 
many commands of God, and render his so noble, 
so needful an ordinance quite insignificant? 

Do we especially seem to be in earnest, or ap- 
pear otherwise than ludicrously, and illusively to 
palliate our naughty affections and sinister respects, 
when we ground the justification of our noncon- 
formity upon dark subtleties and intricate quirks ; 
which it is hard to conceive that we understand 
ourselves, and whereof very perspicacious men can- 
not apprehend the force? Do we think we shall 
be innocent men, because we are smart sophisters? 
or that God wiU excuse firom our duty, because we 
can perplex men with our discourses? or that we 
are bound to do nothing, because we are able to 
say somewhat against all things? 

Would we not do well to consider what huge 
danger they incur, and how massy a load of guilt 
they must undergo, upon whom shall be charged 
all those sad disorders and horrid mischiefs which 
surely will be consequent on disobedience ? What 
if confiision of things, if corruption of manners, if 
oppression of truth, if dissolution of the Church do 
thence ensue ; what a case then shall we be in, who 
confer so much thereto? Would not such con- 
siderations be apt to beget scruples far more dis- 
quieting an honest and truly conscientious mind, 

Guides and Oovemors. 47 

ihan any such either profound subtleties or super- serm. 

fidal plausibilities can do, which Dissenters are '- — 

wont to allege? For needeth he not to have ex- 
treme reason (reason extremely strong and evident) 
who dareth to refuse that obedience which God so 
plainly commandeth; by which his own authority 
is maintained; on which the safety, prosperity, and 
peace of the Church dependeth ; in which the sup- 
port of KeUgion, and the wel&xe of numberless souls 
is deeply concerned ? 

Did, let me further ask, the Apostles, when they 
settled orders in the Church, when they imposed 
what they conceived needful for edification and de- 
cency, when they inflicted spiritual chastisements 
upon disorderly walkers, regard such pretences? or 
had those self-conceited and self-willed people (who 
obeyed not their words but resisted them) no such a Tim. iy. 
pretences? had they nothing, think we, to say for i Tim. i. 
themselves, nothing to object against the apostolic i These, iii 
orders and proceedings? They had surely; they^*'^* 
failed not to find faults in the establishment, 
and to pretend a kind of tender conscience for their 
disobedience; yet this hindered not, but that the 
Apostles condemned their misbehaviour, and in- 
flicted severe censures upon them. 

Did not also the primitive bishops (and all 
spiritual governors down from the beginning every 
where almost to these days of contention and dis- 
order) proceed in the same course; not fearing to 
enact such laws concerning indifferent matters and 
circumstances of £.eligion, as seemed to them con- 
ducible to the good of the Church? Did not all 
good people readily comply with their orders, how 
painful soever, or disagreeable to flesh and blood, 

48 Of Obedience to our spiritucd 

8EBM. without contest or scruple? yet had not they as 
\ — much wit, and no less conscience than ourselves ? 

They who had wisdom enough to descry the truth 
of our Eieligion through all the clouds of obloquy 
and disgrace, which it lay under ; who had zeal and 
constancy to bear the hardest brunts of persecution 
against it ; were they such fools as to see no fault, 
so stupid as to resent nothing, or so loose as to 
comply with any thing ? No surely ; they were in 
truth so wise as to know their duty, and so honest 
as to observe it. 

If these considerations will not satisfy, I have 
done ; and proceed to the next point of our duty, to 
which the precept in our text may extend, concern- 
ing the doctrine of our guides : in which respect it 
may be conceived to imply the following particulars 
to be performed by us, as instances, or parts, or 
degrees thereof. 

I We should readily and gladly address our- 
selves to hear them ; not out of profane and wilfiil 
contempt or slothful negligence declining to attend 
upon their instructions : there were of old those, of 
whom the Prophets complain, who would not so 
Nei1.ix.29. much as hearken to the words of those whom God 
laai.'ixv. ' sent unto them; but stopped their ears, withdrew 
^. ^. the shoulder, and hardened the neck, and would not 
^?^j^'3'hear: there were those in the evangelical times. 
Acts idu. Who did dwwOeiv tov Xoyovy thrust away the word of 
J^tt.3K.i4. ^^' j^^i'^ themselves unworthy of eternal life; 
who would not admit or hear the word of Ufe, and 
overtures of grace propounded by the Apostles : 
Lukeviii. there were Gadarenes, who beseeched our Lord 

PfciviiL ^™s®l^ *^ depart from their coasts: there have 
4, 5- always been Decf adders, who stop their ears to the 

Guides and Governors. 49 

voice of the charmer, charm he never so wisely; no serm. 
wonder then if now there be those who will not so '- — 

much as allow a hearing to the messengers of God, 
and the guides of their soul : some^ out of a factious 
prejudice against their office^ or their persons, or 
their way, do shim them, giving themselves over 
to the conduct of seducers ; some, out of a profane 
neglect of all Beligion, out of being wholly possessed 
with worldly cares and desires, out of stupidity and 
sloth, (indisposing them to mind any thing that is 
serious,) will not afford them any regard : all these 
are extremely blameable, offensive to God, and in- 
jurious to themselves. It is a heinous affi*ont to 
God (implying an hostile disposition toward him, 
an unwillingness to have any correspondence with 
him) to revise so much as audience to his ambas- 
sadors; it is an interpretative repulsing him: so of 
old he expressed it; /, saith he, spake unto ycm, Jer.vii.13. 
rising early and speaking^ hut ye heard not; I called 
youy hut ye answered not: so under the Gospel; He, Lukex. 16. 
saith our Lord, tiiaZ heareth you heareth me; and he 
that despiseth (or regardeth not) you despiseth me; 
and, We are ambassadors of Christ, as though God iCot.ym. 
did heseech you hy us; we pray you in Chrises 
stead, he reconciled to God. It is a starving our 
Boids, depriving them of that food which God hath 
provided for them ; it is keeping ourselves at dis- 
tance from any means or possibility of being well 
informed and quickened to the practice of our duty, 
of being reclaimed from our errors and sins ; it is 
the way to become hardened in impiety, or sinking 
into a reprobate sense. This is the first step to 
obedience ; for. How can we hdieve, except we hear? Rom. x.14. 
this is that which St James urgeth, Let every man Jameai.ip. 

B. S. VOL. IV. 4 

50 Of Obedience to our spirittuil 

SEBM. be quick to hear; and which St Peter thus enjoineth, 
— - — Like newborn bahes, desire the sincere milk of the 
word, that we may grow thereby: we should espe- 
cially be quick and ready to hear those whom God 
hath authorized and appointed to speak ; we should 
desire to suck the milk of the word from those who 
are our spiritual parents and nurses. 

2 We should hear them with serious, earnest 
attention and consideration; so that we may well 
understand^ may be able to weigh, may retain in 
memory, and may become duly aflfected with their 
discourses; we must not hear them drowsily and 
slightly, as if we were nothing concerned, or were 
hearing an impertinent tale ; their word should not 
pass through the ears, and slip away without effect; 
but sink into the understanding, into the memory. 
Matt. xiii. yj^ ^^ heart ; like the good seed falling into a 
depth of earth, able to afford it root and nourish- 
ment; therefore we must attend diligently thereto: 
Heb. ii. i. AcT irepKraoTepat^ tjma^ irpo<Te-)^€iVy We shovM therefore 
give more abundant heed, as the Apostle saith, to the 
things we hear, lest at any time we should let them 
slip. This duty the nature and importance of their 
I These, it word rcquircth : It is the word not of men, but, in 
'^* truth, the word of the great God, (his word as pro- 

ceeding from him, as declaring his mind and will, as 
tendering his overtures of grace and mercy,) which 
as such chaUengeth great regard and awe; it in- 
formeth us of our chief duties, it furthereth our 
mam interests, it guideth us into, it urgeth us for- 
ward in the way to eternal happiness; it is the 
Jameei.4i. word that is able to save our souls, to render us wise 
^5. ™' ^' unto salvation; it therefore claimeth and deserveth 
from us most earnest attention ; it is a great indig- 
nity and folly not to yield it. 

Guides and Governors. 51 

3 We should to their instructions bring good serm. 
dispositions of mind, such as may render them most ^ — 

effectual and fruitful to us; such as are right in- 
tention, candour, docility, meekness. 

We should not be induced to hear them out of 
curiosity, as having itching ears, being desirous « Tiin.iv.3. 
to hear some new things, some fine notions, some 
taking discourse ; somewhat to fancy or talk plea- 
santly about, (as the Athenians heard St Paul ;) Acts xvu. 
not out of censoriousness, or inclination to criticise 
and find fault, (as the Pharisees heard our Saviour, Luke xi. 
Laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something 
OfuJt of his mouthy thai they might accuse him;) not 
out of design to gratify our passions in hearing 
them to reprove other persons, or for any such 
corrupt and sinister intention ; but altogether out of 
pure design that we may be improved in know- 
ledge, and excited to the practice of our duty. 

We should not come to hear them with minds 
imbued with ill prejudices and partial affections, 
which may obstruct the virtue and efficacy of their 
discourse, or may hinder us from judging fairly and 
truly about what they say; but with such freedom 
and ingenuity as may dispose us readily to yield 
unto and acquiesce in any profitable truth declared 
by them ; like the generous Bereans, who received ^^ *^- 
the word, fura ira<rti9 TrpoOv/uLtas, with oU alacrity and 
readiness of mindy searching the Scriptures daily, 
whether these things were so ; 'Qs apriyiwrira (ipiiptji 
Like infants newly horn, that come to the dug i Pet. u. 2, 
without any other inclination than to suck what is 
needfiil for their sustenance. 

We should be docile and tractable, willing and 
apt to learn, shaking off all those indispositions of 

4 — 2 

52 Of Obedience to our spiritual 

SERM. goui (aji dulness and sluggishness, all peevishness 

and perverseness, all pride and self-conceitedness, 

all corrupt affection and indulgence to our conceits^ 
our humours, our passions, our lusts, and inordinate 
desires) which may obstruct our imderstanding of 
the word, our yielding assent to it, our receiving 
impression from it: there were those, concerning 
whom the Apostle said, that he could not proceed 
Heix V. II. in his discourse, because they were vwOpol rals a/coaly, 
'^'"**** dvM of hearing, (or sluggish in hearing,) who were 
indisposed to hear, and uncapable to understand, 
because they would not be at the pains to rouse up 
their fancies, and fix their minds upon a serious 
inai. xxix. Consideration of things : there were those, who had 
iS)m.xi.8. a spirit of slumber, eyes not to see, and ears not to 
Al^texxviu ^^^^9 ^^^ ^d ^^^^ with the ear, but not under- 
j^'hn •• s^^d 9 seeing did see, but not perceive ; JFor their 
40. heart had waxed gross, their ears were dull of hear- 

ing, and their eyes were closed; such indocile persons 
there always have been, who, being stupified and 
perverted by corrupt affections, became imcapable 
of bettering from good instruction: all such we 
should strive to free ourselves from, that we may 
jameei..!. perform this duty to our guides, and, In meekness 
receive the engrafted word. 

These practices (of hearing, of attending, of 

coming well disposed to instruction) are at least 

steps and degrees necessarily prerequisite to the 

obedience prescribed; and further to press them 

I Cor. ix. ^ together upon us, we may consider, that it is 

a Cor V I strictly incumbcnt on them (imder danger of heavy 

iPet. y. 1. punishment and woe) willingly, earnestly, with all 

I Tim. V. diligence and patience, to labour in teaching and 

iV/13, 16. admonishing us; They must give attendance, and 

Guides and Governors. 53 

taJce heed unto their doctrine^ that it may be sound serm. 
and profitable ;' They must ^preach the word, and be 

instant upon it in season, out of season, (that is, 
not only taking, but seeking and snatching all 
occasions to do it,) reproving, rebuking, exhorting 
with aUlongsuffering and doctrine ; They must warn Coi. i. aS. 
every man, and teach every man in all wisdom, that 
they mxiy present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: 
as they are obliged in such manner to do these 
things, so there must be correspondent duties lying 
upon us, to receive their doctrine readily, carefully, 
patiently, sincerely, and fairly: as they must be 
faithful dispensers of God's heavenly truth and »Cor.iv.«. 
holy mysteries, so we must be obsequious enter- 
tainers of them : imposing such commands on them • 
doth imply reciprocal obligations in their hearers 
and scholars; otherwise their office would be vain, 
and their endeavours fruitless ; God no less would 
be frustrated in his design, than we should be de* 
prived of the advantages of their institution. 

But further, it is a more immediate ingredient 
of this duty, that, 

4 We should effectually be enlightened by 
their doctrine, be convinced by their arguments 
persuading truth and duty, be moved by their ad- 
monitions and exhortations to good practice; we 
should open our eyes to the light which they shed 
forth upon us, we should surrender our judgment 
to the proofs which they allege, we should yield 
our hearts and affections pliable to their mollifying 
and warming discourses : it is their part to subdue 
our minds to the Obedience of faith, and to subject Rom. xvi. 
our wills to the observance of God's command- 
ments, (Casting dovm imaginations, and every high « cor. x. 5. 

54 Of Obedience to our spirittml 

8EBM. tJiing thxtt exaUeth itself against the knowledge of 

'■ — God, and bringing into captivity every thought to 

the obedience of Christ;) it must therefore answer- 
ably be our duty not to resist, not to hold out, not 
to persist obstinate in our errors or prejudices; to 
submit our minds to the power of truth, being 
willingly and gladly conquered by it; it must be 
our duty to subjugate our wills, to bend our incU- 
nations, to form our affections to a free compliance 
of heart with the duties urged upon us ; we should 
not be like those disciples, of whom our Lord com- 
Lukexxiv. plaiucth thus; Ofools^ and slow of heart to believe 
^^' all that the prophets have spoken: nor like the Jews, 

Act8vu.5i. with whom St Stephen thus expostulates; Ye stiff-- 
necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do 
I Cor. iv. always resist the Holy Ghost. They should speak 
with power and efficacy; we therefore should not 
by our indispositions (by obstinacy of conceit or 
hardness of heart) obstruct their endeavours : they 
^^r.i.14. should be co-workers of our joy (that is, working 
in us that faith and those virtues, which are pro- 
ductive of true joy and comfort to us;) we therefore 
should co-work with them toward the same end: 
they should edify us in knowledge and holiness; 
we should therefore yield ourselves to be fashioned 
and poUshed by them. 

5 We should, in fine, obey their doctrine by 
conforming our practice thereto; this our Lord 
prescribed in regard even to the Jewish guides and 
Matt.xxiii. doctors ; ITic Scribes and Pharisees sit in Moseses 
seat; all therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, 
thai observe and do: the same we may well con- 
ceive that he requireth in respect to his own 
ministers, the teachers of a better law, authorized 

Guides and Governors. 55 

to direct us by his own commission, and thereto serm. 

more specially qualified by his grace : this is, indeed, '■ — 

the crown and completion of all ; to hear signifieth 
nothing; to be convinced in our mind, and to be 
affected in our heart, will but aggravate our guilt, 
if we neglect practice : every sermon we hear, that 
sheweth us our duty, will in effect be an endite- 
ment upon us, will ground a sentence of condem- 
nation, if we transgress it : for as The earth which 
drinkeih in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and 
hringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is Heb. vi. 7, 
dressed, receiveth blessing from God, so that which 
beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh 
unto cursing, and its end is to be burned: and, Not Rom. u. 13. 
the hearers of the law are just with God, but the 
doers of the law shall be justified. And it is a good 
advice, that of St James ; Be ye doers of the word, jameai.aa. 
and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves; 
it is, he intimateth, a fallacy some are apt to put 
upon themselves, to conceit they have done suffi- 
ciently when they have lent an ear to the word; 
this is the least part to be done in regard to it, 
practice is the main; what is it to shew the way, 
to know it exactly, if we do not walk in it, if we 
do not by it arrive at our joume/s end, the salva- 
tion of our souls ? To have waited upon our Lord 
himself, and hung upon his discourse, was not 
available; for when in the day of accoimt some 
shall begin to allege. We have eaten and drunk Luke xiu. 
before thee, and thou hast taught in our streets; our 
Lord will say, / know you not whence ye are; depart 
from me, all ye workers of iniquity. And it is our 
Lord's declaration in the case. Whosoever heareih^- 
these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I wHl liken ai. ^ ^^'' 

66 Of Obedience to our spiritual 

SERM. him wito a wise man, which buiU his house upon a 
— *- — rock; — hut efoery one thai heareth these sayings of 

mine, and doeih them not^ shall he likened unto a 
foolish mxm, which built his house upon the sand. 
Mark vi. Many are very earnest to hear, they hear gladly, 

Matt. xiii. as Herod did St John Baptist's homilies; they re- 
ceive the word with joy, as the temporary believers 
in the parable did; they do, as those men did in 
isa. iviii.a. the Prophet, Delight to know God!s ways, do ask of 
Ezek, God the ordinances of justice, do taJce delight in 
^^i.^^' approaching God; or as those in another Prophet, 
Who speak one to another every one to his brother, 
saying, Com^, I pray you, and hear what is the 
word thai cometh forth from the Lord: and they 
come unto thee 05 the people cometh, and they sit 
before thee as my people, and Ihey hear thy words, 
but will not do them; for with their mouih ihey 
shew much love, but their heart goeth after their 
covetousness : and, lo, thou art to them as a very 
lovely song of one that haih a pleasant voice, and 
can play well on an instrument; for ihey hear thy 
words, but they do them not: they for a time 
rejoice in the light of God's messengers as those 
John V. 35. Jews did in the Ught of that burning and shining 
lamp, St John the Baptist ; but all comes to 
nothing; but they are backward and careless to 
perform, at least more than they please themselves, 
or what suiteth to their fancy, their hxmiour, their 
appetite, their interest: many hearers will beUeve 
only what they like, or what suiteth to their preju- 
dices and passions; many of what they believe 
will practise that only which sorteth with their 
temper, or will serve their designs; they cannot 
conform to unpleasant and unprofitable doctrines : 

Guides and Governors. 57 

sometimes care choketh the word; sometimes serm. 

temptation of pleasure, of profit, of honour, allureth; - 
sometimes difficulties, hazards, persecutions, dis- 
courage from obedience to it. 

These particulars are obvious, and by most will 
be consented to : there is one point which perhaps 
will more hardly be admitted, which therefore I 
shall more largely insist upon ; it is this, 

6 That as in all cases it is our duty to defer 
much regard to the opinion of our guides, so in 
some cases it behoveth us to rely barely upon their 
judgment and advice ; those especially among them 
who excel in dignity and worth, who are approved 
for wisdom and integrity; their definitions, or the 
declarations of their opinion, (especially such as 
are exhibited upon mature deliberation and debate, 
in a solemn manner,) are ever very probable argu- 
ments of truth and expediency; they are com- 
monly the best argimients which can be had in 
some matters, especially to the meaner and simpler 
sort of people. This upon many accounts wiU 
appear reasonable. 

It is evident to experience, that every man is 
not capable to judge, or able to guide himself in 
matters of this nature, (concerning divine truth 
and conscience) . There are children in under- ^o"*- »^ 
standing ; there are men weak in faith, (or know- 
ledge concerning the faith;) there are idiots, x^- »S-. 
aKOKoi, (men not bad, but simple,) persons occupy- i6; m. a; ' 
ing the room of the unlearned, unskil^ in the 
word of righteousness, who, as the Apostle saith, Heb. ▼. i«. 
need that one should teach them which be the first 
principles of the oracles of God. 

The vulgar sort of men are as undisceming and 

58 Of Obedience to our spirittud 

SEBM. injudicious in all things'^ so peculiarly in matters 

'. — of this nature^ so much abstracted from common 

sense and experience; whence we see them easily 
seduced into the fondest conceits and wildest 
Eph.iv.14. courses by any slender artifice or fair pretence ; Like 
children tossed to and jro^ and carried about with 
every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and 
cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to de- 

There are also some particular cases, a compe- 
tent information and skill in which must depend 
upon improvements of mind acquired by more 
than ordinary study and experience; so that in 
them most people do want sufficient means of 
attaining knowledge requisite to guide their judg- 
ment or their practice': and for such persons in 
such cases it is plainly the best, the wisest^ and 
the safest way, to rely upon the direction of their 
guides, assenting to what they declare, acting what 
they prescribe, going whither they conduct. 

The very notion of guides, and the design of 
their office, doth import a difference of knowledge, 
and a need of reHance upon them in such cases; it 
sigmfieth, that we are in some measure ignorant of 
the way, and that they better know it ; and, if so, 
plain reason dictateth it fit that we should follow 
them : and, indeed, what need were there of guides, 

' Neque plebi judicium aut veritaB. — Tac. [Hist. i. 32.] 

"hKpiTov 6 brjiins. — M. Ant. [iv. } 3.] 

^ 'AXX* tlh&rts Mpoit piXrtoy dvai rag iavrSy ijyias (v^t^vai 
TfxyiKwripoif^ 4 SKKviv rjvt6xovg flvai avfrnar^fiovas^ Koi aKoriP viron* 
Ofvai fuiXXov fvyvtf/xova, rj yXcScrcray Ktvtw airatdcvroy. — Greg. Naz. 
Orat. II. [0pp. Tom. i. p. 35 A.] 

— Fide calidus, et yirtute robustus, sed minus dominica lee- 
tione fundatus, &c. — Cjpr. Ep. xxii. (de Luciano). [0pp. p* 31.] 

Guides and Governors, 59 

to what purpose should we have them, if we can serm. 

suffidently ken the way, and judge what we should '- — 

do without them ? 

In the state of learning, (in which the assign- 
ing us teachers supposeth us placed,) whatever our 
capacity may be, yet our judgment at least (for 
want of a ftiU comprehension of things, which 
must be discovered in order and by degrees) is im- 
perfect : in that state therefore it becometh us not 
to pretend exercise of judgment, but rather easily 
to yield assent to what our teachers, who see 
further into the thing, do assert; The learner , as 
Seneca*" saith, is hound to he ruled, while he her 
ginneth to he able to rule himself. 

Aei fxavOavovra irKxreveii/, A leo/mer should in 

some measure he credulous; otherwise, as he wiU 
often fail in his judgment, so he will make little 
progress in learning ; for if he wiU admit nothing 
on his master's word, if he will question all things, 
if he will continually be doubting and disputing, 
or contradicting and opposing his teacher, how can 
instruction proceed? He that presently wiU be his 
own master is a bad scholar, and wiU be a worse 
master: he that will fly before he is fledged, no 
wonder if he tumble down.' 

There are divers obvious and very considerable 
cases in which persons most contemptuous of au- 
thority, and refractory toward their guides, are 
constrained to rely upon the judgment of other% 
and are contented to do it, their conscience shew- 
ing them unable to judge for themselves: in ad- 
mitting the literal sense of Scripture, according to 
translations ; in the interpretation of diiBScult places, 

** Regi ergo debet, dum incipit posse se regere. — Ep. xcir. [60.] 

60 Of Obedience to our spiritual 

SERM. depending upon the skill of languages, grammar, 

'- — and criticism, upon the knowledge of human arts 

and sciences, upon histories and ancient customs: 
in such cases, all illiterate persons (however other- 
wise diffident and disregardfiil of authority) are 
forced to see with the eyes of other men, to sub- 
mit their judgment to the skill and fidelity of their 
learned guides, taking the very principles and 
foundations of their Religion upon trust : and why 
then consonantly may they not do it in other 
cases ; especially in the resolution of difficult, sub- 
lime, obscure, and subtle-points, the comprehension 
whereof transcendeth their capacity ? But further. 
The more to engage and incUne us to the per- 
forming this part of our duty, (the regarding, 
prizing confidLg in the judgment of our^ide^ 
we may consider the great advantages, both natural 
and supernatural, which they have to quaUfy them 
in order to such purposes. 

I They may reasonably be presumed more in- 
teUigent and skilful in divine matters than others ; 
for as they have the same natural capacities and en- 
dowments with others, (or rather, commonly, some- 
what better than others, as being designed and 
selected to this sort of employment,) so their natural 
abiUties are by all possible means improved : it is 
their trade and faculty, unto which their education 
is directed; in acquiring ability toward which they 
spend their time, their care, their pains; in which 
Heb. ▼. 14. they are continually versed and exercised. Having^ 
as the Apostle speaketh, by reason of use their 
senses exercised to discern both good and evil ; for 
which also they employ their suppUcations and 
devotions to Grod. 

Guides and Govemm^s. 61 

Many special advantages they hence procure, serm. 


needful or very conducible to a more perfect know- 
ledge of such matters, and to security from errors; 
such as are conversing with studies, which enlarge 
a man's mind, and improve his ju^lgment; a skill 
of disquisition about things; of sifting and can- 
vassing points coming under debate; of weighing 
the force of arguments, and distinguishing the 
colours of things ; the knowledge of languages, in 
which the divine oracles are expressed ; of sciences, 
of histories, of practices serving to the discovery 
and illustration of the truth; exercise in medita- 
tion, reading, writing, speaking, disputing, and con- 
ference, whereby the mind is greatly enlightened, 
and the reason strengthened; acquaintance with 
variety of learned authors, who with great diligence 
have expounded the Holy Scriptures, and with most 
accuracy discussed points of doctrine; especially 
with ancient writers, who, living near the apos- 
toUcal tunes, and being immediately (or within few 
degrees mediately) their disciples, may justly be 
supposed most helpftil toward informing us what 
was their genuine doctrine, what the true sense of 
their writings : by such means, as in other faculties, 
so in this li Theology, a competent skill may b^ 
obtained; there is no other ordinary or probable 
way; and no extraordinary way can be trusted, 
now that men appear not to grow learned or 
wise by special inspiration or miracle; after 
that all pretences to such by-ways have been 
detected of imposture, and do smell too rank of 

Since then our guides are so advantageously 
qualified to direct us, it is, in matters difficult and 

62 Of Obedience to our spiritual 

s B R M. doubtftil, (the which require good measure of skill 
'■ — and judgment to determine about them) most rea- 
sonable, that we should rely upon their authority, 
preferring it in such cases to our private discretion; 
taking it for more probable, that they should com- 
prehend the truth, than we (imassisted by them, and 
judging merely by our own glimmering light) can 
do ; deeming it good odds on the side of their doc- 
trine against our opinion or conjecture. 

They have also another peculiar advantage 
toward judging sincerely of things, by their greater 
retirement jfrom the world and disengagement from 
secular interests ; the which ordinarily do deprave 
the understandings and pervert the judgments of 
men, disposing them to accommodate their conceits 
to the maxims of worldly policy, or to the vulgar 
apprehensions of men, many of which are false and 
base: by such abstraction of mind from worldly 
affairs, together with fastening their meditation on 
the best things, (which their calling necessarily 
doth put them upon,) more than is usual to other 
men, they commonly get principles and habits of 
simplicity and integrity, which qualify men both 
to discern truth better, and more faithfully to 
declare it. 

Seeing then in every faculty the advice of the 
skilful is to be regarded, and is usually relied upon ; 
and in other affairs of greatest importance we 
scruple not to proceed so ; seeing we commit our 
life and health (which are most precious to us) to 
the physician, observing his prescriptions commonly 
without any reason, sometimes against our own 
sense ; we intrust our estate, which is so dear, with 
the lawyer, not contesting his advice; we put our 

Guides and Governors. 63 

goods and safety into the hands of a pilot, sleeping serm. 

securely, whilst he steereth us as he thinketh fit; ! 

seeing in many such occasions of common Ufe we 
advisedly do renounce or wave our opinions, abso- 
lutely yielding to the direction of others, tating 
their authority for a better argument or ground of 
action, than any which our conceit or a bare consi- 
deration of the matter can suggest to us; admitting 
this maxim for good, that it is a more adviseable and 
safe course in matters of consequence to follow the 
judgment of wiser men, than to adhere to our own 
apprehensions* ; seeing it is not wisdom (as every 
man thinks) in a doubtful case to act upon disad- 
vantage, or to venture upon odds against himself, 
and it is plainly doing thus to act upon our own 
opinion against the judgment of those who are more 
improved in the way, or better studied in the point 
than ourselves ; seeing in other cases these are the 
conmion approved apprehensions and practices ; and 
seeing in this case there is plainly the same reason, 
for that there are difficulties and intricacies in this 
no less than in other faculties, which need good 
skill to resolve them ; for that in these matters we 
may easily slip, and by error may incur huge danger 
and damage : why then should we not here take the 
same course, following (when no other clearer light, 
or prevalent reason occurreth) the conduct and ad- 
vice of our more skilftd guides ? especially consi- 
dering, that, beside ordinary, natural, and acquired 

*0v yap tof T)yrictdvrai irrpl rov <njfi(f}€povTos iavrots <f>povifX(OT€pov 
4avT(Sp tlvai, TovTn^ ol SivBpomoi v7r€pijb€»s irct^ovroi. — Xen. de Cyri 
Instit I. [6. 21.] 

*Ev fiiv Tip irXetv irilBtaBai 8«i r^ KvfitpviJTijt tp dt r^ pjp t^ Xoyi- 
{f<r6at dvvafuvijp fitkriov, — Aristonymus apud Stob. Tom. ii. Tit. 3. 
[Socrates. Stob Floril. Tit. in. 41. Vol. i. p 96. Ed. Gaisford.] 

64 Of Obedience to our spiritual 

8£RM. advantages, they have other supernatural both obli- 
^ — gations to the well discharging this duty, and assist- 
ances toward it : For, 

2 We may consider, that they are by God ap- 
pointed and empowered to instruct and guide us: 
it is their special office, not assumed by themselves, 
or constituted by human prudence, but ordained 
and settled by divine wisdom for our edification in 
knowledge, and direction in practice*": they are 
God's messengers, purposely sent by him, selected 
Rom. X. 15. and separated by his instinct for his work: they 
^.t.l. axe by him given for the perfecting of the saints, and 
I Cor. xii. edifying the body of Christ : it is by God's warrant, 
'Wi. and in his name, that they speak; which giveth 
i?t.V'"*^' ^sp^cial weight to their words, and no mean ground 
I TheBs. ii. of assurauce to us in relying upon them : for who 
is more likely to know God's mind and will, who 
may be presumed more faithful in declaring them, 
than God's own officers and agents? those whose 
great duty, whose main concernment it is to speak, 
not their own sense, but the word of God ? They 
are God's mouth, by whom alone ordinarily he 
expresseth his mind and pleasure; by whom he 
4 Cor. V. entreateth us to be reconciled in heart and practice 
to him : what they say therefore is to be received 
as God's word, except plain reason, upon due exa- 
mination, do forbid. 

If they by office are teachers, or masters an 
doctrine, then we answerably must in obligation be 
disciples, which implies admitting their doctrine 
and proficiency in knowledge thereby : if they are 

^ / wUl give youpastora aeeording to minB heart, whieh shall feed 
you with knowledge and underetanding. — ^Jer. iii. 15. 
Vid. Cypr. Ep. lv. 


Guides and Governors. 65 

appointed shepherds, then must we be their sheep^ serm. 

to be led and fed by them ; if they are God's mes- '• — 

sengers^ we must yield some credence, and embrace 
the message uttered by them ; so the Prophet telleth 
us : The priesfs lips should keep knowledge^ and Mai. u. 7. 
they should seek the law ai his mouthy for he is the 
messenger of the Lord of hosts: so the Law of old 
enjoined; — According to the sentence of the Zai^; i>e«t. xvii. 
whi(^ they shaU teach thee, and according to the 
judgment which they shall tell thee, thou shalt do; 
thou shaU not decline from the sentence which they 
shall shew thee, to the right hand nor to the left : 
so our Lord also, in regard to the Scribes and 
Pharisees, saith, The Scribes and Pharisees sit in Mafct.xxiii. 
Moses's chair: aU therefore whatsoever they hid you 
observe, that observe and do; upon account of their 
office, whatever they direct to (not repugnant to 
the divine law) was to be observed by the people ; 
and surely in doubtful cases, when, upon competent 
inquiry, no dear light offereth itself, it cannot be 
very dangerous to follow their guidance whom God 
hath appointed and authorized to lead us; if we 
err doing so, we err wisely in the way of our duty, 
and so no great blame will attend our error. 

3 We may consider, that our guides as such 
have . special assistance from God ; to every voca- 
tion God's aid is congruously aflforded ; but to this 
(the principal of aQ others, the most important, 
most nearly related to God, and most peculiarly 
tending to his service) it is in a special manner 
most assuredly and plentifully imparted. 

They are Stewards ofGrod^s various grace; and 
they who dispense grace to others cannot want it 
themselves: they are Co-^erators with God, and iCor.iii.9. 

B. S. VOL. IV. 5 

66 Of Obedience to our spiritucd 

SEBM. God consequently doth co-operate with them; it is 
God who doth Wavovvy render them sufficient to be 

5, 6.'' ^' ministers of the New Testament; and they minister 

fpSj'-ivil?! of the ability which God supplieth; every spuitual 

I Cor. XV. labourer is obliged to say with St Paul, By the 

grace of God I a/m what I a/m — / hwve laboured, 

yet not /, but the grace of God, which was with me. 

Bph.iT.ii, God's having given them, as St Paul saith, to 

the Church, doth imply, that God hath endowed 

them with special ability, and fiirthereth them (in 

their conscionable discharge of their ministry) with 

I Cor. xii. aid requisite to the designs of perfecting the saints, 

''' and edifying the body in knowledge, in virtue, in 


As the Holy Ghost doth constitute them in 
their charge, (according to that of St Paul in the 
Act8xx.28. Acts, Take heed unto yourselves, and to aU the flock 
over which the Holy Ghost haih made you overseers,) 
so, questionless, he doth enable and assist them in 
administering their function^ There is a gift (of 
spiritual abiUty and divine succour) impa^ by 

1 Tiin. iv. their consecration to this office. With the laying on 

2 Tim. i. 6. the hands of the presbytery, joined with humble 

supplications for them, and solemn benedictions in 

God's name upon them. The divine Sphit, which 

I Cor. xii. distributeth, as he seeth good, imto every member 

^' *^' of the Church needful supplies of grace, doth bestow 

on them in competent measure the Word of wisdom 

Epb.iv.i6. and the Word of knowledge requisite for their em- 
Bom, Xll. •/•/!. 

5, 6. ployment. 

God of old did in extraordinary ways visibly 
communicate his Spirit unto his prophets and 
agents; the same he did liberally pour out upon 
the Apostles, and first planters of the gospel ; the 

Guides and Governors, 67 

same questionless he hath not withdrawn from serm. 

those, who, under the evangelical dispensation, ^— 

(which is peculiarly the Ministration of the Spirit, aCor.m.8. 
unto which the aid of Gkxi's Spirit is most proper 
and most needful) do still by a settled ministry 
supply the room of those extraordinary ministers ; 
but imparteth it to them in a way, although more 
ordinary and occult, yet no less real and effectual, 
according to proportions answerable to the exigen- 
cies of need and occasion; and by the influence 
hereof upon the pastors of his Church it is, that our 
Lord accomplisheth his promise to be with it until Matt, 
the end of the world. ""^^ ^^' 

Clavis scienticBy the key of knowledge spiritual, ^^^^ ^' 
is one of those keys which he hath given to them, 
whereby they are enabled to open the kingdom of 

Great reason therefore we have to place an 
especial confidence in their direction ; for whom can 
we more safely follow than those whom (upon such 
grounds of divine declarations and promises) we 
may hope that God doth guide; so that conse- 
quently in following them we do in effect follow 
God himself? He that heareth you heareth me, Lukex. i6. 
might be said, not only because of their relation 
unto Christ; but because their word proceedeth 
from his inspiration, being no other than his mind 
conveyed through their mouth. 

4 We may also for our encouragement to con- 
fide in our guides consider, that they are themselves 
deeply concerned in our being rightly guided ; their 
present comfort, their salvation hereafter, depend- 
ing upon the faithful and careful discharge of their 
duty herein : they must render an account for it ; 


68 Of Obedience to our spiritual 

8EBH. gQ ^i^i \£^ ]yy theli wUful OT negligent miscarriage, 

• we do fall into dangerous error or sin, they do 

thence not only forfeit rich and glorious rewards, 
Dan. xii. 3. (assigned to those who turn many unto righteous- 
ness,) but incur woful punishment ; this doth assure 
their integrity, and render our confidence in them 
very reasonable : for as we may safely trust a pilot, 
who hath no less interest than ourselves in the 
safe conveyance of the vessel to port ; so may we 
reasonably confide in their advice, whose salvation 
is adventured with ours in the same bottom, or 
rather is wrapped up and carried in ours : it is not 
probable they will (at least designedly) misguide 
us, to their own extreme damage, to their utter 
^^- "?:. ruin : if they do not warn the wicked from his wicked 
a/s. way, to save his life, God hath said that he will 
require his blood at their hands ; and is it likely 
they wittingly should run such a hazard, that they 
should purposely cast away the souls for which 
they are so certainly accountable ? It is our Apo- 
Heb. xiii. gtle's enforcement of the precept in our text ; Ob^ 
them that guide you; for they watch for your souls 
as tJiey that must give an account: which argumen- 
tation is not only grounded upon the obligations of 
ingenuity and gratitude, but also upon considera- 
tions of discretion and interests ; we should obey 
our guides in equity and honesty; we may do it 
advisedly, because they, in regard to their own 
accounts at the final judgment, are obliged to be 
careful for the good of our soids. 

Upon these considerations, it is plainly reason- 
able to follow our guides in all matters, wherein we 
have no other very clear and certain light of reason 
or revelation to conduct us : the doing so is, indeed. 

Guides and Governors. 69 

(which is further observable) not only wise in serm. 

itself, but safe in way of prevention, that we be not '. 

seduced by other treacherous guides; it will not 
only secure us from our own weak judgments, but 
from the fiuuds of those who lie in wait to deceive. Eph.iv.14. 
The simpler sort of men will in effect be always 
led, not by their own judgment^ but by the au- 
thority of others ; and if they be not fairly guided 
by those whom God hath constituted and assigned 
to that end, they will be led by the nose by those 
who are concerned to seduce them : so reason die- 
tateth that it must be, so experience sheweth it 
ever to have been ; that the people, whenever they 
have deserted their true guides, have soon been 
hurried by impostors into most dangerous errors 
and extravagant follies ; being carried about with Heb. xiii. 
divers and strange doctrines; being like children, Eph.iv. 14. 
tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine. 

It is therefore a great advantage to us, and a 
great mercy of God, that there are (by God's care) 
provided for us such helps, upon which we may 
Lnm.0% for our gnidan^ inVe w»y to hap/ 
ness more safely rely, than upon our own judg- 
ments, liable to mistake^ and than upon the counsel 
of others, who may be interested to abuse us : very 
foolish alid very igrateful we are, if we do not 
highly prize, if we do not willingly embrace this 

I further add, that as wisdom may induce, so 
modesty and humility shoidd dispose us to follow 
the direction of our guides : Ye younger, saith St i Pet. v. 5. 
Peter, submk yoursehes unto the eider, (that is, ye 
inferiors to your superiors, ye that are the flock to 
your pastors,) and, subjoineth he immediately, be 

70 Of Obedience to our spiritual 

SERM. clothed with humility; signifying, that it is a point 

'- — of humility to yield that submission ; every modest 

and humble person is apt to distrust his own, and 

Proy.iii.5, to submit to better judgments ; and, not to lean to 

Lm. ru. our understanding, not to be wise in our own eyes, 

GaJ^Vi. 3. ^^* ^ seem to know anything, not to seem anybody 

^^- "• .?: to oneself, in humility to prefer others before our- 

f^"- selves are divine injuncal, chieiy applicable to 

4. this case, in reference to our spiritual guides; for 

if it be pride or culpable immodesty to presume 

ou^lves'wi^er th.n'any man, whJie it'theo to 

prefer ourselves in that respect before our teachers ; 

as, indeed, we do, when without evident reason we 

disregard, or dissent from their opinion? 

It is then a duty very reasonable, and a very 
commendable practice, to rely upon the guidance 
of our pastors in such cases, wherein surer direction 
faileth, and we cannot otherwise ftdly satisfy our- 

Neither in doing so (against some appearances 
of reason, or with some violence to our private con- 
ceits) do we act against our conscience, but rather 
truly according to it; for conscience (as the word 
in this case is used) is nothing else but an opinion 
in practical matters, grounded upon the best reason 
we can discern : if therefore in any case the au- 
thority of our guides be a reason outweighing all 
other reasons apparent^ he that in such a case, not- 
withstanding other arguments less forcible, doth 
conform his judgment and practice thereto, therein 
exactly foUoweth conscience; yea, in doing other- 
wise, he woidd thwart and violence his own con- 
science, and be self-condemned, adhering to a less 
probable reason in opposition to one more probable. 

Guides and Governors. 71 

I do not hereby mean to assert that we are sbrm. 

obliged indifferently (with an implicit fidth, or 

blind obedience) to believe all that our teachers 
say, or to practise all they bid us: for they 
are men, and tiierefore subject to error and sin; 
they may neglect or abuse the advantages they 
have of knowing better than others; they may 
sometimes, by infirmity, by negligence, by piavity, 
Ml in performing faithfiiUy their duty toward us ; 
they may be swayed by temper, be led by passion, 
be corrupted by ambition or avarice, so as thence 
to embrace and vent bad doctrines : we do see our 
pastors often dissenting and clashing among them- 
selves, sometimes with themselves, so as to change 
and retract their own opinions^ 

We find the prophets of old compLuning of 
priests, of pastors, of elders and prophets, Wl^Jor.ii. 8. | 

^ _ TflULl X3CV1U 

handled the law, yet were ignorant of God; Who 7. 
erred in vision^ and stumbled in judgment; Who ^!io-^^* 
were HgfU, and treacherous persons; Who poUuted^^^H: 
the sanctuary y and did violence to the law, and pro- ▼.si; | 

fomed holy things; From whom the law and counsel Zeph.iii.4. 
did perish; Who taught for hire, and divined for 16, 
money; Who themselves depa/rted out of the way, Ezek^vu. 
and caused many to stumble^ and corrupted the cove- 5fic.iii. n. 
nant of Levi; Who destroyed and scattered the ^'^(\' 
sheep of God^s pasture. 

There were in our Saviour's time guides, of the M»tt. xTi. 
ferment of whose doctrine good people were bid to Lukexii.T. 
beware ; Who transgressed and defeated the comr 2, ^^ ' *^* 
mandment of God by their traditions; Who did^^^^' 
take away the hey of hnowledge, so that they would 

O my people^ thty which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy 
the way of thy paths. — Isai. iii. 12. 

72 Of Obedience to our spirittuil 

®^^* not enter themselves into the kingdom of heaven, nor 
would mffer others to enter; Blind guides, who both 

"MaJbt TV 

14. ' ' themselves did fall, and drew others into the ditch 
of noxious error and wicked practice : the followers 
vem. 9. of which guidcs did in vain worship God, observing 
for doctrine the precepts of men. 

There have not since the primitive times of the 
Gospel wanted those who (indulging to ambition, 
avarice, cmiosity, faction, and other bad affections) 
have depraved and debased Religion with noxious 
errors and idle superstitions; such as St Bernard 
describeth, &c." 

We are, in matters of such infinite concern- 
ment to our eternal welfare, in wisdom and duty 
obliged not wholly, without fiirther heed or care, to 
trust the diligence and integrity of others, but to 
consider and look about us, using our own reason, 
judgment, and discretion, so far as we are capable; 
we cannot in such a case be blamed for too much 
circumspection and caution. 

We are not wholly blind, not void of reason, 
not destitute of fit helps ; in many cases we have 
competent ability to judge, and means sufficient to 
attain knowledge: we are therefore concerned to 
use our eyes, to employ our reason, to embrace and 
improve the advantages vouchsafed us. 

We are accountable personally for all our 
actions, as agreeable or cross to reason ; if we are 
mistaken by our own defisiult, or misled by the ill 
guidance of others, we shall however deeply suffer 
Ezek.m.i8. for it, and die in our iniquity; the ignorance or 
error of our guides will not wholly excuse us from 
guilt, or exempt us from punishment; it is fit 

°* Vid. Apol. Eccl. Ang. 

Guides and Governors. 73 

therefore that we should be allowed, as to the sum serm. 
of the matter^ to judge and choose for ourselves : 

for if our salvation were wholly placed in the 
hands of others, so that we could not but in case 
of their error or de&ult miscarry, our ruin would 
be inevitable, and consequently not just : we should 
perish without blame, if we were bound, as a blind 
and brutish herd, to follow others. 

We, in order to our practice, (which must be 
regulated by fidth and knowledge,) and toward 
preparing ourselves for our grand account, are 
obliged to get a knowledge and persuasion con- 
cerning our duty; To prove (or search and examine) Rom.xii.2. 
whai is thai good, and dce^table, and perfect mil 
of God ; for ignorance, if anywise by our endeavour 
vincible, will not secure us : He thai, saith our Lute xii. 
Lord and Judge, knew not, and did commit things 
worthy of stripes, shaU be beaten ivith few stripes ; 
(few ; not in themselves, but comparatively to those, 
which shall be inflicted on them who transgress 
against knowledge and conscience.) 

We are bound to study truth, to improve our 
minds in the knowledge and love of it, to be firmly 
persuaded of it in a rational way ; so that we be not 
Lly ^^ or seduoed from it. 

The Apostles do charge it upon us as our duty 
and concernment, that. We abound in faith and ^ ^^- v"»- 
knowledge ; that. We be rooted and built up in ci>i. ii. 7. 
Christ, and stahlished in the faith, so as to be 58. 
steadfast, and unm/yveahle ; Not to be soon shaJcen \, *"* "* 
in mind, or troubled ; To grow up and increase in Sptt!iii!i8. 
all divine knowledge ; that. The word of God should ]^^j^\^' 
dwell richly in us in all wisdom; that. We should be ^ m- 1^- 
JiUed with all hiowledge, so as to be able to teach 14. 

74 Of Obedience to our spirituol 

SEBM. and ad/monish one another; that. Our hve should 
abound more and more in knowledge, and all judg- 

p^;[ "'Twen^, that we may approve things excellent, (or 
'®- . scan thingfs different :) that. We be enriched in aU 

I Cor. 1. 5. ^ . /• "I 

Col. i. 9. the word, (that is, in all the doctrine of the gospel,) 
and in aU knowledge ; that, We be JUled with the 
knowledge of Gods wiU in aU wisdom and spiri- 
Eph. V.17. tv<d understanding ; that. We should n/>t be unwise, 
but understanding what the wiU of the Lord is; 
Coiiv. I a. that. We should be perfect and complete in all the 
will of Grod, (that is, first in the knowledge of it, 
I Cor. xiv. then in compliance with it ;) that, In understand- 
Heb. V. ji. ing we should not be children, but perfect m^n. 
Matt. vii. We are likewise by them commanded to Take 
ijohniv.i. heed of false prophets; to Try the spirits whether 
^. '"*^' they are of God ; to See that no man deceive us ; 
0^1 'Z's' ^ Look that no man spoil us by vain deceit ; to Try 
'^Th clU things, and hold fast that which is good; which 
21. precepts imply, that we fitould be furnished with 

a good faculty of judgment, and competent know- 
ledge in the principal matters of Christian doctrine, 
concerning both the mysteries of faith and rules of 
practice. Our Lord himself and his Apostles did 
not upon other terms than of rational considera- 
tion and discussion exact credit and obedience to 
their words ; they did not insist barely upon their 
own authority, but exhorted their disciples to ex- 
amine strictly, and judge faithfully concerning the 
johnv. 39; truth and reasonableness of their doctrine : Search 
, 37, 38; the Scriptures, for they testify of m^; If I do not 
; ^'^ **' the works of my Father, believe me not ; but if I 
do, though ye believe not me, bdieve the works: 
so our Lord appealed to their reason, proceeding 
upon grounds of Scripture and common sense : 


■ • 


Guides and Governors. 75 

and, / speak as to wise men, judge ye what I serm. 
sa/y ; so St Paul addressed his discourse to his ' 
disciples ; otherwise we should be uncapable to ' ^'- *• 
observe them. 

We are also bound to defer the principal reg^ard 
to GkKi's wisdom ai^d wiU, 80 as, Without reflet 
tion or exception, to embrace whatever he doth 
say, to obey what he positively doth command, 
whatever authority doth contradict his word, or 
cross his command : in such cases we may remon- 
strate with the Apostles, If it he just h^ore GWActeiv.ip; 
to hearken unto you rather than unto God, jxidge 
ye ; and, We ought to obey God rather than men: v. 29. 
we may denounce with St Paul ; If an angel from cw. i. 8. 
heaven preach any other gospd, let him be accursed. 

We are obliged always to act with faith, (that ^"^- »▼• 
is, with a persuasion concerning the lawfulness of 
what we do ;) for. Whatever is not of faith is sin : 
we should never condemn ourselves in what we 
try or embrace. 

These things considered, we may, and it much 
behoveth us, reserving due respect to our guides, 
^th humility and modesty to weigh and scan their 
dictates and their orders ; lest by them unawares 
we be drawn into error or sin° ; like the ingenuous 
Bereans, who did apaKpmiv ra^ ypa^'s, search and Acta xvu. 
examine the Scriptures, if those things were so. 

We may, and are bound, if they teU us things 
evidently repugnant to God's word, or to sound 
reason and common sense, to dissent from them®; 

^ They are DOt lords of oar faith ; the Apostles themselves 
were not so. — ^2 Cor. i. 24. 

^ Plebs obsequens pnecoptis dominicls et Deum metuens a pec- 
catore prsDposito separare se debet. — Cypr. [Ep.LXvni.Opp.p.118.] 


76 Of Obedience to our spiritual 

8EBM. if they impose on us things evidently contrary to 

! — God's law, to forbear compliance with them ; we 

^' ^*"' may m such cases appeal ad legem et testiTnonium ; 
we must not admit a non obstante to Grod's law. 

If other arguments, weighed in the balance of 
honest and impartial reason, with cautious and in- 
dustrious consideration, do overpoise the authority 
of our guides ; let us in God's name adhere to 
them, and follow our own judgments ; it would be 
a violation of our conscience, a prevarication toward 
our own souls, and a rebellion against God to do 
otherwise : when against our own mind, so care- 
fully informed, we foUow the dictates of others, 
we like fools rashly adventure and prostitute our 

This proceeding is nowise inconsistent with 
what we delivered before ; for this due wariness 
in examining, this reservation in assenting, this 
exception in practice, in some cases, wherein the 
matter hath evidence, and we a faculty to judge, 
doth nowise hinder but that we should defer much 
regard to the judgment of our guides ; that we 
should in those cases, wherein no Ught disoovereth 
itself outshining their authority, rely upon it ; that 
where our eyes will not serve clearly to direct us, 
we should use theirs ; where our reason faileth to 
satisfy us, we should acquiesce in theirs ; that we 
should regard their judgments so far, that no 
petty scruple emerging, no feint semblance of rea- 
son should prevail upon us to dissent from their 
doctrine, to reject their advice, to disobey their 

In fine, let us remember, that the mouth of 
Matt. XV. fj^^h which bid us to beware of the bad doctrine 


Guides and Governors, 77 

of those who sat in Moses's chair^ did also charge serm. 

us to observe all they taught and enjoined; that is, ! 

all not certainly repugnant to the divine law. In ^*^-^™"- 
effect, if we discost from the advices of our sober 
teachers, appointed for us by God, we shall in the 
end have occasion to bewail with him in the 
Proverbs : How have I hated instruction^ and my Ptot. ▼. 
hea/rt despised reproof; and have not obeyed the 
voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them 
that instructed me ! 

To these things I shall only add one rule, which 
we may well suppose comprised in the precept we 
treat upon ; which is, that at least we forbear openly 
to dissent from our guides, or to contradict their 
doctrine ; except only, if it be not so false (which 
never, or rarely, can happen among us) as to sub- 
vert the foundations of faith, or practice of holi- 
ness. If we cannot be internally convinced by 
their discourses, if their authority cannot sway 
with us against the prevalence of other reasons, 
yet may we spare outwardly to oppose them, or to 
slight their judgment ; for. doing thus doth tend, 
as to the disgrace of their persons, so to the dis- 
paragement of their office, to an obstructing the 
efficacy of their ministry, to the infringement of 
order and peace in the Church : for when the in- 
considerate people shall see their teachers dis- 
trusted and disrespected; when they perceive their 
doctrine may be challenged and opposed by plau- 
sible discourses ; then will they hardly trust them, 
or comply with them in matters most certain and 
necessary ; than which disposition in the people 
there cannot happen any thing more prejudicial or 
banefrd to the Church. 

78 Of Obedience to our spiritual 

SEBM. But let thus much serve for the obedience due 

'• — to the doctrine of our guides ; let us consider that 

which we owe to them in reference to their con- 
versation and practice. 

The following their practice may well be re- 
ferred to this precept ; for that their practice is 
a kind of living doctrine, a visible law, or rule of 
action ; and because, indeed, the notion of a guide 
primarily doth imply example ; that he which is 
guided should respect the guide as a precedent, 
being concerned to walk after his footsteps. 

Most of the reasons, which urge deference to 
their judgment in teaching, do in proportion infer 
obligation to follow their example ; (which, indeed, 
is the most easy and clear way of instruction to 
vulgar capacity; carrying with it also most effica- 
cious encouragement and excitement to practice;) 
they are obliged, and it is expected from them, to 
live with especial regularity, circumspection, and 
strictness of conversation; they are by God's grace 
especially disposed and enabled to do so ; and 
many common advantages they have of doing so ; 
(a more perfect knowledge of things, firmness of 
principles, and clearness of notions ; a deeper tine- 
t««, and mo« savcny rslish of truth, attained 
by continual meditation thereon ; consequently a 
purity of mind and affection, a retirement from 
the world and its temptation, freedom from di&h 
traction of worldly care and the encumbrances of 
business, with the like.) 

They are often charged to be exemplary in con- 
versation, as we before shewed, and that involveth 
a correspondent obligation to follow them. They 
John V. 35. must, like St John Baptist, be burning and shining 

Guides and Governors. 79 

lights; stars in God's right hand; lights of the serm 

world ; whose light should shine before men, that ^ — 

men may see their good works ; and by their light m^.Vi4, 
direct their steps. '^• 

They are proposed as copies, which signifies 
that we must in our practice transcribe them. 

We are often directly commanded to imitate 
them ; *Qi; fiineltyOe rriv iritrriv, Whose faith imitate Heb.xiii.7. 
ye, (that is, their faithful perseverance in the doc- 
trine and practice of Christianity,) saith the Apostle 
in this chapter. 

Their conversation is safely imitable in all cases 
wherein no better rule appeareth, and when it doth 
not appear discordant from God's law and the dic- 
tates of sound reason ; for supposing that discord- 
ance, we cease to be obliged to follow them ; as 
when our Lord prescribeth in respect to the Phar- 
risees; Whatever they bid you observe^ that observe Matt.xxiiL 
and do; but do not after their works ; for they say, ^' 
and do not. 

It is, indeed, easier for them to speak well than 
to do well ; their doctrine therefore is more com- 
monly a sure guide than their practice ; yet when 
there wanteth a clearer guidance of doctrine, their 
practice may pass for instructive, and a probable 
argument or warrant of action. 



2 Tim. III. 2. 

For men shall be lovers of themselves. 

SERM. QT Paul in this place out of a prophetical spirit 
.J±- O inrtructmg or ^ming his disciple Timothy, 
concerning difficult times*^ or the calamitous state 
of things, which should ensue, induced upon the 
world, as it useth to happen, by a general preva- 
lency of vicious dispoaitions and praxrtices among 
men, doth thence take occasion, by a specification 
of their vices, to characterize the persons who should 
concur to produce that hard state. 

Among those vices he placeth self-love in the 
van, as the capital and leading vice; intimating 
thereby, that it is of all in its nature most heinous, 
or in its influence most noxious^. 

This, indeed, is of all vices the most common, so 
deeply radicated in our nature, and so generally 
overspreading the world, that no man thoroughly is 
exempted from it, most men are greatly tainted 
with it, some are wholly possessed and acted by it : 

* 'EyonJcroiTat Kaipol xoXcwoi.— yerB. 1. 

^ UflDO omnia mala ab eo relut fonte manant, quod primum 
posuit, seipsoB amantes. — August, in Joh. Tract, oxxiii. [0pp. 
Tom. III. col. 817 d.] 

Of Self-Love in genefi^al. 81 

this is the root from which all other vices do grow, sbrm. 

and without which hardly any sin could subsist ; '- — 

the chief vices especially have an obvious and evi- 
dent dependence thereon. 

All impiety doth involve a loving ourselves in 
undue manner and measure; so that we set our- 
selves in our esteem and affection before God ; we 
prefer our own conceits to his judgment and advice ; 
we raise our pleasure above his will and authority ; 
we bandy forces with him, and are like the profane 
Belshazzar, of whom it is said, Thou hast lifted up Dan. ▼. 23. 
thyself against (or ahove) the Lord qfhea/ven. 

From hence particularly, by a manifest extrac- 
tion, are derived those chief and common vices, 
pride, ambition, envy, avarice, intemperance, injus- 
tice, uncharitableness, peevishness, stubbornness, 
discontent, and impatience. For 

We overvalue ourselves, our qualities and en- 
dowments, our powers and abiUties, our fortunes 
and external advantages ; hence are we so proud, 
that is, so lofty in our conceits, and fastuous in our 

We would be the only men, or most consider- 
able, in the world ; hence are we ambitious, hence 
continually with unsatiable greediness we do affect 
and strive to procure increase of reputation, of 
power, of dignity. 

We would engross to ourselves all sorts of good 
things in highest degree ; hence enviously we be- 
come jealous of the worth and virtue, we grudge 
and repine at the prosperity of others ; as if they 
defalked somewhat from our excellency, or did 
eclipse the brightness of our fortune. 

We desire to be not only fall in our enjoyment, 

B. 8. VOL. IV. 6 

82 Of Sdf-Love in general. 

SERM. but free and absolute in our dominion of things; 

'- — not only secure from needing the succour of other 

men, but independent in regard to God's provi- 
dence; hence are we so covetous of wealth, hence 
we so eagerly scrape it, and so carefiiUy hoard it up. 

We can refiise our dear selves no satisfaction, 
although imreasonable or hurtfrd; therefore we so 
readily gratify sensual appetites in unlawful or ex- 
cessive enjoyments of pleasure. 

Being blinded or transported with fond dotage 
on oursdves, we cannot discern or will not regaxd 
what is due to others ; hence are we apt upon oc- 
casion to do them wrong. 

Lorve to ourselves doth in such manner suck in 
and swallow our spirits, doth so pmch in and con- 
tract our hearts, doth acx^ording to its computation 
so confine and abridge our interests, that we cannot 
in our affection or in real expression of kindness 
tend outwards ; that we can afford little good-will, 
or impart little good to others. 

Deeming ourselves extremely wise and worthy 
of regard, we cannot endure to be contradicted in 
our opinion, or crossed in our humour ; hence upon 
any such occasion our choler riseth, and easily we 
break forth into violent heats of passion. 

From the like causes it is^ that we cannot wil- 
lingly stoop to due obeisance of our superiors, in 
reverence to their persons, and observance of their 
laws ; that we cannot contentedly acquiesce in the 
station or portion assigned us by Providence ; that 
we cannot patiently support our condition, or accept 
the events befalling us. 

In fine, if surveying all the several kinds of 
naughty dispositions in our souls, and of miscar- 

Of Sdf-Love in general. 83 

liages in our lives^ we do scan their partfcular na- sebm. 
ture, and search into their original causes ; we shall 

find inordinate self-love to be a main ingredient 
and a common source of them all : so that a Divine 
of great name had some reason to affirm^ that 
original sin (or that innate distemper, from which 
men generally become so very prone to evil and 
averse to good) doth consist in self-love, disposing 
us to aU kinds of irregularity and excess^ St Paul 
therefore might weU ^this m the front of all those 
sins which depraved the age he spake of; they 
having all such a dependance on it. 

It is therefore very requisite, that we should well 
understand this fault, that we may be the better 
able to curb and correct it; to which purpose I shall 
endeavour, by God's help, somewhat to declare its 

The word self-love is ambiguous; for all self- 
love is not culpable ; there is a necessary and un- 
avoidable, there is an innocent and allowable, there 
is a worthy and commendable self-love. 

There is a self-love originally implanted by God 
himself in our nature, in order to the preservation 
and enjoyment of our being; the which is common 
to us with all creatures, and cannot anywise be ex- 
tirpated; for. No raauy as St Paul saith, ever y6^Eph.v.«9. 
hated his ovm fleshy bra nourisheth and cherisheth it: 
every roan living, by a natural and necessary in- 
stinct, is prompted to guard his life, shunning all 
dangers threatening its destruction ; to purvey for 
the support and convenience of it ; to satisfy those 

* Est ergo ista ad peccandum amoro sai propensio, peccatum 
originale, &c. — Zuiiigl. apod Bell, de Amiss. Grat. iv. 2. [$ 17. 
Tom. IV. p. 113.] 


84 Of Sdf'Love in general. 

8ERM. natural appetites, which importunately crave relief, 
-: — ^ — and without intolerable pain cannot be denied it ; 
to repel or decline whatever is very grievous and 
offensive to nature**; the self-love that urgeth us to 
do these things is no more to be blamed, than it can 
be shunned. 

Keason further alloweth such a self-love, which 
moveth us to the pursuance of any thing appa- 
rently good, pleasant, or usefiil to us, the which 
doth not contain in it any .essential turpitude or 
iniquity; doth not obstruct the attainment of some 
true or greater good; doth not produce some over- 
balancing mischief; doth not infer harm to the 
world, or wrong to other men*. 

Season dictateth and prescribeth to us, that we 
should have a sober regard to our true good and 
wel&ure ; to our best interest and solid content ; to 
that, which (all things being rightly stated, con- 
sidered, and computed) will in the final event prove 
most beneficisd and satisfactory to us: a self-love 
working in prosecution of such things common 
sense cannot but allow and approve'. 

God himself hath to these suggestions of nature, 
and dictates of reason, adjoined his own suffrage, 
having in various ways declared it to be his will 
and pleasure, that we should tender our real and 
final good. He, as the author of nature, and 

^ Panis ematur, olas, vini sextarius; adde 

Queis humana eibi doleat natura Degatis. — 

Hor. Sat. i. i. [74.] 

" "Oorre rhp ftiv ayaBhv bti <f>iKavTov ehnu' Koi yap avr6s ovi^irtTai 

TO, Kcika «rpdrra»y, kc^ roifs SKKovs <»<f>t\TJa'ft' t6p dc fiox^p^v ov dtV 

fiXa^ttt yhp Koi kavrhv xm rovv iriXeis, <l>av\otg wdBiatP hr6iifPos, — 

Arist. Eth. IX. 8. [7.] 

Uas yap vovf aiptircu t6 fiiXriarov eovr^* 6 de tiruiKTli irtiBap- 
;^€i T^ y^- — Id. Ibid. } 8. 

Of Sdf-Love in general. 85 

fountain of reason^ may be supposed to ordain sebm. 

that^ unto which nature doth so potently incline^ — 

and which reason so clearly prescribeth. He plainly 
hath to every man committed himself in charge, so 
as to preserve his being from ruin, and to enjoy it 
with comfort* He by making so rich a provision 
for the sustenance of our lives, and satisfaction of 
our appetites, by framing our bodies to relish de- 
light, and suiting so many accommodations in won- 
drous correspondence to our senses, hath sufficiently 
intimated it to be his pleasure, that we should in 
reasonable measure seek them and enjoy them; 
otherwise, his care would have been vain, and his 
work useless ; yea, he might seem* to have laid an 
ill design to tempt and ensnare us : he certainly had 
no such intent ; but as he made us out of goodneesi^ 
as he made us capable of tasting comfort, as he 
hath frimished us with means of attaining it, so 
he meaneth that we should partake thereof. 

He also expressly hath commanded us to love 
all men, not excluding ourselves from the number; 
to love our neighbour, and therefore ourselves ; who 
of all are nearest to ourselves ; who occur as the 
first objects of humanity and charity; whose needs 
we most sensibly feel; whose good is in itself no 
less considerable than the single good of any other 
person ; who must first look to our own good before 
we can be capable to love others, or do any good 
to our neighbour. 

He therefore hath made the love of ourselves 
to be the rule and standard, the pattern, the argu- 
ment of our love to others ; imposing on us those 

' Quia tutela certiBsixna ex proximo e8t> sibl quisque oommis* 
BUS est. — Sen. Ep. cxxl [18.] 

86 Of Sdf'Love in general. 

SERM. great commands of loving our neighbours as our- 

'■ — selves, and doing as we would be done unto : which 

39. * imply not only a necessity, but an obligation of 

Luke vi. 1 ■ 1 

31. lovmg ourselves. 

Matt. xvi. He doth enforce obedience to all his commands 
by promising rewards, yielding immense profit and 
transcendent pleasure to us, and by threatening 
punishments grievous to our sense ; which proceed- 
ing is grounded upon a supposition, that we do and 
ought greatly to love ourselves, or to regard our 
own interest and pleasure. 

He doth recommend wisdom or virtue to us, as 

most agreeable to self-love ; most ehgible, because 

it yieldeth grea^ benefit to ourselves**; because, as 

^^•. ^^' the Wise Man saith, He that getteth it, doth love his 

own smd; he that keepeth it, shall Jind good; he dis- 

suadeth firom vice, as therefore detestable, because 

the embracing it doth imply hatred of ourselves, 

bringing mischief and damage to us ; because, as 

viii. 36; the Wise Man doth express it. He that sinn^th, 

xv. 32; wrongeth his own soul; He that despiseth instruo- 

xxix. 34. tiony despiseth his own soul; He that committeth 

injury y hateth his own soul. 

Bent. X. 13. He commendeth his laws to our observance, by 

Neh. ix'.i3. declaring them in their design and tendency chiefly 

^ v.m.iy. ^ regard our good and advantage; made apt to 

preserve the safety and quiet, to promote the 

wealth and prosperity of our lives; to bring ease 

and comfort to our minds, grace and ornament to 

our names, salvation and happiness to our souls. 

^ Aristotle saith of a virtnouB man, that he ib the greatest self- 
loTOr; A6(€U d* av 6 toiovtos c&^oi fjMkKow ^CKavrof* caroviyuti yap 
wavr^ TO KokXiara, Km /AoXiara aytM^ ical xapi^vrtu iavrcv rf Kvpu^ 
Tana. — Eth. IX 8. [6.] 

Of Self-Love in general. 87 

In fine^ God chargeth and encourageth us to serm. 

affect and pursue the highest goods whereof we are '- — 

capable ; most ample riches, most sublime honours, 
most sweet pleasures, most complete felicity ; He, Rom. u. 7. 
saith St Paul, will refnder to them, who by patient 
continuance in well-doing seek for glory, and ho- 
nour, and immortality, eternal life; to seek such 
things is th^ highest instance, is the surest argu- 
ment of self-love that can be; he therefore who 
obligeth, who encourageth us thereto, doth plainly 
shew his approbation of a self-love. 

So it appeareth that all self-love is not culpable, 
but that some kind thereof is very commendable ; 
how then shall we distinguish; how shall we sever, jer.xv. 19. 
to use the Prophet's language, the precious from the 

To this we may answer in general, that all love 
of ourselves which is unreasonably grounded, or 
which is excessive in its degrees and limits; or 
which venteth itself in wrong instances ; or which 
driveth our mind, will, and affections toward bad 
objects ; or which produceth effects noxious to our- 
selves or others, is culpable. If we esteem ourselves 
for things not true or real, for things indifferent or 
mean, for things nowise excellent or valuable ; if we 
affect ourselves beyond compass, so as to postpone 
the love of God, or exclude the love of our neigh- 
bour ; if out of regard to ourselves we do things 
base or mischievous ; if thence we dote upon vain 
profits, embrace foul pleasures, incur sinful guUt, ex- 
pose ourselves to grievous danger, trouble, remorse, 
and punishment; if thereby we are engaged to 
forsake our true interest, and forfeit our final hap- 
piness; then assuredly it is a foolish and vicious 

88 Of Seif-Love in general. 

SEEM, self-love; it is, indeed, not a proper, but a false and 

'- — equivocal love, usurping that goodly name ; it is a 

real hatred, or enmity, disguised under the sem- 
blance of friendship; it more properly may be 
called cruelty, treachery, flattery, mockery, delusion, 
and abuse of ourselves. 

But for a more distinct and clear resolution of 
the case, we may do well to consider the proper 
acts of love, which do constitute it, or inseparably 
do adhere thereto; such as those: a good esteem 
of the piBrson, which is the object of our love ; an 
earnest good-will toward him, or desire of his 
good ; a complacence in good, and dissatisfaction in 
evil arriving to him ; a readiness to yield or pro- 
cure good to him; a desire of union and enjoy- 
ment, that is, of intimate conversation and inter- 
course with him, a deference of regard to him, a 
compliance with his desires, and care to please him. 
Now if these acts toward ourselves are in their 
kind, in their grounds, in their measures conform- 
able to reason, piety, and justice, then is our self: 
love innocent or worthy : if they are not so, it is 
criminal and vicious. 

If we do rightly esteem ourselves, (both abso- 
lutely, and in comparison to others;) if we desire 
to ourselves what is fit and just ; if we are pleased 
with true goods, and displeased at real evils inci- 
dent to us; if we do in lawfiil ways endeavour to 
procure things truly convenient and beneficial to 
us; if we maintain a faithful and cheerM corre- 
spondence with ourselves; if we have a sober re- 
gard to ourselves, agreeable to our nature and 
state ; if we comply with the dictates of our reason, 
and satisfy our desires conforming thereto; then do 

Of Sdf'Love in general. 89 

we love ourselves innocently, then are we true serm. 
friends to ourselves. — 

But if we overvalue ourselves; if we do wish 
to ourselves things incommodious or hurtful ; if we 
are delighted or dissatisfied in &Ise shows of good " 
or evil befalling us ; if we strive to acquire for our- 
selves things bad or mischievous ; if our converse 
with ourselves is naughty or vain ; if we make in- 
decent applications to ourselves ; if we stoop to our 
fond humours^ or soothe our unreasonable desires ; 
then is our self-love spurious^ then are we, indeed, 
enemies to ourselves. 

Further, toward an exact discussion and trial 
of this case, we should do well, divesting ourselves 
of selfishness, to consider ourselves as other per- 
sons, or abstractedly as mere objects of those acts 
which love doth imply ; for what rectitude or what 
obliquity there would be in them in regard to any 
object, the same would be in reference to ourselves. 
For instance. 

If we should value any person justly according 
to his real worth, allowing a just rate to his virtue, 
to his parts, to his endowments, to his advantages 
of nature or fortune ; not ascribing to him things 
which belong not to him, nor overprizing those he 
hath, not preferring him in any respect before those 
which are his superiors or equals therein ; we shall 
herein do wisely and justly: but if (having our 
judgment anywise perverted) we do admire a per- 
son beyond his' worth, and advance him above his 
rank; if we overlook his apparent defects and 
blemishes, or take them for excellencies, and yield 
them applause ; what is this but folly and dotage, 
tempered with iniquity ? and if it be such in regard 

90 Of Sdf-Love in general. 

^^^^ to another, it is no less such in respect to our- 


If to any person we should wish things suitable^ 
commodious^ and advantageous, by obtaining which 
he, without any wrong or prejudice to others, might 
be considerably benefited, we shall herein act hu- 
manely, and like good firiends; but if we desire 
things to him, which do not become or befit him, 
which wiU do him mischief, or which he cannot 
have without injury and damage to others, are we 
not herein notoriously unkind or unjust? The case 
is the same transferred to ourselves. 

If we should observe any man by occurrences 
happening to him well improved in his condition, 
thriving in an honest way, prosperous in good un- 
dertakings, growmg in worthy accomplishments of 
soul, to find satisfisiction therein would be greatly 
laudable; and so it would be to condole, if we should 
see any man to &11 into any grievous disaster or 
calamity ; but should we behold a man (although in 
fitlse appearance bettered, yet reaUy) prejudiced 
and endamaged, (as when one is enriched by cozen- 
.ge or; i .dvaaoed by aatte^ or ^0^ 
phantry, is famed for base or vain exploits, is 
immersed into care and trouble, is exposed to danger 
and temptation, is fallen into the enchantments of 
pleasure,) are we not, if we take pleasure therein, 
very silly, or very cruel ? and if we should observe 
good physic administered to a sick neighbour, or 
that he is engaged in painfiil exercise for his health, 
should it not be absurd for us to be sorry thereat ? 
For the same reasons we are blameable if we do 
rejoice when that we prosper in bad courses, or 
enjoy sinfiil pleasures, or Ml into dangerous temp- 


Of Sdf-Love in general. 91 

tations; if we distaste the wholesome physic of sebm. 

adversity dispensed by Providence, or dislike the — 

needfiil exercises of duty by God prescribed to us. 

If we do yield our advice and aid to our neigh- 
bour, in furtherance of any design which is honest 
and beneficial to him, we then unquestionably do 
well ; but if we do abet or encourage him in unjust 
or mischievous enterprises; if we render ourselves 
panders to his unlawful desires, factors for his un- 
just profits, complices of his wicked practices, advo- 
cates of his sins; is this true love, is this fibithful 
friendship ? No surely ; nor is it such towanl our- 
selves, when we employ our faculties in contrivance 
or achievement of any unlawfol designs, however 
satisfactory to our desires. 

If we should indifferently (without regard to the 
laws of piety, justice, humanity, or decency) ^^use 
the interests of any person, so that for the pro- 
moting his designs, advancing his profit, gratifjnng 
his humour or pleasure, we should violate the com- 
mands of God, we should neglect the public good, 
we should work injury or mischief to our neigh- 
bour; would this dealing be allowable? Neither 
would it be so, if for our own sake, in regard to our 
private interest, we should thus behave ourselves. 

If we do afiect to hold free, sincere, cheerful, 
kind conversation with any person, for mutual in- 
struction and comfort, this is sociable and friendly ; 
but if we maintain frothy, foul, malicious, anywise 
pestilent discourse, apt to corrupt, or to annoy him, 
this is loathsome : and so it is, if we keep such in- 
tercourse with ourselves, harbouring vain, impure, 
unjust, uncharitable thoughts in our minds. 

If we should defer regard to any man, answer- 

92 Of Sdf'Love in general. 

8ERM. able . to his worth, we should thereby practise 

'- — according to the good rules of humanity : but should 

we so affect or fancy any man that we should care 
for no man else, should pay no due respect, or per- 
form any office of kindness otherwhere; should teke 
no man's word, or mind any man's opinion beside, 
nor care to converse with any other; would this be 
love, would it not be ridiculous fondness? It is no 
less, if in regard to ourselves we are so morose, 
surly, or neglectftd. 

If we should comply with any man's reasonable 
desire, this were fair and courteous; if we should 
confide in the probable assistance of any person, 
this were modest prudence : but if we should en- 
tirely conform our practice to the will or humour of 
another, against the dictates of our own reason, and 
to the harm of ourselves or others; would this be 
love, would it not rather be vile and pitiftil slavery? 
If we should without any ground, yea against plain 
reason, rely upon the help or direction of another, 
would this be love, would it not rather be wild pre- 
sumption? The same therefore it must be in us, 
if we in like manner are devoted to our own will, 
or confident in our own abiUty. 

If we should commend any man for good quali- 
ties or good deeds, this is honest; if we should 
encourage him in good undertakings, this is chant- 
able : but to applaud his defects, to bolster him in 
ill practice, this is flattery and treachery ; and in so 
doing toward others, we are not friends to ourselves, 
but traitors and parasites. 

By such reflections and comparisons we may, I 
think, competently understand the nature of that 
bastard self-love, which is so vicious in itself, and 

Of Sdf- Conceit. 93 

productive of so many vices: but more fully to dis- serm. 
play, and withal to dissuade us from this vice, I 

shall particularly insist upon the common sorts 
thereof, shewing the pecuHar unreasonableness of 
each, and the mischiefs consequent from it. They 
are indeed usually combined and complicated in 
practice, and have much affinity both in their na- 
ture and fruit; but I shall, as well as I can, abstract 
them one from the other, and so treat on them dis- 
tinctly ; they are these : Self-conceit, Self-confidence, 
Self-complacence, Self-will, Self-interest. 

I. The first and most radical kind of vicious 
self-love is self-conceitedness ; that which St Paul 
calleth TO vvepippov^ivy to overween, or to ^tni Rom.xu. 3. 
highly of on^s sdf beyond what he ought to think. 
This doth consist in sevef al acts or instances. 

Sometimes we in our imagination assume to 
ourselves perfections not belonging to us, in kind 
or in degree; we take ourselves to be other men 
than we are ; to be wise, to be good, to be happy, 
when we are not so ; at least to be far wiser, better, 
and happier than we are. The pleasure natitrally 
springing from a good opinion of ourselves doth 
often so blind our eyes and pervert our judgment, 
that we see in us what is not there, or see it mag- 
nified and transformed into another shape than its 
own; any appearance doth suffice to produce such 
mistakes, and, having once entertained them, we 
are unwilling to depose them; we cannot endure 
by severe reflection on ourselves to correct such 
pleasant errors ; hence conamonly we presume our- 
selves to be very considerable, very excellent, very 
extraordinary p^ersons, when in truth we are veiy 
mean and worthless : so did St Paul suppose when 

94 Of Sdf-CmceU. 

SEBM. he said, If a man think Mmsdf to he some^ing, 

- when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself: such was 
Rev. S". 1^7. ^^ ^^^''Se of that Church in the Apocalypse; Thou 
sayesty I am rich, and increased in goods, and have 
need of nothing; and hnowest not that thou art 
wretched and miserable ; they were like men in a 
dream, or in a phrensy, who take themselves for 
great and wealthy persons, when, indeed, they are in 
a sorry and beggarly condition: into the like ex- 
travasrancies of mistake we are all likely to fall, if 
we dTnot vs-y carefuUy «>d imparMIy exaoJne 
and study ourselves. 

Again; sometimes we make vain judgments 
upon the things we do possess, prizing them much 
beyond their true worth and merit; consequently 
overvaluing ourselves for them ; the most trivial and 
piti^ things (things which in themselves have no 
worth, but are mere tools, and commonly serve bad 
purposes; things which do not render our souls 
anywise better, which do not breed any real content, 
which do not conduce to our wel&re and happiness) 
we value at a monstrous rate, as if they were the 
most excellent and admirable things in the world. 
Have we wit? how witless are we in prizing it, or 
ourselves for it ! although we employ it to no good 
end, not serving God, not benefiting men, not for^ 
thering our own good, or anywise bettering our con- 
dition with it ; although we no otherwise use it, than 
vainly to please ourselves or others, that is, to act 
the part of fools or buffoons. Have we learning or 
knowledge? then are we rare persons; not con- 
sidering that many a bad, many a wretched person 
hath had much more than we, who hath used it to 
the abuse of others, to the torment of himself; that 

Of Sdf-Conceit. 95 

hell may be full of learned scribes and subtle dis- seem. 
puters, of eloquent orators and profound philoso- 

phers; who, When they knew God, they glorified BomA. 2) 
him not as Godj neither were thanJ^ul, but became 
vain in their imaginations, and (heir foolish heart 
was darkened; not considering also how very de- 
fective our knowledge is, how mixed with error and 
darkness; how useless and vain, yea how pernicious 
it is, if not sanctified by God's grace, and managed 
to his service. Have we riches ? then are we brave 
men, as filie and glorious in our conceit as in our 
outward attire ; altiiough the veriest fools, the basest 
and most miserable of men, that go on the ground, 
do exceed us therein ; although, as Aristotle saith. 
Most eitKer not use it, or abuse it^; although our 
wealth affordeth us no real benefit or comfort, but 
exposeth us to numberless snares, temptations, and 
mischiefs ; although it hath no stability, but easily 
may be taken from us. Have we reputation ? how 
doth that make us highly to repute ourselves in a 
slavish imitation of oiiiers ! yet nothing is less sub- 
stantial, nothing is less felt, nothing is so easUy lost, 
nothing is more brittle and slippery than it; a 
bubble is not sooner broken, or a wave sunk, than 
is the opinion of men altered concerning us. Have 
we power? what doth more raise our minds I yet 
what is that commonly but a dangerous instrument 
of mischief to others, and of ruin to ourselves; at 
least an engagement to care and trouble? What 

Ttty yap iroXX»y, ol /mv ov ;^p40i^a( rf irXovry, bta fwcpokoyiayt oi 
dc vapaxp&vTfu bC aatarlav. — Arist. apud Plut. in Pelop. [Opp* 
Tom. 11. p. 331. Ed. Reisk.] 

^ Ardua res h»c est, opilTUs non tradere mores. — 

Mart. XI. [5, 3.] 

96 Of Sdf Cornea. 

SBBM b^t that did render Caligula, Nero, and Domitian 

so hurtfiil to others, so unhappy themselves ? what 

but that hath filled the world with disasters, and 
turned all history into tragedy? Have we pro- 
sperous success in our affairs? then we boa^ and 
triumph in our hearts; not remembering what the 
Prov. i. 31. Wise Man saith. The prosperity of fools destroy eth 
them; and that experience sheweth, prosperity doth 
usually either find or make us fools'; that the 
1 Chron. wisest men (as Solomon), the best men (as Heze- 
xxxii. 15. jj^g^j^j^ have been befooled by it : thus are we apt to 

overvalue our things, and ourselves for them. 

There is no way, mdeed, wherein we do not thus 
impose upon ourselves, either assuming false, or 
misrating true advantages; the general ill conse- 
quences of which misdemeanour are, that our minds 
are stuffed with dreams and fentastic imaginations, 
inrte-d of ^ «„i «.ber though.. ; that rLbe- 
have ourselves toward ourselves, treating ourselves 
lite other men than we are, with unseemly regard ; 
that we expect other men should have like opinions, 
and yield answerable deferences to us ; and are, if we 
find it otherwise, grievously offended ; that we are 
apt to despise or disregard others, demeaning our- 
selves insolently and fastuously toward them ; that 
we are apt to seek aad undertake things, which we 
cannot attain or achieve ; that we neglect the suc- 
cours needful to help or comfort us, and the like : 
which will appear more plainly by considering the 
several objects or matters in which self-conceit is 
exercised; they are especially three: intellectual 

Rams enim ferine sen&uB commanis in ilia 
Fortuna. — Ju7. Sat. viii. [73.] 

Of Sdf-Conceit. 97 

endowments; moral qualities; advantages of body, serm. 

fortune, and outward state. 

I We are apt to conceit Mghly of ourselves 
upon presumption of our intellectual endowments or 
capacities, whether natural (as wit, fancy, memory, 
judgment,) or acquired, (as learning, skill, expe- 
rience,) especially of that which is called wisdom", 
which in a manner comprehendeth the rest, and 
manageth them ; whereby we rightly discern what 
is true, and what is fit to be done in any case pro- 
posed: this we are prone in great measure to 
arrogate, and much to pride ourselves therein. The 
world is full as it can hold of wise men, or of those 
who take themselves to be such ; not only absolutely, 
but comparatively, in derogation and preference to 
all others : may it not be said to us as Job did to his 
friends. No doubt but ye are the people, and tvis- Job. xu. i. 
dom shall die with you? Do we not fancy ourselves 
incomparably wise, so that all our imaginations are 
deep and subtle, all our resolutions sound and safe, 
aU our opinions irrefragably certain, aU our sayings 
like so many oracles, or indubitable maxims? Do 
we not expect that every man's judgment should 
stoop to ours? do we not wonder that any man 
should presume to dissent from us ? must any man's 
voice be heard when we speak ? Do we not sup- 
pose that our authority doth add huge weight to 
our words? that it is unquestionably true because 
we say it? that it is presumption, it is temerity, it 
is rudeness hardly pardonable to contest our dic- 
tates"? This is a common practice, and that which 

"" Mmpbs yrv€o-^a>, ipa yivrjrai ao<l>6s. — 1 Cor. iii. 18. Vid. Chrys. 
in Phil. Or. vii. [0pp. Tom. iv. p. 43.] 

^ Ot^ ntiryvcrBai' to\ dc <rKta\ duro'ova'iv,'-^ 

[Horn. Od. X, 495.] 
B. 8. VOL. IV. 7 

xu. 3. 

98 Of Sdf-Conceit. 

SERM. ig oflben prohibited and blamed in scripture : Be not 

::: — wise in thine own eyes, saith the Wise Man; and, 

Horn." xi. ' Be nx)t wise in your own conceits, saith the Apostle ; 
' ' and, 1 say, through the grace given unto me, to 

every man that is among you, not to think qf him- 
self more highly than he ought to think; hut to 
think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every 
man the measure of faith. 

The great reasonableness of which precepts 
will appear by considering both the absurdity, 
and the inconveniences of the practice which they 

If we do reflect either upon the common nature 
of men, or upon our own constitution, we cannot 
but find our conceits of our wisdom very absurd : for 
how can we take ourselves for wise, if we observe 
the great blindness of our mind, and feebleness 
of human reason, by many palpable arguments dis- 
covering itself? if we mark how painful the search, 
and how difficult the comprehension is of any truth ; 
how hardly the most sagacious can descry any thing, 
how easily the most judicious mistake; how the 
most learned everlastingly dispute, and the wisest 
irreconcileably clash about matters seeming most 
£tmiUar and facile; how often the most waiy and 
steady do shift their opinions; how the wiser a 
man is, and the more experience he gaineth, the less 
confident he is in his own judgment, and the more 
sensible he groweth of his weakness ; how dim the 
sight is of the most perspicacious, and how shallow 
the conceptions of the most profound ; how narrow 
is the horizon of our knowledge, and how immensely 
the region of our ignorance is distended ; how im- 
perfectly and uncertainly we know those few things 

Of Sdf'Conceit 09 

to which our knowledge reacheth**; how answerably sbrm. 

to such experience we are told in sacred writ, that, !_ 

Every man is brutish in his knowledge; that, Tlie p^xdv!'^' 
Lord knoweth the thoughts of man, thai they are W^, .^ 
vanity: that. Vain man would be wise, though he be ^®- 
bom like an ass's coU, (that is, he is naturally wild 
and stupid;) that. Wisdom is hid from the eyes of ^ohxi. 12; 
aU m£n, and is not found in the land of the living; 13. 
that, The thougJUs of mortal men are miserahUy and wiad. ix. 
our devices uncertain: if we, I say, do consider '*' 
such things, how can we but find it strange that 
any man should admire his own wisdom, seeing that 
he thereby doth exempt himself from the common 
adjunct of his nature, and forgetteth himself to be 
a man? 

If also a man particularly reflecteth on himself, 
the same practice must needs appear very foolish; 
for that every man thence may discover in himself 
peculiar impediments of wisdom ; every man in his 
complexion and in his condition may find things apt 
to pervert his judgment, and obstruct his acquisition 
of true knowledge. Is his temper sanguine? thence 
becometh he quick, rash, credulous, confident and 
peremptory, sUppery and fickle : is it phlegmatic ? 
thence is he slow and heavy ; diffident, pertinacious, 
and stiff in his conceits : his mind is either soft and 
limber, so as easily to receive the impressions of 
falsehood speciously represented ; or hard and tough, 
80 that he cannot readily admit instoiction in truth, 
or correction of error. His wealth distracteth, or his 
poverty disturbeth his thoughts ; prosperity swelleth 

® Quamcunque partem rerum humanarum divinarumque com- 
prehenderis, ingenti copia quscrendorum ac disccndorum fatiga- 
beris — Sen. Ep. Lxxxvin. [30.] 


100 Of Sdf-Cmceit. 

SEBM. his mind up into vain presumptions and satisfao- 
— tions, or adversity sinketh it down into unreasonable 



despondencies and dislikes of things; plenty breed- 
eth sloth, want createth trouble, indisposing him to 
think well ; ease doth rust his parts, and business 
weareth them out; inclination, interest, company, 
prejudice, do forcibly sway his apprehensions; so that 
no man can get himself into, or keep himself steady 
in a perfect balance, requisite for exact judgment of 
things; no man therefore can obtain a degree of 
wisdom, whereof he may with any reason be con- 
ceited ; the wisest men surely upon such experience 

Prov. XXX. have been little satisfied with their share ; Surely, 
saith one, / am more brutish than any man, and 

p». ixxiu. J have not the understanding of a man ; and, So 
foolish, said another, was I, and ignorant ; I was 
ow a beast before thee: this conceitedness therefore 
is very absurd, and an argument of notable igno 
ranee and folly ; neither is there perhaps any more 
plain instance or demonstration of general folly 
reigning among men than this, that conmionly we 
are so blind and stupid as not to discern and resent 
Cor. viii, our owu folly. If any man, saith St Paul, thinketh 
that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth not any 
thing yet as he ought to know; that is, if any man 
conceiteth himself to be considerably wise or intel- 
ligent, it is a plain sign that he is very ignorant, 
and understandeth little to any purpose. 

So it is, if we consider ourselves singly ; and it 
is more so in comparison to others; for what ground 
can a man have of arrogating to himself a pecu- 
liarity of wisdom or judgment? to deem himself 
extraordinary in that, to which there are no other 
than ordinary means of arriving? to fancy himself 

Of Self-Conceit 101 

wiser than any other, whenas (secluding accidental serm. 
differences, that cannot be accounted for) all men '- — 

have the same parts and &culties of soul, the same 
means and opportunities of improvement, the same 
right and liberty of judging about things? Did not 
he, Whoformeth the spirit of man within him, put2ech.xii.i. 
into every man that heavenly mark, whereby we 
discern and judge of things ? is not every man con- 
cerned in that saying of Elihu, There is a spirit in Job xxxu. 
m^n^y and the inspiration of the Ahnighty giveth them 
understanding? Do not the fountains of knowledge 
(natural delight, divine revelation, human instruc- 
tion, continual experience) stand open to all ; and are 
no less common to men than is the air they breathe, 
and the sun which equally shineth on them all ? Is 
God, the donor of wisdom, partial in the distribution 
of it? doth not that overture reach indifferently to 
all, If any m^n lack wisdom, let him ash of God, jamee i. 5. 
who giveth to aU men liberaUyy — and it shaU be 
given him? may not others be as inquisitive, as 
industrious, as sincere as we in the search of truth ? 
why not ihen as succeasfol in finding it? Is there 
any private chink, through which light shineth only 
upon us, or truth may be espied? is there any cunning 
by-path, in which we alone, with more expedition 
and security than others in the common roads, can 
travel on toward knowledge? What patents have 
we to shew for a monopoly of reason? what right 
have we to engross any knowledge? who hath 
granted us a privilege of sure judgment, or an ex- 
emption from error? how can we in trial of things 
claim more than a single vote ? or why should our 
word have more weight than any other? may not 

P 'Ev /9poro(f.— -LXX. 

102 Of Self-Cmceit 

SERM. any man with as much reason prefer his judgment 
! before ,ours, as we before his ? and if we blame him 

for it, do we not thereby condenm ourselves for 
doing the like ? if we do know but the same things, 
or frame the same judgments with others, how can 
we be conceited of that which is promiscuous ? if 
we pretend to abstruse notions, or hold forth para- 
doxes, how can that be ground of boasting, seeing 
the cause standeth contested by authority no less 
than our own, and that it is vain to triumph over 
the opinions of others before we have conquered 
them? why in such cases is it not reasonable to 
presume, that among the many dissenters from us, 
there are some who have as much sense as we, and 
who have weighed the matter with no less care, no 
less indiflterency ? In fine, may not any man with 
good cause propound to us that expostulation in 

Job XV. 8, Job : HoLst thou heard the secret of God? and dost 

^' thou restrain wisdom to thysdf? What hnowest 

thou, that we know not? what understandest thou, 
which is not in us? 

Such conceitedness therefore is very absurd; and 
it is no less hurtfiil ; for many great inconveniences, 
many sad mischiefs spring from it, such as gave the 

isai. V. ai. Prophet cause to denounce. Woe unto them that are 
wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own 
conceit: it hath many ways bad influence on our 
souls and on our lives ; it is often our case, which 
was the case of Babylon, when the Prophet said of 

isai. xivii. it. Thy wisdoiu and thy knowledge hath perverted 
thee; for thou hast said in thy heart, I am, and 
none else beside me. 

It is a great bar to the getting wisdom, to the 
receiving instruction and right information about 

Of Sdf-Conceit. 103 

things "i; for he thai taketh himself to be abtindautly sbbh. 

knowing, or incomparably wise, will not care to learn, '- — 

will scorn to be taught ; he thence becometh more 
incapable of wisdom than a mere idiot ; so did Solo- 
mon observe, Seest thou^ said he, a man wise in his Prov.xzYi. 
awn conceit f there is more hope of a fool than of him: "' 
of a 'fool, that is sensible of his ignorance, there may 
be hope that he may by instruction become wise ; 
but he that taketh himself to want no instruction, 
or to be above learning, is in a desperate condition'. 
It rendereth men in doubtful or difficult cases 
unwilling to seek, and imaptto take advice; he will 
not care for or admit any counsellor but himself; 
hence he undertaketh and easUy is deceived, and 
incurreth disappointment, damage, disasters in his 
afiairs. As it is most incident to weak, incon- 
siderate, lazy persons, who have not a capacity, will 
not yield attention, or take pains to get right 
notio^ of things, so it doth smother auLust^, 
consideration, and circumspection; for such persons 
think they need no labour in searching truth, no 
care in weighing arguments, no dihgence in ob* 
serving things ; they can easily at first sight desciy 
all, and penetrate to the bottom of things; they 
have at easy rates the pleasure of fancying them^ 
selves wise; why should they spend further pains 
to dispossess themselves of that pleasure, or to in- 
troduce another less satisfactory ? thus, TJie slitggard, ^^' "^• 
as Solomon saith, is wiser in his own conceit^ than 
seven men that can render a reason. 

^ H»c est hominiB rera sapientia, imperfectum esBO Be nosse. — 
Hier. adv. Pelag. Lib. i. [0pp. Tom. iv. p. ii. col. 492.] 

' Puto mnltoe potuisse ad Bapienitiam peirenire, nisi patassent 
BO porreniBae.— Sen. de Tranq. An. [cap. i. 11.] 

104 Of Sdf-ConceU. 

SERM. It Tendereth as veiy rash and precipitant in 
-^^ judging; for the first shows of things, or the most 
slender axguments, which offer themselves, being 
magnified, and aggravated from opinion concerning 
ourselves, do sway our judgment, and draw forth a 
sudden resolution from us; it must, we presently 
suppose, be very reasonable, because it seemetii 
reasonable to us. 

Hence also we persist obstinate and incoiTigible 
in error ; for what reason can be efficacious to re- 
claim him whose opinion is the greater reason? 
what argument can be ponderous enough to out- 
weigh his authority ? how can he (the man of wis- 
dom, the perspicacious and profound person) yield 
that he hath erred? how can he part with the satis- 
faction of being always in the right, or endure the 
aftont of being aiiy time baffled? 

It rendereih men peevish and morose, so as to 
bear nobody that dissenteth from them, nor to like 
any thing which doth not hit their fiincy; to cross 
their opinion or humour, is to derogate from their 
wisdom; and being in their apprehension so in- 
jured, they find cause to be angry. 

li rendereth them insolenrand imperious in 
conversation, so as to dictate, and impose then- con- 
ceits upon others. He that is conceited of his own 
wisdom, will imagine that, upon that advantage, he 
hath a right to prescribe others an obUgation to 
submit ; eo ipso he becometh a common master and 
judge; and they are culpable, who will not yield 
him a credulous ear, who will not stand to his de- 

Hence also do men become so Q9iping and cen- 
sorious ; for if any man's words do not jump with 

Of SdfCmceit 105 

their notions, if any man's actions be not conform- sebm. 
able to their rules, they straightway rise up to con- '— 

demn them of folly, of faultiness. 

Yea, hence men become intolerably pragmati- 
cal; for they conceit themselves better to know 
another's concernments than he himself doth, and 
so will intrude his advice, will be angry if his ad- 
vice be not followed. 

To such inconveniences and iniquities this ill ^ 
disposition exposeth us, and to many others ; for it 
is, indeed, that in effect, which the Holy Scripture 
representeth as the source of all impious and wicked 
courses; to which men betray themselves, while, 
taking themselves to be wise, they do stiffly adhere 
to their own imaginations and devices, although 
contrary to the prescriptions of divine wisdom, to 
the dictates of common reason, to the admonitions 
of sober and good men ; We vnU, say they in the Jer. xiii. 
Prophet, walk after our own devices, and we wUl "**' ^' *^' 
every one do the iTnagination of his evil heart; and, 
/ have spread out my hands all the day unto a re- Imi. ixv.i; 
heliums people; which walketh in a way that is not 
good, after their own thoughts : and. If he blesseth i>eut.xxix. 
himself, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in 
the imagination of my heart : and. So I gave them Ps. ixxxi. 
unto their own hea/rts^ lust, and they walked in their i^y. i. 30, 
otvn counsels. These are descriptions of bad men, ii^i.ixvi.4. 
implying self-conceit to be the root of their impiety. 

2 Again, we are apt to conceit highly and 
vainly of our moral qualities and performances ; 
taking ourselves for persons rarely good, perfect, 
and blameless; apprehending no defects in our 
souls, or miscarriages in our Uves, although, indeed, 
we are as fiill of blemishes, we are as guilty of 

106 Of Self-Conceit 

SEBM. faults as others: There is, saith the Wise Man, a 

T T ' ' ' 

generation thai are 'pure in their own eyes, and yet 

Prov. XXX. ^ no^ washed from their fiUhiness ; to this genera- 
tion we belong, if we admke our virtues, if we 
Luke xviu. justify our lives, if (as it is said of the Pharisee) we 
i 29!' '^' trust in ourselves that we are righteous. 

This practice doth include great folly, and it 
produceth great mischiefe. 

It is very foolish, and argueth the greatest igno- 
ranee that can be; for such is ihe imperfection, the 
impotency, the impurity of aU men, even of the 
wisest and best men, (discernible to them who 
search their hearts and try their ways, strictly com. 
paring them to the rules of duty, God s laws, and 
the dictates of reason,) that no man can have rear 
son to be satisfied in himself or in his doings: every 
man looking into himself shall find his mind so 
pestered with vain and filthy thoughts; his will 
so perverse, so froward, so weak, so unsteady: his 
desires so f^nd and un;arxantaUe ; his paeons so 
disorderly and ungovernable ; his affections so mis- 
placed^ or at least so cold and dull in regard to their 
right objects; his resolutions toward good so weak 
and slack ; his intentions so corrupt, or mixed with 
oblique regards ; he that observeth his actions, shall 
in the best of them (as to the principles whence 
they rise, as to the ends they drive at, as to the 
manner of their performance) find so many great 
defailances, that he will see cause rather to abhor 
than to admire himself 

Who, let me ask, doth love God with all his 
soul', so as to place in him his total content and 

* Hier. in Lucif. cap. vi. [Conveniat unusquisque cor suam, 
et in omni vita inveniet, quam rarum sit iidelem animam inyeniri, 

Of Self-CmceU. 107 

delight, so as to do all things out of love to him, serm. 

with a regard to his honour and service ? so as to '- — 

be willing and glad to part with all things for his 
sake ? who hath that constant and lively sense of 
God's benefits and mercies that he should have ? 
who hath a perfect resignation of will to his plea- 
sure, so as to be displeased with no event dis- 
pensed by his hand? who hath such a vigour of 
£stith and confidence in him, as will support him in 
all wants, in all distresses, in all temptations, so as 
never to be disquieted or discouraged by them, so 
as to cast on God (as he is commanded) all the i Pet. v. 7. 
cares of his soul and burdens of his life ? who con- 
stantly maintaineth a fervour of spirit, a steadiness 
of resolution, a clear and calm frame of soul, an 
abstractedness of mind from worldly desires and 
delights? who continually is fervent and undis^ 
tracted in his devotion? who with an unwearied 
and incessant diligence doth watch over his 
thoughts ? who doth entirely command his passions^ 
and bridle his appetites? who doth exactly govern 
his tongue? who is perpetually circumspect over 
his actions? who loveth his neighbour as himself, 
seeking his good, and delighting therein as in his 
own; L^Zr; for his XersMe,, .s if thoy h«l 
befisdlen lumaelf? who feeleth that contrition of 
spirit, that shame, that remoiBe for his sins, or that 
detestation of them, which they deserve? who is 
duly sensible of his own unworthiness? Very few 
of us surely, if we examine our consciences, can 
answer, that we are they who perform these duties ; 
and if not, where is any ground of self-conceit? 

ut nihil ob g1ori» cupiditatem, nihil ob rumusculoB hominum faciat. 
— 0pp. Tom. IV. p. ii. col. 299.] 

108 Of Sdf-Conceit. 

SERM. how much cause rather is there of dejection, of dis- 

pleasure, of despising and detesting ourselves ! 

There have, indeed, been sects of men* (such as 
the Novatians and the Pelagians) who have pre- 
tended to perfection and purity; but these men, 
one would think, did never read the Scripture, did 
-never consult experience, did never reflect on their 
minds, did never compare their practice with their 
duty ; had no conscience at all, or a very blind and 
Prov.xx.9. stupid one. Who can say, I have made my heart 
Ecciee. vii. ^^^^^^ / (3^77^ puve fvom my sin? was a question of 
Job ix. 20; Solomon, to the which he thought no man could 
xxT. 4; iv. answer afl&rmatively of himself : If I justify myself, 
Ps! c^u. wy <ywn mouth shall condemn Tne; if I say I a/m 
perfect, it shall prove me perverse ; was the asseve- 
ration of that person, whose virtue had undergone 
James ui. the sevcrcst trials: In mxiny things we offend all, 
was the confession of an Apostle in the name of 
the wisest and best men. 

Such men, indeed, (in contemplation of them- 
selves and of their doings) have ever been ready 
to think meanly of themselves, to acknowledge 
and bewail their unworthiness, to disclaim all con- 
fidence in themselves, to avow their hope wholly 
to be reposed in the grace and mercy of God; (m 
his grace for abiUty to perform somewhat of their 
duty; in his mercy for pardon of their offences;) confess themselves, with Jacob, less than the 
Pb' xxii.6. least of God's mercies; with David, that they are 
^ f' fx ^^^'^^^ *^^ ^^ ^^^ J with Job, that they are vile, 
^f 3- and unable to answer God calling them to account, 

^ The Donatists — ^Remissionem peccatonim sio datis, quasi 
nullum habeatis ipsi peccatum, &c. — Optat. Lib. 11. [Cap. xx. 

p. 44.] 

Of Self'Conceit^ 109 

in one case of a thousand ; that they abhor them- serm. 

selves, and repent in dust and ashes; that after ! 

they have done all, they are unprofitable servants, j^^ ^^' 
And is he not very blind who doth see in himself 
those perfections which the greatest saints could 
not descry in themselves ? is he not infinitely vain 
that fancieth himself more worthy than they did 
take themselves to be ? 

In fine, every man is in some kind and degree 
bad, sinful, vile ; it is as natural for us to be so, as 
to be frail, to be sickly, to be mortal: there are 
some bad dispositions common to all, and which no 
man can put off without his flesh ; there are some, 
to which every man (from his temper, inclination, 
and constitution of body or soul,) is peculiarly sub- 
ject, the which by no care and pain can be quite 
extirpated, but wiU afford during life perpetual 
matter of conflict and exercise to curb them : con- 
ceit therefore of our virtue is very foolish. 

And it breedeth many great mischiefs. 

Hence doth spring a great security, and care- Matt. ix. 
lessness of correcting our faults; for taking our-johnix. 
selves to be well, we see not any need of cure, *'* 
thence seek none, nor admit any. 

Yea, hence riseth a contempt of any means 
condudble to our amendment, such as good advice 
and wholesome reproof; to advise such an one is 
to accuse him wrongfully, to reprove him is to 
commit an outrage upon his presumed integrity of 
virtue. Hence also proceedeth a neglect of im- 
ploring the grace and mercy of God; for why 
should persons of so great strength crave succour ? 
how should they beg pardon, who have so little 
sense of guilt? It is for a weak person to cry, 

110 Of Sdf'Conceit. 

8EBM. Lord help me ; it is for a publican to pray, God be 
' — merciful unto me a sinner. 

13. ^^^^^ It breedeth arrogance and presumption even 
in devotions, or addresses to God, inducing such 
persons in unseemly manner to justify themselves 
before God, to claim singular interest in him, to 
mind him, and as it were to upbraid him with their 
worthy deeds, to thank him for their imaginary 

Luke xviii. oxcellencies, like the conceited Pharisee ; Grod, I 
thank theCy that I am not as other msn are, extor- 
tioner Sy unjust, adulterers — I fast twice a week^ I give 
tithes of aU that I possess. They cannot demean 
themselves toward God as miserable sinners, who 
fancy themselves as admirable worthies, and gal- 
lants in virtue. 

Also, a natural result thereof is a haughty con- 
tempt of others, venting itself in a supercilious and 
fastuous demeanour; so it was in the Pharisees, 

Luke xviii. Who, saith St Lukc, trusted in themselves that they 
were righteous, and despised others. Such persons, 
observing or suspecting defects and misbehaviours 
in others, but discerning none in themselves, do 
in their opinion advance themselves above their 
brethren, and accordingly are prone to behave 
themselves toward them : such men as they are, the 
especially good men, the godly, the saints, the 
flower of mankind, the choice ones, the darlings 
of God, and favourites of Heaven, the special 
objects of divine love and care : others are impure 
and profane, rejectaneous and reprobate people, to 
whom God beareth no good-will or regard; hence 
proceedeth a contemptuous disregard or estranged- 
ness toward other men; like that of those sepa- 
ratists in the Prophet, who, notwithstanding they 

Of Self'Conceit 111 

were a people provoking God to anger continually sbrm 
to his face, were yet, in conceit of their own special 



purity, ready to say. Stand by thyself, come not ^^^ ^^' 
near to me, for I am holier than thou: whereas 
those who, soberly reflecting on their nature, their 
hearts, their ways, do frame a right judgment of 
themselves, can hardly esteem any man worse than 
themselves; they perceive themselves so frail, so 
defectuous, so culpable, as to find great reason for 
their compliance with those apostolical precepts; 
In lowliness of mind, let each man esteem others Phu. u. 3. 
better than himself; In honour prefer one another. Rom. 

This likewise disposeth men to expect more than 
ordinary regard from others; and they are much 
displeased, if they find it not in degree answerable 
to their conceit of themselves; taking them for 
silly, envious, or injurious persons, who forbear to 
yield it : such excellent persons must in all things 
be humoured, and cockered, otherwise you greatly 
wrong them. 

Hence also such men easily become discontented 
and impatient; for if they be crossed in any thing, 
if any misfortune toucheth them, they take it very 
ill ; supposing they deserve it not, but are worthy 
of better usage and fortune. 

In fine, as this causeth a man to behave himself 
untowardly in respect to all others, (toward God 
and toward his neighbour,) so thence he most un- 
beseemingly carrieth himself toward himself; he 
is no faithfrd friend, no good companion to himself, 
but a fond minion, a vile flatterer, or a profane 
idolater of himself: for (like Narcissus) being 
transported with conceit of his own incomparable 
beauty or excellency, he maketh love to and courteth 

112 Of Sdf-Conceit. 

SERM. himself; finding delight in such conceit, he by 
all means cherisheth it, glozing and flattering him- 

^8. xxxvi. ^^j£. ^^ ^^ Psalm hath it) in his own eyes ; repre- 
senting his qualities to his imagination in false 
shapes, he devoutly adoreth those idols of his 
brain. Further, 

3 Self-conceit is also frequently grounded upon 
other 'inferior advantages; upon gifts of nature, (as 
strength, activity, beauty;) upon gifts of fortune, 
(so called,) as birth, wealth, dignity, power, fame, 
success; upon these things men ordinarily much 
value themselves, and are strangely pufied up with 
' vain opinion, taking themselves from them to be 
great and happy persons : but seeing (as we touched 
before) these things are in themselves httle valu- 
able, (as serving no great purpose, nor ftirthering 
our true happiness;) seeing they are not commend- 
able, (as not depending on our free choice, but 
proceeding from nature or chance;) seeing they are 
not durable or certain, but easily may be severed 
from us ; the vanity of self-conceit founded on them 
is very notorious, and I shall not insist more to 
declare it; I shall only recommend the Prophet's 
Jer. ix. 43, advicc concemuig such things : Let not ike wise 
^^* man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty 

man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory 
in his riches: hut let him that glorieth glory in this, 
that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am 
the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, 
and righteousness in the earth: that is, nothing 
within us or about us should elevate our minds, 
excepting the assurance that God doth govern the 
world, being ready to protect and succour us, to 
dispense mercy and justice to us; so that how 

Of Self-Conceit 113 

weak and helpless soever in ourselves, yet, con- serm. 

fiding in him, we shall never be overwhelmed by L- 

any wrong or misfortmie. 

So much concerning self-conceit ; the other parts 
of vicious self-love may be reserved to another 

B. S. VOL. IV. 8 



2 Tim. III. 2. 
For men shall be lovers of themselves, ^. 

SERM. n. A NOTHER like culpable kind of self-love is 

jlX that of Self-confidence; when men beyond 

reason, and without regard unto God's providence, 
do rely upon themselves and their own abiUties, 
imagining that, without God's direction and help, by 
the contrivances of their own wit and discretion, by 
the prevalency of their own strength and courage, by 
their industrious care, resolution, and activity, they 
can compass any design, they can attain any good, 
they can arrive to the utmost of their desires, and 
become sufficiently happy •; not considering, that of 
i>ftn.T. 13. God (In whose hand our breath is, and whose are all our ways; In whose hand is the sovl of every living 
thing, and the breath of all mankind) all our being 
and all our ability do absolutely depend; that he 
manageth and tumeth all things, dispensing success 
according to his pleasure; that no good thing can 
be performed without the supply and succour of his 
grace, nothing can be achieved without the concur- 

'^ "Oortr yap aMs ^ <f>pop€ly fiovos dmcci, 

*H yk&a-aay, ^v ovk SKkos ^ V^X^v ^X*'*'' 
O^TOi dtafTTVxBivTtt &<f>$tf<rav K€voi, — 

Soph. Antig. [707.] 

Of Self'Cor^idence. 115 

rence of his providence; that, The way of man is serm. 

not in himself, it is not in man that waXketh to direct 1^ 

his steps ; that, The preparations of the heart in p^Vl^'xvi.' 
man, and the answer of the tongue^ is from the Vi^L^l. 
Lord; that, although A mxt/rCs heart deviseth his 
way, yet the Lord directed his steps; that, No king Ps. xxxui. 
is saved hy the multitude of an host, a mighty man ^ ' '^* 
is not delivered hy much sti^ength, a horse is a vain 
thing for safety; The race is not to the swift, nor the Eociee. ix. 
battle to the strong ; that (as St Paul, one abund- 
antly furnished with abilities suiting his designs as 
any man can be, doth acknowledge) We a/re not * ^j- »»• 
sufficient of ourselves to think any thing, hut our 
sufficiency is of God : these oracles of truth, and 
even dictates of reason, no less than principles of 
Religion, they consider not, who confide in their 
own abilities, with which nature or fortune do seem 
to have furnished them. 

This is that instance of self-love, which the 
Wise Man biddeth us to beware of: Tntst, saithPn)v.iii.5, 
he, in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not to 
^ine own understanding ; in all thy ways acknow^ 
ledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. This is 
that which he condemneth a^ foolish, and opposite 
to wise proceeding: He that trasteth in his own^^roY. 
heart is a fool ; hut whoso walketh wisely shall he 

This is that which smothereth devotion, and 
keepeth men from having recourse to God; while 
they think it needless to ask for that which they 
have in their power, or have means of obtaining**; 
this consequently depriveth them of divine aid, 

^ ^qaum mi animum ipso parabo. — 

[Hor. Ep.i. 18. 112.] 

8 — 2 

116 Of Self-Compldcence. 

SEEM, which is afiForded only to those who seek it, and 
~- confide therein. 

This often engageth men to attempt things 
rashly, and causeili them to come off mihappily; 
God interposing to cross them, with purpose to 
cure their error, or confound their presumption. 

From hence, if God ever suffereth their attempt 
to prosper, they sacrilegiously and profanely arro- 

Habak. i. gate to themsclves the success, sacrificing to their 

iiii. X. 13. own net, and saying with him in the Prophet, By 
the strength of my hand have I done it, and by my 
wisdom; foi* I am prudent. 

This causeth most men to fail of true content 
here, and of happiness finally; while taking them 
to be, where they are not, at home, within their 
own hand or reach, they neglect to search after 
them abroad, there where they only do lie, in the 
hand and disposal of God. 

III. A like act of blameable self-love is Self- 
complacence, that is, greatly delighting in one's self, 
or in the goods which he fancieth himself to enjoy, 
or in the works which he performeth ; when men, in 
contemplation of their works and achievements, go 
strutting about, and saying with that vain prince, 

Dan.iv.30. Is not this great Babylon, thaZ I have built? when, 
reflecting on their possessions, they applaud and 
bless themselves, like the rich man in the Gospel, 

Lukexii. Soul, (saith he, looking upon his accumulated 
store,) thou hast much goods laid up for many years. 
Such vain soliloquies do men ordinarily make ! Thou 
hast (saith a man to himself) rare endowments of 
soul ; a wonderful skill and ability in this and that 
matter; thou art master of excellent things; thou 
hast managed very important business, hast accom- 

Of Sdf-Conyplacence. 117 

plished hard designs, hast achieved brave feats, serm. 

with great dexterity and admirable success, by thy L_ 

wit and industry; thou hast framed and vented 
very curious orations, very facetious speeches, very 
nervous and pithy discourses ; thou hast put obliga- 
tions upon this man and that; thou hast got much 
credit and interest amongst men; the world much 
looketh on thee, loveth and prizeth thee hugely, 
resoundeth with thy fame and praise; surely thy 
worth is notable, thy deserts are egregious; how 
happy art thou in being such a person, in perform- 
ing such things, in enjoying such advantages ! Thus 
with a spurious and filthy pleasure do men reflect 
upon and revolve in their minds the goods they 
deem themselves to possess, and the favourable 
occurrences that seem to befall them; being fond 
of their own qualities and deeds as of their chil- 
dren, which, however they are in themselves, do 
always appear handsome and towardly unto them ; 
any little thing is great and eminent, any ordinary 
thing is rare, any indiflferent thing is excellent to 
them, because it is theirs; out of any thing, how 
dry and insipid soever it is in itself, they suck a 
vain amd foolish pleasure. 

Hence is that honest and pure delight which 
they should taste in faith and love toward God, in 
the hope of future celestial things, in the enjoyment 
of spiritual blessings, in the conscience of virtuous 
practice, quite choked or greatly damped. 

Hence also that hearty contrition and sober sad- 
ness, which, by reflection upon their great defects 
and frequent miscarriages, they should continually 
maintain in their souls, is utterly stifled. 

Hence also that charitable complacency in the 


118 OfSelf-WiU. 

SERM. welfkre, and condolency with the adversities of their 
L- brethren, is suppressed ; hence cannot they be satis- 
fied with any thing done by others, they cannot 
apprehend the worthy deserts, they cannot render 
due commendation to the good deeds of their 
neighbour ; for while men are so pleased with their 
own imaginary felicities, they cannot weU discern, 
they will not be duly affected with, the real ad- 
vantages or disasters of themselves or of others. 

IV. Another culpable kind of self-love is Self- 
will, (avOdSeia, pleasing one's self in his choice, 
and proceeding without or against reason;) when 
a man unaccountably or unreasonably, with obsti- 
nate resolution, pursueth any course offensive to 
others or prejudicial to himself, so that he will not 
hearken to any advice, nor yield to any considera- 
tion diverting him from his purpose, but putteth off 
all with a — Sit pi'o ratione voluntds'': Say what 
you can, let what will come on it, I will do as I 
please, I will proceed in my own way; so I am re- 
solved, so it shall be^ 

This is that generally which produceth in men 
the wilful commission of sin, although apparently 
contrary to their own interest and welfare, depriv- 
ing them of the best goods, bringmg on them most 
heavy mischiefs; this causeth them irreclaimably 
to persist in impenitence. Hence do they stop their 
ears against wholesome counsel ; they harden their 
hearts against most pathetical a^d softening dis- 

' [Juy. VI. 223.] 

* TLtpi t^¥ hv Sata^ t* ccfro}, ftrjKiri fiov avBif nvOg, — ^Nero apud 
Dion. Cass. [Lib. Lxa. cap. 13. Tom. n. p. 1011.] 

Ol dfiaB^is Z(r;(vpoyv<a/Aoycr.— Synes. Calv. [Verbatim. Koi yap 
ofuiBtts 6vT€gf la-xypoyviofiov€s €t<n, — Calvicii Encoo. 0pp. p. 71 D.] 

Vid. Son. Ep. xxm. do Benef, iv. 38. Epict. Dibs. ii. 15. 

OfSe^-WiU. 119 

courses : they withdraw their shoulder ; they stiffen sbbm. 
their neck against aU sober precepts, admonitions,^ 
and reproofs; they defeat aU means and methods ?^i:|: 
of correction ; they will not hear God commanding, i)OTt.xxxi. 
entreating, promising, threatening, encouraging, J^^ . ^ . 
chastising; they will not regard the advices and 
reprehensions of friends ; the most apparent conse- 
quences of damage, disgrace, pain, perdition, upon 
their iU courses will not stir them; their will is 
impiegnable against the most powerful attempts to 
win and better them: let all the wisdom in the 
world solicit them, with a Turn ai my reproof; it i. 23, 25, 
shall have occasion to complain, They would none of ^^' 
my counsel, they despised aU my reproof. 

This is that also more particularly, which breed- 
eth so much mischief to the public, which pestereth 
and disturbeth private conversation: this maketh 
conversation harsh, and friendship intolerable*. 

Hence are men in their demeanour so peevish 
and frowaid, so perverse and cros^grained, so stiff 
and stubborn'; with much inconvenience to others, 
and commonly with more to themselves. 

Hence will they not submit to the commands of 
their superiors, they wiU not comply with the cus- 
toms of their country, they will not be complaisant 
in conversation; but every where raise &ctious 
oppositions, kindle fierce contentions, maintain difr* 
orderly singularities: they care not how, for enjoy- 
ing their humour, they break the peace of the world, 

^ rovry d* dydpl fiffr cu^y <f>lXos 

Mt/rc (ywtbiVf otrrit aMipiai fftpowtat 
HiwfH^ft dovkavs Tov$ ^iXovs i/yov/i(Vf>f«— * 

Eurip. [^ol. Frag, xit.] 

Plat, ad Dion. Ep. it. [321 c] 

120 OfSdf'WiU. 

SERM. they disturb the order of things, they create tumults 

! and troubles in any society, they bring vexations 

and mischiefs on others, on themselves. They do 
not consider or value the great harm they bring 
upon the pubUc, nor how much themselves do suffer 
by it ; so they have their will, what if the state be 
plunged into confusion and trouble; what if their 
neighbours be sorely incommoded ; what if them- 
selves lose their ease and pleasure ? 

It must be just as they will have it ; what if ten 
to one think otherwise ; what if generally the wisest 
men are agreed to the contrary; what if the most 
pressing necessity of affairs do not admit it ; what 
if pubUc authority (those whom all equity doth con- 
stitute judges, and to whom God himself hath com- 
mitted the arbitration thereof) do not allow it? yet 
so it must be, because they fancy it, otherwise they 
will not be quiet : so do they sacrifice the greatest 
benefits of society (public order and peace, mutual 
love and fnendship, common safety and prosperity) 
to their private will and humour. 

This is that which St Paul so often did forbid 
in word, and discountenanced in practice : for the 
edification of others, to procure advantage to his 
endeavours, to shun offence, to preserve concord and 
amity, he waved pleasing his own desire and fancy, 
he complied with the conceits and humours even of 
those who were most ignorant and weak in judg- 
ment; he even subjected and enslaved himself to 
the pleasure of others, directing us to do the like : 
Rom. XV. r, We then, saith he, that are strong^ ought to bear the 
'' ^' infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves : 
let every one of us please his neighbour for his good 
to edification ; for even Christ pleased not himself, 

OfSdf-Witt,^ 121 

(he adjoineth the great example of our Lord to serm. 
enforce his own) . Again ; Give none offence^ saith ' 
he, even <zs I please all men in all things^ not seeking " ^^: ^• 
mine own profit^ but the profit of the many, that 
they may be saved: Be ye Qxerein) followers of me, 
as 1 am of Christ: and again, To the weak became i Cor. ix. 
/ as weak, that I might gain the weak; lam mxide ^*' '^* 
aU things to all msn, that I might by all means save 
some: Though I be free from all men, (that is, 
although I have no superior that can command me, 
or oblige me in these matters,) yet have I made 
myself servant to oS, that I might gain the more. 
What this excellent person was in this instance of 
managing ecclesiastical discipline, and promoting 
the Gospel, that, both in the same cases, and in the 
prosecution of all other designs, in all our conver- 
sation and practice, should we likewise be. 

We should in no case indulge our own humour 
or fancy, but ever look to the reason of the thing, 
and act accordingly, whatever it requireth. 

We should never act without striving with com- 
petent appUcation of mmd to discern clearly some 
reason why we act ; and from observing the dictates 
of that reason, no unaccountable cause should per- 
vert us: blind will, headstrong inclination, im- 
petuous passion, should never guide, or draw, or 
drive us to any thing; for this is not to act like a 
man, but as a beast, or rather worse than a beast ; 
for beasts operate by a blind instinct indeed, but 
such as is planted in them by a superior wisdom, 
unerringly directing them to a pursuit of their true 
good : but man is left in mxmu concilii sui, is obliged wiad.i. n. 
(under sore penalties) not to follow blind inclina- f^^*- """^ 
tions or instinct ; but to act with serious deliberation 

122 Of Sdf-InUre9t. 

SERK. and choioe, to observe explicit rules and reso^ 
'- — lutions of reason. 


V. Another culpable sort of self-love is that of 
I Cor. X. Self-interest*; when men inordinately or immode- 
rately do covet and strive to procure for themselves 
these worldly goods, merely because profitable or 
pleasant to themselves, not considering or regarding 
the good of others, according to the rules of justice, 
of humanity, of Christian charity; when their 
affections, their cares, their endeavours do mainly 
tend to the advancement, advantage, or deHght of 
themselves; they Uttle caring what cometh on it, 
who loseth, who suffereth thereby. 

They look upon themselves as if they were all 
the world, and no man beside concerned therein, or 
considerable to them ; that the good state of things 
is to be measured by their condition; that all is 
well, if they do prosper and thrive ; all is ill, if they 
are disappointed in their desires and projects. 

The good of no man, not of their brethren, not 
of their friends, not of their country, doth come 
with them under consideration; what scandals do 
arise, what disorders are committed, what miscliie& 
are caused, they matter not, if they get somewhat 
thereby : what if the Church or State be reproached, 
what if the neighbourhood be offended or disturbed, 
what if the world cry out and complain, if they 
become richer by it, or have their passion gratified, 
or find some pleasure in it ? 

This is the chief spring of injustice; for from 
hence it is^ that oftentimes men regard not what 
courses they take, what means they use, (how 
unjust, how base soever they be,) toward the 

^ Vid. Chrys. in 1 Cor. Or. xxv. [0pp. Tom. ra. p. 406.] 

Of SeLf-InleresU 123 

compassing their designs ; hence they trample upon sebm. 

right, they violate all laws and rules of conscience, - 

they falsify their trusts, they betray their friends, 
they supplant their neighbour, they flatter and col- 
lo&nio. they wind about and shuffle any way. they 
dew f^m the worth «>d virtue o^ Jj ^l 
they forge and vent odious slanders, they conmut 
any sort of wrong and outrage, they (without re- 
gard or remorse) do any thing, which seemeth to 
further their design. 

This is the great source of uncharitableness ; 
for from hence men affect no man otherwise than 
he seemeth able to serve their turn ; the poor there- 
fore is ever slighted and neglected by iJbem as 
unserviceable; the rich only is minded and re- 
spected as capable to promote their ends ; they 
become hard-hearted toward others, not consider- 
ing or commiserating their case; they will part 
with nothing from themselves to those who need 
their relief; they delight in nothing which doth 
not make for their advantage; all their shows of 
fiiendship aiid respect are meroenaiy, aiid mere 
trade ; they do nothing gratis, or for love. 

This is the great root of aJI the disorders and 
mischiefs in the world; this self-love prompteth 
men to those turbulent scramblings and scufflings, 
whereby good order is confounded; this engageth 
them to desert their stations, to transgress their 
bounds, to invade and encroach upon others with 
fraud and violence : did men with any conscionable 
moderation mind and pursue their own private 
interest, all those fierce animosities, those fiery 
contentions, those bitter emulations, those rancor- 
ous grudges, those calumnious supplantings, those 

124 Of SelflnteresL 

SERM, perfidious cozenages, those outrageous violences, 

^ those factious confederacies, those seditious mur- 

murings and tumultuous clamours, would vanish 
and cease; self-interest it is that gives life and 
nourishment to all such practices, the which em- 
broil the world in discord and disorder. It is not out 
of pure madness or wanton humour that commonly 
men engage themselves and others in those base 
and troublesome courses, but out of design to get 
by it** ; hope of gain to be raked out of pubUc ruins 
and disorders is the principle that moveth them, 
the reward they propound to themselves for their 
pains in meddling, toward the promoting them; 
like those who set fire on the town, that they may 
get opportunity to rifle and pillage. 

He that taketh himself to be as but one man, 
(naturally like and equal to others,) conceiving 
that he ought to consider the interest and right 
of other men in the same rank with his own, that 
he in reason should be contented with that share 
which ariseth to him by fair means'; who thence 
resolveth to be satisfied with his own lot, to abide 
quiet in his station, to yield the same deference 
and compUance to others which he can presume 
or pretend to receive from them ; who desires only 
to enjoy the gifts of Providence and the fruits of 
his industry in a due subordination to the public 
peace and welfare ; he will not easily strive or 
struggle for preferments, he will not foment emu- 
lations or factions for his advantage, he will never 

Nullum furor egit in anna. 
Bella petunt magna victi mercede. 
' Ut enim quisque maxime ad suum commodum refert, quiecum- 
que agit, ita minime est Wr bonus; ut, quiyirtutempnemio metiuntur, 
nuUam Tirtutem nisi malitiam pntent, &c. — Gic. de Leg. i. [18. 49.] 

Of Self-Interest. 125 

design to cozen or supplant, to detract or calumniate serm. 

for advancement of his ends ; he thence will not con- '— 

tribute to the mischiefs and troubles in the world. 

Self-interest therefore is the great enemy to 
the commonweal; that which perverteth all right, 
which confoundeth all order, which spoileth all the 
convenience and comfort of society. 

It is a practice indeed (this practice of pursuing 
self-interest so vehemently, so especially above all 
things) which is looked upon and cried up as a 
clear and certain point of wisdom; the only soM 
wisdom ; in comparison whereto those precepts, 
which prescribe the practice of strict justice, in- 
genuous humanity, free charity, are but pedantical 
tattles, or notions merely chimerical ; so the world 
now more than ever seemeth to judge, and accord- 
ingly to act ; and thence is the state of things 
visibly so bad and calamitous; thence so little 
honesty in dealings, thence so little settlement in 
affairs are discernible. But how false that judg- 
ment is will appear if the case be weighed in the 
balance of pure reason; and most foolish it will 
appear being scanned a^ording to the principles 
of Religion. 

In reaaon, is it not veiy absurd that any man 
should look upon himself as more than a single per- 
son; that he should prefer himself before another, 
to whom he is not in any respect superior ; that 
he should advance his own concernment above the 
public benefit, which comprehendeth his good, and 
without which his good cannot subsist? Can any 
man rationally conceive, that he can firmly thrive 
or persist in a quiet and sweet condition, when he 
graspeth to himself more than is due or fitting, 

126 Of Sd/'Interest, 

SERM. when he provoketh against himself the emulation^ 

'. the competition, the opposition, the hatred, and 

obloquy of all or of many other persons ? 

May not any man reasonably have the same 
apprehensions and inclinations as we may have? 
may not any man justly proceed in the same manner 
as we may do? will they not, seeing us mainly to 
affect our private interest, be induced, and in a 
manner forced, to do the like ? Thence what end 
can there be of progging and scrambling for things? 
and in the confiision thence emergent, what quiet, 
what content can we enjoy ? 

Again ; doth not nature, by implanting in out 
constitution a love of society and aversation from 
solitude, inclinations to pity and humanity, pleasant 
complacencies in obliging and doing courtesies t6 
others, appetites of honour and good esteem from 
others, aptness to approve and Uke the practices of 
justice, of fidelity, of courtesy, of beneficence, capa- 
cities to yield succour and benefit to our brethren, 
dictate unto us, that our good is inseparably con- 
nected and compUcated with the good of others, so 
that it cannot without its own impairing subsist 
alone, or be severed from the good of others; no 
more than a limb can without suffering and destruc- 
tion be torn from the whole ? 

Is there not to all men in some measure, to 
some men in a higher degree, a generosity innate, 
most lovely and laudable to all ; which disposeth 
men with their own pain, hazard, and detriment to 
succour and relieve others in distress, to serve the 
public, and promote the benefit of society ; so that 
inordinately to regard private interest doth thwart 
the reason and wisdom of nature ? 

Of Self-Int&rest. 127 

The frame of our nature, indeed, speaketh, that sf p>f- 
we are not bom for ourselves: we shall find man, if :s — r— 

^ Kom. IX. 

we contemplate him, to 'be a nobler thing than to >— 3- 
have been designed to serve himself, or to satisfy 
his single pleasure ; his endowments are too excel- 
lent, his capacities too large for so mean and narrow 
purposes^. How pitifal a creature were man, if this 
were all he was made for! how sorry a faculty were 
reason, if it served not to better usesl he debaseth 
himself, he disgraceth his nature, who hath so low 
conceits, and pursueth so petty designs. 

Nay, even a true regard to our own private 
good will engage us not inordinately to pursue self- 
interest; it being much hugged will be smothered 
and destroyed. 

As we are all bom members of the world, as we 
are compacted into the commonwealth, as we are 
incorporated into any society, as we partake in any 
conversation or company, so by mutual support, 
aid, defence, comfort, not only the common welfare 
first, but our particular benefit consequently doth 
subsist; by hindering orprejudicingthem,thepubUc 
first, in consequence our particular doth sufier : our 
thriving by the common prejudice will in the end 
turn to our own loss. As if one member sucketh 
too much nourishment to itself, and thence swelleth 
into an exorbitant bulk, the whole thence incurreth 
disease, so coming to perish or languish; whence 
consequently that irregular member will Ml into a 

Nee fiibiy sed ioti geoitum se credere mundo. — 

[Luoan. Phars. n. 383.] 
Nullosqae Caionis in actus 
Subrepsit, partemque tnlit sibi nata Toluptas. — 

[Id. n. 39a.] 

128 Of Sdf'Interest 

SBRM. participation of ruin or decay : so it is in the state 

of human corporations ; he that in ways unnatural 

or unjust (for justice is that in human societies, 
which nature is in the rest of things) draweth unto 
himself the juice of profit or pleasure, so as thence 
to grow beyond his due size, doth thereby not only 
create distempers in the public body, but worketh 
mischief and pain to himself; he must not imagine 
to escape feeling somewhat of the inconvenience 
and misery which ariseth from public convulsions 
and disorders. 

So doth reason plainly enough dictate ; and Reli- 
gion with clearer evidence and greater advantage 
discovereth the same. 

Its express precepts are, that we should aim to 
love our neighbour as ourselves, and therefore 
should tender his interests as our own; that we 
should not in competition with the greater good of 
our neighbour regard our own lesser good ; that we 
should not seek our own things, but concern our- 
selves in the good of others; that we should not 
consult our own ease and pleasure, but should con- 
Phu. ii. 4. tentedly bear the burdens of our brethren : Look not 
every man to his own things, but every man also to the 
I Cor. X. things of others; Let no man seek his own, but every 
Gal. vi. 2. 'f^oji another's wealth; Bear one another's hurdensy 
I Cor. xiii. and sofulJU the law of Christ; Charity seeketh not its 
^' own: these are apostoUcal precepts and aphorisms; 

these are fundamental rules and maxims of our holy 

It chargeth us industriously to employ our 
pains, Uberally to expend our goods, yea (in some 
cases) willingly to expose and devote our lives for 
the benefit of our brethren. 

Of Self-interest. 129 

It recommendeth to us the examples of those sebm. 


who have underwent unspeakable pains^ losses, dis- '- — 

graces, troubles, and inconveniences of all kinds, 
for the fiirthering the good of others ; the examples 
of our Lord and of his Apostles, who never in any 
case regarded their own interests, but spent and 
sacrificed themselves to the public welfare of man- 

T^t representeth us not only as brethren of one 
family, who should therefore kindly favour, assist, 
and grace one another, but as members of one spi- 
ritual body, {Members one of another,) compacted Rom.xii.5. 
by the closest bands of common alliance, affection, 25. '' *"' 
and interest ; whose good much consisteth in the ,5 ™' "'' 
good of each other; who should together rejoice, 
and condole with one another; who should care for 
one another's good as for our own ; looking upon 
ourselves to gain by the advantage, to thrive in the 
prosperity, to be refreshed with the joy, to be graced 
with the honour, to be endamaged by the losses, to 
be afflicted with the crosses of our brethren; so 
that, i/J as St Paul saith, one member stiffer, aU the » Cor. xii. 
members suffer with it; if one member be honoured, 
aU the members r^oice with it. 

These are the principal kinds of vicious self-love; 
there are fiirther some special acts of kin to them, 
sprouting firom the same stock ; which I shall touch : 
such as Vain-glory, Arrogance, Talking of one's 
self, Thinking about one's self 

I. Vain-glory ^ — When a regard to the opinion, 
or desire of the esteem of men is the main prin- 
ciple fix)m which their actions do proceed, or the 

Ml) yumntBa K€v6do(oi, — Qal. T. 26. 
Vid. ChryB. in 2 Cor. Orat. xxix. 0pp. Tom. m. p. 702-3. 

B. 8. VOL. IV. 9 

130 Of Vain-Glxyry. 

SJSRM. chief end which they propound to themselves, in- 
^ stead of conscience, of duty, love and reverence 

of God, hope of the rewards promised, a sober 
regard to their true good, this is vain-glory. Such 

^**- ^;.. was the vain-glory of the Pharisees, who fasted, 

5. ' who prayed, who gave alms, who did all their works, 
that they might be seen of men, and from them 
obtain the reward of estimation and applause: 

PhU. ii. 3. this is that which St Paul forbiddeth ; Let nolMng 
he done out of strife or vainglory. 

When men affect and deUght in praise from 
mean or indifferent things; as from; secular dignity , 
power, wealth, strength, beauty, wit, learning, elo- 

Pb. xKx. quence, wisdom, or craft: as. There are many, 
saith the Psalmist, thcU boast themselves in the mul- 
titude of their riches. Nebuchadnezzar was raised 
with the conceit of having built a palace for the 
glory of his majesty ; Herod was puffed with ap- 
plause for his oration; the philosophers were 
vain in the esteem procured by their pretence 
to wisdom"; the Pharisees were elevated with the 
praise accruing from external acts of piety, (fiisting 
twice a week, making long prayers, tithing mint 
and cumin ;) all which things being in themselves 
of little worth, the affecting of praise from them 

Rom. ii. 7. is manifestly frivolous and vain. Honour should 
be affected only from true virtue and really good 

Phil. ui. 19. Those who seek glory from evil things, {Who 
glory in their shame,) from presumptuous trans- 
gression of God's law, (hectorly profaneness and 
debauchery,) from outrageous violence, from over- 
reaching craft. 

■' ^dcKopTft ftuai <roff>oi. — Rom. i. 22. 

Of Vain-Glory. 131 

Wkeu men affect praise immoderately, not serm. 

being content with that measure of good reputation - 
whicii naturally doth arise fix)m a virtuous and 
blameless life. As all other goods, so this should 
be affected moderately; it is not worth industry, 
or a direct aim. 

When they are unwilling to part with the 
esteem of men upon any account^ but rather will 
desert their duty than endure disgrace^ prizing- the 
opinion of men before the favour and approbation 
of God ; as it is said of those rulers, who believed in 
our Lord; but because of the Pharisees did not 
confess him, that they might not be put out of the 
synagogue. For they loved the glory of men, rather John xu. 
them the glory that is of God; and those to whom *^' 
our Saviour said, How can ye hdieve, who receive ▼. 44. 
glory from one another, but do not seek the glory 
that is of God? 

When they pursue it irregularly, are cunning 
and pohtic to procure it^ hunt for it in oblique ways, 
lay gins, traps, and baits for it ; such are ostentation 
of things commendable, fab speeches, kind looks 
and gestures, devoid of sinceriiy, &c. Such ways 
ambitious and popular men do use. 

This practice is upon many accounts vain and 
culpable**, and it produceth great inconvenience. 

I It is vain, because \mprofitable. Is. it not a 
foolish thing for a man to affect that which Uttle 
concemeth him to have, which having he is not 
considerably benefited? Such manifestly is the 
good opinion of men; how doth that reach us? 

" To fVTcXfff TovTo ho^iapw¥ KCLi ajT Attvo-tof. — G FOg. Na2. [Ep. 
ci^xxTiii. 0pp. Tom. II. p. 147 B.) 


132 Of Vain-Ghry. 

8EBM. Do we feel the commotions of their fkncy? doth 
'- — their breath blow us any good ? 

2 It is vain, because uncertain ^ How easily are 
the judgments of men altered I how fickle are their 
conceits! the wind of heaven is not more fleeting 
and variable than the wind of popular air. In a 
trice the case is turned with them ; they admire and 
scorn, they approve and condemn, they applaud and 
reproach, they court and persecute the same person, 
as their fancy is casually moved, or as fortune doth 
favour a person. Histories are full of instances 
of persons who have been now the favourites of 
the people, presently the objects of their hatred 
and obloquy. 

3 It is vain, because unsatis&ctoryp. How can 
a man be satisfied with the opinion of bad judges ; 
who esteem a man without good grounds, commonly 
for things not deserving regard ; who cannot dis- 
cern those things which really deserve esteem, good 
principles and honest intention? These only Gkxl 
can know, these only wise and good men can well 
guess at: it is therefore vain much to prize any 
judgment but that of God and of wise men, which 

EoduH. x\r. are but few. Praise hecometh not the mouth of a 

How also can a man rationally be pleased with 
the commendation of others', who is sensible of his 


^ Qai dedit hoc hodie, eras, si volet, auferet. — 

[Hor. Ep. I. 16. 33.] 
P StttltuB honoree 

Scepe dat indignis. — 

[Id. Sat. I. 6. 16.] 
4 FalsuB honor jayat, et mendaz infamia terret, 
Quern nisi mendosum ? — 

[Id. Ep. I. 16. 39.] 

Of Vain-Glory. 133 

so great defects, and coiiscious to himself of so skbm. 
many miscaimges? which considering, he should _f^ 

be ashamed to receive, he should in himself blush 

to own any praise. 

4 It is vain^ because fond. It is ugly and un- 
seemly to men; they despise nothing more than 
acting out of this principle. It misbecometh a man 
to perform things for so pitiful a reward, or to look 
upon it as a valuable recompense for his perform- 
ances, there being considerations so vastly greater 
to induce and encourage him; the satisfaction of 
conscience, the pleasing God, and procuring his 
favour ; the obtaining eternal happiness. 

5 It is vain, because unjust. If we seek glory 
to ourselves, we wrong God thereby, to whom the 
glory thereof is due. If there be in us any natural 
endowment considerable, (strength, beauty, wit,) it 
is from God, the Author of our being and life : is 
there any supervenient or acquisite perfection, (as 
skill, knowledge, wisdom,) it is from God, who gave 
us the means and opportunities of getting it, who 
guided our proceeding and blessed our industry : is 
there any advantage of fortune belonging to us, (as 
dignity, power, wealth,) it is the gift of God, who 
dispenseth these things, who disposeth aU things by 
his providence : is there any virtuous disposition m 
us, or any good work performed by us, it is the 
production of God, Who worketh in us to vnU and Piai. u. 
to do according to his good pleasure: have we any '^* 
good that we can call our own, that we have inde- 
pendently and absolutely made or purchased to our- 
selves; if not any, why do we assume to ourselves 

the glory of it, as if we were its makers or authors ? 

it is St Paul's expostulation ; Who made thee to ' Oo^. vi. 7. 

134 Of VainrQlory. 

8EBM. differ? whoU hast thou, which thou didst not receive? 
and if thou didst receive it, why dost thou ghry, as 

John iii. 

a;. * if thou hadst not received it? 

This is that which maketh this vice so odious to 
God, who is sensible of the injury done him, in rob- 
bing him of his due honour : how sensible he is he 
shewed in that great instance of smiting Herod with 

Acts xii. a miraculous vengeance ; because he did not give 
the glory to God, but arrogated glory to himself 
receiving with complacence the profane flatteries of 

laai. xUi. the peoplc. He hath said, / will not give my ghry 
to another, 

6 It is vain, because mischievous. It comipteth 
our mind with a lewd pleasure, which choketh the 
purer pleasures of a good conscience, spiritual joy 
and peace. 

It incenseth God's displeasure, who cannot 
endure to see us act out of so mean and base a 
. principle. 

It depriveth us of the reward due to good works, 
performed out of pure conscience, and other genuine 
Matt. Ti. principles of piety. 'Airexovai top pnndov^ They have 
their reward. 

7 It is vain, because unbeseeming us. 

It is observable, that the word 7?lI signifieth to 
praise or applaud, and also to infatuate or mak 

Glory doth sit unhandsomely upon us, who are 
so weak and frail, who are so impure and sinfiil, who 
are so liable to reproach and blame : it is like purple 
Job xii. 17. on a beggar — a panegyric upon a fly. When all is 
25 ' * ^' said that can be well of us, we are ridiculous, be- 
cause a thousand times more might be said to our 
disparagement and disgrace. For one good quality 

Of VairhGhry. 135 

we have many bad, for one good deed we have done seem. 

numberless eviL The best things we have or do, - -^J^ 

yield greater matter of dispraise than commenda- 
tion, being foil of imperfection and blemish. 

Absolutely so ; comparatively much more ; what 
are we in comparison to God ; whose excellency if 
we consider, and our distance from his perfections, 
how can we admit commendation ? how can we take 
any share of that which is wholly his due ? 

If we consider even the blessed angels and saints, 
and how &.r short we come of them; what can we 
say, but praise them who are so worthy, and abhor 
ourselves who are so vile ? 

Seeing there are such objects of praise, how 
can it be conferred on amortel, vile, wretched crea. 

II. Arrogance. — ^When a man (puffed up with 
conceit of his own abihties, or unmeasurably affect- 
ing himself) doth assume to himself that which 
doth not belong to him; (more than in reason 
and justice is his due in any kind, more honour, 
more power, more wisdom, &c.) 

When he encroacheth on the rights, invadeth the 
hberties, intrudeth into the offices, intermeddleth 
with the businesses, imposeth on the judgments of 
others. When he wiU be advising, teaching, guiding, 
checking, controlling others, without their leave or 

men he wiU unduly be exercising judgment 
and censure upon the persons, qualities, and actions 
of his neighbour. 

These are instances and arguments of vicious 
self-love. He that doth rightly understand and 
duly affect himself will contain himself within his 

136 Of Arrogance. 

SERM. own bounds, will mind his own affidrs, wiU suffer 


every man undisturbedly to use his own right and 
liberty in judging and acting. 

The effects of this practice are, dissensions, dis- 
satisfactions, grudges, &c. ; for men cannot endure 
such fond and unjust usurpations upon their rights, 
their liberties, their reputations. 

III. Talking of one's self. — WepiavroKoyia^ TaXkr 
ing about one^s sdf is an effect and manifest sign of 
immoderate selfJove. 

To talk much of one's self, of his own qualities, 
of his concernments, of his actions, so as either 
downrightly to commend one's self, or obliquely to 
insinuate grounds of commendation; to catch at 
praise; or, however, to drive on our own designs 
and interests thereby. 

It is an argument of self-love, proceeding from a 
fulness of thought concerning one's self, and a fond 
Matt. xii. affection to one's own things ; {Ovt of the abuncU 
^^' ance of the heart the mouth speaketh; assuredly 

we think much of that, and we like it greatly, con- 
cerning which we are prompt to discourse: the 
imaginations and affections discharge themselves at 
the mouth.) 

This is a foolish and hurtful practice. For, 

I It is vain, and hath no effect. We thereby 
seek to recommend ourselves to the opinion of men; 
but we fail therein ; for our words gain no belief. 
For no man is looked upon as a good judge or a 
faithful witness in his own case ; a good judge and 
a faithAil witness must be indifferent and disinter- 
ested ; but every man is esteemed to be fitvourable, 
to be partial in his opinion concerning himself; to 
be apt to strain.a point of truth and right in passing 

Of Talking of One's Sdf. 137 

testimony or sentence upon himself: he therefore serm; 
that speaketh of himself is not believed, his words _£El_ 


have no good effect on the hearers : it is true what 
the Wise Man observeth ; Most men will proclaim Ptov. 
every one his own goodness, hut a faiOiful man 
who can find? (but it is hard to find one who, in 
making report or passing judgment concerning him- 

self, will be faithful and just.) )kavya<TQai oi avfifpepet 2 Cor. 

2 Yea it usually hath a contrary effect, and 
destroyeth that which it aimeth at. Self-com- 
mendation is so far from procuring a good opinion, 
that it breedeth an evil one. 

Men have a prejudice against what is said, as 
proceeding firom a suspected witness; one who is 
biassed by self-love and bribed by self-interest to 
impose upon them : Not he that commendeth himr » cor. x. 
self is approved. '®* 

It is fastidious, as impertinent, insignificant, and 
insipid'; spending time, and beating their ears to, 
no purpose ; they take it for an injury to suppose 
them so weak as to be moved by such words, or 
forced into a good conceit. 

It is odious and invidious ; for all men do love 
themselves, no less than we ourselves; and cannot 
endure to see those who affect to advance them- 
selves and reign in our opinion. 

It prompteth them to speak evil of us ; to search 
for faults to cool and check us. 

It is therefore a preposterous and vain way to 
think of gaining credit and love : men thereby in- 
fiJHbly lose or depress themselves. 

Of all words those which express ourselves and 

'H/Acis fif oflxi fh ra Sfitrpa Kavx'i(T6fuda. — 2 Cor. x. 13. 

r «i 

138 Of Talking of One's Sdf 

BEBM. our things, / and mine^ Ac. are the least pleasing 

1— to men's ears. 

It spoileth conversation ; for he that loyeth to 
speak of himself doth least love to hear others speak 
of themselves, and so is not attentive. 

If a man have worthy qualities and do good 
deeds, let them speak for him ; they will of them- 
selves extort commendation ; his silence about them, 
his seeming to neglect them, will enhance their 
worth in the opinion of men. Prating about them, 
obtruding them upon men, will mar their credit ; 
inducing men to think them done, not out of love 
to virtue, but for a vain-glorious design. Thus did 
Cicero, thus have many others blasted the glory of 
their virtuous deeds'. 

3 Supposing you get the belief and the praise 
you aim at, to have complacence therein is bad or 
dangerous; it is a fond satisfaction, it is a vicious 
pleasure ; it puffeth up, it befooleth. 

4 It is against modesty. It argueth the man 
hath a high opinion of himself: if he believe him- 
self what he saith, he hatii so; if not, why would 
he persuade others to have it? 

Modesty cannot without pain hear others speak 
of him, nor can with any grace receive commenda- 
tions; it^ therefore great impudence to speak of 
himself, and to seek praise. 

5 We may observe it to be a great temptation 
to speak falsely. Men, when they affect com- 
mendation, will gladly have it to the utmost; are 
loath to wrong themselves, or to lose any thing; 
they will therefore at least speak to the extreme 
bounds of what may be said in their own behalf; 

' Tiyova Uti^fmv jcavx«ft€yD»\ — 2 Cor. xii. 11 ; xi. 17. 

Of Talking of One's Self 139 

and while they run upon the extreme borders of sbrm. 
truth, it is hard to stop their career, so as not to 

launch forth into falsehood : it is hard to stand upon 
the brink, without falling into the ditch. 

It is therefore advisable in our discourse to 
leave ourselves out as much as may be; never, if 
we can help it, to say, /, mine, &c. never seeking, 
commonly shunning and declining occasion to speak 
of ourselves: it will bring much convenience and 
benefit to us. 

Our discourse will not be oflfensive ; we shall de- 
cline envy and obloquy; we shall avoid being talked 
of; we shall escape temptations of vanity ; we shall 
better attend to what others say, &c. 

If we will be speaking of ourselves, it is allow- 
able to speak sincerely and unaffectedly concerning 
our infirmities and faults ; as St Paul does of him- 1 Cor. xii. 
self. '' "• ^" 

There are some caaes wherein a man may com- 
mend himself; as in his own defence, to maintein 
his authority, to urge his example, kc. so doth St 
Paul often. He calleth it folly to boast, (because 
genemUy such it is,) yet he doth it for those ends. 

Let another praise thee, and not thine own movih; Prov. 
a stranger, and not thine own lips. 

IV. Thinking of ourselvea-Thmking of our- 
selves with glee and pleasure; this is a great 
nourisher of immoderate self-love; for the more 
they indulge to a gazing upon themselves with 
delight, the more they grow in love, the more 
passionately they come to dote on themselves. 

It is good to reflect inward, and to view our 

* Vid. Plat. n*pl row iavrhw tiroivtiv dv€iri<f>66v»s. — [De Sui 
Laud. 0pp. Tom. vin. p. 132 et seqq. Ed. ReiBk.] 

XXVU. 2. 

140 Thinkirig of Ourselves. 

SERM. souls ; but we should do it so^ as to find a wholesome 

'. — displeasure and regret in beholding ourselves so 

foul and impure^ so weak and defectuous^ so ugly 
and deformed: if we do thus, we shall not over- 
love ourselves. 


Some general remedies of self-love. 

1 To reflect upon ourselves seriously and impar- 
tially, considering our natural nothingness, mean- 
ness, baseness, imperfection, infirmity, unworUiiness; 
the meanness and imperfection of our nature, the 
defects and deformities of our souls, the failings and 
misdemeanours of our lives. He that doeth this 
cannot surely find himself lovely, and must there^ 
fore take it for very absurd to dote on himself He 
will rather be induced to dislike, despise, abhor, and 
loathe himself. 

2 To consider the loveliness of other beings 
superior to us, comparing them with ourselves, and 
observing how very far in excellency, worth, and 
beauty they transcend us ; which if we do, we must 
appear no fit objects of love, we must be checked 
in our dotage, and diverted firom this fond affection 
to ourselves. It cannot but dazzle our eyes and 
dull our affections to ourselves. 

If we view the qualities and examples of other 
men, who in worth, in wisdom, in virtue, and piety, 
do fer excel us; their noble endowments, their 
heroical achievements; what they have done and 
suffered in obedience to God, (their strict temper- 
ance and austerity, their laborious industry, their 
self-denial, their patience, &c.) how can we but in 
comparison despise and loathe ourselves ? 

If we consider the blessed angels and saints in 
glory and bliss ; their purity, their humility, their 

Some general Remedies of Self-Love. 141 
obedience; how can we tliink of ourselves without serm. 


contempt and abhorrence? 1_ 

Especially if we contemplate the perfection, the 
purity, the majesty of God ; how must this infinitely 
debase us in our opinion concerning ourselves, and 
consequently diminish our fond affection toward 
thmgs so vile and unworthy? 

3 To study the a^uisition and improvement of 
charity toward God and our neighbour. This wiU 
employ and transfer our affections; these drawing 
our souls outward, and settling them upon other 
objects, will abolish or abate the perverse love 
toward ourselves. 

4 To consider, that we do owe all we are and 
have to the free bounty and grace of Grod : hence we 
shall see, that nothing of esteem or affection is due 
to ourselves; but aU to him, who is the foimtain and 
Author of all our good. 

5 To direct our minds wholly toward those 
things which rational self-love requireth us to re- 
gard and seek: to concern ourselves in getting 
virtue, in performing our duty, in promoting our 
salvation, and arriving to happiness ; this will divert 
us from vanity; a sober self-love will stifle the 
other fond self-love. 




Rom. XII. 17. 

Provide things honest in the sight of all men. 


THE world apparently is come to that pass^ that 
men commonly are afraid or aahamed of re- 
ligious pra^ice, hardly daring to own their Mater 
by a conscientious observance of his laws. While 
profaneness and wickedness are grown outrageously 
i8*i. m.9. bold, so that Many declare their sin as Sodom; 
piety and virtue are become pitifully bashfiil, so 
that how few have the heart and the face openly to 
maintain a due regard to them I Men in nothing 
appear so reserved and shy as in avowing their 
conscience, in discovering a sense of their duty, in 
expressing any fear qf God, any love of goodness, 
any concern for their own soul. It is wisdom, aa 
they conceive, to compound with God, and to col- 
lude with the world ; reserving for God some place 
in their heart, or yielding unto him some private 
acknowledgment ; while in their public demeanour 
they conform to the world, in commission of sin, or 
neglect of their duty ; supposing that God may be 
satisfied with the invisible part of his service, while 
men are gratified by visible compliance with their 
ungracious humours. 

Provide Things honesty dc. 143 

Suclx procfiediug is built on divers very falla- serm. 
cious^ absurd^ and inconsistent grounds or pretences ; -- 

whereby men egregiously do abuse ttemselves and 
would impose on others; namely these^ and the 

They would not, by a fair show and semblance 
of piety, give cause to be taken for hypocrites; 
whereas, by dissembling their conscience, and seem- 
ing to have no fear of God before their eyes, they Ps. xzxvi 
incur an hypocrisy no less criminal in nature, but 
far more dangerous in consequence, than is that 
which they pretend to decline. 

They would not be apprehended vain-glorioue 
for affecting to serve God in the view of men ; 
whereas often at the bottom of their demeanour a 
most wretched and worse than pharisaical vain* 
gloiy doth he; they forbearing the performance of 
their duty merely to shim the censure, or to gain 
the respect of the vilest and vainest persons. 

They would be deemed exceedingly honest and 
sincere, because forsooth all their piety is cordisd, 
pure, and void of sinister regards to popular esteem ; 
IheLs partial mtegrily ^ noLLe ; whereas 
no pretence can be more vain, than that we hold a 
feithiul friendahip or hearty respect for God, whom 
we openly disclaim or di»[>egard ; whereas also it is 
easily discernible, that although their piety is not> 
yet their impiety is popular, and affected to ingra- 
tiate with men. 

They would be taken for men of brave, courage- 
ous, and masculine spiritef, exalted above the weak- 
nesses of superstition and scrupulosity; whereas 
indeed, out of the basest cowardice, and a dread to 
offend sorry people, they have hot a heart to act 


144 Provide Things honest 

SERM. according to their duty, their judgment, their best 

LUX. • . 


They would seem very modest in concealing 
their virtue ; while yet they are most impudent in 
disclosing their wiant of conscience ; while they are 
isaiixv.s. so presumptuous toward God, as to provoke him to 
viii! li. ' his face by their disobedience; while they are not 
ashamed to wrong and scandalize their brethren by 
their ill behaviour. 

They would not be uncivil or discourteous in 
thwarting the mind and pleasure of then: company; 
as if in the mean time they might be most rude to- 
ward God in affironting his will and authority ; as if 
any rule of civility could oblige a man to forfeit his 
salvation; as if it were not rather most cruel dis* 
courtesy and barbarous inhumanity to countenance 
or encourage any man in courses tending to his 

They would not be singular and uncouth, in dis- 
costing from the common road or fashion of men ; 
as if it were better to leave the common duty than 
the common faults of men ; as if wisdom and virtue 
were ever the most vulgar things ; as if the way to 
heaven were the broadest and the most beaten way; 
as if rarity should abate the price of good things; 
as if conspiracy in rebellion against God might jus- 
tify or excuse the fact; as if it were advisable to 
march to hell in a troop, or comfortable to lie there 
for ever among the damned crew of associates in 

They cannot endure to be accounted zealots or 
bigots in Religion ; as if a man could love or fear 
God too much; or be over-faithful and carefiil in 
serving him ; as if to be most earnest and solicitous 

lO. 31. 

in the Sight of all Men. 145 

(not in promoting our own fancies^ but) in discharge serm. 

ing our plain duties could be justly reproachable, or ^ 

were not, indeed, highly commendable. 

These things I may hereafter fiilly declare; in 
the mean time it is manifest, that such a practice is 
extremely prejudicial to KeHgion and goodness ; so 
that it may be very useftd to employ our medita- 
tions upon this text of the Apostle, which directly 
doth oppose and prohibit it. 

The same text he otherwhere (in his Second 
Epistle to the Corinthians) doth repeat in the same 
terms, (only inserting a clause more ftdly explain- 
ing his sense,) backing his precept with his own 
example ; for we, saith he there, did so manage the 
busmess of coUecting and dispensing alms, as To .Oo. v«i. 
avoid that any man should hla/tne us in this aJbund- 
ance which is administered by us; providing for 
honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, hut 
in the sight ofvnen. 

The words do imply a precept of very large ex- 
tent, and touching a great part of our duty ; even 
all thereof which is public and visible ; for which 
we are accountable to the world, whereof man can 
take any cognisance; which concemeth all our 
speech and conversation, all our dealing and com- 
merce, all our deportment relating to human so- 
ciety, civU or spiritual. 

I shall first a little consider its meaning and 
design; then I shall propose reasons and induce- 
ments to its observance; then I shall declare the 
folly of those principles and pretences which ob- 
struct that observance. 

The meaning of it is, that we should have a 
special care of our external demeanour and conver- 

B. S. VOL. IV. 10 

146 Provide Things honest 

8ERM. sation, which cometh under the view and observar 


'— tion of men ; that it be exempted from any offence 

or blame*; yea, that it be comely and commendable. 
The terms in which it is expressed are notably 
emphatical ; we are directed Trpovoelv, to provide, to 
use a providence and forecast in the case : ere we 
undertake any design, we should deliberate with 
ourselves, and consider on what theatre we shall act, 
what persons will be spectators, what conceits our 
practice may raise in them, and what influence pro- 
bably it will have on them. We should not rush 
on into the public view with a precipitant rashness, 
or blind negligence, or contemptuous disregard, not 
caring who standeth in our way, who marketh what 
we do, what consequence our proceeding may have 
on the score of its being pubUc and visible : we 
should advise beforehand, lay our business, and on 
set purpose order our behaviour with a regard to 
those to whose sight and notice we expose it, fore- 
seeing how our actions may affect or incline them. 
So we must provide; what things? KoKay things 
fair and handsome ; things not only good, innocent, 
and inoffensive to the sight of men; but goodly, 
pleasant, and acceptable to well-disposed beholders ; 
such as our Apostle doth otherwhere recommend, 
Phil. iv. 8. when he chargeth us to regard, o<Ta aejuLva, whoteoer 
things are venerahley oaa irpoafpCKlj^ whatever things 
are lovely, oaa €S(f>r)fia, whatever things are of good 
report, el rts eiraivo^, whatever things are laudaMe ; 
Bom. xiii. ^^d whou he doth exhort us to walk evaytifAoviM)^, 
I TheB8.iv. handsomely and decently, in a comely garb and 
"• fashion of life: this may add an obligation to some 

things not directly prescribed by God, which yet 

* 'X/if/ffrroi. — ^Phil. ii. 16. XveyicX»;Tot. — Col. 1. 22. 

in the Sight of all Men. 147 

may serve to adorn Religion, but it cannot detract serm. 

any thing from what Grod hath commanded ; it doth ^- 

comprehend all instances of piety and virtue prac- 
ticable before men; it certainly doth exclude all 
conmiission of sin, and omission of duty; for that 
nothing can be fair or handsome which is ugly in 
God's sight, which doth not suit to his holy will. 

Such things we must provide, ivdiriov iravrtw 
ayOpwirwu, before aU men; not only before some men, 
to whom we bear a particular respect, of whom we 
stand in awe, upon whom we have a design; but 
universally before all men, as having a due conside- 
ration of all those upon whom our deportment may 
have influence ; not despising or disregarding the 
observation of the meanest or most inconsiderable 
person whatever. 

But in this practice, to avoid misapprehensions, 
we must distinguish; for it is not required, that we 
should do all things openly, nor intended that we 
should do any thing vainly ; but that we should act 
constantly according to the nature and reason of 
things, with upright and pure intention : the Apostle 
doth not mean, that in our practice we should re- 
semble the Pharisees, whom our Lord reproveth Matt. vi. 
for doing their ahns before men, for loving to pray l^, 5. 
standing in the synagogues, for doing all their 
works to be seen of men ; performing those acts of 
piety openly in the comers of the street, which 
should have been done secretly in the closet ; and 
so doing them out of vanity and ambitious design, 
to procure the good opinion and praise of men : he 
dotii not intend^ that we should assume a formal 
garb of singular virtue ; that we should aim to seem 
better than we are, counterfeiting any point of 


148 Provide Things honest 

SERM. Beligion or virtue ; that we should affect to appear 
even as good as we are, exposing all our piety to common view; that we should sound a trumpet be- 
fore us, making an ostentation of any good deeds, 
catching at reputation or applause for them; that 
we should do any commendable thing chiefly to ob- 
tain the good opinion of the world, or to escape its 
censure: infinitely far it was from the Apostle's 

™ii-«7» intention, that we diould be like those Whited 
sepidchreSy which appear beautiful outward^ hut are 
within full of dead men^s hones and aU undean- 
ness; that is, like those Pharisees, who did out- 
wardly appear righteous, but within were fidl of 
hypocrisy and iniquity : No ; 

In some cases we must be reserved, and keep 
our virtue close to ourselves; and ever under a fair 
show there must be a real substance of good, to- 
gether with an honest intention of heart**; a good 
conscience must always lie at the bottom of a good 
conversation; the outside must be good, but the 
best side must be inward ; we must endeavour to 
sanctify our life and conversation, but we must 
especially labour to purify our hearts and affections. 
Join the precept with others duly limiting it, 
and it doth import, that with pure sincerity and 
imaffected simplicity (void of any sinister or sordid 
design) we should in all places, upon all occasions, 
in all matters, carefiilly discharge that part of our 
duty which is public, according to its nature, season, 
and exigency, that is, publicly ; not abstaining firom 
the practice of those good deeds, which cannot 
otherwise than openly be well performed; or the 

^ T^ (TtfiphtP ofrXaarwr. To €ikfnjfioVf koi roirro a^ro<^rt. — M. 
Ant. I. § 9. Vid. ii. § 5. 

in the Sight of aU Men. 149 

conspicuous performance whereof is absolutely need- serm. 
fill in regard to God's law and the satisfaction of '— 

our conscience, is plainly serviceable to the glory 
of God, is very conducible to the edification of our 
neighbour, or which may be useful to good pur- 
poses concurrent with those principal ends : we Matt. vii. 
should as good trees from a deep root of true piety, Luke vi. 
in due season naturally, as it were, shoot forth good pl 1 3. 
firuits, not only pleasant to the sight, but savoury 
to the taste, and wholesome for use ; as St Paul, 
who, as he saith of himself, that he did provide * ^r. vm. 
things honest in the sight of all men, so he also 
doth afiSrm, that his Rejoicing was this, the testi- »• "• 
mony of his conscience, that in simplicity and godly 
sincerity — Jie had his conversation in the world. 

There are, indeed, some duties, or works of piety 
and virtue, the nature whereof directeth, that in the 
practice of them we should be reserved ; such as 
those wherein the world is not immediately con- 
cerned, and which may with best advantage be 
transacted between God and our own souls ; as pri- 
vate devotion, meditation on God's word and will, 
the discussion of our consciences, voluntary exer- 
cises of penitence, and the like : such also be those 
wherein the intervention or notice of few persons 
is required ; as deeds of particular charity in dis- 
pensing alms, good advice, fiiendly reproof; the 
which sort of duties our Lord hath taught us to 
perform in secret^ ev ry tcpvn-r^, or as closely as we 
may ; studiously keeping our observance of them *' 
from the eyes of men; thereby assuring our sin- 
cerity to ourselves, and guarding our practice firom 
any taint of vanity or suspicion of hypocrisy; as 
also in some cases avoiding to cause prejudice or 

150 Provide Things honest 

SERM. offence to our neighbours: Take heedj saith our 

'— Lord, that ye do not your alms before men; and, 

vi.*6;^ '' Thou, when thouprayest, enter into thy closet; and, 

▼i- 17 ; Thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head and wash 

thy face, that thou appear not unto men to fast; and, 

xviu. 15. If thy brother shaU trespass against thee, go and teU 

him his fault between thee and him alone. 

But there are divers other duties, the discharge 
whereof necessarily is notorious and visible; the 
public being the stage on which they are to be 
acted ; the transaction of them demanding the in- 
tercourse of many persons, who ate the objects or 
instruments of them, or are somewise concerned 
in them: such is that negative duty, of a general 
Ps. xxxiv. nature and vast comprehension, which we may call 
'^* innocence; that is, a total abstinence from sin, or 

forbearance to transgress any divine command; 
Job i. r ; which is a part of Job's character. That man was 
"' ^* perfect and upright, one that feared God, and 
eschewed evil: the which duty, being to be practised 
at all times in every place, cannot avoid being ob- 

Such are also divers positive duties; for such is 
the profession of our faith in God, and acknowledg- 
ment of his heavenly truth, revealed in the Gospel 
Matt. X. of our blessed Saviour ; which is styled confessing 
^m. X. ^^^ Lord before men, and is, as St Paul telleth us, 
'®- indispensably requisite to salvation. 

Such is joining in that public adoration, whereby 

the honour and authority of God are upheld in the 

world with seemly expressions of reverence; the 

which is to be performed solenmly, and, as the holy 

Pb. xcix.5; Psalmist speaketh, In the midst of the congregation. 

xxii. 12/ Such is zeal in vindication of God's honour, 

in the Sight of all Men, 151 

when occasion requireth, from blasphemous asper- serm. 

sions, or from scandalous oflfences against it. ^ 

Such are justice, equity, fidelity, and ingenuity 
in our dealings; meekness, gentleness, patience, 
kindness, and courtesy in our converse; peaceable- 
ness in our carriage, and charitable beneficence ; the 
objects whereof are most general, according to those 
apostolical precepts, that our moderation (or ourphu. iv.5. 
equity and ingenuity) be known unto all men ; that Tit. m. 2. 
we shew all meekness to all men ; that we must not « Tim. u. 
strive, but be gentle unto all men ; that we be pa- 
tient toward all men ; that we pursue peace with i Thees. v. 
all men ; that as we have opportunity, we should Heb. xu. 
do good unto all men ; should aboimd in love one j[j[;„ ^u. 
towards another, and towards all men ; should ever }?\ . ,^ 

' ■' u-aL VI. xo. 

follow that which is jSfood, both amono: ourselves ^ Thees. iii. 

12 • V, 15. 

and to all men; should Uberally distribute to theiCop.ix. 
saints and to all men; in performing which so ^^' 
general duties, how can a man paas incognito, how 
can he so deal with all men indiscemibly ? 

Such are likewise gravity and modesty in our 
behaviour; sweetness, soberness, aptness to profit 
and edify the hearers in our discourse ; moderation 
and temperance in our corporeal enjoyments; in- 
dustry in our business and the works of our calling ; 
integrity in the management of any ofl&ce or trust 
committed to us ; a constant practice of which vir- i Tim. w, 
tues^is not only enjoined to us as our particulars^; ^^^ 
duty, but for public example. 7. 

Such are seasonable defence of the truth, and 
opposing of error; the commendation of virtue, and 
reprehension of notorious sin, with the like. 

Such things must be practised, because indis- 
pensable duties; but they cannot be done out of 

152 Provide Things honest 

SEKM. sight, or barring the observation of men ; they do 

^ involve publicness ; they carry a light and lustre 

with them, attracting all eyes to regard them ; it is 
as impossible to conceal them as to hide the sun 

Matt. V. from all the world, or to conceal a city that is set 
upon a hill; for iVb^irigr, as-St Chrysostom" saith^ 
doth render a man so HhistriouSy although he ten 
thousand times would he hid, as an open practice 
of virtue. 

Wherefore, The works of mercy, saith St Austin*, 
the affection of charity, the sanctity of godliness, the 
incorruptness of chastity, the moderation of sobriety, 
these are perpetually to he held, whether we are in 
puhlic or at horns; whether before men or in the 
doset, whether we speak or keep silence. 

In the practice of them, it is true, we mainly 
should respect the approving our conscience to 
God®^ with expectation of our recompense from him; 

I Cor.iv.3. not being much concerned in the judgment or plea- 

I Thess. ii. /» •■ • i i • 1 1 1 * 

4, 5. sure 01 men, purely considered m themselves ; not 
aiming at any interest of credit or profit from them, 
as a reward of our work; We ought, as St Austin' 

^ Ovdcv yhp ovroff iirtaiffiov Sv6pcimaif iroici, k6» fivptoKis \av6aptip 
fiovXtfrait tag dp€rfjs €nidf^(is, — Chrys. in Matt. y. 16. [0pp. Tom. ll. 
p. 101.] 

' Opera misericordiw, affectus caritatis, sanctitas pietatis, in- 
cormpth) castitatis, modefitia sobrietatiSy semper hsBO tenenda 
sunt ; aire cum in publico sumua, sire cum in domo ; sire ante 
homines, sive in cubiculo ; sire loquentes, sive tacentes, sive 
aliquid agentes, sive vacantes. — Aug. in 1 Job. Tract, vni. [0pp. 
Tom. III. col. 877 E.] 

* Non cum fama sed cum rerum natura deliberandum est. — 
Sen £p. Lxxxi. [27] 

' Si times spectatores, non habebis imitatores ; debes ergo W- 
deri. Sed non ad hoc debes facere, ut videaris. Non ibi debet 
esse finis gaudii tui, non ibi terminus leetitisd tu»» ut putos te 
totum fructum consecutum esse boni opens tni, cum visus fucris 
atque laudatus. — T7t supra, [col. 878 b.] 

Gal. i. 10. 

in the Sight of aU Men. 158 

fiaith, while we do good^ to be seen, but we ought not serm. 

to do it that we may be seen; the end o/ourjoy^ the — 

bound of our comfort, should not be there; so that 
we should think ourselves to have obtained the whole 
fruit of a good work, when we have been seen and 
commended: no, whatever we do, we should, as the ^p^- ^- ^• 
Apostle directeth, do it. As the servants of Christy 
doing the will of God from the heart; Doing it Coim, 2$, 
heartily as to the Lordy and not unto men; knounng *** 
that of the Lord we shaU receive the reward of the 

Yet nothing in the mean-time should hinder us 
from performing such necessary duties ; strictly and 
exactly, with our most diligent care and endeavour, 
even in that light which their nature doth carry 
in it. 

How much soever of our virtue or piety out of 
Tiumility or modesty we may conceal, yet we must 
be careftd of discovering any vice or irreUgion, either 
by notoriously committing any thing forbidden by 
Gk)d, or omitting any thing commanded by him. 

This we should not do upon any terms, upon 
any pretence whatever ; no wicked fashion should 
engage us, no bad example should inveigle us, no 
favour of men should allure us, no terror should 
scare us thereto ; we should not out of fear, out of 
shame, out of complaisance, out of affected pru- 
dence or politic design; out of deference to the 
quaUty, dignity, or authority of any person ; out of 
regard to any man's desire or pleasure ; we should 
not, to decline offence, envy, blame, reproach, ill 
treatment, or upon any such account, comply in 
any sinM practice, wave any duty, neglect any 
season of performing a good deed, whereby we may 

154 Provide Things honest 

SBRM. glorify God, or edify our neighbour, or promote 
— the welfare of our own soul. 

To such a practice, according to the intent of 
St Paul's injunction, we are obliged; and thereto 
\^e may be induced by divers considerations, par- 
ticularly by those which we shall now propose. 

I We may consider, that the public is the pro- 
per, natural, and due place of goodness ; it should 
dwell in the light, it should walk freely and boldly 
everywhere, it should expose itself to open view*, 
that it may receive from rational creatures its due 
approbation, respect, and praise; it by publicness 
is advanced, and the more it doth appear, the more 
beautiful, the more pleasant, the more useful it is; 
yielding the fairer lustre, the greater influence, the 
better efiects; thereby diffusing and propagating 
itself, becoming exemplary, instructive, and admo- 
nitive; drawing lovers and admirers to it; exciting 
and encouraging men to embrace it: wherefore it 
is very absurd that it should sculk or sneak ; it is a 
great damage to the public that it should retire 
from common notice. 

On the other hand, it is proper for wickedness 
never to appear or to shew its head in view; it 
should be confined to darkness and solitude, under 
guard of its natural keepers, shame and fear^; it 
should be exterminated from aU conversation among 
^mt!^' rational creatures, and banished to the infernal 
shades : publicness doth augment and aggravate it ; 
the more it is seen, the more ugly, the more loath- 

^ Bona coDBcientia prodire yult et conspici; ipsas nequitia 
tenebras timet. — Sen. [Ep. xcvii. 11.] 

* Omne malum aut timore, aat pudore natura perfudit. — ^Ter* 
tul. Apol. cap. I. [0pp. p. 2 c] 

in tiie Sight of all Men. 155 

some^ the more noxious it is; its odious shape being serm. 
disclosed; its noisome steams being dispersed, its - 

pestilent eflfects being conveyed thereby. 

Wherefore to smother virtue (that fair cbUd of 
light) in privacy, and to vent sin {The works qf^^^^- 
darkness) openly, is quite to transplace things out Eph.v. u. 
of their natural situation and order; according to 
which we are taught by our Lord, that, He ^^ JohniiLn; 
doeth truth cometh to the lights that his deeds may he 
manifest; and that, Every one who doeth evU hateth ver. lo. 
the light, neither oom>eth he to the light, lest his deeds ^ '^' '^' 
shovld he reproved: so indeed it is, and wiU be, 
where conscience retaineth its due sway and force ; 
where a due respect and reverence are preserved 
for goodness. 

As that any good cometh from detection of sin 
is an accidental advantage; so that any mischief 
doth ever follow the manifestation of virtue is an 
unnatural abuse ; the which may well be prevented : 
there can be no danger of acting any good most 
evidently, if we do withal act sincerely, having 
purified our hearts from dishonest intention and 
from ambitious vanity; the fear of which should 
not whoUy drive virtue under the hatches, and bring 
vice upon the stage. But, 

2 We should consider, that we cannot really in 
any competent or tolerable measure be good men, 
without approving ourselves such in our conversa- 
tion before men. 

Whatever may be pretended, it commonly doth 
happen, and it ever is to be suspected, that the in- 
visible piety which is not accompanied with visible 
conscientiousness is false, or is no piety at all; or 
that they who have little care and conscience to 

156 Provide Things honest 

SERH. serve God publicly have much less to serve him 
— privately ; or that such as betray a scandalous neg- 
ligence of their ways will hardly maintain a careful 
watch over their hearts; for the same causes (be 
it profane infidelity, or looseness of principles, or 
supine incogitancy, or sloth, or stupidity) which 
dispose them to disregard God and his laws before 
the world, more effectually will incline them to 
neglect God and forget their duty by themselves, 
where beside their own conscience there is no wit- 
ness, no judge, no censor to encourage or reproach 
them. But admit it possible, and put case, that 
sometimes the heart and conversation may not run 
parallel; tbat a man may better govern his inte- 
rior thoughts and affections, than he doth manage 
his exterior behaviour and actions; that a man 
secretly may cleave to God, although he seemeth 
openly to desert him; yet this will not suflSce to 
constitute or denominate a man good; because 
much of goodness, as we have shewed, even the 
nobler half thereof, (that part whereby God is 
most glorified, and whereby the world is most be- 
nefited,) doth lie in open and visible practice : that 
virtue therefore must be very imperfect, that obe- 
junei ii. dieucc must be very lame, which is deficient in so 
great a part. 

As there can be no fair pretence to goodness, 
where so little thereof is conspicuous ; so there can 
be no real integrity thereof, where so much of duty 
is wanting. 
LTikevi.44. Our Lord hath taught us, that. Every tree is 
James ii. known by its fruit; and St James saith, that, Faith 
is shewed by works; and so it is, that a man can 
hardly be good in any reasonable degree without 

in the Sight of aU Men. 157 

appearing such. Impiety may, but piety camiot be ®J^^- 

quite concealecL As gold may be counterfeited, — 

(for all is not gold that glistereth,) yet true gold 
always doth look like gold; so although bad men 
sometimes may seem good, yet good men also must 
seem such, appearing in their own native temper 
and lustre. 

Goodness cannot be disguised in the shape of 
evil, because simplicity and innocence are essential 
ingredients of it : any mixture of notorious sin, any 
visible neglect of duty assuring (yea formally mak- 
ing) a want of it, or a real defect therein : it may 
be daubed with false aspersions, it may be dimmed 
by the breath of unjust and uncharitable censures ; 
but, wiping them off, its natural hue certainly will 

Wherefore, if we woidd satisfy ourselves in our 
own consciences, or justify ourselves to others, that 
we are truly good, we must (without partiality, or 
distinguishing between public and private) like the 
holy Psalmist, have respect unto all God's com-^v™.?- 
mandments; we, like Zachary and Elizabeth, must ' '' " 
walk in aJl the comma^dm^ts and ordinaixces of 
the Lord blameless; we must like David, accom- Act. zm. 
plish all God's wills'; we must observe St Paul's "" 

rule, To abstain aird iravrot ei^ovi vovijpoVyJrom both r Theas. T. 

every kind of evU, and every bad a/j^pearance. But 

3 A great care of our good behaviour before 
men is necessaty in regard to Almighty God; 
whose just inte^ is preyed, whose due homag^ 
is paid! whose honour' is promoted thereby; 1 

' Houiv navra ra ^Xiffurra funt, — Acts ziii. 22. 


158 Provide Things honest 

SEi^. same being greatly prejudiced and impaired by the 
contrary defailance. 

It is a clear point of justice toward God, as to 
render all obedience to him, so particularly that 
which consisteth in an open acknowledgment and 
service of him; for as he made and doth preserve 
not only the heart, but the tongue, the members, 

Rom.ziLi. the whole man, so all must concur in rendering 
their tribute of reverence and service to him. The Apostle doth prescribe, that. Whatever we 
do, we should do aU to the glory of God; and well he 
might, seeing that to glorify God is, indeed, to exe- 
cute the main design of our creation, to apply our 
faculties to their best use, to achieve the most 
proper and most excellent work whereof we are 
capable; to do that which is the worthiest and 
happiest employment of angels, which all the com- 
pany of heaven, with most ardent desire, with most 
zealous ambition, with restless endeavour, doth 
pursue ; and this we cannot better, we cannot other- 
wise do, than by an apparent good conversation. 

He that apparently in all his actions maketh 
conscience of obeying God^s laws, thereby doth evi- 
dence his firm persuasion concerning the existence 
and providence of God ; doth adhere to him against 
all adversaries of piety, and all temptations to 
rebellion; doth avow his sovereign majesly and 
authority ; doth yield him due veneration and obe- 
dience; doth shew right apprehensions of him, and 
just affections towards him ; implying that he doth 
most highly esteem him, doth most heartily love 
him, doth chiefly dread him, doth repose his trust 
and hope in him for aU his happiness; hath a great 

in the Sight of aU Men. 159 

opinion of his wisdom, a great awe of his power, serm. 

a great sense of his goodness; the which practice is '- 

in itself a direct and formal glorification of God, in 
his own person. 

He also thereby doth fiirther promote the glory 
of God, instructing, exciting, and encouraging others 
to the like practice of deferring respect and service 
to God; for naturally men have such a capacity, 
such aptitude, such proclivity to Keligion, (or to 
the acknowledgment and worship of their Maker,) 
that when they behold others seriously and earnestly 
p«r«^ % W .re e^Uy di«i to ^i 
therein; especially those who are not utterly per- 
verted and corrupted by ill custom. 

And whereas good conversation hath a native 
beauty, affecting beholders with deUght^ ; whereas 
the firuits of virtue have a pleasing sweetness, grate- 
fill to all who taste them ; men from that sight and 
that sense wiU presently be moved to commend 
the wisdom, and to bless the goodness of him who 
was pleased to institute so excellent a Keligion, to 
enact so beneficial laws, to prescribe so wholesome 
duties to us: for, Wheny saith the most divine 
Father^, an infidel shall see thee, a believer, to be 

Tois enirvyx<aawv<riv, — ^Bas. [Ep. CCLXXVIll. 0pp. Tom. III. p. 422.] 

\^OTcaf yap 6 Snurros Xdjf ct rhv vun^v KarttrraKfUvoVt a-to^pov^ 
ovrra, K&triuov Hvroj iKokcey^irerai Koi iptV oXi/^os luyas 6 r&v Xpt* 
uruamv Q€6s. oiov£ turrianitnv dpBpwrovs ; Oiovr «f oi»p iiroif)(r€v ; 
dyytkovs airous i( dpOpwrmv flpyao-aro ; tip vfipUrjf tw, o^ Xoidopovmu' 
&» Tvwr^vjf Tig, otiK dymwKTowruf tap dbtia^ajf r«ff, vfrrpw^ovTw* tow 
XcXvfn;ir<^ff* ^x^p^y ovk tx<ifwr^ funiaucaKtaf ovk tvitrravrat, (fjlkvapttp 
ovK uratruff oIk IffuiBop ^vd€<r^, mtopKuif oIk dwexorrai^ paKkov dc 
ovdc 6fMPV€Uf' dXXh rifP y\&rrap iterpffifivai 2v tkowro irponpov, fj 
6pKoy Ttua caro rov <rr6p£m>t wpoccrtfot.]— Chrys. *Aydp. ff. [0pp. Tom. 
▼I. p. 624.] 

160 Provide Things honest 

SBBM. KaT€GraKfi€¥OP — slanch^ sober, orderly, he vnU be 

'-^ astond, a/nd wiJl say, In truth, great is the God of 

Christians: What men hath he made! what persons 
ovt of whai persons hath he made them ! how from 
men hath he vnade Ihem angels! If one abuse them, 
they do not rail; if one smite them, they do not re- 
sent; if one injure them, they pray for him that 
doeth the offence; they know not to remember iU 
turns, they skiU not to be vain, they have not learnt 
to lie, they cannot abide to forswear, or rather to 
swear at all, but sooner would choose to have their 
tmvgue cat out, than to let an oath slip out of their 

So may we really glorify God ; and otherwise 
than by open practice we cannot do it ; for glory 
doth require a public stage ; it implying, as Seneca"* 
saith, the consent of many worthy persons declaring 
their esteem ; it being, as Cicero" defineth it. The 
agreeing praise of good men, with an incorrupted 
vote judging well of an excellent virtue. 

Wherefore toward our being enabled to glorify 
God, two things must concur; that we be good 
men, and that we be openly such. 

That we be good men, because otherwise our 
commendation will have no worth or weight; for, 
Praise is not comply in the m>ouih qfsinners\ It 
is no ornament to be commended by ill men, to 

"* Gloria consensum multomm exigit. — Sen. Ep. on. [12.] 

Consentire in hoc plures insignes et prsBStftntes Yiri debenty ut 
claritas sit. — ^Id. ibid. § 8. 

^ Gloria est oonaentiens laua bonomm, incorrupta toz bene 
Judicantium de ezcellente ylrtute. — Cio. Tosc. Dis. m. [2. 3.] 

Gloria est frequens de aliquo fama cum laude. — Id. de Inv* 
II. [56.] 

® Non est speciosa laas in ore peccatoris. — Ecclus. zt. 9. 

in the Sight of all Men. 161 

whose words little regard is due, little trust can serm. 
be given. 

That we be good openly, avowing God in prac- 
tice conducing to his honour; otherwise no glory 
can accrue to him from, our goodness: we may 
serve God, and please him in private; but we can- 
not by that service glorify him ; at least at present, 
and here in this world. It is true, the closest piety 
will yield glory to God at the last, when our Lord « These, i. 
shall come to be glorified in his saints, and admired ^^' 
in them tfiat believe; but to design such a fiiture 
glorification of God is not enough; it is our duty 
to glorify God now, that we may be rewarded for 
it, and that he may requite us with glory here- 

God himself telleth us in the Psalm, Whoso Vb,12z; 
offereth praise; he ghrifieth me; and how can praise 
be offered, or to what purpose will it be offered, 
otherwise than apparently, either in word or deed, 
by oral or by real expression, to the ears or to the 
eyes of men, so as to occasion in them the pro- 
duction of worthy conceptions and due affections 
toward God? In such a manner the holy man 
did offer it, who said, / iviU declare thy name unto xadi. a«; 
my brethren, in the midst of the congregation I wiU^^^l^. 
praise thee; I will praise the Lord with my whole *^' ^^' 
heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the 
congregation: he did it sometimes with his mouth, 
which is a notable part of our conversation; but 
we may do it contiaually by our life ; for, JEfe, saith 
St Austin^, who praiseth God with his tongue, 

^ Qui Deum laudat lingua, non semper potest; qui moribus 
Deom laudat, semper potest. — Aug. in 1 Ep. Joh. Tr. Tm. [0pp. 
Tom. m. col. 877 b.] 

B. S. VOL. IV. 11 

162 Provide Things Iionest 

SERM. canfU>t do that always; but he that praiseth God by 
^ his manners can always do it. 

This motive is by the great masters of our 
Christian practice frequently urged; for 

Pha. i. fi. St Paul wisheth the Philippians, To beJiUed 
with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus 
Christ unto the praise and glory of Grod; he prayeth 

4 These, i. for the Thessalouians^ that; Ood would fdfll aU the 
good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith 
with power, that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ 
might be glorified in them; he particularly doth 

a Cor. ix. incite the Corinthians to works of charity, that by 
'^" that ministration men might be induced to glorify 
God, rendering him thankful praise for their bene- 
ficial obedience. 

I Pet.u.r3. St Peter likewise doth exhort all Christians, To 
have their conversation honest among the Gentiles, 
that they might by their good works, which they 
should behold; glorify God in the day of visitation, 
iv Wpq^ iin<TKoirfi,, (that is, perhaps, when they 
carefully do view and reflect on them.) 

Our Lord himself thus chargeth his disciples, 

Matt. V.I 6. Let your light so shine before men, that they may 
see your good works, and glorify your Father which 
is in heaven; they did observe his command, and 
the eflfect did follow, many being converted to God, 
no less by the radiant integrity of their life, than 
by the persuasive efficacy of their doctrine': and, 

John XV. 8. In this, saith our Lord again, is my Father glori- 
fied, if ye bear much fruit: what fruit was that? 
what but of good works, visible to the eye and 
perceptible to the taste ; otherwise how could men 
thence find cause to glorify God ? 

^ Vid. 0hi7B. in Matt. Horn. iv. [0pp. Tom. ii. p. 100.] 

in the Sight of aU Men. 163 

In fine, this is declared to be the peculiar serm. 


design of our Religion, or of the whole Christian — 

institution ; to this end we are made A chosen gener- 1 Pet. u. 9. 
ration^ a royal priesthood^ an holy nation, a peculiar 
people, that we should shew forth the praises (or 
virtues) of him, who hath called us out of darkness 
to his marvellous light; not only by our profession, 
but in our practice declaring his goodness. 

On the other hand, by stifling our virtue and 
conscience^ in an open compliance with sin, or neg- 
lect of our duty, we greatly shall dishonour God ; 
for thereby in effect we deny him and desert him ; 
we injure his majesty, and disclaim our allegiance 
to him ; we intimate our mean opinion of him, and 
small affection to him ; we betray our want of reve- 
rence to his excellency, of dread to his greatness, 
of love to his goodness, of hope in his promises 
and gracious overtures of mercy, of fear in regard 
to his severe iustice and fierce menaces : so imme- 
diately we dishonour him, and we thereby also do 
countenance disrespect and disobedience to him; 
and our behaviour tendeth to produce or to con- 
firm the like irreligious dispositions of mind and 
impious practices in others; so that with horrible 
disingenuity we cross the design of our creation, 
and violate our greatest obligations toward our 

Indeed, what greater affront or more heinous 
indignity can we offer to God, than openly before 
the world, by the most real expression of our Tit. i. 16. 
own works, to deny and disown him: than to be 
notoriously ashamed or afraid to avow him for our 
Lord and Master ; than to express no sense of our 
duty to him, no reverence of his authority, no 


164 Provide Things honest 

SERM. gratitude for his benefits to us; than visibly to 
^™' - prefer any other consideration or worldly advan- 
tage before a regard to his will and pleasure ? 

In this, open sin doth outgo private wicked- 
ness, and putteth down even the worst hypocrisy, 
(beside its own,) that it not only offendeth God, 
but sorely woundeth his honour, and exposeth his 
glorious name to contempt ; by which considera- 
tion such miscarriages are frequently aggravated 
in Holy Scripture; so in the Prophets Grod com- 
plaineth of his people, for having by their scanda- 

Eaek. ]ous crimos profauod his holy name among the 
' heathen; so St Paul expostulateth with the Jew, 

Rom. 11.^3. Thou that hodstest of the law, through breaking the 
law dishonourest thou God? so Nathan told David, 

^Sam.jdi. that God would punish him, because by his bad 
deed he had given great occasion to the enemies 
of the Lord to blaspheme. But, 

4 We should be careful of our good behaviour 
in the sight of men, that we may thereby maintain 
the dignity and repute of our Christian profession, 
which by our naughty or negligent demeanour will 
be much disparaged and disgraced. 

Most evident it is to reason, that a visible 
practice, conformable to the rules of our Religion, 
cannot otherwise than exceedingly commend and 
grace it; for how can the goodness of a rule more 
surely obtain its due commendation, than from 
its being appUed to observable practice and ex- 
perience ? 

Assuredly charity, meekness, himiility, patience, 
sobriety, discretion, and all Christian virtues, as in 
themselves they are very amiable and venerable to 
all men, as they yield great benefit and much plea- 


in the Sight of aU Men, 165 

sure to those whom their consequences do touch; serm. 

so they do ingratiate the law which prescribeth 1. 

ihem^ they bring esteem to the principles whence 
they are derived; He, as the Apostle saith, that in Rom. xiv. 
these things serveth Ch/rist, is both aceeptable to God, ^^* 
and approved of men, as the follower of a most 
excellent rule. 

We may also consider, that a conspicuous prac- 
tice, according to our Beligion, is a demonstrative 
proof, that we do seriously and firmly embrace it, 
or that we are heartily and steadily persuaded of 
its truth ; which is no small credit to any profession ; 
arguing that it hath a good foundation in reason, 
apt to bottom and sustain a solid faith. 

And as thereby we pregnantly do evidence, that 
we ourselves do highly value the noble privileges, 
the excellent promises, the precious rewards ex- 
hibited in the Gospel; so we thereby do breed a 
like esteem in others; upon whom the authority 
of men apparently virtuous and conscientious in- 
fallibly will have a forcible influence. 

Such a practice will have a great stroke toward 
evincing the truth and reality, the perfect excel- 
lency, the notable strength and eflScacy of our Re- 
ligion; plainly shewing, that it is not a mere name, 
an idle pretence, a weak fancy, a dry speculation, 
a chimerical dream ; but a vigorous and masculine 
principle, able to produce most worthy fruits of 
substantial goodness, profitable to men ; conducible 
to our own welfare, and to the benefit of others. 

As gallant actions, becoming a noble rank, 
elevated above the vulgar level, do illustrate and 
dignify nobility itself; so doth a worthy conver- 
sation, beseeming our high station in the heavenly 

166 Provide Things honest 

SERM. kingdom, our near alliances to God, those splendid 

_-^:^ titles and glorious privileges assigned to every 

faithful Christian in the evangelical charter, render 

our state admirable, and make it seem an excellent 

advantage to be a Christian. 

Hence in the apostolical writings an observance 
of the evangelical laws is so much and often en- 
forced by this consideration ; for upon this account 
we are exhorted to a careful discharge of om* duty, 
nt. ii. 10. that. We may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour 
Phil. i. 27. m all things; we are urged, To have our conver- 
v.^3.' *^' '' sation worthy of the Gospel; To walk worthy of the 
vocation wherewith we are calledy to behave our- 
Rom. xvi. selves, As worthily hecometh saints, (that is, persons 
instituted in so holy a ReKgion, and designed to so 
Eph. V. 8. peculiar excellency in virtue ; To walk as children 
of the light, (that is, of truth and knowledge re- 
1 These, ii. vcalcd from hcaveu ;) To walk worthy of God, who 
Col. 1. 10. hath called us unto his kingdom and glory; Worthy 
of the Lord unto all well-pleasing, hemg fruitful in 
every good work; the which enforcements of duty 
do imply a visible practice, producing the visible 
effects of ornament and credit to our Religion, re- 
commending it to the minds and consciences of 

Contrariwise, the defect of good conversation 
before men in Christians is upon divers accounts 
disgraceful to our Religion. For 

It tempteth men to judge, that we ourselves do 
not heartily believe its truth or value its worth; 
that we da not approve its doctrine for reasonable, 
or take its advantages for considerable ; or deem the 
name and state of a Christian to be honourable ; 
seeing we are not concerned to own them, or do not 

in the Sight of aU Men. 167 

care to engage our reputation in avowing and abet- sbrm. 

ting them in that way which doth best signify our 1 

mind and meaning': for men certainly wiU judge 
of our sense not so much by what we say as from 
what we do ; not by our verbal profession or pre- 
tence, but from our practice, as the surest indica- 
tion of our heart. 

Wherefore, when they hear us to confess our 
faith, and see us act like infidels, they will be forced 
to esteem us either for subdolous hypocrites or for 
inconsistent fools; who assume the name of Chris- 
tians, and pretend to great advantages thence, yet 
in effect do not mind or regard them; highly com- 
mending the rules of our Religion, but not at all 
observing them; greatly admiring the example of 
our Saviour, but not caring to imitate it ; describ- 
ing heaven for a most happy place, but not striving 
to get thither in the sole way which our Lord pre- 
scribeth, of faithfril and diligent obedience to his 

Seeing, I say, this repugnance between our pro- 
fession and our practice will induce men to charge 
us with hypocrisy or folly ; and if the professors be 
taken for counterfeits or fools, the profession itself 
will hardly scape from being held imposture or folly. 

Our Religion at least will thence be exposed to 
the censures of being no better than a fond device, 
and a barren notion, unpracticable, ineffectual, and 
insignificaiit to any good purpose. 

The visible misbehaviour, I say, of Christians 
will assuredly derive obloquy and reproach on 

' £{ de riff iXtyx^ irpa^av ri Svofiov, 6 rotovrof ov yMifov iavr6» 
rrM/iarc. — OonBt. Ap. II. 8. [Cotel. Pot. Apost. Tom. i. p. 218.] 

168 Provide Things honest 

SEBM. Christianity^ if not as bad^ yet as vain^ impotent^ 
1— impertinent, and useless; especially those who are 

disaffected to it wiU hence take advantage to insult 
upon it with contemptuous scom; To what, wiU 
they say, do your fine rules serve? what effects do 
your glorious hopes produce ? where are the fruits 
of that holy faith and heavenly doctrine which you 
so extol and magnify ? 

Whereas also bad conversation commonly doth 
not only deprive men of the benefits which our Re- 
ligion promiseth, but doth cany with it hurtful 
firuits; men that see or feel them will be apt to 
impute them to Keligion. 

If a Christian be unjust, censorious, &LCtiou&, 
anywise offensive or troublesome, although irre- 
ligion be the cause of such things, yet Religion must 
bear the blame, and they presently exclaim, 

Tantum religio potuit snadere malorum'. 

Whence St Paul (who as a powerful instructor 
doth impress matters of duty by the most proper 
motives) doth often and upon aU occasions urge 

« Cor. yi.$, this consideration ; he chargeth us. To give no ojffence 
in any thing, that the ministry (or evangelical dis- 
pensation) he not hla/nted, iva fii^ fiwfitiO^ ti SiaKovia, or 
exposed to the censure of any captious Momus ; he 
biddeth us to forbear harsh judgment and all un- 

Bom. xiT. charitable dealing, that Our good be not evU spoken 
of; he presseth the discharge of our duty in each 
calling and relation, that by neglect thereof the Gospel be not defamed: Let^ saith he, as many ser- 
vants as are under the yoke, count their own masters 
worthy of aU honour, that the nam^ of God and his 

" [Lucret. i. 102.] 

in the Sight of aU Men. 169 

doctrine be not blasphemed; and, Let women he dis- serm. 
creety chaste^ keepers at home, good, obedient to their — — 1- 
otvn husbands, that the word of God be not bias- ' "' ^' 
phemed; and, / will that younger women marry, iTim.v.i4. 
bear children, guide the house, (so as) to give no 
occasion to the adversary (that is, to persons dis- 
affected to Christianity) to speak reproachfvJly (of 
it) : which discourse, by dear parity of reason, may 
be applied to any other state or relation. 

Now seriously, what greater mischief can we do, 
what heavier guilt may we contract, than by work- 
ing dishonour to God's adorable name, than by 
casting reproach on God's heavenly truth, than by 
drawing a scandal on that holy Beligion, which the 
Son of God came down from heaven to establish, 
for the glory of God and salvation of mankind? 
Surely next after directly blaspheming God, and 
defying Beligion with our own mouths, the next 
crime is to make others to do so, or in effect to do itom.u.94. 
it by their pro&ne tongues. 

There remain divers arguments of very great 
moment, which the time will not suffer me to urge ; 
and therefore I must reserve ihem to another occa- 




Rom. XII. 17. 

Provide things honest in the sight of all men. 
SERM. 1" HAVE formerly discoursed upon this apostolical 


precept; and having deoUred the meaning of it, 

(briefly importing that we should have a special 
care of our external behaviour, coming under the 
view and observation of men, that it be perfectly 
innocent and inculpable,) I did propose divers mo- 
tives inducing to the observance of it; but divers 
others of great importance the time would not allow 
me to urge; I shall therefore now proceed to offer 
them to your consideration. 

I did then shew that a regard to the reason and 
nature of things, to the satisfaction of our con- 
science, to the honour of God, and to the credit of 
our Religion, did require from us a good conversa- 
tion before men; I now further add, that, 

I The real interest of piety and virtue do exact 
such a conversation, as the most effectual way of 
upholding, advancing, and propagating them among 

Example is a very powerful thing either way, 
both for attraction to good and seduction to evil; 
such is the nature of men, that they are more apt 

Provide Things honesty &c. 171 

to be guided by the practice of others than by their serm. 

own reason, and more easUy can write after a copy '— 

than by a rule ; that they are prone to imitate what- 
ever they see done, be it good or bad, convenient 
or inconvenient, profitable or hurtfiil, emulating the 
one, and aping the other; that they love to be in 
the fashion, and will go anywhither in company, 
presuming of support, defence, and comfort therein ; 
that they wiU satisfy their minds and justify their 
doings by any authority, deeming that laudable or 
allowable, or at least tolerable and excusable, for 
which they can allege precedents; judging, that if 
they are not singular, they are innocent, or however 
not very culpable ; that hardly they will under- 
take any thing without countenance, whereby their 
modesty is in some measure secured, and partners 
engaged to bear a share with them in the censure 
to which their deportment is Uable. Hence a visible 
good conversation will have a great efficacy toward 
the promotion and propagation of goodness; the 
authority of that being adjoined to the native worth 
and beauty, to the rational plausibiUty, to the 
sensible benefit of virtue, will cogently draw men 
to it ; it will be a clear pattern, whereby they shall 
be informed what they are obliged and what they 
are able to perform; it will be a notable spur, 
smartly exciting them to mind and pursue their 
duty; it will be a vigorous incentive, inflaming their 
courage, and provoking an emulatifm to do well. 

The visible succour and countenance of many, 
espousing the cause of goodness by their practice, 
will assuredly bring it into request and vogue, and 
thence into current use and fashion ; so just a cause 
caimot fail to prosper, having any reasonable forces 

172 Provide ITiings honest 

SEBM. to TnaJTitain it; it will have great strength, great 

LI > . 

boldness and assurance, when a considerable party 
doth appear engaged on its side. 

Yea, sometimes even the example of a few will 
do it great service; the rarity giving a special lustre 
to their virtue, and rendering it more notable; 
according to that intimation of the Apostle, when 
he thus doth exhort the Philippians to a cheerfol 
Phu. ii. 14, and forward practice of goodness; Do aU things^ 
'*" saith he, without murmurings and disputings; that 

ye may he blameless and harrnlesSy the sons of God, 
without rebuke in the midst of a crooked and per- 
verse generation, among whom ye shine as lights in 
the world. 

A good conversation doth notify good men to 
one another, and draweth them together, and com- 
bineth them in a party, for the protection of good- 
ness, heartening and aiding one another therein. 

Such advantages goodness doth always need ; 
for it ever hath in the world many adversaries, 
striviDg by violent force to beat it down, or by 
treacherous iraud to supplant it; who use their 
authority and interest to suppress it ; who by their 
evil example do seduce from it; who labour by 
detraction to blast it, by scorn and reproach to dis- 
courage it, by divers temptations and baits to entice 
from it ; who combining their forces with the wicked 
spirits, and with the corrupt inclinations of men, 
do raise a mighty party for wickedness. 

Wherefore, to balance such oppositions, good- 
ness doth need friends to maintain it; not only 
friends in heart, or secret well-wishers; but open 
friends, who frankly will avow it, and both in word 
and deed will stoutly abet it. 

in the Sight of all Men. 173 

A demure, bashftil, timorous firiendship, will serm, 

rather prejudice than help it; for nothing will more ^ 

animate its foes to assail and persecute it^ than ob- 
serving its friends to slink and sneak : when good 
men hide their faces, as if they were ashamed of 
their goodness, then bad men will grow more im- 
pudent and insolent in their outrages against it. 

Wherefore, if we would have goodness hold up 
its head, we must openly take its part; if we would 
not be guilty of its ruin, we must stand up to up- 
hold it ; for whoever openly complieth with sin, or 
neglecteth his duty, may well be charged with its 
ruin ; since if thou so desertest goodness, another 
after thy pattern may do the like, and a third may 
follow him; so the neglect of it may soon be propa- 
gated, imtil at length it may be quite abandoned, 
and left destitute of support: if it doth not thus 
happen, it will as to thee be accidental, and no 
thanks to thee for its better fortune. 

The declension of piety is not perhaps more to 
be ascribed to any other cause than to this, that 
men who approve goodness in their hearts are so 
backward to shew it in their practice ; that good 
men do so affect retirement and wrapping up their 
virtue in obscurity ; that most men think it enough, 
if in the cause of Beligion against profaneness and 
dissoluteness they appear neuters, and do not 
impugn it : for if in a time of infection all sound 
men do shut up themselves, and all sick men walk 
abroad, how necessarily must the plague reign in 
the place? 

2 Charity toward our neighbour demandeth 
from us a great care of our conversation before 

174 Provide Things honest 

SERM. The law of charity, which is the great law of 

'— Christianity, doth obUge us earnestly to fiirther our 

neighbour's good of all kinds, especially that which 
is incomparably his best good, the welfare of his 
soul ; which how can we better do, than by attract- 
ing him to the performance of his duty to God, and 
by withdrawing him from the commission of sin? 
And how can we do that without an apparently 
good conversation, or without plainly declaring, as 
occasion sheweth, for virtue, both in word and 
deed ? how can a shy reservedness conduce to that 
end? what will invisible thoughts or affections of 
heart confer thereto ? 
Rom. xiv. It is a precept of charity, that we should pursue 
i^Cor.xiv. things wherewith one may edify another: and how 
'^- can we perform that duty, without imparting our 

mind, and, as it were, transfusing it into others ; so 
aa by converting them from error and sm, by in- 
stilling good principles, by exciting good resolu- 
tions, to lay in them a foundation of goodness, or 
by cherishing and improving the same to rear a 
structure of virtue in them ? how can we mutually 
edify without mutuaUy advising virtue, exhorting 
to it, recommending and impressing it by our ex- 
emplary behaviour ? 

The Apostles do enjoin, that, We should exhort 
I Thess. V. one another, and edify one another'' ; that, We sJimdd 
Heb. X. 24. consider one another^ to pi^ovoke (or to whet and 
instigate one another) to love and to good works; 
the which can nowise be performed, without ex- 
pressly declaring for goodness and remarkable 
actings in its behalf: to commend and press it by 
word is a part of our duty; but not all of it, nor 
sufficient to this purpose ; especially seeing we can- 

in the Sight of aU Men, 175 

not urge that with good confidence, nor shall be ^f^^' 

held serious in pleading for it, which we do not 

ourselves embrace in practice; for how can we 
expect, that our reason should convince others, when 
it doth not appear really to have persuaded our- 
selves, when our doings evidently do argue the 
weakness of our discourse ? 

Words hardly will ever move without practice, 
although practice sometimes will persuade without 
words ; according to that of St Peter, Ye wives, he i Pet. iii. 
in subjection to your own hushandsy that if any '' ^' 
obey not the word, they may without the word be 
won by the conversation of the wives, while they 
behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear, 
(or due reverence to them.) 

Again ; We are frequently commanded to shun < Cor. x. 
the giving any ofience, or the putting a stumbling- viu. 9. 
block, or an occasion to fall, in the way of our bro- Rom'!'^*^ 
ther; that is, to do any thing which anywise may ^^' 
confer to his incurring any sin : the which precepts 
are violated ^ot only by positive and active influ- 
ence, by proposing erroneous doctrine, evil advice, 
fraudulent enticements to sin, or discouragements 
from duty; but also by withholding the means 
serving to prevent his transgression ; such as a tacit 
indulgence or connivance, when good admonition 
may reclaim him; the omission of good example 
when it is seasonable, and probably may prove effi- 
cacious : for these neglects have a moral causality, 
inducing or encouraging the commission of sin ; our 
silence, our forbearing to act, our declining fair 
opportunities to guide him into the right way will 
be taken for signs of approbation and consent; 
and consequently as arguments to justify or to 


176 Provide Things honest 

SERM. excuse bad practice, in proportion to the autho- 

rity and esteem we have; which ever will be 

some in this case, when they favour the infirmity 
of men. 

Charity doth fiirther oblige us, upon just cause, 

and in due season, to check and reprove our neigh- 

I ThesB. V. bour misdemeaning himself; for, Warn the disor- 

Eph.v.ii. derh/y saith the Apostle; and, Have no feUowship, 

saith he, ivith the unfruitfid works of darkness, hut 

Levit. xix. rather reprove them; and. Thou shcdt not, saith the 

Law, hate thy brother in thy heart, thou shalt in any* 

wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon 

him : where forbearance of reproof is implied to 

shew not only a defect of charity, but hatred of our 

brother; and a good reason is intimated for it, 

because in so doing we suffer sin to lie upon him ; 

not hindering his progress in it, not endeavouring 

his conversion from it : but reproof is an overt act ; 

involving somewhat of openness and plain freedom, 

such as the Wise Man doth prefer before close 

Proy. good-will ; for. Open rebuke, saith he,, is better than 

xxvii. 5. , 

secret love. 
Gen. iv. 9. We are all thus far the keepers of our brethren, 
and it is a charge incumbent on us, by aU good 
means to preserve them from the worst of mis- 

In fine, there is plainly nothing more incon- 
sistent with true charity, than such a compliance 
with sin or neglect of duty in the sight of our 
neighbour, which is scandalous, or may prove con- 
tagious to him ; for how can we love him, whose 
chief good, whoge eternal welfare we do not tender ? 
whom we do not fear to seduce into the way of 
extreme misery, or do not at least care to lead into 

in the Sight of all Men. 177 

the way of happiness? whom without any check serm. 

we can suffer to forfeit the best goods, and to incur '— 

the saddest calamities? 

Wherefore, if the love of ourselves and a sober 
regard to our own welfare be not sufficient to induce 
us, yet a charitable disposition and a concemednesa 
for our neighbour (for our brethren, our relations, 
our friends) should move us to a good, innocent, 
virtuous, fruitful, and exemplary conversation: if 
we do not care to save ourselves, yet let itRom. xiv. 
pity us to damn and destroy others by our negli- 

3 But if charity will not move us, yet 
justice, exacting from us a care of our good 
conversation before men, should constrain us 

Exemplary and edifying conversation is a debt 
which we owe to the world, a good office imposed 
on us by the laws of common humanity. 

When without our own hurt or inconvenience 
we can do considerable good to our neighbour, he 
hath a title thereto, (granted by the common Author 
of our nature, the absolute Lord of all we are or 
have,) and he may justly demand it from us ; as 
we in like case might claim it from him, and cer- 
tainly would in matters agreeable to our humour 
expect it : wherefore seeing good conversation not 
only doth not harm or incommode us, but is most 
beneficial to ourselves, and it exceedingly may 
benefit our neighbour, it is most just that we should 
afford it to him : it is no more than fair dealing to 
do it ; to neglect it is a real injury to him. 

To set ill example before our neighbour, or 
(which is in part and in effect the same) to withhold 

B. S. VOL. IV. 12 

178 Provide Things honest 

SERM. good example from him, (for not to give a good ex- 

1^ ample is a bad thing, and so a bad example ; this,) 

I say, is plainly a great iniquity, and a wrong to 
him. For, 

Is it not an injury to offer a cup of poison to 
any man, to invite him to drink it, to be his taster 
of it, so drawing him to take it off without su^ 
picion or fear of deadly mischief? is it not an in- 
jury to forbear warning him thereof, or not to deter 
him from it, when it standeth before him, and he is 
ready to put it to his mouth ? would not such a man 
in all conscionable esteem pass for a murderer of 
his neighbour? 

Is it not a great wrong to carry any man out of 
his way (out of a right, easy, fair, and safe road) 
into mazes, thickets, and sloughs, or into intricate, 
foul, dangerous by-ways? Is it not wrongful, when 
he doth wander or err, not to reduce him thence, 
not to set him in the right way ? 

Is it not very foul dealing to bring a man to a 
steep precipice, and thence to leap down before 
him? is it not so, not to stop him, when he is on 
the brink, and bUndly moving forward to cast him- 
self down headlong? 

If these be injurious dealings, then palpably it 
is far more such to yield any enticements or en- 
couragements, yea not to put obstructions, if we are 
able, to our neighbour's incurring sin, which to his 
soul is all those things; the most banefiil venom, 
the most woful exorbitancy, the most pernicious 
gulf that can be. 
Prov. viii. We by sinning do not only, as the Wise Man 
^ * saith, wrong our own souls, but we do also wroDg 

the souls of others; drawing them or driving them, 

in the Sight of all Men. 1 79 

by the efficacious impulse of our example*, into serm. 
mischief and misery ; for, Wheny saith St Paul, ye 

sin 80 against the brethren^ and wound their weak \^^^^'^^' 
conscience, ye sin against Christ^; he there speaketh 
of bad example ; the which he not only affirmeth 
to be sinful in regard of Christ, but calleth it sin- 
ning against our brethren; and supposeth that we 
thereby do wound or smite their conscience ; which 
to do is surely no less wrong to them, than if we 
should assault, beat, and wound their bodies; the 
wounds of conscience being of aQ most grievous, 
and producing most insupportable affliction ; accord- 
ing to that of the Wise Man, The spirit of a man Proy. 
wiU hear his infirmities, hut a wounded spirit who ^^^' '^' 
can hearf 

Indeed, by thus hurting our neighbour, we do 
him a wrong, not only very great in itself, but such 
as may probably be irreparable, for which hardly 
we can ever be able to make him any restitution 
or compensation; for a better example scarce will 
reach all whom a bad example hath touched ; the 
best example hardly will avail to undo that which a 
bad example hath done; if thereby we have en- 
gaged our neighbour in sin, we by no means can 
restore his lost innocence, or prevent his saying. 
Woe he to me, for I have sinned: it will be very Lam. v. 1 6. 
difficult to recover him into that state (that sound 
condition of soul) from which we did movg hun; it 
will however cost him, if not a final ruin, yet a sore i Cor. viii. 
repentance; the pangs whereof no compensation 

* 'O yap aiULpravwv iiehv tidtf ripa ofwta avr^ bp&vra, otKodoftr)0^- 
o-fTcn tls t6 ra avra ttoiciv. — GoDst. Ap. ii. 17. [Cotel. Pat. Apost. 
Tom. I. p. 226 ] 

TvnrovTtt avu&v rr^v avvtiSrjviv dfrdftfova-av.—^l Cor. viii. 12. 



180 Provide Things honest 

SERM. which we can yield will requite : the wounds which 
1 — we thereby do inflict may rankle and prove incur- 

able; they assuredly will find no easy cure; they 
must however either in consequence or in the cor- 
rection be very painful ; and they will leave an ugly 
scar behind them. 

The injustice of this practice may also fiirther 
appear upon divers special accoimts. 

All men esteem pity a debt which one man 
oweth to another, as liable to grief and misery, (the 
obhgation whereto is written in the bowels of each 
man;) which pity will incline to succour the object 
of it in danger or distress; wherefore every man 
by the natural law is bound to endeavour the pre- 
vention or the rescue of another falling into mis- 
jude 12, chief; according to that of St Jude, Of some have 
^3- compassion^ making a difference, and others save 

with fear, pulling them otU of the fire; whence to 
draw men into sin by ill practice, or not to restrain 
them from it by good, is unjust, as a pitiless, hard- 
hearted, cruel thing*. 

Again; All men hold flattery to be a practice 

very abusive, or more than simply wrongful; as 

with injury joining contempt and cozenage; taking 

advantage of a man^s infirmity to work prejudice to 

him ; it is indeed a mischievous, a pernicious, and 

withal a perfidious, an insidious, an ensnaring prac- 

Prov.xxvi. tice; for, A flatte^nng m^uth, saith the Wise Man, 

xxix. 5; worketh ruin; and, A Tnan thai floMereth his netgh- 

xjuti. 30. j^^^ spreadeth a net for his feet : but flattery is not 

only verbal ; the worst flattery is not that whereby 

men soothe and gloze with their lips, encouraging 

^ Hi8 sons made themselves vilsy and he restrained them no<.— 
1 Sam. iii. 13. 

in the Sight of all Men. 181 

others by fictitious commendations to persist in bad serm. 

courses ; there is a tacit flattery, when by our con- L 

nivance at sin we seem to approve it; there is a 
real flattery, when by our compUance with sin we 
recommend it to our camerades; these do not look 
so grossly, yet do insinuate our mind, and com- 
monly do inveigle to sin more effectually; men 
being more apt to trust our deeds than our words, 
being more pleased in our vouching their actions by 
a participation in them, and running a common 
hazard with them, than in our straining to com- 
mend or to excuse them : whence it is, that gross 
flattery hath its effect chiefly upon simpler folks, 
but this subtle flattery doth often gull and abuse 
persons of greatest capacity. 
"^ A«.in; A good elation bofo^ men is . 
part of that due respect which we owe to them. 
There is a regard and a kind of reverence to be had 
toward every man ; which should engage us to be- 
have ourselves decently in his presence, signifying 
a consideration and esteem of his person, of his 
opinion, of his resentment, of his affection toward 
us : to do any foul or unhandsome thing is a con- 
tempt of him, a rudeness toward him, an affi*ont 
put on him; whereby in effect we do slight, dis- 
parage, and reproach him; implying, that we do 
little value his judgment, that we care not for his 
good-will ; that we presume he hath not the sense 
to discern, or hath not the spirit to dislike, or must 
have the patience to comport with our unseemly 
and imsavoury carriage. And if to do other un- 
handsome things before men is such an indignity 
offered to them, then it is especially such to commit 
sin before them, which is the most ugly, the most 

182 Provide Things honest 

SEBM. BordicL the most loathsome behaviour that can be : 

LIV , . . , 

'■ — there is no deformity, no turpitude in nature com- 
parable to sin ; nothing so oiFensive^ so distastefiil, 
so abominable to a rational sense ; so that the Wise 
Prov. xiv. Man's saying is very true, taken any way, He that 
«i; XI. \i. ^^gpi^^j^ j^{g neighbour sinneth: it is both a sin to 

contemn him, and sinning is an argument of con- 
tempt toward him; nor can we better observe St 
I Pet. ii. Peter's injunction, that we honour all men than by 
'^* forbearing to sin in their presence, out of respect to 

them. But further, 

4 Let us consider, that a good conversation 
before men is a public benefit, a great advantage to 
the world and common state of men. 

It is not only a good office of charity to this or 
that man ; but it layeth a general obligation on our 
country, on our age, on posterity itself; upon which 
a fruitful hfe, an exemplary virtue may have notable 

As notorious sin is a plague to the world, 
throwing infection and death about it; provoking 
the wrath of heaven, and thence deriving ven- 
geance on it ; so notable virtue is a general blessing, 
producing most wholesome and comfortable effects 
to mankind. 

For how can one more obUge the pubUc, than 
by conferring help to uphold the reputation, and to 
propagate the entertainment of those things, which 
are the main props of the world, for the sake of 
which it standeth, and by the means of which it is 
sustained; than by preserving the virtue and power 
of conscience, which is the band of all society, the 
guardian of faith and honesty, the best ensurer of 
justice, order, and peace in the state, (that which 

in the Sight of all Men. 183 

exalteth a nation^ and establisheth a kingdom;) serm. 
than by producing and promoting those things 

which certainly will procure the favour and blessing 3^. ^**^8; 
of God on any people ? 

How can a man better deserve of the world, 
than by concurring to stop the contagion of sin, and 
the overspreading deluge of iniquity, together with 
all the lamentable mischiefs consequent on them; 
than by averting the fierce wrath and severe judg- 
ments of Grod, which a general prevalence of wicked- 
ness necessarily wiU bring down? 

Most men pretend to be concerned even for the 
honour of their coimtry; and how can we better 
promote that^ than by checking the progress of sin, 
which will not only be the bane, but is, as Solomon 
telleth us. The reproach of any people ? xiv. 34. 

It may possibly be, it hath really been, that the 
conspicuous virtue of a few men (yea sometimes of 
one sin&fle person) hath leavened a country, hath 
seasoned an age/hath imbued posterity ^^ an 
admiration of goodness, and with an aifection to il 
One many saith St Chrysostom, inflamed with zeal 
may suffice to reform an entire people *. So among 
the pagans one person did set up the study of 
morality, and worthily was styled. The parent of 
(that most useful) philosophy^; whereby he did ex- 
ceedingly benefit mankind, and did confer much 
toward preparing men for the reception of our 
heavenly philosophy. 

Such our Lord designed his Apostles to be ; for, 

Yey saith he, are the lights of the world, ye are the Matt.v.i3, 


dfj fiov. — ChryB. *Avdp, a, [0pp. Tom. vi. p. 461.] 

* SocrateB philosophic parens. — Gic. [de Fin. n. 1.] 

184 Provide Tilings honest 

SERM. sobU of the earth; and such in eflfect they did prove, 

'— God by them, as St Paul saith, manifesting the sor 

14. ^^' "* vour of his knowledge in every place ; they not only 
by their heavenly doctrine, but chiefly by the lustre 
and influence of their holy example, converting the 
world from impious errors and naughty practices 
unto true ReUgion and virtuous conversation ; they 
did lead men to goodness not only by the ears, but 

PhiLiii. 17. }yj the eyes, seeing their excellent life, and walking 

iv^e."- '•■ as they had them for ensamples. 

7, 9. It consequently may be, yea hath been, that the 

singular integrity of one, or of a few persons, dis- 
playing itself, hath appeased Divine wrath, and 
hath staved off imminent ruin from a people. So 

a Pet. u. 5. one Noah, publicly maintaining and preaching 
righteousness, did preserve the whole race of men 

Gen.xviii. from extirpation; so ten persons avowing righte- 

^"' ousness would have kept Sodom from that rueful 

destruction ; so one good man (notably owning God, 
and interposing for the concerns of piety) might 
have prevented that calamitous vengeance which 
fell upon Israel; as Jeremy told before, and Ezekiel 
affirmed after it ; Run ye to and fro, saith God in 

Jer. V. I. Jeremy, through the streets of Jerusalem, and see 
now and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, 
if ye can find a man, if there be any thai executeth 
judgment, that seeketh truth, and I will pardon it: 

Ezek. xxii. and, / sought for a man, saith God in Ezekiel, ' 
among them, that should make up the hedge, and 
stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should 
not destroy it, but I found none; therefore have I 
poured mine indignation upon them: there was then 

isai. i. 9. a remnant of those who closely did serve God ; and 

xix. i|"i8. perhaps seven thousand unknown persons, who had 

in the Sight of all Men. 185 

not in their hearts deserted Religion; but this did serm. 

not avert God's wrath, or preserve the nation from — 

captivity; as a few openly professing and resolutely 
practising goodness might have done. 

Now who would not be glad of being so public 
a friend, so general a benefactor, in performing that 
which doth otherwise so much become him, and so 
greatly behove him; yielding him the best orna- 
ments and highest advantages even upon his pri- 
vate accoimt? who would not be ambitious both 
to oblige his country, and to save his own soul 
together, by a worthy conversation? 

Assuredly nothing can be devised more con- 
ducible to the effecting a reformation and amend- 
ment of the world, (and consequently to the 
prosperity and felicity of mankind here,) than a 
conspiracy of good men in a frank and brisk 
avowing of goodness in the face of the world. 

5 A care of our conversation in the sight of 
men is needful for the preservation of our good 
name and fair repute among them. 

A good name in Holy Scripture is represented ' 9^«>'^- 
as a special gift and blessing of God, bestowed in Eocies. vi. 
recompense of piety and virtue, and preferred be- 
fore other most considerable gifts and blessings 
concerning our external state ; for. By humility, Prov. au. 
saith the Wise Man, and the fear of the Lord are pV cxii. 9. 
riches and honour; both are the rewards of piety; ^^' ""' 
but comparing them, A good name, saith he, is 
rather to be chosen than great riches: it cannot 
therefore be a contemptible thing, nor ought it to 
be neglected by us; for none of God's gifts, no 
reward which he proposeth, ought to be sUghted. 

Beason and experience also do concur in shew- 

186 Provide Things honest 

SERM. ing, that a good repute is a valuable thing, not 
'• — only as a fair ornament of our persons, and a com- 
modious instrument of action toward our private 
wel&re, as a guard of our safety and quiet, as 
serving to procure divers conveniences of life ; but 
as very advantageous', very usefiil upon moral 
and spiritual accounts; qualifying us with greater 
ease and efl&cacy to serve God, and to do good; 
for, indeed, it is manifest, that without it we shall 
be uncapable of doing God or man any consider- 
able service. 

Wherefore in duty and wisdom we should be 
careful of preserving this jewel; the which we can- 
not otherwise do, than by observing this apostoUcal 
rule, of providing things honest in the sight of all 
men; for a good conversation is the only guard 
and convoy of a good name: how can men con- 
ceive good opinion of us, otherwise than from a 
view of worthy qualities and good deeds? They 
may charitably hope, but they cannot confidently 
judge well of us, otherwise than upon good evi- 
Matt. vii. dence : Ye shall know them by their fruits, (that is, 
' ' ' by apparent works, falling imder human cogni- 
zance,) is the rule whereby our Saviour teacheth 
us to distinguish of men, and to build a right 
opinion concerning them. Honour is the shadow, 
the inseparable attendant of conspicuous virtue. 

A good conversation will, indeed, command 
esteem and irresistibly extort respect from aU 

Wise and good men heartily will approve it, 

and gladly will yield it due commendation; they 

Rom. xiv. cannot but honour it whenever they see it, as best 


Ai' oiKOvo^iav rtva, — M. Ant. IV. } 19. 

in the Sight of aU Men. 187 

suiting with their own judgment and with their serm. 
affection. — 

Yea, it wiU procure respect even from the worst 
men; for it is a mistake to think, that bad men 
really do or can despise true goodness: in truth, 
however they may pretend or make a show to 
shght and scorn it, however in words they may 
flout and revile it, yet in their hearts they cannot" 
but admire and reverence it; although their will 
may be so perverted as to set them against it, yet 
their reason cannot be so destroyed (or natural 
Ught so quenched in them) as to disapprove it; 
they do but vilely dissemble, and belie their con- 
science, when they make as if they did condemn 
or contemn it : As, saith St Chrysostom, ^ey who 
openly do flatter HI livers, do in their mind reprove 
them; so they who envy the workers of good, in 
their conscience will admire and approve thefm^: 
at least they will do thus in their sober mind; 
when with aay serious appUcation they do reflect 
on things; when the eye of their soul is anywise 
cleared from the mists of lust and passion: it is 
not to be heeded what they say in a fluster or 
ranting mood, when they are near out of their 
wits, and have their judgment stifled by sensual 
imaginations; but what they think when their 
mind iB somewhat composed, and natural light 
doth shine freely in it. 

Indeed, such wretches really do most despise 
those who consort and comply with them in sin- 
ful foUies; as they cannot in their hearts honour 

^ 02 €v paaKaviq, tovto noiovvTiSy Karh r6 avvtibbs vfias BavfidaovrcUf 
Koi afTodc^ovrai* oStinrcp ovv ol (JHtvep&SKokcucevoyrts rovs cV irovrfpiq(SvTaSy 
Kara yoOy dui/SaXXoMrf.— -Chrys. in Matt. v. 16. [0pp. Tom. n. p. 101.] 

188 Provide Tilings honest 

SERM. themselves, so they cannot esteem those whom they 

'— find Uke unto them; especially they despise those 

whom they observe to be so base and silly, as 
against their own judgment and conscience to fear 
their displeasure or to regard their censure ; look- 
ing upon them aa vassals to their humour, and 
renegadoes from their own conscience. 

Moreover, a good conversation certainly will 
engage Almighty God to protect our reputation, 
and to confer honour upon us. For he as Governor 
of the world, the Patron of goodness, the Dispenser 
of proper rewards to all, is in a manner bound to 
encourage those openly who visibly do own him 
and take his part, who promote his glory and in- 
terest, who pay him due service and obedience, 
who in regard to his authority do faithfiiUy pursue 
that which is right and good; he surely will see 
fit to repay such in the same kind, by openly ac- 
knowledging, countenancing, and honouring them : 
accordingly he hath tied himself to do so by his 

I Sam. ii. expross word and promise; for, Them, saith he, thai 
honour me / vriU honour; and they that despise me 
shall be lightly esteemed: he said it in reference to 

i"- 3f3- old Eh, who had neglected the duty of restraiaing 
his sons from sin; which is a case very much of kin 

Luke xn. 8. to all ncgloct of exemplary piety. And, Whoso- 
ever, saith our Lord, shall confess me before wew, 
him shall the Son of man also confess before the 
angels of God ; but he that denieth me before men 
shall be denied before the angels of God : the which 
(one most comfortable, the other most terrible) sen- 
tences are to be imderstood, he that confesseth our 
Lord not merely by verbal profession, (for divers 

wf *3.^ such who say, Lord, Lord, he will not so much as 

in the Sight of aU Men. 189 

know at the final judgment,) but in real practice ; ®l^^* 

he that denieth him, not only by renouncing hinn 

with the tongue, but by disobeying him in scandal- 
ous conversation, by working iniqtiity, by the apo- 
stasy of bad manners. 

6 Lastly; The public discharge of a good 
conscience will yield manifold advantages and 
great benefits to ourselves ; not only as good (and 
thence needful to our salvation and our comfort) 
but as public ; some of which I shall touch. 

Such a practice will much secure and strengthen 
us in goodness; for he that hath the heart with 
resolution and constancy to do well, notwithstand- 
ing any worldly discouragement, although he 
thereby doth cross the humour of the world, and 
incurreth the displeasure, envy, hatred, censure, 
and obloquy of men, he thus having exalted his 
virtue above the favour and fear of the world, 
hath set it in a safe place, hath rendered it im- 

The consideration of having attained so happy 
and so worthy a victory over the most dangerous 
temptations (the victory of faith over the world) i John v. 
will be very comfortable; and the sufferings which ^ 
(from the disfavour, enmity, and opposition of men) 
do attend such a practice, being a land of martyr- 
dom, will yield all the joys and comforts (together 
with the hopes and rewards) of an heroical patience. 

It will afford great satisfaction of mind to reflect 
on the consequences of such a practice ; and to con* 
sider that our resolution hath engaged or confirmed 
others in goodness, hath preserved them from sin, 
hath withdrawn them from bad courses, and saved 
them from perdition; that we have been instru- 

190 Provide Things honest 

SERM. mental to the salvation and happiness of any soul; 
L_ that, beside our own sins, (which are a burden too 

heavy for any man well to bear,) we have not the 
sins of others to account for, and shall not be loaded 
with the guilt of those, whom our neglect of duty, 
our compliance with sin, our stupid coldness and in- 
difference in regard to spiritual affairs, our dissimu- 
lation or connivance at the scandalous violation of 
God's honour and transgression of his laws, might 
have encouraged in sin ; that we are not liable to 

Ezek. 3dii. that roproof in the Prophet, Ye have strengthened 
the hcmds of the wicked^ that he should not return 
from his wicked way. 

We shall highly obUge those whom by our good 
endeavour or example we shall convert to righteous- 
ness, or reclaim from iniquity, or shall anywise stop 
in their career to ruin; who when they shall recover 
from their error, and soberly reflect on their case, 

1 1101. ii. (when they shall avavri(peivy become again sober, get- 
ting out as it were of their drunken fit,) will heartily 
thank us, will bless us, will pray for us, as having 
laid on them a very great obligation, and done them 
the greatest kindness that could be ; so that they 
will be ready to say to us, as David did to Abi- 

1 Sam. gail. Blessed he the Lord God of Israel^ who sent 
XXV. 32. ^^ ^^ ^^y ^^ ^^^^^ ^^^ , ^^ blessed be thy advice, 

and blessed be thou, which ha^t kept me this day 
from shedding of bhod : this will be the conse- 
quence of plain dealing in such cases, and that will 
Prov. be fulfilled which the Wise Man saith. He that 
xxvii! ef ' reftu^A a man, afterwards shall find more favour, 
*»*• 25- than he that flattereth with the tongue. 

We thereby shall escape the sore complaints 
and fell curses of those whom our naughty or care- 

in the Sight of aU Men. 191 

less demeanour hath involved in sinful practice; for serm. 

when their conscience is awakened into a sense of 1_ 

their guilty when they feel the stings of remorse, 
when they perceive the extreme damage and woe 
which they have incurred, then will they discharge 
their resentments of heart against those, who have 
anywise been accessory to their fall into such a 
condition; then in their bitterness of soul, in the 
agony of their sorrow and perplexity, they wiU be 
apt to exclaim, Cursed be the day that I knew such 
an one, or that I did converse with him, who did 
betray me into this plight, who did inveigle me into 
temptation, who did not pluck me back from that 
sinful practice by which I now so deeply suffer; 
cursed be his base cowardice, his fond modesty, his 
affected wisdom, his treacherous negligence, his un- 
conscionable indifference, his impious want of zeal 
for God's honour and charity for my soul, which did 
keep him from checking me in my bad courses and 
reclaiming me to my duty by wholesome reproof, 
by seasonable advice, by exemplary practice before 
me : it will surely be a great comfort to us, that 
we have not given occasion for such complaints; 
but in proportion may say with St Paul, / am pure Acts xx. 
Jrom the blood of all men ; for I have not shunned g^t. 
to declare unto you all the counsel of God. ***"*• 7'^* 

It is also no small advantage to us, that by a 
good conversation we shall procure the particular 
friendship and affection of good men ; for it is that 
which discovereth good men to one another, which 
kindleth their affection toward each other, which 
draweth them together, and breedeth a familiarity 
between them, and knitteth their hearts together in 
a holy love; from whence they come to enjoy the 


192 Provide Things honest 

SERM. faithAil advice, the kind assistance, the seasonable 
Lrv. , 

'— consolations^ and the hearty prayers each of other; 

the which great benefits are lost by concealment of 
ourselves, and reservedness in doing good ; for how 
can any man know him to deserve love, whose 
goodness is not discernible? 

Such considerations may induce all persons, of 
every rank and condition, to observe this apostolical 
precept, so far as their capacities do reach ; I shall 
only adjoin, that it especially doth concern persons 
of quaUty, in proportion to their eminency in dig- 
nity, power, authority, reputation, or any peculiar 
advantage, whereby the beneficial efficacy of good 
conversation is increased. 
Matt. ▼. Such persons are like a city seated on a moun- 

tain, which cannot be hid ; the height of their sta- 
tion and lustre of their quality do expose them to 
the observation of all ; and their authority doth 
recommend their practice to the imitation of ob- 

Their example camiot fail of having a mighty 
influence; its light doth guide men, its weight doth 
sway them ; it doth seem to warrant and authorize 
practice; inferiors would be afraid or ashamed to 
discost from it. 

They have not the temptations which other men 
have to comply with sin out of fear, out of complai- 
sance, out of design; they being to lead and give 
law, not to follow or receive it ; they being the first 
movers in conversation ; the fashion being regulated 
by them, or indeed being merely a conformity to 
their deportment. 

They should by their innocence** qualify them- 

^ Const. ApoBt. 11. 17. [Cotel. Pat Apost. Tom. i. p. 225.] 

in the Sight of all Men. 193 

selves to reprove others with authority and cou- seem. 
rage. — 

They in gratitude to God, who hath bestowed 
on them such advantages, are obhged to employ 
them for his service. 

They particularly were designed and endowed 
with those advantages, that by them they might Rom. xui. 
coimtenance, might encourage, might reward, might ? pet. ii. 
by all means promote goodness in the world. '*' 

They accordingly are responsible for the influ- 
ence their conversation hath ; so that in the final 
account most actions of men will lie at their door, 
so that they shall respectively be either highly 
rewarded for the virtues and good works, or se- 
verely punished for the vices and sins of mankind : 
the which most weighty consideration I leave by 
God's grace to be seriously appUed by them who 
are concerned therein. 

B. S. VOL. IV. 13 




2 Cob. VIII. 21. 


Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the 
Lordf but also in the sight of men 

SERM. TF we observe the world, we may easily therein 
- J- discern many persons, who being inwardly well 
disposed (standing right both in judgment and affec- 
tion to goodness) are yet loath to appear very good, 
and hardly will own Christian virtue in the constant 
discharge of public duties, or in strict abstinence 
from sinfrd practices; but commonly (against the 
dictate of their reason, and sense of their heart) 
neglect the one, and comply with the other : an odd 
sort of hypocrites or dissemblers ; who studiously 
conceal their better part, and counterfeit themselves 
worse than they are ; who adore God in their hearts, 
and address devotions to him in their closets, but 
scarce will avow him in their visible profession and 
practice; who have a conscience, but are shy of 
disclosing it, or letting it take air, and walk in open 
Hght, confining it as a criminal to dose restraint or 
obscure retirement ; who gladly would be rehgious 
and stanch, if there might be no notice taken of 
it, but take care of being remarkable (or as it were 
scandalous) for it ; who think fit to compromise and 
compound the business between God and the world, 

Provide Things honest, &c. 195 

maintaining a neutrality and correspondence with seem. 

both, so as privately to court the one and publicly — 

to close with the other. 

Such practice is flatly repugnant to that rule, 
which otherwhere in precept, and here by his own 
example, the holy Apostle doth recommend to us ; 
directing us not only before God, (that is, in our 
heart, and in our secret retirements, which God 
alone doth behold,) but also before all men, ivwiriop Rom. xii. 
iravTtov avOptoTTwv, that is, in our external and *^' 
visible conversation, carefully to perform things 
good and laudable, eschewing whatever is bad or 

Our obligation to which rule hath already been 
confirmed by divers other precepts in Holy Scrip- 
ture, concurring in the injunction of it ; and its 
observance urged by various positive considerations 
of great weight and force, (declaring how necessary 
it is for promoting God's honour and glory, how 
requisite it is for maintaining the dignity of our 
profession, and advancing the interests of goodness, 
how charity and justice toward our neighbour do 
exact it from us, how conducible it is to the pubUc 
benefit of mankind, and how advantageous in many 
respects to our own particular welfare;) and not in- 
sisting further upon those considemtions, I shall 
now only enforce it by scanning the common prin- 
ciples, groimds, motives, pretences or excuses of 
the contrary practice, which I before touched, of 
openly deserting virtue, or declining the perfor- 
mance of duty before men ; and by shewing how 
very foolish and vain, how very naughty and base, 
how very mischievous, dangerous, and pernicious 
they are- 


196 Provide Things honest 

SERM, They chiefly are those which I shall immediately 
' touch and reflect upon. 

I Men commonly in their visible conversation 
do neglect their duty, or comply with sin out of 
modesty ; because they are ashamed of doing that 
which may expose them to some disgrace or cen- 
sure; because virtuous practice may raise distaste 
in the company, and provoke the scorn of those 
with whom they converse ; because such a point of 
duty is out of request, and sUghted in the world ; 
jer. i. 8. they are afiraid of men's faces ; their tender forehead 
cannot sustain derision, or endure to be flouted for 
being out of the mode, and wearing an uncouth 
garb of conscience. 

But this plainly is a perverse and unmanly mo- 
desty ; a fond, a vile, a shameful shame : fie on it ! 
should any man be ashamed of that, which is his 
chief beauty, his best ornament, his sole dignity and 
fflory ? should a man be ashamed of being evidently 
lisfin his conduct, of following his reafon, of con- 
suiting his true interest, of pursuing his own certain 
welfare and felicity? is it fit that any man should 
be ashamed of paying due acknowledgment, of yield- 
ing due reverence, of rendering due gratitude, of 
performing due service to his Creator, sovereign 
Lord, and great Benefactor ; to whom he oweth all, 
upon whose will he entirely dependeth, at whose 
absolute disposal he is ? Surely these are no shame- 
fill things, but such rather wherein we ought to 
have the greatest confidence, which we ought to 
perform with the greatest assurance. 

If we are bashfiil, let us be so in regard to 
things which are truly shamefiil ; let us be ashamed 
of sin, that is, of our most real deformity, our tur- 

in the Sight of all Men. 197 

pitude^ our disgrace, our wretchedness; the which, serm. 

indeed, is the only dishonourable and despicable '. 

thing ; the which did first produce shame, and did 
introduce it into the world, (for while innocence did Gen. iu. i, 
abide, there was no shame,) and the which will ever *^' "' *^* 
carry shame along as its inseparable adherent : it 
would, indeed, become us to blush at our horrible 
unworthiness and detestable ingratitude toward our 
boimtifiil Lord, and most gracious Redeemer; it 
were proper for us to be confounded at our extreme 
folly and foul treachery toward ourselves, in be- 
traying our souls to guilt, to regret, to wrath and 
punishment : who should be ashamed, who not, the 
holy Psalmist hath well taught us, Let none ^^Pg.xxv.3; 
wait on thee he ashamed; let them he ashamed which so^' ^ " 
transgress without cause: and, Let the proud he 
ashxmaed — ^but let my heart he sound in thy statutes^ 
that I he not ashamed. 

It is true modesty to be a^med of doing un- 
worthy and unhandsome things ; but to be ashamed 
of doing what reason and duty require, is pitiful 
weakness of mind. 

We do not owe so much regard to vicious and 
vain persons, as to be dashed out of countenance 
by them ; we should rather by our masculine reso- 
lution and upright confidence put them to confusion, 'nt. ii 8. 

If shame be an evil which we would avoid, the 
only remedy thereof we may learn firom those words 
of the Psalmist, Then shaU I not he ashamed, wJien Ps. cxix. 6. 
I have respect to thy testimonies: but it is a fond 
course to shun disgrace by doing that which alone 
deserveth it. 

Is it not also a wild thing to seem modest to- 
ward men, while we are really so bold with God, 

198 Provide Things honest 

SEBM. as presumptuously to offend him, to affix)nt him, to 


provoke him (as those in the Prophet did) to his 
Jot^* I'r f^®^ f^r so, indeed, every sinner doth; and as it is 
^^- "• the greatest inadvertency not to consider Grod 
alway present with us, so it is the height of impu- 
dence to sin in his presence, or to prefer a regard 
to men before the reverence due to his eye*. 

Is it not also great folly for decHning a little 

present transient disgrace, to do that whereof 

afterward we shall be grievously and perpetually 

^^- ^' ashamed : which we shall never remember or reflect 

upon without conftision, (according to that of the 

Jer. xxii. Apostle, Whojt fruit had ye of those things whereof 

Rom. Yi. yg d^^ ^yiQy^ oshamedf) the consequence whereof is 

Dan. jdi,i. our standing obnoxious to shame and everlasting 


If we be thus ashamed of Grod, and of our duty 
to him, may he not justly in recompense be ashamed 
of us, and disdain to own us in feivour and mercy? 
Luke ix. He will surcly, he hath often declared so ; Whoso- 
2 Tim. ii. ' ever, saith our Lord, shaU be ashamed of me and 
of my words, of him shall the Son ofintian he ashamed, 
when he shall com^e in his own glory, and in his 
Father's, and of the holy angels. 

2 Another principle, near of kin to the former, 
disposing men to commit sin, or wave duty in their 
open conversation, is fear of losing the good-will, 
or getting the ill-will of men. 

It must ofi;en happen, that whoever will be vir- 
tuous, and stick to his duty, will forfeit the favour 
of men, will incur their displeasure, will provoke 
their indignation; by crossing their humour and 

^ Quid quteso rationis habet yerecundari ad diem hominis, et 
Tultum Dei non yereri ? — Bern. Ep. cvin. [0pp. Tom. i. col. 116 b.] 

in the Sight of all Men. 199 

conceit, by implicitly slighting their opinion and sbbm, 
condemning their practice : this is the portion and 

fate of strict and stiflF piety; the friendship of God JameBiy.4. 
and the world are not well consistent; and St Paul's \^,^ °"' 
rule may be converted, If I should please men, I ^^- *• '**• 
should not be the servant of Christ: hence men, 
prizing the favour of men with the advantages of 
it, and dreading their anger, hatred, disdain, with 
the mischiefe consequent on them, are scared from 
their duty. 

But in truth this is a silly, a base, a sorry fear, 
arguing wretched meanness of spirit, and pitifiil 
cowardice. For 

Dost thou, fond wretch, fear to lose the fisivour 
of man, whose favour doth avail nothing to thy 
main interests, and cannot anywise considerably 
benefit thee, (for in no respect dost thou depend 
on his will and providence,) but dost not fear being 
deprived of God's favour, upon which aU thy good 
hangeth, wherein thy felicity consisteth, without 
which thou art uncapable of any prosperity, of any 
security, of any joy or comfort ? 

Dost thou fear the displeasure of man, of poor 
impotent man, a sorry frail worm. Whose breath is Job xxy. 6. 
in his nostrils, (ready to fly away in every moment,) ^'^' "' "' 
whose anger can do thee no real harm, whose 
power can hardly touch thee, can nowise reach thy 
soul or its concerns; whilst thou dreadest not toMatt.z.18. 
offend the eternal Almighty God, under whose feet 
thou liest, ready to be crushed into nothing, or 
stamped down into hell at his pleasure? 

Darest thou not, O heartless dastard, to do 
that which is in thy power easily to do, which thou 
art infinitely concerned to do, which upon so many 

200 Provide Things honest 

SERM. accounts thou art obliged to do, out of fear to cross 
'- — thine equal, yea, far thine inferior in this case ; for 

he that standeth to his duty, as he hath the better 
cause, so he hath the greater force, and assuredly 
will defeat all his opposers ? 

Art thou, O pusillanimous slave, in regard to 
any creature, thy fellow-subject and servant, afiraid 
of expressing thy loyalty to thy sovereign Lord, 
thy love to infinite goodness, thy gratitude to thy 
best friend and kindest benefactor, thy reverence 
toward the divine majesty, thine awe of imcontrol- 
lable power? is this a reasonable, an excusable, a 
tolerable fear ? 

Surely if ever to be driven out of heart is re- 
proachful, if ever to be cowed doth argue infirmity 
and abjectness of spirit, it is in this case; when we 
have all the reason and obhgation in the world to 
be most courageous and resolute, to fear no colours, 
to make our party good against aU opposition; 
when we have the greatest necessity to engage us, 
and the greatest advantage to encourage us to hold 
out stoutly; the greatest necessity, seeing all that 
we have, our Ufe, our salvation, our eternal weal 
Deut. doth lie at stake ; For it is not a vain thing for you, 
Sr^i^ii. S^otw^e it is your life: the greatest advantage, for 
^ , ... , that if we will, we are invincible, and assured of an 
Pa. ivi. II ; easy victory, seeing we take part with God, and 
xxyii. I, 3; have omnipotency on our side; so that we can say 
jer.Y 8; with David, The Lord is my helper, I will not fear "^hat man can do unto me: The Lord is my light 
Gen. xxvi. ^^ ^y scdr^^ation. whom shall I fear ? the Lord is 

1\\ XV. I. "^ ' ^ ^ 

Num. xiv. i}iQ strength of my life, of whom shall I he afraid f 
xxari. 8. There is not indeed, to those who are under 

XX. 17!^' God's special protection, and confide in him, any 

in the Sight of aU Men. 201 

thing in nature really formidable or terrible: it is serm. 


his peculiar attribute to be the mighty and terrible . 
One; he recommendeth himself to us as Our fear, ^^^^7' ^^* 
that is, the special object of it ; we therefore do sar- ^^^ * V- 
crilegiously wrong him, by fearing any other thing ^i; x. 17; 
in such cases of competition, and when we are Psixxvi.;, 
concerned to fear him; whence then we are pro-iJ/^if* 
hibited to fear the greatest powers in the world; '3; xii- ^o- 
Fear not them which kiU the body, (if God permit Matt. x. 
them,) hut are not able to hiU the soul: btU rather ' ' 
fear him who is able to destroy both body and sovl 
in hell. 

Who, saith St Peter, is he ihat wiU (or that can) 
harm you, tI^ o kokwcwv ifias, if ye be followers o/'iPet. m. 
that which is good? — ^wherefore be not afraid qf^^*^^*^^' 
their terror, neither be troubled; but sanctify the 
Lord God in your hearts, (by a pure confidence in 

In such cases, we should be ready to accost the 
greatest potentates in terms like those of the three 
brave youths in Daniel ; Nebuchadnezzar, we are ^f"- ^i- 
not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be 
so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from 
the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out 
of thine handy king. But (however) if not, be it 
known unto thee, O king, thai we will not serve thy 
gods, nor worship thy golden image which thou hast 
set up. And if, in imitation of so worthy an ex- 
ample, we should defy the wrath of the greatest 
kings, demanding any sinM compliance from us, 
how poor a thing is it to fear the displeasure of 
sorry companions enticing .us to the like ! how 
much more should we defy all the crew of hectorly 
ruffians and huffing braggadocios! 


202 Provide Things Jumest 

SERM. Wliile wicked pro&ne men are so bold and stout 

'- — in impugning goodness, we should be courageous in 

Prov. defence of it. The righteous is as bold as a lion. 

The fear of God (the which is most reasonable 
and prudent, and consistent with the bravest cou- 
rage) should exclude the fear of men; the. which is 
no less vain than base ; the which, indeed, doth in- 
volve the wildest boldness, and most rash foolhardi- 
ness in the world, pushing us into the most 
desperate adventures that can be ; while by sinning 
we incense the most dreadM anger, we invade the 
most formidable power, we incur the most horrible 
dangers, we run headlong into the jaws of death 
and hell : such a mixture there is of base coward- 
ice and mad audacity in practices issuing from that 

3 Men commonly do neglect the open practice 
of virtue out of care to decUne envy ; for ill men 
seeing others endowed with worthy quaUties, which 
they want; performing good deeds, from which 
their infirmity or pravity doth hold them averse; 
entitled to commendations, rewards, and advan- 
tages to which they cannot aspire, and whereby 
they seem to eclipse their credit, or impair their 
interest, or expose their unworthiness; cannot look 
on such persons without an evil eye, or without 
conceiving in their heart malevolent grudges at 
them, which they will be apt to vent in spitefiil 
practices, endeavouring to supplant or blast their 
virtue ; men are apt to envy the fevourites of God, 
as they are of princes. Nor, indeed, doth any thing 
more powerfully incit^men to hurt their neighbour 
than such malignity, being edged by that anguish 
which their sore eye doth feel ; to shun which envy 

in the Sight of aU Men. 203 

and its mischievous effects, men commonly are seem. 

tempted to withdraw its cause, their own virtue, — 

that its bright lustre may not wound the sight of 
such neighbours. 

But thus to appease envy by deserting virtue** 
is very fond and absurd. For 

Shall I cast away my best goods, because 
another would not have me to enjoy them? shall I 
be terribly sick, to cure another's distempered fency ? 
shall I render myself miserable, because another 
doth not like to see me happy? because he doth 
want charity, must I forego innocence? because he 
doth not love me, shall I hate myself? to please 
him merely, without bettering him, to ease him of 
a wholesome smart, shall I displease God, and 
abuse myself? 

Would he not be a silly man, who being envied, 
because he seemeth a favourite of his prince, would, 
to gratify such enviers, offend his prince? No 
surely, this is too fond a regard unto any man's 
base disposition, this is too great a gratification of 
an enemy's pleasure, this is too slavish a depression 
of a man's self: rather let him fret, let him tor- 
ment himself let him inflict a just punishment on 
his own uncharitable and imworthy humour; 
whereby perhaps he may be reduced to discern his 
folly and correct his &ult. 

Would any man upon such terms part with his 
estate, mar his business, slur his reputation, or 
purposely play the fool? would any man become 
poor, infamous, or contemptible, because to be rich, 
to be prosperous, to be honourable, to be wise, are 

^ InTidiam placare paras virtute relicta? 
Contemnere miser. — Hor. Sat. n. 3. [13.] 

204 Provide Things honest 

SEEM, invidious things? Much less should a man upon 

\ — that account neglect his duty, thereby betraying 

his soul, discarding the love and favour of God, 
destroying the satisfaction of his conscience, and 
forfeiting his hopes of felicity : damages and mis- 
chiefs comparable to which all the envy and spite 
in the world can nowise bring upon him. 

If we would avoid envy, we should not do it 
by incurring a worse evil, and rendering ourselves 
contemptible for unworthiness ; we should rather 
damp it by modesty, humility, an inoffensive tenour 
of life. 

"We should surmount it, and quash it by con- 
stant blameless conversation: the which will kill 
the envious or the envy. 

An unquestionable virtue will stop the mouth 
of detraction, and drive envy into comers, not 
daring to shew itself against it. 

4 A common principle, from whence neglect of 
duty and commission of sin in visible conversation 
doth spring, is a fear of infamy and reproach, 
whereto the strict practice of virtue is liable ; men 
not enduring to bear the odious censures, the foul 
imputations, the ugly characters, the scurvy epi- 
thets, and opprobrious names, wherewith the bold 
and spitefiil enemies of goodness are wont to 
asperse and brand its faithful adherents. 

To be deemed weak, credulous, superstitious, 
formal, timorous, nice, squeamish, scrupulous, strait- 
laced, conceited, affected, cross, surly, morose, fro- 
ward, stubborn, pertinacious, proud. 

To be termed a foppish simpleton, doting on 
speculations, and enslaved to rules; a fantastical 
humourist, a precise bigot, a rigid stoic, a demure 

in the Sight of all Men. 205 

sneaksby, a clownish singularist, or nonconformist serm. 

to ordinary usage, a stiff opiniatre ; a man of a '. 

pitiftd narrow spirit, pent up within a small com- 
pass, confined by principles, fettered by laws, living 
in bondage to his conscience. 

These and the like harsh censures, foul re- 
proaches, and abusive scoffs, even all which inven- 
tion quickened by envy, choler, rancorous spite, and 
aided by the malicious fiend, can suggest, wherewith 
the profane crew of men usually do conspire to P8.ivii.3,4. 
daub and persecute those who refuse to comply 
with their unconscionable extravagancies and im- 
pieties, men can hardly brook ; and thence to shun 
them yield up all, cross their reason, prostitute 
their conscience, violate aU their obligations; 
choosing rather to be justly reproachable for bad 
actions, than unjustly reproached for good. 

But with such a person, who is thus diverted 
from his duty, let me expostulate. 

Dost thou well to regard what imbridled tongues 
out of a wanton mind and corrupt heart do sputter 
and foam ? Shall thy practice depend on their loose 
wit or licentious talk, so that thou must do nothing 
which they shall not be in humour to commend •? 

"Wilt thou renounce all wisdom, abandon thy 
best interest, forfeit thy happiness, to decline a 
squib or a flirt^? 

Would not he be a stark fool, who would be 
railed or jeered out of his way in travel, out of his 
business in traffic, out of his estate or real interest 
upon any occasion? and is he not evidently far 

' Qaid turpios, quam gapientU yitam ex insipientiam ser- 
znone pendere ? — Cic. de Fin. ii. [16. 60.] 

* Quid de te alii loquantur, ipsi rideant. — Scipio apud Cic. in 
Somn. [$ 7.] 

206 Provide Things honest 

SERM. more suck who will be flouted out of his duty, out 
of his salvation, out of any spiritual advantage? 

Was not the practice of David more advisable, 
Pb. cxix. who said, The proud have had me in derision ; yet 
*'* have I not declined from thy law ? 

David, a great king, a man of singular courage 
and gallantry, a glorious hero; yet even him did 
bold and base people deride. Whom will not pro- 
fane impudence assail ? whom will not they attempt 
to deter from goodness ? 

Art thou so blind as not to discern whence it 
cometh that they disparage virtue? that is, from 
their extreme vanity and rashness, which move 
them to speak any thing without consideration or 
discretion ; from their great naughtiness and weak- 
ness, their being bewitched with pleasure and be- 
sotted with vice, which engageth them to take part 
so ftiriously with them; from their malignity and 
spite against that which crosseth their fond hu- 
mours and exorbitant lusts ; from their pride, which 
swelleth against those who by contrary practice 
dissent from their folly, and reprove their wicked- 
ness, and eclipse their repute; fiom their eny, 
which repineth at thy appearing better and happier 
than themselves, thy excelling them in true worth, 
thy enjoying that satisfaction which they want, thy 
attaining that blessed hope to which they cannot 
aspire: and seeing that their reproaches do issue 
from such principles, wilt thou regard them? 

Are their words any slander, who being pro- 
fessed enemies of goodness do naturally impugn it 
by the readiest arms they have, a virulent and 
petulant tongue*'? 

* Ovdciff (jyavkos to%>s <nrovdaiov9 ifrcuptlp viroficWi.— Isidor PeluB. 
Ep. II. [0pp. p. 224 D.] 


in the Sight of all Men. 207 

Can their dirty language, bespattering good seem. 

things, alter their nature, or render that dishonour- '— 

able and odious, which in itself is most excellent, 
most amiable, most venerable, most useful and pro- 

Is it not, indeed, a commendation of virtue, 
which should encourage us the more to like it, to 
honour it, to embrace it, that vain, wild, dissolute i Pet li. 
persons, distempered in their minds, notoriously i^fhe«. m. 
void of discretion, of integrity, of sobriety, do pre- 
tend to vilify and disgiuce it «? 

As their commendation is of no worth, so their 
reproach is less considerable. 

Dost thou not disparage thine own judgment by 
heeding theirs, or suffering it to be of any consider- 
ation with thee in the conduct of thy life**? 

Dost thou take them to be serious in this, or to 
speak in good earnest, when they reproach virtue, 
and sHght the plain dictates of reason, the clear 
light of natural conacience, the express commands 
of God, the apparent concerns of their own soul ? 
they who are sober in nothing, how can they be 
serious in this, why should they seem judicious in 
such a case^? 

' Tt a<Jf€«£, a<^6ff. — ^M. Ant. viii. $ 1. 

Ov yap doKiiy apurrof, aXX* thnu ^Act«— 

[.^schyl. Sept. c. Th. 692.] 
T^ dc boKtiVf ovd€v irpos ijiiagf »OTr€p ovdc Svap oKkirpioy. — Greg. 
Naz. [Or. xxxvi. (de Sede CoDst.) 0pp. Tom. i. p. 639 d.] 
' Mails displicere, laudari est. — Sen. Excerpt. 
Nee potest bonus non esse, qui bonis placet. Nee minus yali- 
dum argumentum mihi videtur, quod bonus sit, si mails e regione 
displiceat. — ^Bem. [Ep. ooxLiz. 0pp. Tom. i. col. 248 b.] 

^ Quanta dementia est Terori, ne infameris ab infamibus ?— Sen. 
Ep. ici. [19.] 

^ MoTerer, si judicio hoc facerent ; nunc morbo faciunt — Sen. 

208 Provide Things honest 

SERM. Is it not evidently better to be slandered by 

'- — giddy, lewd, ungodly wretches, who mind not what 

they say, nor care what they do, whose judgment 
therefore can signify nothing; than really to de- 
serve reproof, and thence certainly to incur blame, 
from all staid, sober, considerate, wise, and vir- 
tuous persons, who judge advisedly and uprightly 
about things^? 

Is it not better to undergo their severest censure 
and most biting scoffs, than to be condemned of 
folly and baseness by thy own mind, and reviled 
by thy own conscience? 

Is it not infinitely better to be unjustly defistmed 
by men, than to be disreputed by God, exposed to 
most disgraceful condemnation at his bar, and 

Dan. xu. 2, throwQ into that state of everlasting ignominy ? 

Is it not more tolerable to hear such language, 
than, having violated our duty and broken God's 
commands, one day to hear that dismal sentence. 

Matt XXV. Goy ye cursed^ into everlasting Jire^f 

^ ' It is a glorious infamy which one sustaineth for 

the sake of righteousness*". 

Even heathens, with whom glory was the most 
ample reward and sweetest fiiiit of virtue, yet do 
enjoin that we should prefer conscience before it ; 
and that we should rather gladly embrace infemy, 
than forsake virtue". 

^ Ego cum a nostro Oatone laudabar, yel reprehend! me a 
ceteris faeile patiebar. — Cic. [Orat. xra. 41.] 

^ Tu ergo plus opprobria times quam tormenta? &c. — Bern. 
Ep. cvra. [0pp. Tom. i. col. 116 b.] 

™ ^quissimo animo ad honestum consilium per mediam infa- 
miam tendam. &c. — Sen. Ep. lxxxi. [18.] 

" Non vis esse Justus sine gloria? at mehercle sape Justus 
esse debebis cum infamia. — ^Id. Ep. cxin. [26.] 

Vid. M. Ant. v. § 3. xi. § 16. ix. § 18. 

in the Sight of all Men. 209 

It is the lot of all good men (for probation, serm. 

exercise, and improvement of their virtue) to be '• 

persecuted, at least in some times, as when St Paul 
said. All that will live godly in Christ Jesus mitst « Tim. m. 
suffer persecution: and surely he that sincerely ^^ ^iv. 
loveth God would even desire occasion of suflfering ^;^ ^ ^ 
somewhat for his sake, in testimony of his faithM 
a£Fection : but what more tolerable persecution, what 
more easy martyrdom could we wish, than to be 
lashed by a scurrilous tongue : or rather to observe 
the ears of others to be infested with the buzzes of 
detraction ? what is this but a little air stirred in 
vain, but a mere sound or blast of wind, importing 
nought to him that doth not mind it, or will not 
be affected with it? the which surely to a sound 
heart and pure conscience cannot be very sensible ; 
a man must have a froward temper, or a tender ear, 
whom a Httle such creaking or grating noise doth 
much vex**; all its force is broken, all its mischief is 
remedied easily, by neglect or contempt. 

It is in a manner more commendable to suffer 
for being good, than for bemg a Christian; a truer 
martyrdom to suffer for the temper, than for the 
name of Christ ; for doing well, than for professing 

Who, indeed, had ever been good, in any notable jer. xx. 7. 
degree, if some had minded the opinion or the dis- fg^' f^!' 
course of such men, whom in all times the great ^^ 3m; 
adversary of goodness and maligner of our welfare ^^- ??• 
hath excited to deter men from virtue by thus wud. v. 3. 
abusing it? hath it not ever been the portion of 
good men to suffer in this kind ? 

^ Quid stoltius homine verba metuente ?— Sen. Ep. xci. [19.] 
B. S. VOL. IV. 14 

210 * Provide Things honest 

SERM. Was not our Lord himBel^ were not his apostles, 
were not all the prophets of old, were not all the 

Heb. xii. 3. heroes in goodness of all times thus pursued with 
obloquy ? what vile imputation, what name of re- 
proach can be devised, wherewith the spiteful world 
did not besmear themp? 

Yet were they much disturbed at it ? were they 
anywise discouraged or scared by it from their duty ? 
No ; they rather did find satisfsiction and delight in 
it ; it rather did heighten their mind and strengthen 
their resolution ; it begat a gallant and triumphant 
disdain of such injuries, enlivening and animating 
them in their career of duty; they did embrace 
reproach fi)r righteousness not only with content, as 
their proper lot and portion from God's providence. 
Acta V. 41. but with joy, as their special glory and happiness 
10. ' from divine goodness ; feeling it most true what our 
Matt.Y. II. Master taught: Blessed are ye^ when men shaU 
revile yo% and shall say all manner of evU against 
Lukevi. you falsely y for my sake. Blessed are ye, when 
m>en — shall reproach you, and cast out your name 
cw evil, for the Son of man's sake. And, according 
I Pet. iv. to St Peter, El oveiSll^eaOe, If ye be reproached for 
'^* tiie nam^ of Christ, (that is, for consdonably dis- 

charging any Christian duty,) happy are ye; for 
Ihe Spirit of ghry and of God resteth on you: on 
their part he is evil spoken of hut on your part 
he is glorified. 

In fine, it is aU reason, and it is the express com- 
mand of God, that in such cases we should not regard 
the censures or the reproaches of any mortal ; it is 

^ 'EfivmyfiMv iral naarlynv V€ipav eXafiop. — Heb. xi. 36. Atd 
d6(rft Koi drifiias. — 2 Cor. vi. 8. *OP€iduriJuns T€ mi} 6Kl^<n ^^arpi^ 
fo^fvot.— Heb. xi. 33. 

in the Sight of aU Men. 211 

a part of duty to despise obloquy, to expose and lose seem. 
reputation for God's sake. For, Hearken, saith he, 

unto me, ye that know rigkteousnesSy the ^people in gf"* ' 
whose heart is my law; fear ye not the r^yroach 
of men, neither be ye afraid of their revUings. For 
the moth shaU eat them up like a garment^ and the 
worm shall eat them like wool: hut my righteous* 
ness sAoS be for ever, and my salvation from gener- 
ration to generation, 

5 Men commonly decline the pubHc pra^ioe of 
duty out of aflFectation thereby to be deemed more 
honest and sincere, or to decline the suspicion of 
being hypocritical. 

As this is the most obvious aixd usual calumny 
wherewith dissolute people do charge good men; so 
to men of generous disposition it is of all censures 
most poignant, as most crossing their temper; ao- 
cording to which as they hate to be, so they can 
hardly endure to be counted or called dissemblers; 
whence often they choose rather to seem indifferent 
to goodness, than zealously affected to it; they 
rather wave some points of duty, than, for the 
performance of them, expose themselves to that 

But this proceeding is very unreasonable : for. 

What can be more absurd, than to be really and 
notoriously bad, (as whoever omitteth his duty is,) 
to prevent a surmise of being such? or to be truly 
worse than we should be, that we may not be 
deemed worse than we seem? 

How can we more gratify the enemy of our 
salvation, than by approving ourselves in truth to 
be what he would falsely challenge us to be, mockers 
of God, and traitors to our own soul ? 


212 Provide Tilings honest 

SERM. Is it not a vain thing to regard that kind of 

'- — censure which it is impossible for any roan to escape, 

upon other terms than of being very naughty ? for 
wicked men will never fail to load those with this 
charge, who will not comply with their follies, and 
I Pet, iv. 4. run with them to the same excess of riot, or are any- 
wise better than themselves; it is inevitable for a 
stanch man not to be stigmatized for a hypocrite 
by them. 
« Cor. i. la. We have certainly more reason to be satisfied 

I John iii. • . i ,r • j /• 

ai. With the sure conscience and sense of our own 

integrity, than to be moved with the presumptuous 

assertions of any wretch devoid of justice or charity: 

his censure, being plainly injurious and contrary to 

all rules of equity, which prescribe that no man 

should judge of things unknown or uncertain, is 

utterly despicable. 

1 John iii. The testimony of God, ( Who is greater than our 

rThess. ii. hearts,) perfectly knowing our sincerity, may abun- 

Gal. i. 10. dantly support us ; it is a great wrong to him for us 

E*h"vi*<" *^ value the rash suspicions of men, when we are 

I Cor. iv. secure of his knowledge, who seeth all our works, 

Jonah iii. and tricth our hearts; who hath said, that. If we 

Ps*. xxxvu. commit our way to him, and trust in him, he will 

6 ; vii. 9. ^Vi^r forth our riglUeousness as the light, and our 

judgment as the noonday. 

It is certainly better to be called hypocrite by 
men for doing our duty, than to be treated as a 
hypocrite by God for neglecting it; for all those 
who upon any account do violate God's laws shall 
Matt.xxiv. have their portion with the hypocrites in that dis- 
consolate place where is weeping and gnashing of 
teeth. And good reason; for indeed by thus 
avoiding hypocrisy, we really do incur it ; by seek- 

in the Sight of all Men. 213 

ing to preserve an opinion of sincerity, we forfeit Serm. 
the reality of it; by the practice of disavowing the 

fear of God and care of goodness, we do constitute 
ourselves certain hypocrites and impostors; dis- 
sembling our thoughts, smothering our conscience, 
deluding our neighbours with false conceits of us, 
feigning that indifference which we have not, pre- 
tending to act without regret or remorse, which we 
cannot do ; seeming otherwise than we are, signi- 
fying otherwise than we mean, doing otherwise 
than we judge fit, or like to do; that is, if we be 
not stark infidels, or utterly void of conscience. 

This is hypocrisy turned the wrong side outward, 
disguising a man in a fouler shape, and uglier garb, 
than that which is natural and true. 

And if we compare the two hypocrisies, (that of 
pretending conscience which we want, and this of 
denying conscience which we have ; that of seeming 
better than we are, this of seeming worse than we 
may be,) this in nature may well seem more vile, in 
tendency more dangerous, in effect more mischievous 
than the other. 

There is in both the same falsehood, the same 
prevarication, the like contempt and abuse of God ; 
but the hypocrite of whom we speak doeth worse 
things, more directly wrongfiil to God, more preju- 
dicial to goodness, more harmfiil to the world. 

The specious hypocrite, counterfeiting goodness, 
and. Having a form of godliness^ without the power i Tim. ui. 
and reality of it, doth yield to God some part (the 
exterior part) of his due honour and respect; but 
the sneaking hypocrite, disowning goodness, doth 
apparently desert, slight, and aflfront God : the one 
serveth God with his face and his voice, though his 8. 

214 Provide Things honest 

SEBM. heart be far from him : the other doth not so much 

LV. • , • 

'- — as sacrifice a carcass of obedience to him : that may 

bring some credit and advantage to goodness, 
strengthen its interest by his vote and comitenance ; 
this by not avowing it doth assuredly weaken its 
reputation and cause : that hypocrisy, as such, is a 
private and single evil, whereby a man doth indeed 
prejudice himself, but doth not injure his neighbour, 
yea, may edify him by the appeaxing (which in this 
respect is the same with the real) goodness of his 
example; but this hypocrisy is a general mischief, 
a scandalous evil, a contagious pestilence, whereby a 
man not only harmeth himself, but wrongeth many 
others, seducing them into dissoluteness, infecting 
the world with base indifference to good, and easi- 
ness to comply with sin. 

It is, indeed, a sad thing, that God and goodness 
should be deserted upon this account; that most men 
should be so imcharitable, so imjust, so imprudent, 
as to suspect all good men of hypocrisy ; as if it were 
incredible that any man should heartily love or fear 
God, (when it is rather strange that any man should 
do otherwise ;) that any man in good earnest, or 
otherwise than in pretence and for sinister respects, 
should embrace virtue, (when it is marvellous that a 
reasonable man should decline it ;) that so many, of 
themselves inclinable to goodness, should be so weak 
as to be deterred from it by so yain an apprehension ; 
and that the name of hypocrisy should drive away 
piety; that it should become desirable, that hypo- 
crites might abound in the world, lest Keligion both 
in truth and show should be discarded. 

In fine, we may otherwise suppress this odious 
imputation than by deserting goodness; we may 

in the Sight of aU Men. 215 

demonstrate ourselves serious and sincere by an in- sebm. 


flexible adherence to it in the continual tenour of our 

practice; and especially in some instances of duty, 33* *™"' 
which are hardly consistent with hypocrisy : for no 
man can hold long in a strained posture; no man 
will take much pains, or encounter great difficulties, 
or sustain grievous hardships and aflaictions, cross 
his appetites, forego gains and honours, for that 
which he doth not heartily like and love : he may 
counterfeit in ceremonies and formalities, but he 
wiU hardly feign hunulity, meekness, patience, 
contentedness, temperance, at least uniformly and 
constantly. Even the patient enduring this censure 
wiU confiite it^ and wipe off the aspersion of hypo- 




2 Cor. VIIL 21. 

Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of 
the Lord, but also in the sight of men. 

SERM. 6 A NOTHEE. great impediment of good con- 

— -^ versation before men is a desire of seeming 

courteous and civil. Men usually conform to sinM 
practices, because they would not be held clowns, 
rude and distasteful in conversation; they would 
not give offence to their company, by clashing with 
tiieir humour; by preferring tiieir own judjnent, 
and seeming to be in their own conceit wiser and 
better than those with whom they converse; by 
provoking them to think they are held fools, or 
worse, by such non-compliance. 

This is an ordinary snare to easy and ingenuous 
natures ; but the ground of it is very unreasonable : 
for although in matters of indifference, where duty 
and sin do not fall into consideration, to be limber 
and ductile as can be, (which is the temper of the 
best metal,) to have no humour of our own, or to 
resign up all our humour to the wiU of our com- 
pany, to condescend unto, and comport with, any 
thing; to raise no faction or debate, but presently 
I Cor. ix. to yield to the swaying vote ; to become all things 
to all men in a ready complaisance, be wisdom and 

Provide Things honest, dc. 217 

good maimers, doth argue good-nature, good under- berm. 
standing, good breeding; is a rightly gentle and 1 

obliging quality : 

Yet where duty is concerned, where sinning or 
not sinning is the case, there courtesy hath no 
room ; there it is vain to pretend any engagement 
to complaisance. 

For surely it is better to be held uncivil, than to 
be ungodly ; it is far better manners to offend any 
number of men, than to be rude with God, to clash 
with his pleasure, to offer indignity and injury to 
him : there can be no competition in the case ; no 
shadow of reason, why we should displease God to 
please men. 

As it were more civil to offend ten thousand 
boors (peasants) than to affront our king; so to 
offend ten thousand kings than to affi-ont our God 
were in policy more advisable, and in equity more 
justifiable: so the royal Psalmist did judge; for, 
PrinceSi said he, did sit and speak against me, hut pb. 
thy servant did meditate in thy statutes: so Moses, so ^^^ ^ 
Samuel, so Elias, so Jeremy, so Daniel, so the three *^- 
noble children, so the holy Apostles did conceive; 
who being persons otherwise very courteous and 
gentle, yet had not that consideration of mighty 
princes, as not rather to approve their consciences 
to God, than to comply with their pleasure; how 
much less should we, upon pretence of courtesy 
toward inferior persons in ordinary conversation, 
transgress our duty ? 

Our own interest in such cases is too considerable 
to be sacrificed to the conceit or pleasure of any 
men : our salvation is no matter, wherein formality 
of respect should intervene, or have any weight ; to 


218 Provide Things honest 

^Lv^' ^^ ^^ forfeit our eternal happiness is no business 

'— of compliment or ceremony : it were a silly courtesy 

for a man to wait on his company to hell, a wild 
point of gallantry to be damned in complaisance. 

Who would take himself to be obliged in good 
manners to hold on the round in a cup of poison; to 
leap down after those, who, from bUnd inadvertency, 
or wilful perverseness, tumble into a gulf, to gadi or 
stab himself in conformity to some desperate folk? 
Much less can a man be engaged out of any such 
regard (in compHance with the mistake, weakness, 
or pravity of others) to incur guilt, to provoke 
divine wrath, to expose his soul to utter ruin, to 
undergo a damage, for which all the world cannot 
make any reparation or amends. 

Is it notT better to disgust thaa to gratify 
those, who have so little consideration of our wel&xe; 
who, indeed, are very discourteous and heinously 
rude in offering to tempt us unto sin, to desire a 
compUance therein with them; to expect from us, 
that we should adventure so much for their vain 
satisfaction ? 

Indeed to gratify such persons were great and 
noble courtesy : but really to do it, we should not 
go this way ; for this is a spurious courtesy, rather 
conspiracTjr and treachery, tiian courtesy. 

It is in truth, at the bottom, great discourtesy 
(involving much unkindness, real abuse, unmercifid 
inhumanity and cruelty) to second, to coimtenance, 
to support or encourage any man in doing that 
which manifestly tendeth unto his great prejudice, 
to his utter bane. 

It is the truest civility (implying real humanity, 
genuine charity, faithfrd kindness, and tender pity) 

in the Sight of all Men. 219 

to stand off in such cases, and, by refiisin;? (in a sebm. 
modest, gentie, discreet manner reLng) to concur ^^'' 

in sin with our friends and companions^ to check 
them^ to warn them, to endeavour their amendment 
and retreat from pernicious courses; to exercise 
that compassion toward them, which St Jude call- 
eth, Ptdling them out of the fire. J'*^^ *** 

In such cases to repel them, yea to reprove them, 
is the greatest &,vour we can shew them ; it is not 
only safe for ourselves, but kind to them, to observe 
St Paul's precept, Have no fellowshvp with <ft6Eph.v.ii, 
urfruitful works of darkness^ hut rather reprove *^' 
them; for which deportment, whenever they come 
to themselves, and soberly reflect on things, they 
will thank and bless us ; and it will happen as the 
Wise Man saith, He that rebvketh a man. afterwards ^: 
shall find mo^'e favour than he that flattereth with 
his tongue. 

In fine, if we throughly ^ the business, we 
shall find, that commonly it is not abundance of 
courtesy, but a defect of charity, or of conscience, 
or of courage, which disposeth us to reservedness, 
or to concurrence upon such occasions, in regard to 
unallowable practices. 

7 Another snare which catcheth and holdeth us 
in open practice of sin, or neglect of duty, is defer-- 
ence to the opinion, authority, custom, or example 
of others ; to the conmion opinion, to the authority 
of great and leading persons, to the &shion of the 
world, and prevalent humour of the age. 

A man (not consulting or not confiding in his 
own reason) is apt to credit the vogue, to defer a 
kind of veneration to the general sentiments of 
men, (especially of men qualified,) apprehending 

220 Provide Things honest 

SERM. that allowable or tolerable which men commonly 

LVI • • . 

1— by their practice seem to approve. He is prone to 

xvi. 17. 

suspect his own judgment of mistake, when it doth 
thwart the opinion of so many; and hardly can 
have the heart to oppose his single apprehension 
agamst so common notions. 

The commonness of sin and multitude of ojSenders 
doth in a manner authorize and warrant it, doth at 
least seem to excuse and extenuate it . 
Ecciua. A man easily conceiteth himself safe enough, 

while he is in the herd, while he walketh in the 
road, when he hath the broad coverlet of general 
usage to shroud him from blame; he doth at least 
fancy consolation in undergoing a doom with so 

But upon many accounts this is a very &llacious 
and dangerous ground of practice. 

For multitudes are no good authors of opinion*, 
or guides of practice. 

Wise men have ever been apt to suspect that 
to be bad, which is most commonly admired and 

Nothing is more vulgarly noted, than the inju- 
diciousness, the blindness, the levity, temerity, and 
giddiness of the vulgar; temper, inclination, appe- 
tite, interest, and the like perverting biases, have 
most sway on them ; any specious appearance, any 
slight motive, any light rumour doth serve to 
persuade them any thing, to drive them any 

All ages have deplored the paucity of wise and 

• IllOB 

Defendit numerus. — Juv. Sat. ii. 4ff. 

^ Vid. M. Ant. ix. 18 ; xi. 3, 4. 
^ ArgumcDtum pefisimi, turba ost. — Sen. de Vit. Beat. [cap. 11.] 

in the Sight of all Men. . 221 

good men; the geimine disciples of our Lord, and serm. 


sons of wisdom, have ever been pysiUus grex, a 
smaU flock; our Lord hath told us, that, Wide is ^2. ^™* 
the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to ,3* * ^*' 
destruction, and many there be which go in thereat. ^"^®^"- 

Wherefore popular use is no good argument of ^™- «• 
truth or right; nor can yield any warrant or any iL.x.... 
colour for infringing God's law : no plebisdtum can 
be of force against it. 

God never did allow the people to exempt them- 
selves or us from their loyalty, or obedience to his 
laws ; they are universally obligatory ; He hath com- Acts xvu. 
manded all men to repent; he hath threatened that Lutexiii. 
otherwise, All shaUperish; and that, Tribulation and ^ 
anguish shall be upon every soul of man that doeth evil. 

He by express prohibitions hath obviated all 
such pretences and pleas ; Thou shaU not, saith he, ^^^^ 
follow a multitude to do evil; and, Say ye not a con- J*\"- ?.: 

•^ ^ ' ^ ^ .7 ^, 

federacy — neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid "• .. 
(fear not to dissent and discost^om the way of this 15.. 
people) . And, If sinners entice thee, (how many BroVT^!* 10! 
soever they be, though it be a Sinful nation, a^^'^-^- 
people laden imth iniquity, a seed of evil doers,) 
consent thou not. 

Indeed, if we consider it, it is so far from excus- 
ing sin, that it is an aggravation thereof, that we 
therein conspire with others, and the more the 
worse : to oppose God singly is not quite so crimi- 
nal, as to join with a rout in hostility and rebellion 
against him; for hereby God's authority is more 
shaken, and his honour more rudely violated; hereby 
we do not only sin ourselves, but contribute to the 
sin of others, encourage them to it, and uphold them 
in it by our patronage. 

222 Proinde Things honest 

BERM. Hereby we become accessory to the degeneracy 
1- and general apostasy of the age. 

Hereby we do join our forces to pull down God's 
judgments on our country, and by promoting gene- 
ral corruption induce general vengeance. 

The multitude of sinners is so far from sheltering 
any one from wrath, that it surely draweth it upon 
all ; forcing the Almighty not only for the assertion 
of his own authority, and vindication of his honour, 

isai. i. 25. but for the good of the people, and purgation of the 
world, to pour forth remarkable vengeance. 

For example ; In the time of Noah did God spare«. the old world, when AU flesh had corrupted its 

1 Pet. 11. 5. ,^j^y yjpoYt the earthy did that stave off God's wrath, 
or stop the deluge? No, it did grievously provoke 
him, it did in a manner necessitate him to destroy 

Gen. vi. 7. Dcian from the face of the earth ; Bringing in the 

a Pet. u. h'jiQod upon the world of the ungodly. 

Did the number of sinners in Sodom prevent 
vengeance on them? was it not that which did 

a Pet. ii. 6. coudemn them to an overthrow so dismal, pulling 
down fire and brimstone on them ? 

What was the reason of that woM captivity into 

jer. vi. «8; which Israel was carried ? was it not because They 
loere all grievous revoUers; and had so generally 
conspired in wickedness, that the Prophet could say, 

''' "J Eun ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, 
and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places 
thereof, if ye can flnd a man, if there he any thai 
eocecuteth judgm£nt, that seeketh the truths and I 
will pardon itf Was it not this which did wring 

^' ^9- from God that sentence. Shall I not visit for these 
things? shall not my soul he avenged on such a 
nation as this ? 

in the Sight of aU Men. 223 

When the case is such in any community, as it ^^^^• 
was in Israel, when God said, From the sole of the ——■ — 
foot even to the head there is no soundness in it^ then *' ' 
judgment is necessary, and it must assuredly follow : 
Your country is desolate — ^then God, his patience ^ 7; 
being tired, and his goodness unsupportably abused, 
wiU cry out. Ah, I will ease me of my adversaries, *• **• 
and avenge me of mine enemies. 

God as Governor of the world, in discharge of 
his o£Sce, for clearing his honour, for assuring his 
majesty, out of regard to public good, for the safety 
and wel&re of his subjects, is concerned to chastise 
notorious, scandalous, and infectious sin: he may 
reserve private sins for the final doom, when the i Cor. iv. 5. 
hidden things of darkness shall be brought to 
light, and the counsels of hearts manifested, and all 
things shall receive just reward and recompense; 
but it is expedient to punish pubUc sins pubUdy : 
They who declare their sin as Sodom, with out- isai. ui. 9. 
rageous impudence, are like to find a punishment 
like that in a common vengeance. 

We should therefore in such a case be the more 
carefiil of our conversation, more shy of sinfiil com- 
pliance with others, for preventing public calamity; 
for that our single piety and innocence (or the 
goodness of a few) may save our country, together 
with ourselves, from wrath and ruin ; seeing it is the 
gracious method of God in regard to a few righteous 
men to spare the rest, to release a nation firom de- 
served punishment ; for if in Sodom had been found G«n. xviu. 
ten righteous persons, it had escaped that horrible ^^' 
destruction; and Israel in Hezekiah's time, (al- 
though in a very great and general corruption of that 
age,) by a few good men did avoid the like doom ; 

224 Provide Things honest 

SERM. according to that of the prophet, Except the Lord 
of hosts had left unto tcs a very smaU remnant, we 

i^/ii?' should have been as Sodom. 

'*• The righteousness of one Noah did save the race 

of mankind from being extinct. 

The zeal of one Phinehas did stop that plague 

Num. XXV. which had devoured Israel: Phinehas. said God 

Ps". cvi. 30. himself, the son of Eleazar, hath turned my wrath 
away from the children of Israel, while he was 
zealous for my sake among them, thcU I consumed 
not the children of Israel in my jealousy. 

If there had been such another public patron of 
piety, at the time when Israel was so severely 
punished by deliverance into captivity, it would 
have obstructed that lamentable event; God him- 

Ezek. xxii. self SO testified ; for, / sought, said he, for a mxtn 
among them, that would make up the hedge, and 
stand in the gap before ms for the land, that I 
should not destroy it: but I found none. Therefore 
have I poured out mine indignation upon them: — 

Jer. V. i. and, Run ye to and fro, (said he again,) seek if ye 
can find a mxm — in Jerusalem, — and I will pardon 

Wherefore, beside regard to our own welfare, a 
consideration of public good, charity toward the 
world, a compassion of our country should withhold 
us from conspiring in common transgressions, or 
omissions of duty. 

If we sin with all, we must suffer with all; nor 
will the having so much company in suffering yield 

EcciuB.xvi. any true comfort to us : Socios hdbuisse doloris (to 
have companions in sorrow) is in itself a pitiftd 
solace, and an unworthy one, savouring of inhuman 
malignity ; for our fellows will bear no share with 

in the Sight of all Men, 225 

us, or take off any thing from the burden of our seem. 

pains, which will be equally to them and us ex- '~ 


Can it be any considerable satis&ction, that we 
are sick of an epidemical disease, that sweepeth 
away multitudes about us and with us ? 

Is it better for one part, that the whole body 
is overspread with a noisome leprosy ? that its fellow 
members are tortured with grievous anguiBh? 

Can the sorest pains of our brethren cure the 
achings of our heart, assuage the pangs of our 
conscience, or slack the consuming flames be- 

What advantage can we enjoy from going down 
to hell in a troop? what ease shall we find there 
from being encompassed with the dolefril groans, 
the piercing shrieks, and dismal howhngs of fellow 
sufferers in that infernal dungeon? 

Alas ! will it not rather augment our pains to 
hear the sore complaints, the fierce accusations, 
the desperate curses of those, whom our compliance 
hath engaged, or encouraged, or confirmed and 
hardened in that wicked practice, which did throw 
them into that disconsolate case? 

8 Another principle (near of kin to the former) 
is a dislike of singularity and solitude; together 
with the consequences and imputations usually 
cleaving thereto. 

One would not be a man by himself; to be 
gazed on, to be hooted at as a kind of prodigy, to 
be deemed an extravagant, odd, humorous, fan- 
tastic person, conceited of his own opinion, addicted 
to his own way, arrogating to himself a liberty of 
crossing and condemning or contemning the world ; 

B. S. VOL. IV. 15 

226 Provide Things lionest 

SEEM, therefore he runneth along with the age, comply- 
ing with its sinful customs and naughty fashions^. 

But this is a vain principle; for, reaJly, to be 
singular is no &ult, to be held so is no disgrace; it 
is rather in many cases laudable and honourable; 

Doth not singularity or paucity increase the 
price and estimation of eveiy valuable thing? 
What maketh a jewel but rarity? what but that 
maketh a diamond more precious than a pebble? 

Do not men for singular eminency in any art, 
skill, faculty, endowment, gain credit and renown? 
What recommended to posterity the names of 
Apelles, Praxiteles, Phidias, but excelling in their 
art beyond the ordinary rate? what gave to De- 
mosthenes and Cicero their esteem, but a singular 
knack of eloquence? to what did Alexander and 
Csesar owe their fame, but to an extraordinary 
valour? whence got Socrates such a name, but 
from his singular wisdom? whence Fabricius, Aris- 
tides, Cato, but from their singular integrity? 

Why then should it be a discouragement or 
reproach to be singular or extraordinary in the 
noblest of all faculties, that of living well, in the 
most excellent of all perfections, that of virtue? 

In truth a man is hardly capable of a greater 
conmiendation than this, that he is singularly good; 
that he surpasseth the vulgar level, and mounteth 
near heaven in the divinest qualities; that no bad 
example or fashion hath been able to seduce or 
corrupt him: this should render him to be most 
highly esteemed, and most dearly cherished, as a 

^ He is grievous unto vs ewn to behold: for his life is not like 
other men's, his ways are of another fashion, — Wisd. ii. 15. 

in the Sight of all Men. 227 

choice ornament of the world, as a most useftd ®lvl*' 
instrument of good to mankind. — 

It were desirable that virtue were more com- 
mon in the world ; but surely its being more rare 
doth render it more admirable, more illustrious, 
more glorious. 

Heroical virtue is therefore such, because so 
few do attain or can reach it ; 

Pauci qnos eequuB amavit 
Jupiter* ; 

A few, who by special assistance of God's grace, 
and by extraordinary resolution, do surmount the 
obstacles which are set against it. 

It was well said of St Bernard, To he good 
among, good men hath safety, hut to he such among 
had m£n hath also praise; (a man will be saved by 
that, but he should be commended for this;) that 
hath as much facility as it hath security, this is of 
as much worth as difficidty\ 

Indeed, if we consider the nature of things, or 
consult the history of times, we shall find, that 
virtue must be, and ever hath been, liable to this 
imputation ; it is commonly so hard and hazardous 
to be good in any notable degree, that few will 
take the pains, or undergo the hardships requisite 
to attain or exercise it. 

Hence the best men (who are such, not accord- 
ing to the blind conjecture of men, but in God's 
sure esteem) are an elect, and peculiar sort of i Pet. ii. 9. 
people, a few choice persons culled out of a great 

• [Virg. JEn. ti. 128.] 

^ £t quidem inter bonos bonom esse, salatem habet ; inter maloB 
▼ero, et laudem. Ulud tantn facilitatiB est, quanta et securitatis ; 
hoc tantSB virtatis, quantsB et difficultatis. — Bern. Ep. xxv. [0pp. 
Tom. I. col. 42 A.] 

15 — 2 

228 Provide Things honest 

^Lvi^* lump of those, who either reject Religion, or 

embrace it only in verbal profession or formal 


Hence it hath been the observation, and com- 
plaint of all times, Itari quippe honi'. 

Hence the most renowned men for goodness, 
and who by God's special care have been recom- 
mended to us as patterns thereof, have been very 
singular in it; and their singularity did much en- 
hance the price of their goodness. 

Geii.T. M. It is said of Enoch, that he walked with God; 
but it seemeth with small or no company beside; 
otherwise it would not have been so particularly 
recorded of him. 

« Pet. ii. 5. Noah was content to be a man by himself, a 
preacher of righteousness against the vogue, and a 
practiser thereof against the stream of his whole 

Gen. vii. I. age; for, Thee (said God of him, that is, thee alone) 
have I seen righteous hefore me in this generation. 
He was no less singular in his goodness, than in 
his salvation. 

Abraham had no common qualities, which 
moved God to pick him out, and separate him 

Gen.xii. i. from the rcst of mankind, (to single him from his 
kindred and country,) to confer special graces and 
blessings on him. 

a Pot. ii. 7. Lot had his righteous soul vexed with the Jilthy 
conversation of the uricked, which did enclose him, 
yet so that he did retain a sound and clear integrity 
among them. 

Job had this testimony from God, examining 

Job i. 8. Satan concerning him. Hast thou considered my 
servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth 

' Jut. Sat. xiii. 26. 

in the Sight of all Men. 229 

a perfect and an upright man, one thai feareth serm. 
God, and escheweth evil? 

What was the resolution of Joshua? did he 
value being sole or singular in his practice? No; 
for, propounding to his people whether they would 
choose God or not, he told them that however it 
were, although all of them should forsake God, he 
was resolved to stick fast to him, not regarding 
their practice ; But, said he, as for me and my house. Josh. xxW. 


we will serve the Lord: that, indeed, was nobly re- ' 
solved ; it was a resolution worthy of such an hero, 
to stand alone in so good and wise a choice against 
his whole nation. It was a resolution suitable to 
that his behaviour, which he expressed in these 
words. My brethren thcU went up with me made the xiv. 8. 
heart of the people melt: but I wholly followed the 
Lord my God; in regard to which his camerade 
Caleb, being of the same spirit with him, is called 
a man of another spirit ; different from, and above Numb.xiv. 
the mean spirit of his fellows. '*• 

What was David? was he not a man by himself? 
was he not like one, df whom the Poet saith, 

Egregium sanctumque virum si cemo, bimombri 
Hoo monstrum puero, aut « * « 

* * * * fetee coraparo mulae **. 

So he telleth us; /, saith he, am become as it were Pb. btxi. 7; 
a monster^ unto many, but my sure trust is in thee. rPet.^V.4. 

Did Elias, to shun the imputation of singularity, 
or in regard to common practice, swerve from his 
faithful adherence to God's service, although he did 
passionately resent, and bewail his case ? No, for 1 1 Kings 
?iave, said he, been very jealous for the Lord of hosts; *^' '^' 

** Juv. Sat. xui. [64.] 
* A wonder. — N. Trana. 

230 Provide Tilings honest 

SBBM. for the child/ren of Israel have forsaken thy covenant^ 

'— thrown down thine aUa/rSy and slain thy prophets 

with the sword; and I, even I only, dm left, and they 

seek my life, to take it away. 

Lam, iii. What was the case of Jeremy ? /, saith he, vxzs 

'^' a derision to all my people, and their song all the 

Jer. i. i8. day: yet did he mamtain his integrity, and was A 

defenced city, and an iron pillar, and a brazen wall 

{murus aheneus) against the whole land; against the 

kings of Judah, against the princes thereof and 

against the people of the land. 

What was the condition of our Lord ? was not 
Hewu^*" ^^' 2i;m€«oi' avTiKeyotxevov^ A prodigy spoken against 
Actsiv.27. by all; against whom, Both Herod and Pontius 
Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel 
i8.ixiii.3. were gathered together; Who trod the vnn&press 
Johnxii. olonc, and of the people there was none with him; 
John xvi. who in his life was regarded by few, and at his 
Mktt.xxvi. death (when he yielded his great attestation to 
31, 56. truth and righteousness) was deserted by all? 

What was the Apostles' condition? were they 
ActBxxviii. nQt singular men ? were not they held a sect, every- 
a Cor. iv.9. where spoken against, and impugned with aU vio- 
Heb.x.33. lence of spirit and rage? were not they made a 
' spectacle to the world, to be gazed at, with scorn 
and reproach? did not they (a few, simple, poor, 
weak folk) in doctrine and practice cross and con- 
trol the world, conftiting, reproving, condemning 
the generality of men, of error, of folly, of wicked- 

It can therefore be no just blame or reasonable 
discouragement to appear singular in the practice 
of virtue. 

Such a singularity is no good argument of fond 

in the Sight of all Men. 231 

conceitedness^ of wilful humour, of arrogant pride, serm. 
For, '-'''• 


Can it be fond conceitedness to follow the dic- 
tates of the best reason, to observe the advices of 
the wisest men in aU times, to follow the direction 
and conduct of infinite wisdom ; to embrace that, 
which in most cases natural light, common sense, 
and continual experience do approve? is it not 
wildness to do otherwise, though all should do it? 

Can it be wilful humour to hold fiast our best 
interest, our truest comfort, our eternal salvation? 
is it not rather so, to comply with a perverse gene- Matt, 
ration in running headlong to their own ruin? '^' 

Can it be pride or arrogance to acknowledge 
our Maker, to be loyal and dutiful to our heavenly 
Sovereign, to fear the Almighty God, to submit to 
his will, to tremble at his word, to be afraid of his pg. cxix. 
judgments, to shun his fierce anger and severe '*®- 

Is it a bad ambition to seek that honour and 
immortal glory which God doth oflfer, to shun that 
everlasting shame and contempt which he doth 

Is it not rather monstrous presumption and 
enormous vanity to consort and conspire with rebels 
against God's law, with despisers of his grace? 

In fine, when the most men are foohsh and vain, 
when the world is depraved and dissolute, it is 
necessary that the best reason should be called hu- 
mour, and the wisest men should be deemed extra- 
vagant ; that the best things should be slighted, and 
the best persons represented with odious characters ; 
but hence to renounce wisdom and goodness is abo- 
minably absurd ; as if we should therefore put out 

232 Provide Things honest 

SEBM. our light, because it is night about us, or in deep 

'— winter should put off our clothes among the wild 


9 Of afl&nity to the foregoing principles is this 
most plausible apology for smothering our con- 
science, namely, a prudential apprehension, that we 
shall not come off well in openly avowing and abet- 
ting goodness, so as to do any good or service to it 
thereby; but shall thereby rather work prejudice 
and disservice to it. 

The age (v^ill such a wise man say) is incor- 
rigibly degenerate ; wickedness is not only bold and 
impudent, but even outrageously insolent; so that 
to appear strictly good is a kind of scandal, to 
pretend conscience for our rule of action is to be 
jobxu.4. ridiculous, to patronise duty is to provoke scorn 
and obloquy, to mention Religion is to prostitute 
aud profane it, to concern God in our doing is to 
expose his most sacred and venerable name to 
irrision and foul abuse. 

Such is the posture of things, that of all the 
sects and factions which divide the world, that of 
Epicurean scorners and mockers is become the 
most formidable; with disdainful pride insulting 
and vapouring over the professors of ReUgion, per- 
secuting all soberness of mind and stanchness of 
manners with a fierce rage and a kind of satanic 

The state of the world being like to that when 

Ps. xciv. the holy Psalmist cried out, Lord^ how long shall 

ui.V;x. 3. ^ wickedy how long shaU the wicked triumph? 

how long shcdl they utter and speak hard things^ 

and all tfie workers of iniquity boost themselves? 

In such a case, is it not seasonable to observe 

in the Sight of all Men. 233 

our Lord's advice, not to give that which is holy serm 


unto dogs, nor to cast our pearls before swine ; (not 

. Ill* -111 1*1 Matt.vii.6. 

to expose good doctrine and holy practice to scur- 
rilous and sensual people, who will snarl and bark 
at it, wiU scorn and trample on it, will bite and 
tear you for it ?) 

Is it not then wisdom rather fairly to retreat, 
withdrawing our virtue into a safe retirement, than 
by openly contesting for it against overmatching 
forces to hazard its being baffled and abused, its 
being trampled on and triimiphed over, by scornful 
pride and maHce? 

In such a world to oppose impiety, what is it but 
attempting to stop a torrent, to allay a storm, to 
gape against an oven, to blow against the wind, to 
kick against the pricks ? 

But if this case be rightly weighed, it rather 
strongly may engage us to an open profession and 
practice of the strictest virtue, than excuse us from it. 

St Paul doth enjoin us To walk accurately, not Bph.v. 15. 
asfooh^ but cw vrise^ redeeming the time, for this 
reason, because the days are evil; and. That te;ePha.ii. 15, 
should be blameless and harmless, the sons of God 
without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and 
perverse nation^ shining among thenf, as lights in the 
world, and holding forth or holding fast, iwexovre^, 
the word of life. 

And great reason for it ; for the worse the world 
is, the more need there is of good patterns to 
instruct and guide it, to admonish and excite it to 

If the days are evil, it is high time that we 
should apply our best endeavours to the mending 
of them. 

234 Provide Things honest 

SERM. If virtue be so near lost, or so quite gone from 

'-■ among us, it is needful that we should presently 

seek to recover or to retrieve it\ 

If goodness be so hardly pressed by opposition, 
then hath every good man the more reason to 
appear strenuously in its defence, the more are we 
engaged to hasten with all our might to its relief 
and succour from irrecoverable oppression. 

Every one should labour to raise a bank against 
that inundation which threateneth to overflow and 
overwhelm all. 

Shall we endure to see the adversary of our wel- 
fare to carry all before him without any opposition 
or obstruction ? Shall we suflfer iniquity to enjoy a 
quiet reign, to root and settle itself in its usurpa^ 
tion, to raise itself a title of long occupancy and 
prescription against goodness? 

Is it not then more generous to avow our 
friendship to virtue, and to abet it in our patron- 
age, when it is under the hatches, and crieth for 
our aid ? is it not vile treacheiy in such a case to 
desert it? 

Is it not gallant then to resist sin, and check 
xdckedness, when it is so high and rampant? 

Who will not be virtuous (or endeavour at least 
to appear such) when virtue is in fashion and re- 
quest ; when it flourisheth in reputation, when all 
the world doth countenance and abet it? who will 
not shun or disown wickedness, when it is com- 
judg.v.13. monly odious and despicable? who will not help the 
Lord against weak adversaries? 

But to embrace virtue upon greatest disadvan- 

^ Specta juTenis — in ea tempora natus es, quibus flrmare ani- 
mum ezpediat constantibufi ezemplis. — Tac. Ann. xvi. [35.] 

in the Sight of aU Men. 235 

tages, to disclaim vice in its triumphant prosperity, serm. 
this is, indeed, brave and masculine. 

He is a worthy man, indeed, who can keep the 
field among so many stout enemies, who can stand 
upright in a crooked generation ; who can despise Deut. 
the scorn, defy the rage, bear up against the impu- **^" ^' 
dence and maUgnity of vain, base, wretched men, 
combining to supplant and extirpate goodness. 

Nor have we reason in proceeding thus to 
despair of good success; we need not fear thereby 
to expose the credit, or endanger the interest of 
goodness. For, 

How can we fail of prospering in the maintenance 
of God's cause and special concern ? Although men 
may commonly desert him, yet doth he not utterly 
forsake them, or give over the government of the 
world ; he may let the reins lie a little loose, but 
he doth not put them out of his hands; his power 
cannot be abated, his providence can never sleep; 
though he is so patient in suffering wicked men to 
provoke him, yet he will not be slack in assisting 
good men, who take his part, and undertake to 
maintain his honour; assuredly he will help them, 
who help him against the mighty. judg.v.23. 

In this service. One vriU chase a thousand, and i>eut. 
two put ten ihousand to flight; one David will jo8h.'xxUi. 
knock down never so many Philistines reproaching '^* 
God's name; one Phinehas will repress the petulancy Num. 
of a whole nation ; one Jeremy shall be A brazen jer. 
waU against a whole land; God will make it good 
to such an one. They shall fight against thee, hut ix. 1 1. 
they shall not prevail against thee; for I ami wiih 
thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee. 

One sober man in defence of virtue is able to 


XT. 10. 

236 Provide Things honest 

SERM. discomfit all the hectors, the huffing blades, and 
'— boisterous ruffians in the world, attacking them 

with sound discretion and steady resolution : for all 
their bravery and confidence, they are easily mated ; 

jaineeiv. and being like their sire, if you resist them, they 
will flee from you: a prudent, seasonable, smart 
check will quash their spurious courage and giddy 
audacity. Their contempt of goodness is but feign- 
ed ; they cannot really for their hearts despise it ; 
there is stamped on their souls and consciences such 
a respect, such an awe thereof, which they cannot 
quite rase out : wherefore if you briskly represent it 
to them, and challenge their reverence to it, they 
cannot but succimib, their own mind and conscience 
joining to back your reproof; so that if you cannot 
reclaim them, you shall however repress them ; if 

Jer.xx. II. you caunot correct their vice, you shall yet confound 

1Pet.ii.15; their impudence; For so, saith St Peter, it is the 
wUl of God, that with wed doing ye may put to 

iiLi6. silence the ignorance of foolish men; and. Having 
a good conscience, that, whereas they speak evil of 
you, as of evil doers, they may be ashamed that 
falsdy accuse your conversation in Christ. 

It is only sneaking, or a timorous pretence to 
virtue, which they contemn ; but they will admire 
those who stiffly adhere to it, and stoutly main- 
tain it. 

We shall therefore expose virtue, not by frankly 
avowing it, but by faintly slinking from it, when 
occasion requireth an open acknowledgment and 
exemplary practice of it. 

If the world is so very bad, it will«iot be worse for 
our attempt to better it ; it will be so much at least 
better, that one therein hath that worthy purpose. 

171 the Sight of all Men, 237 

It was bad, when Noah preached righteousness serm. 
to it. 1- 

It was bad, when Elias was so zealous for the 
Lord of hosts. 

It was bad, when Jeremy was derided for de- 
claring God's will and exhorting to repentance. 

They were very bad times, when all the Prophets 
did strive so earnestly to reclaim men from their 
wickedness; being reproached and persecuted for 
doing so, but not deterred from doing it: the 
resentment they had of the badness of the times 
did not make them abandon the means of their 
recovery from it. 

The whole world did lie in vncJcedness when the ^ Joi»n ▼• 
Apostles did undertake the reformation of it. 

In fine, if men generally upon such accounts of 
despairing prudence neglect to own goodness, what leai. Ux. 4. 
must the consequence be? what, but that piety 
shall be cashiered, that virtue shall be discarded, 
that conscience shall be quite exploded and exter- 
minated from the world? that consequently an hor- 
rible deluge of various mischiefs, a general preva- 
lence of lewdness and luxury, of fraud and violence, 
of faction and tumult, a violation of all faith and 
friendship, a dissolution of all order and peace will 

And what must grow upon this state of things ? 
what but another flood of judgments, and woftd 
vengeance? when God's patience hath been tried to 
the utmost, and his goodness tired with bearing 
such a load of abominations, he will be forced to 
cry out, ShaU I not visit for these things f shall not jer. y. 29. 
my sovl be avenged on such a nalion as this? ib^'iy/^' 

10 Another principle of dispensing with 

238 Provide Things honest 

SERM. conscience in public duties and conversation before 

— men, is a kind of perverse vdsdom, or subtle craft, 

affecting the name of discretion \ 

Men see there are divers inconveniences attend- 
ing the profession of respect to God, and conscience 
in all their doings; that the world may dislike and 
disesteem them, that divers persons wiQ hate, ma- 
lign, reproach, and persecute them for it ; that they 
may chance to be crossed in their designs, and lose 
profits or preferments thereby ; therefore they deem 
it advisable to decline it in open view, making 
up the defect by adoring and serving God in 

Thus they think to salve all, by maintaining a 
neutrality, and compounding the business, yielding 
an open conformity to the world, and reserving a 
secret regard to God; sinning publicly, and pri- 
vately repenting; retaining their credit, quiet, ease, 
pleasure, with their conscience and peace of mind ; 
Ofli. ▼. II. affecting some piety, but avoiding the scandal of it. 

They would hold fair with both sides; so that 
neither the world should persecute them for cross- 
ing its humour, nor God punish them for trans- 
gressing his will. 

They drive a subtle trade, hoping to gain on all 
hands, both the benefits of the other, and the ad- 
vantages of this world ; to save their soul, and serve 
their worldly interest* together. 

This they would believe a point of special 

Ecci6e. vii. wisdom, prescribed by Solomon : Be not righteons 

'^' ^^' overm/uch, neither make thyself overwise; for why 

^lotddest thou destroy ihysdff Be not overmuch 

' Stulta calliditas, perverse imitata pradentiam. — Oic. de Off. 
m. [32.] 

in the Sight of all Men. 239 

wickedy neither he thoufooli^: why shouidest thou seem. 
die before the time? '— 

But this rooking trick, to hedge thus and save 
stakes, to play fast and loose, to dodge and shuffle 
with God, God doth not like, nor will suffer himself 
to be gulled with it. 

He will not be satisfied with such a mongrel, ^ Kings 
partiaUnd halting service. ''"'•"• 

He will not allow us to withhold that half of his 
service (the external, visible part thereof) which is 
most honourable to him, and most beneficial to our 

He cannot endure a double heart, or a double pb. xii. i. 
face ; one looking upward to heaven, another down- i^^ ^' ^' 
ward to the earth" ^f^}?"• 

xu. 33. 

He exacteth from us an integrity of heart and 'Tim.iii.8. 
perfection of obedience; that we should love himxviii.13. 
with our whole heart, that we should be perfect PB.xiiV.i8; 
with him, that we should walk uprightly, not***"'^'" 
deflecting to the right hand or left from our2Chroii. 

J , xxiv. a. 

duty. Job xxiii. 

He will not endure that we should hold amity ^^ ^ 
or correspondence with his enemies, particularly J4^J ^^ 
with the world, the friendship whereof he hath de- 13- 
dared inconsistent with his favour; and that it is a 
spiritual adultery to impart any of our affections to 
it ; according to that of St James ; Ye adulterers Jamea iy. 
and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of t John u. 
the world is enmity with Ood ? so that whosoever ^|; ^^. 
wHl he a friend of the world hecometh, KaOiararat, the ^^"- ^^• 
enemy of God. 

We may shift as well as we can in the world, 
provided that we hold innocence, and do not 

" Thmr heart wa$ not whole with kim.—PB. IxxTiii. 37. (O. Tr.) 

240 Provide Things honest 

SERM. conspire with it against God, by violation of our 
duty to him. Be wise as serpents, innocent as 

pb. xxxvu. doves. Matt. x. i6; (aslambSy Luke x. 3.)' 
Phil. H. 5! They reproach good men as superstitious; who 
are afraid of invisible powers ; who let go things in 
hand (present interests and pleasures) for a rever- 
sion and hope. 

As if God's word were not sufficient security ; 
BBif we may not as weU rely upon things con- 
spicuous to reason, as those which are obvious to 

If Christianity be plainly false, they say well ; 
but if it be true, very absurdly ; yea if probable, 
very imprudently ; yea if possible, not wisely. 

They charge conscientious men with timorous- 
ness, faintheartedness. 

It is timorousness or blameable fear to dread 
things without reason, things nowise formidable, 
which cannot hurt us; such a timorous man is he, 
that out of fear of men, (of displeasing them, of suf- 
fering by them, of their reproach, &c.) transgresseth 
his duty. 

But to fear God is wisdom, soberness, duty, 
virtue; it is haiidsome and honoumble, becoming 
our nature, our condition ; the passion of fear was 
chiefly put in us for this purpose, as its best use. 

Is it courage, and not rather madness to provoke, 
to resist, to challenge, to cope with the Almighty ? 
is it courage to throw one's self down a precipice, to 
leap into the infernal lake ? is it gallantry to dare 
transgress aU reason and sobriety? is it brave to be 
wild and senseless, &c. ? 

It is true course to resist and repel sin assault- 

" 2o(f>ovs fuv €ts rb ayaB6p,aK€paiovs ii tU t6 KaK6p, — Roin.xyi.l9. 

in the Sight of all Men. 241 

ing a man with whatever advantages; to dare to do serm. 
well, although vain men deride^ and spiteftd men — 

hate us for it. 

It is a kind of martyrdom to be Ul used by the 
world for adhering to his duty; and he hath a share 
in that, Blessed are they, who suffer for ri^^teot^5- 

In fine, it is a vain prudence to be thus politic 
with God ; whereby we shall lose the whole, or that 
part which is invaluable, out of presimiption to save 
a small inconsiderable part"". 

If this be prudence. Then, as St Paul saith, wgw.v. u. 
the offence of the cross ceased. 

Then our Lord prescribed a foolish condition. Matt.x.38; 

ZVl 9A 

Then were the Apostles very imprudent, who Phi m. 8. 
deserted all, and sufiPered so much for their con- 
science ; being content to secure their spiritual in- 
terest, and to obtain the eternal rewards of piety ; 
choosing the better part, whieh could not be taken Liikex.4«. 
from them. 

What the true wisdom is in such cases St James 
hath told us: Who is a vnse man, and endued with Jamoe ul 
knowledge amwng you? let him shew out of a good ^^' 
conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. 

* *0 tvp»v TTiv '^x^p avrov, caroXitrti avnjF.— Matt. X. 39. 

B. S. VOL. IV. 16 



Rom. II. II. 
For there is no respect of persons with God. 

^Ira.' P ^ ''^. o«Ji^'7 .<»»ceit, grounded on a superfi- 

L cial view of things, that Ahnighty God dis- 

penseth his gifts with great inequality, and dealeth 
very partially with men ; being lavish in his 
bounty to some, but sparing therein to others; 
slack and indulgent in calling some to account, but 
rigorous and severe in judgment toward others. 

Which imagination often hath influence upon 
the affections and the actions of men; so that 
hence some men do highly presume, others are 
much discourag^ed : some are apt to boast them* 

P.ixxm.6. selves special darlings and fevoLtes of Heaven; 
others are tempted to complain of their being quite 
deserted, or neglected thereby. 

But whoever more carefuUy wiU observe things, 
and weigh them with good consideration, shall find 
this to be a great mistake ; and that in truth God 
distributeth his favours with very equal measures : 
he poiseth the scales of justice with a most even 

Jobxxxi.6. hand ; so that reasonably no man should be exalted, 
no man should be dejected in mind, upon a^jcount 
of any considerable difference in God's regard to- 
wards him and other persons ; the which is clearly 

wr'mmr^'^^^^^mmtmw^^'—^i^^r^^i^^^mmr^m^irw^^^^m^'^m^maf^^mrmm^r^^r-'^ ■!!■■ i ii i i 

No Respect of Persons with God. 243 

discovered by God, or merely dependeth on his serm. 
will and providence. L 

The advantages which one man hath above 
another, being estimated morally, in reference to 
solid felicity and content, are indeed none; or are 
not absolutely made by God, but framed by men 
unto themselves. For 

Grod is indifferently affected toward persons as 
such, nakedly and privately considered; or as di- 
vested of moral conditions, qualifications, and ac- 
tions : he in his dealing, whether as benefactor or 
judge, purely considereth the reason and exigency 
of things, the intrinsic worth of persons, the real 
merits of each cause; he maketh no arbitrary or 
groundless discriminations; he neither loveth and 
favoureth, nor loatheth and discountenanceth any 
person unaccountably : he doth utterly disclaim 
partiality, or respect of persons, as a calumnious 
aspersion on him, and a scandal to his proyi- 

Such in Holy Scriptures he representeth himself, 
upon various occasions; declaring his perfect im- 
partiality, and that nothing beside the right and 
reason of cases doth sway with him; aU other con- 
siderations being impertLnt and insignificant to 
him. For instance, 

It is declared, that he hath no partial respect Rom. 3l 
to nations; for the piety of Job, an Edomite; of ' ' 
Melchisedec, a Canaanite ; of Jethro, a Midianite ; 
were very pleasing to him : he favourably did hear 
the prayers and accept the alms of ComeHus^ a 
Boman soldier; whereupon St Peter made this 
general reflection : Of a truth I perceive that God is ^^ *• 34» 
no respecter of persons; hit in every nation he thai 


244 No Respect of Persons with God. 
SBBM. feareih him^ and worketh i^igJUeousness, is accepted 

XiVXi. •7 7 • 

vnth htm. 

He is declared not to regard the external pro- 
fession of true Religion, but real practice according 
^ ^; ^J to it : He renderethy saith St Paul, to eveiy man 
iii.28.' accordina to his deeds — tribulation and anguish 
Rom. H. 6, upon cvcry soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew 
x'/ia/iii^ f^'^^y «^ <^o ofthc Gentile; but glory, honour, and 
^^- pea^e to every man thai worketh good, to the Jew 

first, and also to the Gentile; for, addeth the 
Apostle, assigning the reason of this proceeding, 
there is no respect of persons with God. 

He is said not to respect faces, or any exterior 
appearances, however specious in the eye of the 
world ; according to that saying of God to Samuel, 
I Sam. xvi. at the choice of David before his brethren ; Look 
'' not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature, 

because I have reused him: for the Lord seeth not 
as m>an seeth; for m^n hoketh on the outward ap- 
pearance, but the Lord hoketh on the heart. 

It is expressed, that he hath no respect to the 

outward estate or worldly rank and dignity of men ; 

but that princes and peasants, masters and servants, 

the honourable or wealthy, and the mean or poor, 

Job xxxiy. are of equal consideration with him ; He, saith Job, accepteth not the persons of princes, no7^ re- 

gardeth the rich Ttiore than the poor; for they are all 

the work of his hands; and St Paul biddeth masters 

Eph. yi. 9. to deal fairly with their servants. Knowing, saith 

25; iy. I. he, that your master is also in heaven; neither is 

there respect of persons with him. 

We are taught, that he doth not regard even 
the most sacred offices, or more worthy accomplish- 
ments of men, in prejudice to the verity of things. 


No Respect of Persons vnth Ood. 245 

or equity of the case; for hence St Paul main- siarm. 
taineth his resolute behaviour toward those great 

pillars of Heligion, St Peter and St James; Of those Gai. u. 6. 
who seevied to he somewhat, whatsoever they were, it 
maketh no rruUter to me : God accepteth no mans 

It is frequently inculcated, that he hath no 
consideration of any gifts, of sacrifices, of services 
presented to him with sinister intent, to compound 
for sin, or excuse from duty, to pervert justice, or 
palliate wrong; according to that declaration of 
Moses, The Lord yoxir God is God of gods, ai?d Deut.!. 1 7. 
Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a 
terrible, which regarded not persons, nor taketh 
reward; and that charge of king Jehoshaphat to 
his judges. Let the fear of the Lord he upon you; ^.c^^ron. 
take heed, and do it; for there is no iniquity with 
the Lord our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking 
of gifts. And, Do not think, saith the Hebrew EccIua. 
wise man, to corrupt (him) uriih gifts; for suchi^\!^y, 
h£ will not receive: and truest not to unrighteous^ ' 
sacrifices; for the Lord is judge, and with him is ^^;^^'^' 
no respect of persons. -^™<» ^*- 

In fine, it is often generally declared, that God J^. vl. 20. 
impartially dispenseth recompenses, in just proper- f '•^; ^' 
tion, according to the deeds of men: He, saith StR^.Yiiii. 
Paul, that doeth wrong, shall receive for the urrong^^^'^^' 
which he hath done, and there is no respect of per-- 
sons: And if, saith St Peter, ye call upon ^iPet.i.17. 
Father, who without respect of persons judgeth 
according to every marls work, pass the time of 
your sojourning here in fear. 

There is nothing more frequently asserted, or 
more seriously urged in Holy Scripture, than this 

246 No Respect of Persons with God. 

8ERM. point, lihat God will judge and deal with men, not 
according to his absolute, antecedent affections, but 

according to their own works, or the tenour of their 
practice, duly scanned and estimated by the rules 
of justice; so that the really better man will certainly 
prove the happier, and the worse man shall be the 
Matt. xvi. more wretched : He will reward every man, saith 

Eom.ii.6. ^^^ Lord, Kara rijif irpa^iv aurov, according to his 

^J\^'^^'' practice: Every one, saith St Paul, shaM receive the 

I Cor' m' 8 ^^^^^ ^^^^ *^ ^^^ body, wpo^ a iwpa^ep, suitably (in 

jer. xvii. just proportiou) to his works; and. Each man shaU 

xxiii. 19. receive top i^tov futrOovy his oum wages a^ccording to 

iCor.iy."! hisown labour; and then praise (or a due taxation) 

Key. xxii shaU bc to evcry man from God: Behold, saith he 

in the Revelation, / coTne quicJdy, and my reward 

is with me, airo^ovvai €KaaT(p, to recompense each 

m^n ws TO ipyov avTov iaTcu, OS his work shoJJf be. 

Wherefore by sacred testimonies it is abundantly 
manifest, that impartiaUty is a divine attribute and 
perfection of God; the which (for our greater satis- 
faction, and further illustration of the point) may 
be also evinced by divers arguments, some proving 
that it must be so, others shewing that it is so; some 
inferring it a priori, from the prime, most avowed 
attributes of God's nature, and from his relations to 
men ; others arguing it a posteriori, from principal 
instances of God's proceedings and providential 
dispensations toward men. 
Of the first sort are these : 
I God is impartial, because he is perfectly 
wise, and thence doth truly estimate persons and 

Wisdom doth look evenly, with a free and pure 
(an indifferent and uncorrupt) eye upon all things; 

No Respect of Persons witk Ood. 247 

apprehending and esteeming each as it is in itself; serm. 

making no distinction where it findeth none ; not L 

preferring one thing before another, without ground 
of difference in them. It doth not fix a valuation 
on its objects, but acknowledgeth them, and taketh 
them for such as they are in themselves. 

Wherefore God cannot have any blind affection 
or fondness toward any person grounded on no 
reason, or upon any unaccountable prejudice. No 
person can seem amiable or odious to him, who is 
not in himself truly such. 

This argument is often used in Scripture; and to 
assure us of this truth it is there firequently affirmed, 
that God doth search the hearts, doth try the 
spirits, doth weigh the actions of men: The Lord, iSam.ii.3. 
said Hannah, is a God of knowledge, and by him 
actions a/re weighed: All the ways of man, saith Prov. xvi. 
Solomon, are clean in his own eyes; hvi the Lord ^' 
weigheth the spirits; His eyes, saith the Psalmist, pb. zx. 4. 
behold, his eyelids try the children of m>en: and, 
O Lord of hosts, saith Jeremiah, ihatjudgest right- j^, 
eondy, thai triest the reins and the heart — 2%ine""' 
eyes are open upon aU the ways of the sons of men, 
to give every one according to his ways, and ac- 
cording to the fruit of his doings: I the Lord xvii. 10. 
search the heart, I try the reins, to give every ma/n 
according to his ways, and according to the fruit 
of his doings. 

2 God cannot be partial, because he is perfectly 
righteous, just, and holy. This reason adjoined to 
the former doth make up a complete demonstration: 
for partiality doth proceed either from blindness of 
mind, or from perverseness of will; he, therefore, 
who hath both;an exact knowledge of things, and 

XL, 20; 

xzxii. 19. 

248 No Respect of Persons with Ood. 

SBRM. a perfect rectitude of will, can nowise be partial; 

'— the one enabling him to judge, the other diBposing 

him to affect things as they are and deserve ; to 
esteem and love that which is indeed worthy and 
lovely; to despise and dislike that which is despicable 
and odious ; to have no opinion or affection toward 
a person, abstracted from all qualifications; such 
an one being no special object of a wise and just 
either esteem or contempt, love or hatred. 

As these causes are always inseparably connect- 
ed, (for what is justness, but a disposition of will to 
follow, without deflection, the dictates of wisdom ?) 
so the effect must necessarily follow; according to 
numberless testimonies in Scripture, importing, that, 
Pe. xi. 7; The vigkleous Lord loveth righteousness; hut the 
Siifi!'5; wichedj and him thai loveth violence^ his souL hateih: 
^;?'8; ^^ ^y^ 9f '^ Ijord are upon the righteous — 
"• 5 J hut the face of the Lord is against them that do 

xxxiy. 15, evU. 

3 God is impartial, because he is infinitely great 
and potent; whence all creatures are in the same 
degree inferior, at the same distance remote from 
him ; all are equally at his discretion and disposal ; 
he hath no need of any : what therefore should in- 
cline him to regard one before another, excepting 
only goodness, wherein he delighteth? So the Wise Man discourseth, He that is Lord of all shaUfear 
no m/arCs person^ neither shall he stand in awe of 
any man's greatness; for he haih made the small 
and great, and carethfor all alike. So Moses did 

Deut.x.17. imply, The Lord your God is God of gods, and 
Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, 
which regardeth not persons. 

xxxiv.6,7. 4 God is impartial, because he is immensely 

No Respect of Persons with God. 249 

good and benign; both intensively in the degree, serm. 
and extensively as to the objects of his good- 

ness ; so that he favoureth aU equally, because all ^^™^^-^*^- 
thoroughly, so far as may well be according tof^^^^* 
their condition and capacity; whence if there be<»i|-8; 
any diflference or defect, the ground thereof is not 
in his nature or will, but in the diflPerent qualifican 
tions of creatures. 

There is a double goodness or love of God ; one 
absolute, preceding all regard to personal quaUties 
or deeds; the other conditionate, and consequent on 
special regards: in both these God is impartial; for 
the first is general and unconfined, according to that 
of the Psalmist, The Lord is good to aU, and his cxw. 9, 16. 
mercies are over all his works; and those sayings 
in the Gospel, He is kind unto the unthankful and Luke 


to the evil: He maketh his sun to rise on the evil Matt.v.45. 
and on the good; and sendeth rain on the jvM 
and on the unjicst. The second is grounded on 
special reasons of the case, and adapted to the rules 
of justice demanding it; according whereto. The nom,x, 12. 
Lord is rich (in mercy) toward aJl that caJl upon il\ "**^* 
him. He will fulfil the desire of them thai fear ^^J'^of' 
him, and preserveth aU them that love him. ™JX- f^ 

In the first there is no difference ; in the second 
the difference is made by ourselves, being founded 
in our volimtary demeanour. 

5 God is impartial toward all persons, because 
he hath the same (natural and original) relations 
toward all. 

I He is the Maker and Father of all ; according 
to that of the Prophet, Have we not aU one father f Mai. h. 10. 
Hath not one God created us? and that of the 
Apostle, there is One God and Father of oK, ^pbe8.iv. 

250 No Respect of Persons with Ood. 

SERM. who is above aU, and through all, and in you aJl: 
^^^ he therefore hath the same parental kindness toward 

all^ the same tenderness for the good of each ; he is 

not capable of that imperfection^ which is observable 

in some parents, to be fond and indulgent to some 

Prov.xxii. children above others ; but in his affection. The rich 

^' and poor, as the Wise Man saith, do meet together ; 

the Lord is the maker of them all. 
Job xxxiy. Hence Job did collect, that God accepteth not the 
'^' persons of princes, nor regardeth the rich mxyre than 
the poor; for, saith he, they are all the work of his 
xxzi 13, Hence the same holy man did infer, that he was 
*'*' obliged to deal fairly with his own servants, for that 

God in judgment would consider their case no less 
xxxi. 15. than his, upon this account, for, Did not he that 
made me in the womb mxtke him ? and did not one 
fashion us in the womb? 

Hence the Wise Man, who imitated Solomon, 
did argue an equality of gracious providence toward all; He hath m^ade the small and the grea;t, and 
careth for aU alike. 

2 God is the common Lord of all ; and therefore 
is concerned to protect all with the like care, to 
govern all with the same equity. 

Hence St Paul gathereth, that God is indiffer- 
ently willing to shew mercy and dispense blessings 
to all people ; to confer the means of salvation, and 
to accept pious endeavours^ without distinction of 
Rom. iii. J©w or Gentile; Is he, saith he, tiie God of the 
*^' Jews only? Is he not also of the GentHesf And, 

There is therefore no difference between the Jew 
and the . Greek; for the same Lord over aU is rich 
unio aU that call upon him. 

X. 19. 

No Respect of Persons with God. 251 

Hence the same Apostle doth urge masters to bebuc 

be just and kind to their servants ; for that God, as ~ 

the common Master, hath an equal reflect to both; 
Knowing that your Master also is in hea/oen, and Ephee. yi. 
there is no respect of persons with him. ^' 

3 Grod is the Sa/oiour of aU; desiring and de- iTim. iv. 
signing that AU men should he saved, and come to y? ^ 
the knowledge of the truth; Being willing that no aPetm.9. 
mun shovJd perish^ hut that dU should come to 

"Wherefore out of philanthropy and love to man- 
kind he sent his Son to be the Saviour of <^iit. iLii. 
world; To give him^df a ransom for all m,en ; To 14.° 
taste death for every m^n. ^^^ "* 

And what greater instance could there be of^^'^n; 
perfect impartiality? ^ Cor. v. 

So by reasons from the principal attributes and i Tim. iL6. 
relations of God his impartiality may be deduced: ® •"•^' 
die «ame <J«> m^y be d<«I«ed fom Us prooeedkgs 
and dedings «th .ns.. For, 

I God hath proposed to all men indifferently 
the same terms and conditions of obtaining his 
love and favour, of enjoying his bounty and mercy, 
of obtaining rewards and feUcity fix)m him*. 

The same laws and rules of life are prescribed 
to aU persons, as men, and as Christians. 

The natural dictates of reason, the precepts of 
Holy Scripture, the great moral duties of KeHgion, 
by observance whereof God's favour is retained, 
and salvation assured, are of general concern and 
common obligation to all without exception. 

Qoi hath not framed one law, or one Gospel, 
for princes and great men, another for peasants and 

* Vid. Clem. Alex. PibcI. i. 4. [0pp. Tom. i. p. 103.] 

252 No Respect of Persons ivith God. 
SERM. mean artisans: he hath not chalked out one way 

T "yjT ^ V 

toward heaven for the rich, another for the poor to 

Pe. xiix. a. Walk in ; but all, Hi^h, and low, rich and poor, one 
with another, are tied to observe the precepts of 
piety, of charity, of justice, of temperance, sobriety 
and chastity, of modesty, humility, and patience ; 
none, great or small, can otherwise, than by pro- 
ceeding in the common road of virtuous practice, 
Matt. vii. arrive to happiness. He that doeth the will of my 
^'' Father that is in heaven, shall enter into the king- 

dom of heaven. 
xix. 17; If thou wHt enter into life, keep the command- 

Lukexui. ^^^*^' Enter in through the strait gate: Blessed 
?+• . are they thai do his commandments, thai they may 
". .. have right to the tree of life: To them, who by 
14. patient continuance in weU-doing seek glory and 

om. u. 7. j^.j^y^ ^^ immortality, eternal life will be con- 
ferred: these are the grand infalUble maxims, the 

duty and doom of mankind, according to the eter- 
nal reason of things, and the declared will of God 
Almighty, our sovereign Governor and Judge. 
John XV. Whoever it is, that will please God, that will have 
'-♦• his love, that will be happy by his grace, must hum- 

bly submit to God's will, must faithfiilly obey God's 
laws, must carefully walk in God's way ; from this 
course there can be no exemption, no dispensation, 
no special privilege for any person whatever. 

As all men naturally, by indissoluble bands of 
obligation, are the subjects and servants of God ; so 
God indispensably and inexcusably doth require the 
same loyalty and fideUty, the same diligence, the 
same reverence from all. 

Great men sometimes may live as if they con- 

No Respect of Persons with God. 253 
ceited themselves free from the obKgations which serm. 


bind other men; as if they had not souls (as we 

poor mortals have) to be saved, or were to be saved 
in some other way; as if obedience to the divine 
laws doth not touch them, but only doth belong to 
the commonalty ; as if they had special indidgence 
to live in pride, luxury, and sloth, might warrant- 
ably practise injustice, oppression, revenge; might 
cum privUegio be lewd and lascivious, withhold 
their debts, take God's name in vain, neglect devo* 
tion and the service of God : but in thus doing they 
much abuse themselves; for they no less than others 
are obnoxious to guilt and to punishment, for such 
misdemeanours agamst the divine laws. In truth, 
if there be any difference in the case, it is only this ; 
that they, in all equity, ingenuity, and gratitude, 
are obliged to a more strict, more faithful, more 
dihgent observance of God's laws ; they being more 
indebted to God for his special bounty to them; 
they having larger talents and advantages commit- 
ted to their trust, their deportment being of higher 
consequence, and most influential on the world, they 
being liable to render an account according to that 
just rule. Unto whom much is given, of him much Luke xh. 
siudl he required; whence their eminency of con- ^ * 
dition doth not excuse them from common duties, 
but doth advance their obhgation, will aggravate 
their neglect, will inflame their reckoning, will 
plunge them deeper into woftil punishment ; accord- 
ing to that of the Wise Man, A sharp judgment wiad. vi. 
shall he to them that are in high phxces;for mercy ^' 
will soon pardon the meanest^ hut mighty men shall 
he mightily tormented. 

2 All persons have the same means, the same 

254 No Respect of Persons with God, 

8ERM. aids, the same supports afforded to them, for 
ability to perform their duty, and attain their 



The word of God, as the light of heaven, doth 
indifferently shine to all men, for instructing their 
Luke i. 7^ minds, for directing their practice, for guiding their 
feet in the way of peace. 

The divine grace is ever at hand, ready to assist 
all those who sincerely and seriously do apply them- 
selves to serve GkxL 

Seasonable comforts are never wanting to sup- 
port those who need them, and who in their distress 
Ps. cxivii. seek them from God, Who healeth the broken in 

3 • cxlvi 'St * 

' heart, and bindeth up their wounds; so that when 
xxxiy. 6. The poor man crieth, the Lord heareth him, and 

saveih him out of his troubles. 
I Cor. xii. The universal good Spirit of God (the fountain 
of light and wisdom, of spiritual power and strength, 
of consolation and joy) is communicated according 
to the needs of men, and exigencies of occasion; 
preventing them by direction to the right way, by 
reclaiming them from iU courses, by exciting in 
ftem good thought a.d good dJ^ „uokeLg 
their good resolutions, and assisting in the pursuit 
of them; enabUng them to resist temptations, and 
to combat with their spiritual adveisaries: to such 
Luke XL best purposes the Holy Spirit is given to all in 
needfril seasons and measures; especially to those 
who do ea^esUy »ek i^ do fiSft]Iy^u», it, do 
treat it welL 

3 God hath provided, and doth propose to all 
men the same encouragements for obedience, the 
same punishments for transgression; the which 
being the same in kind do only differ in degree, 


No Respect of Persons with God. 255 
proportionably to the good deeds or bad demerits sebm. 

n LVII. 

of persons. 

God hath appointed one heaven for all pious 
and yirtuous persons, of what nation^ of what rank, 
of what condition soever they are; He hath we-coi, m. n. 
pared those tilings^ which eye hath not seen, nor ear ' ^' "' ^' 
heard, nor heart of man conceived, for all that love 
him. For all that have fought the good fight, and ^ ^- ^^' 
kept the fidth, and love his appearance, the Lord, 
the righteous Judge, hath laid up a crown of right- 

Immortality of life, an unfading crown of glory, Luke xxiL 
a kingdom that cannot be shaken^ unspeakable joys, 
endless bliss, Grod hath covenanted and promised to 
all his faithfiil servants; to aU who in his way please 
to accept and embrace them; He that wiUeth, ^y- "^^ 
o OeXfov, let him take of the water of life fredy: and 
what greater rewards could there be assigned? 
What room is there for partiaUty, where aU are 
capable of the same equally great^ because in a man* 
ner immense felicity? Many, saith our Saviour, Matt. viii. 
shall come from the east, and from the west, and Liie 
from the north, and from the south, and shall sit ^^' 
down with Ahraha/m, and with Isaac, and with 
Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. 

Lazarus, the poor beggar, shall rest with the 
illustrious Moses, and the noble Daniel, with 
David, and Hezekiah, and Josiah, and all pious 
princes, in the bosom of Abraham. The poor 
fishermen, the painful tent-makers, the sorry 
publicans, shall reign together with Constantino, 
and Theodosius, and all those good princes, who 
have fidthfiiUy served God and promoted his glory. 
The rich, well using their wealth, may obtain that 



256 No Respect of Persons with God, 

SERif. state, Treasuring wp to themselves a good foundation 

L_ against the time to come, that they may lay hold on, 

I Tim. VI. ^^^^ iijj^. j^Q poor, contentedly bearing their 

33^^g- condition, have a good title thereto, expressed in 

VI. lO. 

those words. Blessed he ye poor, for yours is the 
kingdom of God. 

On the other hand, the same dismal punish- 
ments are threatened to aU presumptuous, con- 
tumacious, and impenitent transgressors of God's 
law, however dignified or distinguished; be they 
princes or subjects, noble or base, wealthy or in- 
digent; the same unquenchable fire, the same 
gnawing worm, the same weeping, and wailing, 
and gnashing of teeth ; the same utter darkness ; 
th'e same burning lake of brimstone; the same 
extreme disconsolate anguish is reserved for them 
Matt. vii. aU: Depart from we; (?o, ye cursed, into everlasting 
41* frCy will be the doom pronounced on all the 
17. ' workers of iniquity ; Indignation and vrrath, tribvr 
^ m. 11. o, i^Iq^ q^^ anguish, vriU he upon every soul that 

doeth evU. 

No regard will be had to the quality of men in 
Lukexvi. this world; for the rich man, who was clothed in 
jameB V. i. purplc and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every 
24. ® ^" day, was not excused from hell and torment : there 
^- "*• is a Tophet ordained of old, even for kings; Mighty 
wiBfLvi. ^,^0,^ gfi^^ 5g mightily tormented, if they have 
mightUy sinned. 

Even present encouragements of virtue in this 
life, the joys and comforts of God's holy Spirit, the 
sweet Olapses of spiritual consolation in devotion, 
the peace of God, and delicious sense of his love, 
the cheerfiil satisfaction of a good conscience, the 
joy in believing God's truth, and hoping for accom- 

No Respect of Persons with God. 257 

plishment of his promises, the delight in obeying serm. 
God's commandments, the blessing of God upon '- 

good undertakings, and happy success therein, the 
co-operation of all things for good to them who Ps. xxxvii. 
love God, the supply of all wants, and satisfaction Rom/vm. 
of all desires, the experimental assurance of God's p^; ^^ 
constant protection and gracious providence over ^9; ^xxvu. 
those who fear him and trust in him, (according to lo.^'^* 
nxmxberless declarations and promises in holy scrip- 
ture,) are indifferently dispensed to all, who shall 
use the means to attain them, in way of conscien* 
tious practice. 

As correspondently the temporal discoura^fe- pb. xi. 6 ; 
mente from sin (crosses; disappointmente, vexa^s, '^. ll; 
nuseries) are withjout exception allotted to all trans- 2^\'^^™*. 
gressors of God's law, according to many denuncia- ^^- '7- 
tions therein. 

4 The impartiality of God doth appear from 
his universal providence, carefiiUy watching over 
all and every person, dispensing good things to 
each, according to his need, without distinction ^ 

Is any man in extreme want? his liberal hand 
presently doth reach forth a supply; for. He satis- pg. cvu. 9. 
fiesth the longing soul, andJUleth the hungry soul with 
goodness; He openeth his hand, and satisjieth ^epg. cxIt. 
desire of every living thing. *^' 

Is any man in distress ? the Lord is ready to 
afford relief; according to that repeated burden of 
the 107th Psalm : Then they cry unto the Lord in P8.cvii.6, 
their trouble, and he saveth them out of their dis- mlv'a; ' 
tresses. ^^l.V; 

om. 8; 
P O tu bone omnipotens, qui sic ciiraB unumqnemque nostrum ^^1^ ^^o' 
tanquam solum cures, et sic omnes tanquam singuloe. — Aug. Conf. 
[m. 11. 0pp. Tom. i. col. 96 r.] 

B. S. VOL. IV. 17 

258 No Respect of Persons with God. 

SERM. Is any man engagred in sin and gvS\k ? he is 
-^^^^^ patient and longsuffering; not pouring forth his 

anger, not withholding his mercies ; letting his sun 
arise and his showers descend upon the most un- 
worthy and ungrateful : this he doth so generally, 
that commonly by apparent events it is not easily 
discernible to whom God beareth special fitvour; 
Bccie8.ix.i, according to that observation of the Preacher, No 
man knoweth either love or hatred by aU that is 
before them; all things coming alike to aU. How 
then can any man complain of partiaUty in him, 
who exerciseth so unconfined bounty, clemency, 
and patience ? 
Ps. cxivi. If there be any considerable difference, it is 
cxivii. 14; only this, that God hath a peculiar care of the poor, 
Mx^t. 18. ^^^ afllicted, the oppressed, the helpless and discon- 
i8ai.]txv.4. golate, who do most need (and thence are most in- 
duced to seek) his succour and comfort ; being also 
commonly better qualified to receive them; as is 
frequently declared in Scripture. 

It is true, that God hath his particular friends, 
his favourites, his privadoes, whom he doth specially 
regard and countenance ; upon whom he conferreth 
extraordinary boons and graces ; namely, those who 
do love, who do fear, who do trust in, who do ho- 
nour him, who do obey him ; concerning whom it is 
Rom, viii, said. We know that all things work together for good 
Ps! cxiv. to them that love God : and, The Lord preserveth aU 
ml n; ^^^^ ^^^ ^^^ him: There is no want to them that 
^vW y^^^ him: He will fulfil the desire of them that fear 
Ps. xxxiv. him; he also will hear their cry^ and will save them: 
1 Sam. ii. The Lovd redeemeth the soul of his servants, and 
Pfl*. cxivi. none of them that trust in him shall be desolate: 
8^; xxxiv. 2%^i7i that honour me, I will honour: The Lord 

No Respect of Persons with God. 259 

hveih the righteous: The eyes of the Lord are vpon sbrm. 

the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry : 1- 

Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command ^ohn xy. 


But evidently there is no partiality in this; for 
he doth not favour them irrespectively as persons, 
but as in justice specially qualified for favour; 
friendship, dutifulness, reverence toward him, being 
the highest virtues, and arguing a mind endued 
with dispositions (with equity, with ingenuity, 
with gratitude, with sober wisdom, with love of 
truth and goodness) which demand a correspon- 
dence of love and respect from God himself. 
And as we do not hold a man partial, who 
beareth a special affection and regard to those who 
express good-will, who deal kindly and fairly with 
them, who serve them faithfully, and pay them 
due respect ; so neither is God partial, if he doth 
specially bless good men upon the like accounts. 

Especially considering, that God doth not so 
favour mere pretenders, who profess to love and 
honour him, but do not love true goodness; fond, 
superstitious, hypocritical people, who call, Lord, Matt. vii. 
Lord, but practise iniquity; who think to please ^u^^^ 
him by affected services; who court and flatter him 46. 
with their lips ; who would bribe him with their Matt. xv. 
gifts and sacrifices. Coi. u. 12. 

5 All Christians, without distinction, have the ^***' ^^" 
same illustrious relations and honourable privileges^ 
the most great and glorious that can be imagined. 

Of what greater honour is a man capable, than 
to be adopted into the blood royal of heaven, to be 
called to be one of the sons of God ? Ye are aUu,' 
the sons of God hy faith in Christ Jesus, God sent J 3. ^' ^' 


260 No Respect of Persons with God, 

SERM. forth his Son, horn of a woman, that he might redeem 
tis — and tha;t we might receive the adoption of sons. 

astiv.A^t "'^^^^ iroTairijv ayairtiv, Behold, saith St John, 

Rom. viii. -j^^^j^^ ^^ (fi^ FathcT kath given lis, that we should he 

I John iii. called the sons of God. This is a privilege which 

God hath given, which Christ hath purchased for 

US all : and Whosoever received him, he gave them 

John i. 12, i^ovaiav ravrriv^ (this powcT, this privilegfe, this 

^•*^-5' advantage,) thai they should hecom^ the sons of 


To what higher dignity can any one pretend, 

than to be heir of a kingdom by the most infallible 

assurance that can be; by covenant, by promise of 

God? Such are all good Christians, God's children; 

Rom. viii. ^r. If SOUS, then heirs, saith the Apostle, heirs of 

Gw iy 7 ^^^^ coheirs mth Christ: heirs of God's kingdom; 

Tit. iii. 7. for Hearken, my heloved hrethren, saith St James; 

Heb. i. 14. ' » «7 ^ ^ y 

Jamesii.s. hath not God chosen the poor of this world, rich in 
Matt. JOY. faith, and heirs of the kingdom, which he hath pro- 
ilike xii. w^^ to them that love himf Inherit the kingdom 
Luke xxii P^^<^''^^fo^ V^u. Fear not, Utile flock; it is your 
«9- Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. I 

appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath 

appointed unto me. 

To what higher pitch can the most ambitious 

soul aspire, than to be a king? 

Such, St John saith, that our Lord hath con- 
Rev. i. 6, stituted ovcry good Christian ; partakers, not of a 
^ ' j^ carnal, an earthly, a temporal kingdom, (which is 
« Tim. iv. unstable, is subject ta various chances and crosses, 
1 Pet. i. cannot endure long, or last any considerable time,) 

but of a spiritual, a celestial, an eternal kingdom, 
Heb. xii. which cannot be shaken ; which hath continual rest, 
^^- peace, joy. 

No Respect of Persons loith God. 261 

We are by God called unto his kingdom and ^^^^• 
glory,— translated into the kingdom of his own 

1 CI ' Then. 

dear oon. ii. la. 

To be the brethren of Christ; who is the^^-*-"^- 
sovereign Lord of glory, King of kings, and Lord 
of lords. 

Is it not a considerable honour to be the friends 
of our Lord ? so is every poor soul, which hath the 
conscience to serve him faithfully; for, Ye are mi/ Johnny, 
friends, if ye do whatsover I command you. ^^' 

All are citizens, free denizens of the heavenly phu. m 

commonwealth; aumnroXiTai twv dyiwy • 2^lj ^jj 

6 All men are liable to the same judgment, at ^'*^^: '^• 
the same tribunal, before that one impartial, inflex- ^^^\',j^' 7- 
ible Judge, who cannot be corrupted with gifts, or 
dazzled with shows, or moved by any sinister regards. 

All persons must stand before that bar upon 
equal ground; without any advantage; according 
to that representation of St John; / saw the dead, ^i^^- ^*- 
smaU and greats stand before God, and the books 
were opened — and the dead were judged out of those 
things which wei^e written in the boohs, according to 
their works. 

The greatest monarchs, the mightiest poten- 
tates, the most redoubtable warriors, and successfiil 
conquerors, The men, who made the earth to tremble, i»i- xiv- 
that did shake kingdoms, that made the world cw a 14! 
wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; who 
affected to ascend into heaven, and to exalt their 
thrones above the stars of God, to ascend above the 
heights of the clouds, and to be like the Most High. 

There shall they stand bare and divested of all 
their phantastry ; their splendid pomp, their numer- 
ous retinue, their guards, their parasites. 

262 No Respect of Persons with God. 

8ERM. No consideration there will be had of their 
^^"' windy titles, of their gay attire, and glittering 

No respect will be had to the dread of their 
name, to the fame of their prowess ; to that spurious 
glory, for which they unsettled mankind, and over- 
turned the world; their actions will be strictly 
scanned according to the rules of God's law and 
common equity. 

They will be put to answer for all the violences 
and outrages, for all the spoils and rapines^ for all 
the blood and slaughters, for all the ruins, devas- 
tations, and desolations, their cruel ambition hath 
caused ; for aU the sins they have committed, and 
all the mischiefs they have done. 

They who now have so many flatterers and 
adorers, will not then find one advocate to plead 
for them. 

Thus it may appear that Gk>d is impartial. 

But there are divers obvious exceptions against 
this doctrine. As, 

Obj. I Is it not apparent, that the gifts of God 
axe distributed with great inequality? 

Doth not one swim in wealth and plenty, while 
another coucheth imder the burden of extreme 
want and penury? 

Are not some perched aloft in high dignity, 
whne others crawl upon the ground, and grovel in 
despicable meanness? 
LukexvL Are uot some clothed with purple and fine 
'^'*^' linen, and fiu:e deliciously every day; while others 
scarce find rags to cover them, and lie at the door 
begging for relief? 

Do not some thrive and prosper in their afiairs. 

No Respect of Persons with God. 263 

while others axe disappointed and crossed in their serm, 
undertakings? ^^"^ 

Was it not truly observed of some persons, (and 
those least deserving good fortune,) They are en- Pb. xvii. 
closed in their own fat — Their eyes stand out with 7;* 
fatness; they have more than heart could wish ? -^x.^' 

And whence doth this difference come, hut^®^^^^'^*^' 
from God's hand? Who^ as the Apostle asketh, 
maheth thee to differ from another, but God, the ^Cor.iv.;. 
disposer of aU things? 

To this exception I answer : 

1 That temporal things are so inconsiderable, Rom. viu. 
that they scarce deserve to come into the balance, 1 cor. iv. 
or to be computed"*; for they have but the same ''* 
proportion to spiritual things, as time hath to eter- 
nity; or a finite to an infinite; which is none at 


What partiality therefore is there, if God in 
mercy and patience bestow on bad men a farthing 
in the temporal consolations of this life, (if the Luke yi. 
universal Father give a small portion'in this life to pt! x^]*^' 
untoward children,) while he reserveth infinite ^^' 
millions for his obedient children ? 

2 The goods of fortune commonly are dis^ 
pensed not by a special hand of God, but according 
to the general course of providence: and what 
partiality is he guilty of, who scattereth money into 
a crowd of poor people; although in scrambling 
some get more than other; and often the worst 
(being most bold and fierce) do get most? 

3 Indeed the receiving those gifts is no sign 

of God's special regard; as the Preacher well 

observed ; No man knoweth either love or hatred by Ecdee. ix. 

1, 2. 

^ Aoy/fo/ifli yap art ovk ^ta.— Rom. viii. 18. 

264 No Respect of Persons with God. 
SEBM. oU thai is before them. All things come alike to 

LVII . . 

L. all ; there is one event to the ^ighteotis and to the 


4 God, as St Austin saith, purposely doth 
sparingly deal these things to good men, and freely 
bestoweth them on bad men, to shew how little we 
ought to value them ; how much inferior they are to 
spiritual goods. For surely he would give the best 
things to his friends, and the worst to his enemies. 

5 Even temporal gifts are dispensed with a 
very even hand; for i^ barring injudicious fancy 
and vulgar opinion, we rightly prize things, we 
compare the conveniences and inconveniences of 
each state, it will be hard to judge which hath the 

Wealth hath more advantages for pleasure ; but 
it hath also more cares, more fears, more crosses, 
more dangers, more troubles, more temptations. 

It hath more plenty; but withal it hath less 
safety, less ease, less liberty, less quiet, less real 

Set the distraction of the rich man's mind 
against the toil of the poorest man's body; the 
nauseous surfeits of one against the griping hunger 
of the other. 

That which really doth constitute a state happy, 
content, may be common to both, or wanting to 
either, as the person is disposed. 

6 The goods of fortune are not purely gifts, 
but talents deposited in trust for God's service, for 
which a proportionable return is expected ; so that 
he that hath less of them hath a less burden to 
bear, and an easier accoimt to render. 

7 Many gifts are not dispensed with personal 

No Respect of Persons with God. 265 

regard, but for public good ; and therefore all have lv^i'* 
an interest in them. 

The wealth, the power, the reputation, the pro- 
sperity of a prince, of a nobleman, of a gentleman, 
are not his, but his neighbour's ; for governing, for 
protecting, for encouraging, for assisting whom, they 
are conferred : the world not being able to subsist 
in order and peace without subordinate ranks, and 
without answerable means to maintain them. 

Olj. 2 It is apparent, that God dispenseth his 
grace, the light of knowledge, and means of salva- Luke i. 79. 

.. n L* 1* • • l^ Matt. iv. 

tion, very unequally; some nations livmg m the ,6. 
clear sunshine of the Gospel, while others sit in^^'J^;^^''®' 
darkness and the shadow of death ; whole nations '^ii"*. ^' 

I Jr6t. IV. 

being detained in barbarous and brutish ignorance. 3- 

To answer this exception fully would require 
much discourse ; it being a dark and difficult point : 
but briefly we may say, 

1 That God dispenseth measures of grace ac- 
cording to a just, yet inscrutable wisdom, knowing 
what use will be made thereof, and what fruit men 
will beax. It may therefore be a favour not to 
dispense light to them, who are not prepared to 
embrace and improve it well. 

2 No man can tell what God doth in prepara- 
tion, and what obstructions are made by men to 
his grace. 

3 As lower means of grace are conferred, so 
proportionably less returns are expected. 

4 How hard soever it may be to descry 
the reason of God's proceedings in this case, yet 
assuredly it is just; and our ignorance of it 
should not prejudice the belief of those general 
truths, which are so plainly declared, concerning 

266 No Respect of Persons with God. 

SERM. the ainiversal benignity and impaxtial equity of 
^^^- God. 

Ohf. 3 Is it not in Holy Scripture sometimes 
asserted, that God doth act arbitrariously and abso- 
lutely; dispensing his bounty and mercy without 
regard to any quality in men, or deed committed by 
them, either in whole or in proportion — God saith, / 

Rom. ix. '^^ ^^^^ mercy on whom I will have mercy — ^and, Is 

ilatt XX *^ ^^^ lawful for me to do what I wiU with mine own? 

15- Is not a plain instance of this dealing alleged 

by St Paul concerning Jacob and Esau, that 
before the children were bom, or had done either 
good or evil, God said. The elder shall serve Hie 

Rom.ix. younger; and in regard thereto, in the Prophet, 
Jacob have I lovedy bvt Esau have I haled. 

Mai.i.3,3. We answer briefly, that 

Such expressions do import, not that God acteth 
absolutely in the thing itself, but quoad nos; not 
that he acteth without reason, but upon reasons 
(transcending our capacity, or our means to know 

Rom. xi. it) incomprehensible or undiscemible to us; not 
that he can give no account, but is not obliged 
to render any to us; that the methods of his 
providence commonly are inscrutable ; that his pro- 
ceedings are not subject to our examination and 
censure; that his acting doth sufficiently authorize 
and justify itself; that it is high presumption and 
arrogance for us to scan, sift, or contest, or cavil at 

Rom. ix. the equity or wisdom of God's acting. 

That God doth not act according to necessity, 
but is free in dispensing his mercy, and applying it 
to any person, so that they have nothing to chal- 
lenge upon accoimt of their own deserts or works ; 
but must refer all to his mere bounty. 

No Respect of Persons with God. 267 

However, there can be nothing in these mys- serm. 
teries of predestination and providence, which really - 

doth subvert an assertion so often clearly expressed, 
and so well grounded in reason, or the consideration 
of God's nature, attributes, ordinary way of acting, 

Whatever expressions are repugnant thereto in 
sound, whatever instances (depending on occult 
causes) in appearance do cross it ; it yet must stand, 
that God is impartially mercifiil, benign, just, &c. 

06/. 4 Had not Jeremy, St John Baptist, St 
Paul, absolute favours and graces conferred on 
them, who were sanctified, and separated from the laai. xiix, 
womb to be prophets and apostles? jer. i. 5. 

Resp. These favours were in design not sOq^^^^'^^ 
much particular and personal, as general ^^^d LukJ'i 7(5 
public; those persons being raised up by God upon Acta ix. 15; 
occasions as needful instruments (elect vessels) of 
his providence, to instruct men, and to reduce them 
to God; so that God, in raising up such extra- 
ordinary persons, did express his common goodness 
to mankind. 

The like may be said of that special favour, 
which was vouchsafed to the holy Virgin, who was 
K€xapirw(i€Ufi'^ and Blessed a/mxmg women^ for the "^"^^ i- ^8* 
general good of mankind. 

The consideration of this point is very usefiil, 
and may dispose us to many sorts of good practice. 

I No man should presume upon God's dealing 
with him more favourably than with others, as if he 
were a darUng or favourite ; that God will indulge 
him in the commission of any thing prohibited, or 
in omission of any duty. 

' Xalpff #cc;^apira>/A€in;.-— Luke i. 28. 

268 No Respect of Persons with God, 

SERM. No man should indulge himself in any thing, 
'— upon a conceit that Gk)d will indulge him, or over- 

Num ®®® ^^ errors; and that, in this sense. He seeth not 
xxiu. 21. iniquity in Jacob. 

2 No man should be pujBEed up with conceit 
that God hath a singular regard to him. For all 
such conceits are groundless and vain ; in them men 
do miserably delude themselves. 

No man can otherwise found any assurance of 
God's special love to him, than upon a good con- 
I Johniii. scioncc; testifying that he doth sincerely love God, 
'^' *'* and endeavour faithfiilly to obey his command- 

3 No man should despair of God's favour; 
seeing God hath no particular aversation from any ; 
but every person hath the same grounds of hope. 

If we can buckle our hearts to observe our duty, 
we may be sure to be accepted. 
Gon.iv. 7. If thou doest weU, shait thou not be accepted f 

4 No man should be discouraged for his con- 
dition, or fortune ; since in allotting it to him God 
had no disfavour, nor did intend him iU. 

God hath no less regard to him, than to persons 
of the most high, wealthy, prosperous state. 

5 No man should repine, murmur, or complain 
of God's dealing, as if he were unkindly used, more 
than others: for there is no such thing. God 
dealeth alike kindly with all. 

6 No man, upon account of his rank, wealth, 
or worldly advantages^ should boast or pride him- 
self; seeing thence he partaketh no more than his 
meanest and poorest neighbour, of the principal 
advantage, God's favour. 

7 No man, upon such accounts, should despise 

No Respect of Persons with God. 269 

his neighboiir, 2%6 6rotAer o/* foil; degrree*; for upon serm. 
these accounts it appeareth, that the Wise Man 

saith truly, that He is void of wisdom who despiseth iw"xi.^" 
his neighbour; seeing no man can be despicable, "j»v-«»- 
whom God regardeth ; seeing Gody as Elihu saith, Job xxxri. 
is mighty y and despiseth not any; seeing the meanest jameBii.6. 
person standeth on equal terms with the greatest 
in the eye of God. 

8 Great men should not take themselves for 
another sort of creatures*, or another race of men 
than their poor neighbours; that the world is theirs, 
and all things are for them ; that they may do what 
they please; that they are exempted from laws, 
which oblige others; for in moral and spiritual ac- 
counts they are upon a level with others. 

They are but fellow-subjects and fellow-servants 
with others ; all accountable to the same Master. 

9 Superiors hence should be moved to deal 
fairly, gently, and courteously with inferiors ; seeing 
these are their fellow-servants, equally considerable 
as themselves with the great Master of the family. 

This is the use, to which St Paul appheth the 
consideration : 

Master Sy give unto your servants that which is Coi. iv. i. 
jrist and equal; knowing thai ye have a Master in 
heaven — Ye masters, do the same things unto them, Eph. vi. 
(that is, be conscientiously good to them, as they coL iu. 35. 
are faithful to you,) forbearing threatening; knowing 
that your Master also is in heaven, neither is there 
respect of persons with him. 

10 This consideration should preserve us from 

■ *0 rcnrcivoff. — James i. 9. 

* Quonim fatie coelum omne vacaWt. — 

Lucan. vii. [206.] 

270 No Respect of Persons with God. 

SERM. superstition, or thinking to please or satisfy God, 
— win his favour, or appease his displeasure, by un- 
couth ways, which he hath not prescribed to all 
men ; to corrupt him by our sacrifices and oblations ; 
our flatteries, glozings, colloguings with him; so 
that he will indulge us in any bad thing, or excuse 
us from our true duty, in regard to those affected 
Col. ii. We do herein but abuse ourselves ; for he will 
g ic. VI. i, ^^^ approve or accept us upon any other account, 
than of discharging our duty, being truly righteous 
and good. 

II It is matter of comfort and satisfaction to a 

man, who is conscious of his sincerity, that (what- 

ever his condition and circumstances be) God will 

have a fair regard thereto, and will not reject him. 

Job xxxi. It was so to Job ; Doth not God see my ways, 

James ii. dnd count all my steps? — Let me he weighed in 

Pr^; an even balance, that God may know my integrity. 

M^tt'x^^'i ^^ ^^ consideration of this point should keep 

i£ie r' ^^ ^"^^ P^^^^^ respects of men. 

Levit. xk Not to admire the state of great men", nor 

i)eut.i. i7;to yield them imdue deferences, (in prejudice to 

^^|^,j^ meaner persons, making greater difference than 

23; xvi.5; there is ground for,) not to flatter or humour them 

xxviii. in an immoderate measure, or unbeseemiug maimer. 

This is that which St James doth urge in his 

second chapter, as a very unequal thing. 

We should imitate God; we should consider, 

that our opinions and affections should resemble his. 

As in exterior judgment no respect is to be had 

to the rich above the poor; so neither in the interior 

" Ov fi«\ti <rtH fr«p\ ovB€v6t, — Matt. xxii. 16. 
Qavfxd{ovT€t irp6<rmfra. — Jade 16. 

No Respect of Persons mtii God. 271 
iudfifment or esteem of our mind: to which St serm. 


James seemeth to apply the law; If ye luxve re -^ 

sped to persons, ye commit sin^ and are convinced ^^ "* 
of the law cw transgressors. 

1 3 This should keep us from envying at those 
who have more worldly advantages. 

14 It should keep us from being offended, or 
scandalized, or perverted into false notions of God, 
upon occasion of any mysterious points, or hard 
expressions importing absolute and arbitrary pro- 
ceedings of God, in predestination or providence. 
For however they are to be understood, they can- 
not derogate from the impartial goodness and 
justice of God. 

15 This consideration should engage us readily 
to pay due respect and reverence to princes, to 
magistrates, to all our superiors. 

For hence we see, that the reason why we are 
commanded to honour and fear them, is, not their 
worldly grandeur of wealth or power, (things of 
small consideration with God ;) but it standeth on 
a more solid ground, their sacred relations to God, 
as his representatives and officers; who in his 
name and behalf do admini^r justice, and pro- 
tect right and innocence, encourage virtue, main- 
tain order and peace in the world. 

Though God doth not favour their persons as 
rich and mighty; yet he regardeth his own cha- 
racter imprinted on them ; he regardeth his honour 
and interest concerned in their respect ; he regardeth 
the public good of mankind, which they are con- 
stituted to promote; he considers them as the 
ministers of his kingdom, and instruments of con- 
veying his benefits to mankind. 

272 No Respect of Persons with God, 

SERM. Whence he giveth salvation to kings; he by 
*— his law, and by his providence, doth guard and 

secure them from violence, from contempt, from 

In honouring them, we honour the authority of 
God, and the character of divinity stamped on 
Rom. 3riv. them ; we serve ourselves, for whose sake they are 
^' constituted, for whose good they watch. 

It may also engage us the more gladly and 
folly to yield them their due respect, to consider, 
that their condition is not invidious, or their case 
better than other men's ; seeing they are account- 
able to God for the advantages of it ; seeing that 
God hath no regard to them upon account of that 
greatness which dazzleth our eyes ; seeing that for 
all the burdens they sustain, for all the cares they 
take, for all the pains they endure, for our good 
and public service, they can receive so inconsider- 
able a recompense from us. 

Finally, it should engage us to be very carefol 
of our ways, and diligent in our obedience ; seeing 
tJiere is no other way possible of pleasing God, of 
gaining his favour and friendship, of appeasing his 
displeasure, of standing upright, and coming off 
well in his judgment; this is St Peter's inference, 
I Pet. i. 1 7. with which I conclude. If ye call on the Father y 
who without respect of persons judgeth according to 
every maviS work^ pass the time of your sojourning 
here in fear. 



I Tim. IV. 10. 

The living God ; who is the Saviour of aU men, epedaUy 

of those that believe. 

n^HEEE are two points of doctrine here plainly serm. 

-'- asserted by St Paul, which I shall endeavour 1 

to explain and to apply : one, that God is the Sa- 
viour o f all men *; another, that he is peculiarly the 
Saviou r of t he faithfiil. For the first, 

God in many respects may truly be conceived 
and called the Saviour of all men; for the word save 
doth in a large acception denote the conferring any 
kind of good ; as implying a removal of need, or 
indigence. Whence God is the Saviour of all men, 
as the universal preserver and upholder of aU things 
in their being and natural state, as it is in the 
Psalm : Thou. Lord, savest^ man and beast : or, as Ps. xxxri. 

-II, — — £ 

the general benefactor. Who is good to aU, anddy.g, 
whose mercies are over aU his works ; Who maketh Matt t. 
his sun to rise upon the good and bad, rains upon ^^' 
the just and unjust, is hind and benign even to the «^*^' 
ungraiefuL and evil: or, as the common assistant, 

* OiT (OcoO) flroXX«y ^VTtaVy tif)* ols ^avfuifcrai, ovdcy ovrns, flJr t6 
iroprat wwpytTtuft IditoTOTop. — Greg. Naz. [Or. zxxn. 0pp. Tom. 
I. p. 596 E.] 

^ Old tranal. and the LXX. amati^ or crMfcfr. 

B. S. VOL. IV. 18 

274 The Doctrine of Universal Redemption 
SERM. protector, and deliverer of all men, who in need or 


1 distress have recourse unto him for succour and 

Pa. ix. 9 ; relief, according to what is said in the Fsahns; The 

CTivi. 7, ' Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a refwge in times 

*^' ' of trouble. The Lord is nigh unto all them thai caU 

upon him. They cried unto the Lord in their trouble, 

and he saved them out of their distresses. 

cvu. 13, In these kinds of senses, especially respecting 

* wi 19, natural and temporal good, it is manifest, that God 

^^' is the Saviour of all m^en. But that he is, in this 

place, termed such in a higher sense, with regard to 

mercies and blessings of a more excellent kind, and 

greater consequence, (to mercies and blessings of a 

spiritual nature, and relating to the eternal state of 

men,) may from several considerations appear. 

1 For that, according to apostoUcal use, the 
words Saviour, Save, Salvation, are wont to bear 
an evangelical sense, relating to the benefits by our 
Lord Jesus Christ procured, purchased, and dis- 
pensed, concerning the future state of men. 

2 For that, questionless, St Paul doth here 
intend God to be Saviour of the faithfril in this 
higher sense, and consequently he means him in the 
same sense (although not in the same degree and 
measure, or not altogether to the same effects and 
purposes) a Saviour of all men. 

3 Because it is plain, that in other places of 
Scripture, like and parallel to this, such a sense is 
designed. As where, in this very Epistle, we are 

xTim.ii. enjoined to pray for all men, for this reason; For, 
' saith St Paul, this is good and acceptable before 

God our Saviour, who would have all men to be 
saved, and to come to the knowledge (or acknow- 
ledgment) of the truth; where atarrip m^v, the 


asserted and explained. 


Saviour of us. seems to denote the Saviour of us aa seem. 

. • . . . LVIII. 

men, (that interpretation best suiting with the argu- 

ment St Paul useth ;) however it is expressed, that 
God is, according to desire or intention, the Saviour 
of aUmen, in^fer^ce totheir spiritual and eternal 
advantage ; as willing that all men should embrace 
th^G^; which if forther most evidently con- 
firmed by the words immediately following; JfJTor iTim.ii.5. 
there is one God, and one mediator between God 
and men, ^6 man Christ Jesus. 

4 Because, according to the tenor of Scripture, 
and the analogy of Christian doctrine, St Paul's 
assertion thus interpreted is true, as our subsequent 
discourse may declare. 

5 I might add, that The living God in our text 
may very weU be understood and expounded to be 

our Lord Jesus himself; not only as partaking of iTim.L i; 
the divine nature, but as exhibited in the Gospel, "rnin. i. 
the Word incarnate, who as such may seem com- '®' 
monly by St Paul to be styled, God our Saviour; tj*- H: «<>» 
God manifested in thefiesh; God, that purchased iz; 
the Church with his own blood; Christ, who is over 16. 
aU, God blessed for evermore. However it from the ^f* "' 
premises is sufficiently apparent, that God's being f^^- "• 
the Saviour of all men doth relate unto our Saviour 
Jesus his undertakings and performances for the 
salvation of all men ; since God in a sense evange- 
lical is no otherwise said to save, than in concur- 
rence with what Jesus did undertake and perform; 
than as designing, ordering, accepting, prosecuting, 
and accomplishing our Lord's performances; Jesus 
being the conduit through which all evangelical 
mercies and blessings are from God conveyed and x^h. i. 
dispensed to mankind. So that God being the ^' ' 

18 — 2 

276 The Doctrine of Universal Redemption. 
SERM. Saviour of mankind, is either directly and imme- 


L diately^ or by equivalence and in consequence, the 

same with Jesus being the Saviour of all men. 

That our Lord Jesus is the Saviour of all men ; 
or that the most signal of his saving performances 
do in their nature and their design respect all men, 
as meant for, as conducing and tending to all men's 
salvation, yea and as in their own nature (supposing 
men's due and possible concurrence with them) 
effectually productive of their salvation; that, I say, 
this ancient cathoUc point of doctrine (the which 
we profess to believe, when with the Church we say 
in the Nicene Creed — Who for us men, and for our 
salvationy came down from heaven, the which par- 
ticularly our Church in its Catechism, in the Minis- 
tration of Baptism, and in the Communion, doth 
most evidently and expressly declare itself to em- 
brace) is very true, many ftdl and clear testimonies 
of Scripture do shew, many reasons grounded on 
Scripture do prove ; the which we shall first touch, 
and then further both illustrate and enforce the 
truth, by declaring upon what accounts, or in what 
respects, our Lord is the Saviour of all men; as 
also by an application to practice, declarative of its 
usefulness and subserviency to the purposes of piety. 
For immediate testimonies : 

I Jesus is called the Saviour of the world ; who 

was sent and came into the world to save the world ; 

whose chief perfonnances were designed and di- 

johniv.4a. roctod to the salvation of the world ; We have heard 

a/nd known, said the men of Samaria, ihat this is 

I John iv. truly the Saviour of the world, the Christ. We have 

'^' seen and testified, saith St John, that the Father 

sent the Son to he the Saviour of the woridy (that 

asserted and explained. 277 

world, of which it is said. He was in the world, and serm. ! 


the world was made by him, and the world knew him ^ 

not) And, God sent his Son into the world, not to J?^ i- '<>; 

111. 17 • 

judge (or not to condemn^ the world, hut that ^Aexu. 4/; 
world by him should be saved, (that world whereof Acts i. 4a; 
a great part he in effect would both judge and con- B^m.^iiv. 
demn for unbelief and disobedience, he did come I^a^^ „ .^ 
primarily upon intent to save.) And, The bread ^^^"^bi- 
which I shall give is, saith he, my flesh, which I will 
give for the life of^ world. And, Behold, said the John i. 19. 
Baptist, the Lamb of God^ which taketh away the 
sins of the world. And, God was in Christ, reconr iCor.v.ip. j 

cUing the world unto himself, not imputing tfieir 
offences, saith St Paul, to the world : which other- I 

wise he expresseth by tA iravra^ By him to reconcile Coi. i. «o. 
oS things unto himself And, He is a propitiation i john u. 
not ofdy for our sins, but for the sins of the whole ^' 
world, (the whole world, in contradistinction from 
all Christians, to whom St John speaketh in that 
place of his catholic Epistle; that KoafAos 0X09, of 
which he saith in that same Epistle, KoafAo^ 6\ai ip i john t. 
T^ irovfip^ KeiTaiy The whole world lieth in wicked- '^* 
ness.) In all which places, that the world according 
to its ordinary aoception (and as every man would 
take it at first hearing) doth signify the whole com- 
mimity of mankind, comprehending men of all sorts 
and qualities, good and bad, believers and infidels, 
(not in a new^ unusual sense, any special restrained 
world of some persons, particularly regarded or 
qualified,) will, I suppose, easily appear to him, who 
shall without prejudice or partiality attend to the 
common use thereof in Scripture, especially in St 
John, who most frequently applieth it as to this, so 
to other cases or matters. 

278 The Doctrine of Universal Redemption 
SERM. 2 The obiect of our Saviour's undertaking and 

T VTTT ^ " 

i:!^ intentions is described by qualities and drcum- 

stances agreeing unto all men. All the sons of 
I Adam are by disobedience in a lost condition^ (lost 

I in error and sin, lost m gmlt and condemnation, lost 

M«tt.xyiii. in trouble and misery;) and, 2%6 /Son (/rmin, saith 
I "* he himself came to save, to airoXwkos, that which was 

Rom. iii. lost, (or whatever was lost.) AU men have sinned^ 
*^' saith St Paul, and are fallen short of the glory of 

X Tim. i. Ood; and. It is a faithful saying^ saith the same 
^^' Apostle, and worthy of aU acceptation, thai Christ 

I Rom. T. 8. JesiLS camc into the world to save sinners. Ood 

Ac. ' ' commanded his love to us, that we being yet sinners 

Christ died for us. AU men naturally are weak 

and wicked; are in a state of alienation and enmity 

Rom, T. toward God : and, Even when we were without 

' ^' strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly: 

I Pet iiL When we were enemies, we were reconciled to God 

i8. . 

by the death of his Son: Christ once suffered for 
sins, the righteous for the unrighteous. All men have 
souls and Hves exposed to misery and ruin: and, 
Lukeiac. ITie Son of man, so he assures us, came not to 
destroy, but to save the souls (or lives) of men. Those 
propositions in form, respecting an indefinite object, 
are according to vulgar use equipollent to those, 
wherein the object is expressed universally. How- 

3 They are interpreted by others, expressed in 
terms as general and comprehensive as can be ; such 
I Tim. ir. as these texts contain : The living God, who is the 
'®' Saviour ofaU m^n, especially of the faithfd, (of all 

men universally, not only of the faithftd, though 
I Tim. u. chiefly of them.) God our Saviour would have aU 
^' ^' ^* Tnen to be saved; He is the mediator of Ghd and 

asserted and eocplained. 279 

men, who gave himself a ransom for all m^n; God seem. 
hath shut up aU men under sin, that he might have 

m^ercy upon all. The love of Christ constraineth 3^ ™' "' 
us, judging this, that if one died for aU, then a/re aU ^4^5/* 
dead; and he died for aU, that they who live may 
not live to themselves, hut to him that died for them, 
and rose again. The saving grace of Ood hathTii.n,ii. 
appeared to all men, (or, The grace of God, which 
is saving to aU men, hath appeared, 'Erreipdvfj 1; x^P<^ 

Tou Qeou li awTiiptos iraciv ayOpwiroii.) He tasted Heb. ii. 9. 

death for every man, virep vauro^. He is the true John l 9. 
light, thai enlighteneth every man coming into the 
world. Which propositions do suflSciently deter- 
mine the extent of our Saviour's saving perform- 

4 Further yet, to exclude any limitation or 
diminution of these so general terms, (at least 
to exclude any limitation in regard to all the 
members of the visible Church, which are or 
have been incorporated thereinto,) it is expres- 
sed, that our Saviour's undertakings did respect 
even those, who (by their own default) nodght 
lose the benefit of them, and who in effect should 
not be saved. For, of those false teachers whoiPet-U. i. 
introduced pernicious heresies, it is said, that 
they denied the Lord who bought them. And i cor. via. 
St Paul impUes, that by scandalous example a "' 
weak brother, for whom Christ died, being in- 
duced to sin, might be destroyed. And, -Do Rom. xiv. 
not, saith he again, hy thy eating destroy him, ^^' 
for whom Christ died. And the Apostie to the 
Hebrews signifies concerning apostates, that they 
do trample upon the Son of God, and pollute Heb. z. 49. 
the blood of Christ, by which they are sanctified. 

280 I%e Doctrine of Universal Redem/ption 

SERM. The supposition thereof is the ground of duty and 
- aggravation of sin^ 

Thus doth the Holy Scripture in terms very 
direct and express^ declare this truth, indeed so 
clearly and fiilly, that scarce any other point of 
Christian doctrine can allege more ample or plain 
testimony of Scripture for it ; whence it is wonder- 
ftd, that any pretending reverence to Scripture 
should dare (upon consequences of their own de- 
vising) to question it; and many reasons con- 
firming the same may be deduced thence. 

1 The impulsive cause^ which moved God to 
design the sending our Lord for to undertake what 
he did, is expressed to be philanthropy, or love to 

Tit. iii 4. mankind : But, saith St Paul, when the kindness 
and love of God our Saviour unto man, 17 ^ptXa^ 
Opwiria rod ataT^pos tjfiwv Qeov, appeared — according 
John iii. '^ ^^^ mcrcy he saved us. God so loved the world, 
^^ ^ g that he gave his only begotten Son. God hereby 
Ephee. u.4. commends his love unto uSy thai we as yet being 
sinners, Christ died for us. It was not a particular 
fondness of affection, (such whereof no particular 
ground can be assigned or imagined,) but an uni- 
versal (infinitely rich and abundant) goodness, 
mercy, and pity toward this eminent part of his 
creatL, sS L distress a^d lamentable wi^tch- 
1 edness, which induced God to send his Son for the 
J redemption of mankind. 

2 God declares himself impartial (most par- 
ticularly) in this case; that as all men in regard 

* V» illis, qui auctorem proprise Balutis negayerunt.-— Ambr. 
in Ps. xxiix. [0pp. Tom. i. col. 862 0.] 

Gregory Kasianzene saith of Julian, Ai^ rovro fuer^o-at XpurroF, 
^1 ^t* ovrov a-fo-dMiTo.— [Or. XLn. Opp. Tom. 1. p. 760 c] 

asserted and explained. 281 

to him stand alike related, and are in the same con- berm. 


dition^ so he proceeds with indiflTerent affection^ and ^ 

upon the same terms with alL He is equally the 
Lord and Maker of all men; and all men are 
equally involved in guilt, and exposed to ruin; 
upon which grounds St Paul inferreth, that as to 
God's regard of man's salvation, there is no dif- 
ference between Jews and Greeks ; and by parity 
of reason tiiiere can be none between any other 
sorts of persons, antecedently to God's mercifiil in- 
tentions : ITiere is, saith he, no respect of persons Rom.\i,ii. 
with Cfod, (as to preparing the capacities and means, 
to propounding the terms and conditions of salva^ 
tion, for about these he discourses ;) for, Is hey Bom. m. 
saith the Apostle, assigning the reason of that as- ^^' 
sertion, the God of the Jews only, and not of the 
Gentiles? No: There is no difference, saith he, of Rom,x.i2. 
Jew and Gredo, for there is the same Lord of all, 
being rich (rich in mercy and bounty) unto all that 
caU upon him; that is by consequence simply unto 
all; for St Paul implies, that God therefore pro- 
vided that all men should have the means of caUing 
upon him imparted to them ; for that. How should Bom. x. 
they call upon him without faith? and how should ^^' '^' 
they hdieve without prea^chers? and how should there 
be preaxiherSy if they were not sent ? Whence he 
infers, (against the sense of those Jews with whom 
he disputes,) that it was necessary that the Apostles 
should have a commission to preach unto all. And, 
The righteousness of God by the faith of Christ is Bom. iu. 
manifested unto all, and over all that believe: for 
there is no difference; for all have sinned, and come 
short of the glory of God: the relation of God is the 
same to all men, (he is the God and Lord of all;) Acti z. 36. 

282 The Doctrine of Universal Redemption 

BE KM. the state and need of all men are the same; there is 
L therefore no diflference, excepting that consequent 

one^ which compliance or noncompliance with the 
conditions offered unto all doth induce. It is true 
in this respect, what the Wise Man saith, 'O iravrwv 0€(77roTiy? ofjLoiufs irpovoel ire pi iravrwv^ Se that i$ Lord 

of all careih {or provideth) for aU alike; and what 
Clemens Alexandrinus"* says, as to this particular, 
AU things lie equally for all from God; so that no 
man can complain of him; aa partial to some, and 
deficient to others. 

3 We may observe, that the undertakings and 
performances of our Lord are for nature and extent 

Rom. T.14. compared with those of Adam, (who was tJ/ttw tow 
MeXXovT09» A type of him that was to corns;) as Adam, 
being a representative of mankind, did by his trans- 
gression involve all men in guilt, and subject them 
to condemnation ; provoked God's wrath, and drew 
the effects thereof upon us ; brought all men under 
the slavery of sin, and necessity of death ; so was 
our Lord the proxy of mankind, and by his per- 
formances in our behalf did undo for our advantage 
what the former did to our prejudice ; by his entire 
obedience expiatmg the common guilt, suspending 
the fatal sentence, pacifying Grod's wrath, reducing 
righteousness, and restoring life to all that would 
embrace them; so doth St Paul at large (in the 5th 
chapter of his Epistle to the Romans) propound and 
prosecute the comparison; closing his discourse 

Rom. V.18. thus : Therefore as hy the offence of one vnan jvdg- 
ment came upon all Tnen to condemnation; so by the 
righteousness ofone, the free gift came upon aU inen 

USun varra taa lercrai irapa rov Gcov, xol cotIf avrof afitfKl>iff, — 
Clem. Alex. Strom, yjl [0pp. Tom. n. p. 840.] 

asserted and explained. 283 

to justification of life. As guilt, wrath, and death serbi. 
forementioned, were the fruits of what Adam did, 

fitUing upon all; so pardon, grace, and life, were 
(in design) the effects of what our Saviour per- 
formed relating unto all. Yea, the same compa- 
rison St Paul seems to intimate in his Second 
Epistle to the Corinthians, where he saith, that. 
If one died for ally then are all men dead; that is, « Oor.v.14. 
Christ's dying for aU men, implies all men in a 
state of condemnation and subjection to death; and 
that inference supposes the performances of the 
first and second Adam to be in then* nature and 
primary effects co-extended and commensurate. 
The same St Paul seemeth in express terms to say, 
AU men have sinned, and are fallen short (or are Rom. m. 
destitute) of the ghry of God; being justified fredy *^' ^** 
hy his grace (or favour) by the redemption that is 
in Christ Jesus. (All men are justified, that is, 
according to God's fiivourable intention and de- 
sign.) Yea, the very reason why God permitted 
sin and death to prevaQ so universaUy is intimated 
to be his design of extending a capacity of righte- 
ousness and life unto all ; so St Paul tells us : Ood Rom. xi. 
h<xth shut up aU men under sin^ that he might have 
mercy upon aU. And particularly, that by virtue 
of Christ's performances death is abolished, and9i^ 
immortaUty is conferred upon all men, St Paulas, 
most expressly teacheth us ; For, saith he, as in i Cor. xt. 
Adam aU die, so in Christ shall aU be m<xde alive. 
I observe that Prosper* (an eager disputant 

* Onm itaqne rectissime dicatur Salrator pro totius mnndi 
redemptione cruciflxus, propter reram natune humame Buscep- 
tionem, et propter communem in primo homine omnium perdi- 
tionem, &c. — Reap, ad Oapit. Qall. cap. ix. [Opp. col. 214 o.] 

284 The Doctrine of Universal Redemption 

SERM. about points allied to this) several times confesseth, 
L that Christ may be most rightly affirmed to have 

been crucified for the redemption of the whole 
world, especially upon two accounts, for his true 
susception of human nature, and for the common 
perdition of all men in the first man: we have 
touched the latter ; let us add, that 

4 Our Saviour assuming our nature, and par- 
Phil. ii. 8. taking of our flesh, Being made in the likeness of 
15^ * ^^" men, and found in fashion as a man; yea, endued 
^{!\;;:l' with the passions and infirmities of man's nature, 
exposed to the tribulations and inconveniences of 
mim'8 life, did thereby aUy himself, and put on a 
Heb. ii. i4, firatemal relation unto all men. Forasmuch, saith the 
"' "' ' Apostle to the Hebrews, as the children (the chil- 
dren he means of the same father, or brethren; as the 
tenor of his discourse makes evident) are partakers 
of flesh and blood, he also himsdf likewise took part 
of the same ; that is, graciously designing to become 
a brother to the children of men, he assumed all 
ActoxYii. that was proper to man's nature. Grod, saith St 
Paul, Tnade tvSlv iQvo^ avOpwirwv, the whole nation, or 
race of men, dweUing upon the face of the earth, of 
one hhod; and of that one blood our Saviour was 
Heb. u. it; ploasod to take part, entitling us thereby to a con- 
sanguinity with him'; and it was a title of his, 
which he seemed to affect and delight in, the Son 
of man. He being such did sanctify our nature, 
by the closest conjunction thereof to the divine 
u. 7, i6. nature, and rendering it more than a temple of the 

' 'H irp(So-Xi7^tff r^r capKbt ovk cdovXov t6v \6yov ^vcrct Kvptop 
Svra * akXa fiak'Kov i\€v6€p<oais ^v rj yivo/icn; napa rov \6yov namfs 
c»6pwir6nfTos, &c. — Atban. con. Arian. Orat. n. [0pp. Tom. i. 
p. 482 B.] 

asserted and eocplained. 285 

Divinity; he dignified it, and (as that Apostle |^fj^- 

intimateth) advanced it above the angelical nature '— 

by an alliance to God himself; he thereby not 
only became qualified to mediate between God'^'^^-s- 
and man^ and capable to transact that great busi- 
ness of man's salvation; but was engaged^ and in 
a manner obliged to do it; for as he was a man, 
he surely was endued with the best of human 
affections, universal charity and compassion, which 
would excite him to promote the welfare of all ; as 
he was a man, he was subject to the common law 
of humanity, which obliges to endeavDur the com- 
mon benefit of men. As he was a brother in 
relation, so he could not, he would not be other- 
wise in affection; he is not to be conceived de- 
ficient in performance of the offices suitable to that 
condition. That good-will which he requires usMatt.y.44. 
to bear toward all men indifferently, good and bad. Acts x. ssi 
friends and enemies, he questionless did bear him- 
self in the highest degree, and to the utmost ex- 
tent ; the general beneficence, which in his conver- 
sation and practice he did express, doth signify 
how large his desires and intentions were in regard 
to the welfare of men ; so that we may thence well 
aver with St Ambrose* : Incarnationis Dei myste- 
Hum est universes solus creatures; The mystery of 
God's incarnation doth reject the salvation of all 
mankind, according to his desu-e and design. 

5 We are taught that our Lord hath by his Rev. xvu. 
Baving i,erformances acquired a rightful propriety '*• 
in, and a title of dominion over all men living^*; 

' De Fide, Lib. t. cap. Tin. [0pp. Tom. n. col. 670 a.] 
"AvBpwffov avrhv woir^aas 6 Uar^p-^-ovxofrXms dc €froiri(r€V SaSpwirov^ 

aXX* tit rh Kvpi€v<rai, irayrtty avr^Vf Koi oyta^cty iratrras dia rov xP^ffJ^fos 
irtirolfiKtv. — Athan. ut 8upra. 

286 The Doctrine of Universal Redemption 

8EBM. to tiim is committed the govemaDce and protection 
of all mankind^ as the reward of what he did and 

Acts X. 36. suffered for its sake. He is called the Lord of all 

Matt.*"*^' men; and the Head of every man. It is said, that 

xxvm. 15; J^^ things by his Faiher are given into his hand, 

John iii. 3jj^ p^ under his feet ; that Power is given him 

xiii. 3;. over aU flesh; that All authority is given him in 

i. 3. / heaven and earth; AU jvdgm^nt is committed to 

a;v.«a. him. Which privileges, rights, dignities, are de- 

p^c^'i^* clared to have been procured by the virtue of his 

saving performances, and purchased by the price 

Rom. xiv. of his blood. For, to this end, saith St Paul, Christ 

both died and rose again, and revived, that he might 

be the Lord both of the dead and living, (or, might 

exercise lordship over both the dead and living, 

I Cor. vl iva xal veKpwv xai l^wt^rwv Kvpievari :) and, We are not 
'^' ^^' our own, (saith he again,) we are bought with a 
Heb. ii9. price: and, We see Jesus, for the suffering of deaths 
crowned with glory and honour, that by the grace 
of God he might taste death for every man, (or, for 
the suffering of deaths that by Godls grace he might 
taste death for every m^n, crowned with glory and 

honour y cia TO waOiifxa tov Oavarou 00^17 Kal Tifxti 
€aTe(f)aifWfievov, o'/roi^ jfapiri Qeov virep Trai/roy yevarjrag 

Oavarou; for there seems to be such a trajection in 
Pha.u.8,9. the words:) and. He was obedient unto death, even 
n7 ^* ^' the death of the cross; therefore hath Ood exalted 
him, and given him a name above every nam^. 
Subjection then and redemption, as they have one 
ground, so they are implied to have the same ex- 
tent; as every one must call Christ Lord, so he 
may call him Saviour; therefore his Lord, because 
his Saviour. And since Christ hath got an autho- 
rity over all men, a propriety in every man ; since 

asserted and explained. 287 

lie hath undertaken to (rovem and protect the sekm. 
world, he questionless, as a prince of incomparable ^^^^• 

benignity and clemency, doth seriously intend and 
desire the best welfare of all his people ; it surely 
cannot be a small benefit to the community of 
men, that they are his subjects; the objects of his 
princely care, and of his mercy. Kij Serai twv o-i/m- 

Tratrrwv* oirep xal Ka0fiK€i r^ Kvpitp iravrwv y€¥Ofievtp' 
awT^p yap co'tii/' oiJj^l rwv fiev, roiy o ou. He toketh 

care of dU, which doth become him that is Lord of 
aU ; for that he is indifferently the Saviour of ally 
saith Clemens Alexandrinus^ 

6 We are commanded to pray, intercede, and ' ^"^^ "• 
^ve thanks (indifferently) for all men, even for 
heathens aiid persecutors ; as for the objects of 
God's benevolent affection; whom He would have 
to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of his 
truth ; expressing our charity in conformity to the 
unconfined goodness of God Very good reason 
(argues St Chrysostom*') there is why we should 
pray for all men ; for if God doth will the salvation 
of all men, we, in imitation of him, should will the 
same; and, if we desire it, we should pray for it. ; 
Upon which score the Catholic Church hath con- 
stantly and carefiilly observed this precept; so the 
learned writer de Vocatione Gentium assures us : 
Which law of supplication, saith he, the devotion of 
aU priests a/nd of aU the faithful people doth so 
observe, that there is no part of the world, in which 
such prayers are not solemnized by the Christian 

* Strom. 7n. [0pp. Tom. n. p. 832.] 

Mcftov rhv Bcdy. tl irarraf av$p»irovf ^cXci (rai>(9$yai, €tK^»£ 
tmip <Sirayr«»y dec •HxtO'Bai, c2 iraimir avrhs €6i\fja'€ (rai>^yat» BtXt kqI 
arv. €l W BeXfiSt tCxov. — Chrys. [in 1 Tim. Drat. vn. 0pp. Tom. 
IV. p. 276 ] 

• . ■• 

•^ • ■» 

288 The Doctrine of Universal Redemption 

LviQ ' P^op^^ The Church of God doth therefore Mppli- 

cote, not only for the saints^ and the regenerate in 

Christy hut also for aU infidels, and enemies of the 
cross of Christ; for aU idokUers, all persecutors, 
all Jews, heretics, and schismaticsK And Prosper 
himself: Setting aside, saith he, that distinction, 
which the divine knowledge contains within the secret 
of his justice, it is most sincerely to he hdieoed and 
t professed, that God wills thai all men shall hejg^ved; 
since the Apostle, whose sentence that is, doth most 
solicitously enjoin that which is in all the Churches 
most piously observed, tiuxt God should he implored 
for cJl m^n^. So doth he attest the common prac- 
tice, and declare the ground thereof. 

7 For which practice, and for the confirmation 
of its ground, (God's serious willingness and de- 
sire that men should be saved,) we have the pattern 
Luke xxiii. of our Lord himself praying to his Father for the 
^^' pardon of the worst of men, his murderers ; which 

as it demonstrated his charity toward them, so it 
argues that he was their Saviour, for that others 

^ Quam legem BnppUcationis ita omninm sacerdotum, et omnium 
fldelium devotio conoorditer tenet, at nulla pan mundi sit, in qua 
hujusmodi orationes non celebrentur a populis Chriatianis. Sup- 
plicat ergo ubique Ecclesia Dei^ non solum pro Sanctis et in Christo 
jam regeneratis, sed etiam pro omnibus infidelibus, et inimicis 
crucis Ghristi, pro omnibus idolorum cultoribus, pro omnibus qui 
Christum in membris suis persequuntur, pro Judseis quorum cseci- 
tati lumen Evangelii non refulget, pro hcereticis et schismaticis, qui 
^ ab unitate fldei et caritatis alien! sunt. — [Lib. i. cap. xn. inter 
Prosp. Opp. col. 864 B,o.] 
* ™ Remota ergo hac di&cretione, quam divina scientia intra se- 
cretum justitise suse continet, sincerissime credendum atque pro- 
fltendum est, Deum Telle, ut omnes homines saWi fiant. Siquidem 
apostolus, oujus ista sententia est, solicitissime praeoipit, quod in 
omnibus ecclesiis piissime custoditur,utDeo pro omnibus hominibua 
supplicaretur. — ^Prosp. Resp. ad Obj. Vincent, cap. n. [Opp. col. 

231 c}. :; 

• • 

asserted and explained. 289 

wise he knew they could not be in any capacity of serm. 
having pardon. His praying for them impUes the 
possibihty of their receiving forgiveness ; and such 
a possibility^doth presuppose a disposition in God 
to ^^tnt it, and consequently a satisfaction pro- 
dded; rach as God requires and accepts, and which 
shall avail to their benefit, if toward the application 
thereof they perform their parts. 

8 Indeed it is not easy to conceive, how we 
can heartily pray for pardon, or for any other 
blessing, either for ourselves or for others, without ^ 
sup posin g Christ to be our Saviour and theirs ; 
without supposing God placable and well alSected 
towards us and them in Christ, upon the account 
of his performances and sufferings in our and their 
behalf. We are to offer up ^11 our devotions in' 
the n ame of Christ, and for his sake must implore 
all mercies and blessings from God; which how 
can we do seriously and with faith, if we may 
reasonably question, whether Christ's merits do 
respect us, and consequently whether they can be 
available in our behalf ? / WB, saith St Paul, that i Tim. h. 


men should pray in every place, lijling up pure 
hands, wiihovt wrath or doubting: which precept 
how can any man observe ; how can any man pray • 
with calmness and confidence of mind, who is not 
assured, that Christ is his Saviour, or that God for 
Christ's sake is disposed to grant his requests? 
But this point we may be obliged to prosecute 
somewhat ftirther in the application. 

9 Either our Saviour's performances do re- 
spect all men, or some men (the far greatest part of 
men) do stand upon no other terms> than those of 
the first creation, or rather of the subsequent lapse 

B. S. VOL. IV. 19 

290 The Doctrine of Universal Redemption 

8EBM. and condemnation; being subject to an extremelj 
'- rigorous law, and an infallibly certain guilt, and. 

consequently, to inevitable punishment; being ut- 
terly secluded from all capacity of mercy, and 

Acts V. 31. having no place of repentance left unto them, (the 

:?'"" place of repentance being a most signal part of 
Christ's purchase;) so that if any such man should, 
according to the proportion of his hght and abihty, 
perform what is agTeeable to God's law, doing: what 
Tpo^ible U, hiuMU^ m.y be BuppoaU^ what 
is possible to a man he may do, what is possible is 
possible) in order to his salvation, he notwithstand- 
ing should be incapable of any mercy, &vour, or 
acceptance. But, beside that it is expressly said. 

Bom. xi. that God did shut up aU men under sin, that he 
might have mercy upon aU ; and that we are plainly 
enough informed, that our Lord did reverse the 
first fatal sentence, and hath, as the Mediator be- 
tween God and man, evacuated all former cove- 
mmts by establishing a new one, (for if any former 

Heb.viiL 7. coveuaut had been good, there had been no plaoe 
sought for a new one, as the Apostle to the He- 
brews discourseth) — besides these considerations, I 
say, and beside that such suppositions do not well 
suit to the nature of God, and do not well consist 

Acts xvii. irith the tenor of his providence ; God positively 

- «d vabemoBtlj di«Wmeth thi. rigoo, of p««^. 
' ing; he both under Law and Gospel declares him- 

Ei»k.xviii; self ready to admit any man's repentance; yea, 
earnestly invites all men thereto; yea, grievously 
explains and expostulates with men for not repent- 

Dmu. If. ingj yea, not only says it, but swears it by his own 

Mic. Y^/s! life, that he desires any wicked man should do it ; 

^'-'•-ho strongly asserts, he eamestly inculcates, he 

dsserted and explained. 291 

loudly proclaims to all his readiness to pardon, and sebm. 
his delight in shewing mercy; The ri<^es o/his^^ 
goodness and forbearance and longsuffering. He „. '' ^^' 
declares that he will exact an account of men, JJ***' "^^' 
according to proportion, answerable to their willing- ^uke xix. 
ness to do what they could, and to the improve- 
ments of those talents (those measures of light 
{^Titrength) which thej had, or might have had; 
that whoever is iv eXa-xlartp maro^t &ithAil in using xvi. lo. 
the smallest power, shall be accepted and rewarded. 
He represents himself impartial in his judgment Acta. x. 34. 

V ^P^^^ \ V ftp 

and acceptance of men's persons and performances; * 
any man, in any nation, his sincere, though imper- 
fect, piety and righteousness being acceptable to 
him: the final ruin of men is not imputed to any 
antecedent defect lying in man's_state, or God's 
will, to no obstacle on God s part, nor incapacity 
on the part of man, but wholly to man's blameable 
neglect, or wilftd abuse of the means conducible to ] 
his salva tion : no want of mercy in God, or virtue [ 
in the passion of our Lorf, are to be mentioned or 
thought of; infidelity (formal or interpretative) and 
obstinate impenitency, disappointing God's mercifiil 
intentions, ^d frustrktmg L Lofd's saving per- 
formances and endeavours, are the sole banes of 
mankind ; Here^ saith our Lord, is the condemnor John iu, 
tion^ that light is conie into the worlds and men loved '^' 
darkness rather than light, because their deeds are 
evU : and, / speak these things, thai ye might be ▼- 34, 40. 
saved; but ye will not come to me, that ye might 
have life : and, How often have I willed to gather M»tt.xxiii 
thy children, as a hen gathers her chickens under her ^^' 
wings, hut ye would not f Of the Pharisees and 
lawyers our Saviour said, that They defeated fAe^*"""- 


292 The Doctrine of Universal Redemption 
BERM. counsel of God toward themselves, t^v fiouXriif tou 

Qeou liOerijcrav eli eaurot/s; the COlUlsel of God, who 

designed to bring them to repentance by the in- 
struction and exhortation of St John the Baptist. 
Our Saviour invited many to the participation of the 
iMi.rxv.6. Gospel, (that great Feast of fat things to all people, 
as the prophet Isaiah calleth it;) but they would 
not come, saith the text : he iterated his message. 
Matt. xxiL but They, carelessly neglecting it (aiiAeXiia'apTei), went 
' ' away, one to his farm, another to his merchandise, 
xiu. 37, 38; and the rest took his servants, and entreated them, 
spitefully, and slew them. The sower (our Lord) did 
sow in the field (the world) the good seed of hear 
venly truth, but some would not admit it into their 
xiii «o, 21. heads or hearts; from others temptation bare it 
away; in others worldly cares and desires choked 
johnviL it; our Lord spake the most convincing words, 
Matt. xxi. such as uo man ever spake, such as drew publicans 
xv! 23, 24; and harlots into the kingdom of heaven ; he per- 
joim Vii. formed most astonishing works, such as never the 

3' J like were done, which were sufficient to convert 

▼• 44; 

»>• 43. . Tyre and Sidon, yea to have preserved Sodom, but 
31; without effect; such were the invincible obstinacy, 

Luke xvi. the gross stupidity, the corrupt prejudices, and per- 
Matt. xiii. v^^se affcctious of his auditors and spectators, upon 
«iii. 14. '^^ic^ causes our Lord chargeth the inefficacy and 
unsuccessfulness of his endeavours for their salva- 
tion. So doth St Stephen call the Jews, unto 
Acts vii. whom the Gospel was offered, Hard-necked, uncir- 
^'' cum^ed in heart and ears; such as did always 

xxviii. 26, resist the Holy Spirit. St Paul gives the same 
"'■• chaiucter of them, and a^gns the same cause of 

their rejecting the Gospel. And of the Jews of 
xiii. 46. Antioch it is said, that They did thrust away the 

asserted and explained. 293 

word of salvation, judqinq Ihemsdves unworthy of serm. 

•/ * V */ V •/•/y 'X7TTT 

everlasting life^ (that is, disdaining to embrace the 1 

overture of everlasting life made unto them. ) And, 
Despisest thou the riches of Gods goodness, and for- Rom. ii. 4. 
bearance, and long-suffering; being ignorant that 
the goodness of God leaded thee to repentance ? so 
St Paul expostulates with the incredulous Jew. 
And, How, saith the Apostle to the Hebrews, shciR Heb. ii 3. 
we escape, if we neglect so great salvation ? So do 
our Lord and his Apostles state the reason of men's 
miscarrying m this great affair; signifying aU re- 
quisite care and provision to be made on God's 
part for their salvation ; and imputing the obstruc- 
tion solely to their voluntary default of compliance 
with God in his conduct and management thereof. 
Neither are the dealings and declarations of 
God toward those who lived under the law and 
prophets impertinent to this purpose ; they are ap- 
plicable upon consideration of parity in reason, or 
likeness in case. What remonstrances concerning 
the gentleness, kindness, and equity of his dealings, 
what exprobations of their stubbornness and stu- 
pidity God did anciently make to Israel under that 
particular dispensation, (which yet in tendency and 
in representation may be deemed general,) the 
same he might now use toward all mankind, under 
this universal economy, wherein God hath given to 
his Son^ The heathen for his inheritance and the Ps. u. 8. 
utmost parts of the earth for his possession ; whereby 
AU the kingdoms of the world are become the Tdng- Rev. xL 
doms of the Lord, and his Christ; which hath 
erected an unconfined kingdom of grace ; to which 
all men in design and of right are subject ; in re- 
spect to which every nation is in obligation and 

294 The Doctrine of Universal Redemption 

BEBM. duty become the people of God. What^ said God 

'- to them, could I have done rnore to my vineyard 

law. V. 4. ^^ J ^^g ^yj^ ^ Wherefore, when I looked for 

KoB.Tfm.g. ffrapeSf did it bring forth wild grapes f Israel, 
isai. ixY. 1, thou hast destroyed thysdf; hut in me is thy help. I 
™*^*"* Jiave spread out my hands all the day long to a re- hellious and gainsaying people. I spake unto you 
rising up early and speaking, hut ye heard not; I 
Pvov. i. 24, called, hut ye answered not; I have called, and ye 
^^' *^* have refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no 
ma/n regarded. But ye have set at nought all my 
isai. ixv. counsel, and would none of my reproof When I 
ixA 4. called, ye did not answer; when I spake, ye did not 
Jer. vTio. hear; hut did evil hefore mine eyes, and did choose 
that wherein I delighted not. And, Behold, their 
ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken; be- 
hold, the word of the Lord is unto them a reproach, 
Zech. vii they have no delight in it. They refused to hearken, 
and pulled away the Mulder, and stopped their 
ears, that they should not hear; yea, they mode their 
hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the 
law, which the Lord of hosts hath sent in his Spirit. 
Which passages, with many others of the like im- 
' portance that occur, do imply the large extent of 
God's merciful intentions, and the competency of 
the means which God affords for the salvation of 
men; that he wants no affection or inclination to 
save them; that he neglects no means proper for 
effecting it; that he draws them into the way lead- 
ing serious and earnest invitation, directs 
them by needAil light and instruction, excites them 
by powerful arguments and persuasions; and, as 
St Ambrose speaketh. Quod in Deo fait, ostendit 
omnibus, quod omnes voluit libera/re: Ood shewed 

II. 12. 

asserted aiid explained, 295 

to all. that what vxis in him. he did vnU to deliver^ sehm. 

(or save) aU men^ : whence he may truly and pro* 1 

perly be called the Benefactor and Saviour, even 
of those, who by their wilful malice or neglect do 
not obtain salvation ^ For in respect to the same 
fiskvours, which are exhibited and tendered to them, 
he is the Saviour of those, who by hearkening to 
God's call, and complying with God's design; by 
weU using the means vouchsafed, and performing 
the conditions required, do finally attain salvation* 
If it be said that these transactions do refer 
only to God's own people, or to those only, unto 
whom God pleased to dispense especial revelations 
of truth and overtures of mercy ; that we therefore 
cannot thence infer anything concerning the general 
extent of God's design, or the virtue of Christ's 
performances in respect to afl mankind; we may 
to'thk suggestion rejoi^ that by observing the 
manner of God's proceedings to'ward them^ unto 
whom he openly declareth his mind and will, we 
may reasonably collect how he standeth affected 
toward others, and by what rules, or upon what 
accounts, he dealeth with them ; taking in the ana- 
logy of reason, and parity or disparity of the case. 
If to God's affection, it'is the Lne' everywhere, 
agreeable to that nature, which inclineth him to be 
good to all, and merciful over all his creatures, as Pb. cxW.g, 
the Psalmist tells us; unto which disposition his 
providence yields attestation; for, Ovk anaprvpov 
eauTov atpriKev, ayaOoiroiwv, He did not leave himself ^^^ ^^* 

" De Parad. cap. vra. [0pp. Tom. i. col. 161 c] 

^ XiroXoyovfiCFor lierd, (nrodcc^cor Sri vAvra rii eh avrir ^KOitra ini 

<rtorrip(«f r»w KptPOfi€v»v irciroii;jc€v. — ^Bae. in Ps. Tii. [0pp. Tom. i. 

p. 101 E.] 

296 The Doctrine of Universal Redemption 

SERM. without testimony y doing good to all, as St Paul tells 

us; although he doth not dispense his favours in 

the same method, or discover his meaning by the 
same light, or call all men to him with the same 
voice and language. 

Neither was mankind ever left destitute of that 
Divine grdce, which, as the good writer de Vocor 
tione Gentium saith, never denied iZsdf to any ages, 
with the same virtue^ in different measure, with an 
unchangeable counsel, and multiform operation^. 
So in one plac^ ; and in another, There was always, 
saith he, dispensed to aU men a certain measure 
of instruction from above, which, oMwugh it came 
from a m^re occult and sparing grace, did yet 
suffice to some for remedy, to all for testimony^ 
Comparing the different states of men, we may 

Rom. u. substitute with St Paul, for the law of revelation 

engraved upon tables, the law of nature written 

in men's hearts; for prophetical instructions, the 

dictates of reason; for audible admonitions and 

I reproofs, secret whispers of grace and checks of 

', conscience; for extraordinary instances of divine 

i. 19, 20, power, the ordinary works of the creation, (By 
which God's eternal divinity and power are discern- 
ible;) for the special and occasional influences of 

Acta xiv. Providence, the common and continual expressions 

^ Qratia Dei nuUis seculis se negavit, virtute una, quaotitate 
diversa, concilio incommutabili, opere multiformi. — ^n. 6« [inter 
ProBp. 0pp. col. 892 c] 

^Adhibita est semper uniyersis hominibuB qusedam supernce 
mensura doctrinse, quse etsi parcioris occultioriBque gratis fuit, 
Buflicit tamen, sicut DominuB judicayit, quibusdam ad remedium, 
omnibus ad testimonium. — n. 15. [Ibid. col. 901 E.] 

Nulli nationi hominum bonitatis suee dona subtraxit, ut pro* 
pheticas roces et prsecepta legalia conyincerentur in elementorum 
obsequiis ao testimoniis accepisse. — i. 5. [Ihid. col. 851 d.] 

ctsserted and explained. 297 

of divine beneficence ; then allowing for the disparity |^^^j • 

(as to measure of evidence and efficacy) in these 

things, and as to the rest, the case is the same. If 
one part hath means more clear and forcible, yet 
those which are granted to the other are not void 
of use or virtue; by them all men in all places 
. may seek God, If ha/ply they may feel after him Acta xvii. 
and find him,; yea may, as St Paul implieth, bej^m.i.,8^ 
able to know God, and induced to serve him; to^^: ^*J/.' 
thank him, and to glorify him in some measure; 
in a measure answerable to such ligh^and strength ; 
no more doth God require, for no more wiU he 
reckon with them. If their helps be deemed more \ 
low and scanty, their duty in proportion is less ; 
high, and their account will be more easy. Enough 1 
certainly they have to excuse God from misprision / 
of not having provided competently for them, to' 
render them, if they do not well use and improve i. 20. 
\i, inexcusable; and what they have is an effect ofl 
God's mercy procured and purchased by their I 
Saviour. But of this point we may have occasion 
afterward to say more; I shall now only add, that 
this suggestion, well considered, may aflford another 
argument to confirm our doctrine; which is this. 

10 If our Lord be the Saviour of all those 
to whom God's truth is declared, and his mercy 
offered; or, if he be the Saviour of aU the mem- 
bers of the visible church ; particularly if he be the 
Saviour of those, who among these, rejecting the 
overtures and means of grace, or by disobedience 
abusing them, shall in the event fail of being saved, 
then is he the Saviour of all men. But our Lord ' 
is the Saviour of those persons; and therefore he 
is the Saviour of all men. The assumption we 

298 TTie Doctrine of Universal Redemption 

8ERM. aasayed to shew in the last argument; and many 

express testimonies of Scripture before mentioned 

establish it; the common style of Scripture doth 
imply it, when in the apostolical writings to all the 
visibly fidthful indifferently, the relation to Christ 
as their Saviour is assigned^ an interest in all his 
saving performances is supposed^the title of<ru>^ofievoi - 
and (reawriievoi (with others equivalent, of justified, 
sanctified, regenerated, quickened, &c.) are attri- 
buted. And in our text God is said to be The 
Saviour chieflji wuttSv, of the faithful; which word 
in its common acception denotes all visible m^n- 
bers of the Christian communion. And for its 
confirmation we adjoin; the Apostles at first, and 
the Church ever since after them (except some 
heterodox people of late) have professed readily to 
confer holy baptism, and therein to dispense re- 
mission of sins, together with other evangelical 
graces and privileges, to every man professing his 
faith in Christ, and resolution to observe Christ's 
law, upon this supposition, that Christ is the 
Saviour of all such persons, and by his salutaiy 
passion hath purchased that remission for them; 
although the dispensers of these graces could not 
discern what decrees God in his secret providence 
had passed upon them, or what the event should 
be as to their final state ; yea, although according 
to the judgment of prudence they could not but 
conceive, that all such should not be saved, but 
Heb. X. 39. that many of them should be of those, Who (as 
the Apostle to the Hebrews speaketh) would draw 
2 Pet. i. 9. hack unto perdition, who (as St Peter implies some 
might and would do) would forget the purgation 
which they had received of their sins. That in thus 

disserted and eooplained. 299 

doing^the Church proceeds upon a persuasion^ that serm. 

Christ is truly the Saviour of all its visible mem - 

bers, duly admitted and incorporated thereinto, the 
thing itself plainly signifies; the tenor of its practice 
makes palpable; the forms of speech used in its holy 
administrations (of prayers, of sacraments, of exhor- 
tations) do suppose or express. For how can each 
member singly be asserted in holy baptism to be 
washedfromhk sins, and sanctified to God.and made 
regenerate or adopted into the number of God's 
children, and made partaker of Christ's death ? How 
can thanksgiving in the common name, in most 
general terL, be offered up for Chrisi's saving 
performances ? or the holy bread and cup be im- 1 
parted to each communicant as symbols and pledges > 
of Christ's charity and mercy toward him ? How 1 
can every Christian be instigated to obedience in 
gratitude to Christ; and those who transgress 
Christ's laws, upbraided for their ingratitude to- 
ward him ; their rejecting, or renounciug, despising, 
or abusing him and his salvation ? How can such 
things be said and done with any truth or con- 
sistency ; yea without forgery and mockery, if every 
baptized Christian hath not an interest in our 
Lord's performances; if Christ be the Saviour only 
of an uncertain and unknown part in the Chmtsh ? 
' This consideration of the Church's practice hath 
made even the most vehement assertors of St 
Austin's doctrine, (strained to the highest pitch,) 
in the more ancient and modest times, fiilly to 
acknowledge this position ; that Christ is the Be- 
deemer of every member of the visible church, as 
appears by this remarkable decree of the Council 
of Valentia in France, (consisting of the bishops Anno 855. 

300 The Doctrine of Universal Redemption 

SEEM, of three provinces, favourers of Godschalcus's opi- 
nions.) We (dso do believe it most firmly to he 

held, that dd the muUitude of the faithful, being 7*e- 
generated by water and the Holy Spirit, and hereby 
truly incorporated into the Church, and according 
to the apostolical doctrine baptized into the death of 
Christ, is by his blood washed from their sins\ 
Because there could be no true regeneration, unless 
there were made also a true redemption; since in 
the sacraments of the Church there is nothing empty, 
(or vain,) nothing ludificatory ; but all thoroughly 
true, and supported by its own very truth and sin- 
cerity. Yet that out of the very company of be- 
lievers and the redeemed, some are eternally saved, 
because by God's grace they faithfully abide in 
their redemption, bearing the Lord's speech in their 
Matt.x.23. hearts. He that perseveres to the end shall be saved; 
and that others, because they would not abide in 
the salvation of the faith which they at first re- 
ceived, and did rather choose to frustrate the grace 
of redemption by evil doctrine or life, than to keep 
it, do nowise arrive to the plenitude of salvation, 
' and to the perception of eternal beatitude. It is 
then a Catholic and true doctrine, that at least 
Christ is a Saviour of all appearing Christians; 
and supposing the truth thereof, I say that by con- 
sequence he is also the Saviour of all men. For it 
appeareth thence, that the design of our Saviour's 
performances did not flow from, or was not grounded 

' [Item firmissime tenendum credimus, quod omnis multitudo 
fidelium, ez aqua et Spiritu Sancto regenerata, ac per hoc yeraciter 
Ecclesise incorporata, et juxta doctrinam Apostolicam in morte 
Christ! baptizata, in ejus sanguine sit a peccatis suis abluta. — 
Concil. Valent. sub P. Leone ir. cap. r. apud Bin. Concii. Tom. 
VI. p. 461, c. 2 F.j 

asserted and explained. 301 

upon any special love, or any absolute decree con- . serm. 

ceming those persons who in event shall be saved ; . 1 

since according to that supposition it extendeth to 
many others; whereforeit proceeded from God's 
natural goo(3biess, and_cpmmon kind affection to- 
ward mankind ; from the compassion of a gracious 
Creator toward his miserable creature, whence all 
men are concerned and interested therein. "Why 1 
God's merciftil intentions were not explicitly de- 
clared and propounded to Socrates and Epictetus, 
as they were to Judas Iscariot and Simon Magus, 
is another question, which we may afterward in 
some manner assoU ; at present, it suffices to say, 
that the overture of mercy made to such wretches ' 
doth argue God's kind disposition and good inten- 
tion toward all men; so it did in St Ambrose^s* 
opinion ; who says, that our Lord ought not to pass 
by the man who should betray him, that all men 
might take notice, that in the choice even of his 
traitor he did hold forth a pledge or mark of all 
men's being to be saved. 

But the truth of this doctrine will further ap- 
pear by the declaration and survey al of those re- 
spects according to which Christ is represented the 
Saviour of men, as also by considering how useftil 
and conducible to piety this doctrine is, as minis- 
tering grounds and obUgations, encouragements 
and motives, to the practice of most considerable 
duties required from all men. But these things 
must be reserved to another occasion. 

' Et ideo neo proditurum debait pneterire; ut adyerterent omnes, 
quod in electione etiam proditoris sui seryandorum omnium insigne 
pnctondit. — Ambr. de Parad. cap. vin. [0pp. Tom. i. col. 161 b.] 




I Tim. IV. lo. 

The living God; who is the Saviour of all men, 
specially of those that believe* 

^LDL " npHAT our Lord Jesus is the Saviour of all men, 

J. we have before from plain testimonies of Holy 

Scripture, and from some arguments grounded 
thereon, assayed to shew. The same will be made 
further apparent by considering the respects ac- 
cording to which he is such ; and those we may 
first consider generally and in the gross, then sur- 
vey them more particularly and distinctly. 
\ In general we may say, that our Lord is the 
\ Saviour of all men, for that he hath rendered all 
- men salvahileSy capable of salvation; and salvandos, 
designed to salvation. For that he hath removed 
all obstacles peremptorily debarring men from 
access to salvation, and hath procured competent 
furtherances to their attainment of it. For that he 
hath rescued mankind out of that dead and deq)e^ 
joimvi.33. rate condition, wherein it lay involved; being The 
bread of God, who hath descended from, heaveny 
that he might give life to the world, as he saith of 
himself. For that he hath performed whatever on 
his part is necessary or fit in order to salvation, 
antecedently to the acceptance and compliance with 

The Doctrine of Universal Redmiption, <&c. 303 

those reasonable conditions^ which by God^s wisdom serm. 
are required toward the instating men into a full 

and immediate right to salvation, or to a complete 
and actual fiiiition thereof. He made the way to Luke 111.5; 
happiness plam and passable ; levelling the insupe* 
rable cliffs, and filling up the chasms, and recti- 
fying the obliquities, and smoothing the asperities 
thereof, as the Prophet foretold ; so that all men, 
who would, might conveniently walk therein. He iv. 18. 
set the doors of paradise wide open, so that who 
pleased might enter in ; all the bonds and restraints 
under which men lay, he so &x loosed, that any 
man might be free, who would concur to his own 
liberty and enlargement^ All the protection, aid, 
and encouragement which was needful toward 
obtaining salvation, he afforded and exhibited to 
every one that would embrace and make use of 
them. In respect to which performances he might 
be justly esteemed and truly called a Saviour, 
although all men do not in effect become saved. 
For the estimation and denomination of perform*] 
ances are to be grounded upon their own nature^ 
and design, not upon events depending upon the 
contingent and arbitrary behaviour of men. As 
he that freely offers a rich boon is no less to be 
accounted a bene£EU!tor and liberal, although his 
gift be refrised, than if it were accepted; as he that 
opens the prison is to be styled a deliverer, although 
the captive will not go forth; as he that ministera 
an effectual remedy, although the patient will not 
use it, deserves the honour and thanks due to a 
physician; so is our Lord in regard to what he - 

* *H y7 owl ttarapas tvXayiyrett, 6 vapahmros r\voiyfif &c.— Athan. 
in Pass. [?] 

304 The Doctrine of Universal Redem/ption 

8SBM.: hath performed for men^ and oflfered to t hem , (be- 

' ing sufficient to prevent their misery, and promote 

their happiness,) to be worthily deemed, and thank- 

fiilly acknowledged, their Saviour, although not all 

I men, yea although not one man should receive the 

designed benefit. Accordingly we may observe, 

that in the Scripture style, those persons are said 

to be saved, who are only in a way toward salvar 

I Cor.i.i8. tion^, although they do not arrive thither; and the 

Rev. xid/' means conducing to salvation are said to save, 

Eph ii. 5 aHibough their efiect may be defeated ; cwl^ofAevoi 

' and aeaaxTfi^yoi are terms appUed to aU Christians, 

and Christ is 6 cwaa^^ he that hath saved them; 

1 Tim. i. 9. and faith is said to have saved them, althou^^h 

iCor.xy.3. ^^ 

Tit. ii. 8. some of them eiKti iiriaTevaav, have believed in vain, 

ai/'"^' or to no efiect, forsaJdng and renouncing their 

*•'*] faith; and baptism saves them who partake it, 

although being washed, they return to their wal- 

I lowing in the mire. And as our Lord is so 

termed a Saviour in respect to them, who are, by 

faith and admission into the Church, put into a 

more near capacity of salvation, as St Paul speak- 

Rom. xiii. eth : ' Ryy vrepov tj/uLWp ly awTtjptaj ^ ore eiritrr^vdafieVy 

{Now is our salvation nearer than when we be- 
lieved ;) so is he in respect of all those, who are 
in any capacity thereof, although a more remote 

But let us now view more nearly and distinctly 
the respects in which he is a Saviour of all men, or 
the particular benefits and advantages conducing 
to salvation, which by his performances accrue to 

mankind; for, IlafiTroXi; t^v crwrtiplav avcurp X**P'T^'''"* 

rp avOpajwoT^Ti^ In very many ways he bestoweth 

KarayyeKkova^iv 6d6v trcmfpias. — Acts xvi. 17. 


asserted and explained. ' 306 

salvation upon aU mankind, as Clemens Alexan- serm. 
drinus speaks-. '''^' 

I Our Lord is the Saviour of all men, as having 
effected, tiiat Almighty God (who upon great pro- 
vocations was justly displeased and angry with 
man, who had averted his face, and withdrawn his 
favour from mankind, whom our apostasy and re- 
bellion had rendered a stranger and an enemy to 
us) hath deposed his wrath toward mankind, hath 
conceived a kind affection to it, doth cast a favour- 
able aspect upon it; being thoroughly reconciled 
and made a friend thereto by our Saviour's media- • 
tion. This is my beloved Son, iv ^ euSoKtjaa, in Matt. iu. 
whom I have been weU pleased, was the attestation '^' "*' ' ' 
given from God to our Lord ; the meaning whereof 
in regard to men the holy choir of angels did in- 
terpret, when after the gladsome report of his birth, 
(that Great joy, which should be to all people,) they 
sang, Glory be to God on high, on earth peace, Luke u,io, 
goodrwiU toward msn. Which St Paul further '*' 
declareth, when he saith, that By him God pleased, CoL l ao. 
ev^Kijae, to reconcile unto himself all things, upon Eph. l io. 
earth, and in heaven: and when he saith. That ^Cor.y.ig. 
God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himr 
self, not imputing their sins: and. When we te; 
enemies, saith he again, we were reconciled to Grod 
by the death of his Son: When we were enemies, 
that implies God antecedently to any man's con- 
version to have been appeased, and become fa- 
vourably disposed toward aU men, or toward those 
whom St Paul speaketh unto, as men; so the 
reason of the case doth import, and so the analogy 
which St Paul immediately after propounds between 

® [Piedag. Lib. i. cap. xi. 0pp. Tom. i. p. 156.] 
B. S. VOL. IV. 20 

306 The Doctrine of Universal Redemption 

8ERM. the results of Adaxa's trans^essioii and our Sa- 
1— viour's obedience (as to provocation and recon- 

ciliation^ to condemnation and absolution, to the 
intents of bringing death and life upon all men) 
doth enforce. Whence it is, that God dedareth 
himself now to bear an universal good-will to 
mankind, that he doth earnestly desire the wel&re 
of all men, and is displeased with the ruin of any 
I Tim.ii.4; man; that He would have all men to be saved^ and 
QPet.iii.9. to come to the knowledge of the truths because Th^e, ^ one Mediator between God and man; That he 
' wovJd not have any perish^ btU thai all should come 
to repentance; this he affirms, yea (for the con- 
firmation of our faith and our consolation therein) 
Ezek. he in the evangehcal Prophet swears it, As I live, 
"^^' "' saith the Lord, I have no pleasure in the death of 
the wicked ; but that the wicked turn from his way 
' and live. So far toward our salvation is done, God 
meets us half way; he is reconciled liito 3 it''r^ 
mains only that we be reconciled tojiim ; that we 
1 Cor. v.«o. hearken to the embassy from him : Be reconciled 
to God. 
• ' ' ' 2 Jesus is the Saviour of all men, by satisfying 
- '^ the divine justice, and repairing God's honour in 
their behalf The disloyal and ingrateftd behaviour 
of man had so wronged, so endamaged, so disho- 
noured God, (had so abused the goodness, dispa- 
raged the wisdom, sUghted the power, impeached 
and slurred the authority of his Creator, had so 
prejudiced all the rights and interests of God,) 
that by the divine wisdom it was thought fit, that 
he should not be restored into a capacity of mercy 
and favour, without a signal compensation made, 
and an exemplary punishment undergone, whereby 

asserted and explained. 307 

the right of God should conspicuously be asserted^ iSEbm. 
his love of goodness and dislike of wickedness 

^uld be remaAablQemo^rated, aixd every 1 
creature in heaven and earth should be solemnly ' 
admonished of its duty*; of the reverence and ' 
obedience it owes to the great Creator, of the ; 
heinous guilt and horrible mischief it incurs by : 
offending him. Such a compensation man was 
nowise able^_make, or fit to undergo such a 
punishment : our Saviour therefore; out of infinite 
pity and charity, did undertake both*; bjl.yolun- 
tary condescension putting himself into the low and i 
weakstate of man^ subjecting^ himself unto that . 
law which man wa^'obhged unto, and suffering \ 
the pains which man had deserved. This he was ; . 
pleased to do in man's behalf, and in our stead; = 
and Gk)d was pleased to accent it as so done. His 
incarnation (or exinanition of himself, as St Paul Piui. u. 7- 
calleih it) was an act of that high duty and good- ; 
ness', that it in virtue surpassed all the obedience 
which aU creatures were able to render; that it 
yielded God more satisfaction and more honour 
than the joint endeavours of all the world could 
confer. His, with so intense charity and cheerful- 
ness, fiilfilhng all righteousness did far more please 

Aomhv de ol&vBptOfKOi ovk€Ti Kara rh idea irdBtj fxtvovtrtp afiaftTaaikol 
Koi V€Kpo\ oXXa Kara rfjv rov \6yov dvpafuv dpcurrdvrtSf aOdparoi Koi 
Sxt>Bafyroi del dtofuvov^iP. — Athan. con. Arian. Orat. m. [0pp. Tom. 
I. p. 583 B.] * 

* Tdrf yap Koi Oopantt i/^vi^cro, Koi Kctrdpa Ikvrroj Koi dcdfutpeg 
KOTffax^PoifTo Koi ibtiyyuarliorro BputfjLfitvd/jLfpoi^ Koi rd x^^pdypofftov r&p 
AfjuipTwv rf aravp^ vpo<njkovTo, &c. — Ghrys. in Joh. i. 14« [0pp. 
Tom. u. p. 602.] 

Hy&/> ZwapKot vapwfriarov trwnjpot Bapdrav Xvrpop leol rr/crctfr 
ndoTjg o'mrjipla yeyovtp, — Athan. ad Adelph. £p. [Opp. Tom. i. p. 
915 B.] 


308 The Doctrine of Universal Redemption 

SERM.| God, than all our most exact obedience could have 
Jf^ do J.; his enduring bitter pain, »d disg^oe. 

(considering the infinite dignity of his person, his 
near relation and deamess to God, his perfect in- 
nocence and rectitude, yea his immense charity, 
oontentedness, and patience) more than counter- 
vailed the punishment due to the sins of all men. 
Such a payment was more than served to discharge 

Eph. V. a. all our debts, (it served to purchase an overplus of 
graces and' blessings ;) so rich a price was more 

Heb.x. lo; than Sufficient to ransom all the world from cap- 

iz. 13. . . . 

tivity; so goodly, so pure, so sweet, so precious a 
sacrifice might worthily expiate and atone all the 

X Pet. i. 19. guilts of men^ 

Now if we inquire what our Saviour did re- 
deem, the consideration of what he paid may, as 
St Austin tells, help to inform us; QticBritis quid 
emeritf Videte quid dederit, et invenite quid emeriti 
Do ye seek, saith he, what he bought ? See what he 
gave, and find what he bought. However, that as 
the value and sufficiency of our Lord's performances, 
so the design and effect thereof did reach so &r in 
regard to man ; that his charity was no less exten- 
sive than his performance was complete for our 

John i. 39; good, the Holy Scripture teaches us. For, He is 
the Lamb of Ood that taketh away the sins of the 
world, saith the Baptist : and. The bread, saith he. 

VI. 51. 

s Vid. Orat. Oyrill. Alex, in Ephes. Cone. [Auoimoo^ lijv Mp^wov 
it>wriv €v iavT^f xai r&v rov Bavarov dcofuov f ^'Xjccnu, ^vXXotff dpafuif>' 
nftrias aT€if>apov/i€vos irapA rov Otov koX varp6£. — apud Bin. Cone. 
Tom. n. p. 133 F.] 

aXX* v2^ 6€ov fAopoytvfjgf 6 vir€patroByiiaKiov,8ie* — Cyrill. Hier. Catech. 
xm. [0pp. p. 183 A.] 

* In Pb. xcr. [0pp. Tom. iv. col. 1036 b.] 

asserted and eooplained. 809 

which I give is my Jlesh, which I will give for the serm. 

life of the world : and, He is a propitiation, saith -— 

St John, for our sins; and not onlyf&r our sins, ' ^ 
but for the sins of the whole world : and. He is the i Tim. ii. 
Mediator of God and man, who gave himself {avri- 
Xvrpov virep iravrwv) a ransom, in the stead, andyi>r 
aU men, saith St Paul : and, He tasted death for Heb. a. 9. 
every one, saith the author to the Hebrews: and. 
He was that one man, who, as it was expedient, joimxi.50; 
did die for the whole nation of men : and, God was m^\*j]^' 
in him, reconciling the world to himself, not imput- ^Cor.v.ip. 
ing their sins : and, He came into the world, not to John m. 
condemn the world, hut that the world might by him 
be saved, (or freed from condemnation): and, ^5 Rom. v. 18; 
by the q^ence of one man judgment came upon all 
m£n to condemnation, so by the righteousness of one, 
mercy cam^ upon aU to jv^ification of life. The • 
end we see of our Saviour's performances was, 
that he might wipe off the guilt of sin from aU 
mankind, that he might reverse the condemnation 
passed thereupon, and that he might remove the ; 
punishment due thereto; or that, absolving the 
first man's sin, he might take it away from the 
whole race, as St Athanasius^ speaks. 

AU men have sinned, and come short (or are "»• *3, «4. 
destitute) of the glory of God ; being justified fredy 
by his grace, by the redefmption that is in Christ 
Jesus. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse o/'oia.iii. 13; 
the law, being m^ade a curse for us. He was bom ^' *' 
under the law, that he might redeem those which 
were under the law. He thai knew no sin was'^^^-"'- 
made sin, (was punished and dealt with as a 

^ "Iva €K€lvov \vc^v rfjp Afjuipritaff dnh iraprbs avTrjv apfj rov y€Povs. 
— -Athan. in Paw. [0pp. Tom. 11. p. 90 c] 


310 Tlie Doctrine of Universal Redem/ption 

SEBM. giiiner,) thcU we might be made the righteousness of 

— God in him^ (that we might be capable of being 

esteemed and dealt with as righteous by Gk>d upon 
]his account.) So that the result is^ divine justice 
/being fuUy satisfied^ and the honour of God AiUy 
repaired^ (in regard to all sins past and fiiturej 
the mouth of vengeance being stopped^ the claims 
of death and hell being evacuated, that general 
t sentence of condemnation (passed upon all the sons 
of Adam) is suspended, death ceases to leign by 
«.y just 'power 'or ineritabU nece^dty; a?ta L St Paul saith, abolished or abrogated as to any 
^: ^- '^' lawful right, or necessary force it hath ; the rigour 
Rom.x.5. ^j^^ severity of that law, which upon pain of death 
exacteth most punctual obedience, (and which con- 
: sequently doth expose all men to unavoidable con- 
, demnation,) is tempered and abated, a foundation 
is laid for the shewing mercy, and granting pardon. 
In respect whereto, 
, , , ' ' 3 Our Lord is the Saviour of aU men, as having 
in the behalf of mankind transact^ and ratified a 
' new covenant, very necessary for, and very con- 
ducible to, the salvation of mankind; whereby 
salvation is made attainable, and is really tendered 
unto all, upon feasible and equal conditions. Ac- 
cording to the purport whereof, upon any man 
(however stained or loaded with the guilt of most 
heinous transgressions) his embracing the overtures 
thereof, consenting to, and complying with the 
terms propounded therein, that is, sincerely be- 
lieving, and seriously repenting; returning to Grod 
with hearty desires and earnest resolutions to serve 
him; God is ready to dispense mercy and pardon, 
and immediately receiveth the person i nto grac e 


asserted and explained. 311 

and favour with him ; yea^ the man continuii^ to 
perform a faithfiil^ though imperfect obedience^ an 
obedience suitable to man's natural infirmity and 
Mty, and^o^^^ionabie to the assistances af- 
forded him, God further promiseth to bestow ines- i 
timable blessings and rewards of joy and happiness. \ 
That covenant which the prophets implied of old, 
when (beside and beyond what the Jewish law did 
import) they preached thus: Wash you, make you !««• i- »^; 
clean, put away the evil of your doings, cease to do 
evil — though your sins be as scarlet, they shaU be i iS; 
a^ white as snow; though they be red as crimson, iv. 7. 
they shall be as wool: and, Let the wicked man Ezek.xvm. 
forsake his way, and the unrighteous Tuan his 
thoughts, and let him return unto the Lord, and 
he unU have m^rcy upon him, and to our God, for 
he iviU abundantly pardon : and, If the wicked 
"man will turn from all his sins that he hath comr 
mittedy and keep all my statutes, and do that which 
is lawful and right, he shall surdy live, he shall not 
die, (so God in Isaiah and Ezekiel declareth his 
intention to proceed with men, avowing that way 
of his to be most equal and fair).. This is that' 
covenant which our Lord commanded Ids Apostles / 
to declare and propound to all mankind ; Go ye, Mark xvi. 
said he to them, into the whole world, and preach 
the Gospel to every creature; that Gospel according 
to which, as it is expressed in St Luke, Repentance Lukeuiv. 
and remission of sins ought to be preached in his^ ' 
name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem; in 
respect to which, St Peter says, that God hath 
exalted our Lord to be a Prince and a Saviour, to Acta v. 31. 
grant repentance to Israel, and remission of sins; 
(to grant repentance, that is, as the Apostle to the 

312 The Doctrine of Universal Redem/ption 

SEBM. I Hebrews and Clemens Komanus speak^ y^eravola^ 
TOTTovy room for repentance, or capacity to receive 

jI'^^ j pardon upon repentance); concerning which cove- 
"pyoLvr. 3. j j^g^j^^ ^^^ Clemens, (the fellow-labourer of St Paul, 

and whom Clemens Alexandrinus* calleth an 
apostle,) in that excellent, admirable, and almost 
canonical Epistle to the Corinthians, which, as 
Eusebius" and Jerome" tell us, was anciently 
publicly read in most churches, hath these remark- 
ably ftdl and clear expressions; Let usy saith he, 
hoh steadfastly upon the blood of Christ, and let 
us see how precious to God his blood is, which being 
shed for our salvation^ did bring the grace of re- 
pentance to the whole world. Let us attentively re- 
gard all ages, and obsei^e that in every generation 
the Lord granted place of repentance to them who 
Heb.viii.6; would tum unto him°/ This is that new and better 
covenant, established upon better promises, (can- 
celling all former, exceptionable, imperfect, and 
ineffectual compacts, referring to man's interest and 
duty,) about which the Apostle to the Hebrews 
discourseth, and whereof he calleth our Lord the 
ix. 15; Mediator and Sponsor; in regard to which St Paul 
^'.22! calleth him the Mediator between God and man; 

3 Cor. ill. 6. I n 9 , , 

' [;0 oirdoToXoff KXi/fAi;^.— -Strom. IV. 17. 0pp. Tom. 11. p. 609.] 

" [Tovtov d!) odv rov KXiyftcyror SfioKoycvfuvrj fua arurroKij t^pcrat, 
fjLeyoKff T€ jcal Bavfiaaia . . . ravnjv dc jcai iv frXctWcur ttcKKfitrlait.-^ 
Euseb. Hist. Eccl. m. 16. Tom. i. p. 107.] 

^ [Scripsit ex persona Romance Ecclesiee ad Ecclesiam Corin- 
thiorum valde utilem Epistolam, quae et in nonnullis iocis publice 
legitur. — Catal. Script. Eccles. cap. xv.Opp. Tom. iv. p. ii. col. 107.] 
if' ^ *AT(via-iOfitv els r6 aifta rov Xpiarov, koi tbtafuv »s can rlfiiov ry 
©«^ alfJM avTOVf Sri dia rijv yfunpava »rripia» €Kxy$€P, vavrl r^ K6<r/i^ 
fitravoiaf xaptP vvnfvcyicci^. XrcviVooficv eU rhi ytvtas jcofras Kfii koto- 
fiABmfity Sri iv ycwa *cal yevtq, fitrapolas r&nov tdtoKCP 6 decmirrfs roig 
fiovXofievois iirtoTpaffirjvat en avr6v, — Clem, ad Corinth. Ep. I. cap. 
VII. [Cotel. Pat Apost Tom. i. p. 160.] 

asserted and explained. 313 

plainly declaring all men to have a concernment sebm. 
and interest therein; for this supposition he useth ^^' 
as an argument proving God's universal desire of 
man's conversion and salvation: Who would have iT^ni.ii.4, 
aU men to he saved^ and to come to the knowledge of 
the truth. For there is one God, and one Mediator 
between God and man, the mxm Christ Jesus^. By 
virtue of which covenant it is, that any such de- 
grees of love or fear toward God, such as men 
are capable of, are available, any righteous per- 
formances, such as our weakness can produce, are 
acceptable, any honest endeavours do receive coun- \ 
tenance and encouragement ; and that, as St Peter i 
observed, In every nation he that feareth God, and Acts x. 35. 
warketh righteousness, is accepted by him ; although 
his fear of God be not so intense or pure; his right- 
eousness not so exact and unblameable, as, accord- 
ing to extremity of law and duty, they should be. 
From which covenant so far is any man, according 
to God's intention and desire, from being excluded, 
that all men are seriously invited, vehemently 
exhorted, earnestly entreated to enter into it, and 
to partake the benefits exhibited thereby. Every 
man who feeleth himself to want those benefits, 
and is desirous of mercy and ease from the guilt 
and burden of his sins, may come and welcome. 
Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters ; isai. iv. i, 
so the evangelical Prophet proclaims : and, If any John vii. 
man thirsteth, let him come to me and drink, crieth Matt. xi. 
our Lord ; and. Come to me all ye that are weary ^^' 
and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Aedre 

^ Qao dicto, ostenditur nullum hominem secundum naturam 
esse pollntum ; sed cequaliter omnes ad Ghristi gratiam proTOcari. — 
Hier. ad Aug. [Epist lxxiy. 0pp. Tom. iv. p. ii, col. 620.] 

314 The Doctrine of Universal Redemption 

SERM. wavTCi, Come oU to me : all men therefore^ saitb 
L. Origen, who from the nature of sin do labour and 

are burdened^ are called to that rest^ which is with 
2 Cor. V. the Word of God^. And, In Chrises nam^y saith 
St Paul, we are ambassadors^ as though God by 
i^ entreateth : we pray you for Christ's sake^ be ye 
reconciled to God ; the purport of which embassy, 
together with its extent, he otherwhere thus ex- 

Actaxvii. presseth, Tapvv TrapayyiWei Tols avOpwiroK vciat 

irayrayov /lerayoelvj He now procUdmeth to all men 
everywhere that they should repent ; he consequently 
holds forth to aU the benefits annexed to repent- 
ance. But of this we spake formerly. 

4 Our Lord Jesus is the Saviour of allmen, 
as having purchased and procured for them com- 
petent aids, whereby they are enabled to perform 
the conditions required of them in order to their 
salvation ; to acquire a sufficient knowledge of their 
duty, to subdue their bad inclinations and lusts, 
to withstand temptations ; or briefly, whereby they 
are enabled sincerely to repent of their sins, and 
acceptably to perform their due obedience. The 
truth of this point, taking in the consideration of 
man's natural state, may by good consequence be 
inferred from the truths of the points foregoing. 
Eph. ii I. If men are naturally so dead in trespasses and sins', 
ium"vu?' so enslaved and sold under sin ; so very prone to 
Eph!^v. 8. ^^> ^^^ averse to good; so dark and blind, that 
aCor.iv.6. ti^^y canuot Well discern what they should do: so 

sPet. 1. 19, Till 

&c. corrupt and weak, that they cannot perform what 

^ IlavTtg o^ SpBp^tffoif dia Tfjy rrjg Afioftrlag ^vtnv Kont&wr€s ml 
irf4>ofm<rfUPOif koKovvtm inl n)y irapa r^ X&yij^ rov Otov avanawruf, — 
Grig, in Gels. Lib. lu. [p. 160.] 

' 'O lv\ rh aiaxp^ SKurBog avro^vovr d<r$tv€ias l/jyoy.— -Max. Tyr. 

DiBS. xxn. [Dies, xxxvin. p. 453. ed. Dayis.] 


asserted and eooplained. 316 

they know and confess to be good, (as St Paul serm. 

affirmeth men to be,) and consequently are of tbem — 

selves indisposed to perform the duties acceptable 
to God", and requisite by his appointment toward 
tiieir salvation, then, either our Lord hath provided 
for them a communication of grace sufficient to 
countervail or surmount that natural impotency, or 
aU his designs for their good are imperfect or in- 
consistent, (aiming at an end, without providing 
requisite means, or removing necessary obstruc- 
tions,) and his performances, whereby the fore- 
mentioned benefits were procured, do prove in- 
effectual and fruitless. For God being appeased, 
and become well-affected to man's salvation, divine 
justice being satisfied, the rigour of law bemg 
mitigated, repentance being made available, and 
an obedience, agreeable to man's fraUty, becoming 
acceptable, with aU other the immediate results of 
our Saviour's transactions for man, would signify 
nothing in regard to him who stiU Ueth under a 
necessity of sinning, or an inability of performing 
that which is indispensably exacted from him 
toward a complete ^oyu.Ji of tho» benefits «>d 
favours. In vain is the debt paid, and the bond 
cancelled, and the prison set open, and liberty pro- 
claimed, and the prisoner called forth, if he be not 
himself able to knock off the fetters which detain 
him, and there is no help afforded, by which he 
may do it. But our Lord hath surely laid his de- 
signs more advisedly, and hath prosecuted his work 
more perfectly. Wherefore we may suppose, that 

* Si DeuB Don operatur in nobis, nulliuB pOBSomns participes 
esse rirtutis. Sine hoc quippe bono nihil eat bonum, sine hac luoe 
nihil est lucidum, sine hac sapientia nihil sanam, sine hac justitia 
nihil rectum. — ^De Voc. Oent. i. 8. [inter Prosp. 0pp. col. 854 c] 

316 The Doctrine of Universal Redemption 

SERM. a competency of grace and spiritual assistance is 
J^- by virtue of our Saviour's performances reaUy im- 

parted to every man, qualifying him to do what 
God requires, and is ready to accept from him in 
order to his welfare; that our Saviour hath sent 
abroad his Holy Spirit, (that fountain of all true 
goodness^ of all spiritual Ught, strength^ and com- 
fort,) like the sun, to shine, to warm, to dispense 
benign influences over the world; although it 
shineth not so brightly and vigorously, and its 
presence is not so visible and sensible in one place 
as another; which Holy Spirit, as it is in its 
essence omnipresent, so it is likewise in its energy 
incessantly working (in reasonable measure, right 
manner, and fit season, as wisdom ordereth) upon 
the minds and affections of men, infiising good 
thoughts and motions*, impressing arguments and 
motives to good practice, cherishing and promoting 
good purposes, checking bad designs, restraining 
and reclaiming from bad courses. Our reason, 
however aided by exterior instniction and excite 
ment, being unable to deal with those mighty temp- 
tations, oppositions, and discouragements we are to 
encounter with, he hath given us a wise and power- 
ftd Spirit, to guide and advise us, to excite and 
encourage us, to relieve and succour us in all our 
religious practice and spiritual warfare. So that 
all deliverance from the prevalency of temptation 
and sin. we owe to his grace and assistance. That 
to these purposes the Holy Spirit is plentifiiUy con- 
ferred upon all the visible members of the Chris- 
Joel ii. 28. tian Church, we have plainly declared in Scripture ; 

Clem. Alex. [0pp. Strom, vn. Tom. n. p. 860.] 

asserted and explained. 817 

it was a promise concerning the evangelical times^ serm. 

that God would pour forth his Spirit upon all flesh ; ^ 

the collation thereof is a main part of the evan- J^r. xxxi. 
gelical covenant, (into a participation of which Ezek. xi. 
every Christian is admitted,) it being the finger of ^eb. vui. 
God, whereby God's law is impressed upon their "cor ui 3 
inwaxd parts, and engraven in their heaxte, (as the 
Prophets describe the effects of this covenant.) 
And the end of our Saviour's passion is by St Paul 
declared to be, That the blessing of Abraham might Gai.iii. 14. 
come unto the Gentiles, through Jesus Christ, that we 
might receive the promise of the Spirit by faith ; 
that is, that becoming Christians we might par- 
take thereof And the apostolical ministry (that 
is, preaching the Gospel, and dispensing the privi- 
leges thereof) is therefore styled, ^SiaKovia rod ttwJ- « Cor.ui.8. 
MOT09, The ministry of the Spirit And the tasting, 
of the heavenly gift, and partaking the Holy Ghost, 
is, according to the Apostle to the Hebrews, part 
of the character of a visible Christian, (such a 
Christian who might irapaweacTvy fall away, as he 
supposeth, and recrucify the Lord, and expose him 
to shame :) and St Peter makes reception of the 
Holy Ghost to be a concomitant or consequent of 
baptism ; Repent, saith he, and be baptized every ^^ »• s^ 
one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the re- 
mission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the 
Holy Ghost; for the promise (or that promise of the 
Spirit, which is called the Spirit of promise peculiar Eph. 1 13. 
to the Gospel) is unto you, and to your children, 
and to all that are afar off, even as many as the 
Lord our Grod shall call: (that is, the Holy Spirit 
is promised to all, how far distant soever in time or 
place, who shall be invited unto, and shall embrace 

31 8 The Doctrine of Universal Redem/ption 

SERM. Christianity;) and accordingly^ St Paul saith of 
ChristianSy that God according to his mercy hath 

' *"' ^' saved uSy by the laver of regeneration, and renewing 
I Cor. 111. of the Holy Ghost : and, Know ye not, saith he to 
the Corinthians, that ye are the temple of God; and 
that the Spirit of God dwelleth in youf (that is, do 
ye not understand this to be a common property 
and privilege of Christians, such as ye profess your- 
selves to be?) And the union of all Christians 
Eph.iv.4. into one body doth, according to St Paul, result 
from this one Spirit, as a common soul imparted 
to them all, inanimating and actuating the whole 
I Cor. xii. body, and every member thereof : for. By one 
Spirit we are all baptized into one body, whether 
Jews or Gentiles, whether bond or free, and have 
been all made to drink of one Spirit. And it hath 
been the doctrine constantly with general consent 
delivered in and by the Catholic Church, that to 
all persons, by the holy mystery of baptism duly 
initiated into Christianity, and admitted into the 
communion of Christ's body, the grace of the Holy 
Spirit is communicated, enabling them to perform 
the conditions of piety and virtue which they un- 
dertake; and continually watching over them for 
Eph.iv.30. accomplishment of those purposes; which Spirit 
J ^'^' they are admonished not to resist, to abuse, to 
PMI..11. 12, grieve^ to quench; but to use it well, and improve 
its grace to the working out their salvation. Thus 
much concerning the result of our Saviour's per- 
formances, in this kind, in respect to the commu- 
nity of Christians, we learn from the Holy Scripture 
and ecclesiastical tradition interpreting it ; whence 
we may discern, that the communications of grace 
do not always flow from any special love or absolute 

asserted and eayplained. 819 

decree concerning men, but do commonly proceed sekm. 

from the general kindness and mercy of God, — 

by our Lord procured for mankind; and conse- 
quently we may thence collect, that somewhat of 
this nature is to the same purpose, from the same 
source, and upon the same account, also granted 
and dispensed to others. Unto Christians, indeed, 
this great benefit (for the reward, the encourage- 
ment, the support of their fidth ; and for promoting 
their obedience, who are in a nearer capacity and 
more immediate tendency to salvation) is in a more 
plentiful measure, and a more conspicuous manner 
dispensed; but that, besides that dispensation, 
there have been other (not so plainly signified, or 
expressly promised, yet really imparted) communi- 
cations of grace, in virtue of our Saviour's merits, 
there are (beside the main reason alleged, inferring Eph. u. 8. 
it from our Lord's being the Saviour of aU men) ^e^^v. 
divers good inducements to believe. For evenJI;^^^ 
those Christians, to whom upon their faith the '7; 

, , ^ , ^ John XVI. 

Holy Spirit is promised and bestowed, are by pre- "• 
vious operations of God^s grace (opening theirs, 
minds, inclining their heart, and tempering their 
affections) induced to embrace Christianity, fidth 
itself being a gift of God, and a fruit of the Holy 
Spirit. And before our Saviour's coming, all good 
men have thereby been instructed and enabled to 
do well. And before any special revelation made, 
or any particular covenant enacted, (before the 
enclosure of a particular people or Church, the 
confinement of God's extraordinary presence and 
providence to one place,) divine grace appears 
diffused over several nations, being watchful in 
guiding and moving men to good, and withdrawing 

320 The Doctrine of Universal Redemption 

SERM. them from evil; neither is there reason why such 

1— an appropriation of special graces and blessings 

(upon special reasons) unto some should be con- 
ceived to limit or contract God's general favour, or 
to withdraw his ordinary graces from others". God 
Eph. ii. 4, surely ( Who is irXovaios ev eXcet, Wcfe in mercy; yea, 

hath Tov v'jrepfiaWovTa irXourov Trjs j^apiToy, excesSVOB 

riches ofgrctce) is not so poor or parsimonious, that 
being liberal to some should render him sparing 
toward others*; his grace is not like the sea, which 
if it overflow upon one shore, must therefore retire 
from another; if it grow deep in one place, must 

Mic. ii. 7. become shallower in another. Is the Spirit of the 

isai. 1. 2\ Lord straitened? it is a question in Micah; and, Is 
my hand shortened at aU, that it cannot redeem? is 
another question in Isaiah : No : The Lords hand 
is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor his ear 
heavy, that it cannot hear; at any time, in any 
place, he is no less able, no less ready than he ever 
'. was, to afford help to his poor creatures wherever 
I it is needful or opportune. As there was of old an 

Gen.xx. 3; Abimelech among the Philistines, whom God by 
special warning deterred from commission of sin ; a 
divine Melchisedec among the Canaanites; a dis- 

Exodxviii. crcct and honest Jethro in Midian; a very rehgious 

^ Ex quo perspicuum fit, Datura omnibus Dei inesse notitiam, 
nee quemquam sine Chiisto nasci, et non habere semina in se sa- 
pientiro, et justitiae, reliquarumque yirtutum. Unde multi absque 
fide et eyangelio Christi, yel sapienter faciunt aliqua, yel sancte ; &c. 
— Hier. in Galat. i. [0pp. Tom. iv. p. i, col. 233.] 

' Secundum scripturam credimus et pilssime oonfitemur, quod 
nunquam uniyersitati hominum diyinsD proyldentiee cura defuerit. 
Qus9 licet ezceptum sibi populum specialibus ad pietatem direx- 
erit institutis, nulli tamen nationi hominum bonitatis sun dona 
subtraxit, &c. — De Vocat. Gent. i. 5. [inter Prosp. 0pp. col. 
851 D.] 


asserted and explained. 321 

and virtuous Job in Arabia; who by complying serm. 
with God's grace, did evidence the communication -^^ 
thereof in several nations; so it is not imreasonable 
to suppose the like cause now, although we cannot 
by like attestation certify concerning the particular 
effects thereof We may at least discern and shew 
very conspicuous footsteps of divine grace, working 
in part, and producing no despicable fiiiits of moral 
virtue, (of justice and honesty, temperance and 
sobriety, benignity and boimty, courage and con- 
stancy in worthy enterprises, meekness, patience, 
modesty, prudence, and discretion, yea, of piety 
and devotion in some manner,) even among pa- 
gans', which if we do not allow to have been in all 
respects so complete, as to instate the persons en- 
dued with them, or practisers of them, in God's 
favour, or to bring them to salvation"; yet those 
qualities and actions (in degree, or in matter at 
leasts so good and so conformable to God's law) we 
can hardly deny to have been the gifts of God, 
and the effects of divine grace ; they at least them- 
selves acknowledged so much ; for. Nulla sine Deo 
Tnens bona est, No mind is good mthout God, said 

Seneca'; and, 6ei^ fJ^oiptjf. j^filv (paiverai irapayiyiofieyfi 

i; aperii^ oh vapayltferat. Virtue appears to proceed 

^ Yjoff iavrrip iiuccuov irorc koI 7 <f>iXoa'o<l>ia tovs '^E'XXrjpas,-^ 
Clem. Alex. [Strom, i. 0pp. Tom. i. p. 377.] 

QusBdam tamen facta yel legimus, yel novimus, yel andimus, 
qu8B Bocnndum Justitin regulam non solum vituperare non pos- 
BumiUy Bed etiam merito recteque laudamuB. — Aug. de Spin et 
Lit. cap. xxYn. [0pp. Tom. x. col. Ill b.] 

* Mortalem yitam honestare posBunt, eeternam conferre non 
pOBBunt. — ProBper con. Collat. [cap. xn. 0pp. col. 337 d.] 

* Sen. £p. Lxxm. [14.] 

Nemo yir magnuB Bine aliquo afflata divino unqnam fuit.— 
Cic. de Nat. Deorum, n. [66. 167.] 

B. S. VOL. IV. 21 

322 ITie DoctTVfie of Universal Redemption 
sjMf. Jrom a divine dispensation to them who partake ofit^ 

- said Socrates^ : and^ Ai ^ apurrcu yjfvyiji (pvaei^f afKpia- 
firtri^aifUH iv iie9opi<f ri}* cucpa^ aperij^ w/w riji' e<r)(aTYi¥ 
piOyBfiplav Ka9fopiuLurfA€vah ieorrai j^vvayfop'urTov Oeov kqI 
l^vWijtrropo^ r^s iirl Barepa to, KpeiTTm pairSj^ xal \eip€tr 

ywyla9 \ The best natured sovls being constituted in 
the middley between the highest virtvs and extreme 
wickedness, do need God to be their succourer and as- 
sistant in the inclining and leading them to the better 
side ; saith Maximus Tyri^ls^ St Austin himself^ 
who seems the least favourable in his judgment^ con- 
cerning their actions and state, who calls their vir- 
tuesbut images and shadows of virtue, {non veras, sed 
verisimiles,) splendid sins; acknowledges those vir- 
tuous dispositions and deeds to be the gifts of God*, 
to be laudable, to procure some reward, to avail so 
far, that they, because of them, shall receive a more 
tolerable and mild treatment from divine justice; 
which things considered, such persons do at least, 
by virtue of grace imparted to them, obtain some 
part of salvation, or an imperfect kind of salvation, 
which they owe to our Lord, and in regard whereto 
he may be called in a sort their Saviour. 

But although the torrent of natural pravi<y 
hath prevailed so far, as that we cannot assign or 
nominate any (among those who have lived out of 
the pale) who certainly or probably have obtained 

^ Plat. Menon [389 b.] 

^ Diss. zxii. [Diss, xxxvin. p. 453, ed. Dans.] 

^ Sed ad hoc eoi in die judioii cogitationes stue defendant, ut 
tolerabilins puniantur. Minns enim Fabricius quam Oatilina punie- 
tur,&o. — ^non verasTirtntee liabendo,8ed a yeris yirtutibus non pluri- 
mum deriando.— Aug. [con. Jul. Pelag. iv. 0pp. Tom. x.col. 598 a.b.] 

* Ipsius namque corporis—si qua bona— non sunt nisi ex Deo 
— quanto magis animi bona donare nullus alios potest — Id. [Ep. 
CXLV. 0pp. Tom. n. col. 468 f.] 

asserted and explained. 323 

salvation, yet doth it not follow thence, that a serm. 

sufficient grace was wanting to them. The most '— 

universal practice contrary to the intents of grace . 
doth not evince a defect of grace ; for we see that 
the same cause hath in a manner imiversally over- 
borne and defeated other means and methods de- 
signed and dispensed by God for the instruction 
and emendation of mankind. 

God's Spirit did long strive with the inhabit- Gen. vi. 3. 
ants of the old world : yet no more than one family 10.* * ^' 
was bettered or saved thereby. God by his good 
Spirit instructed the Israelites in the wilderness, Neh.ix.90. 
as Nehemiah saith ; yet no more than two persons 
did get into Canaan: that people afterward had 
afforded to them great advantages of knowledge 
and excitements to piety, (so that God intimates, 
that he could not have done more for them, in that Ibu. ▼. 4. 
regaard, than he had done.) Yet, There is none Pa. jdv. 
that understandethy or seeketh afier Ood, was a com- 
plaint in the best times. The pagans had the 
means of knowing God, as St Paul affirmeth, yet, 
generally. They grew vain in their imaginations, Bom.i.«i. 
and their foolish heart was darkened; from which 
like cases and examples we may infer, that divine 
grace might be really imparted, although no effect 
correspondent to its main design were produced. 
Neither, because we cannot allege any evident in- 
stances of persons converted or saved by virtue of 
this grace, (this parcior occvhiorque gratia^ more 
sparing and secret grace, as the good writer de Fo- 
catione. Gentium calls it',) are we forced to grant 

[' Adhibita enim gemper est uniTenis faominibos qusdain 
supernsD meiuura dootrinsB, quae etsi parcioris occultiorisque 
gratue fuit, sufficit tamen, sicnt Dominus judicavit, quibosdain 


324 The Doctrine of Universal Redemption 
8^-^M. there were none such; but as in Israel when Elias 

said, The children of Isrdd have forsaken God!s 
^x!^i%. covenant, thrown down his dUars, and slain his pro- 
phets with the sword; and /, / only am left; there 
were yet in Israel, living closely, Seven thousani 
knees, who had not bowed to Baal: so among the 
generations of men, commonly overgrown with igno- 
rance and impiety, there might, for all that we can 
know, be divers persons indiscernible to common 
view, who, by complying with the influences of 
God's grace, have obtained competently to know 
God, and to reverence him; sincerely to love good- 
ness, and hate wickedness; with an honest heart, 
to observe" the laws of reason and righteousness, 
in such a manner and degree which God might 
accept ; so that the grace afforded might not only 
Sfujfficere omnibus in testimonium, (suffice to convince 
aU men,) but quibusdam in revnedium, (to correct 
and cure some,) as that writer de Vocatione Gen- 
tium speaks'. The consideration of God^s nature 
and providence doth serve further to persuade the 
Pt. cxiy. 9. truth of this assertion. If God be rich in mercy 
and bounty toward all his creatures, as such, (and 
such he frequently asserts himself to be,) if he be 
all-present and all-provident, as he certainly is, how 
can we conceive him to stand as an unconcerned 
spectator of what men do, in affiiirs of this conse- 
quence? that he should be present beholding men 
to run precipitantly into desperate mischiefs and 
miscarriages, without offering to stay or obstruct 
them ; struggling with their vices and follies, with- 

ad remedium, omnibus ad teBiimonium. Lib. n. 15. inter Prosp. 
Opp. ool. 901 E.] 
« Tb\d. 

asserted and explained. 326 

out aflfording them any relief or furtherance; as- sebm. 

saulted by strong temptations, without yielding any '- — 

support or succour; panting after rest and ease, 
without vouchsafing some guidance and assistance 
toward the obtaimng them ? How can he see men 
invincibly erring and inevitably sinning, without 
making good what the Psalmist says of him : Good pb. xxv. 8. 
and upright is the Lord, therefore mil he teach sin- 
ners in the way; to withhold his grace in such 
cases seemeth inconsistent with the kind and com- 
passionate nature of God, especially such as now it 
stands, being reconciled to mankind by the Medior i Tim. ii.5. 
tor of God and meuy Christ Jesus. He also, that 
is so bountiful and indulgent toward all men in 
regard to their bodies and temporal state; TFi^o Pb. cUi 4; 
jpreserveth their life from destruction, who protecteth 
them continually jBrom danger and mischief; Who c^^- "^; 
openeth his hand, and satisfieth the desires of every 
living thing; Who satisfieth the longing sotd, and cfy^ 9- 
^ftteth the hungry soul with goodness; Who, as St Paul ^^ 
speaketh, ^/i22e^ 7aefn!s hearts with food and gladness; 
is it likely that he should altogether neglect their 
spiritual welfare, and leave their souls utterly de- 
stitute of all sustenance or comfort ; that he should 
suffer them to lie fatally exposed to eternal death 
and ruin, without ofiFering any means of redresa or 
recovery? To conceive so of God seemed very 
unreasonable even to a pagan philosopher : Do you 
think, saith Maximus Tyrius, that divination, poetry, 
and such like things, are by divine inspiration insi- 
nuated into men's souls, and that virtue (so much 
better, and so much rarer a thing) is the work of 
moral artf You have forsooth a worthy conceit of 
God, who take him to he liberal in bestowing m^ean 

Acts xiv. 

826 The Doctrine of Universal Redemptuyn 

8ERM. things, and sparing of better things^. He tiiat, as 

— St Paul saith, giveth to aU men life^ breath, and all 

Ada xm fj^yj^^^ ^^ }^q withhold from any that best of gifts, 

and most worthy of him to give, that grace whereby 
he may be able to serve him^ to praise him, to 
glorify him, yea, to please and gratify him; to save 
a creature and subject of his ; the thing wherein he so 
ziv. T7; much deUghteth? From hence also, that God hath 
B^Y'io- vouchsafed general testunonies of his goodness, in- 
^- '5* ducements to seek him, footsteps whereby he may 
be discovered and known, a light of reason and law 
of nature written upon men's hearts ; attended with 
satisfactions, and checks of conscience ; so many dis- 
positions to knowledge and obedience, as St Paul 
teacheth us ; we may collect that he is not deficient 
in communicating interior assistances, promoting 
the good use and improvement of those talents; 
for that otherwise the bestowing them is frustra- 
neous and useless ; being able to produce no good 
effect ; yea, it rather is an argument of unkindness, 
being apt only to produce an ill effect in those upon 
whom it is conferred ; an aggravation of sin, an ao 
cumulation of guilt and wrath upon them. 

If it be said, that having such grace is inconsis- 
tent with the want of an explicit knowledge of 
Christ, and of faith in him ; why may not we say*, 
that as probably most good people before our Lord's 

Xfi'lo'fi^iaSf ^XXifjSdiyv SsravTo, ovk &v uwois dvra^ia thmi rfjs operas' 
tlra cVctva /xcy i/y^ Bti^ rufl cfrtyotg ^x^cr ap6p«9nipais avoKpufaa^cut 
TO de Tovrnv aircan^T€poVf n)y dptr^v^ ^PT^^ c&oc rc;^r OwifT^f. 
*H iroXXov li(io9 wofuCtts r6 Buo¥, vp6s /ih n& <f>avka Kok&t ical difMimg 
iraptaxtvao'fitpoVf irp6s dc rit Kptirr^ cKtropoy.'— Diss. XXII. [DiflS. 
xxxvin. p. 461. Ed. Davis.] 

' So St Ohrysostom. Vid. Montacut. Apparat. ad Origin Eocles. 
App. I. [pp. 30, 36.] 

asserted and explained. 827 

coming received grace mthout any goch knowledge berm. 
or £sdth ; that as, to idiots and iji£Eints, our Saviour's 

meritorious performances are applied, (in a manner 
imknowable by us,) without so much as a capacity 
to know or believe any thing; so we (to whom 
God's judgments are inscrutable, and his ways un- ^™- *^- 
investigable) know not how grace may be commu- 
nicated untp, and Christ's merits may avail for 
other ignomnt persons? in respect to whom we 
may apply that of St John ; The light shineth in John i. 5. 
darkness, a/nd the darkness comprehended it not. 
However, that such persons may have a grace 
capadfying them to arrive to that knowledge and 
&ith, to which fiiller communications of grace are 
promised ; so that in reasonable esteem (as we shall 
presently shew) the revelation of evangelical truth, 
and the gift of faith, may be supposed to be con- > 
ferred upon all men — so that we may apply to them 
that in the Bevelation^ ; Behold, I stand at the Bay, vim. 
door and knock; if any man wHl hear my voice, 
and open the door, I iviU come in unto hvm, and sup 
with him, and he wiih me; (that is. Behold, I allure 
eveiy man to the knowledge and embracing of 
Christianity ; if any man wiU open his mind and 
heart, so as to comply with my solicitations, I am 
ready to bestow upon him the participation of evan- 
gelical mercies and blessings :) and to such persons 
those promises and rules in the Gospel may apper- 
tain; He thai asheth receiveth; he that seeketiiLiike id. 
Jindeth; to him that knocketh it shall he opened: "^' '^' 
The hea/venly Father wiU give the Holy Spirit to 
them that ask him: He that is ev cXaj^io-ry Trio-TOffxix. 17. 
{faithful in the use of the least grace) shall be 

* E2 rvifikoi {re, ot/K &y ^^X*^^ ofMiprcoy.— John iz. 41 ; ZY. 22. 

328 Ths Doctrine of Universal Redemption 

SEBM. rewarded : and. To him that hath (or that diligently 
— keepeth and husbandeth what he hath) shaU more 

Luke xix. , 

«6. be given. 

And how God sometimes dealeth with such 
persons the eminent instances of St Paul and Cor- 
nelius do shew. But concering this point I spake 
somewhat before, and have perhaps been too large 
now; I shall only add that saying of the' wise 
writer de Vocatione Gentiv/m. A pious mindy saith 
he, should not, I ihinky he troubled at that question, 
which is mode concerning the conversion of all, or 
not aU men ; if we will not obscure those iMngs which 
are cleanr, by those things which are secret; and 
while we wantonly insist upon things shut up, we he 
not excluded from those which are open and plain^. 
Which in effect is the same with this; that since 
we are plainly taught, that our Lord is the Saviour 
of all men ; and it is consequent thence, that he 
hath procured grace sufficiently capacifying all men 
to obtain salvation ; we need not perplex the busi- 
ness or obscure so apparent a truth, by debating 
how that grace is imparted; or by labouring 
overmuch in reconciling the dispensation thereof 
with other dispensations of Providence. But 

5 Jesus is the Saviour of all men, as the con- 
ductor of all men into and through the way of 
salvation. It is a veiy proper title, and most due 
to those brave captains, who by their wisdom and 

' Puto quod piu8 sensus non debeat Id ea qaeesiione turban, 
qusB de omnium et non omnium hominum conyeraione generatur ; 
si ea quae clara sunt, non de his quae occulta sunt, obscuremus, et 
dum procaciter insistimus clausis, ezoludamurab apertiSy &c. — ^Lib. 
I. 9. [inter Prosp. 0pp. col. 857 b.] 

asserted and explained. 329 

valour have freed their country from straits and sebm« 

oppressions. So were those judges and princes 

who anciently delivered Israel from their enemies 
commonly styled : In the time of their trovhUf say Neh. ix. 
the Levites in Nehemiah, when they cried unto 
thee, thou heardest them from heaven ; and, accord- 
ing to thy manifold mercies, thou go/vest them 
saviours, who saved them out of the hand of the 
enemy; so are Othniel and Ehud particularly called, Judg.iii.9, 
and Moses signally : The sa/me, saith St Stephen Acts tU. 

of him, did God send to he apyovra #cai Xvrpwrriv, 

a Commander and a Sa/viour (or Redeemer) to the 
children of Israel ; for that he by a worthy and 
happy conduct did free them from the Egyptian 
slavery. And thus was Demetrius by the Athe- 
Bians (for his deUvering them from the Maoedoniaai 
subjection, and restoiing their liberty to them) 
entitled, evepyirtj^ xal aartjp, a benefactor and 
saviour. Thus yitiigreatest reaaon-is Jesus so 
called, as being o ap^ifyoi Ttj^ awrriplas^ the Captain Heb. u. 10. 
of salvation, (so he is called by the Apostle to the 
Hebrews); o apxnyo^ r^s ^ft>5«, (the Captain oflife^ Acta m. 15. 
as St Peter names him, the chief Leader unto 
eternal life); o t5$ wiarew^ o,pyfiyo^9 {the Coptom Heb. xu. «. 
of our fdith ; he that hath revealed that saving 
doctrine, which is the power of God to salvation) : RomJ. 16. 
and these titles we have conjoined by St Peter 
in the Acts; Him hath God exaUed, apyrjyov /cai 
(fwTfipay as a Captain and a Saviour, to give re- 
pentance unto Israel, and remission of sins. This 
he is to us several ways, by direction both in- 
structive and exemplary; by his protection and 
governance ; by his mating and quelling the enemies 
of man's salvation ; which things more specially and 

330 The Doctrine of Universal Redemption 

8ERM. completely he hath performed in respect to faithful 
'— Christians, yet in a manner also he hath truly done 

them for and toward all men ; as we shall distinctly 

6 Jesus is the Saviour of all men, we say, as 
haying perfectly discovered and de monstrated the . 
i way and means of salvation ; the gracious purposes 
of God concerning it ; the duties required by God 
in order to it ; the great helps and encouragements 
to seek it ; the mighty determents from neglecting 
it ; the whole will of God, and concermnent of man 
in relation thereto; briefly, all saving truths he 

Ooi. i. 26. liath revealed unto all men : mysteries of truth, 

95. which were hidden from ages and generations, 

which no fancy of man could invent, no under* 
standing could reach, no reason could by discussion 
clear, (concerning the nature, providence, will, and 
purpose of God; the nature, original, and state of 
man; concerning the laws and rules of practice, 
the helps thereto, the rewards thereof, whatever is 
important for us to know in order to happiness,) 
he did plainly discover, and bring to light ; he did 
with valid sorts of demonstration assert and con- 
firm. The doing which, (as having so much efficacy 
toward salvation, and being ordinarily so necessary 
thereto,) is often called saving ; as particularly by 

James t. St Jamos ; when he saith. He that turns a sinner 
from ike error of his way shaU save a sovl from 

iTinLiT. death. And by St Paul; Take heed to thy word 

1 Cor. ix. ^^ doctrine ; for so doing thou shaU save thyself 
luim. xi. ^^ ^y ^^^^5- That our Lord hath thus (accord- 

2 Tim iii ^^ ^ ^ design, and according to reasonable 
15. esteem) saved all men, we are authorized by the 

Holy Scripture to say ; for he is there represented 

asserted and explained. 831 

to be The light of the world; The true light that sekm 


enlighteneth every man coming into the world : 
The day-spring from on high, which hath visited tis, i«;l^?' 
to give light to them that sit in darkness and tJie^^^^'''^' 
shadow of death, and to guide our feet in the way 
of peace. By him The saving grace of Ood hath im, il h; 
appeared unto aU men. By him (as Isaiah pro- ^xim. i. 
phesied; and St John the Baptist applied it) AU "\ ... 
flefh did see the sahaiion of God. Of him it was 
also foretold^ as St Paid teacheth us, I have setAatovH 
thee for the light of the nations, that thou shouldest 
he for salvation unto the ends of the earth. Coming Eph. u. 17. 
Jie preached peax>e T0I5 fiaKfjov xal toI« 6^^*^ (J^onge 
lateque) to them that were far, and to them that were 
near^ that is, to all men every where. While I a/m john «. 5. 
in the world, said he, I a/m the light of the world ; 
shining, like the sun, indifferently unto all; and 
when he withdrew his corporal presence, he fiirther 
virtually diffused his light, for he sent his messen- 
trers with a preneral commission and command, to 
teach aU ral concerning tixe benefite procured for 
them, and the duties required from them ; Going Matt. 
into the world, make aU nations disciples, teaching "J^* '^' 
them to observe aU that I commanded you. Going Mark xvi. 
into the world, preach the Gospel unto every creature, '*' 
(or, to the whole creation : so it ought to be.) That Lukezziy. 
in his name should be preached repentance and^^' 
remission of sins unto all nations. And such was 
the tenor of the Apostolical commission; Thou a^^b vji, 
shaU be untnessfor him toward aU men, said Ana- ]^ ^^ 
nias to St Paul. Accordingly, in compliance with 
those orders, did the Apostles, in God's name, 
instruct and admonish all men, plainly teaching, 
seriously inviting to, strongly persuading, and 

332 The Doctrine of Universal Redemption 

s^MC earnestly entreating all men to embrace the truth, 

and enjoy the 'benefits of the Gk)spel, and conse- 

ActszYii quently to be saved : Uie times of ignorance, saith 
^^' St Paul, God having winked at, doth now invite all men even/ where to repent: and, We are amhas- 
sadors for Christ ; (W though Grod did beseech you 
by us, we pray you in ChrisCs stead, be reconciled 
to God — We pray yoUy you as members of that 
world which God was in Christ reconciling to him- 
Coi. u«8; self: and, We preach Christ — warning every 
man, and teaching every man in all wisdom, that 
we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus, 
(or, render every man a good Christian,) Thus 
was the Gospel, according to our Saviour's intent 
i. «3. and order, preached, as St Paul saith of it, iv iratTYi 
Tfi KTiaei tJ} viro top ovpavov, in the whole creation 
I Tim. ii 4. Under heaven ; thus did God shew, that He would 
have all men to be saved, and to come to the know- 
ledge of the truth ; whence our Lord (in regard to 
the nature and design of his performance in this 
John i. 18. kind) is the common Saviour, as the common 
master of truth, and enlightener of the world, and 
proclaimer of God's will to mankind. 

If now it be inquired or objected ; Why then is 
not the Gospel revealed unto all men ? How comes 
it to pass, that no sound of this saving word, no 
glimpse of this heavenly light, doth arrive to many 
nations ? How can so general and large intention 
consist with so particular and sparing execution? 
What benefit can we imagine them capable to re- 
ceive from this performance of our Saviour, who 
Luke i. 79. still do sit in total ignorance of the Gospel, In 
16. darkness, and the shadow of death? How can they 

^'^'^^' call upon him in whom they believe notf And 

asserted and explained. 333 

how can they believe in him of whom they have not ®^^- 

To this suggestion I answer, 

I That Grod's intentions are not to be inter- 
preted, nor his performances estimated by events, 
depening on the contingency of human actions! 
but by his own declarations and precepts, together 
with the ordinary provision of competent means, 
in their own nature sufficient to produce those 
effects which he declares himself to intend or to 
perform. What he reveals himself to design, he 
doth really design it; what he says, that he per- 
formeth; he (according to moral esteem, that is, so 
far as to groimd duties of gratitude and honour, 
proceedings of justice and reward) doth perform, 
although the thing upon other accounts be not 

Thus, for instance, God would have all men to 
live together here in peace, in order, in health, 
conveniently, comfortably, cheerfully ; according to 
reason, with virtue and justice; and in the best 
state toward happiness : for these purposes he hath 
endued them with reasonable faculties, he hath en- 
graven on their minds a natural law, he hath fur- 
nished them with aU sorts of instruments and helps 
conducible to those ends; he promoteth them by 
dispensations of providence, and, probably, by in- 
ternal influences of grace : yet often all those means, 
by the perverseness and stupidity of men, do prove 
ineffectual, so that wars, disorders, diseases, vices, 
iniquities and oppressions, troubles and miseries, 
do commonly abound in the world. Likewise God 
desires, that in his Church, knowledge and piety, 
peace and charity and good order should grow 

334 The Doctrine of Universal Redemption 

SBMf . and flourish ; to which purposes he hath appointed 

teachers to instruct, and governors to watch over 

his people : he hath obliged each man to advise and 
admonish his brother ; he hath declared holy pre- 
cepts and rules of practice; he hath propounded 
vast encouragements and rewards, and threatened 
dreadful punishments; he hath promised and doth 
afford requisite assistances; being himself always 
present and ready to promote those ends by his 
grace; yet notwithstanding, by the voluntary neg- 
lect or abuse of these means, (the guides being 
blind, negligent, unfaithful; or the people being 
indocile, sluggish, refractory; or both perverted 
with bad affections,) often ignorance, error, and 
impieiy prevail, love is cool and dead, schisms and 
factions are rife in the Church. Which events are 
not to be conceived derogatory to God's good-will 
and good intentions, or to his kind and carefrd 
providence toward men ; but we are notwithstand- 
ing to esteem and acknowledge him the author and 
donor of those good things; m respect to them no 
less blessing and praising him, than if they were 
really accomplished by man's concurrence and com- 
pW; he Lving done his part in that due mea. 
sure and manner which wisdom prompts ; having 
indeed done the same, as when they are effected. 
So Gk)d having expressly declared, that he would 
have all men to know and embrace the Gospel, 
having made a universal promtJgation thereof hav- 
ing sent forth Apostles to disseminate it every 
where, having obliged every man to confer his best 
endeavour toward the propagation thereof; if by 
the want of fidelity, zeal, or industry in them, to 
whom this care is intrusted, or upon whom this 

asserted and eocplained. 336 

duty is incumbent; or if by tbe carelessness and serm. 

stupidity of those^ who do not regard what is done - 

in the world; or if by men's voluntary shutting 
their eyes, or stopping their ears, (as the Jews did 
of old to the prophetical instructions and admo- 
nitions,) God's heavenly truth becometh not uni- 
versally known^ it is not reasonable to impute this 
defeilance to God, or to conceive him therefore not 
universally to desire and design men's instruction 
and salvation consequent thereon. Let me, for the 
illustration of this matter, put a case, or propound 
a similitude. Suppose a great kingdom, consisting 
of several provinL, shodd hav! revolted from 
their sovereign ; disclaiming his authority, neglect- 
ing and disobeying his laws; that the good prince, 
out of his goodness and pity toward them, (and 
upon other good considerations movmg him thereto, 
suppose the mediation of his own son,) instead of 
prosecuting them with deserved vengeance, should 
grant a general pardon and amnesty, in these terms, 
or upon these conditions; that whoever of those 
rebels willingly should come m, acknowledge his 
fault, and promise future loyalty, or obedience to 
his laws declared to them, should be received into 
favour, have impunity, enjoy protection, and obtain 
rewards from him. Further, for the eflfectuatmg . 
this gracious intent, suppose that he should appoint 
and commissionato messengers, empowering and 
charging them to divulge the purport of this act of 
grace to aU the people of that kingdom. Admit 
now, that these messengers should go forth and 
seat themselves only in some provinces of that 
kingdom, proclaiming this universal pardon (xmi- 
versal as to the design, and as to the tenor thereof) 

336 The Doctrine of Universal Redemption 


SB^. only in those, neglecting others ; or that striving to 

'— propagate it further, they should be rejected and 

repelled; or that from any the like cause the 
knowledge thereof should not reach to some re- 
moter provinces ; it is plain^ that indeed the effect 
of that pardon would be obstructed by such a 
carriage of the affidr; but the tenor of that act 
would not thereby be altered ; nor would the failure 
in execution (consequent upon the ministers' or 
the people's misbehaviour) detract from the real 
amplitude of the prince's intent ; no more, than the 
wilftd incredulity, refusal, or non-compliance of some 
persons, where the business is promulged and 
notified, would prejudice the same. It is plain the 
prince meant favourably toward all, and provided 
carefully for them; although by accident (not im- 
putable to him) the designed favours and benefits 
do not reach all. The case so plainly suits our 
purpose, that I need not make any application. 
The holy Fathers dp by several like similitudes 
endeavour to illustrate this matter, and somewhat 
to assoil the difficulty. They compare our Saviour 
to the sun", who shines indifferently to all the 
world, although there be some private comers and 
secret caves, to which his light doth not come; 
although some shut their windows or their eyes, 
and exclude it; although some are blind, and do 
not see it. That mystical Sun of Righteousness, 
saith St Ambrose, is risen to all, came to ally did 

* ^Axovtrart oZv ol fuuepav, aKowrare ol iyyvs' ovk dir€Kpvfirf rufiig 6 
A6yos. <^«s tan Koivhv^ (irikdfiir€i iractp 6>fBp»frois' ovdtU KififUptot cv 
A<^. — Clem. Alex. Cohort, ad Gent. [0pp. Tom. i. p. 71. — Hear 
y€ that are far; hear ye that are near : the Ward it not hid to any: 
it is a common light : it shineth to all men; there i$ no Oimmerian in 
the Word. 

asserted and explained. 337 

suffer and rose again for aU — but if any one doth seem. 

not believe in Christ, he defravds himself of the - 

general benefit. As if one shutting the umdows 
should exclude the bea/ms of the sun, the sum is 
not iher^ore not risen to oK". They compare our 
Lord to a physician"*, who professes to relieve and 
cure all that shall have recourse to his help ; but 
doth cure only those who seek for remedy, and are 
willing to take the medicine ; because all, saith St 
Ambrose^ again, do not desire cure, but most do 
shun it» lest the ulcer should smart by medica- 
ments; therefore Volentes curat, non adstinngit i 
invitos ; He cures only the mlling, doth not compel \ 
those thai are unwilling ; they only receive health, 
who desire medicine. EvangeUcal grace, say they, 
is like a fountain standing openly, to which all men 
have free access; at which all men may quench 
their thirst, if they will inquire afber it, and go 
thereto. The fountain of life, saith Amobius, is 
open to all; nor is any man hindered or driven 

" Mysticus Sol ille justitise omnibus ortus est, omnibus venit, 
omnibus passus est, et omnibus resurrexit. — Si quis autem non 
credit in Christum, general! beneficio se fraudat; ut si quis 
clausis fenestris radios solis excludat, non ideo sol non ortus est 
omnibus, &c. — ^In Psal. cxyiii. Serm. vin. [0pp. Tom. i. col. 
1077 c] 

Si dies omnibus sequaliter nascitur, et si sol super omnes pari 
et sequali luce difPunditur, quanto magis Cbristus Sol et dies verus, 
in Ecclesia sua lumen yitie setemse pari sequalitate largitur. — Gjpr. 


^ Nunquid medicus non idcirco proponit in publico, ut omnes se 
ostendat Telle salrare, si tamen ab segris requiratur ? Non est enim 
Tera salus, si nolenti tribuatur.— Ambr. in 1 Tim. ii. Com, [0pp. 
Tora.n. (App.) col. 202 E.] 

^ Venit — ^ut rulnera nostra curaret Sod quia non omnes medi- 
cinam expetunt, sed plerique refugiunt, ne medicamentis compun- 
gatur Tis ulceris, ideo yolentes curat, non adstringit inyitos. — 
de interp. David. Lib. it. cap. n. [0pp. Tom. i. col. 663 e.] 

B. S. VOL. IV. 22 

338 The Doctrine of Universal Redemption 

SERM. Jrom the right of drinking it\ The covenant of 

— grace is, say they, a door standing open to all, 

whereinto all have liberty to enter — When an en- 
trance, saith St Chrysostom, being opened to aU, 
and there being nothing that hinders, some being 
wilfvlly naught abide without, they have no other 
but their own wickedness to impute their destruction 

St Gregory Nazianzen resembles the grace of 
baptism (as to its conmiunity and freedom of use) 
to the breathing of the air, to the spreading of 
light, to the vicissitude of seasons, to the aspect of 
tihe creation'; things most obvious and common 
to all. 

If this answer do not fully satisfy, I adjoin 

2 That God, beside that ordinary provision, is 

I ready to interpose extmordinarily in disclosing his. 

' trutii to them who are worthy of such favour, and 

fit to receive it; and that God's general desire and 

^ Patet omnibus fons vitie, neque ab jure potandi qnisqaani 
prohibetur, aut pellitur. — Amob. Lib. n. 

' 'Orav rfjf cio-^ov muruf dyc^ficyi^r, jcal /Lu^dofir tov jrooXvovrof 
irrot, tSfXoKaKovPTtg ruftt ?f » fupwriy vap ott^va rrcpoF, aXX* $ mpa 
T^v oUfiav novrjpiav ofrdXXvmu yu&ww, — Gbrys. in Job. Horn. vm. 
[0pp. Tom. n p. 687.] 

£{ <l>ttri{€i trayra IMptmop ipx6p€Pov tig r&F xScfMOVt v£t offMirurroi 
fitfitv^Katri roerovroi ; av yap d^ iravm tirtytwaay roO Xpforov r6 vtfias. 
ir^ff olv <^o»r/f(i irapra ap3pwirovi r&yt th avr6p tJKov. tl dt rufts ixApTtg 
TOV£ jijt dtapoiaf Aff)Bakftov£ pvaayrtgy oix TfO«kri<rap irapadt^atrBai rov 
ffxoT6t TovTOv rhg dxThas, ol naph t^p tov <l>»T6t {jiwrip i; a-KAraais 
€K€lpois, oKKii iraph r^y KOKovpyiop tAp ixoprX airofrrtpovPTvp iavrovs 

Trj£ dtfpcac. i; ptp yap x^P^^ ^^^ iravrar €KK€xyrai vapr»t di 

6fiol»t trpoa-itfuprff Koi ftcr^ r^r uni£ KaKovaa rtfajs. ol bf ov«e c^cXovrrv 
atrokavaru Trjg d»p€at ravn/r, tavroU dUaioi ravrrfp ^p tltp Xcyitraa-Bai 
rffp irTipao-ip. — Id. Tbid. 

' *Qt OMpot irptvctp, Koi fpwr6t XV^"'* "^^^ tip^p aXXayav, xai rrcVcor 
$€ap, — Greg. Na«. Orat. xl. [0pp. Tom. i. p. 696 c] 

asserted and explained. 339 

desknEi of revealing his truth to all men is very well serm. 

consistent with his providential (not only negative '— 

and permissive, but even positive and active) with- 
holding the discovery thereof from some persons, 
yea, some nations; for that neither his wisdom, 
goodness, or justice might permit him, that he 
should impart that revelation to such persons whom 
he seeth altogether indisposed to comply therewith, 
and unfit to profit thereby ; who have extremely 
abused the lesser graces, and not improved or mis- 
improved the lesser talents afforded them ; detained 
inferior truths m unrighteousness, and have, 
liked to retain God in their knowledge, have there- 
fore justly been delivered up to a reprobate sense ; 
who have so depraved their minds with wicked 
prejudices and affections, that the truth being 
offered to them, they would certainly either stupidly 
neglect it, or scomfiilly reject it; or, if admitting it 
in show, would unworthily abuse it ; so that from 
the imparting the means of knowing it, no glory to 
God, no benefit to man would accrue, but rather 
contempt of God and prejudice to men would en- 
sue upon it : there are some persons of that wicked 
and gigantic disposition, (contracted by evil prao- Ibw. xxx. 
tice,) that, should one offer to mstruct them in '^' "' 
truth, or move them to piety, would be ready to 
say with Polyphemus in Homer, 

'Off fi€ Beovs KcXcoi ^ dcid/ftfv, ff oXf aer^oi . 

Friend, you are a fool, or a great stranger to 
me, who advisest me to fear or regard the Deity. 
Or (which is the same) with Pharaoh : Who is the Bxod. ▼. «. 
LoTxl, that I should obey his voice f I know not the 

* [OdysB. IX. 273.] 


340 The Doctrine of Universal Redemption 
SERM. Lord, neither wiU I let Israel go, (or neither will I 


do as you in Grod's name admonish me ;) who, like 

Prov. i. that unhappy prince, by no efficacy of arguments, 

^^' ^5- no wonders of power are to be convinced of their 

folly, or converted from their wickedness: some, 

Lukex.13. like those of Chorazin and Bethsaida, whom not 

all the powerful discourses spoken to them, all the 

mighty works done in them, sufficient to have 

brought Tyre and Sidon to repentance, can induce 

to mind or obey the truth: imto which sort of 

people (except upon some particular occasions, and 

for special reasons) it is not expedient that divine 

truth should be exposed. We may also observe 

how our Lord being asked by St Jude a question 

John xiv. like to ours ; Lord^ how is it that thou wiU Tnanifest 

thyself unto us, and not to the world f thus resolves 

\i\ If a man lave me, he will keep my words; and 

my Father will love him, and we will come unto 

him, and make our abode with him : impljdng the 

ordinary reason of God's making a diflference in 

• the discoveries of himself to be, the previous dis- 

position and behaviours of men toward God ; and 

interpretatively toward our Lord himself 

That God doth commonly observe this method 

(plainly suitable to divine justice, wisdom, and 

goodness) to dispense the revelation of his truth 

.according to men's disposition to receive it^jind 

Mau.iii.8. aptucss to make a fruitful and worthy use of it, to 

\^'' ^' bring forth fruits worthy of repentance, as St John 

Baptist spake ; and to withhold it from those who 

are indisposed to admit it, or unfit to profit by it ; 

we may from divers express passages and notable 

instances (beside many probable intimations) of 

Scripture learn. We may on the one hand observe, 

i. i i TB m^ ^^ - ■» B. - » jK ^^TT i ' jy^ : , .:». .jtf 

asserted and explained. 341 

that those whom our Saviour did choose to calL serm. 
were persons disposed easily upon his call to com- 

ply; to forsake their fathers and their nets; toJJ*****^' 
leave their receipts of custom; to relinquish all, ^^*^ ^* *'♦' 
(relations, occupations, estates,) and to follow him ; Ma<*- ^^ 
faithM Israelites without guile, like Nathaniel, Joim i. 47. 
(that is, as is probably conjectured, St Bartholo- g, 9.^ ^^' 
mew;) men honestly devout, and charitable, like^^**"*' 
Zaccheus ; that he chose to converse with publicans ?jj*^y ' 
and sinners, men apt to be convinced of their 
errors, and touched with the sense of their sins; 
apt to see their need of mercy and grace, and 
therefore ready to entertain the overtures of them ; 
that he blesses God for revealing his mysteries to 
babes, (to innocent and well-meaning, imprejudicate Matt. xi. 
and uncorrupted persons,) such as if men were not, '*' 
they could in nowise enter into the kingdom of ^7"^ 3; 
heaven, or become Christians ; those poor in spirit, ▼• 3. 
of whom is the kingdom of heaven ; those foolish » Co^^. »• 
things which God chooses as most fit objects of his 
mercy and grace ; that he enjoined his disciples in 
their travels for the promulgation and propagation 
of the Gospel, to inquire concerning the worUiiness 
or fitness of persons, and accordingly to make more 
close applications to them: Into what city or village Matt.z.11. 
ye enter, inquire who titer ein is worthy ; and enter- 
ing in abide there. Of this proceeding we have 
a notable instance in Cornelius, who for his honest Actex. i,«. 
piety (correspondent to the proportion of know- ' 
ledge vouchsafed him) was so acceptable to God, 
that in regard thereto he obtained from him the 
revelation of truth in a peculiar and extraordinary 
manner. And St Paul was another most remark- 
able example thereof; who for the like reason was 

342 The Doctrine of Universal Redemption 

SERM. so wonderAiIly called^ as himself intimates, de- 
scribing himself to have been ^tiKtorii^ to5 Geo?, 

^°*""^"' zealously affected toward God; according to the 

PhiLiii6. righteousness in the law, blameless; one that had 

Actsuiii. continually behaved himself with all good con- 
science toward God; who even in the persecution 

xxvi 9. of God's truth did proceed with an honest meaning 

Gal. i. 14. and according to his conscience, for which cause he 
saith, that God had mercy on him ; foreseeing how 
willingly he would embrace the truth, and how 
earnestly promote it. We may also observe, how 
in the Acts of the Apostles the Holy Spirit com- 
monly directed the Apostles to such places, where 
a competent number of people were well disposed 

Luke ix. to receive the truth ; who were etOeroi eU tiJf /3a<ri- 
Xelav Tov Oeov, weU disposed to the kingdom of heaven, 

Acts xiu. and consequently by God's foresight, rerayfieyoi ek 
^(oiyV aiwyiov, ordained to have the word of eternal 

xxviii. 28; Ufe (the TO Gwrripiov tov 06o5, as it is in a parallel 
place called) discovered to them : such people as the 

zYii. 11; Bereans, men ingenuous and tractable; who con- 
sequently entertained the word, iicTa ird(rm irpoOvyia^, 
witJi all promptitude and alacrity. To such per- 
sons God sometimes by extraordinary revelation 
directed the Apostles to preax^h; as to the Corin- 
thians, in respect to whom the Lord spake to St 

xviii.9, 10; Paul in a vision, saying. Fear not, hut speak, and he 

not silent ; for I am with thee, hecause Xooy 6<rri iioi 

'jro\v9, there is for ms much people in this city ; 

' much people whom I see disposed to comply with 

xvi. 9. my truth. So in behalf of the Macedonians, 'Avijp 
T«s Maxe^wv, A certain rnan of Ma>cedonia, was in a 
vision seen to St Paul, exhorting him and saying. 
Passing into Macedonia, help us. Thus on that 

cLsserted and explained. 343 

hand doth God take special care that his truth be ^f^- 

manifested to such as are fitly qualified to embrace - 

it and use it well : thus is God ready to make good 
that answer of Pothinus (bishop of Lyons, and im- 
mediate successor to St Irenseus) to the prefect, 
who asking him, Who vkis the Christians' God, was 
answered, ff thou be w orthy, thou shak know"'} thus, 
as the Wise Man divinely saith. The divine Wisdom, Wad. vi. 

d^iovi airrj^ ireptip'^eTcu ^tirovaa, goeth ohout seeking 

such as are worthy of her ; sheweth hersdf favour- 
able unto them in their ways, and meeteth tiiem in 
every thought. 

And on the other hand, that God withholds the 
special discoveries of his truth, upon account of 
men's indispositions and demerits, may likewise 
very plainly appear. We may suppose our Lord 
to have observed himself what he ordered to his 
disciples ; Not to give that which is holy to dogs. Matt. tu. 
nor to cast their pearls before swine, (not to expose ' 
the holy and precious truth to very lewd and fierce 
people, who would snarl at it and trample upon it :) 
we may allow God in his dispensation of his truth 
and grace to do what he bids the Apostles to do : 
before he enters into any house, or applies himself 
to any person, to examine whether the house or 
person be worthy, that is, willing to receive him, x. n; 
and apt to treat him well ; if not, to decline them. 
Our Lord, we see, did leave even his own country, xUi. 57, 
seeing men there were not disposed to use him 
with due honour and regard; seeing they were 
possessed with vain prejudices, apt to obstruct the 
efiScacy of his divine instructions and miraculous 

f^' iav^i^un^ yvwtrfi. — Euseb. Eccl. Hist. v. i. Tom. i. p. 204.] 

344 The Doctrine of Universal Redemption 

SEBM. performances; so that he was not likely (according 
'— to the ordinary way of divine providence) to pro- 

duce any considerable effect towards their con- 
Matt, xiii version. He could not, it is said, do mcmy Trdrades 
^ ' \ there because of their unbelief; he could jiot, that 
is, according to the most just and wise rules he did 
, observe, he would not do them ; because he per- 
ceived the doing them would not conduce to any 
good purpose ; that they were not apt to look upon 
those works as the effects of divine power and 
goodness, performed for their benefit, (for inducing 
them to faith and repentance,) but rather that the 
doing them would expose God's mercy to contempt 
or reproach, at least to neglect or disregard. Hence 
our Saviour declined conversing with persons in- 
I Cor. ii. disposed to (those ^vytKoY^ who cannot Ux^frOcu to 
'^' Tov TTi/eiJ/uaTos) receive benefit by his instruction 

and example; to grow wiser or better by his 
Matt.xxi. conversation; as the Pharisees and Scribes; men 
^'" prepossessed with corrupt opinions and vicious af- 

fections, obstructive to the belief of his doctrine and 
observance of his laws ; and worldly persons ; proud 
and self-conceited, crafty and deceitful, covetous, 
ambitious, and worldly men, incorrigibly tinc- 
Kom.viii. turcd with that (f>p6vrifia t^s <rapK09, camal wisdom 
James iy. and affectiou; which is enmity to God; So that it 
I'john ii. ^ ^^* subject to the law of God, nor can be ; inex- 
'^- tricably engaged in the friendship of the world, 

which is enmity to God : to such men the Gospd 
I Cor. i. would certainly be a scandal or a folly : they would 
never be able to relish or digest the doctrine of 
purity, self-denial, patience, and the like doctrines 
opposite to carnal sense and conceit, which it 
25* ' **' teacheth. From such wise and prudent men (con- 

asserted and explained. 345 

ceited of their little wisdoms, and doting upon serm. 

their own fancies) God did conceal those heavenly — 

mysteries, which they would have despised and 
derided: those Many wise according to the flesh, iCor.i.36. 
many powerfvl, many nohley God did not choose to *™^ "' ^' 
call into his Church. Accordingly we may observe 
in the history of the Apostles, that God's Spirit 
did prohibit the Apostles passing through some 
places, it discerning how unsuccessful (at those 
seasons, in those circumstances, according to those 
dispositions of men) their preaching would be: 
Passing throitgh Phrygia a^id OakUia, being hinr acUxyIS, 
dered by the Spirit to speak the word in Asia ; ^' 
coming to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia, 
but the Spirit suffered them not Moreover there 
is plainly the like reason why God should with- 
hold his saving truth from some people, as why he 
should withdraw it from others, when it is abused 
or proves fruitless: but of such withdrawing we 
have many plain instances, attended with the 
declaration of the reasons of them : our Lord pro- 
phesied thus concerning the Jews; / say unto you, Matt. xxi. 
that the kingdom of God shall be taken from yov^ ^^'' 
and shall be given to a nation doing the fruits 
thereof; they, when our Saviour would have ga- 
thered them under his wings, wilfully refusing. 
Our Lord charged his disciples, when by any they 
were repulsed or neglected in their preaching, to 
leave those persons and places, shaking off the x. 14. 
dust from their feet, in token of an utter (eiy *"'^', 
Mctpripiov ew avrwi) detestation and desertion of 
them: and accordingly we see them practising in 
their acts; when they perceived men perversely Acts xjii. 
contradictious, or desperately senseless and stupid, 

346 The Doctrine of Universal Redemption 

^lk'* so that they clamoured against the Grospel, and 

thrust it from them, they abstained from ftirther 

dealing with them, turning their endeavours other- 
where, toward persons of a more docile and in- 
genuous temper; thence more susceptive of faith 
Acts ziiL and repentance : To you^ say Paul and Barnabas to 
ixviu. 26. th^© contradicting and reproachful Jews, it vxis 
necessary that the word of God should first have 
been spoken ; hut seeing you put it from you, {or 
thrust it away from you, dirwOelaOe avroy,) and 
judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, we turn 
Rev. ii. 5. to the GentHes, So when the Church of Ephesus 
was grown cold in charity, and deficient in good 
works, God threatens to remove her candlestick; 
or to withdraw from her that light of truth, which 
John iii. shouc with SO little beneficial influence. It seems 
'^' evident that God for the like reasons may withhold 

the discovery of his truth, or forbear to interpose 
his providence, so as to transmit light thither, 
where men's deeds are so evil that they will love 
darkness rather than light ; where their eyes are so 
dim and weak, that the light will but offend, and 
by the having it, hurt them ; where they, by the 
having it declared to them, will only incur ftirther 
mischief and misery; it would prove to them but 
a Cor. ii. 16. 6(TfjLij Oavdrov, a deadly scenty as the most comfort- 
able perftmies are offensive sometimes and noxious 
to distempered bodies*. Wherefore, as where the 
light doth shine most clearly, it is men's voluntary 
• pravity, that by it many are not effectually brought 

to salvation; so it is men's voluntary depraving 

^ Kal yap rag is (<paa\) t6 fivpov irviyti, — ChiTB. [verbatim. 
*Eff€i jicat ras ts tA fivpov Xtytrai nviydV' — in 2 Cor. Orat. v. 0pp. 
Tom. III. p. 676.] 

asserted and explained, 347 

and corrupting themselves, (misusing their natural serm. 

light, choking the seeds of natural ingenuity, '— 

thwarting God's secret whispers and motions, com- 
plying with the suggestions of the wicked one,) so 
as to be rendered immeet for the susception of 
God's heavenly truth and grace, which hinders 
God (who proceedeth ordinarily with men, in sweet 
and reasonable methods, not in way of impetuous 
violence and coaction) from dispensing them: we 
may say of such in the words of the Prophet, They !««. ixvi. 
have chosen their own waySy and their soul delighteth ^' 
in their ahominations. Your iniquities have turned 
away these things, and your sins have vrithholden 

good things Jrom you. Tfj eavTou ayaOoTtin iraaiv 6 Jer. V. ^5. 
Kupios ^yyil^ei* fiaKpvvojuiev oe eavTov^ iJmcTs oia Trjs 

a/Aafyria9, God doth by his goodness approach to all, 
hut we set oursehes at distance by sin, saith St 

Sasil^; and, ''Oiroi; avrotrpoaiperoi irovvipia^ €K€i xai 

dwoxn Ttj^ x^P^'^^f Where there is sdf<^hosen or 
affected wickedness, there is a withholding of gra/^e, 
saith another Father'. The Gospel, if it be hidden, ^Cor.iv.a; 
tt ts, as St Paul says, hidden, iv toIs airoXkujULeuots^ 
in viris perditis, among lost men, (that is, men 
desperately gone in wickedness, incorrigible, un- 
reclaimable people,) in whom the God of this world w. 4. 
(that is, as St Chrysostom expoimds it, not the 
Devil, but the good God himself) hath blinded the 
minds of them which believe not, so that the light of 
the glorious Gospel hath not shined to them. Tlik 
oup irvipXwa^v ; How then did God blind them f (saith 

St Chrysostom*) ovk evepyijaa^ ei$ touto' airaye* 

y Bas. in Pa. zxxiii. [0pp. Tom. L p. 155 a.] 

' [Manes] apud Cyrill. Hier. [Catech. vi. 0pp. p. 105 b.] 

■ [In, 2 Cor. Orat. vin. 0pp. Tom. m. p. 5M.] 

348 The Doctrine of Universal Redemption 

SERM. not by any efficacy of his upon them toward that; 
Jle on that ; aXX' aipeU koi avyxf^pw^^i, hiU by pcT^ 

mission and concession ; koI ydp eOos r^ ypa<p^ oirw 
Xiyeivjfor SO the Scripture is wont to speak; iiretSd^ 

ydp avTol ^viaTipTav irpwroij xai ava^lov^ eavrou^ Kare^ 
aK€vaaap rod ic€iv rd /uLVCTiipwi., Kai at/ro; Xoifrw eiaaev* 
dXXa Ti e^( iroiija'ai ; Trpi^ fiiav ehji^iv^ koi exKaXvirreiP 
fuL^ (iov\o/JLevoi9 io€iv\ dXXd ftaXkov aw KaT€<f>po¥ffaaVf 

Kal oiS dp el^ois Seeing, saith he, they disbelieved 

Jirst, and constituted themselves unworthy to see the 

mysteries, even God at hxst let them alone ; for what 

should he have done ? Should he have draum them 

violently y and discovered it to them being unwilling 

to see? They would then have more despised it, 

and not have seen it, God is ever willing and 

ready to dispense his mercies and favours, but he 

is not wont to do it extraordinarily, (or beside the 

Luke xix. course of his ordinary provision,) but in a proper and fit season, (in that naipo^ evwpoaSeKTo^, a^ccept^ 

II. '*"^* able time and day of salvation, when he seeth 

men capable of receiving them**;) which season 

commonly dependeth upon man's will and choice, 

or the results of them. Somj/o ydp ianv' oij(l rw 

fjiiv, t£v c oiJ. wpo9 oiy ocrov ewiTticetoTriTO^ CKaaTos 
elxeuy Tt]v eavTov ^liveifiev eicpyeatav. For (saith 

Clemens Alexandrinus in his 7th of the Stromata, 
where he clearly and fully affirms our present 
doctrine) our Lord is not the Saviour of som^ and 
not of others : but, according as men are fitly dis- 
posed, he hath distributed his beneficence to oK*. 

KaOSKov yap 6 0«is otdcy tovs t« dfiovs t»v dyaB&p Kal fjuj. oBtv 
ra 7rpo(ri]KOVTa tKaarroit didoxrcy. — Clcm. Aloz. Strom, vm. [0pp. 
Tom. n. p. 866.] 

^ [Tom. II. p. 832.] 

asserted and explained. 349 

St Augustine himself somewhere speaketh no less ; serm. 

or rather more : Prcecedit aliquid in peccatoribus, — 

saith he, quo, quamvis nondum sint justificatiy digni 
effidantur justijicatione : et idem prcBcedit in aliis 
peccatoribus quo digni sint ohtusione\ But, 

3 If all these considerations do not thoroughly 
satisfy us concerning the reason of God's proceed- 
ings in this case, we may consider that God's pro- \ 
vidence is inscrutable and impenetrable to us ; that, 
according to the Psalmist, as God's mercy is in tJie Psai. 
JieavenSf and his faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds; ™^*' ^* 
so his righteousness is like the great mountains, (too / 
high for our reason to dimb,) and his judgments, \ 
a(iv<r<To9 iroWtj, a great abyss, too deep for our ' 
feeble understanding to fathom ; that his ways are 
more subtle and spiritual than to be traced by our 
dim and gross sight. So upon contemplation of a ; 
like case, although, as it seems, hardly so obscure 
or unaccountable as this, the case concerning God's 
conditional rejection of that people, whom he in a 
special manner had so much and so long favoured, 
St Paul himself doth profess. That therefore Rom. xi. 
although we cannot fully resolve the difficulty, we ^^' 
notwithstanding without distrust should adhere to 
those positive and plain declarations, whereby God 
representeth himself seriously designing and ear- 
nestly desiring. That all men should come to tAe «!*«*•>"• 9- 
knowledge of the truth ; that none should perish, hut 
that all should come to repentance; not doubting 
but his declared mind, and his secret Providence, 
although we cannot thoroughly discern or explain 
their consistency, do yet really and folly conspire. 
But no further at this time. 

* Qmest. LXTHi. [0pp. Tom. vi. cd. 64 c] 



I Tim. IV. lo. 

The living God ; who is the Saviour of all men, 
especially of those thcU believe. 

^^- 7 AS our Saviour was such to aU men by his 

XX doctrine, or the general discovery of all saving 

^j * trutli; so may he be esteemed such in regard to 
' his exemplary practice; whereby upon the open 
' stage of ^e world, and in the common view of all 
that would attend unto him, he did represent a 
living pattern of all goodness ; by imitati ng whi gh^ 
we may certainly attain salvation. He that will 
consider his practice shall find it admirably fitted 
for general instruction and imitation; calculated 
for all places and all sorts of people; suited to the 
complexions, to the capacities, to the degrees, to 
the callings of all men ; so that every sort of men 
may from it draw profitable direction, may in it 
find a copy, even of his particular behaviour: for 
he waa a great Prince, iUustrious in birth, excel- 
lent in glory, and abounding in all wealth; yet 
was bom in obscurity, lived without pomp, and 
seemed to possess nothing; so teaching men of 
high rank to be sober, mild, and humble; not to 
rest in, not to regard much, not to hug and ding 

The Doctrine of Universal Redemption^ &c. 351 

to the accommodations and shows of worldly state ; sebm. 

teaching those of mean degree to be patient, con- 1— 

tent^ and cheerful in their station. He was ex- 
ceedingly wise and knowing, without bound or 
measure ; yet made no ostentation of extraordinary 
knowledge, of sharp wit, of deep subtlety ; did not 
vent high, dark, or intricate notions; had in his 
practice no reaches and windings of craft or policy ; 
but was in his doctrine very plain and intelligible, 
in his practice very open and clear ; so that what 
he commonly said or did, not only philosophers and 
statesmen, but almost the simplest idiots might 
easily comprehend; so that those might thence 
learn not to be conceited of their superfluous wis- 
dom; these not to be discouraged in their harmless 
ignorance; both having thence an equaUy sufficient 
instruction in all true righteousness, a complete 
direction in the paths to happiness, being thereby 
ao<pi}[ofi€yoi eh awTtipiav, made wise and learned to ^ "i^- ui- 
sdhation. He did not immerse himself in the 
cares, nor engage himself into the businesses of 
this world; yet did not withdraw himself from the 
company and conversation of men : he retired often ^ 
from the crowd^ that he might converse with God 
and heavenly things ; he put himself into it, that 
he might impart good to men, and benefit the 
world, declining no sort of society; but in- 
differently conversing with all ; disputing with the 
doctors, and eating with the publicans; whence 
thereby both men of contemplative and quiet dis- 
positions or vocations, and men of busy spirits, or 
of active lives, may be guided respectively ; those 
not to be morose, supercilious, rigid, contemptuous 
toward other men ; these not to be so possessed or 

352 The Doctrine of Universal Redemption 

SERM. entangled with the world, as not to reserve some 

'— leisure for the culture of their minds, not to employ 

some care upon the duty of piety and devotion ; 
both may learn, whether in private retirements, or 
in public conversation and employment, especially 
to regard the service of God and the benefit of 
men: thus was the example of our Lord accom- 
modated for all men; especially conducting them 
in the hardest and roughest parts of the way lead- 
ing to bliss, the acclivities and asperities of duty ; 
seLT-denial, or neglect of worldly glory and fleshly 
pleasure, patience, humility, general charity ; shew- 
ing us the possibiUty of performing such duties, 
and encouraging us thereto. Through these difficult 
and dangerous passages (as a resolute chieftain of 
Act8m.i5. lifcy apxnyo9 ^o^^f,) he undauntedly marched before 
us, charging, beating back, and breaking through 
all opposite forces, all enemies, all temptations, all 
obstacles; enduring painfully the most furious 
assaults of the world; boldly withstanding and 
happily conquering the most malicious rage of 
hell; so that victory and salvation we shall be 
certain of, if we pursue his steps, and do not basely 
(out of faintness or &lsehood) desert so good a 
leader; we shall not fail of the unfading crown*, 
I Pet. ii. if, Wi^ patience we run the race thai is set before 
Heb.xiL^. t«, looking unto the Captain and Perfecter of our 
^'^' faith, Jesus, who, for the joy proposed unto him, 
endured the cross, despised the shame, and hath 
sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 
Would it not raise and inflame any courage to see 
his commander to adventure so boldly upon all 

• Til* afkapavrivov rfji h6(^i (rri<f>avov. — 1 Pet. r, 4. 
Toi' oTc^yor rfjs (»ffs, — James i. 12; Rer. ii. 10. 

asserted and explained. 863 

hazards^ to endure so willingly all hardships? serm. 

Whom would not the sight of such a forerunner — 

{irpoipofxo^) animate and quicken in his course; who, ^®^* ^"' 
by running in the straight way of righteousness 
with alacrity and constancy, hath obtained himself 
a most glorious crown, and holdeth forth another 
like thereto, for the reward of those who follow 
him ? Now as our Lord's doctrine, so did his ex- 
ample, in the nature and design thereof, respect and 
appertain to all men, it being also like the light 
of heaven, a common spectacle, a public guide. To Luke i. 79. 
guide our steps into the way of peace: if it do not 
appear so, if it do not effectually direct all, it is by 
accident and beside God's intention; it is by the 
fault of them who should propound it, or of them 
who have not eyes fit or worthy to behold it; 
briefly, what waa said concerning the universal 
revelation of Christian doctrine may be applied to 
Christ's practice. 

8 Jesus is the Saviour of all men, as having ) , .v 
combated and vanquished all the enemies of man's . " " 
W &re and happi ness; dispossessing them ofaU .. 
their pretences and usurpations over man, disarm- 
ing them of all their power and force against hiTn ; 
enabling us to withstand and overcome them. 
Man's salvation hath many adversaries of different 
nature and kind ; some directly oppugning it, some 
formally prejudicing it, some accidentally impeding 
it; some alluring, some forcing, some discouraging 
from it, or from the means conducing to it: the 
chief of them we may from the Scripture (with 
consent of experience) reckon to be tiie Devil, with ; /, 
all his envy and malice, his usurpations, his delu- 
sions, and his temptations to sin; the world, with 

B. S. VOL. IV. 23 

354 The Doctrine of Universal Redemption 

SERM. its snares and baits, its violences, persecutions, and 
-^ meuaoes; the. fle^ or naW cin^piscencT^th 

its bad inclinations and propensities to evil, its 
lusts and pleasures; sin, with its guilty and mis- 
chievous consequences; the law^ with its rigorous 
exactions^ hard measure^ and harsh boding; con- 
science^ with its accusations and complaints^ its 
terrors and anguishes; Divine anger^ with its 
effects, death and helL All these our Lord hath 
in several and suitable ways defeated^; as to their 
malignity, contrariety, or enmity in respect of 
Luke i. 71, mau's salvatiou; He hcUh, as Zachariah prophesieth 
^^' in his Benedictus, saved us from our enemies, and 

from the hands of aU that hate us : so thai being 
delivered out of the hands of our enemies, we might 
safely and securely, a<f>6^, without danger or fear, 
serve him, in holiness and righteousness before him 
aU the days of our life. 
Mattxiii The Devil, (that enemy, that adversary, that 
Lukexi. ^ocuser, that slanderer, that murderer, that greedy 
i^Pet V.8 ^^^' *^* crafty serpent, the strong one, the mis- 
B«T. xii. 3, chievous one, the destroyer,) who usurped an au- 
Ac'ts z. 38. thority and exercised a domination over mankind, 
14.*^ "* as the prince of this world; who made prize of 
^^^'.^'them, captivated them at his pleasure; who de- 
x^.^i'.^^' **^^^ them under the power (or authority) of 
Eph. u.«; darkness and wickedness; who had the power of 
1 Cor. iy. 4. death; him our Saviour hath destroyed or de- 

Oolofifl i 

13. ' ' feated, {Karnpyntrev, as the Apostle to the Hebrews 
^^^^ speaketh; that is, aboUshed him as to any further 
.Tim. ii! pretence of empire or power over us ;) him he hath 
LiOw'^ 18 ^®j®^*^ itom heaven, (/ saw Satan like lightning 

*0 Xpurrbt ovd^y rrjs liiag iroirf<r€eds vpou'KaT€ktv9 rf Sipxom rov 
it6afi€VTovrov. — Athan.con. Apoll. Lib. i. [0pp. Tom. i. p. 935 b.] 

asserted and explained. 855 

faUing down from heaven ;) him he hath cast out : sebm. 
Now is the jvdgment of this worlds now shall the 

prince of this world he cast out: all his worits hejij^viVi. 
hath dissolved: For this carise, saith St John, the i johnui. 
Son of God did a^)pear, that fie might dissolve the 
works of the Devil. He combated this strong one, Matt. zu. 
(this mighty and dreadful foe of ours,) and baffled ''• 
him, and bound him, and disarmed him, (taking 
away Ttjv irapoirXiav avrovy the whole anuour in Luke ». 
which he trusted,) and spoiled him, (ra (tkcvij Siiip- Matt xh. 
wxwre, rifled aU his haggagCy bare away all his in- *^' 
straments of mischief,) and plundered all his house ; 
leaving him unable (without our fault, our base- 
ness, our negligence) to do us mischief, (as is 
intimated in the 12th of St Matthew and nth of 


St Luke ;) yea, he triumphed over aU those in- CoIobb. il 
femal principaUties and powers, and exposed them, '^• 
as St Paul saith: he imparted to his disciples Luke z. 19. 
ability to trample upon all his power : by him all 
his followers are so fortified as to conquer the 
wicked one, as St John says : he affordeth light i john u. 
to discover all his wiles and snares, strength and ^ph. vi. 
courage to withstand all his assaults, to repel all "^^^ .. 
his fiery darts, to put him to flight. 1^-^ ^. 

The world also (that is, the wicked principles, lo- 
the bad customs, the naughty conversation and ex- EpK w. ^• 
ample which commonly prevaU here among men, }Les iv. 
alluring to evil and deterring from good ; the cares ^' 
also, the riches, the pleasures, the glories of the 
world, which possess or distract the minds, satiate 
and cloy the desires, employ all the affections and 
endeavours, take up the time of men; all in the 
world which faateneth our hearts to earthy and to 
these low transitory things ; or which sinketh them 


366 The Doctrine of Universal Redemption 

SERM. down toward hell; and which detaineth them from 

'- — soaring toward heaven) is an enemy, an irrecon- 

cileable enemy to our salvation; the friendship 
thereof being inconsistent with a friendship in us 
toward the God of our salvation ; or in him toward 
Jame8iv.4. US I for, The friendship of the world is enmity with 
I John u. Ood ; and, If any man love the worlds the friend- 
^^' ship of the Fatfier is not in him. And this enemy 

our Lord hath vanquished, and enabled us to over- 
John xvi. come : Be of good courage, saith he, I have overcome 
^^' the world : he, by a constant self-denial and temper- 

ance, defeated the bewitching pleasures and flatter- 
ing glories of it; he, by an immoveable patience, 
baffled the terrible frowns and outrageous violences 
of it ; he, by a resolute and invincible maintenance 
of truth, in great measure routed and dissipated 
the errors and oppositions thereof; he, by a general 
and intense charity, surmounted the provocations, 
envies, and enmities thereof; he did it himself for 
us, and he also enabled us to do it; furnishing us 
with sufficient strength, and fit weapons, whereby 
we may combat and conquer it ; may sustain and 
repel its force ; may shun and elude its baits ; for, 
I John V. Every one that (by faith in him) is horn of Ood 
doth overcome the world: and this is the victory 
that overcometh ihe world, even ourfai^. Who is he 
thai overcometh ihe world, hut he who hdieveth that 
Jesus is the Son of God f In all these things (that 
is, in whatever concerns the world and its enmity : 
Eom. viiL Trihulotion, or distress, or persecution, or famine, 
35, 37, 38, ^ nakedness, or peril, or sword,) We a/re, saith St 
« Cor. ii. Paul, more than conquerors through him that loved 
Phil. i. 38. y^ . Thanks he to God, which always causeth u>s to 

^^Or« Zt« _r^-m 4 -m- 

57. triumph in Christ : our Lord hath procured for us 

>oA. -..m^ A . ^. .-**^f Z^^S^S^^tBBSBXt 

asserted and ea^lained. 357 

hopes that will raise our minds and affections serm. 
above the world ; objects employing our care and L_ 

endeavour far beyond it; satisfactions that will 
cheer our hearts^ and satiate our desires without 
it; comforts that will support and sustain our 
spirits against all the terrors^ all the assaults^ all 
the evils thereof; by his means it is, that we have 
no reason either to love it, or to fear it, or to value 
it^ or to be concerned about it ; but to contemn it \ 
as j, thing unworthy of us and below us. ' 

The flesh also (that is, all that within us of oai. v. 34. 
bodUy temper, or natural constitution, which in- 
clineth and swayeth us to vicious excess in sensual 
enjoyments ; which disposeth us to the inordinate 
love of ourselves, and of other creatures ; which , oor. u. 
lusts against the spirit, and is adversary thereto ; ^^^ ^^ 
which blindeth and darkeneth our minds in the 41- 
apprehension of our judgment concerning divine 
things; which perverteth and disableth (enfeebleth) ^"l^.^' 
our wills in the choice and prosecution of what is i""~ ^• 
good; which discomposeth and disordereth the 
affections and passions of our soul; which con- 
tinually enticeth and seduceth us to sin) is also 
an enemy; a very powerftd, very treacherous, very 
dangerous, and very mischievous enemy to us and 
our welfare; rendering us enemies to God, (for, 
The ca/mdl mind is enmity against God : for it is Rom. via. 
not subject to the law of Ood, neither indeed can Jj. 
be, being another law in our msmbers, warring 
against the law of our mind, and captivating us to 
the law of sin ;) engendering and fostering those 
Fleshly lusts, which wa/r against the soul ; whose » p®'- "• 
works and fruits are all sorts of intemperance, im- Gai. y. 19. 
purity, pride, envy, contentiousness: this capital coiuTsf' 

358 The Doctrine of Universal Redemption 

BEBM. enemy of ours, our Lord did in his own person 
!_ first subdue^ rejecting all the suggestions and 

thwarting the impulses thereof; entirely submit- 
Lukexxii. ting to, and performing the will of Grod; even in 
Mattxxvi. willingly drinking that cup, which was so distaste- 
Joim xvii. ^> ^ grievous to natural will and fleshly desire. 
^^^ J. ^^ He so conquered the flesh in himself for us; he 
also conquers it in us, by the guidance and assist- 
ance of his grace enabling us to withstand it, and 
Rom. viii. to ovcrcomo it. The law of the spirit of life in 
'■ Christ JesuSy saith St Paul, hathjreed mejrom the 

a Cor. iv. law of Sin and death. He infiises a light discuss- 
tcor. u. ing those fogs which stream from carnal sense and 
I johnii. appetite; SO that we may clearly discern divine 
!?• truths, the will of Gk)d, the way to happiness : he 

BSm.^xu.' inserteth principles of spiritual Ufe and strength, 
r.oHn V. counterpoising L oveilaying corporeal and ^^ 
Phil ii i^t- ^i^ propensions; so that we can restrain sensual 
'' desires, L compose irregular passions, and submit 
readily to God's will, and observe cheerftdly God's 
law, and freely comply with the dictates of the 
Spirit, or of right reason; he so continually aideth, 
iv. 13. encourageth, and upholds us, that we can do all 
Heby*^?' ^i^gs through Christ that strengtheneth us; so 
Gal. T. 14. *^* ^y ^® power and help, the flesh with its affec- 
CoioM. iii. tions and lusts are crucified : the earthl v members 
Eph.iv.«2. are mortified; The old Tnan, which was corrupted 
iji; ' * ' according to deceitful lusts, is put off; The body of 
Heb.m. I. ^^ w SO destroyed^ that henceforth we should not 
serve sin; Si7i doth not reign in our mortal bodies, 
Bph. iv. so that we (must) obey it in the lusts thereof; We 
c^ioM. m ^^^ renewed in the spirit of our minds; and do put 
lo- on the new mxin, which is created according to God 

in righteousness and true holiness. 

asserted aind explained. 359 

Our sins also axe very grievous enemies of ours*, sbrm. 
loading us with hea^y guflt, stinging us with bitter -^^ 
remorse and anxious fear^ keeping us under miser- 
able bondage^ exposing us to extreme mischief and 
misery; them our Lord hath also routed and van- 
quished: in regard to this performance was the 
name Jesus assigned to him; as the angel told 
Joseph : She shall bear a soUy amd thou shaU caU his BCatt. i.3i. 
7uxme, Jesus; for he shall save his people from their \^^ ** 
sins : from their sins; taking in all the causes and 
the consequences of them; from all those spiritual 
enemies which draw us or drive us into them; 
from the guilt and obnoxiousness to punishment, 
the terror and anguish of conscience, the wrath 
and displeasure of Grod following upon them, the 
slavery under their dominion, the final condem- 
nation and sufferance of grievous pains for them^; 
the guilt of sin he particularly fr^ed us from : for 
He loved tis, and toashed us from our sins in his Bey. l 5. 
own blood. Christ died for sinners, (for us then ' '*''^' 
being sinners,) that is, that he might deUver us 
from our sins, with all their causes, adjuncts, and 
consequences : He bare our sins in his own body u. 34 ; 
on the tree ; The blood of Christ cleanseth us from 
all sin; He is the propitiation for our sins, anrfi John 1.7; 

ii 1 * ill K ' 

for the sins of the whole world ; He was manifested iv. 10. 
to take away our sins ; Once in the end of the world b^i^lU, 
hath he appeared to put away sin (ei9 aOirtiaiw 
asiaprias, to the abolition of sin) by the sacrifice of 

^ Tlp6t lifv dfjMprlaw iSmrnyttMfi^ftcvoc.— Heb. xii. 4. 

^ 'O Xpurr6tf 6 vUf nov 0cov, 6 Kvpios i}fu»yy rf y^pti rehf ofSpwrmw 
dia rw Idfcov ir<S^ovff irXi;p€(rran;y dircdoAJcc ri}y aanipiaifj um okay n&r 
avBpwrow rair dfiofyrUas iytx^t*^^^^ iraarjs ofiaprUis IkevOtfmiro.'-^ 

Damas. Epist. apud Theodor. Eccl. Hist. t. 10. [0pp. Tom. lu. 
p. 719 B.] 

360 The Doctrine of Universal Redemption 
SERM. himsdf; We a/re justified freely by GocPs grace, 


■ th/rough the redemption thai is in Christ Jesus; By 

^^,^jg, his obedience many are constituted righteous, (or 

Bom. iv. 5, free from the guilt and imputation of sin;) He 

' ^' justifies the ungodly ; covering their sins, and not 

imputing them unto them. So doth he wipe away 

the guilt of sin; and he voids the condemnation 

vui. 1,34; passed for them; for, There is no condemnation to 

them that are in Christ Jesus: Who is there Oiat 

can condemn^ since Christ hath died, or rather haih 

risen again? 

He hath also appeased God's wrath for sin, and 

removed the effects of it, (the pimishment and 

vengeance due to sin and threatened for it :) so 

V. 10, 1, that. Being enemies we are reconciled to God hy 

the death of his Son ; Being justified by faith, we 

have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus 

I Theaa. L Christ : Jesus is he who ddivereth us (o pvofiet^in) 

Rom. T. 9;from the wrath to come ; Being justified by his 

bloody we shall be saved by him from wrath. 

The strength and dominion of sin he hath also 
broken, by the grace afforded us, whereby we are 
vi. 14, J2, able to resist and avoid it : so that Sin henceforth 
' ' * shaU not domineer over v^, or reign in our mortal 
body : Being freed from sin, we are enslaved to 
righteousness, and made servants to God: The 
body of sin is destroyed, so that we no longer serve 
sin. Whence consequently he hath subdued, utterly 
weakened, or quite destroyed (as to any force or 
mischievous influence upon us) those other adver- 
saries, which depend upon sin, and by its power 
oppose and afflict us. 

Our conscience is such an enemy accusing us, 
condemning us, vexing us with the memory and 

asserted and explained. 361 

sense of sin ; suggesting to us the depth of our ^^^^• 

guilty and the danger of our state^ terrifying us '- — 

with the expectation of punishment and vengeance : 
but our Lord (by securing us of mercy and favour 
upon repentance and sincere obedience) hath si- 
lenced and stilled this adversary; Hath by his'^eh.ix. 
bloody as the Apostle to the Hebrews says, purged 
our conscience from dead works : Haih delivered ii. 15. 
ihemy who ihrough fear of death were aU their life- 
time subject to bondage ; so that thence we obtain 
a steady peace of mind, a joyful satis&ction in the 
service of God, a comfortable hope of ftiture bliss : Ko™: ^- 

13' XIV. I7» 

peace, comfort, and joy are the adjuncts of that oi ▼.*«;' 
state he shall put us into^ and the fruits of thatui. 1/. 
Spirit he bestoweth on us. ^® ' ^' 

The Law also (in its rigour, as requiring exact ^^* ^ *' 
obedience, and as denouncing vengeance to them c^aL iii. i«; 
who in any point violate it) is, by reason of our Rom. vii. 
weakness and inabiUty so perfectly to observe it, iii/Mj 
an enemy to us ; justifying no man, perfecting no ^^^j s, 
man, causing, increasing, aggravating, quickening, J^corVxv. 
declaring sin; yielding occasion to sin of killing 5<5. „, 
us, working wrath, ministering death and con- 1, 9- 
demnation, subjecting us to a curse, as St Paul 
teacheth us: but our Lord, by mitigating and 
abating the extreme rigour thereof, by procuring 
an acceptance of sincere (though not accurate) 
obedience, by purchasing and dispensing pardon 
for transgression thereof upon repentance, by con- 
ferrmg competent strengOi and abiUty to perform 
it in an acceptable degree, hath brought xmder 
this adversary; hath redeemed us from the curse 
of the Law; hath justified and imputed righteous- ^"Ij.*^ 
ness to us without the works of the Law, (without ^i, ^s. 

862 The Doctrine of Universal Medemption. 

SEBM. such punctual performances as the Law exacts :) 
we are delivered from the Law^ (as to those effects 

vii!"6/4*; 'of it ; the condemning, discouraging^ enslaving 
oil! T. 1 8. ^^y) ^® cease to be under the Law^ (in those re- 
spects^) being under grace^ being led by the Spirit^ 
as St Paul tells us. The Law, indeed^ is still our 
rule^ our guide, our governor; we are obliged to 
follow and obey it: but it ceases to be a tyrant 
over us, a tormentor of us. 
I Cor. ZY. Death is also an enemy, {The hut enemy, saith 
St Paul, which ahaU he destroyed, is death,) the 
enemy, which naturally we most fear and abomi- 
nate ; that which would utterly destroy us. 
Actsii. 14. This enemy our Lord hath vanquished and de- 
stroyed: by his death and resurrection he opened 
I Cor. XT. the way to a happy immortaUty ; He abolished 
Ada xxTi dea;th, and brought life and im/mortality to light by 
c<^i. i. 18. the Oospel : He hy his death defeated him thai had 
Acte mf ' ^ power of death ; and delivered them, who by 
a Tim- i. .^^ ^f ^^'^^ ^^^ through their whole life subject 
IJ- .. to bondage; he pulled out sin, which is the sting 

^lOD* 11« 

H, 15. . of death, and reversed the sentence of condenma- 

43. ' * tion, to which we all stood obnoxious. The wages 

of sin (that which we had deserved, and was by 

law due to us for it) was death ; but the gift of God 

is everlasting life, by Jesus Christ our Lord. 

Lastly, Hell (that is, utter darkness , extreme 

discomfort, intolerable and epdlesl' misery,) the 

most dismal of all enemies, our Lord hath, by the 

virtue of his merits, and the power of his grace, 

I Theag. L P^* ^^ ^^^ ^ Capacity of avoiding; He hath, as St 

^^' Paul before told us, delivered us from the wraih 

I Cop. XV. . . 

55. to come. hell, where is thy victory f Death and 

14. hell shoU be cast into the lake of fire. 

asserted and explained. 863 

Thus hath our Lord in our behalf vanquished serm. 

and defeated every thing that is opposite or preju '—- 

dicial to o^ salvation and welfare. Many, indeed, 
of these things do in a more immediate, more pe- 
culiar, and more signal manner concern the fidthM 
members of the Christian Church, and are directly 
applied to them; yet all of them in some sort, 
according to God's design, and in respect to a re- 
mote capacity, may be referred to all men. They 
are benefits which God intended for all men, and 
which all men (if they be not faulty and want- 
ing to themselves) niay obta in. How they more i 
especially appertain to the faithful, we may shew ^ 

Application. — i Hence ariseth great matter 
and cause of glorifying God ; both from the thing 
itself and its extent ; for the magnitude of bene- 
ficence is to be estimated, not only according to 
the degree of quality, but according to its ampli- 
tude of object : to redeem any doth signify good- 
ness, to redeem many doth increase it, to redeem 
all doth advance it to the highest pitch; the more 
are obliged, the greater is the glory due to the 

Hence the earth being fall of the goodness of pg. xndii. 
the Lord, the Lord being gracious unto all, and ^^ 
his mercy being over all his works, all creatures 
partaking of God's bounty, is so often insisted 
upon in those divine hymns, as a ground of praise 
to God. 

Some do, indeed, speak of glorifying God for 
his discriminating grace, as if grace, the narrower 
it were, the better it were : but is not selfishness 

364 The Doctrine of Universal Redemption 

SEBM. and envy at the bottom of this ? Is not this the 
-^^ disposition of those in ihe Gospel, who munnured 

Matt. XX. — Is thine eye evil because mine is good f 

If, 15. 

It is dangerous to restrain God's benevolence 
and beneficence within bounds narrower than they 
reaJly are ; thereby diminishing his glory. 

2 Hereby is discovered the general obligation 
of men to love God ; to praise him, to serve him 
in sense of his goodness, in regard to 'his benefi- 
cence, out of gratitude toward him. If God hath 
been so kindly affected toward men, and so carefiil 
of their welfare, as, for procuring and promoting 
their salvation, to provide a Saviour for them, to 
design his own beloved Son to that performance, 
in prosecution thereof depressing him into so low 
a state, exposing him to such inconveniences and 
indignities, such crosses and afflictions, how much, 
then, are all men obliged to love him, as their 
Rev. ▼. o. gracious friend and benefactor; to praise and cele- 
oSLil'ia. brate him for his favour and mercy, to render all 
blessings and thanks imto him ! This certainly is 
the duty of all, if the redemption in God's design 
reach to all ; otherwise, in reality, it lieth on few, 
in practice it could scarce touch any. They cannot 
be obliged to thank God for their redemption, who 
are not obliged to him for the thing itself ; they can- 
not heartily resent the kindness, who are not assured 
that it extends to them : and to such assurance 
(according to the doctrine of particular redemp- 
tion) it is certain that very few men, especially of 
the best men, can arrive ; it is a question whether 
any men arrive thereto. 

According to the sense of all men, it is also no 

asserted and explained. 365 

easy thing to know certainly, whether a man at serh. 

present be in the state of grace : and he that doth '— 

not know that, cannot (except upon the score of 
general redemption) be assured that he is re- 
deemed; and therefore cannot thank God. 

It hath been the common doctrine of Christen- 
dom for fifteen hundred years together, that no 
man (without a special revelation) can in this life 
be assured of his perseverance, and consequently 
not of his salvation ; and consequently not of his 
election or redemption, in case only they who are 
saved are in the design of God redeemed : no man 
therefore, without that special revelation, can thank 
God heartily for his redemption, as being uncer- 
tain thereof, it being a secret reserved in God's 

It is yet a further difficulty, supposing a man 
to have a good assurance of his present state, to 
be assured of his final perseverance in it: which 
he that hath not^ cannot (except upon the said 
score) thank God for it. 

The best men especially, who, out of modesty 
and humility, are apt to doubt of their present 
state; who studying their hearts, and discovering 
many imperfections in themselves ; who, reflecting 
on their Hves, and observing in them many defects, 
are apt to question whether they are qualified for 
Grod's fiskvour, or fitted for the future account and 
enjoyment of heaven ; who, considering the trea- 
cheiy of their hearts, the feebleness of their reason, 
the unsteadiness of their resolution, wiQ be apt to 
fear they may feU away, wiU be rendered hence 
uncapable to give God thanks for their redemp- 
tion : only the bold and blind bayards (who usually 


366 The Doctrine of Universal Redemption 

serm; out of self-conceit a,re so exceedingly confident of 

'- — their election and salvation) will be able to praise 

God for it. 

Hence the assurance of salvation happening to 
few^ and of them to much fewer upon good grounds ; 
it being necessary to none^ it being perhaps (yet 
far more probably, according to the general sense 
of Christendom) groundless to any; few or none 
are capable to render God praise and thanks for 
it : so shall he lose in effect all thanks for the 
greatest benefit he did ever confer on mankind 

It is therefore a dangerous opinion, which check- 
eth their gratitude, which stoppeth their mouths 
firom praising God, which so depriveth God of his 
due praise. It is much more safe to praise God for 
the benefits we conceive we have, but have not, 
than to neglect to praise him for that we have. 

3 This doctrine doth afford great matter of 
comfort. If a man, reflecting on his own heart 
and ways (observing in them many blemishes and 
defects), is apt to be discouraged, yet it will raise 
him to consider, that he is not thereby excluded 
firom a possibility of salvation, seeing he is assured 
of God's favourable inclination, who hath ex- 
pressed so much good-will and fitvour toward him 
in his redemption ; seeing he is persuaded, that he 
hath a Saviour so kindly and pitifully affected 
toward him; who wisheth him well; who is con- 
cerned in his salvation, that he might not be crossed 
or defeated in his designs^ that he might not lose 
the effects of his endeavours, the price of his blood. 
But he that seeth himself in so doubtfiil a con- 
dition, as to his own qualifications, and withal 

asserted and explained. 367 

hath no assurance^ that God was ever gradouBly sbrm. 
disposed towaxd him, cannot but thereby be much -^^ 


This doctrine therefore is safe and usefal; it can 
do no man hann; it may do him great good, by 

his Bedeemer. But the other is dangerous, as 
tending to discourage and deject men. 

4 This doctrine is a great incitement to the . 
performance of duty ; both as working upon men's 
ingenuity, and disposing them in gratitude to serve 
God, from the resentment of their obligation for so 
great a favour; and as assuring them of acceptance 
in case of endeavour to obey. How can he but be 
moved wiUingly to serve God, who hath an appre- 
hension of God's such merciful design to save him? 
of his having done so much in order thereto? 

But how can he be moved to serve God in con. 
sideration of such a benefit, who is ignorant of its 
being intended him? How can any man apply 
himself cheerfully to serve that master, whose fa- 
vourable inclination toward him, whose readiness 
to accept his service, he doubteth of? 

The Apostles propound it as a ground of gra- i Cor. vi. 
titude, and an obligation to the performance ofiPet. i. 
duty, that they are redeemed by Christ; which '^' 
Bupposeth they do all know and behove it. 

Supposing Christ is not the Eedeemer of all, 
but of those only who shall be finally saved, these 
grounds of thankfiilness and enforcements of duty 
cannot properly or pertinently respect all Chris- 
tians, and, indeed, only those who are sure of their 

368 The Doctrine of Univereal Redemption 

SERM. My thanking Christ for his redeeming me, my 

diligently serving him as my Bedeemer, supposeth 

my opinion, and is gounded upon the truth of his 
being really so : — I cannot heartily, confidently, or 
comfortably do it, except I know it, and am as- 
sured thereof; which I cannot do, except Christ 
died for all men, or that I am assured of my parti- 
cular election. 

So that either Christ is an universal Saviour, or 
the greatest part of Christians are disobliged and 
incapacitated reasonably to thank him, to praise 
him, to serve him, as they are enjoined to do. 

5 It is a great aggravation of infidelity, of apo&- 
tasy, of all disobedience, that they who are guilty 
of them, do firustrate the designs and imdertakings 
of Christ, do reject the overtures of his grace, do 
abuse the goodness and 'mercy of their Kedeemer; 
it consequently deterreth firom those things. 

Luke vii. J%e Ph/xvisees and lawyers r^ected the counsel 
of God toward them ; (God therefore designed their 

Heb. ii. 3. How shoU we escape, that neglect so great sal- 
vation ? A salvation which they were capable o^ 

Acts xui. which was designed for them, which was offered to 

^ ' them ; otherwise there would have been no danger 

in neglecting it, no &ult in doing it. 

It is said of the Jews at Antioch in Pisidia, 

ver. 46. that they did dirwOeiaOat, thrust away the Gospel, 
(the word of salvation, that was sent them,) judging 
themselves imworthy of eternal life : God did think 
fit out of goodness seriously to offer it to them, but 
they did not think fit to embrace it. 

Rom. ii. 4, Despisest thou the riches of Gods goodness? 

asserted and explained. 369 

How can any man despise that which doth not serm. 
concern him, which never was oflfered hun, which ^^• 

at least he hath no ground of confidence that it^ e.m.9. 
extendeth to him? 

These things I speak that ye may he saved : so John v. 
our Lord saith to those who did not believe in him. ^^' ^^• 

How often have I willed, Sec. Mattxim. 

/ 37- 

Denying the Lord that bought them. * ^^ »• '• 

6 It is a great encouragement and excitement 
to devotion. Who can be backward of having re- 
course to his Redeemer, or of using his mediation? 
Whom will not such an experiment of goodness 
invite and encourage? 

But the contrary apprehension must needs damp 
devotion, and discourage from it. He can apply 
himself to God but faintly and distrustfully, who 
distrusteth whether he hath any Redeemer or Me- 
diator, or no ; who must thus conceive and say to 
himself : Perhaps God hath loved me, and perhaps 
he never had, nor will have any regard to my 
welfare : perhaps Christ died with intention to do 
me good : perhaps he never did mean any such 
thing : perhaps those expressions of kindness sound- 
ing so generally do not include me : perhaps I am 
excluded, and only deluded by them. When a 
man cannot say to Christ, O my Saviour! — O my 
Mediator! Ac. nor use his intercession with God 
for the procurement of faith, of grace, of any good 

7 It is a ground and motive of charity; there 
arising thence a more considerable relation between 
all men; being all the objects of Christ's love and 

B. S. VOL. IV. 24 

370 The Doctrine of Universal Redemption^ &c. 

SERM. mercy should endear men to one another; it ren- 

! dereth every man valuable in our eyes, as dear and 

precious in God's sight. It should make his salva- 
tion desirable to us. 
I Tim. u. I. Pray for all men, saith St Paul. 

The contrary opinion removeth this ground of 
charity ; and so cooleth it. 

8 It should consequently render us carefiil to 
promote the salvation of others, and fearful to hin- 
der it by ill example, by ill doctrine, by any mis- 
behaviour. So doth St Paul argue, when he saith, 

Rom. xiv. Destroy est thou him for whom Christ diedf 

9 It is a piece of justice to acknowledge the 
right and interest of every man in his Saviour. 

A wrong to exclude any ; to confine and appro- 
priate this great blessing; to engross, to inclose a 
common; to restrain that by forging distinctions, 
which is so unlimitedly expressed. 

The undertakings and performances of our Sa- 
viour did respect all men, as the common works of 
nature do; as the air we breathe in, as the sun 
which shineth on us; the which are not given to 
any man particularly, but to all generally ; not as 
a proper inclosure, but as a common — they are 
indeed mine, but not otherwise, than as they do 
belong to all men. 

A gift they are to all equally, though they do 
not prove to all a blessing; there being no common 
gift, which by the refusal, neglect, or iQ use of it 
may not prove a curse^-a savour of death. 




Luke II. lo. 

And the angel said unto them, Fear not : for^ behold, I 
bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be 
to all people^, 

nnHE proper business of a festival is spiritual joy, serm. 

-■- conceived in our hearts by reflection on some '— 

notable blessing conferred on us ; accompanied with 
a grateful sense and expression, answerable to the 
special bounty and mercy of God, in due proportion 
to the nature and degree of that blessing. 

Such joy is a duty, or a part of religious devo- i Thess. ▼. 
tion, required by God, and very acceptable to him : R<;ni. xii. 
for as God would have his servants perpetually p^ji i^^^ 
content, well satisfied, and cheerful in all states, 
and upon all occurrences; so he doth especially 
demand from us, that we should entertain his 
favours with delight and complacence; it being 
proper, it being seemly, it being just, so to do : for 
since joy is a natural result of our obtaining what- 
ever we do apprehend good, or esteem and affect ; 
the conception of it is a plain argument, that we 
do well understand, do rightly prize, do cordially 
like, do thankfully embrace God's favours ; as, on 
the contrary, a defect of it doth imply, that we do 


372 The Nativity of our Lord, 

8ERM. not mind them, or take them to be little worth, 

'— that we do not sensibly relish them, or accept them 

kindly. And if ever we are obliged, if ever we are 
concerned so to rejoilje, then surely it is now; when 
the fairest occasion and highest cause of joy that 
ever was is presented to us; when certain news 
from heaven, and the best that ever came from 
thence, of the most admirable, the most glorious, 
the most beneficial event, that ever happened in 
the world, is in a manner suitably rare conveyed 
to us ; for, Behold^ saith the Angel, / bring you 
good tidings of great joy, which shall he to aU people. 

Upon which words (each whereof is emphatical, 
and pregnant with matter observable) we shall first 
make a brief descant, or paraphrase, supplying the 
room of a curious analysis ; then we shall urge the 
main duty couched in them. 

*iSoi), Behold: This is a word denoting admi- 
ration, exciting attention, intimating assurance: 
Behold, and admire; it is no mean, no ordinary 
matter, that I report, but a most remarkable, a 
very marvellous event : Behold, and attend ; it is 
a business not to be passed over with small regard, 
but most worthy your consideration, of high mo- 
ment and concernment to you. Behold, and see; 
it is no uncertain, no obscure thing; but that 
whereof you may be ftdly assured, as if it were 
most evident to your sense, and which by con- 
spicuous proofs shall be demonstrated; in the mean 
while you have no slight authority for it : for 

EuayyeXi^o/jiai, Ibringgood tidings: I, an Angel, 
a special messenger of God purposely sent on this 
errand, that by the strangeness of my apparition I 
may excite you to regard it, by the weight of my 


Tidings of great Joy, 373 

testimony I may incline you to believe it, by the serm, 

dignity of my nature I may declare the importance '- 

of it; I, a faithful servant of God, and a kind friend 
to men, veiy wiUing at his command to perform 
good offices to them, do bring a message well be- 
coming an angel's mouth, worth my descent from 
heaven, and putting on this visible shape : for 

EiJo'y YcXi^o/mai xapdy /meydXtjif^ I hiring good tidings 
of great joy: I bring tidings that may gratify the 
curiosity of any man, the mind of man naturally 
being greedy of news: good tidings; those are 
welcome to all men, and apt to yield more pleasure 
than any knowledge we had before: tidings of joy; 
such as may not only minister a dry satisfaction to 
your reason, but sensibly touch your affections, by 
the comfortable nature and beneficial tendency of 
them: tidings of great joy; as not touching any 
indifferent or petty business, but afl^rs of nearest 
concernment and highest consequence to you: 
(such, indeed, as you shall understand, which do 
concern not the poor interests of this world, not 
the sorry pleasures of sense, not any slender ad- 
vantage of your present life and temporal state; 
but your spiritual welfare, your everlasting con- 
dition, the future joy and happiness of your souls;) 
tidings, indeed, the most gladsome that ever soimded 
upon earth, that ever entered into mortal ear: 
these I bring 

*Xixiv, to you: to you shepherds; persons of 
mean condition and simple capacity, leading this 
innocent and humble sort of life, employed in your 
honest vocation, undergoing toilsome labour and 
sore hardship ; witness the open field, witness the 
cold season, witness the dark night, in which I find 

374 Tlie Nativity of our Lord, 

SERM. you watching and guarding your sheep; to you, 

1_. who could expect no very welcome tidings; who 

ujte 11. 5. ^j.^ little concerned in any great transactions^ and 
can have small ambition or hope of bettering your 
condition by any changes here ; even to you** (not in 
the first place to the mighty Princes, to the crafty 
Statesmen, to the sage Philosophers, or learned 
Rabbies, to the wealthy merchants, or fine citizens, 
who now are warm in their houses, enjoying their 
ease and pleasure; reposing on their beds, or sit- 
ting by their fires, or revelling at their banquets 
and sports; but to you) poor, harmless, siUy, in- 
dustrious souls, who well may represent the greater 
and better part of mankind; in this surprising and 
absolutely free way the gracious Lord of heaven 
by me his special minister doth vouchsafe to send 
from thence tidings of great joy: which shall be 
Matt. XV. IIai;T2 rip Xaip, to oU people ; OT rather to all the 
^JJ^i^; ^ joeopZe ; that is, to God's ancient and peculiar 
Lukexxiv. people, in regard to which it is said, / was not 
Acts xiii. sent hut to the lost sheep of the house of Israel ; to 
isii. ii. 3. that people, I say, especially, primarily, and more 
Bom! ix! 4.' immediately this joy did appertain ; it, by a closer 
relation to God, and special interest in his promises, 
having plainest title thereto ; it, from anticipations 
of knowledge, faith, and hope, being more capable 
to admit such an overture ; it, indeed, being the re- 
presentative of all the spiritual Israel, or faithful 
seed of Abraham, for whom the benefits which 
these tidings import were designed; to it first, 
indeed, but mediately and consequentially to all 
people dispersed on the face of the earth. The ex- 

^ Pauporibus atque laborantibus, non vobis diyitibus, &c — 
Bern, in Nativ. Dora. Serm. v. [0pp. Tom. i. col. 1763 a.] 

Tidings of great Joy. 375 

pressiou seemeth adapted to the present conceits serm. 

of that nation, which apprehended nothing about '— 

God's favourable intentions to the community of 
men : but, in effect, it is to be understood extensively 
in reference to all people: for the Saviour, the 
Christ, the Lord, of whom this good news did re- 
port, was not only to be the Redeemer and Go- 
vernor of that small people, but of the world, of 
every nation, of all mankind : here, indeed, we have 
iravTi r^ Xacp, to dU the people ; but in the iVMwcLukeii.31; 
dimittis of old Simeon we have irdvrwv rwv \awvf of 
all the peoples : Mine eyes, said he, have seen thy u. 30; 
salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face 
ofaUihe peoples; As he was the Glory of his people u. 32; 

i. 68. 


Israel ; as in him God did visit and redeem that ictg 
his people ; so he was made a Light to lighten the }^ ^jn^ 
Gentiles, and to he for salvation to the uttermost t* ^^^''^' 

' •^ ^ Luke 11. 

ends of the earth : he was the Expectation oflsrad; 3^- 
but he was likewise the Desire of all nations : he Hag. ii. 7. 
was destined to rule in Sion ; but the Heathen also mic. V. a. 
were given for his inheritance, and the uttenfnost 
parts of the earth for his possession: he was the i8ai.xL 10. 
Root of Jesse, which should stand for an ensign of 
the people^ to which the Gentiles should seek ; he was 
that royal Person of whom the Psalmist did sing, 
Men shall be blessed' in him ; all nations shall call Pb. Ixxh. 
him blessed. ^^' 

He was to be bom by nation a Jew, but a man 
by nature ; the Son of man was a style which he 
commonly did own and affect, no less than the Son Matt. i. i. 
of Abraham, or of David ; he was bom indeed under oai. iv. 4. 
the law, but of a woman ; and therefore brother 
to us all, as partaker of the same flesh and blood : Heb. u. 14. 
hence he was endued with an htmian compassion 


376 The Nativity of our Lord, 

SEBM. and with a fraternal affection toward all men; 
_-__.' . hence was he disposed to extend the benefit of his 
charitable and gracious performances unto them all. 
JudsBa therefore must not engross this angehcal 
Gospel ; it is of importance most imiversal and un- 
limited, reaching through all successions of time, 
and all extensions of place ; filling all ages and all 
regions of the world with matter and with obliga- 
tion of joy : hence even by Moses anciently (accord- 
ing to St Paul's interpretation) were all nations 
Rom. XV. upon this account invited to a common joy ; M^'oicey 
Deut. said he, O ye nations with his people. Hence^ in 
xxxiL 43. foresight of this event, the holy Psalmist (as the 
PB.XCVU. I; Fathers expound him*) did sing, The Lord reigneth, 
^^^' '' let the earth rejoice, let the multitude of the ides he 
laai. Uv. x; gloid thereof: hence, Sing, O thou barren, thou thai 
didst not hear; break forth into singing, and cry 
XXXV. I ; dUmd, thou that didst not travail with child — TIhe 
wilderness and the solitary place shaM be glad, the 
xiii. 10. desert shall r^oice and blossom as the rose — Sing 
unto the Lord a new song, and his praise from the 
end of the earth, said the evangehcal Prophet in re- 
gard to this dispensation ; in fine, this Angel himself 
did interpret his own words, when in concert with 
Lnkeii.14. the heavenly choir he sang that anthem^ Glory he 
to God in the highest ; on ea/rth peace ; and good- 
will toward men: whence we may collect, that a 
peace diffused over the earth, and a good-will ex- 
tended toward all men, were impUed in these tidings 
of great joy to all people. 

° T^i' frpoT€pav rov amr^pos (Wi<f)cufttav irpoXcyci. — Theodor. [in 
Pb. xcvi. 0pp. Tom. i. p. 786 c] 

Totum ad Christum revooemiu, si volumus iter recto intelli* 
gentise tenere. — Aug. in Ps. xcvi. 2. [0pp. Tom. iv. col. 1041 B.] 

Tidings of great Joy. 377 

We then are all concerned in these tidings, and serm. 

we may look on them as by this heavenly Evangelist 

imparted to us ; whence our duty must be to listen 
with reverent attention unto them, seriously to 
weigh the purport of them, diligently to contem- 
plate the reasons of that great joy, which effectually 
should be produced in us by them, as their proper 
and due result; to further which practice, let us 
take some prospect of this Gospel, whereby it may 
appear pleasant, and apt to kindle a sprightly joy 
in our hearts. The matter of it is the nativity of 
our ever blessed Lord and Saviour Christ Jesus ; for, 
To you, saith our angel, is bom tliis day a Saviour, LukeU. n. 
who is Christ the Lord ; an occurrence fraught with 
all the greatest causes of joy imaginable; as im- 
porting innumerable, unexpressibly and uncon- 
ceivably vast advantages thence springing to us. 

It doth minister occasion of rejoicing for all the 
blessings which did flow from each of his salutary 
imdertakings and performances ; for all the mercies 
purchased by the merits of his obedience, and by 
the price of his blood; for all the graces issuing 
from his dispensation of the Holy Spirit; for all 
the benefits consequent on his illustrious resurrec- 
tion, ascension, and glorification; as being a good 
entrance to them, yea, a great progress in them, 
and a certain pledge of their full accomplishment : 
for all the work of our redemption was in a manner 
achieved, when our Saviour did appear; his incar- 
nation was the great step toward it, as being an 
act of the humblest obedience, and of the highest 
merit, that could anywise be performed, for satisfy- 
ing the justice of God, and winning his favour 
toward us. His taking up life may well seem more 

378 The Naiivity of our Lord, 

SERM. meritorious than his laying it down, and the chief 

1— passion which he could ever undergo; his death 

John X. i8. ^^ ^ passion, great as death could be ; his life 
also was a continual passion, or exercise of huge 
patience : but his birth seemeth to be the greatest 
and strangest passion of all ; involving the lowest 
submission and the deepest suffering. What nobler 
sacrifice could there be, than God's offering himself 
up to mortality, to infirmity, to slavery? "What 
obedience can be thought of comparable to that 
Heb. X. 7. which he did express, when he said, Zo, / come to 
do thy vriU, O God : I came down, not that I might 
John vi. do my own vriU, but the unU of him that sent me. 
^^' For him to descend from heaven, the region of 

light and bliss, into this gloomy and sad world; 
for him in a manner to divest himself of celestial 
majesty, and to assume the form of a servant; for 
him to be enclosed in a womb, and to come out 
wailing thence, to suck at a breast for life, to be 
carried in arms, and laid in a manger, to enter on 
a stage of being so very low and homely ; for him, 
Phil. u. 7, I say, the Lord of glory, thus to empty and abase 
himself "* ; may not this reasonably be deemed more 
than, after his becoming man, to sustain all the 
grievances incident to our nature and state ? Whence 
The very assumption qfjlesh was, saith St Atha- 
nasius, the redemption of aJl mankind^. He was 

*EavT6v tK€vair€P — iTairfip^ctP cai/rdi'.— — Phil. ii. 7, 8. 

^ *H 7Tp6a'\rj^tg r^s aapxhs cXcv^cpAKrcs ^v Traarif r^s 

dvBp<oir&njTos. — Athan. con. Arian. Orat. n. [0pp. Tom. i. p. 482 b.] 

Vid, con. ApoU. Lib. i. [Tom. i. p. 926 A.] 

Kvxvov fj'<^( rriv iavrov aapKO, &C.— Greg. Na». Or. XXXTIH. 
(0pp. Tom. I. p. 672 c] 

Creatoris ad crcaturam dcflcen&io, credcntium est ad ceterna pro- 
vectio. — ^Leo M. do Nat. Serm. v. [0pp. Tom. i. col. 85.] 

Tidings of great Joy. 379 

at least thence engaged in the way of acting and serm. 

suffering whatever was needftil for our recovery; ^ 

and having gone so far, assuredly he never would 
flinch or recoil, but would go through with all; being 
come, he would shew himself come to purpose, 
leaving no part unfinished of his grand design. 

So that as they, who celebrate the birth of a 
Prince, do mean thereby to express their joy for all 
the good, which they do hopefully presume to enjoy 
from his protection and conduct afterward in all his 
life; and as they, who welcome the sun-rising, do 
imply their satisfaction in the conveniences of his 
light through the whole ensuing day; so may the 
nativity of our Lord afford matter of rejoicing for 
all the train of mighty blessings which do succeed 
it. We may therefore now well consider him bom 
to instruct us by his excellent doctrine, and to 
guide us by his perfect example; bom to merit 
God's mercy and favour toward us, by an entire 
submission to God's pleasure in the whole conduct 
of his life, and in the final resignation of it ; bom 
to renew and sanctify our nature, to support and 
strengthen us in obedience to God's command- 
ments, to succour us in temptations, to comfort us 
in distresses by his grace; bom to rear himself 
from the grave for confirming our faith, and en- 
suring our hopes of salvation; bom to ascend up 
above all the heavens to God's right hand, there 
effectually to intercede for us, thence liberally to 
dispense all heavenly blessings to us. Well may 
we now rejoice, as seeing him come to disclose the 
way of happiness, to estabhsh the covenant of grace, 
to void all the obstractions, and subdue all the 
enemies to our welfare : well may we celebrate this 


380 The Nativity of our Lord, • 

SEBM. birth, as by its virtue blessing the patriarchs^ en- 
-i^ lightening the prophets, inspiring the martyrs with 
faith and courage, enduing all the saints, that ever 
have been, with grace, and crowning them with 
glory ; so that in this day we have the passion, the 
pasch, the ascension, the pentecost, the memorials 
of every saint suggested to us'; the joys of aU our 
festivals do conspire or commence in this; which 
is tiie head and spring, which is the fruitfal seed, 
which is the hopeful morning of them all. Tlavra 

TavTa Ttji wapov<nj^ ^fiepa^ yapii ecTiv' avnj yap 

17/0^6 t£v 606^^9 ayadaiv; AU these thingSy saith St 
Gregory Nyssen, are the gixLce of this present day, 
for it began the goods which did in order succeed*. 

But waving the numberless benefits so con- 
sequent on the Nativity, we shall only touch some 
of those which have a more formal and close re- 
lation thereto. 

I pass over the contemplation of that sweet 
harmony between the old and the new world; in 
which, to our comfortable satis&ction, the sweetest 
attributes of God (his goodness, his wisdom, his 
fidelity and constancy) do illustrate themselves, 
by completion of the ancient promises, prefigura- 
tions, and predictions touching this event. 

I forbear also to reflect on the happy alteration 
and amendment of the world, which our Lord's 
coming did induce, by comparing the state of 
things before it with that which followed it; the 
consideration of which case is very pleasant, and 
productive of joy. First then, 

OvKovv Koi ra rov Tlau")(a «caX^, roSv vtpi rtiv yepttriv tv^ftrifuw, lupos 
tan. — Greg.NyBS. [In Diem Nat. Christ. Orat. Opp.Toni.ix.p.784D.] 
« Id. ibid. 

Tidings of great Joy, 381 

I Let us consider, that the Nativity doth im- serm. 

port the completion of many ancient promises, pre- 1~ 

dictions, and prefigurations concerning it; that 
whereas all former dispensations of favour and 
mercy were as preludes or preambles to this ; the 
old Law did aim to represent it in its mysterious 
pomps; the chief of providential occurrences did 
intimate it; the Prophets often in their mystical 
raptures did allude to it, and often in clear terms 
did express it^ the gracious designs of God, and 
the longmg expectations of mankind being so va- 
riously implied in regard thereto; now all is come 
to be fulfilled, and perfected in most dear, most 
effectual, most substantial accomplishment ; now 
is sprung up that Seed of the woman, which, ac-Ge11.ui.15; 
cording to the first Gospel preached to Adam, 
should bruise the serpent^s head ; now is the mysti- 
cal Isaac, the miraculous Son of promise, bom; 
now is that grant to Abraham, In thy seed shall xzii. 18. 
cM the nations of the earth he blessed, made good; ,5^ "*' ' 

now is ShUoh come, of whom Jacob forboded, unto ?®°- *^' 

' ' 10. 

him the gatherings of the ^people shaU be ; now is 
that oracle of Moses more than verified, A Prophet Deutzviii. 
shaU the Lord your God raise up unto you of your ActBm.2a; 
breth/ren, like to me; him shall ye hear ; now The ^'' 3^' 
Star is come out of Jacob, the vision whereof daz- Num.xMv. 
zled Balaam, and stopped him from cursing that 
people, in which it should arise ; now is that oath 
discharged to David, Of the fruit of thy body will Ps. cxxxii. 


Luke i. 33. 

^ Sapientia yero et benignitas Dei hao salatiferi opens mora, 
oapadoreB noe stub rocationis effeoit: at quod multis Bignis, multifl 
Tocibas, moltisqae myflteriis per tot fuerat Becnla prsBnunciatum, 
in hiB diebuB Erangelii non esBet ambigunm, &e. — ^P. Leo. i. de 
Nat. Serm. iii. [0pp. Tom. i. col. 76.] 

382 The Naiivity of our Lord, 

SERM. / set upon thy throne; now those illustrious pre- 
— ^ dictions of Isaiah, There shall come forth a rod 

viL^i4l"J' out of the stem of Jesse — A virgin shaU conceive, 

Rom.' xh' ^^^ ^^^^^ ^ ^^^ — '^^ ^^ ^ c^iTci 25 6om, to ti^ a son 
^T^" ... ts given; and the government shall he on his shoidr 
5; ... ders — There shall come out of Sion the deliverer, 
Zech.m.8;anci shoM tum ungodliness from Jacob, are fully 
Eiek.' accomplished ; now The righteous Branch, of which 
^^^.^4. Jeremiah and Zechariah spake, is sprouted forth; 
J^- ^'- and Ezekiel's One Shepherd, Daniel's Son of Tnan, 

M'tt^"* \ ^<>^^^ ^^^ ^^ clouds of heaven ; Micah's Rvler in 

Hag. ij. 7! Israel, whose goings forth have been from old; Hag- 

iv. 2. * ' gai s Desire of all nations ; Malachi's Angd of the 

covenant, and Sun of righteousness, have all in truth 

appeared : now is that glorious King and Captain 

arrived, whom the holy oracles do so magnificently 

describe ; whom Moses and Joshua, whom David 

and Solomon in bo maay pat circumstenoes did 

PB.ii.6; foreshadow; whom God would set upon his holy 

ixxii. ii. hill of Sion; ITie sceptre of whose kingdom is a 

16. * mighty sceptre ; Who should raise the tabernacle of 

I ™^ ^' David thai is fallen ; Before whom all kings should 

B^^.Yit^'f^ do^'^9 ^^ whom all nations should serve; Who 
^:^ . should reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and 
of whose kingdom there shall be no end. 

Now what can be more delightful, or satisfac- 
tory to our mind, than to reflect on this sweet 
harmony of things, this goodly correspondence be- 
tween the old and new world ; wherein so pregnant 
evidences of God's chief attributes, (of his good- 
ness, of his wisdom, of his fidelity and constancy,) 
all conspiring to our benefit, do shine ? Is it not 
pleasant to contemplate how provident God hath 
ever been for our welfare ? what trains from th^ 

Tidings of great Joy. 383 

world's beginning, or ever since our unhappy faU, serm. 

he hath been laying to repair and restore us ? how — 

wisely he hath ordered all dispensations with a 
convenient reference and tendency to this master- 
piece of grace*? how steady he hath been in pro- 
secuting his designs, and how faithful in accom- 
plishing his promises concerning it ? 

If the holy patriarchs did see this day, and*^^^^^"- 
were glad ; if a glimpse thereof did cause their 
hearts to leap within them ; if its very dawn had 
on the spirits of the Prophets so vigorous an in- 
fluence^ what comfort and complacence should we 
feel in this its real presence, and bright aspect on 
us ! How sensibly should we be affected with this 
our happy advantage above them ; the which our 
Lord himself then did teach us to estimate duly, 
when he said, Blessed are your eyes^ for they see ; ^"- '^»"- 
and your ears, for they hear : for verily I say unto 
you, that many prophets and righteous men have 
desired to see those things which ye see, and have 
not seen them; and to hear those things which ye 
hear, and have not heard them. 

2 Let us consider what alteration our Lord's 
coming did induce, by comparing the state of 
things before it to that which followed it. The 
old world then consisting of two parts, severed by Eph. ii. m. 
a strong wall of partition, made up of difference 
in opinion, in practice, in affection, together with 

' Non itaqne noro consilio Deus rebus humanisy nee sera mi- 
seratione eonsuluit ; sed a constitutione mundi unam eandemqne 
omnibus cansam salutis instituit. — ^P. Leo. i. de Nat. Serm. m. 
[Opp. Tom. I. coL 76.] 

^ Magnam enim jncunditatem tunc carpebant ipsi sancti Pro- 
pheto, cum ea videbant in spiritu, non jam impleta, sed adhuc 
futura.— -Aug. in Ps. xcri. [Opp. Tom. rv. col. 1040 e.] 

384 The Nativity of our Lord, 

SERM. a strict prohibition to one of holding intercourse 

^^^' with the other. 
Acta X. 18. Qf Qi^Q^ ajj J j^Q^ g^r the greater part, St Paul 

hath given us these descriptions and characters: 

Eph.u.n; They were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, 

and strangers from the covenant, having no hope, 

u. 3; and being withoiU God in the world ; They were by 

nature the children of wrath and of disobedience ; 

u. 1, 1; They were dead in trespasses and sins, walking 

according to the course of this world, according to 

the prince of the power qf the air, the spirit that 

iv. 17, 18, worketh in the children qf disobedience; They did 

'^' VKdk in the vanity qf their mind, having their unr 

derstanding darkened, being alienated from the 

W'^ 9f ^^ through the ignorance that wa^ in them, 

because of the blindness of their heart ; and being 

past feeling, did give themselves over unto lasci- 

viousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness; 

ii. 3. They had their conversation in the lusts of the flesh, 

fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind ; 

Tit. iu. 3. Being foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers 

E^h/v. 8. ^^^^ ^^ pleasures, living in malice and envy, hater 

^Cor'^'f^f and hating one another. Such was the case, 

". the dismally wretched case, of the Gentile world; 

4. such were our forefathers, (such after them of 

5. *"* '^' course, by fatal consequence, should we have been ;) 
I Pet. IV. ^j^^y yrere in their minds blinded with gross igno- 
rance, and deluded with foul errors : they were in 
their willa and affections corrupted with ^t di^ 
order, perverseness, sensuality, malice; they did 
in their conversation practise all sorts of impiety, 
iniquity, and impurity; their conceptions of God 

Gal. iv. 8. were very unworthy, and their worship answerably 
™* *'^^" such ; (full of sottish, savage, beastly superstitions;) 

Tidings of greai Joy. 385 

their principles were vain, and their hfe conform- serm. 

ably dissolute ; in short, they Uved under the do- '— 

mination and influence of wicked spirits, who 
thence are styled Lords and Princes of this worlds 
of this air, of this secular darkness : even of the joim'^l 
wisest among them, (the number of whom, not- 1^*17. ^^' 
withstanding the clatter their writings made, was I ^^^^*" 
very small and inconsiderable,) of those who by !^- 
the conduct of natural light strove to disengage li. 15. 
themselves from vulgar mistakes and miscarriages, 18. 
the case was little better; for even their minds 
(after all their studious disquisitions and debates) 
proved dark and giddy ; full of ignorance, of error, 
of doubt in regard to the main points of Beligion 
and of morality ; some of them flatly denying the 
existence, or (which in effect is the same) the pro- 
vidence of God; the natural distinction between 
good and evil, the spiritual nature and future sub- 
sistence of our souls, the dispensation of rewards 
and punishments after this Ufe; others wavering 
in doubt, or having: but faint persuasions about 
these nuJtters; few or none haXg clear notions, 
or steady opinions about any such things ; whence 
their practice, in correspondence to their rules, 
must needs have been very loose, or very lame; 
so that well might our Apostle say of them, They Hom.i. ai, 
heca/me vain in their reasonings, SiaXoytcfioi^, and 
their foolish heart was darkened ; professing them- 
selves wise, they heca/me fools; and even as they did 
not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gan)e 
them over to a reproba^ mindy to do those things 
which are not convenient. 

As for the other part, or little parcel of men, 
the condition of that was also very low : if the rest 

B. S. VOL. IV. 25 

386 The Nativity of our Lord, 

8EBM. of the world did lie in dark night, they did live 
but in a dusky twilight ; their Religion was much 

Hrt)"Vm.' wrapt up in shadow and mystery; they had but 

5; X. I. dilute ideas of God's nature, and scant discoveries 

of his will ; their law or rule of practice in divers 

respects was defective and infirm ; they were locked 

under the discipline of childish rudiments, suiting 

Rom.vm. their raw capacities, and under the bondage of; slavish yokcs, befitting their stubborn dispositions; 

Heb. vii. ^hich defaUances in notion their practice commonly 

did outstrip; being fond, corrupt, hypocritical, 

void of interior, substantial, and genuine right- 

eousness ; as the old Prophets did often complain, 

and as our Lord, with his Apostles, did urge. 

Such was the state of the world in ite parts; 
and jointly of the whole it may be said, that it was 
Gal. iii. la. shut up Under sin and guilt, under darkness and 
^'"- "• weakness, under death and corruption, under sor- 
^ 9f «9- row and woe : that no ftdl declaration of God's 
pleasure, no clear overture of mercy, no express 
gnmt of spiritual aid, no certain redemption from 
the filth or the force of sin, jfrom the stroke of 
death, jfrom due punishment hereafter; no encour- 
agements suitable to high devotion, or strict virtue, 
were anywise in a solemn way exhibited or dis- 
pensed before our Lord's appearance : so that well 
might aJl men be then represented as Cimmerians, 
isai. iz. I. sitting in darkness, in the region and shadow of 
i6***' *^' death ; well may we suppose aU ages foregoing to 
have teemed with hope and desire of this happy 
Aom. viii. day; or that, as St Paul saith, The whole creation 
(that is, aU mankind) groaneth together, and tror 
vaUeih together untU now ; as labouring with pangs 
of implicit desire, or under a painful sense of need- 

Tidings of great Joy. 387 

ing a Saviour; weU might Isaiah thus proclaim bebm. 
his coming; Arise, shine; for thy light is come^ 

Isai. Ix. I, 

«, 3. 


and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For^ 
behold, darkness shall cover the land, and gross 
darkness the people : but the Lord shaU arise upon 
thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And 
the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the 
brightness of thy rising : for, now, The Lord, hath pb. xcviu. 
made knoum his salvation; his righteousness hath ^' ^' 
he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen. The isai. m. 10. 
Lord hath m^ade bare his holy arm in the eyes of 
aU the nations; and aU the ends of the earth do see 
the salvation of our Ood. 

Now We a/re all children of the light, and of the i Thess. v. 
day; AU do know God from the least to the greatest; 2 Cor. m. 
the rarest, the deepest notions are grown common 'ii^J' ^' 
and obvious; every child is instructed in the highest J^; 
truths, every peasant is become a great philosopher, 34* 
(beyond Aristotle, or Plato, or Epictetus,) skilM 
of the best knowledge, able to direct his life in the 
best way, capable of obtaining the best good. 

Now the Spirit of God (the Spirit of direction. Acts ii. 17. 
of succour, of comfort spiritual) is poured upon all 
flesh. Now the grace of God, that bringeth salvo- m. iL n. 
tion, hath appeared to all m^en ; fiilly instructing ^y. ® ""^' 
them in their duty, and strongly enabling them to 
perform it, freely offering them meny, mightUy 
encouraging them with hopes of most blessed re- 

Now Jew and Grentile are reunited and com- Eph. lu. 6; 
p^ted in one body; walking in tho «.me ligh^ ^ - 
and under obligation to the same laws; sharing in 
a common redemption and inheritance; being in- 
separably linked together with the bands of faith, 


388 The Nativity of our Lord, 

SEEM, of charity, of spiritual fraternity; thus Old things 


are passed away, behold aU things are become new, 
'l^^' ^' in virtue and consequence of our Lord^s appear- 
Heb. u. g^j^Q^ . ij2 contemplation of which so great, so ge- 


neral, so happy a change, how can we forbear to 

But fiirther, that we may yet more nearly touch 
the point, 

3 Let us consider, that the nativity of our Lord 

is a grand instance, a pregnant evidence, a rich 

earnest of Almighty God's very great aflFection and 

, johniv. benignity toward mankind: for. In this, saith St 

John iii. John, the love of God was manifested, that God sent 

E'h!u ^^ ^^y &^^*^^^ *^^>^ ^'^^ ^ world: and, Through 
Luke i. 78. ^ tender mercies of our God, sang old Zechariah, 
the day spring from on high did visit us : this in- 
deed is the peculiar experiment, wherein that most 
divine attribute did shew and signaUze itself The 
power of God doth brightly shine in the creation, 
the wisdom of Gk)d may clearly be discerned in the 
government of things : but the incarnation of God 
is that work, is that dispensation of grace, wherein 
the divine goodness doth most conspicuously dis- 
play itself*. How, indeed, possibly could God have 
demonstrated a greater excess of kindness toward 

' Apparuerat ante potentia in rerum creatione, apparebat sa- 
pientia in earum gubematione ; sed benignitas misericordin nunc 
mazime apparuit in humanitate. — Bern, in Natir. Dom. Serm. i. 
[Opp. Tom. I. col. 1744 c] 

Semper quidem diversis modis multisque mensuris humane 
generi bonitas divina conBuluit, et plurima proTidentiie suae monera 
omnibus retro seculiB clementer impertiit ; sed in noTissimia tem- 
poribus omnem abundantiam BolitsB benignitatis excessity quando 
in Chris to, ipsa ad peccatores misericord ia, ipsa ad errantes Teritas, 
ipsa ad mortuos vita descendit, ^c. — P. Leo M. de Nat. Serm. it. 
[Opp, Tom. I. col. 78.] 

Tidings of great Joy. 389 

WB, than by thus, for our sake and good, sending serm. 
his dearest Son out of his bosom into this sordid 

and servile state, subjecting him to all the in- 
firmities of our frail nature, exposing him to the 
worst inconveniences of our low condition? What !*■• »»tvi- 
expressions can signify, what comparisons can set 
out the stupendous vastness of this kindness? If 
we should imagine, that a great prince should put 
his only son (a son most lovely, and worthily most 
beloved) into rags, should dismiss him from his 
court, should yield him up into the hardest slavery, 
merely to the intent that he thereby might redeem 
from captivity the meanest and basest of his sub- 
jects, how &int the resemblance would be of that 
immense goodness, of that incomparable mercy, 
which in this instance the King of all the world 
hath declared toward us his poor vassals, his in- 
deed unworthy rebels ! 

And what greater reason of joy can there be, 
than such an assurance of his love, on whose love 
all our good dependeth, in whose love aU our 
felicity consisteth? What can be more delightfrd 
than to view the face of our Almighty Lord so 
graciously smiling upon us ? 

Should we not be extremely glad, should we 
not be proud, if our earthly prince by any signal 
mark would express himself kindly affected to us ? 
How much more should we resent such a testi- 
mony of God's fevour ! how worthily may our souls 
be transported with a sense of such affection ! 

4 We may consider our Lord's nativity, as not 
only expressing simple good-will, but implying a 
perfect reconciliation, a firm peace, a steady friend- 
ship established between God and us; or that it 

390 The Nativity of our Lord, 

SERM. did not only proceed from love, but did also pro- 
— duce love to tis. We did stand at a great distance, 

in estrangement, yea in enmity toward God ; our 
first parents had by presumptuous disobedience re- 
volted from him ; and we, insisting on the footsteps 
of their apostasy, continued in defiance of him; 
Rom. iii. AU men had sinned, and fallen short of the glory 
GidMii. M. of God — There was not a righteous man upon earth, 
f^^' ^* thai did good, and sinned not : whence unavoidably 
the wrath of the most holy God was incensed, the 
justice of the most righteous Lord was engaged 
against us ; thence did issue a sad doom, thence a 
just sentence of capital punishment was denounced 
on us; no pretence of favour, no overture of peace, 
no hope of redress did then appear; we nowise 
being able to expunge our guilt, to repair our 
offences, to recover out of that corruption in mind 
and will, which did seal us up to ruin, indisposing 
us either to find or to entertain mercy" : but our 
Lord's coming did appease that anger, did mollify 
that justice, did suspend that condemnation, did 
Eph. ii. 15, close the breach, and slay the enmity ; Gfod, as the 
iu>m, viu. Apostle speaketh, sending his Son in the likeness of 

I' Cor. V. ^vf^fi^i and for sin did condemn sin in theflesh"^: 


™ *Advi>aroy ycyoyt rg iftwrti^ Xoyuc^ otfoj; «cal 4Kov<ri»s d/iofmiaairiij 
KOi vfr6 fforadcMyy Batfarov ytvofUp^^ 4<nn^p a»aKakiaxur$M c2r Acv^c- 
pUof. — ^Athan. [con. ApoU. Lib. u. Opp. Tom. i. p. 944 e.] 

*AdiWrov yap Mpnt rh xaBaphv ml ipoftaprnjrov cir' awBpvtrtmft 
^voYtfff vapabtxOfjvai, « fii) Btht iv (rapA nurrfvom t^oh 6 lifw 
dpafiOfyniTov diKatoarvmiv tls xdirfiop tUrayceynv^ ^C— Ep. de Incam. 
Verbi. [Opp. Tom. n. p. S4 B.] 

^ Th rov *fJAii avfiwrvfia tls AavyKpirov dvd(rnjfui Xpiar^s oMtarif 
carOf h Sftowfutri arapK6t dftapriag dtfiStUt ml KaroKpipos rrfp dfiaprioM 
iv tJ (rap«i.— {con. Apoll. Lib. i. Opp. Tom. i. p. 927 0.] 

E2 d« p.ii €v r^ dfiapTrfada-fj <f>va€i 17 dvapaprrfa'ia f<l>Bri, n£v KaTficpiBif 
1} dpapria iv rj (rapKii — [con. Apoll. Lib. II. p. 945 A.] 

Tidings of great Jay. 391 

for how can Grod now avert his fiwje from us, serm. 
whom his only dear Son hath vouchsafed to ^ 

make and own for his brethren ? How can he look 
with an eye of displeasure on that nature, where- 
with that Son of his love standeth clothed before 
him ? How can he abide offended with our race, « p<*. i-./p- 
m which pure innocence and perfect obedience are 16. 
found, he now appearing with us, and for us, in 
whom not the strictest justice nor the shrewdest 
malice can descry any fault or blemish**; In whom Matt m. 
therefore God is thoroughly weU pleased f Since i/ia. 
we have Ernmanudy God with tcs — God manifested I5 ' "^ 
in our flesh — The Lord our righteousness, partaker Jf^- "^"• 
of our infirmity, intercessor and advocate for his »™»- »^- 
own flesh and blood, ready to do and suffer what- 
ever God pleaseth to require on our behalf, how 
can God be against us? Shall God and man per- 
sist at distance or disaffection, who are so closely 
related, who are, indeed, so intimately united in one 
person? Shall heaven and earth retain enmity, 
which have so kindly embraced and kissed each 
other ; since Truth hath sprouted from the earth, PwJ. 
and righteousness hath looked down from heavenf 
Shall tixe war go on, when the great Mediator and 
Umpire of peace is come; Preaching peace to them Ibm. ix. 6. 
that are afar off, and to them that are nea/rf Can Eph.!!.' 17! 
death any longer reign over us, or our dififgrace 
and miseiy continue, now that the Prince of life, « Cor. a. 8, 
the Lard of ghry, the Captain of salvation doth^*^"-'®- 
appear for our relief ? 

Now then what can be more worthy of joy, 
than such a blessed turn of affidrs? How can we 

^ *Ey fftoi ovfc ?x<* ovdcF. — John xiy. 30. 
Ov^ cvpicrxtf h avr^ aZruiy.^-John ziz. 6. 

892 The Nativity of our Lordj 

8EBM. otherwise than with exceeding gladness solemnize 
L- such a peace? a peace accorded with him, who in 

forces so infinitely doth overmatch us; who at his 
pleasure can utterly quell us ; who with the greatest 
ease, with less than a word of his mouth, can daah 
us to nothing, or hurl us down into an abyss of 
remediless woe : how can we avoid being extremely 
satisfied at the recovery of his favour and friend- 
ship, which alone can be the foundation of our 
safety and welfare, which is the sole fountain of 
all good, of all comfort, of all felicity ? 

5 Our Lord's nativity doth infer a great ho- 
nour, and a high preferment to us : nowise, indeed, 
could mankind be so dignified, or our nature so 
Eph. iii. advanced as hereby : no wisdom can devise a way 
'®' '^' beyond this, whereby God should honour his most 
special &vourites, or promote them to a nearness 
unto himself For hence we become allied to God 
in a most strait affinity, his eternal Son being 
made our brother^": hence as touching the blood- 
royal of heaven we do in dignity o'ertop all the 
creation; so that what the Psalmist uttered con- 
cerning man is verified in the most comprehensive 
PaaL yiii scusc ; Thou kost oToumed him with glory and 
keh. iu 7, honour, cmd hast set him over the works of thy 
^' hands ; thou hast put aU things in subjection under 

his feet : for now the Son of man, being also the 
Col. ii. la Son of God, is The head of aU principality and 
A?to X.' ll'^po^^f is ^^ Lord of aU things, is the sovereign 
pLxii^o! prince of all the world, is placed Far above all 
I Pet. iii. principality, and power, amd might, and dominion, 
and every name that is named, not only in this 

P 'Hvoi/MVof Uarpi Kara nvevfui, i^fuy df Kara capKa. — ^Athao. [de 
Iiicarn. 0pp. Tom. r. p. 888 c] 


Tidings of great Joy. 393 

vxyrld, hut also in that which is to come. This is a sebm. 
peculiar honour, to which the higrhest ansfels can- L- 

not pretend ; for, He took not the nature of angels, Heb. iL i6; 
but he took the seed of Abraham; whence those 
noble creatures are become in a manner inferior to 
poor us; and, according to just obligation, willingly 
do adore our nature; for, When Ood brought hisie. 
f/rdbegoUen Son into the world he said, Let all 
the angels of God worship him. Is not, indeed, our 
flesh become adorable, as the true Shechinah, as 
the everlasting palace of the supreme Majestys 
Wherein the fulness of the Godhead dwelleih bodUy ; CoL u. 9. 
as the most holy shrine of the Divinity; as the 
orb of inaccessible light ; as more than all this, if 
more could be expressed, or if we could expound 
that text. The Word was made flesh, and dwelt john i. 14; 
in us f May not our soul worthily daim highest ""' ^^' 
respect, all whose faculties (being endued with un- 
measurable participations of the Holy Spirit) have 
been tuned to a perfect harmony with the all-wise 
understanding and the most pure will of God? 
yea, which hath been admitted into the nearest 
consortship, into the strictest union with the eter- 
nal Woid ; hath become an ingredient of him, who 
is The vnsdom and the power of Godf It was a i cor. i. 
great dignity that man should be made according to '^' 
the image of God ; but it is a more sublime glory, 
that God should be made after the image of man', 

*> 'H aapi oMv vb» cAt^ iBtokvy^Brj. — ^Id. [Ibid. p. 873 A.] 
Totum corpus implet tota dinnitas. — ^P. Leo. i. de Nat. Serm. 

X. [Opp. Tom. I. col. 108.] 

' Qoi cum origini humanae multum dederit, quod nos ad ima- 

ginem suam fecit, reparationi noBtne louge amplius tribuit, cum 

seirili form» ipse se Dominuscoaptarit. — ^De Nat. Serm. rr. [Opp. 

Tom. I. col. 79.] 

394 The Nativity of our Lordj 

SERM. Being made like to us in aU things, Kara iramra 
ofAoto^ek, bating only sin, which is no part of 

Heb.ii.17. ^g^ but an unnatural excrescence, or a deflection 
from our nature : how could we be so raised up to 
God, as by his thus stooping down to us? What 
can be imagined more honourable to us, than that 
God should deem us worthy of such condescension*? 
This, this indeed is our exaltation, that God for us 
shoidd express not only so vast charity, but so 
prodigious humility. 

And is it not good matter of joy to be thus 
highly graced? When are men better pleased than 
when they are preferred; than especially, when 
Psai. cxiu. from the meanest state, from the dunghill, or from 
i'sam.u.8. the dust, they are raised to be set among princes, 
and made to inherit the throne of glory? Where- 
fore this being our case, that we sons of earth, 
children of corruption, and brethren of worms, (in 
jobxvu. Job's style;) we exiles of paradise, we heirs of 
*^* death and misery; we, that by our nature are the 

lowest of all intelligent creatures, that by our 
Psai. ziiz. merits were debased beneath the beasts that perish, 
that we are assumed to such relations, that we are 
ennobled to such a pitch \ that our nature hath 
moimted so high above all creatures, with what 
enlargement of heart should we entertain a dispen- 
sation so wonderful I how welcome should that day 
be which doth introduce it I 

' Exultent ergo justi in Domino, et in laudem Dei corda cre- 
dentium, et mirabilia ejus confiteantur filii hominum : quoniam in 
hoc praecipue Dei opere humilitas nostra oognoscit, quanti earn 
suus conditor aastiniarit. — ^Id. n>]d. 

^ Hie infirmitatis nostrae suscipiens condiiionem, propter quos 
ad infema descendit, eosdem in ooelestibus collocavit. — ^De Nat. 
Serm. v. [col. 86.] 

Tidings of gretU Joy. 395 

6 Finally, if we survey all principal causes of serm. 
joy and special exultation, we shall find them all 1- 

concurring in this event. 

Is a messenger of good news embraced with 
joy? Behold the great Evangelist is come, with 
his mouth full of news, most admirable, most ac- 
ceptable: he, who doth acquaint us, that God is 
well pleased, that man is restored, that the adver- »«▼. »i. 
sary is cast down, that paradise is set open, and John xi?. 
immortality retrieved ; that truth and righteousness, l^© x. 
peace and joy, salvation and happiness are de- ^^' 
scended, and come to dwell on earth ; he of whom 
the prophet told, How heaviiful upon the mounriaai.m.7. 
tains are ike feet of him that hringeth good tidings, Roiii^x.15.' 
that publisheth peace; that hringeth good tidings 
of goody thai publisheth salvatimi ; that saith unto 
Ziony Thy God reigneth ; he who doth himself thus 
declare the drift and purport of his message ; The isai. ixi. i, 
spirit of the Lord God is upon me, to preach good liukeiv. 
tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up ^^' '^* 
the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the cap- 
tives, and opening of the prison to them that are 
bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord; 
to comfort all that mourn. 

Is the birth of a prince by honest subjects to 
be commemorated with joyous festivity? Behold isai. 

XI. 1. 

a Prince bom to all the world I a Prince undertak- ^'^jJi^^* 
ing to rule mankind with sweetest clemency and 
exact justice; a Prince bringing with him all peace 
and prosperity; In whose days Judah shall 6ejer. xxiu. 
saved, and Israel shall dwell safdy: who shall ^' 
protect us in assured rest and safety; shall secure 
us from all danger and mischief; shall achieve 
most gallant and glorious exploits in our behalf ; 

396 The Nativity of our Lord, 

SBBM. ghall vanquish all the enemies of our wel&re ; 
— shall rescue us from the worst slaveries and mia- 

chie&; shall settle us in a most free and happy 
Luke L 71, state : He who bringeth salvation from our ene- 
mieSy and from the hands of all that hate us ; 
that, being delivered from the hands of our ene- 
mies, we might serve him without fear, in holi- 
ness and righteousness h^ore him, all the days of 
our life. Now therefore it is seasonable to cry 
Rev. xix. out, AUdvjah, for the Lord God omnipotent reign- 
6,7; ^. let us he glad and rejoice, and give honour 

to him. 
laai. ix. 3. May victory worthily beget exultation ? See 
Rev. vi. 1. the invincible Warrior doth issue forth into the 
Luke zi. field, conqueriug and to conquer : he that shall 
Col. ii. 15. baffle and rifle the strong one, our formidable ad- 
John vL versary ; that shall rout all the forces of hell, and 
triumph over the powers of darkness ; that utterly 
shall defeat sin, and slay death itself; that shall 
subdue the world, and lay all things prostrate at 
his feet; behold the Captain of our salvation, 
arrayed with glorious humility, and armed with 
a mighty patience; see, the great blow is struck, 
I John ill which the infernal powers do stagger ; the Devil's 
Rom. xvi. pride and envy are abased, all the enemies are 
^^' amazed, are daunted, are confounded at his pre- 

sence ; they cannot stand, they break, they scatter, 
they flee before him. 
Eph.u. 17. Is a proclamation of peace, after ruefrd wars, to 
be solemnized with alacrity? Behold then ever- 
lasting peace between heaven and earth, a general 
peace among men, a souifd peace between each 
good man and himself are settled and published; 
the illustrious herald, the noble hostage of them is 

Tidings of great Joy, 397 

arrived; The Prince of peace himself doth bring all seem. 
peace unto us. 

Is satis£su2tion of desire and hope very pleq^ant? ^^^^l[ 
Behold the Desire qfaU nations^ the expectation qf^^- "•^* 
Israel, he for whom the whole creation groaned^ Hag. u, 7. 
is come. 

Is recovery of liberty delectable to poor slaves 
and captives? Behold the Bedeemeris come out of isai.Ux.20. 
Sion; the precious ransom, sufficient to purchase S"""" *^ 
the freedom of many worlds, is laid doL; ua 
blemished innocence, purity, and perfection appear- 
ing in human nature, have procured a releasement 
for us; have unlocked the prison of sin detaining Gai. 111.12. 
us, have knocked off the shackles of guilt sorely 
pinching and galling our consciences; have wrested 
us from the hands of those proud masters, who 
claimed a right, who exercised a most tyrannous 
power over us"; he is come, that proclaimeth iMti. ixi. i. 
liberty to the captives, and opening of the prison 18. 
to them that are bound ; the time is come, of which 
the Prophet foretold. The ransomed of the Lord L»i. xxxv. 
shall return and come to Sion with songs, and ever- ^^' 
lasting joy upon their heads : they shall obtain joy and 
gladness, and sorrow and sighing shaUJlee away. 

Is an overture of health acceptable to sick and 

languiahing persons? Behold the great Physician, Luke x. 33. 
endued with admirable skill, and furnished with JJ***' "* 
infallible remedies, is come, to cure us of our i Pet. ii. 
maladies, and ease us of our pains ; to bind up our ^^' 
wounds, and to pour in balm (the most sovereign 

" Nam 8uperbia hostis antiqui Don immerito sibi in omnes ho- 
mines jiu tyrannicum yindicabat, nee indebito dominata preme- 
baty quoB a mandate Dei Bpontaneoe in obsequium sun Toluntatis 
illexerat. — Id. de Nat. Serm. n. [0pp. Tom. i. col. 70.] 

398 The Nativity of our Lord, 

SERM. balm of his own blood) into them; to free us, not 


only from all mortiferous diseases, but from mor- 

isai. ixi. I. tality; itself: he, who was sent to bind up and heal 
Luke IV. ^j^^ brokenhearted; he, who Himsdftook our infir- 
J?"- ^:..*' mities, and bare our sicknesses ; he, of whom the 
»7- Prophet (in relation to corporal, and much more to 

4, 5 j 6^^' spiritual infirmities) did foretell ; God will come 

Luk^'^'ir! ^^ ^<^^ y^^ *' ^^^^ ^ ^^ 9f ^ blind shall be 

John xii. opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped; 

Acta X. 38. fjiefifi shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the 
tongue of the dumb shall sing ; he, whose art no 
disease can resist^ who is able to cure our most 
desperate, our most inveterate distempers; to heal 
the corruption and impotency of our nature, to 

^ ^^ void the ignorances and errors of our understand- 

EphTi.^io. ing, to correct the stupidity of our hearts, the 
perverseness of our wills, the disorder of our aflfeo- 
tions, to mitigate our anguish of conscience, and 
cleanse our sores of guilt; by various efficacious 
medicines, by the wholesome instructions of his 
doctrine, by the powerful inspirations of his grace, 
by the refreshing comforts of his Spirit, by the 
salutary virtue of his merits and sufferings. 

, Is mirth seasonable on the day of marriage ? 
Behold the greatest wedding that ever was is this 
day solemnized ; heaven and earth are contracted ; 
divinity is espoused to humanity; a sacred, an in- 

joei u. 16. dissoluble knot is tied between Qod and man ; The 
Bridegroom is com^ forth out of his chamber, {Ver- 
hvrni Dei de utero virginali,) dad in his nuptial 
garment of flesh, and ready to wed the church, 

Bev.xix.7. his beloved spouse''; Let us therrfore be glad and 

' In Natali enim DomiDi, Fratres dilectiBsimi, quasi in noptiis 
spiritualibus, sponsso stiso Ecclesiio OhristuB adjunctus est. — Tunc 

Tidings of great Joy. 399 

rejoice; for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and serm. 
his wife hath vnade herself ready. 

Is the access of a good friend to be received 
with cheerM gratulation ? Behold the dearest 
and best Friend of all mankind (most able^ most 
willing, most ready to perform all good oflSces, 
to impart wholesome advice, needful aid, sweet 
converse, and seasonable consolation) is arrived 
to visit us, to sojourn with us, to dwell in us for 

Is opportune relief grateful to persons in a 
forlorn condition, pinched with extreme want, or 
plunged in any hard distress ? Behold a merciM, 
a bountiM, a mighty Saviour and succourer, un- 
dertaking to comfort all that mourn, inviting all lmu. ixi. 9. 
such to receive from him a plentiftd supply for 
their needs, a comfortable ease in their pressures, 
a happy riddance from their calamities ; Who crieth 
aloud, (eKpa^e,) If any one thirsteih, let him com£ to John yii. 
me and drink : Come to me aU ye thcU labour and 11^^ iv. , . 
are heavy laden, and I wiU give you rest. M^ttf id 

Is the Bun-riamg comfortable, after a tedious, ^. 
darksome, and cold night ? See, The Sun of right- Mai ir. 1. 
eousness is risen vnih healing in his wings, dis- 
pensing all about his pleasant rays and kindly 
influences : The dayspring from on high hath visited Luke i. 78. 
us; diffiising an universal light upon the souls of 
men, whereby the night of ignorance is dispelled, 
the spectres of error are vanished, the mists of 

procewit spoiitiu de thalamo bvlo, hoc eety Verbiun Dei de utero Tir- 
ginali.— Aug. de temp. Berm. n. [0pp. Tom. r. (App.) Berm. cxyi. 
211 D.] 

*H ira(rras, ^ 27 ^ \6yos €Wfi<l>€va'aro r^y aapxa. — ^Procl. Episc. Oyz. 
[Hom. in Cone. £ph. apud Bin. Tom. ii. p. 1 c] 

400 The Nativity of our Lord, 

SERM. doubt are scattered; whereby we clearly and as- 
suredly discern all truths of importance to us, and 

worthy of our knowledge; concerning the nature 

and attributes, the works and providence, the will 

and pleasure of God; concerning ourselves, our 

nature and original, our duty and interest, our 

L»Lix.i. fiiture state, and final doom: Our light is come, 

ii; ixTs'; omd the glory of the Lord is risen upon us; The 

LakeiiLC-'^^ of ^^ world, the true light, enlightening every 

i- 79- man, by whose lustre aUJlesh may see the salvation 

of God, and which guideOi our feet in the way of 

peace, doth visibly shine forth upon us. 

Never, indeed, did heaven with so fair and serene 

a countenance smile upon earth, a^ then it did, 

Rey. xxii. whou this Bright and Tnoming star, aaTtjp Xofivpoif 

'^' Kal ipOpii^ did spring up above our horizon, 

bringing this goodly day; and with it shedding 

life and cheer among us. 

From this auspicious day did commence the 
revocation of that fatal curse, by which we were 
expelled from paradise, adjudged to death, and 
committed to heU; from thence we became rein- 
stated in a condition of hope, and in a fair capacity 
of happiness ; from thence is to be dated a return 
of joy into this region of disconsolateness. In this 
nativity mankind was bom, or did revive from 
manifold deaths; from a legal, a moral, a natural, 
an eternal death; from lying dead in irrepaxable 
guilt, and under an insuperable power of sin; 
from having our bodies irrecoverably dissolved 
by corruption, and our souls immersed into that 
zx. 14. second more ghastly death of perpetual incurable 

It is in e£fect therefore the birthday of the 

Tidings of gi^eat Joy. 401 

world ^; the beginning of a new, better, eternal life serm. 

to men, (offered to all, and effectually bestowed on '— 

those who will embrace it,) which we now do cele- 
brate. All reason therefore we have to rejoice 
most heartily and most abxmdantly : as the goods 
thence accruing to us are in multitude innumerable, 
in quality inestimable, in duration immense ; so in 
some correspondence should our joy be very intense, 
very eflftise, very stable ; the contemplation of them 
should infiise somewhat of that unspeakable joy, i Pet i. 8. 
whereof St Peter speaketh ; we should be fiUed, 
according to St Paul's expression, with all joy Rom. xv. 
and peace in believing them ; we should hold fast, phu. i. ,5. 
as the Apostle to the Hebrews adviseth, the con- R^m.'^iif * 
fidence and rejoicing of hope, grounded on them, "• 
firm to the end. 

Having so many, so great causes of joy, are we 
not very stupid, are we not strangely cross and 
perverse, if we neglect so pleasant a duty ? 

To conclude : Of all the days that rise upon us, 
this undoubtedly is the queen, crowned by God's 
own hand with sovereign blessings; God hath 
avowed it to be the day of his pecuUar making, 
and therefore of our special rejoicing; for thus of 
old the inspired Psalmist did teach and exhort us 
to keep Christmas : This is the day which the Lord Pa. cxvUi. 
hath made ; let us rejoice and he glad therein. M»tt. xxi. 

I Pet ii. 7. 
y It is the birthday of the Church. Generatio enim Christ! Actsiv. u. 

origo est populi Christiani ; et natal is capitis natalis est corporis. — 

P. Leo. I. de Nat. Serm. vi. [0pp. Tom. i. col. 88.] 

Sicnt cum Christo in passione cracifixi, in resmrectione resus- 

citati, in ascensione ad dextram Patris collocati, ita cum ipso sumus 

in hac natiritato congeniti. — Id Ibid. 

B. S. VOL. IV. 26 




Acts III. i8. 

BiU those thinga, which God before had shewed by the 
mouth of all his Prophets, that Christ should suffer^ he 
hath sojulfilled. 


JERM. "jMTANY good arguments there are, diflferent in 

L. -L*^ kind, which conspire to persuade the truth of 

our religion; such as are the intrinsic reasonable- 
ness, excellency, and perfection of its doctrine ; the 
miracidous works performed in attestation thereto ; 
the special favour of Providence declared in the 
support and propagation thereof: but upon no 
other ground do the Scriptures so much build its 
truth, and our obligation to embrace it, as upon 
the exact correspondence and conformity thereof to 
aU the ancient Scriptures, which did foreshew or 
foretell its revelation and introduction into the 
world; to those especially which described the per- 
sonal characters, circumstances, and performances 
of our Lord: to this our Lord, in his discourses 
and disputes with incredulous people, referred 
John V. 39. them ; Search the ScriptureSy said he, because in 
them ye expect to have eternal life ; (that is, to find 
the true way of saving truth leading thereto;) 
and those are they which testify of me: by this he 

The Sufferings of Christy dc. 403 

instructed and convinced his disciples ; Beginning serm. 
from Moses and from all the Prophets, he eay 

pounded unto them in aU the Scriptures the things 27,. :^u?^' 
concerning himself: and, These (said he to them^j^J^' 
presently before his departure) are the words which 
I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all 
things must he fulfilled which were wintten in the 
Law of Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the 
Psal/ms, concerning me: this the Apostles, in all 
their preaching, (whereby they taught, proved, 
and persuaded the Cliristiaii doctrine,) did chiefly 
insist upon ; Moses, saith St Peter, truly said unto Acste iu. 
the fathers, yea, and all the Prophets from So/mud, ^*' ^*' 
and those thatfoUow after, as Tnany cw have spoken, 
have likewise foretold of these days ; and, To him, x. 43; 
saith he again, give all the Prophets vritness, that^jy^ 
through his name whosoever helieveth in him shaUy^^l^' 
receive remission of sins. And of St Paul it is ^^ ^^• 
said, that He mightily convinced the Jews — shewing xxvUL 23. 
hy the Scriptures, that Jesus wa^ the Christ; and 
— he eaypounded, and testified the kingdom of Ood, 
persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the 
Law of Moses, and out of the Prophets : thus the 
chief Apostles and founders of our Religion in their 
pubUc discourses; and in their Epistles they ob- 
serve the same method; as particularly asserting 
Christian doctrines and duties by the testimonies 
of prophetical Scriptures, so generally affirming 
our Religion to be chiefly grounded on them ; Of iTetA. 10. 
which salvation (saith St Peter, concerning the 
salvation exhibited by the Gospel) the Prophets 
did inquire, and search diligently, who prophesied 
of the grace to come unto you ; and (in regard to 
the conviction of others) he seems to prefer the 


404 The Sufferings of Christ 

SBitM. attestation of this kind before the special revelation 
immediately made to the Apostles; for having 

a Pet.i. rp. spoken of it^ he subjoins, Kal iyofiev fieficuoTepov 

rov vpofptiTiKov Xoyov^ We have also a more sure 
word of prophecy ; whereunto ye do well that ye 
do take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a 
dark pUice^ until the day dawn, and the day-star 
Rom. xvt arise in your hearts. And St Paul saith, that The 
^^' ^ ' ^* *' mystery i which uhzs kept secret since the world 
began, was then made manifest, and by the pro- 
phetical Scriptures, according to the commandment 
of the everlasting God, made known to aU nations, 
2 Tim. iu. to the obedience of faith ; and, The holy writings, 
he telleth Timothy, were able to make him wise 
to the salvation which is by the faith of Jesus 
Christ ; that is, they were able to shew and per- 
suade to him the truth of Christianity, which 
promiseth salvation to all that heartily embrace it 
and observe its laws. 

Such a stress was laid upon this probation by 
the founders of our Religion ; and no wonder ; for 
that it is not only extremely forcible in itself, but 
hath some particular uses, and some peculiar ad- 
vantages beyond others. The foreknowledge of 
ftiture contingent events, (such as were many of 
those concerning our Saviour, depending upon the 
freest acts of human will,) as it is for the manner 
of attaining it most incomprehensible to us, sq it is 
most proper to God, and by all men so acknow- 
ledged; future contingencies being secrets which 
no man, no angel, no creature can dive into, they 
being not discernible in their causes, which are in- 
determinate; nor in themselves, who are finite. 
The prediction therefore of such events could not 

foretold in the Old Testament. 405 

otherwise than proceed from his pleasure; neither serm. 

could he yield it in way of favour and approbation 1- 

to that which was not perfectly true and good: 
this way therefore doth absolutely confirm the 
truth and goodness of Christian doctrine ; it withal 
manifests the great worth and weight thereof, as 
implying the particular regard and care God had 
of it, designing it so anciently, laying trains of 
Providence toward it, and preparing such evidences 
for the confirmation thereof; it together into the 
bargain maintaineth the truth of the Jewish dis- 
pensation, the sincerity of the ancient Patriarchs 
and Prophets, and the vigilant care the divine 
goodness hath always had over the state of Religion, 
and toward the welfare of mankind; never leaving 
it destitute of some immediate revelations from 
himself. It had a peculiar aptitude to convert the 
Jews, who were possessed with a ftill persuasion 
concerning the veracity and sanctity of their an- 
cient Prophets; and could not therefore doubt 
concerning the truth of that, which appeared con- 
formable to that, which they had foretold should 
be declared and dispensed for their benefit. This 
probation also hath this advantage, that it, singly 
taken, doth suffice to convince; whereas others can 
hardly do it, otherwise than in conjunction with 
one another, and especially with its aid: for the 
goodness of the doctrine may be contested in some 
points ; and however good it seem, it may be im- 
puted to human invention : strange effects may be 
deemed producible by other causes beside divine 
power; and they may be suffered to be done for 
other ends than for confirmation of truth ; they are 
also commonly transient, and thence most liable 

406 2%e Sufferings of Christ 

^1^?* to doubt. Providence also is in many cases so 

mysterious and unsearchable^ that the incredulous 

will never allow any inferences to be drawn from 
it : but the plain correspondence of events to the 
standing records of ancient prophecies (obvious 
and conspicuous to every one that will consult and 
compare them) concerning a person to be sent by 
God, who should have such circumstances^ and be 
so qualified; who should in God's name preach 
such doctrines and perform such works^ is a proof, 
which alone may assure any man, that such a 
person doth come from God, and is, in what he 
declareth or doeth, approved by him : no coimter- 
feiting can here find place; no evasion can be 
devised from the force of this proof. 

This way therefore of discourse our Lord and 
his Apostles (whose business it was by the most 
proper and effectual methods to subdue the reasons 

Rom. i. 5. of men to the obedience of faith and entertainment 
of Christian truth) did especiaQy use; as generaUy 
in respect to all tilings concerning our Lord, so 
particularly in regard to his passion; declaring it 
to happen punctually according to what had been 
foreseen by God, and thence foreshowed by his 

Luke xvui. Prophets, rightly understood ; He took the twelve, 
' ' saith St Luke of our Lord, and said unto them, 
Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that 
are urritten by the Prophets concerning the Son of 
man shoM he accomplished: for he shall he delivered 
unto the Gentiles, and shaU he mocked, and spite- 
fully entreaied, and spitted on; and they shall 
scourge him, and put him to death. And again, 
after his resurrection, he thus reproves his dis- 

16746?' ciples ; fools, and slow of heart to hdieve aU that 

foretold in the Old Testament, 407 

the Prophets have spoken : ought not Christ to have serm. 

suffered these things, and to enter into his glory f '— 

They did not then (paxtly bemg blinded with pre- 
judice^ partly not having used due industry^ and 
perhaps not excelling in natural capacity; how- 
ever^ not yet being sufficiently enlightened by 
divine grace) apprehend^ or discern, that, accord- 
ing to the prophetical instructions, our Lord was 
so to suflTer; but afterward, when He had openec? Luke xzw. 
their understanding, that they might understand the ^^' 
Scriptures, they did see, and specially urge this 
point: then St Peter declared, that The Spirit ^iPet.i.ii. 
Christ, which was in the Prophets, did testify hefore- 
hand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that 
should follow ; then it was their manner to reason 
(as is said of St Paul) out of the Scriptures, Opeur Acta xvil 
ing and alleging that Christ must needs have sfixf Jif ^"^ 
fered: Saying none other things than those which 
the Prophets and Moses did say should come, that 
Christ should suffer ; Delivering first of all, that i cor. xv. 
Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures: ^' 
this is that which in my text St Peter doth insist 
upon, affirming about the passion of Christ, that 
it not only had been predicted by one, or more, 
but foreshewed by an universal consent of all the 
Prophets; to illustrate and confirm which assertion 
of his, is the scope of our present discourse: to 
perform which, after having briefly touched the 
state of the matter in hand, we shall apply our- 
selves. ^ 

That the Messias was to come in an humble and 
homely maimer; (without appearance of worldly 
splendour or grandeur;) that he was to converse 
among men in a state of external poverty and 

408 The Sufferings of Christ 

8EBM. meanness ; that he was to cause offences, and find 

--opposition in his proceedings; that he was to be 

repulsed and rejected, to be hated and scorned, to be 
disgracefully and harshly treated, to be grievously 
persecuted and afflicted; yea, that at last he was 
to be prosecuted, condemned, and executed as a 
malefactor, is a truth indeed, which the Jews 
(although they firmly believed and earnestly ex- 
pected the coming of a Messias) did not, and in- 
deed were hardly capable to entertain. It was a 
point repugnant to the whole frame of their con- 
ceits; yea, inconsistent with the nature and drift 
of their Keligion, as they did understand it; for 
their Beligion in its surface (deeper than which 
their gross fancy could not penetrate) did represent 
earthly wealth, dignity, and prosperity, as things 
most highly valuable ; did propound them as very 
proper, if not as the sole rewards of piety and 
obedience ; did imply consequently the possession 
of them to be certam arguments of the Divine 
good-will and regard : they could not therefore but 
esteem poverty, affliction, and disgrace, as curses 
from heaven, and plain indications of God's digh 
favour toward those on whom they fell : they par- 
ticularly are said to have conceited, that to be rich 
was a needful qualification for a prophet ; (no less 
needfrd, than to be of a good complexion, of a good 
capacity, of a good conversation and life :) Spiritus 
Dei non requiescit super paupererHy The Spirit of 
God doth not rest upon a poor man; (that is, no 
special communications of grace, or of wisdom and 
goodness, are by (Jod ever afforded to persons of a 
low and afflicted condition ;) being a maxim which 
they had framed, and which currently passed among 

foretold in the Old Testament 409 

them: that he therefore, who was designed to be serm, 

so notable a prophet; who was to have the honour — 

of being so special an instrument of promoting 
God's service and glory ; who therefore should be 
so highly favoured by God, that he should appear 
despicable, and undergo great afflictions, was a 
notion that could not but seem very absurd ; that 
could not otherwise than be very abominable to 
them. They had further (in congruity to these 
prejudices, abetted by that extreme self-love and 
self-flattery, which were peculiar to that nation) 
raised in themselves a strong opinion, that the 
Messias was to come in a great visible state and 
power; to achieve deeds of mighty prowess and 
renown; to bring the nations of the world into 
subjection under him; and so to reign among them 
in huge majesty and prosperity. When Jesus 
therefore (however otherwise answerable in his 
circumstances, qualifications, and performances, to 
the prophetical characters of the. Messias) did first Matt. xyI. 
appear such as he did, with some pretences, or in- ^^' 
timations rather, that he was the Messias, their 
stomach presently rose at it ; they were exceedingly 
scandalized at him; they deemed him not onlyxiiLsr; 
a madman, (one possessed or distracted) and an"^' ** 
impostor, but a blasphemer ; for no less than blas- 
phemy they took it to be for so mean and pitiful 
a wretch (as to their eyes he seemed) to assume 
unto himself so high a dignity, and so near a 
relation unto God, as being the Messias did import. 
We even see the disciples themselves of our Lord 
so deeply imbued with this national prejudice, 
that, even after they had avowed him for the 
Christ, they could scarce with patience hear him 

410 The Suffeinngs of Christ 

SERM. foretellinff what grievous thinm should befall him : 

. — — St Peter himself^ upon that occasion^ even just after 

he seriously had confessed him to be the Christ, 

Mattxvi. Did, as it is expressed^ take him^ and began to 

rebuke him, saying^ Be it far from thee, Lord : yea^ 

presently after that our Lord most plainly had 

M. 71, 35. described his sufferings to them, they could not 

forbear dreaming of a kingdom, and of being 

grandees therein: yea, ftirther, even after our 

Lord's passion and resurrection, this &ncy stOl 

possessed them; for even then they demanded of 

Acts i. 6. him, whether he would at that time restore the 

kingdom unto Israel; meaning such an external 

visible kingdom. 

Hence of aU things, notifying the Messias, this 
seemeth to be the only particular, which in general 
the Jews did not, or would not see and acknow- 
ledge ; and this caused them to oversee all other 
glorious marks, how clearly soever shining in and 
about the person of Jesus : this cloud hindered 
them from discerning the excellency of his doctrine, 
from regarding the sanctity of his life, fit)m being 
duly affected with the wonderfulness of his works, 
from minding, or from crediting all the testimonies 
fi^m heaven ministered unto him ; this, as St Paul 
I Cor. i. telleth us, was the main scandal, which obstructed 
Arte xiu. tli^ir embracing the Gospel. As it was their igno- 
Joinx'^* ranee or error in this point, which disposed them 
«i. to persecute our Lord; {Nisi enim ignoratus, nihil 

I Cor. ii. 8. scUicet poti possety as TertuUian saith^ ; If they had 
known, they would not have crucified the Lord of 
glory, saith St Paul;) so it was that which main- 
tained their obstinate hatred of his name and 

* Adr. Maro. in. 6. [0pp. p. 399 d.] 

foretold in the Old Testament 411 

memory: although graced with so illustrious tes- serm. 

•/ ' O O -r YTT 

timonies of divine power and providence. '— 

We cannot therefore here, as in other particu- 
lars concerning our Lord, allege the general con- 
sent of God's people in expounding the Prophets 
ax^cording to our sense, this bemg one of those 
points, in respect to which the Prophets themselves 
did foresee and foretell their perverse stupidity and 
incredulity** ; that they should look, and not see ; isai. vi. o. 
hear, and not understand ; yielding herein special ^ * ™*' 
occasion to that complaint, Who hath bdieved cmr ^^•™-^- 
report f Yet, notwithstanding their affected and»cvm.i6. 
culpable blindness, there is no particular concern- 
ing the Messias in the ancient Scriptures, either 
more frequently in way of mystical insinuation 
and adumbration glanced at, or more clearly in 
direct and plain language expressed ; or which also 
by reasonable deduction thence may be more 
strongly inferred than this. 

I say, first, it is frequently glanced at by 
mystical insinuations; for explaining the intent of 
which assertion, we shall premise somewhat, which 
may serve to declare the pertinency of many dta- 
tions produced out of the ancient Scripture in the 
New Testament; the which, together with others 
coimected with them, or bearing just analogy to 
them, we also, being assured of their design by the 
authority of our Lord and his Apostles, may safely 
presume after them to apply to the same purposes. 
We may then consider, that the all-wise God, 
{Who worheth all things after the counsel of ^i^Eph.i.ii. 
own mU, and to whom all things are present,) Tit. T.'a. ^' 
having before eternal times, as St Paul speaketh, ' ^^' "• ^• 

* Vid. TertulL ibid. 

412 The Sufferings of Christ 

SERM. determined in due time to send the Messias. for 
accomplishing the greatest design that ever was to 

Eph. 1. 3; 1^^ managed in this world, (that which should 
w. xTi. bring the highest glory to himself, and procure 
CoL i. a6. the richest benefits to the principal of his creatures 
here,) did by his incomprehensible providence so 
order things, that all the special dispensations pre- 
ceding it should have a fit tendency and an advan^ 
tageous reference thereto ; so that, when it came 
upon the stage, it might appear that the main of 
the plot consisted therein ; and that whatever was 
acted before had principally a respect thereto. As 
therefore from the beginning of things God did in 
a gradual method make real preparations towards 
it, by several steps imparting discoveries of his 
mind about it, or in order thereto, (somewhat to 
Adam himself, more to Abraham and the Patri* 
archs, somewhat further to Moses, much more yet 
to divers of the Prophets among his chosen people, 
who not only foretold largely concerning it, but 
delivered divers kinds of instruction conformable 
to it, and conducible to the promoting and enter- 
tainment thereof,) so he did also take especial care 
by many apposite representations, {votira Oewpn- 
inara, intelligible spectacles^, or objects of mental 
speculation, Eusebius calleth them,) handsomely 
inserted into all his dispensations, to set it out, 
and to insinuate his meaning about it; that so it 
might at length shew itself with more solemnity, 
and less surprise : the most eminent persons there- 
fore, whom he raised up, and employed in his 
affairs, tending to that end, as they did resemble 
the Messias, in being instruments of God's par- 

"^ Euseb. Hist. Eool. i. 2. [Tom. i. p. 9.] 

foretold in the Old Testament. 413 

ticular grace and providence^ (being, indeed^ inferior serm. 
Christs and Mediators, partial Saviours and Be- 

deemers of his people, as they are sometimes called) ; S[i.^v.t. 
so they were ordered in several circumstances of q^J*.^;^- 
theu- persons, in divers actions they performed, in na. ii. ' 
the principal accidents befalling them, to represent Acts vii. 
him : (becoming eiKoviKol Xpurrol, Christs in image\ 
as Eusebius again styleth them :) the rites also and 
services of Religion instituted by them in God's 
name were adapted to the same purpose ; they and 
all things about them, by God's especial direction Heb.viii. 5. 
and wise care, being fitted so as to be congruous 40. 
emblems and shadows prefiguring Christ, and 
whatever appertained to him^: thus was Adam^ 
as St Paul calleth him, A type 0/ Christ ; and Abel, Rom. t. 14. 
Melchisedec, Isaac, Moses, Joshua, David, Solo- 
mon^ Zorobabel are intimated to have been such ; 
the most signal things done by them, or befalling 
them, having been suited to answer somewhat re- 
markable concerning him ; so that we may say of 
them all, as the Apostle to the Hebrews did of the 
Jewish priests. They served to the subindic(itionReb.ym,S' 
and shadowing of heavenly things^ In David 
particularly this relation is so plain, that because Ewi"*' ^* 
thereof, in the Prophets Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and"f*^^A 
Hosea, the Messias is called by his name, as if he ^4i ^5- 
were revived in the Messias. It, indeed, well 
suited the dignity of this great personage, and the 
importance of his business, that he should haveHeb.viii.5; 
appointed so notable heralds and harbingers to go ^* ' ' 

[phs Koi avTovs vtvfittn Btttf IIpo(f>TJTai xpiovrti^ tiKoviKovs rtvas 
Xpitrrovs a!K€ipya(ovTo, — I. 3. Tom. I. p. 12.] 
• Vid. Euseb. ibid. 

Oirirrff trnvdeiyfiaTt koI (r«ci$ XoTpfvovcri rSy iirovpavmv, — Hcb. 

a*. ^ 

Till. 5. 

414 The Sufferings of Christ 

8SBM. before his face ; furnished with conspicuous ensigns 

'— and badges denoting their relation to him. It 

Si IT iV ^^ proper, that God should appear to have had 
■ always an express regaxd toward him: it cons^ 
quentiy doth serve to our edification ; for that we 
duly comparing things, and espying this admirable 
correspondency, may be instructed thereby, and 
established in our faith; may be excited to the 
admiration of God's wisdom, so harmoniously con- 
necting things, and of his goodness, so provident 
for our welfare ; may also be induced thereby the 
more highly to adore the Messias, and to esteem 
his design : such uses St Paul signifieth, when, 
having compared divers things concerning Moses 
I Cor. s. to things concerning Christ, he saith. All these 
\iet,i 12. things happened as types, and they were written 
for our admonition^ on whom the ends of the world 
are come. 

It is also (both for illustration and proof of 
these things) to be observed, that because those 
eminent servants of God were representatives of 
Christ, many things are spoken of them, as such; 
many things are ascribed to them, which only, or 
chiefly, were intended of him ; their names are 
used as veils to cover divers things concerning 
him, which it seemed to divine wisdom not so con- 
venient, in a more open and clear manner, to dis- 
close promiscuously to all men. That this obser- 
vation is true; that, I say, tmder the names of 
persons representing Christ (or of things, we may 
add, adumbrating his things) many things are inti- 
mated principally concerning him and his dispen- 
sations, may be collekited and confirmed from hence, 
that many things are attributed to persons (and 

foretold in the Old Testament 415 

to thin£p3 also) which do not a^ree to them : many sebm. 

things were promised which appear never accom- '— 

plished, except after an improper and hyperbolical 
manner of expression, or according to an enormous 
wideness of interpretation ; such as do not weU 
seem to suit the nature of true histories and serious 
promises : thus^ for instance, many things are fore- 
told concerning the large extent and prosperous 
state of the Jewish Church ; which history and !«". «▼. 
experience do testify never (according to strict- 
ness of literal acception, yea not in any tolerable 
degree, near the height of what the words import) 
to have come to pass : thus also, as the Apostle to Heb. x. 4. 
the Hebrews argueth, effects are attributed to the 
Jewish rites and sacrifices, which according to the 
nature of things cannot belong to them, otherwise 
than as substitutes and shadows of things more 
high in substance and effica(y : thus also what is Ps. ziv. 
with solemn oath promised to Solomon (concerning i^^. &c. 
the vast extent and endless duration of his empire 
in righteousness, peace, and prosperity; together 
with his mighty acts, and successful achievements) 
doth not appear directly in any competent measure 
to have been accomplished : thus also David (as Acts li. ^9. 
St Peter in the second of the Acts observeth, and 
groimdeth his argumentation on it) speaketh divers 
things of himself, which cannot be conceived pro- 
perly and literally agreeable to him : such things 
therefore (having some truth under them) are 
reasonably supposed to be intimations of some- 
what appertaining to the future more perfect state 
of things under the Messias ; to concern him (who 
was to be The end of the law) and his dispensation, ?T^*^fj* 
which was to be the accomplishment of all things 37. 


I 41 6 The Sufferings of Christ 

' 8EBM. predicted and presignified : this is that which St 

LXii. ^^g^jj^ signifieth, when he saith of Christ, that 

^etLio, ^^-^ aK the promises of the Jewish nation, aU 
their prophecies, "priesthoods, sacrifices, their temple, 
and aU their sacraments whatever did resound, 
or express*. 

Neither are these things only said according to 
suppositions assumed in the New Testament ; but 
they agree, as to their general importance, to the 
sense of the ancient Jews, who did conceive such 
mysterious references often to he couched under 
the letter of the Scriptures : they did suppose every 
where a Midr<xsh, or mystical sense; whidi they 
very studiously (even to an excess of curiosity and 
dilisrence) searched after: it was a constant and 
coildent opinion of their doctors, that all things in 
Moses's law were typical^, and capable of allegorical 
exposition ; and Philo's writings (composed imme- 
diately after our Saviour's times) do shew that 
opinion then to have been passable. We have also 
several instances and intimations thereof in the 
New Testament: neither is it probable, that our 
Lord and the Apostles would, in their discourses 
and disputations with the Jews, have used this way 
of alleging and interpreting passages of Scrip- 
ture, if they in general had not admitted and ap- 
proved it. 

Why God should choose to express matters 
of this nature in such a manner, we need not to 

9 Qaem Christum — omnia gentis illias promissa, omncB pro- 
phetiffi, sacerdotia, sacrificia, templum, et cuncta omnino sacra- 
menta sonuerunt. — Aug. ad Volus. [Ep. cxxxvn. 0pp. Tom. n. 
col. 408 E.] 

^ Vid. Capell. in Exerc. ad Zohar. [Comment, et Notie Crit. 
p. 310 et scqq. — ^Amst. 1689.] 

foretold in the Old Testament. 417 

determine^; it might be perhaps for reasons only serm. 

known to himself, above our ken or cognizance : 1- 

yet divers probable reasons may be assigned for 
it, yea some more than probable, seeing they are 
expressed or hinted in Scripture. It might be for 
a decent and harmonious discrimination of times^ 
of dispensations, of persons ; it might be from the 
depth of things to conciliate reverence to them, 
and to raise the price of knowing them, by the 
difficulty of attaining thereto; it might be by ex- Rev. n. 7; 
ercise to improve the understandings of men, to x^'. 9/ 
inflame their desire, to excite their industry, to^^^^™\ 
provoke their devotion, to render them modest and j^|f' *' 
humble ; it might be for occasion to reward an i-^e xxiv. 
honest and diligent study of God's word, and to i Cor. xii. 
convey special gifts of interpretation; it mightEpiuT9/ 
be to conceal some things from some persons J^itt xiii. 
unworthy or unfit to know them, especially from^2'^^-*5; 
haughty and self-conceited persons ; it might be to ^^^:}'^ s- 
use the ignorance of some as a means to produce 
some great events; such as was the misusing and 
persecuting our Lord : for such reasons it might 
be, and there is no good reason against it; for it 
cannot be supposed necessary, that aU things should 
be plainly discovered at all times, and to all per- 
sons; it is evident that some things are couched 
in parabolical and mysterious expressions ; it is Oai. !▼. 4. 
particularly the manner of prophetical instruction 1 feml'ii!?! 
frequently to involve things, the full and clear 
knowledge of which is not congruous to every 
season, nor suitable to every capacity ; but reserved 
for times, and persons, for which the divine wisdom 
only knows them most proper. 

* Vid. Chrys. 0pp. Tom. yi. pp. 649, 668. 

n. S.V0L. IV. 27 


Mattr xiii. 

418 The Sufferings of Christ 

SEBM. These things beiiig thus premised, we come to 

L our particular case, and say, that (according to 

what our Lord and his Apostles teach) the Mes- 
siah's being to suffer was in divers passages of the 
ancient Scripture prefigured. Supposing the thing 
itself determined to be^ there are peculiar reasonsf^ 
why it rather so, than in a more open manner, 
should be represented, contained in those words of 
TertuUian^: The sacramfient ivdeed, saith he, of 
Christ^ s pamon ought to have been Jlgured in the 
(ancient) predications ; forctsmuch as that the more 
incredible it was (if it should have been preached 
nakedly y) the more offensive it would have been; 
and the more magnificent it was, the more it was 
to be overshadowed^ that the difficuUy of under-- 
standing it might be cause of seeking of Ood^s grace. 
Supposmg it also that it should be, it is plain that 
the passages about Abel, Isaac, Josias, Jeremy, 
and the like, may congruously be applied thereto; 
that the elevation of the brazen serpent, and the 
slaying the paschal lamb may appositely represent 
it ; the Jewish priests, with all their sacrifices, may 
also with reason be brought in, and acconmiodated 
thereto: these things, indeed, by themselves soli- 
tarily are not apt peremptorily to evince that it 
should be; yet do they handsomely suit it, and 
adorn the supposition thereof; according to the 
notion premised about the figurative relation be- 
tween the matters of the old world before the 
Messias, and the new one after him. But with a 

^ IJtique saeramentum pawionis ipsiuB figurari in pnedieatio- 
nibus oportuerat, quantoque incredibile, tanto magis scandalum 
futurum, si nude prredicaretur: quantoque magnificum, tanto magis 
obumbrandum, ut difficultas intellectus gratiam Dei quxereret. — 
Tertull. adv. Jud. cap. z. [0pp. p. 195 c] 

foretold in the Old Testament, 419 

clearer evidence and stronger force we may affirm, sbbm. 
that the Messiah's suffering were implied in th^ J^^ 
afflictions ascribed to his representative, king 
David^ such as he in several Psalms (in the 35th, 
69th, 109th, 1 1 8th, and especially in the 22d 
Psalm) describeth them; wherein divers pas- 
sages, expressing the extreme sadness and for- 
lomness of his condition, occur, which by the 
history of his life do not so well, according to 
the literal signification of words, appear congruous 
to his person ; which therefore there is a neces- 
sity, or at least much reason, that they should 
be applied to the Messias, whom that holy king 
did represent. 

Which being admitted, comparing the passages 
we find there to that which befell Jesus, we may 
observe an admirable harmony ; there being scarce 
any part of his affliction in his life, or any cir- 
cumstance thereof at his death, which is not in 
express and emphatical terms there set out. There 
we have expressed his low and despicable estate; 
/ am a worm^ and no man ; ike refproach of men, pg. xxu. 6; 
and despised of the people : — ^the causeless hatred 
and enmity of the populacy and of the great ones 
toward him; They that hate me without a cause 1^,4; 
are m^ore than the hairs of my head; they ^^™V' 
voovld destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, 
are mighty; they compassed me ahout with words 
of haired, andfoitght against me without a cause: 
— ^the ingrateftd requital for all the good intended 
and performed by him; They rewarded me evUmy, n; 
for good, and hatred for my love: — their rejecting"^ ^' 
him; The stone which the builders refused is beronm.2%. 
corns the head stone of the comer : — ^their insidious 


420 The Sufferings of Christ 

SEBM. and calumnious proceedings against him; Withovt 
cause have they hid for me their net in a pit, which 

7 'i "ci withovi cause they have digged for my soul. And, 
^' False witnesses did rise up ; they laid to my charge 

things that I knew not. And, The mouth of ^ 
wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened 
against ine; they hive spoken against me unth a 
lying tongue: — their bitter insulting over him in 
XXXV. 15; his affliction; But in mine adversity they rejoiced, 
' and gathered themselves together; yea, the objects 
gathered themselves together against me : They per- 
secute him whom thou hast smitten, and they talk 
to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded : xal 

eirl TO a\yo^ rwv Tpav/maTwv fxov wpoaeOijKav, and 

to the smart of my wounds Ihey have added ; (say 

the LXX.) — ^their scornfiil reviling, flouting, and 

xxu. 7, 8; mocking him ; All they that see me laugh ms to 

scoim; they shoot out the lip, ihey shake the head, 

saying y He trusted in the Lord that he would deliver 

him; let him deliver him, seeing he ddighteth in 

cix. 2s; him. And, / became a reproach unto them ; when 

"f^' ^'' ihey looked upon me, they shaked their heads : 

They opened their mouth wide against me, and 

said. Aha, aha, our eye hath seen it. * Eireipaaav /me, 

i^e/uLVKTTjpia'ap fi€ fAVKTrfpicrtuLov^ efipvl^av ew e/xe toiJs 

o^ovrai avTwv; They tempted me, th^ eoctremdy 

mocked me, they gnashed iheir teeth upon me: — 

—their cruel and contemptuous usage of him; 

xxii. 16, Dogs have compassed me ; ihe assembly of the 

^'' wicked have enclosed me; they pierced my hands 

and my feet. I may tell aU my hones; they look 

and stare upon me: — their abusive dealing with 

him, when he in his distress called for some 

ixix. II. refreshment ; They gave me gall for my meat, and 

foretold in the Old Testament. 421 

in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink : — ^their berm, 

J "X'TT 

disposal of his garments upon his suffering ; They 

part my garments among them, and cast lots upon isj "^*' 
my vesture: — his being deserted of his fiiends 
and followers, and thence destitute of all conso- 
lation ; I a/m become a stranger unto my brethren, ixix. 8, w; 
and an alien unto my mother^ s children; I am 
full of heaviness ; and I looked for some to take 
pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but 
I found none : — ^the sense of God's withholding 
his favour and help; My God, my God, why hastv^. i; 
thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from help- '^' 
tngr me ? — his charitable disposition and demeanour 
toward his enemies and persecutors; But as for xxxv, iz, 
7ne, when they were sick, (when they did trouble ^^' 
me, €u Ty avTovs vapevo'xXelv fxoi ; say the LXX.) 
my clothing was sackcloth : I humMed myself with 
fasting, and my prayer returned into my own 
bosom. I behaved mysdf as though it had been 
my friend or brother; I bowed down heavily, as 
one that moumeth for his mother. Which pas- 
sages, and the like, how patly and punctually they 
do square to regpective passages in the Gospels, 
I need not to shew; we do, I presume, all of 
us well enough remember that both most doleful 
and comfortable history, to be able ourselves to 
make the application. 

But there, further, are not only such oblique in- 
timations, or significations of this matter, shrouded 
under the coverture of other persons and names; 
but very dhrect and immediate predictions concern- 
ing the Messiah's being to suffer, most clearly 
expressed : that whole famous chapter (the 53d) isai. uii 
of Isaiah doth most evidently and fully declare 

422 The Sufferings of Christ 

8EBM. it^ wherein the kind, manner, causes, ends, and 

consequences of his suflGerings, together with his 

behaviour under them, are graphically represented : 

i8ai.Uu. sjhis appearing meanness; He hath no form nor 
comeliness ; and when we shall see him^ there is no 
beauty thai we should desire him: — the disgrace, 
contempt, repulses, and rejection he underwent; 

T«r. 3; He is despised and refected of men — u^ hid our 
faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed 

▼er. a, 4; him not : — ^his afflicted state ; He is a man of 
sorrowSy and acquainted urith grief; we did esteem 
him stricken, smitten of God, and affluOed :—rihB 

▼«r. 4>5; bitter and painful manner of his affliction; He 
was stricken; He hare stripes; He was wounded 
and bruised: — ^his being accused, adjudged, and 

Ter.8, 13; condemned as a malefactor; He was taken from 
prison and from judgment — he was numbered 
among the transgressors: — his death consequent; 
He poured out his soul unto death ; he was cut off, 
out of the land of the living: — the design and 
end of his suflferings; they were appomted and in- 
flicted by divine providence for our sake, and in 
our stead; for the expiation of our sins, and our 

ver. 10, 5, salvation ; It pleased the Lord to bruise him ; he 

^' ' ' "' hath put him to gi'ief: when thou shalt mxike his 
soul an offering for sin — he uhis wounded for our 
transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: 
the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and 
with his stripes we are healed — surety he hath borne 
our griefs, and carried our sorrows— for the trans- 
gression of my people he was stricken — the Lord 
hath laid on him the iniquities of us all: — ^his 
sustaining all this with a willing, quiet, humble 

Ter. 7. patience, and perfect meekness; He was oppressed. 

foretold in the Old Testament. 428 

and he was afflicted^ yet he opened not his mouth; berm. 
Ae is brought as a hmb to the slaughter^ and as a 

fheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened 
not his mouth: — his charitable praying for his 
persecutors^ and designing their wel&re, He made !«». uii. 
intercession for the transgressors: — the blessed"' 
consequences and happy success of his sufferings, 
in the conversion and justification of men; in per- 
forming God's will and work; in being satisfied, 
rewarded, and exalted himself; He diaU see Aisver. lo, u, 
seed, he shaU prolong his days, and the pleasure 
of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall 
see tf the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied : 
by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify 
many : — I will divide him a portion with the great, 
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong : which 
passages, as they do most exactly suit unto Jesus, 
and miirht in a sort constitute a true historical 
BamZt of what he did endure, together ^th 
the doctrines delivered in the Gospel concerning 
the intents and effects of his sufferings, so that 
they did, according to the intention of the Divine 
Spirit, relate to the Messias, may from several 
considerations be made apparent; the context and 
coherence of all this passage with the matters 
precedent and subsequent, the which plainly do 
respect the Messias and his times, do argue it; 
How beautifd upon the mountains are the feet of^ i, 13; 
him that bringeth good tidings! and, Behold, my 
servavd shall deal prudently, kc. are passages im- 
mediately going before; to which this chapter is 
knit in way of continuation ; and immediately after 
it doth follow, Sing, O barren, thou that didst not Vv. i, &c. 
bear, kc. being a no less perspicuous than elegant 

424 The Sufferings of Christ 

8ERM. description of the Church, enlarged by accession 

— of the Gentiles, which was to be brought to pass 

by the Messias. The general scope of this whole 
prophecy enforceth the same conclusion; and the 
incongruity of this particular prediction to any 
other person imaginable beside the Messias doth 
further evince it; so high are the things ascribed 
to the suffering person; as that He shovM hear 
the sins of all Gods people^ and heed them ; that 
He should by his knowledge justify many^ (or the 
multitude ;) that The pleasure of the Lord shotJd 
prosper in his hand to these grand purposes ; that 
Crod would divide him a portion with the great, 
and that he should divide the spoU with the strong : 
the magnificency and importance of which sayings 
(rightly understood and weighed) do weU agree to 
the Messias, but not to any other person or simple 
man: whence if the ancient Jews had reason to 
believe a Messias was to come, (as they with 
general consent did suppose they had,) they had 
as much reason to apply this place, as any other, 
to him, and thence to acknowledge, that he was 
designed to be an eminent sufferer. And, in- 
deed^ divers of the ancient Targumists and most 
learned Eabbins did expound this place of the one 
Messias, which was to come; as the Pugio^fideiy 
and other learned writers, do by several express 
testimonies declare. This place also discovereth 
the vanity of that figment devised by some later 
Jews ; who, to evade it, and to oppose Jesus, 
have affirmed there was to be a double Messias; 
one, who should be much afflicted; another, who 
should greatly prosper; since we may observe, 
that here both great afflictions and glorious per- 

foretold in the Old Testament 425 

formances concurrentlv are ascribed to tlie same 8ebm. 

•^ LXII. 


The same things are by parts also clearly fore- 
told in other places of this Prophet, and in other 
prophetical Scriptures; by Isaiah again in the 
chapter immediately preceding, Behold, saith Gk>d laai. m. 
there, my servant shall deal prudently ; he shaU he ' 
excdted and extolled, and be very high: there is 
God's servant (he, who in way of excellency is 
such, that is, in the style of this Prophet, the 
Messias) in his real glorious capacity. It foUoweth 
concerning his external appearance; His visage 
was so marred m.ore than any mxm's, and his form 
m^ore than the sons of men. And again, in the 
49th chapter; Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer ^^- 7; 
of Israd, and his Holy One, to him whom man 
despiseth, to him whom the nation ahhorreth, to a 
servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes 
also shoJl worship. What can be more express 
and clear, than that it is signified here that the 
Messias, who should subject the world, with its 
sovereign powers, to the ^acknowledgment and 
veneration of himself, was to be despised by men, 
to be detested by the Jewish people, to appear in 
a servile and base condition? The same Prophet 
doth again, in the 50th chapter, bring him in 
speaking thus : / gave my Inick to the smiters, and i* ^'» 
my chedcs to them thai plucked off the hair ; / hid 
not my face from shame and spitting. His offend- 
ing the Jews, so as thereby to aggravate their 
sins, and accelerate their punishments, is also thus 
expressed by the same Prophet: And he shall 6evm. 14. 
for a sanctua/ry ; hut for a stone of stumbling and "' "* *' 
for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israd, 

42e The Sufferings of Christ 

SERM. for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of 

LXII. ^r 1 


The Prophet Zechariah doth also in several 
places very roirndl j express his sufferings^ his low 

Zech. iz. 9; condition in those words ; Behold, thy King cometh 
unto thee; lowly, and riding upon an ass; (that 
is^ pauper, mean and sorry to appearance.) His 

ziii. 7; manner of death in those words: Awake, O sword, 
against my Shepherd, and against the man that is 
my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts : smite the Shep- 
herd, and the sheep shall he scattered. And again; 

xii. 10. / will pour upon the house of David, and upon the 
inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and 
of supplications; and they shall look upon ms 
whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn, &c 
The Prophet Daniel also in that place, from which 
probably the name Messias was taken, and which 

Dan. ix. most cxpressly mentioneth him, saith, that After 
sixty-two weeks the Messias shall he cut off, hut 
not for him^df Now from all these passages of 
Scripture (beside divers others to the same purpose, 
observable by those whose industry is assisted by 
Divine illumination) we may well conclude with 

Luke xxiv. OUr Lord, "'Ore otrw yiypawraiy Koi oirwi iiei vfiBciw 

* ' rov Xpiarov, That tfuus it was written, and tkus 

(according to the Prophet's foreshewing) it was 
to happen^ that the Christ should suffer; suffer in 
a life of penury and disgrace, in a death of sorrow 
and shame. 

That it was to fidl out thus, might also be well 
inferred by reasons grounded upon the qualities of 
. the Messiah's person, and upon the nature of his 
performances, such as they are described in pro- 
phetical Scripture : he was to be really, and plainly 

foretold in the Old Testament. 427 

to appear^ a person of most admirable virtue and sbrh. 

goodness; but never (as even pagan philosophers^ 
have observed) was, or can there be any such with- 
out undergoing the trial of great affliction. He 
was to be an universal pattern to men of all sorts 
(especially to the greatest. part of men, that is, to 
the poor and afflicted) of all righteousness ; to ex- Matt ui. 
emplify particularly the most difficult pieces of 
duty; (humility, patience, meekness, charity, self- 
denial, entire resignation to God's will:) this he 
should not have had opportunity or advantage of 
doing, should he have been high, wealthy, splendid, 
and prosperous in secular matters: he was to ex- 
ercise great pity and sympathy toward all man- 
kind ; toward the doing which it was requisite that 
he should himself taste and feel the inconveniences, 
troubles, pains, and sorrows incident to us. He 
was to advance the repute of spiritual goods and 
eternal blessings, depressing the value of these 
corporeal and temporal things, which men do so 
fondly admire and dote on" : the most compendious 
and eflfectual way of doing which was by an ex- 
emplary neglect or rejection of worldly glories and 
enjoyments; revising the honours, profits, and 
pleasures here adjoined to a high state. He was 
by the most kindly, gentle, and peaceable means 
to erect a spiritual kingdom; by pure force of 
reason to subdue the hearts and consciences of 

^ Plato fO diieaioff /iaoTiywcrcrai, 0T/>c/3Xtt<rfra4, Miiatrm, fic- 
mu^orrat r^ffMkfut, rcXcvrtSv vavra KtiKa vaB^iw dvaa-KiP^vktvO^' 
9«nu — ^De Rep. n. 861 e.] 

Seneoa [Magnmn exemplnniy niai mala foriiniay non inreDit. — 
De ProT. cap. m. 5.] 

™ Vide Theodoti Drat, in Eph. Condi, [apod Bid. Gone. Tom. 
n. p. 685.] 

428 The Sufferings of Christ 

8EBM. men to the love and obedience of God : by 'wise 
instruction to raise in tis the hopes of fiiture re- 
compenses in heaven; to the accomplishment of 
which purposes temporal glory (working on the 
carnal apprehensions and affections of men) had 
rather been prejudicial than conducible. He was 
to accomplish and manage his great designs by 
means supernatural and divine, the which would 
surely become more conspicuous by the visible 
meanness and impotency of his state. He was 
also most highly to merit from God, for himself 
and for us; (to merit God's high approbation of 
what he did, God's favour and grace to us ;) this 
he could not perform so well, as by willingly en- 
during, for God's sake, and in our behalf, the most 
hard and grievous things. He was, in fine, de- 
Heb. vii. siguod perfectly to save us, and consequently to 
^^* appease God's wrath, to satisfy divine justice, to 
expiate our sins ; whereto it was requisite that 
he should undergo what we had deserved, being 
punished and afflicted for us. 

Now that Jesus our Lord did most thoroughly 

correspond to whatever is in this kind declared by 

the Prophets concerning the Messias, we need not, 

by minutely relating the known histoiy of his life 

and death, make out any further, since the whole 

matter is palpably notorious, and no adversary can 

deny it: I shall therefore conclude, that it is a 

clear and certain truth, which St Peter in our text 

affirmeth, that Those things which God before had 

shewed by the Tnouth ofaU his Prophets, that Christ 

. should suffer^ he hath sofulfiUed. 

Bev. 1 5, Now, Urdo him that loved us, and washed us 

JroTii our sins in his own blood, and hath made us 

foretold in the Old Testament. 429 

kings and priests unto God and his Father; to serm. 

him he glory and dominion for ever and ever. — 


Bhssingy and honour, and glory, and pouter, Rev. v. 13. 
be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto 
the Lamb for ever and ever. Amen. 




Deut. xvi 

Acts II. 38. 

And ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 

L^n A MONG the divers reasonable grounds and ends 
r-— — -^ of the observing festival solemnities, (such as 
"• X _ _. ^® comforting the poor by hospitable relief, re- 
freshing the weary labourer by cessation from 
ordinary toil, maintaining good-wiU among neigh- 
bours by cheerful and free conversation, quickening 
our spirits and raising our fancies by extraordinary 
representations and divertisements, infiising and 
preserving good humour in people*; such as are 
also the decent conspiring in public expressions of 
special reverence to God, withdrawing our minds 
from secular cares, and engagmg them to spiritual 
meditations,) the two principal designs of them 
seem to be these : 

I The affording occasion (or rather imposing a 
constraint upon us) with a competent frequency to 
attend unto, to consider upon, to instruct ourselves 
and others in the mysterious doctrines and insti- 
tutions of our Keligion. 

* Gcol dc oltcTtipavrtf r^ t£v avBpwr^w iiriirovay veKpviAs ycpor, 
dwnravXar rr avroig r&v v6pww ira^carro^ rhs tAw 4opT&v dfiMfias toU 
^cou— Plato, de Leg. n. [653 D.] 

Legum oonditores festoB instituerunt dies, ut ad bilaritatem 
homines publico cogerentur; tanqoam necessariam laboribos in- 
terponentes temperamentum. — Sen. de Tranq. An. cap. xr. [12.] 

Of the Gift of the Holy Ghost. 431 

2 The engaging us seasonably to practise that serm. 

great duty of thankftilly remembering and praising L 

God for those eminent mercies and fiivours, which 
by his great grace and goodness have been vouch* 
safed to us. 

For these purposes chiefly did God himself ap- 
point the Jewish festivals ; for instance^ the Pass- 
over, the reason of which being instituted is thus 
expressed ; That thou mayest remember the day, Deut. xvi. 
when thou earnest forth out of the land of Egypt, ^' 
aU the days of thy life : which words imply, that 
the observation of that solemnity did serve to pre- 
serve the memory, yea the continual remembrance 
of that so notable a blessing, which otherwise 
might have been totally forgotten, or seldom con- 
sidered; the same did also suggest occasion of 
inquiry concerning the reasons of its appointment^ 
procuring consequently needful information in that 
material point of their Keligion ; as doth appear by 
those words of God, And it shaU come to pass, Exod. xH. 
when your children shaU say unto you^ What m^an ^ ' ^^' 
ye by this service f that ye shall say, It is the sacri^ 
fice of the LordHs pa^over — . 

In compliance with which prudent designs ^ the 
Christian Church, from her first in&ncy, hath em^ 
braced the opportunity of recommending to her 
children the observation of her chief holy festivals, 
continuing the time, and retaining the name, 
although changing or improving the matter and 
reason of those ancient ones; the divine provi- 
denoe concurring to further such proceeding, by so 

^ Aug. de Cir. Dei, x. 3. [Ei beneficiornm ejus Bolennitfttibiu 
festiB et diebus siatatis dicainiis Bacramusqne memoriam, ne to* 
lamine temponim ingmta Bubrepat oblirio.] 

432 A WhitrSunday Serman 

SEBM. ordering the events of things, that the seasons of 
^ dispensing the evangelical blessings should £sdl in 

with those, wherein the legal benefits most re- 
sembling and representing them were commemo- 
rated; that so there might be as well a happy 
coincidence of time, as correspondence in matter 
between the ancient and new solemnities ; whence 
as the exhibition of evangelical doctrines and mys- 
teries did meet with minds more suitably prepared 
to entertain them, and as less innovation fix^m 
former usage did appear, (a thing observable to 
be respected in most, or all the positive institutions 
of our Religion,) so withal Christians were engaged, 
while they considered the fresh great mercies by 
God vouchsafed to them, to reflect also upon the 
favours, from the same stock of goodness, indulged 
by him to his ancient people ; that as those should 
chiefly be remembered, so these should not wholly 
be forgotten: thus did God dispose, that our Sa- 
viour should then suffer, when the paschal lamb 
was to be offered; or that the redemption of the 
world from sin and misery should then be cele- 
brated by us, when the deliverance from the 
Egyptian slavery was commemorated by them : 
and so (that we may approach to our purpose) at 
the time of Pentecost, when the Jews were obliged 
Deut xiri. to rejoico boforc the Lord, rendering thanks unto 
him for the harvest newly gathered in, and the 
earth's good fruits (the main supports and comforts 
of this life) were by God's blessing bestowed on 
them, then did God bountifully impart the first- 
fruits of his holy Spirit, the food of our souls and 
refreshment of our hearts ; then did he cause his 
labourers to put their sickle into the spiritual 

of the Gift of the Holy Ghost. 433 

harvest ; converting souls^ and gathering them as serm. 
mature fruits into the gamers of the Church, 1 

At the very season also (which is remarkable) 
that the Law was deUvered to the Jews, and the 
ancient covenant estabhshed, which did happen at 
Pentecost, as may be probably collected from the 
text, and is commonly supposed by the Jewish 
doctors, who therefore called this feast n^lH nUDB^, 
The joy (or joyful feast) of the Law, in signification 
of their joy, using then to crown their heads with 
garlands, and strew their houses with green herbs ; 
at that very time was the Christian law most sig- 
nally promulged, and the new covenant's ratifica- 
tion most solemnly declared by the miraculous 
effusion of the divine Spirit. 

The benefit therefore and blessing, which at this 
time we are bound especially to consider and com- 
memorate, is in effect the publication and esta- 
blishment of the covenant evangelical, the founda- 
tion of all our hopes, and all our claims to happi- 
ness *"; but more immediately and directly the 
donation of the Holy Spirit to the Christian 
Church, and to all its members; for the better 
understanding and more truly valuing of which 
most •excellent benefit, let us briefly declare the 
nature and design thereof 

Almighty God, seeing the generality of man- 
kind alienated from himself by gross ignorance of 
its duty toward him, and by habitual inclinations 
to violate his holy laws, (originally implanted by 
him in our nature, or anciently revealed to our 

^ ncimyiEoirr^y iopTa[ofUV, Kal Uptvftarot inUhjiuap, xai irpoOttrfUop 
cfroyycXuiff, ical iXvlbos orv/iirXifpAxrtVi &c. — Greg. Nai. [Orat. xu. 
0pp. Tom. I. p. 786 a.] 

B. S. VOL. IV. 28 

434 A Whitsunday Sermon 

SERM. first parents^) immersed in error^ enslaved to vioe^ 

L and obnoxious to the woftd consequences of them^ 

severe punishment and extreme misery; was pleased 
in his immense goodness and pity to design its 
rescue from that sad condition; and in pursuance 
of that gracious design, did resolve upon expedients 
the most admirable and most efficacious that could 
be : for to redeem men from the tyramiy of sin 
and hell, to reconcile them to himself, to recover 
them into a happy state, he sent his own only 
beloved Son out of his bosom into this world, 
clothed with our nature ; by him, as by a plenipo- 
tentiaiy commissioner from himself, inviting all 
men to return unto him ; declaring himself, by the 
meritorious obedience, the expiatory passion, the 
effectual intercession of his dear Son, abundantly 
satisfied for, and ready to grant a full pardon of 
all offences committed against him in their state 
of error and estrangement ; to admit them into a 
state of present indemnity and peace, yea to settle 
them in perpetual alliance and friendship with 
himself, upon most fair and gentle terms ; namely, 
that, renouncing their erroneous principles and 
reforming their vicious courses of Ufe, they cheer- 
fully would embrace his merdfiil overtures^ and 
thereafter conform their lives to his righteous laws; 
the which, together with all his good intentions 
concerning them, he, by the same blessed agent, 
clearly discovered to them ; fully by him instruct- 
ing them in their duty, and strongly encouraging 
them to the performance thereof by the promise 
of most bountiful rewards ; his certain love and 
favour attended with endless joy and bliss : thus 
,2/ "' ''' Did^ as St Paul expresseth it, the saving grace of 

of the Gijl of the Holy Ghost 435 

God appear unto all men, teaching us, that, denying seem. 
ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly. 

righteously, and godly in this present world, ex- 
pecting that blessed hope. 

But to render this wonderfully gracious design 
successful, in a way of wisdom and reasonable pro- 
ceeding accommodated to the capacities of human 
nature, it was requisite, that there should be pro- 
vided convincing arguments to persuade men of 
the truth and reality of these things, (that, indeed, 
such an extraordinary agent, with such a message, 
was come from heaven,) eflfectual means of admo- 
nishing and exciting men to a heedftd advertency 
toward them, competent motives to a cordial ac- 
ceptance of them ; a power also sufficient, notwith- 
standing their natural impotency and instability, 
to continue them in the belief, to uphold them in 
the practice of the duties prescribed, in the per- 
formance of the conditions required. 

For if it were not very credible, that God had 
truly those intentions toward us, or if we did not 
much regard the overture of them, or if we did not 
conceive the business highly to concern us; or if, 
resolving to comply with the Gospel, we yet were 
unable to discharge the conditions thereof, the de- 
sign would totally be frustrated, and of itself come 
to nothing. To prevent which disappointment of 
his merciftJ intentions. Almighty God did abun- 
dantly provide, in a manner and measure suitable 
to the glorious importance of them; for to the 
ministry of his eternal wisdom, he adjoined the 
efficacy of his eternal love, and blessed Spirit ; the 
which not only conducted God our Saviour into 
his fleshly tabemade, and -with unmeasurable 34. " 


436 A Whit-Sunday Sermon 

8ERM. communicationsofliimselfdidcontmuallyresidewith- 

in him, but also did attend him in the conspicuous 

performance of numberless miraculous works, im- 
plying divine power and goodness, as exceeding 
not only any natural, but all created power, (such 
as were by mere word and will healing the sick 
and restoring the maimed, ejecting evil spirits, 
discerning the secret thoughts of men, foretelling 
contingent events, reviving the dead, raising him- 
self from the grave ;) which works, some expressly, 
others by parity of reason, are ascribed to the 
Mutt. xu. Holy Spirit; for, If^ saith our Lord, I hy the 
Act8 X. 38. Spirit of God cast out devils — and, God, saith St 
Peter, anointed him with the Holy Ghost, and with 
power; who went about doing good, and healing 
Rom. 1 4. all that were oppressed hy the Devil: and, WTio, 
saith St Paul, wa^ declared to be the Son of God, 
according to the Holy Spirit, hy the resurrection 
from the dead: so did God aflford the most evi- 
dent attestation that could be to the truth of our 
Saviour's quality, commission, and doctrine; by so 
clear and rousing significations did God invite men 
to take notice of these things. 

But further to induce them heartily to comply 
with these gracious overtures, and to render them 
thoroughly available to the purpose designed, the 
salvation of men, according to the terms prescribed 
of faith in God, and obedience to his command- 
ments, God was pleased further to resolve, and he 
faithfully did promise, that he would impart the 
same blessed Spirit, as a continual guide and as- 
sistant to all those, who seriously would entertain 
those tenders of mercy, sincerely resolving the per- 
formance of the conditions. 

of the Gift of the Holy Ghost. 437 

Now althou$:h the natural and ordinary man- serm. 

ner of this divine Spirit's operation (like that of all 1 

spirits and more subtle substances) is not by violent 
and sensible impressions, but rather in way of im- 
perceptible penetration, or gentle insinuating of 
itself into the subject upon which it worketh, hardly 
discovering itself otherwise than by the notable 
effects resulting from it ; and although likewise the 
proper and principal effects thereof, according to 
divine designation, do relate to the furthering our 
performance of the said conditions requisite toward 
our salvation, that is, to the cherishing our faith 
and quickening our obedience*^; disposing men to 
perform virtuous actions, rather than to achieve 
wondrous exploits; yet more fully to satisfy the 
doubtAil, to convince the incredulous (to confound 
the obstinate) world about the truth of his inten- 
tions, more illustriously to manifest the completion 
of his promise, more surely to fortify the faithftJ 
against the scandals and temptations, which their 
profession would incur, God was pleased after our Acta h. h. 
Lord's ascension, and when the apostolical pro- Jf/ 1 1,' 1 6'. 
mulgation of the Christian doctrine did conunence, if" ^^' 
to dispense both to the teachers and the disciples 
thereof more liberal communications of that Holy 
Spirit, attended with notorious, strange, and won- 
derfiil effects*, apt to provoke the admiration of men, 

Kal yap tau <rv Btiag atriXavo'as x'^P"''^^ fiawnC6fAtvoSy Koi n^rv- 
fioTos /A«rfcrxcff, tl Koi firj irp6g t6 ra oTjfuui vouiv, oXX' Strov apK€i 
wp69 r6 mXireiaif opSrjVf Kal ^KpifiwfAtvrfw \afi€w, — ChryB. ad Demet. 
0pp. Tom, VI. [p. 148.] 

* Td»p yap x9P*^l'^^^ ^^^ mftv/ioriKSv ra /acf a6paTd f oTt, Ka\ 
iri<mi KoraXapfiaytTM fiSv^* ra dc Koi al<rBfiT6v M€lKinrr<u ai\iulov 
np6s ri)F r&w aniartip w\ripo4>opiap. — ^Id. Tom. T. Orat. Lxxxviu. 
[p. 606.] 

438 A Whit-Sunday Sermon 

SERM. to persuade their judgments^ to prevail upon their 

L affections, to produce within them strong desires 

of partaking so high a privilege and excellent en- 

The memorial therefore of that most gracious 
and glorious dispensation, the Christian Church 
wisely and piously hath continually preserved, 
obUging us at this time peculiarly to bless God 
for that incomparable and inestimable gift, con- 
ferred then most visibly upon the Church, and still 
really bestowed upon every particular member, 
duly incorporated thereinto. 

I say bestowed upon every particular member 
of the Church; for the evangelical covenant doth 
extend to every Christian; and a principal ingre- 
dient thereof is the collation of this Spirit : which 
Lukexi. is the finger of God, whereby (according to the 
^®* Prophet Jeremiah's description of that covenant) 

jer. xxxi. God's law IS put into their inward parts, and 
^^' written in their hearts ; Inscribed, as St Paul allu- 

iCor iii.j. sively speaketh, not with ink, hut by the Spirit of 
lo^ ' ^"*' the living God ; not in tables of stone, but in the 
^^- "* fleshly tables of the heart ; not only, as the Jewish 
Johnvi. la^^ represented, from without to the senses, but 
impressed within upon the mind and affections; 
Eph. i. 13. whence God's Spirit is called The Spirit of promise, 
{to Vltfeufia Ttji iirayy€\ia9,) the donation thereof 
being the peculiar promise of the Gospel ; and the 
end of our Saviour's undertaking is by St Paul 
Gai.iii. 14. declared, That we might receive ffie promise of the 
Spirit by faith, that is, by embracing Christianity 
might partake thereof, according to God's promise; 
and the apostolical ministry or exhibition of the 
1 Cor. iii. 8. Gospel is styled The ministration of the Spunt; 

of theGifiofihe Holy Ghost. 439 

(j} SiQKOpia Tov Ylvev/uLaros) I and tasting of the hea- ^^^^' 

venly gift, and participation of the Holy Ghost —. - 

is part of a Christian's charter; and the susception ^"^' "^ ^' 
of Christianity is thus described by St Paul ; BiU 2 Thees. u. 
we a/re bound to give thanks always to God for '^* 
you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God 
hath chosen you from the beginning to salvation, 
through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of 
the truth : and our Saviour instructed Nicodemus, 
that No man can enter iiUo the kingdom of God John iu. 5. 
(that is, become a Christian, or subject of God's 
spiritual kingdom) without being regenerated by 
water, and by the Spirit, that is, without baptism, 
and the spiritual grace attending it; according as 
St Peter doth in the words adjoining to our text 
imply, that the reception of the Holy Spirit is an- 
nexed to holy baptism : Repent, saith he, and be Acts li. 38, 
baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus ^' 
Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall re- 
ceive the giji of the Holy Ghost ; for the promise 
(that great promise of the Holy Ghost) is unto 
you, and to your children, and to aU that a/re afar 
offy even as many as the Lord our God ^laU 
caU ; that is, the Holy Spirit is promised to all, 
how far soever dista^nt in place or time, whoever 
shall be invited unto, and shall embrace the Chris- 
tian profession. St John also maketh it to be the 
distinctive mark of those, in whom Christ abideth, 
and who dwell in Christ, that is, of all true 
Christians, to have this Spirit ; Hereby, saith he, i John m. 
we know that he ahideth in us, by the Spirit which 
he hath given us ; and, Hereby we know that we iv. 13. 
dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given 
us of his Spirit. And St Paul denieth him to be 

440 A Whit-Sunday Sermon 

SERM« a STOod Christian who is destituie thereof: Now, 


saith he, if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, 

g, ^'^^' he is none of his : and, Know ye not, saith he to 
i^Cor. iii ^Yie Corinthians, that ye are the temple of God, 
and that the Spirit of Ood dwelleth in youf that 
is, Do ye not understand this to be a common 
privilege of all Christians, such as ye profess your- 
selves to be? And the conversion of men to 
Tit. iu. 4, Christianity he thus expresseth ; AJier the kindr 
^' ness and love of God our Saviour toward man 

appeared; not by any righteous works which we 
had done, hut according to his mercy he saved us, 
by the laver of regeneration and renewing of the 
Holy Ghost. And all pious dispositions qualifying 
us for entrance into heaven and happiness (faith, 
charity, devotion, every grace, every virtue) are 
Gw. T. ««. represented to be fruits of the Holy Spirit : and 
^ * ^' ^' the union of all Christians into one body, the 
catholic society of all truly faithful people, doth^ 
according to St Paul, result from this one Spirit, 
as a common soul animating and actuating them : 
I Cor. xu. For, saith he, by one Spirit are we aU baptized 
^^' into one body, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether 

bond or free ; and have aU been Tnade to drink 
of one Spirit. 

In fine, whatever some few persons, or some 
petty sects (as the Pelagians of old, the Socinians 
now) may have deemed, it hath been the doctrine 
constantly, and with very general consent delivered 
in the Catholic Church, that to all persons by the 
holy mystery of baptism duly initiated to Chris- 
tianity, or admitted into the communion of Christ's 
body, the grace of God's Holy Spirit certainly is 
bestowed, enabling them to perform the conditions 

of «Ae Gift of the Holy Ghost. 441 

of piety and virtue then undertaken by them; en- serm. 

lightening their minds, rectifying their wills, puri- - 

fying their affections, directing and assisting them 
in their practice ; the which holy gift (if not abused, 
ill treated, driven away, or quenched by their ill 
behaviour) will perpetually be continued, improved, 
and increased to them : it is therefore by Tertullian' 
(in his Prescriptions against heretics) reckoned as 
part of that fundamental rule, which was grounded 
upon the general tradition and consent of the 
Christian Church, that Christ had sent the virtue 
of the Holy Ghost in his room, which doth act 
believers; to which that article doth answer of the 
Apostolical Creed, in which we profess to be- 
lieve the Holy Ghost ; meaning, I suppose, there- 
by, not only the bare existence of the Holy 
Ghost, but also its gracious communication and 

Since therefore the collation of this eminent 
gift and favour so nearly doth concern us all; 
seeing it is our present duty more especially to 
praise and bless God for it; seeing also we are 
wont to commensurate our gratitude to our esti- 
mation of the benefit unto which it relateth ; let 
us a little consider the worth and excellency of 
this divine gift conferred on us. 

That it is transcendently valuable, we may 
in general hence collect, that even in our Lord's 
esteem it did not only countervaU, but in a man- 
ner surmount the benefit of his presence ; It is, john xvi. 
said he, expedient (or profitable) for you thai /^' 
go away ; God having designed, that my absence 

' Misisse yicariam Tim Spiritus Sanctis qui credentes agat. 
—[cap. xin. 0pp. p. 207 a.] 

442 A Whit-Sunday Sermon 

SERM. shall be supplied by the Comforter's more beneficial 

1 presence: and wonderfully beneficial surely must 

that presence be^ which could not only compensate, 
but render advantageous the loss of that most 
benign and sweet conversation, that tender and 
watchful inspection, that wholesome and powerful 
advice, that clear and lively pattern of all goodness 
shining forth in our Saviour's hfe upon his dis- 
ciples. Could there be a more indulgent Master, 
a more discreet Guide, a more delightful Com- 
panion, a more faithful Friend, a mightier Pro- 
tector, a surer Assistant, a sweeter Comforter than 
he? Yes, it seemeth that our Saviour did appre- 
hend, that upon some accounts those benefits with 
greater advantage might accrue to them by the 
gift of his Spirit, than by his own immediate pre- 
sence; that it by internal operation could more 
clearly inform the mind, more strongly incline the 
wiU, more vigorously affect the heart, than any 
exterior word or example could do : neither could 
our Saviour, according to the condition of his 
humanity, limited to particularities of time and 
place, so perfectly correspond to the various ex- 
igencies of mankind, as that omnipotent Spirit, 
intimately present to, uniformly difiused through 
all things: him therefore did our Saviour leave 
the guardian of bis otherwise orphan disciples'; 
him did he substitute to undergo the care and 
tuition of them, to conduct them in the right way, 
to preserve them from dangers, to comfort them 
in distresses, to manage all their concernments, to 
be their counsellor, monitor, advocate, and patron ; 
by him he meant fully to make good his word, 

* OvK a(f>i^(ra vfias op^avovf.— John xiv. 18. 

of the Gift of the Holy Ghost. 443 

that lie would be with them till the end of this serm. 
world\ if!^ 

But more distinctly to survey the many benefits ^^'. ^o. 
and advantages proceeding from this excellent gift 
unto us, we may observe, tiiat on it the foundation, 
the improvement, the completion of all our good 
and happiness do depend ; that to the Holy Spirit 
in truth and justice are to be ascribed, i our better 
state and being; 2 our spiritual powers and abi- 
lities; 3 our good and acceptable performances; 
whatever we are, whatever we can do, whatever 
we actually do perform as Christians. 

I We owe to the Holy Spirit our spiritual state 
and being; our spiritual life, our freedom, our ho- 
nourable condition. 

It is by virtue of this quickening Spirit, (llvevfia i cor. xv. 
^(oovoioup,) that from death and corruption we are J^j^^ ^ 
raised to an immortal and indefectible state of life ; ^^' 
that, as St Paul saith. We that were dead in tres- Eph. ii. i, 
passes and sins, are quickened together with Christ; ^' 
We hy this incorruptible seed are bom again ; not, iPetL^si 
as formerly, to a life of vanity and misery, or to 
the enjoyment of a few transitory delights, tem- 
pered with many vexatious inconveniences, pains, 
and troubles ; but to sure capacities of most soHd 
and durable contentments, To a living hope of an i. 3, 4. 
incorruptible inheritance reserved in heaven for us. 

It is thereby we are free men, enjoying a true 
and perfect liberty ; being enfranchised from divers 
intolerable slaveries, to which we naturally are 
subjected, and from which otherwise we could not 
be exempted; from the dominion of a rigorous law, Gai.iv. a^. 
which prescribeth hard duties, but doth not aflFord 

^£4>E rrjt <rviT(Xciof roO aloiyof.— Matt. zxTiii. 20. 

444 A Whit'Sunday Sermon 

8ERM. strength to perform them ; apt to condemn us, but 
1 not able to convert us*; from the clamorous accu- 

sations of a guilty conscience, with anxious fears of 

Rom. ▼iu. punishment, that Spirit of bondage unto fear, of 

'^' which St Paul speaketh; from the tyranny of a 

most crafty, spiteful, and cruel enemy, that wicked 

1 Tim. u. one who did captivate us at his pleasure, and de-* 

Eph. ii. 2. tained us under his power; from the no less unjust, 

no less mischievous domination of our own flesh, 

or natural concupiscence, imposing grievous tasks 

Bom. viii. and destructive necessities upon us; It is, saith 

St Paul, tJie law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus, 

which setteth us free from these laws of sin and of 

7 Cor. iii. deoth ; so that. Where the Spirit of the Lord w, 

'^' there is freedom. 

From such base thraldoms we thereby are re- 
deemed, and not only so, but are advanced to an 
honourable condition, are ennobled with illustrious 
relations, are entitled to glorious privileges : all the 
benefits and immunities contained in the charter 
of the new Jerusalem, all the advantages and pri- 
vileges appropriated to God's court and family 
Eph. a. i8, thereby appertain unto us ; for We have, saith St 
'^* Paul, access by one Spirit unto the Father, and 

are thence no Tnore strangers and foreigners, hut 
feUouHntizeTis of the saints, and of the household of 
God: by this holy unction we are consecrated 
Key. i 6. Kings and priests unto God ; by participation of 
I Pet. u. 9. this immortal seed we are engrafted into alliance 
with the heavenly King, become children of God, 
brethren of Christ, heirs of paradise, (an infinitely 
better paradise than that from which we formerly 

' Lex 08 omnium potuit obBtruore, non pottiit meniem con- 
Tortere. — Ambr. [do Fuga Ssbc. cap. ni. 0pp. Tom. i. col. 424 b.] 

of the Gift of the Holy Ghost. 445 

were excluded;) for this is that Uveviia vtoOeaw, serm. 
that Spirit which constituteth us the sons of God, — — L 
qualifying us to be so by dispositions resembling S^ '^ 
God, and fihal affections toward him; certifying •'^^^'^ ^ '3. 
us that we are so, and causing us by a free instinct 
to cry, Abba, Father, running into his bosom ofQ»i.iv.6. 
love, and flying under the wings of his mercy in 15;°^*^^' 
all our needs and distresses ; whence As many as 
are led by the Spirit, they, saith St Paul, a?'e the vm. 14; 
sons of God ; and, The Spirit itself beareth witness vui. 16. 
with our spirit, that we are the children of God ; 
yea, which may seem yet a further pitch of dignity, 
we, by intervention of this Spirit, are united and 
incorporated mto Christ himself, being made hving 
members of his body, partaking a common life and 
sense with him ; by it we are compacted into the 
same spiritual edifice, dedicated to the worship 
and inhabitation of God; our bodies and souls 
are made temples of his divinity. iJirones of his 
majesty, orbs of his celestial light, paradises of his 
blissful presence ; for, In whom, saith St Paul, ye Eph. a. aa. 
are buiU together for an inhabitation of God through 
the Spirit; and. Know ye not that ye are the temple i cor. ul 
of God, and that the Spirit of God dweUeth in ' * 

By the Holy Spirit we are instated in these 
unconceivably glorious privileges, and by it only 
we are assured of them, to our comfort; the gift 
of it, as it is a great part of them, and the chief 
cause, so it is a sure confirmation and pledge ; Ye, Eph. 1 13. 
saith St Paul, were sealed by the Holy Spirit o/J^'fJ;^"' 
promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance ; 
and. It is God who did establish us vnth you in^corXiu 
Christ, and anointed us, and also sealed uSy and 


446 A Whit-Sunday Sermon 

SERM. gave the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts : all 
'- which phrases do import the same thing, that is, 

a comfortable assurance concerning the reality of 
the benefits by divine grace exhibited and promised 
to US. 

2 Neither only relatively and extrinsically is our 
state bettered and exalted from death to life, from 
slavery to freedom, from baseness to dignity ; but 
a Cor. y. oursolvcs auswcrably are changed and amended by 
'^' the same Holy Spirit, with a real and intrinsical 

alteration, transfonning us into other things, much 
different from what we were in our former natural 
Tit.iii. 5. state; by that Renovation of the Holy Ghost, of 
Eph.iv.23; which St Paul speaketh. We are, saith he, renewed 
in the spirit of our mind; so that not only the 
decayed frame of our soul is thereby repaired and 
reformed, but its powers are much improved and 
enlarged; we are thence endued with new and 
better faculties, as it were; with quicker appre- 
hensions, with sincerer judgments, with righter 
inclinations, with nobler passions, than we had 
before, yea, than we could have had in our original 
state ; so that in the language of Holy Scripture 
iv. 24. we thence become new men, and new creatures, 
2 Cor. V. cj-^a^gd according to God in righteousness and true 
E°Vi^'^' holiness ; according to God, that is, in conformity 
?.3; to the divine perfections of rectitude in mind and 

will, so as to resemble God in a higher degree, and 
more worthy respects, than formerly. Our father 
I Cor. zv. Adam was made eh yl/v^nv l^waav, a creature endued 
'^' with life and sense, fiimished with powers and 

appetites, disposing to acquire, preserve, and enjoy 
the conveniences agreeable to that frame; and we 
ii. M. naturally are yj/vxiKol avOpwwot, animal men; such 

of the Gift of the Holy Ghost. 447 

as naturally do apprehend^ do affect, do pursue sebm. 

things concerning this present life ; the pleasures '- 

of sense, and the satisfactions of fancy; freedom 
from want and pain, security from danger and 
disturbance, together with the means we suppose 
conducible to those, wealth, honour, and power; 
these are those Desires ofthefiesh and of the mind, Eph. ii. 3. 

BeXiifiaTa Ttj^ aapKOi xal twv Stavoiwu, the things 

which according to our natural temper and frame 
we like and approve; which most men therefore 
do highly value, passionately love, and earnestly 
seek: nor doth nature only incline us to a com- 
placence in these things, but customary fruition 
greatly endeareth them to us; so that we con- 
tinually improve our acquaintance, and contract a 
firmer alliance with them; but spuitual and divine 
things (The things of the Spirit of God, rd roS i Cor. u. 
Ilv€ufAaT09 Tov 9eo5, as St Paul calleth them) we '^* 
cannot receive; that is, simply of ourselves, vnih- 
out aid of another interior principle, we have no 
capacity to apprehend them, no disposition to en- 
tertain them, no strength to pursue them ; They, 
as the Apostle saith, a/re foolishness to its, that is, 
incongruous to our prejudicate notions, and insipid 
to our corrupt palates. 

Such doctrines as these ; that our felicity con- 
sisteth not in affluence of temporal enjoyments, 
but in dispositions of sold crossing our humours, 
curbing our appetites, and quelling our passions; 
in conformity of practice to rules distastefril to our 
sense ; in the love and favour of an invisible Being; 
in reversion of an estate not to be possessed until 
after our death in another world; that none of 
these present things do well deserve our serious 

448 A Whit-Sunday Sermon 

SERM. regard, affection^ or care, and that it is blameable 
'- to be solicitous about them ; that naked goodness 

(how low, weak, and poor soever) is to be chosen 
before all the specious pomps and glories of this 
world; that the secret testimony of conscience is 
to be preferred before all the approbation and 
applause of men; that the hope of future joy 
should oversway the desire of present most certain 
and sensible delights; that the loss of all things 
may sometime be deemed our greatest gain, being 
contemned our highest honour, enduring afflictions 
our most desirable condition, death our surest 
welfare, a cross preferable to a crown ; that accord- 
ingly it is often advantageous and expedient for us, 
and a duty incumbent on us, willingly to discard 
our dearest contents of life, to sacrifice our most 
valued interest, to forsake our nearest relations, to 
refuse what we most affect, to undertake what we 
most distaste, to undergo without reluctancy or 
regret the most bitter accidents that can be&ll us; 
John xiL that we must (to use the holy style) hate our own 
Luke ix. souls, deny ourselves, and take up our cross, quit 
'^J. ^6, 33. houses and lands, desert kmdred and friends; re- 


^*v! 2^ nounce, or bid farewell to, all that we have, or own*" ; 
CoL ill 5. cut off our right hands, and pluck out our right 
Gal. V. 34; eyes ; circumcise our hearts, mortify our members; 
crucify our flesh, with its affections and lusts; be 
Rom. vi. 6. crucified to the world ; account all worldly things 
Phil iu. 7, damage, dross, and dung, in comparison to spiritual 
goods : that we must so &t remit and restrain our 
self-love, as to love all men, not excluding our great- 
est enemies, as ourselves : so as not only to part 
freely with our particular accommodations, but upon 

^AiroTaa-a€a'$ai ircun rois iavrov vndpxovo-i, — ^Luke liT. 33. 

of the Gift of the Holy Ghost. 449 

occasion, in imitation of our Saviour, to lay down our sebm. 
lives for them ; so as not only to comport with their 

John XV. 

infirmities^ but to requite their extremest injuries i 
with good-will and good turns; so as to do good to 
all men, to return no evil to any ; To hless them that Matt. v. 
curse uSyto do good to them that haie tis, to pray for ^^' 
them which despUefully use us, and persecute us. 

These and such like dictates of the Spirit are 
hard and harsh sayings^ absurd to our natural John vi. 
conceit, and abominable to our carnal humour; '^'^• 
we cannot readily swallow them, we cannot easily 
digest them ; in respect to them we, as mere men, 
are e-xOpol rfj Siavoit;^, enemies in our mind, orcoi. i. ii. 
reason; our discourse presently doth contradict and 
oppose them; our reason is shut up, and barred 
with various appetites, humours, and passions 
a^inst such truths; nor can we admit them into 
our hearts, except God by his Spirit do set open Luke xxiv. 
our mind\ and work a free passage for them into Acta xvi. 
us ; it is He who commanded the light to shine ^^^^^ j^ 
out of darkness, who must, as St Paul speaketh, ^' 
Ulvstrate our hearts with the knowledge of these 
things: an Unction from the holy One, clearing our i John ii. 
eyes, softening our hearts, healing our distempered ''■ 
faculties, must, as St John informeth us, teach 
and persuade us this sort of truths : a hearty faith 
of these seemingly incredible propositions must 
indeed be, as St Paul calleth it, The gifl of God, Eph. ii. 8. 
proceeding from that Spirit of faith, Tlvevpia tyj^ j q^^' nu. 
TTitTTem, whereof the same Apostle speaketh; Sicch ^' 
faith is not, as St Basil saith", engendered by 

' T6t€ biijvoi^ev avT»v rhv vovv. — Luke xxiv. 45. 
"^ TLifrris, ovk iv ytcDfitTpiKois avdyKOir, aXX ij rals rov Uvevnaros 
(Ptpyfiats iyyivofuyrf, — Bas. in Pa, cxr. [0pp. Tom. i. p. 371 c] 

B. S. VOL. IV. 29 

450 A Whit-Sunday Sermon 

SERM. geometrical necessities, hut by the effectual operations 
of the Holy Ghost. Flesh and blood will not reveal 

2 Cor. iv. 

,3. ' ' unto uSy nor can any man with clear confidence 
Matt. XVI. ^^y^ ^f^ Jesus (the author^ master, and exemplifier 
I Cor. xiL Qf these doctrines) is the Lord (the Messias, the 
infallible Prophet, the universal Lawgiver, the Son 
I John iv. of the living God,) but by the Holy Ghost : Every 
spirit, which sincerely confesseth him to be the 
Christ, who hath enjoined these precepts, we may 
with St John safely conclude To be of God ; for 
« Cor. iii. of ouTselvos We are not sufficient, as the Apostle 
saith, \oyi<ra<r0al ti, to reason out, or collect, any 
of these things ; we never of our own accord, with- 
Johnvi. out divine attraction, should come unto Christ, 
that is, should effectually consent unto and embrace 
his institution, consisting of such implausible pro- 
positions and precepts : hardly would his own dis- 
ciples, who had so long enjoyed the light of his 
instruction and conversation, have admitted it, if 

xw 26-^^' ^® ^^ ^^* granted to them that Spirit of truth, 
whose work it was 05177611', to lead them in this 
unknown and uncouth way, ai;o77e\Xeii', to tell 
them again and again, that is, to instil and in- 
culcate these crabbed truths upon them, uirofAifip^- 
aK€tv, to admonish, excite, and urge them to the 
marking and minding them; hardly, I say, with- 
out the guidance of the Spirit, would our Lord's 
disciples have admitted divers evangelical truths^ 

xvi. 12,13. as our Lord himself told them; / Iiave, said 
he, many things beside to say to you, but ye 
cannot as yet bear ifiem: but when he, the Spirit 
qf truth, shall corns, he shall conduct you into all 

As for the mighty sages of the world, the 

of the Gift of ike Holy Ghost. 45 1 

learned scribes, the subtle disputers, the deep poli- serm: 

ticians, the wise men according to the flesh, the L 

men of most refined judgment, and improved \^^- 
reason in the world's eye, they were more ready 
to deride, than to regard, to impugn, than to 
admit these doctrines : to the Greeks who sought 
wisdom, the preaching of them did seem foolish- 

It is true, some few sparks or flashes of this 
divine knowledge may possibly be driven out by 
rational consideration ; philosophy may yield some 
twilight glimmerings thereof; common reason may 
dictate a faint consent unto, may produce a cold 
tendency after some of these things: but a clear 
perception, and a resolute persuasion of mind, that 
Full assurance offaiih^ wXtipotpopla Ttjs TriVreos, and Heb. x. 
Inflexible confession of hope, ojuoXoyia r^y iXiri^ **' *^' 
clkXiv^s, which the Apostle to the Hebrews speak- 
eth of; that AU riches of the fuU assurance of co\. a. 2; 
understanding y ttS? itXoutos t^j irXtipotpopia^ t^9 
avvcaew^y that Abundant knowledge of the divine 1 9. 
will in aU spiritual wisdom and understanding^ 
with which St Paul did pray that his Colossians 
might be replenished ; these so perfect illustrations 
of the mind, so powerful convictions of the heart, 
do argue immediate influences from the fountain 
of life and wisdom, the divine Spirit. No external 
instruction could inflise, no interior discourse could 
excite them, could penetrate those opacities of 
ignorance, and dissipate those thick mists of pre- 
judice, wherein nature and custom do involve us; 
could so thoroughly awaken the lethargic stupidity 
of our souls; could supple the refractory stiflBiess 
of our wills, could mollify the stony hardness of 


452 A Whit-Sunday Sermon 

81SRM. our hearts, could void our natural aversation to 

'— such things^ and quell that (ppovfuma t^$ aaptcoi, 

Bom. yiiL that camol mind, the which, St Paul saith, is 

^' enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law 

of Grod, neither indeed can be ; could depress those 

« Cor. X. 4, vylrw/uLara, those lofty towers of self-conceit, reared 

** against the knowledge of God, and demolish those 

oxvpdfjLara, those bulwarks of self-will and perverse 

stomach opposed against the impressions of divine 

truth ; and captivate nav vorniuy every conceit and 

device of ours to the obedience of Christ and his 

discipline. WeU therefore did St Paul pray in 

Eph.Lx;, behalf of his Ephesians, that God would bestow 

on them that spirit of wisdom and revelation in the 

acknowledgment of him, and that the eyes of their 

mind, t^s Siavoias, (or reason) might be enlightened, 

so as to knoui the hope of their calling ; that is, to 

understand and believe the doctrines of Christianity, 

which upon condition of obedience did promise 

fehcity to them. 

So is the light of spiritual knowledge, together 

with a temper of mind, disposing to receive it, 

communicated to us; but fiirther also by the same 

divine power and spirit are our vital heat and 

vigour, our active strength and courage imparted. 

For as mere men, we are not only blind to discern, 

dull to conceive, backward to undertake the ne- 

oeaaary duties of virtue and piety ; but we are also 

dead, heartless, and unwieldy, lame and impotent, 

indisposed and uncapable to perform them : though 

we should competently apprehend our duty, and 

Mttfct.xxvi. our spirit thence should be willing ; yet our flesh, 

^'' or natural power, is weak: we may, as St Paul 

12 ™* ^"' instructeth us, in our judgment consent ITuU ths 

of the Gift of the Holy Ghost. 453 

Law is holy, just^ and good"^; and consequently sebm. 
To wiU may he present to us ; that is, we may be 1- 

desirous, and in some measure resolved to obey it; 
yea, we may have some interior rational com- 
placence therein®; and yet not have ability to act 
according to these dictates and desires ; for To wiU 
is present with me, (saith he in the person of a 
man endued only with natural strength, abstract- 
ing from the subsidiary virtue and operation of the 
divine Spirit,) hut to perform that which is good, 
I find not^; I perceive not any means or way of 
effecting it: knowledge therefore, and willingness 
to do good, doth not suflSce ; we need a prevalent 
force to stir and raise this unwieldy bulk, to over- 
poise our natural propensions, to subdue the re- 
luctancies, and check the importunities of sense, 
to correct bad nature, and reclaim from bad custom : 
the natural might and policy of our single reason, 
being very feeble and shallow, is not fitly matched 
to encounter that potent confederacy of enemies, 
which continually with open violence doth invade 
and assan us; or which by clandestine wiles doth 
watch to circumvent and supplant us. Is it easy 
for us not to dread the frowns, nor to be charmed 
by the flatteries; to slight both the hatred and 
favour ; to abide the persecutions, and to avoid the 
allurements of this world; this wicked, violent, 
deceitfiil world,, which is ever ready to deter frx)m 
good, and entice us to evil ? Is it easy to restrain 
and repress those Fleshly lusts, which, as St Peter ' ^^- "• 
saith, do war against our souls, combating themJwnesiv. 

° ^vfi^rifu T^ vofiL^ ^ft Kak6st — ^Rom. vii. 16. 

^ Swijdo/Mii r^ v6yLff rov Bfov Kara rhv tern c^i^pcoiroy.— yii.22. 

^ T6 W itartpya{ta'6ai t6 luikhv ovx «vpiVie«. — vii. 18. 

454 A Whit-Sunday Sermon 

SEBM. with their own forces, usinff their own faculties and 


^ members as weapons against them? Is it easy to 

Rom. vii. rescuc ouTselvcs from that Other law in our mem- 
^^' bers, that warreth against the law of our under- 

standing, and captivateth us to the law of sin f Is 
it a small matter to set upon, to grapple with, to 
knock down that gigantic Philistine, inordinate 
self-love, (the root, of injustice, pride, envy, malice, 
ambition, and avarice within us,) which naturaUy 
is so tall and stout; which, if not checked in its 
progress, will daily grow in stature and strength? 
Is it a slight business to detect, to counterplot, to 
Eph. vi. decline or defeat those fieSoSeia^, those devices^ or 
subtle trains, and sleights of the temper; To wrestle 
with principalities^ with powers^ with the rulers of 
this darksome worlds with the spiritualities oftvicked- 
ness surrounding us? May we not reasonably in 
comparison to these mighty Anakim be (as the 
Num. xiii. children of Israel anciently were) In our own sight 
as grasshoppers, quite despairing by our own 
strength to vanquish, to resist them ? 

In our spiritual conflict with such dangerous 

and dreadfol adversaries, we do need an ^^.x-m- 

Phil. i. 19. rod TTvev/aaro^f as St Paul speaketh, that is, a large 

supply of the Spirit, a collation of auxiliary forces, 

an habitual support derived from that invincible 

and infallible Spirit, which only is stronger and 

wiser than they ; we need to be armed with that 

Lukexxiv. 5i/i/a/(xc9 ef i/\//oi;y, that power from on high, or hea- 

isai. lix. venly might, whereby the Apostles were enabled 

to fight their noble battles, and to achieve their 

glorious conquests, subduing the rebellious world, 

Eoh. iu. and baffling the powers of darkness; we need 

Col. i. II. dvvaiuL€i KparanvOijyai^ to be Strengthened with might 

of Ihe Gift of the Holy Ghost. 455 

hy Chrises Spirit in the inward man, as St Paul serm. 
expressetii it; whereby, as he, we may .«f.r« J^x--. ^ 
he able to do aJl things, or to accomplish the most ^'^•^^•^3. 
difficult parts of our duty; without which we canjohiixv.5. 
do nothing, that is, cannot discharge the most ea«y 
things required of us; All our sufficiency is of God; aCor.m.s. 
it is he, who out of his goodness doth eflfect in usphu.ii. 13. 
both to wiU and to perform ; his Spirit taking part Rom. viii. 
ifrith our infirmities'^, and thereby giving us ad- 
vantage over all opposition and difficulty. The 
chief reason why we do not sin, or persist in a 
course of disobedience to the laws of God, is, as 
St John telleth us, Because the divine seed ahideth i John Hi, 
in us, that root of divine life, and vital activity ?'pet. i. «3. 
implanted in us by the Holy Spirit'; that Divine 2 Pet. i. 4. 
nature, dela ^i/Vis, as St Peter styleth it, that prin- 
ciple and spring of spiritual motion by him in- 
serted in us; from which only seed or nature do 
sprout all heavenly graces and virtues". 

The principal and original virtue, charity, {The 
root, the fountain, ihe mother of all goodness, as 
St Chrysostom calleth it*) even that is shed abroad Rom. v. 5. 
in our hearts by the Holy Spirit given unto us, as 
St Paul telleth us ; and The fruit, saith he, of the Eph. v. 9. 
Spirit is in aU goodness, righteousness, and truth; and. 
Love, joy, pea^e, hngsuffering, benignity, goodness, Gai. v. 21. 
faith, meekness, temperance, are by the same divine 

^ To Hycvfux owiarrikafiPaiftTai rait da'6ev€iais ^/uwy. — Rom. Yiii. 26. 

' Vis divinffi gratisD, potentior utique natura. — Tortull. [do 
Anim. cap. xxi. 0pp. p. 279 D.] 

* Ov yap ioTUf dfiafynjfiOTtoy duniXXayijvai &cv rfjs rov Hycvfuiror 
tp€py€ias, — Ohrys. 

^ Kc<^aXaioy avrrj naprmv eWi t£v dyaBSp, Koi plC^h f^^ ^7?^i '^'^ 

Itjfrrip. — ^Id. [do Incompreh. Dei Nat. Orat. i. 0pp. Tom. vi. 
p. 389.] 

456 A Whit-Sunday Sermon 

SERM. Apostle reckoned streams from the same source, 
L firuits of the same rich and goodly stock : to it ge- 
nerally are attributed all purification of our hearts, 
mortification of our lusts, sanctification of our lives, 

1 Cor. vi. and consequently salvation of our souls : Ye, saith 

St Paul, are washedy ye are sanctified, ye are 
justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by 

2 Thens. ii. the Spirit of our God ; and, God hath chosen us 
'^' from the beginning to salvation by sanctification of 
iVaiA. 12, the Spirit, and belief of the truth ; and. Having, 

saith St Peter, purified our sovls in obedience to 
the truth, by the Spirit, unto charity unfeigned; and 

Rom. viii. If, saith St Paul again, by the Spirit ye mortify 

' ^* the deeds of the fi^h, ye shall live ; thus doth our 

spiritual being and state, together with our life 
and active powers, depend upon the Holy Spirit: 
and not only so ; but, 

3 The continued subsistence and preservation, 
the actual use and exercise of them, all our discreet 
conduct, aU our good practice do rely upon him : it 
is true of our spiritual, no less than of our natural 

Ps. civ. 2g, life. If he doth avert his face, we are troubled ; 
if he doth subtract his infiuence, we die, and return 
unto our dust : upon all occasions we do need his 

Jer.x.23. direction, aid, and comfort; for The way of man, 
as the Prophet saith, is not in himself; it is not 

Pa. xxxvii. w man that walketh to direct his steps: It is the 

^^' Lord, as the Psalmist saith, that ordereth the 

steps of a good m/in, and upholdeth him with his 

cxmi.s,io. hand. We have all need to pray with that good 
man ; Cause me to know the way wherein I should 
walk ; teach me to do thy will, for thou a/rt my 
God; thy Spirit is good, lead me into the land of 

of the Gift of the Holy Ghost. 457 

We are vain and uncertain in our opinions, seem. 
fickle and irresolute in our purposes, slow and 1- 

heavy in our proceedings ; apt to faint and falter, 
to stumble and slip in all our practice; we do need 
therefore this sure oracle to consult in our doubts 
and darkness; this faithful fiiend to direct and 
advise us in our aflFairs ; this constant monitor to 
rouse and quicken us in our undertakings; this 
powerfiil guardian to support and establish us in 
our ways : it is, in respect to good men, this steady 
hand that holdeth the helm, and gently steereth 
their course through the blind tracks of religious 
practice ; withdrawing them from those dangerous 
shelves of error and temptation, upon which they 
are apt to split; it is this heavenly gale, that 
filleth their sails with constant resolution, and 
fairly driveth them forward in their voyage toward 
eternal bUss. He softly doth whisper and insi- 
nuate good thoughts into us; doth kindle pious 
desires, doth cherish virtuous intentions, doth pro- 
mote honest endeavours; he seasonably checketh 
and restrameth us from sin ; he feithfully reproveth 
and upbraideth us for committing it; he raiseth 
wholesome remorse, shame, and displeasure for our 
unworthiness and folly; he sweetly warmeth our 
cold aflFections, inflaming our hearts with devotion 
toward God; he qualifieth us, and encourageth us 
to approach the throne of grace, breeding in us 
faith and humble confidence> prompting us fit 
matter of request, becoming our advocate and in- 
tercessor for the good success of our prayers; 
Through Christ JesuSy saith St Paul, we have access Eph.u. 18. 
by one Spirit unto the Father; and, The Spirit B^m. ywi 
hdpeth our infirmities ; for we know not what we ^ ' 

458 A Whit-Sunday Sermon 

SERM. should ask for as we ought; hut the Spirit itsdf 
'- irttercedeth for us. 

He guardeth us, he standeth by us, he sua- 

taineth us in all trials and temptations, afford- 

1 Cor. xii. ing grace sufficient to escape or to endure them ; 

I Cor. X. Not suffering us to he tempted above what we 

'^' are able. 

He supporteth and comforteth us in our afflic- 
tions and distresses of all kinds, of our inward and 
outward estate ; this David knew when in his pe- 
Ps. li. II, nitential agonies he prayed, Cast me not away from 
"* thy presence, and take not thy Holy Spirit from 

me; restore unto me the joy of thy salvation, and 
uphold me with thy free Spirit: this those first 
Christians felt, who, under persecutions and all 
Acts xiii. outward discouragements, were yet filled with joy, 
u.'3i,&c. ^.nd did walk in the comfort of the Holy Ghost; 
whence that testimony of St Paul concerning the 
I ThesB. i. Thessalonians ; Ye were followers of me, and of the 
Lord, receiving the word in much affliction, witfi 
joy of the Holy Ghost : by it the blessed saints, 
martyrs, and confessors being inspired, did not 
only with admirable patience, but incredible ala- 
crity, undergo the extremest losses, ignominies, 
and tortures, which the spite of hell and rage of 
the world could inflict on them. 

It is, in fine, this Holy Spirit which is the sole 
author and spring of all true deUght, of all real 
I Pet.i. 8. content within us; of that unspeakable joy in be- 
^^m. XV. Ugyijjg^ ^^Q^ gaiety of hope, that satisfaction in 
Heb. ill. 6. .^^jj doiug; the partaking of his society, influence, 
and consolation, is, indeed, the most delicious re- 
past and richest cordial of our soul ; the nearest 
resemblance, the sweetest foretaste of paradise. 

of the Gift of the Holy Ghost, 459 

So many, so great; yea far more, far greater serm. 
than, should the time give me leave, I could enu- 

merate or express, are the benefits accruing to us 
from this most excellent gift of God, by him gra- 
ciously conferred upon all good Christians; for 
which we should correspondently endeavour with 
all our hearts to praise and thank him ; in all our 
lives to make grateftd and worthy returns for it ; 
especially by well using it to the greatest purposes, 
for which it was bestowed, of enabling us to serve 
God, of preserving us from sin, of conducting us to 
eternal salvation. 

Let us earnestly invite this holy guest unto us, 
by our prayers unto him, who hath promised to 
bestow his Spirit upon those which ask it, to impart Luke xi. 
this living stream to every one which thirsteth after ^^ij^ y^^^ 
it; let us willingly receive him into our hearts, let ^7' ^8,39. 
us treat him with all kind usage, with all humble 
observance. Let us not exclude him by supine 
neglect or rude resistance; let us not grieve him Acts vii. 
by our perverse and froward behaviour toward Eph. iy, 
him ; let us not tempt him by our fond presump- J^. j^^ 
tions or base treacheries ; let us not quench his ^o- 
heavenly light and heat by our foul lusts and i These, v. 
passions : but let us admit gladly his gentle '^' 
illapses; let us hearken to his faithftd sugges- 
tions ; let us comply with his kindly motions ; let 
us demean ourselves modestly, consistently, and 
officiously toward him: that we may so do, God 
of his infinite mercy grant unto us, through 
Jesus Christ our Lord; to whom, with the same 
Holy Spirit, for ever be all glory and praise. 

God, the strength of aU them that put their 

460 A Whit-Sunday Sermorty dc. 

SERM. trust in thee, merciJitUy accept our prayers ; and 

L because, through the weakness of our mortal nature, 

we can do no good thing without thee, grant us the 
help of thy grace, that in keeping of thy command- 
ments we may phase thee both in wiU and deed, 
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen 





Set your affections on things above, not on things on 

the earth. 

'rpiS visible enough^ that this text includes two 
^ parts; a precept and a prohibition; that en- serm. 
joining us to mind {(f>poveiv) things above, this ^^^^' 
forbidding us to mind things below. The terms 
wherein they are expressed seem to contain no- 
thing difficult or ambiguous : yet I shall endeavour 
somewhat to declare the import of them, not so 
much with intent to explain them, as to exercise in 
you the remembrance and consideration of what 
you well know about them. 

I And first concerning the act relating in 
common to the objects set down in both parts, I 
observe, that the word (ppoveitf, here translated, to 
set affection upon, doth in itself primarily, and also 
in common use, denote an advertency, or intent 
application of the mind upon any object; of the 
mind, that is of a man's whole rational part, com- 
prehending in it the powers of understanding, will, 
affection, active endeavour ; so that it may imply 
(either separately or conjunctly) the direction of 
our understanding to know, of our will to choose, 
of our affection to love, desire, delight in; of 

[* Printed for the ftrst time. See Preface.] 

462 An adequxxte Knowledge of God 

SERM. our activity to prosecute any good proposed (good 
— — — really, or in appearance good to us) : to consider 
and study upon it ; to incline toward and embrace 
it ; to affect and relish it ; to seek and reach at it. 
Whence according as the quality of the object 
seems most probably to require, the word is (or 
may well be) diversely rendered ; sometimes with 
special respect to the understanding, to think, 
judge, regard, esteem, (of which acception examples 
are most frequent and obvious) ; sometimes with 
more peculiar reference to the will and affections, 
as here to set our affections upon; and in that 
Matt. xvi. rebuke of our Saviour to St Peter, to savour : Go 
^^' behind me, ScUan, thou art a scandal to me, on 

ou (ppopcls TO, Tov GeoiJ, hecaiise thou savourest not 
the things of God. And that exhortation of St 
Phii.ii.5. Paul to the Philippians : tovto yap (ppoueiaOo) ev 
v/uLiv o Kat ev Xpiar^ 'lijaov, maybe interpreted thus; 
Be you like affected (or so disposed in will and 
affection) as Christ was; so voluntarily to embrace 
(or however to be thoroughly content with) a 
mean outward condition ; to submit patiently to 
God's will, in undergoing death, or any affiction 
incident to you by God's disposal, even as he did: 
and sometime it may be conceived, to imply es- 
pecially the employing our active endeavours upon 
the thing mentioned ; as where it is said, 6 (ppovwv 
Rom. xiv. Tj}i/ rifiepavj Kupitp (ppovel : He that observes a day 
(or regards it so, as to perform certain supposed 
duties, or to abstain from certain works therein) 
observes it to the Lord: and so might (ppovelv be 
here taken, if we should understand this precept 
to be altogether the same with that in the verse 
immediately precedent, ^^tjTelre rd avw: Seek the 

attainable by Man. 463 

things above, seeking chiefly seeming to imply an serm. 
active pursuance of the object specified. There is ^ 

further a sense of this word not unusual, and 
elegant enough, according to which (ppoveiv signi- 
fies to side with some party in preference, or op- 
position to some other : as tppovelv ra 'Pwimalwv, to 
take part with the Romans, in a contest or war 
against others ; which sense is very applicable to 
the probable meaning of this place ; which, as 
divers others of kin to it, seems chiefly to be in- 
tended in way of comparison, and upon supposal 
of some competition, or repugnance : as when our 
Saviour enjoins : Treasure not up treasures upon Matt. vi. 
earth ; but treasure up treasures for yourselves in '^' 
heaven; and when it is said: / urill have mercy, 
and not sacrifice : here ; Mind things above, not ix. 13. 
things upon the earth, would, according to this use 
of the word, be thus expoxmded : Take part with 
things above, not with things on earth : when 
earthly things contend with heavenly for your care 
and affection ; when the flesh doth kiriOvfAetv Kara Oai. v. 17. 
Tov wv€v/uLaT09, is competitor with the spirit ; when 
minding of both is inconsistent, always prefer the 
party of heaven before that of earth ; adhere to 
and follow those ; neglect and forsake these things : 
do what our Saviour commands, ^ijtcTtc wpwrov, 
Seek Ji/rst the kingdom of God, and the righteousness ^^' 
thereof. But (not to insist, or rely upon criticisms) 
I shall suppose the word here meant according to 
its most comprehensive signification, and that St 
Paul doth admonish us to employ (only or chiefly) 
all our mental faculties, our study, our choice, our 
passion, our endeavours upon superior objects, and 
not upon these inferior things. 

464 An adequate Knowledge of God 

SEBM. 2 Furthermore, secondly, concerning the ob- 
jects of that act, things above, and things upon 

earth, I shall propound to be considered ; that as 
every man naturaUy consists of two parts, very 
different in their properties ; a corruptible body 
formed of. earth, and an immortal spirit breathed 
from heaven : as he is apt to perceive two kinds 
of satisfaction, or delight, one agreeable to bodily 
temper, the other suiting to rational esteem ; as 
he is capable of subsisting in two diverse states 
of life, one here present upon the earth in con- 
junction with his frail body, for a short time ; the 
other hereafter elsewhere, as God shall please, to 
all eternity ; so especially a Christian man may be 
considered as having a double capacity, each of 
them grounding a distinct kind of obUgations and 
, CO. ,v. concernments. He may first be considered as a 
^^*^^' son of the first Adam, who was made ek yj/vx^^f 
l[£<rav, a living soul (inserted into an earthly ta- 
bernacle;) as bearing the image rod x^cjcoi;, the 
man taken from dust, half-brother to things here 
consisting of earthly matter: a member of this 
visible society, or commonwealth of mankind, and 
an inhabitant of this terrestrial world, appointed 
to pass a temporary life therein ; a life of sense, 
and common reason; capable of many pleasant 
enjoyments, and subject to many grievous incon- 
veniencies; to the procuring or avoiding which 
respectively he is furnished with sufficient powers 
enabling him, he is endued with vehement ap- 
petites inclining him ; he hath many great advan- 
tages afforded him, there being nothing which he 
can need or require, that nature and providence 
have not competently supplied him with the means 

attainable by Man. 465 

of obtaininfif : whence arise both obligations and seem. 


concernments to employ the powers given him, ^ ' ' 

his thought and endeavour, for the preservation 
of this life, and the comfortable enjoyment thereof. 
The being apprehensive and sensible of which con- 
cernments is apt to breed unto him much matter 
of action ; to engage him upon great business and 
traffic in the world, to put him upon the exercise 
and exertion of all his faculties, and thoughtful 
contrivance, and laborious execution of what seems 
conducible to the promotion of them : he plots and 
toils incessantly to settle himself in the possession 
of all the accommodations possible ; to supply all 
his needs, and satisfy all his desire : to secure him- 
self from whatever seems destructive, or distaste- 
fill to him. The scene of all which action being 
this great clod of earth, and the matters about 
which it is conversant, things present here before 
us, hence all matters relating to this condition of 
man are styled rd ewl t^9 7^5, things upon the 
earth: which, otherwhere, for like respects are called 

the goods of this life ; ra rov Koafiov, things of the Luke rn. 

world; things tou aiwva^ tovtou, of this age or i cor. vu. 
transitory state : secular things ; rd pKevofieva koi ^^^^^ ^i, 
irpocKmpay things visible and temporary ; things ^- . 
which may be reduced to three chief kinds, the^'nm.iv. 
common objects of human solicitude and travail -Iq^^ ^^ 
of the fiepi/uLvai fiiayrucat, those co/res of life, with '®- 
which men are commonly so much distracted and 
disturbed : these three kinds, I say; the neces- 
sary provisions of life, rd vpot ^w^v (as St Peter « Pet. i. 3. 
calls them) things necessary or convenient to this 
life ; the superfluous pleasures of sense ; the en- 
tertainments of curious fancy : for nature doth first 

B. S. VOL. IV. 30 

466 An adequate Knowledge of God 

SB EM. potently stir us to provide for the preservation 
L and sufficient contentment of our life ; to prevent 

death and remove grievous pain, by acquiring and 
keeping those things, Queis humana sibi doleat 
natura negatis*: then doth sensual appetite im- 
portunately solicit for some gratifications to itself 
(accessory and beyond natural necessity) ; lastly, 
when nature is contented and sense glutted, then 
doth extravagant fancy put in and demand a share 
of satisfection ; some pretty sports and divertise- 
ments she requires to be entertained with. Which 
three sorts of worldly things perhaps St John 
might respect, when summing up the contents of 
I John ii. the world (the Tray TO €v Tip Koafjitp) he finds all 
to amount but to these three things, The desire 
of the fleshy the desire of the eyes, and the os- 
tentation of life ; for, the flesh (or bodily frame) 
requires what is absolutely needful and grateful 
to natural life; the eyes and ears and other or- 
gans of sense, (which the eye may synecdochically 
represent) do hunt for more exquisite delicacies 
to please them; the fancy would be humoured 
with fine and pompous shows. TKs in order to 
these, that men generally with such eagerness pur- 
sue after ricJies, and honour, and power ; by the 
means of which they hope to preserve themselves 
from all want, to enjoy deUghts easily, and abun- 
dantly to satisfy their curiosities : riches they sup- 
pose will furnish them with all things needful, 
pleasant, and ornamental to their state; honour 
will draw, and power drive others to a subserviency 
or assistance of them in procuring of these, to 
their apprehension, very good thinga Such things 

■ [Hor. Sat. i. i. 75.] 

cUtainable by Man. 467 

therefore, and in fine all thinfifs relating to this sebm. 
present, earthly, transitory life are the rcJ iwl Tn^ ^^^' 

7179, things upon the earth: yet will I not dis- 
semble, that sometimes (and possibly in this place 
according to the principal intention thereof) by 
earthly things and things of this world are under- 
stood not all things promiscuously, but the bad 
(culpable and condemnable) things of the world ; 
the erroneous opinions, impious customs, vicious 
practices generally prevalent among men : con- 
Lming wLh soli of things, I suppose St John 
is to be interpreted, when he thus exhorts and 
denounces : Love not the world, nor the things in » Joi»'» "• 
the world ; if any man love the worlds the love of 
the Father is not in him: and St James, when 
he saith, That the love (or friendship with) the Jame« iv. 
vnyrld is enmity against God. For, as a moderate '*' 
content in some worldly enjoyments (relating to 
this life, being of an indifferent and innocent 
nature) is by God allowed, yea in some cases com- 
mended, and enjoined ; and is apt also to produce 
in us a thankful sense of Divine goodness, and 
consequently some degrees of love unto God ; so, 
complying with the corrupt principles, or wicked 
practices of the world is both sign and cause of 
want of love toward God, yea of aversation from 
him, and hatred toward him. And that St Paul, 
in this place, doth especially respect such things 
as those (bad and vicious things) is likely, for that 
presently after he subjoins as deduction from the 

preceding discourse : iieKpdtrare oZv ra fieXti vfiwv Ta Col. iii. 5. 

iwi t59 7^9 : Mortify therefore your members upon the 
earth, fomicatian, undeanness, inordinate affection^ 
evU desire and covetousness ; implying (it seems) 

30— « 

468 An adequate Knowledge of Ood 

SERM. these to be the thingB^ at least the chief things 
— upon earth which we should abstain from placing 

our minds upon ; and by a neglect of them^ die 
as it were unto them, and make them dead to us. 
But it being most safe and profitable (where the 
analogy of truth permits, and other evident rules 
consent thereto) to understand precepts in the 
most capacious sense, I shall assume, that by 
things on earth is meant, as I before spake, all 
things relating to the life I have described. 

2 But there is, secondly, another infinitely more 
considerable capacity (the proper capacity of a 
Christian as so) to be regarded ; according to which 
he is said to bear (at least in design) the image of 
the second, heavenly and spiritual Adam, who was 
I Cor. XV. made €« irvevtia ^woiroiovv^ a vtvific Spirit; to partake 
^^' of a more vigorous and energetical life ; not subject 

either to change or to cease. By sincere embracing 
and due admittance into Christianity he is in a man- 
ner dead to this, and translated into another invisible 
world ; bom again from above, and created anew, 
to lead there another immortal life ; a life of pure 
understanding, and perfect goodness (begun and 
entered upon here, though but imperfectly, and in 
way of probation ; to be completed and assured 
hereafter.) He is furnished with other faculties 
as it were, or habits of soul enabling him ; and 
endued with new appetites prompting him to seek 
after delightful enjoyments of another kind and 
nature ; contemplation of divine truth ; compla- 
cence in goodness ; and righteousness ; performing 
works of beneficence, and charity; clearing his 
judgment from vain conceits, and cleansing his 
heart from vicious inclinations; calming his pas- 

attainable by Man. 469 

sionB, and governing his actions according to rules ^^^^• 

of spiritual prudence ; satisfying his conscience in U 

the sincere endeavour to practise all his duty; 
(all the commands of Ood^ and dictates of good 
reason ;) adorning his mind with all needful know- 
ledge and virtue ; reaching after the most excel- 
lent rewards propounded and under certain con- 
ditions promised unto him. By entering upon 
this life he becomes member of another corpo- 
ration ; is adopted into another &mily; is en- 
franchised and enrolled among the children, the 
burgesses and free denizens of the JencsalemGti.iy.'iS. 
above, the city of the living God; is 
avjuLiroXiTtj^ twv €17*0)1', a Jellovycitizen of the saints, Eph. u. 19. 
and oUeloi Tou Qeov, a domestic of God; or allied 
unto God ; assumed into that most high and noble 
family, the eKKXijaia irpwroTOKtvy, the select company 
of those elder-brothers, assuredly entitled to an 
eternal inheritance of joy and bliss. He becomes 
a subject (the Scripture says more, a peer, a prince, 
a priest, anointed to a royal priesthood, intended 
for a co-partner in the government and adminis- 
tration) of that glorious kingdom, the metropolis 
of which and seat of imperial residence is in 
heaven; in heaven, the throne of God, the sove- 
reign ruler of this kingdom. By this relation he 
is instated in many admirable privileges (and if by 
neglecting his interest and revolting from his en- 
gagements, he incurs no forfeiture, hath an un- 
doubted right of reversion to more and greater), 
the love and favour of God; the communion and 
comforts of the Holy Spirit; free access and in- 
tercourse at the court of heaven; the intercession 
of the great King, his only Son, sitting at his right 

470 An adequate Knowledge of God 

SERM. hand: the promise^ from God's infiaJlible word, of 
L all manner of blessings here, and a capacity of per- 
fect everlasting felicity hereafter. From hence 
result suitable obligations and concernments : he 
is obliged to behave himself as becomes so high 
I Thewr. u. a quality, so worthy relations' : to be an orderly member of that holy society; a loyal subject of 
***^^'that heavenly kingdom; endeavouring faithfiilly 
and earnestly the observance of its laws, the pro- 
motion of its interests, the advancement of its 
honour, the enlargement of its dominions, accord- 
ing to the particular station assigned him therein, 
and the means afforded him ; lest for his treachery, 
irregularity, disobedience and unworthiness he be 
deprived of the rights and privileges thereof; his 
person banished thence, and his name expunged 
out of the Book of life. Tis expected and re- 
quired from him, that he deck himself (from the 
wardrobe of divine grace set open to him) with fit 
habiliments becoming the dignity of that honour- 
able estate ; pulling off the sordid rags of iniquity 
and impurity; and investing himself with that 
goodly apparel, those white robes of holiness and 
righteousness. He must study to acquire disposi- 
tions of soul agreeable to the company and conver- 
sation of that blessed place ; dispositions of piety, 
charity, sobriety, sincerity, meekness; raising his 
thoughts and affections from all base and mean 
objects; purifying his heart from all foul and 
brutish lusts; repressing all rash and exorbitant 
passions; subduing all presumptuous and haughty 
conceits ; discharging all fond and perverse humours ; 

A(t»s Tov Gfov Tov Kokovirros tl$ rrfv tavrov ^trikfiap Koi dofay.^ 
1 These, ii. 12. 

attainable by Man. 471 

forbearing all mischievous and fraudulent designs, seem. 

all vicious and wicked practices; that he may be i- 

worthy (in God's merciful estimation worthy, and 
fitly qualified) to enter and dwell there, whither 
nothing common or unclean can enter; nothing 
vain or froward, nothing fierce or tumultuous; no 
wrath, or mahce ; no pride, envy, or detraction ; no 
craft, guile or deceit ; no strife or clamour can ever 
abide: whence, as St John tells us, all dogs (bark- Bey.uii. 
ing and biting, impudent and surly creatures, much '^' 
more, foul swine, lascivious goats, cunning foxes, 
virulent serpents, ravenous wolves and cruel tigers) 
are excluded; only chaste and innocent doves; 
meek and gentle lambs are admitted : where alone 
unfeigned Religion and piety; unspotted sanctity 
and integrity; undisguised truth and simplicity; 
undisturbed peace and tranquiUity ; unbounded love 
and charity; incessant joy and felicity do in per- 
fect degree, and constant durance for ever reign 
and flourish. He is thus obliged; and is also 
infinitely concerned to attend upon these things; 
to secure his title to, and improve his hopes of^Pet.;. lo. 
these inestimable benefits ; to husband wisely the 
opportunities and advantages which may further 
him ; to remove the impediments that cross him ; 
to defeat the enemies that oppose him in the 
prosecution of this his great design. Now for 
the maintenance, and good conduct of this spiri- 
tual life, for compliance with those high obU- 
gations; for the successful management of those 
weighty concernments, 'tis manifest, that his most 
serious care, his most diligent endeavours are 
requisite ; that he needs to employ thereupon 
all the faculties of his mind; to use his best 

472 An adeqiuUe Knowledge of Ood 

SERM. understanding for discerning the most safe way^ 

and fitting means of arriving to that blessed end ; 

to consider much and often upon affairs of so vast 
importance; to direct his will and rouse his affec- 
tions (those mighty springs and wheels of action) 
to a willing embracing of, and a hearty compliance 
in those duties; to exert the utmost power and 
contention of his whole spirit, upon this one only 
necessary business; by the success of which his 
main fate is determined; upon which his either 
extreme and endless happiness or miseiy will be 
consequent. Now because the principal matters 
of all these transactions and employments; the 
main scope the Christian man aims at; the per- 
fection of that spiritual life he is engaged to lead; 
the consummation of that happy state which he 
aspires to ; the society to which he is related, and the 
government he is subject unto, are thin^ essen- 
tially resident in, or originally derived from, or 
ultimately tending to that superior region of light 
and bliss, the throne of the eternal God, and 
habitation of blessed spirits; hence aU things how- 
ever respecting that spiritual life and happy state 
are called rd avw^ things above; otherwise, upon 
John iii. like accouuts, Ttt evovpavia, heavenly things, (so our 
Saviour called the doctrine of regeneration by 
baptism and the Holy Spirit), to tov Qeod, things 
Matt. xvi. of God^ (so our Saviour styles the events foretold 
'^' by him concerning his passion and resurrection, 

predetermined by God in order to man's redemp- 
Actsi. 3; tion and salvation), rd irepl riji ficuriXeiai, the things 
^**' ' concerning the kingdom of heaven; or the king- 
dom of God, (so the subjects of our Saviour and 
his Apostles' preaching, designed to the same 

attainable by Man. 473 

purposes^ are commonly named), ra rod irvev/Aara^ serm. 
and Ta wevjuLaTiKa, things of the divine Spirit and 

spiritual things^ as relating to that spiritual life : \^^' 
tilings invisible and eternal. In regard to our 
occupation about or aiming at which things, the « Cor. iv. 
author to the Hebrews calls the Christian pro- 
fession /rX^o-iv €irovpdvio9, the heaverdy vocation ; Heb. m. i. 
and St Paul, ij avca KXijais, the calling above: and^o. '^'^^' 
afi^rms that our TroXfreiz/ua (our civil state, or acting 
in capacity as citizens; our political, whether re- 
lations or conversations) are in the heavens; where 
we should maintain commerce with God and 
Christ ; whither we should elevate our thoughts and 
desires ; where we should hope for ever to reside. 
These are the superior things here questionless 
intended, which by this apostolical precept, or ex- 
hortation we are obUged to mind; and 'tis plain 
that of them there be several ranks and kinds : it 
were infinitely hard and perhaps not so material 
exactly to digest and enumerate them; for they 
are equally extended with the heaven itself, and 
in some manner exceed it ; all things in the world 
may according to some consideration be superior 
things, and come under this cognizance : the most i cor. x. 
indifferent and common things, as they may be^'' 
applied to pious use, and sanctified by holy ends; 
as they may one way or other be subservient and 
instrumental to the purposes of spiritual life; as 
they may prove steps by which we climb upwards, 
may be reduced hither : yea, even the worst things, 
as the knowledge and study of them may enable 
or induce us to shun and abhor them, are com- 
prehended within the latitude of these objects, 
and appertain to the <f>p6vPffMx roS wvevfiaroi, that 6. 

474 An adequate Knowledge of God 

SEBM. spiritual minding here enjoined: he that minds 

'— hell itself as declaring God's justice and hatred 

of iniquity; M deterring us from disobedience to 
God's commands ; as admonishing us to fly hastily 
from the miseries thereof; doth in a sort exalt it 
into the condition of the tol avw, and may be truly 
reputed thereby to mind things above: for as it 
ooncems the mariner to regard shelves and quick- 
sands, that he may decUne them; as the know* 
ledge of diseases and poisons is necessary to the 
physician, that he may be able to prevent or re- 
medy them; as in logic we must understand the 
manners of fallacy, as well as the rules of right 
reason; so 'tis expedient that a Christian should 
well know the vices to be avoided by him, and 
well consider the punishments due to them: and 
in doing thus, he doth set his mind on things 
above, and comply with this direction or precept 
apostolical. But for our somewhat more distinct 
and orderly proceeding, and that we may reduce 
our meditation within some bounds; I shall rank 
the principal (most properly, directly, and imme- 
diately so called) of these things into several kinds, 
especially to be minded by us ; they are first sub- 
stantial beings : Almighty God, the most blessed 
and glorious Trinity ; the fountain of our spiritual 
life, and main object of our duty : the holy angels 
and beatified saints, the ministers of our good, and 
patterns of our practice. Secondly, our spiritual 
relations; of children, subjects, and servants; of 
brethren, friends, companions, and followers (re- 
spectively) to those illustrious members of that 
heavenly society. Thirdly, the state and condition 
of the future life itself, the joys and benefits of 

attainable by Man. 475 

heaven^ to which we are probationers and can- serm. 

didates. Fourthly, the qualities or dispositions of - 

mind to be acquired, maintained, increased by us 
as requisite to the possession of that happy state ; 
including all spiritual virtues and wisdom. Fifthly, 
the actions to be performed by us in way of neces- 
sary duty, or means convenient in order to the 
promised ends; in which are to be comprehended 
the truths and doctrines ; the precepts, and premises, 
and arguments directing, encouraging, persuading 
us to spiritual practice. To all which I suppose 
this apostolical injunction doth extend, according 
to the explication given of the act required from 
us, and so to be performed by us, as best suits to 
the nature of those things: imderstanding for 
example, that we should so mind God, as to re- 
verence and serve him; so mind the blessed saints 
above, as to honour and imitate them; so mind 
our spiritual relations, as to behave ourselves wor- 
thily of them; so mind the state of heavenly 
felicity, as to desire, hope, and labour after an 
assurance (at least a fitness) to attain it; so mind 
spiritual graces, bb to procure and cherish them in 
ourselves; so mind all spiritual duties, as effectually 
to perform them ; so mind all means conducible to 
our spiritual edification, as to make the best ad- 
vantage of them. Thus in general; now let us more 
distinctly survey particulars, and consider in what 
manner, and for what reasons we should so mind 

The supreme object (first) of this duty is 
Almighty God, whom we should especially direct 
and employ all the fSeiculties of our mind upon; 
our understandings, in humble contemplation of his 

476 An ddequcUe Knowledge of Ood 

SERM. admirable perfections, shining forth in the works 

of nature, and in the course of providence ; but 

more clearly discovered to us in the sacred Scrip- 
tures; in studying to know, and duly to value the 
wonderful benefits and favours by him graciously 
conferred upon us; in grounding and building up 
our faith of those most excellent and important 
truths (the holy doctrine and comfortable promises) 
by him revealed unto .us; in diligently learning 
and impressing upon our hearts the duties (the 
most just and reasonable duties, of reverence, love, 
gratitude, and universal obedience) required by 
him from us. Our will also ; in bending it to a 
ready compliance with his good laws; in approv- 
ing his faithful actions and admonitions to us; in 
embracing gladly and thankfully the good things 
he bestows or offers unto us ; in choosing his favour 
for our greatest good, and placing our chief hap- 
piness in the fruition of him. Our affections next; 
by loving him, with a most cordial and sincere, a 
most intense and fervent charity or benevolence; 
by delighting in our thoughts and meditations 
about him, in our hopes and reliances upon him; 
in our addresses and services performed unto him ; 
in the praise of his goodness, and celebration of 
his holy name; by earnestly desiring his favour, 
and above all things dreading his displeasure ; and 
with hearty contrition grieving for the sins we 
have committed against him; the manifold neg- 
lects of our duty towards him, the heinous dis- 
respects, afironts, and wrongs we have put upon 
him. And in correspondence with these, lastly, all 
the active powers of our soul; our utmost endea- 
vours, our effectual practice should conspire in real 

attainable by Man. 477 

service of him; in doing his will, and advancing serm. 

his glory. In such manner are we obliged to 1 

mind God; I need not for to prove it; for e very- 
page in Scripture teaches it, every work in nature 
evinces it, and almost all the world confess it. 
And to the doing thereof one would think there 
should not need much persuasion or excitement ; 
the duty is so reasonable, the object so alluring, pg. xxxiv. 
'Tis a wonder that so illustrious a spectacle, so^' 
ravishing a beauty, should not irresistibly draw 
our eyes to gaze upon it; that so delicious a 
banquet should not efficaciously invite our appetite 
to taste it; that the highest truth should not easily 
attract our thoughts; nor the greatest good power- 
ftdly move our affections. Yet since there have 
been such of whom it hath been truly said, God is «. 4; 

xiv i 

not in aU their thoughts; They do not understand jerem. u. 
and seek God; They Jcnow not the Lord, yea, they ?'Thes8.iv. 
refuse to know him; They are aOeoi ev t^ *ocr/iAr^, || j^ y ^^ 
iviihout God, that is, without any consideration or. 
regard of him, in the world: and because perhaps, 
we are all somewhat deficient in this point, and 
however cannot exceed in it; I shall propound 
some further inducements to this practice (in- 
tending to expatiate upon this most considerable 
part of the precept, and to spend thereon all my 
present meditation). For to raise ourselves there- 
fore to the minding of God, let us consider, that 
God is, I the most proper and connatural; 2 the 
noblest and most worthy; 3 the most sweet and 
delightful ; 4 the most useful and beneficial object of 
our mind; of our understanding and our affection. 

I. I say, first, God is the most proper and con- 
natural object of our mind; of our understanding 

478 An adeqyxUe Knowledge of God 

SERM. and our affection. Of our understandings for he 
^^ • is most intelligible ; of our affection, for he is most 

I I say, first, God is most intelligible ; meaning 
that we are capable of knowing more ; more clearly, 
more assuredly of God, than of any other, yea, 
than of all other things : a proposition, which be- 
cause some may doubt oi^ I shall more largely insist 
upon the declaration of. Tis an axiom in Aris- 
totle, ^'EicacrTor ft>« €j^€i Tou etyaiy ourw xal r^? aXnOcw^l 

what a thing is in itself, that it is in relation to 
the understanding; that which is most perfect in 
its own nature, may best be known; as to the 
corporeal eye, the greater things are in bulk, the 
more splendid in colour, the more regular in shape, 
the more steady in their place or state, the more 
rigorous in operation; so much the more effica- 
ciously they move the sense: things very small, 
dusky, disfigured, unstable and inactive are hardly 
discernible; make none or very faint impulses 
and impressions on the sense: so is it in regard 
of the superior apprehensive faculties : the higher 
perfection in eminent properties ; the greater sim- 
plicity and uniformity of nature ; the more of con- 
sistency and immutability; the more of strength 
and energy they partake; the more perceptible 
they are; the more clear and genuine conceptions 
of themselves they are apt to produce in the un- 
derstanding. How difficult (if not impossible) it 
is to arrive to any full, or certain knowledge of 
other objects, experience plainly teaches; since the 
most sedulous inquiries made by the choicest wits, 
for above two thousand years^ have scarce afforded 

^ Metapfa. n. 1. 

attainable by Man. 479 

us any one unquestionable theorem in natural ^^^• 

philosophy ; hardly one infallible maxim of ethical - 

prudence or policy; all things being as much ex- 
posed to doubt and dispute, as they were of old, 
when admiration and curiosity first prompted men 
to search after the cause of things; the reasons of 
which bad success in such attempts^ are some of 
them obvious enough: fo» that the things com- 
monly objected to our mind, by reason that the 
principles (or first ingredients of which they con- 
sist, and from whence chiefly their operations pro- 
ceed) are in themselves so small and insensible; of 
their divers compositions and mixtures one with 
the other; their variable and flitting constitution 
(in birth, growth, maturity, declination and decay) ; 
their numberless difierences m circumstances and 
extrinsical accidents befalling them; that (I say) 
firom such like causes our knowledge of ordinary 
things (in degree of all creatures) is very hard and 
uncertain: when we know them, we know them 
not; for they are presently altered and vanished; 
and before we are aware, become other things : all 
things are like rivers, in perpetual flux and agit^ 
tion ; before we can with our greatest attention get 
any more than a sudden and imperfect glance of 
them, they are run away from us, and quickly 
swallowed up in a sea of unfathomable depth and 
obscurity ; they are Uke marks in a speedy restless 
motion, at which we can take no certain aim ; and 
'tis very improbable that we should ever hit them*. 
But Almighty God is in his nature, and in all 
his properties infinitely simple, consistent, and 

^ ThiB coDBideration made Heraclitus a sceptic, and induced 
him to belleye nothing certainly true or fully intelligible. 

480 An adequate Knowledge of God 

SERM. immutable: he admits no change, or shadow of 
alteration; he persists eternally the same in all; in 

^ameei. j^.^ attributes; in his purposes; in his proceedings: 
Pb. cii. II, My days are like a shadow that declineth, and I 
"' ^^' am withered like grass ; hut thou art the same, and 
thy years shaU have no end, saith the Psalmist; 
comparing the nature and state of God with the 
constitution and condition of creatures. Further- 
more of other objects, we can perceive very little; 
only some faint colours, some superficial shapes, 
some dull objects; while their intrinsic nature, 
their chief radical properties remain enclosed and 
debarred from our sight in an inaccessible dark- 
ness. But of God we may apprehend (in some 
degree, according to our natural capacity) his most 

Acta ilii; essential attributes; ra fieyaXela Tou GeoD, his 

(magnificences) great things ; his infinite goodness, 
wisdom, and power, (not from a few, slender, and 
ghmmering conjectures, but) by most conspicuous 
arguments, and convincing testimonies innumerable : 

xiy. 17. OvK afxaprvpov iavrov a<f)9JKeVf God hoth not (aS St 

Paul saith) leji himself unattested to, not even to 
natural Ught and reason. All creatures by their 
beauty and by their order testify his wisdom; by 
their usefulness and by their delightftilness give 
in evidence for his goodness; by their vast greai^ 
ness and their firm stability declare his power and 
majesty. We cannot without shutting our eyes 
exclude that light of Divine glory, which fills and 
illustrates the world: without stopping our ears 
we cannot but hear that universal shout (that real 
harmony of the spheres) which all creatures in 
heaven and earth consent in utterance to his praise. 
Every star in heaven, every beast, every plant, 

cUtainable by Man. 481 

every mineral^ yea every stone upon the earth; serm. 
some in a language very loud and express do pro- '- 

claim*; others in a more still and low (yet to an 
attent ear sufficiently audible and significant) strain 
do speai tiiose most glorious proves of God, 
and utter thankful doxologies unto him : There is Ps. ziz. 3, 
no speech nor langiuige, where their voice is not^' 
heard ; their line (or rather their note, their accent, 
o (pOoyyos avrwp (LXX.) ) is gone out through aU 
the earihj and their words to the end of the world. 
So that, as St Paul speaks, to yvuxTTov rod QeoS^ Rom. i. 
the cognosdhility of Ood^ is <f>avepop iv auToh, is '^' ^^* 
evidently perceptible in and by them*; and the in- 
visible things of God {even his eternal power and 

divinity) airo Kxiaews xdafiov T019 trotiijuLaat voov/uLCPa 

KaOoparah are perceived by observing the makes, or 
constitutions, of the creatures in the world. 'Tis 
therefore (to my apprehension) no smaJl mistake 
to imagine, as some seem to me to do, that we can 
know little or nothing concerning God; that we 
can more easily and thoroughly know anything 
than him: since (beside the most full and plain 
revelations of Scripture, where the divine attributes 
are as with a sunbeam so clearly described by 
guidance of that very Spirit, which searcheth even i Cor. u. 
the depths of God, rd ^dOri rod 0€oD,) even pur- 
blind reason can discern more and greater things, 
by more clear and certam signs, concerning God, 
than it can concerning any other thing. Indeed 
God as he is the first Being, and the first Good ; 
so he is TrpHrop dXfiOiiy irptoTop vofirov, the first truth, 

^ Quocunqae te fiezeris, ibi ilium videbis occurrentem tibi. 
Nihil ab illo vacat, opus Baum ipse implet. — Sen. de Benef. iv. 8. 

* ndoj; ^vtT^ il>v<r€i y€v6iu¥ot d^^prfros Atr avr&v r&v Mpy»v 
^ctfpcirai. — ^Arist. de Mando> cap. vi. 

B. S. VOL. IV. 31 


482 An adequate Knowledge of Ood 

8EBM. and Ji/rst intelligible ; all things as they derive their 

'- beings and their specific virtues from him ; so 'tis 

from him they partake truth and the capacity of 
being known. What the sun is in the visible 
world, most visible himself^ and imparting visi- 
bility to all other things, (pardon me, if by St 
Austin's licence, I rob an Egyptian, and borrow 
such a notion from a Gentile philosopher) ; and as 
whatever we behold with our bodily eyes, 'tis not 
so much that thing itself which we see, as an 
emanation from the sun; an imperfect image, as 
it were, of him reflected from the specular surface 
of some body, in itself opaque and invisible; a 
mere draught of the sun; stained by the colours 
and fashioned by the shape of that body; so is 
Gk)d in the world of things intelligible : most 

I John i. 5. brightly radiant to our intellectual eyes; {He is 
light, and in him there is no kind of darkness), he 
is himself most intelligible, and communicates in- 

Pa. xxxvi. telligibility to all other things : With thee, saith 
David, is the fountain of life ; in thy light shaU 
we see light : 'tis by his light, that all things are 
illuminated : every creature is, as it were, speculum 
Dei: whatever we discern in them, is but some 
indirect glimpse of his lights some £unt shadow 
of his power and perfection: and in this sense, 
Jupiter est guodcunque videsK But I will not pro- 
ceed in this speculation, lest I seem too Platonical, 
against my wiU and desert; only hear, if you 
please, how that great contemplator discourses; 
(whose conceptions perhaps some too much admire. 
But no man hardly, I suppose, can read or mind 
his writings without some wonder, considering the 

' [Lac. Phars. ix. 680.] 

cUtainoMe by Man. 488 

time and place of his composing them, and the bebm. 

little means he had of attaining to that clear notion 1 

of some great truths, and the vivid sense of good- 
ness apparent in them.) The sun, saith he, is the 
child of the Good (the supreme Good), which he 
begot amdogous (or like) to himself; being to the 
eye and things seen in the visible place (or regiorij 
what himse^ is to the understanding^ and things 
understood in the intelligible region. The eyes, we 
know, when we do not convert them upon those 
things, whose colours the day ULustrates {but only 
sovne noctwrnal gUmmerings) look obscurdy, and 
almost seem blind, and there is no pure (dear) 
sight: but wJien they are directed toward things 
illuminated by the sun ; they see clearly, and sight 
is apparent : So is it with the soul ; when it faces 
upon that which the TnUh and the Being (the 
supreme or absolute Truth or Being) doth shine 
upon, it understands and knows it; and it appears 
to have understanding ; but when it regg/rds things 
mixed with darkness, which are generated and 
destroyed, it merdy opines and is dim-sighted; 
changing and tossing opinions ahout; so that it 
seems to have no understanding^. So he, in the 

^ [Tovroy (r^y ijXuni) rolwtf ^oyai fU Xryciy t6p rov ayoBov iK- 
yovovy &y rayaBhu iyvnniatp imUkoyov im/r^' 6 n V€p aM ip rf votfr^ 
T6fr^ irp6t r€ povp km rh voovfuvay rovro rovrov €¥ rf 6par^ irp6s rt 
9i^tv Koi ra 6p»fuva, *0<f>BaXfio\'-^liTav fu^xcrt in €K€ivd ris avrovs 
rf>€irffy wp a» ras XP^^ ^^ fjfifpuf^v <l>&g MxQ^ dXXd Jy wicrepivii 
ffifyyif ^lifO^rrmwri re ml tyy^f (fiahotfTat Ty<l>\&¥, iSmrtp ovjc 
tpownis KoBapas li^ias — ''0709 dc yc» Jy 6 IjXiot xaniXaftirci o-o^f 
op&aif Koi TOis avToig tovtms Sfifuuruf &yjns ivovtra if)cuv€Tai — Ovro» 
Toiwv xal r6 r^r ^)fis »tk mWi* ^ay piv oS Kioerakap.v€i ak^Otia rt 
Koi t6 fty, tls TovTo canpticrriTaif iv^vftrt rt jcal cyy« avr6 kcu povv ^x^"^ 
^aiyrrai* &rcaf bt tU rh rf (rK&ni^ xtxpapevoy, r6 yiyy6ptv6v rt koi airoX- 
Xv/iryoy» do£o(ci rt Koi apffkvmrrti 2yo» kcu Karoo ras d6^s ptrafiaiKKov, 
Koi HoiKtp aZ POVP ovK Ixoyrc. — ^De Rep. YI. 508 c] 

31 — « 

484 An adequate Knowledge of God 

8ERM. Sixth of his Political Dialosfaes. His scholar Aiis- 

l-totle^ in his first Book de Animal mentions a 

principle assumed by some ancient philosophent, 
that ofAdov ofAoiip yivw<TK€Tai ; things are known by 
something in the soul corresponding in likeness 
of nature to themselves, whence they collected, 
that the soul did consist of so many ingredients 
as it could perceive objects : if there be anything 
of truth in that principle, and natural cognation 
or similitude between the faculty and its object 
doth anything contribute to an aptitude of know- 
ledge, 'tis plain that Gkxl is the most proper and 
congruous object of our understanding : for our spirit 
was made according to his image; and is» as it 
were, a small picture, in its chief features and 
lineaments, resembling, representing him; so that 
by reflecting upon our own mental powers and 
operations; by being conscious of what is within 
us; we indirectly contemplate, and learn some* 
what of God; and we may safely infer, that what- 
ever of good and worth we find there, it is in 
him'; though in highest degree and most perfect 
manner. We are avowedly his o&pring, especially 
according to our most noble part, immediately 
breathed from him ; (even the heathens called it 
awoppoiavy an efflux, or exhalation from God; airo- 
o-Trao-Mariof, a splinter broke off from the divine 
stock ^; Divini spiritus partem, ac vduti scinttUam 
quanda/m}; A paH and sparUe, as it were, of the 

^ [Cap. n. 16.] 

' Dei enim imago queedam animus est, cz ipso Deo delibata ac 
profecta. — Cic. de Consol. 

^ [Cf. Epict. Diss. Lib. i. c. 14. H 6, 12.] 

^ Sen. de Otio Sap. [cap. xxxn. An illad yenim sit, quo mazime 
probatur, hominem divini spiritus esse partem, ac relnti scintillas 
quasdam sacrorom in terras desilnisse, atque alieno loco bsesisse ?] 

attainahle by Mem, 485 

Divine Spirit; Tertullian, more truly: AnimcB di- serm. 

vincB umbram^ spiritus mi aurmrby oris sui operam^; '- 

A shadow of the divine mind; a breath (blast) of his 
spirit; the production of his mouth; now it is 
natural for children as nearly to resemble, so rea- 
dily to be acquainted with their parents; by a 
spontaneous instinct they are apt to run into their 
bosoms^ and fly under their wings. And we, 
though we have been pretematurally somewhat 
estranged from God (some dark clouds of igno- Eph. iv. 
ranee and vice having been unhappily inteiposed ''• 
between our eyes and his lightsome fece) yet our 
nature seems not so utterly ruined and corrupted, 
but that we have some natural capacity, some 
tendency left to know and seek him. For all 
people willingly entertain some notion of a divine 
bounty, dispensing benefits to mankind; of a wise 
and vigilant providence ordering affairs of the world ; 
to whose gracious assistance they have recourse, and 
cry to for succour in their distress; upon which 
kind of consideration Tertullian exclaims'^ : O tea- 
tim^onium animce naJburdUter ChristiancB. Tis also 
further considerable, that our understanding waa 
originally designed to know and converse about 
God : he made it as he did all other things, with 
a final reference to himself", according to its degree 
and nature, as a vessel for his use, as an instru* 
ment for his glory, in orna/nientum mxijestatis suw, 
as Tertullian speaks; and for what he intended it, 
for that it is most fit, that is its most proper 
operation ; no composure inept or impertinent ever 


De Besurr. Cam. [Gap. to. 0pp. p. 330 a.] 
° Apol. cap. xvu. [0pp. p. 17 B.] 
® 'E£ airrov xal ii avrov km elt avrhp ra ircUra.-^Bom. zi. 36. 

486 An adequate Knowledge of God 

SERM. proceeded from his hand: and how otiberwise can 
L the mind glorify God, than by knowing him ; by 

approving, applauding, admiring his divine per- 
fections? If the miintelligent part of nature was 
produced by Gkxl for the declaration of his glorious 
attributes, the intelligent part must by necessary 
consequence (in relation thereto) be made to take 
notice and consider, to admire and adore them: 
what did the most excellent piece of art, the rarest 
beauty signify, were there no eye to behold, no 
judge to esteem it? Nature (saith a philosopher) 
being conscious of her own beauty and artifice, 
hath given us an inquisittve wit; amd begat us 
spectators to her so excellent shows; perditura 
fructum sui, for that otherwise she would have 
lost the fruit (and benefit) of hersdf if she should 
have exhibited her so magnificent, so bright, so 
subtly dahorated, so fair, and many ways comely 
views to a m^re solitude^. Inter mwDima rerum 
suarum natura nihil hahet quo magis ghrietur, 
out certe cui glorietur"^; 'tis a shaft out of the 
same quiver. Nature among her greatest things 
hath nothing of which she can glory mxyre, at least 
to which she can glory, than man; God, saith 
Epictetus^ introduced man upon the stage of the 
world to be a spectator of him and his actions^; 

Koi oi fiopov OeaTfjvy dWd xat €^fiytiTii» avTwp; and 

P [Ouriosam nobis natura ingeninoi dedit : et artb 8ibi ao pul- 
chrituduuB suso conscia, spectatores nos tantis renim Bpectacolh 
genuity perditura fructum Bui, si tarn magna, tarn clara, tarn sub- 
tiliter ducta, tarn nitida, et non uno genere formosay solitudini 
ostenderet. — Sen. de Otjo Sap. cap. xxxn.] 

"1 Id. do Bonof. vi. 23. 

' *0 Qfos roi^ avBp«nrov Btarvlv €l<riyay*v avrov rt koi rwi^ tpyup 
avTov, — ^[DiS8. I. 6. 19.] 

attainable by Man. 487 

not only a spectator, which needs some attention ; sebm. 
but an interpreter, or 'expositor of them, which re- 

quires a more exact knowledge. By not applying 
therefore our thoughts upon God, we do in a 
manner disappoint and finistrate God of his main 
design in conferring our being upon us, yea of 
producing the world and exposing it to our view; 
we neglect our proper office; and like monsters 
contravene the intendments of our nature ; and by 
doing so both shew and cause our imperfection; 
for what is proper to, is always perfective of nature. 
Our mind was not made and given us to pore 
downwards upon dunghilly pelf; to stare idly 
upon gaudy trifles; to puzzle itself with petty 
matters; to hover upon this low narrow spot of 
earth, or wade in this shallow dirty pool of objects 
sensible; which cannot enlarge its capacity, nor 
satiate its appetite of knowledge, could we fully 
comprehend whatever is in them; nor enrich, nor 
adorn it sufficiently, but rather defile, danmify, 
debase and contract it; but it is given us and 
fitted to look upwards; to soar toward that roPhu. m. 8. 
virepeyoy r^ yuwaeuK, that eminency of divine 
knowledge ; to dive into those /3a9i/ Oew, those i Cor. ii. 
abysses of God (which though we cannot sound, 
we may swim in) ; to fix itself upon those inex- 
haustible treasures of adorable wisdom, the sight 
whereof is apt to kindle love, and love certainly 
will beget exceeding joy and happiness ; the study 
of which will elevate and ennoble our minds ; will 
dilate and swell our huge capacity, will appease 
and content our eager desire of knowing. 

I must after all this acknowledge, that God's 
being and his excellent attributes are indeed incom- 


488 An adequate Knowledge of God 
SERM. prehensible'; and that St Chrysostom^ had reason 

LXIV. • , . 

'— SO often to exclaim against their madness, who do 

TToXuvpay/Aoveiu Tijy owriau rev Qeov^ are too 'prajgvMfr 

ticoX in their speculations about Gods essence, and 

do rois oac6coi9 virofiaKXeiv Xoytafunv, Subject God and 

I Tiiii.yL divine things to their own ratiocinations: I avow, 
that Gk>d inhabits <pik airpoairoy, a light unaccessible 
to the dim and weak sight of mortal men; and 
Exod. that no man can see Gkxl's face and Uve ; that God 
Deut. iy. ^ '"^^p KaTca^aXiaKov, B, fire that will scorch and de- 
Heb. xii. ^^^^ thoso, who by presumptuous enquiry, step too 
J^-^ near him: I know what is written; that the light 
udT. 17- of the glory of the Lord was like consuming fire 
on the top of the mountain in the sight of the 
children of Israel ; that even those spiritual eagles, 
leai. Ti. 3. the quick and strong-sighted seraphim, were obliged 
to veil their fisu^es as not daring to look upon, not 
able to bear the fiilgor of his immediate presence ; 
to admit the flashes of glory issuing from his 
throne ; that even the most illuminate secretaries of 
heaven, the Prophets and Apostles, have firequent 
Rom. zi. occasion, in their astonishments to ciy out, w (idO&i ! 
O the profundity of richness^ and wisdom, and 
knowledge of God ! that even his methods of ex- 
terior providence are not by our reason thoroughly 
discernible ; that his judgments are ave^6/oei/yi|ra, of 
an unfathomable depth and inscrutable; his paths 
av€^iXvicLGTOiy untraceable by the feet of creature; 
1 Cor. iz. his gifts aveicStiiyfiToi, unconceivable by any thought 
and unexpressible by any language of ours: all 
this I confess and affirm ; and it doth nowise dash 
with or prejudice what I have intended to discourse, 

' Vid. Job xxxvi. 26. — Behold, Oodia great, and we know him not. 
* Vid. Orat. de Incompreh. Dei Nat. 0pp. Tom. y. p. 391. 

attainahle by Man. 489 

but well consents therewith, and much confirms it: sebm. 

for divine incomprehensibility is one of those attri- '- 

butes^ which we are capable of knowing, and obliged 
to consider; and it is so far firom hindering, as it 
doth promote his intelligibility. Is the ocean less 
visible, because standing upon the shore, we cannot 
descry its utmost boimds? is the fire less sensible, 
because we cannot endure the utmost degrees of 
heat? does the inexhaustibleness of a rich mine 
forbid us to partake of its wealth, or the perennity 
of a fountain hinder us from quenching our thirst 
at it? may we not see the sun, because we cannot 
glare directly on him, nor pierce through the 
spacious orb of light? No: the more unlimited 
things are, the more correspondent they are to our 
faculties, especially our rational ones, which though 
they cannot at once grasp, do yet in successions of 
time and by degrees catch at infinity; no finite 
thing being able to satisfy their large capacities : 
Qvod videri communiter, quod comprehendi, quod 
cBStimari potest, minus est et ocuLis quihus occupa- 
tur, et manibus quihus contaminatuvy et sensibics 
quibus invenitur, saith Tertullian° : That which can 
be seen, or comprehended, or esteemed is less than 
the eyes by whidi it is apprehended, than the hands 
by which it is soiled, than the sense by which it is 
found. But the immensity of Gk)d, Deum cssti* 
mari/a<nt, dum cestimari non capit, imxkes God to 
be esteemed, while itsdf is incapable of estiTna- 
tion, saith the same Father in his excellent Apolo- 
getical Oration' ; adding, Ita eum vis mxignitvdinis 
et notwn hominibus objicit et ignotum: So his 
virtite (abundance) of greatness hath rendered him 

" Apol. cap. xvu. [0pp. p. 16 d.] * Jbid. [p. 17 A.] 

490 An adequate Knowledge of Ood 

SEBM. both known and unkTunon to men: known in de- 
gree, unknown to perfection: however his incom- 

prehensibility is no hindrance^ that we may not 
Heb. yiiL know him avo fwcpov im9 fi^yaXov, Jrom the small 
Jot.xxxL <^^*^ (^® plain simple idiot) to the great one (the 
34. learned and profound doctor :) that we may not so 

(humbly and modestly) contemplate his glorious 
attributes^ as firom the consideration of them to 
reverence him; and love him; and endeavour to 
conform ouiBelyes to hia imitable perfections; in 
Matt.Y. compliance with those precepts of being like in 
Lev.xi.44. perfection to our heavenly Father, and being holy, 
i5^^6.^ according to him that hath called us^ in all manner 
Eph. V. I . Qf conversation, and following God as dear children ; 
which commandments we can in nowise fulfil with- 
out competent knowledge of God: Octdi sunt in 
amore duces: affection is excited by perception of 
that excellency, which begets and grounds it ; and 
'tis not imaginable, how one should transcribe a 
copy, without viewing and attending to it. But 
this point hath transported my meditation &x be- 
yond my first intendment; even so as to have 
justled out from my present discourse some perhaps 
more practical considerations, which I therefore 
reserve for another occasion; hoping for pardon 
from your candour, if my discourse shall have 
seemed too speculative ; since what is designed, and 
may (though to semblance remotely) tend to 
Gk>d's honour, cannot be ingrateful to honest and 
charitable minds. I shall only add, that what hath 
been produced to shew God to be the most proper 
object of our understanding, is in some manner 
appUcable to the like purpose of proving him the 
most proper object of our affection; of our love. 

attainable by Man. 491 

our desire^ our delight; as most amiable, most de- serm. 

lectable^ most beneficial in himself; as the supreme, - 

only stable and immutable good; as our loving 
parent, and munificent benefactor; as he who made 
and gave us our affections with design, that we 
should chiefly employ them upon himself, in cordial 
adherence to him by love ; delighting in the sense of 
his goodness; and becoming happy in the enjoyment 
of him. But I shall not, in prosecution of these con- 
siderations, further transgress upon your patience. 
Now to Gk)d the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, be 
all honour and praise for ever. Amen. 





^wr€t piv Smxu X&yo£ aoBp^ itxti tvitimfixny mil bih top apn/io^ 
x6iuvov \6yov tkfvOtpiav ovk €x»^ 6 dc irf^c Ocov, ro<rovry fuXXov, 
o<ry fiei(o¥ t6 vvroMi/icroy, fcal 6 {tjXov irXccMV, mi 6 KUfdvpof x^^~ 

nuirtpos . koL yap poijaai ;KaX«ir6i', koX 4piui9€va<u dfuix""^^* 

Koi axorjs KiKaBappAvrit circrv;(cZr €pywd€<rr€pop.^^QtTeg, Naz. [Orat. 
xxxu. 0pp. Tom. I. p. 689 b.] 

Set your affections on things CLbove\ 

T?OR understanding this apostolical precept, two 
-■- particulars must be considered; first the act^ 
<f>poveivj (which is rendered to set our affections*) 
then the object, tcL avw^ things above: these we 
briefly shall explain. 

The word <f>povelv doth primarily, and also 
according to common use, denote an advertency, or 
intent application of the mind upon any object : of 
the mind, that is, of a man's soul, especially of its 
rational part ; so as to include the powers of under- 
standing, will, aflfection, activity ; whence it may 
imply direction of our understanding to know; of 
our will to choose and embrace ; of our affection to 
love, desire, relish; of our activity to pursue any 

• Ta ava> <f}poif€iT€. — CJol. iii. 2. 

A Defence of the Blessed Trinity. 493 

good (real or apparent) whicli is proposed : accord- 
ing to which most comprehensiye sense (suiting the 
nature of the thing) I do take the word, supposing 
that St Paul doth enjoin us to employ all our 
mental faculties in study, choice, passion, endea- 
vour upon supernal things. 

The Ta avw, things above, may be so taken, as 
to import all things relating to our spiritual life 
here, or our fiiture state hereafter; the which do 
either actually subsist above in heaven, or have a 
final reference thither : so they may comprise, 
I. The substantial beings, to whom we stand re- 
lated, owe respect, perform duty. 2. The state and 
condition of our spiritual life here, or hereafter, as 
we are servants and subjecte of God, citizens of 
heaven, candidates of immortal happiness. 3. Bules 
to be observed, qualities to be acquired, actions to 
be performed, means to be used by us in regard to 
the superior place and state. 

Of these things the incomparably principal and 
supreme, the to iirepavwy is the ever most glorious 
and blessed Trinity ; to the minding of which this 
day is peculiarly dedicated, and the which, indeed, 
is always the most excellent, most beneficial, most 
comfortable object of our contemplation and affec- 
tion; wherefore upon it I shall now immediately 
fix my discourse. 

The sacred Trinity may be considered, either as 
it is in itself wrapt up in unexplicable folds of mys- 
tery; or as it hath discovered itself operating in 
wonderful methods of grace towards us. 

As it is in itself, it is an object too bright and 
dazzling for our weak eye to fitsten upon, an abyss 
too deep for our short reason to fathom : I can only 

494 A Defence of the Blessed Trinity. 

say, that we are so bound to mind it, as to exercise 
our faith, and express our humility, in willingly be- 
lieving, in submissively adoring those high mys- 
teries which are revealed in the Holy Oracles con- 

I Cor. u. ceming it, by that Spirit itself, which searcheth the 
depths of God, and by that only Son of CJod, who 
residing in his Father's bosom, hath thence brought 

John i. 1 8. them forth, and compounded, i^tr/no^aro, them to us, 
so far as was fit for our capacity and use : and the 

Col. ii. 3. lectures so read by the eternal Wisdom of Grod, the 

John xiv. propositions uttered by the mouth of Truth itsdf, 
' we are obliged with a docile ear, and a credulous 

heart, to entertain. 

That there is one Divine Nature or Essence, 
common unto three Persons incomprehensibly 
united, and ineffably distinguished; united in 
essential attributes, distinguished by peculiar idioms 
and relations; all equally infinite in every divine 
perfection, each different fix>m other in order and 

^: 3^; manner of subsistence; that there is a mutual in- 

xiv 10* 

zvii. 21. existence of one in all, and all in one ; a communi- 
cation without any deprivation or diminution in 
the communicant; an eternal generation, and an 
eternal procession, without precedence or succession, 
without proper causality or dependence; a Father 
imparting his own, and the Son receiving his 
Father's life, and a Spirit issuing firom both, with- 
out any division or multiplication of essence : these 
are notions which may well puzzle our reasoii in 
conceiving how they agree, but should not stagger 
our fidth in assenting that they are true; upon 
which we should meditate, not with hope to com- 
prehend, but with disposition to admire, veiling 
our faces in the presence, and prostrating our 

A Defence of the Blessed Trinity. 495 

reason at the feet of wisdom so £str transcend- 
ing us. 

There be those^ who^ because they cannot untie, 
dare to cut in simder these sacred knots ; who, be- 
cause they cannot ftdly conceive, dare flatly to 
deny them; who, instead of confessing their own 
infirmity, do charge the plain doctrines and asser- 
tions of Holy Scripture with impossibihty. Others 
seem to think they can demonstrate these mysteries 
by arguments grounded upon principles of natural 
Ught ; and express tliem by similitudes derived from 
common experience. To repress the presumption 
of the former, and to restrain the curiosity of the 
latter^ the following considerations (improved by 
your thoughts) may perhaps somewhat conduce. 

I We may consider, that our reason is no com- 
petent or capable judge concerning propositions of 
this nature; Our breast, as Minutius speaketh, 
is a narrow vessel, that vnU not hold much under- 
standing^ ; it is not sufficient, nor was ever designed 
to sound such depths, to descry the radical princi- 
ples of all being, to reach the extreme possibiUties 
of things. Such an intellectual capacity is vouch- 
safed to us, as doth suit to our degree, (the lowest 
rank of intelligent creatures,) as becometh our sta- 
tion in this inferior part of the world, as may 
qualify us to discharge the petty businesses com- 
mitted to our management^ and the facile duties 
incumbent on us: but to know what God is"", how 
he subsisteth, what he can, what he should do, by 
our natural perspicacity, or by any means we can 

^ Nobis rero ad intelleckam pectus angnstum est, &c. — ^Min. 
Felix, [xym. 8. p. 101. Ed/ Holden.] 

® Thw fUv nZv irouTT^y Koi wmpa rovdc rov waitht €vp€ip T€ tpyow^ 
KoL €vp6tfTa €ls vdwrag d^vparov Xryciy.— Flat. Tim. [28 c] 

496 A Defsfnce of the Blessed Trinity. 

ixBe, ftiriher than he pleaseth to reveal^ doth not 
suit to the meanness of our condition, or the nar- 
rowness of our capacity ; these really are the most 
elevated sublimities, and the abstrusest subtilties 
that are, or can be, in the nature of things : he that 
can penetrate them, may erect his tribunal any 
where in the world, and pretend justly that nothing 
in heaven or earth is exempted from his judgment. 
But in truth, how unfit our reason is to exercise 
such universal jurisdiction, we may discern by com- 
paring it to our sense; it is obvious, that many 
beasts do (by advantage of a finer sense) see, hear, 
smell things imperceptible to us : and were it not 
very unreasonable to conclude, that such things do 
not exist, or are in themselves altogether insensible, 
because they do not at all appear to us? Is it not 
evident, that we ought to impute their impercepti- 
bility (respecting us) to the defect of our sense, to 
its dulneas aiid grossneas, in regard to the subtilty 
of those objects? Even so may propositions in 
themselves, and in regard to the capacity of higher 
understandings, (for there are gradual differences 
in understanding, as well as in sense,) be true and 
very intelligible, which to our inferior reason seem 
unintelligible, or repugnant to the prenotions with 
which our soul is imbued ; and our not discerning 
those truths may argue the blindness and weak* 
ness of our understanding, not any &ult or incon- 
sistency in the things themselves; nor should it 
cause us anywise to distrust them, if they come re- 
commended to our belief by competent authority. 
To such purposes indeed the Holy Scripture 
frequently doth vilify our reason and knowledge: 
Jer. X. 14. Every man, saith Jeremiah, is brutish in knowledge 

A Defence of the Blessed Trinity. 497 

The Lordy saith the Psalmist^ hnoweth the thoughts Pb. xdv. 
of maUy {of wise men, as St Paul quoteth it,) that i cor. m. 
they are vanity. Vain man, saith he in Job, wovid }^i, ^ „ 
6e wise, though man he horn like a wild ass's colt ; 
that is, however we aflfect to seem wise, yet to be 
dull as an ass, to be wild as a colt, is natural to us. 
My thoughts, saith God in the Prophet, are wofi8w.iv. 8, 
your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways : for cw ^' 
the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my 
ways than your ways, and my thoughts than your 
thoughts. God's wisdom is as the heavens^ the 
highest and top of all wisdom ; man's as the earth, 
beneath w^hich there is no degree, but that of hell 
and darkness : we therefore in this respect are unfit 
to determine concerning things so exceedingly- 
sublime and subtle. 

2 We may consider, that not only the imper- 
fection of our reason itself, but the manner of using 
it, doth incapacitate us to judge about these mat* 
ters. Had we competent skill to sail in this deep 
ocean, yet do we want a gale to drive us, and a 
compass to steer our course by therein; we have 
not any firm grounds to build our judgment on, 
or certain rules to square it by. We cannot effec- 
tually discourse or determine upon any subject, 
without having principles homogeneous and per- 
tinent thereto, (that are ev rp air^ (Tvyyeveitf^ cog- 
nate and congruous to the subject-matter, as the 
philosopher speaketh,) upon which to found our 
argumentation. Now all the principles we can 
have are either originally innate to our minds, or 
afterward immediately infosed by God, or by ex- 
ternal instruction from him disclosed to us; or 

* Anal. I. 7. [?] 

u. s. VOL. IV. 32 

498 A Defence ofihe Blessed Trinity, 

acquired by our experience, and observation of 
things incurring our sense; or framed by our rea- 
son^ comparing those means; of which the three 
former sorts are most arbitrarily communicated, 
and both for number and kind depend upon the 
free pleasure of him, who distributeth them accord- 
ing to a measure^ suitable to each man's occasions, 
estimated by himself. How many those are^ and 
how fiu: they may qualify us to judge or discourse 
about those transcendent matters, is hard to define; 
but most certainly they never can dash with one 
another; no light in any manner imparted by God 
can obscure the doctrine declared by him, no doc- 
trine can thwart principles instilled by him. The 
latter sorts appertain only to material and sensible 
objects; which therefore can only enable us to 
deduce, or to examine conclusions relating to them; 
and being applied to things of another kind, are 
abused, so as to become apt to produce great mis- 
takes : As, for instance, most ancient philosophers 
observing, that the changes and vicissitudes in 
nature were generally by the same matters under- 
going several alterations^ or putting on different 
shapes; and that bodies once being in rest did 
usually consist in that state, until by impulse of 
other bodies they were put into motion ; did thence 
fiume such axioms, or principles of discourse, Ex 
nihilo nihil fit; and Quicquid movetur, ah alio mo- 
vetur: which propositions, supposing them true in 
relation to the present conditions and powers of 
sensible things, yet were it unlawful to stretch 
them unto beings of another kind and nature, (to 
beings immaterial and insensible,) or to infer thence 

* 'Ekoot^ oftff 6 Ot6s €fitpi(r€ ficrpov.-— Rom. xii. 3. 

A D^ence of the Blessed Trinity. 499 

generally^ that in the utmost possibility of things 
there is not any creative or any self-motive power : 
even as from the like premises it would be vain to 
conclude, that there be no other beings subsistent 
beside those which strike our senses^ or discover 
themselves by sensible effects. In like manner, 
it cannot be reasonable, out of principles drawn 
from ordinaiy experience about these most low 
and imperfect things, to collect, that there can be 
no other kind of unions, of distinctions, of gene- 
rations, of processions, tixan such as our own gross 
sense doth represent to us: reason itself more 
forcibly doth oblige us to think that to sublimer 
beings there do pertain modes of existence and 
action, unions and distinctions, influences and ema- 
nations of a more high and perfect kind, such as 
our coarse apprehension cannot adequate, nor our 
rude language express'; which we, perhaps, have 
no faculty subtle enough to conceive distinctly, nor 
can attain any congruous principles, from which to 
discourse solidly about them*. To judge of these 
things, if we will not, against the philosopher's 
rule, fierafiaiveiv eli aXXo yevo^y shift kinds, or use 
improper and impertinent arguments, we must 

' Id quod Dens est, secundum id quod est, nee humane Ber- 
mone edici, nee humanis auribua percipi, nee humanis senaibus 
colligi potest. — ^Norat. de Trin. cap. vn. [App. ad Tertull. 0pp. 
(Ed. Paris. 1664). p. 710 c] 

*Qpof»a(rafi€v yhp^ »s ifftof tff>utr^f fV tSp ijfitripciv ra rov ecov.— - 
Greg. Naz. Orat xzxi. de Sp. S. [0pp. Tom. i. p. 570 a.] 

8 Tamen cum quceritur quid tree, magna prorsus inopia huma- 
num laborat eloquium. Dictum est tamen tres Personse, non ut 
iliud diceretur, sed ne taceretur. — Aug. de Trin. v. 9. [Opp. Tom. 
Tin. col. 838 D.] 

Kvpiov Hvoiia Ttty porjT&p r< Koi d(r»fiiar»p, ovdcV. — Greg. Naz. 
[Ep.coxLin. ad Evag. Opp. Tom. n. p. 198 a.] 


500 A D^ence of the Blessed Trinity. 

I Cor. ii. irveviuiTtKoi^ vveufJiaTucd trvyKpivetPf compare spiritucd 

'^' things with spiritucd; so as to draw conduaions 

about spirituals only from principles revealed by 
God's Spirit, the sole master of spiritual science; 
80 also as to express them. Not iv SiScxtoIs avOpur- 
irivni ao0ia9 X07019, in terms devised by human 
wisdom^ but in such as the Holy Spirit hath sug- 

7er. 14; gested; for y^fvxtw ayBpvnro^y a man endowed merely 
with common sense {or natural reason) cannot 

▼«r. II. SexBfrOai, apprehend, or perceive those things of 
Grod, which only the Spirit of God doth know. To 
improve and press which consideration further, 

3 We may consider the weakness and shortness 
of our reason, even about things most famiUar and 
easy to us; the little or nothing we by our utmost 
diligence can attain to know, concerning their in- 
trinsic essences, their properties, their causes and 
manners of production. What do we more com- 
monly hear, than earnest complaints from the 
most industrious searchers of natural knowledge 
concerning the great obscurity of nature, the diffi- 
culty of finding truth, the blindness of our mind, 
and impotency of our reason? And should they 
be silent, yet experience plainly would speak how 
difficult, if not impossible, it is to arrive unto any 
dear and sure knowledge of these conmion objects; 
seeing the most sedulous inquiries, undertaken by 
the choicest wits for above two thousand years, 
have scarce perhaps exhibited one unquestionable 
theorem in Natural Philosophy, one unexception- 
able maxim of ethical prudence or policy; all 
things being still exposed to doubt and dispute, 
as they were of old, when first admiration and 
curiosity did prompt men to hunt after the causes 

A Defence of the Blessed Trinity. 501 

of things: the most however that, after all our 
care and toil, we can perceive, doth not exceed 
some faint colours, some superficial figures, some 
gross effects of things, while their radical properties 
and their immediate causes remain enveloped and 
debarred from our sight in unaccessible darkness. 
Shall we then, who cannot pierce into the nature 
of a pebble, that cannot apprehend how a mushroom 
doth grow, that are baffled in our philosophy about 
a gnat, or a worm, debate and decide "^ (beyond 
what is taught us firom above) concerning the 
precise manner of divine essence, subsistence, or 
genemtion? I do, saith St Chrysostom, eat meats; 
but how they are divided into phlegm^ into blood, 
into juice, into choler, I am ignorant; these things, 
which every day we see and taste, we do not know; 
and are we curious about the essence of God^f 
We are (as Aristotle^ himself no dunce, no idiot^ 

doth confess) but owl^ed, irpo% to, rij ^uVei 0aF€- 

pwTara irdirrwv, in regard to things naturaUy mo^ 
evident, and palpable; and can we be such Lyn- 
ceus's\ as to see through the fiirthest recesses of 
infinity? Hardly, saith the Wisdom of Solomon, WiB.ix.i6. 
do we guess aright of things upon the earth, and 
with labour do we find the things that a/re before 

^ KcMw^tt (rot rh ^iX^ifiov iw rois oioydvyocff.—- Greg. Nas. 
[Or. xxxn. 0pp. Tom. i. p. 598 p.] 

Bptifutra iaBlt^^ rh d< nAs fifpi{oprtu tU ijiktyfiaf tU (dfAa, tls 
XVfjAPf th x^^^f oyott. ravra Swtp /SXcfro/icv Ka£t 4icd<mfp ripipaw 
iaMovT€i aypoovfuVf Ka\ n)p ovaUaf rov 6cot) froKvKpayfiovcvfitp^^^ 
Ghrys. [De iDcompreh. Dei Nat. Orat. i. Opp* Tom. vi. p. 391.] 

Arist. Met. II. 1. ["Qairtp yap koI tci t£p pvurtpih^p Hp^para 
TFp^ n& i^ryyot t^ft rh puff rjiUpav^ ovr» xai rtjs ^ptr€pas "^rvx^ h voOs 
wpht rh rj ^virti <f>apfp»raTa fravrto/p,] 

' [Non posBiB oculo quantum contendere Lynccus. — Hor. Ep. 
I. 1. 28.] 

602 A Defeme of the Blessed Trinity. 

us; hut the things that are in heaven, who hath 
searched ovi? Yea, and the genuine Solomon 
EcdcB. vii. himself, / said, I will be wise; but it was far from 
^^' ^^* me : that which is far off, and exceeding deep, who 
can find it ouif What is more remote, what more 
profomid, than Grod's nature? who then can find it 
out? Sooner with our hands may we touch the 
extreme surfiswe of the skies, sooner with our eyes 
may we pierce to the centre of the earth : so it is 
Job xL 7, expressly told to us in Job; Canst thou by search- 
^' ingfind out God ? Canst thou find out the Almighty 

to perfection f It is as high as heaven; what canst 
thou dof deeper than hell; what canst thou hnowf 
4 It may be considered, that we daily see and 
observe things, which, did not manifest experience 
conArince us of their being, we should be apt to 
disbelieve their possibiHty ; sense no less than faith 
doth present us with objects, to bare reason impro- 
bable and unconceivable ; so that should we attend 
to the scruples injected thereby, we should hardly 
take things for possible which we behold existent; 
we should distrust the greatest evidence of sense, 
and by our logic put out our eyes. Who. would 
believe, that, did he not every day see it ; who can 
conceive how, although he seeth it^ from a little 
dry, ill-favoured, insipid seed thrown into the earth, 
there shortly would rise so goodly a plant, endued 
with so exact figure, so fragrant smell, so delicate 
taste, so lively colour ; by what engines it attract- 
eth, by what discretion it culleth out, by what 
hands it mouldeth its proper aliment; by what 
artifice it doth elaborate the same so curiously, 
and incorporate it with itself? What virtue could 
we imagine in nature able to digest an earthly 

A Defence of the Blessed Trinity. 603 

juice into the pellucid clearness of crystal^ into the 
invincible finnness of a diamond? Who would 
not be an infidel, did not his sight assure him of 
the miracles achieved by that blind plastic force, 
which without eye or hand doth frame such va- 
rieties of exquisite workmanship, inimitable, and 
far surpassing the skill of the greatest artist? 
That a Uttle star, from so vast a distance, in a 
moment, should make impression on our eyes, re- 
plenishing with its light or image so spacious a 
region all about it, were we blin4 we should hardly 
believe, we scarce could fancy : how, without know- 
ing the organs of speech, or the manner of apply- 
ing them, without any care or pain employed by 
us, we so conform our voice, as to express what 
word, what accent we please; how we do this, or 
that we can do it, as it will confound our thought 
to imagine, so it would stagger our faith to beUeve, 
did not our conscience persuade us, that we can 
and do speak. It is upon occasion very commonly 
said, I should never have believed it, had I not 
seen it; and that men speak so in earnest, many 
such instances declare. Now if we can give credit 
to our sense against the suffirage or scruple of our 
reason, in things not so discosted from our capacity 
of knowledge, shall we not much more yield our 
belief unto God's express word in things so in- 
finitely distant from it? If common experience 
can subdue our judgments, and compel us to a 
belief of things incredible, shall our reason demur 
at submitting to divine authority? If the dictate 
of our conscience doth convince us, shall not we 
much more surrender to the testimony of God, 
Who is greater than our conscience, and knoweih «©. 

504 A Defence of the Blessed Trinity. 

all things ? If we do believe, because we seem to 
know by seeing ourselves; we should rather be- 
lieve, because we surely know by hearing from 
God : for sense may deceive us, and often needeth 
correction from reason; God cannot deceive, and 
rea^n often is by him corrected: which leadeth 
me to a further consideration, that, . 

5 The propositions clearly delivered unto us by 
God himself, are upon many accounts more un- 
questionably true, more credible than the expe- 
riments of any sense, or principles of any science : 
whence if there happen to arise any seeming con- 
test between these, a precedence is due to the 
former in derogation to the latter; it is fit that we 
rather give our eyes and our ears, our fancies and 
our reasons the lie, than anywise, by diffidence to his 
word, put an affiront on God, (for to disbelieve him 
I John y. is, as St John telleth us, to give him the lie ;) ro 
i^Cor. L fi^^pov Tov Geo!;, ThefoUy of God (as St Paul speaketh ; 
^5- that is, the points of faith declared by God, which 

seem most irrational and cross to the decrees of 
human wisdom) is afxpiorepov rwv avOpdvwvy wiser 
than men ; that is, more assuredly consonant to real 
truth, than our most undoubted theorems of science, 
James i. and mostcurrontmaximsof poUcy. Godisthei^o/I^r 
^^' of all lights, both of that which immediately shineth 

from heaven, and of that which glinmiereth here 
below; he is the fountain of all truth, whether 
natural or supernatural : but his Ught and his truth 
he convey eth into us by manners different; some 
light streameth directly from him, other cometh 
obUquely, being refracted through divers mediums, 
or reflected from several objects upon us; the first 
sort must needs be more bright, and more pure, 

A Defence of the Blessed Trinity. 506 

should be more powerful and efficacious upon our 
minds: the latter is often blended with material 
tinctures^ is weakened by the interruptions it meet- 
eth with, loseth of its purity and its force by the 
many conduits it passeth through, by the many 
shades it mixeth with. Observations of sense do 
often prove fallacious; and their not ever doing so 
dependeth upon divers conditions, a right temper 
of the organ, a fit disposition of the medium, a just 
distance of the object; so that conclusions derived 
from them cannot be so absolutely certain, nor 
consequently the principles grounded on them. 
But divine revelation is not obnoxious to such 
conditions : as the doctrines revealed are in them- 
selves simply true, according to the highest pitch 
of necessity, because supreme wisdom doth con- 
ceive them, and truth itself doth vent them; so 
the manner of declaring them must be competent, 
because God himself doth choose and use it ; there 
plainly needeth no more, than yielding an attentive 
ear, and skill in the language wherein they are ex- 
pressed, to secure us from error and uncertainty 
about them; so that well might St Austin say, 
that. In other things our conjecture is exercised; 
hut faith (done doth assure our mind^. 

There have been those, you know, who have not 
only advanced doubts concerning propositions at- 
tested to by clearest sense, and inferred by strong- 
est discourse ; but have by their argute cavillations 
bid fair to shake the foundations of all human 
science : but I never heard of any, who believed a 
God to be, that did contest the infallible truth of 

^ A.d ciBtora ezeroemur per fortasse; at cam de rebus fidei 
agitur, ibi eet certe sine forte. — Aug. 

9, lo 

506 A Defence of the Blessed Trinity. 

his oracles : Socrates, we may be sure^ (his excel- 
lent scholar assuring us) who was so incredulous as 
to disclaim all pretence to wisdom or science, being 
author of the &mous sayings Hoc tantum scio ; yet 
greatly did rely upon divine significations and testi- 
monies, so deemed by him, and such as he could 
come at; alleging, that he, who folio weth the con- 
duct of his own reason, instead of God's direction, 
chooseth a blind and ignorant guide, before one 
that best seeth and knoweth the way: He, saith 
the historian, despised aU human conceits in respect 
of God's advice^ 
pb. xciv. He ihatformeth the eye, saith the Psabnist, ^laJl 

not he see? He that planteth the ear, shall not he 
hear ? He that teacheth mom hnowledge, shall not 
he hnowf He that endued us with all our know- 
ing faculties, and presideth over us in the manage- 
ment of them, shall not he supereminently know 
all that we can ? Must not they in reason continue 
subordinate to his direction? Should they not 
always discern and judge under correction by him, 
with an appeal and submission reserved to his 
better judgment ? 

I might adjoin, that the object and the end (as 
well as the author and the manner) of divine reve- 
lation doth argue it to surpass all reason, and all 
sense, in certainty and credibility; for sense and 
reason converse wholly, or chiefly, about objects 
material and mutable ; revelation about immaterial 
and immutable things : they direct us in affairs con- 
cerning this transitory life ; this leadeth us toward 
eternal felicity. To mistake about those objects, 

" Kvrhs ht navra rdpBpwrufa vwtptmpa irp6s rrjp vapa riuf ec«ir 
(vfificvXimr. — [Xen. Mem. x. 3, 4.] 

A Defence of the Blessed Trinity. 607 

to miscarry in those affidrs, is in itself of little, in 
comparison of no importance: but to judge rightly 
about these things, to tread safely in these paths, 
is of infinitely vast concernment; a smaller com- 
petency therefore of light and certainty might well 
suffice to the purposes of reason and sense ; but to 
figdth the greatest degree of assurance is worthily 
due, and seemeth requisite. But further, 

6 Not only the consideration of this mystery, 
but of all the divine attributes, will in like manner 
extort from our feeble reason the question of Nico- 
demus. How can these things he? They will all of johniii.9. 
them equally puzzle our shallow imagination, and 
baffle our slender understanding : for who can ima- 
gine, or understand, how God's immensity doth 
consist with his perfect simplicity ; or that without 
any parts he doth coexist to all possible extension 
of matter; being all here, and wholly there, and 
immensely every where? Who can apprehend his 
mdiviriblJ ete^.7, or how dl ^e^J^ns of tizoo 
are ever present to him, and subject to his view ; 
so that he is not older now than he was when the 
world began, nor younger than he will be after in- 
numerable ages are past; so that he foreseeth the 
most contingent events, depending upon causes in 
their nature arbitrary and indeterminate? Who 
can fancy, how out of mere nothing, or out of ex- 
treme confusion and indisposedness, the world 
could be created, and framed into so goodly order, 
by a mere act of will, or by the bare speaking of a 
word ? How without any distraction of thought 
he govemeth affairs, attending to the infinite varie- 
ties of thoughts, words, and actions occurring here ; 
and, Ita curans universes tanquam singiUos, ita 

508 A Defence of ike Blessed Trinity. 

singuLos tanquoAn solos, as St Austin speaketh»? 
How he is truly said to resolve and to reverse, to 
love and hate, to be pleased and grieved, all without 
James i. auj real change, or shadow of alteration ? How he 
'^' suflFereth many things to happen, which extremely 

displease him, and which he can easily l^inder; and 
doth not effect many things which are much de- 
sired by him, and very feasible to his power? Why 
to equal men he distributeth his gifts so imequally ; 
affording to divers abundant means of becoming 
happy, leaving others destitute of them? What 
wit of man can reconcile his infinite benignity with 
his most severe decrees; or compose the seeming 
differences between his mercy and his justice? 
Many such perfections and dispensations of God 
we must stedfastly believe, because they are 
plainly taught in Scripture ; to distrust them being 
to renounce Christianity; to deny them being to 
rase up the very foundations of our Beligion : yet 
he that shall with his utmost attention of mind 
endeavour to conceive how they can be, or how 
they consist together, according to our ordinary 
notions of things, and the vnlgax meaning of words, 
applied by us to these inferior matters, shall find 
himself gravelled with innumerable semblances 
of contradiction, plunged in depths inscrutable, 
involved in labyrinths inextricable. 
I Cor. 1 93. What in practice the cross of Christ was, A 
scandal to Jews, (men dull, but obstinate, and in- 
vincibly possessed by vain prejudices,) and folly to 
GreekSy (men of wit and subtilty, but overween- 

^ [O tu bone omnipotens, qui sic curas unumqaemque nostrum 
tonquam solum cures, et sic omnes taiiquam singulos. — Confess, 
m. 11. Opp. Tom. i. col. 95 f.] 

A Defence of tJie Blessed Trinity. 509 

ingly conceited of them^) that in speculation may 
a great part of divine truths be^ apt to stumble 
froward and arrogant men^ ; but as there, so here, 
Blessed are they who are not scandalized ; whom no Matt. xi. 
fond scruple or haughty conceit can pervert from ^• 
readily embracing all necessary verities ; such are 
those we pointed at, which if without extreme folly 
and impiety we cannot reject, or be diffident o^ 
although surmounting our conceit, and dazzling 
our reason ; then upon the same account, with like 
facility, we must submit our faith to the doctrines 
conceminfi: the blessed Trinity, standing: upon the 
same aulloriiy. 

7 Lastly we may consider and meditate upon 
the total incomprehensibility of God in all things 
belonging to him^; in his nature, his attributes, 
his decrees, his works and ways ; which all are full 
of depth, mystery, and wonder. God inhabiteth » 'R™- ▼»• 
00)9 atrpoaiToVf a light inaccessible to the dim and 
weak sight of mortal eyes ; Which no man hath 
seen, nor can see : No man, as he told his servant Exod. 
Moses, can see his face (the very exterior appear- ^^^' ' 
ance of him) and live : He is a consuming fire, that Deut. iy. 
will scorch and devour such as by rash inquiries *** 
approach too near him'; The sight, it is said, of the Bxod, 
glory of the Lord was like devouring fire in the^^^' *^' 

P nXcoy yap cdTi rov vtpl MovaiK&p d/towrovfy nal sroXcfuxtSv 
doTpartvTovg HutKeytir&ai, r6 rh Btia Koi tkufi&vuL wpayftara lka(rK<m€ip, 
awBpwrmtt SvraSf dtop drcxvovp rexyir«0y Utavouuf dvr6 dc^^r Koi duiyoias 
Kara r6 tuAu ft€Ti6pras, — Plat, de sera Num. Vind. [0pp. Tom. ym. 
p. 173. Ed. Reisk.] 

^ E2 yitp ai chcopofum aieaTtiXi;]rroi» iroXXf ftaXkov avr<k.— Chrys* 
[De Incompreh. Dei Nat. Orat. i. 0pp. Tom. vi. p. 393.] 

' Scrutator majestatw opprimetur a gloria. — [Verbatim. Sio 
qui scrutator est majestatiSy opprimetur a gloria. — Pror. zzt. 27. 

610 A Defence of the Blessed Trinity. 

sight of the children of Israel. Even those spi- 
ritual eagles, the quick and strong-sighted sera- 
isai. vi. 1. phim, are obliged to cover their faces^ as not daring 
to look upon, nor able to sustain the fulgor of his 
immediate presence, the flashes of glory and ma- 
jesty issuing from his throne : and the most illumi- 

1 Pet.i. 14. nate secretaries of heaven, unto whom secrets 

were disclosed, into which angels themselves were 
ambitious to piy, were sometimes nonplussed in 
contemplation of God^s attributes and actions; 
Roin.xi. being in their astonishment forced to cry out, w 
(Udoif the depth of the riches of the wisdom and 
knowledge of God ! Even his methods of exterior 
providence are inscrutably mysterious ; His jv^ 
merits a/re awl^epwvnray like inexhaustible mines, to 
the bottom whereof we cannot anywise dig by our 
inquiiy; His paths are ave^txylcurroi, so obscure as 

2 oor. ix. not to be traced by any footsteps of our discourse ; 

His gijis are aveKSi^trrot, not to be interpreted, or 
expressed by our language. And if all concerning 
God be thus incomprehensible, why should any 
thing seem incredible ? Why out of so many un- 
conceivable mysteries do we choose some, reprobate 
others? Wherefore do we stretch our judgment 
beyond its limits to things so infinitely exceeding 
it' ? Why do we suffer our reason to be pragmati- 
cal, unjustly invading the office not belonging 
Coi.u. i8. thereto; Intruding into things which it hath not 
xxix/ip. seen, nor can comprehend; those Secret things 

* Ti irp^ff obpavhv dvinraa-tu wtC^g tiv; ri koul av furp€it 

TJ X'H'^ ^ vHnpf Koi r^y ohpwfov owtBofijf^, kcH urStray 1171^ yvjw hpaid; — 
Greg. Naz. [Or. xzxn. 0pp. Tom. i. p. 597 b.] 

dovyicptroff, an^Uf^ davfifiifiairrogf aya&mrwff afiifu/ros^ Kokamut^ av- 
€KdtiiyrfTOf. — Theoph. ad Autol. [Lib. i. 3. p. 361 e.J 

A Defence of the Blessed Trinity. 611 

which belong to the Lord our Grody and the com- 
prehension whereof he hath reserved unto himself ? 
These considerations may suffice in some man- 
ner to shew, that St Chrysostom had reason to 
exclaim so much against the madness, as he styleth 

it*, of those who do TroXuirpayfAovelw Ttjv ouaiav tov 

06oD, are husUy curious in speculation about the 
essence of God ; daring T019 oiKeioi^ CirofidWeiv Xo^kt- 
iuiol^, to subject divine mysteries to their own ratioci- 
nations'^: that St Basil's advice was wholesome, fiti 
vepiepyal^eaOcu rd ciwicw/jLcva^ Not to be nieddlesotne 
about things, about which Holy Scripture is silent : 
that another ancient writer did say no less truly 
than prettily, that in these matters, Curiositas 
reum efficit^ non peritum^ ; we may easilier incur 
blame than attain skill by nice inquiiy into them : 
that many of the Fathers do with great wisdom dis- 
like and dissuade the searching to vm^; the man- 
ner of things being true, or possible, a^ a suspi- 
cious mark, or a dangerous motive of infidelity: 
that St Paul's rules» ^po^elv ek to atofppopelvy To be ^™- *"• 
wise so a>s withal to be sober, and modest ; and mi; 
i/irc/o 6 yeypavTcuj ippovuy, Not to conceU any thing iOor.iv.6. 
without warrant of Scripture^ are in this case most 

* MaWav yhp tymy€ cboi iaxarrfv ^fti ffHKoptuctiw tMvai W rfjp 
ovaiatf ifrrhfS ec<$r. — Chrys. [De Incompreh. Dei Nat. Orat. i. 0pp. 
Tom. VI. p. 391.] 

« [Id. Jhid,] 

Ck>gitemu8 Bi Talemus ; ri non Talemiu credamus. — Aug* Serm. y. 
de Temp. [Serm. ccclxix. 0pp. Tom. v. col. 1457 b.] 

Tiff ij Touwrrf v/xeiw ij)ikow€uda t£v ff^cvpcarftfi^, wrrt dv6p€inrlvu 
^pon;<rri, inrip Ttjv ap6pmnivrjp p^ffiruf SpiiwaOcu ,*— ^Athail. [con. Apoll. 
Lib. I. 0pp. Tom. i. p. 932 xj 

' Zeno Veronens. [Lib. n. Tract, v. p. 146.] 
y 2a<f>fjt TKtyxos cnricrnW r6 ir«ff ntpX (tni) Qtov Xcy^ii/. — Expos. 
Fid. apnd Just. M. [0pp. (App.) p. 461 e.] 

512 A Dtfence of Hie Blessed Trinity. 

especially to be heeded: that, according to St 
Peters admonition, we should As new-horn habes 
(unprepossessed with any notions or fancies of our 

I Pet. u. «. own) long for, iwi'TroOeivf and greedily suck in the 
sincere mUk of the word ; not diluting it with baser 
liquors of human device : that where God doth in- 
terpose his definitive sentence^ our reason hath 
nothing to do but to attend and submit; no right 
to vote, no licence to debate the matter ; its duty is 
to listen and approve whatever God speaketh^ to 
read and subscribe to whatever he writeth ; at least 
in any case it should be mute, or ready to follow 

Job zi. 4. Job, saying, Behold, I a/m vHe ; what shall I an- 
swer thee f I will lay my hand upon my m/mth. 
In fine, the testimony of God, with a sufficient 
clearness represented to the capacity of an honest 
and docile mind, (void of all partial respects, and 
dear from aU sorts of prejudice ; loving truth, and 
forward to entertain it; abhorring to wrest or wrack 
thmgs, to use any fiuud or violence upon any prin- 
ciple, or ground of truth ;) the testimony of God, I 
say, so revealed, whatever exception our shallow 
reason can thrust in, should absolutely convince 
our judgments, and constrain our &ith. If the 
Holy Scripture teacheth us plainly, and frequently 
doth inculcate upon us, (that which also the uni- 
form course of nature and the peaceable govern- 
ment of the world doth also speak,) that there is 
but one true God ; if it, as manifestly, doth ascribe, 
to the three Persons of the blessed Trinity the 
same august names, the same peculiar characters, 
the same divine attributes, (essential to the Deity,) 
the same superlatively admirable operations of 
creation and providence; if it also doth prescribe 

A Defence of the Blessed Trinity. 513 

to them the same supreme honours, services, praises, 
and acknowledgments to be paid unto them all; 
this may be abundantly enough to satisfy our 
minds, to stop our mouths, to smother all doubt 
and dispute about this high and holy mystery. It 
was exceeding goodness in God, that he would 
condescend so &r to instruct us, to disclose so 
noble a truth unto us, to enrich our minds with 
that TO iirep€')(ov t^9 yvtitrew^j that most excellent Phn. ui. 8. 
knowledge of himself; and it would be no small 
ingratitude and imworthiness in us anywise to 
suspect his word, or pervert his meaning ; anywise 
to subject his venerable Oracles to our rude can- 
vasses and cavils. In fine, the proper employment 
of our mind about these mysteries, is not to search 
and speculate about them, to discourse flippantly 
and boldly about them ; but with a pious credulity 
to embrace them, with all humble respect to adore 

I have thus endeavoured in some measure to 
defend the outworks of the orthodox doctrine con- 
cerning the blessed Trinity : it was beside my 
intent to insist so long thereon ; but the matter 
did i^€\K€<r6ah was so attractive, that I could not 
wave shewing my respect thereto. 

I proceed now to that which I principally de- 
signed, the proposing briefly some practical con- 
siderations, apt to excite us to the exercising our 
understanding and affections upon those wonderful 
dispensations of grace and mercy, vouchsafed to 
us by the holy Trinity, either conjunctly, or (as 
they KaT oiKovopiiav are expressed) separately. 

We first should carefully study and duly be 
affected with that gracious consent, and, as it were, 

B. S. VOL. IV. 33 

514 A Defence of the Blessed Trinity. 

confederacy of the glorious Three in designing aaid 
prosecuting our good ; their unanimous agreement 
in uttering those three mighty words of favour to 
mankind, Fdciamus, MedimamiLS, ScUvemus; Let 
us make man out of nothing, Let us recover him 
from sin and perdition, Let us crown him with 
joy and salvation ; we should with grateful resent- 
ments observe them conspiring to employ their 
wisdom in contriving fit means and methods to 
exert their power in effectual accomplishment of 
what was requisite to the promoting of our wel- 
fare, the rescue of us from all misery, the ad- 
vancing us to the highest degree of dignity, and 
instating us in the most perfect condition of 
happiness, of which our nature is capable ; in 
prosecution of that gracious design, which their 
joint goodness had projected for us. More dis- 

I We should set our mind on God the Father, 
before the foundation of the world from all eter- 
nity, pleasing to forecast with himself the creation 
of us, and communication of his own image to us; 
endowing us with most excellent faculties of body 
and soul; subjecting the visible world to our use 
and governance ; placing us in a state of great ac- 
commodation and delight; permitting us to faU, 
that he might raise us to a higher and better con- 
dition ; resolving to send his own dear Son from 
his bosom, to procure and purchase the redemption 
of mankind; preparing and disposing the world 
for the reception of so great a mercy, by a general 
Acts xiv. testification of his patience and beneficence, (Giving 
showers and fruitful seasons, and JiUing the hearts 
ofme/n with food and gladnesSy) but more especially 


A Defence of the Blessed Trinity. 515 

by prophetical promises, predictions, and prefigu- 
rations : also suffering the generality of mankind 
so to proceed in its ways, as might render it 
sensible of its error and unhappiness, of the need 
and benefit of a deliverance ; then In the fulness Gai. iv. 4. 
of time, when The creature did earnestly groan, Rom. viii. 
and long for its recovery from vanity and slavery^ ^^' 
actually sending his only Son, and clothing him 
with human flesh, that conversing with us, he 
might discover to us his gracious intentions toward 
us, might confirm the truth thereof by miraculous 
works, might instruct us by his heavenly doctrine 
and holy life in our duty, and the terms of our 
salvation, then freely delivering him over unto 
death, and accepting his passion as a sacrifice ex- 
piating our sins, and meriting his favour toward 
us ; then raising him as the first firuits from the » Cor. xv. 
dead, setting him at his right hstfid, investing him "''' 
with authority to govern and save those who sin- 
cerely would believe in him, and faithfully obey 
him ; also sending and bestowing his Holy Spirit 
to dwell in them, to conduct, confirm, and comfort 
them in the ways of truth and righteousness. 
These, with manifold other intercurrent passages 
of gracious providence ascribed to God the Father, 
we should seriously mind, and so resent, as to be 
ravished with adi4ation of his mercy, to be in- 
fiUtmed with love of his goodness, to be possessed 
with gratitude toward him, to become thoroughly 
devoted to his service. 

2 We should likewise mind the blessed Son of 
God concurring with his Father in aU his purposes 
of love and mercy toward us, in making all things, john i. 3. 
and sustaining them by the word of his power; but * *" •^' 

616 A Defence of the Blessed Trinity. 

especially in his (toward the freeing us from the 
desperate miseries, corruptions, and slaveries, into 
which we were plunged) assuming human nature, 
leading therein a troublesome and toilsome life, 
for our benefit and instruction ; undergoing a bitter 
and shameM death, for the atonement of our 
sins, and reconciliation of us to divine favour; 
purchasing great and precious promises, procuring 
high and glorious privileges for us; ascending into 
heaven to prepare us mansions of bliss ; intercedmg 
for us with God, and pouring from above mani- 
fold blessings upon us ; the astonishing miracles of 
goodness, of wisdom, of condescension and patience, 
LpUyed in Ae .Ugoment of which r^<^ 
takings for us, what heart can well conceive, what 
tongue can utter? What amazement should it 
produce in us, to consider the brightest efflux of 
Divine Glory ecl^sing and shrouding itself under 
so dark a cloud of mortal frailty ; the Most High 
stooping into the quality of so mean a creature; 
the First-bom and Heir-apparent of heaven de- 
scending from his throne of eternal majesty, and 
Phu. ii. 7. voluntarily degrading himself into the Form of a 
servant, clad in rags, worn with labour and travel, 
exposed to contempt and disgrace; to reflect upon 
the great Creator and sovereign Lord of all the 
world, who reared the heavens, and founded the 
earth, who possesseth and upholdeth all things, 
needing himself a shelter, pinched with want^ 
taking alms from his slaves, and paying tribute 
to his subjects ; to contemplate the Son of God, 
willingly styling himself the Son of man, really 
subjecting himself to the duties, the necessities, 
the infirmities of human nature; suffering the 

A Defence of the Blessed Trinity. ^ 617 

coarsest hardships^ and extremest disasters thereof; 
all this upon freest choice, with full contentment, 
and perfect submission to so mean and so distaste- 
ful a condition ! 

We may observe with how admirable goodness 
he did vouchsafe to converse with a froward gene- 
ration of men, to instruct a stupid and indocile 
sort of people, with all sorts of beneficence, to 
oblige an incredulous, insensible, and ingrateful 
crew ; with how invincible a meekness and patience 
He endured the contradiction of sinners^ the scorn- Heb. xu. 3. 
fill reproaches, the wrongfiil calumnies, the spiteful 
and cruel usages of the envious and malicious 
world; being to the highest extremity despised, 
hated, maUgned, and abused by those whom he 
had most highly honoured, most affectionately 
loved, and conferred the greatest favours upon. 
We may with astonishment contemplate that 
strange contest between divine patience and hu- 
man wickedness, striving which of them should 
excel ; when we do peruse and weigh those enig- 
matical passages, God accused by man of blas- 
phemy, the eternal Wisdom aspersed with folly, 
Truth itself impleaded of imposture, essential Love 
made guilty of mischief, and supreme Goodness 
styled a malefactor ; infinite Power beat down, and 
trampled upon by impotent malice ; the Judge of 
all the world, the Fountain of all authority and 
right, arraigned, condenmed, and executed for in- 
justice ; The desire of aU nations rejected by his H»g. u. 7. 
own country and kindred; Hie Joy of paradise 
(whose lightsome countenance doth cheer heaven 
itself) almost overwhelmed with grief, uttering 
lamentable groans, tortured with grievous agonies; 

518 A Defence of the Blessed Trinity. 

the very heart of God bleeding, and the sole Author 
of life expiring. 

We may further study Jesus, with a hearty 
compassion, and tears gushing from his inmost 
bowels, pitying not these his own sufferings, but 
the vengeance for them due and decreed unto his 
persecutors: we should mark him excusing their 
fault, and praying for their pardon ; dying willingly 
for their good, when he died violently by. their 
hand ; passionately desiring their salvation, when 
they maliciously procured his destruction. 

We should mind all the actions of the Son of 
God, our Saviour, with the most wise grounds, 
endearing circumstances, and precious fruits of 
them ; his birth, Ufe, death, resurrection, ascension, 
intercession ; as containing instances of the great- 
est charity and humility possible shewed imto us, 
as arguments of the greatest love and gratitude 
due from us : mind them we should most seriously, 
so as to be heartily affected with them, so as to 
esteem worthily the transcendent honour done us 
by God assuming our nature, and exalting us to 
a conjunction with the divine nature ; so as to 
be deeply sensible of our obligation to so immense 
a charity, that could do and suffer so much for us 
without any desert of ours, yea, notwithstanding 
our exceedingly bad deserts, our rebellions and 
enmities against him ; so as to detest the heinous- 
ness of our sins, that needed so mighty an expi- 
ation, that caused so horrid a tragedy; so as not 
to neglect so great salvation so frankly offered, so 
dearly purchased for us ; not to fnistrate the de- 
signs of so unconceivable love and goodness, so as 
to obey readily so gracious a Master, to follow 

A Defence of the Blessed Trinity. 519 

carefully so admirable an example ; so as in imi- 
tation of him, and for his sake^ to be meek and 
humble in heart and in deed, seeing he did so 
infinitely condescend and abase himself for us ; 
to be patient and submissive to his will, who 
stooped so low, and suffered so much for us; so as 
to bear a general aflfection to mankind, grounded 
like his, not upon any particular interests, nor 
limited by any partial respects, but extended freely, 
in real desire and intention toward all ; Uberally 
to impart the good things we possess, and patiently 
to brook the crosses we meet with, and heartily to 
forgive the offences done to us ; for that he freely 
did part with the greatest glories of eternity, with 
the highest dignities and the richest treasures of 
heaven, for our sake ; when we were Enemies in our Coi. lu. 
minds by wicked works, dead in trespasses and ^ ' "' ' 
sins, guilty of numberless grievous offences against 
him, by his blood redeeming us from wrath, re- 
conciling us to the mercy and favour of God. 

3 We should also meditate upon the blessed 
Spirit of God, with equal goodness conspiring, and 
co-operating with aU the purposes, to all the effects 
of grace, which conduce to our everlasting happi- 
ness ; more especially as the repairer of our decayed 
frames, the enlivener of our dead souls, the infuser 
of spiritual light into our dark minds, the kindler 
of spiritual warmth into our cold hearts; the raiser 
of spiritual appetite to righteousness, and the reUsh 
of goodness in our stupid senses; the imparter of 
spiritual strength and vigour to our feeble powers; 
the author of all liberty, loosing us from captivity 
under the tyranny of Satan, from vassalage unto 
our own carnal lusts and passions; from subjection 

520 A Defence of the Blessed Trinity: 

to a hard and imperious law^ from bondage to the 
terrors of a guilty conscience : as him^ that enableth 
us to perform the duties^ and accompUsh the con- 
ditions, required of us in order to our Ovation, 
that quaUfieth us to be the sons of God by his 
effectual grace, and assureth us that we are so by 
his comfortable testimony; as our sure guide in 
the ways of truth and virtue; our faithftil counsellor 
in all doubts and darknesses ; our mighty support 
and succour in all needs, in all distresses; our 
ready &:uard aiminst all assaults and temptations; 
our swSt comforter in aU sadnesses and afflictions : 
who doth insinuate good thoughts, doth kindle 
holy desires, doth cherish pious resolutions, doth 
further honest endeavours in us: who only doth 
inflame our hearts with devotion toward God; 
doth encourage, doth enable us to approach unto 
him; doth prompt us with fit matter of request, 
and becometh advocate for the good success of our 

We should mind him as the root of all good 
fruits growing in us, or sprouting from us; the 
producer of aU good habits formed in us, the as- 
sisterof all good works performed by us, the spring 
of all true content that we enjoy: to whom our 
embracing the faith, our continuing in hope, our 
working in charity, the purification of our hearts, 
the mortification of our lusts, the sanctification of 
our lives, the salvation of our souls are principally 
due, are most justly ascribed : as the author and 
preserver of so inestimable benefits unto us, let us 
mind him; and withal let us consider him as con- 
descending to be a loving friend and constant 
guest to so mean and unworthy creatures; vouch- 

A Defence of the Blessed Trinity. 621 

safing to attend over us, to converse with us, to 
dwell in us, rendering our souls holy temples of his 
divinity, royal thrones of his majesty, bright orbs 
of ihis heavenly light, pleasant paradises of his 
blissful presence; our souls, which naturally are 
profane receptacles of wicked and impure affections, 
dark cells of false and fond imaginations, close 
prisons of black and sad thoughts : as graciously 
striving with us, striving to open and enter into 
our hearts barred against him by vain conceits and 
vicious inclinations: striving to reclaim us from 
the sins and errors, into which we are wont heed- 
lessly or wilfully to precipitate ourselves; striving 
to make us, what in all duty and wisdom we should 
be, capable of divine favour, and fit for everlasting 
happiness : as enduring patiently manifold displea- 
sures and disrespects from us, our rude oppositions 
against him, our frequent neglects of his kind ad- 
monitions, our many perverse humours, wanton 

toward him. 

We should thus mind the blessed Spirit of God, 
and be suitably affected toward him ; so as to be 
duly sensible and thankful for those unexpressible 
gifts and blessings indulged to us by him ; so as to 
render all love and reverence, all praise and glory, 
all obedience and service to him, especially so aa to 
admit him cheerfully into our hearts; yea, invite 
him thither by our earnest prayers; to make fit 
preparations for his reception and entertainment, 
(by cleansing our hearts from all loathsome impu- 
rities,) to make him welcome, and treat him kindly, 
with all civil respect, with all humble observance ; 
not grieving and vexing him by our distasteful 

B. S. VOL. IV. 34 

522 A D^ence of the Blessed Trinity. 

crossness and peevishness; not tempting him by 
our fond presmnption^ or base treachery; not ^- 
tinguishing his heavenly light and holy fire by our 
foul lustS; our damp stupidities^ our cold neglects, 
our neglects to foment and nourish them by the 
food of devout meditations and zealous desires : bo 
let us mind him, as to admit gladly his gentle 
illapses, to deUght in his most pleasant society, 
to hearken to his faithful suggestions, to com- 
ply with all his kindly motions, to behave our- 
selves modestly, consistently, and o£Sciously to- 
ward him. 

Thus should we employ our mind, all the facul- 
ties of our soul, our understanding, our will, our 
affections upon the blessed Trinity, the Supreme 
of all things above, the Founder of that celestial 
society, into which as Christians we are inserted; 
the Sovereign of that heavenly kingdom of which 
we are subjects ; the Fountain of all the good and 
happiness we can hope for in that superior state. 
To the performance of which duty there be argu- 
ments and inducements innumerable; it is the 
most proper and connatural object of our mind, 
that for which it is fittest, and for which it was 
designed ; the best intelligible, and infinitely most 
amiable of all things. It is the most worthy and 
noble object, the contemplation of which, and affec- 
tion whereto, will most elevate, most enrich, most 
adorn, most enlarge the capacities, and most satisfy 
the appetites of our souls; it is the most sweet 
and pleasant object, wherein all light, aU beauty, 
all perfection do shine ; the sight and love of which 
do constitute Paradise, and beatify Heaven itself. 
It is the most useful and beneficial object of our 

A Defence of the Blessed Trinity. 523 

mind, winch wiU best instruct us in what it con- 
cemeth us to know, will most incite us to those 
duties which we are obliged to perform, will be 
most efficacious to the begetting in us those dispo- 
sitions, which are indispensably requisite for the 
attainment and for the enjoyment of that everlast- 
ing bliss ; imto which that one blessed Unity and 
glorious Trinity in its infinite mercy bring us all: 
to whom be all glory, honour, and praise for ever.